Prowl’s existence was defined by war and the absence of it.
The reality of war was his past, the hope for a future without war his drive to keep going.
In the present, his days were shaped by the necessities of war. Furthermore, they were neatly categorized into pre-battle, battle and post-battle playing in a never-ending loop.
When the day had been saved, the injured repaired and everybody tried to forget the war for a while, Prowl didn’t. He never doubted for an astrosecond that there would be another battle to be fought. Self-delusion was an irresponsible waste of processing power. Even more damning, it was illogical.
The humans had plenty more or less amusing euphemisms for people like him. Stick in the mud. Sourpuss. Spoilsport. Grouch. His logic center reached worrisome heat levels if he computed the more figurative ones for too long.
Most of his fellow Autobots and their human friends believed he took no enjoyment in the brief respites from war.
They were mistaken.
These were the moments Prowl lived for.
When he stood in a quiet corner of the rec room and supervised the party, data pad in his servo, disapproval plain on his face plates, they saw a looming, grave authority figure ensuring the celebration wouldn’t get out of hand.
They would never know that their laughter and talking didn’t irritate him. They would never know that the slight twitch of his door wings when Bluestreak purged the spiked oil Sideswipe had sneaked him all over Sunstreaker was the only sign of amusement he couldn’t cover up.
They would never know that he didn’t come to their parties to ensure they didn’t get out of hand… that he came to reassure himself that his tactics hadn’t gotten any of them killed today.
At some point during the festivity, Jazz always found a moment between joking and laughing and dancing to meet Prowl’s optics. He never spoke to Prowl on these occasions. Then he would smile and understand and Prowl’s world would twitch a bit and snap into place at just the right angle.
Prowl had long ago learned tranquillity could be found in the oddest places, in the strangest company, at the most unexpected times.
Prowl was certain the Ark’s briefing room, crowded with officers arguing and sniping at another met at least two of these criteria.
He would not have liked to be in any other place, in any other company.
He suspected it was illogical. At first, he had even been concerned his logic center might be damaged. When he spoke to Jazz of his concern, he would laugh and tell him not to brood so much, he would get wrinkles. That was illogical as well, but Jazz had merely laughed at him when he pointed it out.
Ratchet ended his diatribe with a threat involving wrenches and a toaster reformatting.
To everyone’s alarm, Prowl smiled.
78 astroseconds later, he had another reason to smile. Their consternation over his reaction had put an end to the quarrels – just like his battle computer had predicted. He spared them another such shock. Too much stress wasn’t good for processor longevity.
To live an existence ruled by logic was both a comfort and an eternal source of irritation to Prowl. The latter mostly because the rest of the universe refused to be governed by the same rules of logic.
Everyone who had ever witnessed one of his infamous and often-mocked crashes could attest that illogic was the bane of Prowl’s existence.
It was thus utterly illogical that he would voluntarily seek the company of the most unpredictable mech among them all. It was even more illogical – minus one million logical, that’s how illogical it is, as Bumblebee had put it – that he would love this unpredictable mech. Wasn’t love, an emotion, illogical in itself? This was the opinion of the Ark’s self-proclaimed logic experts.
Prowl begged to differ.
Logic equalled peace in his universe – and so did loving Jazz. This was, of course, an illogical answer. One might forgive him. Even he had his moments of rebellion.
All things considered, though, Prowl truly saw his love for Jazz as logical.
Intimacy bred familiarity and familiarity increased trust, including trust in his strategies. Jazz’s mission efficiency had increased by 14% ever since he knew Prowl had a personal interest in his safe return.
They spent 42% less time on planning sessions since interfacing provided them with a deeper understanding of the way the other’s processor operated. Jazz insisted to spend 49% of the saved time irritating Prowl, seducing Prowl and at one memorable time, telling him dirty limericks until his battle computer crashed. He knew Prowl well enough to know he wouldn’t get kicked out as long as he stayed beneath the 50% mark.
Jazz had spent 18494 astroseconds giving Prowl the silent treatment after he had suggested that it would be logical to interface with Smokescreen to increase the efficiency of the diversionary tactics planning sessions. Jazz spent another 32212 astroseconds shooting him dirty glares across the briefing table and denying him interfaces after Prowl explained to him that he had been experimenting with a joke subroutine. Prowl thought his reaction was logical.
That was nothing compared to the hot oil he had been in when he first explained all his logical reasons for their relationship to Jazz.
He had still been smiling his bright smile when Prowl listed the aforementioned increase in planning efficiency.
His smile had wavered by the time Prowl got to the compliance with emotional input requirements.
He had been just a bit annoyed when Prowl pointed out that their contrary, thus complementing, personalities made them logical partners despite the constant source of irritation Jazz’s illogical, unpredictable behaviour was to him.
He had been spitting mad by the time Prowl had gotten to how an intimate relationship between two senior officers of their rank and reputation would not only be uplifting for crew morale, but also make Prowl seem less inapproachable to the lower ranks while it would provide Jazz with the credentials of a stable private life, which would increase his acceptance by higher-ranking officers.
Later, he had written a new program for his battle computer. It had calculated with 99.9998% probability that ‘I love you’ had been the response Jazz desired. To his defence, it had occurred to him, but he had dismissed it as a too illogical reply.
Meanwhile, the simplest reason why he loved Jazz was perfectly logical: Jazz would make the better future he hoped for worthwhile.