Hello :D First of all may I say that GLYPH IS NOT AN OC for those who would think so. NO she was in the show, you saw her back for 5 seconds, she has a character model. There. She is just VERY underappreciated. Very. But she's so cute :D I don't know how well this was written, most of it describes how I actually photoshop (because I can't paint) with my emotions. And I'm not the best at romance, but I'm better at this innocent younger version of it. So yeah. I hope you like it. Review and tell me what you think.
Bulkhead rested his chinplate on his servo. It was looking to be a long orbital cycle. Then again, they had almost always seemed to be slow lately. And it wasn't slow like, so-much-is-happening-every-cycle-feels-like-a-megacycle slow. It was more like, so-incredibly-boring-I-might-offline-myself slow. There was a big different.
When Sari and the others had suggested that he open up his own art studio, he had thought it was a good idea. He didn't really have anything else to do when he wasn't working on space bridges. And besides, he hadn't really been able to express himself after…all that happened. Not without gallons of oil leaking out.
He had received a lot of support (though now that he thought about it, it had all come from his friends only) and he had painted and sculpted until almost every creative circuit in him was fried. After searching for awhile, he finally found the perfect building in Iacon for his studio. It used to be an office for some insurance company that hit the rocks after Shockwave's identity was revealed; apparently they didn't have a policy about being attacked by a Decepticon that was formerly known as an Autobot. It needed some work, but Bulkhead had known he would be able to remodel it well.
He completely transformed the boring office space into an innovative display. He had arranged the paintings in order of their creation, and had positioned the sculptures near both the corners and the middle. He had also left some areas open for other `bots to feature their artwork as well. He should've known better.
The truth was, Cybertron was not like Earth at all, and he hadn't remembered that until he returned. Back on Earth you were encouraged to succeed in whatever your area of expertise was. But on Cybertron you were either a soldier, smart, or a nobody. If Bulkhead didn't have his space bridge intuition he would definitely been classified in the third category.
Sari and Bumblebee had been the first to visit the gallery when it opened. They were really interested in all of his creations, though some they still didn't understand. It figured. Not everything an artist created could be perfect. Arcee and Ratchet had been next. The femme had had to drag the medibot along, but they got a good look at everything. Then Optimus had come, along with some high-standing `bots who he had no doubt forced to come. It was then Bulkhead knew that his art studio had been a bad idea.
Although Optimus had liked what he saw, the others didn't. They put on fake smiles of enjoyment, but Bulkhead caught several of them scowling when they thought he wasn't looking. They didn't like it. They didn't appreciate it the time, effort, and emotion he had put into it. All they cared about was if it was helping the improvement of Autobot kind. And it didn't.
On Earth art was a significant part of cultures and was actually used in identifying the creation of civilizations and time periods. On Cybertron it was just a distraction.
After that a `bot would wander in every now and then. The longest one would stay was timed at around five cycles. And so, Bulkhead was all alone. His only company was his creations. At least they were considerate enough to appreciate his feelings. Not that they had a choice.
An electric bell rand, signaling the entrance of somebot through the front door. Bulkhead considered hiding, not wanting to repeat earlier situations. But how could he possibly have time to find a place to hide himself so quickly? Even without the time limit the task would be difficult. No, he would have to brave it out. Reluctantly, he turned to see who had come in.
Instantly, he wished he had gone with his first idea and hid.
Standing in the entranceway was a small blue femme. She seemed to be forged from the same protoform model as Bumblebee. Except there was something very different in her appearance. She had round off cylinders where the speedster had horns. And there was something about her that was just…femme-ish. Bulkhead had never been able to really describe the quality the differed the genders. But he did know one thing for certain: she was pretty.
She glanced around the premises, a confused look on her faceplate. For a nanoclick he was afraid she was going to bolt. Instead, she walked over to his desk.
"This is Bulkhead's Art Gallery, isn't it?" She asked. Her voice was soft and higher-pitched. It took Bulkhead almost a quarter of a cycle to process what was coming from her perfectly formed mouth.
"Uh…yeah. Yeah, this is it!" He replied.
"Oh…" She looked around again, "This isn't really what I expected…" Her tone wasn't disappointed or disgusted at all. It was almost…fascinated.
"You actually expected something?" Bulkhead gawked. Then, realizing how stupid that sounded, he attempted to fix it, "I-I mean, because a lot of `bots don't know what to expect with art."
It wasn't exactly the smoothest save, but it worked.
"Then you must be Bulkhead?" She asked, inspecting him. There was something in her viz scanners that suggested nervousness. He didn't take it personally. He was used to that response.
"Yeah, that's me." He answered. She continued to examine him. Then she offered her servo and smiled.
"It must take a real genius to understand all of this," She said, "I'm Glyph."
Bulkhead blinked. Her servo was so small in comparison to his. What if he hurt her? As gentle as he could be, Bulkhead returned the gesture and they shook. Her touch was soft, uncommon among most Autobots. He was hesitant of letting her servo go.
"Nice to meetcha, Glyph." He replied warmly, "So, anything you want to see?"
"Well…if you have the time, I would like to look at all your pieces." She announced.
Normally, Bulkhead would've replied that all he had lately was time, but this news had put him in an altered state of shock. Not only was somebot interested in his work, but this somebot was a femme.
"All of them?" He repeated, trying not to sound too surprised.
"If that's possible, yes."
"Uh…sure! Yeah!" He stood up from his seat and walked around the desk to stand beside her.
"Oh, thank you! This means a lot to me!" Her viz scanners brightened. We she really this excited about his art?
"Don't mention it! We'll probably want to start over here…" He led her over to the left side of the studio, where his earliest paintings created on Cybertron were hung.
This first one was a portrait of Bumblebee and Sari. Though, that's not what most `bots guessed when they saw it. They usually thought it was a turbofox being eaten by red pipes. Even after reading the title they were confused. Nobot seemed to understand cubism.
Looking at the painting, Bulkhead regretted showing it first. It was very odd-looking and not very good. It could give Glyph a bad impression of the rest of the studio. It could make her leave and never come back.
For a few nanoclicks they both stood their silently. Bulkhead snuck a few glances at her and saw her frowning at the picture in concentration. He knew it. She didn't like it.
After a bit more silence, she spoke up. "These two are your best friends, aren't they?"
Bulkhead blinked. "Yeah…Yeah they are. How'dja know that?"
"Uh…just guessing…" Her faceplate turned red and she looked away. Bulkhead wondered why she responded so oddly.
He felt it was the time to, as Bumblebee had called it, 'make a move'. He had always seemed to be a little concerned about Bulkhead's awkward behavior around femmes. So to help he had given him a few lines that were supposed to ease up the atmosphere. Whatever that meant. He searched his processor for a phrase he could use.
"Glyph…uh…I lost my frequency number and I was…uh…wondering…" Horrible delivery. But it was too late to take it back. He felt his whole body turn warm in embarrassment. She looked at him quizzically.
"Wondering about what?" She asked.
"Nothing! Let's move on to the next piece!" He said quickly, saving himself for the second time in cycles. Why did he always blunder when he was trying to do something serious?
She nodded. "That sounds good."
They walked over to the next painting. Bulkhead's spark sighed as he recognized it. This had been when he was going through, as Sari had dubbed it, 'blue' period. Every artist had one apparently. It was during that time that Prowl had been on his processor.
It was a painting of a tree in an impressionist style. Nothing special. Even amateurs could draw trees. But he had used a shade of blue that resembled a `bot's spark. It was so realistic, in fact, that he almost expected it to start pulsating. Bulkhead had used it as a symbol. Maybe that would be like a tree growing in the Well of All Sparks. Prowl would like that.
And thus the title was 'A Gift to a Friend'.
It was quiet once again as they looked at it. It was broken by the sound of soft sobs. They were muffled, but Bulkhead could still hear them. He turned, afraid of what he would see.
The oil leaked in small streams down her faceplate. She had a servo over her mouth, trying to make sure she wasn't heard. Her viz scanners were intent on the painting, wavering slightly. When she realized he was looking at her, she turned away again.
"I'm sorry!" Bulkhead wasn't sure what he could've done to make her cry, but he felt he had to be the reason, "Please don't cry, Glyph!"
"…It's okay…I'm fine…" She insisted, trying to regain her composure. She turned around and wiped off the oil, "You really are a talented artist."
"Not really…I'm about average on an earth level." He admitted modestly, "Are you sure you're okay?"
Her viz scanners turned misty again as she redirected her attention to the painting.
"He left before his time. Nobot wanted him to go. He had so much more to live for here…but he cared for his friends more than himself…He cared for you, Bulkhead…" She began to leak again, "You must be going through so much pain and regret. And yet you find something to take joy in his memory…your spark must be so strong to endure it…"
She continued to cry, unable to hold it in any longer. Bulkhead wanted to comfort her, but he really didn't know how to in a way that wouldn't result in him sobbing with her. And he was also caught by surprise. There was something different about this femme. She understood him. Appreciated his emotions. How had she been able to gain such an insight on him so quickly?
"You got all that…from my painting?" He asked. He had never seen anybot ever really see through him like that before.
"…you think I'm a freak, don't you?" She said softly. "Everybot else does…"
"N-no!" Bulkhead insisted, "I'm impressed, actually."
"Really?" She looked up at him, a hint of a smile present. The oil stopped flowing again.
"Yeah. Really." He grinned, "How were you able to do that, anyways?"
"I'm a student at the Autobot Academy. I'm studying to be a translator of languages and codes. For my thesis paper, I decided to do write on some codes from Earth." She explained, "I was lucky enough to stumble upon some prime examples of it without even leaving Iacon."
"My art is a code?" He was confused.
"A code is simply a message hidden in plain sight. All you need to know is the rules. Art is the same way. It conveys a message through emotion and feel that is encrypted deep within the lines and paint. One streak of a brush can tell so much more than several hundred symbols…It's very fascinating…" She mused. She looked very comfortable talking about this. She obviously really loved codes.
But there was something else too: She thought art was fascinating. She had even said that his art was a 'prime example'. That had to be good, right? Bulkhead felt himself grow more anxious being around her. He had to stay on this subject. It was making her happy.
"How'dya understand it so easily?"
"I read up on styles of organic art in a book." She answered.
"A book!? How'd somebot like you get a book?" Bulkhead was shocked. He had never heard of such a thing happening anywhere on Cybertron. Even on Earth, books were on the brink of extinction. A majority of the population used some kind of electronic device to get their literature needs.
"…well, it wasn't a real book. Just a download file. But it was from one." She sighed, "I really want one, though. All of Earth's languages are so interesting. I would have liked to do my paper on one of those, but my professor doesn't approve of using organic topics…" She frowned.
"But he's letting you do my art because I'm a `bot?" Bulkhead asked.
She nodded. "But I think he's also allowing me because he wants to see how bad I'll fail. He's never liked me because of my interest in organic culture."
"Well, you'll prove him wrong then, won't you?" He said encouragingly. She smiled.
"I hope so. But if you believe in me I know I can." She had such a pretty smile…wait, focus, Bulkhead!
"So…uh…could you show me how you decode it or whatever you're doing?" He prompted.
"Sure! I had to guess at the rules a bit. I only was able to find the main message, though. Knowing most codes, there have to be several underlying ones that will take awhile to discover." She paused, looking closer at the painting, "This…thing. He really liked them. And on Earth they are a symbol of beauty and longevity."
Bulkhead could only let his mouth hang open on seeing what she could discover from his one painting within nanoclicks of observation. He hadn't even considered all of the things a tree represented while he was painting this piece. He had just…painted a tree. Maybe it was his subconscious processor working.
"What are the rules here?"
"Look here. You used soft colors as a base to show your feelings about him. The fact that you cared. But you added streaks of sharp blue over here…that's a contrast, showing your pain. You can tell that you pressed harder on the brush in the background and used a darker color to express his absence leaving a cold imprint on your…" She trailed off, realizing what she was saying, "I'm sorry! If you don't want me to continue analyzing this one, I'm sure I can do one that is happier just as well…"
"No, this one's good." He insisted firmly. He knew his spark had been put into this piece more than others. Though it would be painful, he knew it would help her get a good idea about how art worked. He would endure it for her.
Glyph looked hesitant, but continued. "Okay…there's a warm halo of light around…the thing…"
"…The 'tree', symbolizing the sacred way he treated them and how he treasured them above all other material things." She paused again, staring absorbedly, "…and that's all I can get at the moment. There have to be many more sides to it, though."
"You could have your whole paper right there." He offered.
She laughed but shook her head. "If only. One painting isn't enough, though. I need to cover a wide spectrum of uses and all kinds of patterns for this to be perfect. That's why…I need your help, Bulkhead."
"My help?" That was a first since the whole space bridge epidemic.
"Who better to help explain the true meanings of a work than the artist himself? It's like having a decoder on servo!" She said enthusiastically, "It would really help me on my paper!"
She made her viz scanners grow slightly larger and brighter. He would've agreed anyways, but the look just made her cuter.
"Sure! I'd love to help!"
"Great! Maybe we could meet together sometime and discuss this in depth." She offered.
"Like for dinner." The words came out of his mouth before he had considered its implications, "N-Not like…a date dinner! Just a strictly friends dinner!"
He didn't want to come across as to pushy or strong. Or desperate. Those were qualities that Bumblebee had said were no good at all. But…now that he thought about it…how much interactions with femmes had Bumblebee had, other than Sari? Bulkhead doubted it was many. Then should he really be listening to him for advice?
"…what's wrong with a date dinner?" She asked softly. She looked kind of hurt.
"N-Nothing!" He cried, then mumbled, "As long as you don't have anything wrong with it…" He blushed. Glyph giggled.
"Then it's a date. And a real one." She smiled.
"O-Okay! Sure! Sounds great!" Bulkhead tried not to sound too eager.
"I have to go to one of my classes now…so see you then?" She said solemnly. Bulkhead didn't want to see her go, but he knew she would come back.
"Yeah, see you then."
"I'll send you my frequency," She said, "and we'll set it up from there."
She began to walk back towards the exit. He watched sadly as she left. Then, right when she reached the door, she stopped and turned around.
"And Bulkhead?" She asked. He blinked.
She winked. "Make sure not to lose it."
XD Glyph was hard to write. I based her mainly off of her G1 comic appearance, where she was a data decrypter or something like that O.o But everyone who has done ANYTHING with her TFA form has made her love literature, so instead of plain-old 'data' I made it codes, or encrypted literature. It also fit with art really well, I thought. She has an 'eye for detail' (TFwiki) so that's how she can notice all the subtle stuff.
I actually made fun of myself in this XD Because I can't draw trees to save my life, and Bulkhead comments that any amateur can draw trees. I can't draw any normal objects actually. Only humans, a few animals, transformers, and stitchpunks it seems...
I might write more with this couple, if you guys like it. I have a few ideas about what could happen, though I'd like to hear your opinions/ideas too. Well, see ya till then