A/N: Written for both the tfspeedwriting prompt "Oh, look. Someone's having a good day." and the tfrarepairing prompt "hang out". I could be happier with this but I ran out of time, lol.
Trailbreaker waved Jackpot goodbye and then dropped down into a seat at an empty table. He shot a smile around the room and got a few in return, plus a few nods and waves but– yeah, no, everyone in the bar was pretty firmly established at their own tables. Ah, well. It was a good enough day that the lack of company didn't hurt, not yet. It was a slow hour anyway, plenty of time for someone else to come in. For the moment, Trailbreaker was glad enough just to see Swerve headed his way with Trailbreaker's usual order perched prominently on a laden down tray.
"Here you go, Teebs," Swerve said as he arrived, settling his tray on the table so he could pluck Trailbreaker's drink from the lot. "Got it mixed up just the way you–"
A shadow fell over them both, throwing heat against Trailbreaker's back as it leaned over his shoulder. Whirl's rotors whined in fits, an ominous sound not unlike a weapon warming up. One pincer was planted on the back of Trailbreaker's chair, almost protective somehow. The other was way into Swerve's personal space, a claw tip poking him square in the chest. His neck was extended forward, right in Swerve's face; if Swerve hadn't leaned back on reflex, they'd just about be kissing.
"It's Trailcutter now," Whirl said, plating flaring, "and you're gonna respect that."
"Er," said Swerve, looking to Trailbreaker for help.
"I'm actually trying out both names," Trailbreaker piped up past his surprise at the sudden appearance, putting a staying hand on Whirl's arm. He second-guessed the gesture as the vibration from Whirl's rotor buzzed beneath the touch but didn't move, like that would keep it from being noticed.
Whirl definitely noticed, peering down at it before curving his long neck to squint into Trailbreaker's face. His body sagged, giving Swerve a little room to try to straighten up, discreetly. If Trailbreaker didn't know any better, he might've thought Whirl sounded more hurt than irritated when he said, "What, suddenly my suggestions aren't good enough for you or something?"
Swerve made a sound like he was barely holding back a comment and Trailbreaker rushed to answer the question before that rare control could snap.
"Nah, it's an awesome name!" he said and meant it. "I've just had my old name for kind of a long time, you know?"
Whirl tipped his helm and his optic did something complicated. It was over a moment later; he made a sound like a scoff and said, as if he had never heard anything more exasperating, "I guess." Then, like a switch had been flicked, he was back to looming over Swerve, leaning precariously over Trailbreaker's shoulder to do it. He jabbed his claw this time at the center of Swerve's visor and hissed, "Well, whenever he decides, you're gonna respect it."
"Okay, okay!" Swerve yelped, giving up on dignity and scrambling back. He realized a moment later that he'd left his tray of drinks on the table but Whirl had already flopped into a vacant seat. Swerve visibly considered his options before scampering off to make the orders over again.
"Did you really have to do that?" Trailbreaker asked Whirl in a huff that was tempered by a fondness he didn't know what to think of.
"Yep," said Whirl without hesitation as he considered the drinks on the tray. He glanced up long enough to give Trailbreaker what was probably a significant look. "You were doing that thing."
"I don't have a force field face!" Trailbreaker protested immediately. He paused, then went on, "And I–"
"You so do," Whirl cut in as he lifted a glass to squint at it in better lighting. "Don't make me do the impression again– it isn't dignified. Anyway, no, I'm talking about the whole happy thing you do."
"You were, like, lighting up the entire room," Whirl informed him as though it was a grave crime. "Seriously, the power could've cut off and no one in here would've noticed. Brainstorm could power a whole new line of weaponry with the positive energy you were giving off. It was sickening– I nearly purged. If I hadn't restored balance by ruining Swerve's good mood, the whole ship could've been thrown out of whack." The look he gave Trailbreaker was somehow haughty. "You're welcome."
Huffing, Trailbreaker took a swallow of his own drink. When he lowered the glass, thought was pulling at the corners of his lips. "That's the second time you've said something like that," he remembered. Something hesitant but warm washed through his lines from his spark. "Wouldn't it make more sense to just ruin my good mood instead?"
Whirl went very still for all of a second before he sputtered an affronted sound and looked even harder at the drinks he was still poking through. "What? No. That's stupid. You're stupid. Obviously–" He busied himself with pouring a drink into his wrist intake, as if that somehow impeded him from talking. When the glass was empty, he brandished it at Trailbreaker and said in victorious tones, "Obviously, that would just unbalance everything in the other direction. What am I supposed to do then, cheer someone up? Please."
"Oh, right," said Trailbreaker, hiding a grin behind the rim of his glass. "Dunno what I was thinking."
Whirl looked hard at him, rotors whining again. Trailbreaker's grin must not have been hidden as well as he thought, because Whirl sighed through every vent, so hard it disturbed some of the smaller glasses on the tray. His optic took on a distinctly shifty look and he started to push himself away from the table. "There you go, doing it again. Now I gotta start a fight–"
"No, hey, wait–" Trailbreaker wondered only after he'd closed his hand around Whirl's wrist if it had been an even worse idea than the last time. Whirl was looking down at the hand in question as if he wasn't sure whether he should remove it from himself or from Trailbreaker. When he did neither, Trailbreaker ran his thumb along a seam like he was reassuring them both and hoped the smile he offered didn't look too sappy. "At least finish your, uh. Drinks."
There was a pause that seemed fit to stretch into the next week. Then–
"Fine," Whirl said, collapsing back down and looking the very picture of put upon. "I guess I can grace you with my presence for a little longer. But if the ol' doc doesn't blow a fuse in the next five minutes," he pointed at the corner where Drift was chattering with mischief in his optics at Ratchet, who was looking increasingly incredulous, "I'm gonna start shooting bottles off the bar."
Trailbreaker perked up in his chair even as Whirl made himself comfortable in his own. Whirl squinted at him, plating rippling as it fluffed out and slicked down in waves. Squinting menacingly, he poked one claw pointedly at Trailbreaker and threatened, "Three minutes."
Trailbreaker buried his giddiness in his drink, not bothering to worry. Ratchet wasn't going to last that long.