Actions

Work Header

Dream of Life- Escapism

Chapter Text

Leaving Bluestreak wasn’t easy, but Mirage knew Thundercracker would need help removing the paint as soon as possible. He paused in the doorway to the berth room, gazing at Bluestreak curled up next to Bumblebee in their large berth lightly recharging after his emotional breakdown earlier.

Bumblebee shooed him with a wave of his hand. “I may not be able to walk around, but I can look after Blue,” he whispered.

Mirage nodded and smiled, then left his companions on their own.

Arriving at Thundercracker’s room, he knocked. The door opened and Thundercracker greeted Mirage with a bright smile. “Hello there.”

“I figured you might need a hand removing your disguise paint?” Mirage said as he entered.

“Most definitely,” Thundercracker replied.

“So things went to plan?” Mirage asked as they entered his private washrack.

“Yes. Soundwave is dealing with the fallout right now,” Thundercracker replied, pulling a strong solvent off the shelf.

Mirage took the bottle from him, and poured some into a cloth. Thundercracker flipped the switch for the sprayer and they both set to work bringing back his signature blue and wash the red away. Snapping the inhibitors in place, Mirage worked to clean his lover’s wings.

“There’s my handsome flier,” Mirage commented as the blue was once again revealed.

Thundercracker chuckled a little at that as he removed the paint from his arms. “You would let me know if something was amiss with you or the others, wouldn’t you?”

Mirage paused mid-motion and looked up. “What do you mean?”

“It’s just–” Thundercracker frowned a little. “Jazz seemed upset after seeing you all earlier.”

“Oh,” Mirage replied as he focused on the cloth stained with red in his hands. “Bluestreak still has feelings for him. Nothing terrible happened, so you don’t need to worry. It was an emotionally charged interaction is all.”

“Should I cancel the visitations?” Thundercracker asked. “The last thing I ever wanted was to make Bluestreak unhappy with the arrangement.”

Mirage gazed at Thundercracker and smiled. “No, I think it will be alright eventually. Maybe a short break in visits would be good, but I think Bee would like to see Jazz now and again. They’re old friends.”

Thundercracker nodded. “If there is anything at all I can do to help, please let me know.”

“I certainly will,” Mirage replied.

“Gone! Just gone! What the frag happened?” Starscream shrieked as he turned his fury on Jazz. “You were in the room with them, what happened?”

Soundwave stepped between them, protecting Jazz with his larger mass while glancing at him. “Jazz, answer the question,” he intoned.

“The two of them got up and left right after the detailers walked out. Frag if I know what they were doin’,” Jazz replied, putting on his most innocent look.

“Who else was getting detailed?” Starscream yelled as his attention shifted to the host.

“W-we had one other client, a red seeker,” the host replied, looking terrified of Starscream.

“What was his name? I’ll rip his wings off and stuff them piece by piece up his tailpipe until he tells me where they are!” Starscream shouted.

Jazz had never seen a mech this angry before, and that included Ratchet when he was on a tear. Starscream’s wings were quivering and he was so upset he looked like he might literally pop a gasket.

“Um, let me check the logs,” the host said, quickly scrolling through the list of appointments on his datapad. “His name was Flamewar.”

“This Flamewar is going to pay for taking my slaves,” Starscream said, his voice edged with a sharp growl.

“What proof is there of this mech taking your Autobots?” Soundwave asked. “Perhaps Autobots fled on their own?”

“Keh, then why didn’t Swindle’s ping show their locations? There’s no way they left on their own and somehow disabled their collars, too!” Starscream yelled. “No. Someone took them! And he was only mech with access!”

Jazz internally smiled, since in truth he was the one with access.

Enforcers soon arrived on scene, and the detailing parlour was overwhelmed with mechs swarming everywhere. Jazz pressed close to Soundwave, hoping they could leave before being detained.

“Could you two please step in here to answer some questions?” one of the enforcers asked.

No such luck it seemed.

Soundwave nodded and he didn’t seem in too much of a hurry to flee the scene. Jazz knew in his head that staying like this was a countermeasure to ensure Starscream didn’t suspect them, but being around all these mechs was making Jazz tense.

Following Soundwave, they were led to one of the private detailing rooms and grilled with a series of questions. Jazz give the enforcer the same story he’d told Starscream: Skyfire and Red Alert both left the room without explanation. After what felt like an eternity and even more questions that he gave the same answers to, they were finally released.

“Commander Starscream, I am sorry for the loss of your Autobots. I hope they will be located soon,” Soundwave said, pausing on their way out.

“Better put a lead on yours, or someone might take him, too,” Starscream replied a snippy voice.

Soundwave nodded. “Sound advice.” He then made a show in front of Starscream of putting a lead on Jazz’s collar before they walked out of the parlour.

It was humiliating being led through the streets on a leash. Jazz seethed as he fell in step just behind Soundwave. How dare he put this lead on his collar! After everything they’d shared, everything they’d been through, how could he do this? Even if it was show for Starscream, why was it still on now? They were blocks away from the parlour.

They entered the apartment building and stepped on the lift. The lead remained locked on Jazz’s collar and held in Soundwave’s hand. It wasn’t until they entered the apartment itself that Soundwave deigned to remove it.

“Frag you!” Jazz yelled as he was freed.

Soundwave looked shocked by his ire. “Jazz?”

“Don’t you ever put that leash on me again!” Jazz whirled around and went to what had once been his room, slamming the door closed as he slid it shut. There was no lock, but he’d made his point clear. He sat down on the berth and buried his face in his hands. Tears he hadn’t expected pooled on his optics beneath his visor. Being led around like that had been one of the most undignified things he’d ever experienced. Right up there with being a frag toy for Megatron’s pleasure.

The door cracked open. “Jazz, please do not be angry,” Soundwave said, peering in.

“You have no idea,” Jazz hissed. “I stupidly thought you got it. But clearly you haven’t got a fraggin’ clue.”

The door opened wider and Soundwave stepped inside, closing it behind him. “Explain so I will understand? Please?”

Jazz mirthlessly laughed. “How can you not understand it’s humiliating of bein’ dragged around by a fragging leash like I’m a pet turbo fox?”

“The use of a lead was for Starscream’s benefit. Humiliation not intended,” Soundwave replied.

“Intended or not, it was,” Jazz spat back.

Soundwave cowed his head. “I am very sorry.”

“Why didn’t you take it off until we were back in the apartment anyway? Once we were a few blocks away you could’ve taken it off. Or you could have shown more spinal unit back there and not put on me in the first place! Instead you just kiss that sick fragger’s aft to keep up appearances!” Jazz yelled, angry and hurt.

“These options didn’t occur to me. What can I do to rectify the mistake?” Soundwave asked, wringing his hands together, obviously distressed and unsure what to do.  

It was a little strange to see a usually stoic mech look so upset. Jazz frowned and shook his head. “I dunno.”

“I want you to be happy, but fail at that goal,” Soundwave said, sounding confused.

Jazz sighed and rubbed his face with his hands for a moment. “I don’t think I’ll ever be ‘happy’, Sounders. Besides, it’s not something you can just fix.” He looked up at Soundwave, and sadly frowned. “Think I’ve reached the end of my already thin rope and snapped.” He looked away and dimmed his optics. “I hurt Blue. Really made a fragged up mess of that whole thing. Then seeing Red again, I wanted to hurl my energon right there after what me an’ Prowl did to him. And then you put that stupid fraggin’ leash on me…” Jazz felt the tears return, and reached up, removing his visor so he could wipe them away. “How am I supposed to keep hopin’ things will eventually work out when things just seem to get worse?”

To his surprise, Soundwave came over and sat down next to him, putting a comforting arm around his shoulders. “My apologizes for adding to your burden with my thoughtless action.”

Jazz leaned into Soundwave, resting his head on his broad shoulder as he fingered his visor in his hands. “Not gonna say it’ okay, cause it wasn’t. But, I’ll get over it.”

Soundwave nodded and retracted his mask to kiss the tip of one of his helm horns.

Despite his sour mood, the sweetness of Soundwave’s kiss made Jazz’s spark do that funny flutter thing again. They sat in silence for a while, just being with one another. It had a calming effect on Jazz as he felt his jumbled emotions start to smooth out some.

The sound of something crashing to the floor in another room broke the spell, though.

“Cassettes causing trouble again,” Soundwave said with a slight frown.

Turning his head to look up at Soundwave without his visor, Jazz half-smiled. “They’re a bunch of little troublemakers. Dunno why you put up with ‘em, really. But then, not sure why you put up with me, either.”

Soundwave gently traced his fingertips just under one of Jazz’s optics. “You are different. Kind to me when others ridicule and... you are very beautiful.”

Jazz half-smiled at that. “Who knew you were such a flirt, huh?”

Soundwave smiled, then dimmed his visor. “Will you forgive me, even if you wish to remain upset with me?”

Twisting in Soundwave’s loose grasp, Jazz stretched up to ghost his lips against Soundwave’s exposed ones. “I forgive you.”

Pressing forward, they kissed. Lip only at first, but Jazz couldn't resist the urge for more, slipping his glossa into Soundwave’s heated mouth. Another crashing sound cut their lovely kiss short, though.

Soundwave looked at the door, then re-engaged his mask. “I must check on the cassettes.”

“Little fraggers,” Jazz mumbled.

“Perhaps, but they are mine to look after,” Soundwave replied.

Jazz frowned a little. “Just like me.”

Cupping Jazz’s face with one hand, Soundwave gazed into his optics. “No, you are not like them. And I will strive to treat you as an equal moving forward.”

“Sounders…” Jazz felt that flutter in his spark grow even stronger. He'd felt it with Blue, too, but not this intensely. “That means a lot to me. Thanks.”

Soundwave nodded, then kissed the middle of his forehelm before standing up. Jazz got to his feet and followed Soundwave out to help with whatever cleanup might be needed.

It was starting to make more sense why Soundwave cared for the cassette bots. Behind his stoic, cold front was a deeply compassionate mech that accepted everyone around them as they were, even mechs like Starscream and Megatron. Jazz was his opposite in that way, railing against injustice. What they shared in common was a desire to protect those around them and the ability to manipulate or lie without a second thought to do what they thought was right. In a strange way Jazz could see how well he and Soundwave complimented one another's personalities.

...

It had been a shock to see a hidden starship underneath Shockwave's compound. But Skyfire's awe was mitigated by the burn in his interface array. To Red Alert's credit he didn't complain about his own despite his squirming. In fact, once Prowl took charge of them Red had gone quiet.

They were taken on board and Prowl showed them to a nice room in the habitation suites. There was regular energon in a pitcher waiting for them on the berthside table with two glasses, which Red Alert wasted no time partaking in. Skyfire smiled a little as he watched his smaller companion gulp down most a glass worth in mere seconds.

"I know you both are currently under the influence of powerful drugs," Prowl said as he looked at Skyfire. "I will check in on you every couple hours as you detox. If there's anything you need, don't hesitate to ask. Obviously with only a handful of us here we are living in this wing of the habitation suites and working on repairs in the engine room. So check the lounge at the end of the hall or Level Delta if you're looking for any of us."

"We will," Skyfire replied. "Thank you."

Prowl and Red Alert's gazes met for only a moment. Doorwings lowering, Prowl quickly looked away and forced a smile as he glanced back at Skyfire. "I'll let you be for now." He then quickly left, door sliding shut behind him.

"Was it just me, or was he acting a bit oddly?" Skyfire asked.

"Wasn't you. Him and Jazz fragged me," Red Alert replied, setting his empty glass down.

"They what?" Skyfire was shocked by Red Alert's casual comment.

"Megatron made them. They didn't want to, but they did feel really good." Red Alert squirmed a little where he stood.

Skyfire frowned, not thrilled to know why Prowl was being so awkward around Red Alert. It also explained Jazz's hesitation to free him during the escape, too. An issue to be dealt with when they were no longer under the influence of these infernal drugs.

Red Alert rubbed his panel. "It hurts."

"Mine too," Skyfire replied with a frown.

Red Alert closed the space between them and threw his arms around Skyfire, peering up at him imploringly. "Can we interface? Please?"

Skyfire gently brushed his fingers down Red Alert's cheek. "If that's what you want."

"It is," Red Alert replied, clutching at Skyfire's plating.

There was no explaining the attachment Skyfire had so quickly formed to Red Alert, but it felt real and very strong. He scooped Red Alert up in his arms and sat down on the berth with his back to the wall for support. Red Alert settled with his legs spread over Skyfire’s lap, gyrating his hips and rubbing their heated panels together with a moan.

“What would you like to do?” Skyfire asked, large hands moving down Red Alert’s sides slowly.

“I really want to ride you, but I need stretching,” Red Alert replied. “I’ll overload hard enough that way to make it stop.”

Skyfire had been careful not to spike after their first encounter, but Starscream had forced them to a handful of times as a warm up for himself before he’d shove off Red and ride Skyfire himself. As long as he worked the smaller valve with his fingers to get him ready, there had been no discomfort. Slipping a hand under Red Alert’s aft, he lifted him up. Red Alert leaned against Skyfire, pressing his face into the crook of Skyfire’s neck as his panel retracted. Skyfire rubbed the outer rim first, then slowly pressed one finger inside.

Red Alert hissed and shivered.

“Did that hurt?” Skyfire asked, stilling.

“The burn is really strong,” Red Alert replied. “Keep going. I’ll be okay.”

With as much tenderness as he could muster, Skyfire pumped his finger in and out until Red Alert stopped hissing and began moaning.

“More…” Red Alert’s whole body shivered.

A second finger joined the first, and Red Alert began to gyrate again, pushing himself down on Skyfire’s fingers.

Turned on by Red Alert’s eagerness and the infernal drugs, Skyfire’s panel snapped open. Red Alert wasted no time, reaching between them to tug on his already hard spike.

“Slag,” Skyfire moaned.

“You can stretch me more now,” Red Alert said in a breathless voice.

Three of his large fingers mimicked the side of his spike as he slid them into the tightness of Red Alert’s valve. The mesh walls trembled and squeezed his fingers as he parted them a little inside him before pulling out and repeating the same action again. Red Alert moaned even louder, and Skyfire winced a little, hoping this starship was well insulated for sound.

Skyfire nuzzled one of Red Alert’s helm horns as desire and affection swirled inside his his spark for this mech. It was dangerous to get attached and he knew that in his processor, but he couldn’t help how his spark felt. Red deserved so much more than what he’d ended up enduring, and it felt like he was the only one who could see past the surface to Red’s wounded core.

“Inside me... you can go inside me now.” Red Alert batted at Skyfire’s hand and he nodded, placing both of his larger hands on the smaller mech’s hips, helping to guide him down over his spike standing at full attention.

They both moaned in unison as Red Alert impaled himself. Tight, hot, and so slicked, Skyfire held himself still for a moment, enjoying the throb of their arrays linked together.

Red Alert whined. “You feel just like–” Cutting himself off, he ducked his head down, pressing his face against Skyfire’s shoulder. “Need you..."

Hands helped lift Red Alert and lower him down, as Skyfire thrust over and over into that delicious heat between spread legs. Red Alert was soon nothing more than a whimpering mass in his lap, moaning and clinging to Skyfire as they quickly reached the goal line, overloading one right after the other. Red Alert had climaxed first, crying out sharply and shuddering as his valve clamped down on Skyfire’s spike. Groaning loudly, Skyfire joined him, pleasure cascading through his systems as his spike pumped into Red Alert for what felt like a never ending moment.

Collapsing against Skyfire, Red Alert softly whimpered as aftershocks of pleasure continued to pulse through him. Each time his already tight valve constricted with a tremor, Skyfire would softly moan and deposit just a little more as a flare of pleasure skittered through his array.

They stayed locked together and unmoving for several minutes. Skyfire sighed as he finally felt the haze from the drugs begin to lift some. He knew it could take days before the drug stopped inflicting it’s insidious effects on them, but for now the painful burn was finally at bay. He kissed Red Alert’s horn and rubbed the middle of his back.

“You feel better?” Skyfire quietly asked.

Red Alert nodded against his shoulder. “I’m tired.”

“I am, too. It’s been a long day. Let’s get some rest, hm?,” Skyfire replied.

Red Alert lifted himself off Skyfire’s spike, fluid trickling from his valve and down his inner thigh. “I’m so messy and dirty.” He glanced at his grey-stained feet from their escape through the run-off tunnels.

“We can clean up after some rest,” Skyfire replied, too exhausted to even consider spending time standing in the washrack right now.

They shifted around on the berth, and Skyfire laid back with Red Alert curled up at his side. He gazed at his companion and smiled a little, so glad he wasn’t alone here, and relieved to know Red Alert wasn’t going to be Starscream’s toy to play with anymore. In no time, Red Alert’s optics went dark and his frame softly vibrated in recharge. Seduced by the allure himself, Skyfire offlined his optics and joined Red for some well-earned rest.

Sideswipe couldn’t help himself, pushing a solvent soaked cloth over Prowl’s aft and between his legs in the washrack. Prowl made an undignified sound and flicked his doorwings as he shot Sideswipe a warning look.

Sunstreaker glanced up from his own washing, then quickly looked away, stepping under the sprayer to rinse off.

They’d moved into one of the larger officer quarters on the ship, complete with an ample-sized berth and private washrack. It had taken them almost two weeks to get just this small section of the ship habitable, but it had been worth it for the extra space and added privacy they’d lacked before.

It had also been a couple weeks since Sunstreaker started staying with them. His brother had shied away each time Sideswipe tried to push for anything more than kissing, and he’d rebuffed most of Prowl’s very timid attempts to be more physical. Sideswipe missed interfacing, and it was getting harder to contain himself.

“I promised Smokes I’d watch some old movie with him, so I’ll see you guys later,” Sunstreaker said as he stepped out of the stall and dried himself off.

“What movie?” Sideswipe asked, trying not to sound hurt by his brother bailing.

Rise of the Rust Droves, I think,” Sunstreaker replied with a shrug. “Supposed to be a scary movie.”

“Enjoy yourself,” Prowl replied, not showing any emotion at all.

“See you,” Sunstreaker said, tossing the cloth over the rack to dry and leaving.

Prowl’s doorwings lowered the moment the door snapped shut with a soft ping in the other room. “I feel I’m failing with him.”

“Pfft, it’s not you. It’s him. He’s being-” Sideswipe paused looking for a good word.

“Distant? Cold?” Prowl offered, his white fingers trailing over Sideswipe’s chest, drawing a line through the suds.

“Weird.” Sideswipe smiled a little in response to Prowl’s touch. “Even when we were fighting all the time forever ago, we still ‘faced like crazy. Pulling away from being touched isn’t like him.”

“But, Smokescreen is often physically affectionate with him and he doesn’t shy away,” Prowl pointed out.

Sideswipe sighed, his smile fading away. “Yeah, I know. What’s messed up about that is seeing Ironhide look like a kicked turbo puppy when they get like that.”

Prowl huffed air from his intakes. “This is quite a disaster, isn’t it? I don’t know how to fix it.”

Gently cupping Prowl’s chin, Sideswipe leaned down and kissed him sweetly. “You don’t fix it. We just wait for things to right themselves.”

“And what if they don’t?” Prowl asked, staring deeply into Sideswipe’s optics.

“Then frag ‘em all. You and me will enjoy ourselves,” Sideswipe replied with a lop-sided grin.

“When you say ‘enjoy’, you mean interface?” Prowl asked, coy smile curling his lips.

“Frag yeah,” Sideswipe replied. “Speaking of which… How ‘bout we try it against the wall in here?”

“I prefer the comfort a berth,” Prowl replied, taking a slow step backward.

Before Sideswipe worked out what Prowl was doing, he flicked his doorwings at just the right angle to splash the running water at Sideswipe in a rare moment of playfulness. Sideswipe laughed, grabbing for him, but missing as the Praxian ducked his outstretched arms. Sideswipe then quickly spun around to try and catch his elusive lover. They chased each other, splashing the water at one another until Sideswipe finally pinned Prowl against a corner of the stall.

“Got you now, copbot,” Sideswipe said before mouthing Prowl’s chevron.

“And now that you have me, what will you do exactly?” Prowl asked, his voice hitching slightly as Sideswipe rimmed his thumb over a headlight.

“I lay you down on the berth and make you overload so hard you won’t be able to stand again until tomorrow,” Sideswipe threatened with seductive growl to his voice.

Sliding his arms around Sideswipe’s shoulders, Prowl canted his head and smiled. “Sounds lovely.”

“Been so long,” Sideswipe said just before their mouths met in a deep, needy kiss.

Prowl gasped as the kiss broke, dazed-looking and so beautiful. Sideswipe loved these moments when Prowl let his guard down for him. He wished his brother could see him this way, then he’d understand how amazing Prowl really was. But when they were in each other’s presence, Prowl’s walls went right back up and Sunstreaker carefully held himself at a distance. Sideswipe didn’t know how to bridge the gap for them, and in his spark knew it was up to them to resolve.

“You’re so handsome without your collar,” Prowl said after a moment, fingers brushing over his bare neck cables.

“So are you,” Sideswipe replied. “That movie won’t last forever…” He flipped the lever to turn the water off, and took Prowl by the hand, leading him out of the washrack.

“We are both still dripping wet and not clean,” Prowl pointed out, glancing at the trail of suds and water left in their wake.

“Don’t care.” Sideswipe scooped Prowl up and laid him on the berth before crawling over top of him. “Need you more than I need a wash up. Besides, we’re gonna need another pass through there when we’re done, anyway.”

Prowl cupped Sideswipe’s cheek and smiled up at him. “We are, hm?”

Sideswipe nodded. “Frag yeah.”

“Not that I want to put a damper on our alone time, but I will need to stop in to check on Skyfire and Red Alert in about an hour,” Prowl said, wrapping his legs around Sideswipe’s hips.

“A mission objective I’m happy to work within, sir,” Sideswipe replied with a grin as he rubbed their closed panels together.

Shaking his head, Prowl chuckled. “If that’s the game you’d like to play, then I order you to ‘face me, my lovely warrior.”

“Yes, sir!” Sideswipe replied, laughing.

This wasn’t exactly how Sunstreaker envisioned hanging out with Smokescreen while watching a movie. He’d secretly hoped for some affectionate cuddling with the one mech here that he trusted most here. Much to his disappointment, Ironhide and Smokescreen were sitting together on one end of the couch, and he was alone at the other end. Ironfist had also joined them, sitting in the nearby recliner with his mask retracted so he could stuff his mouth with energon goodies he’d found in the main refectory storage area.

Just after the introduction scene of the movie, Smokescreen scooted even closer to Ironhide. Smiling a little, Ironhide and put his arm around Smokescreen, holding him against his side. Sunstreaker frowned and looked back at the vid screen, fighting to urge to loudly sigh. Smokescreen had mentioned he was staying with Ironhide at night so he could recharge, but clearly things had changed from ‘friends’ to ‘more than friends’ recently between the two of them.

After a few more minutes, Sunstreaker decided he didn’t want to stay. He got to his feet and Ironhide grabbed the remote to pause the movie.

“I’m gonna go,” Sunstreaker said, feeling awkward and out of place.

“Why? The movie just started,” Smokescreen asked with bright optics.

“Just not in the mood, I guess. Thanks, though.” Sunstreaker took off before anyone tried to plead for him stay.

He walked out of the barracks area and down the hall to the lift. He didn’t know where he was going exactly, but he knew he couldn’t stay in the lounge and returning to the room with Sideswipe and Prowl held no appeal, either. Stepping on, his self-loathing took firm hold as he punched the button to take him to level theta.

Smokescreen didn’t need him anymore, and his brother and Prowl were happy together, so what was the point of his existing? He was just a waste of space and fuel. Stepping off, he walked to the ramp that lead off the ship and took the stairs up into the main compound.

With no actual destination in mind, he wandered around inside the compound, aimlessly going from room to room. It was so large, if anyone noticed him missing, which he highly doubted, they’d be searching for him for hours if not days, especially now that he was no longer wearing that stupid collar with the locator.

About an hour later, he was still wandering. He entered a room with shelves covered in small trinkets from the Towers. Fingering a sheathed sword on a stand, he wondered if it might be sharp enough to possibly crack his spark chamber. He placed his hand on the hilt to pick it up when suddenly an alarm sounded, echoing through the compound.

He nearly jumped out of his plating at the audio-piercing noise, immediately scared his touching the weapon had turned the alarm on.

Through the window of the room he was in, he noticed what had actually triggered the alarm, though: the Swarm. Theywere pouring into the yard area, having apparently breached an outer wall. Staring at them through the window, he watched the mutant monsters take out the responding guard drones in moments flat. Without thinking too hard about his true motives he bolted from the room, heading down the corridor that led to the shuttle landing pad outside. The doors were open at the end, and he saw Shockwave readying more drones with heavy duty weapons.

“What are you doing here?” Shockwave asked as Sunstreaker ran up.

“I, ah–” Sunstreaker scrambled to think of an excuse. “I heard the alarm.”

Shockwave’s optic focused on him for a long, uncomfortable moment. “Fine. You will help fight them off.” He picked up a large rifle and threw it into Sunstreaker’s arms. “We can’t let them get into the buildings.”

Sunstreaker nodded. “On it.”

They exited the compound and ran across the open area toward the breach in the wall. Drones, Shockwave and himself sprayed fire at the mindless creatures moving in mass at them.

Sunstreaker grimaced and ran right into the fray, hitting them with the back end of his rifle and shooting them in the head as they gnawed and clawed at his plating. It hurt like frag, but there was something deeply satisfying about killing them. He had purpose again, even if it was temporary. This was the best he’d felt in weeks, actually. He imagined Vortex’s face as he shot them through the heads, roaring with all his anger and fury.

He was soon overwhelmed by them, though, pulled down to the ground as he felt their fangs sink into his plating and rip pieces off. He still shot at them, and writhed and kicked as hard as he could. This isn’t such a terrible way to die, he thought. At least he’d go out fighting like he should have the day Optimus died.

“Sunny!”

His brother’s voice cut through the grunts and growls of the Swarm overtop of him. Sunstreaker continued to struggle, but it was getting harder. The bites in his plating were festering from acid in their mouths, and his body was shutting down on him now.

“Sunstreaker!”

Prowl? He wasn’t sure why he was surprised to hear Prowl’s voice along with his brother’s, but part of him was. The dark mass of black, purple and yellow over him parted and he saw both of them working to kill and remove the creatures.

Sideswipe grabbed Sunstreaker by the shoulders once they’d killed the whole pile and dragged him off to an open area away from the corpses. “Sunny… oh frag, oh frag!”

He must be in pretty bad shape for Sideswipe to be panicking like that. Sunstreaker felt his grasp on the waking world begin to slip.

“Ironfist, as fast as you can, I need the medical patch kit from the lab!” Prowl ordered.

Sideswipe leaned down and peppered Sunstreaker’s cheek with kisses. “Don’t you give up, you hear me?”

Optics dimming, Sunstreaker knew he was going to offline any moment. Mustering what little energy he could, he smiled. “Love you, Sides.”

“I love you, too, Sunny,” Sideswipe replied with glossy optics from held back tears.

“You will not die,” Prowl said, coming into view. “That’s an order.”

Sunstreaker would have burst out laughing at Prowl’s audacity if he wasn’t fading so fast. “So bossy,” he murmured just before the inky blackness claimed him whole. His last thoughts were a prayer to find peace at last. Please Primus, I’m tired of suffering...