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What Dreams May Come

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The charge danced up his spinal strut, following an unfathomable melody .

Prowl’s back arched in response, joining the performance in a sensuous stretch of wiring and plating. Molten pleasure bubbled up within his core as he moved, and his spark felt full to bursting—suffusing the rest of his frame with its pulsating light.

There was nothing to see, only darkness and glorious sensation. Prowl’s thoughts were muddled, and he felt half in a daze, but he couldn’t bring himself to be concerned. Instead, he simply relished the chance to unwind and feel .

He’d already acknowledged that this wasn’t real; merely the remnants of a blissful dream. But while in the darkest recesses of his processor he was starting to become aware of that fact , he wasn’t ready to realize it fully—to wake and end this reprieve.

In reality, Prowl knew that he would online alone in a cold berth with only his servos for company. He wanted to enjoy this fleeting chance to pretend otherwise, before duty demanded his attention once more.

With his increasing lucidity, he could tell that the rapture unfurling in his frame had been carefully cultivated; it was evident by the way every micrometer of his circuitry quivered with long-awaited release.

His phantom partner had been generous , evidently.

But then again, his subconscious would know how he liked it—granting him the satisfaction of a slow build, rather than the all-too-often rushed and unfulfilling self-service of late.

Delicious pressure registered against his nodes—delivered by the warm trail of a glossa which was long, and decadent, and more importantly, inside . Prowl was teetering on the brink of a glorious precipice, but by now he was also well on his way to activating, and he despaired even as the last of his systems booted up.

Oh. He was so close

His optics onlined, and the air was torn abruptly from his vents.

There was a monster between his legs, and it cooed at him—sickeningly sweet.

Ice congealed in Prowl’s lines even as he shook through his release.

“Tarantulas,” he croaked, and he’d been so unprepared that it was raw with emotion—conveying his shock, his disgust, and his lingering, traitorous pleasure. An obscenely long glossa slipped free from his valve, and dragged excruciatingly over sensitized mesh. Prowl struggled not to moan.

Nothing had changed. He was still here, still trapped.

The knowledge that Tarantulas had enjoyed watching him squirm for Primus knew how long was discomfiting to say the least. In his attempts to gain his trust, Prowl had refrained from fighting the spider’s amorous designs, but that was while he was awake, while he was cognizant not… this.

Tarantulas had played his frame like a fiddle while he slept. And to do it in this mode? This repulsive product of organic mimicry? Prowl shuddered.

The worst part was the way his spark tightened at the thought. There was an entirely unwelcome wash of pleasure as he considered that this might become the new baseline from which he would need to navigate their interactions.

Because while the idea was disquieting, a small, abhorrent part of Prowl almost found it preferable. That Tarantulas might satisfy his appetites without him needing to approve the deed, or to think at all—it was shamefully tempting.

Tarantulas was a monster, but what did that say about Prowl? Prowl who welcomed and yearned for his attentions, even as he bit back his loathing.

He wanted to purge.

“That sounded like a good one, pet,” the massive form purred, and Prowl dimmed his optics so that he wouldn’t have to look. He was queasy, and yet still aching for more.

“Tarantulas, you can’t just—” Prowl stopped.

There was no point in telling Tarantulas what he could or couldn’t do. If anything, it would simply make the spider more determined to use this to unbalance him. Tarantulas was more spiteful than Mesothulas had ever been, and motivated by much blacker emotions. As much as he claimed to adore Prowl, his bitterness at the betrayal still lingered. It wasn’t wise to test him.

More importantly, Prowl was still trying to prove his trustworthiness. Giving into Tarantulas’ whims had become a necessary evil, and while he couldn’t bring himself to be entirely complacent, his cooperation was still paramount—particularly if he wanted out of these bindings.

Prowl began again.

“I would prefer it if you waited until I was awake to touch me,” he informed Tarantulas through gritted denta.

“Ahh, but you liked it,” countered Tarantulas slyly. “Don’t bother lying to me Prowl, I can taste it on you.”

Prowl tempered his anger, and resisted the urge to lash out. He wouldn’t lose all of the progress he’d made so easily.

As for lying, he didn’t have the energy.

Tarantulas was distressingly correct; he’d hated and loved it in equal measure

“Wouldn’t you rather I was an active participant?” he asked pointedly, masking his ire beneath a cool exterior.

Tarantulas chuckled lowly.

“Oh, reciprocation isn’t necessary,” the spider assured him. “I have what I want.”

A brief chill wound itself up his spinal strut.

“ least ask me beforehand,” muttered Prowl, and then—sucking in his pride—“Please.”

Tarantulas hummed—entirely noncommittal—and he was anything but reassured.

Despite Prowl’s agreement to consider his proposal, the spider had proven reluctant to set him free. That perverse ‘love’ of his didn’t leave him blinded, unfortunately. Tarantulas was undoubtedly wary of his motives, and as frustrating as it was, he could hardly begrudge the other mech his caution.

After all, he was correct to be suspicious.

As a result, Prowl’s focus for the past deca-cycle had been to convince Tarantulas that he’d made his offer in good faith, and to persuade the deranged scientist to free him from these bonds. He hated the uncomfortable constriction of the webbing, and his imobility put him at too large a disadvantage.  

The bulk of this process was conversation. Tarantulas loved to talk, and often led Prowl in circles—in a game of wits which took all of his concentration to ensure he didn’t fall into a trap of his own making. They played a game of deception and riddles which Tarantulas seemed to relish more than his compliance, and so Prowl gave him what he wanted—all the while retaining his interested mask.

The crux of the matter was that Tarantulas needed to trust him, and that required cooperation. But more and more, cooperating was turning into sating Tarantulas’ desires, and it was all too easy to give in—to justify the illicit pleasure he took in each encounter.

Even now, Tarantulas was taking advantage by pressing his pedipalps flush to the tingling mesh of Prowl’s valve.  His hips moved of their own accord. Prowl hardly felt hardly in control of his frame, and he despised it, but neither did he abort the small grinding motions which incited bursts of pleasure across his sensornet.

It was part of the charade, wasn't it?

He felt cramped in his armor; he was restricted by the webbing, and almost unbearably hot. Tarantulas’ earlier ministrations had only ignited his frame’s arousal, and now it was edging on uncomfortable.  

Thankfully, Tarantulas appeared to be giving into temptation once more. The hulking frame drew closer, many limbs shifting until the foremost settled on Prowl’s thighs. Too-hot ventilations ghosted across throbbing nodes, and too-soft fur dragged teasingly across them in the aftermath. Tarantulas’ pedipalps rubbed gently at Prowl’s mesh and anterior node, prompting a  gasp.

They spread his valve even as the next set of limbs pushed his thighs farther apart, but Tarantulas didn’t seem in a hurry, and Prowl groaned in frustration as the change in position left him wanting for stimulation. The nodes just within the rim of his valve pulsed with unrepentant need, and he tried not to envision how they might look to Tarantulas—swollen and glowing with the evidence of his arousal.

Tarantulas laughed softly, but even that minimal stimulation was something—the phantom vibrations trickling across his sensors. Prowl tried to arch further—to establish contact with, anything really—but his bindings limited his range of motion, and the spider drew back with ease.

“Ah ah ahh. No need to be impatient,” chastised the horror between his legs.

There was a faint stinging sensation, and Prowl could only assume that those were chelicerae—and fangs—pulling delicately at the mesh of his valve. The sharp prickling brought the desperate ache back into stark relief; all it did was taunt him with possibility of more.

“Do you want me to beg? Is that it?” he asked caustically.

“Oh, Prowl. I’d love to hear you beg,” sighed Tarantulas, “but you don’t have to.”

A sharper sting followed his words, and this time Prowl’s hips jerked in shocked discomfort. He gritted his denta in lieu of crying out, and to his distaste he felt his valve clench down. Painful or not, it was real, vivid sensation.

He absently remembered to hope it’d been a dry bite.

Prowl was tired. Even he had limits, and they’d been pushed to the breaking point long before he’d ever fallen into this den of depravity. The war—the new situation on Cybertron—all of it had taken a toll, and he knew that his uncertainties were shining through the cracks.

And the best kept secret of all?

As much as Prowl tried to hide it, he was little more than a fragile shell of his former self, balancing on a thin wire. Confronted by Tarantulas’ vicious seduction he’d almost toppled—nearly shattered—or perhaps he already had .

Maybe he’d been swaying to Tarantulas’ tune for ages now; an empty marionette pieced and held together by silken thread..

He’d never had the luxury of questioning his decisions, had known his strategies to be unsavory, but necessary, and now that he was no longer needed it was all coming back to haunt him. Prowl had been running on autopilot since the war had ended, trying to wrangle some semblance of control, and to derive some meaning from the chaos. He was floundering.

It should have been glaringly obvious to those who knew him; it was a shame no one had ever cared to look close enough—too concerned with the web of deceit he’d wrapped himself up in.

Prowl wasn’t sure how much longer he could pull off this charade, or if he really wanted to. It would be so much easier to simply give up. After all, Tarantulas knew that he was genuinely enjoying this, faking it, or both, and either way the spider won. What use was there in fighting?

Tarantulas’ chelicerae parted to reveal the chasm hiding beneath, and a long, hot glossa stretched out once more. It was an odd and unnerving sight. Prowl knew what spiders were supposed to look like, and their schematics gave no indication of such a mouth so large, but Tarantulas had probably been delighted to pervert nature in yet another way. Why preserve the integrity of the creature’s original anatomy when it would deprive him this indulgence?

The glossa slid against his thighs, and painted a sticky path as it swept up the trailing lubricant. Prowl tried his best not to squirm, but it was a futile effort.

Tarantulas no doubt planned to hold him captive until he was sure that any last vestiges of rebellion were stamped out—any hesitation erased from Prowl’s mind. He doubted the spider wanted to break him entirely; it was his mind that he was so drawn to, and Prowl hadn’t been putting up any resistance beyond his usual irritation.

No, Tarantulas merely wanted that mind under his sway. He longed for a renewal of an era long-past, though the harmony he would have them dance to was decidedly deadlier.

Prowl gasped as the glossa slipped into his pelvic wiring and wreaked havoc on the sensors there. Even writhing in his bonds he could appreciate the insidious nature of Tarantulas’ techniques. His approach was selfish, and indulgent, but it kept Prowl from running calculations the entire time they were together—all part of some ploy to make him feel , and more importantly to associate those feelings with Tarantulas.

Unfortunately, in this moment their goals and desires were indeed synchronized. As much as he loathed the spider, Prowl had come to need him just as much, and the shadow of what he could give him.

Something to fill the void.

Prowl moaned lowly as the glossa skirted the border of his valve, but just barely avoided brushing against any nodes. It happened again, and the motion contained so much promise that his vents hitched. He needed it higher —would take even the lightest touch, as long as it soothed the tension.

“Shhh pet. Don’t worry. I know what you need,” murmured his tormentor.

The glossa slid upwards and carressed the seam of his valve. In one long draw it parted the mesh, and skittered across the sensors just within the rim. Prowl choked back a groan of relief, only to let it loose as the glossa found his anterior node and applied careful pressure.

Deep down, he suspected that Tarantulas had already broken through his defenses. The scientist knew what drove Prowl, and he knew what haunted him. They had a shared history—tumultuous as it was—to build from, and a dynamic which had once led them to accomplish great things together. Tarantulas didn’t need him, but he wanted him—wanted Prowl as he was, without judgement or scorn or as something which needed to be fixed. That was almost enough.

Still in the faintest recesses of his mind, he denied it.

It’s for the act, Prowl told himself, even as he begged Tarantulas to cut his bonds, so that he might cant forward and press his anterior node into something solid. When his request was granted, he could have sobbed.

He needs to believe it, he reminded himself, as the split bases of the chelicerae rubbed along the outside of his valve—broad and textured and painfully good. Authenticity was important.

You don’t really want this, he thought almost desperately, even as his servos crept for the hideous helm and took hold.

Kick him. Just end this farce.

As the immense form shuffled even closer, Prowl’s legs found purchase in the soft bristles of Tarantulas’ carapace.

He found himself needing to convince himself once more that this was merely a simulacrum of true affection. Tarantulas’ twisted adoration was nothing but a mimicry of the actual thing, and he knew it.

But wasn’t it easy, to pretend it was real?

And that was it, wasn’t it? Tarantulas was sickeningly, frighteningly devoted to his work, and to Prowl himself. The recognition of his own efforts was intoxicating, and the appreciation that Tarantulas bestowed upon him even more so. He’d been so alone for so very long, and here was someone who would unequivocally support the choices he made, both past and present.

He was pathetic. When had he grown so weak? When had he become so desperate for support, and dependant on the approval of others?  More importantly, whose fault was it?

[Prowl, you’re not paying attention ] came a peevish voice through his comm.

Prowl was about to retort that perhaps Tarantulas should apply himself more thoroughly if he wanted to distract him, but before he could open his mouth the spider’s glossa slithered back inside—exactly where it belonged, according to his elated nodes. As they lit up one by one, Prowl let his head fall back with a stifled moan.

It wasn’t unreasonably thick, and his calipers grasped futilely at the silken texture of the thing as it wriggled. He tried to ignore the slick sounds which arose as Tarantulas put his glossa to good use, but it was harder still to ignore the way his fans roared and buffeted them both with warm, desire-laden ventilations.

With each clandestine encounter Tarantulas managed to further reinforce the hold that he had over Prowl. He shattered the illusion of a struggle without saying a word, and each concession tore away more of Prowl’s armor—left gaping wounds straight to his spark, which cried out for more.

The voices of past encounters echoed throughout his helm. 

Think of what we could accomplish together, Prowl. What we could be.

In all his attempts to persuade the spider that he was genuine, Prowl had never considered the fact that he might start to believe it himself.

We could help one another. You deserve to move beyond the petty squabbles of lesser mechs. Here, you could have purpose. I could give you the world.  

In the past, the ends had always justified the means. Here—in the midst of temptation—he wasn’t so sure.

Tarantulas licked deeper, and the way he hummed contentedly against Prowl’s valve incited a deep throb—and gasp—in response.

[Delicious] purred Tarantulas through the comm. [I should really eat my fill more often]

The strings pulled taut. Something in Prowl cried out sharply, and he pushed himself greedily against the one who held them. Tarantulas’ glossa rubbed incessantly at raised nodes and already overload—swollen mesh, and it was too thin—too slippery—to fully satisfy, but at least there was blissful contact.

His calipers bore down on the elusive glossa, which curled happily within the confined space. That was the worst part, or perhaps the best. Prowl couldn't predict the pattern in which Tarantulas would strike, and the haphazardness of the pleasure assaulting his nodes was dizzying in its own right. His hips rolled as best they could; they moved in small jerks—furtive and filthy—which pressed him harder against the grotesque maw.

Tarantulas’ glossa stretched even farther—grazing against his neglected ceiling node—and Primus he almost wished the spider would give him more . In this moment, he didn't even particularly care whether Tarantulas wanted to frag him in his current mode; his valve would swallow such a spike just as hungrily.

And with that mildly nauseating, yet extremely arousing thought, Prowl shuddered his way to an overload. It had been building for so long—agonizingly slow in the wake of the first—that the release was rapture. It swelled warm and bright and left him trembling with satisfaction—the final cadenza of a surreptitious performance.

A maelstrom of conflicting sensations swirled under Prowl’s chassis when his overload finally crested, and left him panting.  

He slumped, shuttering his optics wearily.

His spike had emerged at some point—judging from the transfluid splattered across his chestplates—but he’d been too far gone to notice. The air was heavy with ozone, which would linger as a flagrant reminder for the next few cycles.  

Prowl burned when he considered how he must look; a thoroughly debauched and defeated mech.

Tarantulas had finally pulled away, and now he hummed thoughtfully.

“Did you know that some arachnids impregnate their mates by transferring ejaculate to their mouth-parts?” he asked, all too innocently.

Prowl’s optics flickered back to life. He stared at the spider, aghast.

It appeared something in him still did contain the capacity for surprise.

“You didn’t—”

“Why, Prowl,” purred Tarantuas. “That would be telling .”

Prowl sagged in his bonds, overwhelmed by stress and exhaustion.  It didn’t matter that biologically, it wasn't feasible. It didn’t matter that there likely hadn't been the kind of contact necessary, or that such reproduction wasn't possible between them. This was Tarantulas—terrifying, brilliant Tarantulas—and he knew how to plant that sliver of doubt in Prowl’s mind, as well as how aberrant he’d find the idea.

After all, Tarantulas was a monster of his own making.

His optics shuttered once more.

The Wreckers would come soon enough. They would help him.

...but do you deserve it?