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“When you said you needed time to let your trine know about us, I had imagined it would take a few vorns at least. Not, oh, a few thousands,” the Prime commented lightly as he let his digits roam over Thundercracker’s wings, the Seeker’s back arching under his touch. “Not that I mind having clandestine meetings, but after a moment, they’re getting harder and harder to go to. My command team is getting suspicious. There are only so many ‘nights off’ I can afford without tipping off Prowl – and I don’t know if you have ever tried to shake Jazz off your tail, but let me tell you it’s not easy. Not to mention Ironhide swearing like a drunk space pirate when he realizes I gave him the slip again.”

“Hmm,” Thundercracker hummed, wings flapping, forcing Optimus to withdraw his fingers less they’d be caught in seams. “Same for me,” he admitted reluctantly. “There are only so many times I can arrange for something in Starscream’s lab to blow up and make Megatron roar at him for using volatile products without proper supervision or tip Soundwave that Skywarp is Up To No Good without it being suspicious.”

He shuffled uneasily as Prime’s powerful arm surrounded his waist and a bare face pressed in the crook of his neck from behind.

“Then you admit our little secret should be put in the open soon?”

Thundercracker sighed. “It’s not that I don’t want to but… between my trine and Megatron…” he trailed off.

Oh, he was reasonably sure Megatron wouldn’t kill him for treason, if only because if he did, then Starscream would kill him for hurting a member of his trine – or worse, ban him from his berth forever; conflictual relationship or not, Megatron and Starscream still fragged like petrorabbits every other day. Starscream himself would screech about treason of Decepticons ideal and Skywarp… Well, Skywarp would probably be all kind of jealous that both his trinemates were fragging faction leaders and he wasn’t and would probably disappear in deep space to worm his way inside the berth of an influent Neutral leader. That would be his style.

“Besides, I don’t think your mechs would be ready to accept me either,” he added.

“Don’t be so sure,” Optimus replied, kissing Thundercracker’s neck softly. “It’s not with Seekers in general they have a problem, it’s with individuals. And yours isn’t the name at the top of their list.”

It made Thundercracker snort as he relaxed, leaning into Optimus’ frame. “Starscream would be miffed.”

“But he has earned the spot,” Optimus replied teasingly. “Think you can present it as an… unique way to open negotiations… to Megatron?”

“Hmm, Megatron probably not,” Thundercracker replied after a moment of reflection. “With Soundwave, perhaps. He’s a lot more reasonable than the old Slag Maker. But it’s going to be a pain,” he whined.

“It’ll be a pain either way,” Optimus warned. “Well, the other solution would be for me to kidnap you, have your trine come to try and save you and announce to them we’re being fragging in their back for the last millions of years.”

“Oh Primus, it’s worse,” Thundercracker choked. Starscream’s face would be worth it, sure, but the screeching might render him completely deaf for life. “Let’s find another solution, alright?”

And hopefully one where either Starscream would be gagged or they’d be out of shouting distance.