Wheeljack couldn't really a remember a time he had been so excited about something, though this was probably one of the few times his ear panels were flickering just because of his excitement. His wings were perked up as he packed things they would need in his subspace, making sure they had energon and tools as well as his own weapons before he headed out of his lab, locking the door securely and heading towards his friend's lab. It was still early, so he kept quiet as he the microscope. "Percy, you up?"
"Oh Wheeljack? You're up early." Perceptor's vocals were hinted with both excitement and hidden nervousness. He was just packing his subspace with travel size containers for collecting samples, a pocket laser knife and his own share of energon. The microscope went to open the door for Wheeljack. It was hard to try and hide the anxiousness he felt. He hoped this trip would give him the courage he needed to confess to his friend. They would be alone together with no one to interrupt.
The inventor walked along the hall with pep in his step, "Of course I'm up early! Told you we had to leave in the morning if we wanted to get there before noon." Wheeljack replied, a smile in his tone as he looked ahead and spotted the red mech. He came up to his friend, wings twitching, "Got everything?"
Perceptor was about to reply when he remembered the gas lamp. He returned into his lab and rummaged through his shelves until he found the oval object."Now I do." The microscope stepped out from the lab and closed the door. "It's unusual to see you in the morning that hasn't been staying up all night." He chuckled.
Wheeljack's optics brightened and he chuckled softly, "I actually went to my quarters early last night, thank you very much." he said, starting towards the main entrance with his friend.
The smaller scientist stifled a laugh as he tried to keep quiet. The only other mechs who might've been up as well were Prowl or Red Alert. The base was still fairly quiet of Autobots just at the ending hours of their recharge. Perceptor's vents took in a deep breath as they exited the Ark. He watched pleasantly as he watched the single earth sun near the horizon to the east.
He sighed as they came outside, smiling beneath his mask, wings twitching softly before he turned to his friend. "Alright, it shouldn't take all to long - I made sure my directions were right, so we should get there a bit before noon." Wheeljack said, turning to the other. "Ready to go?"
"Sure am, lead the way." Perceptor nodded as he followed beside Wheeljack. He could feel his spark beating intensely as he stepped a bit closer to his friend. Meanwhile Sunstreaker laid in recharge, a bit tired from all the sneaking around he had to do during the night. He wasn't sure how early the two scientists were planning to leave so he took his chance and waited until they were both in recharge to place a tracking device on Perceptor's lower back. It was usually used against enemies to find secret bases.
Wheeljack moved back a bit from Perceptor before folding down gracefully into his Lancia Stratos Turbo alt. mode, opening his passenger side door. "Alright, hop in and we'll get going then." the inventor said.
Perceptor leaned into the passenger seat as he transformed into his microscope alt mode, landing on the cushions of the seat. It was always a challenge. "Mmm, it's comfy in here."
He chuckled, "I believe your the first one to say that..." Wheeljack said, shutting his door before he began driving with a rev. of his engine.
Sunny heard a soft beep inside his processors as the target began their movement. They weren't kidding when they said they were leaving early. He let a yawn fro his vents and decided to get his few hours of recharge. He couldn't wait till nightfall. Perceptor wished his alt mode was at least tall enough for him to see the outside of the vehicle. But considering who he was riding in he was very content in just laying comfortably.
"If it gets too bumpy, just tell me - I don't want you to get thrown around." Wheeljack said as he sped up a bit, rather wanting to get to their destination as quickly as possible...and since the route was rather uninhabited by humans, he didn't have to worry about the police pulling him over.
"Don't worry, I'll be sure to scream if I do manage to get thrown out." He watched the steering wheel and gas pedal as they shift and turn as the Lancia drove on. Sunlight beamed through the windows of the race car. It was going to be a sunny day, perfect for exploring."So Wheeljack, which academy did you say you went to again?"
He chuckled a little at that, rather sure he wouldn't allow his friend to get thrown out of him...he gave a small sound of thought as he heard the question, "Well, the Iacon Academy was one of the few out there - it was where I went, though I was usually in the tech. department and mechanics lab." Wheeljack replied..
"Oh really? I was there just a few years. It's a shame I didn't really see you there. I was studying in the biology labs. I heard that Skyfire was there as well. It's strange how we've all been there but never met." Perceptor thought out loud
"I know - I thought it rather strange...though if you and Skyfire would've blown yourselves up at some point, I'm sure I would've met you since I hung out a lot in the medbay too after meeting Ratch'." the Lancia said.
Perceptor laughed at that. It was true, he tried his best not to risk getting into the med bay as often as possible. But if he had known. He grew nervous though when he mentioned Ratchet. "You and Ratchet have known each other for a long time then."
Wheeljack chuckled, "Yeah, we've known each other for a long time - pit, he knows my insides better than I do probably."
He revved his engine softly as he drove, "Though with how many times he's pieced my aft back together, its not a surprise."
"I see..." The microscope was silent for a bit in thought. Though he had little control of his movements in his microscope mode, other than his observation scope, he leaned against the backseat. "I'm sorry if the question is too personal, but...are you and Ratchet bonded?"
He slowed a bit in surprise at that before regaining his speed, the inventor laughing in almost a shocked way. "W-What? Ratchet and I bonded? Primus no - we decided a long time ago that we were best as friends...we were 'together' for a bit during our Academy days, but that was it."
A sigh left Perceptor at the news, but he tried to mask it with a sense of casualness. If they were still together in a serious relationship Perceptor wouldn't just be heartbroken, but guilty. "Oh! I-I see. It's just you two seemed really close, I wasn't sure. Now I really regret for not going near the med bay."
Wheeljack paused a little as he heard that last part...and remembered what Sunstreaker had told him. Primus, Perceptor really did love him - and he felt awful for having not noticed sooner. "Y-Yeah, we're close - but brothers close, not bondmates." the inventor replied.
The microscope's lenses adjusted as they pointed upward to peer out the window to the sky. He caught a flock of birds flying in a large group across the sky. He didn't notice the change in tone in Wheeljack's voice as he watched the flying creatures.
The mech fell rather silent as he continued driving, lost in his own thoughts and not even really noticing how the scenery began to change until he hit a bump and snapped back to the present. "Hm? Oh, we're almost there." Wheeljack said, breaking the silence that had claimed his cab.
Perceptor smiled inwardly as he noticed the greenery that was beginning to surround them. The sunlight was now partially blocked by the leaves of the trees they passed. He couldn't wait till he stepped out of the vehicle--though that wasn't to say he didn't enjoy the company. He nuzzled against the cushion, wondering if the action was felt by his friend.
Wheeljack paused as a small tingle went through him, though only guessed it had been Perceptor accidentally bumping against the cushion of his seat...he began to slow down as they came to the area, or close to it anyway, and eventually came to a stop. The inventor opened his door for Perceptor, "Here we are at last." he said with a smile in his voice, checking his chrono to see it was almost noon.
Once the door swung open, the microscope leapt out in mid transformation and landed on his feet, though clumsily stumbling on his own feet. His optics soon fell onto his surroundings, blue lenses reflecting off the sun that peeked over the tall trees that were great enough to cover perhaps even the Dinobots."This place is beautiful."
The mech had made sure his friend was safely out before he transformed, standing fully and stretching out his cramps before smiling. "Indeed it is - and there's even a waterfall somewhere in all of this forest..." Wheeljack said, wings perking up.
Perceptor perked and without thinking he took Wheeljack's hand and began tugging eagerly. Wherever there was a water source more life was sure to be found "Will you show me to the waterfall Jack?"
He paused, optics flickering in a 'blink' before he smiled and chuckled, "Sure, come on." Wheeljack said, not letting go of the other's hand as he started into the forest.
He smiled as he followed Jack to the location. It was a few minutes into their walk he realized that they were holding hands and his faceplates couldn't help but turn a deep shade of pink. Perceptor didn't let go, but instead squeezed a bit tighter.
Wheeljack's fingers seemed to pause after Perceptor's grip tightened before they moved and gently held tighter as well, the white mech leading the red through the trees carefully, obviously not wanting to damage any of the life around him.
Perceptor stored the images through his optics into his memory banks he'll be sure to upload into his files for later, especially the interesting insects and strange plant organisms he passed by. The scientist glanced at Wheeljack , walking a bit fast so he could be by the Lancia's side.
The white mech ducked down under a tree branch, smiling a bit as he started down a steep incline, "Careful, it gets pretty tricky...but the waterfall is resting in the center of this forest." Wheeljack said as he kept his steps planned, not wanting to slip.
The smaller mech tightened his hold on Wheeljack's hand as they began stepping down on steep part of the terrain. He watched carefully where the Lancia stepped and followed his footsteps quite literally. He was distracted for a moment as he began noticing the many different fungus that were growing on the area. He lost his footing as his pede slipped on a rock. He yelped, grabbing onto Wheeljack before he fell.
He gave a shout, arms quickly flailing out as he stumbled a bit when the other grabbed onto him and his wings flared out behind him, the inventor somehow managing to not fall down the hill as his arms wrapped around Perceptor. Wheeljack's optics dimmed as he struggled a moment before pulling Perceptor up, preventing him from falling to the ground and he kept his balance, giving a sigh as he right them both. "I thought I said to be careful?" the white mech asked with a chuckle.
"S-sorry, I was so distracted--I'm so sorry I could've hurt us both." Perceptor leaned into Wheeljack's hold, spark drumming madly. He really thought he was going to end up with more than just scraps and dents if Wheeljack hadn't caught him. Finding his balance once more, Perceptor lifted his face to thank his friend, but stopped when he noticed how close his face was to Wheeljack's.
"It's alright Perc, but..." he trailed off when the other stood and his optics brightened a little at how close Perceptor was to his mask now. The mech felt a faint blush cross his partially hidden features, wings twitching a bit, though he didn't make a move to pull away.
Hands trembled a bit in hesitation wondering what Perceptor should do. He cursed himself for not having much experience in things such as this. He was not much of a socializing mech to begin. "Umm...."The microscope's arms began to loosen though reluctantly from Wheeljack's torso as he gave some space. "Sorry about that." He laughed softly. "I'm usually not this clumsy...so are we close?"
His ear panels flickered softly before he took a small step back from Perceptor. "Its alright...a-and yeah, we're close - should be through the trees up ahead." Wheeljack replied, shifting his gaze away from his friend a bit.
As they walked to the waterfall, Perceptor took Wheeljack's hand with more courage this time. He didn't fail to miss the slight blush that was there on the Lancia's faceplate moments ago.
Wheeljack tried to keep his attention on walking now as the ground flattened out, though the hand holding his own seemed to be teasing at his thoughts...the roaring sound of water began to grow louder as they moved through the trees and the mech pushed some tree branches aside to see the waterfall up ahead.
Perceptor's optics widened as he caught sight of the falls. He's seen many photographs of Earth's nature and wildlife, but seeing it for himself was much more rewarding. He scanned the natural architect formed by the water currents and the river it formed. He stopped abruptly and tugged at Wheeljack's hand to point at a quadruped creature drinking from the river."Jack, look!" His voice fell into a whisper.
The mech chuckled softly at the other's awe and excitement, gaze shifting when his hand was tugged and he looked over at the animal. "Its a deer Percy." Wheeljack answered, keeping his voice down.
The microscope nodded, smiling as he saw two more appear from the bushes, one had a large antler upon it's head."Hey Wheeljack, you getting bored of your trip yet?"Sunstreaker's voice appeared through Wheeljack's com-link. Sunny was still at the Ark. He was in mid escorting trucks carrying tanks of fuel oil with other Autobot soldiers in case of Decepticon interference.
He paused as he heard Sunstreaker, the link a bit strained from the distance, though he could understand the mech. "Nah, its a great trip so far - I'm glad we have the whole day here." the mech replied, wings twitching softly in amusement as he watched Percy.
"Lucky you then. I'm stuck with some lame escort mission. Perceptor didn't try and kiss you now did he?" Sunstreaker made it so it sounded like a joke, though there was some threat subtly hidden in the question
"No Sunstreaker, he hasn't tried to kiss me - Primus, he's my friend." Wheeljack replied, deciding not to mention the little incident on the rocky incline.
"Just making sure." The lambo said with a suspicious tone. "What are you doing right now?" Just a few thousand miles to go and the mission will be over. He somehow wished the Decepticons would attack. It's been awhile since he was able to get some battle action.
Wheeljack stepped back a little, watching the deer and his friend, "We're at the waterfall right now, just spotted some deer." he replied, wings twitching softly.
There was a pause before a static stifled laugh came out from the other side of the link. Sunstreaker didn't see the point or amusement of watching wildlife. "Looks like we're heading into a tunnel. Have fun watching the...animals." the link disappeared in a mess of fuzz and static.
He frowned at the other's laughter, not really understanding what was so amusing...though he let the comm. link disconnect, shaking his helm a little. His gaze shifted as he looked for his friend, noticing the deer had multiplied a bit.
Perceptor wandered from his previous position and walked along the river. He took out a single container and a pair of tweezers to carefully take a sample of mushrooms and algae. His lab was filled with different types of plant life he's collected and kept alive. Some plants he's discovered have been of use for inspiration for new inventions so collecting new species of plants have become somewhat of a hobby.
Wheeljack walked closer to the water, optics dimming as he looked into the clear liquid to see his reflection...his wings drooped softly before perking up as he heard the deer moving. Their eyes were on himself and Perceptor, though they didn't seem all to worried about their presence.
Perceptor looked up to see Wheeljack as he heard the footsteps approach. He couldn't help smiling as he subspaced his findings before looking back at the deer that were on the other side. "Did someone contact you Wheeljack?"
He blinked, "Huh? Oh, yes...someone contacted me." Wheeljack replied, kneeling down carefully by the water's edge.
"Thought so, you got all quiet and distracted for a moment there just suddenly. Was it Prowl?" Perceptor asked, hoping the second in command wasn't calling to cancel their trip to attend to a new mission.
"Nah, wasn't Prowl...hey, you want to get closer to the waterfall? There's a small cave back behind it that the water created." Wheeljack said, turning his gaze to the rushing stream of water as he tried to change the topic.
Perceptor didn't bother to probe on the mystery mech that contacted him, simply nodding at the offer. As long as if it wasn't something to worry about. He brushed the soil from his leg as he stood up, careful not to slip again over the damp rocks and moss."Do you come here often Wheeljack?"
Wheeljack shook his helm, "Not as often as I would like - I usually try and tag along with Hound when he and Trailbreaker head down this way and he doesn't seem to mind my presence." the inventor said as he carefully walked along the edge of the river towards the roaring waterfall, able to feel condensation forming on his armor as he approached it.
The microscope tilted his head up as they neared the waterfall. The height was fairly impressive, considering the cave was large enough to house a transformer of Wheeljack's size inside. He wiped his optic lenses as the mist from the pool fogged his vision. He laid a hand on the wall of the rock shelter.
The mech ducked down faintly in the entrance, turning and smiling to Perceptor, "Its goes back pretty far too - I'm sure you can find some interesting specimen living inside this cave." Wheeljack said, having to speak louder to be heard over the waterfall before he started deeper into the damp area.
Perceptor barely heard his friend over the loud echo of waters. He did see the headlights and optics glow as they headed deeper inside the cave. The smaller mech saw something glitter on the ceiling of the roof, almost like stars. He though they were stalactites at first, but when his scope accidentally got stuck in one, he realized they were the nets of glow worms.
Wheeljack was careful to make sure his wings didn't get close to the ceiling, not wanting to have to pick up the gooey mess that the glow worms' nets made if they got on armor at all. He glanced back at Percy, able to actually hear himself speak now, "We have to be careful deeper in though, I don't think the ground is too stable back there."
With a careful, yet firm tug, he managed to pull away from the long sticky nets, but not without tearing at the ends. Perceptor walked cautiously, minding the obstacles above and below him. He had to admit though, thanks to the glow worms, the nets gave the illusion of stars at night. He followed Wheeljack closely, their optics--and Jack's headlights--the only light.
The mech slowed once the tunnel started to get a bit smaller, the ground a bit rougher beneath his feet and he looked to his friend. "This is probably as deep as we should go." Wheeljack said, his ear panels glowing and lighting the area with a soft blue glow. "Though this is still pretty amazing - I mean there are even some insects that I spotted in here last time that I've never seen before on Earth."
Perceptor stopped next to Wheeljack as his busy blue optics scanned the area, already picking up different kinds of life forms. The sounds of the waterfall were no more than a faint echo of a sound."It's amazing how these creatures managed to adapt to these conditions. Amblyopsis spelaea for instance have almost completely lost their eyes and pigmentation for living in the dark.
He smiled, "Evolution at the works - Earth is packed with creatures that have adapted to bizarre climates and places..." Wheeljack said, watching his friend in soft amusement, knowing he was probably excited about being able to get up close to the specimen here.
"Have you heard of different types of mechanical creatures that might have been discovered in nearby solar systems of Cybertron? I just heard of it briefly before the Deceptions rebelled on us, but no further studies have been done since then. I wonder if it's possible for other transformers on different planets that evolved differently."
Wheeljack's optics brightened as he heard that, "Really? Primus, that would be fascinating...I mean, really, it wouldn't be too far-fetched that Transformers on different planets changed and adapted to their environments, just as we do now actually." the mech said, his processor going over the possibilities.
Perceptor smiled, looking up at the star-like nets that hung above them. "There are already so many different types of transformers. I wonder what kind there would be." He thought out loud. His hand pushed away from the wall, the back of his hand lightly tapped against Wheeljack's. The scientist didn't make any movement to pull his hand away.
He shifted a little, wings twitching, though he didn't move his hand after the other had tapped his own. "There might even be a civilization of Transformers untouched by our war..." Wheeljack said, optics dimming softly.
The smaller read mech clenched his fist nervously as he shifted closer to his friend until his shoulder touched against Wheeljack's arm. He was afraid to turn his head to look at his friend, but his body continued to press closer.
Perhaps it was the fact that they were alone in the dark with no one else to watch them that he grew some confidence. He wasn't sure himself."Yeah... I'd almost wish we could discover one, but at the same time I'm afraid we might ruin it."
His wings drooped a little, "I wouldn't want to discover it for the same exact reason - our war has already tainted so many worlds and lives, it would be awful to be responsible for yet another world being forced into it..." Wheeljack said, not really noticing his friend's movements as he became lost in his thoughts.
The hesitant hand lifted to Wheeljack's wings. The light from the headlights guided him for a brief moment as he ran a hand over one of them. He could feel his finger tips tremble a bit as he put more pressure into his strokes.
The path his thoughts had been on suddenly halted when he felt the fingers stroke his wing, optics widening as the adornment quivered into the touch. Wheeljack shivered, giving a soft sound and glancing to where he could see his friend's optics glowing in the dark. "P-Percy?" Wheeljack questioned, wondering what the microscope was doing.
Perceptor stilled, but tried not to pull away. His face was burning with heat and his vents were trying to cool him down. "Jack, I...." The microscope looked up to his friend's optics and bit his bottom lip.
Oh Primus, was Perceptor...? Wheeljack instantly felt nervous for multiple reasons, one of the main instantly coming to mind was Sunstreaker. The inventor truly feared what lengths the Lamborghini would go to keep him as a lover and Perceptor was to important for him to risk loosing...but what was he supposed to do? Wheeljack quivered softly, though didn't move away from the other, waiting as they locked optics for what the other had been about to say.
Perceptor inhaled a deep intake as he let go of the wings to take his friend's hand instead. He looked Wheeljack straight in the optics, doing his best not to look away or stumble in his words. "Wheeljack, I...well. I always enjoy being with you and... I was wondering if you'll give me a chance?"
The inventor felt his spark ache sadly as he heard Perceptor, Sunstreaker's words now proved to be undoubtedly true. Wheeljack's optics dimmed as he looked at his friend, the dark rather concealing their features until he spoke, ear panels brightening the darkness. "Percy..."
Primus, this was too complicated! How was he supposed to explain this? That he couldn't accept his friends want to be together despite how much he would enjoy to have a chance with Perceptor...he feared what Sunstreaker would do if he dared to agree...
As the silence between them stretched, Perceptor's spark sank, but he tried to smile through the ache. His fingers loosened from Wheeljack's hand, but feared letting go completely. "It's okay..."
Wheeljack's wings drooped as he heard the other, optics dimming sadly and he barely thought about his actions before his fingers intertwined with Perceptor's and he pulled the other close, hugging the mech as he shivered. He couldn't. He couldn't hurt his friend emotionally like this, not when it could risk their friendship... "P-Percy, I..." his vocals quivered. Should he tell him? Tell him why he was afraid to be with him let alone be in a relationship with him? Sunstreaker would be furious if he knew what he was doing now...
Perceptor gasped, optics widening as he was brought into a tight embrace. He held onto Wheeljack's shoulder for a bit, returning the embrace. It didn't feel right though. Wheeljack sounded as if he were afraid of something. He leaned his helm against his friend's chassis."It's okay Wheeljack." He stroked the Lancia's arm in comfort. "I'm happy enough to be your friend. I shouldn't have asked you to be more than that."
The mech gently continued hugging the other, though pulled back to look at him, "I...I want to be more Percy, but..." his gaze fell, another shiver going through his frame. He didn't realize just how much he feared Sunstreaker, though after the glass incident, he had every right to be afraid, especially for the red microscope.
The red mech shook his head, trying to comfort the other."Don't worry about it Wheeljack," His vocals spoke softly, "Forget I even asked." He smiled at his friend, "If it's a bad time then I understand."
Wheeljack gave a small nod, wings drooped against his back. "Maybe...we can be together, but not now..." the mech said, trying and failing to return a smile.
Perceptor placed a hand over Wheeljack's chassis, "I'll wait." He whispered before pulling away from his friend. His fingers entwined over Wheeljack's. Perceptor could wait for his friend to get over whatever he had to do.
He paused softly to feel the hand on his chest before the other pulled away, his optics dimming and Wheeljack's wings perked up faintly. "Thank you Perceptor." Wheeljack said softly.
The smile on his friend's face lifted his spark a bit, though he was still disheartened about the rejection. He wasn't even sure if Wheeljack was telling the truth or just saying things to make him feel less guilty, but he liked looking on the brightside and decided to hold Wheeljack to his word.
Wheeljack paused, feeling a bit awkward for a moment...before his wings perked up, optics brightening. "W-Well, I'm sure you want to get more specimens...lets make this trip one memorable." the inventor said, trying to keep a cheery voice. It hurt to have to reject his friend and now he was wishing more than ever than he hadn't stayed in Sunstreaker's room that night...