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2016-10-28 I'm Worried Ab--BALL!

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2016-10-28 I'm Worried Ab--BALL!
Date 2016/10/28
Location Lost Light - Science and Medical
Participants Rung, Bulkhead
Plot Animorphing
Summary Rung tries to talk to Bulkhead about letting the dog out. The ending is interrupted.

Rung makes his way onto the science decks, concern emanating from him. He has heard that Bulkhead has been having a hard time controlling himself, and with what Rung himself has experienced it concerns him that Bulkhead doesn't seem to be attempting to keep his animal side at bay even in the slightest. This.. brings up a disturbing number of potential reflections on the mech's mental state. He has to investigate for himself.

With Wheeljack working in the lab (and with Wheeljack's repeated, firm, 'yes I will be here for several hours I will not disappear if you leave') Bulkhead decides to go for a walk about deck 2. He won't go far, of course, can't leave Wheeljack's side, Jack best friend must be with Jack friend - and so he's stuck to sniffing about in the general vicinity of Wheeljack's workshop. As much as he loves floofing all over Wheeljack for pets, he also needs a good walk once in a while, and with Wheeljack hard at work trying to fix the animorphing situation, Bulkhead has to take himself for walks. He's trotting around the same bend of corridor for the fourth or fifth time when he spots Rung coming toward him, and immediately bounds over.

"Rung friend!" Bulk says happily, immediately moving to liiiiiick over the top of Rung's face. "Hi Rung friend. Bulk happy to see Rung friend."

Rung barely has time to process the mound of green fur charging forward to deliver a long liiick up his face. Blinking in confusion, the therapist takes a step back to distance himself from the mechanimal. It.. might be worse than he thought. While Rung can certainly hear that dog voice in his head he has enough control not to speak in such a manner out loud. "Bulkhead, are you alright?" Despite himself, the dog's tail wags in response to seeing bulk friend- Bulkhead.

Bulkhead's own tail is wagging, tongue hanging, big doe eyes trained on Rung. "Bulk good!" he barks, happily. Unlike with Breakdown, there's no tiny niggling oh frag what am I doing happening in the Bulkhead brain. Rung is friend. Rung like Bulk! And Bulk like Rung. "How Rung? Rung good? Rung like dog?" Surely Rung must like dog! Being a dog was the best!

Rung keeps careful eyes on Bulkhead's behavior. This.. is looking really bad. Sitting down Rung decides to prod as he responds, "I am doing alright, rather eager to be returned to normal actually." After deciding how best to respond, Rung carefully says, "Bulkhead it... concerns me somewhat how easily you have resigned yourself to the animalistic instincts in your mind."

Normal? That thought he'd banished days ago comes back, and Bulkhead immediately pushes it back into its dark corner as he says, "Bulk stay. Bulk like dog." Translation: he didn't want to go back. Which likely didn't help Rung's assessment of the situation. When Rung sits, Bulkhead flops, scootching forward to start grooming the other dog with his big tongue. He can keep up a conversation, though, which he proves by responding. "Why co en cern?" Bulk asks, without any real interest while he licks. "Dog good. Bulk like dog," he repeats.

Rung continues to watch Bulkhead as he displays even more of those worrying animalistic behaviors. Has the dog truly taken over? He cannot even seem to respond beyond one syllable words. "Bulkhead. Look at me." look into his optics and focus. "You are not acting like a mech, you are acting purely like a dog. Is this truly how you wish to go about your life?" From the way the mech is making it sound he wouldn't mind if he were to be stuck like this forever. He lies down to better be on the dog mech's level, "Bulkhead from what you are displaying it seems as if you are running from your true emotions by hiding behind the animals veil of happiness." He's worried about you Bulkhead.

If his mind were in control, Bulkhead would shy away from such questions. True emotions? Ha, he was fine, what were you talking about...but with the dog, he keeps up the 'nothing is secret because why secrets?' He does, at least, look at Rung, doing that dog panting thing, the wrecking ball tied around his neck settling onto the floor as it had when he'd crawled toward Breakdown begging for attention. "Yes. Bulk like dog," he says, a third time. "Bulk stay dog." Scootching again to press his nose against Rung's, Bulkhead blunders on. "Dog happy! Dog all ways happy." What he'd told Wheeljack. "Dog not in say cue are." What he'd told Breakdown. "Dog bet er. Bulk stay dog. Bulk like ed bet er when dog."

Rung's eyebrows knit together in concern as he listens to Bulkhead speak, clearly more open due to the dogs influence. Bulkhead is... insecure and under the impression no one likes him? "Bulkhead why do you think you are liked better in this form?" He will address the insecurity later.

"Bulk get pets!" Duh, Rung. "Down give pets, Down nice to dog. Jack give pets, Jack let Bulk stay with. Bulk use full to Jack." Lots of hidden feelings all coming out, all over the place. Rung probably should have wrangled Bulkhead and put him somewhere earlier in the week, before he could be around anyone else, as what he's describing are already events that have come to pass. He was vulnerable in front of Breakdown. He has shown how attached he is to Wheeljack. "Rung like pets? Rung un durr stand." Fellow dog should get it, it's totally all about the pets. Absolutely.

Rung continues to watch Bulkhead in concern, connecting very shortened names to faces. "Bulkhead, I can understand the temptation of having others pet you and admittedly have given in to it but it is another thing entirely yo give in completely"

Bulkhead's brain is finally exerting some control, or, well, it kind of is, as he tilts his head, dog face curious, and asks, "Why?" What's wrong with dog Bulk? Dog Bulk liked, dog Bulk petted, dog Bulk happy. What's wrong with that?

Rung can see Bulkhead's dog brain turning as he seems to start trying to control himself, "Well, you are focusing on all the negatives of your normal form. Why not try to focus on the positives? What about talking to Wheeljack with more than one syllable words? What would you be sacrificing to gain what this form gives you?" Is this constant happiness really worth what you would be losing, Bulkhead? "If... if you really wish to remain in this form you can but... put some thought into it more than what your dog mind brings to the surface."

Bulkhead remains quiet for a moment, head still tilted, tongue lolling. While with Breakdown, the embarrassment of his behavior had been nearly enough to bring him back, this is...the dog brain, confused, accesses Bulkhead's mind. What is Rung friend talking about? And as his mind is accessed, as the questions churn, Bulkhead finally, finally, finds the will to bring himself to the forefront.

"I..." The tongue is pulled back into his mouth, the head is righted, the frame is stilled. What would he sacrifice if he stayed this way? He could never...never truly work on a project with Wheeljack again, for one. Could never hug him again...could never protect him, again, as a dog he wasn't very good with fighting, as he'd proved by almost immediately giving up on attacking Breakdown. He'd keep being pathetic, vulnerable, at Breakdown, showing the ache he had to make things okay between them. He'd never be able to be there for Sterling, either, couldn't help Blast Off if he needed it...so many couldn'ts. And, for the first time in days, Bulkhead talks like himself.

"Rung...it's. It's hard." Bulkhead lays his head on his paws. "It feels so good, being like this. I don't know if I want to go back...I don't know if I can. You've felt it, right? How the dog mind works? It's, it's just - I like feeling this way. It's hard to go back."

Rung crawls closer to Bulkhead, offering what little assurance he can. "I know, and it is tempting but there is also the fact that is this real happiness or is it just a front to hide from your real feelings?" again, Bulkhead, there is a difference between masking your feelings and being truly happy. "In the end the decision is up to you. but I want you to not let the happiness distract you from really putting deep thought onto your decision. You cannot go back from this if you decide to remain in this form."

Bulkhead whimpers, and there, there is the evidence of his true feelings, because he knows Rung is right. He's hiding. He's hiding in the dog brain to get away from what plagues him, the things he wants that he hasn't (or won't) realize, the doubts and pain lingering from the war and his role in it. And if he stays a dog, if he doesn't change back... Bulkhead shuffles enough to rest his big head beside Rung's much smaller one, furry cheek nuzzling furry cheek. "But Rung," he says, and it's a whisper, "What if I really am better off this way?"

There is a moment, one in which Rung can respond, in which they can do some dog cuddling. And then comes The Ball.

It's rubber, bright blue, and it goes sailing over where they lay on the floor of the hallway. Bulkhead spots it first, and almost instantaneously the dog brain takes control. "BALL!" he barks, surging to his feet and racing after it. Somewhere in the background, Sandstorm is laughing his aft off as Bulkhead runs to fetch the ball, which lands and bounces on the floor at the other end of the hall. "BALL! BALL!"

Rung is about to give some inspiring words as he always does and help bulkhead to- Ball? Rung, not anticipating his dog brain to be tempted in this moment, pops his head up and rushes after the larger mechanimal, "Ball? BALL! BALL!!" and there goes any chance of enlightening conversation.

"BALL! BALL BALL BALL BALL--" Bulkhead tears after it and, with his headstart and longer legs, reaches it first, scooping it up in his big slobbery mouth. Proud of himself, he turns, tail wagging and pants coming from around the ball, beginning to trot back to where it was thrown, but - no one is there. Sandstorm, apparently, has disappeared around the corner because he's laughing too hard to exist right now, though Bulkhead has no way of knowing this. His tail stops its wag, his ears drooping, and as Rung comes up he says, "No fetch? Bulk good. Bulk fetch ball. Where throw? No fetch?"

Rung continues to chase behind Bulkhead, hopping and jumping as he tries to get the ball already in Bulk's teeth. Ball ball ball ball!! Fetch ball, play! Fetch pl- wait. Rung forces himself to stop, shaking his head before letting out a whine. He did it again! Plopping down on his stomach, Rung covers his face with his paws. "Evidently 'no fetch' Bulkhead. I believe someone was having a joke at our expense." He can't wait to be changed back...

The dog brain has completely taken over, Bulkhead's resolve to control it lost in the excitement of fetching the ball. He, too, flops onto the floor, doing that scootch scootch thing again and dropping the ball before Rung. "Joke?" That sounds bad. Bulk whimpers, touching his nose to Rung's once more. "Why joke? Fetch fun, why joke...Bulk not like joke." The pupper is back in full force.

Rung... doesn't know how to answer that. So, letting out a small sigh, Rung puts a paw on Bulkhead's side. "I don't know."

Scootch scootch scootch, and Rung is settled between Bulkhead's own paws, his head resting gently on the smaller dog's back. It was the best he could do, hug wise, in this form. "So ree," Bulk says, furry chin settling onto a furry back. Or, well, the approximation of furry when they're still robots. "Bulk make Rung sad..."

Rung leans back slightly into Bulkhead's fluff, looking up at him. "No, you didn't just... Some mechs think our situation is rather humorous." Don't let it get you down bulk, Rung is just... more sensitive.

Bulkhead meant before, before the ball, but, whatever, he's not gonna argue. "Them mean," he gives. Hope them get car mah! Bulk's not about to focus on that, since it's a Not Good Thought and the dog brain, having regained control, does not want Not Good Thoughts. It goes back to the grooming, Bulkhead's large tongue giving careful, fond licks to Rung's head, ears, and neck. He will be happy to stay like this for a while, before heading back to Wheeljack's lab. Liiiick lick lick. Love Rung friend.

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