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2018-12-29 space heater

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space heater
Date 2018/12/29
Location Cybertron
Participants Rodimus, Soundwave
Summary Day two of Soundwave's testimony.

gudeteza [7:50 PM]

yam
yam
:yamnotif:
yam [7:50 PM]
hey
gudeteza [7:50 PM]
please name a log without any context for me again
yam [7:50 PM]
NNGHH
gudeteza [7:50 PM]
ok
NNGHH it is
yam [7:50 PM]
NO!!!!
gudeteza [7:50 PM]
ok what is it then
yam [7:50 PM]
space heater
y/w

With the first end of the day recess, everyone was left restless and uneasy. The things Soundwave confessed to and spoke of were a hard pill to swallow. But it could still be swallowed. Everyone was able to retire for the day and sleep, exempting those unaccustomed to war and what it entails. Mild unrest settles over the viewers of the first day of Restorative Justice.

It did not and could not compare to when the court reconvened the next day. Soundwave never wavered, his voice clear and even, as he recounted the multiple assassinations- and attempts- he took part in. That he ordered or took care of personally. The list is long, several Decepticon names are there only their hit men tended to be the DJD once Soundwave curated their list to fit his needs. And, for a short interval, his confessions diverted from Minimus's original indictment. Accessory to murders and acts Megatron carried out. Dragging the day on with continued names of those lost or disappeared from all sides- Hot Rod's name is in there, spoken just like the rest with hardly a blink of Soundwave's visor. Unease had turned to nauseous sickness.

Then Grindcore finally turned it's ugly head.

The second end of day recess was called not long after. Everyone begins to leave, the looming horror of what's yet to come lingering over them. Another day of this. A chance to go home and reconcile before that is what everyone needs. And Soundwave feels no different.

Soundwave stands outside the courtroom, glad to be out of the witness stand. His shoulders are bowed with exhaustion and his visor is dim. But he stays and looks around, waiting to see the point of a spoiler.

Rodimus was there, a hand at Soundwave's back, waiting for him at the end of the first day. At the end of the second, Soundwave emerges to the scrutiny of a thousand lenses -- the cold stare of the camera, the colder regard of protestors and crowds gone silent -- and without the warmth at his side to offer shelter.

Then: Rodimus, slipping from a side exit, and following all of those lines of sight as they track toward Soundwave with his own eyes. Then, he follows his gaze, weaving against the flow to cross to Soundwave. The noise and pressure of the crowds falls away from him as his attention narrows to the bow of Soundwave's shoulders and the shade of his visor. He draws to a halt a pace away from Soundwave, looking at him, and searches an awkward moment for words that are slow to come.

If Soundwave didn't have an ample history of tuning out those who abhor him, he might have just fractured under the pressure no one else can hear. Quiet doesn't mean silence, not for him. And then, a bright shard along the ice.

Soundwave straightens a little as Rodimus approaches. He doesn't relax, per se, but his edges soften when he sees him. He offers his hand to Rodimus when he's there, in front of the cameras and multitude of viewers. He doesn't offer anything to say.

Taking Soundwave's hand, Rodimus laces their fingers in a tight clasp. He draws him forward, chin lifting at the first shutter click, and then down and into the mess. There are questions. He ignores them. As others crowd closer, he pulls Soundwave against his side, and looses his hand to place his hand on his back. His palm unerringly finds the pulse of Soundwave's spark beneath, sheltering as they pass through the crowds. They're followed, for a time, but even the most persistent eventually give up in the face of silence, although drones continue to follow them through the streets in the hope of better footage.

Soundwave walks as steadily as he speaks, never halting and with even strides. He doesn't speak, just looks ahead as they shed the crowd and reporters. Just the drones...<< Do you think I would have to pay for those if I blocked their control signals and they crashed? >> He asks Rodimus over comms.

Despite himself, Rodimus laughs. He bumps Soundwave's shoulder with his own. << "Yes. Probably. Save your credits." >> They aren't far from the shelter of their temporary housing, and his stride lengthens. His hand slips from Soundwave's back as they move away from the crowds, no longer quite as protective, though he still urges Soundwave to walk ahead of him with the subtle press of his fingers before they fall to his side.

It's nice, hearing Rodimus's laugh. It leeches more tension from his body and warms his chassis. He keeps ahead, quietly obedient to the press of Rodimus's hand, even as Rodimus walks a little faster. He glances up at their hotel with a small sigh. << It might be harder finding a new home here now. >> He says, just as gentle as before over comms.

"It was never going to be easy." Ducking inside -- and firmly blocking one eager drone trying to slip through the cracks with the flat of his palm, Rodimus watches as two more bonk mournfully against the door before flitting off -- probably to try to find the right window. He makes a face, then pushes Soundwave forward again.

"I suppose not," Soundwave says, voice low and scratchy with static. He looks at Rodimus briefly before turning to continue on. "Bigger crowd today," he adds, unable to handle the quiet now that they're alone.

"Bigger crimes today," Rodimus says, flippant. His voice thins, poorly covering the echo of horror that strains his voice.

Soundwave looks down. "Yes," he murmurs, the end of his word popping with spitting static. "I thought it best to... Ease into it."

Rodimus rubs the brim of his helm. "Ease into it," he repeats in a mutter. "It's not a coolant lake, Soundwave." As they get to the room, he stops Soundwave with a gesture, and goes in first to make sure that the windows are privacy-screened, foiling one of the particularly persistent drones.

"I know. But it's the best way for it to be done," Soundwave says, voice having gone quieter each time he speaks. Barely a whisper now. He waits as he's instructed, dragging himself in only when Rodimus give him the clear.

When the door closes, Rodimus man-handles Soundwave back toward the berth: he pushes him with the weight and warmth of his body, backing him up until his legs hit the edge. Then, it's a gentler pressure, and a hand at his waist, as Soundwave's forced to sit. Rodimus lifts his hand from Soundwave's side to rest beneath his chin. With gentle pressure, he tips his face up to meet his gaze. "Tell me what you need."

Soundwave is in no condition to resist- too tired from his testimonials- and he's easily herded to the berth, forced to sit. His brows pinch together, making his visor flicker, as he looks up at Rodimus. "I. Um... A drink," he murmurs.

Having something to do helps. Rodimus nods, then turns away to draw clean energon for Soundwave, and bring it back to him. He hands it over, and draws a chair from a desk to take a seat: not opposite Soundwave, not at his side, but at an angle, with his legs kicked up and feet resting back behind Soundwave. "Do you want me to stay?"

Soundwave holds the energon tightly in both hands. He doesn't drink it. Just holds it, in his lap. He watches Rodimus figure out his seating situation without moving much. "Yes, I-" He hesitates. "Do... You want to stay?"

Rodimus hesitates. "Yes," he says. "Mostly." Quieter, he says, "I want to remind myself who you are now. I need to."

Releasing the energon with one hand, he reaches to take one of Rodimus's hands. "I'm not that person. Not anymore. Not remotely."

Rodimus searches through all the things that he could say, but in the end, he says nothing. He laces his fingers through Soundwave's, and squeezes his hand. After a moment, he says, "Drink your energon."

Never mind what his fuel levels are.

A tentacle has to snake out of his side to remove his faceplate. It's easier to see how he feels when he does, grimace permanently etched into the metal of his face. Soundwave takes a few sips, the energon soothing his throat. He doesn't take his eyes off Rodimus as he does. "What does this change?"

Rodimus's gaze skips up to meet Soundwave's, drawn from his study of their joined hands. He presses his palm tight against his own. "It doesn't change anything," probably isn't actually very honest. No sooner has he said that than he is correcting it: "I didn't expect it to be this hard. Are you okay?"

"I don't believe I deserve to be okay," Soundwave says. "And I have no right being okay as I am." He swirls his energon. "You already read all of this, didn't you. Most of it?"

A skitter of self-consciousness ices along Rodimus's lines in a twisting roil. Yeah, Rodimus. You already read all of this, didn't you?

He avoids the question.

Planting his heels, Rodimus scoots himself a little closer, twisting in his chair to bend his legs at the knee. He's half-facing away from Soundwave now, legs bent in an L-frame at his side, but twists back to look at him with his arm braced on the chair's back, making curves of his lines. "There's a lot of people who didn't get what they deserve, and maybe you're one of them. But you can't change that. You can only change what you do today, and what you do tomorrow."

"And that's why I was there today and I am going back tomorrow. Even with all those cameras, and protesters, and people..." Soundwave looks down, drawing in. He's not one for this kind of attention. He prefers the shadows and corners and walls, of which he made his home for most of his life.

Soundwave sets his drink aside, hardly touched. Maybe he's just not that hungry. "Prowl says this makes it seem like I'm proud of what I've done," he says, touching his badge. "Like removing his badge makes him appear less guilty."

When Soundwave sets his drink to the side, Rodimus nudges him in the back of his hip with his heel. "Drink your energon," he says again, a pest. "Prowl likes to think issues are simple, because then he can turn them into solvable problems. Your badge isn't that simple. I don't think there are many people who think like he do on that. What are you going to do to try to reclaim the movement? What it means?"

Soundwave looks at Rodimus. He doesn't wanna drink it, he's not hungry. You drink it! He cycles a vents, hand falling away from his badge. "Perhaps... But as I've stood there and spoken these last two days, I-- I don't know if there is any reclaiming."

"If you really thought that, you wouldn't be wearing it." Rodimus digs his heel into Soundwave's hip a little more, and apparently plans to continue to do so until Soundwave does what he wants. It's definitely obnoxious. He's just counting on it being charmingly obnoxious.

Soundwave can't help the small smile that perks up his lips as Rodimus insists on ramping up his charm. With an eye roll, he picks up his glass but doesn't immediately drink. "Maybe. Maybe I just don't know what to do without it on."

It's a good thing for Rodimus that Soundwave likes him. He looks somewhat satisfied when Soundwave picks up the energon, and adds another note of pressure in the lean of his armor against the small of his back. Good. Keep it up. Take a sip. "Then wear it. But you are so much more than your loyalty to a badge. And your dedication, your idealism, is more than that splinter of metal."

Soundwave grunts, taking a sip. Just one! One sip. Happy? His tentacle wiggles out and wraps around Rodimus's legs. He looks away, visor dimming. "I've done everything this badge stands against... Perhaps after this, I can ask Raptorion to strip me of it, officially."

Rodimus sits up so suddenly and so sharply that he very nearly slips off his seat, and his leg half-twists out of the twine of Soundwave's tentacle. He has to scramble to keep his seat, hands clamped on the edge as he drags back upright, and his leg slips until Soundwave grasps only his foot. He's facing him now, sitting at his side, but opposite him on the chair. "Are you serious?" he asks, after swallowing the first 'no', that still ripples over his features.

Soundwave jerks, surprised at Rodimus violent reaction to his words. It's not what he was expecting. "Yes," he answers once the stunned silence moves through. "Perhaps the Decepticons can reform and reclaim themselves for what they were meant to be. But... I don't think that can be done with me. Not now. They need... To move past me. They already are, in some parts."

Rodimus's lips move without an immediate answer. His gaze sweeps over Soundwave's features, half-bared, trying to search past them to the spark that moves beneath. "If that's your decision, of course I'll support you. But don't make it today. Don't make it this week. Take some time to find your balance again, once you've hollowed your spark in all this."

Soundwave's head bobs and then nods. Stop and think, let time pass. It's very good advice and it helps to steady him, remind him that he can get past this. It will just take some time. "Okay. Yes, okay." Another smile breaks over his features, friendacle now claiming Rodimus's arm. "Thank you Rodimus. For being here. I don't know what I would do without you right now."

"Probably lying in a corner, not drinking, and staring at the wall." Rodimus turns his arm so that he can bring his fingers up underneath the friendacle, and stroke the cable with a gentle touch. Speaking of: "Finished your energon, yet?" He watches, waits for Soundwave to take another sip, then admits, "I wasn't sure if I would be here. You can thank Minimus."

Soundwave chuckles, but the humor is never enough to make his nose scrunch. Spark isn't in it. But he laughs, taking a drink to show how much he isn't not drinking with Rodimus around. His shoulders tense and he quickly puts his drink down.

"Oh." Soundwave tries not to be hurt. He's the one who did wrong. Rodimus is entitled to his feelings and reactions. He swallows it. Most of it. "I'll have to think Minimus then, heh... Hrn... You'll be here tomorrow though?"

When Soundwave tenses, Rodimus shifts back to his feet, pushing the chair away. He steps forward, and nudges his knee between Soundwave's thigh to make room for himself to slide closer. He lifts his other hand, smoothing his thumb over the hurt on Soundwave's features, like he can rub it away, and the pain that provoked the expression with it. "Listen to me," he asks. Listen.

"I'll be here," Rodimus promises. "I knew who you were -- I know who you were," he says, the shift in tense important enough for him to make a point of it. "And I know who you are. And I can't wait to see who you will be."

Soundwave leans into Rodimus's touch and then just... Semi-collapses against him, visor halved. This close, it's easy to hear- to feel the clipped putter of his engine. He's so, so tired. "Thank you. I wish I wasn't how I once was, though. If I could have always been someone you could be proud of..."

Drawing Soundwave to rest against his hood, Rodimus wraps his arms around his shoulders. His engine thrums, warm and steady, beneath the badgeless flames. The -- by this point -- familiar depth of the Matrix's boundless hum is almost more felt than heard.

Rodimus lays his hand on the back of Soundwave's helm with a gentle touch, then strokes down the line of his spinal strut. "I'm a bad measure. Do you know how many times I've fragged up? You shouldn't live to someone else's expectations. Take it from someone who's still learning that maybe it doesn't actually matter what Optimus thinks. Orion. Whatever."

"It doesn't matter what Optimus thinks," Soundwave grumbles into Rodimus's chassis before turning his head to rest his audio against Rodimus. "He better come back and do this too, damnit."

This close, Soundwave can probably tell that the way that Rodimus is chasing after Soundwave to refuel is nothing but the grossest hypocrisy. He's not exactly red-lining quite yet, but he's certainly running his tanks idiotically low. "He probably will. We just gotta go find him. But if he doesn't matter, neither do I. Be someone you will be proud of."

"Very well," Soundwave says, lifting the remains of his drink to press against Rodimus's face. "Then I'm going to make you drink this and then you'll drink more. And then you can lay down with me."

"What?" Startled by the shift, Rodimus draws back with a wrinkle of his nose, and lifts a hand to push the drink back at Soundwave. "Nuh uh. I got that for you. Finish it, I'll go get one for myself, then we can lay down. How's that?"

Soundwave nods. "I'd like that," he says, sitting up so he can gently push at Rodimus. Go get your drink! Then cuddles!

Rodimus moves away, but only after pointing to his eyes and then to Soundwave and the glass. He is watching! And waiting! And Soundwave better finish! He makes good on it himself, even if he hesitates with a grimace looking down at the bloody shimmer. Why's it all gotta look the same, anyway? He kills his sensors for long enough to slug it back, clearly drinking it without pleasure, and grimacing as though it threatens to come back up. He waits, steadying himself, with the back of his hand to his mouth as he watches to see if Soundwave's finished his.

Soundwave finishes as well, taking sips at it and watching Rodimus- making sure he's not running off. But he's finished. He, very casually, knocks the empty glass off the berth. There, room for Rod.

Rodimus laughs all out of proportion to the slight gesture, like an escape valve of tension. He crosses to Soundwave, movement eager, to press him back and down onto the berth. He moves over and atop him, and settles in to get comfortable.

He leaves the glass on the floor.

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