swordage: rotf Soundwave (Default)
[personal profile] swordage
--1--

Her embrace is warm and sinuous. She cradles Shockwave as gently as a newspark even as her maw tears through the wretched earth. The movement of dirt and stone around him is mundane, could belong to any miserable hole on this planet; it is the thrumming song of radiation and a ship's long-dead core that sets this place apart from all others.

They are here, she murmurs to him in the low speech. There is resistance.

Take care of it, he says.

She does. She flexes around him, rippling bands of compression as she works, and the sounds of insectile death are muted by her hull. He sighs, deep inside her, mouthparts working to taste the foreign air as she surfaces. She dances for him.

There is resistance, she says, when there should be none.

Show me.

She does.

She blossoms open around Shockwave, depositing him neatly within the ever-shifting coils. Optimus Prime stands before him, weapons blazing, the dead core at his feet. They lock eyes for no more than an instant; satisfied, Shockwave steps back, and with a twist of her plating he is held deep in her safety once more.

She holds him tight now, keening for the damage done to her. He hums deep inside the busy writhing of her body, soothing. The bait has been taken. All is well.




--2--

It is only later, so much later, that Optimus begins to feel. His pain only gains its hold when the last straggling Decepticons are being hunted down by Autobots and humans alike, when voices rise in the giddy laughter of survival, when he comes back to retrieve his lost arm and finds himself sitting beside Megatron's head.

Only hours ago, the sky above this place was filled with the decayed spires he had walked as a youngling. He had felt the pull of its gravity well, so close it could almost be touched. With but a few quick strokes he had bought a blank slate for the future - the last Prime once again, but no longer defined by the shape of his war.

"You told me once," he said to Megatron's dark eyes, "that lives such as ours were never meant to be lived small. You were right, in your own way. What we have done has irrevocably changed our people. We are a lost species, adrift and doomed, and yet..."

For a long moment, Optimus listens. The city cries out around him, in pain and joy and triumph. The distant rev of an Autobot's throaty engine is met with cheers. Optimus looks up at the clear blue sky and sighs, "And yet there is hope. A new home, and a greater chance for peace than we have ever known."

It is a long, long time before he can bear to whisper to no one at all, "I wish you were here to see it, old friend."

He does not weep.




--3--

They flee from Sentinel's treachery and they do not speak.

Bumblebee cries as he drives, incoherent noises of grief and impotent rage, soft and choked and private. Dino makes no sound. Even the noise of his engine is muted, though he races as hard as any of them. Sideswipe sets their pace, pressing harder and harder until the roar of his engine is strained and smoky.

Battle is won with your head, not your spark, Ironhide's ghost whispers in their every movement. Mercy is shooting the slag-sucking shit that killed your comrade, not shooting your friend. Know when to fight and when to fall back. If you're dead you can't avenge them.

They do what he instructs, as they always have. It has never been easy to do what Ironhide demands of them.

Fall back twice sensor range, Ironhide says. Regroup.

They stop as one, in the shadows of an overpass. Sideswipe stands, staring back over their taillights at the city. Bumblebee is still now, quieting himself for what is to come. They wait for their signal.

Sideswipe is trembling, ever so faintly. It is not anticipation. Dino gets up slowly and comes to stand beside him. Their blades tap, once, crystal clear and ringing. Assess. Regroup. Sideswipe nods sharply and drops to his wheels once more.

"To Prime," he says fiercely.

Above all else, Ironhide whispers, you keep Optimus on his feet and the Decepticons off his back.

They listen.




--4--

Whatever it is that Bumblebee feels with Soundwave's gun to his head, with the still-warm body of an Autobot at his feet, it is not fear. Numbness, perhaps, or sorrow - this is not how things should end, with his body nothing more than another Decepticon atrocity. It burns. It is a sour, bitter, curdled taste that he cannot bear. Soundwave orders him to turn, to submit to his own slaughter, and what choice is there? What choice when there is a gun to his head already and Decepticons laughing behind him as they wonder how tall the pile will get before their victims have to climb the corpses, what choice is he given when everything comes crashing down -

He feels the hot mouth of the cannon turn away, hears the wreckage impact behind him, and he feels nothing but defiance.
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