Title: Grumpy People
Date: 15 November 2014
Summary: Breakdown is grumpy. Blurr is annoying. And weird.
Zoom zoom zoom! The tracks at Ibex are alive once again. It's between matches but plenty of racers are out there for a warmup to get their fuel lines running hot, and plenty of excited spectators are watching them speed along. It's quite the exhilarating sport, and no wonder so many mechs are practically addicted to it. It's a nice distraction from the unrest that's been brewing, especially lately. If you don't think about it, it doesn't exist any more, right?
Blurr finishes a lap and pulls into the racers' lounge for a break. He plops down into a seating area and picks up a box of pink energon sticks, you know those sticks that look like Pocky sticks except made of energon.
As a sportsmech, Breakdown has a certain specialized nature, but that does not prevent him from enjoying other racers at their play, and the general maintenance and hauling work he does has its place at any track. So it's not actually that surprising seeing him lurking around the Speedia, if it might be mildly more odd seeing him idle, lurking around the racers' lounge: as now.
He sees Blurr, however momentarily without his entourage, and contemplates him from a distance with a dour look on his face that probably simply occupies his features on general principles, as ground state. He rolls across the asphalt to come to a halt nearby, where he reverts to root mode, and very politely, or at least, very politely for Breakdown, says: "Hello."
Blurr looks up at Breakdown, and it's apparent from the look in his optics that he does recognize him. "Ohhh, hey!" he greets, with an amiable grin. "You are--uh, uh, uh, I'msorryIforgotyourname." He admits, looking mildly sheepish. The racer always forgets people's names. "Imean." His optics brighten slightly. "Was it Blowout? No, Breakup!" The speedster looks especially hopeful at -that- particular guess.
"Breakdown." Breakdown does not appear particularly bothered to have been forgotten; but for the narrowing of his glow-bright gaze, it elicits little reaction. For true offense, the gap between expectation and reality must be wider. He drops the knuckles of one broad hand onto Blurr's table in a weighty shift with a quiet crink of metal against metal in the resettling of his weight. "I helped Feint," he says, providing a helpful, dry-edged primer that even goes further: "You ran into me last the last time you followed that idiot Hot Rod into a storage closet." 'That idiot Hot Rod'. It's his new name!
Blurr nods quickly. "Yeah, yeah I remember you, I'm just bad with names, okay? I have a lot to remember!" he chuckles, and holds out the box of energon sticks to offer Breakdown some. "So what have you been up to Breakdown?"
"Ah." The sound exhales in a low sigh past the teeth of a frown as Breakdown glances down at the energon sticks. Very delicately, he takes one between pointed fingers. He studies it with more care than one traditionally applies to Pocky. "Helpin' get this place back up to speed, I guess," he rumbles. "The usual scrap." He does not further define the 'usual scrap', although there is an unusual weight to his scowl as he glances back at Blurr. "What are you up to?" he returns the question.
"Yeah, and what 'usual scrap' is there aside from 'getting this place back up to speed'?" Blurr prods further. He's just interested in Breakdown's life, honestly. He leaves the box open and sets it down on the table in front of them. "Oh, racing, training, talking to people. I guess it's 'the usual' for me, too." he says with a shrug. "Life goes on."
Breakdown shrugs. It's hard to say whether he is uncommunicative in general or in specific. In any event, he does not share decepticon demolition derby with Blurr at this time, either out of some lingering sense of self-preservation or just on contrarian principles. He grunts, "I dunno. Scrap. Guess life does go on. For some more'n others."
Blurr raises an optic ridge at Breakdown. "What do you mean, for some more than others?" He inquires, genuinely curious. Did he lose someone recently?
"Same old grind for some people. Doesn't really matter what you do. Lot of scrap in the news about Nova Cronum," Breakdown rumbles on a, perhaps unsurprisingly, surly sort of breath. He narrows a look at Blurr, weight settling back on the wide plant of his heavy feet. "You heard."
"Oh, yeah, I heard about that!" Blurr says with a nod. "I'm glad they took that place down, I heard some really disturbing things about it. All's well that ends well, right?" he grins, and takes another stick. "I wish I could have had more of a hand in it, but you know. Two jobs now and all that." he says, waving his hand around vaguely.
"Yeah, it was disturbing all right," Breakdown rumbles in a low snap of restrained temper, if that's not paradoxical. He grumbles right on into, "Though I wouldn't say it was much /more/ disturbing than the /other/ time I helped pull somebody out of an Institute. 'Cecpt maybe the news reports afterwards."
"'An' Institute?" Blurr looks confused. "I mean are you talking about a different institute, because I think there was only one evil one. Or are you talking about something else?" There was only -one- evil lab full of tortured sparks wasn't there?
Breakdown stares at him with disbelief for a beat spent silent, and his brow weights more heavily with the force of his scowl as he shifts his weight again in another heavy clank, pointed fingers closing tight around the pinkish sheen of the energon stick. He just says, "I meant where we got Feint."
"Right, and I'm pretty sure that was the same place." Blurr confirms, nodding. Why does Breakdown always look so mad, he wonders. And so he speaks his mind. "Why are you always scowling like that?" the speedster chuckles. "It's good that they were brought down! You should be happy!" Is Breakdown ever happy?
"Yeah, that /is/ good," Breakdown says, a little sidetracked from storming arond about geography (which might have been next), "it's /great/, but the news reports about it are total scrap." He should probably avoid watching the news. Especially political news. It just spikes the blood pressure. Or-- whatever the appropriate valve-related Cybertronian biological equivalent would be for that. "Decepticon terrorists /never/ put any fragging bombs in that place. It was wired to blow before the 'Cons ever set foot in those tunnels." That's right, Breakdown, complaining about how terrorists are portrayed on TV is really a great and constructive way to improve your image.
Blurr arches an optic ridge at him. "Yeah, they always have to spin it make themselves look good." He shakes his head. "But how do you know that? Did you know someone who worked there? Or were you there yourself?" The racer asks, looking seriously intrigued.
"Sure, I was there," Breakdown says with a snort, casual and dismissive in his claim to fame: "Pretty sure Hot Rod dragged in everybody he ever met. I was surprised I didn't see you zooming through any of the walls. Knock Out's a good medic, had to have somebody there to help all those prisoners whose frames were all bent out of shape."
"Oh, well good work!" Blurr says with a smile, and a light pat on the shoulder. "Hot Rod's a good mech." he says fondly. "He has hope. And optimism. Lots of it. Which are two things that a lot of people could really use right around now."
"If they can /find/ any," Breakdown says, hereby demonstrating a large part of the problem. He glances across his own shoulder pauldron, and then shakes his head. After a moment he grunts, "Thanks," because it occurs to him that it might be appropriate to express something other than general argh.
"I know, right but that's why we need people like Hot Rod around." Blurr replies. Primus, if Hot Rod were -here-..."He practically radiates the stuff." Still smiling, he leans back in his seat a bit. "Hey, no problem. You know, you might not the friendliest mech around but you're not bad."
Breakdown makes a noise a little like gears grinding and a little like another of his 'arghs' -- it is a noise that bespeaks frustration, a dour noise that matches the usual cast of Breakdown's features. "If he were here he'd probably be sucking up," he says, "and tryin' to get into higher stakes Speedia races than he belongs in, 'cause he's a little punk and that's what he does." Or at least, it's what he did. Breakdown is vaguely annoyed by this unwelcome and, perhaps, slow-dawning realization that he is going to have to be forced to continually revise his opinion of people based on their actions. Stupid new information.
Blurr chuckles. "Hey, hey. Lighten up on the guy. He deserves more credit than he gets. Certainly not perfect but he does his best you know?" In some ways, he is a lot like Blurr. "After all he did help spearhead the efforts down in Nova Cronum, if not for him then they might still be doing all those terrible things to people!" He smirks a little. "He does kind of have a pretty ridiculous paintjob, though."
"Yeah." Breakdown is democratic about this agreement: a low sigh of a noise, resigned. He can't argue, not really. Finally he goes, "Whatever. Makes sense you like him." He doesn't actually go into any detail there, either. Instead, he scrapes a little backward in a drag of heavy feet over the floor. "Anyways."
"Oh yeah?" Blurr tilts his head sideways a little. It makes sense that he likes Hot Rod? "Why's that?" he wonders aloud. "Well, a lot of people like him. Why else would they even listen to him? He's not exactly intimidating."
"'Cause he's all over you," Breakdown explains, because Blurr has to find fans wherever he can take them? No. Breakdown frowns again at the question of why anyone would listen to Hot Rod. He opens his mouth to answer, and then closes it again over a faint "hrr" that does not actually resolve into words. At length he says, "I got no clue."
"It's because he has that charming personality, of course!" Blurr laughs a little. Yeah, charming personality just like Blurr's. Because Blurr has such a charming personality, why else would everyone love him? The racer smirks. "Well--yeah, I guess he is kind of all over me, but who isn't anyway?"
Breakdown gives Blurr a look, and announces, "I am /barely/ polite to you," as if this is a badge of honor somehow as opposed to like, a personality flaw.
Blurr waves a dismissive hand. "Well, whatever you're you. You're like that at everyone." He generalizes, because that's all he's ever seen of Breakdown. So it must be true. "I meant like, normal people. Most people."
"Hrph." Breakdown makes the grumbly noise, but does not disagree. He shrugs, and grants Blurr 'normal people'. "I guess. Little punk." Right? Barely polite. Look, it's the same category as Hot Rod. How ... nice. "Least the track's open."
"Hey!" Blurr laughs and punches Breakdown playfully in the shoulder, which probably barely feels like anything to him because the speedster isn't exactly strong in the first place. "Are you always this grumpy and scowly all the time?" he chuckles, poking at his chassis.
"No I'm not," Breakdown retorts (not terribly believably). His arms cross across the bulk of his chest, he eyes Blurr in great skepticism and asks, "Are you /poking/ me?" (Like it's hard to tell what's going on.)
"Well when -aren't- you grumpy and scowly then?" Blurr asks. "Name a time, seriously. And yeah, I'm definitely poking you. Can't you feel it?" he keeps poking. Poke. Poke.
"I'm not grumpy when I'm racing," Breakdown lists off. "I'm not grumpy when I'm fighting." I.e., winning. "I'm not grumpy when I'm -- what is the /matter/ with you, anyway?" He swats pointlessly at Blurr's hand.
Blurr can be pretty annoying sometimes. Okay, a lot of times. Most people just aren't around him enough to realize it. And the fact that he's so fast just makes it even worse. He just keeps pulling his hand away every time Breakdown tries to swat him. "You seemed pretty grumpy when we were fighting back at the Institute. I don't think I've ever even seen you -not- grumpy. I've never seen you race, though, hm."
"Sometimes I'm downright friendly," Breakdown states despite all evidence to the contrary. He takes another step back. "I have /friends/, even. Just. I ain't /comfortable/. I ain't flexible." Both of these things are true, although he might be missing part of the thought. Scowling a little, he shakes hs head.
"What do you mean, exactly? You're not comfortable or flexible?" Blurr keeps asking all these questions. That's another annoying thing about him. "Not comfortable or flexible with what? People? Friends? You're physically uncomfortable? Is that why you're grumpy all the time?" He just...he talks -so- fast. It gets hard to keep up with him. He tries though, it's just that whenever he has a lot to say he tends to speed up quite a bit.
"People," Breakdown says. He grimaces distinctly as he eyes the speeder and his rapid chatter. His pointed fingertips tick across his own neck as he scratches behind his head, as if to smear away some tension by touch. "Maybe I'm just grumpy around /you/, Blurr," Breakdown ... grumps at him.
Blurr sadfaces at Breakdown. "But...why?" He's so lovable! Right? Riiight...
"Because you /poke me/," Breakdown says. It's possible that he has a cause and effect problem.
"But I only poked you a few times." Blurr argues, pouting. Well okay, it was more than a few times, it was probably more like fifty times but it only felt like a few times to him. "Besides, you were grumpy at me even -before- I started poking you!"
"You were poking me with your--" Breakdown gestures. It's not a very clear gesture. "I don't know," he says. Maybe it's that he can feel his maturity level dropping every time they talk. He scowls some more. If it goes much further, he'll be like a scowly robot toddler. "Maybe I was. You're full of yourself." (This from somebody who hangs out with Knock Out on purpose.)
Yeah, look at Knock Out! Blurr -definitely- brings that up. "Well you hang out with Knock Out all the time. -He's- even worse than me!" Okay, that's debatable. Yes, sometimes when you hang out with toddlers and kids, you start to act like one of them. Maybe that's what happening here. "So there."
"He is not," Breakdown growls with a slight lowering of his head. His defense of his friend is immediate and, well, ... defensive, a prickle of rising barricade like a porcupine raising its quills. "He works very hard at everything he does and everything he is. You don't work at anything. You don't have to. It's all just fancy from morning on down with you. He's earned every last anything he's got."
"Hey!" Now it's Blurr's turn to get defensive. "Yes I do! I work hard too! Just because I'm more successful than you are, that doesn't mean I don't work hard." he folds his arms. "I still have to train, and stuff! He's just jealous, I bet!"
"You wouldn't know hard work if it shined your tail pipe for you," Breakdown sneers back at Blurr across the mighty gap in between their castes. It's just traditionally the sneering goes in the other direction.
Blurr pouts. It's not his fault he's high caste. "Look I never claimed to know what your life is like, but you don't get to claim you know what my life is like, either!" he insists. "So you don't have the right to say anything about it!"
"Hnh," grunts Breakdown, on the end of a shrug. He turns aside, preparing to move off and, perhaps, cede Blurr this minor victory. "Guess not," he says, although it is not the most /convinced/ of sounds that he has made in the duration of his life.
Of course, Blurr's definition of 'hard work' is nothing compared to the work Feint used to do in the mines, and the work many who are still stuck down there are forced to do every solar cycle. Yeah, he's a bit spoiled. "No! -Absolutely- not! Anyway, point being, Knock Out is pretty full of himself, too. And he's grumpy like you. Maybe that's why you get along so well, only grumpy people get along with grumpy people."
"Whatever," Breakdown says over his shoulder. Getting the last word is probably not possible considering how quickly Blurr can talk; but he does shifts modes and starts rolling his grumpy way back out of the racer's lounge. Vrrrm.
"Whatever?!" Whatever?" Blurr exclaims and dashes in front of Breakdown. "Don't you 'whatever' me!" Why doesn't Breakdown like him? Everyone is supposed to like him! Well, except crazy criminal people who are his enemies, like Blast Off and Drift. "What makes Knock Out so much better than me anyway because you think he works harder?"
"Because he had nothing but his wits and his speed," Breakdown says, engine idling in a low grumble as he stands in place for a moment. "Because he's the best racer he can be and the best mechanic he's learned to be even though he's started out a low down scrag heap bottom feeder just like me. He may come off arrogant but it's not because of anything he didn't learn or do for himself."
"..." Blurr looks frustrated and distressed. He doesn't know how to answer that. It's...such a foreign concept to him. "So that makes him better than me? But--" But he stops suddenly, apparently calming down very abruptly as his face seems to go blank. "I must go--duty calls." The racer says, his voice sounding rather...monotone, and not like himself at all. And then he is gone in a blue and white blur of motion.
Breakdown waits in his wake for a long moment of blank silence before his engine stutters to life again with a kind of snort and he rolls on his mildly baffled way.