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Megatron and Soundwave treated their relationship with as much discretion as they were allotted. They did not bother to cover it with secrets, but it was important to both of them to, at the very least, keep a high veneer of respectability. It would not do for the Decepticons to dissolve into catcalls whenever they were seen together, after all.

On Cybertron, during the height of the war, it had been easier to stay down low. The troops had been spread thin during that time, and any remaining under their command were far too busy to bother with what their commanders were up to. As time moved on, and the war grew more volatile, it became increasingly harder for them to find time for even a good night kiss.

Earth, however, presented them with an, admittedly, much sought after lull. Fewer large battles left them with only small skirmishes to deal with, ones which were becoming less and less frequent the longer they stayed on the planet.They found themselves coming together much more frequently - much more easily - than before, something that came as a relief to both of them. They rarely indulged in some of the more flirty aspects of their relationship - Megatron would grouse that they were much too old for such foolishness. Soundwave, older and far more enthusiastic, would beg to differ -but it was the companionship that was always the most fulfilling aspect of their relationship and it was a relief to have that back again.

Yet still, in the midst of a calm that Megatron had not felt in millenia, he was restless. He could feel a prickling under his plating; one that had very little to do with the organic mud that tended to get stuck between his seams. It was an instinctive sort of thing, built from habit. He did not like not knowing what the enemy was up to. He told as much to Soundwave.

“You never did well with these sorts of stalemates, my love,” said Soundwave, a touch of bemusement in his tone. It’s a soft sort of teasing, one that Megatron could do nothing but grumble about. His casualness was enough to bristle, but there was a cleverness to Soundwave’s optics; the only indicator that his words did not go unheeded.

They were refueling together in their shared living quarters. The domesticity of it was not lost on Megatron. Here, it was almost believable that they were back on Cybertron and all they had to worry about were simple and inconsequential. A cozy warm feeling curled within the pit of his tanks. He was tempted to forget his misgivings, but Megatron was nothing if not pragmatic. In war, when the enemy was quiet, there was need to worry, a fact that he had become aware of many times in his long career.

Soundwave, more than anyone, understood. It was this understanding that was calming, a balm to Megatron’s frazzled nerves. “Do not fret so much. I have reconnaissance out already.”

“Ah, I should have known better.” A good reminder of why Soundwave was not only his top spy, but also why he loved him so dearly. Megatron grinned coyly behind his cube.

“Of course. Do not doubt me.”

Laserbeak’s return was met with little fanfare; a quick check-in with Soundwave, before she made a beeline for the washracks. It was a little known secret that she loved to preen and being away on missions always slighted her, even if she never voiced her protests. A quick mention that she had procured some interesting files that he should take a look at and she was gone.

Protocol did not require them to converse; whatever information was crucial to pass along would be found in her report. If anything, their exchanges were more for Soundwave’s benefit: a small way to reassure himself that she was ok before she disappeared into the base.

For his part, Megatron was elusive. A quick sweep of the command center and the common areas left him with nothing. Soundwave was not concerned, although he did let loose an irritated huff. There weren’t many areas he often haunted. Megatron was nothing if not a creature of habit and it didn’t take long to track him down in their living quarters.

He paused in the doorway, disbelief converging into wry amusement. Earth had slackened Megatron’s resolve enough for him to idle within his quarters, datapad clutched in a slackened grip, while he looked to be half asleep. Soundwave privately thought it was quite cute.

The sound of the door snapping shut only served to applify the clinking of Soundwave’s mask retracting. Megatron jostled, straightening on the berth in an immediate display of attention. He relaxed almost immediately upon realizing it was Soundwave, who met him with a look of bemusement.

“Your comm is off,” Soundwave said, as way of greeting. His optic ridge was cocked in an exaggerated manner, twisting his face into intentional comical proportions. There was no respite in his voice, just clear amusement.

“Oh is it?” Megatron’s words were casual, with only the barest hint of alarm. He fiddled with the side of his helm until Soundwave could hear the barest hum of a frequency. He paused as he reviewed his recent pings. “Sorry about that.” He made a poor attempt to cover his sheepishness as he met Soundwave’s optics.

Soundwave shook his head dismissively, a smile tugging at his lips. He turned his attention to the datapad in his hand, if only to steer his thoughts back to more important matters.  He held it out in front of him for emphasis. “Laserbeak has returned with her report.”

He made a subtle turn back toward the door. Both of them knew that it would be preferable to have their exchange in a more appropriate setting; either Megatron’s office or the bridge, as normal protocol stated. Today, however, seemed to want to deviant from the norm, for Megatron waved him over airily, still lounging upon the berth like some sort of would be king.

“Well, bring it over here.”

Soundwave stifled a sigh. He silently mourned the waning professionalism in high command. It was only his deep love for Megatron that kept him continuing toward the berth, but it wasn’t enough to hide his mumbled, “I do so hate when you get like this.”

Megatron, at least, looked thoroughly scandalized at the reprimand, straightening on the berth to a more presentable position, sitting at the edge of the berth with his back ramrod straight. Soundwave snickered lightly. Megatron growled lowly in faux threat, reaching for the datapad with urgency.

“Together.” Soundwave sat next to Megatron, in a close, familiar position, sides pressed tightly together. He shivered; Megatron’s plating was always cold, a layover from his days as a miner. It warmed quickly as it ate up the heat from Soundwave’s own unnaturally warm frame. Together, they held an ambience that was comfortable and uniquely theirs. Megatron wrapped an arm around Soundwave, pulling him closer to his plating, and Soundwave gladly leaned into him, flopping into his lap like a large cat. He raised an eye ridge at the display, but otherwise made no comment.

Soundwave balanced the pad between their laps. The screen flickered to life soon after, a slew of files neatly ordered on screen. Largest, by far, was Laserbeak’s full report, carefully organized and detailed in her usual precise way. The files below it were tantalizing, as well, clear copies of whatever confidential information she was able to procure. Soundwave ignored them for now.

Her report consisted mainly of mundane scenarios. In the absence of proper battle, the Autobots had instead decided to invest into things like recreational activities, focusing on strengthening their bonds with their human allies. The Autobots did not look to be gearing up for a proper war anytime soon. He had suspected as much. Yet Soundwave would loath to come to a definitive conclusion before truly finishing, lest he let Laserbeak’s hard work go to waste. He read on, half a processor bored, leaning more into Megatron’s bulk as it went on. It wasn’t until the end that a lone addendum caught his attention. He stiffened, meeting Megatron’s optics with confused surprise.

The Autobots knew about their relationship and kept extensive records on it.

It was not the fact that they knew that was shocking - Soundwave would seriously question the legitimacy of their spies if they had not figured it out by now - but the sheer volume of information, as if they were specifically keeping tabs on their romantic entanglements for a purpose that Soundwave had yet to figure out. The information held no tactical value in his eyes. Even to use their relationship as a ploy in a hostage situation was a moot point; Megatron would be desperate to have him back regardless.

Megatron make a quizzical noise in the back of his throat. It bordered into something distressed until he rebooted his vocalizer. “Perhaps those files that Laserbeak stole will shed some light on this.”

Soundwave nodded, already fiddling with the datapad before Megatron finished his sentence. An eagerness had overcome him, presented with such a puzzle as he was. He opened the first file, optics skittering over the words with a rapid hunger. Information, he knew, could be wielded like a weapon, but how sharp that weapon struck depended on its owner’s might.

Luckily, Soundwave was adept at rhetoric, and reading only proved that said weapon was dull and lifeless and much more suitable to be used as a toy. How fitting.

He laughed, causing Megatron to give him an odd look. His brow was still furrowed as he digested this new development. A gifted orator he may have been, but Soundwave was designed to get inside a person’s mind in the quickest way possible. And the way the Autobots wrote about them was almost innocuous.

“They are fascinated by us.” A part of Soundwave was weirdly amused by the whole situation. It was provocatively invasive and he, who had left his misguided notions about privacy in some early decade of the war, felt titillated.

“What?” said Megatron, confusion melting away into disbelief.

“These are not high level security files, even if they are encrypted. These are more akin to gossip holos, clearly written out of boredom.” Soundwave selected another file, scanning through this one quickly.

Megatron snatched the pad back. In this new light, several things stood out to him. He paused. “I believe you are correct.”

“Naturally.”

Megatron wrinkled his nasal ridge, reading the pad with more intensity than before. He selected another file, giving an offended scoff at the first few lines. “‘ It’s hard to believe that a mech like Megatron is selfless enough to love another, let alone someone within his command staff. It explains the blatant favoritism, I guess. Now I get why Starscream is so pissy all the time…’ what’s that supposed to mean?”

Soundwave snorted. “It means your fierce warlord persona is working, my dear.”

Megatron made a face that might have been smug, had the twitching of his face not give him away. Soundwave could read solid amusement, barely masked by a bit of unease, on his surface thoughts. Neither of them had ever given much thought to what others said about their relationship, ancient and comfortable as it was. What was theirs was theirs and it worked for them. Here, it is different; on display in a way that was voyeuristic. He can tell that there is a part of Megatron that is annoyed by this, but neither of them felt like engaging the Autobots in the matter of wartime gossip.

Instead, Soundwave snatched the pad back, rifling through it like an excited youngling, caught up with fascination. “‘To think that either of them could be so different behind closed doors is almost ludicrous to believe, and yet I’ve seen it with my own two optics. They fit together nicely, which is strangely nice to see, almost like a wall is broken the minute they are alone. It’s almost like looking into a parallel universe: Megatron is almost sweet and Soundwave? Soundwave is open and playful and not at all what we’re used to. If they weren’t enemies, I’d be jealous of their connection, and maybe I still am…’” Soundwave paused here. Meeting Megatron’s optics, as if they both came to a new realization. “Well, that’s oddly sweet.”

Megatron made a barely audible humming noise that may have passed for agreement, but was too absent-minded to really tell. He leaned over Soundwave’s shoulder, scrolling through the pad in a slow, thoughtful manner. “These all seem to be separate entries, compiled together, all written by different people.”

“Yes, I noticed that too. They have traces of several Autobot signals.”

Megatron narrowed his optics. “You would think we were the subject of some sort of Autobot romance novel.”

“Indeed. At least they have good taste,” Soundwave teased.

“I’m glad to see you at least find some amusement out of this,” grunted Megatron.

“There are worse things for the Autobots to become enamoured with. Be glad that they have yet to show this level of dedication to anything war related.”

“Hmm.” Megatron scrolled through the other files on hand. There was a substantial amount, pages and pages, all dating back to about the time that they had all awakened on Earth. It was unclear if the Autobots had known before that time, but they had certainly became fascinated by it by then. “I think the Autobots could find better things to do with their down time.”

“Do not begrudge them so much, Megatron. Perhaps they don’t have the luxury in their faction. You have said before that Prime could be a bit of a prude.”

Megatron made a humming noise. “Yes, I am aware. I feel no sympathy for them.”

Soundwave chuckled, leaning back into Megatron until they fell into the bed in an ungainly manner, Soundwave making quick work into contorted Megatron into a make-shift pillow. Megatron rolled with him, a rumbling purr shaking his chassis, passing pleasant shivers through Soundwave’s body. He shifted, draping himself over Megatron, chin propped up on his chest, datapad held in front of him in a way that Megatron could still read it if he dipped his head a certain way, of which he took full advantage of, still scrolling through the entries with a reverent greed.

Soundwave smiled indulgently. “I can tell that there is a part of you that is at least flattered.” It was the egotistical side, the only that got off on rousing speeches and demanded to be referred to as ‘Lord’ by his subjects. A part that he pretended that did not exist because he liked to believe that he was humble. It was endearing.

A barely legible smirk teased Megatron’s lips. “Perhaps.”

Soundwave snickered, freely giving the pad up to Megatron’s devouring hands. It allowed him to snuggle further into Megatron’s frame, of which he indulged in freely, drowning himself more fully into his sturdy frame. He could not resist a brush of lips over Megatron’s plating. He was rewarded with a gentle caress of his head and he smiled contentedly.

A relaxed silence settled between them, broken up by the gentle sound of Megatron’s thumb swiping against the pad. The noise was consistent enough to create a pleasant background noise, lulling Soundwave into a half doze. Megatron’s emotions danced in the back of his processor, as they always did when they were alone together; an open connection that Megatron embraced early on in their relationship. He could sense his amused fascination deeply, creating a pleasant warm feeling throughout his body.

This created a sharp contrast when that leaked into a near sort of offense, a bristle of something that wasn’t quite anger, yet still brushed against Megatron’s mind in an unpleasant manner. It was uncomfortable enough to stir Soundwave from his lounge, glancing up at Megatron’s otherwise stone face. His emotions bled out into the rest of his body, stiffening him in ways that motivated Soundwave to move in a quick manner. He gently moved Megatron’s hand down until he could view what was on the screen and promptly gave a sharp bark of laughter.

“‘ Do you think Megatron is a valve mech…? ’” Soundwave read aloud. “Now that would be a waste of a perfectly good spike.” He patted Megatron’s shoulder in a placating manner, rolling until he straddled Megatron’s hips.

Megatron scowled deeply at him, throwing the datapad toward the end of the berth. He unconsciously wrapped his arms around Soundwave’s waist. “That is entirely too personal.”

“I agree.” Soundwave lifted himself until he could reach Megatron’s brow, smoothing out the lines of his frown with gentle kisses. Megatron huffed, teetering on the edge of a full-on pout. “Perhaps if they are so curious, they would appreciate a demonstration next time they decide to pay us a visit.”

Megatron balked at first. Soundwave tilted his head with a devilish smirk, which succeeding in turning Megatron more thoughtful. His discomfort was momentarily forgotten, face falling into a predatory grin. “That would require more diligence in the future.”

“Of course,” said Soundwave. “I will get right on that.”