“You are right,” Berystar was saying, his tone still quiet.
He certainly was. Flashwing was a bad slave, speaking badly about his Masters.
“We were afraid....”
Yes, he is afraid. Terrified, actually.
Flashwing took a moment to run that through his processor again. He misheard, surely?
“Fear of the unknown kept us from committing,” Berylstar continued. “Ironic...for as scientists and engineers...it is the unknown that is supposed to drive us.”
No, he didn’t mishear! He opened his optics and looked up at Berylstar. The helo was kneeling in front of him, one hand gently cupped against the side of his face. His expression was a mix of regret and sorrow.
“Do not be afraid to speak your mind, Flashwing,” Rustshift’s voice added from his left. “Your opinion is just as valuable as our own.”
Flashwing trembled, optics wide, tears stopping. This…this was too much. His processor had to reboot. Surely this was a dream!
But no, when his processor was fully up again, Berylstar was still in the same position, a soft, reassuring smile on his face. He risked a glance up at the shifter, but he too bore the same expression. Flashwing forced himself to take in several deep intakes.
This was real. This was real!
He started wailing, tears flowing anew in joy and relief. His past self would have likely smacked him for such an undignified and shameful display, but he didn’t care. He felt Berylstar pull him close and into an embrace, into a warmth he hadn’t felt since his carrier still lived. Flashwing curled up against him willingly as he continued to sob, soaking up the welcoming warmth greedily.
Behind him, Flashwing wing heard Rustshift kneel down close. Then he felt his arms go around both him and Berystar. He was nice and warm too.
“It’s alright,” Berylstar was whispering in his audio. “You are safe now….”
After all he had been through, all the pain and humiliation…Primus has finally smiled upon him.