[G1] Retrograde

“It’s not you, it’s me.”

“I’m not ready for a commitment.”

“I don’t think we’re a good match.”

“You’re pretty, but that’s it.”

The list goes on. And on and on. Excuses and explanations. Regrets and reasons. Lies and truth.

Dozens of them. One by one. Shadows on his spark. All of them failures. All of them proof he’s not enough, and he’ll never be.

This again. This here. Why should he be any different?

“I’m sorry.”

Apologies.

Sunstreaker’s had those before.

“But I can’t do this anymore.”

Sunstreaker doesn’t have the energy to be angry. It’s his fault. It always is. He ignores the lies that spill so easily. It’s his fault.

“You’re broken.”

Yes. This Sunstreaker knows.

“I can’t fix you. I shouldn’t have to. I don’t want to.”

He sighs. Optics dim. Downcast look. On the floor, not at Sunstreaker. He shifts and shuffles. Armor clamps. Defensive.

He’s still afraid. Sunstreaker has never hurt him, but he’s still afraid. That right there. Proof. It’s Sunstreaker’s fault. It always is.

“You need something I can’t give you.”

Sunstreaker wants something he can’t have. There’s a difference. Not one Sunstreaker can explain. But it’s there. Explaining requires words. Sunstreaker doesn’t know words.

“And I just…”

A pause. A search. An attempt not to upset, perhaps.

A failed attempt.

“I don’t think I’m the right one for you.”

A cycled vent. A flicker of biolights. A grating field. A rumbling engine.

“Okay?”

All Sunstreaker can see are the good times. Coiled together on a narrow berth. Gentle smiles. Soft touches. Whispered promises.

“Primus, Sunstreaker. Will you just say something?”

Like what?

An apology? A plea? An agreement? Should he smile? Should he weep? He’s said and done it all before. It never mattered. It doesn’t matter.

What’s the point? It’s not going to change. Nothing ever changes.

He curses. Subvocal. Irritated. Truth where the kindness is a lie.

Hands scrub down his face. Ex-vents emerge sharp. His field is gone. Cold in the emptiness left behind.

“I knew I shouldn’t have bothered. I could’ve vanished, and you probably wouldn’t notice.”

Sunstreaker feels small. Empty. He’s ventilating, but only just. Alarms ring in his processor, and one by one, Sunstreaker flips them to ignore.

“Fine. I’m gone. Have a nice life.”

Sunstreaker doesn’t watch him walk away. His vision blurs. His audials are static. His spark is small, so small.

And ugly inside. He can polish until he gleams, but he can’t hide the scars. It must be stamped on his chamber. Everyone sees it eventually, sharp and jagged lines like a cautionary tale.

‘Don’t bother.’

‘Waste of time.’

‘Not worth it.’

‘Broken.’

His hands form fists with nothing to strike.

What’s the point?

There’s no point.

He’s empty inside.

“He’s gone, huh?”

Sunstreaker shakes his head, all he can manage. He doesn’t need to say anything. The proof is there in front of him.

Sideswipe sighs.

“No one ever stays,” Sideswipe says aloud, voicing what Sunstreaker can’t.

But, Sunstreaker knows, at least Sideswipe never leaves.

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