2016-06-29 This Is My Confession
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|2016-06-29 This Is My Confession|
|Summary||Inferno seeks out Tailgate to own up for the bad thing he did.|
The office is sparse, in the way of someone recently moved in. There is a large desk, orderly but full, and behind it a rolling chair to match. Facing the desk is a single chair for visitors. To one side of the office there is a vast wall made of a security terminal, controlling various security systems, camera feeds, records, and similar ilk. In terms of actual personal touches, there are not many yet.
As many days, Tailgate's office door is left open as he works on non-classified matters; he is getting insanely good at writing out reports and filing them. Enough that he has stumped himself in the midst of them. "I don't think this is mine." Tailgate mutters to himself as he checks for a signature. Nothing. He knows this isn't his writing style, either. Someone just scribbled most of a report in and left it on his desk. The minibot sighs from his vents, feet dangling from his chair as he furrows his visor and starts fixing it.
What Inferno is about to do has been something he's needed to get done for many days. Still...as he stands outside Tailgate's office, his servos clenching and unclenching, wing-kibble stiff with nerves, he's not sure he can. In war time this kind of stuff would be normal. Now...? 'Ferno finally cycles air through his vents and steels himself as he walks to the open door, gently rapping his knuckles against the frame. "Tailgate...?" His voice is hesitant, unsure. "Do you have a moment?"
Tailgate is rewriting a misspelled word when Inferno finally knocks and slides into the office. Blue optics flick up behind his big visor before he lifts a hand in greeting. "Hey there! Of course I do!. Come on in." He even waves the truck closer to him. "What is it? If it's about that sprinkler malfunction, I don't know anything about that."
Inferno enters cautiously, which is unusual for him. He likes Tailgate, as much as he misses Red Alert as head, and it's strange that he's so hesitant. He does, though, give a little chuckle over the sprinkler comment. "No, no, it's not about that. It's...it's something else." And now his wing-kibble is drooping, one servo reaching to rub the back of his neck as his optics flick away. "I need to turn myself in."
Tailgate can't help but emit a tiny noise of disappointment on why Inferno is here. "Oh? Okay, well--" He pushes aside the report he was editing so that the fire truck gets his undivided attention. "Why's that?"
The sound of disappointment makes Inferno wince. He can't help it, even though he deserves it. Still incapable of looking at Tailgate, he says, "I--" But the words stick in his throat. Resetting his vocalizer with a louder click than he'd like, 'Ferno keeps his optics trained on the floor as he tries again. "I acted outside of my duties. I hurt someone when I shouldn't have. I..." No, he has to be more detailed. Here Inferno actually offlines his optics. This is so stupidly dramatic but he's too wracked with guilt to approach it any other way. "I grabbed Swerve by the throat." It's a rush of words but legible. There's a half thought in his processor that he maybe should have closed the door? Too late now.
There's nobody outside to eavesdrop, thankfully. "Whoa, you what?" Tailgate sits up straight at the last clarification. Sometimes he isn't shocked when his bots act up, as now he's got a mixed team with new boundaries to learn. This is a little more different-- Inferno makes it a little harder for himself in the process of admitting all of it. "Is he alright?" Tailgate pointedly looks over Inferno's frame, no stranger to being a little guy wrested around by a much bigger one. "When was this?"
Even though that's exactly the response Inferno was expecting - he knows he's not the type to get into this kind of trouble - he wilts further. "Yes, yes, he's fine! I realized I'd scrapped it all up pretty fast." Thanks to Deluge. 'Ferno still owes his fellow firemech. He wants to say that he apologized, but how will that help anything? Apologies are just words, and he knows this. So instead he moves to the next question. "A few days ago." His optics are back online, albeit dimly, and his gaze is still on the floor. "But that's why I'm here. I gotta make things right."
Tailgate keeps both hands on the edge of his desk while Inferno tries to explain a little more. He seems worried, of course. "Swerve didn't report it." He notes first. "I take it you've already said as much to Swerve?" Tailgate has the feeling that Inferno wouldn't be here before he said anything to Swerve. He's not that kinda guy.
Inferno nods, slowly, and this time he does add, "Yeah. I said I was sorry, and that I'd do whatever it took to make it up to him. He just asked me to leave." If he were any other mech, he'd give a dry laugh. Instead 'Ferno glances back at Tailgate. "And I did, but I don't think that's enough. I was outta line." No matter why I did it is left unspoken. There's no justification for his behavior and he knows it.
"Okay. I see. You're right. You were." Tailgate shifts in his seat, glancing to the wall of security consoles and back again. "Are you going to tell me what prompted all of that? Or should I get right down to punishment?" Nobody can say that Tailgate doesn't behave fairly; he's curious, but he's also wondering what could have been prevented.
"The way Swerve treated Red Alert." Inferno says this flatly in answer to Tailgate's question, keeping his voice carefully neutral. He won't betray the new (or newly acknowledged?) feelings behind this reaction. "He laughed in my face about it. It's not an excuse, but I just...snapped." 'Ferno's optics finally meet Tailgate's visor, and he's steeled himself with the knowledge that whatever comes is something he's brought onto himself. He does, however, add a very soft, "I only have one request."
There is a moment of quiet where Tailgate listens and considers the ripples of Inferno's story, his own visor bright when he meets the truck's gaze. "You're testing your luck by giving a request with a confession--" The minibot's vents puff a little, and his vocalizer cuts free a tiny, dry laugh to go with it. "But I'll bite. What request is that?"
"I know." Inferno is still meeting Tailgate's visor, his own blue optics bright. "On behalf of Swerve - and Red Alert - I only request that this stay between us." It's a lot to ask. He won't blame Tailgate if this is denied. "I want to make it up to Swerve on his own terms. I know he's - he's not had a great time either." Something Inferno had ignored in his eagerness to punish the mini for Red's treatment. "And Red Alert, he can't --" That thought he cuts off, though his voice is so quiet Tailgate might not have heard it anyway. 'Ferno resets his vocalizer again before adding, "Sir."
At first, Tailgate is confused at the request; after listening longer and mulling the other bots in this tale, however, things begin to get clearer. It's not exactly a standard situation. "When I took this job I knew what happened with Red." Tailgate sets his hands flat on the desk, glancing down at it. Red used to be here too. "And I know sometimes Swerve can be hard on the nerves, but not always on purpose." Still, these are just faint excuses. "Two days suspension, and I want a written apology to Swerve."
Inferno still doesn't know what happened with Red Alert. He's heard trickles of rumors - that's how he found out about the Swerve situation - but he's not an active gossip. And as before, he won't ask. It's not his place. He wants to earn Red's...perhaps not trust, but respect enough to hear it from the bot himself. So he only listens as Tailgate speaks, until -- "That's...that's all?" Inferno had expected something much worse. His lapse in judgment had been quite extreme, after all. "Not that I won't do it, sir, I just--" His mouth moves on words he can't find. He assaulted an innocent. It's difficult to believe he's not getting thrown into the brig, at the very least.
"Do you want me to put you in the brig instead? Because I can." Tailgate gestures openly at the door with one hand. What is it with everyone wanting brig time? It's not like he punched Swerve's lights out. "It was an altercation but nobody was injured. You clearly failed at judgment, but it wasn't as if there was no reason for it. You were reacting to the treatment of a troubled friend." The minibot shifts a little awkwardly before hopping off of the chair to get the floor under his feet. "Look-- I have to be judge and jury when it comes to my staff, right? I have to consider all the reasons for their actions. The intent. History. Some of the guys make trouble enough for me to send them to the brig. This is your first offense. Nobody was hurt. You de-escalated the situation on your own, and even came to me to say it happened."
Inferno is so ready to say 'yes, yes you should,'. He holds his glossa, however, and stays where he is, gaze trained on the mini - his boss - as Tailgate hops down from his chair. He listens carefully, servos (which had previously been held tight at his sides) relaxing and his wing-kibble resorting somewhat to their normal position. He gives a heavy exvent, raising a servo to scratch at one of his helm prongs when Tailgate finishes. "Yeah - yeah." His nasal ridge wrinkles, dentals biting at his lower lip, before he adds with a sheepish chuckle, "Guess I got a little ahead of myself, huh?" He's not sure what else to say.
"Two days suspension and a written apology to Swerve." 'Ferno repeats this in the spirit of moving on, as an acknowledgement of his own punishment. "Will do, sir. I'll start draftin' the apology as soon as I get back to my 'suite."
Tailgate might be little, but he's a pretty good speaker when it counts. He wants to be trusted now more than ever-- win back what he lost, perhaps. "What goes on between two bots isn't my business. Just-- remember to be good to each other, okay? That's all I need. If he doesn't go for the apology, that is going to be your imperative to repair. I just know that animosity'll breed more of it, you know? Use your suspension to fix what you can."
Inferno has never doubted Tailgate in this respect. He's usually pretty good with understanding bots, except when it comes to anyone hurting Red Alert. Their not-date and Deluge's conclusions before that rush to the front of his processor. Oops. "I'll fix this, sir." 'Ferno even snaps a salute, servo clicking lightly against his forehelm before he gives a sheepishly embarrassed smile. He's too wound up, it seems. "Thank you." Tailgate hadn't outright approved Inferno's request for privacy, yet the firemech was confident this didn't mean he had disapproved. And that was enough.
"I should go. To work on my apology." 'Ferno's gaze slides lightly over Tailgate's desk, and the datapads there. He gives another, "Thank you," before turning and leaving, processor already working on what he will send to Swerve.