2018-11-09 Toy Car
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Location||Lost Light - Command: Rodimus's Office|
Soundwave's arrival back to the Lost Light probably hasn't been documented and entered into the system yet. He wasn't scheduled to be back for several more days at least, he didn't comm ahead when he did arrive, and he didn't stop to go through any official channels for debriefings or the like. After an egregious amount of time between now and arrival, Soundwave decides to pop in and let Rodimus know he's back himself. Except, the surprise goes awry when Rodimus isn't actually in his office.
Too tired to go out looking for him, but still wanting to surprise- a GOOD surprise this time!- Soundwave stays in the quiet, empty office. And stays. And stays. It... It gets rather depressing, actually. Giving him time to think and ruminate in guilt and regret and worry. Stubborn surprise turns to sulk and Soundwave transforms, mass-shifting down to fit his wheels on Rodimus's desk. In his preferred sulk-mode, he sits and waits some more. He drives forward and back a few times, knocking a few datapads and knick-knacks to the ground. He's sure Rodimus will have to stop by soon so he can surprise him.
Soundwave falls asleep in alt mode there on the desk instead.
It's Rodimus's practice to spend a large part of his shift out and about. Getting those updates in person. Meetings with people on their terms, not his. He's making an extra effort now, after Prowl and Soundwave both suggested he be out and talk to people. So he is. He's out there. He's talking. He takes the time to just do what he can to be present and lift morale. And he's an extrovert, he loves that shit, it's great -- but even extroverts weary when there's a pressure in the back of their mind, a memory of Prowl's words that linger.
So Rodimus is maybe not in the greatest of spirits when he returns to his office, but that changes in a moment when he sees a little toy Soundwave on his desk. It's a warmth that spills outward, audible even as Soundwave sleeps, to rub up against his sensors in slumber. It's the outlier-audible equivalent of a warm and fuzzy sonic blanket.
Totally ignoring the mess, Rodimus reaches out to run his hand over Soundwave's side, tickle his wheel wells, and marvel at the details of the construction. It's such a good replication! He even takes hold of Soundwave by the roof, and rolls him back and forth on the desk.
Soundwave is, initially, disturbed in his sleep. He's used to filtering out noise to get some recharge but the close proximity of something could be enough to wake him. It doesn't. As quick as it disturbs, it settles him. Warm. And cozy. A balm that gently settles him back down into the realm of unconsciousness. It soothes enough that the little touches and tickles don't bother him, bringing to mind some pleasant memory files to only half recall and mesh together.
Until he's grabbed and rolled around.
Soundwave startles, headlights turning on and horn going off. BEEP BEEP. And then it stops and he's startled anew into silence. He didn't even know he had a horn.
When Soundwave's horn BEEP BEEPs, breaking the quiet, Rodimus's grip on his roof tightens in a spasm of surprise. He ... stops rolling him. Rodimus then picks him up, turns him to face him, and crouches down to bring his face level to the edge of the desk. "Soundwave?"
Soundwave's armor is just as tough when he's small as it is when he's big, so Rodimus probably doesn't leave any dents. Probably. (He does.) It takes Soundwave a minute to wake up, head spinning. By the time he's turned around, headlights shining on Rodimus's face, he realizes his situation. Oh. Oh my god. Maybe if he's really quiet and still, Rodimus won't know its him and he can save himself any indignity. It'd be the perfect plan, really-- maybe the toy just beeps while you roll it around!-- if not for the one fatal flaw:
The front of Soundwave's alt- his chassis- is just eminating heat in embarassment. Maybe he won't notice.
Rodimus shifts from surprise, to a smile, to a grin, and then he leans forward, nose brushing lightly along the front of Soundwave's alt mode in a quick nuzzle and kiss. He notices. "Nice surprise," he says, letting himself just enjoy having Soundwave here for a moment before thinking any other thoughts. "Didn't know you were back."
Oh no. He knows. Soundwave's wheels twist beneath him, squealing against the desk and probably leaving some tire marks. Hnnn, how embarrassing. Rodimus's affection lessens the negativity. Even if just a little. "Hrf," Soundwave says, staying in altmode like this. Like its the only way to hold onto his dignity, if he stays small and compact juuuust like this.
"I only recently arrive," Soundwave tells Rodimus. 'Recently' being relative. Its been hours. "I must have fallen asleep while waiting for you here." Beat. "I came as soon as I received your comm about Penchant. But. ... I was too late."
Rodimus flattens his palm over Soundwave's roof in a soothing stroke. He pets him, like he might Ravage, if he wanted to get his arm cut off. "I wasn't thinking. I should've stopped him, or gone with him, or -- I don't know. I wasn't thinking he'd really leave." Pausing -- and the stroke of his hand briefly stilling -- he says, "It wasn't the only thoughtless thing, either. Uh, would you mind transforming?"
"It's not your fault," Soundwave says in a way only people who think it's their fault say. "And I didn't think he'd leave either..." But of course he did. He told him to! He's so stupid. His engine ticks a whine when the petting stops. "But that feels good," he says, too wrapped up in his own misery and desire for comfort the realize how serious Rodimus is being.
Rodimus thinks about it a moment, then -- goes back to petting Soundwave's alt. Okay. "It is a little bit, actually. I've been thinking about it, and I think -- maybe I made it harder on Penchant." His fingers skim lightly along the edges of Soundwave's hood and doors, but his palm presses down in a firm stroke. He tries to rub out the slight dimpling of his clench. "I wasn't thinking about it, and I kissed Penchant. To say goodbye, or whatever, but it was stupid, and thoughtless, and I'm sorry. I--. Mmm." He starts to go on, then stops, and waits. Maybe he should wait.
"Rodimus, it's not your fault," Soundwave repeats. And he means it. "Minimus and I have spoken on this subject. And I may have been upset but Penchant-" The rest of what he's about to say falls dead silent. The rest of him does too. And even the building warmth within his currently little frame cools. Freezes over.
With a flair of his doors, Soundwave reverses back on the desk. He might have driven straight over the edge if he didn't run into something and knock that to the floor instead. He stays like that for a minute, processing what he heard. Making sure he heard it right. That it wasn't some bleed over of another person's errant thought. But, no. It's not. His doors slam shut. "You what?"
Rodimus winces. He settles out of his crouch, kneeling, because they might be here for a while. He does not reach after Soundwave. His hands fall to his sides, then his lap, where he curls them into fists. "I kissed him."
For a minute, Soundwave hunkers down in alt mode. As if he can get smaller. As if he can compress himself into the right, rectangular shape. Something familiar and dependable. But he can't. "Why-- I don't- I don't understand. Why- Why would Penchant still leave? That's what he wanted-- why did he still go? Why--?"
In a flurry of motion that knocks everything off Rodimus's desk, Soundwave pops out of tiny, condensed tankmode and into root mode. He's sitting on Rodimus's desk, his back to Rodimus. His finger digs into the desk's edge. The dimples on his roof have nothing to what he's doing to this poor piece of furniture. "What did I do wrong?" he asks quietly, voice overly stiff with monotone.
Rodimus moves, so apparently he wasn't actually there for very long after all, to take a seat in his chair and scoot it out to face Soundwave. He leans forward, elbows on his knees, and reaches out to g e n t l y pry his fingers from the edge of the desk to wrap them around his hand instead. Squeeze that. "Because it's not what he wanted. Not really. It was a dumb gesture, a single dumb choice, and a moment, and it was a moment he only got once, and in the end you're the one I go back to. It was cruel of me -- to you, and to him. Because I was leading him on, and I have before, and he even told me to stop flirting once. You didn't do anything wrong. I did. I shouldn't--. It's my fault. And I hurt you both. A lot. I'm sorry."
Soundwave doesn't squeeze that. In fact, he pulls away to leave Rodimus empty handed. Instead, he just holds his fists in his lap and the strain in his knuckles can be heard. "No, no there has to be a reason. I had to have done something, why else-- I don't understand," he says again. And he doesn't. How can you just kiss someone like that- freely and, and... And just say it was a mistake. Like an accident. But that's not what's got his tentacles tied up in knots, in a manner of speaking.
"I can't... Be someone to just come back to, Rodimus," Soundwave says quietly. "I can't do that again."
Left empty-handed, Rodimus pulls his hands back against his side. His gaze sweeps over Soundwave, and every small mark of unhappiness, every whine of strain pulls at his spark: gutters it, leaves the warmth and light cooling, shrinking, as he hollows out in regret -- and fear. "You didn't. Soundwave, it's not your fault. I warned you. I told you I'd mess up, that I'm an idiot, and that I hurt people I care about most. I wanted -- I hoped--."
Rodimus breaks off, hesitating over his words and then abandoning the thought entirely. "You're more than that. I messed up."
Soundwave makes an effort, and clearly it's not easy, to look at Rodimus. The light of his visor bleeds along the edges, a dull red compared the usually vibrant crimson. He cycles a shakey vent. "I've messed up too," he says quietly. "You- We- are not perfect. We'll make more mistakes. But... Tell me you don't think you can do whatever you want and come back. I won't do that this time. I--" His vocoder crackles. "I just need to know that."
"No," Rodimus says, urgent, overlapping Soundwave's words in the speed of his response. "I don't think that. Please, please just listen to me. Let me show you."
After a pause, maybe aware of how unfair that is, the way it shifts responsibility and blame, Rodimus shoulders the burden for himself to explain: "I'm terrified of doing that. I did that with Drift and Minimus, all the time. I'd lash out, or do something, and apologize, and I was so sick of apologies." More quietly, he says, "I was so sick of myself.
"I don't want to be that person," Rodimus says, looking back at Soundwave, "and maybe I'm unfair. I know I'm unfair. I think -- it's okay, Soundwave will know I don't mean it, or how I really feel, but you don't, and it's not fair of me to think you will."
Soundwave watches Rodimus, and he listens. And his servos slowly loose their grip, no longer threatening to break themselves in some freakish ouroboros style of self-destruction. "The omnipotency of what I know, greatly exaggerated. Rodimus, listening to too many Autobot tall tales." He can't bring himself to laugh at his attempt to lighten something- the mood, maybe. It doesn't work terribly well with him. He vents. "I think I understand a little more now... You see, I've been trying not to listen to your head. Privacy, difficult, but I didn't want you thinking you're not allowed to have it."
"Maybe you don't understand how little faith I have in myself," Rodimus says, his voice little more than a whisper. The earlier fear hasn't left; it continues to dim the light of his spark to a guttering tremble rather than blazing warmth. "I took -- comfort, I guess, in thinking that you knew me, that you saw all of me and still accepted me, still wanted me, and that you'd always understood how I felt about you, even if I'm terrible at saying it or showing it."
"You're not terrible..." Soundwave says after a pause. "You made a... A mistake- but I have two hundred pages worth of mistakes. This is just a... A dropping bucket." He hesitates, there's still hurt. And maybe on a different day, under different circumstances, he would have lashed out. Been furious and held onto that anger, possibly wrecked this office. But that's now how it is here and now.
So, he hesitates, but Soundwave still reaches out for Rodimus. "I came here because I needed you. Because you're not terrible at showing it and--" His outstretched hand shakes. "And did you know I don't even know Penchant went. He's gone, I don't know how to get him back."
"Oh, man, are you so wrong there. I can still be terrible." Rodimus doesn't hesitate to take Soundwave's hand and pull him from the desk and into his lap. He guides Soundwave's legs to the side with the sweep of his other hand, then brings his hand up Soundwave's back as he pulls him closer. It's impossible to fail to note the way it warms him, feeling needed.
"He went to his old colony, " Rodimus says. "You may not be able to get him back. He may have made a decision, and the best thing that you can do is support him in it, as a friend. That doesn't mean you've lost him and it doesn't mean you will never see him again."
Soundwave curls up there, fingers curling into gaps along Rodimus's armor. He buries his face for a minute, vents stuttering and choked. It's been a very bad, no good emotional day for him. And he stays like that for a little while, just soaking up the returning warmth Rodimus provides. The comfort despite how terrible he can be. Finally, he lift his head. "You know where he went," he says. His old colony-- yes, he knows that. Knows where it is, where he finds Penchant.
"I know. I know I should support him but I don't want him to leave. I..." Soundwave's grip on Rodimus tightens. "I told him to. I got angry and he was attacking me- my head still hurts- and it just came. I told him not to come back. I told you it was my fault." He vents. "I have to go to him and at least apologize."
"Yeah. It's hard." Rodimus tucks his head atop Soundwave's, and wraps his arms around him. There's no tease or flirt or tickle in his touch. The long, firm stroke of his hand over Soundwave's armor simply soothes. "Especially when you've yelled at him. You do need to apologize. But we know where he is, we can find him. And you can apologize. And maybe you guys can talk. It was so hard for me, even -- before. Watching you following Megatron's trail. Knowing it was leading you away from me."
Soundwave peaks up. "It was?" he asks, quietly. As Rodimus pets and soothes some of that shakiness leaves Soundwave. His telepathy makes him something of an empath and the calm, assuring presence eases his nerves. So much nerves.
"It was." Rodimus glances at Soundwave, then palms his side, where the tentacles are curled beneath. "I could show you, if you want?"
"No, I believe you. I just-- I don't think I'm ready for that again. Not quite yet." Soundwave hasn't spoken forgiveness but its been in his actions more than his words. Even so, the hurt is still fresh. "I'm sorry... ... You know, you don't have to worry about me trailing him anymore. I'm not going to go back."
"Oh. Yeah, sure, okay." Rodimus's gaze stutters in a hasty refresh of surprise. There's a moment where he wrestles with himself, mood in flux, as he takes it as an unexpected rejection on an unguarded flank. Regret and guilt follow for the injuries caused Soundwave, maybe not quite forgiven. After a moment, he resumes the idle stroke of his hands. He could not be more clearly changing the subject if he tries as he asks, "What will you tell Penchant?"
"Apologize. A lot of apologizing," Soundwave answer. He's not sure what else he'd say until he gets there. But. The change of subject is not lost on him. He takes one of Rodimus's hands and moves it so it covers the glass of his chassis. At this size, its not that hard. "Yours," he says, looking directly at Rodimus. "I'm yours, I'm not going to leave."
Caught off guard, Rodimus leaves his hands lax for just a moment, then brings his other hand behind to pull Soundwave closer and up so that he can press their foreheads together. He doesn't go for a kiss: too risky, too fraught. And anyway, he needs his lips to shape a few quiet words, spoken soft into the space between them. "You're mine," he says with a quiet, fierce joy of possession that's honestly all the brighter for the little bit of him that whispers that he shouldn't be so possessive. Soundwave makes it so easy. His hand, which lay flat against the glass, curls now, as if to grip and pull him closer, with the tiny prickling touch of the claws typically hidden just nibbling at the edge of the glass.
"You're enough, just as you are, you're enough to be everything." Rodimus reaches to cup Soundwave's masked face, with his thumbs sweeping over and against the bottom edge of his visor with light pressure in a caress that sweeps to the side of his helm to cup his face again. "I'm an idiot, but I'm your idiot, for as long as you'll have me."
Soundwave's head has been aching ever since Penchant's little psychic lashing. Like his processor is pounding against the inside of his cranial cavity, even now while he's in Rodimus's arms with their heads together. But those two words- those two little, important words- make it go away. And suddenly Rodimus is on top of him, pressing against him painfully. He catches a glimpse of white-hot flame, that swirls around claws and teeth and black insignia. And his chassis burns and his limbs are weak and he's afraid. You're mine. He's so, so afraid...
Soundwave's visor shutters and he's back in Rodimus's lap, heads together. His spark is beating erratic, his clench to Rodimus tight, and his vents all heave away the sudden heat his frame is generating. He doesn't move while Rodimus continue to speak, trying to piece together what happened. He... He's just having a rough day, that's all. His mind just regurgitated his stress in one final push out of his systems. But its gone, he's fine- even his head feels good. And his reaction, easily mistaken as fluster. He's fine. Forget it happened.
Releasing Rodimus, and taking a minute to still the small tremble in his servos, he reaches up and places both hands on either side of Rodimus's face. "Mine," Soundwave says determinedly. "Mine. So no more kissing. Unless its me. Okay?"
It always brings Rodimus to a pause, the way his words effect Soundwave. The impact he can have, in just a few words. He carries the rekindled Matrix of Leadership, but it's this -- the way Soundwave burns when he claims him -- that makes Rodimus feel powerful. And profoundly humbled by the responsibility of it. His head bows into the touch of Soundwave's hands as he turns to press a kiss to Soundwave's palm. "I promise," he says, the words warmer still against the metal there.
Soundwave is already filing whatever happened there deep, deep, deep down. Going to bury it and never think about it again. Rodimus makes the perfect distraction. He just focuses on him and all his sounds- there's a lot, to be expected of a chunk car. Then he shifts in Rodimus's lap and, with hardly a whoosh in the air, he's full size. He looks rather coyly to Rodimus after doing so, leaning over to bunt his facemask to the side of Rod's helm. "Help me get a shuttle to get to Penchant's colony?"
Add the noise of metal adjusting to a sudden change in weight as Soundwave mass shifts upward, and Rodimus tightens the cables of his frame to keep hold. The chair wobbles, threatens to overbalance, as Rodimus, laughing, begins to ask a delighted, "Are you--."
The question doesn't get asked. Scrambling to keep his arms around Soundwave, scrambling to keep them both in place, Rodimus ends up pulling back too hard against the chair, bringing Soundwave with and overthrowing them. The chair goes. They go. They clatter-clonk-clonk to the deck as the chair rolls away. Rodimus keeps one arm around Soundwave, though. Victory. (edited)
Soundwave lays there, surprisingly surprised by this series of events. He doesn't move to get up off of Rodimus. "I'll get you a new chair," he tells Rodimus. "And would you believe this is not my first time on the floor today? I ran into Minimus." Beat. "I mean that literally."
Dragging his hand up Soundwave's side, Rodimus pulls him closer. He noses the side of his mask. "Mm, I'm good here. With you. I guess that explains the dent on you," he teases.
"You put some of those dents there yourself," Soundwave points out, turning his head to lightly nuzzle back. "If I'd known how much you'd like to play with a little version of my alt mode, I would have gotten you a little replica much sooner." Now that is a tease.
Rodimus laughs with a low warmth as he brings his hands up to Soundwave's now much larger wheels. He runs his thumb lightly along the inner rim, and then gently begins to spin one. "What can I say? I've been wanting to see how you handle on a ride."
Soundwave shivers if only for the foreign feeling it is to have altmode kibble that can be moved and played with. Its a very rare and new sensation. It makes his vocoder sputter a little laugh from the novelty of it. "I don't think you'd be able to fit in my front seat," he says, completely missing Rodimus's pass. You can just watch it fly right by him. "But I'll let you play with my little alt- after we get travel plans set for Penchant's colony. If you want."
There's a deep and profound fondness that follows the failure of Rodimus's tease. He watches it go sailing past Soundwave and thunk into the wall. Missed shot. There's a sense about him of a held sentence: potential, kept in check. He bites his tongue. He doesn't clarify. Instead, he promises, "I'll help you with the travel plans."
"Thank you," Soundwave murmurs softly. He's tender still, but the fact that Rodimus confessed to him and apologized and is now helping- he'll heal. He's happy to move this behind them. "And I'll help you clean up your desk. Sorry for knocking every-" There's still a datapad up there on the desk's edge. A tentacle promptly shoves it off- "thing off it."
"It's fine," Rodimus says. He even reaches out to knock over a cup of styluses that hadn't quite fully spilled. A few go rolling across the floor. "See? I'll get it later. I'd rather stay here, with you. Can you stay? I have some things I have to read, but I'd like to be with you."
Soundwave hums, amused by knocking things over like that. It's a mess. But its a fun mess, one he learned from Ravage. He shifts and finds Rodimus's hand, lacing his blue fingers with Rodimus's red ones. "I'll stay, as long as you need."
In that case, Rodimus scrabbles after one of the datapads on the floor, and brings it up to read past Soundwave's shoulder. It's a bit of a lie though. He's paying way more attention to Soundwave, and to coaxing him into relaxing as he runs his other hand over his back and hips in soothing strokes. "Perfect. I'm gonna get so much work done."