Leilani watched as Karma sat at the desk, going over datapad after datapad for his patients. She had to time it just right, and when he put the last datapad down, before he could go back over them, she pounced. She moved to wrap her hand around the upper part of his arm, tugging him up out of the chair with a smile, "Come on you, you're taking a break," She grinned, giggling almost.
Karma was, admittedly, taken by surprise as he stumbled up after her, "Wait....What?" He blinked, looking up at her. He still couldn't get over the fact of how different she looked when she actually took time to appear presentable, like she had that morning. She was completely polished up and she looked more like she belonged in the Iacon Towers than the Kaon Slums.
She flashed a pretty smile, "You. Break. Now," She chuckled, coaxing him off towards the door, "You've been sitting there since before I woke up and I'm putting my foot down,"
"But...my work ne-" He tried to argue, stammering now before she held a finger up to silence him. He just blinked, resisting the urge to pout and try to get back to his work.
"I never said you don't need to do your work. But if you sit at a desk for long hours your work will diminish in its quality," She murmured, chuckling when he gave in, taking her hand in his, "Besides. It'll do us both some good to get out and just go relax," She pointed out, a small smile there, "I have something I have to pick up from a friend in Iacon, so it's a change of scenery from Kaon on top of helping you relax," She explained softly.
He gave a small chuckle, "If you're so certain, Lei," He nodded, moving to slip out with her, locking the apartment behind him. Today was going to be interesting if nothing else.
It didn't take them long to reach Iacon, or maybe it was just the presence of the other that made things seem to go so much quicker. She moved to slip off through one of the parks, Karma keeping close to her. Iacon was no Kaon, but it still had its fair amount of sleazy mechs that wandered the streets.
"So, who did you say you had to come see?" Karma glanced down at Lei, the femme chuckling softly.
"Old friend of mine. Most think he's just another cop. I promise he's not as bad as Officer Stickaft," She said, Karma laughing at that as he shook his head.
"Well he sounds better already!" He grinned, pausing at seeing the rather intimidating mech walking towards them, "That him?" He asked, looking to Lei.
Lei blinked before looking forward. The mech walking towards them was broad shouldered, the blue and white Lamborghini long since having ditched the Autobot symbol since they'd come back from Earth as he flashed a grin, the blue visor flashing. Lei grinned, darting forward to tackle him into a hug, hardly jostling the mech as he scooped her up to crush her into a hug. She grunted, "Uncle! UNCLE YOU DAMN OAF!"
"I thought you would recognize me," He smiled, and Lei couldn't help but be in awe of his voice. He'd changed so much since school, and being on Earth he'd picked up an accent The mech's accent was nothing short of surprising. Where most Cybertronians had been restricted to the American Continent, Stun had a deep, thick Russian accent, his r's rolling as he spoke slower than most so they could understand him. The visor glanced up to Karma, "And who be this mech?"
Leilani squirmed to get out of the enforcer's arms, letting him stand up to look Karma in the optic, "Stun, this is Karmashock, Karma, this is Stun, an old friend of mine," She explained.
Karma extended a hand, smiling friendly enough, "Nice to meet ya, mate," He grinned.
Stun eyed the hand and clasped it with his own, tugging the motorbike closer, the visor oddly bright as he looked at Karma, "How you know Leilani?" He asked calmly, "You don't seem type to buy whores," He didn't mean to come off as intimidating. He was merely trying to pinpoint Karma's motives.
Karma had paused, optics wide, struggling to figure out how to answer him without irritating the large mech and making it worse for him. Lei stepped in though, a hand on the enforcer's shoulder, "Stun. He's helping me. He's not a client, he's a friend," She explained.
Stun tilted his head slightly, "Helping?" He frowned, not sure he understood the whole ordeal properly.
Lei smiled, "My addictions, Stun. I finally have someone to help, and before you try to strangle him, no he's not with me because of Prowl," She said, noticing the visor on the mech had darkened slightly. The last thing she needed was Stun strangling Karma and she'd have to deal with the repercussions. Yeah, not on her list of things to do today.
When everything sunk in Stun gave a winning grin, clapping Karma on the back of the shoulder, the motorbike stumbling slightly in surprise, "Good mech then. Won't have to hurt you then," He chuckled.
"Good to know," Karma nodded, "She told me you were an old friend of hers?" He asked curiously, knowing this mech hadn't been brought up in their sessions yet. And Karma wasn't going to lie, even though he was a bit more 'gruff' than the mechs Lei seemed to know on a friendly basis, he was intriguing.
Stun just nodded, "Schoolmates. After we graduated, I didn't see her again until...well, when we came back to Cybertron," He explained, Lei nodding quietly, "Surprised to see she wasn't with the seeker," He admitted, looking at Lei now.
Lei gave a pained, tight lipped smile, "We...haven't talked since you and the others left for Earth during the war," She explained softly, shaking her head as her crest fell down against her helm. Karma frowned, brushing her arm gently, concerned at hearing that. He had heard enough to know the two were extremely close when they were younger, but he figured either the seeker was killed in the war or they at least kept in touch. To hear that Bluehornet was alive, just not speaking to her...He couldn't help but wonder what had happened.
Instead, though, he watched as Stun pulled back, excusing himself after giving Leilani the small parcel for Wildspark. Lei nodded, hugging him one last time before he nodded to Karma and was gone. The motorbike frowned, "Lei? Something up?"
"Huh? Oh, he just got called in, nothing big," She said, smiling as she held the package in front of her, close to her stomach as she glanced back at him, a small smile there as he moved back to her side.
"Not what I meant. I imagined you and Bluehornet would still keep in touch," He admitted, "I...was surprised to hear it is otherwise, needless to say," He said softly, looking at her. She gave a faint, pained smile.
"When I went to live with Vibe and Couj, I met Stun when he was...well we'll say he was in training," She giggled, shaking her head, "He was graduating as I went into secondary school, so he's some years ahead of me. Before you ask, Vibe had me in an 'accelerated' program. Had the processor to do anything and I went to the University for dance," She laughed, "Ohh, Vibe still hates me for that," She mused.
"I can imagine, but at least you went after something you liked," He pointed out, chuckling with her. So she wasn't just some whore off the street, she was educated. He was surprised, but he figured there were reasons to everything, and he'd find out about it, "And Stun?"
"I used to walk to school with him. He started his Enforcer classes early, the basics anyways. Laws, regulations...All that fun stuff. And when he was young he was still a fairly large mech, so I felt safe. Vibe had to go into work early, and I always hated asking Couj since he was usually tracking his next bounty," She explained, a faint chuckle there, "Bluehornet...Didn't approve of him at first, but they eventually got along. Bluehornet was young, afraid I was going to be taken away from him," She murmured, looking out over the park. There was something about it that was calming, despite the fact she knew they'd have to return to Kaon afterwards.
She sighed, "Bluehornet stopped talking to me for different reasons though. We were always close...Just not as close as he wanted to be," She explained, hoping he got her point. She shook her head, "Shouldn't you be waiting to grill me about my past?" She teased, bumping her hip into him as she moved to slip through the park, humming innocently.
"Well I'm curious now. If you had the education, why did you chose to do what you did?" He asked, looking down at her, "Surely it wasn't a preferred career choice," He pointed out.
Lei gave a faint smile, "My parents were going to sell me to slavers once I graduated," She explained softly, "I was the unwanted sparkling. So they didn't really care what happened to me. When I got into Secondary school and got my upgrade," She motioned to herself, the tail flicking, "My boss found me, Silverstreaker," She chuckled and shook her head, "He offered to pay off the slavers, I'd work for him, and then be free to do as I pleased. I was young," She frowned, "I didn't know any better, thought it'd be easier. He...cheated me out of everything. My dignity, my reputation...By the time I was done with him I couldn't of gotten a different job if I tried. So I took over the brothel and set them to work in the club. A little more dignity, better pay for the girls," She shrugged lightly, moving through the park.
"Huh...Well, I'm guessing you at least put good use to your dance education?" He tried to make light of the situation, not too sure of how proud she was of her previous occupations. He didn't want to piss her off unintentionally.
She smiled, "Sweetie, I used to be the most expensive whore there was in Kaon. I made nightly trips to Iacon, the Towers, Praxus...." She shook her head, "I was the only one who had a half way decent lifestyle, besides being on my back every other day. Mechs wanted the exotic, and thanks to Vibe, my upgrade was just that. I went from wanting to stand out and be different to being one of the most sought after femmes...Well...In more ways than one," She muttered, shaking her head.
"Would you go back to that life though?" Karma asked. There was something in her voice, almost like regret, but he couldn't quite pinpoint it.
"You know...I've asked myself that countless times, and no...I wouldn't. Because then all the girls that work for me would be malnourished and uncared for again. I couldn't do that to them," She shook her head, a frown there as she looked up, "The girls are family. Family doesn't shove one another back into the muck and grime of the past," She explained softly.
Karma smiled, an arm around her shoulders, "That's good to hear. If...you don't mind me asking, isn't there a way you could stop it altogether?"
"The girls are like me. Unless they find a constant outlet for their...frustrations I guess they get desperate. Mechs go to the club and if a femme agrees, then they're paid. Not just any mech can go and buy a femme. They have to be approved by the femme first. It isn't as..." She trailed off, trying to think as she frowned, pouting almost as she tried to think, "Sleazy? I...that's really the only word I can come up with," She admitted quietly, "It's a little more formal than just dragging a femme off, pounding into her and dropping a few creds onto the berth and leaving," She explained, shaking her head, "The bar alone makes enough money since we have femmes that brew the high grade themselves, so it's a small plus," She smiled, moving to sit on a bench and wait now, her tail flicked over her lap. She took Karma's hand, tugging him down to sit with her.
"Lei?" He chuckled, arching an optic ridge in surprise now as she just grinned. He shook his head, "Sounds like you could have it made....Maybe an intervention is what you needed after all," He pointed out, patting her knee as she chuckled, brushing a hand over the feathers.
"Perhaps," She smiled, leaning over to kiss his cheek, "Thank you, Karma, for everything. I forgot what it was like to have friendly company," She murmured.
Karma blinked, giving a sheepish grin and trying to wave it off, "It's nothing Lei, really. It's my job to help others, regardless of who they are and what they need," He explained, a smile there, "But, while we're waiting for whoever we are, you said you and Stun knew each other? Do I get to know that story while we're sitting here?" He asked curiously.
Lei chuckled, hiding her smile behind her hand as he stretched out on the bench, arms along the back of it, "I guess I can placate you. Not much happened between the time Vibe and Couj took me and I met Stun anyways...Year before I went into Secondary school...I only remember because I'd been trying to get home after watching my brother get his ass kicked in the schoolyard..."
Her chassis was heaving, intakes trying to pull as much air as possible into the small frame as her feet moved fast as they could, carrying her away from Nitro. She knew he was trying to pick himself up, and when he succeeded he'd come after her to make himself feel better.
Leilani wasn't paying too much attention, just trying to get away. Needless to say, when she came into contact with something thick she landed back on her aft with a squeak. Bright green optics blinked at the leg she'd came into contact with and the mech it was connected to. A bright blue visor looked at her before the mech gave a deep chuckle, "Sorry there," He smiled, moving to lean down and help her up, his hand swallowing her much daintier one. The mech looked to be Nitro's age and she could only hope this wasn't one of his goons.
But the white and blue mech didn't look like it, and the mech didn't push her back down to the ground. She gave a small, trembling smile, "I'm sorry, I should've been paying attention to where I was going," She said quietly, voice just barely above a whisper.
He shook his head, about to say something before he saw the mech stumbling towards them. He reacted out of instinct, sliding in front of the smaller femme as Nitro stumbled forward, "Nitro. What happened to you this time? Or should I ask who?"
"That little bitch with a whore for a mom," He snapped, spitting the oil in his mouth off to the side, grumbling sourly.
Stun snorted, "The way you talk, that doesn't really narrow it down," He pointed out calmly enough, blatantly ignoring the indignant scoff he was answered with, "What are you doing?" He asked, wanting to get the other out of there soon as possible before he spotted Leilani. Last thing he needed was to see or witness that.
"Where's my sister?" He asked, arms crossed, gingerly mind you, over his chassis. Any sort of movement had the pain flaring up again, as well as the memory of what had happened. Neither of which he wanted.
Stun snorted, "You think I keep tabs on people for you? Please. Just go home and clean yourself up before you embarrass yourself further, Nitro," He snorted, watching the mech scowl, "Don't even start with me or I'm reopening your face," He said lowly, pointing a finger at him in warning, "You forget, I know why you keep her around," He said coldly.
Nitro gave a faint smirk, moving to walk off now, "If you see her, send her my way," He grinned before he was gone.
Leilani had remained quiet the whole time, clutching, unintentionally, at Stun's hip armor, glad her brother's face had been too messed up to see her. Stun chuckled, moving to coax her back in front of him, "Relax, I'm not making you go that way. Where are you living now?" He asked, a small smile there.
She blinked, looking down shyly, "Just down the street with Miss Vibe and Couj," She whispered softly, hands clasped in front of her almost nervously.
Stun smiled, a hand resting on her shoulder, "Come on then. I'll walk with you," He nodded, offering her his hand instead as she timidly took it. She was still surprised, the fact that his hand was so much bigger, but she knew she was smaller than most.
She gave a shy smile, "Thank you..." She paused, realizing she didn't even know who she was with. So much for not trusting strangers, huh?
"It's Stun," He provided softly, chuckling, "Sorry for not telling you earlier," He explained, nodding as he moved to walk with her.
She nodded, "I'm Leilani...Bluehornet calls me Lei though," She smiled, pausing at seeing said seeker darting towards her, "That's Bluehornet," She giggled.
Stun nodded, looking at the seeker when he stopped in front of them, the seeker taller than the other, already having his last upgrade, "And who are you?" He asked, the deep, rumbling baritone almost enough to seem threatening.
Stun stood straight, looking him in the optic now, "Name's Stun. I offered to walk Leilani here home. Problem?" He asked, head tilted slightly.
Bluehornet eyed him before shaking his head, "Course not. Providing you don't mind me accompanying you two," He stated simply. He moved to Lei's other side and she couldn't help the soft giggle.
Stun smirked, "Just walkin' her home mech, relax. Ain't my fault I don't want something happening to her," He pointed out, a grin there as they moved down the street.
Bluehornet was silent for the most part as they walked, keeping an eye on the mech. He was tense, Lei could tell that much by the hand he kept on her shoulder. She didn't mind though, reaching up to hug Stun in thanks before darting up into the house, heard calling for Vibe or Couj.
Bluehornet eyed Stun, "You touch her again and I find out about it? I'm taking you and dropping you at fifty thousand feet," He hissed, turning to follow her into the house now. Stun just laughed, waving it off and walking off now.
She shook her head, "I'm lucky they didn't kill each other then and there," She admitted, leaning back, relaxed now for the most part, not even noticing where she'd leaned into Karma on the bench.
He looked down at her, chuckling as his hand patted her shoulder, "Well, I guess it was good knowing you had someone to look out for you then," He murmured. Knowing Bluehornet had been so protective though, it only made him wonder further.
He was pulled from his thoughts, though, at the mech that had stopped in front of them, "You buy a whore to come sit in a park?" He scoffed, shaking his head, "What's wrong mech? Too old to get it up and afraid to let her know?" He taunted. Karma went to speak, but Lei moved quicker, her optics shifting to a bright sapphire.
She snuggled into his side, as close as she could, "Oh but he's just my body guard....He's here to protect me from virus ridden sparklings like you," She purred, hand brushing down Karma's chassis, a soft trill there.
Karma blinked in surprise, too stunned to play along at the moment, and when he saw the....femme? Mech? approaching from behind the mech he froze. The black armor seemed to have just enough of a violet tint to it to stand out in the sun, but what was more impressive was their stance. They didn't strut like most femmes, and they didn't stroll like most mechs. This bot prowled forward, and once they were in the light, Karma froze, arm tightening around Lei's shoulders reflexively.
The bot wore a mask, not too different from the one Optimus and Soundwave were known for, but the mask had been painted. A mouth adorned the bot's mask, but it wasn't a normal mouth. Fangs, that seemed so real, filled the mouth that adorned their face, giving them a much more intimidating look than usual.
Lei didn't seem to notice, until she caught sight of the mask herself and flailed, tail flaring and twitching as she tried to shrink under her tail. The mech paused at that, "What? Afraid of a real mech?" He grinned, expecting her to smart off again. But the voice behind him spoke first.
"Excuse me, Herr. But Ich believe dhu haf somezink ov meine," The voice was a positively sinful growl, the german accent just making it all the more guttural sounding. Deep amethyst optics were watching him as a hand, the fingers dangerously sharp, settled on his shoulder and spun him around. The mech froze, stammering as he felt himself wet himself. The other gave a dark, mocking laugh, "Zeemz ve need to get eins diaper fur ze zpahkling," They cooed, laughing again as the mech tried to lash out. A clawed hand caught his, spinning him to be face down on the bench between where Lei and Karma were.
"Leilani, ist gud to zee you 'gain," The bot nodded, Lei relaxing at finally recognizing the bot now. The mercenary just grinned, pulling hard enough to pop the mech's shoulders out of place before forcing him to stand and shoving him off, letting him stumble away. They glanced back, taking the package from Lei to tuck away before coaxing the femme up and into a hug, "Ich haf missed you, Frauleine," The voice had gone from the growl, settling into a steady purr, "Und zis ist...Herr....?" They trailed off, looking at Leilani now.
Lei chuckled, "Karmashock, this is Krieg, a friend of mine. She's harmless I promise," She murmured, "Krieg, this is Karmashock,"
"Karma's fine, really," He fought not to stammer, watching the other, apparently femme, now uncertainly. Lei said she was harmless, sure, but with that last display? He was beginning to doubt that.
"It ist gud to zee you haf...found mech, ja?" She asked, Lei's cheeks turning a bright pink now as Krieg tilted her head, "Nein? Vhut ist zis then? Park valk fur leisure?" She inquired, hands on her hips now.
Lei shook her head, "No, Krieg, Karma is a friend of mine. That's all. He's helping me get past a rough patch in my life and when I came to get your order from Stun, he came with me, so I wasn't alone," She explained, chuckling, trying to get rid of the blush now.
Krieg blinked, looking at Karma, "Dhu...help her?" She asked, and when Karma nodded her optics brightened, giving away the fact that beneath the mask she was smiling, "Gut. Ich vill naught haf to keel you, ja?" She giggled, the sound odd in her vocals.
"Why couldn't Stun give it directly to her though?" Karma asked, confused now.
Lei chuckled, "Well for one, I wanted to see Stun and Krieg again, and for two, Stun's an enforcer. If he's seen with Krieg he has to arrest her and put her on death row, no questions asked. We create our own loop holes,"
"Death...row?" He frowned, looking at Krieg now, that apprehension right back from before.
Krieg waved it off, "Keel too many 'precious leetle' Autobotz und ze zend ze entire police force after you," She snorted, muttering to herself, too quickly for Lei or Karma to catch.
Lei chuckled, "Besides. Now you can meet the femme that helped me decide on my upgrade," She grinned, Krieg crossing her arms over her chassis, and when she moved to stand next to Lei he realized just how different from the average femme she was.
Krieg bore no dead giveaway she was a femme, and her voice certainly didn't. She had a very androgynous frame, hinting to nothing other than the strength she no doubt possessed. Her armor hinted at a sports car alt, one built for speed by the streamlined look she possessed. Other than that though, she just oozed power and intimidation. He couldn't imagine being 'hunted' by her if she was indeed a bounty hunter.
Lei chuckled, "Krieg, you're welcome to join us?" She offered, moving to slip up now.
Krieg eyed her, "Karma? Ist alright vith you?" She asked, eying the smaller motorbike. Last thing she needed was someone being uncomfortable around her.
Karma blinked before nodding, "Sure. I'm sure you and Lei have some catching up to do anyways," He chuckled. He moved to offer an arm to Lei, who took it and offered her other arm to Krieg, who just blinked at it before mimicking what she'd done to Karma.
Lei chuckled, "All we need is a yellow brick road," She grinned, Karma unable to stop the chuckle. Lei couldn't remember the last time she was this happy, let alone when she was this relaxed around bots she wanted to be around. Maybe this was what she needed. She was pulled from her thoughts though at seeing Krieg was watching her, that mischievous look far too obvious by now, "Krieg....?" She asked, almost afraid of the reply.
Krieg blinked before her optics brightened when she realized Lei had addressed her. She couldn't help the small, demonic sounding giggle before she spoke, "Ich haf yellow zray paint," She offered, and the three of them moved through the park, laughing.