keaalu: (Pulsar)
[personal profile] keaalu
So I wasn't planning on uploading this but eh, it's productivity. I spotted this on tumblr this morning and I went "oops. I think this is me right now?"

In case it disappears, it says:
"real writing tip sometimes you write your best stuff when you don’t even try or don’t even think about ever publishing it or doing anything with it
you go: imma write this for me and next thing you know you’ve written 60K and you have an entire world and plot and you wonder why you didn’t indulge yeARS AGO
"
(Audrey Rose B.)

I'm still not really planning on doing anything with this, but it's still productivity, right? And we all know what they say about plans.

-----------

Kitty-giraffe is Lost, Cold, and Wet
(Sorry these notes are disjointed, I haven't really made the effort to connect them all up. I just wanted to write them.)

     The cold seeped deep into her bones. The fine layer of velvety fuzz did nothing to keep the chill of the rain off her skin. She unfurled her wings and mantled them up over her back like an umbrella, but they were too small to provide much shelter and didn’t stretch far enough forwards to protect her head.
     Fat raindrops fell on her nose and made her sneeze.
     Mud squelched up between her toes, filling the hollows between her pads. She soon gave up trying to shake it out.

     She was certain that plenty of motorists saw her – it was just too hard to avoid them. A fleeting ghost, bolting across a road, picked out in the distance by their high-beam headlights.
     Perhaps – hopefully – they’d assume she was just a wild animal. Big, but just an animal. Nothing scary. Nothing to chase.
     Sometimes she heard them stop. Sometimes they’d shout into the darkness. Hey, is anyone out there? Does anyone need help?
     Did you see that thing?
     It’s just a horse that’s got loose, Andy. Get back in the car before you get soaked.
     

     She was down to her very last reserves of strength when the miracle happened – she stumbled across a road that was actually familiar.
     

     The Ark was in darkness. She’d hoped for there to have at least been a light on outside, but the ancient ship looked silent and dead.
     She made her way over to it, anyway, across ground churned to thick, sucking mud by the action of giant feet.

     She stared up at the huge door, and plopped down to sit on her haunches in the mud. This must be how humans felt, trying to interact with creatures many times their size.

     And even if she could have somehow remembered it, she had no way to transmit Red’s unnecessarily complex security code to unlock the door. Her stupid bony headsticks couldn’t even pick up something as basic as radio, let alone transmit something with the necessary layers of encryption.
     She wanted to shout for help, but all that came out was a soft, shivery huff – not even a bark.
     Midnight, a closed door, in the cold and rain. Nowhere left to go.
     Typical.
     She’d made it home, but now she was going to die of hypothermia on her own doorstep.
     She huddled into a corner, tucking her head down to her side, and stretched out a useless wing to keep the rain from her face.
     Exhausted from cold and hunger, she passed out in the doorway.

     (after she wakes back up)
     
Everything was orange.
     Alarmed, she boosted herself upright, but far too quickly – the world swam before her and she felt herself teetering backwards. Something pulled on the side of her neck, leaving a spot of pain like a biting insect-
     “Whoa, hey.”
     Something caught her – something big, solid, cold and hard. She lashed out against it, ineffectually, and pain shot up through her feet at the impacts. The biting insect in her neck sank its jaws deeper.
     “Hey. Hey. It’s all right. Shh. You’re all right. You’re safe.”

     The big green outdoorsy-type. Hound, was it? Figured that he’d have been the one to find her – he was the only one not scared of a little dirt.
     The insect had relaxed its hold in her neck, just a little, allowing her the chance to examine it with a clumsy forefoot.

     It wasn’t an insect, at all. It was a needle – bandaged in place, with a long plastic cable connecting it to a bag of clear fluid suspended above her head. She wobbled upright and bumped it with her nose, but couldn’t read the writing on the side.
     “Glucose,” Hound supplied, watching her examine it. “It’s fuel, apparently? Ratchet got it from the humans for you.”
     She lifted a paw and patted the needle in her neck.
     “I don’t know. Works quicker, maybe? You couldn’t have took it in any other way, anyway. You’ve been in stasis for three days.”

     “You haven’t eaten a lot, have you.” His big hand travelled gently over her side, skimming subtly over her ribs.
     She cringed subtly away from his cold fingers.

     Sitting cross-legged on the next berth along was a familiar big black warbird.
     He was apparently still offline, optics dark, quietly recharging with a heavy rope of insulated cable plugged into a port in the lower margin of his chassis. All she could hear was the subtle hum of big temperature regulating fans.

     She tried to sit, to somehow make her way between the berths. She could jump that distance, easy. She’d managed it on her way here, after all.
     She gathered her feet underneath herself, and pain shot up both her forelegs. She could feel herself buckling, teetering forwards, and the ground below suddenly looked very hard-
     A whisper of green appeared in the corner of her vision. She didn’t have much time to dwell on it, trying to flinch away, even as gravity dragged her down.
     Hound caught her shoulders.

     “Shh, shh. It’s all right. Your feet are bruised, that’s all. I’m going to lift you across. All right?”
     She tried to even out her breathing and managed a single jerky nod.
     Good to his word, he lifted her the couple of metres from one item of furniture to the other, and held her gently while she regained her precarious balance.

     She couldn’t figure out quite how to climb over his big legs, and flopped against his side, instead.
     He felt… warm. Strange. She only normally noticed his temperature when it was outside optimum parameters, and he was sick or stressed or overheating or all three.
     …it felt quite nice, actually. Clinically at least, she’d warmed up, but she still felt like a fuzzy icicle, sad and shivery deep down in her bones.

     His features creased in a smile. “Hey, Squeaky.”
     She startled at hearing her name, straightening so she could look him in the optic.
     “Began to think you were never gonna wake up, you lazy glitch.”

     She leaped at him, bracing her forefeet against his chassis and bringing her nose as close to his as she possibly could. Her gaze flew across his face, looking for the smallest trace that he was lying, that it was a trick, a hallucination.
     You know it’s me, how do you know it’s me, how did you even recognise me. Tiny questioning whimpers emerged from her mouth, with no real conscious control behind them. How do you recognise me. How do you know who I am?
     

     He couldn’t read her mind, but of course he knew what she was thinking.
     “Of course I know who you are. You look like you. Just… a tiny bit shorter, and fuzzy, I guess?” He brought a hand up around the back of her head and felt her lean into his palm, trembling. “Besides. It might be telling me garbage, but do you really think I wouldn’t know an electric field I’ve been intimate with so many times?”

     “Plus, there’s this.” His big fingertip traced a line under her right forelimb, curving gently around the outside of her ribs.
     The actual fracture had been repaired vorns ago – but it still showed up on this frame like a long, pale lilac scar.

     She didn’t even care that she was capable of nothing except a hideous yowling noise because suddenly it didn’t matter any more, because he recognised her.
     The terrible noise drew Ratchet at a run, half convinced that something was killing her.


     She reared clumsily onto unsteady hindfeet and pressed her paws against his hip, using him to prop herself up, delicately sniffing the small round object in his hand. He made no move to stop her.
     The doctor stood and watched, for a few quiet seconds. “Aside from the fact that’s for Carly, you can’t give her cake, Skywarp. That’s like giving cake to a tiger. She needs meat.”
     “Pff. I’ll give her what she likes. If she wants cake, why can’t she have it? You already said she needs to eat something. This is full of fuel, anyway; even I know what sucrose is.”
     “Only because you used to put it in your wingmate’s energon – and yes, I heard about that one when I had to patch Jazz up afterwards.”
     Skywarp snickered softly. “Yeah, well, I can guarantee she’s not gonna fall out of the sky if I give her a bit of this.”
     Cake, huh? She… wasn’t exactly sure what it was about it that made her think it would be good to eat. It looked like a set of big round slabs of beige insulating foam, with brightly coloured putty spread thickly between each piece.
     It smelt good, though. She looked up and met his curious gaze.
     “This is meant to be for Spike’s femme,” he pointed out, pointing at the doorway from which the faint strains of music were coming, but didn’t move to take it out of reach.

     She walked back to her corner of the infirmary. Her tank- her stomach hurt. She’d just have to try again with the meat – but her mouth felt dry and she wasn’t sure she’d keep it down.
     She curled up on the floor and wondered if she could sleep it off, instead.

     Although she was fairly good at pretending, she hadn’t quite managed to persuade her body to go into stasis when Skywarp finally returned.
     He lowered his bulk carefully to the floor beside her, and settled on his aft with his legs crossed. Funny – she’d never noticed how he made the floor shake quite so much before. Perhaps it hadn’t mattered before. Perhaps they all made the ground shake and it just wasn’t weird, back then.
     “Still hungry?” he offered, quietly. “I have cake.”
     She snorted.
     “No, seriously. Apparently they’ve already eaten too much or something.”
     She lifted her head.
     The circle of foam had been cut into sixteen big segments, of which four had… mostly gone. (Someone had left the slab of bright pink putty from their piece.)
     “They wanted you to have it.”
     She glanced up at him, warily. There was nothing to say he genuinely hadn’t stolen it, and she knew Skywarp could be a world-class liar when he wanted to… but something in the relaxed smile reassured her that right now, he wasn’t. Maybe they had genuinely wanted her to have some?

     Skywarp made the decision for her. Using the spatula, he scooped a triangle off the plate and onto his palm, and held it out to her. “You’re gonna have to eat it now, since we touched it. It’s the law, apparently.”

     She… nibbled a little bit off the end.
     Her stomach cramped, painfully.
     She lunged for him, grabbing his hand as best she could with both forepaws and seizing almost the entire slice clumsily in her mouth. Cake crumbs and butter icing went everywhere.
     “Hey, easy! Don’t inhale it, you’re gonna choke,” he laughed.

     She sat very still for several seconds, refusing to meet his gaze, one paw still holding his hand in place, staring down at his sticky palm. Then – burning with embarrassment, but unwilling to stop herself – carefully licked his hand clean of every last tiny stray crumb and smear of frosting.

     She let her head rest on his thigh, and felt his big hand come down to cup itself lightly against her back.
     This felt… good, actually? Warm, and comfortable, and her stomach didn’t hurt any more. The way his fingers worked softly down her back left her feeling like she’d quite like to purr. A strange sort of pleasant weight filled all her muscles, like she was melting and moulding into him.
     She still wasn’t sure how she was going to resolve this. She had no idea where her real body even was. But for once she felt safe and comfortable and – Primus forbid – almost relaxed.

     Ratchet leaned against his elbows on the berth and looked down at them. “She ate all of it?”
     Skywarp shrugged. “Guess she was hungry.”
     “That was a lot of calories. That cake should have fed sixteen humans. She was more than hungry.” The medic sighed. “I want to do a full biochemical workup on her. See what we’re actually dealing with and how best we can help her.”
     “You want me to wake her up?” Skywarp’s words had a subtle element of challenge to them.
     “No, it can wait. Let her sleep for now.”


     She sat awkwardly on the berth, leaning close into Skywarp’s side, in her usual corner against his right wing. He felt a lot bigger than normal. The weight of his big arm draping down around her shoulders should have been uncomfortable, but it reassured her – a heavy, stabilising presence.
     He felt weirdly flat, though – what should have been a storm of fireflies where his field interacted with hers was instead barely perceptible. Squishing up as close as she could at least let her feel the subtle vibrations from his core – the murmur of his pumps, the sigh of his air handling systems, tiny shifts in his plating.
     If she listened really, really hard, and it was quiet enough, she could just pick up the sound of his core harmonic. It sounded subtly different, without the information carried by the rest of his field, but still familiar. Reassuring.
     She wondered if it was like listening to a heartbeat. She hadn’t really been sure what one of those had been, until now. She could feel her own, sometimes – a strange repetitive tuh-thrub … tuh-thrub … tuh-thrub in her chassis.
     Squishing close had some unexpected drawbacks, though – he was still a big warmech, with lots of moving parts that slid against each other and could pinch unwary body parts. She already had a couple of what Ratchet called “bruises”, flowering purplish on her thin pelt… but they didn’t hurt too much and she’d decided she could live with them.
     Skywarp had looked horrified that he’d managed to accidentally injure her, and was making a real effort not to let it happen again. He sat unnaturally still.

     “I need to take a blood sample,” Ratchet explained, laying out the tray of equipment on the berth.
     Pulsar eyed it with distaste – lots of sharp implements, plastic tubes and bottles, tapes and dressings. She made a soft, questioning noise.
     “Just to check your overall health – because it wasn’t great when you arrived here, was it? Now, I don’t know what’s normal for this species, but I should be able to look for general markers. If we know how healthy you are overall, we can work out what we need to give you to improve it. All right?”
     She stayed tucked into Skywarp’s side.
     The teleport’s large fingers nudged up under her chin. “S’okay. What’s he gonna do with me here?”
     “And it won’t hurt,” Ratchet added. “Just a little pinch and then it’ll be over.”

     “Sharp scratch,” he warned, before sliding the needle deftly into the vein.
     She hissed softly and had to work hard at not snatching her leg back… but the spot of pain faded quickly, just as he’d said.

     He connected the first tube; dark red blood immediately pooled in the bottom.
     She watched it for a second, before her stomach began to churn uncomfortably. She grunted softly and pressed her forehead against Skywarp’s chassis, closing her eyes. His hand came around to cup her cheek, thumb brushing gently over her snout.

     “That’s it. All done.” Ratchet used his big thumb to press a pad of cotton against the puncture, holding it for a few seconds before taping it into place.
     It felt too tight. She worried at the edge of the tape.
     “Don’t pull it off, or you’ll start bleeding again,” he cautioned.
     She hastily removed her nose.

     Skywarp made a show of checking in both directions before producing something apparently stolen; a small plastic box with something brown inside. She watched curiously as he opened it for her.
     Cake? She glanced up at him, hopefully.
     “Doc said you might need something sugary since he’s taken half your blood.”
     The medic shot him a glare. “I didn’t take that much, and I meant a sugary drink, not a slab of chocolate-covered lard.”
     “It’s called a muffin,” Skywarp enunciated, helpfully, trying to unpick the fiddly edge of the paper wrapper.

     She listened to the hushed conversation.
     “She can’t just eat cake, Skywarp. She needs protein, not endless gallons of fat and sugar.”
     “Says who?”
     “Says every dietitian that’s ever lived? It’s not healthy! She’ll not only be the first dragon documented in the scientific literature, she’ll be the first to die of coronary heart disease as well.”
     She watched as Skywarp stepped closer, narrowing the gap between him and Ratchet. She recognised the Seeker’s posture – he was having to work hard to restrain his flaring temper. “She’s not ‘a dragon’, all right?” The words were so low, she almost couldn’t hear them. “The fact she looks like some… weird kitty-giraffe… doesn’t mean the brain in her head is anyone different. And she’s not your pet journal article, either. This is a temporary thing, and we’ll get her back.
     Ratchet matched his posture, unimpressed. “I know. Which is why I don’t want her killing herself with unhealthy habits in the interim.”

     She nudged his shoulder with her nose, and felt his arm come around her back.
     “Sorry.” He leaned his cheek against the top of her head and stroked her neck with his free hand. “I’m still trying to figure this out. I know the doc’s only trying to look out for you.”
     She tried to pull her beaky lips into a smile. It didn’t feel terribly successful but his own expression quirked into a small lopsided grin and she figured at least he understood.
     “Doctor says you have to stop eating cake,” he said. “It was okay when you were starving and needed the calories, but now you need more variety.”
     She looked away.


     Winglets mantling forwards like the wings of a hungry bird of prey trying to shield its supper, she arched her back, subtly, and actually growled at him – then froze. A flicker of horror passed through her expression – she’d growled at him. Like some sort of animal.
     She hastily pushed the plate away with both forepaws and scooted away backwards on her bottom.


     It took her a while to find the glyphs, and by the time she’d finished writing, the careful presses had turned into angry slaps. Her short claws left gouges in the tough surface. She scooted it across the berth to him, and leaped down to the floor before he had the chance to read it.
     no
     not special
     only big stupid lizard
     taken all me
     go away
     

     He called after her, frustrated. “You’re surely not gonna pay attention to a stupid encyclopaedia article? The slag do humans know about these critters? You’re the first anyone has any actual documented evidence of!”

     She broke into a trot, then a run, then a flat-out bolt. After almost colliding with Prowl, she skidded around Jazz and out through the door.
     “Thanks for stopping her, guys,” Skywarp snapped, chasing her.

     He hesitated for a second on the threshold – raining. Rain – especially a monsoon like this – usually interfered with his triangulations. Slag it. Gonna just have to hope.

     He teleported to just ahead of her, causing a startling explosion of rain, and grabbed for her as she passed.
     He caught her by the tail, jerking her to a halt with a breathless squeak of alarm. Her feet skidded out from under her, landing her with a splutch in the mud.

     He held her around the torso with both hands, gentle but inexorable, until she stopped struggling.
     He pressed his brow to hers, hands scooping around her jawline. “Look, we’re going to fix it. All right?” he murmured, faintly. “We’re gonna fix it.

     She slumped against him, jamming her head up under his chin. She was still vibrating, very softly.
     Having read the same article as her, he knew exactly what she was thinking.
     Giant flying carnivores, dragons are fire-breathing reptilian creatures, sharing common features across much human mythology.
     
Small. Can’t fly. Can’t breathe fire. Scared of meat.
     What’s even the point.


     Carly stepped forwards. “I went to speak to my sister. She’s a vegan, right? I thought, if there was anyone who’d know a good vegetable you could get a ton of protein from, it’d be her.” She laughed, uneasily, and folded her arms around herself, protectively. “You have never seen someone use so many ingredients just to make a pancake.”
     Skywarp lowered his voice; “Get to the point.”
     He might officially be a ‘friend’ but that didn’t mean the dark Seeker had lost his ability to be intimidating. Carly backed off a step and bumped into Spike. “Right, s-sorry! I-I mean. I asked her to cook something?” She flapped a hand at the other human. “Spike, quit staring like an idiot and give me the box.”

     Carly watched as he took it and subjected her to a very long critical stare.
     “It-it’s a meatloaf. Well, kind of. With no meat,” she filled in, hastily. “Since I overheard you guys talking about how she doesn’t like meat a-and I figured well there’s plenty of omnivores on this planet that don’t either and… yeah?”
     The intense suspicion in the crimson glare eased, just a little.

     Pulsar leaned down and sniffed it, carefully. It had a similar shape, but looked like it was made of different materials to cake. Denser. Heavier. It smelt different, as well – she wasn’t sure how to define it but it didn’t smell sweet.


     Carly edged closer. “…can I touch her?”
     Skywarp gave her a funny look. “She’s not a cat, guys. And what are you asking me for, anyway?”

     Only now they were on the same level did Carly realise just how big Pulsar actually was. Sitting up next to Skywarp, the femme had looked comparatively small.
     Now, with all four paws placed firmly on the ground, Pulsar was clearly a big creature – the top of her back was close to being level with Carly’s shoulders, and her long neck took her up much taller.
     Rather like a horse. With big teeth.
     Carly froze, looking rather like she was only now realising that expecting a tiger to behave like a housecat was a bad idea.
     Pulsar stepped hesitantly closer, trying not to spook the human, and stooped, to rest her head lightly against the human’s shoulder.

     Carly laughed, relieved. “Jesus. I keep forgetting you’re not just an animal.”
     Pulsar sorted, softly.
     “I-… shit, that didn’t come out the way I meant it.”

----------

Maybe now she'll get out of my head?
From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

Most Popular Tags

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags