casusfere: (Burny)
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Title: Picking up the Pieces
Chapter: Blades and Hot Spot: Holding Pattern
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Aftermath of character death
Universe: G1
Summary: Sequel to Shattered. A series of short stories as Slingshot and the people around him try to move forward in the wake of the death of Silverbolt, Air Raid and Skydive.



"Control your fragging boyfriend," an Autobot Blades didn't know growled at him as he entered the rec room.

"Go jump off a fraggin' cliff," Blades shot back automatically, scowling. He ignored the worried look from First Aid beside him, instead scanning the room for Slingshot. What had the Aerial done now?

"He's a fragging menace-" The mech didn't catch the hint to back off. "Slagger should be locked up like a fragging Decepticon-"

Blades punched him in the face.

First Aid made a grab for his brother and missed, narrowly avoiding getting hit himself by the other Autobot's return swing. Both fighters went down in a tangle of thrashing limbs.

Sighing, First Aid commed Hot Spot.

x-x-x


Hot Spot fixed Blades with an unfortunately well-practiced disappointed look through the brig forcefield. "Blades..."

Blades scowled, crossing his arms defensively, ignoring the energon smeared on his face.

"Why do you keep doing this?" Hot Spot asked finally.

"Someone needs to," Blades said flatly.

"Someone needs to get into brawls in the rec room?" Hot Spot shook his head. "You can't hit everyone who says something about him."

"Seems to be working out so far."

"You call this working out?" Hot Spot gestured to the brig.

"Are you here to lecture me, or let me out?" Blades demanded.

Hot Spot sighed, keying the code to drop the forcefield. "You're restricted to quarters unless we're called out." He held out a hand as Blades went to step around him. "We're not finished talking about this."

"Yes, we are." Blades shouldered past him.

"He's not your responsibility!" Hot Spot cried in frustration.

"He is," Blades growled, turning back.

"He's not your only responsibility," Hot Spot retorted before stopping and visibly getting control of himself. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that."

"Do I shirk duties?" Blades demanded. "Do I not do everything you fragging ask?"

"Blades-"

"Have you ever felt that I'm not doing my part?"

"No, Blades, that's not what I mean," Hot Spot said, rubbing a hand over his face. "I'm just- I'm worried about you."

Still bristling, Blades folded his arms across his chest. "My relationship with Slingshot has no impact on my ability to complete my duties, and until it does, you can take your concern and shove it."

"Blades, don't-" Hot Spot said, but he was talking to the other's back as Blades stalked out of the brig.

x-x-x


Hot Spot reached out, running fingertips lightly over the memorial plate.

"I don't know what to do, 'Bolt," he whispered. "I can't- I can't help them. I tried." He leaned his helm against the plate, shuttering his optics. "I'm still trying, but I don't know how. Slingshot..."

He vented air raggedly. "He's not doing well, and every time I try to help, I just end up making it worse. He thinks I'm trying to replace you, and I can't. He's been so reckless, and if it wasn't for Fireflight, I don't think he'd even try to come back at all.

"And Blades... Slag, I'm worried about him, 'Bolt. I yelled at him, and I shouldn't have. He's the only one who can get through to Slingshot at all. He's been trying to hold him together, and I don't know how long it can last. I'm so scared that one of these days Slingshot is going to burn out, and take Blades with him.

"Blades shouldn't have to shoulder the job alone, but what can we do? Neither of them were good at accepting help when you were here. Now..." He onlined his optics, fingers tracing the smoothly etched lines of the name on the plate. Silverbolt.

"I don't want to give up on Slingshot, and I don't want to see Blades hurt. But I can't protect them both. I can't even help them. Either of them. I wish..." he trailed off, voice faltering.

"I wish you were here, Silverbolt. I miss you so much..."

x-x-x


Blades woke from recharge at the hiss of the door, reaching for a weapon even as his recognition software identified the intruder's transponder signal. He flopped back on the berth. "Hey, Slings."

A soft huff of air was Slingshot's only greeting. He waited for the door to close behind him before sliding onto the berth, poking Blades until the helicopter moved to accommodate him.

"Heard you ended up in the brig defending my honor," Slingshot said wryly, settling against Blades' chest.

"Fragger had it coming," Blades said, wrapping an arm around Slingshot and pulling him closer. "How was 'Flight today?" he asked.

He felt baffles shift under his hand as Slingshot shrugged, attempting to act nonchalant and failing. "He's... nothing's really changed."

"Has he said anything else?" Blades stroked his hand down one of the Harrier's flaps until it stopped twitching with repressed agitation.

"No," Slingshot said tiredly. "If Smokescreen hadn't been there, I'd be wondering if I imagined the whole fragging thing."

Blades couldn't think of anything to say to that, so he said nothing.

And later, when the jet woke shaking, he kept quiet and held the Harrier close.

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