Drift had known what was going on with the captain the moment he got the comm. He could put the reasoning behind the time he spent with him, being Third in Command and all. And Drift had always had this undying need to assist, especially with Rodimus, so when the comm. ended, he told himself it was time to go.
He had planned to spend some of the night shift in Swerve’s Bar, get to know everyone in the crew a little better. Socialize; understand every cog that run the machine of the ship. But he knew himself better now than he did before, and he knew his priorities. The swordsmech bid a farewell to the bots at the table he had been invited into, and left the bar.
The moment the doors closed shut behind him, the loud noises of the music and the voices faded out. He did like that place, despite the initial subject of its making. It was active, full of playful banter and circles of friends. It was the type of thing that Rodimus would go for.
Or so he thought. Eventually, Drift realized that Rodimus liked to be in secluded areas to drink the night away. Tonight, it was the Captain’s office. When Drift got to the door, he knocked on its surface a couple times before initiating the door to open.
The TIC found Rodimus where he knew he would: in his chair, his legs completely draped over the top of his desk, his back slouched in the chair while he messed with the cube of high grade the Captain hide away somewhere in his office. It was the hidden safe covered by the portrait beside the desk, but Drift thought best Rodimus didn’t know it had been found out.
“Ah, yeah, yeah, you finally came,” Rodimus half-slurred, waving his cube at Drift to sit in the chair opposite of the desk. The swordsmech slid into it easily. Usually this kind of position called for a more business like meeting.
But it all depended on the Captain’s voice, and right now it was far from formal.
“How many cubes have you had?” A question recited plenty of times before.
Rodimus pulled a pouty face at him, before t softened into an apologetic expression. “I was gonna save one for ya. Honest, real honest. But… I couldn’t help myself. Sorry.” His dim, drunk optics slid over to the cube in his hand. He looked angry at it, as if it was the glass object’s fault Drift couldn’t get a share.
The TIC waved a hand, “No, it’s alright, Rodimus.” Discreetly though, he tilted his head to the side. Sure enough, there was a tall, empty high grade glass laying on the floor by the desk’s feet. He’d have to get that replaced on their next stop.
Rodimus suddenly acted extremely happy, like he just realized that Drift had come to visit him. “Oh, oh!” The cube forgotten dangerously close to the edge of the desk, Rodimus began to poke on certain doodles and dents on his desk. “Look it, Drift. All of this stuff I did today.”
Drift sat in the chair comfortably as his Captain went off on a lengthy explanation how this doodle was supposed to be Ultra Magnus (it looked like a rather large and roughly drawn spike, but Drift knew that, yeah, it was still Ultra Magnus), and that row of straight dents was made by his own fingers when Ultra Magnus saw the drawing and demanded it to be completely gone.
It wasn’t long into his talking, (he was describing way back when he got half of the matrix), that his words morphed into half sobs and a quivering voice, and he started crying into his arms all together.
Drift watched on, not in surprise, but with sympathy.
Rodimus was known for being outlandish at best, but the captain did have his moments where he held exceptional control of his emotions. But it was just natural for Rodimus to eventually need to let it out, always having the luck of managing to find a non-populated place for it. Except when it came to Drift. Rodimus didn’t mind letting himself vent in front of Drift.
And the swordsmech found this was a trust that was ever so rare, and only he himself had the right to say he gained it. It was something to be proud of at least. But pride in accomplishments was far back in Drift’s mind now.
Picking himself up from his seat, he crossed the short distance to be at Rodimus’ side. His hand found itself at the golden spoiler, following a familiar pattern to soothe.
“It always turns to slag,” he heard Rodimus mutter, his voice muffled by the nest of arms he created to hide in. “Shoulda—Shoulda jus’ given the whole thing ta Bee.”
“Come on Rodimus, you shouldn’t think like that.” Drift crouched down so when Rodimus finally looked up they were more face to face, not one being looked down upon by the other. “You’re a great captain, a good leader. You know this is true.”
Rodimus waved off the comment like he in fact didn’t know. “Ain’t chrue. All of that stuff that’s happened is ‘cause of me.”
Drift frowned, resuming his rub on the spoiler. He knew exactly what Rodimus was saying. The incident with the sparkeater, what happened when Fortress Maximus took hostages. He blamed himself, and Drift knew he should be.
They stayed in that position for a while; Drift hadn’t bothered checking his chronometer, but he honestly didn’t mind. He would gladly stay in the same position for joors if it managed to get Rodimus out of this stupor.
And his patience was well rewarded when they were then in the quiet, the sobbing having been replaced with dragged vents.
“Come on, I think you should lay down,” Drift murmured, patting the captain’s shoulders. Rodimus sniffed, and nodded. The swordsmech kept a hand on his shoulder as Rodimus stumbled out of his chair, his hand sliding to the edge to stabilize himself.
Both flinched when they heard a crash of glass and looked down to see that the glass of engex had been shoved off the table by Rodimus’ hand.
“Sorry,” Rodimus slurred, “Fragged up again…”
“Its fine, Rodimus,” Drift sighed. “Come on.”
The two mechs half-stumbled out of the office, leaving the shattered glass for a cleaner-drone to sweep up later. Drift’s arm was wrapped around Rodimus’ middle, the other’s arm hanging tightly around Drift’s shoulders. Drift glanced at his friend when he heard a snort.
“I wonder how many law-whatsits Magnus might throw at me if—if he saw me like this.”
Not many, Drift would assume, but the comment wasn’t meant to be answered. They stopped at one of the hab suite doors down the hall. Drift had to punch in the door’s code for the mech’s own hands were a bit too shaky to able to do it.
The moment the berth was in sight, Rodimus took a heavy step forward, then another away from Drift until he was plopped face first into the plush surface. Drift heard something like a muffled groan of appreciation as he walked up to the side. Looking around, he spotted the few things Rodimus would need.
The waste basket was put right next to the berth. Along with a small cube of midgrade energon on the side table for the morning was a few painkillers for when Rodimus complained of the hangover.
After that, Drift glanced back at Rodimus. The mech looked down for the count, not once moving from his spot on the berth. With him asleep, Drift turned to leave him alone.
He gasped when something suddenly grasped his wrist, and whipped his head to see Rodimus’ hand was wrapped around it, his dimmed optics staring ahead.
“Rodimus?” He murmured after a long moment of silence.
“Can…Can you, um… stay this time? With me?”
“You mean in your berth?”
A pause. “Yeah…”
A small smile grew in the dim room. “Yeah.” Rodimus let go of Drift’s wrist before his TIC, his friend, his rock, slipped into the other side of the berth. “Better?”
Drift’s smile grew at the sight of Rodimus actually looking a little happier now. “Yeah. Lots. Just…” He reached out and clutched Drift close to him like a treasured doll. His optics clse, content, “Yeah.”
Drift, in turn, wrapped his arms around Rodimus’ back, snugging his helm that fit perfectly against Rodimus’.
“You’re okay, Rodimus. Good night.”