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Title: Silence in the Medbay
Rating: G
Characters: Ratchet, Jazz
Summary: A quiet conversation in the aftermath of a battle.

Written for the prompt medical on my AU Bingo card. I failed to complete my card by the deadline, but I didn't want what I did manage to write to go to waste. The trick with this challenge was thinking in terms of "any response must be very obviously AU", so I tried to ask myself a question with each one. It worked for some, not so much for others.

It was quiet. The only sounds which broke the silence were the soft beeps and ticks of the equipment as it monitored the injured where they rested. The lights were dim to help the injured stay offline, and the main sources of light were the equipment's screens and the console where the medic on duty watched over his charges. Every now and then, his blue gaze lifted from the console display to glance over his patients before returning to his work.

The last battle was especially hard on all of them. The Decepticons had attacked a nuclear reactor, and the battle damaged one of the main cooling towers. It was only through the combined effort of Inferno, Ironhide, Grapple, and Hoist that a meltdown had been avoided, and even though the Decepticons had managed to retreat with a larger cache of energy than the Autobots would have liked, they found some comfort in the fact that the Decepticons now suffered from the same radiation poisoning which had half the Autobot forces in the medbay. In fact, it was more likely that the Decepticons had been poisoned even worse than their rivals as they were closer to the reactor when it began to rupture, even Megatron. Now, cycles later in the middle of the night, everyone was somewhat calmed to know they would not be hearing from the Decepticons for a while, at least not until the Autobots were all back on their feet.

The chief medical officer had also suffered some radiation poisoning, but his radiation levels were low enough to allow him to continue working and watching over his comrades, and he had a small monitor strapped to his forearm to keep an accurate, real time reading on his radiation levels. He was pleased to see they were nearly normal again. He expected to be completely clean by midday.

A soft noise from one of the medical berths drew his attention from his console, and he pushed himself to his feet to check on the groaning mech. Pale blue optics flickered a few times as he drew near before training onto his face, and he returned his patient's weak smile with a small but stronger one of his own.

"How 'ya feelin', Ratchet?" he asked and paused to check the readouts. Ratchet had been poisoned the most after Ironhide, Grapple, Inferno, and Hoist, not that he was surprised. Special Operations mechs always came away from battles more injured than most. Telling Ratchet he was an idiot for charging an irradiated Blitzwing was like telling a bird it had wings. No matter how badly he was injured, Ratchet would always return the statement with a remark along the line of, "Your point?"

"Been better," Ratchet answered, his voice little more than a hoarse whisper from how badly his vocalizer had suffered from radiation. "Been a lot worse too." One red hand raised to touch the medic's hood, delicately clawed fingers brushing over the stylized cross painted there which symbolized his obligation as chief medical officer. "What about you, Jazz? I know you were glowing too."

Jazz scoffed in answer. "I was not glowin'," he corrected, his Perihexian accent still thick despite how long he had been away from his home - ever since he left to go to the Iaconian Medical Academy. "Had I been in there any longer, and I might have started glowin', but not quite." Jazz reached up to give the hand covering his medical brand a gentle squeeze, careful with Ratchet's claws. All Special Operations mechs had them - anything that could make them even more deadly. "You, on the other hand, are still a bit shinier than 'ya should be." Black fingers reached up to tap at the side of his helm, adjusting the visual feed of his visor. With a quick recalibration and a few glances over Ratchet from head to foot, Jazz was able to use his visor to run three separate scans of the injured mech's systems. It was an upgrade Wheeljack had designed for him a long time ago, and Jazz had never stopped thanking him - it all but eliminated the need for many large, cumbersome pieces of machinery as well as the need to move badly injured patients. Before, Jazz would have had to unhook Ratchet's monitors, unlock the gurney, wheel him into the next room, transfer him to the scanning berth, and used the machine in there to give him the same readout, not to mention reverse the process to get Ratchet back into the main medbay with everyone else.

Now, Jazz was able to see with little more than a command and a glance that Ratchet's systems had not yet leveled out. "You'll be lucky if I clear 'ya to leave before two more orns," he informed his charge. "Still have a lot of fried circuits, but I think energon and time will fix those. I already replaced what 'ya melted in the reactor." Blue visor locked onto paler blue optics. "Gave us a scare in there."

Ratchet gave him a tired grin. "You wouldn't know what to do with yourself if I didn't give you a few good scares every now and then." He laughed at the snort that earned him.

"Yeah, I would," Jazz countered. His expression stayed neutral, but Ratchet could hear the levity in his tone, could see it in the glint of his visor. "I'd relax - take a vacation. Maybe make a rock garden. I hear they're therapeutic." A smile finally broke the forced stern expression as he rested his hand on Ratchet's shoulder, touching the chevron painted there which symbolized his rank as head of Special Operations. "Granted, my life would also be a lot more dull if 'ya weren't around to keep me on my feet."

"Exactly." Whatever Ratchet may have said next was cut off by a ragged cough through his vents, forcing stale air out of the damaged openings so he could keep his body cool with fresh air. Once Ratchet was satisfied his ventilation was as clear as it was going to get, he ignored the slight rattle they made and turned his attention back to his now frowning and concerned comrade. "Hey, don't look at me like that. You know I've been worse than this - you've put me back together from worse than this."

Jazz could not argue with that - he knew it was true. "Doesn't mean I hafta like it," he said plainly. He gently pat the plating of Ratchet's shoulder. "Back offline, now. The more rest 'ya get, the sooner 'ya can get outta here." He could not help but grin again when red claws left his hood to give him a mock salute, and Jazz stood at Ratchet's berthside for a long breem to ensure the red and white mech was offline and venting unobstructed before he went back to his console.

Jazz resumed his vigilant watch over his friends. It was going to be a long few cycles before his shift ended and Wheeljack came to relieve him.

A/N: For this one, I thought it might be interesting if Jazz and Ratchet's roles were switched - medic*Jazz and special operations*Ratchet. I think I might be interested in poking this some more some time.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-20 01:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladydragon76.livejournal.com
Interesting switch, but I can dig it. 8D If there ever is more of this, I wanna read it. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-20 10:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jarakrisafis.livejournal.com
I'm intrigued. If you ever write more let me know, it could be fun, a laid back cmo and a grumpy head of ops :P
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