Sunstreaker came online in the earliest hours of the morning, well before any of the other enlisted mechs. He knew he would get into serious trouble--and that Prowl would let him have whatever punishment Ironhide dished out--if he got caught, but he creeped out of his berth anyway. The washracks would be blissfully empty this time of the cycle, and he would be able to get a real wash and polish in before roll call.
He wanted to look his best for his lover, when Prowl took him out tonight.
The golden mech was focused on making sure none of the other mechs he shared the barracks with woke, that he didn't see the black and white mech in front of him until it was almost too late. He froze, centimeters from Prowl as the tactician braced for impact.
Sunstreaker frowned and dropped down to his knees immediately. "I'm sorry sir."
"I was going to say good morning, not rebuke you." Prowl told him. "Are you all right?"
"Fine sir. I was just trying to sneak into the washracks before everyone else was online." At the black and white mech's sigh, Sunstreaker almost regretted his confession. But, truth was one of the conditions of their relationship--Prowl hated to be lied to more than Sunstreaker himself did. "I... I wanted to look nice for you."
"I understand that." The tactician gave him a small smile when the frontliner dared to look up at him. "But your distraction was not enough reason to feel the need to beg forgiveness."
"Logically, I know that." Sunstreaker dared to lean forward and rest his head on Prowl's thigh. "It's just... Revenant."
The black and white mech laid a hand on the back of the yellow mech's head at the explaination. Revenant's name had become shorthand code for any abuse that the mech had heaped on Sunstreaker while they were a couple. "We will simply work on that conditioning as well. We will not allow him to continue to control you."
"Thanks." Sunstreaker nuzzled the older mech's plating.
"Now, I believe you wanted a shower before the others woke?" Prowl slid his hand to the base of the warrior's helm and tugged gently so that his partner would stand up. "If we hurry, we will still have the washracks to ourselves. Optimus will not be in for another ten joors."
"You know the Prime's wash schedule?" Sunstreaker gave the other mech a disbelieving look.
"It is a delicate balance," the tactician replied. "He and I plan down to the klik so that we have warm solvent before Ratchet arrives."
Despite his earlier discomfort, Sunstreaker chuckled.
"That's better." Prowl gave him a real smile. "Now, hurry. We can wash each other's backs."
The golden mech's engine purred slightly at the order.
Despite Ironhide's training regimens and his normal day's duties--today, it was scrubbing out the coolant lines of several of the artillery trucks just to spite the glowing shine Prowl had put on his finish--Sunstreaker's spark was content. His morning with Prowl had been nice, bordering on wonderful, and it had left him feeling grounded in a way he couldn't remember ever feeling. It was a feeling he could definitely get used to.
"You're in a good mood." Sideswipe nudged him playfully as they trudged back toward the barracks. "You and Prowl have something hot planned for tonight?"
"I'm just happy." Sunstreaker shrugged. "I can't be happy?"
"Are you joking? I'm happy that you're happy." The red mech gave his twin a huge smile. "I just didn't recognize it. You haven't been, since, you know."
"Revenant, I know." The golden mech banished thoughts of his ex-partner with the memory of the gentle kiss Prowl had given him before their shifts started this morning. "Things are better now."
"Good. I missed seeing you smile."
"Good evening, Sunstreaker." Prowl smiled as the golden mech stepped into the tactical office.
"Hi, Prowl." Sunstreaker returned the smile.
"I have a few more small tasks to finish before we can leave." The tactician sighed. "Smokescreen was caught in an exceptionally improbably training accident sparring with Jazz and we fell behind schedule."
"It's all right." Sunstreaker was surprised to realize that it really was all right. He didn't mind that their plans had been disrupted as long as he was still spending time with Prowl. "Is there anything I can help with?"
"Officer clearance only, I'm afraid, but thank you." The black and white mech smiled again before looking back down at the data pads on his desk. "I will only be a few joors."
"That's fine." The golden mech settled into the low-backed chair that had become his favorite while he was assigned to the tactical department. "I don't mind waiting."
Prowl nodded and focused on his work. Sunstreaker settled into the quiet comfortably, watching the minute movements his partner made as he worked. He almost wished for his drawing pad; Prowl would be a perfect model even while he was working.
"If you're bored," The tactician said softly, "I'm sure I can find something from tomorrow's work load for you to do."
"No, I'm alright. Just studying you. I don't think I've ever drawn a Praxian before."
The corners of the black and white mech's lips turned up slightly. "I have a blank data pad if you would like to practice."
"Maybe later." The warrior smiled again. "I'm kind of enjoying watching you."
"As you wish."
Sunstreaker looked around in awe when Prowl took his hand and led him out of the transport. He didn't recognize the part of Iacon they had stopped in, but the architecture was beautiful. "Wow, where are we?"
"The border between Iacon and the Crystal Towers." Prowl took the golden mech's hand and led him toward a particularly ornate building, where a glossy black femme pulled open a manual door for them. "One of Commander Highbrow's agents told him about this place, and the rest of the officers have come to know it well since then."
The warrior blinked in surprise. "This place has to cost a fortune!"
"You are worth it." The black and white mech leaned in and pressed a kiss to the corner of Sunstreaker's mouth. "And I wanted you to enjoy the art inside the restaurant."
"Oh yes. This place is a gallery as well as the finest restaurant in Iacon."
"Commander Prowl, welcome!" Another glossy black employee, a mech with the proudly upswept wings of a Seeker, smiled and spread his arms wide. "As you requested, we have a table ready on the balcony for you and your partner. May I have the supreme pleasure of escorting you to your seats?"
"Thank you, Artisan. That would be deeply appreciated."
The Seeker's smile widened. "Please, this way. Follow me."
"They know you by name? How much time do you spend here?" Sunstreaker asked as they began walking again.
"Enough," Prowl replied, looking away from the golden mech long enough to wave to a mech draped in enough organic cloth to have paid for the construction of the entire restaurant. "Sometimes, I will come just to view the sculptures."
"That sounds nice." The warrior squeezed the tactician's hand.
"Up this ramp, please, gentlebots." Artisan drew back a curtain to reveal an upward sloping corridor lit with whimsically carved sconces. He stepped inside and held the curtain aside for them to follow. When the Autobots stepped into the corridor with him, the Seeker dropped the curtain, blocking out the rest of the establishment.
A dozen steps took them to the top of the slope and the corridor opened into a small room with a missing wall that looked out over the rest of the restaurant. There was a small table sitting at the edge of the opening, and Sunstreaker smiled when he realized that he could see paintings hanging on the walls across from it.
Artisan darted forward and pulled each chair back from the table and activated a holographic menu that floated over the table's surface. "Please, be seated, gentlebots. Cuisinier himself will be up shortly to take your orders."
"Thank you, Artisan." Prowl inclined his head respectfully toward the Seeker.
The glossy black Seeker bowed in return, then made his way back to the corridor. As he left, the tactician gestured his partner to the chair on the right hand side of the table. "It has the best view in the house."
"All right." Sunstreaker gave his partner a disbelieving look, but he settled into the chair willingly enough.
Prowl sat down a moment later, and the lights in their private room dimmed to a more intimate setting. "Do you like it?"
The yellow twin resisted the urge to answer immediately, knowing that his partner wanted more than just his initial opinion. Instead, he looked around at the restaurant and studied every bit of art and artistry he could see. It wasn't all to his personal taste, but the overall look was harmonious. "Yeah, I do. This place is beautiful."
"I'm glad." The tactician let a pleased smile spread across his face. "I made arrangements for you to come here whenever you like, so that you can enjoy everything at your leisure. Artisan has promised to give you your choice of table, anytime."
"That sounds great." Sunstreaker tore his gaze away from the artwork and he frowned, despite Prowl's smile. "But how much is that going to cost you?"
"Only as much as you choose to spend when you're here." Prowl reached out and took the golden mech's hand. "I am not doing this to manipulate you or as an attempt to regulate your comings and goings. I want you to have a safe place that you can come to when you need it. As tonight demonstrated, I may not always be available to help you."
The warrior turned his hand over and clasped Prowl's tightly. "Thanks. It just... feels too good to be true. Sometimes you're too good to be true."
"I am a firm believer in taking care of the mechs who give themselves over to my control." The tactician pulled Sunstreaker's hand close enough to press a kiss to the warrior's knuckles. "And I want to take extra care of my partner."
"Oh." For a moment, Sunstreaker drew in on himself. Then he looked up at Prowl and smiled softly. "You really mean that, don't you? That we're really partners and not just frag buddies?"
"I do." The black and white mech kissed his partner's knuckles again before releasing the other mech's hand. "I told you when we started that I wanted a long term relationship, remember?"
They were interrupted by the arrival of a large mech, glossy black like the rest of the staff, with a touch of orange on his hand and arms. "Commander Prowl! It has been too long since I have had the pleasure of serving you! Who is your lovely partner?"
Prowl introduced him, and their moment was utterly ruined, but Sunstreaker didn't lose the warmth flooding his spark--or the wonder that someone like Prowl actually wanted to be with him.
"Thank you for coming out with me," Prowl said, leaning in to press a kiss to Sunstreaker's cheek plate. "I had a wonderful time."
"That wasn't all me," The golden mech replied, "But you're welcome. I had a great time, too."
"I wanted to give you this at the restaurant, but with all of Artisan's interruptions, there was never really a good time." The tactician pulled a data pad from his subspace and held it out to the younger mech.
Sunstreaker took it and powered it on. He skimmed the text and looked up at the older mech in surprise. "This is a roommate transfer request."
"Specifically a request to transfer you into my room," Prowl agreed.
"You want me to move in with you?"
"Well, I would move back into the barracks but that wouldn't alleviate any of our privacy issues." The black and white mech grinned for a moment. "I would like waking up with you every cycle, even if our schedules don't allow for anything else."
"I'd like that too." The warrior looked back down at the pad and scrolled to the end of the document. "Did you bring a stylus so I can sign this?"
"If you ask Smokescreen, I carry at least a case of them." Prowl pulled the requested item from his subspace with another brief grin.
"He's probably right." Sunstreaker grinned and took the stylus. He signed the pad with a flourish and handed it and the stylus back to Prowl. "When will it go into effect?"
"Tomorrow, if you can be ready that quickly. I convinced Ironhide to pre-authorize the transfer, just in case."
"What would you have done if I'd said no?"
The Praxian shrugged one shoulder. "Exactly what we have been doing. Sharing our living space will be an added pleasure, but it isn't a necessity."
"Thank you, for not just assuming." Sunstreaker leaned close enough to rest his head on Prowl's shoulder. The tactician wrapped him in a hug and held him for a long moment. "Guess this means I better make Sideswipe help me pack again."
"And I will send Smokescreen to help carry your belongings."
"That sounds great. Maybe we can squeeze in a trip to that outdoor cafe you like after I'm all moved in."
"It will be the perfect ending to the night."