Megatron arrived bearing gifts, and despite the fact they were officially dating one another, Ratchet knew it for the bribe it was.
“What’s the occasion?” Ratchet asked as Megatron set a sealed cube of his favorite engex on the desk in front of him.
He’d gotten the restrictions on Megatron’s fuel intake lifted since revealing the truth. No surprise Megatron had quickly taken advantage of the fact he was no longer required to drink the foul Fool’s Energon. Ratchet had yet to see Megatron intoxicated, and doubted he ever would, but the look of satisfaction on Megatron’s face after the first sip of non-diluted energon was something he’d treasure forever.
Megatron set a small data-chip down beside the cube. “I want to try again.”
Ratchet arched an orbital ridge. “You’re going to have to be less vague. Try what?” He sat back in his chair, folding his hands over his belly. Anything to distract him from the weekly crew maintenance report Ultra Magnus demanded.
Mech loved his paperwork.
“Pain,” Megatron said, and Ratchet was proud of him for being direct about it, rather than hemming and hawing over his desires.
“Alright,” Ratchet replied. “We can do that.” He leaned to the side, hitting the button for his intercom. “Aid, I’m going into a private meeting. If it’s an emergency, ping me, otherwise, don’t.”
“I saw Megatron heading in there, sir. I figured as much,” First Aid’s reply came crackling through the speaker, his dry tone doing little to hide the cheekiness.
Megatron made a muffled noise, that seemed to be a laugh, but it died as Ratchet cut him a look.
“I appreciate your foresight,” Ratchet drawled, and ended the call before First Aid could say something snarky in reply.
“You know, there was a time I had respect around here,” Ratchet grumbled.
“Really? Can’t relate.” Megatron tilted his head, and amusement danced in the sharp glitter of his gaze.
Ratchet rolled his optics and snagged the engex, flicking off the top. He gave it a sniff, nodding approvingly. It was his favorite blend. Kind of Megatron to notice.
“So you want to try pain again,” Ratchet began, careful to keep his tone conversational, lacking any judgement, perhaps professional even. “In what manner?”
Megatron coughed into his hand. He suddenly found the ceiling fascinating. Ratchet supposed he could sympathize; there was a loose rivet in the metal panels. “Our last attempt was pleasurable.”
“Until you asked me to stop.”
“Yes.” Megatron’s gaze fell. He fiddled with his own cube. “I’m open to discussion as to how we can prevent that in the future. It wasn’t the pain that bothered me.”
Ratchet nodded slowly. “It was the hold on the back of your neck.” Given what he knew of Megatron’s history, he wasn’t so surprised. “Do you want me to try flogging you again? Or did you want to try something else?”
Megatron blinked. “Something else?”
Ratchet resisted the urge to sigh. “I gave you materials to review. There were other methods to inflict pain. Didn’t you look at them?”
Given the look on Megatron’s face, Ratchet would take that as a no. So he took a deep swig of his engex. This might take longer than he thought.
“There’s flogging, spanking, knifeplay, electrical play, edging, overload denial--”
Megatron held up a hand. “Slow down.” He frowned, but it was more contemplative than angry. “I’m going to need more information on many of those.”
“I’m sure you do.” Ratchet leaned forward, folding his hands on the desk. “I’m concerned that too many of them echo negative experiences you’ve had in the past.” Precise and clinical -- he hoped those would take the brunt off his words so Megatron wouldn’t accuse Ratchet of coddling him.
“That’s the point.” Megatron fiddled with his cube, as if fascinated by the press of his fingers to the solid surface. “I want to reclaim those experiences.”
Fair enough. It was a rather common request from submissives, the desire to reclaim themselves by facing their discomfort in a controlled environment.
“There are approaches I could use that would ease you into this kind of play without causing damage,” Ratchet mused aloud. “For instance, I could plug in--”
Ratchet glanced up at Megatron, a bit surprised by the vehemence of Megatron’s refusal. He’d plugged into Megatron before, for medical necessity, which was different, he supposed. It was a shallower connection than tapping directly into Megatron’s sensory net and manually stimulate him. Then again, given that Megatron did not like the touch to his neck -- reminiscent of the common insertion point for mneumosurgery needles -- Ratchet could understand his refusal.
"Fair enough," Ratchet said with a tilt of his head. "There are plenty of other methods. Though I don't think you should be restrained either."
Megatron shook his head, lips forming a thin line. "Binding me is non-negotiable."
"Because it arouses you?" That would be a surprise.
"No." Megatron shifted, discomfort flickering across his face. "Because I won't harm you."
A surge of warmth throbbed through Ratchet's spark before he locked it away. Now was not the time for sentiment. He needed to focus.
"I don't think you'll be able to fully invest in a scene if you're bound, Megatron," Ratchet said gently, to soften the blow. He knew very well what Megatron considered weakness.
Megatron growled, low and rumbling, from the engine. "Isn't that my choice to make?"
"Mine, too. I won't hurt you if you're not comfortable." Ratchet took another drink of the engex, just to let the statement sink in. "Not for a second attempt at any rate."
Megatron twisted his jaw. "Then we're at an impasse."
"No, it just means we need to discuss it. Like adults." Ratchet resisted the urge to laugh.
Megatron should not be so adorable when sulking and sullen, but somehow, he was. Like a reminder that for all he'd lived through, Ratchet was still older and wiser. Comparatively speaking.
"I trust you not to hurt me, to be aware enough to master yourself," Ratchet said.
"And I don't trust my instincts not to categorize you as a threat," Megatron argued. "Restrain me."
An impasse indeed. Compromise would be necessary.
"I can take you down if need be," Ratchet reminded him. Yes, Megatron was taller and larger, but Ratchet wasn’t without his skills. "I'm not defenseless. I survived this long for a reason."
"A guard then," Ratchet suggested, on the verge of succumbing to his irritation. "Because I'm not going to tie you down, so if you want this session, you're going to have to compromise with me."
Megatron's face twisted with disgust. "A guard? You mean some perverted observer? No, thank you."
Ratchet rubbed the side of his face. "I meant someone who is aware of the situation, understands the caution, and is willing and able to respond accordingly without causing a security incident. For example..." He trailed off for a moment, fingers rapping on the desktop, before a spark of inspiration struck. "For example, a sniper armed with a sedative."
"Bluestreak," Megatron guessed, proving he was quite the tactical mind. Ratchet was aware Megatron had downloaded the crew manifest and absorbed the stats of each crewmember the moment he stepped aboard.
"Yes. Or Ultra Magnus if you prefer."
Megatron sighed and scrubbed his face. "Bluestreak is acceptable." He lowered his hand, and something commanding took over his expression. "And you'll summon him if necessary."
"You won't hesitate if I'm attacking you. You'll do what it takes."
Ratchet shook his head and shifted position, waking his computer so he could check the crew schedule. "It won't come to that."
"And if it does, you'll hit that panic button."
"Were you not the one who told me the submissive party is not the only who has a responsibility to follow the rules?" Megatron asked as he leaned forward, one orbital ridge cocked as he threw Ratchet's own words back in his face.
Well. At least he was learning. And consenting to both calling himself a submissive, and asking for help. Ratchet would let him have the win.
"I'll call Bluestreak if I need to," Ratchet conceded. He glanced at the screen and was delighted to find Bluestreak off-shift today. "And I suppose you want me to be the one to ask him to do this for us?"
"He isn't fond of me."
"He's not fond of most Decepticons. And yes, I know what badge is on your chest right now." Ratchet rolled his optics. "Now for the rest. What kind of pain do you want?"
Megatron's glossa flicked over his lips. "Familiar is fine. I... enjoyed the flogging." He gestured to the datachip he'd set next to Ratchet's engex earlier. "I found some things to discuss later, too."
Interesting. Ratchet would definitely give that a perusal. What other kinks had caught Megatron's optics? Ratchet had been wanting to sound Megatron for quite some time, so if it was on the list, he'd be ecstatic.
To say he was proud would be condescending, even if it was true. So Ratchet slipped the datachip into an arm panel.
"I'll take a look," Ratchet said. "I'm sure I'll find something we both will enjoy."
A trickle of Megatron's energy field touched him then, wafting heat and affection and lust, enough to make Ratchet shiver. Megatron drained the last of his own fuel and stood, crushing the cube with his fist.
"Good to know."
Ratchet clicked out of the schedule and brought back up the reports he should have been reviewing. "Back to work?"
"Someone around here has to do it, and my co-captain is less than helpful when it comes to any kind of data." Megatron made a face that didn't belong on a former warlord and was better suited for Rodimus.
Ratchet snorted. "Color me surprised. See you tonight?" He didn't look up, hoping his frame and tone were casual as he pleased. He could never be too eager to see Megatron, otherwise Megatron would use that to his advantage.
Sneaky, tactical former warlord that he was.
Ratchet hid his grin.
There were a lot of things Bluestreak expected when Ratchet pinged him to the medbay, and waved him into the chair across from his office desk. But a request to chaperone his and Megatron's next session was definitely nowhere on the list.
"Don't feel obligated to agree," Ratchet said as he offered Bluestreak another one of the box of treats he kept specifically in his desk for Bluestreak's visits.
"Honestly, I'm surprised Megatron was willing to trust me. It's not like I've been very friendly to him," Bluestreak said with a shrug. He nibbled on the treats, not bothering to hide his grin. He loved these things. "But you know I'm there for you, Ratchet. Gotta admit, I like free rein to shoot Megatron."
Ratchet gave him a look. "Only if I ask you to. And it's a sedative."
"Don't make me take you over my knee."
Bluestreak raised his orbital ridges. "Don't make promises you're not going to keep."
Ratchet laughed and shook his head. "You need to find a playmate of your own. The one I have now is a bit too possessive to share."
"I noticed," Bluestreak grumbled, and took a huge handful of the candies, because he could. "I've already evaluated the crew. There aren't any interesting challenges on board."
"You always were picky."
Bluestreak shrugged. "I want a good fit, not a toy for the night." He licked his fingers clean. "Just tell me when, Ratch. I'll show up, armed and ready to answer your distress call."
"Your sacrifice is duly noted," Ratchet drawled.
Get comfortable, Ratchet had said. Pick a safe, comfortable position.
Megatron scoffed and glared around the room at the assembled furniture. Easy for Ratchet to say. He wasn't the one about to get flogged.
A shiver of anticipation raced up his spinal strut. He offlined his optics, braced his hands on the edge of the desk, cycled a ventilation.
Pain, he'd discovered, was a fact of functioning. He'd endured pain. He'd been tortured and shot and stabbed, and he'd lost count of the number of times he'd offlined, thinking he was dead, only to come back again.
Pain was a constant. A steady, dull ache throughout his frame, the creak of strained hydraulics, the squeaking of a frame pushed past its limits.
Megatron lived a life of pain. But there was something about targeted, controlled, purposeful pain that set his circuits afire in the best ways. He'd been floating, that one attempt before, until the touch to his neck snapped him out of it in a blink.
He wanted it again. Just without the horrible flashback.
The door opened.
Megatron turned toward it as Ratchet stepped inside. "Bluestreak's set up and ready for my signal." Ratchet paused and blinked at him. "Is that the position you want?"
Megatron pushed off the desk. "I haven't decided."
"Cold feet?" Ratchet asked as the panel flashed crimson, reassuring Megatron it was locked. Except for the emergency override Ratchet had given Bluestreak of course.
Megatron surveyed the room, but it felt strange to decide this for himself. He was used to Ratchet calling the shots when it came to their sessions. He considered safety above all else, but he wanted to enjoy it.
“I can wait,” Ratchet said. He pulled a box out of his storage chest and set it on the table.
Megatron moved closer, peering over Ratchet’s shoulder, as the medic lifted the lid, revealing the three items inside -- flogs of various design. Megatron recognized one of them.
His sparkbeat quickened.
“You’re taller than me,” Ratchet said, his tone almost conversational, as he dragged his fingertips over the floggers. “Any position on your knees or over a stable surface would be helpful.”
“Is that so?” Megatron rumbled, lust starting a slow swirl in his tank.
Ratchet hummed an affirmative. “The best areas for flogging are your back, aft, and the back of your thighs. We can talk about other potential zones later.” He fingered a particularly long, and delicate one, supple, as if it would bend with each strike. “Valve striking, for example, might be something you’d enjoy.”
Megatron licked his lips. He thought of the thin, reed-like flog. He thought about it biting at the sensitive, swollen pleats of his valve. It would be a sharp, sudden sting. Ratchet would know how to hurt without causing damage.
His valve started to slick.
“Another day,” Megatron agreed. He stepped a little closer, until the heat of him nudged Ratchet’s back. “Which one are you going to use?”
“You enjoyed this one,” Ratchet said as he touched the one Megatron recognized. “But I think this one is preferable for what you’re looking for tonight.” He moved to the second one, the thickest of the three, with a wider, thicker flare on the end.
A shiver clawed up Megatron’s backstrut.
“We shouldn’t futz too much with what worked before then,” Megatron said, his mouth suddenly gone dry, his field escaping his control. “I’ll kneel.” His mouth curved into a smirk. “Easier for you to reach, after all.”
Ratchet rolled his optics and slipped the flog out of the case. “Get into position,” he said, and though the change was minute, Megatron’s audials heard the edge of command in Ratchet’s tone immediately.
“Yes, sir,” Megatron rumbled, knowing how much Ratchet liked to hear it, and watched Ratchet’s armor shiver before he obeyed.
Ratchet had the foresight to clear a space on the floor. Megatron still worried about the lack of restraints, but trusted Ratchet would summon Bluestreak if need be.
He knelt, but didn’t rest his weight on his heels. He wanted to feel the bite of the flogger on the back of his thighs. It felt less submissive like this as well. More like he was offering Ratchet a gift, and maybe, that was the point.
“You can call out stop at any time, and I’ll listen to it,” Ratchet said as he started to circle Megatron with slow, measured steps. “But your safe word is--”
“Good.” Ratchet rumbled approval. His fingers dragged gently along the top of Megatron’s shoulders. “I won’t touch the back of your neck. If I call your name, and you don’t respond, I’ll touch your upper arm or your elbow. Is that acceptable?”
Megatron worked his intake. His armor tingled in the wake of Ratchet’s fingers. “Yes.”
Another slow circle. The quiet whiff of the flog through the air, but the tip of it only dragged over Megatron’s back, catching on the juts of his seams with audible snicks.
“You may overload,” Ratchet continued, his field joining the fray now, wrapping around Megatron’s, sliding over his frame, touching him as though it had physical weight. “If you don’t overload, that’s fine, too. Sometimes, it’s not about overloading.”
Megatron’s hands hung at his sides. He didn’t know what to do with them. His fingers twitched, tingled, and he felt the vibrations of Ratchet’s footsteps in his knees.
The tip of the flog brushed over the back of his upper thighs. Megatron’s ventilations stuttered. Arousal twisted hotter in his belly, his spike thickening within the sheath.
“I can touch myself?” he asked, alarmed to find a roughness in his voice.
Ratchet paused behind him, the tip of the flogger tracing up Megatron’s aft and backstrut in a slow, steady slide. “I encourage it.”
Despite the permission, Megatron made no move toward his array. There was something hypnotic about Ratchet’s pace, the slide of the flog, the timber of his voice.
“Are you ever going to start?” he asked, and wondered if the yearning was as obvious to Ratchet as it was to himself.
“Who says I haven’t?” Ratchet asked.
Megatron jolted as the flogger striped fire across his aft, hard enough to feel, hard enough for his armor to register the strike, hard enough for the tip to lay into a seam, striking the delicate cables beneath.
He sucked in a vent and -- smack, smack, smack -- three more blows in sharp succession, laying up his exposed back in horizontal stripes, parallel to the floor. Pain bloomed in a wave of hot fire, creeping upward as if chasing the trail of arousal Ratchet had fed him. Megatron hissed air through his denta.
“I’m fine. Keep going,” he ground out, and forced his fingers to uncurl, while his system sent him updates and warnings, and his armor tingled and his cables stung.
The air whistled. Megatron groaned as several more strikes striped his back, criss-crossing the earlier marks with licks of hot fire. He wobbled on his knees, vision briefly fritzing, especially when two more strikes of the flog whipped the back of his thighs.
He wobbled and fell forward, catching himself on hands and knees.
"Keep going," he snarled as his fingers curled against the ground, the throb of arousal in his lines matching the hot throb of pain across his sensor net. "I'll let you know when to stop."
Ratchet chuffed a vent. Megatron heard the creak of his fingers tightening around the flog. He braced for harder strikes, and startled when the tip of the flog traced ever so delicately over his back, occasionally brushing the marks Ratchet had already left.
His armor prickled. His valve throbbed, lubricant seeping over his lining, his spike threatening to emerge, though Megatron locked it down. Something about denying himself that pleasure made the arousal run hotter and faster through his lines.
The flog caressed his armor, his seams, skipping sharply over the earlier strikes and leaving stings in its wake. It was pain, but marginal compared to what he'd experienced, and when Ratchet followed the path of the flog with his field, another low groan tore itself out of Megatron's intake.
The flog whistled through the air, and Megatron jerked as it struck his aft, far harder than he anticipated. A sharp stab of pain lurched through his sensornet, but the strikes that followed were sharper, more precise, as if Ratchet knew every sensitive zone, every sensor nexus, and aimed for them with unerring accuracy.
Megatron's fingers dug into the floor. His array pinged for release, Megatron denied it. Heat flooded his frame, vents coming in sharper bursts, and his awareness narrowed in to the snap of the flog against his armor, up and down. His back, his aft, his thighs, his aft, his back, horizontal and vertical, sharper and softer, harder, and quieter. Over and over.
He focused on the sound of it, whispering as it cut through the air, the sharp and echoing snap of it striking him, the subtle creaks of Ratchet's hydraulics as he moved, the hot press of Ratchet's field, wrapping around him as if reminding him he was safe.
His arms wobbled. He sank down, weight resting on his forearms, making a garbled noise that Ratchet must have taken as encouragement because he didn't stop, and at some point, the pain stopped being pain. It started being something hot, his entire frame a seething mass of want. His hips took on a rhythm of their own, rocking against nothing, while he denied every request of his array.
"Touch me," he begged, the words tearing out of him before he could think otherwise, and he moaned when fingers rubbed over his valve panel.
No, not fingers. It was the broad tip of the flog.
"You have to let me in, Megatron," Ratchet said, his voice from a distance, his field a warm, reassuring presence against Megatron's.
His valve panel snapped aside, and Megatron moaned as cool air whispered over his swollen folds, lubricant immediately welling free to trickle out his rim. His knees slid a precious inch over the floor, baring himself even further, and his valve throbbed to the same beat as the pain throbbing through his frame.
The broad end of the flogger skated over his rim, coating itself in his fluids. Megatron gritted out a moan, pushed back against it, and when the tip tapped lightly on his anterior node, Megatron shattered. Overload swallowed him whole, electric fire surging out of his circuits and lighting up across his armor.
He sagged against the floor, no energy left in his frame, in his hydraulics. It thrummed through him like a post-battle high, after the adrenaline wore off and all that remained was the exhaustion and thrill of survival.
He settled in the sensation and lingered, comfortable and at ease. It was bliss, like he’d never felt before. It was pockets of memory: bent over a datapad with Terminus, shared quiet nights with Soundwave, the moment his first fusion cannon clicked into place, a soak in a hot oil bath, an early morning conversation with Ravage… It was that hazy state between recharge and waking, where nothing felt quite real, but in a good way. It was a lot of things.
He never wanted to leave.
Megatron surfaced an indeterminable time later, awareness trickling in on slow beats. He wasn't on the floor. He was on a berth. He was stretched out on his front, head on a pillow. The pain in his back had gone dull, but his aft and thighs were blissfully numb. Ratchet's field stroked over him.
Megatron onlined his optics and turned his head. "How'd I get here?"
"I picked you up and put you here," Ratchet said from where he sat next to Megatron, perched on the edge of the berth. He leaned closer and the sound of some kind of spray filled the room.
A spot on Megatron's back went numb.
"I'm stronger than I look," Ratchet added.
"I'm aware of how strong medics are," Megatron murmured. He let his optics shutter again, and sank deeper into the comfort of the berth. "Am I damaged?"
"What kind of medic do you take me for? I know what I'm doing," Ratchet grumped, but there was less offense and more playfulness within his tone. Another spray of numbing agent landed on Megatron's back.
He managed a quiet laugh. He rested on the pillow, soaking in the sensation of the numbing, the lingering sting-heat of the lashes, and the warmth of Ratchet's field. He wasn't as deep in the satisfaction, but he felt remarkably at ease. It was a foreign sensation.
“So I’d say that trial was a success,” Ratchet continued, his hands deft and confident. “We didn’t even need Bluestreak’s help.”
If there was a touch of ‘I told you so’ in Ratchet’s tone, Megatron chose to ignore it. He was too relaxed for an argument, even a playful one.
“Worth repeating,” Megatron said, by way of agreement. Words were difficult right now. In a good way. “We should try what you mentioned.”
“Yes.” Megatron’s engine rumbled. He thought of the light tap Ratchet had given to his node. It hadn’t qualified as anything close to pain, but he could imagine pushing the limits, seeing how much he could take, of pleasure bleeding into pain and back again.
It was definitely something worth pursuing.
Ratchet chuckled quietly. “Sounds good to me. Now hush and rest. We’ll discuss future kinks when you’re not so feeling so indulgent toward me.” The numbing agent gave another hissing spray and more pain vanished under Ratchet’s tender care.
Ratchet’s field wrapped even further around him, like a warm blanket promising protection. Once upon a time, Megatron would have argued against the idea he needed such a thing. Now, he buried himself in it, like a rare treat.
Megatron made a noncommittal noise and sank deeper into the berth. Satisfaction hummed all the way to his spark. Gratitude rose up in his field, and Ratchet accepted it with a quiet murmur and another well-aimed spritz of the numbing agent.
He’d owe Bluestreak his thanks later, as well, but for now, his dom had given him an order, and Megatron fully intended to obey.