They hadn’t really gotten a chance to talk. Sure, Rodimus had been making jokes while getting his repaint, but neither of them had actually sat down and talked. In fact, Rodimus didn’t seem to think they needed to talk, if his demeanor was any indicator. He had been casually flirting since the start of the day, and while ordinarily, Drift didn’t mind, he had actually been hoping to talk. Really talk.
“Roddy, when I asked if there was somewhere we could talk, this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.” Drift gestured to the storage closet they were currently sitting in. There wasn’t a lot of room and they were so close together they were practically touching. He had noticed that as a bit of a trend lately. As often as possible Rodimus seemed to be near him, exceptionally close but, just out of range to actually be touching him.
The one time he had turned too quickly and they had crashed into each other it had been Rodimus apologising nervously despite having not been at fault. It made him wonder for the cause of this behaviour, if it had something to do with the things he had wanted to discuss. Not that there was anyway to know without asking.
“It wasn’t?” Rodimus’ voice seemed almost crestfallen, like there had been some unspoken expectation that Drift had shattered unknowingly. His trepidation lasted only a moment before his easy grin returned. “Well it’s not exactly the most comfortable, but you did say you wanted our conversation to be private.” Rodimus winked. He was trying too hard.
Drift frowned. “Rodimus.” He used the most serious tone of voice he could muster, but Rodimus’ antics did not make that easy. “This is important.” Rodimus’ face fell again for a second, before returning to something decidedly more neutral and Drift waited only a moment for him to compose himself.
“I need you to tell me what’s going on. I--” he paused, knowing that if he took too long Rodimus would try to fill the silence again and he might not have the will to stop him. This conversation had to happen at some point, Drift knew, and allowing Rodimus to put it off hurt them both. “I know things aren’t, will never be, the way they were.” He took a deep breath trying to steady himself.
When he looked back up at Rodimus, the latter’s expression had shifted entirely. It was almost like he was going through the stages of grief while he looked at his best friend and Drift couldn’t understand why. He didn’t know what it was that Rodimus would be mourning, but he knew he had made some kind of an error.
“I don’t want to lose you, Rodimus.” Drift clarified, finally noticing that Rodimus’ hand was hovering close to his own, but not truly touching, just as Rodimus himself had been. He used that opening and took that hand in his own, and before he even knew what he was doing he had pulled them close together.
Their fingers were threaded together and Rodimus’ other arm had slipped itself around him so they were both clinging to each other. Drift knew then, that in this they were the same. Neither wanted to be without the other again. For a moment they sat there, as close as they could be, Rodimus’ face pushed against Drift’s neck, every so often breath hiccuping, as though he were trying to stop himself from crying. Though, even if that were true he wouldn’t have admitted it.
It wasn’t just Rodimus though, Drift found himself overwhelmed in a way he couldn’t let himself be before. When the fighting was still going on, when they weren’t alone, when he didn’t feel like he could be honest with himself. Rodimus lifted his face and they were so close together. Nose to nose, optics brimming with unshed tears and both afraid to make the first move, to destroy this fragile moment.
They needn’t worry about it, as that was the moment the door to their tiny refuge opened and they flew apart like children having been caught doing something they shouldn’t.
There was a stranger standing in the doorway, someone who had been in one of the pods, who seemed a bit at a loss. “Excuse me.” Drift mumbled standing and sliding himself through the doorway. The stranger moved to let him past, both clearly embarrassed.
“Was I,” he paused as if questioning himself, “interrupting something?” He looked towards Rodimus after Drift had left.
Rodimus for his part had tried to disguise his near tears before the other mech could notice anything amiss and laughed, standing up to go after Drift. “No, no” he laughed, patting the mech on the arm before leaving the storage space. “Nothing that can’t be picked up later.” Or so he hoped.
Drift was already around the corner and down the hall when Rodimus had exited the room, so he didn’t hear that comment. Instead he was near a closed doorway when he leaned against the wall to get a handle on himself. He hadn’t meant to get carried away like that, in fact if someone hadn’t interrupted, he might have kissed Rodimus right there.
Not that he didn’t want to, he did. Which, he reasoned, was part of the problem. Rodimus was special, he always had been, capturing Drift’s attention even back before he had become Rodimus Prime. He had wanted to discuss the things that had happened between them, to repair their friendship- the fate of which he was still uncertain about. To think about kissing Rodimus in that moment, it puts all of that in jeopardy.
He placed his head in his hands, there were so many ways for that to go wrong. If Rodimus didn’t look at him that way, it would take what he was trying to build up to and shatter it into an infinite number of pieces, never to be put together again. If Rodimus did it still wouldn’t solve the problem of them of them needing to actually communicate. None of this stopped Drift from imagining though. As much as he told himself not to, he was right back to thinking about what Rodimus’ lips would feel like pressed to his, what Rodimus would taste like. There were plenty more questions he could ask himself but he didn’t get a chance to, as at that moment the mech in question strolled up to him and pulled his hands away from his face.
There they were again, face to face, too close to be reasonable, though the setting was not quite as intimate. He was certain they had been standing there both ages and only a second, as it had been too long to be proper yet felt sudden when Rodimus stepped back.
“Follow me.” Rodimus said, it wasn't a command, but it wasn't a question either. Drift noted that Rodimus hadn't yet let go of his hand, but wasn't forcefully pulling him. He wanted Drift to follow of his own will.
Rodimus pushed the nearby door opened and looked around. they had been in here just earlier, but it was empty now. He looked around the room quickly before finally pulling Drift over towards the teleporter.
“Rodimus what are y--” Drift was cut off by the hand not still desperately holding his covering his mouth.
“Not so loud.” Rodimus whispered, and then letting go of Drift got to his knees and crawled into the teleporter.
Drift made to follow him, but ended up having to squeeze in next to him instead. There was surprisingly little room once you actually got in there. In fact, they'd probably have to use it in single file.
For the third time that day they were far closer than conversation necessitated, and Drift still wasn’t exactly sure why they had crawled in here in the first place. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to be this close to Rodimus, in fact, he wanted that more than he was willing to admit. Having been pushed in close to each other, he could feel the heat radiating off of Rodimus’ body, he always ran hot which Drift appreciated, since he dispelled heat easier than most and couldn’t stay warm. Without thinking he pressed himself closer, just like he had when they spent the night in his berth back on the ship.
Rodimus smiled at him and it was dazzling, not in the over confidence he had in reserve for when he was really trying to play up how attractive he is. No, it wasn’t anything meant to charm and yet it had left Drift without the ability to formulate a response. Rodimus didn’t seem to notice that Drift had been rendered incapable of conscious thought and he’d started talking, reaching for Drift’s hand again as he spoke, the touch forcibly pulling Drift back to reality.
“What?” Drift asked not having followed the last few moments of conversation.
“What?” Rodimus echoed assuming Drift was giving him his undivided attention.
“I, uh,” Drift started and Rodimus looked at him incredulously, “I didn’t catch that.” He finished lamely trying to look anywhere but at Rodimus.
Of course, his best friend wasn’t going to have any of that, pulling him closer, which until that point Drift would have thought it impossible, and tilting his head so they were looking at each other again. Instead of calling him out, like Drift expected, Rodimus just started again, though looking a bit more smug about it than he had earlier, as if he knew something Drift didn’t. “I said, at least in here, no one can walk in on us.”
Drift knew that wasn’t actually what he had been saying, but the ridiculous statement made him laugh anyway. Which would be why he would say later that he didn’t notice when Rodimus pulled him in to kiss him.
It was nothing like what he had imagined in the hallway. There he had been thinking romance, but Rodimus brought them together so fast it nearly hurt, and their teeth clacked together. All in all, it was a bit of a mess, and Drift was in far too much shock to even react, despite that Rodimus bit a little hard and he could feel the desperation almost that was pushed into it. Rodimus’ engine revved, overloud in the tiny space but Drift’s stalled and sputtered while he tried to comprehend what just happened.
Drift only realised he hadn’t moved when Rodimus pulled away, looking slightly frantic. He still didn’t exactly know what to do with himself, so he made to apologise, but just as he opened his mouth Rodimus cut him off, with the most stilted awkward laugh Drift had ever heard. “I guess I really misinterpreted that, didn’t I?”
He immediately made to disentangle himself from Drift, stopping only when Drift spoke “Did you mean it?” Despite Rodimus’ best efforts at pulling away, one of his hands was still holding Drift’s, and they both seemed reluctant to part that last tiny bit. They were frozen again looking at each other both uncertain of the direction this was about to take. Drift shivered, the tension making the coolness of the air escalate.
The silence after Drift’s whispered question went on and Drift almost regretted asking, until Rodimus soundlessly nodded. “Then, could we, try that again?” Rodimus nodded again, and this time Drift took the lead, and they came together much slower. The kiss was softer, though by no means did either of them truly know what they were doing. That didn’t matter though, not so much as what they were feeling, what they were trying to express to each other.
This time they broke apart, slightly breathless and just as Rodimus was about to speak Drift put a finger up to his lips, and they both listened quietly, breath held as someone walked around the room. Drift moved to go see what was going on and Rodimus stopped him, placing an almost chaste kiss to his lips before letting him go.