Title: Quantity And Not So Much Quality
Summary: Come and read 50 stories that focus on the crazy life and relationship of Ratchet, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker
A/N: The idea of writing 50 different drabbles that vary from 200 up to 600 has been something I've wanted to do for a long time now. So, here's the first 10 of 50. Oh, #9 happens straight after the G1 episode Attack of the Autobots.
Thank you to FuziPenguin for being the awesome beta they are.
:- Com. link -:
During the Golden Age, there had existed a tradition for bonded couples to carry engraved rings of gold on their audio horns, chevrons, or even on their wingtips. But then came the war and such sentiments were lost among many other the traditions that no longer had a place in the aggressive conflicts which consumed Cybertron.
The last time Ratchet had seen the old symbols of love had been right before he became the CMO of the Autobot Armed Forces.
He had been searching for survivors from a bombed building. Instead, he had found a fragile, old femme and her equally ancient bonded; both had been adorned with two pairs of glittering metal rings - one for each bent finial. The dulled yellow that had gleamed in the glow of Ratchet's headlights had been the only color left on their grayed frames.
So when the Ark's crew woke up from their four millennia long stasis, Ratchet felt the irony as the Autobots discovered the dominating species of this backwater system, millions and millions of light years away from Cybertron, had come up with an almost identical custom.
They were not heroes.
They were warriors; front-liners, killers and maybe even murderers. Never would they ever be called heroes. Titles like that were for 'bots like Optimus Prime, and maybe even for loyal soldiers such as Bumblebee and Hound. Not for a pair of unstable melee fighters, who had issues with the commanding officers.
Sunstreaker and Sideswipe both knew that, had always known that.
But then they met the ruler of the Iacon Medical Bay, a cantankerous, stubborn, and frighteningly wily 'bot, who was rumored to have the brass bearings to stand pede-to-pede with some of the most dangerous Decepticons to ensure the safety of his patients. They stared with wide optics at the chaos of wounded and dying soldiers surrounding the mech, who marshaled his domain with such authority it made the rest of the commanding chain look like newbies; the CMO, who ordered the Prime to 'park his enormous metal carcass on the berth before he was going to weld it on it'.
It was the moment the twins realized not all heroes were known from their nobility or loyalty.
Cybertronian memory cores were both a gift and a curse to their kind. Nothing short of a complete memory wipe could make them forget what they had once seen. Building multiple fire walls helped but even those could be torn down.
That's why the haunting clip of Sunny falling to his knees with a howl of pain at finding their lover's grey was going to remain seared forever into Sideswipe's processor. No matter how many times Sideswipe would try to delete the memory file, it would always come back.
Always replaying and replaying and replaying…
When it first started, Ratchet attributed it as a sign of good will from one of the crew members. Still, it was a pity that the medic didn't know who to thank for the small etch-work of his old Med. bay back in Iacon that had been left on his desk.
Or that new set of surgical knives, just perfect for cutting open clogged lines.
Or that datapad full of several novels from his favorite author before the war.
The list went on, until Ratchet had had enough. He had sat down with Wheeljack, drinking high-grade - also a gift - and started to grumble about 'mystery gifts' and 'unknown senders', when the engineer had begun to chuckle.
"I fail to see what's so funny about this," Ratchet muttered, unimpressed as he glared at his friend.
Wheeljack leant against the table with his elbow and not for the first time he was glad for the blast mask, since it hid the wide grin he was sporting underneath it. "Oh nothing, just thinking outside the box," Wheeljack told Ratchet, snickering at the glower the medic gave him.
Two days and yet another gift later - a quality wax - Ratchet finally remembered Wheeljack's words and, well, thought outside the box.
Two hours later Sideswipe and Sunstreaker were nowhere to be seen and the twins stayed like that for the rest of the day.
Being the lover of a warrior-frame had its pros and cons.
They were programmed to be aggressive, more volatile than others. It wasn't that unusual for a warrior-frame to change their mood in a split of a nanosec, to turn form a laughing comrade into an energon-thirsty berserker, if the protocols were stimulated correctly. Their chassis' were stronger and thicker with fewer sensors; some of their plating was completely numb so that injuries apart from losing a helm and maybe a limb would not slow them down during a battle. They required more fuel to keep those highly tuned engines and built-in weapons running, burning it a lot faster than the other frame types.
What made them rev also differed from the rest. Some enjoyed physical sparring right before the interface, some liked to dominate their partners and some wanted to be dominated.
Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, built for both strength and speed, liked to chase.
Their alt. modes - both Cybertroanian and Earth-made - were sleek, fast and extremely masculine. As split-spark twins the chasing was even more exhilarating, easily doubling the sensations of need and rush. Once Sideswipe and Sunstreaker's wanted something, those two powerful engines roaring into life, there was no way to escape.
Ratchet could only pray to Primus that this time the twins would give him at least a two breem head start.
The relationship between three very dominant personalities was a bit of a challenge for those involved as well and everybot around the twins and the medic. It became sort of a norm for the Autobots to witness loud arguments, objects being thrown around and icy silences that were extremely awkward for anybot that had the bad luck to be stuck between the three mechs.
But there were moments of calmness between these storms, where gentle touches were exchanged and softly murmured words of love and devotion were shared. During those moments they were like any normal couple - or trine -, smiling to each other as they sat in the rec. room or going for a drive during their rare times of shared off-duty.
Yes, the relationship between two proud front liners and a weathered medic was far from stable; but more like a force of nature with no way to escape. The only thing they could do was to enjoy the every single moment of the ride.
Ratchet stomped through the halls of the Iacon base, glaring at the openly staring Autobots, some of them getting a glitch in their jaw-components. Fine by him, Ratchet thought darkly. He had a fresh batch of trainees that needed some practice in screwing jaws back together.
The commanding officers hadn't been any better. Optimus had blinked before clearing his vocalizer with a static-y cough, trying to look everywhere else than the CMO's back. Ironhide, the slagger, had smirked lewdly and commented 'likin' the upgrade, why not make it permanent?'. Ratchet had silenced the red afthelm with a wrench. Even Prowl had been affected, the stoic SIC's lower jaw hanging loose, while Jazz had just about laughed himself into stasis. The saboteur had managed to dodge the wrench aimed at him, though, the little glitch faster than Ironhide.
The medic came to a halt as yet another strong electric current passed across his sensory net. Since the information feed was now approximately 4.5 times greater than normally, Ratchet was alerted of the presence of two particular glitches long before they even entered his visual feed. Pit, now he knew first servo why mechs like Prowl and Bluestreak were near impossible to sneak up on.
Biting back a curse, Ratchet quickly used the CMO's override codes in order to search for the closest empty room. Despite his frown, the white and red doorwings now gracing Ratchet's back struts fluttered in a wordless invitation as the pair approached him fast. Luckily, the door next to him slid open to reveal a vacant meeting room.
The two mechs hastened their steps, following the medic eagerly inside. Ratchet knew it was futile to run, especially when the strong frames surrounded him.
"Ratchet," Sunstreaker's deep voice purred right into the white audio as a servo ghosted over the left doorwing. The stimulation of multiple sensors sent waves of pleasure to Ratchet's processor and interface systems as the right doorwing was busy registering the deep rumble from Sideswipe's engine.
Later, Ratchet couldn't find in himself to complain about the doorwings. Not when the twins had made it their personal mission to make their lover overload as many times as possible with only teasing touches to the sensitive panels. Perhaps he should reconsider his decision of making this addition only temporary.
The agonized cry that tore itself out of Sunstreaker's vocalizer was not something the Autobots were used to hearing from the proud front-liner. And that haunted wail kept rising higher and higher, freezing the very energon in their lines.
Most of the wounded 'bots and the medical team trying to patch them now stood rooted on their pedes, unable to tear their gazes away from the yellow warrior. The sight of Sunstreaker breaking apart right in front of their optics gained their undivided attention. The handsome faceplates were twisted in a mix of denial and grief; one of the optics had been crushed by a Decepticon but the other held such anguish that it was almost unbearable to witness.
They had seen Sunstreaker enraged, had witnessed him and his brother tear Decepticons' apart with sinister glee and they all knew just how vain the front-liner was.
Yet, there he was, the normally pristine and clean armor riddled with scorch marks and dents, the blemished plating shaking violently in the yellow twin's distress. The metallic rattle only made the scene even more spark-breaking as the crying Sunstreaker clung to the empty shell of a mech that had been a key part of Sunstreaker's existence, someone his and Sideswipe's most basic coding had latched onto.
And Sunstreaker just. Kept. Screaming.
Before the war, before the color of one's optics became as important as the faction symbol, blue had been a minority. A color viewed as plain and simple next to options like green, violet, yellow, red, orange and white. Prowl had had yellow optics, Jazz's visor had once been pale violet and even fewer were aware that Megatron had onlined with Matrix-blue optics.
Ratchet had carried red optics, the exact same hue the Decepticons had chosen as their symbol. There weren't many Autobots, who knew that, and those who did had secrets of their own.
When the war erupted, the change of optical lenses had been one upgrade among the other numerous others Ratchet had undergone to stay alive.
He had thought he had gotten used to them.
But then they watched the security tapes of the crew under the effects of Megatron's personality destabilizer device. The images of the white CMO with glowing crimson optics made Ratchet halt, his spark swelling with emotion. He felt nostalgic, proud, even as he watched himself cause destruction, the red gaze far more befitting to his colors than the simple blue even after so many millions of vorns.
Unfortunately, this thought was not shared among the rest of the crew. The disgusted expressions, muttered curses, and openly shouted disdains for sharing the Decepticons' optic color even for such a short time started not long after the tape started. There were a few Autobots, who had stayed silent, though. Shifting hesitantly on their pedes, their identical blue optics powered down to hide the pain as the mocking continued.
And Ratchet was one of them, mourning that something that had made him, him was now and would forever be branded as nothing but a sign of evil.
"Well, hello there, sweetspark. Haven't seen you here before." The deep purr drew his attention to the tall mech, who sidled to stand next to him, leaning carelessly against the counter.
Turning his helm a fraction to examine the newcomer, the half-lidded optics took a sweeping look of the stranger from helm to pedes. The mech in question flared his red armor just right for the bar's lights to catch the glossy plates. It was impossible not to miss the strong lines of the well maintained frame, or the upward tilt of a lip plate that gave the handsome faceplates a roguish look.
The slagger knew how to pose, that was sure.
"Not interested," he said, almost laughing as the suave mask slipped away for a nanoklik, revealing that the other was not used to being dismissed.
"Oh, c'mon now, don't be like that," the red mech purred, clearly taking this as a challenge, "you don't know what you might miss."
"I doubt it."
The stranger leaned closer, exhales ghosting over one audio. "There's no harm finding out, right?" he murmured, leaning back to order two cubes of expensive high-grade. The glowing drinks were placed before them, the bartender breaking into a knowing grin, when he saw just who the hot shot was trying to flirt with.
The red mech offered one of the cubes with a flamboyant little bow. "The designation's Sideswipe, sweetpark. And you are…?"
The sly grin that was flashed in Sideswipe's direction earned a rather nice rumble from the red mech, the sound lost under the booming music of the bar. The vibrations didn't go unnoticed, though, and the dimmed optics brightened in a challenging manner. Sideswipe watched as the mech took the offered cube, raising it to the grey lip plates.
What happened next, though, surprised Sideswipe but not the bartender, who wasn't even trying to hide his amusement.
The cube was tipped and the potent high-grade was drowned in one smooth swallow. The mech calmly placed the empty container on the counter, turning towards the now open-mouthed Sideswipe. The mischievous smile widened into a feral grin.
"Think you can keep up with me, sweetspark?" he taunted huskily, red finger components trailing over Sideswipe's servo, curling into the armor seams.
The red mech's engine stuttered in surprise, when a piece of circuitry was skillfully tweaked, the sudden pleasure chasing away the shock. With a smirk, he watched Sideswipe to hastily finish his own cube, ordering two more to the bartender's glee.
::Wake the frag up!:: Sunstreaker growled through their bond, pushing the red twin from his over-charged recharge into the processor ache of the century.
::Too early:: Sideswipe whined as he burrowed into the berth.
::Shut up! I wasn't the one who got himself drunk last cycle just to chase some aft::
::In my defense, it was a fine piece of aft, my dear Sunshine:: Sideswipe moaned as he rolled on to his back struts, processors rebooting themselves. ::Next time, you are coming with me::
There was a wordless growl from his brother's side of the bond, hate towards the pet designation. ::What makes you think he's going to be there again?:: Sunstreaker asked.
Sideswipe's memory core offered the answer, a flash of smirking lip plates underneath a dark chevron, whispering the designation - "Ratchet" - to Sideswipe's audio horn, before those same lip plates proceeded to devour his.
::Call it a hunch::
Although all of these ficlets are located in G1-universe, there are some hints to the other TF-worlds out there. In this batch of ficlets you could find most of them in #9 Red, where Prowl, Jazz and Megatron's optic colors are same as their Bayverse and TF: Prime counterparts. I thought it would be a nice detail and also my salute to the TF multiverse. :)