2018-10-07 Homecoming

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2018-10-07 Homecoming
Date 2018/10/07
Location Lost Light - Command: Rodimus's Office
Participants Rodimus, Soundwave
Summary It's not the welcome Soundwave expected.

When Hound and Soundwave return, Rodimus is finishing out the tail end of his shift. They had plenty of warning of their return. It would certainly be possible for him to not be on shift, or to have made other arrangements. The fact that he didn't, in fact, seems to be catching a few people here and there a little off-guard, like they keep waiting for him to slip out or make his excuses. But -- no.

So the ship docks again with the Lost Light, and Soundwave's cassettes are there to greet him along with the medical response team, and Rodimus -- takes a report from nav and then heads back to his office with it. The rest of his shift ticks by.

Medical is able to clear Hound and Soundwave as stable by the time they leave the shuttle bay, but both will need intensive repairs, deep in their frame. They don't actually look that badly off: the damage is below the surface.

Soundwave is happy to see his cassettes but he has to keep some distance from them. He's still got a thorough coating of rancid energon on his body afterall. Except for his hands, which look to have been scrubbed and picked clean of energon and paint. After some assurances that he would see them in his quarters as soon as he was washed up- and after being cleared by medical- he departed shuttle bay.

But he doesn't go to the washracks.

Soundwave felt more aware than ever that a certain face had been missing upon his arrival. Sure, he might be unbearably sore and a lot of his non-vital functions are down and one optic is only half-lit, but he's worried. He knocks on Rodimus's office door. Too tired to hack and not in the mood to use codes he shouldn't use. Thankfully, being covered in gross mis-colored energon keeps bridge officers at bay. Soundwave knocks again.

Rodimus rises as he releases the door, which opens to allow Soundwave to enter. His expression is -- muddled. He can't help the first moments of honest concern as his gaze sweeps over Soundwave, marking the energon and making sure that none of it seems to be his own. Or, at least, that he isn't still bleeding. He notes the half-light of his visor, too. And there's still warmth in his voice as he says, "Mission success, huh? Welcome back." But he holds himself back, and there's a tension in his frame.

Unlike Soundwave, Rodimus looks fantastic. He got to lie around in a spa and get spoiled and every last inch of disgusting, organic goop was scraped away. With goop scraped clean, he's been repainted, complete with extra decals, and he's polished to a mirror shine in exactly the way Soundwave isn't.

Soundwave steps in and then keeps going towards Rodimus at his desk, stopping only when he properly remembers he's covered in only a slight biohazard. Just slight. He looks more relaxed than he had at the door- or maybe relieved- but he's still tired enough that he just can't keep that straight edge to his shoulders. They're all angled down. "It... It depends on your definition of success, but yes," he answers.

"It's nice to be back-- and you. You look-" Soundwave takes a moment to look Rodimus over. And then he takes a minute. Minute and a half. "Stunning. You enjoyed your time in the lava pits?"

The door whispers closed behind Soundwave, shutting out curious looks and optimistic eavesdroppers.

Rodimus shifts, leaning back against his desk, and folds his arms over his chest. His gaze angles down over his own frame, which he shifts in a twist to get a better look at the whole of it, and the details added that he hadn't actually asked for. Then he looks back up at Soundwave, quiet and contained in a way that's unusual for him. There's a roil contained in the glitter of his eyes that finds a carefully channeled expression as he says, "I did. Although I came out of it looking a little different than I expected." There's an edge to his words that reflects a building heat.

"You look good," Soundwave repeats, assuring Rodimus. He continues to hover, just out of reach of Rodimus. He has to keep his distance but he wishes he didn't. A tentacle eventually moves out of his side, not covered in energon. It moves a little jerkily but still makes it over to Rodimus, grabbing at his servo. "Could you transform for me? So I can see it all put together?"

Pulling back from the first grasp of Soundwave's tentacle, Rodimus shifts his grasp to reach for it, instead, and curl it between his fingers. He keeps the end under his thumb, so that it can't go lightly picking its way across his palm as it soften likes to do. It's hard to say if it is touch or the question that magnifies his anger. "No. I won't. I just haven't had the time to get repainted." There's a bit of a lie in there. "You should have asked."

Soundwave's body tenses again and the tentacle goes still under Rodimus's thumb. His visor flighters. "I... Do not believe I understand," he says after a lengthy pause. "You said you enjoyed the spa?"

"You changed the way I look without asking me," Rodimus says, heat breaking into open expression. He's angry, and it lights across his features, clear and bright. Never mind the little flames he once painted on Soundwave. TOTALLY NOT THE SAME. "You demanded I change my holoform. You insisted." Then, taking a nasty left turn, he asks, "Do you do that to your cassettes, too? Do they get any say over their own frames, or do you control that, too?"

The tentacle Rodimus grasp sudenly wiggles- spasms- and tries to snap away. Soundwave draws back, surprised. Taken aback. Physically, even, as one foot scrapes backward. "I don't- I thought you would like it. And I asked for you to change your holoform for--" He goes rigid. His face can't be seen, but his neck cables can as he sets his jaw. "I give my cassettes gifts, I don't make them anything. You know I do not."

The tentacle Rodimus grasp sudenly wiggles- spasms- and tries to snap away. Soundwave draws back, surprised. Taken aback. Physically, even, as one foot scrapes backward. "I don't- I thought you would like it. And I asked for you to change your holoform for--" He goes rigid. His face can't be seen, but his neck cables can as he sets his jaw. "I give my cassettes gifts, I don't make them anything. You know I do not."

Rodimus lets the tentacle pull away without attempting to keep Soundwave close. He straightens out of his casual lean as Soundwave draws back, asserting himself more certainly in his space, feet planted. "You didn't ask. You told me. A gift--" And he airquotes that, fingers hooking in mockery. "--given to those dependent on you, with the expectation that they use it, isn't exactly freely given, is it? It's not a gift. It's an obligation and expectation." He shifts forward, and jabs his finger dead in the center of Soundwave's chest. "I'm not a drone for you to control like Penchant does with his drones."

Soundwave's visor flashes. "I'm not trying to control you, I was just trying-" His vents heave, something inside him not quite turning on so they rattle and wheeze. "My cassettes my do as they please! They choose to stay with me and I get them gifts because I care about them- just as I did with you. I thought you would like this! You love flames." He gestures to the excessive flame decals.

"I don't need gifts. I need to know that you respect me, and I don't know what to think about the fact that apparently you think you can just--." Rodimus breaks off and his hands flash upward in an exasperated gesture. "Do whatever. Tell me to do whatever. Or that you think I'll do it."

"Of course I respect you," Soundwave says quickly. He takes a minute to center himself, to loosen his fists into just shaking hands. He takes another step, half-turning towards the door. "I thought you would like it, I wasn't trying to make you do anything. I'm not trying to control you, I just... I'll cancel the race- I need to go wash Tarn off of me."

Too angry to quite catch the nuances, Rodimus watches Soundwave go. But it's a self-righteousness that will burn out quickly, and the cold ashes left in its wake are tank-turningly unpleasant. The memory of how Soundwave's hands shake will linger.

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