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2016-08-28 Pretending

From Transformers: Lost and Found

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Pretending
Date 2016/08/28
Location Lost Light - Command: Rodimus's Office
Participants Ultra Magnus, Rodimus
Plot Denied
Summary Rodimus pretends he needs Magnus's help.

Rodimus returns to his quarters looking scuffed and worn but pleased after first stopping to pour a fistful of coppers -- so to speak -- into the jar for gas money. His contribution? Stupid stunts for tips. It's literally his only skill. Calling it a marketable skill would definitely be going too far. It's just a skill. Dumb tricks. A Rodimus specialty.

Now he stretches on his berth, settled at an angle, crossways, so that he can put his feet up on the wall, and comm Magnus: "<< Do I have to tip you if I ask you to come help me get the dents out of my armor because if so that's gonna be a problem. Maybe you've heard: I'm super broke. >>"

When Ultra Magnus receives this communique, he is standing in one of the ship's storerooms going over an inventory list. His features etched into a customary frown, he studies the materiel of the Lost Light not with an eye to what the ship needs but with an eye to what the ship might readily liquidate. He studies Rodimus's message for an extended moment of silence wherein he is distracted from the task at hand rehearsing his reply with an eye to what may or may not qualify as humorous. What he settles on is, "<< I do not believe I have ever been offered a gratuity before. >>"

"<< I'm super gratuitous, though. >>" While this is undoubtedly true, it's probably not what Rodimus actually means.

"<< How gratifying.>>" Ultra Magnus is probably pleased with himself about this. He hesitates over the inventory for a moment, studying it in his very large hand. "<< What have you done to yourself? >>" he asks after a beat. "<< I am on my way. >>" He makes a note for himself to return to later -- since despite the dutiful nature of his activities he is not actually on the clock, just allergic to idleness in times of even minor crisis -- and then, possibly against his better judgment, sends a quick message to the next person in logistics who is actually going to be on shift. Even though it is probably Fulcrum. Maybe he is learning to let go.-

"<< I was helping. >>" Rodimus's words radiate a smugness disproportionate to the amount that he actually brought in. Then he rolls over, kicks his heels up behind him, and waits for Ultra Magnus to arrive. He's made his way to his feet -- and to the office, to wait -- by the time he has, and he's busy buffing the scuffs away with a polishing rag. He doesn't look that bad. Any dings are pretty minor. He doesn't need help. It was a ruse. A PLOY.

It's Minimus Ambus who arrives at Rodimus's office, as not unusually, he stops off to shed the armor before he turns up. Perhaps performing recuperative massage as Ultra Magnus sticks in his mind as just not very Ultra Magnus-like. He steps inside with an odd hesitancy about him, step slow, although as his scarlet gaze sweeps Rodimus and finds him mostly smug and not terribly battered, some of the tension leaves the set of his shoulders. He greets him, "You were helping."

"Yeah. You know. Gratuities." Rodimus immediately abandons his neatening mid-polish to swoop in and intercept Minimus as the door closes. He loops him in a warm, quick press and then steps back. "How're things looking on the logistics end of things? Hope Penchant isn't peeling his plating about all of this."

The tightening of Minimus's arms around Rodimuss waist is a quick, hard grip, easing back into a looser clasp that permits his withdrawal as Minimus makes a little snortish sound in the depths of his frame. "I was going through our storage to determine what we can feel comfortable liquidating for ready cash. I don't believe Penchant is pleased, but he's professional enough. He will manage." High Minimusian praise, that. "If we had anticipated the financial situation we may have provided less aid to the dispossessed at our last stop..."

Drawing his fingers lightly over Minimus's shoulders as he leads his way to the back, Rodimus says, "No. They needed it more than we do. We'll figure something out." As dire -- and as ridiculous -- as this is, there's no hesitation, second-guessing, or regret for the help that they've offered. "We could spare it. This is just a little hiccup." Generosity, or faith in Drift's blood money? Hard to say.

<FS3> Ultra_Magnus rolls Chirolinguistics: Good Success. (2 7 2 7 5)

Minimus lets Rodimus draw him into the relative privacy of his inner sanctum with a slow, trickling sigh through his vents. Minimus claims one of Rodimuss hands to draw words in a restless, tickling light brush of touch inside his palm. I have no doubt of your creativity. "It's been a long time since any of us had to consider a budget. It certainly never used to come up for the Duly Appointed Enforcer of the Tyrest Accord."

"It's not like we overspent," Rodimus insists, taking a seat and pulling Minimus down against his side. "I mean, it's there. Just -- whatever this stupid thing is with freezing all of our accounts. You should go wave your title at them. Ex-title. Whatever. I bet they'd rethink things then. If they even know what that is this far out."

"Rodimus," Minimus rumbles in a lower, growlier voice that would contain more believable threat if he weren't busy clonking his head against Rodimus's shoulder. "You know I am not going to do that."

"Can I put on the suit and go threaten them?" Rodimus asks, bracing himself against a harder clonk, possibly from a fist.

Minimus sits up stiffly away from his side and turns the weight of a scarlet glower on Rodimus without answering aloud.

Rodimus muffles a laugh behind the press of his lips, the sound rattling down under the hood of his alt-mode. "Okay," he says, and tugs Minimus back against his side. "Never mind." After a long enough pause to trick Minimus into thinking he's going to change the subject, he asks, "Do you think I could even fit?"

The question makes of Minimus a bristley armful, however warm his rumbling engine leaves him tucked against Rodimus's side. His lips tense along with the set of his shoulders. He says, "I prefer not to challenge you to try."

As Minimus bristles, Rodimus only cuddles more aggressively, dragging him not just against his side, but trying to pull him into his lap. "Come on, don't you think I could handle it?" He probably literally couldn't. He's no loadbearer.

Minimus is initially resistant to this attempt to cuddle the crank out of him, his scowl deepening across his brow as the edge of his helm pulls down over his bright red gaze. He braces both his hands, one at Rodimus's upper arm and the other flattened against his chest as he digs the heel of one boot against the floor of his quarters, and glowers at him. "I believe you could make both of us very uncomfortable trying to," he says. "But if you want the truth, no, I don't think you could. I don't even think Dominus could necessarily bear that much weight, and he was forged for it."

Headbutting the side of Minimus's helm, Rodimus says, "That sounds dangerously close to a challenge. I'm going to go ahead and assume you didn't mean it like that. You're welcome. Even if my spark is stronger than ever." Because ... reasons.

"I'm going to assume," Minimus says with a dangerous rumble purling in his very low voice, "that you're going to respect my boundaries and not tangle with my armor." He rests his fingers in a tight curve over the back of Rodimus's neck, and looks into Rodimus's face with a narrowed gaze. "Because you know that it's important to me," and he shifts and slides, easing into a broad brace of his knees across Rodimus's lap where he perches as he keeps looking at him with a weighted intentness, his thumb tapping at the side of his neck. "--and you wouldn't violate my trust because you've decided to interpret something as a dare."

Ever so slightly, Rodimus deflates. That's a very thorough retort. The angles of his spoiler twitch down. "I wouldn't," he says, sounding dangerously close to a pout. He draws his hand up Minimus's side to curve beneath his arm and up around the back of his shoulder. "I won't. Your armor is definitely safe from me. Besides, I like you better out of it. I can't imagine I'd like me in it."

Minimus rests his forehead against Rodimus's forehead and lifts his hand to run the back of his hand down the curve of his cheek, running his knuckle down along the edges of his helm to rest his thumb against his chin, beneath the curve of his mouth. "I know you wouldn't." His tone is a little different now, gentler, softer: accepting, rather than warning. "And I know you like me better this way, that's why I took it off to help you work out your dents. Which I see that you don't have."

"I did," Rodimus says, looking mildly shifty, "but I already fixed them." He probably had a dent. A mild dent. Easily repaired. The shifty look fades in favor of a wide grin. "Of course, if you want to take a look to be sure I didn't miss anything--."

"Are you just trying to get me to tell you how handsome you are?" Minimus asks him suspiciously. Again, the direness of his threats would be more believable if he were asking this question in some other context than sitting braced in his lap, close to the quiet intimacy of nosing his cheek.

Tilting his head back with a grin, Rodimus leans back. His hand falls to brace at Minimus's hip. Leaning back as he is, Minimus can now see more of him -- more of how handsome he is. "Well, that's not my goal but I won't stop you if you want to." Pls no.

"If I want to." Minimus Ambus sits back on Rodimus's lap, his arm hooked in its slide across his neck, and narrows his gaze again. "I think we both have better things to do than sit here and talk about things you already clearly know."

Nose scrunching, Rodimus makes a face and says, "Yeah. Probably. Like go back to inventory and figuring out what else I can do to try to drag a few shanix -- no, sorry, not shanix, our shanix is worthless here -- out of the locals. You ever come to the stunning realization that you're not much good other than shooting?"

Minimus thinks about it for a moment. Then he says dubiously: "I suppose I could offer to organize something."

Grinning at Minimus, Rodimus says, "I bet you could offer legal aid. Barrister might be -- when he isn't making threatening noises at whoever it is that put the hold on our accounts."

Minimus then offers dryly: "I could put on a poetry reading, too. It is possible that they might pay us for me to stop."

Lifting his hand to press it against Minimus's chest, Rodimus says, "I'd pay you to do that. Never to stop. Sorry. 'Fraid you're underestimating yourself."

"You can't pay me to do anything, you're broke." Minimus looks a little flustered by this, for SOME REASON, like his offhanded joke has borne out with unexpected results. "Anyway, most of these people don't have your partiality to me. I'm not very good."

The edges of Rodimus's lips curl up, just at the ends, pleased with the hint of fluster out of Minimus. His hand slides appreciatively down Minimus's side again to rest at his hip. "I'm not partial. I'm the captain. I'm totally impartial and unbiased."

"That's ridiculous," Minimus tells him firmly. He shifts, leaning slightly into the stroke of Rodimus's hand in half-conscious pursuit of his caress, and then tilts forward to murmur close to his mouth, "Might as well pretend you don't like me."

The slide of his hand becoming a firm grasp, Rodimus leans forward, pulling Minimus closer to chase the murmur with a quick kiss. "I'm not that good at pretending."

Minimus smiles a little against his mouth and returns the kiss with a little more heat behind it. His hand braces hard in his grip across the bulk of Rodimus's shoulder. He says, "Good."

No more pretending: honest in the way he knows best, left to express his feelings in touch and laughter rather than words, Rodimus answers the heat with a warming brightness. Sure, maybe they are stuck on some backwater planet without any gas in their tank, but what self-respecting newly dating couples (or whatever) could possibly resist using that excuse to neck in the car? NOT THESE GUYS. They'll solve the ship's problems ... later.

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