dracoqueen22: (ratchet)
[personal profile] dracoqueen22
a/n: So rather then keep everyone waiting until I finish (which could be months from now), I've decided to let the chapters I got trickle out to you, in hopes that by the time I catch up to what I have, I'll have written more. *fingers crossed*

Special thanks to lululara12 for the beta-work. Please enjoy!

Title: Critical Mass
Universe: Transformers: Prime Season Two AU, Event Horizon 'verse
Characters: Autobot and Decepticon Ensemble with focuses on Ratchet, Sunstreaker, Knock Out, Megatron, Optimus/Orion Pax
Rating: M
Warnings: canon-typical violence, character death, elements of dubious consent, some may consider this mpreg, tactile/spark smut
Description: Sequel to Event Horizon. New allies have come to assist, but Optimus is still missing, and other matters have complicated the fight against the Decepticons. Time draws ever short as the war races toward an inevitable conclusion.

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Chapter One

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There's something to be said about the prowess of a bona fide medic, one who actually cares about his victim’s – err, patient’s – health. It's been almost a full orn yet Knock Out still feels sluggish from whatever sedative Ratchet had given him. Not even his personal overrides are effective in dispersing it.

Knock Out has tried and failed not to be impressed. As much as he can, on occasion, despise his carrier, he cannot deny the mech's skill.

Once upon a time, he'd longed only to grow up in his carrier's pedesteps. Such dreams are now the ashes of a youngling abandoned to war. Knock Out no longer has any patience for them.

A warning pops up in his HUD. He's low on energon and also in desperate need of a wash and polish. He could also do with a defrag, but a mech's got to have his priorities.

On a lonely, dusty road in the middle of nowhere, Knock Out finally pings the Nemesis. If he has any luck, Soundwave or a drone will be on duty. Soundwave, at least, doesn't bother with inane conversation. Or any conversation at all.

“Knock Out to Nemesis. Track my position and send a Ground Bridge.”

A dark chuckle slithers across the comm and Knock Out almost skids off the road. Fraggit all to the smelter!

“Why Knock Out,” Airachnid purrs with all the mockery one can fit into a single phrase. “Wherever have you been?”

Knock Out's engine rumbles before he can stop himself. So much for self-control. “Scouting,” he bites out. “Not that it makes any difference to you.”

“Now is that any way to speak to your superior officer?” Airachnid retorts, her vocals making him cringe. She's oily, through and through, and not the good kind.

Officer, yes. Superior?

Knock Out makes a noise of disdain. Never in a thousand vorn! He'd sooner defect to the Autobots than believe such a thing. And Airachnid is a fool if she honestly thinks she's gotten away with her little stunt during Lord Megatron's brief absence.

Soundwave knows and sees all. Which means Knock Out has all his digits crossed, hoping the spy hasn't stumbled upon Knock Out's week spent in Autobot custody.

It's a futile hope.

“I request a ground bridge, sir,” Knock Out bites out, expending effort to keep his tone the thin edge of civil.

Airachnid laughs. “And here we thought you'd gone to find our dear, missing Starscream. Alas, alas.”

Ahead of him, the roadway lights up with the familiar green swirl of a ground bridge. Knock Out puts metal to the pedal and speeds for home, eager to be back aboard the familiarity of the Nemesis.

“Welcome home, medic,” Airachnid adds as she cuts off the comm and Knock Out roars into the ground bridge.

His plating crawls and he wants nothing more than to scrub himself clean, and then scrub out his processor of Airachnid's presence. He can't wait until Lord Megatron shows her the error of her ways.

Airachnid's ground bridge dumps him in the lowest level of the Nemesis, used for storage of broken machinery and other useless parts. Which means he's a long walk away from either his quarters or the medbay. How petty of her.

Knock Out shifts to root mode, lips curling with disdain. He brushes a servo down his chestplate, streaked with road dust. Disgusting.

He works his way through the crowded storage room, lit by a few emergency lights and nothing else. It smells strongly of disuse, spilled fluids, and rust down here. His plating crawls again.

Knock Out activates his comm. “Breakdown.”

“Where the frag you been?” His assistant's surly voice crackles across the connection, no doubt there's something down here spewing interference. Who knows what discards Lord Megatron's shoved down here to rot?

“Where do you think?” Knock Out snarls, his sour mood plummeting even further. “With the Autobots, you useless piece of back up!”

Breakdown huffs into the comm. “They're Autobots. Biggest thing you had to worry about was whether or not they were gonna leave the cuffs on. Meanwhile I got Soundwave breathin' up my tailpipe!”

Knock Out's spark skips a few pulses. That slagged spy! The last thing he wants is Soundwave getting too curious. Letting the Decepticons know that he's a merger is one thing. Telling them his genitors are Autobots is a whole nother city-state. It'd be like signing his death warrant.

“What've you been telling him?”

“Nothing. What was I supposed to say?”

“You could've lied!”

“I didn't know the truth! How the frag was I supposed to lie?”

Knock Out's engine gives an ominous rumble of aggravation as he punches the button for the lift and waits, anger broiling inside of him. “I was gone for a week, you slagger.”

“Don't seem like you had a rough time of it to me,” Breakdown retorts, sounding more than a little annoyed. “How the frag you escape anyway?”

How indeed.

The lift beeps and Knock Out steps into it, snapping the button to head up. “They let me go.”

Silence.

“Knock Out, you got something to tell me?”

They've been partners-in-arms for vorns. Breakdown's been his assistant since Knock Out's been a medic. But he still hasn't told the other mech about his past. Just like Breakdown doesn't talk about his brothers, Knock Out doesn't talk about his genitors.

“I'm not an Autobot!”

“I didn't say you were. I'm just sayin' what everyone else is gonna be thinkinh.”

Breakdown isn't nearly as dumb as everyone thinks he is, fraggit. Sometimes, if he were, things would go a lot better for Knock Out. Easier, too.

The lift stops at the requested floor and the door slides open. Knock Out looks up, his insides feeling as if they've been doused in icy water.

Soundwave is standing there, staring at him with that inscrutable face mask.

Scrap.

--I'll have to comm you later,-- Knock Out tells his assistant. He puts just enough urgency in his tone that Breakdown knows better than to respond.

Knock Out plants a smile on his face. “Soundwave,” he greets. “Going up?” One hand makes a broad gesture, moving aside for the third in command to enter if he pleases.

Soundwave tilts his helm upward, saying nothing, but his actions speaking libraries of datapads.

Knock Out's shoulders slump. “A debriefing then?”

Soundwave gestures Knock Out to leave the lift and follow him. How in the frag had he found out about Knock Out's return so quickly? Airachnid hates the spy. Surely she wouldn't have commed him just to report Knock Out's return?

Apprehension churning in his spark, Knock Out steps out of the lift and into line behind Soundwave. He has no illusions as to where they are going.

Straight to Lord Megatron himself.

o0o0o


“Ratchet?”

Sunstreaker pokes his helm into the medbay, optics seeking the small space for his mate. Their bond is noticeably silent. Ratchet picked up on dampening the transmission pretty quickly for someone who had never been bonded to another. It had only been a couple of Earth days after all.

He doesn't see Ratchet at first. Maybe he's back in one of the smaller store rooms? It's not like there are many places to hide in here.

Though surely he would have responded when he heard Sunstreaker call for him. Unless he's sulking again. For a mech thousands of vorns old, Ratchet can pout like a sparkling when he feels like it.

“Ratchet?”

A servo appears out of nowhere, grasping at Sunstreaker's arm and yanking him back. He flails with a yelp, free arm knocking over a tray of carefully arranged tools and sending them clattering to the floor. His dorsal plating hits the wall with a jarring thud.

His spark flares with recognition seconds before a white-red blur presses up against him, optics blazing blue with need.

“Ratchet, what--”

Sunstreaker's vocalizer cuts off on a burr of static as Ratchet's free hand attacks his midsection, clever fingers going right for a sensitive bundle of cables and peppering them with sharp, heavy bursts of charge.

Sunstreaker arches, free hand clamping down on his mate's shoulder, mouth opening in a loud cry of pleasure. His helm knocks back against the wall and he gropes at his bonded with his free hand, dragging Ratchet closer.

Okay. This is different. But not bad.

If this is the way Ratchet wants to play, then fine with Sunstreaker. He'll ponder the whys and the what the frags about it later.

Sunstreaker's cooling fans kick on with a loud whirr as their frames collide, static leaping from Ratchet's frame and onto Sunstreaker's own, burrowing beneath his plating and dancing over his sensory net. Pleasure floods Sunstreaker's circuits, making him moan.

Ratchet slams their chestplates together, spark energies pulsing out from the barrier of metal between them and spilling against Sunstreaker teasingly.

“Sunstreaker,” Ratchet moans, voice a pleading tremor that sends heat flashing through Sunstreaker's systems. “I need you.”

“You have me,” Sunstreaker replies, bewildered in part, but mostly aroused. All he can sense from his mate is the desire to interface, here and now. Fast and hard, overload after overload...

It makes his engine rev.

Ratchet hooks a hand in Sunstreaker's armor, keeping them pinned together, lips parted in a hungry snarl. “No,” he insists, optics so dark with arousal they are barely blue. “Give me your spark.”

Ratchet's chestplates start to part, green and silver seeping through, illuminating the bare space between them. Sunstreaker's own spark whirls in eager anticipation.

The medic reaches up, fumbling at Sunstreaker's own chestplate. “Please,” he begs.

Sunstreaker parts his armor panels before he can convince himself to do otherwise, his systems surging with desire, Ratchet's own arousal like a siren's call. His systems surge into overdrive, electricity dancing over his plating, darting back and forth between himself and Ratchet.

Spark energy leaps through the small gap, eager to join with Ratchet's, taste that sweet ecstasy once more.

Sunstreaker's lips part, a gasp escaping him as he presses his forehelm against Ratchet's, arms encircling the medic and holding Ratchet close. Metal screeches against metal, their chassis pressed so close together it's as if they seek to crawl inside each other's plating. Ratchet's fingers are tangled under Sunstreaker's plating, sending surges of charge through his circuits.

Not that it matters. Nothing compares to the bliss of their bare sparks knitting together, whirling tendrils reaching out and latching on. Twisting together in such a way that they'll never be torn apart. Not even in death.

Sunstreaker groans, pleasure slamming into him, heat washing over his frame from helm to pede. He can feel himself trembling, can feel Ratchet shaking, too. Energy pours out of him and into Ratchet, doubling back, peppering his frame with ecstasy.

Ratchet's love is a fierce heat that strikes to Sunstreaker's core and he responds in kind, throwing back feelings of devotion, protectiveness, desire, and a love that compares to none other, save what he feels for his twin and his errant youngling.

“Nngh.” Sunstreaker's optics offline, every sensor attuned to Ratchet and the bliss building between them.

To the surges of pleasure and charge, the static crackling and licking across their plating. He tightens his grip, hears metal crumple under the force of his strength.

Ratchet cries out, something garbled and wordless, lacking glyphs even, but underneath it. He arches, metal slamming against metal, and overload slams into them both so quickly Sunstreaker's not prepared for it.

He roars, the scent of discharged energy filling the room, entire frame spasming from the overcharge. He hears Ratchet follow him over, feeling the demanding pull of Ratchet's spark, and clings to his mate as the aftermath leaves Sunstreaker feeling weak and helpless. Tired, in desperate need of recharge, and a cube or two.

Sunstreaker sags, but Ratchet's limp in his arms.

He cycles his vocalizer when it doesn't work on the first try. “Ratchet?”

The medic doesn't respond.

Sunstreaker looks at his mate. Ratchet's frantic grip has loosened; his optics dark. He appears to be, for all intents and purposes, offline.

Sunstreaker's chestplates slide closed with a quick click, his spark reluctant to be sealed again in his own frame. Ratchet's own are also sliding shut, sealing on unconscious reaction to a state of vulnerability.

He gives his mate a small shake. “Ratchet?”

Sunstreaker doesn't want to be worried. It's not like this is the first time he's offlined his partner after an interface, but such an offlining usually isn't precluded by Ratchet acting noticeably out of character. Sunstreaker can count on one servo the number of times Ratchet has ever jumped him like a horny youngling just discovering his interface ports. And all of them were preempted by copious amounts of high grade.

Which, by the way, Sunstreaker cannot detect anywhere on his mate's person. Not in his ex-vents, not in cubes around the medbay, and it certainly wasn't present through their bond.

Sunstreaker's spark gives a flutter of anxiety. “Ratchet!”

No response.

“Frag,” he swears, and lifts Ratchet, carrying him to the nearest medberth.

He unspools an interface cable, familiar fingers scrabbling at the port on Ratchet's side, just above his pelvic girdle.

--Perceptor?--

It takes a klik before the scientist-cum-field medic responds to Sunstreaker's ping.

--What is it, Sunstreaker?-- Perceptor asks, sounding as though Sunstreaker has dragged him from a deep recharge.

Oh, right. Perceptor had been on ground bridge duty up until about thirty minutes ago. Well, he'll get over it. There's an emergency here.

--It's Ratchet,-- Sunstreaker says, unable to hide the urgency in his tones, just as Sideswipe starts pinging in on another channel, no doubt sensing his growing panic. --Something's wrong with him.--

--You shall have to be more specific, Sunstreaker,-- Perceptor says, suddenly fully alert and his tone sharp. --What are his symptoms?--

A groan echoes from the medberth. Sunstreaker yanks his attention away from the comm as Ratchet stirs, optics flashing online. One hand lifts to his helm, groping at his forecrest.

“What the frag?” Ratchet mutters.

--Nevermind,-- Sunstreaker says, and cuts off the comm before Perceptor can ask any more questions or Sideswipe can start nagging him about what happened. Nosy little pest that his twin is and all.

“You tell me,” Sunstreaker replies, laying a hand on his mate's chestplate, feeling the strong pulse of his spark beneath. “You jump me out of nowhere and then black out when you overload? What the frag, Ratchet?”

Ratchet's optics shift to him, dimmer than usual, a clear sign of an underenergized mech. He doesn't seem to be focusing too well either.

“When was the last time you energized?” Sunstreaker demands, already turning to hunt through the cabinets for a spare cube or two. Stupid medics and their selfish need to put their patients before themselves!

“Had a cube before I came on shift,” Ratchet replies, sitting up on the berth with a creak of gears still in desperate need of a tune-up.

Sunstreaker stills in his search. “A full cube?”

“Of course.”

Sunstreaker straightens, turning back toward his mate. Ratchet's shift had started less than three hours ago. Which is why Sunstreaker had come looking for Ratchet here in the first place.

“Then why the frag are you underenergized?” Sunstreaker demands.

Ratchet flinches, hand groping at his chestplate as he sits up fully, shoulders slumping. “I don't know.” He winces, tilting his head in such a way to indicate he's answering his comm before glaring at Sunstreaker. “You pinged Perceptor?”

He crosses his arms over his chassis and glares at the wall. “You wouldn't power on.”

Ratchet exvents loudly and starts rubbing his chestplate again, only to freeze mid-motion. “Scrap,” he says, in a defeated tone. “Fragging son of a pit-spawned smelter!” His energy field flares outward, displaying a mixture of excitement, dread, and despair.

Sunstreaker shifts his gaze back toward his mate, feeling a trickle of Ratchet's conflicting emotions through their bond. “What is it?”

Ratchet's not looking at him, though, but scanning the medbay. “I don't... do you see a scanner nearby?”

“I see ten scanners.”

“A specific one,” Ratchet retorts with a huff. “I need a spark scanner.”

Sunstreaker lowers his arms, staring at his mate. Comprehension starts to dawn with a conflicting array of emotions that match what Ratchet is coursing through their bond.

“Ratchet...?”

“Let me find a scanner before we start jumping to conclusions.”

Sunstreaker's spark starts to pulse within his chassis as he turns, beginning his search anew, procuring a cube for his mate and also finding the requested scanner. It looks like it's been made from scrap, pieced together from bits of discarded wreckage. It's embarrassing the way the humans have forced the Autobots to live. Embarrassing and shameful.

He hands Ratchet the cube, who takes it gratefully.

“I can't check myself,” Ratchet says, cupping the energon but not touching it just yet. “Can you...?”

“Shouldn't be too hard.” Sunstreaker examines the device, which for the most part resembles a blaster that doesn't fire bullets. Aim and shoot. Simple enough.

Aim and shoot. That's the sort of slag that Sunstreaker's good at.

He plugs into the device, powering it from his own systems, and waits for it to finish booting. Ratchet quietly downs his cube and disperses the field with a flick of his digits.

The scanner completes its boot sequence with a quiet bleep and Sunstreaker points it toward his mate, waiting to catch Ratchet's optics before he initiates the scan.

Ratchet nods. “Go ahead.”

It's a silent, tense minute as Sunstreaker waits for the scanner to complete the scan. The device hums, warming in his servos. It makes all sorts of noises that Sunstreaker can't interpret, but he does recognize the sound of a completed scan.

He powers down the scanner, disconnects himself, and bundles up the file it sent to him. It's full of incomprehensible jargon so Sunstreaker databursts it to Ratchet and waits, on bolts and brackets, for his mate to analyze the data.

He sets the scanner on the counter behind him and approaches the med berth, standing beside Ratchet as the medic's awareness turns inward. Sunstreaker examines his finish, idly noting the scrapes of red and white on his chassis, trying not to focus on the anxious twisting of his spark.

“Frag,” Ratchet finally says, vocals barely above a whisper. “We sparked.”

o0o0o


Lord Megatron is waiting on the bridge, as Knock Out suspects he will be, and he turns as Soundwave approaches with Knock Out in tow.

He looks up at the leader of the Decepticons, who towers over him by several helms, and feels that familiar awe and fear wash over him. There's also a hefty dose of admiration mixed in there as well.

“Knock Out,” Lord Megatron says, and there's a hint of condescension in his tone. “Soundwave informs me that you were taken by the Autobots. And yet, here you are, without a dent or scratch.”

Knock Out hastily bows, drawing forth his most obsequious manner, if only to endear himself to Lord Megatron who is by no means a fool or an idiot. If he thinks, for even one astrosecond, that Knock Out has betrayed the Decepticons, Lord Megatron will not hesitate to offline Knock Out here and now.

“Soundwave was correct, my lord, but I managed to escape. The Autobots, after all, suffer from a lack of decent leadership.”

Lies. He buries the truth deep, as far in his processor as he can manage, with all the memories he hopes Soundwave will never extract from him. Truth is Knock Out's death warrant.

Lord Megatron clasps his servos behind him, staring down at Knock Out with no shortage of scrutiny. “I can only surmise that they hoped to gain some intelligence from you. I assume they failed?”

“Of course.” Knock Out manages a lop-sided grin that weakly reassures. “They asked many questions, though their primary concern was the location of our... guest.” He doesn't dare say Orion Pax or Optimus Prime, on the off chance that the Autobot-turned-Decepticon should overhear.

A laugh of derision crawls out of Megatron's vocalizer. “Pathetic,” he says, and half-turns, optics seeking something beyond Knock Out's immediate sight. “I trust your time in captivity wasn't a complete waste?”

“I wasn't able to determine their location,” Knock Out replies, and when Lord Megatron's optics flash, he hurriedly continues, “but I did learn that they have acquired a few new allies and that they have a plan regarding our guest.”

“Who?”

Knock Out hesitates, and then hates himself for that weakness. He should not be trying to protect his genitors. He should not care what happens to them. He should not have any sympathy, fraggit!

“Their new commander is a mech designated Jazz,” Knock Out says, servos forming into loose fists at his sides. “They also have a gunner, Bluestreak. And a warrior, Sideswipe.”

Lord Megatron tilts his helm. “Jazz...” he repeats, tone taking on a contemplative note. “That mech has been rust in my gears from the very beginning.”

The Decepticon leader turns, massive shoulders an imposing profile, as he walks toward the bridge control panel. Soundwave doesn't move, faceplate blank of images or data, standing on the platform between Lord Megatron and Knock Out.

Knock Out doesn't dare move. Should he consider himself dismissed? Does Lord Megatron wish to question him further? Have they believed his story, only part of which is false? Will he ever be allowed to visit the washracks?

“You have done well, Knock Out,” Lord Megatron finally says. “Though I advise you to take care to ensure that you are not so weak as to be taken by the Autobots in the future.”

Knock Out's engine stutters. “Yes, of course, Lord Megatron.” He bows again, because it never hurts to play the subservient card when it comes to pleasing the vitriolic leader.

“And Soundwave?”

The spy tilts his helm toward his leader, who has paused to glance over his shoulder with a single red optic.

“See to our medic.” The edge of a sharpened denta smirk comes into view as Lord Megatron unfolds one arm to make a vague gesture. “Make sure that the Autobots haven't left him with any uninvited guests.”

Knock Out's optics widen as Soundwave merely inclines his helm and shifts toward Knock Out, his sensory cables whipping out of his frame with no warning. Knock Out doesn't dare protest, not even when the cables latch onto him, seeking out interface panels and connecting to his systems in a matter of seconds.

He thanks Primus or whatever else might be listening that he'd been smart enough to lock away all incriminating memories and truths long before stepping foot on the berth. No matter how unpleasant Soundwave's uninvited search becomes, he won't find anything.

Not a fragged thing.

o0o0o


“How the scrap did this happen?”

Ratchet glares at his bondmate. “I don't think I need to give you the lecture on how this works again. I'm sure you remember well enough from the last time.”

Sunstreaker huffs, planting his hands to either side of Ratchet on the berth and leaning in close. “Don't treat me like an idiot. There are supposed to be protocols.”

“Which I turned off. Or did you forget about Knock Out?” Ratchet hisses.

Sunstreaker's optics spiral outward. “You never turned them back on,” he says, his tone as flat and dry as a datapad.

Ratchet's spark twists and surges within his chassis, a drain of energy that makes him feel weak from helm to pede. “We never merged again either.”

Why didn't he turn those protocols back on? Long, long ago they'd discussed the possibility of fostering another sparkling, but they were still raising Knock Out. And then the war had come, Knock Out vanished, they were separated and...

He doesn't know. Maybe he was trying to cling to a past that could never exist again. Maybe the thought never crossed his processor.

Sunstreaker shutters his optics. “Frag it all to the Pit.”

Ratchet puts his hands on his mate's pelvic assembly, thumbs rubbing a soothing line over silver plating. “... we have options,” he says quietly.

“What do you mean?” Sunstreaker's tone is flat.

He cycles a slow, careful ventilation, the words as difficult for him say as they are for him to consider. “I could terminate.”

Sunstreaker's optics snap online. “What?”

“Did you forget everything I taught you?” Ratchet demands, energy-heavy spark stuttering within his chassis, as though the unformed potential spark recognizes the end awaiting it.

Sunstreaker's vocals dip into a lower register, tone filled with warning, anger bubbling up behind it all. “Ratchet...”

“It takes more than one merge,” he snaps, emotions so mixed that they all crowd at the forefront of his processor, anger vying for center stage. “We stop now and I can reabsorb the extra energy. It's that simple.”

“Painless?”

It hurts like the Pit. But it ought to, in Ratchet's opinion. It's his fault for not turning those protocols back off. Reabsorbing the extra energy before it can split into a juvenile spark is a painful process and every klik of it will leave him gritting his denta.

Good.

“Is that what you want?”

Sunstreaker looks at him, his expression unreadable, but feeling as chaotic as Ratchet's own. “We're in a war, Ratchet. And we've already failed Knock Out.”

Ratchet winces at the reminder, fingers clenching on Sunstreaker's hip. “We don't have the supplies or the personnel,” he agrees in quiet tones, feeling that he's betraying himself all over again. “The Decepticons are a constant threat. Energon is low. It would be stupid.”

“We can't. We shouldn't.”

Ratchet's fingers flex and he leans forward, helm knocking against Sunstreaker's chestplate, feeling the thrum of the strong spark beneath. “Then we agree?”

He can feel Sunstreaker shaking, the minute rattling of his plating easily transferring to Ratchet's armor.

“No.” Sunstreaker jerks back, hands releasing the table only to grab Ratchet's helm, forcing their optics to meet. “Slaggit, Ratchet, no. I don't agree!”

“Sunstr--”

“And you don't either!” his mate snarls before Ratchet can get so much as a word or a glyph in. “You think I can't tell? I can't feel it?”

Ratchet stutters. “Realistically...”

“You aren't Prowl! Logic has slag all to do with it!”

He ventilates roughly, emotions rattling around inside of him, clashing with what he knows is the more rational decision and what his spark wants.

“Tell me the truth,” Sunstreaker demands, pressing their forehelms together, voice dropping until it is barely above a whisper. “Do you want another sparkling? With me?”

Optimus is missing, taken by the Decepticons.

They've only recently bonded, still struggling to cope and deal with that, along with the revelation that their youngling is on the side of the Decepticons.

Life is hardly high grade and crystal gardens. There's still a lot of darkness.

The humans would protest. It's not logical. They'd be putting a newspark in danger, putting themselves in danger.

Their fellow Autobots wouldn't understand.

Cybertron is dead, abandoned. They're trapped on this planet with no future.

It's selfish to want this. To even consider it.

“Yes,” Ratchet replies, because he can't lie. He just can't. “Yes, frag you, I want to do this again. But we can't.”

“There's no one alive to stop us anymore,” Sunstreaker retorts. “And I'm tired, Ratchet. Tired of fighting to survive. We're not living, not anymore. I just want to live again.”

Ratchet shutters his optics. The temptation is stronger than he can resist.

He wants to try again. He doesn't want to terminate. With the Allspark missing, there's so little hope left.

They all need something to fight for.

***

a/n: I've got about five chapters good to go (waiting on beta for them) and I'm trying to get some more going. RL interferes far too much for my liking.

Feedback is welcome and appreciated. :)

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