Title: Broken Heart Disease
Warnings: blanket spoilers for TF:A season 3; slash (but nothing explicit)
Summary: TF:A. It started with a sharp pain in his spark. Magnus/Rodimus
Notes: Another art inspired fic. End feels kind of rushed, but whatever. Dramatic as fuck.
Disclaimer: I own none of these chucklefucks.
It started with a sharp pain. Like a stab to his spark. So unlike the previous attacks. Rodimus had just finished washing up and was about to take a short stasis nap when he suddenly found his processors swimming and whirling. When he next powered up his optics, he was in the medbay; Red Alert, always fretting, told him he had suddenly blacked out and collapsed. He was only unconscious for about a half hour, but during stasis, she explained he started thrashing. Rodimus was confused, as he did not remember anything, save the sudden, intense spike of pain in his chest.
"It only lasted a few nanosecs," he explained, "but it felt..." He swallowed. "It felt like the worst thing... The worst thing in the universe."
Red Alert frowned. "I see."
Rodimus glanced up at the medic. "Do you think it has anything to do with those random surges of pain I've been having the past few orns?" he asked.
"I..." Red Alert looked away. Now he could tell she was hiding something.
"Red?" Rodimus sat forward. He reached for her. "What is it?" She said nothing, bit her lip, and Rodimus felt fear creep around his spark. "Red, if you know what's going on... Why I've been experiencing these painful spasms... You need to tell me." He frowned. "As both your commander and your friend, I need to know."
Red Alert met his optics. She looked sad and even guilt ridden. Rodimus was now terrified.
"You only felt a few minor waves of pain because... He's been under heavy stasis and sedatives the past deca. Though occasionally, when he was brought back online, the pain was immense enough to send a pulse between your bonds."
Rodimus blinked. "Wait, what what- Our bond- are you-" His optics widened. "Red Alert, what-"
"I just got the news during your collapse," Red Alert whispered. Coolant welled at the edges of her optics and she took her commander by the hands. "I am... so, so sorry, Rodimus. I couldn't tell you before; we had been in the middle of a mission and our superiors, they-" She quickly raised a hand to her eyes, unable to continue.
Rodimus stared at her, and a strange, yawning void split open around his spark. "Red Alert, tell me... Is..."
Rodimus wasn't thinking clearly. He knew Red Alert was right, yet he was still infuriated with his team's medic. How dare she withhold this information- Still, even as he barked orders and set his crew on edge as they raced back to Cybertron, he felt a little guilty having yelled at her. She was only doing what she thought - knew - was best. Even if it wound up betraying her commander's trust. Rodimus hadn't seen her since their short spat; he sat uneasy and anxious in the captain's chair, occasionally snapping and demanding why they weren't going fast enough, they should have more speed than this, is something fragging wrong, come on!
The ship docked at Cybertron some hours later, though it might as well have felt like days to Rodimus. He said nothing to his restless teammates as he practically charged out the ship before it even settled completely. He was greeted by Jazz and two other Elite guards; he couldn't understand how they remained so levelheaded and calm during this time. "Save me the formalities!" he spat, glaring at Jazz. "Take me to him inow/i!"
The trip to Autobot Central Hospital was a brisk cruise, Rodimus pacing the area. When they arrived, he ditched his fellow soldiers and bolted down a corridor, flying into an elevator. A second later, he was sprinting down a hall filled with medics and more soldiers; any attempt to stop him resulted in being pushed away or knocked down. No one asked for identification - Rodimus was well known on Cybertron. Especially at the hospital, where it took him nearly a month to recover from Space Rust.
Rodimus shoved between soldiers at the door before stumbling to a halt in the hospital room.
Rodimus's spark hitched. He felt his processors skip then halt. Sudden fear washed tore through his anger and anxiety. The Paradon medics and doctors stepped aside from the med table, lit by a single, melancholy light above. Their expression sad and numb.
Rodimus's chassis heaved, wide eyes turning to the CMO. "Is he...?" he swallowed, the words slipping from his mouth before he could even think. He wasn't sure he wanted to know, though that was ridiculous.
The CMO sized the Prime up, then met his worried, frantic gaze. He bowed and then shook his head. Rodimus choked on energon rising in his throat, stumbled back a foot. He was frozen in terror as realization crashed and ripped through his system. He had not registered Jazz's comforting hand on his shoulder, his quiet, sincere apology for his comrade's loss.
Time passed slow and sluggish and painful. Rodimus finally stood upright and rigid. His optics narrowed, frown tight. "Leave," he grumbled. The doctors looked to the guards, then back to the Prime. Rodimus met their baffled gazes, optics burning, and snarled with barely restrained emotion, "Leave."
Jazz sighed. "Ya'll clear out," he said, gesturing the medics over, "give the mech some space."
The medics reluctantly left the room. Rodimus kept his gaze forward, ignoring the pitying, sad looks the others were giving him as they passed. The footfalls faded into silence, the door hissing shut; a second later, the security cameras winked offline.
Rodimus stood there for a while - he wasn't sure how long - staring. The spark-pulse monitor was switched off, but it still displayed the morbid flat line of death across its screen. Machines once pumping life were now silent as the patient they had attempted to save.
Rodimus took a few hesitant steps forward. Paused. Took a deep breath. Shuttered his optics closed. Opened. He continued forward, until he was bathed in the unearthly glow of the light above, standing at the foot of the cold berth. His optics locked to the ground for a while; he'd fought in battles that nearly ended his life, but never was he as afraid as he was now. Finally, mustering up the courage, Rodimus moved around the berth, carelessly pushing aside monitors and screens, until he stood beside his head. He finally looked down at his face.
Ultra Magnus, bound together with steel like some rag-doll sewn up with spare, crude parts; right side of his face patched up with more gray plating. Rodimus felt for an energy signature, but received nothing. No feedback, not even static. Magnus's single optic was shut, his faceplates ashen. Rodimus placed a quivering hand over Magnus's chest, where plating had been pulled away and put aside to make emergency repairs. A spark chamber, now empty, its once beautiful glow and power extinguished. He lowered his hand, hoping to meet familiar, greeting tendrils, but all that came was an empty darkness that turned his own spark cold.
Ultra Magnus was dead. He fought for his life, but the extent of his injuries and old age caught up to him. He was in stasis for nearly a week before he succumbed. The doctors had tried everything, he was sure, though he was angry at them anyway. Rodimus drew back his hand. "I... didn't think it was possible," he breathed, looking back to Magnus's face, "that you-you of all Cybertronians-could actually..." A well of emotion threatened to break loose, but Rodimus took a deep breath and a few seconds to compose himself. Breathe in, breathe out, cycles pushing coolant through his circuitry. "Had I known sooner... I would have come. I would have... been here. There. For you. Even if... you wouldn't know I was..."
He'd know his spark was still beating he'd know if I was there of course he'd know we're- Rodimus pinched the bridge of his nose and exhaled heavily. "Um." He sniffed and stood upright, blinking three times. "I." He felt as if he were turning to stone, his processors switching off one by one. Body falling into auto-pilot in an attempt to keep himself from having to deal with the shock. "I'm sorry, in any case, that I... wasn't." His fingers clenched at his sides. "... Wasn't there for you."
Rodimus turned his head away. Self-loathing threatened to consume him, but he pushed the acidic feeling down into the pit of his sore tanks. He glanced back, studying Magnus's blank face. "Even de... deact... Even like this, you still look so grumpy." He tried to smile, tried to find some humor, but all he could manage was a twitch at one corner of his mouth. Rodimus placed smooth, shaking digits above Magnus's frown, afraid to touch; afraid if he did, Magnus would disappear or break. "I hope that... you're not mad. I mean, given what happened, I wouldn't blame you. But. As you've told me countless times before- Never good to... To face things - and I guess, in your case... death"-God, and that stung-"with your CPU and spark clouded with negative emotions."
He idly scratched at his chest. "I felt the pulses. It was... trying to tell me. And yet I... I didn't think much about... I didn't think it meant you were..."
It took nearly ten hours, fifteen minutes, and thirty-eight seconds before everything collapsed. Any shred of self-control and stability fell like a house of cards. Rodimus braced a hand against the table, nearly pushing it aside; he choked on a gasp and clenched at his chest, his spark bursting as everything, everything finally hit him.
Ultra Magnus was dead, and his spark had finally realized it had lost its bond.
"Oh, Primus," Rodimus heaved. He dropped his face in his hands, trembling. He wanted to black out again, just pretend this wasn't happening, but no, no, he had to accept. He was gone, their bond was broken, this emptiness and this sadness scarring a space once occupied with the greatest of warmth and compassion. "Scrap..." His fingers dug into his face, shoulders tight and spoiler clicking against his back. "iScrap/i!" His hands tearing away, he dropped his head back into a sob, letting the tears fall free. His spark thrashed as he fell forward, curling up, unabashedly crying his eyes and heart out.
Rodimus staggered up and over the bed. He took Magnus's face in his hands, bowed his head. His forehead crashed against the deceased Autobot's, and he sobbed harder, letting his tears drop and pour down Magnus's still, expressionless face. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry!" he wailed, fingers wrapping around Magnus's helm tighter. "I should have known the signs were there I felt your pain and yet I I just ignored it I didn't think I didn't think it meant you - would -"
He couldn't finish. Words failed and his vocalizer turned to static. Instead, he held Magnus and cried and cried and cried. Minutes, hours, didn't matter, but he cried until nothing came, not a single drop of coolant left in his body. Until his optics stung, clouded, until his systems ached and his circuitry felt like mush. Minutes, hours, didn't matter, because it wouldn't change anything nor bring Magnus back, no matter how much he cried and pleaded and yelled. Oh, how he yelled, at just about everyone - himself, the doctors, the bastard who did this, even Magnus himself for letting go, for stopping putting up a fight.
Rodimus had hoped his spark would have numbed him over. At least for a while. Until he was able to recompose himself. But even after crying himself dry, nothing changed. He still felt horrible and angry and miserable. Finally, however, finally, he stood up, sniffing and cheekplates hot. He gently wiped his tears from Magnus's face with one hand, the other remaining against his deceased bondmate's helm.
"Please..." His voice was haggard, tired. Rodimus rubbed his optics with the heel of his palm. "Forgive me."
"Please excuse me for intruding."
Rodimus remained stretched over the Autobot, one hand caressing his cheek. He said nothing to the figure at the door, watching him. "... But I think you should know," the medic said quietly. Rodimus still ignored him. "... He was... He wasn't in any pain. He was only online for a few kliks through the decacycle." And the Prime squeezed his optics shut, grit his teeth, this was good, yes, but not now, he wanted to be left alone- "But he spoke only once. To me."
Rodimus twitched. He glanced back, but did not turn. The medic took a cautious step forward. "He said, just a day before he passed... He knew you would be upset, and probably feel guilty for not being with him. But that you shouldn't. That he's not angry with you. He was... almost glad... You weren't there. To see him fall."
Rodimus ground his denta. "Idiot..."
The medic looked away. "He died a soldier. He died a hero." He looked back to the Prime. "And he died loving you. There wasn't an ounce of pain to his words, no venom or spite in his deactivation."
Rodimus wasn't sure what to say, how to react. But there was a small spark of relief and happiness growing inside him. He felt both reassured and yet... The anger remained. "I thought you should know," the medic said and then left without another word. When the doors shut, Rodimus took a moment before he stood upright. Hand still lingering at Magnus's helm.
Then, slowly, very slowly, he smiled. It was frail and weak and fragile, but it was genuine all the same. "I... Thank you." He let his fingers slide down Magnus's cheek, off. "I love you, too. And... I'm not angry at you. You would tell me... everything will be all right." He stepped back. "And you've rarely been wrong before."
Rodimus clicked his heels together, stood tall and gave his commander, superior and bondmate an honorable soldier's salute. His body relaxed and he sighed.
Things will get better, Rodimus supposed. For both their sakes, it will. Before he left, Rodimus reached down, slowly, and gave Magnus one final farewell kiss.
A/N: In this fic, a deca-cycle is a week, when I usually use it for a month. Title is from a lyric by One Headlight by The Wallflowers. SO GOOD, SO SAD.