2017-07-08 Genius and Obstacle

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Genius and Obstacle
Date 2017/07/08
Location Lost Light - Science and Medical - Medibay
Participants Rodimus, Ultra Magnus
Summary Rodimus checks on Magnus after the last adventure.

Red crosses on the door identify at a quick glance the medibay. Inside, the forward medical bay contains a half-dozen slabs lining the sides of the room where the medical staff can take care of patients. There is a central slab as well, but the winches and pulleys, carts of tools, and life support machinery is all designed to be easily reconfigured to support any number of patients at any of the seven beds.

At the back of the room, there is a large work station dominated by a large screen that includes two holoemitters. Two doors at the back of the room lead to cold storage, where patients in need of better care than the medibay can provide -- rare as that is -- can be put into stasis. Offices for the medical officers are on the other side.

Ultra Magnus does not want to be here, but then again, it beats the alternative. He's never really a great patient for the medics to deal with. Between his surly attitude -- he sits there, scowling and tense -- and the attention deflectors layered into the armor, he's difficult to work on. The raw, gaping hole in his chest is a pretty easy injury to discover, and he's otherwise mostly clear of trouble except for a few scrapes, but it's hard to focus too much on the inside, to check for what might have been more internally damaged, because the attention just sliiiiides right off. The dribble of energon leakage has been stopped and the rent rip in his chest is being diligently patched over. If there's anything worse inside him, it will probably fester somehow.

When the artifact retrieval team finally returns, Rodimus very casually, very lowkey bolts out of his office to go count noses. It's a good thing he's not the one holding the bridge at the moment -- such as it is; it's not like they are going anywhere -- because he's gone. They've been a while. It's not yet to the point where they'd send a follow-up team, but it was getting close. So. As the first reports hit, he actually reads them, and as people head into medical, he--

Well, actually, he wisely clears out of the way, because if there is one thing -- one thing -- he shares with his alternate universe doppelganger it is a healthy respect for Ratchet. Adding Knock Out into the equation just gives him more reason to not get in the way. So things have settled down a little by the time he finally pokes his head around to get a look at Magnus, although the points of his helm may have been visible in the background earlier as he checked just to make sure the reports didn't lie. "Hi. I hear you guys had fun."

The last of the patching goes on, filling the strange, attention-slippy hole on Magnus's chest. Where the badge should be, there is only the flattened patchwork of the medical covering. It looks gray and strange against the bright chest. He'll get fixed the rest of the way later. For now, at least the hole is covered, and the medical staff who have been hovering and/or dodging his weighty expression of doom ... leave him to it. There, he is left to brood in--

Well, not silence. Ultra Magnus looks up at Rodimus with a particularly sour expression on his face. "I apologize," he grumps, sulkily. "I have not yet composed my report." Because he's been in medical. "Ultimately, the mission was ... successful, once we ... escaped from captivity." He sounds so -- affronted.

Stepping up to Magnus's side, Rodimus slides a light touch up over his side toward but quite touching the edges of the freshly patched wound. Unease ripples across his features as he considers just how close that came to a much more final injury, anxiety spiking the angle of his spoiler and tension in his shoulders. Naturally, he deals with that -- well. "Kind of a dramatic way to go badgeless."

Ultra Magnus does not exactly reply. The tension seems to write its way up his frame, from the distressed slump of his sullen dourness to something sharper, fiercer, in the lift of the shoulder towers as he draws straight on the medical bench. He turns the weight of his bright gaze on Rodimus and stares at him in an attitude of blank incredulity. The reaction part of his reaction to this begins as a basal growl in the depths of his frame, not yet resolving into words, like the stutter of his engine huffing a warning (or a wounded animal snapping its teeth to scare off carrion eaters, but he probably wouldn't appreciate the comparison).

Rodimus lifts his hand like it might get bitten and asks, bewildered, "What? I was kidding! Actually -- I don't know, maybe it will just make you more mad, but." He reaches a hand down to his hip and slips his own badge -- his former badge -- into the palm of his hand. "Hm, actually this would probably be too small on you too, wouldn't it?" He kind of just -- leans it up against Magnus's side anyway and looks at him hopefully. Does proximity to an Autobot badge make him feel better??

Ultra Magnus looks down at the badge that he holds. The warning growl seems to have stopped. He seems surprised. He sits there for a moment, slowly tracing the shape of the Autobot insignia with the drag of his thumb. His head lowers. The lean of Rodimus's heat, the earnest hope in his face: these things combine to make him SIGH. The air vents with enough force that it puffs out against the slab, against Rodimus and the floor. Still fondling the badge in his hand, he mutters, "I don't think it's particularly funny."

Rodimus plants his hand on the edge of the slab to hop up next to Ultra Magnus in a way that would no doubt distress the medics if they were a round. It makes for a very crowded slab, so he keeps one leg hanging down over the edge, pronged toe placed on the floor and his other leg drawn up so that he can lean (carefully; why does he have such pokey knees) against it. "Yeah, I know, sorry. Just -- that could've been a pretty awful hit, Magnus." He watches Ultra Magnus's hand, and the badge dwarfed by it.

Now this arrests his attention. He looks up at Rodimus with a new, more thoughtful consternation in his expression -- drawn out, at least momentarily, of his particularly self-involved brooding. "Frisk came much closer to death than I did," he says after a long beat's pause. His thumb hasn't stopped stroking the badge in his hand, as though he caresses it as some kind of talisman, against something. He shifts, though, and slides his other arm as bulwark against Rodimus's back, providing it as more prop for him to lean on, something to steady him.

"Yeah, but -- you know. I might check in with Frisk, but I'm probably not going to sit next to him like this," Rodimus says, his grin wry as he leans against Magnus's arm, sliding his own hand up that arm to curl over it as anchor. "Remember that other arena when I'd been the one there and you guys came in at the end? I still remember that as glad as I was to see you, I was almost happier to see you and Drift working together."

"Mmm." Ultra Magnus hums this sound thoughtfully, and then narrows his gaze. Instead of merely providing a brace with his arm, he moves it; it becomes a wrap, not so subtly possessive in its claiming curve around Rodimus's hips. If this was the purpose of this reminder, it sure worked. "Neither of us would tolerate losing you," he rumbles. Then, a trifle more dry and sour, he adds, "Anyway, if I recall, you were far more useful in effecting your own escape than I was in mine."

"I dunno. You're here, aren't you? Didn't have go to chase you down. Not that I wouldn't have, if you guys took any longer." Rodimus squeezes Magnus's arm, grinning at him. "What happened? I mostly skipped the rest of the prelim reports to look at the list of casualties."

"We arrived through the spacebridge and were taken captive almost immediately. The bridge opened into the guts of this arena." Magnus frowns dourly into the brilliance of Rodimus's grin and then looks away. "Set against each other, of course. Glaze refused to fight me and asked me to make it quick. So I did." He sounds testy and full of regret. "Ultimately Conduit and Frisk were responsible for our escape, at great risk to themselves. Commendations for both of them. Ultimately, I didn't even manage to destroy the sentient smoke that ripped a hole in me before we withdrew to the bridge." He considers, and then grumps, "Or hit it."

"Of course," Rodimus murmurs, slipping his hand up Ultra Magnus's arm and then back down again before falling to rest instead on his thigh. "Sure are an awful lot of people who want to see us set against each other for sport considering how the Galactic Council liked to wag their finger at us for our war." He tilts his head, making a mental note: Conduit and Frisk, RODIMUS STARS FOR THEM. "Want to go back there with a bunch of even bigger guns?"

"Our war plagued the galaxy. Some wish to see us on the bottom for a change." Magnus turns his gaze thoughtfully back to Rodimus. "The artifact has been retrieved. I'm honestly not certain the state of the arena or the other captives ... it wouldn't be a bad thing to clear it out, but if we set ourselves against every den of iniquity we discover in the universe, our priorities will have slipped far from the task at hand."

"Iniquity, huh?" Rodimus considers the word, then accepts it with a firm nod: "Righting those wrongs is exactly what makes us -- us," he says after just a slight pause where something else might have otherwise slipped in once upon a time. "We have a responsibility to help, so long as we have the capacity for it. What use is saving the galaxy, anyway, if we let it all slip to ruin in the meantime?"

Ultra Magnus turns the badge, in his hand, inward -- resting in his lap, crowning his palm. The backs of his fingers brush Rodimus's wrist in the shift of his weight. "I know this still matters a lot to you, Rodimus," he says quietly.

Rodimus shifts, turning to cross his palm over Magnus's, badge between them. "Yeah? So do you."

Ultra Magnus lowers his head, slightly. He is quiet for a moment, and then favors Rodimus with the faintest, briefest of smiles: a fleeting warmth over his mouth. He's still wildly out of practice at this. "That's good." A beat. "Even if you do have a really terrible sense of humor."

"I'm fragging hilarious," Rodimus protests, closing his fingers over Magnus's hand. "But I'm glad you're back. Every genius needs something to strive against." He shifts, unable to resist the lure that quick smile, so that he can capture it in a brief kiss. He pauses before pressing his helm to Magnus's, hesitating, and searches his expression: too P a DA?

Ultra Magnus's expression is a little conflicted, and there is a saccadic flicker of his gaze as his glance shifts around the medibay to see which medics are laughing at them, but he doesn't withdraw. He lets the low vent of a sigh. "Genius," he mutters in tones of deep aggravation. He lifts his other hand to touch, ghostly light and shy, against the side of Rodimus's helm. The lightness of the touch bespeaks a hesitancy he hasn't shown in private in a very long time. "I am glad to be your profoundest obstacle," he tells him blandly. The dryness of his voice is a little undercut by the tenderness of his touch, though.

Rodimus turns to press the promised kiss against the palm of Magnus's hand and then straightens, giving him a smile. He doesn't seem bothered by the reticence, and he'd clearly rather have his enthusiastic willingness than any uncertainty. "So do you want to take the follow-up team back, then?"

The shake of Magnus's head is slow and a little glum. "I don't know. Maybe," he says. He closes his hand tightly over Rodimus's badge, and straightens, in his own turn, and finally lets his hands come to rest to either side of him. "Once the team is recovered and we've had a chance to review the reports." Humor warms his low voice as he adds, "It might even be better to have someone do it who isn't motivated by obvious spite."

"I don't see why you'd think the fact that you have a stake in this would be a bad thing," Rodimus mutters. Naturally. NATURALLY he doesn't see. He brings his hand back to rest on Magnus's arm, tracing doodling patterns over the armor. "But it can wait until you're up and ready to decide. Reviewed reports. All of that. I'd sure like to send a message that my people aren't toys for the amusement of aliens, though."

"I mean, there already were some explosions," Ultra Magnus points out, just a little mumblish with this admission in his own turn. He watches the slide of Rodimus's fingers over his armor for a moment, and then he says, "Thank you."

Rodimus's fingers trail back down to Ultra Magnus's hand which he grasps to squeeze. "Do you want to go over the preliminary reports with me? I bet you didn't have much of a chance to see what everyone said when you were getting repairs, right?"

"Very well," Ultra Magnus says with a grave nod. He pushes to his feet without waiting to see if the medics are okay with him doing this. They can chase him down later. For now, he has work to do. "Let's."

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