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Those words of yours

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Yeah, I’ll have another one, thanks.

The most ridiculous soulmate words in existence. And Swerve should know, he’d seen quite a few of them.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if they’d been less visible. Less emblazoned on his arm like a giant billboard, announcing their meaning to each and every person Swerve came into contact with, calling out like – like – like something extremely loud.

I’ll have another one, thanks.

Words he literally heard hundreds of times a week. Well, almost. Most people left out the ‘thanks’.

At first, he’d laughed along at the joke. When they glanced at his arm and grinned and winked and said Yeah, I’ll have another one, thanks, Swerve.

It was almost funny the first couple of times. Almost. In the haha way that was only funny to the jokers, not the one actually being the butt of the joke.

It stopped being almost funny real fast. Around customer number five. So, about… well, more than five hundred customers ago, he could tell that much. He didn’t count. He didn’t even count how many he got each night.

Not anymore.

Now, he just plastered on his customary grin and ignored that standing joke that his words had become. One would think they’d tire of it, but nothing ever got old aboard the Lost Light. Not engex, not mecha, and certainly not jokes.

So he endured.

“Why did you go into bartending at all, if it bothers you so much?” Tailgate had asked once.

Swerve had just shrugged. “Can’t let this get in the way of what I want to do. Besides,” and here he’d winked, “it’s not like it’s not the best kind of place to hear those words, am I right?”

He fed most of them that line. It was pure slag, of course. First grade bs, as the humans would say.

Not that any of his customers ever figured that out.

Swerve had given up finding his soulmate aboard the Lost Light. In fact, he’d pretty much given up finding his soulmate altogether. He knew he – or she, with the way the universe was changing – was out there, because if they weren’t, the words would have faded. But he’d given up nonetheless.

It hurt, watching others find theirs, though. Watching Cyclonus’ optics brightening when Tailgate finally stumbled onto the right words. (Swerve still didn’t know what they were – just like Tailgate, he couldn’t actually reach high enough to see the words emblazoned on the inside of Cyclonus’ lower arm unless he bent down and showed them. Which he hadn’t. Because he was Cyclonus, and that wasn’t a very Cyclonus thing to do.)

He’d been there when Riptide and Pipes had figured each other out. It was after the Overlord incident, and Pipes had just been released from his long stint in medbay, and then he’d pretty much crashed into Riptide and they’d babbled on top of each other, and at one point Riptide had said “- completely flat, mech, I’ve never seen anything –“ and Pipes had said “- wanted to tell you before, I did, and then –“…

… and then there’d been the sweet music of violins, the choir of heavenly angels, the gazing deep into each other’s optics, the faintly glowing words on arms, all that jazz.

Well, almost. The glowing words on arms thing and gazing into optics, certainly. It had all been disgustingly sweet and Swerve’s optics weren’t the only ones not completely dry, he just knew it.

There were downsides too, Swerve knew. Aside from the whole ‘living your whole life not knowing if you’d ever find your soulmate’-thing. He’d been there when the marks had faded from Brawn’s arm. When he’d just stared at his own arm in horror, people around him growing silent. The steady stream of condolences for a mech no one knew who had even been.

It sucked. Clearly. But a tiny part of Swerve couldn’t help thinking that maybe Brawn was better off. A tiny part of him wished his own marks would fade. He knew it was kind of horrible to wish death on a mech he didn’t even know, but at least it would leave him free to not think about it anymore. Maybe leave him open for someone else without marks on their arm.

Not that there were as many of those either. One would think a war of this epic magnitude would have split up more soulmate bonds than this. But as far as he knew, most mecha still had their words. He knew Prowl famously didn’t, and neither did Springer, but most mecha…

Most mecha had someone out there for them. Somewhere.

On the other side of the galaxy, most likely.

But still. Not having words would have given him some peace of mind.

He’d painted over them more than once. They just melted right back through the new paint.

Slagging words.

 

Some things never changed. Trailcutter always had to be cut off before he had the good sense to stop. There was always more broken glass on the floor at closing time than Swerve could figure out where came from – the tally of broken glass versus glasses he couldn’t account for always came out off. There was always a sticky spot in one of the booths that he didn’t want to examine too closely, yet had a sneaky suspicion what was.

And there was always Whirl, still cradling his last drink like he felt it was the last good thing left in the world. Which, knowing Whirl, he probably did.

“Ready to get out of here yet?” Swerve asked, cleaning around him.

“What, ya ready to get rid of me?” Whirl’s optic curved into a grin.

“At closing time? Of course I am.” Swerve nudged him aside, as much as he could anyway, to get the piece of broken glass just behind Whirl’s left leg. “At this point I want to get rid of everybody.” He gathered up the glass and tossed it in with the rest of the swept-up trash. “At this point, even I’ve had enough of other mecha.”

Whirl nodded towards his arm. “How many today?”

Swerve shrugged. He didn’t bother wondering how Whirl knew. The ‘copter had come in here ever since Swerve’s opened, and most times he stayed near the bar and didn’t leave until the bar was empty or he was forced to go. “Four. I think.”

“Four.” Whirl’s optic narrowed. “Ya need a drink.”

Swerve sighed. “Yeah, I kinda do.”

He went behind the bar, poured himself a generous measure of engex and plonked the glass down by the stool next to Whirl’s. Then he circled the bar again and clambered up onto the stool, giving Whirl a Look when he looked down at Swerve’s struggling. “What? I’m closed. I can be the customer if I want.”

“No objections from me, mech. D’you need a hand? Or, pincer?” Whirl clicked said pincers together.

Swerve had to giggle. “No, Whirl, I’m fine. I can climb my own barstools. But thanks.”

“Sure.”

For a moment, they just focused on their drinks.  Swerve’s was a bit stronger than he liked, and it burned on the way down. He was kind of regretting giving himself this much, but if he left it Whirl would drink it, and he’d had enough already.

So, down it went.

He glanced over at Whirl’s left arm. There were traces of the words that used to be there, lost back when Whirl lost the rest of his hands – a touch of gold lettering, half a glyph here and there.

He nodded toward it. “Is it better to not know?”

Whirl downed the rest of his drink in one gulp. “I gave up worrying about that a long time ago. No use worrying over stuff I can’t remember that will never come true anyway, am I right?”

“You’re right.” Swerve knew he sounded glum. He didn’t care. He felt glum. “I don’t think I’ll ever find mine either. Although he’s still out there.”

“So’s mine. As you can see. But even if he is, even if he walked in here right now and somehow managed to recite the exact phrase, it wouldn’t be much of a point, would it?” He gestured to himself, somehow managing to be very expressive with just his claw. “Not exactly a catch, anymore, here.”

“I don’t think anyone’s ever going to be the right one to say my words.” Swerve sighed. “And honestly, I hear them so much I’m sick of them at this point.”

“Yeah, I get that.”

Swerve finished his drink. “I need to clean the rest of the place.”

“I have a crazy idea.” Whirl snagged him by the shoulder. “What if you do that before opening tomorrow? And instead, you and me take one of those bottles back to your place and finish it off? Try to forget those damn words for a night?”

“That is a crazy idea.” Swerve took Whirl’s empty glass. “If I get drunk tonight, there’s no way I’m going to be able to clean up in here tomorrow.”

“I’ll help you?”

Swerve stopped and stared. Whirl never offered to clean. The last time he touched the mop, it was to decapitate it and use it as a prop in a discussion about Earth hairstyles. Trailcutter had looked ridiculous. “You’ll help me?”

“Sure.” Whirl’s optic was a crescent again. “Tell you what. You drink with me tonight, I’ll clean with you tomorrow. Deal?”

Swerve knew he was going to regret this. He just knew it. “Deal.”

 

Whirl watched as Swerve busied himself tidying up a few final things he claimed couldn’t wait, including wiping down the bar and tables. Apparently, sticky spots really stuck if you didn’t get them off as soon as possible.

Not that Whirl minded. Less to clean for him tomorrow. He still couldn’t quite believe he’d volunteered.

But he knew he needed to get absolutely wasted. And Swerve probably did too. So for once he felt like being charitable and hang out.

Well. Brutal honesty and all that slag, there was no ‘for once’ about it. His habsuite was empty and dismal and not a tempting prospect, and getting wasted… was a very tempting prospect.

Even if it meant cleaning the bar with Swerve tomorrow.

“Okay,” the minibot finally said. “I think I can leave it like this for a night.” He disappeared behind the bar and re-emerged with two full bottles of engex. “You still want to come along?”

“Yeah.” Whirl got off the barstool. “Lead the way. I don’t know where your habsuite’s at.”

“You and everyone else,” Swerve joked, but he didn’t sound like he thought it was very funny. “Come on then.”

Whirl trundled along behind Swerve through the hallways. The smaller bot looked tired, feet shuffling along the ground, visor angled downwards, a steady stream of nonsense from his mouth. At one point, he looked up at Whirl and said he didn’t think he was much company and that Whirl was free to change his mind.

Whirl just looked at him. “Why would I do that? You’ve brought two full bottles of engex.”

Swerve didn’t seem to know what to say to that.

His habsuite was cluttered in a very Swerve kind of way. There were empty glasses here and there, a vidscreen and a bunch of dataslugs, a bunch of paraphernalia from recent adventures. Souvenirs, mostly, interspersed with odder things like broken datapads and crumpled plastic fragments and the occasional folded metal flower.

“Um.” Swerve gestured at the berths – one empty and cold, the other covered with tarps and meshes. “Sit down, I guess. I’m sorry, I don’t have any chairs.”

“Don’t need chairs.” Whirl dropped down on the berth that was clearly Swerve’s. “Do you have glasses, though? Or at least a straw?”

Swerve gave him a grin. “That I do.” He ducked down behind a pile of what looked like Earth memorabilia and came back up with two glasses and a curly straw. “Don’t know why I got this stuff here, really, but I do.”

“In case Tailgate comes by,” Whirl suggested, plonking the straw into the glass and watching with satisfaction as Swerve topped it up with engex. Looked like it was going to be a good night after all.

“I guess.” Swerve poured himself a glass and climbed onto the berth, settling at the other end of it. “To… engex.” He grinned.

“I’ll drink to that,” Whirl agreed, winking his optic.

 

Swerve was… strangely happy. He knew quite a lot of that was probably the engex, and that he’d have a pit of a hangover tomorrow and might need to get someone else to mind the bar, but it was worth it. He hadn’t had an evening like this in a good long while.

“So,” he giggled, leaning against Whirl’s frame and holding on to his leg for balance. “So you didn’t – he didn’t – who was it shot Blurr again?”

“Never found out,” Whirl replied airily, gesticulating wildly with his pincer and still somehow not spilling his drink. “But Speedy had ta spend an age an’ a half in medbay with his aft on display, before the wounds healed.” He snickered. “Guess that’s what you get for always running away from things.”

Swerve laughed, knocking his half-empty glass against Whirl’s. “To – to Blurr’s pretty aft!”

“May it always be on display.” Whirl drank down all of his engex at once. “Hey, are those goodies over there?” He pointed a pincer towards a box barely visible under the empty berth.

“Oh!” Swerve facepalmed, almost knocking himself off the berth. He was such a fool, he’d forgotten all about those things. “Sure! I got them from Skids, he had a goodie-making phase. Hold on.”

He crawled to the edge of the berth, trying to get his frame to twist so his legs would go down first. Whirl snickered again. “Didn’t think ya meant it literally, mech.” His pincers closed around Swerve’s upper arms, lifting him gently to the floor.

Swerve snorted a laugh. “Guess I should take it easy on that engex, huh?”

“Why?” Whirl turned to where Swerve had stashed the bottles, giving them an intense scrutiny. “We still have… some left.”

“Some.” Swerve chortled. “That’s precise. For someone who used to work with fiddly little details.” He bit his glossa at his own words. That was crossing a line, even for him. Hopefully Whirl wouldn’t go nuts over it. Swerve was rather attached to his habsuite the way it was, clutter and all. He liked Whirl the way he was as well. Seeing either of them damaged would be a crappy end to the evening.

“Hey, I ain’t the bartender.” Whirl’s optic grinned. It didn’t seem like he was offended, at least. “Now. Goodies.”

“You got it.” Swerve threw a relieved, lazy salute, made somewhat ineffective by his lack of coordination, and burrowed under Red’s- the other berth to grab the boxes Skids had given him a while back. They were probably still good – though he took the time to blow off some of the dust before presenting them to Whirl. “Can you even eat this kind of thing?”

“Depends. Are they solid or gelled?” Whirl poked at the box, sliding the lid off.

“Some of both, I think.” Swerve frowned down at the rows of pink and blue goodies. “Though the gelled ones seem to have a solid shell. Oh, I’ve got it.” He reached for Whirl’s glass. “Time for some bartender magic.”

He put a couple of the treats in Whirl’s glass, poured enough engex on top to cover them twice over, and used the straw to stir. The engex melted through the hard shells, dissolving the gels inside.

“That safe?” Whirl sounded intrigued.

Swerve grinned up at him. “Would it matter if it weren’t?”

Whirl laughed. “Nah, I can take an explosion to the helm. Don’t know if you can, though.” He poked Swerve’s abdomen. “Can’t risk my favorite bartender.”

Swerve could feel himself blushing. Some of that was probably the engex, but he knew well enough that most of it was the compliment. Insincere though it might be – he was Whirl’s only bartender, after all – Swerve was kind of starved for that kind of attention. It was hitting him hard.

To distract himself, he pushed the glass towards Whirl. “Here. Give that a try. It’ll be sweeter than you’re used to, you’ll be able to taste the goodie more than the engex.”

“Ain’t had a goodie in ages.” Whirl lifted the glass up to optic-level, focusing on it. “Never occurred to me to try this before.”

Swerve shrugged, smiling slightly. “Guess that’s why I’m your favorite bartender.”

“Yeah.” Whirl lowered the glass so he could reach the straw. “To favorite bartenders.”

“To awesome customers.” Swerve grinned as Whirl drank the concoction, shuddering from the sweet, heavy flavor. “Good? Not good?”

“Good,” Whirl managed, thrusting the glass back at Swerve. “I’ll need to get used to it though.”

Swerve smiled as he took the glass and turned back to the treats. “Want to get used to it now?”

From the corner of his optic, he could see Whirl stiffen.

 

The sweet taste was almost too much. Whirl couldn’t be sure – he didn’t have too much left to actually taste with, after all, and engex usually just burned on the way down. This might simply be normal sweet, or it might be enough sweet to knock Ultra Magnus on his aft. Whirl had no way of knowing.

“Good? Not good?” Swerve sounded anxious, which wasn’t all that unusual, but not something Whirl wanted right now. He was enjoying himself too much in general. Swerve should get drunk more often. Pit, Swerve should get drunk with Whirl more often.

“Good,” he said, even though he was far from sure. But he wasn’t going to get a little piece of liquefied energon goodie get the better of him. “I’ll need to get used to it though.” Slowly. By increments. And maybe with a lot higher engex-to-goodie ratio. At least there was plenty of engex left.

He handed the glass back. Swerve beamed up at him, which was more adorable than it had any right to be. He took the glass with clear eagerness, sloshing what was left of the liquid against the edge. Whirl couldn’t suppress the grin as the minibot turned towards the treats, clearly ready to make another one of those too-sweet drinks. He rested his pincer against his leg, stretching comfortably.

“Want to get used to it now?” Swerve said, focusing on the tray of goodies.

On Whirl’s arm, an old and broken pattern lit up in faint gold.

Whirl froze, staring down. He could see them now, the glyphs – half of one there, faint lines there, but he could see where they should have been lined up. Where his mark had been, before all memory of what it had said had been taken away. Where Swerve’s words would have shone against him, if the world had been a happier place.

Frag.

Well, he couldn’t leave it like this. Not one-sided and horrible, where Whirl would know what had happened and Swerve wouldn’t have noticed. Even now, the glow was fading, paling back to the dull shine that marked words that had been said.

There was only one thing to do, really.

“Yeah, I’ll have another one, thanks,” he said softly.

Swerve almost flinched, the glass cracking in his large hand. His visor dimmed, lower lip trembling slightly. “I thought… Why would you say that? I thought you understood. I never thought you would… That’s cruel, Whirl.”

He looked so dejected, and Whirl couldn’t take it. His spark was moving in new and interesting ways in his chest as he reached out and gently grasped Swerve’s arm. “Swerve. Look.”

Swerve turned his face toward Whirl, still looking so utterly spark-broken. Whirl looked at his own arm, then pointedly at Swerve’s.

It took a moment, but Swerve finally looked down. His mouth fell open in surprise. “Oh…” he breathed.

“Oh,” Whirl agreed. “I’ll say.”

Swerve stared at his own arm, then at Whirl’s. Slowly, he lifted a trembling hand and touched one of the faintly glowing half-glyphs. “What… What does this mean? For us?”

“It means whatever we decide it means,” Whirl said. He wasn’t sure of much, these days, but he knew the answer to this one. “Whatever ya want, Swerve. If you want to hang out more, we do that. If you want full romance, maybe I can manage that as well. If you want to pretend it didn’t happen…” He hesitated, looking down at their arms. “Well, we can probably do that too.” It would just hurt a little. For a while. He’d gotten over way worse, he figured, though he couldn’t remember any instances right now. Must be the engex.

“I don’t want to pretend it didn’t happen,” Swerve said quietly. His fingers were tracing the gold pattern on Whirl’s arm, taking Whirl’s spark with them around every whorl and curve. “But… I don’t know where to go from here. I never thought this would happen.”

Whirl turned his pincer until he could caress Swerve’s arm. Very, very carefully, of course. “I know. I didn’t either.” He sighed. “I need another drink.”

Swerve smiled, a tiny, soft expression. “Well, I can do that. And maybe… Do you want to watch a movie one day? Or something?”

“Sounds good,” Whirl agreed. He watched as Swerve’s trembling hands poured more engex for them, without dissolved goodies this time. For all that Swerve’s hands were unsteady, he didn’t spill a drop.

He took his glass and raised it, looking at Swerve’s visor as he did. “To… soulmarks that actually work after all.”

“And soulmates that you’d given up on finding.” Swerve raised his glass and downed the liquid in one. “Another?”

Whirl emptied his own glass. “Don’t mind if I do.”

 

The bar was packed. Trust Rodimus to come up with a half-brained scheme that actually paid off enough for a celebratory party. Swerve had enlisted both Pipes and Riptide to stand behind the bar with him, trying to handle the crowd. It was going well enough so far.

“Hey, Swerve!” Tailgate clambered up on a barstool, leaning forward eagerly.

“Hey, buddy.” Swerve grinned. “The usual? For you and Cyclonus?”

“And for us.” Rewind pushed his way between Tailgate and Trailcutter. “Crowded, huh?”

“It’s a good night,” Swerve agreed with a grin. “Your drinks are coming right up, mechs.”

He chattered loosely with his friends while he mixed their drinks, keeping an eye on Pipes and Riptide as well. They seemed to be doing well enough – at least no one had complained yet. There was a steady flow of mecha ordering, and the serving drone was going back and forth constantly.

There was only one mech who stayed by the bar all the time. Whirl sat in his usual spot, having his usual drinks. He noticed Swerve looking and raised his glass in a toast, optic winking at him. Swerve couldn’t help but grin back.

Things were very good indeed.

“Swerve, your arm -!” Rewind gasped.

“Hmm?” Swerve turned his focus back on his friends. “What?”

“Your arm,” Rewind repeated. “Your mark.” Next to him Tailgate was squealing, hands clapped to his facemask.

“Oh.” Swerve glanced down at the faintly glowing mark. Of course Rewind was too observant not to notice. It wasn’t bright enough to be immediately optic-catching, not anymore, but both Tailgate and Rewind had their own subtly glowing marks. They knew what a spoken mark looked like.

“’Oh’ seems like a massive understatement,” Rewind said, and Swerve could tell there was a wide smile behind that mask. “You seriously found him?”

“Yeah. Yeah, I seriously did. Or we found each other, really.” Swerve tried to contain the dopiness of his smile, but he knew he wasn’t entirely successful. It didn’t matter, anyway. Riptide had smiled like a loon for weeks after he and Pipes got together.

“And he’s here? On the ship?” Tailgate’s voice was still a squeal. It was adorable.

Swerve chuckled. “I haven’t noticed us stopping anywhere else lately, have you?”

Rewind leaned forward, the light on his camera bright in Swerve’s face. “You’re not going to tell us.”

“I’m not going to tell you yet,” Swerve corrected as he put two glasses down in front of each of them. “And that’s because neither of us thought it would ever happen and we need some time to figure out where we stand. I will tell you who it is when we’re ready to share.”

Rewind nodded slowly. “Yeah, okay. Answer me this, though. Do you like him? Are you happy?”

Swerve smiled, and he could tell by Tailgate’s increasing pitch that he looked as goofy as Riptide had. “Yeah. I think I really do like him.” He could practically feel Whirl’s gaze at the back of his head. “I think we could be good together. He’s strong and protective and can be really sweet when he wants to. Just what I need.” He pushed their glasses closer. “Now get back to your mecha. I have a bar to run.”

Tailgate beamed at him as he picked up the glasses. “I’m really, really happy for you, Swerve. It sounds like you found someone almost as great as I did!”

Swerve had to laugh. Especially when he considered Whirl’s probable response to such a comparison. “Maybe I did. Enjoy those.” He moved away from his friends, and turned to Huffer, professional smile on his face. “Hey, mech. More of the same?”

 

Time passed.

The bar crowd peaked, then slowed. Drift corralled Rodimus and left with him while the captain could still stand, at least somewhat. Mecha left in twos and threes, some with a wave and a smile, some with optics only for each other. Soon, only Whirl was left. It was just like any other night, really, and yet it wasn’t. Because Swerve wasn’t cleaning around him this time, trying to get him out of the bar. He wasn’t just tolerating Whirl’s presence and antics.

This time, he was smiling at him. Had been, all evening. He’d made Whirl drinks without being asked, he’d talked to him every now and then, he’d been this small bright presence right there.

It was night and day.

And now Swerve was walking towards him, a glass in each hand, that smile on his face. It curled around Whirl’s spark and warmed him right up from the core.

“Strong and protective, huh?” He grinned, optic curving.

“Figured you’d like that.” Swerve smiled back and placed a pair of glasses in front of him. “It’s true, too. Have a drink with me?”

“You know me. I never say no to engex.” Whirl moved his straw from his empty glass to the full one. “What are we drinking to?”

“To… being good together.” Swerve reached out and gently closed his fingers around Whirl’s left pincer. Then he winked. “And to future late night drinks after closing time.”

Whirl laughed. It was easy, around Swerve. “Are you angling for me to offer to help you clean again?”

“Will you?” Swerve leaned forward until their helms were almost touching. “If I ask?”

Whirl felt almost shy, suddenly. Swerve had that effect on him. Him being this close didn’t help, either, but Whirl couldn’t have pushed him away now if his life had depended on it.

“I guess I’m beginning to realize that I might do anything you ask,” Whirl said softly, not meeting Swerve’s gaze. He stared down at his drink, stirring carefully with the straw. “So…”

“I get it.” Swerve’s smile was gentle. And the funny thing was, Whirl knew it was true. Swerve got it. He really did. He knew that was a lot of power to have over a mech like Whirl, all because of the marks on his arm. That was the reason Whirl felt safe with him.

Well. One of the reasons. The fact that his spark did this funny dance whenever Swerve smiled at him probably had something to do with it too.

“So I guess I’m asking you to have future drinks with me after closing time.” Swerve smiled, squeezing Whirl’s pincer. “And I’ll requisition another cleaning drone. I’m official and licensed, I can do that.”

Whirl chuckled. If Swerve heard the relief in it, he didn’t comment. “That sounds like something else I can get used to.” Whirl clinked his glass against Swerve’s and drained his drink in one go. “Hey, considering that cleaning drone, wanna get out of here? Head back to your hab, watch a movie?”

“I’d like that.” Swerve grinned. “I do have to clean up the sticky spots in here though, before they stick completely. Want to go ahead? You know where my hab is now.”

Whirl knew. And he knew the code, which was more than anyone had trusted him with in ages. That glow around his spark flared up again, and he closed his pincer around Swerve’s hand, tight enough to hold but not tight enough to hurt. “I know. But I’ll help you here, so you can finish faster.” He knocked the tip of one pincer against a glass, much more gently than anyone but Swerve would ever believe him capable of. The resulting ting rang out in the empty bar. “And you know, you had it right. What you said to those other two. And… you’re good for me too.” Admitting it made him feel really vulnerable, which he didn’t like, but it also made him feel really warm and bubbly inside, which he did. This soulmate thing was weird.

Swerve smiled and finally let his helm touch Whirl’s. “We’re going to be one of those ridiculously sappy couples, aren’t we?”

“Nah.” Whirl grinned. “Well, maybe in private. After closing.”

“Can’t have your reputation suffering,” Swerve agreed. He pulled back slightly, just enough that they could look at each other properly, just enough that Whirl could see the teasing glint in his visor. “After all, you’re crazy.”

“Completely nuts.” Whirl nodded, letting his expression – what there was of it - edge towards the maniacal. “Can’t be trusted.”

“I trust you,” Swerve said softly, and slaggit, Whirl’s insides went all mushy again. He couldn’t keep his helm up, suddenly, and it thunked against Swerve’s cowl. Swerve lifted a hand, rested it against Whirl’s neck. “I changed my mind,” he said suddenly. “The cleaning can wait. Come on, let’s go watch a movie.”

Whirl was powerless to resist. He let Swerve pull him to his feet and towards the exit, one pincer held securely by thick, blunt fingers.

That bubbly feeling was taking him over again. Whirl was suddenly the happiest he’d ever been, walking along next to Swerve.

Yeah. He could totally get used to this.