This was highly unexpected.
The fact that it was unexpected alone threw him off guard. This was the strangest sensation he had ever experienced. Mostly because his keen eye for detail and near impeccable ability to decipher the exact method and purpose for just about anything were not merely rumors. He was capable of learning exactly where a situation was going in not very much time at all. So why was he so surprised that she was feeling him?
The practice of sensing the inner workings of another bot via the olfactory sensor was initially a medical procedure, invented early on in the war. It was originally intended to discover what was wrong with a bot if there were inadequate supplies available to do it another way. However, after the practice became more and more well known, it eventually evolved to have a new meaning. Now it was a sign of great affection. Now it was a sign of love.
The sheer spontaneity of the whole thing almost scared him. Almost. He had, after all, deleted his emotions long ago in order to store more information. Emotional function in the processor took up an astonishing amount of space, and he had already been created to have more informational storage space than other bots. If he deleted his emotional processors, there would be nearly twice as much space available. He had never expected to feel any sort of emotion ever again. He was wrong.
Over the course of his lifecycle, he had indeed felt emotions, and they were rather strong. They were very small emotions, but they still came somehow. He had never brought it up before, mostly because they did not interfere with anything he had been doing. Even when he had felt strong enough emotions to project a facial expression, they were still easy to control and suppress. They never became unbearable.
Now the strong emotions were returning. Now he was feeling something else. He was unsure of whether these were his feelings or her feelings, but they were very, very powerful. So powerful, in fact, that they nearly crossed the line into being unbearable. Now he was feeling attraction. Now he was feeling love. And after she pulled away, the feelings did not stop. All he could do was stare at her.
For a frightening moment, he could not think. Almost automatically, he evaluated her. She was perhaps the most versatile femme he had ever met, adept at not only medical sciences, but also in other sciences such as chemistry and psychology. There were so many attributes to her knowledge that he was certain that she was attractive to many mechs out there. And yet…
"You seem disappointed." He finally said, though how he had gotten to that conclusion was a mystery to him. Normally something like this would frighten others, and maybe even shoot fear through him as well. But right now, he could only focus on the person in front of him.
"…Sorry. I wasn't sure what I was expecting from that…"
"Were you treating the act as an experiment?" He asked.
"I suppose so, yes. I was." She responded.
"What sort of experiment?" A pause.
"…I was trying to see what would happen if I… for lack of a better phrase, 'came out' to you." He did not respond. "Well, I mean… oh, let's face it Perceptor, you're very attractive. You're the smartest Autobot in any ranks, you're the head of the Ministry of Science, there's no limit to how many of your experiments, projects, and overall aptitude for scientific research and experimentation can succeed!"
Perceptor took this all in very quickly. Something tugged at him to say something in response, perhaps even to compliment her back. After all, if anybot called another bot 'the smartest', that was a surefire signal that they were greatly in love. Once again, something subconscious had been working while he was pondering, and he responded by changing the subject.
"Well, perhaps not succeed. I mean, any result from a scientific test is relevant and viable. But you always know how to get to the result you intended, in not very much time at all! That sort of talent is almost impossible for anyone to reach, but you do, Perceptor!"
He looked at her, unsure as to what his faceplate was betraying… if anything at all. Red Alert merely stood there, patiently awaiting his response. Eventually it came.
"What result did you intend out of what you did?"
"I don't know. I guess I just wanted you to… know. I mean, I'm fairly certain I never dropped any sort of hints or anything, so you were probably in the dark the whole time. Or not, since, well, you're Perceptor. You've probably known all along."
"No, I did not know that you were in love with me."
Red Alert didn't respond. Perceptor did not continue with anything, his mind once again blank. He had never had such a blank train of thought in his entire lifecycle. It seemed more as though his spark were dictating his thoughts, rather than his logic. He still did not know how to respond to his own confusion when, after a long period of nothing, she turned away and prepared to leave. That's when he finally made a connection.
It was only logical that, after experiencing such a surge of emotion only moments earlier, he would do anything to feel it again, to keep feeling it for as long as possible. He wasn't going to lie about it; it felt good to love. It felt good in a very odd way in this situation, mostly because for the most part his actions were purely for her, not him.
It was not spontaneous when he grabbed for Red Alert before she drew too far away from him. She stopped, but did not look back, unsure of what to do. Perceptor turned her around quickly, grabbing onto her shoulder bolts and staring straight at her.
It was not extraordinary that he did not speak, even when her startled, hopeful faceplate begged for an explanation. It was not at all illogical that he would hold her as close as he could, and was pleased when she held him back. They stood there for who knows how long; Perceptor acting merely upon alien impulse, Red Alert acting upon a lifetime of longing.
"Why are you doing this, Perceptor?" Her voice was merely a whisper by now, maybe she was falling asleep? Yes, yes she was falling asleep. She most likely could not believe the situation, maybe even thought it was a dream. Who could blame her? She had been hiding these feelings for who knows how long, and it was probably very difficult to believe that her finally getting her wish was truth.
It was not a lie when he said, in response to her query;
"Because I love you. That's why."