Many Shades of Black
Disclaimer: I don't own Transformers; I'm just prostituting it for my amusement.
Summary: NOT TEETH VERSE Jazz finds an Enforcer in the ruins of Praxus. Even though Enforcers are the lackeys of Megatron he stays with the mech so that he won't deactivate alone. Except the mech doesn't die.
Warning: M/M robot smut, war
Pairings: Jazz/ Prowl
Klik: One Minute, 1.2 minutes
Joor: One Hour, not giving it a specific length, suffice it to say that Cybertron does not share the same orbit or rotation as Earth, an hour, a day would be different lengths from ours
Mega-cycle: One Day, 93 hours/ joors
Orn: One Week, 13 mega-cycles
Quartex: One Month, 4 orns
Stellar Cycle: One Year, 7.5 quartexes
Vorn: Length of Sparklinghood and Younglinghood: 83 stellar cycles.
How could anyone still be functional? Praxus wasn't just in ruin, it looked as though it had been wiped off the surface of Cybertron. Every building in the city-state had been flattened. The rubble had been vaporized in so many places that there wasn't even rubble left, only foundations. Jazz's fuel tank clenched with disgust. Through the reports buzzing over his comm, Jazz gathered that a few mechs had been pulled alive from the ruins of the state building, but given the multimillion population of Praxus, it wasn't even close to half of one percent of the population. Thousands of mechs, femmes and sparklings had been dug out dead from the ruins of city buildings and their homes. He himself had dug out at least a dozen dead mechs and femmes, and one crushed little sparkling. Rage and hopeful desperation were the only things that kept Jazz going. Until Optimus called for his team to return to Iacon, Jazz would continue to dig in the ruins of Praxus. He wanted to find one survivor, just one and maybe his spark would stop aching so much.
He moved from the twisted pile of rubble where he had been searching. According to his advanced visor sensors, there would be no survivors found here. With a bitter groan and a curse that asked Primus to shrivel Megatron's spark and send him into Unicron's embrace for all eternity. The image of that crushed sparkling remained cemented in the forefront of Jazz's processor, and he swore again. Someday, he would make Megatron pay for this. Jazz stalked slowly, and carefully around the rubble and onto the fractured and buried service that had once been the main street at Praxus's core. Several of the buildings had collapsed onto the street and Jazz could see the greying remains of too many mechs and femmes protruding from the rubble.
A bleep flashed over Jazz's visor, telling him that a spark was faintly humming in wreckage of the street. Throwing all caution to the winds, Jazz ran into the street, tripping over the rubble and catching himself as he tumbled to his knees. Still, he couldn't slow. The readout from his visor told Jazz he was getting closer and it also told him the spark was growing weaker by the second. When he was almost over top of the spark signature, Jazz dropped to his knees and began to dig with his bare servos.
"Someone's alive here," Jazz called over the comm. "Spark signature's real weak. Get a medic here fast."
The medic couldn't possibly get here fast enough. Jazz gritted his denta as he continued to dig. It didn't matter how fast he dug or how much rubble he moved, the spark pulse of the survivor underneath the twisted metal was growing weaker. This wasn't the survivor Jazz was hoping to find. He wanted to find someone who was going to live but slag it if Jazz was going to let this mech or femme deactivate alone. A crumbled, energon stained black and white doorwing was Jazz's first glimpse of his quarry. From the size of the wing, Jazz knew this was a mech. From the cracked and bloodied insignia Jazz realized that this was an Enforcer. The cables of Jazz's abdomen tightened. An Enforcer, this was the survivor Jazz found. This was the mech he found alive and the one he knew he couldn't leave until his spark returned to the Allspark. It wasn't fair. Jazz swore as he kept digging. The Enforcers were no better than drones with sparks. They were Megatron's lackeys. So one of Megatron's ilk had been caught in Praxus's destruction. It couldn't have happened to a more deserving mech.
Jazz pushed the last of the rubble from the Enforcer's back and cleared his helm from the debris. The mech groaned and then coughed. He shuttered and wretched under Jazz's servos and Jazz smelled the sharp odour of purged coolant and energon. Not wanting the mech to swallow his vomit, Jazz gently tilted the mech's head to the side. A dim blue optic watched Jazz and the Enforcer tried to push himself up on his arms, which were trapped under his chassis..
"Easy, mech," Jazz said. His voice sounded far gentler than Jazz had expected. The mech was in pain, on his way to the Allspark, and even though he was a slagging Enforcer, Jazz's spark hurt for him and felt anger at Megatron for his suffering. "I'm going to dig out your legs. Just relax and I'll have you out in a klik."
Primus, his legs looked horrible. Jazz pushed down the urge to empty his tanks. He could see the armour of the Enformer's legs had been obliterated. Horribly broken leg struts had pierced through armour and energon and coolant poured freely from severed lines. There would be no way to move the mech without causing him pain but Jazz didn't think it was right to leave him to deactivate in a pool of his own vomit and energon. With as much care as he could manage, Jazz pulled the Enforcer from the rubble and cradled him in his arms. The mech cried out weakly. Energon and coolant gushed from the ruined tubing in his legs, and doorwings with each pulse of his spark. Jazz carried the Enforcer away from the rubble and laid sat him down on the fractured street.
The black and white mech, the same colouring as Jazz himself, was bleeding out fast. Jazz pulled his field kit from his subspace and set to work sealing off the leaking tubes. There were dozens of them in each leg and even more in the Praxian Enforcer's doorwings. It looked like every one of his energon and coolant lines had ruptured. His legs and doorwings were greying from lack of energon and coolant flow but his torso and faceplates still had their colour. Though the bleeding had mostly stopped, the Enforcer's spark was continuing to fade.
"It hurts," the mech moaned weakly, his optics were dim and glazed over with pain. "Please. My doorwings. Can't lie on them."
A shudder rolled through the mech's frame and he coughed, energon and coolant leaked from his mouth. The mixture was acidic and surely burning his insides. Jazz frowned, his visor hid his optics, and thus hid his internal struggle. Helping one of Megatron's lackeys, it ate at Jazz, and made Jazz's spark race with anger and disgust. But the mech looked so helpless, his optics pleaded with Jazz. Making a sound in his throat, Jazz lifted the Enforcer's back of the ground. His door wings were in awful shape, crushed, and bent at an unnatural angle. Doing his best to avoid damaging the Enforcer anymore, Jazz cradled him against his chassis. The mech rested his helm against Jazz's shoulder. The red chevron that graced the centre of his helm was fractured, only the small fragments remained connected to the white centre.
"I couldn't get home," the Enforcer wheezed. He looked up at Jazz with frantic optics. He was losing his colouring. "Blue and Smokey..."
"Shh," Jazz soothed. The mech was fading fast. Jazz couldn't in good conscience tell the mech that given the state of Praxus the odds of his family surviving were slim.
"I couldn't protect them," the Enforcer whimpered his body was wracked with pain. His spark hurt. "I failed them..."
"No, no," Jazz said. Without thinking, he lied. "Most of the sectors are pretty intact. We'll find your family. You just hang in there."
"Thank you," the Enforcer whispered. His voice was filled with static and his optics were so dim they were almost offline. Still Jazz could see he was focused on his visor. Without thinking, Jazz removed it and let the mech see his own blue optics.
"What's your designation, mech?" Jazz asked thinking that if by chance this Blue or Smokey lived, he could tell them that their brother, father, friend, whatever had not deactivated alone.
"Prowl," the Enforcer replied. His voice was almost unintelligible.
"I'm Jazz. Just hang in their and we'll find Smokey and Blue."
"Jazz," Prowl grimaced and coughed up more energon on Jazz's shoulder. He was going into stasis, and he knew it. He fought back the static in his voice. "Tell Smokey I'm sorry. He was right. Didn't do any good."
"You can tell him, Prowl," Jazz insisted. "You're not going anywhere."
"Lying," Prowl's reply came out as a brittle, static filled chuckle. "Didn't do any good staying. Couldn't protect them. Tell him to take care of Blue."
"Don't give up," Jazz ordered. "The medic's almost here, you're going to be alright."
"Lying," Prowl replied in such a quiet voice. His optics fell offline and his shutters closed. He fell limp in Jazz's arms.
"Slag, slag," Jazz swore. He reached a servo between them and felt the faint hum of Prowl's spark. Stasis. Prowl hadn't quite gone back to the Allspark yet.
The roar of engines made Jazz look up from Prowl, and he watched Ratchet and Hound race into view. Ratchet transformed the instant he saw Jazz and the limp mech in his arms. He ran over to Jazz and even as he knelt he pulled a diagnostic cable from his side and plugged it into the first functional port he found on Prowl's body, one over his spark chamber.
"His spark's leaving," Ratchet said, not disengaging himself from his patient. "He needs a transfusion of energon, now."
"You can use mine," Jazz spoke without thinking. The very instant after he spoke the words, Jazz found he didn't regret them.
"Give me your arm," Ratchet ordered. With surgical precision Ratchet opened the plating of Jazz's arm and clamped and severed one of the two main energon lines in Jazz's arm. He had Hound hold the loose line, keeping it clamped while he pulled out the main energon line to his patient's spark chamber. He clamp it off before severing it and quickly taking back Jazz's line from Hound, joined them together. Ratchet stared at his patient for a few clicks before disconnecting the diagnostic cable.
"He's barely stable," Ratchet said. "There's not a good chance of him making it but his only chance is to get him to the field hospital I set up in the outskirts of the city. If I can't get him on life support and stabilize his spark properly within the joor he doesn't have a chance."
"Load him in, and Jazz, you need to stay connected," Ratchet said as he transformed and opened the doors to his hold. "I'll keep track of both your vital signs."
The ride through the city was incredibly uncomfortable. As Ratchet swerved around debris, both Jazz and Prowl were jarred. Jazz watched the Enforcer, specifically his doorwings. Had Prowl been online, the way his doorwings rubbed against Ratchet's hold would have been agonizing. But Prowl remained offline, and Jazz let his optics move from Prowl's doorwings to his faceplates. They weren't greying as much as they had been. He moved one servo to cover Prowl's spark chamber as he cradled his open arm against his knee. Prowl's spark was pulsing so faintly, Jazz could barely feel it.
What had Prowl (Because he wasn't just the Enforcer now, he was Prowl) meant when he'd said that he hadn't done any good staying? What family argument had been so present in Prowl's processor that that the last words he had spoken were of it? More than half dead, Prowl managed to look handsome. His faceplates were perfectly symmetrical and perfectly smooth. None of his lines were sharp, they were soft. His voice had matched his frame. Did it still when he wasn't weak? Jazz found himself hoping to find out. Enforcer or no, Jazz wanted this mech to live.
Ratchet threw open his doors. Jazz looked out to see Hound and Trailbreaker standing next to a hovering gurney. By now Jazz was starting to feel dizzy. Hound and Trailbreaker loaded Prowl carefully onto the gurney before the helped Jazz up as well. He couldn't be disconnected from Prowl yet, so Jazz straddled Prowl's hips, careful to keep his weight off of the injured mech. Ratchet shouted orders for materials, supplies. Mechs moved out of the way of the gurney, and Ratchet without question, as they jogged quickly to the temporary surgery, Ratchet plugged himself back into his patient.
"Prowl," a frantic voice called from the the crowd medics working from patient to patient in the general triage.
"Smokescreen," Ratchet said, without looking away from his patient. "Stay out of my way."
"Primus, Prowl," Smokescreen moaned, and he followed Ratchet and the gurney but stayed out of Ratchet's way. He hovered by the canvas sheet that acted as a door to the surgery. After being disconnected from Prowl, Jazz left the surgery, holding his line clamped.
"Sit down, Jazz," Smokescreen gestured to a row of berths, just outside of the surgery. This was where the medic recharged.
"Hey, Smokescreen," Jazz said with a weary smile. "Thought you were a processor doc."
"I am," Smokescreen replied. "But I have training as a field medic as well."
"Huh," Jazz murmured. He sat as ordered and watched as Smokescreen pulled a few tools from his subspace and setting to work reattaching his line. It only took a few minutes before Jazz was patched up. He looked up to see Smokescreen holding a cube of energon out to him. Jazz took it and drank it quickly.
"You're Smokey," he said after finishing the cube.
"That I am," Smokescreen replied in an uncharacteristically quiet and subdued voice. He sat on the berth next to Jazz.
"So what are you two?" Jazz asked. He couldn't believe the Autobot psychologist was involved in any way with an Enforcer. Jazz didn't know the mech well but he had been debriefed and examined by him twice after difficult missions.
"He's my little brother," Smokescreen explained. "Where'd you find him, Jazz?"
"In the streets near the city centre," Jazz replied. "I dug him out of some rubble. Primus. I thought he was going to die on me and I just didn't feel right leaving a mech to die alone. Slagging Pit. How the frag do you have an Enforcer for a brother?"
"Our creators wanted him to be an Enforcer," Smokescream said. His voice showed the anger he had harboured towards his creators still. "They had an advanced logic processor and battle computer installed in his processor when he was just a little sparkling. It caused a whole slagging heap of problems for him. But he did what they wanted and joined up. Prowl... Prowl just wants to help everyone. When you see him, when he's repaired, you'll see he doesn't seem approachable. He seems cold. Prowl just doesn't wear his spark on his faceplates but he really cares about everyone. Every mech, femme and sparkling. That's why he stayed on. Even when he realized how corrupt the Enforcers were, he stayed on because he wanted to help."
"He told me to tell you, that you were right," Jazz said. "Right before he went into stasis. He wanted you to know, you were right that he hadn't been able to protect them. I guess he meant his patrols."
"Prowl would blame himself," Smokescreen sighed. "Primus, he was so grey."
"Ratchet'll take care of him," Jazz assured Smokescreen, trying to assure himself as well. "So, Smokey... Who's Blue?"
"Blue is an orphan Prowl found on one of his patrols," Smokescreen explained, suddenly so tired. His doorwings drooped. "He's a youngling. He needed a place to stay. The Enforcers were gathering up younglings off the street to be reprogrammed for Megatron. Prowl took Blue in to save him from that. He tried to warn off the other street younglings to avoid the patrols. Saved some of them, but lots of them still got rounded up. I think they, the younglings, are the main reason Prowl stayed on. He needed to protect them. Now most of them are dead in the streets. It's going to break his spark."
"Slag," Jazz swore. He felt like weeping for the pain Megatron had subjected Prowl too. It was strange how much his spark felt for a mech he didn't even know but the Prowl Smokescreen described seemed like such a caring, wonderful mech. "Is Blue okay?"
"Yeah, he's here," Smokescreen said. "When I heard about the 'Con army gathering here I went and got Blue. Prowl was working a double shift and he didn't answer his comm. He usually turns off his personal comm when he's on patrol."
"It's gonna save his spark knowing you're both functional," Jazz commented. "When he was talking about you at first, I'm sure he thought you were deactivated. I lied and said most of Praxus was okay. Didn't want him to deactivate thinking you were gone."
"Thank you, Jazz," Smokescreen said and clasped Jazz's shoulder. "Thank you for taking care of him."
A joor after Jazz had sat down with Smokescreen, a youngling with black, grey and red colouring bounded up to Smokescreen. He was shaking, and his doorwings stood up high on his back. Smokescreen pulled him down to sit on the berth between him and Jazz.
"He's in surgery Blue," Smokescreen explained to the frantic youngling. "Let me introduce you. This is Jazz; Jazz, this is Bluestreak. Jazz rescued Prowl, Blue."
"Good to meet you," Jazz said.
"Thank you so much for taking care of Prowl," Bluestreak gushed. "I was so sure he was gone. Thank you so much."
"You're welcome, Bluestreak," Jazz said. The speed the youngling spoke at was surprising. "I'm glad I found him."
Bluestreak spoke without a break until he tired himself into recharge. By now Smokescreen was ready to crash. He stretched out on the berth and let Bluestreak cuddle up with him. Jazz sat on the floor, recharging lightly, not wanting to steal a medics berth. He dozed there until the medic called Hoist woke him and bullied him onto the berth next to Smokescreen's. When he onlined again, Jazz's chronometer told Jazz that it had been five joors since Ratchet had taken Prowl into the surgery and two joors since Jazz had sank into recharge on the borrowed berth. What had woken him? Ratchet!
Ratchet stood just outside of the canvas doorway, looking at Smokescreen and the youngling he had yet to be introduced to. Jazz hopped from the berth and walked over to the medic; Ratchet looked exhausted, and energon and coolant covered much of his chassis. But as weary as he looked, Ratchet did not look defeated. Jazz took this as a sign of hope.
"How is he, Ratch?" Jazz asked softly, trying not to wake the slumbering mechs.
"Stable," Ratchet replied in a strained voice. "I had to replace most of his lines and his leg struts and the cables in his legs. Oh, and all of his plating. I've replaced all of his coolant, oil, and energon. He's got a lot of painful recovery coming to him. His frame will take time to integrate the new components and his plating is basically raw."
"Poor mech," Jazz said and winced.
"He won't be leaving a berth for a few orns and longer than that before I release him from my clinic," Ratchet added. "I had to rebuild almost everything. Do you have any idea how sensitive doorwings are? They are covered in sensors. I had to replace all of them and connect them to brand new plating. Laying on them as I have him now would be excruciating if I hadn't disabled the sensory feed to his processor. Most of him's numb right now."
"Would it be okay if I stayed with him?" Jazz asked. "I don't think he should online alone?"
"He won't come online until I let him," Ratchet said. "But go ahead."
Ratchet gave him a long looked before nodding and heading to his own berth and laying down. Jazz entered the surgery. Nurses had cleaned up the surgery, and Prowl. Though Ratchet had said Prowl was stable, he still had the mech hooked up to a life support machine by several tubes connecting to Prowl from all around his spark chamber. It was a frightening sight. The new plating of Prowl's doorwings and legs was rough. Jazz could see where it had been welded together. The plating was all generic steel grey. Even the new chevron Ratchet had attached to Prowl's helm was grey. In due time, Jazz new Ratchet would buff Prowl's plating until he was smooth and someone who help Prowl repaint his frame. For now, Prowl looked painfully grey, though when Jazz came to stand next to Prowl's helm, he saw that his frame, and his faceplates had a healthy sheen. The sheen of life.
Jazz stood next to Prowl for joors. He was still standing with him when Ratchet returned from his brief recharge to check his patient. The medic forced a cube into Jazz's servos and plugged himself into a port under Prowl's arm. Ratchet made a sound of approval; Jazz watched him through his visor. Prowl's spark seemed to be pulsing strong now, but Jazz realized this was quite possibly just the result of the life support machine.
"He won't come out of stasis until I disconnect the machine," Ratchet said, finally. "Which I'm going to do now. Smokescreen and Bluestreak are refueling as we speak. If his spark isn't capable of pulsing steadily on its own, alarms are going to sound and I don't want his family to hear that."
"I want to stay," Jazz replied. "I'll stay out of your way, but I'd really like to stay."
"Fine," Ratchet replied and without another word he disconnected the tubes from around Prowl's spark chamber. After an anxious klik, Ratchet pronounced Prowl's spark as strong and stable.
"Can't believe he made it," Ratchet said, shaking his helm. "Strong spark. He'll come around when he's ready now. I need to update his family."
"I'll stay," Jazz announced.
"You're pretty attached to him," Ratchet noted with veiled optics.
"He's the only mech I found alive," Jazz explained, he vented. "I was so sure he was going to deactivate in my arms. I just don't want to step back until I see him online again."
"He's not going to feel very lucky but he is one of the lucky ones," Ratchet said, now looking terribly defeated. "Most of the survivors lost everyone. His family is intact. That'll help keep him together during his recovery."
Jazz nodded and Ratchet left. With a tentative servo, Jazz touched the casing of Prowl's spark. He shuttered his optics and concentrated entirely on the steady pulse of the spark just centimetres under his servo. Primus must have loved Prowl to bring him through this alive. Still, from what Smokescreen had said, Prowl would be hurting in his spark far worse than he would be hurting in his frame when he onlined and learned the level of the destruction of Praxus. Jazz vented and moved his servo to tenderly stroke the mech smooth faceplate. He never would have guess that the Enforcers could have included a mech like the Prowl Smokescreen had described. He sounded like a contradiction; Jazz was one himself and he felt an unexpected ache to get to know Prowl and help him through the loss of his home.
A soft sound escaped Prowl's lips and drew Jazz's full attention to first Prowl's lips and then to his entire face. The shutters of his optics dragged open slowly. Jazz stared intently at Prowl's offline optics until with a quick flicker, they came online and Prowl stared back at him.
End Chapter 1
A/N The title of this fic comes from Adele's song, Many Shades of Black. This is not a song fic. At all. But I take inspiration wherever it comes. This is a completely new verse. Please enjoy it.
I plan to update this once a week, depending on how much I get written. It will largely depend on how much I write. I do need to get back to other fics as well.