a/n: Second Transformers fic ever. Well, that's longer than a ficlet anyway. Enjoy!

Title: For All I Lack

Pairings: RatchetxSideswipe, implied SideswipexRatchetxSunstreaker

Verse: Bayverse, post-DotM

Warnings: mechporn of the p'n'p variety, slash if you want to call it that, foul language

Description: Together they are two and it will never be enough.

Disclaimer: I own not Transformers nor the song that inspired this fic, "Get Around This" by Safety Suit.

Red fingers are similar but not enough.

Together they are two, but the balance is off.

Something is missing, something irreplaceable. It's not the same, won't ever be, just a patch over the wound, just WD-40 on a rust stain.

"He's still alive," Sideswipe says fiercely, shuddering on the edge of overload, his vocalizer emitting static.

Fingers scramble over a chartreuse frame, dipping into seams, tugging on cables, pressing hard, the edge of pain, and it's everything Ratchet needs.

He wants to keen in agony, his energy field a flaring mixture of want and grief and need and pain, all collapsing inward, extending outward, twining with Sideswipe's own misery and loneliness and longing.

Together, they aren't enough. He's not here but they're trying to hold themselves together regardless, even as their energies strain for a third that's not present, looping back toward them without the other to balance out the ecstasy-agony.

Sideswipe's going to get himself offlined, pelting into battle the way he does, blades afire and with little regard for his own safety. As if each destroyed Decepticon is a balm to his pain. Anything to outpace, outrun, outfight the pain in his spark.

Ratchet's going to work himself until he offlines, fixing every last dent and ding and scratch. Worrying and worrying over the fate of their kind, over Cybertron and their dwindling population. Over injuries he doesn't have the supplies or the means to fix. Over a Prime who's spark was extinguished, only to rekindle. Over their dead second (third) in command. Over a friend of millennia betrayed by one of their own.

And all the while reaching, spark calling out for the last resonating beat that could make him feel whole again. Could make Sideswipe more than a half.

Sideswipe ventilates, hotter, harsher, cooling fans kicking into overdrive. Ratchet's fingers scrabble over silver armor, one hand wedging itself under loose plating and gripping, pulling, adding an edge of pain. Sideswipe roars, staticky, their bond pulsing so unevenly Ratchet can't tell the difference between pain and pleasure anymore.

Alone, alone, missing, gone.

His free hand hooks around Sideswipe's helm. "Connect with me," Ratchet half-snarls, half-gasps. Anything to feel less broken.

Sideswipe moans, slamming Ratchet harder against the wall of their makeshift home. The stone gives an ominous crackle. "Shouldn't," he says, mostly incapable of coherent speech. But his half-hearted denial is undercut by his fingers struggling to withdraw data cables.

Ratchet irises open the ports on either side of his abdominal armor in welcome, letting go of Sideswipe's helm to direct quaking fingers where they should rightfully be. The soft click of cables sliding home into ports seems to echo loudly in the hangar that serves as Ratchet's medbay. And Ratchet's entire frame jolts as Sideswipe's desire and loneliness intermingle with his own.

Electricity crackles over his plating, and then crawls onto Sideswipe's, stirring them both into a higher frenzy. The air reeks of overcharge and ozone and old energon.

It's more than Ratchet can take and still not enough. He yearns, a cry rising in his vocalizer, craving Sunstreaker's presence, his charge to balance it out. The desperation within him is strong enough to startle, but also echoed by Sideswipe, who arguably misses his twin more than Ratchet could ever match.

Together they are two. And it will never be enough.

Sideswipe pulses through the hardline connection, fast, abrasive throbs of pleasure and need and want, want, want. Ratchet can't keep up, doesn't want to, and drags Sideswipe closer to him, as physically as possible, their plating overheated and crawling with electricity.

Overload comes without warning, slamming through Ratchet's circuits and making him writhe, trapped between Sideswipe and the concrete wall of the hanger. He can feel the stone scratching into his dorsal plating, can feel the creak and groan of strained gears, but it's all a white noise to the consuming pleasure that still isn't enough to chase away the agony of a fractured bond.

Sideswipe's grip on his hip spurs is hard enough to dent as he buries his face against Ratchet's chestplate, fans whirring. Ratchet's overload pours into Sideswipe's systems, aided by the hardline connection, and Sideswipe shudders as his own crests over him.

And for a single, blissful, aching moment, Ratchet can feel Sunstreaker, wherever their golden twin is, lightyears away and too far to be heard or touched. Sideswipe all but cries out in longing, and Ratchet feels the urge crowding on his own vocalizer.

But then, the moment's gone, their overloads waning as the electricity dissipates, leaving behind frames frantically trying to cool themselves with overworked fans, and the sluggish exchange of data across the hardline.

Ratchet sags against the wall, grateful for the chill of the stone. The tremors begin in his feet, but he locks his joints, keeps himself in place.

"He's still alive," Sideswipe says in the ensuing silence, his vocalizer crackling into static on the last word.

"Yes, he is," Ratchet replies, confirmation given in that single moment.

But it's not enough, won't ever be. Together they are two, but they were always, always meant to be trine.

a/n: Feedback is love. I also don't have a beta, so pointing out any terrible grammatical errors would be very kind.