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Can… can you do me a favour?

--

Rung has been relatively absent the last few cycles. Pardoning his appointments, kept to half-breem events twice a decacycle, few saw him. Swerve’s bar had been abuzz with discussions on the so-called cryptid that diagnosed them but, otherwise, seemed to do nothing socially. A few mechanicals even wondered if a Rung (a silvershake with popping energon pearls) would ever be ordered again. 

In actuality, Rung had kept to his habsuite in fear of another Incident. He’d confided in both Megatron and Ratchet about the peculiarity of his condition, of his desiring Id and the production of Photonic Crystals (something which baffled everyone in the room), and of the lack of control he’s felt in the last few vorns. Whatever his condition was (Ratchet had no name for it; it didn’t match typical hysteria and Allspark knows what caused the synthesis of transfluid into a Photonic Crystal), it left him feeling severely uncomfortable

“My clients are fragile and easily suggested by a figure of my standing,” he’d said, optics practically tacked upon the buckets of crystals that Ratchet was carefully sealing up. “I refuse to do them harm, especially of this sort. I should cancel in-person meetings, but then mechanicals like Whirl would never bother to follow up. I don’t-- I don’t know what to do .”

Several breems of discussion, eventually, set a plan in place. Limit unneeded interactions, spread out appointments, and isolate until Ratchet could come up with a coding patch to damper his effect upon others. Until then, he was to keep as many doors between him and his clients as possible. 

Of course, it wouldn’t be that easy. Ratchet said coding strains like this practically had their own personality and, unfortunately, Rung’s was rather rambunctious . It likes crowds, it liked big mechs, and it liked interfacing. In theory, rather simple to contain; in reality, the damn thing knew every code, lock, and crevice on the ship, perfectly happy to break into poor Magnus’ highly fortified office so it could frag someone on his desk. It didn’t care for rules, logic, or even any sense of order. 

It wanted to frag and lo, it shall. 

So they set in place a secondary measure. It was easy enough to patch Magnus (who was still reeling from finding lubricant, orange scuff marks, and a befowled pen left upon his desk) into the security camera system, where he could see most places on the ship and set up an alert if Rung was seen without a guardian. Similarly, Megatron could do much of his work from Swerve’s bar, where Rung tended to appear when he was on the hunt (something more likely to happen during the shifts when more mechanicals were active; easy to predict, considering he wrote the schedules).

 And so, as Ratchet waged his war against a piece of coding that was significantly more advanced than anything he claimed to have worked on, the rest of the support system laid in wait. 

--

And, somehow, there was a pattern to all this. 

The ‘Id’ (Rung’s name for the code, tho’ apparently Ratchet named it something far less kind) liked specific sorts. Big mechanicals, learned mechanicals (in the worldly sense mostly), and clients. If left to pick between Fortress Maximus, Whirl, and Drift, it would choose Fortress Maximus the most, with Whirl following behind at a close second. And then, for a third, it would pick most anyone that wasn’t Drift.

It… didn’t appear to care for Drift. He’s not sure if he blames it.

An example of this sort of thing is set before him. Rung appears through the crowds at Swerve’s bar, appraising glances thrown every which way. After a few moments, his stare catches on Perceptor; like a cybercat, he sidles his way to the scientist’s side, all smiles and delicate words. As the moments pass by, Perceptor seems steadily more and more drunk, despite having barely touched his drink. 

Just as Rung tries to request that sealing inquiry (it was always I need help with something ,’ always ), he rises from the bar to pluck him out of his seat and carry him off. Perceptor, at least, doesn’t put up the same fight that others do; he’s had to lock Whirl in a closet after he separated the two of them to make certain they stayed separate. He merely stared, baffled, as his could-have-been-partner was dragged away. 

Rung, however, always puts up a fight. As much of a fight as a stick can, he supposes. He kicks and swats and hisses, like a petulant cat, until he gives up the ghost and focuses on Megatron again. Then comes the crooning, stroking, whispers (that do more to him than he’d ever admit), lithe frame wriggling in his grasp. 

I just need a bit of help ,” Rung says in that strange voice, every time. “ Please ?”

No .” Megatron replies, every time. And then he drags him into his habsuite, locks him in (with a just-then generated code from Magnus), and immediately goes to his own suite in an effort to get his own growing charge out. Ratchet thinks it’s amazing that he’s managed to hold out against a signal this strong but, ah, it’s not with any sort of ease. 

As his frame cools down and the transfluid poor Rung desperately craves drips from his fingers, he merely resigns himself to continuing this crusade. Rung had begged him, after all. 

Can you do me a favour? ” he’d said, practically denting the berth as Ratchet locked the Photonic Crystals in storage. “ Please… keep me from doing this again. I can’t… I just can’t handle it. It’s going to drive me mad .

He’d agreed, of course. He understood the horrors of impulses that whispered things to you, after all. And Rung had looked so terribly sad , so frightened, lost in his own body and fearing the damage it could do. 

Only a truly cruel mech would say no to him. 

( Like Starscream. Starscream would absolutely say no. )

--

Cycles later, no one could find Rung.

Under normal circumstances, this is still a cause for alarm. Losing one of the most important medical officers on board is a dire thing, especially given how much damage has been done to him already. No one expects Fortress Maximus’ breakdown to be the only one to endanger the first responder and, if another incident were to occur, there’s no telling how hurt he could be. 

And that’s what they tell the crew, requesting many optics for their search. It’s imperative that they find Rung (and yes, he had to remind mechs who that was) as soon as possible. There’s no mention made of his unusual predicament, of course, because that’s rather private and he knows Rung would be absolutely mortified

So everyone spreads out, checking vents, ducts, in the containers of Energex that Swerve doesn’t clean as much as he should, so on and so forth. When he finally gets a call that isn’t an all clear, it’s from Tailgate in the docking bay. 

She sounds rather flustered . [ So, uh… I know this is gonna sound weird, but I think I found Rung. ]

“Are you certain?” he inquires, setting down his datapad to make a beeline for the docking bay. That area isn’t as densely coated in security cameras as the rest of the ship, likely due to its sheer size, and what he saw didn’t tell much beyond Rodimus spending too much time in his stupid escape pod again. 

[ Uh… yeah. Pretty sure. I mean, I guess Rodimus could just be pretending someone’s Rung as he, uh… diddles them, but that seems kinda unlikely. We’re on a pretty close-knit ship. You’d think people wouldn’t roleplay as each other since you can, like, just go next door and get the actual person. I mean, I get maybe someone roleplaying as you , but that’s kinda a different story-- ]

He stops in the hallway, a hand pressed firmly against his comm. “Say that again.”

[ What, the part about someone roleplaying as you? ]

No , before that.”

[ ... Rodimus is diddling someone that he’s calling Rung in the Rod Pod? ]

His pace picks up. 

--

A spike’s tip batters against the aperture to his tank. 

It’s a sharp, shapely tip, curved to the very end. Rodimus is proud of it and the rest of the mods that decorate his spike. Rubber bumps on the bottom, node-catchers along the sides, an outer branch that rubs against his anterior node… 

It’s quite nice. 

Rodimus is happy and eager to please, pushing him against the control panel as he steadies his thrusts. There’s not much room in here, barely an arm’s length between the panel and the chairs, but he’s worked wonders in smaller quarters. There’s just enough space for a well-paced thrust, one with enough strength to send sparks through his neural network. 

“Come on, nerd.” Rodimus blathers, pinning him with a hand. A line of oral fluid bridges his denta as his head tilts back, optics shuttering happily. “That’s it. That’s it. Primus below, your valve feels amazing . You exercise it or somethin’?”

Playfully, he squeezes down. Rodimus groans, a honey-sweet thing, and thrusts out of sync. His little secondary spike grinds against his anterior node, slipping through the absolute puddle of lubricant he’s leaving everywhere. Still, he supposes he shouldn’t mind: the fluid conducts, spreading warmth wherever it touches. It makes his nodes truly come alive, sparks that shoot straight through his neural network to settle deep within his Spark. 

“Cheeky frag.” Rodimus mumbles. He talks a lot, even now; the air is filled with compliments, half-insults, comments, more half-insults, pleads and gasps. He compliments himself when he thrusts in a way that practically unravels his partner, chides himself when something isn’t up to his standard, and describes the valve he’s stuffed himself into like it’s something worth putting in a museum. 

It’s cute, he supposes. 

Rodimus even chatters when he overloads, riding out his high with a series of wet thrusts. He tries wrapping his legs around the Prime, attempting to keep him inside for the length of his overload, but it’s not enough. He has to watch, sadly, as the amount of transfluid received barely ticks past twenty ounces. Most of it runs down his legs to stain the console. 

What a waste .

Rodimus croons, slowly slipping free. “Damn, nerd. Why haven’t we done this before? You’re, like, probably one of the best lays on the ship. Drift’s good, sure, but he talks too much. It’s all Primus and his theories and how interface gets us closer to God or other such nonsense. That’s nice for our daily life, but when we’re fragging? No good. Not good at al--”

A knock, thankfully , interrupts his yattering. They both tilt their head up to see Megatron, perched on the stairs up to the cockpit, looking in with a distinctly sour expression on his face. 

Quietly, as he comes out through the golden fog, Rung covers his face.

Whelp . Time to never hear the end of this.” Rodimus bemoans, reaching to unlock the pod. 

--

“So he’s like… a sex fiend sometimes ?”

Rodimus, as expected, refuses to just accept an explanation. He always has to have the final word, the final question, a scope of things that doesn’t actually expand his understanding of the subject. 

Rung, exhausted, groans from within the bucket he’d shoved his head into. The shards are blue this time, barely a mouthful, but his throat is still sore. 

“As far as I can tell,” Ratchet says, snapping another set of wires into Rodimus’ side. This is the closest they’ve gotten to having someone directly under the Id’s Influence and, Ratchet being Ratchet, knows better than to deny a research opportunity. “He’s got a strain of code that seems to mimic organic reproductive systems. It urges him to seek transfluid to process into Photonic Crystals and, to entice others into helping with that, puts out what organics would call pheromones . For us, that means an infectious code in the EM Field. We’re not designed to fight against something like that, unneeded as it is by our species, so one wiff and bam ! You’re hooked good.”

“Sooooooooo… why ? I don’t want to complain, because that was great , but we’re not organics. Our planet takes care of the whole pregnancy thing for us. And, seriously, him horking up a bunch of crystals looks really uncomfortable.”

It is. ” Rung moans. Megatron, sweetly, rubs his back and offers him a cube of energon.

Ratchet shrugs, taking the barely-filled bucket (Rung reaching out for it, nearly dropping his cube) and storing it with the others. “Who knows? We have a lot of odd branches of code in us. We’re hodgepodge beings, capable of reinventing ourselves and having unique genetic deformities that lead to unusual abilities without, y’know, keeping an arm from growing like it does in organics. Maybe he was made like that, maybe it got added on later. He’s too old for me to tell. Still, I don’t think we should complain.”

“I’d prefer to complain.” Rung whimpers, in-between sips. “And I think I have a right to it.”

“But think about it.” The medic parses through Rodimus’ data, searching for the unique key of this code’s strain. “Cybertron can’t keep making hot-spots. I don’t know why, but it can’t. Things cooled down and our population reached a standstill. Why wouldn’t Vector Sigma make someone, or someones , who can create Photonic Crystals? Have a few hundred of those that can puke out one crystal per every one ounce of transfluid, set’m to work, and our population crisis is over. Seems smart to me. Makes me wonder if we should really call this an outlier ability.

“And I thought my designated use as an ornament was insulting .” Rung mumbled into his drink. “Look at me now. I’m a breeder . The Council would be elated to hear that.”

“You don’t have to be.” Megatron said, his hand heavy upon the smaller mechanical’s back. “Once Ratchet isolates the code and figures out how to patch it, you won’t have to deal with it.“

“If I can get it to stand still , that is!” Ratchet snaps, flicking through more and more code. “I need more examples. The damn key that starts it keeps changing to blend in, or maybe it just fades fast. If I could catch it as it was occurring… maybe I could separate it from the rest of our environmental reactors.”

His optic, slyly, turns to face the two hunkered upon the ground. “... care to donate some time to science?”

No !” Rung practically begs, clutching his throat. “Not Megatron. No offense meant, of course, but… it’s too much. He’s too much. I would prefer someone with a small amount of transfluid so I don’t spend cycles over a bucket. Ideally, it’d be someone who could, perhaps, pull out, but...  I won’t hedge my bets on that happening.”

Silence passes through the clicks of Ratchet scrolling, the motley crew of mechanicals in the room (and the ones linked to a communication channel, tho’ most of the mechs present assumed Magnus muted it for the sake of his own comfort) deep in pondering. Finally, after what felt like breems, Rodimus’ hand perks up. 

Swerve !” he exclaims, all excitement. Baffled stares prompt a continuing explanation; “Swerve’s got this weird issue with his spike. The pipes linking his clanger to his production tank are pinched shut and he hasn’t fixed it yet so, in the meantime, he just shut the production off. He has no transfluid whatsoever . No transfluid, no magick crystals, and Ratchet can get all the scans he wants, sans pregantnancy!”

[ It’s pregnancy , ] Magnus’ voice drones through the communication channel. The Prime shrugs but, thank God, drops it.

“That might work.” Rung says, but his voice wavers still. “As long as one can promise me that I won’t have to choke up any more Photonic shards, I’d… be willing to give this a try. For the sake of science, I suppose.”

Rodimus’ hand jerks up again, his smile full of glee. “Can I tell Swerve? Pleaaaaaaase ? Please please please ple--”

“Fine!” the other Captain snaps. His hand, still laid upon the psychologist’s shoulder, squeezes. “Fine. Let’s give Rung a bit of time to rest first. He’s been through a lot.”

“No.” the smaller mech says, strangely stern. “No. I want to get this over with. Please… go get Swerve. And please… do remind him to be discretionary .”

--

One rushed explanation and a prepped isolation room later, Swerve sits across from him on a medical berth. 

As always, he has a bright, happy smile. And, as always, he’s talking. He’s going on and on about how much of an honor this is, how many mechanicals he’s tried to encourage to ask Rung out, how popular the drink he made in this name is (tho’ he does accept Ring, Rong, Bing, and Skinny-Glasses-Mech as orders), how cool the bar is, how nice stars are, how the changing metals in Cybertronian biology mean that the species will eventually split into those of a certain type and those of another type--

It’s endless . This is why he doesn’t allow talking during their appointment. They write to each other instead, so Swerve can stop and actually think about what he wants to get out.

“So, uh…” Swerve segways, leaning back in a clear attempt at bumping his panel out. He’s a terrible stud. “When do you wanna do this? I mean, I like cuddling and foreplay like everyone else, but we gotta put on a show , right? That’s why everyone’s watching us.”

“They’re watching us for medical reasons.” he states, dry in every way. “Rodimus explained this to you, yes?”

“I mean… in basic? He said you were having a Frag Problem and I was the only way to figure out a cure. A fragging cure. For your fragging problem. By fragging. Me fragging you, I mean. Well, I think so. He said I had to spike you for science . And that would lead to a cure for your fragging problem. Do you really have a fragging problem?”

Outside of the isolation chamber, Rodimus turns both of his thumbs up with a stupid, happy look. Rung, exhausted, steeples his hands together against his brow. 

“Swerve, do know I appreciate your capacity to endlessly make conversation, but...” he shifts against the berth, with nary a flicker of interest from that deepset part of him. “This isn’t triggering my issue. I need you to… entice me, with a story or a discussion, or something that isn’t just mindless yatter.

Megatron’s voice crackles over the communication channel. [ It likes well-versed, well-traveled beings. Do you have any tales from the War, Swerve? It might like that. ]

“Why are we referring to Rung as an it?” Swerve looks faintly baffled. “But, uh, sure. Let’s see… oh, how about the Battle of Dinthoc? That was so cool. I saw Optimus Prime there, bathed in the blood of thousands of Decepticons. I mean, it also looks like the blood of Autobots, since we all bleed the same, except those folks with blood disorders. I mean, I saw someone once that had energon that was the consistency of a silvershake. It was so gross. It wiggled when you touched it. So nasty. Tho’ that did inspire a drink of mine that I like to call Jetlag , ‘cause it makes you slow and heavy due to all the lead in it--”

[ War Stories, Swerve. Not bar stories. ]

Rung shifts, having scootched himself a bit closer. “No, no. Keep… keep talking about the bar’s drinks. It seems interested in that.”

Swerve shrugs, all shoulders (a stout frame, good for energon-gathering; not that most do that anymore, he supposes, but this sort of thought strain is a good indicator of the Id stirring). And thus he continues on, as is expected of this mechanical, describing each and every detail of his so-called business. He describes distilling, tank maintenance, the exact level of ‘nasty’ one should leave their storage tank in to make Energex for a Whirl (which is a lot of nasty), how he made the popping pearls for a Rung, how he sources the mica powder he uses in the sparkly drinks--

And, somehow , the Id wakes up. Faintly, he’s aware of Ratchet pumping a fist, pouring over the data appearing on his screen, but, strangely, he finds that hard to focus on. 

Swerve’s yattering stutters as he leans in, glasses slipped into subspace, golden optics inspecting that small, stout form. He smiles at the small mechanical, as sweet as candy, lifting one of his hands to trace each pit, scar, and wound. The minibot’s yattering, inquiring something of the mechanicals looking in, but that doesn’t matter. 

He brings two of those thick fingers into his mouth, running his glossa between them. Swerve squeaks , servo shaking as he suckles at joints that taste so curiously of various energons, each finely tuned and delectable . He must have made a silvershake lately because it clings to his fingers, sweet as can be. 

The smaller mechanical follows his cue when he pushes on his chest, scooting to the center of the berth and laying back. He has this baffled, dopey look on his face, visor reflecting the curious golden glow his optics have taken on. An orange hand slips down the small mech’s frame, sliding towards his panel as it dips into seams and dents. 

It stops just above his modesty panel.

 His expression furrows briefly before, seemingly indifferent, he leans down to lick that burning hot panel. It pops open immediately, releasing the already turgid spike within. And it’s not a terrible spike, all things considered: it’s short but thick, decorated in a series of bumps that line the underside. Those bumps will catch on his valve’s lining quite nicely. 

But…

He carefully undoes his panel, setting it aside. Swerve’s breath catches as he sights that simple, unmodified valve, golden biolights flooding his usual red. Lubricant, oilslick beautiful, drips down his thighs, painting his simple orange a lovely crystalline topaz. Towers mechs used to paint mica and lacquer over themselves in an attempt to look like he does now but, lacking the raw emotionality of why his breath flutters and heaves, they’ll never match him. 

He leans over the mixologist, carefully tilting his frame to drag his soaked, sparking valve against that little spike. The smaller mech makes a wonderful noise as his babbling starts back up again, much to his partner’s chagrin. It appreciates speech, of course, the things that keep them separate from masses of metal, but… it has a better use for that mouth.

He lifts himself up and settles his hips over Swerve’s mouth, dropping down to squish his valve against his faceplates. He grinds until the minibot gets the point and grasps his hips, tongue flicking out to taste. A satisfied groan below marks what was once a wonderful meal for his partners, his mere lubricant capable of sustaining them for the time he needed them. He rolls his hips into every lick and kiss, delighting in the glossa tracing his rim and dipping in to lap against his lowest-set nodes. His nodes spark against that short glossa, spilling through lubricant. He grinds down, rubbing his anterior node against the arch of Swerve’s nasal ridge. 

Swerve pushes his head out of that enticing nest, gasping in the chill air. “I am absolutely adding an oil topper to your drink now! That’s exactly what it needs!“

The psychologist smiles, carefully scooting back. He teases that (dry) wanting spike with a quick rub before, happily, sitting down. It doesn’t fill much, and it won’t, but he’s fine with this. Variety is the spice of life. 

He rises up and jerks his hips back down, seating himself fully against the smaller mech’s hips. He sets a slow, rolling pace, biting his lip as his nodes spark against the bumps along the underside. It’s perfectly aligned to hit one of his node bundles. He leans back to grind a bit, shudders passing up his spine. 

[ Wow . ] Rodimus’ voice crackles over the communication channel. [ That’s kinda hot. ]

Faintly, he registers a loud clang from the other side of the isolation chamber. He smiles and casts a look over, heaving a gasp through his vents as he exchanges a stare with each mech there. Cheekily, he reaches down to stroke his anterior node, staring through Megatron’s steely gaze. 

A particularly angled thrust arches his back, a soft whine echoing in the chamber. Panels along his side and back click open, energon-light flooding as clear, needle-tipped sheathes slip free, filling with brilliantly golden fluid. He winces when the useless little scooter on his back keeps a few tendrils locked in place, frustration reaching back to unlatch and toss it away. 

Swerve’s visor goes wide. “Holy Primus .“

He smiles at that. 

--

“Uh… Rung has tentacles .”

On the other side of the isolation chamber’s glass, three mechanicals watch as golden tendrils practically envelope Swerve, wriggling into every seam and panel he has. Rung looks pleased, continuing with his happy little ride on that minibot spike, but his touch has a strange focus to it. He’s clearly looking for something.

“He’s all pockets and hidden compartments.” Ratchet says, his dry commentary tinged in something interested. “Stuff like that won’t show up on scans. Looks like he routed his energon supply to fill those, too. I hope he doesn’t keep it up for long; he might pass out.”

“They’re tentacles .” Rodimus says, as if they hadn’t heard him the first time. “The tiny, old-as-cog mind-medic has tentacles . Tentacles ! And he never offered to use them on me! He knows I like tentacles. He made me explain it after I got caught on the Vine Planet. Apparently, liking tentacles means I have control issues.

“He didn’t show them to me either.” Megatron says, distinctly uninterested. “Why? Why is he showing them now? This Id doesn’t do anything simply because; it does it because it wants something. It’s not a mindless entity.”

“We’re calling Rung’s sex issue Id ?” Rodimus says, but no one cares. 

“Maybe it feels kinky.” Ratchet shrugs, highlighting the beginning of a code set to compare. “It’s done exhibitism, mastrubation, breeding, befouling all of Magnus’ pens, and all sorts of kinks. Who’s to say it doesn’t adapt to what the partner wants? Seems suitable for a program that wants to gather as much transfluid as possible.”

“That’s not it. If it uses someone’s kink against them, Rodimus would have experienced these. It’s trying to do something specific , I’m certain.” the Warlord sighs, his optics narrowed as the psychologist on the other side of the glass arches happily. Those strange, honey-like tendrils root through the minibot like a dog left to snuffle, fluidos enough to compact and squeeze in between gaps. 

One pulls out, the needle on the end gleaming in the cold, regulated light of the medbay. 

Swerve’s loud, obnoxious moans and prattling cuts off in a baffled squeal as the needle jams itself into his leg. The other tendrils draw out of his armor, their gelatinous tips stained a variety of shades: some are blue, many silver, and one is even a soft green. And, despite the look on Swerve’s face (shock, horror, continuing arousal), it takes only a thrust or two more before his vocalizer spits a static scream. 

And, true to Rodimus’ word, there’s no silver clinging to the inside of Rung’s thighs. And yet, rather than the obsessive checking he recalls from the incident he shared with the smaller mech, he doesn’t seem concerned. Those strange tendrils curl forward, the needles laying upon his glossa as the unusual colours are pushed out, dribbling down his throat. Like everything else about this program, there’s a faint eroticism to the way his glossa sticks out and the look in his optics as he swallows.

Fully gold again, the tendrils slip back into his frame, needles folding flat as his panels click closed. And, polite as can be, Rung’s frame immediately slips off the berth to collapse onto the floor.

Swerve, shaking as he pushes himself into a sit, lifts a trembling thumbs up towards his observers. [ So, uh… anythin’ else? ]

--

Rung’s face has been pressed against the cabinets for a while now.

He’s already had difficulty parting with the Photonic Crystals he creates, be them made in groups or in singular units. He hates leaving them in their sealed containers in this cabinet, far from a decent patch of dirt to bury them (or at least someplace in his bedroom, until they find a good spot), but they’re going to be safest here. In his habsuite, where he modifies the room to serve as his office, someone could find them and break them.

The new bucket, filled with crystals as green as Innermost Energon, glimmers to the others. Hello , it says. Or hello , he assumes based on this unfortunate fondness he has for these not-quite living things.

“I’ll give that Code this;” Ratchet says, entertaining his fretful stares and endless company. “Gathering the components needed to synthesize transfluid by removing various samples from around Swerve’s body was brilliant . It has a good grasp on our biology.”

Wonderful .” he grumbles, tapping on the cabinet’s glass. As if in reply, the crystals flash in unison. He hates how he coos to them, opening the cabinet to scootch the buckets closer to each other. “Did you manage to isolate it, at least?”

“Yeah, I think so.” Ratchet taps through three separate coding strains, laying them bare and comparing them to a few examples in his datapads. “It’s one of these three, I’m certain. Might even be all of them, actually. I’ll have to run a few tests suppressing them before I try it on you, just in case it’s connected to your energon supply. I’d hate to turn something off and end up making those tentacles of your’s permanent .”

He groans, pressing his head against the glass hard enough to scuff. 

--

Time passes in relative peace. 

Swerve’s memory of the event faded until he was only able to describe ‘a wonderful dream’ he had with his customers. Rodimus’ memory, too, faded until he was only aware of what was reminded of him. Strangely, Megatron was left with his vivid recollection, a possible byproduct of his capacity to remain aware during the event.

Ratchet progressed to the testing phase on some of his medical dummies. He says he has yet to find a method he’s comfortable trying on a living mechanical, uncertain of how all-encompassing and connected this web of data is with the rest of his body. He understands such worry, even as his own grows with the length of time between an incident. 

But, he supposes, he can’t deny a break for the mechanicals who have been helping him. 

Said break comes in the form of a party. A successful mission was had, hard-fought by the hands of many. And so, as is tradition, most of the Lost Light found themselves in Swerve’s bar, happily drinking to each new scar that decorated their frames. Those that were not enjoying themselves there were likely celebrating in their habsuites, taking out drinks or tapping into stocks long-hoarded. 

Ultra Magnus, notably, was the only one still working. He’d forgone that merriment in favour of keeping an optic on the ship, as is his way. 

Rung, squeezed in at the bar between two larger mechanicals holding a lively discussion, quietly sipped at his drink. Glancing around the bar yielded identifications from every EM field, filling his HUD until he shooed it all away. Faintly, he’s aware of Rodimus moving from one side of the bar to the other, happily recounting his soldier’s successes in vivid detail. Megatron, however, was off in a corner, tucked away beside Cyclonus and Tailgate. He watched everything carefully, clearing his throat when Whirl got a bit too bouncy. Occasionally, his stare would lock with the psychologist’s, moving on only when Rung adjusted his glasses to expose the blue glass underneath. 

This was a bit dangerous, he knows. His Id has been relatively silent lately, inspecting rather than acting, and all these mechanicals only meant it had immediate access to whomever it wanted. 

He reaches for his drink and leaves his seat, navigating his way through the masses (reminding Whirl to settle with a hand against his shoulder) to join the larger of the two Captains. Megatron nods in greeting, sipping at his drink (an aptly named Megatron , two double-shots of energex paired to sleepiness-curing barium) as the smaller mechanical finds a chair to sit upon. 

“I hope everything is alright.” the ex-Warlord says, vague enough that their company won’t question. Tailgate is dismissive enough to ignore even the most obvious of cues but Cyclonus is a more watchful one; mention too much and she’ll piece even the most difficult puzzle together. And she, like Megatron, has the sort of iron will that seems strangely immune to the forgetfulness that comes with this particular curse.

“I believe so.” he replies. Megatron, pleased with his response, merely nods and gets back to his drink. 

Finding comfort in the ruckus around them, he spends some time simply observing. Whirl has someone in a headlock, demonstrating a devastating attack. Rodimus gleefully slaps Rodimus Stars onto soldiers he found to be particularly successful. Brainstorm, quietly, orders a drink for his briefcase. A horde was gathered around Chromedome, most changing shape all at once in an effort to trip him up. 

Megatron swallows the rest of his drink and stands, setting his glass on one of the many trays set around the bar. “I think I’m ready to turn in. Rung, if you would...?”

He nods, understanding exactly what was expected of him. Megatron wouldn’t be able to sleep if he was left without a chaperone; bringing him back to his habsuite and locking him in means the old Warlord can rest easy. A necessary sacrifice, he supposes, one that admittingly doesn’t put him out much. So he finishes off his drink and stands as well, bowing his head in farewell to Tailgate and Cyclonus as they turn to leave. The minibot leans up to whisper something in the larger mechanical’s audial and the jet’s optic twitches in a smile. 

He hopes this doesn’t lead to an unfortunate rumor. Megatron doesn’t need that on his plate. 

Drift is manning the door, offering help to all that pass. He’s seen him disappear ever so often to help a mechanical back to their habsuite, forgoing his own merriment for the sake of making certain everyone’s safe. He smiles as they approach, straightening his seams as he steps forward to offer. 

“Hello you two! Do you need any assistance getting back?” he inquires, all light and glimmering hope. Strangely, as he often feels around this one, he finds himself somewhat repulsed by it. Every word feels sprinkled in the holier-than-thou religious adoration he prances about with, something strangely more irritating than Cyclonus’ just-as-devout singing.

“We’re fine.“ Megatron replies. He hasn’t drunk enough to risk inebriation, prioritizing keeping an eye on everything and being one of the few to not need to nurse a helmache in the morning. Drift shrugs, shifting to activate the door for him and the old Warlord. He’s polite, at least. 

His step stutters, falling out of pattern. 

And Megatron only turns around at the pained grunt of Drift hitting the ground, watching as the door to the bar clicks shut, locking him and the swordsmech out. The door doesn’t so much as budge as he slams his fist against it, screeching for someone to unlock it. One mechanical stands to help, unaware but observant nonetheless; but Rung’s touch, soft and glimmering, stops him in his tracks. 

  That mech’s optics flood with gold. The others surrounding him follow suit, their stares locked upon the small mechanical.

Megatron, cursing, rushes to Magnus’ office. 

--

Ultra Magnus, polite as he is, looks absolutely appalled

Megatron comes upon him with his head in his hands, a folder blocking his view of the bar’s camera systems. Only a moment passed as he rushed from one side of the ship to another; it must have gotten bad quickly. 

“Everyone.” Magnus says, sounding absolutely exhausted. “Practically everyone jumped upon him the moment that door closed. Only one small group has kept out of it and they… they’re just playing a board game . They’re acting like nothing’s happening.

“I’ll take over from here.” Megatron replies, shooing the loadbearer away from the screens. Relieved, the officer flees to another seat, poignantly burying his head in a datapad to try and soothe himself. Drift hups himself onto his pedetips as the once-Warlord removes the file. 

And, lo, the scene that greets them is impressive; mechanicals entangled together in every possible configuration, grasping and clinging around the center mass that almost completely hides the small, orange mass in the center.

“Whoa.” Drift mumbles. His optics are wide and interested. Indeed, his frame seems a bit warmer. He huffs when the older mechanical pushes him away, navigating the camera around the bar to check on those affected. 

There’s Rodimus. There’s Fortress Maximus. Swerve’s in there too and, damn it all, so is Ratchet. Of all the people, Ratchet had to be affected too. 

A curse filters out of his vocoder. Drift, carefully, leans closer to focus on the screen. 

--

This was just about perfect.

Strangely, through the golden fog, he feels as if this is as natural of an action as any. His legs shake as a pair of spikes thrust in a cycle, leaving him full even when one pulls out; his hands are either wrapped around a spike or buried in a valve, asynchronous movement as easy as can be; and his tendrils, sensitive as ever, pumped around whatever interfacing equipment they can get. 

He thinks he even feels a pair of hardline cables in his side, shocking information through his system. 

Each is good. He likes the spikes best, loves how they feel when they push through his valve or bump against the opening to his throat, but he doesn’t mind burying his head in a valve either. The fluid released during overload is similar enough to transfluid that it functions the same in his tanks. 

Cyclonus claws at his helm, riding a tendril that slips in and out as his glossa busies itself with her anterior node. She clings to Tailgate, holding that smaller valve open as another tendril spears her open, her small arms wrapped tightly around her partner’s neck. They make a beautiful picture together, moaning intermittently and rutting against one another. 

Ratchet’s spike, a heavy and modified thing with a ring pierced through the head, pushes into his valve once the spike-mech above him overloads. Rung disengages from Cyclonus and quickens the thrusts of his tendrils, tilting his head over his shoulder to watch the medic sink in. He changes the pace a bit, thrusting forward when the mechanical below does, stuffing his valve absolutely full. A hand reaches down to his abdominal plating, feeling it distend and ache with every distracting, wonderful thrust. 

“Primus below,” Ratchet hissed, his hands leaving streaks down his hips. “Watching you frag Swerve, thinkin’ about you frag Rodimus and Megatron and, by the Allspark, imaginin’ you bein’ shoved down on Fort Max’s spike … drove me nuts . I probably overloaded every day I worked with you, just imaginin’ all that. And those tentacles of your’s… mmghf . I imagined you stuffin’ yourself full of them as I fragged ya. We’ll have to do that sometime, when I don’t have to share you.”

Rung smiles, a soft thing. Ratchet groans at the sight of his transfluid-streaked face, his optics rolling back as he overloads; the golden cloud fogging his thoughts reminds him to push in deep, as deep as he can go, and come without moving. And, obedient as can be, he does so.

The mechanical under him comes as well, following their own set of commands. Both spikes slip out and move away, opening him for a new set. And a new set does come, Whirl and Rodimus moving into place. As they slip in and out, he gestures for a third. The fullness Ratchet briefly brought upon is addicting, pushing him deeper and deeper into a golden cage. He doesn’t mind how his head tilts back, glossa lolling out, demanding a spike for his throat. He doesn’t mind how his tendrils milk every drop of transfluid they catch, splitting into more and more to reach across the room like a web. He doesn’t mind how wanton he feels, how much he loves this, how much he wants to do this forever. 

Yes. Forever . This is what he was made to do: the Council had always been baffled about his meaning, his purpose, and he found it. He’s meant to make everyone happy and make more Cybertronians. He was meant to be in a temple, surrounded by silk, a constant selection of Cybertron’s best filtering in and using him until he was full. He was meant to be so happy , happy to take and happy to be taken. 

He loves this. He loves this. 

More .” he begs, despite his throat being full of spike. All around him hears his words, his commands. They obey, happy to fulfill him. “ More, please, more. Frag me. Frag me!

Whirl comes. Rodimus comes. The spike in his throat comes. His tank barely sloshes, full, as his fuel tank reroutes and reprioritizes. Heavy footsteps echo behind him as the others move away. 

He rolls onto his back, taking his legs under his arms and spreading them. Fortress Maximus’ optics glimmer, his hand slowly stroking that wonderful, wonderful spike. It looks even more swollen than last time, thicker than his leg and longer than he can count. A bead of transfluid rolls down the length. 

The slide in is just as excrusiatingly wonderful as it was before. He feels every ridge, every rung, pop into his wet, used valve like he’s a tight newling, his head falling back. His mouth, ajar from how wonderful and perfect this feels, is the perfect place for a spike; and lo, two someones slip in, fragging his throat raw. His hands, his tendrils, everything is shoved full of spike or into a valve, a mass of rutting love and fluid that frags his mind to pieces. 

He wants this. He loves this. He needs this. He is this. 

Someone shifts him, lifting him to lay him upon their frame. His head can only tilt so much, but he sees Skids. Skids, his favourite. He feels another spike prod at his valve, the head rubbing against the piston shoving in and out, and he thinks no. I can’t fit anymore. I can’t, but I need more. Give me more. Give me more!

Skids, so sweet, gives him more. 

Another spike slides in. His back arches, servos scrabbling, as the signal fries his processor. And he becomes this mindless, waton thing for a bit: he ruts back, demanding more, more, more more ! More spike, more transfluid! Frag him, frag him until he has nothing left! Mate with him until everything is right again, until he’s surrounded by the product of life, until he remembers how wonderful it is, how he wants nothing more than this, until he remembers that he needs his--!

His vision whites out. 

--

Skids, sweetly, holds his hand as another wave of crystals floods the bucket below. 

He’s broken a record today. Fifteen buckets within a period of about three breems, dense as can be and heavier than usual. It’s a rainbow of colours in there, shapes and sizes varying in a series of unique, imperfect, wonderful Photonic Crystals. 

Megatron scootches a new bucket forward, taking the one he’d filled. Ratchet, carefully, inspects a few under a microscope. 

“Oh, I think I made this one.” the medic says, as crass as ever. Four sets of optics lift to glare .