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At the Crossroads

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The foreign map of stars turned slowly beyond the porthole, and Optimus idly tracked their progress. The charts etched into his processor, relics of his own eons of deep-space travel, were useless here, but he allowed his processor to acquire and interpret the new data, extrapolating the ship’s position and vector of travel. Despite her damage from the unexpected quantum jump, The Lost Light was a sturdy vessel, and he offlined his optics to listen to the steady thrum of her engines.

A hard rap at the door of the small sparring chamber and the wisp of a familiar energy field from beyond it. “You have the override code,” he said, amused despite himself.

“So I do,” said Megatron as the door hissed open. “And yet I find it does no harm to ensure that one’s presence is still desired, override code or no override code.”

Leaning back from his perch on the edge of the porthole, Optimus craned his head, glancing beyond his shoulder guards, “How fares your wayward crew?”

“As they always do,” said Megatron. “Some think you are prophet from beyond the stars and wish to make you the new captain, others wish to burn you as an aberration.” His voice was darkly humorous, “That is to say, the usual.”

“Ah yes,” said Optimus gravely. “I do find that Drift tends to get a bit ahead of himself. Though I would have thought Rodimus would have settled down by now.”

“Rodimus’s feelings regarding your counterpart are complex,” said Megatron. “It is not easy to now be compared to two where once there was only one.”

“If Rodimus were to clear his processor,” said Optimus. “He would find that such comparisons take place only within his own mind.”

Megatron’s mouth twitched in a wicked smirk, “Perhaps. And yet Swerve’s new sign declaring that one’s pelvic span must be so narrow to qualify for a free drink spoke volumes, I believe.”

Optimus regarded him flatly and Megatron snickered, “Come now, no grumpy disapproval? No flustered words of protest?”

“I am not my counterpart.” So strange, to think that within this dimension lurked another who bore his name and burdens, his pains and passions different and yet, from Megatron’s dark and sometimes halting stories, not so very alien from his own.

Megatron’s smile faded and he looked Optimus over appraisingly. “No,” he said, voice soft and intrigued, “no you are not.”

Megatron approached, his field broadcasting his interest, intentions not firmed yet, providing flexibility should Optimus decide to protest, and pressed up close to his back, his massive form and field enveloping Optimus. Optimus shuddered and leant back, allowing that heavy and solid frame to take his weight with ease.

Megatron bent over him, mouth near his audio sensors, “You are so very different, so very delicate in fact that when I first saw you I feared you might break in half.” His hand rose and traced the edges of one of Optimus’s antennae, “Your features were familiar, and yet at the same time so very alien.”

“Undesirably so?” said Optimus, pushing down the hitch in his ventilation as Megatron blew air, superheated by the powerful engine that throbbed beneath his chassis, across the antenna.

“Not at all,” Megatron chuckled. “Quite the contrary in fact.” He nuzzled gently against Optimus’s helm. “And Brainstorm and Perceptor are hard at work to reroute the quantum engines to reopen the portal through which you came.”

“I see,” Optimus turned his helm to let his optic focus on Megatron’s, listening to the whir of mechanisms as his focal length changed from distant to intimately close. “Then am I to presume you are implying we should make use of our time?”

“Not implication,” one heavy hand stroked down Optimus’s side, tracing the tessellated structures of his ventral plating, “declaration.”

Bracing against the floor from his precarious perch, Optimus eased his legs apart and bit back a sound as Megatron followed the lines of his ventral armor to their apex. His palm was large enough to cup the whole of Optimus’s interface hatch and Optimus ground down lightly, seeking pressure.

“I should have found a better place for this than the floor of the sparring room,” said Megatron, his voice rough and staticky with his own building charge.

Optimus thought of his previous encounters with his own Megatron, atop the refuse in the ruins of ancient cities, against the walls of desolate and destroyed ships, and the first precious time, on the floor of his cubicle in the Hall of Records, so long ago that the colors of the memory were hazed by the warm glow of nostalgia. He rested his hand atop Megatron’s, pushing it harder against him. “I think,” he said solemnly, “that this may be practically convention.”

Megatron barked out a startled laugh. Stepping back, he tugged Optimus upright and turned him from the porthole to face him, “Then far be it for me to break with tradition.”

Megatron shepherded Optimus towards the center of the room and urged him down, his own joints creaking and squeaking as he joined him. Optimus leaned back, elbows bent and knees spread as he propped himself up on his forearm guards, and hummed with appreciation as Megatron loomed over him.

Megatron’s hand returned to his interface hatch, testing the seams, minor fluctuations of his field buffeting against the charge that crawled across Optimus’s hidden array. He paused in his explorations, gave a smart tap against the hatch and Optimus jolted. Megatron smiled. “Still demurring, as though I have not seen this already?”

Optimus gave him an arch look. “Perhaps I merely prefer to make you work for the privilege.”

“Oh I plan to,” said Megatron, crimson optics bright with mirth. “If only you will permit me to begin.”

Allowing his helm to droop back, bringing the stars beyond the porthole back into his field of view, Optimus slid back his hatch. His valve twitched and contracted as cold air washed across it and he shivered at Megatron’s low rumble of approval.

“I admit,” said Megatron, testing the external sensory folds of his valve with gentle fingers, “for all your differences, I did not expect you to be so different here.” He spread the folds open, rubbing his thumb over an exterior node in steady circles and Optimus shuddered, pelvic span jerking against his hand.

Processor spinning, Optimus struggled to form words, “Then you have had the opportunity for comparison?”

Megatron’s fingers stilled and Optimus bit back a groan of protest. “Touché, Optimus,” he said softly, voice somehow distant. “No, I have not had that particular privilege. Your counterpart is perhaps less forgiving than you in some respects.”

Raising his helm to meet Megatron’s optics, Optimus lifted a hand and stroked the block shape of Megatron’s helmet, thinking of his own brother. “Time heals many wounds,” he said simply.

Megatron gave him a tight, disbelieving smile. “So it does,” he said. His optics dropped to Optimus’s valve, “But I find no harm in sampling other fare in the meantime.”

He lowered his mouth to demonstrate his point, and Optimus arched, forearms trembling as struggled to hold himself steady. Groping with the hand not cradling Optimus’s pelvic span, Megatron lifted Optimus’s legs to drape them over his shoulder guards, opening him further and Optimus let out a low moan as he prodded inside, spreading him with glossa and fingers, licking along the folds and nodes, raising charge and smearing lubricant as he went.

Optimus’s forearms gave out, and he sagged back against the floor, panting as Megatron worked him over. Twisting his helm as his resistors pinged him of impending overload, he found himself staring at the entrance through which Megatron had come. “Did you lock the door?” he managed.

Megatron drove his glossa into him and Optimus’s fingers scrabbled against the floor as the stimulation withdrew. “No,” Megatron said. “I believe I did not.” He chuckled, raising minute vibrations against the sensitized valve. “Perhaps you should hurry.”

The threat of discovery, however minute, he’d chosen this room for its rarity of use after all, to give himself space to think, sent a contradictory zing of excitement through Optimus’s array. He groaned, grinding his valve against Megatron’s mouth with all the leverage he could muster from this position. “In me,” he bit out.

“All in good time,” said Megatron, pulling back and licking Optimus’s lubricants from the edges of his mouth. He slid Optimus’s legs from his shoulders, letting them drop limp to the ground, “Over.”

It took Optimus three tries, but at last he managed to roll himself and rise on shaking knees, helm bowed as he panted, body struggling to cool itself. Megatron nudged his thighs apart and prodded at his valve once more, sinking in thick fingers to test the stretch and readiness, “Much better.”

He shuffled forward to cover Optimus, body heavy and hot above him, bracing on solid limbs as he guided himself inside. Hunching, he wound his hands around Optimus’s smokestacks and pushed his shoulders towards the floor, opening his valve up that last, crucial bit.

Optimus sobbed aloud as Megatron sank in, setting off a cascade of conflicting pain and pleasure data through his sensor net. His fingers curved clawlike against the floor and he pushed back in contradiction of his body’s protest, mastering himself, his ventilations loud in his audio sensors. At last the pain subsided, leaving behind a dull ache and a sense of fullness, of mechanisms stretched to their limit and beyond, of fulfillment.

Megatron withdrew, the heavy shapes and whorls of his spike scraping across raw sensor nodes, and Optimus could do no more than press his faceplate to the cool metal beneath it, all focus driven inwards. He’d ridden Megatron in the berthroom one deck above them, testing the limits of the other mech’s endurance through overload after overload, but now he allowed himself to be bent, receptive to the power of that driving engine and brilliant spark.

“Your brother was a slagging fool to let you go,” Megatron groaned, thrusting in deep and grinding his pelvic span against the exterior of Optimus’ array.

Optimus tried to articulate that it had not exactly been by choice, but choked static instead, his vocalizer fritzing as his resistors finally surrendered and overload claimed him, static charge rippling across his frame, sparks leaping from gap to gap between his plating. Megatron’s hands tightened around his smokestacks, metal denting beneath his fingers as he drove in one final time and charge surged across his array, discharging inside Optimus and shorting out several nodes.

“Blast,” gasped Megatron, sagging over him, vents steaming, field a stimulating, writhing blanket. “Forgive me, I forgot to pull out.” Tugging Optimus to the side, he allowed himself to drop down to the floor, his spike slipping out as he tucked Optimus into the curve of his body and probed with gentle fingers between his legs. “Are you injured?”

Processor spinning, Optimus rebooted his vocalizer. “Nothing a cycle of self-repair will not handle.” He ran a soothing hand down Megatron’s forearm guard. “A mere voltage incompatibility and furthermore, I find the experience worth the discomfort.”

Megatron laughed softly, withdrawing his hand. “You are a marvel.” Curling closer around Optimus, mouth close to his audio sensors, he murmured, “Perhaps I should keep you.”

“Perhaps for a little while,” said Optimus, reaching back to link his fingers with Megatron’s, “we may pretend.”