Megatron had just settled down on his berth, wrapping his exposed spike in his fist, when he felt something pulse within his spark.

At first, he thought it was nothing more than his own anticipation, a bright little lightning-burst of static as he took himself in hand.

Starscream hadlooked particularly fetching today, freshly polished after their last little session of discipline, his wings held high again at last and so pristine they gleamed.

Megatron hadn't had time to make proper use of him. Or even to spend a short bit of time toying with those beautiful wings, the dents smoothed out of them and the sensors lacing their surface recalibrated for flight - and acutely responsive to any touch, however forceful or subtle.

Megatron's free claw curled as though wrapping around the thin metal. His spike twitched in his hand as he imagined Starscream's high, tremulous cry, his indignation at Megatron grabbing him fading into a moan.

Unfortunately, it was too late tonight for such games. Starscream was probably in recharge by now.

Megatron had far too little time for fun lately. Shockwave's cloning project was fully underway now, and tending to those plans required the warlord's full attention. Breeding an army of Predacons was dangerous. No matter what Shockwave might say about having full control over the beasts.

Which meant that far too often, Megatron had found himself forced to resort to this. A poor substitute for using Starscream, especially now that he looked like that again, but -

His spark wheeled in his chest again, contracting tightly and then expanding outward, filling its compartment in his chest with sudden heat - and a blast of bracing cold immediately after, shocking the sensors awake.

Only one thing felt like that.

Dark energon?

But the Chaos Bringer is asleep, sent back into his eons of slumber.

The barbs curling outward from his shoulders twitched, clicking as they moved. A crackle of charge sped through them, a warm effervescence that fed the desire sparkling through his circuits.

His hand moved over his length even as his optics irised wide, scanning the room with the instinctive vigilance of a mech built for war.

Unicron is a god of death. Why should he want - ?

Megatron's hips bucked hard, obeying no will of his own. The sensors in his spike flared brightly as the movement drove his spike into his hand again, the sudden burst of heat pooling in his -

- valve?

His valve wasn't even exposed, its cover still fitted tight over the opening - as it had been for long centuries. He'd used it once or twice in his youth, eager to know everything about his own frame and experience every pleasure it could offer him.

And just as many sensors lined his valve as any other Cybertronian's. He certainly hadn't found the experience unpleasant. But it paled in comparison to using his spike, to filling the hot, tight valve of a lithe little mech like Starscream, driving himself to the hilt inside his partner's body and touching every secret place -

Then why did he feel so empty right now that he ached?

Unicron dreamed, sometimes. Even demons did that. And sometimes Megatron could sense it when he did, faint whispers hissing through his audios, shimmering forms appearing in his vision. Sometimes he could even sense Unicron's thoughts, snatches of amorphous anger seething through him, feeding his own desires for vengeance with a much older, darker rage.

Starscream had used dark energon too, wanting the power the Chaos Bringer's blood had given Megatron. But Starscream had seemed remarkably unaffected, developing none of the powers that Megatron had. Apparently demons knew who made better minions.

Or who they thought would make better minions.

Megatron grinned, showing fangs, and moved his claws over the head of his spike, collecting the fluid there and spreading it over his length with a low, rumbling murmur of pleasure.

Remembering Unicron's fall felt good. Megatron had destroyed several of his avatars single-handed, and although he had not been the one to finally seal Unicron in slumber, few things in Megatron's long life had been as satisfying as watching titans fall by his hand.

He shuttered his optics and tightened his grip, remembering Unicron's screams of frustration and agony. With the memory came a fresh flare of pleasure through Megatron's systems - the pleasure of power itself. The icy crackle of dark energon came after, its stinging cold taunting him.

Or mocking the one he had vanquished.

He growled, throwing back his head as he quickened his pace again, thinking of the vanquished Unicron and the burnished Starscream, the thunder of the demon's avatars falling lifelessly apart and the sway of his favorite Seeker's slender hips.

His spark contracted again. Lubricant leaked from under the seam of his valve cover. It reminded him of nothing so much as Starscream, obscenely ready for him, the liquid painting his thighs with shimmering silver.

Then he felt his valve spasm, contracting around nothing. A hot thrill of charge gathering at its most sensitive external node, as if someone were touching it, slender fingers thrilling rapidly over it, followed by the echo of the dark energon's chilling flame -

You aren't Unicron at all, are you?

Megatron froze, waiting for another spark-pulse. It was slow in coming. When it came again he gritted his fangs against it, fighting the urge to open his valve cover and slam his own fingers in - and the yen to thrust hard into his now-still hand.

When it faded again something lingered, a teasing curl of pleasure tracing its way over his frame. Again, he had the sensation that someone was touching him, slender fingers skipping over his plating, lingering on sensitive seams.

His shoulder barbs rippled again, hot with the same sensation.

He'd been touched there before many times. The barbs were perfect for an adventurous partner to grip, tempting fate by caressing parts of Megatron that could rend their hands if they weren't careful.

Megatron's cooling fans roared. That was a pleasant game.

And they were reasonably sensitive. He didn't have the lattice of flight sensors mechs like Starscream had. But when he transformed, the barbs did form part of his -


"Hello, Starscream," he murmured, his frame shuddering hard as a new wave of heat crackled through it. "Apparently the dark energon did do something to your spark after all."

His hand tightened hard around his spike, his grip rough, his movements rapid. Static fuzzed through his optical feed again at the sudden, intense friction.

A moment later, his valve clenched hard. Its cover slammed aside, suddenly and forcefully, through no will of his own. He heard himself gasp, a rumbling echo of the high-pitched moan he could almost hear.

Then the slender, ghostly fingers filled him, driving in sudden and swift.

He snarled, his hips rocking to meet the invisible invader he never would have wanted without Starscream's need driving him on.

"It's this you really want," he growled, his frame rumbling in challenge as he quickened his pace, the sensors in his spike flickering to searing life, the dual passion of Megatron and Starscream alike feeding the heat building in them, the ice of the dark energon's sting hard on its heels.

"Can you tell that it's me?" he taunted, his voice echoing through the empty room as he fanned out his shoulder barbs again, rolling them in time with the sensation the link fed them. He reached his free hand up to encircle one, his grip tightening until pain flared through the sensors there.

It stung for only a moment. Then he felt what Starscream must have: a pure, scorching heat, its gilded burn racing through his circuitry, overwhelming his senses and leaving nothing behind but need, an endless well of it that made his spike twitch in his grip and his valve iris open ever wider.

He slitted his optics, focusing on the wisps of awareness the link fed him: his gleaming, rebuilt Starscream, head thrown back and optics bright, three of his own claws shoved deep into his valve.

And the spike he wanted, held in the razor grip of Megatron's own claws. His roar became a laugh, rich and rumbling, his spark wheeling. His own grasp was no substitute for the tight embrace of Starscream's valve, hot as a maelstrom of flame around him.

And Starscream's fingers were no substitute for this.

And yet, through the dark energon's strange power - they had this instead, this doubled passion, this twinned lack.

It was enough.

He felt his valve spasm again as his hand slammed back over his spike one last time. He threw back his head in a near-perfect mimicry of Starscream's image in his mind. He could hear his partner's high cry, an audio-shattering shriek, even as his own rumbling roar answered it. Fluid poured forth from his spike in a long, shuddering burst.

His valve, echoing it, spasmed rhythmically as a bright light filled his optics, the purple of dark energon's glow brightening to optic-scorching white.