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Trauma Buddies

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You find yourself in a dark room.

Perhaps it's not a room, perhaps it's a smaller space than a room for robots, like a closet or a trailer.

Whatever.

It's not important.

What does even make a room? Does it need a certain amount of space for it to be one? Is it dependent on the use people give it? Then, can you create a space that is and isn't a room at the same time?

Is it a Schrödinger situation?

Always thought that guy was kind of an asshole, why would you do that to a cat? People are so rude so cats. Some years ago I got told my late grandfather used to drown kittens in a bag when he was young.

Glad he is dead.

Shouldn't be saying that.

 

Anyway.

Dark room, right.

 

You haven't just woken up here or something, you walked all the way from the main room (again with that word, what does that even mea- don't get sidetracked) to here.

You know you aren't supposed to be here.

You know, but if you hadn't even tried to come here you would have hated yourself even more than you already do.

 

Plus, you really don't want to go home in June's car.

You'll just wait for Bulkhead to come back, from wherever he is.

Doesn't matter why you got here, the fact is that you are here.

 

You are inside this joke of a jail cell.

Makes sense.

 

It's hard to make cells for giant robots, even if they are weak and pretending to be unconscious. Yeah, no way anyone would be sleeping after that.

The cell is not good for holding a giant robot inside (is about the message, your brain unhelpfully provides, along with an image of the Joker. God you hate that guy. Don't get sidetracked) so you can get inside no problem.

There's like a little space for you to do so.

Tight, so you passed through slowly. If you need to get out quickly, it's not going to happen.

 

Whatever, you're already here.

Dark room.

Or at least it is until Starscream open his eyes (optics, you remember they are called. Wonder if they work like cameras or like actual eyes? Do some robots need glasses? Then again you remember reading eyes by themselves are a lot like camer- Don't get sidetracked).

There was no question he was awake.

Of course he is.

You would be too.

 

You see the con (is he still a con? God you really have no idea. You really hope not. You're ready to fight for him not to go back there, even if you hated him as much as you did a year ago) move his pupils until they land on you, and then narrow his eyes in confusion.

He doesn't say anything, a swift contrast of the way he was trying to disprove the accusations that were made in the Med Room. Though that's no completely true, most of those accusations were not exposed as accusations, but as complete truths.

Perhaps you wouldn't have questioned them the way you are right now if you had ignored Starscream. But he has being around the base long enough for some of his mannerisms to be deeply familiar.

You remember to breathe and can hold yourself back from sinking your nails on your palm for the twelfth time today. You should tell Oriol that next Wednesday, he'll be proud and make you feel less like a terrible person.

 

“I was” you blurt out, or at least try to but your voice comes out as whisper so you cough and try again “I was listening”.

You see his face flash an instant of terror, but then settle on an angry snarl.

“Of course you were” Starscream growls, but his own voice also comes back small and quiet. He doesn't repeat himself.

No sense delaying it anymore. You don't know how long you have until someone comes looking for you.

You sit down with your back to the concrete wall and let the silence grow.

 

“My... dad's wife used to come in my room every night when I was little” you make yourself believe you're speaking with Oriol again, and not to someone new that can judge and believe your trauma is not good enough for you to be considered a victim. No, no, the fact you're telling someone that's not wearing a white coat is pretty telling they will believe you.

Would be hypocritical of him not to.

“It's actually the first thing I even remember at all, thought it was normal and everything. My dad caught her one day and divorced” you shift your legs so they are crossing each other in front of you. You don't look at the flier “Dad tried to get her into jail”.

Your skin begins to feel like is filled with bugs. It itches a lot.

You sit on your hands and refuse to scratch it.

“Didn't make it, of course. Japan's laws for that sort of situations are the fucking worst” your voice breaks during that last part. Before you start berating yourself for it, you continue talking. “So my dad started looking for help to get me away from that woman. The whole family has turned their back on us for that, saying that my...dad's wife would never do such thing to her own daughter”

 

You suddenly want to stop talking and go puke somewhere.

 

You continue talking.

 

“My dad got most of my custody in the divorce, and decided to send me abroad to get me as far away from her as possible, also the psychologists here don't laugh at that situation nor decide is not actual trauma or something” you pause to breath again.

You realize that Starscream hasn't talked since you began speaking, which you should probably stop already because this is not about you but you can't bring yourself to shut up. You're terrified but god you need to say this to someone who won't pity you nor will they brush it off as nothing, just like-

Don't lose track.

 

“You know June? Jack's... you know. She's scary as shit. God just thinking about her being so nice and genuinely caring for others makes me wanna hurt her. Because my brain is stupid and decides that she is just like... her and is just waiting for me to bring my guard down to hurt me, and that I would somehow deserve it or whatever. Fuck”.

Still no response.

 

You think another word would make your teeth eat themselves so you shut up.

You can't bring yourself to look up to where you know Starscream is.

 

You hear metal shuffling and then a little hiss of pain. Yeah, Arcee didn't hold back after he attacked Ratchet. You still don't know how to feel about that.

“...I am, sorry to hear that” a voice above says.

“Yeah, me too. I'm sorry too” you hear yourself answer. God you know you are dissociating but can't bring yourself to care. Your future you will probably be glad you decided to sit on your hands, you aren't sure you could help scratching your arms now if they weren't restrained.

 

“Why are you- why would you tell me this?” you look up at that. Starscream looks completely lost, and all the anger from before seems gone, at least for now.

“These past months, you have said things, and done things in a weird way. But like, in a me, sort of weird way. So I had begun suspecting we were trauma buddies or something” you laugh humorlessly. “Also the way Ratchet just... said everything he found out, just like that to everyone in the Med Room thingy is, ugh.”

You shake your arms from underneath you, anger you can deal with. And by everything, you're fucking mad right now.

 

“I don't even feel bad you attacked him, is just so” you groan. “Fuck. I just wanna say I'm sorry that he put you through that but it means nothing if he doesn't apologize himself, so I guess I want to apologize for listening in on everything. It's just not fair! You shouldn't have to tell anyone about that if you don't want to. And now I get why you felt so uncomfortable and fucking terrified around Optimus and I hate it so much. I hate that even cool aliens that live forever hurt each other like that and it's just not fucking fair!”

“Miko” that makes you stop.

You stop and look down (when did you even stand up? And, god, you're crying again aren't you. You're so fucking weak, stop making this about yourself, this was supposed to make Starscream feel better and not about you venting and over-sharing your entir- Don't lose track) and see your palms beginning to leak blood.

Well, guess you won't be telling anything to Oriol after all.

 

You try to steady your breathing and let your head fall against the wall to steady yourself. Okay, five things you can see: Starscream's red optics, the light outside the dark room... well two things are better than no things.

Four things you can feel on you: your clothes, the pain on your hands, the hard concrete floor and the wall behind you.

Three things you can hear: your own breathing, Starscream's vents, your clothes when you move your body.

Two things you can smell: concrete or something, you don't know how it's called, but it's what the base smells like when no one is doing things. It feels completely off to not be with Bulkhead right now, god you would give anything to be with him and forget all about today. … you can also smell you have been needing to take a shower for some days now, but can't bring yourself to undress lately, so you are wearing an illegal about of deodorant right now (Jack had called you out for it this morning during school, the nerd)

Okay, okay.

Only one thing you can taste: that sandwich Raf gave you a few hours ago because his m- someone had made too many and gave him extra that morning.

 

You breath in through your nose. You breath out through your mouth.

 

“...I still don't understand” you startle when Starscream speaks up, you had almost forgotten he was here. “Why would you tell me such weak and vulnerable part of your past? Do you have any idea what I have done to bots once I had figured out their weaknesses?”

Starscream's voice begins to fill with anger, because of course it does. And he menacingly leans his claws closer to you, because of course he does “We are not friends, human. I have tried killing you several times, you and your friends. I just attacked you CMO, for Primus' sake! This last months I may have gotten softer with you but that has been only so I didn't end up in a cell like the one I am now right now!”

Oh, look at him, trying to rile you up so you snap at him and leave so he can go back to moping and feeling bad for himself. Been there done that, bud.

“Are you done?” you say, not the least impressed by his tantrum. “Because you are looking at the queen of self-destructive behaviors and that was pretty weak”.

You hear him splutter, but now is the time for the only person in this god-forsaken base to have gone to therapy to shine. “I don't hate you, dumbass! Yes, you have tried to kill me and my friends, and that is something I will never forgive you for. But I get why you tried to, and I also get why my friends have tried killing you too. You're in a war, goddammit!” he tries to start talking again but you interrupt him. “And you have changed for the better! I have seen you help the Autobots since you joined them, and don't try to tell me you haven't joined them for real because that's simply not true. You have done terrible things, but the thing that makes you redeemable and not-hateable in my book is that you acknowledge that and TRY TO BE A BETTER PERSON BECAUSE OF IT!”

“Also, Ratchet deserved that beating, but don't tell him I said that” you quietly add.

There's a few moments of silence, until Starscream sighs in frustration and leans back so he can lie face up on that weird looking bed they got for him in the cell.

 

You hesitate only a second before you decide to also climb up the bed, and lie on top of his chest.

This seems to startle him, and you think you're about to be thrown down by a screeching angry robot (seriously, sometimes you this guy's voice makes you feel what Ratchet must feel about your music. You decide not to think about the doctor right now).

But he relaxes and, after a few minutes of just lying down in silence, he hesitantly puts his hand on your back and stays there.

 

“...June isn't so bad, you know” Starscream says, surprising you both “She has proven to be reliable ally, and honestly the only human I can sort of tolerate”.

“Woah, Screamer I'm hurt” you try in vain to change the subject.

“Oh, shush”. He moves his fingers drawing circles on your back, you're not sure if he is aware of it, but it's nice so you don't risk drawing any attention to it. “What I mean is... You're right about my relationship with Optimus, even though I must say I haven't been the easiest bot to deal with myself...”

“No shit”

“Shut up” he says but you can hear a faint smile in his voice. “Maybe... you've also haven't been the easiest to deal with regarding Jack's creator?”

You really, really don't want talk about this. But he's obviously not going to drop it so the only way you could avoid this is by leaving the dark room. Which is something you want to do even less right now.

“I...guess I may have been a little harsh on her” you prop your head on you hands “Like, I know she's not going to hurt me, but my brain is so fixated that she is that I just, ugh, y'know?”

“I do, believe me”. He softly chuckles, it doesn't seem a happy chuckle, but then again this isn't a happy topic.

“And that's another thing!” you add “What if she is bad after all? But because everyone thinks she is not, no one would believe me if I said she had hurt me or something. Hell, even YOU like her”.

Starscream stops his administrations on your back for a moment, deep in thought.

“I understand what you are saying, human, I really do” he continues drawing circles on your back, which makes you relax a little again “But for the record, if you told me she had done...anything to hurt you, I would believe you”

You let your head fall on his chest.

“...If you told me Optimus had done anything, I would believe you too” you say, knowing how terrifying it is to ask for help and not being believed yourself “I would also kill him, by the way. I don't know how, but the Cons probably have like a supersecret file with all of OP's weaknesses or something, heh.”

“Glad to now I can count on a fleshling to murder a Prime, one of the most powerful beings in the entire universe” he says with sarcasm, but you can feel Starscream unconsciously pulling you closer to his chest.

“Anytime, trauma buddy” you smile at how, even without seeing his face from where you are, you know he is rolling his eyes.

He falls silent for a moment, and you think you are done talking altogether, but he surprises you by saying “So let's make a deal”

“Huh?” you have no idea what this jet is talking about.

“Let's make a deal, human. If you try to better your relationship with June, I promise I'll...try to do the same with Prime”

You think about it for a moment. That's gonna be harsh, but for once... you're not alone with this. “...Okay. But if anything happens, you're helping me hide the bodies” you joke, trying desperately not to show how much you don't want to do this.

“It's a deal then”

 

You stay like that for what seems hours, just being in each others company, until the stress and tension of the last past months fall on you. Your eyelids grow heavier and heavier, and the fact that you are feeling the safest you have felt since Bulkhead in the arms of an ex-Decepticon should rise a lot of red flags, but you can't bring yourself to care.

Just moments before you fall to your tiredness, you hear Starscream really faintly say “Thank you”.

You smile as sleep takes you.