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How To Say Goodbye... For Now

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Rodimus stood outside his ship, the Lost Light having landed for the last time. Where his crew, his friends, had once been was now just empty space, a void left where life had once prospered. After all they’d been through, everyone seemed to leave just as easily as they’d arrived.

All but two.

Drift finally exited the ship, slowly- no, hesitantly- descending down the ramp and making a beeline for the flame colored mech standing at the end. He offered Rodimus a weak smile as he got closer, though it didn’t reach his optics, and Rodimus returned it, just as fake.

Neither of them spoke for a long moment.

“So you’re leaving too, huh?” Rodimus’ voice, usually so loud and full of confidence, came out strangled, the mech seemingly choking on his words. He had hoped, prayed, that Drift would be the one to stay. Yet here he stood, averting his optics, his field tinged with regret and apology. Rodimus could feel his spark breaking.

Drift merely nodded, cycling a long vent before he spoke, voice surprising even him with how level it was. “You know I have to.”

“Where will you go?” The question was more of a whisper than anything, Rodimus’ voice cracking mid sentence.

The white speedster shrugged, making a vague sweeping motion with his hand. “Anywhere. Everywhere. I’ve got a lot to make up for, Roddy. So I’m gonna go wherever the wind takes me, and hopefully help some people along the way. I think it’s what Wing would have wanted.”

At the mention of the deceased flier’s name, Rodimus flinched, but pressed understanding and acceptance through his field. He had expected as much.

Drift finally looked up at Rodimus, and Rodimus realized why he hadn’t before now. The white mech’s cheeks were streaked with tears, more streaming down to join the others dripping off his chin. Seeing the other, usually so strong and positive, reduced to tears broke something inside Rodimus. Without thought or any of his previous hesitation, he reached out and took Drift into a crushing hug that the white bot quickly reciprocated.

The poor mech was shaking, and Rodimus was honestly surprised that he couldn’t hear his plating rattling together. “I’ll come back. I don’t know when, but I will. Cross my spark.”

Rodimus nodded weakly, his vents rattling as he struggled to calm himself. He couldn’t let himself break down just yet. Not now. With a shuddering sigh, Rodimus buried his face in the side of Drift’s neck, squeezing his optics shut to stop himself from crying. “You know where to find me.”

Neither mech seemed to want to let go of the other, clinging to the embrace like their lives depended on it. But they both knew it couldn’t last forever, and with a heavy sigh, Rodimus pulled back. “I guess you should probably get going soon, huh?”

Drift made a noise of agreement, though he made no effort to move. Tears that had slowed flowed freely once more, and the white mech wiped a hand across his face to clear them. He sniffled, looking up to meet Rodimus’ optics for the first time since he exited the Lost Light for what would likely be his last time. “One last kiss, for the road?”

Rodimus surged forward and pressed every emotion he possibly could into Drift’s lips. Longing, hurt, need, denial, love, it was all there, in his kiss and in his field, and Drift accepted it all. His own field mirrored the flame colored mech’s, saying everything he couldn’t bring himself to voice as he pulled back from the kiss.

Nothing more was said by either mech as they slowly separated, entwined hands that neither of them could remember joining gently pulling apart. They stood there for a long moment, simply looking at each other, reluctance to leave obvious in both. It was Drift who turned first, squeezing his optics shut, refusing to look at his partner as he gathered himself.

Tension was heavy in the air as Drift made his way away from Rodimus, away from the Lost Light, away from what had been his home for so long. For the second time. It was no easier than it had been the first, but Drift steeled himself. There was no turning back now.

Rodimus watched on, his spark breaking more with every step Drift took, and finally, all at once, the tears he had been holding back began to fall.