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2017-02-20 All the Time in the World

From Transformers: Lost and Found

All the Time in the World
Date 2017/02/20
Location Lost Light - Docks and Storage - Rung's Office
Participants Fortress Maximus, Rung
Summary What now?

Fortress Maximus doesn't always sit still during sessions. The laying down position doesn't relax him the way he figures it should. Maybe because laying down means vulnerability. So he'll sit up frequently, sometimes resting his elbows on his knees, often avoiding Rung's gaze.

But he's been coming to sessions regularly. He walks into the office as usual, sitting on the edge of the couch as if he's not ready to lay down yet.

"Um, hey," he says. He never knows how to start these things.

Rung gives Fortress Maximus a gentle smile, just as always. He never pressures the mech to sit still, that would be potentially counterproductive, but every time it does worry him how resteless the mech seems. Nevertheless, the therapist keeps his calm and welcoming composure, warmly saying, "Hello, Maximus. How have you been doing since our last session? Has anything good happened?"

Rung can tell that Fortress Maximus never seems to know what to do during these sessions, so he always tries to ease the atmpsphere a bit to help the mech relax... it doesn't always- or usually- work, but he tries valiently.

"...Well. I made some..." Friends? Are they friends? Max likes to think so, but he's taken to second-guessing his interactions with people so often that he isn't sure. "Connections," he decides. "Been trying to make myself socialize a little. Figured it's probably good for me. It's less isolating." He is not going to mention the incident with the mass displacement gun. That was not a 'good' thing. "And...sorry, that's not much, is it?"

He buries his face in his hand for a second and then lets it down, venting. "And I started spending more time in the library. It's quiet, but not, you know..." He waves his hand, hoping Rung understands the difference between 'peaceful' and 'can hear self think quiet.'

Rung beams as Fort Max tells him of his new 'connections'. Despite his belief Rung is happy with any progress Maximus makes, no matter how small, "That is wonderful to hear, Maximus! Don't be sorry, even a little progress is excellent, no matter how small the step may seem." Rung is a little relieved to hear all that, he had been increasingly worried about the tank continuing to isolate himself. Hearing him deciding to go out and socialize on his own whim is somewhat reassuring.

The comment about the library is given a small, wise, nod. Rung knows the difference between quiet and suffocating silence, he has experienced it before on several occasions. "So, why not tell me about the mechs you have spoken to as of late? How did your conversations go?"

"Well...Disaster's an MTO too, and he's nothing like me. At all. He's enthusiastic and almost too much for me to keep up with, but that's okay. We looked at some xenobiology files. You know, alien animals." Does Max actually seem to relax his body language a little at the idea of looking at animal pictures, of all things? "But I mean, he told me what he went through like it was nothing, and...he's happy and well-adjusted. How do people do that? I can't ask him that, it sounds ridiculous."

He catches himself, finally leaning back on the couch. "And Lieutenant seems nice, but I didn't talk to him much." He doesn't mention Starstruck because Star is a DIRTY CON. "And Fritz...he was a mail carrier bot, I think? I met him at Swerve's and he got it. Stuff. Not what we went through but how people talk about it and act around you. Um, not you in particular, Ring," he amends. "Just...people."

Rung doesnt take any offense to the statement itself, he has no reason to, but does raise an eyebrow slightly. Quietly- with the patience of a prime- he says, "Rung." but moves on past that, "I see, well do you think you might persue a stronger friendship with them in the future? It seems that you have found some form of common ground with Disaster and Fritz."

"Sorry," Max mumbles. "Maybe. I mean, I guess I should. Right? Except they saw me when I'm doing 'okay.' Even Fritz-yeah, I was brooding at the bar, but to be honest he looked like he was feeling a lot worse at the moment. So I mean, not what I think I'm supposed to be at this point, but okay."

He seems to curl inward, as if the enormous mech is trying to make himself appear smaller. "But I'm not always okay. So what happens if someone gets to know 'Fortress Maximus, who is kinda quiet and has some issues but seems alright' and out comes 'Fortress Maximus, who has nightmares and functions best when something needs blowing up?'"

Rung's face softens as the mech reveals his worries to him, "Maximus, I wish to tell you something." He leans a bit forward so that Max will understand that this isnt a chastizement or a lesson, more of just a statement of facts, "Everyone on this ship has problems. Some, admittedly, worse than others but problems still. I truly do not think anyone would fault you for what you are going through, especially looking at what happened to you." Even Rung has had problems of his own.

At 'what happened to you,' Max visibly tenses. "I know. I mean, that's part of why I bonded with Fritz, though he doesn't know about...what happened." Not 'what happened to me.' Just what happened. "And I know some people are just better at hiding their scars. Disaster, maybe."

He sits up again, head bowed. "It's just a matter of, you know, accepting it. Knowing something in your head vs in your spark and gut. On the battlefield, everything always just seems clearer. I have an objective and I got for it. I don't think about 'what if I fail,' because failure means I die. But when it comes to...all this, it's like I know something's the case on an academic level, and then it doesn't sink in. It doesn't click even when it should."

Rung gives him another smile, this time soothing and calming, "Don't worry Maximus." if Rung was closer.. or taller, he might have reached out to give MAx's hand a reassuring pat... but hes a little too far and short for that to work so a smile will have to do, "like academics it just takes time but you will get to where you wish to be."

"Wish it was a little sooner," Max mutters. He actually looks up...well, down at Rung now, resting his hands on a bent knee. "But I do feel like making myself talk to people is helping. Even if I have to make myself do it nowadays. Never used to be a problem. Granted then I just, you know. Barked orders, made small talk. We weren't really expected to socialize outside of telling war stories or bonding the way soldiers might. And even then, never really had an amica or anything like that."

Something's been on his mind, ever since his meeting with fellow MTO Disaster. "I guess you wouldn't know this. So put this on the record as me asking the universe and a bunch of people I'll never meet. But, what were we supposed to do after we won the war? You know, soldiers like me who were made for it and only that. I mean Primus knows I assumed the war would go on forever too. But there's gotta be more of us who don't know how to be anything else. I mean, even ones who didn't..."

Well, Rung knows.

Rung looks down at his hands as he ponders this, vying for wanting to be comforting and wanting to be honest... though really he isnt sure there is actually a comforting answer. Delicately the therapist responds, "..To be honest, Maximus. I am not entirely certain anyone thought that far ahead." When he looks back up, its with a concerned but clearly detemined frown, "You are right that there are many like you, facing the same emotional dilemma. I can assure you, though, that we will figure out how to make you, and others, happy now that the war it over. Even if you were brought into the world to fight, it doesn't have to remain that way. You are your own being, with your own mind and emotions. If you'll excuse the cliche, you can in essence be whatever you wish to be now- not just an MTO built to fight. You just have to figure out what that is."

<FS3> Rung rolls Inspire: Good Success. (5 8 2 7 4 8 3)

"So, everyone else assumed the war would go on forever too. Kinda what I've figured." Max actually relaxes his poise, lowering his shoulders and slightly dimming his optics. "Thanks for not feeding me a line there. You know me, Autobot through and through, but sometimes I get the feeling the Official Answer is a lot cleaner than that."

He listens to Rung, quiet as he takes it in, studying his own hands. They're not really built for anything particularly delicate. He's not built for peacetime. He knows that. But damned if he'd slip into self-inflicted Functionalism over that.

"Guess now that we're not at war, I got time to figure out what that is, right?" Is that...a smile? An actual Fortress Maximus smile? Maybe?

Rung responds with an understanding and clearly confident look, "Yes, you do indeed have time to figure out what it is." Its then that Rung's clock signifies that their session is coming to an end, "Well I believe our time is just about up Maximus. Before you leave I would like you to know what I am proud of you, for all that you are doing to help yourself."

"Ah, um..." That actually seems to fluster Maximus a little, the tank looking away and rubbing under his nose. However he feels about going to therapy, there's something about approval from Rung that's very...soothing and reassuring. "Thanks. I'll try to keep it up. You take care of yourself too."

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