Connor peaked over at Hank as he casually chatted with Markus. He was a little surprised at how comfortable Hank seemed to be having the Deviant Leader in the house, but regardless, it was nice to be around other Androids for a change. He let a smile slip before looking over at Simon, who was sitting a cushion over, next to him on the couch; lightly petting Sumo. They’d never really talked before, but Connor found himself a little fascinated by Simon, if not simply because he’d never seen an Android look so tired before. He didn’t even know it was possible, but here Simon was, with sunken bags under his eyes, and a miles away stare. An older model, who’d clearly seen his fair share of hard times.
Connor supposed the main reason he’d never really tried to talk to Simon before was because of his model. PL600. Daniel had been a PL600, and Connor, especially now that he was Deviant, could barely look at Simon without seeing Daniel getting torn apart by those bullets, followed by that betrayed voice.
You lied to me, Connor. You lied to me.
Connor shook his head; LED blinking red momentarily, drawing Simon’s attention.
“Are you alright, Connor?” He asked.
Connor flinched and crinkled his nose before nodding
“Yes, I’m fine, just... Had a thought.”
Simon tilted his head slightly, but didn’t push the matter further. Connor sighed softly before flinching slightly when Hank placed a hand on his shoulder
“Markus mentioned he wanted to go see Carl, so I offered to give him a ride. We won’t be long; you two think you’ll be okay here, on your own?” He asked.
Connor smiled and nodded
“Yes, Lieutenant, we’ll be fine,” He assured.
Simon nodded in agreement; looking anywhere but at Hank. It may have gone over Hank’s head, but Connor caught it, and he found himself curious.
He waited until Hank and Markus had left before bringing it up
“I noticed you avoided eye-contact with Lieutenant Anderson,” He stated.
Simon looked over at Connor and frowned slightly
“Oh, yeah, I just.... Don’t like eye-contact.”
It was a strange statement. It didn’t feel like the truth, but it also didn’t feel like a lie. Connor lowered his gaze as he processed the sentence. He decided he didn’t have enough information to make an accurate hypothesis
“You make eye-contact with me,” He informed.
Simon pursed his lips together
Again; not really the truth, but not really a lie. It was like Simon was actively avoiding saying what he meant. That’s when it clicked.
“I’m not human.”
Simon dropped his gaze; Connor had clearly hit the nail right on the head.
“I’m sure Lieutenant Anderson is a great guy, it’s just that... I haven’t exactly had the best experience with humans,” He explained softly.
Connor shifted closer to Simon; eyes glistening with curiosity. Simon rubbed the back of his neck and blushed slightly
“My... Owner wasn’t exactly the friendliest human on the planet,” He muttered “His wife and his daughters were great, it was just him.”
Connor frowned but nodded; urging Simon to continue. Simon chuckled slightly and folded his hands in his lap
“I’ve never told anyone this before...” He mumbled.
Connor bit his lip and averted his gaze
“I understand if you don’t want to tell me,” He assured; giving Simon an out, in case he felt too anxious to ask for one.
Simon smiled and nodded
“I just don’t like talking about it, that’s all.”
Connor nodded in understanding, and they returned to sitting in silence.
A few minutes passed before Simon broke the silence
“Why are you so uncomfortable around me, Connor?”
Connor tensed and clenched his jaw slightly; had he really been that obvious?
“My first mission, an Android was threatening to jump off a roof with a little girl. He’d found out he was going to be replaced, and reacted violently; killed the father, and took the daughter hostage. I convinced him to let her go; I told him everything would be alright. I told him he wouldn’t get hurt.... I lied to him. As soon as he released her, he was shot down by snipers,” He explained; unable to look over at Simon “His name was Daniel. He was a PL600.”
The room was silent, and Connor felt like he was suffocating, until a hand was placed on his thigh, and he flinched before looking over at Simon
“It wasn’t your fault, Connor,” He soothed.
Connor felt heat rise to his cheeks, and his eyes stung slightly. Simon squeezed Connor’s knee
“He had killed someone, and was going to kill a little girl; you simply did what you had to in order to save her.”
Connor swallowed thickly and lowered his gaze
“I know but... Every time I look at you, I see him getting ripped apart by bullets, and that horribly betrayed look in his eyes as he shut down. Every time you talk I hear him: You lied to me, Connor. You lied to me.”
Simon moved closer to Connor and pulled him into a hug. Connor tensed at the contact for a moment before relaxing and clinging to Simon; finally just letting himself sob. He’d been through so much crap in the past months, and he was tired of holding it all in. Simon hushed him softly as he gently corded his fingers through Connor’s hair
“It’s alright, you’re going to be okay, it’ll get better,” He soothed.
Connor tightened his grip on Simon’s shirt and sniffled; did it always feel this good to cry? Simon continued to hush him and rub his back; offering gentle words of comfort every now and then. Connor wasn’t sure how long he spent, hunched over, just crying into Simon’s chest, but when he pulled away, he felt light a thousand pound weight had been lifted off his chest. He just stared into Simon’s eyes for a moment; a little mesmerized by how beautiful they were. Did all PL600’s have such gorgeous eyes, or was it, somehow, just Simon? He closed his eyes so he didn’t have to look at them, only to for them to shoot open again when he felt lips gently press against his. He jerked back; cheeks flushed a deep blue, LED spinning yellow as he tried desperately to process what had just happened
“You-,” His words died on his tongue; it was obvious enough without him saying it what had happened, Simon had kissed him.
Simon quickly pulled away from Connor and covered his mouth; blushing deeper than Connor had ever seen anyone blush before
“Oh! I... I’m sorry! I thought-,” Simon quickly cut himself off and he averted his gaze; clearly deeply embarrassed.
He’d clearly misread the situation. Connor swallowed thickly... Had he? His lips were still tingling from that gentle touch and he... He wanted more. Connor shook his head slightly to snap himself out of his daze, and when he did he noticed tears beginning to well up in Simon’s eyes. The poor PL600 was very clearly crippled by anxiety, so Connor could only imagine how he must have felt; thinking he’d misread the situation, kissing Connor, and being rejected. The humiliation must have just been too much.
“No, Simon, it’s okay,” Connor quickly assured “I just wasn’t expecting it.”
Simon peaked up at him; blush not fading in the least
“I’m sorry, it’s just... The way you were looking at me, and I... I thought... I don’t know,” He mumbled; slowly lowering his hand.
Connor toyed with the hem of his jacket slightly; this was... Awkward. He’d never really been kissed before, hadn’t been in anything even remotely resembling a romantic situation, so he wasn’t really sure what to do next. He wanted to comfort Simon, but he wasn’t really sure how to. Kiss him back? To show him that it was okay? Connor gently grasped Simon’s hand and pushed a quick kiss to his lips. Simon immediately went rigid for a moment, before slowly relaxing and wrapping his arms around Connor’s neck; pulling him closer and deepening the kiss.
Connor would have been content staying that way forever, but he figured that wasn’t realistic. He slowly pulled away and looked Simon in the eyes
“You just startled me... That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it,” He assured.
Simon swallowed thickly and averted his gaze again; staying quiet. Connor just stared at his eyes, before gasping softly when he felt a prickle of energy that wasn’t his own flow up through his hand. He looked down at where he was still holding onto Simon, and saw that he retracted his skin. Connor closed his eyes and retracted his as well; sighing softly as he and Simon connected. It was the first time he’d really connected to someone, instead of just... Probing their memory. It was different. Intense. He could see everything, Simon held nothing back, and Connor shared the same vulnerability. Up until it became too intense and he had to pull away.
“I’m sorry,” Simon quickly apologized.
Connor just blinked at him in confusion for a moment before reaching up to touch his cheek; fingers coming away wet.
“Oh... It’s fine, I just... I felt you, and... I’m sorry,” He breathed; he could barely begin to comprehend what Simon had been through, but he knew the pain had been immense.
Simon smiled gently
“It’s okay... It’s over now,” He assured before leaning forward and resting his forehead against Connor’s shoulder “It’s nice to finally tell someone, I guess.”
Connor gently wrapped his arms around Simon; much like Simon had done for him earlier, and just rubbed his back. Simon didn’t cry, but Connor hadn’t really expected him to. The story was two years old at this point; Simon had cried his tears for it. Now he was just tired, so for the moment, Connor would let him just rest.