therizinosaur: (Default)
Nellasaur ([personal profile] therizinosaur) wrote2014-01-10 05:08 pm

[FANFICTION] Confession, 1/1 [TF: Prime]

Title: Confession
Fandom: Transformers: Prime
Rating: PG-13
Summary: After the events of Predacons Rising, Knock Out follows a faint energy signature to Darkmount, where he must come to terms with the mistakes he made and the impact they've had.
One shot; complete
Notes/warnings: CONTENT WARNING for the aftermath of incredible physical violence (so mild gore and dismembered body parts).

"I can't tell you that I didn't mean it, although I wish I could."

Knock Out's voice, quiet though he was keeping it, seemed overloud in the echoing space around him. Not that this silence was a difficult one to disturb-- there was a fragile quality to the quiet that still blanketed so much of Cybertron. Every burned out shell of a building seemed like a temple to the restless dead, and though Knock Out was far from a religious mech, he nevertheless found himself hesitant to profane these vaulted, decaying halls.

Regardless, his words echoed softly around him. They had felt inadequate even as he'd been saying them; the way they came whispering back to him from the warped girders of Darkmount's throne room made them seem all the smaller, all the more hollow.

Hunching his head down a little between the tall curves of his shoulder pauldrons, Knock Out laced his hands together in his lap and continued talking anyway. "What I can tell you is that I panicked. What I did..." What he'd done was painful to admit and difficult to put into words; he trailed off, picking up a piece of rubble off the floor without looking at it and starting to worry it between his claws.

"The Autobots seemed like the safest bet," he murmured. "I know, I know-- it's ridiculous. You don't have to say it. I know. But they'd taken the Nemesis, and Unicron was coming with that horde of monsters, and--"

He looked down at the scrap of metal in his claws and realized with a jolt that he recognized the combination of sleek silver-gray and red as part of one of Starscream's tail fins. With a startled jerk of his fingers he dropped it; then his shoulders slumped and he lowered his face into his hands.

"I was afraid." He was able to admit it only into the privacy of his palms, knowing that the muffled words would go no farther than his own audials, and the body laid out on the ground beside him. His voice dropped to the barest whisper. "I was afraid, and I thought I had a better chance of making it through with the Autobots than with you."

He settled his hands back to his lap and found his optics drawn to the battered chassis of the cyb next to him. "I'd like to tell you I did it for you too," he continued softly, "that letting the 'Bots brig you was for your own good, that the whole thing was part of some plan." He laughed, but it was a short and bitter sound. "I'd be a liar."

Carefully shifting his seat on the gouged-up floor, he leaned over Starscream's inert body and lifted the one arm still attached to the chassis, minutely rearranging the way it laid over his ventral plating. He'd found the other arm already-- actually, it had been the first thing he'd found when he'd followed a faint residual energon signal up into Darkmount. The limb had been fetched up grotesquely against the lintel of the doorway that had admitted Knock Out to the throne room; the twisted metal at what was left of the shoulder joint spoke clearly to the violent manner in which it had been removed.

The scorch marks and slagged metal around what was left of the throne room spoke just as clearly to who'd done it.

"I can't even tell you that you'd be better off if you'd stayed with the 'Bots," Knock Out said, wrapping both of his hands around Starscream's and holding it tightly. It wasn't like the flier could feel it; Starscream was beyond discomfort. "Even after all of this, they're still talking a very different game than the one they play. It's all 'Cybertron is for Cybertronians' this and 'we're beyond faction now' that, and then they turn around and tell the Vehicons that it would be a 'valuable gesture of goodwill' if they all took Autobrands. They're forcing the troopers to work for them and calling it reparations! Can you believe it?"

But there was no answer, of course, and Knock Out knew he was foolish for even expecting one. He set Starscream's limp hand gently back down on his cockpit and turned away again, mindful of the open hatch in his side as he did.

"I know you wouldn't have stayed," he said, bracing his elbows against his knees and staring sightlessly forward, not even seeing the blown-out wall of the throne room or the vista of Cybertron reborn spread out beyond the ragged hole. "And I can't say I blame you, not after what I did. I just..." He trailed off. Even here, alone with an inert body, this was difficult for him to articulate. Putting it to words made it real, and Knock Out wasn't the sort of cyb who owned up to how he was really feeling very often.

But sometimes it was necessary.

"I wish it hadn't ended like this. And Starscream?" He paused for a response that he couldn't reasonably expect to come, then forced himself to say it: "I'm sorry."

Silence fell. Heedless of the pulling in his side as he shifted his position, Knock Out drew up his knees and his his face against them, wrapping his arms around his legs. It wasn't until the faint tugging continued even after he'd fallen still that he realized something was amiss. His head jerked back up again, optics following the tubing that connected the open maintenance hatch in his side with the equivalent hatch on Starscream's abdomen.

The hand that should have still laid across Starscream's cockpit was wrapped around the conduit instead. Knock Out raised his optics to Starscream's face, and found the flier's own eyes open and looking back at him. The light in them was dim and wavery, but they were lit.

It wasn't possible. "Starscream...?"

"Doctor." The flier's voice was hoarser than usual, and barely louder than a whisper, but it was unmistakably him. "What is... the meaning... of this?"

Knock Out couldn't help it. He laughed, the sound shaky and breathy and incredulous, and reached to snatch up Starscream's hand, clasping it once again between both of his own. "Leave it alone, it's an energon transfusion conduit," he said, glad to have an excuse for why he'd grabbed the flier's hand away.

There was no strength in Starscream's arm as he tried to pull the appendage free, and he was quick to give up the effort. "Energon transfusion," he repeated, the words coming slowly. "Very... good. Carry on..." His optics closed and he slumped against the floor, his whole body just as limp as a moment ago, but now that Knock Out was scanning for them he could detect the very faintest signs of life. The hum of his processor-brain complex functioning, the faint EM touch of his spark...

It was that faint, faint EM signature that had compelled Knock Out to try to transfusion in the first place. It was the sort of stupid, desperate gambit that he usually didn't bother attempting, but this was an exceptional circumstance and Starscream was an exceptional mech and it had worked.

--And here he had sat, pouring his spark out to a mech who he'd thought was dead.

"Er. Starscream? How long have you been awake...?"

Starscream didn't answer at first, for long enough that Knock Out thought he must have slipped back into stasis lock. But then a faint smile pulled up the corners of the flier's mouth, and there was an equally faint pressure of long fingers against Knock Out's hands.

"Long enough, doctor," Starscream murmured. "Long enough."