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Scattered Chess Pieces

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Streetwise had wanted to talk.

“Your loss is no secret, and it’s terribly convenient you’re making nice with us of all bots. Makes me wonder what your intentions are”, he said. He was stern and almost intimidating for all he was shorter and lankier than Rook. Rook looked down at Streetwise, Streetwise looked up, not budging. Rook sunk onto a bench behind him and buried his face in his hands.

Every time his recharge cycle ended there was a moment he reached out for his gestalt. It was a cold awakening when all he met was a void.

“I have no intention of injecting myself into your gestalt. I had hoped…” he trailed off. “I hoped something might come out of it”, he sighed and looked up at Streetwise.

“And I don’t expect or want you to… do anything out of pity, alright”, he went on, more firm, pinching his nasal bridge. These Autobots were notorious for being soft enough to go and do something like that. He glanced up again, and revised his thought process. Perhaps they weren’t that inclined to rush head-first into helping with no thought for their own well-being – Streetwise’s optics were impassive hard blue, considering.

Perhaps it had been a mistake to assume he would be falling over himself to offer to help, fragging… Splitting his chestplates in a take me -fashion. Nah. Rook rubbed a hand over his face. Streetwise’s continuing silence made him second-guess himself something fierce, had he made a fool out of himself? He thought Autobots tended towards proverbial baring of their sparks and here he was, trying to put into honest words his weaknesses with the hope they wouldn’t be exploited.

He’d thought Autobots did that sort of thing frequently but after watching them it had become clear they weren’t a homogenous bunch; there were mecha he wouldn’t have told even his favourite flavour of energon to, just like among any group of people, really. It was easy to make fun of stereotypical traits when the contradiction wasn’t staring you into your faceplates.
Streetwise shifted, loosened his arms from where he’d crossed them over his chest.

“Okay.”

Rook glanced up. ‘Okay what’, he thought, but kept his vocaliser off, just looking at Streetwise from under the edge of his helm.

Streetwise sighed, ridiculous human-emulation gesture.

“We aren’t going to pity-frag you, don’t worry”, Streetwise elaborated. “We might pity-invite you to play cards and share some energon, though. C'mon.”

“Lovely”, Rook deadpanned as he stood and followed Streetwise out of the small room cum private place to speak.

“What we have is a very lonely ex-con trying to see where some friendship would get us”, Streetwise informed his brothers in something more tangible than mere feelings and impressions while the talk had happened.

“You made him squirm”, First Aid chastised Streetwise.

“Hey, it’s not every day I get to do that to someone bigger than me!” Streetwise retorted. Humans were easy to intimidate when you were thrice their size. Streetwise decided to limit the bond-talk a bit; it’d be clear as day to Rook what he was doing.

“Your brothers have been updated, I take it”, Rook said, right on cue too, avoiding looking at Streetwise directly.

“Yup! My attention is aaaaall back here now.”