2018-02-14 Walk and Talk

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Walk and Talk
Date 2018/02/14
Location Rigard - Southern District - Whistlewire Apartments
Participants Lieutenant, Starstruck
Summary Star and Lieu have a discussion that's long overdue.

The apartments make up most of Tempo's suburbia, with artful building structure and curved beams accenting the corner of each pentagonal building. These buildings are divided by winding streets, wide enough for two grounder-type lanes and a sidewalk, and each complex differentiated by desaturated colors or window shapes. Most of the buildings are around five stories.

A central building keeps a tidy lobby with a section beside what looks to be a fireplace, and seating for mechs of every size. The fireplace itself occasionally burns with a strange blue fire. Above it is a holoviewer, usually set to local news. Most of the light comes from the glass-inset doors that lead out to the balcony.

With Tempo currently folded up all ship-shape (GET IT), there's no sign of sun or sky, but if you're lucky and you find a window, you might catch a glimpse of stars.

The Whistlewire apartments are quite a sight from the outside if one stops to admire. With streets interweaving through the buildings where the patrons can open their windows and wave at those who pass by should they wish. While the lobby inside the central building is lovely in it's own right, some who reside in Whistlewire don't view it often. Namely, Lieutenant, who seemingly forgot that doors are commonly used as entrances.

He prefers to leave his apartment through a different way for his own pleasure, leaping off the fifth story balcony. It's a paltry jump compared to the Towers of Iacon. However, it will have to suffice for Lieutenant as he lands on the supposedly empty street below with a tuck and roll. It's one of the few pleasures he delights in since resigning from the Lost Light.

The Whistlewire apartments are a really nice place, and with the landscape that's been set up around them, they're perfect for a walk. Having fallen back on his old - new? - method of trying to clear his head, Starstruck is out and about among the buildings, enjoying the scenery and the quiet. Not many mechs are out today, at least not around here, and for once that suits him just fine.

What Star doesn't expect to do is run into someone literally falling out of the sky, and he's already clapping for the impressive tuck and roll before he recognizes who it is. There's a hitch in the sound of his hands coming together, but he doesn't stop, instead adopting an awkward smile. "10 outta 10, Lieu! Great landing."

Seismic sense is an incredibly handy ability for many things. Lieutenant's most recent use of it was trying to avoid Starstruck. The talk with Anialus couldn't be helped, but before and after that, he had been doing well. Until now.

The avian's optics are wide momentarily at who was clapping. "Ah, um, hm..." He's not sure what to do or say. Instead of anything, he averts his optics and tugs at his audial fin with a soft 'thank you.' All Lieutenant does is stand there for several moments, tugging on his fin.

"It was- ahem- was good to see you, Starstruck." Lieutenant finally gets out before pivoting to walk away, "I must go now, bye."

Where Starstruck would've immediately charged after Lieutenant before, now he hesitates, rocking back on the ball of his feet. It doesn't last long.

"Hey, wait!" Jogging the distance between them, Starstruck catches up and pulls ahead of Lieutenant, turning on his heel to face the avian. "It's good to see you too, I--can we. Talk? I mean, I kind of...missed you."

Lieutenant begins to remember why he tired to be such a brick wall in his younger years. Emotions complicate everything. When Starstruck passes him- easy since he hates running- the avian stops. "Starstruck, I-" his tanks transform into tight knots as he bites his tongue. He really doesn't want to talk but despite the past, Star still is a friend. "-very well. Walk and talk."

"Okay." Starstruck slows down, falls into step beside Lieutenant. It's easy; they're the same height. But it's also hard, for different reasons, not the least of which is Lieutenant being so closed off. At least Starstruck's used to that. "I'm sorry I haven't come to see you since...I was still trying to figure things out. Are've you been?"

"There was no expectation that I would see you upon return," Lieutenant replies, removing a datapad from his subspace. Security blanket, so to speak. "This whole predicament has left many wary of Pipes and I. However, it seems to have affected his lifestyle more than my own. Overall, this life has been well, considering." Beat. "I do hope the same for you."

"Yeah, Pipes is...he's not having a good time." Starstruck slides a glance Lieutenant's way, unseen with his visor covering his optics. "So you've been okay? I can't imagine how much different it is, being--" He stops, swallows the word down. He can't bring himself to say it. "Uh, yeah, I've been okay, I guess. Same old same old, can't complain, heh." His laugh is weak, his shrug half-hearted. "But the nerds are gonna fix you guys, I heard they've been working on it. Then you'll be back to your old self again!"

Being dead? Lieutenant raises an optics ridge at Starstruck's pause, yet doesn't fill in the blank. It is a bit unnerving that Star is feeling just as awkward as he. While the avian made this happen, it still feels off. "Good to know you are fine, then." He replies. Glad Starstruck is still the same, even if it isn't around him.

"I do not want them to to 'fix' me." Lieutenant replies sharply. Fins lower back and his grasp on the datapad hardens, "I may not seem the same, and I am not entirely the same mech that left on my final mission. However, someone poking around my spark only needed to happen once. I refuse to let it occur again in this life."

Starstruck chews his lip, and the look he shoots Lieutenant this time is worried. "Don't you want to be alive again?" he asks quietly. "Without Unicron's influence? He's doing something to Pipes, I saw it myself, and I've. Heard some stuff, about things you've said. I know it's him, not you, so, so don't you want to be free of that? Lieu, when I thought you were gone, I--" Another stop, this time because of a heavy sigh as Starstruck rubs at the base of one of his antennae. "I just want you to be okay."

Lieutenant stops ahead of Starstruck, gripping his datapad. His artifact dangles from his hip, but never touches. One of the draw back to being reanimated is to have that near, to burn one's self just to speak to others normally without the influence overcoming him.

He turns to look back to Starstruck, debating whether or not to admit to being afraid of being fixed. That he's afraid history will repeat. "I am still here, Starstruck." Lieutenant assures, the fear suppressed. "I am still the same idiot that left the Pagoda of War before the mission. Only, I am trying to be more... approachable? Open? You decide."

"You're not an idiot," Starstruck says immediately. "And those things are kinda similar. Listen, Lieu..." Coming around in front of Lieutenant, Starstruck carefully reaches for Lieu's hands, and if allowed he'll cover where they hold that datapad with his own. "I'm worried. No matter what happened before you left, you're still one of my best friends. And I'm worried about you. I'm scared for you. When I thought you were gone, I thought part of me died, too." He cracks a wry smile. "Again. And I'm glad you're back, I really am, but if there's a way to make sure you're back for good, that you're not connected to Unicron and whatever we do to defeat him won't hurt you too, I wanna look into it. I don't think I - or Torque - could stand losing you again."

Starstruck is allowed, which is followed by Lieutenant's visor falling over his nose to hide his freckled blush. Honestly, they're trying to have a somewhat serious conversation. It doesn't help that Starstruck also hit several positive notes. One of his best friends? Ignoring what happened when they last spoke. It doesn't unknot his tanks but it makes him feel less queasy.

"Ridiculous as ever, Star." Lieutenant shakes his head with light amusement, "Very well, I will at least speak to Torque on this. At some point. You should not be scared for me, despite the ongoing influence. Should I go on a mission again, at least I will return in one piece. Even the scratches disappear, which saves time on repainting every other week." This is what that bright side others talk about is, right?

Starstruck's thumbs rub along the curve of Lieutenant's hands, and his fang has reappeared, digging into his lip as he looks down at the datapad. "That's great, Lieu! I'm, I'm glad to hear that you'll be safe like this. I'm glad there's something good about it." He glances back up, and is startled into a laugh to see Lieutenant's visor covering his optics. He reaches to gently tilt it up out of Lieutenant's face. "I told you," he continues quietly. "You're my best friend. I can't help but be worried."

Good, his work on being 'brighter' is paying off. Lieutenant is glad this is going much better than he was dreading. Steadily, the tension starts to fade from his frame. His violet optics do flicker when his visor is lifted up. "Well, I doubt I would be a best-" his voice near squeaks in delight as he admits it. "-friend if I did not worry you once or twice." Although, he shall try not to make too much of a habit.

Starstruck laughs again, and pulls Lieutenant closer, wrapping an arm loosely around the avian's lower back, pulling him into a hug. Sorry Lieutenant, you went and died, you have to deal with this now. "You don't gotta worry about me, I'm fine! I can take plenty of hurt, no problem. But you...I feel like whenever I turn around, something's happened to you. And I gotta admit, I hate seeing you hurt." He pulls back to give Lieutenant some space, letting out a soft vent as his antennae sheepishly shift back a few degrees.

"About what you told me...before. In the Pagoda of War. You're still my best friend, like I said, but I--think I would've said yes, except. I'm not a one-mech guy anymore, I don't think, and you deserve somebody who can focus on you, you know?"

Lieutenant puts up a half-hearted attempt to seemingly protest. In all honesty, he's missed Starstruck's hugs too much to even pretend to fight it. Hands wrap around the boarder mech's back for a moment. He does have a knack for getting hurt in some way, some how, doesn't he?

When Starstruck brings back the moment of the Padoga of War, it's a bit easier to talk about it now than prior. "I suppose so," Lieutenant agrees, feeling that it seems more selfish or greedy to want just one mech. "Perhaps I would have been into harems if I were younger and more confident. However, I was more worried our friendship would suffer with my admittance. Which is why I, well, I was avoiding you and the uncertainty. Certainly you mean a great deal to me, Starstruck, no matter where we stand. I do not wish to lose you, as a friend or otherwise."

The tension drains from Starstruck's shoulders, and the smile that comes to his face is more genuine. He doesn't hug Lieutenant a second time, though it's a close call. "I wouldn't say I'm into harems, exactly--" Lying, "--I just. You know what, it doesn't matter. I didn't want to lose you either, and I was scared if I told you how I really felt, you wouldn't want to be my friend anymore. I feel a lot better knowing that you still do." He squeezes Lieutenant's hands gently. "I should've talked to you sooner, I'm sorry."

<FS3> Lieutenant rolls Squeak Toy: Good Success. (8 3 2 6 5 3 8 5)

Maybe there is something to being open with others. Talking about feelings might not be so horrendous after all. Lieutenant lets out a vent in relief knowing that they both feel better now. He does squeak at the gentle squeeze of his hands in surprise. A lot of hand touching that is quite flustering for the avian. "As should have I," he apologizes, "but I hold no hard feelings against you."

"Thanks, Lieu." Starstruck's smile widens, and he tweaks one of Lieutenant's fins fondly. "I really have missed you, but when you came back I thought you were having a hard enough time that I should give you your space...It feels good to have finally talked this out. We'll have to hang out soon, and catch up!"

Fins flicks with an airy titter from the mech. "Your thoughtfulness is appreciated, as always." Lieutenant replies, "Perhaps in the near future we could. As for now, it was good to see you again." And this time, it's not spoken to dismiss the larger mech.

"Good to see you too." Starstruck drops his hands and steps back, still smiling. "I'll see you around, yeah? And be careful about diving off balconies - I remember how sick you got when we went aurora gazing that one time." His visor flickers in a wink, and when he turns to leave, there's definitely a bounce to his step and a straightness to his shoulders he hadn't even realized was missing.

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