This begins in the wee hours one morning and overlaps the events of Under the Plating.
Rated: R, for physical intimacy between mechanical beings, specifically Jazz and Prowl.
Heed the warnings! Don't like, don't read.
Author's Notes: You know I don't own any of them. My OC's name isn't even mentioned, because his story is just the backdrop for this. 3300 words.
As far as Prowl was concerned, Jazz was the primary mover in their relationship. Resting on his recharge berth, alert long after he should have been recharging, he pretended to read a data pad but really just enjoyed the weight of Jazz leaning against him. Jazz had so much more presence, charisma, personality than he did - than anyone he'd ever met - Prowl couldn't help but desire his company. Short-changing his recharge cycles was an insignificant sacrifice.
It started vorns ago, when he found he was inviting himself to meetings and realized while looking at his notes afterward that the only reason he wanted to be there was because Jazz would be. Of course Jazz noticed quickly, despite (or maybe due to) Prowl's reluctance to speak directly with him: he fabricated a logical-sounding question to ask as one such meeting broke up knowing Prowl would remain to get more data to try to answer it. As soon as the others were gone, Jazz cut straight to a question to which Prowl already knew the answer: "What's the probability o' success of the first pick-up line I try on ya?"
They spent as much time together as possible after that. It wasn't much with Jazz on rotational duty to various outposts for missions into Decepticon holdings all over Cybertron and the moons. They saw each other when they could: Jazz requested liberty in Iacon anytime a lull in the fighting allowed travel and Prowl worked hard to distinguish himself among the Autobot tacticians so he could influence his own assignments. Occasionally, he was able to get himself attached temporarily to Jazz' unit. In some ways those were the best times, giving them tens or even hundreds of groons in each other's company; in other ways, they were worst because they always led to Jazz' most dangerous assignments. An espionage unit only needed a tactician's presence if the situation was so fluid as to require constant real-time re-evaluation.
A few times, an entire stellar cycle or more passed without them finding a way to each other. Prowl knew Jazz spent intimate time with others over the vorns and did not hold it against him: in such a high-risk position it was logical to live more in the moment. Prowl himself found that after their first private outing - not even needing their first intimate encounter - the company of others became a pale substitute. When he found out Jazz would be on the energon-search expedition, he wasted no time getting himself assigned to it. Being boarded by the Decepticons and crashing on Earth had actually given them this leisure together. A light chuckle escaped him.
Jazz shifted to smile quizzically at the Datsun and feint a look at his data pad. "What's funny, baby?"
Prowl found Jazz' use of the human endearment bizarre - maybe that was the reason Jazz continued to use it? He met Jazz' optics through the visor. "I have reached the conclusion that I am grateful the Ark was boarded as we left Cyberton."
The saboteur's smile shifted. "We never felt we had time ta just be, did we?" he asked, casually resting a hand on Prowl's bumper as he sat up. Jazz followed his thoughts perfectly.
Prowl set his data pad aside and caught Jazz' other hand that was en route to his door-wing. "Before that crash, we spent every possible moment..." he had no reason to finish the sentence. Jazz was massaging the underside of his bumper and looking at him ... like that.
"Yeah, every possible moment," Jazz purred, moving closer to kiss him.
Prowl responded. He always did. "You own me, you know that?" he asked in Jazz' audio receptor, hands wandering over the beautiful mech now stretched out half on top of him.
"Yeah, I do," Jazz replied silkily, "but all I am is yours."
The console in the outer room of Prowl's suite chirped for attention. Both mechs groaned. "Why don' we ever go ta my quarters?" Jazz complained, rolling fluidly off Prowl and off the berth, extending a hand to help his partner up.
"Because you have the top bunk with a roommate and I have a stateroom," he answered logically as he accepted Jazz' hand to continue physical contact with him. The terminal chirped again.
"Ya've got a Prime office but no Ironhide-bot," Jazz teased, walking with Prowl to the other room. Residing in a wrecked space ship, living space was at a premium. Only Prime, Ironhide and Prowl had their own quarters; Prowl's was really the office originally intended for the second-captain and his yeoman. Prime and Ironhide had the only two true staterooms spared in the crash - smaller than Prowl's private room but satisfyingly remote from their working areas - and everyone else occupied either multi-bunk crew-quarters or storage rooms that had been fit with recharge platforms after their reawakening. By virtue of rank, Jazz' only roommate was Mirage.
Releasing the black hand, Prowl sat down at his desk and activated the console. Jazz trailed gentle fingers down his door-wing, knowing it challenged Prowl's professional demeanor. Prowl put on his best stern look and tone as Blaster's image appeared on the screen. "Ironhide is on call tonight, Blaster."
Blaster looked apologetic. "Sorry, Prowl. Patrol's askin' for Jazz. Ironhide thought you might know where he is?"
Hand on the edge of Prowl's door, Jazz moved around behind him, still off-camera. "Heya, Blaster. What's up with 'Raj and Blue?" he asked, leaning over Prowl's shoulder to tilt the web-cam up so Blaster could finally see him. Prowl stiffened as Jazz continued to caress his door-wing covertly. He registered the look on Blaster's face with relief: the communications officer had leapt to the wrong conclusion at finding Jazz in his company so far into the day-shift recharge cycle, true to the XO's all-business reputation.
They could hear Ironhide in the background, probably talking to Cosmos on the radio: Mirage and Bluestreak didn't cause the damage, did they? They just found 'im this way. Has Mirage considered the possibility this is a trap?
Blaster uncharacteristically let that stand as his answer to Jazz. The pair processed what Ironhide said. Jazz was immediately serious: "I'm on my way." Prowl cut the connection.
Jazz started to head for the door, all business. Prowl needed a little longer to truly shift gears; he stood up quickly and grabbed the Porsche by the shoulders, spinning him around in the small space between the desk and the wall. He kissed Jazz, hard, taking advantage of the slightly smaller mech's surprise. Optic-to-visor, he growled low, "You make me crazy! You can finish what you started later."
Jazz grinned at him. "Just wanna keep ya comin' back. You can cash in your rain-check anytime." Prowl released him and they went down to the comm center to see what was happening with Mirage and Bluestreak.
Driving with Jazz and Ironhide to meet Mirage was no problem for Prowl: he had plenty of unknowns to occupy his processors. Driving back with that spoiler in front of him, like a shining white beacon in the rain and the dark, just reminded him where he'd rather be. The saboteur had the most aesthetically pleasing auto-mode...
"Gives meanin' to the term 'rain-check'," Jazz said randomly. Prowl thought he could hear Jazz' smile.
Jazz read his thoughts too often to be mere coincidence; he theorized Jazz was developing a thought-sensing ability to rival Soundwave's. At least, in his own case. The more time they spent together, the more regularly Jazz exercised it. Ironhide was far enough behind them not to hear, so Prowl replied, "No need for a sale when the customer is loyal."
"You're gettin' better at this!" Jazz flashed his brake lights once, dodging a downed tree-limb, warning Prowl to follow his lead instead of just the middle of the road as he said, "Watch that!"
Prowl slowed and said, "Let's wait a moment for Ironhide to make sure he sees this. It is too big for him to clear, too." They waited briefly, then Prowl transformed and moved the limb to the side of the road.
"Why thank ya, Prowl," Ironhide drawled as he arrived in easy audio-range, "but I hope ya don't think I'm that decrepit yet!"
Jazz teased the red van, "Ya said you're gettin' too old for this, Ironhide! Prowl's just bein' considerate."
Prowl smiled despite himself, thinking all the rain in Oregon couldn't stop Jazz from being cheerful. He transformed and explained his action as a community service.
They drove in silence for a while after that, Ironhide bringing up the rear and Jazz leading the way. Prowl turned his battle computer to the various things he could do when they got back to the Ark. Even in his auto-mode - maybe especially in his auto-mode - Jazz was ... infinitely desirable.
On the final approach to the Ark, up the normally dry riverbed, Jazz broke the silence. "Whaddaya think, Prowl?"
Not about to answer that directly under the circumstances, he replied, "I think the storm is getting stronger again." Registering the tone of Jazz' voice, Prowl realized which conversation Jazz intended to start; he'd hoped to put off the topic of their prisoner until they were clean, dry and had finished what they'd begun. "We cannot get back to the Ark fast enough." Lightning struck a tree behind them startling all three 'Bots into a burst of speed. Jazz, and therefore Prowl, plunged through a deep puddle, spraying themselves liberally with muddy water.
Jazz didn't let it go. "Why was he askin' for me, though? When would he have seen me, let alone got the idea in his head that he wants ta talk ta me, of all 'Bots?" Jazz splashed through another pothole and warned Prowl to avoid it, knowing the Datsun's undercarriage was even lower than his own. He resumed his train of thought, "You or Prime, sure, all the 'Con's prob'ly know who ya are and what ya do. Skyfire, maybe, havin' briefly worn the purple haze, but me? I never saw the guy before tonight!"
Narrowly skirting the indicated puddle, Prowl processed Jazz's questions. "Ironhide is right, he was the unknown Seeker we encountered in Africa. Did he observe your behavior with the Ogoni?"
"If he did, it was from a distance - I'm tellin' you, Prowl, I never saw him before." They rounded the last bend in the riverbed leading to the Ark.
Omega Supreme challenged their approach. Jazz answered for all of them, pumping his vocalizer output through his speaker system. They arrived at the entrance and transformed.
Grinning easily, Jazz turned to Prowl, "Wanna play good cop/bad cop?"
"Only you'll be playing," Prowl groused, hoping his friend would not see through his tactic. "We should hit the washracks before going to medical to begin our interrogation." Ironhide rolled in behind them with water pouring off of him. "Ironhide, you are not as muddy as we are. Would you go to the repair bay and see if Ratchet has left that Decepticon in one piece?"
Ironhide agreed, "I don't think Ratchet'll throw me outta medical." He retrieved a transformer-sized towel from what had been his passenger compartment. "I'll see ya there in a few?"
"Yes. Try to find out what he wants." Prowl started walking away. Jazz remained, having some further conversation. Prowl smiled to himself, feeling cunning as he neared the wash room.
Jazz lingered a moment, wanting to follow his disappointed lover but feeling like he needed reassurance from Ironhide on the treatment of his potential informant. "If he tells ya why he's lookin' for me, let me know?"
Ironhide smiled kindly, "O' course, Jazz, but I bet he won't talk much ta anybot but you. I just have that feelin'." Jazz hesitated, looking uncertain, so Ironhide added, "Go on now, 'fore the place gets crowded."
Taken somewhat aback by the implication in the old guard's comment, Jazz decided Ironhide only guessed about their relationship and walked away quickly to catch up. As a spy, he was perfectly comfortable being discrete, but he avoided public displays of affection only because Prowl was concerned their relationship might be somehow contrary to good order and discipline. Their positions and ranks were not an issue by any regulation, but the executive officer thought some might find it inappropriate because he planned such a high percentage of the covert activity Jazz figured significantly in. Jazz would just as soon everyone know so he'd have to let fewer mechs down gently.
Thoughts consumed by a long-standing daydream, Jazz was surprised when Prowl pounced. As the bigger bot pulled him into the second bay, he laughed, hanging on reflexively, "You're not named Prowl for nothin'!"
Silent except for his purring engine, Prowl looked Jazz up and down predatorily, hands finding the seams at his waist and purposely disturbing the wires within. Jazz relaxed his hands where he'd clutched at Prowl and moved them sensuously over the Datsun's grill and headlights. "You can stalk me anytime."
Prowl growled and caught Jazz' hands. "Shut up and transform." Prowl kissed him, briefly intertwining their glossae, then stepped slightly back from him, still firmly holding his hands. "Now."
Jazz shuddered at the tone of the order and the desire in Prowl's optics. He complied, knowing Prowl found his auto-mode completely fascinating. As he slowly settled onto his suspension, Prowl more than repaid him for the turn served him when Blaster rang his room. Prowl alternated teasing touches - on his spoiler, his window seals, his grill, inside his wheel-wells - with warm soapy water, washing the cold mud away. Jazz gave himself up to the sensations, letting his lover wring wordless sounds from him as his field flared erratically and his systems raced. He wondered if Prowl meant to drive him into overcharge and leave him off-line in the wash rack.
"You own me," Prowl said suddenly, putting the water-wand away with a shaking hand. By the tone of his engine, Jazz judged that he was at least as far gone in what he'd been doing as the Porsche, himself. His voice shook as he said, "And I no longer care who knows. Will you move in with me, full-time?"
Shocked, Jazz trembled on his wheels. Finding his vocalizer as Prowl touched his roofline gently, waiting, Jazz answered him as he transformed, "Baby, I thought you'd never ask." Prowl caught him around the midsection again as soon as he was fully bipedal and kissed him, holding him up off the floor, supporting his full weight without thought. Jazz caressed Prowl's helm and his chevron, pulling Prowl tightly to him with his other hand on the back of his neck, moving his legs against Prowl's seductively.
What Prowl really wanted to happen there, Jazz thought he knew, but they were interrupted by the sound of steps in the corridor. He broke the kiss and whispered, "Let's take this someplace private. I know you'd rather give more subtle signs than findin' us steamin'."
Reluctantly, Prowl let Jazz go. "Mirage is on patrol until noon," he said quietly, "let's go to your room. We can collect your effects and it is closer." Jazz could not argue with his logic.
As soon as the door cycled shut behind them, Jazz closed the distance to Prowl, reaching around him to slide his hands up on either side between the door-wings and his back. The Datsun shuddered, optics dim, and rested his arms on Jazz' shoulders and their foreheads together. That most intimate of gestures between mechs always made the Porsche's knees feel weak.
Prowl lifted one hand to lovingly trail his fingers down Jazz' cheek. "Remove the visor for me?"
In answer, Jazz retracted the visor into his helm. "All I am is yours," he breathed.
Jazz disregarded the alarms as his systems approached overload. Giving as good as he got, he noticed the surface temperature of Prowl's plating rivaled his own, so he was already close to overcharge, too. By the look on his faceplates, though, something was troubling Prowl. Pausing his activity and toning down his engine with difficulty, Jazz asked, "What's the matter, babe?"
Prowl stopped cycling his cooling system; his engine revved a bit faster in the strain of overheat. "I know you had others in the times we were apart," he began, "and I was happy to know you were not always alone." He stopped, optics brightening and expression earnest, as open as when he was recharging. "Will I - can I - be enough to keep you happy?"
Jazz smiled shakily and pulled Prowl's head down so they could touch foreheads again, now eye-to-eye with each other, no visor between their blue optics. "Baby, you have always been 'nough ta keep me happy. Those others - two, before I understood ya really would find ways ta see me no matter how long it took - I thought they were tension-relief. I felt so guilty after, knowin' I used 'em, imaginin' I was with you," he cycled his cooling system extra fast. "I'll spark-bond with ya right now if that's what ya want."
Jazz had never met a spark-bonded couple before, but if the Seeker Trines and gestalt teams he'd seen were any indication, the archaic practice had both some remarkable benefits and some frightening drawbacks. He meant it, though: he loved Prowl more than life, more than freedom, more than his own spark. He'd do it without a second thought if it were what Prowl wanted.
Prowl allowed his cooling system to start cycling again in relief and kissed Jazz' mouth lightly. Drawing back, he looked Jazz in the eye again and said, "I want us to always be together because we choose to be, not because we have to be."
Their only intimate encounter in Jazz' quarters on the Ark led to the most intense interface they'd had to date. Jazz credited it to resolving a tension he hadn't even realized was there.
When they recovered themselves and set about subspacing his few personal belongings, talking about how they'd deal with the 'captured' Decepticon, Jazz thought about their differences. He was flamboyant where Prowl was reserved. He improvised where Prowl planned. He joked about Mirage getting bored without him where Prowl joked about never having another sane moment with him. He reiterated what he'd said. "All I am is yours. I mean it: say the word, and we'll bond. I love you, Prowl. The offer stands as long I have spark."
Prowl hugged him gently. "You own me, no bond required." They kissed tenderly. The tactician got the look on his face that said he'd just found an unexplored idea. He tightened the embrace. "Is that what _you_ want, Jazz?"
That question from Prowl surprised him. Jazz had always assumed it was what mechs - stable, devoted mechs like Prowl, anyway - did, or wanted to do, when they decided to commit to a relationship. But what about mechs like Jazz? "I don't know, babe. I-" he paused, sensing their fields falling into pleasant resonance, "I hadn't thought about it that way."
"You should," Prowl said slowly. He moved toward the door and cycled it, then held out a hand to draw Jazz near again. "I cannot promise you many public displays of affection, but in private, I will deny you nothing."
Jazz could only nod and follow Prowl out to attend to their business. He thought that giving up the perception of freedom to walk away from Prowl might be an insignificant sacrifice. Jazz couldn't help but desire his company: Prowl had so much more presence, solidity, certainty than he did - than anyone he'd ever met. As far as Jazz was concerned, Prowl was the primary mover in their relationship.