2016-06-13 Gravity or a Lack Thereof

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2016-06-13 Gravity or a Lack Thereof
Date 2016/06/13
Location Space
Participants Drift, Skystalker
Summary Skystalker and Drift stumble upon a ship malfunction then promptly ignore it to go do something more fun.

Just another day on the science deck. Skystalker has just finished going through some things inside of the botany lab and is putting away tools when there is a distant bark of noise down the corridor; his curiosity gets the better of him, of course, and the starfighter ventures over to poke his head and shoulders out of the door. Only a few seconds of staring into an empty hallway pass-- there's a slight shift in the air, before the gravity fritzes and Skystalker finds his feet lifting up off of the floor, followed by the rest of him with a 'thump' of his aft on the doorframe. He groans. Loudly.

Having just stepped off the elevator, Drift is making his way down the hall with his tiny bonsai held carefully in both hands. It got knocked off his desk again and he's hoping that Skystalker is willing to let him keep it in his lab for now but it seems he has bigger things to worry about when gravity suddenly becomes non-existant. "Wooooah!" He can't help but grin as he starts to lift off the ground, clutching his bonsai tighter and trying to keep all the soil together. Inconvenient? Yes. Fun as hell? Also yes?

Hearing the groan from down the way, Drift kicks off a wall to send him drifting (lol) down the hall and to the source. "Hey Sky, what's up? Besides us I mean." He pulls a stupid face. Get it? Get it??

Skystalker turns his head one way to look down the hall, then the other when he hears a familiar vocalizer exclaim wordlessly about the gravity of the situation. Or lack thereof. He watches Drift hover closer, keeping one hand on the door and staring when the joke comes. He groans a second time, hanging his head down. Uuuuuugh. Sorry, Drift. Skystalker rolls his optics and tries to turn himself feet-down, gaze drawn to the plant in Drift's grasp. "What did you do to that poor thing this time?" Sky's response to the state of it is a bit of breathy exasperation.

Drift looks offended when Skystalker automatically assumes it's his fault his bonsai is in such a sorry state. "I didn't-" He's cut off when he smacks into the doorway, scrambling to get a hold on it so he can keep himself in one place. "Oof! Like, I was saying.. I didn't do anything to it! Not on purpose at least.." He glances down at the bonsai tucked underneath his arm and vents a sigh. "It keeps getting knocked over, I'm starting to think my desk isn't the best place for it."

Skystalker breaks into a small laugh at the offence, and Drift's bonk into the door. His exasperation does soften a little, eyes doing the same. "Probably not, no. They are sensitive..." He may have said this before, he realizes. Sky tips the soles of his boots under him when he reaches out to snake an arm under Drift's and retrieve the tree. "You must bump into your desk a lot."

"Uh, yeah.." Drift looks terribly embarrassed and has trouble meeting Skystalker's gaze as he passes the tree over. "I'm just really clumsy sometimes, ha ha!" With the tiny burden of the bonsai lifted, he uses both hands to grip the top of the door frame and flip himself around, planting his aft on the wall just above it and staring at Skystalker from his new, upside-down viewpoint. "Think I can keep it in your lab until it gets better?"

Skystalker might not give him an odd look if it were not for the forced laugh. He squints just a little in reply, cradling the bonsai in his hands. "Of course." Skystalker makes a gesture with his hand-- one moment-- using his sole thrusters to pop back into the lab and make sure everything is strapped down, including the bonsai. When he floats back to the dooray, he flips over to look up at Drift, his back to the floor. "There are getting to be quite a few bots keeping things here, you are not the first. It's... nice to see them so interested."

Drift waits patiently when Skystalker disappears into the lab to secure everything, greeting him with a smile once he returns. "Really? That's awesome! Just think, they wouldn't have been able to pursue any sort of interest in botany if it weren't for you and your lab. Just another example of how important it is." He lets go of the door frame and kicks off of it to send himself spinning down the hallway. "So! What's the deal with the no gravity thing? You guys running some crazy experiments down here or what?"

"When aren't they running something crazy? I don't know. Perhaps a malfunction?" Skystalker nudges off of the door and into the hall, content to hover there and examine the other end of the corridor, just in case a clue pops out. He turns back towards Drift with a little grin. "I am getting used strangeness after being down here."

"Yeah, I guess you'd sort of have to," Drift says, his trajectory interrupted by another doorway. He smacks into with a loud thud not unlike the last time. "Ugh! You make it look so easy but this zero gravity stuff is kind of hard." He clings to whatever part of the wall he can get a hold of and tries to keep himself in one place. "Oh hey, so, I heard you've got some kind of cult following down on Velocitron now. How's that working out for you?"

"I make it look easy because I'm a spaceship." For good measure, Skystalker does a somersault when he pushes off with his boots, flipping his way gracefully down the hall to where he plants a toe on the wall beside Drift, bringing the rest of him to a halt. Easy, huh? "Zero gravity is second nature." At the mention of his 'cult' down on the colony, Skystalker vents a little, optics warm but weary. "At first it was flattering, but they seem to border on... obsession. They are even installing pyrotechnic mechanisms that mimic my plasma guns." Sky lifts his arm and engages the weapon inside for a moment, a gauntlet familiar to Rodimus' own.

"Second nature," Drift repeats, staring at Skystalker as he skillfully maneuvers in the zero-g environment like a true pro. His gaze starts to wander across his frame when he comes to a stop but he is quick to recognize what he's doing and look away. "Really? Does these mean we can expect an outbreak of accidental fires on Velocitron now?" His stare is drawn back to Skystalker when he activates his plasma guns. "Granted, those are pretty damn cool so I can't blame people for wanting in on them."

Skystalker silently follows the course of Drift's gaze even as it tips away. "I should hope there won't be a rash of fires. I feel strange enough. No need for guilt." He turns his arm, hand flat as he looks over the weapon in his frame. Between this and the cannon-- it's clear that his make contrasts much with his nature. The gun slips away, hidden once again.

"I would not miss them-- but they are useful." He smiles up at Drift. "Anyhow-- they've got wings, red paint, and sparklers now. I am just glad that I am able to escape them when I need to. Second Nature and all." A thought occurs to him, and Skystalker tilts his head, curious. "Do you go out on the hull much?"

"Wings, red paint, and sparklers ARE pretty awesome," Drift admits with a grin. "But I'm not sure about all three of them at once. I think that's just a tad overkill." He lets go of his hold on the wall and allows himself to float lazily in the middle of the hall. "The hull? Uhm.. no, not really. The last time I was out there it was for rivet duty. Why?"

"Definitely overkill. But I am glad we could have such a good reaction, you know? They might be self-absorbed but they have a great capacity for positivity. It's nice." Skystalker sounds terribly sure of this. He lets his frame idle in the negative gravity, and rather than hold onto a wall he just floats there and drifts in a semi-circle, legs tucked at the knees and wings layered down and back. It looks more fun than clinging to things. "I was thinking we could go out sometime." Skystalker pauses, sheepish, fans stirring a little. "Out-- on the hull--"

Drift considers this. As someone with a ground-based alternate mode, it's always a bit disconcerting to be in any sort of zero-g situation but he would be lying if he said it wasn't fun as hell. "Sometime? How about now? I've got nothing to do for a while." Without any thrusters to guide him, he floats upside down right into Skystalker, a goofy grin on his face. "We might need to grab my rocket boots before we do it though."

"Well, until they fix the deck's gravity-- it'd be just the same as going outside." Skystalker laughs when Drift bumps into him, setting a hand on his shoulder to turn him around towards the elevator end of the hall. "Alright. Let's go. I can't believe you have rocket boots for yourself."

"What can I say? I ask and Brainstorm provides," Drift says, his grin still bright and ridiculous even as he's pointed towards the elevator. It would seem that the gravity malfunction is present only on the science deck as it returns the instant the elevator reaches the next floor. Someone should mention that to maintenance at some point. After a quick stop at his office (and a quick demonstration of his sweet rocket boots) Drift is ready for their space adventure. "Let's do this!"

"Of course he does." Skystalker is sure to keep Drift feet-down as they move down decks, and as he lands on his toes he sends some notes to the maintenance, knowing that it's a central problem. They'll figure it out if someone on the deck doesn't fix it first.

The demonstration aside, it's not a very long trip to the office and back to where they can pop the hull on the topside of the Lost Light. Skystalker is intimately familiar with the route, and leads the way out onto the ship, holding the hatch door for Drift behind him. Drift is all smiles and excitement as Skystalker leads him through the ship, but by the time the hatch is opened and he can see the expansive universe all around them, he grows nervous. Usually he has a tether or mag-lock boots for this kind of stuff so this is a very new experience for him. As soon as he leaves the ship, he starts floating and immediately activates his boots out of fear of floating off only to send himself smacking hard into the hull. "Oof! Okay, just so we're clear, you're going to come rescue me in case I float away right?"

Skystalker's wingtips splay once they get outside of the ship, and the thrusters at his boots and back seem to puff and tilt of their own accord. "No, no, this is how I'm getting rid of you-- I've ensorcelled you out here so I can push you off into space." It's another way of saying 'yes'. He leaves the hatch unlocked, but closes it behind them.

"Oh, I see how it is. You were playing the long game, weren't you? Befriending me, gaining my trust, and then disappearing me in space." Drift nods. "The perfect crime." Almost perfect, Drift knows from experience that kicking people out of the airlock isn't always the neat and tidy murder you'd think it would be. After taking a moment to right himself and get his bearings, Drift activates his boots in little bursts of thrusts to completely leave the safety of the ship's surface. "So, I saw some of the habsuite assignments got shuffled around. How's living with Quicksight?"

"Something like that." Skystalker lifts off of the hull once Drift gets his bearings and does so first. Like a bird learning to fly. He coasts out in front of Drift, turning onto his back to watch the progress. "What's that supposed to mean?" Skystalker gives a small laugh. "There hasn't been a lot of time for staying in our rooms of late. But I don't expect problems... we get along..."

"I didn't mean anything!" Drift laughs, kicking his legs up and slowly somersaulting through the weightlessness of space. "I'm sure Quicksight is a good person once you get past his prickly, erm..." Assholeishness? "Personality. I'm just glad you have a roomie you can actually talk and hang out with now. It's good to have friends, you know?"

There you go. Skystalker watches Drift somersault with an approving little nod, floating his way after. "Prickly. Ah-hah." That's one word for it, huh? Sky listens, thrusting via boots a short ways off of the hull to tread space out ahead. "He does not have many friends either. So I will just be glad that he allows it of me, and I of him." Everyone here has a troubled mind. It's good to have someone to share it with.

"I know he and I don't get along," Drift says, his expression wavering on the edge of a frown. "I mean, I've tried but.. you know, he just doesn't want any part of it and I get it, I really do. I don't blame him for it, I don't blame anyone for how they feel about me." He shrugs, his somersault coming to an end when he bumps into Skystalker again. He flashes a shy smile and activates his rocket boots to push away. "I don't know, I just like it when everyone gets along. Friends hanging out with each other's friends.. that sort of thing."

"It's not your fault. These things take time." Skystalker reassures him some, mulling over his words. "So that must mean you don't blame people for liking you, either? How full of yourself, Drift--" There is a small scoff out of the starfighter when Drift tumbles into him again, his hands tipping the other mech rightside up when he pushes away on his boots. "I do too. But if we all liked one another, we would not work for friendships as hard."

"Of course I don't blame people for liking me. What's not to like?" Just to prove his point, Drift pulls off some ridiculous pose he probably saw in an anime. He's trying to look cool but it's really the exact opposite, especially when he continues spinning around during. "Yeah, I guess you have a point about that, but sometimes friendship comes easily. Like you and me, I think we've always gotten along well. Or me and Rodimus, that was like an instant connection."

Skystalker's laugh is a little bit infectious, a bright sound as Drift goes spinning around in his ridiculous pose. In contrast, Sky's wings flare out when his back thrusters pulse, and he goes flying in a circle around him, graceful and effortless. As he passes by, Sky bumps Drift in the hip with his toe, possibly a 'tag'. "Was it? I don't know that I know how you met him..."

"Okay, maybe not instant-instant, I had to talk to him first," Drift starts, giving Skystalker's toe a serious eyeballing before activating his boots and chasing after him to return the tag. "It's not a very romantic story if that's what you were hoping for. I was with the Wreckers at the time with Perceptor. You've met Percy, right? He's a good guy, we hung out a lot in those days but I'm getting off topic." He tags Skystalker by bumping his head into one of his wings,scrambling to push away before he gets a chance to get him back. "He was on the run from Monstructor and we sort of... saved his butt. After that passed, I actually got a chance to talk to him and well.." He offers a shy smile as he recalls the memory. "I just thought he was super cool and he was very easy on the eyes so.. you know, I tried to get to know him more. Now we're here. Crazy, right?"

Space Tag, Drift's it! Skystalker putt-putts out of reach as the game begins, though he is still listening. "Not looking for romantic. Just curious. I have met Perceptor-- he's been //very// accommodating ever since I told him about my projects. He's very nice."

Skystalker slows down enough that Drift catches him on the wing with his head-- not a very graceful tag, but it works. He looks up at Drift when the shy smile plays over his features again. A small one works its way onto Skystalker's in response. "I used to think he was super cool too. I've learned to see past his inspirational miasma." The smile cracks into a grin, and then back to something small. "Crazy. Yeah." Sky bursts after Drift to clap him on the ankle.

Drift's face lights up when Skystalker says nice things about Perceptor, the game they're playing getting pushed to the back of his head as this exciting new topic comes up. "Ohhh, so you guys have met. That's great, saves me the trouble of introducing you two." He wiggles his foot when his ankle is tagged and, remembering what they were doing out here, spins after Skystalker to return the tag. "Yeah, Percy is great. He's got a very dry sense of humour but it kinda grows on you after a while. I call it the ol' Percy charm. Soo... you think he's nice? You guys should hang out more, get to know each other better."

Skystalker gives Drift a bit of a challenge for this tag, skirting just out of reach when he gets close, teasing with a trailing foot. "He came by the lab a few weeks back to check everything out. We strayed around a little down on Velocitron too. I don't know if I would call it 'hanging'." Can't catch him! "Do you really call it that?" Skystalker laughs, amber optics bright. "Well, he doesn't zone out if I use science words, so he's been nice, yes." It's a low bar.

Drift's hand closes around nothing, Skystalker easily skirting out of his reach. He kicks his boots together to rocket forward with a burst of speed, he needs to tag the starfighter and if he has to slam right into him to do so, then so be it. "Yes, I really do call it that, and he usually makes a face like-" Drift looks very serious for a second before laughing at his own amazing impression. "Maybe you two should go get a drink together sometime." If Drift could physically push Perceptor and Skystalker together he would. "Is it incredibly obvious I want you two to be friends?"

Skystalker wasn't expecting the gung-ho tag out of Drift; he hits the spacer with no uncertain force, and between the venting oof and the rockets, they tangle and tumble further from the ship's hull. Skystalker barely stifles his laughter when Drift makes a very good Perceptor impression and brings the chuckling back up. "Yes. Yes it is incredibly obvious." Not unnatural, of course he wants his friends to be friends.

Drift wraps his arms around Skystalker so at least he has a way back in case they tumble and spin to a distance his rocket boots can't get him back from. "I just think you guys would get along really well! Also he's really important to me, and you're really important to me so.. you know.. I want you guys to be friends!" He covers his mouth and mumbles something, something that kind of sounds like 'and you two are pretty together.'

"Tag, by the way!" Drift chirps, using Skystalker as a kick-off point and sailing off in the opposite direction.

Skystalker's frame is flush with the heat of his thrusters, a chill setting into the edges of his armor that does not appear to bother him; such is the fate of a spacefarer, used to gloomy cold. His hand sits upon one of Drift's arms when he clings, the ship now coasting in orbit further away, silent and whale-like. For a moment they coast along parallel to the Lost Light below. "I don't think you need to worry about it." Skystalker's attention is undivided and his features warm, even after the mumbling.

But as games do, it continues when Drift pushes away and uses his boots to escape. "Ah-- Hey!"

Drift flashes Skystalker a shit eating grin over his shoulder before pushing his rocket boots to their maximum output. He speeds off well past the ship, foolishly thinking he could possibly out run Skystalker. He might have had a chance if it weren't for the limited power supply of his boots which go dead not too long after his 'impressive' display. "Uhm.. help?"

Skystalker lags a little purposefully behind when Drift pushes his boots to the limit. Now they are far enough from the ship that they might be visible from someone's window. Skystalker follows along and stops short when the boots fizzle out. "Oh ho ho, so that's how it is." He sweeps past and taps Drift on the shoulder as he moves. "Tag, I win. " Now that Drift can't chase him any more, that is.

"I told you, this is what I wanted to do!" Skystalker teases, bringing back his first joke of pushing Drift into space.

Drift starts kicking his feet around in an attempt to start his boots back up but it's all for naught, they're completely useless until he recharges them. As he waits for Skystalker to swoop in an tag him, he glances over towards the ship and spots someone watching them from their window. He waves but the bot just frowns and draws a curtain over the window.

"And how do you plan on explaining my sudden disappearance to the rest of command?" he asks, reaching out to cling onto whatever part of the starfighter he can grab.

Skystalker is even more slippery out here in space than he is inside the ship; he does a backflip away from Drift's grasping hand, wingtips fanning like a moth's and keeping him out of reach. His smile is charming and wide, even so. "I don't need to go back-- I could leave." Slender shoulders raise in a shrug of movement. "Or I could always say that their officer went out on his rocket boots and got lost."

"H-hey!" Drift stretches out his entire body as he paws at Skystalker, his fingertips grasping and curling at nothing. He starts doggy-paddling in the vastness of space like that's going to get him anywhere. "That would be saddest obituary ever. 'Lost forever in space because he sucks at rocket boots, rest in peace.'" He gives up and opts to just float around like a piece of space debris. "You could always run away to Velocitron, I'm sure your groupies would be more than happy to harbour you."

Sky can't help but laugh in a small fit, hands clutching his sides when the doggy-paddling starts. "Until the next big thing comes along. I'm replaceable." Skystalker turns on his side and floats along just out of reach, lounging back onto nothing and watching Drift... drift. Fitting.

"But as for you--" Skystalker boosts from his soles, sweeping close and wrapping his arms loose around Drift's waist. He'll save you. Don't worry. "--you are not."

Drift looks relieved when Skystalker finally gets in close and rescues him from his admittedly scary situation. Being in space without and thrusters to guide you is a fear he assumes bots like Skystalker never have. As soon as those arms close around him, Drift swings his arms around the starfighter's shoulders and tucks in close. "That's not true, I'm sure there are lots of reformed Decepticons with swords running around out there who could fill my spot."

Fear of the great beyond is still a lingering fear-- but as long as he is alive, Skystalker can likely survive fathomless space. His sureness breathes through in how he acts out here-- Free.

There is no weight to the arms that work over his shoulders, but the nearness still brings a heaviness to his chest. Skystalker's back lights with a pulse of those thrusters, a heat at his back as he steadily and slowly reels them back in. "Maybe. But there's only one Drift."

"Could you imagine if there was more than one?" Drift thinks about that for a moment, just multiple Drift's running around the Lost Light doing backflips off of chairs and swinging swords around. He guesses it would take only about an hour for Ratchet to start blowing them out the airlocks. An arm uncurls from around his shoulders and Drift presses a hand to Skystalker's chest in an affectionate pat. "And you're not nearly as replaceable as you make it sound."

More than one? Well, yes, he could. Skystalker looks up ahead while Drift says that, face splitting in a small laugh when he decides the trajectory is fine and looks back. "I hope that's true." Amber optics tip away, flicking down to the hand that lingers near his chest. "I've always felt otherwise, even when people say I'm not." Made to feel it, even if it wasn't the truth.

"It is true," Drift says firmly, meeting Skystalker's amber optics with his intense blue ones. "I'm your friend, you can trust me when I tell you that. There isn't anyone on the ship, or even in the entire universe who could fill the hole you'd leave should something happen to you." He gives Skysalker's chest another 'pap-pap.' "I mean that."

Skystalker lifts his gaze only for Drift's to find it, his features just a little guarded, even with the insistence of trust. The heat of his steady thrusters does not masks the flush of the rest of him, warmth flowing through armor tinged with cold, through the lights of his frame as they deepen with red, and in the angling of his face downward out of too weak a will to keep staring back. "It's harder for me to believe that than you think. For such a long time I was made to feel--" Not that. Just-- not that.

"I.. I know." Drift looks away, jaw clenching at the thought of Skystalker living so long as someone's property. "I don't want to say that I know how you feel because everyone's experiences are unique and that's such a cliche thing to say but.. I do, at least in some way. I grew up in Dead End with nothing, scraping and stealing whatever I could get my hands on just so I could get high one more time. I was taken advantage of by people who knew I was too desperate to refuse even the most insulting of pay and told that I was worth even less than that. I believed them too, I was so sure I was going to live and die there with nothing to my name. Even Ratchet, who saved my life, couldn't convince me I was worth anything."

He looks back at Skystalker, a weak smile on his face. "Anyway, the point I'm getting at is that it took a long time for me to learn to love myself and that I was worth something. I just want you to get there too."

There are no words, immediately, only listening as Drift describes his life before everything else, and describing that familiar pain close enough that Skystalker recognizes that it feels like Drift is describing parts of his own.

When Skystalker looks back up, his features are torn between something of pride and sadness, old wounds drug up but all the same bandaged by the fact he's got people on the Lost Light that believe he is worth the time to heal. Arms around Drift's waist tighten as they come in overhead of the ship, and Skystalker buries his face in the crook of Drift's neck, head at rest and the thrusters at his back sputtering to a halt.

When Skystalker looks back at him with that expression, Drift is worried that maybe he said something he wasn't supposed to, or that maybe his words hit too close to home and triggered a painful memory, but his worry is eased when the starfighter tightens around him and buries his face into his neck. He squeezes his own arms around his shoulders and brings his hand around to rub comforting circles against Sky's back. For now he doesn't say anything, letting the silence stretch between them as they float over the Lost Light.

Space is so quiet, when there's nothing to disturb it besides the thrumming of the ship, the hum of their own vents, and for those moments, the drumming in Skystalker's chest, reminiscent of a heart rattling in a ribcage, a bird fluttering on glass. His chin moves up to rest on Drift's shoulder, optics searching the stars behind them. "Thank you. Do I say that enough? I don't know." Skystalker's mouth forms a faint laugh, and it seems to vibrate along the space of his back under the embrace.

Drift turns his head just enough to bonk his crest against the side of Skystalker's face. "You do, but you can keep saying it if you want. I wont stop you." He smiles and, remembering what he learned from washing Sky's back in the baths, digs a finger into a seam he knows will get a reaction. "Really, I should be thanking you for abandoning your plan of leaving me out in space."

Skystalker leans his head back to look up at the touch of Drift's crest. "I know you won't stop me." His smile is a little stifled, his look shuttered, teeth dragging over the curve of his bottom lip. He would be content to stay right there, if it were not for wandering fingers along the lines of his back. Sky's optics throw open, and he yelps in a cry of ticklish surprise. "Drift!"

"What?" Drift asks ever so innocently, the smug grin on his face proving beyond all shadow of a doubt that he knows exactly what he's doing. His grin widens and digs his finger into the seam again, his other hand coming to Skystalker's side to prob around for any other sensitive spots he can tease him with. "Sorry! My hands keep slipping! It must be a space thing."

"Oh my god--!" Skystalker barks a little again, unable to quell the laughter that breaks out of its dam. He squirms in an effort to get away from Drift's hands, which manage to find plenty of spots to poke in the interim. "It's not-- a space thing! I would know!" Sky brings his hands up to try brace them on Drift's shoulders, his biolights flush with pink, orange, and gold as he's tickled into breathlessness, as much as one can be."

"It's totally a space thing! There's no other explanation for it!" Drift doesn't let up, poking and tickling at Skystalker like crazy. "My hands are moving all on their own, someone call a scientist!" His brutal assault comes to an end when Skystalker grabs his shoulders and for a moment he just stares, taking in his smile and the colourful display of his biolights. Then he turns his head away, looking embarrassed. "I guess we should get back to the ship at some point."

"It's not! I'm a space thing!" And he is a scientist. Skystalker can't get it voiced, however, between one ticklish spot after another. Why him? His smile is crooked and his skin reflecting his own lights, the dark angles contrasted against the light from Velocitron's sun, optics a brilliant burn of embers to match it. Both hands rest firmly on Drift's shoulders as he looks away, and as soon as he does, both palms are skimming inward to cradle either side of Drift's neck to close the distance between them.

It is suddenness, of a sort-- the sweep of emotions that pushes and pulls at Skystalker's willpower until it gives way, despite better judgement and warnings ringing in his audials like a tinny bell. They ring in his head, almost as loud as the bird in his chest when he searches out Drift's lips with his own.

Drift feels Skystalker's hands on his neck and when he lifts his head to meet his gaze, he suddenly finds himself swept up in the press of lips against his. His optics go wide and his chest tightens, like his fuel pump is about to jump out of his body. Sure, he's imagined this before, been curious as to what it would be like, but now that it's really happening, he's not quite sure how to react. His fingers curl against the sarfighter's armour for a brief moment before he turns his head, breaking the kiss and staring off at a distant constellation over the other bot's shoulder.

"What.. was that?" he finally asks, voice quiet in a near-whisper as if there was anyone else around to eavesdrop.

For all that the cold of space now seeps into them, Skystalker's face is warm and his mouth tender. His hands hold on as if tempted to grip for his life, but they loosen when Drift breaks away, not meeting his eyes. The feeling of sudden shame is hard to describe but so easy to see. Skystalker feels the flush of his neck chilling over his back, his spark leaping around in its confines and his head spinning dizzily. "I--" He stammers, at a similar whisper, hands lowering and clutching into loose fists, a tremor in them betraying somewhat scared words. "I don't-- I'm sorry."

Drift doesn't have to look at Skystalker to know how he's feeling, he can sense it just fine in the tremors of his frame and the tone of his voice. "It's.. it's okay." He pulls away from the starfighter but keeps himself tethered by graveling his fists and taking hold of his hands. "Don't be sorry, it was actually quite nice. You're good at that." He gives a nervous grin and clears his vocalizer. "Sky, look, I.. I enjoy your company a lot, you're a fantastic mentor and I learn so much from you every day. I consider you a very good friend and.. I mean, it's flattering.." He turns away, looking embarrassed again. "Really flattered, I mean, wow.." He looks back at Sky. "But.. it has to say that way. I have kind of a complicated relationship...s"

There are things that chase away his shadows, and these friends he has now are so much a part of those. Skystalker's hands offer a little resistance but unfold nonetheless, conflicted when his fingers curl around the clutch of Drift's hands. He can't quite look up the final few inches to Drift's eyes, listening to the words and ringing in his head and knowing full well what he's done.

"I know, I know. I just-- You just--" Skystalker forces an intake of his vents, wings tucked back when he looks into Drift's eyes again, forcing his own bravery. "When you smile at me, my head swims. When you're kind to me, it chases my loneliness away. I have light where there was none. I shouldn't have done that. I know better. Primus, I'm so weak. Stupid." He tips his head down again, fingers tensing under grip.

As awkward and uncomfortable as this situation has become, there is an overwhelming sense of joy brewing inside of Drift. He's touched to hear Skystalker say such things, pleased that he's made such a positive impact on him. It's kind of a big deal for him, leaving a positive impression on the people around him is something he strives for everyday. He releases his hold on Skystalker's hands only to use them to frame his face and lift it up, gazing upon him with that serious, intense look from earlier.

"You're not weak, okay? You've overcome so much hardship and endured even more, you're one of the strongest people I know." His fingers curl against Sky's helm. "And you're NOT stupid. Don't ever say that about yourself again, okay?"

It is things like this that drew him in in the first place. Skystalker's features say as much, expression torn and eyes unwavering on Drift's face while he speaks. There are things he almost can't agree with, but hearing them out of another seems to make things different. Drift isn't the first, but adds to the short list just enough. Sky lifts his hands to the ones on his helm, and between the flattening of his mouth and the turmoil behind the sheen of his optics, nods, once, twice, and again at the last.

Drift seems pleased with Skystalker's nods of confirmation, his intense look shifting into something more warm and reassuring. He leans in to bonk their crests together, hands moving from the starfighter's face to rest on his shoulders. "It's okay, Sky. Everything is going to be fine, nothing has changed."

Skystalker's browline is knitted deep, which seems to only get more clear when Drift comes in to put their heads together. His worry that this would make things different is not unwarranted, and the reassurance that it hasn't changed anything is desperately needed. Ever felt like you screwed up bad in just a few seconds? Skystalker clearly needs to here that nothing's come undone. He vents outward, the heat of him spilling in a wash over their closeness. His hands alight along Drift's helm in mimicry, save for a thumb drawn gently over the edge of one red line along his face. They settle down on his shoulders then, a mirror. "Thank you. I'm sorry."

Drift smiles at the touch to his face and then lifts a finger to boop Skystalker on the nose. "Stop apologizing, you didn't do anything wrong." He lowers his hands and grabs one of Skystalker's with both of them, tugging on his arm like an impatient toddler. "Come on, let's go back to the ship and see if they've fixed the gravity yet. I want to see how big your plants have gotten!"

There has to be a smile for booping. It's a rule. Skystalker's heat rises at the touch to his nose, mouth turning in a smile. Okay, Okay. It grows more when Drift lowers his hands to try and tug him towards the hull hatch; It would be impossible, but Sky gets the message. "Alright. You win." He clings to both of those hands with his one and lifts his wings and boots to boost after the Lost Light's hide and for the door.

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