"What's up, babe?" Jazz asked, entering Prowl's office.
His lover frowned sharply.
"We're on duty."
"I ain't forgot."
"Then please restrain yourself from referring to me affectionately."
Jazz just grinned at him, settling into the visitor's chair and putting his pedes up on the corner of Prowl's desk.
"So. Why'd you wanna see me?"
"I've been reviewing our current resources, particularly around skill sets. It would appear from the information I have that your promotion has depleted your area of a vital skill."
Jazz's humour faded a little.
"Well that's true. Ain't no-one able to take stuff on like I did. But that's ops business, Prowler, it's nothin' t'do wit'you."
"On the contrary, if I am to plan effectively I must know the capabilities of each team. And your team, if my information is correct, is now lacking anyone able to sorcel. I understand that this is an infiltration technique?"
"Of sorts. It's a way of disguisin'."
Prowl abruptly smiled in triumph.
"Ah! It's the method by which you were able to take the physical appearance of Nox?"
"Nox?" Jazz echoed. "Oh yeah, durin' the report back. Yeah, that was sorcellin'. Surprised you remembered."
"I remembered." Prowl assured him drily, doorwings twitching faintly and catching Jazz's attention. "I missed much of the discussion in that meeting staring at you and wanting to touch to see if whether it was real or a hologram."
Jazz's own memory of that meeting was of seeing Prowl on duty in his senior capacity for the first time and being impressed how well his young lover had fitted into that role.
"In any case," Prowl brought the conversation back on topic. "I need to know how the lack of this skill will impact on my planning."
"Not another report?"
"I fear so."
Jazz sighed heavily.
"Did CB ever just say no?"
"He tried." Prowl told him sweetly. "Once."
A joor later Prowl passed through the antechamber of their quarters, a little surprised to find the lights off. He knew Jazz had come back here only a groon earlier and it was unlike his partner to go straight to recharge. Concerned that perhaps Jazz was unwell, he moved a little more quickly to cross the space and opened the door to the berthroom only to find a stranger positioned provocatively on the berth.
"Nox?" he blurted, startled.
"If you like." a clean Altihexian accent responded. "You said you wanted to touch - well here's your chance."
Saying nothing, he sank down on the edge of the berth, content to just look for a moment. Nox was almost half again as tall as Jazz, pedes nearly dropping off the end of their standard-sized berth, but spindly where his normal form was more thickset. Prowl's systems automatically translated his altmode as being a telescope. He wondered vaguely if Jazz was capable of making that transformation too, then dismissed the question as irrelevant.
"Are you going to touch or not?" Nox asked somewhat impatiently.
Prowl glanced up at him curiously.
"So the accent comes with the form?"
"You sound disappointed."
"It's... jarring. I can feel you here, but your accent is wrong."
"You would prefer another accent, perhaps?" a familiar but completely wrong voice responded.
Prowl glared sharply at him.
"I have no interest in sharing a berth with the Prime."
"Even if I ordered it?" the deep Iaconian tones remained.
"Behave, or I will leave."
Nox stared at him for a moment, then gave a wicked grin.
"Y'could always gag me, Sparkles."
Prowl smiled back and leaned forward to kiss him, relaxing.
"Tempting, but I doubt it would keep you quiet for long." he admitted as he pulled back to look some more, one hand sliding down Jazz's arm. "How do you manage to change your armour colouration? This isn't paint."
"Th'nanites can be manipulated if y'know how."
"Which you obviously do. Yet you don't do so with your standard form?"
His hand had drifted to Jazz's thin waist, marvelling at the fact that he could almost encircle it with both hands. So very different. His explorations were also having an effect on Jazz who squirmed a little to try to increase the pressure of his touches.
"My work's all about not gettin' caught. Givin' away the extent o'my abilities falls into the category o'fatally stupid. So once I've set a form I don't frag round with... oh, yeah, babe, right there!"
Prowl obliged, stroking over the clearly sensitive point on the inside of Jazz's thigh, then bending over to kiss it chastely. It was not one of Jazz's usual spots, but it was certainly generating a positive response now. The kiss made Jazz moan quite satisfactorily, dropping back on his elbows and letting his head fall back. Which drew Prowl's attention back to the delicate sensor array on his head.
It was made up of a number of interwoven strands and tiny lozenge-shaped plates. In a battle situation it was designed to tighten and flatten against the helm, protecting itself, but with the host relaxed the strands flowed freely, the platelets ruffled and connected only at one edge.
From what he understood they should be just as sensitive as his own sensor panels, under the right conditions. And these were ideal conditions.
Taking his time to explore on his way back up, he made mental notes of anywhere that got a reaction. The only one that he anticipated was directly above Jazz's spark, and he lingered there for a moment before continuing. He had to adjust his position a bit to get back to Jazz's mouth, given how much taller this form was than his own, and he found himself staring down at an unfamiliar visor. So much narrower than Jazz's usual one and it actually seemed more like an affectation than anything else. He had never thought about it before, but now he brushed the edges of the visor curiously and was startled when Jazz retracted it to reveal two bright blue optics.
"Surprise." Jazz murmured.
"Surprised." Prowl agreed, tracing around the sockets and finding that the facial plating under the visor was deliciously sensitive. "Can you do that normally?"
"Nuh." Jazz grunted, twitching under the caresses. "Nope, that visor's set in place."
"But you've still got optics underneath?"
"Yeah. They come in handy sometimes."
Privately deciding that if he ever got the chance he was going to talk to Hoist about making Jazz's usual visor retractable so he could discover if Jazz was normally this sensitive, he relented a little and kissed the strangely bronzed lips once again, sliding his hand up the back of Jazz's helm and gently sifting the sensory array strands with his fingers. He expected them to be sensitive, but to his dismay he found Jazz did not react at all.
"Doesn't that feel good?"
"Pro'ly would if this were my real form. Sorcellin' means I gotta get the platin' in the right places, but it don't always mean the sensors match up. This form's just too diff'rent for me to replicate it completely."
"Why take it on, then?" Prowl asked, disappointedly letting his hand drop away. "Wouldn't that put you at risk?"
No point in continuing caresses Jazz could not feel. Jazz, though, had other ideas and moved Prowl's hand back to the base of his helm.
"This ain't a form I take for long term missions. Better to go wit'somethin' a bit more compatible. Still, those sensors are still there, just not in the places you might expect."
Prowl let his fingers explore a little and this time was rewarded with a pleasured shiver which made the strands of the so-called senor array jangle together.
"So I'm discovering."
"An' pretty quickly too."
"I'm a fast learner."
"So I heard. C'mere."
Up until now Jazz had held still, letting him do as he pleased, but now he wrapped long arms around Prowl's form, drawing him down over him. Prowl resisted a little.
"Won't I be too heavy for you?"
"I ain't as fragile as I look, Sparkles." Jazz promised, insisting, kissing him firmly and splaying long fingers over his doorwings.
"Cheat." Prowl mumbled, noticing that he was now caught too high up to reach most of the areas of sensitivity he had identified.
"This one was your idea, remember?" Jazz laughed, then shuddered pleasantly as Prowl teased the spot at the nape of his neck.
"My idea was to touch you to see if the change were real. It was your idea to turn this into something sordid."
"Sordid?" Jazz snorted. "Don't play the innocent wit'me, Sparkles, I know you're no prude."
"If not it's purely your bad influence."
Jazz stopped the banter by kissing him, and Prowl felt his spark beginning to pulse in time with his lover's. Not that that ever took much encouragement to start. The unusual sensation of long fingers against his doorpanels was erotic, particularly as the thumbs began caressing the edges and he arched a little, trying to increase the pressure. He flared his energy field, receiving an appreciative moan in response, and pressed a kiss to the bridge of Jazz's nose, right where the visor had ended. Jazz shuddered, tipping into a gentle overload, triggering Prowl's own and they both gave in to the haze of rightness that came from the unshakeable love they shared.
"I think I know how it must be for a minibot with a standard sized lover." Prowl sighed, a few moments later, snuggling up against the unfamiliar chest.
"Totally at my mercy?" Jazz suggested.
"Happy enough for myself but a little frustrated I couldn't participate equally."
"You were doin' jus' fine. Or didn't ya notice I overloaded first?"
Prowl smiled smugly.
"Yes, I noticed. Still, I prefer you as you normally are."
"Well that's a relief." Jazz joked. "Mechs get a bit twitchy when they realise how much I can change. Poor Red'd pro'ly have a total breakdown."
"Is it difficult to change back? Does it take long?"
"Nah, not long. Changin' back to a form I know pretty well doesn't take much longer'n a normal transscan change."
Jazz shook his head firmly.
"It ain't pretty to watch."
"Well I'm not charging with a stranger in my berth - I want you back to normal."
"I'll go an' do it an' come back..."
"I want to see."
Jazz sighed but slid off the berth and stood in the open space between it and the door, standing in profile to Prowl. The first thing to happen was a ripple of colour across his whole body, gold fading alarmingly quickly to grey, then returning to black and white, with scatterings of blue and red, but in uneven patches across the tall frame. Even as that was settling, Jazz's frame began to contort as though shifting to an altmode, but Prowl flinched as he saw parts and plating move in ways that no conversion program would ever allow. Jazz doubled over on himself, armour twisting and shuffling in awkward ways, sometimes forming triple or quadruple thicknesses while in other places inner systems were left entirely exposed. Twice Prowl caught a glimpse of Jazz's scarred spark chamber, once near the floor, then again off to one side as it was rearranged into position along with everything else.
Finally Jazz straightened and stretched, back to his normal form, and turned to face him.
The whole process had taken only half a breem.
"Not pretty." Jazz apologised, returning to the berth. "Warned ya."
"You did." Prowl agreed, cuddling up to him and running a hand over the now perfectly smooth white plating. "It looked painful."
"A bit, but y'get used to it. Mostly it's just tirin'. Takes a lotta energy."
"So not a good idea straight after overloading?" Prowl teased gently.
Jazz snorted, nuzzling his cheek.
"Y'didn't wear me out that much, Sparkles."
Prowl smiled but did not take him up on the implied offer, well able to sense how weary he was.
"So could you take Prime's form if you chose to?
"Thought you were set against that."
"In my berth, yes, but that could be a serious tactical advantage, to make everyone believe he was in one location when he was in fact somewhere else."
"Ah. Well sorry, babe, I can't help ya there. He's too big."
"So sorcelling does have its limits, then?"
"It's pretty much just altmode formin', jus' without the usual transscan limits."
"But you were in root mode."
Prowl ran a hand over Jazz's smooth white armour.
"And none of your agents can do this?"
"None o'the survivin' ones. Takes a bit o'skill an' a whole lotta practice. An' it hurts like the pit when ya get it wrong, tends t'put'em off. Not to mention how embarrassin' it is havin' t'go to the medics halfway between forms. They get kinda cross."
"I can imagine."
Jazz's visor was dim, starting to drift into recharge, and Prowl let him go. For once his mate was actually more worn out than he was, a rare occurrence.
Checking the morning's rosters he made a few small adjustments, adding a dire warning for anyone who attempted to change it or disturb them: a morning off would do them both some good. Smiling to himself, he kissed Jazz's shoulder and snuggled in closer. Tomorrow they would be more active; for now the delight of simply resting together for a full night was enough of a pleasure, and far more precious for being so rare.