The basis of a good, long-lasting relationship could be simplified to a few simple concepts.
Love is an important factor of course, but dedication and a willingness to communicate with one's partner could see a relationship into longevity.
But it was compromise that could make it stick, compromise that could smooth over some of the worst bumps on the road to a life together.
Ratchet knew very well that he and Drift were nearly experts in the art of compromise by now, a year into a new universe.
He'd accepted the incense, Drift had accepted the proximity to medbay- He'd accepted the henning over his health and Drift had accepted the tinkering station in their shared quarters. They'd both known, in the time before their relationship, about the nightmares and the hoarding and the meditation and that proneness to seclusion when a bout of depression could hit.
So when Ratchet came home to find a large, soft crystal formation sitting in the center of their living area, his mind somehow skipped all of any thought of compromise, and his spark felt warm and fuzzy.
A joy of this new universe were the new worlds there were to visit, and the Lost Light had not yet departed from this newest find- The large mineral planet didn't have energon per say, but had a wealth of minerals and crystals that were beneficial to the Cybertronian systems.
So, coming home to see the huge, green formation of soft crytal in the middle of their living area, Ratchet couldn't help but smile.
Such a gift was useful as it was thoughtful, and in powder form the crystal dissolved into energon with a bit of a sweet-tart taste that gave a whopping ten percent to a mech's fuel-using efficiency.
Ratchet withdrew a vibro-blade from his subspace. It wouldn't be hard to shave it down and then cut into pieces for consumption and powdering.
Maybe he'd even set some aside for cocktails, it made even light fuels get someone overcharged at a certain saturation.
So, it got on to late in the day and he had managed to cut the thing in half- width-wise- and was in the process of cutting the pointy bits into little, easy to grind chunks when Drift walked in- and then stopped dead in the doorway, watching him.
"Ratchet." He said, obviously struggling to keep his vocal processes at the register they started out in. "What are you doing?"
Ratchet froze from where he was sat on the floor and looked up, well aware of what that that tone- some combination of dismay and disbelief (and he'd bet money there was anger there somewhere) -meant. He hazarded a small, hopeful smile.
"I got your gift?" he hazarded carefully. "This much translucent veridium will keep out medical stocks topped up for weeks."
Drift's whole body language shifted at once into a droop. Ratchet could tell when he looked pointedly from him to the remains of the crystal, sheared off at the midpoint like it was.
Drift appeared to have some kind of mental battle with himself, but Ratchet beat him to speaking.
"It wasn't a gift, was it?" He asked, voice gentled. If it wasn't a gift, it was there for some ridiculous woo-woo purpose, and while he had a tolerance for that up to where it butted up against an alternative for modern medicine...
There was another compromise- he'd done his utmost not to slag on Drift's beliefs and hobbies regarding such. But a crystal that size in their living room, for spark's sake? He worked to control his expression as best he could as Drift shook his head in a no, and withdrew the vibro-blade from the chunk he'd been hacking away.
"I know you don't like this sort of thing." He started, and Ratchet began to feel like a heel. "It's supposed to strengthen the sparks together," Drifts sighed sullenly. "Foster deeper love and such." That earned a grimace out of the medic, and he debated for several long moments putting his tools down and moving to embrace Drift in comfort, when Drift made his choice for him.
"Do what you'd like with it." He said, breaking the silence and he moved quickly in and past to retreat to their shared berthroom. Ratchet caught a grumble of a comment of him having a better use for it anyways, before the door slid shut.
Ratchet let his face fall into a frown at the door before he directed his ire down at the crystal chunks in front of him. It really was a nice gesture, if in that way that made him cringe to have to think about the possibility of sharing his space with a third in the form of a giant crystal.
And here he was, having spat right in the face of Drift's romanticism, as new-agey as it was. An itch took over his plating, in that hyperbolic sense of needing to do something to make it up to him.
His mind raced, he considered one of those last bottles of spiced high-grade he had been planning on saving for their anniversary, or perhaps messaging Swerve for energon goodies and risking the minibot blabbing all over the ship about his colossal frag-up.
Ratchet got up to pace, only to bump into the biggest piece of crystal left- the conical frustum bit of the rock left from his hacking. He glared at the thing, as if it could solve his problems, when an idea struck him.
A good relationship had to deal with compromises, and Ratchet couldn't help but feel at this point? He was an expert at those.
Drift woke several hours later, cold and alone in the berthing.
He couldn't help but pout just a little when he made it to full coherency, one to find himself alone and two, in remembrance of what had happened to the magnificent specimen that was his giant translucent veridium spire. Ratchet had seemed so pleased with himself when Drift had walked it.
Drift felt bad for just a moment, even a little guilty at the interaction the night before, but stuffed the feelings down when a tentative ping came at his commsuite.
It had been pre-sent to him just an hour prior, and he could appreciate the obvious apology for what it was, and the note of love attached to it.
It also mentioned a bit of a surprise for him in their living room, and Drift wondered with a grimace if Ratchet had went and got some energon goodies for him from Swerve's and how much the rumors of an argument would've spread by then, if so.
He was pleasantly surprised to find their shared living area cleaned up, but couldn't help the sting of disappointment at the lack of his spire. It faded quickly though when he saw what had been left in it's place, and crouched down to survey the surprise with optics blown bright.
Bless him, Ratchet had turned the biggest chunk left of the crystal into a table of all things. A datapad set atop it turned on when he got close, and he lifted it to read the message left in Ratchet's doctors' scrawl.
Apologies for the crystal, hopefully this makes up for it just a little.
Drift couldn't help but smile at the sight of it, Ratchet had carved out around a central foot and smoothed the edges of roughness, before using a laser scalpel to carve the top into a flat symbol of Vector Sigma- inlaid with- with-!
His vents stalled just a moment, looking at the disks of galena and selenite laid in and lacquered to stick and shine, and he couldn't help that feeling of all-encompassing love that overtook him for the notice of how each of the stones would complement each other. (Not to mention that the disks being as they were meant Ratchet had to dip into medical stock to source them.)
Drift shot off a thank you ping back to his Ratty in turn, for whenever he'd like to skulk back from the medbay and took up a perch on their couch to admire the craftsmanship of their new table.