2017-10-03 Diplomacy

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Date 2017/10/03
Location Habsuites- Khepri
Participants Prowl, Rodimus
Summary Just two diplomatic guys talking diplomacy. Diplomatically.

Prowl had left Rodimus alone. This had been a pretty strange reaction for someone who isn't /quite/ known for holding grudges. He manages to stew in anger for an entire day, despite various helpful bug-types urging him to see the sights, trade for some wares, maybe even relax. He couldn't focus on reading in the archives, either. Why did this matter so much. Better go handle it before it distracts from the task.

Prowl returns to their fancy shared quarters, locates the thankfully conscious orange speeder and comes at him with a jabbing finger and angry doors. "I've done /nothing/ out of line," he asserts, aiming to keep Rodimus on his heels as he advances.

Rodimus stands at the energon dispenser, blending a cube of energon with a weaker mix, making it even thinner, lighter, and adding some bonus minerals. You know. Hangover fluid. He only barely seems aware of Prowl's entrance into the room, and his angry advance draws a bewildered response:

Turning to face Prowl, Rodimus leaves his energon on the island and backs up against the counter, looking for cover, then leans back until his spoiler hits the cabinets. His gaze is just gently unfocused -- bleary, and his expression raw and baffled. "Are they trying to arrest you?" he asks, his voice fogged by static to a thick, low throatiness. What is happening. His gaze dims just slightly as he decreases optical input. And why is it so bright in here.

"You think this is funny?" Prowl jabs against the stylize flames, and shoves the heel of his palm against it, glad to keep Rodimus angled uncomfortably. "Let's see how long it takes for Prowl to snap from being constantly undermined. Right? Let's give Prowl a taste of his own medicine, because it's not like we have very real threats to worry about - Right? Does this thrill you, Rodimus?"

A little bit of a whine in his voice, Rodimus asks, "What? What are you talking about?" He looks too hungover to lie in any kind of convincing fashion. He leans back, but the counter and cabinets at his back are particularly rock like versus the hard place embodied that's poking Rodimus's flames. His badgeless flames. Beneath the touch of Prowl's hand, his finish is Sunstreaker-slick and shining, glittering brilliantly and unbroken by the Autobot badge.

Prowl hasn't the patience here. He has to shove off and do a little angry lap around their kitchenette first, to work some up. With his back to the captain, Prowl stares up at the ceiling, scrubbing his face, then wishing he hadn't, because there's some Sunstreaker wax there now.

"You're hungover," Prowl realizes, glaring over his shoulder.

Rodimus slumps forward, collecting his weak energon to nurse at it with delicate sips as he watches Prowl. "I went drinking with Trailbreaker," he says, which -- you know. Enough said.

Prowl turns to lean on the island that separates them. Well, braces. There's nothing casual about his stance. "Stop attempting to attribute slights to me. I'm warning you. I'd rather be focusing on /other things/, but your little power trip is distracting, and potentially damaging, especially in front of the leader of a colony. I've done nothing to warrant this treatment."

Rodimus leans on the island too, except he braces his hands, leans his forearms, and then flattens his entire front on it, face resting on the counter. It's probably smudging his finish. "Mmm-hmm, yeah. Let's just -- pretend I have no idea what you're talking about. And you yell at me in detail. Explicitly," he mutters as his eyes dim entirely.

Prowl doesn't want to be specific and solve problems this morning, he just wants to complain. But Rodimus' repeatedly not receiving the message seems to be whittling Prowl down. Attrition warfare style. He straightens and watches Rodimus just melt onto the island. With a slow inward vent and a pinch to the bridge of his nose, "You threatened to gag me, when we first arrived. You mocked me, as if I couldn't hear. You glared at me during our meeting with the queen, for reasons that escape me."

When forced to simplify his grievances, they look a little... weak and petty. Prowl quickly tries to build them up. "I don't take things personally, Rodimus. But with Bee in a coma and Starscream tripping and falling face first into power, you're what's left of any Autobot leadership. And that matters. It's supposed to, anyway." Looks like you're still an Autobot in Prowl's book, Rod.

Rodimus looks like he wants to object, but he can't make his thoughts coalesce quickly enough to reply before Prowl has moved on. And when he gets to the end -- well, everything else he wants to object to comes to a halt in the face of that. He winces and rolls his helm so that his words are muffled into the counter beneath his face, face-down: "M'not an Autobot," he more or less says.

"Yes you are. You're going to get tired of playing NAIL when what remains of our race starts to treat you like one," Prowl snaps. "I'm talking to you, /Captain/, I don't care how much fun you had with Trailslicer. Get up."

Rodimus's shoulders tighten and his spoiler flattens, but when Prowl calls on him by title rather than name--.

Eyes flickering on again, Rodimus straightens. He keeps his glass, but he moves around the island and gestures for Prowl to follow him in what is probably honestly a tiny bit of a power play as he moves to take a seat. It might not even be entirely conscious. "Trailbreaker," he corrects first, firm as can be despite still sounding a little under water, "who's actually pretty much an ideal Autobot if you're looking for a face to slap on a poster." He cuts his hand to the side in a gesture, then presses the heel of his hand to the bridge of his nose. O god it hurts. "I don't really remember it like that. Mostly I remember you being a pain in the aft and threatening our diplomatic overtures."

Prowl lingers, squinting at the gesture. He waits until Rodimus is seated before nearing again, reluctantly. Okay, yes, Trailbreaker. Logging that way to forget later. "Is he," he mutters, then shakes his head. "I didn't threaten anything. That's my point. That's why I'm here." ... "I don't... know what..." Another pause, another attempt to rephrase. "I'm making an effort. I don't think I did anything wrong." His hardened gaze turns slightly questioning. Did I?

"You were blunt as that seventh drink is right now against the inside of my helm, Prowl, and doing us no favors. They didn't take offense. But we're lucky that's the case. I can't believe I'm having this conversation with literally anyone else ever, telling you of all people that we can't afford to lose any possible ally in this fight," Rodimus says, setting his drink down to bury his head in his hands. "Prowl, you were an aft."

Prowl is trying hard to keep his aggro stoked, and it shows. He doesn't handle criticism well. "We're not /lucky/. I'm well aware of how important it is to keep allies. I wasn't an a-" The silence stretches out. Resolve. This must be resolved. Rodimus should not be an obstacle. "Can you explain further..."

Rodimus makes a small whimpering noise at the idea, flopping back dramatically before hauling himself upright and leaning forward. "Okay. You don't show up and demand access to someone's entire ship when you haven't built like -- any kind of relationship. And we have zero authority out here, Prowl. Zero. Less than zero. I'm not high command. I barely command a single ship some days. No Matrix. No Optimus. No Megatron. We have to play fragging well nice, and showing up and telling them we're not here to trade and we demand access to their ship--." He trails off and flops back much more gently this time. From his wince, the previous flop rattled his processor.

Prowl begins to protest. It's everything he can to do keep his tongue behind his teeth. He stops, and thinks. Their initial meeting. The faults there. It's not quite a recreation of a crime scene seeing as no one /died/, but... it helps visualize what Rodimus refers to. Back to the relations with the queen, what she offered, what Sunstreaker pushed for, what Prowl failed to rein in.

Prowl doesn't respond, not immediately, just standing there across from the beleaguered speeder. His armor smooths out after a moment, kibble settling, doors losing their tension.

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Diplomacy: Good Success. (4 3 1 2 8 8 1)

Rodimus hesitates a moment, then -- barely even grudging! -- says, "And I was an aft to you." He opens his hands as diplomatically as possible. "You're right about that. I was -- I don't know, somewhere between teasing and posturing and anyway it was all about me, and definitely not about you, and yeah, it undermined your position as an Autobot representative. So. Sorry about that." He drags his hands down his face and slumps back into his chair a little more aggressively. His eyes slit to a bare gleam as he watches Prowl. "i was thinking about you. I mean -- I guess that's pretty obvious, but. I was just thinking it was funny."

Prowl's optics widen, and he appears pretty damn lost, at least for a split-second before his usual distant stare takes over. "It's fine. Chromedome's little friend finds me comedic too," he mumbles sourly. "Should get together and swap jokes." Rodimus's admission nudges Prowl towards something pretty close to humility, at least. "You're right in that there should not have been /any/ risks. I try to be direct. It wasn't effective here. I'll talk to Sunstreaker as well."

"...Should I take you to the infirmary? You look like you're about to purge."

"I'm good." Rodimus pauses as he evaluates whether or not that's true. Is he going to purge? He just looks a little more sick contemplating it, very nearly decoloring to a blanched gray. Very nearly. Rubbing a hand down his face, he forces the thought to the side. "I need to remember what I just told you, though: I can't lose an ally in this fight, and I was taking you for granted. I won't do that again. You bring a lot to this fight, and I'm glad to have you at my side." He shifts forward again and offers Prowl his hand. "Truce?"

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Persuasiveness: Great Success. (4 3 7 8 7 5 6 3 2 2 8)

"I don't want another saccharine moment with you," says Prowl, his lone defense against Rodimus /actually/ saying all the right words. Words that resound, more than he expected. This is resolved. No reason to be here now. Should probably leave. "And I don't want more of Sunstreaker's wax," he adds, keeping his hand well away. "But... sure, yeah. Truce. Whatever. If you're not sick, you should help search for the artifact." He begins to turn for the door.

Hand rejected, clasp denied, Rodimus tries to keep most of the hurt off of his face. He mostly succeeds, but he still looks awkward lowering his hand. As Prowl begins to leave, he rises suddenly: "Wait," he says, wobbling slightly on his feet and then steadying. "I've asked Trailbreaker to put the ethics committee back together. And I'd like you on it."

"Is this where you laugh," Prowl says, suddenly exasperated. Boy Minimus sure hurt his feels or something.

"Trailbreaker's a good guy, but he's also a pacifist who doesn't want to fight," Rodimus says, deadly earnest as he watches Prowl. "And this is a fight that we can't afford to lose."

Oh. He's serious. Prowl is back to looking bewildered, and beginning to hate how often that happens during these encounters. His doors perk, and he manages to brighten without smile. "Sure, I'll help. Would be glad to." He dwells, just a little suspicious. "I'll talk to your poster boy then."

Rodimus's lips quirk, pulling in a quick smile. "Good. I don't always like your ideas -- but we need to hear them. We need to debate them." He gives Prowl a short nod, expression sobering. "And we need to do the right thing, even if it isn't always the comfortable thing, or the thing that makes us look good. Because literally everything is actually depending on it." No pressure.

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