Title: Two is a Prime Number
Author: Femme4jack
Continuity: G1 AU (Rodimus remains a Prime after the return of Optimus)
Pairing/Characters: Optimus Prime/Rodimus Prime, Daniel, ensemble
Rating/Category: PG-13/Various (mostly fluff with angst for seasoning)
Word Count: 2400

Notes: Written for RaisedbyMoogles for the TF Gift Exchange. *hugs RaisedbyMoogles with Prime-like enthusiasm*. I used the 'peace' table from the Tformers100 community on livejournal, and ten prompts given by Caius (thanks Caius!)

Thank you to HopeofDawn and Fractalserpent for their awesome beta skills!

Content: Nineteen drabbles of exactly 100 words each + one ficlet (is there a such thing as a quadrabble?) for two Primes who need hugs desperately and sometimes get them. Fluff, angst, explicit spark play, spark-merge, tactile, non-explicit BDSM, with occasional stray Chocobos and tentacles. Refs. canon character deaths (and resurrections), creation of new grown-up robots by means of Vector Sigma, and human "reformat". Specific content notes listed with individual drabbles.

Drabbles bump all over the timeline and are not chronological.

01. Forgiveness

It was easy to forgive the crowds who celebrated as though the return of Optimus Prime marked the end of their darkest hour. Hot Rod felt the same way. There was nothing to forgive.

"Let them celebrate," he said, waving his hand at Arcee dismissively when she approached him, her field radiating concern. "I'd join in, but it would make them feel awkward."

The only direction Hot Rod could not extend forgiveness was toward himself. That was, until Optimus refused to call him 'Hot Rod' and insisted on sharing the Matrix. Then, for the first time, his anger flared outward.

02. Silence (Non-explicit BDSM)

"Sometimes it was silent for vorns," Optimus admitted.

Rodimus shuttered his optics briefly, then glanced at the relic that lay on the berth beside him. The inhibitor on his vocalizer wouldn't allow for a verbal response.

"Then there were orns I couldn't process my own thoughts, much less recharge, it was so loud." Optimus tested the restraints. "This helped. I could recharge after, and whatever it needed to say could wait."

Optimus placed the Matrix in the chest below him, watching it sink in, then activated the electrowhip. "Let us see if we can get it to quiet for you."

03. Healing

Optimus roared in triumph as his Chocobo won the race, while Rodimus' grin proclaimed his own victory in getting his fellow Prime to do something irresponsible for a change. There were many ways to heal a Prime, after all.

Of course, there was every chance Optimus was playing simply because Rodimus liked to; it was becoming difficult to figure out who was helping whom. Perhaps the easy and familiar way their fields were starting to mesh meant it didn't really matter. While both put heroic efforts into healing Cybertron, they kept back a measure of themselves to heal one another.

04. Rebirth

Cybertron's rebirth couldn't change the conflicted nature of Rodimus' feelings for his 'homeworld'. Like all the surviving stasis-sparks Metroplex had long safeguarded, far from war, Rodimus was, literally, an 'earthling'. The massive metal viaducts would never feel more home-like than the dirt roads he'd raced over with a laughing human child, older than himself.

That was how Rodimus understood the paradox that Daniel felt more at home on Cybertron, and dryly noted that those who worried about lack of fresh air and sunshine should be more concerned about their younger Prime. In truth, with Daniel there, Cybertron finally felt reborn.

05. Wholeness (Refs. non-explicit BDSM)

First Aid, fortunately, was wise enough to recognize the wholeness that went deeper than the many ways the two Primes found to damage one another. Most of their injuries required little care, and were nothing new to the young but wise medic. Even so, they faithfully obeyed the rules he set down and reported to him after every session.

Perhaps it was telling that the most significant repair outside of battle damage he'd ever made on them was not one of their usual. Who could have predicted that a couple of Primes could damage their vocalizers by laughing too hard?

06. Contentment

Death changed Optimus.

He was still the self-sacrificing, noble leader, inspiring the very best among those who followed him. But he was no longer inclined to hold himself aloof from the contentment of systems and fields enmeshed. Perhaps, in the Well, some sense had finally been banged into his helm by those who, while living, had offered him their comfort and been nobly declined. Or perhaps, coming back and finding so many gone made him treasure more deeply those remaining.

Whatever the reason, the nickname Cuddlemus, once bestowed by Carly, stuck, and Optimus did not seem to mind at all.

07. Life

Magnus had seen Optimus engage in enough ludicrously self-sacrificing acts through the vorns to wonder if it was a Prime trait, or the actions of one hoping for release from the weight of the Matrix.

As he watched Rodimus rush headlong into yet another brilliant and impulsive plan, he found himself asking again: was it the hand of destiny that drove the young Prime, or a desire to flare bright and gutter quickly?

"Live," his spark whispered, a plea that against the odds his Prime would survive, as he somehow always managed. And, as always, he wondered if the sentiment was selfish.

08. Dove

Danny's room had a mural of Noah's Ark from when he was a baby, covered by posters over the years. The dove, however, remained uncovered, along with the rainbow.

When Carly first explained the story to Hot Rod, he was stunned that humans would worship a god who would so callously destroy them.

After facing Unicron, he wondered if having creation and destruction balanced in one deity was not the better option. What he did not realize was that his bright colors were as much a sign of hope for his kind as the dove and rainbow were for humans.

09. Compromise (Explicit spark play, bondage)

Optics glinting gold with reflected sparklight, Rodimus dipped his glossa in the aura below, never leaving his fellow Prime's gaze.

The frame beneath him shuddered, sparkflare arcing with an ozone snap and hiss. "Ah... Rodimus... please."

"Patience," Rodimus murmured, sitting back on his pedes, one finger lazily playing and stretching a plasma-tendril that writhed at his touch.

"Ah... thought... you were never one for patience," Optimus protested, arching against his restraints.

"For a good cause, I make compromises with my own nature," Rodimus said casually, his fingers dancing through the raw power that sizzled up the circuits of his arm.

10. Hope

"It is no longer just cautious relief. They truly have hope again," Optimus noted as they watched the one-vorn celebration of peace from the temple's balcony.

Rodimus leaned lazily against his companion, waving to the crowd when the open affection brought a cheer. "And you? Do you have hope yet? Or did you never lose it?"

Optimus wrapped an arm around his fellow Prime. "I did, indeed, lose hope for a time, even for the survival of our kind."

"So what changed? Awakening on Earth?"

"Awakening on Earth a second time, and finding I was no longer the only Prime."

11. Gifts

"I think it works out just great," Jazz said. "Each has their own gifts."

"Indeed? And what gifts does Rodimus have?" the recently resurrected tactician asked, recalculating the variables.

"He's an impatient glitch who rushes headlong into trouble without over-thinking things."

"And this is a gift?" Prowl asked, cocking his helm to the side.

"If your designation's Galvatron."

"And how is a gift to Galvatron an asset?" Prowl asked archly.

"Oh, just wait and see, Prowl my mech. Galvatron's fixation on Rodimus makes Megatron's for Optimus look like passing curiosity, and now the slagger's got both obsessions to deal with."

12. Return (Spark merge)

::You didn't want to return! You were happy and at peace. Unburdened!:: Rodimus agonized as the revelation of their merge hit him like a plasma cannon. He could feel all of those classic Optimus thoughts rise up to meet his outrage: destiny, sacrifice, the greater good.

::Frag that with a rusted cable! I'm tired of all that slag from you. You deserve to be happy!::

::And you assume I'm not?:: Optimus asked, soothing, calming the fiery spark that strained against his own in the merge, pulling them more deeply together to show Rodimus exactly what he had gained in returning.

13. Light

The cadre he was assigned to shone like stars, giants of the war, the ones sent when the only option was obliteration. He was just a newspark, onlined on Earth during a deceptively peaceful lull as the Decepticons entrenched themselves on Cybertron and the Autobots built up for their final assault.

The only combat he'd seen was in training. The others constantly cajoled him to take things more seriously.

How could he? He couldn't even take himself seriously, blinded by the light of their greatness. He would never measure up, but at least in Danny, someone looked up to him.

14. Earth

Earth was both hope and failure to Optimus. When he realized how long they'd been stasis-locked, he feared the worst and doubted any left behind were functioning. He had promised hope and new energon. Instead, he abandoned those who trusted him.

Then he realized just how well the others had thrived in his absence, and he questioned whether fate should have reawakened him at all, especially considering that his return also hailed the return of Megatron and brutal combat rather than stalemate.

At least, with the Earth's resources and friendship, he could finally deliver the energon he had originally promised.

15. Rebuilding

Though the verdant valley around Metroplex had become desolate in the battle, Earth's capacity to rebuild itself in such a short amount of time meant one less burden on the Prime's spark. He could focus his concern on Cybertron, Metroplex, and slagged human cities.

Then Rodimus held Daniel, who cried for the devastated forest that had been their playground. He realized that he, though younger than his human friend, was coded with a completely different time perspective. Danny would not live to see the valley fully renewed, not unless the Autobots found ways to rebuild him when his systems failed.

16. Beginning

Sometimes, Hot Rod wished he'd onlined as a child, like Daniel. He was in such awe of his cadre; he could not process sharing his insecurities as his young-yet-older friend did. It felt good to comfort Daniel like he yearned to be: to listen, not chide, and encourage him to simply be a kid without the hurry to grow up (into an Autobot, of course).

Then came the day Kup pulled Hot Rod aside and held him. "Slagging cadre's forgotten what it's like to be new," Kup confessed. Hot Rod couldn't cry like Danny, but it was everything he needed.

17. Change (Crack and tentacles)

"Well, those are certainly... different," Optimus said cautiously. The tips of the new prehensile cables the Matrix had seen fit to bestow upon Rodimus twitched their agreement from where they were wrapped firmly around... pretty much everything Optimus had available to wrap. "Maybe you should keep the Matrix a bit longer."

"Uh uh, no way," Rodimus said, pulling the artifact from his chest for the metacycle handover. "Partners in everything."

"The...err...tentacles could indicate some sort of Quintesson involvement," Optimus protested weakly, shivering in pleasure as a smaller cable slipped under his chest plating.

"Only feature on them I ever liked."

18. Human (human reformat)

"So, am I even human anymore?" Danny asked, examining his bright shiny new metal skin.

"Uh...I don't know?" Rodimus answered sheepishly, still shaken by the Matrix's preemptive, but welcome action. "Do you feel human?"

Daniel laughed, still the same bright sound that had made Hot Rod's spark surge with warm affection from the very beginning. "I never felt human, doofus. Always thought I'd grow up into a bot."

"Then I guess you finally did," Rodimus agreed, pulling his friend close for a snuggle, helm to helm, without needing to worry about crushing him. "You sure you're okay with this?"


19. Love (explaining Prime!polyamory to a teenager)

Daniel blushed as he tried to find words for what he needed to ask.

"Just spill it," Rodimus urged. "You've got your boxers in a twist."

"AreyouandOptimus... thoughthewaswithElitabutnow..."

Rodimus cocked his helm, replaying the teenager's monologue slower like he did with Blurr.

"So... thing about being a Prime," Rodimus began, knowing nothing less than full honestly would satisfy Daniel, "we can merge with lots of different sparks without bonding- something about being bonded with the Matrix. So... while we love intensely, we don't tend to love narrowly."

"This your way of saying you get laid a lot?"

"Pretty much, yeah."

20. End ('Quadrabble')

While both Primes seemed destined for survival, Rodimus knew the elder Prime had been weary for many megavorns. Optimus was weary before extinguishing the first time. Yet, the elder Prime persisted, and together with their various Lord High Protectors, led their kind into peace and defended them in yet another war (thankfully not against their own). That brief, but vicious fight for existence had finally eased the last of the tensions between the former factions.

Then one orn Rodimus stumbled as the Matrix honed in on the Prime resonance of a newsparked femme he had just onlined in Vector Sigma's temple. He hardly heard her innocent greeting.

He knew what, or rather who, Optimus was waiting for.

"Not yet," he later pleaded with the weary elder. "Don't make her face this so young."

"I never intended for you to do so," Optimus explained, shame and regret clouding his field. "Ultra Magnus was to hold it for you until you were ready. I am sorry you never got to be young."

"But she will, right? Promise me," Rodimus pressed. He felt cruel for insisting, but a double primacy had been so vital to Cybertron's continued renewal and peace that it had been enshrined into law. Lord High Protector Starscream had insisted on that legislation before he, too, finally 'gave up the ghost' as they said and passed the mantle on. One Prime worked within the Senate, one watched from outside, connected with the people, the gadfly so that corruption would not take hold.

They formed an executive triumvirate with the Lord High Protector while alternating their own roles. The Primes shared the Matrix, each taking it for a metacycle at a time, so that the new wisdom that filled it was varied. They made certain to interact closely with the widest variety of their kind, as well as the various frametypes of ExoHumans and other species who shared their thriving world.

"I promise, if fate allows..." Optimus began.

"You are your fate! Frag fate! She gets to be a kid, promise!"

"Rodimus," Optimus held up his slightly grey hand.

The younger Prime, no longer so young, actually growled.

"Rodimus," Optimus continued, smiling and pulling him close, as always reveling in the fire and passion of the other's field. "I promise. I was planning on retiring, doing a bit of traveling, perhaps reformat as a motorhome, but what's another vorn or two?"