2016-10-21 I'm Here
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|2016-10-21 I'm Here|
|Location||Red Alert and Waspinator's Habsuite|
|Participants||Red Alert, Inferno|
|Summary||Inferno checks in on Red Alert after the Never Have I Ever disaster|
Red Alert hasn't moved much since he finished up at Rung's last night and returned to his habsuite. The room is dark, his roommate thankfully not present, and Red Alert is on his berth. Despite this he isn't sleeping, just laying on his side and staring at the wall, trying not to think but having nothing to do except think. Because of his flashback he and Rung put in a request for emergency time off over the next few days, but now that he's here he regrets this decision. Thinking is dangerous; work keeps you busy. He'd rather have the latter than the former right now.
The only relief he gets from his endless thoughts and memories is the music box Inferno gave him, which is sitting open on his berthside table and filling his habsuite with a soft music. He hasn't stopped listening to it all morning.
Inferno heard about the....incident from Lieutenant. He had a shift before he could go see Red, though, an overnighter, and he's been fretting the entire time. Their last encounters had been charged, to say the least, but when he told Beachcomber he wanted to be there for Red, he'd been serious. So as soon as his patrol ended he was hurrying to the habsuites.
When he reaches Red's door, Inferno hesitates. Red might want to be left alone...well, just in case he didn't. Inferno had to try. He pings the door panel, and sends another ping along their private commline so Red knows who it is at his door. He also says aloud, "Red, it's me." Gonna make absolutely sure Red Alert is aware that it's not some weirdo come to bother him.
Red Alert shifts slightly at the ping and the sound of a voice, and turns his head to look at the door for a long, silent moment. Then he settles back into his previous position and sends the door a ping to open. As it does so, the sound of the music box filters into the hallway, filling it with a sweet, gentle music. There's something else too: though Red doesn't say anything, Inferno receives a ping and a small data packet revealing the locations of the boobytraps within. It's a greater sign of trust than any Red Alert has revealed thus far.
He must really need the company.
Inferno is prepared to leave, if Red doesn't respond - maybe he's not there, or, more likely, he needs time alone - when the door opens. His optics shine brightly in the darkness, and he dims them a bit as he steps inside, the door sliding shut behind him. He can see Red Alert on the berth and....the sight of it about breaks his spark.
"Hey." Inferno carefully crosses the room to the berth, now that he's got the data packet that tells him which path to take, before sitting on the very edge, so he can easily get up if Red asks him to. Evidently, he's not surprised to find there are booby traps. He's also not sure what to say, here, so for almost a full klik the only sound is the music box. Then, quietly, he says, "I heard about what happened. I...wanted ta check on you. Make sure..." If things were okay? They clearly weren't, so he trails off.
<FS3> Red_Alert rolls Investigation: Good Success. (4 6 3 7 4 7 8 2 5)
Red Alert finally shifts on the berth, rolling over to regard Inferno with dim optics. He's quiet a moment, observing him, then at last he speaks.
"Lieutenant." It's the most likely explanation for how Inferno knows. Red Alert reaches up to the corner of the berth where a quilt is sitting neatly folded. "If you see him again, can you give him this? I accidentally took it last night when..." He lets his words trail off. Lieutenant isn't exactly verbose, but it sounds like Inferno knows already. He tugs the quilt over and places it carefully in Inferno's hands. "I don't think I'm going to go out much for a couple of days."
"Yeah....it was Lieu." Inferno isn't surprised that Red Alert figured that out so quickly. The mech's smart, a good detective. His gaze falls to the quilt, carefully taking it in his servos. "Sure, Red. I can do that for ya." He wonders if Lieu would want Red Alert to keep it, but he doesn't say that aloud. He'll find out from Lieutenant and if that's the case he'll just bring it back.
"That's alright." This is said both to the taking of the quilt and to the not leaving. The quilt is settled on Inferno's lap as he sits there, and as much as he'd like to provide a comforting touch, he doesn't, purposefully and gently gripping the edges of the folded cloth to keep his servos occupied. "Sounds like ya need the rest. Every mech's gotta take time off once in a while, right?" Inferno offers a smile, even if there's a hint of sadness to it.
"I suppose so," Red says quietly, even as he thinks about how he'd really like to be working right now. But, mostly, he just craves the normality. He doesn't want to go out and see the people present for his flashback incident. He just wants to reverse time so that it never happened at all. "I can't really recharge though. I slept all night so..." He vents a sigh. "I'm not sure what I should be doing right now." His hands find the toy that Watts gave him. He also needs to give that back, but he's not sure if Inferno knows the mech, so it'll have to wait. He turns it over in his hands as he has many times since last night, tracing the patterns on each side. "I've just been laying here."
Inferno understands what Red is getting at. It's gotta be hard, having all this time to sit in the dark and think about whatever it was that upset him so badly. The smile drops. Primus, how he hates seeing Red like this...
"Well....I could hang out fer a bit, if you want? We could talk, about anythin'." 'Ferno tries to think of other options, in case that's not what Red Alert will be up to doing. "Or...I got some cards in my 'space, we could play? Or - oh! I got this thing in my hab, some kinda puzzle. Picked it up centuries ago, but I ain't never been able to solve it." He gives a little self-deprecating chuckle. "I could bring that by, let you take a crack at it."
"That sounds nice," Red Alert says softly, and at last he pushes himself upright in a sitting position. He scoots over to Inferno's side and sits on the edge of the berth, his legs dangling off the edge but careful not to touch certain parts of the floor. "I've been meaning to talk with you anyway, but I don't know if now is the best time." He stares across the seemingly blank expanse of floor, innocent to the naked optic but littered with traps. Navigating conversation feels similarly. "You know. About our picnic."
Inferno is careful to remain where he is when Red Alert moves, his usual desire to wrap an arm around Red and draw him close being bitten back, as always. His smile returns momentarily when Red agrees to talk, though it's quick to disappear again. He'd kind of been thinking of talking about something else, something that wasn't stressful, but. If that was what Red wanted, it was indeed a conversation they needed to have.
"Sure, Red." Inferno swallows. "Whatcha got in mind?"
"I talked to Rung about it." That's maybe not the most reassuring thing to hear. "We went over some things, but in the end it became clear that I really needed to talk to you instead." He stares down at his feet. A half-step to the right and an EMP blast will knock them both offline for a few minutes. That's starting to sound like a reasonable alternative to conversation. "I--Inferno I have to warn you. I'm not opposed to the idea, but there are a lot of difficulties that could come up if we tried to navigate a relationship. Things like," he sighs, and lets his shoulders slump. "Well, like this, for starters. I'm not well, Inferno. I can't imagine you'd be happy with someone like that."
<FS3> Inferno rolls Comforting: Good Success. (3 5 8 5 1 7 3 3 2)
Inferno's plating is already tightening, readying himself for the second rejection. He'll get over it - eventually - it's just going to hurt at first. And then....Red doesn't reject him. In fact, Red says that he might be okay with it. Inferno already feels lighter, even as the rest of it comes out. Inferno manages a soft chuckle, shaking his helm.
"Red..." he begins, voice soft. "Why would that have anythin' ta do with my happiness? Being with you is what makes me happy, even if you've got some things goin' on that I may not understand, that make ya sick sometimes. So what?" His servo rises of its own accord, to reach out, to convey some of what he's trying to say through physical contact, but he drops it once he realizes. "I wanna help ya get better, if I can. I'm not gonna turn my back just 'cause a this sorta thing."
There's a strange feeling in Red's spark at Inferno's words, like it's expanding and his chamber is suddenly too tight. His signature blush returns, and he realizes with some shock that he's actually relieved that Inferno still wants to be with him. Sure it would hurt for someone to reject him because of processing functions he can't control, but it's not just that.
Red Alert likes Inferno, and it's wonderful and terrifying all at once.
Why didn't I realize it sooner? Red Alert thinks, and then there's a small, wry sound as he mentally adds, It certainly would have saved us an awkward picnic. He scoots a little closer to Inferno so that they're almost touching, and lets his hand rest just next to Inferno's. He's not sure he feels brave enough to take it just yet, but if they accidentally end up brushing he won't try to move it away.
Inferno tilts his helm as he watches Red think it over, his wing-kibble trembling somewhat with barely contained glee and some worry. The worry is still based around Red Alert's condition, and what led to him getting so upset, and whether or not Inferno can help. Well, he's sure as Pit gonna try!
The noise Red makes has Inferno's optic ridge furrowing - what was that about - but. He almost immediately forgets it as Red Alert moves closer. 'Ferno won't take his hand yet either, not right now, but...he does move it close enough that his pinky can gently curl around Red's. Even just that contact is enough to have his own spark pulsing giddily. Externally, his faceplates melt into a genuine smile.
"I'm happy yer, uh. Interested back." That's such an awkward sentence but hey, words aren't 'Ferno's strong point. "I just want ya to know, I ain't messin' around. I'll be here, no matter what, alright?"
There's a sound from Red Alert, a huff like an aborted laugh, but it's self-deprecating, humourless.
"It's too soon to say things like that," he says. "You don't know what might happen." He wants to believe it. It's tempting to think he really has found someone who will stay by his side, someone he can truly trust, but... "It might happen to you too, you know. You might do or say something that ends up setting me off. I might try to draw away from you. Are you really sure you can handle something like that?" The look he gives Inferno is serious, a warning. His optics shine more intensely across the darkness as he watches Inferno, and it's apparent that he gone into one of his focusing modes. He's prepared to over-analyse every one of Inferno's reactions to his words. Don't say yes unless you really mean it.
It is too soon, in the context of a possible romantic relationship, for Inferno to be saying that, yet. When Red's expression turns serious, so does his. He thinks of the years he's been harboring these feelings without really understanding them. He thinks of what he'd told Beachcomber, that he didn't care how he did it, he just wanted to help Red Alert in any way he could.
And then, slowly, he nods.
"I know that. I know things might go wrong, I might screw up an' upset ya." Whiiiiiich will probably happen when he finally comes clean about the Swerve incident. "I'm prepared ta deal with that, if or when the time comes." His optics, the look on his face, the tone of his voice - all are firm in his response. "As long as ya want me to, I'll be here. No matter what."
Red watches him for a moment longer, his optics narrowed, trying to find the lie, and then at last he relaxes. "I still think you're getting ahead of yourself," he says, and his voice sounds a little wary but curious, like an animal preparing to take food from someone's hand, "but thank you." He glances down to where their hands brush, then looks away in embarrassment as he returns the touch. Not only does his pinkie link with Inferno's, his ring finger does as well. Inferno's hands being so much bigger than his, he needs both to hold him properly.
Part of him still wants to hide away...
But part of him wants to move closer...
And so for now, this is all he can do. Just sit quietly in the darkness almost, but not quite, holding Inferno's hand.