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(Created page with "{{Log |logtitle=Showing Up |logdate=2017/08/08 |location=Lost Light - Command: Rodimus's Office |participants=Ultra Magnus, Rodimus, |summary=Rodimus calls Ultra Magnus to his...")
 
 
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Rodimus's expression twists with rueful sympathy as Magnus baffles. "I know," he murmurs, "but you should see his ''numbers''." He tips his head, nuzzling into Magnus's cheek as he presses closer. "Anyway, you're not giving yourself enough credit. You never do. My idea of diplomacy landed us with a minor political revolt on one colony, and major ones on a few of the others, sooo--." He breaks off. "You know, it's complicated. I don't like the idea of sticking you on diplomatic duty, but we need the help, desperately."
 
Rodimus's expression twists with rueful sympathy as Magnus baffles. "I know," he murmurs, "but you should see his ''numbers''." He tips his head, nuzzling into Magnus's cheek as he presses closer. "Anyway, you're not giving yourself enough credit. You never do. My idea of diplomacy landed us with a minor political revolt on one colony, and major ones on a few of the others, sooo--." He breaks off. "You know, it's complicated. I don't like the idea of sticking you on diplomatic duty, but we need the help, desperately."
 
"You know you can use me however you need," Magnus states. "I think you're crazy," he adds, and then suddenly shifts his weight, balancing both feet backwards in a broad plant across the floor. ""But however you need. What else do you want me to do? Learn to paint? Throw a ''party''?" He hoists Rodimus into the air by dint of his grasp. He braces his hand against the midst of his spoiler and hauls him up in his arms, and then begins to carry him across the room with an almost insouciance, as though he's just reveling in the sheer size and power he can throw around and haul Rodimus around with. He says, angling toward the berth, "Let me distract you from these terrible ideas instead. When did you last have time to get a good buffing?"
 
  
 
"You know you can use me however you need," Magnus states. "I think you're crazy," he adds, and then suddenly shifts his weight, balancing both feet backwards in a broad plant across the floor. "But however you need. What else do you want me to do? Learn to paint? Throw a ''party''?" He hoists Rodimus into the air by dint of his grasp. He braces his hand against the midst of his spoiler and hauls him up in his arms, and then begins to carry him across the room with an almost insouciance, as though he's just reveling in the sheer size and power he can throw around and haul Rodimus around with. He says, angling toward the berth, "Let me distract you from these terrible ideas instead. When did you last have time to get a good buffing?"
 
"You know you can use me however you need," Magnus states. "I think you're crazy," he adds, and then suddenly shifts his weight, balancing both feet backwards in a broad plant across the floor. "But however you need. What else do you want me to do? Learn to paint? Throw a ''party''?" He hoists Rodimus into the air by dint of his grasp. He braces his hand against the midst of his spoiler and hauls him up in his arms, and then begins to carry him across the room with an almost insouciance, as though he's just reveling in the sheer size and power he can throw around and haul Rodimus around with. He says, angling toward the berth, "Let me distract you from these terrible ideas instead. When did you last have time to get a good buffing?"
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''That'' makes Rodimus laugh outright -- not the tickle of the caress, which makes him squirm, but the question. He shifts, bringing his feet up inside the angle of Magnus's arms to hook at the back of his elbows and tug him closer, off-balance and into a kneel. Rodimus scoots to the edge of the berth with the same motion, planting his feet to either side of Magnus's leg. "Fritz did his work a little too well, huh? I could definitely see him stashing one in a drawer somewhere in a subtle hint." He doesn't actually have one, of course. For all of Rodimus's -- not entirely undeserved -- reputation for vanity, he's never been Sunstreaker-sparkling.
 
''That'' makes Rodimus laugh outright -- not the tickle of the caress, which makes him squirm, but the question. He shifts, bringing his feet up inside the angle of Magnus's arms to hook at the back of his elbows and tug him closer, off-balance and into a kneel. Rodimus scoots to the edge of the berth with the same motion, planting his feet to either side of Magnus's leg. "Fritz did his work a little too well, huh? I could definitely see him stashing one in a drawer somewhere in a subtle hint." He doesn't actually have one, of course. For all of Rodimus's -- not entirely undeserved -- reputation for vanity, he's never been Sunstreaker-sparkling.
  
Rodimus's expression gentles as he reaches to cup Magnus's face, drawing his thumb across his cheek in a sweeping caress. "I must look pretty rough if you're going Drift soft on me." Because that's an association that most have with Drift. Soft. "I'm -- well, no, I was going to say I'm okay. I'm not. When we first heard, I started shaking. I could hear it. I bet Fritz could hear it. I was -- I ''am'' -- so ''fragged off'' about it--. Except I think maybe I'm scared, too. And I should be scared about what it means for the crew and all of our secrets locked in Soundwave's head, in Penchant's head, all of them--. But actually I know ''exactly'' how bad they wanted Soundwave. And for all the wrong reasons. And I'd have cut out my spark rather than let them, but I oculdn't do anything to stop them."
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Rodimus's expression gentles as he reaches to cup Magnus's face, drawing his thumb across his cheek in a sweeping caress. "I must look pretty rough if you're going Drift soft on me." Because that's an association that most have with Drift. Soft. "I'm -- well, no, I was going to say I'm okay. I'm not. When we first heard, I started shaking. I could hear it. I bet Fritz could hear it. I was -- I ''am'' -- so ''fragged off'' about it--. Except I think maybe I'm scared, too. And I should be scared about what it means for the crew and all of our secrets locked in Soundwave's head, in Penchant's head, all of them--. But actually I know ''exactly'' how bad they wanted Soundwave. And for all the wrong reasons. And I'd have cut out my spark rather than let them, but I couldn't do anything to stop them."
  
 
Magnus looks a little confused -- the cinch of his brow, the weight of his frown. "Dri--," he starts to say, and stops, teeth closing over the name. He listens. "Mm," he hums. "Rodimus is a force of nature. He is the flame itself." He reaches up to curve the backs of his fingers against Rodimus's cheek. "If raw charisma and force of personality aren't enough, there's always blandishments. And when he is set on something, he is unstoppable. Fear is understandable, love. It may even be necessary to your survival. -- It's easy to hate him because it's always easy to hate yourself, isn't it?" says Minimus Ambus. He smiles. "But self-flagellation is the easy road. I expect better of you."
 
Magnus looks a little confused -- the cinch of his brow, the weight of his frown. "Dri--," he starts to say, and stops, teeth closing over the name. He listens. "Mm," he hums. "Rodimus is a force of nature. He is the flame itself." He reaches up to curve the backs of his fingers against Rodimus's cheek. "If raw charisma and force of personality aren't enough, there's always blandishments. And when he is set on something, he is unstoppable. Fear is understandable, love. It may even be necessary to your survival. -- It's easy to hate him because it's always easy to hate yourself, isn't it?" says Minimus Ambus. He smiles. "But self-flagellation is the easy road. I expect better of you."

Latest revision as of 11:21, 10 August 2017

Showing Up
Date 2017/08/08
Location Lost Light - Command: Rodimus's Office
Participants Ultra Magnus, Rodimus
Summary Rodimus calls Ultra Magnus to his office after the command meeting.

It's not exactly with a plan to rescue Soundwave, Penchant, Ravage, and Overkill that the meeting ends, but it's at least with a plan to finish planning the rescue. As others return to their miscellaneous duties, Rodimus exchanges a glance with Ultra Magnus and, in a gesture, asks him to meet with him afterward in Rodimus's office. You know, one of those completely unclear, horribly vague little glances and a tap of two fingers? Yeah. One of those gestures. Thus, here he stands in the middle of his nice, clean, neat office, looking at the ordered stack of datapads on his desk like he's tempted to knock it over onto the floor. He fights this impulse every time he looks around the ordered office.

Ultra Magnus does not immediately arrive in Rodimus's office following the meeting. He must have got taken up with other business. Maybe he has been cornered and lynched by some of his fellow officers after that meeting, actually. You never know.

Rodimus waits. And waits. AND WAITS. Finally, he comms Ultra Magnus on a direct line and whines: << "Miiinimuuus." >> Less whiny, even brisk, he says, << "Seriously, what's taking you so long. Are you grabbing energon? Get me a cube." >>

<< "Oh." >> Who knows what Minimus was doing to impel this response, but a beat later he goes, << "I'll be there in five. Keep your kibble on." >>

By time five minutes have passed, Rodimus has managed to rearrange his furniture so that Fritz's desk is serving as a footrest and his legs hang over the arm of the Magnus-sized chair which has been lowered appropriately. Rodimus sits crossways on it, leaning again over the back of the other set of arms and reading something upside-down as he waits. His feet bounce with an impatient tap-tap-tippity-tap.

Magnus is not there in five. He is there in seven, maybe eight. It is a gross laxness of punctuality on his part and probably enough to drive Rodimus even more wall-climbingly bonkers. He does, however, come bearing energon cubes, seeming peculiarly shrunken in the outsized grip of his overlarge Magnusian hands. His gaze sweeps the relative shipshape cleanliness of the room with a visible blink.

The extreme lateness of Magnus's arrival means that by the time he arrives Rodimus is actually tracking him on the public cameras, having started at six and a half minutes out of a deep and profound concern. (Or boredom.) When Magnus arrives, he's flung himself out of the chair, datapad resting on it, to meet him at the door. "I know, right? Fritz does good work despite all of my efforts to undo it," he says to Magnus's blink. He takes one of the cubes with a touch of thanks with his other hand and turns back to look over his office. "He's putting notes together from the meeting. Minutes. Action items." The last he says with a look back over his shoulder, gaze narrowed in humor. Minutes. Action items. Agendas. All those things that Minimus might have had to do (or Hound) now in the hands of Fritz, freeing up their time for other things.

"What a novel thought," Ultra Magnus says, toasting Rodimus with the energon cube, "though it was not a meeting that possessed a great many action items if you ask me. Mostly a lot of bickering. Remind me again why we are commanding by committee, Rodimus." He takes in about half the fuel of his cube in one gulp, but then, he's quite large at the moment.

"Hmm." Rodimus taps the edge of his own cube as he takes a seat on the edge of his desk, feet swinging freely. As he sobers back to baseline, the swing of his feet suggests anxiety rather than carelessness: a restless burn of energy. "I thought it came together pretty well, actually," he says, just a touch hesitant. Uncertain. He searches Ultra Magnus's features, his own anxiety bleeding into concern. "You worried about Soundwave? I know you guys, uh, haven't gotten along lately, but you worked pretty closely before that. What was up with that suggestion of yours? Worried you aren't thinking clearly?"

Magnus stares at Rodimus for a beat. "There is nothing the matter with my thinking," he says after an extended pause. He finishes off the fuel cube in another long drag, although it's entirely possible that he's doing this to stall, contemplating how to put together an answer to this reasonable concern. "Of course I am concerned that members of our crew are in harm's way," he says at length. "We have certainly seen how our opposite numbers behave enough to have at least an idea of what might be going on. But I am also concerned that we, as a command crew, may be showing an unwillingness to face facts. We cannot and should not lose all of our crew, for example, in pursuit of these ... four. I don't have to be Perceptor to do that math."

Rodimus's expression hardens, sharp enough to turn brittle: "I know exactly what's going on," he says, despite the fact that he doesn't really. But he has a pretty good idea. He did, after all, get to enjoy the hospitality of his other self when he was stuck in Soundwave's frame. It wasn't long. It was ... enough, enough that he's far more comfortable facing Magnus than Minimus, still. The brittle edge firms to steel. "I'm not losing anyone else to those scrapheaps. I'm getting my people back. That purple idiot thinks he's untouchable. He's not. I got Brainstorm and Bladerunner before, didn't I?"

"You did," Ultra Magnus says agreeably. He steps across the room, blithely looming into Rodimus's personal space; he crunches the remains of his energon cube in his hand and pockets the trash for later so that he can push Rodimus back onto the desk, one broad hand at his hip, the other at his shoulder as he bows over him. He's knocking datapads all over the floor, by the way. That's how into that flash of steel he is. "Firing you up was clearly a grave error on his part," he says, leaning in very close, and he grins in a sharp flash about a centimeter from Rodimus's mouth. "His worst mistake. No one is untouchable," he says, and proves it by kissing Rodimus's mouth with startling force.

It's a strange day when it's Rodimus's gaze that follows the slip of datapads to the floor as Magnus knocks them over, rather than the other way around entirely. Because this is still Rodimus, that's literally all the further thought he gives them. He reaches for Ultra Magnus, gold hand slipping up the blue and white of his arm to anchor at the base of his helm. His fingers curl, thumb stroking the cables of his neck as he uses the point of contact to draw closer. He laughs, as much caught by surprise as anything else as he mirrors that grin: helpless to do anything else. It's nice to hear that Rodimus is his evil-alter's doom.

Rodimus meets force with liquid heat, slipping to the side of that intrusive barrier of Magnus's chest armor (stupid design; STUPID) to press against him. His engine thrums in a throaty, pleased idle of a purr, but as the kiss ends, he fails to follow it with another. He strokes Magnus's neck, searching his features, and promises: "I'm going to get my crew. I'm tired of being on the back foot."

Magnus's gaze maps Rodimus's features in return, lingering for an extended moment on the shape of his mouth. His thumb drags in a long glide beneath the lower lip, his weight shifting in a steadying of his balance as he braces one knee against the desk and stands, his weight tilted largely onto his other foot. He's too large for effective necking, really, and he seems mildly at a loss for a moment about what to do with his hands. He says, "I believe you."

Rodimus settles the issue of what Magnus should do with his hands by taking one between his own and curling it to hold close to his chest over his spark. He teases at the joints and seams with his own rather smaller fingertips, lightly rubbing and caressing in a few of Magnus's favorite ways. For once, this isn't just a failed attempt by him to speak hand. "And I need to get Starscream playing on our level. Now. He still thinks this is one of our little adventures that we'll just -- clean up. Windblade's doing everything she can, but Starscream's still winning the PR game with the colonies. A lot of the neutrals respect you. They respected Tyrest, before he went nuts. You might not be the duly appointed enforcer anymore, but you were the last." He pauses. "Mostly last."

For a moment, just for a moment, Ultra Magnus looks honestly baffled, like somewhere layered beneath the heavy helm, there is the core of a minibot who has no idea what Rodimus is talking about. Then the expression clears as his teeth graze the curve of his lower lip. "I am not exactly Mr. Diplomacy, Rodimus," he says after a beat's pause. "It is possible that, in my life, I have developed a social skill." He leans close again to bump his nose at Rodimus's cheek, and murmurs, "--Maybe two." His thumb curls in slow circles over Rodimus's chest, dipping across the bright gleam of stylized flame to the background, back and forth, while his other hand slides in an encompassing grasp across and over Rodimus's hip.

Rodimus's expression twists with rueful sympathy as Magnus baffles. "I know," he murmurs, "but you should see his numbers." He tips his head, nuzzling into Magnus's cheek as he presses closer. "Anyway, you're not giving yourself enough credit. You never do. My idea of diplomacy landed us with a minor political revolt on one colony, and major ones on a few of the others, sooo--." He breaks off. "You know, it's complicated. I don't like the idea of sticking you on diplomatic duty, but we need the help, desperately."

"You know you can use me however you need," Magnus states. "I think you're crazy," he adds, and then suddenly shifts his weight, balancing both feet backwards in a broad plant across the floor. "But however you need. What else do you want me to do? Learn to paint? Throw a party?" He hoists Rodimus into the air by dint of his grasp. He braces his hand against the midst of his spoiler and hauls him up in his arms, and then begins to carry him across the room with an almost insouciance, as though he's just reveling in the sheer size and power he can throw around and haul Rodimus around with. He says, angling toward the berth, "Let me distract you from these terrible ideas instead. When did you last have time to get a good buffing?"

It's hard for Rodimus to prickle overmuch about being hauled around when it's done with such lightness and care. He hiccups in a startled laugh, then reaches up to grab hold of Magnus's shoulder stack. He squirms into a more comfortable drape, like he's the one riding this armored carrier rather than just being hauled around. He definitely has zero objections to the angled goal. The wiggle and flex of his toes translates easily as eagerness, mimicked by the alert twitch of his spoiler. "Uh. It's been a while," he admits, sounding a little bewildered. "Is this some kind of low key slam? Are you telling me I look scruffy?"

"No," Ultra Magnus says with startled reproach in his voice. He gives Rodimus a mock glower, tilting his head as he hoists him in his grasp, and then moves to set him down on the slab of the berth and run both his hands down his thighs, to his knees, to his giant feet. "I was threatening to spoil you." His fingertips pass to the bottoms of Rodimus's feet -- though he has to bend low to do it, not an ideal angle; you'd think he's unused to being so tall -- where he tickles lightly underfoot like a very obnoxious lover indeed, and smiles into Rodimus's face as he says, "Where's your rotary buffer in this remarkably clean room, anyway?"

That makes Rodimus laugh outright -- not the tickle of the caress, which makes him squirm, but the question. He shifts, bringing his feet up inside the angle of Magnus's arms to hook at the back of his elbows and tug him closer, off-balance and into a kneel. Rodimus scoots to the edge of the berth with the same motion, planting his feet to either side of Magnus's leg. "Fritz did his work a little too well, huh? I could definitely see him stashing one in a drawer somewhere in a subtle hint." He doesn't actually have one, of course. For all of Rodimus's -- not entirely undeserved -- reputation for vanity, he's never been Sunstreaker-sparkling.

Rodimus's expression gentles as he reaches to cup Magnus's face, drawing his thumb across his cheek in a sweeping caress. "I must look pretty rough if you're going Drift soft on me." Because that's an association that most have with Drift. Soft. "I'm -- well, no, I was going to say I'm okay. I'm not. When we first heard, I started shaking. I could hear it. I bet Fritz could hear it. I was -- I am -- so fragged off about it--. Except I think maybe I'm scared, too. And I should be scared about what it means for the crew and all of our secrets locked in Soundwave's head, in Penchant's head, all of them--. But actually I know exactly how bad they wanted Soundwave. And for all the wrong reasons. And I'd have cut out my spark rather than let them, but I couldn't do anything to stop them."

Magnus looks a little confused -- the cinch of his brow, the weight of his frown. "Dri--," he starts to say, and stops, teeth closing over the name. He listens. "Mm," he hums. "Rodimus is a force of nature. He is the flame itself." He reaches up to curve the backs of his fingers against Rodimus's cheek. "If raw charisma and force of personality aren't enough, there's always blandishments. And when he is set on something, he is unstoppable. Fear is understandable, love. It may even be necessary to your survival. -- It's easy to hate him because it's always easy to hate yourself, isn't it?" says Minimus Ambus. He smiles. "But self-flagellation is the easy road. I expect better of you."

Rodimus looks flustered by the easy affection of Magnus's words. He clasps his arm, his hand, re-lacing their fingers -- okay, his fingers, and Magnus's first two fingers -- as best as he can. He's never been able to match Magnus word for word; he can only hope the pressure of his touch conveys something. He bows over Magnus's hand, lips brushing his knuckles before he lifts his head. "Rodimus -- and I'm assuming we're talking about evil mustache Rodimus here -- is going to get his aft extinguished. It's more complicated than that. Simpler than that, too. But you're not wrong that I've spent a lot of time flagellating lately. Too much time. Half of it spent waiting for Optimus to show up and save us." His smile is rueful.

"Mmmm," rumbles Ultra Magnus. He rubs his thumb over Rodimus's knuckles in the pressure of a caress that grows a little hard in its firmness. For some reason, he snorts. He looks aside, and frowns into the middle distance for a moment, and then returns his attention to Rodimus; he shifts, sitting down weightily on the berth, and says, "You do know that the mustache is not actually a signifier of evil by itself, right? I've explained about the mustache before?" with a kind of strangled humor in his voice. Then he says, "--But come on. Optimus isn't going to save us. What makes you think Optimus could do anything about your other self, anyway? Even if he were here." He tells him gravely, "Rodimuses -- Rodimi -- are dangerous to underestimate."

Leaning against Magnus's side, Rodimus shoves himself up under his arm and unsubtly angles to his spoiler beneath Magnus's hand. Pet me. "I know, I know. Sorry. I don't mean to make you feel like you have to wear your armor all the time now," he says, looking up with apology written in the knit of his brow. "It's okay if you want to take it off?" He's not eager for Minimus to shuck the Magnus either, mind you. He tucks his head back against Magnus's side and vents in a quiet exhale. "It's just what he does, you know? He shows up and he saves the day. Maybe Starscream's relying on it too. It's just what everyone expects: Optimus saves the day, I ruin the day -- and there I go again, see? It's sure a good thing you find self-pity so attractive."

"I found it much more attractive when you were blazing with fury at me about how you were going to save the day yourself. Very alluring." Magnus pets him. He pets with a hard stroke of his fingers, digging deep with his fingertips as though to chase away some of his tension by dint of main force. "But luckily, you are appealing all the time. You arrest my attention. My deepest weakness. Good thing our counterparts don't know." He sounds like he thinks this is funny. Don't make jokes, Magnus, you are bad at it. He strokes in a long glide down his back, and then he does it again, angling quite determined pressure in a long stroke over his seam. He drops his other hand, pulling up one of Rodimus's feet into his lap, and then starts more or less massaging it. Magnus's hands, Rodimus's feet: finally a size match in this relationship. "It's my armor. I don't mind it."

Rodimus's vocalizer clicks into static, as though he was going to say something but stops. His expression firms: determined, verging on stubborn. Whatever bit of self-pity was on his lips, he swallows. Instead, he grins up at Magnus: crooked, and more than a little wry. "If they don't know, they aren't paying attention." He relaxes, the last bit of tension leaving the coil of his cables under the twinned pressure of Magnus's hands. His armor slackens, held loose against his frame. "You're right, though. Optimus isn't going to save us. Starscream still thinks this is all some kind of political power play. Bee still hasn't woken up. Megatron's off the board. You said wars are won by those that show up. I haven't been showing up the way I need to. The way maybe everyone needs me to."

Ultra Magnus keeps working on rubbing Rodimus's feet, giving him a narrow-eyed gaze with a slow smile warming his lips. "That's funny," he says, with a glide of fingertips that pinches beneath Rodimus's calf. "You seem to be right here."

"Ha ha," Rodimus says, his smile widening despite himself. He shifts, stretching his foot and pointing his toes, then eases over Magnus's lap in a practiced slide to perch atop. He sits with his feet tucked up behind him on Magnus's knee in a not-so-subtle attempt to keep his hands on them. He rests his hands on the jut of Magnus's armor, pulling up to press their helms together, eyes soft and unfocused. "Thanks," he says in a quiet voice.

"You're thanking me and I've barely gotten started," Ultra Magnus points out in a low rumble, squeezing hard now in a grasp of those toes that claims and then wiggles them. "Honestly, Rodimus." As their helms bump together, his bright gaze drops, dimming, as though he finds it difficult to even contemplate eye contact in this moment's quiet intimacy, and instead focuses his attention on the pressure of his hands.

Rodimus smiles, quiet, and tilts his head to press a kiss just to the tip of Magnus's nose. "That's not why I'm thanking you, and you know it." He moves from Magnus's nose to his brow, and from there to the corner of his mouth. There's no particular pattern to it. He moves as inspiration strikes, as affection draws him. And if Magnus is lucky, Rodimus will even go a whole five minutes without pausing to try to plan how they are going to save Soundwave and the others. Maybe ten minutes!

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