Soundwave headed toward the control room. When the door slid open, there stood Optimus Prime, or Orion Pax as Megatron was now commanding the decepticons to address him as. Soundwave sighed internally and stepped aside to make way for the autobot.

But Optimus didn't continue on his way as Soundwave expected. The bot lingered in his presence, looking uncomfortable. His optics which had been fixed to the floor flashed up at him, both strong and nervous. Optimus stood with his mouth open, looking at Soundwave almost expectantly. Soundwave scanned him curiously, surprised to find the state of his levels. He was making Optimus nervous?

He took a step back and said an uncomfortable, "I'm sorry," before heading off.

Soundwave headed into the control room, slightly confused by the run-in. Megatron was reading over his later reports.

"I read over your most recent report informing that Airachnid behaved in a less than loyal way in my absence. Something felt incomplete about the report, and knowing your usual reports, it had to be on purpose. I asked myself, what could you be up to?" Megatron glanced at Soundwave, eyes narrowed. "I asked a vehicon for a personal report on recent events and he filled me in on your exceptionally loyal act."

Soundwave nodded. It was nothing; he had acted as he always had. Perhaps Megatron was being sentimental because of Orion's presence.

Megatron looked back at the report casually. "I wouldn't expect anything less, but until now I had little in the ways of a true reward for you."

Now Soundwave was confused. What was new aside from Optimus Prime being in their midst? There was nothing he could think of that he desired, so what was his master processing that might be rewarding to Soundwave? More than the reward was Megatron's idea that interested him.

"It's been a long time since you had a lover," Megatron said. Soundwave's internal workings jammed for a moment. Soundwave was not one for denial. Logic pointed right away to the only thing this could mean. But it was absurd. It was not at all a reward. Megatron said his thoughts aloud. "Orion Pax is yours."

Optimus was his? His to babysit, his to fill in on the events Orion had missed, his to have to deal with.

"I already informed Optimus," Megatron continued. Now that explained the awkward encounter. "though my explanation was different for him. He thinks you two were previously lovers, separated in the cycles that we thought him offlined. Oh, you should have seen his face. Thoroughly perplexed."

Soundwave's internals were choking. How could his master do this to him?

"He was all embarrassment and questions after that. Wanted to know how long you two had been together, how serious it had been, and if you had moved on."

'And?' Soundwave wondered.

"I suggested he begin things with you on a good note from the start, and share your berth with you again. I sent him off that way just now."

Soundwave was extremely glad to have his facial shield to keep his anguish undetectable in this instant. On top of becoming caretaker, his personal space and privacy were now being invaded. Thank Primus Lord Megatron had not started feeling generous earlier.

"You may go now, I'm sure you're anxious to get to know your little prize." Megatron laughed. "Enjoy yourself."

Soundwave nodded his head down, low enough to look somewhat like a bow. "Soundwave: grateful."

Grateful indeed.


When Soundwave reached his quarters, Orion was already laying down, turned away, on Soundwave's preferred side of the berth. Soundwave turned on his purple-toned night vision to keep from disturbing the other. He scanned him and determined that he was not in recharge. Soundwave appreciated the act. He'd be faking recharge himself if he had been first to reach the berth.

Soundwave took a long rinse in his personal wash rack, hoping the mech would be recharging when he returned. But he was still awake when Soundwave came back. Reluctantly he climbed into the other side. Normally he would remove his face shield to recharge, but that luxury was over now. He turned on his side away from the other mech. As he relaxed, his tentacles slipped out. He tensed suddenly, realizing his other recharging habit would have to be discontinued as well. This was especially irritating. He'd become accustomed to wrapping his tentacles around himself for most of his life.

He lay there fuming until he finally drifted into recharge.


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