Chapter 1: The Trails Lead to (Your New) Home | Week 1
The path up to the tower was a fairly time-consuming hike, but it gave Heatwave a pretty good idea of what to expect from the new woods. He'd only really traversed them a couple of times for rescues, and always at his normal size – Never had he even imagined he'd be doing it at a mere six feet. Seeing the lush ceiling of trees above him and the new flora around him as he walked along now, though, he could see the genuine worry of destroying Doc Greene's hard work this past Spring; The minimizer really was the only way to ensure that he didn't accidentally knock down the trees.
What point would there be in having a Firebot handy to extinguish fires if he was just going to kill the wildlife himself?
As he took in the view of the forest, tall and teeming with new wildlife eager to move in, he couldn't help but agree that this wasn't such a bad idea. Mayor Luskey's dream had become a reality, for sure, and Doc Greene's oversight on growing the woods out artificially, “for aesthetic”, saw that only a minimal amount of weird had happened. The project was a success in the end; Mayor Luskey's overhaul on the woods of the island turned it into a wonderful camping spot and Griffin Rock even had it's very first national hiking trail.
Not yet open to anyone but the natives of Griffin Rock, of course.
With a new tourist trap came the need for new safety precautions for the busy summer months; People were inevitably going to get lost, there would be fires (both natural and human-made), and wildlife tended to wander where wildlife really shouldn't. So, like every other national park, there needed to be rangers, a search and rescue crew, and a firewatch.
Or, as Doc Greene and Mayor Luskey had decided, new tech to do all of those jobs. However, this tech would be very experimental for a long time, so naturally that meant the jobs had to be filled the old fashioned way: By humans.
Dani and the Lad Pioneer instructors were really the only ones equipped for hiking through the woods and finding lost people with any certainty, but they weren't available; The Pioneer instructors had to set up a camp to train the new recruits (including Cody), and Dani was in China. With no recruits ready yet, and no other qualified individuals available, that left the Rescue Academy to keep watch over the woods all summer.
Luckily, since the island didn't want to risk outing the Bots, the trail was only open to Griffin Rock's own residents until the new recruits were trained and ready. So, Heatwave, Blurr, and Salvage all took their respective roles in keeping the forest and citizens safe.
Heatwave was the firewatch, stationed at the newly built Sigma Fire Tower where he'd spend the entire summer watching for fires and extinguishing them when necessary. Blurr and Salvage were stationed at the outer sections of the forest where they could provide search and rescue if needed.
That left the role of the ranger, and Heatwave had no doubts about who he wanted to fill that role. He'd requested for assistance, not even hiding his doubt in Blurr, Salvage and even himself, from Chief, but he wasn't sure he'd get the help he wanted. After all, he knew Chase was busy. There was a chance though; After all, Kade, although bummed about losing his partner, was pretty happy to go back to town to help Chief while Heatwave and the cadets were away. Since Chief had help, he might've agreed to let Chase go for the summer.
Despite knowing it was a long shot, Heatwave couldn't help getting his hopes up.
He knew the tower would be high, especially since it had to oversee the entire forest, but the Firebot found himself marvelling at the tower nontheless. The height, the look, the utility... He'd done research into past towers, had expected a similar structure with subpar longevity and a yearly maintenance bill, but Sigma was a force to be reckoned with.
It had a lot of equipment. Climbing gear, an ATV, a full greenhouse... The roof was even equipped with solar panels!
The inside was home to the largest medical station he'd ever seen, a full kitchen, a small living space with bookshelves and even some little puzzles and time-passers. He noted with admiration that there was a recharge slab rather than a bed.
Taking it all in, Heatwave was almost sad he'd only be spending a summer in the tower. It was far more welcoming and cozy than the mainland facility. Then again, maybe he was happy to be rid of his usual tag-alongs and have some peace and quiet. He decided he'd be making the most of his 'vacation' away from the cadets.
Walking over to the largest observation window, Heatwave immediately caught sight of the beacon over the Trion Ranger Station a few miles away. A nice sight, he decided, since the beacon was working quite effectively, especially against the setting sun. Lost hikers would be able to find the station if they were close enough. Up the hill from the station a pretty easy clearing, too, so Heatwave could see anyone who was near it. Heatwave himself could just see the outline of it from his tower.
As he looked down at the station, marveling at the design that went into these buildings, his curiousity eventually got the better of him. With a sigh he grabbed his binoculars and peered down at the station, observing the building for a few moments before disappointment washed over him and he was met with the cold realization that it was still locked up tight.
Chase wasn't there.
Chase wouldn't be there. The Policebot was exceptionally punctual, and he would've been there already. When he thought about it, Heatwave realized he probably would've already been trying to comm the Firebot to establish their upcoming routines...
The absence of his old teammate was more disappointing than it should have been, but the Firebot allowed himself to be sour over it, because who was going to see it anyway?
It was just him, in his tower, alone for the entire summer.
He decided he'd have to unpack the energon rations and equipment he'd brought sooner or later.
“I'm all moved in up here, boss!” The radio clicked, and there was silence for a moment, then, another click. “Oh, uh, over!” Salvage's voice cut through the radio, not the comm, and Heatwave pinched his nasal ridge.
“Salvage, why are you using a human radio?” The Firebot growled into his own handheld, noting the clarity in the signal. At least if his team were going to be ridiculous, they were testing equipment.
“I think you're supposed to say 'over' when you finish your call, Boss...”
“Salvage, get to the point.”
“Well y'see I wanted to see what it'd be like to really put ourselves in the human experience, bein' shrunk down an' all, an' usin' these radios makes it more immersive! Over!”
Heatwave rolled his optics. “Radios can fail and the signal can be blocked by obstacles easier than our comms. The humans can make-do with scrap tech, but I'm using what was effective on Cybertron. This means you will, too.” He ordered, and he had to resist squeezing the receiver in frustration. It wouldn't do to accidentally crush the radio one day into the assignment.
“Got it, boss... Sorry.”
He could hear the disappointment in the other mech's tone, but Heatwave wasn't budging. He wasn't sacrificing the effectiveness of his team by havnig them forget about their comms while they pretended to be assimilating with humans. He'd already experienced enough of that with Blades.
But, he wasn't going to ruin the other bot's time this early, either.
“Thank you, though, for reporting in, Salvage. I appreciate it.” Heatwave knew Salvage was more apt to respond to positive reinforcement, so it wouldn't hurt to try and reign in his temper a little. “Do me a favor and get Blurr to give his report when he's all moved in. If I know him, he's going to try and avoid getting directives the whole time we're out here.”
“Haha, sure thing, boss.” A pause, then “Salvage out”.
Heatwave gave himself a pat on the back for trying to adapt his teaching strategies. Maybe he'd learn a thing or two out here after, all.
It occurred to them all very quickly within the first week that with suprisingly very little rescues or fires happening that they would definitely need more things to occupy them.
Of course, they'd all brought their favorite pass-times with them upon arriving, but books were good for one read-through only, and Heatwave had quickly exhausted the couple he'd taken with him over the week. As well, some of the more tactile puzzles he'd been given by Kade, like his 'unsolvable rubix cube', were solved incredibly quickly and he'd been inclined to wonder whether his partner even had a brain.
Salvage had inadvertently come up with a great idea when he'd been out hiking near the Sigma region and used an old tree stump to stash some new books for Heatwave to come and retrieve, and thus the Boredom Boxes were born. Over the next few days, the mechs used old energon containers with the locks modified with access codes as a way to stash and retrieve each other's books and trinkets.
Of course it wasn't always books and trinkets, apparently, as Heatwave's most recent retrieval had resulted in him getting a 'Salvage Special', high-grade home brew. No matter how much he tried to keep the mech from making it, Salvage always managed to do it anyway. For once, Heatwave was a little thankful; He wouldn't mind having a stash to break into on slow nights.
As a thanks, he left the mech some energon treats.
Chapter 2: More Than Static Transmitted Here | Week 3
There's a potential break in at the Trion Ranger Station, and Heatwave learns the benefits of a broken radio.
It took me a while to get back to this, but honestly between work and the holiday crap, it was HARD getting time to sit and hammer this out. I'm hoping the next few come easier and quicker, but no promises >.> I know better than to try setting deadlines.
Also things are gonna start living up to that E rating from here on in. I was gonna wait another chapter but really I can only write about hikes and woods SO MUCH before it gets repetitive. I'm sure if anyone was here for that they'd be reading like David Paulides or something instead of a robo fanfic promising smut.
And since we are here and now and I'm promising robo smut, I'll not keep anyone waiting any longer. I hope you enjoy!
Week three was beginning to yield some action; He'd put out a mildly out of control bonfire in Salvage's sector, helped a pair of hikers find their trail again in the Trion sector, and even got a visit from Cody's recruit-training camp. He'd thoroughly enjoyed showing off the Fire Tower to the group of recruits, knowing full-well at least one of them would be manning the station in the coming year.
But despite the influx of activity, there were still plenty of hours spent doing puzzles and reading books. He'd even hiked and memorized most of the surrounding areas.
With little else to do, Heatwave done exactly what he'd seen firsthand in the campsites: He'd built a bonfire. In the evenings, it was a wonderful way to get out of the tower for a little while and take in the fresh air, still getting to overlook the area from the high hill the tower was built on. He'd taken to doing it nightly, using the light of the fire to read his books or just sit and watch the stars, ponder space and Cybertron...
It was his own little controlled act of rebellion. After all, who better to control a fire than the walking fire extinguisher?
Heatwave took a swig of the high-grade Salvage had graciously gifted him and peered out over the woods, finding no plumes of smoke or obvious distress signals. Another clear night, he determined. He sighed and was about to grab the book he'd brought outside with him when a light flicking on in the Ranger Station caught his attention.
With a frown, Heatwave stood up to get a better look at the station as he comm'd the cadets.
:Blurr, Salvage, what are you positions?: He demanded in a hushed voice. There was no need alerting the potential intruder to his presence just yet.
:In my cabin. Where you banished me for tearing up the precious flowers racing-:
:Shut it, Blurr. Salvage? Where are you?:
:I'm helpin' a pair of hikers retrieve a bag that tumbled over the cliff edge in Sector Prime. What's goin' on, boss?:
:Frag... Alright, there's a break in at the Trion Ranger Station. I'm going to confront the intruder. I'll comm either when they've been apprehended or if I need backup.: Heatwave said as he blasted his bonfire with water, effectively dousing it.
:I really don't mind coming to assist right away, 'Wave, I mean-:
:Blurr, there's no need of more than one of us going, and I am the closest. There's a potential chance it could be Cody. He has a key after all.: Heatwave reasoned, easing down the rocky side of the hill. As he snuck down towards the ranger station, he knew that any of the Burns family would have comm'd or radio'd if they were going to be doing anything of the like.
Except Kade. It could be Kade.
:I'll let you know what goes down.: Heatwave promised as he reached the bottom of the hill, just a few feet from the station.
Despite the rugged terrain, he'd managed to keep pretty quiet. As he came to the side of the building, pressed close and ready to whip around and charge in, he was thankful for his smaller size; In his regular size, he didn't exactly sneak well.
“Heatwave? What are you doing down here?”
Heatwave reacted before he really processed the words, or the familiar voice, and was thoroughly hosing down his intruder without a second thought. When he realized the force wasn't knocking the intruder off their feet was also about when he realized he was damn sure who had just snuck up on him and he gaped as his cannons abruptly stopped dousing the other mech in front of him.
“Chase?!” Heatwave asked incredulously, taking in the now sopping wet form of his former teammate. “Chief let you come out here?” His happiness outweighed how sheepish he felt about spraying down the Policebot, thankfully.
The Policebot flicked water off his servos distastefully. “Affirmative. I was moving my belongings in when I heard activity outside, coming from behind my station. I came out to apprehend a potential vandal or thief, and apparently you are my vandal or thief.” Chase stated matter-of-factly, and Heatwave chuckled and shook his helm.
“I came down here because I thought there was a potential vandal or thief breaking into the Ranger station.” He explained. “You kinda surprised me...” The Firebot gestured to the mess he'd made of his former teammate with a sheepish grin.
“Well I'm pleased to know your plan of action is to water the intruders.” Chase teased, and Heatwave playfully squirted more water at the mech in retaliation.
“Hey, if you weren't made of metal this would've knocked you off your pedes!” The red mech insisted.
The Policebot cocked an optic ridge in challenge. “Oh, and you want to sweep me off my pedes, Heatwave?” He asked, and even through his general monotone Heatwave could hear the playful edge.
“Oh believe me, Chase, if I were trying, you would know.” Heatwave shot the mech a cocky smirk and crossed his arms over his chestplates.
“Unless you're as bad at that as you are minding your site, because there's a plume of smoke about five miles south.” Chase said, squinting past the red mech to see the smoke he'd just informed him of.
“What?!” Heatwave whipped around to see the thin plume, probably from a bonfire, and shook his helm. “Fraggin' kids. I'll be in touch on comm, okay?”
“Affirmative.” Chase shot him a mischievous smirk. “Don't forget to give them a real dousing for breaking your rules, Heatwave.”
Heatwave returned the smirk. Yes, he was quite happy that Chase would be with him this summer.
He isn't initially sure what woke him from recharge at three AM. Groggily, he adjusted his optics as he hears static, and it took a moment before he registered that it was coming from his radio. All at once he was on his pedes and stalking over to the radio to see what the emergency was, but a sudden noise stopped him with his servo stretched out, inches from the receiver.
Heatwave stared down at the radio, frozen in place and completely baffled. His knee jerk reaction was to ask if the person calling his station was hurt, but something about the noises was off.
The sighs and pants, the rhythmic slick sounds were all leading him to suspect something...else. Not danger.
The exact opposite of danger, actually.
The war between interrupting the person on the other end and embarrassing the both of them or just waiting it out was a tough one, and the Firebot debated heavily for a few moments over what his best option would be. He could just click the call button, a small noise to startle them into turning off the radio...
Heatwave slowly picked up the receiver to see what channel was calling him.
“Channel 3...Trion...” Heatwave muttered to himself, and the realization that the channel belonged to Chase's radio left a strange feeling. Was he purposefully calling Heatwave? If he was, why not call him on a comm line, where it was more secure...? Why would he call Heatwave at all when he was...busy?
It was more likely that his radio was broken, he decided. But again he was met with the question of letting the bot know he was broadcasting.
The Firebot stared at the radio for a long moment, gaping at it. Had he really just heard that...? Chase was self-servicing. Self-servicing to him. To Heatwave, his former teammate. His friend.
In a weird way, he didn't want it to stop; Be it ego, or curiosity, or even just his youngling libido acting up, he wanted to see where this went, wanted to hear Chase want him.
Wanted to hear if Chase missed him...
Slowly, in a move he didn't realize he was even making, he made his way to his desk and sat down, next to the radio. That close, he could hear those wonderfully slick noises sound wetter, and the soft gasps of air sound closer, and it didn't take much beyond that to imagine the Policebot's antics.
Stretched out over his recharge slab, legs hiked up and valve exposed and on display as he pushed two, even three digits in and out, lubricant gushing out over his servo...
Heatwave heard his spike pressurize more than felt it, and he really couldn't blame himself; How else was he to react to a hot mech he'd admired for years fragging themselves while thinking of him? He didn't bother going slow. Something about knowing this about Chase, about doing this while listening to Chase, set his fuel lines on fire. He stroked himself quickly and aggressively, intent on getting off as soon as possible.
“Oh Primus... Heatwave! Ahn..”
Before he had to really think about what he was doing and why it was wrong.
“Chase...!” He gasped, and a small part of him bristled that maybe the radio was broken on both ends and he would be heard by Chase, but the rest of him thrilled at that idea, left him dribbling prefluid over his digits and pressing his hips into the stimulation at the mere thought of Chase hearing him. And didn't he know he was getting too far in, throwing caution to the wind when he allowed himself to imagine Chase spread out before him, taking him in and loving every moment of it...?
Heatwave was living for every gasp, every mewl, and he matched every one of them with his own vent-stuttered groans and grunts of pleasure. The sounds of his former teammate's self-servicing were fueling his fire, feeding the blaze of lust tearing through his frame, and he could just hear the sounds get faster,
through the radio static.
Then they stopped, and Heatwave was floored by the knowledge that Chase, his old partner, his friend, had just overloaded screaming his designation. The image of the Policebot arching up, digits pressed as far as they would go in his valve and his processor reeling with thoughts of Heatwave fragging him hard and deep was all the Firebot needed to be thrown over the edge with a choked off grunt as he painted his servo with his release.
Slumping forward, Heatwave heard the other mech's vents reboot a few times over the radio before finally leveling out on the third try and his own gave a sympathetic whine, equally struggling.
He smirked to himself as he took in the situation, oddly proud that Chase got off so hard to him, oddly at peace with how into fragging Chase he was. He'd never considered it before, never really thought of Chase as much more than a friend, but he couldn't argue the fact that he'd overloaded harder at the idea of taking him and listening to his sounds than he had over anything else in his time online.
On shaky struts, he raised himself to his pedes and trudged over to the recharge slab, letting himself collapse onto it noisily.
The thrum of blissful full-frame satisfaction sang through him in the same tune as the trepidation of how he'd face Chase knowing what he did, mixing delightfully with the giddiness of wondering how he could use this new information to make Chase his.
Heatwave sighed, staring up at the ceiling of his tower as he realized that yes, one accidental radio call from Chase had his world turned upside down, and yes, he was absolutely fine with that.
It was going to be him and Chase out here in the forest for the entire summer, and he couldn't wait for it to begin.
He'd figure out a less awkward way to tell Chase to fix his radio.
Chapter 3: It Serves You Right to Suffer | Weeks 3 & 4
Chase knows, and Heatwave isn't as sneaky as he wishes he was.
This was supposed to be longer but the spark to write kinda died out early on me so this is my meager offering. It's one of those "I did this instead of sleeping" things....
He never did get around to telling Chase about the radio; Night after night of hearing his name called out in the most delicious ways won over being a nice mech. The sounds the mech made drove Heatwave wild, and he'd wager since the incident started he'd probably gotten off just as hard as the Policebot, and definitely as many times.
And, as far as the Firebot was concerned, it was a damned hard conversation to have, especially after several nights passing without him alerting Chase to the issue. He could always say he never noticed before since he was recharging, but he doubted the blue mech would buy it.
Heatwave certainly wouldn't.
So he decided letting the whole ordeal continue was a lot less embarrassing for both of them and a lot more fun for himself.
His morning hike through his sector was relatively uneventful. He collected trash that campers left, removed a few fallen obstacles from the walking paths, pretty routine stuff.
It all went fairly south when he opened the Boredome Box between he and Chase' stations and found a data pad. It was connected to Chase' pad so he could reply instantaneously, and the setup reminded Heatwave a lot of that 'texting' thing he'd seen the Burns family do.
Written innocently and without context was one sentence that, on its own was not incriminating, nor that off-putting, but to Heatwave the words made his tank roil.
'I know you've been listening.'
Heatwave frowned at the pad in his servo, then frowned at the Ranger Station, then frowned at the pad again. Chase knew. And he was probably furious. But, like Heatwave, probably also embarrassed which is why he chose a less personal way of addressing it.
He tucked the pad into his subspace and made for his tower, dreading the conversation he was about to have.
His initial idea had been to say a simple 'I'm sorry', but instead he decided to play it dumb and say, 'listening to what'.
Like an idiot.
It took Chase an hour to respond, and whether that was due to nervousness or actual duties, the Firebot wasn't sure. The little 'ding' of reply made his spark drop in its casing as he turned to face the data pad on his desk.
'To me...at night. My radio is broken, I've learned, and it has been since I arrived. You've been listening to me.'
Heatwave thought his reply over for a moment. 'Well I haven't heard anything overnight, so I'm sorry I never noticed to let you know earlier.' He sighed and stood up from his desk, pacing through the tower restlessly. Minutes passed and he grimaced, tossing the odd glance at the inactive data pad.
The finally, a ding.
'You're a terrible liar. I've seen your lights on after the incidents several times and I know for a fact that my radio was transmitting some...noises I'm less than proud of since the radio was malfunctioning.'
With his lie outed, Heatwave was unsure how to approach the subject. Apologetically, he decided. 'Alright, I was just trying to save some embarrassment. I didn't know how to bring it up to you and the more time passed, the more awkward I knew it would get to talk about it so I just left the volume down and ignored it.' Then, as an afterthought, 'I'm sorry'.
This reply was a lot faster.
'You left your radio turned down!? What if someone tried to radio you for assistance? You know that's against regulation!'
The Firebot sighed. Chase would absolutely be the bot more upset over rule breaking than his own dignity. 'You're seriously more concerned about me breaking regulation than listening to you get off?'
'Yes! What if someone needed you?'
Heatwave toyed with the idea of a flirty reply, but decided against it. The mech was already furious with him, after all. 'I'm sorry. I made a bad call.'
'Well, I'm sorry too. For what you might have heard...'
He hardly considered the mech moaning his designation in overload to be a bad thing, but Chase didn't need to know that. 'Don't worry about it.'
That seemed to be the end of the conversation, and after a few minutes Chase terminated the connection, and Heatwave was relieved it went as well as it did. Although he'd been caught, he'd managed to dodge the majority of the bot's wrath. He didn't feel great about lying to him, but he knew the alternative was probably too invasive for Chase, and if Heatwave wanted anything to come from spending the summer together, that wasn't the way to do it.
The night was unusually quiet, what with Chase's radio either fixed or in pieces across his desk, and it made for a dull few hours before the Firebot would usually fall into recharge.
He'd tried reading, but found he couldn't concentrate, and then he did a few reps with his training dummy. Still restless, he finally retired to his recharge slab and, defeated and disappointed in himself, let his spike cover retract and settled back with memory files of Chase at the ready.
He overloaded with Chase's designation on his lip plates, but it hardly compared with what he'd had when Chase was moaning with him, for him.
Salvage apparently made a regular hobby of brewing high grade, but Heatwave couldn't bring himself to reprimand the rookie when he kept him in such good stock of it. He chuckled to himself as he put the cubes in his subspace and deposited a few new data pads and puzzles into the box.
As he turned to walk back to his tower, he caught sight of a tiny whisp of smoke emerging from where his bonfire would be. He growled and tore off towards his tower in a sprint, no doubt leaving deep imprints in the trails he'd have to fix in the morning, and he readied his canons as he came up to the tower.
Sitting at the fire were not troublesome kids or vandals, however, but Chase.
Chase, sitting in his usual spot by the fire, watching him approach with an interesting look in his optics. “I must have caused you quite a concern if you got up here that fast...” He said with a small smirk, and Heatwave chuckled.
“Heh, thought you were a troublemaker.” He said with a grin as he walked up to take a seat next to Chase. He took two cubes of the high grade from his subspace and passed one to Chase, who took it skeptically.
“Where did you get this...?” He asked warily, frowning at Heatwave, then at the cube.
“I have my sources on Team Prime.” Heatwave lied, and he knew Chase could see right through it by the doubtful look he gave him, but he wasn't giving up Salvage. Instead, he changed the subject. “What brings you over here this late, anyway? Testing my reaction time?” He said jokingly, although he knew better than to joke about that kind of thing with Chase.
“Although I am impressed with your time of arrival, that isn't my reason for coming here.” Chase said as he stoked the fire, taking a sip from his cube before finally turning back to face Heatwave. “I'm concerned that...well, we haven't spoken to one another since that conversation a few days ago and... I am worried that perhaps I've made things awkward between us and I don't want that to be the nature of our relationship.” He admitted shyly, and Heatwave frowned at him.
“No, Chase, you didn't make things awkward... I mean I kinda did by not telling you, but you didn't know and you had every right to be upset with me.” He assured him, but the frown never left the Policebot's face plates. Heatwave took a drink from his own cube, knowing this was going to be a bigger deal than he'd originally thought.
Chase mirrored the action, wincing at the strength of the high grade before sighing and levelling the Firebot with an intense look. “Heatwave, I know that you heard me at least once, and I know I wasn't exactly...discreet...” He said slowly, biting at his lip plates. “You probably heard your designation and...I'm sorry if that made things awkward between us.” He grimaced and looked down at the fire, obviously embarrassed by the confession. “It's very inappropriate and I understand if that's something you find difficult to move past, and-”
Heatwave reached a servo up to tilt the mech's face up so they could meet optics. “Chase, you didn't scare me off...” He murmured, and although the shame written all over the mech didn't seem to fade, the worry in his optics did.
“I am sorry... I understand that I probably made you uncomfortable.” The Policebot said as he stared up at Heatwave, but the red mech just shook his helm.
“Honestly, it was kinda hot...” Heatwave admitted with only half the reservations he normally would have, and he blamed that on the high grade.
“Oh...” He could see Chase lighten up a bit at the admission and smiled.
He took another sip, grinning when Chase did the same. “I...um. I didn't turn the radio down.” He admitted, watching the Policebot take in that information. “I thought about it...but I got really into it. I didn't know you were interested like that and...well, let's just say you weren't the only one getting off...”
Chase watched him carefully as he listened and looked genuinely surprised by Heatwave's confession. “So you...were thinking of me when...?” He asked slowly, and Heatwave chuckled.
“Yeah...yeah I was. And that didn't stop with the radio...” He admitted, seeing realization hit the Policebot.
“Oh...” He seemed a lot happier with that information, and Heatwave felt better with it out in the open. Before he could respond, however, Chase sat up rigidly and pressed a digit to his comm unit. “Copy that Salvage. I'll investigate immediately.” The blue mech shot an apologetic look to Heatwave. “I'm sorry, I have to investigate a man harassing a family of campers in my sector...” He said as he stood up, and Heatwave mirrored the action.
“Do you need some help? Or...want some company?” He asked as he walked with the blue mech to the path leading down to the Ranger Station. Chase shook his helm.
“Negative, you enjoy your fire.” The Policebot insisted, and Heatwave frowned.
“If you're sure. I'm a comm call away if you need me.” He assured him, and Chase smiled.
“I know. I will be in touch.” He promised before turning and sprinting off down the path.
Heatwave watched him for a moment before sighing and trudging back to his seat, downing the rest of his cube of high grade. He'd been sure they were making a lot of progress talking it out like that, but he didn't really know where Chase sat with it and that didn't sit well with him.
He stoked the fire, watching it eat away at the wood for a few minutes before dousing it and calling it a night. He knew he would be far too stuck in his head to enjoy reading or star-gazing. Busy work looked better by the second.
Chapter 4: Weeks 5 | There Must be Some Way Back...
Heatwave worries that he might have gone too far, and Kade gets to learn what's up.
The great thing about waiting for maintenance to be done to your house is that it gives you WICKED time to hammer out chapters. This is very much one of those instances. It's short, but it's all I could hammer out at the moment. More to come soon, hopefully.
Heatwave tossed his book onto the desk with a sigh, feeling his ability to concentrate dwindle by the second. He had some down time, but he couldn't seem to yank himself from his own processor long enough to do anything other than mope around.
It wasn't helping that every time he looked at the Ranger station he was bitterly reminded that it had been almost a week since Chase had cut off their comm-link. No explanation, just severed the link.
Although he'd definitely over-stepped some seriously boundaries, Heatwave wasn't sure that after their talk he quite deserved being shut out...but he certainly wasn't going to invade Chase's need for space from him either, if he was truly that uncomfortable. The Firebot had come to the definite conclusion that he'd made a mess of a very good thing, and it hurt.
The scratch of his radio as an incoming transmission began nearly startled him out of his seat.
"Come in Sigma Fire Tower. I repeat: Come in Sigma Fire Tower! There's an emergency! I'm dying here!"
It was dramatic, but Heatwave snatched his handset up without another thought, rescue protocols alighting. "This is Heatwave of Sigma Fire Tower. What's your emergency?" He demanded, but he felt himself relax a little when he heard the person on the other end chuckle.
A familiar chuckle.
"Well, there's a screamin' hot fireman inbound for your location but he's bored as shit so he figured he'd bother you for a while!"
Heatwave stayed silent for a moment, pinching his nasal bridge as he registered who exactly was radioing him. "Kade," He muttered, settling back into his chair.
"The one and only."
The red mech couldn't help the grin that split over his face plates. Despite his partner's antics, he looked forward to the distraction.
“Y'know, you've been very pissy lately.” Kade remarked, crossing his arms over his chest. Heatwave turned in his chair to regard his partner with a tired look.
“Pissy?” He parroted, and Kade nodded confidently.
“Pissy. If I were you I'd be pretty damn pleased that I was remembered during my weird wilderness exile!” The redhead insisted, leaning back to sprawl over the recharge slab he was sitting on. “How do you sleep on this? It isn't even comfortable!”
Heatwave smirked. “Not all of us are fragile enough to need plush pillow-tops.” He turned his chair back around to face the woods. “And I'm not exiled, Kade; I'm a fire lookout. You know that.” As he looked out over the thick forest below, he caught sight of Chase entering the Ranger station.
He took in the sight of the bot with a sigh, torn between the nagging want to comm the mech or just continue to let the awkward silence they'd managed to succumb to hang over them. As per usual, he went with option B and hated himself for it. Deep down, Heatwave knew that Chase probably needed the space after the Firebot's stupid idea to invade his privacy, but it didn't keep him from missing the bot.
The sound of his designation caught the red mech's attention and he turned to find Kade standing right next to him, glaring. “What?” He snapped before he really thought about it, startled into reacting.
“This is what I mean! You're distracted!” Kade said as he opened a bag of candy, perching himself on the corner of Heatwave's desk. “Look, Big Guy, I know you better than most. You're my partner and I know when something's bothering you, so just talk to me about it!”
Heatwave frowned at him, but the redhead's hopeful-yet-encouraging expression made his decision for him. Outside advice from someone who could hardly judge him would be beneficial, he decided.
With a heavy sigh, he leaned back in his chair to face Kade and crossed his arms over his chest plates. “Alright. The first night Chase arrived-”
“I knew it!” The fireman yipped with glee. “Dad owes me twenty bucks!”
“You knew what?” Heatwave growled, and Kade collected himself.
“Sorry, it's just a week ago Dad visited Chase and said he was kind of odd or sad or something, and I said I'd bet twenty bucks that you guys probably got into it, being stuck out here with each other all the time!” Kade explained with barely concealed excitement. “So how right was I? Bang on?”
The Firebot winced. “I wouldn't say we 'got into it', but yes, given the time frame, I was the cause of Chase's...behavior.” Heatwave murmured, pinching his nasal ridge. “Frag I screwed this up...”
Kade let a hand rest on Heatwave's shoulder plating as he took in the mech's tensed frame. “Hey, hey, Big Guy, I'm sure it's nothing that can't be fixed with a little time and an apology...” He assured his partner. “What's going on?”
“The night Chase arrived we met up at Trion and it was great, but then his radio broke and overnight I heard something I definitely should have told him about...but I didn't.” Heatwave confessed slowly. “Then when he found out I heard, I lied to him about it....and then when that came out it kind of got resolved and I'm pretty sure that even though he said everything was okay and he didn't want it to be awkward that it's not okay, I hurt him and he's avoiding me.”
Kade took in the information with a slow nod here and there, and when Heatwave finished, he gave a curt whistle. “Okay, that wasn't what I was expecting.” He admitted, and Heatwave winced. “No, I just mean I thought you blew up at him or something. This is...different, but not un-fixable.” The redhead assured him. “But the big question I have is what did you hear, because that tells us how bad this really is. I mean if he was just talking shit and you overheard then it will blow over, don't worry, but like...how bad was it?”
Heatwave averted his gaze to his desk. “I... I heard him self-servicing...”
The redhead shrugged. “Embarrassing, but I think everyone gets caught at one point or another. Dad has some horror stories, let me tell you-”
“To me... He said my name.” Heatwave finished, and Kade's expression fell.
“Oh... Oh shit.” He muttered, and Heatwave nodded.
“Yeah...it's a mess. And I didn't tell him because...well... I liked it. I like Chase.” He admitted, and Kade rubbed at his shoulder slowly.
“Yeah, you kinda fucked up.” He agreed, and the red mech shot a worried look to him. “But you said Chase said you guys were cool, right? He knows everything now?” At Heatwave's tentative nod, Kade smiled. “Well then he's willing to forgive you!” He exclaimed.
“But he's kept the comm channel between us closed since-”
“Dad said he was investigating something to do with those little dweebs Evan and Myles, so he's probably been busy.” Kade said with a warning look. “Don't ruin this before you get started. He's just been working on nabbing those shitheads.”
“That...would make sense...” Knowing he had a chance to fix things, Heatwave felt a wave of relief. “Thank you, Kade.”
“Hey, I'm not just some pretty face.”