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2016-07-30 Reading is...hard

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Reading is...hard
Date 2016/07/30
Location Lost Light - Recreation -- Library
Participants Blackstorm, Lieutenant
Summary Blackstorm is incorrigible.

The minibot has been doing his best to push this 'date' off as long as possible, but in the end the time comes around for him to keep his word. It can't be that bad, right? As long as Lieutenant isn't organizing a book club and expects him to answer a long list of questions about the reading material. He hopes the chances of that aren't too high.

Striding into the library, the minibot feels dwarfed by the looming shelves. He glowers back at them in challenge, but it does little good to chase the feeling away. Even at his size, he rarely feels small. Reading has a way of evoking that feeling in him, though. As he begins to meander through the shelves, looking for Lieutenant, he stops dead when he spots something clambering around nearby. It takes a moment to recognize him. "... By the crystal spires, not you, too."

Blackstorm has finally decided to meet him for reading. Lieutenant had spent a good portion of his early morning shift collecting books the mini might like. Various books from fiction to nonfiction, action, suspense, romance, history, and biographies. Even some How-To books. While he was waiting, he collects some books for Bulkhead: mathematics, engineering anything from trinkets to ships. Things he might have an interest in. Those are put in a separate pile from the rest that he lays out on the table for Blackstorm's arrival. All nice and neatly laid out in rows so he could see the titles.

Lieutenant hears him before he see him and glances over to the other mini. "Unfortunately, yes." he replies bluntly, "Now let us not allow the size difference to distract us from our task today." Is it a task? No but it's education so technically, yes.

This just makes things worse. Not only does he have to read, but now he has to spend the whole meeting being disconcerted about being on someone else's level. With a touch of reluctance, he strides over to the edge of the table and peers up at Lieutenant. Unlike his usual habits, though, he absolutely refuses to climb. That only makes this new size similarity all the more immediate and unavoidable. "Like I was telling Wheeljack, you all really should leave the small thing up to me. How am I going to keep up being the cutest minibot with all the new competition?" he teases. Well, mostly teases. He's a little bit serious about it.

Rocking back on his heels, he watches Lieutenant with some reservation. "... So, what are doing today? Just sitting around reading quietly or...?"

Lieutenant tilts his head curiously at Blackstorm. He's not climbing up. Maybe he has some respect for the library and isn't climbing up the walls or the ceiling; but it's not hard to get up on a chair and get up on the table. "Believe me, it is no competition," the avian replies, completely serious in tone, "you still hold the title." He moves over to the ledge of the table, "Reading quietly for a bit. If you want to talk about it, we can, but I more am curious as to what might hold your interest." beat. "Are you coming up?"

Blackstorm perks up a little at that. "Well, good. That's one less person I have to convince," he remarks, a grin flashing across his faceplates.

When Lieutenant mentions climbing, though, the minibot pauses and looks considerate. Finally, he shrugs. "Nah, I'm good down here." As long as Lieutenant stays up there, at least. It makes it easier to pretend that he is still taller. The minibot rocks to the tips of his pedes and tries to fish for a random datapad on the top of the table. "Now I'm curious to see what you think I'll like. I hope it has a lot of pictures."

Lieutenant may not know the mini very well but he feels something is wrong. He tries to bury the nagging feeling, as he gets up to go pull out a book on cybertron architectures around the world. The avian slips away the book from Blackstorm's reach as that one is all words. "Here, and at least get up on a seat. The floor is not for sitting or lying on." He means it.

"Aw, come on, mecha," Blackstorm responds, optics flashing with mischief. He fishes up the datapad that Lieutenant is pushing towards him before settling back. "Don't you know? Me and floor made up our differences. You might even call us friends... with benefits."

Lieutenant made a mistake by mentioning that the floor is not for laying on, as the minibot now is doing just that. Clunk. He lays back and glances over the top of the datapad. "See? Not even a complaint when I lay down with her. Thanks for the concern, though."

You hear that? That the sound of Lieutenant hand smacking his face. He should have known better and now look at the ridiculous minibot on the floor. "Mixer, please..." he grumbles behind his hand, before looking back at, "Er, Blackstorm... fine. Stay down there if you wish just please try not to get stepped on." It's not worth arguing against the minibot. As much as he would, Lieutenant doesn't want to make too much noise. So long as Blackstorm is reading quietly, does it matter where he sits?

If Blackstorm catches on to Lieutenant's first muttered words, he does not comment or ask questions. It really isn't any of his business who 'Mixer' is, and he's not the least bit curious to know. Instead, he chuckles at Lieutenant's admonishment. "I've got a lot of practice not getting stepped on. I wouldn't worry about it," he calls back up.

Now, to look at what he's grabbed. The minibot lifts the datapad and squints, slowly and painstakingly trying to sound out the words in his helm.... Architecure? Sounds boring as hell, but it's as good a thing as any to pretend to read. His eyes scan over the words, not really absorbing, for the next minute or two. His gaze occasionally darts up to observe if Lieutenant is watching him.

Lieutenant doesn't really watch Blackstorm as he's more concerned about someone not seeing the mini on the floor as they walk by. He does glance down once at the other to see if he's still reading. Maybe reading. Black is probably just looking at the pictures in the book, and even that he can't guarantee. He doesn't want to push the motorcycle into reading, this meeting was more than enough pushing as it was. It's clear he's reluctant.

Maybe this was a bad idea.

Lieutenant doesn't seem to be glancing down often enough to be much of concern. Thus assured of that, Blackstorm taps a few buttons on the datapad and pulls up the home screen. In a matter of moments, he has turned his attention to doodling instead of reading. His hand movements would give him away if Lieutenant watched for too long, but he is relatively sure he'll be safe. Maybe.

Blackstorm does not seem so keen on the quiet thing, either. The minibot begins to whistle to himself while he draws, the noise cutting through the silence like a razor blade. If Lieutenant has started reading himself, it would likely be rather distracting.

This is a bad idea.

Lieutenant can see that Blackstorm has gone to do other things on the datapad. Part of his wants to be firm and get him back to reading but really what can he do? The avian hops down onto the floor and stand over him, folding his arms, and tapping his foot with a frown. "Listen, we had a deal." he reminds, "If you do not wish to do this than please, let's not waste each other's time."

Oh no. Lieutenant looks angry. Blackstorm begins to scoot across the floor when the avian clamber down. Apparently he did not hide his antics well enough. The minibot tries to throw him a disarming smile, but he has the feeling that isn't going to work. "I read... a page? Now I'm just taking a break," he tries to joke.

But he has the feeling that isn't going to work either. Honestly, he could just tell the truth. Reading is difficult for him, and he doesn't enjoy the constant struggle, but then he may get questions he's not willing to answer. He really isn't sure how to calm the situation, and so his body is tensing with his natural instinct to run for the hills. "... Reading is hard work?"

When anxious, make light. That is by and large his reaction.

Lieutenant is more bothered by this. Angry is something entirely different and the avian tries not to let that side of him ever show again. The foot tapping ceases as he sighs, "Reading is harder for some more than others, but it is important." he says calmly, "I can only advise that you learn to read, I cannot force it upon you. That is your own choice."

The avian turns to head back to one of the seats at the table. "Leave the book on the table when you are finished drawing, I think that is enough reading." Lieutenant is kind of disappointed but then again, reading isn't everyone's cup of tea.

<FS3> Blackstorm rolls Escaping: Success. (7 3 4 2 3 6 5 4 5)

... Is his difficulty reading that obvious? Now that Blackstorm thinks about it, probably, but he is still not ready nor willing to linger on the topic. How and why and where he learned what he does know is not something he ever wants to address. After all, having to explain he was taught simply so he could keep a tally of the deserters and refugees on Cargo's ships would be awkward. "Hey, mech, I can read. It's just..." he trails off, shrugging, and rocks to his pedes.

In a flash of movement, he places the datapad on the table and moves to beat a hasty retreat. "Sorry to waste your time, yeah? Hope you enjoy the rest of your day."

The datapad now resting on the table features a semi-decent sketch of Lieutenant reading. Blackstorm, by far, is no great artist, but he's not terrible either.

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