Title: Good Idea, Bad Idea
Date: 26 October 2014
Summary: Shiftlock and Drift catch up. Shiftlock is confused. Drift doesn't know what he wants.
Shiftlock has taken up residence with Hot Rod (SCANDALOUS) in Nyon, simply because she has nowhere else to go. It's been a trying day to say the very least, and she's taking some time in a comfortable corner of an old warehouse to sift through the suddenly decompressed memories of her former life.
SHE CERTAINLY ISN'T EXPECTING DRIFT TO SHOW UP OR ANYTHING.
Of course she wouldn't, she probably has no idea about the unlikely yet brotherly bond he's struck with Hot Rod. He surprise visits Hot Rod a lot. Although, they aren't so much surprise visits, really, Hot Rod's place is pretty much his second home. Or, only home. Since he doesn't really have a home right now. Okay, so he sort of lives with Hot Rod. Sometimes they share a berth (shhhh).
Drift climbs in an open window, completely oblivious to Shift's presence. "Rod? Hey, are you home?" Then he sighs, shaking his helm. The guy is hardly ever home.
"Dad's not home, leave a message," Shiftlock calls out to Drift. She's busy with a datapad in her hands and her attitude towards his surprise visit is about as blaze` as it gets.
Drift whirls around, pleasantly surprised by Shiftlock. He grins, and doesn't reply, instead, he runs over to her side and scoops her up a like a bride and carries her into the living room. He presses his helm against hers. "How'd you know Rod?" he asks playfully.
Color Shift surprized, and even pleasantly so. She figured Drift would not want to see her and/or be trying to kill her. "OH! Well, he's sort of in charge of me right now. I'm working with him. There's a slag of a lot I need to tell you."
"Good," he says, setting her down on the couch. But his expression turns grim when she says she needs to tell some.. slag. "...what?"
"Okay so I was two people," Shiftlock begins. Yes, that's going to make things a whole lot easier.
"... okay," he says. He sits down on the couch next to her. "Go on," he presses."
"I'm a nameless empty, Drift. A defective. I can finally remember everything, trace it back to the beginning. The guild assessors didn't like me, said I wasn't worth keeping around, that there were too many of my frametype, so they had me marked for smelting outside of Polyhex. I was only a few hours old and they were gonna kill me," Shiftlock explains. She reaches over to take one of Drift's hands. "I remember being on a truck of scrap and being dumped into a smelter, but I -- I don't know how but -- I managed to jump and climb over the trash and make it to the edge and climb out. No one noticed me, so I ran to the dead end."
"That's where the recruiters found me. I was scared and running on fumes, and they promised me safety and help if I just went with them. I didn't know any better so I did, and that's when I wound up in that room with Ratbat and Tarantulas. Turns out I'm "Project Shifter Locked". They had captured a Mutacon and they forced her to combine with me. They were using element zero to keep her drugged and fused into me, so that I could do whatever Ratbat wanted, and so I could use her abilities. That's why they kept erasing what was in my head, too, to make sure I didn't remember any of that."
"Well, I ran out of ezero and got very sick, so Hot Rod took me to the free clinic, and that's when the Mutacon, Mercury, finally de-merged with me. She asked Hot Rod to look out for me and left, because she has a whole colony to take care of."
Shiftlock pauses and looks into Drift's optics. "So this is me. A defective empty. A shell."
He just takes her hand and squeezes it, pulling her into his lap. "...do you remember the first time I met you? I was on a circuit speeder but I still remember it so clearly. I remember asking you if it hurt when you fell from heaven." He laughs. "I was damn embarrassed after the drugs wore off.."
"I remember. I remember a lot more than I used to," Shiftlock replies, chuckling softly. "I remember breaking you out of jail, and you trying to sell drugs in Maccadam's. I knew at that point that I needed to make sure you were okay, and that I didn't want to let you out of my sight."
"And I always would call you really weird nicknames when I was on my drug trips. I could never remember what I said afterwards either." He smiles. "Yeah I remember you breaking me out of jail. I couldn't believe you did that..."
"I felt like I had to protect you." She shakes her head and looks aside. "Can't do that very well now, though. You've made some enemies, Drift. I met some of them, and they'll be gunning for you, and I won't be able to stop them. I can't shapeshift anymore, and I don't have any weapons other than my fists."
He cups her face gently. "You don't have to. You never had to. You shouldn't have felt like you had to do anything. But you did. You broke me out of jail, and made sure I didn't overdose on the street. You also never embarrassed me by bringing up all of those slagging stupid things I said to you when I was drugged. So all of that stuff that happened to you before, it doesn't matter. It doesn't define you. You might be a nobody in the optics of the government. But you're somebody to me. You're my somebody, my everything."
"I thought you didn't want me around you anymore. You said that you weren't any good for me, you asked me to leave you," she points out. Did he get hit in the head or something? He seems to change his mind more than Mercury changed their combined body.
"Doesn't mean I don't still love you," he says, and pushes her down onto the couch and lies down next to her, placing an arm gently over her chassis. "Are you gonna kiss me or not?" he whispers in her audio receptor.
Cue Shiftlock being even more confused. If this were a comic she'd have ?! over her head like Whirl being hugged by Cyclonus. Nevertheless she doesn't squirm away or fight it, she wants to see where all of this is going. It's new and -different-. "Well," she muses playfully, "If you /insist/." And putting an arm around Drift, she fullfills his request.
He grins and pulls himself on top of her, pulling her closer to himself and running a hand slowly up and down her arm. Then he rolls off the couch, laughing.
Shiftlock is... less than amused.
In fact, she is so incredibly unamused that she sits up, and lunges for Drift to pin him to the ground!
Drift just lets her pin him to the ground. Then he grabs her and rolls over, so that she's underneath him now. He presses him helm against hers, grinning.
Well that just makes Shiftlock angrier. "You -aft-," she growls. "You're not funny, and you're about five nanokliks from me burying my foot in your tailpipe!"
He gets off of her, shrugging. "Sorry, I was just playing." He starts walking away.
"Is that all this is to you? Playing and games?" Shiftlock asks, seriously. "Asking someone to kiss you and then laughing at them isn't exactly a great joke Drift, unless you just -want- to make me mad."
He just gives her a really confused look. "No.. I--" He seems completely unable to articulate what he wants or is trying to say. "I'm not trying to make you mad. I would never try to make you mad." He hugs her apologetically.
Shiftlock is concerned by the erratic behavior Drift is displaying. Mood swings? More like mood polarity shifts. She nevertheless hugs him back and sighs, anger leaving him. "ohhh you're so confusing Drift," she mutters exasperatedly against his neck.
"I think you should try again," he whispers in her audio receptor. "I won't laugh this time..."
"Lockdown is looking for you," Shiftlock remembers and states immediately. It seems important to let Drift know, especially since Lockdown is pretty good at finding people wherever they hide, and this seems like the beginning to a death scene in a horror movie.
He sighs. "Why am I not surprised. Well, if you see him, tell him the gig is up. The effort and the resources spent on trying to kill our given targets exceeds what we were offered originally. I'm done. We can go collect the bounty--and then, it's over."
"He said I owe him and that he's going to collect from me some day," Shiftlock notes, wondering if she should be concerned.
Drift's optics narrow. "Don't worry about it. If it's money he's after, I'll pay him off. If not well, then.. we'll have to .. negotiate."
"Yeah, I was thinking about that. I'm going to have to get money somehow... I was thinking about fighting in the gladiator pits," Shiftlock says cheerfully.
Drift just raises his brow ridges at her. "If you want money, I can get you all the money you need. No need to get torn to shreds trying to pay off a debt. Besides, that's not happening, not on my watch."
"What, me fighting isn't happening? C'mon Drift, I'm my own chassis. I -want- to fight. I'd really prefer to be able to pay my own way in life, not that I don't appreciate the offer." She grins. "I broke you out of jail, I -think- I can handle a few industrial workers."
"No, you getting shredded like a piece of scrap metal. Okay, I know you can fight. That's not what the gladiator pits are. They are death matches. And you don't get paid well. I mean, what are you, crazy? Even if you won every single match, you'd still be in debt to Lockdown for the rest of your life. You can't even shape shift anymore, what are you going to do? How are you even going to survive down there? I have a hard enough time even walking past the pits." He gives her a serious look. "I'm not kidding."
"War's coming, Drift, I need to be ready, and I know what the matches are," she points out. "How come you get to go out and put bombs in people and shoot them for money, and you blow off my concern for your wellbeing, but when /I/ want to train and earn some money, then it's a problem?" The fembot smirks. "C'mon, fair's fair. Besides,' she says, reaching to her thigh compartment, "You seem to have forgotten something."
She tosses a Decepticon badge onto the floor of the room. "I've already been."
"The pits are not a good place to train. It isn't likely you'll be able to pay off your debt trying to fight down there. I already told you, I'm trying to be better." He sighs, his triangular helm extensions sagging sadly, his expression mournful. He turns away from her, shoulders drooping. "But hell, what can I do. I can't stop you. But if you die down there, I'll be following you to your grave shortly after."
"No you won't. Someone has to keep Hot Rod from getting himself killed," Shiftlock counters with a laugh. "So, where would you recommend I train? I'll take good advice when it's given, so don't count me as a lost cause yet."
"....Maybe." Okay, so Hot Rod had succeeded in stopping him from killing himself before, its likely the little slagger would manage to pull it off again. "I know a guy. He's a Decepticon, too. Loaded. He just handed me a ton of shanix, saying that there's no strings attached as long as we help bust a certain group of individuals out of Institute. He told me that if I needed any favors, he'd lend me a hand. He owns a flight school too, apparently. I don't really trust him. But it's a better option than you going down to the gladiator pits and getting shredded." He gives her the saddest look known to Cybertronian kind. "Please.. at least go see him before you make a decision about going to the pits," he begs, taking her hand.
Shiftlock considers that Drift has no idea what sort of sharks she's been swimming with - and eating whole. She's in deep with the dirtiest of the Senate, and she knows what strings have been pulled and why. Maybe its better if he doesn't now how deep the rabbit hole goes. "What's his name?" she asks.
"Starscream." He frowns. "He's kind of hard to miss." He pulls her closer to him. "You'll go see him first, right?"
Shiftlock cannot resist a big scrap-eating grin. "I'll -definitely- go see him."
His ventilators shoot out a gust of relieved air. He hugs her tightly, nearly crushing her. "Thank Primus. Please don't go the pits. I don't want you to die." He clings to her.
Shiftlock can take it, she's a big girl. "Only if you promise not to put yourself in danger bounty hunting," she replies cheekily.
"I promise," he says hastily, "I won't." He gazes at her lovingly and squeezes her hand.
"I want you to do what your spark says is right," Shiftlock says. "That's what I try to do. Never force someone to compromise who and what they are, try not to take life if I can help it, try to save and protect others when they're in danger. I know you want me to be safe, and I want you to be safe, but life doesn't always let that happen. So stand with me, and I'll stand with you, and we'll do the best we can with what we have."
"I'll try," he says softly. "But you know, it isn't that easy," he says. "And you'll admit too, that I'm a terrible person." He looks away, ashamed.
"Like I'm not. I worked for -Ratbat-, Drift. Who has two thumbs and picked up the checks from Clench?" Shiftlock thumbs at herself. "/This femme/."
"Yeah, but you've never willingly killed or hurt an innocent. I've done that. Too many times. I just..." he trails off. "..." He walks over to a window to his left and stares out of it.
Shiftlock watches him sulk. "Do I have to 'face you to get you to feel better?"
Drift says "No.." he just quietly. "I don't think that will do anything..." he gazes out the window blankly, sighing."
Shiftlock sneaks up behind Drift and puts her arms around him. "What if I -want- to then?"
He smiles and turns around. "I won't object to that," he says, hugging her. "But.. it doesn't change anything." he sounds melancholy again.
"All you can do is forgive yourself, try to make amends, and move on," Shiftlock murmurs to Drift. "It's all anyone can do."
"I try, I swear. But sometimes, at night.." he shakes his helm. "I can't even recharge properly. It keeps me up. I dream about the past.." He sighs. "It's so hard to just forget about it and move on, when even involuntarily, I see it."
She reaches up and strokes the side of Drift's helm. "Then you shouldn't be alone at night. It's getting late. If you're hanging around, I'll keep you company tonight."
"Thank you, but that doesn't always help. When Rod is here, I don't have them. But he's not always around, so.." He shrugs. "I just don't take recharges on the nights when he's out."
"Sounds like he's the one you should be 'facing," Shiftlock smirks.
He frowns. "Uh, he's not here right now so.." He pauses. "Were you trying to hint at something else?" Drift gives her a puzzled look.
She stares for a moment. "Interfacing? Hello?"
Drift doesn't get it. "....so we shared a recharge slab a time or two, were you trying to get me to admit that? I'm not really embarrassed, if you were trying for that." He just looks utterly bewildered.
"...." Shiftlock giggles a bit. "That's not what I meant at all. I mean... you know. Connecting to each other for a mutually pleasurable experience? Hardlining? Cabling? Any of that ring a bell?"
"I don't know any of those weird-aft terms," he says, looking uncomfortable. He walks over to the couch and sits down, patting the spot next to him.
Probably a good thing Drift does not know what Shiftlock and Blast Off did once while both thinking they were going to die a few hours later. She wanders over and has a seat. "So you've never interfaced, huh? Guess you're pure as white ore. Me... can't say the same."
He just gives her a disturbed look. "Okay, I don't want to talk about this anymore. No, I have never interfaced with Rod, I hope that answers your question."
"I wouldn't mind if you did. If that's really who you love, who am I to stand in your way?" she replies, completely relaxed about it.
He doesn't look relaxed. Instead, he just moves away from her, his helm extensions twitching. "Okay.. enough about that now," he says.
Shift sighs and gets up. "All right, all right, you win. But I'll tell you this much, sweetfins, when I'm ready to settle down with the mech I love, I'm going to want to interface. /A lot/." She puts her hands on her hips. "So I'll be looking for someone who can handle talking about it." Gently she adds, "Might as well rest up. I've got work to do tomorrow - not the pits, but work."
"Okay, we can talk about it," he says hastily, grabbing her hand momentarily before she leaves. "Later, though. I need some time to.. think about it." He gives her a sad look. "Stay safe, okay?"
"Will do sweetspark," Shiftlock nods, trying to reassure him. "See you around."