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Fox's Sleep

Chapter Text

"Shhu, Brother."

Dominus Ambus stared upwards, enraptured by the benevolent carmine light streaming down on him.

Confusion swamped his processor- confusion and lust and pleasure, for the feeling of those narrow hips straddling across armor.

All at once he wanted and it was made more so at the impression of the lips of a wet, hot valve along his- when did  he pressurize his spike? It'd be so easy to reach up to take hold of Minimus' hips, so easy to drive himself into the heat of channel until he had spilled himself as deeply as possible, laying claim all the way to Minimus' gestation tank.

He could turn that look of open-mouthed concentration into one of the most divine ecstasy- if his arms didn't feel so heavy, if he could online his vocalizer or lift his arms or... or...


 

The end of recharge and the start of morning came with a strange lethargy to Dominus' frame. There was a distinct feeling of wrongness about him, a feeling like his luxurious berthing was too big and his arms too empty.

He stretched stiff joints as he roused fully and began to sit up, only to pause at a most peculiar sensation.

He peered down at the mess at his thighs, obviously having leaked through the seams at his modesty paneling.

It was a numb sort of feeling, to realize he had drempt of an... encounter with Minimus, and that this dream resulted in a... a nocturnal emission- something that had never happened to him before.

He remained numb as he got up to clean his mess, save for the thrumming of his spark, telling him to slip through the estate and check up on his brother.

Dawn's light reflected off Cybertron's surface and dread sprouted alongside the urge, though it was easily tamped out. He had a diplomatic meeting scheduled in a few orn, made specifically in anticipation of this set of worrying, cyclic urges.

Finishing up the mess at his berth was almost an absent-minded act, and Dominus brought up his brother's schedule. It seemed promising and he resolved that he didn't need to move up his trip for some troubling feelings that would fade before he knew it.

As he finally entered his private washroom, he firmly decided to put thoughts of Minimus... correction, those thoughts of Minimus out of his mind.


 

Dominus very suddenly found himself in hell.

 Several solar cycles after waking with transfluid staining his berth and his brother's name on his lip components and his plan had fallen right to pieces. He'd come home after a trying day's work at several institutions around the capitol to find Minimus in the main living room, hunched over a datapad.

Such a sight wouldn't be so alarming, if not for the fact that Minimus' schedule put him somewhere far enough to be safe, unknowing  not here, at home until partway through Dominus' recharge cycle. Dominus wasn't meant to really see him, save for in glimpses until after when he'd have a handle on himself and those strange instincts, so to say- nearing his departure date.

Instead, he caught himself in the doorway, raking his gaze over the miserable hunch of tricolor shoulders, processing at a rapid clip a way to comfort his dear Minimus... appropriately-of course. There was a regal bearing to him, even obviously upset.

He nearly startled out of his shells when he realized Minimus was looking back at him.

"Welcome back." He said, weariness and a touch of wariness to his voice. " This last job didn't work out."

It was a matter-of-fact statement, no beating around the bush here for Minimus. Dominus impressively resisted the urge to remind his brother that he didn't need to work if he didn't want to- that he could provide for the two of them and possibly more, in that future he'd been aching to put inside Minimus until the end of time- but he stopped himself and made a motion approximating that he should go on.

Minimus instantly looked miserable and indignant  "They have asked me to inform you that 'They can handle it from here and though they do appreciate your oversight, no more will be needed and they can send progress reports directly to you'. "

Dominus winced internally. This was not the first time that Minimus had been mistaken for his emissary- or worse yet, his secretary. The name 'Ambus' and Dominus' shadow made finding a function- no, a just a job hard for Minimus.

That part of him whispering those things he was doing his best to avoid chomped at the bit to tell him to give up, to let his elder brother take care of him- that could be his job.

Valiantly, he held up in his resisting and blandly assured Minimus that this couldn't go on forever before beating a strategic retreat back to his rooms and the office contained within. He was never bothered when he was there, and it'd give him an opportunity to work some of his need out of his systems.

He didn't look back as he went, unable to stomach what he might see if he dared.

A tiny voice not trapped in the middle of his war of wills hoped it didn't feel like a snub.

Chapter Text

The sheer preposterousness of the new dream to start paired with his expectation that this could happen again alerted Dominus to the fact that it was indeed just that- a dream, though it was a close thing to what looked like true life.

Tonight's Minimus was closer to his true self in temperament, and tempered further by the overload Dominus had wrung out of himself prior to sleeping. He still felt it in his dream, and the dream had Minimus in his embrace back to ventrum, Dominus' spike buried and tied inside of him.

He could feel Minimus down to the fluttery squeeze of his valve rim about the engorged base of his spike.

It was a startlingly realistic save for the obvious, and for the moment it was enough to stave off the coding giving Dominus so much grief.

The worst part was of how right it felt, how it continued to feel.

His mind plodded along at a hazy, happily sluggish pace, all while dread and anxiety bubbled under the surface, all as that little part of his mind that was still rational in his dream told him in no uncertain terms that there would be consequences for his actions, should this happen.

Dream Minimus made a soft sighing sound of contentment, and Dominus found he didn't care about consequences, as he pulled him that little bit closer.


 

Morning came with Dominus trying to fight off a looming disappointment and clutching desperately to the vestiges of relaxation and relief his dreamtime brought him.

 It also came with some degree of clarity.

 A quick and thorough run through his washracks brought him to his office and from there, his console.  As he logged on and into his personal database of research he justified the reading he was about to do as work.

 It wasn't as if he'd have ever slacked on his work, no- but it was novel for him to use his work to his own benefit so closely. No Primus below, not his own benefit.  He had his curiosities, and if his research and his reviewing of other's research could help himself as well as others, then it would be all the better.

 Today, Dominus passed by his usual data by to review data from the Jhiaxian Academy of Advanced Technology. His spark felt like constricted in it's casing as he reviewed the derth of titles and descriptions in front of him.

 Senator Shockwave certainly knew how to deliver, even if he didn't know he was doing it.

 Despite being one himself, anomalies and outliers had little to no bearing on his more recent interests regarding his activism.

 Twins: Split-Spark, Branched- Full or Part

 His spark twinged just gently at even just reading the title of the subsection- and before he knew it then his spark was reaching for a connection that was no longer there, atrophied to as become deadened over the years to communication and feelings but: Dominus could feel him. 

 They were fully formed sparks in their own rights and that was just a miniscule part of what made them so remarkable. Only the resonance rates of their outlier's spark and the sorry excuse for a bond spoke the truth of the matter.

To the rest, they were just brothers of some private description

Dominus sat back in his chair and shuttered his optics.

It had always been like this, but he supposed that the very nature of them being what they were to each other...

 Only distance weakened that little background presence in his spark. He felt the compulsion to try to strengthen that emaciated connection. That urge was easy to ignore- a he'd felt it every time the urges came upon him, after all.

 He laid his hand over his chest plating, over his spark in his truest form, and took a deep vent to center himself.

 He'd never had the compulsion so close.

 Minimus was sleeping, he could tell just from focusing in hard on that little bit of him, the timbre of his spark.

 Not for the first time, he wondered what song it would sing if united again with his.

 


 

The evening's arrival brought Dominus out of his rooms and into the main areas of the estate.

Getting lost in his reading and following that up with actual work had served as a welcome- if only slightly effective- distraction to the traitorous desires of his spark.

Dominus had a meeting soon- One of pre-departure negotiations, itinerary decisions and minutiae that he found were wholly comforting in their existence.

Plus, it would afford him a little measure of distance from Minimus.

Presently, he made his way to their austere refueling station inside the shared living area, and found himself taking pause.

His chemoreceptors pinged him first and so he knew what it was he was looking at before his processors caught up but the sealed cube sitting on the counter still baffled him for a long few moments.

Living together, scents were bound to mix and mingle, but this... The attention and processing power suddenly dedicated to the fact that he could smell his brother's traces in the area, on the cube left out for him....

Dominus felt silly, ridiculous and ashamed for the heady rush of affection that coursed through his circuits. This was what made his work so important, what made his trip so important above all. How could he take a simple kind act of deference such as this and twist it?

With a defiant shake of his helm, Dominus made his way to the door out- only to stop at the thresh-hold as a thought took root.

Was he really going to take a simple, kind act and toss it back in his brother's face like this? Minimus had access to his schedule just as much as the opposite was true, and the energon left on the counter was hued to indicate it was one of Dominus' preferred blends.

Was he really going to ignore something so genuinely Minimus? Something so small and obviously a token of well-wishing just for him?

Shoulders sagging, Dominus took a brisk clip back to retrieve the fuel, and left the premises entirely, lest he do something he regret.

Chapter Text

 When Minimus awoke, he knew on instinct alone that he was alone in the estate.

 A scheduling ping was all it took to confirm it- and as Minimus rose for the day, once more he wished his brother well in his endeavors.

 Not that he needed it.

Dominus always took a task well in hand when one should present himself to him, and Miminus could count the times he had known of his brother to fail on one hand.

It could both deter and inspire his own drive to try to find a place to fit.

Fortunately, the moment found him at the latter.

Even better was when he came into the main area of their domicile to get himself a top-up on fuel, the small token of well-wishing he had left was gone.

He'd have been disappointed if Dominus hadn't taken it, but not surprised.

 It wasn't as if he needed  help being one of Cybertron's best, but at the same time he had Minimus, one of Cybertron's generally most unremarkable for a brother, so maybe that wasn't entirely true at all.

 Regardless, Minimus had used up his strict self-imposed 'feeling sorry for oneself' time, so he got his energon and readied himself for a productive day.

 


 

 Minimus' first course of action, as it always was, was to clean. It soothed him for reasons he didn't feel much like delving into for fear of uncovering more unpleasant things he tended to gently push from the fore of his mind.

 Cleanliness was close to godliness, and he could at least manage that.

 Not to mention, he had it on a good source that the enforcers' guilds around the polities valued such habits in their officers.

 For a moment, Minimus considered going back again to the security hub in Iacon, to see if they'd let him even apply again before he was kindly rejected.

 What good was an exemption if he wasn't allowed to do something he was sure he could excel at, after all?

 For all that his brother had done for Cybertron, and their shared name was what held Minimus back... or else, that was what he'd blame it on. Nobody wanted to be the organization that got the brother of Dominus Ambus killed, after all.

 Minimus shook his helm, and his mind out of that track.

 Cybertron didn't need him- didn't need someone with no outstanding traits save for a name and an outlier's spark in a protector's role and he needn't dwell on those thoughts anymore.

 


 Directly following cleaning, Minimus resolved to go about his job hunt once more. It was..... disheartening, to say the least, to log into his workstation to the kindly rejections of places he had inquired into about possible employment.

 After the third one, worded nearly the same as the first two and offending his senses with terrible grammar, he closed his workstation out and withdraw one of his private datapads from his desk.

Pinging the schedule once again told him he'd have quite a long time to himself. Such an opportunity was rare and offered a tantalizing opportunity- and one that gave him no small measure of guilt.

It was difficult for Minimus to properly assess those emotional states of others on a good day, but this was made worse with the anxiety that his last dismissal evoked paired with Dominus' lukewarm reaction to the news.

 An intrusive little part of his mind wondered how long his fortune really could last, and if there was a precedent for someone as rare as a spark twin disowning their sibling.

He made his way to the shared living area anyways, deciding this was proof positive that he needed the stress relief. He'd already re-read the enforcers' codebooks for Iacon, Praxus, and the personnel conduct book for Kaon's elite security force.

It was time for a more pro-active attempt to de-stress.

... Of course, pro-active was to lead to in-active, as Minimus settled himself on a couch with cushions about his frame and a delicate Polyhexan heights music file playing over the speakers. It was a rare decadence for him, as he didn't get much use out of this furniture. Usually it was reserved for Dominus' important guests, those sorts that would expect such things as delicate mesh decorations.

It was his house too, though- He thought indignantly, opening up a blank file to tap away. Why shouldn't he use a few pillows for a little extra comfort?

With an attempt to put his current mental and emotional state down in verse well under way, Minimus set in to enjoy his day alone- even if it killed him.

Chapter Text

When Dominus returned home just hours later- and well ahead of schedule, he found himself frozen at the threshold. His disappointment at the meeting's changes dueled with his urgency to get home, and if he thought a hasty prayer or a plea to Primus at the sight that met him, he didn't know.

Their entrance hall was extremely modest as entrance halls went- but it led right into the main living area... and right directly to where Minimus was in recharge on one of the couches, expression purely seraphic in nature.

Dominus approached slowly, afraid to ruin the scene in front of him with his very presence.

Minimus had fallen into recharge sitting up on their largest couch, surrounded by pillows and with a particular datapad Dominus couldn't remember having seen before this point resting in his lap.

A half-filled decanter of energon sat at the side-table well within reach, and for a moment, Dominus' spark pulsed harder, spun faster, at the thought that perhaps, Minimus had aimed to wait up for him.

He wasn't scheduled to be home again until the next morning, but the meeting had gone catastrophic and wonderful when Dominus arrived only to be told that due to his work, the legislators they had been gearing up to meet and negotiate with accepted their terms unconditionally.

He had been elated and devastated in equal measure, excited for the change that would come due to his work on one hand and that his plans had been so thoroughly foiled on the other.

No longer having to plan and leave for the trip left him with free time, and he feared his idle hands could become Unicron's playthings.

Suddenly, he snapped out of his reverie and almost jerked back when he realized he was knelt next to his brother with that selfsame hand on Minimus' knee.

Minimus hadn't stirred.

Dominus' interface systems spun up nearly all at once, his modesty paneling pinged him to open.

It would be so easy to just..... take what he wanted, just then and there.

He stroked up Minimus' thigh fondly, and his spark pulsed so madly he was sure it'd burst.

The tips of his digits felt like they were aflame with the contact made on Minimus' cool plating, and the temptation made his spark's yearning all the worse. He wanted to look everywhere and touch everything, wanted to kiss Minimus until he couldn't stand the love-drunkeness and slotted himself between those thighs.

But as he gazed at Minimus' sleeping face, gazed at those lips and that overall trusting expression... Dominus just couldn't bring himself do it.

He still had those last vestiges of his tattered control and behavioral standard in place.

If he was going to be driven down this possible path, he'd have a little decorum as he damned himself to the pit.

With all the care he could muster and his hold about his surging compulsion to possess stronger than any element on or off of Cybertron, Dominus gathered Minimus into his arms and moved towards his brother's rooms.

 


 

By the time Dominus settled his brother down onto his berth, a tremble had taken up in his frame.

It had been exceedingly difficult to peel his hands away from Minimus' frame when he had him finally laying down, that contact had been the purest of balms to his frazzled spark.

Standing over Minimus whilst he slept so soundly brought him back to his dilemma, plus more.

His desire had morphed into plain yearning.

Dominus yearned to hold Minimus, yearned to touch him again, even if that meant just crawling into berth next to him.

 An image flashed through his mind- of sleeping Minimus held close to Dominus' chest with Dominus thrusting at the apex of his thighs, against his closed panel. He could finish, make a pseudo tie all without disturbing his brother's sleep...

Trembling worse, Dominus shook himself out of his fantasy, realizing he had knelt down to face level. His pings had become insistent.

Quickly, so he couldn't hesitate any more than he had before, Dominus leaned in to press his lips to Minimus' for just a breath of a moment, before he tore himself away and withdrew from his brother's rooms entirely.


 

Once back in the main area of the flat, Dominus bee-lined for the energon left out.

Fans roaring on full, Dominus threw back the entire container, drinking it down in long, undignified gulps before essentially throwing himself on the couch there.

No heat left his frame, and the yawning need inside of him remained hungry, addling his senses and- no, it wasn't just his need, and the scent of Minimus all around him- clinging to his frame- drove him nearly feral for want.

His chemorececptors, attuned so closely to the scent of his most beloved Minimus, focused him in on the couch, where Minimus had to have sat for several hours. He had one of the cushions pressed to his nasal ridge before he could even really think about what he was doing, and was instantly intoxicated.

He wanted to go back and put his hands back on Minimus, wanted to taste him and be inside him and fill him with sparklets and be one.

Dominus' panel popped, and he froze, staring down at his pressurizing spike in disbelief.

It gave a hard, unpitying throb at him in turn that made him want to move his hips, and the head of it came to rest against the remainder of the pillows.

All it took was the slightest adjustment and lift on to his knees to bring his spike to rest on top of the stack, and the slightest downturn to make it press into the soft fabric.

Minimus filled his senses once more at a deep invent, and the stimulation that resulted from the bucking of Dominus' hips drew a hybrid of a moan and a whimper from his vocalizer.

He was scarcely in control of his frame when his optics shuttered and he rolled his hips again, a little harder, to make the pillow surround his spike a little better as he bent over it and pressed the first cushion to his face.

Images of his brother haunted him, the impression of Minimus, how he could've slotted in next to him or covered his panel with his mouth and licked him awake when he was on this same couch, overwhelmed him and he thrust a little harder. White-hot pleasure raced over his sensornet and he didn't falter from this hard, slow pace as he thought of the chaste little peck he had stolen.

He wanted to kiss Minimus again. He wanted to hear Minimus calling out his designation and he wanted to fuck him until he screamed and he wanted.

The rhythm of his hips fell into snaps as his knot began to swell at the base of his spike and repeated stimulation brought him to the edge. It was not the stimulation that brought him over, however, but another mental image - one of Minimus wholly accepting his advances- taking him and his spike inside of him in that most plain of claims laid onto his frame and spark.

He wanted to be wanted back.

The curve of Dominus' knot caught on the decorative edge of the pillow, and he was thrown into overload.

His frame seized in a bow, with the one cushion still pressed to his face and his hips twitching just minutely with every spurt of his trapped spike.

It was bliss and torture and Dominus was so in love and loathed himself with all of his being.

Coming out of his overload had him feeling hazy- as if he'd been drugged or recharged too long, and it was all he could do to take that transfluid-soiled pillow and toss it out when his spike had finally depressurized and he could feel less like a deviant walking around his own home.

The other one never left his arms, and he made his way to his berth-- and into sleep- with it clutched tight.

Chapter Text

When Dominus woke, it was to a tiredness in his frame and mind that wasn't entirely from his short recharge time.

He rose slowly, and made it all the way to his shower to wash off the dried transfluid from hours prior before something broke internally. He leaned against the wall and let the weight of his actions wash over him.

There were no reparations that would be enough to fix what he had done.

To have put his hands on Minimus while his brother slept....

What he had done was, in plain term, reprehensible.

And yet, he couldn't bring himself to regret it, save for the anguish that last little responsible part of him felt at his actions.

There would never be anything he could do to make up for the line his had crossed, no, but he made up his mind to strive for it.

He just had to convince Minimus that he wanted Dominus back.

When he dared to venture back out into the main area, nothing had changed from the night prior.

The faint scents of ozone and overload hung in the air and compounded on the shame he had tried so valiantly to wash off just prior, but the fact that everything had remained the same gave him a touch of purpose- so he pushed himself into tidying up the area.

He was just thinking that the extra pillows- one of which now in residence on his berthing wouldn't be missed when he spotted the datapad.

Dominus wracked his memory trying to remember if he had seen this particular pad before, and all that came up was the night prior. In his fascination, he must not have noticed when it slid from Minimus' lap to the floor.

He took a moment to envy the thing in a manner quite unbecoming and frankly stupid before he picked it up and flicked it on.

Unsurprisingly, it came on to display an orderly table of contents, micromanaged down to thematic elements. Surprisingly, aside from the journal entries, it contained what looked to be poetry.

Turning the pad off and back on again didn't appear to make the suspect files disappear, so Dominus was forced to conclude that his brother, his Minimus Ambus, had written whatever was in them.

He sat down and opened the first one for viewing.

 


Minimus woke to disorientation and staring at the ceiling of his berthroom. It took him a long moment to recall the night before, and he found that after a certain point, he simply couldn't.

There was, however, only one way he would have gotten back to his room like this- so he pinged the schedule.

Embarrassment stole over him as it told him what he was sure would be true- Dominus' end of the schedule had been revised some time during his bout of writing and reading.

Dominus had to have moved him sometime during the night.

Minimus re-shuttered his optics and rubbed his thumb and forefinger over them, fighting down the mortification. He had likely looked ridiculous, and Dominus had the kindness to move his sorry aft back to his rooms.

He felt he didn't deserve the kindness.

Despite the near consuming desire to huddle up in his berth coverings, Minimus extricated himself to standing. He needed to refuel, if he was going to make a good attempt at being productive..... and to save a little face, should he encounter his brother.

Fuel would be a good first step to productivity, he decided.

The 'should he' twisted into a sudden 'will' when Minimus reached the shared area- and laid optics on Dominus lounging on the couch with Minimus' private datapad in hand. There was a strange, inscrutable look to his expression and frame language, one Minimus couldn't say he'd observed before.

More pressingly, when it him him that Dominus was reading his private datapad, his despair crystallized into a tiny noise of discontent and Dominus looked up- to turn that strange expression and all of the intensity behind it- to him.

Minimus reset his vocalizer and tried to compose himself.

"Dominus." He said in greeting, hoping his chagrin didn't come through in his voice.

Dominus regarded him in a most painful silence for a moment, before nodding in turn. "Minimus." There was an edge to his voice that made the whole encounter stranger, compounded in the way his optics never left Minimus'.

The disorienting moment made the air between them feel as if was thick, only broken when Minimus spoke again. "... My datapad?"

Dominus looked from him to the pad and back again, spell seemingly broken.

"Ah, yes." He said, though instead of offering it over, he laid it in his lap. "After I took you to bed-" he paused a beat, Minimus wouldn't have noticed if not for the same atmosphere- but Dominus continued " I supposed I just missed it. Your poetry is interesting."

He seemed to realize he hadn't offered this very private piece of property back to it's rightful owner, and hastily stood to walk over, pad outstretched awkwardly. "I enjoyed it." He added almost as an after thought, as if it hadn't exactly occurred to him to compliment correctly.

Minimus took hold of the pad, but Dominus didn't let go. Optic contact persisted, and so did the strange way Dominus gazed down at him. There was an unidentifiable softness to Dominus on top of everything else and the air grew thick either anticipation between them.

Dominus licked his lips in a split second motion, such an expression of nervousness was something it had been eons some Minimus had last observed of his brother.

"I have several days free." He stated, as if Minimus hadn't already checked the schedule this morning.

"We haven't spent much time with each other lately." Another fact stated, and Minimus was growing more confused by the astrosecond-

"I'd like to spend it together, with you."

Oh.

Oh.

Minimus blinked owlishly at him for a number of seconds before it registered. It was the time it took for Dominus' expression to start to fall.

"... You don't have anything better to do?" He winced at the words as they escaped his vocalizer. He'd not spend leisure time with himself if he had the choice. 

However, Dominus smiled a tender smile.

"I can't think of anything I'd rather do."

Chapter Text

 The hole Dominus had dug himself was disgustingly deep.

 Minimus had taken his datapad and fled from his presence after giving a tentative agreement, and Dominus was awash with both a giddy floating glee and contrition for how confused his brother ended up.

 Dominus couldn't think about that at the moment, though. There were preparations to be had.

 First step was to update their schedule, in consideration for Minimus' need for structure.

 The next took Dominus for a wash- or at least, grooming to perfection for their impending first outing- was the excuse for what hastily devolved into masturbation.

 He held his spike in a firm fist as he pumped it under the spray of his shower, aroused by the excitement, the intoxicating scent of his brother so close just moments before- everything.

 Foremost in his thoughts was Minimus' private datapad and the apparently clandestine writing contained within.

 Primus, he wished that he had known that Minimus like poetry before this point.

 His Minimus, so staunch and serious when he needn't be constantly... It wasn't as if Dominus didn't know these softer worlds to Minimus' self-imposed angles, but they were hard to uncover, if not formerly impossible. He had known of the music, but this was a new frontier.

 

Ethereal in twinned silver moonlight

Optics of a predator cannot look behind

Only forwards to that most bountiful prey

Injustice

 

  Dominus groaned as he spilled into his palm at overload, spark fluttering madly as he wished so dearly to have Minimus feeling the way he did.

 The little work-in-progress was about him and it had stolen his thoughts from his systems and the breath from his frame when he had come to that revelation. That yawning need in his spark had turned all-consuming for a few brief moments, and he had been barely able to hold himself together when Minimus had caught him reading.

 Presently, he basked in the afterglow of his climax as hot liquid sluiced over his frame. He decided to take a few more minutes of leisure before beginning the process of drying and polishing.

 The more radiant he could be in Minimus' optics, the better- and the closer to the two of them reuniting in spark once more.


 Dominus practically vibrated his way out of the door with Minimus by his side.

He was determined to make the day perfect, though he was under no illusion that a single outing to grow closer would ignite the sort of relationship his spark wanted with Minimus.

Still, he had to try. For his own sake yes, but out of a most pure desire to see Minimus happy.

 He wanted to spoil Minimus, and make him feel spoiled in turn.

"Dominus?"

The elder Ambus nearly jumped out of his plating for how Minimus' voice startled him. He halted in his tracks, and swung his gaze around to where Minimus had been trailing behind him.

 "Where are we going?"

 Dominus resisted the urge to shrivel in on himself in the sudden rush of mortification. He was acting like a newforge, all headfirst and excitable and it needed to cease.

 He wanted this to be a partnership, not led by Dominus's spark and spike and inability to plan perfectly 100% of the time.

 Not to mention a little input from Minimus. It'd make him complicit in his own seduction, after all.

 "I have a standing invitation to a local artist's exhibition." He said, working to keep that embarrassment well out of his voice. "I figured it'd be a nice visit."

And it was well within walking distance, too- a perfect storm of a potential romantic encounter... if not for the quizzical look Minimus was giving him, that covered into a masking of agreeable and neutral.

 "Alright, let's see how it goes." Came the wary reply.

It wasn't exactly the response see Dominus hoped for, but knowing who his brother was, it didn't surprise him. He understood that Minimus didn't like deviations from the norm on the best of days, but Dominus planned to change that for the better.

 First was to fall into step with Minimus beside him, as opposed to allowing him to walk behind. It was a goal to aim for, in a broader manner.

 Their remaining walk was too quiet and distant, for Dominus' tastes. He had given far less detail about this outing than his brother wanted, he knew, but he wanted their visit to a lovely spontaneous surprise.

 When they reached the gate of Iacon's premier crystal garden, an enforcer stationed there gave them a long once over but allowed them to pass without incident.

 Once inside and halfway to the heart of the garden it was obvious why the enforcer was there in the first place, and Dominus winced internally to see a good smattering of high society mecha milling about.

 The exhibition was obviously not as advertised- with the pieces a focus on the beauty of the orderliness and patterns of nature- and more of a high-class networking event.

 Minimus seemed to realize this too- if without the actual spirit of what the exhibition was about, and seemed to have tensed and drawn in on himself.

 All in all, not the ideal situation for a date.

 Dominus' processor raced, trying to think of a way to salvage the visit when someone began to approach them.

 Dominus recognized the infamous senator for what he was right off, and his instant tension had Minimus stepping back behind him. But, a choice usher intercepting the mech and a quick tug at his arm saved them.

 "The esteemed Dominus Ambus! I was hoping you'd make an appearance at some point! and is this your brother I see here? I don't believe we've met."

 Primus must not  have forsaken the two of them, and he put up his political mask instantly and gratefully.

 "Senator Shockwave! A pleasure to see you again." He turned just so, to expose Minimus. "and you're absolutely correct, this is my dearest brother, Minimus." Thankfully Minimus read the situation for what it was and while he was no longer as tense, he barely managed a curt nod before the Senator spoke again.

 "The pleasure is truly mine." He said, giving Minimus a once-over. Dominus didn't bristle- or he told himself he wasn't, more like, but he didn't want his brother stolen out from under his chemoreceptors. "You've got good taste in your green, always a joy to meet someone who knows how to coordinate~!"

 Shockwave gave a jaunty wink before motioning his helm behind him. "Shall I show you the sights before ol' Batty catches on to my mischief?"

Swept into Shockwave's whirlwind of personality, the brothers followed his weaving path through the crowd and onto a secluded side path.

 Like magic, the three of them were nearly alone, and stood in front of a crystalline statue nestled among the actual growths. No one else paid it any mind, but as Dominus found himself drawn into a conversation with the senator, he noticed Minimus approaching the art piece.

 The rest of their visit went much the same, if with an oddly surreal bend to it. His spark remained squarely yearning, but Shockwave's congratulations and the news that his frenzied work had an impact and moved legislation forwards was a thorough distraction.

 It was exciting, and with years of work behind this one project, his zeal overrode his mission- if temporarily.

 Shockwave was excusing himself by the time Dominus was starting to realize what he'd done, and with his -in this form- metaphorical tail tucked between his legs, he approached the bench his brother silently sat at in what appeared to be quiet contemplation.

 "Minimus?"

The smaller mech looked up at him as he called out.

 "Minimus-" He faltered as he soaked in his brother's expression- or un-readable non-expression, rather.

 He looked completely neutral  "...Shall we go back home now?" He asked, trying not to show how ashamed he was. Minimus likely thought he was dragged along to this outing for appearances. The welcome presence of Shockwave as well as the alarming presence of Ratbat spoke only to a fraction of the total attendees- attendees whose political acumen could further Dominus' own in an  unimaginable number of ways.

The walk back to the estate found Minimus' reception frosty - if polite- at best.

 When they got into the entrance hall, Minimus turned back to him, countenance the same.

 "I've asked before, but please- refrain from including me in political outings with so little notice."

 Primus and did that make his spark feel like it'd drop right out of it's casing.

 There weren't any excuses to be made- that wouldn't seem like weakness, that is. Dominus had fragged up, and he hoped he'd not fragged up the whole ordeal. His spark seemed pleased at his contrition, urged him to take his brother in his arms and kiss the frown from his expression and let him know how he really felt about him- what he'd have wanted if things went smoothly..... or smoother, rather.

 "I apologize, it truly wasn't... "

Minimus was already retreating from his presence and Dominus pressed on that feeling of Minimus in his spark as he went for reassurance.

 He needed to give him time to let those bad feelings fade off. When the hall door slid shut behind his twin's back, Dominus miserably retreated to his own rooms to plan his next move.

Chapter Text

 That night, Dominus took the time to delve back into Shockwave's research, and found himself reading more about the twins featured within.

 It was all anonymous, so as to protect the identities of the mecha- and wasnt that frustrating if only for the fact that Dominus would've prefered to be able to interview these people himself.

It was perfectly understandable, however. It'd protect them should something... untoward happen with such delicate research.

 "Twin" meant something dangerous to those more function-minded, especially since most twins appeared to have different forms and functions. Him being a turbofox in his irreducible form and his brother being.... not, spoke to that, though Shockwave's research spoke about a pair of twins where one was a drill snd the other a flier.

 They were reported as inseparable.

Dominus frowned at his screen as if it would change things between him and Minimus.

 But, it didn't and the code remained uncracked.

 The limited data wouldn't help him here, but he consumed it voraciously none-the-less, using other supplemental and separate data to read on bonds and behavior. A wild thought struck him out of the blue and Dominus had already made the relevant search by the time his brain module caught up to his impulses.

 The image of a turbofox seemed to stare back at him from where it was inset into the head of a paper, and Dominus let the shame wash over him as he contemplated for just a moment what he was doing. He grew hot with embarrassment and dropped his helm into his hands after making it past the first few notes on behavior.

 Closing out of the document and sitting up straighter, Dominus deep-cycled a few vents and stood to pace through this room and the next. A turbofox wouldn't give so much of a damn- but he wasn't so much of a common turbofox, now was he.

 He certainly didn't feel anything close to clever like a fox, and he allowed himself to agonize over it for far longer than was necessary or dignified.

 It was when night was falling and dusk had settled in to stay that he asked himself if he was going to allow himself to be a coward or tackle this issue like he would any other.

 So, he emerged from his rooms and took the long strides to the entrance to Minimus'.

 Even there, he hesitated.

 This was a completely unexplored terrain he was heading himself in to and there was a real possibility of some conflict awaiting him if he breached his brother's privacy to make his case.

 He knew for a fact that it wouldn't devolve into violence, but with all this need for Minimus and desire to be close to him- he would descend to new levels of despicableness if he made the only person suited to be his literal other half feel unsafe.

 He was in love with Minimus, yes, but he also loved him dearly, and this would be a shock to end all shocks for the dynamic between them.

 At the same time, a shake up of dynamic would be, could be a boon - if the day was any indication to the temperature to their relationship as a whole.

 The last time these urges had come on him- the last time he could say he got away- he had left with little word and congratulated himself on a job well done even if it was at the expense of something important to Minimus at the time. 

 It still brought him to this point though, didn't it? He had never wanted to hurt him, but here he was, doing so on a regular basis. 

 But- his spark was singing for the anticipation in front of him. 

 He pinged Minimus for entry despite never having to do so before this point, suddenly overcome with such a need to be formal. He could've knocked, and perhaps he'd have looked just that much less of a crankshaft if he had. 

 Minimus sent back a confirmation with a confused glyph on the tail of it and Dominus stood standing at the door for another long moment before moving into and then through it as it slid aside for him. He would not hesitate any more. 

 All at once he was buffeted by the scent of Minimus all around and through him. All at once it soothed and excited him, sending his spark into a series of hard pulses.  

Then, Minimus looked up at him from where he was seated at his desk and it was all Dominus could do to keep from collapsing in on himself. He looked wary and curious and unhappy in that muted way he had about him when he wasn't about to express himself. 

 "Minimus, there's something I'd like to speak with you about..." 


Dominus' odd behavior had culminated in this, and Minimus wasn't sure about how it had even come to this point. He looked reticent, to be sure, but there was more than just a bad day's choices in his expression. 

 Minimus hadn't intended to be as brusque as he was in asking Dominus what he wanted, but he also hadn't expected the answer he was given and so he refreshed his memory cache before reviewing it and looking at his elder brother in complete incomprehension. 

 "....I.... I don't... Pardon?" he settled on weakly, wondering for a moment if some of the circuitry in his brain module had come loose. Dominus still looked at him with the same level of intensity that he displayed before their ill-fated outing, and it suddenly made a lot more sense. 

 If sense could be an accurate descriptor for this- this mess, this madhouse his life had suddenly turned into.

 Dominus appeared to think for a few difficult moments and started again, though from that bit of hesitancy in his tone it seemed much like he was weighing his options. 

 Mercifully, he condensed the speech down to a single sentence. He took a deep cycling vent in what looked like an effort to steel himself. 

 "Due to who we are to one another, as well as the strength of my feelings on this matter, I'd much like to someday form a relationship with you that one day could be akin to one of Conjunx Endura." 

 It was a more digestible version of what Dominus had originally come at him with and the meaning of his words were clear as the finest crystal.... Save for Minimus' disbelief.

There wasn't much for Minimus to say to this, per say- what could  he say anyways? He'd never thought to prepare himself for a moment like this, even in his wildest and most bizarre dreams.

So, Minimus fell back on the simple questions. 'What' had been essentially covered. ".... Why?"

Dominus didn't seem to expect the question, though he didn't seem like he knew himself what he did expect.

".... I think I've always felt this way, and having done the research I have into this.... subject," Because of course he had found a way to make such a declaration academically reliable- " but I think it's just taken this long to come to terms with the fact that my spark has never wanted to be apart from yours." Dominus brought his hand to rest where his spark lie in his truest, beastly form, and he gazed at Minimus and Minimus could see now that his gaze was one of a strange-lighted adoration and a naked desire for something Minimus hadn't fully parsed yet. 

 It all made an alarming amount of sense, and 'when' had been answered. 

 For a moment it seemed as if Dominus was coming closer, but he didn't appear to move at all. 

 "There's a connection between us that we've neglected." Dominus' voice as soft, sonorous and apparently sweet on him. He knew what he meant if only in part, however- as there wasn't any way he couldn't. He had always felt Dominus' presence in his spark, it was a constant in his life that was both a boon and often an ever-reminding curse, softened only by distance when Dominus was drawn away. 

 "We are one spark made two." And didn't Dominus ever sound more like he was reassuring himself of that there- but still, Minimus felt his own spark give something of a squeeze in reply to his declaration.

This was all so much, so fast. 

For a long moment he hesitated, deliberated.

"How are you wanting this to be?" All at once, Dominus' affect perked up. The sheer possibility of 'maybe' set a gleam to his optics that Minimus could not rightly name save for the impression of hunger.

 "If," He said firmly. "If we were to entertain a notion such as this, how would you want this to be?" His voice only quaked a little at the end and he was proud of himself for that, even if he had no clue what in the fresh hell he was doing and getting himself into. 

 "Well, Minimus, I would like absolutely nothing more than to court you." Dominus shifted in his seat momentarily before settling, looking all for the world like he to get up and pace, or come closer. "Today was.... not ideal." 

 Minimus wasn't always the best at controlling his expressions, this was no exception to that as Dominus once more looking guilty told him.  

He was quick to speak again. "Truly, I'd have asked you to a place better suited, but I became too hasty." 

Minimus considered all of this in a silence that only seemed appropriate for such a string of confessions.  

He hadn't been so ignorant to think that he and Dominus were any sort of normal in the first place, as those rare kindled siblings were. They didn't have the presence of their siblings always present at the back of their sparks. Was it an anxiety fueled reminder? Or a neglected duty?

 For a moment, Minimus wondered what he'd done to deserve the turmoil roiling about inside him.

Chapter Text

Minimus had said yes. 

Or rather, Minimus had agreed in a tentative, unsure manner to another attempt at an outing- an honest to Primus date and Dominus was resolved not to frag it up.

It was terrifying.

Terrifying and exhilarating and Dominus found himself with a laser focus that was unmistakable. 

There was a goal to accomplish and he was nothing if not tenacious.

Minimus was in his sights and there would be only one inevitable end to the hunt.

The want in his spark had morphed fully from his hellish brand of yearning to a sort of anticipation, coiled deep and heavy and Dominus was ready to spring.

Metaphorically, of course.

But also literally.

Dominus was shocked his panel wasn't bowed out for as hard he was. As he made it back to his rooms and let his panel pop- he set himself a reminder to make reservations for dinner.


 

Their reservation approached, and Dominus exemplified the perfect gentle-mech in the face of his brother's nerves.

He felt like himself again, fully- but not whole, yet. 

When they met again, Minimus looked at him with new optics and a thrill rushed through him at the very concept that perhaps, Minimus had turned shy.

It wasn't as if it was any secret that Minimus didn't have dearth of admirers- but to Dominus' eternal luck now he didn't have the confidence to put himself out there.

A uniquely dual protective and predatory feeling slipped into his spark and he suppressed it ruthlessly, determined to give Minimus the space he needed as they worked out this new foray.

Minimus must have been able to see those nuances in Dominus' gaze now, however, as he broke their shared gaze quickly as they headed out the door.

To his credit, he only ogled Minimus' aft a little bit.

He'd not be able to shake that little wondering voice that asked if Minimus would cover his face when he fragged him for the entirety of the date. 

 

Arriving was an inconsequential affair, though to the credit of the head waiter they were seated right away in one of the more private alcoves the establishment had to offer. Dominus was grateful for the privacy it afforded, as he was too occupied by Minimus' countenance to worry about those around them.

The lower towers were not what Dominus would call affordable, not by standards he was striving for as a whole- but the Ambus nobility did afford the two of them a measure of of both luxury and discretion that Dominus fully intended to take advantage of.

"I must confess," Minimus started quietly, and Dominus' whole body perked in response. "I'm not used to..... this. This ah... I'm not one to date." He cut off his vocalizer lamely, obviously floundering.

Dominus chuckled softly and chuckled yet still at the dismayed look on Minimus' face. He laid his hand over his brother's and was delighted when it wasn't pulled away. "I'd say that it's a pity, for how enjoyable you are, Minimus- but  it's certainly fortuitous for me." He'd not meant to add the little rumble to his voice at the end- it was a function of his own lust, after all- but the blush that stole over Minimus' face made it all the more worthwhile.

"I... ah...."

"We needn't talk about 'date things', Minimus." He interrupted gently. "Simply, I'd like for us to enjoy each other's company and grow closer." He thought for a moment, and squeezed Minimus' captured hand. "I want to see how I can make you happy."

That seemed to be too much for Minimus as he ducked his head from Dominus' gaze, but Dominus didn't mind.

The rest of their dinner date went smooth as Dominus could hope for with the two of them being their own brand of messes.

He knew very well that Minimus was.... inexperienced when it came to relationships of most measures, but what he'd thought of as exacting standards when they were younger had solidified into an obvious need for knowledge.

If Minimus knew whoever was his romantic interest, he'd be happiest. If he could be assured that his behavior and efforts were pleasing, he'd be even happier. Just a moment of thanks and appreciation for the fuel left out for him some days prior earned Dominus another rare blush. Dominus wondered at the back of his mind if his brother would overheat if he kept paying him complements, and had half a mind to find out.

Minimus liked to be acknowledged.

Even if he'd never admit it himself.

Dominus resolved to hold that in the front of his mind at all times when with his brother. 


By the time they returned home, Minimus' posture had eased by some extent. He bustled right in when they arrived with leftovers in hand and made his way in to store them with a haste Dominus simply found adorable.

Minimus hadn't relaxed entirely, though the date had helped and Dominus wanted to kick himself just that much more for thinking somewhere deep inside that he'd warm just within that single positive encounter. 

 At the threshold to Minimus' rooms, Dominus held his hand once more and told him how much he enjoyed keeping company with Minimus for dinner and suggested they schedule another date to further explore this new realm of compatibility.

He didn't try and kiss him, no matter how much he wanted to.