Actions

Work Header

Heat Not A Furnace

Chapter Text

Megatron had thought that of all the terrible things to likely spawn out of the current Autobot- Decepticon entente at least the end of the war meant he would never have to sit in the same room as his prickly unhinged Air Commander ever again.

The bright glimmer of pristine white wings across the New-Iacon council chamber told him otherwise.

He shifted in his seat, crossing one leg to lie atop the other as he cast a scowl in Prime's direction, the only mech with the authority to have granted Starscream access to what was supposed to have been a classified and highly sensitive meeting to turn their haphazard entente into a full-fledged faction-wide truce. It was delicate diplomatic work, and Starscream was as skilled at diplomacy as an Insecticon was at Spark Chamber Recalibration.

You wanted neither one anywhere near the other.

Prime eventually caught his gaze and returned his scowl with a knowing look, then turned his back to address one of his lieutenants -because of course the oncoming Starscream-induced slag-storm was only going to work in his and his faction's favour during the final negotiations.

Starscream meanwhile, was quickly making his way through the gathering, heading straight for the empty seat beside his soon-to-be-former leader.

Megatron flung an arm out to his side, blindly searching for a mech -any mech- to yank into the vacant seat beside him before Starscream could claim it. From the indignant blare of surprised monotone the unfortunate victim turned out to be Soundwave, who didn't so much get to sit in the chair as fall over it, just as Starscream arrived at Megatron's side.

"Mooched yourself an invitation, did you?" Megatron turned in his seat to face the seeker, re-composing himself to emit a general air of superiority, ignoring the loud clatter of Soundwave trying to clamber upright.

"As your Second In Command, you should have extended me an invitation." Starscream folded his arms across his chest, leaning back on his heels to look down his nose at him. "But not to worry, you're forgiven. At your age it's a miracle you remembered to turn up yourself."

Before Megatron could reply with something equally as scathing he was interrupted by the scraping of chairs across the floor as the Autobots on the opposite side of the chamber began to take their seats. Prime took the place directly across from Megatron. His Second, Prowl, taking the seat on his right.

"Shall we begin?" Prime's voice reverberated loudly, bouncing against the chamber's high ceiling. He spread his arms wide, gesturing for the remainder of the room to sit.

"Of course." Megatron purred back, offering back a stunted expression that barely passed for a smile. He tilted his helm towards Starscream, hissing through his denta so no one else could hear, "Sit down," nodding at the vacant seats at the very end of the table, as far away as he could get the seeker.

Starscream made a little noise that indicated he would do as he was told, but probably wasn't happy about it, and Megatron thought, at least for now, that he could focus on setting the tone of the meeting before Prime could start spouting out-dated rhetoric.

Then, instead of retreating to the other end of the table Starscream moved to stand behind Soundwave. He grasped the back of the Third-in-Command's seat and very deliberately tipped him out of it. Soundwave fell to the floor with a loud clang for the second time in less than five minutes. Right in front of the entire Autobot delegation.

Starscream swivelled the empty chair around and took a seat, all dignity and grace as he scooted himself closer to the table, unsubspacing what looked like twelve datapads and dropping them with a slap to the table.

"Now," he said, addressing the room at large since he already had everyone's attention. "I've been through the proposals, and I have a few amendments..."

Prime was staring, dumbstruck. Along the table, Jazz was mouthing ("a few?!'') to Ironhide, bright optics flicking warily between his comrade and the stack of datapads as if Starscream was going to begin frisbeeing them across the table like shurikens.

Megatron slumped back in his seat lazily, cheek propped against his fist, wondering how likely Prime would be to call off the truce if he were to throttle his own Air Commander atop the negotiation table.

Though perhaps after a few hours of having to listen to Starscream speak the Autobots would applaud him for it.

 


 

 

Most of the former High Command, both Autobot and Decepticon, had chosen to reside in secure high-rise apartments closer to the senatorial district, in the heart of New-Iacon. The city was still unstable, Prime had informed Megatron gravely, as if he didn't read his own intelligence reports and had to be reminded of these things.

Unused to living in the privilege of what was essentially an upper-class gated community -and the idea of having Optimus Prime as a neighbour- Megatron had instead opted for a less conventional apartment on the outskirts of the city, closer to industrial developments, where he could watch transport shuttles pass by his window from his berth every morning, engines noisy and close enough to rattle the glass, packed full with more and more Cybertronians returning home for a new life.

For the first time in over a millennia he could lounge in his berth till daybreak turned to noon and do nothing but listen to the soothing blares and rumbles of the chaotic civilisation outside. A repetitive and constant soundtrack, but at least it was better than-

"Megatron!"

Megatron blinked his optics into focus as he swore he just heard a muffled but shrill voice squawking his designation. Either he was hallucinating, or Starscream had broken into his apartment.

He knew for sure it was the latter when the door to his berthroom slipped open and in walked the obnoxiously inconsiderate fiend himself.

"Starscream!" He barked, shooting off the berth and to his pedes before the seeker's thrusters had even crossed the threshold. "What in Primus's name are you doing?!"

"Looking for you," Starscream replied easily, as if there was nothing odd about his unannounced presence in his former-Commander's private domicile. His optics tracked across the room, taking in the humble living arrangements. "You live here?" 

"How did you get in?" Megatron snarled, shoulders hunched defensively. There was another reason he had chosen a home so far from his former comrades. "How did you find this place?"

Starscream finally met his gaze with a condescending look, "Prime's office."

"What?" Megatron was surprised enough to lose grip on his anger for a moment. "Why would anyone willingly give you information about anything?!"

"No one gave me anything," Starscream shifted his weight to one leg, folding his arms across his cockpit. "If Prime wants to keep confidential information confidential, he should install better security systems."

"You have access to the Autobot's security systems?" A cunning thought began to form in Megatron's processor. With that sort of leverage in the negotiations he could-

"Never mind that now," Starscream waving a servo in his face interrupted his lightbulb moment, "I came to drag you out of your ...pit, for the treaty signing."

"That's not for hours yet," Megatron grumbled, resisting the urge to look back at his welcoming berth beside the windows.

"I know." Starscream moved over the threshold out of Megatron's berthroom, "We can discuss strategy over re-fuelling."

Megatron's processor didn't make sense of the situation until Starscream looked back with a put upon expression, "Are you coming? We're meeting someone."

Megatron supposed he was coming. He followed the seeker out of the apartment, rubbing a servo across his face, feeling no small sense of déjà vu. And to think, he'd been naive enough to believe ending the war would have rid him of Starscream.

 


 

 

Starscream had a private transport waiting outside the apartment. It blocked an entire traffic lane where it hovered, waiting. Megatron glared at Starscream, but the seeker seemed as unbothered by his dirty looks as he was the blaring horns of the travellers he was inconveniencing.

Inside was as ridiculously gaudy as Starscream's personality. Plush, spacious seating, blacked out windows, entertainment systems, and worst of all... a disco ball. Starscream must have had to blackmail and threaten quite a collection of politicians to have had this put together. Megatron ignored the luxuries and remained standing -or rather looming- over the seeker sprawled across his own seat, intently reading a data-news file.

They were taken to the senatorial distract. It's clear paths and pristine towers reminded Megatron of the Iacon of old, and something unpleasant settled in his tanks.

Starscream dragged him into the 'nearest' fuelling establishment. It was a far stretch from what Megatron was used to- had been used to, before the war. As a miner, as a gladiator, as a rebel insurgent -the waiting staff would have taken one look at him and called the local law enforcement.

At the sight of Starscream in all his sneering, arrogant glory, the over-polished hostess at the door tripped over herself securing them a table in their private dining room.

Now, sat across an extravagantly large table from Starscream, a large and rather threatening looking crystal chandelier hanging over his helm, and a cube of some concoction he couldn't pronounce that looked more like artwork than it did fuel anyway, Megatron wanted nothing more than to throw himself out of the building's opulently stained-glass windows.

"What is this place?" He murmured in horrified awe.

Starscream glanced up from the datapad, and Megatron was surprised he could hear him from such a distance away.

"It's fine," the seeker said stiffly, optics narrow above the datapad. "I come here all the time."

Megatron was about to make a disparaging comment about Starscream's complete lack of taste, when he noticed the seeker's attention shifting to the entrance. Ah yes, they were still waiting for someone. Which made him wonder what part he had to play in this charade.

Starscream had mentioned strategy after all.

"Who is it?"

Starscream looked up again, "Who?"

"The unfortunate clod you've brought me here to help you intimidate."

The seeker lowered his datapad, and Megatron could just about see the gears turning in that mess of a processor he had. Then a dirty smile crossed his face. "Who said anything about intimidating anyone?"

Megatron felt even more uncomfortable, something he had previously thought impossible given his current surroundings. "The treaty signing...?"

"Oh," Starscream waved a dismissive servo, "I've already dealt with that. No, this is a personal matter."

Megatron hadn't felt this out of depth since he had first stumbled out of the mines. "Personal-?"

There was the sound of footsteps behind him and Starscream suddenly stood, smile lighting up the seeker's dark face in ways Megatron had never imagined possible. With a sense of foreboding, Megatron turned-

There was a third mech in the room now.

He was tall, broad shouldered, wearing an expression that implied he was as surprised to see Megatron as Megatron was to see him. His armour was painted the traditionally obnoxious primary colours of an Autobot, and with those insipidly bright, naive blue optics, he did little else but remind Megatron a great deal of Optimus Prime.

A young Optimus Prime.

"I... Starscream, I thought-?" The mech began hesitantly, and his voice, just a shade or two off Prime's own vocaliser, made Megatron want to hit him.

Megatron stood as Starscream began to make the walk around the ridiculously large table, optics locked on the misfit adolescent that somehow, someway, knew his Air Commander... personally

"Let me introduce you. This is Regent," Starscream announced when he finally found his way to the Prime-Look-A-Like's side. Megatron watched a sky blue servo curl around the newcomer's forearm with shocking familiarity as Starscream spoke.

"I- Lord Megatron- sir," 'Regent's' servo thrust out between them, and it took Megatron a moment to drag his gaze away from Starscream to notice how it was shaking.

He took it, squeezing much harder than he needed to before yanking this 'Regent' a little closer to him. "A pleasure." He purred in the same menacing voice he used on the Real Prime. "Any friend of Starscream's..."

"We're actually more-" 'Regent' began before stopping abruptly, and paling considerably. Beside him Starscream didn't look the least phased, watching cooly, like an uninvolved third party.

"Do join us," Megatron finally released him, gesturing back to the table. Starscream was already signalling the staff to bring up another of the decadent cocktails passing for fuel in this place.

Once they had resettled, Starscream a mile down the table and 'Regent' now clutching a cube to his chest as if it could protect him from whatever an ex-Decepticon Warlord might decide to attack him with, Megatron decided a little interrogation was in order.

"So," Megatron took a large drink from his overly sweet cube, using it to brace himself, "How did you meet my Air Commander?"

"Former Air Commander," Starscream's voice drifted across the table before 'Regent' could open his mouth. "We met at the pre-treaty signing last stellar cycle. The one you refused to attend. I had no one else to talk to."

"And you 'hit it off', did you?" Megatron ignored the latter half of Starscream's sentence, his optics locked dead on 'Regent's' quivering form.

"We- we have a lot in common," Regent attempted, albeit pathetically.

Megatron drummed his digits on the edge of his cube, "I doubt that."

'Regent' swallowed thickly, looking to Starscream for help. The seeker stared back apathetically, slouched in his seat, watching the show.

"You're an Autobot." Megatron stated, rather than asked.

"No- yes," 'Regent' struggled, glancing down at the Autobot insignia covering his chest. "I was neutral. In the war. When the truce was announced I-"

"A neutral in war." Megatron placed a fist on the table and leant forward in his seat, "But an Autobot in peacetime." He raised his fist to point at the "Autobot's" chest. "What an incredibly coincidental change of spark you had."

"It. It wasn't like that."

"Oh?" Megatron hissed darkly, wondering how far he would have to push to make the coward curl up like a new-spark, "What right have you to wear that insignia?"

"No I. I was- I Am a pacifist. War is- I don't... I..."

After a few more painful moments of panicked stuttering, 'Regent' allowed his voice to taper off into silence. He stared down at his cube, and fidgeted. Like a youngling.

Megatron crossed his arms over his chest. "Yes, that sounds very noble."

Reaching the limit Megatron had been searching for, 'Regent's' chair scraped across the floor as he stood. "Starscream?" His voice sounded weak now, and nothing about it reminded Megatron of Prime. "Are you coming?"

Starscream lifted his half empty cube, "and waste this?"

The coward turned 'Autobot' flushed, cheeks purpling. He left the room without a word.

Starscream had already gone back to his datapads as if nothing had happened, and for a moment, Megatron wondered what had happened.

"Did you enjoy that?" He asked eventually.

"Of course I did," Starscream didn't even hesitate. He threw back the rest of his fuel and let the cube drop back to the table carelessly. "Honestly, these Neutrals. Throwing themselves at me. Trying to elevate their status."

"So you're, what?" Megatron growled, "Humouring them?"

"I'm having fun," Starscream spat, throwing a handful of units on the table and standing. "You should try it some time."

"Hard to do when every time I turn around I find you there," Megatron also stood, glad to finally leave this place.

"Well, if you weren't so incompetent I could have peacefully retired by now."

"I wish you would." Megatron snapped back, following Starscream out of the room and back into the public area. With so many optics curiously glancing their way he forced his expression into something less murderous.

"Well I wish you'd just hurry up and die already," Starscream ruined the facade by saying loudly, "We don't always get what we want though, do we? So get in the transport or you can walk to the treaty signing."

They were in public, but Megatron didn't think there was any media about. He could probably get away with strangling the seeker. Civilian witnesses were easily bribed after all.

 

 


 

 

There was a blissful Starscream-free stellar cycle when Megatron left New-Iacon to oversee the Grand Opening of a Kaon's first ever Science Academy. Though he detested the idea of wasting time posing for the media and shaking sleazy servos, Kaon was a welcome change to the endless meetings and paperwork of his office in New-Iacon. It was probably the closest he had come to a vacation for the first time In his existence.

His return to New-Iacon involved a quick brief on current events from Shockwave (boring), followed by his treaty bound audience with Prime (excruciating). He was just on his way to the Prime's offices on the opposite side of the senate building, when Starscream jumped out from behind one of the pillars in the hallway.

Had Megatron still carried his fusion cannon he would have blasted the idiotic seeker in the face.

"Didn't scare you, did I?" Starscream raised a suspicious brow, leaning back against the pillar.

"No." Megatron took a deep intake of air, trying to calm his spark, "Is this what your post-war career has amounted to? Lurking behind pillars, terrorising innocent passersby?"

"I happen to hear a lot hiding behind these pillars," Starscream gave his a pat, as if to say it had done it's job well. "I checked your schedule on Shockwave's system. Thought I would catch you before Prime."

"You're beneath my notice," Megatron started walking again. He lengthened his stride to inconvenience the shorter seeker when Starscream began to pursue him. "I'm running late."

"You're not." Starscream had unsubspaced a datapad. "There's a neutral faction trying to lobby some support for the old 'War-Frame Flight-Restriction Act'. You know, the one Sentinel Prime passed just before you massacred him?"

Megatron's optic twitched, but he didn't slow his pace, "I remember."

"Well it's stirred up the media. Gotten them noticed." Starscream used the datapad to tap him between the shoulder blades. "They'll be at the Tyger-Pax Commemoration Banquet tomorrow evening."

"I won't be."

"Yes, of course." Megatron could tell Starscream was sneering and making faces at him behind his back. "Lets just let Prime's lackeys and a cabal of bigoted nobodies nab all the headlines and public support because the ex-Cons are all a bunch antisocial hermits."

"Insipid sarcasm," Megatron glanced over his shoulder at the seeker's grumpy face. "Just what I like to hear."

They had reached the lobby of Prime's offices now. Megatron stopped just out of audial range of the secretarial drone, wary of eavesdroppers. "Prime will not let that act anywhere near a council chamber."

"This isn't about the act." The seeker stood his ground, "This is about reminding them," Starscream gestured to the senate building at large, "All of them, that we are still a political force to be reckoned with. Maybe then they'll think twice before resurrecting biased legislation."

Megatron hummed thoughtfully, "Perhaps..."

"Good." Starscream interrupted quickly, thrusting the datapad at him. "Read this. It covers the guest list. Memorise it. We'll be making friends..." 

"We?" Megatron's spark sank with dawning horror.

"You'll be escorting me, of course."

"...What?"

"To the banquet," Starscream said darkly, expression threatening a scene right in the middle of the lobby should Megatron refuse. "Unless, you're arranging to accompany someone else?"

Megatron desperately wracked his processor for a designation he could just toss out, anyone to save him from this fate. But none came to him.

"No?" Starscream smiled nastily. "Good. Pick me up at twenty hundred hours. I'll comm you the address."

"The banquet starts at nineteen hundred." Megatron reminded him, glancing at the event brief on the datapad. He raised an optical ridge. "We'll be late."

"I know how to tell time." Starscream sneered at him, one servo propped on his hip. "You'll need the extra hour to make yourself look presentable. And you Will. Make. Yourself. Presentable." He said with added force, pointing at him.

"...Twenty hundred hours." Megatron repeated, hoping compliance would make the seeker go away.

"A true gentlemech," Starscream smirked in victory, wriggling his claws at him in some semblance of a wave as he left.

Megatron stared after him, filled with dread.

Chapter Text

Megatron had considered the risks of standing Starscream up. The seeker knew where he lived, had no difficulties in getting past his security systems, and -having been raised amongst the high caste- would take considerable offence at such an affront. It was hardly worth the risk of waking up one morning to find himself sharing his berth with a decapitated helm.

Most likely his own.

Starscream's apartment was as impractical as the seeker himself. Situated on the uppermost floor of Volatus Point -a tower built exclusively for flight capables- there was no access in or out of the apartment save for it's balcony. No stairs. No elevators. Perfectly acceptable for residents sparked with thrusters and wings. For Megatron, standing one thousand feet beneath what he assumed was his Air Commander's apartment, it wasn't very helpful.

For a spilt second he wondered if he could climb it. If that would impress Starscream, or incense him? Then he thought of a way to annoy the seeker that required a lot less effort on his part.

He opened up his com and hailed the seeker's frequency.

"Yes?" Starscream's voice snapped. He already sounded irritated, and the night hadn't even begun.

"Oh Rapunzel, Rapunzel." Megatron replied, in lieu of a greeting, knowing Starscream would pick up on the organic cultural reference. "Won't you let down your hair?"

The com disconnected abruptly, and Megatron watched the balcony for some sign of movement. Eventually a glint of red and white appeared behind the barrier. He could tell the seeker was looking down at him in disgust, even from all the way down here.

Rather than jumping and using his thrusters to slow his descent, Starscream threw himself from the balcony, performed two loops and a barrel roll, and landed with a skid some distance away from Megatron. Show off.

"I told you not to pry into that squishy 'internet'. It's addled your processor." Was the first thing out of Starscream's mouth as he crossed the distance between them. Now that he was closer (and not moving faster than the speed of sound) Megatron could see that he had had himself repainted. Same colour scheme, but the patterns of the red and white had shifted on his armour. It made him look sharper. Slimmer even. Much less like a war-build. Probably some ridiculous fashion craze-

"What are you staring at?" Starscream's abrasive voice cut off his thoughts.

Megatron blinked himself back to the present. "What have you done to yourself? You look like you're on your way to perform burlesque."

"It's called colour blocking, you walking billboard," the seeker's optics tracked up and down his frame, mouth curling in disappointment. "I told you to look presentable."

Megatron looked down at himself. He had washed. Wasn't that enough?

Starscream's sigh was long suffering. He caught Megatron by the elbow, and the former warlord nearly shucked him off when the contact made an odd tingle shoot up his back strut. "It's a ten minute trip," the seeker was saying absently, leading Megatron towards their waiting transport. "I'm sure I can do something..."

 


 

 

Violated.

Megatron had been violated in the back of Starscream's souped-up luxury cruiser with a polishing cloth and a can of what smelt like jasmine polish.

"Glad you could make it," Prime's powerful servo clamping down on his shoulder broke him out of his post-traumatic trance. "You look good, old friend."

Megatron grunted in response, nodding noncommittally. Beside him Starscream's rigorously polished armour glistened in the golden overhead lighting, a beacon of obnoxiousness drawing all the other guest's attention away from the ex-Decepticon warlord. But with the amount of sycophants attending this party, he was actually thankful.

They were months into their truce, but it still felt disconcerting being in such closed quarters with so many he had once considered mortal enemies. Some he still did. The Prime was flanked by his close confidants, Ratchet and Ironhide, both of whom were glaring at Megatron with the full force of their disapproval, likely amazed that he had even had the audacity to turn up.

"Evening Prime," Starscream announced loudly, satisfied only with the entirety of everyone's attention. He glided in between them, planting a servo on Megatron's chest like he owned him, digits splayed possessively. The touch warmed something in Megatron's core, though he couldn't help feeling something like the seeker's accessory.

"Might we have a word?" Starscream continued, optics flicking to Prime's lackeys. "Alone?"

"No politics tonight, Starscream," Prime fielded carefully, "This is a social gathering-"

"The commemoration banquet?" The seeker interrupted, and though his expression was calm and serene, Megatron could feel the pinpricks of claws beginning to dig into his armour. "If this isn't a political occasion..."

Megatron took Starscream's servo in his own, removing it from his chest before it left gouges in his armour, squeezing hard in warning. "Make yourself useful," he told the glaring seeker, interrupting before Starscream caused an incident, "Find us some drinks."

Starscream stared back at him hard, before scornfully yanking his servo free. He turned to Prime, hissing through gritted denta, "Excuse me."

They watched Starscream swan off, parting the crowd easily.

Prime cleared his throat, subtly gesturing for his comrades to give them some room. Megatron wished they wouldn't. He and Prime hadn't been left to their own devices in over a million years without it having turned into a fist fight.

"I'm pleased to see you and Starscream have finally put your differences aside," Prime told him graciously. "I always thought you would have made a good match."

Megatron frowned, "A 'good match'? In the gladiatorial pits, perhaps..."

Prime looked confused behind the mask, "Then you're not...?"

"Not what?"

"Here," Starscream's return abruptly ended the conversation. He thrust a cube -high-grade from the smell of it- into Megatron's chest. "Next time get it yourself. Lazy oaf."

"It was good seeing you both," Prime suddenly announced, as if only just now coming to the realisation that interacting with them both at the same time would do little good for him or his Autobots. "I'm sure we'll be seeing plenty of each other in the council chambers in the coming weeks, Megatron." He nodded, then bent lower for the seeker. "Starscream."

"Off to ingratiate himself with those credit inflated neutrals, I suppose," Starscream groused when the Prime was out of audial range.

"Yes," Megatron rolled his optics and began looking for the exit, "A true waste."

"Where are you going?" Starscream demanded, catching his wrist and drawing him back.

"Home."

"No." The seeker's optic twitched, "I didn't spent hours on 'this'-" he gestured to himself, "-just to end up in berth before midnight."

"Then stay." Megatron growled, hardly bothered with the seeker's excessive grooming. "I don't see why I should have to suffer this indignity in the first place."

Starscream looked scandalised, "You're abandoning me?"

Megatron was actually quite offended at the implication, "I am not..."

"-With Autobots and Neutrals." The seeker continued, "and Prime!"

"You'll be fine," Megatron snarled, struggling to keep his temper in the crowded hall. Media loitered around the edges of the room, cameras and data-pads at the ready. He could see the morning headlines now, Psychotic Warlord Assaults Seeker At Peace Treaty Banquet. "With your regal heritage, you'll fit right in."

He meant it as an insult and Starscream took it as one. There was a moment when he thought the seeker might actually instigate the violence, his sky-blue servos shaking in fury, before it passed. Starscream turned on his heel and disappeared back into the multicoloured crowd of armour. Megatron watched the spot where he'd vanished, taking deep breaths to calm himself.

The cube the seeker had gotten him was still warm in his servo. Quickly he downed it, relishing the burn as it hit his tanks, kickstarting his charge.

"Megs?" A delighted sounding voice called to him.

Ready to throughly reprimand the butchering of his designation, Megatron turned his helm to the source of the indignation, thunderous scowl in place. It faltered when he was faced with the elegant -but no less deadly- face of Elita-One, smiling at him like a much missed friend.

Her arms were open as if to embrace him, and he nearly tripped over his own pedes.

"I didn't think you'd come," she lowered her arms, thinking better of it.

"I didn't think you were planet-side." He replied, glancing over her helm at the crowd, wishing he hadn't so hastily shooed Starscream off. Elita was dangerous in ways he couldn't combat.

"Arrived this morning," she nodded, still managing to smile. "With the truce finalised, thought I might spend a little more time here." Her optics wandered to somewhere left of Megatron's shoulder, and her voice turned wistful, "Optimus and I have waited so long..."

The conversation was turning very personal, very fast. Megatron backed away a few paces. He tried not to sneer as he replied. "Yes, how wonderful for you."

She refocused her attention, optics darkening knowingly, "What about you," her smile had an edge to it now, "Saw you come in with Starscream?"

"Yes, you and the rest of Cybertron," Megatron grumbled under his breath, thinking the glow from Starscream's armour could have been seen from the next solar system over.

"We had a betting pool you know." She said, apropos of nothing. She lifted her cube, hiding her mouth behind it, "on how long you would take."

"For the truce?"

"Oh." Elita arched an elegant brow, optics brightening, "Something like that."

Their conversation had gone from disconcerting to just plain weird, and frankly, she was probably a little charged. He gingerly nudged her in the direction of Prime, hoping she'd find her way. She waved a servo at him in farewell, winking like she knew something he didn't.

Megatron hoped to Primus he never interacted with her again outside a professional environment.

His desire to leave renewed, he headed for the large open doors. Some little thought in the back of his mind wouldn't leave him alone though, a lingering feeling of guilt. He hadn't wanted to come to this ridiculous charade in the first place. He was hardly abandoning Starscream. And it wasn't like the seeker couldn't handle himself amongst the increasingly charged masses of Autobots...

With a furious noise Megatron turned back inside, helm craned high in search of the familiar arch of Starscream's wings.

He spotted them by the bar, thankfully still attached to the seeker they belonged to. It was only when he manoeuvred further into the swelling crowd of politicians desperate for high grade that he noticed the seeker wasn't alone.

Starscream was sat on a barstool, and sat sideways across his lap was a cerise coloured femme with a petite frame. Her arms were wound around his shoulders, her coral painted lips pressed close to his audials as she spoke intimately to him.

The spark in Megatron's chest burned hotter than an exploding sun.

Starscream's own servos rested on her hip and thigh. His denta shone brightly as he smiled. Their noses brushed before lips closed together in a kiss. There was glossa.

Of all the immature-

Starscream's optics onlined into slits and caught his gaze. Megatron saw his mouth curve into the kiss as he smirked. Like he wanted Megatron to see this. Primus knew why.

Megatron sneered back at the promiscuous little brat, turning and retreating into the crowd.

 


 

 

Megatron opened his data-pad to the news first thing the next morning, and was greeted with a blown up image of him and Starscream, standing side-by-side before Prime. Starscream was leaning in close to him, his servo resting intimately on his chest. The title read 'Exclusive. Decepticon Dalliance: The truth at last.'

Half awake and overcharged from the night before, Megatron had thrown the datapad against the wall the moment he'd seen Starscream's devious face. As a result he had to drag himself out of his lair and into the world in order to purchase another news-pad. The only thing worse than being the morning headline, was not knowing why.

"Suing; detrimental to public image," Soundwave told him some hours later in his office at the senate.

Megatron brandished the data-pad at him again, "Did you read it?!"

"Affirmative." Soundwave nodded calmly, "Twice."

Megatron fumed, turning the file around to look at it again. Searching for that one sentence in particular, '...sources close to the former Air Commander have confirmed the nature of the relationship as intimate...' He slammed his fist into the desk, denting the metal.

"Why isn't that seeker answering his comm?" He demanded for the third time since Soundwave had arrived, trying, and failing, to hail Starscream. Though taking last night into consideration, he was probably still in the clutches of that femme from the bar. "Which one of his idiot trine is telling them this?"

"Sources; falsified." Soundwave stated, but Megatron was fairly sure he was just saying that to calm him down.

"I want you to send out a statement," Megatron stood behind his desk, too restless to remain seated. "Tell them I wouldn't touch Starscream's over-polished backside with a ten foot pole!"

Soundwave didn't verbally refuse, but everything about the way he was staring at Megatron implied he wasn't going to do that.

"It's vile!" Megatron snapped again, pacing, arms clasped behind his back, "the implication that I would be involved with a subordinate. This is Starscream's fault." He stabbed the data file on his desk, right over the image of the seeker, "Him and his cursed flirting."

"I will endeavour to have the story removed," Soundwave finally said, pushing himself to his pedes and sounding very tired. "And continue attempting contact with Starscream."

Megatron sat down heavily, sinking back in his seat. "Wipe all public appearances from the schedule."

Soundwave paused, before bowing him helm. "As you wish, Lord High Protector."

 


 

 

Aside from Prime occasionally bullying him out of the senate building for 'casual' meetings in the odd fuelling establishment, and on one hateful occasion the park (to enjoy the weather), Megatron managed to avoid all aspects of public life. It was a difficult feat indeed. The Autobots were rather over-fond of their parties, and fonder still of inviting him.

Tonight was the half vorn anniversary of the unofficial entente, and rather than letting the date fade into insignificance like all normal citizens would, Prime and his gaggle of lackeys had decided to set up a formal gala to commemorate it.

When Prime had personally handed Megatron his invitation it had gone straight from his servo to the trash -to Megatron's instant regret. Not even he was immune to the guilt tripping a woeful Prime could generate.

Still, he hadn't gone.

The evening was far better spent reclined on his berth, the data-pads of half finished paperwork illuminating his reflection in this wide windows as he watched the distant lights of New-Iacon's city centre.

His comm started to flash. Drowsy, and annoyed that someone would call at such a late hour, he answered it with an irritated, "What?"

There was a breathy sigh on the other end, "It's me." A scratchy voice answered.

Megatron sat upright on his berth, datapads knocking to the floor. "Starscream?"

"I waited all night." The seeker sounded annoyed, as if Megatron had called him, "where were you?"

"Why are you calling me?" Megatron demanded, of half a processor to just hang up on the seeker. They hadn't spoken since the night of the banquet, and he had begun to suspect Starscream was avoiding him.

He could hear the sounds of the city in the background, and the rush of air that implied Starscream was flying, "You weren't at that trice cursed gala!"

Megatron refocused his audials to hear him better over the static, "The gala?"

"I wanted to see you, idiot." The whistling of wind had died down, and the traffic of the city was muffled. Starscream must be inside now, wherever he was. "Stuck talking to insipid Autobots all night..."

It was only now that Megatron could hear the slur in the seeker's voice. He was overcharged.

"You have no one to blame for that but yourself," he grumbled, swinging his legs off the berth to stand.

"You should have been there," there was a slam, and Megatron could almost imagine the seeker, stumbling around his apartment in a drunken state. "What was more important?!"

"Paperwork." Megatron grumbled, shifting through some of the files on his desk until he found the news-pad. He updated it, watching it load 'most recent stories'. Pictures of the gala began cropping up.

"Don't lie to me," Starscream slurred angrily, and Megatron found himself smirking, despite the oddity of the situation. He started to record the conversation, thinking he could use it to humiliate the seeker in future.

"You're overcharged, you ridiculous creature," Megatron told him, flicking through the gala images, skipping past Prime and his entourage. "Sleep it off."

"No, I'm coming over."

"You'll fall out of the sky," Megatron said, mostly to bait him. Some small part of him wanted to witness this first hand. In all the millennia he'd known Starscream, the seeker had never drunk much past tipsy.

There was a muffled thump, like Starscream had landed on something soft. A chair? His berth, hopefully. "I want to talk to you."

"We're talking now." Megatron murmured, lifting the news-file as he finally came across a picture of Starscream. He wasn't the focus of the image. Blurred in the background, scowling at merry making Autobots, clutching an energon cube to his chest like it was his last friend in all the world.

"I never thought this could happen." Megatron zoomed in on the image of Starscream's scowling face as the seeker rambled on. "Doesn't feel real."

"What doesn't?"

There was a sound like a yawn, the rustle of fabric, like Starscream was shifting against berth covers. "Coming out the other side. Being alive. Being here. With you..."

"Starscream?" Megatron lowered the datafile and glanced out his windows. One of the lights in the distant skylines would belong to Starscream's apartment.

There was a hummed response, more fabric rustling. "Keep talking..."

Megatron frowned, "Why?"

"S'nice."

Megatron stared at the comlink on his wrist for what felt like a full minute. "I'm hanging up. Go to recharge."

He heard Starscream emit a whine before cutting the com, and his apartment suddenly felt very dark, and very empty. He glanced at the blurred image of the seeker on the datapad again, before snorting in derision and tossing it aside. 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Megatron didn't see Starscream again until the opening of the War and Peace Memorial. It was a fifty foot, cringeworthy cast-iron statue of two mechs grasping each other's forearms. The mechs resembled neither himself nor Prime in any distinguishable way, but that wasn't going to stop Megatron from feeling supremely embarrassed when the hideous thing was finally uncovered.

Prime was on the podium, giving his speech to the crowd filling the city square, sprawling beyond Megatron's vision. The masses waved their banners and cried out their adoration. The only reason Megatron didn't roll his optics at the spectacle was because the media would inevitably capture the moment.

On the other side of Prime's podium, as far him from as seemingly possible without being out in the crowds themselves, Starscream was stood amongst his trine.

Megatron watched him for a long while, waiting to catch his optic. But the seeker remained resolutely staring forward.

"-start of a new prosperous age of peace, solidarity, cooperation-" Prime was carrying on, apparently listing all the synonyms for unity because the speech wasn't long enough. Starscream couldn't possibly be listening as intently as he was pretending to be.

Beside Starscream, Skywarp glanced his way, and Megatron did catch his optic. He also saw Starscream harshly elbow his trine mate, muttering something out of the corner of his mouth. Skywarp's gaze turned frontwards.

They were ignoring him.

Megatron's mood soured considerably, and he was sure this evenings news would be plastered with pictures of himself scowling at the opening of the War and Peace Memorial, and Soundwave and the rest of his Public Relations team would certainly quit.

Prime had finally stopped talking, and now was time for Megatron to play out his minuscule part in this event. He came forward with Prime, each of them grasping the edge of the vibrant purple sheet covering the statue, and together pulled it off.

The crowd cheered, cameras flashed. He had to stand in place for the pictures, and though Prime's face mask meant he could be pulling any expression, Megatron didn't have such a luxury.

"Historians in the far future are going to see these pictures," Prime leant ever so slightly towards him to murmur. "And they're going to wonder why you were so miserable."

When Megatron was finally released from the constraints of the press, he was annoyed to find that Starscream had long since disappeared. And this had been the only event for the next two months they had both been scheduled for.

"Suggestion." Soundwave came out of nowhere behind him, and Megatron's spark nearly leapt out of its casing. "Arrange a private audience between yourself and Starscream."

Megatron bristled, "What makes you think I want to see him?!"

Soundwave stared at him silently.

Megatron snarled in irritation and stalked in the direction of the Autobot delegation. The sooner he exchanged empty pleasantries with them, the sooner he could leave. Halfway through the torture of listening to Jazz gush on about his and Prowl's new home in Praxus, Megatron caught sight of two dark purple wings. Skywarp.

He waved Jazz's story to a finish and quickly excused himself.

Skywarp was sitting on the steps beneath the memorial, waiting. Megatron hadn't seen the seeker since the very beginning of the negotiations, which seemed so long ago now. He hadn't changed much. His smile was broader perhaps, his armour better kept; but he was much the same seeker.

"Hey," he said with none of the respect of someone addressing a superior officer. Then, Megatron supposed he wasn't anymore.

"Skywarp," he nodded, looming over the jet when Skywarp didn't move to stand. "Your trine left rather quickly."

"Busy mechs." Skywarp shrugged, then with all the subtlety of a fusion cannon to the face, said, "You still single? Asking for a friend."

"What?" Megatron demanded, veering back. 

"I can set you up, you know?" Skywarp snapped his fingers as if struck with a sudden thought, "Hey! Screamer's available, I can get- hey no, wait! Don't walk away!"

Megatron fled for the safety of the barriers, where Skywarp wouldn't be able to get past Prime's security.

A pattern had begun to appear in regards to his former-second: and where there were patterns, there were plots.

 


 

 

Megatron avoided Autobots like they harboured cosmic rust. This was done out of both his willingness to keep the peace, and a healthy sense of self preservation. It was not a tactic shared by Optimus Prime, whose unerring ambition in bringing both factions together like one big happy family would never fade.

"It's not an agenda," Prime was leaning into his office desk, servos clasped together in front of him like a plea. "It's just a party."

Megatron, leaning away from said desk, only felt more sure of his answer. "I'm not going."

"No politics," Prime started counting on his fingers, "No media. No neutrals. It's nothing but a casual get together for old friends-"

"I've tried to kill half the guest list, Prime." Megatron growled, optic twitching at the implication that any of his 'old friends' were still alive. "Your obsession with manipulating me into these situations is getting out of hand."

Prime's infuriatingly blue optics brightened in faux surprise, "I would never manipulate you."

"You asked me here to discuss health legislation."

"Yes, well," Prime waved his servo, "That can wait for another day. Now, are you coming?"

"I would rather be thrown out of a moving train."

"I have invited Starscream." Prime pressed, as if the troublesome seeker's attendance was going to change Megatron's processor. "He accepted."

Megatron grunted.

The Autobot settled back in his seat, "I told him you wouldn't be coming."

"...and?" Megatron tried not to sound too interested.

"Soundwave mentioned you had some sort of... disagreement," Prime explained, and really Megatron had had no idea the leader of their entire planet was such a gossip. Nor Soundwave for that matter. "That he's been avoiding you?"

"I don't speak to that idiot seeker often enough for us to disagree on anything," Megatron growled, deciding to squash the rumour before it spread. Or worse, the media caught wind. "And you'll have to inform him that he won't be spared of my company after all."

"Oh?" Prime was trying hard to sound taken aback at such a sudden change of mind. He was a very bad liar. "So you are coming?"

Megatron pushed his chair away from Prime's desk, feeling the same sense of ominous finality of someone about to throw themselves off a cliff as he said, "My evening just opened up."

 


 

 

Logically, Megatron knew that Prime did not live in a palace, though Optimus's general air of grandiose and regality often lead to the impression. Still comparatively large, Prime's home was quite humble, lacking the open halls and towering pillars Megatron knew most of the previous senates' accommodations wouldn't have been without.

The gathering was smaller than the large governmental events he had grown used to, and Prime had been true to his word. Megatron knew every face there from having spent so many thousands of years shooting at them.

"I thought you weren't coming?"

Megatron turned his helm towards to the source of the voice, and there was Starscream, loitering just beyond the entryway. Like he had been waiting for him to arrive.

"Hoped I wasn't?" He corrected, unable to help himself.

Starscream sneered, "You hate this sort of thing. Did you come here just to spite me?"

"Don't be so arrogant, Starscream," Megatron lied, "Not everything is about you."

The seeker's optic roll was disbelieving. He began moving to turn away, "I'll leave you to your skulking then."

"Yes, I suppose you'll want to get an early start on flaunting yourself about the room."

"I'm sure you'll have fallen asleep in one of Prime's armchairs long before then, you dilapidated husk..."

Megatron felt his temper rise, denta clenched, "Watch your tone, brat-"

"Just like old times, huh?!" Suddenly, Skywarp's grinning face appeared with a signature flash beside them, swinging his arms over their shoulders in a completely inappropriate show of familiarity.

Megatron had jumped at the seeker's appearance. Starscream, obviously more used to it, had not. And that only annoyed Megatron more. He shoved the purple seeker off, levelling Skywarp with the same sort of glare he usually reserved for politicians and paparazzi. "What are you doing here?" He asked, because Skywarp hadn't been on the guest list Prime had supplied.

"I'm a plus one," Skywarp's arm noticeably tightened around his trine leader's shoulder.

Megatron found himself teetering back on his pedes as he struggled to observe them. Together. As a couple. "You're...?"

"Primus no!" Starscream snapped with considerable disgust, shucking Skywarp off. "As if I would ever-!"

Skywarp cupped a servo to his mouth, leaning towards Megatron and pulling a distraught face as he stage whispered, "Screamer's date stood him up.

The knot that had tightened in Megatron's tank loosened considerably at that news. He found himself smiling. Starscream must have taken it for gloating however, because his expression continued to darken.

"Skywarp." He snapped in the clipped cadence of the Air Commander he once was, "Work the room."

"Huh?" Skywarp looked befuddled, and Starscream had to bodily shove him in the direction of the other mingling guests, hissing through his gritted denta for Skywarp to, "Just tell them some jokes, you idiot."

The immediate vicinity now clear of unwanted trine mates, Starscream swung back to Megatron. "I wasn't stood up."

Megatron had no idea why Starscream felt he needed to know that. He struggled to respond in any dignified manner, and had to settle on a passive, "Of course not."

"I cancelled on him." Starscream continued, and his face had actually purpled a little under his optics, like a blush. A trick of the light perhaps. "Prime told me you were coming, and I knew you'd cause a scene." He drew that last word out with a sneer.

"I care little for what reprobate company you keep," Megatron glanced deliberately in Skywarp's direction, where the seeker was waving his arms about as he told what must have been a very animated joke. "And even less so for the unfortunate sparks you drag into your berth."

Starscream inhaled sharply, and experience told Megatron he was about to start shrieking. But Prime's home was a far less appropriate location for a screaming match than the weathered bridge of the Nemesis had been, and Starscream swallowed it down, face an even darker shade of indigo. "Better my berth than your coffin."

He twirled on his heel and strutted off, wings and nose high in the air. The temptation to chase him down and get the last word in dwindled when the seeker slipped in amongst the guests surrounding Elita-One.

No amount of witty comeback was worth Megatron putting himself under her scrutiny. He found a cube, and then a comfortable seat along the edge of the room. An hour or so would be enough to satisfy Prime, and then he could slink off back to the solitude of his own apartment.

Somewhere on the far side of the room Starscream's cackle was loud and obnoxious. Megatron scowled and downed his entire cube in one.

 


 

 

Somewhere between the first and second hour, Prime's dignified evening had descended into a raunchy, overcharged rave. Elita had obviously over ordered the high-grade, assuming (rightly so) that the two factions wouldn't be able to interact in any civilised manner without the influence of some sort of intoxicants.

Megatron, sulking from the sidelines, was only slightly buzzed, and therefore sober enough to appreciate just how hammered his fellow guests were. Prime had lowered his face mask and was sipping high grade through some ridiculous novelty straw, Ironhide was stood on a table and appeared to loudly re-telling some half forgotten tale of battle, and Skywarp had managed to seduce and subsequently sandwich himself between the two Autobot twins.

It was amusing to watch, but when Arcee began to challenge everyone in her vicinity to an arm wrestling contest, and then proceeded to win against the likes of Soundwave and Brawn, Megatron decided put a little distance between himself and the revelry before he too lost his dignity to it.

There was a balcony at the end of the hall, long crimson curtains framing it's archway and providing a sense of privacy for it's occupants. Megatron stepped out onto it, taking a deep breath of the night air, helm tilted back to appreciate the glittering canvas of stars above. The city noises drowned out the party inside just enough for Megatron to forget he was part of it.

He crossed the balcony to lean his weight against the barrier, but was stopped short when he caught a glimpse of red.

"I was here first." Starscream was sat precariously on the edge of the barrier, legs crossed at the knee, wings hung low. His optics were dim and hooded, and his vocaliser heavy with charge. "And I don't feel like sharing."

Megatron leant his hip against the barrier anyway, facing the seeker, arms crossed over his chest. "Having fun?" He asked, only just realising that he hadn't seen much of the seeker at all since he first arrived.

Starscream snorted, swaying slightly over the edge. Megatron's digits twitched at the sight, thinking for a moment the drunken idiot was going to teeter over it. But Starscream rightened himself, throwing his arm out in an angry gesture, "The time of my life!"

He obviously wasn't, and Megatron would really rather not get into a drunken argument with an ex-colleague. Going back inside would feel too much like a retreat though, especially with Starscream staking his claim on the balcony. It would annoy the seeker to stay, and that was reason enough for him.

"You appear to have misplaced your date." He could hear Skywarp's hiccuping laugh from all the way out here.

A cube had appeared in Starscream right servo seemingly out of nowhere. Energon sloshed against the sides as he lifted it to his mouth, "Wouldn't be the first time."

"Don't you think you've had enough?"

"You clearly do," Starscream spat, face twisting, "When did you become such an old prude?"

Megatron was about to say that it only appeared that way because the seeker was acting more and more like a delinquent teenager every time they crossed paths, but the cube Starscream was holding looked like it was poised to be thrown at his helm.

"Here." Deciding to be the better mech, he extended his servo, hoping the seeker would take it before he finally did overbalance and fall off the wrong side of the balcony. Megatron would only be blamed for pushing him.

Starscream stared at the proffered servo, lips tight, before relenting with a roll of his optics. His servo landed in Megatron's. It was clammy with overcharge, but still the smooth delicate hand of a high caste prince. It didn't fit right against Megatron's own. Incompatible in incomprehensible ways.

Megatron frowned at he pulled the seeker to his pedes, digits closing around Starscream's smaller servo, thumb sliding across the smooth armour. He felt Starscream squeezing back, the tiny twitch of tightening digits.

"Fool," Megatron murmured when the seeker wobbled ridiculously, free servo waving about for balance until it caught against Megatron's chest. He watched as the seeker muttered angrily under his breath, adjusting himself so he was leant against Megatron's arm.

Only for balance, of course.

"If you let me fall, I'll kill you." Starscream threatened, helm low. He let Megatron guide him back into the hall, both servos gripping his now.

The party had continued to deteriorate in their brief absence. The once tasteful music had been swapped out for something heavier in bass, and distinctly human-sounding. It came as no surprise for Megatron to see Jazz at the speakers.

"Hey, Star!" Skywarp had managed to extract himself from his admirers and plant himself directly in their path, thwarting Megatron's escape plan. "You wanna dance?"

"He's taken," Megatron growled before really thinking about it. He released the seeker's servo to curl an arm around his waist, tucking Starscream close to his side to better prevent anyone from stealing the seeker out from under him.

Skywarp's optics widened. He backed off without a word, servos open in front of him. A few of the Autobots had noticed them now, helms bent as they murmured too each other, curious. Megatron felt oddly exposed.

Under their scrutiny, Starscream's servo went for the one Megatron had around his waist. Expecting to be shoved off, Megatron loosened his grip. But Starscream adjusted him instead, pushing the servo lower to cup his hip, settling in closer to Megatron, helm high again.

"Walk me out," The seeker demanded. He was all heavy and warm, lacking his usual poise, draped as he was against the former leader. Still, he took it in his stride, wearing Megatron like a socialite did fine Praxian jewellery as he stumbled his way to the door.

"Did you fly here?" Megatron asked when they made it out onto Prime's expansive landing platform. He couldn't see Starscream's ridiculously pimped out transport obediently waiting for him like it did at most functions. Perhaps it had finally summoned the sense to find a better employer than a drunken ex-Decepticon.

"Yes!" somehow offended, Starscream shrugged him off and stumbled a few paces away.

Megatron instinctively reached for him again, envisioning the ridiculous brat falling over the platform railing this time. Why didn't Starscream have the sense to just sit down and wait for the world to stop spinning?

"I'll call a transport," Megatron sighed, lifting his com.

"I'm flying," Starscream argued, like a petulant youngling.

"You'll fly into a window and break your neck," Megatron told him, already sending off a message hailing for pickup. "I'm sure they'll find some way to blame me for that too."

He moved to recollect the seeker, but Starscream quickened his pace to a hurried scamper. There was a muffled 'thoom' of thrusters igniting. The seeker jumped, gained half a second of flight time, before crashing back to the landing platform. Face down. Unmoving.

Megatron languidly strolled over to the prone seeker. Taking the sight in, committing it to his memory banks, before crouching down and slipping his servos under the seeker's limp arms. "Let's go," he sighed, lifting the groaning seeker back to his pedes.

 


 

 

Starscream spent the entire ride back to his apartment lying across the seats in the back of the transport, one arm hanging listlessly off the edge, the other thrown across his optics in typically melodramatic seeker fashion. Megatron stood off to the side and did his best to ignore him.

The transport took them up to the balcony of Starscream's apartment, but when it drifted to a stop, the seeker declined to move.

With a heavy sigh at the battle he knew lay before him, Megatron instructed the transport to wait.

Starscream didn't seem to want to go anywhere unless he was being carried, and Megatron wasn't going to lift a fully grown, military trained seeker bridal style no matter how sorry for himself he was feeling. The result was him awkwardly dragging a swearing Starscream off the transport and into the building.

The apartment was large and open plan. It's high ceiling was painted the same warm colour as the dawn sky, probably to trick the claustrophobic seeker in Starscream's dormant coding into thinking he was outside. The open archways and glass-less windows meant cool night air was breezing in from every direction. It wasn't half as gaudy as Megatron had feared it would be, but still typically opulent of someone raised among high caste nobility.

It was all the more ironic that Starscream was in such an undignified predicament.

"This is disgraceful," Megatron growled at him, somehow finding the generosity to throw the seeker onto a low lying, contemporary-looking couch rather than the floor. "What sort of state is this to get yourself into? In front of Autobots no less."

"Autobots?" Starscream said lazily, having arranged himself into an uncouth sort of sprawl across his couch, thighs and arms spread. "They were in worse 'states'."

Megatron had the distinct feeling he was being made fun of.

There was a energon dispenser on the far side of the room, and being the generous mech he was, Megatron moved to get the seeker a cube of low-grade to save Starscream from at least some of the pain of the next cycle's hangover.

"In my day," Megatron began, returning with the sickly pale cube of low-grade energon, "Drinking high-grade until we lost motor control wasn't considered 'fun'."

Starscream nearly spilled the low-grade down himself as he laughed. "Why?" He cringed as he took a sip, "High grade not exist back then?"

"Drink the low-grade, it'll dilute the charge," he moved around the couch and headed for the archway to the balcony, "And don't call me,"

"Wait," Starscream called, helm popping up over the back of the couch, "You don't wanna stay?"

Megatron blinked, "And continue watching you make such an unparalleled fool of yourself?"

"Thought you would have enjoyed that..." Starscream's expression very slowly curled into a smirk. He ducked behind the couch coyly, so that just his dimmed optics were visible over the backrest, "Wanna watch me some more?"

A sky-blue servo lifted, and an elegant forefinger beckoned him closer.

Something warm brewed in the pit of Megatron's tank, a curious something that might only be reacting with the high-grade he had so neglectfully thrown into his systems. His pedes had carried him across the room almost on their own volition until he was leaning down over the back of the couch, into Starscream's personal space.

Starscream was still sprawled there, laid out, uncharacteristically submissive in both posture and expression. His smirk was gone, lips now parted, optics narrow slits of crimson light. Megatron leant in, and Starscream exhaled, his breath sweet and rich with high grade. He was very overcharged.

Megatron shuttered his optics, and straightened back up again.

"Hey," Starscream frowned, voice oddly soft, "Don't..."

"Sleep it off." Megatron said firmly, onlining his optics to give him a stern look, brushing away the seeker's attempts to reach for him again.

He turned away from Starscream's downtrodden expression and fled for the balcony before whatever witchcraft his former Second was utilising could catch him again.

Prime and his stupid parties.

 


 

 

Megatron had gotten himself out of the habit of checking the data-news ever since he started featuring so prominently in it. He received his current events entirely through Shockwave's daily memos, and it was considerably less infuriating than having to wade through paragraphs of biased journalism to find the real information.

He was dozing -helm only slightly fuzzy from the night before, listening to traffic drifting through the open window- when his com pinged.

He rolled onto his back and opened the message, expecting some last minute change to his schedule, or a political emergency. Starscream's number flashed on the screen, and Megatron was filled with instant horror when an image popped up. It was blurred, cropped, obviously copied off the front page of some disreputable media sight, and depicted himself in the act of hauling Starscream out of the back of the transport.

Megatron stared at it.

After what seemed like a lifetime, another message appeared. Text this time, reading, It's a good look for us both, don't you think?

You're an idiot, Megatron wrote back, and deactivated his com.

 

Chapter Text

Starscream sent off at least four more witty innuendos before realising Megatron must have turned off his com link. The old mech didn't have a sense of humour, and would have resorted to his entire vocabularies worth of colourful Tarnish insults by now. 

It mattered little. If Megatron thought something as simple as deactivating his com was going to save him from this, he was sorely mistaken.

Starscream observed the image Skywarp had generously bombarded him with that morning. It wasn't by any means a flattering picture, of himself or Megatron, but he liked it. He forwarded it to everyone in his contacts and then printed off a few hard copies to hide around Megatron's office later.

Giving up on his recluse of a former-leader he entered the code for someone whose com was never off.

"Shockwave." The once sub-commander now bureaucrat answered his com with all the usual pretentious formality of someone who used to be important.

"Has he called you yet?" Starscream asked without preamble.

"Oh, it's you," Shockwave sounded beyond disappointed, "No. Lord Megatron has made himself unreachable at this time. Can't imagine why."

The passive aggression could have been leaking out of the com speaker it was so thick.

"I might release a statement in his place then," Starscream said, scooping up his work (and the incriminating pictures). "Requesting privacy in regards to our... 'personal' relationship."

"Don't. You. Dare." Shockwave sounded like he meant business. "Lord Megatron's reputation has been besmirched enough-"

"What are you, his mother?"

"I'll file a restraining order against you." Shockwave threatened.

"To keep me away from you, or to keep me away from him?"

"Both!" Shockwave's voice raised a few octaves, "I'm removing you from the approved guest list at the senate."

"That's fine. I'll see him at his apartment."

"You will not." Starscream could hear tapping noises in the background and knew that Shockwave was probably in the midst of drafting that restraining order he was so fond of threatening him with. "Whatever scheme you're concocting against Lord Megatron, I will not stand for it. And neither will Prime."

Starscream lifted a brow, smiling to himself. "Prime...?" He confirmed with false interest.

"He's been making enquiries," Shockwave sounded rather pleased with himself. "And I won't be protecting you when this entire fiasco of yours backfires, as it inevitably will."

Starscream sneered at his smugness, but didn't tip off Shockwave to the idea that Prime's curiosity might have had nothing to do with underhanded politics and everything to do with that rather unsubtle betting pool that Skywarp had let the Autobots in on.

"Speaking of Prime, I have a private audience with him this morning," Starscream decided to stress him that little bit more. "So try not to have my security clearance revoked before then, won't you?"

There were pompous sounding spluttering noises coming from the other end of the line. "You can't- a private audience?"

"Oh yes," Starscream grinned nastily, moving to check himself in the mirror beside the balcony. "We're in cahoots, Prime and I. Didn't you know?"

He stayed on the the line long enough to hear the very beginning of Shockwave's panicked squawk, hanging up just before the first syllable had chance to morph into a hysterical threat.

After turning his back to the mirror to glance at his wings -polished, smear free, and holding high- he stepped out into the morning light and ignited his thrusters, setting course for the senate building.

Like he was going to let some glorified secretary dictate who could and who couldn't harass their esteemed former leader.

 


 

 

He hadn't been lying to Shockwave. He did have a meeting with the Prime that morning, but it was less official business and more something like an intervention.

Since the entente, and then the truce, Prime -being the overbearing do-gooder he was- had taken it upon himself to emotionally adopt the entirety of the Decepticon faction as his own. Since his and Megatron's leadership techniques differed so greatly however, he came off less like a co-leader, and more like a unwanted step-father that was trying far too hard.

Still, it worked to some extent, because Starscream felt much like a youngling caught out after curfew as he sat across from Prime, the morning energon that had been so insistently given to him cooling between his servos.

"I've already fuelled." He tried, but even he could be cowed by a stern, frowning, and hungover Optimus Prime, so he took a small sip.

Satisfied, Prime's expression eased up a little. "I was going to ask if you had enjoyed yourself last night. But after witnessing the front pages this morning..."

Starscream snorted, plonking the barely touched cube back onto Prime's desk, "You don't honestly read that nonsense do you?"

Prime had the good grace to look somewhat sheepish, but rather than answer, quickly moved on to another point.

"It can be difficult, adapting to great change. Even for the better," Prime began in his fatherly lecturing voice, and Starscream slumped back in his seat, knowing he was going to be here for a while. "I myself struggled. We all have. So before I say anything further I want you to know how proud I am of you."

Starscream cringed, finding the tone this conversation was taking physically painful. "But...?"

Prime exhaled heavily, "It's been a year now, and you still haven't settled."

Starscream knew exactly where this was going. 'Settled' as in 'settled down'. He rolled his optics, "If this is about Megatron-"

"You looked rather charming together last night."

"We are not 'together'." Starscream batted down any attempt at Prime trying to get clues as to how to win his ridiculous bet. "He was my superior for thousands of years. I'm just having a little fun with him because I finally can."

Prime looked very stern, "Starscream."

"Oh, come on Prime," Starscream opened his arms, trying to show how innocent he was in all this, "It's harmless."

"He's very fond of you," Prime's optics softened, and Starscream's spark did a little flip-flop in it's chamber and he couldn't quite meet the Autobot's gaze. "He just doesn't seem to know it yet."

Starscream cleared his vocaliser, "Yes, I'm sure." He moved to stand, because once Prime started with the sentimental drivel he normally didn't stop. "Thank you for the cube, but I have a busy schedule to keep."

Prime nodded and also stood, "I'm sure you do. Just try to keep it off the front pages."

Starscream threw Prime as sarcastic a look as he could muster before slipping through the doors.

 


 

 

Megatron preferred working from home in solitude. He could concentrate. There was no haggard Shockwave flaying about, or meddlesome Prime dropping by for a 'chat', or Soundwave's unruly offspring hanging from the ceiling.

And more importantly he wouldn't have to face the humiliation of explaining the night before for another cycle yet.

He could get lost in the meaningless political jargon for hours on end, until the light outside his window dimmed at dusk, and he could venture out onto his street and just appreciate the bustle of the budding city, the street lights that lit up the darkening sky, more and more of them as the days passed by.

He was just stepping out onto the street when his com pinged with an incoming voice call. Starscream's frequency flashed on the screen as if his own comlink was warning him away from it. He debated declining, but he had spent the day alone and Soundwave had warned him he was turning into a social recluse.

If anything, he would have the opportunity to shout at the seeker for the debacle of the previous evening.

"You had better be calling to apologise." He growled into the com.

Starscream laughed, light and airy, but crackly over the signal. "For having a good time?

"For dragging me down with you," Megatron snapped, turning into an open street. It was in the process of refurbishment, construction builds updating the roads and embellishing the walk ways with decorative safety lights. All of a sudden he was living in a 'nice neighbourhood'. Prime was inevitably to blame.

"You could use the good publicity," Starscream breathed, and before Megatron could complain that there was nothing 'good' about any publicity, the seeker was rambling on again. "I have bad news."

Megatron stopped in the middle of the street, tank twisting as he pondering what sort of threat level Starscream considered 'bad'. "What?" He demanded, "What have you done? Have you killed someone?"

Starscream snorted loudly, "No it's far worse. Two of Prime's high command have bonded. Jazz and Prowl."

Megatron felt his temper rising, "You idiot!" He snapped, stalking forwards again, "What in your twisted processor constitutes that as bad?"

"Because they're having a ceremony, and we've been invited."

"Oh," Megatron murmured. That was bad. He was already concocting excuses when-

"Prime's already cleared your schedule." Starscream said woefully, "Mine too. He wants us there as a show of diplomacy."

"Wonderful," Megatron spotted a bench, and with the way his evening was going he already felt exhausted enough to take the seat.

"If you don't show up I'll have you murdered in your recharge," Starscream threatened lightly, as if that was a normal thing to say to someone in the middle of a conversation. Megatron didn't even react. "And if I have to spend one more party laughing at their insipid jokes I'm going to defect to the Quintessons."

"So if you have to suffer, so should I?" Megatron guessed, settling back on the bench, watching a transport whoosh by noisily. Starscream must have heard it over the com.

"Where are you?"

"Out," Megatron responded vaguely.

"Are you with someone?"

Megatron reset his optics. That was an odd question to ask, even odder that the seeker sounded annoyed. "No." He growled.

"...Well I should go. I have engagement this evening." Starscream said out of the blue. "With the new Praxian senator."

Starscream's tone implied he wanted Megatron to pry, but he only hummed, disinterested. He didn't envy Starscream having to spend an evening listening to some pretentious Praxian aristocrat.

"Don't have plans yourself then?" The seeker asked.

"No. Why?"

"I wonder what you do with your evenings." Starscream breathed heavily, "Primus, I mean there are only so many hours you can waste napping."

"Don't you have a 'date' to attend?" Megatron snapped, annoyed.

Starscream released a shuddering breath, "I like to be late. Keep them interested."

"How typically immature of you." He muttered. Then, wondering at how odd the seeker sounded, asked, "What you are doing?"

"Listening to you," Starscream sighed, "I enjoy it far more when I don't have to be looking at your stupid face when I do it."

"Delightful." Megatron murmured, but still instinctively curious over what Starscream was actually doing, "What more than that?"

"Megatron~" Starscream practically purred, voice dripping with innuendo. The sound set Megatron on edge, the drawl of his name on the seeker's lips. "What are you going to be asking next? What I'm wearing?"

"Will you control yourself!" Megatron barked, but shifted awkwardly on the bench, a little swell of pressure brewing between his hips. The memory of the night before -Starscream drunk and sprawled all over the place- wouldn't leave his processor. "Save it for your Praxian Senator." He sneered.

He heard Starscream laugh, a horrible cackling noise, "Jealous?!"

Megatron hung up.

 


 

 

The thing with Autobots is that they'd take any excuse for a party. And the bigger the better. At the height of the war most Decepticon bondings had gone uncelebrated. It was a private affair and very few knew of it even long after the act. Most attachments had been considered weaknesses, an easy target for enemies.

But this wasn't war, nor was it the dystopian hierarchy that had existed before it, and bonding ceremonies were both plentiful and celebrated.

But did that really mean it needed so much pomp?

Megatron didn't know Prowl personally -didn't know any of the Autobots really- but he didn't seem the sort to need a lavish extravagant ceremony to commentate his bonding. Jazz, on the other servo-

The ceremony was being housed at the City Hall, in the ball room. It was a large open space with plenty of room for even the largest Cybertronian builds. Megatron stepped in through the doorway, and stopped in place, hesitating. There was a definite colour scheme; Autobot red. The centrepieces were tacky and personalised, featuring Prowl and Jazz's opposing interests. There was a dance floor, and there was an energon fountain, and Megatron had never felt so out of depth in his entire life.

"It's disgusting isn't it," Starscream's scratchy voice commented behind him. Megatron didn't jump this time, now used to Starscream spontaneously appearing behind him at these parties. He was surprised to find they both agreed in the tackiness of their current surroundings though.

"It is not to my personal tastes, no." Megatron agreed diplomatically, turning to face the seeker.

Starscream had changed his paint again. The blue was gone, and he wore a darker red now, crimson rather than cherry. It aged him, in a good way. The deepness of the colour seemed to dominate the white accents, whose only purpose seemed to be to draw attention to very specific parts of Starscream's anatomy. Megatron struggled to tear his gaze away from hips he'd never noticed were so shapely...

"Come," Starscream brushed past close enough for Megatron to smell his polish -a warm coppery fragrance. "I told Prowl if we weren't seated together I'd set the table on fire."

"Why on Cybertron would you want to sit together?" Megatron groused, but followed those glossy red wings anyway, "Is this an exercise in torture?"

"No," Starscream quickly located their table; towards the back of the room and out of the way, thank Primus. "I can hide behind you when I fall asleep during the speeches."

"Your respect knows no bounds," he dropped into his seat heavily.

When Starscream didn't sit he tilted his helm back towards the seeker. Starscream was stood behind his chair, arms folded, optical ridge arched expectantly.

"What?"

"Pull out my chair," Starscream snarled under his breath, nodding to the seat, "Can't you at least pretend to have manners in front of the Autobots?"

"Can't you get it yourself?" Megatron couldn't help feeling amused. He recalled the nobles of high court, in their ridiculous ceremonial robes and the farcical crowns balanced atop helms. They were the pinnacle of dignity- so much so that their near-immobility meant servants had to carry out even the most basic of actions for them. Such as pulling out their chairs so they wouldn't fall over themselves trying to sit down.

He huffed out a laugh and kicked the leg of Starscream's seat, knocking it away from the table. Starscream looked away, muttering something unsavoury under his breath as he sat down, noisily dragging the chair back to the table. "Brute." He hissed.

Megatron kicked the chair leg again, and Starscream spilled the cube he'd been about to drink down his pristine new armour.

 


 

 

The evening dragged on and Megatron remained trapped in his seat long after the speeches had ended, hardly daring to even look in the direction of the dance floor. He didn't belong here, in this environment, alongside friends and loved ones, making fools of themselves as they laughed and hugged and performed ridiculous dance moves in complete disregard for their own dignity.

Beside him Starscream had thankfully not fallen asleep and started snoring like he had so seriously threatened he would, but his constant restless fidgeting made Megatron wish he would. The impatient tapping of his tapered digits against the table did not go unnoticed.

Megatron ignored him, sulkily watching Prowl spin Jazz around in a circle, smiles broad, laughter loud even over the music. Happy. Together.

At some point a young Aerialbot wandered over, beneath Megatron's notice until he had stooped beside Starscream, servo extended. "May I?"

Megatron opened his mouth, ready to shoo him off, when Starscream took the proffered servo. He flashed Megatron a grin and before he could do anything to stop it, the Autobot hooligan had swept Starscream off his seat and disappeared onto the dance floor with him.

And Megatron wasn't venturing over there to fish him out again.

"This seat taken?" A gruff voice asked, it's owner already dropping sideways into the vacated chair. Ironhide swung his arm over the backrest lazily, leaning back to observe the former Decepticon. "Long time no see."

Megatron tried to wipe the sneer off his face, "For the best, don't you think."

"Prob'ly," Ironhide shrugged, "Hear ya ain't so bad these days, anyways."

"Nice to know," Megatron said stiffly, dearly wishing Starscream would come back and evict Ironhide from his seat. "Don't you have a energon fountain to climb into?"

"Not til the end of the night," Ironhide grinned, and then much to Megatron's discomfort leant in to clasp his shoulder, "Screamer sure cleans up good, don't he."

Megatron huffed, glancing in the seeker's direction. He could see the light blue servos of the Aerialbot curving around Starscream's waist as they danced together, slipping lower with every sway. Megatron's fist creaked as it tightened.

"Looks like ya got some competition," Ironhide commented, having followed his gaze. Starscream saw them looking his way, and threw his arms around his suitor, dragging him into a kiss.

"You have entirely the wrong idea." Megatron tore his optics away from the debauchery of the dance floor, spark burning.

"Go dance with 'im," Ironhide nudged his shoulder.

"He appears to be otherwise occupied," Megatron growled darkly, thinking if Ironhide didn't leave him alone soon the evenings frustrations were going to be taken out on him violently.

"Whys he keep looking over 'ere then?" Ironhide said, uncharacteristically observant, because when Megatron looked up the seeker was watching him over the Aerialbot's shoulder.

"'M jus sayin," A sly smirk began to curve Ironhide's mouth, "if I had a seeker lookin my way, like he's lookin yours..."

Megatron had heard enough. He pushed away from the table, hardly sparing the meddlesome Autobot another glance. To the right lay the exit, a clear path leading straight to the open doors. He could leave and no one would even notice his early departure. And to the left-

Starscream's suitor seemed enamoured with him, optics locked on his face like the seeker was something beautiful and other-worldly. Starscream didn't seem to notice the Aerialbot's awe. Too busy staring back across the crowded hall at the mech who had been too thick-headed to have even thought to ask him to dance.

Megatron braved the surging dance floor, turning his broad shoulders to slip through the gaps between dancing couples. Starscream watched his approach, a little frown pulling at his mouth. When the Aerialbot went to spin him away, it dropped into a full blown scowl, and Megatron couldn't deny his delight at seeing the seeker cruelly twist his dance partner's wrist and shove him out of sight.

Megatron stepped into the space the Aerialbot had previous occupied. He had hoped Starscream would say something first. Something sarcastic or mean spirited that he could easily combat. But the seeker stood there, watching him expectantly, that same expression he wore when he had wanted his chair pulled out for him, and when he had asked Megatron to escort him to the gala, and that morning he had broken into his apartment, and...

...Oh.

"I don't dance."

"Then I'll lead," Starscream spread his arms and stepped forwards. Megatron let the seeker lift his right servo and place the left on his trim waist. Megatron's digits flexed against the red armour, smooth and warm.

Starscream stepped back, and Megatron found himself dragged along. He was less fretful about what an idiot he might look than he thought he would be. The movement was slow and swaying, and Starscream would kick his shin if he went to step out of place.

"Sadist," he muttered, but at least he hadn't tripped over his own pedes in front of the Autobots.

He couldn't ever recall being so close to Starscream's face in a non-combative situation. The red of the seeker's optics cast a crimson glow across the tops of his dark cheeks. It was oddly charming, as were the expressive lips currently curving into a smirk.

"You could pass for a member of the high caste yet," Starscream let their servos drop as the dance came to an end. Megatron let Starscream slip from his grasp as the seeker stepped away. "This wasn't completely unbearable."

"You're leaving?" Megatron realised with disappointment, and hating how dependent he had become on the seeker's company at these things.

"I'm consulting in Vos," Starscream explained, "I leave first thing in the morning, and there are a few things I still need to go over."

Megatron was always wondering what the seeker actually did when he wasn't harassing him. "Such as?"

"Statistics, notes," Starscream listed, walking backwards in the direction of the exit, "All the fun stuff."

"Just remember to behave yourself," Megatron pointed at him, feeling much more himself again now that there was appropriate proximity between himself and the seeker. "Prime and I are busy enough without another civil war breaking out."

Starscream laughed, walking away, newly painted wings high and reflective.

Megatron huffed, just contemplating how long he would have to wait before exiting the ceremony himself to prevent some meddlesome paparazzo taking pictures of himself and Starscream leaving within moments of each other and putting some lewd spin on it, when he noticed the red of said seeker's armour out of the corner of his optic.

Starscream was strutting back over towards him.

"Oh, and one more thing..."

Two servos came up to frame Megatron's face and he was too shocked to defend himself when he was pulled down, back bent, and yanked into a smothering kiss, firm and sure and lasting all of a second.

Starscream released him with a smacking noise, letting go before Megatron even had a chance to catch up what had just happened. He stared at the seeker, still bent at the waist, servos aloft in surprise.

"I'll see you when I get back," Starscream threw over his shoulder, already half way across the hall.

Megatron's spark thumped in his chest, vocaliser stalled. He couldn't even summon the ability to call the seeker back.

 

Chapter Text

Megatron called him three times that night. Starscream never got the chance to answer any of these calls because the idiot on the other end of the com kept disconnecting the signal after every first ring. Starscream thought it was so hilarious he wasn't even angry about losing recharge over it.

He was tempted to put the old fool out of his misery and just call him, invite him over, see how uncomfortable he could make Megatron before the mech finally snapped and tried to kill him -or perhaps something equally as fun. But he decided to be generous enough to let his former-leader work out his issues by himself.

Starscream would be gone for a week after all, and Megatron was a ticking time-bomb even in the best of moods.

He took a power nap, threw back enough energon to energise himself for the trip, packed up and subspaced his work, and left for Vos before the light even crept over the horizon. Megatron wouldn't have to be a problem for a whole stellar cycle.

But it turned out he had other dilemmas to occupy himself with.

"Her designation is Melodia, I think you'd like her," Thundercracker had cornered him not ten minutes after he'd arrived and was already trying to set him up on some painful sounding date.

"No," Starscream tried to out pace Thundercracker and get away from him.

"She's unaffiliated, but still a seeker," his trine mate jogged to catch up, panting a little, "And I know what you think about Neutrals, but you really ought to-"

"I said no." Starscream repeated, searching for the number of Thundercracker's apartment, angry at himself for having been stupid enough to accept the other seeker's offer to stay with him during his trip.

If he'd had any sense he wouldn't have told his trine he was coming at all and stayed in a hotel.

"She's tall," Thundercracker sounded like he was getting desperate. He unlocked the apartment door for him. "I thought you liked tall femmes?"

"She could be a four foot, six billion year old construction build, Thundercracker," Starscream snapped, stomping into his trine's modest apartment and finally losing patience, "But she'd still be called 'Melodia'."

Thundercracker stared at him, "Her name?"

"Don't start-"

"You're not interested because you don't like her name?!"

"I hear yelling!" Skywarp's voice called from another room, "is Screamer here?!"

"I'm not associating with anyone tasteless enough to call themselves 'Melodia'." Starscream defended himself.

Thundercracker threw up his arms, "You're so pretentious!"

"It's called standards," Starscream gestured angrily, "Just because you settled-"

"Wow," Skywarp chose that very moment to appear in the room, staring at Starscream with a disappointed -but unsurprised- look of resignation. "Thanks, Star."

Starscream whipped away from them angrily, heading back to door, "I'm recharging on the roof."

"I just remembered why we don't invite him over that often," he heard Skywarp mutter as he moved out of audial range.

Starscream scowled. There was nothing quite like trine-mates to make you resent forming emotional attachments.

 


 

 

Starscream's trip is otherwise uneventful. Thundercracker and Skywarp managed to trick him into an evening with a guardsmech from Tarn (and the accent was appealing- reminded him of Megatron), but all other attempts at marrying him off were skilfully avoided.

He did almost com the old warlord a few times though, late at night when his trine had gone to recharge and he had nothing to think about but how pent up and frustrated he was, wondering if he could get away with it just one more time; listen to Megatron rant and grumble over the com as he slipped his fingers down past his hips and struggled to sound composed.

But Megatron was more than a little suspicious now. So he didn't.

New Iacon was warmer than Vos, perhaps because it was closer to the ground, and this was the only reason Starscream felt so flustered upon his return. Not because he had just glanced at the seating plan for the Inventive Fuel Symposium to see himself placed right beside Megatron, who hadn't even been set to attend until that morning.

Starscream grabbed a clipboard welding Autobot by the window wiper and yanked him behind a pillar just outside the conference centre. He squawked like he thought Starscream was going to strangle him, blue optics huge.

"Who arranged this seating plan?" he hissed, snatching the clipboard off the Autobot and thrusting it in his face.

"The organisations committee!" The Autobot gasped out, "I don't know-"

"Were any additional invitations sent out last minute?" Starsceam shook the Autobot when he began stuttering, shoving the clipboard at him again. "Just look."

The Autobot did, "Yes!" He cried in relief, "Right here; the General Elita One transferred her invitation to a Lord Me-"

"Elita," Starscream snarled, pushing the Autobot away. That manipulative demon of an Autobot had made herself a powerful enemy today.

The symposium was due to start soon. Starscream poked his helm around the entry way to see the conference centre filling out. Megatron was already present, his towering warrior's frame easy to spot over the slighter, shorter builds of the inventors and scientists.

Starscream rung his servos together, wishing for time to think. He hadn't expected to see Megatron until the council meeting in two cycles time, and he had only just arrived back from Vos, had come straight here, hadn't even stopped at his apartment to wipe the stench of ozone from his armour, or freshen up with polish...

"The doors will be closing now." a service drone stated, holding one of the doors aloft. "No admittance beyond the start of the symposium."

Starscream had been looking forward to this for stellar cycles, and he wasn't going to let Megatron ruin it for him. He steadied himself and strode inside, ignoring the heavy clunk of the door shutting behind him, trapping him in a room full of Cybertron's greatest minds- and Megatron.

"You make a habit of gatecrashing my personal interests?" Starscream said, not stopping to meet Megatron's gaze as he took his seat besides the former warlord.

Megatron didn't look surprised to see him, so he must have known, might have even asked Elita for the invitation. Either that or the two had joined forces. A terrifying prospect. "How was Vos?" The older mech asked casually.

"Fine."

"Good."

Starscream glanced at him out of the corner of his optic. Megatron was flicking lazily through the notes, unbothered, unflustered. Perhaps he had miscalculated.

The problem, he mused to himself, was that he couldn't ever recall Megatron having been particularly interested in this sort of thing. The Decepticon rumour mill had been a force to be reckoned with (Starscream would know), but there had never been any hint of an affair, no whispered gossip in the washracks, no hapless underling boasting about having had 'Their Lord's Favour'.

The only meaningful relationship Megatron had developed over the millennia he'd spent at war was with the Nemesis, and the old warship wasn't even sentient.

It was difficult to concentrate though. Starscream stuck his light-pen in his mouth and chewed on it distractedly, trying to focus on the speaker (the Autobot's resident disaster, Wheeljack) and not on the way Megatron's slumping posture let his thighs spread so wide. He shifted, letting their legs brush, watching the older mech carefully. But there was no reaction.

When the symposium finally adjourned for a fuelling break, Starscream's light-pen had been chewed beyond recognition, and he hadn't taken a single note.

He purposely knocked Megatron when he stood, already thinking of ways he might be able to stab the old fool in the neck with the broken light pen and still make it look like an accident, when Megatron called to him.

"Starscream..?"

"I'm getting fuel-!" Starscream threw back at him angrily, not stopping.

"Don't be so petulant." Megatron stood and gestured him back over, "I want to speak with you."

The fact that he was so calm and dignified only irritated Starscram further. The temptation to throw a fit growing, he stomped back over. "You better have a good reason for ruining this for me."

Megatron quirked an interested brow, mouth opening to answer, when his attention was caught by something behind Starscream and his expression dropped back into it's usual frown.

"What?" Starscream asked, and turned to find himself the lead in whatever drama the entire Constructicon Combiner unit must have assumed was about to happen, as all six of them had appeared behind them, leaning over the seat backs to get a better show.

"We have an audience," Megatron growled, but he wasn't their Commanding Officer anymore and it would take more than a menacingly look to scare off mechs as stupid as Bonecrusher and Mixmaster.

Starscream grabbed him by the wrist and pulled him away, searching for somewhere more private.

"Here," Megatron stopped beside an unassuming door, tugging Starscream with him without waiting for an answer. It was unlocked, and Starscream soon realised why.

"This is a supply closet," he stated, nose wrinkling at the dusty musk in the air. He couldn't see a light switch anywhere, but their optics were bright enough to provide some visibility at least.

There was room enough that they could stand in front of each other without their frames touching, but only just. If Starscream shifted his stance his knees would knock Megatron's. He very deliberately kept his servos low at his sides.

"It's private, at least." Megatron said. Their positions meant he loomed over Starscream, his chin higher than the top of his helm. He was looking down his nose at him in a way that made Starscream feel like dragging a crate over and standing on it.

"And cramped," he pointed out, leaning back so his wings brushed the shelves behind him.

Megatron frowned and the crease in his brow made him look older, but somehow handsomer.  Starscream's spark did a little twirl in it's casing and he wanted to drag the old fool into a kiss all over again, but Megatron wouldn't be so surprised this time and might actually hit him if he tried.

So instead he smirked at him, deciding to defuse the situation, "Oh stop fretting, I was only-"

Megatron dove forward without warning and there was nowhere for Starscream to go. The back of his helm smacked against the shelving unit behind him, rattling it's contents; but Starscream hardly noticed the ache in his processor because Megatron was kissing him, stealing the breath straight from his intakes.

"-smirk at me like that you little-" he heard Megatron's angry mutterings between the assaults, one huge servo clamped around his chin, keeping him from going anywhere in the pauses for air.

Starscream made a noise like a complete invalid, incapable of fighting back anymore than squeezing at the other mech's hips. Unsure whether to push or pull because they were in a supply closet for Primus's sake, and he didn't know what sort of liaisons Megatron had had in the past but he was a high caste Prince, and he wasn't going to-!

Megatron's glossa swept past his lips, and Starscream felt his optics cross stupidly at how much he enjoyed it. The intimacy. The taste. Megatron was old and he kissed like it; slow and measured, like something from a classic holo-film. A thumb on his chin pushed down and opened his mouth wider, deepening the kiss. Starscream let it with a groan, pulling Megatron closer by his hips until the warlord's frame had him sandwiched against the shelves, so much bigger than him. Big in different ways to what mattered in war, grey thighs as thick as his waist.

His wing knocked something off the shelve and it crashed to the floor. Starscream jumped, situational awareness creeping back up on him, but Megatron's servo cupped the back of his neck with a rumbled, "C'mere you," that vibrated against his cockpit and sent a shock of want right down to his groin. A strong nose bumped his cheek clumsily and then they were kissing again.

"Anyone see us come in here?" He had the sense to break away and ask, pressing their cheeks together as they caught their breath. He lifted his servos to Megatron's chest, letting his fingers splay across the powerful armour. 

Megatron shook his helm, lips brushing across his jaw again, "We should go back."

Starscream's claws hooked dangerously, "I'm not done with you yet." He threatened, dragging his servo down, down past Megatron insignia and then his abdomen until the older mech shifted under his touch, watching him in wary disbelief, but not stopping him.

Starscream groped at the squared panels between Megatron's thighs, palm flat against the heating metal. He could feel the subtle vibrations of the array beneath waking up. He stroked it at as Megatron kissed him again, the other mech unwilling to express his arousal in any other way, one black servo brushing his cheek, tentative or affectionate, Starscream couldn't tell. It was all igniting something in the pit of his tanks, and he then decided to do something he very rarely ever did.

He dropped to his knees.

Megatron watched him, red optics dangerously focused. A lesser mech might have squirmed under the scrutiny. Starscream leant in to kiss the searing panel, relishing the sizzle of heat beneath his lips. The seam appeared as it began to spilt and Starscream licked into it, glossa trying to prise it apart all the faster. He could taste the housing beneath, the same tang as armour but stronger.

The edges folded back completely and disappeared into the armour, revealing the spike still half tucked into it's housing. He began to coax it out with his glossa, as lewd as he could possibly manage for the mech staring down at him. Megatron's hips tilted forwards and Starscream was trapped between the shelve and a rising, hardening spike.

"You really are, aren't you?" Megatron's voice was quiet, but deeper than Starscream had ever heard it before, and it occurred to him then, that the older mech was only just starting to realise he wasn't just teasing.

"For you. Yes."

He didn't wait for a response. He kissed the length, slow and open, lips dragging wetly against the derma, glossa swiping through a ridge, before he pulled back and repeated on the underside. He felt a shudder run through Megatron's thighs and saw his huge servos reach and grip at the storage unit behind him, his weight shifting back.

Starscream made sure to lock their gaze as he trailed his mouth along the length of the spike, exhaling heavily until he reached the tip, stiff and swaying under the light teasing.

Thanks to the differences in their height and their frame types, Megatron was the same thickness as Starscream's wrist. He could already tell his jaw was going to ache after this. He didn't voice his complaint. Megatron wouldn't be able to fit his inflated helm back through the door if Starscream was stupid enough to utter the phrase 'too big' to the egomaniac.

He flicked his glossa out to catch the drop of transfluid gathering at the tip, and Megatron made a strangled noise, frame tensing in self restraint.

Had no one ever done this to him before? Megatron was an old fashioned fool after all, he'd never ask for it. The idea appealed to Starscream more than whether it was true or not. He kept it in mind as he sucked the tip into his mouth and swirled his glossa around it.

"You devil," Megatron breathed, optics shuttered. He cupped the back of Starscream's helm and urged him on, hips twitching at the wet slurping noise Starscream made as he took him deeper. He stepped wider, helm rolling back and then snapping forwards again like he couldn't decide whether to lean back and enjoy himself or if watching Starscream on his knees was just too important to miss.

Starscream drew all the way back to the tip, paused, glossa teasing at the slit, before moving in again, helm tilting for a better angle. He repeated, painstakingly slow, lips pulling at every ridge. He would have smirked had his lips not been so stretched to accommodate Megatron's girth. The older mech's optics had dimmed with lust, Megatron's hips starting to chase after Starscream, his frame swaying languidly with each slow bob of the seeker's helm.

Starscream relaxed his throat and, using his servos on Megatron's thighs to steady himself, took in as much as he could. He let it hit the back of his throat, fighting back an instinctive gag. He nuzzled, nose squashed to Megatron's black pelvic armour, and swallowed around the intrusion.

A black fist grabbed at his wing and Starscream found himself being pulled off, Megatron shaking his helm as his spike swung free, glistening with Starscream's spit. His old fashioned sensibilities finally catching up with him.

He moved to take himself in hand, "That's enough. I can-"

Starscream smacked his servo away and dove back in with renewed vigour, bobbing his helm fast but shallow, his own servo stroking what couldn't fit. He wasn't leaving this damn supply closet without seeing the look on Megatron's face when the old warrior overloaded. He wasn't going home tonight without knowing what it tasted like.

And it wouldn't be long now. Megatron's expression was strained, his denta noticeably clenched. Starscream hummed around him, and that was enough.

Megatron bowed forward over Starscream with a grunt, his servos finding his wings and digging in. His hips jutted forwards and Starscream choked, but swallowed, just as thick warm ejaculate filled his mouth in bursts. Some trickled out of the corner of his mouth before he had time to draw back. The rest he let flood across his glossa, tasting the bitterness before swallowing it down. 

Starscream sat back on his heels and let Megatron fall from his mouth. His glossa swept across his swollen lips for any stray transfluid.

"That was unnecessarily crude." Megatron was the first to speak, voice little more than a murmur, still slumped and sounding half awake. "You didn't have to..."

Starscream had to clear his throat before speaking, the brackish fluid sticking stubbornly to his intake, "I wanted to." He began tucking Megatron back into his spike housing, taking care to be gentle with the sensitive array.

Megatron extended a servo to help him up. Starscream stared at it for a moment, wondering at the chivalry, before taking it. Megatron drew him up and held him close, he was still breathing heavily, frame warm from his overload.

"Thank you." He said.

Starscream blinked, thinking this was the oddest post-coital exchange he had ever had. Perhaps his former leader was a little shellshocked. "You're welcome?"

Megatron nodded, optics flicking away from his face, distracted. He placed a servo on Starscream's hip, "I suppose I should-?"

Starscream couldn't think of anything better in the entire universe than a little reciprocation, but now wasn't the time or place. He brushed Megatron away, "We've been gone far too long already."

Megatron nodded, looking reluctant, "This conversation isn't over."

Starscream laughed and went to open the door, "I don't think a conversation even started."

 


 

 

Six Constructicon's were loitering outside a supply closet door. Wheeljack made a point of not reverting to old habits, Decepticon's weren't inherently evil and they likely had a very good reason to all be standing around with their audials pressed against the door, but even the most unprejudiced saint had to admit it looked a little suspicious.

He went to stand besides them. "Hey."

"Hey," a few of them said back in unison, some of them drawing away from the door long enough to spare in a nonchalant glance.

Wheeljack shifted his footing, "What ya doing?"

"Waiting," one grunted.

"Listening," another whispered.

"Spying," a third said with a wink.

Now really intrigued, Wheeljack ventured closer, "On who?"

Suddenly, and for no apparent reason at all, the Constructicons' optics widened and they scattered like Insecticon's exposed to light, tripping over themselves and the conference centre's chairs in their hurry to escape. Wheeljack, unsure what the threat was, stumbled around on the spot until the supply closet opened up.

Starscream stepped out, brow arching as he noticed Wheeljack. His wings and nose were high, and there was nothing out of the ordinary except for a small smudge at the corner of his mouth.

Wheeljack frowned, lifting a servo to his faceplate, "Uh, you have a little-"

"Oh," Starscream wiped whatever it was away with digit, then licked it clean. "Silly me."

He smirked, flashed his flawless wings, and then strutted off, leaving Wheeljack throughly confused. Before he could think much more of it, his blissful ignorance was shattered when the closet opened again, this time to expel a somewhat dazed, but otherwise looking far too pleased with himself, Megatron.

Wheeljack's frame seized up in abject horror as he realised both what the Constructicon's had been eavesdropping on, and what Starscream might have just wiped from the corner of his mouth.

He made a mental note to tell the cleaning drones to give the supply closet a thorough going over after the symposium.

 

Chapter Text

Starscream was a more formidable opponent than Megatron had ever given him credit for. The countless assassination attempts had been masquerades, false leads to throw him off the scent because this- this, was how the seeker was going to kill him.

And with little more than a knowing wink across a crowded council chamber.

Megatron locked optics with the seeker across the chamber from him, utilising facial expression to its fullest extent in order to convey every ounce of disapproval he could muster. But Starscream respected him just about as much as an Insecticon respected table manners so it didn't work, and the seeker started smirking again, light-pen twirling playfully in his fingers. His wings flexed and the overhead lights caught them, shimmering mesmerisingly against the glossy crimson.

Megatron's fuel pump sped up.

He tried to push his focus back to professional matters. The microphone was currently in the possession of Prowl, who was giving a boring but otherwise very well thought out proposal on the Air Space Development Bill, which is why Megatron's attention kept diverting to the obnoxiously red wings on one of the benches opposite.

Starscream hadn't so much as called since ruthlessly seducing him at the symposium. Hadn't even sent a message. Megatron had convinced himself it was because the seeker was so humiliated, Starscream's pride would never allow for him to rest knowing he'd knelt at his eternal rivals pedes and done such an eager impression of a Kaonian Shareware Drone.

But whatever the reason for the sudden lack of communication it wasn't embarrassment; the seeker was leering at him across the chamber with twice the usual smugness.

Starscream then decided to test the limits of his gaskets yet again. He lifted his light-pen to his mouth, but rather than chewing on it distractedly as he was prone to do, did something rather lewd (not to mention familiar) with his glossa around the tip.

Megatron's fist hit the bench with a loud thud and he was on his pedes.

"Emergency," he grunted at the surprised Prime beside him, already stepping down from the bench.

"Wait-" Prime stood as well, waving for Prowl to continue on without them.

He caught Megatron by the shoulder out in the hallway before he could make good on his escape, "Are you alright, old friend?" Prime tried to lead him into a nearby alcove for some privacy, "You look feverish."

"Fine." Megatron shrugged him off. "I have had... a difficult week."

"You know," Prime began in an uneasy attempt at being casual, "Elita and I are so busy that sometimes that it can be difficult to find time for ourselves, but I always found that a good gift could act as a excellent reminder that was still thinking of her."

"What gift?" Megatron asked, thinking Prime might be on to something here.

"Sorry?" Prime blinked.

"What do you give her?" Megatron wondered what a pragmatic warrior like Elita One would appreciate. Blasters, or a broad sword of sorts?

"Energon treats, crystals..." Prime rubbed his helm, "or her favourite polish, perhaps."

"Yes," Megatron rubbed his chin thoughtfully, already pushing Prime away. "That could work..."

"Megatron," Prime called after him, sounding weary. "My official advise is still 'talk to him'."

 


 

 

Megatron was working late in his private office at the Senate. The chaos that had been his personal life had affected his productivity more than he'd ever admit, and although he'd much rather be at home -drinking high grade and reading a good datapad- delegating work to Shockwave would only worry the mech, and he'd much rather recharge at his desk than deal with a fretting Chief of Staff.

The building was deserted so late at night. The corridor outside had been plunged into darkness and the only light in the office was the warm glow of the desk lap and the shine of the datapads surrounding him.

He yawned, light-pen poised above the line for a signature, when his com blinked. It was nearing midnight but political emergencies did not wait for office hours. The caller -No ID- was requesting a link for a video stream. Megatron transferred the request to the larger screen of the communications console on his desk and accepted.

The screen lit up to the image of an eerily familiar apartment. High ceilings and archways, stylish decor, a huge mirror...

Megatron's spark chamber dropped like a stone when he recognised it.

"Starscream?" He called, when the seeker failed to appear. Perhaps he had been called by mistake. He moved quickly to try and disconnect the com, when a red wing swung into view.

Starscream appeared on screen carrying a metal box -the very same Megatron had had sent to his apartment earlier that cycle- which he then placed carefully in view of the camera. Only then did he look up.

"Is this going to blow up?" He demanded, pointing at the offending item.

Megatron was very tired and under-fuelled and Starscream was confusing at the best of times. "...No?"

Starscream quirked a brow, "No?"

"It's a-" Megatron cleared his vocaliser, "I sent it. For you."

"A gift?" The seeker deduced, but his expression didn't brighten, "Is it a pleasant gift?"

"Why would it be unpleasant?" Megatron growled, starting to lose patience. He really hadn't wanted to be present when Starscream opened it. "Just open the damn thing and leave me in peace."

"Why?" Starscream snapped before he could hang up and escape the humiliation. The seeker leant in close to the camera, dark face filling the screen. "What is this? A little reward for servicing you in that supply closet?"

Megatron wondered, not for the first time, why Starscream had to be like this. Why he had to ruin even the kindest of gestures. "You did that of your own volition!" He pointed at the screen, "And I find it laughable you'd expect a reward at all after today's fiasco."

Starscream scoffed, optics bright with offence. "I don't know what you're-"

"What were you doing with that light-pen?" Megatron interrupted, and Starscream quickly looked aside, muttering something out of the corner of his mouth.

"Alright," the seeker said, turning back to the screen, servos diving for the box, a smirk pulling at his mouth, "Lets see what the Mighty Megatron deigned to grace me with."

"Don't-" Megatron tried to say over the groan of Starscream's claws ripping the metal casing apart. His spark chamber felt tight with a bizarre sort of anticipation.

The seeker's hurried assault on the container slowed as it's contents were revealed. Megatron watched as Starscream's helm tilted on screen, his optics that little bit dimmer as he removed the container full of polish and the luxury cloths to go with it. He watched as the seeker felt the silky fabric between his digits appreciatively.

"This is nice," he said.

Megatron shifted in discomfort, "I only-"

"Where did you get this?" Starscream interrupted, twisting the top off the polish to give it a sniff, then veering back in surprise. "Where did you get this?!"

Having spent the better part of two hours trying to decide which fragrance Starscream would appreciate more, Megatron leant forwards in his seat, worried, "You like it?"

He didn't need an answer. Starscream was already digging one of the cloths into the scented polish. He lifted it to his arm and began to rub circles into his armour. When he finished he held his arm aloft appreciatively. "Well, well, well, who would have known." His dark gaze turned back towards the camera pickup, "The Mighty Megatron has taste after all."

"Stop calling me that." Megatron said distractedly, too relieved that the gift hadn't backfired to summon any real ire.

"This is hard to come by," Starscream said, lifting the polish and weighing it in his servo. He read the inscription on the side. "'Kalisian Rock Crystal'. Must have been expensive."

Megatron grunted noncommittally.

Starscream levelled a look at him through the pickup, and even through the screen Megatron could see the cogs turning behind those bright and eager optics. Whenever the seeker wore a look like that it never boded well for him.

"It's late," he decided to preempt whatever awful thing Starscream might have been planning by leaning forward to terminate the video link, "And I have work."

"Don't you want to see your gift?"

Megatron paused, servo frozen above the disconnect button. He should just hang up. He would be an idiot if he didn't.

Starscream smirked. He disappeared off screen for a moment and reappeared with a chair. Megatron wasn't naive enough to think his 'gift' could be anything as innocent as furniture. The seeker repositioned himself so that he was sideways on, and so close to the camera that the angle only showed him from chest to thigh. One dangerously high thruster lifted onto the chair and all Megatron could see was a bent knee and the inside of one glossy red thigh.

Megatron felt his intake constrict.

The cloth reappeared and began to polish the armour on view. The knee first, before slowly creeping towards the seeker's groin. Megatron could just see Starscream's smirk in the corner of the screen.

"No." He said adamantly, realisation dawning, "No."

"Don't be such a killjoy," Starscream murmured gently off screen, his servo had reached the top of his leg and disappeared between his thighs. A soft moan drifted through the speakers.

"Starscream!" Megatron barked, but still didn't hang up. "Stop this. This is obscene."

The polishing cloth dropped, fluttering off screen, but Starscream's servo remained between his thighs, moving slow and rhythmically, and Megatron couldn't see but he knew. The panel between his own thighs felt tight.

"You know how many time's I'd call you and do this?" Starscream told him breathlessly, "Did you know? You'd always hang up before I'd finish, so selfish..."

He had suspected, yes, but it had always seemed too bizarre to be true... Starscream was annoying, but still young and aesthetically pleasing. Why call his ex-leader in the middle of the night for intimate relief when he had so many interested parties already vying for his attention? "Starscream-" he tried.

"You can hang up..." Starscream breathed heavily, "...any time you want. I'm not forcing you to watch."

This could be Starscream's greatest plot yet. And if it was, Megatron feared he was already too far gone.

He leant forwards on his elbows, folding his servos together like he was listening to an interesting speech on political reform and not watching his once Second in Command debase himself on screen for him.

"Turn this way," he murmured, voice thickening with desire. He could unlatch his own panel, but he wasn't going to give Starscream the satisfaction of seeing him undone like this. "I want to see your face."

There was a breathless laugh, and the thruster came down from the chair. Starscream moved back into full view of the pickup as he fell into the seat instead, thighs open and angled directly at the camera. His servo shielded his delicate array from Megatron's view, but it didn't matter. It was the expression on his face Megatron wanted to see most of all.

Starscream's cheeks were flushed, optics fluttering as his servo moved in light teasing motions. Megatron could see glimpses of shimmering wetness on the seeker's fingers as they moved. He could imagine what that felt like, the silky lubricant, the glide of fingers against softening derma-mesh folds.

After a while, a crease appeared in Starscream's brow. "Are you just going to sit there and watch?"

"What else would I be doing?" Megatron propped his chin up on his servos. It wasn't like he could dive in through the screen and start touching the seeker himself, as much as he might have wanted to push between those thighs and taste the seeker's musky arousal.

"Touching yourself?!" Starscream offered with an obvious look. He swung one of his legs over the arm of his chair, spreading himself wider. The new angle provided Megatron with a better view. He could see the energon-flushed mesh of Starscream's valve and where it was swallowing two of the seeker's slender digits. It was a pretty thing, prim but typically flashy. Megatron's mouth began to water, even as the seeker demanded, "Let me see your spike."

"No," he rumbled.

Starscream's helm dropped back against the chair. His servo was moving faster now, and little less controlled. "At least talk to me."

"We are talking."

"You old fool!" Starscream snarled in frustration, "I meant, help me along here."

"Oh," Megatron's optics narrowed in realisation, "And what sort of filthy, perverted comments do you imagine will 'help you along'? Isn't it enough that I'm watching you?"

Starscream made a little mewling noise that no seasoned warrior had any right making, so perhaps that was exactly the sort of thing he wanted to hear. Megatron's interfacing panel nearly retracted on it's own volition at the thought. His spike ached in it's housing. He imagined if that was the sort of noise Starscream would make when he took him, slow and deep, the red and black of Starscream's valve mesh stretching out of perfectly coordinated shape to accommodate him.

As if sensing his thoughts Starscream smiled, hooded optics watching him through the camera. He shifted his position and started making thrusting motions with his servo, and it looked like he was doing it more for clichéd pornographic show than he was for his own pleasure. Megatron frowned.

"Do it properly, or not at all," he warned, hovering over the disconnect button threateningly.

Starscream's smile turned into a signature smirk, he did as he was told though, fingers parting his valve and running over the exterior sensors. Megatron could hear how wet he was. The display was shameless and almost vile, but all Megatron thought of was how elegant and striking the seeker looked, exposed and slumped like he was.

Finally the seeker's helm fell back over the chair, back arching and cockpit rising. His wings shuddered, and a whisper of something that sounded like Megatron's designation escaped Starscream's parted lips.

Starscream let his servo rest against his open thigh, valve open and slick with lubricants that were about to start trickling down onto the chair.

"Your turn~" Starscream's voice was wobbly and a pitch higher than usual as it drifted through the speakers at him.

"Not this time, Starscream." Megatron decided to let him down easy.

The seeker's helm snapped up and he levelled Megatron with a weary glare. "Fine," he huffed, regaining some modesty as he fixed his interfacing panel back in place. His servo was still damp though, and so were his thighs, as he moved closer to the screen to pick up the polish Megatron sent him. "Only because this was such a generous gift."

He almost didn't sound sarcastic, "I'm glad you like it."

"Yes," Starscream agreed, swiping his digit through the polish and staring directly at the camera, "You'll have to come over, lick it off my wings some time..."

"Goodnight, Starscream," Megatron said quickly, turning off the console before he lost what remained of his self-restraint.

Once again he was alone in the deserted senate building, surrounded by a mountain of work and no outlet for his throbbing seeker-induced arousal. With a grunt of resignation he released his panel and let his spike spring free, wrapping his fist around the base.

It didn't take long; not with the thought of pinning Starscream to the wall by his wings and wrapping those shapely legs around his waist, so perhaps it was a good thing the seeker didn't witness it.

By the time he had completed his paperwork and scrubbed the transfluid from the underside of his desk, it was nearing dawn. Exhausted, covered in the smears from his own overload, Megatron began the long traipse back to his apartment.

 


 

 

Like most, Megatron didn't often receive hard copy memos, and a mere cycle after his 'video conference' with Starscream he should have already been suspicious. Shockwave handed him the sealed file at the end of his evening briefing like it was an after thought. He didn't say who it was from, and that should have been suspicion number two.

He stupidly didn't clear the room before unlatching the slim package and letting the hard copy sheet float onto the desk. In full view of anyone that might have been looking.

All he saw was seductive crimson armour and Starscream's smirk before he slammed his servos atop the picture in a panic.

Halfway out the door. Shockwave turned back towards him, optic brightening in curiosity. "My Lord?"

"This is very confidential information," Megatron was pleased with how quickly he came up with the lie. He looked down to make sure his servos were effectively arranged to hide the offending picture from view. "Leave me."

Shockwave inclined his helm, none the wiser as he vacated the room. Megatron watched him leave, wondering what Starscream had said when he'd given him the picture. Had it been any underling but Shockwave, the messenger might have been tempted to look.

Now alone, Megatron began to tentatively lift his servos away, digit by digit. The angle indicated that Starscream had taken the picture himself, raising it high above his helm as he sprawled across something. The next thing Megatron noticed was that it was a desk he was lying across, and after that that it was his desk -the very desk he was sat at now- with datapads and office supplies strewn beneath him.

The picture itself was not vulgar, but definitely seductive, and Megatron was conflicted in how he was supposed to feel. Starscream had gained unsupervised access to his private office and could have done all manner of unsavoury things to his personal belongings, on the other servo, he looked rather fetching stretched across Megatron's desk like that.

Perhaps against his better judgement, he slipped the picture into a desk drawer; for safe keeping of course.

Oddly charmed, and unwilling to let the seeker get away with this behaviour without consequence, he typed out a message for him, How did you break into my office?

Within moments he received a reply, Trade secret

Megatron huffed, grumbling to himself, "What trade, you sneaking-"

Another message appeared, Didn't you like it? I can send another, something less PG

A salient offer, but not a good one. No

Reciprocate at least

Megatron was about seven million years old. He would have thought he was well past the age of getting pressured into exposing himself for an unseen audience. So you can use it as blackmail? You'll have to do better than that traitor

He had to wait a moment for a reply this time. Megatron could well imagine the seeker was laughing at him, wherever he was. Don't be so coy

He was just trying to get at him. Megatron wasn't going to get his spike out in the middle of his unlocked office with Shockwave right outside the door just because Starscream was baiting him. He had more dignity than that.

So why was he seriously considering it.

He was about to retract his panel when there was a knock on the door. His knee smacked into the edge of his desk just as the door swept apart to reveal Prime.

"Are you alright?" He asked, noticing Megatron's wince.

"Fine," Megatron hissed, deactivating his com, again, to block Starscream's harassment. "What do you want?"

"Nothing important," the Prime's optics brightened and Megatron knew he was smiling behind the mask. "I just came to ask; did Starscream appreciate the gift?"

"Yes." Megatron snapped, wondering why that would be any of Prime's business.

Prime nodded, "And?"

Megatron's optic twitched. He hadn't told Prime anything about the rapid deterioration of his Starscream's professionalism. "And what?" He asked defensively before he could think better of it.

The Autobot's optics narrowed, "Have you talked to him yet?"

"I feel like I'm always talking to him."

"Talked to him properly," Prime's disapproval was growing and showing no signs of being reigned in. "He's not going to wait forever."

Megatron glared at the Prime. He was willing to bet that Starscream would wait him out forever. And he was beginning to wonder if Prime had units riding on this somehow.

"Why don't I arrange another get-together?" Prime offered, sounding like he thought forcing everyone to another hellish party was a wonderful idea. "It would give you an excuse to-"

Megatron slammed his fist against the desk, "No. No more pointless parties, Prime!"

Prime held his servos up passively, "I only meant-"

"And where are you getting your information?" Megatron chased him towards the door, "Are you working for him?"

Prime looked alarmed, which meant he probably was. "He only asked me to-"

Megatron sealed the door in his face. Spies. The seeker had spies everywhere.

 

 

Chapter Text

Megatron tossed his datapad away with resigned frustration, having failed to read the same sentence for the sixth time. Today was a rest day, and without the chaotic schedule of meetings, and paperwork, and negotiations, and every other inane chore that came with being an official behind a desk during peace time, Megatron was finding himself restless.

He couldn't remember the last time he had had a day off.

He scowled at the dimming orange sky beyond his window, feeling like he might have wasted the precious day. He tapped his digits against the windowsill, glancing between the com on his wrist and the high tower of Volatus Point, just barely visible in the distance. He wondered what Starscream had done with his day off.

The thought had barely lingered when the rumble of huge engines rattled the glass of his windows. He stepped back, defensive- only for a huge purple ship to descend before his apartment.

Megatron recognised it in an instant. Astrotrain.

He slumped out of his battle-stance wearily, pressing the automatic release for the window. The heat of running turbines and thrusters wafted in as the glass slid away and Megatron was just about to lean out and yell at his once-subordinate to either transform into bipedal-mode or risk a fusion cannon up his afterburner, when a hatch in Astrotrain's hull folded apart.

Starscream stood in the opening, servo shielding his optics from the gust of the engines as he leant out to yell, "Get in! Emergency!"

Megatron wasn't in the habit of taking orders from self-important seekers, but his mind and frame were suddenly sparked alive at the thought of something actually happening. A rebellion to crush. An invasion perhaps? Anything that wasn't banal bureaucracy. He didn't even bother with the front door, swinging a leg over the windowsill and squeezing through the gap.

Astrotrain swung closer, and Starscream caught Megatron by the wrist, helping to haul him onboard. The hatch shut behind them and sealed out the noise. He was about to head towards the fight-deck with a nostalgic single-minded determination to discover the source behind this 'emergency' and squash it before Prime and his Autobots had all the fun, when he was held back by a tug on his arm.

Of course. Starscream.

No sooner than had he turned to face the seeker was he rudely accosted, yet again, with a pair of lips on his own.

His olfactory flooded with the floral-citrus musk that was the aromatic wax he had gifted the seeker, working in perfect harmony with Starscream's natural scent. He was aware that the seeker had to stretch up onto the tips of his thrusters to reach him, frame pressed to his for balance, the servo cupping his face smooth and warm against the worn armour of his cheek.

It was only the third time they had kissed like this but it felt natural. It felt like they had done so for over a thousand years. It felt like 'hello'.

"...Hey," Megatron murmured stupidly when there was room enough between their lips, glossa thick and lazy, fumbling like an idiotic adolescent fawning over his crush. Stood so close all he could focus on were Starscream's optics, smouldering red and youthfully bright, little creases of amusement at their corners. He looked so young, and something in Megatron's chest twisted at the thought.

Starscream huffed, letting his servos drop away from Megatron's frame, "You're not busy, I take it?"

Megatron blinked back to the present as he remembered the emergency, clearly wherever Astrotrain was taking them. Shunting the object of his reluctant affections aside he took off in the direction of the flight-deck, unhindered this time, save for-

"There is no emergency."

Megatron's good mood disappeared into the wind of a brewing storm. He turned slowly, dangerously, "What?"

Starscream remained in the hall between the entryway and the flight-deck, leaning up against the bulkhead as he nonchalantly checked razor sharp talons. "No emergency," he shrugged, "Made it up."

Megatron began stalking back towards him, helm bowed, "You little-"

"I had to get you out somehow," Starscream held out his servos, shoulders up, like he had had no choice in the manipulation. His voice was gaining pitch as his pretty thrusters took a couple self-preserving steps back, so at least he knew how thin the ice under-pede was. "You wouldn't have come otherwise. You're turning into a complete weirdo, and you know it."

"Where are you taking me?" Megatron demanded, unable to escape the idea that the seeker was luring him to his death. He wondered what deal Astrotrain was getting out of this.

"Ground-Bridge," Starscream answered with a pleased little smile, slipping past the angry warlord into the flight-desk. A red wing brushed Megatron's shoulder. The older mech shuddered with tightly suppressed instinct.

"Ground-Bridges are for emergencies." He followed, now wondering if this was a double bluff and he'd be tricked into walking through the portal and into a war-zone. He reached the flight-deck to witness Starscream taking the oversized Captain's chair, leaving only the smaller, less-coveted first-officers seat for him.

"I had a favour to call in with the Guard," The seeker explained. He kicked a thruster into the control panel before him, "And Astrotrain here, of course."

The triple-changer blew a horn in protest, emergency lights flashing, but didn't resort to ejecting the disrespectful seeker from his interior. Whatever favour Starscream was calling in it must have been a good one.

Still, "Astrotrain, land." Megatron ordered, having had enough of this nonsense.

To his satisfaction the engines hummed, slowing. The horizon out of the viewport rose as they began to descend.

"No, ignore him," Starscream ordered, louder. And they gained height once again.

"Astrotrain!" Megatron barked, indignant at the disobedience; Starscream was one thing, but loyal soldiers now?

"You're not his commanding officer," Starscream explained with a flippant gesture, "He doesn't have to listen to you anymore. No one does."

Megatron stamped around the side of the flight-deck and seized the captain's seat, yanking the seeker to face him. "You do," he growled, bearing down, blocking the overhead lights. Starscream leant back in his seat but didn't flinch away -there was a creak as his fists tightened on the arm rests. "Land this ship or suffer the consequences."

Starscream's mouth curled salaciously, and Megatron could already imagine the sort of filth his illustrative mind would spew forth given the opportunity. Perhaps something along the lines of masochism, punishment, or -Primus-forbid- spanking, so he closed his servo over the seeker's mouth to stop it, giving him a stern look. "Don't start."

Starscream rolled his optics but nodded, reluctantly consenting. Megatron released him, ignoring the parting of plump lips as his digits brushed the derma.

"Can't take a little teasing?" Starscream wiped the back of his servo across his mouth, "I was only going to-"

"I know full well what you were going to say." Megatron straightened, regaining his regal composure over the presumptuous menace across from him, "I don't need to hear the extent of your immoral fantasies."

"Fine," Starscream huffed, spinning his chair and tapping at the screen in front of him. "I'll write you a list. We're here."

There was so little gap between the first statement and the second that Megatron almost missed it. He had no time to protest but for a few half-sparked, blustering indignities the seeker was certainly ignoring. Astrotrain banked lightly to the left as he began to land, and Starscream was already out of the captain's chair and heading for the exit.

 


 

 

It may have been a technicality but Megatron was sure his current predicament could be argued as a kidnapping. There was no gun to his helm, nor he was he hog-tied and gagged and stuffed into a packing crate, but Starscream was exerting some hold over him, luring him with sly manipulations and unsaid promises, and Megatron had no idea what reward he was looking for but he was still following those blood-red wings like a siren's call.

The Ground-Bridge resided on the outskirts of the city state, guarded in a secure facility by a non-affiliated private security force. Not even Megatron, counterpart to the Prime himself, was allowed unauthorised access to such a precious resource.

Starscream strolled on in like he owned the place.

"So what hideous surprise is awaiting me on the other side?" Megatron asked as Starscream keyed in the coordinates. The guards on either side of the glowing portal neglected to spare them so much as a glance. The entire thing reeked of machination.

"Vos," Starscream hit the final key with unnecessary flourish, "You're impractically slow. This is faster."

The bridge began to shift, spinning into an accelerating whirlpool. Starscream stepped up and extended his arm, gesturing for Megatron to step through first with the same showmanship a magician would extend to an unsuspecting assistant.

"Not on your life," Megatron grumbled, and seized the seeker by the shoulder, walking him through first. Starscream scoffed, helm rolling back with exaggerated exasperation, but complied. Megatron took one, two, and then three steps, and wasn't shot at once.

Having made it through unmolested, Megatron took a moment to observe his surroundings. His surprise increased when he recognised the towering skylines as that of Vos. But there was little time to absorb the unlikely progression of events that had led to Starscream telling the truth as said seeker was already on the move.

"Hurry up," Starscream called, crossing the platform they had stepped through the bridge onto and heading towards migraine-inducing neon lights and thrumming bass music. Megatron's befuddled processor needed a moment to catch up to what this was; what he had just willingly walked into.

Something far worse than a war-zone.

Starscream was completely unsympathetic, waving his servos dismissively at a waiting cue of seeker's outside Vos's most prestigious club, carving a path to the front. The name, Shatter Star, flashed golden yellow above the nocuous entrance, font imitating broken glass. Megatron rejoined his seeker just as Starscream was obnoxiously jabbing a long digit at the guest list the unfortunate door-mech was holding and pointedly saying his designation far louder than necessary.

He glanced over-wing as Megatron shouldered into place behind him, "And guest," he added, rolling a shoulder back to indicate to the door-mech which unfortunate spark he was dragging into his secluded lair -eh, VIP booth. They were waved in, and there were too many witnesses for Megatron refuse and risk causing a scene.

Inside, the noise and heat and dimness of lighting did little else but remind him a great deal of the mines. And the crowds- the gladiatorial pits. He felt nostalgic. He felt old.

"Starscream!" He couldn't be heard over the floor shaking baseline and warbling vocals unless he was bellowing directly into the seeker's audial. And of course Starscream had already skipped off into the centre of a dance floor, camouflaging himself among mirrored walls and a hundred identical twins.

Megatron would rather impale himself on one of the decorative glass shards than follow.

He did what any mech his age would do when presented with a situation like this. Ordered a high-grade at the bar, found a seat, and sulked until his seeker deigned to collect him again.

Starscream did, eventually, dropping heavily into his lap side-saddle, knocking a grunt out of Megatron's surprised frame. Breathless and flushed, he snatched what remained of Megatron's latest high-grade and downed it. He tossed the empty cube over his shoulder and then swung in for a sloppy kiss, more glossa and denta than thoughtful technique.

Megatron tore himself free of it and stood abruptly, arm pinning the seeker to his chest for fear of losing him again. "We're leaving." He bent to yell in his audial.

Starscream tilted his helm back to look up at him, optics very bright and wide to compensate for the club's poor lighting. "You need another drink." He said, or rather yelled, over the music.

"No," Megatron was shaking his helm, trying to sound stern; but Starscream had already ducked out beneath his arm and was dancing between passing seekers. Megatron wasn't deft enough to follow, too tall and too broad for a room built for slender fliers. He saw a glimpse of a wide, mischievous smile before it disappeared behind a maze of wings.

He dropped his weight back against the wall, scowling, arms folded, and began stewing over what he'd shout at the entitled brat that had dragged him here as soon as he had the silence to be heard.

There was a light touch to his folded arm then, and a wing in his peripheral. His processor jumped to 'Starscream' and he was all ready to seize the hellion by the back of his neck and march/drag/carry him back out into the street in give him a good 'physical' piece of his processor on how he felt about being lured out of his apartment with false pretences, when he realised it wasn't Starscream at all.

Poor lighting made it difficult to tell but the armour appeared dark, a lot darker than Starscream's; navy, or indigo. The strangers's face was squarer, masculine edges, orange optics, a softer brow. Taller too, broader shoulders to match broader wings. He was handsome.

Megatron was about to shoo him off when a cube appeared, high-grade glowing temptingly. He took it, unthinkingly, anything to salvage his evening.

The seeker threw his helm to the side, gesturing to the stairs leading to the roof top where the air was clearer and music quieter, and as much as Megatron wanted to escape physical Hell he wasn't stupid enough to miss the motivation behind such an offer.

He was about to let his admirer down easily, hand the cube back -when, drawn by some sort of unholy sixth sense, the drunk but vengeful seeker he arrived with came barging back through the crowd. Optics flashing like incoming lasers as he shoved two innocent seekers to the floor to clear his path. 

Well-versed in Starscream's attack style, Megatron dropped the cube to free up his servos, letting it smash at his pedes, ready to catch and throw when Starscream pounced.

He realised too late that the seeker wasn't coming for him when his admirer disappeared under some twenty tonnes of incensed Air Commander, taken to the floor.

Bystanders hurried to put distance between themselves and the flurry of wings and thrusters. Nothing of Starscream's keen hand-to-hand skills showed as he rolled on the floor, losing an advantage to the other seeker's greater mass, but regaining it again in sheer violent fury.

Megatron was shocked enough that it took him a moment to think to intervene, stepping in and apprehending his once-subordinate around the middle. He lifted Starscream clean off the floor, having to really tug to get clawed servos loose from where they had sunk into their unfortunate victim. The seeker was still swiping and kicking and snarling, even as Megatron was forced to negotiate them backwards out of the club, fighting the urge to apologise to the staff for the scene his... associate had caused.

Starscream was unrepentant, even when Megatron dropped him none-to-lightly back to his thrusters at least half a block away from the club, still muttering a few choice phrases about the other seeker's creator under his breath.

Of course- Starscream spends an inordinate amount of time flaunting his conquests under Megatron's nose- but the older mech so much as glances in another seekers direction and the scene turns apocalyptic.

"Starscream," he growled, bending his helm to catch the seeker's gaze. He found himself having to force the irritated tone though, because despite the bizarre and horrific scene he had just left, he was oddly endeared at how ridiculously jealous Starscream was.

"Wipe that smug look off your face!" Starscream snapped, titling his helm back up to meet his glare head on. There was scratch across his right cheek. A dent in his jaw. Energon had been smudged into a smear at the corner of his mouth; Megatron wasn't sure who it had belonged to.

"What were you trying to achieve tonight, Starscream?" Megatron asked him, wondering if it would be safe to try and touch him. "Not this. Clearly."

The seeker was working his glossa around his mouth, thinking. "Everything has to be a plot, doesn't it?"

Megatron didn't deny anything. He watched the seeker, waiting.

Starscream folded his arms across his cockpit, hunched forward, still scowling like a petulant youngling. "I'm cold," he muttered eventually, though it was warm and humid tonight, so much so that Megatron's cooling fans were on the cusp on activating. "Let's go."

"You have another Ground-Bridge waiting?" Megatron asked, somewhat disgusted at Starscream's blatant disregard for rationing resources.

He seeker shook his helm, "No, we're walking."

 


 

 
They walked mostly in silence, Megatron making the occasional witticism about Starscream's complete inability to behave in a civilised manner, and Starscream doing little else but proving him right.

It was gone midnight when they reached an unassuming apartment complex in a residential zone of the city.

"I'm assuming this is your second home?" Megatron asked disbelievingly, watching Starscream key in a code for a door. Years at war with the seeker meant he was familiar with most of his Second's criminal vices -assault, murder, theft- he wouldn't be shocked to add trespassing to the list.

"Shut up," Starscream hissed as the door slid open. The apartment was cosy, basic, very unlike the seeker's stately residence in New-Iacon. Starscream made a gesture as if to say 'quiet' and stepped in, neglecting to turn on the lights.

Megatron stumbled after him, focusing more on not tripping over the room's unfamiliar layout in his inebriated state as he followed.

Starscream had retreated to the far side of the room and appeared to be bent over into the dispenser unit, the warm glowing energon painted the seeker a sickly purple. He straightened again with two cubes pinched between his digits, brow arching for Megatron to take one.

"I arranged for Astrotrain to pick you up in the morning," Starscream told him quietly, half muffled by the cube already at his mouth.

"Generous of you," Megatron griped, tossing back his own and sighing as the burn hit the back of his intake. He dropped to the couch, forearms resting against his knees as he watched the seeker.

"Until then, do whatever you want," Starscream threw himself over the armchair to the side, letting his helm drop over the back of the armrest, legs dangling over the opposite. "Just be quiet."

He didn't look comfortable. Megatron would have wondered why he didn't just retreat to the berthroom had he not already been well aware that this wasn't the seeker's home. Starscream wouldn't own furniture so comfortable. 

He swung his pedes up onto the couch and laid back, helm pillowed by an arm. Out of the corner of his optic he could see the dark outline of Starscream wriggle for a more comfortable position, wings jiggling mesmerisingly. He turned onto his side, watching, gaze heavy with exhaustion and high-grade.

Starscream's intakes began to even out, as did his restless fidgeting. Megatron's own breathing matched it, his frame sinking into the contours of the couch.

 


 

It was dark and something was nudging him across the upholstered sofa, wedging him into the gap between the seat and back. His optics were fuzzy, as was his processor. The tang of high grade was stuck to his glossa and he could smell polish. He realised what was happening when smooth, warm armour pushed into his servos.

"Move over," an impatient voice hissed, and Megatron winced when a sharp edge jabbed him in the abdomen.

He grumbled in irritation, trying to negotiate Starscream into a position that didn't put unnecessary weight on his extremities. There was a thruster digging into his thigh and a wing in his face and-

"Starscream," he grumbled, voice gravelly from sleep and muffled by the seeker atop him. He pulled an arm out from beneath his sudden couch-mate and pinned the seeker to his chest. Starscream's wings were still all over the place but Megatron was no longer being crushed. He draped his arm over the seeker's hip and let it hang there, digits brushing armour lightly.

Starscream laid his servo over Megatron's, frame beginning to relax, thrusters no longer kicking around for space. Satisfied, and appreciative of his new seeker-shaped pillow, Megatron pushed his face into the back of Starscream's neck, nuzzling closer at the contented purr the younger mech made at the intimate contact.

Warm and comfortable and half-asleep anyway, he was recharging again in moments.

 


 


The next morning Megatron woke slowly, still half buried between a seeker and overstuffed cushions. He lit an optic to peer over the top of one wide wing and was greeted to the sight of an unimpressed, sleep-rumpled Thundercracker - one servo propped on his hip, the other holding his morning energon.

The judgemental onlooker took a sip, "Good morning."

Megatron groaned, optic slipping offline as he retreated back behind the safety of his seeker's wing. The movement stirred Starscream and he lifted his helm, optics glazed as he took in his surroundings. He still felt cozy, warm in Megatron's arms from recharge. He didn't smell half as fragrant as he had the night before, more oil and iron and something undeniably 'Starscream'. He re-buried his nose in the seeker's neck, breathed deeply.

"Nice of you to drop by," Thundercracker told his trine-leader, pinky tapping against the edge of his cube impatiently.

"Don't ask," Starscream muttered, lifting a servo to rub at his optics, nudging Megatron's arm off his hip irritably as he sat up. "Will you- get off!"

"So..." Thundercracker took another long drink, as if bracing himself. "You two. You and Megatron. You're...?"

"No," Megatron grunted, same time Starscream snapped, "Obviously not."

Thundercracker's optics rolled towards the ceiling, "Good to see you're both on the same level of denial."

Megatron wondered if Thundercracker had always been this sarcastic and he had just never seen this side of him before. It was unnerving, how familiar once subordinates were becoming with him. He wasn't sure he liked it.

"Next time you plan on crashing here, call ahead." Thundercracker finished off his cube as Starscream finally wriggled off the couch and out of Ex-Commander's clutches. "Or I may start changing the security codes."

Megatron was averse to being referred to like some vagrant adolescent. He opened his mouth, ready to sit up and defend his corner, only to find he was somewhat stuck where he'd been wedged into the back of the couch, his back-struts grinding together in protest. Starscream left him there, continuing to argue with his trine-mate.

"-happened to your face?"

"-of your business!"

"-arrested for fighting. Again."

"-such an righteous piece of-"

Starscream's com beeped and he cut himself off, argument drifting into non-existence. He glanced at his wrist, "Astrotrain's here." He turned back towards the couch, next sentence faltering when he took in Megatron's current predicament. "...Would you like me to fetch you a cane?"

Megatron squared his jaw, "So I can use it on you?"

Starscream huffed, side-glancing at Thundercracker who was looking vaguely ill at the idea of his trine-leader and the warlord doing anything to each other. "Not today," he muttered out of the corner of his mouth, which implied he wasn't entirely averse to the idea.

"I do have a meeting to get to though, so," he backed towards the door, pointing at Thundercracker and then at his trapped paramour, "I'll let you deal with that."

He slipped out the door with the sort of smile that either made it's receiver want to slap him around the face or kiss him until they couldn't breath. For Thundercracker, it was the former. Megatron wasn't so lucky.

Skywarp then chose that exact moment to walk out of the berthroom, arms stretched above his helm in a yawn. He stopped when he took in the scene, "What'd I miss?"

 

 

Chapter Text

Megatron was sure by now most former Decepticons wouldn't give a scraplet's aft if he stopped turning up to all the pointless events the public relations team kept coming up with.

"The masses need to know their leaders have formed a stable government," Prowl informed him snottily, sick of hearing him complain as they ascended the stairs of the refurbished Imperial Amphitheater.

"Isn't it enough that Prime and I co-exist in the same building day after day and yet, I've managed not to try and kill him even once?" He snarled back. "Why should we have to pretend to get along?"

"Pretend?" Prime's voice exclaimed behind him.

They reached the private viewing box and filed in. Megatron sneered at the height. "Best seats in the house, indeed. What do you expect to see from up here?"

"It's a musical performance," Prime told him bitterly, nudging him along, clearly stung by his 'pretend friendship' comment. "You don't need to see."

Megatron dumped himself into a seat on the front row, where all the cameras and performance goers would be able to see him sulking the length of the evening. To make matters worse, Elita One began to climb over the seat next to him from the row behind.

Megatron bristled at the idea of being trapped between the Autobot's finest for the entire four hour performance. "That seat is reserved."

Elita arched a brow, sitting down anyway, crossing her long pink legs, "Starscream can't make it."

"What?!" Megatron demanded. The only reason he had agreed to this idiotic scene in the first place was because he had been promised- promised that the seeker would be suffering alongside him. If he didn't at least have the joy of watching Starscream squirm and complain and insult every note of the performance, what was the point?

"Something about not being fit for public view," Elita commented flippantly, pulling a data-pad from her subspace and beginning to swipe through it. She glanced up at Megatron's frowning face, "Apparently he got into a fight."

Megatron met her calculating gaze evenly, feigning ignorance, "Did he?"

"You know he did," Elita said darkly, turning the datapad around and holding it up to his face. It was a page from one of Cybertron's least reputable media outlets, the sort likely maintained by un-supervised adolescents with no respect for their better's privacy, because, yet again, Megatron was faced with a unsolicited picture of himself -and Starscream- somewhat worse for wear. 

"Date night not go to plan?" Elita's teasing voice cut through the white noise of staticky humiliation Megatron was drowning in.

He reached out and snatched the datapad out of her servo, throwing it way from himself and over the edge of the viewing box. It soared across the stands below until it slammed into the back of some unfortunate spark's helm. They could hear the shout of pain from all the way up in the box.

Prime leant over the edge to yell an apology.

"They wouldn't be so interested if you'd just come out and say it," Elita wasn't as bothered by the theft of her datapad as Prime seemed to be. "There's nothing the public like more than an illicit love affair."

"Starscream and I are not having an affair," Megatron snarled, "We haven't-" he aborted with a furious noise, "I at least, haven't-"

Elita stopped him with a mildly horrified look, "I don't need details. I just need you to know that it pains me -It physically pains me- to watch such unparalleled stupidity. Just get on with it."

Megatron turned away from her, elbowing Prime on his other side, "I will throw her out of this box."

Prime leant around him to catch his mate's gaze, optics pleading, "We have to sit with him for the next four hours." He reminded her. "Not the best time for couples counselling. Although Megatron, saying that-"

Megatron rose, turning to face Prowl sat behind him, "Did it ever occur to you that these outings might weaken the strength of this truce?"

Prowl stared at him with disinterested annoyance.

"Megatron," Elita tried, reaching for his arm to pull him back into his seat, "You're not being forced-"

"Aren't I?" He snarled, and then span away from them before he said something he'd inevitably have to apologise for later, stalking out of the box.

He didn't leave the Amphitheatre. There was media coverage of the event and doubtless some overzealous paparazzo would catch him in the act of leaving early. That didn't mean he had to return to the box and spend the next four hours in the stifling company of Autobots though.

He headed towards the stands, happy to have his pedes on solid ground again. He felt melancholy. The open arena, the bright stage lights, the thousands of seats now almost full; it felt like Kaon all over again- him, painted up for war, sword swinging at his hip, crowd roaring, screaming his name, screaming for blood.

He tilted his helm up, breathing in the cool night-

A loud crack rang through the arena, acoustics bouncing back off the Amphitheatre's walls. Megatron heard the sound before the pain registered, sharp and burning in his left shoulder. He clapped a servo to the injury, right arm having little else to do without it's fusion cannon mounted. The crowd around him erupted in confused panic, rapidly spreading from the stands to the rest of the arena.

Someone shouted, furious instead of frightened, and Megatron turned towards his attacker, seeing little more than the smoking barrel of a blaster aimed straight at his chest. The assailant yelled again. Megatron didn't register the word, too busy seizing a now vacant chair and yanking it from it's screwed position.

He got it loose just as the weapon re-powered and launched it. His attacker's shot went wide but the impromptu projectile did not, catching it's target about the helm. Megatron rushed him, ready to take him to the ground, perhaps break a limb or two, when the Amphitheatre's security descended out of nowhere, kicking the blaster away and pinning the assailant to the floor, stasis-cuffs already activating with a sharp beep.

Megatron hadn't even much time to lament the missed opportunity before he was being manhandled again. He almost struck out in surprise.

"-let him out of your sight anyway?!" A furious, grouchy, aged voice that could have belonged to no mech but Ratchet was demanding, servos yanking Megatron's servo away from the injury to see the damage. "What's the point of assigning a security detail to someone with a psychotic death wish? Somebody tell me?!" 

"It's only a graze," Megatron huffed, trying to draw his arm back and get a better look at whomever it was that had tried to kill him.

"A graze," Ratchet made a noise of disgusted disbelief, his grip on Megatron's forearm vicelike. He began steering him towards the exit, at which point the remaining Autobots appeared, en masse, Prime at their head, pale-faced and worried.

"Megatron?" Prime breathed, voice dripping with concern.

Ratchet shoved past him with a, "Stop fretting and get out of the way," which Megatron was beyond thankful for.

Unfortunately he was still taken past the media camped outside, all of whom pounced the second he appeared. Cameras flashing, questions firing, Ratchet swearing a blue-streak and making lewd threats if they didn't move. Eventually he was shoved into the back of a transport that was ready to take him to the nearest medical centre.

Having previously lost entire limbs mid-campaign and continued to battle on, he thought the fuss was more than a little embarrassing.

"Shut up and do as you're told," Ratchet snapped at him before he'd even begun to protest, brandishing a piece of equipment at him. He likely poised a greater threat to Megatron's continued function than any wound did, so it was only in his best interests that he allowed the medic to do as he pleased.

 


 

 

The medical centre was very 'Autobot', almost as if Bumblebee himself had been set loose with the paintbrush and a palette of primary colours. Megatron sat on the examination berth, glowering at the smiling cartoon faces on the wall opposite as Ratchet removed the damaged pauldron to get at the scorched circuits beneath.

"Couple inches to the right and this mighta been a different story," Ratchet groused at him, digging into his mangled shoulder.

"My armour is thick." He reminded the medic.

"Your armour is old," Ratchet muttered (rather hypocritically), fist clanging against his chest. "You'll do well to remember that."

Megatron preferred to think of himself as experienced, rather an 'old'. The years had strengthened him, both mind and body, rather than added a layer of rust and crankiness as it had Ratchet. He was a greater opponent now than he had ever been as a gladiator in his youth.

"Hm," Ratchet hummed, giving Megatron cause to crane his neck and see what had so concerned the medic. "Joint's stiff."

Indignity curled Megatron's lip, "It is not," he pulled his arm away to prove it, only to find it grinding to a stop.

"See," Ratchet snatched up an oil can and doused the gears, "Old."

Megatron stewed quietly under Ratchet's smug I Told You So smirk, reminding himself that he didn't need to prove himself to a geriatric Autobot when his reputation, however long since passed, spoke for itself.

In the silence his audials began to pick up a disturbance outside. It grew in volume until it was decipherable as hysterical yelling. Ratchet also lowered his tools, turning towards the door leading to the corridor with a baffled, "What in the Pit...?"

The commotion was directly outside the door now, and clear enough for Megatron to recognise the voice, if not the words. He would have passed it off as a pain induced hallucination had the door not swept open to reveal a panting, pale-faced Starscream -fiercely pursued by Prime, who had up until that moment been waiting outside patiently.

"-care about protocols! Where is-?" Starscream halted three steps into the room as the sight before him registered and Prime nearly collided with his wings at the abrupt change in pace. The seeker's face swapped from drawn and colourless to tight-lipped and flushed. It was an expression Megatron would only be able to describe as 'Caught'.

A stunned silence stretched between them until Ratchet, too old for this sort of nonsense, rolled his optics with such force the sass it emitted should have been audible. He threw down his tools with a clatter, muttering that they had better not break anything as he left the room.

Starscream's mouth worked for a moment, processor speeding for a quick and effective and preferably sarcastic counter to what was currently a very incriminating situation for him.

"You're-" the seeker began before aborting, optics flicking to Prime instead, "He's-"

"I'm fine." Megatron finished for him.

"He's fine!" Starscream snarled at Prime angrily, thrusting a servo at said 'He'. "I get a call and fly here from Vos and he's fine?!"

"Who called you?" Megatron demanded furiously, even as Prime was already fleeing the room.

"Everyone!" Starscream whipped back around to face him now that Prime could no longer be the source of his humiliated ire. "Had I been told the extent of your injuries was a scorch mark I wouldn't have bothered!"

"You were worried," Megatron frowned, because 'Starscream' and 'Concern' were an illogical set. The two were paradoxical by nature. Starscream at his most generous was apathetic at best.

"I came to see how many pieces you'd been blown into!" Starscream snapped, optics flashing dangerously, as if he had been accused of something insulting, instead of edifying.

"Did you," Megatron murmured, only half listening to the seeker's avid denials.

He realised, with an empty resigned disappointment, that he had no understanding of this situation. He had been injured before, more gravely than this- bed bound, surrounded by whispering medics and lieutenants and beeping machines- but no one had ever feared for him beyond the threat of losing his leadership.

No one had ever rushed halfway across a planet to his berthside in hysterical panic, like Starscream was trying so hard to pretend he hadn't.

He watched Starscream pace, finger pointed as he gestured angrily, face pulling itself into interestingly creative expressions as he listed very excuse he could come up with for why he was here that didn't involve the truth, and wondered what he might have done in the seeker's place had their positions been reversed.

He wondered, in this lonely, aimless void of a life left by the war, how they could have come to rely on each other so much.

"Starscream," he interrupted the rant with a beckoning wave of his servo, shifting on the examination berth, "Help me down."

Starscream was so willing to accept that Megatron was stiff and aged beyond the ability to hop off a medical berth unaided that he didn't even remotely suspect it could have been a plot to lure him closer. He was still complaining about fretting Autobots as he took Megatron's extended arm, ready to bear his weight, when said arm slipped from his grasp and went to curl around his waist instead.

He stopped with a surprised, "Wait, what are you-" and was silenced with a crisp sounding kiss, little more than the sliding of Megatron's wet lips against his own.

The seeker stiffened, wings taunt, optics bright but narrow, parted mouth pulling into a frown. "...I wasn't worried," he reminded Megatron with petulant denial.

Megatron nodded with a noncommittal hum, pulling him in again. Starscream made a furious noise, pushing at his chest, "Don't you-mmff!"

Megatron insisted, kissing him deeply, glossa and all. Starscream's fist hit his uninjured shoulder half-heartedly, conceding defeat rather than bothering with further protest. The seeker's denta did sink into his bottom lip though, pulling at the supple derma. Megatron huffed at the sting, thinking he was being let off lightly.

They parted and Starscream gasped for breath, still scowling. "Did you hit that bucket head of yours on the arena floor?"

"I must have," Megatron agreed good-naturedly, letting his arm drop from the seeker's waist. "I can't possibly be left unsupervised."

"Oh, really," Starscream sneered, "Perhaps Prime will be willing to babysit."

"I was hoping you might indulge me."

Starscream looked like he was trying very hard to suppress a smirk. "Indulge you?" He said, sarcastically scandalised, a servo pressed to his chest, "Why Megatron, what are you implying? I'm a high-caste mech..."

"However did you fall in which such an uncultured ruffian?" Megatron asked, reaching for a wing, finding Starscream's coquettishness oddly endearing.

Starscream batted him away with a smirk, glancing over his shoulder, "Not here. Don't be ridiculous."

"You've done worse in less conspicuous locations," Megatron reminded him, catching the seeker's slender servo and reeling him in. "I'm but an injured old mech. It's the least you can do..."

"You're a pervert." Starscream muttered, but with skilled enough pestering Megatron had the seeker clambering up into his lap, thighs spread to straddle him, arms looping around his neck, wings within striking distance. He ducked under the seeker's chin, mouth pressing to his throat, -kissing, sucking, licking- anything to make Starscream squirm so delightfully in his lap.

So of course the door to the med bay opened with a soft whoosh and Ratchet's voice yelled, "For the love a'- Stop that!"

Starscream slapped Megatron's wandering servos from his frame, stumbling off his lap and readjusting himself in telling places, cheeks a little purple. Megatron found himself quite enjoying that flustered look.

"Can't wait five damn minutes for me to put him back together again before molesting him, can you?" Ratchet grumbled angrily, ignoring Starscream's embarrassment and Megatron's smugness and snatching up a welder. "And in my medbay too, damn seekers. Like a couple a' mechlings, can't control your own protocols-"

It was too much for Starscream apparently, "I'll- wait outside." He said stiffly, hunched wings already retreating to the door.

"And you," Ratchet tugged on an exposed wire, "You're old enough to know better."

Megatron let himself grin through the pain, "Young enough not to care."

 


 

 

Banished to the waiting room Starscream found he had little distractions to chose from. Outdated gossip files, holographic posters detailing the dangers of size-incompatible interfacing, and Optimus Prime.

Starscream studied the poster.

"Starscream?" Prime's baritone interrupted his morbid interest in the educational diagram, "I would like to apologise, it was not my intention to worry you unjustly."

"I wasn't worried," Starscream muttered, for what had to be the umpteenth time.

"You arrived in good time," the Prime pointed out.

"Of course I did. I can fly at three times the speed of sound," Starscream gave up on the poster and moved to take an uncomfortable seat on the opposite end of the room. Prime, predictably, followed.

"Either way, he's happy to have you here."

Starscream wondered if Prime made a habit of putting words into Megatron's mouth with everyone, or if it was just him the Autobot felt the need to translate the grunts and scowls and general poor attitude of the planet's co-leader into functional sentences for.

"Yes," Starscream lifted a datapad, trying to shield himself from Prime, "Very clever of you, luring me here. Manipulating the old codger's emotions like that."

"I think the only one here who feels as though his emotions were manipulated, is you."

Starscream snorted, raising the datapad higher, "I don't have emotions to manipulate."

Prime sighed deeply, "What is it about you Decepticons and tribulation? What would be so wrong about letting yourself be happy?"

"And I would be happy with Megatron, would I?" Starscream let his datapad fall into his lap with a slap. "I know you're trying to win a bet Prime, but suggesting this as anything more than- fun is going too far."

"And the pair of you are having plenty of fun, I hear," Elita One's voice announced from behind. Starscream turned to find her in the entryway, a cube in each servo. She looked as blunt as she sounded, and twice as unimpressed.

"Well if it isn't the Autobot's chief meddler," Starscream sneered, and snatched one of the cubes out of her servo, regardless of whether it was for him or not. "With the amount of machination you've been up to lately, I wouldn't be surprised to learn you'd set this whole thing up."

"Are you suggesting I tried to assassinate Megatron?" Elita arched a cunning brow. "I'm wounded Star. You know I'm a better shot than that."

"No- no one-" Prime had realised that they probably weren't the safest combination of people in such an enclosed space and was moving to stand between them. "Elita, don't bait him. And Starscream-"

"The two of you need a hobby," Starscream interrupted, pointing between them. He drank half of the stolen cube before thrusting it back to Prime, "Or maybe to procreate, seeing how keen you both are on ruining lives."

Elita had a dangerous look in her optic. Prime was hiding behind a face-palm.

Before it could escalate any further, a less than enthusiastic Megatron lumbered around the corner. The pettish expression he wore wouldn't have looked out of place on a toddler. His pauldron had been reattached and looked only slightly out of place where the metal had been buffed to remove the black, sooty residue the blaster had left behind.

Starscream stood, but Prime usurped his position at the front, clasping a servo to Megatron's arm.

"Elita's team have this under full investigation," he said with business-like professionalism, "Questioning of the suspect is already underway and we believe he was working alone. We expect-"

"I want to question him," Megatron interrupted.

Prime exhaled heavily, "You know that's not-"

"As is my right, after being shot, don't you think?"

"Megatron, see reason..."

Prime could offer up every moral Autobot argument about why that was a bad idea, and from a logical point of view, Starscream agreed. But Megatron was a vengeful spark even at his most noble and he wasn't going to let up unless he at least had the satisfaction of terrorising his attacker in a small, windowless room. Starscream knew it was a losing battle from experience, having been in Prime's place time and time before. At least this time he could sit back and enjoy it from an onlookers perspective.

Until meddlesome Elita started working her manipulative black magic again.

"All very good points," she slipped between them, offering up a soft feminine smile, settling Prime and disorienting Megatron enough to halt the argument in it's tracks. "But not exactly the time. It's late, and long since time we all retired for the night. The suspect has been arrested and in the mean time won't be going anywhere."

Prime nodded sombrely, offering his mate apologetic murmurs. Megatron wasn't so easily cowed, mouth opening to at least snatch away the last word.

"And I think Starscream has been waiting long enough to take you home," Elita added, only to remind the keyed up warlord that there was a far better outlet for his frustrations, in the form of a seeker less than half his age and gorgeous to boot, standing right beside him. It worked horribly well, Megatron's optics snapping to Starscream -or rather his wings- as if drawn there by his internal targeting system. 

Starscream would have protested her pimping him out in the name of Autobot-Decepticon relations but she was already leading Prime out the door, skilfully ignoring his outraged look, flared nostrils and all, waving them goodbye with all the grace of a benevolent queen.

Starscream had never wanted to throw anyone out of a moving train as much as he did Elita One.

"So," Megatron sauntered up behind him, chest brushing his wings, "You're taking me home, are you?"

Starscream bristled at his intrigued tone; as willing as he was to spread his legs for his ex-leader, he wasn't going to be doing it on Elita's say so.

"Don't get excited. I won't be staying."

Megatron's expression implied that was going to be up for considerable debate.

 

 

Chapter Text


The automatic lights flickered to life as they passed the threshold into Megatron's apartment. Starscream was dismayed to find the building much in the same state as it had been the last time he had visited, nearly two years ago now. Bare walls, sparse furniture. The only personality was the occasional datafile littering the end table. It was tidy, but spartan. Un-lived in.

Not for the first time did Starscream catch himself wondering if Megatron actually had a life? And not just as a passing insult on his ex-commander's anti-socialism. What existed in his world beyond work and his thrice-read philosophy files?

"I thought you might have found time to decorate in the last couple years?" He offered with no small amount of condescension, turning on the spot to survey the full extent of the unforgettably small living room.

"It's fine," Megatron murmured, still just inside of the door. Starscream couldn't tell if he was waiting to push him back through it, or was blocking his escape route. Perhaps he hadn't decided yet.

Starscream crossed his arms over his chest, shifting his weight and feeling the beginnings of awkwardness creep up his frame. "Your shoulder. Does it hurt?"

"The Autobot medic was very thorough," Megatron rolled his shoulder to prove so, a smooth, virile movement. A predator flexing before the pounce. "You'll find everything in full working order."

Ah, there it was. That flirtatious promise hidden beneath Megatron's legendary propaganda-poster scowl. Starscream swallowed on a lump of apprehension, ridiculous and unwarranted though it was. He knew 'facing, he knew Megatron, and he knew the equipment he was dealing with -had already gagged on it in a public supply closet like a cheap drone.

"I thought you weren't staying?" Megatron prompted him; either leave or succumb. He wasn't going to stand around all night in sexual-tension limbo.

"I do have an early meeting..." Starscream said absently, turning his back on his host, letting his servo drift over the datafiles on the table.

So far, Megatron had gotten away with letting him be the instigator; of the two times things had escalated beyond fumbling that was. He wanted to see where his leader's tether ended, what it would take for him to snap first and slam him against a wall. He wanted that satisfaction of knowing he could still unhinge the older mech. The payout was so much more rewarding than anger now.

He knocked a datafile off the table, accidentally, and bent slowly at the waist to retrieve it. Cliched? Yes, but Megatron was hard work, nothing short of literally throwing himself at the mech in the past had worked. He lingered before moving to straighten, and found his wings knocking back against a warm, solid obstacle.

He had just enough time to think, well that was quick, before air flew from his intakes as two huge servos seized him by the hips and span him around, trapping him against a powerful chest.

Suddenly all that he could see, hear, and feel was Megatron. Thick armour and towering frame, solid, iron, warm. His optics were bright, and Megatron's were dim as they stared down his strong nose at him.

"Are you trying to tease me, seeker?"

"Is it working?" Starscream asked. He could feel the pulse of Megatron's spark beneath his servo. He wanted to drag his digits down, slip it between their frames to black pelvic armour and turn the goliath before him into a shuddering heap of scrap. Nothing would feel so powerful as having Megatron's spike in his hand.

A servo came to cup his cheek, rough but warm. The pad of a thumb swiped across his mouth, pushing at his lower lip. Starscream opened, taking the probing digit into his mouth and sucking lightly; but Megatron made an irritated noise at the display, slick thumb disappearing and servo closing around his chin instead, tilting him up for a kiss.

"Spoilsport..." Starscream managed to mutter before a mouth closed over his and he lost what remained of his senses to the soaring feeling in his chest, because, Primus, could Megatron kiss.

The servo slipped from his hip to the small of his back, supporting him, and Starscream soon realised -only half aware of anything going on outside what Megatron's glossa was doing to him- it was because he was bending back, swooning like an overwhelmed maiden, thruster lifting off the floor like the female love interest on the cover of one of Thundercracker's Primus-forsaken human romance novels.

He rightened himself with an frustrated stamp of his thruster, but it was a good few wet, breathy, lip-smacking seconds before he could bring himself to break away from Megatron,

"Are..." he inhaled, servo brushing across his forehelm as if to sweep away the heat gathering there. "Are you going to spend all night molesting me, or are you actually going to get on with it?"

"Starscream," Megatron rumbled, and Starscream didn't think his designation had ever sounded so good, purred in that dated tarnian accent, disapproving and weary though it was, "This isn't a race."

"I told you I had an early meeting." Starscream reminded him, because he might need that alibi later. Should he need a quick escape.

"I'm not sure one evening is long enough," Megatron dipped to kiss his cheek, then his jaw, sparking a jolt of sensation up Starscream's backstrut. The older mech's servo slowly -too slowly- slid over the swell of his aft to cup, then grope. "You should cancel your meeting. Clear your week, in fact."

"You think you can keep me in your berth for an entire week?" Starscream smirked, and veered back enough to poke the tip of Megatron's big nose, knowing the warlord would be provoked by the challenge. "Don't get carried away. Those rumours of your prowess are just that. Rumours."

Megatron stared down at him, mouth twisted, jaw angled, "Would you allow me to prove otherwise?"

"Hmm," Starscream pretended to think, servo at his mouth, "Well, I suppose-oh!"

He was seized by the elbow as Megatron began pulling him towards the door that led to his berth room -his long legs striding, Starscream's stumbling. The door whooshed open by its sensor and Megatron used his momentum to sling him in first with less than gentlemanly decorum. Starscream tripped, but caught himself against the berth-frame before ending up on the floor, devious grin splitting his face at the rougher play, an excited bubble brewing low in his tanks.

The older mech watched him, palming the door-panel. It flashed red, a clank sounding as it locked.

"Where have your manners gone?" Starscream asked lowly, servos searching for the berth covers behind him. If Megatron was going to throw him across something, he at least wanted a soft landing.

The older mech ignored him, bypassing the berth on his way to the floor to ceiling length windows (the only redeeming quality of his apartment). He flicked a switch and blinds began to drop over the glittering canvas of distant late-night city lights.

"I doubt we'll have voyeurs," Starscream pulled a face, lifting himself to the edge of the raised berth, thrusters skimming the floor. He wondered if the old prude was going to turn out the lights next? Maybe force him under the berth covers. Primus-forbid they have any visual stimuli to set the mood.

"Those paparazzi trail you like scraplets after rust," Megatron growled, humourless and no small amount resentful. He stalked back to the berth and loomed. The lights remained on, but dimmed, not unlike the settings on the Nemesis's bridge. "It grieves me to have to share you with them out there. I won't do it here."

Megatron was a stupid possessive fool, and Starscream couldn't stand it so much that he had to spring up and catch the older mech by the shoulders, yanking him down. Megatron's mouth bumped his and after a moment of surprise, reciprocated tenfold, kissing back firmly enough that Starscream found himself pinned flat to the berth. Megatron's shadow dwarfed him as climbed onto the berth on all-fours, huge shin-pads on either side of his thighs.

Servos stroked the smooth metal of his painstakingly narrow waist before coming up to cup his chest, thumbs absently flicking at his turbines, spinning the fan blades lazily. Starscream squirmed at the light tickle, wings dragging over the berth covers, arousal warm and liquid.

Ready to be railed through the berth and beyond, Starscream nudged Megatron away just enough to roll onto his front. The berth creaked under him. He got onto his knees, hips lifting and back curving until his aft was flush to a warming codpiece. He released his panel with an eager sounding 'snap', rocked back, the felt hard edges of armour against the hypersensitive mesh of his wet valve.

He expected to be ravished, for digits to dig into his wings and hip. For Megatron to bite into the back of his neck, and press in, and curse. What he got instead was an exasperated sigh and an arm under his abdomen, roughly flipping him back over.

Suddenly upright again, legs splayed awkwardly, Starscream snarled, unsure and angry.

"What the Pit is your-!?"

The protest was barely out before a servo clapped over his mouth, silencing him. On top of him, Megatron gave him a look. It was the same look he'd give him back during the war, if he'd said something stupid or out of place. A flush rushed through Starscream's frame at the indignity of it. He squirmed to get out from under the warlord, pulling at the digits keeping his silence, legs kicking out in frustration.

"Shh," Megatron told him, easy and un-rushed, "I have neighbours."

The servo came away and Starscream took the opportunity to loudly suggest those neighbours do something vile and mechanically impossible.

"I like it on my knees," he added, trying to twist over again, unused to looking his partners in the optics.

Megatron held him, "I want you on your back."

"Why?" Starscream snarled, chest tightening at the thought of being watched so closely, nowhere to hide.

The stubborn mech declined to answer, already nudging slender thighs apart to settle between them. The heavy weight of the larger frame was unfamiliar, but welcome enough that Starscream rutted against him, swollen valve desperate for friction.

Megatron grumbled again and with some rough shoving and a couple of scratches (courtesy of himself) the warlord finally had a servo between his legs, doing it's damn job. But it was light, barely there teasing, digits skimming across the outer folds of his valve instead of the rough fingering he'd been expecting (hoping for).

His barely stimulated valve clenched and unclenched in anticipation; it seemed to last for hours, his helm rolling listlessly from side to side as a finger swirled around the rim, tracing the sensor nodes. His every frustrated attempt at taking over was met with a reproachful wrist slap or deep rumble of warning.

It was annoying. He said so, but Megatron's face had buried itself behind his shoulder, kissing at the flat plane of his wing. He dug his claws into the warlord's broad back, thrusting up against him, hissing. "Please."

"Hmm," Megatron hummed, helm lifting lazily, like he had all the time in the world to do this. Maybe he did. Maybe he could go hours, just torturing him, never needing to take it further, never needing to satisfy himself.

Moisture began to gather at the corners of Starscream's optics, tears of frustration threatening to spill. His valve ached, far beyond the throb of arousal now. "Please," he hissed again, no longer caring for dignity or being watched, "You idiot, just- please."

Megatron chuckled, a dark victorious noise. His thick black digits pressed into him -three fingers (thank Primus) and the stretch of it had Starscream mouthing expletives to the ceiling.

There was a click and the hiss of a pressurising spike. Starscream scrambled for it, looking for some small compensation for his torture, but in a split second Megatron caught him by the wrist, then the other, pinning his servos above his helm and leaning on them.

Trapped, Starscream squirmed. Megatron's gaze was piercing, judgmental, powerful, and under it he felt like a new recruit all over again, one of a thousand of fresh faced youths lined up for the Decepticon Warlord's infamously insatiable appraisals.

He tried to arch up, "Just let me-"

Megatron ignored him, transferring both wrists to one huge servo and descending again, hot mouth plucking at his neck cables, his turbines. The larger mech's free servo returned to his spike in firm, slow strokes. Starscream craned his neck to watch, the spike thick and weighty in the Warlord's grip, transfluid beginning to bubble at the tip. He licked his lips, remembering the brackish taste of it on his glossa.

"There may be some size-incompatibility," Megatron's deep voice jumped him from his stupor. He tore his optics away from the spike. The older mech was still watching him. "Let me know if I hurt you."

"Shut up," Starscream sneered, tugging on his wrists, "I'm not a sealed slagging mechling."

"Oh, I know," Megatron huffed, tilting forward and rubbing the broad tip of his spike against Starscream's swollen exterior node.

Before Starscream could protest his tone, the bigger mech was pressing in, thick girth straining delicate mesh. His vocal components froze, half surprised, half overwhelmed at the warm full sensation. He twitched as his callipers succumbed to the pressure, fingers curling towards his palms, unable to break free and grab hold of the mech slowly filling him.

Megatron grunted, hips rolling forwards until his pelvis was flush against the backs Starscream's thighs, spike hilt deep. His helm bent close to Starscream's audial and he breathed out something that sounded like Starscream's name, fist tightening around his delicate wrists.

Starscream swallowed dryly, throat working. "I-"

Megatron moved, nose brushing the side of his face as he turned, optics a dim amorous glow. Starscream could hardly breathe under the weight of the larger mech's frame, and the greater weight of his gaze. Megatron circled his hips, grinding, finding sensor nodes that Starscream -even after hundreds of partners and many more years experience- had never known he had.

"Primus." He breathed, jolting in surprise, legs bent and squeezing into Megatron's sides as the mech above him began to set a pace. He arched up into it, pulling at his wrists again. "Let me- let-"

Megatron got the hint and charitably his grip loosened, letting one wrist slip free for Starscream to throw around the back of his thick neck, yanking him down into a sloppy unskilled kiss. The other he kept, pushing his thick digits between Starscream's slimmer ones, lacing them together against the berth. Starscream didn't care for the emotional connotations, too thankful for something to grip as Megatron found his driving rhythm.

He was being loud between the spark-melting kisses. He could hear his own voice echoing back at him in shouted bursts. Megatron made no attempt at muffling him, concern for neighbours forgotten as he chased him into climax.

By the time Starscream was coming (for the second time) the sensory overload forced a sob from his throat, dry and broken, thankfully muffled against his partner's thick shoulder armour -his face tucked close so Megatron couldn't see- but still embarrassingly loud.

The mouth on his neck emitted a moan then, a thick, low noise. It was a sound unlike Starscream had ever heard Megatron make, and was unlikely to ever hear again outside of this room. Uncensored rapture. His valve clenched, just as Megatron's hips stilled with one last tense twitch. The spike inside him pulsed, pumped it's release into him. He could feel it.

He had barely regained his breath when Megatron's old arms finally gave out and all sixty tonnes of the Warlord collapsed into a heap on top of him, knocking the last vestiges of energy from his frame.

He was awake long enough to receive one last kiss, more a smearing of wet lips to hot cheeks than anything else, before his optics flickered out and he fell to a well deserved recharge.

 


 

 

Megatron woke to the telling shake of someone returning to his berth. Seeing as he lived alone and no spark had any right to such territory, he was instantly on edge, one optic flicking online to reconnaissance the situation. The covers shifted behind him. Scowling, he braced himself.

"For Primus's sake, it's me." Starscream's irritated voice surprised him out of his suspicious mindset. He twisted, peering over his shoulder to see the seeker sat atop the covers, servo between his thighs. "You don't honestly think I'm going to attack you?"

The previous hours came back to Megatron in very satisfying drips and drabs. He ran a questioning servo over his berth covers, feeling lingering dampness. "Ah, I remember now."

Starscream had paused, scowling at him in vague disgust. "Well," he said, removing his servo from between his thighs and revealing a rag he had presumably been using to clean himself with. The sodden material was then, unsurprisingly, thrown at his helm as the seeker moved to leave. "Like I said, I have a meeting..."

"It's late." Megatron ducked the projectile and rolled across the berth, lightning quick. He caught the seeker's arm before Starscream's thrusters could brush the floor, "What sort of cad would I be to evict you in the middle of the night? The neighbours will talk."

Starscream arched an elegant brow, "They're going to talk regardless. I hope you have good sound proofing."

He tugged to free his arm, but Megatron tugged harder to keep him, "Lets hope they heard the whole thing," he dragged Starscream's servo to his mouth, heightening the seeker's pretty blush, "I want this whole city to know you're mine."

Starscream squirmed his servo free, twisting away childishly, Megatron pursued him across the berth, "I'm not yours, you entitled lump."

"Stay," Megatron caught him by the thruster and pulled. Starscream slipped off his servos with a squawk, sliding across the covers with a rush of fabric until Megatron had him beneath him. "Just until morning."

"What-?" Starscream made ineffective attempts at batting his servos away, "What do you want me for, you idiot? You've already had me."

Instead of answering he kissed him. Starscream reciprocated without protest, perhaps more habit than anything else now. He slipped his servos under the seeker and rolled them, setting Starscream in his lap, crimson thighs stretched around his hips.

"You can't possibly...?" Starscream squirmed, surprised, having felt the heat of his arousal against his own panels. "Rather virile for an old mech, aren't you?"

"You've always kept me young, Starscream," he purred, and it was true from a certain viewpoint. The constant threat of death had indeed required an up-keeping of wit and agility most his age might have forgone had they not had the same daily interactions with an unhinged psychopath.

"Sentimental fool," Starscream huffed, shifting into a more secure position. "I'm not yours. Not yet."

Megatron didn't care what he said. In anyway that mattered, he already was.

And to prove so he inclined his helm, mouth closing over one of the seeker's silver turbines, glossa flicking wetly over it's pointed centre. Starscream's engines revved, frame jumping in his lap, servos flying up to clutch at his helm.

Megatron chuckled, letting himself drop back to the berth, taking Starscream with him.

 

 


 

 

When Starscream came back to himself -low-fuel warnings buzzing before his optics- it felt like he had just been run over by a sixty tonne tank. Which was not far from the truth. South of his cockpit still tingled when his legs shifted, a pulse of something that might have been pain if not for the twinge of arousal that still lingered.

The room was bright with stripes of daylight escaping through the gaps in the blinds, and with resigned frustration both at himself for being stupid enough to have stayed and Megatron for being such a incorrigible idiot, he realised he had slept through till morning.

The berth was (thankfully) empty, the covers a strewn mess beside him where Megatron had risen. Starscream let them pool in his lap as he sat up, fighting back a wince, servos instinctively darting between his legs. Everything seemed in full working order, it just... wasn't used to the treatment it had received last night.

"Size-incompatibility indeed." Starscream muttered to himself, slipping out from under the covers and gingerly letting his thrusters down.

He ventured out into the other room, half-expecting to find a note about a planetary emergency apologising for his host's absence. It was the only conceivable reason he could think of for why Megatron wasn't still cleaved against his back like a third wing. So he was surprised to see the older mech waiting for him, reclined in a large seat. A cube in one servo, a news-file in the other. The grey mech raised a brow as he entered.

"You're limping."

"Yes," Starscream hissed, stopping in the centre of the room. "I thank you for that."

"You certainly were last night," Megatron murmured behind his cube, sounding far too pleased with himself, his optics already back on his news-file. "Don't you have a meeting?"

Starscream didn't even bother checking his chrono. The sun had risen well beyond dawn, and Megatron knew that. "I appear to have missed it."

"Shame," Megatron said, not sounding very sympathetic at all. He placed his cube on the table beside him, lowered his news-file, "Perhaps we will have time to talk then, you and I?"

Starscream knew the warning signs of the We Need To Talk (About Us) conversation fairly well, and he knew what theme this one would be taking. Megatron had made it no secret last night that he wanted to keep him under his thumb on a more exclusive and permanent basis. "Mine" he'd whispered a dozen times throughout their second -and maybe third?- romp, old-fashioned sensibilities catching up on him.

Perhaps Starscream had moved too soon, or given too much. He hadn't calculated for the noble demon aspect of the old warlord's personality, had hoped the blustering prude in him would drag this game out a little longer. Just long enough.

"I would, but..." he didn't bother to hide his disinterested tone, already inching towards the door, "I'm already behind on this legislation I should have finished last night. Perhaps, next month?"

"Next month?" Megatron's expression fell into a deep frown, enhancing the lines of his aged face.

"There's going to be a Gala," Starscream waved his servo flippantly, "For that two year anniversary of the joke you're calling a truce."

"Two year anniversary of peace." Megatron said firmly, standing. "And you have no free time between now and then?"

"Guess not," Starscream shrugged, stabbing at the door panel with a clawed digit and then shooting his ex-commander a finger gun. "Take it easy on your shoulder though, won't you?"

He stepped out into the hallway and let the door shut on Megatron's befuddled expression, breathing a great sigh of relief. Nearly two years into the truce, he thought, walking a little lopsided to counter his discomfort. Time sure did fly.

Now if all that remained went to plan, this might be his most successful venture yet.

 

 

Chapter Text

Starscream's sudden indifference towards Megatron's romantic advances was both ridiculous and hypocritical.

This was the seeker that had spent months manipulating him into intimate traps. The seeker that had propositioned him over com text and touched himself during what were supposed to have been professional calls. The very same seeker that had sent Megatron over half-a-dozen inappropriate hard copy prints of him sprawled across various pieces of office furniture. All of which now safely resided in a locked desk draw.

A month had never lasted so long.

Starscream still existed of course. He occasionally worked in the same building. Megatron would sometimes glimpse glossy red wings across the council chambers. But they never just 'coincidently' ran into each other anymore, no matter how hard Megatron tried to place himself in the right corridors at the right time. He was now beginning to realise that perhaps Starscream didn't have as much business at the senate as he had been led to believe. That maybe the occasions before had been much less by chance and almost entirely by the seeker's machinations.

Two weeks into what was essentially a break between them, Megatron forwent all pride and dignity and actually called the seeker- mid afternoon, work hours, under the guise of it being important and regarding work. The second Starscream heard his inflection over the com he was muttering excuses and telling him to leave a message and then static.

Molten fury had Megatron flipping his desk before he was even consciously aware of what had made him so angry. Shockwave ran about cancelling his next few meetings whilst they cleaned the mess and tried to ease his temper. Whereas Soundwave walked right out of his office and didn't come back until three hours later, Optimus Prime in tow.

"You've betrayed me." Is all Megatron told the tape-player. He was now camped out behind Shockwave's admittedly smaller desk -because he still had work to do and he'd torn the legs off his own.

Soundwave left without a word, leaving Prime to deal with whatever emotional crisis he was having.

"What did you do?" Prime's optics were bright and accusatory over his mask.

"Me?!" Megatron nearly snapped his light-pen in a tightening fist, "What did I do?"

"Starscream suddenly wants nothing to do with you." Seeing as there was nowhere else to sit, Prime awkwardly perched himself on the edge of Shockwave's desk. "He won't tell me why. Which means you must have done something."

"He said he was busy," Megatron said stiffly. Though it was none of Prime's damn business the confusing frustration of the situation had been building up for some time now and he couldn't afford to lose any more desks by continuing to bottle it up. "...Perhaps he bored of me."

"He didn't bore of you after five million years of war." Prime folded his arms over his huge chest, disbelieving, "Megatron, are you sure you didn't-?"

"The only idiotic thing I did with Starscream was let that slippery little fiend hook his claws into my spark," Megatron finally admitted with a solid punch to the desk, making the Prime jump. A pile of files collapsed out of their neat stack, half of them clattering to the floor. Megatron didn't care, slapping a servo to his face.

"If you tell him I said that, I'll arrange to have you killed."

"Noted," murmured Prime, voice considerably softer. "I think you're overreacting. He's still coming to the Second Anniversary Gala. I'm sure you'll see him then."

Megatron huffed, "I hate those cursed parties."

"Two years." Prime sounded like he was smiling, "If that isn't something to celebrate I don't know what is. You should be proud. We've achieved much, and I won't have you ducking out again. You're coming, and that's an order."

Megatron grumbled something noncommittal, scooping up some of the files and trying to build them up enough he could hide behind them.

"Two weeks," Prime rose, levelling a stern digit at him, "I'll see you at the Gala. With Starscream."

Megatron didn't even bother disguising the next string of curses as mutterings this time.

 


 

Skywarp may never had said anything.

Thundercracker had been telling him almost his entire existence to keep to his own business. Apparently that mattered even more now that this was peace time. 'Don't need Civil War II breaking out all because you couldn't keep your olfactory to yourself, Warp' is what he'd say, but Skywarp felt it was more to keep the peace in their own dysfunctional trine than any real politics.

And they sure as Pit didn't have peace in the living room of his and Thundercracker's apartment.

"Starscream, you don't live here," Thundercracker's deep and stern voice was easily heard through the walls of their home. Skywarp poked his helm out of the berthroom in interest.

Starscream was indeed sprawled across their couch, his home away from home for the past three weeks now. The red seeker tilted his helm over the arm rest to give his trine-mate a condescending smirk. "Can't visit old friends now?"

"We're not friends," Thundercracker told him venomously, and Skywarp might have been taken aback at the tone the usually easygoing mech used had he not also understood the burden that came with prolonged exposure to their trine-leader. "And Warp and I are sick of looking at you. Get out."

"Skywarp!" Starscream pushed himself upright and squawked. Skywarp tried to duck back into his berthroom to avoid being dragged into the argument, but his trine-leader's keen optics caught him. "Get in here."

Skywarp shuffled one pede in front of the other, trying hard to look like he didn't know what the argument was about and therefore couldn't become part of it. He thumbed towards the front door, "I'm just going-"

"You're not going anywhere." Thundercracker pointed at Starscream, "You, on the other servo..."

"Five more days." Sensing he was soon to be outnumbered simply because Skywarp cared about keeping Thundercracker happy more than he cared about Starscream full-stop, the crimson trespasser switched to bargaining instead.

"No," Thundercracker's servo cut through the air with a sense of finality. "Go and bother Megatron if you're lonely."

Starscream pulled a face, waving the suggestion away, "No no. Megatron and I. I'm taking a little break."

This revelation was met with eery silence. Skywarp, personally, wasn't particularly bothered about Starscream's social life. He was a truly horrible mech and Skywarp wouldn't wish his company on any being. Thundercracker however, cared. He cared a lot.

Starscream looked between Skywarp's wince and Thundercracker's tightening scowl, discomforted. "What!?"

"Get up!" Thundercracker bellowed, striding towards the couch and seizing his trine-leader by the wing. Starscream shrieked -loud enough that Skywarp had to throw his servos over his audials- and tried to kick him away.

"Are you crazy!?"

"You're flying back to Iacon, NOW!" Thundercracker shook his leader as he dragged him towards their balcony. "You're going back to Megatron and you're going to be HIS problem!"

"Like Pit!"

Starscream caught the edge of the window frame as Thundercracker tried to wrestle him past. Attempts at throwing the squawking seeker over the edge of the balcony were thus thwarted. Skywarp watched them from the end table.

"Just Go!"

"No you idiot!" Starscream snarled, claws carving groves into the metal frame as Thundecracker applied more force. "It's too soon!"

"Not for me, it isn't!" Thundercracker was beginning to sound hysterical. He had hold of Starscream's ankles and was pulling their trine-leader horizontal. "You deserve! To be! Happy!"

"I-I just need a week!"

Skywarp rubbed a servo across his face, knowing he only had himself to blame for the way things had turned out. If Thundercracker were ever to discover what he had done- what he had let happen- that he was just as responsible for the most ridiculous game of romantic keep-away the universe had ever seen as Starscream was...

He moved towards the balcony and casually began peeling Starscream's clawed servos away from the frame. Starscream swore, denta bared in a snarl. He tried to swipe at him once, but Thundercracker was already bodily throwing him over the railings. He disappeared over the edge. They heard his indignant shriek before thrusters ignited.

"Quick, lock the doors." Thundercracker scrambled to get back inside.

Skywarp followed at a more sedate pace, thinking, now was as good as ever a time to come clean.

"Hey TC?" He rubbed the back of his neck, "There's something I gotta tell you..."

 


 

 

The week leading up to the infamous two year anniversary was filled with typical Autobot splendour. Megatron's bad mood worsened in light of everyone else's merry making. There was bunting everywhere and somehow he had managed to traipse pink glitter into his apartment. He was so disenchanted he was about ready to start the war all over again just so he didn't have to force a smile any longer.

Someone had had the ingenious idea of sticking a giant countdown clock on one of the city's landmark towers. The huge hologram was like a hideous neon blemish on Megatron's normally tasteful view; the glyphs ticking down, goading him.

That was why he was currently sat in the dark, windows and blinds shut, contemplating. Had he been anyone but Megatron, scourge of Kaon, someone might have accused him of sulking.

There was a knock on his door. Megatron ignored it, glowering at the wall opposite, empty cube gathering dust in his servo.

There was another knock.

"Me-Megatron?!" A voice on the other side yelled. It sounded familiar, but not familiar enough that whoever it was could get away with informality. "Megatron? It's me. Skywarp."

Starscream's hooligan trine-mate. Skywarp had always been loyal, but tragically stupid and easily misled. There was always the slim chance that Starscream had sent him though, so Megatron forced himself to his pedes.

Skywarp was indeed behind the door, servos wringing together as he shifted his footing nervously. Odd behaviour for him, from what Megatron could remember.

"What?" He asked in a tone that implied he had neither the time nor the patience to be entertaining seeker-antics tonight.

"I- I have a question." Skywarp didn't ask to come in nor did he make any attempts at entering. His optics were flickering to the elevators down the corridor, checking his escape routes.

"You came here, in the middle of the night, from Vos." Megatron arched a brow. "To ask me a question?"

"I warped," Skywarp reminded him, "So- no big deal."

Megatron waved a servo, sighing heavily, "Ask away."

"Seeing as you're not technically my boss anymore," Skywarp began, and he was not off to a good start, "What if, hypothetically, I did something wrong. Something bad. But it was ages ago. And it wasn't really that bad anyway. Would I still get in trouble?"

"Officially? No," Megatron leant his shoulder against the doorframe, smirking at the purple seeker's premature sigh of relief. "Unofficially is another story entirely. What did you do, Skywarp?"

The seeker shrank back, optics darting down the corridor again, "I- Thundercracker told me to come! So I mean, it's- I just thought- you know and he said I- I just-"

"Skywarp." Megatron rumbled.

"So ages ago, like a couple years. Before the truce but after the ceasefire," Skywarp powered onwards, voice a little unsteady. "I sorta- I had this idea- for a bet actually. Just a- a bet. About you."

"About me." Megatron shifted his position, if only to alarm the seeker further, "You made a betting pool concerning myself?"

"Yeah." All the colour had drained from Skywarp's face, "and- uh, and Starscream."

He stared down at the seeker. "And what did this bet entail?"

"I-" Skywarp laughed nervously, "You were always arguing! It was just a stupid bet. And we thought it'd be funny if- like- you know..."

Megatron continued to stare.

"We bet on how long we thought it would take for," Skywarp made an aborted shrugging motion, "For you to just- justbondtoeachotherandshutup."

That last part came out a frantic mutter, but Megatron understood it perfectly. He sighed, "And I suppose you had quite a few in on this bet of yours?"

Skywarp nodded, "Autobots too."

Megatron was instantly thinking of Prime and his convenient meddling, servos clenching into fists. "Yes I'm sure they were."

"That's- that's not what- I-. There's another thing." Skywarp was suddenly nervous again.

Megatron wondered what more there could possibly be. It was bad enough to discover he had been the laughing stock of both united factions for the better part of nearly two years . He prepared to brace himself.

"See, you know how smart Screamer is," Skywarp explained. "He figured it out pretty quick, what we were all laughing about behind his back. He- he said he was going to tell you. That you were gonna slag me and they'd never find all the pieces. He said the only way he wasn't going to report me was that if- if I let him make his own... bet."

Megatron began to straighten, pushing away from the doorframe as the pieces of this story started to fit together.

"So," Skywarp continued, "I sorta let him."

"What did he bet on?" Megatron snarled, temper starting to rise because he knew -knew even without Skywarp having to say it. "What day did he chose?"

Skywarp swallowed. "Two years into peacetime. Exactly."

"You mean to tell me," Megatron began, volume rising, optics bright enough to burn through the seeker in front of him, "that that vile... manipulative brat... has been stringing me along... for two years... because of a bet?!"

"They-they were good odds," Skywarp offered lamely.

Like Starscream was going to live long enough to see any of those credits.

 


 


Having been forcibly removed from his so-called trine's domicile, Starscream had had little choice but to return to New-Iacon. It had been easier ignoring Megatron from Vos. Should he have succumbed to a moment of weakness and done something stupid like called the mech, at least there were a few thousand miles between them to prevent that love-sick old fool from barging through the front door and accosting him with amorous affections.

To keep himself distracted he was scrolling through his mail. The upcoming Gala was set to be the biggest party Cybertron had seen in an age, as such, he was getting more than his fair share of enquires from potential suitors. His 'Available' status meant everyone from neighbouring City State officials, senators, and even the occasional cocky Autobot had messaged him an invite.

He swiped them from his inbox, one by one, smirking as he recognised some of the designations. He wondered if he should keep at least a few, as evidence. Something to wind up Megatron. After this self-imposed waiting period of course.

He was laughing over a particularly embarrassing offer when a crack sounded in one of his antechambers. He sat up from his chaise lounge just in time to see the flash of purple light accompanying the second crack.

"Warp!" He yelled, tossing his datapad aside and moving towards the open archway. "You better be here to apologise, you snivelling-"

A frame rounded the archway and it was tall and broad shouldered and certainly wasn't Skywarp. Starscream's spark jumped into his throat, not just at the sudden sight of Megatron but at the expression on the older mech's face. Optics burning with rage.

Starscream squealed in the most undignified manner possible and scrambled to put furniture between them, stumbling over his usually quick glossa as he struggled for excuses. Megatron followed at a sedate but menacing stroll.

"What- You-" he picked up a chair, shielding himself, "I- What's?"

"Your trine-mate came to see me today." Megatron murmured, huge arms effortlessly sliding a long meeting table aside. Starscream felt exposed. He cringed behind his chair. "Skywarp."

"Skywarp?!" Starscream gasped. His idiot trine were going to get him killed. He backed away, chair legs sticking out to dissuade his former-leader's approach. "He's an idiot- and a liar! He- whatever he told you-"

"It seems I'm always the last to know," Megatron's voice picked up a snarl. He walked straight into the chair, the legs knocking against his chest armour. "A shame. I would have placed a bet of my own."

"Bet?" Starscream squeaked, grip on the chair slipping. Megatron took the opportunity to knock it aside. It fell to the floor with a dull series of clunks, the sound jarring Starscream, who, without protection, was pressing himself tight to the wall behind him. "I was- listen-listen-"

"You torture me for two years," Megatron's denta were sharp and bared as he leant in, shadow dwarfing Starscream's hunching frame. "Two years. For a bet?"

"I-" Starscream winced, "Okay. So I might have exploited the situation..."

"Might have?!" Megatron bellowed, close enough to strangle him if he wanted. "This was all a game to you?"

"No," Starscream slapped at his chest lightly, laughing half-hysterically, "Don't be such a- I mean! No, I was- I was thinking of the winnings! We can split the credits fifty-fifty. Buy a mansion. Retire in style."

Megatron was staring down at him incredulously, some of his anger dissipating, "The credits? Why would we need credits?!"

"And the satisfaction of beating those idiots at their own game, of course," Starscream quickly switched tactics. He reached for the warlord's chest, caressing appreciatively, soothingly, silently praying his limb wouldn't be ripped off. "Prime's losing a lot of credits to this."

Megatron huffed, but didn't brush him away, "So this genius plot of yours? How were you to know I'd even still want you after this manipulative month-long torture you've subjected me to? What if I came to my senses and decided you weren't worth the trouble?"

Despite having come so close to being throttled not five minutes ago, Starscream laughed, genuinely amused. "I've got you wrapped around my little finger, you imbecile."

Megatron stared down at him, silent and scowling, but suddenly nowhere near as intimidating. Starscream let his mouth curve cockily, leaning into the Warlord. His Warlord.

"Don't I?" He pressed.

A strong jaw tightened. Megatron looked aside, thinking, but Starscream still had his servos on his chest, caressing the armour promisingly.

Finally Megatron huffed, tension falling from his four metre wide shoulders.

Starscream pressed a rewarding kiss to the underside of his jaw.

"So in four days time you and I would meet at the Gala, where we would declare our undying love for one another in front of the entire guest list, thus winning you your bet?" Megatron's recited the whole plan like he couldn't believe anyone could be so stupid.

"Technically, we'd bond the night of the Gala," Starscream pointed out, which wasn't news to him because he had planned it so since before Prime and Megatron had ever even sat down to negotiate.

Megatron, who had probably only just begun to admit to himself that he'd grown rather fond of the seeker, and must have thought that the concept of bonding to him was an idea he had come up with, all by himself, was finding it difficult to comprehend that the entire thing had been such a carefully played plot. "...Is that so?"

"The Mighty Megatron isn't scared of a little eternal commitment now, is he?" Starscream danced his servos across the mech's chest, if only to hide his own apprehension, spark spinning madly at the risk that he might have overplayed his hand.

"Scared?" The larger mech bowed his helm, mouth hovering close enough to Starscream's audial he could feel the heat of it. "Seeker, had I my way, we'd have bonded that night in my apartment."

Starscream exhaled, breath shuddering out of him. "Yes, well... don't ruin the plan."

"Damn your plan," Megatron hissed, nose brushing his cheek now, "Why should I let your pettiness get in the way of making an honest mech of you."

"This is why you were such a terrible war campaigner," Starscream told him, trying to angle himself away as Megatron's mouth came creeping along his jaw. "Always throwing yourself into territory unknown just to prove what a big mech you-"

Megatron kissed him, servos coming up to frame his face and glossa sweeping past his lips. He made a noise quite unlike anything he'd ever heard himself make before, captive between the wall and the Warlord's mouth.

"Where's your berthroom?" Megatron broke the kiss to mutter, arms slipping between Starscream's back and the wall, pulling them flush together. Orange cockpit to grey armour.

"For Primus's sake," Starscream pointed in the general direction anyway, "If you ruin this for me I'll never forgive you!"

"It ever occur to you to just lie?" Megatron offered in a rare moment of deceptive genius, "Who could prove when exactly we bonded?"

"My trine will know."

"They'll keep it to themselves if they know what's good for them," Megatron snarled with menace, and knowing he had a mate ready to bully any who may dare oppose them turned Starscream on more than the promise of 'facing ever could.

"I suppose a shallow merge couldn't hurt." He relented, leaning into the taller mech. "It'll take more than a few sweet promises to take it further, though. Can't have you thinking I'm easy."

"We'll see," Megatron grinned, and swooped down to slip an arm behind his knees, scooping him up bridal style.

Starscream only didn't jab him in the optics for such an affront to his dignity because he didn't want to be dropped.

 


 

 

The events team had outdone themselves. The hall had been decorated a rainbow of both faction's colours, from the drapes to the sparkling chandeliers. Optimus paused in the entryway to take it in, all of it.

The pink frame next to him slipped an arm around his, smiling brightly, "Time sure flies."

"It does indeed," Optimus agreed, smiling behind his mask. "Everyday this peace lasts is a victory in itself."

Elita patted his arm, optics rolling fondly at his grandiosity. "Oh look, Ex-Cons at twelve o'clock."

Optimus was about to admonish his mate for the slur, when the mentioned 'Cons drew his attention. Megatron was moving with swift purpose through the crowd, heading straight for the glossy crimson seeker conveniently placed directly in the centre of the room.

For one spark-stopping moment Optimus feared there was going to be a fight. Megatron was wearing the same determined expression usually reserved for when he was about to shoot someone in the face. The Prime moved forward, ready to step in.

The two most powerful Decepticons to have ever terrorised the universe collided with a clash of metal on metal, Starscream leaping at his former Commander and throwing his arms over huge shoulders, Megatron catching him about the waist and holding him.

"Primus-dammit," Elita was muttering, watching as Megatron kissed the seeker with what must have been bruising force, "Couldn't have done that two months earlier, could they?"

Optimus, who had had more faith than most and bet on a far earlier date (now long since passed), sighed deeply. "I'm just happy they found each other."

Ironhide emerged from the crowd at his left, muttering expletives and heading for the bar.

"Better luck next time, 'Hide," Elita called as he passed, then to Optimus, asked, "Is there anyone that didn't make a bet? Who do you think won?"

Optimus shrugged, watching the two Decepticons in the centre of the room, one smirking in wry amusement as the other tried to coax them into a dance. "Must have been quite the win, whoever it was."

 


 


The next morning, processor still buzzing from the precious nights overcharge, Optimus Prime woke to find a message waiting for him on his com. A picture file.

Unthinkingly, he opened it, and soon found himself staring at a holo-image. He blinked, and recognised a scowling Megatron and grinning Starscream. The warlord was reclining on a berth, covered in credit notes. Straddling his waist and looking like he'd just claimed the mech beneath him as a throne of whole other sort, Starscream was in the act of sprinkling his mate with more of the credits.  

There was a one line explanation.

"The House Always Wins."

 

 

Chapter Text

Megatron had always ruined Starscream's most brilliant conquests. And two minutes into being bonded to him, he wasn't showing any signs of improvement.

"You ruined it." Starscream croaked when his vocaliser finally onlined again, staring at the ceiling of his berthroom. He was hot, sticky, and exposed in every way imaginable, sprawled across his berth where Megatron had rolled off him. "Threw two years work out the Primus-damned window..."

Somewhere to his left, Megatron grunted, just as hot, sticky and exposed. The light from their recently bonded sparks was abnormally bright in the spacious room. Starscream could see the intricate carvings on his ceiling arches, could count how often the design repeated itself.

He thought, rather randomly, that if they were to decide to live together, it would be here. He didn't care if Megatron's lack of flight-mode meant had to scale the building every day, he wasn't moving into that tiny cupboard the older mech called a home. No way in Pit-

"I can hear your fussing, you know." Megatron's exhausted voice told him.

Ah, yes. Bonded in spark- bonded in mind.

He sat up, looking down at his mate beside him. Megatron's optics were dim and soft. Sentimental idiot.

"I said a shallow merge," Starscream reminded him grumpily, "And what do you go and do? Bond me, five fragging days early at that."

Megatron's optics shuttered closed. He was still smiling blissfully. "You told me to."

"You should have ignored me!" Starscream snapped with a slap to his shoulder, "And don't fall asleep. We're not done. I need to hail my trine."

The threat of having familial visitors soon roused Megatron. He sat up, blinking himself awake, taking in the state of himself and the room and of course, his newly-bonded, none of which were in any condition for guests. Starscream was already on the com, tapered digits tapping his thigh impatiently as he listened to the dial tone.

Megatron let his armour close across his spark, dimming the room. He reached for Starscream, "I hardly think-"

"Good you're awake." Starscream said into the com, and shrugged Megatron away with a Look. "No I'm not dead. No I'm not- no listen! Stop yelling! Don't- no, don't come over!"

All Megatron's hard work, hours of winding the seeker down, getting him nice and pliant and bonded, went out the airlock as the seeker argued with his trine over the com. Starscream's face darkened with every passing second he sat there and had to listen to Skywarp gush in excitement.

"I don't care about congratulations, you balloon head!" Starscream snarled into the com, even as a hopeful Megatron slowly shifted across the berth and pressed against his back, arms winding around his middle. "You're going to uphold your end of the bargain. I'm not losing this bet just because Mega-idiot couldn't keep his spark to himself."

"Well... what do you want me to do about it?" Skywarp asked, confused. In the background Thundercracker could be heard praising Primus in thanks. Starscream ignored it. "Looks like the winners gonna be Eli-"

"Like Pit it is!" Starscream roared, jumping to his pedes from the berth and leaving an overly affection Megatron sprawled listlessly in his wake. "You and Thunderbucket over there are the only two that know we're bonded, and it's going to stay that way until after the Gala! Like we arranged!"

"Hey you're the one that threw this," Skywarp pointed out, "I've done enough favours for you anyhow. Why should I put my tail-wing on the line just so you can win your stupid bet? You know what some of these mechs'll do to me if they find out I swindled them?"

"What do you think I'll do to you?" Starscream snarled.

"I ain't scared a you."

"You should be Skywarp. If you ruin this for me I'll- I'll-" he glanced around the darkened room for a suitable threat, spotting his unamused spark-bound on the berth, "I'll send Megatron after you."

There was a pause, "...You can't 'send' Megatron anywhere."

"I assure you I can," Starscream smirked, "He's mine to do as I bid him."

He put a good bit of distance between himself and the berth as Megatron suddenly began to rise, looking very contrary. Starscream mouthed at him to 'back off', trying to multitask his threatening of Skywarp with avoiding Megatron, who had begun a slow pursuit around his berthroom.

"Listen I- I guess me and TC can keep this under wraps..."

"See that you do." Starscream would have elaborated with further threats, but Megatron was hot on his tail, and shrieking down the com like a moon-banshee might have been counterproductive to his exploitation of the other seeker.

He hung up moments before making an attempt to leap his chaise lounge, only to be caught midair and swung over a huge shoulder, upside down, staring at Megatron's broad back.

"Primus," he cringed, trying to push himself upright again. "'Megatron, my dignity!"

He was swatted across the aft, hard enough to make him squeak, frame jumping. His captive chuckled darkly. "How's that for dignity?"

"Watch the paint!" Starscream dug his claws into the seams of his mate's back for stability. "Unless you want to explain to everyone why I have a great big black handprint across my aft?"

"A handprint will be the least of your worries." Megatron squeezed his pert handful in relish and bent before the berth, letting Starscream drop off his shoulder back to flat surface. "Roll over. I'll kiss it better."

The once-warlord flashed straight white denta in a predatory smile, already catching Starscream by the hips and flipping him over. Starscream, never one to refuse a figurative aft-kissing, let alone a literal one, let his intimate panels snap away once again, pushing himself to his hands and knees.

He was still soiled from their earlier dalliance, wet, overstimulated, and a little bit loose. All the easier for Megatron's glossa to slide between the pleats of mesh as he licked a swath up his valve. Starscream shuddered, arms shaky.

"I thought," Starscream rocked back against the older mech's face, "Thought you'd be too outmoded to..."

His thoughts drifted away as servos clapped to his aft, thumbs catching at the edges of his valve and spreading him open. Megatron delved deeper with a pleased rumble, engine revving. He continued diligently, glossa lapping at every inch of seeker it could reach.

Starscream dropped down to his forearms, back arching. He was going to overload embarrassingly soon. He could feel the charge building. He twitched when the pad of Megatron's thumb swiped across his anterior node. When it slipped inside him he gasped, reaching back to seize the silver mech's wrist.

"Stuh-stop, I'm going to come."

Megatron withdrew enough to offer an amused, "What exactly do you imagine I'm trying to achieve back here?"

"Yes but... Don't you want to reap the rewards of your hard work?" Starscream wriggled his aft enticingly, itching for something deeper, something harder. "You've gotten me all nice and wet for it..."

"You're incorrigible," Megatron said, but it didn't sound like a complaint. Starscream glanced over wing to watch the warlord straighten, shuffling forwards on his knees until Starscream could feel the heat of his frame behind him. "You want me to take you like this? From behind, like some common shareware?"

"Oh yes," Starscream felt his struts weaken, pleased to hear Megatron finally give in and start talking to him like that. "Hard and deep. Make me yours..."

"Already mine." Megatron breathed over the sound of a click and hiss, his spike releasing from his housing.

Starscream reached down between his own legs for it, fingers not quite long enough to circle it's impressive girth. He gave it a squeeze and felt it warm and stiffen in his palm as he began to stroke. Megatron rolled into it. The older mech placed his servos on Starscream's waist as his spike was guided to the wet, clenching entrance.

Starscream angled his hips until he could feel the tip nudge at his mesh lips, then rocked back, letting the eager suction of his valve swallow the rounded head. He was about to steadily work himself back, take Megatron ridge by ridge, when the mech behind him made a noise of desperate desire. Hips snapped forward without warning, driving Starscream up the berth with the force and suddenness of being filled to the brim.

Stars burst before his optics.

A noise wheezed out of him, "Wasn't... ready."

"My apologies," Megatron huffed, but stayed in place. One big servo rubbed circles into the curve of Starscream's back. "I hadn't realised how... tight you'd still be."

He bucked, and Starscream dropped to his chest against the berth, vocaliser stalling at the simultaneous stimulation of so many sensors, so deep. He didn't know if he'd ever get used to the sheer size of-

The servos on his hips began to rock him, drawing him off the spike slowly and then yanking him back onto it. Starscream shoved his servo against his mouth to stop from moaning so loudly, feeling the fullness of himself from the ache of his hips to the pressure in his abdomen.

"More," he managed, face against the insulation covers, aft in the air. "Oh more, Megatron, more."

Megatron complied, pistoning into him, heavy armour clanging against Starscream's shapely thighs and aft. He could hear the warlord huffing in exertion. Yes, there would be dents.

"Oh yes, oh yes," he whispered, barely audible above the sharp clang, clang, clang, of Megatron's sure thrusts driving right into his very core, building charge that was threatening to spill. "I'm close, I'm-"

Servos caught Starscream's thighs and yanked his legs out from under him. He fell flat to the berth, Megatron's colossal weight topping him, pinning him, spike sinking even deeper at the new angle. Starscream overloaded with a wail, jutting against the berth, valve trying to clench and hold the spike still thrusting into him. "...Megatron."

Finally Megatron stilled, holding deep with a grunt. Starscream felt his mate's spike twitch with hot spurts as it emptied deep into his internals for the second time that evening. The larger mech made a noise of thick satisfaction, giving a last few lazy thrusts before easing himself out and flopping to the side.

Starscream lifted his helm from the berth, face hot and flushed, and watched the old warlord's optics flutter offline in exhaustion, expression drained of it's usual stress and tension. He looked so peaceful.

So Starscream shuffled over to bother him.

"You're a pest." Megatron muttered, optics offline and frame unmoving as Starscream accosted his neck and jaw with nuzzles and soft nips. "Go back to your side of the berth. And stay there."

"We're bonded now," Starscream reminded him pleasantly, and started messing with the edge of Megatron's helmet until the old warlord finally cracked an optic open to glare. "Which means everything that's yours is mine, and everything that's mine is still mine. Including this entire berth, so I'll do whatever I please on it."

His mate heaved a great sigh, like he was only now coming to terms with what he had subjected himself to in bonding with him. Starscream couldn't be more pleased. Finally, Megatron would be bending to his will, obedient and cowed and-

With a great shove Starscream found himself teetering on the edge of the berth, and would have fallen flat on his aft to the floor had it not been for the single digit hooked into the armour of his chest plate.

Megatron arched a condescending eyeridge, his pinky was the only thing preventing a rather undignified fall. "You recall my being able to hear you, don't you?"

And to better remind him, Megatron pushed vague thoughts of annoyance and putting a certain Seeker back in his place at Starscream through their bond. He swallowed nervously, reaching for Megatron's wrist.

"I'll behave."

Megatron didn't believe him, but he pulled him back onto the berth anyway, pointing firmly at the vacant (damp) side. Starscream pouted.

"I take it you don't want to cuddle?"

"Starscream," the older mech growled, in a way that implied it was insulting to ask such a thing of a warrior. He once again utilised the unfamiliar bond between them to fire waves of impatience at the seeker.

Starscream rolled over with a grumble, wrapping the insulation covers around himself. He should have just kicked Megatron out. That would have shown him. Bonded or not, he couldn't just-

Abrasive thoughts melted away when with a defeated huff, the berth shifted. Starscream's spark sung as a warm frame pressed against his back, heavy arm curling around his waist. He grinned.

"I knew you couldn't resist."

Megatron pushed his face into the back of his neck, snorting, "Oh shut up."