2016-07-27 A Step Up

From Transformers: Lost and Found

A Step Up
Date 2016/07/27
Location Lost Light - Science and Medical - Wheeljack's Laboratory
Participants Bulkhead, Wheeljack
Summary Bulkhead helps Wheeljack come up with a solution for his current reach problem.

Wheeljack's lab is a masterpiece of controlled chaos. Shelves, stacked haphazardly with completed projects and curios, line the walls. The workbenches in the center are covered with the guts of machines in various stages of completeness, and all of the furniture is solidly built and looks ready to withstand whatever might be thrown, dropped, or spilled on it.

This visit is long overdue. After the whole situation with Blast Off, Bulkhead may have set aside his prototype for a bit. He hadn't meant to involve the Combaticon in its malfunction, and he'd been insecure over his own abilities since. He'd still been working on it, sure - he just hadn't dared to take it out of his own room. Until now. It seemed about time to find Wheeljack and get some help on his project, to make sure no more accidents occurred.

Reaching Wheeljack's lab, belt in hand (and digits far from the 'on' button, he's not gonna repeat THAT mistake) Bulkhead pings the door panel. "Hey, Jackie!" he calls, in addition. "You busy?"

Wheeljack's been hard at work since the unfortunate incident that left him, Torque and Lieutenant... a bit undersized. He feels an obligation to. It's his devices that caused this, and possibly his carelessness that left the three items in a position to react with one another. Add that to the fact that he still wants to finish the supplies for Dunia, and he's been working almost nonstop for the past few days, as the others in the Science Department can probably attest to.

The problem is, he's hampered by his physical change. The thing about his lab is, it's sized for Wheeljack-- for non-minibot Wheeljack. Shelves that used to be just at optic height are now far over his helm. The stools that were usually so comfortable for him were now at an awkward height, too high to hop up on but just a bit too low for him to sit on when using the workbench.

Bulkhead's call catches him in the middle of clambering up onto one, and he immediately slips back down. Frag, he hasn't told Bulkhead about this, has he? It slipped his processor somewhere in his work. But he definitely can't hide it now. "Come on in," he calls, stepping back away from the stool.

Bulkhead steps inside the lab at Wheeljack's invitation, glancing around for his friend. He frowns when he doesn't see the scientist at all, at least until he moves his gaze a bit lower and - "Wheeljack!" The belt is nearly thrown aside in his haste to reach his friend. "What happened? Are you alright?" Mass displacement can be an extremely unpleasant process, and though Bulk doesn't know what Jackie had been working on to achieve this size, he remains worried. He kneels, the magna clamp belt moving to a position around his right forearm as he looks down at his friend.

"I'm fine, I'm fine!" Wheeljack hurries to reassure his friend, waving his hands up at Bulkhead. That dash over is actually a bit alarming, at this size, and Wheeljack takes an involuntary step back. He only comes up to Bulkhead's knee like this. It's not that he doesn't trust Bulkhead to be careful. It's just a lot to have coming at him, but the kneeling helps.

His fins are flashing with embarrassment as he rubs at the back of his helm. "Nothing's wrong, there was just a bit of a... chain reaction with some of the lab equipment." He doesn't point to the devices in question, but if Bulkhead glances around at the tabletops, he should see a pile of three devices that look a little charred. "I need to repair the equipment and run some tests before going back to full size. I'm not sure if this worked like our other mass displacement devices."

Bulkhead flinches when Wheeljack steps back. Scrap. "Ya sure?" He can't blame the scientist, once his processor catches up with him, for being alarmed at Bulk's rapid approach. He is a lot smaller now, and it can't be fun to watch a mech as large as Bulkhead is run at you. His faceplates are all concern as he looks down at Jackie.

"Happens sometimes," Bulkhead says in understanding. He doesn't have enough digits to count the number of mishaps he'd caused in his own lab before the war. "I can give ya a hand?" He means this in every sense of the word as he holds out a servo. You can step up if you want, Wheeljack.

"Yeah, I'm sure. I'll get it reversed, soon!" he says. He pats Bulkhead's knee as reassuringly as he can. "So it won't be a concern." He won't mention how he hasn't actually gotten checked out by a medic since it happened. Bulkhead doesn't need to worry about that, especially when Wheeljack could be using that time in working. "Well," Wheeljack says. He's hesitant at first. Bulkhead doesn't need to see him scrambling around the lab. It doesn't take long before he reconsiders, though. Bulkhead can actually reach the tabletops for one. "I probably could use some help. There's some things we need to make before we start on the devices, though," Wheeljack says. "I can't really reach a lot of my equipment like this," he admits.

Bulkhead is not quite convinced, even with the knee pat. This isn't some every day occurrence, and mass displacement on such a scale can cause quite a few problems in mechs, depending. The lingering frown on his faceplates means this worry is not hidden at all, even as he holds back any more remarks on the matter. "Sure, anythin' ya need, Jackie, I'll help ya out." The servo is still offered, belt forgotten as it hangs off his forearm. He'll bring you to whatever table you need to be at, just step onto his hand.

"I need to make a stool or something," Wheeljack comments as he steps forward to let Bulkhead pick him up and cart him around. "Something with wheels that can lock. That'd make things a lot easier." Certainly easier than climbing everything, anyway. "Hey, let's do that!" he says. "There's scrap metal over there."

As they go, he notices the device hanging off of Bulkhead's arm. "What's this?" he asks. His fins are flashing in something close to their usual brightness now. "A project of yours?"

"Uh-huh." Bulkhead easily lifts Wheeljack, holding the scientist close to his chassis to minimize any jostling. If the situation wasn't so serious, the way he's cradling Jackie against him could almost be cuddling. "No problem, Jackie. Shouldn't take long ta build somethin' you can use until yer back to the right size." Not that Bulk can really complain about where Wheeljack is at now. He's so cute...Bulk has an overwhelming impulse to nuzzle against that little helm. He firmly keeps it in check. Now not the time, and Wheeljack isn't a pet!

"Huh?" Bulkhead seems to have forgotten his original purpose for coming. "Ah, yeah. Just somethin' I've been workin' on. 'Snot important." Not right now, anyway. "It's a magna clamp belt, so mechs without that built inta their pedes could magnetize to the ship if they're working outside it, 'sall."

"Thanks, Bulkhead," Wheeljack says. He reaches out to pat Bulkhead's chassis as he says it, and leaves his hand there, just in case he needs to balance himself. Not that he probably will, since Bulkhead is being very careful. Wheeljack's almost able to forget the weirdness of being carried around like this.

If Bulkhead thought downplaying his project would let Wheeljack forget it, though, he's entirely wrong. "Really? That's fantastic!" he says. He has to twist a little so that he can look Bulkhead in the faceplates, and he does so without concern for how it might unbalance him in Bulkhead's hold.

The pat receives a soft smile as Bulkhead carries the scientist through the lab. "Hey, don't worry about it. What're friends for, right? Heh!" They're for carrying you around when you've suddenly turned into a minibot, among other things. Bulk is absolutely fine with fulfilling this purpose, even as he's bursting with questions as to how said devices reacted in such a way to cause this, when--

"Whoa, whoa! Careful, Jackie!" Wheeljack's twist in his servo nearly unbalances him, and Bulkhead moves quickly, catching his friend before he can fall, an arm wrapping around the smaller mech and holding him tight against Bulk's chassis. He gives a small, worried chuckle, even as he keeps a small Jackie pressed against him. "Careful there! I'm glad yer excited, but, scrap, don't fall!"

"Oh, whoops." Wheeljack looks momentarily chagrined. "Yeah, sorry about that." He doesn't seem particularly orried about it, though. "Well, here, let's set me down and you can grab the things we need, huh? Just some bars and a couple of metal sheets, how does that sound?" Wheeljack doesn't jump down, he knows better than that, but he does start to edge forward in Bulkhead's grasp.

"Yeah, 'course." Bulkhead chuckles, not at all put off by Wheeljack's enthusiasm. He gently puts Wheeljack down near the scrap metal he'd indicated earlier, another quiet laugh escaping him. "Easy, easy! I said I'd help ya out, no need ta rush." Bulk's teasing, obviously. If he was that size he'd be impatient too. "Point me ta what you want, and I'll get it for ya." He's already glancing over the collection of scrap metal and assorted parts, processor running through possibilities. The magna clamp belt sways gently around his forearm.

"Just some poles, two each short, medium, and long ones," he says, pointing toward a bin with a number of them. "And some of the rectangles, I think they're up there." It might take Bulkhead a bit of digging, but he should be able to uncover the pieces without too much trouble. The messiness in Wheeljack's lab doesn't continue quite this far, at least. "Oh, right, and a welder!" And then while we're working you can tell me more about this project of yours."

When Wheeljack replies with what he needs, Bulkhead is on the job. He works quickly through the bin, smiling to himself at Wheeljack's lack of proper organization. Not that Bulk could ever say he'd been the neatest of mechs when it came to his lab. The necessary parts are, well, not quickly, but as soon as possible, produced from the bin he's pawing through. Two short poles, two medium, and two long ones. He gently lays these out on the floor beside him as he finds each, before he turns to Wheeljack. Without saying a thing - oh, a welder? - one is produced from Bulkhead's subspace. Wheeljack probably had one. Too bad, Bulk's already got his own.

"My project?" Bulkhead's smile has turned shy. "Think I'll save that explanation fer next time, once you're alright."

"Spoilsport," Wheeljack teases, his fins nevertheless flashing with amusement. He's happy to let Bulkhead provide his own welder, though. Wheeljack's is probably off on a table somewhere that he'd have to see it in order to find it, and unless he gets Bulkhead to lift him up again, that probably won't happen. In the meantime, he gathers up the pieces Bulkhead has lowered down to him. It's a bit more of an armful for him than it would be for Bulk, though. "Right, let's get started."

There's more chuckling from the (much) larger green mech. "Patience, patience," he admonishes, smile turning to a pleased grin. And - Wheeljack is so adorable, trying to keep all of those poles in his arms, and Bulk can't help himself. Even as he lifts some of the burden from Jackie, taking the larger poles into his own servos, he leans in and gives the now-tiny scientist a quick nuzzle against one fin. "Just tell me how ya want it arranged." His voice is nearing a whisper against Wheeljack's audio. Being that close and using his normal volume would probably hurt.

"I had those," Wheeljack says, but he doesn't try and get those poles back. He probably couldn't grab them from Bulkhead, anyway. Instead he carries the other ones over toward the workbench he's apparently decided they're using. "Give me a boost?" he asks, fins flashing.

As soon as he gets up there, he'll start arranging the pieces, starting with a large piece of metal for the base. "Here, start welding the poles in place along there," he instructs Bulkhead, holding one properly in place. "So how long have you been working on that project?" he asks. No, he's not going to be ignoring that topic entirely.

"Mhm." Bulkhead's response is distant as he not only lifts Wheeljack up to where he needs to be but also sets down the poles he'd, honestly, confiscated from the tiny scientist, down on the workbench's surface. Bulk is more focused on helping Jackie with this idea than anything else - Wheeljack really needs something that'll get him around while he's in such a tiny state.

"Got it." Bulk immediately gets to work, using the welder to attach the parts as indicated. "What?" He doesn't stop in his work, focusing on the task at hand before his processor catches up to the question. "Oh. Not long."

"Explains why I haven't seen it before, then," Wheeljack continues as he holds each pole for Bulkhead to properly weld into place. "I've been kind of busy lately, haven't I?" That comes out a bit sheepishly, "Once we're away from Dunia, I should change that."

"I meant ta show you earlier, 'cept --" Bulkhead pauses. Maybe he shouldn't share that experience. He moves on instead, working his welder over any junctions Wheeljack indicates. "I'm sure you've been doin' yer best ta help 'em out. Nothin' ta be ashamed of." Bulk should have been more involed in this colony, honestly. He just..hadn't found the time. He'd gotten caught up in reading and trying to make the magna clamp belt functional. Guilt rolls through him. He could've been helping Jackie on this front.

Steeling himself against these unwanted emotions, Bulkhead finishes his welding and shows the end product to Wheeljack. "How's that look?"

"It happens," Wheeljack says. Bulkhead will get another pat, this time to the forearm, when Wheeljack has a hand free to do it. "I didn't really visit the colonies we passed earlier in the trip, either." He wishes he had. Dunia and Velocitron have been fraught but fascinating places, even with the problems the Lost Lighters found there.

Here, let's test it!" Wheeljack says cheerfully, when Bulkhead is finally finished with welding everything into place. He doesn't wait for the thing to be put down on the ground. Instead, he just climbs the steps right there on top of his workbench. Once he's on the top step, he hops a little bit, to test if the thing holds firm. It doesn't wobble under his weight. "Nice! Thanks, Bulk."

There's a swift, quiet motion as Bulkhead slips the belt into his subspace to prevent further questions. Nothing to see here, don't worry about it. "It happens," he echoes for Wheeljack, again giving a sweet smile. He wants to add that Jackie likely has plenty of opportunities to hit colonies - the galaxy is quite big, after all, who knows who the LL will run into - but he keeps it to himself. Bulk might be distracted with watching Wheeljack climb the tiny chair. "Yer welcome!" He's leaning forward on the table, forearms resting against its surface as he hovers near Wheeljack. "Glad ya like it."

Bulkhead probably picked a good time to do that, since Wheeljack is thoroughly distracted for the moment. "It's just what I needed," he said cheerfully, hopping down from the stepstool. "I can find someone who needs it after I'm back to normal size," he comments, looking the thing over. He has a couple minis in mind who wouldn't mind having it, actually. For now, though, he just needs to get himself and the stepstool down to the floor. "Mind getting this set up?" he asks Bulkhead, pushing the thing closer to the edge of the workbench. "And if you don't mind staying around for a bit longer, you could help on getting these things fixed," he says, gesturing to his pile of damaged devices.

Bulkhead, as he leans on the worktable, beams. The force of his joy is similar to sitting near a sun. "I'm sure there's plenty a bots aboard who could use somethin' like this." The trick is offering it to them without sounding like an afthole. For now, though, Bulk brings the stool down from Wheeljack's worktable, and the scientist himself is next. Yet, midway...Bulk gently pulls Wheeljack against him in a soft hug, helm resting on the smaller mech's shoulder. It doesn't last longer than a klik, however, and Wheeljack will find himself where he needs to be. "I have no problem staying to assist." Tell him whatever you need done and he'll do it, Jackie.

Wheeljack startles in surprise at the hug, at first. As distracted as he was by the thought of working on his projects, he hadn't been expecting it. It's a move very typical of Bulkhead, though, and just as he expected, Bulkhead is careful of the limits of his snrunken frame. "Thanks again, Bulk," Wheeljack says, his fins lit up with a happy blue. He can't give Bulkhead a comprehensive hug in return, but he gives it his best shot. Bulk gives fantastic hugs no matter what size Wheeljack is.

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