A/N: Here it is! The third arc of the 'Feeling' series. The pairing is Hound/Mirage. This is not as fluffy as the others. We're trying to make this one a little more angsty. And (yeah, you know what's coming), A MASSIVE THANK YOU to the wonderful, the inspiring, KATEA-NUI!
Note: The second arc with Blue/Jack is on my wonderful co-writer's profile. It's cute and fluffy.
Note 2: My RP buddy, Katea-Nui, asks for 50 words to do a 50 sentence oneshot for Sideswipe, Sunstreaker and Red Alert (as brothers, Red being the little brother). If you'd like to supply these, PM her or drop a review on her story, day by day.
Disclaimer: We don't own Transformers. If we did, I would put out a comic of Prowl and Jazz kissing.
Feeling Forgiveness – Chapter 1
"What is your problem? There was no need to throw the energon cube at the wall!"
"There was! I thought this would be just a nice romantic dinner for us, not a bloody proposal!"
"What's the harm in me asking, Mirage? We've been together for long enough. I was your friend, I'm now your lover, and I love you enough to want to be your bondmate, what's the matter with that?"
The noble gritted his teeth and hissed, "First of all, would you rather that cube be thrown at your helm? I'm in shock that you would ask me such a thing. I'll tell you why there's something wrong with it. We're at war! Other couples may think that it's ok to tie your life down to another's while the enemy can breathe down our necks at any time, but that's not me. I don't want to die, thank you very much."
Hound huffed, crossing his arms and said in exasperation, "That's not the point! I love you, Mirage...it's only natural I should ask you. And wouldn't you agree that the pro's would outweigh the risks? Our lives will be so much better."
"You can't promise that. I'm special ops, you know I can get captured at any time," Mirage reasoned, and then spat, "besides, I'm sparing you being called names for bonding to a traitor."
Hound's lips pulled down at the corners, deepening his frown. "'Raj, you know I don't think of you like that."
"No, but everyone else does," the blue plated noble replied scathingly. "My spark is tainted, traitorous, too untouchable... and those are some of the nicer ones."
"Mirage, PLEASE!" Hound threw his hands up in frustration. "I wasn't trying to start a pity party!"
The blue mech sneered, golden optics dimming with thought. "I know. You were just trying to get me to sparkbond with you. Which I will not do."
Sharp blue optics stared into this lover's gold ones. "Am I that disgusting to you? Really? Have all you've been using me for is a great tumble in the berth? Because if that's the case, then I am the biggest fool in the universe."
"No! This is not about that. You know I love you just as much. I'm just saying no to a sparkbond. It's too dangerous. Besides, what we have now I'm happy with. Why can't you be happy with it as well?" the noble asked, mirroring the tracker's stance and crossing his arms. Why couldn't Hound see? This wasn't about love, this was about safety! Especially since he was going on a mission tonight. An important one. It would be best for them if they just put it out of their processors for the time being.
"I want more, Raj. I want all of you," the green mech answered softly, moving forward to put on Mirage's arm, but was prevented by Mirage stepping back.
"You can't have all of me," Mirage replied evenly.
Hound's optics flashed. "But YOU can have ME?" He growled angrily. "It doesn't WORK like that Mirage! A relationship needs to be EQUAL! I'm willing to give you all of myself, I have you given almost everything?"
"I never asked you too!" Mirage hissed back, knowing that he should be staying calm, trying to reason with his lover, but his short temper was building quickly.
Hound couldn't help the flash of hurt that hit his spark although his faceplates only reflected the anger that accompanied it. "No, of course not! Because you're far too spoiled to think you need to ask or work for anything! Everything should just be handed to you on a silver platter, no payment necessary! Well guess what, Noble Mech! This is the REAL world!"
"That's what I'm saying, you fragged CPU glitch! Nothing, nothing, is as easy as just doing it! Thinking like that is what gets you killed!"
"And you would know!" Hound bit out, hands clenching at his sides. "Without me, you wouldn't be GETTING any attention like this! You're far too prudish! Standoffish!"
"Why you -" Mirage shook with unbidden rage. "Well your fragging love of organics is going to get you killed! Has anyone ever told you it's absolutely unappealing to come back after rolling in mud all day like some common organic BEAST?"
"Shut up," growled the tracker, fists clenching. For once, he had the dear desire to punch Mirage. Anger drove it, and yet he stopped himself.
"No! This isn't fair on either of us, for you to ask this. End of discussion."
Mirage made to walk out of their quarters so they could both have a cooling off period, when Hound's voice froze him in his tracks. "I should have known that your kind wouldn't think of sullying their spark with a common mech like me. I'm surprised that nobles even bonded at all!" Hound yelled.
And then rapidly sped up again.
Mirage whirled around, staring in hurt at Hound, who seemed to belatedly realise what he had said and desperately wished he could snatch it back.
"Wait, Raj, I'm-"
"NO! Don't say you're sorry. You meant every bit of that," Mirage finished quietly, and before his lover could make a move, he fled the room, turning invisible as soon as he was out. Wetness rolled down his cheeks.
In the first time since the Towers fell, Mirage was shedding tears.
Hound sat in the rec room, staring gloomily at the untouched cube in front of him. Mirage hadn't returned to their quarters last night, nor this morning. In fact, nobody had seen him since he had left for Hound's quarters the previous cycle. Slag how the tracker wished he had thought this out! Everything had seemed so perfect just joors ago, but now...
A heavy sigh escaped his intakes. Why? Why the frag had he gone and said that? Yeah, he had been angry, but he still should have known that it was a stupid thing to say. As if Mirage wasn't a mech. He supposed that his aim at the time had been to hurt Mirage, make him feel how he felt.
'Well,' Hound thought bitterly, finally giving up on trying to refuel and subspacing his ration. 'I certainly succeeded at that and then some.'
As he got up, he noticed Jazz enter and get his own ration. Instinct screamed at him that something was wrong as soon as he saw the TIC, and something heavy sat at the bottom of his tank - dread.
Sure enough, after he had gotten some energon, Jazz strode over to where he was standing, solemn expression on his face. "Hey Hound. Gotta talk to ya somewhere private. Mind if we go to ya quarters?"
Hound nodded, unable to speak around the lump stuck in his throat. He walked in silence back to his rooms, entering with Jazz behind him. Immediately after he stepped in, hurt assaulted his spark. There was still an energon stain on the wall from where Mirage had thrown the energon cube in his shock, the candles on their table burnt down to husks. Sitting down at the table in the same chair he had got off last night to propose to his love, Hound looked up at the saboteur and asked, "What's up?"
Something in the visor told the tracker it was about Mirage.
"Listen, Mirage had a mission last night. 'Bout midnight. Wasn't supposed to take long. We were all supposed to be back here at roughly 6am this morning. As ya can see, it's 7.30, and me 'n' Bee are back. But Raj..."
"What's happened, Jazz?" Hound whispered.
"That's the thing. WE don't know. We lost him in the Con's new compound and his comm's broken. We...we think he's not comin' back Hound. Ah'm…ah'm sorry. We're hopin' he'll come back, but..."
If Hound hadn't been sitting in his chair, he was certain his legs would have given out as the dread in his spark turned to stone cold pain. No. Not Mirage. It - it wasn't...
"Th- that's not true right?" The tracker had worked with the Ops team numerous times before Earth, had even been considered a part of it at one time. He knew that sometimes stories were spun to keep bigger secrets hidden. this had to be one of those times. "You - you just need to tell me something so that he doesn't get discovered."
Jazz's mouth was set in a hard line, and he shook his head slowly. "Not this time, buddy. Not this time," the heavy silence pressed down on him. "Ah'm really sorry."
Hound was still staring at the floor after Jazz left, informing the tracker he had the rest of the next two cycles off. To let him mourn, he presumed.
Primus, he was shaking. His energon lines felt frozen over, numbed by pain that would not go away. He'd though they had forever. They should have had forever. They didn't have forever...
And the last thing he had ever said to him...
"Raj..." he whispered, the first of the tears beginning to fall from his optics. "MIRAGE!"
Mirage grunted in pain, clutching at the deep gash in his side plating. Frag. He really should have seen that one coming. This was supposed to be a routine mission. 'Cons have a new battle plan to take out the Autobots. He, Jazz and Bee infiltrate to discover so called 'plans'. They get out with the information. Wheeljack builds a machine that backfires numerous times until they have a working something to counter the 'Cons new doom machine. They kick 'con aft. They go home.
Unfortunately, nobody had accounted for Shockwave being on Earth and working with Soundwave to spy proof their base.
Now, he had to get out of here. Jazz and Bee thought he was dead. They had to. For if they thought he was dead, then the Con's would think so too. If Shockwave knew he was dead, he would give up trying to capture him and retrieve the plans he'd stolen. For a moment, he thought of Hound.
'No, think of him later. Now, I need to get home.'
Hound lay on their...his berth now, hugging Mirage's pillow to him, crying silently, the tears slowly slipping out of his optics.
He remembered the last time they made love. About a week ago now. Mirage had pinned him to the berth and had his wicked way with him, going so exquisitely slow and making him cry out the nobles name. The last time he had been inside his lover had been the day before that, cornering the noble in an abandoned hallway, having a quickie while the spy was invisible.
Was that all he was going to be left with? Memories of love and of loving?
And the scent of Mirage permeating the pillow. Of fine metals and sweet polish, such a contrast to his own earthy metallic smell.
"Raj..." he whispered brokenly.
He didn't want to hug Mirage's pillow.
Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid... that was the only thing Hound could really say about himself anymore. Just thinking about the good things made yesterday seem that much more horrible. And world shattering. It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair at all.
The tracker rolled, staring dully at the ceiling. There was a stain there... just seeing it he could remember Mirage's voice, confused and disturbed all at the same time.
"How is it that we have MOLD growing on our ceiling?"
Hound brightened, suddenly eager to share his day with his lover. "Oh! That's not actually mold! It's a type of aquatic organism that survives in wetted areas. I thought it was interesting so I've been harvesting it for awhile. It's called algae."
The Noble's frame had frozen as his gaze slowly switched from above their berth to the ridiculously grinning Hound. "You... have been cultivating... ORAGNIC... plants above our berth?"
"Take it down."
"Wha- but -"
"Take. It. Down, Hound. I will not recharge with the danger of something...slimy... dropping into my faceplates."
There was a pause. "What if I just get a tank for it?" Hound pouted putting on his best impression of petro-puppy optics.
An even longer pause as the Towers mech gave a long suffering but affectionate sigh. "Yes, Hound. Just get it away from our berth and helms."
Turned out that peeling the plant from the ceiling had resulted in leaving a greenish stain in the orange paint.
Hound bit back another sob, rolling onto his side once more and shuttering his optics off. Too much. He needed to find a way to fix this. Because Mirage wasn't dead. He COULDN'T be...
But the cold reality of it all told him that yes, he was. If he wasn't Jazz would have already gone out with a team of mechs to get their fallen comrade. Special operations tried not to forget their own if they could help it. The sobering thought made him let out a choked sob once more. How many tears had he shed? Over his stupidity and for Mirage's disappearance? They seemed as countless as the grains of sand on a beach.
"I'm s-sorry," he whispered to the room, talking like Mirage was there. "I should have known not to spring the question on you like that. You're a noble. You specialise in the subtle."
Brushing a tear of out his optic, only for another to replace it, he went on, "I love you so much. So much I just wanted to make you mine forever. I didn't think about the consequences. I didn't think about what you felt. A-and you're right. I mean...hah...look what's happened! You...you're gone. And I can't help but think of the last words I've said to you...they are going to haunt me for the rest of my life."
He couldn't stay here. The memories and the grief were suffocating him.
Stumbling out like a drunk, Hound took off. He needed air. And the best place for that was the top of the Ark.
"He hasn't moved?" Optimus asked with concern.
"No," Jazz replied sombrely, "just keeps staring at the sky. Don't blame him."
The meeting room was quiet. They had attempted to put off this meeting for as long as possible. Mostly to allow the Special Operations mechs time to grieve and to put off the bitter feelings that it was for naught. The only thing they had managed to glean for information at all was the fact that Shockwave was on Earth. Which was both good news and bad news. Especially since they didn't know WHY!
"Alright..." Jazz sighed, switching to professional. "Let's get through this. Maybe we can find a way to get old mono-optic back." There was dark promise in the TIC's voice.
"Maybe, but without those plans, then we will find it hard to go up against all of the Decepticon commanders. But this also gives us an opportunity to send some mechs to Cybertron while Shockwave is here. We will be able to plant some more devices. It's a bittersweet plan, however," Prowl stated, although his voice got more sombre with each syllable.
Jazz felt his bondmate push a wave of apology and love into him.
Still, his bitterness about leaving Mirage was a tough pill to swallow.
'Don't worry, Jazz. We'll get Shockwave. For Mirage,' the SIC soothed over their bond.
'For Mirage,' agreed the saboteur.
Hound looked out into the night. It had been four days since Mirage had been pronounced dead. Loneliness ate at his spark, taking more and more of it each day. He had considered himself to be a fairly sociable mech. In his grief, he saw no one. He had barely talked to anyone since Jazz had told him the news, only speaking out loud when he was finally exhausted enough to go into recharge. Before he would drop off, he would plead to Primus to give Mirage a message that he was sorry, and for spy to forgive him. It had become a nightly ritual now.
There was no moon, tonight. It reflected the absence of light within his spark now that Mirage was gone.
Who would have thought it? The commoner and the noble? So in love, broken apart by a spat before tragedy shook them both.
"Why?" the tracker breathed to the darkness. Why did it have to end this way? Couldn't they have gone out together? No. Because that was not the way fate worked.
Hound turned his gaze down the mountain side. He had chosen to climb tonight. Usually it was for the view. It was always so beautiful up here. But his thoughts weren't focused on the scenery tonight. They were focused on Mirage. And the flat desert ground far, far below.
It would be so easy. To just step right off the edge and fall. Mirage would be waiting for him on the other side. That small, quirk of lipplates that was his smile, the soft glow of golden optics that focused on him and him entirely during moments of passion or affection. The witty remarks that would so often have the scout chuckling and leave his lover pouting that irresistible pout that always heated the Tracker's circuits...
All he had to do was take a step.
Perhaps it was because he had been focusing on him so hard that the Tracker imagined his lover's voice whispering in his audio.
'Don't do it, Hound.'
"But I miss you." His frame shifted as he put his weight on one pede, the other hovering over the edge.
'Please, Hound. No.'
"It's okay, 'Raj. It's ok-" The tracker's voice choked off in a cry of surprise. He was staring down. He hadn't taken that step, he wasn't falling, but the world suddenly felt as if it had fallen from beneath his pedes. "'Raj..."
Down below in the desert sand, coming from the east was a figure that was cloaked by darkness. Even from this distance, Hound could see the figure was injured, the way they were stumbling weakly, as if on their last reserves of strength. Even from this distance, Hound knew who it was and his spark warmed, relief and fear colliding and making him feel sick.
He was darting down the mountain path in an instant, activating his comm on the way. ::Hound to Jazz. We have a situation! Tell Ratchet to have the medbay ready!::
If there was any reply over the comms, Hound didn't hear it. All his sensors were locked on one mech and one mech alone. He let out a hoarse cry, making the injured spy stumbling forward look up, golden optics glowing with recognition.
"RAJ!" the tracker called, sobbing again, but in relief and joy as, finally, after what seemed like an eternity was close enough to gather the mech in his arms, hugging him tightly, sobbing into a blue shoulder.
"Oh Hound," Mirage whispered. His injuries and low energon reserves didn't matter right now. What mattered was the open and tangible grief exuding from his lover, holding him and not letting him go any time soon.
"I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry, I've prayed like crazy you'll forgive me! I never wanted you to go, I never wanted you to die knowing those words that I said to you, I never wanted to live haunted by what I said and did. I just...I love you so much it hurts. I ache, Mirage. I deserve for you never to speak to me again for what I did to you! You're so wonderful, so perfect. I don't deserve you. How can you ever forgive me?" Hound begged, almost not believing in the warm frame of his soulmate in his arms.
"Forgiveness? Well, it's easy Hound. Like this," the noble whispered, tilting the other's helm up and laying a soft, slow kiss on his lips.
The kiss broke far too soon for either mechs' liking. But this needed to be said, so the spy put his fingers to the Tracker's lips when he moved back in. "You know, you really don't have anything to be sorry for..."
"But the things I said - " Hound began to mumble against Mirage's digits.
"I deserved them." Mirage cut him off quickly. "I wasn't thinking of you, nor did I attempt to explain myself before I lost my temper with you... and I apologize... some of the things I had said to you... they were uncalled for."
Hound looked at his lover, the golden optics focused on the red symbol emblazoned on his chestplates, not meeting his optics. The form in his arms was shaking. "'Raj..."
The little strength he had was slowly seeping out of him, as they kneeled there in the sand, not caring one bit for the gritty organic compounds digging into his joints. He pulled his optics up to meet the deep blue of his love's. "So you are not at fault, Hound. It was a perfectly reasonable thing to ask... can you forgive me?"
The last few words were whispered as his optics drifted down again. A finger curled under his chin, tilting his head up and forcing his optics to look once more into Hound's. The scout was smiling. "Forgiveness?" There was teasing, lilt to the tone and Mirage recognized his own words being used on him. "Well, it's easy 'Raj. Like this." And they were kissing again.
Mirage whimpered, pressing into it, feeling his own optics begin to feel with liquid and spill over. A gentle hand wiped the tears away as they fell before he buried his face into a green shoulder and sobbed.
"Shh... it's okay 'Raj. It's okay." And it was... until Hound felt the body begin to go limp in his grasp and the warm wetness that he noticed for the first time against his arm.
That's right. Mirage had been injured... With a frown, Hound pulled back to examine Mirage's side. His tanks dropped, seeing the jagged tear in the spy's side, leaking energon at a steady pace. Hound cursed his own thoughtlessness before comming again, laying Mirage on his side so he could pull out his emergency field kit.
:Ratchet! I need you here NOW!::
Waking up was odd. For one thing, he wasn't behind some rinky-dink fuel station like he had been every night on his way home. Oh, that's right.
He was home.
The last thing he remembered was the sweet pressure of his lover's lips on his own and sobbing out his relief at getting back, at forgiving and being forgiven by the tracker. Things were not completely solved. No, not at all. But it was a beginning. Things had to begin somewhere before they took off like doves carrying the olive branch. As his optics adjusted, Mirage smiled. It was also an odd thing to miss the sight of that wonky crack that looked like the Cybertronian glyph for Hound's name. Speaking of which...
To his side, holding his hand tight even in the depths of recharge, was Hound.
Even with tear tracks down his face, his lover was at peace in recharge. The slightly haggard faceplates told him that Hound had not been recharging well. Most likely since he had heard of his 'death'. He felt a little guilty over that, but it had needed to be done for the good of the Autobots. He had seen the plans. Shockwave was not on Earth for a reminiscing party with the other Decepticons. He was here for business, and terrifying business at that.
The blue mech pushed those thoughts to the side as, with a sleepy mumble, the green mech roused himself from his slumber. Bright blue optics flickered for a moment, before fixing on gold ones.
"For a moment, I thought I was dreaming...or dead," Hound whispered, bringing the hand he held up to his mouth and kissing it before setting it down again.
"Definitely not dead, lover," Mirage whispered. He tightened his hand over the other mechs, getting Hound's usual easy smile in return. How he wanted to kiss those lips every time Hound smiled like that.
The smile turned sad, and the seated mech said sorrowfully, "I was going crazy without you. I was. Because I'm crazy about you, I guess. I felt like I was bleeding love, every time I thought you were gone forever from me, and I remembered all the things we shared..."
Mirage's smile faltered. "I... I am sorry about that Hound."
"Oh, I've already forgiven you," Hound replied softly, planting another kiss, this time inside the Ligier's wrist. "Although... Jazz is gonna have your aft when you can walk around again."
Mirage laughed lightly, "Then I suppose I better watch my back tomorrow."
"Won't do you much good." Now Hound's smile was full of mischievous glee. "Hatchet's promised he gets his turn right after he does. Something about how glitched, half-clocked spies and tearing tension cables and large tears and what not...he's threatening you, him, a target range and five wrenches."
Mirage groaned, helm thumping against the medical berth. "Wonderful!"
The green mech couldn't repress the smirk. "Oh, remember Raj? This is nothing like before he had the triplets. This is what a mellowed Ratchet is threatening, so count your lucky stars that its after that."
The spy couldn't help it. He chuckled and replied, "Oh I do. In fact, if you'd go get me Jumpstart to use as a shield, I would be very glad."
They both laughed, some of the hurt they'd felt healing up.
"Well, I won't," chimed in a grumpy voice.
The lovers turned their helms to see their medic walking towards them, scowling.
"I never thought I would say this, but...it's good to see you again Ratchet," Mirage said gracefully.
The look in the medi-bots optics softened for a second, and the gruffness melted away, if only for a moment. A hand clapped itself on the noble's shoulder, and he replied, "It's good to have you back too, kid. This one here," a finger jerked towards Hound, "had a personality implant while you were 'dead.' I could have sworn we had a completely different mech on the ship. So I'm glad. I'm glad I didn't lose yet another good mech."
Mirage darted a glance to Hound, who looked haunted again.
Sighing, the spy murmured, hating to be the bearer of bad news, "At least I have Shockwave's plans. Without them, it wouldn't mattered if only one mech died. He's planning to extinguish us all and take your sparklings, Ratchet."
The medic froze, his entire body becoming stock still, arm half extended where he had been reaching for his scalpel to begin removing some of the less damaged plating. Slowly, so very slowly he turned to face Mirage, a look of utter horror written on his faceplates.
"What?" The whisper was quiet, but it cut the tense quiet of the medbay like a laser through the sky.
"Shockwave... and Megatron... are after the sparklings."
A/N: Hey babes, we're BACK! PLEASE REVIEW! It's not only for me, but for Katea-Nui as well. Gotta feed two ego's here, ya know?
This will also be posted in the Mirage/Hound community on LJ.