A/N: Welcome to the next chapter of Cuddles! Hope y'all enjoy! Three chapters in one day whoop whoop that's a first for me.


Knock Out worked.

The vain medic worked his limbs sore, his optics dry, and his fingers were so used to transforming into the various medical tools that he needed that he could practically do it during recharge. For the past few orns he had worked until he dropped on the medical bay floor of exhaustion. The moment he came back online, though, he was lying on one of the medbay berths. At first he thought it had been Breakdown who carried him here, but Breakdown was still in stasis lock – it turned out that the one, or ones, that had carried him to the berth had been Megatron and Starscream. Currently, the Seeker and the Decepticon Leader were sitting, slumped, side-by-side on chairs in the medbay as they curled up against one another, deep in their respective recharge cycles.

Knock Out almost smiled. He knew that Megatron and Starscream had a…thing going on between them for some time now. All the Eradicons and Vehicons gossiped of it. Perhaps that was why Megatron could not bear to hit or throw the Seeker out of the ship whenever a raid or a plan failed – he only yelled at him. Starscream, on the other servo, had stopped his ornly speeches against Megatron and his attempts to take over as Decepticon leader. They were all very noticeable changes within the faction. Not to mention the decreasing number of attacks on the Autobots.

Right now, Knock Out could not care less about his finish, or how he looked. He hadn't even touched his prized paint supply since he had learned of Breakdown's apparent death. He hadn't been near the buffing equipment at all. He hadn't even boasted about his appearance to the Vehicons or Eradicons who hobbled into the medical bay after a battle. Worse, he had not been taking his Energon regularly. Only with the help of Soundwave and Starscream, who had taken it upon themselves to check on him regularly, three times a day in fact, did the medic manage to get the necessary amount of Energon into his worn and weary systems.

Right now, the most vain mech in the entire Decepticon faction was sitting on the chair that faced Breakdown's berth, watching the various machines connected to the lifeless body of the mech feed their nutrients and chemicals into Breakdown's Energon stream. He was finally – at peace. Everything that could be done for Breakdown had been done, and Breakdown couldn't deactivate even if he wanted to; the machines prevented his spark from fading. Breakdown was a very young mech – only seven million human years old, just slightly younger than Knock Out himself. He did not deserve an early deactivation.

The fact that the whole war with the Autobots was over made him even more relaxed. Both sides had agreed to a peace treaty – they would no longer fight, for there was nothing else left to fight for. No point in winning a war any longer. Megatron had finally regained his senses and had stopped acting like a crazed slagger – his decision to quit the Dark Energon addiction cold turkey had indeed done him, if not the entire faction, good. Energon supplies were no longer a worry, since the Autobots had found a way to harvest Energon without damaging the planet they were living on, and Prime had agreed to share the secret with the Decepticons once the peace treaty had been arranged and the details had fallen into place.

Things were finally looking up.

With the war over, both factions now shared a common goal – to rebuild Cybertron. They would need to repopulate the entire planet, of course. It was embarrassing to say aloud but they all knew it true. Megatron had taken to encouraging his troops to engage in relationships, hoping that, in time, it would cause sparklings to be created. Cybertronian were already an endangered species, and if they wanted to save their kind, all effort would have to go into procreating. Due to the war, it had been a long time since a Cybertronian had ever heard the cherished pitter-patter of a sparkling's footsteps.

From what Knock Out knew, Megatron had gotten together with Starscream, Skywarp had started courting Thundercracker, and Soundwave and Dreadwing had become fast friends. The Autobots had their own little couples too, he was sure, but he didn't know too much of it.

And him? He was waiting for Breakdown.

Knock Out took time off every orn to just sit by Breakdown's berth in the medbay, talking to his partner, whispering sweet nothings, ranting about Vehicons who never bothered to take care of themselves and ended up with broken extremities while performing minor repairs around the Nemesis, constantly tending to the old warship and upgrading it. He talked about anything and everything. He talked until his vocalizer had nearly gone mute and he had to replace it. He was sure Breakdown could hear him, somewhere, deep down. He could wait. He could wait for as long as possible if it meant Breakdown returning to him.


A groan alerted him that Breakdown was awakening.

"Breakdown!" Knock Out clamored to his side, kneeling at the edge of the berth, resting his helm on his servos, waiting patiently for his beloved to wake up from stasis lock. Breakdown would be so happy when he heard that the damned war was over, and Knock Out vowed that he would ask Breakdown to bond the moment Breakdown had healed sufficiently enough to last for a full interface. He was not going to hold it off any longer. If he did – he was scared that Breakdown would once again be gone, and then Knock Out knew that he would truly regret it. He swore to Primus himself, right there and then, that he would protect Breakdown from anything else that tried to take him away from Knock Out.

"Breakdown?"

Breakdown's optics onlined, the yellow hue weakly establishing itself. The Wrecker seemed too disoriented to do anything for the moment, until Knock Out spoke again.

"Breakdown?"

"Knock Out." The words were weak; the vocalizer crackling from disuse. "Am…I – deactivated?" Breakdown turned his helm towards his partner, optics brightening ever so slightly when he caught sight of Knock Out. A small smile crept across his features, and Knock Out joyfully enveloped Breakdown's left servo in his own. A small drop of cleanser dropped from his optics, and the vain medic did not even bother to wipe them away. He was so happy. He could not remember another time when he had been this happy. Today had to be the happiest day of his lifespan.

"Breakdown, you idiot," Knock Out hissed. "The next time you go running off to assassinate someone, please tell me, because I'm going with you. If you wind up in situations like this again I will personally offline you myself."

Words couldn't express how happy the mech was. Knock Out wept softly, hiding his head in Breakdown's trembling servo. His vents hitched with every breath. His spark sang, calling out to the only mech who was meant for him. The only mech that he loved as much as himself. The only mech, perhaps, that he loved more than himself. Much, much more. The only mech he was certain he could not live without.

"Don't cry," Breakdown's melodious voice whispered to him, and Knock Out practically drank up the sensation of his partner speaking to him after so long. Breakdown's beautiful voice, working again. He'd even managed to get Breakdown's optic fixed. Knock Out stole a long look at his partner's body, memorizing every contour, every scratch, every scar. Every part that would need a good buff – and then, a good paint-over. He could do that when Breakdown was fully healed and was able to walk again. He memorized the exact colour of Breakdown's paintjob – navy blue, with hints of shimmering silver. Knock Out had learned, in this short period of time, to appreciate his partner fully – to appreciate his personality and his physical appearance.

"Knock Out," Breakdown murmured again, touching his partner's chassis with a shaking hand. "Your paint…chipped."

Knock Out almost smiled, but instead, his CPU chose to dispense another waterfall of tears. "Silly mech," he cried into Breakdown's loving touch. "I worked on you for three whole weeks and all you can say is that my paintjob looks horrible. You scared me so fragging much, you know! You were all but deactivated when I found you – you looked like you were about to join Primus any moment then. I hate you. I hate you!" He continued his quiet sobbing, but Breakdown knew Knock Out was just saying those words. He didn't really hate Breakdown. Knock Out could never hate him, and Breakdown knew that.

"I'm sorry," Breakdown murmured, and he lay, one hand pressed to the back of Knock Out's helm as they stayed together in the same position for the next couple hours – a mech so happy he was crying and another mech too weary to be doing anything but offer quiet comfort.


A/N: Please R&R! :)