Bad Business 

Stay Stitch

 

It had been quite a lovely evening.

They attended a private event. One where the hosts drip in diamonds and offer salacious benefits once drunk off their six digit champagne. Gold framed mirrors and gauzy curtains caught in the gentle breeze of open bay windows. The polished marble, pale and glittering beneath the twirling bodies of guests. All dressed in fine silk and delicate gems, a party to celebrate financial wares and the lack of thought these bodies had to give to their own existence.

Megatron usually despised these sorts of gatherings. Where glasses were trimmed in gold and your worth was dictated by reputation of gluttony or the pretty piece clinging to your arm. Dates as important as the name of your dress or the cost of your wristwatch. These were beings of business and intelligence, yet so quickly reduced to slobbering dogs at the leash of fashion and popularity.

Nothing more disparaging than lowering oneself to this masquerade - almost tolerable when Soundwave was Megatron’s usual date. When they were both forced to dress as complementary pairs, Soundwave taken from the comfort of their business suits into elegant gowns and extensive hair configurations the likes even Shockwave could not comprehend.

Soundwave was of course almost the perfect companion for such evenings. Quiet and appealing to the sort of high class scoundrels-like-vultures lining these events. Their demeanor cold and unwelcoming like a shield as well, dissuading all sorts of unwanted attention and as always ready to initiate their polite escape with any number of excuses.

Megatron, however, has a new first choice for places like this...and oh how Starscream enjoys being the jewel on her arm.

This has been a lovely evening because Starscream makes evenings like this special. Memorable even as Megatron watches her charm the room with her smile and dig hooks with words into drunken hearts. Until no guest was a stranger and all wanted to spill their secrets to the pretty woman with the red, red mouth.

And she was a vision of red, Starscream’s color which is worn when she wishes to feel powerful. The bright blood tone against dark, warm skin inviting to the touch. The way she moves with fluid grace through a dazzled crowd, wide leg trousers belted high like a corset, material of airy silk swaying with each step like the building of a violent flame.

A matching jacket is her only reprieve from the cold of a sheer undershirt. Long and hanging off shoulders as any ancient emperor with their cape of furs and riches. The buttons shined brass catching the gold light of the room in blinding glimmers like stars. Most of her jewelry gem-less and heavy. Thick cuffs of matching gold, fingers weighed with rings Megatron herself purchased and placed on each delicate knuckle. Fine chains hanging around the carved throat, the collarbone a shelf from where molten gold drips, save for the thick ruby choker - like a slashed throat on a bride of Bluebeard.

Perhaps in the beginning Megatron might have startled at Starscream’s presentation, ordered her to change. But when she arrived to gather her company to such a gaudy event - opening the door to Starscream’s visage certainly left her without a complaint in her body. Feeling gutted by the blade of Starscream’s eyeliner when the younger woman smiled painted lips and asked for assistance with her jewelry.

It had been a long drive to their destination as Megatron kept watch of Starscream at the edges of her vision. Watching the terrible woman fussing with her glossed hair, long and delicate fingers so gentle as they trailed feather-light touches across her long jaw and collared pulse. She swears Starscream caught her eyes trailing more than once and she squeezed the steering wheel to keep focus on the cold night road.

“You didn’t say anything about how I looked.” Starscream teased from the passenger seat, hating the silence of any situation.

“You don’t need me to tell you how you look,” she answered, rougher than preferred with mouth abruptly dry when her date leaned closer and one could suffocate happily on that scent of citrus and smoke.

“Maybe I want to.” She smiled, as red as the thick-cut gems on her throat - as the bloody shine of her eyes.

They were paused at a red light, the evening dark and late. Streets empty for the moment when Megatron chanced to gaze upon her companion for the evening. Garish and gaudy as the bastards Megatron suffers to survive in this world of high-rise diamonds and family fortunes. Starscream a part of that world, sculpted and set free with no lessons on restraint.

“You look devastating.” She answered and Starscream’s cosmetically perfect teeth peeked from the red lips with her satisfaction of the answer.

For the evening Megatron found she did not mind the bitter taste of gold glass or laced narcissists. Able to swallow the droning on about their lives and misdeeds to try and fashionably scandalize in the controlled room. She found such strength in the feel of Starscream’s warmth at her side as they made the rounds. Starscream knew all these bastards names, knew their delights and how to string them along as expertly as the chains about her throat. Making such a spectacle of herself in an environment where these things were expected, and praised, judging by quiet stares as envious as they were hungry.

It had been quite a lovely evening watching Starscream dance at the corner of her vision. Carved smile and distant voice all pleasant but restrained for the occasion. The force of her true terrible self only simmering beneath the surface of matte powdered skin and the calm pulse. Which skittered under Megatron’s touch when she rested the weight of her hand just inside the coat. Letting it mold to the sharp angle of Starscream’s waist against the sheer fabric - thumb gentle against the hard edge of the many belts guarding her date like some chastity belt from the wolves.

She suggested they head for home not too long before the second hour of the day - taboo for such gatherings to leave so early. But Starscream had flashed black lashes dipped in gold ink and agreed with a smile.

 

The flimsy material of Starscream’s “shirt” does not survive through the entryway of Starscream’s home.

They barely make it inside at all, latched to one another at the closing of elevator doors. Bullying Starscream into the corner to find those claws waiting to hook into her shoulders. Stumbling over each other as mouths do all but kiss. Desperate, hungry and sharp, slipping across snarling teeth and butting heads. Pushing each other through the apartment door and slamming it shut with no more than a kick.

Her subordinate’s coat is tossed aside, pouring over Starscream’s couch like blood splatter, and it takes only a firm tug of the material Megatron snares in hand at the woman’s collar. Pulling it downward with a cry of fabric and Starscream’s surprise when she replaces it with her own mouth. Biting into the warm skin of a now exposed shoulder - mouth full of heat and delicate gold chains. Chasing the harsh pulse with a tongue until the ruby collar clatters against her teeth. Megatron trying to hoist the slighter frame onto the nearest surface.

That they make it to the bedroom at all is by Starscream’s will, and Starscream’s alone.

 

A firm hand on Megatron’s chest, ordering “stop” with a raspy voice and throat glistening in jewels that almost broke Megatron’s teeth. Giving a wide smile to soothe her employer’s fears that something was wrong. Teasing Megatron about “bad backs” and that she shouldn’t get “too ahead of herself”.

Megatron responds by growling at the brat, eliciting a sharp cry and a bright look in red eyes. Sending the wretched little thing dashing down the blackened hallway leaving Megatron to chase in thunderous steps.

By the time she catches up, the remnants of the shirt are already abandoned at the foot of the bed. Large daring thing with dark sheets, a long headboard and a devil stretched across its surface. Starscream’s bare chest inviting in the quiet arch, legs bent and raised, eyes watching as Megatron stands at the edge - requiring a moment to simply observe the squirming thing prepared and calling for her attention.

Primus could not make a woman like Starscream. No. All the devils in hell were bled to mix the clay which created such a divinely wicked thing. The glimmer of sharp teeth behind lips now smeared red, the delicate hips leading to long legs awaiting Megatron’s presence in sharpened heels. Able to press one against Megatron’s hard belly, keeping her at bay in the smallest of efforts. Watching her just as openly and starved as Megatron is certain she too appears. Craving the touch of chaos given shape as she begins to tug loose her tie.

“Understand that I am going to tear you out of these remaining clothes,” she explains and echoes the thrilling smile she finds staring up at her.

“Well, it’s a good thing you can afford to buy me new ones.” Starscream purrs before giving a soft chirp of a sound when Megatron almost drops her tie to the floor. “No. Keep that on.”

--

She wakes to the sound of pain.

A small noise, both muted and strangled, that finds her through dreams and guides her from sleep. Megatron already reaching for the gun she's concealed beneath Starscream’s headboard before eyes even adjust to the dark. The wear of sleep in the early morning hour dragging in rebellion against her eyelids.

The sound rings again, this time acknowledged as Starscream’s voice - pitiful and shaken. The bed beside her shifts in a quick motion, the silhouette of an arm thrashing across the smallest light of the bathroom LEDs. She secures the gun back into the holster, pulling herself up on one arm to address her bed companion. Mere moments to make out the tightened brow and escalating breath, the bruised throat stretched and strained against dreaming horrors. A nightmare then, Megatron found relief in such discovery. Preferring imagined dangers rather than her first assumptions.

Starscream sprawled across the bed with limbs jerking in disjointed pattern. Heels dug into the mattress top and chest heaving with discomfort - teeth bared and the hurt cry is unpleasant. Stringing something low and possessive from Megatron’s chest as she secures a hand across the woman’s skin. Slipping her palm over a speeding pulse and tight chest. Arm belting across Starscream’s torso until she can securely drag her back into the fortress of her own body. Battling the kick of legs and fight against restraint while the saddest sounds drip from Starscream’s gritted teeth.

“Hush.” Megatron orders, mouth pressed tight to the sweaty brow. Inhaling sharp cologne and what remained of Starscream’s makeup from the evening before. “You’re alright.” she coddles, voice pitched low so the sound of it echoes across Starscream’s back. Clutching the slighter frame close and dear to herself, her weight turning to pin and compress the woman to the bedsheets.

Starscream says something that is garbled and unclear - Megatron chases the sound with a kiss to the bare shoulder. Following the tight curve of Starscream’s collar and throat while hands stroke and pet down strained planes of muscle and shivering skin.

“Megatron?” Starscream’s voice is weighted by the nightmare as she struggles - but the dazed voice and shaded eyes only tells Megatron her seeker is still ensnared in her dreams.

She draws hands to better cradle her companion. Large palm encircling Starscream’s throat as the woman gives a slow whimper. Crowded and surrounded, encompassed by Megatron’s bulk as the younger woman slowly stops fighting her.

“Go back to sleep, Starscream,” she whispers against the damp hair of Starscream’s crown, petting the hard line of a jaw where her thumb can reach. “There’s nothing that can hurt you.” It feels like a vow with the woman’s pulse calming beneath her touch, the slouch of tense muscles easing back into her hold.

It doesn’t take long for Starscream to relax, fall back into a quiet slumber with the peace of a woman who doesn’t realize how very safe she is in Megatron’s arms.

---

She wakes again to the light of day streaming in from parted curtains, face buried in the expensive plush of burgundy pillows in stubborn refusal to sit up. She can scarcely see the outside world from the main window, the blue of the morning sky dotted in picturesque clouds hovering at the frame’s edge. The distant hush of a waking city carrying on despite Megatron’s tired bones and hazed skull.

Starscream is not in bed, which is not rare. Her employee is fussy with such things as early morning affection - upset at unclean skin or morning breath as if debauchery the night before was somehow more hygienic than touching your partner under the morning light.

She pushes off the mattress, broad hands slipping into the feathertop and soft sheets, amused at the sight of her necktie still lingering taught around her wrist. Her smile is private and small, shuffling to turn and tug the satin strap off her arm, and notices she is not truly alone upon waking.

Starscream sits at the edge of the bed. Bare legs drawn up against her body, torso curved and tucked into herself with a coffee mug cradled to her chest. Her hair is wild, freshly washed and left to dry in the rarely seen twines of inky black curls that fall around her sharp brow and down a long neck. Untamed and cherub-like if cherubs were the manifestations of devils in disguise.

The understanding that Starscream had been awake, showered to free herself of filth was an important detail as Megatron observed her company. Turning over beneath covers to prop herself back against the headboard. Chest flooded with some feeling she was quite familiar with yet still taken by surprise at the sight before her.

Namely that Starscream was wearing her shirt from the evening before.

Large on her delicate frame, oversized and wrinkled in billowed folds at bent arms. The collar sitting lopsided against Starscream’s throat. The slate color draping her shoulders where lipstick stains stood proud from yesterday. The shape of Starscream’s mouth imprinted across the collar when the younger woman bit Megatron’s pulse in the elevator.

“What are you looking at?” Sour voice, shifting in discomfort as Megatron calculates the probability that Starscream didn’t fully realize what she was doing. Zero to none actually as she could tell Starscream had just stepped from the shower when she chose to dress herself. The dampness of her back causing the material to cling down the length of her spine, a curl drips and lands quiet on the bed beneath. That she looked uncertain if she'd overstepped, eyes blown round and worrying her lip between perfected teeth, was something Megatron did not realized she craved to see.

“Come here.” A soft order, extending a hand to take the coffee mug, and Starscream obeys with a bow to her eyes. Handing over the half full cup for Megatron to set aside, moving her legs so that when Starscream crawled close she could wrap fists in the excess of her own shirt. Guide the woman to sit across her lap where arms were quick to hook beneath the fabric and hold her close - rest her chin against Starscream’s bare collar where she hadn’t bothered to button the shirt to preserve any sense of decency.

There’s something normal women might say in a morning like this. A phrase Megatron herself has never uttered or considered to. It builds in the back of her skull where Starscream combs her hair with sharp nails. Regaining confidence as Megatron wishes only for this to be their standard. Her cheek above the woman’s heartbeat, listening intently as Starscream’s pulse doesn’t raise. Comfortable where they curl together in the early morning light, the moment unbothered by unnecessary chatter.

Just this.

 

The combination of Starscream’s expensive wash and the lingering remains of Megatron’s cologne combined and inseparable from one another. The sensation of nails petting gentle across her scalp as the only sound is Starscream’s amused chuckle here and there. Hands polished free of scars or rough patches though her daring seeker builds such great things for her - smooth flesh petting her jaw and down the width of her own bare shoulders. (Trailing playful across raised marks from the night before, proud of her work it seemed)

It was a pleasant morning over all.

 

Starscream spends the rest of the day in her shirt. When asked, considering her usual disdain for being anything less than put-together, her pretty brat only scrunched her nose and answered: “Why would I dirty more of my clothes?” With all the guided superiority of any royalty.

Not that Megatron was complaining. It was growing into a habit, these weekends spent together. Starscream bullying Megatron’s phone out of hand - demanding to be in charge of correspondence and knowing as much as she can about the daily on-goings of her work. Which was ridiculous as they were inseparable in almost all things. She wondered if Starscream’s true wish was to uncover some conspiracy? Obsessively checking previous messages and demanding to know the relationship of names she did not recognize.

Jealous perhaps? The emotion Starscream would not let Megatron entertain - would dismiss claims of outside promiscuity with flat looks and: “Why? Are we married?”

Megatron did best not to ask Starscream in return: “Is that what it will take?” she knows better, her fragile and skittish darling of dark eyes and sensitive soul. Little brat. Adored and irritated. Standing against the broad panes of glass of her high-rise penthouse. Blowing cigarette smoke out parted doors while Megatron scowls in distaste. Threatens not to kiss her to Starscream’s false cry of relief…

Which always leads to Starscream whining when Megatron holds true to her threats. Pushy and demanding for attention, wrinkled in Megatron’s shirt and bruised skin. Upset when denied and trying to tease Megatron. Attempt to lure her into her arms while the seeker brat sprawls in the oversized shirt and bats her black lashes in Megatron’s direction...

Then throwing herself off the couch and storming towards the bedroom when Megatron still doesn’t give in. The blast of water running and what is likely the most violent scrap of a toothbrush over teeth and tongue in surrender. Storming back to kick Megatron’s legs with a sharp “Happy?!”, breath and hands clean while her frown is dirty.

Megatron answers by tugging the shirt’s edge. Starscream spilling over her lap to squirm while the rough of her hands explore smooth skin and her mouth licks mint from Starscream’s lips. Small victories.

They spend the day as they have learned to do - lounging between petty debates on progress and ventures. Suffering through news cycles before Starscream either nods off or tries to change all the contact information in Megatron’s phone. (Or sends alarming messages from Megatron’s number, causing quite a panic before Megatron can stop her). Half smothering the screeching devil while on the phone with Soundwave assuring them it was a mistaken message and no Megatron is not requiring Shockwave to wear a muzzle to the offices.

[Suggestion.] Came Soundwave's later texts, ignored while Megatron tied the shirt sleeves together behind Starscream’s back and dragged her back to the bedroom. [Find a new weekend activity.]

Megatron deleted the messages in case Starscream manages to swipe her phone again.

 

 

-------

 

“I’ve been thinking.”

“Oh no.” Megatron groans, eyes closed against the setting sun while Starscream gives her a slap for the comment. It does little more than amuse her as the seeker immediately falls back to her claimed place. Curled against Megatron’s torso crooked across the bed. Tracing shapes of discolored scars and rough skin over her chest, fascinated with their imagined stories she never gets around to sharing with the seeker. “What is it?”

She notices that Starscream’s ear is a soft red hue, certainly catches her interest now.

“You’re monopolizing my weekend time.” she begins, drawing circles over an old bullet wound in the thick of Megatron’s belly. It looks dark and unpleasant in comparison to Starscream’s fine hands but her seeker has never said anything negative about the appearance of her body. (Called her old, falling apart, but never spoke of her in cruel terms for all the scars and broken pieces) “Then you return home in three-day-old clothes and embarrass both of us with your appearance. This is an expensive area, you really shouldn’t be walking out of here looking like a cheap lay. Neighbors will talk and it’s exhausting making excuses at work.”

“And why should I worry about your neighbor's opinions?” Megatron huffs, petting the back of Starscream’s neck where the collar folds funny and wrinkles.

“That’s just the scandal we need,” Starscream whines with annoyance dripping. “Decepticon's leader spends weekend fucking innocent middle manager - doesn’t have the decency to bring a change of clothes.”

“Did you just refer to yourself as a middle manager” Megatron wasn't about to touch the use of "innocent".

“No, the headlines did, once they learn of your treatment of your subordinates.” Starscream drums fingers across her sternum, resting the palm wide and flat over a matted line where a crowbar displaced Megatron’s ribs when she was a child.

“And your suggestion on how to avoid this nefarious situation?” Megatron moves to join her hand over Starscream’s. The difference between them could span galaxies yet they somehow fit perfectly - rough edges and all.

Starscream goes quiet and that could mean a hundred different things. Whether she changed her mind, or direction - perhaps embarrassed herself and was thinking of a petty argument she could start to change topic. Megatron was braced for a great many things while her hope was that this conversation did not end with her storming out of here. It happened before.

“My closet is big enough. You could keep something here.” She spat out after a moment and immediately dug her face deeper into Megatron’s ribs for safe keeping. “And maybe…” she trails off, pushed herself too far but Megatron is at least relieved Starscream can’t see the likely ridiculous face she is making in response.

 

Better to protect the seeker from the truth of how much Megatron is pleased by even this smallest of offerings.

“And perhaps, at your comfort,” Megatron chooses her words carefully. Folding the cards into Starscream’s hands because she is both a fool, and a fool in love. “We can eventually stop denying or dissuading the rumors of what’s true.”

After all, there’s something a normal woman might say to the one who can stir such comfort in silence - leave one such as Megatron sated and content when her life's journey thus far has been an endless war to fill the void she was born with.

Megatron knows what she would like to say, but doubts very much Starscream is ready to hear it. That’s fine, she's learned to be a patient woman and one does not conquer by siege alone.

She feels Starscream tense at the implications, a great step she was not expecting to offer this day. Finds calm when the seeker hums a dismissive sound, likely for herself to ease the moment out of something so theatrical. her brat would only wish for theatrics on her own terms.

“I think, that would be tolerable.” Starscream answers and against her skin Megatron follows the shape of a smile.

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