Log Title: A Good Kid
Date: May 01, 2017
Summary: DJ Faireborn and Spike Witwicky talk in Autobot City about DJ's prospects for summer employment.
As logged by DJ Faireborn - Monday, May 01, 2017, 9:24 PM
Human Quarters - Residential Complex - Autobot City
Spike is at his terminal, looking over the emails and duties that were facing him when he got back to Earth. He's on his first cup of coffee, and NPR is playing silently in the background.
DJ wanders into the area, looking at his phone. He's wearing an odd outfit -- a dark blue hoodie over a black Star Wars T-shirt, Autobot-logo pajamas, red Big Bang "Bazinga!" socks, and black fuzzy slippers. Tinny voices come from his phone, and without looking up he makes his way to the refrigerator, gets out chocolate milk, pours it, puts the carton away, closes the fridge, and drinks half the milk in one long gulp -- all while not looking up from his phone.
Spike looks at his tablet, then looks at DJ. He then looks at the tablet again. May the 1st. Monday. He looks again at DJ. "Uh...hyeah. Don't mean to pry, but...don't you like...have school?"
DJ looks up, and seems surprised to see Spike. "Oh, hey, Mr. Witwicky. No, I'm taking classes here by Flipsides, and they're only during the day. I already have my homework done." He takes another drink of chocolate almond milk.
Spike frowns slightly. Where has the time gone. Yesterday, he was the one to put his father to bed (even though Helperbot did the majority of the work). Now, he's called 'sir.' "Spike's fine." He looks on as DJ pretty much polishes off that almond milk with little effort. "So...how do you like the school?"
DJ grins shyly, looking at the ground. "It's pretty cool, actually. Flipsides is neat -- I still can't really get over that I have an alien robot for a teacher. It gets a little lonely sometimes now that everyone else has moved out, but..." He scratches at the longish hair on the back of his head. "It's OK, I guess. I mean, I can't complain, you know? With everything going on? I'm just glad I'm somewhere safe so my parents don't have to worry about me."
Spike thinks o o o (don't get involved, you've got enough on your plate. You have Megan, repair bay, Crosscut's bulls..I mean, duties) - but he just looks so lost, like he's been passed around. He looks at DJ and says without much filter "But...if you'd WANT to complain..." he gulps, "I'm hopin' you could come to me if anything's eating at you."
Spike says plainly "Look, I know our situations were different, but...when I was here ... around your age, I really didn't have any humans other than Chip and my dad to hang out with." Spike doesn't reveal to DJ that to him, his 14 year-old self wouldn't have it any other way. At that time, he was far more interested in the goings on with Hound, Jazz, Windcharger, and especially Bumblebee than most any phony humans.
DJ hehs, rubbing the back of his head while he continues to look at the ground. "Thanks, Mr. - uh, Spike." He sounds uncomfortable referring to someone three times his age by his first name. "I'll uh, keep that in mind. It's OK, though. How's Daniel?" he looks up at Spike. "Is he doing OK in college? I do kinda miss hanging out with him." DJ wanders over and washes his milk glass out in the sink, putting it in the drain board to dry.
Spike looks over at DJ from his terminal. "He's finishing up his sophomore year. It looks like he'll be doing an internship this summer, so he'll go straight from school to there." He smirks, "He had a bit of a rough start with the aging acceleration he went through, but I think this year, he really found his niche." He adds "You still talk with him over Facebook, right?"
Spike takes some cheeses out of the fridge and makes a few slices, he then takes a few multi-grain crackers and puts them on a plate. Since it's about that time of day.
DJ waggles his head to the side and says, "Eh, some. We don't have a lot in common anymore. We talk about gaming sometimes, but he doesn't seem to have much time for it. I think he started dating some girl and then got busy. I try to catch him on the PlayStation when I get a chance, but mostly I just play with randos and people I've met online." DJ forces a smile and runs his hand through his hair, leaning back against the counter.
Spike looks quizzically at DJ. "Randos? Like...random people?"
As Spike talks, Megan plods in. She may not be as confideable as Daniel, but she's certainly taking a liking to DJ. After all, she's also been fairly insulated with few human neighbors around. Spike slides the afternoon snack over to his daughter. "Heyah sweetheart." Megan gives a brief recognized nod to Spike, but she beams at DJ. "Hi, DJ!"
DJ chuckles. "Oh, yeah. Sorry. If you don't have anyone to play with, the game will match you up with other people looking to play. There are sites where you can try to meet up with people and ask them to play with you, but I'm fine with the automatic matchmaking. It's faster and you meet some interesting people that way." He looks over and brightens considerably when he sees Megan. "Megannn!" he calls out, and swoops in to say hello. He reaches to pick her up, but then stops himself and glances at Spike.
Spike looks at DJ and gives an 'okay' nod. He clears his throat. "So...uhm...last summer, I think it went pretty well, dontcha think? With you...helpin' out in the repair bay?" He adds "We've sold enough energy reserves that you could do that again this summer if you were lookin' for a job."
Megan lightly admonishes Spike, "Daddddy! DJ was talkin' to me!"
DJ swoops up Megan as soon as he gets the nod, and spins her around twice before putting her down so she can snack. "That would be great, Mr. Witwicky. I mean, Spike. I love working around the repair bay, and I don't mind helping out with Megan, either. Whatever you need. It's nice to have some money to spend on games, but I don't need a lot, since you guys feed me and all." He grins at Spike, and then turns to make a face at Megan.
Megan looks at DJ and draws her teeth, trying to do her best silent dog growl impersonation.
Spike looks at the fridge and breathes out, "Yeah..." He remembered a few weeks ago where he went to the grocery store for him, Megan, and dad. Little did he realize that DJ was also a factor. He ended up doing another grocery store run the next morning.
Megan gives DJ a bit of 6-year-old sass. "DJ's not my babysitter, he's my friend!"
"Oh, noes!" DJ exclaims in reaction of Megan's dog impression, holding his hands on either side of his face in an expression similar to the poster from "Home Alone" (which came out 12 years before DJ was born). He smiles as Megan calls him a friend. "I can be both!" he says, although that might not work out as well when it's bed time and a choice has to be made between 'authority figure' and 'friend.' Still, for now, DJ claims to be both.
Megan looks over at Spike, "Dadddy...I want a Nintendo Switch."
Spike breathes out, "I know, honey. That Zelda game does look really sweet." He looks at DJ, for now, asking the question as a matter of manpower, not parental-like concern. "We try to keep our overhead really low so we can't be corrupted by outside revenue." He looks over at DJ as Megan munches on her snack. "I could probably free up...30...maybe 35 hours a week. If it's cool with your folks, starting as soon as school ends."
"Woah!" DJ says. "That'd be great, Spike! I'll earn my pay, don't worry. I'll probably keep taking some classes as well - Flipsides says she doesn't want me to take too long a break and have to start over from the beginning." He offers Spike an appreciative grin. "This means a lot to me -- I really appreciate you lettin' me stay here. I don't have a lot of family outside of my parents," he admits. "I think rumor has it Destro is a distant relative, but as cool as the Castle Destro looks online, I'm not sure I want to live there!" he laughs.
Spike raises his index finger, "See...that...that's what I want to know first - how many classes you're taking. That'll be first and foremost - I don't want to fill up your schedule and have your classes suffer."
Spike looks at DJ seriously "And honestly, it's not a charity, DJ. You do great work. You really helped me out in the repair bay last year." Megan looks up at DJ and gives a grin.
"Thanks, sir. I try. I don't have a flair for it like Daniel, but I get by -- if nothing else, I can carry the heavy stuff for your dad!" he laughs. He runs his hands through his hair again, in a never-ending battle to keep it out of his face. "I can have Flipsides send you my summer curriculum. She'd have the latest copy. I'm doing really well in languages. I probably get that from my mom. My dad is a Rhodes Scholar, though, so either way, I have big shoes to fill."
Spike makes a cautious attempt to comfort DJ. "I'm...uh...sorry to hear about Destro. But, for what it's worth, your parents seem to be far better suited to raise a kid than that guy." (Spike's assuming Destro's dead, or at least disappeared badly)
Spike nods, "Yeah..." he gulps, trying not to give advice, but...not doing the best job at it. "You're still 15 though. I mean, I know you have high expectations, but I read studies that say sometimes the best way to develop into who you want to be is to take some time off and do 'nothing' - not have every single moment of your life booked."
Spike adds "But, on the other hand, you probably want to listen to your mom and dad or Flipsides on that - " he says "I barely made it through two semesters before dropping out my sophomore year..." He looks at Megan and winks, "Which...YOU...miss Megan, are NOT allowed to do."
Megan gives Spike a quizzical look, not too sure what he means by that, but that's okay. Sometimes dad's weird like that.
DJ smiles at the flood of non-advice. "Don't worry, Spike," he says, getting used to addressing Spike by his given name. "I won't overdo it. If I need a break from work to do homework, I know I can go to your or your dad and just ask." He brushes back his hair. "You really dropped out, though? That's a surprise. You're so smart -- but I guess there's a difference between academic talent and real-world intelligence," he says wisely.
Spike rolls his eyes and mutters "It wasn't one of the finest moments of my life, I can tell you that. I still have regrets - and still would like to eventually go back when..." he gestures around "Things get slower." He looks at DJ and says emphatically "I'm NOT blaming Daniel, please don't mistake what I'm about to say as me blaming him, but..." he sighs.
"Daniel wasn't exactly...planned. And both Carly and I were in school. And Carly...well, she's obviously the one who you want running your company or your network." Spike shrugs "I just went as a journalism student, but...it was at a time where there wasn't many people wanting to go into construction, so...it became a non-issue for me. Go full time and make about 3 times what I'd make as a reporter with the skills I already had, and no student debt, and being able to support Carly and Daniel."
DJ nods quickly. "It sounds like you made the right decision," he says, trying to reassure his elder about his life choices. "I'm not sure what I want to do. I don't like the idea of going into the military, but that's what Marissa said and look at her now." He brushes his hair out of his face again. "I'm curious about acting, but I'm not sure how I can develop those skills here, aside some maybe putting on puppet shows for Megan." He gives the little girl a smile.
Megan looks up, "No! We could like put on a play here...TOGETHER!"
Spike doesn't flinch in the slightest when DJ brings up acting. After all, before the bots, he dreamed of becoming a great writer. "Any type of acting? Like...film, theater?"
DJ grins down at Megan. "We could certainly put on a play!" he enthuses, hamming it up for the little girl. He looks up at Spike, letting his hair fall over his eyes. "Theatre, actually. I mean, I'm not gay or nothing. I just like the idea of acting. I read plays and I want to act them out. I've memorized some Shakespeare... I just need the outlet," he laughs. "I think I'd make a good Tybalt. I just need to learn to stage fight," he grins.
Spike frowns slightly "I didn't say you were gay...not that that's anything to be ashamed of."
DJ frowns and looks embarrassed. "I don't-- I didn't mean -- I just... when you're online, if you mention you like theatre, you wouldn't believe the names you get called." His pale skin flushes red. "I might just be a little oversensitive. Sorry." He looks down again, letting more hair fall into his eyes. He turns to look at Megan. "What would you like our play to be about? A princess fighting a dragon?" he asks, quickly changing the subject.
Spike finds a piece of scratch paper and scribbles down Buster Witwicky's contact information. He then hands it over to DJ. "So...uh, you're probably right. You're not going to learn about acting here. But my brother - he teaches English at the University of Oregon. And I know during the summer, they do a lot of interacting with the drama department. And I know the drama department there has a lot of outreach to high school students."
Spike adds "It's probably not the most LEGIT thing I've done here, but if you're serious about acting, maybe I could 'port' some of those hours over to help Buster on campus, he always has some sort of convoluted project going on - and maybe in return, he could find an in with an acting project."
Megan grins and shakes her head. "No, I'm STAR LORD!"
Spike gives a sideways smirk to DJ. He was going to chastise kids for bullying other kids, but looking at DJ and Megan, he opts to just let the thing drop. Maybe if DJ sees that if a dumb mechanic has no problem with gay people, then maybe it's okay for him not to. He likes the feeling of being a mentor, but sometimes, the best way to mentor, in Spike's mind, is to just shut the hell up, and lead by example. After all, not everyone can be Optimus Prime.
DJ's dark eyes widen. "Wow! That would be great, Mr -- er, Spike!" He takes the contact information and enters it immediately into his phone. "I'll text him tonight!" Good luck with that, kid. Looking down at Megan, he says, "OK! You can be Star Lord, fighting a giant space monster. Bleeeehhhaaaahhh!" he says, raising his hands into claws and making his best 'space monster' face. "I'll get you, Star Lord!" he thunders in as deep a cracking voice as a 14 year old can muster.
Spike smiles, thinking DJ would just put the note away. But no. It looks like he actually listened to Spike. Spike fires off a quick text to his brother. "Heyah - sending a name your way. His name's DJ. He's like 14-15. He's here from the Joes - smart kid. Wants to get into theater. Working 4 us over the summer. Wondering if U had any projects that he could do in return for maybe an acting opportunity."
Megan lets out a screech and fashions a pistol out of her thumb and finger and points it at the monster. "ZZAP!"
Spike is a sort of 'gets more things done at 6:30 a.m. than many people get done in a day' guy, but as a result, by 8:30 p.m., he's dragging. He yawns, and looks tiredly at Megan. "Okay...I'm gonna get ready for bed. Megan, you do the same. I'll be in in about 15 minutes to tuck you in."
Megan protests a bit but she relents and looks up at DJ. "Can you and I play tomorrow?"
DJ arghs and fakes a loud, slow death from Megan's zap pistol until Spike says it's time for bed. "Definitely, bae. Go to sleep now and I'll see you tomorrow." He looks up and gives Spike a grin. "Thanks again, Spike. I'll see you tomorrow, too." DJ picks up his phone and re-starts the stream he was watching. Shuffling his feet in his too-big slippers, he goes back to wandering Autobot City without looking up from his device.