Prowl needed a break.
Which was how he found himself talking to Ultra Magnus shortly after Megatron had been apprehended and thrown in a cell.
“You wish to join the crew of the Lost Light?” Magnus asked with a vaguely puzzled look on his face. “I am not convinced that would be the best course of action for your safety. Some of the bots on board are fond of talking about how much they hate you.”
“Yeah, well they can join the club,” Prowl muttered. “Look, I would rather avoid bots that hate me with a burning passion over spending another second on this planet. I need a sabbatical or something vaguely like it. I want a break from all the politics and high drama here, and that’s why I want to join.” At least I will know where I stand, he thought bitterly.
“If you are confident that this is the course that you wish to take. Although I warn you now, the Lost Light has found itself in some rather dangerous situations, it is not exactly a journey that I imagine many would label as ‘safe.’”
“Unless I get brainwashed and forcibly bonded to another gestalt, I think I can handle it.”
“Is that a joke of some sort?”
“It would be nice if it was.” Ultra Magnus gave Prowl an odd look before turning back to the datapads he was reviewing.
“I will forward the paperwork and disclaimers to you within a cycle. Have a good day, Prowl.”
Prowl had reviewed, filled out, signed, and returned all the paperwork before he even went to recharge that night. Ultra Magnus had looked particularly pleased with his promptness.
Although signing himself to the Lost Light might not have turned out to be the best decision he had ever made, in hindsight, watching a month later as Optimus declared that Megatron would now be Co-Captain of the vessel. If Prowl didn’t know any better, he probably would’ve said that the Prime was being petty.
“Did ya talk to him?”
“Is it true about Megatron?
“Are we goin’ with him?”
“Yeah, do we get to join the Lost Light crew?”
He told them that while he was joining the Lost Light, the Constructicons themselves were staying on Cybertron right where he would never see them.
“As your gestalt, the Constructicons have also signed themselves on board as under your oversight. I believe they said that you were their foreman, and ensured Rodimus and… Megatron that they would behave,” Ultra Magnus told Prowl, having comm’d him as he shoved what little he had in the way of possessions into his subspace, preparing to board the Lost Light later that day. He paused.
To say that Prowl was displeased with this turn of events would be somewhat of an understatement.
To say that he threw a table at the Constructicons when they tried to approach him in Swerve’s bar would be a bit more accurate.
And then Ultra Magnus came along and started prattling about ‘anger management’, and ‘I expected this out of Whirl, not you’, and how his behavior was ‘unbecoming of the former Second In Command of the Autobot forces.’
Ultra Magnus was lucky he didn’t get a table to the face.
So now, until Rung decided he could be trusted to control himself, he had weekly sessions with the therapist. Joy to the world.
“Let me phrase it a bit differently this time: Why did you throw a table at your gestalt?”
“They were annoying me.”
“How were they annoying you?”
“In what way do they annoy you by existing?”
“Because I hate them.”
“Why do you hate them so much?”
“Because they’re annoying.” The conversation had just gone full circle. Rung let out a barely audible sigh before pushing his glasses further up his nose before glancing at his chronometer.
“I’m afraid that’s all the time we have this week. If you-” Rung glanced up from his datapad, and Prowl was gone. He looked at the ceiling for a long moment. This would take a while.
Prowl laid on his berth in his quarters. Alone. Nobody had wanted to room with him - except the Constructicons, who were (annoyingly) also spread out over the two quarters on either side of his own. He had nothing to do on his off-shift, and he’ll be damned if he goes to spend time with his gestalt, who had been settling into the Lost Light rather well, despite still wearing the Decepticon badge.
Unlike Megatron and Prowl himself, they were never far enough up the food chain for all the other mechs on board to blame them for literally every that ever went wrong in the war. So they were significantly more capable of making nice with everyone than Prowl himself was.
Hook, with his medical training, was assigned to the medbay with Ratchet. Apparently, the CMO was supposed to have another assistant, but he was currently undergoing therapy for trauma. The trauma of what exactly, Prowl wasn’t sure. Either people didn’t know or didn’t want to talk about it. Hook was restricted to minor repairs until Ratchet could confirm that his training was sufficient to cover much larger injuries, despite Hook’s disgruntled rumblings about the matter.
Mixmaster had struck up a partnership with Swerve and had taken to helping out in the bar. Apparently, he was helping Swerve find a way to give engex a strong kick while simultaneously diluting it. Prowl himself wasn’t exactly a welcome customer at Swerve’s establishment after his whole table-flipping event there, so he simply decided that this information didn’t particularly matter to him.
Long Haul and Scavenger had also found themselves cozy little places in the bar, having found an odd sort of kinsmanship with the doorman, called ‘Ten’. Prowl didn’t ask what was up with a bot named Ten.
And then there was Bonecrusher who had… something going on with Whirl, but Prowl had immediately decided he wasn’t touching that with a fifty-foot pole.
Prowl only knew this much about their lives because they kept talking to him, despite the fact that he believed that he had made it extremely clear that he wanted nothing to do with them.
As for Prowl, he had found himself recruited into being Ultra Magnus’ assistant which… wasn’t horrible, but it certainly wasn’t the best either. It was something to keep his processor occupied and away from the gestalt bond that kept tugging on his spark.
It certainly didn’t help that working with the SIC of the Lost Light meant he was almost constantly coming into contact with Megatron. To avoid further trouble with Ultra Magnus and even more necessary sessions of ‘therapy’, he gritted his denta and kept his mouth shut, his optics glaring a hole through whatever datapad he might have happened to be holding at that point in time.
“Prowl, could you please elaborate on your answer?”
“Is there any particular reason you dislike them to such a degree, besides,” Rung glanced at his datapad at his notes from their previous session, “their existence and their habit of being annoying?”
Prowl neglected to answer him.
Rung sighed and sat back in his chair.
“Prowl, if we are to get anywhere with this, you need to cooperate at least on some level with me.” Prowl snorted derisively and cast his optics off to the side.
“We don’t need to get anywhere with this, because there isn’t a problem.”
“Prowl,” Rung started before cutting himself off and looking at the ceiling for a brief moment. He removed his glasses and rubbed tiredly at his olfactory ridge before replacing the spectacles. “Prowl, even if there isn’t a problem, you will need to continue returning to these sessions until I am able to convince Ultra Magnus that you do not need them anymore, and I am unable to do that with the way you are currently acting.”
“There is nothing wrong with the way I conduct myself.”
“Until we can convince the command staff of that, I am afraid that you will be continuing to see me every single week.”
“What’s to stop me from simply sitting here and not responding to your questions every week until Rodimus and Megatron find their Knights of Cybertron?” Prowl sniped, glaring at Rung petulantly.
“Absolutely nothing. But I imagine that you will begin to find that incredibly boring very soon, and it won’t help you with matters at all. You can get out of this much quicker if you give me your full cooperation so I can clear you with Ultra Magnus if this turns out to be nothing, or I can help you if you need it. The choice is up to you.”
Prowl paused. He thought about it. He didn’t want to be here until they found the Knights (if they even existed) or returned to Cybertron - and he didn’t know when either of those events would be.
“I don’t have any problems, but if I find you talk about what I say here to anyone, they will never find your frame,” he threatened. He would talk, but he didn’t people thinking he had emotional vulnerabilities. Rung just had a tiny, stupid soft smile on his face. Prowl didn’t know if he felt reassured or vaguely patronized.
“Of course they won’t. I wouldn’t expect anything less.” Rung was clearly used to this type of behavior and talk, and mentally going through a list of patients he knew of, Prowl was pretty sure he knew why.
Whirl being on the Lost Light wasn’t doing him any favors - his mere existence raised the standards for death threats.
Prowl was snapped out of his thoughts when an alarm klaxon started blaring loudly.
Prowl was curiously leaving his habsuite to see what all the fuss was about when Megatron came on over the PA system.
“Attention crew of the Lost Light, this is not a drill. I repeat: this is not a drill. The Lost Light is disintegrating.” Now if that didn’t encourage Prowl to run for it, he didn’t know what would. “Procede in an orderly fashion to Shuttle Bay 1 and await further orders.”
Prowl skidded to a halt before landing his pede on a section of the floor that was no longer a floor. He was pretty sure he got the whole ‘disintegrating’ thing now.
“En route to the shuttle bay you may discover that portions of the ship are missing.” The warning was a little late, in Prowl’s humble opinion as he shuffled into Shuttle Bay 1. Just a smidge belated. “You may even encounter open space.” Prowl felt as if he should’ve asked more questions of what Ultra Magnus had meant by ‘not safe’ when he signed up.
“It seems any protection from the vacuum outside is only temporary, as if- KZZK!”
Well, that made Prowl feel better.
“Pick a shuttle and move it, people! We’ve practiced this.” Prowl decided to not question what was going on, in pursuit of self-preservation, and boarded a brightly colored shuttle not too far from where he was.
He came to regret his choice, as they were fleeing the disappearing Lost Light, as he recognized two very distinct paint-jobs: one was gun-metal grey, and the other green and purple that adorned several mechs whom he did not want to be on board with.
Prowl looked forlornly out the window where the Lost Light had been only minutes ago.
He was stuck on an escape shuttle with Megatron and the Constructicons.
So much for his vacation.