2018-12-10 Advice

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Date 2018/12/10
Location Minimus Ambus' Office
Participants Rodimus, Minimus Ambus

Not so very long after abandoning Prowl to sulk in the dark, Rodimus swings on through Minimus's officer. He only thinks, 'Hey, maybe I should give Minimus some time to cool off' when it's too late, and he's already buzzed a hello.


Minimus has been sitting on his berth, listening to music. He almost misses the buzz over the thunderous brass of the dramatic march he has been listening to — but he is too primed to emergencies for an interruption to escape him, so he winds down the sonorous thrum and the beating of the snare drums to check the buzz.

The door slides open to admit Rodimus as Minimus rolls off the bunk and stands. He emerges from the inner chamber over the much reduced trill of some old school orchestrals, a faint frown written in his expression.

Rodimus cants his head, angling his audials toward the distant sound to try to measure Minimus's mood by the music. "Hi. Can I come in?"

The music is … Grandiose. Dramatic. The kind designed to inspire patriotic thrills in the heart of the uniformed masses. It’s got a beat, and you can march to it.

Minimus’s mood seems … glum, though, as he nods. “Of course,” he says. He paces over towards the chair behind his desk and drops his hands on it, shoulders slumping as from an invisible weight as he looks up at Rodimus. The signs of his earlier tantrum mostly show in a few flakes and scores of paint across his knuckles. Looks like he beat the everliving shit out of something and hasn’t polished himself up yet since. His lean grows slightly more pronounced as he touches the chair, as though he is using it to hold himself up.

"I expected a little more mad than sad judging by what Prowl said, but what don't I hear it from you, instead?" Rodimus grabs a chair, spins it the wrong way around, and takes a seat, his arms folded over the back, as he leans over it and studies Minimus's droop. "I'd offer you a hug, but--. Well, The offer's there."

“Ah. You’ve talked to him already.” Minimus looks resigned. “I was,” he says. He frowns for a moment, considering the offer. It’s not usually something he’d have to think about, yes or no. He sidles over to Rodimus’s side of the desk. Rather than immediately demand a hug or refuse one, he transfers his lean to the brace of his palms against the desk’s surface and looks at Rodimus with a slightly wilted look, the furrow of his helm weighted over his scarlet gaze. “I was angry. I think I’m done now. We’ll see if I remain done if he has any more choice words about…” The steam begins to wake in him again, firing the tension of his jaw and the spark of his glance as he looks away. He chuffs, shakes his head, and says, “It doesn’t matter. I’ve made my position clear enough, I think.”

Rather than pull Minimus into a hug, Rodimus reaches over to slide his hand across Minimus's shoulder. It's not a hug. But it's an _opening_ for one. "I talked to him a little. I know he's moving fast. It's the way he does things: he sees a goal and he knocks over everything in between to get there. He might be willing to shift ground. But Minimus, what happened? You've talked me out of stupider things."

Minimus doesn’t immediately answer, but given the opportunity, he takes it: he reaches for Rodimus to enfold him in a loose wrap of arms. The warmth of contact he applies like a balm to the lash over his hurt pride. It’s slightly awkward, at angles, but that doesn’t stop him. “He wasn’t listening,” he mutters. He clanks his head against Rodimus’s shoulder as he says so. Thwack. “Or he was listening just enough to find a place to hurt me.”

Rodimus pats Minimus's back as he thwacks into his shoulder. There, there. "I think he felt threatened. Scared. Lashed out because he could already feel it slipping away." He pauses, just slightly, then asks in a dry tone, "Sound familiar?" The twist of his features is apologetic, but he doesn't say it. "He's really scared to lose you."

Minimus makes a low, growling noise in his throat, and draws back again. As much as he’d rely on touch for comfort, it is short-lived, and the fold of his arms over his chest is like a new growth barricade.

"Oh, come on! What'd I say? Don't just growl at me," Rodimus says, reaching out to poke Minimus on the fold of his arms. "Use your words."

“He may feel that way, but he doesn’t really know who I am,” Minimus rumbles dourly. “Maybe it’s too soon for him to know. I don’t know. I never made it easy. On you either.” His gaze saccades back to Rodimus and then away. His fingertips spread across the badge over his chest, and he braces his palm there, hard. “I keep thinking about how much it meant to Drift when I gave him his badge back,” he says, low and sorrowful.

"It's a little hard to get to know someone who folds his arms and growls at you." Rodimus taps Minimus's arms again and then withdraws, moving back to his cross-armed lean against the chair. "It was -- terrifying. And also freeing. To think that Soundwave would know who I was. Of course, it turns out that actually I was just lying to myself because he think he's being polite and not listening and let me be an idiot, so believe it or not, it's not the magic fix I expected. But I get how scary it can be, but I promise you it could be worth it."

Following Minimus's gaze to his badge, Rodimus sighs, rounding in a slump over and around the chair's back. "Meant something to you, too. I don't think Prowl is gonna draw as hard a line. He was listening."

Minimus snorts a little, and reluctantly lowers his arms, his hands touching lightly down to the surface of the desk. “I did…” he hesitates for a moment, shakes his head, and then says, “I was furious with him, and I was … depressed, at how little he understood. I wasn’t -- trying to leave him. I just felt … as though suddenly he was miles away from me.”

Rodimus actually thinks about his next words, and they come out a question: "So what'd you do?"

“Well, when he mocked me for not knowing who I was without a badge, I stormed off so I wouldn’t hit him,” Minimus says with a sharpening crispness to his voice. Then he walks back around the desk and flings himself into the seat behind it.

Rodimus rubs his face. Suspiciously. "Sounds like he owes you an apology," he says, but his tone makes it a leading line. And???

Minimus slouches there in the seat, head falling back against its back. “That would be a start,” he says, staring up at the ceiling.

Rodimus makes an encouraging noise.

Minimus glowers at him. “Then I’ll talk to him about it,” he says surlily.

Rodimus grins at Minimus. "You're so fragging cranky," he says. "Look, use your words. We didn't, enough. I still don't, enough. But you know, it's one of those things I'm gonna _tell you_, and then not do."

“Yes, that sounds accurate,” Minimus grumps. He sits up in the chair, feet spreading in a wide plant, his chin lifting. “Words are terrible,” he says. “But I’ll try.” A beat, and then he says, “You know… I always … felt like you saw me for what I was. At least a little. When we were together. Maybe it’s not actually possible to know another person, what’s in their spark, in their processor. Maybe we only fool ourselves. Pleasantly, sometimes.”

"I'm not sure how much I like that, given how low your own self-evaluation can be," Rodimus says, something dry cutting through the gentle tease. "I'd hate for you to think I ever agreed with it. At our best, we didn't just know each other, we knew ourselves."

Minimus smiles despite himself: a little twitch of his mouth up at the corners. He says, “No, I … didn’t think you agreed with me. I suppose I’m not communicating clearly.” He looks aside. “I think Prowl’s drive and his passion are brilliant. They are part of the appeal. I just never expected that … one of the things he would choose to run over would be me.”

"You remember, how I asked you once, if it bothered you that I'd choose the crew over you--?" Rodimus asks, leadingly.

Minimus scowls, and then the scowl lightens as he forces himself to consider the paradigm shift Rodimus suggests. He closes his hand into a loose fist, and says, “I guess if he were right about banning badges I would have to agree that he made the correct call.” A beat. “He’s not right about it, though,” he insists after that pause. “He’s going to hurt a lot of Autobots with this.”

"I told him that he can't drag people kicking and screaming into the future, and you can't drag him kicking and screaming into a change of opinion, either." Rodimus spreads his hands in a wide gesture and says, "Try a presentation!"

“I believe I have expressed my position as clearly as it is possible for me to do,” Minimus tells Rodimus dryly.

Rodimus starts to argue, then pauses. "You _do_ know there's a difference between expressing your position and convincing someone, right? You do _know_ that you aren't always, inherently right?"

Minimus gives him a sardonic look. “I’m not right by virtue of being me,” he says, “I have been wrong ‘’many times’’. Sometimes I am wrong more than once a day.” He leans forward, helm’s edge lifting as he eyes Rodimus. “I’m right ‘’this time’' because what I am right ‘’about’' is that the impact of a badge is ‘’personal’’.”

"Presentation," Rodimus says. "Think about it. Like I said, expressing your position -- clearly -- isn't enough. You gotta listen. Why am I telling you this? You know this. Slag, you're better than me at it, half the time." He leans back, and waves his hands in various directions, indicative of nothing, really. "Just -- I hope you guys work it out."

Minimus hesitates for a moment, and then nods, his hands clasping loosely together. “I hope so as well,” he says. “We argue… well. I argue with Prowl more than I argued with you,” and his chin lifts as he says so, like, and you know how much I argued with YOU.

Rodimus gives Minimus a slightly skeptical, challenging tip of his eyebrows. What. WHAT.

“I know,” Minimus says gravely. “I didn’t think it was possible either.”

"Well, maybe you'll blunt a few edges on each other if you keep rubbing," Rodimus says, semi-optimistically. Yeah? Maybe. Hopefully.

“Perhaps.” Minimus rubs his middle finger and thumb against the bridge of his nose. After a beat, his gaze widens slightly and his hand falls to his lap. He says, “Did you really come here just to help me with Prowl?”

"Checking on you, too." Rodimus fingerguns at Minimus. "I'm multi-tasking."

Minimus looks at Rodimus’s fingers, and doesn’t quite roll his eyes with the slight shake of his head. “Well,” he says instead, and his hands fold into a loose clasp between his knees. “Thank you. I think.”

"You're welcome. I don't think. You just are. Welcome, I mean." Rodimus pushes out of his chair and rises with a stretch of his limbs and then drops his hands to his hips. "You gonna be okay?"

Minimus nods, shoulders straightening; he stands up, and sidesteps, and neatly tucks his chair behind the desk again. “I’ll be all right,” he says. “We’ll… probably be all right.”

"Okay. Come find me if you need a translator. Remember, use your words!" Rodimus starts to head out, then hesitates, leaning back in: "Presentation!"

Minimus gives him a glower that definitely does not confirm whether he will be making a powerpoint presentation or not.

"Okay byyyyyyye," Rodimus says, and then he's out, and leaves Minimus in peace.

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