Title: Trouble and Trust
Date: 28 October 2014
Summary: Drift's in trouble; Blurr is totally trustworthy.
A public transport pulls up to the platform, it's lights blinking as it slows to a stop at the station in Nyon. The passengers all disembark quickly. And just as the transport is about leave, the very last passenger stumbles off of it, leaking energon onto the platform.
The passenger, Drift, manages to walk over to a street bench and sit down heavily, as dusk settles on the city. Heaving a sigh, he looks around, hoping to remain unnoticed.
The quiet dark stretches just long enough that Drift might think he's going to get away with it. He is left alone, which is almost like being unnoticed. Citizens of Nyon fairly quickly learn how to spot trouble, largely so that they can avoid it.
Hot Rod only got half that lesson.
The last of the light plays across the brighter gleam of the golden flames on his hood as he zips the dirty, narrowed streets in the general direction of Altihex. He passes the platform, then catches sight of Drift. Hot Rod tumbles into a transformation and hits the ground moving at a quick stride to catch up to him. He follows the line of puddled energon. "Drift! How bad is it?"
Drift looks up and sees Hot Rod, and then quickly tucks his left hand (the one with missing fingers) behind his back. "It's nothing," he says, shaking his helm. "I'm fine." He inches away from Hot Rod a little, avoiding optic contact. He looks tired and his optics a little dim.
"New rule." Hot Rod takes a knee next to Drift and reaches for his hand. Stop it! He saw that! Not sitting down next to him could be considered giving him space -- but reaching for his arm sure denies that. "Don't lie. I won't lie to you, either. I saw Arcee. She told me you hit Altihex and that she and Prowl shot you."
"No!" he moves away from Hot Rod. "I'm fine." He doesn't seem to be in the mood for talking. He glances at Rod momentarily then looks away again. "..." He just inches away from Hot Rod more, his hand still behind his back. "You're not a medic."
Hot Rod has never been very good at controlling his expression. The flash of frustration that breaks across his features is both obvious and swift. "Drift, stop being such a slagging idiot." There's a moment where it looks like he might sit back -- but of course he doesn't, because when presented with a challenge, what he tries to do is pull on Drift's arm /harder/. Because /that's/ a brilliant idea. "I might not be a medic but I can tell you're bleeding!"
"Agh!" Yeah, that's painful to Drift so he takes his hand out from behind his back. "That wasn't my point, yeah you can tell I'm bleeding but you can't really do anything about it because you're /not/ a medic." He sighs. "It's nothing, really," he grumbles. He tries to fold his arms but that doesn't exactly feel that great when you're missing fingers.
Ha! Hot Rod wins. (He's a bad friend.) "'Fine'," he says. "'/Fine/'. At what point do you stop being fine, Drift? Losing a whole arm? Wait -- no, maybe your leg. Then let's /get you/ to a /medic/. So that I can start beating it into your helm that not all Autobots are the same."
"Yeah," he says grumpily. "And at what point do /you/ stop? Hell, I bet you'd cut off your own arm for show," he says. Rod can't deny that. He will. One day. "Fine, fine! We can go back to Ratchet's house. But I don't trust anyone else."
Yeah, but that's just to spite destiny. Hot Rod would have a /completely logical and reasonable cause for it/. "Fine. Ratchet. Come on. And I'm serious about the lying thing. Why do you think you have to tell me you're fine when that trail of spilled energon would make it obvious to an idiot?" Shifting back and to his feet, he offers Drift a hand.
"I'm not lying," he says, but he takes Hot Rod's hand anyway. "You thinking I'm lying, because you think I'm not fine. But I think I'm fine. Well, mostly." He pauses. "When did you meet Shiftlock?"
Hot Rod makes a noise. It is a very difficult noise to describe. It includes a growl, a huff, and general noise of frustration. "You were shot, you're bleeding, and you're missing fingers. You're an idiot." Getting to Ratchet's is going to involve more public transportation and people very carefully not looking. "I met her -- mm, I don't know, a while ago. Before she, ah, left Ratbat's employment. I hadn't realized you guys knew each other at first." He figured it out, though! Eventually.
"This isn't even half of what you looked like when those mercs beat you up, so look who's talking. Careful not looking? With /you/ next to me? Pft! Good luck." He scoffs, looking away, but leans on Hot Rod for support. His leg isn't in very good shape. "Yeah... thanks to /Arcee/," Drift mutters.
"Ugh, they didn't beat me up," Hot Rod insists. Maybe they damaged his processor. Maybe he lost his memory. Because there is no possible to define what happened as anything less that beating him up. "I'm pretty sure I didn't try telling you it was 'fine', either! What's Arcee have to do with you and Shiftlock? Or are you blaming her for-- whatever happened. What did happen?"
Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrm is the sound Chromia makes, weaving from the east road with the gleam of her headlight ablaze as she warps and wefts round obstacles real or imagined, though she is probably not still performing evasive maneuvers based on likelihood of shark.
"Don't be a stupid slagger, of course they beat you up! Yeah, but you got all mad when I tried to carry you to a medic, that's the same thing!" Drift says, annoyed. He holds up his left hand that's missing three digits. "Uh.. hello?! This?" He groans. "What happened? She shot me, dumb aft, what do you /think/ happened?" He shakes his helm.
Suddenly Blurr. He tends to do that. He's been tagging around with Hot Rod off and on. Though at the sight of Drift, he looks a bit wary. Since the last time he saw the mech, he'd tried to kill the racer. "Well of course you got beat up Hot Rod, it was three on one and you're no Sentinel Prime." He chuckles, poking playfully at him. Well at least Drift doesn't look like he's in any shape to try to murder Blurr at the moment.
"Why did she shoot you," Hot Rod growls with visibly wearing patience. It should be noted that he at no point tries to move away from Drift or lessen his support. He's just ... an ass about it. "Maybe I better carry you. You look like you're having trouble with that leg. Wouldn't want to hurt your hand, either," he adds, because /that/ makes sense. He jerks his head back when Blurr busts him: "I didn't -- oh, forget it." He accepts it. He got beat up. "Hey, Blurr."
Blue motorcycle sheen zooming on past suddenly slows, circles back, fixes the three of them in the beam of her headlight. Chromia can't make a skeptical face in her vehicle mode ... can she?
Drift doesn't look happy that other people are crashing their bro party. Especially people like /Blurr/. He scowls at the newcomers, but doesn't say anything. In fact, he's starting to get this far away, angry look in his optics that probably is going to spell bad news for someone. It's also likely that he didn't hear what Hot Rod just said, since his only response is an almost inaudible, "I'm gonna kill her...."
"Hey I think I recognize you." Blurr faces Chromia's motorcycle form. "I saw you at the archives, right?" He examines Drift. "Whoa, what happened to -you-? You look like you went through a waste compactor or something." Back at Hot Rod. "Who's he trying to kill -this- time?"
"Why don't you try not killing her." Hot Rod squints against the beam of light, lifting his other hand to shade his eyes and make out who it is. "Chromia?" he asks, a little uncertainly. Glancing between Blurr and Drift, he shrugs. "Starting to think it's himself, the rate he's going."
Chromia reverts to root mode as she moves forward into the light of the station. "I'd ask if you were following me," she says, "but obviously not," since he was here first. Framing her hands at her hips with a faint scowl written across her expression, she says, "Hello, Hot Rod." Look, she knows his name now. Both syllables. "Hello, Blurr." She knows his name, too. And she might even know whether or not he is important.
...Oops, did he just say that out loud? Heh-heh, he kinda forgot Blurr is standing right there, and that Chromia is also nearby And saying stuff like that in front of a blab like Blurr and an Autobot isn't exactly a good idea. Drift snaps out of his red zone and deadpans, first glancing over at Blurr then over at Hot Rod. "N...ahh, I'm not going to kill anyone," he hurriedly corrects himself, "I was just... saying-- you're... gonna.. kiss her? Right?"
Well, that just came out. "I mean," he blunders on, "she's really, really into you. She told me the only reason why she wasn't trying to rip my spark with her bare hands was because of you. And I even .. kinda slapped in her the face! That's some major dedication. She must be madly in love with you." Drift doesn't know where he's going with this. Except that words just came out of his mouth and he can't stuff them back in...
"Uh...what?" Blurr folds his arms. "No, I'm pretty sure you said 'I'm gonna kill her'. Who is this 'her' you're talking about already? Do I have to ask you more than twice? Primus you're slow." He grumbles. Though he seems slightly intrigued by what Drift is saying. "So wait really?" The racer peers at Hot Rod. "Someone's into you?"
"Nope. Innocent," Hot Rod has the audacity to tell Chromia. Even if it is technically right in this instance, it still sounds silly. A moment later Hot Rod facepalms with a thunk of metal on metal. He drops his hand and reaches around to check Drift's head for signs of damage that might've rattled his processor loose. "He's talking about Arcee," he finally answers Blurr, "and given that he thinks he's /fine/ right now -- by the way, count his fingers! -- I'd call his judgment pretty severely impaired. Maybe she just didn't want to kill anyone, Drift."
Chromia looks extremely skeptical. It is possible that she is skeptical of Hot Rod's innocence. It's possible that she is also dubious that Arcee is madly in love with Hot Rod. These are both extremely dubious propositions. She steps forward, fingertips angled down and to the side from the breadth and curve of her hip as if to linger on some weapon that she isn't actually holding just at the present moment. She glances at Drift assessingly at the sound of his name and then back at Hot Rod again with slightly narrowed eyes.
"Yeah," Drift says hurriedly, "She really likes Rod. I mean, she has every good reason to want me dead besides," he says, engaging Blurr in the topic since it appears that he's interested in the topic. Anything to divert the subject away from the fact that he also wants to kill Arcee, especially since Chromia and Blurr are pretty much standing RIGHT there. He flicks Hot Rod's hand away from his helm. "It makes sense, doesn't it? She didn't even flinch, even though she relayed to me that she hates my guts." He nods at the other two mechs. "What else? There's no stronger motivation to do anything except love."
Blurr smirks at this. Haha...does Drift really think that? "Arcee? Oh...right. I think I met her a few times! She's a nice fembot. So she just...told you? Confessed she wanted interface right in your audials?" He looks somewhat incredulous at this.
He claps Hot Rod's shoulder teasingly. "You know, maybe you should give her a chance, she's certainly easy on the optics."
"What? Don't give me that look!" Hot Rod raises immediate protest at Chromia's skepticism, but it's the narrowing of her eyes that truly makes him wary. He leans away from her. "What? No, Drift -- Blurr, come on! Knock it off." He bristles, prickling right to the tips of his spoiler. His shoulder squares tense beneath Blurr's hand. "You're just trying to change the subject."
"I leave lots of people alive that I don't like much," Chromia tells Drift with every evidence of seriousness. "Against my better judgment. Without being in love with anybody."
So-- she's helping.
Canting her head, she turns the steady weight of her gaze upon Hot Rod. "That's just my face," she states, though now it is with the hook of a smile at half her mouth, amusement sardonic but real. "It's how I look."
"Well.." Drift shrugs. "I don't know you, maybe you're an exception. Besides, you did say that it was against your better judgement. Not liking is a pretty weak phrase anyway, in comparison to how she feels about me." Whoa, okay, Blurr is really interested in this, more so than Drift expected, but he's very relieved. "Have you ever interfaced with anyone?" he asks. Although who he's addressing isn't terribly clear. Maybe Hot Rod. "<Look. Talking about the issues I'm trying to work on front of these people isn't okay by me. Just roll with it>" Drift comms Hot Rod.
"Yeah." Blurr answers honestly. "Have you? But really, tell me what happened." He prods further. "Why'd she confess it to -you-?" It seems he -really- wants to know. "You know, in the process of shooting your hand."
"Well, then I don't like your face," Hot Rod tells Chromia. He is definitely a winner with femmes. What a charmer.
<< /Issues/ that you are /trying to work on/? >> Hot Rod comms back with a whip of his head to Drift that is as much for what he speaks as what he comms. "This is really -- we should get you to a medic," he says hastily. He's a mech with flames on his chest, so he has a reputation to keep that this conversation is absolutely not helping.
Chromia's smile flashes hard and bright. "Good," she says to Hot Rod, tone crisp.
The incredulity seeps back into the lines of her features beneath the winged sweep of her helm, and she glances across the other two with a face that says: rly?
But it's just her face, probably.
This is.. kinda getting out of control, but Drift can't really stop it. He didn't know Blurr would be so.. gossip-y. "Uh. She.. shot me in the hand, knocking some of my fingers off, saying she couldn't believe I was so ungrateful to Hot Rod, he was a mech worth interfacing with. Because he was the only reason why she wasn't serving me up on a silver platter for spark extraction." He looks grossed out and intrigued by Blurr's response to his question about interfacing simultaneously. "<What about you? Have you ever interfaced with anyone?>" Clearly Drift doesn't even feel like discussing his problems with anyone right now, not even Hot Rod.
"Oooh." Blurr nods, looking intrigued. "Wow. That's pretty intense. Where was this?" He just keeps wanting more details. But then another breem passes and he changes the subject abruptly again. "So Hot Rod when are we busting up that lab?" he asks, his optics eager again. "I mean like will it be in solar cycles? Megacycles? Stellar cycles?? Or even longer or what?" Hot Rod might be getting the opportunity to find out why Blurr is rather annoying if you hang around him enough.
"What do you mean, good?" Hot Rod's outrage is muted by general embarrassment. He knocks Drift's shoulder -- harder than he ought to knock a poor, injured spark. "You are so full of it. All I did was ask her to let me talk to you before anyone did anything that they couldn't /undo/. Including you." Ducking his head, he huffs at Blurr. "Timeline's -- variable. I need to talk to some people. I want to do it right."
Blurr keeps prodding. "Well I mean don't we have an estimation at least? Who else do you need to talk to and who have you already talked to I mean me and Feint and Chromia right and who else?" All the questions. He just doesn't stop, no.
"What do you think I mean?" Chromia stares at Hot Rod for a moment, and then levels a glance on Blurr. "Yesterday. It happened already. You missed it," she says flatly.
"Altihex. At the lo--" But then Blurr just changes the subject. Drift's optics narrow. Blurr is starting to annoy him. A lot. What the slag is he talking about, busting into the Institute? Blurr isn't going, he thought he already made that very clear to Hot Rod. "Full of it?! What the hell! If I'm full of it, well you're overflowing!" He winces a little when Hot Rod knocks him on the shoulder. Then he glances around, looking nervous before grabbing Hot Rod's hand with his good one and dragging him away from the other mechs. "<Fine. Let's get the slag out of here. I tried paging Ratchet, he's not home and I don't think we can get in--c'mon. I bought you a new place on the other side of Nyon. We need to talk, privately. About.. everything>"
"It's all kind of fluid," Hot Rod says a little helplessly, a lot overwhelmed. omg planning is hard. "I'll let you know, Blurr," he promises, but he's distracted as much by Drift's wince as by the drag. "I really need to get him to a medic. Sorry guys," he tells the blues, then steps to catch up to Drift. << You did /what/ -- no, never mind. You're right that we need to talk. If we can get Ratchet, I'll find someone. >>
"Heywhereareyougoing!" Blurr chases after them--and has no trouble catching up. That's the thing about him. It's hard to get away from him if he doesn't want you to. "I know it's fluid Hot Rod but can't you at least tell me who you've talked to thus far besides Chromia and me and Breakdown? I mean you want me to help right?" He just...looks like a little kid who is worried that he won't get to help rake the leaves.
"No." And Drift is the dad from Magic's 'Rude'. "The answer is no. We don't want your help. So leave us the slag alone." He's gripping Hot Rod's hand like his life depends on it. He increases the speed of his stride, even though that probably isn't going to do any good. "<Yeah. I didn't think your old place was very suitable for anyone to live in so... yeah. Don't worry about a medic. I'm not going to trust anyone besides Ratchet. We can talk now and worry about me later.>"
Chromia watches them leave, but she doesn't stalk them any further tonight.
Hot Rod starts to look ... uncomfortable. "Haven't really gotten that far, Blurr." He holds up his free hand in a placating gesture, and pushes aside the discomfort for a somewhat strained smile. He's certainly managed brighter smiles. "I'll comm!" He matches pace with Drift, though they certainly aren't going to be outrunning him.
A look of frustration crosses Blurr's face for a moment...why won't Hot Rod give him the information he's asking for? Is he suspicious? He ignores Drift's negative answer, continuing to match their pace. "You don't -really- expect me to believe that, do you? Come on Hot Rod, I thought you trusted me." He pouts. "I mean, don't you at least know who you've talked to?" he -has- to know that, even if not a timeframe. "I mean I'm at least thinking right that we're hitting the one we hit before right?"
Drift gives Blurr's face a hard shove. "Get lost. He doesn't know, so just leave it alone already." His optics narrow dangerously at Blurr, and his expression turns somewhat murderous. He continues dragging Hot Rod along with his one good hand. Between Drift leaking fluid on the ground as he walks along and holding Hot Rod's hand tightly, they are starting to gather a few stares.
For a moment, Hot Rod turns his hand against Drift's in a hard clasp. He cycles a long breath, straightens, and then he gives Blurr an easier smile. "Sorry, mech. I've been kind of slow after Kaon. Sure, I trust you -- I just haven't gotten very far. Haven't even gotten to talk to Feint, yet. Let her know I'm looking for her though, would you? I really have to get him to a medic, though. Let Feint know!"
Finally, Blurr gives up after Drift shoves him in the face, continuing to pout. He didn't even answer the question. At all. Okay. Fine. They don't trust him. He shrugs and turns around. "Sure. Sure you do, Hot Rod." Is all he says.
Drift just pulls on Hot Rod's arm more, tugging him away from Blurr. He really hates him hanging out with Blurr, and /trusting/ him like that, especially since it's likely Blurr is just going to sell them out. "Let's go," he says to Hot Rod. "I think the furniture guys are going to show up at your new place any minute now.."