Title: Out of the Ashes . . . .

Rating: None that I can think of

Universe: Pre Movie 07/Bayverse

Pairings: Prowl n Jazz friendship

Warnings: just fluff and angst

Summary: After the fall of Praxus, Prowl finds himself having to adjust to the new changes in his life: starting with loss, new love and bitter betrayal.

Orn- day

Cycle – week

'Blah' - flashback

The two suns setting upon the horizon cast long and ominous shadows across the rocky and metallic landscape of the planet Cybertron, their slowly diminishing rays fell upon the city of Iacon giving it an ethereal glow. It was a beautiful sight to behold especially from the large spire building that served as Autobot headquarters, this natural phenomenon that occurred every orn was being half heartedly observed by Prowl as he stood in his office. The military strategist had not long ago stepped off a shuttle after assisting the search and rescue unit in Praxus; the very city that he had been sparked in. He was still having trouble processing how a Decepticon strike force had managed to wipe an entire city off the face of Cybertron, especially after the hundreds and thousands of vorns it had taken to transform the city into what it had been.

Prowl made his way across to the desk and perched upon the edge of it, arms folded across his chest plates whilst sensory panels were held high almost in a 'V' formation so the tips were touching, in both anger and distress. Praxus had been of no particular importance to the war, its inhabitants including his own creators had been neutral wanting nothing to do with the rising conflict between the Autobots and Decepticons, yet they had been wiped out mercilessly and those who had survived had a fifty percent of surviving the night. The carnage seen at Praxus had almost been too much for some of the younger Autobots leaving the veterans the grizzly task of searching through the rubble to locate survivors. But even then the front-line warrior twins had been removed from the field when the 'usually sparkless' Sunstreaker's anger became more of a hindrance than a help.

The tactician was drawn out of his thoughts when he heard someone key in the code to his office, he didn't know if he could take the news delivered to him in person by Ratchet that another victim of the merciless attack had died at the moment as guilt and grief assailed his spark every time he thought about them. However the familiar light tread alerted him to another presence, the very one he was not afraid to lose his calm and collected façade in front of, he felt a hand gently grasp his upper right arm and he turned to meet the concerned gaze of his closest friend; Jazz. Prowl gave him a small smile and he received one in return before he settled his gaze back on the outside world. The silver mech stepped past him to sit on the edge of the desk next to the white and black form and placed his hands in his lap. The pair of them sat in companionable silence watching as the last of the two suns disappeared beyond the horizon before Prowl finally spoke up.

"Did you know that if Praxus had any forewarning, a majority of its citizens would still be alive?" The tactician asked not sparing the saboteur a glance as he said these words "and we could have prevented the city from being completely destroyed."

"Prowl no-one coulda predicted what was gonna happen." Jazz replied knowing that the tactician was blaming himself for what happened. That was a few of the flaws the black and white had, any mission big or small that went wrong, Prowl would personally blame himself for it and work himself almost into deactivation to make sure it didn't happen again "I've had ma ops division workin' overtime ta find out why we didn't get any Intel on ole Megs plannin' a strike, an' we've come up with nothin'"

"None of them deserved to die Jazz not without some chance of being able to defend themselves." Prowl said as he glanced at the special ops officer, his sensory panels wilted from their flared positions as emotions began their rampage through his processor over riding both his logic centre and battle computer "and those in the repair bay have almost no guarantee they'll survive either."

"I think ya gotta have some faith in Ratch Prowler, he's not gonna let any of them go without a fight." Jazz responded as he reached for one of the tactician's hands and clasped it in a reassuring squeeze, Prowl smiled shyly at the contact the saboteur had initiated but none the less relaxed slightly "an' ya know the 'Cons, they find a threat they eliminate it no questions asked an' no mercy shown."

The guilt returned at those words spoken by the saboteur and Prowl's sensory panels drooped all the way down so they were almost flat against his back, a frown marred the normally calm and collected facial plates "I still should have looked for a sign from the recent skirmishes, anything to suggest that they were planning to attack even if it hadn't been Praxus."

A frown appeared upon Jazz's facial plates "Prowl don't, you start with the reproach instead of figurin' a way to prevent this from happenin' again then you might as well be responsible for each of their deaths an' those yet to die." The words, the saboteur knew, were harsh but he hoped to drive his point home and it seemed to work as the tactician visibly winced "but I know for certain they don't blame ya." That earned him a surprised look from Prowl.

"You spoke to one of them?" The tactician inquired.

"Yea right before I came here, he wanted to speak to you but settled fer me instead." Jazz began as a small smile graced his facial plates "he's gonna one of the lucky ones, Ratch expects him to make a fully recovery."

"And the others?" Prowl dared to ask.

"Them too." Jazz responded which brought a questioning frown to his friend's facial plates "Ratch like you, changes his predictability when he sees an improvement or like you when you're given an odd ya don't like." The news of the survivors well beings certainly raised his spirits regardless that many had already had died, however the thought that those who had survived the devastating attack had been given a chance to carry on, was enough to chase away most of the guilt he had been feeling "so am I gonna have ta call the twins ta pound ya into the trainin' room mats or are ya good now?"

"I'm fine Jazz thank you." Prowl said with a small smile, he didn't realise his moods had affected the rest of the unit least of all the front-line warrior twins Sunstreaker and Sideswipe; after all the pair made it their goal in life to try and drive him over the edge at full speed.

"Come on let's get ya to ya quarters before Ratch comes an' drags ya out by ya panels." The silver mech said as he stood up and tugged on the hand that was still wrapped round one of the tactician's, Prowl didn't get the chance to protest before the silver mech practically pulled him to his feet and dragged him in the direction of the door. Jazz turned out the lights and locked the door the moment they were outside then led Prowl in the direction of the officers quarters. The journey there was quick and simple since there was no-one else in the corridors for which the tactician was grateful for as he felt exhaustion setting in, he watched as Jazz punched in the code to his quarters and the doors whooshed open to reveal the dark room within, although once they stepped inside the lighting came on at the usual soft setting.

The saboteur pushed and cajoled him into the wash rack and it was only then that he realised that he was still covered in dust, grime and dried energon, he told Jazz he was capable of washing himself but when he swayed and almost stumbled into the wash rack wall it was decided there and then that maybe the silver mech's help would be appreciated. The special ops officer took great care in washing armour plates that held numerous scrapes and dents, he frowned when he saw a few gashes that would require a little patch work and couldn't understand why Prowl had not had them seen too.

The silver mech turned the facet off and placed the cloth he had been using back on the shelf and grabbed the towel on the other side of the room, Prowl was leaning against the wall, blue optics dim with exhaustion and his entire posture sagging. Jazz quickly dried the black and white's plating, apologising every so often when he accidentally brushed against a wound, he then unceremoniously dumped the towel on the rack and pulling the tactician out of his wash rack and toward his berth-room. Prowl was nearly entering recharge by the time the saboteur led him to his berth and pushed him into lying down on his side so he could attend to the small gashes in the black and white's armour.

Jazz removed the small first aid kit he always carried on him from his sub-space and opened it, he pulled out a couple of cleansing wipes and ran them gently round the torn edges of armour, Prowl only flinched once but most of the time stayed still whilst he worked. The silver mech dished out a tiny tub of antiseptic ointment and smeared some across the wounds, Ratchet would no doubt have his head if he allowed the 2IC to succumb to an infection simply because one: he didn't cart Prowl's sorry aft down to the med-bay to be checked over and two: not applying his own small amount of medical knowledge to kick start the healing process. The saboteur screwed the lid back on and tossed it into the kit and wiped the excess off the tactician's armour and his fingers, then he grabbed one last item from the kit and covered each of the wounds in flexiseal so they remained clean.

During all of this Prowl remained quiet, his optics focused upon the wall opposite the berth, his gaze unseeing. He felt each gentle and soothing caress as Jazz saw to his injuries that up until this moment he had forgotten about, he kept his mind on each of the touches. He knew his logic centre and battle computer wanted to return to figuring out why there had been no distinctive patterns in the skirmishes they had with the Decepticons leading up to the attack on Praxus.

Suddenly his thought processes took a completely new route, one that he was not expecting as he considered each of the caresses and touches Jazz was placing upon the four different areas of his frame. Each of them felt too soft to belong to a top class assassin and saboteur, not too mention that they felt more of a lover's caress rather than that of a close friend. Then it dawned on him that maybe the saboteur was attracted to him since it would made all the passing attempts at getting him to come out of his shell a bit more, make sense. Not too mention the oddly phrased sentences the silver mech would throw at him and the touches that lingered longer than they should. If that was the case then maybe something good would come out of the death and destruction he had seen the past cycle, however he was faced with the notion to admitting his feelings first to the mech in question and if Jazz didn't reciprocate his feelings then it could prove awkward between them.

'Nothing ventured, nothing gained brother.' He suddenly heard his brother's voice in his head despite how illogical it sounded. However the words spoken by his deceased sibling did make sense, he just hoped Jazz wouldn't put the confession down to mourning for his deceased loved ones.

"There all done." Jazz spoke up after putting the roll of blue flexiseal back in the kit and storing it in his sub-space, making a mental note to grab replacements for the items he had used from the repair bay once every thing had calmed down "now I suggest ya get some recharge an' I'll check on ya in the mornin' unless Ratch comes an' hunts ya down before then." The saboteur pushed himself to his feet and was about to turn and leave when Prowl grabbed his hand and halted his movements, he turned around and glanced at the tactician curiously although he half expected this. Prowl never did deal with grief well on his own as Jazz knew that if he had been anywhere but here, the tactician would without a doubt drown himself in paper work until Ratchet locked him out of his office and confined him to quarters.

"Prowl?" Jazz inquired as he turned fully to face the black and white mech.

Prowl glanced up at him, his usual stoic appearance disappearing altogether revealing a completely different bot, he knew that there was a high possibility that the tactician's logic circuits and battle computer had gone off-line leaving Prowl to deal with emotions that were normally alien to him "Stay with me."

The saboteur looked a little startled at that but none the less nodded and settled himself comfortably at the head of the berth with his back against the wall. He decided he would stay until Prowl fell into a much needed recharge, although a part of him was telling him to stay and keep an optic on his close friend during the night cycle; after all it wouldn't be the first time he had spent a night in the tactician's quarters. He stiffened slightly when the black and white mech shifted upon the berth and rested his helm on his lap but soon relaxed. Jazz started trailing clawed fingers down the back of Prowl's helm with a gentle magnetic pulse and instantly he saw a difference as Prowl visibly relaxed upon the berth.

The saboteur suddenly wondered why the usually stoic and emotionless tactician was showing this vulnerable side of himself despite them being close friends, unless Prowl considered him more than just a friend? What if Prowl was trying to convey how he felt by allowing him the privileges very few were allowed like being able to touch him and see the other side of him? It would certainly make his job much easier if Prowl felt the same way he did at least then he wouldn't have to worry about disappearing under the radar for a little while if the tactician didn't reciprocate his feelings. Then there was the thought of the escalating war with the Decepticons to take into consideration, there was no way that they could possibly make a relationship work being second and third in command as the responsibilities that came with their positions would without a doubt get in the way.

"When I originally joined the Autobots, it was to ensure that my family would be safe." Prowl said so softly that Jazz, despite being one of the very few bots with sensitive hearing, almost didn't hear him "and I know they would want me to carry on and ensure that the same thing never happens to another city, and so I can protect the one bot I care for deeply." Jazz felt his spark clench in his chest, so Prowl had feelings for a fellow Autobot and a pang of jealousy struck him wondering who the lucky mech or femme was, although looking back he couldn't think of anyone that seemed interested in the black and white mech despite his rather handsome appearance. He quashed those feelings quickly especially when a white hand came up and sculptured fingers traced the armour seams around his knee joint, Jazz had to restrain himself from kicking out and hitting Prowl, his knees were a rather sensitive part of him among other places simply because of the exposed tubing and cabling at the back. A fact the tactician seemed to be well aware of.

"Rest Prowl." The saboteur murmured as he traced lazy circles around Prowl's left audio receptor.

"I care for you Jazz more than I'm supposed too and I refuse to allow anything to happen to you." The tactician mumbled tiredly before finally falling off-line.

Jazz sat there not quite sure whether he had heard the tactician right and was very tempted to shake him awake and ask him if what he had just said was true, but it looked as though it would have to wait until morning. He smiled at the thought that maybe Prowl really did reciprocate his feelings before glancing at the wall opposite him, his gaze fell upon a captured image of Praxus at dawn, the city looked positively beautiful and the painting captured the said beauty well. In fact it intensified it ten fold and Jazz frowned sadly, how could the Decepticons wipe how something so picturesque and magnificent and feel no remorse for carrying out such a distasteful act? The saboteur tore his gaze away from the holo image and glanced down at the slumbering tactician curled up on his side before him, he smiled as he ran his clawed fingers down the back of the white helm.

"Love you too Prowl." Jazz murmured quietly before he shuttered his optics and allowed his systems to power down into recharge with the thought that given time everything would be alright again.

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