Genre: drama, H/C
Characters: Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp
Warnings: mentioned torture (not detailed), disabilities, PTSD
Summary: Little Lightspeed has numerous issues. The greatest is from being a survivor.
Disclaimer: not mine. Only the OC.
Note2: “normal speech”, “comm line”, ::bond speech::
The little red optics widened and turned upward, seeking his Carrier, the small servo stopped with a building block in it. Starscream moved away from the berth only to a few steps, to pick up another datapad to read, but the distance was enough for the little sparkling to be distressed. Had he gone as far as to the other side of the room, he knew that the sparkling would start crying and his field would radiate pain and terror. Things no sparkling should even know about, much less feel.
Starscream picked up a pad randomly and quickly returned to the berth; his scarred servo petted the little helm gently. He was so small… smaller than any Seekerling he’s ever seen. The sparkling calmed down in his Carrier’s presence, his good servo settling the coloured block up on top of the others, building a tower from the soft plastic shapes. He was still awkward with his left one, the newly implanted cables stiff and the coding still being integrated so he preferred to use the other. Starscream lifted his limp left servo gently, stroking the little digits, stimulating them as Ratchet said, to let the sparking feel the sensors’ input and know that he can use it.
The door opened and Lightspeed was gone behind Starscream, pressing close to his back, systems silent, his field drawn close. Slight trembling transmitted to his plating, but he stopped that too to be as invisible as he could. His reaction to any mech else but his Carrier, and it never failed to grip Starscream’s spark with pain like a steely servo that used to squeeze his neck. The little one’s survived by being able to do this, by being invisible and silent but it was sparkbreaking to see him reacting thus still. He reached for the little frame, drawing him into his embrace, pulsed love/safe/attention to him and turned the small helm towards the doorway. He had to learn than not all mechs were automatically danger.
“Lightspeed, look. Who is that?”
The little black helm turned towards the door, his carrier’s assurance calming him a bit. He still hid into the much bigger servo, but the red optics definitely tried to focus and decipher the shape and colours of the newcomer.
“Teecee?” – he chirped in his small voice questioningly, not sure yet.
“Yes, Lightspeed, it is TC. Your Sire.”
The sparkling looked from one of them to the other hesitantly.
“Yes, I’m you Carrier and TC is your Sire, little Light.”
Thundercracker waited patiently, aching inward only, until Lightspeed calmed down and realized who he was, before coming closer. The sparkling nestled into Starscream’s servo, looking up to him with growing ease now, his fear dissipating quickly immersed as he was in his Carrier’s field.
“Hello little Light.” – he cast a questioning look at Starscream and waited his nod before cautiously touching the little helm, petting it gently. – “What do you play now?”
Lightspeed lifted his right servo, pointing at the blocks proudly, his fear gone now.
“It is great, Light… do you want me to help you make it bigger?”
Lightspeed’s helm nodded to the side, in a gesture imitating the thinking Starscream so perfectly that Thundercracker wanted to pick him up and hug him tight– but knew better than to try and held himself back. Slowly. Take it slowly, because they probably wouldn’t get another chance. In a few kliks the little, silvery helm nodded and Lightspeed cautiously, awkwardly climbed out of his Carrier’s servo.
The blue Seeker sat at the edge of the berth, picking up a few of the playing blocks.
“What colour would you like?”
He put two red blocks by the half-ready, but slightly leaning tower, widening the base and nudged Lightspeed put the next block into place. The sparkling caught on the idea quickly and together they built the tower wider, correcting the lean and stabilizing it.
“Blu now!” – he declared, these two colours being his definite favourites. Starscream smiled at them, keeping close to Lightspeed at the edge of his field, so he wouldn’t startle if Thundercracker got a bit closer.
They played for several breems, making the tower rise high proudly and the sparkling assuredly staying near the blue Seeker before Starscream noticed him starting to get tired. His optics dulled wings drooped and he put the last block completely beside the rest, causing it to fall down.
“It is time to recharge now for little Lights.”
“Yes, you are, Light.”
“I am tired too.” – Thundercracker mimed it, laying down on his side, hoping against hope that he could stay. – “Can I stay here? We could recharge here both and your Carrier could protect us.”
Starscream cast a worried glance at him. ::Be careful, TC…::
Lightspeed wobbled a bit, obviously undecided. He made a move towards Starscream, but stopped, turning his little helm towards the big, blue frame closer. It looked safe too, just like his Carrier’s and he did like blue. He put down the block and crawled towards a servo haltingly, hampered by his left arm which he only started using an orn ago.
Thundercracker kept his servo open and inviting, his field radiating safe/love/protection. He didn’t have a bond with Lightspeed, but he hoped that the sparkling interpreted his field correctly. ::I won’t force it, Star. But he seems willing enough.::
Starscream moved closer to his mate with his datapad in servo, settling so the sparkling could see him in TC’s background. ::I just want to hope he won’t scare.::
The slight weight settling in his servo filled the big Seeker with joy and he was barely able to keep unmoving as his field flared with joy/love/success. A small red light winked up to him and he obediently dimmed his own optics too. ::See, Star! He did it!::
Thundercracker felt a servo caressing his wings from behind. Starscream’s field was a mixture of worry, joy and cautious hope. It was the first time that Lightspeed accepted Thundercracker enough to go into recharge with him and they were both glad that he started to open up finally. They stayed quiet and unmoving around the sparkling falling slowly into deep recharge, conversing only through the bond.
::Where is Warp?”::
::Got into trouble with Sideswipe. Last I saw they were cleaning the wash-racks.::
::Good for him.::
::Prowl looked angry. We have to be careful. Can’t go anywhere with Light if they…::
::They won’t throw us out for a prank, TC.::
::For one, no. But Warp is bored and Sideswipe eggs him on… and I’m afraid that it won’t end well.::
::I’ll talk to Ratchet. He needs more flying and as far as I’m stuck here, he won’t do anything against them.::
::Good. How was Light this orn?::
::He still uses the arm only when I encourage him to do it.::
::It will get better. Ratchet was sure, he’d integrate the arm in a decaorn at most.::
::I hope so.::
They lay and sat quietly for a joor until the small sparkling moved again in Thundercracker’s big servo, coming out of recharge. Starscream felt the little systems churn hungrily and picked up the feeding cube from the berthside table. ::Do you want to try to feed him?::
Starscream passed the contraption to Thundercracker who held it carefully, close to where the sparkling could notice it. The little red jewels glanced up to him hesitantly, but he seemed to remember who he was and found him still safe. ::The left optic boots up slower still::
::It will always be like that.::
::Because he already had the bootup sequence when he got the new sensor-suite. He can’t exactly write his code yet and by the time he could, he’d probably be stuck with the queue.::
::As far as he uses it… I guess it is a small price.::
::Exactly. Move the cube closer to him. He feels safe enough to accept it.::
Thundercracker held the feeding cube closer and after a little hesitation hunger won and Lightspeed grabbed its corner and started to suckle out the sparkling grade energon. Another small victory in their long battle to give the sparkling a normal life, for themselves the family that was ruined so drastically.
“Yes, sweetling, it is Energon.”
“We like it too.” – Thundercracker smiled at Lightspeed. The sparkling started to squirm in his hold, so he let him move and crawl slowly across the berth. He was halfway between them, when a purple swirl heralded Skywarp’s arrival. Starscream reached for Lightspeed, fearing that he would startle, but the sparkling chortled happily as he saw the mist.
“Purple, little Light, purple!” – Skywarp looked happier than any mech should be after joors of wash-rack cleaning. His wings nearly vibrated with glee, only partly from Lightspeed’s unusually calm welcome. It was worrisome. – “The best colour there is, right?”
“Nearly there, sweetling. Purple.” – Starscream corrected the word for him - ::Careful, Warp. He’s happy, but don’t push it.::
Skywarp moved closer to the berth slowly, kneeling in front of it, leaning his elbows on the surface. Lightspeed shuffled backwards a bit, to be near Starscream’s arm but he didn’t hide. He looked up to Starscream and spoke quietly.
“Yes, little Light, I’m Warp.”
“Warp pur-pel!” – he declared seriously - “Tecee blu! Carri red.”
“And little Light is white!” – Skywarp added smirking, flaring his happy, carefree field towards him.
Lightspeed wilted a bit, touching his own sparkling armor which was mostly still silver, with some white coming out in places.
“Don’t worry, sweetspark, you will get colours soon.” – Skywarp assured him. – “Whatever you want.”
“Wanna blu too!”
“That’s good. Blue and red makes purple.”
“Blu an’… Purpel?” – the sparkling nodded his helm to the side, little fear forgotten in the hard work of putting the words together.
“Wait, I’ll show.” – Skywarp jumped up – “You do have paints, Star, right?”
“There… in the box. But you won’t put paint on the berth.”
They all moved to the ground, where Thundercracker spread a big tarp out and Starscream lifted Lightspeed from the berth to put him down between them. The sparkling plopped down on his aft immediately and looked around. Starscream sat behind him, shielding him from the door unconsciously.
::He still doesn’t even try to stand.::
::It’s too early for that. Even normal sparklings don’t stand for the first decaorn.::
::But he doesn’t use the left pede even for crawling.::
::He doesn’t have sensors there, like he has in the servo.::
::But this way he won’t ever try to use it?::
::He will try to imitate us in time. So far he hardly ever dared to look when either of you came in, but that might change from now. Watching you will do him good.::
::I hope you’re right, Star…::
::Or Ratchet will find a way.::
While the trine-mates talked silently, Skywarp got back with the box of paints and some water and set them down near Lightspeed. The sparkling’s optics eagerly followed the much bigger shape coming close, only a few little flickers of fear appearing in his field that Starscream dispelled with a gentle stroke on his back. He tried not to grimace at the sight of the stunted, smaller left wing that rarely ever moved with the other.
“See, little Light? This is red… and this is blue.” – Skywarp showed the paints to Lightspeed, who immediately dipped a servo into one container and after a little hesitation the other servo into the blue paint and smeared them onto the big sheet of paper among them, trying to draw circles, shapes, abstract smears on it. They’d played with paints before so he didn’t try to taste them, but he watched the big Seeker who also messed up his digits with the two colours he named. Then he slowly mixed the two and with a flourish, showed the result to Lightspeed.
“And here is… PURPLE!”
Skywarp happily added the new colour to the paper and with a sudden idea, touched a digit to Lightspeed’s little nose plating, leaving a small purple blot there. The sparkling froze. Starscream too. Skywarp jerked back, fearful that he scared him, his wings flexing back in frustration. The motion captured Lightspeed’s attention and he lifted a servo, like wanting to grab the pretty wing, while scuttling back to the safety of his Carrier’s field.
“Don’t worry, little Light, Warp just wanted to play with you.” – Starscream’s voice was just a tiny bit forced to be cheerful and calm.
“Play?” – Lightspeed whispered to him, touching his faceplate with his own servo, still dripping with paint.
“Yes, sweetspark. Here, put paint to my nose too.” – he leaned down so that Lightspeed could reach up to his faceplates. The happy laugh as he smeared his Carrier’s dark face to red was worth anything. Even his trinemates’ bursts of laughter in the bond. With a flash of red from his optics he dared them to say anything. Anything at all…
“Okay, little Light, now let’s paint Warp’s nose too. Ready?” – Starscream said just with a hint of a payback in his tone. ::You’d better lower your helm, Warp or I’ll do it.::
“Ouch…” – Skywarp’s face was a study in contrasts. He grimaced slightly, but after a few klik sighed through his vents and leaned forward. “Yeah, Paint Uncle Warp to red, why not…”
“Ankel Warp?” – Lightspeed asked blithely from Starscream, while he gleefully smeared both colours to his new, albeit a bit unwilling and slightly grimacing canvas. Thundercracker wanted to roll with laughter at the sight, but he remained there, watching. He did take image captures though.
“Warp, don’t teach human words to Lightspeed before he learns ours… No, Light, he is Sire too. Just a bit idiot Sire.”
“Sai… Sire Warp?”
“Yes, sweetspark. Carrier, Sire, Sire.” – he pointed to all of them in turn. – “Together we are family.”
“And now, we fortunately don’t have time to paint your other Sire, no matter how he’d deserve it, because we need to go and visit Ratchet and for that we have to have a bath first.” – he paused until Lightspeed’s attention was on him again. – “Do you remember Ratchet?”
Lightspeed burrowed into his arms, trembling, grasping him with his tiny digits. – “Rache… fix, rechache, hurt.”
“Yes, little Light, he is the one who fixes what’s wrong. It hurts only a little, right?”
“Hurt… no wanna…”
“Shhh… we have to check if your arm is okay.” – he lifted the little arm cautiously – “Does it hurt yet?”
Lightspeed looked at the arm like it didn’t belong to him. The servo twitched a little, the blue paint still dripping from it. – “No hurt…” – he murmured, smearing the red from his good servo onto the blue and showing it up proudly – “Pur-ple!”
“Yes, it is purple.” – the smile was audible in Starscream’s voice.
Skywarp snickered in tandem with Thundercracker as they got up from the floor to move to the wash-racks. Then they all turned serious when the sparkling planted a messy servo on his tiny little cockpit and declared – “Hurt.”
“We… know sweetspark… it hurts me too.” – Starcream’s voice held an odd, sad tingle. He fought with all his determination to push the tumbling memories back to their place, lock them away and be able to present a happy front for his sparkling. His own wings trembled in the effort.
“Rache make better?”
“If he can, little Light… if he can.”
But there are things, not even Ratchet can fix… he whispered in his own meta… broken bonds remain forever.