Rodimus idly rubbed the carvings in his desk, thinking about the memories and emotions behind each one. This one, a spark with ‘Drift + Ratchet’ written in it. He’d carved that during one of Ultra Magnus’s lectures on ‘proper greeting protocol.’ Please. Like anyone would ever address Roddy with more than a ‘Hi’ or ‘Hey Rodimus.’
A knock on the door startled him out of his thoughts as he looked up. A mild amount of confusion ran through him. In his experience, the only members of his crew that knocked before entering were Magnus and Megatron. Given that the latter was currently on his off-shift, Roddy assumed it was the former. “What is it, Magnus?”
There was a pause before the door slid open, Thunderclash stepping inside with an uncharacteristic blush on his golden cheeks. A mixed feeling of disgust, happiness, and something else knotted in Rodimus’s tank. Ever since Thunderclash had joined the crew, he’d started to like him more. But he couldn’t shake off the feeling that Thunderclash just put on a show, a glorified act to make everyone like him. Cause honestly, Primus would never make a bot that perfect. It had to be a lie.
Thunderclash’s optics watched the floor a little before looking up to meet Rodimus’s, the crimson of his optics almost matching his flush. “Hello, Captain. Rewind is showing a movie in his hab soon, and I was wondering if you planned on coming.”
Roddy nodded and stood up, basically blowing past Thunderclash as he walked. Even if the movie was gonna be a lame one, he could still sit behind Drift and Ratchet and be the annoying third wheel.
As he’d expected, the movie held no real interest for him. Instead, he spent the movie making kissy noises until Ratchet threw energon goodies at him. He also tried to figure out why Thunderclash kept looking at him from across the room, until he realized that he’d been looking at Thunders too. After that, he just stared resolutely at the movie as he pouted some.
Once the movie was over, half the party stayed there to talk about it as the other half moved to the bar. Rodimus was in the latter group and wasted no time in getting himself a nice glass of boiling Engex. By the time that the rest of the party was drunk, he was only buzzed and watching the others as he chuckled.
Most of them were talking back and forth in slightly slurred tones, but Roddy noticed Thunderclash sitting at the edge of their table, arms folded on the table as he buried his face in them. Maybe it was the engex, or maybe it was that feeling he wasn’t willing to identify, but Rodimus found himself moving over to sit by Thunderclash. “What happened to you?”
It was a moment or two before Thunderclash looked up, his optics fogged over despite the fact that he’d only had a single pint of engex. However, more important than his obvious drunkenness were the tracks of optical lubricants streaking down his cheeks. That sight alone shocked Roddy to his core. Never, in his entire history of knowing Thunderclash, had he seen the bot feel any emotion more negative than disappointment in himself. Maybe this was it. Maybe this would be the moment when his overglorified act slipped.
Thunderclash rubbed his optics with the back of a servo as he tried to compose himself. “N-Nothing. Just . . .” He let out a long exvent and looked back to his captain. “What did I do? Are you still upset about me voting you off the ship? I didn’t know what Getaway was gonna do, promise.”
Roddy frowned a little as he thought about it, his addled processor making it take a little longer than usual. “You’re crying . . . because I don’t like you?”
The larger mech flushed and looked away. “It sounds stupid. It really does. I mean, everyone else on this ship likes me. But I like you waaaaaay more than the rest of them, and you seem to hate me.” He went facedown in his arms again, giving Rodimus another minute to think about it.
The bot he’d been jealous of for millennia liked him. Liked him liked him. Liked him enough to cry when he thought that Rodimus hated him. Which he did. Or, maybe not. He knew enough to know he didn’t hate him, but there was still some internal soul-searching to be done before he could properly name all the emotions Thunderclash’s name awakened in him. Still, he was almost certain that he didn’t hate him anymore.
He set a servo on one of Thunders shoulders. “Hey, I don’t hate you. Strongly dislike, yeah, but not hate. And it isn’t personal. I just don’t trust things that are too good to be true.”
Thunderclash’s helm lifted up as he looked to him in mild awe. “You think I’m too good to be true?” A small smile crested over his lips, displaying so bright a joy that Rodimus was shocked silent for a moment. That moment of silence was enough as Thunderclash reached out, idly tracing Rodimus’s Autobot insignia and making him shiver. “You’re so beautiful . . .”
Rodimus wasn’t sure if he was about to return the compliment or spit an insult, but he was spared the humiliation of either as Tailgate grabbed Thunderclash and started to talk, the larger mech quickly delving into the conversation with the same interest as he did anything in life.
Leaving the bar, the co-captain sat in his hab and thought about it for a while. How did he feel about the blue and red Autobot? Were his feelings positive? Negative? Somewhere in the middle, probably. Well, however he felt, he had at least a couple hours to think about it.