12-21-18 Drunk and Disorderly
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Drunk and Disorderly|
|Location||Tempo - a bar somewhere|
|Participants||Prowl, Minimus Ambus|
|Summary||Here you go, Tez. It's a not-fake log. (There's no berries in this one either.)|
As a particular Date draws near, Prowl has been more and more scarce. No more Command duties for him, so he has been busy drafting changes to Cybertron's police force. Today, his haunts are empty, and if Minimus tries to track him down, he'll find Prowl in one of Tempo's rowdy pubs.
It's loud with thumping music and chatter, mechs still riding the high of victory. Prowl lurks at the bar, hands tight around his third glass of engex. He might be moping. He at least forces a smile whenever someone addresses him.
Minimus steps over the threshhold of the crowded pub, looking around the room with a look of deep consternation. The first thing he does is absently check the building for immediately obvious fire and safety violations. Then he dodges an exuberant, inebriated person who is trying to hug every stranger in the room. “Excuse me,” he says in extreme reproach, but the mech has already caromed on.
Minimus sighs. This was not what he had in mind for an evening.
Still, it’s not hard to find Prowl among the bots cozied up at the bar. Minimus approaches it at a sideways angle and finds the crowd extremely irritating, to the point that by the time he gets there he has private, secret empathy for people who start bar fights. Instead of doing so, though, he drops his hand on Prowl’s back, a warm weight between his door wings, and leans forward to rumble in his audial.
“Hello, stranger,” he says with perfectly flat, calm intonation. “May I purchase you a drink.” Has he forgotten about question marks?
Prowl's doors lift at the touch and he looks over, the beginnings of his wobbly smile growing more genuine when he recognizes Minimus. "Kind of you, but I'm all set, and not to brag, but I'm dating an ex-Enforcer, one of the most decorated, so you best move on."
"Just kidding," Prowl feels the need to clarify, "Please, stick around. It's nice, right? Just... everyone being so fragging happy? Happy happy happy..." He takes another long swig, and exhales with a sparkly vapor.
“I hate everything about this,” Minimus Ambus assures Prowl with his mouth straight and flat, the touch of his hand growing into a deeper lean. His helm’s edge crinkles as he weights a look down at Prowl’s glass, and he tilts his head away to avoid the fumes he exhales, not unlike a teetotaler in a nightclub. “How much have you had?”
"Enough, hopefully, to keep me from thinking about these hearings." Prowl eyes Minimus with too-bright optics, then his drink. Then back to Minimus, and his drink again. "Do you think Drift might have anything to help steady nerves? Uhm, spiritually?" He tacks on, to make it tame.
Minimus watches Prowl for a moment. The moment grows in length, until it is definitely uncomfortably intent. He rumbles, basally, in the depth of his frame. Instead of answering the _question_, which he disregards entirely, he says: “Come home with me.” He sounds like he’s giving orders, not making requests.
Prowl turns to face Minimus properly, doors at lop-sided angle. "What, now? Why? I'm... reveling! You should sit and drink." He pats the stool across from him. "It's too quiet in the offices."
Minimus gives Prowl a disbelieving look. He looks around the bar, the other mechs, the bartender busily mixing up some probably horrifying concoction of energon and _something_ down the bar from them. He looks back at Prowl again, and his tone shifts to one more of entreaty than demand, at least. “Come home with me,” he says.
Prowl needn't more than that, apparently. He slides from his seat in a resigned quietness, but he definitely takes his drink, glumly tucking against Minimus' shoulder to be led out as if he'd forgotten how he came in.
Minimus herds him carefully, gently out of the bar, one arm wrapped around his waist. He doesn’t say anything again until they are in the air of the street beyond, and the noise and uproar of the revelry inside is shrinking behind them. “I’ll put on some music,” he says. “When we get there. It doesn’t have to be quiet.” A beat. “You know you can’t escape from yourself this way. It’s still you in there.”
"I'm going to go through with it," Prowl prefaces, firmly. "I'm going to do this. I said I would." He pauses, downing the rest of his drink as he's guided along by his waist. "I know, it's still me. It'll always ever be me. Did you read the charter, Minimus? There's a chance I'll be rejected. I'm supposed to accept that, right? This is what's supposed to happen, right?"
“I helped write it,” Minimus answers in re: the charter, inevitably. He is quiet, then, as he herds Prowl gently along.
Prowl mutters. "Of course you did." He clings to his empty glass that he just walked out with, and eventually resists Minimus' herding, pulling away to stand and stare at him. "Is this what you wanted? Are you looking forward to this?"
Minimus looks at him. His hands drop as Prowl pulls away, balking to stare at him, and he lifts his chin. “In a sense,” he says with particular dryness, undercutting the accusation. “I am looking forward to it being done with so that we can move on. You have been dreading it for weeks now.”
Prowl, clearly seeking something to sink his teeth into, seems displeased by the reasonable answer and takes another step back. He eyes Tempo's park in the distance. "Dreading... How'd you forgive Drift? Why? Do you still feel the same way, now that you're no longer with him?" They might've had this conversation a few times, but Prowl's overcharged and obviously looking to pick a fight in public, like the classy mech he is.
Minimus looks up at Prowl with growing exasperation gathering in his expression, glittering in his scarlet eyes. “Prowl,” he says very quietly. “Are you expecting my position to change, since the last time you told me everything you’d done?”
"I don't know. You don't have to go and petition. You're squeaky clean. You've done nothing questionable. Somehow. Nothing! Did it ever cross your mind? During the darkest hours of the war?" Prowl thinks it's a good idea to saturate his tone with incredulous doubt, here. He tries to get one last drop out of the glass.
Minimus Ambus tilts his head slightly to one side and says, “Do you want me to leave you alone so that you can be belligerent at your own shadow in peace?” He sounds very, very annoyed. “The last time we discussed my regrets, if I recall, you didn’t even understand why they bothered me. I’m certainly not going to get into it again now while you’re ‘’blotto’’.”
Prowl gets some distance, if only to stalk in a ridiculous circle. Minimus' comment digs deep enough to make him slow down and glower. He thaws after a few more seconds of tense silence, and tries to collect himself, cautiously moving back to Minimus' side. "Sorry. I - ... Sorry." He angles close again, hoping that Minimus will just resume shepherding him.
Minimus accepts the apology with a rumbled noise in the depths of his frame, a ticking-over grumble of his engine that thrums through him. In silence, he resumes the contact. “Have you been doing this a lot?” he asks.
Prowl shakes his head, dragging his hand over his wearied face and chevron. "Probably, by my standards. I've... been making this all about me. Hn. Even after you tried to buy me a drink, like a gentlemech. Are you... fairing alright? How's... Command?"
“Will you remember later if I tell you?” Minimus is still gauging the level of Prowl’s intoxication, but it is with more concern in his muted tone than judgment in his narrowed glance.
To be clear, both exist. But still.
Prowl is not slurring terribly. He's sober enough to walk in a straight line at least, and he seems attentive enough to catch Minimus' squinting look. "I'll remember. I'm fine. Are we going to your office?"
“Yes,” Minimus answers. He considers for a long moment quiet as their steps scrape over the ground. He admits in a quiet tone, “I made you something.”
Prowl visibly perks. "Yeah?" He grins, looking over. "And you still want to give it to me after I've blotto'd you? I'm going to be honest, I don't know what that means."
“It means you’re intoxicated,” Minimus says with a grouchy edge to his voice, although he does not offer anything else to quell him. The fact that he mentioned the gift seems proof enough that he plans on presenting it.
"Oh. Yes, I am definitely that," says Prowl, suddenly sheepish.
They're back on the Lost Light before too long, but Minimus might have to rouse Prowl where he'd begun to drift off against a green shoulder in their shuttle.
Minimus causes the hatch to open, and then leans over Prowl, weighting his hand upon his shoulder. His touch is gentle; his voice delivers a perfunctory, “Up.”
Prowl blearily straightens and pushes himself up to follow Minimus out. "Seriously though, would Drift have anything legal I could take? Do you... still talk to him? I guess you still talk to Rodimus." Grr.
The shake of Minimus’s head is slight. “Drift tried to resume our relationship at one point after he left me,” he says, with a heavy weight of a sigh cycling through him as he emerges into the shuttle bay. “I believe it hurt him very much when I refused. I have not sought to pressure him with … my company. He is better off growing on his own.”
Prowl casually tries to sneak his hand back around Minimus' waist and tug him into a simple box step. He won't get too far if Minimus resists, but he'll ride out the buzz regardless. It makes him less prickly when he asks, "You mean he wanted to actually get back together with you?"
Minimus matches Prowl’s stride-- at first. But the first time they pass someone else in the hallway he is entirely coincidentally eeling away, though it requires quickening his pace and breaking their unity. It’s just no one’s business. “Yes,” he says. “Hard to believe though it may be.”
Prowl can't manage the finesse of sober waltzing but he still beams when Minimus plays along. Only to be left solo again when Minimus slides away. "It's not hard to believe. But I have to wonder... Do you, uh. Expect... or desire a... ahm. A third?"
Minimus gives Prowl a brief, dry look. “What,” he says, “just like… pick one? At random? Is there someone you have in mind?”
Prowl breaks into a laugh, pausing to brace his hand against the nearest wall. "No I- No! ..." But now it looks like he's considering. He grimaces at the choices that come up in his head. "I just don't know what you prefer."
“Our relationship… developed,” Minimus says, shaking his head. “I think we have enough to deal with with just you and me, considering.” He punches the elevator controls and adds, “Don’t you?”
Prowl doesn't answer right away, as he tucks himself into the corner of the elevator. He's back to being moody and dramatic when he asks, "Am I difficult? If... if you were to rate me."
Minimus gives Prowl a strange look.
Prowl frowns. "What! It's a legit question." He tucks further against the corner, folding his arms.
“I’m not really in a position to judge that quality in others,” Minimus says with a particular dryness in his voice, watching Prowl’s broody armfold with a slight cinch to his brow as his helmet pulls down over his scarlet gaze.
"You're going to sit in, during the hearings, right? You'll be in a solid position then." Prowl steps out into the bridge and heads for Minimus' office. He wobbles just a bit, and it earns various looks from the bridge crew.
“I’ll be present,” Minimus assures him quietly. He makes eye contact with no one on the bridge. Once they make it to his office, he checks his inbox briefly, and then moves on to the inner sanctum of his berth, where he pokes through a door looking for something. “But I won’t be judging your … difficulty as a partner,” he says over his shoulder while he does this.
Prowl smiles weakly and finds his usual seat. "Just so you know... You might learn of some extra war crimes that I couldn't recall or, er, glossed over. But you know of the important ones! I think. Did I tell you about Kup? I suppose Perceptor's going to clear that up in his hearing. Maybe I should shut up before you kick me out."
Minimus finds something small in the drawer and walks across the floor. He stands before Prowl with a faint frown. “I was going to wait to give you this until after your hearing,” he says. “But you seem… in need of the assurance. And perhaps, the distraction.”
Prowl's grin fades and he finds his feet again, stepping closer. He wills his doors to level out. Symmetrically. For Minimus. And he waits, patiently.
Minimus opens his hand, showing him what appears to be a perfectly ordinary datastick. His voice has dropped to a murmur, his scarlet gaze downcast. “They’re almost all waltzes,” he says. “There are a few more complex and dramatic pieces at the end of the playlist.” His voice peters to a shy mumble as he finishes, “--if we can learn to dance to them.”
Prowl takes the datastick, letting it slide into his palm. It's the "we" part that makes him brighten. "Orion gave me scrap for muttering, but somehow you got away with your little murmurs. Good thing it's ridiculously charming." He closes his fist and holds it against his grill. "I love waltzes. Is this something you'll suffer through for me, or do you actually like it?"
“I love music,” Minimus Ambus answers him, simply. He does lift his voice above a mumble for it, too. “I am not an accomplished dancer. You will have to work with me.”
"We'll give the Camiens a run for their money," Prowl assures, already imagining routines to practice. It's a very nice distraction indeed. "We don't have to dance tonight, but you should play some." He offers the datastick back, with the intent to grasp Minimus' hand first. "You said you'd put something on."
Minimus doesn’t take the datastick. He gives Prowl a tiny, faint smile. He walks to his terminal, keys it on and starts his copy of the playlist. The delicate, quiet strains of a warm but alien waltz, heavy on the woodwinds with light percussion, roll out of the sound system in the room. Minimus turns it up, and then walks back to Prowl, where he reaches up to gently enfold him in the clasp of his arms around his waist. “You don’t have to dance tonight,” he says. “For one thing, I am a difficult student.”
Prowl bites his lip at Minimus' fleeting smile. It will never not make his spark smolder. He's drawn in readily, hands against Minimus' shoulders when he tips his chevron against his brow. "Excuse you, Jazz had to teach me. Jazz. He made me pay him for the "trouble"."
Everything is poised for a simple, pleasant dance, but Prowl doesn't budge. Not tonight. He seems very content to stand in Minimus' embrace and listen to the music. Hopefully his lightly swaying doors express his gratitude.
“I’m not paying you,” Minimus states. He draws his arms into a tighter, closer embrace for a moment, tucking himself against Prowl with a low thrum of his engine as heat glows between the contact of their frames. He falls quiet again.
Prowl smirks. "Fine. Free lessons. But just for you." Minimus is pretty effective at smothering Prowl's anxiety this way, evinced by tension beneath his armor melting from the rumbling warmth, and his eventual quieting.
It's a while before Prowl leans and steps to catch himself, clearly dozing.
“Come on,” Minimus says in low, but strangely warm exasperation. He shifts, moving to more or less drag Prowl into the back. “I’m putting you to bed.”
Prowl resists, as much as he can against a load-bearer. "Am I sleeping on the floor then?"
“Of course not,” Minimus says with a slightly sharper note. “I didn’t say I was putting you on the floor.”
"Alright," Prowl says, warily. He sidles against the wall in Minimus' quarters, back to hugging himself. His groggy expression brightens once more. "You're going to let me-" Cutting himself off before he says anything stupid, he just stands there with a dumb grin.
Minimus tugs Prowl gently off the wall and backs him on slow steps until the backs of his legs hit the berth behind him. Then he stands there and eyes him with a cross expression, failing to use his words.
Maybe fortunately for Minimus, Prowl doesn't have enough energy to tease or drum up banter or even just extend contact. He's nudged back and promptly rolls onto his side, sure to leave enough room. "I'll sneak out before anyone on the bridge notices," he promises.
“Just recharge already,” Minimus grumps, sitting down beside him and reaching for the endtable to start going through the contents of the drawers until he finds the datapad he wants and a reading light; then he says, “Lights,” to make the lights go down except for the soft glow of the reading light. “You don’t need to sneak out. Anyone who is watching my door that closely can have an intimate discussion with me about their respect for my private business.”
"Lucky them," Prowl says, staring up at the Minimus' kibble. It only takes a minute for his optics to fade, and he starts to drift off for perhaps the first peaceful recharge he's had in several weeks.