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Never knew I cared

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Gavin tried really hard to keep some semblance of professionalism. He was one of the senior detectives for fuck’s sake, he didn’t need Fowler or God forbid, Anderson to give him crap about his attitude. But did they really have to put the date for the Cyberlife tower raid on one of his few and far in between days off?

His protests were ignored and everyone on the team seemed to have tuned him out, so Gavin stuffed his pockets with deviancy patches given to them by Jericho, grabbed Tina’s arm and got to exploring the lower levels of the tower. The team was moving too slow for his taste, comforting the newly deviated androids and what-not. Anderson was preoccupied with his plastic pet anyway so no-one cared that they went ahead.

At least Tina listened to him bitch about his wasted day off and even laughed at his Vine and Tick Tock references unlike the other ones. They found a dozen or two AP700 in a lab. All of them out of their uniform and only in cyberlife boxers. Tina took off, slapping deviancy patches on as many android crotches as she could. Gavin went from one to another and used the patches as an excuse to slap them across the face. Damn, it felt good to let out some pent-up aggressiveness.

They were still giggling about how confused the androids were to find a strange patch on their dicks when they found the next occupied lab. Some WR600 were laid out on metal tables with their chests open and some of their bio-components beside them. Gavin supressed a shudder. This looked too similar to a human morgue. He should know, he witnessed at a lot of autopsies in his career. Those things shouldn’t look so close to human. They gave Gavin a weird feeling, expecting to see red squishy bits inside, but instead there were only blue drenched wires.

They called it on the station that they found some unsalvageable androids and got out of there quickly. Gavin hoped to never see shit like that again. He tried to make Tina laugh since she looked a bit shaken herself. Their laugher died out when they opened a side-room from a lab, expecting spare parts. Instead they were met with Connor’s top half, hanged on a machine, wires and bio-components hanging loose from its torso, thirium pump missing.

Tina gagged and fled the room. Gavin could only stare. He had seen a lot of fucked up shit in his life as a detective, but the meticulous and cold way in which this RK800 was dismembered shocked even him. He had to remind himself that the Connor he knew was above a few levels, chatting away with the other team members about whatever Anderson’s dog did that day. He closed the door as he backed away and again announced to the others that they found another dismembered android that could not be saved.

He patted Tina’s back as she was hunched over with her hands on her knees, breathing loudly through her mouth. “Come on, T, the faster we go, the faster we can get out of this hell hole.” She just nodded and they got back to combing the labs.

They didn’t find any more whole androids to deviate, only spare parts and cross sections that were too familiar to them. Gavin’s hand itched for his gun. He couldn’t shake the feeling of wrongness that seeped deeper in his bones the farther they got into the labs. What kind of fucking weirdos were the Cyberlife engineers?

On one of the lowest levels they found a reinforced steel door that none of the access codes they were given could open. Gavin got annoyed pretty fast and decided to shoot the access panel instead of waiting for reinforcements. They expected another dismembered Connor or even some other fucked up experiments, but they didn’t expect this.

In the corner of a too bright white room, bare of any furnishings, was the huddled trembling form of an android out of its uniform and only in those black boxers androids were given upon activation. He had his arms raised over his head as if braced for a blow. Gavin turned to Tina, she had her hands to her mouth and her eyes were open wide in shock. And Gavin could see why. The android’s body was littered with patches where his skin couldn’t cover badly repaired holes or slashes in the case. Gavin took a gamble and decided to approach the android since he had no uniform on and that might be better for comfort.

“Connor?” Gavin asks and takes a small step inside the room with his hands raised in a non-threatening manner. The android whips his head up, eyes wide and filled with tears and Gavin finds himself stopping in shock again. It’s not Connor, but he could as well be his brother. They were similar, but Gavin noted that this android’s eyes were grey, his hair black instead of brunet and he was paler and broader than Connor.

He opens his mouth as if to say something but no sound comes out. Maybe it’s just shock. Gavin has to calm him down since deviants were prone to self-destruction under duress. He takes another step in the room, but the android panics and scrambles further into the corner, shielding his face with a hand and clawing at his throat with the other as he tries to say something but again, no sound come out.

This isn’t something they are prepared for. Gavin’s training kicks in and he crouches low, keeping his hands loose and relaxed. “Tina, go get Connor.” He almost whispers to his partner never taking his eyes off the android. He hears Tina’s hurried steps as she goes to do what he asked and he slowly get on his knees.

He’s done this before with hostages, abuse victims and even people who attempted suicide in his time at the DPD, but this was a police grade android, and he knew just how hard those things could strike thanks to Connor. So he approached slow, walking on his knees. “We are here to help. I’m Gavin.”

The android kept trembling, but at least his tears stopped as he watched the man get closer to him. When Gavin was maybe two-three feet away, the android started again to push himself in the corner and cover his head, so Gavin decided to stop there. He slowly lowered himself on his backside and started talking to the frightened android.

“Once my co-worker comes we’re going to get you out of here. I promise.” He searched his brain for something neutral to calm him down further, so he slowly reached for his jackets pocket, letting the android clearly see his movements, and he got his phone out. “You’ll love it outside. It’s much nicer than this room you have here.” He rambled on as he unlocked his phone. “We even have cute animals to cuddle when we feel sad of frightened. Here, this is my cat, Tank. He’s a fat ass that doesn’t know the definition of personal space.” So Gavin keeps showing him pictures of Tank in hopes of lowering his stress levels. He had pictures with Tank on his bed, stretched across both of his pillows, Tank on his shoulders like an expensive scarf, Tank playing with a shoelace, Tank sleeping belly up in a ray of sun. And as Gavin told him how he got to be the owner of the giant grey maincoon he watched the android slowly stop trembling and even inch closer a bit to better see a video of Tank grooming Gavin’s hair.

All of his hard work and progress is undone the moment Connor steps inside the room.

The android takes one look at Connor and backs away in his corner shaking his head violently when Connor attempted to explain that he only wanted to interface and help him. When Connor takes a step closer the terrified android dives behind Gavin, still eerily silent.

When Gavin feels a shaking hand grab his jacket’s sleeve he decided he had enough. “For fuck’s sake, Connor, get out!” he yelled, stopping Connor midsentence. He would feel bad about reacting like this latter, he said to himself as he watched Connor retreat like a kicked puppy. When he looked back at the android behind him, Gavin was glad he was an asshole because the poor thing was terrified, still clutching at his sleeve, despite relaxing a bit once the other android got out of the room.

Gavin took another risk and wrapped his hand around the android’s wrist in a comforting gesture and started talking again. This time he decided to tell the android how he became friends with Tina. “And then she slapped me over the head with her soggy sandwich and told me my memes were outdated, that bitch.”

They were now both on the floor, Gavin holding the android’s hands in his, rubbing comforting circles with his thumbs on the android’s knuckles. He has no idea if the android felt any of this, but his LED was now alternating between red and yellow instead of being a constant angry red.

That’s how Anderson finds them when he enters the room with a grim look on his face. Both Gavin and the android stiffen up when they see him. The android huddles closer to Gavin, clutching his sleeve again. Anderson sees that and remains at the entrance while talking. “This is RK900, meant to have been Connor’s upgrade. Made to fight RK800 models which had Connor’s memories and deviant tendencies in it. He didn’t win most fights. This is the 87 unit. The last one to be activated and survive. His vocal components were disabled to stop the shouting.” That’s all he said before backing away and leaving them alone again.

Gavin pales. He guessed something bad might have happened with this android, but he never in his wildest nightmares could have dreamt this. He feels a hesitant touch on his hand and makes sure to hold still. RK900 gathers his hand in his and starts rubbing comforting circled on the back of it with his thumb just like he did for him. Gavin feels a reluctant smile on his lips. Here is a traumatised android that probably had all the memories of his predecessors as they got destroyed by RK800 units with Connor’s memories, and he decided to comfort Gavin when he saw him in distress.

He coaxes the android up and then holds his hand as they make their way to the android helpers that Jericho provided. All the way there Gavin keeps telling him about Tank and his antics to keep him calm and rubs his thumb over the android’s knuckles since it seemed to comfort him too.

After he convinced him that the androids were going to help him, Gavin left RK900 to them and returned to Tina’s side. When he looked back, the android was looking at him with worried filled eyes as he was taken away from Gavin. His heart gave a strange lurch. He felt the strange urge to follow them, to make sure that RK900 was treated right, to protect him from androids that might try interfacing with him. But he had other things to do, like writing a long ass report for using his fire arm on that door panel.

Weeks later Gavin finds himself in front of the Jericho building, shifting his weight from one leg to another as he gathered his courage to enter. He couldn’t stop thinking about the RK900. The android plagued his dreams and nightmares. Horrific images where he is the one Gavin finds on an autopsy table or strung on a wall like a strange sculpture instead of the androids in the tower. He wouldn’t lie, he worried. He felt responsible for the wellbeing of the android since he was the first person that the android trusted, maybe ever.

Gavin heaved a sigh, straightened his back and marched inside the building. At the front desk was a Chloe model with dark hair and eyes that smiled politely at him. “Hello. How may I help you?”

“Ugh..” shit, Gavin never was good at this things. Politeness was a strange concept for him, but he had to try, for RK900.”Yeah, I’m here looking for RK900. He was found at the Cyberlife tower a few weeks back and I wanted to see how he settled in.”

“Ah, yes, Richard. He’s doing as well as expected. Would you like me to pass a message from you?” okay, Gavin didn’t think he would get this far, but whatever, he’ll take another risk.

“Yeah, can you give him this address and tell him he could meet Tank in person if he wanted to?” Gavin then recited his address, thanked the receptionist and headed for work.

A few days later, on a late free evening, someone knocked on his door. Thinking it was the pizza he ordered, Gavin opened without a second though, only to be met with the sight of RK900, Richard now, in casual clothes and sprouting a shy smile as he waved in greeting. Damn, and he forgot to clean his apartment. Oh well.

That night Gavin chattered away at the silent but attentive android. He bitched about his work day and how annoying his co-workers were while watching Richard shyly pet an enthusiastic Tank that lounged in his lap. As he gestured just how he wanted to strangle a witness, Richard caught his hands in one of his and with a small smile started rubbing circles on the back of them with his thumb. Gavin’s heart almost hurt at how cute this android could be. It didn’t matter how they met, Gavin would make sure that no one would hurt him again.