Barricade hung back after the morning workout, watching as everyone filed out. Ironhide was putting up the practice weapons, so Barricade went to help, taking the opportunity to speak semi-privately.
Ironhide glanced at him as he approached, eyebrow arching up.
“Need to blow off some steam.”
Barricade gave Ironhide a flat look. He was going to make him ask, wasn’t he? Fine. “Mind sparring with me?”
Ironhide shrugged. “Ok. Method?”
“Hand to hand.”
Ironhide nodded, and Barricade helped him finish with the practice weapons. Nearly everyone had left, Ironhide waving Prime off as he walked out to the middle of the mat. Barricade squared up, then dove forward. Prime watched for a few minutes, but eventually the door thumped shut as he left too.
Barricade dipped and dodged, feinted and struck out. He growled, and Ironhide arched a brow at him again. Barricade attacked harder, forcing Ironhide into a few moments of purely defensive blocks and dodges.
Barricade stared up at the ceiling far above, trying to remember how he’d ended up like this. Ironhide stood over him, gestured him back up, then crouched as Barricade rolled to his feet. He shook off the hard landing, inhaling deeply. This was, after all, why he’d wanted to spar Ironhide. No punches would be pulled, Barricade would not be coddled. He also didn’t have to hold back. He didn’t think he could, and that was a very dangerous place for him to be.
Barricade slammed into the mats half a dozen more times before sheer luck dragged Ironhide down with him. They grappled, rolling, struggling for dominance. Ironhide reared up, knees clamped tight to Barricade’s sides, hands squeezing his wrists hard enough to leave bruises. Barricade hissed as his hands were forced to the mat to either side of his head.
Ironhide leaned over him. They were both breathing hard, chests heaving, sweat damp, and shirts clinging to their skin. Barricade snarled, wriggling, but Ironhide had him pinned pretty well, and he was suddenly fragging exhausted.
That exhaustion shifted to wary alertness as Ironhide tipped his head and stared at him with a far too thoughtful expression. “I can throw your ass around for the rest of the day, but that ain’t what ya need, is it?”
Barricade frowned, shaking his head in confusion. “What?”
Ironhide leaned down until their chests pressed together. Barricade’s spark leapt in awareness, his eyes going wide. Ironhide nodded once, as though that was exactly the reaction he’d been expecting.
“Yeah, ya do,” Ironhide said. “Ya got Frenzy ta snuggle ya, but no one to really wear ya out. No one ya can cut loose like this with.” His grip on Barricade’s wrists loosened, hands turning, pushing up until Ironhide could lace their fingers together. “Ya definitely needed the beating. Think ya need this more though.”
Barricade stared up in shock. He… suddenly really wanted it. Or, maybe not so suddenly. He’d been aroused and confused since that dream, but he wasn’t sure he could accept this from Ironhide. However, if there was ever anyone here that could handle him without control, he was looking at him.
“Your choice, Cade,” Ironhide said, but his head dipped, mouth brushing Barricade’s ear. “I’ll let ya up. You can go, we can spar more, or ya can admit how much ya want me ta ‘face ya through the floor, and I will.”
Barricade shivered, hesitating, not something he did too often. He didn’t like indecision, but Ironhide wasn’t forcing the issue past his little display of showing them both how much Barricade really did want it. He clutched at Ironhide’s hands, and gave a single sharp nod.
“Say it,” Ironhide ordered.
“That ya want me to ‘face ya through the floor,” Ironhide breathed into his ear.
Barricade squirmed, eyes squeezing shut. He was struggling with himself far more than he was struggling with Ironhide, and with a low whine, finally gave in. “Want you to ‘face me. Hard. Fast. Right through the fucking floor.”
The reaction was instantaneous. Ironhide’s energy plowed into Barricade’s spark, a second pulse blasting into him before he could even gather his wits.
“Holding back.” Ironhide bit Barricade’s earlobe, growling as he threw wave after wave of ecstasy at him. “No holding back.”
Barricade still struggled with himself, but it was a losing battle. First one low moan escaped, then another, then another. They got louder and louder. He arched up, pushing their chests tight together, and roared as overload shredded him.
Someone was whimpering, and someone else was purring, touching him gently. It took a moment for it to filter through to Barricade that he was the one whimpering. He was the one burying his face in Ironhide’s throat and being gentled like some frightened youngling.
And yet he couldn’t pull himself away. His hands had been released at some point, and he clung to Ironhide rather than push him away, and that went on for a shamefully long time.
When he could finally breathe, Barricade released the grip he had on Ironhide’s shoulders. He flexed stiff, aching fingers, and let his body relax.
“Can come to me when you need this,” Ironhide murmured by his ear. “Don’t let it get so bad again.”
“Been enemies a long time,” was all Barricade could think to say, and even that wasn’t an excuse.
Ironhide of course, didn’t let him get away with it either. “Not enemies anymore. You come to me. Need more than I can give, we’ll grab Optimus too.”
Barricade nodded, inhaling deeply, and blowing the breath out in a whoosh. Ironhide rose to his feet, hauling Barricade up with him. He was tugged into a sideways hug as they headed for the door.
“Think we have just enough time for a shower before lunch.” Ironhide opened the door and held it as Barricade exited the gym.
“Not a word, not to nobody.”
Barricade nodded again, in gratitude this time, and as they entered the main building he took the opportunity and squeezed Ironhide’s arm. Just another subtle thank you he couldn’t begin to put into words, but sincerely meant all the same.