raisedbymoogles: (Dinobot/Rattrap OTP?)
raisedbymoogles ([personal profile] raisedbymoogles) wrote2010-12-02 09:15 pm
Entry tags:

Two Sparks, Both Alike In Lack Of Dignity (fic trade)

Now that we've all been de-anoned, I can post this here. (Also, so I still have it somewhere in case the comm goes the way of the dildo.)

Title: Two Sparks, Both Alike In Lack Of Dignity
Recipient: [personal profile] justbolts
Continuity: Beast Wars
Pairing/Characters: Rattrap, Dinobot
Rating/Category: PG, mild violence
Word Count: about 3600
Prompt: "Okay, so, great. What's the next step?" "...." "-- you didn't plan that far, did you?"
Spoilers: None
Notes/Warnings: Post-BW, ignoring the Series Which Must Not Be Named. Everyone made it safely to Cybertron, Megatron's in prison and they all lived happily ever etc.

"Fortinbras, this is unit five. My sensors are picking up X's blast site. No sign of the target."

"Acknowledged, five. We're sending search drones to your location. Continue mapping the search grid."

"Fortinbras, I'm approaching the Ark crash site. Instructions?"

"Approach at bearing four-mark-one-nine, keep a distance from ground of five hundred meters. We don't want to make a mess of the time stream again."

"Emphatically acknowledged. ....Holy slag."


"Recalling the searcher drones to my current position. I think I found it! I found X's spark!"


Rattrap, Hero of the Beast Wars, held court at the No Wind In Space Tavern, telling tales to the rapt audience about his daring exploits.

"An' - an' then we both punshed him inna face!" he slurred, waving his cube. Being half-empty, the energon inside did not slosh over the edge, but it was a near thing. "But wanna know a shecret?"

"Sure," answered his audience, a patient femme whose torso plate was nowhere to be seen - one of No Wind's servers.

Rattrap grinned and leaned conspiratorially close. "Our mish- misha- our thing we were doin' washn't jusht to 'splore," he stage-whispered. "We were carryin' a crazy science experiment the government wanted t' make go away. Shparks," he explained, and nodded wisely.

"Sparks," the femme repeated, resting her head on her curled hand.

"Shparks! Shparks that don't go out no matter what you do." Rattrap waved an unsteady hand, taking a swig from his cube with the other. "Wish shomeone elshe had shuper-indeshtructable shpark. Shtupid chopperfashe."


Rattrap slapped himself in the forehead. "Ah, toldja too much!" he despaired. "Now I gotta kill ya! An' yer shuch a nice femme too," he mourned.

The server laughed, not at all worried. "Rattrap, you're plastered."

Rattrap drew himself up to his full (unimpressive) height of five feet. "Lady," he announced, "I may be drunk, but-"

He blinked. In the uneven light, for just a moment, it looked like a taller mech was standing there behind the smiling server's shoulder. A taller mech with a scowling blue face.

"Shtupid chopperfashe," Rattrap mumbled, and went facedown onto the bartop.


You're disgusting, vermin.

"Hey, shaddap! I can do what I want!"

And this is what you want? To drink yourself into oblivion nightly?

"Like you should talk, scalebelly. You got some bearings, y'know that? Comin' into my cranial unit like you own the place."

At least one of us has 'bearings.' Wake up!

"-No, wait, I didn't mean-!"

Wake up!


Rattrap bolted upright and knocked his head into something unyielding and hard. "Ee-yow! What the slag!"

"Good morning to you too," Rhinox grumbled, rubbing the new scuff mark on his forehelm.

"Big Green!" Rattrap brightened, then abruptly groaned and fell back, offlining his optics against the overhead light. "Ohh, my poor achin' helm. Where am I?"

"My apartment." Rattrap could hear the disapproving frown in his friend's voice as he spoke. "I found you in the gutter outside No Wind."

"Heh. Great place. You know after lights-out the femmes all-"

"I know, Rattrap." Rhinox heaved a sigh. "Get some rest. We'll talk more later."

Rattrap onlined one optic to smirk at his friend - you mean you'll lecture me, big guy? You sound like another big overprotective lunk I could mention - and froze.

"Uh, big guy..."

"Hmm?" Rhinox, halfway to the door, paused and glanced over his shoulder.

With great effort, Rattrap tore his gaze away from the blank wall where, for just a moment, he'd seen a familiar sharp-edged shadow. "Uh - nothin.' Artifacts in my optical data."

"Right. Get some rest."

"You got it." Rattrap flipped him a casual wave and turned over, tucking his arms under his head. He waited until Rhinox's heavy footsteps receded, then slid smoothly to his feet, bringing his pistol up to track along the wall.

"You got three astroseconds," he drawled to the unknown intruder, "then I start puttin' holes in my friend's nice new walls."

I am not convinced you have the necessary targeting capabilities to hit the walls, vermin.

Rattrap's fingers loosened. The pistol slipped from his hand and hit the floor with a thunk.


Dinobot's shade flickered into view, smirk-first like a Cheshire Cat. In the dim light his spark blazed like a beacon, floating in midair with nothing to hold it up. Rattrap averted his optics, feeling queasy at the sight - or maybe it was just the aftermath of last night.

"Musta hit the glowy stuff harder 'n I thought," he muttered.

If you were hallucinating, I'd be a serving-femme with her torso plate missing, the spectre pointed out dryly.

"Instead of an ugly slag-suckin' saurian?" Rattrap arched an optic ridge, then hissed and flopped back down again. "That's just what a hallucination would say!" he accused.

"Rattrap?" Rhinox's voice floated down the hall. "Are you all right?"

"Uh - yeah! Sorry, just talkin' to myself!" Rattrap groaned. "Except I'm hallucinating," he muttered. "Why aren't you a half-naked femme?"

My most humble and abject apologies, Dinobot hissed, the familiar voice sliding across Rattrap's wires like a knife. Vermin.

"Scalebelly," Rattrap muttered automatically.

Eater of garbage.

"Fossil breath."

Malodorous mouse.

Rattrap stared at him fully. "You really are him," he breathed; Dinobot nodded. "But... how?"

It seems, Dinobot answered with expressive distaste, that Rampage's immortality is catching.


"Sir. I regret to report a... minor setback."

"...Setback, Black Heat?"

"The X spark has... escaped."

"How the flying frag does a bodiless spark escape?"

"We experienced time turbulence entering Cybertron quantum space. After we landed, we discovered a small crack in the spark containment chamber and the spark gone."

"Are you telling me the X spark is lost in time?"

"No, sir. I believe it is still in the present."

"Lucky for you. You'll be looking for a washer in a box of bolts as it is. Find that spark, Black Heat. The future of Cybertron depends on it."

"Yes, sir. ...Sir, there's one more thing."

"Oh Primus, what?"

"Sir, the spark we found... I don't think it's Protoform X."


Rattrap turned a corner, but the insistent itch between his shoulder joints didn't abate. "Don't look now, Dino-butt, but I think we're bein' tailed."

Is that supposed to be a pun, vermin? The light of Dinobot's freefloating spark was muffled by the medicinal energon cask Rattrap had begged Rhinox for, endured a lecture as payment, and promptly dumped out the contents as soon as they were out of sight of Rhinox's apartment. Despite the thick opaque casing of the cask (an undignified way to travel, Dinobot had complained, but agreed it was better than being discovered or - for that matter - sitting on Rattrap's beast-mode back), Dinobot's 'voice' was unmuffled in Rattrap's head. Your tail elicits no one to follow it.

"Ah, eat slag," Rattrap muttered, skirting the edge of an oily-rainbow puddle so he wouldn't leave tracks. "They're probably after you, y'know."

Are you certain it's not someone you've offended?

"Who could possibly be offended by lil ol' me?" Rattrap grinned.

Anyone who stood within range of your stench.

Rattrap snickered, letting the sweet ache of familiarity distract him from their tense situation. This wasn't the first time Rattrap had been tailed, but the tale Dinobot had told of black-ops mechs plucking him from his resting place on prehistoric Earth would have made him nervous even if he hadn't known what he knew about the X Project.

Rattrap shied away from that line of thinking. Everyone joked about not trusting their government; it was different when you knew for certain that the Council's hands weren't as clean as they presented.

"I don't suppose you got any names," he commented offhandedly as he slipped off the main road into an alley on a lower level. The road he'd just been on arced over his head, providing temporary shelter from any scanners.

Dinobot was silent a moment. My senses are... harder to sort out, without a body to process them properly, he admitted finally, gruffly, and to his credit Rattrap didn't take the opening. Admitting anything less than perfect strength was nearly impossible for the Predacon warrior. I could recognize my captors again if I were in their presence, perhaps. But names, faces - no.

Rattrap shrugged. "Well, if we don't run into anyone you recognize, we're runnin' the right maze." Dinobot's sardonic silence settled heavily in the back of his head. "Hey, I don't hear any clever metaphors comin' from you, chopperface."

I would rather not hear them from you either, vermin. In case you've forgotten, we are attempting to lose a hostile follower.

"I don't tell you how to suck slag and wave your sword around! Don't tell me how to lose a tail." Rattrap transformed, holding Dinobot's cask against his back with his own personal tail, and lit out through a drainage grate that no normal-sized mech would be able to fit through. "Home free!" he declared as he spotted light at the end of the tunnel.


Rattrap swerved halfway up the tunnel wall before Dinobot's shout of warning quite registered. The maneuver saved him; amber energy bolts flashed through where he'd been, and then Rattrap was out of the tunnel and pulling a one-eighty with sparks spraying from his wheels. He transformed, pistol in one hand and Dinobot in the other, and drew an unerring bead on his attacker.

He is one of them, Dinobot whispered. He was with the crew that retrieved me. Rattrap nodded tightly.

The stranger - painted in black and dark gold, only his IFF beacon identifying him as a member of the Maximal military - just looked annoyed. "That caliber isn't street legal."

"I ain't takin' slag about my gun from someone carryin' that ugly hunk of junk," Rattrap sneered.

"It's a stun pulser, it won't kill you."

"I know! It's insulting!"

Rather than look angry, the stranger just looked more harried. "Look, Lieutenant Trapstreet-"


"I know your record. I respect you. So just hand over the X spark and we'll pretend this whole nonsense never happened. No marks on your file. No consequences for your career."

Rattrap bristled, then relaxed. "You want the spark? Fine. Catch." He lobbed the cask, underhand, up into the air. Dinobot sent a flash of surprise into his head, bright gold, but there was no fear or shock of betrayal with it.

The black mech stepped forward, optics fixed on his prize. Rattrap claimed his beast mode again and launched himself into the air, slamming into his opponent's midsection with a harsh war cry. The cask came down, in precisely the parabolic arc Rattrap had calculated, and caught itself neatly on his tail. Then he was roaring off in a random direction with a gleeful whoop. Far behind, he could hear the special ops mech cursing.

The other mech was faster - he'd already proven that when he'd beaten Rattrap to the end of the tunnel - but the hit Rattrap had dealt him had delayed his reaction time, and that was all the advantage he needed. Rattrap disappeared into the urban wilds and was lost.


"Sir? It's Black Heat. We have a problem."

"Let me guess. You lost the spark."

"It's fallen into the hands of Lieutenant Rattrap - one of the Axalon crew. I confronted him, but he fled. I'm sending you his file now."

"Hunh. He knows what this means for Maximal military supremacy, right?"

"Reportedly he saw combat against X, so I assume he does."

"Fine. If he's turned traitor he can disappear like one. I'm sending out a drone squadron."

"Thank you, sir."


"....We're slaggin' lost."

Rattrap made a disgusted face that matched the disgruntled 'sound' Dinobot made. You are an incompetent bodyguard, vermin. I should dock your pay.

"Get slagged, dead guy," Rattrap answered back. "Anyway, we're on the edge of Pred territory. That should make ya happy."

How do you know it is Predacon territory?

Rattrap paused and peered in a window. "The Pred symbols on all the buildings are a hint."

In defiance of Maximal control of Cybertron, the Predacon sigil was everywhere. In windows, on doors, painted onto walls in myriad bright colors. Some of them were heavily stylized, and others were decorated with painted gears or abstract shapes or even scenes from faraway planets. Artists had made these, artists with no government backing; Rattrap walked along a row of them down a comfortably dark alley, quietly awed by the display of creativity.

At the end of the alley, Rattrap glanced down. "Is there someplace you wanna go?"

Dinobot didn't answer for a long time. I have few contacts here anymore.

Rattrap paused. Dinobot had spoken little of his life before the Beast Wars, only small tantalizing hints slipping free in his rare unguarded moments. This was the first time Rattrap had ever thought about how much it may have cost Dinobot to follow Megatron.

Impatiently, he shook off those thoughts. "Never mind. We'll find someplace to hole up. One thing's for sure, they'll never look for us here."

...You idiot.


Target acquired. Attack pattern zeta. Orders: kill the Maximal, retrieve the X-pattern spark, kill any witnesses.


"Come on... I just need directions, kids. I got some goodies. Niiiice goodies..."

...Your skill with children is abysmal, rodent.

"You wanna give it a try, Ghost of Chopperface?" Rattrap snapped out of the side of his mouth, while at the same time still trying to look cute and nonthreatening at the duo of pint-size newsparks staring at him from the mouth of the alley. "Don't mind the magic snarking box, he's just a grouch," he assured the children. "Come on, I ain't gonna hurtcha. Uh, bah weep grana..."

"Credits," the slightly taller pipsqueak stated.


"We want credits, not goodies." The speaker took a forthright step forward, subtly in front of its smaller friend. "You want directions, it'll be five hundred credits. You want a guide, that's extra."

Rattrap spluttered. "That's extortion!"

"And you're a lost Maxie tourist in Pred territory. You're lucky I don't just beat you up," the newspark told him with youthful confidence.

"Tourist-! ....Uh. Yeah. That's right. Tourist." Rattrap shook his head, enduring the ding to his pride. "All right, fine. Five hundred credits."

"In advance."

"Slag that!" In spite of himself, Rattrap found himself grinning. "You get paid when I get back in one piece."

The newspark grinned back, fierce and bright, clearly having fun. "Nuh-uh. Pay now or no deal."

Rattrap rubbed his helm, a little ruefully. "Slag, you're tough. Are all Pred newsparks tough as you?"

"I'm the toughest," the youth stated proudly. "...I'm Gallium," he added, his brash manner easing a bit. "This is Cobalt." He gestured to his smaller friend, who offered a shy smile.

"Rattrap." Rattrap saluted them both, and - reacting to a thread of wistfulness curling up to him from Dinobot's spark that Dinobot himself would refuse to acknowledge - "And this here's Dinobot. I'll tell you about him on the way."

Gallium and Cobalt glanced at each other - the former dubious, the latter lighting up in anticipation of what promised to be an interesting story. You'd trust the knowledge of my existence to two children, Dinobot commented quietly, sounding thoughtful rather than scandalized (as part of Rattrap himself was). Predacon children at that.

Rattrap smiled as Gallium and Cobalt ran to check the street ahead for hostile mechs. "Kids are kids," he murmured. "Besides, you turned out all right, for a Pred."

My spark overflows with gratitude.

Rattrap snickered; Colbalt, hearing the sound, turned back and smiled. "Rattrap!" Gallium called, taking Cobalt's shoulder. "There's something out there-"

He cut himself off with a yelp as three dark blue half-spheres bristling with weaponry descended around them. "Get back!" he shouted at the newsparks. "Enforcer drones!"

"We know what they are!" Gallium ran toward Rattrap, towing Cobalt by the arm almost cruelly - toward Rattrap, not away. Rattrap wanted to scream at them - they're after us, not you! - but there was no time. His hand grasped his pistol, lifted it to fire.

Red laserfire spat from another drone, knocking the pistol away. Rattrap snarled and seized his spear as another enforcer drone descended - this one carrying a mech on his back. Black Heat's optics met Rattrap's, and both knew there would be no more offers of clemency. One of them would die.

"Gallium," Rattrap muttered tensely. "Soon as you see an opening, take Cobalt and run. Got it?"

Gallium was bristling with mingled fear and offended pride, but he retained enough sense to nod. "Who are you?" he asked.

Rattrap grinned. "Me? I'm your basic intergalactic hero." With Dinobot's cask still clutched tightly in one hand, he leapt for the enforcer drone Black Heat was riding with spear upraised to skewer it.

He missed his shot: rather than hit the main laser, the point skipped off the tough armor with a burst of sparks. Rattrap had just enough time to let out a curse before the drone's pincer arm lashed out and knocked him to the ground. He heard his spear snap, but Dinobot's cask was still tucked close in his arm.

"Rattrap!" he heard Gallium cry as he dragged himself to his feet.

"Get outta here!" he rasped, and lifted his broken spear. "And you, let them go!" he added, glaring at the mech riding the enforcer drone.

"I wish I could." By contrast, the ops mech sounded calm and unruffled. "But my orders are clear."

Rattrap spat the worst curses he could find, and if a few of the invectives spilling out of his vocalizer were more in character for Dinobot, he hardly noticed. With a scream of defiance, he charged again, and was again knocked back, and danced away from splashes of laserfire. "We're - all - gonna die," he gasped.

Shut up, Rattrap! Dinobot hissed, and it felt like a last touch.

A small blur knocked Rattrap off his feet midway through recovering from that last attack, and he watched in horror as little Cobalt dashed in and tackled a pincer arm with a shriek of fury. Black Heat blinked, leaning back as if the newling's tackle had hit him instead - then the pincer flicked, and Cobalt was thrown free and hit the ground with a crunch and a wail.

Rattrap's scream echoed Dinobot's, merged with it; the spark flared, the cask no longer enough to contain it, and it splintered, spilling light into the alley and fritzing the drones' optical sensors. They bucked in distress. When it faded, Gallium gathered Cobalt up and looked for Rattrap.

Rattrap stood where he'd been before, but something had changed. His stance was upright as a tower, and his broken spear was held in front of him like a sword. "Eat slag," he hissed, and his voice was the voice of two mechs, one laid over the other.

He leaped, and this time his spear-sword found its mark, driving through the nearest drone's weapons array to pierce its power core. The ops mech shouted in surprise and pulled the other three drones back, but Rattrap advanced at a run and swung, severing the left drone's flight mechanisms from the main body. It dropped like a stone, and Rattrap stepped onto it and leaped, tackling Black Heat off his high perch and into the grimy street beyond.

They tumbled together and came apart, Black Heat fumbling for the drone controller on his wrist before he'd even gained his feet. "You can't hope to-" he gasped.

"I've faced death once," Dinobot told him through Rattrap's vocalizer, "with an honor that would have worn well on Maximal and Predacon alike. Can you say the same?"

He charged one more time, and Black Heat was unprepared. With less finesse than sheer fury, Rattrap-and-Dinobot drove him to the edge of the street and flung him off the walkway, into the core of Cybertron.


"Sir... Black Heat has failed. The X-pattern spark is still at large."

"Just as well. Clumsy way of going about it, charging in with enforcer drones in a populated area."

"My thoughts exactly, sir."

"We'll keep looking. But we'll be subtle about it. No mistakes this time. What do your scanners say?"

"Nothing, sir. We can no longer detect the spark. It must be shielded somehow."

"Find out how. And get it back."


On the edges of Predacon territory, a Maximal stood fearlessly on the roof of a low building, watching the two artificial moons overhead. Rattrap turned when a door opened behind him, aware but relaxed - it was only Cobalt, optics glowing curiously.

"Hey, kid," he greeted her. "How's the scuffs?"

Cobalt lifted her chin defiantly. "They're a badge of honor."

"That's the spirit." Rattrap nodded for both himself and Dinobot, the latter's spark nestled alongside his own. "You're a brave warrior."

Cobalt smiled, sparkbreakingly sweet. "Come inside? There's energon."

"In a minute."

"Okay." Cobalt left him alone, and Rattrap looked up again. The smaller moon was just over the Council towers in the distance, and on it, Rattrap knew, was the high-security facility where Megatron was kept. He felt Dinobot's feelings as his own, bright and hopelessly tangled.

But Rattrap himself was unconflicted. "Slag you, Grape-face," he said to the moon, making a rude gesture, and turned to go inside.

You are a poor influence on those newsparks, vermin, Dinobot chuckled.

"Ah, blow it out your aft, Chopperface."

That would be your aft, mouse.

"Lizard lips."