If I were a decent person I might have cleaned off the table before taking pictures but literally the only reason these were taken at all was because I got @negaiboshi this tiny trash can and had to show her just how well her Starscream figure would fit in it.
“So,” said Miko, “I heard you used to study humans.”
“I used to study your *planet*.” said Starscream, still typing, “Many planets, in fact. And by extension, the lifeforms that they produced. Why do you bring this up?”
“Ratchet just told us.” Raf supplied.
“Oh?” Starscream continued to look at the screen.
“Aaaand, we figured…” said Miko, “since… well you’re gonna be here for a while, what with the alliance and everything…”
“–That you might be interested in asking us questions!” Jack piped up.
“And we thought we could ask *you* questions!” said Raf. Starscream actually stopped to look at them properly.
“Think of it as… a cultural exchange.” Miko said with a grin.
“What knowledge do the young of your species possess that I could not have already discovered?” Starscream said with a quirked brow, “I have observed your wars, politics, your biological make up, your scientific endeavors, your social engagements. What use would your information be to me?”
“It doesn’t have to have a use, it can just be a fun fact.” said Raf, “For example, some humans, like myself, like to build computers recreationally…”
“While *I* like to jam out to epically loud music!” Miko said, fiddling with an air guitar.
“Do you have any fun facts about Vos?” asked Jack. Starscream’s wings stiffened. “That’s where you’re from, right?”
Starscream thought about whether to entertain them or to ignore them, but in the end…
“… Vos was a city for flight frames, like myself. It was made up of tall spires that had landing and launch pads installed on them to aid in transportation.” Starscream said with a sigh, “Your fun fact is that the shortest spire was approximately 3 times the height of the One World Trade Center, in New York City.”
“That was the *shortest*?!?” said Miko. Starscream nodded.
“Cool!” said Jack.
“Anything you can think to ask us?” said Raf, looking hopeful. Starscream hesitated again, but decided to press on despite his embarrassment.
“Alright…” he said, turning around and kneeling lower to their level, “What exactly is the function of a rubber duck?”
Okay so, that episode Starscream tries to join the Autobots? What if he wasn’t such a clod and didn’t reveal that he killed Cliffjumper? What if he actually got in and started working for the Autobots?
Of course, at first, Starscream would only join Bots because he wanted to use them to get rid of Megatron and become the leader of the Cons, because of course he would. But then he would start to realize something, little by little.
He notices that even though the base in dirty and food is scarce, he feels much more relaxed here than he ever was on Nemesis. There is none of that looming feeling of Megatron beating you senseless, drones disrespecting you, Knock Out and Breakdown laughing at you or Arachnid humiliating you. He is free to do and be whatever he wants to be, as long as he doesn’t piss off the Bots, and that actually seems harder than he first thought. Sure, at first they are all on their toes about Stars, but after few weeks, they treat him like he was part of their team.
Stars goes to missions with Bumblebee, and learns that it was Megatron who stole his voice, and feels sympathy over him, for he too has been hurt by Megatron in the past. He hangs out with Bulkhead and learns that he isn’t just a “dumb big guy” he always though he was, and that Bulk is actually one of the first to accept him and support him. He helps Ratchet out and goes back to his scientific roots before the was and when Ratchet learns that Star used to be a scientist, they start having long debates and conversations about different formulas and eventually Stars helps Ratch make the perfect formula for synthetic energon. Arcee is not as easy, but once Star cracks few jokes about Arachnid, she warms up to her. The two joke around and grow quite close. Eventually he is even let to meet the kids and grows to find them, annoying at first, but later quite entertaining. Miko gets him into music, Raf wants to learn about Cybetronian science, and Ratchet isn’t a very talkative person so Stars makes a great teacher, and Jack is a great listener and supporter, even when Stars in denying his sorrow and inner pain.
But it’s Optimus that finally seals the deal. The two are on a mission together, and Starscream screws up, majorly. It’s nothing deadly or too dangerous, but it still causes him to panic because Megatron has beaten him for less. He gets on his knees and begs for Optimus’ forgiveness, sure that the Prime will beat him otherwise. But instead, Optimus stares at him, confused and even shocked, when he realizes why Stars is acting like this. Instead of hurting Stars, he embraces him and tells him that he is not angry and that it wasn’t Starscream’s fault. Stars doesn’t believe what just happened. Optimus, a PRIME just forgave him for his mistakes, and… comforted him. Starscream starts to re-think his choices and plans for using the Bots. For the first time in centuries, he has found someone he can truly respect and want to call his leader. He has found people who care of him and love him despite their bad past together. He has found something he thought long lost… a family.
So now, he accepts the fact that he indeed is an Autobot now. He keeps his aerial-form, he loves flying too much to give it up, but gets another, third form for himself. A motorbike. A TWO-WHEELER. Everyone know’s his hate of land-vehicles and two-wheeler’s especially so this is a special moment for everyone. Starscream asks for Ratchet to replace his Decepticon-symbol with an Autobot-one. He starts to work full time on taking down Cons. He gets better weapons and learns new fighting techniques. Just so that he can be useful for the bots, just so that he can make Optimus proud.
Under the sharp and cold Con the Bots find a fun-loving, strong, smart and even caring Cybetronian, who just wants his home back. He no longer cares about leadership, now that he has a leader he truly supports and cares about. And who also cares of him.
One time on the battlefield, one drone refuses to attack Starscream. It’s Steve. He begs to join “Lord” Starscream and serve him again like he did before. Stars takes a look at Optimus (who smiles and nods) and then helps the drone to his feet. “Please, call me Screamy. All my friends do.” And Steve joins the Bots.
Wheeljack and Fowler are bit harder, seeing how Starscream did keep them prisoner and tortured them. But both see how he has changed and understand that war is a serious thing and people on different sides sometimes need to do horrible things for their own side’s benefits, and eventually forgive him.
And the Smokescreen happens. Oh dear, does Smokescreen happen. Starscream is so exited to have someone new to join he hasn’t met before. He is no longer the youngest bot! Smokescreen is all confused like “YOU’RE Starscream!? No! That can’t be! You’re supposed to be evil and shit????” but soon they before great friends. Starscream finds amusing how formal Smokes is especially around Optimus, for he knows that the Prime is a kind and caring soul and not a military officer. Ultra Magnus and Stars never truly get along, but they too learn to tolerate each other.
But then, something happens that changes his happiness back to pain. Because of course.
Arcee happens to make a joke about their and Cliffjumper’s past, and Stars remembered. He really did kill part of Team Prime. He had been PROUD of that fact before, but now… Arcee tells him how she felt about him and how she misses him every day, only making Stars feel more bad than before. Stars starts to isolate himself from the others. He can’t bear to look at them or be with them. He killed their friend after all. It was long time ago, but that didn’t make it any better. Stars is in pain and cries every night.
Eventually he comes out of his room, asks for everyone’s attention. He has to do this. He can’t keep it in. Everyone gathers around, worried of their friend. Stars looks at them. “I don’t deserve this” he thinks. The Bots are asking him what is wrong. Stars tells that he has to come clean, for he can no longer live with the guilt. With tears in his eyes and crack in his voice (more than usual) he says it…
“I killed Cliffjumper.”
There is a silence. No-one says anything. Starscream closes her optics and waits. He knows, he just KNOWS he will be killed for that. But he doesn’t care. He is ready. More ready than ever. He is willing to take the punishment.
But it never comes. Arcee walks to him, the boys telling her, panicking, to “not do it”, thinking that she will hurt him. But she doesn’t. She takes Stars’ servos in her own and looks at him in the optics and asks…
“Did you kill him quickly?”
Stars tells exactly what happened, what Cliff said to trigger him and cause him to do it. He tells that Cliff died rather quickly even if not painless. Arcee, instead of being angry, hugs Starscream, for everyone’s surprise. She thanks Stars for telling the truth and being honest with her. Now she can finally put Cliff to rest in her mind. Sure, she will always miss Cliff and wish he wasn’t dead, but she can’t hate the “new Starscream” for the “old” ones mistakes.
Everyone joins in the hug and tell Stars that they forgive him. He was a con back then, his job was to kill bots! He wasn’t himself back then! He was pressured by Megatron! He was not a monster for killing in a war!
Starscream can only cry. Whether it’s tears of pain or happiness, only he knows.
The war is over. Megatron and Unicron are defeated. The well of Allsparks is working again. Kock Out has joined the Bots.
Starscream helps with the rebuilding of Cybetron. He is more quiet than before. He hasn’t forgiven himself for his actions, and he just lost Optimus, the leader he was ready to die for. But he is still happy to be alive to see the war end and promises to protect his new home with all he has.
Then Bumblebee comes to him and asks if Stars would like to become the new leader of Voss.
Whether he says yes or no… well. I let everyone make their own conclusions.