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Comforting Silence

Work Text:

“...” Speaking

:...: comm. link

‘....’ bonded speech

‘...’ thinking


Astrosecond- 2.5 earth Seconds

Klik- 150 earth seconds/ 2.5 earth Minutes

Orn- 150 earth minutes/ 2.5 earth Hours

Joor- 60 earth hours/2.5 earth Days

Metacycle- 17.5 earth days/2.5 earth Weeks

Vorn- 10 earth weeks/2.5 earth months

Stellercycle-30 earth months/2.5 years

Breem-slang for a moment/minute.

Night Cycle: star down to star up

Day Cycle: Star up to star down


The bright sun of Cyberton was high in the dark sky, spreading light across the city of Iacon. Happy mechs and femmes went about their days, safe from the raging war and riots that plagued other nearby cities. Some Cybertronions worked, while others shopped, younglings danced in the street and music came from every corner.

It was a peaceful, quiet cycle where the naïve citizens of Iacon could forget about the war. They were safe within Iacon’s walls and with Optimus Prime’s constant presence within the city limits. Even the mood in the Autobot strong hold seemed to have perked up since the successful evacuation of Tarn. No mech or femme had been left behind, and everyone made it out in relatively one piece. To have so many come to the safety of Iacon and with no deactivations was a rare occurrence. It was a victory that the Autobot’s desperately needed to boost morale.    

    Laughter and jokes filled the already busy hallways of the Iacon base; mechs that had actually been in Tarn during the riot were constantly stopped during all hours of the day-cycle to tell their version of events, and they did so with relish. The rec. room had become an overly crowded story telling circle, where the next story was more outrageous then the last.

    The only quiet haven within the base had become Prowl’s office, as no one wanted to bother the stoic second with their riot stories. Optimus Prime’s office had become a hub of activity as every mech that came to hand in reports stopped to chat with their leader and tell him of their acts of bravery. Optimus had naturally taken things in stride, offering words of encouragement and reminders that many civilians deactivated in Tarn during the riot. Either way, every mech that came out of the Primes office felt just a little bit more determined to do better the next time around and ensure that no civilians were harmed during the next mission.

    Even Ratchet`s medbay had a flow of mechs coming and going, sharing stories with the grumpy medic. But just as many mechs that came to tell Ratchet of their own exploits, had wanted to hear from Ratchet, growing silent when the medic told them his own story of Tarn. Although Ratchet`s version was always cut and dry, telling only the truth of what had occurred. He had left certain parts out of his story (as there was no need for the mechs serving under them to know that Jazz had been so badly affected by the riot), and made sure to high light others (he had wanted them all to know that the Decepticons had enforcers reprogrammed).

    But once the story was done, Ratchet would shoo the story listeners out of the medbay so that work could be done. But the silence wouldn’t last long and more mechs and femmes would come to the medbay to hear about Ratchet’s adventure. It had gotten to the point that Ratchet had finally snapped and hurled wrenches until the story listeners would duck and run, retreating from the medbay. After that, they only came when Ratchet was alone in the medbay. The problem only came for the listeners was that the medic was never alone as of late.

    Ever since coming back from Tarn Sunstreaker and Sideswipe seemed to have taken up their old post as the medic’s guards of their own accord, and never seemed to leave the white mechs side despite the twins just coming off injuries. Sideswipe especially had latched onto Ratchet and seemed to show his affection in the most particular ways. It had started with small pranks, designed to make Ratchet smile; Cliffjumper had been painted bright neon pink one night cycle. The next cycle the rim of one of Perceptor’s mini-microscopes had been painted black, so that when the red mech moved away his once normal optic was rimmed with black paint. He had worn it around like that all day until Drift, coming back from a mission, had taken pity on his close friend and told him.

    The pranks were harmless, and didn’t seem to bother anyone. But Ratchet made it very clear to the crimson devil that if the pranks went from harmless to hostile, he was in for it. Taking the medics words to spark, Sideswipe kept the pranks playful.

    But there were other things that the Autobot officers could see that seemed to scream out that Sideswipe was enamoured with the medibot; their servos seemed to brush along each other accidently quite often and the frontliner took joy in bringing the medic his daily ration of energon. When hanging out in the medbay, the crimson mech seemed to stick close to Ratchet acting like a second shadow. He handed over tools when Ratchet demanded them, made him laugh after stressful situations and even helped clean the medbay so that Ratchet wouldn’t have to do it alone.

    When Prowl had asked, more out of curiosity then being cruel, why Sideswipe had latched so tightly onto Ratchet, the medic had simply responded, “Because he needs to more than you realise.”  The tactician had seemed to understand the simple statement, and left it at that.

    However, not everything was perfect in Ratchet’s life. Whereas Sideswipe had jumped at the chance to be a part of the medics life, clinging to that hope in a desperate sort of way, Sunstreaker had reacted the exact opposite.

    The golden mech never came within arm’s length of the medic, but at the same time never let Ratchet out of his sight.  It was almost as if Sunstreaker feared that Ratchet would touch him or leave him, and he couldn’t decide which bothered him more.

    That was how Sunstreaker ended up spending the last few cycles curled up, and brooding in one of the windows of the medbay. From his stationary position he could simultaneously watch what was happening outside and keep an optic on Ratchet.

    The temperamental mech would also only accept his rations from his brother; if Ratchet came to give him his energon, Sunstreaker would suddenly find some reason to leave the medbay or busy himself long enough that Ratchet would be forced to abandon the energon and let Sunstreaker get it himself.

    The white medibot had also caught on rather quickly that any time he so much as came near the frontliner, his fans would kick on and his frame would tense to the point that Ratchet was worried that something would break. So as not to stress Sunsreaker out anymore, the medic had stopped trying to force interaction and instead opted to wait for the golden mech to come to him.

    This worked out very well for Ratchet, except in the few occasions where Sideswipe was unable to deliver Sunstreaker’s energon.  Seeing as Sideswipe was nowhere as badly damaged in Tarn as Sunstreaker had been, the red mech had already been put on to light duty. Thus leaving Sunstreaker alone at times, still unwilling to get too close to Ratchet and yet just as unwilling to leave. Prowl thought he had come up with a logically solution, and on the times that Sideswipe was unable to bring energon to both Ratchet and Sunstreaker, the tactician had asked another Autobot to do it instead.

    However, that never worked as Sunsreaker reacted rather violently to any other than Sideswipe or Ratchet coming close to his frame. On more than one occasion the golden mech’s nasty words had the delivery mech rushing from the medbay either frightened or upset. There had actually been one incident when the delivery mech had literally been thrown from the medbay because he bothered the frontliner so much. After that Prowl had promised Ratchet to never send Cliffjumper to bring energon to the medbay again.

    It was a delicate balancing act that Ratchet was beginning to get sick of. He just wished that the frontliner would calm down, just a little. The medic didn’t think it was possible, but Sunstreaker had actually gotten worst since arriving in Iacon.

    That was how Ratchet found himself standing over Jazz, with the saboteur offline and the frontliner sulking behind him in what was now his window. 

    A scanner was plugged into the side of Jazz’s neck cables, going through every system and program to ensure that everything was running as it was supposed to. To keep him unconscious a second device was hooked up to a port behind one of Jazz’s audio horns, and it kept his recharge protocols active so that Ratchet could perform the check up easily. It had been two metacycles since the Tarn indent when the black and white had his break down, and Jazz had come in for his checkup.

    Once again, Prowl had come with Jazz to the medbay during the check up to ensure that the saboteur was going to be alright and stood next to the berth with his servo placed on a black arm plate, “Do you believe that Jazz will be able to return to duty after the check up?”  

    Ratchet picked up the scanner and looked through the lists of codes, “So far everything looks good. As long as nothing comes up I can clear him from a medical sense, but Smokey will have to clear him psychologically.”

    Prowl nodded sharply, glad to hear that Jazz could possibly go back to work soon; the saboteur had been incredibly board with his time off and had spent the last two metacycles harassing his mate.  Although the tactician was secretly amused by Jazz’s antics (it had been him that had painted Preceptor’s microscope eye piece black as a challenge to Sideswipe) but Prowl really needed to get back to work. He didn’t however have the spark to tell Jazz to stop it when he had finally been getting back to his normally bubbly self.

    The tactician, in the end, allowed the mini prank war to continue as long as no one was hurt in the process. Prowl shook his helm slightly at his off-lined mate before glancing up at Ratchet, and in his peripheral vision spotted Sunstreaker. Blue optics shot to the frontliner who was sitting in his window with his back against the window casing and scowling at the outside world.

    Just as quickly, Prowl’s optics shifted away from the golden mech and to Ratchet. The medic was looking down at Jazz, checking over the scanners results with a pleased look on his face. Prowl glanced back to Sunstreaker and was surprised to see he was now watching Ratchet with dimmed optics and didn’t notice that Prowl was watching him.

    Looking back at the medic, with worry knotting his tanks, Prowl pinged Ratchet, :Ratchet Sunsreaker is watching you.:

    Looking up, Ratchet snorted :He does that from time to time. Just ignore him, he’ll go back to his own little world:

    Prowl gave Ratchet a look of disbelief, and shifted his gaze back to the frontliner. Sure enough Sunsreaker snarled to himself and looked away from Ratchet’s back. :Is he going to be alright?”

    Ratchet gave a shrug, dipping his faceplates to look back at the scanner. :I’m waiting for the right time to corner him.:

    With his usual blank faceplates, Prowl’s mood was not given away. There was however a slight tone of amusement when the tactician responded. :Corner him? Since when does Sunstreaker allow himself to be cornered?:

    Ratchet grinned then, and it sent a cold shiver down the black and white’s spinal struts. :Oh Prowl, it’s only a matter of time before he slips up. That’s when I’ll get him.:

    :Do you not mean corner him?:

    Ratchet chuckled, drawing the frontliners blank faceplates back to the medic. His metal brows knitted slightly in confusion, and then Sunstreaker scowled and turned back to the window.

    “No. I’ll get him. One way or another Prowl.:

    Prowl shook his helm and sighed. He somehow thought that this would make more paper work for him. :Sometimes Ratchet, you frighten even me with that awful sense of humour you have.:

    The scanner went ding to indicate that it had completed its cycle through Jazz’s systems, and Ratchet disconnected the cables with a smirk. He then reached behind Jazz’s audio horn and carefully detached the second device to allow the saboteur to wake.

    As Ratchet began to put away his tools, Jazz started to come out of recharge. His intakes took deep drags of air and his visor slowly blinked to life, back to its vibrant azure. Shifting his helm to look at Prowl, Jazz’s lip plates broke into a wide cheeky grin, “Prowler! Ah’m back in the land of the living! Do Ah get a welcome back kiss?” 

    Prowl’s lip plates twitched. “No.”

    Jazz pouted then, and pushed himself to sit up. “Yer no fun Prowler. No fun at all. Just imagine the things we could do on a medbay berth. Ya know, magnets and all.”

    There was a sudden CLANG and Jazz’s chin plates slammed into his chest plates, causing Prowl to wince as Ratchet snarled in a deadly calm voice, “Not in my medbay.”

    Rubbing at the back of his helm, Jazz looked up at Ratchet and grinned. “If yer hitting meh again that must mean Ah’m in perfect health!”

    Ratchet continued to scowl and crossed his arms, “Of course you’re in perfect health. What do you take me for?”

    Jazz just grinned at the medic, “So, does that mean that Ah can go back ta work now?”

    “I’m clearing you for duty, but you still have to get Smokescreen’s okay as well. You can get out of here now and go to your own quarters. Frag each other to oblivion there.” Ratchet said, making little shooing movements with his dark red servo. 

    Whereas Jazz looked delighted by Ratchet’s idea, Prowl looked slightly mortified at the medic’s suggestion. Before he could voice his protest, Jazz leapt off the berth and grabbed onto Prowl’s white servo, “Will do Ratch’! Ah’ll have ta take it as doctor’s orders, since it’s coming from ya!”

    With that, Jazz merrily skipped from the medbay as he whistled a happy tune, dragging a slightly twitching Prowl behind him. Ratchet snorted, shaking his helm. He was about to turn back to his work station to finish the clean up when Jazz popped his helm back into the medbay, “Ya know Ratchet, being the medic and all ya need to lighten up. Now that ya have yer hellions here, Ah’m sure that ya can find all sorts of fun things ta do in the medbay!” 

    With lightning speed, Ratchet threw a wrench as hard as he could at the grinning saboteur; but Jazz was faster and dodged pulling his helm from the medbay with a cackle, “Come on Prowler, Ratchet told us ta go and frag each other ta oblivion!” His overly cheerful voice ran out into the now silent medbay.

    Ratchet huffed and went to retrieve his wrench, “One of these days Jazz, you’ll move too slow.” He glanced up at Sunstreaker, who must have heard what Jazz had just yelled out. The golden frontliner was looking out the window, now much more relaxed that it was only himself and Ratchet in the medbay.

    Ratchet on his part was rather embarrassed by his TIC’s words, but had grown used to him after so long. If Sunstreaker was as uncomfortable in the situation as Ratchet was, he didn’t show it. His faceplates were as blank as always and his blue optics like shards of ice.

    The CMO shook his helm. The twins hadn’t been in Iacon for a full vorn and the whole time they were there, they were in the medbay with injuries. There for, subjects like interfacing had yet to come up and Ratchet didn’t even want to approach the subject until both twins were completely healed.

    Ratchet shook his helm and went about his work, forgetting the TIC’s words. So immersed in his daily activities, Ratchet missed the sad look that passed quickly over Sunstreaker’s faceplates.

    The rest of the day cycle had gone by with no other issues; a few bots had come in for checkups, maintenance and repairs from sparing matches gone too far. It was a fairly normal day in the Iacon base and by the time Sideswipe came swaggering into the medbay with three cubes of energon, Ratchet was just finishing up the reports for the day.

    After handing a cube to Sunstreaker, Sideswipe took a seat on one of the empty medical berths and chatted with the medic about his shift. Sunsreaker sat quietly in his window, drinking his energon and irritated that Sideswipe could socialize with the medic so easily. He could barely stand being in the same room as the white bot, never mind even tease and hang off him.

    Of course, the frontliner had never been good with others and it had been a big deal when he had even thought of being just friends with Ratchet, never mind anything more. Then Jazz’s words...they had struck a nerve and had caused his tanks to knot in worry.

    Sunstreaker had dealt with his emotions as he always had; he ignored them and ignored the problem. He had sat in the window watching the activities of the mech’s of Iacon until the night shift had come in to relieve Ratchet of his duty.

    Only then did the large frontliner uncurl from his stationary position and fell in line behind Ratchet and Sideswipe as they left the medbay. The large medic had stopped momentarily to speak with the medics of the night shift to brief them on the happenings of the day cycle and ordered them to comm. him if anything happened.

    After that the three Autobots had gone to Ratchet’s quarters, where the medic had insisted that the twins stay until they were both back to full working capacity. Sideswipe had loved the idea, and had refused to recharge on the extra berth that Ratchet had brought in, in favour of curling up next to the boxy medic during recharge.

    Sunstreaker had hated the idea instantly, but the viruses that Shockwave had uploaded into the golden mech’s CPU were still giving him problems. The virus had been planted deep and it had taken several attempts to remove it completely, and the job still wasn’t done yet.

    If anything, Shockwave was thorough and ensured that Ratchet would have a Pit of a time in attempting to get the virus’s out of Sunstreaker’s systems. This meant that the frontliner would suddenly over heat with no cause, thus Ratchet had ordered the twins to be close by just in case.

    However, it also meant that Sunstreaker was forced to be in a small and enclosed space with the medic, making the frontliner even more uncomfortable. To make it worst, Sideswipe had insisted that they recharge with the medic and forced Sunstreaker to be within arm’s reach. The golden mech had cringed at his twin’s instance of recharging with Ratchet and had all but begged his brother to rest in the spare berth.

    His awful, evil twin had merely smirked at his other half, patted his helm and said, “Nope! Ratchet is warm and comfy. Besides, you have to get over what happened in the Pits eventually.” 

    Sleeping alone on the extra berth was completely out of the question for Sunstreaker, he would never be able to power down into recharge without his brother beside him. Gritting his dental plates, Sunstreaker had climbed onto the berth with Sideswipe every night cycle to recharge with the medic; while the other two fell into recharge easily, Sunstreaker had fidgeted uneasily until he too calmed enough to recharge.

    The medic sighed in aggravation as he locked the door to his room, a little hurt when Sunstreaker made a beeline for the furthest corner of the quarters and as far away from his frame as possible. The medic ignored the golden frontliner in favour of his older brother, “I know its early Sideswipe. But this is the first night cycle where I haven’t had to be in the medbay because of some glitch decided to do something stupid.” He then gave a pointed look to the crimson mech.

    Sideswipe huffed and dropped heavily onto the couch in Ratchet’s quarters, behind him was the door to the berth room, “Fi-ine. If you insist.”

    Ratchet shook his helm, walking to the berth room in strong even steps. He paused and patted Sideswipes crimson shoulder plating, making the crimson devil grin, “You don’t have to come now. Go down to the rec. room. Harass someone there for a while.”

    Sideswipe frowned, looking up to think about it. Sunstreaker prayed that his twin would take the offer so that he could get away for a while. The golden frontliner knew that his brother could feel his discomfort and want to get away.

    Instead of doing the brotherly thing, Sideswipe smirked at his brother, “Nah. I’ve been feeling a little run down lately. I could use a little extra recharge.”

    Sunstreaker narrowed his icy optics and sent a pulse of annoyance to the crimson mech. As Ratchet narrowed his own optics on Sideswipe, the red frontliner spoke to his brother over the twin bond, “You have to get over your little awkwardness sooner or later. Might as well jump in with both pedes!” 

    “I want to run a scan on your systems. See if there’s a problem, I don’t think I sent you back to duties too soon but you can’t be too careful.” Ratchet said as he gript Sideswipe’s chin, forcing the frontliner to look at him. The medic was completely unaware of the discussion occurring between the twins. 

    “Ah, Ratch I always knew that you loved my optics, but no need to get all grabby.” Sideswipe said grinning audio to audio.

    Ratchet narrowed his own blue optics, outwardly unimpressed but inwardly amused, “I’m checking the brightness of your optics glitchling. If there is something wrong with your systems, that’ll be the first thing to go.”

    Ratchet released Sideswipe and shook his helm. Given a chance between Ratchet’s rants, Sunstreaker pulsed his irritation to his brother, “I am not awkward!”  The golden mech put as much force as he could into his message.

    Sideswipe snorted, drawing Ratchet’s attention back to him. Shooting a glance to Sunstreaker, the medic looked at Sideswipe. “Something you want to add?”

    Giving the CMO a cheeky grin, the crimson mech said “Nope! Just clearing my intakes.”

    Ratchet had an inkling that there was a private conversation going on between the twins, but he knew it was pointless to ask. They would always just lie and say no, or completely ignore the question.

    “Sunny, you are being so awkward at the moment that it’s painful to watch.”

    “Don’t call me Sunny.”

    “Whatever you say Sunshine.”

    Ratchet just shook his helm when he heard Sunstreaker snarl, his body tensing when the medic walked by him. Ignoring the sudden hostility that came from the golden mech, Ratchet paused at the door way to the berth room, “If you’re still feeling run down tomorrow, I’ll do a full scan. If it is just fatigue you should feel better after a full recharge.”

    Grinning, Sideswipe jumped up from the couch and bounded over to the medic, “Sure thing Ratch!”

    Sighing, Ratchet turned into his berth chambers with Sideswipe right behind him, leaving the golden twin alone in the main room of the quarters. A flash of hurt shot through Sunstreaker then, he was always the one to be left behind or forgotten. Normally he didn’t care, he was strong enough to take care of himself, but to have his twin leave him behind...

    It hurt. It hurt more than Sunstreaker thought it would have. A sudden pulse of love from Sideswipe’s side of the bond told the golden warrior that his feelings had bled through the bond, “You’re not being left behind. We just want to give you space is all, you’ve been moodier than usual.”

    Sideswipe waited for his brother’s response, but the other frontliner just glared at the wall and blocked all his feelings from his side of the bond. Sighing, Sideswipe sent another message over the bond, “Come on Sunny, just come to recharge.”

    Again there was no response from Sunstreaker. “What are you going to do? Stay out there and sulk all night?”  Sideswipe paused and glanced at Ratchet, who was sitting on the berth giving the crimson frontliner a curious look, “You’ll make Ratchet worry if you just stay there all night. Do you really want him to come out and start asking questions?”

    Growling Sunstreaker peeled himself off the wall he was leaning against and quietly walked into Ratchet’s recharging quarters. The CMO was already on the berth, leaning back on his ruby red servos, “Are you alright?”

    The medic’s tone was gruff, but there was an under tone of worry. The deep feelings of awkwardness twisted Sunstreaker’s tanks, causing the frontliner to drop his optics in an unusual display of submission. Instead of answering the question directly, the golden frontliner shrugged his massive shoulders and grunted.

    Frowning, Ratchet knew it would be the only response he would get. He worried for the frontliner, he was slowly retreating back into his shell and Ratchet didn’t want to see that happen. He had seen such strides in Sunstreaker, but he was reverting and the medic wasn’t sure how he was going to bring him back.

    Sensing the tension from both mechs, Sideswipe decided to lighten the mood by diving onto the berth, and curling up next to Ratchet. The medic froze, tensing because of the crimson mechs sudden bout of affection.

    A sudden spike of jealously ripped through Sideswipe then from his brothers side of the bond. In response, Sideswipe pressed into the medic further, “If you want affection too, all you have to do is ask.”

    Rage hit him next, “That’s your slagging plan! Make me jealous until I, what, snap and jump Ratchet!” The look of pure glee that the crimson frontliner shot Sunstreaker told him that he had guessed correctly. Balling his golden servos into tight fists, the golden mech sent another volley of rage to his brother, “Sideswipe, I swear as soon as I can I am going to ki-“

    The younger twins threat was cut off by Ratchet’s aggravated tone, “Sideswipe, what are you doing?” The medic was looking at Sideswipe with confusion, his grey brow plates pulled down and his lip plates frowning.

    The red mech grinned up at the medic, trying to look innocent, “What makes you think I’m doing anything?”

    Giving Sideswipe a disbelieving look, the medic responded, “You’re stressing your bother.  Stop it before he over heats, because if he does I will rebuild you into something useless.”

    Rolling his blue optics, Sideswipe huffed. Sunstreaker on the other hand, had finally had enough; his emotions were still raw over what Ratchet revealed in Tarn, his nerves frayed from Jazz’s words, and his pride damaged from needing Ratchet to take care of him, Sunstreaker snapped.

    “I do not need you to take care of me!” The younger twin snarled his frame tensing and his systems rising to a battle ready state.

    Both of the other mechs froze, giving Sunstreaker confused and hurt looks. The medic and the frontliner shared a look of worry before looking back at the golden mech.

    “Sunstreaker,” Ratchet started calmly, “I’m just concerned for your wellbeing.”

    “Don’t be. I’ve made it this far, I don’t need you to coddle me like you have been Sideswipe!”  The frontliner sneered, his voice getting louder. He ignored the flash of hurt on his twin’s faceplates in favour of glaring at Ratchet.

    Narrowing blue optics, Ratchet stared flatly at the frontliner, “Calm down Sunstreaker. I’m just worried about you.”

    So angry that he was shacking now, Sunstreaker shouted at Ratchet, “I don’t need you to worry about me! I don’t want you to worry about me.”

    “Then what do you want Sunstreaker.”

    “To be left alone!” he bleated, although it was quite the opposite of what he wanted.

    Pulling white shoulder plates back to sit a little taller, Ratchet narrowed his optics further, “That doesn’t seem to be helping as its all Sideswipe and I have done since you have come to Iacon.”

    Snapping his jaw shut with a sharp snap, Sunstreaker glared at his twin and the medic. He hated when he was backed into a corner like this, hated that Ratchet had pointed out a flaw in his words. In Sunstreaker’s mind that was like pointing out a flaw in him. Unable to deal with either mech at the moment, the golden frontliner spun around and stormed from the room.

    He ignored his brother’s calls to come back and clamped down hard on the bond so that Sideswipe couldn’t feel his turmoil any more. Seething, the frontliner went to the one place he felt safe.


    Sideswipe watched his brother storm from the room in a mixture of shock and worry. ‘Well, slag it Sideswipe good job. You’ve just accomplished the opposite of what your goal actually was!’ He thought to himself when he heard the door to the quarters swoosh open, then closed.

    The crimson mech was about to jump up from his place beside Ratchet when the medic placed a red servo on a crimson shoulder plate, “Wait Sides. Let me go talk to him first.”

    Ratchet easily crawled over the frontliner, and headed for the door. Sideswipe threw the medic a worried looked, unsure if he should let Ratchet deal with Sunstreaker alone, “Are you sure Ratch? He’s pretty mad.”

    “He’s mad because he thinks we’ve been ignoring him.” Ratchet sighed as he paused at the exit of the room, scrubbing at his faceplates, “I thought giving him room would make him calmer, but he just thinks that we’ve abandoned him doesn’t he?”

    Sideswipe looked down, not wanting to betray his brothers trust anymore but knowing he could confide in Ratchet, “Yeah. He doesn’t deal well with emotional situations and he doesn’t know what to do.”               

      Ratchet thought about it for a moment, his optics unfocused as he started at the floor. After a few short breems, the medic nodded to himself and turned to the crimson mech, “I want you to stay here Sideswipe. Let me try to talk to him.”

      “But Ratch!”

      “Listen Sideswipe, if your brother is feeling vulnerable and unsure of himself it’s because of what I said on the way home from Tarn. Let me try to make it right.” The CMO reasoned.

      Dropping his shoulders, Sideswipe pouted, “Alright. But if he looks like he’s going to go off the handle, comm. me.”

      Ratchet nodded, “I will. Just stay here until I either get back or comm. you.”

      With that, Ratchet left the room in search of the emotionally damaged twin. Sideswipe sighed and dropped his obsidian helm into his servos, “Good luck Ratchet.”


      As Ratchet came out into the grey halls of the Iacon base he sighed, there was no indication which way the frontliner had gone. Deciding that the rec. room was the best place to start, Ratchet’s stride was quick as he headed to the room.

      Just as the cross baring mech reached the usually loud room, a ping from First Aid caused the senior medic to pause, :Is someone hurt or about to offline First Aid?”

      There was a slight hesitation in the other medibots response, :Well, no but-:

      :Then I’m busy ‘Aid. Only comm. me if someone is damaged.: Ratchet interrupted, irritated that his hunt had been momentarily stopped.

      Shaking his white helm, Ratchet poked his head inside the rec. room. The only mechs inside the usually busy room were Prowl and Jazz; the latter was sitting on Prowl’s lap with his helm pressed into the tactician’s.

      Prowl’s proud frame was tense under his mates, no doubt not overly enjoying the public display of affection, but not willing to push Jazz off. The saboteur on the other servo looked like he was having a ball; one arm was draped around Prowl’s neck while his other dangled down. Their servos were clamped tightly together while Jazz crooned a soft song into Prowl’s audio.

      Ratchet backed out of the rec. room in silence, knowing that if Prowl allowed him to, Jazz would take the tactician right then and there. The saboteur had a bit of a habit to see how far he could push his mate before Prowl put a stop to the actions.

      A stab of envy shot through the medic and he quickly smothered it. It wouldn’t do well to be jealous of what his SIC and TIC had, they had worked hard to achieve their relationship. Besides, if Sideswipe had his way he’d be in a relationship with the twins in no time. 

      Ratchet snorted at his own thought, it would take a lot to convince Sunstreaker that he was trust worthy enough to return the love that the medic was so willing to provide the twins. All he had to do first was find the golden mech and sooth his temper.

      Deciding that the next best place to look for Sunstreaker was the training sector of the base; having been cooped up in the medbay for the last two metacycles Ratchet knew that the frontliner would want to burn off some steam.

      Practically running now, Ratchet rushed to the training area and was once again disappointed. The only mech in the room was Ironhide, and he was with Chromia. Their helms were together and they were speaking quietly to each other, sending another flash of envy through the medic.

      Ratchet shook his helm and left the training room, the shooting range was across the hallway and that would be the next best place to look for the missing frontliner. Another ping caused Ratchet to snarl in aggravation. It came from Wheeljack this time, :What Jack, I’m busy at the moment.:

      Wheeljack’s calm, almost amused voice came over the comm. :Are you by chance missing a twin?:

      This caused Ratchet to stop in his tracks, :Where is he?:

      It was a cold, firm demand, one that Wheeljack wouldn’t think about not answering. Although he answered with amusement coloring his tone, :How long have you been looking for him?:

      :Where is he Wheeljack?: Ratchet’s tone was sharp enough to cut diamonds and cold enough to freeze the Pit.

      Sensing that Ratchet was worried, Wheeljack’s tone grew serious, :He’s in the medbay, First Aid tried to comm. you to tell you, but I guess you blew him off.:

      Ratchet snarled and turned to walk the way he came, :Why didn’t he comm. me back?:

      :Are you kidding me? From what I heard you basically ordered him to leave you be in less someone is deactivated.:  Wheeljack responded, once again sounding amused.

      Ratchet moved swiftly through the halls of the base, his dark mood causing the patrolling mechs to move out of his way in fear of getting a wrench to the helm, :What’s he doing Jack?:

      Ratchet could practically see Wheeljack shrug, :Nothing. He’s just sitting in the window, watching Iacon.:

      There was a moment of ‘well duh!’ that hit Ratchet then, it would make sense that Sunstreaker would go to some place he felt safe. Ratchet’s thoughts were interrupted again by Wheeljack, :Although, it’s weird.:

      :What’s weird?:

      :I’ve heard about Sunstreaker. Well I’ve heard about what he’s done, heard rumours that he was in the Pits in Tarn. That he’s crazy and violent.:

      Defensiveness rose up in Ratchet at his friends words, :He’s not crazy Wheeljack! He’s issues. That doesn’t make him crazy.:

      :I never said he was, I was just telling you what I’ve heard.: 

      :What’s your point?:

      Hesitating before responding, Wheeljack sighed, :He looks sad Ratchet. Like I mean he just lost his best friend and got kicked for it kind of sad.:

      Wheeljack’s words tugged at Ratchet’s spark and caused his tanks to twist, :Alright, I’m almost there Jack. Just leave him be for now.:

      Ratchet was running now, ignoring all the odd and worried looks that others shot him as he bolted passed them. When he got to the medbay, the white mech stopped to take a few deep intakes of air to calm his heated systems.

      Only when he felt calm enough to deal with the distraught mech, did Ratchet enter the medbay. Everything was as it was prior to Ratchet leaving when his shift ended; all the tools were put away, the walls were pristine and everything was silent.

      The medic spotted the run-away frontliner almost instantly; he was still sitting in his window with his legs pulled up to his chest plates and arms wrapped around them.  His black helm was resting on golden forearms and his faceplates were facing the window so Ratchet couldn’t see his expression, but he could feel the sadness that Wheeljack was referring to.

      Dragging his blue optics away from the golden warrior, to look to the other medics and the inventor, the three of them had taken refuge in the medbay office. Wheeljack was leaning against the frame of the door with his thick grey arms crossed over his chest plates. First Aid and Hoist were behind him, both a little nervous with having the volatile frontliner unattended in the medbay.

      Not wanting an audience for what was about to occur, Ratchet walked to his fellow Autobots fist. Coming to stand beside Wheeljack, Ratchet shot one more worried glance at Sunstreaker, “I want you three to go until I’m done here. Technically you two,” he then nodded to First Aid and Hoist, “are still on duty. Just keep your comm. lines open. When I’m done here, I’ll send for you two to finish the night shift.”

      Helm canted, indicating he was watching Sunstreaker, First Aid asked, “Are you sure Ratchet?”

      The large pale medic could only sigh, “Yes First Aid, I’m sure. I need to speak with Sunstreaker and he won’t open up with you lot here.”

      Wheeljack cocked his dark grey helm to the side, watching Ratchet, “Alright Ratch. But if anything happens, make sure you comm. someone for help.”

      Ratchet sighed and rolled his blue optics, “He’s not unstable like that Wheeljack.”

      “I don’t know that, all I have to go by is the rumours.”

      Narrowing his optics now, Ratchet sighed exasperated, “So you believe rumours now, do you?”

      Looking at Ratchet, with oddly calculating optics, Wheeljack shrugged, “No, of course not. I’m just saying to be careful.”

      With that, Wheeljack nodded to Ratchet and headed for the exit of the medbay. Hoist and First Aid shared a glance before they too left quickly following the inventor. As they caught up to Wheeljack, just outside the medbay, the inventor laughed, “Well, he certainly likes the twins, doesn’t he.”

      Frowning to himself, Red Alert looked up at the taller mech, “How can you tell?”

      “Ratchet doesn’t defend just anyone like that. He’s got to care about the bots he defends.” Wheeljack said firmly, the grin that spread over his faceplates was hidden by his facemask.

      Ratchet, meanwhile was looking at the no longer missing frontliner, debating the best way to go about approaching him. Deciding that the direct approach was best, the CMO walked purposefully to where Sunstreaker sat. The frontliner didn’t react when Ratchet walked passed him and sat on the other side of the window sill. 

       "Are you going to sit here and sulk all night?" The medic asked, unsure if that was the right question to start with.

      Snapping up right, Sunstreaker narrowed his optics at Ratchet, "I'm not sulking."

      His answer produced a snort from the medic, causing the frontliner to tense, "I'm not."

      Hearing Sunstreaker’s angry tone, Ratchet put his servos up in surrender, "Alright, easy. Don't get all worked up, you’re still coming off injuries."

      Instead of calming the frontliner like he hoped he would, Sunstreaker's engine revved in irritation, "I am not weak Ratchet, and I’m not made of glass. I'm not going to slagging break just because I'm angry at the moment."  

      Dropping his servos to his lap, Ratchet growled at the mech. Watching the frontliner carefully, the medic noticed how Sunstreaker shook despite how cold and angry his optics were, "I'm not saying you are. I'm just staying that Shockwave was very meticulous when he placed those viruses, and I haven’t gotten rid of them completely yet. I'm worried that if you become overly stressed, your systems will over heat and crash your processor."

       Dropping his helm back to golden forearms, Sunstreaker quietly said "You don’t need to worry about me. I've made it this far without help, and I don't need it now."

      Ratchet sighed and rubbed at his chevron, "We all need help once in a while. It doesn’t make you weak." the frontliner snorted at his comment, but Ratchet continued, "Besides, you've had Sideswipe with you all along. He's always been there for you, has helped you along the way."

      "Yes, and now he has you. He no longer needs me to protect him." Sunstreaker responded his voice low with sadness bleeding through.

      Ratchet wouldn't feel pity for the frontliner, he couldn't afford to. Pity would make Sunstreaker angrier; make him close off even more from Ratchet. The medic knew the younger twin held tightly onto a darkness that he didn't want anyone to know about. Ratchet was sure that was what made him react so violently in stressful or emotional situations, so the CMO responded with anger. It was the only emotion stronger than pity, "What, you think he doesn't need you now!"

      The anger in his tone brought Sunstreaker's optics back to him, he was silent as the medic went on, "He doesn't need just me, you slagging twit! He needs you too! He can't do this alone and neither can you. If you'd pull your helm out of your aft you'd see that."

       Raising his helm from his arms, Sunstreaker silently seethed at the medic, and Ratchet worried that he'd throw a punch in his anger. Needing to take control of the situation before the frontliner snapped, Ratchet jumped from the window sill and turned to the golden mech. Hands on his hips, the medic snapped,  "Come on you, if we're going to argue in the medbay you might as well get on the berth."

      The medic was surprised when he saw a flash of fear cross the usually fearless frontliners optics, but as quickly as it came, it disappeared back into icy coldness, "Why?" he demanded, his frame taunt and ready for battle.

      Suddenly realizing that he had said the wrong thing and was in danger of being attacked, Ratchet again held his servos up in surrender. Frowning in confusion, Ratchet said "If we're going to be in here I might as well do another scan, see if I can find the last remnants of the virus."

      Relaxing, Sunstreaker leaned against the window sill, "Right." he muttered as he uncurled from his seat, and his knee joints popped as he did. Ratchet narrowed his optics on the offending joints as the frontliner stifled a wince, "You've been curled up for too long, it's causing your joints to stiffen."

      Walking slowly to the medberth, Sunstreaker shrugged, "I've been in worse condition."

      Rolling his optics, Ratchet motioned with his servo for Sunstreaker to get on the berth, "That's hardly the point. I'm sure that you don't want to be off duty any more than you have to be, and seized knee joints will certainly cause that."

      Shrugging, the golden mech climbed onto the medberth and lay back. Ratchet shook his helm again as he grabbed a system scanner from his work station; when he turned back Sunstreaker had made himself comfortable by placing his servos under his helm and stretched out across the berth.

      Any other time, the sight would have made Ratchet ecstatic. To have Sunstreaker stretched out and calm in his presence was what the medic was hoping for. However, as it stood they were still arguing and the frontliner was only calm because Ratchet was about to perform a medical procedure. The only time Sunstreaker was calm with Ratchet was when the medic was trying to remove the viruses from his systems.

      “You know,” Ratchet started as he plugged the scanner into the port behind a black and gold audio fin, “you never did tell me how you survived the pit fight in Tarn but still lose.”

      The CMO turned the scanner on and left it to do its work, not bothering to sedate the other mech. It would only agitate him more.  The golden mech eventually shrugged, “It was a technically.”

      Giving Sunstreaker a disbelieving glance, Ratchet carefully opened up the frontliners upper and lower leg armour to take a look at the knee joint in between, “How in the Pit was it a technically?”

      Sunstreaker smirked at Ratchet, his optics still offlined, “I deactivated him easily enough. But technically he had more hits on my frame before I finished him. The number of hits trumps a fatality. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.” 

        Sighing in aggravation, Ratchet muttered as he carefully prodded the frontliner’s knee joint, “Unbelievable. Only you would lose with a damn technically.”             The golden mech shrugged, “It happens. Not usually to me, but it happens.”

        Ratchet snorted, snapping the golden armour back in place and began to check over the other knee joint. Once satisfied that both were in working order, Ratchet looked at the calmed frontliner, “On the bright side you haven’t completely glitched your knee joints. A little bit of grease and some TLC, and you’ll be fine.”

        “When do I ever accept a little TLC?” Sunstreaker retorted with a snort.

        Ratchet ignored his words and easily crossed the room to get the needed lubrication for the sensitive joint. When he came back, Sunstreaker’s icy optics were online and watching Ratchet carefully. A little unnerved by his unwavering stare, the medic squirted a healthy dose of grease into the palm of his servo and rubbed it over both. With careful, skilled digits Ratchet began to massage the grease into the stressed joint and nearby transformation seams.

        The gentle, pressing digits dragged a pleased groan from the frontliner, surprising himself that he allowed such a noise to leave his vociliser. Ratchet, on the other servo, was delighted to hear that noise come from Sunstreaker and took it as a good sign. “You know,” the medic ventured, “you and Sideswipe never did tell me how you ended up in the pits.”

        Cold, blue optics blinked to life and started at Ratchet with no emotion, “Why do you want to know?”

        “I’m curious. You talk about your fights and opponents, but never how you ended up there.”  Ratchet shrugged as he continued to work the grease into Sunstreaker’s joint. 

        The silence dragged on between the two, Sunstreaker unwilling to answer and Ratchet unwilling to give it up. Eventually the frontliner offlined his optics again and grunted in irritation. He did, however, give Ratchet his answer, “Shockwave owned us.”

        This gave Ratchet a moment of pause, his hands stilling on the tensed joint and leg, “What do you mean owned?”

        Sunstreaker frowned, onlining his optics, “I didn’t say stop.”

        Blinking at the supine mech, Ratchet started rubbing again, his digits climbing higher into the seams in Sunstreaker’s thigh, “What do you mean Shockwave owned you?”

        “Our coder left our carrier when they...whoever they are, found out we were a split spark. I just remember a voice saying that they didn’t want to deal with a pair of freaks.” Sunstreaker’s voice was devoid of emotion, but the usually detached frontliner’s frame shuttered with suppressed rage.

        Ratchet continued with firm, but gentle rubbing and waited for the frontliner to continue. He did so in a calm, dead voice, “Our carrier couldn’t afford to take care of both of us, and being split spark twins he couldn’t separate us. So he sold us both to Shockwave for pit fighters. Simple as that.”

        Ratchet froze suddenly, remembering the rumours he had heard about what pit bosses did with their fighters during down time if they weren’t training; some rented them out as body guards or hit mechs. While others...

        The medic so desperately wanted to know, but couldn’t find it in him to ask. Instead he took another handful of grease and began working on Sunstreaker’s other knee, “Shockwave was a scientist of sorts. Did he ever, experiment on you?”

        The frontliner snorted as the medic worked his way up his thigh, “Sides and I are split spark twins. Of course he experimented on us. We were too good of a find for him not to.” The golden mech shook his helm going on, “He wanted to know how ‘we worked’. Know why and how I could feel Sideswipe’s pain and pleasure.” 

        A ding from the scanner made the medic jump slightly and abandon the knee joint he was working on in favour of checking it. A black and grey message blinked up at him, reading Virus detected. Choose course of action.  

        Ratchet hit Remove Virus option, and set the scanner back down then went back to the knee joint. An uneasy silence came between the two mechs, and Ratchet tried desperately to lose himself in his work. He didn’t want to think about the implications of Shockwave owning the twins. Ruby red servos worked their way higher on Sunstreaker’s thigh, pressing into sensitive transformation seams and dragging a moan from the frontliner. Ratchet glanced up when he heard the noise come from Sunstreaker again, “Did that hurt?”

        The golden mech was still and taunt, but he still managed to shake his helm no. Nodding, Ratchet continued with his massaging, getting closer to Sunstreaker’s hip joints. As dark red digits finally dipped into the outside seam of the frontliner’s hip, Sunstreaker spoke firmly “I know what question you want to ask. Just do it.”    

          The usually short tempered medic shot the frontliner a worried look before going back to his hip joint. It took the white bot a breem to gather the courage to ask, “Did he ever rent you out?”

          Snorting, Sunstreaker offlined his optics, “That’s one way to ask, I guess.”

          “Did he?” Ratchet asked, pressing for an answer.

          “I did some mercenary work, yes. Are you surprised though? I was the best fighter in the pits.” The golden mech said smugly.

          Working the grease deeper into worn hip joints, Ratchet frowned, “That’s not what I was referring to, and you know it.”

          Sunstreaker frowned, refusing to give away anything in case Ratchet was referring to something else. Although, the frontliner knew what Ratchet was going to ask, “Did Shockwave ever sell your frames?”

          Yep, there it was the question that Sunstreaker had been dreading since coming to Iacon with Ratchet. It was going to come up eventually, although he had hoped that Sideswipe would be the one to get it. There was nothing he could do now, so he might as well be the one to explain to Ratchet what had occurred and let the medic know what he was getting into.

          “Well that’s one way of asking.” Sunstreaker said, avoiding the question. He was amused to hear Ratchet make a noise of irritation deep in his engine. The frontliner figured he might as well just get on with it, “Shockwave auctioned our virginity to the highest bidder.” He had said coldly, trying to distance himself from the situation.

          Red servos stilled on an obsidian hip, Ratchet looked shocked at the frontliner, “A...auctioned your...”

          The frontliner nodded, keeping is optics offline so he wouldn’t have to see the pity in Ratchet’s optics, “Everyone wanted to be the one to take a pit mechs seals, it was like some kind of sick conquest. The bosses made a lot of creds auctioning off untouched mech’s. Although, if you won enough, no bot really cared that your seals were broken. They just wanted bragging rights to the fact they had interfaced with a pit fighter.  For the right price they could have any fighter for a night cycle. Primus knows I spent  many a cycle at the whim of a stranger.” Sunstreaker said these words coldly, as though he were describing an incident that happened to someone else.

          Ratchet didn’t move, didn’t dare move as a rage he had never known swept through him. His servos shook hard, forcing the medic to pull them off the frontliner. He took a shaky intake of air, “Have you ever.” The enraged medic tried to say, but fury clogged his throat. He took another deep intake in an attempt to calm himself so that he could ask his questions, “Have you ever had a consensual interface?”

          Onlining his icy optics, but not looking at Ratchet, Sunstreaker shrugged, “Sure. Sideswipe and I have to spark merge on a regular biases in order to keep our sparks in unison. That’s got to count for something.”

          That only made Ratchet angrier, his broiling rage building to a breaking point. That wasn’t fair. The whole situation was absolutely and completely unfair. Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, although a little volatile, were still brave Autobots and they deserved better than what they had got. When Ratchet got his servos on Shockwave, he was going to-


          The medic looked over at the scanner, focusing on that instead of his rage. He snatched it off the berth and read it. Scan complete. Virus destroyed: 100% blinked up at grey faceplates. Getting control of his servo, Ratchet reached over and gently removed the plug from Sunstreaker’s data port and pressed the cover closed. How he managed to keep his dark red servo from shaking long enough to perform such an easy task so gently, Ratchet didn’t know. 

          Curling the wires around the scanner, Ratchet turned away from the frontliner so he wouldn’t see the medics rage, “All right glitchling, the virus is gone completely this time. Get back to our quarters and get some recharge. I’ll talk to you in the morning.”

          First confusion then anger ran through Sunstreaker as he sat up, tossing his long legs over the side of the berth. Rage directed at the medic filled the frontliner and he glowered at Ratchet, “What, that’s it! You know the truth now and suddenly I’m not good enough to be in the medbay!”

          “That’s not it.” Ratchet snarled, still not looking at the frontliner.

          Blinking at the other mech, Sunstreaker snorted, “You know, I’m actually surprised. I didn’t think that you’d be the kind of mech that wouldn’t want to be with us just because of what happened in the Pits.”

          Suddenly Ratchet understood. Sunstreaker was taking his anger as a rejection, meaning Ratchet had to tread carefully from here on. Calming himself as much as he could and still not facing the golden mech, Ratchet quietly said, “It’s not like that Sunstreaker. I just need some time to-“

          “To what!” Sunstreaker interrupted, yelling at the medic, “Suddenly we’re not good enough for you? Been passed around too much? Don’t want to taint yourself with our filth!”

          Dark red servos gript the medberth so hard that it warped the metal, “That’s enough Sunstreaker.” The medic hissed, his anger getting the better of him, “I just wanted a few orns to process what you just told me.”

          “Was it really that much of a surprise, I mean look a-“ the frontliner was cut off when Ratchet snarled, “Shut up Sunstreaker.”

          For once in his life, Sunstreaker did as he was told and snapped his jaws shut. Taking a deep intake of air to calm himself as best he could, Ratchet continued, “Listen to me and listen carefully Sunstreaker. If anyone ever tells you that you’re dirty or filthy or...or a whore, if you don’t offline them I will. Do you understand that?”

          Surprise flickered across cold optics, but Sunstreaker said nothing so Ratchet leaned in close and continued, “What was done to you was not your fault. Your coder and carrier should have protected you and Shockwave should have left you alone. I promise you this though, if I ever get my servos on Shockwave or any of those mechs that touched you, I’ll deactivate them. I swear to Primus, I’ll deactivate them.”

          Metal brows furrowing in confusion, Sunstreaker dropped his optics and stared at his servos. No one had ever shown such concern towards the twins and the golden mech was unsure and unequipped to deal with it. So he did what he knew, he closed himself off from the world.

          Ratchet could see Sunstreaker’s optics become distant and unfocused. It was a sign that the frontliner was cutting himself off emotionally, a habit that the medic now understood. It was the only way the frontliner could protect himself from the emotional trauma that had been inflicted on him. It was, Ratchet was sure, the reason he didn’t trust anyone but his twin; they had gone through such a travesty together.

          Pressing red digits under a black chin structure, Ratchet lifted the frontliner’s helm up. Icy blue optics locked with soft aqua and the frontliner shuttered. He tried to pull his chin from Ratchet’s grip, but the medic held tight.

          “It’s alright Sunstreaker. No one is going to hurt you like that anymore. You’re safe here.” Ratchet said, still inhaling hard with his anger.

          Sunstreaker snorted and used a servo to brush Ratchet’s away, “I doubt it.”  The frontliner’s fans had kicked on in his stress.

          With emotions running high, Ratchet knew he had to do something now to gain Sunstreaker’s trust or he may never get another chance. He carefully pressed his helm to Sunstreaker’s and asked “Do you trust me?”

          Sunstreaker snorted, “I trust you more than I trust anyone else besides Sides.” Tilting his helm away he added “Watch the paint. I just had it done.”

          “You don’t trust anyone else.” Ratchet responded, ignoring the comment about the paint and not moving his own helm closer.

          “Hmm.” The frontliner grunted, unsure if he liked the close proximity that Ratchet had created. 

          The medic slowly lifted dark red servos, frowning when Sunstreaker flinched as though to prepare for a blow. Instead Ratchet gently brushed a cheek plate with his servo, causing Sunstreaker’s frame to tense. Unsure how to proceed, as he had never had a choice with another before Sunstreaker fidgeted uncharacteristically. Sensing the frontliner’s discomfort, Ratchet carefully said “If you don’t like something or want to stop, just say so.” 

          Still shocked, Sunstreaker nodded, leaning into the gentle hand, his optics not leaving Ratchet’s. The medic brushed the frontliners lower lip with his thumb, his anger dissipating in exchange for love, “It doesn’t have to hurt with another.”

          Ratchet tilted his faceplates closer to Sunstreaker’s, but he stopped short of his lips. If the frontliner truly wanted the kiss, he would lean up to get it; Ratchet wanted him to know it was a choice. Hesitating for a breem, Sunstreaker did as Ratchet had hoped for and leaned up into the medic. He pressed his lip plates to Ratchet’s, keeping his servos firmly in his lap.

          Grinning into the kiss, Ratchet kept it chaste, waiting for Sunstreaker to deepen it. He knew the demanding frontliner would get board quickly enough and come to his own conclusion. If he wanted this to continue, it would only be because of him.

          As their lips moved against each other, Ratchet was surprised by how long Sunstreaker lasted before he growled. A hesitant glossa darted out against a dove grey lower lip, and Ratchet moaned in encouragement. Pleased with the medics response, Sunstreaker repeated the action but much slower; gently lapping at the medics lip.

          Parting his lip plates, Ratchet was thrilled when the frontliner’s glossa rushed into the open cavity, exploring the medics mouth. Not being one to sit completely on the sidelines, Ratchet brushed his own glossa against Sunstreaker’s, eliciting a soft moan from the frontliner. 

          Taking it as a good sign, Ratchet moved his other servo from the dented berth to cup the frontliner’s cheek, rubbing his thumbs under shuttered optics. Sunstreaker kept his servos firmly in his lap as he deepened the kiss, pressing his helm closer to the medics.

          Moving a servo carefully to rest on a golden shoulder plate, Ratchet pressed his thumb into the sensitive transformation seam. Instead of reacting with pleasure, as Ratchet had hoped, Sunstreaker froze, his intakes hitching in panic.

          Quickly breaking the kiss, Ratchet pulled away, “I’m sorry. Sorry. Do you want to stop?”

          Looking down and angry at himself, Sunstreaker muttered “I don’t know.”  The golden frontliner scowled at his knees, cursing Shockwave. Resentment filled him easily and he snarled, “Why can’t I get what I want? Just slagging once!”

          Cupping the frontliners check Ratchet quietly asked, “What do you want Sunny?”

          Sighing, the frontliner looked up at the medic, “Don’t call me Sunny.” His voice was low and tired, but his icy optics were bright with fear and want.

          Shacking his helm, Ratchet sighed, “Why are you always at war with yourself? Why not just make it easy?”

          Sunstreaker smirked at the medic, his outer cockiness shinning through, “Because nothing worth having is easy to attain.”

          The gruff medic snorted, moving his servo slowly back to the frontliners shoulder seam, tweaking the sensitive wires there. Shuttering, Sunstreaker dimmed his optics and enjoyed the waves of pleasure that came from Ratchet’s attention.

          The frontliner had been hurt so badly, Ratchet knew, but an idea was slowly forming in his processor. The kinds of mechs that had been with Sunstreaker before would have only been interested in their own pleasure, never his. Grinning to himself, Ratchet quietly said, “I want to try something. But if you want to stop-“

          “I’ll tell you.” The frontliner said irritably as he onlined his optics. “What do you want to do?”

          The medic grinned, slowly getting to his knees. The frontliners optics brightened with surprise, unsure what to do. Pressing a kiss to a golden knee, Ratchet looked up to his wide optics, “Do you want me to keep going?”

          Nuzzling into Sunstreaker’s thigh, Ratchet grinned when the frontliner nodded quickly, his servos clamped together in his lap. Skilled glossa and digits left trails of hot pleasure down a golden thigh as Ratchet slowly made his way to Sunstreaker’s pelvic span. The medic made sure to nip and suckle at the sensitive wires that ran along his leg, giving the frontliner as much pleasure as he could. Sunstreaker fought the rising gasp and let out a strangled grunt instead.

          Kissing and licking his way to the frontliner’s interface panel, Ratchet dragged his glossa across the heated metal. He worked his dark red digits into the hot seams in Sunstreaker’s hips, waiting for when, or if, the frontliner’s panel would click open. The medics attentions caused the golden mech’s frame to shutter and twitch, despite him trying hard to stop it from happening.

          A want that the frontliner had never known settled low in his belly, and with an almost inaudible gasp his automatic systems clicked his panel open, his obsidian spike fully pressurized ; that had never happened to him before. 

          Letting out a shaky breath Sunstreaker moved his servos to clamp the side of the berth hard; looking at Ratchet with intense, blue optics, the frontliner could only swallow hard. No one had ever-

          Sunstreaker’s train of thought was broken abruptly when the medic dragged his glossa across the sensor laden tip of his spike. A harsh gasp made its way from the frontliners lip plates when Ratchet did it again. His frame shook with desire and a groan made its way past his lip plates, he really wanted Ratchet to do that again.

          He tried to tell Ratchet to do so, but instead the medic wrapped his lip plates around his obsidian spike, taking the length into his soft mouth. A noise that was a cross between a gasp and a groan escaped the frontliners vociliser as he folded over the medic. Pleasure wracked the golden frame as he wrapped strong arms around the medic’s shoulders and buried his face into the top of Ratchet’s helm. His long legs vibrated hard against the medic, causing the white armour to shake. 

          Much to Sunstreaker’s embarrassment, a soft keen forced it’s way past his light grey lip plates as Ratchet moved his helm back and forth along his length. Parting his golden thighs to give Ratchet more space to work, all Sunstreaker could do was cling to the medic and allow the waves of pleasure to overtake him.

          A soft sic caused Ratchet to pause, and he realized that the panel that protected Sunstreaker’s vale had opened. Guessing that the frontliner was probably not ready for that kind of attention, Ratchet went back to gently suckling the frontliner’s sizable length. However, the medic was surprised when a shaking golden servo gently pulled Ratchet’s from his hip and lead it down to the already moist valve.

          Sunstreaker pressed Ratchet’s digits against his valve and moved his shaking servo away to clutch at white shoulder plating. Smirking around the golden mechs girth, Ratchet gently pressed a single red digit against the silky walls of Sunstreaker’s valve. The medic continued his attention to the frontliners spike at the same time he added another digit with the first, gently spreading them apart. Fans’ spinning hard, Sunstreaker was forced to pant through his mouth in an attempt to cool his heated inner systems.

          Ratchet began moving his two digits in and out of the wet valve, causing the other mech to cry out and buck as warm pleasure spread through his frame. Groaning, Sunstreaker’s frame stiffened to a breaking point. Crying out Ratchet’s name in a garbled voice, the gold plated mech overloaded hard, shooting hot fluid into the medic’s mouth. 

          Swallowing  quickly, Ratchet pulled away from Sunstreaker’s spike and placed a soft kiss to the seam in the frontliner’s hip. The medic carefully stood up to observe the frontliner; Sunstreaker had his helm down with his optics dimmed as he rode out the aftermath of his pleasure. His frame still trembled from the experience and he panted from the pleasure that Ratchet had given him, and not the damned virus that had plagued him for so long. Unable to not touch him any longer, the medic leaned his frame close to Sunstreaker’s and gently ran his digits down gold back plates.

          Shuttering, Sunstreaker’s helm shot up, his usually icy optics were thawed with pure need. With servos still shaking, the golden mech was suddenly at Ratchet’s interface panel. The medic was surprised by the frontliners actions.

          “You, berth, now!” The frontliner demanded, giving the medic a look that dared him to disagree.

          A little surprised, Ratchet frowned at the frontliner, “Are you sure?”

          In response Sunstreaker grabbed the front of the medic’s armour and pulled him in for a searing kiss. Clever obsidian digits worked their way into the transformation seam of Ratchet’s chest plates, causing the medic to moan.

          Dragging Ratchet down to the medberth, Sunstreaker stretched out with his legs on either side of the medic and his servos clutching at his shoulders. Pulling away, Sunsreaker snarled, “You said that it could be good. That it wouldn’t hurt with another, so prove it you slagger!”

          At first the medic was taken aback by the frontliners demand, but delight and anticipation overtook him. His interface panel gently swished open, allowing his pressurized spike to extend. Carefully leaning over the frontliner, Ratchet pressed his light grey lip plates against obsidian metal.

          The frontliner shuttered and shifted awkwardly with worry, causing Ratchet to pause. The medic carefully took a dark servo, pressing the knuckles to his lip plates, Ratchet gently kissed them. The medic then intertwined his digits with Sunstreaker’s so that red and black servos clung to each other.

          Positioning himself so that the tip of his spike was seated at the edge of Sunstreaker’s valve, Ratchet met his optics. A sharp nod from Sunstreaker had Ratchet moving his ruby hips, slowly pressing into the frontliner. Sunstreaker hissed at the slow intrusion, glad that Ratchet gave him the time to adjust to the medics size.

          The frontliner offlined his optics as old feelings of dread and sick twisted his tanks, and Ratchet sensed the unease in him. Pausing in his efforts, Ratchet said, “Online your optics Sunstreaker.  It’s alright now.”

          The frontliner did as he was asked, and onlined his icy optics. Abnormally soft aqua optics met icy blue, and Sunstreaker knew he would be okay with Ratchet, the medic would never allow anything to happen to him or his twin.

          Maintaining optic contact with the frontliner and keeping their servos clamped together, Ratchet continued moving until he was completely sheathed within the frontliner. Ratchet paused again to ensure that Sunstreaker was adjusting well to him, and the medic was thrilled to see that his optics had dimmed and become dark with lust. Growling a demand, Sunstreaker shuttered, “Move damn you. Not glass remember.”

          Smirking, Ratchet pulled back from the heated valve then thrust back in with a sharp movement. Gasping, Sunstreaker bucked up to the medic as he pulled back again, “Better!” the frontliner managed.

          Gripping at white arm plates, Sunstreaker sunk his dental plates into the medics shoulder, nipping at the plating. Groaning, Ratchet kept his pace brisk as he thrust into the frontliner. Pleasure rippled through both mechs as Ratchet shifted his helm to press a kiss into the frontliners sensitive audio fin, before nipping at it.

          Crying out in wordless pleasure, Sunstreaker overloaded again, his whole frame shook with the force of it. Feeling the golden mechs valve clench tightly around his pale spike, Ratchet cried out and followed his lover into bliss and overloaded hard. Aftershocks of pleasure shot through both the medic and the frontliner, any movement eliciting moans from both.

          Eventually Sunstreaker calmed his systems down enough to grumble, “If I’d know you could do that, I would have sought you out sooner.” He then buried his helm into the crock of Ratchet’s neck, relaxing into the medics embrace.

          Since the frontliner was allowing affectionate attention from the medic, Ratchet nuzzled into his helm as he tightened his hold, “Please, that’s nothing to what I can do.”

          Snorting, Sunstreaker muttered, “And they say I’m the vain one.”

          “You are.”

          Sunstreaker shrugged, offlining his optics, “Eh, oh well. Next time though, I’m on top, it’s going to take me forever to get all the scratches out of my paint.”  

            Both mech's spikes retracted back into their housing units as their automatic systems kicked on, and Sunstreaker's valve cover sealed closed once again. Settling over his lovers frame, Ratchet nuzzled into a mostly black audio fin and for once Sunstreaker didn't fight the affection. Instead he curled up in the warmth of Ratchet's frame, "You tell anyone that I cuddled with you, and I’ll rip your glossa from your mouth."

            Unworried about the threat Ratchet snorted, "If you did that, I couldn't use it on you again."

            The golden frontliner thought about that for a moment, humming as he did, "Well, damn." he muttered.

            A comfortable silence came between the two mechs as they basked in the after math of their actions, warmth and pleasure radiating off their frames. The pair could have spent the rest of the night cycle laying in the medbay, content with being pressed against the others frame. It was Sunstreaker who snorted suddenly, disrupting the quiet of the night.

            Curious, Ratchet shifted his helm to give the frontliner an enquiring look. Grinning, the golden mech said, "You do realise that we just did the one thing that you forbad Jazz and Prowl from doing."  

              Ratchet snorted. "So? It's my medbay; I can do what I want here." 

              Amusement filled the frontliner as Ratchet settled back down against his warm frame. The gentle silence came between the two mechs again, and Sunstreaker slowly started to power down for recharge; he didn't care that they were in the medbay, after all who was going to yell at Ratchet for their actions? No one, that’s who; Smug with that knowledge, Sunstreaker powered down his optics. 

              The medbay door whooshed open suddenly, causing both mechs to flinch at the sudden noise. Sunstreaker ducked his helm to hide his faceplates, so that the intruding mech couldn’t see him. However Ratchet lifted his helm to tell the mech to bugger off, but surprise filled the medic, "Sideswipe, what are you doing here?" 

              Tilting his helm back to look at his twin, Sunstreaker could only smirk. The crimson mech had stumbled into the medbay and fell against a berth. Panting through his mouth, Sideswipe shuttered and fidgeted as he leaned against the medberth, his hips unconsciously rocking into the inanimate object. With blue optics dimmed, the red twin scowled at his brother, "You slagging bastard!" 

              The snarl from his brother caused Sunstreaker to cackle, his whole body shaking with mirth. He was suddenly very glad that Ratchet was lying on top of him; otherwise Sideswipe would have attacked out of a blinding need to move. 

               "It’s not funny, you fragger!" the crimson twin snarled, still rubbing against the medberth. 

              Ratchet, to say the least, was confused. He kept glancing from Sunstreaker, who was looking rather smug and Sideswipe, who looked ready to both jump and murder his twin. He didn’t understand, Sideswipe had been fine when Ratchet had left him. What could have happened between now and the-oh. It suddenly clicked in Ratchet's processor, causing the medic to shoot the crimson mech a look of sympathy.

               Looking back down at the frontliner that lay beneath him, Ratchet frowned, "You didn’t clamp down on your spark bond, did you." 

               Smirking up at Ratchet, Sunstreaker smugly said, "No. Didn’t realize 'till now. I was a little preoccupied." 

              Ratchet sighed and rubbed at his chevron in an attempt to relieve stress. He shot a look at the needy frontliner and asked, "Did you at least overload?"           

                Sideswipe snarled, rubbing harder into the medberth, "After what you two did! Of course I did. It's not the same though."

                Ratchet sighed again and carefully climbed off of Sunstreaker. The medic nodded for the frontliner to get off the berth, and he did so with an air of superiority that aggravated his brother further more. Moving gracefully to his window, Sunstreaker smirked when Ratchet turned to his twin. 

                "Come here." Ratchet ordered. The crimson frontliner didn't hesitate to follow the instructions and bolted for the medic. Sideswipe cried out with pleasure when Ratchet touched already sensitive armour, tucking the frontliner to his side. The heat from the crimson armour made Ratchet wince as he led the whimpering mech to the window sill to sit beside his brother.

                Sunstreaker smirked at the whimpering mess that was his brother, "What, you’re not going to take him in the medbay?"

                Ratchet shook his helm at the younger twin's smugness, and quickly went to work cleaning up the medberth, "No. I'll bring him back to our quarters."

                Optics brightening with wicked intentions, Sunstreaker smirked, "Good idea, we can prolong this in there."

                Ratchet rolled his optics as he finished sterilizing the medberth, behind him Sideswipe whimpered softly, "Hate you."

                Still smirking and projecting an air of smugness, Sunstreaker said, "What. You’re the one who told me to ask for attention if I wanted it."

                "So, so much." Sideswipe replied softly, groping at his interface panel.

                "Hey Sideswipe, not only did I get the medic first, we did it in the medbay. Right there. On that berth." The golden frontliner said as he pointed to the berth that Ratchet was cleaning, causing the red mech to keen with want.

                Ratchet sighed for the hundredth time that night cycle as he finished cleaning up. He dumped the used cleaning rags into a receptacle and crossed to the twins in quick even strides. Coming to stand in front of them, Ratchet paused long enough to comm. First Aid and Hoist to get back to the medbay before saying, "Come on you pit spawns. Let's get back to our quarters." 

                Sideswipe jumped up from his place on the window sill, but his legs were too shaky to keep him standing. He would have collapsed to the ground had Ratchet not caught him, but the moment that his white servos touched over charged arm plating, the crimson mech cried out again before sagging in the medics hold. Swooping Sideswipe up into his embrace, Ratchet turned to leave the medbay, simply carrying the mech with him. The crimson frontliner whimpered at the amount of contact and stimulation, squirming in Ratchet's grip.

                Stopping before he got too far away from Sunstreaker, Ratchet threw a look over his shoulder. The golden mech was still sitting on the window sill, his optics were unfocused and distant. His fans had kicked back on and he was panting again; his twitching mirrored that of his brother.

                Ratchet growled, “Sunstreaker, close your end of the bond!”

                Flinching slightly, the golden mech’s optics shuttered a few times prior to coming back online normally. He gave his helm a hard shake, “I can feel his sensations, he likes it when you touch his armour. It distracted me.”

                Ratchet snorted, jerking his helm towards the medbay doors as a sign to follow. Quickly leaving his post, Sunstreaker closed the distance between himself and the medic. Coming to walk beside him, Sunstreaker put his shoulders back, stood a little straighter and puffed his armour out in pride. The medic was theirs now, and he wanted everyone to know it.

                Grinning arrogantly, Sunstreaker placed a black servo on Ratchet’s lower back plating. Looking up at the taller mech, Ratchet gave him a curious look, “I didn’t think you were the romantic type.”

                Shrugging, Sunstreaker didn’t remove his servo, “I’ve never had anyone to care enough about to try.”

                Ratchet smirked at the taller mech, walking just a little bit closer to the golden frontliner. It wouldn’t be an easy courtship, the medic knew, but it would be oh-so worth it. The trio passed Optimus Prime in a hall on their way back to their quarters. The Autobot leader paused as they passed, giving Ratchet an odd look; Sunstreaker was standing close to the medic like a sentinel, his servo on his lower back. Sideswipe was writhing in Ratchet’s arms, whimpering and moaning with lust.

                Optimus blinked at the twins, then levelled a look at Ratchet. :Care to explain?:

                Ratchet smirked at his leader and old friend. :Not a chance in the Pit.:

                With that, Ratchet lead the twins back to their quarters, he wanted to relieve poor Sideswipe of his want. Optimus could only watch and smile behind his battle mask; things in the Iacon base would no doubt get much more interesting now.