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The Mirror Blue Night

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***

Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down

***

"Hey Prowler," said Jazz as he walked into Prowl's office. The tactician was sitting behind his desk, busy with paperwork.

"Hi Jazz," he said, looking up as he set aside what seemed to be the last of the stack. Prowl stood, offering Jazz a hesitant smile. "Just in time. That was the last report. Picking me up for energon?"

Jazz paused, then nodded. "Yeah...yeah. Let's go get some energon," he said. He'll need it.

They stepped out, Prowl locking his office before they began to make their way to the rec room. As they walked though, other bots passing by would glance at them with worried looks, mostly avoiding them. The other bots gave them a wide berth, and Prowl's cheery expression was starting to sour.

"Something's happened?" he asked. Jazz flinched, then nodded. "What is it?"

"Let's...get to the rec room first, yeah?" Jazz tried to give him a smile, but found that he couldn't.

"Jazz," said Prowl, and this time his expression had gone blank, staring directly at him.

Jazz looked back at him, and there was something in those bright blue optics that made him give in.

"Look, Prowler..." he began, feeling his spark ache for what he was about to do, "I just...I think you should know before the official report comes in."

"Get to the point, Jazz," said Prowl, with that tone he never used when he was off-duty and alone with Jazz.

"It's...Bluestreak's team," said Jazz, cringing inside, "They were ambushed. Five dead."

"There were six on that team," Prowl had gone completely still, and his doorwings were still as well, unusual for someone as expressive as he was.

Jazz would have drawn in a long breath had he been human. "The sixth was Bluestreak himself," he said, softly, "We didn't find the body."

Prowl stopped. Jazz had been expecting some sort of outburst, or maybe even some begging that it wasn't true, but no, instead, Prowl just froze up, and gazed back blankly at him.

A small part of Jazz died at the sight of Prowl, ever strong, ever capable, just stop and break like that.

"Prowler...." he began, softly. He reached out to the other bot, tentatively placing a hand on the other's arm.

No response.

Jazz looked around. Nobody else was here. He frowned, worried now, and activated his comm line. Truly, Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobot command chain were going to kill him for this.

***

Bang bang, I shot you down
Bang bang, you hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, I used to shoot you down.

***

"Hey, Prowler," said Jazz, as he stepped into the office, uninvited.

"My name is Prowl, Jazz," said the bot behind the desk without even looking up. He was busily writing on datapads, shifting them around in several stacks.

Jazz just laughed. "Well, Ratchet says it's time for your energon."

"Inform Ratchet I'm perfectly fine. My energy levels are still acceptable."

"Prowl..." said Jazz, his tone warning. "Come on, mech, don't make us have to drag you to the rec room again."

Prowl made no inclination to respond, simply continuing with his work.

"I swear, Prowler," said Jazz, shaking his head and coming closer to lean on the desk, "Let him go."

There was a pause in the rhythm of work. Prowl slowly, slowly raised his head, to look directly at Jazz, and Jazz suddenly wished he hadn't said that. Prowl's optics were, as always, dead.

"I have work to do, Jazz," he said, "Having you here, sitting on my desk is disrupting it."

Jazz moved, getting off the desk, nodding. "Right...I'm sure you'll be fine. I mean," he said, "You're a grown mech. You'll know when to stop and go get energon....Ratchet's just being fussy."

Prowl said nothing further, so Jazz took this as a sign to bail.

***

Now he's gone, I don't know why
And till this day, sometimes I cry
He didn't even say goodbye
He didn't take the time to lie

***

The other bot roared as he came barreling towards him. Prowl only had time to be surprised before the bot slammed into him.

"Hello, Prowl," snarled the bot as they wrestled against each other.

"Barricade," said Prowl, flatly. He struggled against the slightly larger Decepticon, taking special care to leave long gashes with his claws. The other was doing the same.

"It's been a while since our last tousle, hm?" said the 'Con, sneering and baring teeth. "I did enjoy our last one."

Prowl had almost lost his arm in that one. He responded with only a growl, still trying to get the other bot off him. For as long as any Autobot could remember, Barricade had been targeting him, singling him out during battles.

"What's the matter?" said Barricade, smirking as he left a long gash in Prowl's chest. The Autobot cried out at this, pushing at Barricade. "Why so quiet? Certainly so different from your precious little Bluestreak..."

The mention of the bot he had lost so long ago gave Prowl new strength. He placed his hands on Barricade's chest, and shoved, snarling as he did so. Barricade fell back, mostly surprised by how easily Prowl had done that.

Prowl stood up, and readied himself to fight some more, optics flaring and jaw set.

"That's the spirit," sneered Barricade, flexing his claws, "You know, your Bluestreak screamed the loudest out of all of them....and he begged for mercy the whole way."

Prowl snarled and slammed into the 'Con, sending them both over the cliff edge. He heard someone shout his name from behind, but it was too late, the both of them were falling, falling, and soon--

Barricade hit the ground hard. Prowl landed atop him, and began to claw at him, ripping at armor and lines here and there. Coolant and energon flowed freely, pooling around them and spraying over both bots. Maddened and covered with energon, Prowl was focused on hurting Barricade - he wanted Barricade to die.

Barricade only laughed the whole way.

***

Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down

***

"We've had him as a prisoner for a while," said Sideswipe as he opened the door to the brig. "The Megster himself turned him over to us." Prowl stepped in, taking in the sleek steel of the room. There were several cells, but only a single prisoner.

Sideswipe didn't come in. "I'll stay out here and stand guard," he said. Prowl turned to look at him, just in time to see the grin disappear behind the closing door.

Prowl turned back to face the cells, then strode over to stand before the lone prisoner.

"Barricade," he said. The Decepticon was sitting in one corner, glaring at him.

"So you finally made it to Earth, hm?" said Barricade after a moment. His expression was blank. "Sure took you a while...I had to settle for tormenting the little yellow one instead."

Prowl said nothing in response. He looked into the other's optics, and saw a dim red, as dead as his own blues were.

He had a feeling it was because of what he had discovered. Hunting down Decepticons while Optimus Prime was away had given him the opportunity to learn many, many new things.

One of which had interested him very, very much.

Prowl sat, bringing himself to optic-level with the other.

"When were you brought online?" he asked.

"What are you talking about?" snapped Barricade.

"How much do you remember of the Golden Age?"

"What the slag is wrong with you?"

"Were you from Praxus?"

"No shit, afthead."

"Were you there when they leveled it?"

"What's with these questions?" demanded Barricade, optics flaring.

"Answer," said Prowl, tone sharp.

Barricade snorted, then seemed to decide there was no harm in answering. "Yes. I was there." He unfurled himself, straightening himself while still sitting.

"Were you a Decepticon then?"

And here Barricade fell silent, even looking a little confused.

"What do you mean? Of course I was a Decepti..."

"I have reason to believe you weren't yet, at the time," said Prowl, jaw set and hands curled into fists on his knees. "So answer the question, Barricade. You've nothing to lose."

Barricade's optics dimmed a little. "...no, I wasn't a Decepticon yet," he said, slumping a little. "I was a civilian back then. Watched them burn Praxus to the ground."

So he remembers.

"What came after?" said Prowl, narrowing his optics. This was the crucial part.

"What do you mean what happened after!?" Barricade growled, regaining his usual self, "The war, duh. I joined the 'Cons, and shit happened."

"You joined the Decepticons...when it was they who burned your hometown?" asked Prowl, letting some disbelief slip into his tone.

Barricade paused, then looked at him oddly. "What are you talking about?" he growled, "The Autobots did that. You wouldn't let the us get our hands on Praxians, so you burned everything. AllSpark knows why you joined them..."

"No, it was the Decepticons," said Prowl, tone growing soft. This explained many, many things. "Search your memory banks."

Barricade paused, frowning and optics narrowing, as he seemed to do exactly that. A moment later, he snapped out of it, optics widening.

"Seekers," he said, quietly.

"Yes, the Seekers did most of the damage," affirmed Prowl.

"They'll pay for this," snarled Barricade, "They'll pay for lying to me!"

Prowl stood. "Barricade," he said, quietly, and the Decepticon surprisingly stopped to listen. "There is one more thing."

"What is it?" snapped the Decepticon.

"I was informed by one of the Decepticons..." Prowl hesitated. That one Decepticon had, in fact, been Megatron, who had cornered him after a meeting one day. "That you were reprogrammed from an Autobot."

Barricade looked at him for a moment, then began to laugh. Loudly.

"Now you're just being stupid," he said, chuckling.

"When have I ever joked," Prowl paused, "....Bluestreak?"

Barricade stopped laughing, then stared at him again.

"...you're delusional," he said after a moment, as though he had just realized something, "Delusional! I am not Bluestreak, and I'm never going to be. You're glitched. Glitched. Glitched. Glitched. I killed Bluestreak! I tortured him, and laughed and laughed when he screamed and begged! You. Are. Glitched! Should get that big-aft processor of yours checked."

"Perhaps it is yours we need to check," said Prowl, the threat clear in his tone.

Barricade gazed at him oddly, then a mixture of horror and disbelief crept onto his face. "You wouldn't," he said, "You Autobots aren't--"

"We would," said Prowl. "I would. Megatron would. The remaining Decepticons would." And here he turned, moving towards the door. "Something to think over, Barricade. What have you to lose?"

"You mean aside from my entire existence!?" came the snarled reply, but Prowl had opened the door already, and was stepping out. The Decepticon cursed at him as he shut the door.

Sideswipe was waiting outside, greeting him with a grin. Prowl was thankful the brig was more or less soundproofed.

"He's usually not that excited after interrogations," said the silver bot, having heard Barricade's curses as Prowl had been coming out. "Things went well?"

"They did," confirmed Prowl, as he headed off down the corridor.

Sideswipe only continued to grin, moving to walk alongside him. "Well, Barricade's a tough 'Con to crack. Nothin' we can't handle though."

"...indeed," murmured Prowl. "Nothing we can't handle."

***

"Bang bang, my baby shot me down..."

***