2018-08-14 Creating an Outcome

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Creating an Outcome
Date 2018/08/14
Location Lost Light - Command: Rodimus's Office
Participants Rodimus, Prowl
Summary Rodimus attempts to talk some sense into Prowl, warning of his own mistakes. (Pre-spidernapping)

It's not long after Rodimus's time with Minimus that he comes to find Prowl. He's a little dusty. It's flattened the gloss of his shine to a matte finish, but mostly there aren't a lot of extra smudges.


Prowl's had time to stew -- more than enough time to stew -- by the time Rodimus finally pings him an invitation to meet with him in his office. Captain's Office. Big Important Serious --

He's seated on the couch in the seating area with his feet up on the low table while he watches what sure look like dumb turbofox vids on a datapad.

Okay, not serious.

"You have ten minutes," Prowl greets, lingering in the threshold. "I have a lot of war crimes to draft." Rodimus might keep a warm flame, but Prowl is in particular form today, bringing a withering blizzard with him as he reluctantly steps a single foot inside and side-steps to stand against the wall. Presumably for quick exit. His jaw sets, his optics focus harshly on Rodimus' datapad, and his doors flare and angle so sharply that it looks a little ridiculous.

Rodimus mutes and pauses the video as he glances up to take in Prowl's -- everything. His gaze settles last on the angles of Prowl's doors and he cycles a quick ventilation as he straightens. His feet remain stubbornly raised. "Okay, I'm going to try real hard to be understanding, because I know this is hard, but you can take twenty minutes, and stop trying to piss everyone off. Minimus deserves better, at least."

"What did Minimus tell you?" Prowl takes a step forward, fists balling. "Of course he went to you. He's still caught up in whatever the hell you've done to him. I'm not trying to piss anyone off, Rodimus." He stiffens, glaring off to the side, fortifying his wall of frost.

Dropping his feet now, Rodimus leans forward. It's undeniable that he looks a little stung by the way Prowl phrases his attack, but he steadies himself on a lower-powered quieting of his gaze.

"He didn't tell me much, but enough that it's clear that you are pushing him away -- and frag, if you're not doing your best to wall yourself off right now, from me. Are you really willing to do this, Prowl? Because I gotta say, anger's not going to play well," Rodimus says, somewhere between blunt and sympathetic. "This is going to be hard. You aren't going to want to go through it on your own. What happened?"

Prowl tries to keep his broil going in the face of Rodimus speaking sense. Keeping his armor puffed out and his doors up is more of an effort. "I'm willing to do this," he assures hurriedly. "I have to do this. Not for Soundwave, not for you, but for myself. I had... predicted some variation of this solution. And I'm predicting what will come afterwards. It's my job to predict outcomes." When prompted for the details, Prowl's hardened look turns troubled. "Minimus is one of my closest friends. I tried to end it civilly. Personally. And not... through some public admission or whatever we're doing."

"You predict outcomes, and you plan for the worst, because someone has to." Rodimus leans forward, and with quiet, determined earnestness, he says, "But maybe you forgot to hope for the best. And to look for the good in others. Prowl, you're assuming the worst of Minimus, too, and predicting an outcome based on that. No -- not predicting an outcome, creating one. And maybe it helps in some way, at least now it ends by your choice, and not because of--." He pauses. He delicate does not say. "You're making the same choice I did. That we did, Drift and I. And you know what? It was a mistake. Don't make it."

Prowl thaws, gradually. His doors lower, and his fingers unfurl, as Rodimus keeps that focused tone. He's guided, like an ornery coppercow on the verge of breaking away and bucking like an idiot. "It's not that I think Minimus would react in the wrong way. He... He was an Enforcer. The Enforcer. I'm not trying to assume the worst of anyone. But it's..." Easier, his drooping posture seems to say. "Will you elaborate on your mistake with Drift? What did you try to predict?"

"I was predicting -- me. And my capacity to not hurt those I cared about. It turns out that I still hurt them, and in ways I still struggle to fix. That there might not be any fixing." Rodimus gives Prowl a long look, to see if any of this echoes, then repeats again: "Don't make the same mistake."

"...Don't give me that look," Prowl grouches, half turning to fold his arms and lean a shoulder up against the wall. This gesture doesn't seem like rejection, however. "He said I was a coward. I tried to fix it. Didn't want to watch him walk away. I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't... it wasn't that. What else did he tell you?"

"I don't think it matters what he told me. I think it matters what you tell him, and he tells you, the next time you guys see each other," Rodimus says, watching Prowl. An expression of irritation or exasperation works over and under the chill he's straining to maintain, and he leans forward again to give Prowl a direct look. "And if you think this is easy for me to sit here and tell you, it's not. But I've already hurt him enough. Don't add to it."

"Alright, I get it." Prowl begins to feel just a little small here in the Captain's Office. But it's better than feeling hopeless, by far. So he turns to face Rodimus proper. "I'll see what I can salvage. Thank you for the advice. Or warning. I feel like you're going to jettison me into the nearest star if I don't smooth this over."

"I can't say I didn't think about it, but diverting would waste too much fuel," Rodimus deadpans. "But if a convenient star -- or black hole, maybe -- wanders across our path...!" He leaves it unspoken. He will chuck Prowl into that singularity without a second thought, presumably.

Hopefully that's not a thought that will reoccur to Prowl at any point in the future.

"Look. I know that what I put forward -- it's hard. But when Minimus told me about Soundwave, I wasn't mad about what he did. I know what he did. Maybe not all of it. It's still a lot to get my head around. But what made me mad in the moment wasn't that, it was that Soundwave didn't tell me. He didn't tell me for the same reasons you wanted to shut Minimus out, I think -- but I didn't let him," Rodimus says, his smile tipping a little crooked before he sobers. "Maybe Minimus isn't as obnoxious as I am. So be gentler with him. And never tell him I said to be gentle with him."

Prowl's lips tug into a mild snarl. "Funny." Then he spends the next several seconds seriously working out the probability, until Rodimus continues.

"I'm very aware of how particular and sensitive Minimus is," Prowl mutters. "But it's a part of his charm, isn't it," he adds, dryly. "You and Soundwave, then?" He pauses. "I'm not asking about this topic to be an invasive aft -- I promise I have no ulterior motives -- I'm just asking."

Rodimus looks a little flustered when Prowl pursues the obvious question he left open. "I just meant--. Uh. No, not like -- and. Not and and. Look, you put it all in my head in the first place! But right now, yeah, he's a friend. A good friend. And we'll leave it there."

Leave it there, ignore it, and never pick it up again, okay??

"Anyway, stop changing the subject! Minimus is -- prickly. Two of you are a ball full of sharp edges rubbing against each other. Just be honest." Rodimus waits a bait, then dryly says, "It'll be good practice."

Prowl is too caught up on Rodimus' prickly metaphor to find amusement in the obviously ruffled armor. He stares plaintively at the ground for a moment, then sobers with a soft vent. "Practice. Practice. You know how hard I worked on Max? And what he worked through to be alright with things? And Bulkhead... Granted, he seems to think the best of everyone. I've plenty of practice. I did talk to you about my terrible acquaintance, didn't I?" He sets his hands on his hips, proud of himself for this fleeting moment.

"Practice," Rodimus repeats. "Because you're going to prove yourself, and keep proving yourself, loving past the point anyone else would. And maybe it's not fair, and it's not going to feel fair, and it's not going to be fun. So." He shrugs, sitting back again, and settling in place once more. "You got a harder audience than Max or Bulkhead, now. Because you're asking more of that audience. Of Minimus."

Prowl's faint, momentary cheer fades, reminded of the grim ordeal ahead. "Right. Well. I'll see it through. I said I would." He falls silent, all out of excuses and points. Then, rudely, "Has it been twenty minutes yet?"

The door clicks audibly as Rodimus locks it. "Come on, we're gonna hang out, drink bad engex, and watch something stupid."

Prowl pretends that he really, really doesn't like this idea and that it's a big waste of time but makes zero effort to actually leave, and eventually suggests better engex. He's okay with the stupid entertainment, too. He pitches the Tor System's Dumbest Criminals for some trash TV.

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