Transformers (c) Hasbro
Chromia never thought herself a paranoid or pessimistic femme; she'd consider herself more of a cynic, or even a realist on a good day. She wouldn't say that every act of kindness always had to have an ulterior motive...though generally they did. After all, she was a femme who spent an unhealthy portion of her younger years scraping a living in the slums of Dead End. Suffice it to say that you were more likely to spontaneously grow a tail and morph into an organic than come across catch-free acts of kindness in that place.
But call her what you would, at that moment the blue femme would bet every last gun she had at her disposal (which believe you me, could sufficiently equip a small army) that Firestar was by no means acting out of pure sparked generosity. The red femme graced Chromia with a bright grin, taking the seat opposite her.
Through narrowed optics, the weapons specialist scrutinized both the smiling 'bot and the high-grade energon cube being offered to her. Chromia had known Firestar for many millennia and, while they may be good friends, neither was predisposed to random acts of generosity like this. Such deeds were always either spawned from a dept being owed, or, as Chromia suspected now, they wanted a favour.
Leaning back in her chair to better survey the femme, she crossed her arms and frowned, "Ok Firestar. Whatever it is you want, spit it out" Chromia was never one to mince words.
The red femme's smile morphed into a confused facade, "What are you talking about Chr-"
She stopped as the blue 'bot casually swiped the cube from her hand and downed it in one swig. It dropped back onto the table with a light clang, little droplets of energon sprinkling around it.
"Don't give me that innocent look Star" she snapped, using the back of a hand to wipe her mouth, "First you take my patrol shift, then you retrieve my bazooka from the battlefield, and now high-grade! There're only ever two conditions where you pull this kind of slag-charity and seen as I don't recall saving your aft lately in battle, I want to know what you want" Optics never leaving the femme, Chromia absently plucked up the empty cube and tossed it over her shoulder into the nearby waste receptacle.
While most bots would be rendered mute at the complete candour and lack of tact in the statement, Firestar was well adapt to dealing with the weapons specialist's attitude. Faceplates no longer strained in that annoying 'innocent surprise' expression, the search and rescue femme returned her friend's suspicious glare with neutral calmness.
After a brief stare down, Firestar expelled hot air from her intakes in a defeated sigh, a hand rubbing the side of her helm as she briefly offlined her optics.
"I'm not going to lie to you" she began solemnly, "Aside from Inferno, you're probably the one 'bot that I would fully trust with my own sparkling's life" Blue optics widened substantially at this. To any bot (femme and mech alike), that was perhaps the greatest form of trust they could bestow on each other. It was one thing to trust someone with their own spark; they did that on a day to day basis. But to trust another with their sparkling's life...That was something else.
And never, in a million vorns, did the blue femme think anyone would trust her, Chromia, 'trigger-happy, gruff and harsh, tough as nails, with a fiery temper and violent streak to match' Chromia, with their sparkling.
Two bright optics onlined and locked gazes with her, "I have to ask a large favour of you. I'll understand if you don't accept, but please hear me out" the pure sincerity laced in her tone was enough to garner the femme's absolute attention. She gave a short nod, not trusting herself to speak.
"It's about Flareup. Now hear me out!" she added hastily, noticing how Chromia's expression flitted from staid and attentive to an irritated scowl. With a struggle, the blue femme swallowed her distain towards the impulsive and eccentric overgrown sparkling in favour of listening to her friend.
Satisfied, Firestar continued, "We've been on several search and rescue missions together since she received her femme upgrades" she hesitated before adding in a lower tone, "They haven't gone too well"
Chromia raised an optic ridge, "Define 'too well'" Firestar gave her an even stare.
"Three cave-ins, seven wild fires, two Decepticon detections, and an increase in injuries; both for those to be rescued and herself" she listed off. Chromia was unable to fight the smirk crawling across her face.
"That bad eh?" she chuckled, "Guess the kid's not cut out for search and res-" she froze mid-sentence. The sharp sting of realisation cut into her like an electro whip and her smirk completely evaporated,"...Oh no"
Firestar's expression remained unchanged, "Like you said; she's not suited for stealth missions"
Chromia's optics were wide in dread, "Bu-"
"Offense is clearly her strength. But, all things in consideration, I probably should have noticed this earlier" the red femme continued.
"I can't teach her in that aspect" Firestar stated, optics steadily fixed on the 'bot desperately avoiding her gaze and shifting in her seat. Had the situation not been both highly personal and serious to Firestar, she probably would have taken great pride and amusement in making the 'Iron-Maiden' known as Chromia squirm in nervousness.
"But you can" and there it was. Direct hit. Perfectly executed. A true 'Firestar Move', Chromia thought sourly. "Chromia, please take Flareup as your student. She has the potential; she just needs someone to give her the appropriate guidance. Please, I'm asking this not only as your friend...but as a creator" the tone of her voice was perfectly steady, but Chromia knew desperation when she saw it; and Firestar's face was etched with it.
Flareup was practically the red femme's sparkling and it was only natural that Firestar would want the kid to be trained to the best of her abilities, with the best instruction possible. And Chromia would be lying if she were to say there was anyone on base better suited then herself....but still. Chromia found the youngling's loud, brash demeanour and insufferable arrogance endlessly irksome, and any suggestions (on the part of Elita or Firestar) that Chromia herself had once been like that were brutally brushed aside with vigour.
Blue optics offline, Chromia gave a long, deep sigh with a whoosh of her intakes. Firestar remained patiently silent; even as Chromia rose from her seat and began to haltingly pace the length of the rec-room. Firestar knew that whatever her answer, Chromia would do what felt right; if she didn't want to mentor Flareup, she wouldn't. Friends or not, the weapons specialist was never the type to do something she didn't feel comfortable with...or in this case, would annoy the slag out of her.
After just over a breem, the recurring clack of metallic footsteps ceased; replaced by shoulder gears whining in defeat. Back facing Firestar, the femme's posture notably straightened, arms crossed firmly in front of her.
"You realise that kid is going to go through the Pit and back, right?" her voice was completely serious, but earned a wide grin from the red femme nonetheless; soon morphing into an amused smirk.
"I wouldn't have it any other way" she drawled, optics brightening, "She could do with some straightening out; I've never been much good with punishments" she added with a light shrug.
Chromia gave an amused snort in return, turning on her heel to face the femme. Firestar was unsurprised to see the weapons specialist's faceplates had grown into the all too familiar predatorial grin she bore after having taken out a particularly strong enemy.
"Rest assured, she shall be straightened out. Even if I have to take her apart and reconstruct her myself" shrugging blue shoulders in a mockery of innocence, she added, "You opened this can of turbo-worms, my friend. If the kid hates you for it; not my fault"
Firestar returned her smirk, leaning her chin on the back of one hand, "I think she'll be far too busy hating you, my friend" she stated sweetly.
Author's Note: Moar femme stories 8D These will be less personal than 'What Lies Beneath' and have more to do with the day to day events in the femme base. Be warned, there'll probably be femmes in this that you mightn't know and only ever had VERY minor roles in the comics/cartoons/whatever; take Flareup for example [if you want to find out about her, go to wiki Transformers] But there shall be no [and I mean NO] OC's!
On an off note, I just threw in that thing about Chromia growing up in Dead End for the sake of establishing her 'tough-gal' mystique ;D