2018-04-08 Hot Mess

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Hot Mess
Date 2018/04/08
Location Lost Light - Recreation -- Oil Baths
Participants Rodimus, Soundwave
Summary SOMEONE has to clean up that mud.

Some entirely unnecessary fabric half-curtains hang across the entrance with a swirl of some strange foreign characters painted onto the fabric.

The air is warm and rich with a bouquet of scents. Near the entry, the sharp, bright scent of soaps and cleaners is strongest near the the racks of open showers; shower heads of adjustable heights allow bots from Minimus to Magnus to make use of the facility while benches and stools give space for the injured or wearied to slough off the mess from a fight. Beyond, a larger space is cordoned off into several sections.

There are a few small, deep baths, capable of holding one very large mech, or a couple of smaller mechs. Minerals and scents are racked on the wall nearby to be added to the smaller baths. By far the largest pool is a communal soaking pool, hot enough to sink deep past armoring into the struts while an icy plunge pool nearby is good for waking back up.

Sliding doors lead to the body shop next door where a clean frame can go for touch-ups.

Soundwave has recently faced one of the hardest decisions he's ever had to make: let a grime and filth-covered Penchant into his deck to soothe the tape OR let his deck remain clean and Penchant remain mad at him. Seeing as he's ended up in the baths, he chose the former option. He has some regrets. But with him, a tentacle firmly wrapped around his arm, is Rodimus as he tugs him along into the baths as well. Honestly, he could use a cleaning too.

"Was it necessary to play in the mud? Or to convince Penchant to do so as well?" Soundwave asks in a huff. Despite the casual manner in which he speaks- as casual as monotone gets- his frame is held with such a tense stiffness, its kinda miraculous he's able to walk at all.

The smile blazing across Rodimus's face has yet to fade. Even the coating of mud drying to dust that dulls his finish across his feet, up his legs, and even in splatters on his chest can't dim that brightness. "It was absolutely necessary," he insists -- has insisted, from the very start. "Penchant needed it. Honestly, so did you. Besides, the elephants liked it too. You missed your chance to roll around in the mud with baby elephants and Penchant. We'll have to make time to go back."

He's taken the time to knock the bigger chunks of mud off his frame, even scraping it away with his hands. He offered Penchant the same help -- but that doesn't mean that Penchant was at all clean when he slotted back into Soundwave's dock. Rodimus might feel a little bad about that; he's certainly perfectly willing to help Soundwave clean up, having been an accessory to the crime. Maybe even the mastermind behind it. "Penchant's happiness is important to you, right? It's a little thing to make him happy."

Soundwave's vents expell suddenly enough that it sounds a bit like a snort. A disbelieving snort. "I've rolled around in filth enough in my life, I don't believe doing so willingly would be enjoyable." And the distasteful coating of muck currently inside of him is not helping Rodimus's case of 'mud is fun.'

Soundwave leads them to a shower rack, the furthest from the entrance possible. The tentacle releases Rodimus to pull a bench over. "Of course it is. But that was less Penchant's happiness and more... His petulance." Beat. "I did not mean to snap at him like that."

Moving past Soundwave, Rodimus grabs one of the shower heads and slings it over his shoulder as he fiddles to adjust the spray. He looks back at Soundwave, making a face: scrunched, doubtful. "Soundwave, if you're the one snapping at him, maybe it's your petulance and his totally justified unhappiness. Don't dismiss what he was feeling by calling it petulance. Especially not after how close he came." Then, with a whiplash change of topic, he asks, "What temperature do you want?"

Soundwave sits on the bench, putting him more at Rodimus's level. His deck remains closed, dried mud and grime spattered along the edges. "The degree closest to the average cybertronian temperature," he answers. Nothing too hot or too cold, he'll be able to tell otherwise. "And did not mean to insinuate the invalidation of Penchant's feelings. I meant that his frollicking in the mud and demanding to dock within a slot was his petulance. The rest... I could not stop myself from snapping."

Rodimus tests the temperature of the spray against his own temperature. He starts to turn toward Soundwave, then -- with a start -- turns back and knocks it down a little cooler. His is not the average Cybertronian temperature. "Ah," he says, his tone warming to something closer to a laugh. "Yeah, okay, that was kind of petulant. The look on your face, though--!" So to speak. He grins back at Soundwave, his own features easily read and bright with humor. "Penchant getting stuck with the Frenzy and Rumble scrubdown will probably be enough to keep that from happening again."

"Here, take that." Rodimus passes over the shower head, spray angled down, and then goes back to grab another, set to the same temperature. Getting it off Soundwave's exterior is a two person job. The interior is going to be harder. "You guys are doing better, though?"

"If you are saying that I assigned Rumble and Frenzy to help wash Penchant off as a way of punishing him, I must inform you that you are factually incorrect. I believe they'll have a fun, bonding experience with absolutely no problems," Soundwave says primly, with a small, if kinda clogged, hum sounding from his internal systems. No, Penchant probably won't repeat the offense.

Soundwave takes the shower head, beginning to hose the dried muck off his frame. He eventually turns it to spray along Rodimus's chasis and waist. He's arguably more filthy on the outside. "If you are referring to if my memories of him are in order again- then yes, they are." His grip on the nozzle tightens. "But its hard to know if there is anyone else or anything else I'm not processing right. Impossible for me to detect. I can only hope it continue to be minor things- unless Trailbreaker succeeds."

That's a pretty fair assessment: despite kicking off the clumps and scaping the rest with his hands, Rodimus is absolutely more visibly the one who rolled around in the mud, and shows it. When the spray turns in his direction, he twists beneath it, making sure to direct the flow of water toward the itchier portions of his frame where the grime creeps in under the edge of his armor. "That's better," he says in some satisfaction as a rush of particularly muddy water sluices down the drains. "Anyway, I sure am glad that they are gonna have a great bonding experience," he says with no sarcasm at all, absolutely buying into that prim hum of innocence 100. Okay, -100. Not at all.

Rodimus follows the sweep of the spray with the slide of his hand, clearing down Soundwave's side fairly quickly to the muddier legs and feet. "Trailbreaker?" He pauses, looking up at Soundwave in confusion. How does Trailbreaker factor in.

Eventually, Soundwave just hands the spray off to a tentacle. The other grabs a cloth as they both begin to work in tandem to spray and wipe the mud away from Rodimus's frame. Its far easier that using his hands. He lifts one cloven foot to better assist Rodimus. "Trailbreaker wishes to... Retrieve-" take prisoner and/or kidnap-" Shockwave. He's under the delusion that the old Senator is there. But, with Shockwave close, my problems could be fixed."

Rodimus pauses, bent over to get behind the joints of his knees, and stares up at Soundwave from that awkward angle. "You hate Shockwave, though."

Soundwave looks down at Rodimus from a less awkward angle. "I hate having to wear an inhibitor all of the time even more," he says. "Shockwave did this to me. He can undo it. I'm afraid the same cannot be said for Minimus." That's a little more permanent. Though, knowing Shockwave, he'd probably be able to find away.

Rodimus ducks his head, lips pressing in a thin line. He finishes spraying down his own legs, then moves to get the worst off Soundwave's as well, paying particular attention to his pronged toes. He knows all of the worst hiding spots. Only once they are both more or less looking clean does he straighten and tap at Soundwave's deck. "He can. But will he?"

The tentacle with the cloth slides up and wipes Rodimus's cheek where a few tiny splatters of dirt remained. "If I interest him enough he might," Soundwave says, hesitating at opening his deck up. He scans the bath for anyone else. "I could make him," he adds, tentacles setting their cleaning supplies down. His deck unlocks and just peeeeaks open a little. "You may have to decrease the nozzle setting."

Rodimus's nose scrunches in a quick grin before he forces himself still so that the tentacle can properly clean the splotches. The smile fades -- Soundwave can feel it fade, through the cloth, against the sensors at the tentacle's end -- as he talks about interesting Shockwave. That bothers Rodimus more than the talk of making him, which he addresses with a firm, practical, "You could. But you won't." Right? RIGHT?

Turning the spray away from them, Rodimus lets half a smile warm his features again. "Don't worry, not gonna pressure wash your spark casing," he promises. He drops the rate and volume of the flow to a gentle trickle, then adjusts it just a touch warmer. He reaches for Soundwave's hand, testing the new setting against his palm, held in his own. "Good?"

Soundwave pauses, some might say he hesitates, but he says, "Of course not." He wouldn't do it. But he thinks about it.

Soundwave relaxes some with the assurance that his spark won't drown and nods, fingers flicking at the water. His tentacle offers the cloth to Rodimus now that his face is all clean. "It will do. It does not have enough force to remove dirt from the flow. You will have to wipe the dirt away. I apologize ahead of time if I close the dock on your arm. I will attempt not to do so." Still, the door is open just a crack as if it needs further coaxing to show off the hollow cavity his spark resides in.

Rodimus watches Soundwave with a measuring gaze through that pause that brightens lighter as he speaks. Of course not. An unmarked weight leaves him with the promise. "I'm not sure I want to know how you think you'll interest him, though. He'll just be that fascinated by how the other him messed you up?"

Taking the cloth from Soundwave, Rodimus rubs it between his finger and thumb, testing it for some quality that it fails, as he pulls his own instead. "This one's better," he says, although it's not immediately clear to Soundwave why. It might be all in Rodimus's head. He slides a knee onto the bench next to Soundwave, and leans forward to hook a finger on the edge of the door. "Well, I'll attempt to resist the urge to tickle, so that you're not tempted to snap it closed. How's that sound? C'mon, open a little more. I'll be gentle." His eyes are bright; his tone is teasing.

"It could be that," Soundwave admits. "Or any other number of things. His counterpart took great interest in my outlier abilities and the Quintesson technology integrated into my frame. One or all three may entice him. It is difficult to say, Shockwave is difficult to read."

Soundwave looks at the better cloth with a small cant of his head. Why is that one better? Curious. "Not ticklish," he says- exactly like someone who is ticklish might say. He vents long and low before the door starts to swing open. The inside is a filthy mess, far more so than he was outside. There's even a few bits of rotten foliage stuck bettween delicate mechanisms. Its all rather delicate, actually. Delicate and articulate, so many moving parts and sensors and connectors. And in the back is a very subtle blue glow. "I heard it was difficult for you to open your chassis during the Siege."

It's possible that the weave of the cloth Rodimus has in hand is tighter, that there's less chance of it shedding lint, or sparking static. But those are really just reasons he might prefer it, because it doesn't actually look that much different. He drops the cloth on his shoulder as he leans forward to study the mess. "Good luck to Trailbreaker, I guess," Rodimus says in a soft and distracted tone. It's possible that the mess is enough to stun him into still silence, because for a long moment, he just pauses, and stares. A hint of fluster suffuses his expression.

The longer Rodimus just silently stares into Soundwave's chest cavity, the more heat he'll begin to feel coming from it. Several of the armatures within slide out from the walls of the deck to adjust tapes that aren't there. Making them awkwardly flick about, flicking and moving more dirt. "Do you. Wish to... Speak about... ... That?" he asks, ventilations cycling.

Rodimus startles when Soundwave speaks, then reaches forward to begin to clear the foliage and dirt with an extraordinary gentleness. He keeps the water turned away, except where it might be needed to loosen some of the dirt. He clears the worst of it, rather than risk washing it deeper into Soundwave's systems. He waits for the armatures in the walls of the deck to settle, feeling his way carefully past them. It's fine. This is fine! It's good, and -- oh, right. Soundwave asked a question. "Yeah. The -- it," he says, like avoiding naming it will make Soundwave relax more, "really has a mind of its own, sometimes. For a little bit there, I thought everything we were trying was the wrong approach and we went there for nothing."

Soundwave has nothing to do with his servos as Rodimus begins poking around inside his deck. Its quiet a reach to get to everything, Rodimus almost might have to semi-climb in. Soundwave suddenly finds something to do with his hands: grip the edge of the bench very tightly. They might have to by a new bench. Rodimus probably hasn't seen Soundwave squirm before but he's getting awfully close to that.

The talking is, thankfully, a decent distraction and helps to ease the armatures back into there places. Soundwave's visor flickers and he looks down at the speedster. "It... kept you from opening your own frame?" he asks levelly. Like there aren't warm hands working so close to his spark.

Rodimus leans forward, and the knee on the bench next to Soundwave slides a little farther to brace. He shifts, moving to slip his other foot between Soundwave's feet, his leg between his knees, and his thigh sliding warm between Soundwave's. Rodimus nudges Soundwave's arm to the side to make room for him as he tries to angle past the hard edge of the dock's door. "Yeah," he says, sounding a little distracted. He's not putting much thought into what he's saying. As a result, he's candid, caution disarmed by distraction. "It's not the first time. I tried giving the Matrix to Optim-- Orion," he corrects himself, "back when you first found it. Wouldn't so much as budge. I got it open, eventually. Promised to be careful with it. Not to let anything hurt it."

Soundwave shifts as Rodimus needs it to help him better get into his deck. This would probably be its biggest design flaw: cleaning. He can't do it himself and its difficult for others. He should look into a self-cleaning upgrade... But that's hardly what's important here. "It-- The Matrix took control of your body without your consent. It shouldn't be doing that. I shouldn't have done that. I should have thrown it into deep space when I had the chance."

"What? No! It's not like that." Rodimus lifts his head sharply, then startles back on realizing how close he's come. His hands remain steady, but he leans back, just a little, and straightens. "It's like -- it's a partnership, you know? Look, you keep entirely packs of independently willed mechanisms in your body all the time. Of anyone, you gotta know what that's like."

Soundwave leans forward, towards Rodimus, but halts pretty quickly. Right. He straightsn back out before he scrapes or pulls something accidentally. His armor flares a little. "That is not the same. They cannot control me and I cannot control them. It took away your control of your own body, Rodimus. Should have never listened to it or found it or kept it. You should get rid of it."

"It was protecting itself -- protecting me, protecting us -- from threats I can't sense and don't understand. Soundwave--." Rodimus breaks off, and brings his hand from deep within Soundwave's dock to press on his shoulder. "Soundwave, listen to me." He leans forward, quiet but intense as he tries to impress upon Soundwave the sincerity of his words. "It's part of me. It's part of us. It's part of our history, and our future."

Soundwave clearly doesn't want to listen but he does, keeping his visor locking with Rodimus's eyes. But his gaze slowly begins to drop to Rodimus's chassis. "I'm well aware of its part in our history," he says lowly. "But it is not a part of me. It never will be- I reject it. I want nothing of it... Its lucky it has you."

Rodimus looks frustrated -- hurt, almost. He looks away, looks down, and drops his hand to bring the shower head back up. He does not switch it to a high-pressure spray, even if he might be tempted. He turns the sream of water against his hand, breaking the force further. He's quiet -- then, quiet and thoughtful.

Rodimus allows his awareness of the Matrix, and the Matrix's awareness of him, to build within to brighten past the veiling layers of his consciousness. The base level contentment that carrying the Matrix brings him permeates his manner, and lends a confidence and a surety to his touch. The stroke of his fingers as he directs the flow of water, rinses the grime away, grows more directly soothing. The stroke of his hand and soft hush of water is nearly coaxing as he washes the deck clean. See, the Matrix isn't that bad!!

The heat that had built up inside his chassis begins to cool and then dissipate. Relaxing against his will. He can feel it- taste it- almost hear it. Rodimus but more. His hands tighten around the edge of the bench, arms almost shaking with the intense effort. Do not go gentle something, something. "Rodimus," Soundwave says. "I will repeat: I reject the Matrix. All of it, everything about it. I don't want its help- I just want yours. Now, please..."

Rodimus stills, guilty in his frozen flush. Then, he pulls back. He centers his thoughts on Soundwave, rather than the casing over his spark, and studies him with renewed attention. Rodimus lets the tips of his fingers glide along the points of internal articulation as drawn by curiosity, rather than in ways calculated to calm. He looks at Soundwave, meeting the visored gaze with a level look. "Soundwave, I'm the Matrix bearer. I choose this. I choose it. It is part of me, and I'm part of it. It carries a memory of me, and always will. If you reject it, everything about it, you're rejecting a part of me. But I've chosen you, too: friendship with all of you, not just a part. I made the choice to stand next to you and walk with you, even if you were walking back to Megatron, when I helped you find and retrieve him."

Soundwave's shoulders rise and then fall- maybe even twitch a little as is internals are touched. But mostly they slump, guilty. A part of him isn't sure how true everything Rodimus says is. The Matrix could have implanted thoughts or feelings into him- its his is fault if it did. He brought it back... He sighs. "Then I reject every part of it that isn't you," he says. "You're asking too much for me to simply accept the Matrix- I've only just began telling Megatron 'no' over his demands..." That might have been a joke, hard to tell. "But if this is what you choose- what you want- then you have... My support." The light in his visor and from within his chassis both lurch- like a spark-deep gag.

Rodimus's hands are occupied, which means that he only has his head free to bring to Soundwave's and bonk, forehead to forehead, as he slumps. There's a wry smile carved at the edge of his expression: uncomfortable, just like the joke about Megatron's demands, but aware enough to find the thin thread of humor. "Thanks," he says, straightening and dropping his gaze to his hands again, very busy, must watch, don't want to pull anything out of place. "I -- mm. Just. Thank you. It's a start, anyway."

Soundwave hesitates before lifting a servo to place it atop Rodimus's head, thumb running along the edge of one of his sharp bits. "It better take care of you as much as you take care of it," he says softly. His hand lingers and finally drops away. "And. I am sorry for keeping things from you on Earth. I don't mean to keep upsetting you. Especially after you did so well to keep from teasing me while I was in medibay." He laughs- chuckles?- chuffs? A bleat of short, monotone sound.

"It does a pretty good job looking out for me," Rodimus says, a quiet and subdued warmth in the words. "Gonna have to figure out some way to take care of you, too. It took a monumental effort to resist teasing you until you could vent without your frame falling apart."

Rodimus reaches for the cloth on his shoulder to wet it and go after the last unexplored corners of Soundwave's dock. His touch had already been gentle, but now, cushioned by the cloth folded over his hand, it's velvety soft. "It's okay. I mean it. I wasn't happy because I felt like you didn't trust me -- but you're allowed to tell me what you want at your own pace, too. Besides--." Here, he pauses, and curves his hand within Soundwave's dock as he looks up at him. He tickles the top of the dock, in a corner that sees little contact, and grins. "I think this pretty well demonstrates your trust."

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Soundwave=unarmed Vs Rodimus=reaction+reaction
<       Soundwave: Good Success (1 7 1 7 6 4 6 2 2 5 3)          Rodimus: Failure (4 1 3 5 2 2)
<               Net Result: Soundwave wins - Solid Victory

I was not falling apart," Soundwave says, having definitly been falling apart. It had been worth the abuse to his frame. Though, Minimus might disagree.

"And it is a difficult subject to speak with you about. You seem to struggle with--" And its about here that Rodimus feels the full force of that demonstrated trust. In the form of of the Soundwave bucking and kicking him as his deck door slams shut. Barely avoiding losing his hand, he gets a cloven indentation to his front as he flies back.

"You really were," Rodimus murmurs, low enough to avoid interrupting the flow of Soundwave's words. He was totally falling apart.

Then Soundwave goes on, and then Soundwave kicks, and Rodimus goes flying, flying bak and hitting the wall, then the ground. He's left clattered atop the drain where the muddy water swirls into the ship's systems for purification and reclamation. There's no reclaiming his dignity, though, as Rodimus tries to piece together the last few seconds. "--ow?" he says, dazed. Then, gathering his drive plates back together, he says, "Yeah, you know, I definitely do struggle with being kicked into the wall." He pauses, trying to figure out what's irritation and what's just pain, then asks with a hint of humor: "So, ticklish?"

Soundwave doesn't roll his optics. And if he did, you couldn't prove it. Even if the light in his visor rolls upwards from left to right. He pushes himself off the bench he just left finger grooves in and approaches Rodimus. He extends a servo to help him up. "Negative. Not ticklish." Blatant lies. "And, that is not what I meant. My concluded sentence would be: You seem to struggle with separating yourself from him."

Taking the offered hand, Rodimus pulls himself up. He winces as he flexes his spoiler back into position. "Agh," he says, very quietly. As Soundwave speaks, Rodimus squeezes the hand he holds, yet to drop it, as his expression shifts hunted. "I mean -- yeah. I guess. I don't know how to explain it. I think spending all of that quality time with him in your frame probably didn't help. I don't know how you separate yourself from -- from everyone. But it's gotten better. Easier. I think maybe I know who I am better, too."

Soudwave peers at Rodimus's spoiler, as if checking if its still perked and unbroken. Can't let it wilt. "I see... It can be difficult sometimes. When I was younger, it was almost impossible. I've been able to script a few mental defenses but if I were to remove the inhibitor-- I'm glad it has gotten better. Because you and he are so wildly different." His head falls, looking at their hands. His fingers curl and tighten. He straightens out. "In any case, I will tell you now so long as you do not tell Minimus."

Releasing Soundwave's hand to give him a push back to taking a seat, Rodimus says, "No tickling, this time. I wasn't done, though." He swipes at the cloth on the floor which he dropped when thrown, and contemplates a torn edge. His bend to grab the cloth makes clear that his spoiler survived the kick, even if he looks a little scuffed back there, before he snaps back up. "Also, I think you left part of this in you." He waves the cloth at Soundwave.

The request not to tell Minimus means that Rodimus stops to think about it. In the end, he says, "Okay. I won't. But chances are pretty good I'm going to encourage you to tell him yourself."

A bit of cloth could be more devastating than the dirt to his internal mechanisms. Soundwave sighs and sits back down, this time opening his deck without as much fuss as before. "Minimus does not approve of what I did. And that is alright. What I did, to the other Rodimus, it resulted in several of his memories being transferred onto my drives. I don't want to have them returned to him but I do not want them. So I will store them onto a Quintesson data drive. Their storage systems are... Quite advanced. Which is what will be needed to store files such as these away. Forever."

Rodimus fishes the other end of the cloth out easily enough. It didn't get far. It's still caught on the door, in fact. He picks up the shower head and considers the angles of the dock, and what still needs to be cleaned. "Hold on," he says. "I'd really rather you not kick like that when my hand's as close to your spark as I'm about to be." He pauses, looking to Soundwave to make sure it's okay. And that he isn't going to kick again. "There's nothing else you can do with the files? Store them somewhere else? Delete them?"

Soundwave makes it a point to lift his feet just a smidge and then set them firmly down. No kicks. He also goes perfectly still, systems all hushing. Its fruitless to reiterate that Rodimus should be careful- he already knows that. "Storing them somewhere else could result in data loss or corruption. And... I cannot delete them. The last option is to return them and I do not wish to do that."

Rodimus slides his foot between Soundwave's again as he sets them down, and shifts to pull his other knee onto the bench next to him. When Soundwave says he can't delete the memories, Rodimus very nearly asks, Why.

But the question doesn't quite make it past a thought. His vocalizer clicks and then settles, clearing, as he decides there's no answer he wants to hear. And enough answers he doesn't want to imagine.

"I won't tell Minimus, but I'm not sure that you should, either. I don't think he'd try to make you connect to him again, but -- frag, what a mess, you know? Okay. We need to get them out of you, for sure, and if that's how to do it, we'll do it." As Rodimus talks, it would be easy to think he's distracted, but nothing could be farther from the truth. The words almost steady him, acting as a vent for inner pressure as he babbles thoughtlessly while focusing on the last touch of the cloth. He reaches for those millimeters of metal to wipe them clean, the mechanisms stopping shy of Soundwave's spark. But close. His fingers are wrapped in a static-dampening cloth; the insulation mutes the hum of current through the wires and circuits of Rodimus's systems. There's no contact, and there's no transfer of charge, no induction of current. But it almost seems like there should be.

Soundwave's visor glitters and he looks to the corner, not quite correcting Rodimus. Certainly, he has them. But they're not necessarily in him, not since Penchant left his deck to get his own scrub down. "Mess, an accurate summarization," he agrees. The longer Rodimus spends, gently wiping the recesses of his deck so near to his spark, which shines brightly- blue and full of life- the warmer the interior of his chassis begins becomes. Almost broiling. "'We'll'? You wish to accompany me? Despite the last time we... Encountered the Quintessons? Hound does not have to come, correct?"

"Almost done," Rodimus promises, finishing with a last touch. He rinsing the front flat of Soundwave's dock, and then pulls his hands free to rinse the space beneath. Then, he pats the glass door. Done. He can close.

They have made a muddy mess of the floor, and some of that mess has climbed back up Rodimus's frame from when he hit the wall, and then the floor. He contemplates the floor, and spins the volume and speed of the flow of water back up to jet the bits of mud and foliage on toward the drain. "Yeah, of course I'll go with you. Hound doesn't have to -- but I thought you guys were getting along better?"

Soundwave's deck snaps shut, cutting off the gentle sizzle of evaporating water within. He pauses, testing the various parts within his chassis. Stretching this or that and so on. Feels good to be clean. He stands once more, lifting a foot to not block the flow of water to the drain. "I would not call our relationship cordial. It is complicated. Thank you for your help, Rodimus. It is always difficult cleaning my interior."

"You're welcome," Rodimus says with a glance back at Soundwave and a crooked smile that gleams particularly bright in his eyes. "Unexpectedly exciting, but still -- any time. I'll try to resist the urge to drag Frenzy and Rumble out into the mud next, get you twice as dirty, take twice as long."

"Although time together has been enjoyable, please. Do not." Because Rumble and Frenzy would do that. And probably take it a step further and then they'd all end up in medibay. Almost makes Soundwave shudder. "Query: do you have time to retrieve a drink today?"

Rodimus's eyes narrow in a laugh that's contained to the brightness of his gaze and the break of his grin. He makes no promises where future messes are concerned. "A drink? Yeah, I could go for one. I wanna hear what you thought about those elephants, and how completely surprised you were, and when you realized where we were going." He cleans up -- 90% clean; cloths stashed, mud washed from the floor, but the shower head hangs in a loose dangle rather than being neatly slotted in its rack -- as he talks, and gives one last look around before he spots the dents in the bench. He pauses. Then, smile crooking, he shrugs. Whatever. 90% is good enough.

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