Prowl bitterly, poisonously regretted adding B... Bluestreak's sire's name to the Praxus Memorial. At the time, sparkling in arms, he had mourned his conjunx. They'd argued, yes, but they'd always had differing opinions. Their first date had devolved into a debate on the efficacy of their department's newly acquired acid guns. They'd been so voluble they were asked to leave the restaurant, and had argued all the way to his apartment where Prowl had triumphantly shown off the specs on his modified rifle, proving himself right, before being shoved up against a wall to be ruthlessly kissed.

They'd ended up on the sofa. Then the floor. Then the berth, Waking up cuddled close, Prowl hadn't known what it meant. He remembered now sourly how relieved he had felt then to be reassured it wasn't a one-night stand. They'd grabbed energon on the way to work and had sat together in the canteen on shift-break.

Their courtship hadn't been smooth. They were both workaholics, both ambitious. He'd been assigned to the Central Precinct, to Tactical, while his partner had gone to a rougher border station to chase down smugglers. But they'd made it work. Even when Prowl had been promoted to Tactical Commander in contrast to the demerits for insubordination his mate had received. They'd argued about that too. Politics mostly.

Prowl had been worried about the rise in violence, the deterioration of the 'Kaon Situation', concerned that his mate would do something stupid to fix the system they both knew was failing. So he'd proposed. He'd hoped the security of the Conjunx Rite would give them the reassurance they'd craved. It'd been good. Good for quite a while.

He'd pulled strings to get his conjunx assigned to Central, to give them more time together. More arguments. More making up. They'd shared sparks in a blaze of righteous anger and passion. Towards the end, an end he hadn't realised was coming, his conjunx had seemed to mellow. He'd been delighted when Prowl told him he was sparked. Their last quarrel hadn't been about policy or politics; it'd been over the tactician's refusal to go on carrier leave.

He'd agreed to take a medical absence the decacycle before emergence was due, even conceding that he'd stay with his conjunx's creators on the sleepy outskirts of Praxus. At the time, Prowl had thought himself lucky. He'd delivered his sparkling on the floor of their kitchen with his carrier-in-law coaching him and his sire-in-law frantically calling every clinic in the district and getting a busy signal each time.

It was only when the older mech had turned on the news that they'd learned why no one was answering; Seekers were bombing the capitol. The three of them and little Bluestreak had hunkered down until the bombardment was over, as much as he'd wanted to rush back to Central to do something. To find his conjunx.

He hadn't found his partner's frame. Once the Seekers fragged off back to Vos, the rescue efforts began. Prowl had gone straight to his precinct. Straight to the crater where his precinct had been. A direct hit. 95% of the Enforcer stations had been targeted precisely. By simple fluke of timing, he had become the highest ranking officer still functioning. The survivors looked to him for direction.

So he'd directed. He'd organised. He'd tidied. And when they had the moment, he'd commissioned the Memorial because they would have to leave their razed city. He carved the name plaque for his conjunx himself. As far as he knew, it was still there tainting the monument. Because Bluestreak's sire hadn't died with his comrades. He hadn't even been in the city.

He'd been in Vos giving targeting intel to the Seekers.

He'd already been wearing a purple badge when his sparkling emerged.

Prowl stared at the garishly orange ceiling of the Ark's medbay as the spark monitor pinged shrilly. Ratchet leaned over his open chest-plates, frowning. The tactician didn't need the medic to tell him he'd been lucky. If he'd been in the field instead of the mess, if he'd been alone, if it hadn't been so long since he'd merged with his conjunx, if the CMO hadn't seen that reaction before and realised the source of his seizure...

"You're stable." Ratchet informed him, replacing the armour over the Praxian's spark. "The bond's dissolved. There'll be some scarring but you'll be fit for duty."

"I know." Prowl said simply. He'd known that since the Memorial.