A Very Unusual Side

Combined: NineCrow, who wanted an explanation of Prowl's scars and Lady Nebkhat, who wanted to see more one on one interactions to show depth and personality between characters. These two concepts just blended right together. There will be more '1 on 1' scenarios, so as time goes on and each twin starts to come out of their shells, we'll see more sides of their personality with each bot and maybe a hint to their past that may or may not have been touched upon already.

Additional Disclaimer: Anything you recognize is property of its respective owners and parent companies. The only thing I own is the plot/idea. And like all fanfiction writers, I'm making a fortune off of this. I now have 8 moths in my wallet and more eggs on the way.

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Slagging Sideswipe.

Slag Sideswipe to the pit and beyond as far as Sunstreaker was concerned.

Leave it to Sideswipe to find a way out of boring duties. Course there was the rare time Prowl assigned the red hellion to monitor duty, but he always skirted that responsibility with video games or linking to human satellites and watching their 'pay per views.' Some of the things he watched terrified Sunstreaker, and he was a seasoned warrior.

Slagging Sideswipe.

Now, because of Sideswipe's idiotic generosity, Sunstreaker was now stuck covering his brother's shifts. He was exiting his quarters when the possible explanation hit him. Stuck in the brig, Sideswipe didn't have to spend hours sitting at a boring monitor, driving patrols with set speed limits, which were a joke to those with a fast engine and good tires, and didn't have to worry about being watched by the command element as he tried to maneuver his way through secured lines of communication.

Maybe Sideswipe didn't get into trouble just for the joy of a prank? Maybe it was the respite he got with sitting in the brig with no kind of 'duty.'

Slagging Sideswipe!

Sunstreaker snarled, his fist curling at his side as he ventured toward the washracks. It was late, most mechs already deep in charge. Sunstreaker had to patrol the western route this afternoon, and as it was Oregon's 'rainy season', he had returned covered in mud and grit. The mud he could do without, but Sunstreaker secretly liked the rain, at least the booming thunderstorms. They were powerful and violent, just like himself. He found them soothing. The louder the thunder the more at ease he felt.


But he most certainly did not enjoy the mud and silt that caked to his gorgeous chassis. That was a nasty side effect of living close to the ocean. The silt mixed with regular earth and created mud puddles that were a gift sent from Unicron. And of course, Sunstreaker's own personal mini "hells"… potholes.

So now that Sunstreaker had performed not only his own tour of filthy duty, but he had performed Sideswipe's as well.

Slagging Sideswipe.

Sunstreaker crept down the hall, mindful of his pede falls. It wasn't so much as courtesy toward his fellow Autobots at such a late hour, but more of a cautionary measure to ensure no one saw him looking so filthy. As soon as his patrol was over he had retreated to his room, waiting until everyone would be charging before venturing out. Autobots were natural sociable creatures and washrack time was especially a group event. So the washracks had become a great place to gather. It wasn't uncommon to find many mechs talking and scrubbing under the taps. Most enjoyed a good conversation with their scrub down and those with a more intricate nature, it was nice to have someone to reach the places they couldn't get. The Praxians were notorious for needing help scrubbing around their doorwings. Though very few bots had earned the privilege to clean the sensitive appendages. Most were too rough or clumsy, which ended up in a painful scrub for the Praxian attached.

Blaster mentioned putting a stereo in the washracks on several occasions, but his idea was always shot down by the command staff. Apparently Prowl pointed out the danger of dancing pedes on slick tiles.

So, like social butterflies, Autobots would converge in the wash racks. There were alcoves where bots could remove their armor, placing it in large scrubbers that looked like the dishwashing units in restaurants. While the armor was being cleaned, bots had the chance to scrub under their plating and around the catches that secured the battle gear into place for every day wear. It felt great to remove the organic gunk that plied itself into joints and everyone had at least one place on their body they were unable to reach for a deep down cleaning. Moods were greatly improved when one was free of dirt and accumulated grit. Which was why Sunstreaker was looking forward to a thorough wash to remove the grime and soil that rubbed under his plating.

Slagging Sideswipe.

Sunstreaker's anger made him step a little heavier than what he anticipated, sending out a 'clang' in the hall that sounded like a bell. He cringed, picking up pedes and placing them with delicate intention on the metal floor. That's all he needed right now. Sound the alarm and get everyone up and then they'd see how hideous he looked, all splattered in mud and earthen silt caked in his joints.

He found the door to the washracks closed, which was odd.

He opened the door and was shocked to see the lighting at full display. Usually when a room wasn't in use, the lights were off or cycled to low, depending on the volume of traffic for the given room. The washracks were always in use so the lights were dimmed until someone entered, then the illumination banks cycled to high.

But much to Sunstreaker's surprise, there was one other who decided to use the washracks so late at night. He stepped into the room, his optics taking in the stripped down protoform that was under the heavy solvent wash. It was really weird to see a mech without their battle armor, especially to those who didn't socially bathe with everyone else. It took some time to get used to seeing a mech so… naked. It took Sunstreaker a moment to identify the lone mech without his usual colored plates.

The mech was thin, as per normal to basic designs, giving very little hints to identity, but Sunstreaker recognized the monochromatic armor in the scrub racks.

Knowing that no one wanted to be snuck up on, Sunstreaker broadcasted his spark signature, letting the other know he was there. Normally he shied away from such flippant broadcasts but he wanted the other in the washracks to know of his presence, and it was rude not to alert anyone despite any perceived animosity.

Doorwings hiked up, and Prowl's startled visage spun, staring at Sunstreaker.

Without waiting for a word, Sunstreaker nodded and went to another station, removing his armor and placing it on the washing trays that would take it through the cleansing cycles while he scrubbed his body. When the main pieces were off, he turned and went to an open stall, hitting the tap for heavy solvent and stood statuesque beneath the spray. It felt wonderful to have the dirt and grime loosen and wash away. He sighed, leaning his helm against the wall, not unlike how Prowl was earlier when Sunstreaker found him enjoying his own physical cleansing.

Not one to be social when he was basically naked, Sunstreaker kept his vocalizer off, his optics closed as he relished the sensation of the pouring water. He wasn't sure how long he was under the spray but a soft swishing noise drew his attention. He chanced a glance to his right and saw that Prowl had turned off his tap and was sitting on the bench, a brush in his hand as he scrubbed at his armor.

Knowing he better do the same in case someone else came in and saw him in 'less than perfect condition,' Sunstreaker turned off his tap. Much to his delight, Prowl remained on the far side of the bench, his body turned away from Sunstreaker as if he didn't want to engage in conversation. That was fine by Sunstreaker. He didn't come here to talk anyway. He went to the washing tray and pulled out his armor, looking at the still soapy gold and sighed, knowing it was almost ready to be scrubbed before being rinsed. With a huff he returned the tray to the slot and went back to the bench.

Now Sunstreaker wasn't one to gossip, nor was he one to stare at others while they cleaned. It was strange to see one striped down so bare, and that in itself took a lot to get used to, but once the drastic size differences were put aside, then the other bots were just as any Cybertronian. Sunstreaker just couldn't get over how skinny Prowl was without his battle armor. He seemed so….. puny. Lopsided too, considering only the thin outer covering of his door wings were removed. The recessed sensors on the appendages were very prominent, displaying their intricate circuitry and how it wired into the Praxian's back. Sunstreaker never noticed how symmetrical it was or how skeletal Prowl looked. He seemed to be starving, but Sunstreaker knew that wasn't a correct assumption.

It was as Sunstreaker observed the physical aesthetics of his companion that he noticed the lines. Many, MANY pewter and platinum lines ran along the Praxian's frame. Most were centered to his back, a spiderweb network of interlacing lines and testament to grievous injury. The doorwings sported a few of these marks, making the fluttering appendages look like a dragonfly.

How organically beautiful.

Sunstreaker was mesmerized by the pattern. They were elegant, with perfect dissecting lines, evenly spaced and engraved into the neural mesh. Had Sunstreaker not seen Smokescreen and Bluestreak in such a state of undress, he would have assumed the lines were normal.

But he knew they weren't.

They matched the marks on the arms, the sides, and even down the legs. They were mixed together, older pewter scars fading to thin lines, intersected with white, platinum lines that were more recent, most likely, Ratchet's work. He was notorious for his suturing ability and leaving minimal scarring. It's why Sunstreaker never pranked Ratchet himself and redirected the majority of Sideswipe's antics to other bots. He respected Ratchet's artistic talent in preserving the symmetrical beauty of his patients. Sunstreaker had quite the mosaic thanks to Ratchet.

Sunstreaker was so caught up in the design he didn't notice that Prowl had stopped scrubbing and glanced over his shoulder to see why his companion was so silent. When he noticed Sunstreaker's unwavering glare, Prowl scowled, his doorwings dropping and fanning wide, hiding his frame. Instead of the action dissuading Sunstreaker's curious gaze, it only intensified it. He frowned over his shoulder, watching Sunstreaker with disdainful optics, his doorwings shifting to hide his body in self conscious gestures of modesty. Though there wasn't anything Sunstreaker hadn't seen before.

Sunstreaker's gaze remained transfixed as the door panels moved, and much to his astonishment, there was a large scar that split the dragonfly wings. The thick pewter weld mark ran almost the full length of Prowl's dorsal line. Had he been human, the knotted lumps of the welds would have looked like vertebrae.

Prowl's attention remained transfixed on his armor. He wanted to hasten its cleaning so he could cover himself. Prowl didn't want anyone to ever see his scars. He didn't want anyone to know he was vulnerable. That he could be damaged in such a way.

Much like Sunstreaker, himself.

How could anyone hurt Prowl? Sunstreaker wondered, staring at the ghostly images imprinted on his commanding officer's body. Prowl was decent, quiet, fair minded, and loyal. Who could have done such a thing to him?

The question must have been written on his face, for Prowl turned away, shame burning his face plates.

"My creators," Prowl said, not looking at his companion.

"Sorry?" Sunstreaker asked, wondering what the SIC was talking about. It didn't occur to him he was just caught staring.

'My creators…. hurt …me." Prowl admitted, refusing to look at Sunstreaker. "When I was sparked, I couldn't….. compute. At least, not what was considered a proper developmental rate."

"So… they beat you?" Sunstreaker asked. He could see the weld scars that looked very old, some barely noticeable as spidery webs crisscrossing the lithe body. Even the doorwings bore damage. Surely creators wouldn't be so cruel as to mar their sparkling over something so simple as the inability to understand and comprehend.

"I couldn't compute like the other sparklings," Prowl said as if that was reason enough for the abuse, his servos returning to cleaning his armor. It was shining brilliantly, though he still found flaw with its luster. "When I would make a mistake, I would be… reprimanded."

Sunstreaker remained quiet, understanding such thought processes. He and Sideswipe were beaten regularly in the Pits for clumsiness.

"When it was clear I would never obtain normal intelligence, my creators saw fit to have me formatted with an experimental processor."

"Your battle computer?" Sunstreaker asked. He knew it was powerful and had won many battles against the Cons. It was hard to imagine Prowl without the special augmentation. Course it was also hard to picture Prowl as a youngling. It was hard to picture a creator standing over a cowering Prowl and inflicting such wounds on him.

"It was experimental and I was still considered too young to allow such a thing but they found a medic who did not abide by certain codes of ethics," Prowl said, deeming the armor fit and picked up the next piece for cleaning.

"They allowed you to be experimented on?" Sunstreaker asked. A part of him, somewhere deep inside, probably behind his tank, was twisting and writhing with a sickening feeling.

Prowl offered a one sided shrug that made his doorwings flutter. It was amazing how such a simple gesture could be so grandiose and expressive. "As long as they had a sparkling who could compute at normal efficiency, they didn't care."

"But… you're glitch..." Sunstreaker said, trailing off and the hurt look on Prowl's face as he continued to scrub. When Prowl remained silent, save for the vigorous whisking of his brush, Sunstreaker added in a voice soft and so unlike himself. "The computer caused the glitch?"

"The medic misaligned my neural pathways," Prowl said, taking the bold stop of looking his counterpart in the optics. His expression was always so neutral and schooled. It shocked Sunstreaker to see it so dark and angry. "The misalignment caused a systems failure that the medic was unable to repair and my creators, being ashamed of my inability to compute, never sought to remedy the situation while it was still fixable."

"But….it's who you are," Sunstreaker said, finding the SICs words to be chilling his very spark. He didn't like this new Prowl. This Prowl was cold, hateful, bitter. It seemed so out of place.

"Yes, we are a collection of our experiences,' Prowl said, an edge to his voice that hadn't been presented to the outside world in a very long time. It felt good to speak in such a way. Perhaps Sunstreaker's constant aptitude considered some merit.

"It's what we endure that defines us," Sunstreaker said, repeating one of Smokescreen's favorite expressions. Sunstreaker never really liked it. Never liked Smokescreen all that well either.

Slagging Shrink.

"Yes, I am aware." Prowl spat, not bothering to level his voice. He wasn't sure where the acid was coming from, but it felt like a heavy spring in which to draw. "Much as the same as your own history. Our experiences define us and make us who we are today, good and bad."

Sunstreaker didn't think he'd ever flinch from such a truthful, yet stinging rebuke. It felt…. bad. Primus, is this the sensation of emotions? He didn't want them!

Prowl didn't know why he was so angry, but the acid bubbled up before he comprehend the words or could stop them from surfacing. "And Sideswipe, too. I know what both of you accomplished in the Pit."

"Do you know all of it?" Sunstreaker asked, his tone soft and reserved. This was really none of Prowl's business, but something niggled in Sunstreaker's processor, making his vocalizer open up and spew like a geyser.

Whatever reaction Prowl was expecting, that wasn't it. He stared; doorwings hiking up on his back and angling like an intent dragonfly. It was rather artistic, had Sunstreaker been in a better frame of mind.

"The necessary information was in your files," Prowl said, his brow ridge crinkling in thought. "Is there something else of note that I or Prime, should be made aware of?"

"Before the Pits, we were in a pleasure house," Sunstreaker confided, noting the elegant doorwings were twitching lightly. Most of the twins' history was omitted for good reason. It was no one's business the ordeal they had endured when they were young. But Sunstreaker wanted to let someone else know what had transpired all those eons ago. Prowl had confided in Sunstreaker about his scars, so Sunstreaker saw it only fair he reciprocate.

"I didn't know that," Prowl said, his anger leaving as swiftly as it had come. Now the acid felt cold and soothing, like a balm that had been applied to a festering wound.

"Most don't know because we chose not to let them know." Sunstreaker's voice was soft, though flat. "But we were sold to the Pit. Do you know what happens to mechs when they are thrown in the Pit? Ones that came from the pleasure houses?"

"I'm afraid I do not." Prowl admitted, his processor warning him that perhaps his nativity was a good idea.

"Gladiators are rough, cruel, and take what they want whether it was offered or not." Sunstreaker confided, focusing his attention on polishing his armor. It was better to speak such things when one wasn't aware of an audience. The words formed much easier. "Mechs and femmes of all sizes and fighting ability are sheltered together in paddocks. If one likes your plating, you may find it removed or a mech forcing his way past the latches."

Prowl felt his battle computer kick on against his will. It was trying to find the best possible scenario to survive such an ordeal. It was overheating with the grim calculations.

"The first night we were there, both of us were forced to do… horrible…. things," Sunstreaker said, his gaze drifting up to meet Prowl's. "Things I will never speak of." His gaze dropped back down to the cleaning of his armor. "Sideswipe couldn't handle what was done to us. The pain in his spark was enough to make me do whatever it took to protect him. So I made myself the center of attention."

"How?" Prowl's voice was barely audible.

"I trained harder, learned faster, and kept myself looking beautiful, keeping all optics centered on me," Sunstreaker said, pausing in his buffing to stare at the golden shine that haunted him. "We were slaves, first to a master who allowed our bodies to be ravaged by any who paid a fair credit. Then we were subjected to the rough, violent attentions of battle hardened, war trained bots who believed our more delicate frames were served best in a berth."

Sunstreaker paused, feeling a strange sensation constrict his spark. The lack of armor made him physically vulnerable, but apparently it was emotional as well. He may never take it off again. But then again, Prowl had known what it was like to be mistreated and punished for crimes never committed. If anyone could understand, he could.

"Now, we have choices, thanks to those who fight for the Autobot cause," Sunstreaker said looking to the particularly nasty gash along Prowl's chest. It bisected his bumper, slicing across his spark chamber and the plates that protected his life. "But in the pits, we didn't have the choice. It was simple. You do or you die. You endure or you fade."

Prowl's optics drifted to Sunstreaker's marred body, so different and yet, so much like his own. Were they really that different?

"It's not 'narcissist tendencies' as Smokescreen believes. It's the fact that I can take all the pain and silence," Sunstreaker said, his voice strong, cutting like a blade. "Because Sideswipe …can't. He doesn't have the constitution to deal with it."

Prowl looked into the navy optics in front of him, the question swimming in his vision.

"So I made myself gorgeous, where no one could resist me." Sunstreaker said feeling the memory of touches upon his body. "I made myself irresistible so no one would look at Sideswipe. If they didn't see him, they wouldn't want him."

"You….allowed yourself..?" Prowl whisper trailed off, unable to finish.

"I will always be beautiful…. so no one will have to see my brother."

"I would have put a stop to those who abused you in such a manner," Prowl said, fire once against finding its way into his body and voice.

"You didn't even know me," Sunstreaker said, a grin threatening to break his through his thin façade.

"Regardless," Prowl said, his processor burning with the illogical reaction. He knew later when he went over the conversation, has going to crash from the unintentional wellspring of emotions now running rampant. The twins were wild and unruly and downright vicious, but after all they been through, it was understandable. Besides, they could have turned out a lot worse. They could have been Decepticons.

That was a sobering thought.

"You? Trying to defend our honor?" Sunstreaker asked, an incredulous look on his face as his voice cracked with possible hints of laughter.

"Not so much as defending your honor." Prowl amended, now feeling foolish with the declaration. "But…I would have put a stop to it. It wasn't right. And you never should have had to suffer like that."

Prowl finished his little speech and returned to his forgotten cleaning. A few more whisks of his brush and another piece was immaculate.

Sunstreaker sat and stared in dumbfounded shock. Never had someone tried to defend them before. It felt weird… having someone to stand up for them. Even weirder when it was Prowl who was doing the ethical thing. Sunstreaker smirked, picking up his own armor and scrubbing away the accumulated gunk from the catches.

"And I would have loved to beat your creators for what they did to you." Sunstreaker added without looking up from his polishing.

Prowl paused, his helm slow to turn to Sunstreaker.


"A few hard punches to the face plate would have been nice," Sunstreaker said, brushing his armor and admiring its shine that came through from the mud. "Teach them a lesson about harming an innocent."

Prowl allowed a smirk, one that Sunstreaker was able to observe. Such action brought out a genuine smile and together both witnessed a miracle. Two the most unlikely bots were smiling, sharing in a personal joke about the protection of the other in a fabricated altered time in order to preserve the other from potential harm.

Prowl would crash later about the absurdity.

It was an hour later when Sunstreaker walked back to the quarters he shared with his brother. Most of his armor was in place but a few pieces were tucked in his subspace. He wanted to give some of the junctions time to dry out on their own, preferring the 'air dry' method.

When he finally lay down on his berth he stared up at the painted ceiling bespeckled with Iacon's expansive skyline. Sunstreaker had loved to gaze at the heavens above their old homeworld and when they crashed, he had found a suitable replacement. For the first time he could ever remember, Sunstreaker felt home. Where people cared what happened, and who had endured just as much hardship and suffering, and turned out to be decent mechs. Ones Sunstreaker could use as a template for his uncertain emotions. He never thought he would be able to call anywhere 'home,' nor those who dwelled here, 'family', other than Sideswipe of course.

Speaking of Sideswipe…

A small inconstancy in the Cybertronian skyline caught his attention and with a frown, Sunstreaker stared at the supernal creation, his focus zeroing in to the mark he didn't put there when he painted the mural. There was one, and then another… and another!

Sure enough, there were little discrepancies that certainly were not part of the original map. Sunstreaker stared at the view, his optics now catching the subtle changes Sideswipe had been making over who knows how long. Was that a… Death Star?

Yes!… and a few inches away, a hubcap!

Sunstreaker frowned, noting a distance planet now bore the logo of a soda company.

Sunstreaker closed his optics at the heinous tragedy that was done to his masterpiece.

Slagging Sideswipe….

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Reviews would be loved! Seriously... loved and answered.