Universe: Transformers Prime
Characters: All Decepticons (bar Dreadwing)
Warnings: None really
If there was one duty that Starscream loathed above all others, it was surveillance duty.
To be stuck behind a wall of flickering monitors and having to assess each one at all times, it was a miracle that he wasn't driven insane by the monotony. Well, not so much a miracle as it was an obstacle to never being stuck with the job again. Ever since the Autobots had found their way aboard the ship Megatron had been increasingly paranoid of it happening again. Even worse they could have another human infestation, leaving their filthy organic fingers all over the walls and equipment. But why, out of all the available drones and mindless workers aboard the Nemesis, did he have to be the one with the desk job? It was insulting! He was an Elite Seeker, for Primus' sake! He should be out slaughtering Autobots and natives alike, tracking and spying and actually doing some good for the Decepticon cause!
But no. Megatron didn't want his Second in Command out wandering where the humans might see him and discover their existence. At least, that was the reason that he gave. The blatant truth was that the exalted leader didn't want the traitor out of his sight. Or hearing. Or any sense. So much paranoia stuffed into that gunmetal frame.
Starscream only realised the perks of such a job that night. In three, two, one...
A sudden movement in one of the camera screens attracted his optics away from staring listlessly into the distance. He never did understand why they had cameras in the washracks- being pelted with steaming oil usually wasn't considered an ideal environment for concocting plans against Megatron- but he was starting to get an appreciation for them. Ever since her arrival into the Decepticons, Airachnid was drawing the optics of just about every mech she sauntered past. Starscream had been spared her apparently hypnotising effect for the past few days, but now he could see just why the drones had such trouble concentrating when she was nearby.
She swished into the bathing area of the washracks- oil baths were a luxury that only Megatron's inner circle of officers were afforded- and assessed the deep rimmed dip in the middle of the floor. With a relaxing stretch of her servos high above her head and a flick of the button on the wall from a leg-razor, thick golden fluid began to seep into the set bath.
Starscream knew that he shouldn't be watching such a private moment, but some accursed instinct set deep into him froze his optics in place. A sharp ped dipped into the pool of liquid and Airachnid's optics fluttered. He could almost hear her moan in bliss as she lowered herself in, ripples of cleansing oil wrapping around her.
'Turn it off, Starscream...' A mantra that echoed through his processor but one that he couldn't hear. Or rather, refused to. His optics wandered across the submerged curves of her frame, the dripping spikes of her back legs. She leaned against the rim of the bath, tipping her helm backwards and dark mouth opening, jagged denta overlapping the lips. As if some invisible force was pushing her back...lifting her servo to pillow her head and elevating a streaming knee to the air. A dark part of his glitching mind projected himself as that force... the image caused a groan to unwillingly slip from his mouth.
"You fall asleep again, Starscream?"
Breakdown's condescending tone broke Starscream's trance and sent his helm shaking in reflex. His digits suddenly released from digging into the metal of the table and he only realised that he'd been biting his lip when he tasted the trickle of energon. "Sure sounds like you're snoring," Breakdown continued, his laughter shattering the fog that still lingered on the edges of Starscream's conscious.
"Don't you have your own duties to attend to, Breakdown?" he growled, trying to keep his helm down and praying that the hiss of static from the video feeds would cover the roar of his cooling fans.
"Sure I do. But if you can get away with slacking off at work, then I-" He cut off suddenly as his optics scanned the bank of monitors, stopping exactly where Starscream's own eyes were trying to avoid. An approving whistle rumbled past his vocaliser. "Enjoying the view, huh 'scream?" Starscream had to resist the urge to claw out his remaining optic as he laughed again, leaning on the indented table.
"Maybe I could get some work done if you weren't here distracting me," the disgruntled Seeker muttered.
"Hey, I'm not the one distracting you here," Breakdown protested with a pointed digit towards Airachnid's screen. "Not that I can blame you though..." His glossa clicked idly through his pleased smirk. "Remind me to sign up for surveillance duty next time, would'ya?" Starscream grumbled in frustration, turning his optics to Breakdown next to him.
"If you must know, I never even noticed what she was doing. I was too busy attending to my assigned-"
"Woah, she's taking her armour off!" Breakdown interrupted, optic widening.
"WHAT?!" Starscream's helm snapped back to the screen, anticipating a sight...that wasn't there. Airachnid was still lounging in the bath, running a talon along her back legs. Covered and clean.
"Got'cha," Breakdown smirked while heat rushed to Starscream's faceplate. "Well, I think it would be selfish for us to keep such a scene to ourselves..." The Seeker glared at him in confusion- when he wasn't stealing glances towards Airachnid- while he opened up his comm link.
"Yo, Knockout, you busy?"
"Just the usual rounds," came the reply on the other end, while Breakdown was trying to throw a very angry Starscream off his back.
"End the call, damn you!" he shrieked while holding onto Breakdown's shoulders, claws desperately going for his head.
"Get down to the 'veillence ro-OW!" He cried out as his right shoulder leaked energon from a gash, finally dislodging Starscream and sending him flying towards the wall. "Hurry, you'll miss the show!"
"Already seeing it." Knockout's voice came from very nearby, and Breakdown only noticed him stuck to the wall of monitors just before Starscream tackled him to the ground.
"When did you get here?!" Breakdown spluttered when he had the Seeker's claws out of damage range.
"About a nanoklick ago, the door was open," Knockout said in a rush, mouth agape and optics wide. "Oh my, she is exquisite," he purred when Airachnid stretched a leg out of the pool, drawing Breakdown's and Starscream's attention back to her.
They really should have closed the door.
"What on Cybertron is going on here?" The trio's smiles instantly dropped at the sound of their leader's less-than-pleased voice. They spun around on their peds and tried to shield the screens with their backs.
"N-nothing, Lord Megatron, a...technical glitch with the monitors," Starscream explained, optics shifty. Breakdown and Knockout nodded frantically in agreement. Megatron hmmed in disbelief.
"Move aside," he ordered, which the three mechs hesitantly complied to. Megatron strode up to the screens and assessed the rows. His subordinates bit their digits in anxiety while Soundwave stood at the doorway. He then moved next to Megatron on his summon and looked toward the specific screen that he pointed to. The other three dared to throw a look towards them and knew they were fragged.
Airachnid's scene was enlarged now into a single screen, with Soundwave's data feeds plugged into the wall. In the sudden and disturbing mix of fear and arousal the mechs approached the image with optics darting to Megatron's face. Where they expected a hard frown was a...smile? And Soundwave was twitchy, with sparks of electricity coming from his connected feeds. Oh Primus help them, even he was enthralled.
Neither of them knew how long they stood there for, just watching the femme swirl through the sweet oil in the bath. All they knew was that they were all disappointed when she eventually pulled herself out, damp all over and dripping droplets of transparent gold. The vents into the floor blew hot air and dried her off, and they were afforded an extra few seconds of beauty as she extended her limbs to cover them with the air. She'd be smelling of coconut all week now.
As she walked towards the washrack exit, she turned around with a raised eyeridge and turned her helm to the camera. An optic winked mischievously and her lips smirked as she slipped behind the door.
As the effect wore off the poor mechs, Megatron promptly smacked each of them- except Soundwave of course- around the helm. "Well, what are you doing standing like a bunch of lugnuts? Get back to work."