WARNING: Angst, character death, unrequited love, and descriptions of an abusive relationship.
Continuity: TF: Prime; pre-earth.
Time term used: Cycle – 1 day (not to be confused with "night cycle", which just means night-time)
Disclaimer: Do not own TF: Prime.
The first colour I saw, upon waking for the first time, was gray.
It was the kind of dull, unfeeling gray that spoke of uniformity, indifference, and unimportance.
It was the colour of the ceiling, the walls, the berth, and of my faceplate.
The first thought I had, upon waking for the first time, was that I had a name.
It was much less a name, though, merely a sequence of numbers amongst an ocean of numbers.
However, if a name were simply a tool of identification, then my name was "57343".
My function was simple.
I lived to serve my master.
My master, whom everyone referred to as "lord".
I was to throw myself in the line of fire in order to protect him in battle.
I was to follow his orders down to the very last code.
I was to be a willing slave, eager to please him in every manner he saw fit, either it be my pain, my pleasure, or my humiliation.
My function was simple, and, when my life first began, it had been.
It had been…until I met him.
The first time I met him was after a defeat in battle.
My lord had been angry, so angry, and he easily grasped onto the one closest to him, and unleashed the full extent of his contemptuous wrath.
The ensuing screams and wailing pleas would haunt me for countless nights to come.
The first time I met him…was to carry him to the medical bay.
He had been a mess. He had been young.
He had not yet been broken.
He had still cried back then, limping and shaking so hard that his thin limbs made soft, clinking sounds as they vibrated against my plating.
He had leaned against me, and kept his helm lowered to hide his wet, glistening faceplate.
It was no use, though – everyone could see the tears falling like rain drops onto his heaving chassis.
We had passed many in the hallway, but none inquired about the wellbeing of my cargo.
No one had said a word. No one had dared to.
No one challenged lord Megatron, and no one asked why he continuously laid hits after hits on the dented, bleeding frame of his slim, fragile air commander.
No one wondered, about why our master always relented at the last moment, reeling back with a grimace of horror before he remembered to look angry, to mend the crack in his mask.
No one had said a word, except for me.
"Why, commander?" I had asked him, when his hitching sobs became too much to bear for my lacking Decepticon sentimentalities. "Why do you stay by his side, even when you know what's about to unfold?"
We had been alone in the corridor then, taking a break when walking became too painful for his injured knee. I had held him despite the lack of need for me to do so, and he had clutched onto me despite having a wall behind him to steady himself. He had looked at me then, truly looked, and his optics had been so bright, so beautiful, framed by a glowing halo and brimmed by tears.
"I will always stay by his side." He had whispered, vocalizer too croaked and raspy to speak any louder. "That's what a loyal soldier does for his lord."
This was when I decided that I would do the same, for him.
He was beautiful.
The word was much too overused in poems of affection and songs of passionate longing, and yet…there was no other term more perfect to depict his constitution.
The way he glided as he walked, the way he pursed his lips as he planned the next air strike, they all entranced me. He did not know, but I often lingered in the shadows, soaking in infinite happiness to simply be in his presence, to accompany him in silence, to be completely overlooked. To me, it mattered not that he did not spare a single glance in my direction. To me, it did not hurt when he simply brushed me by as he strode past. To me, to simply live, to exist alongside him, was a pleasure intoxicating like no other.
He was…so beautiful.
I did not know if he remembered me from that night, when I had knelt down in front of him, and carried him to the med bay after his confession. I knew, to him, my brothers and I were all the same, manufactured in bulk and devoid of significant value. I did not dare entertain the thought that perhaps he would recognize me from the others. I did not have the sheer impudence to wish that maybe he would look at me again.
But I was…
…completely enraptured…by him…
…the beholder of my spark.
I watched him sometimes, when all was at rest and only the machines hummed in the silence. He liked to work in the comfort of solitude, undisturbed and unhindered. His plating shimmered under the cold light of the monitor screens. His shadow stretched far behind him, fleeting as he passed from one console to the next. I stayed with him, unmoving in the darkest corner, hidden from his view.
He was different, under the cover of night cycle.
He lost the miniscule tension that plagued his wings. His features no longer held a hardened expression of cool, edged determination.
He looked more naive, more delicate and dainty.
There was much I did not know about him, but I was content with what I knew. One could have known him for vorns, yet not known him as well as I did.
He sometimes frowned when he concentrated on a task.
He often paced and murmured to himself when he reached an obstacle in his strategies.
He seldom paused in his work, slim fingers quick and efficient. However, when he did, those same fingers would gently brush against the scar marring the smooth sheen of his left forearm. He would gently brush against it, and he would smile.
I did not understand that smile.
The scar preceded me.
It did not heal like all of his other injuries.
He would smile, and his brow ridges would furrow ever so slightly that the gesture could have very well been a mere play of light and shadow.
…I knew then, that the scar was a secret, a promise, a pact, and an ideal unreachable for one as humble as I.
He would caress the scar, and he would wear the most tender, fragile expression ever to grace the smooth planes of his pale faceplate.
His optics would glow warmer than all the light in the darkened room, and my spark would skip ever so slightly, deep in my chassis, with an emotion I should not have been able to feel, engorging and all consuming.
I loved him.
I revered him.
He was the sun in my universe, frail, far, and flickering.
He had never once shared his warmth, but I loved him regardless.
He did not love me. That much I knew.
He kept himself guarded behind a veil of contempt, cultivating a heavy fortress upon a thin sheet of glass.
He was untouchable to all but our lord, who repeatedly shattered the foundation of his being without reservation. Another loss, another beating. I watched, hidden in a darkened crook that only I knew the existence of, and clutched the plating atop my spark chamber, within which a fiery ball of pain fermented and writhed.
Cycle by cycle, I watched my sun wither, exhaustion weighing down the proud arch of his wings. The abrasions and cuts oozed glimmering beads of energon, but they were always gone by the next morning, as though they had never existed at all. However, I knew the wounds lingered. They were unseen by all but me, his most faithful. They were bare, exposed, by the harshening expressions on his fair countenance.
He no longer accepted my help, opting to stagger to the med bay on his own peds. His chassis still heaved in laboured breaths. His limbs still shook in visible agony. Energon slid down along the curve of his faceplate, and it stung his optics, but he was too hurt to mind it. I always tailed him in the shadows, gasping silently every time he stumbled and almost fell to his knees.
Watching him struggle pained me – oh how it pained me! – but never once did I dare intrude. This journey was his own, and, though I did not understand, it was important to him that he made it alone.
He made it alone, but that did not mean he had to be alone.
I always followed him at a distance away, and kept watch.
He only ever demanded to know the reason of my presence once, and he had been angry – defensive, but angry. He had shouted at me, voice breaking under the previous strain from his shrieks of agony. His anger almost splintered then, crumbling into an emotion much softer and more brittle. However, he clutched onto the last shreds of rage, and the only sign of his inner turmoil had been a minute quiver of his lips.
"Why are you here!" He had hissed at me, plating almost bristling as he skidded several steps away from me. "Why do you insist on following me!" He had asked me, leaning against the wall upon which smeared a thick sheet of wet energon. "Be gone." He had spat out an order. "I'm not in need of assistance!"
No, he did not need my assistance…but I—…I—…
…I could not…be without him.
I could not think without him.
I could not function.
I could not live.
There was much that I had wanted to say, much that I wanted to know.
Why? I wanted to ask him. Why?
Why must you do this alone?
I could not understand, and I could not ask what I could not understand.
All I knew was that I did not want to see him suffer.
I did not want to see him hurt.
He was my everything, the invaluable star of my world.
He was the reason for my joy. He was what made an otherwise meaningless existence bearable and worthwhile.
Please, allow me to carry you, one more time.
Please, allow me to unburden your pain, even if I was not able to fully assuage it.
Please, please…do not stand so close to our lord, not when he was mad with fury, not when he was itching for soft plating to tear and crush.
I could stand the sight of your mangled body no more…
…There was much I had wanted to say, but I was not worthy, not privileged to speak.
I bowed my helm, and kept my following even as he let out a strangled noise of frustration, and returned to his slow, exerting trek to the medical bay.
He was crying…
I could not bear it.
He was crying, locked away in his quarters.
It was all I could do to stand guard by his door, herding away all who attempted to linger out of curiosity.
He was crying.
I could not bear it,
But I bore it regardless, because I loved him, and my suffering meant nothing if it could not lessen his pain.
He did not love me.
It was clear to me that he loved another.
This knowledge hurt me, but only because it hurt him.
He was hurt by this love, so I was hurt too.
The muffled sounds of his hitching intakes were sharp to my audials, the choked noises of broken sobbing blades to my spark.
How I longed for tears to spring from my optics. How I begged for a release to this relentless agony…
…but I could not.
I had no optics for tears to fall from, no outlet with which I could absolve my suffering.
…And no means of keeping at bay his pain.
He was getting away, breaths quick and trembling, slender ankles wobbling shakily on slim heels. He did not dare break into a run. It would agitate his pursuer. He quickened his steps to a swift walk, tossing darting glances behind him, flashes of red optics wide and filled with fear. His vents whirred nervously. His intakes gasped. His wings shivered, and he almost fell as he rounded a corner too quickly.
Our lord followed him, steps wide but measured. A predatory air enveloped his massive frame, made all the more terrifying by the uneven tightening of his large fists. Fuming fury shrouded him like a black fog, crackling with bright streaks of flaring insanity.
Our lord was mad. He must have gone mad.
He pursued my star, murder apparent from every calculated movement of his gigantic body.
I was afraid, so afraid.
I was so afraid for him, for my flickering sun.
He was growing progressively more frightened, no longer attempting to hide his backward glances. His wings jerked in rapid succession, marked by the staccato of his shallow breathing. He turned into a wide corridor, and hastily entered the doors leading to the bridge of the ship.
Our lord strode in after him, and the doors nicked my heels as I hastily dashed in.
Everyone on duty looked up upon our entry, attention solely focused on him and our lord. He continued to walk forward, steps slowing as he desperately pretended to not notice the hulking menace advancing toward him.
He pretended to not notice, inquiring, in a loud, tremoring voice, the current location of our travelling ship.
He approached the consoles, and anxiously tapped at the keys. His fingers rattled as he typed, and his gasps increased in frequency with each step our lord leisurely took.
He froze, joints tensing into rigidity.
His voice was weak, quivering with terror.
Our lord did not answer, and merely raised a fist.
…The first strike was always the worst.
It was always the worst, because he always let out the same cry, the cry that belayed mostly confusion and hurt.
Hurt…not of thin plating buckling or the first energon being spilt,
-but of a wound much more tender and deep.
He lay on the floor, and peered up at our lord. His lips shakily parted—…
Why? I knew what he had wanted to ask: why?
Why do you hurt me?
Why do you always hurt me?
Why do you—
He did not have the chance to voice his questions. A well-aimed kick silenced him.
And the wails—
The frantic pleas—…!
Everyone turned away.
They averted their optics, and returned to their stations.
They kept their audials closed, and ignored the piercing shrieks rising above the sickening noise of ripping metallic skin.
How could they…?
How could they…simply look away…?
How could they look away when all I could do was to stare in fathomless horror?
Please, no, not again!
He had just—he had just suffered your wrath but a few cycles prior.
It was not his fault. Nothing was his fault!
Please, do not blame him – not my sun, not my precious star, not my most treasured being!
The screams, the sobs, the sound of tearing metal, the screeching of ripping wings—
Oh Primus—Please no—!
Why was—Why was everyone simply turning away?
Why was no one stepping forth to stop this insanity?
Our lord…Why was he so enraged? Why on this cycle? Why now?
Why did it have to be my love!
My spark was in shreds, each tear splitting greater as each of his shrieks of pain increased in hysterics and desperation.
He tried to plead. He tried to reason.
He had never before tried to flee, but now, he wanted to run. He wanted to escape.
His grimace of agony and terror could barely be seen. His faceplate, dented and caked with energon, was a blur under the hailstorm of fists.
The command deck was littered with puddles of dulling fuel. Our lord was covered in blood, the blood of my withering sun, my dying star, yet he did not stop, raining hits after hits on the thin frame which continuously buckled under the force and the pain.
His struggles began to lessen. His frantic desperation to protect himself was starting to fade.
His optics were losing their vivid brightness. His broken chassis seized in spasms as his system tried to dispel the pooling energon in his intakes.
Primus, please, no!
Don't take him.
Don't take him away!
This monster, this fiend threatening to devour my sun – take him! Take him instead!
Not my precious star, not the entirety of my world—
Not my love!
I cried out, rushing forth.
I rushed forth, and threw my frame between the shivering body of my sun and the hard fist drenched in dripping energon.
I would not stand by and watch.
"Commander!" I fell to my knees, and cradled him to my chassis.
"Commander!" I called out to him, and frantically pulled his thin frame into my arms.
His thin frame was slick with wet blood, and its scent was strong, overwhelming for my olfactory sensors.
"Commander!" I curled around him, and shielded him from the monster, the fiend.
"I will protect you, commander!" I shouted, a sweltering burn plaguing the thin visor slit of my faceplate. "I will protect you, no matter the consequences!"
The burn must be tears, tears that I did not have, tears that I could never shed.
He trembled against me, and I pressed his helm snuggly into the crook of my neck.
I would shield every part of his sacred body from the soiling touch of our lord.
No more would my sun have to suffer.
No more would my star have to endure this torment.
"I will protect you!" I cried, "I will protect you, commander!"
He was warm, so warm.
His plating was almost blistering to the touch, but I would embrace him, always, even if embracing my sun would hurt me, would disfigure me.
"We can run away together, commander!" I begged him, clutching onto him so tightly that my joints throbbed under the strain. "We can run away, be gone from here, away from all tangible connection that binds us to this agony!
"I will follow you. I will take care of you. I will be with you. I will serve you, be your willing slave, anything—anything to heal you, to protect you!"
He shivered, and lifted his wet, bruised faceplate.
"I love you, commander!" My fingers dug into his plating, and my core trembled. "I love you!
"I love you! And I will love you forever!
"I seek no resolve, commander – I seek no resolution!
"Just—please, no more pain! No more sufferance!
"No more of this—!
"No more of this—!
"No more of—"
For a moment, I did not know it was I who had been forcefully tugged upright and dragged away.
For a moment, I did not know it was I whose energon had splattered over my dearest's beautiful faceplate.
All I knew was that the fists had stopped, and the torture had ended.
…looked at me.
His optics, twin flickers of dimming light, were focused on me, and only me.
The joy, the warmth, the utter ecstasy…
He looked at me, and all the world vanished.
"…Commander…" I croaked, frame shuddering in a pain that I did not quite feel.
"…Commander…" I whispered, and reached for his limp hands, which lay motionlessly on the wet, bloody floor. "…Commander…I-I—…"
Glowing fuel was flowing from my shoulder, where my arm had been attached.
Energon spurted from the middle of my chassis, where my missing arm had been plunged straight through.
I choked, and fell to my knees.
I no longer had the strength to hold my frame, and collapsed to the floor.
Energon continued to trickle from my body, and I could barely breathe, lying in a spreading puddle.
My fingers twitched minutely, and my failing visual sensors tried to focus on the slim digits of his graceful hands.
Life was leaving me, but I did not feel dread, or fear, only a fluttering sensation of wondrousness…
…had looked at me…
…Hands grasped around my torso.
Arms began to lift me from the floor.
"Take this scrapheap to the smelter," A rough, disgusted voice spat out, "and see to it that his parts are more useful than he was."
With a strong heave, someone picked up my dying frame, and took me away, away from the beholder of my world.
My sun was growing dimmer.
The warmth of his frail light could no longer reach me.
I was floating away, adrift by the currents I could no longer fight against.
It was getting darker.
The air was cold.
My frame was dying.
This was not death.
This was—…my love…!
Notes: In case anyone is confused about the identity of "I", it was Steve, the drone whom the fandom seems to enjoy making dote on Prime:Starscream. I always found it interesting that his infatuation is usually treated in humour, so I wanted to experiment with something different.
I owe this one-shot partly to Koluno1986. Thank you for encouraging me to write something angsty, and, hopefully, this was tear-jerking enough for you, haha! I'd like to thank lildevchick as well for sharing with me her experiences with writing one-shots. It'll help me greatly in the future :))))
I was actually quite displeased with this one-shot until I went back to it and read through it a few times. I wouldn't say this is my proudest story ever written, but I'm now fairly satisfied. I really hope you'd enjoyed reading this :/)
Please leave me a review and tell me what you think. I'd greatly appreciate it. I'm also very interested in how this has made you feel, if anything, so please drop me a few lines and let me know if you'd like to share.
Thanks for reading.