In the surveillance room, Soundwave often found solace from his rowdy compatriots. No one bothered to step foot inside, not even his cassettes who were frankly too nosy for their own good. If anyone did accidentally enter the infamous surveillance room, they were subject to an interrogation from the Decepticon’s intimidating communications officer. Soundwave wasn’t stupid–he knew that not many aboard the Nemesis truly enjoyed his company. They were too put off by his stilted speech, his silent E.M. field, and his blank stare to attempt any friendly banter let alone stumble upon his secret sanctuary.

Of course, the surveillance room was the one place on the Nemesis that didn’t have any cameras monitoring it. Not even the hallway directly outside the door had a screen to display movement. With three vents leading to the room and how much time Soundwave spent inside it, it would be embarrassingly easy to off such an important member of Decepticon high command. Not that Soundwave was worried. He could handle almost anyone among their ranks and it wasn’t like the Autobots had enough gall to attack their vessel.

A tiny noise filtered through one of the vents. Soundwave stared at it as the sound of metal against metal slowly increased in volume until the vent cover popped off with a resounding slam! He sighed, covering his visor with his servo. Another clang echoed in the room as something much heavier than a vent cover landed on the floor. Soundwave dragged his servo across his faceplate. He should’ve erased the mech’s damn memory of this route. It would’ve been simple enough to restrain him, open up his helm, pick apart his processor to locate and lock the strain in his core files.

Instead, Soundwave snapped at the mech on his floor, “Jazz: not welcome here.”

Jazz smirked at Soundwave. He moved so his spinal strut rested against the wall. “C’mon, mech. You didn’t say that last time–”

“Jazz: desist,” Soundwave hissed to the spy’s amusement.

They both knew there would be no removing Jazz by physical means before he wanted to leave. Soundwave turned back to his wall of monitors. If Jazz insisted on staying, then Soundwave needed to do his best to ignore him. His optics followed the movements on the screens. Skywarp was testing her teleportation limits with Shockwave, Rumble and Frenzy were running from an oil-slicked Starscream, Shadow Striker raced through the halls, narrowly dodging mechs walking through the hallways, Hook removed a rogue missile from Vortex’s chassis–

A sharp tug at Soundwave’s processor nearly made him fall forward from the sudden abrasiveness of it. He managed to stay upright but his frame locked up. The pull dissipated to a weak pulse of energy. Soundwave had felt sensations much stronger than it many times outside the surveillance room. A damaged mech on the battlefield automatically requesting medical aid from a grievous injury, a cassette shot down while performing reconnaissance–they always released a distressing field to garner pity from nearby mechs.

Soundwave whipped around to stare down at Jazz who, while not under the Decepticon’s watchful gaze, had let his faceplate slip into a grimace. All at once, Soundwave realized Jazz’s E.M. field loosened from its tight shield held close to the mech’s plating and it was suddenly too difficult to ignore. The third in command moved without conscious thought, dropping to kneel beside the Autobot that had invaded the Nemesis time and time again.

“Jazz: injured?” Soundwave tried cautiously.

He had seen the other mech on the battlefield enough times to know that Jazz acted like a cybercat when hurt–he’d slink off when no one was paying attention to tend to his own wounds.

Once, in the aftermath of a particularly brutal battle, Soundwave went searching for a cassette that had gone missing in the fray. Instead, he had found Jazz splayed out on the ground with a giant chunk of his spinal strut sparking, incapable of movement. He could’ve terminated the mech–no one had ever caught the elusive Jazz with his guard down–but when Soundwave raised his blaster, Jazz merely tilted his helm back. As if the matter of deactivation was beyond him.

It irked him. It set off alarms across his HUD. Yet…

Soundwave had healed Jazz that day. Behind a cracked rock, Soundwave welded some wires closed–a butchered job at field medicine but it allowed the Autobot to crawl back to a real medic.

Now, Jazz winced, tilting his helm away. “Hope that offer’s still on the table. Even though we’re not… you know.”

Soundwave sighed in exasperation. Leave it to Jazz to use the worst words to describe their–don’t call it a relationship, it’s not a damned courtship–liaison. That was worse. He grabbed at Jazz’s arm, popping a piece of armor off to reveal the medical ports hidden beneath.

“Hey.” Jazz attempted to pull his arm back but his strength was waning. “Not even gonna offer a mech some energon first?”

Yes, Soundwave thought bitterly as he jammed one of his plugs into Jazz’s medical port, this was definitely worse. He ignored the other mech’s comments as he called upon the frame’s diagnostic data. His HUD lit up in an instant with notifications. He went through them, noting any concerning input before coming across a notice flashing red across his visor. A laceration in the upper chassis caused by rapid and continued movement jostling an embedded–

“You were shot?” Soundwave suddenly hissed, surprise overriding his vocalizer patch. He tried to look at Jazz in the optics but the spy kept avoiding his gaze. “Jazz: found by Decepticons?” His processor ran a mile a minute, formulating scenarios that would end in this exact outcome. He had never asked what brought the spy to his surveillance room that one fateful night, what kept him coming back for more, out of respect for both their sensitive jobs, but now Soundwave couldn’t help but wonder who among his ranks shot his–

“Not a Decepticon,” Jazz hissed. “An Autobot.”

“Oh.” That silenced Soundwave’s processor for a moment. Then it only piqued his interest. “Autobots: subject to insubordination?”

If the Autobots began attacking their own, they might be even easier to fell in a sweep led by Starscream should Megatron allow it…

A digit tapped Soundwave’s helm, bringing him back to the conversation. Right. Jazz was injured. And Soundwave was already planning the Autobots’ demise. He reset his vocalizer to ensure it didn’t needlessly glitch out on him again.

Before he had a chance to say anything, Jazz smirked at him and asked, “Soundwave: apologetic?”

The Decepticon couldn’t help the way his pauldrons hiked in his embarrassment. It was a far cry from a perfect mimicry of his voice but it didn’t need to be to get the point across. Instead of deigning Jazz with a proper response, he finally located the bullet wound and dug his digits in. Jazz hissed, batting at his arm.

“Easy, mech.”

“Jazz: not easy,” Soundwave mocked. He pressed his free servo against the other mech’s collar faring as his digits searched for the bullet.

It felt odd to be sticking his servo somewhere so close to Jazz’s spark, like an uncomfortable pinch to his sensornet’s common stimuli. This close, he couldn’t ignore the normally silent spy. Not just his words–Jazz’s entire frame seemed to work under the assumption that no one was authorized to listen to it. So the freed E.M. field, the frantic and nonsensical thought processes filtering through his audials, were… odd to say the least. He couldn’t mention it aloud, though. Knowing the intelligence officer, he’d scare the poor mech away by mentioning any of his internal functions.

Soundwave’s digits knocked against something. He checked Jazz’s faceplate and when he didn’t contort it any more than it already was, Soundwave grasped the object. It was small, solid–the bullet. As he began to remove it, Jazz’s servo covered his. He paused, staring at the Autobot’s blank visor. “Bullet: needs to be removed. Frame nanites cannot begin self-healing with alien object obstructing their–”

Jazz gritted his dentae to ignore the pain. “If that bullet comes out, you’re gonna have worse problems than a dead Autobot on your hands.”

“Earth slang,” Soundwave tutted.

At that, Jazz grinned. “This Earth slang got pretty far with you, didn’t it?”

Soundwave twisted his digits. “Desist,” he ordered.

“Scrap. I got the message, mech.” Jazz pushed at Soundwave’s arm. They were still attached. Somehow, that was more embarrassing than being servo-deep in the mech’s chassis. “‘s a tracking bullet.”

The Decepticon froze. An Autobot shot Jazz with a tracking bullet. An Autobot shot Jazz with a tracking bullet. Soundwave’s frame moved subconsciously, pressing the blaster he kept tucked away in his subspace against Jazz’s mandible. The barrel forced Jazz to tilt his helm back. He batted at Soundwave’s arm like he wasn’t being held at gunpoint. Like Soundwave wasn’t flinging his energon everywhere.

“Relax,” Jazz insisted, hissing low. “It won’t send a locator beacon.” He pushed at Soundwave’s arm–not the one aiming a gun at his helm. No. The one still forming a medical connection between the two mechs. “My security protocols deactivated my internal locator beacon millennia ago. Which means,” he drawled, visor flickering, “the bullet’s signal is blocked as long as it’s in my frame.”

It made sense, Soundwave reasoned with all of his processing that still argued to kill Jazz–annihilate the enemy, the threat to his cassettes. He shook his helm. Those logic strains were based on irrational emotions. It wouldn’t do him well to give them any credence. Still, his blaster remained where it was. “Jazz: true purpose for coming here. Answer now.”

Usually, anyone–Autobot and Decepticon–trembled at the rumble in Soundwave’s glyphs when he took on a threatening tone. Under normal circumstances, the Decepticon’s third in command could paint fear in the spark of any mech he spoke to.

Jazz was not an average mech.

His servo tugged at Soundwave’s, pulling it closer to his chassis. “Gonna make me say it, huh.” He wasn’t asking. He knew. Soundwave wasn’t the type of mech to do anything unless he was asked and he would make Jazz ask. “You’ve got those seismic waves, right? I’ve seen you use them on the battlefield. Destroyed everything in your path.” He pressed Soundwave’s servo flat against his wound. “Think you can focus that right here for me?”

Soundwaves were catastrophic weapons. They could deactivate an entire squadron of mechs in a matter of kliks. Soundwave only used the trick when under extreme stress, when he believed he had nothing left to lose. He attempted to separate himself from Jazz. “Seismic waves: incredibly damaging.”

But Jazz didn’t seem to comprehend the magnitude of his request. He pressed forward, clutching Soundwave’s servo. “When used by a random mech, sure. You’re not just anybody, Sounds.” His glyphs turned to a soft buzzing static as he said the Decepticon’s designation. It left Soundwave checking to see if the noise had knocked his gyros off kilter. “C’mon. You can focus that power here, can’t you?”

“Jazz: requires medical assistance,” Soundwave tried instead. He couldn’t escape Jazz’s iron-clad grip on his servo but knew that if Jazz persisted, it wouldn’t end well. He could deactivate him. “Soundwave: incapable of completing request.”

“Hey,” came Jazz’s gentle voice. Soundwave silently cursed how the tender intonation made it so his spark eased in its casing. The Autobot reached for his other servo, the one holding the blaster. It fell with a clatter as Jazz slid his digits across his palm and intertwined their digits. “Use that big, beautiful processor of yours. I know you’re still searching through our connection. You’ve gotta be able to see my spark readings. What do they say?”

Despite the uneasiness that continued to plague Soundwave’s field, he listened to Jazz. It was simple enough to pull the information from their link. His visor dimmed as the readings filled his HUD.

He froze.

Although Jazz was suffering from an injury, trapped under the stress from energon loss, his spark spun at an even pace. Soundwave’s visor brightened to the image of Jazz’s calm faceplate.

“I trust you, Soundwave.”



And wasn’t that just a terrifying thing? Soundwave held his enemy’s life in his servos. He didn’t even want to take it–what kind of Decepticon was he? He stared at where his servo still covered Jazz’s wound, then at the rapidly dimming blue visor.

“Soundwave: will try,” he said slowly.

The smile Jazz threw his way sent his spark spinning again. He busied himself by building up seismic waves to the speed of his spark. A low, constant hum filled the surveillance room as the waves traveled through his arm. He increased the force, the hum turning into a deep, plating-rattling rumble. Multiple pop-ups filled his HUD. He cleared them before they could convince him to stop. The bullet was deteriorating from the collisions. Soundwave could do this. He could do this for Jazz. Red flashed across his optics as he doubled down. They only needed to hold out just a bit longer. He watched the last pieces of the tracking bullet evaporate, entering Jazz’s fuel lines to be discarded.

Soundwave did it.

He saved Jazz.


The glyphs turned into a frenzied static as Soundwave finally looked at Jazz’s grey visor. All too suddenly, the sensation of the other mech’s limp grip registered to Soundwave’s overtaxed processor. An odd, warbled noise echoed in the surveillance room. It took him a moment to realize that the sound came from him.

“Jazz,” he whispered, leaning close to the other mech.

There wasn’t the comforting thrum of a spark easing into a normal spin rate, no readings going into the green as Jazz’s frame finally relaxed while its nanites worked to repair him–only silence.

“Jazz,” he tried again. “Jazz: respond.”


Jazz,” his glyphs were basically static at that point, cracking from the force on his vocalizer, “respond.”

It felt like a cacophony of sensations–the hum of mechs speaking through the monitors, the constant buzz of the equipment, the erratic vents coming from Soundwave. He had to do something. But what? He was a communications officer. He managed surveillance. He couldn’t even perform basic field medicine, let alone reactivate a terminated mech.

Jazz,” Soundwave sobbed.

His digits dug into the wound, energon already congealing at the opening. He hoped for a curse, a swat from the other mech’s servo for the harsh treatment. He searched through their medical link for any readings. The only reports that came up were the last spark notes, the speed of its spin, how it abruptly stopped–

Soundwave froze. He read the report, then read it again. Jazz’s spark skipped then skittered to a stop when Soundwave amped up his waves. Perhaps… he could use his waves to jumpstart Jazz’s spark.

It had to work.

It had to.

The release for Jazz’s chestplates was easy to find through their link. They opened with a hiss from the hydraulics already beginning to seize. Inside lay his spark–bright white, nearly blinding, but starting to dull by the klik. Soundwave pressed both his servos against it, wincing at the heat it gave off and the way Jazz’s arm came along with his. He released his seismic waves just as he had done before. His optics searched frantically for some sort of physical sign that it was working. When there was nothing, he searched through their connection. Jazz’s spark was stagnating–not brightening, not turning dull. Soundwave increased the power of his waves, ignoring the sound of their armor rattling against protoform.


Frame reboot: successful.

Running diagnostics.

On instinct, Jazz dismissed the scans. His processor ached and the screenings usually didn’t tell him anything he couldn’t feel for himself.

Reinitializing diagnostic scans.

Now that was odd…

Jazz searched through his HUD for what was overriding his commands and found a basic connection formed between his medical ports and another mech. His processor lagged for a moment as it attempted to form the necessary logic strains to figure out what happened.

That’s when one hundred percent of the past however long hit him like a semi–Optimus had apologized for cycles after but, scrap, it still ached in his pelvic joints–

Jazz groaned. His helm fell back, clanging against the wall. “Pitslag. ‘s like Volcanicus stepped on me…” A firm weight shuffled in his lap. When he onlined his optics, he met Soundwave’s bright yellow gaze. “Hey, Sounds. I’m ‘nna guess everything went well.”

At first, Soundwave said nothing. Just kept his unwavering gaze set on Jazz’s faceplate. Then he raised a servo and pressed it against Jazz’s mandible, soft to start then firm once he realized Jazz wasn’t going to leave. A creaky, frail noise came from his vocalizer. All at once, he pressed forward, pulling Jazz closer.

“Jazz: functioning,” he whispered over and over again.

He pressed his mask to Jazz’s faceplate. It left the spy quite thrown for a loop. Jazz tried to turn and face Soundwave but was stopped by the Decepticon’s mouth on his–when’d he even lower his mask? His frame froze, hydraulics seizing with a whine. Soundwave was kissing him.

Soundwave was kissing him.

Since when–

Subconsciously, Jazz shook his helm. He wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth–earth slang–and offlined his optics. His arms came around Soundwave’s middle, his digits fitting into the grooves along the Decepticon’s spinal strut. The divide between his chassis and Soundwave’s was nonexistent, held together as they were. A ping came up on his HUD that he had finally reached an optimum internal temperature after rebooting. When Soundwave pulled away, Jazz felt dazed, confused. He didn’t bother to online his optics.

“You gotta tell me what happened.”

Soundwave slipped closer. “Request: later?”

“Later,” Jazz agreed. “Later.”

Requested by Rever.

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