2017-12-31 Everyone Knows!

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Everyone Knows!
Date 2017/12/31
Location Lost Light - Recreation -- Observation Deck
Participants Fortress Maximus, Sideswipe
Summary ... Except Fortress Maximus.

A hexagonal room that mimics the shape of the bridge two decks above, the Observation Deck likewise has two rows of windows that look out into the vast dark of space. Seating arranged casually throughout the room can be retracted into the deck or rearranged into rows for solemn ceremonies. If there's a big event, it's going to be held here.

Fort Max meant to hit the observatory to clear his mind, maybe try some of that meditation business he's never quite gotten the hang of. That was absolutely the intent. He wanted to meditate on his troubling conversation with Quicksight, not let it stew in his head. And yet here he is, pacing in front of the big observatory window, back and forth, stomp-stomp-stomp-stomp-stomp. It isn't even angry pacing. He's just really lost in thoughts about Optimus Prime, and Megatron, and why he'd feel tied up in so many knots of the return of PRIME of all things.

Sideswipe's day has been pretty great. He's feeling awesome and sure, it's off-duty hours but sometimes you hunt down your CO to tell them important details on off hours because you feel in the mood. "Hey Maximus!" The usually red but currently silver mech waves as he paces toward the big mech, demeanor all cheerful.

Max stops in mid-pace-stomp and turns to address Sideswipe, standing up tall and serious and no he was absolutely not pacing what made you think that. "Sideswipe," he says with a nod, and then a double take. "...You changed your color." It looks nice, but it's a little off-putting. It's Sideswipe! He's the Red Twin!

"We couldn't find the right red." Sideswipe shrugs easily, ambling close enough to be friendly but not enough he'll get a crick in his neck looking up at the big mech. "Got a sec to spare? I need to tell you something."

"Huh..." Fort Max lets that go, because Sideswipe needs His Opinion On Something. "Ah, of course." He relaxes his body language somewhat so as not to come across quite so looming and all, since Sideswipe is approaching him as a member of his new division. "What can I do for you?"

"Ahhh...." Sideswipe trails off, fidgeting and idly tapping a hand on his chestplates. "Well, uh. Combined divisions and all mean Sunstreaker and I are kind of in the same boat now, and you can pair us up again - it's tactically better than splitting us up we work better as a pair but um..." He trails off, looking to the side and hesitating.

"...Do you want to work together? I admit I was assuming you'd be fighting side-by-side, since that seems to be your specialty." Max catches how Sideswipe is fidgeting and kind of dancing around the point. Uncharacteristically hesitant for Sideswipe. "You can tell me," he adds, in a lower voice.

A nervous laugh preceeds whatever Sideswipe's suddenly nervous about. "Right. That's our thing." Beat. "Hey, you know Topspin and Twintwist? The late wrecker duo?" He drops his hands to swing at his sides, grin going a bit odd at the edges.

Max winces a little. It's reflexive. "Yes. They..." They died at G9. "I'm familiar," he finally settles on, because he doesn't really want to go into it. He's just picking up on Siders's anxiety, really; ignore the armor twitch there.

"Cool, that makes this a lot better. So like, treat Sunstreaker and me like them. It's basically the same except we're not dead." Sideswipe taps a fist into an open palm. Case closed, he's the best at explaining things. "It's not in our personel files so it's not like you'd be expected to know I guess."

"...Oh. Ohh." Fort Max knows enough about shared sparks for it to click into place. "I'd wondered what being a 'twin' really meant, but I just thought it had to do with how your sparks were harvested or something. In other words...I understand." He gives a careful nod. "We'll bear it in mind. I'm sure you two are used to looking after each other as it is, with that kind of situation."

He does not know a lot about the end of the war.

Sideswipe smiles grateful that the meaning clicks easily enough. He really doesn't want to deal with spelling it out if he doesn't have to. "Something like that." He frowns at Fortress Maximus's last comment which turns into an oddly amused look. "Right, looking after eachother. Speaking of, Sunbun's good with tactics but he's better when he's got me as a factor. Otherwise it's hit and miss."

"Sunbun--" And Max's composure finally fails, as he dissolves into a deep, barely-stifled chuckle, hand covering his mouth. "Sorry, he just-he'd kill if he heard someone call him that. He won't even call me anything less formal than Maximus." He shakes his helm. Okay, back to Division Head Mode. "Well, it's probably a load off your minds if you're in sight of one another. Especially with that spark thing."

Sideswipe flashes a shit-eating grin up at Maximus, fingergunning up at the big mech. Twin privilege. "Not really but it's cool you think that. He just sometimes forgets people are, y'know, alive. And not stats. It makes the plans worse." Because he's brutally honest about his brother even if he does trust the mech to cover his back better than anyone else. "We were in different squadrons for most of the war, an' I was out of commission for a good chunk, too. We're more dangerous together, it's a difference."

"I see." Max is aware he might have a sunnier-


view of the gold mech as a friend, but he has to keep the objectivity of a CO now. "Well, we need dangerous against Unicron and the Harbingers. I'll bear that in mind. And Sideswipe..." He stops for a moment. "Thanks for entrusting me with this information. I can understand why you're both a little protective of it."

"Gotcha covered, boss." Sideswipe nods twice, canting his hips to the side and grinning. "I'd say don't mention it but. We're trying to let people know more... stuff. It's good to be open or something I guess. Sunny's idea."

Max rubs the back of his own neck. "I admit, I was a little surprised to hear this from you after being friends with Sunstreaker for so long." Read: he's a little hurt, but he won't push it. "It is...good to be open. Communication can save your life. Besides, it just gets suffocating after a while, never opening up to anyone..."

Sideswipe looks a little confused. "Sunstreaker doesn't open up to people." He says plainly, tilting his head a bit. "You know how people think of him, it's not really a thing to do when you're the social pariah."

"...Right." Something about that confuses Fort Max. Is it just that Sunny is standoffish? He knows he's missing pieces, and really should ask Sunstreaker about it. "I did get that impression. I still don't know a lot about him. I just figured it was because...neither of us wanted to talk about the past much." He coughs.

"That's understating it." Sideswipe rolls his eyes, motioning toward one of the sets of chairs and sliding into a seat himself. "Sunstreaker almost lost us the war, dude. And then he tried to kill us." It's blunt and to the point and said with an edge of fake cheer that's clear this is still unpleasant for Sideswipe to relay, even if it's pretty important for Max to know.

"...What are you talking about?" Max's eyes and biolights flicker in unease. This doesn't seem like something Sideswipe would joke about, and if it is, it's a mean-spirited joke. "Was this some kind of tactical error, like you said? The end of the war, I...I missed it." There's more than resentment in those words; shame's slipped through too. He shouldn't have been on a slab hooked to machines while the Autobots finally won.

"He made a deal with the Decepticons that almost got Optimus offlined." Sideswipe shakes his head dead serious. "He did the noble thing and saved everyone the trouble of a court marshall in a warzone and detonated a bridge with his aft still on it. He's lucky we're alive." Or not, by Sideswipe's continued downturn in expression. A bad time was had by all, but mostly him. "Alpha Trion brought him back. With Hot Rod and Ironhide."

"...Oh." Max sits down heavily in the chair now, numbly, eyes going just a little blank. "So he's the traitor. They said...ha, they told me when I woke up that the security leak that let the Decepticons find G9 came from some kind of traitor. And everything else, I don't know. So it's his fault. He's the one that...he's the reason why...and he knew, he must have known, and..."

His frame trembles visibly, biolights flaring. Sideswipe may notice that the arm rests of the chair are now nicely wrinkled in Max's hands.

"Max, buddy." Sideswipe snaps his fingers in front of the mech's face, standing in his chair to get the needed height. "Hey, listen to me, focus here. We're in the observation deck of the Lost Light, we're inside Tempo, the war's been over for almost a decade, the Autobots won."

The silver twin reaches out carefully to squeeze Max's shoulders as a kind of anchor point, he hopes.

Sideswipe's words are distant, they're garbled, they're drowned out by a voice taunting Fort Max in his mind.

'Now I've gone and ruined your friendship too, haven't I? Oh, don't worry. You'll be alone someday just like you were. You won't be able to trust anyone. Because it all comes back to me. Everything always comes back to me, doesn't it...?'

Then the touch does it. Max grounds himself to the feeling of Sideswipe's fingers, metal on metal. Real metal. The chair is real, the Lost Light is real, the voice is dead. Spaced.

"...Sorry," he whispers, lowering his helm. "It was..." Deep breath, in, out. "I was stationed at Garrus-9, and we were hit by the the Surge. You probably know the rest. I don't...know how to take this." His voice is a little flat now.

"It sucked." Sideswipe understates, keeping his hands there and his posture as relaxed as he can get it. "And it sucked for us, too." He sighs, not quite sure how to unbad this. "Prime's unit- we- were stuck on Cybertron with the swarm trying to eat us. But we recovered, we got back to Earth, we won." And Sideswipe spent years vicariously at the bottom of a canyon with all his systems offline.

Max is still venting in and out slowly, trying to stay here. He'll work out how he feels about everything later. Sure. Sure he will. "I'm sorry," he says, finally looking over at Sunstreaker again with wide, rather sad optics shadowed by his visor. "I always wished I could have been there. Seen it. Helped you. I just have trouble reconciling...Sunstreaker's been a good friend to me. He helps me deal with my anger. He took me painting. He lets me play with Bob. But he's-I don't know if I can look past this. I don't know how." His hands tremble.

"Hey, hey this whole deal is uh. My... bad. I thought you knew, and it's important to know. But.." Sideswipe frowns, trails his fingers around in a light, aimless pattern on Fortress Maximus's plating. "He's trying to make it up to people, it's not like he can just die and leave everyone alone. We're branched. He's... trying. It's hard. Nobody likes him."

"I wouldn't want him to die anyway," Max admits, and wonders about. He wanted to wring Prowl's neck for his involvement in G9, and Sunstreaker is arguably more directly at fault. But he means what he says, somehow. "Dying doesn't make anything up to anyone anyway. He...he never told me. I guess because then I would have hated him too, but..."

He stands up rather abruptly. "Sideswipe, sorry. I think I have to go. Take an early evening. I won't harm your brother, I promise. I should probably add that; I've been the 'dangerous' one before myself."

Sideswipe blinks but he does his best to look understanding and positive. "That's good." He's still sitting on that edge, not quite sure which way Max will tip. "I've fucked this up pretty well. Sorry, Max." But he lets the mech go, hands drooping down to his sides as he slips back down to sit in the chair. Ah. Siblings.

"It's not your fault," Max says, and for a second his expression softens. "He should have told me, but I think I understand why he didn't. And why you did. I'll...I'll talk to him." One way or another that'll iron something out.

"I almost lost someone I loved very much because I jumped to conclusions over something he did in the past. This is a lot more severe, but I don't want to lose anyone." A very weak smile crosses his face. "Does that make sense, or am I just being weak-willed? A year ago I would have properly raged..."

"Oh he did exactly what you think he did." Sideswipe irons that wrinkle out nicely, twiddling his thumbs. "I think you're being rational. Thats um. Better than trying to kill me? Him? Both of us? Hey if you ever want to talk about being dead for years you two could really hit it off."

"It does explain how we felt like kindred spirits, doesn't it?" Max's voice is still muted even if a little note of bitterness is leaking through. "I'll remember what you said about shared sparks, Sideswipe. And I'll-I'll think on this and talk to him." Max is starting to repeat himself, a sign that he's drifting off again. Better to be in his room if he relapses. "I'll see you around." He gives a rather halfhearted wave as he walks out.

Sideswipe nods and waves cheerily, even if he's really not feeling it anymore. Ah... he's going to die.

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