Of all the mechs that stupid program could pick for him to ‘mate’ with, it had to be him, Jazz thought sourly as he flipped open a can of crude oil. Normally he hated the stuff but… meh, there was more serious things to hate at the moment and he didn’t think his tank would be able to handle anything stronger while his processors were in such a tizzy.
Slag it all, he thought as he put the can down briskly and loudly. The mech sitting on the couch across him, optics downcast, jumped a little and shot him a quick look before avoiding his gaze again, focusing instead on his hands which he kept in his laps. Jazz’s lips stretched in a sneer.
“Jumpy fellow, aren’t you?” he snorted. The other mech fidgeted.
“Yeah, you can be. Hanging out with my Sensei’s assassin isn’t how I had planned to pass the next thousand of stellar cycles. I can’t believe they decided the mech who got tried and convicted for Master Yoketron’s murder was in any way suited to become a Creator,” Jazz groused unhappily, visor bright. It earned him a full, noticeable flinch and Jazz felt some warranted satisfaction at it.
Good. Let the other mech, that Prowl, feels uncomfortable with the reminder that a good mech’s life had been lost at his hands. If Jazz had had any said in it, he would have turned down the other mech and sent him straight back to the Stockades.
Sadly, it wasn’t an option and Ultra Magnus had been very clear about it.
“We need to repopulate Cybertron, Jazz. Our population level has already dropped to barely a third of what it was pre-War, even without accounting for the defection of the War frames and the exile of the Decepticons – and it’s not going to get any better if we simply wait to try and get the Allspark back before we focus on rebuilding our numbers. I expect all Autobots to do their duty and help bring forward a new generation of Protoforms – no, a new generation of Sparklings to fill the gaps. And I stress ALL the Autobots, Jazz. No matter who their partners for this endeavor turn out to be.”
Easy for Ultra Magnus to say, the Cyberninja thought uncharitably. Though, okay, Jazz had been okay with the whole idea at first. Eck, he hadn’t even protested too much when the idea to offer Stockade inmates a chance to contribute to the effort in exchange of a sentence reduction – but then again, Jazz had thought it would only apply to mechs who had committed minor crimes such as thievery, burglary or money laundering.
If he had known there was any chance he’d encounter Prowl – or worse, that the Ministry of Sciences’ ‘Optimal Reproductive Partners Finder’ program would decide that the mech Yoketron’s students had gladly seen be condemned for his crime would get a chance to be let out – then he would have withdrew from the program and damn the consequences.
But it was too late now, Jazz thought morosely. Prowl was here, the Enforcers had made them both sign the wager and all the legal papers that pertained to Prowl’s release in his care and nominated Jazz as being both his parole officer and ‘mating partner’. There had been papers about Conjunx Endura status, but Jazz had turned those off right away; others might choose to put up with the legal tag, but not him. Not with Prowl. He wished he didn’t have to touch him at all.
But sooner or later, he’d have to make him a Sparkling.
Optics critical, he looked up and down at the silent, wary black and gold mech. His paint was chipped and his finish shoddily applied; obviously, no one had made an effort in making him presentable (not that Jazz really cared). He kept avoiding Jazz’s optics and stayed quiet, waiting to be addressed first before emitting a sound (which was good; Jazz was in no mood for chit-chat with HIM). He hadn’t even touched the can Jazz had put in front of him (which, admittedly, made Jazz ticked off as well; when someone offered you a can, you drunk it, slaggit!). Then there was the knee, Jazz thought as he glanced at it with a frown.
The whole articulation seemed like a sorry mess, with a temporary cover in place that did little to hide the mass of deep protoform scarring underneath. Busted during a prison riot, one of the Enforcers had mentioned, and nobody had put in credits to repair a mech that wouldn’t need to transform or walk around that much since he was stuck in a cell, would he? Prowl had come in limping and with a slightly pinched look on his face that hinted at being in pain when he walked too much. He would probably need a cane to walk for longer distances.
Good, Jazz thought viciously for a brief moment. It was unfair that Prowl was being let out so early in his sentence (relatively speaking); any physical discomfort he experimented felt like a just retribution to the Elite Guard member.
It was also a relief, sort of – it was much harder to try and kill someone when you suffered from an obviously debilitating injury, so there were less risks Jazz would wake up to Prowl trying to kill him in the dead of the night.
Frag him, Jazz thought as he rose. Prowl looked at him warily. “Jazz?” he asked softly, sounding unsure – from what he was supposed to do or if he had the right name, Jazz wasn’t certain. It wasn’t like they had been officially presented before or if they had talked much in the cycle since the Enforcer had left.
“Guess we better get it done and over with,” the black and white mech stated flatly. The other mech said nothing, just looked at him like a Dioptase-Deer caught into the open before giving him a faint, shaky nod.
“Your berthroom?” he asked in a small voice.
“Here,” Jazz countered. Pit, he wasn’t ready to have that mech in his berth yet, the couch would do. The couch… or better yet, the floor. “On your hands and knees,” he ordered. That way, he wouldn’t have to look at that mech’s face while he… did what they had to do to make a Sparkling.
That wouldn’t be very comfortable. In fact, it would probably hard to bear for Prowl’s injured knee, but Jazz didn’t care. It wasn’t his problem, was it?
Anyone else would have heard him, heard his tone, they would have protested or snapped at him. They would have pointed out Jazz had no right to issue such commands, that the inmate released in his care had a right to be treated well and addressed to with care if not with affection. Jazz himself had read the papers before signing.
But he was angry and not thinking straight – and Prowl wasn’t protesting. Just hesitated, looked at his knee with worry a moment before taking a look of deep resignation and moving, putting himself in the position Jazz had ordered him to take.
He shouldn’t have obeyed so readily, it wasn’t normal…
But Jazz wasn’t in any state to care about normal, and probably wouldn’t be before a long, long while.