2018-11-21 Predictably

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Date 2018/11/21
Location Lost Light - Science and Medical - Medibay
Participants Minimus Ambus, Prowl
Summary Post Charybdis mission, Prowl checks in on Minimus in the medibay.

When they first returned to the Lost Light, Minimus Ambus had already undergone the kind of emergency first aid that could be applied to his severe battering aboard the shuttle. Which probably involved some grumping at Hound and holding his head because of the abiding headache that thumped inside his processor in the aftereffect of overwhelming scream of silent anguish that recently crashed through it. Poor Hound. What a terrible trip back that had to have been.

His message to Command was a succinct, abbreviated one, finishing with, "Full details to follow when I have been medically cleared. Ambus out." The damage was largely to his face-- nose smashed, jaw half off, a long crack running down the plating from one optic to the split of his mouth, energon leakage dribbling down the smash. The other damage is incidental, mostly, though enough to cause him to favor one knee, and one of the medtechs is examining it while he stares stoically off into the middle distance.

Prowl rarely has reason to shuffle down to the medibay post mission, unless he wants to grill someone over their poor performance, or demand details that haven't been outlined in a report yet. This is all very new and strange.

He stands before the towering armor, making the poor medics walk around him as they try to work. He grimaces. "What got you?"

Minimus tries to tense his jaw almost reflexively and then winces, grimaces, and makes a low rumbling sound in the basal depths of the frame. His head turns slightly and the glower that levels itself at Prowl seems inappropriately cranky for 'first time seeing boyfriend after coming home,' really, but he's still Minimus, so. Maybe it's not really a shock. "Big unhinged mech. Used to be an Autobot. Kept going on about wanting to eat my spark and devour my fear and so on. I don't believe I got the name while fending off the pincers, however."

Prowl's optics widen as he folds his arms and lifts the edge of a finger to chew on. Pincers. Hm hm hm. Oooh, the crab. Right. He shrugs. "Doesn't ring a bell. How exactly does pain translate in that thing? Can't you just step out of it?" A medic bumps into him, and he turns a flaming glare on them for daring to do their job.

"It's not... it's not clothing, Prowl." Minimus looks exasperated; he starts to lift his arms to fold, earning a stern glare from the medic who is trying to work on him since his chest is way too big to fold his arms over, and he puts his hands down again, leaning forward as his fingertips curl against the side of the berth. His helm crumples down over his brow and he says, "My systems are fully integrated. The armor is me, for all practical purposes."

"Alright, but you can still step out of it. I watched you hatch from your old armor. Remember? When you were about to punch my face in?" Prowl says, a small smile playing over his lips. "I take it Soundwave's cassette wasn't there. So a waste of time and resources. Is that why you're so grumpy?"

"Grumpy? Hnf." Minimus scowls, and then the great heave of a sigh whirrs through his internal fans as the medic finishes patching his knee and then assures him that someone else will be along to 'get that', vis a vis, his face. Once the medic has gone, Minimus slouches as though slumping under a great, invisible weight, the towering pillars of his shoulders angling inward in a kind of collapsed ruin of his posture. "Soundwave ... released some kind of sonic ... scream while we were in the thick of it. I'm not really able to describe it. Penchant is ... held. Elsewhere."

Prowl's smile withers to a fresh, new expression that he's still working on: concern. At least, concern for someone he genuinely cares about. "Pain here?" He taps his temple. "I'll make sure the medics know before I leave. If I leave." When he's reasonably sure no one is watching (too closely), he hops up on the berth in the open space beside Minimus, and looks out at that middle distance Minimus had been examining. "I wasn't worried," he begins, and there's clearly words that are meant to follow, but none come.

"Yes," Minimus admits, and then he's quiet. He almost says more, and then doesn't. His frown lingers, and then he lifts one hand to drop his hand in a plonk onto Prowl's shoulder. He is too large a mass, really; he puts his hand to Prowl's further shoulder, angling carefully to not bash into his door wings, and even still he's at a difficult size to share a berth with, even sitting upright. Frown ponderous, he says, "I was. I still am. Soundwave is compromised. I am," he adds steadily, "furious."

Prowl ends up bending slightly under the extra weight, but he clearly doesn't mind, reaching up with one hand to pat a few oversized digits. "Furious about what," he asks. "Soundwave being compromised, or a crab pinching your face off?"

Minimus only withdraws when the roving slide of his pale gaze notes more than one person in the medibay has glanced in their direction. His hand falls instead to his own thigh, resting there as a weight as he turns his broken face back to frown faintly down at Prowl beside him. "This war was over," is what he finally comes out with.

Prowl leans and follows Minimus' hand until it falls off, making him straighten with his own grumpy look, doors tilted at odd angles. "Yeah. It was. For a little bit. Our mistake was failing to track down Megatron quick enough, and then failing to keep him from gathering support, and then failing to capture him before he took Cybertron. Just a lovely streak of failures."

The slow shake of Minimus's head is a little difficult to interpret in response to this, his hand closing into a tight fist in his lap. The tension slowly creeps up his spine, resetting in his jaw except that his jaw is broken, so the grind of his teeth makes him grunt and rumble in pain as he aggravates it.

Prowl realizes he is not, in fact, helping the situation, and reaches to take Minimus' giant fist and haul it back to his lap. His fingertips slide over the bulk of Minimus' thumb, attempting to coax open the curl that bites into Minimus' palm. "We have plans. We have a goal, and it's in sight. We've got a handle on this, Minimus. Trust me. I'm not just being optimistic."

Minimus looks down at their hands, and watches Prowl work at his fingers to attempt to get him to open up. For some reason, he snorts: a low cycle of a sound as his gaze narrows. He says, "When we were on the field in the battle against Unicron's forces and all was ending, Megatron offered me a 'free shot' at him." He doesn't make air quotes but his sneer does kind of place them for him. "He knew I wouldn't take it, of course."

Prowl keeps trying. C'mon. OPEN. He's outwardly patient, at least, pulling his thumb across Minimus' knuckles, back and forth. There's a moment where he stills and just... grips. It's very, very hard to keep his tone nice and even and uncritical. "Why didn't you take the shot?" he asks, looking up.

"We were allies at the time," Minimus says with particular dryness. He opens his hand in a helpless gesture, its broad planes open before Prowl's touch, though his fingertips still twitch and curl inward a little like he's not entirely committed to not punching something. "Perhaps it is down to my core, it wasn't in my nature. I could no more be the first to betray the truce than Megatron could keep it intact."

Prowl lingers at the planes, drawn up in thought. "...I don't think it would've been a free shot. He might've been hoping you'd attempt, and fail, and he could more easily place the blame on the Autobots, and get his little empire rolling faster." Palm finally open to him, Prowl tests just how integrated the armor is, tracing each seam outward, aiming to uncurl each digit one by one. "It's not your fault. Surely you don't think any of this is your fault."

"No," Minimus says quickly. He watches their hands. From the reactive shift and curl of his fingers, there is little doubt that every touch to the Magnus armor's skin is one he detects like a touch to his skin. There's no lead time, no lag. "I was just thinking that he might have done it specifically to make me angry about it, when he inevitably betrayed us. We act and react so predictably, Prowl. The only thing that changes from Megatron is the form of his atrocities, not their kind. I felt I have-- learned, and grown -- since the war ended. But perhaps that is an illusion that I wanted to believe, no more true than the false hope and facile faith the Quintessons wrote into our programming."

"You're not furious," Prowl observes, finally just threading his fingers with Minimus'. "You're despondent. How long have you been holding on to this? I don't know this for certain, but according to our experts, we're supposed to talk about our stresses and doubts before they build up into something unmanageable."

He leans against the thickly armored arm beside him, shaking his head. "I'm not sure we ought to strive for Megatron's unpredictability. So he exploited your terrible flaw of honoring a truce. That's why we're going to beat him, and you'll get to watch as he's sentenced to confinement for the rest of his life."

"That's ridiculous," Minimus tells Prowl without heat. His hand is too big; he turns it over and then drops his other one atop it, vanishing Prowl's hand in the heat of the clasp entirely. Now he'll never get it back. "I'm not despondent. I'm not moping." He sneers the word like it is the worst word he knows. "I just can't believe we're still fighting this same damned war again, Prowl. The lies he fed those newsparks . . ." He trails off, and growls. It is a wordless sound, a grinding of gear and rumbling engine, and he turns his head to glower across the medibay. "The colloquial definition of insanity is to repeat the same action over and over and expect different results. It's infuriating that we're forced to descend to his level of madness yet again."

Prowl wiggles his fingers in the grasp. "Who would fight this war, if not us? If we fled, it would follow. If we ignored it, it would kill us. It's not the same action. Our enemies are now fighting alongside us. Our factions have merged. Do you think Megatron could've predicted that?" He eyes Minimus again, leaning to look over kibble and study his mangled features. "If it's not moping, and it is anger, I can set up a nice simulation for you in the practice rooms, and you can beat the slag out of drones, when you're patched up here."

Minimus shifts slightly on the berth, withdrawing Prowl's hand so that he can brace one hand behind him on its surface. The effect leaves him angled at a diagonal, nearly close enough to bump him with the awkward bulk of his chest (#bustybotproblems), and with his head canted and glance angled down, he gives him a look of faint amusement, lips pressed thin as though to contain the threat of some future smile, eyes slightly narrowed. The angle of his arm behind Prowl's back leaves it usable as a lean support, for all that Minimus seems mildly allergic to more notable public displays. "You can come with me and practice your marksmanship. I'm sure you can shoot and plan at the same time, I have confidence in you."

Prowl leans back, of course, doors framing Minimus' arm. They promptly wilt, and he looks away with a grumble. "I'm better off the field. My marksmanship is fine. How about I just watch you and offer words of support. I've been practicing them."

"I want to see you shoot," Minimus says. He considers for a moment, and then drops his voice to a very low rumble indeed, a quiet basso thrum that very nearly vanishes into the bones of his frame. "I'll come up with a reward system for you."

Prowl is stuck on the sharp, unpleasant taste of defeat in nearly every one of his "casual" practice room spars or competitions, until Minimus' low rumble reaches him, promising incentive. It's silly how quickly he turns around, optics bright. "Alright. Sure. When they fix your face, and head." The kiss he brushes atop Minimus' knuckles is mercifully swift and subtle. "I'll wrangle a medic. They're taking too long. Stay put."

The sound that Minimus makes -- another rumble in the depths of his frame -- is suspiciously chuckle-adjacent. He doesn't say anything else, though. As much as sitting in medical is not his favorite thing to do, he seems satisfied with something to look forward to.

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