[personal profile] ante_luce
Title: Decommissioned [Part 2]
'Verse: TFA
Characters: Ensemble.
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Angst. TF cussing.


“Oh, hey, you two still here?”

They looked up at the mech approaching their booth, and Prowl nodded at Jazz while Optimus smiled and did all the talking for them.

“We haven't heard you sing yet, and the performers have left the stage but everything is still set up.”

“Heh, teach me to try and fool a Prime. Yeah, I'll be taking a song in a moment. Anything I can get you two in the meantime?”

“We're good, thanks.”

Jazz grinned and made for the stage, drawing a brief cheer from the remaining bots clustered about the raised platform.

“Alright bots. You've been hearing songs from Earth translated to Cybertronian all night, and what can I say? That place knows how to shape a tune. This song in particular struck me very close to my spark, and so this is dedicated to a very special someone. She might never hear it, but hey, it's the thought that counts.”

The visored mech gestured to Blaster, and the mech chuckled and started the music, something that sounded like it was from Earth, only remixed with Cybertronian influences to cater to its current audience. Privately, Prowl thought the heavy electronic rhythms took something away from the song, but then again, he was probably biased, given his usual preferences and the fact that he'd actually been on Earth and heard the music there unaltered.

Jazz swayed, clearly at home in front of the crowd, moving with an easy grace that Prowl realised was not a product of training, but something had always been inherent in the mech. And then the once-Elite Guard started to sing.

When I see my baby... What do I see... Poetry... Poetry in motion...

“Prowl... Your mouth's hanging open.”

He shot a brief, vicious look at Optimus, who was definitely hiding a smile, as the mech on stage sang on.

“Look, I did the same thing first time I was here. I never realised he could sing. Though... he did have a fondness for music. Maybe I should have guessed.”

“A liking for music does not always translate to musical ability. Take Bumblebee for example.” Prowl smirked slightly and the Prime winced in memory.

“'Bee's 'music' isn't music. It's chaos and noise.”

“You sound like Ratchet.”

“And you sound like Bumblebee.”

“I do believe I am offended.”

They paused, mock-glaring at each other, before Prowl smiled and Optimus broke into quiet laughter. “I guess we all rubbed off on each other. Funny, it seems like so long ago...”

Applause interrupted their conversation, and they turned back to the stage to watch Jazz bow and hop off to make his way over to Blaster, chatting amiably with bots along the way. The mech glanced in their direction and waved, and Optimus waved back before ushering Prowl out of the bar.

Council Member Drivetrain was badly injured in a four-way traffic pile up earlier this cycle. He is no longer in critical condition at present, and medics we spoke to were confident he would make a full recovery in due time.

Once outside and out of the noise, the Prime sighed, murmuring softly, almost to himself. “I wonder who he was singing to. That femme must be really something.”

“It's not a bot he's singing to. There's a reason he took a job at the shuttle depot.”

“Wha-” The red and blue mech started, but immediately thrust himself between Prowl (who raised an optic ridge at the Prime's back) and the mech who'd suddenly spoken. “... Sentinel?”

“Your optics are working at least, Optimus. Even if your processors need an upgrade.”

“What are you doing here?” The mech was silent, staring at the bright, garish display behind them. Optimus sighed and prompted the other Prime again quietly. “Sentinel?”

“Is he alright?”

Optimus crossed his arms and replied dryly. “You could just go inside and see for yourself instead of lurking out here, listening to the broadcasts.”

Sentinel snorted, then turned away sharply. “Not after failing him like that.”

“Look, you and I fought for the Guards and the Council wouldn't listen. Ultra Magnus himself couldn't change their minds, what more us?” The red and blue Prime insisted to the mech's back, and Sentinel stopped, though he did not look at them.

“Is. He. Alright?”

The other Prime sagged a little, giving up the argument for the moment. “He's alright. Blaster takes good care of him. Or at least, as much care of him as Jazz will let him.”

Sentinel met their gazes now, and Prowl could see the faintest trace of a smile on the mech's faceplates. “He always was a stubborn bot. Bet that tapedeck's got his hands full just keeping up.”

“Sentinel.” The Prime tilted his head at them, and Prowl hesitated, then carried on with his question. “How do you know Jazz wasn't singing to any bot?”

An unreadable look was directed the ninja's way, and Sentinel turned to leave again, making his reply to Prowl over his shoulder.

“It's what Jazz used to say about the Steelhaven. 'Poetry in motion', he called her.”

Retired Councillor Alpha Trion will be returning to his old post, taking over representation of the Civilian Guilds while Councillor Drivetrain is recuperating. We wish all the injured a speedy recovery.

Prowl entered the small free clinic Ratchet had set up in one of the more rundown areas of Iacon, and had to smile at the sight of the medic haranguing a thoroughly cowed pair of bots, one red, the other yellow. A soft giggle behind him made the ninja turn, and Arcee smiled at him before casting a fond look at the old medic.

“It's the third time this decacycle those two have been in here.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, they're brothers. Racers and street-toughs, I think Ratchet might be the first mech they haven't managed to intimidate into handing over whatever they want.”

“Aw... come on, Ratchet! It was Bluestreak's first race! So it got a little out of hand but we're all tough enough-”

“You want tough? I was a medic through two wars, you punks! Give me more lip and I'll reconfigure you three into tricycles! See if you can get into any more accidents then!”

Prowl cleared his vocaliser gently, and Ratchet turned away from the relieved pair to glare at him. The black and gold mech only smiled, completely unaffected by the look as he drew closer. “If I may interrupt your plans to reformat your patients...”

“Oh! It's you!”

The medic sighed, looking at the grey form on the berth. “Stay down, Bluestreak. I just got done welding your arm back on.”

Peering around Ratchet, the ninja blinked at the mech who was grinning brightly at him, fidgeting eagerly as he tried to keep still. Bluestreak was an unusual dull silvery grey, much like Jazz was now, Prowl realised, and he was talking.

“I heard they'd brought you back and it's really a great honour to meet you 'cos Ratchet talks about you all the time well he talks about his team and Earth all the time but you get mentioned a lot and is Earth really all organic and green and are there really oceans full of water and organics that are taller than bots and other organics who can talk and-”

“Bluestreak, you should rest. And Prowl should be taking it easy too.” Ratchet frowned at the slender mech, then patted Bluestreak on the shoulder. “I'll be back later. You stay still, and you two.”

The brightly coloured mechs flinched and the medic smirked in satisfaction. “You keep an optic on Bluestreak and don't touch anything. And if you put a single molecule outside, you will not like what I'll do to you.”

“Yessir!”

Harrumphing, Ratchet caught hold of Prowl and pulled him along, leading him to a small office off the med bay before sweeping a critical optic over the other mech's form. “How're you holding up?”

“Well enough.”

“Prowl.”

The ninja sighed. “It is very... confusing. I believe it will take a while for me to acclimatise, but that is nothing unexpected.”

“Alright.”

The medic nodded, making a note in a datapad. Prowl took in his surroundings, then queried. “Why didn't you stay with the Autobots?”

“I'm still an Autobot. I just won't work for them while that fragging Council is running the show.” Ratchet answered nonchalantly, still scribbling in his pad. “It's not a bad gig here. I'm helping the bots who need it, and we keep chassis and spark together thanks to donations from the public. Supplies can get a little tight, but it's nothing I can't handle after crashing on Earth with our motley repair crew.”

Prowl nodded agreeably. “We did learn to be self-sufficient out on repair duty. Ratchet...”

The mech hmmed softly, wordlessly asking him to continue, and Prowl glanced at the door, looking through the clear panel at the med bay where the grey mech and his watchers were. “About Bluestreak... His paintjob...”

Ratchet exvented slowly, setting aside the pad and looking up at his old team mate. “It's a side effect of some process they put the Guards through during their 'decommissioning'. I didn't ask what they did, it made me sick to my fuel tanks just getting the basics. Bluestreak used to be a sniper. Now he just has memory purges he can't remember and flashbacks he can't understand.”

Prowl was silent for a long moment. “I see.”

This just in. An outbreak of Cosmic Rust has been reported in the following districts. The public are reminded to keep all recent repairs dry, conduct regular self examinations for rust spots and to see a medic immediately should there be any occurrence of rust.

“Ratchet?”

“Botanica! It's good to see you.”

Prowl followed Ratchet out into the tiny waiting room to see a tall femme bending down to embrace the stocky medic. Once released, the red and white mech gestured at the ninja, beckoning him over to the femme.

“Councillor Botanica, this is Prowl, though I suppose you know that. Prowl, Councillor Botanica heads the Ministry of Community Development. This clinic wouldn't exist without her.”

“The software to the Civilian Guild's hardware.” Botanica added, looking a little weary. “While I cannot bring myself to be pleased that Drivetrain was hurt, I am very glad for Alpha Trion's return, even if only temporarily.”

“Drivetrain's an aft. How did he get on the Council? Even better, how did he get that thrice-fragged decommissioning slag passed?!”

“The usual way a mech like him enters politics. He has connections, friends on Council, a good record and glowing references.” Botanica waved a hand and sighed. “And he is eloquent. That usually sways a few undecided votes his way.”

Ratchet snorted. “You want an eloquent aft? I've got a few bots who could give him a run for his credits after a case of crude oil. Took me cycles to get the smell scrubbed out of the clinic.” The femme tittered and the medic smirked. “I hear the aft is moving to his private estate to recuperate.”

“He is no longer in need of constant medical supervision, and a familiar environment is supposed to help recovery.” Botanica smiled. “Though I think it's just an excuse for the medics to be rid of him early. He is not an easy patient.”

Councillor Drivetrain has passed on after contracting a severe case of cosmic rust that spread to his energon and coolant lines. Cybertron News would like to extend our sparkfelt condolences to the Councillor's family at their loss.

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