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Shockwave had never prided himself on being an individual of great emotional capacity. Apathy suited him better than the unpredictable nature of sentimentality, and he had long ago trained himself to be stoic in the face of adversity, and to ignore anything which might distract him from his work.

So to find himself so genuinely irritated was a novelty in and of itself, and something he felt the need to correct. Promptly. His ire was something to be feared, certainly, but it was also something seldom triggered. Most mechs knew better than to meddle in his affairs, and those who ignored such warnings also knew to expect a swift and brutal retaliation.

This time, however, there was no outside interference to be dealt with. Shockwave’s distraction was nothing more than could be expected from a mech whose frame had declared war on his processors, and it was beginning to test even his meticulous self-control.

He had identified the symptoms quickly, and determined their cause, but knowing did little to alleviate his ailment. The incessant prickling under his armor, the heavy and overfull feeling of his spark, the throbbing and unabating wetness behind his panels, were all clear indicators of one thing: the early stages of a heat cycle.

The reignition of his cycle wasn’t unexpected, given the circumstances, and yet Shockwave had found himself caught off guard—something which he detested.

Logically, he knew that his frame’s response was in line with the recent changes in his environment, and that had he paid more attention he might have tracked its progression or even prepared for it from the start. But regardless of the cycle’s predictability—and his own oversight—he resented its reemergence.

Shockwave never found heat cycles enjoyable; he wasn’t inclined to seek out partners, and so the cessation of them during the war had been to his benefit. With their loss, he had been free to work unhindered.

Nevermind the fact that it would likely conclude in a few solar cycles; Shockwave detested any loss of productivity, and he had important projects to monitor. He wouldn’t neglect them unduly, and particularly not to satisfy such base coding.

He shifted, and a wisp of steam escaped from between plating which felt tight and restrictive.

The war had left little opportunity for heat, regardless of their dwindling population. Front-line mechs had been too taxed—too concerned with repairs—to have their cycles triggered, and Shockwave himself had been left largely in isolation on Cybertron. The quality of the fuel he’d been ingesting at the time had also been subpar—nowhere close to providing the minerals from which his frame could have constructed a new lifeform.

After all, heat was relatively archaic; an inconvenient holdover from the past. There were other methods of reproduction for their kind, and nowadays cycles tended to emerge infrequently, and only under optimum conditions.

Unfortunately, it appeared that those conditions were presently being satisfied.

It shouldn’t have been a surprise. Shockwave was fueling better than he had in vorns. Predaking had certainly proved himself an excellent provider in that regard. The energon he’d been obtaining for them was more likely than not coming from the Autobots—who’d had more time and resources to refine the synth-en technology—but Shockwave couldn’t be bothered to muster a reaction. Faction had never held as much interest for him as progress.

Perhaps even more crucial, was the fact that Predaking and his overeager subordinates were constantly within his vicinity. And they touched him, with far more frequency than he was used to. The three of them had proven disruptive enough to Shockwave’s routine that he’d even had to set limits on when they could barge into his laboratory, and when he required solitude.

Their regular proximity—in combination with the sharp deviation from his usual dearth of contact, and the rich fuel being supplied to his frame—had been enough to reawaken neglected protocols; protocols which were apparently eager to make up for their inactivity. Shockwave hadn’t had a heat in so long that despite their relative rarity, he was still long overdue.

With the advent of the cycle, his options were limited. It was too far along for a suppressor to halt its progress, and regardless, he lacked the materials to manufacture one. Seeing it through, on the other servo, would require either assistance, or a great deal of mental fortitude on his part.

Shockwave’s servo trembled as he set down a beaker. He was finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate. His processor was wandering uncharacteristically—taking turns which under normal circumstances he would have found appallingly undisciplined. Shockwave was hardly immune to such carnal desires, but neither did he make it a habit to entertain them.

Perhaps you should, suggested the part of his processor currently reigning supreme.

It wasn’t as though he lacked for partners; strong and capable ones, who would undoubtedly devote all of their attention to making sure he was comfortable, and that he had everything he required...

With another flash of irritation, Shockwave shrugged those thoughts away—though he steeled himself to the fact that they would grow increasingly common as the cycle progressed. While he could understand the objective appeal of interface—and had occasionally partaken in the past—it was an inefficient way to spend his time. Release was easily managed on his own.

Shockwave had strict priorities. At the moment, none of those involved creating a newspark—an endeavor which would only consume more of his precious time and energy. And while he wouldn’t rule out entirely the possibility of someday having progeny of his own, his frame couldn’t have picked a more inconvenient junction to impress upon him the idea.

With Cybertron in the state that it was, it would not only be irrational, but irresponsible. Shockwave’s intellect—and his ability to work on revitalization projects unhindered—was far more crucial to their survival than the use of his gestation tank.

Fighting the heat was a futile effort, however, and Shockwave clutched at the table as the need pooled low in his abdomen. He was forced to acknowledge that his continued engagement with the experiment would yield limited results.

Nonetheless, he briefly considered continuing.

Stubborn, admonished a gravelly voice in his processor, and even the memory of it stirred the heat anew.

It was unsurprising that Predaking lingered at the forefront of his thoughts, with his frequent and inescapable presence. He had yet to make his customary daily visit, and Shockwave’s heat had encouraged him to observe a number of other admirable qualities which the Predacon possessed in the interim. Despite his reluctance to indulge, there was the barest whisper of anticipation flitting about his circuits.

The dragon was impressive; that much was undeniable.

Entering into a partnership with Predaking hadn’t been Shockwave’s first choice, but with Megatron’s disappearance—and the resulting disbandment of the Decepticons—his well of resources had run dry. That had meant taking any advantage he could, even if it required opening his lab—and use of his unique skill set—to his former experiments.

It had been particularly necessary in the wake of the injuries he’d received during his escape from the Terrorcons, and Shockwave had resigned himself to the fact that he lived by the grace of Predaking’s goodwill. It was fortunate therefore, that the ruler recognized his worth.

So far, it had proved to be a mutually beneficial arrangement, with Predaking supplying adequate resources and protection, and Shockwave devoting his attention to the completion of projects which would aid them in the coming vorns. And as usual, Shockwave’s ambitions stretched beyond the short-term.

Predaking claimed that his offer had stemmed from survival, and ultimately, proliferation. And while this was likely true, Shockwave strongly suspected ulterior motives.

The Predacon hadn’t been subtle in his interest as of late. Shockwave had elected to ignore it, but neither had he missed the signs. Predaking lingered often in the lab, engaging him in conversation or remarking on his work. He had a tendency to hover—or to initiate contact when it wasn’t necessary—and Shockwave had felt the burn of that sharp gaze on his frame on numerous occasions where Predaking thought him distracted.

Most telling of all, the Predacons had begun constructing their new base around his laboratory, and upon stepping into the caves one was immediately greeted by something clearly meant to be a permanent living space. A... den, for lack of a better term. They brought him fuel regularly and seemed determined to remind him of their presence at every available moment.

Shockwave had the distinct sense that he was being shepherded into the Predacons’ lives, and his own lack of resistance to the idea would need to be examined later—once he was sure the heat wasn’t influencing his perceptions unduly.

In any case, Predaking had yet to make any overt gestures, and Shockwave had decided to simply continue as he was until the inevitable occurred. The chances of him accepting any personal offers had once been close to nothing, but lately he’d found himself granting the idea more consideration. He’d recalculated, and corrected the likelihood to 67.3%—a number which was largely dependant on Predaking’s intentions.

Shockwave would not enter into a partnership which did not provide him with suitable recompense, and Predaking would need to prove his worth if he wished to have him in more than a professional capacity.

The casual consideration of Predaking’s interest had finally been picked up on by Shockwave’s frame, and he found himself forced to flare his armor in an attempt to aid his besieged cooling fans.

Heat was nothing if not persistent.

Perhaps it was time to retreat to his quarters and take the situation in servo. The heat required no partner—no physical donation or proof of coupling—to satisfy its conditions. He would be in an enhanced state of arousal for some time in an attempt to encourage such a thing, but self-induced overloads would be enough to temper the maelstrom of arousal to a more manageable trickle.

He was tempted—in the part of his processor that so badly wished to conceive—to seek out Predaking and put an end to the wait. Shockwave would entertain no illusions of romance, but physical gratification—particularly under such duress—would be... acceptable.

Unfortunately, he knew that the drawbacks of such a decision would probably outweigh any gains. He had no way to predict how Predaking would respond to the proposal, and whether it would invite further attention which he was unequipped to handle.

Shockwave would have to be content with his ability to satisfy himself.

As he stepped away from his workbench, however, his plans were brought to an abrupt halt, for the faint thumping sound which had begun emanating from the anterior tunnel signaled the approach of one of his ever-present companions.

Shockwave quickly weighed his options. There was time yet to make a retreat, but with the Predacons’ enhanced chemoreceptors he suspected that they would not only know that he’d recently departed, but of his condition as well. Any official business would quickly fall to the wayside as they realized his plight. It was perhaps better to address this issue now, rather than wait for an entourage to come banging at the door to his quarters.

Unexpected desire licked at Shockwave’s spinal strut at the thought.

It was evident that a large part of him was still being influenced by his condition; not insofar that he was completely incapable of making his own decisions, but that inviting the beasts to assist was incredibly tempting, regardless of the consequences.

After all, Shockwave had overseen their development. He was cognizant of quite a few relevant details pertaining to their specifications, and had no qualms about their ability to satisfy the heat crawling under his plating.

On that note, it was quickly becoming clear to him that his rationality was fighting a losing battle.

Skylynx bounded around the corner in alt mode, only to skid to a stop and immediately fix a sharp gaze on him. Shockwave noted the alertness with which the Predacon eyed him; doubtlessly, he had already sensed what was amiss. Darksteel darted in to join him, and Shockwave soon found himself trapped in a staring contest with not one, but two Predacons.

He shifted minutely, his wires tensing in preparation for… what? An assault? It was unlikely—especially considering the tight leash Predaking kept on them—but they were young, and overeager, and Shockwave couldn’t rule out the possibility of that excitement translating to an enthusiastic attempt to “help”.

There was more than a bit of hunger lurking within those optics.

He was spared from having to deal with the situation by the arrival of Predaking, already in root mode as he strolled in. As usual, the way he held himself radiated authority, and his subjects parted before him.

Shockwave’s processor made a few unnecessary observations as to the proper application of such power.

“Skylynx, Darksteel,” intoned Predaking lowly, “what have I told you about minding your manners around our guest?” Nevermind the fact that this had been Shockwave’s laboratory first, and the Predacons the intruders.

“Aww we weren’t gonna do nothin’,” complained Darksteel.

“What do you take us for?” Skylynx added with a snort, though he continued to eye Shockwave as though he were a particularly delectable morsel which had fallen onto his plate.

Predaking growled in warning, and the gaze was finally averted. A mumbled apology followed.

He stilled for an entirely different reason as Predaking caught his optic. There was blatant desire there too, for all that he was restraining himself. Shockwave wasn’t entirely unopposed to it.

“It seems that you’ve found yourself rather inconvenienced, scientist,” remarked Predaking with no small amount of amusement. He’d been around Shockwave long enough that he’d undoubtedly gleaned some insight as to his character, and how much of a disturbance he would find this.

Shockwave didn’t particularly enjoy him making light of it, however.

“An unfortunate, but inevitable development,” he said stiffly. “It would have been more remarkable had this not occurred.”

“And yet, you were not expecting it,” observed Predaking.

Shockwave’s audial fins folded back.

“Your reasoning?”

For while Predaking was correct, he had no knowledge of the preparations Shockwave may or may not have made. Shockwave disliked assumptions on principle—particularly those which called his competence into question.

“I have a hard time believing that you wouldn’t have informed us earlier, so as to ensure some relative peace,” Predaking rumbled. He cast an amused glance at the other two, who were obviously struggling to remain quiet.

Darksteel looked offended, but he’d barely managed to squawk a protest before a strategically directed elbow from Skylynx stopped whatever it was he’d been planning to say.

“Unless, of course, you were counting on our involvement,” ventured Predaking with a fanged grin.

“...Perhaps”

“Are you looking to kindle?” he asked without pretense.

Shockwave approved of the direct approach; his estimation of Predaking rose marginally in response. He hesitated briefly, but his decision had not changed—regardless of what his frame continued to insist upon. This would not be his only opportunity.

“No,” he affirmed.

Predaking approached, and Shockwave took a moment to observe the fluid strength of his frame as he moved. Darksteel and Skylynx hovered just behind him, and their restlessness showed in the twitching of their tails, in tapping claws, and pedes scuffed against the floor.

“Would you like our assistance?” was the next inquiry, and though the composition was neutral, the tone was anything but.

There was a dark and heady quality to Predaking’s voice which incited a strong reaction from his frame, and to his chagrin the thrill which raced across his plating generated a small, but noticeable arc of electricity. Predaking was close, and the chances he hadn’t seen it were slim. Shockwave, however, waved it from his processor. He was busy mulling over the use of ‘our’.

“Is it customary for your kind to... share?” he asked. He still knew little of Predacon culture, and was keen to update his logs even in the midst of this nonstandard negotiation.

“To a degree,” murmured Predaking. He reached out to lay a clawed servo against the glass of his chest, and Shockwave’s spark throbbed in response.

It appeared that he had made up his processor. The prospect of a mutually enjoyable release seemed, for once, the more appealing option. It was rare for him to think so—even under the sway of the cycle—but he would evaluate the development later.

Perhaps some of it lay in the ease of accepting. Much of Shockwave’s dislike of interface stemmed from navigating the relationships involved—and their trivialities—but after deca-cycles of coexistence, he was largely aware of what the Predacons wanted.

He was still attempting to work out some of the minutiae, but for the most part he was beginning to understand his place in the order which was being carved out. Adding an element of physicality to that was hardly a drastic change.

Still, he seeked to discern Predaking’s motivations.

“Why offer?” he asked.

They had no exceptional emotional attachment—nothing beyond the strange, fragile truce they were currently embroiled in navigating, and perhaps the remnants of fondness from Predaking’s rearing. Shockwave recalled briefly the way he had once accepted meals from his servo, and purred at his touch.

“You’re one of us,” said Predaking, as though no other explanation was needed.

Ordinarily Shockwave might have been annoyed at the vagueness of the response—at the broad, symbolic generality meant to invoke a sense of camaraderie—but today he found a glimmer of understanding.

He had never been one for such close association, but he understood the benefits of the pack-like arrangement the Predacons maintained. Neither was he opposed to being absorbed into such a structure—provided they understood what he could and could not offer.

Predaking was currently awaiting a response.

“This is… acceptable,” answered Shockwave, with an awkwardness that he was seldom afflicted by.

Predaking chuckled, and the deep rumble of his laugh lit something in Shockwave’s core. The servo drifted from his chest to his midsection, and a trail of fire cropped up in its wake. Claws slipped into the prominent gaps, and made for easily accessible wires; they raked lightly across the threaded cords, drawing a deep shudder.

“Will you allow me to lead then?” inquired Predaking, even as he crowded Shockwave against the table.

Their hip plating came into contact, and Predaking leaned unforgivingly into the motion. The pressure against Shockwave’s panels made the throbbing of his array begin anew, and he reached out to steady himself.

“Also acceptable,” he said, a touch of static clouding his words.

“Good.”

Shockwave had little time to think on that before Predaking lifted him up, and he had no choice but to lock his legs around the sturdy frame. This only pressed their arrays closer, and Shockwave vented sharply—releasing his covers so that he might achieve more direct stimulation.

His array had been working to prepare him for some time, and the lubricant which had been so bothersome earlier now ensured that the slide of his valve against warm plating was nothing short of rapturous. It might have been overwhelming, but for the slow grind with which Predaking met him; he controlled the movement of Shockwave’s hips so that the contact was firm and sustained without being abrasive, and the firm grip on his back was particularly appreciated.

From behind Predaking came a small whine, and Shockwave recalled their audience. It was fortunate that self-consciousness was not usually something which affected him.

“I think the young ones might like to join us,” commented Predaking, with an amused flick of his wings.

“We’re not whelps,” growled Skylynx half-heartedly, though he seemed more concerned with peering around Predaking to see what he was missing than with semantics.

“Yeah, we’ve had lots of practice!” added Darksteel with a snicker. He too was inching around to get a better look.

“You’ve yet to have your first rut,” Predaking pointed out, and the two of them deflated slightly. He directed his attention back to Shockwave. “Shall we permit them?” he asked, and despite the sly inflection it was evident that he sought permission.

Shockwave was unsure as to his ability to weather the attentions of three enthusiastic mechs, but the languid heat pulsing through his frame thought it sounded like an excellent prospect.

“...Very well,” he agreed.

Darksteel whooped, and Skylynx took advantage of the delay to push forward, crowding Shockwave on his left side. He didn’t touch him however, perhaps waiting for a cue.

“Let’s find somewhere more comfortable, shall we?” murmured Predaking. “I imagine you’ll require our attentions for quite some time.”

He sounded delighted at the prospect.

The next moment, Shockwave found himself being carried away from his lab, towards the Predacons’ quarters. It had not escaped him that they recharged together, nor that they had chosen a room so near to his own.

The fact that Predaking was able to support his not-insignificant weight so easily was also duly noted.

The others followed close, and Shockwave could feel the anticipation lashing from their fields to flick at his own. To his dim surprise, he found himself growing more aroused in response to their lack of restraint. These were mechs who had recently entered the prime of their lives; what they lacked in experience would undoubtedly be made up for in eagerness, and a willingness to please.

Shockwave found himself deposited unceremoniously on their berth, which was so covered in various fabrics that it resembled a nest more than anything else. Predaking followed, and Shockwave allowed himself to be manipulated so that he was positioned in his lap with thighs spread.

Skylynx and Darksteel joined them at the foot of the berth—reverting to root mode in the process—and took to grinning lasciviously.

For the first time, Shockwave felt the barest brush of self-consciousness. He was unused to being so exposed, and his array was currently on full display. Skylynx and Darksteel watched avidly as his biolights pulsed invitingly, and as lubricant trailed from his equipment to pool sticky in Predaking’s lap.

Predaking ran his servos along Shockwave’s thighs in obvious appreciation.

“You have a robust frame, excellent for carrying,” he murmured in his audial. “Any whelps you bore would be sure to be strong.”

Shockwave felt a brief flash of alarm, even amidst the desire which bubbled up at the thought of Predaking giving him precisely that. A piece of him wanted nothing more than to turn those words into reality, but neither had he changed his mind. There would be no sparklings generated from this union.

“I do not—” he began, and Predaking cut him off with a reassuring rumble of his engine.

“I know. Merely something to consider for the future.”

Shockwave wondered exactly how long Predaking had been entertaining such a vision. He realized that he knew very little about how Predacons regarded reproduction, and resolved to conduct some research when this was done. So far, he had gleaned that the code of honor which they held themselves to extended to the treatment of mechs in heat, for which he was glad.

Of course, this experience might be a learning experience in and of itself if Predaking continued to make such remarks.

The grip on his thighs was firm, and Predaking spread them even farther, as though presenting Shockwave to his keen students. They both appeared enraptured by the sight.

Shockwave couldn’t quite keep the tremble from overtaking his thighs as he deduced what Predaking had in mind.

“You remember what I taught you?” he asked Darksteel, whose glossa swept out briefly as though seeking a taste. The griffon nodded fervently in response; he was practically salivating.

“Go on then.”

One of Predaking’s servos released its hold on Shockwave’s thigh. His forearm replaced it as a barrier as he reached down to spread his valve, and Shockwave was struck by a bolt of need so strong that he found himself sinking into Predaking’s mass for support.

Darksteel fell upon him in clumsy enthusiasm, and Shockwave couldn’t even bring himself to be annoyed as the warm and wet pressure registered. He was sensitive—so very sensitive—after such a long build, and his hips bucked incrementally as the glossa swept up and along the mesh of his valve. It didn’t help that when self-serving, he often defaulted to his spike for efficiency. It left him unaccustomed to this pleasure, which originated as a sharp ache inside of him, and spread to encompass his lower regions.

Shockwave’s vents hitched as the movement was repeated over and over, gathering the lubricant which oozed from him. If Darksteel meant to clean it up, he would soon realize it was a fruitless endeavor. Or perhaps he had simply wanted a taste.

Shockwave shuddered. Predaking’s grip tightened momentarily in response, and there was a rough edge to the way he vented against his audial. Evidently, he found pleasure in the small ways Shockwave’s frame expressed its appreciation. It was a welcome change from previous partners, who had generally been disappointed by his subdued responses.

Darksteel’s servos joined Predaking’s on his thighs, and then it was left to him to hold Shockwave open as Predaking moved to thumb against his spike panel.

Shockwave’s audial fins quivered as Predaking rubbed at the aching metal. Spikes were not usually a priority while in heat; to devote one’s attention to it during the only period one could conceive was counterproductive. That didn’t stop his from stirring in interest, however, as Predaking continued to draw languid circles against the cover.

Somewhere along the line, Shockwave had begun trembling more noticeably. Darksteel had ventured farther inside, laving at the swollen mesh and raised nodes of his valve as though he were a mech starving, and Shockwave the buffet. The bliss of simply having something inside satisfied much of the coding which had been clamoring at him.

Darksteel brushed up against a particularly prominent node, and Shockwave almost surprised himself with the low moan which slipped from his vocalizer. He was unaccustomed to being so needy.

It hardly helped that the Predacon between his thighs had begun purring, crooning as though lapping at Shockwave’s valve was a treat rather than a chore.

A strangled noise emerged from Skylynx, whom Shockwave had nearly forgotten about. A quick glance revealed that had released his equipment, and was pawing at his array as he watched. Shockwave was momentarily disgruntled; if the Predacon was going to stare he might as well help, for efficiency’s sake.

It appeared that Predaking was of a similar mindset.

“Skylynx,” he said. “Come here and make yourself useful.” Even in interface, there was a certain regality to his bearing; Shockwave wondered what it would take to dissolve that dignity, and what he would find should he try.

Permission granted, Skylynx crawled closer—though upon reaching them he seemed unsure where to begin.

“There are a number of sensors along the seams of my waist,” Shockwave provided, before Predaking pressed down on his spike cover with a vengeance, and left his vocalizer crackling with static.

“Can I touch him, liege?” Skylynx asked, even as he reached out. “He’s real pretty.”

Darksteel drew back slightly to mumble his agreement against Shockwave’s valve. The sensation was maddening, and he reached out to hold him firm. This only prompted a happy whine.

“Yes. And I have a better idea as to where,” answered Predaking. He tapped against Shockwave’s spike cover, and the impact sent a zing of pleasure straight through to where Darksteel was again studiously applying his glossa. Shockwave’s hips bucked. The servos spread him wider still.

This was ridiculous; how flexible did they think he was? Though what left his vocalizer hardly resembled a complaint, so perhaps he would refrain from commenting.

“If our mate would be so gracious as to open up,” added Predaking.

Shockwave’s engine stalled briefly at the choice of words, though he had little time to reflect as he complied with the request. His spike was still recessed, but questing fingers ventured inside his sheath and drew it from seclusion. By the time he had pressurized, he was venting raggedly.

Skylynx took over. His grip was almost too firm for Shockwave’s liking, but the effort he put into maintaining a steady rhythm—leaving no node unattended as he slowly twisted up and over the head—compensated for anything else.

Their fields pressed in on him, and the projection of their lust and appreciation was almost a physical weight against his plating. Habit and discipline kept his own field close to his frame, but it fluttered indecisively, and merged with theirs at the edges.

Shockwave was out of his element—lacking in the expertise or protocols to handle such overwhelming attention—but as the pleasure built he found himself minding less and less. He was slowly being tugged into a plane of existence where Darksteel suckling at his node seemed far more important than any lingering qualms about his desire.

“It’s good to see you relax,” murmured Predaking. “You overwork yourself.”

Shockwave wasn’t sure he agreed entirely with that assessment, but it was becoming increasingly hard to think. His circuits were curling under the dual assault, fuel simmering in his lines.

“Do not... b—become accustomed to it,” he managed, and Predaking huffed a laugh.

He bit at Shockwave’s audial fin, and his claws raked deliberately across his sides, catching in the seams. It appeared that he had been paying attention earlier.

As overload washed over him, Shockwave found himself clutching at the larger mech for support. Darksteel snickered, and the vibrations, at least, were welcome as he rode out the rolling waves.

“You sure?” drawled Skylynx moments later, as he wiped the evidence of Shockwave’s release from his servo.

Shockwave didn’t deign to respond.

Darksteel sat up, licking at the mess which shone on his faceplate.There was a dazed contentedness to his expression which made Shockwave suspect that he too had overloaded, despite the apparent lack of stimulation.

Optic-contact with Predaking, however, had him shuffling backwards, and Shockwave’s fins rotated in confusion.

He received his explanation as Predaking tipped him forward and out of his lap. Shockwave was quick to reach out and catch himself, and Predaking quicker to slot himself behind him, drawing Shockwave’s aft plating flush with his armor.

Shockwave felt himself grow tense again. For a klik his suspicions were reignited; perhaps this had been a charade after all—a farce meant to lure him into a sense of false security. Or perhaps it had been an attempt to convince him that he should accept their brood; it was clear that they placed a certain value on breeding.

He started to twist around—silently activating his canon, in case he had need of it—but a firm servo from Predaking stopped him.

“Be still,” he ordered.

“As I have informed you,” began Shockwave, “I do not want—”

A derisive snort cut him off, and there was a measure of offense in the tone with which Predaking replied.

“Do not presume my intentions,” he growled.

Shockwave was silent. As cordial as Predaking had been so far, he was aware of the virtuous anger which slumbered beneath his surface, and was wary of prodding it.

“If you are uncomfortable, you need only say so,” huffed Predaking. “I will not make you endure something you do not enjoy.”

“I do not know your intentions,” corrected Shockwave, his irritation clear. Nonetheless, he allowed his canon to power down once more.

Did Predaking think him so comfortable with their existence that he would trust them unconditionally? That revealed much about what he had been after the past few deca-cycles.

“Allow me to clarify, then.”

This time, Shockwave was prepared for the sensation of a spike settling against him. The length of it rubbed along the underside of his valve, and the ridges stimulated the nodes there—tantalizing them with the possibility of firmer sensation. Predaking thrust forward, and pleasure bloomed as they were treated to precisely that.

Shockwave’s vocalizer clicked uselessly, and he grasped at the berth as a shudder wracked his frame.

Ah.

No resistance forthcoming, Predaking started up a steady rhythm. It wasn’t quite what Shockwave needed, but it was close, and in the face of that impossibility it was more than acceptable. Predaking’s spike was proportional to his frame, and the thick length of it parted Shockwave’s valve easily. It nudged incessantly at his anterior node—which at this point was so swollen that the softest prod sent lightning cascading across his circuits.

“See?” asked Predaking, though any smugness was lost in the throaty groan that followed.

“Unconventional, but effective,” admitted Shockwave. His vocalizer wasn’t faring well; it was rough with gratification.

Unwilling to remain a passive participant, he drew his thighs together, in order to create a vice for the spike which was stimulating his mesh. The next thrust was enough to draw another slight moan from him, and Predaking’s claws tightened on his hips in approval.

“I won’t ask your reasons, for that is beyond even my right,” murmured Predaking. A servo caressed his waist-plating—pressing against the less densely armored expanse of his midsection—and Shockwave had an inkling as to where this was headed. “But perhaps in the future you might allow us to fill you.”

Shockwave struggled to answer, the conflict between his frame’s desire and higher reasoning stronger than ever. He had never put much thought to the idea before, but neither was he vehemently against it. At the very least, it would ensure that there were mechs to carry on his work when he was gone.

A small part of him wondered at whether he would also receive satisfaction from mentoring and caring for his offspring, as he had the Predacons during their brief development.

“I—” Shockwave began, but he cut off as another short thrust sent a sharp jolt through his array, and straight to his inflamed spark.

“It would please me greatly, to see you gravid with our offspring,” purred Predaking, and rather than temper his arousal, the phrasing made Shockwave’s fans stutter. There was a throb from deep within his valve.

“I will—” he managed, “—I will consider it.”

Predaking’s engine revved approvingly. Shockwave’s answer had also drawn whines from Darksteel and Skylynx, who were currently entangled in one another, panting and writhing as they rutted. Shockwave had nearly forgotten about their audience yet again—for the third time, which was highly uncharacteristic—but as he looked up he met their burning optics, and a shiver raced through him.

He had not accounted for any of this.

The slick slide of the spike was obscenely loud in the room, and Shockwave found that the auditory reminder only enhanced the experience. It was so easy to imagine it slipping inside of him to stroke untouched nodes. He knew its dimensions, and also knew that it would spread him wide—plug him up to capacity and grant a fullness which would truly satisfy this unrelenting heat.

As though reading his mind, Predaking spoke again.

“I can’t help but imagine what you would feel like,” he rasped, “and how you would grip me tight as I spilled inside.”

As if on cue, Shockwave’s valve contracted; ineffectually, as it lacked anything substantial to bear down on. He was having an unexpectedly strong reaction to Predaking’s words, heat aside, and would need to analyze the implications later, when it didn’t feel as though his spark were ready to burst.

Predaking’s thrusts had begun to grow more erratic, and Shockwave fared little better, teetering on the edge of overload. The thought of the three of them taking their turns to satisfy him—to fill him—pleased his coding immensely. His processor suggested that two of them might take him at once, and he was unprepared for the way the pleasure coiled tight in his spark.

He’d forgotten how bewildering heat could be.

Preaking rumbled, low and possessive. His thumb covered Shockwave’s node, and all it took to induce overload was a firm press against the slippery nub. He went rigid as white-hot ecstasy flooded his frame, tilting his hips into Predaking’s touch to draw out the sensation. The washed over him in spurts, and by the end he was left trembling with the effort of staying upright.

Predaking followed shortly after—rutting a couple more times before he finally groaned and painted Shockwave’s front with the evidence of his release.

Shockwave had been caught off-guard by the intensity of his overload, and the feeling took some time to abate. Aftershocks wracked his frame even as he was guided to sit up again.

His vents remained labored, but a warm, sated feeling had begun to replace the need which had rooted itself so deep. He still ached for something inside of him, but it was much fainter than before, within the realm of manageable.

Shockwave acknowledged the transfluid splattered across his chest with mild distaste, but that could be dealt with later. A small price to pay for such… thorough attention.

Predaking hummed, and Shockwave swiveled his helm to find him wearing a disconcertingly content expression.

“How long do your ruts usually last?” he inquired lazily.

Shockwave attempted to speak, but to his annoyance only a faint clicking noise emerged. He reset his vocalizer.

“A couple of solar cycles is usually sufficient,” he replied. He received an absent nod in response.

Predaking released Shockwave, and maneuvered free of the berth.

“Where are you going?” he demanded. The heat was far from over, and now that they had begun, he expected Predaking to see this to its conclusion.

“To retrieve some supplies. I imagine we will be spending quite some time here,” said Predaking, amusement playing at the corners of his mouth. “And perhaps I’ll locate something which we can put inside of you, hm?”

Shockwave felt the flush of arousal arise once more.

“...That would be preferable.”

Predaking chuckled.

“You two will be on your best behavior while I’m gone, won’t you?” he asked, directing the question towards his subjects.

Skylynx was currently in the process of interfacing Darksteel into the berth, and Shockwave wondered if they had even heard the inquiry.

“Oh, yess,” hissed Darksteel, with an arch of his back.

“Darksteel?” prompted Predaking more sharply, though his face revealed that he was clearly amused by their antics.

Skylynx didn’t halt his thrusts, but he glanced up at his liege with dark optics.

“We’ll take good care of him.”

“Mhm. Make sure he’s got everything he needs,” Darksteel chimed in, before wrapping his legs tighter around Skylynx’s waist and voicing his pleasure.

Predaking departed with a small shake of his helm, and from the appreciative cant to his field, Shockwave assumed he would be eager to resume their coupling when he returned.

He glanced at his companions, and a miniscule part of him echoed the fondness exhibited by Predaking. If nothing else, Darksteel’s whimpered encouragements were enough to stoke the fire in his abdomen again.

“Are you envisioning that he’s… making you heavy with pups?” he asked stiltedly. He used their language in an attempt to gain some insight as to their motivations, and the obvious fixation on propagation.

Darksteel overloaded with a startled keen, and his claws carved grooves in Skylynx’s plating as he convulsed. It was violent, and over quickly, and after it had passed he collapsed, purring weakly.

Skylynx cast a baleful look in Shockwave’s direction, obviously unsatisfied.

It was fortunate for him then, that Shockwave’s heat had left him prepared to invite their attentions once more. Now that his processor was less clouded by immediate need, he would be more meticulous about his preferences. He hoped they were up to the task.

As it turned out, they were clumsy—and they bit a little too much for Shockwave’s liking—but they were keen to take direction. He refused to tolerate their squabbling, and by the time Predaking returned Shockwave’s heat had abated to only faint stirrings.

When Predaking asked shrewdly if Shockwave had milked them dry, Skylynx rolled over with a groan and buried his faceplate in the nearest blanket. Darksteel said nothing, already in recharge.

Shockwave took the proffered energon and allowed Predaking to take a cloth to his plating. Usually he would be loathe to allow other mechs to coddle him, but he was too exhausted to take offense, and it seemed born out of genuine courtesy.

Neither did he complain when they transformed to their beast modes and curled around him, nestling him in the center of a cocoon constructed from warm plating, and soft ventilations.

Something within him stirred curiously. Shockwave was finding lately that he didn’t mind many of the Predacons’ idiosyncrasies.

He could grow accustomed to this, in time.

As he allowed himself to power down—drifting slowly into recharge—a quiet voice suggested that he might even enjoy it.