Rodimus woke up screaming. His frame was literally on fire, the surface underneath him sizzled with heat. He couldn't see anything beyond the flames, and his processor raced with complete fear and desperation. His vents spun and he began to hyperventilate.
I'm in Nyon, he thought through his panic. Nyon is burning again. Because of me.
"No!" He screamed. Rodimus knew Nyon had finished burning vorns ago. He'd walked through the ashes himself.
But this felt so real.
He felt as if he couldn't move, as if he'd been cooked into paralysis. Maybe his injuries disabled him, perhaps he wouldn't walk out of this.
Only then did Rodimus hear the desperate call of his name.
Who would want to save him, when they could just let him burn in the consequences of his actions?
There it was again. A Rodian accent, worried and upset. He knew it so well—
A tight grasp on his arm. Rodimus gasps, finally breaking the terrifying trance he was locked in. He grabs on, and is quickly pulled out of the flames.
It's Drift. His cooling fans are running at full speed. His face is relieved and exasperated.
"Drift," Rodimus gasps, breathing heavily from the simulation—so real. He sees his berth, up in flames. He caused this, his undisclosed outlier power had shown up at the worst time. "I...I'm so sorry."
He's extremely hot to the touch, his frame sizzling and popping. He kicks on his cooling fans.
Now he hears the blaring smoke detectors, and the door being kicked open by Inferno. The firebot sets to work immediately, spraying a loud blast of water over Rodimus's berth.
Both of them get caught in the spray, luckily, and it begins to cool Rodimus down.
Rodimus slowly pulls his gaze from the rushing stream of water and the dying flames to Drift.
"You saved me," he whispers. "Are—are you hurt? Did I burn you? I'm sorry, Drift, I—"
Drift pulls him into a tight hug. Rodimus thankfully wraps his arms around Drift as well.
"I'm fine, Rodimus. I'm fine because you're alright."
That brings a small smile to Rodimus's face. Drift doesn't see it. "Thank you, Drift."
Inferno eventually gets the flames to vanish, and he approaches the two of them to make sure they're okay, and Drift and Rodimus thank him relentlessly. Rodimus'll, he doesn't know, give him a Rodimus Star in the morning.
Both of them have had night terrors before. Drift would dream of the lives lost at his servo, of life it the gutters of Rodion, and Rodimus would dream of Nyon or his newest failure as a captain.
They would comfort each other, preparing whatever the other needed to calm down, to be soothed. That's what best friends did, after all. Also one of the main reasons they moved in together.
But it had never been quite as extreme as this. Never had Rodimus woken up in his body's own flame. He supposed he'd flamed out during the night and the fire had spread since. Never had he felt so distant from the present, never had he felt as if the present did not even exist at the moment. It was absolutely horrifying.
When they pull apart, Drift noticed the drops of lubricant that travel down Rodimus's face. He brings his servos up to the sides of Rodimus's face, and wipes his tears with his thumb.
"Nyon?" Drift asks. Rodimus nods, looking out into the nebula that glows brightly outside the window in the captain's habsuite.
"Would you like to lay in my berth tonight?" Drift sees Rodimus's soaked and burnt berth, and sees Rodimus, a mech who obviously shouldn't be alone right now.
Rodimus nods again. Drift escorts Rodimus to his bed, and gets him situated on the berth before lying down beside him.
"Do you need a blanket? Energon?" Drift asks.
"No, thank you," Rodimus says quietly. "Just...just hold me, Drift, please."
"Of course." Drift doesn't bat an optic at the request.
He wraps his arms around the captain, bringing his close to his chassis. The ex-Prime sighs in content and relief.
Oh, Rodimus loves Drift so much. He loves to be so close to him, to hear the steady beating of his spark, to listen to his kind voice. Rodimus cares about Drift more than anything in the galaxy, Rodimus loves him. They always have loved each other, as friends, but this was something different entirely.
"I love you, Rodimus," Drift whispers to him.
"Drift," Rodimus says. The swordsmech looks down at him, and Rodimus tilts his helm upwards and brushes their lips together. Drift stares, astonished, into his optics. Rodimus says, "I love you, too."
For once they have a peaceful night.