Disclaimer: I don't own them.
A/N: Written for the June 2010 gestalt_love challenge "Jealousy in the Ranks." Apparently, ffnet doesn't like the double slashes I usually use to indicate gestalt bond communication and keeps changes them all to single slashes, but I think it still reads ok.
"Just hold still another klik," First Aid said soothingly, one hand pressed firmly against the side of Streetwise's helm, both for comfort and to prevent him from moving. "Almost done, you're doing great." With his other hand he was delicately attempting to dislodge a tiny fragment from where it had somehow become wedged between Streetwise's left optic and optic shutter. It wasn't a dangerous injury, but it was extremely uncomfortable; Streetwise squinched up his faceplates as he tried not to squirm.
/It's good to see you, for a little while anyway/ Streetwise sent a little wistfully through their gestalt bond, trying to keep his processor off the urge to blink his left optic shutter furiously, which only made things worse and would make First Aid have to start over again. /Sort of see you, that is/ he amended, as his vision blurred with optic fluid trying to flush out the irritating fragment. He felt a warm brush of affection from his brother, only slightly distracted by the need to concentrate on what he was doing. Between the virus outbreak, the evacuations, and the shuttleloads of sick and injured that been arriving almost nonstop for the last several orns, they'd all been so busy they only saw each other to recharge, with First Aid usually arriving after they were already offline and leaving again for the medbay before the rest of his gestaltmates woke up.
"There," First Aid said in satisfaction, and Streetwise relaxed as the piercing discomfort was suddenly gone. "Go ahead and blink, and then I'll take another look. No rubbing!" First Aid added, grabbing Streetwise's hand on its way up to his face, so Streetwise blinked, causing optic fluid to trickle down the side of his face. First Aid smiled at the feeling of grateful relief flooding the bond.
After a moment First Aid put his hands on Streetwise's helm again and tilted it slightly, his visor brightening and rippling with soft iridescence as he scanned the delicate optic mechanisms for damage.
"It looks fine, just some superficial scratches to your optic shutter that should heal on their own. Do you still feel any pain?"
"Nope, not anymore."
Streetwise sighed in regret for the lost contact as First Aid removed his hands. They had felt so nice on his helm, he almost wished he did have more serious damage to his optic as an excuse to keep them there. First Aid made a small amused noise as he caught the thought. /We can't have that, now/ He sat down on the floor next to the stool, air whooshing through his vents a little in weariness, and then tugged Streetwise a little on the hand until he slid off the stool to the floor beside him.
/Better?/ First Aid sent, as he wrapped arms around his brother and they pressed close together, leaning comfortably against the wall.
"Mmm," Streetwise agreed, nuzzling against First Aid happily. He felt Hot Spot and Blades and Groove brushing curiously at them through the gestalt link.
/Hey, no fair!/Blades sent indignantly, dropping off the last of the shipments to replenish their badly depleted medical supplies.
/Yeah, do you have any idea how long it's been since I've gotten First Aid hugs?/ Hot Spot, from where he was just getting in from another evac run.
/How come you rate a snuggle, anyway?/ Groove, giving Streetwise an envious mental poke as he stacked the final box of supplies.
Streetwise didn't answer, just cuddling Aid closer and sending feelings of smugness through the bond.
/Hah! We shall see about that/
/Now you're in trouble/
They stayed like that for a little while, long enough for both their systems to start nudging them with hints for recharge, before Aid's ever-constant awareness of the rows and rows of patients in their berths prodded him into movement again. He sent an apologetic thought to Streetwise as they stirred from their cozy huddle, and Streetwise gently bumped his helm against First Aid's in understanding and forgiveness. /I know, it's ok. This was nice, though/
First Aid's visor flickered in surprise as they stood. Somehow, his patient count had increased by three.
"I have this terrible dent in my elbow plate," Hot Spot said, pointing to the area of concern with a mischievous glint in his red optics.
"Mm hmm, I see," First Aid said, amusement deepening the corners of his mouthplates slightly as he inspected the miniscule scratch with all due seriousness. "Yes, I believe this requires some immediate repairs. You're lucky you're still functional. And you?" First Aid raised an optic ridge as he turned to the other two, sitting together on one of the few empty berths with matching expressions of great innocence.
"Shoulder strain," Groove said, rotating his right shoulder in demonstration.
"Stubbed my minor pede stabilizer." Blades pointed to one of his toe components.
First Aid ran updates on the conditions of the rest of the patients in the medbay one more time. All stable and calm, Ratchet was nearby. They could spare him a few more breems. "Oh dear, how awful," he said aloud, shaking his head in dismay. He used his leg to shove a few stools out of the way - they were going to need a little more room if they were all going to fit on the floor. "Luckily, I happen to be an expertly programmed and highly trained med-bot…"
There was much giggling as they all piled together. Ratchet, poking his head out a moment from under the stacks of reports in his office, smiled. Good.
"…and while I regret to inform you that your conditions are chronic and incurable, the symptoms can be managed with regular therapy…"