Continuity: G1
Rating: PG13/T
Characters: Ratchet x Sideswipe x Sunstreaker

Warnings: Cannon character death, for which I profusely apologise for, my heart is breaking. Mild descriptions of war. A spiritual experience or, all in his helm!

A/N: Inspired by LiveJournal's twins_x_ratch community Wrench of Inspiration 18 Song prompt - Burn it Down by Linkin Park

There is only a tiny bit of dialogue to be found here, there were more snippets of conversations but they really did not fit so this is just a tale of their tragic love story (in my mind anyway). After listening to this song on a constant loop, I hope that the story works with it.

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

The cycle repeated,
as explosions broke in the sky.
All that I needed,
was the one thing I couldn't find.
And you were there at the turn,
waiting to let me know

A great arc of energy sliced through the black skies that shrouded the metallic planet before crashing into its target, any target. So long as the illuminated power of destruction destroyed, that was all that mattered. Debris spewed forth, smashing, scraping, distorting. Molten metal disfigured anything in its path. Further arcs of the same powerful energy followed in the wake of the first, lighting up skies that were otherwise forever dark. Missiles bombarded elegant buildings, destroying lives. Mechs of all sizes, colours, designs ran from the killer showers but with no warning of the attack, their escape was futile.

The war had begun. The never ending toil of death and destruction had been born. Cybertron would be forever changed. Life would never be the same.

Ratchet was tired. Sick and tired of the same old slag. The Decepticons would attack and any mechs, who had not been maimed or killed, were repaired by him just to be sent back into battle. For millions of stellar-cycles the routine repeated itself, over and over again. The medic remembered every mech that ever crossed the threshold to his med bay, whether it was in the towers of Iacon City or out in the battle field. Every designation, every injury was recorded, archived, a memory.

New memories were what the Autobot CMO craved, ones that was not shrouded by death or destruction. But there was no end to this war in sight. No reprieve. No rest. Only turmoil. Endless devastation.

Then suddenly that changed, although it was not really so sudden. At first it was nothing new, just routine, the same old slag.

Ratchets first encounter with these two mechs, the ones who would eventually drive him to utter distraction, was nothing unusual. He regularly found new Autobots on his med berths and although he always made sure he knew who they were, memorised all that he could about them, he treated all the same. Assess, treat and clear for battle before sending his patients fleeing with a lecture.

These two were no different to any others with the exception that they always arrived together. Ratchet learnt of their sparking during their medical assessment when they first joined the Autobots. Twins. A split spark. Something that should not be. His interest in them had been piqued but this war allowed no time for anything other than battle.

As the millennia wore on, the Cybertronian population dwindled. They had long lost the technology to create life, the sparking labs long destroyed and scientists turned warriors, terminating instead of creating. As a result, Ratchet noticed the same soldiers coming through his med bay on a more regular basis.

Over time, the twins started to strike a chord in his processor and they secretly observed them when they arrived, as always, they were together and seemingly more regularly than the other mechs he treated. One was always sullen, distant, the other, always a smart retort, a suspicious looking grin. Eventually, a time came when the medic expected them to walk, or be carried, through his med bay doors and if after a battle they did not arrive, he always assumed the worst, yet the moment their presence was known his circuits would buzz with his ire at them.

The battlefield changed but the fight was the same. Thwart or be thwarted, but now, they had to protect this organic world they found themselves stranded on as it became embroiled in their quarrel. Still the medic played his role, assessing, treating and clearing mechs for battle, only now, mechs became friends, soldiers became family. They had nobody else, the only other of their kin here were Pit bent on destroying them.

Despite all of this, the Autobots found time on their servos. Megatron's efforts were not only too maniacal, too desperate to succeed; the battle on Earth was not constant. Even the Decepticons felt the strain of the lack of numbers, needing time to recuperate after each attack, each retreat.

It was during the quiet times that Ratchet noticed how much he ached and he assumed that the millennia's had caught up with him. He was slightly older than their Prime but by no means the oldest aboard the fallen Ark. Millennia! How had that time come to pass? He had some distant memory of before the war. Peace, happiness, he had also experienced love, which was more than some of his comrades had ever had the chance to experience, so it was little wonder that relationships amongst the crew blossomed. He, however, thought himself beyond any of that. Love, what need did he have for love now!

The ache in his frame would not leave him. He even asked Wheeljack to check him over, to the Engineers surprise, and when the scans reported all was clear, Ratchet concluded that it was just age, plain and simple. That was until the shrapnel in his side that were the twins, ended up in his med bay, again. Slagged to the pit, again!

This time they had taken a pretty nasty hit whilst shielding the medic out in the field. He had been called into the heart of the battle after Jazz had been injured, requiring immediate attention. Ratchet had just finished doing what he did best when the Decepticon Seekers flew by, deciding to take a shot at the medic who played a major role in stopping their attempts to annihilate this planet. He was, after all, responsible for putting mechs back together again in order to defend what they sought.

The twins had, without hesitation, thrown themselves over their temporary ward, absorbing most of what the Seeker trine threw at the small group however, with all three winged mechs assaulting them Ratchet had still been struck. It was not much; just minor damage to his plating, nothing that prevented him from tearing strips off the two them when Skyfire returned them to the Ark.

It was after he had finished repairing the twins, and as he verbally berated Sunstreaker, that Ratchet noticed the look in his optics, a look that at first he could not quite place. On initial glance he thought it was the golden front liners usual guise of annoyance, his customary sullen air, but there was more to it. The same could be said for his crimson counterpart. For once there were no barbed comments from Sunstreaker, no mischievous remarks from Sideswipe, just a silent apology. An apology for not protecting him, for failing him and allowing him to be injured.

Ratchet's rant slowly died in his vocaliser as Sunstreaker raised his battered but repaired frame from the berth, and as he did, he pulled the medic into his strong arms, wrapping him in an embrace. Protecting him in the way he felt he should have, they should have. Before the medic knew what was happening, another pair of arms slid over his frame from behind him, equally protective.

Sunstreaker rested his fore-helm to Ratchet's own whilst Sideswipe placed his against the back of the stark white helm plating. Ratchet held his frame tensely, unsure what to do but as the duo held him tightly between them, he felt the ache in his frame drain away and for the first time during this war, he relaxed. For the first time in several million stellar-cycles, he felt soothed and he finally realised what had plagued him.

Love! He had fallen in love with the Autobots very own harbingers of doom. How the Pit it had happened he was not sure but he could not deny it and once he admitted to it, in an instant it all became clear. His expectation of seeing them come through the med bay doors, which was a given considering the way they threw themselves into battle, but it was underlined by his desire to see them, to be near them.

What also became clear in this moment was the behaviour of the twins towards him. Sunstreaker's air of indifference for him was not indifference at all. Sideswipe's desire to frag off the medic with his endless stream of misdemeanours, was not actually a desire to rankle him. Recalling every battle where he ended up in the field, the twins were never very far away, no doubt conversing with each other in their silent and special away, working together like a well-oiled piece of machinery, protecting him.

In their own way they had tried to tell him, time and time again how they felt. They had sought his attention and now they had it.

Comfort like this from the twins was…surprising. When they fought they were cold, calculating and brutal. Small moves speaking volumes between them, always ready to cut their foe down, living by their code, deactivate or be deactivated. Now their actions amplified their feelings in a way that Ratchet could never have imagined, would never have dared to conceive. Everything he thought he knew about the two was turned on its axis and he realised he did not know these two at all.

We're building it up
To break it back down
We're building it up
To burn it down
We can't wait
To burn it to the ground

After that moment in the med bay, Ratchet was constantly shadowed by the twins. Sideswipe always filling in the silence, Sunstreaker watching, studying him.

The medic was thrilled and unnerved at the same time but he did not question their affection and the relationship between the three grew quickly. At first, they conducted themselves in privacy, wanting to enjoy each other before the rest of the Ark's crew got wind of their romance. It would only be a matter of time before the rest of the Ark would catch onto what was going on, before others noticed the meaningful glances, the small touches as they passed by each other.

It was Jazz that clocked on first, his ability to read a mech never ceased to amaze those whose secrets would be revealed and after that, the news spread like a wild fire through the crew, which was not that difficult given the numbers aboard the stranded vessel. Some just gave spark felt congratulations for the new relationship, others asking if he was just plain glitched, jealousy that the medic should succeed where they failed, rippling off their frames.

As the medic and the twins became a common sight, the Decepticons had stepped up their attack on the planet. They had been quiet for far too long so it had been inevitable something was due to break, peace evading the Cybertronian race yet again.

Before long the old routine reared its ugly helm. Planning. Fighting. Injuries. Ratchet once again repairing mechs in order to send them back out into brawl again. The twins were confined to his med berths repeatedly and not in the way Ratchet wanted. As time wore on, the medic found it difficult to separate his love for them with his medical duties towards them. He still verbally harangued them when they came in, dripping in energon, parts missing or Primus forbid, in stasis, it was his way but he was beginning to feel the strain.

Thoughts of them not being right for each other flitted in and out of his processor. They were so dissimilar that in reality, it could not possibly work between them. Ratchet healed and the twins destroyed. But was this difference what also made it so right, made them so right for one other.

Eventually other thoughts made themselves known, thoughts more worrying that the first. What if next time he could not heal them? What if next time he failed them?

As the war for dominance between the Autobots and the Decepticons erupted with fervour, it started echoing within small parts of the relationship between Ratchet, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, faint cracks beginning to appear. Undeniably their love was a strong as ever but occasionally they found themselves in a vicious battle of words. Ratchet accusing the twins of not caring how he felt at seeing them hurt and the twins, accusing Ratchet of being over bearing.

At these times all three mechs hated themselves and although in the heat of the moment they meant every word they vocalised, they spent longer repenting, easily forgiving each other but not so easily forgiving themselves.

Eventually, after each new explosion, they would be too afraid to be close to one another. The twins silently grieving whilst the fear of rejection coursed through their frames and Ratchet, his own grief outwardly projecting, hiding his own terrifying thoughts of losing them. All three secretly shared the sentiment that they were constantly building something between them just to break it down and each time the foundations of their love crashed around them, it hurt a little more, yet they could not stop it. A shared belief was that had circumstances been different, if they were not at war, then things would not be as they were. Then they would recognise that had it not been for the war, the chance of their meeting was highly improbable. They had moved in different circles, within different castes.

It was the war that had thrown them together and now it was the war that threatened to tear them apart.

The colors conflicted
As the flames climbed into the clouds
I wanted to fix this,
But couldn't stop from tearing it down
And you were there at the turn
caught in the burning glow
And I was there at the turn
Waiting to let you know

The latest battle had been vicious, Megatron and his forces determined to succeed in their assault. Autobots were quickly felled and Ratchet along with First Aid ran from location to location, tending to mechs where they lay, forever busy but Ratchet was acutely aware that he had not seen his lovers for a while. Usually, when he worked in the thick of it, they would be glued to his side, a single look from them being enough to send any threatening Decepticon running in the opposite direction.

On their arrival to the latest scene of destruction, the front liners had led the way into the fray, as was their duty, ready to take the brunt of any surprise attack so that their comrades could safely reach the epicentre of the fight. He had heard their spinal-strut shuddering battle cry several times as they struck down their enemy, however Ratchet realised it had been a while since he had heard anything of them. Neither had he seen flashes of their bright plating as they weaved between the ground mechs, fighting to stand by his side.

As the thought ghosted through his processor he heard a cry that started from the opposite end of the battle field and it trickled from Autobot to Autobot.

"Mechs down!"

It was a cry that no matter how many times he heard it, it always chilled his energon but this time, something was not sitting right in his tanks and even before his internal comm. activated, he knew. Energon that was already running cold turned icy in his lines. No, he thought. This can't be.

Ratchets surroundings swirled as his optics became unfocused. His tanks roiled as indistinct thoughts crashed around in his processor and he recalled the moment when the twins told him they loved him, how his world had become just as hazy then, colours within his processor mingling before exploding in euphoria. It was no different now, except the colours were dark. Colours that spoke of death and destruction, underlined the pain that seared through Ratchet's spark.

The scene that met him stopped his spark. Sunstreakers frame was no longer bright, the greyness that warned of his oncoming death evident. Sideswipe was not faring much better, injuries not as severe but his spark taking all the punishment that Sunstreakers did. Dropping to his knee-joints, Ratchet looked over his golden lover before shifting his gaze to his crimson one. This simply could not be it! This could not be the end!

The battle continued to rage around them, raising anger inside the medic like none he had felt before. How dare they still go on! How dare the world still turn when the most beautiful things in it, were dying. He wanted to scream at them all, Decepticons and Autobots alike, scream until his vocaliser shorted out and then when not even static would spew forth, he would lie down beside them and will his spark to leave with theirs.

As he wallowed in his grief, he caught sight of movement, a glimmer of hope. Sideswipe had come on-line but in an instant, Ratchet's spark shattered into infinitesimal pieces, never to be whole again. The sorrow in the faltering optics that looked back at him was undeniable. The silent apology they had born all that time ago was etched deeply into the fading orbs of light.

Whilst explosions rocked the ground around them, smoke spiralled skyward, casting darkness over the battle field, shrouding the three lovers, breathing its own kind of death over them. Ratchet pulled the greying frames into his crushing embrace in an attempt to protect them but as each new crack of weapon fire echoed through the thick smoky fog, a little more of the once rambunctious lives in his arms, seeped away and all the while, his pale lips moved, quietly chanting.

"I love you! I love you! I love you…"

Each declaration of love meant to counteract everything that was bad.

A faded spark beat...

"I love you!"

Past words spoken out of hurt…

"I love you!"

A life force stolen…reclaimed by the Well of Sparks…

"I love you!"

Sideswipe's optics momentarily brightened as Sunstreakers own flickered into a dark kind of life, each silently acknowledging the declaration of love from their lover before their frames shuddered as they exhaled their final vent, and as their light went out, optics became dark forever more.

We're building it up
To break it back down
We're building it up
To burn it down
We can't wait
To burn it to the ground

Memories were all that were left of the lifeless twins that lay on the med berth, frames lying next to each other, echoing how they lived their lives, side by side. A red servo slowly traced the plating of each in turn. Sleek, smooth plating, once warm and radiating life was now cold to the touch, bright colours no more, however, not even the single shade of grey could detract from the beauty of these mechs.

Memories slid unsolicited from the medic's memory banks. The good with the bad. the joy with the anger. Memories full of love, full of hurt.

Their time together, so brief in the long span of their lives, had been a recurring cycle of events and now they endlessly looped in Ratchets processor. All that they had shared together, then later, the fights, the making up and as always, their irrefutable love. Until the next battle, their next fight. They had become one endless loop, one that Ratchet would gladly live over and over, if it meant he had his lovers in his arms again.

But it was gone. They were gone. The twins had gone out in a blaze and Ratchet was left with the dying embers.

You told me yes, you held me high
And I believed when you told that lie
I played that soldier, you played king
And struck me down when I kissed that ring
You lost that right, to hold that crown
I built you up but you let me down
So when you fall, I'll take my turn
And fan the flames as your blazes burn

The promise they made had been broken. Their vow to protect him, to be there for him was cast aside and the bitterness that burned through Ratchet, threatened to suffocate his senses. He had believed them, believed them with his entire spark. He had taken what they told him and cherished the words. Even during the darker days of their love affair, he clung to what they had promised.

But it was all a lie, a ruse just to capture his spark. It had to be otherwise they would still be here, still be stood by his side. His disappointment in them far outweighed his grief, outweighed his love for them. They had placed him on a pedestal, cocooning him from all that could harm him and then when he felt could no longer function without them in his life, they left him, floundering against the elements of loneliness, out in the cold.

He realised that he too had placed the twins on this same pedestal and even as their relationship became fractured, he loved them just as ferociously as they fought. He had felt that their love for him was pure, that they had never loved in that way before but now it was tainted with their untruths, their abandonment of him.

Ratchets spark refused to forgive and it tarnished his memories, turning them both into what he now perceived them to be and when he thought his spark could not break again, it did.

And you were there at the turn
Waiting to let me know
We're building it up
To break it back down
We're building it up
To burn it down
We can't wait
To burn it to the ground

Their images materialised in his helm, vibrant blurs of crimson and gold, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, silently observing him. Ratchet had long given up deciphering reality from fantasy as it was the latter he yearned for. In his visions their optics bore into his own, still full of that silent apology, the one they shared with him the day they revealed themselves to him, baring their sparks.

Memories still taunted him with what was, but now they mocked him with what would never be, leaving Ratchet with the knowledge that he had a cold and empty life ahead of him. Some solar-cycles the medic would force himself concentrate on everything that was good about the relationship between him and the twins, as if trying to salvage what they once had. The joy they brought each other, security and love. Then other solar-cycles he was plagued by the bitter words that had they spat at each other, the venom that propelled the vocalisation, contradicted their love for one another.

It had been fear that had driven Ratchet to distraction, fear of losing the twins and now he had. Now they were gone.

Sideswipe. Sunstreaker. His beautiful lovers.

More than a servo full for any mech but he had welcomed their challenge to love them, and in return, he basked in their love for him. Affection they only ever shared with the medic, their medic. The feared front liners, the hardened fighters, had a soft spark inside them and they had chosen him to share it with, trusting him with it, with their lives. Now he was sullying that trust, tainting it by warping his memories of them, destroying everything they had been.

Eventually, his disappointment turned to grief again, strangling him, tying him down.

When you fall, I'll take my turn
and fan the flames as your blazes burn

Ratchet had given up, he had lost the will to go on but something was thwarting his descent into oblivion and now the twins stood in front of him, their frames glowing brighter than they had ever glowed before as an ethereal light bathed them, and him, in its beauty.

A tranquil silence settled all around him before the words we love you, we will always protect you ghosted over his audials and he gasped. "I love you too." he whispered before he found himself shrouded in darkness again.

And then he knew, all that they had shared would carry him through to the end of his days and they were there, looking over him, protecting him just as they had promised.

They had been killers, they had left death in their wake but their love was as pure as he believed it to be and it was only meant for him. The twins had lived their lives in a blaze of crimson and golden fire, never wavering at whatever life threw at them, and only Ratchet could fan the burning embers he had been left with into a blaze. He would never let them be forgotten, not ever.

Sideswipe. Sunstreaker. The very force behind life itself. Ratchet's reason for being.


A/N: Again, I am so, so sorry for killing of the twins. I truly am evil!