Connor had made a list of things he decided he wanted after accepting his own “deviancy.” It had taken him time to adjust to the idea. Of being deviant and wanting in general.
Hank made jokes about getting his feeling uninstalled. It made sense to Connor that Hank would treat Connor’s attempts at talking the same way.
Connor was surprised, gratefully so, when Hank encouraged Connor to talk about his feelings. Hank would give advice and suggestions when Connor felt at a loss.
Connor would have been lost without him. He told Hank this while they were in the car after Hank picked up lunch. Hank had turned to him, just for a second, smiled and told the windshield that he felt the same.
He had four items to start his list with:
1. Discover a hobby
2. Buy unnecessary items for the house
3. Get Sumo on a schedule
4. Regular contact with Markus
Markus was fond of painting. They had many talks about android souls and how painting was a way to show feelings. Connor had tried it but didn’t find the experience as enlightening as he hoped.
“This one looks like the blood splatter from a hammer to the skull.”
Markus had stopped what he was doing and took the paint away from Connor.
“There’s more than one way to express yourself. Have you tried music?”
Connor had, he and Hank had gone through different genres a few times. The first couple times Hank would remember a song that he liked and was eager to share it with Connor. Connor enjoyed the experience, had listened to the same songs while he was alone. He felt the same level of enjoyment and was content to listen to the same songs over and over.
Hank was concerned at first.
“You don’t have to just listen to the songs I like,” Hank was fiddling with the label on his beer. A domestic beer, one that Connor had picked out because he thought the name sounded interesting.
Connor could see how that would be distressing for Hank. Hank wanted Connor to want things. But the first thing he had taught Connor was that you didn’t have to explain to someone why you wanted something.
“It’s enough for me, I don’t have the desire to seek out other songs.”
Hank finished the rest of his beer. “Connor, just because it’s the only thing you know, doesn’t mean it’s the best.”
Connor looked down at the table, at his hand that was stroking the wood. He felt each dip in the wood and where the finish had been worn off.
“It’s what I want.” Connor looked at Hank’s hand resting on the table. He took his hand in his and looked Hank in the eye. Hank squeezed Connor’s hand back and dragged a thumb across the space of Connor’s thumb and first knuckle, accepting it.
Whenever one of Connor’s songs would come on, Hank would always turn it up and sing along.
He left Markus’s with paint still on his fingernails and a promise that he would try to express one of his feelings to someone.
He stopped at a pet store before going back to Hank’s. No, back to their house. He was eyeing a new toy for Sumo, just because, when he spotted the row of tanks of fish.
When he returned home with a large box and a red octopus toy for Sumo, Hank was sitting at the table. He glanced up at Sumo’s mad rush to the door. His hair was tied back, and he had a pen in his hand he had been chewing on.
“Hey, how’s Markus?”
Connor set down his package on the counter and squeezed the toy for Sumo to come running again. Connor roughed up his jowls before giving the toy to him. Hank laughed as Sumo strutted away, squeaking the toy as he went.
“Insightful. He gave me a task,” Connor waved his hand around, ready to take back the word. “Task might not be the right word. He’s been helping me to find ways to express myself.” He continued opening his box.
“That’s good. That’s really good, Connor.” Hank turned to face him fully. “A fish tank?”
Connor turned to smile at him. “I want a fish,” he smiled bright.
Hank got up from the chair and picked up a manual from the tank. “Hey, you know you can sink up yourself to the heat controls?”
After androids won the right to be able to make their own choices, Connor was expecting to go stay in one of the Android Emergency Centers in the city. Hank instead took him back to his house and gave him a used sweater, blanket, and a pillow. They’re yours, Connor. Keep them. They aren’t anything special, but they’re yours.
Connor took over the couch at night. Every morning, he would fold everything back up and put it on parts of the shelf that he claimed. Connor was fine with this, all of the spaces of Hank’s that he could take and keep.
Hank nudged Connor’s leg one day while they were watching a movie. Hank had been researching something for the past couple days. Hank handed Connor his research proudly right in the middle of a pivotal scene. Connor hit the pause button before accepting the tablet.
It was a page full of hand-picked android apartments.
Connor felt annoyed. A little about the interruption and some that Hank wanted him to move. “I didn’t realize you wanted me to move,” Connor looked up to see Hank’s smile turn into a frown.
Hank deflated, confused. “You can live where ever you want. You know that, right?”
“I thought I lived here?”
Hank wrote something on the tablet. He handed it back to Connor.
Hank had added his own address with the rest. Connor took the pen and circled it, choosing his home.
Connor invited Markus over to see his newest addition, a cichlid fish named Poseidon.
“It’s a good-looking fish,” Markus was bent down, a few inches from the glass. The light from the little water lighthouse making his face look blue. “You just have the one?”
Connor was thinking about getting another fish. He was unsure if Poseidon would be lonely or not. Hank had joked that he should get a few tanks worth and name them after gods of the sea. “Oh, ye! who have your eyeballs vexed and tired,
Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea!” He threw his arms out wide and laughed.
Later, after Markus squeezed Connor’s shoulder and told him he was a natural at taking care of fish, Connor asked Hank if he should get another fish.
Hank was making dinner. He had been since Connor made him “the best goddamn lasagna.” Hank was trying to replicate it without Connor’s assistance. “It’s about pride! I used to think I made the best lasagna! You don’t even eat!”
Connor accepted this and stayed out the kitchen, even when Hank let out sad noises, it’s not even close!
Hank was close to replicating it tonight. He let Connor back in the kitchen a few days ago, cheering up because he almost had it.
“Name him Neptune?” Connor could see the lines in the corner of his eyes start to appear.
It had taken awhile for Connor to get a job. After Hank invited him home, but before Connor chose his home, Connor had to wait to receive citizen paperwork. Hank would go to work and Connor would be left unsure what to do next.
Hank sympathized, but what Connor needed was someone who empathized. This was the beginning of his friendship with Markus, and eventually North, Josh, and Simon.
Connor thought about joining them, not trying to get a job at a police department. He knew, though, he would be more of a help on that side. He bunkered down and waited.
The first few weeks, Connor was gone late, not returning until just before Hank had to go to sleep. After he decided to wait, he came back earlier. Soon after, Hank stayed in more nights than others.
Connor had bought another fish and of course, named him Neptune. He was thinking if he should get another tank or a larger one, when he was asked to come out of town by Markus. He said Buffalo over in New York was developing riots he said they could avoid. As strong willed and vigorous Markus could be, he knew when there didn’t need to be violence. We had our revolution, it’s time for us to live.
It was the weekend, time that Connor was looking forward to spending with Hank.
Hank said that it was good for Connor to get out and experience different places. Connor was annoyed, in a place deep in his processor, that he had been looking forward for it to be just Hank and him. That Hank didn’t have that same want.
It was a strange feeling, one he didn’t want to process. Hank, seeing everything, noticed it right away.
“What about Buffalo that you don’t like?” Hank turned to Connor, placing an arm on the back of the couch, his fingertips a few inches from Connor’s hair.
“Nothing. I have never been there.” Connor leaned his head back, grazing the tips of Hank’s fingers.
Hank moved his fingers to the back of Connor’s neck. “Ah, I see. Don’t want to leave Detroit just yet?”
Connor turned his head to look at Hank, “I’ll support Markus and Android rights indefinitely, sometimes I- “
Hank laughed. “Sometimes you just want to relax.” Hank moved his hand down Connor’s neck. “If I had any doubts that you weren’t human, they’re gone now!”
Connor smiled, sighing when Hank squeezed his neck before pulling away. Hank went on to say welcome to the lazy club and that they can spend all next weekend doing all the lazy activities that the club offered.
Connor pictured them still on the couch, but with Hank pulling Connor back so that he was resting fully on Hank. Hank’s hands would be on his stomach; Connor would feel Hank’s beard on his face. Connor would be content. Connor would feel-
Connor returned from Buffalo with a renewed sense of optimism about android and human relations. It would take time, but it was not as long as it seemed just last week.
It was night when Connor finally got home. Sumo gave him sloppy kisses and he got a Connor! from Hank. Connor was smiling widely, so in love with his home and his boys.
Hank stood up to greet him from the couch. Connor wanted to hug him, so he did. Hank hugged back, and it took all of Connor’s manual mechanical overrides to step out of it when it ended.
“I’m glad it turned out that way.” Hank said while holding Connor’s shoulder. There was a tense moment when it seemed like police were going to send out a deactivation order. It was over before it even started. Hank had called him right after. He’d been following the situation.
“What did you get up to this weekend?”
Hank looked down at the glass of water on the table. He rolled the water back and forth. “To Jimmy’s. I met an interesting character.”
Connor was curious, Hank would make conversation at the bar, but with no one he would characterize as interesting. He nodded for Hank to continue.
“What do think about androids and humans getting together?” Hank looked at him, watching him closely. “Romantically.”
There were numerous error signs coming into his vision. “Yes.” It made no sense, it wasn’t something he wanted to admit this soon. It was the best thing to say because now Hank was kissing him.
Connor could process quadrillions worth of information per second, but it didn’t seem like enough time before Hank was pulling away. Sumo had jumped up at them and Hank caught the brunt of it. He put his front legs back on the floor and went to get him a toy.
Connor watched him for a second before grabbing Hank’s arm to drag him over to the couch and pushing him down. He climbed on top of him and used his hands to keep Hank’s hair from his face, before going back in.
Connor has pushed his groin down on Hank’s when he moved to closer to Hank’s mouth. When Hank groaned, Connor ripped his mouth off his and did the move again. Hank moaned again and squeezed Connor’s ass.
“You wanna?” Hank was breathing hard, keeping Connor’s hips right where they were. Connor gently kissed his cheekbone under his left eye.
Hank groaned and moved Connor’s hips back and forth. 55% TO RESTART came up on his vision. Connor ignored it in favor of more kissing. It was 78%, before he took notice. “Hank, Hank, I’m going to restart.”
Hank laughed, before kissing everywhere he could reach on Connor’s face. “How long?” He asked before putting his tongue back in Connor’s mouth.
“91% until restart.”
Hank laughed again, pulling on Connor’s hips. “Let’s make that 100%.”
When Connor came back online, he was laying on Hank’s chest.
He stuck his face further into his chest. Hank’s hand came up to massage Connor’s head.
“I didn’t realize how much I wanted you until you left this weekend.” Connor kept his head where it was, listening. “I thought about what we could be doing, if you were here. It was pretty much what we actually did on this couch. Not so intense, though.” Hank rubbed Connor’s back before continuing, “Not that that wasn’t fucking fantastic. It was slower. Like we had all the time in the world.”
Connor pushed his stomach on Hanks wet groin. Hank pulled Connor away, moaning.
“We’re having a moment here!”
Connor tilted his head up for a kiss, Hank complied. “Don’t let me stop you from your moment.”
Hank laughed, like he always had, full of affection.
Hank had his fingers in Connor’s ass and Connor’s cock down his throat.
They had cleaned up before moving to Hank’s bed. Connor didn’t want to go far from Hank, he stayed as close as possible, even through Hank’s shower. So close that Hank decided to put his fingers in Connor. Hank said he wouldn’t be able to go again so soon, but Connor didn’t have to wait for him. Connor had restarted twice since leaving the couch and was quickly heading towards a third.
Connor grabbed Hank’s head to make him come up to his face. “Kiss me.” Hank did and twisted his fingers and pushed in.
“I can’t wait to fuck you. You’re so good. I love every sound you make.” Hank talked against Connor’s lips, adding another finger in. “I love you. Connor, I love you.” He gave one more thrust and Connor was gone.
Connor called in for Hank and worked on breakfast. Connor was off until the next day and felt that Hank would appreciate a day at home with him. Hank had fallen asleep staring at Connor until he couldn’t keep his eyes open.
Connor took out sumo and picked up some items from the market. There was one android female that ran a stand he always went to. The quality was as good as some of the other stands, but he felt better supporting his brothers and sisters. Today, she was talking to the owner of the stand next to her. A human woman. He saw the attraction, now that he knew what to look for.
He couldn’t wait to tell Simon. He knew that Simon didn’t let on that he cared what people thought of them. He wanted to take Simon here and other places he knew androids and human interacted.
Connor made sure their phones were off before he undressed and started making Hank breakfast. Hank walked towards the coffee before noticing that Connor was naked. He groaned and picked Connor up to take him back to bed.
“Breakfast first. You’re going to need it.” Connor bit Hank’s lip after wrapping his legs around Hank. Hank kissed him hard before setting him back down.
Despite Connor being naked and ready, they didn’t get back to the bed until late afternoon. Hank had put his mouth and tongue in or on every piece of Connor he could. He didn’t let Connor do the same to him, saying that this was more than enough for him.
When Connor finally had Hank naked on the bed, Hank had pleaded with Connor to let Hank finger him again. Connor was a mess, not being able to deny Hank anything.
Hank was finally going to fuck Connor, but before he pushed in, he asked Connor to turn off his skin. “Just you. I just want you.” Connor eagerly did as he was asked, and Hank pushed in hard. Neither of them was going to last long. Connor was already at 75%. He wanted to see Hank lose it. He flipped them over with his legs and slid down on Hank’s cock.
“You first.” Connor leaned down and held Hank’s jaw tight in his hand. “Please, Hank. Please, I need it.”
Connor felt Hank go and forced himself not to restart yet, he squeezed Hank tight and held on.
Connor added a fifth item to his list of things he wanted:
A life with Hank Anderson.
Hank had low expectations about life. He had distractions in his life, a buddy at work, at the bar, Sumo. Overall, he was done with life. All his optimism and contentment got buried six feet under with his son.
So, he drank. He was good at it and it worked.
Hank’s life was ruined in a matter of a week, he should have known what was coming. It only took a week to shift his life around again to something worth living.
He gave Connor a few items and a place to stay, but he knew he couldn’t keep Connor at his house. He deserved to have his own space, surrounded by things he picked. Hank knew that Connor didn’t know he could have those things.
He was surprised when Connor said he wanted to stay at Hank’s. Hank’s and Connor’s now. They were officially roommates. Hank offered to clear out a closet or wherever Connor wanted, but he declined. He said that his things were already all over the house.
Some detective Hank was. How had he missed the clothes in the closet, the shelf overflowing with pillows and blankets, the painting from Markus?
He felt some happiness start digging out from underground.
Hank thought about therapy throughout the years. Alcohol was a cheaper and faster solution. He went to a few appointments, back in the beginning. His life was split into two segments, before and after Cole. The therapist did her best, but Hank was in no mind to listen. He eventually crawled out of the bottle long enough to start going back to work.
He starts to doubt now, while he’s in the waiting room of a new therapist. He recited his speech he told himself when making the appointment. Do it for Connor, you can’t show him how to live if you’re a mess.
He knew that he couldn’t put it all Connor, he needed to do it for himself as well, but it was a start.
A woman wearing a dress covered in flowers called him back before he could run. When she motioned for Hank to sit down and then sat behind her desk, Hank saw that’s she was an android. An android therapist. Huh.
He put his faith in an android before. He started talking and didn’t stop until an hour later.
As much as it felt cathartic to talk, Hank still ended at the park with a bottle of whiskey.
He let Connor have the car that day. He wasn’t hiding that he was seeing a therapist, but he certainly wasn’t advertising it. He didn’t know what Connor would think of him going.
He talked about him, not by name. He felt that by giving Connor’s name while talking to a stranger about feelings was too intimate. His feelings for Connor felt complicated, he decided then and there, he needed all the professional help he could get.
He made a toast to the sun with the whiskey and started making his way back home.
It was easy to work with Connor. Connor was at the height of professionalism. Hank could live with the jokes that Connor was “training” Hank, when Hank would show up on time more often than not. Look you can teach old dogs new tricks!
The best part of Work Connor was how good he was at his job. He, of course, was made to be good at it, and made to be able to adapt. But he would do things that was exclusively Connor, the respect he got from just being kind to the other officers, the way he trolled Gavin. He was proud of Connor, the type of man he was creating all by himself.
Connor would say he had a lot of help from Hank. Hank would disagree but would admit they were good for each other. Hank could only remember a few times in his life that he felt like this.
That night, after Connor left with Markus to Buffalo, he sat on the couch with Sumo and watched whatever was on the television. He was scratching Sumo’s shoulder absentmindedly, thinking about nothing.
The house was too quiet, despite the noise from the television and Sumo’s snoring.
Connor had called him earlier, his face popping up with a smile that made Hank miss him like crazy. Connor had wanted to be home, home with Hank. Hank would never get over that fact. He wished now, he had tried to convince Connor to stay.
He immediately felt guilty. Connor would have spent the whole time regretting not helping Markus. They were his friends. If something had happened to them and Connor could have done something? Hank would never put Connor willingly in that situation.
He thought back to last night when they were sitting on the couch, Hank in the same spot he was now. He remembered how Connor’s hair felt, how Connor leaned into it, liking it. He wondered what Connor would do if he put his whole hand through Connor’s hair.
Not being to stop it, he saw himself pull Connor onto his lap. Both of hands would be in Connor’s hair, bringing Connor down to kiss him. Connor would be eager, taking control of the kiss easily. I’m a fast learner, he would say, before continuing give Hank the best make out session of his life.
Connor was solid, Hank remembered how he felt the few times he hugged Connor. He was expecting it to feel like if someone put padding on an old computer monitor. Cyberlife had made him as realistic to a human as possible, a very fit human.
Hank was getting hard thinking how Connor would feel against him.
Then as fast it came, it was gone. What was he thinking? He wasn’t going to use Connor to get off. What the fuck, Hank. Hank loved Connor, as a friend and now as someone he was in love with.
He didn’t see this coming. He would have to tell Connor when he came back. Connor would be kind about it, helping Hank move on from him.
He needed a drink.
They didn’t keep anything stronger than a few beers in the house. Hank had decided it after one of his good days and asked Connor to hold him to it. He still remembered that smile Connor gave him. With all his teeth and his eyes bright.
He needed a drink and a distraction.
Sumo still got up when Hank got his coat at the door, even when Hank told him to stay. He only listened when Connor told him commands. He was indignant, before Connor reminded him that Hank also spoiled the hell out of Sumo.
When Sumo understood he wasn’t going with Hank, he plopped down on the floor ready to fall asleep again. Hank petted him again and told him he was a good boy before shutting the door.
Jimmy was working that night at his bar. He made a big deal of seeing Hank there and Hank told him to shut up and get him a whiskey. Not the shit kind either, he wasn’t getting pissed drunk tonight.
Jimmy laughed and told him someone else had took that spot. He motioned towards the side of the bar where a guy was packing away drinks. The guy finished his drink quickly and put up his hand for another. Hank watched the guy telling jimmy to keep pouring until the glass was over half way filled, Jimmy stopping and checking at each finger.
Hank sighed, “I just came here for one or two drinks. I didn’t come here to take a drunk guy home.”
Jimmy only smiled, “Must be karma.”
Hank got up and went over to the guy. He looked like shit. Most likely a break up. He wouldn’t be spending that kind of money if he lost his job. “Okay, guy, it might be time to throw in the towel.”
The guy looked at him and finished his drink, “Why?” He set the glass down, distracted enough to not motion to Jimmy again. Hank moved to block his sight of Jimmy, just in case the guy remembered he was supposed to be drinking.
“Did you drive?”
The guy stared at him before starting to cry. Hank pulled him up and took him outside. Jimmy was right, this was karma.
Hank propped him up against Hank’s car, before going into the guy’s jacket for his phone or wallet. Hank found the wallet first and checked for his license.
Todd Berckley, 18284 Warrington Dr.
He hauled the still crying guy into his back seat. He couldn’t understand what the guy was saying. He turned the guy on his side and put his jacket down on the floor in front of him.
Definitely years worth of Karma coming back to him.
When he got to the guy’s house, he thought about using the keys, but a light was on inside, so he knocked instead.
The door opened quickly, like someone had been waiting for it. The woman looked fearful, but also relieved. They must have had a fight, the guy running off to drown the feelings away. Hank could relate.
She stared at him for a second before moving out the door to make space for them. “Where was he?” Her voice didn’t crack when she started talked, Hank knew anyone that looked like that and didn’t sound upset was either a terrible actor or an android.
Hank put him on the couch, back on his side and the woman crouched down by his head. “I wouldn’t get too close; all that alcohol will be coming back up.” She didn’t move and looked like she didn’t care if he threw up on her.
An android in love with a human.
The way the woman looked at the guy made Hank’s stomach ache. She looked protective. He knew he looked at Connor like that sometimes. He wondered if Connor could tell? Did Connor already know about Hank’s feelings?
Here he was, in a passed out drunk guy’s home, having an anxiety attack. What was his life.
“Why was he out getting that drunk, anyway?” The woman looked up at him, Hank was happy to have a distraction.
She started to say something but cut herself off when the guy opened his eyes.
He blinked a few times trying to focus, he was finally able to focus on the woman, “Oh god, not you. I don’t want to see you.” He rolled over, putting his back to her, ending any conversation.
The woman’s face was hard to look at, Hank forced himself to, even though his chest hurt in sympathy.
What had this woman done? She didn’t look guilty, she looked desolate. She didn’t cry, she only got up to get him a glass of water. She looked used to that treatment. It wasn’t the first time this had happened.
Fuck, no. Hank was pissed. You don’t get to treat people like that. This guy was probably one those owners that treated their androids like a piece of shit. Androids weren’t property, what was she still doing here? Did she have nowhere to go?
“Can we talk over there?” Hank motioned to the kitchen. He needed her to get away from this guy. She looked one more time at the guy and lead Hank over to the kitchen. Hank shut the door behind them.
“My name is Hank and I’m a lieutenant in the Detroit police. If this guy is hurting you, I’d like to help you.” The woman looked like she wanted to cry. Her model probably wasn’t able to. He’d asked Connor about a few models, just because. It had been interesting, a little boring, but he liked hearing Connor talk about androids. He was an expert at deviants, and now that he was one, he focused a lot on what androids felt and how they expressed it.
She shook her head looking down. Did she still think she had to stay? “It’s not like that.” She looked Hank in the eye.
Hank knew it wasn’t easy for abused people to admit that it was abuse. “What’s your name?”
“Lily, it’s not your fault he says things like that to you.”
She looked up at him quickly, “It was my fault, I pushed him to talk when he asked me to stop.”
“We’re not in a relationship, romantic or sexual. We are friends.”
“But you want to be.” Hank relaxed, glad to have the situation wrong. Something still didn’t make sense to him. “Friends don’t treat someone like he did in there.”
She looked uncomfortable for a second before adjusting back to normal. “I-work for him.”
“He’s not comfortable with an android having feelings from him?” She backed up a few steps in shock.
“How did you know I’m an android?”
Androids had a few tells, some couldn’t frown, some stared a little too long, computing. Hank sure had stared at Connor’s face long enough to find things.
“Detective.” She still stared at him, much like a statue. He pulled out his phone. “I’m also good friends with one.” He held out his favorite video, one where Connor was playing with Sumo at the park. He was still teaching him commands at the time. Whenever Sumo got one right, Connor would wrestle with him and throw a ball for him. Connor would do nothing if he got the command wrong. Hank always folded, every time.
It was one of the time Sumo got it right and Connor was laughing because Sumo was starting to lick his forehead.
Hank rarely saw Connor laugh, at first, he thought it was just an android thing. Androids can’t laugh, machines don’t have a sense of humor. Androids can and do, and Hank was starting to wonder if they were ticklish.
“You love him.”
Now it was Hank’s turn to be uncomfortable. “Yeah. Yeah, I do.” His voice cracked a little on the first word. “This guy knows you love him?”
“Todd,” she said the name fondly. “He knows and reciprocates. He says it’s not right because he bought me, and he’d be taking advantage of me. I’m his housekeeper and I get money now, how is it taking advantage? I choose to stay here.”
The dumbass was trying to protect her. Just because it’s the only thing you know, doesn’t mean it’s the best for you.
Hank returned home early morning. They talked for hours about her situation and his with Connor’s. Direct approach, she had said, you are already on equal footing. Ask him his views on android-human relations.
He in turn gave her advice. You need to be independent, even if it sucks. He gave her his information if she wanted help. She told him she would need to think about it. That she appreciated everything he said to her.
Hank was kicking himself for thinking androids were ever just a pile of plastic and silicone.
He took Sumo outside and then gave him breakfast, the organic brand Connor said was much healthier for him. He sent a quick Be safe text to Connor before closing his eyes.
Connor’s I will. a second later made him smile.
The situation in Buffalo was getting tense. The android’s protest had started peacefully, it turned violent after an anti-android mob showed up and started attacking the androids with bats and metal pipes.
News reports were saying that the governor was considering sending a specialized swat team to deactivate every android and gas everyone else.
Hank was calling every contact he had around there to see what he could do. His reputation had soured the past couple years, but he needed to try.
Then, the reports came in showing that it had ended. Markus, showing again how good of a leader he was, stood in front of the crowd, hands up with the rest of the androids, showing the world they weren’t violent. We only want peace and to live in it.
Hank called Connor as soon as he could reach for his phone.
“Connor! Where are you?”
Connor didn’t need to breathe but Hank heard the sigh nevertheless. “At the BPD, they’re standing down. The situation is over.”
Hank was relieved that Connor wasn’t in that crowd. His heart jumped when he realized a police department wasn’t safe for an android, even for Connor, who was part of the force. “Connor, what’s the feeling in the room?”
There was a pause before Connor talked and Hank wanted badly to reach through the phone, “Its fine. Hank, it’s actually fine.” He sounded so happy that Hank’s chest hurt with longing.
Hank hadn’t had a relationship since his ex-wife. Sure, there had been hook-ups, even ones that lasted a few months. The last person he said I love you to told him she didn’t anymore. To be fair, he didn’t feel anything at that point.
This thing with Connor should scare the shit out of him.
But it doesn’t.
When Connor came home smiling and hugging him, Hank knew he had to tell Connor immediately. Whether Connor wanted to stay or leave, Hank would not treat him any different. His friendship with Connor meant more than any sort of romantic relationship they would have.
It turns out that Hank didn’t have to worry about any of that.
Connor was on the bed naked breathing in quick breaths he didn’t need, asking for more. Hank had no problem delivering it.
After, he thought he should be embarrassed saying all those I love yous. But seeing the look on Connor’s face made him not give a damn.
Connor told Hank his list of things he wanted.
“It’s a good list.” Hank could barely get it out he was getting so choked up. Hank didn’t deserve Connor, at all, but he’ll fight off anyone with his bare hands that would try to take him away.
Connor looked pleased with himself. “Do you think I’ve been managing them well?” He molded himself around Hank’s torso, fishing for compliments.
Hank kissed his forehead, breathing in deeply. “I think you could work on number five,” Hank moved to kiss the rest of his face, “the trash doesn’t take out itself.”