Natural Beauty


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Words: 3087

Notes: Yes, Sunstreaker is out-of-character – majorly so.

Rating: PG-13 for references to sex

Characters: Sunstreaker, Hound, Ratchet, Mirage, Sideswipe, Bluestreak, Prowl

The base was dead. Nobody was around and he had nothing to do. His twin was off on the mission everyone else was on, but he wasn't allowed to go because of idiotic clearance regulations. Apparently since he was new to the planet, he had to jump through a million and one hoops. Sunstreaker vented a heavy sigh and carefully leaned against the building, staring moodily at his pedes. It wasn't like he had anything to do on base. Ratchet hadn't cleared him for heavy duty yet since he had crash landed and been beat up something awful. He still hadn't received the paint he had requested so he had absolutely nothing to do and his paint looked absolutely horrid on top of that. Even throwing himself on a few boulders would only annoy Ratchet since he'd have to fix the dents.

He honestly loved Ratchet, but unless he was truly hurt badly, he wasn't keen on being in the med bay. Of course, this also depended on how he had hurt himself. Sunstreaker had become rather proficient at fixing himself after he and his twin had been tussling and banged each other up. Sideswipe had yet to figure out how he had been getting fixed without having wrenches thrown at him.

A beep from his comm. Unit brought him out of his reverie. There was an incoming message from Ratchet.

=Get your slaggin' aft to the gate and help me get the mechs to the med bay. NOW!=

He hurried to comply. If the medic was asking for his help then some of the wounded were carrying mechs with much more damage than them – not the medic's ideal solution. Ratchet didn't need to be any more ticked than he already was.

Waiting at the gate, Sunstreaker shifted from pede to pede impatiently. He had been inactive for far too long and his twin had closed their bond off if they were as close as the medic made it sound. The red frontliner must have been injured really badly since he hadn't opened it again once they were out of battle. That was the only conclusion that he could come to since he would have felt if his twin had offlined and would have offlined himself not long after.

"Sunstreaker," Ratchet panted as he got to the gates. "Grab someone."

The yellow mech hardly needed the directions as he was already moving to take the medic's burden. "Go on, Ratch, I'll bring them in. Set up your med bay for them all." He hefted the two mechs the medic had been carrying and waved him on. Looking at the Autobots he was carrying, he realized the day was going to be long and he wasn't going to get much of a break. If Ironhide and Bumblebee were this bad off, he wasn't looking forward to seeing everyone else.

Prime moved past him with a green shape and a blue mech. They weren't very recognizable so they must be new mechs or ones that avoided him. It wasn't like it was hard to do. Everybody could hear him coming, whether it was his heavy step or his usual grousing about something. Here lately it was uncommon to see him anywhere outside of the rec room or the room he shared with his twin. There had been little happening at the base until this, so he literally had nothing to do since Ratchet hadn't cleared him for active duty even if he had been allowed off base.

Coming up to the med bay, he eased the two injured mechs onto berths carefully. They had enough damage already. That, and Ratchet would reformat him into a toaster if he caused them more harm. Sunstreaker rushed past the mechs moving into the med bay to help any others he possibly could.

"Hey, Sunstreaker!" one of the mechs midway down the line called. "Want the stories about the battle?" He laughed along with his friend next to him. "You must have hated missing it."

The yellow mech growled at the red bot, but kept moving to find someone to help.

"Aw! Sunny's just upset he didn't get to join!"

His denta gritted in annoyance, he moved past them as quickly as possible. He didn't need to add to Ratchet's work load. Near the end of the line of mechs, he found his twin being supported by an exhausted SIC. He was also injured severely, one of his doorwings was barely attached and his chevron had cracks running through it. The yellow twin silently lifted Prowl up in one arm and channeled some energy across his bond to Sideswipe so that he could walk a bit easier even though Sunstreaker supported most of his weight.

/I really like how those not severely injured aren't helping t he more severely injured. Prowl should not have been supporting Sides, he's too heavy for him on a normal day,/ he thought as he braced himself to take a step. The going was slow with the added weight and his wanting to keep from causing more injury.

The base's hallways were empty by the time they got to them thankfully, so they were able to quickly make it to Ratchet's med bay. The Search and Rescue mech gestured for him to set the two mechs down where there was room. One berth over by the wall was open so they made their way there and Sunstreaker helped his brother down on the floor to lean against it. Prowl was gently laid on his front to keep from injuring his doorwings even more.

"Recharge, Sides. I'm right here. Just, please, open the bond," Sunstreaker whispered by his brother's audio. He slowly began feeling him through their bond again and felt when his brother drifted off. "Recharge well."

Since everyone in the med bay was in stasis medically besides Ratchet – his apprentices were all injured and either there in med bay or had been sent to their berths – and himself, he decided to help as much as he could. The SIC had fallen into a fitful recharge lying on the berth and the yellow mech rested a servo as lightly as possible on his shoulder plating. When he jerked awake at the touch, Sunstreaker cursed.

"Calm down, Prowl. You're in Ratchet's med bay." As the mech calmed, he asked, "Do you mind if I work on your doorwings?"

He received a skeptical look and was asked, "Do you have any idea what you're doing?"

"Yes. Bluestreak has allowed me to fix his several times and let me study them when I asked."

"He was not harmed?"

"Not that he's told me."

"Do you know how to put a mech in stasis?"

"No. Bluestreak only turned his receptors off."

As Prowl slowly relaxed as if not feeling his pain anymore, he asked, "Do you know what that does to a Praxian with this build?"
"No. I was never told. I just assumed it took the pain receptors offline."

"It leaves us almost effectively blind."

Sunstreaker froze as the implications of that bit of information sunk in. To put his life in the yellow twin's servos required a level of trust in him that he had never expected anyone besides Sideswipe to be capable of. It also appeared that Prowl was doing the same.

He cautiously turned back to the mech. "I'm better at superficial wounds in all honesty, but I can try. Especially if your internals are similar to Blue's."

The young gunner burst into the med bay and hurried over to them as fast as he could. "Hey Prowl, Sunstreaker. Have you looked at Sides yet? Is he okay? Did he open his bond with you? Can you feel how injured he is? He hasn't opened it to me yet, not even with a filter on it. Are you injured too, Prowl? How badly? Where's Sides? Is Ratchet working on him?"

"No, Blue, I haven't looked at Sides yet. He's opened his bond with me, but there's a filter on it so I can't tell how badly he's hurt. He's right there, Blue," Sunstreaker answered, pointing by the gunner's pedes. "Do you want to look him over while I work on Prowl?"

"Sure thing, Sunny."

As Bluestreak moved to his bonded, the Lamborghini turned back to the SIC. "Did you know they were bonded?" he asked quietly, inspecting the damage to the joint of his doorwing. Some welding was necessary to fix some of the lines and a number of wires needed to be reattached. As a reference, he asked the gunner if he could see his doorwings.

"No, Sunstreaker, I did not. He had not told me." He paused for a minute. "If you have a bond with Sideswipe and he has a bond with Bluestreak, do you also have a bond with him?"

"I don't have a true sparkbond, but I do have one with him because we are twins and split-sparked. Each is our own, but also fully the other's. I will never have a true bond with Bluestreak because I could never love him how my brother does. I have yet to find the mech that I would give my spark to."

"Haven't you and Sideswipe met all of the mechs and femmes? I know most of them have had pranks pulled on them. You twins play most of the pranks on base."

"Sides plays most of the pranks, I just help him design them. My part in them is very minimal."

"So are you trying to tell me to not punish you?"

"No. I'd still be with him when he got his punishment. Being split-sparked, we can't be very far from each other for long without becoming unpredictable, emotional, and closed off from others. Being split the entire time we had been, I know that I was found by Mirage several times curled up in a corner rocking back and forth and, if we were able to cry, I would have been doing so." A small smile graced his lip components. "He helped me cope more than anyone else could have and I'm forever in his debt."

Prowl looked at him sharply. He never would have guessed that anything like that happened. Sunstreaker never gave off vibes that he had emotions other than conceited, arrogant, and anger. The yellow Lamborghini smiled as he finished his work on the police cruiser's doorwing. He was hoping that Ratchet wouldn't mind him having helped out considering how many mechs were injured.

"I'd get Ratchet to check my work before you leave, Prowl. I'll get you some energon, but I'd like to get Sideswipe up on the berth, so if you'd move down to where Sides is, Blue and I can lift him up on the table."

Prowl complied and Bluestreak continued his work at a different level – one more suited to his purpose. Sunstreaker returned shortly and handed the SIC an energon cube before moving to the gunner's side.

"Do you know what the problem is here, Sunny? I've never worked on this part of Sides before."

"It's one of the most sensitive parts of our forms." The yellow mech moved his armor covering the spot to the side and began to explain. "There's this amount of armor here because these wires control our motor relays, or weapons, and our spark's nourishment." He continued on to explain the intricacies of the connections. He paused to look at the gunner as he examined his side plating and what was revealed under it. "Do you understand?"

"Yes, Sunny, but you should still check it after I'm finished. I may do something wrong and I don't want Sides to be upset with me because I messed something up."

"Sides could never be mad at ya, Blue," he said, resting a servo on the gunner's shoulder plating. Moving off from the three, he looked at the mechs laid out on the tables. Most of them were beyond his expertise or were stabilized and had to have replacement parts. He stopped by the only other bot to know of his ability to fix them.

"He 'Raj. Ratchet fix you up good?"

"Of course, Sunstreaker."

"You want any energon?"
The blue and white mech was shaking his helm. "Not allowed to. Doctor's orders. How is Sideswipe?"

"Blue's working on him right now."

"And Prowl? I saw him go down."

"I fixed him up. He's got some energon and is sitting over by Sides last I knew of."

"Good. It looked like he was hit hard."

"Go ahead and recharge some. I'm sure that's what Ratchet wants you to do anyway."

"Sunstreaker!" a shout came from the medic.

"Yes, Ratchet?" he called as he jogged over to him.

"Why is Bluestreak working on Sideswipe and why is Prowl up and walking around?" Ratchet asked, standing with his servos on his hip plating and glaring at the frontliner.

"Sides has been letting Blue mess with his internals for a while and I fixed Prowl. He didn't tell me that I had done anything wrong. You also looked like you could use some help at the time." He shrugged, having figured he would be yelled at.

"So you go and mess up my system and fix my patient and allow another mech that only has field training to work on another? Is your processor glitched?" the medic shouted.

"Oh, just check to see if I fixed him right, Ratch. I want to know if I did for sure."

"If he isn't, I'm going to reformat you into a toaster."

"I love you too, Ratch."

"I'm sure you do, slagger," the CMO muttered, poking around at the SIC's doorwings. He vented heavily a few times. "You're free to go, Prowl, but you're on light duty for a few days while everything sets. That means no sitting in your office for endless hours. And I'm warning you now, if Jazz talks you into interfacing, you better have the top because he's injured worse than you." After the black and white mech left the med bay, he stopped Sunstreaker with a servo on his shoulder plating. "I'll send him, Blue, and Sides to you from now on unless it's really bad."

"Anything I can help you with?"

"Hound needs to be kept calm when he onlines. It'd be best to get him outside, but the next best way is to get a few plants in the area. Since you aren't allowed off base, I need you to stay here and watch him."

He agreed to help Ratchet and was shown to the berth that held the green scout. A chair sat nearby that Sunstreaker pulled up to him and collapsed in. After having stood for so long, he was running low on energy since his form wasn't built for medical work and had to expend more to keep himself from locking up. His form was trying to get him to slip into recharge or get a cube of energon, but he didn't want to leave his charge. Ratchet would have his aft if he didn't follow his order to a 't'. Not long after that thought he fell into a light recharge with his helm on the edge of the berth.

Hound shot up, looking around wildly and unable to recognize anything for a bit. When he was able to, he slowly looked around, registering everything. Most everyone was in stasis, but Sideswipe was curled around Bluestreak as they recharged on the far berth. As he moved to swing his pedes down to the floor, he bumped against something that stopped him in his tracks.

A soft touch on the helm woke Sunstreaker out of recharge slowly. He turned his helm into the servo thinking it was Sides as before the war started, and for a while after it had, he had used such a method to wake the yellow frontliner up. As his processor began to work at a normal speed, he realized that he had a kink in a few of his lines from the way he had laid while in recharge.

"Oh slag," he muttered. "Ratch's gonna have my aft."

"Why is Ratchet going to 'have your aft'?" a familiar voice asked from really close by, causing his helm to jerk up and his form to go rigid. He slowly relaxed once it registered that he was not in hostile territory.

"I fell into recharge in the middle of the task he gave me."

The green scout shrugged. "As long as he doesn't find out, it should be fine. May I ask what your task was?"

"Ratch said that you would come out of recharge sometime and I would have to keep you calm." Sunstreaker frowned as the other mech began laughing.

"I think he wanted you to recharge. Either that or he wanted to get out and find Wheeljack, but couldn't because he needed to stay and watch them. He's done that to me before."

"I'm honestly not surprised."

A couple weeks later, Sunstreaker was finally allowed off base and had gleefully picked up the green scout standing next to him and spun around in a circle. All of the nearby bots stared at him in ill-concealed surprise and a few also in horror. He had to be possessed by something to be this happy.

"You have to show it to me now! Not just from a hologram!"

A query crossed his bond with his twin. This degree of happiness from him had been felt for the last time more than a little while ago. He sent back a feeling of freedom and received unbridled joy in response.

"You'll have to do some off-roading to get there, Sunstreaker. Are you sure you want to go?"

The yellow Lamborghini bounced on its axles in excitement. "I'm ready to go. I put off painting myself to do this. Let's go!"

The drive was fairly short, but extremely bumpy and jolted the excited bot something fierce, but he was much too excited to truly care. The view that Hound had been showing him recently had prompted him to pick up his painting again to prepare for this venture. It looked like a spot of natural beauty.

Finally reaching the area, a look out in the middle of the mountains that any normal Lamborghini could never hope to get to, he paused in awe, drinking the sight in. His companion stayed back, admiring how Sunstreaker looked against that backdrop. Absolutely stunning. Natural beauty at its finest.