“Starscream, has it ever occurred to you that you’re an idiot?” Megatron said. Starscream would have had a great deal to say in response to that, except his vocal unit was completely locked up from the cold, along with all of his servos, and fine, possibly he should have made sure to put in his antifreeze module before tricking Megatron into this ice chamber, only the idea hadn’t been for him to get dragged into the trap, and he really hated having that sludge in his lubrication systems; it shaved entire milliseconds off his reaction time.
Of course, this was going to do somewhat more damage to his reaction time than that. The teleporting micro-gate had worked perfectly, aside from having triple the radius he’d expected, and it had dumped them directly into the sealed cavity his survey had found, a quarter of a mile below the surface of the ice above. There was no light except for the cold red glow of their optics, faintly shining a cloudy distance into the solid ice on all side of them, and the temperature was still dropping. Starscream would have panicked if he could, but he was fading too fast; he was about to lose frontal processing, and his internal reactor was starting to struggle. Everything was feeling very far away.
Megatron heaved a sigh of irritation and grabbed him. Starscream couldn’t actually struggle, even as Megatron literally punched two fingers through his abdominal armor and peeled up a chunk to expose his internals, then yanked out a deep loop of lubricant tubing. Megatron tipped him against the wall and opened up a panel of his own and spliced him into his own lubricant system. Megatron’s lubricant started flowing into him—loaded with antifreeze, oh, and two minutes later Starscream started to shiver violently as his mechanical systems all came back online and started vibrating to get the lubricant into the pockets of all his servos.
“I have to admit, this one does reach a special new height of stupidity,” Megatron said, pinning him against the wall to keep him still. “You didn’t put in your own antifreeze module and didn’t bother to find out if I had mine in?”
“Oh, sh-sh-shut up,” Starscream ground out through his jaw servos rotating back and forth. It was bad enough to have another attempt fail at all, much less in this grotesquely humiliating way. He just couldn’t take it anymore! He hadn’t tasted a decent glass of energon in the last five million years. He hadn’t had a bath in two hundred thousand years, and that time it had been in terrible, ten-times-recycled oil. He slept on a berth salvaged from a spaceship, so narrow he had to pull it away from the wall and let his wings overhang the edges with the constant sensation of being about to fall off. He now lived on a planet made out of dirt, and his altmode had been reshaped to mimic the constructs of a bunch of barely sentient fleshy waterbags. Every time he transformed it was a hideous reminder of the daily grotesqueries of his existence.
And it was all completely pointless! They’d won! They’d overthrown the Autobot regime! It was time to stop fighting and start negotiating! The Autobots were all complete morons; a little dirty politics and the Decepticons could have them working to rebuild Cybertron and still do everything they wanted. But no, total victory was the only acceptable option, never compromise with Autobots, shared government would never work, blah blah blah. Megatron would keep going for another eight million years without a blink. And Starscream was the idiot? Hardly.
But he did feel remarkably stupid at the moment. Megatron didn’t even seem especially annoyed; he only idly wrapped his massive fist around Starscream’s throat and shoved him a little harder back against the wall. “Are you trying to get me to destroy you?” he asked, in tones of curiosity.
“You n-nn-n-need me. Otherw-w-ise y-you’d have—destroyed me—already,” Starscream said.
“It’s true you’d leave a significant gap in our lines,” Megatron said. “On the other hand, these constant attempts are starting to become a distraction. You’re on the verge of yelling out ‘Megatron has fallen!’ when I’ve just tripped. If you’re really going to just start flailing wildly at me without any kind of rational basis for it, I’ll cut my losses sooner than later.”
“Good luck taking out Grimlock, then,” Starscream said snidely. “Or were you going to just go right for Superion?”
Megatron made a face. “Either way, it’s not going to get any easier just because I let you have another dozen free shots at my back first. You’ve chafed at the leash ever since you first put on the badge, but it’s gotten completely out of hand since we landed on this planet. Did you suffer some kind of brain damage in the crash?”
“My brain is perfect!” Starscream snapped.
“Your brain nearly just got you frozen to death at a solid two hundred degrees above absolute zero,” Megatron said. “Well? What the hell’s going on? We’re stuck here for another three hours until sunrise warms the surface up enough for me to blast out. Start talking or I’ll leave you behind.”
“I hate you,” Starscream said, passionately. Oh yes, he could just see it—telling Megatron he couldn’t stand living in wretched squalor anymore. Megatron would probably destroy him just out of contemptuous disgust. He was always making a point of his own grandiose stoicism.
“Tell me something I don’t know,” Megatron said.
“Why don’t you just go ahead and disconnect us, if you’re going to do it,” Starscream said. “At least spare me the hectoring.”
Megatron reached up and clamped the lubricant tubing between his fingers, stopping the flow. “Or I could see how chatty you get after you cool back down again.”
Starscream’s servos started to lock up again almost immediately, only there was enough antifreeze in his system now that it went slowly enough that he could feel it happening. He instantly fell right into the panic he’d just barely missed last time, and only came out of it ten minutes later, lying flat on top of Megatron with the flow restored and Megatron literally holding him in his arms, his optics glowing with exasperation. “Oh, how I want to kill you,” Megatron said aloud, over his head.
“I’m right here,” Starscream muttered into Megatron’s massive chestplate. He could feel the low hum of Megatron’s circulators going through his own cockpit. Ugh, this was intolerable. He was going to pull away any second now, as soon as his sensory processor stopped glitching and his neural flows stabilized and his fuel pump dropped to a normal rate and his motor systems finished all their diagnostic checks and
“I know,” Megatron said. “You’ve been shrieking and clutching at me for the last ten minutes solid. Believe me, Starscream, I know.” Then he paused, and said thoughtfully, “Hm.”
Starscream instantly went on massive alert; that was not a good sound to hear coming out of Megatron, ever; it was usually bad even when it was aimed at the Autobots, and if it was getting aimed at him—
Megatron flicked a finger against his lower access panel. “Give me a cable.”
“What?” Starscream said.
“You heard me,” Megatron said.
“What are you going to do with it?” Starscream said warily.
“What do you think? Give it to me or I’ll rip the panel open and take it.”
“Have your processes unbalanced?” Starscream said. “You’re going to threaten me and plug me in at the same time?”
Megatron paused and said in the tones of someone talking to a minidrone, “Starscream, what will happen to you if you sabotage me in here?”
The hints of panic instantly scrabbled at the back of his processor unit. Starscream said through his teeth, “I hate you so much,” and pulled out a cable. Megatron took it and slid open an access panel and plugged it in. Fortunately, Starscream was more than capable of splitting his neural processing into two layers, so instead of actually letting any of his active routines go across the channel, he instead sent over a wideband sensory dump of lying in his quarters with that garbage that Rumble and Frenzy were constantly playing three rooms down reverberating through the floor and his rest unit, which was the least Megatron deserved.
Megatron snorted. “Of course you’re going to make it difficult,” he said, and reached down and he did tear open the access panel on Starscream’s thigh and then he rubbed the port with his lubricant-slick fingers. Starscream yelped involuntarily, and then Megatron put his thumb against it, put out a micro-jack, and brutally jolted him with a high-intensity current that sent waves of sensual pleasure radiating out through his body. It was unbearable, oh, how he hated the slagging port-licker— Starscream savagely cut off the sensory dump and threw himself at Megatron’s hardware. He went straight for the sensory processing center and forcibly loaded in his very favorite stimulation routine: he’d designed it himself, a semi-randomized pattern of sensor activations that you could just barely predict, if you focused your entire brain on it, and he’d made it so good he had to ration it now, no more than once a year or else he’d have been using it every single day until he burned out his circuits, because what else was there in the way of pleasure—
Megatron made a strangled noise and arched underneath him, a deep humming coming from his cooling units, and his massive fists clenched painfully on Starscream’s arms as he—as he moaned, oh, and then a solid wall of feedback rolled back through the channel, activating Starscream’s own pleasure circuitry involuntarily; oh, oh, and while he was still reeling, Megatron—rolled them over, pinning him to the floor, and panted out, “Why, Starscream. Is that really the problem?”
He bent over and—and blew a stream of warm exhaust out over the panel in Starscream’s throat, and, well, yes, Starscream slid it open for him, only because that was better than having it ripped open, which was clearly on the agenda if he didn’t cooperate, and then Megatron—Megatron—oh, he—he did lick the port in there, and Starscream possibly let out a small wail and tried to struggle out from under him in desperation.
Megatron just laughed against him, triumphantly, and said, “Come on, open up for me, I’m going to overload you so hard you won’t even remember your name, much less what planet you’re on,” and Starscream snarled at him and deliberately activated a dozen of Megatron’s pain circuits and cranked them to maximum, only Megatron just grunted and grabbed Starscream’s other leg and jerked it up to expose the left fuel intake and shoved a probe into it. Starscream moaned helplessly as Megatron jolted him again there, and then Megatron plugged a cable into the port on his thigh and then licked the port on his neck again, and it was an involuntary reaction, that was all, Starscream didn’t do it on purpose, and he certainly wasn’t giving in, but he might accidentally have let Megatron have neural access, and then Megatron was surging into him, seizing control of his sensory processing unit and slamming it with a completely unsophisticated brute-force wave that just flooded every single pleasure sensor with raw current, which would have been ridiculously boring except it had so much power behind it; Starscream couldn’t generate half that much power, which drove him absolutely wild—wild with fury, with—and then Megatron jolted him externally again, at the same time, and the signals all fell over each other and his frontal processing just dropped out completely.
When he managed to pull it back together, Megatron was grunting softly above him with pleasure, riding his feedback waves and idly stirring them up with more pulses, and someone was whimpering, someone who wasn’t him, he wasn’t, he wasn’t going to make a fool of himself, he wasn’t going to let Megatron mock him—
“You are an idiot,” Megatron said, but they were still linked up, and what he meant was—Starscream stared up at him, what Megatron meant was, Starscream was brutal and deadly and clever and a delight to watch as he cut swaths through Autobot ranks aloft, and if all he actually wanted was a slagging oil bath and a good thorough jacking once a month, he could have them.
“It’s still stupid to keep fighting!” Starscream said, violently cramming down his every reaction at once; first of all, that was not the point, and second of all, he was not some desperate slut who was going to open all his ports for Megatron to rampage through on a regular basis, and furthermore he didn’t care what Megatron thought about him in the least. “If we just got the Autobots to negotiate with—” and then Megatron sighed in exasperation and abruptly dumped five thousand petabytes of strategic analysis right into Starscream’s brain and stunned his entire strat-tac system completely into a dazed blankness.
“Process that, and then talk to me,” Megatron said. “Optimus Prime isn’t nearly as stupid as you would like to think he is, Starscream.” And then he leaned in close and murmured very softly right into his primary audio pickup, “And I think we both know you are going to be opening your ports for me. On a very regular basis.”
He sent another nearly obliterating wave of pleasure surging through Starscream’s sensory channels. Starscream gasped, shuddering, and when he had caught his breath, Megatron was nudging insistently at—at another port, on his left hip, what was he—was he seriously planning to—again? Right now? “It’s—it’s—the sun’s coming up!” Starscream blurted, desperately looking up; he could see the faint glimmering light starting to penetrate through the layers of ice above. He was not going to just open up, he wasn’t, he wasn’t.
“The day’s just getting started,” Megatron said, laughing softly. “And so am I.”