From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Location||Cassettes and Soundwave's Habsuite|
|Summary||So long, partner.|
Penchant hadn't been trying to hide his "packing", but for Soundwave's sake, he timed cleaning out their shared closet when the latter was out at meetings. It had been harder than he thought. Gifts from Soundwave, one after the other, carefully stowed in a crate after Penchant spends a somber moment looking them over. He can't see any other tape in the habsuite, but that doesn't mean they're not watching, somehow.
The question whether Penchant is alone or not is quickly answered when the habsuite door opens and Soundwave walks in. He's certainly not alone now. Soundwave comes to a stop just a few steps into the hab, his gaze snapping to where Penchant is. He freezes. The door closes. There is silence.
Penchant turns and looks up. He has a that little foil origami deer in his hand. It's set aside, gently. "Soundwave... Can you spare a few minutes?"
Tension rolls across Soundwave's frame, neck cables going taut and shoulder drawing up. But he nods. Its short and curt. He manages to get his legs working again and he walks over to the berth. He thunks down on it without a word.
Penchant stares at him from across the room. "I'm leaving. I'm going back to my colony, or what's left of it. I have to help the survivors rebuild." He looks down at his open palms. It barely helps. "I think you already knew."
"Yes," Soundwave says quietly. "I know." A long exvent cycles through him, alleviating some of the pressure from the strain he's putting his own body under. He shakes his head and looks over to Penchant. "Why are you doing this?"
Penchant seems confused by the question, and then a little defensive when he responds, "I have to. I-" ... "I fulfilled my duty as your cassette, and I need to move on. Not because of Rodimus, and not because I'm upset with you. This is a personal choice."
"No, that is not-" Soundwave shakes his head and gestures to Penchant. Where he is packing up, alone. "Why are you sneaking around?" he clarifies. "Do you believe I would try to stop you?"
"No, I don't think you'd force your will on any of your cassettes," Penchant says, firmly. "I just... didn't want to upset you. Or maybe I didn't want to see you upset. It might make me rethink my decision," he says, voice tight.
Soundwave sighs and turns to better face Penchant. "I'm not upset," he says. "I am just... I will miss you a great deal when you do go. Penchant, come here. Please."
Penchant approaches, ever anxious. He avoids Soundwave's visor, optics darting, fingers curling. It's clear there's words on his tongue, but they remain there, lips pulled into a frown. "..."
Soundwave reaches and-- He stops, hands hanging in the air for a moment before moving to brace against the berth. He slides himself off so he can crouch on one knee before Penchant. He stares at him, examining the angles of Penchant's minibot body. Then- he pulls Penchant into a tight embrace. "Of course I will miss you, we all will. But you have my support, always, no matter your endeavor. If you would like to go... I would like to help you."
Penchant returns the embrace without hesitance. He buries his face against Soundwave's neck, and mumbles against it, "...Thank you." It takes him a few extra shaky moments to draw back, but not out of Soundwave's grasp. "You weren't so... personal when I first met you. You said you wanted to be less... scary," he says with a sad chuckle. "I'm glad you were able to create relationships for yourself. I'll miss your dry jokes sorely."
"You've been my teacher, my friend, my fraggin' rescuer too many times." He pauses for another half-laugh. There's more to say, but he's struggling.
Soundwave squints. "I do not believe jokes can be wet, Penchant," he says sternly. Then he pats Penchant's head... And ruffles it. "It's okay, I understand. I love you too." He pulls Penchant back in for a close hug again.
Penchant curses, fingertips digging into the edge of Soundwave's deck. "Love you." He'll accept the head ruffle. "Maybe you could come visit? When everything's... patched up. And hey, if you want to help, give my colony first pick of the relief supplies when they come in. Um, at your discretion."
Soundwave laughs- short and wry. Even now, Penchant is angling for the best deal. He gets another head ruffle. "I'm not sure how much say I have in that but I will do my best," he promises before releasing Penchant. And he takes a moment to look at him again. He taps the brim of his helm. "You've grown," he observes, words warm with with pride and joyful sorrow. "But you may still need assistance reaching the top shelf- would you mind if I..." He nods to Penchant's packing.
Penchant smirks at the tap on his helm brim. "It's a nice height. I get a nice view." He looks at the closet. "Sure, you can help. You should keep my deer frame. Just in case. But make it fold back into a tape, would you? It looks a little weird standing up in the dark corner there." He takes Soundwave's hand to try and drag him over. The closet has been more or less unfurled, with everyone else's belongings strewn about. Penchant promises he'll put everything back where he found it.
"If you insist," Soundwave says, hauling himself up to go to the closest. He treads lightly, not wanting to crush anything. "Oh, Penchant. There are a few extra things you need to pack, if you have the room. I... Made something. For you. A going away present. If that is alright."
Penchant looks up among his belongings, poised at his crate. "Yeah? I'm sure I'll have room. Roomy shuttles are easy to procure now. What is it?"
"It is... Nothing much," Soundwave confesses, reaching into a compartment at his side and carefully removing the contents. "But I thought you would enjoy being able to put your name wherever it is you settle." He crouches down and holds the gift out. A nameplate that reads 'Penchant of Altihex' in gold letters, and its nestled within the rack of two antlers.
Penchant takes the antler'd nameplate, turning it over in his hands. "Has anyone ever mentioned how good you are with crafts? Just, in general?" he asks, smiling. "Thank you. I'll set it on my desk, if they ever let me have a desk again." He drags his thumb across the lettering, fondly. "Could you... tell Rodimus he's welcome to visit as well? I was kinda' cold with him, last time we spoke."
Soundwave doesn't mention how he glued a datapad to his hand while constructing that gift. No one has to know. "Thank you. I am glad you like it." He reaches out to rest a hand on Penchant's shoulder. "I am sure he would be happy to hear that. Settling on Cybertron does not seem to be... Settling well with him." There's a pregnant pause as Soundwave really thinks about that. And then quickly throws it into a pit to deal with later. "Hmm, are you sure you can carry all of this yourself?"
Penchant shrugs. "This frame is made for carrying. That said, I wouldn't mind the help. It'll take a few trips to the docking bay." He hoists his crate and hands it to Soundwave. He's all smiles now, a weight off his spark.
Soundwave takes the crate, chassis humming quietly. "While we head to the docking bay, we should make a stop at logistics. You have another, larger gift waiting for you there. Try not to break this one."
"Drone?" Penchant guesses, and takes off without Soundwave. NYOOM.
"Yes, it is a- Penchant!" Soundwave 'hrfs!' as he's abandoned but he follows. He'll catch up at the lift.