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Of Compromises and Certain Truths

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It always started with Ravage.

The cassettes were old enough that they didn’t necessarily need to seek out the comfort of their creator anymore. They were soldiers, albeit still young ones, and under any other circumstances, Megatron would deem it inappropriate. But Megatron had been with Soundwave long enough that it was almost an unspoken contract between them to not ask questions when it came to his conjunx’s creations.

Megatron was fond enough of the cassettes. He had to be. They were a packaged deal when Megatron decided to pursue Soundwave, all those millions of years ago. He understood that, and perhaps because he himself had never had sparklings, he found out quickly that there were certain nuances to their relationship that came as a surprise to him, surprises that seemed to continue on even as the cassettes got older.

For one, at night, when the rest of the Nemesis was just beginning to cycle into the lazy night shift, and Soundwave were just starting to power down, Ravage was always the first to nose himself into the room and nuzzle securely under Soundwave’s chin.

It was always amusing to Megatron. Ravage, ferocious and fearless and the eldest of Soundwave’s clan, more often than not, could not sleep without the comfort of his creator by his side. Megatron couldn’t tell if this was normal in these sorts of relationships, or it was something that was unique to their frame types, but Megatron couldn’t help but watch in bemusement whenever Ravage barely acknowledged him as he made his way to Soundwave’s side.

There was no fear in Ravage’s steps, but the urgency at which he moved could rival his dedication in the field. Soundwave always seemed to brighten, no matter how tired he was, when he felt the pressure against his side. The way his hand moved slowly over Ravage’s frame was indicative of a certain tenderness that most would not expect out of the reserved commander. And even after so long, Megatron felt a warm fire ignite his spark whenever he was privy to such moments. It helped bade his temper on certain nights, when he desperately wished for alone time with Soundwave.

Soon after they were settled, followed in Rumble and Frenzy, making more of a ruckus than was necessary. The twins liked to prowl the dark corridors until late into the night cycle, harassing any would be unfortunates stuck on the graveyard shift. Their heckling could be heard well down the corridor, long before their loud entry into the room. Giggling and tumbling over each other like much younger mechs, Megatron could always gauge how much trouble they had caused just by how rambunctious they were being.

He would try to scold them, especially when the angry shouts of one his other soldiers followed after them, but they rarely took heed to him. It was a testament to how comfortable they were with him, when they waved him off, tearing into the berth like a couple of turbo-foxes. It made his plating bristle; no one else was allowed to treat him this way, but the twins always felt they were above his special set of authority.

If Megatron was miffed by their disrespect, Soundwave was furious. Soundwave never showed his anger in the traditional ways - he didn’t shout or toss around threats - but he held the presence of someone who tolerated no nonsense and his creations were more than experienced with his particular tones. Even muzzy with recharge, Soundwave could get them to quiet - and even apologize on a good night - with a single word. It was the type of command that Megatron envied.

Each night, the three of them would fight for space on Soundwave’s chassis, Ravage batting at his brothers while they pushed and shoved for room. It made for a spectacular clash in Megatron’s opinion, even if poor Soundwave often ended up getting cuffed in the process. Eventually, Soundwave would wrestle his creations to stillness, using his body to kept Ravage on one side and the twins on another. They curled around him easily after that, creating the illusion that no disturbance happened in the first place. Megatron couldn’t help a snort of amusement at the act, to which Soundwave would raise an optic ridge in curiousity.

For most of the night, Megatron occupied himself with reports. He always had a hard time shutting down, and it was harder still with a gaggle of mechs coming in and out of the room. There was always a stack of neatly arranged data pads on his desk, courtesy of Soundwave. He was thankful for that, although, admittedly, he was much more entranced with watching his family from the safety of his desk, hence he rarely ever had anything to show for his efforts.

By the the time everyone had settled down and was drifting off into recharge, he found himself yearning for his berth as well. It was at this time that he was grateful that he allowed himself the luxury of a large berth. It was still a tight fit, but the way the younglings huddled around Soundwave like a precious life source made it bearable.

Then, on particularly notable occasions, just as he was starting his recharge protocols, he would hear the gentle swishing of the door opening, followed by the quiet clicks of Buzzsaw and Laserbeak entering the room. The fliers would rarely make an appearance, often stuck on long reconnaissance missions or off doing nightly patrol. It was a treat to see them in the berthroom.

Buzzsaw almost immediately made a beeline to nestle in the crook of Soundwave’s helm and shoulder, but Laserbeak was different. Her and Megatron always had something of a special bond. As the youngest of her siblings, she had been very young when he first met Soundwave, a fact that left quite the impression on Laserbeak. Her awe of him only simmered to a deep sort of affection that none of her other siblings shared toward him.

Megatron was equally as fond of her. All of the cassettes as least liked him, but it gave him a special sort of warmth to know that at least one of them outright adored him. Laserbeak made such a wonderful spy, too, but even if she was terrible at her job, Megatron knew that she would still remain his favorite.

So, on the nights where her and her brother managed to break before dawn, Megatron couldn’t suppress his smile when he felt the small nips and tugs of Laserbeak’s beak on his digits. Opening his hands for her, she’d nestle herself within them, chirping happily. Idly, he’d run his thumbs her back until she stilled, falling into recharge.

In those moments, right before he reached complete shut down, he understood why Soundwave still allowed the cassettes to barge in their room. Laserbeak made for a comforting weight in his hands and it felt nice to be needed in such a way