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Bittersweet Savior

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Fresh energon drips down his legs, hot and thick between his thighs. Megatron’s low growl turns into a hiss, feeling the pit-like sting of his claws shoved brutally into his valve. From inside, he feels something twist and give way, lighting up his sensor net in pain. Megatron draws his claws out slowly and brings them back into view, glaring at what turns out to be a torn seal. Disgust and disbelief swirl to life in his field. He lost his seals eons ago, back when he was still a young miner discovering his frame with a fellow batchmate. He remembered the experience dimly, two curious first timers poking and prodding at everything on their frames, including their seals. His was even the first to be removed. 

Yet here he is holding a new valve seal between his digits. 

How? And better yet, why? 

It’s tougher than his first seal, seemingly forged from harder material and designed to hurt him. The silver mech stares at his clawed digits in utter confusion. What could’ve caused this? Then it dawns on him… Unicron. Megatron howls in fury, cursing the Chaos Bringer as he flicks away the torn seal and blasts it. All that remains is the smoke from his cannon and a blackened scorch mark on his habsuite’s floor. 

He slowly looks up and over at the mirror. Crimson optics reflect back, staring hard at the source of much scrutiny over the past few weeks: his hips. It hadn’t been notable at first and still wasn’t at first glance. Megatron can’t recall when he started to notice the difference. Perhaps it was some time in the span of his dark energon induced visions. Or was it when he first felt his gait had shifted? Maybe it was when he began hearing crude whispers among his troops, asking questions they would not have dared to think if they knew he’d heard. 

Has our lord’s aft always been so shapely? I'd tap that if he wasn't so terrifying.

If you would actually tap that and survive I'd give you my engex recipe. 

The silver mech roars, his claws scraping and puncturing the wall in barely restrained violence.

Unicron had altered his frame for the purpose of interface. The implications sicken him, sending an involuntary tremble wrecking through his frame. This is a whole new type of violation. How close was that carrier-fragging god to doing something unspeakable to him? What more have Unicron possibly done to his frame? He ruminates briefly on the strange, unexplainable new lines of protocols that onlined somewhere in the same time frame as the changes to his hips. As far as he knows, they’ve done nothing of notice yet. 

That is, unless they’re responsible for the abdominal aches, a recent rise in frame temperature and now the discovery of this regrown seal that’s been there for who knows how long. Megatron cannot even count how many times he’s run virus scans and firewall checks. All results always come back negative, assuring him of nothing out of the ordinary. Eventually, after growing bored of the same cheery notification of full-frame functionality three times a cycle, he stopped fussing over it. 

Out of a morbid sense of curiosity, the silver mech runs yet another system check for the first time in weeks. He gets the same infuriating results,  the only exception being a confirmation that his frame is two degrees above normal. 

Megatron feels sick, almost able to visualize that revolting purple swirl in his tanks as if the dark energon is still there. A once powerful elixir promising to give him victory, now nothing but a foul sludge infecting his frame. He imagines traveling back down into Unicron’s depths, taking out all his fury and frustrations on Unicron. Hacking, slashing and shooting at the Chaos Bringer’s inactive spark casing until there’s nothing but molten slag left. No one makes such grave insults upon the War Lord’s own being and gets away with it! No one!!

Megatron doesn’t realize he’s stepping away from the wall until he feels agony electrify his circuits and more energon coating his legs. He chokes on a gasp,  snapped cleanly from his hysteria but pummeling down a new path of panic. Primus, what the frag is wrong with him? How much more havoc did Unicron curse upon his frame that he can’t even recognize-- 

A sudden ping in his HUD jerks him out of another building wave of anxiety and anger. He recognizes the sender as his TIC announcing his presence at the outside of his door. He’s unable to process a proper response to the ping before the lanky mech overrides his habsuit's locks and enters with a sweeping walk, foregoing any gesture of respect or recognizing that he’d just barged into his leader’s private quarters as if they were his own. Had it been anyone else performing such an audacious act, he would have shot them on the spot.

Soundwave speaks directly to his HUD as he slowly approaches the distressed Warlord.

:: Megatron; unwell. Query; what is wrong? :: The Communication officer demands. 

 Crimson optics narrow dangerously. What gave him the right to enter like this, and really, why is he asking such a futile question? 

"Had it been anyone else invading my habsuite the offense would be punishable by death, Soundwave!" Megatron snaps haggardly in defense, trying to disguise a pained wheeze with a growl. ”What makes you think I am unwell?!” 

:: Soundwave; hears all, sees all. Megatron; been acting differently as of late. :: The faceless mech replied calmly, taking in every odd detail of his leader’s clearly stressed frame.  He hoped it would not have to come to this, to order vehicons to stand guard at their Lord's quarters without his knowing or consent to report anything unusual. But too many strange happenings had been occuring on the Nemesis lately, all revolving around their ruling warlord. And a fusion cannon shot isn't exactly subtle, even through sound-proofed walls. 
Enough is enough. Soundwave would confront his leader, whether he liked it or not.

The silver mech lets out a mirthless, breathy chuckle and shakes his head. "Of course you do."

:: Query; what is wrong? :: The mute mech repeats, laying a gentle, spindly servo on the closest silver arm. From where Soundwave stands he can see the fusion cannon scorch mark on the floor from one side of his visor, and the  energon dripping  between two minutely shaking legs from the other side. He takes in the same energon staining Megatron's talons. None of it implies anything good. What or who could have caused such a self destructive reaction? 

"Unicron, that slag eating devil, altered my frame" he hisses, his Kaonian rasp strained by static before shouting with as much hate and fury he could muster. "HE INTENDED TO MAKE ME HIS PERSONAL SHAREWARE!!" 
He fires his fusion cannon again, this time scorching a hole through the door. As the edges of the hole fizzle, Megatron’s roiling anger suddenly dissipates to leave behind a hollow ache throbbing through his being. He can only slump in defeat.

Soundwave is frozen in shock, slowly processing the admittance and accusation of the Chaos Bringer. How dare he. Ice cold, righteous fury threatens to emerge at the harm done to his infallible leader and closest friend. How DARE he?! But Soundwave stops himself, observing again how Megatron can’t even look at him or control his spastic field. His anger won't help his fellow gladiator right now. Revenge and justice for this heinous act will come in due time. For now, he makes a decision to act against the Decepticon nature, enclosing his long spindly arms  around the massive shaking warframe for the first time in millions of years. His EM field intermingles with Megatron's own, an EM field as violent and hurt as a tumultuous sea. 

They stand there, letting time flow into something non-existent as their frames touch and their EM fields mingle. No words spoken, no words are needed. Soundwave slowly works in calming the warlord down, gauging every minute and steady diffusion of the silver frame’s trembling. Megatron's field eventually falls still under the familiar second one weaving through his. He can’t help the pulse that he gives back, his field finally singing in the same peaceful pace as that of his TIC. Acknowledgement, understanding, reassurance. 

When Megatron's shaking has ceased, stressed cooling fans have slowed down and modesty panel closed, the Communication officer knows he's alright, for now.

:: Objective; see Knockout. :: The lanky mech demands. The silver mech knows it's no use to debate or refuse. Experience from eons previous has taught him Soundwave will drag him by his data cables kicking and roaring, as much as it hurts his pride. 

Megatron just sighs and frowns in response, grabbing a mesh rag to dry off his thighs and silently contemplating if this is Soundwave's way of committing mutiny.

 

***

 

Gynecology appointments aren't exactly common in the Decepticon medic’s line of work, despite their importance to Cybertronians for a healthy functioning frame. Decepticons as a whole are too prideful and distrustful to let even a simple check up take place. Ridiculous is what it is, in Knockout's humble opinion. But fine, they can limp around with misaligned valve calipers, infections and malfunctioning spikes for all he cares. He's not going to nag his fellow Decepticons into medical check ups, it's their responsibility to book appointments. The only exceptions can be counted on his servos.

However.

When the Third in Command makes a sudden full frame check up AND gynecology appointment for the Lord of the Decepticons of all mechs, Knockout considers jumping out a window and letting suicide be his final act of treason. One does not simply stick your servo up Megatron's valve without expecting him to rip off your servo and tear you in half.

The cherry red Doctor is finishing setting up the stirrups when the duo arrives. Soundwave, as unreadable as always, takes a sentry position a bit away from the med berth. Megatron is oddly reluctant in his movements, drawing at Knockout’s intrigue.

"Ah, good day my lord, Commander Soundwave, what seems to be the issue today?" He locks the medbay as busy for the sake of his patient's privacy.

"That's what we want to know, Doctor." The silver mech sneers.

The doctor resists the urge to fiddle nervously and instead motions for the silver mech to take a seat on the med berth. 

"Well my lord, would you enlighten me on your current symptoms?" He tries to encourage the silver mech to talk, it makes it easier to find out what's wrong.

"A rise in body temperature, abdominal aches and a regrown valve seal." The War lord says almost hastily while glaring off at the wall, his EM field anxious and irritated.

Knockout blinks owlishly in surprise and confusion, now isn't that the standard case? He resets his vocalizer. "That is… certainly of concern. I'll begin with a scan and then hook you up to a code analyzer. While the analyzer reads you I'll take a look down there. Does that sound acceptable?" 

Megatron nods curtly, lies back and exposes his medical port to the doctor. The familiar buzz of the deep scanner and the prick of the medical uplink eases him a little.

The scan does not take long to perform, and when it completes Knockout has to read the results twice. It's mostly up to standard with previous exams, except one rather major new addition. He stares at that particular image, wondering if the scanner has decided to malfunction. What the frag is this hokus pokus? For the sake of the warlord’s temper, however, he reserves from making any comments until the entire check up is done. "My lord, would you lift your legs up onto the stirrups, please?"

The silver mech complies and retracts his modesty panel. Knockout brings a tray of various medical tools within arms reach, takes a seat on a stool and scuffles closer. The doctor frowns in concern at the sight of the bloody purple valve. "If it's not too sensitive to ask, my lord, how did this happen?" He asks carefully.

"I tore out the new seal." The patient snarls impatiently. 

"I… that is not a seal removal method I would recommend. I'm going to use a speculum to perform a proper examination of the valve lining as well as the valve calipers. If there's any remaining residue from the seal I'll remove it swiftly. Is that acceptable, my lord?" Providing information beforehand about what he's about to do is not Knockout's usual patient care. Normally he just works quickly and efficiently and if his patient is being fussy he simply restrains them. Or uses his handy medical override to knock them into stasis. He has zero tolerance for difficult patients. That, however, will not change the fact that such an attitude from any subordinate will get you slagged if it's Megatron you're treating. Regardless of whether it's for his own good. 

"Get it over with, Doctor" the silver mech gruffly commands. He grunts when the sims speculum spreads and strains his valve opening, and glares up at a scratch in the ceiling as if it's the next most offensive thing since the Primacy.

To his credit, Knockout is prompt and efficient, his frown deepening when he finds  the area where the seal was torn away. He will have to remove the excess as the last step. What's left of the seal is hard and stiff, certainly not normal. Nor should the cervix at the end of the valve tube be there. 

But if the scans are right, it makes sense. 

The bleeding has since long stopped at this point, so he begins with simply cleaning out the valve of excess dried energon. He then moves on to the standard examination; Testing the valve callipers, looking for infections or other possible wounds and cell samples from the valve walls. 

The cervix however… Knockout reaches over and picks up a tool that's never been used before. Not that it isn’t useful, but rather because there hasn’t been a bot in the Decepticon ranks in millenia that could benefit from it. Unboxing the uterine sound and making a disinfecting swipe before inserting it, the medic carefully prods at the cervix. He then slips it past both the cervix and a gel wall. His patient grunts at the intrusive feeling, making his discomfort known and Knockout resists taking a deep vent to calm himself. He works a bit more quickly in mapping out the new organ with the tool as it takes cell samples.

 "Soon done my lord." He reassures his fickle patient. 

Knockout moves onto the last procedure,spreading a local numbing agent over the injured valve wall to continue. Finally, he cuts off the excess valve seal and spreads nanite gel over the wound before removing all tools. 

"It's done my lord, you can close up now. You should refrain from using your valve for any activity as the nanite gel works within the next 48 hours." 

There's a hasty snap of closing modesty panels and the doctor scoots away on his stool while he wipes off his servos. The code analyzer has completed its diagnosis, but Knockout already knows the answer. His optics scan the results of the analyzer,  quickly reading the additional information provided by the cell samples.

"Well, Knockout?" Megatron snaps impatiently, anxious irritation prickling at his field. 

Oh how to even explain this?? "I don't know how to tell you this- GYAH!! Watch the paint!" He yelps as he's grabbed by an agitated warframe.

"Spit it out Knockout or I will do more than just scratch your precious finish!!" He snarls, pulling his legs forcibly from the stirrups.

"You have a gestation tank!!" Knockout blurts out. Megatron halts, sinking back in shock and letting go of the doctor.

"I-I don't know how but you have a fertile, fully functioning gestation tank. Or a forge as it's also called, my lord. The new codes you possess are dormant carrier protocols and heat protocols. The rise in temperature is an early sign of an incoming heat!" Knockout stutters, raising his servos in fearful surrender and backing away. He will have to buff that fragging scratch later.

Soundwave remains unresponsive in his corner, disbelieving and worried of the diagnosis he’s hearing. It doesn’t make sense.

Megatron’s processor knocks him into a software reboot, taking a solid minute before answering. "A… gestation tank? Heat? What even is a heat?" He rasps, barely believing what he's hearing.

Knockout resets his vocalizer nervously. "A heat is a cycle that prepares the frame to conceive a sparkling, my lord. We don't have much information on it beyond that as it was essentially a thing of the past." Taking a deep vent, the Doctor decides that just this once he should dare to be bold towards his Lord. 

"Lord Megatron… you might be the only Cybertronian capable of carrying in the galaxy. Without the Allspark, you now hold control over our only chance out of a slow but inevitable extinction. I implore you to take heed of that." Knockout let those words sink in. Megatron stares back at the medic with owlish optics.

Without any clue as to how to react, the only thing that replies to Knockout  is the tray of medical tools that flies across the medbay, imploring him to take cover.