From Transformers: Lost and Found
Prowl doesn't have a whole lot of time to engage in secret trysts away from the ship, but Tarantulas is a special case. There was something to be gained. Information to be mined. And Tarantulas was still vaguely under Megatron's flag, so he'd be a nice inside spider. An inspider.
Some unfortunate tiny space station had been selected for this meeting. The owner had been trying to move it /away/ from what looked like the beginning of yet another Cybertronian civil war, so naturally, the docking bay staff isn't terribly happy to see the Leading Light pull in.
Prowl waits within a cramped canteen that's meant for slightly shorter clientele, obscured by a strange blue haze.
There's no one beside Prowl- one could say he's being obviously avoided by the other patrons in this canteen- but that doesn't stop a rather disembodied voice from speaking into his audio. "Not exactly where I would have picked... But I do enjoy the mood lighting," whispers Tarantulas, clear as day.
"Reminds me of when we met. Remember that fateful day? The day I ceased to exist so I could reside in your pocket," Tarantulas continues, reminiscing of the good ol' days. "So to speak. I could never have fit then, but now... Hyeh."
It takes every sliver of Prowl's resolve and willpower to keep from jerking away from the wall and flailing like an idiot. He stiffens, folded arms tightening as he shifts his gaze towards his shoulder. Then the other. "I remember everything," he feels the need to assure. "What game is this? Obviously not some radio hijacking. Show yourself. I chose this place to avoid suspicion."
"Hmm, and here I thought you liked playing games. But if you insist..." Prowl will feel the slight itch of small, furry legs moving across the side of his helmet. Over his audio and past his helmet guard, Tarantulas gently coming to a rest on Prowl's cheek.
"What do you think of my disguise?" he asks, sounding more distant. "As far as anyone is concerned, you're all alone. Isn't that how you like it anymore. Alone? Why else would you have forsaken me." Tarantulas's fangs move about, all eight, beady eyes looking at Prowl. A leg brushes past his head. "But that's behind us. And you wanted to see me again. I can't wait to hear why."
Prowl's optics only grow wider, and his doors angle in alarm, when Tarantulas /crawls/ across his /cheek/. There's no stopping the subtle shiver that rolls down his frame. "You'd fit in with the Eukarians. And you were /forsaken/ because you began to toy with life, Tarantulas. It became unsafe. It wasn't... right."
"Tch, I'm not here to explain myself to you. I wanted to see if you knew anything about what Megatron has done to Metroplex and Tempo."
Tarantulas laughs. "Hyeh hyeh hyeh! Oh, no. No, no. I've surpassed them- the outdated models. I know you're curious. Ask me, ask me how they can't compare."
Then he moves, ignoring Prowl's quest for knowledge to crawl up his face. He comes to a stop only when all eight of his eyes now hover over one of Prowl's. His eyes and fangs, that is. "No," Tarantulas repeats, firmly. Angry. "No, you don't get to demand truths while twisting the past into lies. I only did what I did because of you. For you. You toyed with life, I just built your toys."
Tarantulas stares intensely. Then sighs, one leg from the back rubbing the side of his head. "Oh, Prowl. I don't want to fight again... So let's agree: no lies. Not with each other. Yes?"
Prowl fails to tolerate this level of personal space breach, and finally reaches to pluck Tarantulas from the glass of his optic and dangle him by the abdomen. Then comes a long, weary sigh. "I won't lie. We worked well together. And I'm hoping we could help each other out." So he'll have to rebuild some rapport, as much as he'd rather chew on a rifle barrel.
Then, with tremendous chagrin, "How can't the Eukarians compare, Tarantulas."
Tarantulas doesn't seem bother's by his new position, four legs reaching to hook onto Prowl's fingers and the rest being put to use balancing and lifting the rest of him to better keep his eyes on Prowl. The prickle running along the hair of his body settles with the admittance. Tow legs rub together delightedly. "Oh, Prowl. You always were the charmer. Alright, alright. Since you insist."
Tarantulas spreads his legs to let Prowl get a perfect look at him. "I call it the Chimeracon upgrade. A bio-disguise. If you couldn't see me, you'd never know where I was. Add in mass-shifting the likes of which you have never seen and I'm the perfect beast mode. More evolved than any Eukarian." His eyes all glitter. "Now imagine, soldiers upgraded to this. placed within organic worlds- any shape, any size, and undetectable. Can you imagine? Can you see it Prowl?"
Prowl can see it. He can see it with clarity that begins to disturb him. "What purpose would that serve? Espionage? We're through warring. That's why I'm here. We need to get Megatron out of the picture. I don't know what role you play for him... but wouldn't you rather work with me?" Yes, Prowl the "charmer". "The tyrant stands between us."
He tilts his wrist so Tarantulas can rest in his palm proper. A thumb slides over the fur. It /did/ feel startling organic. "It's impressive," he says, belatedly, of the bio-disguise.
"The Galactic Council would never again be a problem with the Chimeracon upgrades- now isn't that thought just naughty," Tarantulas giggles. He calms, four of his optics halving as that thumb brushes over his body. He clearly enjoys it. If spiders could purr...
"Megatron? Oh. Oh." Tarantula's abdomen shakes with glee. "Don't be jealous. What do I care about Megatron? Nothing more than a catalyst for The Specimen. A fool who believes himself in control of things. A means to an end. Nothing to envy. A red badge never stopped us before- why would a purple one?"
"I'm not jealous," Prowl snaps with a little acid. His fingers stop and curl around Tarantulas like a cage. "It's not about badges. What... what specimen? Look-"
Instead of Prowl looking like the grim creepster in the corner, he now looks like the grim creepster in the corner talking to his hand. "If you figure out what's got Tempo and Metroplex on lockdown, and how to work /around/ it, I'll give you an old... journal of mine. Concepts I hadn't pitched."
"Hyeh hyeh hyeh," Tarantulas chuckles to himself. Oh, he's most definitely jealous. But he considers the offer laid out to him. An old journal- inspiration from Prowl once more!
"Mmmmm, I don't know if that's enough," he says. "But I'll happily be your little spyder if you come and visit. Talk. I miss it, the flirty banter. The wondrous conversations. You telling me I've given you another miracle..." Tarantulas's small head bobs. "Yes. The journal up completion. But you and me- secret get aways. Heated meetings. Naughty little sneak aways- in the interim. What do you say?"
Prowl ought to be offended. Repulsed. Disgusted and angry. At least a /little/ irritated by Tarantulas trying to squeeze more out of the deal. But instead, Prowl only looks morose. Maybe even pained. He stares down at the spider, then looks away through the smoky blue haze. Someone actually misses him. And it had to be Mesothulas.
"I don't know how I'd visit, Tarantulas," Prowl says, voice low. "My crew is presently being hunted on the surface of Cybertron. I can't board whatever flagship you're perched on."
"Well, when you manage to either save them or manage to accept their loss, my lab is always open to you. Just like in the good times." Tarantulas reminisces, briefly. You can almost see a few of his eyes go all rose-colored. He moves forward on Prowl's palm, leaning in. "Perhaps you can invite me to your ship. I'd love to see where you roost for a change. What fun that would be... I like the sound of that, don't you?"
Prowl bites his lip and glances skyward, beseeching some unseen god for patience. "Quid pro quo. Get me intel and we'll... move in that direction." His free hand flattens over Tarantulas in a weary, begrudging gesture, and he nudges his loosely balled fists against the wall. Time to get off. "One step at a time. I'm not so sure you're actually /over/ me trying to kill you."
"I'll see what I can do..." Tarantulas crawls onto the wall, easily sticking there. "And you didn't try killing me, Prowl. We both know what you tried- but that's for one of our nice, future talks," he assures with a wave of a back leg. All in the past. He takes one step up the wall and freezes into place.
"... ... ... Is... Is he there?" Tarantulas asks quietly. "Is Ostaros on this ships with you?"
"I don't know where he is," Prowl almost growls. It's a half truth, at least. But he's not eager to elaborate, here and now, so he pushes away from the wall and moves towards the canteen exit. "We can look for him, if you continue to help me. Until next time, Tarantulas."
Tarantulas doesn't respond immediately. He bristles-- and then settles. He hadn't expected the answer he wanted. But the one he gets has his legs moving again. "See you later, Prowl," he says as he skitters off to a dark corner, disappearing completely.
But not completely gone.
When Prowl gets back to his ship, the pilot seat will be covered in webbing. It holds a peculiar gun within, the bit where the magazine is glowing a dull blueish-white, with some sort of container on the side. Container for what remains to be seen. Written in the string above the gun is neocybex, which says: A gift. ~Tarantulas