Knock Out could barely remember a time without Breakdown.
The first time he had ever gotten drunk with Ratchet—which had come only on the eve of their first class of students graduating from the shoddy impersonation of a medical academy the two red mechs had thrown together— he had horribly overshared to the stouter medic. Ratchet had listened to him yarn and snivel til the sun had crested the horizon, offering him a patient look of understanding every time he'd trail off and his optics would flicker to the stasis pod in the corner.
When they had stumbled together to the small barracks they shared with the other medical personnel, and Ratchet had seen to it that Knock Out made the climb into his bunk without falling and wrenching something out of place, the racer let out a desolate sigh and burrowed into his thermal tarp, face crunched in an ugly misery.
“Don't worry, Knock Out,” Ratchet drawled as he wedged himself onto the tiny lower bunk, a feat that required most of his surgeon’s precision even sober. “We’ll fix him one day. Just be patient.”
Knock Out listened as the older medic’s systems relaxed into recharge, red optics staring beseechingly at the ceiling through the leaden darkness. He had heard the same sentiments from so many others since the day he’d switched sides— since he’d come crawling to the Autobots, begging them to take pity on his conjunx once more.
It was… tiring.
He tried to be patient— he honestly did. But each morning he wondered if today would be the day the Autobots would decide keeping Breakdown in stasis was just too costly—if today they would pull the plug. It ground down on him, the fear and distrust, the natural wariness that came from so many millennia of propaganda and war. He just wanted back the only mech he'd ever loved.
He just wanted to be happy again.
With a sigh, Knock Out slipped into an exhausted, high-grade soaked recharge— and dreamed.