Another Side of the Story

THANK YOU to Ditzymusiclover for the altnerative title!

Lady Nebkhat request who enjoys torturing the twins as much as I do. Sorry it took so long! Hope you like!

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"You should open up more," Sideswipe said, giving his brother's frame an appraising optic as he buffed himself to an indecent shine. "You're too reclusive."

"I just don't wish to subject myself to the company of others," Sunstreaker countered, admiring his shine in the full length mirror. His twin was perched on the end of his berth, looking just as dashing in the reflection.

"Let me guess, the whole artist persona of being distant, mysterious, moody…" Sideswipe grumbled, waving his servo in a flighty gesture as he rolled his optics.

"There's nothing mysterious about wanting to be left alone and not surrounded by simpering, whining, indulgent fools who think they can buy their way into your berth or under you're your plating," Sunstreaker retorted, turning from his reflection to glare at his brother.

"The femmes always go for the strong, silent types," Sideswipe grumbled, crossing his arms and looking away from his brother.

"What do you have to complain about?" Sunstreaker retorted. "You have quite the reputation."

"And I have you to thank for it," Sideswipe grinned. He really couldn't be bummed out for too long. It wasn't in his nature.

"What can I say?" Sideswipe grinned, rising from the berth and taking the few paces to his twin. His optics were slitted into wicked slivers, a devilish smirk on his face. "You're like energon goodies. The femmes keep flocking to you."

"I rather they flocked somewhere else," Sunstreaker griped. He rubbed his chest above his spark chamber, trying to quell the sensation his brother was sending through their link.

"Oh no, you are my lucky charm," Sideswipe said, looping his arm through his twins and escorting him out of the suite. "The femmes know they can't have you, so they come to me. It's a win-win."

Sideswipe liked to capitalize on his brother's popularity. If Sunstreaker was in high demand with the social elite, then who were two ex gladiators to argue?

"You're a spike driven mech," Sunstreaker commented, allowing Sideswipe to steer him to their transport. Since Sunstreaker was successful in his artistic endeavors, he had the credits to pay for private transportation.

"What can I say?" Sideswipe said cracking open a small cube of ultra refined high grade when they entered the transport. It hit his systems with a stinging impact, giving him the edge he wanted to face the coming crowd. "If you don't want them, I'll be more than happy to supply them with pleasure for the cycle."

"No disappointments yet?" Sunstreaker said, reliving all his twins more intimate moments when he let slip control of the bond. Sometimes it was during the most inopportune moments.

"As if a femme could be disappointed," Sideswipe scoffed. "I never leave a femme unsatisfied."

"Lucky for you I don't live my life with my spike to direct me," Sunstreaker quipped.

"Be funny if you did," Sideswipe joked, downing the rest of the high grade. He offered Sunstreaker a cube but he refused.

The gala openings were always a big deal. Bots from all over Cybertron attended the social gatherings. Mechs of standing, rank, influence, even the Prime himself had visited a few of Sunstreaker's exhibits. During such grand openings Sunstreaker was always a nervous wreck, sometimes purging his tank. Sideswipe learned to keep his brother on a schedule of very little fuel on the morning of the opening, then nothing until Sunstreaker had met with the most top influential mechs in attendance. Then he would be allowed a few shots of the high grade, which settled his nerves but made him rather surly and standoffish. Sideswipe often commented that Sunstreaker's artistic mood mirrored his drunken mood.

"I'm going to purge," Sunstreaker groaned as they pulled into the disembarking line of celebrity guests.

"You don't have anything in your tank," Sideswipe reminded his twin, taking several deep breaths, ready to enjoy a night of talk, dancing, pretending to the be the handsome, yet timid and approachable, brother to the artist. A couple of cubes of high grade disappeared into his subspace to replenish his systems after the inevitable frags in private from willing, and influential femmes.

Sideswipe always accumulated a list of conquests at these openings. And twice Sunstreaker had suffered a secondary overload shut down right in the middle of entertaining important clients. When he found his twin sometime later, he throttled him for good measure, reminding him to keep his side of the bond firmly closed while engaging female companions. Sideswipe reciprocated by sharing the memory files with his twin, both suffering from secondary overloads from the memory loops.

The duo exited the transport amid flashes of news cameras and adoring fans of Sunstreaker's work. Several high society mechs greeted the artists and linked arms with him, basking in the adoration of the crowd. Sideswipe took up the rear of the procession, seeking out the adoring femmes who looked ready to earn an artist's favor.

The gallery was as usual hosting high paying clientele, each trying to one-up their fellow elitist and own assorted pieces from the most respected artist to grace Cybertron. The prices hit the stratosphere, the gallery owner nearly oiling himself with the percentage he was earning on behalf of his main showcasing client.

Sunstreaker was ushered to a knot of Tower mechs who argued over the best pieces of Sunstreaker's collection and asked the artists opinion on the true feeling and emotion behind the designs. Sunstreaker babbled about his work, feeling safe and warm in his environment.

The Senate and the local Chancellor all were in attendance. Sunstreaker greeted many as friend, having been around the circuit long enough to remember designations and know who was serious about art and who as just in it for the grandeur and show.

Catering bots flitted about the room, serving spiced drinks and exotic blends. The upper class paid them no mind, often treating them as mere servants than actual living beings. Sunstreaker watched the world move by in quiet contemplation, his smile etched into his face from habit as the representatives from other districts introduced themselves.

When two representatives from some city state on the other side of the planet were arguing over Sunstreaker's latest sculpture, arguing over whether it was a reflection of memories or a symbol of emerging genius trying to break free from an oppressing world. Sunstreaker didn't have the spark to tell them that the sculpture was by accident, the veins running through the stone had created the strange path. Sunstreaker had thought it beautiful, so he never broke the polished, golden hue that nature had suspended within the rock.

He was looking around the vast majority of the crowd when he saw her. She was a serving femme for the event, her hands filled with trays of drinks in bright colors. Her smile was just as fake as Sunstreaker's as she tried to ignore the blatant disregard of her fellow Cybertronians.

Sunstreaker stepped away from the still arguing mechs, oblivious to their chatter and their stares as he departed their company without excuse or apologies and made his slow progress across the room. When he gained the serving femme's side, she turned to offer him a drink when their optics locked. Both of their expressions went from surprise to adoration then to coy infatuation.

"Sir," the femme said, her smile lighting up her pale optics in a pleasing way that had Sunstreaker's engine revving. When she looked into his optics a blush crept up along her cheek plates.

"Hi," Sunstreaker said, mentally slapping himself at the absurdity of the simple word.

The party fell away, the attending high society long forgotten as the two stared into each other's optics. Sunstreaker grabbed the tray from her hand and shoved it toward another of the catering staff and captured her servo, pulling her toward him. One servo lifted her servo to his lips to kiss and the other snaked around her waist.

She didn't protest. Her frame fell into a perfect mold to his, their optics never leaving the gaze of the other.

Sunstreaker felt his spark threaten to leap out of its casing and by the violent heaving of the femme's body against his, she felt it to.

So enraptured with each other, the duo didn't notice the shudder of heavy impact. The party goers were oblivious as well until one of the windows shattered and the sound of high pitched whistling could be heard. When the second bomb landed, the social elite screamed like panicking organics, knocking each other down in an attempt to escape. As Sunstreaker felt his spark pulse with desire toward his only true intended, he felt the world quake, the building rock on its foundations. He was lost in his dream world, the only thing bringing him crashing into reality was the sharp, intense pain that seared his spark. He gasped, losing contact with the femme and placing his servo over his chest.

The pain nearly bent him double and with a sickening horror he realized Sideswipe was hurt. Using his brother's frantic spark call as a beacon, Sunstreaker focused on the weak signal and started to run toward his twin. A small part of his spark twinged in protest, wanting to stay with its intended mate, but Sideswipe's pain bleeding over the bond demanded immediate action.

Sunstreaker was several paces away when he turned, intent on calling out to his new love, to invite her to flee with him and find his brother, but a partition collapsed, taking several of Sunstreaker's work, and his femme with it. Her body disappeared under the burning beam of melting metal, Sunstreaker's art twisting into a lump of scrap, the materials burning away and filling the air with ash.

Stunned, Sunstreaker stared, watching as the femme's frame disappeared under the wreckage, her scream cut off by the sound of twisting metal as the room threatened to cave in further. Her body was entombed in the molten mass of art created by her long lost love.

Another sharp stab to his spark and Sunstreaker took off at a dead run, following his brother's weakened signal.

Not knowing what to do, Sunstreaker started to cry, running away from the only chance at true love and happiness he was sure was destined to be. But his brother needed him, and if he had to choose who was the top priority Sunstreaker loathed to admit it, but his brother would always be his first priority. No one else could understand him, nor tolerate him the way Sideswipe did. They were two halves of one whole. There couldn't be one without the other and neither could survive without the other.

They were a matched set, together forever, regardless of what the destiny wished to unfold.

With a shout Sunstreaker awoke, his optics onlining to look up at the Cybertronian sky painted above his berth. His systems were running hot, displaying the readouts as if he had been running and reliving those moments so many eons ago. A shadow loomed over him.

It didn't take his proximity sensors to alert him that it was Sideswipe.

Sideswipe had been awoken by the sense of torment in his brother's spark. While charging, the brothers couldn't control what slipped through the bond. It was wide open and everything easily explored by the other. It made nightmares, such as the ones Sunstreaker was reliving, to come alive and haunt the twins as if it just transpired. One never knew when the other would throw them into the past and then both would suffer the losses, sparkache, and anguish, feeling the emotions of the other as if they were their own.

Sideswipe didn't say a word. He already knew. This dream had been a reoccurring one since it happened. Even after all the twins went through, there were some memories that still haunted them.

Sunstreaker turned away from his brother, too ashamed to face his twin after thinking about the lost possibility. He would never betray his brother, but there was always some part of him that wondered what could have happened with the femme.

What kind of life could Sunstreaker be living?

He didn't begrudge Sideswipe before injured during the initial Decepticon campaign. He loved his brother, though he never admitted such a thing out loud. But Sideswipe knew. He could feel it. And he could feel the dedication and love that smothered him when Sunstreaker was feeling guilty for wanting another life other than that of a soldier on a strange planet.

Sideswipe felt guilty too though he hid it better than his twin. That night, he had been leading a very alluring femme to a quiet place when Sunstreaker's side of the bond flared so bright, Sideswipe faltered. He gasped, clutching at his chest plates, his processor taking time to realize that it was the residual effects filtering through of finding one's, or in this case, two's sparkmate. The femme who had been going along looked at Sideswipe was a curious expression, not understanding that fate was already sealed. Destiny decided. Sideswipe pulled away and turned, heading toward his twin that was broadcasting so violently about finding its sparkmate and needing its other half to complete itself, that he didn't notice the brilliant flashes of light outside. The rocking of the foundations was attributed to the fantasy the world moved when you found your true soul mate. Death, destruction and pain weren't in Sideswipe's processor, but they bloomed in spectacular vengeance in his body.

The windows shattered into a billion diamonds, before the sonic blast knocked Sideswipe to the floor. He skidded several meters, his equilibrium circuits knocked haywire. He was dimly aware of a screaming as the floor fell away, revealing a deep crater that swallowed the femme. Sideswipe stumbled to regain his legs when a missile impacted the building, blowing the structure to the Pit. Shrapnel flew out in a dazzling display of molten colors, one shard zeroing in on Sideswipe and landing almost dead center. Sideswipe cried out, feeling his lower half nearly severed completely from his body, his frame going into shut down procedures as his spark cried out for help.

Sideswipe was unaware after that point.

He didn't know the time it took for Sunstreaker to fight his way through burning debris and screaming patrons. The numerous burns and tears to his plating. The pain that sent him falling to his knees on several occasions, nor the sense of loneliness and despair that filled his half spark. He didn't know how long it took for Sunstreaker to wrest him free of his entombment, nor of the crying torment the artist went through as he fought to free his twin from certain termination. The ensuing fight from invading strangers. The numb sense of disbelief when Sunstreaker terminated them without thought or hesitation. The long, agonizing hours Sunstreaker spent repairing what wounds he could while linking his systems to his twins. The endless stretch of time that Sunstreaker hoisted his partially melted brother into his arms and carried him out of the building, searching for safety.

Sunstreaker couldn't recall how long he wandered in a daze, his broken and bleeding brother clutched in his arms. All he remembered was the sense of loss and terrible pain not entirely his own filling his being and blanking out all else. It was a long time later that Ratchet explained he had found the duo wandering down charred streets and over graying bodies and that Sunstreaker had collapsed in his arms in exhausted submission.

Silently, Sideswipe crawled onto the berth behind Sunstreaker. He could feel the anguish passing through unchecked. He wrapped his arms around his brother, pulling their sparks into alignment and allowing them to find their natural, soothing rhythm held within. Sunstreaker's frame shuddered from grief, tears leaking from his optics as he allowed his brother to just hold him. And in doing so, chase away the monsters that stole his peace.

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There you have it. Another dramatic piece and glimpse to 'what if' in the twins' history. They just cant seem to catch a break, can they?

Next week: Request from BlitzKrazi-1

Reviews are loved and appreciated. Requests are still asked to be held until I'm caught up and can give them proper attention. As of right now, I have 6 more that are outlined and working on but no idea on when they will be finished. And while I'm waiting for my muse to cooperate, I'll add a few chapters of my own to tide y'all over.