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2018-05-10 The Marketplace

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2018-05-10 The Marketplace
Date 2018/05/10
Location Cybertron - New Iacon - Market District
Participants Fortress Maximus, Sunstreaker
NPCs Bob
Summary Its not a good place for big, dramatic apologies.

The last time Fortress Maximus was in Iacon it was in the midst of the war, and it was a very different city. For one, there weren't those damn posters of Starscream here and there. The tank has managed to contain his irritation at the sight and is reminding himself of the orders from above to play nice, which probably means holding his tongue. He can do that. But it was a very different city, and Max is...

Absolutely not lost. Not at all. He's fine, he can get home from here. It's Metroplex, Metroplex is only so big. He certainly did not get lost in his thoughts and take a weird turn into a marketplace district he doesn't recognize. That is not a confused-looking tankformer. Shh.

Bob, unlike Sunstreaker, is loving being on Cybertron. So much free space, so many new nooks and crannies to explore. So many bits of scrap to eat up off the street so long as Sunstreaker isn't looking. Its unfortunate the Cybertronians that remained planet bound aren't quite so used to a member of the Swarm walking around, or else Sunstreaker would have let him roamed free. But here he is, walking Bob on a leash, in one of the last places he wants to be. That's just life.

This is not the Iacon Sunstreaker grew up in. Everything is different, nothing is in the same spot. And his favorites stores are still gone. He can't even be sure if this is where the original Iacon was, everything about Cybertron now new and different. It makes him uncomfortable, its part of why he left. And now they're back again.

Sunstreaker keeps his head down, talons itching around his collar, as Bob goes around, sniffing at store fronts to decide which ones to peruse and enter and which ones to pass up on. The locals give them a wide berth. Its on this little journey that Bob spots one of his favorite people- he's got a few of those- and trills happily as he charges for Fortress Maximus, dragging Sunstreaker along. The larger bug hardly seems to notice, violet optics focused so intently on the ground.

Fort Max peers over at a stall selling decorative jewelry made of scrap metal, considering a gift. Would Fritz even like something like that? He doesn't seem the fancy type. At least he could use that as an excuse for wandering all the way out here in the first place...is that sniffing? Is something sniffing his leg?

He turns around with mild alarm that changes to relief when he recognizes the sniffer. "Bob!" He speaks before thinking, reaching down to give Bob a little pet, and then notices the leash and...oh, right. Bob's owner. Guilt immediately flushes Max's face energon pink as he turns around, head lowered in an attempt to make himself look slightly less threatening than he usually does.

"...Sunstreaker. Hi."

Sunstreaker blinks when his name is said, the scratching at his neck taking a pause... And then resuming as if he- That's Fortress Maximus's voice! His head snaps up, optics widening. His brows pinch together. "Fort-- Fortress Maximus. I..." Lips press into a thin line. He tugs on Bob's leash. "Sorry. We'll- I'll go. Didn't know he was bothering you. C'mon, Bob."

"No, you're...you're not bothering me." Max's voice sounds a little hoarse. "I mean, he's not. You're not." Ugh, this went so much better in his head when he went over what he was going to say. It would have been great and heartfelt and-well, dramatic, just like Rodimus warned him. Maybe he ougut to take Rodimus's advice for a change.

He looks up at Sunstreaker. "I'm sorry," he says softly. "For what happened. For all of it. I-I'm sorry."

Sunstreaker's face pinches, jaw moving just vaguely unsettlingly. Finally, he looks up at Fort Max. "Why?" he asks.

"For yelling at you. For losing control and threatening you. For tearing into you over...the past and leaving you alone like other people did. For demanding you talk to me about something traumatic when you weren't ready. It doesn't excuse you lashing out at Whirlwind like that, but-...I don't know. I just had to say it, before we face Unicron. In case..." In case either of them never made it back, though he doesn't feel the need to say that aloud. Fort Max wrings his hands together, looking away again.

Sunstreaker doesn't realize it but in the middle of Fortress Maximus's list of apologies, his mouth falls open. And it just... Hangs there. If Cybertron had tiny flies, it would be really funny if one flew in there. Jaw snapping shut, he looks away too and shuffling to the side. He hunkers there, golden carapace all shiny except the scrapes around his collar. "... You don't have to be sorry for any of that. After everything- you shouldn't need to. You deserve-" He bites his lower lip, Bob circling around to rub against his legs. He presses a hand to the little bug's head. "You deserve an explanation and I can't... Give that to you. S'pathetic... I'm sorry I mucked it all up."

"...Rodimus made it sound like you'd been through a lot beforehand," Max mumbles. "And no one was there to make sure you were alright. I sort of-I get that, at least. It doesn't really excuse anything, but you don't need to hear that from me." He shakes his head, stealing a glance back at Sunstreaker and blinking at the scratches. "But you also don't owe me an explanation. Honest. I guess I just, I don't want you to be left alone when you need someone again. A friend doesn't do that." There's a hopeful, hesitant note to the word 'friend.' "...Is your neck alright?"

Sunstreaker's vents go from dull to intense cycling, quickly rushing into max capacity. His wings flick from underneath their carapace housing as he hunches forward. "Fortress Maximus, I really... I can't- that's enough. Do you want me to say its fine? Its fine! Just... Please don't..." Bring any of that up. Not here. Not now.

Trying to get his systems back to regulating properly, Sunstreaker strokes the top of Bob's head who purrs and wiggles against his leg. Its alright... "My neck?" he asks, a great deal calmer. He touches it. "Its fine. Why?"

Max stops, realizing he's doing exactly what he tried to do, making a Big Dramatic Thing of it. "Sorry," he says again, blinking at the venting and the wings. "Hey, hey, uh...are you alright?" He takes a step closer. "Do you need fresh Energon or..." He's seen a panic attack before. He's had them before. The fact that he might have kicked one off in Sunstreaker just makes him feel worse. He keeps his head low and his biolights dim, as there's only so much he can do to not look threatening or alarming.

"Oh, um. Just looked like it was itching, maybe. There's a place by here that has enamel paint if that might be more comfortable. -I'm being overbearing again, sorry..."

Sunstreaker shakes his head. "I'm fine. Just... Fine. I think its just stress. From Unicron or whatever you mentioned earlier," he says in a very unconvincing way. He scrubs his face with a servo before waving Fortress Maximus off. "My collar just itches, is all. Science division made it to help us with our problems. We aren't supposed to wear them forever but no one else has problems like me so... Its been helping- I'm doing great. Haven't attacked anyone or eaten them. That's good..." He looks tiredly at the shops around them. "Are you sticking around here?"

Fort Max still winces with guilt, resisting the urge to put a hand on Sunstreaker's shoulder-slash-shell. He has a feeling it wouldn't help. He bites his lip at the mention of the collar and how Sunstreaker has been wearing it longer than usual, but who is he to talk about coping methods? Now isn't the time to push it. Instead, he holds his hands out in a rather helpless gesture. "I'm kind of lost," he admits. "I didn't even know Iacon very well the first time. I wouldn't mind walking back with you and Bob if you...wouldn't mind." He shuffles a pede. "I could get Bob some treats first."

Sunstreaker huffs. Of course he's lost. "Thanks, but Bob's got plenty of treats. And he's been filling up by pretending his alt mode is a streetsweeper." A brief smile cross his face- he's funny. "You can walk back with us, we know the way. If you're alright with leaving now."

Max chuckles with a low rumble and reaches down to ruffle Bob's helm again. He missed doing that. If Sunstreaker allows it he'll probably carry Bob part of the way home. "Shopping's kind of overwhelming for me. It's a little more socializing than I'm used to. I, uh...thanks, Sunstreaker."

"Yeah," Sunstreaker mutters, ducking his head down and skulking ahead to lead the way back to the Lost Light, back to comfort and safety. He itches at his collar. "It's whatever..."

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