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"I'm not sure I can do this." Ratchet stared at the mechs gathered in the club and vented air nervously.

"I am." Arcee reached up and patted him on the cheek. "You faced down Megatron and Lockdown. You can handle my friends."

"Megatron and Lockdown didn't want to use my spike as a chair in public," the medic retorted.

"I thought we discussed that. You don't have to open your panels."

"I know. I just don't want any of them to have a reason to think less of you."

It hung unspoken in the air between them that too many bots already thought less of her, because of her size and her frametype.

"They won't," she assured him with a smile. "Not for something that's so personal. Look. Gylph and her pet are in the corner by the sound booth, and they aren't doing anything but cuddling. And neither are Mirage and Sprocket there by the bar. It will be fine."

"I... are you sure?"

"Positive." Arcee stretched up onto the tips of her toes and kissed him softly on the lips. Despite his nervousness, Ratchet smiled at the action. "Nothing more than you're comfortable with."

The words, repeated every time they tried something new, were as comforting and soothing as she intended. Something inside Ratchet relaxed with them and Arcee smiled again.

"All right. Let's go meet these friends of yours."

"All right." The femme moved her hand away from his face and turned toward the crowd of the club again. She reached out for his hand, confident that he would take hers--and he did, squeezing a bit more tightly than usual thanks to residual nervousness--and began walking toward a table. The bots there smiled at her approach.

"Everyone," The intelligence agent smiled at her friends as she gestured for Ratchet to take the last chair at the table. "This is my partner Ratchet. Ratchet, these are Jolt and Fix-It, Helium and Argon, and FastTrack and Lunge."

Ratchet filed the names away out of habit, but he wouldn't have been able to match them to faces if his partner quizzed him later. He was too busy faking a cool exterior as he slid his panels back for Arcee and sat down. To his surprise, he didn't have to send a command to pressurize his spike; his equipment was much more at ease than his processor. But he wanted desperately to please her.

"Oh, Ratchet." Arcee's fond tone attracted his attention, and he glanced at her shyly. Her attention was divided between his face and his spike, and she was smiling. "I'm so proud of you."

"Thanks," he replied softly.

She turned her back to him again, and stepped in front of the chair. A moment later, Ratchet heard the soft click of another interface hatch opening. "You're too tall, lift me up."

Hands trembling, Ratchet did as ordered. Arcee was warmer than usual in his hands, and he wondered if she was aroused or nervous. She teased him a bit as he pulled her close, rubbing her exposed valve against the tip of his spike as he supported her weight.

"Giving us a show, 'Cee?" One of her friends asked.

"Not tonight," the femme replied. She rested her hands over the medic's and pushed softly. Ratchet obeyed the implied command and lowered her onto his spike.

They both groaned softly as her valve stretched around his spike.

"Damn," another mech said, approval clear in his tone. "I get what you see in him now, Arcee. Took Argon three vorns before he'd let me do that in public."

Arcee looked down where she could see her valve stretched around Ratchet's spike and then back up at her friends with a wicked grin. "What can I say? Ratchet adjusts quickly."