Above--This is Harrier and Tempest/Samiel in Beast Wars, but I thought their expressions well suited this fic...
DISCLAIMER: Transformers, Decepticons and Autobots are property of Hasbro. The Rokkans were invented by Don A. Martinez and are used with permission. All characters in this story are mine.
Thanks to Artemis Prime, Wavelength and Zodiac for their encouragement.
This story contains mature themes. I hesitate to give it an "R" rating because, let's face it, Transformers don't have sex the way humans do. Still, it amounts to pretty much the same thing, so reader discretion is advised.
This story takes place after "Star Cruiser," but is fairly complete in itself so you don't absolutely HAVE to read "Star Cruiser" first. If you do, though, you'll definitely see the continuity.
We arrived at her base, and she showed me her face
Just a glimpse for a second, it downed me
I was really knocked out by her sweet fluid grace
I saw my fate written there
But by now, did not care!
I was loyal! I loved her! I signed on!
She was a
Star cruiser, star star cruiser
Star cruiser, star star cruiser
She was a mean star cruiser
And she was cruising me...
–-"Star Cruiser" by Michael Moorcock and The Deep Fix Harrier could hardly believe this was happening to him.
Less than a week ago, Saphiro time, he had been nothing more than a serving bot in the Last Best Place, a disreputable, run-down bar and refuelling station on the outport planet of Sapphiro. His fuel tank had always been barely above red-line and his frame forever sporting dents inflicted by either the bar's cranky owner, the Rokkan Gronth, or else by the bar's seedy and foul-tempered customers. Friendless and still in mid-adolescence, the last survivor of an Autobot raid on a small Decepticon fuel storage depot, he'd had nothing to call his own save his grandiose dreams of a better life, where he'd be the Duke of Decepticons, living in the lap of luxury.
It seemed, very much, as if his dream had come to pass.
This short time later, the young Decepticon was leaning back on the large recharging bed in the main rest chamber of the former mayor's residence of Silicia, capital city of the small outport planet of Kilair. His tanks were full almost to capacity; his metal body was free of dents and rust, gleaming with a fresh coat of paint. Gnarth, the Last Best Place, and his life of servitude seemed very, very far away--nothing more than a nightmare before he'd woken up and found himself here.
Not that here was perfect. The anomalities would set most beings ill at ease--the scorch marks of lasers on the wall, the empty sockets around the room where jewels and precious metals had been ripped from their casings. Harrier turned his head and looked out through the window onto the deserted streets of Silicia. The thoroughfares were overgrown with silicon-based plant life; no feet had trod those streets for a very long time. The entire planet was silent, waiting, an abandoned world, ever since a band of Decepticon raiders had massacred the inhabitants, drained the main fuel supplies, and sacked the city of its riches.
Still, looking around the room, Harrier had to admit that the building was in remarkably good condition. The raiders had been space-cruiser Transformers; with only one large shuttle as an auxiliary to their own engines, they'd been unable to take much more than they could carry. The opulent furnishings of the mayor's residence remained, for the most part, intact...and certainly good enough for a young Decepticon on his way to a better life. Even in this condition, they were better than anything Harrier had experienced in his childhood in another Decepticon outpost before Autobots had attacked and killed most of his kin.
Piracy. Attacks. Was that all there was? Did the entire universe consist of pirates and prey, those who took what they wanted and those who fell before them? He thought of the Autobots who'd destroyed his colony long ago, of Gnarth's disrepuatable customers, and of the raiders who'd destroyed the inhabitants of Kilair. And now, he himself was guilty of piracy, having taken to sacking small transport vessels, selling the goods they stole, and using the credits to purchase fuel, repairs and weaponry.
He stretched out his arm, admiring the shiny polish and the smooth, dent-free surface, and decided it was worth it. He was still getting used to the weight of the laser cannons on his arms, and on the table beside the recharge bed sat his brand new weapons--a double barrelled laser hunting rifle and a pair of duelling pistols. A set of slim and well-worn blades leaned against the table; these were the weapons of his saviour, the one who'd rescued him from the Last Best Place and brought him here...the only other sentient creature on this planet.
"Enjoying yourself?" she asked from the doorway, a smirk on her face and a wicked light in her eyes.
He sprang to his feet, stammering a yes as she approached him.
She wasn't, perhaps, what the customers of the Last Best Place would have described as beautiful. Their tastes ran more towards the warm and willing entertainment bots who worked for Gnarth; pastel-coloured femmes with rounded curves, dainty limbs and misty optics.
Tempest was a Seeker-a Model 2B, all pointed edges and hard corners, coloured in brilliant yellow and trimmed with electric blue. Her head was adorned by a helmet-like headpiece; on each side of the helmet, a single blue spire thrust its way skyward. Ruby optics burned in an angular charcoal face. Razor-sharp wings rose behind her back. Her feet, far from small and delicate, were large and flat, encasing powerful jet engines.
But looking at her from his position, Harrier thought she was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen in his life. Hers was the beauty of a precision weapon, an instrument designed to kill.
She fascinated him. She was the only one he'd known with the courage to stand up to Gnarth. It had been her ploy to kill Backfire, the pirate who'd taken her for his consort, and help herself to Backfire's loot that he kept stored at the Last Best Place. Her plan had met with one fatal flaw--Backfire's two bodyguards--and that's when Harrier, carrying a pistol one of the other customers had left, had stepped in. Even when he'd given her the backup she needed, he'd never questioned her authority. It had been her choice to bring him with her, and he...he'd follow her anywhere.
He managed a smile. "It beats my previous accommodations." He could barely stop from stammering, so frightened was he that he'd say or do something wrong.
She sauntered his way, a laughing gleam in her optics. "Nice, isn't it?" The yellow female designate took a seat on the edge of the bed, a grin on her face as she drew him down beside her. "Let me promise you, this is only the beginning."
She sat right next to him on the recharge bed, settling herself down beside her. For a moment her gaze was drawn out the window and a slightly distant expression touched her face.
It seemed, to Harrier, that she looked almost sad. A strange emotion on the face of this young firebrand, something that did not belong. During the fight at the bar and in their pirate raids afterwards, Tempest had shown no guilt, no fear, no sorrow, no hesitation. Now, her optics seemed to glow with a concealed pain as she stared out the window at the dead ruins of Kilair.
He became acutely conscious how near she was. He could feel the warmth of her frame close to his.
Alone. In this room, on this planet. The two of them...and she had been the consort of a pirate leader...
...what else could she expect of him?
Who else, on this abandoned world? But surely she wouldn't ask much from a child like him. He was no pirate lord. Harsh truth reminded him that he was the Duke of Decepticons only in his dreams. No, he was just a street rat, nothing more, and she only wanted a little comforting...but that was enough for him. To be honest, it was the most he could dream of...
She was so near...and now she was turning her head to look at him, those optics glowing still, hesitating as if thinking of something to say.
Beautiful, and sad...she wanted some companionship, he was sure of it, and he was more than willing to do what was expected of him.
Tempest could hardly keep herself from wincing as Harrier slid his arm around her. ~This again. It was always this again...~ She hadn't expected this from the little jump-jet ~fool that I was,~ she thought and now she regretted coming into the chamber, but what else could she have done? Nowhere else would have been as safe as this abandoned world, and now she had to pay the price for choosing to be alone with him.
She thought, briefly, of fighting him off she could probably kill him but no, neither killing him nor making him leave would do. She needed a partner. She couldn't face the whole universe alone. And for a partnership, there was always a price to be paid.
As they kissed, she clenched her hands, willing herself not to flinch.
Flashbacks. A thousand themes of the same old story.
It started with Brigand's crew--the pirates who had sacked Kilair. Not Brigand himself, but his second-in-command... She realized with a bit of a surprise that she'd never known the bastard's name. Didn't even know his name, but he had been the first...then his men, and then they'd abandoned her on the hellworld known as Tartarus. Taken what they wanted, crippled her engines, and left her to die on a dying planet called Tartarus.
Tartarus, where she'd learned to survive, her twin blades the only thing between death either by starvation or by the cannibalistic Scavengers that killed one another for fuel.
She supposed, technically speaking, that she'd been a Scavenger too.
No one survived for long on Tartarus. She'd held together for more than a Cybertronian stellar cycle before the privateering ship had arrived by accident. Its crew (nominally Decepticon, she'd guessed) agreed to take her off the planet...
...for a price...
...a price, perhaps, not worth the cost...
(harsh blows, cold optics, leering faces. Cruel laughter of the crew. Pinned on the floor of their shuttle, held down, chest panel flung open, pain, laughter, helpless, laughter, laughter...)
More flickers. Pain, cruel hands, icy red optics...pinned helpless on the floor of their shuttle...the gang of them around her...her chest hatch flung open and...
No. Don't think about that.
...a price not worth the cost...
~A price every bit worth the cost you survived you SURVIVED...~
~I always survive.~
And then Backfire. Idiot, brute, but at least when he touched her she knew she'd be getting her due, if only she could bide her time and wait for his back to be turned. That arrogant fool, who had called her his consort though everyone knew he took several in the course of a stellar cycle...that she'd done willingly, waiting for her time to strike, waiting when his back would be turned to her and she could take his riches for her own. Could, and did, and now that she had them she knew that every moment of abuse and degradation had been worth it for the chance it had given her to rise above the ranks of the desperate survivors, the castaways of the universe. She had credits and capital now, weaponry, a chance to make something of herself...
...and a soldier by her side.
Harrier was looking right into her face, an expression in his optics that she could not decipher, leaning forward to kiss her.
~Harrier can't be nearly as bad as the pirates.~
So she steeled herself, allowing him to do as he willed. She did not protest as he kissed her. Warrior she was, and yet she felt strangely helpless in this situation. Same story. Same old story.
She needed a team. Nobody lasted long alone. She'd be dead already if she hadn't had Harrier to watch her back.
And so, she forced herself to put her arms around him and kiss him back.
A price. There was always a price.
Harrier couldn't believe it, absolutely couldn't believe what was happening. He'd fully expected her to try to stop him. Instead, he was meeting no resistance at all, and she was actually kissing him back. Tentatively, he guided her down onto the recharge bed and he ran an uncertain hand down the length of her torso. She simply looked up at him, her face curiously blank but unprotesting. As he lay down beside her, his hand gently exploring the curves of her cockpit glass, she reached up and coaxed him down to her, kissing him deeply.
~This can't be happening to me. Wake up, Harrier. Wake up.~
Granted, he wasn't exactly going to be happy to wake up in some dirty corner of the Last Best Place with almost-empty fuel tanks and a mountain of work to do, but this dream was getting far too realistic. His life was miserable enough without having to deal with the crushing disappointment of realizing too late that this experience was only in his mind...
He could feel Tempest's hands on his back, beneath his wings. His sensors picked up the warmth of the exhaust mingled between them. He could certainly feel her curves under his hands, the sleek metal and precise contours of her frame. And he wasn't waking up. The idea that this was really happening was both frightening and immensely appealing.
He'd fully expected her to stop him after that first kiss. It had been the shock of his life when she'd kissed him back.
And what in the Pit was he supposed to do now?
He trailed his fingers over her wings, then wrapped his arms around her, kissing her again. She was curiously complacent, quite willing to let him do whatever he wished. Tentatively he lowered her back down onto the recharge bed and rolled on his side next to her, stroking the finely curved glass of her cockpit while she looked up at him, waiting for him to make the next move.
She surely wouldn't go so far as to expect him to...
But it sure looked that way from where he lay.
He was confused, not thinking straight. The fiery Seeker seemed almost submissive. If she didn't say something soon, he might actually get the chance to...hell, be EXPECTED to...go all the way and...
...good Primus, he had no clue how to do that!
Well, technically, he did have a CLUE how male and female designates interfaced with one another...and he HAD come across more than a few passionate couples in the dark corners of the Last Best Place...but for him, the little servant who'd never kissed a girl before in his life, to suddenly end up getting both his first kiss and full interface all in the same night was completely beyond comprehension.
Harrier was becoming more and more terrified by the moment. He slid his hand down over her hips, tracing the outlines of her joints, and received a contented little moan as reward for his efforts. He couldn't stop the odd tremor of pure nervousness from shaking his frame, but so far, Tempest didn't seem to notice.
He couldn't let her down. What kind of ingrate would he be? What would she think of him then? He wanted so badly to impress her.
He couldn't completely stop himself from shaking as he ran his hands down her back, exploring the contours as he'd seen the customers of the Last Best Place doing with their companions, praying that he was doing this right. Tempest didn't seem to be complaining...she nestled next to him, her hands pressing down on his shoulders, every once in a while kissing him but mostly just submitting while she watched him out of enigmatic optics. What was she thinking? He supposed if he was doing anything really wrong, she'd stop him...
Tempest was surprised to realize that she was actually enjoying this.
"Different" wasn't the word for it. Getting physical with Harrier was nothing at all like what she'd experienced at the hands of the pirates, or even with Backfire, though she'd consciously chosen to submit to that... There was nothing the least bit harsh or demanding about her current companion. The young jump-jet's touch was gentle, careful, feather-light, not the least bit rough or painful. She actually found herself wishing he'd add just a little more pressure, especially when his hands danced over those extra-sensitive panels, and at those times she found herself almost instinctively moving her body closer to encourage him.
Their current kiss broke. Summoning the courage to look up at him, she saw him gazing down into her optics with an expression akin to worship.
No leers. No smirks. No laughing buddies, no harsh blows, no cruelly digging fingers...
Flashback. She flinched, automatically...
Harrier stopped instantly, frozen in position, his face now pained and almost frightened. "I'm sorry," he whispered, "I..."
"It wasn't you,' she replied, running her hand down his cheek--youth he might have been, likely several decades younger than her, but he had a handsome profile and strong jawline that was more reminiscent of a fully upgraded Decepticon than a child...
A stab passed through her, a silent moan of complaint from those parts of her body that had recently been enjoying Harrier's attention and wanted it back, NOW. This was new...a desire that was almost pain...
He still looked nervous, so she reached up and wrapped her arms around him--unable to keep the laughing smile off her face--and kissed him, passionately, full on the mouth.
All in all, she had to admit that she was having a very good time.
Curiously, she reached out for him, returning the favour without waiting for him to ask. She knew what to do, did what she'd been told males enjoyed, skating her hands over his frame, centering on specific areas, never once looking down but keeping her optics focused on his face.
She couldn't quite stifle a giggle as his optics grew comically large and bright with surprise. He clutched her tightly, his body trembling, and a little sigh of pleasure escaped his mouth. Pouncing on the opportunity, she exploited it--and the results were strangely gratifying. She felt a thrill of her own every time she managed to coax another gasp or sigh from the young jump-jet.
Finally, her own panels began missing his touch with an insistence that became almost painful the longer she waited. Unable to wait any more, she folded her arms around his neck and settled on her back, looking up at him, smiling...
What she'd done to him had left him shaken, both in the shivers that pulsed through his body and the cloudy haze in his mind. This was some fantasy, becoming more and more unreal in its very reality. She looked up at him, her expression inviting, and innocence aside he knew bloody well what he was supposed to do next.
He was scared, so scared, but he couldn't say no to her...
~don't let me screw this up please...~
He summoned all his courage and reached out, fumbling around the edges of her left chest panel. Dammit, where was the latch? What was she thinking of him couldn't he do anything right? He had no idea where to begin looking for it, either...
She helped him. Her hands encircled his wrists and led him right to the latches, one on each side of the center area of her cockpit glass. He trembled, but managed to hook his fingers around the latches and pop the panels open, carefully spreading the covers wide. He could feel himself getting flustered at his first glimpse of circuitry half of him wanted to stare, even though she'd certainly think him a pervert for doing so, and the other half felt that he shouldn't be looking at all. For a moment he peeked shyly down at her...
...then he realized that in all that time, she'd been busy and now HIS chest panels were unhooked, smoothly opened by her expert hands.
Holy Primus. What was happening? Did she think he was ugly? Was he supposed to be doing something? If so, what? How did he even get himself so deep into this it was all moving so fast...
And faster. Tempest lost no time seeking out his interface cable. Swift, hungry, knowing what she wanted and gunning right for it, doing whatever it took to get it...that was Tempest all the way...and right now, it was stunningly clear that she wanted HIM.
He was going to disappoint her, he was bound to...he tried to find her cable, but all he could do was stare at the maze of intricately woven cables in her chest panel, beautiful, forbidden, tantalizing...and then he let out a soft moan as Tempest closed her fingers around his cable and ran her hand slowly down its length. He closed his optics, gritted his teeth...it felt so good but he could feel her impatience...
He tore his attention away from her wiring, which he dared not even touch, and located...was that? Yes...it WAS...the interface cable, almost innocently coiled around the bottom of her cockpit glass.
~Tempest wants to...with me...~
~I don't know how...~
~wants it now!~
Tempest dropped his interface cable. She rose up on her elbow, her red optics piercing his as the young jump-jet, ashamed, gathered his cable back into his chest and swung his panels closed but not quite shut.
~What in the Pit does he mean, he can't? Why the slag not? What, am I too ugly or something?~
"What do you mean, you can't?" she demanded.
~Seeker...you're not very pretty, are you? They always said that...but you were the only game in town...~
Harrier looked at her with an expression of absolute misery. "I..." A low moan, then a flurry of words. "Tempest, I can't, I don't know what I'm doing, I'm sorry..." He bowed his head. "I'm sorry."
She curled up, slamming her chestplate shut, lying mostly on her front and looking up at him. She felt suddenly defensive, exposed, and despite her impulse to be angry at him, it was hard when he looked so utterly ashamed. "What do you mean?" she asked again, trying to keep her tone moderate.
"I..." He tore his optics away from the floor to look at her and his words came out in a rush. "I've never done anything like this before and I have no clue what I'm doing."
Tempest blinked. "You're kidding me."
Two wounded eyes peered around the curve of his shoulder, which he held like a sort of block between his head and hers. He said nothing.
"You're not kidding me."
"Tempest, I'm not going to lie to you...I'm sorry. I should never have...I'm sorry, please..."
She tilted her head. "Are you really sorry? Really?"
~What does she...~
A wicked smirk spread over the Seeker's face. She rested a light hand on his shoulder, freezing him in place. She leaned over and whispered against the side of his head. "Because I'm not the least bit sorry."
His jaw dropped. Primus, he was an idiot, making a fool of himself in one way after another. What to say? What to do? "Well...I...I tried...I..."
He couldn't say any more after that, because she was kissing him and his mouth was very soon otherwise occupied in kissing her back. He knew he had a goofy stunned expression on his face that he couldn't wipe off, not even after the kiss was over, and his mouth was fixed in a stupid grin.
Her expression was sly and there was a wicked twinkle in her optics. "So, do you want to?"
"I..." he spluttered, "I told you, I don't know how to..."
She was lightning fast, rising up on her knees, taking a grip on his shoulders, and knocking him down flat on his back on the bed before he knew what hit him. The next thing he knew, she was practically on top of him, straddling his hips, running her finger over his cockpit glass. She observed him with a playful smirk on her mouth and that strangely bright light still dancing in her eyes. He felt dizzy, looking up at her, not quite sure how he'd gotten there or what was happening, but not feeling any desire whatsoever to interfere...not when he could lie back and just let her take him wherever she wished...
Tempest leaned closer, folding her arms over his chest, making herself comfortable. She shifted a little until her body fit nicely and comfortably against his. Grinning, she popped a finger off his nose and spoke, her face only a few inches from his.
Harrier nodded, somewhat weakly, and gave himself up for lost.
~Primus help me...Later...~
There was nothing to do, nothing that needed to be done as she expertly opened his chest and once again sought out his cable. Smoothly, she popped open her own chest. Once he saw her cable in her hands, he felt suddenly shy and closed his eyes, allowing himself to concentrate on the warmth of her hand and...
...he could feel something with the cable prongs...was that? The receptors of a female designate?
He was plugged in, firmly, to Tempest's interface, and as he gasped he felt the yellow Seeker laying herself down atop him, draping her arms around his neck, resting her head on his shoulder as the sensations began washing over him.
There was nothing in the universe like this.
Tempest trembled a little as she clung to Harrier, frightened in her deepest core lest he suddenly turn into Backfire or one of the privateers, flip her over, pin her, hurt her...
...no...nothing like that. She felt a stab of fear when he clutched her tight, but then she saw the expression on his face...a need...a desire...a helplessness as he held to her, unable to let her go because he needed her so badly...
A warm wash spread over her...a tingle of excitement. She had never seen another creature so completely in her power before. Grinning, she began to run her fingers over his wings...smiling as she saw how that heightened the effect on him. She herself was feeling a pleasant warmth from the coupling, and decided that she could get quite used to this.
A pulse ran through her...something stronger, more urgent. What was that?
It came again, insistent, exciting. She stopped toying with Harrier's wings and settled in, riding out the wave of sensations. She closed her optics, allowing herself to merge with the jump- jet...the young Decepticon who'd come, quite literally out of nowhere, to save her life...her worthless life, the life that continued only because she fought without cease to preserve it.
She'd been prepared for a physical merging...not a spiritual one. Her mind was her fortress, her bastion...oh, she'd heard the rumours but she'd never believed them. Interface was a physical link, nothing more...
...or rather, nothing more when one's mind was closed. Harrier's, obviously, was not. He was actively seeking her emotions out. Emotions that Backfire, and the raiders, hadn't cared the least bit about. Emotions that, when she did pick them up, had been nothing but malice and cruel enjoyment of the pain and fear they picked up from her.
This was something very different.
She could feel Harrier's thoughts about her...beauty, a reverent desire... It warmed her spark. His emotions were a shower of warmth in a very cold universe, and there was so much of them, so intense...
~you saved me; I am yours.~
Harrier reached out into her neural circuitry through their linked cables, needing more of her, hungry to share everything he had with her. For a moment he felt a stab of loneliness and despair; he could not tell if it was hers or his own. He seemed to be running into a block, something keeping them apart even in this intimate moment. Was he doing something wrong?
~Me...you feel this way for me?~
His thought, or hers? He felt a thrill to realize that he couldn't tell...and then felt a sudden wash of affection, definitely coming from her this time, linking their sparks as surely as their bodies.
Heaven this was, pure heaven, and he realized with a stunning revelation that the old Autobot stories of merging with the Matrix must be something like this...no, the Autobots could have their Matrix, all he wanted was Tempest for now and for eternity...
He had never even imagined happiness like this. Time had ceased to have any meaning, and so, he wasn't sure how long he reveled in this moment before he blacked out.
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