2018-08-08 Teebs to the Rescue
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Teebs to the Rescue|
|Location||Lost Light - Command: Rodimus's Office|
|Summary||Rodimus has an EMERGENCY that needs BOOZE.|
A comm from Rodimus, low priority, plonks into Trailbreaker's queue: teebs in eed ur help i wanna get TRASHED but if i go 2 swerve's ev1 will b like 'oh no the captain is getting drunk we're gonna die :disappointed: :disappointed: :disappointed:' and it will b bad 4 morale so u gotta help me
Trailbreaker to the rescue! Some part of him feels a little guilty for indulging in drinking, but it’s just now and it’s for a friend dammit and it’ll be fine. Setting those feelings aside, he taps on Rodimus’s hab door with bottles in his arms. “Hey, Rodimus! It’s me. Everything okay? I mean, obviously not but...”
There's a bottle on Rodimus's desk and two glasses. The bottle looks like he got a bit into it and then changed his mind. There are flames on the label. The two glasses look as though both have been used.
There are two other glasses, as well as a few more, on the shelves next to a seating area that very consciously mimics Windblade's cozy sofa and chairs. It's slightly offset from the desk and chairs, closer to the entry -- about where Fritz's desk once was, before he got his own office, actually. Now it's a cozy seating area! With Windblade's hand in the design. That's where Rodimus can be found, stretched all across the couch, and only reluctantly sitting up to make room for Trailbreaker. There's also a couple of chairs, if he isn't feeling the couch vibe. "Ugh, I'm an idiot. Come in here you big beautiful savior and help me forget that."
“Didja get started without me?” Trailbreaker grins at the bottle and the glasses, concealing his concern at what they might mean. A social person like Rodimus, drinking alone? But then again, two glasses...odd.
The big mech plunks down on the couch and holds up a bottle of Nightmare Fuel, setting the others on a table just in case. “Nothing but the best for my captain,” he declares as he pours them both a glass of the vile stuff. “Hey, is that Fireball there? Not bad. So. Tell Doctor Teebs where it hurts.”
"Ugh." Rodimus follows Trailbreaker's glance at the desk and then leans forward to grab the bottle. He doesn't quite flinch as Trailbreaker names the flame-wreathed bottle, but it's close. He sighs.
Rather than answer Trailbreaker's question, Rodimus engages in a forward assault with a question of his own: "You want to find Shockwave, right? Why?"
“Uh.” Trailbreaker blinks. “Hey it’s me, Rodimus. I’m sad but I’m gonna launch into business talk right away instead of talk about it cuz feelings are hard and scary.” He takes a shot of Fuel before and forges on anyway.
“I miss the old Shox, I guess, and I feel like I owe it to him not to let him go on the way he has. He’d be so devastated at what he’s become, Rodimus. But he’s hurting people and I was his student and Orion, well, I dunno what was between them but Orion loved him in some way, I’m sure. Besides, I wanna...I mean, if I can’t save him, I want to at least...I dunno,” he admits. “Why?”
Rodimus makes a face at Trailbreaker, pouring a measure of Nightmare Fuel out, but not grabbing and chugging. He looks at the glass and appears to be rethinking it. Is he really at a Nightmare Fuel level?
"Maybe it's not business. Maybe it's feelings, too. Shockwave's about feelings for you, right? What about after? What you find him and you stop him and you change him back and he regrets it and he didn't actually enjoy any of it but he still did it?" Rodimus asks, searching Trailbreaker's face like he actually expects him to have an answer.
“...I don’t know.” Trailbreaker’s cheer seems to dissolve like fizz in Sodagex. “I want a happy ending for him. A total monster. And it’s unfair of me, I know. People who were hurt by him, like Whisper, like so many organics and mechs of every badge and none at all, they deserve happiness. But...ugh.” He slumps. “I don’t know.” Back to the bottle he goes.
Rodimus looks pleased to see Trailbreaker's cheer dissolve -- and then disgusted with himself. He hits the Nightmare Fuel, after all, making a face and pulling back after it's cleared his intake. "Okay, what the frag? I like awful booze, but this is like--." He pauses. He thinks. He reaches for more.
"See, that's the thing, right?" Rodimus leans forward now, quiet, intense. "What are you compromising if you want that happiness for him? What if the person you find underneath it all is, in the end, someone you think maybe you can still trust despite that. Maybe you want to trust. But can you? Should you? So many millions, billions maybe, who've been hurt. What kind of person does that make you?"
“You drink with me, you drink the best.” By which Trailbreaker means the strongest. Which means, better hope you have no plans later. He studies Rodimus carefully through the faint, familiar haze coming over him, unsure how to answer the question. So he lobs one right back, Rod style.
“What good does it do all those millions to hurt them back? I’m not being rhetorical here. You think if we lock up Soundwave for life, if we rebuild a Garrus prison for the Combaticons or Flame, it’ll bring them back? Put their souls at ease in the Afterspark? Justice isn’t as clear cut as ya might think.”
"No. Of course I don't want to lock them up! that's why the whole--." Rodimus breaks off and waves his hands in a large and slightly sloppy gesture. His drink sloshes over the edge,and he's reduced to sucking it from his arm before it can eat through his paint.
More quietly, he says, "That's kind of what this whole accounting thing is about, right? I can't shake the feeling like I've got some kind of responsibility or expectation or--." He breaks off. "Ratchet told me that as long as I'm leading this ship, as long as I'm carrying this--." Rodimus rests his hand on his hood. There's no sign of the Matrix beneath, but its subtle touch lingers in a warmth that reaches out for Trailbreaker even as they sit here. Hello, it says, buried beneath. Just an upnod, of sorts. "There's no such thing as a personal choice. The choices I make are bigger than me. And -- frag, my personal choices are terrible.
"I don't know what bothers me more: trying to get my head around this, or trying to face the fact that maybe I don't care about it, I just care about him."
Oh man, that is the Matrix. Trailbreaker has to resist the urge to put his hand on Rodimus’s chest. That could get weird instead of reverent.
“You sound a little like Orion did at first.” His smile is reserved and sad. “Wanting to do what’s right even if it destroyed him, even if it tore his spark apart. Don’t take that the wrong way,” he adds. “I know things are not great between you two. I can only speak from what I know.”
He snuggles back further into the couch. It’s comfy! “But helping to change someone is a choice too. Giving them a new chance is too. Soundwave hurt and killed a lot of people, and in a better environment he could save more people in the future. Doesn’t make up for it but...” He puts a hand on Rodimus’s shoulders. “I don’t envy you. That’s a lot of burden to take on. I wish the Matrix didn’t just latch onto one mech and do this to em.”
Rodimus curls a finger to tap on his chest, like he's tapping on the glass. Then, shifting, he turns to bump Trailbreaker's shoulder with his own and settle back again next to him. "It's not the Matrix. It's not just the Matrix. Even without it, I'd still be -- here. I'd still have to think about it. And I don't know what the answer is. I don't know what the right answer is, and what's the answer I want. Even if you were wrong, and Prowl was wrong, and I was wrong, and the question's actually 'friends', question mark." He says question mark, out loud, punctuating his own thoughts.
Trailbreaker’s easy to lean on, sturdy and shoulder-y. He takes another swig himself easily. “You’re still questioning your every instinct, though. Because your instinct is to forgive and try and love. Is this a ship of only Autobots? Didn’t you somehow convince Minimus to allow us all here and come along? And what’s this about friends, question mark?” He raises his visor-brow. “That’s awfully specific there, Roddimans.”
"I don't know if I want those things for the right reason, though. If I want those for myself, or for everyone. And Ratchet's right: no choice I make is just for me." Rodimus droops a little, letting Trailbreaker and the couch take on the weight of his frame as he slouches. "Not that it matters." He hesitates. He looks over at Trailbreaker. Words hover, just on the edge of his voccalizer, which clicks with a half-formed sound.
“What’s the choice here, buddy. Take the whole context of the universe out. Pretend there’s no Matrix here. You’re Rodimus, you have a moral compass, and you gotta trust it to some extent cuz otherwise you’re just gonna run around asking me what’s right, asking Ratchet, asking Minimus and Prowl.” He prods Rod in the chest gently. “And sometimes we’re gonna tell ya very different things. You know that. What does your spark want? We can figure out the why after. What’s your spark say? Let’s start there.”
Rodimus doesn't answer for a while. Instead, he drinks, with the bright glow of his gaze going soft and unfocused around the edges as he grows more and more inebriated. "I want a future. And I want Soundwave next to me, not dead or in spark containment forever. And if it's friendship he wants--."
Rodimus breaks off. He makes a disgruntled noise, and hunches in a little. He's not very hunch-able. He's too big and pointy. "I thought I freaked out because of like -- mass murder, obviously. I should have. That should be why. Or too fast. That'd make sense too, right?" He's totally talking to himself. Trailbreaker is there, but Rodimus is leaving out massive, huge chunks of context that would help orient him, leaving him adrift.
Trailbreaker lets Rodimus talk to himself. He needs to. That’s the nice thing about Nightmare Fuel, how it loosens things. “Friendship as opposed to-hah, that’s it.” He grins. “You’re used to being able to woo anyone you want. You had Minimus and Drift not only sharing your love but finding it with each other for a while. It’s not friendship you want, it’s something else.” He pats Rodimus on the back. “I’ve been there before. If you’re not gonna be content with the love of friendship you should tell him so, but he may never give you what you want, ‘n you might lose that friendship too.”
He examines Rodimus. “You’re allowed to just...feel a way about someone, selfishly, no matter what they’ve done. I think so anyway. I drink with war criminals. I sang 34 verses of “The Turbofox Can Never Be Fragged At All” in a row with the Terrorcons a few months ago. Is it right? I dunno. We’re people, not morality machines. Right?”
Rodimus drags his hand down his face and goes, "Mmmmblrggghrgghghmrgh." It sounds like a glitch.
"Woo. That's a stupid word. Woo. Wooooo." Rodimus draws it out, exaggerating it. It doesn't sound BETTER like that. "I had Minimus and Drift and I made them both unhappy; that's what I had." He makes another face, this time at himself, and glances to the side at Trailbreaker: "Sorry. I don't know. You're right. Maybe you're right. Also I'm so sad I missed that song, that sounds amazing. But I don't know if maybe I just got an idea in my head that wasn't there. You weren't the only one to say something: 'sweet on you', right? And Prowl told me to stop being a distraction. After first, I think, trying to figure out if he could use it. And I thought -- I mean, who asks someone out onto the hull of the ship all quiet and private for a drink, and the fleet's all there, and all I can think about is how awesome it is, seeing everyone, a constellation that we built, this future we're carving out of Megatron's scrap, and then look at Soundwave, and think about how far we've come, how far he's come, and the future we built and can keep building--."
Rodimus winds himself up, then cuts himself off, muttering, "Amicas," with a sneer into his glass.
“Reckon you made them real happy first, though.” Trailbreaker sloshes the bottle around a little, blearily watching the glowing liquid.
“Do you think he’s had an amica before? I don’t know Soundwave that well. He still scares me.” As he gets drunker, his low-city accent strengthens. “He’s got the cassettes he’s kind of adopted as family. He had Megatron, whatever that was, but it obviously wasn’t healthy. He had...I don’t know what else. Who else. Half the ship is still terrified of him. So you might well be the first person he ever trusted enough to be an amica endura.” He puts emphasis on the second part, endura. “Why not make a big thing of it? You’re supposed to anyway, right?” He frowns. “Never had one.”
Rodimus watches the slosh of liquid as well, his ventilations steadying and hs manner quieting as he does. "I hope I did," is all he can say for Drift and Minimus. And even then he looks uncertain.
As Trailbreaker talks about Soundwave, Rodimus only looks worse and worse. "And all I could do was slam his dock closed and say 'no'. I panicked, Teebs -- panicked. I'm such an idiot. This is what I do."
“-Aw dang, I didn’t-don’t look all guilty like that!” Trailbreaker winces. “It’s the worst, like watching you droop. Your spoiler does this thing. Uh, not now cuz you’re sitting but...”
He hands Rodimus the bottle. “Well, it can be sudden. Sounds it. You had to think it through. Just, uh, think it through and...you’re not an idiot. You just had a whole crisis over feeling guilty that you have feelings for a Bad Person and that was bad through like, magical thinking or whatever.”
"Magical thinking," Rodimus repeats, deeply and profoundly skeptical. Someone has no idea what that phrase means, and is eying Trailbreaker a little doubtfully. I WONDER WHO.
“Magical thinking means, like. If I do this, something bad will happen. Me doing it does not directly cause it to happen, but it might be a bad thing to do and then something bad will happen because the universe watches me, personally.” Trailbreaker wiggles his hand in the air.
“You feel bad about what happened with Soundwave. But you’re also kinda upset because you wanna smooch his whole face and he wants to do buddy friend amica things that are not kissing. I got it?@
Rodimus's expression goes through a few variations on the way to a slow curl forward and collapse into the palm of his hands. His shoulders shake, and spoiler quivers. Lifting his head, a trace of desperate humor in the bright of his eyes, he says, "I need way more to drink before I think about actually processing that sentence again. Maybe you're right with the, uh, magical thinking. What would you do? If Shockwave was -- fixed, or whatever. The Shockwave you remember again. But with this bloody history."
“Get really drunk before I was able to figure that out. Talk to him, I guess. Be with him, don’t appease his guilt but let him work through it. Not expect him to be the same guy. He’d have a lot of enemies and he’d need a friend. But I’m also not captain and carrying a Matrix. I’m just me.”
He sees that desperate look and returns it with a gentle one. “But nothing I did would change what he did or fix it. Or make it worse.”
"Mrgh." Rodimus contents himself to a single noise this time, rather than a chorus, and reaches to pour another measure of mistake into his glass. "You're a good guy, you know. Thanks for bringing over the drinks and -- you know. Everything."
“Ah, eh, anytime. Just hearin’ myself talk. Don’t worry, I brought plenty to drink. I’m just...glad to be needed and useful.” Trailbreaker offers a modest, tipsy smile. “Now I can explain the whole magical thinking theory in some more detail if you want or we can try to break that song record from before.”
Rodimus thinks about it, but not very long before he swiftly says, "The song. I couldn't be there before, so we're gonna best it now. I hope you're ready for this." He is totally serious about this.
“Okay!” Teebs laughs, holding up his glass. “Ohhh the-“
Walls do not stand a chance of disguising that loud damn drunken song coming from the office. Oh well.