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2018-11-14 Cool Down

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2018-11-14 Cool Down
Date 2018/11/14
Location Lost Light - Science and Medical - Medibay
Participants Rodimus, Soundwave
Summary Post-tantrum, they both need repairs.

When Rodimus and Soundwave make their way to medical, it turns out that they both go a round on the medics’ slabs. Soundwave's repairs take longer: he's leaking. He'll be free to go once his current energon feed finishes, but in the meantime, he's trapped, which means that Rodimus is free to find his medical berth, pull the partitions, and then turn to lean against the edge facing Soundwave.

He still looks scruffy.

"How're you feeling?" Rodimus asks.

"Like a fool," Soundwave answers. He's a might bit more... Level-headed than he had been. Something, something adrenaline from battle, something. Part of him wishes he could claim the victory over himself, his own self-control. But it wasn't. It was Rodimus and the medics and something one of them happily called 'cooldown juice.' He can't recall who though. He's got his suspicions- he kept squinting at First Aid before the partitions were pulled.

But Soundwave is now nice and relaxed! And completely coherent! "Why do you look like that?" Probably.

"Because while you guys were tackling -- literally, I hear; Prowl says he ran the guy over -- problems on one colony, they were hitting a different one, one we weren't ready for." Rodimus passes his hand back over his helm and then curls his hand to a fist. "Lost Light was caught flat footed, actually, but the Wreckers were available, so I jumped in with them." His expression brightens just slightly. It wasn't long that he ran with them, but it was clearly long enough to have left a mark on Hot Rod that lingers still on Rodimus. "Caught up a little with Springer between shooting things." His face falls again, however, and he says, "I hate reacting."

"Rrrr... Wreckers," Soundwave rumbles. Not that he's scared of the Wreckers. They're just so... So annoying. Bah! "I don't like Springer," he decides on immediately when he sees Rodimus's expression. "Hnf." He sits up, his energon line going taut as he gestures affirmation at Rodimus. "Yes, exactly. That's what I told Starscream! Reactive doesn't beat Megatron. Reactive is how you end up with a dead government and planet."

Caught by surprise, Rodimus laughs: "You don't like Springer? Springer is like, literally the most likable person I know." There's a hint of 'ten matrixes' dazzle in his expression. It's just such a BIG chest. "I'll introduce you," he says. "You guys probably haven't really, you know. Talked. Except from the other side of the battlefield. You'll like him," he promises. "He's the last thing from reactive." Technically: not true. The Wreckers function explicitly makes them reactive. Shhhh.

The more Rodimus talks about Springer, the more Soundwave doesn't like him. "I will not," Soundwave huffs, making a face beneath his mask as stubbornness takes over. He crosses his arms over his chassis. "I bet Springer couldn't of predicted a colony attack in time to capture most of the attacker's forces." Or, well, their commander. He's exaggerating.

Watching Soundwave, Rodimus's expression brightens. He can't help but tease: "That's true," he says. "Prowl did a really good job with that." He bumps Soundwave's leg with his own and reaches across his body to rest his hand next to hip so that he's leaning across him.

"He did. Just wish I got more information from his plan. At least he got what he wanted." Soundwave straightens a little out of his cross-armed slump, looking at Rodimus. He stares for an extended moment. "What're you doing?"

“Getting comfortable.” Rodimus pulls back after a moment, as casual as his first slide closer. He stretches and arranges himself on the berth next to Soundwave, rather than crossed in a lean nearly atop. “Did you get any information?”

"Do you need me to move over? Or mass shift? I don't think that'd damage any of my repairs..." Soundwave's gaze becomes unfocused as he thinks about it. Would it, though? His visor shutters and he looks over at Rodimus. "Hrf- nothing we didn't already know. Megatron ordered these attacks, Lockdown is operating on a ship named 'Charybdis', and everyone is still scared of me." Beat. "We got one thing we didn't already know. But ship names don't help us find ships. Still useless." He's starting to work himself up again.

“No, I’m good.” There’s unmistakably an awkward moment, but Rodimus seems determined to ignore it. He stays at a slight remove. “You’ve found more with less. You’ll find him. Start with shipping beacons and refueling stations in the area. Someone saw them.”

"Yeah... Yeah, I know- it just takes time." Soundwave shifts and rolls so he's on his side, facing Rodimus and partially propping himself up with an arm. "I've never felt like time was closing in on me before. I don't like it. It’s the worst kind of restraint."

Rodimus reaches to rest a hand on Soundwave's arm, the slides his fingers down to rest atop his hand. "You say that like there's a good kind. If he's alive now, he'll be alive until they don't need him. Or he got away, and he'll be alive until they can catch him. But he's smart. He'll either keep himself alive, or stay in hiding. You've got time to figure it out, without killing yourself looking for him."

Soundwave's chassis grows a rumble deep within its hollow depths. "I get it- I can't save him if I drop dead. I just hate this. Everything about this. Especially the fact that his life is threatened because of me. Because I lost my temper." He vents, looking over Rodimus's face. "... Like I did with you. I think, perhaps... I definitely owe you an apology."

Rodimus's gaze freezes a moment on Soundwave's visor, as he stiffly, awkwardly refuses to flinch away -- and then slides, once he's made whatever point about holding Soundwave's gaze that he needs to make. To Soundwave; to himself. He looks down at their hands, and turns Soundwave's palm-up to lightly pick at the armored joints of his fingers with a delicate touch, much the way the tentacle graspers pick at his own hands. His fingers are not as delicate as the tentacles; his touch is not as fine.

"That -- surprised me," Rodimus admits. "I forget, sometimes. I forget--." He breaks off. He doesn't finish that thought. "But I understand."

Soundwave watches as Rodimus plays with his hands, fingers twitching with every delicate pick. One curls as one joint in particular is tickled with touch. "It's not something I expect you to forget," he murmurs. "Or want you to. Unlike Megatron, I refuse to rewrite my past to suit my desires... I shouldn't put you in a position where you feel threatened-- I shouldn't have touched you like that. I'm so sorry."

Rodimus lifts Soundwave's palm to cup his face, and turns his head to press a kiss at the base. It's just possible that he's stealing a note from his own playbook, from the hints he called after Prowl, because his kiss to the base of Soundwave's palm is right at the joint of hand and wrist where a gap in the armor exposes the delicate wires and cables beneath. The brush of his lips is gentle; the whisper of air past them is warm, gliding beneath.

There's a hint of damp, of slick wet, in the open-mouthed kiss. It's a deliberate, conscious provocation.

Looking up, Rodimus smile, and expression half-hidden by Soundwave's own hand. "I forgive you," he says quietly, turning his head to nose Soundwave's palm and then bring his hand back to his lap to hold it. The air is cold now against Soundwave's armor where he had kissed him. "I felt off-balance. I still feel off-balance." The run of words reveals a much more anxious thread than his would-be flirtation would suggest. "For a moment, I was scared of you."

Soundwave's vents roar as the push the sudden rush of heat out of his systems. The monitor keeping tabs on his spark beat goes haywire and, for change, Rodimus can hear what he does to this one, dumb brick. It takes a minute before Soundwave realizes Rodimus's mouth isn't on his hand anymore and he squeezes Rodimus's servo with his own. He seems determined to not let go.

"If I ever scare you like that again," Soundwave says, visor so bright is become more pink than red, "I want you to light me up. I'd deserve it... But there won't be a next time. I swear to you, this will be the first and last time. I-- No, you. You don't deserve that. And I'd rather be ash than be the one to do that to you."

Rodimus laughs, easier now, and relaxes into a more comfortable seat. His slight lean away eases, as he gradually shifts until he is tilted back toward Soundwave. And yet -- slight.

The screens part as Ambulon takes a sharp look in following that screech from the monitor, and he gives them both a heated look as he confirms that Soundwave is stable. He departs only after pointing a threat in Rodimus's direction. Not Soundwave's. Definitely just threatening Rodimus.

In that time, Rodimus recovers an easier smile. "I can't believe I just got shamed by Ambulon. I'm not going to light you up, Soundwave. I might tie you down, but it'll be for your own good."

Ambulon comes and Soundwave freezes. His monitor almost flatlines.

Ambulon leaves and Soundwave rolls the rest of the way into a collapse partially on top of Rodimus, covering his face with his hands and threatening to pull his energon feed right out. At least the monitor returns to normal- if slightly elevated. "I can never look at Ambulon again," he mutters into his servos. "And tying me up will do nothing. You will require very strong cuffs."

"I bet I can get some," Rodimus says with a bright, speculative light in his eyes. "Don't worry about Ambulon: he's seen worse, trust me. Don't blame him for checking. That monitor beep scared me. You sure you're okay?" He's definitely teasing.

"Maybe if I mass shift and transform and you carry me out, he and I will never have to cross paths again..." Soundwave mutters, concocting future plans on how to avoid Ambulon forever. "I'm fine, you just-- I feel fine with you." He turns his head out of his hands to gently bunt his facemask against Rodimus. He noses down the side of his head to nuzzle his neck.

"Just give him that one look, the one where you're totally expressionless and he can't see anything and really stare at him," Rodimus says. He lifts his hand to wrap it around the back of Soundwave's helm and pull it against his shoulder and neck. He tips his head back with a grin bright on his lips. "He'll be the one who's never looking at you again. Except to treat you. The next time you go out and get yourself torn up and refuse to come here unless I order you."

"Liked my plan better," Soundwave mutters. "And you know me too well." He frees one hand, laying it over Rodimus. His fingers are gentle as they stroke his spoiler, starting at the base and carefully gliding along the length of its edge. There's just a tease of pressure along the flat of the spoiler, just a whiff of contact as he follows its shape. He sighs, the vents on the side of his helm exhaling heat into Rodimus's neck cables.

Soundwave allows just... Enjoying each other for a few minutes. It doesn't feel long enough. "I think I know what needs to be done about Megatron," he whispers. "But I do not know if it would be better to act now or... Wait just a little longer."

Rodimus warms beneath Soundwave with am ember's slow and certain heat. He stills suddenly enough at the touch to his spoiler to cause almost a ripple. He doesn't dare move. He hardly dares ventilate. If he does, Soundwave might stop. Then -- mood-killer Megatron. "You have an idea to capture him?"

Soundwave continues, as if every pet to Rodimus's spoiler will help settle his nerves against this topic. Plus, he doesn't want to stop. He so rarely is the one with Rodimus on tender hooks. "No," he murmurs. "I don't believe capturing him will... Be an option." He pauses, collecting himself. Steeling himself against that reality. "If we want to victory to stick, I think there is one option: We have to take his command from him."

With extreme reluctance, Rodimus pulls away from Soundwave -- and from his hands, truly and deeply grieving that loss of touch to his spoiler -- so that he can look at him. He reaches to gather Soundwave's hands in his own. "You have an idea," he says.

Soundwave's head bobs with a single nod, hands gripping Rodimus's tightly. "There's only one option available to us if we want to rightfully take his command... Someone must challenge him for leadership of the Decepticons-- and win."

Rodimus starts to say something, but even he doesn't seem to quite know what it is he wants to say. It sort of bubbles to the front of his tongue and then hangs there, an unformed question. His gaze searches Soundwave's features, such as they are, masked and visored.

"I think," Soundwave says. "You see the problem with this idea... Unfortunately, I think you see why it would work, as well."

Rodimus shifts his hands like he wants to gesture, or rub his face, but that would require dropping Soundwave's hands, which he is not willing to do. So he leans forward, rubbing his face against Soundwave's mask, since he can't rub it against his hands, and ends with his forehead butted up against his helm. "I don't even know what to say. The magnitude of it."

"Megatron has lost before," Soundwave points out, butting Rodimus's head back. Gently. Because he doesn't point how Megatron always comes back-- and that's when he wins. "But I've seen what he does to those who lose to him. Which is why I can't ask this of Deathsaurus. Of... Anyone."

It's not hard to track that thought. Rodimus straightens again, pulling back to look at Soundwave. Rodimus cups his face, hands at the edge of his mask and thumbing it in a tapped nudge. Quietly -- so quietly it's less a sound than the shape of his name on his lips, he says, "Soundwave."

Soundwave laughs, flat and nervous as he looks away. "I don't want to do so, either. Think Starscream would want to give it one more attempt?" The locks that keep his faceplate in place click as they deactivate.

Removing his faceplate to set it to the side, Rodimus leans against him in a sudden, sharp movement to press close. Rather than answer, he brings his arm around Soundwave to pull him close; rather than kiss, he syncs the cycle of his ventilations to Soundwave's with cheek pressed to cheek, and his lips at the corner of his mouth. He's quiet, still reaching for what to say, with an imagined ache hollowing his spark in sympathetic pain. He seems almost bewildered by how far Soundwave can have come to get here, from where he started.

Soundwave is taken aback but recovers quickly, wrapping his arms around Rodimus and just sitting there. Silent, and waiting. There's a few times his vocoder clicks on, only to eventually cycle back off. There's so much to say, to explain. That he's scared, that he's furious for being scared. But instead he waits for Rodimus.

In the end, all that Rodimus asks is, "What do you need?" with the implicit assumption being his absolute, unwavering support. Whatever Soundwave needs.

Soundwave's nose crinkles as he smiles softly. And he presses his lips to Rodimus's cheek. "I believe, right now, I just need to know how you did that thing with my wrist." (edited)

Laughter crackles in Rodimus's throat: a promise, first, then released full-voiced. He pulls back to measure the level of energon left in Soundwave's drip, then slips from the berth to his feet. "Tell you what. You have like a minute more on that, so I'm going to go get First Aid, then we're going to get out of here, then I'm going to show you. How's that sound?"

"Sounds perfect," Soundwave says with a small nod. "But you're still carrying me out by my alt mode."

"That's fine," Rodimus says peaceably. "First I'll spin your wheels, then I'll rev your engine." He pats Soundwave's knees and then pushes the partitions wide to go find First Aid and badger Soundwave's ways to freedom. Trust him, First Aid. You want them out of there.

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