Sunday, February 14th, 2010 10:31 pm
Title: No Sort of Ceremony
Pairing: Skyfire/Silverbolt

Summary: "That's why they don't make movies about people like you." … because Skyfire can't be bothered with any more Relationship Angst, and Silverbolt doesn't even have to ask the question.

Notes: Humanverse, same continuity as 'Easy as Falling', set about a year and a half after. At some point I might actually post the set of ficlets that fill in the intervening time, if I can shut up the bit of my brain that's going "this is totally self-indulgent and pointless". This fic is totally self-indulgent and pointless to a power of ONE MILLION, but has the excuse of being written as Valentine's Day fluff.

It is also sort of a gift for [livejournal.com profile] katharos_8, who won my fandom auction for [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti and turned out to be as much a fan of big, convoluted AUs as I am, with the result that I haven't finished her auction fic yet. Have some fluff as a stopgap! :)



*

One of the things Skyfire hates most about the war is the way it makes you forget normal, silly, utterly trivial things like Sunday afternoons and daytime TV and annoying commercialised holidays.

Though perhaps forget isn't the right word: it's not like he's forgotten what February 14th represents. It just hasn't occurred to him that it might hold any relevance to him.

(Partly that's Starscream's fault, of course. Anniversaries and special dates have never meant anything to Starscream – he doesn't even waste energy on scorn. He thinks in terms of possession and property and once he has claimed someone as his own, it doesn't matter to him whether days or weeks or years have elapsed, they still belong to him. This becomes, as Skyfire has had cause to discover, something of a problem when you try to break up with him.)

Which is why Skyfire draws a blank when Jazz, after grabbing the seat next to him at lunch and exchanging greetings, says, "So what're you and Silverbolt doin' tonight?"

"I'm sorry?"

Jazz pauses with his fork halfway to his mouth, grins. "C'mon, first Valentine's Day since you got back an' all? Tell me you're buyin' him flowers, at least."

Skyfire's face must be a picture, because Jazz has to put his fork down amid gales of horrified laughter.

"Don' tell me you forgot."

"No! I mean..." Skyfire runs a hand through his hair, furious with himself and illogically furious with Jazz as well. "You know us, we're not really into big displays of, well, anything, I just didn't think he'd... and it's not long since his birthday, we went out for dinner then..."

"Dude, totally not the same thing. You seriously haven't planned anything? Not even stupid notes on the fridge or somethin'?"

Skyfire glares at him. "Stop making it sound like I've failed Relationships 101. The day's just a gimmick, it's not like an anniversary. Besides," he goes on before Jazz can say whatever he's opened his mouth to say, "Silverbolt hasn't said anything. If it were important to him, he would have."

"Sure he would have. 'Cos he has such a history of taking the initiative and not waiting for you to make the first move."

Skyfire wants to tell him he's completely wrong, that Silverbolt is perfectly capable of taking the lead, but the problem is that he knows what Jazz means. There are certain narrowly defined areas where Silverbolt treads very carefully indeed. It's only just occurred to Skyfire that this might be one of them.

"You still got time," Jazz says. "Flowers're good, an' there's plenty about, this time of year... you won't get into any restaurant worth goin' to, but you cook, right? We could head out to the store an' pick up some stuff..."

"We?" Skyfire eyes him warily. "Jazz, you remember that time Prowl threatened to make you write out my friends' lives are not wacky romantic comedies and I will not attempt to treat them as such five hundred times on the briefing room whiteboard?"

"Lies!" Jazz declares cheerfully. "Everythin's better as wacky romantic comedies, and 'sides, Optimus wasn't complainin'. But seriously, you need me to get you anythin'?"

Skyfire hesitates. He could ask Jazz to get flowers or some of those cherry brandy chocolates Silverbolt adores (and which Skyfire rather adores tasting in his mouth) but he's always been of the opinion that gifts and gestures should mean something, not just be a way of salving your conscience. And he hates the idea of being so dishonest with Silverbolt as to pretend he's had something planned all along.

"No," he says. "Thank you, but I think I'll take the non-wacky, non-comedy approach this time."

"Which is?"

Skyfire puts his tray in order and gets up; he's only finished half his lunch, but if he wants to catch Silverbolt before he heads out on patrol, he's going to have to hurry.

"I'm going to talk to him."

"Man, you 'responsible adults' and your 'common sense' are just no fun," Jazz grouses, but the grin he flashes Skyfire is amused and approving. "That's why they don't make movies about people like you."

*

Silverbolt is in the middle of an argument with Skydive and Air Raid about whether or not their patrol route could feasibly cover what Air Raid refers to as 'that awesome canyon' (or 'that death trap which you are strictly forbidden to enter' as Silverbolt is more wont to call it) but it looks like it's mostly light hearted, and the other two already seem to be backing down gracefully. Air Raid grins and waves when he spots Skyfire.

"Can I borrow Silverbolt for a minute or two?"

Silverbolt glances at him questioningly, the slightest frown creasing his forehead, and Skyfire shoots him a quick smile to let him know nothing's wrong.

"Yeah, we'll go and start prepping," Skydive says.

"No sex in the maintenance closet!" Air Raid calls back over his shoulder as they leave.

Skyfire doesn't rise to it – he presumes there will come a time, however distant, when Air Raid ceases to find amusement in teasing them about their relationship, and Skyfire is prepared to wait it out – while Silverbolt confines himself to a roll of his eyes and a wry smile.

"What's up?"

"Did you want to do anything this evening?"

Silverbolt tilts his head questioningly. "Why? Are you going out?"

"What? Oh, no, I just meant..." Skyfire wavers, then decides to just go for broke. "Look, I haven't done Valentine's Day for years, it didn't even occur to me, but if you wanted to go somewhere..."

"Oh!" Silverbolt blinks, comprehension finally forming in his eyes, and he laughs. "God, is it the 14th already? I meant to ask you last week if you wanted to go out or something, but then the schedule got a bit crazy and you didn't seem bothered..."

"I'm not," Skyfire says hastily. "I mean, not if you're not, I didn't mean that we should do something if you don't feel like it, I just didn't want you to think..."

Still laughing, Silverbolt lays the tips of his fingers over Skyfire's mouth and leaves them there until he stops trying to talk. Then he leans in and kisses him.

"Anything you like," says Silverbolt when they come up for air. His breath is warm on Skyfire's cheek. "Dinner out or dinner in or nothing at all. We've got a shelf of movies we haven't watched yet and that pizza place you like delivers..."

Skyfire wraps his arms around Silverbolt and breathes him in, thanking God – or just the chaotic unfolding of the universe – for the luck that brought him home when all the odds were against him. This time last year Skyfire was drifting, almost certain he would die in the depths of space. This time last year he thought he'd never see Silverbolt again.

"I've probably just got time to get into town and find one of those horrible figurines, if you like," he says lightly after a moment.

"Oh yes, please, can it be pink? You know how much I like badly painted pink teddy bears."

Skyfire snickers into Silverbolt's hair, and Silverbolt grins and brushes a kiss against his neck before he pulls away.

"I've got to go, before Skydive reprograms the navcom to convince it we're heading for that blasted canyon." Silverbolt steals another quick kiss. "See you when we're off duty."

*

In the end, Skyfire does take part of Jazz's advice – he's not the world's best cook, but he's fine as long as he follows the recipe (which isn't much different from following an experimental procedure, although one time when he made that comparison Jazz and Mirage were horrified – cooking is apparently supposed to have more soul than science) so he drives off-base and does some grocery shopping. He chooses dishes full of Silverbolt's favourite things (there is a fortunate overlap with Skyfire's own favourites that eliminates the necessity for undue sacrifices on his part) and even picks up some wine to go with them.

He might possibly give into temptation and stop by the confectioner's for some of those cherry brandies, which may or may not end up in a heart-shaped box, but no-one sees him so they can't prove anything.

They do start watching a movie, something light and fun and totally undemanding, but it isn't long before they become far more interested in each other. Skyfire is comfortably full of food that was, if he says so himself, rather delicious, and a little buzzed with the wine, and it's entirely too tempting to press his mouth to Silverbolt's neck and place kisses along the length of it in the way that makes Silverbolt's eyelids flutter closed and his lips part. And then Silverbolt wriggles around so they're face to face, and when Skyfire kisses him he discovers that Silverbolt has somehow sneaked one of the chocolates he swore he was going to save for later. Not that Skyfire is complaining.

There is something about this, making love on the couch like teenagers, that makes Skyfire's heart ache with the intensity of what he feels for Silverbolt. Maybe it's the silliness of it, negotiating the lack of space when they could have room to spare in the bed, or the fact that the movie's still playing in the background but neither of them is paying the slightest bit of attention, or maybe it's the way they both keep almost-laughing, breathless and ridiculously giddy on nothing more than a glass of wine each and the sheer pleasure of each other's company.

By the time they're done, the movie has finished and the TV has turned itself off; Silverbolt pulls the throw off the back of the couch and drapes it over them, and they lie there tangled up and sleepy and deeply content. At least, Skyfire is deeply content, and he hopes Silverbolt is too – but there is no fear in the thought.

"I didn't get you anything," Silverbolt murmurs after a while. His hand has disappeared over the edge of the couch and comes back with one of the cherry brandy chocolates between thumb and forefinger, which is presumably what prompted the thought. "Even an ugly figurine."

"I have to admit that if you'd produced one of those, I might have had to break up with you."

Silverbolt smirks and pops the chocolate into his mouth. Skyfire imagines the smooth, dark shell melting in that warmth, and the explosion of sharp liqueur as the cherry brandy escapes. He knows he's hardly the first person to find that sort of thing erotic, but he never saw the appeal before now. He's still not sure if it would mean anything without the way Silverbolt's eyes half-close for a second in appreciation of the taste.

"Skyfire?" Silverbolt murmurs just as Skyfire is thinking of going in for a long, leisurely, chocolate-laced kiss.

"Mmm?"

"I, um. This is a huge cliché. But." Silverbolt takes a breath, and Skyfire realises that he's nervous, which is... kind of worrying. "But I was... I've been thinking a lot lately and I wondered..."

He stops and bites his lip, eyes flitting to Skyfire's and down again. For another half a second, Skyfire has no idea what he's hesitating over, but there are only so many answers that make sense, and the right one hits him between the eyes and leaves him momentarily speechless. He finds himself thinking about the last six months, the easy, natural way they've found they fit together, and then of those places – those parts of Skyfire's heart – where Silverbolt treads so very carefully. He swallows hard and is amazed to find that he isn't afraid. Not any more.

"… yes?"

"Well, I wondered if maybe we could--"

"No, Silverbolt," Skyfire interrupts him gently, "that was a yes."

Silverbolt blinks – once, twice – then says faintly, "Really?"

"Yes." Skyfire finally gets to kiss him then. He can still taste chocolate and cherry liqueur. "Definitely yes."

"Can we just check we're talking about the same--"

"Do you want me to get on one knee and ask you?"

Silverbolt blinks again; then surprise gives way to his beautiful, brilliant smile. He winds his fingers into Skyfire's hair and brings him in to be kissed, over and over, just light brushes of lips that make Skyfire shiver all the way down to his toes.

"I wanted to ask before you went," Silverbolt whispers. "But it was too soon, I know it's still too soon..."

"I've been in love with you for almost three years," Skyfire replies softly. "Even when I couldn't admit it. Even when I thought I'd never get home. Three years is long enough."

"Skyfire." For a moment it seems as though Silverbolt is going to say something more, but he just sighs and repeats himself. "Skyfire..."

They don't talk for a while then, until Skyfire realises that it's getting late and the heating has switched itself off, and they really ought to get to bed if they want to be good for anything in the morning.

He doesn't say anything just yet, though. He feels a little as if moving will shatter this, reveal it as a dream or a fantasy.

He's never deserved Silverbolt, but he's starting to believe that he might be allowed to keep him anyway.


- end -


p.s. More 'Wing' is on its way.
Sunday, February 14th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is so sweet and completely heartwrenching.

I also like the "my friends' lives are not wacky romantic comedies and I will not attempt to treat them as such" part. I laughed out loud. ^_^
Sunday, February 14th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
...WARMING. HeartWARMING.
Sunday, February 14th, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification! :D

I can't help using Jazz as the traditional character-who-meddles-with-other-people's-relationships, but I like him to get called on it occasionally.
Monday, February 15th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC)
Okay, melting. Brb.

<33333333333333333333333333333333333333

That last line absolutely kills me. (Though the line about 'might have bought chocolates, can't prove anything' comes in at a close second.)
Monday, February 15th, 2010 07:52 am (UTC)
<3 They are very melty. :) I tend to think of them as being terribly sensible and practical and vaguely mortified if someone catches them kissing, except that they're both secretly enormous balls of sap who, just for example, buy each other chocolates in heart-shaped boxes and propose on Valentine's Day. :D

*pets Skyfire* You can has happiness, yes you can.
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC)
They are so cute! Hee, I love Jazz an d'my friend's lives are not wacky romantic comedies...' and Skyfire and Silverbolt being adult and sensible enough to just talk it through without the drama, or getting hung up on what Valentine's day is 'supposed' tobe but still managed to make it a special evening on their own terms. Adorable!
Sunday, February 28th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
I love your Skyfire. He is awesome sauce and awesome and yeah. Awesome. I would totally love to see the bits in-between, half because I'm a sucker for human!fic and half because you are awesome sauce to the point where I can just repeat "awesome sauce" over and over, with a few "fuck, I'll never write Silverbolt this awesome sauce" thrown in.
Also, I think I'm missing something with badly-painted pink figurines. OH WELL. YOU ARE MADE OF WIN.
Monday, March 1st, 2010 12:01 am (UTC)
<3 Thank you! I am a bit in love with the humanverse, and a bit too embarrassed to post much of it... I love your Silverbolt though. :) And I'm pretty sure you started my interest in humanfic.

The pink figurines isn't an injoke or anything - I don't know about where you live, but around here Valentine's Day is accompanied by a flood of stuff like this (http://www.hsamuel.co.uk/webstore/detail/R/8181411/). YMMV as to whether you think the one I've linked to is adorable or twee, but I was thinking of the £2.99 variants that you see in the newsagents and card shops with garish colours and terrible paint/varnish quality. I can only assume that they are bought by very, very desperate people.
Monday, March 1st, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
Ah, the Apology For Breaking My Shit In A Drunken Rage Collection. Yes, I am very familiar with that. :)
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go squee like a moron over the fact that you know who I am.
And work on that. I swear, I work on it.
Monday, March 1st, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
Hooray!! A story about responsible grown ups with common sense hooray!!! They make just as interesting and delightful topics for stories and movies, it just takes a rare and awesome author to do it ^_^ (so there, Jazz, lol.)

This was completely marvelous - I love Silverbolt treading carefully, and Skyfire being touched by it, and I can't recall a proposal scene that I've actually liked, but...I liked this one. Very much <3

At some point I might actually post the set of ficlets that fill in the intervening time *flaily* I'd love to see more, and I'm sure I'm not the only one! Humanfic's not usually my thing, but this is WIN!
Monday, March 1st, 2010 05:03 am (UTC)
Awwww.....! That is so SWEET and fluffy and just full of love! Love it! :D
Monday, March 1st, 2010 06:59 am (UTC)
Glee!!!
Oh Jazz... XD
Seconding what Playswithworms said.

"Can we just check we're talking about the same--"

"Do you want me to get on one knee and ask you?"


o^___________________________________________^o
Monday, March 1st, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
*giggle* I can so see Jazz doing that too!

Such a fun and sweet fic! <3