Another year and some has passed since the last update and my Transformers mood has resurfaced. Haven't gotten into any new media, but I have been looking back at my old G1 stuff (Been thinking about my Bee/Spike fic Cadge and this in particular). So…update it is. :P
Drift's religious beliefs were one of my favorite parts of the early portions of the MTMTE comics (before the Rung reveal—I can't say I'm a big fan of that whole plot twist, so it's not in this fic :D), and it's been fun taking him that direction with Wing and the Church. Though his plot line with Wing was better (and more fun to adapt into this AU). :D
Thank you so much for reading and your patience. I'm a bit of a sporadic writer, so I appreciate it. Thanks again and enjoy!
"Rod and Bee, sitting in a tree!" Wheelie shouted, spinning in a circle. "Kissing, kissing, what else could it be?"
His rhyming friend broke into laughter and collapsed onto Rodimus' bed, pointing at Bee and then to Rodimus' red face. Blurr rolled his eyes and went back to leaning over his studying while biting his lip to keep from laughing. Garnak and Bumblebee looked amused, but kept their mouths shut—but not for long, if Rodimus knew his friends.
"Wheelie, so help me if you don't knock it off, I'm kicking you out!" Rodimus snatched his pillow out from the other's head. He smacked Wheelie with it before tossing it back onto the bed. "I mean it."
"Sir does sound serious," Garnak added, opening a bag of popcorn from the floor. "He's embarrassed, he is."
"Yup, yup, yup," Blurr added. "It's easy to rile Rod up, that's for sure, sure, sure."
"You be quiet about it too," Rodimus said, nudging Blurr's side with his shoe. He covered his face and walked backwards until he took a seat on Bee's bed. It was too crowded and both Blurr and Garnak blocked any chance of escaping the small dorm room. "This is why I told you not to say anything."
"But it's funny," Bumblebee said, snickering as he flipped a page in his book. It took him about twenty minutes into dinner the other night before he realized what Hot Rod's self-appointed brother was doing, but once it hit, he couldn't hold back the internal glee. "Your brother actually thought you had a chance with me."
"Shut up." Rod rolled over and sprawled over Bee's legs. Memories of Springer asking Bee if he was single haunted him. "I can't believe he tried to hook us up. Over Italian!"
"It is romantic."
"You'd think it would be your parents trying to set you up, not your brother," Garnak said. He watched Wheelie hop up to sit crosslegged on the sheets and hummed. "Don't you think?"
"Springer and Arcee have been spending more time together, so he's in a total couple mode," Rodimus said, holding up his hand. He rubbed between his eyes and smiled. "Since he's got a date, he wants me to have one now so we can double."
Wheelie hummed. "To double date, you'd need a mate."
"But Bumblebee? I said my roommate was smart and fun to be rivals with, not that I wanted to make out with him," Rodimus said. "He's so not my type."
"What is your type, Sir?" Garnak asked, fiddling with the popcorn bag. Sir hadn't mentioned or dated much since coming to campus. The curiosity tugged at his chest. "If you don't mind me asking."
"Short," Blurr said. He popped the lid off a highlighter and took it to his notes. "Rod always had crushes on people shorter than him."
Wheelie sat up and Garnak pouted.
"Height doesn't matter," Rodimus said, blushing. Deadlock had been shorter than him, hadn't he? He shook his head. "Really."
Bumblebee looked over the top of his book. "Is that why Springer tried to hook us up? I'm shorter than you?"
The group burst into laughter at Rodimus' expense and he grabbed a pillow to shove his head under it.
He needed to clear things up with Springer as soon as possible. Dating wasn't in his future. He had his studies and his friends and…no one else.
Rodimus clutched the pillow tighter.
"Have my eyes deceived me or are you reading the scriptures of your own accord?" Wing asked, peering over Drift's shoulder. The man grinned wide as his white hair fell over his shoulder. "What a studious pupil you've turned out to be."
Drift closed the book with a snap, careful to make sure the bookmark ribbon was in place. He wanted to finish the rest of the Guiding Hand story later. "Did you need something?"
"I don't need anything, but I did have a want." Wing held up a wicker basket and pulled back a dish cloth to reveal baked bread and rolls. "Would you care to walk with me while I deliver this? One of our neighbors lost a loved one and I thought I'd bring them something homemade to cheer them up."
"Takes more than food to do that," Drift said, clutching his book close. Would he have taken Gasket's death better if someone like Wing had been there to bring warm bread? Knowing how he was as Deadlock—that was a "No." Drift cleared his throat. "But I guess it's the gesture that matters?"
"I suppose that bread won't make the pain go away, no, but it might give her something to smile about for a few moments," Wing said. He patted Drift on the shoulder and squeezed. "At the very least, it'll make sure she has something to eat which will help her feel better in the long run."
Drift nodded, unsure of what else to say.
"You don't have to come, but I thought we could take a walk afterwards," Wing said. He lowered the basket and crossed one hand over the other. "Just the two of us."
"Sure," Drift said. He felt his face heat and stood, putting the book gently on his shelf. "That'd be all right."
"Wonderful," Wing said. He took Drift's hand and dragged him to the door. "Come on, the house is only a few minutes away, so we'll have plenty of time to visit and get some air."
Drift squeezed Wing's hand back and followed him out, close enough to the basket that he could smell the fresh baked goods clear through the rag.
Gasket would have loved the bread. Maybe Hot Rod—
"Ow," Wing said, wincing. Drift had clutched his hand hard enough to bruise. He looked at his friend and saw the pain in his eyes. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," Drift said, letting go of Wing's hand. He crossed his arms and pretended he hadn't freaked out for a moment. Hot Rod…he shouldn't think about Hot Rod. "Let's go."
Wing took Drift's hand again and gave it a reassuring pat. "Let's go."
Drift nodded and exhaled.
He really didn't deserve such a good thing after it all, but he'd keep it.
Deadlock and Drift had that attitude in common.
"I was teasing earlier, but if your brother thinking we liked each other bothers you that much, I can say something." Bumblebee put a glass of water on the nightstand. His roommate had been sulking since the others left. "Though I'm not sure I should be insulted or not if you find me that repulsive."
Rodimus took the offered glass and took a drink. "That's not it. You're cute, Bee—don't worry."
Bumblebee crossed his arms and waited for a proper answer.
"Okay, okay!" Rodimus said. He put the glass on the stand. "All this talk about dating and relationships has me thinking about someone I used to know. We didn't leave on the best of terms, and three years or not, I'm not as over it as I thought I was."
"Do you," Bumblebee paused. He and Rodimus were friends…of a sort. Weren't they? He shook his head. He went out with the guy's brother and had a study session with his friends. They were friends. "Do you want to talk about it?"
"If I told you I made out with a hitman once while under the influence of drugs, would your opinion of me go up or down?"
Bumblebee kept his cool. That statement was either a joke or total truth. The look in Rodimus' eyes told him which the likely answer was, so Bumblebee answered with a joke to his truth. "You're at rock bottom in my books, so that opinion can't go lower."
Rodimus burst out into a laugh and covered his mouth. The last person he spoke to in detail about Deadlock was Kup…maybe it was time for a second opinion from someone who wasn't so close to Rodimus.
A neutral perspective might be just what he needed.
"Take a seat, Bee," Rodimus said, patting his mattress. "You're going to be listening for a while."
His roommate took a seat across from him, and Rodimus talked about Deadlock.
As Drift expected, the older woman wasn't in the mood for company and their visit consisted of dropping off bread and assuring her that the Circle of Light would help in any way they could if she needed assistance during her grieving.
It was for the best. The woman had lost a son, not a parent, so Drift's shared experience with death wasn't on the same page.
"You'd think one would get used to visits like that with a job like mine," Wing said, holding his hand to his chest. The other loosely held the empty bread basket. "But it always taxes on the heart."
"Probably a good thing," Drift said, sticking his hands in his pockets. Their walk through the park left them alone with the breeze and trees. "Being numb to death isn't a great place to be."
Deadlock had always been somewhere in the middle. One day, he wouldn't be fazed by the dead bodies or remember his hits. Other days, he'd revel in the bloodshed and play with the corpses.
Drift just felt empty.
"Oh! Look!" Wing said, pointing with excitement. The deacon rushed over to a corner of the park and clapped his hands together. "I knew Impactor would get it finished."
A wooden swing-set had been built at the edge of the children's play area. It had been sanded down and looked sturdy enough to hold a grown adult. Drift snorted, picturing the rough and tough Impactor making a toy for kids.
Wing didn't need to know it was likely a punishment for some screw up.
Community service made Shockwave and Megatron look good—but no one wanted to participate in the front-end of the Decepticons.
"There's a smile," Wing said. He poked Drift's cheek. "Are you picturing the happy faces of the children who'll be enjoying that tomorrow?"
"You wish," Drift said. He grabbed Wing's poking finger and pushed it aside. "I'm picturing Impactor cursing a storm while he builds the thing."
Wing snorted and Drift felt his own bit of laughter bubble up to join him.
It felt good.
It felt really good—
Drift and Wing turned to face the shouting voice. Horri-bull stood before him, face twisted and angry. Drift shoved Wing behind him and stood between Turmoil's ex-goon and his new friend.
"Isn't it bad enough you're still stalking around after what you did? You really have to keep coming back to my turf?" Horri-bull said, stalking forward. "I know what you did to my guy. He's still bleeding from some of those wounds."
"Drift?" Wing asked, voice even. "Do you know this gentleman?"
"Yeah, but I wish I didn't," Drift said, a Deadlock-like sneer escaping him. "Get lost, Horri-bull. We're just on a walk."
"Like I said," Horri-bull said, strolling closer. He snapped his finger and about ten more guys entered the small play area. "The last time you went on a walk, you bloodied up one of my guys and I don't appreciate that."
Deadlock growled and—
"So much for a relaxing evening," Wing said, setting his basket on the ground. Dead—Drift looked over his shoulder and stared with wide eyes as the man shrugged off his coat and folded it. "But, I suppose bonding time is bonding time."
"What are you doing?" Drift asked. Wing needed to leave. The man needed to leave right now before something bad happened to him like Gasket. Drift kept his eye on Horri-bull and hissed, "Go back to the church."
"Nonsense," Wing said. He rolled up his sleeves and took a step forward to stand near Drift's side. "These gentlemen aren't leaving without a fight, and if I can lay you flat on your back, what chance do they stand against the both of us?"
Horri-bull didn't take the subtle insult well and roared. He charged Wing—only to find himself flat on the ground with his arm twisted.
"See? Let's take care of these brutes and get back to our walk," Wing said. He winked and nodded his head toward the remaining Decepticons, who looked warier by the moment as their "leader" writhed on the ground. "I want to go back to our lovely evening."
Drift snorted and rubbed under his nose. He turned to the nearest lackey and cracked his knuckles. "You heard him."
Two smart souls left, while the others charged Drift and Wing with angry faces and poor life choices.
The fight lasted all of six minutes and ended with Wing calling the police on a payphone as an anonymous tip to pick up the unconscious gang members.
Drift and Wing ran afterwards, leaving the park far behind.
"How could I have forgotten what a bad ass you are?" Drift asked, following Wing into his room. The man closed the door behind them and smiled. "Seriously, I don't know what I was thinking."
"People forget that kindness can be strong, though I suspect in your case it was a mixture of panic and the fact we haven't sparred in ages," Wing said. He poked Drift in the chest and snickered. "You aren't used to being around people who can handle themselves, so when instincts took over, I'm not surprised it slipped your mind."
"I suppose that's true," Drift said. He sat in a guest chair and crossed his hands over his knees. "But all the same, the first time you kicked my ass was one of my fondest memories of you. It should have slipped through the panic."
Wing sat at his desk and leaned back into the seat. "I'm flattered."
"You should be," Drift said. "I was the best of the best, so that makes you…the best of the best…of the best?"
"I'll take it," Wing said. He leaned behind him and opened a small mini fridge next to the desk. "Would you like a cold glass of tea? I still have some left from this morning."
Drift pulled the glasses down from a shelf and held them out as Wing poured.
He left the room an hour later, warm and content. Drift went to bed with good thoughts, dreaming of a world where Wing and Hot Rod could meet.
"I'm not making any of this up, I swear," Rodimus said, clutching his pillow to his chest. Bumblebee watched him with a narrowed gaze, suspicious and with pursed lips. "You can call Springer or my Uncle Magnus to confirm."
"I believe you," Bumblebee said, voice slow. "But I don't know what to think about it. It sounds like you had a thing for this guy…and maybe still do."
Rodimus exhaled. "Does it?"
He squeezed the pillow tighter to his chest. "Is it bad if I do?"
Bumblebee got up and crossed the room back to his side. He bit his lip and huffed. "I think that's a choice you have to make."
Rodimus should have expected that reply—but at least it was easy to answer.
"I liked him."
"Fine," Rodimus said. He tossed the pillow back onto his bed and fell onto it. "I still like him, and that's the real reason you and I will never work. You don't have enough of a criminal past to keep my attention."
"How will I ever sleep at night." Bumblebee turned off the lamp and crawled into bed. "Do you feel better?"
"Yeah," Rodimus said. "I do."
He shoved the blankets up and got under the covers. Rodimus set his alarm for his morning classes and watched his roommate across the room.
Rodimus wondered how Deadlock and Bumblebee would have gotten along.