beckyh2112: (Ballet: With Laptop)
Rebecca Hb. ([personal profile] beckyh2112) wrote2011-11-26 06:03 pm

[Transformers Fic] Our Shadowy Pattern

Title: Our Shadowy Pattern
Series: IDW Transformers
Characters: Megatron/Impactor
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 2100+
Summary: It's friendship at first word. But it's the poetry that undoes him.
Author's Notes: Written for the [ profile] tf_rare_pairing prompt 'Megatron/Impactor, i want to paint a love poem all over the sheets and you'.

Our Shadowy Pattern

always the words did the touching
but now I will swallow your words

- "I Woke Up", Patti Tana


"Who're you?" Impactor asked, throwing himself onto the berth across from the new mech in the barracks. It creaked alarmingly and rocked on three legs, but it didn't break under him. Damn, this was better than his berth - he'd had to rip off the last good leg a month ago to keep it mostly even on the ground.

Red optics brightened subtly, the new mech coming out of his thoughts. "-Megatron. My name is Megatron."

Impactor grinned. "Impactor. You look like they scraped up the drippings and poured 'em in a broken mold. Where're you from?"

"Tarn." Megatron's mouth quirked, almost a smile. "Same as you."

He laughed, because damn, it had been a long time since anyone had the guts to say that. Out of the edge of his optics, he saw some of the other miners hunch down and edge away. Wusses. A few shot him ugly looks, the ones who hadn't quite figured out how to defrag on a timer. Frag 'em.

Megatron must have come in during the shift. He already looked like he'd been mining, dust coating his frame, bits of grime under his fingertips. His hazard signs were dingy, but not as ragged as Impactor's were. His body was weird, though; it looked built to industrial-standards, but Impactor didn't think it had been designed for industry.

Why build a miner like that?

"Hey, Impactor, you want in?" one of the other miners called, holding up a fan of cards. "Six-card draw, Thirteenth Betrayal."

"You play?" Impactor glanced at Megatron. "If you don't have pay, you can put shifts in the pot."

"I've... never played," Megatron said, looking mildly startled. His optics dimmed briefly then they brightened, and he frowned. "I don't even know the rules."

Impactor laughed again. He sounded as if he'd never not known something. "Then come learn. Thirteenth Betrayal is simpler than decking Towline. Even mechs like us can figure it out."

Megatron's expression changed, there and gone.

Impactor sat up faster than he had in a long time. Something had just set the new guy off, and he was damn sure it wasn't the crack about decking Towline. "Problem?"

Red optics met his. "I don't think the problem is with mechs like us," Megatron said quietly. "I think the problem is people who say what mechs like us are like."

It took him a moment to parse that, not used to needing to think like that. It had been a long time since he'd been asked to do anything besides mine, drink, and not-think. (Never mind Megatron wasn't asking him anything.) "They're the ones making the rules," he said, shrugging. "Come on. You need to learn to play cards."


Their next down-shift found Impactor on his back, staring up at the barracks ceiling, and Megatron on his side in the berth next to him. There was a new scar on his shoulder, courtesy of a few tons of metal collapsing unexpectedly. It didn't even sting, but it had pissed him off. Slag-shoddy mine tunnels! Frag, when he found out who ought to have been keeping that tunnel up-

He spun his drill-hand.

The clicking of keys paused as Megatron glanced over at him. He didn't say anything, though, and the sound of clicking resumed.

Impactor turned to look at him, idly wondering what was so interesting in his head that he needed to put it on a datapad. "What're you writing?"

Megatron froze, optics flashing bright, then keyed the program closed. Impactor could tell from the way it changed the light on his face. "I'm sorry. Am I keeping you from defrag?"

Impactor snorted and turned away. "Nothing's going to manage that."

He didn't ask about the writing again. Some things were public as shift-schedules, some things were for friends, and some things were personal. He figured if it was something for Megatron's friends, Megatron would have told him.

Not like either of them had any other friends.


Impactor picked up a metal shard and threw it at the ceiling. "Quit worrying. We're two of their most valuable miners. They're not going to leave us."

"I'm not worrying," Megatron lied, optics shifting dim. "But it's been a shift since we went missing."

Closer to two, though it was cute of him to pretend otherwise. Either the mine collapse was worse than he guesstimated, or their supervisors really were thinking hard about leaving them. Stupid, but Impactor knew stupid was their default setting.

'Course, the most annoying thing about Impactor, as far as most of his supervisors were concerned, was that he'd drill his way through anything. "If you're getting bored, I can always drill us a path out."

Megatron glanced sharply at him, optics going bright. "Impactor, this is an energon mine!"

"Yeah, yeah, I could blow us both to the Pit and back." He grinned. "Make a hell of a mess."

"That we wouldn't have to clean up," Megatron added slyly. He unlatched a plate on his arm and pulled out his datapad yet again, clicked a few keys on it- then glanced up at Impactor. "-Here."

He thrust the datapad at Impactor as if it was a weapon, so Impactor took it gingerly. The datapad showed a plain text display, glyphs arranged in short lines and angles. Huh. Poetry. He almost handed it back to Megatron, but the nervous whine of systems reached his audials. He glanced up, saw Megatron ostentatiously looking away, then glanced back down and began to read.

It wasn't normal poetry. Impactor didn't think he even knew what normal poetry was, but it wasn't this.

Normal poetry didn't sound like his life.

The poem just stopped at the end of the file, unfinished and empty. He stared for a long time, thoughts turning over in the bottom of his mind. (Megatron was asking something of him now.) The words burned like molten metal.

They left marks.

"Come on," he said roughly, handing the datapad back to Megatron. "Let's get out of here."


"Move it or lose it!"


Megatron sat gingerly on the edge of the berth next to him. His optics ticked up and down levels, barely noticeable to a mech who didn't live his life in darkness. Impactor watched the light change, wondered if his friend would spit it out.


"You can't let people read that kind of thing lightly," he said, interrupting again.

"I don't," Megatron said very quietly, and Impactor turned to look at him. He was leaning forward, elbows on his knees, expression intense as he watched Impactor. "I'm not so foolish as you think."

"Didn't say you were." He grabbed Megatron's wrist and yanked him into his berth. "I will if you don't defrag, though."

Megatron staticked in surprise, then rolled so he was on his side. All the equipment on his back momentarily tipped him the other way, so Impactor scooted a bit to give him a bit more of the berth. Somehow Megatron's cheek wound up against his shoulder, and their fingers got all tangled together.


The first time they went to the surface together, Impactor dragged Megatron to his favorite bar. Huge windows let the sunlight in, and they both basked in it, hardly touching their drinks. People bustled around them, a few side-eyeing and muttering about dirty miners. They could all get smelted as far as Impactor was concerned, just so long as they left him alone.

Megatron took out his datapad and clicked a few keys. "I finished it."


"Yeah." He pushed the 'pad across the table, and Impactor turned it around to read.

"... Yeah," he said roughly, a while later. "You did."

He didn't want to give the datapad back. The lines were twisting inside his mind, leaving marks.

Megatron reached across the table and backed out of the poem, revealing a whole directory of them. "There's more. If you want to read them."

He didn't think he could survive reading them. "You think too much."

Megatron's optics met his. "I don't think people think enough."


Reading the poetry got easier. Most of them didn't hit as hard as the very first one; the few that did- Well, everybody knew he got into fights with the supervisors. A few more didn't mean anything. Except to Megatron.

"I don't understand," he said, fingers working grease into Impactor's shoulder. "You weren't so angry when we first met."

Yes, I was, Impactor almost said. So were you. We both still are. But he didn't say anything.

"It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and cushion the shock," Megatron subvocalized. Only their closeness let Impactor feel the vibrations, and closeness let him puzzle out the words.

"Shut up," he growled, hating that particular poem. He didn't know what had made Megatron write it, but the despair in it left him wanting to hit someone.

Megatron's optics flashed. Then he smiled and murmured,
"Come when it's quiet
I like your way of moving
Slip into my stillness
Silence me."

Impactor shot him a look.

"Poetry is meant to be spoken," Megatron said lightly, fingers working deeper into his shoulder.

"Maybe I get tired of hearing you yap," Impactor replied, reaching up to drag his friend down into the berth. His shoulder groaned in protest at the movement, and their bodies clanged together. Megatron's optics flashed, and Impactor grinned. "I'd rather make you scream."

"I'd rather not break your shoulder," his friend said unhappily.

He cursed, knowing he couldn't give what he wanted without finishing the job the supervisor started. Not until he got a chance to visit one of the mechs with a little med-tech training, get it looked at. If he lost the arm, he lost the job.

"Later," he said.

"Later," Megatron agreed.


Later took weeks. Impactor had to let self-repair handle most of his shoulder. Mining tore up the damaged shoulder almost more than his self-repair could fix. The pain and frustration made him want to tear someone's head off.

Early one shift, Megatron took him by the hand and led him down into the tunnels, turning off into an energon-empty dead-end. Megatron kept looking over his shoulder warily, which unsettled Impactor. His drill-hand spun up.

"Look, don't tell anyone about this," Megatron said, turning to him. "It's- I'm- Look, just don't tell anyone."

Impactor blinked. "What are you going on about?"

Megatron pulled out a toolkit and popped open plates on Impactor's shoulder. He worked quickly, turning off pain-sensors and patching the damaged rotator cuff. "I'm not rated for this," he muttered, "and this is so sloppy Hook would kill me."

As soon as his shoulder was closed up, Impactor decked Megatron. "You could have done this weeks ago!"

"You could have gone to the infirmary, too!" Megatron snapped, pressing his hand over the drill-gouge in his chest. "Or Salvo! He's a drugged-out wretch, but at least he's got repair ratings."

Impactor growled, and Megatron growled back, and suddenly Impactor found himself atop Megatron, his friend's back against the wall, metal pressed together and systems running hot. They kissed, ground together. Megatron's fingers dug into his seams, Impactor's thumb dug into his hip. Drill scraped against thigh, knee knocked open knees.

"So let us
use each other in the best of ways
as the hours jump off the cliff," Megatron husked, and Impactor bit his mouth with another kiss.

Only their optics lit the dark around them as they moved with and against each other. Sparks spattered and fell. Megatron's voice rose and fell.

"Give me all the kisses of your mouth." Snatches of verse, drawn out with every sweep of Impactor's hand, every scrape of drill-bit, every cut of mouth against metal. "Your love is better than energon."

Megatron's fingers worked their way deeper into his seams, brushing against sensors that jolted him with sensation. He bit his friend's throat in retaliation.

"-an inch from dying," Megatron moaned. "Impactor!"

Verse transformed, became a name. His name. Megatron repeated and invoked it, turned it into a caress and a threat, pleaded, worshiped, surrendered-

Impactor whispered once, "Megatron."


The next down-shift found them in their berth, Megatron's chin on his shoulder. Impactor spun his drill-hand idly, his other arm under Megatron while his friend defragged. The weight was almost heavy enough to distract him from his thoughts.

(He had answered Megatron, hadn't he?)


Poems and poets in order of use:
- "The Sons of Martha", Rudyard Kipling
- "Skinsong", Trudi Paraha
- "The Real Hearth", Marge Piercy
- The Song of Songs
- Sappho

[identity profile] 2011-11-27 12:33 am (UTC)(link)
That was really cool :D I especially like this line: The lines were twisting inside his mind, leaving marks. Awesome.

[identity profile] 2011-11-27 07:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

[identity profile] 2011-11-27 12:44 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, excellent! I really love the worldbuilding you did, as well as their relationship!

[identity profile] 2011-11-27 07:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Worldbuilding is always fun. ^_^ I like slipping it in where I can.

[identity profile] 2011-11-27 12:45 am (UTC)(link)
Damn, I loved this. I'd been hoping for fic involving this pair and poetry, and this was excellent. :)

[identity profile] 2011-11-27 07:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

The poetry was the main inspiration for this. I couldn't have done it without my books. ^_^

[identity profile] 2011-11-27 02:50 am (UTC)(link)
I like Impactor's sort of blunt... apathy in this. He's smarter than he lets on, he sees life for what it is, but he... doesn't really do much of anything about it.

Megatron is clearly thinking revolutionary thinky thoughts.

[identity profile] 2011-11-27 07:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It wouldn't have been as good without you checking it over.

Impactor doesn't, and Megatron is. ^_^

[identity profile] 2011-11-27 11:02 am (UTC)(link)
I've told you before I love your style, and the things you do with words. I very much enjoyed the pacing and feel of this one.

[identity profile] 2011-11-27 07:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

[identity profile] 2011-11-30 05:25 am (UTC)(link)
Your writing style is beautiful. :3 And so is this fic.

[identity profile] 2011-12-03 08:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

[identity profile] 2011-12-03 06:34 am (UTC)(link)
beautifully done!

[identity profile] 2011-12-03 08:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

[identity profile] 2011-12-21 07:46 pm (UTC)(link)
I thought I reviewed this!

And now I, poet though I am, can't find the words to describe it. Wonderful. Beautiful. I love this particular depth you've given to Megatron, and I love his relatings with Impactor, and how it all meshes so wonderfully with all that Megatron is.

My headcanon Megatron, incidentally, is now a poet.

Thank you.