2017-02-20 The Wedding Planner

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The Wedding Planner
Date 2017/02/20
Location Lost Light: Recreation -- Swerve's
Participants Blast Off, Breakdown
Summary Blast Off takes another trip to visit Dr. Love.

Blast Off sits at Swerve's in the corner of the bar. It's been awhile since he's been here, having spent more time at Visage's lately due to the much more refined atmosphere, but sometimes you just want to get hammered and that's why he's at Swerve's. He clutches a glass of engex- not even his customary wine, but something stronger this time- and stares off into nothing in particular. He's going to become conjunx endura with Whirl. CONJUNX ENDURA. Primus, how's he gonna explain this to Onslaught? What does it even really mean? Is he supposed to get Whirl something like the watch that Whirl got him? What are the acts of Conjunx Ritus and does he need to do more of them or have they already been done? Does he have any smelting clue what he's doing at all? (No.) If only someone who's been through all this could give him some answers...

It is not actually that unusual to see Breakdown in this bar. He's totally here between the end of his shift and Knock Out's on a regular basis. So it's not unusually to see him now, slowly lumbering towards the bar on heavy clanks of his step. He gets himself a drink, thinks about it, and orders a second one so that he has two engexes in hand as he steps away from the bar again, scanning for a place to hunker in for a looong haul.

Blast Off 's reverie ...wherever he is gets interrupted by a clanking sound. The Combaticon glances up and... oh. Oh! Breakdown! Just the mech Blast Off wants to see. He suddenly sits up straight, almost ready to launch out of his chair then glances down to his glass, placing it to the side. THEN he almost gets up again, then flumps back down on his seat. Now he just stares at the other Decepticon. He's not used to being the one actually seeking other people out. Finally, he waves a hand instead, raising it up in the air, trying to get the mech's attention. "Breakdown. May I... May I have a word with you?"

The rove of Breakdown's cyclopean gaze pauses on Blast Off. He blinks: it's noticeable in the flicker of his yellow-bright eye, narrowing as he looks at Blast Off across the bar. He looks down at the drink he has in either hand. Then he shrugs, also visibly, and begins to clank his way over to Blast Off's spot. Clank. Clank. Clank. "I ain't known you to stop yourself at one word," he says, amiably enough, as he approaches.

Blast Off 's mouth opens behind that faceplate and he almost has a retort to that, then it dies on those lips and he just kind of sinks a little in defeat. With a short sigh, he glances down. "Well... true. No, not just one word. Several, if you will hear them out." That said, he looks up at Breakdown for a long moment before realizing that there are certain behaviors one is supposed to do in this kind of situation. Of course by the time Blast Off remembers them, Breakdown may already be doing his own thing. "Uh... please, sit down," he suggests, gesturing to the chair opposite him across the table.

Breakdown settles down in the chair. It creaks under his weight, as chairs frequently do when Breakdown shifts his great, dense mass. He lifts the first of his drinks and pounds it back all at once, just to take the edge off. He slams the empty down on Blast Off's table with a resounding thunk, and gives Blast Off a sidelong, sideways look, his single eye narrowing with a kind of fuzzy humor as his mouth peels up in a smile. "Sure, I'm listenin'."

Blast Off winces at that glass slam, the aloof shuttleformer's natural desire for quiet and order conflicting with his need to figure out what the SMELT he is actually doing. Swallowing a tiny bit of pride, he tries to explain... and loses nerve. The Combaticon clasps his hands together on the table before glancing to his engex. That's a good idea, Breakdown. Blast Off grabs the glass and takes a deep swig through the hatch in his faceplate, then sets it down much more quietly.

Right. Now... where to begin? Blast Off's wing elevons twitch once as he tries to figure out what to say. Somehow getting Breakdown's attention was the largest part of his plan here and he's drawing a blank onw hat to do now that he has his attention. "I... uh." Fumble more with fingers. "Well, you see, I had some questions." He pauses, glancing away uncomfortably and his voice drops in pitch. "About.... personal matters." Get to the point, Blast Off.

Breakdown slides the empty glass away from himself and then curls both of his sharp, pointy-fingered hands around the second one. He studies its hue and shade for a moment, letting a sigh slowly trickle out of him in the slow hiss of an internal radiator. He says, "Right," in a low, basal rumble. He looks up at Blast Off with a weighted gravity in his single eye. "Fire away, sharpshooter," he invites.

Right. Yes. Blast Off can fire away any moment now... but instead the awkward silence continues for a bit longer as he finger-fumbles, takes a drink from his glass, and finger-fumbles again. Right. Ahem. "Well... you see..." Primus, how do people do this socializing stuff again? It's hard. He stares down at his hands. "I was just wondering... you know, for a *friend*, what might be involved if... well if..." So hard.

He vents a long sigh and looks to the side somewhere, face pinching in. "Wondering about... conjunx ...ritus."

"Uhhh-huh. For a friend." Breakdown snickers, hissing out of his systems as though some internal gears are grinding it out. He picks up his drink and takes a sip from it, his glance rolling back towards the ceiling as he shifts backward in his seat with a clank of his weighted frame. "Well, tell me about your friend," he suggests, all friendly-like. "Is he ready for four acts of devotion?"

Good, Breakdown is totally buying that, yeah! A friend! Totally! Blast Off tells himself that at least, then continues, finally leaning in just slightly as he speaks (still rather quietly). "Well, you see, he... he's in a relationship, a serious one. And..." He swallows nervously when asked if he's ready for the four acts of devotion, sinking noticeably in his seat, still not looking directly at Breakdown. His voice suddenly raises in pitch. "Well... he better be, since he just commited to them." Another gulp.

Blast Off does finally look up at the other Con. "But..uh... well..." What's visible of his face seems to fall. "He... uh... well, he's a Decepticon, like us, and ...well, you of all people should know how know..." The next few words are nearly whispered, "...matters of the spark... weren't really something a lot of us.. uh, covered or... paid much attention to." Or they were laughed at for.

"Well," Breakdown says in a thoughtful, measured tone. "If what your friend probly oughta know, if he's comin' to me," and he rumbles in a deep, booming chuckle in the depths of his frame, "might be he needs to not give so much scrap what the other fraggin' idiots around him think. Me of all people does know," and he shakes his head, lifting his glass, "that there's nothing in the world I'd regret more than if I hadn't reached out to Knock Out and to hell with whatever anybody else thought."

Blast Off leans in a little bit more, violet optics locking onto the other Decepticon. He admires that attitude in a person, the sheer not-caring what others think. It's something he achieves himself sometimes... other times not so much. Thing is, despite the aloof demeanor he puts on, he does care how others perceive him a lot of the time. And he certainly spent most of his long life pretending not to be the romance-loving mech he actually is. That would have just gotten him laughed at.

"Well, he doesn't...." Blast Off tries to convince both Breakdown and himself, "Not really." But. "...But he... he has some catching up to do now, you know? Like these acts..." Blast Off tries to look not all that interested as he waves at something off to the side, "Like what do these acts actually require? How do you tell if you've... if he's already done them already, or are these acts something he should do more deliberately now, as part of the ceremony? Did you and Knock Out just... slowly get there, or was your ceremony an elaborate, drawn out affair?"

"We didn't ceremonialize it. Ain't nobody's business but our own. We'd done ... some already, when we decided," Breakdown says, reflectively, as he thinks about it. "But it ain't like you ... gotta start over just because you know it's gonna be the real thing. Intimacy was first." He falls quiet, drawing a fingertip in a slow, scrapey glide around the base of his glass. "Too private to really explain," he says after a long pause. "It was after ... a lot of time bein' friends, after ... less time bein' sort of -- well, you know how we both are, we were rude as hell to each other at first. Frag." He lets a sigh escape him again, and his smile is faint but perhaps, not entirely voluntary, as he looks away, off into the middle distance. "I loved him, Blast Off, so much that he drove me crazy. I loved him until I couldn't stand the idea of /not/ havin' him forever, and then /nothin'/ coulda stopped me."

The Combaticon listens intently, nodding his head every now and then in understanding, including a rapid sequence as Breakdown speaks of private matters. Blast Off's hand comes up in a *stop, say no more* gesture, still nodding in understanding. Then his hands come down to grasp his glass as he takes another drink. He can't help but chuckle into his engex as Breakdown mentions their initial rudeness. "Yes, so were we..." he confesses into his glass before suddenly sputtering, "..He. So was he..." Cough, yes. He sets the glass down, back straight.

There's the L word. "I understand that that is the most important thing. My friend... he and his... conjunx? Conjunx ritus? I'm ...not sure what to call them... they face a lot of scrutiny, too, but perservere despite it. But they.." His hands flatten on the table before him. "They don't know what they're supposed to do to make it official. If they should hold a ceremony, if things they've already done count towards it, or... or what. What makes it real?"

"When you've done the Act of Devotion, it's real. You're done." Breakdown shrugs animatedly, and then lifts his drink to pour most of the rest of it down his throat. Rasping a little as he leans forward onto the brace of his arms, hunkering against the table, he says, "It's up to you how you want to do it. It ain't nobody's business but yours. Sorry, /your friend's/." He rolls his eye with great, dramatic seriousness, and then briefly, buries his head into the fold of his arms. He makes a noise that sounds like, "Mmphgrlgl."

"The Act of Devotion..." Blast Off whispers, gazing at nowhere in particular, "So I assume it is something one does specifically for the conjunx ritual then? But how do you know what constitutes a good act of devotion?" The shuttleformer starts nodding his head to Breakdown's advice, fingers wrapping around his glass again. That stops once the other Decepticon starts guffawing, leading Blast Off to stiffen, curling his arm to clutch the drink closer and sort of hunching down just a little to give Breakdown a side-eye. He glances uncomfortably at the mech and away again. Shoulder plates flick back. He says nothing.

Breakdown clanks his head hard against the fold of his arms -- CLANK! -- and then lifts it again to squint at Blast Off a little beadily. "It's personal," he says. "It's personal to the two of you. It's whatever you think it is. Just like the profferance ... is whatever you feel it should be. There's no rules, Blast Off, there's no ... fraggin' ... this is good enough, this isn't good enough. There is no more intimate connection in the universe than that between conjuges, so there is no more personal ... task ... than those performed for the ritus. I can't tell you what to do for Whirl because I ain't you. I ain't your spark."

Oh. Oh no! Blast Off puffs up with a flair of indignation as Breakdown finally just gets real, not playing along anymore. HE KNOWS, after all! GASP. The shuttle's armor raises in a kerfluffle of agitation and he simply stares at the other mech, mouth open in silent protest under that faceplate. Then, with a blink, it all drops down again: his armor, his attitude, his gaze. So. Breakdown does know. Ugh, it probably wasn't all that hard to figure out. Sigh. He clutches the glass closer and raises it for a drink and decides not to even try protesting or denying. Blast Off DID come to him for advice, after all.

Still holding the drink and gazing deep inside it, he finally speaks. "...That makes... sense." He frowns, thinking back to the exquisite watch that Whirl gave him, his hand twitching as he feels the urge to take it from subspace and hold it again. "The proferrance... he.. he gave me something... truly special. To be honest, I...I have no idea how to match it."

Breakdown watches Blast Off's puffing up and temptation toward denial with a steady light in his yellow gaze. He watches him drink; he watches him look into his own drink. He grinds out a cough. Finally he says, "You can't, Blast Off. Profferance isn't a competition. Gifts aren't something you win." He shifts back, chair scraping with the stirring clank of his massive weight atop it, and finally lets his eye fall away from its seemingly unfading stare on the other Decepticon. He finishes off his drink and stacks the second empty on top of the first, mouth pressing tight shut for a long moment as he stares, instead, at the empty squarish glasses. Then he says, "Devotion isn't ... giving. It's complete surrender. It's ... an act of recognition that your sparks are bound. That you don't want anybody else. Partnership like this ... each gives all, holding nothing back -- and both get everything."

It would be so much easier if gifts /were/ something you win, if this whole thing was just something you "win". Blast Off stares at Breakdown, who stares right back... then finally breaks away. What he says, though, sounds... almost scary. Blast Off doesn't find himself reassured. His own gaze finally breaks away as he goes poking at his glass of engex. "I... want to be with Whirl for the rest of my life. I... can't imagine life without him. But..." This is where his optic ridges furrow down. "There is someone else, a whole team of someone else's. It makes this all so very, very ... complicated." His face pinches and he risks a look back up. "Onslaught doesn't approve and I have no idea how to tell him. And I don't want to lose him, or my team, and..." He swallows and the light flickers in his optics again. "I don't know hwo to do this without possibly losing someone... important to me."

Breakdown considers for a long moment. He tinks a hard, pointed nail against the side of his face. Then he says, "Onslaught will respect you enough to respect your choices, or he won't. The Combaticons are with you til the bitter end, or they ain't." He reaches out and flicks the empty glass, knocking it off the other empty glass. It clatters to the table as he frowns at it. "Megatron himself couldn't have stopped me from profferin' to Knock Out," he says. "'Course, he wouldn'ta tried, because interferin' in our personal lives was /beneath him/, but look. If Onslaught's gonna act like an afthead who can't tell what the frag /ship we're on/, or what our lives are /like now/, that ain't on you, hotshot."

That... makes some sense. Blast Off nods, shoulders still sagging slightly as he brings the glass up for another sip. "I suppose, yes." He sighs and sets the glass down, tilting his head at Breakdown, studying him. "You... really would have defied Megatron himself, had he intervened?"

The rest of that quiets him, however, and he looks down towards the table once again as he mumbles, "...I.. yes, that has been an issue in the past, but... yes. I..I think things are improving there." He's going to tell himself that, at least.

"I mean. It's easy for me to say now that I would have, since it didn't come up, wouldn'ta come up." Breakdown makes a face at himself, plating crumpling with irony; his gaze narrows and he snorts as he shakes his head. "But Blast Off ... bein' alive without Knock Out wouldn'ta been worth it. I still think that now."

Blast Off nods once more. Megatron still stirs up strong feelings, and not all of them are good. But that's history now, as Breakdown points out. He locks gaze with Breakdown as he continues to speak, and realizes he understands what the other mech is saying. Funny that. Blast Off straightens a little in his seat, bringing his hands before him on the table. "I am... glad that you found that person, and were able to make him a part of you."

The Combaticon glances to the door, almost if watching for numerous others who could walk in at any moment. "I suppose that whether we fully succeed, it's..." He suddenly bends inward just a bit, almost embarrassed, and his voice drops down. Primus he's read too many romance novels, he just knows it, and it's gonna show. Ugh. But he presses on. "It's the fact that we even attempt it takes on a meaning all of its own."

"It's--" Breakdown starts to say, and stops, uncertain for a moment as he searches through his own processor to express what he means. He says, "It's /your thing/. Yours and his. Together. That ain't gonna get taken away from you. Not if you mean it. Sounds like you do." He leans back in his seat. It creaks, again, under his weight. "Aw, scrap," he sighs. "My only credentials here are fallin' for somebody a few centuries earlier than you did."

Blast Off nearly starts fumbling with his fingers again, and there is a slightly flustered demeanor to the shuttle as he glances away. He is silent a moment before shaking his head. "No. No, you seem to.. to have a certain... knowledge about this and... " He lifts his optics to make eye contact again, "I appreciate the insight." Blast Off lifts his glass towards the other mech in a sort of polite toast, before downing the rest of it in one gulp. He sets it down. "...Thank you."

"You're welcome." Breakdown rumbles the words in a low, rumbling growl. He stares at nothing for a moment, just past Blast Off's mask, and then turns his head slightly so that he meets his gaze, with his cyclopean eye. "I'm gonna get ... more ... drinks."

"Sounds like a good plan." Blast Off will be happy to follow suit and try to forget that he just asked such awkward, /mushy/ questions of another Decepticon... but he will remain grateful to Breakdown for answering them. It sounds like he has some kind of planning to do.

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