[personal profile] ante_luce
Title: In Absentia
'Verse: TF_IC_prompts (Nexus'verse), TFA
Characters: Jazz. Prowl. Ensemble.
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Angst.
Notes: Cowritten with [livejournal.com profile] wicked3659. Chapter 2 can be found on her LJ here.

Chapter 3 - Parted from me and Never Parted

Prowl was in no mood to sit still. Recharge was out of the question. He’d half considered the possibility that it was all just some twisted bad dream that he’d wake up from, that was until his spark sent a longing twinge through his body. He wasn’t consciously reaching through the silent bond but his spark still yearned for it’s missing half. He had refused any sort of pain relief from Swoop and instead chose to leave the med bay as soon as possible. In his mind, if he could still feel pain then Jazz was still connected to him somehow and nobody was taking that last thread of his bonded away from him.

Speeding through Nexus, he had no idea where to go, how to even start looking. He desperately needed to focus but his thoughts insisted on dwelling upon Jazz. His spark pulled sharply, causing him to lose traction in his distraction and sent the motorbike skidding off the road and tumbling down an embankment. Unable to transform during the crash, Prowl could only wait it out as he toppled down the steep slope. Pain shot through him as he smashed against the trunks of trees, consciousness fled and he finally came to a halt, in a bed of blue bells at the bottom of the ravine.

****

Unconscious, Prowl attuned to the cries of his spark. His spark never stopped trying to find Jazz’s spark, never gave up and it never would as long as he was living. Feeling subconsciously along the bond, Prowl realised the deeper into an unconscious state he fell, the further along the strained connection he could get. He pushed as far as he was mentally able, until the surrounding darkness threatened to crush him.

A voice, barely even a whisper, more felt than heard sounded in the blackness. Prowl tried to call out in return, had he just imagined it? Another voice filtered into his conscious thoughts, worried, scared, snapping him back into Nexus as if he were on a piece of taut elastic.

Sensors rapidly powered up and the first thing that hit his senses was that he wasn’t alone. Then came the pain which wiped out any apprehension.

“Prowl you am hurt.” The younger Swoop flapped in distress over the fallen ninja, unable to get close enough to help him. “You Prowl transform, me Swoop get other Swoop to help.”

//No!// Groaning Prowl slowly shifted each cog and gear in turn, his transformation agonisingly slow. “No, Swoop please, I’ll be fine, just… had a few knocks.”

The Dinobot, shuffled as close as he could, peering down over the ledge above the ninjabot who was still lying on the ground. He had been lucky to land where he had, any further to the left and he’d have gone straight off a sheer cliff. “Why you Prowl down there, where him Jazz?”

Prowl sank back into the flower bed beneath him, his optics drifting up to the concerned face of Swoop. His question made him shiver, how could he explain it in a way that wouldn’t overly upset the Dinobot? He sighed softly, his optics following the white clouds that drifted overhead. He ignored the protesting parts of his body, sore from his fall and instead tried to remember the voice he’d heard while unconscious. It felt like an echo in his spark, so very faint he had to question if it were real, a shadow in his spark of what had once been there, burning bright and strong.

Wincing, Prowl forced himself up to sitting, avoiding Swoop’s worry. “Jazz is… not here, Swoop.” Using the rock face to steady himself, Prowl got to his feet and fired his boosters to leap up to where Swoop was waiting.

“What you Prowl mean, Jazz not here?” Swoop tilted his helm at Prowl. “Where would him, Jazz be?”

Prowl met the curious gaze and couldn’t bring himself to lie. “I wish I knew, Swoop.”

The Dinobot let out a soft startled noise, not liking the answer one bit. He immediately embraced the ninjabot before Prowl had chance to say anymore. “Me Swoop will help you Prowl find him Jazz.”

It was said with such fierce determination, that Prowl could only smile albeit sadly at the ‘bot currently clinging tightly to his plating. “It’s alright.”

“It am not alright, him Jazz could be hurt. More optics better for looking. Other Swoop will help too and her Sari.” Swoop nodded firmly, not letting Prowl get a word in as he insisted on helping.

Relenting, Prowl glanced up at the sky trying to find the strength to be firm when he all he could think about was lying down and curling into a ball until he could wake up from this surreal nightmare. “There is something you could do.” He replied quietly, offering the Dinobot a hopeful if faint smile.

“Me Swoop am ready to help.” Swoop affirmed confidently, glad he could help; he hated seeing Prowl look so… lost.

“I can’t look over Nexus like you can, you could help me by searching all the high up places that only flyers can see.”

Swoop nodded avidly. “You Prowl and him Jazz… me Swoop’s family. Will am let you Prowl know when me Swoop find him Jazz.” He hugged Prowl tightly again and leapt from the ledge, soaring into the sky.

His spark sinking, Prowl watched him leave, knowing he wouldn’t find anything. He would feel guilty for it later, Swoop would undoubtedly be disappointed when he came back with nothing, but Prowl didn’t have the spark to tell him the complete truth. With his own hope dwindling fast, it didn’t feel right to take Swoop’s help from him too. One thing the Dinobot was right about; they were like family now, the ones who had gotten trapped in Nexus and that was why it was more important than ever he find a way to break Nexus’s spell, to bring Jazz back… somehow.

****

Jazz stirred, processors cycling online as he attempted to hold onto the barest hint of something coming across the bond.

Where... No!

As abruptly as it had appeared, the flicker of a connection died and the white mech's visor lit faintly. Sitting up, he stared at the berth for a long moment before getting to his feet and walking out, wandering through his quarters, weariness evident in his every movement. It was strangely difficult to fall offline, and when he did manage to recharge, his rest was fitful, and that was being charitable in his description of it. Meditating hadn't helped, all it did was focus his attention inward, towards the missing portion of his spark. On cue, his spark twinged, dragging a wince across his faceplates as it called for another who wasn't there.

The Guardsmech's aimless meandering halted once he'd covered every room. He was alone. Not unexpected. But being on his own was nothing he wasn't used to. So why did it bother him now? Jazz shook his head, sighing irritably, startling a little at how loud the frustrated exvent sounded in the silence. Yet another thing that felt off.

Contrary to popular belief, the cyberninja didn't have music playing all the time. It made it harder to pick up on the little sounds that were often the most important out on a mission, and with his guard up and his world suddenly shaken to its core, the white mech couldn't bring himself to take refuge in his tunes. Not when they still didn't know anything about how he'd ended up bonded, or to whom.

He was being a little ridiculous, Jazz supposed. The rooms he now occupied had been swept from top to bottom, and the door was so locked down not even the Magnus could get in if the ninja didn't want him to. Unable to stand the quiet or the solitude a moment longer, the Guardsmech made for said door, palming it open and blinking when he came visor to chin with one Sentinel Prime, parked right outside his quarters and apparently living up to his designation.

“SP? What're you doing out here?” Jazz cast a quick look up and down the corridor, and finding it devoid of all bots but the Prime, tilted his head at the blue mech questioningly. “Were you actually standing guard?”

“You should go back inside.” Sentinel harrumphed and crossed his arms, attempting to glare at the ninja. Jazz, long immune to such disapproving looks, only broke into a bright grin.

“You were!”

“Jazz, the corridor is not secure!”

“SP, I'm pretty sure that if anything comes charging down the corridor to kill us I can yank us back inside before your finish gets scratched.” The white mech's expression refused to dim as he leant against his 'not secure' doorway to watch the Prime bluster.

“Guardsmech, that wasn't a suggestion!”

“If I stay inside another astrosecond I'll glitch, so either you come with me or I leave you behind, your choice.”

“Jazz... Jazz!”

Sentinel caught up with the cyberninja in a matter of moments, and sighing at the tense Prime, Jazz gestured down the passageway at his door.

“Look, I'm not gonna stay cooped up all the time, but if it'll get you to relax before you break something, we can go to your place, alright?”

The larger mech stared at him, and Jazz shrugged.

“I was headed out to find company apart from strange unexpected connections in my spark. You're company.”

“That's not something you should be joking about! If anything, that should prove how unsafe it is for you!”

“Then your quarters should be safe enough to satisfy you, shouldn't they?”

Unable to refute the white ninja's statement, Sentinel could only grumble slightly before acquiescing.

= = =

The comm. arrived just as she settled back at her desk to go over some reports. Scrolling through the datapad, Red Alert answered it distractedly. //Hello?//

//Medic Red Alert. This is Sentinel Prime.//

She paused, setting the pad back down, processors immediately leaping to the most likely reason for the Prime to be contacting her. //What's wrong with Jazz?//

//Nothing! He's fine. Nothing wrong... I think.//

//You think?!// She started for the med bay proper, snatching up her medic's kit and scanning the area for any tools she might need.

//Look, he's fine. He's just in recharge and I wanted to know if you'd sedated him or something.//

Red Alert stopped, raising an optic ridge, knowing that her expression was completely incredulous and thankful that no one was around to see it. //How could I sedate him when I'm not even there?//

//You're the medic. Maybe you gave him something earlier and it's stayed in his systems!//

//There is no sedative in existence that lingers in a bot's systems that long. Much less a bot with the kind of mods I know you Elite Guards have.// The femme snapped sharply into her comm. at the Prime. Honestly, how Jazz put up with him, she had no idea. //Now, why would Jazz being in recharge be grounds for you to call me?//

//Because he's in recharge. Actual, honest to AllSpark recharge. On the Steelhaven, he only does that when he's sedated or really injured. Usually he goes into that freaky ninja meditating thing he does.//

It took a moment for what Sentinel was saying to fully process. Once it did, Red Alert resumed her storming towards the exit of the med bay. //Alright, where is he?//

//I knew it! He's injured and hiding it!// She sighed, pausing her warpath to calm the mech on the other side of the comm. down.

//Sentinel. Jazz was fine, physically, the last time I saw him. But he is still a normal bot like the rest of us, even if he chooses to ignore that sometimes. That means he needs to recharge eventually, not just 'freaky ninja meditating things'. Now, tell me where you are so I can smack some sense into that mech!//

//You don't need to come over!//

//Why not!?// She wondered if she could swing things so that Sentinel landed in her med bay for his next physical, just so she could make it a miserable one.

//Because if you show up and yell at him, he'll take off and neither of us will be able to find him if he goes into hiding.//

The other bot sounded almost frantic, and Red Alert huffed. //He's a mech. Not a spooked turbofox.//

//But if you didn't sedate him and he's not damaged, then it means he feels safe here...//

'With me.' She could hear the unspoken words quite clearly, and sighed.

//... Fine. When he wakes up, you smack him and tell him that's from me for being a glitch.//

Then she ended the call and glanced at her med kit, returning it to its place and heading back to her desk. Alright. Maybe she'd spare a certain Prime the physical.
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