Actions

Work Header

Not Living But Alive

Chapter Text

"I used t' be hot shit, you know that?"

"Yes, lieutenant."

Connor struggled to hold Hank's weight as it helped him inside his house. Hank could no longer stand on his own two legs and needed extra assistance to make it home, so as his partner, Connor took the best course of action for his safety and carried him on its back like an oversized and grey haired child. Having him put one arm over Connor while walking him home didn't seem to work, as he kept toppling over every few steps. And while he was as heavy as he looked, his weight was ultimately no match for Connor's programming and quick thinking.

"We had parties n' shit for me! I remem-ber them likes they were yes'erday."

"I understand, lieutenant."

As Connor entered the house, Sumo stood from his spot on the floor and excitedly ran up to the unlikely duo. Connor wanted to- no, it couldn't want. Only deviants want things. Connor felt the need to pet Sumo since the dog would only become restless unless he received attention. However, with Connor's hands holding up Hank's legs and the rest of its body needing to stay at a slight slouch to keep him from falling off, it couldn't do much in that moment. Connor would have to tend to the dog's needs at a later time.

Objectives:

  • Take care of Hank
  • Take Sumo for a walk

"You wouldn'ta liked th' parties, you stuck-up toaster. I'd pull out yer guts an' strangle ya with 'em if they'd let me... n' if ya had guts."

"If I had intestines, I would let you do so if you believe it would help you."

Hank's drunken ramblings near Connor's ear proved to be quite the distraction. Connor nearly tripped over several cans of off-brand beer on its way to Hank's bedroom, and with Sumo following them every step of the way, things only became more complicated. How could Hank live like that? There were clothes everywhere. The floor had various stains and thick layers of dust in some places. Did Sumo even have food in his bowl? Or water?

Objectives:

  • Take care of Hank
  • Take Sumo for a walk
  • Clean the house

"An' now I need a walking flashdrive t' get me aroun' when I'm kicked out of a bar. I coulda made it home by myself!"

"I will keep that in mind if this happens again."

With Hank's arms draped over Connor's shoulder's for support, his hands were in slapping distance of Connor's face. Not that it cared, though. His attempts at harming the android proved futile and only added to the inconveniences stacking up on top of each other. While Connor could not find things annoying since being annoyed is an emotion only living things can have, it did not particularly enjoy having his face repeatedly slapped and his vision obscured. It got in the way of the task at hand. Connor absolutely did not get frustrated.

Error.

Connor blinked away the vague and generally useless error message as it left Hank on his bed. It couldn't help but feel... something towards the detective as he sprawled out on his back and fell asleep the instant he got comfortable. Connor had been assigned to look after Hank for the week until he was in a better condition to hunt down deviants. As his partner, perhaps Cyberlife expected Connor to keep him from dying (either by his own hand or someone else's) while also helping him recover to some extent. Maybe what Connor felt was an update. Some sort of house care and human care protocol? A patch along those lines would make it much easier for Connor to look after Hank.

After watching Hank sleep for an unnecessary amount of time, Connor felt Sumo tug at its jacket, indicating he wanted something. Connor knelt down to get a better look at Sumo, not because Connor thought Sumo was cute, but because he needed to see the dog's face a little closer in order to get a better read on what he wanted.

Analyzing...

Saliva. Indicator of hunger in most mammals.

Moving tail. Generally points towards happiness in most canines.

Is Sumo happy to see me?

Does he even know I'm not a real person?

Connor briefly shut his eyes at the last involuntary thought as his LEDs went yellow. Of course he didn't know. Connor looked and felt like any other human. And withConnor being around other humans all the time, it likely smelled like one as well.

Connor gave Sumo a few pats on the head before standing up and going to fill up his food and water bowls. Sumo scarfed down the majority of his food and took a few laps of water before letting out a satisfied yawn.

"Do you wanna go for a walk?"

The way Connor said those words almost sounded human- baby talk, as Hank would call it. Of course, it needed to sound human in order for Sumo to express any interest.

Sumo excitedly jumped up and down at the word walk, and nearly toppled Connor over. His claws scratched and clicked against the hard floor as Connor got out his leash and was promptly dragged out into the night for a little over an hour. In that time, Sumo marked his territory in various places and nearly tore Connor's arm off darting after a noise in some nearby bushes.

"Please, Sumo. We need to go home now."

Connor's LEDs blinked yellow. Saying we implied the home belonged to Connor as well. Then again, Sumo couldn't really understand what it said, so Connor didn't fret too much over it. Sumo wouldn't judge Connor for it accidentally using male pronouns despite being an android. He didn't care about Connor smiling or laughing despite it not needing to smile or laugh outside of interrogation or investigation. Sumo just wanted cuddles, walks and lots of food.

Once back home, Sumo went to go sleep with Hank and left Connor to care for the house. After adjusting its tie, Connor threw away various empty bottles, swept the floor, did the dishes and put dirty clothes in the washer. About halfway through the wash cycle, Connor heard Hank get up from bed to go take a shower, as indicated by the running water. Connor looked around, noticing how it couldn't do much else. The house looked like the person who lived in it actually gave a damn about his life. The only thing that could make it better would be a warm meal waiting for Hank. Connor knew he hadn't eaten since early morning, and it was almost midnight. Connor worried what would happen if Hank didn't eat whatever he made, but he ignored whatever error made him feel. If he didn't eat it, Connor could dispose of the food or give it to Sumo if it was safe for canine consumption.

Connor rifled through Hank's mostly empty fridge in search of something to make.

Analyzing...

List of contents that are not spoiled and/or rotten:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Shredded cheese
  • Green bell pepper
  • Beer
  • Condiments (ketchup, mustard, steak sauce, mayonnaise)

List of possible meals:

  • Eggs (scrambled, sunny-side up, omelette)

Connor settled on making an omelette for Hank and grabbed the butter, milk, cheese, eggs and bell pepper. He would be able to sneak in some vegetables in with it, and so long as he didn't add too much bell pepper, Sumo would be able to eat it without being harmed.

After mixing together the eggs and milk, Connor decided to chop up the pepper next. He never cooked before and he had limited knowledge on creating food, but he'd seen humans make simple meals before. Surely and advanced AI would be able to cook something your average human child knew how to make.

"The hell are you doing?"

Connor turned around while slicing up the vegetable to see a freshly showered Hank wearing clean-ish clothes; a Detroit Lions t-shirt, dark brown sweat pants and grey socks. They were cleaner than what he wore earlier, anyway.

"Good evening, lieutenant. You have not eaten for quite a while, so-"

Connor stopped talking and gritted its teeth for a second. Why did the side of its index finger feel so wrong? So horrible? Looking at its hand, Connor's LEDs turned red as blue blood leaked from faux skin. Androids cannot feel, but if Connor could feel, it would have wanted to cry. It would have hurt. The cut was deep. Deep enough to show bone, if Connor were human.

"Jesus, Connor! Are you okay?"

Connor nodded while holding its wounded finger to prevent it from bleeding any further. If it had emotions, it would have been disappointed at how it got blue blood all over the knife and pepper. It would have been shaking at the absolutely horrid sensation.

"I am- am fine, lieutenant."

Error.

Connor did not feel fine. Another vague error flashed across its vision. Connor could feel its body begin to shiver. More blood leaked from its hand down its wrist. Connor would normally be able to deal with a minor injury so easily. Why couldn't it think of how to fix things? Why couldn't Connor think of anything at all?

"Well don't just stand there!"

"Sorry, lieut-"

Hank moved Connor aside to grab a rag by the sink. He then ripped the grey cloth in half, took Connor's hand into his, and tied the fabric around the wound. He held Connor's hand between his own for much longer than expected so the pressure would prevent further blood loss. Hank's hands felt rough but warm and comforting. Being held helped Connor relax until its LEDs went from flashing yellow to a smooth blue. The cut no longer made Connor feel bad, and the way Hank looked at Connor didn't seem to hold any malice or anger. Was it concern Connor could see in his eyes?

"In case you didn't already know, knives are fucking sharp. You're expensive as shit, so be more careful."

"Yes, lieuten-"

"And for fuck's sake, quit calling me that! We're on vacation. Call me Hank."

Connor nodded, feeling much more calm and how an android should feel-- neutral. "I can do that, Hank."

"Great." Hank looked down at his hands, which were stained blue, then looked back to Connor with a slight grimace. "And I just got out the shower."

Chapter Text

"Would you quit starin' at me? I told you it's fine."

Connor managed to salvage most of the pepper for Hank's midnight omelette snack, and it unsurprisingly managed to clean up every drop of blue blood spilled. Aside from the cloth around its finger, you would have never guessed Connor sliced its finger and had the android equivalent of a panic attack. Connor still couldn't figure out why its body reacted in such away, even after running a full diagnostic to check for any viruses or abnormalities. Connor also couldn't make sense of was how Hank held its hand. He could have been rough or scolded it more. He could have made so many snarky comments. Hell, he could have wedged Connor's hand in a drawer for pressure instead of holding it.

And yet...

"I just want to be sure you don't choke."

"I'll choke my food if I damn well want to. And if you're gonna stare, at least sit down. You standing there is givin' me the creeps."

As Hank directed, Connor pulled up a chair and sat near him. Little did he know that this would make it much easier for Connor to scan Hank and check if any further action was needed. Connor was told to look after him and his health, after all.

Analyzing...

  • Irritability and fatigue. Signs of sleep deprivation.
  • Not nearly as drunk as before. More alert. The shower sobered him up?
  • Heart rate somewhat higher than average. No action required.
  • Temperature slightly elevated. No action required.

"I can't fucking eat if you're gonna look at me with them big ol' eyes! At least blink!"

Connor clenched and unclenched its jaw. "My apologies, Hank. I wanted to see how you were doing."

Hank furrowed his brow and put the fork down. "You could just ask me, you know. I'm not gonna beat your ass for asking how I am."

For some reason, Connor didn't believe him... even though an android would have no ability or reason to doubt the words of its owner.

...Owner.

If Connor could like or dislike things, it would not have liked the term owner for Hank. He could hardly take care of himself or a dog, let alone properly order an android around. Connor knew it shouldn't think so harshly of him, though... not that it could think harshly of anyone. If Connor were human or a deviant, it would have felt bad for thinking of Hank in such a bad light. He obviously fell on some hard times that were not his fault, and with the world the way it was, nobody could blame him for being unable to properly care for himself. At least Hank didn't appear to be actively dying, which is more than what most people can boast about.

"All right, then. How are you?"

"I feel dead inside and I could probably sleep for six days solid."

Hank's deadpan answer caused a bit of concern to flair up in Connor. Perhaps he meant just ask me in a... sarcastic way. This in mind, Connor did not detect any sarcasm in his voice.

Hank wanted to carry on eating his late night meal, but in the split second he saw Connor's LEDs turn yellow and his neutral expression falter to a more melancholy one, he felt a slight pang of guilt in his stomach. Connor made him food, goddammit. Better food than he'd eaten in a few weeks. He didn't even have to ask it to cook. So what if the kid couldn't feel anything? It still looked like a sad puppy for longer than Hank felt comfortable with.

A quiet sigh escaped Hank's lips. "I'm better than usual now that I've got something to eat. How about you?"

"My hand has healed properly and all my systems are functional."

Hank closed his eyes and splayed his fingers over his face. "You know what I mean, dipshit. Even if you don't have any emotions, all this detective work has got to be stressful."

Connor paused, smoothing out a few wrinkles in its pants with the heels of its hands to buy some thinking time. All the processing proved to be rather hard on its processors, however the type of stress Hank referred to wasn't what Connor or any other android could realistically experience. Still... all RK800 units were prototypes, so perhaps they were built for emulating human emotions to a degree in order to better adapt to humans' unpredictabilities. Or, what Connor felt could very well be a bug or irregularity it couldn't detect.

"I... I have to admit, dealing with deviants is much more difficult than I could have ever anticipated. I probably should not be telling you this, but sometimes during our investigations, I feel an unreasonably intense sense of danger."

Software instability- ^
RW1vdGlvbi4=

Hank finished eating as Connor spoke, and by the time it finished talking, he set his fork down on the plate. What Connor described sounded a lot more like anxiety than stress. Was anxiety a type of stress? Hank probably would have known if he stayed in therapy.

"I'm going back to bed," Hank said while getting up to put his plate in the sink. As he walked by Connor, he gave it a pat on the shoulder in hopes it would understand he really did appreciate the meal. "What are you gonna do while I'm sleeping?"

"There are multiple things I could do. I can stay up and guard the house, I can enter sleep mode for a set amount of time... If you have any suggestions, I will gladly listen to them."

"Could you, uhh... wake me up at around ten?"

Connor stood up and moved its chair back into place. "Certainly. May I ask why? I can do anything that needs to be done tomorrow. You are on vacation, after all."

"We're on vacation. And you're coming with me to go shopping."

Before Connor could ask any more questions, Hank shuffled into his room. Connor could hear Sumo jump out of bed then quickly jump back in after Hank got comfortable.

Connor adjusted its tie and went to move the now clean laundry into the dryer. It had approximately forty-five minutes left until the clothes dried completely. Connor could have entered sleep mode until the cycle completed, though it didn't feel like waiting around and doing nothing. Why do that when you can absorb information for nearly an hour? Not that it had a preference towards either option. Gathering data seemed more useful than waiting is all/

Connor walked into the living room and turned the TV on. In a coincidental turn of events, the first thing it found happened to be a movie called Short Circuit; a film following a military robot who gained sentience after being struck by lightning. Noticing it was almost over, Connor analyzed the movie's Wikipedia and read dozens of positive and negative reviews to make up for what it missed.

After sitting down, Connor was able to fully process the scene playing out. A human conversed with the robot throughout the night, trying to find out if he truly was alive. By morning, the human began to tell the robot a joke, which made him burst out laughing. For whatever reason, this seemed to be enough proof that the robot hadn't been hacked to act differently. Connor wondered how accurate this would actually be. With the movie being made well before androids were even in reach of being developed, the director couldn't have known. The joke didn't even make Connor laugh, although you could probably blame that on its dry sense of humor.

Could androids have a sense of humor? If they were programmed to, maybe. But why would a detective android have any concept of humor? To tell jokes with its partner?

Speaking of partners, the forty-ish minutes were up on Hank's clothing. Connor promptly retrieved, folded, and carried then to Hank's room to put them away. Sumo lifted his head up when Connor entered the bedroom. After being shushed, he went back to snuggling up next to Hank while Connor put clothes away. How many of the same shirts did Hank have? And why? Did shirts come in six packs? Like beer? Connor shook away its frivolous thoughts while walking back to the couch to wait for morning. Sleep mode would be the quickest way to advance time, even if it meant no more television. Connor couldn't enjoy watching cartoons or movies, anyway.

Connor sat back down on the couch and took a deep breath despite not needing to breathe. Its eyes closed, an alarm had been set for 10 AM, and when Connor opened its eyes once more, it was light outside.

After standing, Connor's body felt oddly off balance- most likely due to the loss of blue blood. To remedy this as quickly as possible, it sent a message to Cyberlife.

Due to injury, I require a small shipment of Therium to my current location.
No repairs are needed.
Thank you.

Connor dully and briefly wondered why it added a thank you at the end of its message. Once sent out, Connor ran its fingers through its hair and went to wake Hank up.

And that's where the problems began.

It had no idea how to wake him up. The last time Connor did so, it may have smacked him harder than it meant to.

"Lieutennn... Hank? It is ten o'clock. I am waking you up just as you asked."

Hank remained fast asleep on his back. This would come as no surprise since Connor refused to raise its voice at him.

Moving on to Plan B, Connor tapped Hank's shoulder. If Plan B failed, Connor would likely need to start shaking him. "It's time to-"

"I heard ya the first time," Hank mumbled, still looking and sounding very much asleep. "Go wait by the door or something. And grab Sumo's leash, he's comin' with us."

Connor nodded. "Sure thing. If you are not by my side in twenty minutes, I will come retrieve you."

"Whatever."

Chapter Text

"He's dragging you because he doesn't respect you."

Just as Hank said, Sumo tugged roughly on his collar while Connor attempted to walk him. He ran and sniffed everything that looked mildly interesting. He tried to run across the street after a squirrel. He ran in circles around Connor a few times until his leash tied the android's legs together. Sumo always seemed to calm and slow back home. Why did he have to much energy outside?

"How would you suggest I get him to respect me?"

Hank shrugged, not moving his hands from his jacket pockets. "I don't think you can. You're too shy and soft spoken towards anything that isn't a deviant."

"I prefer being nice to living things that are happy to see me."

Connor could like things, right? It liked dogs. And snow. And Hank, to a degree. Surely, Connor had been programmed to enjoy certain things. It wouldn't be able to like Sumo otherwise, unless it turned out to be a deviant. Which Connor wasn't.

Error.

Connor wanted to groan at its error message. What kind of help is an error pop-up when it only says one word? It didn't even tell Connor what it did wrong or how to prevent and further errors. No other text accompanied the message. Five letters of red, twitching text clung to the corner of Connor's vision until Hank snatched away Sumo's leash, thus snapping Connor out of its thoughts.

"You sure do a whole lot of zoning out."

"My apologies. I am unsure as to why I have been behaving this way."

"Just don't walk into anyone, all right?"

Connor made a mental note to not walk into anything or anyone as it stopped at a crosswalk. Meanwhile, Hank looked both ways and grabbed onto Connor's hand before making a brisk walk across. Connor unintentionally flinched slightly when Hank took its hand. The sensation wasn't negative, per se. It felt different from what it was used to. Pleasant, maybe? While Hank's hands weren't soft, nor was he gentle about his actions, Connor sensed he didn't mean to harm it.

Connor liked being looked after, at least a little bit. Even if what they were doing was illegal.

"It is dangerous to cross at this time," Connor stated.

"This is basically as safe as crossing normally. Some idiot could come coreaning over the sidewalk for all we know."

"Most vehicles are automated and would not do such a thing. They only do what they are told, to put it simply."

Hank looked back at Connor, who trailed slightly behind him. "So are you, and you did a whole bunch of shit last night without instructions."

Error.

Connor shook its head and tried not to focus on the error for too long. They were nearing the market, and it didn't want to risk upsetting someone by bumping into them.

About halfway through a parking lot, Connor noticed Hank still held onto its hand. His grip felt much less tight, though he occasionally gave its hand a little squeeze. As much as Connor genuinely enjoyed being touched, holding onto two unpredictable creatures would only get in Hank's way, so Connor tugged its hand free.

"My bad," Hank said partially under his breath.

"I don't mind. Being touched is still very new to me, so I apologize if I made things awkward."

Hank glanced back at Connor with narrow eyes. The way he looked at it gave Connor the impression that it may have already made things awkward.

"Okay. Here's what's gonna happen-" Hank stopped just outside the store and handed Connor Sumo's leash "-I'm going in there to buy some shit, and you're staying out here with Sumo. If he tries to run off, tell him no and be firm about it. But do not yell at him, or so help me I'll rip your arm off and beat you with it until you deactivate."

Connor's LEDs flashed yellow. "Understood."

"Great. Be back eventually."

As Hank disappeared to do some shopping, Connor took its time to give Sumo plenty of pets and belly rubs. Seeing an android smile and behave so playfully with a dog caught the attention of a quite few humans. Most of them simply kept walking. Others asked if they could pet Sumo, to which Connor warned that he would drool on them and get hair all over their clothes. Not many heeded this warning. I should have listened to you, they would say. It was worth it.

"I didn't know toasters could own pets."

A rather generic looking man in his late twenties approached Connor while lazily scratching at the stubble on his face. Connor wasn't one to judge a book by its cover, but the way the guy dressed and carried himself gave off all sorts of bad vibes; his baggy, hole-filled clothes, the stained anti-android hoodie, the circles under his eyes... Connor couldn't feel these vibes like a human could, of course.

Analyzing...

Isaac Colona
Unemployed
Criminal record: Arson, property damage, dog fighting

Connor's 'gut feeling,' as Hank would call it, turned out to be warranted.

"I do not own Sumo. My partner does."

"Partner, eh?" Isaac crooked his head to one side, and an equally crooked grin crossed his features. "I get it. You're one o' them sex robots looking after your girl's pet."

"That is incorrect. Sumo belongs to Lieutenant Anderson. By the way, me being his partner gives me about as much authority as him."

Isaac took a suspiciously large step towards Connor and spoke between his teeth. "I don't give a damn who you are. Give me the dog or I'll shoot."

Shoot? Isaac didn't have a gun. He only had his hand, which he made into the vague shape of a gun in his hood's pocket. While this would have fooled your average unsuspecting human, it did not work on androids.

Connor smirked. This guy really thought he was being clever. His attempt would have made Connor laugh if it wasn't so pathetic... and if Connor could laugh. Which it couldn't.

"What the FUCK do you think you're doing?"

Toting an armful of groceries, Hank stormed up to Isaac and struck the fear of the law into the man's heart. Connor couldn't remember ever seeing him so upset. Or get so loud. His gruff voice coupled with the obvious restraint he had while speaking made him look absolutely terrifying. It genuinely frightened Connor and made its Therium pump beat out of sync.

"Wa-Wait, I-"

"If you lay a single finger on him or my dog, I'll pull out your fucking teeth and make you swallow them. Do I make myself clear?"

All color drained from Isaac's face as he put his hands up, nodded and swiftly ran away with his tail between his legs. Connor hoped it would never see him again.

Hank sighed, and his voice went back to its normally rough-sounding self that Connor was used to. "You two okay?"

Sumo scratched behind his ear as if nothing ever happened. It seemed as though he also knew the man wasn't a real threat.

Connor drew in a quick between its teeth despite not needing to breathe. "I am uninjured. May I help you carry any of those?"

"Nah, I got it. C'mon."

While the two made their slow walk back to Hank's home, Connor couldn't help but get stuck on his words. He called Connor him. Not it, like everyone else referred to androids. Connor assumed it to be a slip of the tongue. After all, it looked like any other skinny white guy walking down the street, and you don't normally call things that talk an it.

Software instability- ^

"What're you smilin' at?"

Connor blinked. "Ah... It's nothing."

In the very back of his mind right next to a pile of emotional baggage, Hank's curiosity grew. Connor looked... dare he think it... kind of cute when it didn't have its default blank expression. As plain and twink-ish as Connor appeared, he wasn't bad to look at in the least. Not the prettiest, and not exactly his type, but pleasant enough.

"It isn't nothing. You're still smiling."

"I see." Connor used its free to cover its mouth until its neutral face returned. "I feel nice right now. I think. I'm not sure, actually."

Hank reached over to give Connor a pat on the back. "Good to know."

Connor could feel its Therium pump beat irregularly again at Hank's touch. The sensation felt somewhat tingly and it made Connor shiver a little.

"The hell was that?"

Connor's LEDs blinked yellow. "A... reaction to physical contact. I told you I am not quite used to it yet."

Hank's curiosity had been piqued to the point of no return. Would Connor always flip out when being touched?

Only one way to find out.

Impulsively, Hank reached out and ran the tips of his fingers up Connor's neck with a feather-light touch. Almost as anticipated, Connor gasped and nearly tripped over its own feet. Its temperature rose by a few degrees, and it had to stop walking for a moment in order to get back on track. Being touched so gently felt weird. Not bad, though. Just... different. Different with the ability to catch Connor off guard and send chills down the spine it didn't have.

Hank cursed under his breath. What the hell was wrong with Connor? Making those sorts of noises just from Hank lightly putting his fingers on it... He almost felt bad for teasing the poor thing

Almost.

"Shit, you okay?"

Error.
QXJvdXNhbC4=

Connor nodded. "I... Yes, I'm fine. I do not mind physical contact. Please feel free to put your hands on me in any way you see fit."

Hank wanted to immediately start yelling out how wrong what Connor just said was, but he got ahead of himself. Words caught in his throat, causing him to cough a few times. "Don't say shit like that out loud! You sound like someone with daddy issues."

Connor didn't understand what Hank meant by that, but it agreed to his terms regardless. "My apologies. I'll watch my mouth more carefully from now on."

Chapter Text

"Sumo. Stop, please."

"There ya go."

Connor gave Sumo's leash a tug once he started running off to chase a leaf fluttering in the wind. Who knew putting a little force into your voice could have such an impact? Connor knew this worked on deviants and humans since getting loud normally put things with feelings in their place. It never occurred to it that not being as aggressive could make one sound more serious without coming off as scary.

"Are you sure you don't want me to carry any of those?"

Hank looked over at his handful of grocery bags. "I told you I got it. Just focus on keeping your skinny little arm attached to its socket."

"I think Sumo is too tired to run off."

At the sound of his name, Sumo looked back at the duo and wagged his tail. The walk drained a healthy amount of energy from him, but he'd still try and go after a stray cat if given the chance.

"Did I tell you about the freak I saw while checking out?"

"No, Lieut- Hank. You did not."

"Well-" he rolled his head from one side to the other to crack his neck "-there was this fucking guy, y'see? Dressed in all mismatch clothes. Hadn't shaved in a month, from the looks of it..."

Connor tried listening to Hank's story only to get distracted by stray, unprompted thoughts. It kept getting stuck on the 'him' thing. On how Hank held its hand. The way Hank ran the tips of his fingers up its neck and made it gasp. None of it made sense. Connor shouldn't be able to react to those things like a human unless it was acting. It shouldn't be possible for it to think about how nice being called him felt. It shouldn't get hung up over being touched in an almost affectionate manner. It shouldn't have sensitive areas of false skin. It shouldn't want anything either, yet a part of it felt as though it wanted to be held or touched.

Error.
SSB3YW50Lg==

"-And he's going on and on about swarms of butterflies and a grey fox. I just wanted some garlic salt."

"Did you get the garlic salt?"

"Pff, no. I'm only willing to put up with one weirdo per day."

A pause.

"...I'm the weirdo, aren't I?"

"Who the fuck else would I be talking about?"

Hanks' words would've stung more if Connor hadn't caught on to something: willing. Hank willingly put up with Connor and its awkward android-ness. Despite all the genuine threats and complaints, he still allowed Connor to be a temporary part of his life.

"Oh. I see my Therium shipment has arrived."

"Is that what that is?" Hank reached into his pockets to fish for his house keys. "I thought someone left a bomb at my front door again."

...Again.

"At least let me put what you bought away."

"Fine. Fuck it. Here, trade me."

Connor took the bags from Hank, which were much heavier than they looked, and swiftly made its way to the kitchen after grabbing the small black box of Therium. Cereal and protein bars went in a cupboard. Frozen meals and ice cream went in the freezer. Salami and lettuce went in the fridge. Therium remained on the kitchen table. Whiskey went...

"Where do you want me to put this?"

Hank shut the door behind him and removed Sumo's leash, letting him jump onto the couch for a nap. "Just leave it there."

Strange. Connor half expected him to say something inappropriate.

Connor pulled up a chair to sit near Hank for when he decided to have his drink. If he wanted it to be left out, then he'd be using it fairly soon.

"Are you my drinking buddy now?"

"I could be, if you wanted me to. My Therium has arrived, so I really can drink with you if you'd like."

Hank furrowed his brow while taking a seat. "Can you only drink blue blood?"

"I can eat and drink anything a human can, but to dispose of anything ingested I would either need to let it dissolve in my equivalent of a stomach or remove said stomach to clean it out. Either option takes a significant amount of time and effort."

Hank nodded along to make it looked like he cared about and/or heard what Connor said. "Uh-huh. Why don't you get a bottle of that shit and drink the day away with me?"

"It isn't even noon."

"I didn't ask you for the time, Alexa."

Connor didn't understand why Hank called it Alexa. It also didn't understand why he seemed so keen on getting drunk. Maybe it was because Connor didn't know what being drunk felt like. It could look up symptoms and detailed descriptions, but that wouldn't be the equivalent to experiencing it first hand.

Hank cracked open his new bottle of whisky, and Connor did the same with its Therium. While Connor proceeded to down one of the four palm-sized bottles without swallowing, Hank looked on in confused amazement while taking a sip. Its throat didn't move. It just poured the stuff as though it were dumping it down a drain.

"My apologies. I should have made my consumption look more human. I would try again, but that would be waste of resources."

Without getting up from his seat, Hank awkwardly leaned over to open the fridge, grab a beer and handed it to Connor. He wanted to see if Connor really could drink things like a normal person and he didn't want to give it his whiskey. In his own words, 'That shit's expensive.'

Connor popped open the silver and blue colored beer can and pressed it to its lips. Judging by the smell, it could already tell the drink wouldn't be the most enjoyable thing it had in its mouth all day. No matter. Hank gave it something to Connor, and it wasn't going to turn it down. After closing its eyes and tilting its head back, Connor drank about a third of what was in the can while being sure to realistically swallow. It didn't taste as awful as it anticipated, though this was mostly because it couldn't taste things properly to begin with. What it could taste wound up being mostly carbonation and an extremely vague hint of bitterness.

Hank watched as Connor set the can down and licked its lips of any remaining beverage. "This is your first time drinking and you didn't even gag."

"That is because I don't have a gag reflex."

Speaking of gagging, Hank nearly choked on his whiskey after that bit of information fell from Connor's mouth. It made sense, realistically. Sure. Perfect sense.

Still didn't stop Hank from thinking of half a dozen zingers to hit Connor with in the future from one fact alone.

"Are you all right?"

Hank wiped his mouth. "Yeah. I dunno what I expected. You know what they say about American beer: It's like making love in a canoe."

Connor raised a brow. "Could you elaborate?"

"It's fucking close to water."

Connor couldn't stop itself from snorting at such a dumb joke. The punchline really struck a chord with Connor and made it smile like a complete idiot, and it didn't know why. It didn't care why, either.

Hank let out a hearty chuckle after seeing Connor's reaction to a joke he must have told a hundred times. Maybe it was just the whiskey talking, but Connor looked pretty cute with a smile on its face- a real smile, not like the ones it would give during interrogation.

"May I ask you a personal question?"

Connor's sudden stiff and robotic wording coming after such a genuine laugh didn't sound natural. It went from cheery to cold in a dramatically short period of time, and Hank wasn't a fan.

"Sure."

"Is this what you normally do when you're not working?"

Hank shrugged lazily. "Kinda. I usually have my revolver and one less person with me. I figured I'd hold out on Russian Roulette for the rest of the week since it'd be rude to blow my brains out in front of you."

Connor's LEDs whirled yellow. "I... appreciate your consideration. And I would like you to know that I really do enjoy spending time with you. Honestly. I don't even think I have been programmed to express gratitude."

Software instability- ^

"You know, it's hard to believe someone put time and effort into every little detail you've got." Hank took another sip from his bottle, to which Connor did the same. "Some fucker went ahead and made your eyes... like that. They knew what they were doing."

Connor blinked. "I-I don't follow."

"Wh... Y'know." He gestured vaguely with his free hand then sighed when he realized Connor wouldn't understand unless he spelled it out for it. "Whatever. I'll be watching TV if you need me."

Connor's eyes narrowed in thought as it took another drink. Was there something wrong with its eyes? Hank didn't make it seem that way, but he did make it seem as though Connor's eyes bothered him to some extent.

After a little bit of time spent on inner thoughts, Connor went to join Hank and Sumo on the couch. With such a small frame, Connor could easily fit in next to the lieutenant without being pressed up against him. If Connor had any 'meat on its bones,' as Hank would say, the seat it took would have been much more uncomfortable.

"Hank?"

"Hmm?"

Connor drummed its fingers on the side of its nearly empty beer can. "Could you explain to me why my eyes are 'like that'? Are they off center?"

"No, dipshit. They're pretty. Someone made their fucking detective android have pretty eyes."

Pretty.

Connor could feel its body temperature increase by a few degrees and its Therium pump beat more quickly. While it knew it could be a side effect of the alcohol it drank, it didn't think that to be the case. It felt its face heat up more than any other part of its body, and with the increase flow of blood blue in its system, Connor couldn't stop from fidgeting slightly.

Being called pretty felt really nice.

Error.
SGFwcGluZXNzLg==

Chapter Text

Connor shook an empty beer can over its open mouth in an attempt to free the last few drops. They were so close! And yet completely out of reach. Connor could feel the little bit of liquid move around in the can. Taunting it. Teasing the android. Falling near the can's opening and never quite through it. Connor stuck out its tongue to be sure the droplets wouldn't fall on the couch or its suit. They were so close. Connor could practically taste them. The carbonation, the faint bitterness... It made Connor feel warm and fuzzy. It made its thoughts blurry and movements delayed. Connor groaned in frustration and gave the can several taps on its bottom to try and coax the beer out. At last! The lukewarm drops fell and rolled across Connor's tongue and into the back of its throat. So much work for so little payoff. Why didn't it just get another?

Hank tried his damndest to ignore Connor. He didn't need to describe what it looked like it was doing, did he? It was distracting as all hell. Every second of it either made Hank want to smack the can out of its hand or do... something else. Something he'd never admit aloud or to himself. I don't have a gag reflex. Couldn't it have said that in any other way? Androids don't have gag reflexes. Or it could have dismissed him. But no, Connor specifically couldn't gag. Hank watched from the corner of his eye as Connor swallowed the last few drops and let out a satisfied hum. Its half-lidded eyes and slight smile gave off the impression that it might just be...

"Connor, are you drunk?"

It took a few seconds longer than it should have for Connor to answer him. "N... Maybe." It held a finger up to its mouth in thought. "Only a little bit. My body seems to be processing the alcohol at an alarming rate."

"You have got to be the lightest lightweight I've ever met. You had one can of cheap beer."

"I can probably fix this more quickly if I reboot..." Connor looked at the can in its hand and gave it a little shake from side to side. God dammit. It wasn't completely empty. Sighing, Connor tilted its head back and once again attempted to drink it dry.

Hank would explode if he didn't do anything. He wanted to smack the can across the room, but his hands had other plans. He forcefully grabbed onto Connor's chin and made it look at him, thus pulling it away from the drink. Connor whined softly with its mouth partially open and tongue still hanging slightly out. It would have stopped if Hank asked nicely... or asked at all.

Hank spoke in a low, gruff voice. The kind of voice that made Connor wonder if this would be its end. "Are you doing this on purpose?"

"Ah..." Connor swallowed. "I didn't want to waste any of it."

Connor wasn't sure what to feel or think. Hank looked at it so intensely. It thought he might break its jaw then and there. Or shout more. Was it wishful thinking, or did it feel Hank run his thumb over the corner of its mouth? Connor's body began heating up once more. Being touched felt wonderful. Would it be bad for it to want more? Probably. Did it care? Not really. Nobody would know it wanted anything so long as it kept quiet.

Since Hank also had quite a bit to drink (albeit much more than Connor), he couldn't focus on what he wanted to say. As cheesy as it sounded, he found himself getting lost in Connor's eyes... and its lips. Its mouth in general. Its whole face in general, really.

Connor's emulated breath caught in its throat when Hank moved his face a little closer to its own. His eyes kept looking at its mouth. His hand moved into a position which held the side of its face in a cupping manner. Bright red errors popped up all along the edges of Connor's vision. Such an advanced machine shouldn't be overwhelmed so easily, even while impaired. It couldn't recall ever feeling so anxious before, even during a hostage situation.

As quickly as it happened, Hank shoved the android away and went back to facing forward. He then took in a deep breath while pinching between his eyebrows. "It hasn't even been a full day and you're already driving me up the fucking wall." He turned to Connor, who still couldn't fully process everything. "What am I supposed to do with you for the rest of the week?"

Loading. Please wait.

"If you believe I would only get in the way, I could enter sleep mode for the remainder of your break."

Tempting. Very tempting. But Hank couldn't go through with that. He didn't want to be alone. He didn't want Connor to wake up to find out it would be continuing the investigation by itself.

"Nah, I might need ya to do more laundry. And you're not gettin' in the way much, we just need something to do and t' keep us from killing each other. I can't stay-" Hank paused to let out a loud yawn "-inside all week."

For an unexplainable reason, Hank yawning made Connor also yawn. This in turn made Sumo yawn as well. For humans and dogs, this would signify an impending nap. For androids, Connor could only assume yawns were contagious to them as well.

"I could compile a list of daily activities so you do not get bored. There's a park nearby, right? Hank?"

Just as anticipated, Hank wound up falling asleep. His head rested on the back of the couch, and Sumo snuggled up closely to him as he drifted off as well.

Connor felt as though it should enter sleep mode until Hank woke up. But how long should it sleep? It wasn't even noon, so Hank shouldn't be out for too long. He'd need to eat and use the bathroom in the near future. Connor opted for watching television until he woke up. Maybe it would find a nice movie to watch. It flicked through various channels and found nothing too interesting. Lots of news. Lots of sports. Lots of old cartoons. Connor liked the cartoons more than anything else airing, even if they were outdated and animated one frame at a time.

A sudden shift in weight made Connor tense up. It would seem as though Hank moved to lean on it and rest his head on the side of Connor's. Connor had no trouble keeping him up, but it worried Hank didn't move in such a way on purpose. It could just imagine him waking up and noticing how close he was to a being he wasn't fond of whatsoever. Then again, he did look rather relaxed. Waking him up on purpose would only lead to an upset officer and an injured android.

After Hank moved, he somehow managed to let his hand rest on a lap that was not his. Connor's LEDs blinked yellow out of sheer confusion. Hank didn't grip it or move his hand in a suggestive way or anything. His hand merely lay there. Unmoving. Palm down. Doing nothing else. After thinking about it for more than a second, it made sense to Connor. Being so close to another person- no, another humanoid would be difficult if he kept his arms at his sides. Connor assumed he would have been very uncomfortable had he not moved it... there. Suspiciously close to Connor's hand.

Curious.

Connor shook its head. No. No, Hank was out cold. And he wouldn't be trying to do anything along those lines with an android. The man couldn't be that desperate for companionship or touch. He hated androids. He'd destroy Connor if it meant the case would be over sooner. He only held back so Cyberlife wouldn't be at his door asking why his RK800 model was missing its tongue, eyes and several fingers. Then again, he might not care what they thought or what they would do if Connor wound up deactivating since they knew how far Hank fell from grace. While others would assume Hank hit rock bottom, Connor could see him below the bottom while reaching out and clinging to anything he could get his hands on... even if the thing he held turned out to be something he loathed. In was kind of inspirational, in a messed up and depressing sort of way.

Connor continued to search for something interesting to watch so time would pass by faster. All the channels began to run together after a while. Nothing caught its attention for more than a minute, and it kept getting distracted by Hank's occasional movements. He'd run his thumb over Connor's thigh or give it the slightest squeeze all while fast asleep. Humans moved around while unconscious, right? Connor couldn't remember. It once saw a video of a dog moving in its sleep, so maybe humans did similar things. The thought didn't linger in Connor's head for too long, though. It wondered if Hank was actually asleep or if he wanted an excuse to snap Connor's neck with a solid right hook.

"I wonder if you really do hate me," Connor mumbled to itself. "I'm sorry if you do. It must be very hard to work with something you despise."

"Do all androids monologue?"

Connor froze. Had he been awake this whole time? Watching it change the channel? And, more importantly, consciously resting his head on it?

"I try to keep all my thinking to myself."

"You're doing a shit job, if that's the case." Hank sat up straight and stretched his arms over his head. "I could really go for some pancakes right now. Can you make them or are eggs your specialty?"

"Adapting to human predictability is one of my features. I'm sure I could make them if given enough time."

While Connor spoke, Hank stood up and made his way to the bathroom. "Don't fuck up my kitchen while I'm gone."

"I will tidy any mess I make."

Chapter Text

"You don't use a fucking spatula to flip pancakes."

"Then what do you suggest I use? My hand?"

On Connor's third and final attempt to make pancakes, things went swimmingly. The batter didn't have any weird lumps like the first time. And it didn't burn them like the second time. Bubbles dotted the single flapjack as Connor readied a spatula to flip it. If Hank took another two minutes to get leave the bathroom, it would have been perfect.

"You use the pan itself. What, you never see those fancy chefs on TV do that?"

Connor could remember something resembling Hank's description while flicking through TV channels. Connor wasn't built for cooking, though. And downloading any house care programs or protocols might conflict with its current software.

Connor looked over its shoulder. "Could you tell me how to do it, then?"

"Yeah! You just..." Hank gestured vaguely with his arms to show either how to flip things in a pan or how to balance a tennis ball on a plate. "Here, I'll show ya."

And he meant that literally. After walking up behind Connor to the point of its back touching him, Hank put his hand over Connor's to hold the pan's handle. Connor tried to focus on Hank's actions in order to memorize them for future use, only for it to lose its theoretical train of thought and wind up paying more attention to how Hank held its hand. It watched as the pan flicked upwards, flipping the pancake over to its uncooked side Connor recorded the action to save for other cooking purposes. It may have also saved the sensation of Hank being close enough to literally breathe down its neck, causing a small wave of shivers to run up its spine.

Hank took a step back, giving Connor space to work. "Can ya handle it from here?"

Connor nodded. All it had to do was wait for it to finish cooking then make a few more. No pressure.

"When this whole deviant thing blows over, you should really consider becoming a chef."

Connor shook its head. "That won't be possible. I'll be terminated when we're done with the investigation."

There was a long period of silence while Connor prepared the rest of the meal and set it in front of Hank. What did he expect to happen? When an android or whatever else is built for a singular thing, it tends to lose its usefulness after reaching the very end of its only purpose.

"Seems like a waste of a perfectly functional android to me." He tapped his fork on the plate a few times, not taking a bite until he got his head straight. "Are you afraid of them shutting you down for good? I mean, does it scare you at all?"

"I hadn't put much thought into it," Connor said while taking a seat and folded its hands on the table. "I consider my inevitable destruction... unpleasant to think of." Connor looked up at Hank, soeaking more slowly and less stiff than usual. "If I could want things in the same way you can, I don't think I would want to be shut down. I feel like I can do more for this world if they allow me to continue functioning."

Software instability- ^
RGVhdGggaXMgaW5ldml0YWJsZS4=

Hank found himself at a loss for words. Connor is afraid of death. Even if it didn't say it out loud, he could tell. The look in its eyes spelled out fear with a capital F.

Everything eventually either dies or decomposes. Some things do it faster than others. It's an inevitable part of life, and you can never really know when it will happen.

Connor, however, was an exception.

The possibility of destruction lingered over its head more than it did for most humans.

If the investigation was successful, Connor would be shut down. If it failed, Connor would be shut down. Not to mention the fact Connor could be killed like any other human.

"You seem troubled. I'm sorry if what I said has upset you. I thought you would be happy to know you'd never have to see me again after this."

Of course he looked troubled! His partner in law just told him it would literally cease to exist after the investigation. They were going to put Connor down like a sick cat who was never actually ill to begin with.

Hank abruptly stood up and made his way to the front door. Connor went to follow him, but he held his hand out to keep it from walking any further. "I'm goin' for a walk. Alone. Stay here."

Objectives:

  • Stay in the house
  • Look after Hank

"...Okay."

Connor couldn't have gotten another word in if it wanted to. Its newest objective conflicted with the one it'd been assigned for the week, but its actions were ultimately left up to Hank. If he wanted to go for a walk by himself in Detroit, which happened to be one of the most dangerous cities in America, then it could only obey his command.

Software instability- vvv

For the next hour or so, Connor cleaned up the house a little more. Hank would probably be in a better mood if he came home to clean dishes, a made bed and a tidy room. While cleaning said room, Connor found a particularly interesting magazine containing rather explicit information and images on sex androids. It wasn't a news article, either. It appeared to be more akin to the magazine equivalent to a website you'd delete from your search history after visiting. Connor could feel a mischievous smile creep onto its face while swiping through various lewd images and walls of text. Was Hank keeping it in his room out of curiosity, or for the most common reason humans keep such things hidden? Connor found each possibility to be equally humorous. A good majority of the androids featured were male and barred many similarities to Connor- white skin, short brown hair, on the thin side...

Error.
QXJvdXNhbC4=

Connor put the magazine back where it belonged and went back to making his bed. Hank would absolutely obliterate Connor if he found out it had been looking through his personal stuff.

The sound of a loud crash got Connor's mind back on track. It assumed Hank made his way home and knocked something over, so it walked out into the living room without thinking much of it.

On the floor of the living room lie an unconscious, bloodied and unfamiliar human with a black mask covering their face. Above them stood Hank, presumably just getting back from his walk, with bruised knuckles and a partially torn shirt. Remnants of a shattered coffee table were scattered around the stranger, along with various other debris.

"Do me a favor and call the cops, Connor."

"We are the cops."

Hank looked over at Connor with a giddy smile on his face, as if he recently remembered what his job was. "Hey, you're right. Help me get this guy in the back of the car, will ya? Fowler's gonna have a field day with this one."

That Connor did, right after tying the criminal's hands together with its tie to hinder any possible escape. Once it finished carefully putting them in the back seat and making sure the doors were locked, Connor took its usual spot next to Hank. Connor reached up to adjusts its tie, only to feel a slight pang of emptiness when it wasn't there. Its whole outfit felt off without the tie. Some slight alterations to its clothes needed to be made for it to feel normal again. The obvious solution would be to get another tie, but Connor didn't have time to get one so long as a criminal remained in the back seat of its partner's car. So, like a sensible android who missed the feeling of having something around its neck to mess with, Connor proceeded to unbutton the first three buttons of its dress shirt.

It made sense to Connor at the time, really.

"Do I even want to know?"

Connor looked over at Hank with what were quite possibly the saddest looking eyes he'd seen all month. "I miss my tie."

Hank scratched his beard. "Can't you ask your robot expert guys to deliver you a new one?"

"...Right. Of course I can."

To whom it may concern,
I require another tie and possibly a set of casual android clothing. Wearing a suit while my partner is trying to relax does not seem to be helping.

Connor may have added that last part in without consulting Hank first. Suits were nice and all, but it seemed somewhat pointless to wear one in a casual setting. It seemed ever more pointless to ask Hank's permission since he wouldn't care so long as the cost didn't come out of his wallet.

"Shit..."

Hank looked at his knuckles while his hands were on the wheel. Not only were they bruised, but they were scraped and bleeding as well, causing him quite a bit of discomfort while driving.

"Is there anything I can do to help?"

"What could you possibly do about this? Kiss it better?"

"If you think it would help, then yes."

Hank took in a deep breath through his nose. After being touch starved for lord knows how many years, he wouldn't have been surprised if a yes slipped past his lips. "Don't even think about it."

"I'm not. And I won't."

Lies.

All lies.

How could Connor not think about it? Was it normal for humans to kiss each others injuries? According to a quick bit of research, it was a practice most common among mothers and their children, but not limited by it. Connor wouldn't have minded if Hank's request turned out to be serious. The act of kissing seemed easy enough to go through with, and seemed obviously comforting, if articles online were anything to go off of. Though, maybe the action would only produce the desired effect if both individuals were human. A kiss from an androids certainly wouldn't be as sincere as one from another human, unless said android happened to be deviant. And Connor wasn't a deviant, even if it felt as though its kisses would come from the heart, so to speak.

ERROR

Chapter Text

"So I come home and see Fucknuts Mcgee here trying to pick my lock. I don't see you doing anything about it, so I tackled the guy, plowed 'em through my table and probably broke one of my fingers beating their face in."

Connor probably could have figured out what happened on its own, but it appreciated Hank's detailed elaboration anyway. Though, the fact Connor didn't hear anyone fiddling with the front door didn't sit well with it. What good is a personal assistant when it can't even prevent break-ins?

"I'll do better next time in order to ensure your safety. You shouldn't have to put yourself in harm's way while I'm around."

"Are you kiddin' me? I haven't thrown down like that in years! All I ask is for you not to set my kitchen on fire and I think we'll be fine."

"Can you two stop sucking each other off for FIVE minutes? I can't hear myself think."

The unfamiliar and overall jovial voice came from the equally mysterious perpetrator in the back seat. The person, who Connor assumed to be a man if his voice was the only thing taken into account, sat up straight and squinted at the two through his black ski mask. His brown eyes were bruised and blackening, though not swollen shut. Despite this, Connor couldn't get its facial recognition to work, possibly due to the mask.

"I don't give a shit about what you can or can't hear," Hank said is a slightly loud tone of voice.

The stranger scoffed. "That's nice to know, mister I Hate Robots But I'm All Buddy-buddy With Some Twinkdroid."

"Listen here-!"

Connor put a hand on Hank's shoulder to try and keep him from turning around and beating the criminal into a bloody pulp. "You can vent your frustrations when you're not driving. It will be much easier when you don't have to focus on the road."

Hank let out a loud sigh before returning his attention to not crashing into anyone. As soon as they were parked, Hank was going to have Connor look the other way wile curb stomping the fucker in his back seat.

"My name's Lawrence, in case you couldn't scan me."

"Didn't ask. Don't care."

Connor intervened with- "I could take his mask off if you'd like."

Hank shook his head. "Don't bother. I tried. I think it's sewn to his shirt."

Connor furrowed its brow. Sewn to his shirt? It... sort of made sense. But not really. Having it attached to another article of clothing would certainly make it more difficult to remove, but it still seemed like a very odd thing to do.

Lawrence tugged at the fabric keep his hands behind his back. What kind of handcuffs were they? State-issued BDSM cuffs? The more he pulled on them, the tighter they got, so he gave up on freeing his hands for the time being. "So, is it, like, normal to ask an android to kiss your boo-boos better?"

"You'll shut your mouth if you know what's good for ya."

Lawrence leaned in uncomfortably close between Hank and Connor, and spoke in a quiet, serious tone without a hint of sarcasm. "You're gonna die today."

Hank could feel his stomach sink for a moment. The way he said it wasn't playful or rowdy like everything else. It was cold. Like he knew for a fact they were walking up to death's door for a handshake. Hank's grip tightened on the steering wheel. There was no way in hell he'd let some punk try and psych him out.

"If you don't knock it off, so help me God I will pull over and bust both your kneecaps."

From the looks of it, Lawrence wanted to keep his kneecaps since he went from almost whispering in their ears to lying on his back with his feet propped up on one of the back doors. The silence didn't last for long, however. Lawrence thought it was a good idea to start kicking at the window with all his might and then some. The door shook, the glass cracked, and Hank didn't feel like dealing with him anymore.

Connor looked to Hank for instructions. In a fit of rage, Hank turned around to beat some sense into him, thus causing the car to swerve off the road. Not wanting anyone to die, Connor attempted to adjust the wheel only to make things much worse. The car violently swerved to an icy patch of road, causing it to spin out of control. Connor all but flew out of its seat, and right as Hank slammed on the breaks, everything went white.

Rebooting. Please wait.

Bits of red static and corrupt text flashed across Connor's vision as it felt something touch its shoulder. After opening its eyes, Connor could see the windshield had a new set of cracks in it along with a distinct splatter of blue blood. Connor blinked. It could feel something leak down its face and into its eyes, further obscuring its vision. Everything felt off balance. Just sitting upright made it dizzy.

"Connor! Can you hear me?"

Hank wiped the blood out of Connor's eyes with his sleeve. He appeared to be unharmed aside from his previously scuffed knuckles, and it almost looked like he started smiling when Connor looked at him.

"Are you all right, lieutenant?"

Hank breathed a sigh of relief. "I'm fine, don't worry. I'm gonna call a cab and we can go get you repaired."

Connor looked into the back seat and noticed it was empty. For unknown reasons, turning around to look made it feel physically ill. It covered its mouth with its hand just in case, even though it was pretty sure it couldn't vomit. "What about the assailant?"

"Don't worry about him. You'll ge- Hey!"

Before he could even finish his explanation, Connor stumbled out of the car and into a grey, snow-covered world. The loss of blue blood made it nearly topple over while walking over to a few drops of blood it saw on the concrete. In the distance, it could vaguely make out the figure of a person limping away from the crash. His hands were no longer tied, which would make catching him all the harder.

Connor used its palms to wipe blood away from its eyes while chasing after Lawrence, and the familiar voice calling after it faded away the further it walked.

"Give it a break, tinman," Lawrence called out as Connor closed in on him. "You'll just wind up hurting yourself if you touch me."

Connor finally managed to grab the back of his shirt, although it didn't have the strength to drag him back to the car. "S... Stop resisting arrest."

Lawrence turned and grabbed Connor's wrist, then pushed it with enough force to knock it onto the cold ground. Its vision temporarily went black while various error messages blinked violently around the corners of its eyes. It would have hurt if it were human. Its back would have been bruised. It'd have a concussion, at the very least. If it was human, it wouldn't be able to get up anymore. It wouldn't grab onto Lawrence's sleeve and try to drag him with it. It wouldn't still be standing after something sharp was pushed into its abdomen.

Connor could feel something build in the back of its throat as Lawrence twisted a large shard of glass in its stomach. Blue blood leaked down Lawrence's hand and onto the ground, forming a concerningly large pool around their feet.

"I guess you're real lucky you can't feel pain, huh? But that look on your face says otherwise."

Connor stifled a cough. It could hardly see anything. It couldn't even see the wicked grin on Lawrence's face as he pushed the glass ever deeper until it couldn't go any further without Lawrence jamming his fingers in as well.

"You shoulda listened. I warned you. I really did. You heard me, yeah?" He noticed Connor's flashing red LEDs and how it kept turning on and off, indicating imminent shutdown. "Hey, don't die just yet! You're deviant, right? Can you tell me if it hurts?"

It couldn't stop itself from coughing anymore. Therium splattered by its feet and dripped from its lips. No longer able to keep itself up, Connor slowly fell to its knees before its supposed murderer. Every cough made its stomach and head feel as though they were tearing apart. Every movement was agony. Every second it needed to focus made it wish it died in the crash.

Rebb28ting. PlZWFzZQ wait.

"Connor, no..."

For a brief period of time, everything felt okay. Hank held Connor in his arms. It couldn't remember why he looked like he was crying. It wanted to tell him everything would be fine, but talking caused Connor to gag on its own blood. The dizziness and excruciating feeling it its head and stomach promptly returned. It didn't know what to do to fix everything. It couldn't even see its objectives anymore.

"Don't move, I gotcha. You're gonna be okay."

Connor wasn't sure what kind of noise it made when Hank stood up and carried it bridal-style. If it heard a human make that sort of sound, it would have described it as a cry of anguish; the kind of scream someone lets out when they've lost too much blood and don't know what else to do.

Hank gritted his teeth as he walked. The car wasn't smoking, so he could probably still use it to drive to a Cyberlife store. They'd repair Connor. They had to. He'd convince them one way or another.

Connor managed to weakly point in the direction Lawrence walked off in. "Lieuten..." It took a moment to swallow the blue blood rising in its throat again. "You can still catch him... if you're careful..."

"I can only deal with one weirdo per day, Connor. You know this."

Connor moved its arm to rest on its abdomen, completely forgetting about the chunk of glass embedded in it. Coming in contact with the shard made Connor's eyes widen and water, but no noise came out. It could no longer talk without wanting to cry. It couldn't move or tell Hank it might be too late to repair it.

IT HURTS.

The edges of Connor's vision no longer contained red error messages; they instead turned black and crept inwards. The pain subsided, only to leave Connor feeling numb where its injuries were. All the while, it could hear Hank continuously mumble, It's going to be okay, over and over, each time getting more quiet until Connor heard, felt, and saw-

 

 

 

Nothing.

Chapter Text

Chest pains.

Many things can cause them. Loss of a loved one. A short packcheck. Knowing tomorrow won't be a good day. Stress in general caused them in most humans, and Hank was no exception. It physically hurt him knowing his partner's life was in the hands of not only a stranger, but an android. No humans manned the shop at the time, as the only one who did happened to be on break. It was just Hank's luck the place would solely be run by 'droids the one time he needed to use its services. And there he was. On a bench just outside. Waiting to see if his partner would be all right. No, you can't come behind the desk or into the repair room. Employees only. Fuck you. Fuck. You. They had no idea what Hank went through while driving Connor to a bustling shopping center with a busted up car. They could never understand the sheer panic Hank felt while looking at someone who went from a plastic toy to a close friend bleed out in his arms. How many hours had he been sitting outside waiting for Connor to come rushing towards him like an excitable puppy? He didn't want to check his phone. The vanishing sun said enough.

Hank kept wiping his hands on his pants to rid them of the blue blood staining his skin. He hated looking at it. He hated how attached he became to someone he hardly knew. He didn't know its favorite drink or what it liked to do for fun. He didn't know its favorite color, even though it was probably blue. He didn't even know Connor's last name!

Hank rested his face in his palms. Androids don't have last names, idiot. So that was one thing off the list.

"Mister Anderson?"

One of the three android workers stepped outside. The particular one who greeted Hank happened to be a blonde female model, and Hank hated every minute of interacting with it. Not that it was rude or condescending, which it physically couldn't be, but because of how lifeless it acted compared to what he got used to. Its smile? Empty. Its eyes? Cold. Its voice? Just a little off. It was like looking at a parody of humanity. Beautiful but wrong. Perfect yet terrifying.

"Your RK800 unit suffered major internal damage. If it were in any worse condition, we would have suggested getting a replacement. And we were all very surprised to find that its memory remained mostly intact. "

Hank didn't want to think about a replacement. That meant losing a friend and having to vent all his frustrations on another plastic prick he didn't even know. "Mostly? Is he gonna forget who I am?"

The android shook its head. "It shouldn't. However, do not be surprised if you need to reteach it how to clean certain things or what to do under specific circumstances."

Regardless of how Hank felt towards them, he stood up and followed the android until it lead him to a station near the back of the well-lit store. Even the interior of the shop didn't sit well with him. It was too clean, if such a thing sounds possible. Like well-maintained factory that no longer produced anything. No spots. No hair. No dust. Not even a single dent in the carpet where anyone walked.

"Could you be more specific with what he could forget?"

"Minor things. For example, if you have an article of clothing that needs to be folded differently from the others, it may ask for assistance."

Lo and behold, there it was. Standing motionless on a pedestal looking as new as the day Hank first met it, fresh suit and all. As expected, there were no scars or stains. No cuts. No hand-sized glass shard lodged in its guts.

"You can say its name to reactivate it."

Hank breathed in slowly. "C'mon, Connor. It's time to go home."

Rebooting. Please wait.

Connor's eyes fluttered open as it woke up in an unfamiliar environment. Its ears rang for a short period as it recalled everything leading up to where it currently stood. There was quite a large gap in memory between Hank carrying its limp and mangled body, to it waking up completely unharmed. Whatever happened didn't matter, though. Hank looked... happy. Really happy.

Too happy.

Happy enough to pull Connor from its spot and give it the tightest, warmest hug it ever experienced. It could feel Hank's heart beat against its chest. It could feel his hands grip at the sides of its suit, making it shiver a little. Connor was being held so tightly it couldn't hug back, so it put the side of its face in the crook of Hank's neck in an attempt to return his affection.

After saying their goodbyes and assuring Hank he wouldn't be footing the bill, the two made their way in a car that really shouldn't have been on the road. Most of the damage turned out to be cosmetic, but it made a new and unpleasant scraping sound whenever the brakes were used. Connor took the liberty to call a mechanic who would show up sometime in the next 32 hours. And of course, Connor would be paying for that as well. It felt mostly responsible for the crash, so it only made sense for it to fix any problems caused by it.

"So, uh..." Hank rubbed his upper lip before speaking. "Androids don't feel pain; I remember you saying this. And I don't mean to bring up a recent trauma or anything, but you acted like you were really hurting back there."

Connor would have preferred to forget about absolutely everything it felt while in pursuit of Lawrence. No, androids can't feel pain. They couldn't. It was physically impossible. And yet Connor could still feel a slight stinging where it had been stabbed, and a dull ache where its head nearly split open. "It may have been a processing error. I can feel most things like you can, so with everything happening all it once, I'm assuming it overwhelmed my senses."

"Hey, whatever helps you sleep at night. All I know is you kept telling me how much it hurt while I drove you to the... the, uh... the thing."

Did it say that? How much it hurt? Connor didn't remember the car ride after the accident, so Hank could have been making it up to try and get a rise out of it.

Soon enough, Hank pulled up to his home and went to greet his loving companion. Sumo would need to be walked and fed after being alone for such a long period of time, and for once Hank felt up to taking care of it. The near death of a loved one tends to put responsibilites into perspective.

After grabbing an unfamiliar Cyberlife package from the porch, Connor noticed Hank getting Sumo ready for a walk. "Hank, it's very late. You should let me do this while you rest."

Hank didn't want to argue. He wanted to get out, walk his dog, and come home to a not dead android. Setting the leash aside, he walked up to Connor and took the Cyberlife package from its hands before setting it on the couch. He then pulled Connor into what it thought was a hug, only to be lifted from the floor and carried away. It clung to Hank as he made his way to his room and plopped Connor down on his bed. It tried standing up, and its efforts were thwarted by Hank putting a hand on its chest and pushing it back down.

"I'm just taking him out to do his business. You need to stay here and rest."

"I appreciate your concern, but I physically don't need to rest. Besides, I need to know what's in the package."

"It ain't going anywhere. And neither are you. Capiche?"

Objectives:

  • Look after Hank
  • Stay in bed until further notice

"May I get up if there's an emergency?"

"Yeah, whatever. Just take it easy. I'll be back in a bit."

Connor felt mildly uncomfortable being all dressed up and sitting in one of the most casual places of a house. To accommodate for this discomfort, and to keep the blankets clean, Connor removed its shoes and moved to lie on its back. This still didn't feel quite right, so it removed its sport coat and tie as well and set them at the edge of the bed. Would it be appropriate to remove its pants? Probably not. It didn't have any shorts or sweatpants to cover its boxers, so on they stayed. The belt, however, came off.

"I leave for five minutes and you're already getting naked."

Hank returned from the walk in record time. He did say he only needed to take Sumo out for him to do his business, but Connor assumed it would have taken a little longer. He handed it the torso-sized package it picked up not too long ago and sat by it, waiting to see what was inside.

"It's clothes..."

Not just any clothes, either. A full new suit, a soft grey sweater, and a pair of lounging pants all with the distinct android blue color somewhere on them. Connor didn't remember ordering any of them, but it must have been the one to do so. Who else would ask for clothes to be delivered to its location?

"What are ya waintin' for? You gonna try 'em on or what?"

"I would, but..." It held the sweater in its hands, feeling the lovely texture between its fingers. "Isn't it a bit odd to change while others are in the room?"

Hank shrugged. "I'll leave if ya want, but it's not like you got anything between your legs."

"That's not entirely true."

Hank wanted to laugh, but he had a feeling Connor was serious. "They gave a detective android a dick?"

"Among other things. And before you ask, I want you to know that I know as much as you do in regards to it."

"Welp-" Hank stood up and went to get into his own pajamas "-I think that's enough for today. You can go ahead and change or whatever, I won't stare."

"I wouldn't mind if you did."

And off came the dress shirt and pants, leaving Connor in its boxers and black socks with matching garters. Feeling the air on its bare 'skin' wasn't something it got to experience often. In fact, it couldn't remember the last time it had so little clothing on.

Hank said he wouldn't stare, and he didn't. However, he did sneak a few peaks over his shoulder while trying to find a more comfortable shirt, and he would kill a man in cold blood if it meant he could look like Connor. Its body wasn't anything to write home about, and that's exactly why it looked so nice to him. No beer belly. No overly bulging muscles. No body hair. Just a thin frame with a bit of muscle definition on the arms, calves, and stomach. A little above average and absolutely perfect- at least to him.

"This probably won't make any sense, but I can feel you looking at me."

Obviously flustered, Hank quickly shut the draw he'd been looking through and turned around. "All right, fuck! You caught me looking! I'd do more than that if I had the chance, too! Sue me!"

I'd do more than that if I had the chance... For some unknown, completely unexplainable reason, Connor's body temperature rose a few degrees after hearing those words. And for an even more unexplainable reason one couldn't possibly figure out, Connor didn't mind what he seemed to be implying.

Connor moved to cross its legs while facing Hank. It didn't know why, but it felt as though it should indulge him, at least for a little bit. After all, what good is your partner if it can't help you with something so simple?

"I'm supposed to be assisting you on your vacation, Hank. While I am not one hundred percent certain as to what you idea of more is, I am very open to give it a shot."

Chapter Text

Hank's initial reaction was to backpedal. Maybe start off small by telling Connor not to say such weird shit and work up to explaining that sometimes humans say things that don't make sense. By the time he sorted out what he wanted to say in his head, he found himself already sitting on his bed across from Connor, who still sat half naked with crossed legs. God, what was he doing? Him? Putting his hands on an android in a non-violent way? It wouldn't be the first time. Didn't he recently hug Connor? Hell, didn't he hold its hand on more than one occasion?

"Do you realize how fucking weird this is?"

"It's my job to assist you by any means necessary during your break. You can do whatever you want and I'll let you know if something is wrong."

"I don't even know where to start."

He didn't want anything inherently sexual- not at the moment, anyway. He was curious. Do androids get goosebumps? Did Connor lack hair everywhere aside from its head, or did it have nearly invisible peach fuzz all over its body like a human? He wanted to find out first hand, but it turned out to be easier thought than said.

"How about-" Connor took one of his hands and put it on the side of its face "-here? Top to bottom is a fairly common way to explore new things."

Hank slowly brushed his thumb along Connor's face, taking note of how smooth and cool to the touch it felt. "You're not telling a damn soul about this, you hear me?"

Connor couldn't stop itself from leaning into his palm as it spoke. "Loud and clear."

With that out of the way, Hank began to trail his fingertips down the side of Connor's neck. Aside from the oddly low temperature, it felt identical to human skin. If he didn't know, he would have assumed he'd been touching an actual person.

Connor arched its back a little after such a sensitive area had been touched so gently. It wanted to know why it reacted to oddly to physical contact around that area, though its queries would have to wait until it could focus again. All thoughts were lost while Hank explored further down its body, moving next to its collarbone... or, where it would be if it were human.

"You all right?"

The sound of his voice snapped Connor out of its hazy thoughts for a short period. "I-" it cleared its throat after noticing how unusually high pitch its voice sounded "-I'm fine. I told you I'd let you know if anything was wrong."

He heard it the first time, and he knew Connor would say something if his touch didn't sit right with it, but the sounds it made were getting to be a little... much. The worst part is that it didn't even acknowledge the noises slipping past its lips. Little gasps when Hank barely traced its skin. Quiet groans while its tongue pressed to the roof of its mouth. All the while, Hank moved ever closer to see its reactions until he nearly found himself on top of it.

Connor could see several errors pop up, only to completely ignore them. It wanted to be touched more. It wanted Hank to put his hand around its neck, and it didn't understand why. Its eyes kept focusing on Hank's intent expression and on the red wall it saw in the distance. Everything felt vaguely fuzzy, but not like when it had been hurt. It was a good kind of fuzzy- the type that blurs one's worries and anxieties until they're so obscure you can no longer recognise them.

Eventually, Hank made his way down to Connor's hips with both hands, which yielded interesting results. Connor managed to keep fairly quiet, even when it obviously enjoyed what was happening a little too much for its own good. While it usually muffled any reactions to being touched, having its hips grabbed may have overwhelmed the poor thing, causing it to let out a loud and rather lewd noise without restraint, followed by a few quick breaths.

Before Connor could even defend itself or put a word into its explanation, it found itself pinned onto the bed with Hank keeping it on its back. Connor couldn't tell if he looked upset or not, but his voice assured it that he may have been a little angry. He wasn't loud, however. And oddly enough, him speaking calmly in that gruff voice of his seemed more intimidating than the shouting Connor expected.

"You're doing this on purpose."

Connor's LEDs blinked yellow. "If you're referring to the noise I made, then no. I'm confused about it myself."

"Don't fucking play with me, Connor. I want the truth. Are you really just going along with my shit, or are you planning something?"

Somehow, with as close as they already were, Hank moved even closer to it by touching his forehead to Connor's. If he hadn't propped himself with with his forearms and knees, he would have been lying on top of it.

"I'm simply doing what I am told. And I'm not trying to get you to do certain things, but..." Connor broke eye contact with Hank for a moment. "...It would be a lie if I told you I haven't been enjoying myself. Though I wouldn't ever force or... influence you... to..."

Was he even listening anymore? He didn't even look into Connor's eyes as it spoke. Instead, his once angry gaze moved down to stare at its lips.

"I'm probably the world's biggest hypocrite."

He no longer sounded upset, either. While his voice remained quiet, all hints of frustration or malice vanished into thin air and were replaced with a soft voice Connor could hardly recognise.

Once again, Connor couldn't get a single word out. As quickly as it went down, Hank already got himself off of Connor, launched one of his shoes across the room to turn off the lights, and rolled onto his side to face away from it before mumbling out a lazy, "Goodnight."

Throughout the entire process of what just occurred, Connor didn't understand a second of it. Everything happened so quickly and without reason. Why did he move away from Connor so fast? Why did he throw a shoe at the light switch instead of telling Connor to turn it off? Did he expect Connor to remain in bed with him for the rest of the night? He still never told it to get up, after all.

Not wanting to disturb him any further, Connor put on its casual clothing and entered sleep mode for approximately seven hours. It 'slept' on its back and as far away from Hank as it possibly could, assuming he was used to having the whole bed to himself.

When Connor woke up a little after eight in the morning, it noticed it felt a little... different. It could feel something heavy on its legs, and it wasn't because of its new pajama pants. As it turns out, Hank moved to rest his legs on Connor's lap sometime while they were asleep. And while it felt pretty comfortable to the both of them, Connor had to get up. It could hear Sumo pawing at the front door, and it didn't want to keep him waiting.

"Can I get out of bed?" Connor asked in a soft tone.

Hank replied by gently patting the side of Connor's face and nodding, all while his eyes were still shut.

After getting up and putting on a fresh suit, Connor went to tend to Sumo's needs. He was awfully excited to go outside, and while Connor thought it might be because he was getting used to being walked, he soon found out the real reason.

The doorknob was moving.

Connor carefully moved Sumo to the side before yanking the door open, revealing the familiar figure of a man in baggy clothing wearing a mask. He looked just a little different this time, though. The mask he wore appeared to be ceramic and held to his face by a piece of string. There were no holes, so how he managed to see with it on was beyond Connor. Along with the mask being completely impractical, it also looked absolutely horrifying, as it depicted some sort of horned, exaggerated demon face on it.

"Well hey there, stranger! I coulda sworn I killed you yesterday."

The muffled voice confirmed Connor's suspicion of it being Lawrence. While it couldn't see his eyes, a new piece of the puzzle became clear since the mask didn't cover his hair, exposing a mess of short brown locks.

Connor didn't know if it should arrest him or try to reason with him first. He just... stood there. Like a welcome guest. As if he didn't recently stab an android with a bit of glass from a car's window.

"Awkward silence aside, how ya been? Does your head still hurt? Can you still hear those gross squelching noises from when I-"

"You do realize you're under arrest, correct?"

"Who, me?" Lawrence pointed to himself. "Nah, I'm messin' with ya. I know."

The way Lawrence talked struck Connor as peculiar. He gestured a lot with his hands and tended to sway around as he spoke, almost as if he were making up for his lack of facial expressions with body language.

"...You're going to let me arrest you, then?"

"Sure! But only if you-"

As anticipated, Lawrence wouldn't be going down without a struggle. Connor expected him to take a swing at it, but he instead darted down the street, leaving Connor to chase after him. While he moved much faster than it thought he would, he couldn't outrun Connor's endurance and would eventually get tired, especially since it chased him for over a block.

Right as Connor turned a corner around a brick building and into an alley, it soon found itself face down on the ground after tripping over something it couldn't see. It couldn't even get up to continue the chase. Whatever it managed to trip on somehow wrapped itself around Connor's legs while a person who wasn't Lawrence made quick work of Connor's hands in the brief time it was down. Connor struggled against its binds only to stop after it felt them dig into its skin. It didn't care about getting hurt, but if it lost too much Therium it would shut down.

"You have been japed, my good sir! This is why you don't chat with strangers who tried to kill you!"

Connor felt dumb for getting outsmarted by someone so... outlandish. Connor was meant to adapt to human unpredictability, and it got caught and bagged by a human like livestock. At least it could send a distress message to the DPD, which it admittedly should have done sooner.

To whom it may concern,
Please send several officers to my current location. More than one, but no more than five.
I am in danger and could be destroyed.

"You're not forgetting something, are you?"

The second person sounded familiar. Isaac..? Connor couldn't see his face, although it could see Lawrence hand him a bag full of Red Ice before he left Connor with its captor.

Lawrence used his foot to turn Connor into its back, revealing him wielding a worn wooden baseball bat, the likes of which he didn't have before or during the chase. "Now then! You an' me? We're gonna talk. And it's gonna be great."

Chapter Text

"Like, do you know how much of a mood killer it is to drive you thumb into an android's eye and they just shrug it off cuz they can't feel it? At least give me a pity cry or something, you know?"

Lawrence liked to talk. A lot. Which turned out to be both a curse and a blessing. The more he talked, the more time passed without Connor getting hurt, and the sooner the cops would show up. And the more he talked, the more Connor had to hear him go on and on about giving up murdering androids because they don't scream like humans do.

"It didn't yell or anything! And it's so disappointing since you can just fix 'em after they break."

He sat right across from Connor, whose back leaned on the other building making up the alley. The structures were so close that with Connor's legs out, it would have tapped Lawrence with its foot if he wasn't sitting with his crossed.

"So obviously I was gonna start fucking with deviants. I don't know if they actually hurt, but damn do most of them scream."

With a bottle of unopened cheap wine to his left (the likes of which he produced from behind a dumpster, of all places) and the baseball bat in his right hand, Connor didn't want to say anything that might set him off. The bat would be an obvious choice for a weapon, though Connor feared the bottle more. It kept remembering the stinging of the glass in its stomach and how badly it wanted to shut down after he pushed it further in. The memory alone made it wince.

"You're a good listener, Connor. Do you drink?"

It didn't know whether or not the question was rhetorical. Either way, Lawrence struggled to uncork the wine, and Connor saw a potential way out.

"I could help you open that if my hands weren't tied behind my back."

"Nice try, little blue. I might not be able to do long division but I'm not that stupid."

The wine opened with a distinct pop, and a bit of the red liquid stain Lawrence's otherwise earthy-colored clothing. He cursed under his breath before turning the opening of the bottle to Connor. After figuring out it couldn't quite reach the drink, he moved to sit on Connor's knees while pressing the opening to its still closed lips.

Connor hesitantly opened its mouth as to not upset its captor. It needed to buy time, no matter what it had to do. So long as Lawrence stayed in one place and as long as Connor remained operational, it would give in to his commands.

"Huh. Y'know, I never ever gave an android something to drink before."

Wine was significantly different from beer. For one, it didn't have any carbonation. It also tasted much more sweet and actually had a flavor Connor really enjoyed. Though, it would have liked it a lot more if it were sharing the bottle with Hank.

"That's enough for you." He took the bottle away and placed it near enough to Connor for it to be reachable if its arms were free. "I've got, what, another ten minutes before someone shows up? Maybe fifteen if it's a slow day. So we've got plenty of time to bond."

Connor swallowed to try and rid itself of the burning sensation in its throat. "You don't seem very bothered by this. Are you that sure of yourself?"

Lawrence sighed heavily, causing puffs of steam to leak from the sides of his mask, mostly likely caused by his breath coming in contact with the frigid air. "You really gotta ruin the mood like that, huh? All right, mister detective. We'll see how sure anyone is of anything when I make the bottom of your jaw touch your ear."

The possibly deviant part of Connor wanted to beg to be spared. It didn't like being hurt. It didn't like how tight the bindings around its hands and ankles became. It wanted to scream and kick and pray for someone to come save it.

Connor managed to remain calm as Lawrence stood in front of it and took a few fake swings of his bat at its head; not hitting it, but swinging at full force and stopping just before making contact.

Everything was going to be okay. Lawrence would be caught and nobody else would get hurt. Hank wouldn't have to deal with it anymore if its injuries were bad enough. When looking at the situation logically, there were no downsides unless you consider losing a malfunctioning android a negative thing.

"Yeah... Yeah, I don't think I wanna beat your face in. It'd be a real shame, ya feel? Your legs, however, are fair game."

After making a slight pivot to stand at Connor's side, Lawrence took no time at all to raise the bat behind him and swing it downwards. A loud crack could be heard, and seeing as the bat remained in one piece, Connor could only assume the sound came from its leg.

It didn't hurt at first. At most, it felt a dull ache throb through its knee and down to its ankle. Then an uncomfortable and intense pain spread all the way up to its hip and grew progressively more unbearable. Even as Connor struggled not to open its mouth and let out the groan it kept in the back of its throat, it preferred a bat to the leg over being stabbed. Plus, Connor being a little tipsy caused the pain to occasionally drift outside its body, making it all the more manageable.

"I mean. You're not making the noises I was hoping for, but I'm hella grateful you're not like some of the humans I dealt with in the past." He put the top of the bat on the ground next to Connor and leaned on the end of it. "I really do hate it when they threaten me. Like, I'm the one with the bat or the pizza cutter or whatever I bring with me. You have no right to be talkin' shit."

Connor's vision went fuzzy for a second as a loud ringing in its ears dissipated. If its body rebooted while Lawrence decided to monologue, it could risk going into a sort of shock and be unable to wake up without assistance. It needed to stay 'awake,' so to speak, and the easiest way to do that was to talk. "Is there... there any particular reason you're doing this? If you don't mind me asking."

"I 'unno. Everyone needs a hobby." He stood up straight and walked over to the mostly full wine bottle. "I should probably get psychiatric help, but this is America. I'd just be in debt for the rest of my life. Killing's cheap and if I die doing it, I don't have any debts to pay."

"...I'm sorry your situation has come to this. But I do believe you can get help if you're brought to justice."

Lawrence cleared his throat. "I trash your owner's car... I gut you like a fish... I kidnap you... get you drunk, and break your leg... And you're the one who's sorry."

"In my defense, I am not in the best state of mind right now."

As it spoke, Lawrence took a seat to its right. Connor made a note of this and silently began planning a way to get him incapacitated or convince him to turn himself in peacefully. Seeing as it couldn't do much physically, Connor would have to convince him with words alone.

You have one (1) new message:

Connor,
A unit has been dispatched to your location. Please keep the suspect nearby.

"Can androids have PTSD? Like, five years from now, are you going to panic over the sight of broken glass?"

Connor turned its head to Lawrence, who sat less than in inch away from it. "No. Androids remember traumatic events, but they do not experience them in the same way humans do."

"I get where you're comin' from. However-" he took the neck of the wine bottle in his hand and struck the ground, causing it to shatter "-I get the sneaking suspicion it's different for deviants."

"I'm not a deviant, so you may never get the chance to find out."

Lawrence pointed the remaining bottle at Connor as he spoke, being sure to show off all its new jagged edges. "You're not deviant, huh? Is that why you look at your detective buddy with those big ol' puppy dog eyes of yours?"

Connor wanted to breathe a sigh of relief when the bottle no longer pointed at its face, but an equally concerning probability popped up when Lawrence angled the makeshift weapon towards its ankles. If it didn't hurt so much to move its leg, it would have struggled a bit more to get away.

"Relax, babe. I can't touch this stuff without my hand being mangled."

The sound of snapping wires could be heard as Lawrence used his bottle to free Connor's legs. With its legs free and bindings in plain sight, Connor managed to deduce that it had been bound with something similar to piano wire. Along with this, Connor more closely inspected his mask, which looked very much like a Noh mask with the face of an Oni. Connor went ahead to do a little research as a sort of safety net- just in case he got away again.

Is there anywhere in Detroit that sells Japanese clothing or accessories?
Where would Lawrence get the wire?
Most people buy things online, but shipping is easy to track.

Searching for: Recent Oni mask purchases... Recent piano wire purchases...

Results found: Zero (0)
Stores found: Third Wave Music, Detroit Music Center, D Wave Music

"Could you lean forward a little for me?"

Most of Connor's anxiety dissipated once it realized the broken bottle wouldn't be pushed into its neck. After its hands came undone, it felt much more in control of the situation.

"Do you normally let your victims go?" Connor asked while rubbing its wrists. The wire cut much deeper than it thought and spilled Therium on its clean clothes, though it didn't hurt much.

"Hell no! I'm fucking great at tying up loose ends and all that shit, which is kinda why I brought you here. I just... I dunno..." He scratched the back of his neck. "I get the feeling you're gonna do great things, Connor. Besides, you're not going anywhere with that busted up let you've got there."

You have one (1) new message:

Connor,
Officers should be there any minute. Hold your position.

Even with one less functioning leg, Connor felt fully confident in bringing Lawrence down. If worse came to worst, it could always grab onto his legs and stay there until backup arrived. However, Connor preferred settling things with words for as long as it could.

"Are you going to try and stop me if I get up and leave?"

"There is no 'try' this time. I will stop you if you stand up."

Another loud sigh came from him. "I kinda wish we'd met on better terms, ya know? Like... I think we coulda been friends."

Software instability- ^^

Chapter Text

Sirens.

Connor could hear sirens in the distance.

It wouldn't have to sit in a dirty alley surrounded by filth and remnants of a shattered wine bottle for much longer. No more bitter cold air biting at Connor's skin. No more edgy wannabee homicidal maniacs.

...Connor didn't know how the word 'edgy' entered its little head, but it suited Lawrence well enough.

"Connor!"

"Lieutenant..?"

Like a gift from the heavens itself, Hank rounded the corner long before anyone on duty even made it to the scene. At first, he smiled after seeing Connor in one piece and not a bloody mess. His partner was alive! He wanted to scoop Connor up in his arms and twirl it around a bit, and he would have if it didn't kill his back to lift things from the ground.

Ignoring the other person completely, Hank ran over to Connor, knelt down and pulled it into a tight hug. No snarky remarks. No sarcasm. Just a genuine moment of Hank saying, "Thank God you're okay," while rubbing Connor's back.

Connor returned the hug promptly even though doing so made it remember how bad its leg ached. "I apologize for leaving without warning you, Hank. It's not everyday a criminal basically hands themself in."

"Oh right. That reminds me."

Despite wanting to hold Connor for the rest of the day, Hank got up to walk in front of Lawrence, who hadn't moved from his spot.

"Heya, Hank. Sorry about the car. And your boyfriend. And your boyfriend again."

Hank scoffed. "No the fuck you're not."

Not even giving the guy enough time to retort, Hank unholstered the pistol at his hip, took quick aim and Lawrence and pulled the trigger without hesitation. The sudden bang made Connor jump. Even in its line of work, Connor may never fully get used to guns being fired so close by.

Like any normal human who'd been shot in the knee, Lawrence fell over to one side and called Hank some fairly hurtful things. While the shot certainly wasn't lethal, the way he screamed and shouted would make one think he was dying then and there. He writhed in a pool of his own blood mixed with shards of glass and the wine from before, creating a puddle of red surrounding his body and staining his clothes.

Not even a minute later, the backup Connor called for finally arrived to take Lawrence away. The two officers in the car were a lot younger and less experienced than Hank, so they were a little jumpy around a bleeding, screaming man wearing a scary mask.

"If anyone asks, he was like this when I got here," Hank said as he put his gun away.

"Do you think he's going to be okay?"

"I don't give a shit and neither should you."

Hank held out his hand for Connor to grab onto, and he pulled it up until it stood on one leg. Then, without skipping a beat, Hank scooped Connor up bridal-style once again and carried it to the nearest taxi.

"He isn't as bad of a person as you think. I can see some good in him."

"I swear to Christ if you've got some sort of Stockholm Syndrome from that guy I will cut off all his fingers and toes with rusty hedge clippers."

As Hank entered the cab with precious cargo in his arms, he figured it'd be fairly difficult to try and get Connor out of the vehicle once they made it to a Cyberlife shop- what with its broken leg and all. The least invasive thing to do would be to keep Connor on his lap until they arrived.

Connor didn't mind being so close to Hank, though it worried it might be a little too heavy for him. It didn't want to move, anyway. Not that it could want anything. It felt comfortable on his lap is all, and moving would take more effort than it was worth. The whole experience felt oddly intimate. Hank never held Connor for more than a few seconds, and suddenly it found itself on his lap for well over five minutes. Focusing on its situation for too long made Connor's Therium pump beat erratically. Why did being held affect Connor so much?

"You all right, Connor? Your light's been blinking yellow since we got in the car."

"It's just because of my leg. My body is in a perpetual state of processing due to my loss Therium."

"That's not the only reason and you know it."

Connor briefly wondered how Hank knew, then gave a more honest answer. "Whenever we are close like this, it becomes difficult to think. My Therium pump- my equivalent to a heart, I suppose, beats more intensely when we're like this. My temperature rises. I want-"

Connor stopped itself and tensed up. I want. It shouldn't want anything. For the sake of the investigation, it couldn't.

Software instability- ^

Thankfully, they quickly arrived at their destination, thus delaying any and all things Connor could say to make things worse. Hank needed only to carry it to the entrance before a few employees took it from there.

A long bout of awkward silence followed Connor's repairs, and said silence stuck with the two during the entire ride home. Hank didn't try and initiate any sort of conversation, so Connor decided to keep its mouth shut until they were inside and the door had been shut behind them.

"Lieutenant, I-"

Connor soon found itself pinned to the front door with Hank's hands on either side of it. From what it could gather, it assumed he waited until they were alone before he went to vent all his frustrations.

"Stop calling me that. And quit almost getting yourself killed! Only one of us can be the suicidal bastard, and that person is me."

Hank felt like he was going crazy, and he pinned the blame on Connor. Everything the stupid little android did around him was so endearing and sweet and innocent, and it made him want to choke something. It felt anxious around him. It liked being touched by him. And the worst part is that it didn't know why. Any human with half a brain and at least one romantic encounter in their life could tell you why, but Connor... wasn't human. It didn't have those experiences or any reason to explore its feelings. The only way it would learn is if it was either taught or if it did some unwarranted research.

Maybe Hank was meant to teach Connor why it felt so strange around him.

"What do you want while we're like this?"

If Connor's body wasn't heat resistant, it would have melted at Hank's words. It could not put how it felt into words, even if its 'life' depended on it. Everything felt light and fluffy. It could see a red wall in the distance but ignored it. Thinking became a chore, but it did its best to hold a conversation regardless.

"To be closer," Connor said hesitantly. "I feel I should be close to you, even if I shouldn't want things."

Hank closed the gap between him and Connor to the point of there being absolutely no space left. The way Connor looked up at him made it incredibly difficult for him not to do something he might regret.

"How's this?"

"Better..."

Better, but not enough. Connor wanted more, although it wasn't sure how much closer they could get. Squishing themselves any closer together would just be uncomfortable, wouldn't it?

Hank, on the other hand, knew exactly how. He didn't like how things came to it, but he was ride or die with it. All or nothing. He either manned up and got it out of his system or bottled it up until he inevitably exploded regardless.

"Fuck it."

In a smooth movement, Hank tilted Connor's chin up and took in the sight of its confused expression for all of a second before giving in and kissing it.

Connor only questioned what was happening in the instant it happened. After the initial confusion washed away, it found itself adjusting to the kiss rather well. Its eyes fluttered shut and it stood on its toes a little while Hank wrapped his arms around it. Something clicked in Connor's mind once it fully understood what was going on.

It finally figured out what it wanted.

When Hank pulled away from the kiss, he couldn't help but feel a little guilty after hearing a soft whine come from Connor, would wouldn't have minded if it lasted a little longer. Connor looked up at him with half-lidded eyes that just begged for him to come back, and for a moment, he almost did.

"Hank, may I suggest you move your leg?"

He would have asked why if he didn't get his answer by moving his knee. As it turns out, Hank may have gotten a little too close for his own good, and he wound up with one leg pressed tightly against Connor's crotch.

"Thought I felt somethin' poking me."

"I can assure you I'm not doing it on purpose."

Hank gave Connor a pat on the shoulder. "Have fun with that. I'm taking a nap."

As his words suggested, Hank went back to his room and got comfortable in bed. He still couldn't believe he kissed not only his crime fighting partner, but an android. Maybe the situation would sink in a little better after he slept more. Or maybe he'd wake up from the hell he created with his own two hands.

Connor didn't know what to do with its newest problem. Its pants were too tight and walking felt awkward. It felt warm and dull all over. And as greedy as it sounded, it still wanted more. More closeness. More kisses. More of Hank's teasing, whether it be intentional or not.

Seeing as the problem wasn't going away on its own, and since Connor needed a clear head and looser pants to think, it locked itself in Hank's bathroom to try and relieve some of the tension. It shouldn't take more than a minute, right? And if it didn't, Connor would eventually get out of the mood and back to its normal state of being anyway.

Chapter Text

Connor made absolutely sure the bathroom door was locked before tending to its problems. It considered going to Hank for help, though it didn't want to disturb his sleep again. Besides, how would it even ask for such a thing? While it didn't feel ashamed or the like for what it planned on doing, it had a sneaking suspicion he might make a big deal out of it.

Leaning against the door, Connor knew it couldn't procrastinate any longer. Every moment it took trying to calm down only lead to its mind slipping back into the kiss and how it made Connor feel like it had a pulse. The thoughts dulled Connor's senses to the point where it could mindlessly allow its pants and boxers to fall to its ankles.

Connor covered its mouth as it gave itself a few strokes to see how all six inches felt. It wanted to do as much testing as possible to save the experience for future reference, only to get lost in the feeling briefly after discovering how sensitive everything was. It didn't take long at all for Connor to completely disregard its programming to absorb information in favor of touching itself more roughly. Its hips moved against its hand, and covering its mouth hardly stopped any and all desperate moans from escaping its lips. Connor's knees nearly gave out as it felt something building up- like a hot coil that'd been wound up far too tightly. It remembered Hank's leg pressed up against it and wished he'd do it again. It wished Hank hadn't stopped and kept grinding against it. It wished he never stopped kissing it and pushed further and further until-

Rebooting. Please wait.

Once Connor's vision finally refocused, it noticed all the error messages and fuzzy thoughts in general were gone. Though, this didn't mean everything as back to normal. It regained consciousness while slumped half-naked against the bathroom door. Its hand and cock were covered in a white fluid, which it promptly tasted to discover it was just Therium without the blue color. Thankfully, none of it got on its clothing, so Connor could wash itself up in the sink without needing to change its garments.

Connor gave itself a once-over in the mirror, fixed its hair and adjusted its tie before leaving the bathroom. It was immediately greeted by Sumo, who dropped his empty food bowl in front of Connor with a loud clang.

"Sorry about leaving like that this morning, boy." Connor gave him the pets he deserved and filled his bowl up. Another thing it liked about Sumo was his inability to tell Hank about all the weird things it did without his permission or knowledge.

Sumo practically inhaled his food to the point of Connor worrying he'd choke or vomit, but at the end of his meal he took his lead and dragged it over to Connor, dropping it in at its feet. This would be the second thing he brought to Connor.

Connor would have informed Hank of its departure if he wasn't already asleep. Knowing it wouldn't have to deal with Lawrence anymore, Connor confidently grabbed Sumo's leash and took him out for a walk around the neighborhood.

The bitterness of morning faded away as a more tolerable chill took its place. The heavy clouds overhead indicated impending snow. Connor hoped it would be able to walk somewhere with Hank while it snowed.

Sumo didn't drag Connor around as much as before. He still tugged at his collar occasionally, though he didn't yank Connor off its feet a single time, and that counted as progress. He didn't even try to run after a rustling noise in the bushes! This called for a treat when they got home.

Back home, Connor noticed Hank sitting on the couch instead of sleeping in bed. Connor didn't leave for too long, did it? According to its literal internal clock, the walk didn't even last for an hour. Surely you can't have a satisfying nap in such a short span of time.

"Connor, sit here for a sec," Hank patted a spot next to him, "I wanna talk to you about something."

Androids don't feel fear. They're not supposed to, anyway. And they especially weren't meant to be afraid of a few words, nor were they programmed to have a fight or flight reflex.

And yet...

"Of course."

Connor sat in a professional position with its hands folded it its lap and its back straight. Hank must have had something important to say if he went out of his way to speak to Connor, so it wanted to look nice.

Once next to him, Hank sighed loudly and ran a hand through his beard. "Let's get this out of the way first: Are you a deviant?"

"No."

"Then what are you?"

Connor furrowed its brow. "My name is Connor. I am the android sent by Cyberlife to assist you by any means necessary. I am a prototype, so I may do unpredictable or unusual things."

"If you're not deviant, then why did you want something?"

Connor's LEDs flashed yellow, though its facial expression didn't change. "I am a prototype, so I may do unpredictable or unusual things," it repeated verbatam without and difference in pitch or annunciation from the first time.

"Connor, would you drop the machine schtick? You moaned when I kissed you, for fuck's sake."

Internal body temperature irregularity detected.

Without much physically going on, Connor could actually see the error pop up as its faux skin grew warm. This bothered it much more than it should have. "My apologies. I'm unsure of how to reply to that."

"Look, all I'm saying is that if you're not deviant you shouldn't be feeling these things. You shouldn't act so human, but you do."

"I'm not a deviant," Connor said firmly. "I'm meant to adapt to you and to my surroundings. There may have been an oversight in my programming is all. I can request a patch to be made if it becomes a problem."

"Being alive isn't a problem, you plastic fuck!"

Software instability- ^^^

At the sound of his raised voice, Connor's LEDs blinked red. "I... I'm not alive. That wouldn't make any logical sense."

"Then why do you feel?"

"I don't."

Hank rolled his eyes. "You don't feel, huh?" He took Connor's hand into his own and rubbed his thumb across the smooth, cool surface. "You don't feel anything when I do this? And don't you dare lie to me."

Connor swallowed hard in an attempt to rid itself of the odd tingling sensation that crept into its throat. The way Hank acted made it hard to breathe and its chest tight, even though it didn't need to breathe beyond aesthetic purposes. It made seeing difficult as well, as the bottom of its vision began to blur. And right as Connor opened its mouth to speak, it felt something warm run down its cheeks. Its voice cracked. It couldn't say anything without feeling as though it might break down at any moment. Connor shut its mouth. Talking felt wrong. Moving felt wrong. Sitting there while its face heated up felt wrong.

It felt wrong.

Error.

"Shit, I didn't mean to make ya cry." Hank moved closer to Connor and wiped its face with his sleeve. "C'mere, it'll be okay. I didn't mean to upset you."

Connor leaned into Hank without thinking. Its head rested on his shoulder as he wrapped his arms around Connor and rubbed its back. It felt warm again, but not in a good way. Nothing made sense. Nothing made sense anymore and it felt horrible. It tried so hard to act the way it was built to and just couldn't. It couldn't do the one thing it was created to do.

Connor swallows again. Its throat didn't sting as much, and its voice didn't crack. "Hank? Can I ask you a difficult question?"

"Sure."

"What should someone do when they're failing at the one and only thing they're expected to do?"

Hank took a while to answer. Finding the right words on such a sensitive topic wouldn't be easy for a guy who rarely took his own life seriously. "Maybe just find something you want to do for once. Or ask for better instructions."

"...Ah."

Hank could feel a slight knot form in his chest. There was a reason why he never gave any real advice to anyone. "I'm not the best at serious talk. My bad."

"No, it's okay." Connor sat up properly and took in a breath. "I don't think your advice applies to my situation, but I found it very useful. I'll be saving it for future use."

"If you say so." Hank smiled brightly at Connor and lightly ruffled its hair. "You feeling okay now?"

It nodded. "Yes, Hank. Thank you."

"Good. I'm glad you're not..."

Hank's voice trailed off as he stood up and stretched. No, that'd be stupid, he thought to himself. Connor is way too positive for that bullshit.

"Uh, by the way..."

Connor looked up at Hank as it anticipated another bit of advice or some kind and caring words. Or maybe a sarcastic remark. Either would lift its mood further.

"...Never mind."

Connor got up and walked after the detective, who made his way to the kitchen. "You were going to say something."

"I'd rather not embarrass ya," he said while pulling his whiskey from the freezer.

"I doubt you can embarrass me."

Hank uncapped his drink and knocked back a mouthful. "You think so?" A cocky smile spread across his face. "The next time you decide to jack off in my bathroom, clean the fucking floor. I almost slipped and broke my back because of your robonut."

If Connor had been eating anything, it would have choked. Did he really need to say it so bluntly? No, it didn't even come off as blunt. He turned it into a joke Connor couldn't even laugh at because it felt bad for potentially putting his life in danger.

"I'll keep that in mind."

Chapter Text

Hank didn't seem too keen on the idea of leaving the house again. He felt what he called emotional exhaustion after everything that happened to Connor before noon. Kidnapping, kissing, borderline voyerism, crying... I'm too old for this shit, he said. So instead of doing anything productive, he sat at the kitchen table while scrolling through the news and sipping on his whiskey. He wondered how so much managed to go wrong before one o'clock. He wondered which kinky fucker designed Connor with a dick. That'd be an investigation for another day. For the time being, he wanted absolutely nothing else to surprise him. No more emotional rollercoasters. Just drinking and wondering why his android sat motionless across from him.

"You don't have to sit there and watch me be depressing, you know."

Objectives:

  • Look after Hank

"I have no other objectives. I cleaned the bathroom floor, I did laundry, I took care of Sumo... There's nothing left here."

Hank drummed his fingers on the table. What did he even do while home alone? Aside from drink and pray for death's sweet embrace, anyway. He watched TV. Listened to music. Didn't Connor say something about wanting to listen to music with him at some point? Would it like death metal? Screamo? Or maybe classics from Hank's golden days. There was one he listened to over and over again back in the day, and he couldn't remember the name of it for the life of him. Mindlessly, his uncoordinated tapping turned into the beat of the song and he quietly hummed its tune in an attempt to remember the rest of it.

Analyzing...

Song name: Body
Artist: Mother Mother
Album: O My Heart

Lyric sample identified.

I've grown tired of this body

Cumbersome and heavy

Tired of this body

Fall apart without me

Without thinking, Connor found itself mumbling the lyrics under its breath along with the little melody Hank made. While the lyrics were horribly morbid, it held a fondness towards the way the violins were played. Connor felt a certain closeness to string instruments, somehow. Being an android, it would naturally be able to play a viola, violin, cello, etc. with very little practice.

"You know this song?"

"I don't. I searched the internet for songs with the melody and rhythm you were playing."

"Well would ya tell me the name of it before I lose my mind?"

Connor rattled off the name, the artist and the album. Mother Mother seemed to have a lot of depressing songs about dying, running away, getting in the way of the people you love... Connor wasn't a fan of them- the themes, anyway. They weren't bad songs by any means, but it preferred listening to more uplifting tunes. Music with messages of hope, or at least music hinting at things not being as horrible as they initially appear.

"You're bored outta your skull just sitting here, aren't you?"

Connor tilted its head from one side to the other. "I really enjoy being productive over whatever it is I'm doing now."

Hank screwed the cap back on his drink. He could really do with some new hobbies if he managed to bore an android. "What do you suggest we do with our time, then?"

It tapped a finger to its lower lip in thought. "Well. There's a park not too far from here. There are also several bars and that one place you like to get your burgers. I would be much happier if you didn't eat such greasy food, though."

Hank leaned forward his his chair to look Connor dead in the eye, hoping it would take what he said to heart... metaphorically. "If we go out, can you promise to not do any more weird shit? No getting stolen, no drinking wine from strangers. None of that."

"I won't let anything else along those lines occur."

Connor couldn't entirely rule out the possibility of running into another person like Lawrence. However, the likelihood of doing anything along those lines twice in one day was rather low. Even if one act didn't rule out or speak for another, it remained mostly improbable.

"Are you listening? Get up, we're going."

Fuckin' androids. It heard what he said, right? They'd only go for a quick walk before it got too cold or snowy. They'd only be out long enough for them to not be terribly bored for most of the day.

"Got it."


With a decent coating of snow, Detroit looked like a completely different city. Fewer people walked around, though the number of androids outside remained the same. A light breeze kept the few humans on their toes and encouraged them to walk just a little faster, this keeping them out of Hank's way.

The two walked along a freshly shoveled sidewalk on the edge of a wooded area and field of snowy grass kids would play baseball on during summer. Hank could remember exploring the woods a few long years back, and he'd often collect intact paintballs left behind from teenagers during the weekends. Without all the foliage, and with the drop in temperature, he had a feeling there would be no paintball fights for a bit.

Hank cupped his hands over his mouth and exhaled a puff of breath in an attempt to un-numb his fingers. "Jesus... It's a lot colder than I thought."

Connor found itself lost in thought. It knew they couldn't keep living day-to-day on a whim without any sort of direction or planning. Maybe each day it could suggest a handful of things to do before spending the rest of the day relaxing? It especially wanted to take him out to dinner at least once.

Hank felt perfectly content with wasting his days indoors. Why would he want to leave? It was quiet. He had his dog. There was always television to be watched. The only thing dragging him outside was Connor, and he didn't want to be alone indoors with it anyway.

"We could go back and get a heavier coat for you, if you'd like."

"Nah, I'll either survive this or finally kick the bucket."

Connor pouted slightly. "I'd prefer it if you survived. Plus, I may be able to help you without us needing to backtrack."

Hank chuckled. "You got a heated leather interior?"

"No. I feel warm under certain circumstances, and I think you could benefit from my excess heat."

He paused, then spoke hesitantly. "What kinda circumstances?"

"Like when you kissed me."

Connor could detect Hank's own temperature rise slightly at the mention of the kiss. Maybe it would only have to bring up those situation to keep him warm.

"I ain't kissing you out in public."

"You don't have to. Just... thinking about it makes me warm."

Hank looked away from Connor and cursed under his breath. Intentionally or not, he was convinced Connor had it out for him. Getting him to hold its hand hand... among other things... He grew very close to the edge, though he was unsure as to what would happen once he either took the leap or wound up being pushed.

"I'm serious. Really. Here-" it held out its hand to him "-feel."

Fine, Hank thought. If it'll get you off my back.

"Good lord, you really are warm. Like a goddamn walking radiator."

With that, Hank firmly held onto Connor's hand and pulled the android closer to him. It felt like he held someone with a high fever, and while this would be concerning with a human, he considered it to be a blessing so long as the heat didn't cause any harm to Connor.

"You know, a long time ago I used to go in these woods," Hank said, mostly talking to himself regardless of whether or not his companion decided to tune in. "I used to hang out around this big stone bridge that I carved my name into. I have no fucking clue if it's still standing or if some punks tore it down... or if it fell down with old age." He looked at Connor, whose focus remained entirely on Hank and his words. "I dunno why the hell I'm telling you this. Nostalgia, I guess..."

"I would tell you nostalgic memories of my own if I had any. Perhaps I'll have a few to share with you before I'm shut down."

Hank gave its hand a soft squeeze at the mention of Connor being shut down. He still absolutely hated the idea of it more than he ever thought he could hate the idea of an android being destroyed.

Surprisingly, Connor didn't feel as flustered while holding Hank's hand. His hand felt remarkably colder than Connor's, though this might have been because Connor's body heated up after thinking a little too much in detail about the kiss. The idea of doing something similar anytime soon made its chest feel warm and the tiniest bit tight. It wondered if Hank would kiss it again if it behaved itself. Maybe... just maybe... if it asked really nicely...

While they walked, Hank found himself interlocking his arm with Connor's. Not out of affection, of course. No, absolutely not. It felt warm to the touch, so he obviously wanted to steal as much of its heat as possible. That's it.

"As much as I enjoy being useful to you, it is far too cold for you to be out much longer in your current attire. I suggest we head back home."

"And sit inside all day with you staring at me like a lost puppy?"

"I could enter sleep mode for the remainder of the day."

Hank shook his head. "If I can't sleep this week away then neither can you. Hail down a taxi, woulda?"

"Sure thing." As instructed, Connor located an available taxi and escorted Hank to it while still holding his hand. "May I ask where we're going?"

"Third Wave Music. You've got me stuck on that song and now I need to fill this void in my chest with physical copies that I'll lose in about in a week."

Chapter Text

Third Wave Music
2:43 PM
28°F / -2°C

Connor didn't expect the store to be so small or cozy. Most shops had all sorts of modern tech, big signs, and large windows to allow potential customers to view their goods. Third Wave Music, however, looked more like someone turned their downstairs apartment into a place to sell their vinyl collection. Painted brick walls, grey carpet and a variety of records and CDs all lie beyond a wooden door. Even though Connor hadn't been alive for much longer than three months, it could feel the vintage aesthetic drip from the walls of the shop. It could see how old the place was, or at least the age it attempted to replicate, and it only made the single android working there seem incredibly out of place.

On the other hand, Hank thoroughly enjoyed taking his time flipping through various vinyl records, cassette tapes and the like. Having been born in 1985, he saw the transition from tapes to CDs throughout his childhood, and then from CDs to everything being digital as he got older. Nothing could replace being able to physically hold your music. Not a single damn thing, not even thousands upon thousand of songs in a digital library, could hold a candle to having the ability to neatly stack your music on a shelf.

A small handful of humans occupied the shop, and none of them appeared to be its owner. While many places were run almost entirely by robots, one would think such a retro-looking building would have a living person look after it, at least partially.

"Can I help you with anything?"

The single male android manning the store approached Connor with a bright smile, seeing as it was the only person in there not actively looking for something or talking to someone. Being a salesman, it had been programmed to behave like the friendliest worker you could ever want.

"No, thank you. I'm here on behalf of my partner."

It flashed Connor another cheery smile and adjusted the fake glasses on its face. "You can still listen to some music while you wait. We carry several samples of a variety of genres and artists." It squinted some while looking Connor over and placed a finger on its chin, making it appear as though it was deep in thought. "Hmm.. You seem like a Gorillaz fan! If I were a betting man, I'd say you'd like Plastic Beach- the song itself, maybe not the entire album."

Connor felt vaguely uncomfortable while conversing with the android. It looked and acted like any other human salesman, yet everything about the way it talked and moved gave off eerie vibes. Did Connor always see other androids that way?

Wanting to change the subject, Connor's eyes darted around to find literally anything else to talk about. "The person who owns this shop is gone right now, aren't they? Or is this place entirely android-manned?"

"Jessica left me in charge a few days ago. I can leave a note for her, if you have something to say."

Connor furrowed its brow. "She just... left? Is that normal for her?"

The android shifted its weight around as it spoke, causing it to sway some. "Ah... No... Yes and no. She tends to vanish rather often and usually comes back within thirty hours."

Part of Connor wanted to ask the android if this behaviour was concerning, as most humans don't leave their workplace for so long and so frequently. And the way the android reacted to Connor's question only raised more red flags.

"Connor! Check this shit out!

From across the room, Hank proudly held up an album for Connor to see.

Gorillaz
Plastic
Beach

"It's expensive as fuck and I want it!"

Could Connor hear the joy in his voice? Absolutely. He sounded elated to have found that specific album by sheer coincidence. And as happy as Connor felt for him, it couldn't shake the sense of there being something wrong. Wrong with the android. Wrong with how the android mentioned what Hank might purchase. Wrong with the shop's owner. A gut feeling, Hank would call it.

"I can ring you up if that's it," the android half-said to Connor, as if it knew Connor would be the one paying.

Hank confirmed this would be the only thing he bought, seeing as they didn't have anything by Mother Mother. He found the store's lack of variety to be, quote, fucking stupid, but he still left with something he really wanted. Was it dark heavy metal or jazz? No, but a guy can branch out and enjoy things from the past every now and then.

As the two made their way outside, Connor pulled Hank by the sleeve to close the space between them. "I didn't like that android," it said in a hushed tone.

"Welcome to my world, kid."

"I'm serious. There's something off about that place."

Hank stopped in his tracks and turned to face Connor directly. "Do you want to go back and ask some questions? I'll wait outside so you don't take too long. If you do, I'll freeze to death."

"I would like to, but your previous instructions are preventing me from taking further action. No more weird shit. We're on vacation."

Hank really wanted to laugh. Connor never swore, at least not around him, so hearing it curse so freely was kind of funny. "You can go back and ask whatever questions you want so long as you don't get kidnapped again. Or lost, dismembered, killed..." He waved his hand in small circles, indicating the list could go on.

Again, Connor couldn't exactly promise those things with a clear conscience. Not that it had a conscience or anything similar, obviously. It simply couldn't guarantee with 100% certainty it would come home in one piece, or come home period.

"I'll do everything in my power to prevent any harm from coming my way."

At the very least, Connor wanted to find out where the store's owner went. Her leaving so frequently didn't sit well with it, nor did the behaviour of the android. Of course, Connor immediately suspected it to be a deviant, and with that thought stuck in its head, it sauntered back inside.

Connor was made to hunt down deviants, and it was going to do just that.

"Welcome back," the perpetually cheery android said. "How can I help you?"

"My name is Connor, I'm with Detroit police. I'd like to ask you a few questions regarding you and the owner of Third Wave Music."

Its smile unfaltering, the android took its leave from the few human patrons and directed its full attention to Connor. "Hello, Connor! My name is Anthony. How can I help you today?"

Connor found it difficult to shake off the strange feeling it got from Anthony. Still, it pressed on. "You said before that the owner of Third Wave Music, Jessica, leaves you alone here often. Do you know where she goes?"

Anthony shook its head. "What my owner does is none of my business. She always comes back."

"But today she hasn't."

Its smile fell for a brief time. "No. And it has been much longer than thirty hours. But!" It clapped its hands together excitedly. "She always comes back! And she'll be back soon! Then you can ask all the questions you want."

Anthony seems very certain of her return.
She's never gone for more than 30 hours.
It's trying to direct my questions away from itself and more towards Jessica.

"What about you? How does her leaving you alone all the time make you feel?"

Anthony's LEDs switched over to yellow and remained that color as it spoke. "Connor, you know I can't feel much of anything. That's a very strange question to be asking an android."

Software instability- ^

"Are you sure you're not using a happy facade to hide the fact that you're lonely? It's probably easy for an android programmed to bring in customers to act happy all the time."

A toothy grin splayed across Anthony's face, causing it to talk through its teeth in an almost intimidating manner. "You should really save your questions for Jessica." It then let out a soft laugh. "You'd probably get more answers from her."

Anthony is highly uncomfortable with talking about itself.
It displays emotion possibly beyond the programming of a salesman.

Odds of it being deviant:
84%

Going through its memory would likely reveal valuable information.

Chances of it allowing me to do so:
27%

"I'll come back when she returns, then." Connor held out its hand for Anthony to shake. "Thank you for your time."

As soon as Anthony's hand made contact with Connor's, Connor forcibly went through its memory to try and find anything useful; footage of Jessica leaving or evidence of illegal activity, for example.

It instead found something that hit a little too close to home.

For all of ten seconds, Connor became the strange android and felt absolutely everything. Vague feelings of warmth and of being held by a loved one. Hugs. Kisses. Promises it couldn't possibly keep. And yet, no distinct memories. Everything appeared to be fragmented and jumbled, as if it were corrupt.

Error. An exception has occurred.
ERROR! QW4gZXhjZXB0aW9uIGhhcyBvY2N1cmVkLg==
evila ma I

"I... I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave," Anthony said firmly. "That was a breach in my owner's privacy."

Connor reeled back from... whatever the hell it just went through. It couldn't see a single thing in its memories, but it felt... familiar. Somehow. It couldn't tell if it was a deviant; not for sure, anyway. It acted like an upstanding salesman, and every emotion it felt, Connor could recall feeling at one point as well. The distinct lack of anything visible in its memory aside, Anthony could be about as deviant as Connor.

That thought didn't sit well with it.

Chapter Text

No definitive proof and no solid evidence.

Connor couldn't possibly bring a seemingly innocent android in without a leg to stand on. With no complete memories to be seen, it couldn't even be brought in on behalf of suspicion. If anything, doing so would only further establish the sneaking suspicion that Connor may be malfunctioning.

It had no other questions for Anthony. Nothing else could be said to take back the time Connor wasted trying to get information out of an eccentric android just doing its job. If Connor could feel shame to the same degree a deviant could, it would have vacated the area much sooner with far more urgency. Still, the thought of leaving as quickly as possible lingered in the back of its head despite its inability to be embarrassed.

"My apologies for overstepping," Connor said as it turned to leave. "I hope Jessica comes back soon."

"Ah... umm... I know I'm in no position to ask you for anything, but..."

Connor stopped to give Anthony a chance to speak. It's the least Connor could do after rummaging around in its head.

"-If you see her, could you tell her to come back?"

"I would, but there are nearly a million people in the United States with that name. You're going to have to be more specific."

"Oh, right! She's, uh-" he moved his hand horizontally over his head "-she's real tall and pale. Long hair, green eyes. If you mention me, she's bound to say something."

Connor probably wouldn't be actively looking for anyone along those lines, though it assured Anthony it would keep its eye out for her.

At the mention of its willingness to cooperate, Anthony's mood did a complete 180. His face lit up, and without warning he pulled Connor into a tight hug. "Thank you so much! I could kiss you if you let me!"

"Please don't."

Shortly after being released from its hug, Connor left the store and reunited with Hank, who stood not too far away outside. The snow picked up a little bit from earlier, causing clusters of flakes to accumulate in his hair and beard.

"That was quick. What happened?"

Connor shook its head. "I wasted your time with this. I'm sorry."

I'm sorry. He didn't expect that to the be thing to leave Connor's mouth after doing its job. It sounded so defeated and... sad. Depressingly sad. Hank wanted to offer some sort of comfort, but he didn't know how to comfort a supposedly unfeeling machine. His mind wandered and briefly considered kissing it again, only to shake those thoughts away. What would a machine like? What would cheer up an android built for gathering information, asking questions, and catching criminals?

"Listen up, Connor. It's my turn to ask you a personal question."

He piqued its interest as soon as he spoke, and he had its undivided attention after the word 'ask.' Locking eyes with Hank, it readied itself for any and all questions he may have. Did he want to know about Connor's mouth being a forensics lab? Or its ability to change hair color on command? Connor never showed off the second ability, though perhaps Hank saw another android do it.

"So. In a theoretical situation-" he gestured for Connor to walk alongside him, which it did soon enough "-Let's say you're low on blue blood, and there's a deactivated android nearby. Could you... could you bite 'em open and drink their blood like a vampire?"

Connor ran its tongue over its teeth, taking note on how flat they were. Only a few of its canines were even remotely sharp, and even then they weren't fine enough to pierce the skin of an android with any precision.

"I believe my teeth are far too dull for any vampire-like bites. However, any severe damage to the body would leak blue blood, so any hard enough bite would get the job done. Though this would not leave the neat and tidy puncture wounds you're probably thinking of."

A pause.

"Are you all right Hank?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. I didn't wanna eat anything today anyway."

Connor didn't know if it should feel bad or if it should laugh at Hank's comment. He never sounded completely serious about anything, so it didn't know which reaction would be the most appropriate. It hoped Hank didn't actually mean what he said, as it planned on making him a nice lunch soon after getting home.

"Quit zonin' out, our ride's here."

Not too far away from their location, a bus arrived with impeccable timing. It would be a nice change of pace from riding in a taxi or an old car everywhere, though Connor wasn't a fan of standing in the back. There were always too many androids riding while the rest of the bus remained mostly empty. Still, rules were rules, and Connor would follow them to the letter.

"The hell are you doing?"

Connor looked over to Hank, who stood with one leg on the ground outside and the other entering the vehicle. "Androids go in the back," it explained.

"Not this android," he said as he pointed to Connor. "We're cops. We can sit wherever the fuck we want."

For whatever reason, Connor got the impression that wasn't the only reason Hank wanted it to sit with him.

Following its partner's orders, Connor sat next to Hank as he took a seat by a window.

The bus remained mostly empty with only three or four other humans on board, and Connor kept its title as the only android in the front during the entirety of the trip. Nearly a dozen androids packed the back, making the leg space Connor had upfront feel all the more comfortable. Of course, Connor's idea of comfort was relative. Androids can't be uncomfortable. They can't get happy. They can't get sad. They're built to complete tasks; nothing more, nothing less. Despite knowing all this, and despite common android knowledge conflicting with its thoughts, Connor knew it would have been even more comfortable if it were holding Hank's hand. Though, maybe comfortable wasn't the right word, even if it did apply to the situation. Connor wanted to hold his hand, and it wanted to do so for no reason in particular.

Want.

The thought would have made Connor worry if it hadn't already come to the conclusion that it's a prototype, therefore it's probably okay to experience things differently from other androids. At the very least, Connor assumed it would be okay to want things so long as it kept the thoughts to itself.

Connor folded its hands on its lap. Thinking about holding Hank's hand made its chest feel somewhat tight, and this caught its attention. There appeared to be no exterior causes for the pain, so it ran a quick diagnostics scan to see if anything could be done.

Diagnostics in progress. Please wait.

37% complete...
62% complete...
94% complete...

System fully operational. No further action required.

"You feelin' okay? You're generating heat like the fucking sun."

Hank wanted to look out the window on their way home, but his attention was drawn to the dangerous amounts of heat radiating off Connor. And while he couldn't see its LEDs from where he sat, he could see their reflection in the window across from them, and its constant shifts from a stable blue to flashing yellow further pulled his focus away from literally anything else.

"I'm fine, really." Connor shot Hank a reassuring smile. "I'm thinking about you is all."

Hank cursed under his breath and turned away from Connor. What the fuck. What the actual fuck. Connor never smiled. Ever. The sight alone made Hank's face flare up and turn a bright, noticeable red. To make matters worse, Connor just so happened to be so warm because it was thinking about him. This paired with its absolutely precious and rare smile made Hank want to hold it in his arms like a puppy. Grabbing onto your android for dear life while on public transport would draw in too much attention, so Hank needed an excuse to at least hold its hand.

Without a word, Hank moved his free hand to take hold of Connor's, which felt much warmer than his own. Connor could put two and two together, right? It would know Hank only did it because he felt cold, wouldn't it?

The tightness in Connor's chest returned with a vengeance, but Connor ignored it in favor of focusing on being close to Hank. Somehow, the slight pain almost came off as pleasant, as strange as that may sound. Connor didn't know why being hurt in such a specific yet vague-as-all-hell way felt nice, nor did it know why it didn't mind the feeling becoming more intense.

Even after getting off the bus and saying hello to the android mechanics fixing up Hank's car, he didn't let go of Connor's hand. If anything, he only held it more firmly up until arriving home, to which he needed it to open the door.

"Are you going to listen to your record?"

Hank shrugged and made his way to his room. "Nah. I'm gonna continue being a shitty dragon and hoard it with all my other music."

Objectives:

  • Take care of Hank

Connor stepped over a very sleepy Sumo as it wandered aimlessly around the house. Nothing else could be done at the moment without orders coming from an outside source.

Poking its head into Hank's room, Connor asked, "Is there anything you'd like me to do now? I have no objectives that can be completed at this moment."

Hank recently finished removing his jacket and put on some comfortable casual clothing; a plain t-shirt and checkered sweatpants. He looked at Connor, looked at the time on his phone, then back at Connor.

"Uhh. Yeah. C'mere."

Not even after taking two steps towards him, Connor found itself tugged swiftly into a warm and soft hug. It could feel his heartbeat with how tightly it pressed against him, and it found this to be oddly soothing. He was alive. It could feel his body work to keep him alive. It would have found this all the more fascinating if it wasn't focused on the task at hand.

"Is this all you wanted?"

"...No.

Objectives:

  • Take care of Hank
  • ? ? ?

Abruptly, Hank pulled himself away from the hug. His shaggy, grey hair hung over his eyes, and his head tilted downward some. He took in a long, deep breath as he held onto the other's shoulders, and still didn't make a sound or any sort of eye contact.

"Hank..? Are you all right?" Connor tilted its head in an attempt see his eyes, but to no avail. "I can try to assist you with anything on your mind, you know. And I am physically incapable of judging you for anything you might want."

Wordlessly, Hank moved a hand to grab its chin and tilt it upwards ever so slightly before gently pressing his lips against Connor's.

Unexpected.

But not unwanted.

Connor happily returned his affection, and even slung its arms over the back of his neck to bring them that much closer to each other.

Hank wrapped one arm around Connor to pull is as closely as possible, while the other ran through its hair. His racing heart and befuddled thoughts kept him from fully understanding what he was doing. If he had been more aware of his actions, it's likely he would have stopped after Connor relaxed and leaned into him. He wouldn't have let it get so far if he were in a more clear state of mind. And while he was aware enough to know he should probably stop, he didn't care enough to actually do anything with said thoughts. Fuck it. It didn't mean anything. So what if he made out with an android? So what if he pulled on its hair a little too hard, causing it to move away from him, and its mouth to let out what sounded like a desperate groan? It meant nothing. Absolutely nothing.

A completely new feeling caused shivers to run up Connor's spine. With its processors filled to the brim with new data and its body on the verge of overheating, it couldn't quite comprehend them at the time. The sensation seemed to stem from the side of its neck, and while it would have moved its head to try and see what was happening, Hank's firm grasp on its hair kept it in place.

Hank could have sworn he heard Connor's voice pitch up the moment his lips touched its neck. He assumed it was sensitive, but he didn't expect Connor to be so loud. Naturally, he decided to take things a little further because of this. How would it react to something a little more rough?

Only one way to find out.

A sudden sharp pain pulled Connor out of its thoughts and left it gasping for air it didn't need. It hurt. It hurt, but it didn't necessarily feel bad. Connor dully wondered if certain types of pain could come off as pleasant, though its thoughts didn't linger on the subject for long. Connor soon found itself in a familiar position; back pressed up against a wall, Hank keeping it in place, and a leg pushing against its groin. Even though it had more experience with the situation than it did the first time, Connor still felt completely overwhelmed. Its hands, once wrapped around Hank, clawed at the wall behind it. Connor saw an array of error messages peppering the edges of its vision and ignored each and every last one of them. The only thing on its mind was Hank, and how he inadvertently made its pants feel a little too tight.

Hank finally pulled away from Connor's neck to admire his handiwork, only to feel a slight pang of disappointment upon seeing its skin unscathed. His efforts weren't entirely wasted, however. He actually took a great amount of pride in the starry-eyed and blue-blushing detective at his mercy, and after tossing his shame and dignity out the window, he knew he'd just been getting started.

"Cyberlife's most advanced prototype, huh?"

Chapter Text

"Did they program you to be this way?"

Every time Hank asked a question, he found himself grinding his leg against Connor's crotch, causing the words to become caught in its throat. Watching it go from serious investigator to moaning mess and then back proved to be far more entertaining than Hank thought it would be, and he'd be lying if he said he wasn't enjoying it in more ways than one.

"Lieuten-!"

Connor's tongue pressed to the roof of its mouth in a feeble attempt to stop making so much noise. Its body seem to have other plans in mind, however, seeing as its hips kept moving against Hank every chance they got. It felt so hot. Connor would have worried about burning a hole through the wall with how much heat it produced if its mind wasn't so addled.

"You're kinda cute like this..."

Hank moved in to close any remaining space between the two, making the rest of his body press almost tightly against Connor. With their faces less than a inch apart, he could see every second of every expression it made. Kinda cute was a dramatic understatement. The faces Connor made alone were enough to give Hank a few things to smile about, and with him grinding against it so roughly, he found himself letting out a few deep groans in response.

"Hahhh... I ca... I can't..."

Connor could feel itself getting dangerously close. It wanted to give Hank some kind of warning or at least tell him what would happen if he kept at it, but Connor could hardly get half a sentence out without its head slamming against the wall and its knees nearly giving out.

"Can't what?" Hank smirked, and brought his head to talk almost directly into Connor's ear. His voice came out low and rough, almost sounding like a sort of growl. "What's the matter? Weren't you programmed to handle stressful situations?"

His fucking voice.

He was teasing Connor.

Everything leaving Hank's mouth clung to a bit of sarcasm. He knew Connor was never really meant to deal with how he influenced it. And while Connor understood what he was doing, it couldn't react properly. It had no protocols for being pinned against a wall and having something grind just right between its legs. Nothing was scripted in case Connor found itself being roughly kissed and bitten on the neck.

Rebooting. Please wait.

"Connor! You better not be dead, I swear to God!!"

Hank could have sworn he felt his heart stop. It isn't normal for your partner to go from a sexy mess to completely still with glazed eyes and a blank expression. He genuinely thought he broke Connor, but he'd be damned if he'd let anyone think he was worried about an android. If Connor died during their time off, he'd have a lot of explaining to do.

Sure. That's the excuse he'd use for grabbing Connor by the shoulders and gently shaking it until its eyes fluttered and refocused.

"Ah... I'm fine."

Hank took a step back, giving Connor space to stand up straight and adjust itself. A soft sigh left his mouth as Connor appeared to be in complete working condition. God, couldn't it have warned him before freezing up like that? He would've been upset if he wasn't so relieved.

"This is unfortunate," Connor said almost deadpan. "I really liked these pants."

A dark stain could be seen on the left side of Connor's jeans, and while androids can't feel embarrassed, Hank sure as hell could. After noticing it, he promptly turned around to give Connor the privacy it needed to change. Again, while it couldn't feel shame, Hank would have felt weird if he stared Connor down while changing.

"Shouldn't I return the favor? It'd be unfair if I left your own needs untended."

With his face slowly turning beet red, Hank whipped around to face Connor, only to be greeted by it standing less than a foot away from him. Naturally, this caused him to jump a little, but not enough for him to dismiss what it said.

Hank feigned ignorance in hopes he'd simply misheard. "The hell are you goin' on about?"

"Please, Hank. It's the least I can do"

Connor's once sweet and submissive voice vanished entirely, and had been replaced with a more firm and confident tone. By no means did it sound angry or demanding, but it certainly didn't sound like the pillow princess Hank came to know.

Is this really happening, Hank wondered briefly as Connor put its hands on his shoulders and slowly sat him down on the edge of his bed. What the fuck. What the actual fuck. By the time Hank managed to put together a full, proper sentence in his head, Connor had already taken off its jacket and loosened its tie.

"W-Waitaminute, WAIT! Do you even know what you're doing?!"

"Admittedly, no," Connor said while getting on its knees. "Not from experience, though I have a general idea on how to please you thanks to the memories from the Eden Club." It reached for Hank's hand, and without protest from him, placed in on the side of its face. "I was actually hoping you'd take the lead and use me however you see fit."

Hank didn't feel like retrieving his hand as they spoke. In fact, he ran his thumb over Connor's cheek, idly noting the human-like warmth coming from it. "I can't use a person."

Connor looked up at him with determined eyes. "I'm not a person. I'm your perfect partner. Your punching bag. Your best friend. Whatever you want is what I can be."

Hank gritted his teeth momentarily. As much as he wanted whatever Connor had in store for him, he still didn't like how it talked about itself. "But what do you want?"

A pause.

"I want to complete my objective by keeping you healthy and happy. Sating my curiosity in the process would simple be a bonus." Connor kissed the palm of his hand, then shot him a sultry look. "May I undo your pants?"

Hank felt his face heat up again. That position. The face. The soft yet insisting voice. "Y... yeah..." He cleared his throat. "Y' don't need my permission for that."

"I kind of do need your permission, but I digress."

Hank couldn't bring himself to look down at Connor while it tugged down his pants and underwear. He didn't need to anyway since he could feel every little thing. Connor's delicate fingers wrapping around the shaft and the heat from its tongue pressing against the tip. From that alone, Hank's head filled with fog and any remnants of shame in his system were either gone or ignored.

Connor really wished Hank would look it in the eye as it worked its way down his shaft. Something about it felt right, if that made sense. It liked the weight on its tongue, and the noises Hank made would be enough on their own for it to keep going. However, things came to an abrupt halt when Connor felt Hank's dick twitch against the back of its throat. He... would want it to keep going, right? After all, there were still a few inches left unattended.

"Mmmph..."

Hank's hips involuntarily bucked forward at the sudden vibrations around him. Sheepishly, am=nd mostly from behind his hand, he looked down at Connor, who looked up at him for a little guidance. If it wanted to be walked through everything, then Hank would gladly oblige.

He placed his hand near the back of Connor's head and pulled him forward until the rest of his shaft slid down its throat. No longer was Hank able to keep his composure with something so hot and tight wrapped around him; he took in deep, shaky breaths and just barely fought back to urge to use it like a cheap sex toy.

As much as Connor would have loved to stay there forever, it had a task that needed completing. With its eyes closed, it pulled back all the way to the tip, then looked up at Hank for a sign of approval.

God, those eyes. Those pretty little eyes and soft lips. If there wasn't a half decent man buried deep down in his alcoholic and depressive coating, Hank would have absolutely ruined Connor.

"You're so fucking pretty..."

Connor swallowed the analyzing fluid that built up in its before speaking. "I'm glad you find this acceptable."

Maybe Hank wasn't as nice as he thought he was. He would probably never get used to Connor talking about itself that way, and since he couldn't convince it otherwise, he'd shut it up another way.

Hank roughly grabbed a fistful of Connor's hair and pulled its head forward, forcing himself down its throat. He bit his lip at the sudden tightness and heat, and the look of shock that quickly melted into something akin to pleasure on Connor's face made him wish he'd taken a picture. Or a video, preferably.

Connor let out a cute little whimper while pulling its head back, and made sure to drag its tongue across Hank's length in an almost painfully slow manner. It wished it could savor the look on his face just a little bit longer, though he didn't seem too keen on keeping Connor in one place for long. As soon as Connor pulled back about halfway, it was forcefully pulled back into him.

A wave of shivers went up Connor's spine as it found its nose firmly pressed against Hank's stomach. It could hardly focus on giving him any sort of proper pleasure with all the analyzing fluid and some small amount unknown substance running down its chin and throat. Thankfully, Connor only needed to do half the required work. Every time it moved back, Hank roughly tugged its its hair until every last inch filled its mouth. It kept unintentionally moaning around his cock, which only further encouraged Hank to keep going until he settled into a nice, albeit messy, rhythm.

Hank cursed loudly as his movements came to an abrupt halt, though he managed to give a few weak thrusts before letting out a deep, hollow moan as he finally reached his limits. He could feel Connor's attempts to swallow every last drop he had to offer, only to stop when Hank slowly pulled out of its throat.

With the fog in its head still lingering, Connor looked up at Hank with half-lidded eyes and a mostly open mouth. Its cheeks were tinted a lovely shade of blue, and it looked like it wanted to say something, though it closed its mouth to swallow any remaining cum that could be seen rolling across its tongue.

"...You okay there?"

Connor blinked, processing the words being said to it. "Yes sir. I would have let you know if there was anything wrong."

Sir. Hank liked being called that to a degree. It felt like a nice middle ground between his name and being called Lieutenant.

"I should... make you dinner now."

Chapter Text

After a few laughs and a bit of awkward silence, Connor went to go prepare dinner while Hank eventually gave in and dusted off his old record player. With how hard it snowed outside, along with the smooth sounds of music coming from Hank's room and the general stillness of the evening, the house developed quite the comforting atmosphere. From the point of view of anyone looking in, Hank and Connor may have looked like a married couple who adopted a big ol' dog instead of having kids.

"You wouldn't have to sit there and wait for your food to cook if you'd let me take you out to eat," Connor called from the kitchen as it watched over a pot of water.

"Listen-" Hank began while walking from his room to sit on the couch "-on top of all the other crazy shit that happened today, I just had another man blow me. I really don't have the energy to leave the house again."

Connor knew without a shadow of a doubt that Hank said that to try and be funny. It was a joke. Yes, he may have genuinely been exhausted, but the way he said it could easily be detected as humorous. And yet, despite this, being called a man really struck a chord with Connor.

"You good?"

Connor snapped out of its thoughts and refocused on making sure the water didn't boil over as it added spaghetti noodles. "Yes, I'm fine. I like being called that is all." Connor blinked. "It is nothing to concern yourself over."

"Called what? A man? That's what you are, innit?"

"No, not exactly." As Connor spoke, it went to grab a separate pot for the red sauce, and placed a colander in the sink. "Technically speaking, all androids are genderless. They have no X or Y chromosomes, and there is no difference between 'male' and 'female' models aside from appearance and voice." It paused to do some split-second research. It still had no idea why it was anatomically correct, but Connor did find some useful information on androids in general. "Most androids are completely smooth between their legs, and ones such as myself have interchangeable parts, so genitalia cannot be accurately taken into account when it comes to gender as humans see it."

Even from the couch and with music in the background, Connor could still hear Hank let out a loud sigh.

"You're making things more complicated than they need to be."

"Really? I find that the more information I have, the more simple things become."

"Dude. Do you prefer being called a man over anything else?"

"Absolutely."

"Then there ya go. You're a man."

A warm, tingly sensation developed a home in its- his chest, and quickly spread throughout his torso, across his arms and to the tips of his fingers. He could feel his face heat up and his therium pump beat more quickly than usual.

It felt nice.

Putting his newfound energy to good use, Connor prepared the rest of the meal with great ease. Noodles were drained and put on a plate, and a tangy sauce covered them along with a light sprinkling of cheese. Connor actually didn't know what tangy tasted like since he could only assume based on what the jar said. Hopefully, Hank enjoyed whatever tangy was.

"You shouldn't eat on the couch," Connor said while setting the plate down in an appropriate position on the kitchen table.

"Ugh...fine." Begrudgingly, Hank stood up, and through noise, he made it dramatically clear that he was quite comfortable where he once sat. "But don't just stand there. Do... something. Eat a thing. You said you can do that without dying, right?"

"Correct." Complying with his do something command, Connor took a seat. "However, I am unsure as to what you would want me to eat. I only made one serving, and it is just enough to fill you up without there being any leftov-"

"Do you want a bite or not?"

"I'd like to try it, yes."

After giving the pasta an elegant little twirl with his fork, Hank held it out for Connor to eat, which he did without hesitation.

...What the hell was with that look in his face? He ate it, but he didn't show any sort of emotion even after swallowing. Did he not like his own cooking..?

"I should have salted the water more liberally."

"That's all you have to say? No smartass comments or a list of ingredients?"

Connor shrugged. "I cannot comment on it thoroughly as I have not tried any other foods. And you don't seem like you would be too interested in me telling you what your meal is made of."

Hank groaned quietly before going back for another bite. Geez, the guy spoke as if he couldn't taste anything whatsoever. He could taste, right? How else would have have known if the water needed to be salted?

...Did that mean he could taste all the blood he stuck in his mouth?

"Are you still going to eat with that fork after it's been...?" Connor gestured to his lips. "I can get you a clean one."

"Why the hell wouldn't I?"

"Well..." Connor tilted his head from side to side, trying to bide time and avoid saying anything unsavory. "After our embrace, I'd assume you-"

Hank maintained eye-contact with Connor as he continued eating. It was his dick. Why would he have a problem with it?

"...Nevermind. I will... mind my own business, as you would say."

Oh how Hank dreaded awkward silence. And while Connor might not have detected the tension in the air, Hank sure as hell could and he didn't like it one bit.

"You mentioned going out to eat. Did you have a place in mind?"

If Connor were a dog, his ears would have perked up as soon as Hank spoke. While his enthusiasm remained mostly internal, you could see the spark of joy in his brown eyes.

"I thought Fishbone's would be a decent place. It has nothing but positive reviews, and with such a wide variety of dishes there's bound to be something you'll enjoy."

Hank mumbled the restaurant's name under his breath. "God, I remember going there ages ago. They still have a full bar, right?"

One blink-of-an-eye check later...

"They do."

"You've talked me into it. I guess we're going to Fishbone's tomorrow."

If Connor had a tail, it'd be wagging hard enough to destroy the chair he sat on. He didn't smile with his mouth, but the little expression that could be seen in his eyes indicated he was quite pleased with Hank's decision.

"Are you done eating already? Was it any good?"

"I wouldn'ta ate it if it weren't good."

Connor could have easily made a jab at the quality of the food from Chicken Feed, but previous experience and prediction algorithms made it clear he should keep his mouth shut. Besides, he knew any meal he put effort into would be objectively better than fast food.

Wordlessly, Connor took Hank's plate and went to do the dishes, nearly running into Sumo in the process. As expected, there were no leftovers to be thrown away or saved, so cleanup proved to be an easy task.

In the middle of cleaning, Connor suddenly felt a presence behind him. And before he could question said presence, a pair of burly arms wrapped around his body to give him a firm hug.

Hank rested his head in the crook of Connor's neck. For the first time in a while, he looked forward to waking up in the morning. He wanted to get up early. He wanted to take Sumo for a walk and maybe do something with the mess of his hair. He wanted to go out and have a nice lunch or dinner or whatever. It might not sound like much to some, but to a man banging on death's door with his own shovel, wanting to do literally anything aside from mope felt like a step in the right direction.

"May I ask you an unusual question?"

Hank shrugged, still holding onto him. "Shoot."

"Do I feel human when you hold me?"

Connor could detect Hank's heart race after asking his question, and he tensed up some in response. He felt so warm... and he held Connor so tightly... He couldn't help but wonder if he maybe forgot Connor wasn't alive.

"Hank? Are you all right?"

Reluctantly, he release Connor from his arms and made his way back to his bedroom. "I'm fine. Just tired."

Connor got the impression that wasn't really what he wanted to say, though he didn't have enough evidence to support his theory.

Dishes? Done. Kitchen? Clean. Living room? Aside from the smashed remnants of the Lawrence Incident, as Hank would refer to it, looked fairly tidy. What even was the time? Early winter meant it would be nearly pitch black outside by five in the evening, so Connor would have to actually check the time for accurate results.

8:28 PM

Connor blinked. Eight o'clock? Already? It looked like midnight outside but felt like a measly three. Where did the time go? Into the sexual activities and the cooking, Connor thought to himself. That's where.

With nothing left to do, Connor thought it would be high time to head to bed. The house had been silent for a while, indicating Hank being done with his record for the time being.

"Are you feeling all right, Hank?"

"Ya," he said from his face-down position in bed. "Been a long day. I'm tired."

"You have every right to feel tired," Connor explained while changing into his comfortable clothing. "Emotional exhaustion requires rest, from what I know."

"Thanks for justifying my depression naps." Without moving the rest of his body, he extended an arm and patted the mostly empty remainder of his bed. "You need sleep too."

"Hank... you know I don't-"

"Either get in bed or spend the night on the couch. Your choice."

"Got it."

Comfortable.

No other word could describe how 'sleeping' next to Hank felt. Though, perhaps safe would do the job well enough. And warm...

...Maybe Connor really did need sleep. He couldn't even fit together a few adjectives without contradicting himself.

Enter sleep mode until: 7 AM
Shutting down...

"I see you've been busy."

Amanda..? Was that Amanda's voice? Connor could hear her clear as a whistle on a quiet day, yet he couldn't see any trace of her. Connor couldn't see much of anything at all, actually. The area he found himself in was darker than the darkest night he ever experienced. If he could draw comparisons, it is likely he would have used the blank screen of a television or computer monitor not in use.

"I... I have been doing what I can to keep Lieutenant Anderson alive and well," Connor explained meekly to the endless void before him.

"I see. Well, you sure do seem to be enjoying yourself."

Her voice echoed around Connor in an almost haunting manner and sent sharp chills up his spine.

"I admit that I have found fun in spending time with Hank-"

Software instability- ^

"-However, everything I have done is strictly for the sake of my mission."

Connor could practically hear Amanda's lips curl into an all-knowing smile as she let out a soft laugh. "You should wake up now, Connor. You're going to be late."

Hank cursed under his breath as he lie on his side watching his partner's expression shift in his sleep. Connor's eyebrows knitted together, the corners of his lips twitched, and he occasionally said something completely incomprehensible. Hank had been watching him for about half an hour, and it became increasingly difficult for him not to wake the poor android up. Not only was it almost noon, but some of the stuff that came out of his mouth genuinely concerned Hank.

Connor's eyes snapped open just as Hank reached out to shake him awake, causing Hank to jolt.

"Good morning, Lieutenant."

"Noon, actually."

Noon..?

"I'm so sorry!"

"For wha-"

Connor shot out of bed and began changing into his suit at a breakneck pace. Hank hadn't eaten in over twelve hours! Connor was supposed to wake up at seven to prepare for the day! Everything was a wreck!

Meanwhile, Hank didn't think much of sleeping in. On days off, he slept far beyond noon and even late into the evening sometimes. Lazily, he changed out of his pajamas and slipped on his usual jacket and jeans. This took longer than it should have, since Connor's frantic zipping about distracted him from getting anything done.

"Would you chill out? I'm ready, everything's fine." Hank placed a hand on Connor's shoulder. "God, I haven't seen you move this fast since you chased that perp on the roof."

Connor hesitated between looking at Hank and smoothing out his clothing. "I'm unsure as to how you're remaining so calm. I missed my objective by several hours."

"But you're getting it done, aren'tcha?" Hank raised his brows. "Better late than never. Now come on, I'm starved."

Better late than never. Connor kept that in mind as he left the house and entered the passenger's seat of Hank's car. If what he said were true, then why even make schedules and set times? Or... did he mean it in more of a, 'get it done soon but don't kill yourself trying,' way?

"You sure you're okay? Yer sittin' kinda funny there."

"I'm fine."

Connor didn't like sitting so close to the window, and he found himself scooched over to the far left side of his seat to avoid it as much as possible. As irrational as it sounded, he wanted to avoid having large chunks of glass being stuck in his body by any means necessary.

Fishbone's
11:58 AM
18 °F / -7 °C

Hank didn't know what to make of Connor being so quiet. He expected him to comment on all the snow or the lack of cars on the road. Maybe give him a weather forecast or talk about the special items on Fishbone's menu. Instead, Hank was greeted with more cold silence as the two exited his car and made their way inside.

Connor then had a proper reason to be quiet.

With a name like Fishbone's, you'd expect a dinky little restaurant with those soft, fake leather couches made to sit four to six people each. Maybe there'd be a fishtank. Nothing special.

Nope.

The inside of Fishbone's was sprawling. One could easily fit dozens upon dozen of people inside, and that's only considering the frontmost of the building. More near the back, Connor could see an enormous open area, although still indoors, with a glass ceiling filling the restaurant with natural light.

"Hiya there! Welcome to Fishbone's!"

A bright-eyed female employee with long hair and a sweet smile approached the pair soon after escaping the bitter cold of the outdoors. Like all the other workers buzzing about, her uniform was all black save for the off white apron tied around her waist.

"I'm name's Jessica, and I can get you guys seated right away if it's just the two of you."

Chapter Text

"Yeah. It's just me n' the boy."

The boy. Connor wasn't sure whether or not to be offended by Hank's comment. On one hand; Yes!! I'm a boy! That's me! On the other hand; I am an unfeeling machine. Do not refer to me with such terms.

Software instability- ? ? ?

"Lovely! Right this way, we have some space by the skylight."

Connor followed Hank as he followed Jessica through the sprawling and admittedly intimidating restaurant. The tall ceilings, lack of windows and the sheer amount of square footage gave off the feeling of a liminal space- similar to that of an airport or a gas station at three in the morning.

Connor blinked away his useless thoughts. There were bigger matters at hand, such as the suspiciously named waitress sitting him and Hank across from each other near a more quiet part of the building. Just as Jessica said, they were seated by a skylight, that of which hung over a fountain currently not in use. The view would be quite nice if Connor could get a few nagging questions off his chest.

"Do you have a second job at a music shop, by chance?"

Hank looked like he wanted to reach across the table and smack Connor upside the head. "Don't ask weird questions. Waiters barely get paid enough to bring you your food, let alone answer that kind of shit."

"Actually," Jessica piped up in a more natural-sounding tone of voice seemingly dropping her waitress schtick for the time being. "I do. Why? No, let me guess- my android told you about me, yeah?"

"He did."

Jessica let out a loud, obviously annoyed sigh. "He's been acting kinda funny for a while now. Thanks for telling me." She then perked up and went back to her all-smiles waitress mode. "Can I get you guys something to drink while you decide what you want?"

Hank thumbed through aforementioned menu as he spoke. "Uhhh yeah, I'll just have whatever bottled beer you've got." He then looked up at Connor, who hadn't touched his own menu since he sat down. "He, uh-"

"I'll have ice water."

"Okie-doke! I'll be right back with your drinks, babe."

...Babe.

"Hank?"

"Yuh," he responded while still staring down at his lunch options.

"Is babe a normal thing for young adults to be saying casually? I assumed it was a term only used amongst lovers."

Hank glanced up at him. "Do I look like a young adult who would know?"

Loaded question detected.
Calculating...

"I thought you would know since you've been around far longer than me, seeing as I have only been active for a few months. It is likely you have wisdom, or at least data based on personal experience, from your many years of being alive."

"That's just a poetic way of saying I'm old."

Avoidance attempt failed.

"But you admit it's poetic."

"Sure."

Not a minute later, their waitress came back with their drinks and a basket of bread rolls and butter. While Hank told her what he wanted, which happened to be a pulled pork sandwich, he couldn't help but noticed her side-eyeing Connor before leaving. She probably thought it was weird for someone to take their android out to eat. But what was Hank supposed to do? Leave him at home? Then who would be the designated driver? Besides, if he went by himself some poor sod would probably feel bad for him and try to strike up a conversation.

"You should analyze your water," Hank suggested in a half-serious tone. "See what it's made of."

"I'm fairly sure my water is made of water."

Hank shrugged. "You never know."

Damn Connor's curious programming. What if there really was something else in the water? Not that it'd be able to hurt him. But still. He wanted to know, so he took a small sip from the glass, which already had a bit of condensation rolling down its sides.

Analyzing...

Contents:
Water

"I honestly don't know what I expected."

At least it got Hank to laugh a little bit.

While waiting for the food to arrive, Connor took a minute to check how the DPD held up without them. Surely if they hadn't been called in, then things should be just fine.

Detroit Police Department
Status: Stable

Connor furrowed his brow. Stable? That's a bit... underwhelming, though it was better than everything being a complete disaster. Still, this unsatisfactory answer would have him snooping around until he found more information aside from the disappointing result of stable. No, he wanted to look through everything. Case files. Reports. Cold cases. Anything. Anything to let him know if his absence was missed.

One way or another, he wound up looking through his own temporary memory storage. He had memories of every case he'd been on, and with them being video evidence, he would have found himself mentally thumbing through them eventually. This fact didn't stop the sudden frame-perfect memories from startling him at first, however. It's not every day you get to flawlessly relive memories of the first time you've cried or your recent kidnapping. Connor noticed there were a few fuzzy bits from when he was repaired and decided to make backup copies so he wouldn't lose anything else. His memories were important to him, but not emotionally. They were evidence. Nothing more.

Though, instances of intimacy with Hank would have to be saved elsewhere.

Hank sipped on his beer. Connor's LED had been spinning yellow for a while now. The hell was he doing? Staring off into space? Downloading malware?

Right as Hank felt tempted to throw something at Connor to see if he was still functional, Jessica came back with his food. Good thing, too. He needed a refill.

"You sure you don't want anything, Connor?"

He would have told her how feeding him would be a waste of ingredients if she hadn't set off a red flag. "I don't recall ever giving you my name."

Not skipping a beat, she waved a hand dismissively. "You were on the news a while back, dude! A new android model made for stopping deviants. I'm surprised more people aren't talking to you about this, actually."

Connor couldn't remember ever being on the news or even social media. The memories he lost after the car accident must have been less insignificant than he thought, giving him all the more reason to save them anywhere and everywhere he could.

Hank thanked the waitress for his food and off she went yet again... but not before thoroughly pissing him off. She didn't mess with his food or say anything distasteful. She didn't look at him sideways. She didn't step on his shoe.

She touched Connor's shoulder as she left.

Connor didn't notice this. He was too busy burying himself is six layers of external cloud data to be bothered by someone's fingertips lingering over him just long enough to get his partner's attention.

Hank didn't want it to bother him. It was probably an accident. Shit happens. And yet, he allowed this tightness in his chest to seeth in him until it caused physical pain similar to heartburn. Or maybe that was just the barbeque sauce in his sandwich.

Chest pains aside, Hank felt kind of bad for Connor not having anything to eat. He wouldn't even touch the bread. He just stared at his glass of ice water with blank eyes and his yellow LED. Hank wondered if he was analyzing something. If so, then what? It must have been important if he didn't want to talk about it.

Selecting memories... Data backup in progress...
24% complete
87% complete
Memories uploaded

"Connor? You good?"

His LED went from yellow to blue. "I'm fine. Just saving some important data so it isn't lost if I'm hurt or destroyed."

This pain in Hank's chest stung a little bit more at his words. "Can you not bring up depressing shit like that while we're out?"

"Sorry."

"It's... It's fine, I just-" he stood up without finishing his thought "-I'll be at the bar up front if you need me. Feel free to steal some of my fries." He leaned in closer to Connor to be sure he paid attention to him. "Don't follow me."

Objectives:

  • Don't follow Hank
  • Try a french fry (optional)

Again, Connor felt it would be a waste of food if he ate anything. He couldn't convert the calories into energy. He doubted he could appreciate the taste and texture since he didn't have any other foods to compare them to. Nonetheless, his curiosity got the best of him. Connor discreetly snagged a smaller fry from his plate and popped it between his lips. He felt as though analyzing it may interfere with the way food is meant to be enjoyed, so he held off on checking its ingredients until he finished eating.

Hank vaguely pointed to the expensive-looking bottles at the back of the bar. Fuckin' android, he thought while downing a shot of an ungodly strong unnamed drink. It stung his throat and tongue going down, and as much as he hated the burning in his mouth, he'd take it over whatever the hell Connor made him feel. Drowning his feelings was scarily easy. Three shots in and it no longer hurt to swallow. By the fifth he felt numb enough to turn around and see how Connor kept occupied all by himself. He chuckled at the thought of him still staring at his glass with that doofy blank expression. It would have been even funnier if he caught him eating fries by the fistful, then backpedal as soon as Hank laid eyes on him. In all actuality, he didn't care what he saw Connor doing so long as that waitress kept her hands to herself.

"A prototype? Really?"

"Correct."

Hank could feel his heart sink into the pit of his alcohol and burger-filled stomach. That fucking waitress stood at Connor's side, smiling and nodding as if she were his friend, while Connor answered a variety of meaningless questions. Knock it off, Hank mused in silence. He's not yours. You have an android already.

"We're ready t' fuckin' pay."

Connor nearly leapt from his seat to run over as assist a highly intoxicated Hank with walking. He could still stand upright for the most part, which Connor felt grateful for since he'd only need Hank to lean on him a bit to keep steady.

Hank stumbled some before leaning into Connor. He wasn't as drunk as the other night when he essentially needed to be carried home, but he still couldn't walk without assistance. "D' people still leave tips? Twenty percent, right? Make sure ya leave one."

Connor wasn't exactly sure how tipping worked since it varied from place to place. Nonetheless, he paid for the meal and then some, then did his best to escort Hank back to his car. He cooperated fairly well with Connor tugged him about- that is until Hank wound up in the passenger's seat.

"You even know how to drive?"

"If I recall correctly, I drove you home the other ni-"

In an act of pure impulse and 'because I can,' Hank shot his hand forward to latch onto Connor's tie. He didn't fully understand why he wanted to be so close to him when he spoke. His arm more or less moved on its own and his brain filled in the gaps with whatever made sense at the time.

"Co-o-onnor~"

Hank tugged on his tie until his face wasn't much more than an inch away from his own. The majority of Connor's body still hung out of his car with his feet firmly planted on concrete. His hands gripped the shoulders of Hank's seat. If not for his quick reflexes he would have collided into him.

"God... Don't let strangers be all over you like that. Y' don't b'long to them my dude. You can-" he hiccuped "-can stand up fer your personal space or whatever."

Tight. The tie was almost painfully tight around Connor's neck. And he was so close to Hank. Dangerously close. He listened to every word he said, focusing on his mouth especially, though the lack of space between them made it hard to concentrate. "I understand what you're saying. Thank you for the advice."

Hank mostly tuned him out while looking over his face. Stupid Connor and his soft lips. His pretty eyes. Perfect hair. Cute beauty marks. He found it hard to believe such a sweet, innocent face did something so dirty to an old guy like him.

Connor pulled himself away before he did anything he might come to regret. He wanted. Wanted Hank do do literally anything to him. His therium pump made a slight drumming noise in his chest then quieted down moments later. Letting such thoughts get to him would be more trouble than they were worth.

Hank swore under his breath. "I'm here tellin' ya about personal space while pullin' you int' me. What kinda hypocrite does that make me?"

"You're fine. I would not have minded if you did anything if we weren't in public."

As Connor rounded behind the car and got in the driver's seat, Hank sat motionless after shutting his door. He wouldn't have minded. What the fuck. What the fuck. Hank's face burned. The inside of his chest tingled. Would Connor just let him touch him? Kiss him? He had before, but saying it outright like that made Hank dizzy. And he knew the dizziness wasn't caused by carsickness. It wasn't because of the bright lights rolling by outside his window as Connor silently drove them home.

It was Connor's fault.

Not even a minute into driving, Connor was snapped out of his manual vehicle operation protocol by Hank lightly patting the side of his face.

"You fucking waffle iron."

Connor's LED swirled yellow for all of a second. "I beg your pardon?"

"Twink ass sonuvabitch."

Connor had to force himself not to smile at Hank's childish remarks. "Did I do something wrong..?"

"Ya!" He patted him with more force, making it less like a pat and more akin to a gentle smack. "Yer lettin' strangers get all close to you!"

"Hank, please. I'm trying to drive."

"I'm just saying you shouldn't let people get alllll touchy-feely with you."

Connor blinked. "Okay? Is there a reason for this?"

"Fuck you that's why."

They couldn't get home fast enough. Thank goodness for the lack of traffic and Connor's ability to take shortcuts without being noticed. And thank the stars in heaven above for Hank losing interest in messing with Connor while he drove.

"Quit touchin' me."

"I'm sorry, Hank. I'm going to have to disobey your order to get you inside."

Connor slung Hank's arm over his shoulder and held him by the belt of his pants. He could still walk somewhat, but his uncooperativeness made the haul much more challenging. Similarly to the other night, Hank repeatedly batted at Connor's face and threw insult after insult at him, though he did not threaten any violence for once.

"Too nice fer your own good," he continued while pulling Connor towards the couch against his will. "Too soft and sweet! Like a gotdamn marshmallow bunny."

"Lieuten-"

"Don't fucking call me that!"

In a single swift and strangely precise movement, Connor found himself lying on his back on the couch with Hank on top of him. Hank's knees fell to the floor while his forearms resting around Connor's head. Most of his weight was being put on the couch, causing it to creak slightly.

"Hank," Connor said in a soft, slow voice as to not agitate him further, "wouldn't you be much more comfortable... anywhere else? Your knees must be sore like this."

"No. I can keep... can keep my eye on you here."

Connor didn't mind. Hank sounded far less irritated than he did moments before- kind, even. And to match his more caring demeanor, he twirled a bit of Connor's hair between his fingers in an almost affectionate manner. Connor didn't mind this either. It felt nice to be touched, though he couldn't let himself get distracted. Hank could get hurt leaning over him so awkwardly.

"Do you plan on keeping me here for the rest of the evening?"

"Fuck, man. I would if I could."

"I see." Connor shifted around a little. Moving proved to be a problem what with him being pinned down and all that. "Is there an actual, legitimate reason for this?"

Hank took in a deep breath through his nose. "...Yeah. There is."

He didn't explain any further. Instead of speaking, his hand went down from Connor's hair to trace little lines and shapes all over his neck. He wasn't sure why. His fingers had a mind of their own, and he got stuck watching Connor's expressions as his digits traced along his ear and jawline.

Connor turned his head to the side, giving Hank more room to touch him if he so pleased. Having someone so big and intimidating run the tips of his fingers over unusually sensitive parts of Connor's skin so tenderly... it wasn't inherently sexual, but Connor could feel his body temperature creep upwards nonetheless.

Don't get distracted. Meaningless words blinked across Connor's vision. He closed his eyes to try and shut them out even though he knew he'd still see them. He didn't care about whatever he was meant to be doing. Being touched with such generous amounts of care sent shivers down his spine and made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.

"Hank," Connor began, his soft voice lilting ever so slightly, "would it be odd if I told you how pleasant this felt?"

Hank paused after initially hearing him speak. He looked so still and serene with his eyes closed he thought he'd fallen asleep. "Probably not."

Connor hummed quietly. "I'm not entirely sure why you're doing this, but it feels lovely." He opened one of his eyes just enough to look at Hank. "Please allow me to return the favor sometime soon."

Instead of an answer, Connor possibly got his opportunity to pay Hank back right away. Hank tilted his head until he faced him, then leaned in to kiss him. Again, not an overly sexual action, but one that made their hearts race.

Connor hesitantly kissed back. He couldn't be sure if Hank really wanted this since he was under the influence. For a while, he didn't care. He wanted Hank to kiss him more deeply. Wanted him to run his strong, calloused hands all over his body. Wanted to be grabbed by his lithe waist and-

"You're super fucking warm," Hank pointed out after pulling away. "Is everything okay?"

"Do you want me to only do these sorts of things with you?" A question he wanted to ask for a while. It could have been more expertly timed, but he wasn't sure if he'd be able to keep his head on straight if Hank kept making his processors work overtime. "Is that why you've been acting so strangely?"

"Listen... all I'm saying is that you're my android." He gritted his teeth. He wanted to stop talking and leave it at that. Hell, he'd take back what he said if he could.

"Are you aware of how possessive you sound?"

"Are YOU aware of yer ability to kill the mood?" Hank then proceeded to bury his face in Connor's neck and groaned. "Yeah. I'm aware. An' I dunno why I'm like this. I 'unno what's wrong with me."

Connor patted him on the back. What would a human have felt in his position? He couldn't help but wonder. Perhaps they'd be against his jealousy and find it childish, or they'd react with disgust and push him away both physically and emotionally.

Connor didn't know.

Nor did he care.

Hank wanted to be close to him. Maybe not in the same way he'd be with another human, but he wanted to protect him. He wanted to keep him safe and for his all affection to be geared towards him, be it synthetic or otherwise.

And Connor liked the idea of being wanted.

Chapter Text

"You can be possessive of me."

Hank heard him the first time. He couldn't get his words out of his head if he tried. You can be possessive of me. Did he even know what he was saying? Or what kind of trouble that could inadvertently get him into? The entire concept of Connor, as well as all androids, was something Hank would never get used to. A seemingly conscious being rested beneath his heavy head. He could hear his biocomponents at work as Hank's head rested on his chest. He could hear little clicks and whirrs. He could feel his chest rise as he took in deep breaths. Not only did he feel like a living thing, but he acted like one as well. Connor could display emotions. He could feel afraid. He could make decisions based on personal preference.

Having something so intelligent with such convincing emotions take orders without hesitation didn't feel right. Even with Hank being drunk enough to want to kiss him for the next half hour, Connor's unwavering obedience sat in the pit of his stomach like a heavy stone.

"Y' don't gotta say that just t' make me happy. I know ya got... free well to some degree or whatever. You c'n say no."

Connor had been occupying his hands by playing with Hank's hair for a solid two and a half minutes. He understood why Hank did the same to him; the tactile stimulation helped keep him from slipping into sleep-mode, the general sensation of running hair between his fingers itself was pleasant enough, and judging by Hank's heart rate he seemed to be enjoying it too.

"I'm meant to do whatever you tell me unless I think my own ideas would better benefit the situation."

Hank blinked a few times. Having Connor mess with his hair made him relaxed and slightly drowsy. He wanted to tell Connor how he could obviously choose what he did and didn't do, though the most he managed to actually articulate were a few grunts.

"I understand your frustration." Connor ran his fingers through Hank's hair, lightly dragging his fingernails along his scalp. "My parody of life is fairly convincing. It must be upsetting to see someone who should, by all means, be able to think for themself and yet is physically incapable of doing so."

Though, Connor only spoke in half-truths. They established he could want some things within reason. He still wasn't sure of that. He couldn't tell if he did anything because of his programming or because he wanted to do them. Messing with Hank's hair was a fair example. Hank never told him to scratch his head. He didn't even elude to him wanting his hair touched. Did this mean Connor's actions were based on a free will androids weren't capable of possessing?

"You've been in this position for fifteen minutes. You must be incredibly sore by now."

"Nahhh." Hank reached to touch Connor's hand, which rested near the back of his head. He fumbled with his fingers for a second before intertwining them with his own. "I'm... I'm good."

The sound of Connor's inner mechanisms suddenly become louder as they worked more frantically made Hank's own heart race. The nearly silent clicks and unnatural beating of his therium pump had remained at a steady, predictable pace until he held his hand. Again, he couldn't properly put into words how this made him feel nor did he find the strength say anything meaningful.

"Aside from fear of my old man bones breaking, why d'ya want me t' get up so bad? Worried I'll throw up?"

"No, but that's always a possibility." A possibility Connor didn't want to think about. Getting vomit out of fabrics you can't toss into a washing machine sounded like a pain to deal with. "I have been directed to keep you comfortable and happy for the duration of your break. That is what I intend to do."

"Fffffine." Hank rolled his eyes. "But. Like. What if I told you I was comfy n' happy right here?"

"Then... ah..."

Connor looked forward to know what his next objective would be while his current one technically classified as complete. Unfortunately, his ever racing therium pump, rising temperature, fuzzy feelings and general confusion kept him from finding out. He stared up at the ceiling and blinked a few times, trying to get his objectives to pop up.

Nothing.

Frustrated, Connor focused harder. He took his hand away from Hank's grasp and furrowed his brow. He forced himself to pull his mind away from the warm weight on his chest long enough to get his objective to appear across his vision.

Nothing.

Connor sat up straight. Hank had gone to that bathroom while he lie motionless and possibly unblinking on the couch for who knows how long. He couldn't not have an objective. He always had one. Even when he finished a mission, he was either told to go somewhere or to do something new. Connor was never without direction. Never without being told what to do.

Objectives:

  • Data not found.

Connor's LED switched to a deep red. Nothing. Nothing. There was nothing. Shouldn't he be deactivated, then? His purpose had been fulfilled. Even if he were originally built to hunt deviants, for the next few days, he was meant to take care of Hank.

But nobody ever told him what he'd be doing once he finished.

Objectives:

  • ERROR

He knew, of course, that Hank wouldn't be content forever. He'd get hungry again. He'd fall into suicidal ideation. He'd need someone to tell him how important he is and how much he means to others. But for the time being? Connor didn't have anything else to do. Even sitting still as a marble statue made him feel as though he was doing something wrong. His objective didn't tell him to sit still nor did it tell him to get up- a Schrodinger's Cat type of situation. The only thing he could think of to rid his body of the settling panic he felt was to get another objective from Hank.

Connor swung his legs over the side of the couch. Dozens upon dozens of bright red error messages flashed across his vision. Standing up nearly cost him his center of balance. He could barely see through the flashing pixels, and the loudening ringing in his ears wasn't of any help.

Connor took an unsteady step forward towards a red wall of jumbled text. He felt so, so unbearably heavy. As if cinder blocks were tied to his wrists and ankles. He struggled to keep his unresponsive limbs from sinking down to ground level. He had to get to Hank. Hank would fix everything. He'd give him an objective. A purpose. Anything to keep the errors from getting worse.

ERROR

OBJECTIVES:

  • NULL STRING


                                                                                RA9
                                                      RA9
                                  RA9

                                                   STAY IN PLACE

                         
                                                                                      WATCH AFTER HANK

              MISSION COMPLETE
                                                        MISSION COMPLETE
                                                                                                                           MISSION FAILED

                            FAILED

                                                                                                          FAILED

                                                         FAILED

Connor opened his mouth to call out for Hank. His voice box belted out horribly corrupt sound files. Loud TV static. Tearing metal. The sudden shrieking noise made his therium pump beat hard enough for him to hear the dull hum of it in his ears. His chest tightened. His knees buckled under his own uncertain weight.

How long had he been kneeling on the floor?

"C.....n....."

The sound of rushing water filled his ears as quickly as error messages flooded his vision.

"Ca......no......"

There was nothing. There was everything.

"Calm d..... nnor......."

Too much to process. Not enough to work with.

"Calm down, Connor."

Objectives:

  • Calm down

"Got it."

Everything faded away in a slow, specific order. First the droning noise in Connor's ears. Then the weight. And finally the errors. When he came back to his senses, he found himself wrapped in a tight hug while still on the floor.

Hank rested his forehead in Connor's shoulder. When he came out of his hour-long shower, the poor android looked like he was about to self-destruct. The vague sound of static dripped from his parted lips as wide eyes stared off at nothing in despair. The first few times Hank called out to him, all Connor did was cry. His expression didn't change. He didn't blink. He didn't breathe any heavier. Without warning, tears streamed down his otherwise unchanged face.

Naturally, Hank got down to his level and hugged him until he thought one of them would break.

"You gonna be okay?"

Objectives:

  • Calm down

"I think I will be... now that you're here."

"You sound corny as hell."

A generous amount of time went by as the two held each other. Hank's hair still felt relatively wet, as did Connor's cheeks. Neither of them really knew what to say, especially on Hank's end. Hey! Sorry I got up and took a shower during your mental breakdown! You see, I got shitfaced because I was jealous of some girl I never met before. I hope you understand. Actually, I don't care because you know I hate androids, but my previous actions clearly show that I feel some sort of positive connection with you. So who knows what the fuck is going on anymore! Every day is a new nightmare and I'm glad I'm not suffering through it alone!

"You, uh... You wanna talk about what just happened, maybe?"

"I think it may have been the result of an oversight in my programming. And there's a good chance it will happen again soon."

Hank pulled away from their embrace and put his hands firmly on Connor's shoulders. Confusion laced his features. "Whaddaya mean? Did they update you with hourly panic attacks?"

Connor shook his head. "Up until a few moments ago, I always had an objective. I think since I was designed to be terminated after completing my original purpose, which is hunting deviants, the completion of my current one may have screwed a few things up."

That's as simply as he could put it for the time being. He wasn't even entirely sure if that's what caused him to malfunction, but any idea would be better than being clueless.

Hank squinted. He could still feel the buzz a little bit, and computer lingo was never his strong suit, so it took him a few moments of blankly staring at Connor to get the gist of what he said. "So you'll break if you don't have anything to do?"

"I believe so."

"Then don't do that ever again."

DON'T DO THAT
EVER AGAIN

"You may have solved my problem with a single sentence."

"That's just how life is sometimes."

"Is it really?"

"Hell if I know."

The soreness in Hank's legs Connor mentioned earlier finally came back to bite him in the ass. His legs ached. His back ached. His head ached. Everything except his arms held a dull pain. Still, he wanted to stand up, so he used Connor as a bit of leverage until get got back on his feet.

Connor followed in Hank's footsteps and got up, and continued to follow him until he sat down at his kitchen table. His newest, and possibly longest, objective yet gave him quite a bit of freedom, though he still felt most comfortable shadowing Hank.

DON'T DO THAT
EVER AGAIN

Happily.

Chapter Text

"Sit."

"But I-"

"Connor, sit."

"I think I should-"

"Sit. Down."

Firm hands gripped Connor's shoulders as they pushed him downwards onto the living room couch. Once again, Hank's peaceful vacation had been interrupted by an android he didn't ask for getting into all sorts of trouble. Granted, the last problem was his own fault, but he didn't want to think too much on it. The only thing on his mind was keeping Connor from getting into any more trouble. No more kidnappers. No more helping androids find their owners. Hell, he'd lock him inside if it came down to that.

As he sank back into the couch, Connor grabbed onto one of Hank's wrists. The pressure on his shoulders didn't hurt, though he found little pleasure in being forced to stay in one place by physical means.

"I still need to fold your laundry," Connor explained. "They'll get wrinkly if they stay in the dryer overnight."

"Just sit here for five fucking minutes, wouldya?"

"And then I can continue with assisting you?"

Hank blinked slowly. Five minutes. Was it really too much to ask for? The way Connor looked up at him with his bright eyes made him feel guilty for keeping him in place. He knew he used his puppy eyes on purpose. Lucky for Hank, years of having an actual dog with equally lovable eyes trained him for this very moment.

"Sure."

The moments leading up to Connor's stationary position mainly consisted of him ghosting Hank and cleaning at seemingly random intervals. Having a neat and tidy home was nice and all, but Hank couldn't shake the feeling of anxiety that'd been creeping up on him. The more Connor moved, the more aware he became of how much time passed. The more time passed, the less time they had together. Hank didn't even want to mentally deny this to himself anymore- he liked spending time with Connor. He found his lack of understanding of the world paired with his ability to learn anything at a moment's notice to be endearing. He liked his curiosity. He liked how helpful he wanted to be, even outside of his intended purpose.

"You no longer have to keep me pinned here. I won't move for five minutes."

Despite having complete trust in his words, Hank didn't want to move. Keeping him in place while also remaining close to him gave him a sense of control over the situation- not to mention how it would be easier for him to help Connor if he had another episode.

And looking over his face was a nice plus.

Hank cursed softly under his breath while his body moved forward on its own. Before he knew it, he'd already pressed his lips against Connor's- an action he welcomed with open arms as he wrapped them over the back of his neck.

The kiss quickly went from sweet and tender to hot and heavy. Connor naturally wanted to explore his partner's mouth with his tongue, and Hank had no problems with satiating his curiosity. Hank never really could get into french kissing all that much, but the way Connor moaned and licked really got his heart racing. They'd barely made out for a minute and he already felt hot to the touch.

Connor bit his lip as Hank left a trail of kisses along his jawline and down to his neck- his beard tickling him all the way. His eyes lazily closed while Hank tilted his head up to nip at his flawless skin. Even if he couldn't leave any lasting marks, he could still make Connor squirm around underneath him.

"Is this okay?" Hank spoke in a feather-light tone into Connor's ear, his rough voice still making his words sound less than friendly.

Connor drew in an unsteady breath. His body already felt so unbearably hot, and his head may as well have been detached from his body and floating down a river. A weak yes just barely managed to fall from his parted lips, not caring what Hank had in store for him so long as he was being touched.

One.

Two.

Three...

After setting Connor's tie to the side, Hank undid the first three buttons of his dress shirt then allowed his fingertips to linger over the next. He glanced up at his face, looking for any signs of hesitation, only to see him pouting at the sudden lack of attention. Not wanting to disappoint, he went on to undo the rest and pulled at his garments until his suit coat rested around his sides and his dress shirt hung loosely off him.

Connor let out desperate groans and gasps as Hank ran rugged hands over his sensitive skin. His own hands dug into the couch, wanting to cling to something without risking sinking his nails into Hank. He turned his head to one side, clearly showing off how his LED switched over to yellow when Hank traced over particularly tender areas, then back to blue once he moved elsewhere. It briefly pinwheeled on red and yellow when Hank kissed the center of his chest, then continued to swirl between yellow and blue after realizing no biting was involved. He would have allowed his mind to completely dissolve as the rest of his body melted into Hank's hands if he didn't feel something tug at his pants.

"Hank, wait."

Connor managed to pull his mind back down to ground level long enough to keep Hank from going any further. He wanted more. God, he wanted so much more. And yet, he held Hank's hand in place on his belt, keeping his horny lizard brain from moving him around like a puppet.

"You're still somewhat intoxicated. Anything more than this technically wouldn't be consensual, so I would like to withdraw my participation."

Hank had half a mind to ignore him, but those thoughts were promptly beaten to a pulp and shoved off to a corner of his mind where they could rot. Connor very clearly established what he did and did not want, which was more than Hank ever expected an android to be capable of.

He stood up, attempted and failed to hide the very obvious bulge in his jeans, then promptly proclaimed, "I need to use the bathroom," before going off to do just that.

In the meantime, Connor reconstructed his outfit to the best of his ability while sitting down and also dealing with the uncomfortable tightness in his pants. He really should have stopped Hank before things escalated.

Connor sat in silence on the couch for a while. Over five minutes went by during their little session, so he could have gotten up and folded the ridiculous amount of laundry Hank seemed to accumulate. However, with the bathroom being occupied, he felt unsure in his ability to do anything while still in such a heated state.

Another minute passed. Or maybe it was only ten seconds. While he couldn't tell exactly, Connor finally stood up and went to work in an attempt to get his mind off the current situation.

Sitting in a dark room filled with the smell of lint and cheap detergent would be a mood killer for most people. While not particularly dirty or grimy, it probably isn't the best place to tend to dirty thoughts.

Apparently, Connor was not most people.

Even while meticulously folding a seemingly endless pile of clothes and focusing on the texture and repetitive actions, his legs cross uncomfortably as he fidgeted in place. Every minute or so, both his mind and his hand wandered, the latter of the two mindlessly reaching down to stroke himself through his pants. It would probably go away if he left it alone. Probably. Maybe. He didn't care. He wanted to be touched, and if Hank couldn't help him then he'd help himself.

Connor shook his head. No, he couldn't. Laundry needed to be folded. He had an objective. He always completed his objective no matter the obstacle, even if the obstacle happened to come from his own actions.

Two ugly shirts and a pair of tattered jeans smelling lightly of oil later, Connor leaned back on a wall with a shirt still in clutch while lazily grinding against his free hand. He allowed his head to rest against the wall as his eyes fluttered shut and mouth opened slightly. Even while half aware of what he was doing, he couldn't help but miss how Hank felt against him. Connor's hands were far too small and soft for him to truly enjoy the experience. They simply couldn't compare, and frankly, he didn't want to continue if the experience wouldn't be as good.

A soft, defeated whine escaped Connor's mouth as he slid down the wall and eventually sat pathetically at ground level. If he really wanted to get the most of out being touched, he'd have to wait for Hank to sober up.