2018-12-21 Berries

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Date 2018/12/21
Location Lost Light - Command: Rodimus's Office
Participants Rodimus, Soundwave
Summary I made Yam name this without any context. There are no berries.

Soundwave hasn't resigned from the fleet and it's operations yet. There's still some work to do but with political order beginning to form on Cybertron and justice looming in the near future, Soundwave is thinking about exactly that. The future. One on Cybertron, just as he always wanted.

"This one is called a 'flat'," Soundwave says, scrolling through the images of the listing up on the large viewscreen of his habsuite. He's sitting on the couch, scrutinizing each picture. "It does not look very flat to me. False advertisement. But living room, spacious... I don't know- the location is subpar. What do you think Rodimus?"

"Looks like a nice place to lay down and rust," Rodimus says, wriggling to insert himself between Soundwave and the viewscreen in a lean across him. "Then you'll be flat, too." He's been impatient with the exercise in real estate, but trying so very hard to stay focused and give Soundwave opinions and show that he is Paying Attention. Sometimes he even thinks to ask a question. Mostly, though, he's not that helpful. "Why even bother keeping a place long-term like that? You'd get bored."

Soundwave sighs. "Rodimus..." He carefully tries to nudge him out of the way. And when the fails, he just reaches over him to swipe over to the next listing. "Not that one then."

Leaning back, Soundwave looks to Rodimus. "I have to find some place to settle on Cybertron. I don't have to stay there forever but I will need a home. Be easier to access the courts if I am already down there as well. Come on, what do you think of this one. A two story habsuite- er. Apartment."

"It's terrible. You can't see the stars." Rodimus shifts when he's nudged -- but not to move, no, that would be too reasonable. He slings a leg over Soundwave's thighs and moves to shift into his lap and break his line of sight entirely. "Everything's all junky and half-built. If you wait a couple of years, they'll get some real structures up. Lost Light shuttles can get you down there, no problem. I think they are working on getting orbital bounces back up with all of the travel, too."

"Junky? They look better than I have had in the past." Soundwave never had the chance to go home buying before. It's exciting and new. Rodimus doesn't seem to think the same. He looks to Rodimus- not hard, he's right there in front of him. "And you would let the Lost Light sit in orbit for those few years and then assist me in finding a permanent residency?"

Rodimus laughs, like Soundwave's being totally ridiculous, as he makes himself comfortable between Soundwave and the screen. "We're not going to sit here for years! What do you mean, years? This reconciliation stuff won't take that long, and then we can get back to the fun stuff."

Soundwave rests his hands on Rodimus's legs, thumbs running over his thigh highs. "That is... Rather optimistic of you. I think you under estimate the speed of the law." He drums his fingers against Rodimus's hips. "Rodimus... I-- I want to stay on Cybertron."

“You say that now,” Rodimus says as he leans forward to reach for Soundwave’s mask with one hand, and slide his other arm around his shoulder. “But I haven’t even started my counter argument.”

It’s not actually much of an argument. It’s more like a distraction that ends with them recharging — much later — and all arguments made.

Rodimus's argument is very pleasant, well put together. Almost convincing... If not for how tense it left Soundwave. By the time he sinks into recharge, he's wound up tight and venting hard. It doesn't fade the further he falls asleep. In fact, it gets worst.

Soundwave awakes, a fanged grin wreathed in flame burned into his mind, with a loud stutter of his engine. He kicks and pushes himself back into the corner where his berth is wedged. His intakes ared ragged and harsh. Drawing his knees close to his chest, he holds his head.

Visored and groggy, Rodimus wakes kicked halfway off the berth. He halts his slow slide with a startled stutter, then falls the rest of the way in a clatter and a curse. He rises, visor lifted away, to reach for Soundwave in the dark: a taloned, spoiler-sharp silhouette. “Hey?” He has nothing more eloquent.

Soundwave presses his back further against the wall behind until he hears-- His gaze lifts and what he sees makes his visor light pale almost to bright white. He freezes and falls silent. Mostly. There's a fearful murmur from his engine and his hands shake. He can't look away from Rodimus, spark beats irregular and frenzied.

"Soundwave?" The rough waking has Rodimus's voice -- not frustrated, not exactly -- but ungentle. It's easily read through the lens of memory as some other tone, harsher, sharper. He takes a knee on the edge of the berth and slides forward, reaching to grasp him by the shoulder with a prickle of talons as they sheathe to a blunt grip. "Talk to me."

Soundwave's optics widen, joints coiling tense. It takes a moment after the touch- his processor almost blue screens with a wave of terror even as those claws pull away- to obey. "No!" His leg snaps out to kick Rodimus.

Talons not quite fully retracted, Rodimus startles at the kick, with his first impulse to catch hold of Soundwave: his claws nick the edge of Soundwave's shoulder -- slips, then he scratches along the edge of his deck. Rodimus is finally kicked clear and back off the edge of the berth, but he's left a startled scrape in passing. "What do you mean no?" he says from somewhere knee-height as he lands on his aft and scrambles to kneel.

Soundwave looks down at himself, at the lines that bite into the metal of his chassis. It's a mesh wound- hasn't even drawn a drop of energon. Doesn't even hurt. But he looks down and all he can see is pink and all he can feel is burning. And he can hear something vast. Violent.

As Rodimus tries to get up, Soundwave is there in front of him. He clasps his servos and lifts his arms before bringing the blow down on Rodimus.

When Soundwave moves from his huddle in the corner, Rodimus is -- for a single moment -- hopeful. His expression brightens, eases.

Then Soundwave moves, and the hope dies in an awful, frozen second of paralyzed disbelief. Rodimus moves too late to avoid the strike, which knocks him back down to his knees, and then over. He sprawls, and now he's the one to scramble back to put distance between them. His gaze sweeps across Soundwave's features, looking for recognition.

It's like seeing a scared or injured animal. Panic in the eyes, fear in their struts, trembling all over. And violent when cornered.

Soundwave can remember a deal, hear it ringing in his ears. If he can beat him, they can go. His tentacles slide out to grab onto Rodimus's leg to pull him back, the ends crackling with electricity.

Rodimus's voice is sharper now as he says, "Soundwave," like that will help him reach him. He's dragged back in an unwilling scrape and slide, as the crackle of electricity breaks the plant of his feet in a startled convulsion. "Soundwave, please, c'mon," Rodimus says, gentler now, shaking off the edge of static, "I don't know who or what's in your head, but please don't make me stop you." Yeah, he's doin a real good job of that.

The threat- its not really a threat- makes Soundwave's tentacles jump away, biolights blinking rapidly and wreathing the dark hab with blue strobe-lights. And then he snarls and falls upon Rodimus, drawing his fist back. "Not this time. I'll beat you. I'll beat you," he says. But he sounds unsure, his voice shaking and filled with static.

Rather than push Soundwave back, or answer that promised hit with one of his own, Rodimus -- after a moment hesitating -- relaxes. He lets Soundwave push him back, and doesn't raise a hand to defend himself. "You did," he says. "You did. Sweetspark, you're safe, I promise."

Its not instant but as Rodimus stops and speaks, its like Soundwave's optics can finally adjust. What seemed so purple now is clearly red. No, wait. Magenta. Soundwave's fist stills- he can't recall how many blows he managed in that time- and he stares. He shoves himself off and back, taking several steps away. "Rodimus, no. I-- I didn't. I thought-"

Rodimus begins to go after Soundwave: the instinct is there, to follow, to comfort. But he checks himself, after prying himself halfway back to upright. He's awake now, absolutely awake, with all the earlier fog blasted clear by fear for Soundwave: not of, never of, but it lingers close enough to his thoughts to be scented, to be mistaken. "Hey, you back with me?" he asks, turning one hand out, palm up: an offer, but he doesn't reach for him.

Soundwave doesn't reach either. Instead he covers his face, ashamed and... And still scared. "This shouldn't happen. He's gone. We got rid of him! I hurt you..." He moves and falls back onto the berth, sitting there. His armor plates clatter before they firmly press against him. "I hurt you."

After a moment -- unmoving, though his gaze is restless: fixing on the shiver of Soundwave's armor, moving to the cover of his hands, watching the lines of his frame -- Rodimus rises, and walks away. He doesn't go far. He collects a set of fresh covers from storage, and hugs it to his chest in a pulse of heat as he warms it, and collects a cube of energon. "Soundwave, I'm coming over to leave these on the end of the berth, okay?" he warns, before doing so. He moves around the edge of the room. He is careful to always show Soundwave a clear path to the door. "I'd like to hold you, but it's okay if you aren't comfortable with that."

Slowly, Soundwave's hands drops from his face and he watches Rodimus. And it pains him to watch him move so cautiously somewhere he should feel safe. "Hold me? Rodimus, you need to go to medibay. And I- I just hit you. I need to go to the brig. Not energon and covers." He looks away, holding his head in one servo. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, I just thought he... He was back."

"C'mon, I've gotten worse than this sparring," Rodimus scoffs, shrugging it off. That might not be true. Sparring's made with an intent of pulling blows, of checked force. There was nothing in Soundwave's defense that was restrained or controlled, and he carries those marks. They have to hurt.

"You're not going to the brig. If you want to go somewhere, you can go to medical yourself," Rodimus says. He pushes the energon a little closer, more urgent. He doesn't otherwise close the distance between them. "Wanna clarify which 'he', because--." Well, never mind. He doesn't say it.

Soundwave vents, hot and heavy, and glances to Rodimus. He takes the energon cube gingerly, not exactly drinking it. But he's holding it at least. "Because there's a few of them? Yeah... Well. You bare a striking resemblance to one- even if you're nothing like him... I'm sorry. I just thought you were... him. I thought I was back there all over again." His head hangs. "It's never been this bad."

"Oh." Rodimus actually relaxes when Soundwave says that, for just a moment, before a slighter, subtler tension comes creeping back in his lines again. "Okay, that's kind of what I thought there at the end, but good to know," he says super awkwardly. His gaze measures the distance between them like every inch hurts. "You were tense tonight. Earlier, I mean. I thought you were distracted, but--."

Soundwave nods. "I was. Its not your fault," he says, quick to add that last bit. He holds his cube tight. "Sometimes your teeth... And claws are just- They're like his and it makes me tense, like you said. I feel like..." He doesn't finish. He doesn't want to talk about it. "Are-Are you alright? Are you sure you don't need the medbay?"

Rodimus touches one of the dents in his shoulder pressing down against his substructure and wires. He wriggles his fingers, which aren't quite as smooth in their motion as they should be. Something's pinching. "I'll go in the morning," he promises. "We don't have to talk about it now. What do you need tonight?"

"I don't know," Soundwave says. "I really don't know." He breaks the seal of his energon cube, taking a few sips. And then several gulps. And then he downs the whole thing. He was thirsty. "I just don't want to hurt you again. And I don't know how to not do that. What if it gets worse? What if I hurt others?"

"I don't know either," Rodimus says. He says it like that is the worst thing he's ever said in his life. He doesn't know. He doesn't know how to help Soundwave; he doesn't know how to fix this. There's only the awful space between them.

"Come with me tomorrow to medical, okay?" Rodimus says, like it has to be true, "They'll know." THEY BETTER. "They'll have some idea of how to deal with it."

"Okay. Okay, that's a start." Soundwave reaches and takes the cover that Rodimus had heated up, pulling it close. Soaking up that warmth. "I don't think I can sleep anymore tonight though." He looks over to Rodimus, tense for totally different reasons. "Could you stay? You could sit on the couch. We could talk."

Rodimus seems surprised: his eyes widen, and his vents puff in a slight vent. "Yeah," he says, smile small. Relieved. "Yeah, I can stay. We can talk." He shifts, moving to take a seat on the couch -- which is far enough away and out of view that all Soundwave can really see of him is the bounce of his foot as he settles in. "We can go down to medical when you're comfortable, okay?"

Soundwave nods, tugging the cover around him- the bonuses of having little to no kibble. He watches Rodimus's foot with its every flex and scrape. And he concentrates on letting the clangorous chorus sounds of life wash over him, letting the tensions ease. "Okay. So... Want to look at more listings? Maybe there is one close to a good racing area." Rodimus wants to talk about that, right?

In the wash of noise, the weight that sinks Rodimus's spark is quiet as a whisper, settling soft over him. "Sure," he says. "Which one's your favorite, right now?"

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