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The Future in Our Past

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It was a late afternoon when a servant poked their helm nervously into his office. The Lord didn’t even spare him a glance, just motioned with his door-wings a permission to speak when the servant, still with bowed helm stepped inside.
“Sir, we require your attention. The guards on the far east post captured a trespasser.”

Now the lord of the manor bothered to look up from his work. "Has this trespasser made himself into a danger?"

"Unfortunately, yes. When approached by your guards he reacted aggressively and attacked them. He carried ... odd weapons with him. One of the guardsmechs was heavily injured before they managed to subdue him." The servant explained nervously. "He's locked in the dungeon currently, restrained and weapons confiscated." The mech hesitated. "...Sir, is this a direct attack on our House?"

"I see," the lord mused softly. He then turned his helm back down to his datapad and wrote on it for a few moments. Then he shut it off and looked up again. "That is the question, now isn't it..." He passed the datapad off to a servant who was standing nearby and then stood.

"I suppose the task falls to me to determine his origins. Lead me to his cell."

"Yes, my lord."

The prisoner hanged from the wall, visor offline and a little crowd had gathered before his cell, some guards and some of the servants kept peering at him, murmuring between themselves.

"Make way for Lord Prowl!" Someone called and suddenly the crowd parted, making a tunnel for the head of the house.

Prowl paused before the door to the cell and turned around. "Surely you are not all free to wait here. Those who should be working will return to their shifts. The remainder of you are dismissed."

The crowd slowly scattered, dispersing to where they belonged, and Prowl waited a few moments longer as he studied his 'guest' through the bars of the cell door. Eventually though, he opened the door and stepped in.

The mech in the chains didn't move which gave Prowl the opportunity to study him. There were no distinct markings in his frame, nothing to show if he belonged to a certain House or not. Then again spies and assassins rarely bared such markings. Aside from that, the armor seemed... odd, to say the least. And the material didn’t look like anything they had here. A foreigner from Polyhex, given his frame type? But he seemed odd even for them. Plus, Polyhex was on the other side of their planet. It just didn't make sense. 

"....Are ya going to stand there all orn gawking at me?" The mech suddenly drawled, as he looked up at Prowl. "Cuz I can save us both the trouble - I won’t tell you anything."

“And why do you feel as though I should be inclined as to believe that you might know anything worth asking after?” Prowl questioned. His wings had twitched just slightly at the surprise and now his field held irritation with himself, not that any mech could feel it with how close he currently held his field.

"Simple. Why else do ya have me in these chains?" Said chains rattled as the mech moved his hands. "If not, just let me go and I won’t blow up this place."

"You dare to make so bold of a threat whilst in such a position?"

"I've gotten out of worse situations. Either way you ‘cons never knew what hit ya." Jazz said, trying for bravado.

"Have you now?" Prowl asked with a hint of interest before his expression became concerned. "You must have the wrong House. I can assure you that none in my House are involved in any form of con. I banished even my own cousin when I learned of his shady dealings."

There was a slight surprise in the prisoners face before it vanished. "Cute. And I'm in chains so I must have the right 'house'. What an odd thing to say. Though Megatron did likes it when his mechs are kinda crazy."

"Is this 'Megatron' the mech who sent you?" Prowl questioned as he leaned closer and flared his wings to collect more data.

"...are you serious?" Jazz actually laughed, the chains rattling as he moved. "Is this a new way of you collecting information?" He looked his captor over, curious. "...and what’s with the weird armor? Since when are 'cons into cos-plays?" He looked up at the restrains. "And chains..."

It was absurd. He could get out of practically any electro-cuffs. With his built in magnets it was no trouble for him to short-circuit them. These cuffs were...simple. They were hard metal, locked around his wrists. 
...Ironically, they were much harder to get out of. Jazz hadn‘t seen cuffs like these since...well, since ever!

Prowl frowned and his wings turned down. “I do not know from whence you came but you are by far the rudest mechanism I have ever had the misfortune to encounter.”

"Pfft." Jazz snorted. "And you are by far the most...weird one. Who talks like that? You're the first con who hasn't swore so far for such a long period of time. I must say, I am impressed."

“So you are incredibly low class,” Prowl mused as though speaking with himself. “However, that does not explain where you come from. Your armor is the strangest sort I have ever seen and I was well traveled in my youth.”

"...Are you for real?" Jazz stared at the other confused. He didn't seem like the typical Decepticon... "Well, anyway, if you would kindly let me be on my way, I have a battle to get to."

“I have heard no news of fighting,” Prowl stated and his wings flared ever so slightly. “Where is this battle you speak of? Or is your Lord planning to attack someone?”

"Wait, lord? You mean Prime? No! Prime wants the fighting to stop but you afts won’t let him! Primus, what’s up with these questions?!"

That response sent Prowl’s wings up in shock. “The Prime is even involved in the fighting? How absurd! Now I know you are nothing but a liar or delirious with insanity. His greatness Zeta Prime would never be forced to such a thing.”

"...Zeta Prime? Don't you mean Optimus Prime? You're off by a few centuries! You're the one who is delirious!"

This... this didn't make any sense! Jazz stared at the mech.

“Of course I mean his greatness Zeta Prime. There is only one Prime and I would have heard if he had expired. Especially if it happened so far into the past that his replacement went mad and led the Imperial Army against a foe, imagined or not.”

"Zeta Prime died 1000 vorns ago..." Jazz trailed of as he tried to understand what in the world was happening. "...Primus!" His visor flared. "The space bridge!" He said in horror.

“I have no idea what that might be but if it is so troubling then I must know everything.” Prowl flicked his wings then and frowned. “Wait. He could not possibly be offline; I attended one of his Royal Gala’s just a few vorn previous.”

"Zeta Prime, Zeta Prime..." But Jazz was ignoring the other in favor of trying to remember something. "Dammit, why didn't I read properly Cybertron's history... Zeta Prime...The Golden Age." Jazz looked up towards the other, the armor, the chains, the House. Everything clicked. 

"...I got sent back." Jazz whispered, the horror growing in his field as it kept flaring. "Dammit, I need to go back! My troops need me! Look, mech or whoever you are, I ain't a threat to you! Just let me go and I won’t bother you!"

“And just where do you intend to go?” Prowl pushed. Perhaps he could get answers from this strange mech now. Fear did make mechs so some strange things.

"Back to my time." Jazz said, rattling his chains. "Look, it's hard to explain but I don't belong here. Where I come from my lands are at war. I'm needed there! You don't have to worry."

“And just how do you intend to get there?”

Not that he was saying anything sensible in the slightest. Back to his time? What an absurd concept.

Jazz frowned. It was pointless to try and convince a mech from 1000 vorns ago that a technology such as a space bridge even exists, let alone he traveled back in time with it.

"...I come from the uncharted parts of Cybertron. The dark side. Mechs there are always at war. My mechs need me." Jazz blurted out the first thing that came to mind, even if it was to fabricate a story with half lies and truths.

"Kaon's squabbles with itself and Tarn are hardly worthy of being deemed battles, much less war," Prowl replied. "In any case, your armor is not the right design for that area. I would have an easier time believing that you came from off the planet."

"You won’t believe the truth." Jazz muttered, struggling against his chains. "Dammit mech, I ain’t no threat! I just wanna go back to my own time! Believe what you want!"

"You still have not explained how you intend to do something as absurd as traveling through time," Prowl challenged.

"Oh yeah? Then how do you expect the way I look? Or those weapons or carry? Or, I'll give you a better one - I can tell you the names of the Primes that will follow after Zeta's accidental death!"

"Let's assume it is the truth and you are in fact from another time period," Prowl began in a tone one might use to explain something obvious to a sparkling. "Given your reaction to determining it, this was clearly not intentional. Thus, you likely do not know how it happened, and almost certainly not the exact situation that caused it. So I will ask you one more time, just exactly how do you intend to return?"

"I'm going to return where I woke up before your guards decided to mech handle me into your mansion. Then I'll look for a scientist, explain him the basic concept I know and hope he figures it out." Jazz rattled off. "You have absolutely /no/ reason to keep me. Just let me go. I'll even let you keep one of my weapons. I bet no one has anything like them, you all still carry swords." Jazz snorted, amused.

"What is a 'scientist' and why do you believe I have one within my territory?"

"...You don’t have scientists in your time?!" Jazz called, upset. "Do you even have things like subspaces? Does your armor allow you that? Just....argh! You probably don't even have long distance comm calls! Or shorts distance...Dammit. Okay. Okay." Jazz took a deep breath. "What will it take for you to believe me and let me go?"

"We are already pretending that I do believe your absurd tale," Prowl chided him, "but that alone does not earn you the right to leave. I must know your intentions are and what you plan to do in my lands before I shall even consider the option of allowing you down."

"Oh my Primus, I just told you! I don't care about your lands or wanna do anything to them! I just wanna get back to my time! How can I convince ya that I'm telling you the truth?! Open my subspace? Show you more guns? Because weapons is all I have on me!"

"You are going to seek something that does not exist in order to do something which ought to be impossible. Is that not what you just said?"

"What do you expect me to do? Just stay in a time I don't belong?" Jazz snorted. "I am not from this time! I don't have a place here!"

"And yet, Primus seems to believe you do." Prowl gave a soft hum of consideration at that. That would be a question for his priest later. "And you have no true plan for how to return."

"I'll figure something out. Let me tell ya, sadly, the future this planet is headed towards? Horrible. Enjoy this time while you're alive, what follows is vorns long war and our race on the brick of extinction! Energon becomes a luxury." Jazz sighed. "Where exactly am I?"

"Your time must be a disaster if you are incapable of recognizing mechs from the royal kingdom of Praxus."

Jazz... stared. 

"...Praxus?" He croaked before shaking his helm and only then noticing the door-wings on the mech's back. "Well, they don’t teach us much history during war time! Trying to survive and all that slag..."

"You were /creating/ in a time of war?" Prowl's wings went up in utter shock. "And you imply that others have been as well? That is utterly preposterous. What right-minded mech would dare be so foolhardy as to create when they almost certainly cannot protect their creation?"

Jazz huffed. "...When the entire planet is in war, you can’t expect mechs to just stop living. It's their choice. Plus, if not for that, then Cybertron would've become a dead planet many, many vorns before I was even sparked."

"With such a threat looming, then perhaps those at war would have found reason to cease their certainly pointless fighting."

"Pfft, like that would stop the Decepticons. Nor the Autobots. Things aren't as simple as you think. Plus, we have quite the few younglings in our forces so don't go telling me peace can come for the protection of 'sparklings'. Not when education centers are often a target of war." Jazz shuddered, "Look, I'll tell ya the future and the war and everything if you just let me be on my way. You gain nothing but a headache from keeping me here."

"Or I get the processor ache from allowing you to wander through my lands freely." Prowl countered. "And that's assuming you remain in my territory. If you cross into another's then that could be seen as a declaration of ill intent even if you /could/ learn to act as one is expected to behave in this kingdom."

"Primus, this is getting is nowhere." Jazz groaned. "Alright, what do you wanna do? You're the boss around here, right? What is your solution to... this? I dunno why I woke up in your 'back yard' out of everyone here."

Prowl hummed once more. "I will need time to properly consider this." His wings flicked as he came to a conclusion. "I believe we are done for the orn. I see no further data I can collect from you until I know which questions to ask."

Prowl turned and started for the door.

"I'll tell you the fate of Praxus if you let me go." Echoed behind him.

"There is still time for that," Prowl countered as he paused to watch as the cell door was shut. "I will return in the morning."

Jazz huffed and watched him leave, muttering to himself, "It was a onetime offer deal..."

It was late but not badly so and Prowl had counsel to seek, or at least that was his reasoning when his advisor asked why he was leaving the palace rather than return to his work. His destination was the Temple of Primus that his territory hosted. There was even an active Priest of Primus and that was who Prowl found himself needing to speak with at present. He made good time and he was ushered right in by a new initiate. One did not keep the lord of the land waiting unless they had an equivalent rank. The Head Priest was one such mech, as the priests only reported to the Prime and Primus himself.

"What bring you here, my child." 

The voice was soft and kind, and it belonged to a mech carefully lighting up crystals with just the touch of a hand. Crystals as rare as these grew freely in the Praxian temple where priests tended to them ornly. Only if a crystal was pristinely kept did it glow like this. And if one listened closely, they could hear them sing as well.

Prowl spent a moment to bow his helm, wings spread, to the work of Primus' own chosen mecha before he responded. "I find myself with a dilemma that I believe to be of Primus' making but I do not know how to determine such for certain. The situation is far too strange to have come about conventionally and yet I do not understand why Primus would interfere in this way, nor to what end?"

"Primus has his own way of testing us. And showing us the way. To what end you may find out only through following the path set before you." The Priest touched one last crystal before turning to face his lord, his cloak gently floating with the motion. "What has Primus sent your way, my young lord?"

“Surely you have heard the news by now that a strange mech was found wandering in my land?” Prowl paused to allow the priest to respond.

"Many strange mechs wander through the lands, but the definition of 'strange' is always under speculation." The Priest said. "What about this 'strange visitor'? What worried you that you came seeking advice from an old priest?"

“He is clad in armor the likes of which I have never seen before and I have not closely examined it but it seemed to be nearly as strong as that of the Imperial Guard. He also came bearing dangerous tools that harmed several of my guards who tried to stop him.” Prowl frowned as he spoke and his wings turned down. “He claims that where he comes from there is a great war playing out and that the Prime leads one side of it. I sense that nearly all of what he said is truth as he knows it but none of it makes any sense.”

The priest smiled gently at him. "Then, if you sense that he speaks the truth, why seek me? The answer you already had long before."

"Because there is no sense to his presence," Prowl protested. "He claims that he is of the future. How could that be so?"

"If you think he is telling the truth, then he is. And if he claims he is from the future, even if it's unbelievable to us, do you not think there is a possibility that such technology could be existing then?"

"I cannot find hope to believe that the means for such fantastical feats could remain intact when the entire planet is at war and has been for countless vorn." Prowl couldn't help his tone and wings flying up as he finished with, "he has claimed that the masses are encouraged to procreate despite the dangers of a raging war. He is even one of the younglings raised to only know war!"

"Prowl, my dear child, not all are raised with such pure beliefs. Not all lands are rich like Praxus and allow the mechs there to create only when they can provide all that is needed for a creation. And... If the future is as bleak as your visitor claims, then our race had done something wrong. If they stopped creating and only war remained, then not only our planet but our race would parish. Creations bring hope. Hope gives mechs strength to live on. And in war, it makes mechs fight for a future for those very same creations you wish to protect. You're a lord in Praxus, but don't forget that Praxus has those big walls for a reason."

That only made Prowl frown harder but he did tip his wings in apology. "Still, how horrible the world must have gone that the mechs of that time could incite their Prime to lead an army. That is not even his role!"

"...It is tragic to know." The priest murmured as he reached to touch Prowl's helm. "But I trust Primus. And I trust in the mechs he chooses to help guide us. Our Primes will do the right thing, even if the right thing might be that of destruction. You have to trust Primus and your Prime as well."

“How can we know that this is Primus’ will?” Prowl asked. “I dare not ignore it if it is but I can see no logical progression from this point. I come seeking guidance. I ask that you help me to understand how one determines if Primus is in the act of or has exerted his will. That is the assistance I seek this orn.”

The priest knelt to be level with Prowl, "My lord, no one, not even I can know what is and what isn't Primus' will. If we did, then the future your guest speaks of would be oh so very different." His smile turned kind, as if explaining something simple to a youngling. "And that in itself is the beauty of Primus' will. Belief. You have to have believe and hope, that the path you chose is the right one. I am sorry if this answer is not the one you were looking for."

Prowl did not force his frown to go away but he did flick his wings in acceptance of the words. He knew better. He had felt /something/ while speaking with that stranger but the priest would be no help. They never had been for this sensation, despite being the authority on the unusual in life.

“He intends to seek something called a scientist once I free him. Do you perchance, know where to find one so that I might know where to send him if I do decide he is no threat?”

"I am sadly unfamiliar with such a term." The priest shook his helm. "And I also fear, that the door your guest walked through may open only one way."

“Or, though it may open both ways, there is no handle on this side,” Prowl agreed. “And he lacks the means to contact his cohorts to open it for him.”

"Then, it would seem his future lies in the past." The priest said and stood up. "My Lord Prowl, I wish you luck with this new endeavor. And never lose faith - our creator never makes mistakes. Everything has a reason."

Prowl flicked his wings in acceptance. “I do believe that is all I had need to discuss at present. While I am here however, was there anything that you or yours might be in need of? I cannot promise it specifically but I will always do what I can.”

"We have everything we need, Lord Prowl. Just look at how happy our crystals are - they /sing/." The priest smiled at Prowl. "Before you leave, stay for a blessing. It would bring me nothing but joy."

“But of course,” Prowl accepted. “Who am I to refuse the request of one of Primus’ chosen?”

The Priest flicked his wings before shuttering his optics and starting to sing...

Chapter Text

It was early the next orn when Prowl rose as usual. He had his energon as normal as well but that was where his orn went strange. Rather than head to his office to do his usual work, he was headed down to the dungeon. He had promised to check on his guest and he would be as gracious of a host as the situation allowed.

The cell door was easily opened when he requested access and he stepped in once the guard was out of his way.

"Good morning. How are you this orn?"

Jazz lifted his helm and his visor flickered tiredly on. "Still stuck in the past. I kinda hoped this is all a dream, if you catch my drift."

“At the risk of sounding far too much like a priest, Primus’s will is beyond our comprehension. This is surely just one component to some grand plan he has in motion.”

Jazz lifted his helm more and gave him a small shrug. "...Sorry if I offend, I know in the past mechs were super religious but I... I don't believe in Primus."

“Such is blasphemy and could even result in offlining if said around the wrong mechs,” Prowl cautioned him. “Although, you may find that not all mechs completely agree with the priests but that is further blasphemy.”

For some reason that actually amused Jazz and he chuckled, but the smile he gave the other was sad. "Look, I don't ... I try not to believe in Primus. I can't. If you were from my time you would understand. All the death and pain and misery. If Primus really loved us, he wouldn't have allowed this to happen."

“I cannot say I disagree with you,” Prowl mused as he stepped closer. “And I have only the minuscule data that you have shared to base my conclusions upon.”

"Anyway, shouldn't someone of your high standing have better things to do than this?" Jazz asked, "Unless you came to free me...?" He asked, hopeful.

“You are a guest of sorts in my land and yet you seek to question me about my actions after you even acknowledge that my rank far outshines any you may hold in your own home?” Prowl couldn’t help the amused flick of his wings.

"If you know me you'll learn I don't do well with authority. If my superiors were here, they would tell you the same." Jazz wiggled in the chains, "and this is embarrassing. I have the reputation of someone who can get out of restraints with ease but these antiques are proving a challenge."

Prowl considered him for a moment. “In which case, despite our limited interactions, I have already proven myself your better by means of besting you in an area in which you claim expertise.”

He paused to witness Jazz’s reaction but did not let him speak. “In any case, my priority in visiting you is to ensure that you imbibe some fuel. I do not need to be caring for an offline frame; not even one of a stranger who claimed to be of the future.”

"Primus, I dunno if I'll ever get used to how you talk!" Despite the situation Jazz couldn't help but be amused. Maybe that was the reason why he was Ops. He never allowed things to bring him down, no matter how bleak the situation. 
"And I hardly think it's fair that you claim 'you bested me' in anything when all you do is stand before me, without chains. I would like to see you get out of one of these on your own. Anyway, thank you for the energon, but there's no need to waste resources - you just gotta let me go and I'll be out of your way."

“How is one chalice a waste of resources?” Prowl questioned. “Did you not see for yourself how plentiful my land is as they brought you in? Or do you find me to be enough of a fool to waste my vast resources on a potentially undeserving mech over my own people?”

Jazz frowned. "...Energon is precious. In my time, a cube can be worth much. You should save it."

“And here it is just one resource among many. One chalice worth will do no harm. When was the last time you even had any energon?”

Jazz's frown didn't lift. "....Wadda ya want for it? Energon is never freely given."

“A mech of honor would never leave another to starve if he had the means to assist.” Prowl was also frowning. “I have more than I need and you currently have nothing. It is my duty to offer you what I can but if you do not wish to partake that is your choice.”

Jazz frowned. He would need to keep his strength anyway if he wanted something done.

"How much can I drink from the cube?"

“That depends,” Prowl said as he sent a silent signal. “What volume do you consider a ‘cube’ to be?”

Jazz looked at the other confused. "...What kind of cubes do you mechs have here? Aren't they standard? Don't you use them?"

“The commoners use a variety of relatively cubed containers but the size and design between one shop and the next can be vastly different.”

Prowl paused then and walked to the door where a mech in pastel colors now stood. The new mech held out a tray that held a crystalline construct upon it with a brightly colored liquid within. Prowl accepted the chalice and brought it over to Jazz. “Would you like me to perform the customary poison check or do you trust that poison is the least effective way I have to offline you?”

Jazz stared, even more confused. "...What /is/ that? Didn't you say you were gonna bring energon?"

“This is energon,” Prowl responded. “The presentation perhaps is not what you are accustomed to, however.”

"'s too bright." Jazz kept staring at the cube. "Our energon is pink or dark pink." He finished quietly, unable to look away.

“Pink?” Prowl questioned. “The only time I have ever seen such was the aides of the Tarnish Empire and they hold a roughly equivalent rank to servants in normal kingdoms. Or perhaps closer to slave, in the kingdoms that have such.”

"I dunno what you're talking about but I can assure you our Prime drank the same dark pink energon with us." Jazz explained, shrugging and the chains rattling.

That sent Prowl's wings up again, though no longer so violently. "Your Prime consumes slave quality energon? How shameful a time period that must be. I do not believe any Prime who has lived thus far has even /seen/ such a vile substance."

He held the glass up to Jazz's mouth. "Will you drink?"

Jazz looked at the cube with longing then at Prowl. "If you let me hold the cube. I dont enjoy being fed. It feels degrading."

"Until I have reason to believe you will not attempt an attack or an escape, that will not happen," Prowl replied. "You will drink with my assistance or not at all."

"....I did not see you take a drink, however." Jazz stalled, hunger clouding his mind.

Prowl chuckled slightly and pulled the glass away. “True, but neither did you ask.” He took a sip before Jazz could comment and drank enough to be obvious. Then he held the energon up to Jazz’s mouth once more. “And now both have occurred. Will you consume it now or shall I have it sent away?”

Jazz hesitated. He waited to see if the other would react in some way but nothing.

Gingerly, Jazz tipped him mouth and took the glass, sipping. His visor brightened and he pulled away.

"....Is this really energon?" He asked in disbelief.

“Of course it is,” Prowl replied with a bite of irritation in his tone. “Noble grade Iaconian, as it is all I presently have available for foreigners.”

Jazz stared at the energon, confused. "...It tastes so differently than what I have ever tried. It... is energon supposed to taste good?" He asked, uncertain, as if looking at an alien object.

"There is very little flavor at all to properly refined energon but then each area include additives to suit the local taste." Prowl was just staring at him now, watching and saving all the little details he could glean. "The swill that some areas consume is barely able to be called energon at all. The darker the shade of pink, the less refined it is."

Jazz's hands curled into fists as he just stared at the cube. "...In my time, a cube like this can equal a mech's life." He said, uneasy.

"And here it worth yours. Will you drink it or should I leave you to offline without fuel?"

"I will refuel. But I doubt you would've let me offline." Jazz said as he nodded at Prowl, feeling exhausted.

"I will allow you to perish if I decide you are a threat to my people," Prowl promised him. "However, thus far I am unconvinced of any particular opinion."

Jazz snorted. "Death hardly scares me anymore." He sighed and much to his dignity’s horror, Prowl fueled him. 

"...It isn’t fair." Jazz said after Prowl pulled he cube. "It isn’t fair that I get to drink this and my friends struggle on scraps. It's not fair all these resources will all go to waste in the future."

"And yet," Prowl replied casually, "there is nothing you can do to change it at present. I have sent out mechs in search of your... What did you call them again? 'Sci-en-cis?'" There was a very deliberate struggle with the term. "If there are any in my land then I will know within the month."

"Aren't you bored of me being your prisoner?" Jazz asked, "At least release me from the chains, my arms are killing me."

"If I do that though, then you will find your way out of here, will you not?"

"Perhaps." Jazz said and wiggled, "Perhaps i wont. You cant keep me here forever, however."

"Well of course not," Prowl agreed and flicked his wings. "Eventually, your spark shall fade. Or perhaps I will offline and then you shall become a problem for the mech who replaces me."

"Primus, you're a pain in the aft, aren't ya? Stubborn as they come?" Jazz huffed, slumping in the chains.

"I have been told as much before by better mechs so you can be assured that your assessment is likely correct." Prowl's lips quirked up in the slightest hint of a smirk.

"I think you like being like this." Jazz mused, "Is it power-plays in general or do you just like mechs in cuffs?”

Prowl's smirk grew before vanishing entirely. He had been turning to give the chalice back and did so quickly now before striding back over to where Jazz was bound to the wall. Every step was confident and his wings were held high in pride. "This is my land and my people. I do hold the power here and I wield it well."

Prowl stopped when he was right before Jazz, so close that their chests practically touched. He gave Jazz another bright smirk and reached out to catch his chin so Jazz could not look away. "Although, you most certainly do not make a displeasing sight as you are in chains. Even your unusual appearance has a rather exotic flare."

Jazz stared at the other, not expecting that reaction and his vents stalled. Which in turn made his armor grown warm. "...Definitely power plays." Jazz couldn't help but chuckle lightly. "So I get it now - this is the reason you keep me in the chains. Impressed how kinky you are."

"I do not know this word." Prowl did not release Jazz nor step back as he spoke. "What is 'kinky'?"

"Wait, seriously?" Jazz asked, amused. "Kinky is.... this. I guess it should be expected with you. All this power... you must enjoy giving orders and rules, no? I for one love breaking them."

“But why would you wish to circumvent the rules when the rewards for acting within their bounds are oh so much more sweet?”

Prowl now released Jazz’s chin but only so that he could slide his hand down his chest. “You are a beautiful mech, if more than a bit unruly. And with your processor…” Prowl properly smiled now. “With a bit of work, I could transform you into an absolutely stunning being and an utterly perfect companion.”

"...If I only belonged here." Jazz smiled at him sadly, longing in his field. "My world is broken and torn by war. Hunger is a constant and death your ornly companion. It would feel oh so sweet to stay here and have this instead of that, but i..."

“...have no definitive means of returning and do not yet know if it is even possible to do so, much less if you could return to the proper time and place.” Prowl pulled back and took a step away, allowing their chemistry to fade. “What will you do if you can not return?”

"...I dunno. Maybe... maybe seek a way to prevent the future I come from into becoming a reality?" Jazz said uncertain, admitting he felt dissapointed the other pulled back.

“That is a bold goal,” Prowl commented. “You must be an incredibly brave mech. Either that or you are an incredibly foolish one. I suppose only time will tell which.”

At a silent cue, a guard entered the cell and started to release Jazz.

" do not know what future you are headed into." Jazz said, staring at Prowl as the guard worked and when he was released he crumbled to the ground, wincing at his soar arms and wrists. "How can I allow myself to be happy here when I know our tomorrow is so bleak?"

“And if you have no other option but to exist here and now?” Prowl asked. He watched the guard step back and then leave but he did not move himself. “I wish to hear your answer in the morning, once you gave given my question due consideration, but for that I need your word that you shall remain until I return to release you.”

"I wont leave. I give you my word." Jazz watched him from the cold floor.

“Honor is of the upmost importance in this time and place,” Prowl cautioned him. “To break your word is to prove one’s self a most horrid mechanism for even Unicorn grants no favors to those without honor.”

"Is that what you teach younglings?" Jazz couldn't help but ask. "And I repeat - I wont."

“It is the truth as spoken by the Priests of Primus and our great Prime himself.” Prowl was silent as he studied Jazz for a moment but then chose to take pity on him. “In case you have forgotten, I am already attempting to find you what you claimed you would need to continue your travels. I intend to keep you appraised of what I learn but it will take time before there can be any results. It is in your best interest to learn to adjust to the circumstances you find yourself in at present. There are worse lands to be in and I could get you practically anything your spark desires.”

Jazz didnt want to think about what the other said in the first part. Instead he focused on something much, much simpler. "...Anything? You can get me anything?"

“Anything that is feasible,” Prowl restated to temper his curiosity. “The means to get you home might be impossible and some things may well be out of my reach. There are also things I could not morally get you, such as the Prime’s spark. However, if it is within my means or accessible enough without causing too high of a detriment to my people or land, then I will make every possible attempt to retrieve it.”

Jazz hesitated. "...Can I get an energon goodie? Do they exist in your time? In mine the energon couldn't be wasted in things like that and I never had one."

Prowl was surprised by that request but did not allow himself to show it. “Are you looking for any particular style of treat or will any do?”

"There are different styles?" Jazz asked rather dumbly. "Wait, stupid question." He then shrugged. "Any goodie would do. I am curious about trying them."

 “I see.” Prowl let his wings flick once before he spoke again. “At any rate, I have a territory to manage and you now have a question to ponder. I shall return in the morning.”

Prowl turned and left then. This time he did not wait for the door to be locked. He was already busy directing a few servants off to new tasks as he made his own way to his office.

Jazz had studied the lock and now that both of his hands were free he technically could leave. But on the other hand...


His time is filled with war and death and pain and his friends... Jazz shuddered. On the other hand he could stay here and live the rest of his life in peace and with no war or killings, only with nightmares of what tomorrow will look like. 

When Jazz got his annual visitor the next orn, he found him sitting on the ground in the furthest corner from the door. Jazz did not get up or greet him, wanting the other to do it.

Prowl entered the cell much as he had previously. However, this time he carried a goblet with him. “Greetings,” he spoke calmly. “How are you feeling this orn?”

"Well, on one hand, i am feel my arms - so good." Jazz said easily. "On the other hand, I don't belong in this time - so not so good. Still, s'better, much better than a 'cons cell. I'll go with - I'm good, how about yourself?"

“I am well. Would you like some energon?”

Jazz hesitated as the guilt, as always, ate inside his tanks at the thought of fueling when his comrades weren't. "....Yeah. That would be nice."

Prowl held the chalice out for him. “I advise caution as this will shatter if dropped.”

Jazz took it, now examining it better. "Why do you drink from it?" He asked as he kept looking it over. "It seems very inconvenient if it breaks so easily. That'll waste the energon."

“Because we can,” Prowl replied. “Energon is vital but not scarce so it is but a small waste.”

Jazz frowned but took a sip from the energon, shuddered at the good taste and took a bigger gulp before speaking again. "...I dislike to waste energon of any kind. Even if you have plenty. You have to savor it."

“I could always hold the glass for you once more if you prefer,” Prowl offered. “You were in distinct opposition to that idea when last we spoke, however.”

"There's that kink again..." Jazz trailed off, teasing the other without even actively trying to do so. It just came naturally.

Jazz lifted the chalice and drank again, already in two cubes of this brand of energon and feeling so much better. It was both horrible and amazing what kind of low quality energon they drank in the army. 

"Before I give you an answer to your question, I gotta ask you first." Jazz said as he held the now empty chalice in his lap. "...Why? I'm currently a novelty. I am piquing your curiosity. But eventually that will fade and I will become boring to you. Why should I stay here?"

“I did not ask a question but I reserve the right to ask one of my own after answering yours.” Prowl then took a moment to consider what Jazz had asked but required clarification. “You assume I intend to keep you indefinitely.”

"I do not belong to anyone to be kept." Jazz said, frowning, "That is the farthest thing I assumed. From what I understood, you offered me a place and job. Or did I misunderstand?"

“I am curious how you drew such a conclusion from what I said,” Prowl replied. “I may well have a place for you, however I made no mention in either way of a potential job.”

"If you have a place, then I must do something. /If/ I agree to stay." Jazz hurried to say the last part. "Or do mechs in the time period free-load?"

 “I do not know the meaning of that phrase. However, all mechs must perform a useful function in order to deserve their meals. I have a distinct lack of knowledge of you though, so I could never offer a spot that you might well not even function adequately in.”

"...I am a soldier first. I know how to fight, especially infiltrate and spy." Jazz told him casually. "My skills are related to fighting and spying and getting out of difficult situations. If I agree you can give me a job in that area."

"You do not seem a warrior. An assassin though, that I could believe." Jazz looked especially tiny as Prowl stood above him and gazed down. "It is well known that I find such distasteful, and the mechs who hire such workers are nearly all corrupt themselves. Why ought I to change my own stance simply to offer you a reason to remain when previously you were heavily inclined to refuse remaining regardless of how sound the reasoning was?"

"I meant," And Jazz here sighed as he easily stared up at the taller Praxian with the imposing door-wings, "That I can work in security. Guard and stuff. Not assassinate mechs, sheesh. I hate killing, but war doesn't ask you if you're okay with killing or not."

“You have not the build of a warrior,” Prowl repeated. “I would not have you put into my guard simply to be offlined in the first battle they may face. Or worse, in a training exercise.”

Jazz allowed himself to glare and stood to his ground. Even though shorter, he still managed to level Prowl's look. "You are underestimating a mech that lived his entire life in a war torn Cybertron. You sure you dont wanna reconsider?"

"Is that a threat?" Prowl asked simply. "Threatening the lord's life could have you put to death."

"I did not meant to make it sound like one." Jazz sighed. "I would not threaten the mech giving me energon so carelessly. I meant... wont I be of better use to you than.... what do mechs do here? Wipe the floor? Cook?"

"Even if I did think you worthy, my brother would laugh me right out of my rank for suggesting such an absurdity to him."

Jazz blinked, "Brother? Aren't you the commander around here?"

"Younger," Prowl clarified, "and he is the captain of my guards. He remains out of my affairs so long as I refrain from attempting to interfere in his."

"Ah." Jazz said and felt stupid. "... What would you have me do in that case? If I stay?"

"I would need time to consider that carefully and come to an adequate conclusion," Prowl told him. "I know one place I would want to have you but I fear that even mentioning it would be met with rapid displeasure."

The words left Jazz before he could stop them. 

"And what is that place?"

But Jazz knew he didn't really wanna stop the words.

Likewise, Prowl did not stop himself from answering. "I would take you as my official consort and perhaps later I could, ideally, make you my mate. That would require approval from my counsel however, unless I were to create with you."

Jazz stared and later he would berate himself for the reaction. He laughed.

"You /can't/ be serious. I mean, I would love to tangle cables with you, because Primus help me but you are hot, hot, hot for someone from the past. But... Consort? Darling, you don't even know me. And you're the boss of these lands. I bet there are tons of mechs fighting to the position you just offered me, mechs much more qualified than I. Mechs that are probably hoping so much for it. Did toy really just offer this to the mech from the future?"

Prowl simply stared at him for a moment before he turned on his heel and left. He did not even pause to inform the guards he was on his way out.

The other left so abruptly Jazz didn't even have time to react. He just watched him go, feeling something strange in his spark.

Chapter Text

Prowl didn't come after that. A servant kept bringing him the energon and that servant was definitely less interesting than Prowl. At first Jazz's dignity didn't allow him to ask about Prowl, why he wasn’t here. But in the end, some orns later, he couldn't take it anymore and broke his promise.

When the guards weren't paying attention, Jazz easily slipped out. But instead of making his way outside, Jazz snuck in deeper into the mansion. 

It took him two joors until he found the room he was looking for. It would've taken one joor but Prowl wasn't in his office.

Jazz jumped quietly through the vent into Prowl's room. Not that he was trying to hide anymore.

"Why did you storm out and left?" Jazz blurted out. "Why didn't you come back?"

If Prowl was surprised to see Jazz, he did not show it. Instead, he stood calmly and now strangely blank. "As you so generously pointed out, I carry an important title and thus have very important tasks to see to. I could no longer afford to waste my precious time visiting with a lowly prisoner."

Jazz frowned. He was upset but also confused. "...My questions were valid. I had to ask them. I do not trust a situation as perfect as that one. I am technically a stranger to you, even if I find myself attracted to you to a level I never felt for someone I knew in such a short time. I have learned through the hard way not to trust things that are so wonderful. I learned not to trust mechs because they always want something." Jazz paused, frown growing before he shook his helm. "...there is no need to lie about your absence."

"I do not lie," Prowl replied. "That is a completely legitimate reason and one that must be acknowledged."

"Fine. Then tell me why you are upset. Don't you dare deny it."

"Why would I have any reason to be upset?" Prowl asked instead.

"You stormed out without a word. And now you are avoiding my question. Tell me why you got upset." Jazz asked, not backing down. He was tiny but he always managed to make mechs forget that.

Unfortunately for him, this was a mech of noble breeding who had never been forced to cower before anyone in his life so Jazz's base tactics were useless. "Even if I were upset, you do not deserve to know. You, who are not even of this time, do not hold any rank and none is most certainly not enough rank to make any demands of someone such as myself."

It was an effort but Jazz managed not to allow the words to affect him. 

Jazz stared him for a very long moment, before, "...How did I offend you?" There was no other explanation.

"You presume a great deal for one who knows little."

Jazz hesitated, "...Is it because I laughed? I can assure you, I wasn't laughing at you." Before he could get interrupted, Jazz hurried, "...I laughed at the situation. The entire slagging ordeal, I just... I'm a mech, straight from Cybertron's most horrid future. A dangerous mech at that. One who lies for a living. And here you are. A noble Lord from Praxus, offering me things I didn't even /dream/ I can have. Wanting me as a Consort. Thinking about a future I try to forget." Jazz paused and finally looked down, "I never said no." He finished, ashamed.

"My decisions are never scoffed at," Prowl commented. "I rely on my people obeying because any hesitation in times of dire stress could be disastrous. In return, my choices must be carefully rationed out and reasoned diligently so that I have made the best choice possible with all the given data I have at the time. There is nearly never a time I may something that was not carefully planned and intended to be mentioned when and how it was."

"But...why me?" Jazz asked quietly, confused. "Again, you don't hear me saying no. I just..." he didn't trust mechs. Not like this. Not anymore.

Prowl rolled his wings in a slow shrug. "Because you are the first truly interesting mech I have met in an incredibly long time. I have no intention of burdening myself with a mate who is not worth being a companion as well as a co-creator and I have no immediate need for an heir. My brother is capable enough that he may take the position from me should I prematurely expire or become otherwise indisposed."

Jazz didn't know how to respond to that. The confusion bled more in his field. "...I don't know if I am capable of ever trusting anyone, with anything. What you are offering I want it. Gladly. But I don’t know if I could. It sounds like a dream, so unreal. When I shutter my visor in the quiet cell I still hear the bombs falling. You talk about a Consort, about a future mate and even creating. You are talking about a future I am terrified from.... I don’t know how much I can give you back from what you are offering." Then, a long pause. "...You are also the most interesting mech I ever met as well."

"I have always wanted someone who could keep me engaged in conversation," Prowl offered. "I have few needs that require another in any sense and want even fewer things that another could offer. The only thing I truly desire is someone who is nearly my intellectual equal."

"...Can you truly be with someone, knowing they don't trust you?" Jazz asked quietly.

“No one can refuse to trust everyone for the entirety of their existence.” Prowl’s wings had tipped slightly as he really processed Jazz’s words. “Why is it you find yourself not trusting me? Have I not shown myself to be honorable or is honor no longer respectable in your time?”

"When a mech is starving to death, honor is the last thing on his mind." Jazz said, hesitating. "Maybe with time, yes. But... I don't know how much time." He looked at the other with longing. "…I miss having someone to trust."

Prowl looked at Jazz with consideration for a moment before he moved, walking towards him. His motions were deliberate but not slow as he crossed the distance between them but he did not stop as he got closer.

Jazz for his part stood his ground. Not because he wasn't scared, but for the fact that he didn’t want show him that.

Prowl’s wings twitched as he was forced to stop in front of Jazz but he chuckled softly. “You are a brave one, I will grant you so much, but be wary that does not sour into foolishness.”

Once more, he then caught Jazz’s chin and tipped his helm up to meet him. “Such a pretty mech. In time perhaps you shall come to see that we are a far more civilized people. Surely, I am nothing like anyone you have ever met before.”

Jazz's breath hitched, but he made no move to free his chin from the other. "I hope so in that case." He murmured as he stared at Prowl in the optics, anticipating something. The longing in his field intensified, struggling with his instinct to flee.

Prowl held him a moment longer before releasing Jazz and stepping back. “Pray tell, what are your intentions now that you have released yourself from my containment? If you are so much warrior as you claim then it is unlikely that my guard could stop you.”

"I came to see you. It's boring down there without your ornly visits." Jazz admitted. "And I am a master at avoiding fights. I can, when I have to, but it is a waste if I do without a solid reason for that." He explained, resisting the urge to follow after him. "Now that things are clear between us, have you forgiven me?"

Prowl took a moment to reflect on that. "I suppose I shall, considering the trouble you went through, and put everyone else through, in order to deliver it directly to me."

Jazz paused, deciding how to play his cards. "....Do you want me to return to the cell?"

“You must certainly should.” Prowl delivered the words calmly. “If only to allow my people the formality of my releasing you.”

"Will you come to see that happen? I won't know my way around here. I could get lost y'know."

“As you already managed to do on your way to my rooms?” Prowl asked with an undertone that would definitely have been humor in any other mech.

"Exactly, yes." Jazz said lightly as he was heading towards the ventilation system and soon he found himself in his cell again, peacefully sitting in his corner and waiting.

It was a few joor before Prowl finally showed and he had with him a servant who carried a goblet of energon for Jazz. Prowl spoke even before the guard moved to open the cell door.

“Greetings. How are you this orn?”

"Been better." Jazz admitted quietly, admitting he enjoyed this game. "It's boring here. How about you?"

“I have few complaints and none that I could not handle if I so chose.” Prowl picked up the goblet and walked into the room. “Do you desire energon?”

"Yeah, I’m a little bit hungry." Jazz said easily, drawing his knees close as he watched the other. Honestly though, he wasn't. Not really. So much energon in such a short time was too much for him - not when his systems were already used to the low energy intake. 

But he wanted Prowl inside the cell.

Prowl gave an accepting flick of his wings and held the glass out for Jazz. “Go ahead. You may take it.”

Jazz shifted and took the cube, carefully sipping from it before setting it aside before looking up at Prowl. 

"What brings you in my lovely cell?" Jazz asked casually.

“Oh, you are enjoying these accommodations?” And there was that tone that could be humor again. “I was under the impression that you would prefer something a bit nicer, although I could always rectify that opinion and simply leave you here.”

"I highly doubt that is something /you/ want." Jazz said, his field gaining a flicker of amusement. "But if you like these trips every single orn...then fine. Keep me here."

"You are far more interesting than any of my work and I would greatly prefer to spend all of my time with you" Prowl shared. "This comes as a great chagrin to my adviser."

"Do I now?" Jazz said, tilting his helm curious. "So, your advisor ain't my fan. Shocker. Not that I can blame him - I can be quite distracting. If you get me out I can start distracting even sooner."

Prowl chuckled and his wings fluttered slightly. “I do believe he disapproves of any mechanisms he finds to hold higher intelligence as they could potentially claim his role if I were so inclined to see occur.”

Jazz for his part took the still mostly full chalice and stood up, going to stand in front of Prowl. "I bet he disagrees what you'll do next, won't he?"

“Oh most assuredly,” Prowl agreed. Then he glanced at the goblet. “You should finish that.”

"I will try later." Jazz said and then elaborated, "...My frame is not used to such pure energon and so frequently. I'll feel sick if I try to down the entire thing."

But he quickly shifted the topic. "But I can drink it faster if I burn energy."

Prowl chuckled again but there was less humor in it this time. "Unfortunately, we do not have the opportunity for anything so entertaining quite yet. Come, there is somewhere I must bring you. Leave the glass, I will have more brought for you later."

Jazz placed the chalice on the ground, careful not to spill and followed after the Praxian, not even noticing when he started mapping all the exists. Not that he planned on using them, but it had become a habit for him since his younglinghood. 

"Where?" Jazz asked, wary.

Prowl didn't answer however. Instead, he lead Jazz to a wide set of double doors before he stopped and turned to him. "Rumor of your arrival has spread quickly and the members of my council rushed in to discuss the matter. You must be polite and respectful when they question you and above all honest. I would advise you to avoid any discussion of 'time' however. They lack the processing power to understand such a concept."

Jazz frowned, visor darkening. "...I should have been warned. I do not like being cornered." Apprehension made his entire frame tense and he pulled in his field. A hidden dagger in a subspace these mechs didn't know existed comforted him even if he knew he wouldn't need to use it. Hopefully.

"These mechs hold local power that I am too busy to also wield, but ultimately they must yield to any choice I make. It is simply preferential that they understand and agree with my choices, thus such meetings as this." Prowl looked Jazz over and flicked his wings once. "I was honestly not expecting this meeting to occur for another week but it suits us best to get this settled sooner. You seem to me to be the sort of mech who can keep calm under stress and I had hoped that you could handle this."

Jazz muttered some kind of response and then Prowl was leading them inside. 

His first impression was that it was clearly designed for intimidation. Each wall except the one bearing the door they had entered through had raised seating. Across from the entrance it was only two chairs elaborate enough to practically be called thrones, with the one on his right being slightly less decorative. Along the remaining two walls was space for four mechs apiece, with all but one of those seats currently occupied.

Jazz was grateful once again for the visor as he scanned the room, mapped the exists (only the door behind him) and looked each and every one mech over, assessing how dangerous they were. They all had doorwings. All Praxian. 

All optics on him. 

Or at least on them.

The Praxians stood from their seats, placing their fists above their spark in a moment of what Jazz assumed was respect towards Prowl before sitting down. Prowl then strode forward so that he was in the center of the room. "My council," he began with a steady but commanding tone. "I have heard your concerns and questions regarding the strange mech found in our land and I present him now to all of you."

Prowl beckoned Jazz forward.

Jazz walked towards Prowl with confident steps, his helm high. He would be damned before he allowed them to see the room had its desired effect on him. He would not back down or bow his helm. He didn’t do it in a war torn Cybertron and he sure as the Pit won’t do it /now/. 
Jazz stopped next to Prowl.

Prowl flicked his wings and stepped away. Jazz could only watch as Prowl walked over to take his own seat. Then one of the council members stood and addressed him.

“Do tell us, where do you even come from? I have never seen a bot with such design.”

Jazz repressed the urge to frown as he followed Prowl with his optics before focusing on the mech that addressed him.

"My designation is Jazz. I come from Polyhex. As for the armor design, that's my style. I like being different." Jazz answered. He didn't utter a single lie so far.

“Polyhex is a long way away from here,” another mech spoke up. This one was tan with with as a secondary color while the first speaker had been white with gold trim.

“What brings you so far?”

"I like to travel." Jazz said casually. 

"That doesn't explain what you were doing on our lands, passed out." Someone else spoke and Jazz turned to look at him.

"I got low on fuel and provision. I passed out."

"Yet you attacked our guards." 

"Of course. I was startled. It was a natural reaction." Jazz told them, unashamed.

“What sort of barbarian attacks when startled?” yet another mech demanded.

Jazz was immune to insults and this one didn't even scratch his armor.

"What kind of idiot doesn’t, especially when on unfamiliar territory and a massive, unfamiliar mech looms above him?" Jazz answered his question with one of his own.

“Any sort of reasonable mech,” the noble countered. “Words should be used long before violence. Why were you running around with weapons at all?”

"Because I travel alone. What if someone tried to rob me or kidnap me or worse?" Jazz asked, trying not ot scoff. "Would you travel through the lands unprotected?"

“Of course not!” the mech replied and his silver wings flew up. “That’s why I bring along guards.”

“Exactly!” the white and gold mech spoke again. “Why would you travel if you cannot afford proper protection?”

"Because I can and will protect myself!" Jazz said a little bit more harshly than it should have. "I am not afraid of traveling. But I am not an idiot. And I don't need a lot of credits to do it. Having guards with me is unnecessary and a waste of credits."

Jazz didn't let them ask a question as he looked at them all. "I don't understand why I am here and questioned. Did I do something wrong?"

“How dare you speak to us like that!” roared one of the nobles and he started to stand.

Prowl cut him off before he could say more, however. “That is enough. My council ought to be more civilized then to yell in such a needless setting.”

The offending noble tilted his wings in embarrassed apology and Prowl spoke again. “Now, who among the council still believes this mech to be a danger?”

One hand raised immediately. Two more followed but the council mechs were more placated. The one on the right spoke for them both.

"It's not that we think him danger, my Lord. We simply can't find ourselves trusting him."

The other one spoke this time. "However we trust your judgment and we will respect it, however we can't help but be wary of the strange Polyhexian."

Prowl flicked his wings once. “And what would soothe your worries?” he asked. “I intend to have my personal medic examine him to be sure he is of good health and sound mind. Are there any other requests?”

"Since our Lord seems to want him to stay, I want the outsider watched." The first mech that raised his hand demanded. "What if he is a spy?"

“You have not yet even attempted to ask him where his loyalties lie,” Prowl pointed out.

"Alright. Seeing as we all foolishly trust whatever he says." The Praxian turned towards Jazz. "Outsider, where do your loyalties lie?"

Jazz was ready to say Optimus Prime without even thinking but stopped in the last moment and said instead, "To Cybertron. My loyalties lie with Cybertron and its mechs."

“An interesting but vague answer,” one mech spoke up. Then he had a question for Jazz. “What lord do you serve?”

"I serve no Lord. That is why I travel. I am my own mech."

“So why should we accept a self-proclaimed honorless into our lands?” the tan mech demanded.

Jazz looked at Prowl, wishing the other had a comm system so he could tell him to end this.

Jazz refused to answer that question because a part of himself was also unsure. He wanted what Prowl was offering. And he was attracted on a level he had never felt before. But he couldn't tell them that.

“We are waiting for an answer,” Prowl eventually said. He was staring directly at Jazz, optics practically boring into him. “You do yourself no good by remaining silent on this matter.”

It was am effort not to glare.

"Because firstly, I am no threat. Second, I am honorless now but I would like that to change. I want to serve someone. And I know how noble and kind Lord Prowl is. It would be my honor to serve such a mech "

There was a sudden murmur of low conversations from both sides of the room as the council members discussed that between themselves. Prowl say impassive, waiting for the noise to die down so he could speak. It eventually did so after several long kliks.

“Has my council come to a decision yet?”

The silver mech stood. He was closest to Prowl on the right side of the room. “It is with great reluctance that we accept his desire to seek refuge within Praxus.”

Prowl flicked his wings in approval and acceptance. “Are there any further objections?”

Thankfully, with just as many reluctances, no one else objected even if it was clear in their expressions that they all didn't trust Jazz.

Jazz stood silent, practically counting the klicks until he could leave this room.

“Good,” Prowl said and gave a flick of his wings to settle the subject. “Now, the part I am sure you will all object to.

“I intend to take him as my official consort.”

Chaos was too soft a word to explain what happened next. 

Half of the council mechs stood up, loudly protesting. Some argued among themselves at the absurdity of the situation and one even yelled at Jazz for 'tricking' Prowl into this. 

Jazz crossed his arms, if only to hide his balled up fists and resisted the urge to leave the room for the millionth time.

"But, but -my lord! Ignoring the fact that he is honorless and not a noble himself, with uncertain back ground....he isn't even Praxian! Worse, he doesn't have door-wings! I strongly advice you reconsider!"

“My sire took a Tarnish noble as his official consort and that mech also lacked wings. Have you so little faith in our medics that they could not ensure my creation had the proper coding if I were to even spark him?”

"My lord, perhaps..." Another one spoke, "We can't stop you from making him your consort, but think about your mechs, about Praxus...what will they think when even their own Lord has creations that aren't pure Praxian, door-wings or not?"

“No worse than they must have thought when my sire’s first creation came not from his mate but from his consort. I have heard nothing bad spoken of my brother however, and I cannot foresee the populace being anything but ecstatic that I have finally sparked an heir. In fact, I see no reason any loyal mech would disapprove of my solidifying the line of succession.”

There were more unhappy murmurs at that but no one protested outloud anymore. The council knew that it wasnt a discussion - their Lord had already made a decision and was simply informing them.

"...If that is what our Lord desires, then we will accept it."

“If anyone has further questions of complaints, they may bring them to me in private. For now, has the council any further topics they wish to have addressed?”

Thankfully for Jazz, this seemed like the end the meeting. The visored mech looked at Prowl, practically staring him down to urge him to end the meeting.

Prowl glanced Jazz’s way once but it was only a fleeting moment as he allowed his council time to decide. “If there is nothing else then I do believe this is all you are needed for. This session is adjourned and you are all free to return to your homes. Those who wish to hear the medic’s appraisal are free to do so, however.”

Prowl stood then and stride down from his throne and towards Jazz. He paused when he reached him but only long enough to speak a few words before continuing on his way out of the room. “Come along then.”

Jazz followed Prowl out of the room, walking the same way out as he did in - with confident steps and a high held helm.

Only when the door closed did he allowed his field to extend, flickers of anger in it.

"I /resent/ that meeting." Jazz said before Prowl could speak. "I resent you not telling me about it! I resent the need to have my medical status displayed in their face or questioning my worth! I resent all of it!"

Prowl had still been walking when Jazz began speaking and had to turn as Jazz shouted. He continued moving though and came to stand right in front of Jazz. “I had to be certain you could handle yourself under pressure if you are ever to be a proper mate to me and you did leave before I could mention it this morning. As for your medical condition, they need only hear whether you are as healthy as I believe you to appear and whether you are already carrying. In Praxus, an official consort belongs only to their lord so that they might create an heir in the event a mate cannot be sparked or simply does not exist.”

Still, Jazz seethed. "....Don't you dare hide things from me again. My entire life is based on gathering information. I do not like not knowing things!" Jazz stopped himself from commenting on the 'creations part' in their conversation. He had a feeling Prowl would not like his thoughts - especially since he never wanted to create.

“Exactly how much information do you desire to know?” Prowl questioned. “I have no intention of wasting both of our time by detailing at length the specific flavor of energon served to each mech nor the particular shade of paint they might be wearing.”

Jazz frowned. "I didn’t mean everything right away. I meant... at least a fragging warning about being questioned by snobby mechs. Primus, in my time all of them would be target practice for the Decepticons!" Jazz took a deep breath, field flaring out as he finally started to calm down. "....Alright, what now?"

“If so, then why were you so concerned over handling them? What good would a warning have done except to make you dread the impending situation?”

Jazz huffed and just looked away, silently seething.

Prowl sighed softly and let his wings drop from the height of mild defensive that they had crept up to. “Come along. We have somewhere to be and some of the council members might be leaving through this door soon.”

Chapter Text

Jazz followed after Prowl, noting where they walked through, "You know, at the start of the war all council members were the first that were killed. Why? They tried to flee first." He said absently as they walked. "...for the record, a warning: I become mean when I am nervous." Or scared went unsaid.

“And what causes you to be so nervous?” Prowl asked, ignoring the first part for the time being.

"I don't like scrutiny." Jazz muttered, following the other. "Or not being in control."

“You will most assuredly dislike what comes next then,” Prowl stated confidently as he paused in front of a door for it to be opened. He entered and stopped as he waited on Jazz to join him.

This new room was most decidedly medical, although there were a great many things Jazz would never recognize.

Jazz frowned, " this a med bay?" He asked, hesitating. "Are you really going through with checking me over with a medic?"

“It is a requirement for the rank I wish you to hold,” Prowl explained. “We must know that your spark is empty before I can touch you. There must be no question whether a creation from the official consort belongs to me. For that reason, you will also be barred from interfacing with any other bot. Such a crime can be punishable with offlining, which the council will surely push for. You would only be spared if sparked, but then the punishment is banishment at least until the sparkling separates. The potential for offlining remains even then however, or else the banishment is eternal. In either case, the sparkling is removed to be raised properly, which is to say not by a criminal.”

Jazz made a snorting sound. "Whatever- wait! They will look at my spark?! No. No way. I'm not showing my spark. To anyone." He said defensively as he raised a hand to his chest. "I swear I won’t be held accountable if I attack! I killed the last mech who tried to pry open my chest by crushing his!"

Prowl frowned and his wings shifted. “Then you will open your chest freely. My medic will not harm you. Do you not trust my word yet? I have no reason to harm you when I have already gone through so much to keep you.”

"No, I don't trust you." 

Jazz said without even pausing before feeling bad. "...Sorry. I don’t want to sound rude or offend ya, but just because you were nice to me and kept your your word. So /far/." Jazz said quietly. "... Can't the medic scan me without me having to open my chest?"

“Would you feel safer if I allowed you to draw a weapon on me?” Prowl asked after a moment of consideration.

Jazz opened his mouth before nodding. "...That...that could work. But, do you trust me enough to do that?" He asked, hesitating.

“My life is forfeit if yours is in danger. It seems like a reasonable enough trade to me and will not be threatening the medic’s own lifetime risk him making a mistake from worry. Besides,” Prowl said before pausing for a moment, “if I intend to trust you with my spark then I can trust you with this.”

Jazz paused, uncertain but nodded. "...Alright." 

However, the medic wasn't so thrilled about this.

"My lord, this is absurd!" The medic exclaimed after half a joor of examining Jazz's frame. The only thing left was his spark and Jazz had just brought out a dagger.

"I won’t risk your life!"

“Are you truly going to question your lord?” Prowl asked. “I have absolute faith in both of you and I find the minimal risk to be entirely acceptable. I would not have made the suggestion if I did not.”

The medic didn't seem happy about that fact but was forced to back down.

"If this is what my lord wishes..."

Jazz frowned as the medic stood before him unexpectedly with a scanner, waiting for him to open his chest. His visor narrowed and he gripped the dagger, ready to attack. 

It was a while, almost to the point of the medic’s questioning if Jazz would open his chest when the plates moved and he revealed his spark chamber. His engine gave a threatening rev as he cracked the chamber open before the medic quickly scanned it. 

Jazz barely waited for the scan to be over before snapping everything shut but he didn't let go of the dagger as he watched everyone, wary. If anything, he gripped it tighter.

Prowl seemed to dismiss Jazz as soon as the scan was over and even turned away, putting his back to the armed mech while he addressed the medic. “Were you able to get what you needed? Will it be long until we have the results?”

"No need, the scan didn't pick any fluctuations." The medic explained after a short pause of looking over the results before lifting his helm and having a moment of panic. "My Lord, he still has the weapon drawn out!"

Jazz for his part just sat there, glaring at them both. He didn't move to put away the dagger. If fact, he could have been a statue.

Prowl gave that matter no concern however. “So you are able to definitively state that he is not carrying?”

The medic flicked his door-wings a couple of more time, clearly upset but managed to focus on his lord.

"....he is most definitely not carrying." The medic said reluctantly. "However I don't see how this aggressive mech could /ever/ be nurturing enough to be a carrier.“ 

Jazz glared at them both. "Don't make me use the blade." He muttered, clearly upset but there was no heat behind his words.

The medic made a choking sound at the threat before turning to stare at Prowl. "My lord, may we speak in private?"

“It is good that I have only appointed him to be my consort then, now isn’t it?” Prowl asked back although it was not truly a question. He flicked his wings once and then addressed the other topic. “You may lead us to a private room.”

The medic nodded and with that left the dangerous Polyhexian in the exam room. Once the door closed the medic began speaking.

"Sir, I must insist you reconsider taking him as your consort. That mech has is volatile and has clear signs of torture damage. He isn't carrying, but under his armor the protoform is littered with scars, some I am pretty sure he gained them while a youngling as well. Are you sure you want such a mech? It is clear he has....problems."

“I hear and understand your concerns,” Prowl reassured the medic. “However, I have my reasons. He has caught my interest like no other before and I would think that more mechs would find that to be beneficial. As it is, he can easily be dismissed as consort if he does prove to be too troublesome. It is not as though I have taken him as my mate.”

The medic nodded, "I understand and respect your choice, my lord. Still... be wary. I didn't know Polyhex was that bad off if I judge by his frame. Also, I noticed he is malnourished. Keep giving him regularly energon and it should resolve itself."

“I have been seeing to that at least,” Prowl said with a flick of his wings. “He did seem in poor health visually when I first saw him.”

"Good. Other than that, he's surprisingly healthy given his history." The medic sighed and gave his lord a concerned smile. "I guess the topic of placing door-wings on him is too soon to be brought up?"

“We have yet to see if his coding will even allow for it, however, I do think he would look lovely baring them, do you not?”

"Yes. It would be completely at odds - a sweet looking Polyhexian and door-wings with the attitude of a pissed off cyber-bear? Quite the combination. But I at least see why you are interested by him." The medic gave him a knowing look. "It's the challenge, isn't it? Well, my lord, all I can do for you now is wish you luck."

“I do not like to rely on luck but I thank you all the same. Is he free to leave now?”

"Yes, he is." The medic didn't voice out how much he couldn't wait for the Polyhexian to leave his med bay. 

When they got out of the room, Jazz wasn't on the berth, instead he was standing up and looking curiously at some of the odd equipment in the med bay. Jazz apparently had noticed them because he turned. "...Are we leaving now?" It was clear he didn't want a different answer from 'yes'.

Prowl was able to offer him that much at least. “We are. Come along.” Prowl strode past Jazz as he spoke and lead him out of medical.

Jazz followed, still sour and silent but thankful to be free from that area. He didn’t even bother to ask where Prowl was taking them.

Their path led them through much of the building before they reached an otherwise empty wing. Prowl led them past one other door before they entered into what turned out to his sitting room. There were three other doors though one was set back in the wall practically behind a tapestry for use as a servant entrance. Prowl brought them through one and it was his berthroom. That was where he stopped.

"So, lemme guess. You wanted to hear from the medic that I didn't have any STD's before fragging me, huh?" Jazz asked but it was clear there was no heat behind the comment. The room, looking around quickly in the room before focusing on Prowl as he stared at the Praxian, and especially his door-wings.

“The health aspect was both customary and for my own peace of mind.” Prowl spoke as he turned to watch Jazz. “I desired to know what condition you were in before we might begin anything. It would be horrible of me to initiate something that might harm you, whether I knew such was the case or not. I know not what your ‘std’s’ even are.”

That actually had Jazz chuckling. "It's something transmitted through interfacing. A bug." He allowed himself to walk around the room, walking next to the berth and touching the surface. It had padding. His smile turned sad. He couldn't remember the last time he had padding. He looked around, looking at the room with different optics - it had a fire place. Jazz had never seen a working fire place. "...You're a leader, Prowl. You shouldn't be this caring. It'll come and bite you in the aft."

“A leader who does not care has already failed their people,” Prowl offered in return. “Is that what happened in your time? Your leaders failed to care?”

"Perhaps Megatron. But he isn't my leader. However our Prime..." Jazz frowned now, feeling despair flicker in his field. "...I begged him once to be more firm. I begged him that sometimes, in order for us to win, we gotta make sacrifices. He refused to listen." He turned to stare at Prowl (when had he averted his gaze?) and gave him a sad smile. "...I was driving towards my death when I passed by accident through the space bridge." He shrugged. "There was a retreat order. But like I said...I don't do well with following orders..."

“So you refused to leave and instead sent yourself into further danger?” Prowl frowned and his wings lowered. “That was certainly ill advised. What did your strategists think of such a move?”

Jazz chuckled. "Pfft. I don’t care. He liked to send me to the brig for insubordination. Though I personally think he did it because those there get the bare minimum of energon and that way he managed to at least safe some energon." He shook his helm. "I don't want to talk about this..."

“Your time sounds absolutely hideous,” Prowl mused. Then he held out an arm towards Jazz. “Come here.”

Jazz hesitated but allowed himself to walk towards Prowl and took his hand, field wary.

Prowl pulled Jazz close before catching his other wrist with his free hand. He guided Jazz’s arm up now until it, and the weapon he still held, were closer to optic level. “Why don’t you put this away for now? You need not bare your spark again for me so soon.”

Jazz blinked, staring at his hand as if it belonged to someone else and allowed himself to drop the dagger. It clattered on the floor. It was alright. He had another one stashed in his armor.

"...I used to read that lords of the golden age liked petit little consorts, all pretty and hardly dangerous." Jazz said, feeling vulnerable. "...You sure you're a Lord?"

Prowl chuckled and let his wings flutter with the action. “I suppose it is true enough that most nobility is of that sort, however I have never been much like any of the other nobility I have met. I was my own sire’s advisor long before I received my adult upgrades.”

Jazz nodded and felt his thoughts drift towards his own time. He shuttered his visor, trying to chase them away - he didn't want to think about the future, especially the fact that it was going to happen. 
Jazz resented knowing the future.

Prowl couldn’t help but notice how Jazz had gone somber and he spoke quickly in an attempt to rid him of the feeling. “I am afraid that I owe you an apology for a vast oversight that I had not even realized until this orn. I do hope you can forgive me.”

"Oversight?" Jazz asked, blinking up at him surprised. "Wadda ya mean? Primus, it must be exhausting being so gentle-mech like all the time." He teased him.

“I fear I was so interested in getting to know about you that I skipped one of the most important of formalities.” Prowl dipped his wings in an apology that Jazz could not even recognize anyway. “My beautiful mech, I did not even stop to inquire after your designation.”

"What do you mean?" Jazz asked, confused at the wording. "You're speaking too noble-like for me..."

Prowl gave a soft sigh that did not match the amusement in his field. “Despite how long you have been in my lands, I had no knowledge of your designation until we were with my council this orn. I do apologize for such a failing on my part.”

"I..." Jazz blinked, shocked at that revelation. "...Wait, really?" He couldn't believe. "I never told you and you never asked and I... Did I ask for yours? Somehow I always knew it..."

Now Prowl chuckled again. “But of course you would know mine. I am the lord of these lands. Even mechs from distant lands know the ruler of a territory before they get to the city proper.”

Jazz nodded, still surprised. "...I could've sworn I told you my designation..."

“And yet I never knew it until this orn.” Prowl smiled down at him. “It is a lovely one. Would you say it just for me? As if I had not forgotten my manners and thought to ask you as I should have?”

Jazz resented the flutter his spark did in its casing as he stared up at Prowl. His mouth felt dry and dammit, his voice was timid when he said it. "...Jazz." He murmured but then managed to gather himself and said more confidently. "My designation is Jazz."

Prowl’s smile grew even brighter at that. “And what a lovely designation it is. It is a pleasure to host you, as well as to call you my own.”

Jazz chuckled, reaching to place a hand on Prowl's chest. "Easy there, pretty. Jazz doesn't belong to anyone. Even if that someone is the Lord of Praxus."

Prowl’s smile turned to a soft smirk. “But you are my consort now, are you not? That would make you mine, my Jazz.”

"/Stop/ calling me that!" Jazz said but his voice was playful. "I'm no one's! No one can catch or tame me. No one!"

“Oh no?” Prowl asked, his tone and field both playful as well. He still held Jazz’s hand and so he tugged him forward. His other arm came around Jazz’s back as their chests met. “I do believe I have caught you already. Shall taming be just as hard?”

"I'm not sure you've got what it takes." Jazz challenged, field just as playful as he was pressed against Prowl. "I wish you luck. You'll need it!"

“Tell me, beautiful,” Prowl purred slightly as he leaned in close to Jazz’s helm. “Has anyone ever been bothered to treat you tenderly? To be as gentle with you as you deserve?” As he spoke, Prowl ran his hand lightly up and down Jazz’s back. “Has anyone ever treated you well?”

Jazz shuddered, pleasure flaring in his field and visor flickering out. "...Prowl." He breathed. Or did he whimper? "...Please don't ask me that." The need in his field was strong and he felt himself press even more against Prowl, bringing his chest next to the other's.

“Is that a no then?” Prowl asked. He guided Jazz closer to the berth while speaking and now settled him down seated on the edge. “Allow me to show you how a real mech treats another.”

Jazz shuddered, staring up at the other before reaching with his hands and pulling him down. "Prowl..." Jazz breathed. He had never said please and even now, when he wanted to scream at the other at how much he wants him. He squeezed the Praxian.

Prowl settled beside Jazz and held him close. “I am here. Whatever you need you can tell me. I will do what I am able in order to help.”

"I need you to kiss me." 

The words left Jazz before he could stop them.

That brought surprise to Prowl’s field and features. “I was not expecting to engage in such an act for a long time but that is one request I can grant without hesitation.”

He did not give Jazz any time to react as he pulled back and caught Jazz’s helm. Prowl then tipped his helm down and pressed their lips together.

Jazz mewed into the kiss, gladly returning it and eagerly deepening it.

The visor flickered out but Jazz didn't even notice as he started to shift and before long, without breaking the kiss straddled the other's lap, cupping his face and controlling the kiss.

Prowl was not idle though. His hands were constantly moving, roaming Jazz’s frame to explore and map it mentally. He sought out and retraced seams that caused the smaller mech to react. Prowl even dared to dip into a few larger seams and toy at the wires there. However, the best reaction came when one of his hands wandered up to Jazz’s helm and his sensor horns.

Jazz gasped in pleasure, bringing his frame against Prowl's, breaking from his lips to trail kisses over his face and then chevron, before making his way down to kiss his throat and linger there, occasionally sucking on a wire or two. His hands however weren't idea and they foudn their way back to Prowl's door-wings, dipping into the joint of one and trailed the other over the entire door-wing.

Prowl gave a soft chuckle. “You are a bold one. Or perhaps you simply do not know that you should not touch one’s wings without permission.”

"You touched my horns first." Jazz muttered between kisses as he kept playing with them. "I haven't ever seen door-wings before...they are positively /lovely/..."

“Is that how it goes?” Prowl teased him. “Just because I do something, you feel as though you also may do it?” Prowl gave a smirk that Jazz couldn’t see and then brought his helm down to take one of Jazz’s horns into his mouth.

Jazz yelped, going rigid against the Praxian before shuddering in pleasure. "Prowl!" Jazz yelled. "Primus!" He didn't even feel himself scratching Prowl's door-wings as he felt his overload approaching.

There was a brief flicker of pain through Prowl’s field that went unnoticed by both of them. The Praxian was far too occupied with his companion’s frame to acknowledge the minor damage to his own wings yet. And to increase Jazz’s pleasure, Prowl wrapped a hand around his other horn to offer double the stimulation.

It was no surprise that Jazz didn't last long and he threw his helm back, crying out as an overload tore through him like nothing he had ever felt before. 

Jazz slumped against the other, breathing hard but didnt allow himself to offline, even if his frame was liquid metal against the Praxian.

Prowl held him close, gently stroking Jazz’s back as he awaited his onlining. He also hummed softly, running a gentle vibration through their frames by means of a tuneless rhythm.

Jazz gave a soft hum of content and shifted to stare at Prowl before leaning for a lazy kiss, nowhere near frantic as the first ones. When it broke he rested his helm against Prowl's. 

"That was..." Jazz murmured, trailing off. "Thank you. I'm not... I'm not used to...this."

“Pardon my rudeness, but have you ever had the chance to interface? I could not see that there would be much time to during a war, and nor more it be an optimal usage of one’s time.”

Jazz gave a soft chuckle, loosely hugging the other and not moving his forehead from the other's chevron.

"Yes, I have. And... you would be surprised how much mechs interface during war." Jazz elaborated. "...It's a harsh world, Prowl. Having someone to exchange a couple of caresses and touches is strongly needed. Mechs are /starved/ for it."

“Of that, I have no doubt,” Prowl told him. “Still, that does not make it an advisable act. Especially when it is so rushed that one cannot truly enjoy it.”

He paused in stroking Jazz to ask a serious question. “Now, my beautiful mech, how are your energy levels?”

"They're holding steady." Jazz managed to steal another kiss. "Why? Don't worry, I have plenty of energy to overload you. Don't think I'll leave ya neglected."

“My only concern of neglect is that you do not remain properly fueled.” Prowl tipped Jazz’s helm to study his expression. “So do tell, what are they holding at exactly?”

"Primus, you /really/ have a control kink, dont'cha?" Jazz huffed but the amusement was clear in his field. "I'm at 39,5% so relax and let me return the wonderful favor you did to me."

“No, I think not yet.” Prowl shifted Jazz from his lap and onto the berth so he could stand. “Stay here and I will return in a moment.”

Jazz blinked but did so anyway, peering at the other curiously. "You better be back ASAP! I'm already cold from a lack of lap to straddle!" Even as he said that Jazz couldn't stop running his hand over the soft covers and even bounced slightly. He quickly chased the thoughts away and allowed himself to enjoy the berth.

True to his word, Prowl soon returned through the door to the sitting room. He carried a tray full of brightly colored items and made his way directly back to the berth and Jazz. “I come baring a gift for you. I hope you can forgive that it took so long for me to get them for you?”

"Gift...?" Jazz asked, even more curious before that turned into surprise as he realized what Prowl was holding and couldn't help the small gasp that escaped him. He didn't even feel himself back away on the berth, disbelieving.

"...Energon goodies." Jazz said, astonished.

Prowl flicked his wings in the affirmative. "I did not know what you might like so I had the kitchen make a variety in all known styles. The cluster on the left are local treats while the rest come from outside Praxus. The large selection on the right are recipes all the way from Iacon however it is the group of four in front that I think will interest you the most. Those are delicacies made in Polyhex."

Jazz's optics roamed the goodies over from behind the visor as suddenly he didn't feel himself in the room with Prowl.

The room melted around him and Jazz saw the dirty streets and the smelly cannals, the slumped mechs and the few acid drops that occasionally fell from the ground. He saw his reflection in the dirty window-glass of a small shop for goodies, one of the few remaining. He had always wanted to try one his entire life but his carrier never had the credits to afford one - energon was always more important. 

That's why the dirty youngling had decided to steal it. 

Jazz didn't understand at the time why some youngling could have goodies and he couldn't. He knew it was related to credits but it just wasn't fair. He just wanted one bite - one single bite and he would return the goodie. He wouldn't even bite that much.

He managed to sneak in the shop and when the sale's mech was distracted and Jazz thought he could already taste the goodie because he was so sure he would manage to get it, someone caught his hand before he even touched it.

What followed after that was an orn full with yelling and they hit his hands so hard Jazz told himself he didn't need goodies.

But here he was, vorns later...or were they vorns back? With an /entire/ plate just for him. Jazz noticed his hand reaching for the goodies but pulled it back before he could touch them. He frowned, shaking his helm and managed to chase away the mist in his optics.

Prowl was frowning by now and placed the tray on the berth before settling back in beside Jazz. They tray was still within reach but still far enough away they would not hit it by accident. "What is wrong? Did you not say you were from Polyhex?"

"No, I...Yes. I mean..." Jazz struggled for words and rubbed his head as he suddenly became overwhelmed. "Sorry, it's stupid. I just...I remembered the last time I almost had a goodie." He gave the other a smile and shrugged. "I tried to steal it. I reached for the goodie but... I was caught. It isn't a happy memory." He fiddled with his hands. "It was the first thing I tried to steal. I got better at it with time - stealing I mean. But I never tried to steal a goodie again. I don't know why. And now I have an entire tray filled with all kinds of goodies just for me and in my time so many goodies are equal to rent of a crummy apartment for an entire deca-cycle. I just....Primus, damn it, I'm such an idiot."

"How does any of that turn you into an idiot?" Prowl asked gently.

"The messed up feelings and all that slag." Jazz shrugged. "They're stupid. I shouldn't have asked for goodies. I already have more than I ever dreamed off. Sorry..."

"Why do you find it to be such a horrible thing to indulge now that you have the opportunity?" Prowl questioned. "You may not have had the chance to have them before but now you do. Are you too prideful to take advantage of something while you have the chance? Even when it is being freely offered?"

"No, it's not that. Primus, I wish it was that." Jazz almost scoffed but his field was too sad for that. "...I keep thinking about 'tomorrow'. Not literally tomorrow, but tomorrow's 'tomorrow'. The present. The time I came from and the time our planet is headed to and I just..." Jazz shuddered. "...I don't want to get used to things that will one orn stop existing. Maybe I won't be alive to see it, but that doesn't stop me from knowing what will happen and I can't - I can't stop thinking about the horrible things that will come. It's like I woke up from a nightmare that will come true." Jazz stared at the other, almost desperate. "Prowl, words can't describe what future we're headed towards."

"What will help you?" Prowl asked. He also reached out to caress Jazz's cheek. "Tell me, my Jazz, what is there that I can do to assist you?"

Jazz couldn't stop from leaning into the other's touch. "...I don't know. But I'm terrified I'll wake up one orn and I'll hear the echo of guns being fired, of blasters and the sound of the siren that means it's time for battle." Jazz felt his voice go dry.

"You are the single best thing that ever happened in my short and miserable existence."

"Then I will strive to continue in such a role for as long as I physically may," Prowl promised. "And I swear to you, if fighting were to ever come to Praxus then we will know of it long before it can reach the capital. You will be as safe as I until we know if there is war, but I would never ask you to serve. That choice would be up to you."

Jazz nodded, not even noticing the light tremors of his frame as his gazed at the goodies with longing.

Prowl did however and he considered both the treats and Jazz for a moment before speaking. "Offline your optics."

This time Jazz didin't think and the visor went offline.

As carefully and quietly as he could, Prowl reached over and picked up one of the goodies from the small Polyhexian selection. He brought it up to Jazz's lips as he spoke again. "Open up."

Jazz dared himself to do that and his lips parted, not sure what to expect. Will he like the goodie? How will it taste? What if he didn't like it and ended up disappointed?

Prowl pressed the treat slowly into Jazz’s mouth and let his fingers linger on his lip before he pulled back and spoke once more. “Go ahead. You may eat it now.”

...Jazz never imagined it would taste like that.

It was sweet and crunchy and nothing like he had ever had before. He could feel it melt in his mouth and Jazz knew already that he was in love. No wonder mechs liked to indulge in them and younglings were obsessed. 

Pleasure flared in Jazz's field.

"Oh..." Jazz made a small sound, hugging himself as his emotions became too much. He curled where he sat, fighting the tears that wanted to escape.

“Are you alright?” Prowl questioned. “Is it bit to your liking? There are some goodies that change flavor but I did not know that I had grabbed one of those.”

Jazz shook his helm. "...Oh Prowl. It's... it's even better than I imagined it would be. I...." He looked at the other. "...More please?"

Prowl smiled at Jazz and his wings fluttered. “Offline your optics again.”

Jazz didn't wait and again offlined his visor, this time more eagerness in his field. He sat there, hugging his legs, happy.

This time Prowl picked from the vast array of Iaconian treats. He repeated his actions from before and brought it up to Jazz’s lips. “Open for me.”

Jazz did so and then goodie was placed, but before Prowl could pull his fingers away Jazz made sure catch and graze them gently with his denta, shuddering at the taste of the crunchy threat. Pleasure spread through his field like no other.

“You certainly enjoy these, do you not?” Prowl questioned in a playful way. His wings were even tilted in a teasing angle that Jazz did not yet know. “You do look so lovely when pleasure overtakes you.”

"Why are you so sweet? I'm a certain lay. It's a done deal. No need for all the woo-ing." Jazz said with a soft smile.

“Do mechs truly just move right into interfacing in your time? There is no time spent on praising your partner and encouraging them?”

"Why waste time being nice? Especially with me?" Jazz asked, curios. "I'm not exactly worth the trouble."

“What foolish mech dared tell you such lies?” Prowl asked and there was a touch of anger to his field and tone. “All of Primus’ creations are worthy. Any who says otherwise is cruel and deserves to melt eternally in the Pit.”

Jazz onlined his visor and reached to gently cup Prowl's cheek. "You and I....we come not just from different times, but from different /worlds/. A life is not that much more worth than a single cube, I told you." He said sadly. "I speak the truth."

“Well, it seems it is a horrid truth that your time tells lies and calls then truths.” Prowl was still frowning but reached out and lightly stroked Jazz’s helm. “You were far too good for them.”

Jazz gave a soft chuckle but there was no mirth behind it. "Prowl, I'm not just saying empty words. My worth is one cube. I was sold for one cube of energon. You would be surprised how often that happened."

“I do believe you that such a thing occurs in your time but here such atrocities are utterly unheard of in civilized kingdoms. I will simply have to prove to you just how much worth you have here and now.”

"Please, don't." Jazz was smiling gently at him now, still cupping his face. "I know my worth. I've know it my entire life. It's not important." He gave a tired sigh, shifting closer to Prowl and leaning on his shoulder. He doubted very much he would fall in recharge but he had liked the Praxian's field against his more than he thought he could ever enjoy a field like that.

 “Perhaps in your time,” Prowl argued as he held Jazz close. “However, we value mechs far more in mine, and especially here in Praxus. You need never fear starvation, even if you were not specifically mine. I care for all my people and I want you as part of my city, if you are willing?”

"...Praxus." Jazz whispered the name, shuttering his visor and picturing the /hole/ in their map. "It's true. Praxus really was an amazing place."

“Is,” Prowl corrected him. “I do not know how it may have even erased alongside the rest of the planet by your time, and truly I fear to contemplate such, but in this present it is a wonderful place to be created and live.”

"Is it." Jazz said quietly, almost numbly. "Praxus is simply too good for this planet. For this world." Primus loved Praxus too much, that's why of all the cities, he took it home first. Jazz could still hear the tales of the destruction. He could still /hear/ the bombs falling and the screech of seeker jets above the city. 

"...I'm tired." Jazz said quietly, too upset to be annoyed at himself for not being able to hold out longer for Prowl.

“Then rest, my Jazz. You can even use my berth for now, though I must return to my typical ornly tasks at that rate.” Prowl gently rubbed Jazz’s back as he spoke. “Once you wake, I can show you to what will officially be your quarters.“

Jazz gave a soft hum and shifted to kiss Prowl on the cheek. "Alright..." If he wasn't so tired he would've marveled at the fact he had an entire room /all/ to himself. 

In the end Prowl managed to coax Jazz into taking a couple of more treats before he left Jazz to recharge in peace.


Chapter Text


Very soon it became apparent that the Lord of Praxus had gotten himself a consort. 
If anything, the servants were close to /terrified/ of serving on him or going into his room for that matter.

After all, when a servant walked in the next morning to wake him up Jazz threw a dagger at him, startled in his sleep. Thankfully it didn’t hit the servant but it resulted in screams heard all over the palace and a very “fun” morning. 

No one went willingly in Jazz’s room after that.

After visored mech got over the shock at the huge room compared to what he had lived his entire life – crummy apartments, the streets and crowded Autobot barracks—the visored mech was still uncomfortable at the luxury of simply having a place just for himself.

When Jazz wasn’t with Prowl and the two giving each other tactile overloads and being fed treats, Jazz explored the palace. He now had all the exits narrowed down and felt slightly more at ease while walking around. 

Tonight however was slightly different. Apparently, Prowl’s older brother was returning and there would be a small celebration in his honor for his and his mechs safe return. For the occasion a servant had reluctantly walked in his room and given Jazz something he had /never/ seen in his life.

Organic clothes.


It was a cloth of a material Jazz had never seen or touched before and he felt dirty just looking at it. 
Perhaps the one thing Jazz really, really allowed himself to indulge in were the massive washracks. Just the other orn he had spent over three joors in a large tub, filled with solvents and foam and bubbles and warm water. Jazz honestly didn’t want to come out, ever. He wasn’t as vain as to constantly look after his finish, but Primus, he loved getting cleaned in the warm solvent. He explained to Prowl later, that such a luxury as warm water was unheard of during war. 

That orn, knowing he would take long in the washracks, Jazz got cleaned up earlier and placed one of the cloaks the servants had brought him. It was a gray-blue one, with white accents. It almost seemed as it was /made/ specifically for him and Jazz suspect such even if everyone he asked denied such a thing.

Jazz still kept insisting it was a waste. Like all the food being placed on the table now.

“There’s no need for this.” Jazz motioned at some of the foods (which, to be honest, were nearly /all/ of it) he had never even seen being placed on the table, his cloak gently waving with each little movement of his frame. “I don’t understand, how many mechs are there going to be? Look at all the fuel!”

“We are celebrating the safe return of my royal guard,” Prowl told him yet again. “They ran across no danger and found no potential threats to our kingdom. This is an occasional to celebrate.”

Jazz made a huffing sound, idly playing with the cloak. It wasn't exactly to keep one warm but rather for a decoration and Jazz found himself liking it more than he thought - it gave him a false sense that he was hidden. 

"It's bad enough you keep giving me energon goodies, but now this? You say the lands are rich but what if it runs out? When we celebrated a win, there was high grade. Unrefined and hardly pure, but someone always managed to dig it out. Will all of this food even be consumed?"

He stared as more servants kept bringing out things. "I don't even know what half of the food is. You said Praxus is peaceful, why need to celebrate?"

“Why not celebrate?” Prowl asked. “In times of plenty there is more than enough to go around so why not make a celebration of joyous events?”

"And when the time of 'plenty' is over, what then?" Jazz asked as he fidgeted where he stood. "I know it wont happen now or in the near future, but it /will/ happen. I just..." He looked at the table and felt himself slump. "...I used to dream of table with cubes of energon." He muttered, "...I called those dreams nightmares."

“Why would such a thing be so horrible?” Prowl asked.

Jazz looked at the other before going over next to him and dared himself to take a servo, using the cloak to hide this action. "...Can we talk in private?"

Prowl squeezed his hand gently and flicked his wings. “Of course, my Jazz.”

That's how they found themselves alone in a small corridor close to the grand dining hall. Jazz kept squeezing the other's hands.

"...I want to apologize for" Jazz muttered, not looking up at Prowl. "I know the excuse is getting old but I just..." He took a deep breath and composed himself. "...My best friend died from starvation. It's... difficult," Jazz struggled with the word, " always see so much food. I know you have plenty and I know you're not a mech that would 'waste' anything. But the words and reactions leave my mouth before I can stop them. I just...wanted you to know." He couldn't look up at Prowl.

“Is there any way that I might be able to help you adjust?” Prowl asked. “Would you like my frequency so you can express such concerns privately regardless of how many mechs we might share a room with?”

Jazz blinked at him. "...Wait, you're saying there are frequencies in this period? I thought they were much later!"

"No, they are a standard feature of our construction," Prowl told him. "Their use is considered to be in poor taste however, as the range is only as long as each individual bot can broadcast and the most common use is to privately gossip."

"Ah." Jazz nodded ad pinged the other with his frequency. "Anyway, this is me. Feel free to 'gossip' when you will."

Prowl chuckled as he saved Jazz’s frequency. He then raised his hand and pressed a kiss to the back of it while sending a short range comm. ::You did say you wished to hear gossip, no? Well, I must say that I find Lord Prowl’s consort to be an absolutely stunning mech.::

::Hmm, I must meet this lord then.:: Jazz knew he was giving the other the stupidest grin but he couldn't help himself and shifted so he could press his lips to the other's. ::He sounds like a lovely mech.::

Prowl didn’t mean to get carried away but he just couldn’t help himself. When Jazz began kissing him, he swept the smaller mech off his feet and back against the wall beside them. There were decorative pillars through the palace and they made a corner just large enough for Prowl to gently pin Jazz in place as their kiss continued.

Jazz groaned into the kiss, wrapping his hands and kissing everything he could reach, from lips to cheeks to chevron and then throat - Jazz felt a /pull/ towards the other, something like a thirst that only became stronger and stronger with each passing orn. 

::Primus, you're /addicting/.:: Jazz purred into the kisses.

Before Prowl could answer, another voice spoke up.

“So this is where my darling brother went? Rumor has it that you had finally found a mech to occupy your berth but I had no idea you would claim him so publicly too.”

There was a startled sound and movement - a flash of the white cloak and before Prowl could react he was shifted and pushed behind Jazz, who now stood his ground in front of the Praxian protectively, one arm raised holding a knife in a threatening position towards the new mech who spoke. The visored mech was clearly out of breath, either from the kiss or being startled, his vents were loud in the quiet of the corridor but his hand remained unwavering.

“Stand down, Jazz. That is the Captain of my guard you are threatening now, and also my brother.”

Prowl settled a hand on Jazz’s shoulder as the mentioned mech looked on. He was a lot of silver and white with a few black patches and his wings bore glyphs in a bright red that proudly stated his rank and lord.

He looked between the two before addressing Prowl once more. “Wherever did you find this one, brother? And what does he expect to do with such a small blade against a mech of my caliber?”

"Are you curious to find out?" Jazz asked and lowered the blade because the other wasn't a threat, but just for that comment, he didn't subspace it yet. "Because I can show you."

The mech chuckled and he sounded so much like his brother. “Yes, of course. Meet me in the training arena and I shall spar with you then. Once you learn a proper weapon.”

"Please don't insult me." Jazz said, gripping the blade tighter, narrowing his visor. "Chose your weapon and I'll gladly be there. Don't ever underestimate my knifes."

“And if it is not the weapon I am underestimating but the wielder who is overestimating their own skill?”

“That is enough,” Prowl spoke up, cutting through their posturing. “Brother, must you continually seek new methods of transforming yourself into a nuisance for me?”

What followed next was an angry rev of an engine and Jazz suddenly advancing on the new mech.

“Jazz, stop!”

Prowl reached out to grab the smaller mech and pull him back. “You need not like my brother but you can not simply attack him over disliking him.”

Jazz stopped and his engine growled. "He is being a slagger."

"My, he's a feisty one." The other Praxian observed, amused. "I don't think I've seen a consort like him before. Isn't he supposed to be enticing you?"

“Why do you assume he is not?” Prowl questioned in return.

That resulted in a loud snorting sound as the mech barely kept his mirth controlled. ::Primus, you're /enjoying/ his feisty nature? Oh, this is just priceless! And to think, all those mechs and femmes that tried to gain your attention, if they only knew they had to stop being to placated around you...::

"Pray tell, what is the designation of the lovingly aggressive mech that will one orn carry your creations?" The new Praxian was still chuckling.

Jazz was frowning at him more, annoyed that the subject of creations was brought up again but he was too distracted by glaring at the Praxian to pay it proper mind.

Prowl did not respond to the comm. he instead set his wings and stared down his brother. “He is only consort at present. There is no pressing concern over creating, I simply did not want to pass up the first mech I find truly fascinating. As for his designation, that would be Jazz.”

Prowl couldn’t help the note of awe in the tone of his voice as he spoke the Polyhexian’s designation.

"You're the General, aren't you?" Jazz asked, "Why are you patrolling if it's peace?"

“A very bold one,” the other Praxian commented before looking to Prowl. “Does he not know that his rank is still below mine, even as consort?”

“He is very opinionated,” Prowl commented. “I see no reason not to answer his questions however. He is nearly as thirsty for knowledge as you know me to be.”

“Huh.” He did turn back to Jazz though. “Captain actually. Only the Prime’s army is large enough to have Generals. And we patrol to ensure the peace continues and to offer assistance to the citizens in remote locations who might otherwise suffer.”

Jazz nodded at that, finally hiding the small blade from earlier. "I see... I apologize for the reactions earlier. I'm not good with authority." Jazz gave him a proper solute for a soldier that served long in the army. "And I did not know you were military, sir." 

For some reason, this felt familiar. And natural. Almost too natural. That's what happens when you spend the majority of your adult life in the army.

The guardsmech tipped his wings in surprise and behind Jazz, Prowl’s field became amused. It was his brother who spoke, addressing Jazz with confusion in his tone. “You do not look like a soldier but I have seen my own mechs react in that exact way when they realize I expect a formal situation. Where do you hail from?”

Jazz dropped his hand down and answered easily. "I come from Polyhex. And I wouldn't have reacted in such a way if I wasn't startled." After all, he and Prowl were in the middle of 'something' when his brother showed up. "What is your designation, sir?"

"What brought you all the way from Polyhex just to become my brother's mate?" he asked instead. "He has not been there in vorn and I know he had no intention of sending for any of their mechs."

"I was traveling the planet when I fell asleep on your territory, apparently. Your guards found me, brought me in, your brother saw me and couldn't resist my charm, and bam, I'm his consort." Jazz said, growing amused.

The guardsmech looked to his brother who couldn’t help flicking his wings in a way that said the tale was at least partially correct. That brought more laughter from him. “Did he now? You must be special to have caught his optic. Has he shown off for you yet? Or are you saving that for proper courting, brother?”

Prowl met his brother’s optics as his gaze shifted to him. His own tone was level. “There has simply been no opportunity thus far and besides, I highly doubt he would enjoy my simulations.”

::Are you embarrassed?:: he pinged Prowl. ::This mech must be special…::

But at the same time Prowl got another ping, this one quite curious. ::What is he talking about? Showing off?:: Jazz asked him. ::And what do you mean by simulations?::

Prowl chose to only answer Jazz.

::Praxus is so peaceful because no one dares to challenge us anymore. Our military might be average but the same can not be said of the mech who leads them into battles and plans their attacks. It is that planning that is vital to keep our mechs online and no other kingdom can best us in that.::

Jazz gave him a surprised look. ::You're a strategist? Really?::

::I am:: Prowl confirmed. ::I realize it is hardly interesting but I have been captivated by strategy my entire life and my sire fostered the interest from a young age.::

::You just don't look...:: Jazz shook his helm. ::Scratch that, why didn't I see it earlier? You do look like one.::

It was then that Jazz remembered their company and glanced to the other Praxian. "You know, you still haven't given me your designation. Is it top secret?"

::Strategists have a particular look in your time?:: Prowl questioned.

The other Praxian chuckled. “You were so easily distracted from it.”

::No they're just...:: Jazz hesitated. ::You don't seem that cold sparked to be a strategist. In war time, they are the mechs that often decide who lives and who dies.::

"Perhaps, that still doesn't explain why you're so reluctant to give it." Jazz said and dared himself to joke. "Is it a bad designation? Something like Sugar or Precious?"

::That is unfortunately, and aspect of the role:: Prowl explained. ::No strategy is perfect and some mechs may offline but the goal is always to keep as many online as possible. I do not even enjoy offlining my opponents but I will not hold back when it is necessary.::

“Nothing so hideous,” the Praxian replied as his wings twitched. “You are truly a cruel mech if you expect such a thing to be a designation.”

Jazz didn't know how to answer Prowl so he focused on the conversation outloud. "Pfft, I once lived with a mech who really was named 'Precious'." Jazz snickered. "I kid you not!"

 “That poor, unfortunate mech.”

The Praxian then took a half step forward and gave a partial bow with his wings spread. “My designation is Barricade. Captain of the Royal Guard of Praxus and current second in line to the throne.”

"Barricade." Jazz repeated his name. "Quite a fitting designation, sir." The visored gave him a curious look. Everyone is so formal.

“It is tradition that newly appointed guards may change their designation to something befitting the role better. No one has gotten past a line my squad holds.”

"Impressive." Jazz said. "Though my whole life I was under the assumption that Praxians are peace loving and strayed from conflict, that why they didn't--" Jazz suddenly cut himself off, almost slipping. "I mean, that's why they don't go to wars and stuff."

“We are generally peaceful, yes,” Prowl spoke up from behind Jazz, “however, our neighbors have not always been. One can not be a pacifist and retain their kingdom but neither must one be a ravenous glutton for battle.”

“We have seen our fair share of battle though,” Barricade commented. “It has only been under my brother’s rule that we have quieted our enemies enough to keep that peace. None of them are foolish enough to challenge my troops. Especially with my brother leading us.”

Jazz glanced between the two brothers and wondered how long had the two lived for the peace to keep up...then his spark twisted painfully. Was it with their death that war broke on Cybertron? Oh, how Jazz wished he had educated himself in history, but in his time very few younglings even stepped a pede in a school and then all school were closed or turned into shelters.

"I see. Then I hope war doesn't come to Praxus for a very long, long time." Jazz murmured, wistful but he couldn't keep the sad flicker in his field, especially when he couldn't stop picturing the ruins of the city.

“We will stop it if it ever does,” Barricade pronounced proudly.

Prowl however, was focused on Jazz and noticed that small flicker. He chose to comm Jazz to address it though. ::I know you dislike war but I swear to you that I will not force you to assist in it. Your skills do not matter. I will not demand it of you.::

"I hope so." Jazz told Barricade softly.

::...I hate war but war is /all/ I know. I was created in war and grew up in it. As an adult in order not to starve I joined the Autobots. War doesn't scare me, Prowl. It...if there is war I will fight. I will always fight.:: But Jazz couldn't tell that this wasn't the reason he was sad. ::But thank you for the gesture.::

"I believe there is a celebration in your honor?" Jazz said, wanting to shift the subject. "Perhaps we should go there?"

“I don’t know, brother,” Barricade commented instead. “This one seems your exact opposite. He is all flashy with a weapon but shies away from talk of war. Perhaps we know now why he left Polyhex.”

"I do /not/ shy away from war! War and death /never/ scared me." Jazz said, not meaning to be so sharp, feeling defensive but after everything he lived through he wouldn't allow anyone to imply otherwise.

“Then why /are/ you here?” Barricade pressed. He even took a step closer for intimidation. He was taller than Prowl though not quite twice Jazz’s height. “No army would just let a skilled warrior go so your story is lacking.”

Jazz's engine gave an angry rev, not even remotely intimidated by the other and suddenly the knife was back in his hand, gripped tight. "I dare you to attack me." Jazz said in a low voice.

“Jazz…” cautioned Prowl and there was a commanding tone to his voice. He also stepped around the Polyhexian to separate the two mech. Prowl kept his back to his brother to warn him off with his sensorwings but he spoke to Jazz. “Do not do this. I do not want the two of you to fight.”

Jazz frowned, gripping the knife before suddenly subspacing it after a few moment of just staring each other and then suddenly waking away.

Prowl let his wings sink as a frown appeared on his face. He started after Jazz a moment later and tried to comm him. ::Jazz...::

Jazz whirled on the other, for some reason unable to resist his voice. ::I do not...I...:: Jazz's fists clenched. ::...I don't know how to act in peace. Especially when he talks like that - he has no right!::

Prowl stopped but did not retreat. ::Exactly what was it that he said that upset you so? I will command him to never say such again.::

::Don't you /dare/ fight my battles for me.:: Jazz suddenly said. ::Now, drop the subject. I'll return to your side if you do.::

::Won’t you at least explain to me exactly what happened? I find myself lacking in understanding and I greatly dislike when such occurs.::

::...I can't tell you because I myself don't know.:: Jazz was frowning again, but this time it was because of this. ::...I'm upset and unsure why.::

Prowl slowly stepped forward until he could touch Jazz, then placed a hand gingerly in his shoulder. ::Shall we three avoid the entire topic of combat then? At least until you can determine exactly what the problem you are having might be?::

Jazz hesitated and then nodded, not even noticing he moved closer to Prowl, finally subspacing the dagger, ::...I think that would be best. But don't order him to do it.:: He said quietly.

::Is it acceptable to you if I merely request that he refrain from broaching the subject?::

Was request the same as order? Jazz wasn't sure but he just wanted this topic dropped. ::...Alright.:: Jazz said quietly.

Prowl took Jazz’s hand and began to lead him away. It was a shame they had been interrupted but it really was best that they return to the festivities. His own absence was most certainly noticed and even the royal consort would be soon missed.

Soon the hall got filled with mechs and femmes. Nobles from all over Praxus had come and everyone enjoyed mingling with each other. Jazz for his part stayed next to Prowl most of the time but at one point he shifted, going to the side and just...watching. 

Everyone was laughing. No one was drunk. There were no curse words (seriously,no one dared utter an 'improper' word) and most importantly, everyone seemed...happy. 

How could happy mechs be such an unfamiliar sight to him? Jazz was fascinated and was quite content just watching them interact and eat. Well, some ate, other didn't and Jazz thought about the horrible grinding high grade that sometimes made him choke while drinking it... a part of him missed it.

But here they had high quality high grade and a table filled with cuisines Jazz didn't even know the name of.

Eventually, Prowl came to find him. He was carrying a small plate with an unusual object atop it. Bulbous and almost fluffy looking, Jazz could not even begin to fathom a possible use. Prowl did not offer him much time to stare however, as he spoke before even reaching his consort. "There you are, my Jazz. Is the celebration treating you well?"

Amusement flickered in Jazz field at constantly being addressed like that but he didn't comment on it. 

"I...surprisingly yes. It's actually more fascinating than I thought it would be." Jazz gave him a look. "Also, I saw quite the few mechs trying to flirt with you. I bet they don't like you have a consort all of a sudden, huh?"

“Traditionally a consort is claimed from within one’s domain while a mate is expected to be a political binding. That I have brought peace without either goes unnoticed by those who think they or their creations can become my favorite simply because I might potentially interface with one of them.” Prowl flicked his wings and sent Jazz a quick comm. ::No matter how well a mech does something, there shall always be those who judge them poorly for it.::

::Oh, how things don't change.:: Jazz said simply. ::Things stay like that in the future. Though sadly, interfacing gets you more favors that I would like to know. I think the only difference now is that your party is quiet and civilized. Ours tended to be loud. And with a lot of swearing and cursing and high grade.:: He murmured quietly. Prime had bigger things to worry about corruption in his ranks. And did not have that much of an honor to protect in order to require a single cube of energon. Jazz couldn't help but keep staring at the odd piece of food Prowl held on to, still not eating it but didn't comment on it. There was no need to remind Prowl how incompetent he was in regards to ...normal food.

::Though now I am curious, do you have previous lovers here in the room with us?:: He added quickly, chuckling, ::I'm not jealous. Though I once read a book about a noble who had over 30 lovers just in the same castle.::

::No:: Prowl reassured him. ::I have interfaced with none of the mechs here. That book must have spoken of my future as well as your past. Such a thing would be seen as in incredibly poor taste. I do not believe it would even be accepted in Polyhex and they are far more open about interfacing than we are here.::

::None?:: Jazz asked, curious as he looked up from the plate Prowl was holding up to his face. ::How come? You seemed far too experienced to have no lovers here and in case you missed it, some were opening staring at you.::

::It is in poor taste for any of a noble sparkline to keep one’s previous lovers in their home. Multiple current partners are, however, acceptable, and many a noble might keep a small harem of current lovers alongside their mate. In some lands, both the lord and his mate may have a separate harem.::

::Wow.:: Jazz said, impressed as more amusement flickered in his field. ::An entire harem! Are you serious?::

::It is the truth.::

Verbally, Prowl also spoke then. “Here,” he said as he offered Jazz the tray. “You should try this seeing as you enjoy your sweets.”

"What is that?" Jazz asked, curious as he looked it over.

 “Simply try it,” Prowl repeated. “Do not make me order you to do so as your lord.”

Jazz gave the other an amused look. "Oh? Can my Lord really /order/ me to eat it?"

“Your lord can order you to do anything.” Prowl smirked at him and flicked his wings playfully. “It only matters what your lord is willing to order you to do.”

"Oh? And shall my lord abuse that power?" Jazz asked as he took the item and looked it over, curious. "Just what /is/ this thing?"

“Indulge me and I will graciously return the favor.”

Jazz stared at him, intrigued and unable to resist him. Dammit.

Jazz brought the odd thing to his mouth and took a bite. Almost immediately his visor flared in color and pleasure spread in his field. "...What/is/ it?!" Jazz exclaimed, mouth full still and little crumbs sticking to its corners.

“Mind your manners, royal consort of mine,” cautioned Prowl but his tone was fond. “It is a dessert treat. I believe it is originally an Iaconian dish but it has long since integrated into every other kingdom and culture. The flavor can vary greatly but is almost always sweet, thus I assumed you would enjoy it.”

Jazz quickly finished the rest of the treat in two more bites and felt a fondness for the Praxian. He moved before he even processed his action and pressed closer to the other, not exactly hugging him but the distance stated clearly that they were lovers. "I didn't even know I liked sweets until now." Jazz chuckled as he gazed at the table. So many things were on it, just how much more of them would he enjoy as this one? "It would seem you know me better than I do know myself in regards to this."

Prowl chuckled softly and let his wings spread out. It was both a preening and a flirting gesture, although Jazz would not know such. Absently, Prowl made a mental note to ensure Jazz learned how to read wing motions. His primary thoughts however, were on Jazz and his commentary.

“I could liken you to a puzzle at present. I see pieces but I lack the full picture. It is an exhilarating experience to see my potentials become reality. You are almost like a grand simulation except that I know most bots would find such a statement to be an insult rather than the compliment I intend it as.”

Jazz couldn't help but smile at him. "I see it as a compliment as well. Thank you. frightens me a little." His smile was still on his face, but more hesitant. "It makes me wonder what will happen once you solve me and I fear you'll grow bored. I'm not a complicated mech, nor an interesting one."

“You do so interest me, however,” Prowl hurried to reassure him. “The more I see of you, the more interested I become.”

"Well, I hope it stays like that." Jazz said softly, but there was a seed of doubt in his mind. Still... all of this was better than what his time had to offer. 

Only cowards survived wars. No one was a hero because they lived.

“I fail to see how it would not.”

Jazz didn't know how to answer that and instead allowed Prowl to lead him to the table where he resumed sampling items. 

Then, when Jazz thought the party was going towards its end, everyone was ushered either to the large windows that opened. Some of the more important guests had a front row seats on the balconies. As such, the Lord of Praxus, his Consort and brother even had chairs pulled outside for them.

::What are we waiting for?:: Jazz couldn't help but ask. There were excited murmurs around him and many twitching door-wings.

::You'll see. Be patient.:: Prowl replied one more time and Jazz gave a soft sigh, wrapping the cloak more securely around himself, to keep the cold away. 

Just then, Jazz heard a sound he allowed himself to believe he would never hear again.

Sizzling and high pitched, something tore the quiet night and Jazz watched in growing horror as an explosion lighted up the sky. fireworks

An attack?! Here?! Now?! This was the Golden Age! No major wars happened! What was going on?!

Almost immediately, another explosion followed and Jazz jumped to his pedes, this time gripping a blaster in his hand as he shouted, "Everyone get back inside!"

Several guests cried out in varying degrees of shock or freight before Prowl was on his pedes to calm them. “Jazz, stand down. Everyone else, remain where you are.”

"What are you talking about?!" Jazz cursed suddenly when more sets of explosions lit up the sky. "You have to get everyone to safety! We're under attack! Everyone GET INSIDE NOW!" 

Then Jazz was shouting at Barricade. "Does the castle have shields?! We have to activate them! Those explosions can't be that far!"

Prowl sighed softly and flicked his wings though they sat lower than usual now. He stepped forward and caught Jazz by his arms. “Stop this immediately.”

By comms he spoke sweeter, letting some emotion filter into his tone. ::Jazz, stop. You are not making sense.::

Jazz tore his arm away from Prowl, the panic now seeping into his field. Why here, why now?! Why did the war always follow him?!

::What is wrong with you?! Get everyone to safety! We're under attack! We have to get your troops mobilized, form a counter attack - that's the best defense in this case! Prowl, DO something!"::

::Alright, I will.::

Prowl sent a quick comm to his brother who stepped forward immediately to join them. Prowl turned to his guests to address them as Barricade picked Jazz up so he could carry him inside. “Fear not, my people. My consort has never seen such revelry and so we shall remove him whilst all of you enjoy the spectacle.”

"Wait, what are you doing?!" Jazz suddenly cried out as Barricade's bigger frame easily had him restrained while being shifted inside. He cried out as another, huge explosion lighted up the sky and yelled at the Lord. "Prowl! What is wrong with you!? Get your mechs to safety, Prowl!" The panic in Jazz was reaching new levels and he didn't even feel he was shaking as he struggled out of the Praxian's hold.

Prowl calmly followed his brother and left his subjects to question and wonder among themselves. As soon as the trio were inside and away from view, Prowl had Barricade release Jazz. Then Prowl swept Jazz into his arms and against his frame and simply held him there for a moment. “Speak with me when you are calm, my Jazz.”

"No, let me go! What is going on?!" Through the windows Jazz could see the blasts and the panic gave him more strength than he had. "Prowl! Primus! Let me go!" Desperate, he looked at the other. "Barricade, do something, please!"

The older Praxian tilted his wings in a confused manner and stayed silent. It was only Prowl who spoke. "Jazz, please. Speak rationally. Why did you panic over the pyrotechnic display? Such are only customary during festivities."

"...P-Pyrotechnic display?" Jazz repeated the alien words, the hand gripping the blaster shaking so hard a soft clatter could be heard. But before Jazz could question what that was, he had to make sure of something else first. "...So we're not under attack? Those aren't missiles?"

"There is no attack," Prowl promised him. "Although I know not what these 'missiles' are so I can not guarantee that they are not such a thing."

"Bombs from the skies." Jazz whispered, field still a mess as he was trying to calm down. It was difficult with the sound from outside. "Seekers and other aireals dropping bombs that can level out an entire city." Like Praxus. But this...

"Why would anyone enjoy those explosions in the sky?!" Jazz cried out. "Why would you have such a thing?!"

Without even thinking, the hand not gripping the blaster went for one of his audios, trying to block out the sound but it was impossible, not wanting to actually turn off his audios and feel even more defenseless. He could still hear them. And if he shuttered his visor, Jazz could still see them.

::They light up the sky in flashes of bright color:: Prowl shared, moving to comms. ::Our inventors have even determined how to make a variety of specific shapes and designs. It is a beautiful sight, albeit a loud one. I should have thought to warn you against that so you might lower even power down your audials.::

"...Please let me go. I want to return to my room." Jazz said quietly, upset.

Prowl did but had a question before Jazz could leave. "Shall I accompany you?"

"Fine." Jazz said quietly and finally subspaced the blaster when he was on his pedes, even if his frame was shaking still.

They started to walk towards his room, Jazz trying hard not to sway as the shock from earlier was leaving his frame and making him feel spent. Even thought the sounds of the explosions were barely audible, Jazz still heard them. Still pictured them falling on buildings and killing mechs.

Prowl was quiet until they reached Jazz's rooms. Then he softly spoke up. "What can I do to be of assistance to you?"

"...I don't know." Jazz said quietly, staring but unseeing the door. "...I hope you now realize that you took in a mech with more cracks than I can count. It's not too late to send me away."

"And just where would I send you?" Prowl asked. "Who would you prefer I saddle with the burden that you claim you are? My brother by title? My Prime?"

"...You don't even know what a missile is." Jazz whispered, feeling his shaking grow. "You don't know the sound it makes as it falls to its target or the explosion. The sound of buildings crumbling, mechs screaming, youngling crying. Pieces of frames everywhere. Energon puddles on the street. And the high pitched cry, exactly like that of you pyrotechnic slag." For the first time since he came here, Jazz felt the tears slide down his face and his audios kept hearing the explosions. "You don't know what it's like to be inside a building when such a thing lands in it. Or during battle when they fall on the battle field. Are you sure you /still/ want that kind of a mech?!" He turned to glare at him, face wet.

"Oh, my precious Jazz..." Prowl stepped closer and carefully tried to pull Jazz into his arms for a tight hug. "You have been hurt so much in your time and that is horrible enough, but for you to feel as though everything in my time is trying to harm you as well is simply horrific. I do not see how this would make you such a bad choice of a partner, however. Alas, your first instinct at the thought of danger was to try protecting everyone else. You are a wonderful mech with such a bright spark. I simply know it must be true."

"Stop. I am a messed up mech who doesn't know how to exist in peace. I am unpredictable. I don't know what will set me off and you don't need that in your life. Just..." Jazz tried to pull away, shaking and face still wet. "Just go away. I want to be alone."

"And if I chose not to leave?" Prowl questioned. "I will stop speaking your praises if such bothers you but you can not order me to leave in my own palace."

Jazz made a sound - something between a growl and a desperate cry and just opened the door to his room and walked in. "Fine! Whatever!" 

New tears slid down his face and Jazz practically ran to the wash racks, closing the door behind him and turned on the shower, forgetting it even had warm water. He gripped his audios and shuttered his visor, trying to take a grip. Primus, what was wrong with him?! Why couldn't he just be normal?!

Prowl followed Jazz into his quarters but not into the washracks. Instead, he took a seat on the berth in order to wait out Jazz’s return.

It was a while before that happened and by that time Jazz was thoroughly cold and shaking but thankfully no longer crying. Instead his field was just a mess. 

Jazz stopped when he saw Prowl, surprised that he was still there. "...Most mechs had it worse than me." He suddenly blurted. "I don't want sympathy points when others suffered more than me."

“Alright,” Prowl accepted. “But you still have had it far worse than I or anyone I know and you are here presently while none of those others are. You do deserve sympathy as well, even if you do not wish to believe so, and you are the only one accessible to me to offer that sympathy.”

Jazz stared at him a long moment before daring himself to go and sit down next to him. 

"...My whole life I dreamed of peace. And now, when I finally have it..." Jazz shuddered and his visor flickered off. "...I don't know how to exist in it." He whimpered. "And I hate myself for it."

Prowl settled a hand atop Jazz’s and gave a gentle squeeze. “It is still new to you, is it not? Of course nothing will be the same for us as it is for you. Nor should you be expected to adjust immediately. If our roles were reversed, I would not easily adjust to it suddenly being wartime.”

"I just feel like I am failing all the time. And I am so exhausted if failing. This is my chance at a new life, a wonderful life and I feel like I am screwing everything up..."

“And just how are you failing?” Prowl asked. “Tonight aside, you have been adjusting well, have you not?”

"Tonight was a disaster enough. " Jazz muttered. "I seriously fail to understand what you see in me."


Prowl stalled as he considered how to go about explaining how he felt. “The time you come from may have been in great decline, but that is after the massive growth the world seems to have taken since now. You know so many things that I could never even fathom and you do not even know how much you know that I do not. You fascinate me in so many ways but it is more than just that. I-“

Prowl hesitated. He wasn’t certain how Jazz might take what else he had to say but he also did not want to keep it secret any longer. “You stir up sensations in my spark that I did not know were possible. I am very much hopeful that you will remain close so I may attempt to understand them.”

Jazz didn't move for a very, very long moment. Then, suddenly he reached for his visor and removed it before looking up at Prowl.

"...You have an effect on my like no one else." Jazz whispered. "When I'm with you I don't feel the need to build up my defences, like I can share things I never shared with anyone because.... you make me /want/ to trust you and with every orn you succeed little by little. I just... my spark.... you are like no one I have ever met." Jazz rested a hand over his spark, trembling lightly.

Prowl smiled at him. “I do still hope to hear you tell me that I do have your trust some orn.”

"Maybe..." Jazz whispered, looking down at his lap and the visor there. When was the last time he had taken it off? He couldn't really remember.

“I have faith that you can manage it eventually.” Prowl reached out and caught Jazz’s chin with two fingers in order to gently guide his helm up so their optics met. Whatever he had been planning to say however, died en route to his vocalized and the Lord of Praxus could only stare for a few long moments.

“You are so beautiful…” Prowl softly muttered.

Jazz's breath hitched and his spark did that odd thing it kept doing when around Prowl, only now it was much stronger. 


There was a plea in Jazz's voice but he didn't even know what for. His field filled with longing as he stared in the other's optics.

It was not a conscious thought. Prowl simply found himself leaning in to press his lips against Jazz’s for a needy kiss.

Jazz mewed into the kiss, reaching with his hands to cup the other's face and keep him close as the kiss from needy grew to desperate. His spark was literally burning in his chest and Jazz found himself shifting closer to the other.

Prowl simultaneously pulled Jazz closer as he pressed more into the kiss. There was a burning ache growing in him and he groaned softly as he pulled his helm away after a klik. “By Primus, but I desire your spark so much right now. It saddens me greatly that you are not comfortable even revealing it.”

"Primus, I want yours too!" Jazz cried out at the end of the kiss, his field a giant mess. "I don't understand how that's possible but I do, I Prowl, I want to... I want..." Jazz didn't even feel himself gently clawing at Prowl's chest, trying to reach between the seams and open it.

Prowl gave a small hiss of pain as he had to catch Jazz’s wrists and try to pull them away without damaging himself. “Be careful, my Jazz. My armor is not nearly as dense as yours and it can be damaged far more easily.”

Jazz gasped, blinking, "oh Prowl.... I want your spark but I...I .. Prowl..." Jazz q Whined, reaching foe the other's chest again.

Prowl had to catch his hands again before they made contact but then he gave an indulgent smile. “Allow me,” said Prowl. He carefully maneuvered Jazz back so he was laying down with his wrists gently pinned. Then, Prowl began the slow process of opening his own chest, speaking as he did. “It is customary to wait and allow your partner to open their own armor. One simply does not forcibly expose another’s spark unless they wish to offline the mech.”

Jazz was gasping and shuddering as he watched in awe and expectation and excitement. A flicker of fear flared in his field as he felt pinned. Arousal was thick in field. "....I'm scared." Jazz whispered, "But i want you."

“Then we begin slowly,” Prowl promised. “Will you open your chest for me? You need not even expose your spark yet.”

Jazz nodded. "Ah... moment." He shuddered, "just....l-let me go first?" Jazz explained, ashamed. "Or... I'll panic. Oh Prowl, i need you so much I'll cry..."

Though confused, Prowl did release his wrists. “Take as much time as you need.”

Jazz pressed his hands above his chest, hiding it. He stayed like that for a long moment, taking deep breaths and field a mess. It was around ten breems later when he whimpered as his chest unlocked and fear flared.

Prowl pressed his field against Jazz and filled him with support and comfort. “I am here, my Jazz. You are safe. I will not let you be harmed.”

Jazz was still on the verge of panicking but eventually though his chamber unlocked and he made another distressed sound. "Prowl...."

 “What is wrong, my Jazz? Are you hurt?” Prowl’s tone was concerned and it leaked into his field. “Please tell me.”

Jazz didn't know how to voice it out. "....Terrified." he whimpered, reaching for Prowl's shoulders.

“What terrifies you, my Jazz? Let me help you if it is possible.”

"My spark.... exposed... I'm.... Prowl! I want to so just take me before I change my mind! I need you!" Suddenly Jazz's chamber suddenly opened.

Prowl’s wings flicked and he sank down onto Jazz’s chest, bringing their sparks into contact. The first touch of their sparks sent a thrill through both of them.

/You feel wonderful, my Jazz/ Prowl spoke through their sparks.

Jazz's awe filled them both as his spark, still hesitant and timid started exploring. /...It's incredible./ he whispered. /so much more different than.../ Jazz shuddered, /...Prowl, you feel... like air./ Like he was breathing for the first time in his life. /I need you.../

/I need you too. You, this… I feel more complete than I ever have before./

/Exactly. How is is possible?/ Jazz tried to delve deeper into the other's spark. /I don't believe in resonating spark but if they did exist this is what it's supposed to feel like..../

/Resonating sparks?/ Prowl asked as he also offered up some of his favorite memories. /I do not know of this concept./

Jazz searched for some of his favorite ones even if they were fewer than Prowls and sent them to the Praxian. 

/That's when two sparks frequencies are the same. They resonate and are....compatible, I think./

Prowl gave a feeling of thoughtfulness at that. /I could see why no one would have realized such a thing exists yet. Our bondings are most often for convenience and few mechs get to travel far enough to meet many other mechs./

/If that's the case with us,what are the chances of me ending up in the time period where you exist...where your spark still beats.../ Jazz murmured, trying without even realizing to cuddle more in Prowl's spark.

/If such is the case, then perhaps that is why you were sent back to me?/ Prowl suggested. /It sounded as though you were about to offline so perhaps Primus gave you a second chance and allowed you to meet the mech you resonate with? Can one resonate with multiple mechs?/

/...I don't know. Maybe? Yes?/ Jazz's spark filled with curiosity. /....But why else would I be sent /here/./ Fear filled his spark. /....It scares me that I belong so much to you./

/Why?/ The question was full of genuine curiosity and a touch of worry. /Am I so horrible a mech that you fear what I might do to?/

/Why do you think my fear is based on something you /did/?/ Jazz asked quietly. /I just.../ Shame filled his spark. /I seem brave but I'm just a coward. I'm afraid from /everything/. All the time I think something horrible is going to happen. I am afraid all of the time, Prowl. From everyone. And everything. That's the kind of mech you want as a mate./

/And yet, still a far better choice than the vapid or unnecessarily overly ambitious mechs who are my alternatives./ Prowl’s amusement surrounded them with a touch of seriousness. /Why else do you think I have avoided taking any potential mate until now?/

/Dunno./ Jazz murmured. /....I just keep waiting for something to go wrong, is all.../

/My council may yet make an attempt/ Prowl told him. /I do hope to make them like you by the time you are willing to say that you trust me./

/...I want to trust you. I just... / Jazz hesitated. /...Do I hurt you by not trusting you?/

Prowl did not answer immediately but Jazz could feel him weighing his words. /I dislike that you have yet to see it but I understand that you have your reasoning and generally I even understand your reasoning. Thus, I am willing to wait./

/...You have no idea how much you mean to me./ Jazz found himself admitting. /I don't know how to exist without you. I find myself /needing/ you. You just... you are my air./

/I have no intention of sending you away. You are a very important mech to me as well/ Prowl promised. /I find myself even considering if what I feel for you could be love./

/...It's like a drug./ Jazz admitted quietly. /I don't know how to explain it but I crave you all the time, since the moment you walked in my cell. I didn't believe such a thing could even /exists/ up until now, but it does. When I'm with you I feel myself daring to...not worry all the time. To lower my guard./

/I am both glad and grateful to hear that/ Prowl shared. His spark leaked happiness and adoration. /I have rarely found myself wanting for anything that I could not find on my own but being separated from you makes me desire you all the more. I crave your presence in ways I did not know were possible but I find they make seeing you again after an absence far more profound. You are slowly becoming the core of my world./

/You too./ Jazz murmured. /...Isn't that terrifying?/

/Incredibly so/ the Praxian admitted. If they were not within his very spark, he might never have formed the words.

After their mutual admissions words became absolute as emotions and feelings started to flow between them, along withe memories, some good, other's not so much. But neither felt themselves grow towards the sudden overload, powerful enough to offline.

Jazz had never experienced spark overload before. The best way he could describe it explosion of pleasure. One that took over his entire frame, starting from the inside out. He had felt nothing like it before and knew that it will be something he would crave very often.

Jazz didn't know how much time passed before his still exposed optics flickered weakly back on but there was still thick pleasure lingering in his field and the pleasant feel of Prowl's frame above him. He made a soft sound of content and tried to loosely hug the other.

Prowl shifted once Jazz did and dropped himself into the berth to lie beside his consort. His chest had already closed up. “That was lovely. I have never had such a nice overload before.”

But Jazz felt himself needing the other and followed him, cuddling close. He tucked his helm under the other's chin and made sure their chests were pressed with each other.

"...I never had a spark overload. It" Jazz murmured.

Prowl chuckled softly and it rumbled both of their frames. “You are utterly adorable…”

"No I'm not." Jazz mumbled, nicely snuggled, "You just flatter too much. Silly Lord."

“And you claim not to trust me and yet here you are literally sharing your spark.” Prowl’s amusement mingled with his adoration. “It is adorable.”

Jazz gave a small frown but he didn't let go of Prowl.

"It's....weird. My processor doesn't trust you, but my spark keeps disagreeing..."

"Well, I am most certainly glad for it in any case," Prowl said before nuzzling Jazz's helm. "You are so wonderful and I love having you close."

Instead of verbally replying, Jazz tipped his helm up and planted his lips against Prowl's. "Can't stop kissing you." Jazz mumbled.

Prowl’s engine purred softly in reply. He also spoke. “Good. I greatly enjoy such as well.”

Jazz hummed softly and the two kept kissing for a while longer before recharge came and for the first time Jazz slept undisturbed with someone else on a berth.