Felt like writing Tracks and Raoul, and my "Joyride" one-shot collection wanted another update. Whoot.
"I can not believe how long you were staring, Raoul," Tracks said, carrying the human away from the scene of the incident. He had the tiny human clutched to his chest, face shoved into Track's chest-plate like a Carrier shielding her sparkling from a flasher. Tracks was lucky he arrived when he did, or surely his little human friend would have ended up broken. "It was absolutely indecent."
Raoul pushed at the large blue hands, completely unaware of how close he was to being beaten to a pulp for interrupting. "Let up, dude! I can't breathe!"
"Sorry," Tracks said, opening his hand a bit, eyes still narrowed. "But really. What on earth were you thinking? You have more tact than that."
"I was trying to figure out what they were doing!" Raoul said, face red. The human pushed at Tracks' hands until they formed a cup for him to sit in. Tracks cycled air through his vents and hoped he made it to his room without further incident. Raoul pouted childishly the while. "How was I supposed to know they were going to freak out when they saw me in the doorway? It's not my fault they left it open!"
"Things get forgotten in the heat of the moment," Tracks said, sticking his nose in the air. He himself would never let such a thing happen, but what could you expect from common folk? As bad as it was for Raoul to have watched, they were equally at fault for leaving the door open. Manners. No one on this ship had any! "I'm sure humans can relate. Polite behavior dictates you turn around and leave, not stare and gawk like some Decepticon ogling lewd photographs."
"Lewd photographs? Tracks, I don't even know what I saw!" Raoul crossed his arms, and shifted so his legs were crossed. "So are you going to tell me what I walked in on or what?"
"Considering how opposed you were to giving me a car wash, I'd think you'd have figured it out by now." Tracks nodded at Bumblebee and Spike as he walked by, and after a second thought, sent a message over the com warning Bumblebee about the recreation room and its current occupants. The last thing they needed was for Spike to walk in on them, too. "Honestly."
"What does Hound and Mirage plugging a ton of wires into each other and weird blue lights have to do with giving you a rub down?" Raoul asked, raising an eyebrow. "I mean, Mirage and Hound's paint were scratched, so I guess they could have been touching each—"
Raoul's voice stopped dead and his eyes widened. "Oh, no. No, no, no."
"Figure it out, did you?"
Raoul pulled his legs up, shrinking into a tiny ball in Tracks' hand. "So you guys can, and they were, and I was staring?"
"Very lewdly, I might note yet again." Tracks hummed, clicking in the code to his room. "And considering how reserved Mirage is, and often Hound is out and about, this is probably the first moment they've had to do anything in months. No wonder they're furious."
"Who cares if they're furious! I was watching Robots have sex for like fifteen minutes and didn't realize it!" Raoul cried. "That's all sorts of messed up."
"You are not helping," Raoul said, as Tracks dumped him on the desk and closed his door. Thankfully, his roommates were out. Raoul climbed up on a loose piece of armor, and sat on it. "Who does that sort of thing in the rec room where anyone can walk in?"
Tracks shrugged, shaking his wings out. Immediate danger of Mirage ripping Raoul's arms off gone, he felt he could relax. "It's hardly the first time. While Bumblebee has done a remarkable job of protecting Spike and Carly's 'innocence,' Sparkplug has walked in on someone at least twice. But he's had the sense to turn around and walk away like anyone else."
Raoul shifted, and looked up at the ceiling. Tracks felt the question coming from a mile away when the boy turned his head. Raoul always got straight to the point. "So, are Mirage and Hound dating, or friends with benefits, or married, or what?"
"Closer to the first two suggestions," Tracks said. He rubbed Raoul's head with a finger, and smiled when it was swatted away. "Permanent relationships of that nature, marriage as you'd put it, aren't that common with Cybertronians. Though at the same time, interfacing—sex, that is—between friends isn't that uncommon."
"Gotcha," Raoul said.
The human sat quietly as Tracks decided to make use of this private time to get a polish in. Raoul wasn't a common visitor to the Autobot Base, distance and all, and Tracks didn't have enough supplies to keep a stash in New York. Raoul was the only one who could get polish in between the joints on his back, so he was hardly going to waste this opportunity! However, as he set the case down on the table, he noticed that Raoul's eyes were glued on him. The contemplative and fixed stare, could only mean one thing:
"Oh, just ask, Raoul," Tracks said, rolling his optics. "It's written all over your headband that you want to."
Tracks prepared himself for the likely long and embarrassing "Interfacing 101" talk when the inevitable question of how and what was involved, was asked. What hot-blooded human boy wouldn't want to know the details? Raoul had been watching those two long enough, so he must be interested.
"You got any interfacing partners on the ship?" Raoul asked, blunt and uncouth.
"Do I have what?" Tracks said, mouth agape. The mech fidgeted with the lid of his polishing case. "Why is that important?"
"I don't know, I guess I feel bad not noticing you guys have relationships and stuff," Raoul shrunk down, his back hunched. He fiddled with the edge of his jacket. "I only see one or two of you at a time, so it makes a little sense I wouldn't know this stuff, but you're my best friend. How come I've never asked? I mean, I barely know anything about your home life, or who your Autobot buddies are, or now—If you're dating somebody. That's a pretty big chunk of your life I've been ignoring."
"Raoul," Tracks said. He spun the cap off the polish, and pulled up a chair to the desk. "I haven't exactly been forthcoming about it, so I wouldn't blame yourself too much."
"Still sucks, man." Raoul turned on his make-shift chair until his feet rested on the rim of Tracks' jar of polish. He kicked the edge. "So, let's start working on fixing that and answering my earlier question: Do you have someone you do that stuff with?"
"That's a little private, don't you think?" Tracks scoffed. He pushed Raoul over off his seat. "Besides, didn't you say that stuff was creepy when I asked you for a car wash?"
Raoul grunted, climbing to his feet. He jumped up and hung off the side of the polish jar by his elbows. "No, asking me to get you off is creepy. I ain't asking for a play by play, man. I just want some names, or else I'm going to go crazy trying to guess."
Tracks pushed Raoul off his jar and closed the lid back on. There was no way he was getting a polish now. Raoul, the sneak, made himself comfortable on the lid and crossed his legs under him. He smiled and held out a hand.
"Come on, it's guy talk. I tell you about my dates," Raoul grinned.
Tracks dropped his wings and shook his head. "You're not going to let this go, are you?"
"Come on, I've been traumatized by Hound and Mirage. Gimme something to get my mind off it!" Raoul clapped his hands together. "Spill!"
"If you must know," Tracks drawled, "I'm currently not seeing anyone, nor have I been with anyone since we landed on Earth. Are you satisfied?"
Raoul hopped off the jar and shoved his hands in his pockets. He walked up to Tracks' arm, and tapped the blue metal with the tip of his boot. "Why's that? Nobody here up your alley?"
"More like I'm not up theirs," Tracks said, quietly. "I'm not the most…liked mech on the ship, Raoul."
"What? No way," Raoul said, eyes narrowing. "I mean, you're a little stuck up and stuff, and there's that whole vanity thing, but you're a great guy."
"Your flattery leaves me breathless."
"You don't breathe," Raoul said. He rested his head and elbow on the crook of Tracks' arm, and settled down there. Tracks could feel the blood pumping in the boy's veins, steady and warming. Raoul frowned. "But really man, how could somebody not be crazy about you?"
"I ask myself that daily," Tracks said. He pressed an arm to his chest, and held his head up high. "After all, I'm an exquisite specimen."
"Knock it off, man." Raoul said, raising an eyebrow. "For real, though, you've got friends here at least, right? I don't need to knock some heads together, do I?"
"Yes, Raoul, I have friends of my own species." Tracks chuckled. "Not as many as some, but I do keep company other than yourself."
"And none of them caught your fancy?" Raoul hummed. He knocked Tracks' armor with his knuckles. "I can see you getting picky easier than them."
"I asked Blaster once," Tracks said, softly and hesitantly. Without disturbing his human companion, he dragged over his polishing cloth. He played with the fabric between his fingers. "I think he might have been interested."
"Didn't work out, I take it?" Raoul prompted.
"His cassettes were not too fond of the idea of our relationship moving up a level," Tracks said. He wrung the cloth between two fists that formed of their own volition. "Rewind had a mile long list of why it wouldn't work out, cross-referenced, Eject thinks I'm a snob, Steeljaw is terrified I'll have him polished, and Ramhorn's objections are best left unsaid in polite company. I was out numbered four to one by minicons that live in his chest, so Blaster decided it best we stay platonic friends."
"Ouch," Raoul said. He snorted heavily, and pushed up his headband to scratch the hair underneath. "Those cassettes sound like brats. Is that a thing? Because I've noticed that about Soundwave's hoard of annoyances."
Tracks laughed, covering his mouth. "Perhaps."
"No one else?"
Tracks' laughter died down and he hummed. "Not that it matters, but after an unpleasant attempt with Sunstreaker, and being flat out rejected by three or four others, I suppose I just stopped trying."
"Yeah well, from what I can tell, it's their loss, man." Raoul rubbed Tracks arm softly with his palm and sighed. "You're going to find somebody perfect, and they're going to be as jealous of that guy as their are of your looks. Just you wait."
"We'll see," Tracks said. Raoul grinned at him, the smile small but just for Tracks. For now, this was more than enough. Tracks rubbed Raoul's head, ruffling his hair all of of place, drawing out laughter from the both of them. "But it's going to be hard to top wishing they look as good as I do."
"You vain aft," Raoul laughed, smacking Tracks' side. He pushed away and kicked Tracks with the back of his heel. "I take it back! Who'd want to put up with you!"
"I don't know, the little human who's going to give me a polish, maybe?" Tracks grinned, waving the rag back and forth.
"You bet I put up with you," Raoul said, snatching the over sized cloth. He kicked the side of the polish container and waited for Tracks to open it. "Aft."
"Much obliged," Tracks said.
It wasn't interfacing, but who was Tracks to complain?