rixkey: (totally not not a geek)
Ricky ([personal profile] rixkey) wrote2011-10-21 05:26 pm
Entry tags:

DVD Commentary "It's Good Enough"

I'm only doing this one like this because it's so long. The others will be done in comments.

Skydive ambled along over the South Atlantic Ocean, lazily nosing toward Angola. He waggled his wings a bit, checked his chronometer again, and mentally sighed. Maybe he should start heading back-

Something pinged on his radar.

Or not, he thought dryly, straightening himself out and flying with far more purpose than he had been before. /Fireflight,/ he acknowledged.

/Skydive!/ Fireflight replied happily. /Where have you been? We've been looking everywhere for you!/

/I was just flying,/ Skydive said, easing up on his speed slightly. Fireflight wasn't in visual range yet, but he would be soon. Skydive was sure. /I haven't received any status requests since the battle. I'm sorry if I worried you./ And...there. Sure enough, between one flap twitch and the next, Fireflight's bright form appeared, heading at him from the northwest.

/We weren't worried,/ Fireflight said immediately, then, /well…except Silverbolt. What are you doing all the way down here?/

The reason I adore the Aerialbots: THE ONLY REASON I'M HERE IS BECAUSE MOM TOTALLY TOLD ME TO COME LOOK FOR YOU WE WEREN'T WORRIED AT ALL GEEZ WHAT YOU CAN'T TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF OR SOMETHING IS THAT IT? NEED US TO HOLD YOUR HAND? GEEZ WHAT A SISSY GEEZ

They are such teenagers.


If Skydive had been in root mode, he would have smiled a very grim sort of smile. /As I said, I just wanted to fly. Have you informed Silverbolt of my status? I would, but since I haven't picked up any of you calling for me it's probably a safe bet that my long-distance communications are out./

He practiced this story for hours and hours. If it weren't for the fact that Skydive always sounds like he's reading a script badly in high stress situations ("Oh dear. That fusion cannon nearly took my wing off. Better make sure that doesn't happen again. Wow.") it would probably be easier to tell that he sounds even more measured and deadpan than usual. Because that's totally what he sounds like.

/Uh…oh, right,/ Fireflight paused for a while, supposedly contacting Silverbolt, while Skydive changed directions easily, heading toward Fireflight. His wing twitched approvingly as Fireflight swung out wide to let him through, barely even seeming to realize he was doing so. /Okay, he says we need to come back now. Are you hurt?/

Fireflight: no, seriously, you're really okay, bro, right? Do you need to hold hands or...because if you do I mean I'm right here...and I'm blaming this all on mom Silverbolt later if anyone asks, by the way. SLINGSHOT HAS TRAINED ME WELL IN THE WAYS OF NOT POKING THE PRICKLY PRIDE.

Skydive: *goes completely over his head in favor of: I AM ON A MISSION AND MUST BE GRIM. ALSO OMG FIREFLIGHT ISN'T COMPLETELY SUCKING AT FLYING OMG WE CAN PROBABLY ACTUALLY USE THOSE PLANS I'VE BEEN SAVING AN- no. grim.*


Skydive passed Fireflight while his teammate banked (too tight and too fast, coming through a tad sloppy, but Skydive didn't need to mention that), completing his own turn on Skydive's wing. /No, I'm not hurt./

How Skydive says, "I love you." I AM NOT MENTIONING YOUR FAULTS AND THIS IS MAKING MY PERFECTIONIST SIDE WRITHE IN AGONY SO I HOPE YOU APPRECIATE IT.

Fireflight and pretty much everyone else: *doesn't notice 8D*


Skydive kept himself from twitching nervously at how close Fireflight had ended up next to him, but he still eased to the side a little, smooth enough that if it had been anyone but Fireflight they wouldn't have even noticed.

/But why's your radio out, then?/ and Fireflight, if he cared about Skydive's maneuver, didn't say anything.

And he totally noticed.

/I'm not hurt badly,/ Skydive amended, flipping over so he was flying on his side and Fireflight could scan his belly. There were one or two scorch marks there, but nothing serious. /It seems to be that only my communications that were affected. I can have it checked when we get back./

/Okay,/ Fireflight said brightly and, just like that, his worry vanished, /but why are we going this way then? Isn't base the other way?/

Bingo, 'Flight. After a long pause, Skydive spoke, /…is it?/

Fireflight went quiet and then bobbed slightly in confusion. /You can't tell?/

/…My GPS isn't…at its best right now, either. Apparently./

/But…then…wait, you were lost?/ Fireflight yelped, falling back a bit in surprise. /Was that why you were all the way down here?/

/…/ Skydive said.

Silverbolt offered me a WW2 documentary I've been wanting since my programming was a glimmer in Alpha Trion's databanks, Silverbolt offered me a a WW2 documentary I've been wanting since my programming was a glimmer in Alpha Trion's databanks, this is worth it

/You were!/ Fireflight whooped, laughing. /You were lost!/

/Fireflight…/

I can dump your body in the Atlantic and no one would have to know.

Fireflight didn't reply, but there was a distinctive buzz of phantom electricity over his wings that belied the transmissions. Skydive resisted the urge to sigh. Three guesses as to who was on the other end, and the first two didn't count. /Fireflight./

Skydive's actually being extremely, secretively fond here. Beneath the: Oh Vector fragging Sigma Air Raid's coming; I hate everything.

His teammate only giggled, weaving dangerously in his amusement and forcing Skydive to swing out quickly to avoid being clipped. /I told the others. They said they're gonna come and help…y'know, just in case./

Skydive didn't reply, wing flaps falling unnaturally still. His entire body screamed his irritation, but only to those who could recognize it.

Which means Air Raid's going to be all over that like Sideswipe and Sunstreaker on a seeker

Fireflight giggled again. /Come on, Skydive. It's not that bad. I do it all the time!/

/Yes, Fireflight. I know./ Skydive said, but Fireflight didn't take offense. He was even humming happily over the general radio, so Skydive sighed audibly, dropping altitude in something of a slump of defeat. /…And the others' ETA?/

/Fifteen minutes,/ Fireflight chirped. Skydive didn't groan.

/Of course./

Fifteen minutes later, when Skydive had Air Raid laughing his tail-fins off and turning ever-more dangerous loops around him, and Slingshot flying off his other wing, him and Fireflight having a contest on who could give Skydive the most…"helpful" suggestions, Skydive radioed Silverbolt. /Sir,/ he said, wearily resisting the urge to spook when Air Raid nearly brushed his cockpit.

AKA: I LOVE MY FAMILY

also this is why he trails after silverbolt like a lost puppy THESE THINGS DON'T HAPPEN IN MOMMY-SILVERBOLT'S PRESENCE


/Skydive,/ Silverbolt replied almost immediately, /I think I'm supposed to be out of your contact range./

aka: I thought I was safe from your accusing silences for another couple hours at the latest, slag-it-all.

/Yes, I know,/ was all Skydive said. He let the whoops of Air Raid in the background and Fireflight's giggles say the rest:

*ACCUSING SILENCE*

You owe me.

Silverbolt didn't reply at first, but eventually, sounding apologetic but still far too amused, he said: /I have your documentary of World War Two fighters here with me now, just arrived; would you like me to order you the second volume?/

actually, Silverbolt, all you had to do was make the vague mention that you maybe possibly wanted this plan to be put into action and Skydive would have jumped at the call. You didn't have to bribe him. He's just devious strategic enough to realize that you will if he waits long enough.

This is what happens when you think all your brothers are Air Raid


/Yes that would be appreciated. Thank you, Commander./ Skydive would have, had he been able, smirked.

/Of course,/ Silverbolt said with a small laugh, but something...something in his voice kept Skydive from closing the line on him, waiting. It didn't take long, but Silverbolt awkwardly rebooted the connection a couple times before speaking. /Is…Fireflight. Is he…?/

Without replying Skydive performed a quick, basic scan of Fireflight's systems and compared the behavior of the last half an hour with how he had been acting for the past week since his latest crash, then ran it by his extensive knowledge of Fireflight's usual state of being. /Yes,/ he said eventually. Confident. /Fireflight's running optimally, by my estimate./

IS THAT A GOLD STAR TEACHER? WHY I NEVER EVEN THOUGHT.

Silverbolt's faint smile was easy for Skydive, who spent so much time he would never admit looking for it, to hear. /Good. Thank you, Skydive. Again./

/No thanks necessary, Commander,/ Skydive replied evenly, careful to keep his voice from giving away the faint static of warmth he felt at Silverbolt's gratitude. He closed the link as Fireflight tried to bump against his wing, coolly pulling away and shaking himself lightly, while Fireflight yelped an apology to the laughter of his teammates.

Any time.

Okay, I admit, this story was partly just to have d'awww moments involving Skydive, and mostly with Silverbolt. Also, I wanted a story where Fireflight wasn't an incompetent ditz. Fireflight-not-being-incompetent-and-in-constant-need-of-rescue didn't happen as much in this one, so I wrote the other one.

~*~PART 2~*~

Skydive didn't know where he was when he landed except that he wanted to be there. He thought he did, at least.

Why else would he have landed?

Probably because your wings are nearly non-existent at this point. But that's just a guess.

"Silverbolt?" Skydive called unsteadily, transforming ignore the hurt, ignore the hurt and standing up, swaying violently. He took a step, "Silverbolt?" and his leg gave out, folding beneath him and sending him to his knees. After a long while of kneeling there, systems running hard in surprise, Skydive shuddered and folded himself forward and down, curling himself up into a half-hearted ball. "Guys?"

No one answered and Skydive flinched, pressing his face into the dirt, rocks, rubble under him.

Alone.

That hurt, somehow, far more than leaking wounds and torn wings ever could. Skydive shuddered, bothered by his own hurt for reasons he couldn't quite remember.

"Guys?" he said again, voice very, very small. "…Please?"

Nothing.

Skydive's not big on huge emotional appeals. He's a logos kind of guy. Him actually asking for his brothers is kind of a big deal and if Silverbolt were, say, hypthetically being held behind a one-way mirror at this point being forced to watch his delirious, injured brother stumble around asking for him...

...well...

there wouldn't be a one-way mirror anymore. let's just leave it at that.


He shouldn't have been expecting anything. Logically, he knew he shouldn't have…but somehow he had been. Something in his glitching processor had been convinced that if he only asked, they would come. And they hadn't. They didn't.

That's one of the little, illogical "childhood" things Skydive's hung onto. Like how even scared and injured grown men can subconsciously still believe that their mother can make it all better. "If I just ask for them, they'll be there". Except he's never asked for them before, so this is his first time actually giving into the urge and it's not working and am I the only one who finds that sad as heck?

I have to find them.

I can't.

Skydive was hurting. He was hurting, and he was alone, and he was…

Offline: weapons, global positioning, communications, flight systemszzz-

helpless

Skydive cut off the diagnostics feed. I have to find them.

BUT LIKE HE'S GOING TO LET A LITTLE THING LIKE HAVING NO CLUE WHERE HE IS AND NO FLIGHT AND SERIOUS INJURIES AND DELIRIUM STOP HIM

He tried to stand, stumbled a bit, and then straightened as his wounds screamed and screamed and screamed. I have to find them.

I can't survive alone. I need them.

Skydive wavered, and moved to take a step.

I…I don't want to be alone. I want them.

I JUST WANT MY FAMILY ;A;

Then he tripped. Skydive cried out as his hands caught on the rocks and mounds of broken concrete. It felt like someone had taken a laser scalpel to his palms after turning their sensitivity levels up to two hundred. His self-repair made clear its opinion on the matter with a sudden influx of bright red warnings, appearing and disappearing almost too fast to keep track of if Skydive hadn't had a highly advanced computer for a brain.

Equilibrium: 23%

Skydive groaned, and then shakily pushed himself up until he was sitting on his knees, cradling his cut and leaking hands carefully against his chest as he looked around at a world flickering in and out of grayscale. I don't know what to do, he realized, mouth tightening in distress as he blankly took in the concrete and the dirt. I don't know what to do.

Another big deal. Skydive's a control freak. He has a plan and a contingency plan and a contingency plan for that contingency plan, etc. etc. etc. Coming up against something he doesn't know how to deal with is scarier than anything else for him.

Processor: General Functions: Warning! Warning! Below minimum recommended standard.

I can't think.

THAT DOESN'T HELP, Mr. Overthinks Everything here.

Something vaguely like panic stirred in the fuel running through Skydive's lines. It wasn't an emotion he felt often, and the awareness that he was feeling it agitated him more than the emotion itself. No, he thought to himself viciously, curling protectively around his hands and staring down at them. No, I have to think. Think, Skydive. Think. You can't lose your head, what would the others do if—

Skydive cut that train of thought off before it could lead back to alone, and went still.

Then he offlined his optics and ran air hard through what vents were still operational. No. Calm down.

Calm.

He was shaking. Skydive tried to force himself to stop but it didn't work, so he blocked the program that allowed him to be aware of the shaking. That was okay, he rationalizied, since the awareness of not being in control of his own body was causing him even more distress.

Skydive. If you've got to rationalize something to make it acceptable; you probably shouldn't be doing it. Just a thought.

Calm, he thought, and shut down a few more programs.

SKYDIVE: I CAN QUIT ANYTIME I WANT TO

Skydive felt the numb sensation coming and welcomed it with a muted sort of relief. He'd shut down the program that allowed him focused awareness of his own emotions. A sentient mechanism, naturally, couldn't lock away all awareness of emotion, but he could choose to ignore them if he wished. It was a blessing, and Skydive felt the tension ease from him.

The crash, he knew now that he cared to examine it, had activated his survival sub-routines, which had in turn activated the emotional awareness programming he usually kept off during battle situations. It was supposed to aid in his own survival, since an emotional mechanism was quicker to respond to the sub-routines meant to keep him alive. It was why deactivating those programs was strongly advised against.

Skydive didn't need those though. He needed to be able to think.

Says the jet who's probably not even five years old at this point

If I don't get help, I'll die.

The knowledge didn't bother him so much anymore. That was good. Now…now what?

Get help.

I can't get help.

Then I'll die.

because that's not such a big deal...

In the distance, there was a sound of something mechanical. Skydive thought it sounded like an engine, and he onlined his optics and turned his head in the vague direction of the noise.

Audio at only 6% maximum. Thundercracker uses sound weaponry. Whatever is causing the noise must be closer than it appears? How much closer?

…Audio interpretation at only 14%. I might not have heard anything at all.

Skydive dulled the input of audio and focused on his sight, straining to see past the sun. If it was a Decepticon, he was dead. There was no cover, and no chance of returning fire. His armor was shot, he was unable to run or fly, and he was half-deaf and half-blind. Helpless.

Skydive found he hated being helpless.

…There it is.

Jet.

Which kind, though? Decepticon…or my brothers? Powerglide?

Skydive didn't allow himself the luxury of hope very often. Now was no different.

LIAR LIAR LIAR LIAR LIAR

Chances of it being a Decepticon are upwards of 83%, and that's only if my emergency transmitter wasn't fried in the crash.

The rest of the Aerialbots could find him even without a transmitter, but there were only four of them and Skydive didn't even know where he was or how far he'd flown. Or who had might have been tracking him at the time. The chances of them finding him before the enemy were…better than if they weren't gestalt, but still not good.

Skydive: no see I am a completely logical being see how logical I am see?

And there wasn't anything Skydive could do about it, except snag a twisted metal beam and heft it into his torn hands. It wouldn't do much, if anything, at all, but it was something. Something was more than he had by himself.

I have to admit, out of all the too-injured-to-function fics I've written, Skydive's the first to tell his damaged processor to STFU I got this and grab the nearest big stick. Usually they're content to giggle at fairies or count cracks in the ceiling or go, hey, look at that, there's someone's hands in my chest. cool.

Skydive turned his attentions back to the sky, and he waited.

COME AT ME BRO

Honestly, he should have known better.

"Skydive!" Fireflight was careful when he landed, transforming mid-air and touching down several yards from Skydive to avoid running into him if he tripped, but he crossed the space between them in a few long steps and the distance ended up not mattering at all. "Are you okay?" he asked, going to his knees and glancing at the pink-stained metal in Skydive's hands. There was little doubt that Fireflight had noticed the damaged wings and the energon staining Skydive all over, but he asked Skydive for his input anyway. That was…right. That was right.

D'AWWW FIREFLIGHT.

Skydive stared. "…Yes," he said, then dropped the metal to hold up his stinging hands to show his brother. Fireflight frowned and took them gently in his own hands.

"Ratchet will fix them right up, you'll see," he said while Skydive continued to stare at him. "You'll feel a lot better once we get you back to base."

also we're going to be gone for a little while killing the guys who did this, but that'll be okay because Ratchet'll knock you right out and we'll be back before you know it!

"…I can't fly," Skydive said. Fireflight looked up from his inspection of Skydive's hands to look first to Skydive's face and then to his wings. Something darkened across Fireflight's expression, but he smiled anyway.

Distancing the POV to still be from Skydive, just not as close, was to showcase that just because Skydive sounds semi-coherent in his own head doesn't mean he actually is.

Yes, this means Skydive's forcing himself to think clearly (if not as well as he's used to) through sheer willpower. It's not his fault his processor can't keep up with his sheer mental badassery


"I know," he said, and squeezed Skydive's hands gently. It didn't hurt. "I can carry you."

Skydive didn't like that, OUCH SKYDIVE something tight and constricting in his chest like panic upsetting him greatly okay, okay, it's not because of Fireflight's piloting skills or lack thereof. It's because Skydive's got this thing about never having needed to be rescued before and he doesn't want to feel like a burden/he's got some pride, modesty or not. Skydive didn't like the fact that he didn't like that, and tugged lightly at his hands to get them back from Fireflight. He checked the status on his programs. The constricting feeling drew in tighter and crept up into his throat as he realized he was suddenly aware of his own emotions again.

Presence of Gestalt Component C4H Acknowledged. Processor Section: 185.67A. B. C. TH1-NETA. HAV…

ACTIVATED.

Processor: B)

No. I still need to think. Go away I still need to think.

He turned it off.

It turned itself back on.

Processor: *can't hear you over the sound of that BURN*

Fireflight was watching him, optics lightening in worry and question. Skydive met his look with blank, helpless frustration.

"It won't stay off," he explained, frowning darkly at the ground.

Fireflight frowned, too. "What?" he asked, and edged closer. Skydive shook his head helplessly.

The problem with blocking out emotional awareness was that once it came back on the emotions were twice as hard to deal with, and Skydive was still hurting, and he still could have died but now he wasn't, and somehow that was more overwhelming than the awareness of death itself.

THEY TOLD YOU. THEY TOLD YOU.

"You're shaking." Fireflight said loudly, touching Skydive's shoulder in sudden alarm. "Skydive?"

Fireflight: OMG ARE YOU DYING DON'T DIE THAT WOULD BE THE WORST RESCUE EVER.

Skydive shook his head again, hunching down over himself protectively and clenching his hands into painful fists to try and still them. "Sorry," he said tightly, and Fireflight made a sound a little like a breath and a little like oh…

Fireflight: oh fffffff HOW DOES I DEAL WITH THIS MENTAL BREAKDOWN IN THIS ABANDONED BATTLEZONE FROM THE ONE GUY WE THOUGHT WE DIDN'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ffffff GO BACK TO DYING.

"It's okay," Fireflight said, suddenly sounding different, sounding…Skydive struggled to place it and couldn't. Different. Fireflight's arm went carefully around Skydive's shoulders and he pulled his brother to him, ignoring the tension that suddenly went down Skydive's wings at the contact. "It's okay."

okay, actually, fireflight doesn't give much thought to the fact that they're not exactly in a good location for his fellow soldier here to suffer a mental break (except that the Decepticons have already fled and it's better than trying to get him all the way back to base on the verge of freaking out). he's more concerned with: BE OKAY SKYDIVE I LOVE YOU BE OKAY, OKAY? ;A;

And then Skydive realized that Fireflight sounded like him. Like Silverbolt and Air Raid and even Slingshot, when no one else was there to provide it. Low-frequency humming beneath the words and soft-voiced and quiet and…comforting.

Fireflight was comforting him.

Skydive tensed, holding his head away from Fireflight's shoulder with a stiff neck. Fireflight didn't seem to mind, just held him and crooned lightly in his vocalizer like Slingshot did when the he thought no one was listening. His fingers rubbed gently at an uninjured spot on Skydive's back, and it felt…but…Skydive offlined his optics and tried to down the sudden burst of panic he felt. And not just panic, but…emotion. Pure emotion building up inside of him. Relief, horror, fear, safetysafetysafety and embarrassment and unfamiliar pride that was small but no less wounded. His awareness programs simply weren't listening to him anymore though, and the whole mess of it hit Skydive so hard he physically jolted, lurching against Fireflight's grip, a soft wailing noise escaping him. Fireflight only crooned louder.

Skydive: WHAT IS FEELING?

"It's okay," he said, over and over again. "It's okay, you're safe now – you're safe. I promise. It's okay."

I am the big brother this time so you'd better be okay or they'll never let me do this again.

Skydive had never dealt with this before. He'd seen the others like this, sometimes, but he hadn't…he hadn't understood. Skydive wailed a little louder, still not loud, but louder, burrowing into Fireflight's hold without conscious thought. He didn't like it. He didn't like it at all.

He couldn't make it stop.

Skydive: No. Seriously. What is feeling?

Fireflight just held him close, and talked while the world broke around them.

How long it lasted, Skydive would never be able to say, but eventually Skydive was aware that he was leaning against Fireflight's chest in a state just beyond exhausted.

Fireflight was quiet for a little while, letting Skydive shiver. "Are you feeling better?"

Skydive was quiet too, trying to get a bearing on his suddenly sluggish processor and the way he felt indescribably raw. Exposed. He nodded. "Yes," he said quietly, suddenly embarrassed. "I'm sorry."

That I just endangered us both on the off chance some Decepticon happened by and saw us as easy pickings but mostly because I apparently have pride and that has apparently been injured? Who knew.

Fireflight laughed lightly, nuzzling affectionately at Skydive's energon-stained helm. "I don't mind," he said. "You would have done the same for me, right?"

…Yes.

Skydive shuddered a little. "Of cour..." he trailed off, optics flickering unsteadily at the sudden pain from his processor as it threw up a warning informing him of impending shut down. He trembled harder I forgot the words and leaned against Fireflight, tucking his head into his wingmate's shoulder. "It hurts," he said instead, quietly, almost as though he wasn't sure how to.

aka: I've done enough of the mushy thing today if you try and pry more out of me I may literally explode so let's get back to the matter at hand, yes?

And Fireflight, Fireflight, of course I would, just held him close, mindful of scrapes and hurts both big and small. "That's all right," he said. "It's okay. I'll take you home."

Fireflight: AND THEN WE GO KILL SOME FOLK WHILE SILVERBOLT HOVERS LIKE A GIANT BLACK CLOUD OF DOOM AROIUND THE MEDICAL BAY AND EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY THEN ALL RIGHT? KILLING SOLVES EVERYTHING.

This last scene was actually what prompted both these stories. I got that image in my head and started to write it, but it went in completely the wrong direction (the first story), so I decided to start from a different point and write to here for a different period of time. This basically had everything I wanted: Skydive, and Fireflight not being The Load for once. I was glad to be able to write it.

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