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2016-11-30 Clarity

From Transformers: Lost and Found

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Clarity
Date 2016/12/01
Location Lost Light: Recreation -- Swerve's
Participants Drift, Skystalker
Plot Losing Inhibition
Summary Remorse and too much engex.

Often referred to as the heart of the ship (by Swerve), the bar is rarely empty, rarely quiet. Central to the whole is the bar itself: just tall enough for a minibot to serve over the edge and lined with stools capable of accommodating bots of any height. Large, clear vessels stand behind the bar, containing the brews of the day. Behind the bar, an engex distillery assures there's always something new.

Round tables are scattered across the floor. Seats fold up from the floor beneath. Large booths along the sides of the room have room for a half-dozen or more, if they don't mind getting cozy, while monitors here and there find occasional use showing old vids.

A sign outside the door says:

                        No Guns, No Swords, No Bombs                         

Underneath is written: I MEAN IT!! LOCK YOUR WEAPON SYSTEMS DOWN AND DUMP EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE BIN BY THE DOOR. It is signed with a little frowning Swerve face.

On the other side of the door is a SHAME LIST. No, really, that's what it says. It has the number of days that various people are banned from Swerve's and counts down at the start of the morning shift.


Drift has not been feeling well since his encounter with Quicksight. He feels guilty, ashamed, and conflicted. How could he let himself do that? And more importantly, how could he find such a sick enjoyment in the look of fear on Quicksight's face? It's a lot to think about, hence why Drift is here at Swerve's. The best way to not think about something is to get drunk and that's exactly what he's going to do.

He's seated at a table in the corner of the bar, nursing what appears to be his fourth drink if the three empty bottles nearby are anything to go by.

It's about that time to address the thing still lingering on his mind, past the good times and confrontations; Skystalker manages to go back plenty of times to the image in the practice rooms. Has it been long enough? Will he even be able to say something? Well-- only one way to actually find out. Sky can't keep avoiding it, no matter how much he'd like to stave it off.

Once he makes it to Swerve's, it's not hard to spot Drift. The only thing that may give away his presence is the glitter of gold and platinum shades when the lights go off on the door. Otherwise, Sky is intent on crisscrossing his way over on silent pedes to more or less ambush the other mech.

"Drift."It's the nicest kind of ambush, because there's no weapons allowed in here.

Drift is so absorbed in his own self-pity that he doesn't pay the slightest bit of attention to anything else in the bar, including new arrivals. He even manages to ignore the flashy light shows that go off occasionally and Skystalker's is no exception. It's only when the spacefarer addresses him does he finally realize he's there and he glances over at him briefly before looking back to his drink. "Hey."

Whatever flame that Skystalker had boiled forth seems to sputter and wheeze when Drift looks up at him like that. It putters into coals and a frown that tugs across his features. "...That's all you've got in you now, hm?" Skystalker presses his mouth into a line, helping himself to a seat before reaching over to try and tug the bottle from Drift's hand-- so he can help himself to a taste of that too.

Drift just shrugs at that and lifts the bottle up to his lips for a drink only to find it snatched right out of his hand. He doesn't mind, he just waves at Swerve to signal his need for another round. "What were you expecting? Yelling? Violence?" He lowers his head and stares at the ring of condensation left behind by his bottle on the table. "Deadlock?"

"No." Skystalker answers, eyes cast down. Maybe something besides 'Hey'. He tastes the engex in his mouth, glancing back up again and setting the bottle down once the first swig settles. "I don't know. But I can tell you what I didn't expect. I know things are strange right now, but..." It's not something you'd want to walk in on, that debacle. His wingtips angle back. "I thought I knew what I wanted to say, but I'm realizing that I have no clue now."

"What is there to say?" Drift says quietly, eyeballing the bottle when Skystalker puts it back down. He really should stop drinking, he's already feeling a bit drunk and he does have a tendency to go overboard. And yet...

Drift snatches up the bottle and chugs what's left of it before slamming it back down onto the table. "I try so hard to make up for my past but no matter what I do I can't rid myself of that demon inside me. No matter what I do, no matter how much progress I make, I'll always be him. I'll always be Deadlock."

Skystalker doesn't answer the first part, just cants his head and watches Drift down the rest. He crosses one leg over the other, wrists perched on the table. "He'll always be a part of you, but that doesn't mean that you'll always be him." A troubled wash of light moves behind Sky's optics, an umber underneath. "These things are bringing back the worst parts of us." As if a cue, he looks up to flag a hand at the server on shift with a gesture of 'what he's having'. Case in point.

"And Quicksight's a little afthole, so there's that too..." A moment of chasing some levity, despite the topic. Skystalker seems to waffle between emotions. "I'm really, really angry. But I know it wasn't all your fault. I can't force myself to be mad like that."

"Lots of people are aftholes, it doesn't make it ok to put a sword to their neck," Drift mumbles, burying his face in his hands. At this point, the server comes over with their drinks and sets them on the table before swiftly walking away. He can tell there's some personal shit being talked about and he'd rather not be involved.

Drift wastes no time in grabbing his drink and taking a hearty swig in hopes that it will further dull his pain. "I'm sorry, Sky. I really am. I know how important Quicksight is to you and... and in that moment, I didn't care. About you. About him. About myself.." He takes another swig but it's interuppted with a quiet sob. "I wouldn't blame you if you ended our friendship over this."

Skystalker gives the server a polite little nod before he skirts away, looking back when Drift continues his drinking. He takes up his own, a slower drinker but no less enthused about drowning something in him.

"Was it really you though? Maybe on some level you feel like that, but--" Skystalker's frown fixes harder at the last, optics turning down to his fingers around the bottle. He turns it in circles on the surface of the table, ventilation puffing once. "I wouldn't blame me either." And yet he stays where he is, gaze on the bottle's mouth.

"I don't know." Drift stares at the glowing liquid inside his glass. Or rather, glassES considering there are several of them wobbling around now. "He's irritating and I'm sure lots of people want to take a swipe at him, but he's.. he's not a bad guy. You like him, so there must be something good about him, right?"

He's quiet for a long time after this, just staring down at his drink. Finally he moves, raising it to his lips and downing it in one go like a professional alcoholic. "Please don't go," he slurs quietly. "I don't want to lose you."

"There's so much good in him and I wish he weren't so-- angry. Stubborn. I try to show him, and it just gets him into places that..." Skystalker rubs at his forehead with a hand, hard pressed to keep his emotions down about the scene he'd walked in on. The pause between them grows lengthy here, and Sky stifles his voicebox with a drink.

Drift's slurred voice brings him back to the present, and his mouth parts only to stay silent, optics downturned, partway shuttered and dim. What kind of person would he be?

No inhibitions plus liqour makes for a very loose-lipped Drift as Skystalker is about to see. "I can't lose you, Skystalker. You're more important to me than you probably realize." His fingers clench around his glass as he tries desperately to fight back the words threatening to spill out of his mouth. He knows better than this. He knows the impact words can have, but he can't stop himself. "I think about our space walk often, how it felt to be so close to you. I think about our kiss and how much I regret not returning it, taking advantage of it when I had the chance."

Just as Skystalker feels ready to say something, Drift speaks again and he falls silent; instead, he watches and listens, torn between wanting to let him talk and wanting to stop him. In the end he can't stop it, perhaps in part because he wants to hear it.

The words make his systems heat up, face hot, and the biolights on his frame deepen in hue and flush with a color to match his eyes. "I still think about it too. Y-you've been drinking way too much for us to talk about it, especially in here--" Skystalker half covers his mouth with a curl of hand, voice not loud enough to really be overheard, optics darting across the bar with a bit of nerves. He doesn't want to be That Person, still. "I've come to terms with the situation and this isn't..." Skystalker furrows a serious look over to Drift. "Do you mean it? That you regret not doing something?"

Drift may be too inebriated to understand exactly why Skystalker is so uncomfortable talking about this here but he lowers his voice and leans in to make it more of a private conversation anyway. "Of course I regret it. You're beautiful, everyone on the ship would kill for a chance to kiss you and I just wasted it." He laughs, rubbing at his forehead. "I mean, don't get me wrong, I love Rodimus and Ultra Magnus with all my spark and I'd never want to lose what I have with them, but.."

Drift's ventilation systems cycle deeply and he dares to reach out and take Skystalker's hand within his. "What if I didn't have them? What if the three of us weren't in a relationship? What would it be like if it was just you and me?"

Skystalker can look up at Drift until he mentions the others, and then he just wears a faint look of guilt. He loves hearing Drift's compliments, but in this case, it makes his spark flutter nervously. It skips a beat when he reaches out-- but Sky doesn't move his hand away.

"I don't think it's worth it to go down that road, Drift..." Skystalker turns his hand over to wrap their fingers together, tentative in his buzzedness. "Because then we'll just get stuck there. It's unhealthy, isn't it? I want to be your friend more than I want to be a possibility..."

I want to be your friend. That's what Drift was asking before, wasn't it?

"I won't leave. But I'm still pissed."

There's a glimpse of clarity behind Drift's optics when Skystalker refers to his line of thinking as unhealthy and he averts his gaze elsewhere, a look of shame overtaking his features. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that. I didn't mean-" There's a frustrated sigh as he suddenly pulls his hand away so he can properly hold his head and hide his face. "You ARE my friend, and I'm so thankful to have you. I don't want you to think that I only hang out with you because I want to hook up with you. That's not the case at all! It was just a stupid what-if!" He hopes Magnus and Rodimus will understand that too if this ever gets back tothem.

He's quiet for a moment after that, still keeping his face hidden until slowly but surely he turns his head to glance over at Skystalker. "I'm sorry. About what I did to Quicksight. About everything. I just.. just.." He buries his face into his hands again, frame quivering with silent sobs. "I just hate myself so much."

"I just don't want you to get hung up on What Ifs. I know what it's like. And I know you aren't the type to just -- do that." Be friends with someone just to get close to them intimately. Skystalker isn't certain how to say it. Maybe it's just too familiar of a topic. He wrings his hands together on the surface of the table, looking down at them, mouth tightening.

"I'm not the one you almost sliced open with your Great Sword, so I can't take that apology. But the rest? Okay. I will." Skystalker's hands come undone from one another so he can lean forward over the tabletop and put one on the top of Drift's helm. It's not absolving, hut he hopes it is a little bit reassuring. "Things are all messed up right now. Remember that for when it's over, okay?"

It is a little bit reassuring. Just a little bit, but still enough to still his trembling. "Okay.." he says quietly, finally lifting his head all the way and putting his hands down onto the table. "I know the right thing to do is to apologize to Quicksight but what good will that do? He wont accept it, it will just start another fight and I'm terrified that I'll lose control again. Besides, it wont change anything. It wont change the fact that I attacked a subordinate." He suddenly slumps down in his seat and drops his head onto the table with a thunk. "Again."

"Telling him things he doesn't want to listen to... it's hard. If you walk away, it makes him question instead of arguing. Nobody to argue with." Despite the subject, Skystalker smiles just a little. Is it bad that he's used to trying to do it? His little friend is a very acquired taste, but there are still those that get on his good side. It happens. It really does.

"You did attack, yes. Again." Skystalker sighs, tugging on his lower lip as Drift faceplants into the table. "I don't know how to make it better. I just want to make sure it's never something that happens again. Somehow." Skystalker takes the rest of his drink and downs it, at this thought.

<FS3> Drift rolls Drinking: Good Success. (7 3 1 7)

"I guess I can just stay away from him for the rest of our journey," Drift says, his voice muffled against the table as he can't even find the effort to lift his head. "Or interact with him only if I have you with me as a handler." He rolls his head so now it's just his cheek squished against the table and not his whole face. "Or just lock me up since I'm a clear and present danger to the crew just like everyone says."

Skystalker is pausing to order another bottle when he looks back to see Drift muffled against the table even more than before. He shifts and picks up his seat to move it around and set down next to Drift this time. "You are not a clear and present danger, you bolthead. You have an emotionally compromising space-parasite." And Skystalker's apparently likes to let his vocalizer loose.

Oh. Right. That would explain it, wouldn't it? "Ugh, gross." That's all Drift has to say about that. He then lifts his head and leans back in his chair, crossing his arms over his chest as he levels a rather serious look at Skystalker. "Did you just call me a bolthead?"

"Yeah, gross." Skystalker puts an absent hand to his own torso as if he might be able to feel something there, a shudder in his wingtips. At the question from Drift, he gives a crooked smirk. "Yes, yes I did." There's a second of pause. "Would you rather I call you something else?"

The corner of Drift's mouth tugs into a tiny smirk and he shrugs. "Well, yeah. You're from Nyon, aren't you? I know you've got something better than 'bolthead.' I've heard you say nastier things than that before. Come on, lay it on me!"

Skystalker's laugh is a reprieve from the darker tones from before, a toss of his head and a lift of his chin to the bot that brings by his next drink. "I don't know if you're going to like it as much as you think you will--" And yet, Sky takes a deep draw from his new bottle, optics flickering in a moment of giving in to that overcharge. He even stands up and pushes a finger in Drift's face.

"So not bolthead-- what about a tread-licking, lube-guzzling spawn of a glitch? Go find some coolant to suck on, you s--" And there it goes. Drift asked for it. Skystalker launches into a loud, colorful array of cursing, wings flaring out, causing the entire population of Swerve's to stop every single thing they are doing to gawk at him.

Drift laughs when Skystalker dramatically rises to his feet, jutting a finger at his face, and he's all smiles when he begins his inflammatory tirade, but the longer it goes on, the quicker his face changes. Gradually he begins to look horrified by the words he's hearing, his optics widening and his jaw hanging agape. It would appear that the entirety of Swerve's is having the same reaction, except for one Decepticon that whistles loudly at the spectacle.By the time Skystalker is done, Drift is completely speechless. When he finally finds his voice, the only thing he can say is:

"Holy shit."

The whistle comes near the end-- and incidentally the sound causes Skystalker to turn his head to look over his shoulder-- and promptly jerk his face back towards Drift, optics wide. Both hands slowly lift to cover his mouth as he goes from horrified to tickled pink, biolights flickering as he starts to howl with laughter, sputtering into his fingers.

Hey, Drift asked for it, right? So what if he gets banned?

Drift's laughter quickly follows Skystalker's, starting as a hearty chuckle and finishing as an uproarious laughter. "Sky, Sky! Ohh my god!" He stands up and begins clapping, still guffawing like a maniac. "That was amazing! Bravo!"

At least the laughter and clapping is infectious-- some of the other bar patrons give it a go too, eased by drink and the likelihood that half of them are also compromised. The ones that don't laugh clearly didn't find anything amusing about a foulmouthed tirade, Skystalker or not.

"Primus--" Skystalker wheezes out past his laughter, wings locked down tightly and optics still wide when he gives Drift a shake by the shoulders. "I can't believe I did that! Why did you let me?!" It was definitely amazing, but he can still be embarassed!

Drift tries very hard to put on his serious face as he's shook but it's extremely difficult. Skystalker is just so mortified by his own vulgarity, it's hilarious! "I can't help it, I have an emotionally compromising space-parasite!" He puts a hand on Skystalker's shoulder and grins. "It was amazing though, you have talent!" Too bad not everyone in the bar appreciates it. "Er, but maybe we should leave.."

Skystalker leans in to try and give Drift a pinch somewhere, annoyed but at the same time still filled with laughter. "Talent he says!" Sky looks over his shoulder and laughs again, picking up his drink and pushing in his chair. "I think that's probably a good idea... plus I can drink for free if it's already mine...!"

Drift makes a ridiculous squeaking noise when Skystalker successfully lands a pinch on him. "It IS talent!" Still giggling, he makes sure to settle his tab with a handful of credits on the table. Some of the stares coming from the bar are making him way too uncomfortable to pay up over there. "You have to teach me that stuff sometime."

Skystalker laughs more sharply at the request, putting his own tab on the table and nudging at Drift's back to all but push him out the door. "That is literally the worst thing you've ever asked of me-- come on, le'sgo."

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