2016-12-01 Running A Tight Ship

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Running A Tight Ship
Date 2016/12/02
Location Lost Light - Docks and Storage - Cargo Hold
Participants Penchant, Skystalker
Plot Losing Inhibition
Summary Penchant has a lack of control, but it works out for the better this time.

It's kinda' chill in storage lately, seeing as no one is technically allowed to come to work. Penchant makes the rounds, which mostly involve glaring at the growing pile of miscellaneous junk that Rodimus hasn't signed off on jettisoning yet. Because he doesn't answer datanet messages, and Penchant stubbornly refuses to try any other method.

The minibot awaits Skystalker who he'd summoned earlier, trying not to dwell on the look on Whisper's face when he'd pushed too far. He didn't want to upset Skystalker like that. That would be Bad. At least he had some chilly ener-froyo to nibble at, perched on a crate.

Skystalker has more or less been on an endless loop for the last few days-- it starts blurring together and the drinking isn't helping that. He woke up today with one hell of an ache, but by the time he gets the beckon from Penchant, he has had enough to put a spring in his step and ebb old feelings away. There's still a niggling irritation in the back of his mind, though-- his recent outburst in Swerve's landed him a short ban-- because not everyone appreciates hearing the most vulgar things they can imagine while they are trying to have a good time. It was a disruption to the flow of business!

"Disruption. Pft." Skystalker makes his way into storage on light feet, manner easy as he traces a path in and out of shelving units, finally swinging around a corner to find his quarry there. "Hey."

"Hey!" Penchant sets his snack aside and slides onto his feet. "Forewarning! J-just so you know. Uhm. So because of these fragging ticks, I can barely keep from reading minds, and Soundwave refuses to help. I'll try to get through this quickly, I just had some questions. About shuttles. Or... small passenger vehicles. That's what you are, right? I guess 'starfighter' implies combat... Wait, disruption what?"

Skystalker pauses before Penchant as he gathers to his feet, browline lifted when he starts with a Forewarning. The ticks again, hm? Skystalker tips his head, but he doesn't turn tail and run when faced with the news. Instead he just gives Penchant a humoring, small smile when he continues. "He's having his own trouble too..." But before he can answer the question, there goes the Case In Point example of Penchant accidentally blipping in and out.

"Oh. Ah. I cussed out Drift at his request in Swerve's. I'm-- not allowed back until this is all dealt with." Skystalker's mouth forms a fine line, as if he might stifle the news like that. "Yeah, combat. I will go by shuttle or starfighter, but if you prefer, 'spacefaring combat vehicle'? Is there a question in there?"

Penchant pauses. "At... his request?" He then busts out laughing, bent against his knees. "Oh my god," he manages, far too amused. "You, of all mechs - !" At least something funny came of all this. "Ahhh..." Capping his bout of laughter with the terran gesture of wiping an imaginary tear, he looks up again. "Sorry, ah - Well we have standards in Logistics, and some of the standards involve keeping up the safety of our machinery. And our machinery includes the shuttles... /and/ some of our shuttles technically involve personnel. Like you, and Blast Off, and Sky Lynx. So I'll be calling for an inspection soon. Would you rather perform your own inspection and give us a report? Or just let us do it, less work on your part - ? You think others would be opposed?"

... "/You/ told Soundwave to drink?" Penchant suddenly looks cross, hands on his hips. "Skystalker!"

"He wanted to hear my Nyonese..." Skystalker laughs into a fist as Penchant doubles over laughing, his arms crossing over his middle and one toe digging at the floor. Okay, if people think it's funny, it's not all bad, is it?

"Oh, a personnel inspection? Like a physical? I'd be fine with it, probably the others too, but Blast Off might be offended--" One hand behind his neck, Skystalker's thought process gets thrown off by Penchant's accusatory look. "Excuse me? Not exactly! I told him it helped me, so he asked if I'd drink with him! That's completely different!" Speaking of, he's mentally counting how many of those drinks he's had today. It's not a small number for someone usually so restrained.

Penchant's frown tugs into a small smile, if only for Skystalker's flustered response. "He's been walking around tipsy for the past few days. Won't even talk it monotone. It's very strange."

"That's a lot of drinks," Penchant comments, then flinches. "You didn't /say/ that, did you. Sorry. Okay - Yeah, physical. When this is all... fixed, of course. No one /has/ to do it... But we're running a tight ship here! Or trying to."

Skystalker can't even make himself mad at that one, and even laughs a little at the flinching. This is nothing like digging or unwillingly having things thrown at you. "He wasn't even leaving his office when Hound and I went in to see him. It was bad. So I'm glad he's at least out? I might have had a few today too, yeah..." Amber optics narrow at the thought, but the expression passes. "Orbitall, Astro, Cosmos... I figure they would."

Penchant can't help but look for a glimpse of just how bad Soundwave was, through Skystalker's eyes. With a steady vent and a grim look, he folds his arms and nods. "He, uh, he seemed to be in good spirits when I talked to him last. Everyone's either morose or angry or drunk. I'm just annoying, apparently. I got booted from the lounge for finishing everyone's sentences. I can't help it!" Beat. "Okay, I'll check with them. Astro's always been a good sport about stuff down here."

"So how're you faring? Besides getting kicked out of pubs." Penchant tries to strike up a conversation proper, clearly wanting to keep Skystalker around.

"Oops." Skystalker murmurs at the news that he isn't the only one being barred from places. "You're not annoying me, for what it's worth." And if he's managing to do that around others, it's no wonder he wants some company. "All things considered, fair enough." Sky moves past him in a few steps to perch on the edge of a shipping crate, crossing one leg over the other and settling down to visit a bit.

"There was some trouble when this all started, but... I'm hoping it resolves. Had some fun with Torque the other day, though-- she's such a good dancer, did you know that? And she did her paint job over in this rippling holographic silver--" Unbeknownst to him, Skystalker grows a little moony at that, thinking about her amazing paint job and their salsa.

Penchant's grin broadens. Yay, he isn't annoying. As Skystalker passes, he stares at the ground to avoid ogling. He can't even trust himself here. So many thoughts cross his mind, threatening to spill over his lips to embarrass him. "I didn't know that, no." A brief flash of jealousy crosses his features when Skystalker gets all moony, but he too gets drawn up in the vague flickers of sharp movement, and the shining hues of Torque's paint. Recollections are always fuzzy, even if they're recent. "She's with someone," he almost mutters, apparently out of nowhere. "I think."

"Yes. Mirage." There's a flicker of getting a caring kiss on the face, Torque's affectionate friendship and hugs before she drug him off to the Baths instead; Skystalker seems to realize this one, however, and lifts a hand to his neck again, optics roaming for a moment. "There's no rule that I can't call my friends beautiful, is there?"

Penchant bristles. Stop stealing everyone, Torque! He almost doesn't hear Skystalker's question, brooding over that memory. Well, Torque /had/ kissed Penchant once. One the forehead! She's just a kissy 'bot. "/I/ think you're beautiful," he blurts, half-turned away. "But it's more than just your armor. You're so... patient, forgiving - !" He swivels on his heel to face Skystalker fully. "It's how you treat strangers. It's how you treat Quicksight, and Drift... even the Captain. You make everyone so... happy. So comfortable." He rubs at a temple, fingers falling across his cheek as he smiles through his own exasperation. "After all you've been through. After everything they've... done to you. After how much you've hurt. I think it's beautiful. I still marvel at it."

When the minibot blurts that first part, it pulls Skystalker's attention fully to him, and away from thoughts of salsa dancing. There's something far more important to be heard right now, and as Penchant turns to face him the starfighter is staring back, brow bent as he keeps going. That he has so many words on the subject-- clearly it's been on his mind before now.

"Penchant..." Skystalker says his name fondly, only to let it fall into a breathy little laugh, and a glance down to his hands. It's not that he thinks it was funny-- he's touched. Sometimes, you just don't know what else to say.

Penchant beams at the little laugh, bouncing on one heel as he basks in his own glow. Then the chill and dimness of the storage floor descends on him, and he's not /actually/ on clouds somewhere. Penchant's optics pale. Yep, he'd just blurted all of that to Skystalker. "Hoo. Uhm. Hey! Thanks for uh. Your input. I should head back to my hab. Right... now... Lieu commed, he got uh, stuck in the door." That sounds legit, right. "Big silly roomies! Hah."

"You're a really bad liar." And it's making the little laugh turn into a slightly bigger one, paired with a gentle smile for Penchant's sake. He refuses to believe that Lieutenant got stuck in the door. Skystalker braves the thought of him too, because it skirts thoughts of the quiet room before he quells them on purpose.

"Thank you for what you said. Clearly it takes a lot for me to not just... find a bottle of highgrade and sleep it off every day, but--" Skystalker shakes his head sharply. Neither here nor there. He slips back to his feet again, lingering between wanting to move closer and wanting to not stifle the minibot. "Just-- Don't feel weird. Please? I make too many people feel strange, don't I?"

"No... I don't know. Do you?" Penchant gives himself a shake, already stepping back. "I'm not lying," he lies, poorly. "I don't feel weird," he lies again. "I'm just not... good at this. But." He huffs lightly, steeling himself. Skystalker deserves the compliments, one way or another. "I mean what I said. You're welcome. See you later? Try not to get too overcharged."

Skystalker is really happy to have heard such kind words, but when Penchant wants to run away right after saying them-- it definitely makes him feel like he's scaring him away instead. What good are these ticks, then, if he's still this intimidating to be around?

"Right." Sky drops his arms loose at his sides, unsure of what to do with them. "I'll-- see you soon, I guess."

Penchant might've fled right after, but the ticks prove helpful here. Penchant catches the whisper of thoughts when he turns. This isn't what Skystalker wants. So Penchant slows, and stops. It would've been easy to convince himself that the starfighter heard this slag all the time, and he was only being polite. But that's not what Penchant reads. "You don't intimidate me. I just... I guess I get nervous about things. It's not because of you," he finally says, turning to face him again. "...Okay, yeah, I lied. Are you uhm. Needed anywhere?" he asks, voice hopeful.

As soon as Skystalker slips up on remembering what Penchant can hear, it seems to come right back to him. Scrap, he just-- there's a mote of guilt for making it loud enough to push through Penchant's ability, but maybe it's for the best, because he stops.

There's a passive smile on the subject of intimidation, as he is glad to hear that it isn't really him. It's nerves, then. Skystalker's smile grows at the question, his hands finding one another rather than hang at his sides. "I'm not, no."

"I'm free for a while, and I gave everyone the week off. Though I think Minimus will just keep showing up to work at Soundwave's office." Penchant scratches his cheek. "Anyway we've got all of storage to ourselves. I can't get Rodimus down here to pick what he wants to keep out of that... pile. Wanna' help me sort things? You know him pretty well. Maybe we could finally get rid of these meteorite chunks." He gestures to the haphazard stack of crates in the distance. "I... promise I won't make it weird, Sky," he adds earnestly.

"Everyone?" No wonder he was sitting here eating froyo all alone. Skystalker smiles again, though, glancing up and over to where the minibot gestures. "Ah, the junk pile? That sounds familiar." Optics gleaming, Sky opens up his hands and turns fully to examine said pile. "I'm more worried about me than you. I'm still buzzed." He looks over his shoulder, vents sighing with a laugh. "But doing something normal will be so nice. As for the chunks, maybe Beachcomber would like them for mining any caches?"

"Weeellll I've heard that a lot of mechs are getting into fights. And I don't want my big hauler mechs scrapping in here." Penchant smirks, forced to look up again as he nears. "Maybe! We can set 'em aside. Torque and Chromia helped tote 'em here, I can't really move them anyway. Heh, you can curse in Nyonese all you want. I don't have any colorful Altihexian slang to add, alas." The minibot perks up, a little more emboldened when he sees the smile. "You don't even have to move, I'll just hold stuff up and you can give me a thumbs up or down. 'Kay?"

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