As the days passed, Skyfire’s hope diminished.
It had been a foolish hope, he finally decided on the morning of the ninth day. Prowl was second in command of the entire Autobot army. He was fiercely intelligent, with a dry, rapier wit, and gorgeous to boot. What did Skyfire have to offer such a wonderful creature?
“Nothing. You have nothing,” Skyfire told his mirror, crouching down so he could see his face’s reflection. “Absolutely nothing. Now get to work so you can contribute something to the cause.”
He wavered in front of the mirror for a moment, because really, his wings had once been the talk of similar flight frames. His smile was nice, he’d been told; it made people feel comfortable and at ease, according to Wheeljack. And Perceptor came to him sometimes to work through an equation or problem. Perceptor, probably one of the smartest mechs currently in existence.
“Nothing,” he reminded himself. “Go to work.”
He trudged into the lab he and Perceptor shared, the one next to Wheeljack’s, although the wall between the two was triple reinforced with blast shielding. Wheeljack was actually chatting with Perceptor already, his arms waving about and helm fins flaring. Sometimes Skyfire thought he should ask Wheeljack out on a date. They got along well, and the engineer was attractive in his own right.
But while the sight of him made Skyfire smile, it was that of a friend greeting a friend and nothing else.
“Heya, ‘Fire!” Wheeljack said in greeting as the door slid shut behind Skyfire. “Recharge well?”
“Well enough,” Skyfire said amiably and sighed a little as he heard the sound of the door slide back open. He irritably flicked his wings up high and tight to his back. The talk of the town once, but so large that now they sometimes set off the motion sensors of the doorways he had just passed through.
“Good morning, Perceptor,” Skyfire added with a polite nod. Perceptor glanced up from his datapad and returned it. The next moment, he stiffened slightly at the same time Wheeljack’s optics widened.
“Skyfire. Prowl, sir.”
Skyfire whipped around and it was extremely fortunate that he had tucked his wings up or otherwise he would had knocked the object of his affections completely off his feet. As it was, Prowl ducked and hurriedly stepped back as the lower edge of Skyfire’s wings just sailed over his head.
“Oh! Prowl! Oh no, I’m so sorry!” Skyfire exclaimed, freezing in place. Now he knew what the human phrase ‘deer in headlights’ actually meant.
“It’s quite all right,” Prowl replied, straightening up with a flick of his door panels. He looked completely unruffled, but… had Prowl’s optics lingered on Skyfire’s wings a moment longer than normal?
‘Nothing to offer’, Skyfire reminded himself sternly.
“What can we do for ya? Did you want to talk to us? Or maybe just one of us?” Wheeljack asked, sidling up next to Skyfire and rocking on the heels of his pedes. His helm fins were practically strobing in an emotion SKyfire couldn’t identify and when he looked at Prowl, he was glaring at Wheeljack with narrowed optics.
Prowl’s panels trembled for a moment and then swept up high and narrow, a sure sign of irritation. A moment later, they dipped and spread, and Prowl looked back up at Skyfire, the glare smoothing away into something more genial.
“Yes, actually. Skyfire, might I have a word?”
Skyfire’s spark leapt in his chest with stupid, ridiculous hope. He very firmly squashed it down. It was far more likely Prowl was here to finally chastise Skyfire on his inappropriate behavior towards an officer the other morning than anything else.
“Of course, sir.” Skyfire looked at Prowl and indicated for him to proceed. And if his hand shook, well… he had almost knocked out the second in command.
Prowl stared back for several seconds before his gaze slid down and to the side. “Wheeljack, if you don’t mind?” he said frostily.
“Oh, I don’t mind at all!” Wheeljack chirped. He folded his arms over his chest and looked expectantly at Prowl.
Skyfire had only seen a glare of that magnitude from Prowl aimed towards Sideswipe. Who had usually earned it for some wild scheme or another. He wasn’t quite sure what Wheeljack had done to annoy Prowl in such a way. Although Wheeljack was acting very oddly.
“I mind,” Skyfire said, after a moment. He gently nudged Wheeljack back towards Perceptor, Wheeljack whining out a half-sparked ‘aw, come on!’ He resisted, but Skyfire was quite a bit stronger just due to size alone. Wheeljack finally went on his own power, but not before hissing out a command at Skyfire.
“Tell me everything later!”
Skyfire looked at him askance and then dismissed him, turning back around to Prowl. Even in the harshly bright lights of the lab, Prowl’s colors shone crisp and beautiful. He allowed himself only a millisecond to admire Prowl and then sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck.
“I apologize for Wheeljack,” Skyfire said. “I’m not sure what has gotten into him lately.”
Prowl raised an orbital ridge and the corner of his mouth quirked up in the tiniest of smirks. “Ask Jazz,” Prowl replied dryly.
Skyfire blinked slowly at Prowl, confused. “All right…” he said slowly.
Prowl shook his head and another fine tremor ran through his sensory panels. He glanced off to the side and then back up at Skyfire, mouth firming. “Skyfire… the other day…”
“I apologize, it was inappropriate of me, I know!” Skyfire broke in, fingers fiddling with one another in front of him like a chastised sparkling. He couldn’t help it though; he greatly respected Prowl and all that had come out that morning was the knowledge Skyfire often lusted over those delicious doorwings.
“I… yes, perhaps. But…” Prowl hedged, a look of embarrassment crossing his face. “I… I wasn’t exactly much better. However, that is not why I’m here.”
“… it’s not?” Skyfire asked, voice gaining an annoying nervous squeak. Starscream had always told him it was adorable, but what did he know?
“No, I… well, it’s obvious we like one another’s wings… or wing-like appendages,” Prowl said in a rush. “But is that all there is?”
Skyfire’s mouth dropped open and the words poured out of him before his processor could catch up. “What? No! Oh, no Prowl, definitely not! I think you’re amazing! You’re lovely, of course, but you’re so smart. That’s what first made me notice you – the way you coordinate everything so effortlessly. The troops during battle, the recovery efforts… even the duty roster… you practically run the Autobots. You’re so devoted to us – Optimus is the head of the army, but you’re the spark.”
Prowl swayed in place, looking shell-shocked, and Skyfire abruptly snapped his mouth back closed. “I’m so sorry,” he murmured. “I didn’t mean to just blurt all that out… I… I just like you a lot.”
“I… I’ve had many people enter a relationship with me based upon my looks alone,” Prowl said, voice lowering. His sensory panels drooped, and Skyfire abruptly wanted to scoop the other mech up and hold him close. And then chase down those other mechs, take them up high into the sky and then drop them. Oh, he wouldn’t let them die, of course. But he would scare them a little.
Maybe a lot.
“Those relationships didn’t end well. None of them have ended well. But…if what all you say is true… I also admire your dedication… your skill, your strength… your… appearance…”
Prowl shyly glanced up at Skyfire and then away. The entirety of his body was stiff… except for his sensory panels. They were slowly rising and spreading, making small circles in the air as if in invitation. Skyfire’s gaze darted back and forth between them and Prowl’s face, everything feeling as if it was moving in slow motion.
Was this… was Prowl…?
That spark of hope flared up into a wildfire and it lit up all his lines.
“Would you like to go out on a date with me?” Skyfire blurted out, his mouth moving once more without permission.
Prowl’s optics widened, his lips parting on a soft silent exclamation. “Oh… yes… yes, I think I would.”
Skyfire beamed down at Prowl, his spark practically soaring. Behind him, he dimly heard Wheeljack squealing excitedly, but his optics were completely fixed on the wonderful mech standing in front of him. The one who had, inexplicably, decided that Skyfire had something to offer.