Title: Head vs Heart vs Duty
Date: 23 January 2015
Summary: Whirl comes to visit Blast Off in the medbay, who is recovering from the very same sort of wound the Combaticon inflicted upon him not so long ago. When the subject turns to matters of the head vs. the heart and the heart vs. duty, an agreement is reached.
What goes around, comes around, and Blast Off is no stranger to this fact. Not long ago, he shot Whirl in the head, causing a great deal of suffering and introspection for the helicoptor. And now the Combaticon has found *himself* shot in the head by the Autobot Quickswitch. Injured and helpless, he was nearly taken into custody again except for the quick actions of Swindle and swift Blade, who took him to a medical facility here in Vos. One of those ones that treats *anyone*, no (major) questions asked.
And now Blast Off lies recovering on a medtable. His hand is still clenched over the sword that Swift Blade left in his care- a sign that he was among friends and not enemies, who wouldn't have armed him. He couldn't see or hear well and so she had hoped the token of a sword would convey that he was safe now. The shuttleformer hasn't woken up yet, recovering as he is with IVs, painkillers and a heavily bandaged face. His faceplate is gone, though medical mesh still masks a little. But hints of the face underneath are more apparent than usual.
Earlier in the day Whirl found himself bar hopping around Vos, doing his best to enjoy the city he hasn't visted since before his empurata. It was at this time that he was approached by Swivel who told him of Blast Off's condition, and later, the location of the medical facility he was recovering in. She was even so helpful as to lead him right to it should he want to visit the Combaticon, which of course he did. He told himself it was to mock Blast Off for getting shot in the same way he himself was shot, but really he wanted to make sure the haughty jerk was okay.
Getting past the first room was the hardest part, the staff telling Whirl that they couldn't just let him in without a reason. He was told that no one mentioned his name regarding visitor lists and they didn't believe his story about being 'really good friends' with the patient, so he had to get creative. The solution lied in self-mutilation, as most of Whirl's solutions tend to do. When he returned to the hospital with a giant piece of shrapnel lodged in his back (no doubt put there by his own claws) he was ushered into the building and placed in a waiting room that he immediately left as soon as the coast was clear. It took him a while to find Blast Off, the cyclops going room to room and kicking open doors until he found the one with the shuttleformer inside, but when he did.. well.. he wasn't really sure what to expect.
Whirl steps towards the medtable Blast Off is laying on, peering down at him with a flickering optic. "Blast Off?" He leans down to better gawk at his hideous wounds. Damn! That looks like it was a nasty shot. "Blast Off? Can you hear me?"
Blast Off isn't here, Whirl. No, he's back in his old High Rise in Vos- the one he lived in before his fall from grace and landing in the 'wanted" spotlight of the law. He's lounging there now, back on that comfy couch he had. Soft classical music plays from his *excellent* stereo system, and he's flipping through a datapad while sipping some fine wine. There's a tapping on his window, and he looks up.... but this time, it's not Shiftlock, it's....
Whirl? Blast Off starts waking up, pulled from his luxurous surroundings to the baleful glare of a light in the room overhead. Or... wait, maybe it's the light from Whirl's optic? The shuttleformer's vision swims a moment, still rebooting and requilibrating, but it comes back online. The new optic starts syncing with the old one, leaving Blast off with a little bit of double vision right now, and he turns his head groggily towards the source of the noise. "Wrrrr**k**?" His vocal synthesizers also have to adjust, and they begin their own self-repairs as programs reboot and set again.
Whirl is probably the last person Blast Off expected to see right now but that's too bad, it's happening. The cyclops can't help but snicker a bit at the Combaticon's pathetic voice, obviously damaged from whatever it was that happened to him. "You sound terrible." Come on, no one expected good bedside manner from Whirl, did they? "Like, really bad. You sound like you've got a bunch of rusty nails stuck in your throat. No offense. Okay, maybe a little offense, hahaha."
He pulls up conveniently placed stool and sits on it, arms folded on Blast Off's berth. "Yeah, it's me. Swivel told me you got into a fight but she didn't say how bad it was. Are you well enough to tell me what happened?" Not that he cares or anything, sheesh!
Blast Off stares at Whirl, still groggy.... though Whirl's comments finally get a slightly annoyed expression- at least as much as he can manage through all the bandages. Gee, thanks, Whirl. "*gg, thkkkk*" *ahem* The shuttle blinks, the weird rasp of his voice not entirely resolved yet. He glances away, then takes in the medbay room, and stares at that as it comes more into focus. Now he's beginning to realize where he is, and his gaze returns to try focusing on Whirl once more.
He pauses... Voice Sync Repair 92 % done.... 95% done.... 99%... "Whirl."
Now his optics focus on the light coming from the ceiling above. "What am I.... How LONG has it been...?" He blinks and looks at Whirl. "....Happened?" He tries to remember. "....Autobot...shot me...."
Despite his dressings, Whirl is still able to pick out Blast Off's annoyed look and it puts him at ease. If Blast Off WASN'T giving him dirty looks it would be worrying. He leans in close, perhaps a bit too close for the shuttle's preference, focusing on his words and making sure not to miss a single one. "I don't know how long it's been, I just found out what happened but... you say an Autobot shot you? In the head?" OH PRIMUS THE IRONY! The urge to comment on it is almost overpowering, Whirl struggling not to burst out laughing and taunting the Combaticon for suffering the same injury he inflicted on him. Oh yesss, it would be so sweet to see the shame in his optics..
But even Whirl, as terrible as he is, decides this isn't the time to bring that up. He's more interested in learning more details about the fight and how Blast Off came to end up with a bullet through the head. "Do you remember what they looked like? Can you tell me anything about their appearance? Maybe what their alt-mode is? Anything is helpful."
Blast Off winces a little at the memory. "Yes. Slagger shot me *zkt* straight in the he..." There's a blink as it dawns on him that he's complaining about getting shot in the head- TO WHIRL. His optics widen and he stares at the ceiling before ever-so-slowly shifting his gaze to stare at Whirl. WHY HELLO THERE. Um. ".... Yes, he did."
Slightly flustered, now he wants to look anywhere BUT at Whirl. "....You know who it is, I believe. Quickswitch. *crrkl*" His voice is still a little hoarse and staticy, though it keep adjusting and fine-tuning as he tries talking. "The mech who insulted when we were at that... bar." Where Whirl propositioned Blast Off. And that thought suddenly has Blast Off's cooling fans kicking in ...weakly, but they're kicking in.
Whirl visibly tenses at the name. His claws almost instinctively clench, and his optic seems to burn with a sudden intensity. That awful bigot from the bar, the one tethered on the Senate's leash, Whirl remembered him all too well. It was painfully obvious from their first meeting that Quickswitch was trouble, but to think that same piece of slag would be shooting a friend in the head later on.. that's a lot to handle and a rage is burning deep inside the cyclops. He will find Quickswitch again, and when he does he's going to cut his face off and wear it as he puts a bullet between his optics. Oh yes, Whirl has plans.
There's a long moment of silent tension before Whirl lets out frustrated sigh, doing his best to stay relaxed and keep from tearing the room apart in anger. "Hey.." He focuses his attention on Blast Off, cocking his head ever so slightly as he examines the other mech's face. "This is the first time I've seen you without that faceplate of yours. Well, kind of.. you've got all that crap covering some of it."
Whirl's tension becomes hard to miss. Blast off can feel the irritated, loathing energy just radiating from the other mech. Normally he'd consider Whirl far too close, but the shuttle's still too dazed and groggy to be as *OMP personal space* as he usually is. However, Whirl's comment about his faceplate draws a look of confusion. Violet optics flicker and, for the first time, he moves to lift an arm and try to touch his face. It's numb and the pressure of the mesh bandages felt enough like his faceplate that he hadn't really noticed it was gone yet. His hand touches his face and instantly his optics widen. "Where...where is it?"
The other hand pulls up too, snagging on an IV tube at first before he wraps it around to make contact and confirm what the other hand senses- wadded bandages, but no faceplate. Now his ventilation cycles sputter a moment in surprise and he shifts his face away from Whirl as if embarrassed, still clutching his hands to his face. "Where..." He feels almost naked without it. It's an extra shield of protection, of privacy, and suddenly not HAVING it makes him feel awkward. But he realizes- a faceplate isn't going to easily survive a shot to the head. He also realizes it might have helped SAVE his face. That was the other point of having the accessory, after all- a very practical one.
He blurts out before thinking better of it: "I... Oh slag, I must look hideous." Bandaged, exposed, and beaten to slag. Yes, hideous.
Oops. Maybe Whirl shouldn't have said anything, but how was he supposed to know Blast Off was super neurotic about faceplates? Okay, yes, Blast Off is pretty neurotic about a lot of things but Whirl figured he wore it because it made him look cool. Not that Whirl would ever think Blast Off looks cool, come on, that would be silly, right? Nevertheless, the Combaticon's reaction surprises Whirl and for a moment he's afraid the poor guy is going to rip his IV lines out with his frantic attempts to hide his face.
"Geez, Blast Off! Relax! It's not that big a deal!" There's another frustrated sigh. "People lose faceplates all the time, you can get another one. Besides.." He extends an arm, a claw hooking underneath the shuttleformer's chin. It's gentle enough to keep from aggravating the mech's wounds, but it's enough for him to steer Blast Off's head to face him dead-on. "I can tell you've got a nice face on you, even with your injuries. Maybe when you finish healing you'll let me see the whole thing."
Oh, if you think THAT was spazzing out, you should have seen Blast Off a few cycles ago. As it is, the shuttleformer is still trying to avoid Whirl's gaze when the cyclops hooks him under the chin. Weakened and woozy, he doesn't have much ability to do anything but be guided by that claw to face Whirl optic to optics. Those meet and the Combaticon stares. Usually he'd be flailing and jerking back by now because /personal space/ and also /trauma/, but he doesn't have the strength.
And- oddly enough- the truth is that Whirl's claws and singular optic that is SO far removed from anything even *resembling* a femme's face and form (thanks Feint) that Blast off doesn't have the same panic reaction he does with anyone else he's met trying similar moves. It's part of the strange relationship- and possibly even a smattering of trust?- that's been developing between the two. Not that he's /comfortable/ with this, either... but he's not going to panic and hurt himself- yet. He simply relaxes a little, unable to fight or be tense too long. And as for what Whirl says, well.... yes, those cooling fans are definitely kicking in now. He glances away, despite his face still turned towards Whirl. "I.... uh...." There's a brief look at Whirl. "....Thank you. I... I was..."
His optics narrow in thought as he continues gazing at Whirl. "I... apologize."
Moves? What moves? Whirl putting any kind of moves on Blast Off is a completely ridiculous accusation! Sure he considers Blast Off a friend, perhaps even a good one despite all the fights and trying to kill eachother thing they sometimes do. And sure, maybe he's taking Quickswitch's actions personally because of a silly thing like his feelings for the Combaticon. And yes maybe he DID proposition the mech for interfacing, but all of those things are completely unrelated and..and..
The claw hooked under Blast Off's chin traces down the mech's throat, settling somewhere on his chest. The tips touch ever so gently against a seam in his armor, Whirl's own cooling fans kicking it with a quiet whirrrrrrrrr. He coughs a bit, his attempt at disguising the noise both obvious and futile. "Don't apologize, it's fine.."
His claws twitch a bit but he manages to pull them away, his head turning to glance at literally anything but Blast Off right now. "Uhm.. soooo..." His gaze slowly returns to the Combaticon. "I know you've been busy getting shot in the head and all, but have you given any thought to my offer yet?"
Blast Off really *shouldn't* be reacting quite the way he does as that claw traces down his throat, but it's hard to hide the cooling fans still hard at work there, giving everything away. *gulp* Violet optics glances nervously away. Normally, he would be trying to protest more but the IVs, damage, and just plain weariness have muted his reactions. They've also muted at least a little of his standard denial. Denial just takes... too much ENERGY right now.
"I... It's just that..." A black hand comes back up to hold his head again, while the other returns to gripping that sword. "I know what this feels like now. I am... sorry." There's another distinct *gulp* at that last question from Whirl, then a long pause filled only with the sound of quiet voices in the hallway- and those cooling fans. "Not ....yet." He shifts his gaze to some random spot on the wall. "I mean.... I have thought about... I just mean... I haven't decided yet."
There's another long awkward silence before Blast Off, apparently suddenly chatty (for him) asks softly, "You... really think we'll be fighting soon?" Of course, "we" could mean he and Whirl, or all of Cybertron.
Whirl's head is swimming with thoughts a certain Combaticon would describe as 'extremely uncouth.' So badly does he want to sink his claws deep into Blast Off's armor, to hear the mech's gasps as he peels his heat shields back. As inticing as these thoughts are, Whirl can't help but feel a little guilty at the same time. For Primus' sake, the poor guy is sitting in a hospital with a bullet hole in his head. "Ah, shut up you haughty nerd!" Whirl laughs a bit, though it's a strained, awkward laugh. "Look, just.. stop apologizing, okay? I said it was fine, so it's fine."
The cyclops says nothing in response to Blast Off's thoughts regarding his proposition but he becomes more talkative when asked about his thoughts on the impending war. "Don't you? There's already enough evidence to support the theory. You think that psychopath would've gone after you if you weren't involved with the Decepticons? The more you guys make a name for yourself, the more often this kind of thing is going to happen. And you think the government is just going to let Megatron and his army, because that's what it is, do that sort of thing? And what about the Autobots? They're flipping terrible too!"
He pauses for a moment, gaze lowering. "And.. me. You. Us. I'm your enemy. I'm the Decepticons enemy. How much longer will you and I get to sit down and talk like this? I'm sure any Decepticon that brings Megatron my head woul be greatly rewarded, what are you going to do should that situation arise? If a team mate tries to kill me, or if /you/ have to kill me?"
"..What if I have to kill you?"
Blast Off can't be feeling TOO bad, for Whirl calling him a *nerd* gets a fairly decent *HUFFFF* from the shuttle. Though it is followed by a short coughing sputter or two. He gets sober fast, though. ".... Yes. I think it's only a matter of time before war, or something like it, breaks out." He admits quietly, turning away. "And yes, that Autobot's head has been filled to the brim with hatred towards anyone who dares question the established order." There's a *snort*. "For all I know, they're ALL brainwashed." He manages a brief shake of his head at that. "I need some better weapons... better equipment. That mech shouldn't have been able to take on a *Combaticon* and win." There's a proud bitterness to his tone. Quickswitch's own considerable skills don't factor into this, obviously! "I'll win next time."
Then Whirl brings up another harsh reality of the looming war. There will be no "we" then, that's for sure. Still.... Blast Off stares HARD at that random spot on the wall- and sighs. "I... I don't know. I think for myself, I don't mindlessly follow every order... I don't like being told what to do... "
As Whirl goes on, Blast Off looks increasingly somber. Another long silence follows at Whirl's last question. Blast Off doesn't want to kill Whirl. He realizes that now. Orders or not. But when you're a soldier, you don't get to pick and choose the orders you follow. His gaze flickers through the room. "I.... I don't want..." Pause, seacch for an easy answer that isn't coming. "I don't want to kill you, or vice versa. But.... soldiers sometimes have to follow orders. It's simply ... the way." His head turns to gaze straight at Whirl. "We will do what we have to do, Whirl, and we will do our jobs to the best of our abilities if we have duties to fulfill. Orders to follow. I expect nothing less.... from either of us. We're both fighters. Neither of us is soft. Neither of us should try to be." His grip tightens on the sword- not an aggressive move, but seeking... an anchor right now. Stabilization.
"I think I am... getting tired."
This is why Whirl spends most of his time drinking or getting high; it's easier to put the reality out of his mind, to not think about what horrible things the future holds. He thought he had seen the worst of it, but he knows that was only the beginning and it's a tough fact to face.
"I don't want to kill you either, but you're right. Soldiers don't get to pick which orders they choose.." He brings a set of claws to his face like he was trying to hide behind them, to hide a pained expression he's physically incapable of showing. "This is why I want to have that.. experience with you. I wasn't being completely honest, my propostion had to do with more than just Shiftlock and preserving her memory. I.." Ugh, this is tough. This is really tough. "I like you a lot, I want to know you on a deeper level, and I'm afraid that one day I'm going to wake up and we'll be at war. Or dead! You almost died just earlier, for slag's sake! You could've gone offline forever and I'd never get the chance to.."
Whirl rises to his feet, claws clenching the edge of the berth with enough pressure to leave indentations. "...You're right. You're absolutely right.." He's starting to feel sick, the flurry of emotions he's currently experiencing a bit too much for him to handle right now. Or maybe it's that massive piece of shrapnel sticking out of his back; he had totally forgotten all about it until he looked down and noticed the puddle of energon around his feet.
"Yeah, you should rest up, I've taken up a lot of your time already." Whirl turns and makes his way towards the exit, though he pauses in the doorway. "I'm glad you're okay, Blast Off."
Those claws come up as Whirl almost looks to be hiding his face and Blast Off can't help but watch them gleam in the dim hospital light. Whirl's confession causes the shuttle to flicker between a nervous embarrassment at the subject matter- and the occasional gaze back at the cyclops that *almost* looks moved by the fact that Whirl was actually /worried/ about him. He has his own "whirl" of emotions surfing through his inner psyche. "I...I...."
Whatever he was going to say is interrupted by that sudden realization that Whirl is actually INJURED. The Combaticon blinks, staring at the wound. "You.... uh... Do you need someone to see that?" But no, the other mech is already out the door. Blast Off looks rather... unguarded and thoughtful as Whirl pauses in the doorway. "..." After the heaviness of their discussion, he just can't think what to say. So he nods, clenches that sword once again and soon slips back into recharge.