The Mech Code

9. Miserable Days

Thundercracker was asleep, snoring away like a chainsaw (as usual), but Starscream couldn’t go to sleep, and not just for that reason. There was no comfortable way to sleep, for one thing. Sleeping on his front didn’t feel right, obviously, and whenever he tried to sleep on his back it made his wings hurt. Whenever he tried to sleep on his side, his big wings, sticking out on either side, got in the way.

So basically that left him to toss and turn all night long, trying to forget about his pregnancy and the fact that his two best friends had broken out into a physical fight, right there in the med bay. Immediately afterwards, he’d headed off to the Seekers’ room and refused to talk to anyone for the rest of the day. At night, Thundercracker came in too, but he fell asleep almost immediately.

Starscream felt a few tears leak out of his eyes as he struggled to get comfortable, finally deciding to lay on his back, but that just caused his wing pain to increase. OUCH. Dear Primus, did that hurt. Starscream closed his eyes and tried to focus on something else, but he couldn’t—he was in complete agony.

That was when he heard the door to the Seekers’ room slowly open and then shut again, and footsteps walking over to his bed.

“Starscream? Are you awake?” Skywarp asked, tapping Starscream’s helmet.

“Skywarp?”

“Yeah, it’s me.” Skywarp sat on the edge of Starscream’s bed. The purple jet reached out and rubbed Starscream’s forearm a little. “I’m really sorry about today.”

“That’s all right, ‘Warp,” said Starscream, sitting up in bed and wrapping his hands around his knees.

“I brought you a present from me and Moonbeam,” Skywarp said, holding up a container of what looked like lotion.

“What is it?” Starscream asked.

“Moonbeam says your wings won’t stop hurting until after your twins are born, but this ointment helps relieve it, at least a little.” Skywarp handed the ointment over, and Starscream gratefully took it. “Plus, she says the first few months are the hardest. Soon the worst of this will be over. And in about eight months or so, you’ll finally be holding two adorable little sparklings. Won’t that be worth all the scrap this pregnancy is going to put your body through?”

“I guess so.” Starscream fiddled with the ointment and stared at the ground.

“Are you scared?” Skywarp’s voice was small and quiet.

“No,” said Starscream, wondering why he bothered to deny it.

“Well, you don’t have to be,” Skywarp told Starscream, reaching over and giving him a hug. “Moonbeam’s done this plenty of times before. I know she’ll do everything she can to help you, and so will I.”

“Yes, I’m sure everything will be fine,” Starscream mumbled. Skywarp was completely blind to the fact that Moonbeam and Starscream had never exactly hit it off.

“And, y’know, I don’t think you’re weird for ‘facing with Megatron,” Skywarp continued, shrugging. “I mean, if it makes you happy, then it’s okay.”

“Well, it sort of makes me happy, ‘Warp,” Starscream told him. “But not in a good way. It shouldn’t make me happy, I know that, but I just can’t make myself stop.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, Starscream,” said Skywarp. “But I still think your twins are a good thing. Whenever a sparkling is born, Cybertronians rejoice…double that for when there are two of them.”

Starscream was standing outside of Megatron’s quarters the next morning, feeling more scared than he had ever felt in his life. When he had awakened that morning, he’d applied some of Moonbeam’s wing ointment. It had helped a little, but it hadn’t gotten rid of the underlying ache.

“Lord Megatron?” Starscream whispered, knocking on the door. When it opened, Starscream yelped a little in surprise, but it was just Megatron, standing there, glaring at him as usual.

“What is it now, Starscream?” he asked.

“Well, I-I kind of have something to tell you,” said Starscream, starting to feel even sicker than he already did. Maybe it was his regular nausea, or maybe it was because he was terrified out of his mind. Probably the latter. “You should probably sit down.”

Megatron looked a little confused, but sat down on his bed anyway. Starscream just continued to stand there.

“I don’t have all day, Starscream,” Megatron said shortly. “Spit it out.”

“Please don’t put it that way,” Starscream mumbled, clutching his stomach and sinking down onto the floor. Honestly, what was going on? It didn’t feel like he was going to have sparklings; it felt like he was going to die.

“Starscream, what IS it?!” Megatron demanded.

“I’m going to have your sparklings,” Starscream blurted out. “Twins, in fact.”

The words took a moment to register, but before he knew it, Starscream found himself picked up by the wrist and flung into the wall.

“You’re WHAT?!” Megatron hollered.

“Megatron, stop!” Starscream cried. “Don’t kill me!”

“I can’t believe this!” Megatron stormed over to Starscream and stood up again, grabbing him by the shoulder. “You disgusting little whore!”

“Well, maybe if you hadn’t forced yourself in between my legs, it wouldn’t have happened,” Starscream said bitterly, turning away.

“You had just as much to do with that as I did!” Megatron yelled, hitting Starscream so hard that he slammed into the wall again. “This is all your fault, Starscream!”

“How is it MY fault?!” Starscream screamed at him, trying to stop himself from crying again. “I always let you do whatever the slag you wanted with my body, allowed you to rob me of my dignity, every time! And now, when you knock me up, it’s suddenly MY fault? How does THAT work?!”

“You faint-hearted coward!” Megatron hollered. Starscream cried out in pain as he felt himself get clobbered once more, enough to bring him to his knees. “You pitiful excuse for a Decepticon!”

“Listen to me, Megatron, they’re your sparklings too!” Starscream insisted. That was a mistake.

“They are NOT mine!” Megatron shouted, pulling Starscream up by the head and shoving him away. “I don’t want them! And when they’re born, their filthy little bitch of a mother can take care of them!”

“Megatron!” Starscream cried.

“Leave my presence!” Megatron backhanded Starscream in the side of the face and shoved him towards the door. “I don’t even want to look at you!”

Without another word, Starscream exited the room, trembling and wiping tears, knowing his face would be dented for at least a week.

Starscream knew deep down that a sparkling was always a good thing in itself, but the side effects that came along with one weren’t. Ever since he’d gotten the “Big News”, his life had become a living hell. (Luckily, when Moonbeam had treated Megatron’s congratulatory gift on the side of his face, she fell for his lie that he had tripped and fallen on the floor.) Starscream had to tell everyone else at base that he was having Megatron’s sparklings, and now that their little secret was out, there was no end to the teasing Starscream had to endure. Take Rumble and Frenzy’s hilarious routine, which they repeated at least ten times per day:

“Starscream and Megatron, sitting in the brig!
K-I-S-S-I-N-G!
First comes love, then comes marriage,
Then come the twins in their baby carriage!”

And then there was the simple fact that his symptoms alone were making him miserable. Every day he was plagued by headaches and especially sickness, and he’d given up on using the stupid wing ointment. It didn’t work for him, anyway. All he wanted to do was lay in his bed or on the couch all day, and even the slightest things were ticking him off. If something didn’t make him angry, it would probably make him weepy, and even if he did feel good, it was only for a minute. Starscream spent half his days purging and the other half hysterically yelling at everyone, because he wanted that foolish scum to leave him alone, and once they did, he got all upset because he couldn’t understand why they were all running away from him. Traitors!

Worst of all, it seemed that nobody really did have any time for him. Nobody CARED about him! Sure, Moonbeam was supposed to be helping him, but she really only sympathized with Starscream when she had to, like at his first sparkling appointment. Usually, she was just out with her boyfriend Skywarp, making him buy expensive things for her as he let her boss him around. Thundercracker would occasionally keep Starscream company, but he got bored or exasperated as Starscream’s constant whining continued on. (One time, he commented that Starscream was acting like a sparkling himself; that was a mistake he wouldn’t make again.) And obviously, Megatron was no help.

One morning, Starscream was lying on the couch, one pillow behind his head and another underneath his aching wings. Right now, he was all alone. The TV was on—Starscream was trying so hard to distract himself from his aching body and unsettled stomach, but there was no TV show captivating enough that it could draw his attention away. But when you were so alone…

Starscream was startled when he heard a familiar voice saying, “Hey.”

“Megatron?” Starscream looked up. Megatron was standing above him, expressionless, holding out a cube of energon.

“I-I thought you might want this,” Megatron said quietly.

“Get that thing away from me.” Starscream closed his eyes tight so he wouldn’t have to look at what Megatron had in his hands. “In fact, get your whole self away from me.”

“Don’t you care about the sparklings?” said Megatron, setting the fuel down on the coffee table. “This is the healthiest energon on the market.”

“I said I don’t want any!” Starscream screeched, knocking the energon cube off of the coffee table and bursting into tears yet again, watching the bright pink liquid spilling out of its cube, staining the rug. For some reason the sight made him incredibly upset. “I hate you, Megatron! Just go away!”

“Well, you just wasted a whole cube of energon,” said Megatron, rolling his eyes and starting to leave.

“Megatron, wait!” Starscream sobbed. “Don’t leave me!”

“You just told me to go away!” Megatron yelled. “Make up your mind!”

“Why are you yelling at me?!” Starscream was pretty much hysterical by now, so Megatron came back to sit with him.

“Nobody is yelling at you, Starscream,” Megatron said, making his voice even. “I just want you to calm down and think logically.”

“I don’t want to think logically.” Starscream sniffed and tried to stop crying, but he couldn’t. “I just want to feel better.”

“Well, can’t Moonbeam do something?”

“She doesn’t care,” Starscream said shakily. “Nobody cares.”

Megatron sighed and picked up the empty energon cube from the floor, tossing it back and forth in his hands. “I’m sure someone cares.”

“Is it you?” Starscream asked. “Do you care?”

Megatron paused for a moment, then stood up and set the energon cube back on the coffee table. “No.”

Starscream called for Megatron to come back again, but this time he didn’t listen.

“I hate my LIFE!” Starscream cried, bursting into hysterics all over again; he eventually attracted Moonbeam and Skywarp, who were about to go on their date.

“Starscream?” Skywarp asked, walking over to the couch, Moonbeam close behind him. “Are you okay?”

“No, I’m not okay!” Starscream howled.

Skywarp, looking concerned, lifted Starscream up and sat next to him on the couch. “You know, if you want us to stay with you today instead of going out, we can.”

“You don’t want to go on our date?” Moonbeam asked, her voice a little shriller than usual. “Don’t you love me, sugar daddy?”

“Oh, of course I love you, kissy-wissy,” Skywarp said sincerely, standing up and drawing her into a big warm hug. “It’s just that Starscream isn’t feeling too good right now…he needs me, y’know? I’m his brother.”

“But I’m your girlfriend,” Moonbeam whined, managing to squeeze some fake tears out of her big sad red eyes. “You aren’t abandoning me, are you?”

“No, it’s always been you, Moonbeam,” Skywarp whispered, closing his eyes and kissing her cheek. “I love you.”

“I love you too, sugar daddy,” Moonbeam told him. “Could we please go out today? It would mean so much to me…”

“Starscream?” Skywarp asked tentatively. “Do you think you’ll be okay without us?”

Well, let’s see. Right now, Starscream felt absolutely miserable, he had no idea what being pregnant was going to be like but he knew he didn’t like it so far, he was terrified of giving birth, and he knew he would definitely be the world’s most horrible parent (well, besides Megatron, that is). Was it any wonder why he was feeling depressed?

“Skywarp, I really…” Starscream felt tears in his eyes again.

“Let’s go, sugar daddy,” said Moonbeam firmly, tapping her foot.

“Listen, I’ll bring you some ice cream, okay?” Skywarp said quickly, forgetting that Starscream didn’t want to eat anything right now, much less ice cream.

“What in Primus is wrong with you, Skywarp?!” Starscream yelled, but they were already out the door.


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