Title: Orators

Fandom: Transformers Bayverse

Pairing/Characters: Sideswipe + Optimus, Lennox, Ironhide, Ratchet

Rating: PG

Word Count: 439

Summary: Optimus gets waylaid on his early morning stroll around the base. Written for tiamat1972 at livejournal for her prompt 'Bayverse Sideswipe and Optimus. Swordsplay.'

Disclaimer: This is a piece of fiction. No harm was intended in the creation of this work. All rights belong to the original creators.

'Our swords shall play the orators for us.' ~ Christopher Marlowe

"Come on, Prime, you need some exercise," Sideswipe cajoled, wheeling around the slowly moving Autobot leader in easy circles.

Lennox raised an eyebrow and glanced at Ironhide as the silver warrior suddenly darted forward and poked Prime in the arm and then wheeled backwards.

"Uh… are we going to have to bring him back to Ratchet in pieces?" Lennox asked, reassured only by Ironhide's relaxed posture and smirking grin.

Ironhide rested against the hanger bar doorway, the metal creaking ominously under his rather considerable weight. He met Lennox's gaze as the human placed his hands on the catwalk's railing and leaned forward to follow Sideswipe and Optimus' slow progress out onto the tarmac.

"They'll be fine," Ironhide said.

A flash of silver drew Lennox's attention, and his lower jaw dropped as one of Sideswipe's blades made an audacious arc a scant inch away from the side of Prime's head. Optimus stilled, his gaze turning serious and affixing Sideswipe in place. The silver warrior merely grinned and crouched, his engine revving in a taunt. Lennox tensed.

By some unknown signal, the two mechs lunged at each other, their blades colliding and ringing in the cool morning air. Lennox blinked, never having even seen Optimus draw his sword.

"Sideswipe's a punk," Ironhide commented, his own optics avidly watching the impromptu match. He winced as Optimus took a slice alongside his upper arm, the armor now baring a deep, sparking wound.

"But he's good with the blades. Fragging good," Ironhide said, nodding approvingly at some spin Sideswipe performed in order to avoid the thrust of Optimus' sword. "No mech better, not even his brother. 'Cept Optimus," he said, grinning at Lennox.

Sideswipe suddenly slid backwards, feral grin still in place despite his own fresh wound across his side. "Come on, old mech!" Sideswipe called out, weaving and swaying on his wheeled feet. "You gotta do better than that!"

Now that he watched closely, Lennox could see that while Sideswipe was more agile, Optimus was just as quick and had more power behind his swings and thrusts. Nevertheless, Sideswipe continued to call out insults and taunts, urging Optimus on.

"They're going to kill each other, aren't they?" Lennox asked, sighing, imaging the paperwork.

"Naw. They're having fun. Sides loves the challenge and Prime loves that he doesn't have to hold back," Ironhide said. "Course the real fun will be had when Ratchet catches them at it," he said, looking behind him at the approaching stomp of large, angry feet.

"Ah, just in time," Ironhide said, watching a vibrating chartreuse blur run past them, already shouting. "Settle in, Will. The good part's coming up!"