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September 25, 2011, 7:22 PM

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First Aid Groove Ratchet Hot Spot Elita One

(Repair Depot, Iacon)

---

First Aid is still on the berth where Ratchet last saw him before leaving the bay, recharging even though the sedative drip has been tapered off to allow him to come back online. However, he's been joined by two of his brothers- Hot Spot is sitting in a chair next to the berth with his head pillowed on one arm, the other carefully holding Aid's injured hand in his. Groove is sitting next to him on the berth, Aid's left arm looped over his hand as if to keep it in place on his side.

Groove is reading something a datapad, still humming quietly to himself. He glances over to watch both his brothers every now and then, a small smile on his face, and eventually he just puts the datapad down on his lap. Turning slightly, he puts most of his focus on the almost inaudible sound of their systems, another reminder that this was actually real and not something he thought up during his recharge cycle.

Elita One enters from Main Level Roadway.

Ratchet comes back into the medbay in a worse than normal mood. His engine revs in irritation as he takes in First Aid's condition -- again -- and he can't help but frown that he's going to need to use repair time for separating the brothers. He coughs. "Anyone not First Aid needs to get away from that berth," he growls.

Elita One has been here for a while, quietly watching the three siblings as she has been as often as her duties allow since bringing Groove to Iacon from Crystal City. When Ratchet arrives in his surliest, she straightens and gestures for the uninjured young mechs to join her in the 'out of the way' part of the area.

Neither Hot Spot nor First Aid stir at all.

Ratchet growls and taps on Hot Spot's helm. "Out of the way, Hot Spot," he says in a low voice.

Groove looks over at Ratchet in surprise, having completely missed the mech approaching in his focus. "Oh! Um..." He almost wants to argue, but he doesn't want to make Ratchet any more angry than he already looks. Leaning carefully over First Aid, he shakes Hot Spot gently, trying to help Ratchet wake up his leader. "Spot, wake up. We need to move." He says quietly, not wanting to scare the other out of his much-needed recharge.

Hot Spot comes online all at once. "What?" He spots Ratchet. "Sorry." He carefully sets First Aid's hand down on the berth and stands up, stepping out of the way, still blinking sleepily.

Ratchet crosses his arms and stares. "Groove."

Elita One echoes Ratchet, but with a different emotion behind her tone. "Groove." She gestures to him again, hoping that he and Hot Spot will have the presence of mind to get out of Ratchet's way, and quickly.

Groove hesitates for a moment, looking down at First Aid before reluctantly slipping off the berth. He picks up the datapad and tucks it in his subspace before daring to give a quick glance at Ratchet. "Um... Sir? C-can I at least stay here?" He asks, shuffling a little uncomfortably. "I promised him I'd be here when he woke up, sir."

Hot Spot adds, "We both did, but if Groove can stay for both of us, I think Aid will understand."

"You won't be *there*," Ratchet gestures to the spot at which Groove was previously in repose. "Nowhere around the berth itself. You want that one there?" he asks, pointing to the next berth over. "You can have it. You are, however, completely out of my way," he says with a keen look before he continues digging through the berthside stand for instruments.

Hot Spot nods, and moves over to the other berth. "Thank you, sir." He sits on the edge of the berth and scoots back, swinging his legs up and dropping directly back into recharge without another word.

"Okay. Thank you, sir." Groove agrees, relieved that he doesn't have to break his promise. He moves away from the berth, stopping by Elita One and offering her a small smile. "Hello, Elita." He greets her quietly, half-watching Ratchet dig for the tools he needed.

Elita One returns Groove's small smile and steps over to the berth Ratchet indicated, having every intention of waiting with Groove (and presumably Hot Spot) while Ratchet works on First Aid's remaining injuries. "Hello, Groove. How are you holding up?"

Ratchet sighs softly and places his hand on First Aid's helm. With a growl, he begins prying out the scrawled-upon optic lens, muttering profanity in a constant stream of consciousness. Gently the small wrench pick-pick-picks around the damaged area, pulling chipped and scratched lens as he goes.

Groove trails after Elita, leaning against the berth Hot Spot was recharging on. "I'm a lot better than I was." He answers, resting one hand over his brother's while he speaks. "You were part of the team, right? Thank you. For going after him and bringing him home."

First Aid onlines with a start when something touches his face, optic unshuttering and engine revving as he goes from offline to fully awake in an astrosecond, arms coming up automatically to try and protect his face from whatever's touching his optic.

Ratchet revs his own engines and gently bats First Aid's hand away. "Settle down, Aid," he says under his vents. "Settle down or I'm sedating you again," he mutters as he continues to dig gently around the optic lens. He puts his other arm around his patient's head to keep it still as he works.

First Aid winces and emits a pained squawk as the impact jars the clamped off lines at the end of his left arm, but goes still. "Ratchet? Sorry- I didn't-" He cycles his vents, hard, and puts his arms back down. "I didn't know it was you. Sorry." He vents again. "Hot Spot and Groove were here earlier?"

Elita One nods to Groove. "I was. And you are most welcome. I think if I'd not been given the assignment I might have demanded to be allowed to go anyway." She reaches over to snag an unoccupied chair from a nearby terminal and pulls it around for Groove. She looks over at Ratchet when First Aid finally starts reacting then reaches to try and catch Groove by one arm before he can bolt toward his awakening sibling.

Groove pushes away from the berth when First Aid starts talking, barely stopping himself from rushing to his brother's side. "We're right over here, Aid. Spot's recharging." He says, taking a step forward without really thinking about it. Elita's hand on his arm stops him from going any further, though.

Ratchet grunts. "They're still here," he says, although he doesn't slacken his grip to let First Aid move his head to attempt to see. He finishes prying up the lens with a final pull, and mutters a curse as he tosses it off to the side to join what will be a growing slag pile, he's sure. Carefully he begins debriding the damage to the other optic.

"Oh. Okay." First Aid's voice is uncertain, as if he's not really sure it is okay. Even with painkillers in his system and most of his sensory network disabled, it's uncomfortable, more because it /should/ hurt than because it actually does, and it brings to mind unpleasant sensory memories of Vortex gleefully aggravating the wound after he'd removed the optic, especially now that he can no longer see out of the other optic either. His tank churns unpleasantly. "Can- can you tell me what you're doing? Please?"

Elita One gently steers Groove to the chair she'd snagged and encourages him to sit where he's within First Aid's line of sight...well, once his optics start working again. Her grip on the mech's arm moves to rest on his shoulder, now more reassuring than restraining.

"I'm getting all the slag out of of your socket," Ratchet says in a low voice as he pulls away some filings before he pulls down the lamp to shine it obliquely over the area and away from the other optic. "Let's just say the handiwork was... sloppy." He reaches to the side to get some nanite gel to introduce into the finer fissures.

"Y-yeah. You could say that." First Aid shivers, but makes an effort to remain still. "Sorry. I don't mean to be difficult."

Groove drops into the chair with a quiet thud, frowning slightly in worry. He leans lightly into Elita's grip, glancing up at her and forcing a smile. "Still. Thank you for going. I'm glad he's home, even if..." He shakes his head slightly, looking back at Ratchet and First Aid. "Thank you."

Ratchet quirks an optic ridge. "I'm sure you never do," he says quietly as he extrudes some of the gel into First Aid's battered optic socket. "This is going to be an extended mend, you know," he says, tapping a less damaged area near the socket. He continues by examining the remainder of the faceplate, tapping various stress points to determine the need for replacement or patching.

"I know." First Aid says- not quite a sigh. "That feels really strange." He offlines his vocalizer again and tries to settle his rebellious tank, trying not to twitch away from the strange sensation. It wouldn't be so bad if he could see, but when he can't see, and Ratchet's not talking, it's entirely too much like Vortex's creepy-gentle touch.

Elita One looks at First Aid and Ratchet, then leans down to speak to Groove quietly. "Talk to him, so he'll be reassured and Ratchet doesn't have to."

Ratchet growls at First Aid. "Purge your tank and I'll make you clean it up blind," he says accusingly as he continues to probe around the laser scalpel wound. "This faceplate's going to have to come off," he says at length with a sigh. He cranes his head over First Aid to see the screws and catches under the younger mech's chin. "It also happens to be screwed in fairly tightly," he says ruefully.

First Aid swallows convulsively. "I'm doing my best. It's easier when you're talking- or someone's talking. Worse now that I can't see." He tilts his head back obediently as Ratchet pushes his chin upwards.

Carefully Ratchet undoes the screws below First Aid's chin and begins pulling upward and caudally to slide the faceplate from its moorings in First Aid's helm. "A little bit breezy, now," he warns as he pulls out the faceplate to add to the slag. He grunts with irritation at the sight of the mess left behind, and begins debriding again. "Your tanks don't so much as burp while I'm clearing this, got it?" he asks sternly.

Groove frowns at Ratchet's remarks- he can't tell if the mech is joking or not. "It's alright, Aid. You're going to get all fixed up and everything will be fine." He says a little hesitantly, not wanting to make the apparently frustrated medic any more upset.

"Got it, Ratchet," First Aid swallows again, hard. He deliberately shifts his focus to Groove's voice instead. "I... thanks, Groove. When did you get here? You were in Crystal City?"

Ratchet picks gently to remove free wiring, although he frowns at how much solder he's got to remove before he gets all of the severed lines free. Carefully he removes the unsalvageable bits and pick-pick-picks at some of the fused materials, rumbling in his engine as he goes. He throws a look up at Groove and narrows his optics before he starts removing the damaged motors entirely from First Aid's eye socket. "Your brother might need the sedatives before you do," he says slowly.

Elita One offers her voice as well to reassure First Aid. "I went to pick him up from Crystal City the moment Prowl realized you were missing. He's been here since then."

Groove almost nods before he remembers First Aid can't see him. "I came back to Iacon with her. Flashover, too- but you haven't met him yet. We knew him before we got separated."

The feeling of Ratchet picking at the wiring that's normally covered by his faceplate is weird and uncomfortable, but it's also /different/, and while it's still hard to remain still, his tank isn't quite so ready to purge itself "Flashover? He's your guardian, right?" Hot Spot and I met him when we were looking for you. He's here, too?"

"Yeah, he's my guardian. I didn't know about him, actually." Groove admits, leaning forward in the chair to rest his forearms on his knees. "He seems nice enough. He followed us after we left Crystal City."

Elita One says, "And let me tell you THAT was a little unnerving until we figured out he was friendly." She steps over to lean against berth Hot Spot is asleep on, crossing her arms as she takes a more relaxed stance and offers an explanation for her words. "Flashover is a flyer type."

Ratchet coughs in his vents slightly and taps First Aid's shoulder. "Hold still," he intones. "You and I both know it's not hurting you, and it's hardly ticklish, either." Carefully he starts heating and extracting solder from fouled connections. He vents yet another sigh as he continues the minute work, admitting to himself that quite possibly even these repairs might have to rely on time and nanite spray. Fraggitall.

"Yeah- he's a rotary mech." First Aid vents hard and focuses on remaining still. After a klik, he asks another question. "Is Blades okay? No one's said."

Groove pauses at that, looking back at Elita for a moment before returning his attention to First Aid. "I haven't seen him. I'm sure he's okay, though." He says finally. "Flashover talked to him at one point, I think."

Ratchet hums in thought as he readies the nanite spray for a blast over First Aid's exposed facial internals. "Cold spray, now," he tells the intern before pulling the trigger. He shakes his head in his reverie.

"That's good." First Aid replies. It's easier when Groove is talking, what else can he ask about. He braces himself for the cold spray, but manages to mostly suppress the flinch. Again, it's novel- that helps. Groove talking helps too, as does Ratchet, but he doesn't want to distract Ratchet while he's working. "What else happened when I was ... gone?"

Ratchet watches the spray start to glisten and grimaces when he sees a few pockets of fizz start to form in some of the messier gouges in Aid's cranial anatomy. "This is going to have to stay like this for a while," he says apologetically. He rests a hand on First Aid's shoulder.

Groove considers the question, dropping his gaze the floor as he thinks. "Not much, that I know of." He answers, looking back up at First Aid. The sight of the repairs is more than a little unsettling, but he doesn't want to leave his brother.

"Optics too?" First Aid knows he sounds pathetic, and but can't really help it. The faceplate damage is probably really unpleasant to look at, but not being able to see is terrifying.

Ratchet sighs. "Yes, optics too, I'm afraid," he tells First Aid. "They're a mess, and I want them scrubbed clean before anything else gets put in. I can put a drape over everything until it's done, or I can leave it open," he says. "Your choice," he says, eyeing Groove critically.

"It probably looks pretty bad?" First Aid asks, thinking. He doesn't care how it looks, himself- even with working optics, he can't see his own face except in a mirror, and he doesn't usually bother- but most mechs aren't used to looking at bare system internals, and it might be upsetting to Groove or Hot Spot. "Drape, if it's all the same."

Groove shifts a little comfortably under Ratchet's scrutiny, not quite sure what to make of it. "It'll be alright, Aid. Everything will get fixed before you know it." He assures First Aid, trying to keep his voice cheerful.

"Listen to Groove," Elita One offers with a wink to the mech in question. "He actually for a change knows what he's talking about." Shark enters from Main Level Roadway.

Ratchet nods quietly and pulls the drape from the drawer, then applies some light adhesive to keep it in place around the perimeter of First Aid's helm. "Recharge, Aid," he says sternly, giving his patient a pat.

"Alright," First Aid says, agreeably enough. "Can Groove stay? Please? If you don't mind, Groove?"

Groove flashes Elita a quick grin at that, glad for the distraction. "What, are you saying I usually /don't/ know what I'm doing?" He teases back, though First Aid's question nudges him back to being serious. "Of course I don't mind, Aid. If I'm allowed, I'll stay." He agrees.

"On other berths," Ratchet orders. "I catch you on this one and I will bodily toss your chassis out onto the loading dock." His expression is stern.

First Aid huffs air out of his vents. "Please, Ratchet? He'll be careful, I can't /see/ him." He knows he sounds like a scared sparkling, and he doesn't care.

Ratchet rumbles in annoyance. "I said... _other berths._" He gathers up the slag for disposal and points a finger at Groove. "I mean it, Groove."

Groove nods, holding up both hands in surrender and making sure to look thoroughly chastised. "Yes, sir. I won't get on the berth with him, I swear to Primus." He agrees.

"Sorry Ratchet," First Aid says, downcast. He's glad Groove can stay, really, he is, but he can't tell where- except that he can. "It's okay." His voice is steadier. "It's alright, I /can/ tell you're there. I forgot."

Elita One listens to the bantering, then takes it upon herself to find a compromise. She steps over to the chair Groove is seated in and starts to push it across to First Aid's berth. It's not the quietest journey ever.

Groove starts a little when Elita starts to shove the chair, looking over his shoulder at her. "I /can/ walk, Elita." He points out, sounding rather amused by the whole thing. "And besides, you might wake Spot up." He pauses, glancing over at his leader. "...Alright, maybe not."

"Spot's still out?" First Aid asks.

Elita One grins, clearly amused by her own cleverness. "If he's not awake by now, nothing short of a planetquake will rouse him."

"I told him to recharge." Groove says with a quiet laugh, pushing himself out of the chair and taking it from Elita. He carries it over to the side of First Aid's berth and sets it down, dropping back into it easily. "There."

"He must need it, if he's out like that," First Aid says, turning his head to follow Groove as he moves to the side of the berth despite the lack of vision.

Elita One lets Groove take over relocating the chair, even though she briefly feigns being hurt before stepping over to First Aid's berth. She makes a point of making her footsteps distinct -- which is not normal for her as she's worked hard at learning to walk quietly.

Groove smiles a little at that, resting one hand on First Aid's arm. "Yeah. He was really worried about you. We all were." He chuckles, a hint of self-deprecation in the sound. "I probably didn't help with that."

"I'm sorry you were worried," First Aid says softly, after a minute. "I didn't mean for- well, any of it- to happen. To scare you. What do you mean?"

Elita One stops at the foot of First Aid's berth and taps on the corner a few times seemingly idly. "Okay, I have to second that question. What /do/ you mean, Groove?"

Groove pauses, exactly what he said just now registering. He glances at Elita for a quick moment, but, well, if she went on the mission, maybe she knows? "...I told you, Aid, I can feel what you guys feel." He says softly, squeezing First Aid's arm gently.

"I forgot. Primus." First Aid vents hard. "I'm so sorry, Groove. I can't imagine."

Elita One ohhhhs faintly. She'd been so busy with searching for First Aid and then planning his rescue that she didn't stop to question HOW his location was discovered. "Wait, what? You can /feel/ what he feels? So you'd feel if I did something like, oh, this?" Her idly tapping hand reaches to pat First Aid reassuringly on an undamaged part of his leg.

"It's alright, Aid. It meant I knew you were still alive. That was all I needed." Groove responds, rubbing the arm his hand was resting on comfortingly. He looks over at Elita when she asks, shaking his head. "No, not like that. I mostly get emotions, sometimes obvious physical sensations if I focus hard enough." He explains.

First Aid reaches up to put his hand over Groove's, squeezing back as best he can. "That had to be awful, though. And physical sensations?" He sounds more regretful than horrified, and tired. "You felt.. you felt it? Oh Groove, I'm so sorry."

Elita One lets the two talk for a moment, going back to her idle tapping while using her radio to quietly check in on something.

Groove frowns a little at that. "Stop apologizing, Aid. None of this is your fault in any way." He murmurs, shifting his hand until he can, very gently and carefully, curl his fingers around First Aid's. "I was- and still would be- totally willing to feel like that for the rest of my life if it meant you coming back to us. Primus gave me that ability, let me feel all of that, for a reason. So please don't apologize, okay?"

"I shouldn't have left Iacon- there's a lot of things I should have done differently. Should have listened to Prowl and Shark, should haven't have gone with Dually- just... it was dumb." First Aid huffs air out of his vents. "I'm glad I'm home." He says softly.

Groove resists the urge to heave air out his own vents. "Don't waste your time regretting things, Aid." He scolds gently, lifting his other hand to rest on First Aid's shoulder. "Just focus on getting all fixed up so Spot stops worrying and the rest of us can go back to being irresponsible."

First Aid sighs. "I'm doing what I can. Who's being irresponsible, though?" He sounds confused.

Groove laughs at that, gently patting First Aid's shoulder. "It was a joke, Aid. Although..." His voice drops to a conspiratorial whisper. "Don't tell anyone, but those of us up at the monastery? We're masters at being irresponsible. We just laze around all day and call it contemplating Primus! But it's a very big secret, you see, so keep it quiet, okay?"

First Aid laughs himself, and it feels strange, but good. "I'm glad you're here, Groove. Are... are you going to stay?" He hesitates before asking.

Groove falls quiet at that, dropping his gaze to the floor as he thinks. On one hand, he's sworn an oath to Crystal City, the Hierophant, and Primus himself, and on the other... He looks up from the floor, examining First Aid carefully for a few moments. "...Yeah." He says quietly, tightening his grip on his brother's shoulder. "Yeah, I'm going to stay."

First Aid gives a relieved sigh. "Good. That's good. I'm sorry, Groove- your name was in my datapad, it was in my subspace. It was just the beginning of a letter I was working on, but they know your name."

Groove tilts his helm a little at the knowledge before shrugging. "Then they know my name. Even if I wasn't staying, the Crystal Guard isn't easy to get past, and now that I am, that's a moot point too. It's not a big deal, Aid. Promise."

First Aid nods and leans his head back against the berth. "Okay- I just... you should know." He sighs again. "Where'd Elita go?" The femme has been so quiet, he's not sure if she's still there.

Elita One finally recovers from whatever she'd been focusing on, though her hand did stop the light tapping against one corner of First Aid's berth. "Oh, um, sorry. I'm still here." The light tapping starts up again.

"Aw, and here I was going to say you had run off with an apparition of Primus to find your true calling as keeper of the Well of All Sparks." Groove says cheerfully, chuckling to himself. "Sorry, I have a kinda strange sense of humor."

Elita One looks at Groove oddly. "I think that might be more amusing if it made any sense at all to me." She's probably just not at all versed in Crystal City religious stuff. Or something.

First Aid smiles at that. "You do, but I like it." He turns his head towards where he thinks Elita is standing. "Thank you for making sure he got here safe."

Groove shrugs, giving Elita an easy grin. "Sorry 'bout that, Elita. None of the priests ever found me very funny either." He looks down at First Aid, glad that his brother seems to be relaxing again. "Glad /somebody/ likes my jokes. I have to inflict them all on you now, you realize." He teases.

Elita One puts a hand on First Aid's leg again in a reassuring manner. "It was the least I could do. Now, are you two going to get some rest soon, or keep talking until one of you literally falls into recharge?" Her tone of voice is lightly teasing, and trying for reassuring.

"No, I'll recharge. I don't want to upset Ratchet." First Aid says, scooting slightly sideways on the berth to be closer to the chair Groove is sitting in.

Groove chuckles again, squeezing First Aid's shoulder. "Wouldn't be the oddest place I've fallen into recharge. I've recharged standing up a couple times before." He pauses thoughtfully for a moment. "There was also that one time I was upside down but that's a long story. I'll go recharge in a few breems, promise."

"Alright." Aid says, settling down on the berth and obviously planning to go into recharge. "Thanks for staying with me."

Elita One chuckles at Groove. "All right. I'm going to go get some recharge in myself. But don't hesitate to comm me if either of you need anything."

"There isn't a single place on the planet I'd rather be, Aid. Recharge well, okay?" Groove says quietly to his brother before looking over at Elita. "I will, Elita. Thank you, again."

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