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Ratchet could always tell when Drift was feeling down. The swordsmech would be quieter, a little subdued, the bright force of the “positive energy” he tried to exude noticeably missing. (Not that this meant Drift’s efforts worked, of course, just that his lack of exuberance was seen and felt.) And, well,now he was worried. 

Not that he’d say it in so many words.

But he knew exactly where to go, because Drift always went to the same place when he was low: an observation deck on the starboard side of the ship, one less popular than some of the more spacious ones. The view was no less spectacular, however; it was still a treat to watch the stars drift by — or in this case, pass by a nebula birthing stars that, from a certain distance, looked like fledgling sparks flickering to life.

Framed in front of the observation glass was Drift, as Ratchet expected. The light of the stars and the nebula seemed to dance over his glossy white plating, but Drift’s optics were shuttered. He looked like he was attempting one of his meditations. Ratchet pressed his lips in a hard line at that thought, but he kept it to himself, at least. 

Ratchet sighed and walked forward, cautiously approaching Drift’s side. “Hey kid.” Drift peered up at him, but was quiet for the moment. Ratchet quirked an optic ridge. “Room for one more?”

Drift shrugged. “Okay,” he murmured.

Not the most flattering response, but Ratchet would take it. He sat down next to Drift, grunting as he made his protesting limbs cooperate. To think, he had once flopped down and hopped up off low floors like this with ease. But this… the drawn lines of Drift’s face, the way his EM field sulked and withered as close to his own plating as possible… Ratchet sighed. “So,” he said after a long moment. “Something on your mind?”

Drift shrugged again, back to not looking at Ratchet. Helpful.

Ratchet just shook his helm. “I got working audios if you wanna talk, Drift,” he said, and the offer surprised even himself — but it was no less genuine.

"What about a shoulder?" 

Ratchet had already been so resigned to the silent treatment that it took him a moment to recognize that Drift had spoken, however softly. “Huh?”

By way of answer, the speedster wrapped his arms around one of Ratchet’s and lowered his helm to the medic’s shoulder. Ratchet blinked his optic shutters and then — a soft grunt. He lifted his other hand to stroke Drift’s helm gently, watching the younger mech’s optics shutter again. 

"Okay, kid," Ratchet said softly, and he let Drift press close in his arms as he watched the stars go by.