2016-06-19 Smooth Jazz

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Smooth Jazz
Date 2016/06/19
Location Common Lounge
Participants Slugfest, Starstruck, Wheeljack
Summary Starstruck gets some interest from practicing his saxophone skills.

This spacious, rectangular room serves as the hub for four habsuite hallways that branch off from it on either side. Tinted blue with warm lighting, it's quiet and cozy during most shifts and invariably bustling with activity in the off hours. When the large videopane isn't buzzing with movies, it's being used for what must be aggressive gaming, evinced by the various controller-shaped dents in the wall nearby. A veritable tangle of game consoles flank the shelving unit, some Terran, some Cybertronian, some truly alien - all modded for mechs.

L-shaped couches circle a simple table in a pisces layout. Off to the side are a few more tables and chairs beside an energon dispenser and an over-priced vending machine.

<FS3> Starstruck rolls Saxophone: Good Success. (8 5 7 5 6 8)

Ever since that day in the gallery, Starstruck has been working more on practicing his sax in his off time. He wants to impress Mirage, of course - who doesn't? - and he wants to impress everyone else. Saxophone is something he's only just picked up, so he's not as good at is as he is with dancing or singing, and though he can be pretty flaky he does have the determination needed to really get this down. He's decided to relocate to the common lounge for today's practice once his shift is over, as Percy's drab, rarely-used half of the suite can depress him sometimes. It's just so.....sterile.

Starstruck is sitting on one of the couches in the common lounge, not paying attention to the other mechs around him as he sets the datapad he's brought with practice songs on the cushion beside him. He's shifted, one pede on the floor with the other leg bent up on the couch, so he can see the music sheets displayed on the small screen. His sax is out, pressed to his lips. He goes through his scales first - he's gotten good at those - before moving into one of the easier songs he's brought to try. The sweet notes of the sax drift out from the common lounge and into the hall. If there's anyone else in there, they might be annoyed, but as usual Starstruck doesn't worry about that. He's lost in the music.

Wheeljack is passing by the Lounge when the sound of music drifts out. It's maybe not so unusual for the Common Lounge, but the sound of video game soundtracks is much more common, so Wheeljack isn't expecting a sound that is familiar from his time on Earth, though the music itself might not be. It's enough to get his attention out of the datapad he's carrying. He stops for a moment to listen before his curiosity gets the best of him. He tucks the datapad under his arm and ducks his head into the Common Lounge. Sure enough, someone is there, playing an Earth-looking instrument. Wheeljack listens along until the first time the mech pauses before he speaks. "Is that a saxophone?"

A tiny robo stego was napping on a couch! The music starts playing and one optic lights up, as the stego edges into wakefulness. Once Slugfest is fully awake, he sits up, staring at the musician. Maybe music soothes the savage beasts and stegotapes?

<FS3> Starstruck rolls Saxophone: Success. (7 3 2 4 3 5)

Starstruck keeps playing, unaware of Slugfest's presence. His digits move slowly over the sax's keys (a sax built large enough for such a big bot to use, thanks Wrangler and Trailhawk) as he works through the song, one he's played several times before and therefore mostly knows off the top of his processor. He does keep an optic on the music sheet, though, just in case.

Star does get a little distracted, near the end, at a new voice, and the last note wavers as he looks up and takes the reed away from his lips. "Yeah, it totally is!" He grins at the newcomer, someone he's probably seen around? The fins look familiar. "I'm just practicing."

It's then that he notices the little stego on a nearby couch, and the grin he'd been wearing turns soft. "Hey, little guy. Didn't mean to wake you."

When Starstruck looks toward the couch, Wheeljack follows his line of sight until he sees the cassette curled up here that he hadn't noticed when walking in. "Whoops!" he says, his fins flashing with chagrin. "Didn't mean to interrupt your listening there, little guy." Then he nods to the mech. "Or your practice. I didn't think I'd see anyone around here with an actual Earth instrument, though!" His optics catch on Starstruck's Decepticon badge for a moment, but he doesn't make the comment that he's particularly surprised to see it from a Decepticon, considering what they were doing to Earth. This ship is about mending the gap, and dragging a prejudice, even a statistically supported one, is probably not the best way to start a conversation here. "How'd you learn to play?"

The tiny stego rests his chin on the edge of the couch seat, peering at the two Autobots. "Is okay," Slugfest says, "The music is good." The stego's tail swishes behind him in a slow wag.

Starstruck's smile is all on Slugfest for now, and unlike his usual lecherous looks, there's nothing flirtatious in it. "I'm glad you think so," he says, honestly, before turning back to.....this Autobot. His first instinct, as usual, is to scrunch his nasal ridge and dismiss the newcomer as 'worth nothing but a pile of slag'. He's been....trying, though, ever since boarding, so his ridge only scrunches a little. Only a little.

"I liked Earth." Star shrugs one massive shoulder as he looks back down at the datapad. "They had cool music and I wanted to learn it." This statement is vague but he's not kidding. His knowledge of dances and singing styles is quite vast.

"They did have some nice music," Wheeljack agrees. "I liked some of it while I was there. Didn't have too much time to explore everything, though." There are also some aspects of humanity that have been... soured for him, but there were some things he can appreciate. Like the fact that someone built a Cybertronian-sized saxophone, for instance. He's ready to edge closer to try and take a look at it, in fact. "How'd you get someone to make this? I'm impressed, I can't imagine getting the sound quality right was easy... Did you find someone to teach you to play? Or did you do it on your own?" He suspects that second one.

Slugfest peers up at Wheeljack. "Almost sat on me?" he wonders, as the larger mech notices him. He gets up as if ready to vacate the couch.

Oh, Starstruck can imagine that Wheeljack didn't have a lot of time. The 'Cons hammered the Autobots while Starstruck was there, and it was only a stupid sequence of events that kept them from winning. He remembers what humanity did with Cybertronian technology, and that's something he's pushed to the back of his processor. Probably because he was set out to kill them all anyway.

Star's back to his proud, cocky grin as he holds up the sax for Wheeljack to inspect. "In my old crew, I had some friends who were good with their hands." More like Wrangler was, and Trailhawk helped him work out the sound quality, seeing as Wrangler was completely tone deaf. "I picked it up on my own. Just before I came here." He glances back at the cassette, worry momentarily creasing his brow ridge. "He's not gonna sit on you. You're good."

"Nope, no sitting!" Wheeljack reassures Slugfest. "I was just passing by. You're safe on the couch."

It takes a good deal of restraint for Wheeljack not to start poking his hands all over the saxophone immediately. "Mind if I touch?" he asks (completely oblivious to the other ways this sentence could be applied. He's got a doohickey to investigate.) "I promise I'll be careful. Sounds like you've done well at picking it up already, too."

Slugfest ohs quietly and lies back down, tucking all four legs under him and curling his tail alongside his body. Robo-stegoloaf! He listens intently to the conversation while peering at the shiny musical instrument. "Ooooh, shiny!"

Oh no! Slugfest is so cute. Starstruck is extremely tempted to go over and start petting the cassette. He's thankfully distracted by Wheeljack, and he offers the saxophone to the scientist, pride taking dominance over his features. "Sure thing, dude! A friend of mine built it for me." For a lot of credits and a few favors, but that was the usual way with Wrangler. You didn't get something for nothing, not with an engineer. "I've been practicing. I'll be fucking awesome at it before long." He glances over at Slugfest again with another softer grin. "Right? It's so cool. You do any music?"

Wheeljack takes the saxophone with undisguised cheer. He starts poking at just about every part of it, giving it a gentle but thorough examination. His headfins are flashing with interest as he looks it over. "It's very shiny," he agrees with Slugfest, tapping at the keys before he finally hands the Sax back over to Starstruck. "It's fascinating, what people can come up with just for the sake of having fun," he enthuses. "I'm no musician but I can appreciate a good tune. Oh! I'm Wheeljack, by the way. Forgot to introduce myself earlier."

Slugfest uhs. "Can record music," he says brightly, after a pause. "Don't make my own. Unless you count interference." The tiny stego blinks at the brilliance reflecting off the saxophone.

<FS3> Starstruck rolls Saxophone: Success. (4 6 8 6 3 1)

"Music comes in a lot of different forms, little bro," Starstruck says as an aside to Slugfest while Wheeljack looks over the saxophone. He's preening on Wrangler's behalf when it's given back. Yeah, his old crew is pretty awesome. A dull ache pulses in his spark, which he ignores. He's used to the homesickness by now. "We got a lot of creativity," Star responds, holding back his bristle at this. Wheeljack definitely didn't mean it that way, but he got kind of a Not Great feeling at the scientist's words. As if having fun was a bad thing. He does, at least, realize this is an irrational thought as he positions his digits on the keys. "Starstruck," is his introduction before he's launching into another song, and this one he doesn't look at the datapad for. It starts out a bit wobbly. It's one he's practiced, though, and once he gets over his spot of irritation the notes are smooth and sure.

"Nice to meet you, Starstruck," Wheeljack says, his fins blinking with genuine cheer. "Creativity is always useful," Wheeljack says. He clearly hasn't noticed his potential blunder, because he's still enthusing. "It means I get to have fun making things, instead of rushing to solve one crisis after another. Not that I mind helping out-- Transit was a good project-- but making something for the sake of making it is, well." Starstruck probably gets it, especially when he launches into another song. Wheeljack goes obligingly quiet to listen.

Slugfest hms and swishes his tail a bit, then as he listens to more, he revs up his chainsaw a bit, trying to make the revving match the notes.

<FS3> Starstruck rolls Saxophone: Good Success. (6 8 3 6 4 7)

Star does stop again to answer Wheeljack. His tone is...neutral. "Heh, yeah, guess that's true." He's been very good at accepting other Autobots, like Torque and Pipes. There's still a guardedness there, though. So he ignores the rest of what Wheeljack says, instead playing to the sound of Slugfest's chainsaw. It's improv. He still does a fairly good job at matching the revving with his sax. Yeah, he's totally getting it.

"It's been cool," he says, after another jam sesh, as he stands and retrieves the datapad from the couch. "But I gotta refuel and recharge. I'll catch you both later." His grin stays even as he packs his sax back into his subspace, as well as the datapad, before heading out. He's not actually lying. His chronometer is pinging that he's missed the alarm he set. Wooooops.

"Oh, sure! I should probably be on my way..." Wheeljack says himself, finally remembering his own datapad that he'd tucked under his arm. "Nice meeting the both of you!" And he heads on his way himself, his attention narrowing back in on his datapad. Someone passing by might catch him humming pieces of Starstruck's playing, though.

Slugfest stops revving his saws when the music stops. "Later!" he says to the departing, and curls up for another nap, nose under tail.

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