It was not real. It would not last.
Starscream didn’t care.
He’d been flying with his wingmates when Skyfire first blasted past them, corkscrewing through the sky in what was clearly a demand for attention.
[Glad to have you back,] Starscream called, being careful to keep the elation out of his voice. Megatron’s ridiculous plan had actually worked!
Skyfire looped back around and shifted into robot mode. As he faced the seekers, Starscream saw his optics were no longer their usual blue. Now, they were as crimson as Starscream’s own, a side effect of the virus that had been implanted in his processor as he recharged.
Starscream transformed in midair. “Megatron has orders for you—” he began, but got no further as Skyfire reached out to grab him, dragging him close to his cockpit for a deep and possessive kiss.
[Get a room!] jeered Skywarp.
Starscream made a rude hand gesture at Skywarp, but shook free of Skyfire.
“You have a mission,” he told the shuttle. “Megatron wants you to destroy every human aircraft you can find.”
“Is that all?”
“For now.” Starscream paused as Skyfire reached for his wings again. “Stop it. Later. You have your orders. Report back at noon.”
“Come with me.” Skyfire’s voice was surprisingly intense, almost as though he was giving an order.
Starscream barely suppressed a smile. “Next time,” he said. As much as he liked the idea of reducing a human airfield to slag alongside Skyfire, the plan was very clear. The Autobots had to be seen acting alone, not with the Decepticons. Or else the humans might not believe the ruse.
Skyfire transformed back into altmode and shot off across the sky, leaving the three seekers behind.
[Cute,] said Thundercracker dryly.
[I thought he was gonna frag you right in front of us,] contributed Skywarp.
“Shut up, Skywarp,” said Starscream. He transformed quickly because in altmode, nobody could see the idiotic smile on his faceplates.
* * *
Later that day, when the sun was at its peak, Skyfire returned. Starscream had been afraid that he wouldn’t, that Skyfire’s self repair systems would handle the virus, or the virus would override Skyfire’s logic circuits and he’d decide he wasn’t beholden to Megatron.
But when Skyfire reported in, smelling of smoke and laserfire and molten steel, there was no sign that his personality chips were attempting to revert back to their original state.
This new Skyfire was extremely physical, pulling Starscream close to press a possessive kiss to his lipplates before he even said hello. Starscream noticed that Skyfire’s servos were less careful, less gentle, than they had ever been before.
“Report,” said Starscream as Skyfire broke the kiss.
“I went to the military hangar fifty miles north of this location,” said Skyfire. “Every last jet was destroyed.”
“And what about the humans?” asked Starscream.
Something in Skyfire’s optics seemed to flicker. “You didn’t say anything about humans.”
“You let them escape?” Starscream was not angry, merely curious. Had Skyfire left the humans alone because of Starscream’s overly-precise orders, or was this some small part of Skyfire’s true self attempting to fight back?
Whatever the reason, Starscream was secretly glad. Skyfire would regain control of himself sooner or later. He did not want to think about the shuttle mourning what he had done while he was under the influence of Megatron’s personality disruptors.
Skyfire held Starscream close, but it was different, somehow. Colder. More possessive. Like Starscream was a thing he owned, rather than a cherished mate.
“You’ve missed me,” Starscream breathed.
To his eternal shock, Skyfire’s faceplates twisted into a sneer. He reached out and twisted Starscream’s left wingtip—hard.
“What the frag!?” Starscream ripped away. “Skyfire! That hurt.”
For a klick, he could see confusion and shame in Skyfire’s faceplates, his unnaturally crimson optics flickering to purple. But it was gone as quickly as it had come.
“What’s the matter?” taunted Skyfire. One large servo reached out and grabbed him by the arm, nearly crushing it. Skyfire pulled Starscream to his chassis. “You’re so cute when you scream. I could just pull you apart, one strip of metal at a time.”
“Skyfire,” said Starscream. “Stop. This isn’t you. You love me. Remember? You love me.”
“I love you,” repeated Skyfire, cupping Starscream’s faceplates in his other servo. “I love you so much I want to rip the cables from your neck and carve my name into your spark chamber.” His digits slipped down to grip Starscream’s throat.
“Don’t make me hurt you,” Starscream warned.
Skyfire laughed. “You? Hurt me? You sentimental little glitch, we both know you couldn’t bring yourself to—”
The last of his patience gone, Starscream grabbed Skyfire’s servo, jamming his claws deep into the soft plating beneath his knuckles. Skyfire cried out in surprise and loosened his grip just enough for Starscream to get his neck free.
At the same time, Starscream brought his frame low, twisting his arm out of Skyfire’s other servo as he went. The move might not have worked on a battle-weary Decepticon, but Skyfire was a civilian, no matter what his warped programming was currently telling him. When Starscream ducked under Skyfire’s arm, Skyfire didn’t know enough to let go.
A moment later, his pedes left the ground as his entire frame was flipped over Starscream’s shoulder vent. Flat on his back, Skyfire stared up at the sky in shock.
“Don’t fragging touch me again,” snarled Starscream. Then he stormed away, wings held high. When he was certain that Skyfire was not coming after him, he opened up a new comm line to Megatron.
[This is the worst idea you’ve ever had,] he complained.