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Axe made that mistake exactly once. After that, after the commotion quieted and the ruins – some literal and a lot of metaphorical ones – were picked up, frayed nerves got smoothed by still-nervous partners and friends… after that nomech repeated it or even tried to. Mechs, who had so far looked at Drift with curiosity, disdain, more or less pity or just some sympathy as their temperaments dictated, were now giving the white mech a wide berth. Even the Knights. It wasn’t exactly fear, it certainly wasn’t revulsion, but it certainly had elements of both.

Wing for his part was still the only person Drift let close and from that event on the young Knight knew just how much of a privilege that was and how he should never abuse the trust Drift had in him. Axe, for his part was more deeply embarrassed than any sort of hurt – he was not only Knight, but a good size bigger than the former Decepticon too - but he didn’t even try to get closer to Drift than the width of Wing’s quarters if he had to speak with the young Knight. And Drift was still growling at him in that still-disturbing way, with his faceplates masklike and unmoving, but every other line of his frame, every flared piece of armour expressing clearly what he would like to do with the elder Knight.

No, Axe, didn’t fear Drift. He didn’t even fear for innocent bystanders – there were only Knights around in the Citadel, observing Drift, keeping an optic or two at him… and keeping their servos to themselves. Axe, even Dai Atlas knew that Drift’s reaction, extreme as it was and causing more disturbance in the Citadel than anything since its foundation, was not only justified, but expectable, and if anymech, it was Axe himself to be blamed. The large mech has always had these softer, creator reflexes towards Wing and the young Knight never resented his displays of affection…

… but turning that to Drift too, and the friendly patting of his cheek while the former Decepticon still had the training swords in his hands was a mistake. A big one, Axe admitted later when he was sipping some rare high-grade with the secretly smirking Dai Atlas, while Redline patched the cuts on him, but he did that all the time with Wing and it came automatically, seeing the two of them so cute together… Apparently boiling rage, plus a former Decepticon’s battle instincts was enough to overcome the inadequate training swords and the Knight’s defences. Axe saw it significant that Drift never turned his rage against Wing; instead after demolishing half the training room, he went on a rampage in the citadel until his anger spent and the gathering Knights have disarmed him and brought him down with a mild sedative.

Wing snickered at the sheepish expression on Axe’s face, thanked Dai Atlas that the only consequence was that he had to help collect the broken pieces and rubbish – and went back to his rooms to an also embarrassed ball of a mech huddling on his berth with his field flickering between guilt, anger and tired satisfaction, his armour halfway between angry flaring and defensive tightness and expressive finials blushing a bright pink. His red shoulder-guard twitched when Wing put a hand on it, but he didn’t move away, other than letting the Knight sit beside him. His voice was low, growling, just a bit uneasy.

“How much trouble am I in?”

Wing laughed, open and honest, bumping his shoulder nacelle to Drift’s spaulder, letting his field show that the joke wasn’t on him, but with him and answered, chortling lightly. He successfully ignored the masklike face and that it was the thing that caused the whole accident and focused on Drift’s adorably blushing finials.

“None at all. Axe won’t touch you again, he promises. Even Dai knows he shouldn’t have done it.”

Drift nodded and his tightly clamped armour loosened a little, the pink started to dissipate from his finials and the light plates of his face. He was still stiff and embarrassed, but he accepted Wing comforting him wordlessly. They sat there quietly for joors.