2017-02-16 Lightning Round
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Location||Lost Light: Docks and Storage -- Shuttle Bay|
|Summary||Riptide decides to stop swimming shark circles and dive a little deeper.|
The four shuttle bays accommodate one of the ship's four shuttles in each bay. The first bay is dominated by the Rodpod. Yes, it really does look like Rodimus's head. No, you can't take it out for the joy ride. Easily the fastest of the shuttles, it is also the smallest. The second (O Fortuna) and third bay contains shuttles which are slightly slower, yet not so large as the shuttle in the last. The last bay contains the Scout Ship "The Leading Light" which can carry a hundred without difficulty.
Riptide essentially has two jobs. The first one is being part of the Combat division, which.. doesn't do a whole lot of anything unless asked. So that's why he has the second, which is repair work. Machinery is more his speed, which explains his affinity for helping out in the shuttle bay. The aquabot is currently laying underneath one of the smaller shuttles, an array of tools near the feet that are dangling out.
After a moment a hand follows, groping around the immediately area, completely missing a nearby wrench. "..Ngh, stupid things.. Someone pass me the socket wrench, will yah?" At least he hopes one of his fellow repairmechs is close enough to hear.
The shuttle bay is home to more than the idling non-sentients, and Skystalker is a common enough find there. It is by far the easiest exit and entrance to the Lost Light, and sometimes he is able to lend a hand with upkeep when he's there. Shuttles know themselves quite well, somewhat out of necessity. Who else will fix you out in space?
His return to the Lost Light was made in silence earlier, and he allows some of the repairmechs to check out his landing gears before returning to his root mode in a sweep of wingtips and limbs, stride slowing when he hears a muffled quest for assistance.
"I hope you're name calling the tools and not this lovely space shuttle?" The socket wrench in question comes listing into reach, and Skystalker is crouched outside of the underbelly to peek underneath when he offers it.
Riptide quites rather quickly when he gets a reply from someone not entirely expected. Grabbing the wrench, the mech wheels into view when dragging himself out from under the shuttle on a dolly, that sharky smile bright and beaming on his face. "As if I'd ever call 'em stupid."
Too distracted by his new company to work, Riptide places the tool at his side and sits up. "Good to see yah, Sky. Been meaning to catch up with you. ..How've you been?" It has been a while, but Riptide's just been trying to get himself straightened out since then.
"Good. Else I'd have to have words with you." Skystalker stays crouched down, but it's enough to keep on level with Ripper and his dolly when he sits up. There's a smile in return for the toothier one, and for a second Sky feels bad that he's sufficiently distracted the other mech from his work. As long as there's no leaking down there, it'll be fine?
"You work quite a lot, don't you?" More like keeping busy? Skystalker's wings angle back and he rests a hand on the ship hull beside him.
Riptide supposes he does, doesn't he? His smile turns a bit sheepish when called out on it, glancing off and rubbing the back of his neck. "Eh.. I try. Keeps my mind busy, y'know?" Fair to say he doesn't like to be alone with it long, the look back to Skystalker telling enough. He's working on it. Slowly.
With his legs more firmly planted on the floor, Riptide rests his elbows on his knees and tilts his helm a little at Sky, smirking, "So whatcha been up to today? Got any big plans?"
"I can get behind that." A busy mind is kept from wandering. Skystalker gives a small laugh at shy rubbing, leaning in to peek under the carriage of the shuttle and back up at Riptide. "Looks nice under there, too. I should know." When he leans back again it's with an exaggerated, definite nod. He's totally an authority on this.
"Just got back from a flight and had my landing gears checked-- I've been feeling rough on my landings, and they helped me out. Should be fine now. Big plans? Not really-- should I have some?" Skystalker answers with a shutter of his optics, curious.
"Heh, thanks. She's in good order, just needed a little tune-up." Riptide smirks, patting the hull lightly after Sky's assessement. Nodding along, his mouth opens to speak, but quickly snaps shut when the mech catches him on the talk of plans. Busted.
He was hoping to go about it a bit more casually, but it looks like he's going to have to come out with it. Wide optics anxiously look down, away from Sky's gaze, while lower lip is bitten and he rubs his neck again. "I ah.. N-No? I meant like.." Helm ducks slightly and a bit of color comes to purple cheeks, voice hushing some as he mutters out sheepishly, "..I was just wondering if, y'know.. you wanted to get drinks sometime.. or something.."
Skystalker keeps his hand on the hull for a moment, looking up around the edge of the ship before letting it drop. They take good care of his pseudo-kin here.
When he looks back to Riptide, it is to find an anxious sort of look away and an equally anxious gesturing. Skystalker is tempted to ask if something's the matter, but thankfully the other mech manages to spit it out first, tints and all. The question has him hesitating, but not for any negative reason. It's mostly to let himself catch up to the bravery. It doesn't happen often. For Ripper's sake, he refrains from asking for moreclarification on 'getting drinks', and instead gives a slim smile, optics following the awkward movements of the other mech. "Sure."
Riptide expects either a no or some sort of excuse, but.. Did he just say yes? He pauses, blinking and looking up to face the spacer, optics wide with wonder and a hint of disbelief. "..R-Really?" The blush still has his cheeks glowing, but thankfully any worry is melting away into delight by the way smile spreads wide over sharp teeth. "That's.. That's great! I, eheh, uhm.. I'm not sure when you wanted to, though. W-Whenever you're free, I guess."
Should he call it a date? Likely not, but that doesn't stop him from feeling as giddy like it's one. Not too many he gets the courage to ask actually say yes.
Skystalker can't help but stare back when Riptide looks up at him like that. Is he really so surprised that it wasn't a No? How often do people make excuses? It's a good thing that Skystalker sees the sharp grinning next; he feels free enough to give one back. It's not as wide, but there is certainly a note of sweetness in the shine of it. It mimics the subtle shine of his biolights, warming as Riptide seems to calm. "I can make time. I'm only required on my bridge shifts." Sky's wings seem to sweep up just so, wondering to himself. "I'm actually done for the day, but it looks like you've still got work to do here..."
Ah, right, work. Riptide looks over his shoulder to consider the shuttle, the thought of pawning it off on someone else flickering across his mind. ..But that wouldn't be very fair, would it? Turning back, he smirks and nods. "Right. Shouldn't take me too long, but.. How about we meet up later today? Give us a chance to get everything out of the way." And for him to set some things up. "How 'bout Visages..?" He never sees himself at that sort of bar, but maybe it's best they go somewhere at least a little classy.
Skystalker finds it a little refreshing that he doesn't try to pawn it off; some people wouldn't think twice. While the thought of Visages means Mirage, Skystalker can't avoid that mech's oddness forever. Whatever it was, maybe it has passed? Besides, Swerve's always means that he definitely drinks too much. In this case it might be best not to.
"That sounds quite nice, Riptide." Skystalker tips his head and raises a brow towards the wrench Riptide had asked for. The wings at his back angle upwards a touch more, betraying his good mood behind some calmer words. "You can comm me when you're finished up here?"
Riptide nods and takes up the wrench previously given. "For sure. I better get to it then, huh? Don't wanna keep you waiting too long." He grins and eases back down on the dolly before rolling under the shuttle again, trying to focus getting back to work and not too much on the upcoming meeting.
Some time later...
It's at least an hour or two before Riptide comms Skystalker, having finished up his work, among other things. With the place previously set and the time now, Riptide gives himself enough of a head start to be the first one at Visages, seated at one of the private booths off to the side with a small box in front of him. And it seems he gave himself time to stop off at the baths before calling Sky, looking cleaner and shinier than usual.
Skystalker didn't linger long once Riptide went back to work on his repairs; it left Skystalker to pad quietly away and find something to occupy his time until his comm lights up. A little reading and notetaking up in the Botany Lab, but of course he can't resist mucking with his projects. It has him smelling a bit like the little jungle upstairs when he arrives at Visages, otherwise clean of any dust he collected while there.
It's hard to not pick Riptide out at first glance, and Sky lifts his hand up in greeting as he drifts across the room to the booth. "Hey!" The exclamation is quiet, but it's very easy to read when paired with a smile. "Repairs go well?"
Not many mechs have boat kibble or a shark fin for a helm crest, so Riptide is always easy to spot. He looks up from the box he's been mulling over, spirits lifting when he sees Skystalker approaching to join him, offering a little wave and a gesture to sit. "Yep, was an easy checkup, making sure everything's up to snuff."
Once the spacer has a seat, one of the servers comes around, earning a little nod from Riptide. "Voxian sunset, please." Of course the server waits for Skystalker's order next before moving off, leaving the two in peace again. It takes a second for Riptide to speak up, clearing his vocals softly while shifting in his seat. "So uh.. I've been meaning to give you something.." Carefully, he slides the box over, which has little holes in the top, oddly enough.
Inside is a small pot of healthy, blossoming energon flowers from Divisun. "I.. I know you've got a whole bunch of these back at the lab, but these're the ones from the seeds you gave me a while back. It's a thank you for.. teaching me something new."
Skystalker curls down onto the seat, one leg moving over the other as he settles in. He gives a friendly little nod at the answer, and looks up as the server comes around. "A Heating Coil for me."
Once the drinks are under way, Riptide gets Skystalker's full attention, especially once he shifts and clears his voice. "Oh?" It's a surprise, but Sky doesn't have any hesitation in lifting the lid when the box comes to his side of the table. "Oh!" His smile breaks wide, and the starfighter carefully picks up the potful of flowers while Ripper explains. "I give people a lot of things like this--" Sky peeks over the top of the blooms. "--but I've never gotten any back. Especially for a thank you." His fingers brush over the closeknit bundle of stems. "I'm glad I could." More that He's glad Riptide liked to learn it-- most people wouldn't.
Riptide looks on hopefully at Skystalker as he recieves the gift, eventually beaming when he sees that he likes them. His posture straightens in response and rudders wiggle a little. "And I'm glad you like them. Couldn't have done it without yah." And that's the truth. He took extra care of those flowers, which shows.
As they talk their drinks quickly arrive, Riptide taking his up with a nod of thanks to the server before sipping on his bright blue mixture. After setting it back down and licking his lips, he smirks to the starfighter. "Oh, by the way, I met up with Quicksight not too long ago. He's an interesting mech. Reminds me of.. a little of me."
Skystalker isn't shy about sticking his face closer to the flowering plant, briefly burying his nose into its petals. He is no Hound, but he can still appreciate the scent. It's a clean smell, a sweet tinge of that recycled energon.
As the drinks arrive, Skystalker's hands remain around the base of the plant pot when he nods a thank you, optics lingering on the canary yellow of his usual cocktail before moving back to the other mech. He did? The hands around the pot slide it gently to the side, between them but safe on the table for now. The smile that springs onto Sky's features is almost-- relieved? "I've told him he should try to properly meet you. I'm glad your description is 'interesting' and not 'annoying'. How does he remind you of yourself?"
"Heh, well.." Riptide smirks, rubbing the back of his helm and glancing off. "It was kinda rough at first, but.. We got along alright in the end." As for why he reminds him of himself, Riptide's smirk fades somewhat, drifting backwards into his thoughts. "He.. seems like he's still stuck in the war. It's the hardest part for us MTOs, y'know? One day you're fulfilling the only thing you know, then the next day it doesn't exist."
Optics shift between Sky and his drink, thumbing the lip of the glass. "It's not easy, but I think he'll be okay in the long run. He's got you for support, which is a big help." The smile that reaches the mech across the table is weak, but meaningful.
The quirk to Skystalker's browline seems to indicate that he's not surprised that it started out rough. Still, there's a sort of crooked smile for the rest. "That's why I hoped he might talk to you." Sky takes his drink up to feel some of its warmth through the glass. "He has his problems, but I think if he knew someone that was going through similar things he might, I don't know-- be able to come to terms with some of it?" Though sobered words, Sky seems to have a reverence behind them. He smiles back, a little shyly. "I am definitely there for him. I just wish I was more help, sometimes."
"Just being there is enough." Riptide confirms, knowing it to be true. If he didn't have friends like Sky or Raid, he's not too sure where he'd be right now. That said, he looks down at his drink again, quieting. He doesn't mean to fall into silence, but it's clear he's struggling to say something. "Sky, I.." He hesitates, biting gently at his bottom lip. "..I wanna get to know you better.. I-If you want. Like.. What sorta stuff do you like, what do you do when you're not working, what was stuff like for you before the war. I.. I don't have much to tell about myself, but I can try.."
Skystalker smiles again when he's reassured that being there means as much as it does. He sips at the yellow drink, a small vent exhaling through his systems. The quiet that comes clouding in next isn't exactly an unwelcome pause, but Skystalker can't help but wonder if he should say something first, or-- no, there he goes, between the inner struggle and the chewing of his mouth. Sky watches and listens as Riptide goes through his thought-out quest for more, features set in a neutral friendliness. He might hear things like this from people that are nervous around him, but each one requires a unique approach. For Riptide, it seems to be patience.
"I'm okay with that, Riptide." Skystalker answers gently once he finishes, smile coming fully back. He can appreciate that the other mech seems to inherently recognize that he's a private sort of person, going as far a to ask permission to find out such things. Skystalker gives a short laugh, "What would you like to know? Do you want to try and make a game of it? It might help"
Riptide appreciates the patience. He really only gets nervous with Skystalker because he's unsure of his own words, not wanting to look stupid. Granted, that can't really be helped sometimes, but he always means well. At the flier's agreeal, he straightens up, yellow optics squinting up and fingers tapping lightly at his glass in glee. "A game? Sure! That's actually perfect. I did one with Tex a while back. Think he called it.." A pause to think, though he perks soon after. "Lightning round! That's it. Five questions each, honest answers only. But I mean.. if it's something you really don't wanna answer, it's alright if we skip it. I'll letcha go first, if you want, then we'll go back and forth."
"Tex and his games." Skystalker's chuckle comes with a flush of his biolights that lingers. He's glad Ripper seems to pick up on making it a game, though-- he seems too easygoing for a serious Q&A.
"Lightning Round? Hmm. Okay, that sounds fair." Skystalker takes a deeper draw of his drink before setting it down and clasping his hands on the table, thoughtfulness playing onto his face. "What about... what's something you've always wanted to try?"
As Skystalker thinks on his question, Riptide takes more of his drink as well, sipping on it idly and only setting it down when asked. "Always wanted to try. Hrm.." There's a lot, honestly, but he imagines he should only pick one for right now instead of throwing out an entire list. The mech leans into the table and rests his chin in a hand, lips pursing softly in thought. "...I've always wanted to see what flying is like. Like, I loved floating outside the ship, that was amazing, but I wanna know how it feels to really rocket through the air, y'know?" He grins wide. "Just strap a jetpack on me or something, ha."
Next is a question for Skystalker, Riptide pondering as he overlooks him. "..What made you get so interested in organic stuff?"
"I bet someone could arrange a jetpack." Skystalker seems tickled by the image in his head, too. "Flying is-- the wind and the view is some of the best stuff. To me, anyway." Those wingtips give a concentrated bob of movement, contented with the answer. As he waits for the first question for him, Sky sips at his drink. He's slower at it, but he likes the steady warmth it gives him.
The question gives Sky a moment of hesitation, and he leans his chin in his hand, fingers curled to hide the thought process happening on the lower part of his face. His optics are free to dart a little, though. "After the war started I spent more and more time around organic aliens, and spending time on their worlds, and after a point--" The tip of his tongue catches between his lips when he pauses. "I had to be around them anyway. I ended up, ah, helping to take care of some gardens. It was an enjoyable thing for me at the time, so..."
Riptide's optics widen with wonder, unaware of the circumstances behind Skystalker's stay with aliens. "Whoa, really..? It must've been cool to be around them instead of fightin' them. Only time I ever really spent time with non-Cybertronians was when we ah.. had to fight them or fight Cons on their planet." His rubs his arm at that, corner of his mouth twitching. "..Should I ask another, or did you wanna take your turn?"
Skystalker rolls his shoulders in a small shrug, looking at his hands and mustering a smile. "There were good and bad things about it, but I can definitely say that I learned a lot in a very short time." It's a very uninvasive way to put it, but.
"I can go again," Skystalker waves one hand on its way to turn his glass in a fidgety circle. "Do you collect anything? Or is there something you would if you could?"
Riptide bobs his helm in a nod at that, seemingly satisfied with the answer. There's a curiousness in the way he looks at Sky, wondering if there's more to it, but he doesn't wish to press. Next is a question for him again, to which he smirks happily. "I try to collect anything aquatic if it's able to cohabitate with the others in my tank." Score a big word for Riptide. "But if I can't I just like to collect rocks sometimes or little nicknacks if they've got shops. Managed to pick up a bunch of cool stuff when we visited Velocitron."
Back to Sky, he questions, "Uhh.. What're you gonna do after we find the Knights?"
"Rocks? Do you like crystals, then?" Skystalker looks a little weaselly when he adds, "That doesn't count for a question, does it?" Hopefully not?
The question for him, however, gets a little less of a playful reaction, and Skystalker unabashedly downs the last of his drink, one optic squinting as it goes down. Oo, maybe too fast there. "I have no clue. If my experiments get anywhere, I suppose I'll be wherever someone needs me?" Sky works at his lower lip. "If we find them, that is. Perceptor is trying to find someone back on Cybertron for me to work with on the projects. Anyway-- what would you do with unlimited Shanix?"
Riptide snickers softly, looking all official as he nods. "I'll let that one slide. And yeah! Crystals are pretty cool, I've got a couple on my shelf." Watching him down the drink so fast and wince earns a wince of his own. "Er.. Feel free to have as many as you want. S'on me." He's still working on his, of course.
"I hope you find 'em, though. It'd be neat to have some organic or transorganic stuff on Cybertron. And uhm.. Wow, good question.." He squints into his glass. "I think.. first I'd use it to set up a fund to help war mechs with all the slag they got saddled with. War wounds, PTSD, just lost in general and not knowin' how to deal with stuff. ..After that maybe help rebuild our connections so we can travel anywhere we want and trade and build ourselves back up.."
He could go on, but he stops at that, smirking sheepishly as he sips on his engex. "Would you ever change anything about yourself?"
The quirk of an eye at 'on me' shows a little surprise, but Skystalker just smiles for it. It's awfully nice to want to buy for a blossoming alcoholic. He sets the glass at the edge of the table to indicate a refill for the next person to pass by.
Riptide's answer catches him by surprise, and for a few cycles of his ventilation while he listens he feels ashamed to have thought that the other mech might decide on something that wasn't so selfless. "Maybe you can replace Starscream..." Sky leans his head on his hand, laugh softened. "I might... make myself more brave? I hear slag about neutral mechs so much, I guess. I'd like to not be seen like that... like I'm a coward, you know? I'd like to be given more credit than that. Maybe I need a little more bravery for it. Be a little more unafraid more often? Something like that. What about you? And yes, that's my question." Skystalker's smile comes back when he tacks that on.
Riptide wasn't being super honest then maybe he would've said something more silly, like take a vacation traveling the stars or buy a whole water planet for himself. But this is Riptide we're talking about and he can't not be selfless. "Heh, y'think so? Dunno if I'd be that good of a leader. Though I'd look pretty cool in a crown." He beams, normal Riptide coming back.
As he listens to Skystalker, a little frown creases his lips and brows furrow a hair. "..Nothin' wrong with being afraid, Sky. Bravery isn't.." He looks down, rubbing over his mouth. "It's not what most people think it is. Brave doesn't mean chargin' in without fear. ..It's bein' scared to death and knowing what's gonna happen, but doing it anyway.." Yellow gaze lifts to fix on the flier again, a soft smirk on his face to accompany the faint color on his cheeks. "You're a smart mech, I figure you know when to be afraid and do stuff anyway, so I think you're plenty brave."
For his question, he turns his glass idly and thinks. "..If I was makin' a joke I'd say my whole body. Make myself a jet or something. ...But I think, honestly.. Probably nothing? Or well, maybe make a bit smarter." He finishes off his drink and passes it to the side for a refill as well. "I know I should say the frenzy thing, but.. it kept me alive back then, as much as I hate it. All I can do is try and change it on my own instead of wishin'."
He smiles sheepishly after, rubbing his helm. "You uh.. You like anyone on the ship?"
While Riptide's words on the nature of being brave are true, there will always be a part of Skystalker that wishes he had been. Maybe his life would have turned out differently. Maybe he'd have made vastly different choices. a lot of maybes that always lurk there.
"Brains can be a little overrated." Skystalker manages a smile again, and it fades when Riptide mentions his personal elephant in the room. Would he really not change his ability? The one they gave him? Skystalker can hardly imagine how hard it must be to keep it corrected.
Giving the server a passing glance as they stop by, amber optics move back at the newest question, lingering on the sheepish smile and the nervous rub. He looks to his hands and smirks, wingtips flicking and tucking down in their angle. "Would you hold some honesty against me, or do I need to ask for a skip?"
Riptide pauses at that, his hand falling partway and attention fixing more properly on the starfighter. A second passes, blinking, before he melts in a friendly, lopsided smile with the inner corners of his brows pushing up. "..'Course not, Sky, you're my friend. It's how yah feel, not much I can do to change it, whatever you say. ...I won't give you the sad eyes, promise." He chuckles lightly under his vocals.
It's the sad eyes that he's worried about! Skystalker seems to hide behind the turn of his head, the smirk setting in quite comfortably. "To answer your question-- yes. I mean, it's hard to not be in this kind of place and not, isn't it?" Hands coming together again to fidget, Skystalker feels like he wants to try and hide behind them instead. This isn't like joking around with other people-- it's an honest question and an honest answer, and he's not used to sharing. But Riptide wants to know, and what was that about being braver before? "The truth is, there's probably more than is normal-- err-- whatever normal is--"
Riptide listens carefully, this time being the patient one. When he hears 'more'.. he doesn't appear as shocked as one might expect. Or at least Sky would expect. "So there's more than one, huh? Ah.. that wasn't meant to be an official question." Sharp teeth flash in a happy little smile, the aquabot quite chipper when chiming, "As if I'd ever hold that against yah, Sky. Nothin' wrong with liking more than one mech. If I said that was bad I'd be a hypocrite, heh." He rubs the side of his neck at that, bashful. "...Think it's your turn."
"I know it's not exactly weird, just-- I never really had a chance to get to know anyone for a long time. A really long time. And there are bots here that just-- I really-- like the ways they make me feel. Does that make sense?" Skystalker doesn't have to really explain himself, but it comes slipping out in between the subtle flush of his lights and awkward shift of his weight on the bench. "Yeah, my turn...mmm." Skystalker pauses and clams up when the server stops by with the refills.
"'Course it does." Riptide nods assuringly. "There's some folks I just like hanging around with, others.. I feel a bit more. Just all types of feelings. I know what you mean, honestly. I could only get so close to my teammates, so being around everyone here... It's nice." He smiles thoughtfully at the drink that's delivered, not complaining at the pause before their final questions. Instead he enjoys his engex, nursing a few swigs and licking his lips.
Relief washes over Skystalker when it's clear that Riptide is definitely not going to judge him for his interest in others; he may not flirt too ostentatiously, but it happens, and it's not always the same person. The closeness of a mutual exchange like that makes him feel wanted-- not precisely in the same way as being desired. It's different.
Skystalker considers the last turn as he sips at his new glass, fingers turning it in a slow circle on the table again before he looks up to Riptide. Optics half-shuttered and head canted in curiosity, his smile stays small and stifled in a moment of poise. "Do you want to kiss me?"
Skystalker has to ask that just as Riptide is taking a drink. On reflex his shoulders hunch up and his optics widen, bright as ever as he nearly chokes on the engex. Pressing the back of his hand to his mouth, he puts the glass down and swallows hard, venting a soft wheeze after and just.. staring at Sky.
Is he serious..? He has to be, it's part of the game. Still, he can hardly believe it. But it's real. The heat on his face, the hard pulse of his spark, the tightness of his chest, he feels it all so this must be happening. "I-I.." His words quake a little and hands find each other atop the table, fiddling anxiously while turning avoidant gaze to them. Easy, Riptide..
"Y...Yes.. A lot.." His gaze shutters half-mast and he bites his lip again, now shifting between Sky and the table. He's always wanted to, he's just been too scared to ask, afraid of all the what ifs. And yet.. right now he can't even think of a single one, his optics lifting finally to hang on Skystalker's, nervous, yet intent. "...C-Can I?"
Skystalker, of course, has no intention of making Riptide start choking on his drink; the reaction gets a flushed little blink of optics, soft but uncertain. His gaze stays that same way when it turns down to look at the other mech's hands. Was that the wrong thing to go with, perhaps? Maybe he should have kept playing the game? At least Riptide hasn't passed out yet, but from the heat that ebbs out of his vents, he still might.
Yes. A lot. The reply that finally works its way out earns a twinkle of amber when Sky looks back to the seamech's face. Can he? The starfighter moves both boots to the floor and leans forward over the table, closing part of the space between with a blooming smile. "You can."
Riptide can already feel his mind swimming, to be fair. But he fights it, refusing to succumb when what he's wanted is before him now and within his grasp. His cheeks warm to the touch and vents hot, Riptide ignores the temperature indicator of his sensors as Skystalker leans in, the aquatic mech bracing himself on the table when meeting him the rest of the way.
A scant few inches apart, he hesitates, searching the warm, luminous gaze staring back at him. He could have him. Right here and now. Just dive in. ..But the shaking hand that lifts remains gentle, Riptide taking his time as palm gently cups soft cheek, his thumb smoothing affectionately against it, own optics dimming and shuttering as he leans in fully.
He's long forgotten where they are, completely lost when lips meet. Unsure at first, his want begins to show as he presses in further, helm tilting just enough to deepen the embrace while a heated vent warms the other's cheek.
As Riptide moves closer, Skystalker doesn't allow his hooded gaze to wander, instead focusing only on the optics and the planes of the familiar face in front of him. Though he could take those few inches himself, he refuses; it's the other's move, and he wants to see it.
Skystalker buries the edge of his cheek against the touch to it, a shyly smiling search for the warmth there. Riptide can feel the smile ghosting across his mouth when he leans in, the expression melting against touch with a subtle heat and muted sound.
Skystalker may be the one well aware of his presence, but at the moment he can't bring himself to care terribly-- much like the instance before, drink has helped bring his nerves to a smoothed plane. His hands move up to cup either side of Riptide's face, slender hands light but steady, a contrast in all sense of the word.
Riptide started shaky, but the prolonged contact helps ease his nerves, a more confident hand slipping slipping atop the svelt hip opposite, fingers toying along it. He feels positively drunk from the embrace, his mind abuzz with activity, urging him on further with the tip of his tongue ghosting across lower lip in want.
And he may have had more if Sky hadn't cupped his face, yellow shimmer peeking through the sliver of his cracked optics, peeking at the other only to have a soft noise bubble up from his chest. Pulling only his lips away, the sound grows into a lighthearted chuckle before it rises into a happy little laugh, Riptide's optics sparkling through their delighted squint.
Another kiss greets the spacer, but only lingers a moment before the mech parts, contentedly rubbing the crest of his forehelm against the other and offering a quiet, humming sigh.
The sound of the laugh is contagious, Skystalker's fingers cradling the lines of Riptide's jaw, a mirrored, sweet little laugh vibrating in the tiny distance between them once they part just-so.
The second kiss, however brief, is met with equal heart, soft and affectionate. As their helms come together a moment after, Skystalker's features split and crease in silent mirth for Riptide's sigh. "...Do you feel a little better now?"
"Much better.." Riptide remains where he is for the moment, forehelm against the other mech's. To be so nervous and ready to drop not moments before, the mech is now nothing but serene, just brimming with delight. "..Thank you. For everything." His hands move and take Sky's in them, holding them both between them and giving a soft squeeze. "For this, for supporting me, for being my friend. I'm.." He looks off to the side, smile never dwindling, before looking back with a sure nod and mirrored smile. "I'm okay with whatever you want.. this to be. I'm just happy to have this right now. With you."
Skystalker could practically hear how much Riptide's head was swimming-- he knows him well enough to see it when it happens. The calm in him now is a relief, in a way. There's nothing to be afraid of, after all.
Hands taken up, Skystalker's optics dance down to Riptide's fingers where they have his clasped. He pulls the bundle of them towards his mouth, putting a small reassuring peck to the back of the other mech's hand. "I'm happy to be your friend, Riptide. You're sweet and selfless, never doubt that." Skystalker shifts down to sit again, though he allows his hands to be kept quite cozy where they are. "And definitely deserving of affection." Sky ends this with a crook of a smile, and his wings lift gently behind his shoulders. "I'm glad I could help. For now let's just-- enjoy our time here, hm?" Companionship means more right now, at least to Skystalker. "I like your company, and I'm afraid of thinking too hard on a tank of cocktails."
Honestly, if they were to remain nothing but friends, Riptide would be okay with it just as he said. Simply being around Skystalker makes him happy, so who is he to ask for more when it's good as it is? It's true that he doesn't know what the future will hold, but right now Sky's praise is all he can think about, blushing bashfully in reply.
As for the request to enjoy their time, he nods and gladly sits opposite Skystalker again, taken hand remaining clasped while the free one takes up his drink and clinks it lightly against the other. "Guess we should have a little more then. Cheers~."
"It's true. I swear on it." Bashfulness in response to the praise earns a more open smile along with this, and Skystalker lifts his glass when Riptide lifts his. "Maybe we can have a few more rounds of that game, too. Cheers~."