Title: First Steps
Pairing/Characters: Thundercracker/Skywarp/Starscream; Shockwave, OC Cloudburst, Prowl
Summary: The first steps of our characters are told, performed, and planned. Little Prince AU fic.
Disclaimer: Do not own Transformers.
Notes: Thundercracker does not have the ability to break the sound barrier at the moment and Skywarp does not yet have the ability to warp.
"So what's the deal with Cloudburst?"
The day in Praxus was reaching noon and the healthy rays of light lay upon a Vosian and Kaonian sitting in relative quiet and peace within the home of Cloudburst. The pair was sitting in the dining room adjoined to the kitchen, comfortable at the dining table. The Vosian staring in a manner of bored but curious attentiveness and the Kaonian who was silently reading a datapad chock full of scientific enhancements for the Praxian frame-type.
In the face of Thundercracker's question, Shockwave looked up at the seeker across the table from him and glanced pointedly at the door that lead to the living room. He received a huff from the seeker and Thundercracker leaning back to cross his arms with an exasperated roll of his optics.
"Relax, Shockwave. Prowl is in recharge and he'll call us if he wakes up and needs anything."
Shockwave was amused to hear pride in the seeker's voice. Thundercracker leaned forward again, folding his arms on the table and this time smirking mischievously, "Now spill. What's a prodigy Kaonian scientist doing in Praxus? What made you hone in on a pretty copter like Cloudburst, huh?"
Shockwave sighed inwardly, setting his datapad down and easily hiding his exasperation. He would have to give the seeker something because Thundercracker wouldn't let up until he did; Vosians were persistent that way. He cast his thoughts to said copter who was currently running a few errands in the shopping section of Praxus. Considering what to say in answer to Thundercracker's question, he concluded just to answer with a name.
Shockwave gave a patient sigh of his vents and explained, "Solarflare was a Vosian who left Vox willingly. You and your trine had not been sparked yet when he left his city and why he did eludes me even to this cycle but I did not care to pry." His last word was directed at Thundercracker who grinned without shame. Continuing, Shockwave folded his hands on the tabletop, "Solarflare had a great knack for creative thinking, as all seekers do. I met him during a scientific gathering of Cybertron's prodigies and local, un-proclaimed but well known geniuses."
"Oh, really? He was a scientist then?" Thundercracker guessed.
"No." Shockwave gave a rare chuckle, "Solarflare 'crashed the party' so to speak. He insulted us and acted as a critic to every formula and invention he set his optics on, whether he complained about the process or color. I was... angry. Truly angry at the sheer audacity of such a mech who was clearly not a scientist daring to throw our work into shame.
"Shortly afterward he retreated from the main hall where we had displayed said insulted inventions and once he did I realized that he had in fact insulted my own invention in such a manner that it forced me to look at it another way. It could be better and more efficient if I changed some of the components. This realization made me understand that this rude seeker had not been aiming to insult but to instead, inspire. I gathered my belongings and sought him out immediately. I found him on the roof of the building that the gathering and invited him to work with me once I did locate him."
"Wow..." Thundercracker seemed sincerely surprised which made Shockwave smile safely unseen behind his face-plate. "But... that was in Kaon... why are you in Praxus?"
Shockwave tilted his head slightly, "Solarflare was a Vosian and as you very well know, there are great tensions and hostilities between the seekers and grounders. It quickly became apparent to me that Solarflare was unhappy living in Kaon and I would not have my partner and friend uncomfortable if I could do something to fix it. However I was also aware that Vox would not accept him. He had abandoned Vos to live among grounders. Added to his unspoken exile, Vos would never allow me to live there either. Even if I had the hover-pedes installed like I do now, at the time they would have cast me away without thought. So with Vos out of the question I was forced to think of something else."
Shockwave regarded the seeker across from him who was watching and listening with rapt attention, "Now, you do know that Praxians and Vosians are sister-frames."
It was not a question but Thundercracker answered anyway. "Every seekerlet is told that story. Millions of vorns ago, a group of seekers landed on Cybertron and were curious about the grounders and their ways of life on the ground, which by the way I still think is insane. Anyway over time those seekers lost the ability to fly and shed their Seeker programming. Praxian doorwings are a remainder of Vosian wings because they couldn't bear to leave such a symbol of their pasts behind."
Shockwave nodded, continuing on, "It is also what attributed to the base of Praxian programming. At its core, Praxians are a perfect well of creative coding making them peaceful and inquisitive; a frame type of scholars, art, and music. Of course at the price of seclusion for Praxus and with their near-seeker customs in comparison to the original grounders' very different customs it led to Praxus erecting its extremely effective energy borders. Yet, despite the tentative interaction and trades with other city-states, the history of the Praxian frame led to a prosperous treaty based on kinship and understanding between the sister-frames and as a result, the sister-cities."
Thundercracker's optics widened in clear understanding and Shockwave nodded to affirm the conclusion he knew the seeker had drawn. "Once I established Praxus as the only logical location available, I made the arrangements to transfer their as soon as possible. My credits saved up from the beginning of my career were more than enough to move the essentials of my former facility into a large spiral building near the Helix Gardens; overlooking it actually.
"The structure had been abandoned once the seekers shed their flight programs. The bottom three floors were as normal as any other building on Cybertron with a few distinct Praxian differences but the upper three floors had clearly been situated in the past for seekers. Solarflare used those rooms while he stayed with me. After he decided to strike out on his own once again the first two levels were converted for storage though I kept the highest floor untouched. Even now I have not breached that floor since he stepped out of my tower for the last time. Now only the three bottom floors are used consistently by me as a recreational floor, my personal quarters, and my lab; the upper layers sealed with constantly updated firewalls.
"Solarflare was accepted easily by the Praxians when we arrived, in fact many of them came to visit him during the first few deca-cycles afterwards. When it became apparent I had entered the realm of Praxus to shelter him, I too was accepted." Shockwave said quietly, thinking about the curious and suspicious Praxians that had greeted them all those vorns ago.
"Slag. That's what I call a lucky break." Thundercracker said with a wry grin. "So how does this connect to my question exactly?"
"Solarflare was Cloudburst's Creator."
"Yes. Solarflare met a rather striking and intelligent young Praxian named Scroll and set about courting her immediately. They bonded half a vorn later and exactly five vorns, ten orns, and twenty-seven cycles after their bonding, Scroll sparked Cloudburst." Shockwave sighed heavily, darker memories coming back as clear as the cycle he witnessed them, "Unfortunately Scroll contracted a deadly virus and she deactivated when Cloudburst entered his youngling frame. Solarflare managed to stay his departure to Primus and his sparkmate until Cloudburst was upgraded into a fully mature mech frame.
"On his deactivation-berth, he made me swear to watch over Cloudburst and apparently made his creation take a similar promise to keep tabs on me and make sure I didn't work myself into the ground." Shockwave finished with soft amusement.
"I get it." Thundercracker said after a moment of silence. Shockwave watched Thundercracker think and was about to pick up his datapad again when the seeker asked, "So... you don't love Cloudburst? You're just holding on to an oath?"
Shockwave frowned, folding his claws together. "... No, it is not just an oath. I was not aware that it was so obvious. I care deeply for Cloudburst and for his creation. I kept my feelings for Cloudburst to myself when he found a mate. Though after the unfortunate... separation of Cloudburst and his mate, I did not think it wise to speak of it and have still continued to think so."
Shockwave's voice lowered as he looked around the room, "I do not wish to poison what we currently have with the irrational urge to hurry. He needs time to heal. I am giving him that."
"Yeah...I guess." Thundercracker murmured, quietly, he too looking around.
There was a few beats of silence and then a deeply annoyed tone appeared in Thundercracker's voice as he spoke under his breath with rising volume, "Whoever that mech was, he was a complete glitch to leave someone like Cloudburst; and also to leave Prowl Creator-less! I'll-"
"Hush." Shockwave said sternly, although he was greatly comforted by Thundercracker's words, "Prowl is recharging. We mustn't wake him."
In the living room where said sparkling should have been deep in the embrace of recharge, Prowl was instead grabbing at the bars of his crib, kicking his legs and tossing his Winged Ones-plushies around. He was wide-awake and no matter how he adjusted himself, he could not go back to recharge.
His situation was entirely his own fault. Prowl had woken up early, hugging his Wap-chibi close and rubbing shuttered optics. His little audios had heard Shuky and Cwacka's voice from somewhere that wasn't here and he didn't think that either of them would have heard him calling out with his squeaky voice. However it also left him stuck in his crib until he could either fall back into recharge -and he didn't want to!- or Shucky or Cwacka walked into the room.
Prowl sighed, gnawing on the edge of his wing-decorated blanket and looked out between the bars of his crib. He sat up with a little struggle and poked his hand through the bars of his crib thoughtfully and giggled as he turned, reaching for his plushies with his processor already whirring. Grabbing the Staw, Wap, and Cwacka plushies, he pushed them through the bars of his crib with a tiny grunt of effort and they landed on the ground below his crib with soft thuds.
Prowl then reached for the top of the crib but quickly discovered that he was too small and his little fingers could not even touch the top bar. Pouting up at the top bar for a few astro-seconds, Prowl grabbed the other bars and he tried to haul himself higher up. At first Prowl didn't even notice he had slid his pedes under himself and with a burst of strength fueled by hope, Prowl had successfully grabbed the bar and he clicked excitedly on reflex, not bothering with any of the words he had begun learning.
His excitement was short-lived as his legs buckled beneath him and he landed on his aft with a grunt. Blinking in stupefied surprise at his own legs, Prowl frowned with a hint of a pout. Maneuvering himself back over to the bars of his crib he repeated his last try and once he had propped himself up on trembling legs again, held tightly to the top bar. Whining a bit when he felt an aching heat on his knees, he propelled himself up and gave a chirp of alarm and fear as he tumbled over the top bar.
Prowl was too scared to scream or shout and the world was going a to fast and he was going to hit the ground like his blocks did when he pulled out the bottom one and he-
-landed on Staw-plushie.
Prowl stared into the red-cloth optics of Staw-plushie and smiled, nuzzling his face into the cockpit of his three-colored Winged One.
Grabbing Staw-plushie's arm in one hand he looked around curiously then located the plastic blocks he had been thinking about astro-seconds ago near the big couch. Crawling over to the blocks stacked neatly next to a few other toys that were kept in the room where the adults sat and talked a lot, Prowl placed Staw-plushie by the blocks and squeaked, "Stay. Be wigh' back."
After reassuring his Staw-plushie that he would be right back -with extra promises- he crawled back for Cwacka-plushie. Once he had Cwacka-plushie next to Staw-plushie he repeated his words, patting Cwacka-plushie's hand before heading back for Wap-plushie. Once he had all of them together and propped up against the couch, he settled in between Wap-plushie and Cwacka-plushie before beginning to make his block towers.
He giggled when he made his usual three-block tower and knocked it over with his pede. Prowl grunted as he began stacking it back up and then was hit with a surprisingly revelation from the random thoughts floating around in his processor. Turning his head around, he stared at the couch cushion above his head intently then looked forward again where his crib was in the distance. Looking at the top bar carefully then back at the cushion something clicked in his processor and he reached up grabbing the edge of the cushion.
"Did you hear that?" Shockwave questioned in the silence that had laid itself over the dining room after his short tale was told. He watched Thundercracker cock his head to the side and the seeker frowned, raising an optic ridge at him.
Shockwave focused on the memory of the sound and the silence that now seemed almost too silent. The faint noise had seemed so familiar. Familiar enough that he could not automatically place it. But what had it been?
He looked over at the door leading to the living room as the faint clonking noise came again and he stood up as Thundercracker did.
Thundercracker was immediately at the door with a protective rage beginning to form in an concentrated stream to his processor as he swept the door open.
Shockwave felt himself tensing, on edge, as he too hurried to the door, datapad forgotten on the table. The noise should not be occurring! Prowl was in his crib fast in recharge!
He rushed through the door after Thundercracker only to be forced to a stop or else crash into the blue and black seeker frozen just three steps into the room. Side-stepping, he followed the seeker's gaze and could not blame Thundercracker for his current paralysis.
Prowl didn't even notice them, half-standing and half-leaning against the couch, squeaking with effort as he placed a fifth cube on top of his block tower.
Prowl was standing.
Shockwave took a few steps forward as Prowl finally placed the cube on the tower and exploded into tiny chirps and giggles. He didn't know of his movement made Prowl look up but he did and looking surprised for an astro-second then squeaked happily, "Shuky!" and lifted his foot stepping forward once-
Shockwave smiled under his mask.
He could hear Thundercracker's engine practically vibrating with excitement behind him.
-and then the Praxian's doorwings began to pull him backwards.
With no thought leant to his action, Shockwave lunged forward, using a quick pivot on his pede as he curled his body and used his hand to keep himself from crushing Prowl. He ended up facing Thundercracker, one leg up to his chassis and his other leg resting on the ground, as he held Prowl securely. Worriedly, he checked the tiny doorwinglets and sighed quietly in relief when they merely fluttered as Prowl clapped his hands happily.
"Slag, Shockwave... are you sure you're a scientist and not an acrobat? That was some nice maneuvering." Thundercracker said, shock switching into a teasing smirk.
Shockwave ignored the seeker and caressed Prowl's helm before picking him up and setting him lightly on his feet. Prowl smiled up at him as he wobbly kept his balance. He retained his posture until near ten astro-seconds passed and he started falling backwards again. Yet this time, Shockwave's large servo wrapped around him securely before he could fall to far and Shockwave stood up, cradling Prowl in his arms, listening to the quiet whirs of his tiny cooling fans.
Shockwave traced a claw down Prowl's nose and said softly, "You," he paused, tapping him on the nose, ", were not supposed to start walking for another five or four orns." He smiled as Prowl giggled, the subtle praise going over his helm completely as he grabbed for his claw playfully.
Thundercracker had just walked up to them and was reaching out to Prowl when the front door banged open loudly, startling Prowl and scaring him into burrowing his helm into Shockwave's chassis with a whimpering cry. Instinctively Shockwave held the sparkling closer, even when he realized it was only Skywarp that had run through the door. The usually hyper-active seeker looked worried and he grabbed at Thundercracker pulling him to the door.
"Come on! We have to go! Cloudburst is bringing someone home! We can't stay! Come on already, move it!"
Shockwave stared at the scene in bemusement but then heard Prowl whimper again, though not in fear this time but instead in longing. Prowl was watching the seekers with large watery optics and trembling lips as he reached out a small white hand to them beseechingly.
"Wap! Cwacka! Don' go!" Prowl whimpered. He didn't understand! Just a moment he had been happy and his Winged One and Almost-Maybe-Creator had been happy too!
Skywarp looked back and Shockwave saw the pain appearing in Skywarp's optics in response to Prowl's pleas. The violet and black seeker moved quickly back towards them, pressing a gentle kiss to Prowl's chevron base, "Sorry, sparkling. I promise; we'll be back soon okay? Love you Prowl."
Then Skywarp was ushering Thundercracker out and Shockwave heard two engines roar to life as the low bursts of thrusters fired them into the sky and out of sight. Shockwave held Prowl close and shushed him gently, walking over to the crib and about to set him inside when Prowl cried out, "Nu! Nu Shuky!" and gripped tightly on his chassis in physical protest.
"Alright Prowl." He whispered immediately. "Calm down, it's okay." He murmured heading for the couch and sitting down. Placing Prowl in his lap, he reached down and handed him in his plushies. Prowl snuggled into them immediately, sniffling quietly as Shockwave traced lines down his helm in a soothing gesture.
Narrowed green optics watched two seekers ascend into the sky, flying fast and hard toward the general direction of Vos. The owner of said optics turned their gaze to the humble little home they had exited and about six breems later they watched as a gray and blue copter approached the house with another mech. A large towering purple mech opening the door for them and inaudible words were exchanged before the large mech stepped aside and left. Venomous jealousy filled the green optics and the face twisted into a furious snarl, imprinting the face of the copter in their processor before turning and stalking away. Two deca-cycles of watching had made it obvious that the Festival at Vos was not a failure at all. The copter had been selected... and that was unacceptable. A slow smile spread across the face as a plan began to form in their mind.