Wheeljack once again had to force feed his counterpart, well at least today he was moving on his own. He had given the other engineer some broken tools to fix, keeping him occupied while he sorted out the lab for the Space Bridge construction. Wheeljack also threw in a new panel for his counterpart, the other was not walking around with his privates on show.
Thankfully setting up the lab hadn’t taken too much time. All he had to now, was get his counterpart to build the bridge, and train a Sharkticon and work with Pharma.
Sighing he reached for another cube of high-grade.
At some point later—it could be breems or joors, he’s not sure—Wheeljack’s hauled upright and a cube of energon is shoved into his hands. He stares at it blankly, optics unfocusing; he doesn’t want it. It doesn’t occur to him that he needs it whether or not he wants it, because he’s ignoring his HUD for the most part, and his body feels… distant, somehow. He doesn’t notice his grip tightening around the cube, nor the stress fractures that begin to form in it, nor even the slight pop as a segment of the top edge of a side snaps. Energon begins to trickle down his fingers, and it’s only the awful, familiar feeling of thick wetness on his fingers (just like his counterpart’s lubricant, he tries not to think) that draws his attention fully back to the cube in his hand.
He doesn’t protest when, only moments later, it seems, the cube is pulled out of his hand and held up to his mouth, which opens automatically. It occurs to him to wonder, as his head is tilted back and the energon poured into his mouth, why his mouth wasn’t covered by his blast mask, but he can’t remember when he retracted it. He must have, at some point, because it hasn’t been torn away, but he doesn’t want to search his memories in enough detail to find out when. When the now-empty cube is pulled away, he snaps his mask back into place and turns his head away, looking at some arbitrary point on the floor. He can’t, won’t look at his counterpart. He doesn’t know how the other Wheeljack stood to touch him, after what he’d been made to inflict upon him.
After his counterpart leaves, he backs up against a wall, which he then slides down until he’s sitting on the floor. He draws his knees up to his chest and wraps his arms around his lower legs, resting his forehead on his knees. He doesn’t want to think. Thinking means fragments of memory surfacing unbidden, and horrible phantom touches, and having to process exactly how badly he’s screwed everything up. As he sits there, he begins to notice a muted chattering sound—it takes him far longer than it probably should for him to realize that it’s his plating clattering against itself as he trembles.
He looks up eventually, noticing a pile of various supplies on the floor a few mechanometers in front of him. He drops his head back to his knees; he can tell from just that short glance that it was a pile of tools, presumably broken ones he was to fix, but he doesn’t want to. He knows that at least one of the reasons it’d been him, and not another, who’d been contacted by Prime is his mechanical skill. He’d always liked to fix things, and ordinarily he’d have enjoyed fixing the tools that had been left there for him, but right now he can’t even bring himself to contemplate doing so. He wraps his arms more tightly around himself. He wishes he’d been stronger, that he hadn’t been arrogant enough to think he could handle this by himself, that he hadn’t been stupid enough to hide everything from his own Prime. His Prime had been right there. Right in front of him. He could have told him, and Prime’s dark counterpart might have never known. He almost wishes he’d never become an engineer, because then he wouldn’t have been targeted by this universe’s Prime at all. But he wasn’t strong enough, he was arrogant, he was stupid, he’d done everything wrong, and now he’s here, in this situation, and he deserves it.
Eventually it occurs to him that his counterpart might need the tools he’s supposed to be fixing, and that if his counterpart doesn’t have the right tools for whatever job he’s supposed to be completing, Prime is all too likely to punish him. After what his counterpart had already been forced to endure at his hands, Wheeljack won’t let him come to any further harm if it’s within his ability to prevent it. He slides over to the pile and stretches out a shaking hand, picking up the first tool he touches and turning it over in his hands. He pulls his toolkit out of his subspace and takes the broken tool apart. The damage is obvious; he fixes it mindlessly and puts it back together, then picks up the next tool, then the next, then the next. Gradually, the tremors leave his hands, and he’s grateful for that, if only because his work speeds up.
Eventually, the pile is gone, and when he reaches for the next tool, all he touches is an oddly angular piece of metal. He knows immediately what it is, and he’s not sure he wants to know why his counterpart has a spare. He doesn’t want to consider the possibility that this universe’s Prime makes a habit of tearing off interface panels. He exvents shakily as he looks at the panel in his hands—he’s somewhat morbidly transfixed. He doesn’t want to be looking at it, and he can’t help but be reminded of his own missing panel and exposed interface equipment. His original panel is somewhere in Prime’s room, and he really doesn’t want to be thinking about what had happened after his panel was torn off, but he can’t seem to stop thinking about it while he’s looking at the replacement panel in his hands, and he can’t seem to tear his optics away from it.
He sits there, staring, for a while. When he finally moves to begin the process of replacing his panel, it’s not born of a desire to preserve his modesty. He can only imagine how little of that he’ll have left by the time he makes it back to his own dimension—assuming he ever will. No, he draws his toolkit closer and pulls out the necessary tools only because his counterpart had been the one to give him the panel, or at least that’s who he assumes had. And if his counterpart had gone to the trouble of giving him a panel, Wheeljack assumes it’s because he doesn’t want to be reminded of what Prime had forced upon them, either. He doesn’t even want to look at himself, and his counterpart’s reluctance to do the same is something he can sympathize with. That understanding doesn’t make it any less difficult to look at himself, however, and when he does, he immediately turns his head away. He’d completely forgotten about the dried mix of transfluid and lubricant still on his spike and pelvic plating.
He doesn’t want to touch himself, not even clinically, simply to clean himself up. He doesn’t want to be reminded of Prime’s touch on his spike, or his counterpart’s valve around him. He doesn’t want to have to think about any of it at all, but now that he’s aware of how dirty he is, he wants to be rid of it. Removal of the evidence won’t make any of this disappear, but maybe it’ll help him forget. Suddenly, he has an overwhelming desire to make himself physically clean, even if he can’t imagine ever being mentally clean again. He doesn’t know where the washracks are, or if he has permission to use them, but he does have a cleaning cloth in his subspace, and he pulls it out and begins to rub furiously at the mess coating himself. He doesn’t stop until every last bit of it is gone, and it’s only then that he begins the process of replacing his panel.
When he’s finally finished, he curls up again. He has time to think again, and he doesn’t want it. He can’t muster the effort to turn his thoughts to anything more tolerable, let alone pleasant. And why should he? He’s failed, and badly so ever since these tears had started appearing, and hadn’t had too spectacular a track record even before. He deserves this misery.Source: sgwheeljack
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