32 Wheeljack x Ratchet ficlets. "The greatest mistake in the treatment of diseases is that there are physicians for the body and physicians for the soul, although the two cannot be separated." -Pla...
When the Ark team made planet fall, Wheeljack was among the first to descend from the ship. And Ratchet, stepping apart from the others to greet him, was not prepared for his lover to grasp both of his hands and slowly—so slowly—run his forefingers over the fine seams and sensitive plating that was common to medics, sending a shudder through Ratchet’s frame and spurring a low, curious murmur among the humans present.
Ratchet was a shaking mess by the time they made it to his quarters, dermal plating hot to the touch, spark crying out for a connection that had gone one hundred vorns without being made. When it came, with Wheeljack above him, facial structures twisting in a mix of pain or pleasure, Ratchet welcomed the rush of his lover’s energy through his systems.
He couldn't pinpoint what he felt, holding Wheeljack to him. It was thick, spiced energon, the smoothing of a newly welded seam on an injured comrade, homemade oil cakes, watching the dawn break over this new planet and light the horizon with colors in a combination he'd not seen anywhere else, staying online to ridiculous hours and finding every reason to stay late in the recharge berth the next morning. It was peace, it was safety, it was home.
In those first cycles after their original meeting on Iacon, Wheeljack had repeated Ratchet’s name so often, at the end of so many questions and statements, that Ratchet had wondered if it wasn’t some kind of nervous glitch. Hundreds of years later, on Earth, Wheeljack would confess that he’d just liked the feel of it in his mouth, rolling out of his vocalizer.
Here on Earth
From the moment the two met, back on Cybertron, there had been a noticeable tension between Ironhide and Wheeljack. They could hardly remain in the same room with one another without goading words or harsh glares and the catalyst for this behavior was something Ratchet had never been able to discover.
Less than two human weeks after the Ark landed on earth, Ratchet walked into Medbay to find Ironhide and Wheeljack a breadth apart. Ironhide’s cannons hummed with a low charge and Wheeljack’s fingers clenched and loosened as though they longed to tear into something.
Ratchet snapped off a command and when they both turned to look at him, he recognized, in the light of Ironhide’s optics and the angle of his mouth, the same feeling so often expressed in Wheeljack’s face.
“I remember the form you took a few hundred orns ago...I know you have a sense of taste,” Wheeljack said. Ratchet raised his supra orbital ridge, raised a hand holding a particularly vicious looking piece of equipment and replied, “I happen to like my paint job.”
It was moments like these—Wheeljack, unaware of Ratchet’s presence, sitting cross legged on the floor, trailing a fingertip delicately over the arching back of a stray feline they’d found, that open and innocent look of wonder on his face, engine humming contentedly—that Ratchet had missed most during their long separation.
More miles and years away from Cybertron than he cared to recall, he was becoming used to this place with its strange organic life, its many varied creatures and its sky-climbing cities that reminded him at times of what they all had lost.
And now, with data pads scattered across the berth, stray wires and chords decorating every surface, and the presence of this or that human object that Wheeljack found ever-so-fascinating, it was finally starting to feel like home.
"I know you've been spending a lot of time with the humans and learning their culture and so it's not surprising that you're picking up on some of their...stranger actions, but Primus help me if I have to clean this organic mess out of your exhaust again...what exactly were you doing?" Ratchet finished, curiosity getting the better of him.
He had to lean close to hear Wheeljack mumble a phrase that included the words "tailpipe" and "potato gun."
“...and all the world will be in love with night.” Ratchet paused in his reading of the data pad to glance up at the sky, brilliant with pinpoints of light. Wheeljack stirred against him and Ratchet hummed, leaning his head against the other mech’s, tracing his fingers down the center of Wheeljack’s chest, imagining the spark, pulsing bright, deep inside.
The few rain showers they received on Cybertron were something to be escaped from before the acid could make its way into sensitive neural wiring and Ratchet found it a shame that he’d never before gotten to see Wheeljack under these conditions, head tilted to the sky, water beading on his armor, rolling slowly down his chassis, following every curve, every sharp angle, making his whole body shine.
He’d once heard Mikaela say of the confection she was consuming that it was “better than sex.” The thought came back to him later, with Wheeljack pinned beneath him, spark not yet recovered from the fervor of merging, sensors half numb with pleasure, and the seams along his armor so sensitive that he could probably go off again with the slightest touch, that if there were a Cybertronian form of chocolate, it might be quite deadly indeed.
I Hear a Melody
In humans, ears seemed to be highly receptive to not only auditory manipulations but gentle physical stimulation. Reactions in a Cybertronian were similar, though, for some, it was not so much physical touch that pleased as the promise of such being rumbled at a low frequency just behind an audio receptor.
Ratchet was particularly sensitive around the audios—delicate plating and finely tuned wiring having been one of the additions to his form when he became a Medic—and when Wheeljack pressed against him from behind, engine humming a familiar melody, and rumbled a slew of Cybertronian words that caused heat to jump along Ratchet’s wiring, Ratchet half wondered what, exactly, Wheeljack had been researching in the thousand years since they’d last seen one another.
Audios on the fritz and spark pulsing violently in its casing, Ratchet arched on the berth as all manner of colors flashed in his optics, green for systems analysis, red flashing warnings, blue for emergency shutdown.
He ignored them all in favor of listening to Wheeljack’s voice over the com-link murmur about how good Ratchet sounded in the middle of overload and just what was going to happen when Wheeljack got his hands on him; cycling air, Ratchet wondered just what had possessed the other mech to use the com-link in such a way...
Like Humans Do
"We don't have the proper components and--" Ratchet’s protest was cut off when Wheeljack cupped the medic's face in his hands, brought his lip plates to Ratchet's own and brushed them together. Warm metal, scent of energon, and then the sweetest electrical pulse shivered its way over Ratchet's glossa, tingled in his vocalizer and he wondered if there wasn't something more to be said about Wheeljack's fascination with watching the humans.
“They’re supposed to be as realistic as possible, right, to blend in with the organics and that’s why I want to...“ Wheeljack trailed off as both Ratchet’s mech and holomatter-form, fixed him with a brilliantly cold stare and said, “Wheeljack, I’ve no intention of exploring, firsthand, human mating practices.”
“Well,” Wheeljack started, pushing the glasses up on the nose of his own holoform, “let me try...just this one thing...and...Ratchet, you OK?” he asked. A hitching-gasp escaped the lips of Ratchet’s holoform and the shut eyes sprang open as he grasped Wheeljack’s hand and—guiding it back to the newly exposed skin—said “Do that again.”
His cheeks were uncomfortably damp and he raised his holoform’s hand to swipe at them but Wheeljack beat him there, lips meeting the zygoamtic arch, synthetic tongue licking a warm swathe upward.
Wheeljack’s holoform breathed out slowly, sending tingling warmth against the skin, and said “Extraordinary.”
Love, Faith, Devotion
The human mind had such trouble wrapping around the concept of “forever,” infinite eons and ages.
But, when Ratchet considered it—in the spaces between his time in the Medbay, the still moments in their room, and even the times of ducking flying shrapnel in Wheeljack’s lab—forever really didn’t seem all that long.
Ratchet took the energon Wheeljack offered, his hands trembling as they had been since Wheeljack had helped him into the wash racks, helped to remove the pieces of fur and the blood and the tiny bits of flesh from his chassis, all while Ratchet was thinking that he should have sensed the coyote before it sprang into the road, and, at the very least...he should have been able to save it.
Wheeljack noticed it first as a slight tremor in his fingers, something upsetting his motor functions. Before the day was out whatever it was had spread through the rest of his body, sending his temperature soaring.
Just before everything went black, the door of his lab opened and Ratchet rushed into the room, optics flaring brightly, engines thrumming and he snarled at the sight before him, voice mod grinding out “How did you manage to keep this from me?”
It was four a.m., a deadly and dark hour according to some humans, by the time Ratchet finally put Wheeljack into a deep recharge to reset his systems—after having cleaned out the virus—and sat down in the chair next to the berth, intent on staying there until Wheeljack came back online.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Flash of plasma fire and the world shook. Black smoke curled up from the horizon and out of the gloom emerged the silver wings of a Seeker. Ratchet, churning smoke out of his intakes and carefully pulling debris from a ruined optic, shouted a warning. Too late.
He could only watch Wheeljack struggle beneath the Decepticon, watch as the Seeker’s claws pierced Wheeljack’s chassis, spilling energon and coolant across the smoking ground.
The Seeker flew overhead, Wheeljack dangling from his arms, and Ratchet, his one good optic tilted to the sky tracking their progress, felt warm liquid fall on him, slide down his face; cycled energon—tasted before in moments of passion—and coolant filled his mouth, choking him.
It was one of the few times he cursed his configuration. He was not built for speed and between that and the damage from the plasma fire, he could only struggle toward the horizon as the Seeker flew ever upward. Stare as the Seeker released his burden. Watch as Wheeljack plummeted toward the earth.
It was a slow rending. A wire being pulled apart by blunt fingers, dull blades forced inch by inch into his spark, when Wheeljack’s presence—that undercurrent of energy he’d become so used to feeling in his systems—faded, then disappeared, leaving Ratchet hearing only the hum of his own internals.
At the End of All Things
Maybe it was a short in his wiring, or the virus eating its way through him, corrupting lines of code. Or maybe...maybe it was those thousands of human years lying flat and stale behind him and the expanse of years ahead that left only one thing running through Ratchet’s mind, as he watched the light bloom over the ruined city and felt the ground shake beneath him: I’ll finally see him again.
A surge of heat and Ratchet felt his body shatter, was aware only of a radiant blue flame that seemed light years away, of his own spark merging with it. And then, light, brighter than any he’d ever seen or could imagine exploded—welcome home—and they were together again, he and Wheeljack, in this unnamed place and that was the only thing that mattered.