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Sunday, September 25, 2011, 12:54 AM

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First Aid Groove Ratchet Hot Spot Swivel NPanaCea

(Repair Depot, Iacon)

---

Groove follows quickly after them, releasing Streetwise's hand once they were inside the repair bay. He's careful to stay far enough back that he isn't in the way, but he's still hovering around by the entrance.

Ratchet hears the rattling at the door of the repair bay and pokes his head out of his office door. He stares.

"Over there," NPanaCea directs the guards towards one of the berths. "Ratchet! Out here, please!" She raises her voice to call for the senior medic, technically off shift but by far the superior medic.

"-where?" First Aid's voice is almost inaudible and staticky as he tries to bring confused systems back online. "-nother h*hisss* is this real?" He shakes his head again, optic going out before lighting up again more brightly as he looks around, dazed.

Groove steps forward when he hears First Aid start talking, but hesitates, not wanting to get in the way. "Aid, it's okay, this is real, you're home now." He calls out, hoping his brother will hear him and understand.

Ratchet hurries out of his office, bumping a few berths as he makes a direct line for First Aid. He appraises the damage -- and the macabre artwork -- and literally shoves NPanacea off to the dispensary. "Low grade drip, and the strongest sedatives we've got. Ten breems ago," he orders.

NPanacea strides across the medbay to the supply closet, scanning the shelves for a long moment before returning with the items and beginning to set them up without further orders from Ratchet.

Ratchet starts the lines into Aid himself, pushing in the sedatives with his own hands. He mutters profanity under his engine noises.

First Aid turns his head with a flinch as Ratchet attaches the drip to the clavicular energon feed, gaze resting on Groove and Streetwise for a moment as if not entirely sure what he's seeing is real. "Groove? Ratchet-" His voice is initially louder, trailing off as the sedative takes effect and his remaining optic dims again.

"It's okay, you're home now." Groove repeats much more quietly this time, not entirely sure who he was trying to convince. He steps back again, looking down at the floor; he feels bad about not being able to help, but at least First Aid /is/ getting help now.

-- 2 shifts later --

"Yes, you can see him. Just a few breams," NPanaCea says as Hot Spot comes in. "Ratchet will have my plating if he finds out I've let any of you lot in before he signed off on it, but First Aid's been asking since I reduced the sedative. Don't wake him up if he's recharging, though, and don't be surprised if he goes back into recharge on you, his systems were pretty drained." She points towards a berth towards the back of the medbay, close to the CMO's office, which is for once, locked and dark.

First Aid is looking significantly better than the previous cycle, which is more a measure of how much of a mess he'd been than to say that he actually looked good now. The spilled energon and coolant is gone, and the missing plating on his torso has been replaced with new, unpainted panels, leaving the only exposed internals his thigh, covered by a sheet of static bandage. The missing optic is still missing, and the damaged fingers on his hand have been removed entirely, but the stump of the other arm has been cleaned up and apparently prepared for a replacement as well. His engine is running smoothly again, though, and he's attached to several bags of fluids- lowgrade energon, supplemental coolant, and a smaller bag that's apparently the sedative NPanaCea mentioned as well.

Hot Spot thanks NPanaCea and reassures her that he won't do anything to compromise First Aid's recovery. In truth, he's nervous about seeing Aid again. What if Aid's angry with him for letting him get kidnapped? What if their friendship never recovers? Hence, it's a very nervous mech who makes his way to the back of medbay. And oh Primus... The damage is considerable, and the hints of further damage that have already been fixed are even worse. His hands! And his optics... Hot Spot pulls over a chair and sits before the shaking gets the better of him. He knows that whatever urge for revenge he feels right now will only fester, made worse by the fact that - as a new recruit, and one who hasn't even seen active duty - there's nothing he can do about it. He lays a hand on the edge of the berth, and waits for First Aid to wake up.

First Aid isn't really recharging, but it feels like his processor is running much slower than it should be, ant it's a klik before he realizes that someone's sitting next to him, slowly turning his head and engaging his vocalizer with a click. "Hot Spot? Hi." He smiles a little vaguely at his brother, optic flickering and brightening as he focuses on the other mech.

Hot Spot has the urge to wrap Aid in a hug and never ever let go. But the medic doesn't look up to it; he hardly looks up to turning his head. Hot Spot manages a shy smile. "Hey," he says. "We missed you."

"Missed you too," First Aid smiles back. "How are you? I'm sorry- didn't mean to worry everyone." He shifts, carefully on the berth, reaching out for Hot Spot with his hand.

Very gently, Hot Spot allows Aid to take his hand. It's so horrible to see the dents and scuffs on the few remaining fingers. "I'm fine," he replies, and it isn't exactly a lie. Now they have Aid back, he feels like he could maybe be fine again, given time. But Aid is far more important than him. "It wasn't your fault." He thinks back to the security footage. "Someone impersonated Dually, it was a trap, you weren't to know."

"Still - I still shouldn't have gone- not without telling you, or Ratchet, or someone. Stupid thing to do," First Aid says, shaking his head a little and tugging on Hot Spot's hand softly, trynig to pull his brother closer to him. "Didn't think- doesn't matter, I didn't think." He sighs and is silent for a long moment. "Was- It's kind of foggy, but were Groove and Streetwise here earlier?"

"They were," Hot Spot says. He wants to break the news about Streetwise joining the Autobots, but he figures that's Streetwise's news to break. "They're here for you, and Blades is around too." He shifts the chair right up close to the berth, responding to the tugging. "We got you back," he says. "That's what matters. And soon Ratchet will be back for the rest of your repairs."

"Everyone's okay?" First Aid asks. "Really?" He blinks. There was something- he was worried about something. "They got here safe? I was afraid - I didn't want to tell them-" His vocalizer catches and he offlines his optic for an astrosecond. "I told them things." He shivers.

"They're fine," Hot Spot says. "They've been here a while. We all wanted to be out there looking for you, but Prowl locked me in the war room and gave me something to do as soon as I realised you were gone. And the others have been here, trying to contact you... y'know, our way." He lays his free hand on First Aid's shoulder. "Hey," he says. "You're safe now. It doesn't matter what you told them. We're all safe." He attempts a smile, but it comes off a little sad. "If you want to talk about it, I'm here."

First Aid's fans have spun up, and he shivers again, turning his head to lean towards Hot Spot's hand on his shoulder. He's near silent for a long klik, emitting a couple short bursts of upset static before going quiet again. Eventually he speaks, though. "I don't... thank you, Hot Spot. I ... dono't think... I can't. " Another shiver. "Not right now- I can't think."

Tip-toe... tip-toe... it just so happens that NPanacea had gone to grab some supplies from the adjoining storage room, and Ratchet does not seem to be about. Everyone else seems busy with their tasks... Swivel had been loitering around the entrance to the repair depot, constantly monitoring the corridor between the various buildings for a chance. Taking this precious one she quickly, but quietly, hurries over to the recovery unit , her optics searching for where First Aid had been placed. She hovers there a moment, seeing that he is not alone, and with someone she'd not yet met. Naturally, she assumes he's one of First Aid's brothers. She shifts her weight and glances behind herself nervously... and then cautiously sidesteps around the perimeter of the room, positioning herself just barely in Hot Spot's peripheral vision, swaying side to side somewhat, trying to gently and quietly catch his optic.

"It's OK," Hot Spot tells Aid. Those little bursts of static are tragic and so painful to hear. "Whenever you're ready. I'll be here for you, we all will." It's then he notices movement in his peripheral vision. He turns his head sharply, certain for one horrible moment that it's a Decepticon agent come to try to finish what the other 'cons had started. But it's a neutral, although not one he recognises. "Can I help you?" he says softly.

First Aid nods and starts to bring up his other arm, then thinks better of it. He turns his head when Hot Spot reacts and struggles to sit up. "Who's there?"

Swivel seems to have apprehension written all over her malleable face, her large purple optics imploring Hot Spot. She tilts her head towards First Aid with a questioning glance, and then, uncertain how well this mech reads body language, beckons him over. She tenses a little when First Aid starts looking around, but doesn't move from her spot.

"I'm not sure," Hot Spot says. "I'll go and see." He gently extricates his hand, and briefly - and equally gently - touches their helms together. "I'll still be here," he says. "I'll just be over by the door, then I'll come straight back." He heads over to the newcomer, alert for any hint of a threat to First Aid. "What's going on?" he says, standing as straight as he can in case this is someone who needs to be intimidated by his size.

It feels like it /should hurt, but it doesn't, and other than feeling exhausted from the effort, First Aid manages to sit up on the berth as Hot Spot moves away, looking around a little worriedly. Swivel looks Hot Spot over when he gets closer, then glances around him at First Aid on the berth. Instantly her optics snap back to the mech's face, her large optics looking just as questioning as before as she begins to speak in a shrill, girlish voice. "I'm a friend of First Aid... and I heard he finally was back. I couldn't wait, I wanted to know how he is for myself." She decides, in this instance, it's best not to fall into her usual gutterspeech she uses when first meeting someone. She smiles lightly. "You must be one of his brothers. I'm Swivel. I... uh... am not sure First Aid would want to see me though... I think he's still mad."

"What about?" Hot Spot says. Usually, he's far more friendly on first meeting someone, but these are not usual circumstances. He glances back to the berth; he isn't sure First Aid is meant to be sitting up.

A little dizzy, First Aid takes a second to focus and recognize the femme by the door talking to Hot Spot. "Swivel- hi?" He says. It's not very loud, and he's not really sure how he feels about seeing her- wasn't he mad before?- but it's okay, now he knows who's there.

Swivel rocks on her heels, unsure how to answer that questions. She hunches up her shoulders, peering up at Hot Spot. "Well..." she begins, then falters when she hears First Aid's soft voice. She tries to glance past Hot Spot again and returns with a hesitant, "Hey, Firsty..." before returning her attention to Hot Spot. "Well, to be blunt, and I don't do blunt very well, in fact, I probably should have started with 'to be blunt' because now that I'm talking I'm not so sure I could be blunt even if I tried to, and well, there's so much explaining, but I think that'd just make an explanation much worse..." the words come out in rapid fire, but she manages to at least keep her volume at a respectful low. "...I was careless with sensitive information, and well, could have put you all in a lot of danger, but I really don't feel it's fair that people are as mad as they are since I fessed up about it and the info was retrieved in time and I don't think... but maybe this IS all my fault and I don't really know what's going on because no one will talk to me because they don't trust me because I have big fat security risk branded on my forehead!"

Hot Spot gapes. "You did what?" he says, and it isn't outrage that colours his tone, but genuine incomprehension. "I... He's hurt. Really hurt." He glances back again at First Aid. He wants to send Swivel on her way, but she sounds as contrite as he feels, and First Aid /did/ recognise her. Not that he's the best judge of character, Hot Spot thinks, but the less said about that the better. "All right," he says. "Come on over, but if Aid asks you to leave, you go. And if you upset him in any way, I'll kick you out myself. Understood?"

Swivel bobs her head with such vehement enthusiasm, a serious expression coming over her as if making a silent oath to be on her best behaviour, and not stir up trouble. Of course, as much as Swivel will do her best to keep promises, they somehow tend to get broken, and so it is with caution she approaches First Aid's berth, examining him with scrutiny to see the extent of the damage. She curls back her lips for a moment, almost as if to sneer, but then quickly transforms her features into a pleasant smile. She holds out her hand for First Aid to take, if he so chooses. "Glad you're back." She apprehensively glances over to Hot Spot. What a shaky first impression. Why does the world conspire against her? Of course, in her mind, this is all Psykeout's fault, not hers.

Hot Spot takes his chair again, ensuring that there's nowhere at the head of the berth that Swivel can sit, and slides his hand back under First Aid's palm. "Swivel says you're friends," he says.

"Hi Swivel. Thanks." First Aid replies. He doesn't really know what else to say, and he can't really take her hand without giving up his hold on Hot Spot, so he settles for just that.

Swivel notices Hot Spot quickly insert his hand in FIrst Aid's, and withdraws her own without showing any response to this little detail. She stares down at First Aid silently for a moment, then glances at Hot Spot. "It must be nice to have so many people around you, making you feel safe and secure after such an ordeal. I'm sorry my presence isn't quite so reassuring, but I really needed to see you First Aid. Perhaps when you have recovered a little more.... we can have some one-on-one time..." Of course, Swivel doubts it. He'll be soldered by the hip to at least on of his brothers at every given moment, she is sure. Well if Hot Spot takes the spot nest to First Aid's head, the most she can do is very gently rest a hand on his leg. She gazes directly into First Aid's remaining optic, a serious expression on her face, her smile lessening somewhat. There is a tender sorrow and look of understanding about her demeanor.

"It.... I'm glad to be back, Swivel." First Aid says slowly. He's holding onto Hot Spot's hand as tightly as he can, and leans towards the light blue mech. "You should- I guess I shouldn't be mad. They didn't know. Your diary, I mean- they didn't read it. They didn't know who Streetwise and Hot Spot and Groove were."

That look on Swivel's face prompts a measure of sympathy in Hot Spot, although not enough for him to let down his guard. Instead, he shifts around his his seat so he can see her better, and loops an arm around the back-rest just behind First Aid's head. He doesn't want to lay any weight on Aid's shoulders though, just in case it's more than he can take (and Ratchet turns up and bans him). "What happened?" he asks.

Swivel shakes her head. "No, no, I won't have you thinking you shouldn't be mad. You're entitled to your feelings, and never let anyone tell you otherwise... however, forgiveness does have a nice ring to it." There is a gentle laugh from the femme, as she smiles once again, looking more like the good old Swivel. "Besides, I'm not keeping a diary anymore. I just wanted something I could go back and read, relive memories and... well... how happy you were as you told me about being reunited... how could I not cherish that?" She straightens up her posture, glancing over as Hot Spot asks the question. "It's... well... I kept a diary. First Aid told me not to tell anyone about any of you, but I wrote things, not imagining my diary would end up in the hands of a Decepticon named Psykeout..." she pauses a moment before saying Psykeout's name, but she forces her smile to stay. "It's... I shouldn't have written those things knowing the information should be kept secret. Heck... even I shouldn't have known."

First Aid looks down, tank suddenly turning over in his chassis with distress. Swivel shouldn't have known. So many people he shouldn't have talked to about it. He shudders and leans closer to Hot Spot, turning his head and offlining his optic briefly, trying to get his rebellious tank and emotions back under control.

"Hey," Hot Spot says very softly to First Aid. "It's OK, it's OK." He glares at Swivel, pretty certain he knows what Aid didn't want to hear out of all that. "We can't change it now," he says, and this is aimed at Swivel. "Best we can do is move on."

Swivel frowns a little, seeing First Aid look down... look troubled, and she leans forward a little. The glare she receives isn't lost on her either. "I, uh..." she carefully replays over everything she said to try and figure out if she did something wrong. After a moment she lifts her chin sharply. "Er, yeah, moving on." Swivel shifts uncomfortably. "The important thing is you are back with us, and you are safe. Everyone here will protect, and you will not go through that again." ...again... and again... and again... not repeat performances like she endured. Swivel shudders.

"They shouldn't have to protect me." First Aid says, his voice muffled as he leans against Hot Spot and buries his face against his brother's plating, bringing his other arm up to wrap it around Hot Spot, even without a hand to hold onto anything. "I shouldn't have been telling people. It- it doesn't matter."

Hot Spot doesn't know what to say to that, so he just holds onto Aid as tightly as he dares, while keeping half an optic on Swivel.

Swivel balls a hand into a fist for a moment, but then releases it, watching First Aid come down hard on himself. "First Aid, you've been through a lot. You needn't beat yourself up on top of that. Maybe we've made mistakes, but it isn't our fault, because THEY are the ones who did this to you, and no innocent desire to share your happiness deserves that. The world is unfair... and because of that you can know that every bad thing that happens isn't punishment for your mistakes. They just happen!" At first Swivel's tone was gentle, but as she began talking and her feelings got away from her, her tone became more and more intense, almost sounding like anger. Then she breaks this spell and seems to deflate, repeating in a quieter, more subdued tone "...they just happen."

"Thanks, Swivel." First Aid says, although he doesn't move or look up from where he's clinging to his brother. He sighs, and is quiet for a minute, ventilation vans gradually slowing down and the shivering stops. Eventually, he asks. "Why are you still here, anyway? I mean... you're never in Iacon very long."

Hot Spot takes a gamble and tightens the embrace - not enough to lay any of his weight on First Aid, but enough for more of their armour to touch. Swivel obviously has issues, and listening to her he wonders how much the 'cons meddle in Neutral affairs, or at least /with/ neutrals. He doesn't interrupt, but waits for Swivel to answer Aid's question.

Swivel raises her optics ridges. "I... uh... well... you see... um... after the diary incident, even though i was avoiding you and your brothers (*mutter*and everyone else...) I stuck around because... I did not want to chance another encounter with Psykeout. Not if he read it...He'd tor... er...... well... nevermind that... and then Iacon was in lockdown and I couldn't leave. Of course, now that you are back safe, I will probably stay a while longer... that is... if you'd like me too?" Swivel smiles hopefully.

Groove enters the repair depot, glancing around a little nervously. He wasn't really sure if First Aid would be allowed any visitors, but... He heaves air out his vents in relief when he catches sight of Hot Spot and a vaguely familiar femme by Aid's berth, Aid clinging to their brother the best he can, and starts to make his way over to the group.

"Groove!" Hot Spot says, so pleased to see his team mate that he speaks a little louder than he should have. He makes room immediately for Groove to sit at the head of the berth with him, although he quickly goes back to hugging Aid - there's nothing short of a very angry Ratchet will tear him away from that right now.

First Aid sighs and tension slides out of his frame when Hot Spot returns the hug. He turns his head to the side, onlining his optic again to look at Swivel. "I guess? If you want to?" First Aid says, sounding uncertain. He spots Groove as he enters the repair bay. "Groove- hi!" He raises his voice, although it's still pretty quiet.

Swivel watches First Aid carefully and smiles, although one look at her optics tells that it's a fake smile covering up sadness or disappointment. "Well, then I will..." she trails off when she hears someone approach. She turns to look, seeing, now which one was he... "Groove, hello again!" she says cheerfully. Even with Hot Spot making room, there isn't much, so Swivel politely moves away from the berth. "I suppose I should go now, no need to make First Aid feel crowded."

This time, Hot Spot manages a genuine smile for Swivel. "It was good to meet you," he says. "I hope we'll have a chance to talk again." He regrets being a little hostile, but there's no way he'll admit to that just yet.

Groove gives a polite nod and smile to Swivel. "Nice to see you again, Swivel." He greets her, before turning his full attention to both of his brothers. Examining both of them for a few moments, he pulls himself onto the berth next to First Aid, taking up a little room as possible. "Hey, Spot, Aid." He says quietly, grin widening. "You feeling better?" It's kind of a pointless question, but he isn't sure what else to say.

Swivel bobs her head, her smile broadening, also seeming to become more relaxed and genuine. "Count on it, we'll talk again. I'd like to get to know all of First Aid's brothers better." She smile again at Groove in kind, and then heads out, only pausing briefly at the doorway to glance back for a few moments before she is gone.

With Swivel gone, Hot Spot relaxes a little. He does't dislike her, although he doesn't really trust her either, but it's good for it to be just the three of them for a while. "Better," he says to Groove. "You?"

"I'm so glad you're here," First Aid says, freeing his left arm from Hot Spot to hug Groove as well. "Bye Swivel," He says as the femme leaves. "It's better- everything's turned down, it doesn't hurt, I'm just tired. Kind of dizzy, it feels weird."

Groove's spark clenches for a moment when he sees the missing hand, but he forces the feeling down and wraps one of his arms around First Aid to return the hug. Leaning against his brother gently, careful not to put too much weight against him, he lets out a quiet laugh. "I'm okay now." He answers, tightening his grip momentarily. "And I'm glad you're here. I thought..." He trails off, shaking his head slightly. "It doesn't matter anymore. Nevermind."

"Do you need anything?" Hot Spot asks Aid.

First Aid shakes his head, leaning it back against Hot Spot again. "Just glad to be back with you guys. Probably going to need to recharge again pretty soon- sorry."

"That's fine," Hot Spot says. "Do you want us to stay?"

"We don't mind." Groove agrees, rubbing First Aid's side gently. "We'll stay as long as you want us to." It's a little assumptive of him to say, but he really can't imagine any of them actually minding.

"As long as you don't mind," First Aid says sleepily, optic dimming. He shifts position awkwardly, trying to figure out a way to lay back down without having to relinquish his hold on his brothers.

"Of course not." Hot Spot disentangles them to allow Aid to lie down. His recent inability to recharge is beginning to catch up with him, and he adjusts the chair again so that he can lean on the side of the berth close to Aid while not actually sitting on it.

Groove reluctantly lets First Aid go so he can recharge, gently pulling First Aid's arm off him. He can't quite bring himself to get off the berth, though, and settles himself in a slightly precarious position near the edge. "Go ahead and recharge, Aid. We'll be here when you get up."

First Aid wraps his right arm around Hot Spot as best he can and shifts until his side is actually touching Groove as well, offlining his optic with a much happier-sounding sigh. "Thank you for staying," he says softly. "Glad to be home."

"Mmmhmm," Hot Spot answers. Now that he knows for sure First Aid is safe, everything catches up with him at once. The panic and worry and the inability to recharge. Suddenly, even getting caught by Ratchet somewhere he isn't meant to be doesn't seem too horrible a prospect. He leans his head on his arms, one hand on Aid's shoulder, and dims his optics. He won't stay awake for long.

Groove smiles at he watches Hot Spot quickly drift into recharge- good, he needed it. Laying one arm gently across First Aid, mostly to assure himself that this was real and he wasn't going anywhere, he fishes a datapad out of his subspace. He shifts a little, getting more comfortable, and starts to read, humming a song he learned in the monstery quietly to break the silence.

First Aid's fans spin down quietly as he falls into recharge, folding his left arm up to rest it against Groove's as if making sure he can't leave without First Aid knowing.

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