2018-05-08 Passed Around

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Passed Around
Date 2018/05/08
Location Hound's Office
Participants Hound, Fritz
Summary Hound asks for something, and Fritz accepts.

Hound's office is blocked off into three sections. The first, at the back, is cordoned off by a sliding screen, beyond which one might see a berth and a small footlocker. That area is otherwise spartan, and most of the room is taken up by the other two sections.

The right side from the door has been filled with plants. Some hang from the ceiling in baskets, others rest on the floor or the tables in pots and planters. The corner is filled with a small stack of mech-sized gardening tools.

On the left, the room is dominated by a large desk, set up facing the door. The surface is half-covered in stacks of datapads, but a few scuffs show on the surface here and there, despite someone's attempts to paint them over. A few chairs are arranged in front of the desk to give visitors a place to sit.

Hound is working. That's not at all unusual, considering the amount of effort it takes to keep the Lost Light working smoothly in any situation. It's not unusual that the work he's doing is paperwork, either, since records must be recorded and sign offs need to be signed, even when they're back on Cybertron preparing for a final showdown with Unicron that's hovering just over the horizon like a stormcloud. The fact that he's fidgeting and distracted while surrounding by his towers of datapads. What's slightly more unusual is the method to his distraction--not only is his door open to the hallway, he keeps glancing up every once in a while, audials perked, before returning to his work.

The sound of footsteps in the hallway makes him glance up again, setting aside his current datapad and leaning forward against the desk. And sure enough, the footsteps come closer... "Fritz?" he calls out, when the footsteps finally come close enough to the door. "Come on in."

Fritz doesn't know why Hound summoned him. He's been working hard under Ignition as her assistant, doing his best to help her tackle the piles of paperwork and bureaucracy and everything else that's been heaping up over the past few weeks, as if the potential end of the Universe wasn't enough for them to deal with. The problem was....Ignition isn't Rodimus. She has been able to handle her own work herself, more often than not, and it's left Fritz a bit at a loss, restless and fidgety.

He assumes that's why Hound has called him - he's screwed something up, in his lack of work, and Ignition doesn't have the time to deal with it herself.

It's why Fritz approaches slowly, dragging himself through apprehension that thickens the air around him until it feels as if he's walking through molasses. It's why he pokes his helm around the door first, facemask hiding the way he's biting his lip, before the rest of him appears. "Um, y, yes sir." He takes a step forward, and freezes there. "How may I be of assistance?"

Hound, by contrast, looks almost relieved. His distraction has finally presented itself, and now he can justify setting aside the datapad that's still at his elbow (he nudges it further into a pile. Gently, though. Can't have the stacks being knocked over or something). "C'mon and grab a seat," he says, pointing toward one of the chairs set up in front of his desk. "I didn't call you away from anything important, did I?"

<FS3> Fritz rolls Balance: Failure. (4 6 3)

Fritz, despite his anxiety, squints. That's not the look of someone about to punish a subordinate, especially when it comes to Hound. That's what has him stepping forward, lower set of hands clenching each other while he gingerly pulls himself up onto the indicated chair. Or tries to; he made the mistake of picking the one Hound pointed to, which is not made for a 'former his size. His attempt has him scrabbling at the chair before landing back on the floor, and, embarrassed, doorwings flicking, he shuffles over to a shorter seat.

"Um, no, no I was...I wasn't busy," Fritz replies, when he's finally seated. "Um. What is this about, sir?"

Oh, whoops. Hound's audials flick slightly as Fritz stumbles away from the too-tall chair, though he at least doesn't call attention to Fritz's fumble. It's not entirely enough to dampen his interest, either. As soon as Fritz is finally seated, Hound leans forward, forearms braced against his desk. "You've been working as Ignition's secratary for a while now," he observes. "And not just her, either. Rodimus, too. That's not exactly the kind of job you were doing before, was it. How do you like that kind of work? Secretary stuff."

At first, Fritz stares at his clenched fists, two in his lap, two on the arms of the chair he's seated in. His processor races. Are they going to send him into battle again...? Is that what this is about, the need for soldiers? "I, well, I, I liked being a courier," he stammers, optics flicking up toward Hound. He notes the audial panels, so different from when he'd first met the mech; somehow, that relaxes him. "But, but I've, I've done similar work to this before, during, um, the war. I enjoy it. It's, it's kind of like being a courier."

"Ah, okay. You're familiar with it." Hound's claws tik-tik-tik against the desk, briefly. He's not making notes on a datapad as they talk, he's not doing anything other than meeting Fritz's optics when they occasionally dart up toward his own. Calm interest, nothing else. "So, sounds like maybe you wouldn't mind a courier position again," he says, "but it doesn't seem like you're revving your engine for a chance to get out there making deliveries again. Do I have that right?"

Fear turns into bafflement, and when Fritz meets Hound's optics again, this time it sticks. "Yes?" he says, doorwings falling into a gentle splay. "Hound, sir, I don't mean to be rude, but..what is this about?"

"Oh." Hound leans back in his chair, claws tapping to a rest against the desk one final time. "Did I forget to say that part of it? I did, I guess. Thought I'd mentioned it in the message..." he trails off, glancing around him at the datapad stack. "It's probably in there somewhere." He shakes his helm, then turns back to Fritz. "I just wanted to make sure it'd be something you still wanted to do, but Rodimus mentioned to me, and I kind of agree, that I could probably use a secretary." All around him, the stacks of datapads rest undisturbed, some even slightly dusty, as if emphasizing his point. "And you're already qualified."

"I don't believe so, sir," Fritz says, as the rest of the information takes a moment to penetrate. He looks at the stacks of datapads. He looks at Hound. It finally hits him, and he jerks up out of his habitual slouch. "Wait wait wait, you want to hire me? As your secretary?" While his foremost pair of hands remain on the armrests, the secondary set lifts, palms out. "You want me to work for you, rather than Ignition?"

Fritz has to stop himself there, before the excitement in his voice rises too much, and his vocalizer resets with a click. "I, I would be honored," he says eventually, hands returning to his lap for a more prim clench rather than one borne of nerves.

"I wanted to ask you, but if you're liking working for Ignition already you don't need to, I don't want to shuffle you around or anything. There's other people I could ask if you want to stay with the Captain instead," Hound says. "But I know you do good work." AKA he's seen what Fritz managed to do to the meeting notes, and emoji translations, and... well, the list goes on. And that excitement does kind of give him his answer, but still. "It'd just be the work for the ship. Some of this is for Autobot command, but I've got Minimus and Prowl's help with that, so it's not as bad as it looks."

"No, I, I would like to work for you." Fritz's facemask shifts, hinting at the shy smile beneath it. "Ignition is a good Captain - not as, um, well, I liked Rodimus - but she doesn't need me as much as he did." His gaze slides over the datapad piles again at Hound's 'it's not as bad as it looks', and he politely holds his tongue. "I would be honored to work with you," he repeats. "If you don't mind me moving my desk in here, so that I may better assist you. It''s not very large."

He's been in Command for too long to just collapse in relief at Fritz's answer, but Hound's shoulders do slump a little. He smiles at Fritz, then stands to offer the smaller 'former a hand. "Then I can let Ignition know. As long as you don't mind being around organics," Hound says, nodding over toward the little garden corner he has set up, "you're welcome to bring your desk in here. Whenever you'd like to start. I'm sure you can get someone from Support to help you with the move."

Fritz slides off his chair to take Hound's hand in one of his smaller ones; the size difference isn't as great as with Max, and his tanks sink a little. "I've dealt with plenty of organics before, sir, and considering that these don't speak, I think I'll be fine." His facemask quirks up higher at the corners; a more sly smile. "I can start at any time, though I think it may be prudent that I begin immediately. We can have my desk moved here within the next few days, but if you don't mind, I can begin working now."

Fritz can't help himself, this time. Maybe it's Rodimus' influence. Maybe it's just him. But to punctuate that statement, he leans slightly to the side to get a look at Hound's desk again, then looks up at Hound with one optic ridge raised.

Hound has to follow Fritz's look. His audials lower, and he huffs, then turns the sound into a rueful laugh. "If you're that determined, I won't say no," he says, shaking his helm. "I'd offer you some space at my desk to start with, but it looks like I can only give you the floor right now, if you want to start working." He tilts his head at Fritz, and adds with a grin, "Still want the job?"

Fritz's doorwings lower, and he has to bite back a laugh of his own. "I don't mind the floor. I've had worse." It comes out before he can think, and his vocalizer stalls with a staticky cough before he barrels on. "Thank you for the confidence, and for asking for me, Hound."

"Thanks for helping, Fritz," Hound says, with a smile of his own. He hardly even seems to noticec the awkward response. "If you're going to get straight to work, then I should do my best too." So he says, with a slight grimace. Still, he sits back in his seat and turns on the screen of the datapad he'd been 'working' on while waiting for Fritz. Time to set his nose to the grindstone, so he doesn't look like a lazy boss.

<FS3> Fritz rolls Organization: Good Success. (4 1 2 1 7 8 4 4 6 7 4)

Fritz only nods, nearly a bow with the eagerness in it. And then he gets to work, all four hands set into motion as he begins powering through the piles. It takes less time than it did with Rodimus, since there's an attempted organization to begin with. Hound might still look 'lazy' in comparison to Fritz's feverish pace; sorry boss.

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