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The Wonderful Burden of Confidentiality

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Patient confidentiality was the cornerstone of trust between doctor and patient.

A patient should feel free to tell Trauma anything, even things that may get them into trouble if someone else found out, or the system did not work. If the patient didn’t trust him, they wouldn’t talk to him. If they didn’t talk to him, he couldn’t help them.

Open communication was key, and that open communication would not exist if not for the golden rule of Patient Confidentiality; all secrets were safe with Trauma.

The only exceptions that were made to this precious rule occurred if the patient was in danger or somehow posed a threat to others, then it was fine to break confidentiality and report to his superiors what was going on (for the patient’s own good).

Otherwise, confidentiality was everything. Trust. The cornerstone of Trauma’s profession.

“It is so nice to finally have someone to talk to about this, you know? Just, keeping it all bottled up inside and in my notebook was killing my spark.”

Confidentiality. It was everything when a patient was not in danger to themselves or others. A cornerstone of his profession.

“This means everything to me, I want you to know that.”

Confidentiality. Cornerstone of trust. Patient confidentiality was the cornerstone.

“Because despite what relationship I have with him, we both understand this is still a war. We’re not traitors. Either of us. But we don’t want to lose what we’ve got either, and it’s so nice to talk to someone about him and myself.”

Trust. Confidentiality.

“But more importantly, now I have someone I can brag to whenever Yellowjacket does something adorable.”

Trauma snapped his stylus under his desk and forced a smile.

Patient confidentiality was a burden he wasn’t sure he could handle.

Dreadwing had been talking to Trauma about his relationship with Yellowjacket for two months now, but he had been dating the little monster for ten, which regretfully supported his constant reassurances that neither of them were betraying the cause.

If he’d been actually feeding information to the enemy, they would probably have been overrun by now, or Prime would have started a full on attack of the ship.

Trauma still didn’t know what he should do with this information, however (but he did know that when Airachnid found out, they were all going to be strung up in a web and pray for mercy at the very least).

One of their very own had fallen in love with the enemy and apparently those feelings were returned. What were the odds of that?

Trauma glanced at his datapad collection hidden in the corner of his bookshelf. There were certainly enough stories about cross faction relationships, but most of them were on the aggressive side (as you would expect an Autobot lover to be) and they were absolutely works of fiction that should stay that way. They were fake fantasies meant to give a sense of danger and adventure through unhealthy relationships and drama.

Dreadwing’s stories tended to be more, how would Trauma put it? Oh, yes: Fluffy.

If you only knew about Yellowjacket from Dreadwing’s stories, you’d think he was a model Decepticon darling whose high points were curiosity, a delightful sense of humor, and an appreciation for younglings that verged on caretaker status.

Trauma still couldn’t figure out just how much was genuine and what was rose-tinted optics; Dreadwing was so smitten it could be either.

“What am I going to do?” Trauma asked himself. He covered his face and leaned his elbows on his desk.

He needed to tell someone about this. Sure things were all fine and dandy as long as Dreadwing and Yellowjacket were being cute lovemechs in a junkyard, but one of these days that little monster was going to betray Dreadwing and then were would they be?

“But the betrayal of patient confidentiality,” Trauma moaned to himself. It was too much. If he exposed Dreadwing’s affair then. Well: “He’d never trust me again.”

The door knocked.

Trauma dropped his hands from his face and cleared his mind. He needed to change gears before his next patient. He cleared his throat and called, “Come in, Soundwave!”

He could deal with Dreadwing and his Autobot problems later.

“Prime takes Yellowjacket to the berth,” Dreadwing said, tapping his finger hard on the chair. He leaned into the side, biting the tips of his fingers on his other hand. His eyes were narrowed and every inch of him was tense. “I don’t know what to do about it.”

“Excuse me?” Trauma asked.

“He told me,” Dreadwing stopped and turned to look at the wall, “No, he didn’t. He let it slip. He didn’t want me to know.”

Trauma nodded, not sure what he could say to this. It was almost more disturbing than the first time Dreadwing confessed that he himself was seeing Yellowjacket.

“He was so scared,” Dreadwing growled. Trauma straightened in his chair, almost concerned at the sheer possessiveness and anger that came from Dreadwing. Perhaps his time with Yellowjacket might be a concern after all, but he was also concerned about his lover’s wellbeing which was—still very Decepticon. Dreadwing’s voice cracked. “He was so afraid I’d leave him if I found out.”

“May I ask what you told him?” Trauma asked, morbidly curious.

“That I wasn’t going anywhere,” Dreadwing said, eyes still narrowed and voice still gruff. He vented heavily and growled again. “Like I’d actually leave him over something like that. I’m jealous, yeah, but I’m also so angry I can’t see straight. How dare Prime abuse Yellowjacket like that. He. I always knew he was a fragging slagger, but this is beyond horrible. He practically raised Yellowjacket!”

Ah yes, the issue concerning the age gap between Yellowjacket and the rest of them. While he was very much a matured adult (albeit “mature” used only in the age sense) and more than qualified to be in intimate relationships with whoever he chose, Yellowjacket was significantly younger than the rest of them; easily around the same age as the twins. The concern for power imbalances was not a small one, especially when it involved people with positions of authority.

It was easy to forget those things applied to Yellowjacket when he was ripping out vital internal parts that Trauma and the others had to replace and put back in, but he digressed back to the matter at hand.

“All I want to do is march into the Autobot base and shoot Prime in the face,” Dreadwing said. He cycled and vented more air again and slumped in his seat. “And then unload everything until my energy clip drains and then shoot him again with someone else’s gun. I can’t ever remember being this angry before.”

Trauma had never seen Dreadwing this angry before; this was typically Skyquake’s territory.

“I’m just glad you’re talking it out now instead of actually doing that,” Trauma said. “Love makes us do foolish things, and putting your life at risk won’t help either of you.”

“Yeah,” Dreadwing said, deflating. He leaned his head back and looked to the side. “Yellowjacket would never forgive me either.”

Trauma made a note of Dreadwing’s mood swings. He’d need to keep an eye on those. “Oh?”

“Yellowjacket really loves Prime, monster that he is,” Dreadwing said. His wing flicked and he looked deflated; like he’d given up on something. “I want to say it’s just programmed in or a fear response, but he genuinely likes that monster. It’s why we typically don’t talk about him or bring him up.”

“I imagine it’s a difficult subject,” Trauma said.

He wasn’t sure how to address that either; he wished he had more books on this subject that weren’t romance related: What to do when you’re dating the enemy.

“Yeah,” Dreadwing said. He looked up and smiled softly. “Thanks for listening though, Trauma. I wasn’t sure vent art was enough for this one and again, it’s nice that I can talk to you about it.”

“I wish I could give better help,” Trauma said.

“Getting to talk about it at all is more than enough help, don’t you worry,” Dreadwing said. He got up from his chair and grinned. “But I think I’ve gone over time. I need to get back to patrol before someone comes looking.”

“Of course, Dreadwing,” Trauma said. “I’ll see you next week. Try not to do anything rash.”

“I won’t,” Dreadwing said. “I’ve got a good thing going, messed up as it is, and I don’t want to lose it.”

Trauma waved as he left, and settled into his chair. He really should tell someone now that things were escalating with Dreadwing between his desire to attack Prime and his shifting moods, but—but not this week.

He just didn’t have the spark to hurt Dreadwing so soon after he’d learned something this big about his lover.

Next week. He’d bring it up with Megatron next week. He could be more understanding than anyone. Surely he’d know what to do.

A month later and Trauma still hadn’t told anyone about Dreadwing’s affair with Yellowjacket. He’d talked himself into remembering the importance of patient confidentiality, and besides, Dreadwing was doing much better.

Despite the anger of three sessions ago, Dreadwing had smothered the Prime topic down deep and gone back to happy, fluffy stories about what he and Yellowjacket got up to in the dump. He even showed off some of his sketches of his and Yellowjacket’s human holoavatars.

Trauma had made a note to start talking about Dreadwing’s human obsession. Yellowjacket was an enabler and at this point, Trauma almost thought that was worse than sleeping with the enemy.

He glanced at the datapads on his shelf; but then again, he couldn’t really judge on that front considering his own proclivities.

Trauma finished typing up his latest notes in on his last session in his encrypted file. Things were fine. It’d been over a year since Dreadwing and Yellowjacket began their relationship and things were fine.

Perhaps he had nothing to worry about after all.

Three could keep a secret if two were dead.

It was one of Trauma’s favorite little quotes; an almost joke about the nature of how hard it was to keep secrets.

Now there was more truth to it than he liked, and it churned the energon in his system. Three had known about the secret relationship, and now there was only one.

Dreadwing was dead; killed by Yellowjacket.

Killed by Megatron, Yellowjacket followed him.

Trauma was the only one who knew that this situation was far, far worse than any of them could even begin to comprehend: Being murdered by the one you loved most in the world.

He couldn’t even label that sort of betrayal; it was far too heinous.

He should have told someone.

Trauma should have told someone and maybe this could have been prevented. Yellowjacket must have taken advantage of Dreadwing; learned information on how to board the ship and coordinate the assault. All it took was an unintentional slip here or there and Yellowjacket could snitch to his beloved Prime.

It was the only thing that made sense.

But Trauma couldn’t tell anyone now. They’d all blame themselves for not noticing, or Trauma for not telling someone earlier, or heaven forbid, their grief and anger over such a personal blow might cause them to do something stupid like go on a full assault on the Autobots when they were already so crushed after that last attack.

Besides, Dreadwing had been betrayed enough already.

Yellowjacket might have stabbed him in the spark, but Trauma wouldn’t.

Patient confidentiality was the cornerstone of his profession, and Dreadwing had trusted him.

Trauma would take Dreadwing's love for Yellowjacket to the grave.

It was the least he could do.