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Strung Up On You

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The weird part wasn’t the invitation, but the person who’d issued it. 

Sunstreaker. 

Oh, sure. Rodimus had spent time in their berth on a few occasions, always by Starscream’s offer. Sunstreaker had been lukewarm to him at best. Tolerant, most likely, because he never denied Starscream anything. He’d never seemed interested in Rodimus himself, instead treating him more like a pet or an intrusion. 

Which made it doubly odd he’d sent Rodimus an invitation to come to their shared habsuite. Rodimus rolled the invite around in his head for several days, debating on whether or not to accept it. He believed the offer was genuine; it was just that he didn’t understand the motivation behind it. 

Unless, he guessed, this was all Starscream’s idea. The Seeker could be quite devious when the situation called for it, and he loved being a tease. Especially toward Rodimus. 

In the end, curiosity won out. 

The evening of the invitation arrived. Rodimus finished his last client of the day – tip included again! – and took his time in the washracks, more considerate than usual of his post-client clean-up. He knew how particular Sunstreaker could be and didn’t want the mech finding any reason to see fault in Rodimus. 

Even if Sunstreaker had been the one to invite him, Rodimus still didn’t intend to leave himself open to Sunstreaker’s scrutiny. 

Clean and polished, Rodimus climbed the residential tower to the nearly top floor where Sunstreaker had claimed one of the larger, better habs. He had the right to, Rodimus knew. Sunstreaker had been here longer than just about anyone else. Rumor had it he was never going to leave. 

Rodimus wondered what Starscream thought about that, Starscream who had every intention to quit and move on with his life as soon as he earned the creds he needed. Rodimus didn’t blame him. As soon as he’d paid his own debts, if that ever happened, Rodimus planned to run far and fast from Blue Sun. 

Outside Sunstreaker and Starscream’s room, Rodimus hesitated. He nibbled on his bottom lip. He checked his chronometer. Perfectly on time. He raised his hand to ring the chime, and hesitated again. 

He’d come this far. No point in turning back now. Honestly, what did he have to lose? 

Rodimus pressed the button. He shifted from foot to foot as he waited, wondering what they had in store for him, what the game was this time. Or maybe it was extra lessons? Starscream kept saying Rodimus needed more. 

Starscream could be just as much of an aft as Sunstreaker. Rodimus was too grateful to the Seeker to point it out though. They both had really helped him. At this rate, he might actually pay off his debts, rather than get stuck here forever. Every tip was a spit in Turmoil’s face. 

Metaphorically anyway. Rodimus knew better than to piss off his former lover by actually spitting on him. Fragging off Turmoil had gotten him into this mess in the first place. 

The door opened, and Sunstreaker stood there, perfectly polished as usual, but there was a weird sheen on his lips and face. He smirked upon sight of Rodimus and stepped back, gesturing him inside. 

“You’re on time,” he said, his deep voice doing sinful things to Rodimus’ spinal strut. Things that weren’t very fair. “Don’t mind Starscream. He’s where he’s supposed to be.” 

Rodimus crinkled his orbital ridges but obeyed. Don’t mind Starscream? What the frag was that supposed to--

Oh. 

Rodimus’ optics widened as the door slid shut behind him. The scent of interfacing struck him nearly at the same time as a frazzled, hungry energy field. For there Starscream was, expertly strung up with some red-gold chains dangling from the ceiling. His arms were pulled above and behind his head and chains of the same color wrapped around his knees, tying his ankles to the back of his thighs. 

He knelt on the berth. Or actually…

Rodimus looked a bit closer. Starscream was kneeling, but just above the berth. He strained to catch it with his knees, his engine revving, the chains creaking. He was strung up in such a way that his weight was evenly distributed. It didn’t put too much strain on his arms and shoulders, but no matter how he squirmed, he couldn’t touch himself. 

Not his pressurized spike, wet with slick, beaded at the tip, encircled at the base by a ring. Or his valve, visibly swollen and dripping, the piercings twinkling as they caught the overhead light. 

Rodimus’ mouth watered. 

Well. That explained the damp on Sunstreaker’s face. 

“Damn it, Sunstreaker!” Starscream snarled, seething. Wide gaps in his plating dispelled heat, his wings flicking in all directions. “Now is not the time to answer the door!” 

He was blind-folded, Rodimus realized. 

“Have a seat,” Sunstreaker said, ignoring Starscream’s snarled curses. 

Have a…? Was he serious? 

“You’re kind of in the middle of something, aren’t you?” Rodimus asked, but he obeyed, plopping his aft on the chaise, fixated on the tempting picture Starscream made. 

Primus but he wanted to climb onto that berth, put hands and lips and glossa on Starscream, and see if he could make the Seeker writhe for him. The sounds Starscream might make, if only Rodimus could pleasure him. 

“Yes, but that’s the point.” Sunstreaker’s glossa flicked over his lips, his attention shifting back toward Starscream. His optics turned both soft and hungry at once. “This is, after all, a reward.” 

Rodimus wasn’t sure what to think. Did that mean Starscream had agreed to this ahead of time? Did he want Rodimus here? Rodimus couldn’t imagine Sunstreaker doing anything to hurt Starscream or lose his trust. 

“For what?” Rodimus asked. 

No answer came. Not immediately. 

Instead, Sunstreaker moved nearer to the berth, which had been pulled more toward the middle of the room. All the better to put Starscream in the spotlight, Rodimus supposed. 

Sunstreaker’s hand trailed along the berth before it found Starscream’s knee. He dragged his fingers up the length of it, then his thigh, then to his hip and further still. Up and up, teasing him, as Starscream shivered and tilted into the touch. 

“Someone passed his exam.” Sunstreaker traced the edge of Starscream’s nearest wing. He pinched the aileron and a pearl of lubricant dripped from Starscream’s valve, dampening the berth beneath him. “He was a hard-working little Seeker, studying all night, practicing during the day. And he passed with flying colors.” 

Exam?

Starscream loosed a small moan. He leaned into Sunstreaker’s touch. He licked his lips and his field rolled out, hot and heavy, prickling over Rodimus’ armor. 

“This is a reward for that?” Rodimus asked as Starscream’s backstrut arched, and tiny nips of charge spilled over his frame in blue-white fire. 

“Rewards are a matter of perspective,” Sunstreaker purred, and Starscream suddenly sucked in a heavy ventilation. He moaned, long and low, like it had been pulled from his belly. 

It took Rodimus several seconds to understand why. Sunstreaker’s fingers were between Starscream’s thighs, the tips of them dragging through the gathered lubricant and teasing Starscream’s valve folds. 

“Now hush.” Sunstreaker’s fingers slid further up and curled, the tips of them tapping on Starscream’s anterior node. “This is the part where you watch.” 

Rodimus worked his intake, his hands squeezing on his thighs. Normally, it grated on him to obey Sunstreaker’s demands, but this time, it felt different. He wasn’t sure why. Something compelled him to keep his mouth shut. 

Sunstreaker stroked along Starscream’s valve again, gathering lubricant with his fingertips, and then he pulled away. Starscream made a protesting sound as Sunstreaker stepped around Starscream’s other side, popping his damp fingers into his mouth to suck them clean. 

Starscream’s engine growled. “Stop stalling and pay me attention,” he demanded, though it came out pained and husky. 

Sunstreaker chuckled and moved to Starscream’s right side. He traced Starscream’s bottom lip with his thumb. “You always have my optic, Starling.” 

Starscream leaned into the touch, and his glossa lapped at the tip of Sunstreaker’s thumb, quick like a voltaic cat. “Then stop teasing me.” 

“I’m not teasing, beautiful. I’m enticing.” Sunstreaker abandoned Starscream’s mouth, and his finger trailed downward, over the delicate cables of Starscream’s intake to splay across the nearly transparent transteel of Starscream’s cockpit. 

Starscream moaned and wriggled in his bonds. More lubricant dripped from his valve, soaking the berth cover. Rodimus wanted to moan with him. Sunstreaker was barely touching Starscream, but he had complete mastery of the room. It was intoxicating. Inspiring. 

It made Rodimus want to try for himself. 

Sunstreaker’s hand drifted lower still, skating the length of Starscream’s spike. He pinched the tip, swept his thumb over the weeping slit, before abandoning Starscream’s spike in favor of his valve. Black fingers parted the mesh lips, playing in the slick gathered there. 

Starscream made a noise, a cross between a growl and a whimper. 

Sunstreaker hummed in. “You didn’t greet our guest, Starscream,” he said in a tone that was half-purr, half-rebuke. “I know I taught you better than that.” 

Starscream’s hips rocked toward Sunstreaker’s fingers, his biolights flashing faster and brighter. “I know he’s here,” Starscream snapped. “What more do you want from me?” 

Rodimus almost laughed. Trust Starscream to be somewhat disobedient, even while submitting to Sunstreaker’s domination. He wouldn’t be Starscream if he didn’t struggle the whole way. 

Sunstreaker’s fingers pushed deep into Starscream’s valve, and they must have curled, because Starscream suddenly whined and sucked in a ventilation. His entire frame shuddered, wings and all, as the turbines on his chest started to spin. 

“That’s not a respectful tone, Star,” Sunstreaker said. His voice sounded pleasant, but there was a chastisement in it. One that made Starscream’s face flush with heat. 

He sucked his bottom lip into his mouth. His fingers curled into light fists. More lubricant dribbled down before Starscream loudly cycled a ventilation. 

“Welcome to our hab, Rodimus,” Starscream said, his voice steadier than Rodimus expected it to be, what with Sunstreaker fingering all of his pleasure points. “P-please enjoy the show.” 

Rodimus didn’t know if he was allowed to speak or not. He risked it. “Thanks.” He rubbed the back of his head, wondering if Starscream could hear the arousal in his voice. “Pretty sure I will.” 

Starscream’s lips curved toward a smirk. One that did things to Rodimus, made his internals tighten and heat wash through his lines. His spike throbbed, and Rodimus pressed the heel of his palm to his panel. 

He hadn’t been given permission. 

“That’s better.” Sunstreaker dropped to a crouch in front of Starscream. 

His hands curved around Starscream’s thighs, pushing them further open, completely baring Starscream to the room. He tilted Starscream’s hips up and back, putting his array at perfect height for Sunstreaker to lean forward and give a long, lingering lick to Starscream’s valve. 

Starscream’s ex-vents turned ragged. 

“Mmm.” Sunstreaker hummed as he swept his glossa over his lips. “My favorite treat.” He pressed a kiss to Starscream’s anterior node before licking him again, deeper this time, more savoring. 

Starscream whimpered and rocked against Sunstreaker’s face. Rodimus found himself leaning forward, further and further out of the chair, if only to see better. The taste of their fields in the air was intoxicating. 

Rodimus didn’t really understand why the two of them couldn’t admit they were madly in love with each other. It was plain as day to everyone else. Kind of a running joke with some of the temps downstairs and the entirety of the cleaning staff. 

‘Cowardice’ some of them whispered. Because everyone knew Starscream was going to leave, and Sunstreaker couldn’t. Rodimus still wasn’t sure why. Just like he didn’t know why Sunstreaker was sometimes sick, and had more time off than anyone else in Blue Sun. There was an answer there, Rodimus was sure of it. 

It most definitely wasn’t cowardice. It was something else. 

The sound of Sunstreaker slurping at Starscream’s valve dragged Rodimus’ attention back to the erotic show in front of him. Chains jingled as Starscream trembled in Sunstreaker’s grip, more aroused charge dancing across his frame. 

“Sun,” he pleaded, and Rodimus shivered. The desperation in Starscream’s tone almost yanked him out of the chair, just so he could soothe Starscream’s need himself. 

Sunstreaker made a noise, nipped at Starscream’s anterior nub piercing, and pulled back. He rose to his feet, his hands still cupping Starscream’s thighs before he gently let go. 

There was a moment where Starscream rocked in the air before he seemed to realize Sunstreaker’s mouth was no longer on him. He thrashed and spat out a curse Rodimus had only ever heard from back-alley drunks and the rustheads Turmoil dealt with. 

Sunstreaker licked his lips and tucked his face into the crook of Starscream’s neck and shoulder. “Do you want to overload?” he asked as he slipped a single finger into Starscream’s valve, not nearly enough to be anything more than a tease. 

“Of course I do!” Starscream’s head tipped back, his intake bobbing as he swallowed, another low whine building in his intake. 

“Then you’ll have to work for it,” Sunstreaker murmured into Starscream’s audial. His thumb swept over Starscream’s anterior node before he drew back, popping his damp fingers into his mouth. 

Starscream snarled an invective and thrashed in his chains. His frame twisted and writhed under the lighting, which Rodimus belatedly realized was a lamp positioned to best highlight Starscream’s frame. He looked gorgeous like this, strung up and desperate, pleasure bleeding in his field, and need so raw and open. 

“Why are you being so mean?” Starscream demanded, just short of a wail. His field boiled through the room, his biolights so bright they betrayed the strength of his arousal. 

How long had it been already? Since Sunstreaker strung him up and decided to drive him crazy with pleasure? How long before Rodimus arrived? Because condensation had started to gather, and Starscream’s vents were ragged. His valve lips were swollen, his anterior node an angry nub. He was so close to overload Rodimus could taste it in the air.

Sunstreaker nuzzled Starscream’s face. “Patience, beautiful. Don’t I always spoil you in the end?” 

Starscream’s lower lip jutted out in a sulk that should not have been as adorable as it was. “I want you to spoil me now.” 

Sunstreaker’s soft laugh sounded so fond Rodimus’ spark clenched in envy. “All in due time.” 

Rodimus’ hands smoothed down his thighs as Sunstreaker moved back behind Starscream, his hands never leaving the Seeker for long. He traced seams and edges, and the tangle of their fields was intoxicating. Starscream arched and swayed into Sunstreaker’s touch, and what Rodimus could read of his expression spoke of absolute trust. 

He wondered if they forgot he was there. 

Sunstreaker kept moving, until he dropped down to the berth, twisted over onto his back, and wriggled upward. It took a minute for Rodimus to figure out what he was doing, until he saw Sunstreaker’s hands wrap around Starscream’s thighs from behind and tug Starscream backward, his thighs bracketing Sunstreaker’s face at the perfect angle. Lubricant gathered in the folds of Starscream’s valve, and a single drop slipped free, landing on Sunstreaker’s lips. 

Rodimus’ internals clenched out of sheer anticipation. He wondered what it would be like to experience Sunstreaker’s mouth for himself. He wanted to change places with Sunstreaker, be the one to ex-vent hot and wet over Starscream’s valve, and then place an ever so gentle kiss on the swollen metalmesh. 

Starscream moaned, his backstrut arching, wings twitching. Chains rattled as he wriggled in their grasp, his hips sinking down against Sunstreaker’s lips. 

Rodimus couldn’t tear his optics away, barely found himself ventilating, truth be told, as Sunstreaker’s mouth moved over Starscream’s valve. He licked and sucked, treating Starscream like candy to be savored. 

“More,” Starscream demanded, though it barely counted as one, since it escaped on a moan, and his head lolled about on his neck. 

Sunstreaker hummed and shifted his focus to Starscream’s anterior node, drawing it between his lips, giving it a lengthy suck. The sound that emerged from Starscream’s intake was positively illegal, and the way he arched, his entire frame lengthening, was ridiculously erotic.

Black hands tightened around Starscream’s thighs. Sunstreaker tugged him down further and buried his face against Starscream’s valve. The sounds he made, lewd licks and suckles, made Rodimus’ face burn as much as they made Starscream squirm and pant. 

“Please, Sunny,” he whined. His vents clicked into a faster spin, dumping excess heat into the room. Charge crawled over his armor in blatant display of a fast approaching overload. 

Dentae found Starscream’s piercing, giving it a tug and the gasp that wrenched free of Starscream’s mouth made Rodimus jerk. His array throbbed, and he shifted in the chair, swallowing over a lump in his intake. 

The blindfold made it impossible to see Starscream’s optics, but the rest of his face made it clear how aroused he was. Totally open, totally trusting, totally dependent on Sunstreaker for his pleasure. His field was a frenzy of need, and little spikes of it filled the room, tapping on Rodimus’ own, as if demanding he see to Starscream’s pleasure as well. 

It was so very tempting. But so far, he’d only been invited to watch. So Rodimus kept his aft in the seat, his hands under his thighs, as the need twisted in his internals. 

A pearl of pre-fluid gathered at the tip of Starscream’s spike and rolled down the length of it. Rodimus’ mouth watered. He wanted to lick it off, taste Starscream on his glossa, swallow him down, consume every spurt of transfluid. 

Lubricant trickled from Starscream’s valve, soaking Sunstreaker’s face. Starscream writhed, his hips rocking as much as they were able given his restraints. 

Sunstreaker focused on Starscream’s anterior node again, pressing it between his denta, glossa flicking the tip of it. 

Starscream made a sound of pure sin. His head tossed back, his frame going rigid as he overloaded, rocking down hard on Sunstreaker’s face. His wings snapped upright and more fluid dribbled out of his spike. 

Sunstreaker’s oral attentions eased, but didn’t cease. He gentled his touches to soft licks, savoring ones, staying away from Starscream’s sensitive node and focusing on his swollen valve folds. Starscream made a little whine in the back of his intake, his hips still twitching, even as Sunstreaker pressed a small kiss to his nub. 

“So sweet,” Sunstreaker murmured, his voice thick with that affectionate note again, the one that made Rodimus’ spark ache. 

He wondered if anyone would ever talk to him like that, would look at him the way Sunstreaker looked at Starscream, especially when he thought Starscream wasn’t looking back. 

Starscream went limp in his chains, little shivers attacking his frame. His armor had parted, widening the seams to vent heat. His wings twitched in minute motions. He made a little noise as Sunstreaker nuzzled his valve. 

Rodimus licked his lips, his array burning. He wanted to touch himself so badly, but didn’t know if that was allowed either. Would’ve been nice if they’d given him more instruction than ‘sit and watch’. 

A parting kiss and Sunstreaker eased out from beneath Starscream, rising to his knees behind the Seeker. His hands remained in motion, gliding gently over Starscream’s plating. He traced the edges of Starscream’s wings and dragged the tips of his fingers, featherlight, up the length of Starscream’s arms. 

“Still all right?” Sunstreaker murmured into the crook of Starscream’s neck, his lips within reach of Starscream’s audial. 

A low sound rose in Starscream’s chassis. “No.” 

Sunstreaker’s orbital ridges drew down, lips curving into a slight frown. “What’s wrong?” His hands stilled on Starscream’s elbows, lustful teasing immediately shifting into concern. 

Sunstreaker couldn’t see Starscream’s face, but Rodimus could, therefore he had a first hand view of Starscream’s adorable pout. “You haven’t kissed me at all,” he complained. 

Sunstreaker twitched. The concern flipped into exasperation in the blink of an optic. He vented a sigh and slid his hands down Starscream’s arms. 

“You are a brat,” Sunstreaker said as he slipped off the berth and came around Starscream’s side. He tapped Starscream on the nose like a misbehaving sparkling. 

Starscream didn’t sound the least bit chagrined. “You still owe me a kiss.” 

Sunstreaker’s field flicked with amusement, but there was affection in the way he cupped Starscream’s face and brought their mouths together. Rodimus expected something possessive, maybe rough, but the kiss was soft. A slow merging of their lips, that made Starscream’s vents stutter and his ailerons flutter. 

The envy returned with a vengeance, clawing up out of his tanks, into his intake, and tightening around his vocalizer like a vise. He’d had a dream like this once, of this very thing, and like all else in Rodimus’ life, it had turned out to be a fantasy. 

Maybe he shouldn’t have accepted the invitation after all. 

Sunstreaker’s thumbs swept over Starscream’s cheeks. “Want more?” he asked, his tone half-affectionate, half-amused. 

“Of you? Always?” Starscream smirked, his expression smug, which was quite the feat considering he was still blindfolded. 

“You’re so greedy.” Sunstreaker chuckled. 

Starscream tilted forward, trying to shift his weight toward Sunstreaker. “Well, this is supposed to be a reward after all.” 

“The night’s not over yet.” Sunstreaker pecked a kiss on the corner of Starscream’s mouth before he looked over his shoulder. 

At Rodimus. 

Oh, so they hadn’t forgotten he was there. Rodimus found himself sitting a little straighter, and then scowled because like frag he was going to behave because Sunstreaker looked at him. 

“Well?” Sunstreaker prompted with that smug tone Rodimus had learned to hate. “Interested in doing more than looking, newbie?” 

Rodimus twisted his jaw. “You actually want me to participate?” Because honestly, that hadn’t been clear from the beginning. 

Sunstreaker shifted toward Rodimus. One hand slid around Starscream’s waist, the other resting on Starscream’s belly. “That’s the point of your being here.” 

“Don’t act like I’m stupid.” Rodimus’ scowl deepened, and he was doubly glad Starscream couldn’t see the heat of his glare. He was always chastising Rodimus for riling up Sunstreaker. “Your invitation was vague on purpose, and you know it.” 

Sunstreaker’s smirk only made the irritation burn hotter. “And yet you came.”

“Not yet, I haven’t.” Rodimus sharpened his smile, wishing he had filed denta to go with it. So what if Starscream didn’t approve? He was too tied up to notice at the moment. “And by now, you owe me several.” 

Sunstreaker arched an orbital ridge. “Is that so?”

The hand on Starscream’s belly slid further down, moving past Starscream’s spike to his valve. His biolights still glowed and lubricant had formed a wet sheen around his rim. Black fingers slid through the damp, turning them glossy. 

Starscream shivered, his hips canting forward, giving Rodimus a better view of the fingers spreading his folds, and the glittering trail of biolights leading within. Rodimus wanted to follow them with his fingers, trace them back to their prize -- the high ridge of Starscream’s ceiling node. 

“Does that mean you don’t want to play with my pretty pet?” Sunstreaker asked.

Rodimus paid a bit too much attention to the motion of Sunstreaker’s fingers. He crossed his arms as he could see Starscream’s valve clench, squeeze out more lubricant. His biolights flashed in a seductive pattern. 

Damn. 

“Not if you’re going to be an aft about it,” Rodimus retorted, but it didn’t have any heat behind it. At least, not the right kind of heat. He hadn’t managed to lift his gaze yet, not while Sunstreaker’s fingers continued to stroke and rub, parting Starscream’s valve as though giving Rodimus a non-verbal invitation. 

Starscream’s engine growled. “If Rodimus isn’t interested, then just leave him and focus on me instead, damn it.” 

“Mmm. I don’t think so.” Sunstreaker tilted his head, his attention never leaving Rodimus. “If you want another overload, you’ll have to get it from Rodimus here. You might have to beg him for it, since he’s being difficult.” 

Rodimus’ jaw literally dropped. “What?” 

Starscream echoed him, though his voice was closer to a screech. 

“You heard me.” Sunstreaker’s fingers slid free of Starscream’s valve and dragged up Starscream’s frame, leaving a trail of lubricant behind. “I want you to join us, Rodimus. Starscream doesn’t get another overload unless you do.” 

It wasn’t that Rodimus didn’t want to join them, because that was certainly the case. Rodimus quite enjoyed touching Starscream, and he considered it something of a challenge to make the pretty Seeker overload. 

However, he didn’t much like Sunstreaker’s attitude, or the way Sunstreaker tended to treat him like some unwanted stray Starscream had plucked off the street. Rodimus absolutely loathed how Sunstreaker assumed Rodimus would obey just because Sunstreaker had been the one to issue the command. 

So what if Sunstreaker was the most experienced veteran on staff here in Blue Sun? So what if he was Starscream’s lover and obviously, Starscream’s Dom? So what if he was the single, most expensive Dom in the entire building? 

So the frag what? 

Maybe it was about time Sunstreaker learned Rodimus wasn’t around to be an obedient servant. Maybe he didn’t want to be Sunstreaker’s plaything. Maybe he wanted to show Sunstreaker just how strong his spinal strut was. 

“I’m not some toy you can pick up and put down whenever you want, you know,” Rodimus said as he rose to his feet, making a show of brushing off his armor, though his gaze never left Starscream’s trembling frame. 

Need wafted off the Seeker in tangible waves. Rodimus could smell the arousal in the air, could taste the previous overloads on the tip of his glossa. His mouth watered at the sight of Starscream’s valve, so swollen and wet again. And his spike, painfully rigid, soaked in pre-fluid. That ring had to feel like a duryllium band around the base of it by now. 

“Are you sure?” Sunstreaker’s fingers painted lubricant over Starscream’s bottom lip, and the wet swipe of Starscream’s glossa to clean it was like a shot of charge to Rodimus’ array. 

He took a step closer to them before he made the conscious decision to do so. And he knew he’d done it because Sunstreaker’s lips twitched into that infernal smirk Rodimus hated so much. 

Sunstreaker crooked a finger at Rodimus. “Come here.” 

Stubbornness planted Rodimus mid-step. He was beyond reach of the two of them, no matter how much he wanted to close the distance and steal Starscream’s lips. Either pair of them. 

“No.” 

Starscream whined, and it nearly broke Rodimus’ spark. “Stop being an aft!” he hissed, and Rodimus wasn’t sure which of them he was snapping at. Maybe both. 

“There’s a point to this,” Sunstreaker said, and again, it was hard to tell who he was addressing, because his gaze never left Rodimus, but his fingers were soft as they traced Starscream’s waist. “Right now you have a choice. You can come here, or you can walk out the door. Better decide quickly.” 

Rodimus’ optics narrowed. “Or what?” 

“Or--” Sunstreaker abruptly broke off and tilted his head toward Starscream as Starscream turned his head against Sunstreaker’s. His lips moved, but he must have said something subvocally, because Rodimus couldn’t hear it. 

Whatever it was made Sunstreaker’s smirk slide into a scowl, which was far more unnerving than the smugness that usually cloaked Sunstreaker like an over-bright polish. His hand twitched where it hooked around Starscream’s waist. His optics narrowed, almost accusing, at Rodimus. 

“Fine,” Sunstreaker gritted out, like it pained him to do so. He audibly cycled a ventilation and lifted his chin. “Please come here.” 

How much had that hurt, Rodimus wondered. Because the polite request definitely sounded forced, and it must have stung Sunstreaker’s pride dearly. It must have burned, and that honestly, was what made it worth it. The verbal slap, so to speak, made Rodimus feel a tiny bit justified. 

So he made himself move forward, into Sunstreaker’s reach. Which turned out to be a mistake, because Sunstreaker grabbed him, faster than anyone with a weak spark had right to be, his fingers closing around Rodimus’ wrist. He yanked, and Rodimus stumbled forward, against Sunstreaker, whose mouth fell over his in a scorching kiss.

Sunstreaker tasted like Starscream – and yes, sweet was the appropriate word here – and his glossa was both urgent and demanding. Possessive, if Rodimus had to identify it, and he’d never admit his knees wobbled. His vents stuttered. A low sound escaped his intake as he sagged against Sunstreaker, arousal returning with a vengeance. 

Primus, no wonder mechs melted for him. It wasn’t fair. 

Like frag Rodimus was going to let Sunstreaker melt him though. So he picked up the dribbled remains of his processor and returned the ferocity of the kiss with an intensity of his own. He shoved his glossa into Sunstreaker’s mouth. He nipped at Sunstreaker’s lips. He grabbed Sunstreaker by the hip and ground their frames together, shivering at the contact. 

Sunstreaker’s field flashed with amusement. He grinned into the kiss. “You’ve got spark,” he said against Rodimus’ lips. “I like that.” 

Rodimus jerked back and glared at him. “Stop making fun of me.” 

“Who said I was?” 

A growl built in Rodimus’ engine. He shoved at Sunstreaker’s chassis, putting distance between them. He hated being toyed with, treated like some kind of pet. Especially with two mechs who weren’t supposed to be that way. They weren’t his clients, damn it. They were supposed to be his equals, and in Starscream’s case, his friend. Or at the very least, his mentor. 

Rodimus had had enough of being taken for a fool by someone he cared for, someone he dared to trust. 

“Stop acting like I should be grateful enough to be here,” Rodimus snapped. He wiped the back of his hand over his mouth, their mingled taste lingering on his glossa. “I didn’t ask to be invited.” 

“No, you didn’t. And yet you came.” Sunstreaker tilted his head, his optics cutting as they examined Rodimus like he was a mystery to be solved. “I’ll bet you’re not even sure why.” 

Rodimus’ hands balled into fists. “That’s not the point!” His vents heaved. 

He was torn, half of him raging, the other half boiling with stilted arousal. He wanted this and he didn’t, and why did Sunstreaker always have to make everything so damn confusing? Why couldn’t he just be nice? 

“Isn’t it?” Sunstreaker angled toward Starscream, one polished hand sliding down Starscream’s belly, toward his groin. “You came for my Seeker, didn’t you?” His fingers curled ever so slowly around Starscream’s spike, giving him a loose stroke. 

Rodimus swallowed over a lump in his intake, heat spreading across his face. The background arousal surged to the forefront, his spike throbbing in its housing. 

“Sun,” Starscream moaned, and the need in his vocals made Rodimus’ internals tighten out of sympathy. “Please.” 

Sunstreaker leaned in close to Starscream, his lips brushing over the Seeker’s audial. “You want him to touch you, don’t you, Starling?” He moved over Starscream’s spike in slow, gentle squeezes. One optic glanced at Rodimus. “You want to feel his lips and his hands and his mouth and his array...” 

Starscream arched his back with a soft keen. His hips wriggled into Sunstreaker’s grip, his spike weeping more pre-fluid. 

“I know you want him.” Sunstreaker’s fingers grew damp with Starscream’s slick, but his pace remained unhurried. “I don’t think he knows though. Tell him, sweetspark. Tell him what you want.” 

Starscream licked his lips, and his head turned toward Rodimus, though he couldn’t possibly see him with the blindfold on. “Rodimus,” he purred, still in control of himself despite the arousal trembling through his lines. “Get your aft over here and touch me.” 

Sunstreaker chuckled. His denta nipped at Starscream’s audial. “That’s not very polite, beautiful.” 

“You didn’t say I had to be polite.” Starscream scowled, though it didn’t last for long, not while charge flickered across his armor. He bucked into Sunstreaker’s hand. “I’m aroused. I’m dripping, and you’re too busy playing your damn games to give me the attention I deserve.” 

Rodimus didn’t bother to hide his laugh. Sunstreaker was a controlling aft, and hearing Starscream snap back at him was music to Rodimus’ audials. Besides all that, the tease in Starscream’s voice was invitation in itself. 

“Well...” Rodimus closed the distance between himself and Starscream. 

He avoided Sunstreaker, taking position at Starscream’s other side. His hand slid over Starscream’s frame, down across his belly, chasing the path Sunstreaker’s hand had taken, until he found Starscream’s spike. He flicked Sunstreaker’s fingers away, smug when Sunstreaker obeyed, and replaced them with his own, grasping the rigid heat and giving it a squeeze. 

“How can I turn down such a request?” Rodimus murmured. 

Starscream moaned, his turbines giving a little spin. “More.” 

Rodimus pinched the tip of Starscream’s spike, his fingers growing damp with Starscream’s slick, but he kept up the slow, leisurely pace. He loved the feel of Starscream throbbing in his hand, the Seeker shifting and writhing as his vents quickened and need roiled in his field. Yet, the gift of pleasure was entirely Rodimus’ own to give. 

It was a heady sensation. 

“More, rust you!” Starscream snarled. 

Rodimus admired Starscream’s face, the way it turned pink at the edges, warm from need. He panted audibly now, mouth open for quicker oral vents. 

“That’s not very polite,” Rodimus chastised. 

Starscream squirmed. His hips twisted as he hissed another curse better suited to the gutters and the criminals. 

Sunstreaker chuckled, his optics bright and admiring. “You’re learning.” He moved in front of Starscream and knelt between the Seeker’s thighs. Sunstreaker ex-vented over Starscream’s valve, making it visibly twitch. “Behave, Starling, or you won’t get a treat.”

“I am behaving!” Starscream snapped. 

Rodimus smirked and let go of Starscream’s spike. The neglected unit bobbed in the air, dripping pre-fluid. Starscream’s biolights pulsed a hungry beat. 

“No!” Starscream outright howled and thrashed in his bonds, but Sunstreaker’s grip on his hips was firm. “Touch me, damn it! This isn’t fair! I want my reward.” The last was clearly a whine. 

Primus, he was beautiful. Rodimus wanted to touch him so badly. He’d been invited, hadn’t he? He could touch if he wanted? 

Rodimus climbed onto the berth behind Starscream, immediately pressing his mouth to the edge of a wing tip. He swore he could taste the need in Starscream’s field, and the heat of it against his lips. His hands glided down Starscream’s sides, tasting seams with his fingertips, fondling the pert aft and--

Whoa. Starscream had a plug in his aft port. Decently sized thing, too. Rodimus’ spike throbbed at the sight of it. He’d heard rumors about what it meant to take a port like that, and how tight it felt, but he never experienced it for himself. He’d yet been paid for it either. 

Maybe someday, Rodimus thought, and pushed it aside in favor of notching himself to Starscream’s back, feeling the heat of the Seeker against his front. He wound his arms around Starscream, his palms splayed over the Seeker’s belly, teasing the slats of it. 

“You’ll get a reward,” Rodimus promised. He slid one hand down, teasing the ring which pierced the node housing at the base of Starscream’s spike. His other hand slid upward, fingers flicking at Starscream’s turbines. “But you have to be a good little mech to get it. So be nice.” 

Sunstreaker chuckled, but didn’t contradict Rodimus. Instead, Rodimus heard the wet noises of him licking Starscream’s valve, his glossa slick and hot against Starscream’s array. Starscream rocked against his roommate’s mouth. 

“More,” Starscream moaned, the syllables dragged out, his vents a breathy, hot rhythm. 

Rodimus stroked Starscream’s spike in a loose fist, his other hand finding the hub of Starscream’s turbine and pinching it between thumb and forefinger. “Ask nicely.”

Starscream trembled, frame arching in all directions, as though he wasn’t sure which pleasure he should chase. “Please,” he begged. “Sun, please!” 

“Much better.” Rodimus pressed his head to Starscream’s, nuzzling him. 

His array was urgently tight, spike demanding release, and so Rodimus finally allowed it. His spike jutted free, the head of it brushing over Starscream’s aft, leaving a streak of fluid behind. The bare touch was enough to make Rodimus shiver. 

“I’m going to take you.” Rodimus rutted against Starscream’s aft, spike slippery and hot. “Do you mind?” 

His answer was a moan, a thready one, hips canting back before they thrust forward again, to the welcome heat of Sunstreaker’s mouth. 

A laugh bubbled up from below. “I think that’s a yes,” Sunstreaker murmured. 

Rodimus tucked his head over Starscream’s shoulder in enough time to see Sunstreaker mouth the tip of Starscream’s spike before sucking it into his mouth. 

Starscream keened, tilting back into Rodimus’ arms as he helplessly bucked against Sunstreaker’s mouth. He was gorgeous like this, so hungry for pleasure, handing his trust over to both Sunstreaker and Rodimus. Starscream was usually so guarded, so closed off, like he’d built a titanium wall around his spark. It was a rare treat to see him this open. 

Rodimus thrust against Starscream’s aft, until he shifted his angle slightly. His spike plunged between Starscream’s thighs, the head of it sliding over Starscream’s puffy valve. Rodimus moaned, and his hands clamped over Starscream’s turbines. 

Starscream whined, trembling so hard Rodimus felt it. His field rose and fell in a scorching wave, one Rodimus met with his own. Maybe not as fiercely hot, but certainly getting there. 

Rodimus licked his lips as he watched Sunstreaker suckle Starscream in earnest, taking him deeper and deeper with each wriggle of Starscream’s hips. Sunstreaker’s lips were shiny with lubricant, his intake working effortlessly as Starscream slid deep into it. 

Arousal throbbed hard in Rodimus’ lines. It was all he could do to keep up a rhythm, thrusting between Starscream’s thighs and rutting over the swollen slick of his valve. He didn’t want to overload before Starscream, but it was a challenge. Especially as Starscream whimpered. 

Sunstreaker grabbed Starscream’s hips, pushing and pulling Starscream out of his mouth, leaving it slick with his oral lubricant. The angle was too awkward for Rodimus to slide into Starscream’s valve, but this was more than enough to have him fighting back overload. 

Rodimus shifted both of his hands to Starscream’s turbines, spinning and fondling the hubs with abandon. Starscream keened, backstrut arching as he pushed his chassis into Rodimus’ fingers. 

“Oh, you like that, do you?” Rodimus’s vents were ragged as he nibbled on Starscream’s intake. “Will it make you overload?”

A shudder rippled across Starscream’s frame. Rodimus ground against his aft, between his thighs, spike throbbing in the small space. He pinched the hubs of Starscream’s turbines, grinning as Starscream trembled in his arms. Starscream gasped and squirmed, his vents getting sharper, more desperate. 

Rodimus eased his touch, scrubbing his palms gently over Starscream’s turbines as Starscream’s shaking increased in earnest. Streaks of pre-fluid mingled with lubricant made a sloppy mess between his thighs, a slick tunnel for Rodimus to take. 

“Ahhh.” Starscream whimpered. “That’s… that’s...”

“Good?” Rodimus supplied. He swept his hands up and down Starscream’s chassis, briefly toying with his abdomen before finding the sensitive turbines again. 

“Too much,” Starscream whined, but his aft pushed against Rodimus’ groin, and his field was so hungry for overload, that his protest was thin at best. 

Besides, Sunstreaker hadn’t given any sign Starscream was in true distress. So Rodimus would follow his lead. He suspected Starscream wanted to whine for the sake of it, sulky little Seeker he could be. 

“Is it now?” Rodimus breathed against his audial. “Does that mean you’re close to overload?” He rubbed the tip of his forefinger against Starscream’s hub, like he might a sensor node. “Do you want another one?” 

Starscream thrashed in his binds and found no escape. Sunstreaker’s hold was like iron, and Rodimus had enough of a grip Starscream was trapped. Aggravation puffed in Starscream’s energy field in a faint whiff. 

Rodimus grinned and pressed on the turbine hub, pretending it was a button. “If I play with these more, will you overload? Will you spill in Sunstreaker’s mouth? Will you shriek for me?” 

Starscream moaned. “P-Please.” 

Rodimus glanced at Sunstreaker over Starscream’s shoulder, just to be sure, but the other mech just looked up at him and winked with a little smirk, his lips stretched around Starscream’s spike. He swallowed Starscream to the hilt, chin rubbing over Starscream’s anterior node, his intake visibly working around Starscream’s spike. 

Well then. 

“So you can ask nicely,” Rodimus said, refusing to hide his glee. 

He laid the entirety of his palm over Starscream’s turbine, rubbing in large circles. He wished he could get his mouth on one of them. He bet Starscream whimpered when they were sucked on.

“And so prettily, too.”

Starscream panted, his head tossing back, lying on Rodimus’ shoulder. His cockpit arched forward, pushing his turbines into Rodimus’ hands. His field buzzed with arousal, almost painful in its intensity. 

Rodimus nibbled on Starscream’s intake and decided to be merciful. He abandoned one turbine to slide his palm down Starscream’s belly, fingers finding the base of Starscream’s spike and toying with the quick release to the spike ring. 

“One more time for me, beautiful,” Rodimus murmured, his internals twisting with want at every panted word. “Do you want to overload?” 

Starscream whimpered. “Yes. Please.” Chains rattled, and his frame echoed them. His vents roared desperately. 

Rodimus was entranced. His self-control threatened to vanish, and only a steadying ventilation kept him focused on the task. His spike shoved between Starscream’s thighs, eager and dripping, and as he looked over Starscream’s shoulder, he could see Sunstreaker. His lips were wet with lubricant, his face was flushed with heat, and Starscream was deep down his intake. 

“I think you’ve earned it.” One hand mercilessly fondled Starscream’s sensitive turbine hub. Rodimus suspected he’d be paying for this later, but later was too far away to worry about. “Our pretty, pretty Seeker.” 

His other hand flicked the quick release for the spike ring. It snapped open and dropped down, hitting the head of Rodimus’ spike as it fell. 

The response was immediate and electric. Starscream tossed his head back and wailed, hips jabbing forward, wings flicking against Rodimus. He overloaded, thrashing in their combined grip. His thighs pulled tight around Rodimus, forming an impossible squeeze, and Rodimus could only hang on for dear life as overload roared through his frame. 

He spattered transfluid between Starscream’s thighs. Starscream spilled down Sunstreaker’s intake, his hips jerking in stuttered bursts as his wails gradually rasped into quiet sobs of pleasure. His entire frame went taut before he abruptly sagged, back into Rodimus’ arms, dragging in heaving breaths through his vents. 

Rodimus nuzzled Starscream’s head. His mentor trembled, his thighs quivering and his valve rim throbbing where Rodimus’ spike nestled against it. 

Sunstreaker pulled off Starscream’s spike with a noisy slurp and rose to his feet, optics intent and hungry. He cupped Starscream’s face and slanted his lips over Starscream’s, a thin dribble of transfluid leaking from the corner of his mouth. 

Rodimus hissed through his denta. Starscream moaned into the kiss as Sunstreaker deepened it. The noisy sounds of their kissing made arousal tighten in Rodimus’ belly all over again. He smoothed his palms over Starscream’s belly, his mouth suddenly very lonely. 

Sunstreaker eased off the kiss with a smile on his lips, glossa sweeping out to catch a stray dribble of transfluid. Starscream made a quiet mewl of a noise and leaned in, cheek rubbing against Suntreaker’s. He said something against Sunstreaker’s lips, something Rodimus couldn’t catch. 

That feeling of being an outsider caught up to Rodimus. He thought he should look away, pretend not to pay attention. Like he was intruding on a private moment. 

Sunstreaker swept his thumbs over Starscream’s cheeks. “Speak up, Starshine. I didn’t catch that.” 

Starscream squirmed, though it lacked strength. “My arms ache,” he rasped, though for once, it wasn’t a whining, playful complaint, but a soft, and very real, admission. 

Sunstreaker’s expression instantly softened. “Then let’s get you down.” He started to reach for the chains. 

“No,” Starscream said. “I don’t...” 

Sunstreaker paused and nuzzled Starscream’s face, his expression one few had ever seen. Even Rodimus couldn’t believe Sunstreaker could look that tender. Was that what being in love looked like? 

His spark gave a pang of longing. He’d thought he’d felt that once. He thought he knew what it meant. But he doubted Deadlock had ever looked at him like that. Not if he could abandon Rodimus so easily. 

“It doesn’t mean we’re stopping, Starshine,” Sunstreaker murmured with a touch of amusement in his voice. “You’re still getting every bit of that reward I promised you.” 

“Oh.” Starscream sounded, of all things, dazed. It was actually kind of adorable. 

Sunstreaker chuckled and brushed his nasal ridge over Starscream’s. Then he pulled back and met Rodimus’ gaze over Starscream’s shoulder. “Hold him while I get him down.” 

Normally, Rodimus would bristle at being given a command like that. But even he had to concede it made sense. Besides, it was for Starscream’s sake, so he’d yield this once. 

Rodimus nodded, not trusting himself to speak, and wrapped his arms carefully around Starscream, shifting to cradle him as Sunstreaker gave the chains some slack. He worked quietly and efficiently, no doubt because he’d made quick releases. He gently massaged Starscream’s shoulder cables as he lowered Starscream’s arms, tucking them against Starscream’s chassis. 

Rodimus busied himself with his armful of languid Seeker. Starscream kept shivering, his frame exuding hot bursts of heat, and his spike was still hard despite his overload. The blindfold stayed, apparently, but Rodimus didn’t mind. He let one hand roam while the other cradled Starscream.

He didn’t often have opportunity to touch like this, so Rodimus took advantage while he could, tracing the seams of Starscream’s armor, tickling behind his knees, trailing his fingers up the length of Starscream’s spike, and rubbing patterns on the glass of Starscream’s cockpit. Starscream started to squirm in earnest, vents hitching, faceplate darkening with heat. His thighs parted as though inviting Rodimus to venture between them. 

He ignored the offer for now. Wouldn’t do to let Starscream think he was in control, would it?

Instead, Rodimus made a beeline for Starscream’s turbines, fun as they were to play with. He skated his palm over the nearest one, and Starscream outright wriggled, wings twitching and hands lazily rising, trying to blindly smack his fingers away. 

“No,” he grumbled, glossa wetting his lips. “Sensitive.” 

Rodimus chuckled. Starscream’s petulant tone was unfairly endearing. “Are they now?” He dodged one protesting hand and cupped a turbine, rubbing the hub with his palm. 

Starscream squirmed and tried to bat his hands away, but suddenly Sunstreaker was there, curling his hands around Starscream’s wrists. He held them out of reach, giving Rodimus tacit permission to fondle as he pleased. 

“They aren’t that sensitive, Star,” Sunstreaker said, his tone half-chastisement and half-amusement as he brushed his lips over Starscream’s. “So behave and let Rodimus play with you.” 

A whine eeked out of Starscream’s intake, and his lips curved into an adorable pout. But any protest he might have offered was lost to a moan as Rodimus took the opportunity to lean over and get his mouth on one of those hot nubs. He flicked it with his glossa first, and scraped it gently with his denta. His free hand slipped lower, curling around Starscream’s dripping spike to give it a squeeze. 

Starscream moaned again, the noise swallowed by Sunstreaker’s mouth. He still wriggled on Rodimus’ lap, his wrists tugging against Sunstreaker’s grip in token protest. But his spike throbbed and wept copious pre-fluid, and his chassis started arching against Rodimus’ mouth. 

Rodimus grinned around his mouthful and blew into Starscream’s turbine, making the little slats spin. He abandoned Starscream’s spike and slid further down, to the much neglected rim of Starscream’s valve. His thumb familiarized itself with Starscream’s swollen frontal cluster, as two fingers curled into Starscream’s valve, stroking the nodes on the inside of the rim. 

Starscream bucked up, making noises Rodimus could only call a mewl. He panted against Sunstreaker’s lips, his lower half squirming, feet scrabbling at the berth as though trying to find purchase to rut on Rodimus’ fingers. His field swelled, hot and heavy, tugging at Rodimus’ and demanding he play harder. 

A demand Rodimus was only happy to meet. He snagged Starscream’s hub between his denta and gave it a delicate pinch. Starscream gasped and arched toward Rodimus’ mouth. His valve rippled around Rodimus’ fingers, rhythmic clamps that tried to pull his fingers deeper. 

Rodimus chuckled around his mouthful. “You complain and then you respond so prettily. No wonder we get so confused.” 

“He complains for the sake of being spoiled,” Sunstreaker replied. 

He abandoned Starscream’s mouth in favor of tasting the turbine currently left unattended. His glossa flicked over the hub as he looked up, his optics finding Rodimus’. 

“Still up for more, rookie?” 

There was challenge in Sunstreaker’s gaze. Fortunately, Rodimus had always liked a good challenge. He especially wasn’t going to back down from one offered by Sunstreaker. 

His thumb rubbed harder on Starscream’s node, making Starscream whine. “Of course I am.” 

Starscream vented a shuddery breath. “Well, maybe I’m not,” he gasped, but the rapid spinning of his fans belied the protest. 

Rodimus grinned and teased Starscream’s valve nodes. Calipers fluttered around his fingertips, demanding more. “This sweet valve right here says otherwise.” 

“And I know better.” Sunstreaker touched his nasal ridge to Starscream’s, and Rodimus wondered if he even knew how much affection shone in his optics as he did it. “This is your reward, Starshine. Don’t tell me you changed your mind.”

Starscream’s lower lip jutted out in a pout. “You’re too busy teasing me to give me proper attention.”

“When I tease you, you’ll know.” Sunstreaker chuckled, warm and low, and unfairly, the sound went straight to Rodimus’ groin. Arousal spiked when Sunstreaker looked at him again. “Is that spike of yours any good?” 

Warmth quickly turned to irritation. “Good enough,” Rodimus near-snapped. Primus, just when he thought he could start to like Sunstreaker, he turned into an aft again. 

“Roddy has a nice spike.” Starscream turned his head in Rodimus’ direction. “And he’s at least willing to pay me attention.” 

Rodimus huffed a laugh. “That’s right.” He stole Starscream’s lips for a kiss, grinning into it as Starscream eagerly returned it with a flick of his glossa. 

He rewarded Starscream by curling his fingers and stroking the inside of Starscream’s valve, enjoying the flex of hungry calipers around his digits. He added a third, for an indecent stretch, and preened when Starscream moaned against his lips.

A moan that quickly turned into a squeak when Sunstreaker returned to the party, wrapping his fingers around Starscream’s spike. A possessive grip, if you asked Rodimus. 

“Is that so?” Sunstreaker’s tone was mild, conversational even. But when Rodimus looked up at him, there was a tightness to Sunstreaker’s jaw. “Then I guess I’ll have to see what the rookie can do.” 

“Fine by me.” Starscream playfully nipped Rodimus’ bottom lip. “You’re going to treat me right, aren’t you, sweetspark?” He purred in that silky-sweet tone Rodimus had heard him use on many a prospective client. His thighs closed around Rodimus’ hand, trapping it so he could roll his hips onto Rodimus’ fingers. “You’ll give me a proper reward, won’t you?”

Rodimus groaned as the purred request went straight to his array and made his spike throb. He shoved his fingers deeper, knuckles grinding against Starscream’s rim. “Frag yeah.” 

“Good.” Sunstreaker abruptly stood and hefted Starscream into his arms as though carrying the Seeker away to be his bridge. Rodimus’ fingers were left dripping and cold, away from the warmth of Starscream’s valve. “Get on the berth, rookie. Let’s see that spike you’re so proud of.” 

Rodimus narrowed his optics. That didn’t sound like a challenge; it sounded like a dismissal of Rodimus’ abilities. It made him feel like the first time he met Sunstreaker all over again, when Blue Sun’s top-rated Dominant had looked down his nose at Rodimus, measured him in an instant, and found him sorely lacking. 

“I’m not taking orders from you,” Rodimus said in a low tone. Aroused or not, he could still dredge up a glare for Sunstreaker, though his gaze flicked to Starscream. 

Starscream who was squirming in Sunstreaker’s arms, one hand unashamedly creeping toward his unattended array. “That’s not fair,” he pouted. “I was enjoying those fingers.” Two of his own slid around his spike, painting his talon tips in his pre-fluid. 

Rodimus’ mouth filled with lubricant. He wanted to lick those fingers clean. Though the idea of Starscream self-servicing while they watched was wholly appealing as well. 

“Stop that.” Sunstreaker gave Starscream a jostle. “Rodimus is going to take care of that for you.” 

Unsurprisingly, Starscream ignored him, and judging by his little hum of pleasure, he’d already slipped two fingers inside himself. “Not if you’re too busy with your spike measuring contest.” 

Starscream probably would have given them a Look, if he weren’t blindfolded. Rodimus could hear the chastisement clear as a bell. 

Rodimus hauled himself onto the berth, getting comfortable, if only so he could spoil Starscream, Sunstreaker bedamned. His spike bobbed at the apex of his thighs – he was an escort, what did he have to be ashamed about – and he stroked his fingers over the flames decorating the length of it. He was proud of his spike, not even Sunstreaker’s dismissive look could change that. 

“Tell Sunstreaker you want my spike, Stars,” Rodimus murmured, using the sweetest tone in his arsenal, one he’d been working on with Starscream in his spare time. Got him a good tip a couple days ago, it did. 

Starscream growled. “I’ll take anyone’s spike at this point!” His field snapped through the room like a whip, stinging where it struck Rodimus’. “Don’t make me walk out of here and bend over for the first person to walk by. Because right now, that’s what it’s going to take to get a spike in me!” 

The look on Sunstreaker’s face was one Rodimus’ couldn’t quite define. Almost murderous, it was definitely possessive and irritated and outraged, all tangled up with frustration because there was an ache there. An understanding that he wasn’t allowed to be any of the three. 

Because the two of them were idiots, mutually pining for each other, too cowardly to say the feelings they guarded in their sparks. What Rodimus wouldn’t give to have a connection like that with someone. What he hadn’t already surrendered, just for the illusion of it. But to have it right in front of him, real and tangible, he ached for it. 

Sunstreaker reacted as he always did to that melange of emotion. He got defensive, and the next thing Rodimus knew, Starscream was tumbled out of Sunstreaker’s arms and into Rodimus’ lap. Carelessly discarded, to anyone unfamiliar with either of them, and Rodimus had to scramble to catch Starscream, struggling with an armful of squirming Seeker who was much larger than he. 

Protest darted to the tip of Rodimus’ glossa, but he swallowed it down so quickly he choked on it, at the look on Sunstreaker’s face. The glint in his optics spelled murder, to whomever dared take Starscream up on that blatant offer, touching what rightly belonged to Sunstreaker without his permission. 

Starscream was lucky. He couldn’t see Sunstreaker’s expression. And he’d never had any compunctions when it came to expressing himself. 

“Hey!” he snarled, and flailed around on Rodimus’ lap, talons scraping several furrows into Rodimus’ paint until he managed to right himself. He straddled Rodimus now, sopping hot valve resting snug over Rodimus’ spike. “What the frag’s your problem?” 

Sunstreaker didn’t answer. Not with words. His actions probably made less sense to a thoroughly confused Seeker. He climbed onto the berth behind Starscream, kneeling between Rodimus’ legs as a result, and his mouth fell hot and wet on the top edge of Starscream’s nearest wing. 

Starscream hissed, half-outrage, half-pleasure, and his spinal strut arched. His hands blindly clawed the air before he found Rodimus’ chassis and hooked on a transformation seam. Sunstreaker’s hands moved down, curling around Starscream’s waist, as his mouth slid to the back of Starscream’s neck, glossa flicking over the delicate components there. 

“Down,” Sunstreaker growled with a dark note to his vocals that should not have been so appealing. Nor the way he nipped at the back of Starscream’s neck, like a turbohound staking a claim. 

Rodimus bristled on Starscream’s behalf. “Did you hit your head or something?” he demanded as he resisted the urge to pull Starscream to protect him. “How about giving orders that actually make sense!?” 

One bright blue optic glared at him from over the rise of Starscream’s shoulders. Sunstreaker rose up on his knees, his hands resting on the back of Starscream’s shoulders. He gave Rodimus a long, unreadable look, and then he pushed, tilting Starscream’s weight against Rodimus. 

Already unbalanced, and with Starscream both larger and heavier, Rodimus toppled backward, his spoiler sinking into the plush berth. Armor clanged as Starscream sprawled on top of him, his spike rubbing against the slats of Rodimus’ abdominal plating. A squawk of outrage spilled from his lips. 

“Hey!” Rodimus snapped, but went unheeded. So he focused instead on Starscream, running his hands over the Seeker’s armor and making sure he was well. 

Starscream shifted atop him, knees digging into the berth, hands landing to either side of Rodimus’ shoulders. Still blindfolded, he rubbed his cheek on Rodimus’, making a soft purring sound, his field thick with heat and want. 

Sunstreaker’s hands moved to Starscream’s hips. They smoothed over his aft and then he bent down and over. Rodimus had no idea what he was doing, save that Starscream abruptly shivered and moaned. His backstrut arched, lips parting as he swept his glossa over them. His talons scraped at the berth, his hips rolling against Rodimus’, their spikes grinding together. 

“Sun,” Starscream moaned, his face darkening where it was visible, his vents coming in sharper pants. “Oh, please. More.” He pushed his aft toward Sunstreaker, and the faint wet noises coming from that direction gave Rodimus all the mental image he needed. 

Sunstreaker, perhaps having finally slipped free that plug in Starscream’s port and replacing it with fingers and glossa instead. That tiny, snug little port Rodimus had yet to taste for himself. 

Starscream panted harder, rocking on Rodimus’ frame, sliding slowly down toward Sunstreaker and no, this wouldn’t do at all. They weren’t allowed to forget he was here. 

“Hey, I’m here, too, you know,” Rodimus said. 

He would, for now, ignore whatever had crawled up Sunstreaker’s tailpipe. After all, he had a pretty Seeker squirming on top of him, valve dripping and spike leaving a slick mess on his frame. 

Rodimus cupped Starscream’s face and tilted it up toward his, within inches of his lips. “Don’t I get kisses, too?” 

Starscream shifted to greet him, ex-venting warm over Rodimus’ lips. “You’d better,” he murmured. He slotted their mouths together, his ex-vents hot and wet and stuttered. 

Rodimus swore he could still taste Sunstreaker on Starscream’s lips. Not unpleasant, but a stark reminder nonetheless. 

Rodimus focused on the kiss, the press of Starscream’s frame against his, knees bracketing his hips, Starscream sinking down until his cockpit pressed to Rodimus’ chassis. His angle shifted slightly, and now the dripping core of his valve hovered over Rodimus’ spike, teasing him with droplets of hot lubricant. 

He was aware, tangentially, that Sunstreaker was at the end of the berth as well, his armor occasionally brushing Rodimus’ calves and feet. His ministrations made Starscream tremble and moan, ratcheting his arousal higher and higher. 

Rodimus still startled when he felt a hand on his spike. It curled around him, spreading pre-fluid and lubricant alike. A thumb swept over the tip, rubbing in small circles, and a strangled cry caught in Rodimus’ intake. 

He broke off the kiss, a startled “Wha…?” petering off into a moan as the hand guided his spike straight to Starscream’s valve, and Starscream’s hips dropped down. 

Bliss swallowed Rodimus whole as his spike was wrapped in rippling heat. He tipped his head back, feet digging into the berth for leverage as he thrust up into Starscream, the better to taste those deeper nodes. 

Starscream vented and sank a little further down, until it was no longer his arms holding his weight, but Rodimus, who was all too willing to wrap his arms around Starscream. It left his hands free to explore, to trace seams and delicate cables, and make Starscream shake. 

The berth shifted, dipping a little on the far end. Sunstreaker came into view again, his expression intent as his hands smoothed up the back of Starscream’s thighs, over his hips, and around his waist. He rolled his hips forward and almost immediately, Starscream moaned. His backstrut arched, forehead rubbing against Rodimus’ shoulder and claws ripping more stripes in Rodimus’ paint. 

“Yes,” Starscream hissed, rocking back, forcing Rodimus deeper as he did so, and no doubt Sunstreaker as well. His spike throbbed against Rodimus’ abdomen, and his valve rippled, squeezing out more lubricant. 

Rodimus was entranced. He stroked the flat of his palm over Starscream’s wing, swearing he could feel the rapid pulsing of Starscream’s spark where their chests pressed together. 

“Tell me,” he murmured into Starscream’s audial, tracing it with the tip of his glossa. “What’s Sunstreaker doing, Star?” 

Starscream rocked on top of Rodimus with little gasping vents. “He’s… he’s...” 

“Use your words, darling,” Rodimus teased, harkening back to a smirking Seeker who’d taken way too much pleasure in teaching Rodimus all he needed to know. 

Starscream’s moans reached another pitch. His field burst with hunger and need alike, intoxicating to taste, and dragging Rodimus’ arousal to new heights. He barely needed to thrust, given the way Starscream clenched and rippled around him. 

“Is he spiking you?” Rodimus asked, knowing very well the answer, but wanting to hear it from Starscream’s lips. “He’s filling you. Not in your valve, though, because that’s me.” He thrust upward at that, grinding deep, gracing Starscream’s ceiling node. “So he must have taken out that plug and replaced it with his spike. Didn’t he?” 

Starscream’s claws left a deep enough scratch Rodimus was going to need filler. He barely noticed the sting. 

“Yes,” Starscream cried, and there was sheer delight in his tone. He moved shamelessly now, rocking on their spikes, faster and faster, seeking overload with delirious urgency. 

Starscream went limp on top of Rodimus, his head tucked into Rodimus’ throat. He panted, whuffs of damp heat against Rodimus’ intake cables. His entire frame quivered. 

“More,” Starscream breathed, each plea a blurred litany of need, his field crackling over Rodimus’ with unrelenting heat. 

Rodimus groaned and wrapped his arms around Starscream’s waist, bracing his feet against the berth. He used all the leverage he had to thrust up, shallow as it was, grinding into Starscream, the Seeker’s spike trapped between them. Starscream’s valve eagerly clutched at him. Charge roared from his nodes, lighting up Rodimus’ sensornet. 

Sunstreaker moved, thrusts deep and jolting. Rodimus could feel them through Starscream’s frame, feel the way Sunstreaker’s weight drove them deeper into the berth. Sunstreaker’s field joined the fray, tangling thickly with Starscream’s as though staking yet another claim, until Rodimus could hardly tell them apart. 

And then he didn’t bother to try, because with so much lust and pleasure swirling in the room, he was dizzy. He gasped out hot vent after vent, denta gritting to hold onto his meager control. With Starscream panting and writhing on top of him, with Sunstreaker’s field all but demanding pleasure from the both of them, they were impossible to resist. 

Sunstreaker leaned forward, bracing his hands over them, caging both Rodimus and Starscream beneath him. His hips never stopped moving, rolling deep into Starscream, filling his port with every thrust. 

Starscream’s moans became a litany of words and pants, none of which made sense. He squirmed, spike rutting against Rodimus’ abdomen. His valve rippled and clenched in arrhythmic waves. 

Rodimus glanced up only the once, and his spark clenched at the look on Sunstreaker’s face. The way his optics seemed focused on Starscream alone, shining with nothing short of love, and what a pained emotion it was. There was determination in his focus, to see Starscream come undone between them. 

Rodimus groaned and tilted his head against Starscream’s, optics shuttering as he surrendered to sensation. He held Starscream closer, rocked up into him, fiery heat curling madly in his belly, in his groin. Warmth choked him, two sets of hot vents against his frame, and their weight bearing him down into the berth. 

But their fields! Primus, their fields were intoxicating. Like sticky fingers tangled into his own, pulsing in tandem, dragging sharp bursts of heat against his sensor nodes, impossible to resist. Rodimus’ moans rose with Starscream’s, and if Sunstreaker made a noise, Rodimus couldn’t tell over the song of his own pleasure. 

Restraint was something he practiced for his clients. Here, Rodimus only clung to it for Starscream’s sake, though every inch of him wanted to give in to the rippling clench of Starscream’s valve, and the taste of staticky charge leaping between their frames. He held Starscream tighter, rolling up into the Seeker in increasingly frenetic thrusts, and shivered as Starscream gasped into his audial, moans and whimpers and breathy pleas of want. 

And then Rodimus found himself pushed deeper into the berth. His optics snapped open to find Sunstreaker leaning against Starscream’s back, his lips mere inches from Starscream’s audials, his optics half-shuttered. 

“My pretty Star,” he murmured in a silken voice Rodimus didn’t even know Sunstreaker capable of making, but Starscream abruptly turned wanton. “Overload for us, Star,” Sunstreaker urged, or commanded, it was so hard to tell. “Take the reward you deserve.” 

Starscream’s knees dug in at Rodimus’ hips. He shuddered from head to foot, and a breathy whimper puffed against Rodimus’ audial. Sunstreaker’s name might have been in the ex-vent, but it was quickly lost to a growing wail as Starscream obeyed and overloaded. His entire frame went taut, and Rodimus felt the warm splatter of transfluid against his abdomen.s Starscream’s valve spiraled tight around him, charge running up and down the lining of it. 

All hope of restraint was swept away in the tide of pleasure swamping Starscream’s field, and the hot zing of that charge nipping at his spike. Rodimus’ head tipped back, hips snapping upward, as he followed Starscream over, spike spurting transfluid in heavy bursts at the back of Starscream’s valve, prompting another, smaller overload from the Seeker. 

Rodimus groaned and as Starscream’s head turned, perhaps seeking a mouth to bury his cries, Rodimus gladly captured his lips for a hot, messy kiss. Pleasure stripped his awareness to nothing but sensation, frames moving together, fields thoroughly entangled, and Rodimus only knew Sunstreaker had found completion by the third bright burst of ecstasy where their fields mingled. 

The kiss softened, though Rodimus couldn’t seem to stop tasting Starscream’s mouth. Starscream was limp in his arms, thoroughly exhausted and sated, a puddle of satisfied Seeker who purred into the kisses, his frame trembling and fans roaring from exertion. He made little sounds in his intake, hums and sighs. His valve twitched around Rodimus’ spike, half-pressurized as he was. 

“Damn.” Rodimus rubbed his cheek on Starscream’s face. “Please say you’re going to invite me to play again.” 

Starscream’s tired chuckle carried amusement. “I’ll let you know as soon as I pass my next exam.” He rested his head on Rodimus’ shoulder, rubbing his cheek over an armor ridge. “Primus, I can’t move.” 

“You don’t need to,” Sunstreaker said. The berth shifted as he pushed himself upright and sank back on his heels, removing his weight from Starscream and a much relieved Rodimus. 

Starscream was heavy by himself, but Sunstreaker was built stronger than he seemed. Had to be. Because Rodimus felt tiny and delicate beneath them. 

“Stay right there,” Sunstreaker added as he smoothed his hands over Starscream’s lower back and hips, gentle pets that belied his earlier roughness. “I’ll take care of the rest.” 

Starscream purred happily. “You don’t have to tell me twice.” He nuzzled into Rodimus’ intake. “Mm. Pet me.” His aft wriggled, shifting Rodimus’ depressurizing spike in that snug little space. 

“Yes, your majesty.” Rodimus rolled his optics, but found himself obeying nonetheless. It was hardly a trial to touch Starscream, and with the Seeker so warm and limp and snuggly right now, he didn’t mind at all. 

He let his fingers trail over Starscream’s frame, tracing seams and glyphs on the back of Starscream’s wings. Starscream’s optics drifted shut, his engine settling into a low idle of contentment. 

Sunstreaker slid off the berth and stood beside it. His half-pressurized spike was slick with fluids, and Rodimus was not afraid to admit that he gave Sunstreaker’s equipment a look. He wanted to see what all the fuss was about. 

Nothing special. Sunstreaker was adequately sized for a mech of his frame type, and he didn’t have any special mods or designs on his spike either. It was pretty plain, all things considered. He didn’t even have a piercing like Starscream. 

“Don’t fall into recharge just yet, Starscream,” Sunstreaker said, though his tone had lost that commanding edge. One hand smoothed over Starscream’s aft as the other groped around the berth for some reason. 

The answer became obvious when he pulled the port plug from the tangled covers and slipped it back into Starscream’s aft. Starscream loosed a little moan and sigh, his aft rising up into Sunstreaker’s hand. 

“I’ll recharge if I want to,” Starscream muttered sleepily. 

“Not until you’re clean,” Sunstreaker said. He looked fond as he caressed Starscream’s aft one more time. 

“Then clean me.” 

“And me, too,” Rodimus piped up, because he could, and because he was sticky everywhere. Starscream’s wriggling had caused him to slip out of Starscream’s valve, and while he’d retracted his spike, he could feel the tackiness of drying fluids everywhere. 

Sunstreaker didn’t dignify Rodimus with a response. He did, however, roll his optics, and turn away from the berth, disappearing into the adjoining private washrack. 

Rodimus chuckled and returned his attention to a delightfully snuggly Starscream. Who, he belatedly realized, was still wearing the blindfold. Oops. 

“Keep antagonizing him and see what he does,” Starscream cautioned. 

“Pfft. I’m not afraid of Sunstreaker.” Rodimus worked a hand free and tugged at the knot at the back of Starscream’s head. “Let’s get this off you. Can’t believe he forgot.” 

He worked it loose and tossed it over the side of the berth. 

Starscream blinked rapidly, optics spiraling in and out of focus. It was pretty darn cute, and when Starscream’s gaze finally focused on Rodimus, he broke into a grin. 

“Well, hey there sexy. Fancy seeing you here.” Rodimus patted Starscream’s aft for emphasis, and went back to petting Starscream, as the Seeker had started making demanding noises in his intake. 

Starscream rolled his optics, much like his roommate, and rested his head on Rodimus’ shoulder again. “You take Recurve as a client far too much, if you’re picking up on his terrible flirtations.” 

Rodimus shrugged, bobbing Starscream on his shoulder. “Recurve’s fun, and he doesn’t enjoy smacking people around, so if all I end up with is a couple cheesy lines, who cares.” He tilted his head against Starscream’s. “So why’d Sunstreaker put the plug back in?” 

All sleepy and cuddly and pleasure-drunk, Rodimus gathered Starscream might be more willing to be truthful and less caustic. Maybe he’d get a straight answer without some kind of cryptic wording. 

“I asked him to,” Starscream replied. 

“Oh.” 

“And if you need me to explain why, perhaps you’re more innocent than I thought,” Starscream added with a laugh. Amusement fluttered in his energy field. 

Rodimus bristled. “I am not!” 

The last thing anyone could ever accuse Rodimus of having was innocence. He was at Blue Sun because of Turmoil after all, and there wasn’t a single mech in the entire city who didn’t know who Turmoil was. 

Attaching himself to Turmoil was supposed to be safe. It was supposed to be his way out. It was supposed to mean he’d have a future. Turmoil could be charming when he put his processor to it, and they first time they met, he’d certainly laid on the sweet oils. Rodimus had been smitten. 

He’d thought, in a way only the foolish and dream-struck could be, Turmoil would change for him. Become a better person. Out of love. 

That foolish innocence went away all too quick. But by then, it was too late to escape. 

Starscream wriggled on top of Rodimus as though trying to get comfortable. More amusement floated in his field, dragging Rodimus back to the present. 

“You did well tonight,” he commented. 

Rodimus blinked. “Wait a klik. Did you just praise me?” 

“I give credit when it’s due.” 

Rodimus narrowed his optics and tickled into one of Starscream’s seams, making the Seeker squirm in restrained laughter. “Where’s Starscream and what did you do with him?” 

Starscream flicked him in the forehead. “Idiot. I’m feeling generous for once. Enjoy it while it lasts.” 

“I’m not sure I trust a generous Starscream.” 

Starscream flicked him again and flopped strutless on top of Rodimus, bearing him further down into the berth. “Shut up.” 

Relieved that Starscream sounded amused rather than annoyed, Rodimus laughed and started petting Starscream again, long sweeps of his palm over every inch of smooth armor he could reach. Starscream moved into his strokes and his engine purred like one of the tamed pets rich mechs bought by the dozen. 

“You’re like a voltaic cat, you know,” Rodimus commented. 

Starscream rubbed his cheek on Rodimus’ shoulder. “I consider that a compliment.” 

Of course he did. 

The door to the washrack slid open, releasing a roil of steam into the room, though it was quick to dissipate. Sunstreaker stepped into view, gleaming clean, and carrying an armful of mesh cloths, likely damp. His orbital ridge drew down in confusion. 

“What are you two giggling about?” he asked as he started to wipe down Starscream’s frame with little compunction, pulling a pleased hum from Starscream’s intake in the process. 

“We’re not giggling,” Rodimus retorted, watching them both with a critical optic. 

“If you say so.” Sunstreaker shrugged. 

Sunstreaker, who was now so gentle and attentive, his expression softer now, his hands careful as he wiped down Starscream’s aft and thighs and probably his array, too. His field was much calmer than the storm it had been earlier. Starscream, for that matter, had a field full of utter delight. He lounged on top of Rodimus like he’d found a throne, and arched into the swipe of the cleaning cloths, his engine purring. 

When Sunstreaker finished, Rodimus wasn’t sure what to expect, but Sunstreaker perching on the edge of the berth and pulling Starscream into his lap wasn’t it. Perhaps he should have, given how much Sunstreaker had been mechhandling Starscream all night. 

“You’re so handsy today,” Starscream grumbled, but it was good-natured, because all he did was stretch under Sunstreaker’s hands, and arch into the careful swipes of the mesh cloths, now focused on his belly and groin. 

Sunstreaker snorted. Verbose as always, that one. 

“What about me?” Rodimus demanded as he sat up and gestured to his sticky front, where transfluid and lubricant alike were starting to flake up and form a mass. “Don’t I get some help cleaning up?” 

“Washrack is right over there,” Sunstreaker said without so much as looking at him, his optics focused on Starscream only. 

Rodimus sighed. 

He should have known. 

He leveraged out of the berth, pausing only long enough to see if Starscream would protest on his behalf, but the Seeker was too busy being pampered. Oh, well. It was his reward after all. 

So Rodimus tucked himself into the washrack and dove under the steaming spray. He braced his hands against the wall and let the hot solvent wash over him for several long seconds. He cycled a few ventilations, loosening his armor, allowing the sudsy fluid to tickle his cables. 

He shared a room with two other mechs. They and two other dorm-like rooms all used a communal washrack. It had enough space for four mechs to shower at once, but no elbow room and no privacy, and there was always someone else waiting, so you couldn’t linger. This, right here, was an absolute luxury, one few escorts deserved. 

Sunstreaker was entitled to it since he was one of Blue Sun’s oldest, and arguably its most permanent, resident. His fees alone accounted for ten percent of Blue Sun’s overall revenue. He was invaluable to them. Even with his medical issues. 

Rodimus didn’t know all the details. He just knew that Sunstreaker got more time off than anyone else. He tired easily, and fatigue often made him grumpier than usual. He saw a medic every other week, and some kind of specialist once a month. Whatever his condition, his skills were enough to grant him serious latitude. 

Rodimus supposed that if he were worth ten percent of overall revenue, he’d be spoiled like that, too. Rodimus and his roommates – all of whom he tolerated but didn’t particularly like – together probably accounted for five percent of the total revenue. If that. 

The difference in quality, in talent, in experience, was palpable. Didn’t mean Rodimus had to put up with Sunstreaker’s piss-poor attitude though. Primus that mech was an aft. 

Rodimus vented another sigh and forced himself into motion, grabbing one of the scrubbers off the hooks – how many did a pair of mechs need, Primus! – and quickly giving himself a wash. He had a feeling he’d overstayed his welcome, if Sunstreaker’s behavior was anything to go by. No doubt he wanted to cuddle Starscream in peace, pretending like it was perfectly normal to be that possessive of your roommate, and it didn’t at all mean that you loved him like he was the other half of your spark. 

Nothing to see here, mechs. Just a couple of best buds, roommates, good old pals. Who give each other sparkful looks and longing sighs and painful optics when the other wasn’t looking. 

Relationships were complicated. This Rodimus knew all too well. 

He slapped the shower pad, changing from solvent to rinse, and stood under the spray, turning to get every inch of his frame. It would do for now. He’d clean up, detail, attack the numerous scratch marks on his paint with filler later. Maybe he could bribe Clockwork into helping him. 

Rodimus shut off the rinse and toweled himself dry, a task he’d perfected to finish quickly. He gave himself a onceover in the mirror and deemed he was good enough to head back to his corner of the shared room. 

He stepped out of the washrack and into the room proper. 

In his absence, Sunstreaker and Starscream had moved to theclean berth. They’d dimmed the lights, with only a single lamp illuminating the dark shapes of the room. Sunstreaker stretched across the berth with Starscream draped on top of him like an avian-themed blanket. 

Rodimus swallowed down the twinge of jealousy rising up in his intake. Instead, he planted his hands on his hips. 

“Well,” he said, maybe a touch snappy. “Guess this is the part where I don’t bother hoping for a tip and quietly excuse myself?” 

Sunstreaker snorted. “Don’t be ridiculous.” One hand lifted from where it was softly petting the back of Starscream’s wings and gestured to the berth. “Get over here.” 

Rodimus hesitated, unwilling to obey a command, but the lure of that berth, the warmth of it, was impossible to resist. He didn’t want to leave and go to his berth and recharge alone with the scent and taste of them still lingering around his frame. He didn’t want to feel like what he was: an abandoned mech selling himself to survive. 

“Besides,” Sunstreaker added as Rodimus made his way to the berth and gingerly climbed up into the empty space beside them. “You can’t do anything quietly.” 

Rodimus shot him a hot glare, but that only made Sunstreaker softly laugh. Perhaps he didn’t want to disturb Starscream, whose shuttered optics and almost liquid relaxation suggested he wasn’t awake, though his wingtips were doing these tiny twitches. 

“He asleep?” Rodimus stretched out in the remaining space, on his belly to save a kink in his spoiler later. 

“Yes.” Sunstreaker’s gaze turned soft, his fingers carefully tracing nonsense patterns over the back of Starscream’s wings. 

That clench attacked Rodimus’ spark again. He folded his arms under his chin, resting his cheek on his wrist. “What test did he pass?” 

“No clue. Something for his certification.” 

Rodimus blinked. “He’s a student?” That was news to him. It was in poor taste to ask another escort why they worked at Blue Sun, so Rodimus had never brought it up. He’d often wondered though. 

“Was,” Sunstreaker corrected, and his expression turned into one bright with pride. “He’s graduated now, but his loans are due, and he’s too practical to have them hang over his head like a prison sentence.” 

“And this is the quickest way to pay them off,” Rodimus guessed aloud. 

For someone who wasn’t already independently wealthy or well-established in whatever field Starscream had studied, there was no better or faster way to earn money than escort work. Except, perhaps, stimulant peddling. 

Just ask Turmoil. 

“He’s smart,” Sunstreaker agreed. “Too smart to be wasted here. When he’s made enough, he’ll leave.” He paused, something quietly grieving taking over his face. “It’s a good thing. He doesn’t belong here.” 

“And you do?” Rodimus desperately wanted the actual truth. He knew rumors. Whisperings. But nothing concrete. Just that Sunstreaker was here, and Sunstreaker would never leave. 

Sunstreaker answered him with silence, however. 

“Well, I don’t belong here either,” Rodimus said, knowing that was all the personal conversation he’d get out of the yellow mech tonight. He stretched his frame and settled into the berth. “Soon as my debts are cleared, I’m gone. As far as I can.” 

Another city-state for sure. Maybe even another planet. Just somewhere Turmoil and the memory of the mech couldn’t reach him. 

Rodimus glanced at Sunstreaker and was startled to see the worried and resigned expression in the stoic mech’s face. It took him a minute to connect the dots, to realize what might have caused Sunstreaker alarm. 

“I’m not trying to take him, you know,” Rodimus said, taking a guess. 

Sunstreaker blinked. “Are you in the habit of making vague statements?” 

Rodimus pointedly looked at Starscream. “He’s fun to play with and it’s nice to have someone looking after me, or whatever he says he’s doing, but I don’t want to keep him.” His spoiler fluttered before settling against his back. “You don’t have to worry about me. I promise.” 

“You can’t lose something that freely gives itself away,” Sunstreaker muttered, but his arms tightened around Starscream as though he couldn’t bear to loosen his hold, lest Starscream fly away and leave him behind. 

“But you can lose something if you don’t even try to keep it,” Rodimus replied, careful to keep his tone soft and unchallenging. He had a feeling Sunstreaker wouldn’t really respond to testiness. 

Sunstreaker snorted. “Recharge, idiot, before I kick you out of the berth.” 

And just like that, the moment of vulnerability was gone, and Sunstreaker was back to his usual caustic self. That felt more normal, but sadder, too. 

Rodimus let it be. 

“As if you would. Have you seen these scratches?” he bantered back as he wriggled his aft. “I’ll tell everyone I left your room like this, too. They’ll be appalled. Sunstreaker’s really getting soft, they’d say. Your reputation would be ruined.” 

Sunstreaker rolled his optics. “Brat.” 

“Aw, and now I have a nickname, too. You must really love me.” Rodimus grinned and tucked his face against his crossed arms, shuttering his optics. 

Sunstreaker didn’t respond. Though Rodimus could feel the burn of his glare despite the dim of the room. 

Rodimus kept his chuckle to himself. Best not to antagonize Sunstreaker and potentially wake Starscream. He doubted the Seeker would be in a good mood after being disturbed from his peaceful slumber. 

This, Rodimus decided, was far better than restless recharge in the room he shared with two others. In fact, he’d just started to doze off, and was in that twilight state where memory purges threatened to rise, but he wasn’t fully conscious, when something tugged him back toward full awareness. 

At first, it was a relentless, low donging sound. Like a door chime. And then he heard conversation, muted and murmured, enough to make him fully rouse. Rodimus onlined his optics and pushed himself onto his elbows, cycling his optics to clear the fuzziness from them. He’d been out for an hour, according to his chronometer, and Sunstreaker was still in recharge, too. 

The voices were coming from the direction of the door. 

Rodimus squinted. 

Starscream stood just inside the doorframe, talking to someone. His wings twitched as though agitated and as Rodimus pushed himself to the edge of the berth, he caught a glimpse of the mech on the other side. It was Streamline, though why he’d be here was anyone’s guess. Far as Rodimus knew, both Starscream and Sunstreaker were off-duty tomorrow, and no one knew Rodimus was here. 

Besides, Rodimus wasn’t popular enough to be scheduled ahead of time, or develop a loyal fanbase. Unless you counted Turmoil’s many cronies. 

Ugh. 

By the time Rodimus had scooted off the berth and padded over to Starscream’s side, the door had shut, and Starscream turned away from it. He blinked in surprise at Rodimus, but didn’t seem annoyed by it. 

“Something wrong?” Rodimus asked, keeping his tone low so as not to wake Sunstreaker. Especially if there was an issue. Best not to poke a sleeping Sharkticon. 

“Depends on your point of view.” Starscream lifted the datapad in his hand and gave it a shake. “I’ve got a client.” 

“Right now?” 

“No. Tomorrow.” Starscream’s lips curved into a frown. “My day off.” 

Wait. That didn’t make sense. “I thought--”

“If they are willing to double my fee, I consider it. Streamline knows that,” Starscream replied, cutting him off. He sighed and there was resignation as much as acceptance in it. “He tripled it.” 

“Whoa.” Rodimus’ optics widened. Starscream’s fee was already not too shabby. And to triple it to start? “Who is it?” 

“First time buyer.” Starscream’s fingers flicked over the screen, pulling up the information before he turned it around to face Rodimus. “A merchant, name of Sideswipe.” 

Rodimus peered at the screen. A black and red mech grinned back at him, his paint high-class and gleaming, his frame definitely made-to-order. His application listed a few basic facts about himself, including his net worth, and it made Rodimus boggle. The mech could buy and sell the entirety of Blue Sun a dozen times over. 

“Handsome,” Rodimus commented, because that, at least, was very true. This Sideswipe had an easygoing grin, bright blue optics, and a kind face. 

“And entitled no doubt.” Starscream thumbed the datapad off and set it aside, on a nearby desk. 

“Are you accepting it?” 

“I’d be a fool not to.” Starscream rolled his shoulders in a shrug, wings flicking. “Come on. This means I’ll need to wash up. You can help.” 

“I’m getting tired of taking orders,” Rodimus grumbled, but he followed Starscream nonetheless. 

Starscream stepped ahead of him and keyed on the spray, filling the room with the sweet scent of the solvent. “That’s because you’d rather be giving them,” he commented as he stepped under the spray. 

“I guess.” Rodimus grabbed a clean scrubber off the rack. Starscream would probably need help with his back and wings the most. 

Starscream braced his hands against the wall, offering aft and back to Rodimus. “You had fun playing master tonight, didn’t you?” 

“Well… yeah.” Surprisingly so. More than he thought he would. But every time he’d teased Starscream and gotten a response, a thrill ran up his spinal strut. 

Starscream tossed a smug look over his shoulder. “I thought you might.” He gave his aft a shake. “Do me a favor and take out that plug? I can’t very well keep it in with a client tomorrow.” 

Rodimus’ gaze dropped to Starscream’s aft, and the end of the plug sitting snug in his port. It was a pale blue, a nice contrast to Starscream’s darker navies, reds, and grays. It was smaller up close. 

“Are you sure?” 

“Sure that I need it out or sure that I want you to do it?” Starscream chuckled and arched his back, putting more of himself under the spray. “Yes to both. Just don’t be lewd about it. This is no time to start something that can’t be finished.” 

“You throw temptation at my face, and then tell me I can’t have it,” Rodimus grumbled as gently grasped the end of the plug and eased it free, enraptured by the way Starscream’s port rim contracted around it. “Now who’s being a tease.” 

“Save it for a future lesson. Port-play is different from valve-play.” Starscream shivered, his talons scraping the wall, as Rodimus drew the last of it free and set the plug aside, on one of the shower’s inset shelves. 

Starscream’s port rim twitched. A small trickle of transfluid eased out of his port, and Rodimus’ internals clenched with want. He would have touched if he could, but Starscream’s boundary had been clear: not this time. 

So instead Rodimus sighed and grabbed the extendable shower head, directing the spray at Starscream’s back to wash away the escaping transfluid. Such a salacious situation, wasted down the drain. 

“Is that why you invited me?” Rodimus admired the sudsy solvent sluicing down Starscream’s frame. “Was this another training session?” 

“In part.” Starscream stretched his arms over his head and slowly turned, claiming the nozzle from Rodimus. “And also because I knew you could keep your mouth shut.” 

Rodimus blinked. “You trust me?” 

Starscream tilted his head. “Is that so difficult to believe?” He lifted a hand, twirling a finger. “Turn around so I can get your back.” 

“I’m already clean.” Nevertheless, Rodimus obeyed. 

“Yes, but Sunstreaker will need to fix your paint in the morning, and I can see where you missed multiple spots.” 

Rodimus sighed. Sometimes, he wasn’t sure if Starscream treated him like an errant youngling, an exasperating sibling, or a pet. 

“He’s going to love that,” Rodimus muttered. 

Starscream laughed as he scrubbed Rodimus’ back, more intent than seductive, and it just wasn’t fair. “Don’t worry. He’ll do it. Especially if I ask.” 

“Must be nice.” Rodimus hadn’t meant for his murmur to be heard, but the longing had boiled up and over, escaping before he could stop it. 

“Hm?” 

“To be so close to someone like that,” Rodimus clarified, and hoped he could turn it around, make a hint toward the blindness Starscream and Sunstreaker held for each other. 

Starscream shrugged, and the brush gentled over Rodimus’ spoiler, scrubbing into the hinges and sweeping over the edges. “I suppose. Friendship is a luxury for mechs like us, to be fair.” 

“For anyone,” Rodimus corrected, his spark giving an unwelcome clench. 

Friendships, he’d learned, led to betrayal and abandonment. Being left to bear the brunt of a powerful mech’s anger, and ending up with a debt you couldn’t easily repay. 

Starscream tweaked his spoiler, making Rodimus jump and whip around. “You’re mine, too. Just so you know. I’ve claimed you.” Solvent switched to rinse, and Starscream tugged Rodimus under the spray. 

“Does that make us friends?” Rodimus asked, and hoped he didn’t sound desperate or hopeful or some mixture of both. 

“If you need a term for it.” Hands on Rodimus’ shoulders turned him around and around under the spray, until he was fully rinsed. “You’re not just a charity case anymore.” 

“Thanks,” Rodimus said dryly. “I feel special now.” 

Starscream chuckled and hooked the nozzle back on the wall. He tossed Rodimus one of the drying cloths. “Well, you should. I don’t spend my time with just anyone. It’s far too valuable.”

“I noticed.” 

Damp cloths were tossed into the basket to be collected by the cleaning staff later. Rodimus flicked his spoiler to get the last few droplets off and stretched his arms over his head. He did feel a lot cleaner now. 

“Well, we’re as good as we can be without Sunny’s help,” Starscream said and spun Rodimus toward the door, pushing him out ahead. “Now let’s go back to recharge.” 

“Yeah, I’ll bet Sunstreaker is missing his berthmate by now.” 

Starscream snorted, but didn’t comment. Whether or not he agreed was up for debate. Rodimus, however, knew he was right. Because when they got back to the berth, Sunstreaker was frowning in his recharge. One arm had slid across the berth as though searching for the warm frame that should have been beside him. 

But when Starscream slid onto the berth, notching himself against Sunstreaker’s side, the frown melted away and Sunstreaker instantly shifted to accommodate him. 

Just roommates. Right. And Unicron wore rusted undergarments. 

Rodimus rolled his optics and eased onto the berth next to Starscream, sinking into the plush surface, and letting his field tangle with theirs. It was nice, to be welcomed like this. Felt like good things he hadn’t felt in a while. 

This time, recharge claimed him swiftly, and Rodimus sank into it all too willingly. Next time, it wouldn’t even be an internal debate. 

Any further invitation would be an automatic ‘yes’. 

****