Sparring in the friendly way
Title: Sparring in the friendly way
Fandom: Transformers Animated (TFA)
Characters: Prowl, Optimus
Prompt: "Optimus, Prowl, sparring"
Genre: Friendship, fluff, humor
Disclaimer: Transformers Animated is not my property.
His helmet lolled to the sound of the call. A rough, scraping noise came from behind him and his fingers dragged across fine debris. Suddenly, his sensors registered a presence next to him, somebody kneeling close. The next moment they shook, if gently, his shoulder and he winced when pain flared from both his back and head. He groaned in thanks when the movement stopped instantly. As carefully as he could he leaned forward and clutched at his throbbing forehead.
"What hit me?"
"That would have been me." The sheepish tone came from Prowl's right and he turned his head toward the Prime's worried faceplates. Oh, he remembered that uppercut – as did his neck it seemed when the throbbing flared to a sharp pain, his body automatically straightening up. A large hand palmed his shoulder, not moving, just the weight lying next to a black fairing; Prowl drew several in-vents and he released each one in a measured ex-vent, using the warmth of the limb as a focus point to relax his clamping muscle cables.
At last the headache lessened with the plating loosening around his fuel and neural lines. This was also helped by the alert messages disappearing one by one save for the five glaring the angriest at him.
Their scarlet color reminded the ninja-bot of Ratchet.
Well. The gist of them actually told him he would need to see the medic – he sported several fractures in the struts of his right arm and some loosened relays and connectors. Probably for that reason he hadn't noticed any pain from said limb. When he tried moving his fingers, he received no feedback.
He just wished his back and processor would pay him the same consideration.
"Prowl, do you need anything?"
Prime's hand was still lingering on his back. Prowl directed a slightly exasperated but fond smile at the truck as his optics focused on him. He used his left hand to rearrange his broken arm across his lap.
"I'm mostly fine. This was my fault, because I wasn't paying attention. I'd appreciate if you tell me how I damaged my arm, however, because we will need for later an explanation for one very irate medic."
The taller bot winced; Prowl was empathic to the reaction. He could already hear the tirade both of them would be downed under as soon as they arrived back home.
"Well, when I punched you," Prime rubbed the back of his neck after he had removed his hand, revealing the scratches on his forearm which had been inflicted by Prowl's shurikens in their spar. "It threw you back against the wall. Unfortunately, a pipe was emerging from that spot and your arm landed right on it."
He frowned as he gingerly fondled at the back of his head, finger tips finding a huge indention. There were probably even more on his back and thrusters, although his processor didn't alert him to any leaks or other injuries there. He suppressed a sigh.
"Ratchet won't be happy either way."
"When is he ever?"
Prowl shared the sudden smirk of Prime's.
"You would never dare to say this anywhere where he could hear it. Besides, you need to see him as well." He pointed at the gap revealing circuitry in the armor of Prime's upper arm. Prime inspected the wound, shrugging.
"There's always the danger of damages to either of us, no matter what Ratchet says about sparring."
"Exactly. Its inherent nature makes it bound to happen sometimes." Another groan escaped Prowl as he pushed himself into a more upright position. "I certainly hope that I made you feel some measure of soreness at least, too. Otherwise I will begin to feel cheated."
"You certainly achieved your goal." Prime's grin grew broader. "I actually feel bad because I overdid it with my punch. Expending more force than necessary, which would have thrown me off my balance too."
"Good. I already feared you would fall into old habits and apologize for throwing me into the wall. It's been some time since I had a sparring partner and one that challenges me as you do on top of that." Prime had even adapted parts of the style of circuit-su into his own over the last mega-cycles just by watching him, a feat which Prowl could not help but admire and feel a bit proud of.
"After you wiped the ground with me the first times."
"That was because you were holding back. Every time. I didn't even think then you would be able to fight with me seriously in the near future, although you finally let go in the fifth session."
"You mean you agitated me until I snapped."
"Sometimes it seems to be only way to get you to stop being so considerate or whatever you deem as so. I had actually considered by that session to re-live my fantasies of clamping my hands around your neck just to have an outlet for my own frustrations."
Prime gaped at him for a moment before he threw his head back, laughing so loudly that the looser plates of his armor rattled, his vents puffing against Prowl. Prowl's fairings drooped and he let himself relax more against the wall.
"I certainly wasn't acting any of that today, but you still seemed intent on making me suffer." When his dwindling laughter finally let him speak again, the truck gestured vaguely down his body with the various scratches marring his paint. Another reason that he too would be subjected to Ratchet's tender care. His smile grew then pensive, peering at the black bot.
"Is there something wrong?" Prowl lifted a brow. Instead of verbally answering, the truck hummed.
The ninja yelped as red arms lifted him from the ground, holding him against Prime's chest as he stood up and walked towards the warehouse's exit.
"I can walk on my own, you know." Crossing his left arm across his chest served as much as to display his annoyance as to distract from his voice sounding flustered. That the shift of position hadn't caused a new wave of headaches or his back to complain was only because of Prime's care to keep Prowl's upper body stable while picking him up.
"Maybe, but I'm not taking any chances. Neither with you being possibly hurt more than we think nor risking Ratchet's ire." Prime stepped over a fallen beam that lied in the hallway while adjusting his friend in his hold so that his damaged arm wasn't jostled.
"I rather believe you are paying me back for our fight. Not that you were any better." Lacking any vigor, Prowl stabbed a finger against Prime's chest plate. "You used underhanded tricks. Again."
"First you say I used to hold back too much, now you accuse me of fighting dirty?"
"I say you should keep it to our adversaries."
"Because it's much more entertaining when it's not you as the target?" The corner of Prime's mouth quirked now as he sniggered at Prowl's glare, giving a smug look back with his own narrowed optics.
"It sounds as if you're insinuating it worked on me."
"Oh? And I thought you admitted that my punch connected because you had been distracted."
"You are insufferable." Huffing, the ninja-bot crossed his functioning arm over his chest again and glared at his leader, whose smirk only grew. After looking at each other for several moments, due to the lack of movement it occurred to Prowl that Prime had been standing just some steps away from the warehouse's entrance for at least part of this time.
He couldn't help it.
It was bad enough that his frown eased, although they were still in the middle of their stare-off. Worse was the warmth bubbling in his chest that rose to tickle his throat.
He knew he had lost when his own lips quirked up and the first noise escaped him.
"By the Allspark, this is ridiculous." He pressed a palm over his face as if that would stop his composure crumbling, which didn't even seem to care at all it did so with how easy it was happening.
Then Optimus's chest began shaking.
"We are to tell no-bot of this."
"Tell no-bot what?"
"Hmmph. You still have that grin on your faceplates."
"It's not every day any-bot can make you laugh, Prowl. You should do it more often, it suits you." Prime smiled warmly at him. The dipping of the black helmet hiding his face was telling.
"… Just don't tell Bumblebee. Or Sari. While Sari would genuinely wish to see me laugh, it would turn into a competition with him."
All humor fell from Prime's field.
"Don't worry, I will keep this between us." The hand around his shoulder squeezed gently. Prowl relaxed, letting his helmet rest against the faux-glass of Prime's chest.
When Optimus later set him down after they had arrived just outside the plant, asking him if he minded walking to the medbay on his own from here on, the ninja-bot squeezed his forearm in turn.
"I don't mind at all. And thank you."