"I didn't expect to see you on this flight," Elita One told Jazz as he was carted off by Greenlight and Lancer.
Jazz managed to raise one shoulder in a human shrug, but his visor dimmed with the pain that caused. Elita stepped closer and ran her hand over his helm.
"Don't worry. We'll get you all fixed up, Jazz."
Ever since the last major offensive had left Elita more securely based on the moon, and she had been receiving more warriors filtering back from either Earth or more distant outposts, Optimus had asked her to take on the effort of repair for those on Earth. Ratchet had done the best he could for so long with Terran materials, but it had led to a weakening of the armor. Granted, the Earth-based 'Cons had been at a similar disadvantage, as they only rarely had the surplus to open their space bridge. But with Skyfire to assist them, this had been the better solution.
All those in severe need of repair, plus Ratchet, who had come to do the repairs as well as perform some upgrades for himself and the femmes' garrison, were soon offloaded, and a team of warriors loaned from Ultra Magnus's group were loaded back up.
"There's more this trip." Elita's calm observation still made Ratchet scowl.
"'Cons managed to flank and then wedge. Split the line right where Prime was...and swarmed him." Ratchet reached out as the femme swayed with reaction to that. "He's fine. Because a few overzealous mechs decided Pits-no-they-weren't and swarmed back. It went from being a battle to a damn near rout! But you know how they all get for Prime." He sighed heavily, another so-human expression common among the Earth-bound forces. "Not a one of them cared fro their own frame, so long as Prime wasn't hurt."
Elita looked back to where the casualties were being settled into place. Jazz was there among other familiar faces, including Ironhide, but one mech she would have suspected wasn't.
"Looking for Sunstreaker?" Ratchet asked wryly. "That piece of Pits-refined machinery decided no matter how badly damaged he was, he was staying on Earth since his brother wasn't hurt." Ratchet's optics glowed a little more warmly than usual. "We let the excuse slide, but everyone knows he wasn't letting Prime be alone, not with you and Jazz away from him, and Ironhide busted up too."
Elita had to smile at that, silently blessing Sunstreaker for his unconventional wisdom. While Optimus Prime had numerous lovers among his elite forces, there were few that were able to get the metal lunkhead to actually relax fully and lay down his burden for any length of time.
"Alright. Greenlight and Lancer are both very able medics too, nowadays, so I'll let you have their assistance unless Shockwave makes a move," Elita told him. The green femme and her orange counterpart had come so far under Elita's care, but if it had not been Ratchet, who she had made aware of their circumstances, she would have kept the pair with her. Ratchet, however, would not let any of the damaged mechs make the femmes feel uncomfortable.
"Once I get repairs done, each of you get one on one!" Ratchet warned her.
Elita nodded, accepting it as necessary, since all of them had learned repair, not upkeep, because of this war.
Jazz's visor slowly warmed to a glow, the scent of properly metallic quarters all around him, with no earthen scent burrowing in under it with its exotic nature. He started his self-diagnostics, not that he distrusted Ratchet's work, but the mech had been working non-stop on the load-up and the journey. Ratchet, for all his miracles, was just a single mech and processors could glitch.
There was pressure on his mid-section, and he turned his attention that direction, spotting rose-colored armor across his middle section, carefully propped that way, faceplates turned up his way... and her optics were offline, indicating a light recharge.
It made Jazz smile, and also take the hint; he wasn't allowed up yet, not if it meant disturbing her. He thought it was funny; Ratchet sometimes played up Jazz's injuries, knowing it would make Prime sit back and take it easy for a time, to keep Jazz in a berth long enough for repairs. Now he wondered which of the two leaders had begun that trick with their subordinates first.
He offlined his optics, pausing the diagnostics, and slipped into a light recharge so his frame could continue working on the repairs too minor for Ratchet to worry over.
Elita One walked alongside Jazz to the quarters she had designated for him, companionably close, eager for the gossip from Earth, hungry for news of her mate there. Chromia was enjoying the chance to chide Ironhide for his failure to duck, while treating him to personal care, so Elita One knew that senior officer was being well-tended.
Ratchet was teaching Greenlight and Lancer, leaving Moonracer and Firestar to handle the comm center. So far, Shockwave had not poked his one-eyed helm out of his warrens down on the planet.
"Kinda nice, getting my own angel to watch over me," Jazz flirted. He flicked the various meanings of that word to Elita One, showing her the one he meant most.
She laughed at that. "Hardly, though I have been nearly deactivated and come back from it," she told him, singling out another version of the word as more appropriate.
"Thank Primus it didn't stick." Jazz did not want to imagine Prime without her, or the femmes without her touch, or Chromia if Elita One fell on her watch.
"Thank Prime?" she pointed out, then shook her helm. "I would have done it no matter what."
"Don't I just know it. Twins in purpose and drive, you and him," Jazz told her. "Makes knowing the two of you so much more fun for me." His visor glinted with his appreciation of her charms, causing her to laugh again.
"No wonder you capture so much of his spark, Jazz," she told him.
"Just try to help him walk a little less heavy, that's all," he told her.
"It seems like you don't get near the praise you deserve for doing so, either," she said. "So tell me, how did you and Sunstreaker decide?" she asked curiously, causing Jazz to rub at the back of his neck in another human-borrowed sign of emotional discomfort.
"He got the drop on me," Jazz admitted. "Wham, pow, bang, and I was out." There was a tone to it that left her wondering if the saboteur was kidding her, or just not wanting to answer the question, so she smiled lightly and moved on.
"Here." She palmed the door open, leading him inside. It was a small, sparse room with a berth, but it was functional enough for the short stay they would have while Skyfire made the return trip.
"Thank you, Elita... but I don't think I'm much for resting right now," he said, looking at her with a tip of his helm that indicated he wanted her company.
"I think I mentioned you don't reap the rewards often enough, didn't I?" she purred, flirting back at him on a tight link through Prime's personal frequency, knowing he would be attuned to it.
"Now, if this is the kind of reward a mech gets for watching after that hunk of transsteel, count me in," Jazz teased, lightly, but he sent a matching wave of flirty invitation to her.
She let the door shut behind her, firmly committed to learning more of Jazz, even as they caught up on everything they shared: their Prime.