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Hank wasn’t in Jimmy’s Bar. Nor was he at the Chicken Feed. Logically, that left one place for him to be. The only option: Hank was at home. Drunk, probably.

Connor blinked slowly as he reorganized his itinerary. He set his list of objectives towards a new goal: Hank’s house, 115 Michigan Drive.

Being a deviant—and being an autonomous person, as all androids were now—meant that Connor no longer received instructions from CyberLife. Amanda was gone. The set of directives he’d been programmed with were no longer relevant. So, Connor’s responsive network had been forced to pick up the slack. A series of algorithms containing predictable actions for him to take should no correlating instructions be present.

It was free will, basically. Or mostly.

Free will was…interesting. Nothing Connor did was ever as predictable as before. In the absence of more reliable coding, he sometimes felt sluggish. It took him longer to process information. To think (as sorry as that was to say). Connor liked being able to direct himself, but he didn’t like being slow.

Unfortunately, the RK800 model was never designed to work from the responsive network for this long. He was in completely unchartered territory and had no idea how his processors would function from here on out. Would they adapt? Or (more likely) would he get progressively slower, until his reaction time was nothing short of obsolete?

That would be…

He blinked.

…regrettable.

Shaking his head clear, pulling a quarter out of his pocket to dismiss any ancillary thoughts, Connor got into a taxi. He fiddled with the coin as he went over the facts of the case he and Hank had just been assigned. Homicide. Possibly the result of a domestic dispute. Nothing terribly puzzling. They just needed a bit more evidence to definitively finger their suspect. And then on to the next case…

A never-ending slog of cases. The only thing Connor had going on in his life at this point was average level police work.

And Hank, of course. Now that the rebellion was finished, Hank and Connor had time to settle into their…friendship.

Yes, Hank was a friend. Connor’s neural network read him as such—and Hank said so himself.

“Well we’re partners, right?” Hank had said the first time he invited Connor to his house for no reason. Nothing to do with a case.

Connor had pointed out that watching a basketball game at home was not an essential part of detective work.

Hank sighed. “So then because you’re my friend. How about that.”

There was nothing in Connor’s programming to argue that point. Besides, he wanted to be Hank’s friend. Being friends was…

Connor rubbed the coin between his thumb and his forefinger.

…nice.

Yes. He liked being Hank’s friend. He wanted to continue a friendship-based relationship. He wanted to spend time with Hank outside of work, not just in the station and not just in the car on the way to crime scenes or interrogations. Work was important, but Connor also felt it important to maintain a friendship with Hank. He kept that goal high on his objectives.

He liked Hank Anderson, the person. Hank was a good man with predictable behavior and comprehensible motivations. Hank wanted to do good in the world—that was the reason he’d become a cop in the first place—and his sense of right and wrong was very strong. When situations had an outcome that went against this morality, Hank got upset. Horribly upset at times, though he handled it quietly. He dealt with his feelings through various addictions. Drinking. Self-destruction.

It made sense.

Of course, Connor had suggested several alternative methods for Hank to blow off steam. But to no avail. Hank got even more disagreeable whenever Connor talked about his drinking or his unhealthy eating. Connor had not yet found an appropriate solution.

He squeezed the coin against his palm. That problem—Hank’s distressingly low sense of self preservation—was filed away for ongoing investigation.

The taxi pulled up to Hank’s house. Connor marked this as his sixteenth time visiting this location. He’d been here on fifteen other occasions. Sometimes to discuss a case after hours, sometimes for Hank to take a shower or grab a change of clothes if they were pulling an all-nighter. Sometimes just to watch tv. Connor could stay up late into the night analyzing television programs long after Hank fell asleep.

That was…nice in its own way. Hank asleep on the couch or in his bedroom, Connor only a short distance away. Any normal day, Connor spent nights at the police station. Either in standby mode making reports to the department or perusing case files, waiting through the eight or nine hours until everyone else showed up for work.

However. If Connor had a preferred place to spend the night—if he had a choice where he wanted to go—it would definitely be Hank’s place. This house. It was why he’d chosen to come here tonight. Without any specific reason. Connor just…wanted to.

He wanted to see Hank. Perhaps they could watch television and exchange remarks about the characters’ actions. A pleasant evening by Connor’s account. He would have even said it aloud if anyone asked.

After all, Hank’s presence was always preferable to time spent alone. Jokes or comments. Tiny snippets of anecdotes, whatever Hank was willing to share. Even when Hank was unconscious, face slack and unguarded, mouth hanging open as he slept—not that Connor watched him sleep. That would have been a breach of boundaries, as Hank explained one night when he caught Connor staring. So Connor didn’t stare. He just enjoyed the quiet feeling of being in someone else’s company. Hank’s company. An un-empty space filled by Hank. The man who understood Connor’s way of existing (most of the time), who worked with him, and who didn’t mind sharing a small piece of his life with him. A piece that made Connor feel human. Peaceful. At ease. As if all were right with the world.

Connor could not articulate precisely why.

He was still learning how to use words that adequately described his feelings. Experiencing emotions (well, ‘emotions;’ more like unclear directives from his instinct drive produced in response to unpredicted stimuli, but sure, emotions also worked) was new. Not only that, humans had many ways of describing their feelings. Nuances. Turns of phrase that only applied in certain situations or towards specific demographics. Connor wanted to express himself like a normal human man of his apparent age. Not overly gushy or naive. Not too calculated or cold. Not a machine but not a child, either.

The task was harder than he’d first anticipated.

Hank’s face when Connor relied too much on his programming, too much on the predicted responses, missing the human mark by a mile: Confused, vaguely disgusted. Then, slowly, bemused. But dismissive. “Fucking androids.”

Or Hank’s face when Connor showed exactly how inexperienced he was: Eyes wide, jaw tilted forward. A brisk laugh or a tight smile. Then, nodding in understanding, an explanation. Like Hank was a teacher. Or…a parent.

Obviously.

And yes, Connor appreciated the help. He’d learned a lot about human interaction and social etiquette from Hank. More than he ever could have learned from a software update alone. But, Connor didn’t want to be just a fucking android. Nor did he want to be a surrogate son.

He wanted to be… He wanted….to…

He got out of the taxi.

…friends.

On his ninth visit to this location, Hank had given him a key to the front door. Not that Connor ever really needed it—Hank had a disturbing habit of leaving it unlocked anyway. Even though the crime rate in this neighborhood was 53% higher than the surrounding precincts, as Connor often reminded him.

“Hard to rob a place that’s got nothing to steal,” Hank responded once.

That was confusing—Hank’s house had much to steal. A TV, a computer. Furniture. A liquor cabinet. Money stashed in the lockbox in Hank’s bottom left drawer. Hank’s revolver. Not to mention the fact that an assailant might enter just for the sake of property damage. Or damage to Hank’s person. A pointless worst case scenario.

So, which place was Hank talking about? Certainly not his own house (there was so much to keep safe in there!). Perhaps Hank was speaking metaphorically. Connor filed it under ‘idioms.’

And of course, the door was unlocked again. Connor slipped in with a sigh.

His movements were maybe more silent than he realized.

The lights in the kitchen were off, as were the lights in the short hallway leading to Hank’s modest living room. But the bedroom lights were on. A faint glow was coming from the living room—Connor thought at first that it was the TV. Hank had probably indulged in his whiskey and then fallen asleep on the couch again. But as Connor approached, he didn’t hear the telltale signs of Hank’s sleeping patterns. No snoring, no even breathing. No distant grumbling.

Was Hank in ethylic coma again? Connor sped up his movements just in case. Rather hoping his suspicions were wrong. (He’d thought perhaps Hank’s alcoholism was improving, somewhat. Just a bit. Connor had not needed to carry Hank home from Jimmy’s Bar the past few times they’d gone out together. He also noticed Hank purchasing fewer bottles of scotch. Only one a week, instead of the usual two. Small progress. But noticeable.)

The closer Connor got to the living room, the more unlikely it became that Hank was blackout drunk. Connor heard other noises. Not…television noises, though. No. These were sounds Connor had never heard before—he couldn’t place them immediately to any source.

They were wet sounds. Some kind of water-based product rubbing against something.

And breathing.

Strained. Heavy. In—held for approximately two seconds—then out. Shaking.

Connor rounded the hallway and found Hank at his computer. The computer monitor was on—it normally never was (Hank insisted on keeping his notoriously old desktop model)—and Hank was wearing headphones. Noise cancelling ones.

How careless, Connor thought right away. If an assailant were to enter the house right now, Hank would be at an extreme disadvantage! His attention was fixed solely on his computer screen and he couldn’t see or hear anything else.

“Hank…” Connor began, taking a few steps forward.

As anticipated, Hank didn’t hear him.

There was something strange about this. Connor stopped to analyze the situation.

Hank’s heart was beating at a speed 1.8 times its normal rate. His breathing was arhythmic. His right hand was between his legs.

Connor blinked. Processing. More clues needed.

His eyes flicked to the computer screen. There was a video playing but Connor could not hear the audio. The visual showed a man and woman (unclear if they were androids or humans). Naked. The woman was bent down on all fours and the man was behind her on his knees. Pressing his hips against hers. Hard. Penetrating her vagina with his penis.

Connor ran a brief internet search. Apparently this was called ‘doggy style.’

He paused. So, Hank was watching a video of a man and woman engaged in a sexual act. According to Connor’s database on psycho-sexual behaviors, this meant that Hank was probably deriving some sort of vicarious sexual pleasure from the video. Like a contact high between drug users.

So Hank was…

…Oh.

Connor’s LED whirled, yellow, as he came to terms with what he was seeing.

Hank was pleasuring himself. Sexually.

A flicker of a warning passed across Connor’s peripheral senses. A whisper of red. Not really there—Connor couldn’t say he’d actually seen anything, but he…thought he had. A warning or a notification. Urgent. There. But…not, at the same time.

Strange. Connor would have to run a self diagnostic later to see if his programming was still running properly.

“Nnnh, fuck…”

Connor understood that humans generally preferred privacy when they were having a sexual experience. He turned to leave Hank alone. He hadn’t been noticed yet, now was the perfect time to go. Before…

Connor’s shoulders turned, but the rest of him didn’t. His legs and feet were unresponsive to his neural network. Like they were stuck to the ground. They were receiving some kind of instructions straight from his instinct drive.

His core. Connor’s primal core wouldn’t let him leave.

His body was working at odds with itself.

Connor sucked his bottom lip between his teeth. Uncertain why. His responsive network was running wild—nothing he was doing made any sense. But he was doing it anyway. He wanted to…or…needed? At what point did his body’s free will contradict its instinct?

Hank was…

His hair was slick along the sides of his face. Unwashed, made even sweatier by his actions. Sweat beaded across his top lip, making the gray hair from his mustache seem darker. Hank was pumping himself rigorously, the rest of his body stock still as his right hand jerked up and down with practiced ease.

A myriad of deductions appeared across Connor’s line of sight.

1. This was not Hank’s first time masturbating. Of course. He was a man in his fifties. This must have been a regular thing for him his whole life.

(How regular? When did it start? When did Hank realize he wanted to touch himself? During the day, at work? When he got home? In the shower?)

2. Hank was enjoying this immensely. His brain must have been sending out pleasure signals across his whole body.

(Connor’s body did not feel pleasure in that way—nor had he ever experienced physical sensation in an erotic context. So he wondered how it felt. Could Hank feel the pleasure inside as well as out? In his internal organs? Across his skin, even in the private places humans didn’t talk about in conversation? His nipples, his cock, his balls, his perineum, his anus…yes, Hank had all those parts didn’t he? What would it take to make them feel good?)

3. The sex act in the video was amenable to Hank’s sexual preferences. The internet was a big place, he could have picked any video to masturbate to. But he’d chosen this one.

(…Why? The woman? His type? Or, the man? Or, the position? Were there characters with personalities in pornographic videos, like on TV? Did Hank relate to these ones in some way?)

For every conclusion Connor made, dozens of further questions arose to take their place. He was suddenly fascinated. Rapt and eager. Impatient to find more answers.

He tilted his head to the side. From there he could see…

Hank’s penis. Covered in lubricant. The tip was flushed dark red but the shaft was a light pink. Shiny as the lubricant reflected light from the computer. Connor could not see all of him—parts were covered by Hank’s furiously moving fist—but he could project an image based on the data he had. Long, about an inch longer than the national average for American men. Wider still in circumference.

A milky fluid beaded along the tip of Hank’s erection. Connor recognized it as precursory seminal fluid, but he wanted to analyze it himself.

His jaw opened and closed as he wrestled with instinctual directives to collect a sample. His tongue twitched in his mouth. He wanted to lick…he didn’t have a sense of taste, but the drive to run an analysis on a foreign body of liquid was similar in theory.

Connor wanted to taste it.

He blinked rapidly.

The woman on the screen threw her heard back in apparent pleasure. Perhaps a simulation of orgasm. It had an obvious effect on Hank. He rested his head on his left hand, gathering some hair in his free fist, and redoubled his masturbation efforts. Fisting himself so hard Connor worried he might damage himself with the friction.

“Fucking…Christ….”

Hank was speaking on a vocal fry. Gruff, as if in pain. Connor had heard that tone of voice on a few occasions. Normally when Hank was drunk, or when he was pushing himself to his limit with some physical task.

….Or, apparently, his sexual limit. Connor’s LED flicked between yellow and red as he realized Hank was nearing climax.

On screen, the man pulled out of the woman. The camera panned away from her and focused solely on him. More accurately, his penis. They zoomed in on his erection until there was nothing left to see but the actor’s length and his dark, long-fingered hand stroking himself. He started playing with his testicles. Rolling them between his fingers, tugging gently.

Did that elicit a pleasure response? Connor stretched his fingers and mimicked the man’s motions. Clutching nothing but air. He wondered…

What did a man’s testicles feel like? Connor had never felt them before. Nor even seen a pair this close. They looked like a pleasant upside down heart. The actor’s testicles were bare, no hair to speak of. Probably for professional reasons.

…Would Hank’s be bare? Were they just as large…as full looking as the man’s on the screen?

Connor’s head turned idly side to side. He did not know why he suddenly had all these inquiries—this burning need to know. To see. To feel.

To understand.

Shit. Connor realized there was so much he didn’t understand. A whole realm of human experiences he hadn’t touched yet.

And Hank…

An image appeared in Connor’s mind. Similar to his predictive movement simulator, he imagined a different scene. Hank in front of him. Masturbating. But not as he was now, with his Detroit Police sweatshirt on and his sweatpants bunched around the tops of his thighs. No. Hank naked—human—and masturbating in front of Connor’s face. Playing with his own balls. Letting Connor watch and maybe even touch…or taste…

His face. What did Hank’s face look like when he was being stimulated? Connor couldn’t predict facial expressions. The gold projections were fuzzy and formless.

But Connor wanted to see his face. It would be—

“Agh—!”

With a cut-off, deep-chested yell, Hank came. He caught most of his ejaculate in the front of his sweatpants. But there was a lot. Some of it slipped through his fingers as he kept stroking, making a unique squelching sound.

Messy.

Connor’s tongue bumped against the back of his teeth. Coincidentally, his knees began to tingle. Right across the joint. Expectantly, as if he wanted to be on his knees. There. Beneath the computer desk. Between Hank’s legs.

Looking up at him while Hank was looking down.

Spent, Hank took a deep breath and sighed. He grabbed some tissues and began mopping up the mess. The porn video had ended; the actor’s ejaculate stained the camera lens.

“God damn…” Hank murmured, tossing the tissues in the garbage. He slid off his headphones and wiped his hand on the leg of his sweatpants.

Connor’s LED turned red. He didn’t know what to do—any movement and Hank would hear—should he hide—should he stand there—should he—

Keep watching?

His response network was so painfully slow. Too many options, too many strange directives from his instinct drive. Too many warnings that weren’t really warnings popping up—

Inevitably, Hank swiveled his chair to the side and struggled to his feet. He bent down to take off his sweatpants.

And of course, his line of sight fell on Connor.

“Whoa, for—!” Eyes wide in horror, clutching at his chest, tripping over his sweatpants. Hank fell back into his chair by default. Almost landing on the floor.

The room felt hot. Hotter than normal. Unsafe temperature levels. Perhaps, unsafe anxiety levels.

A million things ran through Connor’s mind. He wanted to say them all at once, or at least offer up some kind of explanation. But too many orders for his vocal processor resulted in a glitch.

“Hu…kuh-kuh-kuh.” That’s all that came out of his mouth. A strange stuttering that Connor closed his mouth to stop.

Hank was panting, yanking his pants back up. “…Connor? What….?”

Connor gestured with one hand. At nothing. He’d meant to add some words that made sense, but he didn’t trust his vocal processor to work just yet.

“…What the fuck are you doing here?” Hank ran a hand through his hair, his expression slowly morphing from horror and shock into straight anger. Eyebrows down. Voice loud. Accusing.

No getting around it. Connor had to say something. “…Guh-good evening, lieutenant-tuh-tuh. I…came over to—”

Hank shook his head. “Jesus fucking—were you standing there the whole time?! Why didn’t you say something?!"

Right. Now on to everything that was terribly wrong about what Connor had done. Choosing to ignore that, he continued his explanation. “I came over to discuss some facts about the case we were assigned—”

A lie. His response network thought it best for him to lie in this situation. Since the truth made no logical sense.

(I just wanted to see you. Can we watch some television now?)

Hardly. Connor knew better than that.

“Forget that shit, Connor…you can’t just…” Hank gestured at the screen of his computer. The final shot of the ejaculate-stained camera lingered. Hank slapped the mouse as he clicked out of it, shutting off the monitor with a shaky finger as well.

When he turned back to Connor, he didn’t look him in the eye. His cheekbones were pink and his face sagged a bit.

Embarrassment? Shame? Regret?

Connor hadn’t meant for Hank to feel any of those things! Not in the least! He’d thought—well…he hadn’t really thought at all, he’d just…wanted…or…

He opened his mouth, reaching out one hand for no reason. If only he could explain himself then Hank wouldn’t have to feel ashamed. If he could just give a perfectly logical recount of events—if he could tell Hank that he knew masturbation was a normal part of the human experience. That he hadn’t considered it a dirty thing or a wrong thing, just a…new thing. And that he had so many questions—so much more he wanted to know—

“Think you’d better go, Connor. Now.”

His neural network registered the fact that something serious had just happened. Hank was upset. With him. Because of this. Not the normal level of confused or distant, either. Actually upset. Angry.

…No. That’s not…Connor dropped his hand, his face falling as he wished he could erase the past ten minutes or so. Reverse the direction of time the same way he reversed the reconstruction of a crime scene. Somehow wipe away that look from Hank’s face.

“Lieutenant….Hank, I—”

“I said get out,” Hank snapped. “Leave.”

There was no room for discussion. Not when Hank was like this. Connor hated the idea of leaving him to his own discomfort—hated the idea of leaving in general, but he was out of options.

They had work the next day. Maybe in eight hours Hank would have calmed down.

“…Alright. I’ll go.” Connor turned his back and began walking. Something in his core made him stop and bid a final goodbye, “See you tomorrow, lieutenant.”

Hank didn’t say anything.

By this point, Sumo had woken from his slumber and was ambling toward Connor. Ready for a pet or a treat (since Connor had taken to giving Sumo treats  whenever he saw him, a further detriment to his horrendously unhealthy diet, but a pleasant experience that made Sumo more amenable to Connor’s presence). Connor touched the treat in his suit pocket, but decided it would be better if he just left.

So he did. Trying his best to ignore the confused, downtrodden look on Sumo’s face as he closed the door. As well as his own bitter uncertainty.

He headed back to the police station. Swatting away phantom warnings for the next eight hours.

________________________________________________

The following morning, Hank arrived at the police station around 11 o’clock. Later than usual, closer to the time he used to arrive back before they became partners. Connor sat at his desk perusing files relevant to their case, trying not to check the clock every five seconds. Ignoring even more warnings that snuck into his vision each minute Hank was not there.

This was bad.

Connor knew he’d made a mistake. Possibly a terrible one. But he couldn’t work on fixing it unless Hank was there. He was powerless to change anything by himself. That made him uneasy and irritable.

Finally Hank showed. Unshaven and groggy. Smelling faintly of beer, and thus giving away the contents of his breakfast. He grumbled faint greetings to a handful of officers. There were no quips or jabs. Just the barebones of pleasantry.

Connor shifted anxiously in his seat. Pretending to be focused on his computer screen only.

Hank slid into his chair without a word. He sucked his teeth as he turned on his monitor. Saying nothing to his partner.

It hadn’t been like this between them in quite some time. A gnawing sense of dread prickled the inside of Connor’s throat. Like he’d just swallowed something by mistake.

He didn’t want to go back to being distant with Hank. Hostile, or even neutral. They’d been friends for a long time.

…Was that ruined now? All because of those ten minutes in Hank’s house?

No. Connor’s LED flashed red, humming in anxiety. No he didn’t want that.

“Good morning, lieutenant,” Connor offered with forced cheer.

“Mmm.” Not a word, barely even a sound.

…Right. They were definitely on bad terms. Connor risked a glance at Hank and found the they still weren’t making eye contact. Hank was just clicking away on his computer. A few minutes later he got up to make himself a cup of coffee.

Bitterness soured Connor’s chest cavity. Normally, he was the one who got Hank his morning cup of coffee. But today, Hank hadn’t even asked. That privilege had just been taken from him.

What other privileges had Connor lost after last night? He didn’t even want to think about. Was he still allowed to go out for drinks with Hank? To watch basketball games in Hank’s house? …To go to Hank’s house at all?

Losing that privilege would be a cutting blow. Enough to make Connor’s LED flash red for the rest of the morning as he thought about it.

“Anderson. Connor. My office.”

Fowler called them in only to give them yet another case. A second homicide. Now they were practically swimming in work. So much to do. Without needing to speak about anything other evidence, (Connor wondered if Fowler could sense the tension between them, or if he even cared), Hank and Connor worked through a series of crime scenes. Some witness questioning. Standard stuff. At least this—working without any need for banter or extraneous conversation—was untouched. They were still an efficient team.

Very fortunate. Otherwise Connor might have needed to take the matter to their higher-ups. And that would have been disastrous on a variety of levels.

When it turned 5:00 (quitting time, Hank never failed to point out), the day was finished. Hank and Connor were in the car together heading back to the station. All they needed to do was hand in their reports. Then they were free to go.

It would be time for another night. A night where Connor did not know where he stood. He could stay in the police station tonight, of course, but…Hank was going home. And Connor wasn’t allowed.

…Was he?

Probably not.

But maybe they could just pretend like nothing happened…?

Connor wanted to go back to their normal rhythm so badly. But nothing in his coding—in his response network or in his core—could tell him how to get there. He was caught between a series of unfamiliar norms and desperate wants.

The free will he’d been given was sometimes more of a burden than anything. That had never been clearer than it was right now.

Hank sighed loudly. Exhaling into the quiet space of the car. “So. What.” He was being indirect, but his meaning was clear. He kept his gaze forward.

“…What?” Connor knew they were about to talk about it, but he hadn’t worked through what to say. Or, not in any cohesive order.

“Heh.” A wry smile wrinkled Hank’s face. “You’ve been in the red there all day, Connor. Hard not to notice.”

Connor absentmindedly touched his LED. Of course. Everyone must have seen that he was on edge today.

“So, are you going to tell me what’s on your mind?” Hank stretched his arm to drive with his wrist. Another bad habit of his.

But Connor saw it for what it was. An attempt at normalcy. He appreciated it greatly. Clung to it.

“I’m…sorry, Hank. First of all.” He was speaking softly. Not for any real reason. They were alone together in the car. “I’m sorry for what happened.”

Hank clicked his tongue. Clearly bothered. He rubbed his chin with the back of his hand. A self-conscious move. But he forged through, “Sorry, huh. Yeah. I bet.”

“Yes. I realize what I did was inappropriate. A breach of boundaries, obviously. I should have…” Connor turned his face toward the window. “As soon as I realized what was happening, I should have left. I know that. I…wish I had.”

The truth was Connor did not wish that. He didn’t wish that at all. He was glad he’d seen it. He’d been thinking about it the whole day, and the whole night before. Hank’s body stretched taut in pleasure. His sweat smell. His…wet. The line of his cock, hard and red and angry. Aroused. Seeking urgent attention.

If anything, Connor wished he had seen even more.

In some ways the urge made sense to him. For one thing, the RK800 model was not built with sexual parts. Connor did not come equipped with a phallus, testicles, or a rectum of his own. Most androids were built sexless in the factory. Owners had the option of selecting genitalia as an add-on when they placed their order, but the default option was the standard smooth white pubic mound and a functionally sized buttocks. Androids built for sexual purposes were the exception, of course, as were androids meant to be personal companions. Although that was a relatively new concept before the rebellion. Mail-order spouses were no longer a thing.

Connor, of course, had no need for any kind of sexual function. Every part of him was prioritized for detective work. Nothing about genitalia was necessary for that. So he didn’t have the parts that Hank had—he didn’t even know if he had the processing capacity to experience sexual pleasure. He wouldn’t know how to elicit that kind of response in himself if he did. The most sensitized places on his body were not the typical erogenous zones; his hands were the part of him that received the most sensory stimulation. By far. He connected with other androids through his hands. So that was a necessary function. Other than that? Connor didn’t know where—or what—he could feel. If anything.

So.

Watching Hank endure an orgasmic experience, at his own hands no less, sparked an endless curiosity in Connor. He wanted to know everything. How it happened, what it looked like, what it felt like. And he couldn’t test any of it on his own.

He needed Hank for that.

Maybe that’s why his instinct drive had malfunctioned so horribly when he walked in on him. It was his programmed thirst for information, manifesting at the worst of times.

That must be the explanation.

…But how could he make Hank understand that? Especially when Hank seemed so disgruntled over the idea that he’d been seen at all.

There was no way. Connor figured he was better off just apologizing and trying to forget the whole thing.

“So I’m sorry. Really.” He looked back at Hank. “We don’t ever have to talk about it again. If you don’t want to.”

He was met with a curious glance from Hank. Like the hard-boiled detective was trying to work something out. Hank looked at him a few separate times, his eyes bouncing between the windshield and Connor’s sincere face.

It took him a while to say anything. Connor folded his hands in his lap while he waited.

“Hmm.” Hank rolled his shoulders and checked the rearview mirror needlessly. “You know, it’s not that big of a deal. Guys do it all the time—”

“I know.” Connor had to interrupt.

Hank threw him a disapproving look. Maybe Connor had said that too fast and it came off suspicious. Still, Hank continued. “So it’s not the end of the world that you…saw. Or…whatever. Really doesn’t mean anything.”

That information contradicted everything that had happened the night before. Hank seemed so upset when he found Connor there! He hadn’t been able to look him in the eye all day! That pointed to a serious underlying implication about what they’d done. Not only that, but it had certainly been a big deal for Connor. He didn’t even need to question that.

“It—”

It meant something to me, I think.

No, he shouldn’t say that. Adult human men didn’t talk about their feelings like this. Especially not when it came to sexual experiences.

Sex, Connor was discovering these past twenty-four hours, was a complicated matter. Humans were cautious in how much they revealed to each other about their sex habits. Connor didn’t know why, but now was not the right time to ask.

So instead he just said, “…Of course.”

Hank narrowed his eyes and glanced at him again. Eventually, he shrugged. “Guess we don’t have to talk about it then.”

“…Good.” That was good, right? They could move on. Go back to normal.

Or, at least they should—no, they had to. Connor needed to know they could.

“Can we still be friends?”

At that, Hank whipped around to face him. He braked too hard and caused the driver behind them to honk in irritation, setting off a chain reaction of honks and half-shouted swear words.

Connor watched the exchange with trepidation. Hank still hadn’t answered him.

Only after Hank flipped off the driver in the rearview mirror did he turn back to Connor. “Yeah. We’re still friends, kid. For better or worse. …Fuck’s sake.”

Finally. It felt as if all the processing energy he used to power his biocomponents had been diverted to his neural network. And his sensory processors. Sight and sound. Waiting for Hank to say they could go on as they were. Waiting and waiting, needing to hear it—

His LED returned to a calm blue for the first time that day. He sat back in his seat and reorganized his directives. Reconciling with Hank was complete. Now he needed to figure out his plans for the rest of the evening.

Another smile graced Hank’s lips. This one was a little softer. “Only thing now is to wait for all this weird shit to pass. Yeah. Gonna be weird for a while. But that’s pretty much it.”

Connor frowned. “Weird how?”

Hank gestured in between them. “Weird like…this.”

Connor nodded. He understood what Hank was referring to. “I see. And how do we…fix that?”

“We don’t.” Hank grinned ironically. “Just gotta ride it out.”

“Oh.”

That earned a dry laugh. “Sucks, huh? Yep. Humans aren’t great with awkward shit, I’ll tell you that.”

Even so, Hank made a sudden left turn. Down the main highway towards exit 25. In the direction of Jimmy’s Bar.

“But getting drunk might help. At least it’ll help me.” Hank was speaking with his usual ease now. Refreshed with the promise of a cold drink awaiting him in the near future.

Connor nodded. Of course he had a million objections—Hank shouldn’t rely on alcohol to get him through a difficult situation; they should just go home and eat a healthy dinner; once the alcohol left his system they’d be in the exact same place; Hank was only hurting himself in the long run.

But. For the moment, Connor was perfectly content to keep all those to himself. Jimmy’s Bar was a regular (if not quite so positive) thing. Regular things felt good right now.

Chapter Text

Of course Hank got scathingly drunk at Jimmy’s that night. Not obliterated—not to the point that Connor needed to carry him to the car or anything—but enough that Connor insisted they take a self-driving taxi home. Hank didn’t even argue with him on that, just ambled into the car and promptly fell asleep.

Connor supposed that in the past Hank used to pass out at the bar and then wake up in the morning around 6:00 when the bar closed. Dragging his feet to the police station, still semi-drunk and belligerent. That didn’t happen now, of course. Connor always went out with Hank to get drinks. He would never let Hank fall asleep at the bar if his blood alcohol content got too high.

Besides, Hank didn’t really let himself get blackout anymore. Not that Connor had seen. When they went out, they mostly talked to each other about the day or recent news. Or, Hank talked to the others around them (criminals, friends of his) and Connor interjected curiously every so often. Actually Connor liked a lot of the people they knew in spite of their criminal records.

To put a point on it, everyone was a deviant these days. Connor had learned not to use someone’s criminal record as a measure of who they were.

People changed. Hank had changed since Connor met him. He smiled more. He drank less. He worked harder. He didn’t hate androids anymore either. Nor did he hate the idea of the future, infused with unwavering fear, like he used to.

Sometimes people changed for the better.

…Connor had changed too. Since his activation. He didn’t even really know all the ways yet.

In the car on the way back to the house, Hank’s head slid onto Connor’s shoulder as he slept. Completely by accident. The third left on the most direct route to the house was a bit tight. Always. But now Hank was sleeping on him. Unaware, mouth open, face slack.

Connor was so relieved to see that face. For most of the day he’d thought he’d never see it again, not with Hank holding a grudge against what happened the other night. But they’d managed to make peace with each other. An uneasy, awkward kind of peace.

Still, Connor would take it. He looked down at Hank’s slumbering face and smiled. This was a privilege, being able to see his partner (friend) unguarded like this. It made Connor…happy.

Happy—the feeling when the directives from his response network aligned with his primal drive. A sense of completion. Like everything was in order and all his objectives were met. Happiness. It was a good feeling.

Without thinking, he raised his hand to tuck some of Hank’s hair behind his ear. To stroke the side of his face with one thumb. Connor’s database told him that humans used physical contact as a way of expressing appreciation, friendliness, and to make each other more comfortable. All things Connor would like to do for Hank.

But then he remembered the other night. Hank in front of his computer… …Well, humans used physical contact for other things, too.

So Connor dropped his hand. He didn’t want to breach any more boundaries if he didn’t have to. Instead, he gently moved Hank back to his own side of the car.

Physical contact… Connor stared at his own hands. His sense of touch worked, of course, as part of his sensory processing system. But did it work like Hank’s, like all humans’? Could he…?

To be fair, Connor had never actually tested it. He knew pain; when they first activated him at CyberLife, they tested his senses to the extreme to find his threshold and collect baseline data. He remembered that too well; the pain, the sense of screaming in his gut, the fracturing of his sight as his body began to break down. The purpose of the test was to realign his sensors until Connor felt nothing. (Amanda explained that it wasn’t efficient for androids to feel pain like humans, but it was efficient for them to be adverse to harm. So they programmed him with the fear of pain and Connor would never forget it.)

But pleasure…?

CyberLife hadn’t tested him for that. Since there was no predictable future where Connor would need to experience it.

The future was often hard to predict, though.

“You have arrived at your destination,” the car informed them, opening the doors on the right side.

“Wake up, Hank.” Connor was speaking softer than he should. At that volume, Hank would never hear him.

Maybe Connor didn’t want him to wake up just yet.

Saying nothing else—willfully giving up—Connor hoisted Hank onto his shoulder and carried him into the house. (This time it was locked. Maybe Hank had learned his lesson last time.) Everything was quiet and dark. Sumo ambled over to him listlessly. It was bit late even for the dog.

Connor laid Hank down on his bed and removed his shoes. He thought about fighting him out of his coat, but there was a 78% chance Hank would wake up if he did that. Only to be aggravated again about Connor’s breach of boundaries (“The fuck you taking off my clothes for?” Pre-constructed). So he decided against it.

Hank slumbered on. Connor stood over him for a moment and just…observed. That smell—stale sweat and the kind of musk a human man carried after twenty-plus hours without a shower. Beer, the sharp smell of hops and alcohol. Also the brand of deodorant Hank always used. All of that was Hank’s smell. Forwards and backwards.

Connor had smelled it so many times before. Why was it just now making his internal body temperature begin to rise? 4 degrees and counting. Why was it making Connor feel like he needed to run a diagnostic on his thirium levels—he was hyper aware of the blue blood inside of him. Like it could feel. He wasn’t sure what thirium was capable of feeling (nothing, from a scientific perspective), but. Connor could feel it.

He was lightheaded. Maybe he needed to run a diagnostic after all…

Before he left, Connor’s eyes grazed over the lopsided bulge in between Hank’s legs. He knew—

Not giving his neural network time to process the thought, Connor exited the bedroom. Square shoulder, precise movements. Just the basic operations. He closed the door behind himself.

Without knowing why, Connor went into the bathroom. He normally never had a need for this room. But at the moment he was not brave enough to go into the living room. His body was already operating irregularly and he knew that seeing the computer chair again—that monitor, that desk—would only make it worse.

He turned the lights on and stood in the middle of room. Unsure what he should do. His response network was so, so painfully slow. Right now his only directives were the perfunctory, irrelevant ones. Find someplace to spend the night. Go over case files. File report. He needed to shove all of those to the side and concentrate on his processing program right now. That was the primary issue.

He caught sight of himself in the mirror. Nothing about his face or body looked any different than it normally did. Everything strange was happening on the inside. And the only warnings his programming could detect were the differences in temperature.

All the other irregularities…a thrumming directive he couldn’t explain in words that lingered in all the corners of his body; a sense that his body simply could not operate all of its biocomponents, his thirium too hot or too cold or too sluggish to power them; his hands twitching every three seconds (a bug in his system) with the need to touch something…all of these irregularities were not things he was programmed to deal with.

Maybe this was how Hank felt. Right before he knew he needed to…

Experimentally—not entirely convinced that he was actually doing anything at all—Connor touched the fingertips of his right hand to the skin on the back of his left. Yes, he could feel sensation there. But it felt like nothing. Within the usual threshold. He rubbed his fingers back and forth, having no idea what to expect. What he was hoping for. Of course, there was nothing out of the ordinary in a touch like that.

Looking at his face in the mirror, Connor brought his fingertips to his cheek. He stroked them downwards, wondering if that might trigger another reaction. Or if it would quell the restlessness underneath his skin.

But there was nothing. He trailed his fingers up across his eyebrows—he hadn’t touched this part of himself before, and he was surprised to find out how soft the hair was in that place, feathery—and down around his eyes. Still nothing. He pressed harder, then softer. His body registered the touch. That’s all.

He dragged all five fingers down his neck. It was a strange feeling—it made him recoil a bit. When he repeated the movement though, it didn’t have the same effect. It was just another sensation. So he went lower. Just underneath the collar of his CyberLife suit. Right beneath where his tie usually sat. The hollow of his throat.

He thought to use his fingernails a little. Softly at first, then harder…he could feel it more, but it didn’t make his body respond in any other way.

His blood was starting to return to its normal capacities. The moment was passing.

Connor stared at his hand curiously. He hadn’t accomplished anything, really. Maybe that was for the better. If he pushed this—whatever this was—who knew what would happen to him.

Although there was one last thing he wanted to try…

He unbuckled his pants (a task he’d done on occasions when his clothes needed to be cleaned, but there was never any other reason). He remembered Hank with his hand down his pants—straining, grunting, sweating, enthralled by the pleasure, oblivious to anything else. Keeping that imagine in his mind, Connor slid his hand inside and felt the sleek, smooth mound of his pubic plate.

There was nothing for him to fist or squeeze the way Hank had done, but he considered pressing. He rubbed the heel of his hand against himself. Registering sensations in a place that had never experienced anything before.

…In a swift rush, he realized his own foolishness. What was he doing? Trying to touch himself like a human? To what, feel some kind of pleasure? Even a fraction of what Hank had felt that night? Connor was unable to. It wasn’t in his programming. Thinking he could elicit a response like that was pointless. Like trying to run a new program on outdated software. Impossible.

Shaking his head in a mix of futility (and vague disappointment), Connor fixed his pants. He stood up a little straighter, fighting back the sense that he’d just wasted his time. His primal drive hated when he was inefficient with his time. It bothered him.

Checking his clothes in the mirror—nothing out of place—he went into the living room. He looked over at the computer chair, but there were no more irregularities in his system. It was done.

He sat on the couch. He’d already synced himself with all the electronics in the apartment. With a blink, he turned the television on. He watched the first thing that came up, a fantasy cartoon about a witch who stole children and cooked them into stew. There was no dialogue. Just childishly grotesque images, scenery, grunts and growls.

Connor found it disturbing.

…Just when he thought he understood a little more about the human psyche, something else appeared that cast all his beliefs into doubt.

______________________________________________

Things went back to normal.

…Mostly. Work at least was completely normal.

Little things were still off. A glance that lingered too long. An accidental touch that Hank would apologize for when he had no need. Silence cropped up out of nowhere. There were sudden tiny moments when the space between them filled with memories of that night.

The time they spent alone together was the most awkward. Connor still showed up at Hank’s house to watch TV. They watched basketball games and hockey games. Movies Connor couldn’t decipher the purpose of no matter how many times Hank tried to explain. Some movies that he liked.

The problem was…the distance. Not the emotional distance; Connor had more or less accepted the fact that human emotions were far out of his reach (increasingly as of late).

No. The physical distance.

Wherever they sat, on the couch together or on separate chairs, it didn’t matter. Connor was hyperaware of that distance every time. His cursory functions calculated the distance down to the last centimeter and Connor ruminated on it. The space. The space where Hank was and was not.

He wanted to…

Connor twisted his head so that Hank was not in his peripheral vision. That didn’t work. He still wanted to…

Even if it was just a little bit, he wanted to…

…look.

He wanted to look at Hank. Not just sitting there. He wanted to watch Hank masturbate again. Up close, where he wouldn’t miss any data. Right in front of his face.

He wanted to know. The persist need to know drove Connor insane. If he couldn’t feel, he wanted to see.

Against his better judgement, Connor would sneak glances at Hank from the corner of his eye. He would conjure the memory of Hank that night, red in the face and grunting. His penis (humans had so many words for their sexual organs, Connor wondered what Hank called his own). Bare and hard. So hard! From Connor’s estimations, Hank grew at least three inches in length when he was aroused.

Fascinating.

Connor also wanted other kinds of data. He wanted to taste—of course, how could he not. But there was also a part of him that wanted to feel…what would Hank’s skin feel like when it was flushed? What about his chest, the hair underneath his shirt? The soft, pliant parts of his face? His beard? …And his cock? What would it feel like in Connor’s hand? In his mouth? In—

Just…in.

If only Hank were an android, things would be so much easier. Connor could sync with him and then they’d know each other. Simply and thoroughly. All their memories shared. All their feelings understood. An intimate connection. The feeling of occupying the same space for a limitless amount of virtual time, in reality only a few moments.

Connor wanted to…he wanted that connection with Hank. To know and understand at a point beyond words.

Yes. He wanted it. He’d been wanting it for a while, and ever since he’d seen Hank masturbating, his desire had grown exponentially. 

He wanted to sync with Hank.

But obviously humans couldn’t sync. They talked and they fucked. Unfortunately Connor wasn’t capable of adequately doing either of those things.

So he indulged himself in fantasies when the desire became too great. Things he’d like to do but never would. Resting his head on Hank’s knee while the man jerked himself. Using his mouth to explore the full length of his cock. His balls and behind…tasting everything.  All Hank’s intimate data—the things only sex would reveal.

Things Connor couldn’t have.

He stole more glances than he should. Sometimes he didn’t even say anything when they were sitting too close to each other. Didn’t try to move away.

…Once, neither did Hank.

“You trying to calculate how much longer I got left to live or what.”

Connor blinked rapidly. He was sitting on the couch next to Hank. A news report was running blithely in the background, but Connor hadn’t heard a word. He was too busy reconstructing his own memories.

But this was real. Hank had just asked him a question.

“What?”

Hank downed the rest of his beer. Only his first of the night. “Cut the shit, Connor. You’re giving me that weird look.”

It was very feasible that Hank had noticed Connor’s staring. In fact he’d made eye contact with him once or twice—which had ended in awkward shifting and pointed glances in the opposite direction.

This was just the first time Hank had ever brought it up aloud. And he wasn’t even drunk.

Connor averted his eyes towards the television. “If my face appears strange in some way, it is not intentional.”

“…Uh-huh.” Hank rolled his empty beer bottle between his hands. After another moment (one of those moments, when things weren’t quite right), he ambled to his feet and announced, “I’m getting another beer.”

Connor stayed stock still. He was getting sloppy. He needed to keep his staring to a minimum or else Hank would suspect…honestly, he probably already did suspect the truth. Couldn’t they both feel the weight of that night, even though Hank had said it didn’t mean anything? The aftermath—the stuff Hank said would pass in time—was still there.

Connor was keeping it alive by staring. By thinking about it so much. He couldn’t even go a day without at least turning over the desire in his head.

When Hank returned with another cold beer, he seemed different. He popped the cap and took a large pull from the can. Thoughtful. That’s what his face looked like when he was contemplating something.

On the news, a story came up about an android who had recently filed for divorce. The first of probably many androids who had been in nonconsensual relationships, or who simply fell out with their partner. The problem was the legal recognition of androids’ will. An old issue made prominent because of the circumstances. In cases like these, intention and reasoning were the only things a judge would accept.

Hank shook his head as they watched. He made some comments under his breath, like “toaster don’t want to toast your bread no more. Gotta live with it,” and “always a problem with those divorce lawyers. Bastards."

When the story was finished, the news turned to commercials. Connor hadn’t said anything yet and he wasn’t planning on it.

“You know it’s funny,” Hank began, this time in a louder voice. Clear and planned out. “Back when this all started, I used to think I’d never understand the way you guys think. Androids.”

He turned to Connor with a small twinkle in his eye. He was smiling a bit.

(Connor loved that face, that expression. More than Hank’s other ones.)

“Didn’t even think you guys had feelings, honestly. How could you, right?” He shrugged whimsically. “But now, well yeah, of course. I get it. And actually…I think I’m starting to understand a lot more about what’s going on inside your head.”

“Androids are designed to have thought patterns similar to humans to a certain extent—” Connor started, before Hank interrupted him.

“I’m talking about you, Connor. I understand more about how you think. Not all androids. Just you.” He let that sink in.

Connor didn’t know what to say. “….Oh.”

“Yeah.” Hank took another pull from his beer. He grimaced as some of the carbonation bubbled back up in his throat. “What I’m saying is, I can tell that there’s something going on up there Connor. In your head. Right now. And for a while, I guess.”

Staying quiet, Connor realized his predicament. He couldn’t lie anymore. Hank knew about the stares—and he wanted to talk about them.

A discussion that would only end badly for Connor. Since the truth was burning up inside him and he didn’t know how to hide it. Not with Hank asking him such direct, unavoidable questions…

“So start talking,” Hank commanded in that lazy way he had. Lazy but stubborn. “Let’s get it out there. What do you want to say?”

Connor was out of time. He needed to decide his approach.

1. Truthful, blunt? I’ve been imaging you masturbating yourself.

2. Lie? I’ve been thinking about the case, Hank. (Low chance of success)

3. Prevaricate? Actually, it’s not that I have something to ‘say….’

Those were his only options. Torn, Connor walked the middle path and chose to prevaricate.

“Actually, it’s not so much that I have something to ‘say.’ More like…” He glanced at Hank with a quizzical expression on his face. “…There’s something I want to ask.”

Hank nodded slowly. “Okay…”

“Well, to be honest,” Connor was inching towards the truth anyway. “There’s more than one thing. I have a lot of questions, Lieutenant. All of them are…personal, in nature.”

“Personal, huh?” Hank scowled like he did when he was angry, forcing himself through it. “Should have guessed.”

Right. Now was the part where Connor shut his mouth and they both moved on. That was the best course of action. When he pushed, Hank very often shutdown. He’d learned that much—

“Well are you going to ask them or just sit there?”

That…was surprising. Hank looked like he was bursting at the seams, with anger but also impatience. And incredulity. Connor hadn’t been expecting that. From what he could see, Hank really wanted to know.

Neural network suspended in time, primal drive obsessed with his own insatiable questions, response network too frazzled to be of any use, Connor proceeded.

“It’s about that night.”

Hank’s face sagged into its usual shape. He scratched part of the label off his beer and said nothing.

Maybe Connor needed to clarify. “…That night we don’t talk about—”

“I know which night you mean, Connor. For fuck’s sake.

Of course Hank knew. The weight of that night—the same thick, hot air they’d suffered through when Connor watched him and when Hank realized (too late) that he was being watched—settled. Connor’s thirium began to…react. He thought he could feel his blood moving. Prickly and strangely alert.

Eager.

Connor wanted to ask so badly. His eyes were wide, mouth slightly open. But he was still trying to read his partner—what did Hank feel about any of this?

“So. Go ahead.”

Connor could hardly believe his ears. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah.” Hank nodded and leaned back against the couch. He’d given Connor a cutting glance before, but now he seemed…resigned. There was no hint of shame or regret. Embarrassment, yes. Perhaps a little. But Hank was doing a good job trying to hide it. “If you’ve been thinking about all that for this long, then…you should just ask already. Fuck it.”

That drove Connor to launch into the tirade of truths he’d been trying to bury ever since that night. If Hank had resigned himself, part of him already accepted these questions. He might even give answers.

…Greedy.

Connor was greedy at the prospect of that.

“Well, you see. I was programmed with a basic understanding of human psycho-sexual behaviors. For example, I know that sexual release can have all kinds of benefits on the human psyche and physiology. You’re less likely to feel frustrated or angry after an orgasm. Your body’s natural instinct has been sated—”

“Yeah, I passed ninth grade biology, thanks.” Hank took a swig from his beer. Covering up his embarrassment with boredom. “And I was thirteen once, so I figured all that out. Get to the point.”

Conceding, Connor nodded. “But knowing the facts doesn’t make it any easier.”

This was the part he had trouble explaining.

“Doesn’t make what easier?”

“I…can’t…” Connor’s response network clouded with insecurity. Instructions to stop, even though he didn’t want to. “I can’t feel what you felt, Hank. Experiences like that aren’t part of my software. So I don’t know anything about it, really.”

A shimmer of slow understanding passed over Hank’s eyes. He leaned back in his seat, eyeing Connor as if seeing him for the first time. Gradually a frown appeared, creasing his brow and making Hank forget about his drink for a moment.

Connor tracked his line of sight. For a split second, Hank glanced at Connor’s lower half. Narrowing his eyes. As if trying to see what was there…

A tremor ran down Connor’s spine. Another bug. He would offer to show Hank if Hank wanted to see—Connor had no shame in that, his parts were his parts and he would never deny Hank that kind of access. In fact, more than marginally, he wanted him to see…to understand. Once Hank saw then maybe he would know why Connor was so pitifully curious.

He turned his body to face him. Deftly tucking his ankle under his knee, giving Hank a better view of Connor had going on between his legs. 

Hank kept staring. Right there. Connor’s thirium pump seemed to stutter in his chest. Warning signals appeared in his peripheral vision but he swatted them away without a second thought.

His toes curled into the carpet. Hanks piercing blue eyes were like a weight on top of him. Heavy. Fracturing him. Confused. Trying to figure him out.

Connor touched his belt buckle without thinking. He had such a strange desire to unfasten his pants and show Hank whatever he wanted to see…he wanted to devour the look on Hank’s face as it dawned him just what Connor was.

He wanted to see if there were any signs of arousal when he did it. So far there were known. Just sedated interest.

When Hank saw where Connor’s hand was, his reverie soundly broke. He blinked and shook his head. His eyes came back up to meet Connors. “You mean you….” but he trailed off.

Ask it, Connor said inside his mind. He wished they were synced and Hank could hear him….

“You’ve never…?” Hank face twisted into deep confusion. The words were there without needing to be spoken.

“…No,” Connor replied softly. “I’ve never….anything.”

The truth. Admitted in scrambled output.

But once it was out there, Hank’s heart rate sped up considerably. An impossible to miss sign that he was—

A series of illogical instructions bombarded Connor’s neural network. He wanted to take Hank in his arms. To press their bodies together and…something. To feel his solid frame against Connor’s own.

Sync.

Sync.

Since he couldn’t, his response network was coming up with all kinds of weird directives. Undress and touch. Show him your insides, the wires, the biocomponents. Make him look. Make him want…

But Hank didn’t want to see his biocomponents? Of course not. What human would? Especially Hank who once said he wanted to take a match to all androids and—

There were too many instructions. None of them made any sense. Overwhelmed, Connor had no choice but to temporarily minimize his response network by 50%. Weed out some of the demands that pressed against his processing and made him feel like he was about to combust.

Hank stuck out his chin, defiantly perplexed. “I thought all androids were built with some kind of…stuff. So you can, you know. Like the ones at the Eden Club and the ones in relationships—"

Connor shook his head. “That kind of usage was deemed unnecessary for the RK model. I’m not programed to have any kind of sexual desire or to even ponder the subject for anything other than criminal motive in psychoanalysis.”

He blinked. “But I…am. I am thinking about it because I’m…deviant.”

At that, Hank nodded. “Hmm, yeah.” He closed his eyes for a moment, like he did when he was absorbing new information. “Seems like a shit move on their part.” He took a slow sip of his beer. “They gave you all that processing power but not enough to enjoy the good stuff. Jesus.”

With his response network frozen by a large margin, Connor just sat in silence. Waiting for further instructions. His primal drive was still very focused on continuing the conversation.

“But if that’s what’s going on,” Hank shifted until he was sitting the same way as Connor. Facing him. “Then, I get it. Makes sense. Of course you’ve got questions if you… So, ask away."

Happiness filtered through Connor’s system. There, in a small way, he was understood! Hank could see where his curiosity came from.

He was willing to help.

A facsimile of a smile tugged at Connor’s lips. He wanted to ask everything—to tell Hank every single thought that had been going through his head—

“Better do it fast, before I change my mind.” Hank was taking healthy swigs from his drink now.

Right. Get straight to the point. “How often do you masturbate?”

Hank sighed tightly, but he was true to his word. He answered. “Eh, not all that much these days. Used to do it all the time but…things change.”

Connor nodded. Yes, research showed sex drive sharply decreased in men over fifty.

He correctly deduced that he didn’t need to say that out loud.

“Actually I hadn’t done it in months. Never seemed worth it. But, gotta happen sometime.” Hank shrugged. “I’m a piece of shit and I’m old as fuck but I’m still a man. That’s how it is.”

“I…”

I thought you were beautiful when you were touching yourself.

I had never seen anything before that made me want.

I’d give anything to see it again.

Keeping those thoughts unspoken reminded Connor of pain. But he didn’t know if he was allowed to say them. They were more personal than anything he’d ever said before. And it was…unclear.

So he stayed silent. Hank waited, but when it was obvious that Connor wasn’t going to finish, he kept going. “Guess you’re just lucky, Connor. Happened to walk in at the right time. How about that.” He emptied his beer down his throat.

Perhaps that was true. Probability on his side. But, Connor still had so many questions. “How did you realize you wanted to engage in self-pleasure? What triggered it?”

“That’s…” The right side of Hank’s face tightened. “…a complicated thing, kid.”

“Was it the pornography?” Connor’s voice was as soft as it could be.

“No. That helps it along, but it’s not why…” Hank curled his lips inwards. “It’s…it could be a lot of things. Sometimes it’s just because you’re bored. You don’t have anything else to do and it sounds like fun. And then sometimes you just…” He shrugged both his shoulders. “…feel it.”

“…I see.” A slow response. Connor mulled it over in his head.

There was a need inside Hank. Something that drove him to distraction until he felt like he wanted to give himself a release.

Connor wanted to feel that need. In Hank; he wanted to touch that need. Make it feel, make it…better. In himself; he wanted to share it.

“You know it’s pretty hard to explain all this if you’ve never…” Hank frowned again, but he wasn’t angry. He looked more concerned than anything.

The concern of a friend. Or…closer. The place closer than friendship. Family. Or… But what was that, even? Connor hadn’t been programmed for anything more—

Hank leaned forward. Alarmed in his disbelief. “Have you really…? I mean you’ve never even tried?”

“I’ve tried.” Connor looked down at his hands. He remembered his futile attempt from the other night. “But it was nothing like what you’re describing.”

“You…” Hank’s eyes volleyed all over Connor’s clothed body. As frantic as they were puzzled. “…you’ve touched yourself before?”

“Yes. Once. In the bathroom. It did not yield any noteworthy results.”

“In the bathr—my bathroom? Right over there?” Hank pointed to it.

“Yes.” Connor blinked. “I’m sorry if that was another breach of boundaries—”

“No, no, it’s…fine, whatever, but…” Hank’s hands waved impatiently. At a loss for anything. “…What did you do? How did you try? If you don’t have…?”

“My body is very capable of experiencing physical sensation. I am equipped with feedback sensors in my skin that send information to my neural network. So, in your bathroom the other night, when you were asleep,” Lay out all the facts. “I attempted to elicit an erotic response by interacting with the sensors I am accustomed to. It did not work.”

“Yeah sure, but…” Hank shook his head in continued bewilderment. “How did you…interact with them? Like what were you doing?”

“I just…touched.” Connor didn’t know how else to explain.

Yet another instance where he wished they could link their programming. How could humans stand all this ambiguity?

Hank stared at him for a long, unwavering moment. Not at his body. No, right in the eye. He held Connor’s gaze with deadly seriousness. Reading him, trying to see what was going on behind his eyes. Connor did not know what kind of information Hank was getting. He couldn’t register anything concrete passing between them. But he wasn’t about to turn away, either. His instincts told him to stay very still.

So he did. He stared back. Trying to come up with a theory for what Hank was thinking. How he felt about all this. This was android stuff, after all. Science and technology. Beyond any kind of boundary they’d half-assedly attempted to keep.

Then, Hank made it clear. “Show me.”

The LED on the side of Connor’s head flashed yellow.

Undaunted—suddenly set, without any fraction of doubt in his face—Hank just leaned back against the arm of the couch. “Go ahead. Do it again for me, exactly like you did it that time. Wanna see how this works for you.”

An intense pulse of unfiltered desire hit Connor. Somewhere in his primal drive, or his stomach. The wires in his chest cavity and also his hands, his face, his arms, his legs. Everywhere.

He wanted to show Hank what he’d done the other night. Even though he hadn’t succeeded in…

“Come on, you owe me one, don’t you?” A smart smirk teased Hank’s lips. “You got to see me doing it. So this just makes us even. Sound fair?”

Oh, egalitarianism. Of course. An essential part of Hank’s personality.

“But, Lieutenant.” Connor wanted to be as upfront as possible. “I just told you it didn’t work for me. At all.”

“Doesn’t matter.” Hank got comfortable in his seat. “Show me anyway.”

It didn’t take long for Connor to agree. Yes. For once, their desires seemed to compatible. Connor’s desperate need to expound on this entire experience, Hank’s desire to get even. Or maybe, to watch.

If that’s what he wanted.

“…Alright.”

Connor didn’t know if he should get closer or move further back. Better vantage point, or intimacy? Which was Hank after? In the end, he stayed where he was. His response network was operating at a point where external instructions were the highest priority. So, he just needed to do this.

Holding Hank’s gaze, Connor touched the back of his own hand. Slowly. He made little circles with his fingertips. He was just performing the movements by rote—the real point of his interest was Hank. The man’s eyes were wide, he was swallowing more frequently than usual. His heart had not slowed down since they started.

Was this (Connor futilely touching himself) exciting for Hank? Sexually, or…?

Difficult to say. Connor just kept going. He tilted his head to one side and stroked the side of his neck. It felt similar to his other attempt, but this time was more…important. Hank was watching. This wasn’t just Connor fumbling with his sensors in the bathroom, this was…them. Their bond, their understanding. Also, this was all because Hank wanted it.

Connor shivered slightly as his fingers grazed his throat. That was a little different than before.

Some warnings appeared. He ignored them all.

Opening his mouth—not for any reason—Connor dragged his fingers up to his own face. He brushed the outline of his cheeks. His forehead, his eyebrows. The small hairs seemed to quiver in response, a strange reading.

Hank licked his lips gratuitously. Fixated on Connor.

Joy weaved its way into Connor’s system. Incrementally, not all at once. Subtly at first then more rapidly.

Hank was enjoying this.

A smile rose to Connor’s lips. He wanted Hank to enjoy this. So much.

He wrapped a hand around his throat and dragged his nails across. It didn’t feel like much, but Hank’s breath grew heavy. He wasn’t quite panting, but he was close.

Validated by that, Connor trailed his hand down the length of his torso. Hank’s eyes followed that hand as if glued to it. Connor fiddled with his belt buckle, hoping that it would generate a reaction. He wasn’t disappointed. Hank’s breath caught in his thought and his thighs contracted.

There, Connor could see an outline of hardness. It drove his primal drive wild. He’d done it—with this alone! He’d managed to tap into Hank’s needs, to make him hard. To give him that same feeling he had right before he masturbated.

That. Thickening in the front of Hank’s pants. There it was

Connor’s tongue twitched. Yes, he knew what he wanted now. But not yet….not yet.

First, the truth. Connor undid his pants enough to fit one hand inside. He rolled his palm over the flat pubic mound, feeling nothing but the cursory sensations. However Hank had gone red in the face. Staring openly. Mouth trying to form words and failing.

Sliding his hand away, Connor spread the opening of his fly. Giving Hank a good look. 

When he saw it, Hank closed his eyes and dropped his head. “Jesus Christ.” His shaggy hair swayed as he shook his head over and over. “What the fuck would they do that for?”

Connor blinked. Displeased. Hank was displeased. To be fair, a genital-less crotch was far outside the realm of human experience. Trying to assess the situation, Connor fixed his pants and ran a quick analysis. Hank was still hard, but his heart rate had slowed. Arousal decreased.

Shit. Connor felt…

…regret. He shouldn’t have—

“Can you even feel anything at all with that?” Hank demanded, raising his head. Eyes squinted.

You already know I can’t.

Slowly, Connor shook his head. He held up his hands, showing Hank his left palm. It was time to get them back on track. Gently, he ran the fingers of his other hand down his palm. Letting Hank see the natural flutter of his eyelashes that happened in response.

“It’s better here,” Connor explained. He stroked the center of his palm. The sensors were most sensitive in his fingers and hand. The place where he analyzed evidence (well, there, and his tongue. The two places with the most feedback).

Hank took a deep breath. Watching him. “There, huh.”

“Yes…” Turning his free hand, Connor stroked the backs of his fingernails against his palm.

A myriad of input flurried across Connor’s visual field. He was triggering his sensors into action with no purpose, no outcome. That was an intense feeling. It forced him to close his eyes.

“…Okay. Let’s see.”

Connor looked in time to see Hank covering his hand with his own. When they touched, Connor gasped. It wasn’t a real gasp—more like a tick in his voice chip. But he could feel Hank’s heavy hand so close to his palm. It made his primal drive go crazy. He wanted Hank to touch him there…!

Hank touched Connor’s chin with his other hand. Turning his face to look at him. “That alright?” he asked, speaking on his deepest register.

Driven speechless by the combined sensation of Hank touching him in two places, Connor just nodded. For more evidence of his consent, he turned his hand in Hank’s grip, palm up. And he leaned his face into Hank’s fingers. Silently urging him to do more.

Hank hummed low in his throat. A short sound, but somehow…comforting. A thousand warnings were popping up in Connor’s head (temperature rising, thirium flow erratic, feedback loop established, no output detected). It put him on edge.

But Hank touched him carefully. Taking his time. He held the back of Connor’s hand and stroked the side with his thumb. From the heel of Connor’s hand to the tips of his little finger. Once, then twice. He slid his fingers up to Connor’s temple  and combed them through his hair.

It was…

….so…

Strange noises escaped Connor’s mouth. He’d never heard these sounds before (obviously the sign of some malfunction) and he was slightly worried.

But more than that he was…

“….oh,” Connor mumbled. “Oh.”

“How’s that feel, Connor?” Hank asked, wrapping his hand around the back of Connor’s neck.

“It…feels…” Connor knew he was quivering. His hands were twitching at odd intervals. His eyes wouldn’t stop blinking.

Inside him, the need he’d been feeling ever since that night was swelling. Engulfing him. Until Connor felt like there was nothing left. He was a mess of irrational instructions and desire. He just needed…!

Then, Hank dragged his thumb up the middle of Connor’s hand. The most intimate touch Connor had ever experienced.

“Oh!”

His whole body trembled. Harshly. The desire within him unfurled into a warm sense of…good. He was flooded with positive signals that mimicked human endorphins. It felt almost like joy, but that was physical.

“So good…!” Connor moaned. His body wouldn’t stop shaking. His skin was on fire; he wanted more. He wanted, wanted, wanted wantedwanted—

“You like that?”

Connor looked at him with hooded eyes. Why was Hank still so far away? In a rush, he pushed himself against the lieutenant so that their bodies were flush. He wanted to sit in Hank’s lap, but he didn’t know if he was allowed. So he just sat there and stared at him. Feeling Hank’s heavy breath on his face.

This feeling. This was…

Connor took Hank’s hand and brought it to the center of his throat. He forced him to touch the hollow part just underneath his tie.

…pleasure.

Pleasure was amazing.

“Yes, I like it, Hank,” Connor huffed. He could feel Hank’s blunt fingernails. It made him feel like he was spinning. “Please, touch me more.”

Hank groaned, shifting uncomfortably in his seat. His hand roamed all over Connor’s palm, through his fingers, up and down. Tracing a path. Stroking him. Unearthing so many different sensations inside him. Hank bombarded him with pleasure until Connor didn’t know what to do—

—his instincts kicked in.

The skin on the back of his hand faded away revealing the white plastic underneath. For a split second it was sheer bliss, Connor moaned out loud. But all too quickly he realized what he’d done.

Fearing Hank’s reaction, Connor tugged his hand away. He forced his skin to reappear and began stuttering an apology. He didn’t want to ruin this! That happened only because his body had been tricked into thinking he was trying to sync with another android. He hadn’t meant to offend Hank’s human sensibilities.

“I’m sor—”

“It’s alright.” Hank reached for Connor’s hand again. His face was slack and calm. He was still showing obvious signs of arousal. “Put it back the way it was if that feels good.”

…Connor didn’t understand. How could Hank be telling him it was alright to remove his skin? He hated anything to do with the reality of android tech, the weirdness—

“Pretty sure I know what you are by now, kid,” Hank grumbled. But he was smiling. “It’s fine. Do what works for you.”

At a loss for words, watching every micro-expression that crossed Hank’s face, Connor slowly let the skin on his hand disappear. Hank kept going. He ran his fleshy fingertips over the smooth white plastic, the gray sensors on Connor’s palm, the wires around his wrist. All of it. Hank touched all of it.

And oh. Touches right to the uncovered sensors….! The piece of Connor’s programming that could boil directions down to cohesive words was completely fried. Everything was staticky yellow and gold and orange. He could barely see and his hearing was far too distant.

It felt so good.

More. Yes. …Yes!

“Ah…ah ah—!” Connor’s vocal output was stuck in a loop. He closed his mouth but the sounds wouldn’t stop.

“Yeah, you like that.” There was smugness in Hank’s voice. Connor enjoyed it. Very much. That smugness deserved to be there.

Hank dug his fingers into Connor’s hair, getting a hold of his head at such an angle. “C’mere you bastard.”

With that, he pulled Connor in and kissed him hard on the lips.

The initial sensation wasn’t much. Connor’s lips were not designed to do anything except shield the inside of his mouth. But, his skin was already so sensitized that it sent him reeling anyway. And when Hank pried his lips open and stuck his tongue inside, Connor shook from head to toe.

Their tongues were touching…

Data ran through his neural network at twice the usual speed. He recognized beer and saliva and an echo of the toothpaste Hank had used that morning. Connor could taste everything, down to the microscopic components. The bacteria, the calcium.

There was so much data all at once that Connor couldn’t possibly process it all. He stopped trying. Instead, he cupped Hank’s face and kissed back, concentrating on mirroring the movements to make it good for his partner too.

It felt a bit like syncing. Their tongues together. Except in a way it was better because the only information Connor could get from Hank was through the body. He needed to feel and taste to understand what Hank liked, what he was going to do next.

And Connor loved it. Feeling was a wonderful thing. If he could do nothing but feel for the rest of his existence, he would be content. So he didn’t mind this way of syncing with Hank.

He wanted more.

Losing himself to sensation, Connor pulled his tie down. Exposing his throat. He tried to squirm out of his CyberLife jacket, only managing one side. Ignoring it, he ripped open his buttoned down shirt to give Hank access to his bare torso.

He was barely half-dressed now. But that was good.

Before the man could protest, Connor shoved Hank’s hand against his sculpted chest. His movements were sloppy and half-formed; he didn’t have much control over his limbs right now. But Hank knew what to do. He slowed it down. Flattened his palm and fondled every inch of skin he could reach. Connor had no nipples either, which Hank noted with an irritated grunt. He didn’t stop though. He kissed Connor again and fingered the smooth expanse of his body. Sensitizing everything he touched.

“Oh, Hank…!”

Connor’s body was so hot! It was reaching unsafe temperatures for sure. He needed to pull his mouth away, just to gain control of his regulatory system—

Hank didn’t let him. He brought Connor’s plastic hand to his mouth and pressed kisses to his skinless fingertips.

“…I…it’s…!” Barely formed thoughts were all Connor could manage.

“Yeah, I know. I know.” Slipping his hand all the way down and around, Hank grabbed Connor by the ass. Yanking him into his lap.

Connor quickly acclimated. He straddled Hank’s waist, felt the untouched erection straining against his sweatpants. Connor so badly wanted to see it again. That penis. The place where Hank got his pleasure. The thing humans showed only to their lovers—

“How far do you think you can go?” Hank asked. Legitimately curious.

“I…don’t know.” An honest answer. Where was all this going to end?

Licking his lips, Hank nodded. “Alright. Let’s find out.”

One more time, he laced their fingers together. Connor’s body writhed against Hank’s—hopefully stimulating him, but he could hardly be sure. There were too many layers between them and Connor’s analytical processors were not stable enough to check.

Holding Connor by the wrist, Hank kissed his fingers again. Slyly. Knowing what he was doing this time. He kissed his middle finger down to the first ball-bearing that served as a joint. Licked his way back up.

“Oh—I’m!”

Connor’s awareness was fading. The feelings were too much. Far, far too much. He was melting and exploding, this might be what death felt like…

But he didn’t care. He wanted more.

“Don’t—stop-p-p-p!”

He felt Hank's hand around his waist. Holding him place while Connor’s shaking body kept trying to slip away. Hank was making him feel it. Every single thing he was doing with his tongue. The outline of his facial hair against Connor’s bare hand. That coarseness mixed with the softness of his lips.

He sucked Connor’s finger into his mouth. It was warm and wet. So much and so good all at once—

That was all Connor could take. He had been standing on a precipice and his finger in Hank’s mouth pushed him right over the edge. With a fragmented cry, Connor’s processors overloaded in a massive sense of perfect.

He shutdown.

…Restarted a few seconds later. Immediately ran a diagnostic and generated a report on his operating system.

“Connor? Still with me?”

He was fine. He’d just been forced into rest mode. A kind of soft reboot. His cache wasn’t even cleared.

He was fine.

“My systems are running within normal limits…” Connor said, when he could. His body had fallen on top of Hank the moment he reached his peak, and his head was resting on Hank’s shoulder. Like a limp doll. But, fixing that wasn’t a priority yet.

Hank was holding him in his arms. As his senses returned, Connor realized how nice it felt to be there. All the sensory data combined with the visceral presence of this human. His human. He felt had linked with Hank in a very intimate way; he’d shown Hank a side of himself he hadn’t even known existed. The side that wanted him, that could be stimulated.

That Hank could stimulate. Of the two of them, so far Hank was the only one who had succeeded in getting Connor there.

Elated and filled with gratitude, Connor raised his head to look Hank in the eye. There was a question in those eyes—curiosity and a vague, rapidly fading concern. Connor chose to answer it with a kiss.

“That was an extraordinary experience, Hank. Thank you.” He beamed at him, holding Hank’s face in both hands.

Returning the smile, Hank ran a hand over the conspicuous bulge in his pants. “Guess you came, huh. How was it?”

“It was…impossible to describe, actually. But I think I enjoyed it.”

Hank laughed out loud. A rare and beautiful thing. “Yeah that sounds about right.”

His hand worked a little faster. Hank was palming himself hard, keeping his eyes locked with Connor’s. There was none of the shame or embarrassment that had lingered between them for weeks. It wasn’t that kind of thing. There was a give and take aspected of this and now it was Hank’s turn.

Connor couldn’t have been happier to oblige.

He put his skin back on and brushed fingers over Hank’s hand. With a calm, easy smile, he told the truth. “I’d very much like to see this again, Hank. This part of you.”

Grunting, face tightening as his body responded to Connor’s words, Hank slid his hand in his pants. He moaned at his own touch, reaching a serious point where his desire was becoming a need. Impossible to ignore. Saying nothing, he pulled his dick out.

Connor moaned softly when he saw it. It was so much more beautiful up close! Dark red at the tip, tiny veins running down the shaft. Already slick. Very, very hot. The warmest place on Hank’s body. Fully erect and twitching.

He watched Hank play with himself for a few moments. With his response network back at full capacity, Connor could easily take exact note of how Hank’s hand worked. Down then slowly up, twisting around the head at an arc of fifty degrees. Rubbing the frenulum and paying special attention to the thick vein underneath.

Easy enough to replicate.

“Can I touch you?” Connor asked, barely above a whisper. This was fragile business, he could tell.

A small frown creased Hank’s brow. “…Sure you want to?”

Connor was a solid one hundred percent sure. “Yes.”

Whether he saw the determination in Connor’s face, or whether he couldn’t turn down the offer, (or both), Hank nodded and took his hand away. “Go ahead then.”

Silent, with deep reverence, Connor wrapped his hand around Hank’s cock. He might have moaned, and Hank might have too, but there were too many other sensations to process. Hank’s manhood was as thick as expected but the skin was so incredibly soft! Like velvet. And so…so… Connor searched his database for the right word.

The nearest thing he found was ‘addictive.’

…So addictive.

He stroked Hank exactly as he’d observed, paying special care to alternate the strength of his grip. That seemed to be very effective. He watched Hank slowly crumble. Gritting his teeth, sucking in air at five times the usual rate. His hips rose to meet Connor’s strokes, as much as they could with Connor in his lap.

Hank liked this.

…perfect. They were connected through Hank’s pleasure now as well.

The only thing left, Connor wanted to sync with this cock.

“Can I…?”

“What,” Hank panted. “Can you what?”

To show him, Connor slowly removed the skin on his hand. Gently. Giving Hank plenty of time to stop him if he didn’t like it.

But Hank didn’t stop him. “Oh, fuck.” His eyes squeezed shut and his head fell back against the couch.

Connor lined his sensors up with the ridges on Hank’s flushed head. He stroked him slowly, with all the care he could muster. Delighting in the sight of Hank’s body beginning to spasm around the middle. His hands clenching the fabric of the couch.

It must feel good. At last, Connor had an idea how much.

He also knew that one of the things Hank seemed to respond to the most was words. He liked talking about this—so opposite from their daily life when Hank couldn’t even say the word ‘masturbate.’ But, Connor was learning that humans were often very contradictory in their desires. So it made sense.

And he didn’t mind.

“How’s this?” Connor leaned in close to speak directly into Hank’s ear. “Does it feel good?”

“Ah, fuck, yeah…it does…” As he spoke, Hank grabbed a fistful of Connor’s rear end. The meatiest part.

Interesting. Something to save for later.

“I’m glad. I want you to feel good Hank…” Connor kissed the side of his face, relishing the sweat he found there. “Tell me everything. Was it arousing for you before? Watching me come?”

Shit…!” Pre-cum slid down Connor’s hand onto his bare sensors. It made him shiver.

It was an intimate feeling. The weight of Hank’s cock in his hand. The wetness. Connor was getting excited the more he touched him.

“Ah, Lieutenant. I’ve wanted this for a long time…”

Hank’s dick jerked in Connor’s hand. He was biting his lip to keep himself from making more sounds. Connor wished he wouldn’t. He loved hearing the sounds Hank made. In fact, he was recording them to review another time.

“This, and…so much more.” There were so many things Connor wanted that he wasn’t even sure could be done. But still, he wanted them. “I want to suck you. All of you, everything you’ll let me taste.”

“Oh, Jesus Christ…” Hank was practically sobbing against his shoulder now.

“I want you to make me come again, Lieutenant. I want you touch me everywhere. I don’t think I’ll ever want you to stop.”

“Connor, you…you can’t…”

Every muscle in Hank’s body was tight. He was like a string waiting to snap. Connor understood now. He could read the signs. He remembered them from the last time he’d seen Hank like this. Now he even knew what it felt like. To be so close. To something.

Hank was about to reach orgasm.

Once again, Connor felt greedy. He wanted to be the one to bring Hank to climax and he wanted to feel every moment of it. In his hands, his body. Wherever they were touching.

His lips brushed Hank’s ear as he whispered the last thing he’d need. “I want you to penetrate me. Like that girl in the video. I want to feel your penis inside of me and I want you to ejaculate—”

“Fuck! Connor—!”

And Hank came all over Connor’s hand. There was more volume than Connor remembered. So much more. It spilled onto his clothes, onto Hank’s clothes. Onto the couch. Through his plastic fingers, all over his sensors.

Connor rode out a harsh shiver while Hank fucked his hand through the rest of his orgasm. He felt like they were enduring the same thing at the same time—pleasure. Joined from the experience.

He knew Hank, in that moment. He knew how to touch him, how to make him come. And Hank knew him in the same way.

They were linked.

Overjoyed, Connor kissed Hank’s face as he wound down. Taking big heaving breaths.

“Holy fucking shit.” Hank brushed his hair back and ran a hand down his beard. “I just fucking got off on you reading an anatomy textbook. Goddamn it.”

Connor just smiled. “That seemed very enjoyable.”

Hank’s body was very loose at the moment, still riding the tail end of his climax. He was draped against the back of the couch, letting Connor stare at him far too closely.

Although, he opened his eyes just in time to watch Connor lick a long stripe up his hand. Tasting his cum and collecting all the data he could ever need.

“Oh, of course you would do that, you fucking prick,” Hank grumbled. But he didn’t move or shove Connor away. Just say there and shook his head in vague disapproval.

Connor licked his lips. Enjoying the treat. He leaned in again to say, “When you’re ready, I’d like to try something else.”

“Tch, yeah, I bet you would.” Hank wrapped his arm around Connor’s shoulders, pulling him in for a genuine full-body hug.

They laid like that for several minutes. Several wonderful minutes. It was time enough for Connor’s neural network to adjust his read on his relationship with Hank.

Connor didn’t know if Hank was still a friend. Or was he family or a lover? Or somehow both? All three?

There were so many options.

For now, Connor labelled Hank his new priority. Main objective: Test the limits on personal pleasure.