2017-07-18 Serious Talk

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2017-07-18 Serious Talk
Date 2017/07/18
Location Lost Light Recreation- Practice Rooms
Participants Drift, Rodimus
Plot Topsy Turvy
Summary It's called that because there is a serious talk involved.

The practice rooms' soundproofed, reinforced walls protected it from much of the structural damage suffered by the rest of the ship; however, the equipment is not so lucky. Stuffing from shredded training dummies, shards of metal, and half-eaten drones have been swept into the corners of the room. Someone has nailed a worm's corpse to the wall to use for impromptu target practice, the myraid scorch marks along its frame attest to how many mecha have taken potshots. The skeleton of scaffolding crawls up the far wall. Cleared of rubble, the middle of the room is still open for anyone who might need to use it.

After getting the ever-loving scrap kicked out of him by ... himself ... Rodimus has been itching for the medics to finish the last of his repairs.

As it happens, they haven't actually finished, but he's feeling well enough to be more or less as good as it gets, even if he still looks a little ugly. (No offense to Soundwave: it's no comment on his frame or colors, which are crossed by welds and patches of bare metal.) BUT GOOD ENOUGH. So here he is in the practice rooms having asked Drift to meet him so that they could spar and getting a little bit more used to their bodies -- now wildly different sizes rather than the near-match they had been. They've been going for a little wild -- slowly, pulling their blows -- simply to get a feel for the flow of their movements.

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Rodimus=unarmed-2 Vs Drift=unarmed-2 < Rodimus: Success (3 3 5 2 7 5 4 1) Drift: Good Success (8 3 8 5) < Net Result: Drift wins - Marginal Victory

Drift's a little better at it than Rodimus, who struggles to keep up.

When Rodimus first propositioned him for a spar, Drift was hesitant. His, or rather Soundwave's, body has been through so much already, he didn't think it was a good idea to stretch it, but like always he quickly gave after reassurance that it will be 'totally fine.'

"You're really bad at this," he teases, using his ridiculously short stature to swiftly duck under Rodimus' grabs. "I don't think you can even blame it on your injuries."

"Why are you so small," Rodimus complains in a monotone that somehow -- somehow! -- still manages to come off a little whiney. He waves Drift off rather than go back for another pass, then attempts to drop down into a seat as he might in his normal frame only to -- tip. Clunk. He kind of clatters in a pile of limbs to the ground. "I hate everything." He straightens himself out, then asks, "Come have a set? My pride needs a break and I wanted to talk to you."

Drift is already bouncing on his feet, ready for another go when Rodimus tips over onto the ground like only a brick-shaped robot can do. He nods and then tries to cartwheel over to Rodimus only to wipe out and skid the rest of the way on his face. There's still some adjusting to do, clearly. "What's up?"

Rodimus reaches over to right Drift, but his touch does not linger once he's helped him up. "Soundwave wants to hold a service for the cassette that evil-me killed." He's exceptionally flat as he asks, monotone squared off at the edges as he sits stiffly. "I thought maybe you'd know what to do."

As quick as the touch is, Drift takes immense enjoyment out of it. He's going a little crazy at the lack of physical contact with Rodimus and he takes what he can get. "Hm." Well damn, this got dark fast. "I've never done a funeral before but I am knowledgeable in how to perform one according to spectralist tradition. I'm not sure Soundwave would want a ceremony like that though, he doesn't seem like the religious type."

Rodimus's lips curve, a touch rueful as Drift joins him down in dark land. There's apology in the cant of his head. "Did Decepticons do anything special that Soundwave will be wildly offended if we forget? From what I could hear, he'd never really -- done anything. Never lost anyone. Didn't care at all about funeral practices until now. Until this. I -- owe him this."

"There wasn't any time for funerals. Those that perished in battle were left where they fell. The ones that died later on the ship were cast adrift into space. Maybe we'd say a word or two, but that's it." Drift, out of habit, reaches up to touch at his badge only to feel the points of a purple symbol that doesn't belong to him. He seems to recoil from the touch. "Anyway, have you talked to Soundwave about it? He may be able to tell you what he wants and it would keep you from accidently offending him with an inappropriate service."

Rodimus braces, then reaches over to press his hand over Drift's as he recoils. His touch, again, does not linger, but he holds long enough to steady. "Yeah, of course I talked to Soundwave, but -- I told him I'd talk to you and anyway he didn't really ... care. Like that." His pauses and hesitations come out with an artificial choppiness due to the flat tone. "I'll just take the Act of Transition and strip out anything that talks about Primes or the Matrix or anything like that and see what he thinks, I guess. I don't really want to make him guess about what's right when he's taking it so hard."

"I'm sure he cares, he's probably just, you know.. being Soundwave." Like Soundwave's do. "I think your idea is good. It all sounds very respectful and faction-neutral, I'm sure Soundwave will appreciate it even if he doesn't say so." Drift looks up at Rodimus and reaches out to touch him before he catches himself and pulls his hand back. Ugh, it's like second nature now and it sucks not being able to act on it! "It's not your fault. You know that, right?"

"No, you're right, he cares." Rodimus pauses. "A lot. About the cassette. Just not about the--" He gestures where words fail. The other stuff. The ceremony, the ritual, the totally awesome cape. His lips twist, a wry pull at Drift's faltering touch almost grateful for the correction, and apologetic, before the curve deepens in a grimace at the last. He shakes his head, vocalizer crackling in a brief spackle of static before he steadies himself. He lifts his chin, the lines of his posture unforgivingly sharp. "I don't -- really want to argue with you about it. But we were there by my choice, we were caught by my mistake, and the cassette was killed literally by my hands." Not literally. He doesn't know what literally means when alternate universes are involved.

"Those weren't your hands!" Drift says with a bit more force than he expected. He just has a lot of opinions about the !Lost Lighters, okay? "Just because someone looks like you doesn't make that person you." Of course this is obvious to everyone considering their current predicament but Drift just hates seeing Rodimus in pain and he's not sure how to help if he can't physically comfort him. He settles down and fidgets his hands in his lap. "I'm sorry. You said you didn't want to argue about it and I immediately start doing just that."

Rodimus is quiet a beat, then says, "It's more than just looking like us, Drift." His voice is flat, level. He has no choice in that. But it's quieter now, volume lowered to something hushed, and in that one could easily read a secret -- or shame. "You know what's crazy? He really loves Minimus. Like -- he might love him more than I do. Do you know how that felt, to feel that kind of fire in him, to feel how hot it burned? The first thing they did was damage the dampener I was wearing. I heard everything. I saw everything. I was there alongside him with every cut."

"I.." Drift pulls his knees up to his chest and wraps his arms around them, curling up into a little ball. "I don't know how it felt." How could he? He's completely incapable of understanding the intricacies of Soundwave's outlier ability. And it's not like his !counterpart is super in love with !Wing, they're both just crazy, murderous assholes with a shared love of being murderous assholes. "...I'm sorry."

Watching Drift as he curls, Rodimus immediate looks regretful, with remorse in the twist of his lips. He pauses half a beat to steady himself and then drops his hand on Drift's shoulder. Over and around, Drift's shoulder, maybe. WHY IS HE SO TINY? Smol bol. "No, I'm sorry. That was way more information than anyone needed. Forget it."

Drift is so tiny and feels even tiny wrapped in Soundwave's seemingly massive arm. "No, it's okay. I understand needing to talk about these kinds of things. I just.." He looks up at Rodimus and if it weren't for his lack of mouth, there would definitely be a big, sad frown plastered on it. "I just hate that you have to go through this, that you have to experience something so horrible. I wish it was me instead of you. I would have gladly taken your place to spare you if I could have.."

Rodimus brushes the back of Drift's helm with a light touch before his hand lifts. "I'm glad it's not you," is all he says, with his expression gentled into something quieter, half-hidden by the visor.

Surely Rodimus can feel how much that touch and that sentiment mean to Drift. "If you have to go out again, I want to come with you." Because a tiny Decepticon really stands a chance against the !Lost Light and their penchant for depravity. "Of course, I would prefer if you didn't leave the ship until we take care of those assholes, but I know that sometimes it's unavoidable."

The flash of anger that hardens Rodimus's lips is followed by an immediate stab of guilt that pulls at his mouth. He wipes his hand over his face and looks away. "We need to rethink how we move out. Have a response team ready in case of -- anything. Magnus and I talked about it a little. I'll run it by the rest of the command and see if they have ideas."

Rodimus' reaction has Drift looking away as well and feeling not so great. Maybe he's just making all of this worse for the guy. "Yeah, I think that's a good idea.." He starts to unfold from his sad little ball. "Do you still want to spar?"

Reaching for Drift again, Rodimus leaves his hand on his arm as he helps him unfold and get to his feet. "I'm glad you're here," he says, addressing the unspoken because he's a creep, and he heard that, and he hears everything else that fires in Drift's processor. "But yeah, fine, if you want to go back to embarrassing me we can." He takes a little longer to stand, being an awkward assemblage of straight edges, but eventually manages.

Drift is confused for a second before he remembers, oh yeah, Rodimus can hear everything he thinks. Yes, including all of those things. How embarrassing. "I'm glad you're here too, even if you look an awful lot like Soundwave." Where it takes Rodimus a moment to stand, Drift is up on his feet in no time. "Heh, hey, don't give up so easily. I've seen Soundwave fight, I know his body is capable of doing it. You just need more practice."

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Rodimus=unarmed-2 Vs Drift=unarmed-2 < Rodimus: Success (4 3 8 4 6 5 2 1) Drift: Failure (1 6 4 3) < Net Result: Rodimus wins - Marginal Victory

"I never give up," Rodimus monotones, moving to find his balance so that they can begin again. And what do you know? Maybe Drift's faith will even be rewarded. s

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