2018-01-13 Time Passes

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2018-01-13 Time Passes
Date 2019/01/13
Location Cybertron - Old Nyon
Participants Rodimus, Soundwave
Summary Alright future, let's see what you've got.

Time passes.

In those first years, no one expects the peace the last. It's treated as much like a joke as a fragile thing, but it turns out that if you pretend you can all get along for long enough, eventually it comes true.


It has not been an easy peace, particularly across the galaxy: the Quintessons have been a thorn in Cybertron's side, and Cybertron's admission to the Galactic Council was deeply contentious. The Quintessons threatened to withdraw in protest, didn't, and then were later kicked out after kidnapping a Cybertronian prisoner of war / patient from Cybertron. That little adventure kept Rodimus busy for a while, chasing his own doppelganger down. The Lost Light remains at the fore of the Cybertronian Vanguard, standing in the fight against the Consortia, and Rodimus remains her captain. The crew has served with distinction; the original crew moves on, inevitably, and Newsparks join. The ship still has a reputation for getting itself into the most ridiculous trouble.

Rodimus has taken to leaving the Matrix with Soundwave more and more: first, to keep it from Quintesson hands; later, a promise he'll return. On Cybertron, life moves on, cassettes move out, and Soundwave is left with a quiet apartment. Where once dozens ran roughshod, now it is just Soundwave, Ravage, and the quiet. Despite Rodimus's fears that Soundwave would find someone else to fill the quiet, someone who could actually be there, who would stay, he hasn't. Their relationship has endured time and distance, and -- the true miracle -- it has even endured Rodimus's insecurities and jealousies.

The Lost Light is inbound once more, and Rodimus once again dives early. The board that Soundwave got him during the Lost Light's first years is scuffed and worn, and it needs to be repainted again. He surfs it groundward, and spaceport control just sighs, registers his flight path, and charts around him. << "Incoming," >> he pings Soundwave, as he glides in to meet him at the port, and then hops off the board in those last few feet to throw himself into Soundwave's arms. There's no warning. He's a telepath. He can figure it out.

Soundwave catches Rodimus, as he has done time and time again without fail. In fact, the only time he hasn't immediately embraced Rodimus upon his return is when Rodimus required immediate or critical care from New Iacon's hospital. Those were always the harder reunions. But not today.

Soundwave hoists Rodimus, hardly taking a step back from impact, and tosses him into the air. He catches him again, holding the now well-seasoned Captain. And he shares a small kiss to his forehead- Soundwave put aside his facemask several decades ago, he even made it to the top of a few media outlets because of it.

"I missed you," Soundwave tells him, setting Rodimus on the ground. His hands, and tentacles, are busy feeling Rodimus over while he holds him against his chassis. Feeling for injuries or damages that should raise alarm. Just making sure he's okay. "How was the Lost Light's latest venture?"

Rodimus reaches up to cup Soundwave's face, and presses his helm close. He exhales, vents cycling like it's the first true breath he's drawn since he last left. He looks a little scuffed, but entirely whole. There's some carbon scoring that suggests a close blast or two, but nothing that did anything more than damage his paint. He's okay. "Mm, I missed you. The trip was good. I think we're on to something. Windblade has some ideas about where to go next, remnants of her time with Unicron. She thinks we're close to Solus's hammer." Drawing back just slightly, his hands lingering on Soundwave's arms, Rodimus takes a moment to study him. "How's Cybertron? How's the security business? I still think you should've called it Sneak & Spy PI."

"Solus's hammer," Soundwave repeats, thumbs running over those blast marks. Hrn. "You realize we can just buy a hammer here on Cybertron, correct?" A Prime's hammer is nothing special! Harumph! He settles back on his heels, tentacles retreating and hands falling to Rodimus's waist. He's passed inspection, then.

"Expanding, as always. There's new settlements, a handful of cities beginning to be built up. They completed the new spaceport near where Vos used to be and Vos City has grown in your absence. Its become quite the destination for product imports. And a great deal of those companies have hired me to help protect their product," Soundwave says, as thorough as ever even in a condensed update. He's got a datapad with everything Rodimus has missed back at home where Rodimus can read it at his leisure. Taking Rodimus's hand, he squeezes before tugging him along. "And I still hold that that name is false advertising. I don't spy, I just supply a comprehensive security system. I've patented a firewall coding. So far, no one has been able to hack it. We'll see how long that holds."

Lacing his fingers through Soundwave's lightly, Rodimus casually teases a few slightly more explicit things into his palm through touch. He's gotten better at speaking in hand. It took time -- oh, god, did it take time -- but he barely even fumbles a word anymore. Nothing of what he's saying slips into his expression, despite the shift and slide of his fingers against Soundwave's hand. "That's awesome," he says, and follows up with a few more questions on how things have gone since last time, as he follows Soundwave through the spaceport, and out to a transport.

Every time that Rodimus returns to Cybertron, there's something new: Vos, rebuilt; New Iacon, growing. He points out buildings as they pass, asking after them, asking after people, scheduling visits with old friends. Even very busy old friends, who are otherwise busy running the place.

Soundwave is happy to supply any answer to Rodimus's question. Every question except: where are they going? They're taking a low-altitude transport, one that Soundwave owns and has a license to drive- though he often sets it on auto-pilot. If one isn't an aerial-based alt, these transports are needed for quick inter-city travel. Cybertron is sprawling and its not even completely settled, yet! So, eventually, even Rodimus will notice they're flying right where Soundwave's apartment is.

Soundwave, however, is well-versed in the art of distracting Rodimus. And he's happy to do so, happy to have him back. With the transport on auto-pilot, Soundwave distracts Rodimus until he eventually falls into a light recharge- atmospheric reentry even on the custom board can be exhausting. And it makes time past all the faster.

"Rodimus," Soundwave says gently, putting a hand on his shoulder. "We are here." The transport's windows have been dimmed to a dark, opaque glass to block out the outside. No peeking. "Grab your board and come on."

Rodimus still sleeps lightly, drawing a shallow charge with many of his systems barely shifting into standby. Time has passed, but it is hard for four million years of habit to quite fade. But he wakes gently under Soundwave's touch, nearly as familiar as his own. His visor has slipped down into place, its default position, and the squint of Rodimus's gaze beneath suggests a sleepy blink as he thumbs it back out of the way and rises to claim a quick kiss. "Finally," he says. "What's your mystery now?" He snags the board, adjusting its settings to take two, and reaches back to take Soundwave in his arms and pull him along with him.

"It is less a mystery and more a surprise," Soundwave says with a smile, signalling the transport door open. The smile drops as he's pulling onto the board. "I- Rodimus. Rodimus, is this necessary. Rodimus-!" His arms wrap around Rodimus's waist as he crouches on the board, unsteady.

"Of course it's not necessary," Rodimus says, grinning as he rests his hand over Soundwave's arm. "But it's fun." As the doors open, he kicks off and out the door. The board is as quick and fast as it ever was, responsive and smooth. It's also narrow, dangerous, and Rodimus is utterly fearless in the face of heights. Pressed as closely as he is, Soundwave can hear the protective instincts that thrum through his frame: it might be a wild ride, but Rodimus would never let anything happen to Soundwave. Ever.

"Our definitions of that word vary greatly!" Soundwave says with a bleat of static as Rodimus kicks off. He clutches even closer as they exit the transport and out into-- a street. A mildly busy one- nothing like New Iacon- but someone's horn blares at them nonetheless.

In the distance, only the largest buildings can be seen from Cybertron's expansion. This settlement is new- something built after Rodimus left- yet... It feels familiar. A sort of dusty quality to everthing despite having been built in that last decade or so. The building are short and seem to be primarily be apartments and homes with a few businesses nestled in. Not far, easily identifiable, is a Harvest Facility with the dim glow of a spark field illuminating the wilds near it. Here, even in the beginning of the twilight hours, the stars and swirls of distant cosmos can be seen in the sky. And even millions of years later, those stars are recognizable.

But Soundwave is too busy holding onto Rodimus with his eyes shut tight to notice. He's not meant to hoverboard.

It takes Rodimus a while to turn his eyes up to the sky. He's looking at the city, trying to orient himself, and confused at first as he looks for Soundwave's New Iacon apartment. This manifests in twists, turns, and loops of the board, none of which helps Soundwave. Rodimus rises above the city to get a good luck and orient himself, finally touching down on top of one of the higher roofs, with an overlook of the city, the spark fields, and a clear view of the stars above. That's when he finally gets a good luck at the sky, and -- quietly -- he says, "Soundwave."

"Are we done having fun yet?" Soundwave's asks hesitantly, visor still dim and his arm doing its level best to crush Rodimus without hurting him.

Stepping off the board, which he deactivates to rest next to them, Rodimus turns to pull Soundwave into his arms. There's an ache to the quiet that settles over him, and a tenderness to the hesitation before he speaks. "Where are we?"

Soundwave peeks and- oh good they're done. He relaxes, standing up straight as he's pulled in, and he rests his head against Rodimus. The quiet is telling and he listens to it- listens to Rodimus. Just breathes him in before he answer, holding Rodimus as much as he holds him. "It has a few names but the favorite is: Old Nyon."

Rodimus makes a quiet noise before his vocalizer mutes with a subtle click and hiss. A subtle shiver creeps over the armored plates, which pull close against his frame as he pushes closer, deeper into Soundwave's arms. << "Tell me about it," >> whispers on a quiet, short-range transmission: the comm equivalent of a whisper.

Soundwave rocks, a gentle sway in the wind, with Rodimus in his arms. "A new field of sparks sprang up, one of the largest yet," he says quietly. "There was a rush to set up a Harvest Facility- but it was so far from our cities. From housing and schools... So Old Nyon was built as a place for newsparks to learn and grow and figure things out before moving to a city or attending a college." Soundwave holds Rodimus tight. "Its a place of hopes and dreams and fun-- and its where we live now."

It's less than a whisper now, Rodimus quieter, calmer as he listens to Soundwave: Show me, he thinks. He looks past his shoulder, eyes locked on the distant glow of the spark field. The ache hollows in his spark, though the void it leaves behind is still limned in pain. Show me our home.

Soundwave nods against Rodimus, slipping out of his arms if only to take his servo and lead him. Down from the top of this building and to the streets, which are wide and made for mechs testing out their throttle. He takes the the sidewalk, though, where mechs pass and some even ride their own hoverboard. One can be heard saying he can't wait for his own reentry shields for his board after he passes them by. Most of the mechs seen have that wide-eyed or shiny armor look- that new look- with a few seasoned individuals sprinkled in. Finally, Soundwave stops at a corner with a three story building. The first floor houses a buisiness that, based on its windows, deals with helping overwhelmed newsparks or outliers come to terms with living and society. But the second two floors...

Soundwave points up at those before looking to Rodimus. "That's where we live. Welcome home, Rodimus."


Soundwave has a split-second's warning before Rodimus pushes him back against the wall, driven by raw urgency: he takes Soundwave's hands in his own and pulls them in, between them, clasped between the press of gold flames and glass, and kisses him soundly. He could say thank you; he could say I love you. He could say a thousand things about the city, old and new-old again. Instead, he kisses Soundwave, and pours his spark into it, even if it's only a moment's press of metal, before he breaks away. An eager grin spills across his features, and he drops Soundwave's hands to turn him around and push him forward: "Inside," he says. "I wanna see."

It's with a lighter mood that Rodimus follows Soundwave through the two floor tour, and he tells him between rooms that it turns out he'll be here a little bit longer, and oh, can he have the Matrix back? Because he's been thinking about it, and maybe the Matrix needs a real home, too, on Cybertron. Because it wants to stay. And Rodimus needs to find its next bearer.

Soundwave stares at Rodimus with that revelation, chassis opening. (Don't have to ask him twice to get rid of it.) The Matrix sparkles and glows for Rodimus, possibly even brighter than usual because of his return. "You're going to... Pass on the Matrix?" The tour of their new, more spacious, home put on indefinite hold.

As Soundwave's chassis opens, Rodimus reaches past the Matrix to find Soundwave, and stroke the walls of his chest with a gentle, lingering caress. His other hand comes up behind Soundwave's back, pressed over his spark. He says hello to Soundwave, first, then to the Matrix, pulling it from him and allowing his armor to part as he slides it home. He gives his armor a little pat as it settles back into place, and leaves his hand in a lingering press over it. "It belongs on Cybertron. It belongs with someone who stays on Cybertron."

Soundwave's systems hiccup with Rodimus's touch, stuttering as they work back up to speed. Its a good thing Rodimus takes the Matrix because it almost gets cooked. Shutting his chassis back up, he gives Rodimus a peck against his faux-chevron. "If you feel that's what needs to be, then I will leave you to it... I'll almost miss the thing." ALMOST BUT NOT REALLY. "How are you going to find the right person? We could still just give it back to Vector Sigma."

"I'll figure something out," Rodimus says with careless confidence. It sounds stupid -- thoughtless, as he can be -- but when he says, "It's the right thing to do," it's more than his own thoughts that echo with it. The Matrix, even as it snuggles in his chest, pulses with agreement. And something more: regret and wist, a longing to remain where it is, a long for Rodimus to remain where he is. He won't, though. Of course. The Matrix knows that just as Soundwave does. They've both had opportunity enough to miss him, and grow used to that. "But I'm not going to hand it over and jetpack straight back up into the black," he says, not bitter at all, nope, not here, if Pax's audio sensors are burning, he's probably just dialed them to too high a sensitivity. "If -- that's okay. If I stay here for a while."

Soundwave chuckles, drawing Rodimus in and turning about as he holds onto him. Its a clumsy attempt of dancing in place. "Of course you can stay. There's even another room for your own room if you'd like... But this is as much your home as mine. You're more than welcome to come and go as much as you please."

Wrapping his arms around Soundwave, Rodimus sways with him, against him, drawn into him as though he has a gravitational force far stronger than Cybertron's. It's not the weight of the metal beneath his feet that keeps Rodimus fixed to the ground: it's Soundwave, his arms around him, and the smile whose edge he marks with a quick kiss. "That sounds nice. In that case, you better get back to showing me the rest of the place."

"I dunno... We have all the time in the world to see the rest of the place," Soundwave murmurs, happy to just stay and be with him, here in this spot. He's already shown him most of the first floor- the living room and bar and office, complete with his Decepticon insignia framed and hanging above his desk. "You sped past the business downstairs- I work there with Ravage. You can join us while we're here. Help the newsparks of Nyon find their place on Cybertron... Or among the stars, if they're anything like you."

Rodimus draws the back of his fingers down the side of Soundwave's face in a gentle caress. At his jaw, his touch shifts, until he nudges Soundwave's jaw with his thumb, and fans his fingers back along his helm. Rodimus tilts Soundwave, draws him closer, and kisses him again, as he did outside. It begins sweeter, but there's a banked heat that swiftly builds, and he stokes it until it creates sparks that he transplants into Soundwave with the glide of his fingers over his back. When the kiss breaks, he gently nuzzles the side of Soundwave's cheek and casually picks the thread of conversation back up: "That sounds like a good place to start."

Soundwave puts one arm around the base of Rodimus's back to better pull him up and against him, back into another kiss. Oh no. Rodimus is not going to kiss him like that just once and then go back to talking. Not again! Not this time! Soundwave sweeps him up into another kiss, this time his own passion on his lips. All those nights alone and missing him but knowing he'd come back poured into it. His other hand sneaks up, tracing those old, familiar scars that swirl around his spoiler.

<< "I have a better idea," >> Soundwave says with a whispering comm, his attention on kissing Rodimus and stroking every inch of his spoiler. << "Why don't we go down to the hoverboard park and you can meet some of the new Nyonese in person. Show them a few moves." >>

With a deep, shuddering groan, Rodimus has to push himself away from Soundwave, vents wide and pulling in cool air in a sharp hiss. He laughs over the outward stutter of his vents, and then takes Soundwave's hand to draw him back toward the door. "That sounds terrible, but you know what? Sure. Let's go meet the neighbors, especially if I'll be sticking around long enough to know their names."

Soundwave squeezes Rodimus hand as he follows him. "They sort of remind me of you," he says after a moment. "There's a certain spark- or a ring to their spark- and they just... Make it feel like you're not that far away. I think you're going to like them." OR they'll drive him mad, one of the two. "Perhaps you can get them to stop calling me by that horrendous nickname they've picked up."

Drawing Soundwave's hand to his lips, Rodimus kisses it, and grins over at him. "I'm right here," he says. For now, anyway. For a while. "What're they calling you?"

Soundwave's gaze narrows and he looks ahead, a hardened warrior. Then he speaks the most devastating insult this side of Cybertron: "Square."

Laughing, Rodimus pulls Soundwave out into the street with a hand wrapped around the narrow of his waist. "You're just a little boxy. It's cute. Love your angles." He squeezes Soundwave's (square) hip, and falls in ahead of him, walking backward, and trusting Soundwave to guide them. "It's cute that they have a nickname for you. It's cute they've got a nickname for you that's so harmless," he adds, a touch dry. "You can introduce me. We can find out what they'll call me."

Soundwave makes a show of loudly going "Harumph!" when Rodimus seems to like the nickname. But that's all it is. A show. Unfortunately there no facemask to hide the small smile from Rodimus. "Oh, about that. There is... A small chance I may have talked to them about you. Just a little bit."

"Soundwave. My sweetiest, squariest spark," Rodimus says, his voice as gentle as the touch of his hand which shifts over his hips. "Are you gonna tell me they already have a nickname? Tell me you only told them good things."

"Of course," Soundwave assures. And then the light in his visor pinches and he says, "Weeeell... I may have told them about Hot Flame. And how you catch on fire. And meteor surfing. And how you survived two hits from Megatron's cannon. That's all good things, right?"

"All good things," Rodimus agrees, giving a showy little snap of his fingers to spark a flame and then extinguish it in the space of a sparkbeat. "But if you're telling me I'm gonna walk in there and they are all going to be calling me Hot Flame -- I dunno, Cal, not sure how I feel about that."

Soundwave looks away with a little cough. "They might... Better than Hot Rod?" he asks a little coyly, bumping Rodimus with a smile. He smiles more with him around, he can't help himself.

"Hm." Any further protests fall off in the face of voices rising at Rodimus's back: the promised park, and calls from new neighbors of, "Hey, Square!" Some use Soundwave's name. Not many.

Rodimus calls his board over with a beep-boop of the board's controls. They've been integrated into his systems; he no longer carries the fob. The board stirs, and zips around them. He plants one foot on it and looks at the collected Newsparks, giving them a wide grin, with his arm looped around Soundwave. "Hey there. Soundwave tells me that you guys think you've got some moves. Let's see what you've got."

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