2016-10-02 A Quick Fix
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|2016-10-02 A Quick Fix|
|Location||Lost Light: Recreation -- Swerve's|
|Summary||This is surprisingly anticlimactic.|
Often referred to as the heart of the ship (by Swerve), the bar is rarely empty, rarely quiet. Central to the whole is the bar itself: just tall enough for a minibot to serve over the edge and lined with stools capable of accommodating bots of any height. Large, clear vessels stand behind the bar, containing the brews of the day. Behind the bar, an engex distillery assures there's always something new.
Round tables are scattered across the floor. Seats fold up from the floor beneath. Large booths along the sides of the room have room for a half-dozen or more, if they don't mind getting cozy, while monitors here and there find occasional use showing old vids.
A sign outside the door says:
No Guns, No Swords, No Bombs
Underneath is written: I MEAN IT!! LOCK YOUR WEAPON SYSTEMS DOWN AND DUMP EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE BIN BY THE DOOR. It is signed with a little frowning Swerve face.
On the other side of the door is a SHAME LIST. No, really, that's what it says. It has the number of days that various people are banned from Swerve's and counts down at the start of the morning shift.
After his, well, eventful evening spent with Moonracer, Starstruck's been feeling a bit better. Better enough to actually come to an Earth Club meeting, albeit a small one, which means it's being held in Swerve's instead of the community rooms. As far as he knows, only himself and two others were able to come - the twins, Exo and Endo. He's fine with that, even though he kind of wishes Gearshift had been able to make it too. He hasn't seen her in a long time, and he feels guilty about it, having been too wrapped up in his own shit to visit. Soon....he'd make time to hang out with her soon. Right now, though, he grabs a drink and heads over to the table where he knows they're meeting, mostly because it's a fairly slow day and at the moment the two mechs sitting there are the loudest on the scene. Starstruck's faceplates relax into an easy grin as he approaches. An all-Decepticon meeting. It's comforting.
"Exo! Endo!" Star's voice booms out, almost as loud as the laughing and teasing they're doing themselves. Both turn to him with identical shit-eating smirks. "Eyyy, Starstruck!" Exo says, quickly followed with another, "Eyyyy!" from his brother.
"Eyyyyy!" Starstruck gives back, pointing fingerguns. This continues for several minutes. Dorks.
Once the three finally (thank Primus) settle down, Starstruck slides into the booth across from the twins, slurping some of his drink. And there comes that flask to pour a little something extra in. "So, we ready to get started?" he asks as a purple liquid joins the pink of his engex, swirling and giving the entire drink a darker hue.
"Yeah, in a few. Someone wanted in at the last minute. We figured we'd wait for 'im." Exo leans back, holding his own drink. Endo, meanwhile, snickers. "Just kidding. Fuck that guy if he's gonna be late. So, tell me - rumor has it you've got the entire Die Hard series, even the newest one. Where do you score this stuff, mech?" And so the club meeting begins. Whoever the late guy is, sucks for him! Starstruck, with his back to the door, happily loses himself in discussing the best ways to get Earth merch even while out in the middle of Nowhere.
Blackstorm feels like he's been slammed by a truck, run over by a bulldozer, and then dropped off a ten story building just for good measure. The minibot has been hitting the high grade so hard the past day or two it is a miracle that he can even remain on his pedes. Still in the midst of the worst hangover he had in years, he's eager to get back to slamming drinks down his intake. The moment he heard the next Earth Club was happening in Swerve's he jumped at the change.
Or, at least, he jumped as fast as he could after being slammed by a metaphorical bus. The minibot stumbles into the bar, looking around with bleary optics at the empty seats. It's a little too early in the day for most serious drinkers, but Blackstorm is in a, 'It's five o'clock somewhere' mood. He might even spend the rest of the day here if they don't kick him out. But which is the group he's supposed to be meeting?
When Blackstorm hears a familiar voice behind him, though, he has a good idea. Ouch. He should have seen that coming. Stumbling over to the bar, he rocks to the tip of his pedes and just barely manages to peek over the counter. "Give me the strongest thing you've got," he mutters to the bartender. "Put it on Starstruck's tab." People are so used to him saying that of late no one even questions it.
The meeting's been going on for a little bit by now, Starstruck casually reclining against the back of the booth, now on his second (spiked) drink. "What, you've seriously never seen any John Wayne movies? We've gotta host a club movie night, I've got so much shit you'll all love, I mean it." Endo gives him a Look - he's watched movies with Starstruck before, and he knows how those end. "Oh, yeah, we'll sooooo love it, I'm sure," he says, sarcasm dripping from each syllable. Starstruck laughs, while Exo gives a chance glance at the bar.
"Well, what do you know! Our late bloomer showed up after all." Exo lifts his servos to his mouth and calls out, "Hey, Blackstorm, get your aft over here!" Neither twin notices the way Starstruck's entire frame seizes when he hears that name. No...no, he's not ready, please let it be a mistake or a mispronunciation, anything, please--
Once the bartender hands Blackstorm his drink, the minibot feels better almost immediately. He cradles it to his chestplates like some sort of strange security blankets, turning towards Exo and his brother with an easy grin. The minibot is out of it enough that he accidentally left his visor back at his shuttle, his optics revealing some signs of his self-inflicted ordeal. The engex sloshes over the rim of his glass as he answers the brother's call.
For once, the minibot plops himself down in a seat instead of climbing on the table itself. The impact is somewhat comical as he barely peeks over the lip of the table. "Hey, hey, hey, mecha. Having a good time without me? Not allowed," he teases.
Sloosh. Blackstorm's ability to give a slag is pretty low right now. Once he's settled in he literally shoves his face into his glass of engex and begins to lap at it with his glossa. The glow of his glossa piercing is briefly visible as it snakes in and out. His odd behavior draws more than a few stares from the few patrons in the bar at this hour. "What'd I miss? Keep talking," Blackstorm urges between laps.
Starstruck is working extremely hard not to look at anything, though, well. Blackstorm's not the only one who's not wearing a visor. After Moonracer broke his the day before, he hasn't actually managed to find where he'd stored his backups, and so his wide, round optics flick around the room, from Exo to Endo to the table to his own drink to the wall to the windows - you get the idea. Endo is too busy making amused faces at Blackstorm's act to notice. Exo, however, is not, and the smile that crosses his lips is predatory. Starstruck may be a gossip hound; Exo and Endo are the gossip hunters.
"Not much, mech," Exo replies, even as his gaze remains on Starstruck. "We were almost done, in fact. You missed out on some cool stuff." What makes the whole thing worse is that Starstruck can't not see what Blackstorm's doing, can hardly hold himself back from making some kind of lewd remark. Oho~ "What've you been up to?"
"Yeah, what he said, and, seriously, why are you doing that." Endo leans across the table to prod Blackstorm in the forehelm. "Do we need to get you a straw? I've got a ton." Why he has them when he's got a perfectly working mouth and no faceplate, well, we just don't know.
Blackstorm gives a surprised grunt when Endo leans over the table to prod at him, the engex in his glass splashing over the rim of his glass as he is jostled. "I don't think the question is why I'm doing it, but why not," Blackstorm corrects him. The minibot's optics lock on the puddle of engex on the seat next to him, created by his fumbling attempts at drinking and moving. With a shrug, he places the glass up on the table and slowly leans down...
There are a couple cries of disgust from around the bar as Blackstorm begins to slurp up the puddle. The minibot cannot help chuckling to himself at the reaction. "Autobots, so sensitive," he mutters. As for any questions about what he's been doing, he's too busy making a nuisance of himself to answer.
Starstruck, if he could, would be essentially sweating at Blackstorm's antics. The banter they could be tossing back and forth right now would be incredible, he just...can't bring himself to do it. His grip on his own glass is tight, at least until he gives in to one urge and slams back the entirety of its contents. One of Exo's optic ridges rises, the corner of his lip quirking, his chin settling onto folded servos.
Endo's attention, meanwhile, remains on Blackstorm, and he barks out a laugh. "Autobots?! Please, dude, everyone around can see that you're being fragging gross!" His tone is humorous, at least, and he only sobers when Exo leans over to whisper something into his audio. Endo can't at all hide a smirk once he hears what his brother has to say.
"Hey, Starstruck, maybe you should be feeding Blackstorm. He clearly can't do it himself, and you're closest." Endo's smirk only broadens at the way Starstruck jerks in his seat. He goes for an extremely fake, extremely strained laugh. "What? Naaah, he's good. Right, Blackstorm? You're good, right?"
"'Course I'm good. What kind of question is that?" Blackstorm answers. "Actually, I'm damn amazing. Never been better. But hey, if someone paid for this drink I might as well get the most of it, right?"
Thankfully, the puddle on the chair is only enough to keep him occupied for a minute or so. Straightening up, Blackstorm peeks over the table at the two brothers. He bites his lower lip component in thought. "If you wanted me to feed you, Endo, you could have just asked me directly. Not a problem at all. I'm at expert at being fragging gross." His glossa flicks out as he sticks it out at the brothers, an extremely childish gesture on the best of days.
'Never been better'. Of course. Starstruck's entire frame slumps, drained of energy, at hearing that. It doesn't matter that Blackstorm might be lying, as he himself is lying. It's too much. The flask reappears, and this time he drinks straight from it. Endo, in the meantime, does the robot equivalent of rolling his optics.
"Yeah, believe me, I know you are," the mech says, reaching over to poke Blackstorm again. "I've seen you in action." What action is that? Another mystery. Exo kicks his brother in the shin beneath the table to shut him up before he says, "Hey, Star, Blackie, we gotta run. But since you missed out on most of the meeting, and I know Star doesn't have any shifts for the rest of the day --" an effective trap "-- make sure he fills you in. Later!" Endo, being the dumber of the pair, opens his mouth to protest that he wasn't done teasing Blackstorm yet, until Exo practically shoves him out of the booth. They'll just get at Starstruck for deets later. It was their specialty.
Blackstorm's optics crinkle at the edges when one of the brothers reaches over and prods him again. The poking isn't doing any wonders for his helmache. Still, he has the sense of mind to chagrin the retreating mecha by reaching out, lifting his glass of engex in their direction, and shouting in his loudest voice, "YOUR LOSS!"
Someone else in the bar shouts back at him to shut up, but Blackstorm just barks an obnoxious laugh and shoves his face right back in his glass. This time he doesn't even bother to lap with his glossa. There are days a mecha just wants to faceplant into his breakfast. That day is today. It is his current life goal to be as undignified as possible. Other than that, silence depends upon the pair of usually-boisterous mecha.
No no no no no don't leave, please don't leave him alone with Blackstorm, who is currently seated beside him he'd have to crawl over the table or push the minibot onto the floor to escape - none of this, obviously, is said aloud. Starstruck glances down at Blackstorm, who of course, continues to be his usual self. Which only drives the knife deeper into his back, metaphorically speaking. Starstruck has to reset his vocalizer before he pulls that facade back up. Good thing they're both pretty drunk, right?
"So, uh. About the meeting." Starstruck's tone attempts chipper. It doesn't quite make it. "We didn't really talk about much. Just some movies."
Blackstorm begins to laugh, the noise becoming more frantic by the moment. It all ends when a few drops of engex go down the wrong way, and soon the minibot is spluttering and pulling his face away from the cube in a rush. His drink drips down the side of his faceplates as he shifts to look up at Starstruck. Not directly addressing the comment about movies, Blackstorm shoves the drink in the bus's direction. "You need it more than I do," he explains, and he had paid for it anyways.
""If your taste in movies is as bad as your taste in mecha we're both gonna need to be wasted to carry on a painless conversation. Down the hatch, right? Cheers," he mutters.
He's reaching for Blackstorm before he knows it, a comforting servo resting on the mini's back while Blackstorm chokes, the other servo drawing out one of his many pink handkerchiefs to wipe away the drops of engex on Blackstorm's face. It's when Blackstorm's optics actually meet his that, this time, Star's the one jerking back as though he's been burned. Damnit, fuck, shit fucking dicks --
And yet. "I don't have bad taste in anything," Starstruck says automatically, even as he takes the drink, even as he immediately pounds it back. Yeah, he's definitely starting to feel it, which might be why he repeats, louder this time, "I don't have bad taste in anything."
For some reason, the minibot reacts like that is the most amusing thing he has ever heard. His frame begins to shake with silent laughter, and soon he is rolling to the floor in the throw of hysterics. Between wheezing laughs, he somehow finds the ability to say, "Really? Really?" He should leave it at that, but the words come unbidden to a glossa loosened by days of hard drinking. "You thought that I was capable of more. That's pretty bad."
In a matter of moments, the tone his laughter subtly changes to sobs; though, considering how wild his hysterics had been it would be hard to tell the difference.
There's a gentle voice, in the back of his processor, whispering that maybe Blackstorm is lying just as much as Starstruck is, prompted by all this self-deprecative talk the mini is currently engaged in. Starstruck doesn't listen, at first. Blackstorm's clearly just really fucking drunk. That's what he's going with, despite ready to argue Blackstorm's point, until the minibot falls onto the floor and starts.
And starts crying.
"Shit." It's said under his breath as Starstruck moves, reaching down and dragging Blackstorm up against his chassis, arms carefully cradling the mech. "Shh, shh, hey. Hey. You're okay. I'm here." The problem now: did Blackstorm even want him to be 'here'? Starstruck digs his right fang so hard into his lip it punctures, though he ignores the slow trickle of energon now making its way down his chin while he waits for Blackstorm's response to his actions.
Blackstorm makes another choking sound when Starstruck grabs him, fighting against the much larger mecha half-heartedly. In his brain module it does not matter whether or not he enjoys the physical contact; the simple fact is that he believes he should not be encouraging any expectation that Starstruck has of him. The only thing that he can surmise from Starstruck's comment that he wants 'more' is that the mecha is looking for some sort of relationship. While the minibot loves to tease, beyond that he's not sure that there is that much left of himself to give.
Blackstorm shoves against Starstruck's arm with a half-strangled sob. "No, no, no. We can't do this. I'm not ready for a relationship," he says frantically.
Starstruck's about to let Blackstorm go when the struggling begins. He wants to help, he wants to comfort, but if it's not wanted in return, he won't do it. He almost lets Blackstorm down, despite how much it breaks him to be incapable of consoling someone so close to him, until. At Blackstorm's words, Starstruck's grip tightens instead of loosening, and while he keeps a hold on the mini, he pulls back to be able to look at him. "Relationship?" Starstruck's expression is one of complete disbelief. "What relationship? What are you talking about?" He's missed something, again. Something important, and he's frustrated that he doesn't know what it is.
As frantic as Blackstorm is it takes the minibot a moment to register Starstruck's words. His frame sags in the bus's grip and he shifts around to look up Starstruck. His optics scrunch in consternation as he tries to make them fit with the panic he'd been feeling since that night. "... You said you wanted more than fun," he explained. "What else does that mean? I don't know anything else that could mean."
Starstruck's own optics are scrunched, the wide pink circles nearly halved as he peers down at Blackstorm. Slowly, things are beginning to click into place in his processor, and his words come out even more slowly than said turning gears. "You...you think I wanted a relationship? Wait. Technically we already had one, right, that's what friendship is, so." Pause. Consider. Continue. "So you thought..." Another pause. More considering. A second continuing, though his voice is quieter now, near a whisper. "Like serious? Love kind of stuff? Is that what you thought?" Seriously he needs to know. Blackstorm gives a nervous laugh, already beginning to sense this whole ordeal may be behind him soon. If Starstruck had wanted something serious why would he look so confused right now? Of course he is still baffled by what Starstruck had said that night, but if it isn't what he had first thought. Well, anything is better than that! "What else was I supposed to think?" Blackstorm asks. The minibot holds up his hands in a sign of surrender. "It kinda did sound like that, you gotta admit.”
Starstruck opens his mouth to say no, it totally didn't, and then stops himself. He slouches back against the booth, and manages a tired smile. "It kinda did, didn't it." There's a sigh as air escapes his vents, his optics shuttering fully, his helm and antennae tilting back. Fuck. "I'm not in love with you, if that's what you're worried about," he says first. How to explain, how to explain. "I was trying to say...I don't want to be just someone to flirt with, someone you can dump whenever you want. I'm not asking to be. To be...like her." Who he's talking about should be obvious. "Guess I should've been more clear about what kind of 'care' I meant, huh?"
Blackstorm struggles to his pedes, attempting to clamp a hand over Starstruck's mouth to stop the words flowing from his mouth. One thing he cannot bear to hear is to have Starstruck talk about her. It is one thing when he brought up the topic himself, but not here, not now. He never tried to invoke Ravenwing's designation is an unhappy or stressful moment. Her name is meant to be a pleasant memory. "What made you think I was gonna dump you? You're too much of a hoot for that. Mecha, you ain't got anything to worry about it," he shifts the subject, his smile growing more relieved by the moment. "And I'm glad the l word is off the table. It's too complicated. That's what had me all in a tizzy. I thought I was in one of those situations where I kissed a mecha and all the sudden they wanted to move in together."
The servo on his mouth does, in fact, get him to shut the hell up, and at the touch Starstruck sits back up, onlining his optics once more. Blackstorm isn't the only one who's getting more and more relieved. Beneath Blackstorm's digits, Star's smiling, plating relaxing, frame shifting as various tightly-wound joints and wires move back into their normal configurations. It'd all been a misunderstanding. Blackstorm cared about him, too, even if he wasn't saying it aloud. Star's glossa flicks against Blackstorm's servo, a nice, good lick, before he pulls away from the grip. "Oh hell no. Our styles aren't compatible at all, we'd be terrible roommates." Speaking of kissing, Starstruck swoops in to plant one on Blackstorm's lips. "The l word is not in the cards for us right now, my friend," he says, voice low. 'Right now' being the operative word as, of course, it probably would be in the cards, at least on his end, at some point in the future. Just not yet, and not in the same way it had been between Blackstorm and Ravenwing (or so Star assumed). "So you don't gotta have any more tizzies about shit like that."
"Well, I'm gla- Wait a second, what is that supposed to mean?" the minibot trails off, crossing his arms over his chestplates and sticking out his lower lip component in a pout. "I'll have you know my style is top notch. Your loss." Now he is just teasing, though, as he would find it awkward to bunk with anyone in the Raven Wing for an extended period. Primus, his assigned roommate is hardly a roommate with how little time he spends in his habsuite.
Before he can protest more, though, Starstruck leans forwards and plants a kiss on Blackstorm's lip components. The minibot's optics flick with mischief and he nips at the bus's lower lip. And doesn't let go. He's stuck there like a cat who has dug its claw into someone's shirt.
Blackstorm's so cute, and while it's much easier to fall into their old habits now that he knows everything's okay, Starstruck's spark is still burning brightly in his chassis. He's so happy he could burst, which would suck yet still be a nice change from how upset he's been since their falling out. One thing ticked off the list of 'this needs to be fixed'. When Starstruck kisses Blackstorm and gets a nip to his lip - one which does not seem to be ending anytime soon - his chuckle is almost lost in the rumble of his awakening engine. If Blackstorm doesn't pull away, things might get decidedly inappropriate in this particular booth.
Ha. Who are we kidding. Considering it involved these two, things were definitely going to be decidedly inappropriate, for a few minutes, at least.