2018-05-23 The Painting

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2018-05-23 The Painting
Date 2018/05/23
Location Rodimus and Fortress Maximus's Habsuite
Participants Fortress Maximus, Sunstreaker
Summary Sunny stops by Max's habsuite to pick something up.

Fortress Maximus has been avoiding spending time in his room, because it's empty. He used to not mind when it was empty. Emptiness and quiet and solitude were good alternatives to Nautilator's whining. They gave him time to get his thoughts together. They calmed him.

But this isn't the good kind of quiet and empty. This is where Rodimus used to sit across the room, where he would watch that TV of his, where he and Max would start talking and getting to know one another better after years of distance. This is where they finally, at least in Max's mind, started to become friends. This is where Rodimus is not.

So Max has the TV on, playing an alien "animal show" mostly to keep noise up in the background. Most of Rodimus's stuff is still in place, though Max might have made it a liiiittle tidier. He knows it should be boxed up. He just can't bring himself to do it.

Sunstreaker is once again gold, the rosey hues of the worms gone from his frame. But he's far from perfect condition. He's got knicks, dents, and scratches along his entire body. It seems primarily concentrated at his neck and collar. Compared to some, he's doing great. Just shrugging off the whole Unicron thing, really. Speaking of...

Having tried the door several times already and having it empty and locks, Sunstreaker tries again. He knocks, briefly, and expects no answer this time. So he just tries the door and-- it opens! His optics shutter faint surprise, finials tilting back before he steps inside. Oh, yes. Fortress Maximus is here. "I'll just be a minute," he says, crossing over to the other side of the room.

"...Sunstreaker?" Max looks up from his library datapad, setting it aside and quietly reprimanding himself for not locking the door. He's been distracted. "Hey. How are you...?" How are you holding up is what he wants to ask, but he knows he's touching on painful ground, and he doesn't want to hurt Sunstreaker again.

He winces when Sunstreaker crosses the room. "...Oh. Right. I-if you need to pay respects I can leave for a bit. It's fine."

"No. You're fine," Sunstreaker tells Max stiffly. Clearly he has no troubles intruding onto this space without any forewarning. "This won't take long." He stops just a step away from Rodimus's berth, optics narrowing at the really shoddy frame around the painting Bob made. Just really, really shoddy. Huffing softly, Sunstreaker climbs onto the berth to grab the overly large painting.

Max stops and stares, then holds up a hand. "Wait. Wait, what are you doing?" He isn't, is he? "I know I didn't-we haven't packed his things away yet,'re not. Tell me you're not." He's just adjusting it, right?

Sunstreaker glances over his shoulder, violet optics looking dully over Fortress Maximus. "Not what?" he asks, tugging the painting off the wall. It comes off easy, its a miracle it stayed up to begin with.

<FS3> Fortress_Maximus rolls Mind+mind: Failure. (5 3 5 6)

Confusion overrides Max's observational skills for a moment. He ought to notice the strange state his friend is in, but Sunstreaker is poking at a raw wound Max himself has been trying to deal with. "Can't we just-can't we just leave it up, Sunstreaker? Let it stay there as-as a memorial. It was a gift to him. He deserves that at least, doesn't he?" He's standing up now, alarmed but trying not to come across as threatening.

Fortress Maximus makes an emotional appeal that hits a dead wall. An itchy dead wall. Sunstreaker scratches at his neck in a brief pause before continuing to move the painting away from the wall. Its large enough, he has to set it on the ground. Can't tuck it under his arm. "Why? He's not here for it anymore. Doesn't really matter now, does it?"

"OF COURSE it matters! It's so we can remember him! What's come over you?!" Max's biolights flare as he stares in horror, repressing his own anger as best he can. "I know everyone copes differently but you just-you can't! This isn't right! It..." He spots that itching, and that collar, and remembers the claw marks. Sees the dull optics.

"That thing." He narrows his eyes. "Around your neck. What's it doing."

Sunstreaker's lips purse in annoyance at Fortress Maximus before rolling his optics. He starts pulling the painting towards the door. "You don't need a painting to remember him," Sunstreaker scoffs. Then he adds, "Its a collar. Helps with anger issues."

"I know, but it's-it means something! Don't you get it?!" Max is still eyeing that collar, scowling back in turn, and then taking a step forward. He points at the collar. "That thing. It's doing something wrong to you. Take it off."

Sunstreaker definitely scowls now. "The rest of his stuff has to go too, this is just the first-- Fortress Maximus, move out of the way." He gives the tank a look. It answers Max's request to remove the collar. With a big N-O reflected in his optics.

Fortress Maximus does not move out of the way, letting his bulk block the entrance. Sunstreaker will just have to shove him aside, he figures. “This isn’t anger control. This is-you, Bulk, everyone, this isn’t normal! I just-I get it, we have to move his stuff, but aren’t you going to let yourself feel anything about that? About anything? Look at those scratches. That thing’s hurting you!”

"It's helping," Sunstreaker shoots back, grip tightening along the frame of the painting. His finials twitch further irritation. "Fortress Maximus, get out of the way right now. I'm not asking again."

“I’m not. I couldn’t interfere with Bulkhead but I can at least help you.” Max’s optics are a blazing red. “I tried repressing my anger, all the time. You’re the one who helped me through it, remember? Remember when you stopped me from fighting myself to exhaustion in the Temple of War?” He narrows those eyes.

"Of course I remember!" Sunstreaker snaps. "It's helping with my issues, not erasing my damn memory." A foot scrapes against the ground in impatience as Max continues to just stand there. "We're not the same- it’s not like then or before or whatever. Don't act like your problems are the same as mine. Now, I'm leaving." And he'll elbow past Max if he has to.

“Of course they’re not, but—“ For a second, Max considers stepping aside. Maybe he’s wrong and this is Sunny’s own way of mourning. But this doesn’t feel right. He promised Chimera he’d protect “all of them,” and he meant his combat soldiers and his loved ones. Sunny is both. He lunges and reaches for the collar, trying to grab it and pull.

Sunstreaker jerks back, keeping his neck out of reach before shoving Fortress Maximus with his shoulder. "Get off," Sunstreaker snaps before marching his way to the door. "Don't mess with me, Fortress Maximus. I may not be able to simper like Fritz but I can still put you on your."

“Simper!?” That does it. “Okay, I know you and you’re cold sometimes, but not an asshole. Not like this. Hate me for this later!” This time he lets Sunstreaker march before reaching from behind, trying to either tear the collar off, or if he can’t, squish it without hurting Sunstreaker.

The collar comes off-- it more than comes off. It breaks away under the might of Fortress Maximus, making Sunstreaker stumble forward. The consequences are instant. Golden armor flaring out aggressively, Sunstreaker whips around to right-hook right into Fortress Maximus's jaw. Snarling, he lunges immediately after. The painting flops over onto the floor.

Max takes the right hook to the jaw, really expecting something like that, though it knocks him back. He holds his ground, holding his hands up to grapple with Sunstreaker, trying to wrestle him back. He’ll let Sunny work out a flash of aggression on him, but not by laying down and dying.

Sunstreaker bares his teeth at Max, chassis rumbling with deep growls. He doesn't look like he's in any sort of talking mood so Fort Max would be better off not trying. Planting a foot, he grips Max tightly in his talons before pivoting to throw him across the room.

Max braces his legs on the ground, practically locking them into place and using his impressive weight and might to break out of the hold. He might have spark damage and endurance issues, but he’s still a One Percenter. “Hate me if you want but I won’t let you hurt yourself like that! Not anymore!” He lunges at Sunstreaker this time, trying to shove him and pin him to the floor.

Sunstreaker's talons scrape along Max's paint but doesn't do any deeper damage when his plan fails. He forced back and onto his knees, still hissing and spitting angrily the whole time as Max takes him down to ground. He reaches out and around for something to better hit Max with and finds it. Sunstreaker grabs the large painting and brings it down on Fort Max's head.

Max keeps trying to hold Sunny down, hoping he’ll be able to work out whatever’s come over him or at least burn some of it out that way, until Sunny brings the painting over his head. His horns tear through the canvas, and he stops and lets go, stunned.

“...Sunstreaker.” What has Max done?

Fort Max draws away and Sunstreaker uses this opportunity to brace his feet to Max's chest and SHOVE. Using that force, he rolls backwards and out from under Max before quickly standing. His wings buzz behind him, armor still flared, and lips curled. He looks ready to keep fighting. But the sight of Fort Max wearing the painting that Bob made for Rodimus looks so... It looks so...

Sunstreaker's bright optics dim before he transforms. He lands heavily on many, segmented limbs and with a heated vent. Four optics stare down Fort Max and then he scuttles off for the door.

Max collapses back against the wall, winded from the full force of Sunstreaker’s blows and a faint pain in his chest. His spark hasn’t fully recovered from the battles. Wincing, he looks up to see Sunny scuttling off.

“Wait...!” He calls out, before his hand falls to his side again. He picks up the painting, looks at the holes in it, and his frame starts to shudder.

Sunstreaker does not stop. He goes right out the door and rushes off down the halls. Leaving Max and the painting.

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