♬ - a friend/best friend memory
“Here. This should work now. I calibrated it myself.” The sharp flick of a wing matched the impatient edge in Starscream’s voice as he stepped up beside Jetfire and set down the magnetic field detector that had been giving them trouble all night. It had cost them nearly a joor and they’d have to redo all their readings, costing them even more time.
“So hard to find good help these days.” Jetfire gave a small chuckle at the expense of whatever lab assistant had set up the equipment earlier, an individual he hadn’t named to Starscream lest they get an audialful of scolding. The larger mech moved slightly to make room on his left, then paused, fanning his wings softly. “That’s so convenient,” he hmmed.
Starscream scrutinized the readings from the field detector for a moment before he glanced up, a questioning look on his face.
“Your wings. How the right one sticks up and back a little more. It…” He trailed off when Starscream pinned the appendages back and glanced away.
A moment later the smaller Seeker recovered, fixing both wings at an even height and straightening up. “Noted,” he murmured, studying the magnetic readings a little too intently.
“Starscream…?” Jetfire leaned over, concern showing in his optics.
Stiffening his wings even more, Starscream muttered something about the bearing of an officer, something he’d been told countless times by instructors and inspectors in Vos, accompanied once in a while by a sharp knock on whichever wing a given superior considered incorrectly placed. He usually remembered to keep them even, but he’d been wrapped up in his work just now.
“I’m sorry, Starscream. I didn’t mean anything by it. You don’t have to worry about acting like an officer, not around me.” Rubbing the back of his helm, Jetfire searched for words before finally settling for a helpless, “It’s fine.”
Starscream vented. “I am an officer though, and I was supposed to come here a groon ago. I should have my first command by now, and those little things, they add up.” For a long moment he was silent, staring at the readouts. They matched the expected results now, which was satisfying at least. “I don’t want to get passed over for another promotion.”
“Ahh.” Jetfire let his arm fall, flicking his wings up. “That’s true, and it’s important to have good habits.” When Starscream gave the slightest nod, the taller mech shifted again, back to how he’d been standing before. “Still, I wasn’t even assigned here a groon ago. We’d have missed each other. It’s a bit selfish, but I don’t mind that you had to wait. And I’ll help you catch up!”
Starscream looked up, surprise giving way to a slow smile at the uncommon earnestness displayed in the widespread wings above him. His own wings rose to match, still perfectly even, but relaxed. “Well good! And now that I’ve got the readings sorted out, we can finally make progress.”
He settled back in beside Jetfire, but didn’t start a new experiment yet. “What was convenient anyway?”
“Oh! Ha, I just noticed, a while ago, that with your wings like that, you fit right here” He moved his hand over Starscream’s head. “I’m a bit big for this lab myself, and with two of us…” He shrugged and looked back at his work, giving the barest flutter of his wings, only noticeable because they still moved quite a bit of air, being so large.
Starscream looked around, leaning over to get a look at the other side of Jetfire, and up at the taller Seeker’s waist and elbow. Considering it now, he had always felt as though there was more room on this side, and it must be because his right wing leaned back more, and didn’t bump Jetfire as often. Primus, had his wings been cockeyed this whole time? When had he grown so comfortable tucked in beside the other scientist? Finally he smiled to himself. The truth was, Jetfire always put him at ease, and the affection in that little flutter made him feel better in a way that surprised him. He didn’t have any friends back home, not like this, not who would find something good in one of his foibles. They were all people he had to impress, and impress them he did. Apparently he didn’t have to do that here. He turned the feeling over in his mind and decided he liked it.
“Heh, that is convenient,” he said at last, flashing a broader smile up at his friend. He settled in closer to Jetfire, allowing his outspread right wing to brush against the other’s waist for a moment, before he relaxed and it drifted up and back to its natural resting spot, conveniently letting the two work closely together.