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2017-10-25 Rub a Dub Bug

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Rub a Dub Bug
Date 2017/10/25
Location Rigard - Steelstone Junkyard
Participants Rodimus, Sunstreaker
Summary Bob helps makes sure Sunny gets a bath.

Tucked between buildings is a wide lot stacked with junk. It's surrounded by a sturdy gate topped with electrified wiring, and tucked in one corner is what must be the manager's shack. Even daylight struggles to reach it, so a harsh, buzzing lamp illuminates the whole area from the center. One may glimpse a smallish mechanical quadruped prowling between rows of small shuttles.

Some junk has been salvaged somewhat, cleaned off and tethered to the side of the gate with price tags. Parts from vehicles of every quadrant can be found stacked in similar piles - tires, axles, wings, thrusters, giant dented panels with haphazardly painted symbols... even bits of armor, though usually sliced or scorched with laserfire.


Sunstreaker's self-imposed exile from the Lost Light is... Getting a little boring. He stopped frequenting the plains after the incident with Fortress Maximus and has basically stuck himself in the junkyard. He hasn't commed anyone or messaged back. And everytime Bob has somehow found him, he sent the smaller bug back to the ship with instructions. Which leaves... Not a whole lot to do but play with junk.

He just finished organizing scrap by their color- again- and is now taking a nap. Bug nap, against a nest of junk. It helps stave off the hunger he feels and can't really satisfy.

Yep, life is getting A LOT boring for Sunstreaker... But he's not hurting anyone so its okay.

Bob's frequent trips have made it easy for someone -- it's Rodimus; of course it's Rodimus -- to leave sealed energon where Sunstreaker can find it, but leaving snacks lying around in the dirt really only gets you so far. So when Bob shows up next having dragged Sunstreaker's polishes along to drop them expectantly at Rodimus's door, he is primed and ready for the hint: "You're right, Bob," he says with a tousle of the bug's antennae as he rubs gently around their base. He gathers a few more items that Bob has forgotten and then sets off in the sure certainty that Bob will lead him in the right direction. Here comes your DOOM, Sunstreaker out.

As they enter the junkyard, Bob steps lightly. Rodimus steps -- well, he doesn't knock anything over, anyway. He has his hands full as he comes into view, and no good way to free himself short of dumping it on the ground. Or on a pile of junk! So he stares at the napping Sunstreaker and goes, "Hmm." He walks himself right back out again -- bye, Sunny; he'll be back never -- and when he returns -- okay, it was a lie, clearly he's back -- his hands are empty of all but a cube of energon. He breaks the seal with the slide of his thumb and advances on the nesting bug. "Hey, Sleeping Beauty," is a poorly considered call to wake Sunstreaker up.

Sunstreaker snorts a snore in his sleep, a rather unbeautiful ungracious sound he'd never admit to making. (Never, he doesn't snore. Not him.) The snores rumbles deep within his chassis and rattle a few rusty bolts laying close by. When Rodimus opens that cube, Sunny grunt-snorts before managing to clear his olfactory to sniff. And-

Sunstreaker's optics snap online before he looks around- there! His gaze narrows on that cube and he scrambles to lunge on top of Rodimus. To grab the cube and wrestle it away if he has to. Energon! And it smells so good.

Bob wiggles off to the side with excited 'wuffs'.

He really should have suspected that. Rodimus clatters back, trips, and falls to a sudden seat, but he releases the energon from his hands to let Sunstreaker wrestle it free without contest. He grins, biting back anything he might have said about the snore, the better to give Sunstreaker a close-quarters once-over and see how he's doing. "There's more where that came from, you know."

Sunstreaker yanks the cube away from Rodimus, more or less sitting on top of the Captain at this point. His face splits open at the middle of his jaw as he crams the cube of energon into his mouth. New mandibles snapping shut and he chews the whole thing, energon dribbling down his chin and mixing with something else that eats away at what's left of his finish and paint on his chassis. Sunstreaker's in the middle of licking his fingers clean when he freezes. Optics slowly roll over to Rodimus. He stares. "... What." What're you doing here, Rodimus.

As much as he tries to be cool about this all, watching Sunstreaker's face split to eat has him averting his gaze and surpressing a grimace. He just looks slightly stiff instead, awkward, but he manages to warm it back to a smile when Sunstreaker looks back. "Hey," he says, then adds, "I got more." That's what Sunny said 'what', right? He was just confused where the rest of the energon is? Don't worry, Rodimus reaches for it, digging past Sunstreaker's leg to a compartment on his hip and offer the second cube. "This one was gonna be for me and I figured we could have a drink together but you know what? I think you need it more." This is totally normal and they are talking about totally normal things like normal buddies.

Sunstreaker goes rigidly still as Rodimus moves, like he's afraid he'll hurt him if he moves. He grimaces before jumping away as the second cube is offered. "No, it's yours. And I shouldn't of- sorry, sorry. It just smelled..." His claw 'toes' scrape against the ground as he runs his talons over his head. He's scraped up, scuffed up, dented up. And he's- "Slag, not again." He wipes the energon and acidic drool off his face, flicking it away. Unlike his armor, the scrap hisses and burns- just like his poor polish and paint. "Why're you here? Is- Is Fortress Maximus alright? Frag, that's why you're here. How bad is it, is he okay?"

"He's fine. They're fine," Rodimus adds a little more broadly. He reaches for Sunstreaker -- slowly, giving him plenty of time to move out of the way -- to rest his hand on his shoulder. He offers the cube again. "It's mine to do with what I want, and what I want is to give it to you. My tanks are pretty full. You're not leaving me with vapors here. Max and Fritz are fine. What about you? You look -- uncomfortable."

Sunstreaker relaxes, helm finials sinking down guiltily. "Good... Good..." He shuffles away from further touches, wary. He's already attacked someone, afterall. He rumbles in his chassis before snagging the second cube. He just holds it close for now. "Thank you. And I'm fine. I should be in the brig- I attacked someone. One of our own this time."

"Okay, I sentence you to a week of exile to a trash pile. Done. Time served." Rodimus folds his hands behind his back to keep himself from reaching again. "But you're not going to get control of it like this, either. We want to help you, Sunstreaker. I want to. You're not alone."

Sunstreaker grunts, scowling at the ground. "I don't think that counts..." His grip on the cube tightens, shoulders hunching. "You can't help, Rodimus. I'm sure you got to see the medical report. This-" here, he gestures to himself- "is a new normal." He drops his gifted cube to cover his face and try shuffling away. His new normal is hideous, he almost forgot. "Besides, I just hurt anyone who tries helping. Like Sideswipe and Fort Max."

"Helping doesn't mean going back to the way things were." Rodimus gentles his voice, but it's a note that's not without firmness. This have changed. Things always change. For Sunny, they often change horribly and without his consent. "Sometimes it just means friends who are here to help with the little stuff so that you can deal with the big stuff." He looks over at Bob and then back to Sunstreaker and rises on his toes in a bounce. "Bob thinks you'd feel better if you let me scrub you down. Will you let me help? I'd like to."

Sunstreaker glances through his sharp talons to Rodimus. Deal with the big stuff? He's never been good at dealing with things in his life. Not even a smidge. Sideswipe is probably more put together than he is. He vents harshly and slowly lowers his hands from his face. "Bob?" He twists to look at the little bug, who's obediently staying away just like he told him to. Actually, he can even hear tiny buggy whines from a yearning, worried, excited Bob.

Sunstreaker's finials perk, in lieu of not having antennae. Thank Primus. "S-Scrub me down??" His wings flutter out behind him. "I- o, okay. I mean: Fine. It won't do much. I look like I've been living in a junkyard, drooling acid all over myself, and eating scrap. What's the point of polishing garbage, though?"

"Got me. I don't plan on polishing scrap. I plan on helping a friend." Rodimus begins to reach for Sunstreaker, but -- relatively smoothly -- converts the gesture instead to a beckoning hand: this way, come on. He takes a few steps, then stops to make sure he's being followed. "You've missed a lot of fun. Just kidding: nothing's happened. But what if it did? You've gotta be getting bored without the Lost Light chaos."

Sunstreaker rakes his claws against the ground unsurely before following Rodimus, optics locked on that servo. His lips purse. "Its not exciting out here- I've sorted the scrap by color a few times- but everyone is safe. I don't have to see everyone seeing me, either. You should have seen Sideswipe. He didn't even want to be near me. I don't blame him... We're not going to the Lost Light are we?" Sunstreaker's optics dart around, and just land on Rodimus. "An, uh, you look good. Looking good, not that you ever don't- You kept the magenta! That's... That's what I mean."

"No, we're not going to the ship. Bob brought me some stuff and my hands were full and I went looking for a place to set it down and -- uh." Rodimus trails off as they come around a bend and gestures. This is where the junk is separated and -- where salvageable -- cleaned. But it's very much ... rustic. There's a drain in the center of a slightly sloped concrete slab and a hose that honestly probably just has two settings: on and off. But there's also a bucket with some of Sunstreaker's preferred polishes and solvents, to which Rodimus has added various cloths and a soft-bristled brush or two. "Come on, let's pretend it's a few thousand years ago and we're slumming it in the middle of yet another Primus-damned campaign, huh?" he asks with a grin. "I'm still pretty pleased with the magenta. Feels a little more right for now."

Sunstreaker looks at the... 'Rustic' wash. Rusty wash would be more accurate. He can see his polishes from here. "Oh, Bob was just bringing those..." He trails off, deciding that maybe it's not important. "Slumming it, heh. I remember that. The ship spoiled me all over again." He sighs, turning to Rodimus. The corner of his mouth pulls up. "Yeah, you look good with it. Like fine energon." He has to wipe some acidic drool from his mouth again. "Hnn, so how is this done? Should I stand? Sit? Transform?"

Heading for the bucket, Rodimus digs through it to find a nice and sudsy detergent. He looks back over his shoulder at Sunstreaker, spoiler pulled down, and grins. "However you're most comfortable, but -- sitting, I think. You can transform after I take a first pass. Right now you might just get more grime in your gears. If you're not ready to head back to the Lost Light, do you want me to bring anything out here? Or have Bob bring it out?"

Sunstreaker looks at the ground. Its just a level above the rest of the junkyard. He vents and finds a suitable spot close to where Rodimus is right now. It takes him a moment to find a comfortable way to sit and ends up slightly sprawled out, claw toes pointing up at the sky. "Not Bob. He's... I told him to stay away, I don't want to hurt him by accident." He picks at something on his chassis. "But maybe you can tell Lieutenant he can drop off some datapads. He offered to get me some. Not much to read out here."

Rodimus freezes a moment after he turns on the spray. He lets the water trickle of his fingers, then finally moves to start wetting down Sunstreaker's legs. "Uhm. Lieutenant -- ah." He casts about for a better way to put it, but the truth is really the best way: "He resigned. I can have someone else from the library bring you stuff, though."

Sunstreaker's plating rustles and then shifts in closer. That hose has some chilly water. "Resigned?" He frowns... And then scowls at the ground, a hiss slowly building within him before being released with an agressive buzz of his wings. "No, it's fine. I'm sure I can find something. Is there a way to heat up the water? You're gonna freeze my circuits."

Grinning, Rodimus says, "I think I can manage that." He shifts, pulling the hose to get more length to work with, then winds it around his ankle, up his leg, around his body, and then around the length of his arm in a really ridiculous-looking vining. Then, he heats his frame -- gently, not quite catching on fire, but it's a marked heat. He's careful not to melt the hose, though. The water is flowing quickly enough that it warms, but it doesn't quite get hot. Rustic. "I'll bring you some of my favorite stuff, then. Maybe some of Drift's anime. It's ridiculous, but fun." After wetting Sunstreaker's leg, he starts in with the soap, gentle-bristled brush at hand for the stickier bits of grime.

Sunstreaker watches, with a bemused scowl, as Rodimus twines himself up in the hose. His optics follow its length around his ankle and... Up his leg... Around his body... His wings buzz behind him again and he shoots them a glare. Cut that out. "That's much better." He scootches closer, drawn a little to the heat. "Yeah, mayb- NO!"

It started out sounding like a good idea and then Drift. Those flutterbug wings flare out and Sunstreaker bares his teeth with an aggressive hiss- A hiss the slowly extinguishes. His finials angle back. "Sorry. None of his stuff..."

Rodimus extinguishes the heat in an instant, not sure what prompted Sunstreaker's sudden reaction. As he continues, he warms again, then reaches to rub his palm over Sunstreaker's leg in a soothing stroke. "Okay. I mean, anime's not for everyone," he says lightly. It's not the first and it won't be the last time someone has such a strog reaction to Drift. He makes light of it, depersonalizes it, and moves on. "I'll bring something with me next time I stop by with fuel, then." His soothing path becomes a careful dig as he slides the tips of his fingers into the joints of Sunstreaker's foot, cautious of any injuries that may be going untreated. "Do you like music? Minimus has like -- an obnoxious amount of music."

Sunstreaker has a lot of feelings towards Drift. None of them are nice or even remotely pleasant. Hopefully that'll never be an issue. He settles, watching Rodimus's hand on his leg. He makes a soft sound almost like the digging in his joints tickles. Just a bit. "Maybe. I never really listened to a lot. Maybe I'd like it. I'm not sure..." His talons scrap on the ground as he leans forward, folding his wings safetly under the carapace of his back. "Next time? So, you're going to come back?"

Lips ticking up at the corners, Rodimus fights back a smile at Sunstreaker's not-a-laugh. He looks up at Sunstreaker, trading brush for sponge as he goes over the armor again before rinsing it clean. The touch of his hands is a bit uncertain for someone as bold as Rodimus is known to be -- almost nervous in the way he telegraphs. But his gaze is steady and his smile certain. "Of course I'm coming back. And I'll keep coming back until you return the favor, and visit me in my office." He shifts, leaning forward and to the side as he considers the flick of Sunstreaker's wings. "Want me to start in front or in back?" he asks as he eyes Sunstreaker's torso.

Sunstreaker lifts his hand but gets distracted by his clean legs. Not buffed or polished or anything, but clean. He kinda forgot how much he loved being clean. He glances off in the direction of the Lost Light and huffs. Right, going to Rodimus's office sounds easy but he'd have walk all the way to the Bridge. Everyone would see him... "Front," he says quickly, servo still hanging in the air. His fingers curl and he sets it down again. "Hey, Rod?"

"Yeah?" Rodimus pauses, cleaning rags, sponges, and brushes so that he goes at Sunstreaker with fresh tools rather than muddied ones. It's probably more care than he takes with himself: several times as he scrubbed Sunstreaker's legs clean he made a first, hasty pass, more like he might make on himself before running to the next things, only to come back and go over it again with more care. The same care that Sunstreaker showed him. As best as he can manage, anyway. Sunstreaker's better at this. He's smushing the soap in a softer sponge, working up a good lather, as he waits for Sunstreaker to finish the half-spoken sentence. He moves in, tracing the new angles and lines of Sunstreaker's armor. He's closer now, with the heat of his frame that warms the water even more evident.

Sunstreaker finds that despite all his salivating acid, his mouth is now dry. Rodimus is so close, he can hear the faint sounds of inner workings. Feel not just the heat but that lively current too. The water beads up on his frame like little, sizzling jewels on top energon candy-colored paint. Oh, there's the acidic drool. Sunstreaker's optics shutter hard as he wipes at his mouth. "I-erm-" He lifts a servo and it hover again. "You just keep coming after me! Saving me. Helping me... When no one else does or will." His talons curl towards Rodimus's hand- and his shiny magenta arm- that's scrubbing him but he just hovers some more. "I means a lot, is what I want to say."

The hovering gives Rodimus the confidence to close the distance, reaching for Sunstreaker's hand. He's fearless of the talons, clasping Sunstreaker's palm in a quick squeeze. He's dropped the sponge to reach, and his grip is slick, soapy, as suds slip between them. He thumbs off the water on the hose in his other hand, waiting until the moment has passed. "You're my crew," he says, the easy answer, but he follows it with a warmer smile and adds, "and you're my friend. I know you'd do the same for me. Besides, I have to stay in Bob's good graces somehow."

Sunstreaker stiffens, surprised at first... And then he shifts his hold carefully to let his talons slot inbetween Rodimus's fingers. He looks at their hands and then up to Rodimus's arm, his grip tightening. He leans his head forward, saying quietly, "I dunno if I ever thanked you for saving me. Not even the first time." He sounds strangely a little distant despite the thoughtful words.

Rodimus ripples his fingers, wriggling them once before closing his hand again over Sunstreaker's, each fingertip making light and conscious contact with the divots between his knuckles. He grins at Sunstreaker, just possible drunk on his own magnanimity as he says, "Well, you're welcome. The first time, and the next time, and every time. You're welcome."

<FS3> Sunstreaker rolls Mind+Mind: Failure. (1 1 3 3)


"Mmmm," Sunstreaker says back intelligently, the first sign that he's... maybe not paying attention. He can't take his optics off that shiny, energon pink of Rodimus's arm. And the brush against his talons feels like a go ahead. It looks like candy and he's hungry. Just a nibble and he can get back to their conversation.

Sunstreaker draws Rodimus closer with their intertwined hands before his face splits open again to take a bite out of Rodimus's arm.

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Reaction+reaction: Failure. (2 2 5 2 4 4)


Rodimus's smug pleasure vanishes to sharper curiosity as Sunstreaker pulls him closer -- but whatever he might have expected it was not that. And he is just not quite fast enough to get his hand out of Sunstreaker's grasp in time, even as he squawks a slightly frantic, "Sunny!" BAD BUG.

Sunstreaker bites down on Rodimus's arm, Rodimus's squawking managing to close his jaw mandibles before they could SNAP. Still, sharp teeth and acid spit. Bad combo. He tries digging in for a few, mild seconds before rapid release. He jerks away, optics wide and hands covering his mouth. "Rodimus- I... Sorry, I'm so sorry I- Primus! Are you- go to medibay!"

When Sunstreaker pulls back, Rodimus reaches for him, planting both sides to either side of his helm and grabbing him before he can pull back. The acid drips down his arm, scoring through his paint and etching into his armor. "Clearly I've got to bring you way more energon," he says with a thready and slightly uneasy laugh trembling beneath his words. He shifts, moving closer, and only seems willing to start to take a look at his arm once he's sure Sunstreaker isn't going anywhere.

Sunstreaker was just about to bolt but Rodimus stopped him in his tracks real fast. His finials are jutting and beautiful, its true, but they also make excellent little handles with a bonus of making Sunny still on reflex. He whines. "Rodimus, your arm, your paint... I'm sorry. It just- I'm sorry." He shift, pulling his legs in close and hold his head in his hands, fingers absently brushing the back of his neck.

"I forgive you." Rodimus leaves his hand one moment longer on Sunstreaker's helm, then turns his attention to his arm -- and the water over the bite. The acid dilutes, sluicing away, and the etching stops. "There, see? I've had worse. I've done worse to myself. Regularly. All the time."

Sunstreaker starts picking at the back of his neck, feeling over everthing. He doesn't look at Rodimus, too ashamed. "I just... I just tried to eat part of you. Just like that other mech," he says shakily, body trembling just as equally. "I'm sorry," he adds again before just devolving into mumbles.

Rodimus ... leans away, but only so that he kill the flow of water and wrap Sunstreaker in a slightly soapy hug that bullies past the barrier of his posture to reach around him. He tips his helm against Sunstreaker's, nudging to see if he can get him to look up. No? Okay, that's fine. Rodimus can just sit here, too. "Well, then I've definitely gotta hang around you more to desensitize you to how amazing I look, if amazing is translating straight to tasty right now."

Sunstreaker isn't quite in the mindset to respond to Rodimus, though if he were, he'd probably tell Rodimus to take this more seriously. He just tried to eat his arm. Sunny does, at least, lean into the hug. He'll be good the rest of the time, don't go yet...

At some point, Bob weasels into the hug and Sunstreaker calms down enough to probably finish getting scrubbed. Holding lil Bobert the whole time.

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