A/N: My contribution to this week's P/J community challenge prompts. This is for the prompt 'Tears of the East,' so I hope this fits it right. This bunny whacked me over the head so hard. This is also set in pre-war, G1 verse.
Warnings: Depictions of violence and war.
On the Fall
Prowl remembered the fall of Praxus clearly.
Most painful memories would either be purged once a mech had gotten past the trauma of such an event.
The recall of the event, if anything, seemed sharper every day. The city, set in the lower western part of Cybertron, had been so beautiful. The crystal spires, stretching up into that wide open expanse of sky, the low hum of the crystal gardens. The laughter of sparklings and younglings as they played in the streets before the war, knowing that they were mostly safe. It had been such a well established city, a large community of similar frame types, with its proud band of enforcers keeping it safe and relatively peaceful.
Not even those enforcers could stop the city from being shattered from the devastating attack.
Prowl shuttered his optics. The view of the stars above him as he sat on the roof of the Ark caused him too much pain. The stars were shining brightly too, on that early morning which changed his life forever. As the gentle breeze caressed his still frame, a flashback began to replay…
'…oh I slept here again.'
It had been the first thought when he woke up. Not that he minded. The times that he would accidentally cycle down to recharge in this hidden thatch of crystal trees perfumed with the scent of energon and sweet methane in the Praxus gardens, also called the Helix gardens, would give him a better recharge than most. It was in waking up that he felt refreshed.
But the crystals didn't hum in greeting like they usually did when any presence was felt. Instead, it was like it was quivering in fear. Booting up to full operational status, the first thing Prowl noticed were the screams of fear.
Enforcer instincts kicking in, the black and white mech sped out of the gardens, and once out of the protective cocoon of the crystals, gaped at the horrendous sight.
The Pyramid – a gleaming gold and bronze pyramid shaped building with a blue orb on top, which had been used for business and trade – had been bombed. His keen optics saw a band of bland grey Seekers flying around the top of it in victory, before they split off again. The smell of destruction was in the air, and all of Praxus knew it. Prowl tried his comm. link, and swore when his signals were jammed. Running towards the nearest group of mechs, he ordered, "Out of the city via the delta-quadrant, it's least likely to be targeted."
Seeing his enforcer symbols, the group trusted him and left.
Delta-quad was the poorest section of the prominently thriving city. According to his sources, the rebels were against the rich and the institutions that held them poor, but not the poor themselves. It would be their safest bet. His tactical computer gave him a 77% change of survival through that route.
His thoughts were interrupted by another great tower being bombed, and then another…and then another.
The attack was accelerating.
More screams rent the air as the crystal and metal towers began to topple.
Prowl stiffened in horror, stuck between relief he was not in that inner city zone, and fear. They had to move, and move now. It looked like there were more rebels. They called themselves the Decepticons.
Looking at all Praxians in his range, Prowl called out, "Move to delta-quad! Now!"
As a group of about 40 mech and femmes began to move, the ground beneath them shook as a tower closer to their position was bombed. As sense of urgency gripped Prowl, and he ran towards the citizens he was sworn to protect, herding them along. His panels were flared wide, trying to both sense and protect. He urged the bots in front of him, all of them making their way towards the less prosperous part of Praxus, which did not look to be harmed as of yet.
New sounds filled his audios. The gasps of fear and whirring of vents as they all tried to move faster and out of the destruction zone as bomb after bomb lit of the sky behind them in flashes of red, white, and orange, blocking the starry sky. Screams were prevalent. It was deafening. The fear was so thick you could almost smell it.
Then, for a moment, it seemed all too calm.
Prowl looked back over his sensor panel for one second, and saw four Seekers dropping a bomb from a massive shuttle.
As if in slow motion, Prowl saw the bomb fall. They would have only astroseconds.
"Find shelter! Cover!" he screamed, grabbing two unknown arms and dragging them with him as he went into a shop that looked sturdy. They were almost out of the city. They should be safe.
A noise like the sound of a planet rending itself in two reached their audials a second before the shockwave did, throwing everything this way and that. Prowl saw a glimpse of black and grey, before everything went black around him.
He didn't know how long he had been unconscious. Only that when he came back to, the world as he knew it was too quiet.
Cracking open his optics, Prowl almost wished he never opened them.
The two mechs he had dragged into the shop for safety had been killed by the shockwave of the blast. He shuddered. Energon was everywhere around their bodies. It seemed the only reason he had been spared was his position behind a wall panel, which had formed a type of protective sheath around him. Twitching, feeling pain in various places in his frame, Prowl struggled out.
He needed to see to any survivors.
He was still an enforcer.
Stumbling out of the debris, he stopped, stock still, looking at the area around him.
The whole city had been razed to the ground.
There was…there was hardly any reminder at all that this had been the beautiful Praxus. Only smoke spiralling into the air, and grey frames and metalwork remained.
His vent's stuttered and he lurched, purging energon, feeling a kind of numbness overtake him.
Praxus, which he had helped to protect , where he had grown, experienced his life, was gone. Erased with the screams of terror that had come with it.
Prowl fell to his knees. Energon tears slowly leaked out of his optics, a wind catching them and taking them east so they fell not in front of him, but on the cracked metal road.
Weakly, he turned on his spark scanner. Devastated and numb as he was, he would only be worse if there had been a survivor and he didn't find them until it was too late. Shakily, he climbed back up and journeyed East, deciding to go anti-clockwise around the city.
He heard the faint sound of sobbing, and was partly comforted to see another mech, another enforcer who he didn't know, doing the same. Obviously, that mech had the same idea. He was not the only one. It gave him a tiny, flickering ember of hope. He stumbled on, heedless to his injures: his dented frame, his dislocated sensor panels, a burst, but minor, energon line in his lower leg. His processor still ached from the impact of the shockwave.
He detected no life in this section, and moved further east.
All the while, tears dripped down his faceplates in a soundless mourn for Praxus. Every tear for one spark lost, he vowed.
After what seemed like eons, he finally detected a spark.
With a gasp, he rushed forward, moving to where his spark radar said it would be. He stopped in front of a heap of rubble, where the signal was strongest. With all the strength he could muster, Prowl dug at the metal and the mortar, tossing it away to the side. Finally, he unburied a small, dainty hand.
"I'll get you out," he called out, voice hoarse.
The hand twitched.
Frantic now, the red chevroned mech clawed at the rubble, finally finding a small, grey and green mech and tugging him out. The other arm was curled around something, but a blanket and a metallo mesh basket hid it from view.
The small Praxian's optics flickered on, looking at Prowl.
"You're going to be safe now. I'll try and get you out of the city and-"
"No…" protested the small mech. "I…will not…survive….l-long. Pro- *fzzt*- tect my sparkling…please."
With his last intakes, the green and grey mech pushed the basket toward the black and white, before the optics abruptly died out and frame went completely dead and grey.
More tears taken on the wind, carrying them towards the rising sun, rising in the East.
Another soul, gone.
With careful hands, but not having too much hope, Prowl took the little bundle out of the basket, slowly unwrapping the blanket.
To his greatest surprise, the sparkling was alive, warm, and recharging. It had a little red chevron, as red as his own, and was mostly grey with red accents. It made a soft chirp and snuggled into the hold. Prowl could only stare at the little being as it enflamed him with hope. If a sparkling could survive this, there was a change that maybe there would be more.
Holding the infant closer to his body, he set off again, although it wasn't long before his scanner picked up another mech, and he moved faster, to turn a corner and lock optics with a visored mech.
The mech had an Autobot symbol proudly displayed, and if anything, looked genuinely shocked.
"RATCHET! Got a live one! And….a sparklin'!" the mech yelled behind him, before coming to Prowl.
"Hi. Ah'm Jazz, an Autobot. Don't worry Enforcer, we'll get ya and ya sparklin' to safety," the mech introduced, holding out a small ration of energon to the shaking, amazingly relieved Praxian.
"Prowl. He's not mine, I found him," Prowl replied softly, taking the energon as Jazz came to his side and supported him. He drank. He felt safe now. But oh how horribly alone. He and the sparkling could be the only ones of few survivors.
"It's okay. We're here to help," reassured the visored mech.
Prowl only looked at the mech, both of them knowing that they wouldn't be okay for a long time.
"Thinkin' about Praxus, love?"
The smooth voice of his bondmate broke the grieving thoughts and Prowl looked up, seeing Jazz there with two cubes of energon. He took one, sending a pulse of thanks over their bond as the visored mech sat down beside him.
Leaning into his mate and sliding an arm around Prowl's waist, Jazz murmured, "Ya know ya shouldn't. Only makes it worse, relivin' it."
"I know," replied Prowl softly. He leaned back into the touch and wrapped his own arm around the saboteurs own waist, drawing them closer together. He fed off the support given, and he couldn't help but slowly break down from the inside, letting Jazz see the still raw grief, the numbness, the rage every time he saw a Seeker, before tears slowly escaped from his usually iron control. Silent, but making their mark as they traced a winding pattern down his cheekplates.
"Oh baby," breathed Jazz, crawling into the Praxian's lap and cupping his cheeks. "Let it out sweetspark, and look to the east. It's a new dawn. A new day. We gotta make the most of it."
Prowl hugged his mate to him, burying his helm in the chestplates over the spark that was his to cherish forevermore and letting the sparkpulse soothe him. A hand stroked over his helm and caressed his chevron, a vocaliser humming to calm him down.
"I love you," whispered the tactician brokenly, letting the love wash over him from their bond, a balm to his agony of the memory.
"I love you too, sweetspark. I love ya so much. If Ah could take it all away, Ah would," replied Jazz softly, holding his lover just as tight.
Prowl shivered, tilting his helm up and murmuring, "Kiss me. Make it fade for a while."
Jazz could tell it wasn't a want, but a plead, a need. He consented, lowing his lips down and kissing Prowl tenderly, who lost himself in the kiss as the night ended and the sun rose again. It was the dawn of a new day.
A/N: Hoped you all liked it. I needed to do more Prowl/Jazz angst like whoa!
Please review, I want to see if you enjoyed it.