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That Red Firelight (
1 sentence drabbles
+ Mirage / Sideswipe
+ Kagerou / Shadowmaru
+ Ironhide / Ratchet1
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Mirage / Sideswipe
2014-03-05 10:14 pm (UTC)
He tries to blame the scrapes and scuffs of paint on particularly heavy rounds of sparring against Mirage, but Ironhide is never fooled, and both of them are always put on separate patrols.
002. I'm here
He had no words, nothing but a low, shuddering sound of grief in his throat – and Mirage held on anyway, long fingers entwined with his in a veritable death grip.
Rain sheets down, marking his face like tear treads, as he stands firm, the Ferrari's hand held tightly in his own, while the mess of remains are lowered with sullen ceremony to the sea, and pretends not to notice he's shaking.
004. Puppy love
He loves the way Sideswipe laughs over something inane, the way those sharp optics shine with glittering blue light, the way water and sun plays over silver plating, drowning him in beloved sound and sights before he realizes how deep he's fallen.
“That's it, we're getting your nails trimmed,” Sideswipe snaps, the day Mirage's fingertips accidentally carve a scratch along the inside of one slender, lengthy thigh, as if it were physically possible to trim the gold-tipped digits.
The day he tells Que what he's feeling, asking more for advice than anything else, really, the scientist's writing utensil scrapes across the clean slate of clear board – the sound like nails on a chalkboard – before Que whirls around and asks him if he's serious, and, if so, if he really, truly
want to test the strength of Ironhide's cannons.
Humans spoke of the muses, of the mythical, celestial beings bestowing inspiration in art of all forms, and, upon hearing of the phenomenon, Mirage's optics always flick in the direction of a posing, sleek silver form, and he chuckles, quietly to himself.
Sideswipe will never believe in “magic”, not as the humans understand it, but even he can appreciate the way a simple sway of his hips has the power to turn Mirage's head in a near complete circle for a better look.
Every touch is electric, every slow skim of their fingertips sending slight shockwaves of sensation up mechanical spines, tingling through synthetic nervous systems, lighting each other on fire, enough to where it's become impossible to tell they only began this sudden, heated intimacy with a simple shower.
They do their best not to tell Ironhide, for fear one of them will lose their head, or be permanently given night watch detail, even though their best isn't enough to keep Sideswipe's wheel's from stroking up along the side of a red-plated leg barely out of sight.
He'll always knock his blades against Mirage's before a fight, no matter how small, or how simple it might be – after all, if they leave marks on one another, there's more reason for the other to survive, to return, and pay back the miniscule damage.
Some bots imagined Cybertron as it once was, dreamed of the glory days, of towering cities uncluttered by hanging corpses – Mirage daydreams of hot Italian sand seeping into his joints while he tries to buff it out of silver plating.
“Okay, no, that's not how it works – if you can hear me, you say
or whatever that was – other people can translate that too, you know!”
Mirage is determined to win their little game of flirtation, going to far as to cloak himself long enough to vent soft puffs of heated air along the back of Sideswipe's neck as the other stands, rigidly at attention, before Optimus Prime himself – he has to bite back the laugh as he watches the silver bot struggle to keep from shivering.
Lightning used to be beautiful, it used to excite him, and he once looked forward to seeing the bolts of white crackle through the sky, but now there's nothing more than an empty ache as the rain and thunder boom, and Mirage's arms hold tighter than ever.
“You look like a berry,” Sideswipe tells Mirage one night, as they're drowsing against one another, curled in the safety of the silver bot's room – he laughs, afterward, pressing his face to the curve of Mirage's neck in tacit, warm apology.
When the humans complain over their presence, calling them nothing more than living weapons, the older Autobots scowl, while Sideswipe and Mirage stand in the background, the distance not quite masking the smug, daring smiles plastered across their faces.
He puts up with it for Mirage's sake, because the red Autobot has some fascination with the damn place, because they both like the baking heat of the sun, and because, at the end of the day, he's always able to convince his partner to clean the grit and sand out of every joint in his body with a simple tilt of his head.
He puts up with it for Sideswipe's sake, because the silver Autobot has some fascination with human speedways, because he has to admit, he enjoys seeing him cut loose in something other than battle, but, at the end of the day, he will always blame his partner for getting them hopelessly lost somewhere on the big German freeway.
Sideswipe screams, throwing his head back, his body arching, the entire length of his frame arching, shuddering, as Mirage's careful fingers work themselves deeper into the gaps in armor, gold tips ghosting sharp and soft over wires, and drawing cry after exuberant cry from the writhing silver frame beneath him.
At first, they think they've won, when Ironhide pretends to ignore their touches, their close contact, and it's only later, when the big soldier assigns the pair of them on a taxing, troublesome mission that they realize his apparent inattention to be a sign of warning, not understanding.
Funny, some part of him thinks, detached, as he lies there, hearing the thunder of enemy fire, idly watching his injuries leak, hearing the cries of bitter fear and rage from the other bot, how their fluids can be such a bright blue, but make his partner see so red.
He calls him “princess” when no one else can hear, as much for the mannerisms as for the way his “father” jealously guards his nonexistent virtue – and Sideswipe never seems to mind.
“I am not for this work,” Mirage grumbles, privately, as they both trundle off on yet another NEST-ferrying assignment, and is rewarded with a quiet huff of agreement – that, and a careful nudge against his back bumper.
He's heard humans speak of looking for “the one” before, as if all humanity were driven by a need to pair off and make permanent connections between each other – he hears it, and he laughs, rolling over onto one side, and knocking himself against Mirage's lounging frame, amused at how hard they try to find what came so easily to them.
2014-03-05 22:17 (UTC)
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Kagerou / Shadowmaru
2014-03-05 11:37 pm (UTC)
They face each other across a darkened room, a mirror to the first time they ever looked upon each others' faces, and this time, there is nothing but anger and fear where once there was affection and excitement.
It's the first time he'd ever seen snow before, and it takes more than a few gentle coaxes from his partner to encourage even one single step into the cold substance covering their rooftop – though it takes remarkably fewer to get him to start playing in it.
When he regains himself, when his mind returns to him, there are only three words on his lips, three words he and his shattered, broken AI waited for what felt like centuries to say aloud, and he cries them out desperately to the anxious face hovering above his own –
thank you, Shadowmaru.
It's a unanimous decision – to install the warning bell in front of their door, just in case Yuuta wants to wander in again, just in case he wants to do so while Shadowmaru's legs are wrapped around Kagerou's head, and their actions are decidedly
safe for work.
One can only sit through so many casual observations of teammates' love lives, of standing beside mechs and men and women who stammer out vows, before the idea of translating it to their own emerges from one of their lips, and the prospect of spending their entire lives together never seemed sweeter.
Shadowmaru may very well claim to be a wolf, and Kagerou may very well support him each and every time, with the sort of saintly patience only the very closest of partners could ever hope to obtain, but that never seems to stop the former from reacting to the words “bath time” about as well as any dog, and hiding under or behind any available shelter until Kagerou sprays it with the hose.
The hardest word he ever had to say barely merits a single syllable, when translated to most languages, but it tears its way out of him, all the same, every last ounce of remaining self shoved into such a simple word, while the rest of his lingering senses ache at the sight of Shadowmaru's retreating back as more and more water thunders down inside.
When there is something he wants, Shadowmaru sometimes forgets the meaning of the word “shame” – whether its simple contact, or fingers rubbing over robotic ears, or something far more intimate, he has the tendency to drape himself over his partner, cajoling, whispering, teasing, regardless of where they might be, much to Kagerou's stoic dismay.
Kagerou likes it best when their orders are simple, not because he has difficulty following them – the simpler the objectives, the easier it is to finish early, and spend the rest of the day finishing up the paperwork on the incident, sitting beside the one who matters most.
Once more, their roles reverse – where once it was Kagerou supporting Shadowmaru's shaking first steps, now he is the one to hold his shadow up, letting him lean against him as his battered frame's legs regain their mobility again.
Never before has he ever hoped for anything as hard as he does now, his fingers tight around a stiff, unresponsive hand, quietly pleading for the light in dark optics to return, begging his shadow's AI to reboot, to
please bring him back to me
, over and over again, in the dark.
Sometimes, he'll tell Kagerou he loves the way his optics look, the way one contrasts the other, the way they light up whenever he allows his emotions to show through – and always, he'll end up going overboard, leaving the heat of embarrassment all over his partner's face, though his optics will always be bright.
“Something's wrong” becomes the most frequently-uttered phrase between them, when the long winter nights mean long hours spent alone, with too many eager ideas and excited kissing – though it never was more apt than the time the peanut butter was involved.
When he presses his lips to Shadowmaru's, the experience is always, in his opinion, flawless – nothing could possibly compare to the ability to kiss him, nothing, save the first moment the kiss is returned – that, is when it becomes all the more perfect.
His fingers are paler, their metal more scuffed and worn across the tips, than his partner's, but it's only a passing realization, because Kagerou's dark, smooth hands are trailing along the edge of a wing and burying fingers beneath his fuel hatch and all comparison is thrown out the window in favor of delighted cries.
Kagerou knows it's foolish, childish, but it's the only thing he can think to do, when Shadowmaru rouses in the night, trembling with some dream he won't speak of – he'll smooth his fingers over the other's face, humming softly, the tune meandering, not part of any real song, until his partner falls back into troubled sleep once more.
“You know, as much as you wish it, attempting to choke Gunmax is hardly the best way to deal with his antics, my dearest shadow – allow me to demonstrate a better method...”
He has Shadowmaru placed on so high a pedestal that when, as often happens in their line of work, the other ninja fails his mission, Kagerou can't quite process what it is that's happened, nor understand why he's so utterly confused.
“He is my life,” is an oft-heard phrase, murmured quietly through the headquarters, one that only gains in meaning the closer they become, the words becoming a prayer and a blessing all in one.
Only while they'd been chasing him, had Shadowmaru ever managed to see his shadow truly fly, and then, it had been a mixed feeling, to say the least – now, he can't help but feel the swell of pride in watching Kagerou soar beside him, optics dimmed, skimming cloud and rooftop alike, as they were always meant to do.
“I love you,” should have been a constant back and forth between the two ninjas, and yet, neither one ever felt the need to.
Kagerou is spent, flopped back down against the tabletop, his vents gasping for cooler air, and Shadowmaru curls atop his chest, one cheek pressed to the metal, his own panting not managing to mask the gentle hum of life beneath his pillowed head.
One of the others asks Kagerou, one day, what he thinks of his new life among them, only to be surprised when he laughs softly, shaking his head, and claiming it's a better heaven than the one he'd last seen – his optics never once leave his partner's face, across the room.
It's meant to be training, teaching him to hide from any security or criminal bent on locating him, but they're both laughing too much, realizing there is utterly no way for Shadowmaru to leave his hiding place without the ventilation shaft suffering hideous structural damage – it's the most Shadowmaru has ever heard his shadow laugh, before.
They are always within arms' length of one another, in their downtime, always brushing paneling, even when there was plenty of space to move, as if their separation left them lacking in tactile sensation, and they were only now beginning to make up for lost time.
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