Log Title: Some Advice
Location: Off Duty Lounge - Residential Complex - Autobot City
Date: July 14, 2013
Summary: Spike seeks advice from his dad about a decision made by Carly.
As logged by Sparkplug - Sunday, July 14, 2013, 11:34 PM
Off Duty Lounge - Residential Complex - Autobot City
- The Autobot lounge is a stark contrast to the business-first attitude of the rest of Autobot City. Several comfortable couches in both human and Transformer sizes all face a big screen television - small for a Transformer, of course. Several tables are organized in a fashion that both talks of a serious nature of these of fun and games. On one of the tables rests the infamous Lego set. A small computer terminal rests on the wall by the door in case of any emergency.
Spike walks in with Sparkplug's favorite fast food dinner, along with a decent supply of junk food (ice cream, Cheetos, chips). Spike shakes his head. "I swear, dad, you have a prescription most Americans would kill for."
Sparkplug forces a smile as his son arrives. "Hey, Spike. What do I owe ya?"
Spike waves a hand. "Don't worry about it."
Sparkplug stands slowly. "No, serious. How much?"
Spike doesn't entirely see that Sparkplug forced that smile. Dude can still pull off a poker face. Spike shakes his head. "Seriously, don't worry about it - how many times did you buy me food when I was growing up."
Spike does study Sparkplug a bit though. "Seriously though, how you feel in'? I was elated when Dr. Morin gave you a simple prescription for your... illness." Spike swallows some air, not exactly sure how that came out. Spike sits down with Sparkplug, he couldn't help but indulge himself, but he chose the rabbit food-like alternative of said fast food establishment.
Sparkplug keeps the forced smile, but sits back down, choosing not to fight about the money -- he'll just sneak money into Spike's room later after he leaves.
Spike blinks. OK, that smile is NOT normal. He lets out a quick sigh. "Seriously, are you all right?" Spike adds "Dr. Morin said you could begin working in the repair bay in a week or two. But he wanted to first see you start putting on weight again."
Sparkplug sighs. "Yeah. About that. Sure it can't be sooner? I feel so... useless." Sparkplug picks at the food Spike brought him, his bravado fading fast.
Spike nods and sighs, "Shoot for a week - " He adds "Not to bring up the past - but how long did it take me to walk again after Frenzy attacked me?" He adds "It's not the most exciting thing, but Ratchet always posts educational stuff on - since he's rarely on Earth, both of us could read up on some emerging techniques..." Spike thinks "keep him engaged."
Sparkplug nods distractedly. "Yeah... sure. Uh.... I hate to bring it up, but Repairbot caused some trouble in the repair bay. Not sure what happened."
Spike blinks. "Your assist-o-bot, or the generic repair bot that's always in the repair bay?"
Sparkplug rasps, "My bot. Apparently there was a clash with, uh... our... what's his name." Sparkplug frowns, unable to remember the name of Autobot City's near-sentient repairbot.
Spike breathes out. "Well... he IS developing a personality the more he interacts with you." He adds "I'll...find out about it - and settle it with Lugnut."
Sparkplug nods tiredly. "Thanks, Spike. Something about overlapping command protocols..."
Spike digs into his salad. "You know about Carly getting a new job?" He gulps. "She...made an executive decision to TAKE the job..." He pauses "Dad...this HAS to stay between you and me - but I do not feel good about this at all. She's gung-ho abut moving us to Houston if things work out. With Megan... " He shakes his head. "Carly and I have gone zero-for-four in houses - and having us right out in the open? I don't care if the Decepticons don't think anything of us - they ALWAYS seem to eventually target us." Spike gulps and adds "Daniel's kind of mad - he doesn't want to be uprooted..." He adds "I don't want to be that far from you..."
Sparkplug frowns, putting down his half-eaten bite in concern.
Spike scratches his unkempt hair. "But there's no way in HELL my stipend from the Autobots could support Carly, Megan, and Daniel..." He adds "I'm just going to follow Crosscut's teachings... don't worry about stuff that MAY happen - right now - just focus on the 'here and now' - which is her living two weeks in Houston and two weeks here."
Sparkplug nods, considering. "How can I help?"
A slight smile touches Sparkplug's countenance. "You weren't dumb enough to say that to her, were you?" he smiles, remembering old arguments with Susan that went wrong even without the threat of alien interference.
Spike grins. "Oh hell no!" Spike shrugs and sighs "I don't know, dad." He adds "Everyone makes executive decisions sometimes. 'I've made them and Carly wasn't happy with them." He gestures to his pops. "I'm sure you made a few with mom."
Sparkplug rasps, "Oh, yes. I wore the pants in the family... provided she gave them to me in the morning if I'd done what she'd said." Sparkplug laughs, the odd marriage-is-hell joke sounding awkward coming from him.
Spike says, "Look...it's an OUTSIDE shot - but honestly - if we DO move to Houston, what's to stop Crosscut from wanting to hire someone who would be here at a moment's notice as opposed to someone a few thousand miles away?" Spike grins. "C'mon...seriously - I'm SURE you made some executive decisions that pissed mom off."
Sparkplug frowns. "What, what - you think Crosscut is going to replace you?"
Spike shrugs. "Dad, if we move to Houston - that is a game-changer! It changes everything!" He looks at Sparkplug. "Would YOU want to move with us and live in the 'guest room'?"
Sparkplug is derailed as he considers this other possibility. "I could, if you need your old man's help with... uh... your kids." He grimaces sharply, deeply embarrassed at not being able to immediately recall his granddaughter's own name, and trying hard to cover for it.
Spike shakes his head. "No...no - " He adds "Between you and I - I DON'T want to move out of here. Daniel loves his school. I love being with the Autobots..." He adds "The protection is a major plus." He gestures to Sparkplug and smirks "I've got someone who isn't afraid to chew me out of I make a mistake in the repair bay."
Sparkplug shrugs, raising and spreading his still-spindly-looking arms. "However I can help, son."
Spike shrugs, "Just hold tight, I guess. As Crosscut would say 'This hasn't happened yet - so don't tax your circuits worrying about it." Spike looks at Sparkplug. "Seriously though, not a word to Carly... " Spike points to Sparkplug's lunch. "Eat..."
Sparkplug smiles reassuringly. "You need someone outside your marriage to talk to, Spike. Whatever we talk about can remain between us." If only Sparkplug had a dad HE could have confided in...
Spike says, "There IS something you can do... however..."
Sparkplug raises his thinning eyebrows, looking ready to jump in with whatever he can do.
Spike says, "Give me your honest opinion of this situation - no hold's barred."
Sparkplug looks surprised, not expecting that request. "Well..."
Spike looks at Sparkplug's lunch and adds "And eat as well - this will be the only time in your life when your doctor orders you to eat a 3-piece KFC dinner and follow it with a pint of Ben and Jerry's" He nods, waiting for his dad to give his advice. "Please..."
Sparkplug considers before continuing. "You obviously have to let Carly pursue her goals - you knew that when you married her. You've lived apart before." Sparkplug takes another half-hearted bite of the rapidly-cooling food.
Spike nods and sighs "That was before kid number two though...but yes, you're right." Spike is starting to feel the impact of marrying someone way out of his league.
Sparkplug rasps, "I know how you feel about worrying about keeping your children safe .. you know for a fact my concerns, and mistakes, in that department." Sparkplug sighs. "Sometimes I feel like I wrecked both your childhood, and Buster's..."
Spike arches his brow. "Seriously? I had the best childhood I could imagine."
Sparkplug lapses into a despairing silence very unlike the Sparkplug with whom Spike grew up. Sparkplug draws a slow breath. "I hope so."
Spike sighs "Buster..." He adds "Well, I'm extremely sorry for what happened to him - but things have been resolved for some time." He grins "C'mon - along with you - I was raised by Jazz, Hound, Bumblebee and Prime - that's hardly a wrecked childhood."
Sparkplug forces that smile again. "I guess so." The smile slips slightly. "What were we talking about again?" He looks very, very old and tired.
Spike gets up. "Just work stuff..." He looks at his dad sadly. He isn't bouncing back nearly as quickly as he hoped. "Why don't you take a nap - and we'll look at Ratchet's tutorials later on?"
Spike thinks "8.74 for a 3-piece meal, and for all his coaching, Sparkplug managed to eat a half of a chicken breast, 2 spoonfuls of mashed potatoes and a forkful of Cole slaw. The biscuit remains untouched."
Sparkplug nods his head slowly, and heads to bed with barely a word.