Smokescreen was in the armory, staring up at the Star Saber, when he realized he was not alone. He knew this field, however, and the announcing touch of it to his own made him grin.
“Were you looking for me?”
“You weren’t hard to find,” Knock Out drawled as he stepped up beside Smokescreen. He planted a hand on his hip. “You’re predictable.”
Smokescreen shot him a sidelong look. “And you aren’t?”
Knock Out rolled his shoulders, setting one tire into a lazy spin. “Darling, I’m only predictable when I want to be. After all, you’d never find me here.”
Well, Knock Out had a point. While he was rather fond of new and exciting weaponry, old artifacts didn’t have much appeal. They weren’t shiny enough.
“Hah.” Smokescreen turned and gave his partner his full attention. Because when he didn’t, Knock Out got pretty tetchy. “Did you want something?”
Knock Out arched a ridge at him. “Oh. I’m sorry. Was I interrupting your regularly scheduled daydream of greatness?”
Smokescreen bit back a wince. Yeah. He’d offended Knock Out somehow. There would be much groveling later.
“Let me rephrase,” Smokescreen said and planted a smile on his face as he spread his arms wide. “Knock Out, you’re looking ravishingly shiny today! How can I be of service to you?”
There’s a moment where Knock Out stared at him, something in his optics burning like the fires of the Pit before Knock Out whirled on a heelstrut and stalked away.
Yes. Definitely sleeping on the couch tonight, as Miko would call it.
Smokescreen hurried to catch up and had to put on a burst of speed to intercept before Knock Out could get out the door. He held up his arms, knowing Knock Out would stop before he collided with Smokescreen and gained so much as a scratch.
“Seriously,” Smokescreen said. “I’m sorry. What did you want to talk to me about?”
Knock Out huffed a ventilation and crossed his arms. He looked away, tension writ into every line of his armor and Smokescreen got the feeling that this wasn’t about Knock Out not getting his due attention. This was about something else.
Smokescreen lowered his hands and stepped closer, letting the edges of their field mingle. True Knock Out’s still in this probation or whatever, but none of the Autobots suspected him of anything anymore. Even Ultra Magnus had warmed up to him.
“Did something happen?” Smokescreen asked, now more than a little concerned.
Knock Out rolled his optics. “Ever the Autobot,” he muttered before shifting his attention back toward Smokescreen. “No. Nothing happened. Which is kind of the point.”
Smokescreen blinked and then scratched at his chin. “I don’t follow.”
“You. Me. This pitiful excuse for a relationship we have.” Knock Out unfolded his arms to wave theatrically. “We need to go on a date.”
Smokescreen stared at him. It didn’t compute. “Date?”
“Don’t tell me you haven’t heard of one.” Knock Out snorted and folded his arms again, something Smokescreen was beginning to realize was not only defensive, but indicated he was out of his depth.
Smokescreen huffed. “Of course I have. I spent time on Earth!” His door wings flicked aggressively before he reminded himself that half the time, this counted as flirting for Knock Out. “I mean, that we just don’t really, you know, do that. Dates I mean.”
Knock Out raised one hand, pointing a clawed finger at Smokescreen’s chestplate. “Exactly,” he said, smug. As though he’d proven a point.
Smokescreen waited for him to continue, but silence prevailed. Knock Out stared at him expectantly, and Smokescreen stared back, confusion growing in his spark. He felt like he missed a memo or something.
Then Knock Out abruptly leaned forward, his optics cycling down to narrow and angry crimson slits. “So?” he prompted with his usual impatience.
“So… what?” Smokescreen wondered what half of the conversation he missed.
Knock Out huffed a loud ventilation, blasting a wave of heat against Smokescreen’s front. “Are you going to come with me or not?” he demanded, poking Smokescreen’s chestplate, right above his Auto-brand.
Oh. That was an invitation? Really? Primus. Smokescreen didn’t know if he’d ever understand his no-longer-a-Decepticon partner.
“Of course I will!” Smokescreen smiled and rubbed the back of his helm. “When?”
“After shift.” Knock Out paused again, taking his hand back. “Today.”
Smokescreen nodded, his doorwings flicking with more energy now. Awkward overture aside, excitement prevailed.
“Sounds good!” he said, only to blink and tilt his helm. “Wait. Where are we going?”
Knock Out grinned and spun on a heel-strut. “That’s for me to know and you to find out. I’ll pick you up after-shift. You’d better be–”
“–shiny and clean, I know.” Smokescreen chuckled. That, at least, was familiar to him. “I know the drill by now.”
He wasn’t even that dirty! And truthfully, Knock Out didn’t gripe too much if Smokescreen showed up with road grit in his tires. But Smokescreen had to admit he loved the little rev of engine Knock Out made whenever Smokescreen showed up bright and shiny, like new.
That made all the extra primping worth it.
Like that one time Knock Out couldn’t keep his claws off Smokescreen or his gears? Yeah. That was a good time.
“I’ve trained you well,” Knock Out purred. He winked an optic and sashayed out of the room.
Smokescreen chuckled and turned back to staring at the Star Saber, but his daydreams of greatness were now shifting to daydreams of a different sort.
Maybe he should just, um, get started on polishing himself for that date.
Yep. That was a good plan.