A/N: This is a tribute fic to the events in Paris on the 13th November and in memory of all those involved in these horrific attacks. The summary is that Prowl sees the events, it reminds him of Praxus and he cannot understand why the people who do this claim to be doing it for good. Jazz and the humans teach him a lesson about moving on, and he learns that perhaps cybertronians and humans are not so different after all.
In regards to 'Teach me to Fly', I will be updating soon hopefully, but I have exams next week for two weeks so please bear with me on that. It will be continued though, so fear not! Thank you to everyone who has stuck with that story thus far, and cookies for all of you lovely people!
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, but also with any Muslims who are being targeted due to these attacks. Please remember that ISIS are terrorists, and Muslims are not. Lots of love and hugs to you all, and please stay safe!
Prowl sighed with annoyance as Jazz literally dragged him out of his office and down the corridor to the rec. room to fetch energon with him. Admittedly, it was quite impressive that Jazz was able to do this as the silver mech barely came up to his shoulder plating. His friend had come to badger him after realising Prowl hadn't refuelled for a while.
A while being a day or so, but Prowl would never admit that to Jazz.
"C'mon Prowler, it's the rec room, not ol' Meg's office." Jazz whined at him when he saw Prowl's faceplate. Prowl quirked a smile at him.
"I doubt Megatron even has an office, and it might as well be a death sentence with all the mechs in there." Prowl replied dubiously with a hint of sarcasm. Jazz shot him a glare that could melt circuits.
"Spoilsport." He grumbled, before pulling open the door to the rec. room and practically shoving Prowl in there with a wide smile. Prowl regained his balance enough to glare back before looking around. He had hoped few mechs would be there. Unfortunately, practically the whole base was for some reason.
It didn't seem unusual, they usually gathered to play games. At least, it didn't seem that way until he noted the tense faces from humans and Cybertronians alike. Curious, he stepped round to see what they were watching on the 'bot sized screen.
"What is happening?" Prowl asked in confusion as he saw someone placing a lit candle down on a street somewhere.
"Terrorists." Lennox replied darkly, with a look that promised death. Jazz danced round in front, but with less humour than usual. He too, had apparently missed any earlier broadcasts.
"Wha's an ISIS? Isn't tha' an Egyptian Goddess or somethin'?" Jazz stated and Epps muttered something under his breath that no-one heard.
"ISIS is the name of a terrorist group. Google it." Epps repeated darkly, eyes never leaving the broadcast. Prowl and Jazz both did and upon realising, Prowl gasped in horror. He stepped round to see what was going on more clearly and took a seat in front of Ironhide as the bot' sized sofa was completely full.
"As of yet, around 120 people are thought to be dead." The broadcaster was saying and Prowl's tanks churned as he realised 'Paris' was a city which was supposed to be terrorist-free.
Much like Praxus, he thought, and his tanks churned again. Jazz took a seat beside him as they showed a clip of gunfire with people screaming and running away. Mikaela gave a sharp sob and Sam awkwardly held his girlfriend. Lennox, Epps and the rest of the soldiers just glared.
"How… could they d-do this? The-they we-e-re innocent pe-people." Mikaela sobbed into Sam who patted her and rubbed her back.
"I know Miki. I know." He said softly and Bumblebee beeped and whirred. Prowl watched the rest of the broadcast until he could watch no more. How people could claim to be doing this in the name of a 'God' was beyond him and he felt sickened that humans would use that as an excuse to kill their own kind. Even the decepticons did not claim to be doing it in the name of Primus. It was wrong. Murder was murder.
What finally did it was when they showed the 'Eifel Tower' which was completely dark above the rest of the city. Prowl was struck with a vision of the central tower of Praxus which had also been completely dark right before it had been destroyed, when the decepticons were bombing the city in the same way – suicide bombers armed with deadly missiles to kill innocents. Unable to bear anymore, he made his way out hastily.
Jazz watched him go and stood as if to leave.
"What's wrong with him?" Mikaela asked worriedly, tears still leaking but no longer sobbing.
"Praxus 'ad ah tower kinda like tha'." Jazz gestured and started to leave, but was stopped by a hand on his shoulder. Prime.
"I shall attend to Prowl." Prime said gravely and Jazz hesitated, before nodding and stepping aside. He took Prime's seat next to Ironhide and Sideswipe, the latter giving him a reassuring pat. Prime left quickly and soon arrived at the tactician's office where he could sense the field of grief and confusion.
He stepped in to see the tactician leaning on his desk, head in servos in a posture of despair. Looking over to the wall, he noted the dent marks in it where Prowl had obviously taken his frustrations out on the wall. The Matrix prompted him forward, and he obeyed and went over to place a hand on Prowl's shoulder.
Prowl flinched before accepting the touch and Prime sent waves of comfort through his field knowing that Prowl needed to talk and he was just there to listen and offer his support. Finally the tactician stopped shaking and began to speak.
"I don't understand." Prowl said in small voice that sounded nothing like the usually cold-mannered SIC. "I just.. don't. We had the decepticons, but we never had groups who claimed to do things for good. Why would this happen?"
"I do not know. Perhaps it is the fact humans have a very different culture to us, but they are not as unlike us as you think Prowl. There are good ones, and evil ones. What we have just seen are the evil ones."
"I don't…. all those people. Primus, it even sounds similar. Praxus, Paris. Dead people, dead cybertronians. Decepticons, Terrorists." He murmured sorrowfully and Prime rubbed his shoulder soothingly. Prowl merely vented in and out harshly before straightening.
"There's been other things too apparently, according to the human news." Prowl said dismally and Prime nodded, aware his SIC was correct.
"I am aware. Today is a day of grief for the humans, much like the fall of Praxus was for our kind." Prime replied softly and Prowl nodded once, sharply before looking away from Prime. The Matrix reached out to offer comfort, but Prowl's field rejected it with anger.
"They destroyed my home." He whispered harshly and Prime said nothing. "These… terrorists are no different to the Decepticons, taking lives and destroying homes. They bomb innocent people."
"Yes, and like we fight to protect what is left, humans such as Lennox and Epps fight against these terrorists, but like the Decepticons it is often difficult to decide when to fight and when not to fight. Nobody wants to put their home in danger." Prime said and Prowl accepted it with another dip of his head. Prime, knowing that Prowl did not yet understand his words, took it as his cue to leave and let Prowl think over what had just been said. "I will go now." Prime said, before leaving. On his way out, he bumped into Jazz.
"Well?" The silver saboteur asked and Prime shook his head.
"Give him time. He doesn't understand why humans do these things and say it is for 'good'." Prime answered and Jazz cast a longing glance at the office door before nodding and turning away in the opposite direction.
Over the next couple of days, Prowl was inconsolable. He did not leave his office and Jazz, sensing the turmoil from his brother's spark left well enough alone, not wanting to anger or upset Prowl further. He spent the majority of his time watching the broadcasts with the other humans – mainly Lennox and Epps as it upset Mikaela a lot so Sam tried to distract her with other things.
Prowl watched it on the internet too, and followed every little update. As the death count rose, so did his grief. Jazz sighed and looked up at the screen.
"Prowl alright?" Epps asked him suddenly and Jazz shook his head.
"He don't understan' why they claim tah be doin' it for good." Jazz replied dismally and Epps exchanged a glance with Lennox.
"Neither do we. Neither does anyone." Lennox answered. Jazz did not reply, only watched as the broadcast showed people laying down tributes of flowers, notes and oddly – lighting candles.
"Why do they ligh' candles?" He asked curiously and Lennox thought over the question for a moment.
"It's an act of remembrance. Of honour. We light them when we pray for loved ones, or remember those lost for various reasons. It's also a symbol of hope, a light in the darkness so to speak." Lennox answered and at that moment, Sam and Mikaela arrived with Bumblebee, Maggie, Glen and a few other soldiers Jazz had seen around base. Mikaela sniffed, before wiping her eyes.
"We're going to light some chinses lanterns. For Paris, like a memorial of our own. Do you want to come?" She asked and Lennox and Epps agreed immediately. The 'bots wanted to go as well and followed the humans out.
"Wait ah sec." Jazz said to Ironhide before dashing back in all the way to Prowl's office where he burst in on the grieving tactician.
"Jazz… what…" Prowl began but Jazz grabbed his hand and dragged him quickly out of it.
"Trust meh, yah wanna see this." Jazz said and Prowl complied, seeing Jazz was serious. They arrived outside just as the first group of lanterns were released into the sky. Some were by humans, some by Autobot holoforms. To Jazz's surprise, even the terror twins had one.
"What is this?" Prowl asked, even as he googled it.
"We light lanterns to remember the lives lost in these events. Would you like to light one?" Lennox asked seriously and Prowl didn't even hesitate before kneeling down and switching on his holoform.
"I would be honoured." He replied seriously before taking the object from Lennox.
"Meh too." Jazz answered in the same tone before kneeling next to Prowl and also switching on his holoform. Prowl, having researched the meaning found it to be a good way to remember those who had died. They didn't have this on Cybertron, and it was a human custom he found oddly touching.
Lighting it, he turned to Jazz who was smiling at him.
"Together?" He asked on a spur of the moment.
"Togeth'a." Jazz answered and they held their lanterns up to the night sky before realising their lanterns to the heavens. Jazz's hand found his brother's and together, they stood side-by-side as they watched the lanterns float away until they could see them no more.
They did this until all the lanterns were used up and floating into the night sky. Prowl had noted the colours were red, white and blue like the national flag of the country France, where Paris was. Oddly at peace, he turned to go back in doors only to notice Jazz had left at some point without him noticing.
He thought nothing of it, and as it was late retired to his berth to recharge. The next day however, when he walked into his office he noticed something hanging on the wall that had not been there previously. Walking over, he inspected the picture which was right over the place where he had hit the wall and left marks.
The picture showed the dark tower in the center, but around the edge were pictures of various human monuments from different cities, all bearing the national colours of France. The caption was 'When the city of light goes dark, the rest of the world lights up for them." It was a fitting caption in Prowl's opinion and he allowed his fingertips to linger on it for a moment before realising the door had slid open and Jazz was casually leaning against the frame of it.
"Thank you." Prowl said sincerely.
"It was Lennox's idea. In times of trouble, the human's stand togeth'a, and we stand with them too. Nobody will forget wha' happened tah Paris, or Praxus and we are all here for each otha'." Jazz replied, moving forward to throw an arm around Prowl. The tactician accepted, and gazed at the picture along with Jazz for a few minutes in a peaceful silence.
It seemed that even at their lows, humanity and Cybertronians alike supported each other right through to the end no matter what tomorrow would bring.