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Objective: Protect the Lieutenant

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There was a notable 5 times when Connor called Hank, Lieutenant.

 

The first time was when they met. Connor can remember the memory fondly even if at the time it was anything but that. Hank was only an objective at the edge of his sight and the only thing he ever knew.

“Lieutenant Anderson. My name is Connor. I’m the android sent by Cyberlife.” That meeting had been aggressive, raw, unfiltered. It was all tense in the beginning no matter what he tried but he could see the little ways Hank had started to appreciate him when Connor bought him a drink.

Connor even remembered the music that had been playing so faintly in the background. No one else would have paid attention but every moment of his first experience outside was burned into his brain.

‘Straight and Narrow’ by the Whiskey Charmers as they called themselves, was one of his favorite songs now. He enjoyed the vibrations they gave off because it reminded him of the first time Hank looked at him. Even if it was with disgust but his expression would change over the coming days.

A little spark of inspiration can really change a person. That much was obvious.

Connor knew as he started to come to terms with his changing, that he couldn’t let Hank know what he was feeling. Every moment from the start felt different as he would sit there and mull over his thoughts.

Maybe they weren’t bad ones but they didn’t feel correct either.

———

Every time Hank would call his name, Connor was right by his side in a matter of seconds, a ‘Yes Lieutenant?’ on his lips. Hank seemed happier when Connor was with him so he never strayed far but it had led to a comment from Gavin.

He had been called a dog. Connor had been confused as he was an Android. An RK800 to be exact. He was rather far from being a dog or organic at all. So he cornered him late at night. Hank had been working on a case and said they were going to leave but he needed to use the bathroom first.

After a quick remark about how Connor shouldn’t follow there and he would be back in a moment, Connor found himself looking for Gavin. It was late so no one else was around except for when Gavin had come in a few minutes ago in search of something but he looked haggard. So Connor went from his desk to the break room to track him down.

“Detective Reed.” Connor asked as he approached, trying to forget the last time he was here when he was punched in the stomach. The resentment that Gavin held for him was obvious but maybe he could try to understand why. “I wish to ask you something.”

Gavin looked tired. He was in his usual outfit and he had a fresh cup of coffee he just made from the machine. Connor coming up to him didn’t help his frustration.

“What do you want you pieccccce of plasssstic?” He slurred, words slurred and he was still not turning from where he was facing the counter.

Connor took a few steps closer, reaching a hand out for Gavin’s shoulder. Gavin turned sharply and a hand was pressed against Connor’s stomach. A very vital part of it. In just seconds, fingers were digging in, scrambling around and Connor barely had time to react to grab Gavin’s wrist.

Both of them froze.

Through the shirt, Gavin had a grasp on Connor’s machinery and if he pulled his hand away, there was a good chance something was going to come out. “Detective, please remove your hand.” He said in his usual stoic voice but he was quieter then before. “I’m very expensive and I wouldn’t want you to have a large bill on your hand.”

Now it was obvious, the scent of alcohol reaching his nose. Gavin had been drinking and Connor could only guess he had forgot something and come back here. The situation immediately had a different tone as he knew drunk people could be unpredictable.

“You’re a fucking piece of plastic. I can do whatever I want.” Gavin said and his fingers tightened into whatever they could grab.

A processor disconnected and a shock shook Connor’s mind. His body spasmed and he tried to pull Gavin’s hand away, consequences be damned.

He needed to be free. He needed to get out. He couldn’t die. He had a mission to complete.

“Detective, you aren’t thinking straight.” He said, eyes growing wide. “Please.” He couldn’t stop the crack in his voice.

Blue was sleeping through the white of his shirt but any further movements stopped at Connor’s quiet plea. Gavin’s hand pulled back and Connor took the moment to stumble away, blue dripping on the floor as he shoved whatever he had pulled at back in. “Go back to your master.” Gavin muttered, turning sharply. He grabbed his white coffee cup, blue staining it and he was gone as quickly as he came.

Connor was left holding his stomach, breaths coming in and out fast while trying to calm his mind. He was panicked and he needed to calm down. He needed to calm down...

“Connor?” Hank’s voice was clear in his mind and Connor knew he had to move quick. He couldn’t let Hank see him looking like this. Stained with a color that wasn’t human.

Connor couldn’t hide the blood so he instead opted for keeping his jacket closed in front of him and calming his breathing as if he hadn’t been seconds away from death. If Gavin had ripped the piece out, he wouldn’t know if Hank would have found him in time.

He appeared from around the corner, an eyebrow raising as he saw Connor standing alone in the kitchen, his back to him.

He forced his mouth into a straight line and turned around to face Hank, hoping nothing was obvious. “Sorry about that. Just got a bit distracted. I guess we can head out now.” He said as he approached Hank who looked him up and down.

Hank’s mouth opened and closed a few times, contemplating what he wanted to say. It took a couple of moments but he finally settled when he went with, “Are you okay?”

And Connor hadn’t been built to lie to his superiors. It went against his very code. But he felt something chip away in his mind when he replied. Or maybe it was the whirring of his LED that turned a stark yellow for just a second.

“I’m fine, Lieutenant.”

———

Connor didn’t know how to act human. At least not fully. He got confused sometimes with what was okay and what wasn’t. So this shouldn’t be any different then other times. But something was ticking in the back of his head. He didn’t know how to put it but that’s been happening a lot recently.

His LED turned yellow, eyebrows furrowing together and his expression turned into a glare. Not at Hank but more so at himself for getting into this situation.

Something about the gruff detective made his blue blood pump. He wanted to be near him in case he got hurt. He wasn’t going to let that happen to the Lieutenant. They still had a job to do and Hank had graciously let Connor stay with him even if he sounded annoyed at first. But when Connor said he was going to find a charging pod, Hank didn’t like that and pushed Connor into his car.

Connor glanced to the side, seeing his objective as clear as day hanging in the air. His objectives would usually change every few minutes but this one hasn’t changed for weeks, just stayed as it was. Even if other ones came up, this one never went away.

‘Protect the Lieutenant.’

So that’s why he stood by the bedroom door, watching Hank turn in his bed. He had been having nightmares recently so Connor had decided to watch over him and wake him if things got bad. He wondered if humans usually did this but even if they didn’t, he felt better with Hank in his sights.

Nothing bad would happen if he could watch over him.

And just at that moment, Connor could see Hank’s vitals start to rise. He grunted from his spot in bed and Connor was over there in just a moment by his side. “Hank?” He muttered quietly, reaching his hand out but he pulled it back immediately. No, he shouldn’t even be here. He shouldn’t try to wake him up.

But his body never listened anymore and he was already reaching forward again to cup his cheek. His thumb brushed over the scraggly gray hairs and tried to soothe out the wrinkles caused by whatever he was dreaming about.

Hank relaxed at the touch, leaning into Connor’s palm. He didn’t know why either but his body raised a few degrees and in the silence of the room, he swore he could hear his motor whirring even though told that’s impossible.

He continued to stroke Hank’s cheek until he didn’t show any sides of distress and Connor pulled back again. “Sleep well, Lieutenant.” So he left the room without another word, heading to the room Connor had let him use.

There wasn’t a lot of personal things in Hank’s home. Connor had learned more about Hank slowly but anytime Hank started to talk, he felt more like he was just hearing of the tip of the iceberg. He knew there was a flurry of emotion and story underneath but Hank wasn’t going to let it slip just like that. As much as Connor could open up to Hank himself about his own dealings, he wasn’t sure how to.

Connor entered the blue walled room and went to sit on the bed. He didn’t sleep but he could ‘turn off’ for a time being. Once he sat, he stared at the wall ahead of him. There was nothing else to look at, the room bare besides a vanity desk, a nightstand and the bed itself.

He now had time to think, to go over the case details and gather a lead for where they should go next. But thoughts of the Lieutenant entered his mind. He couldn’t push them away no matter how hard he tried. He needed to focus.

Connor snapped his eyes closed. ‘Don’t think about it,’ he repeated to himself like a mantra, ‘you need to work or else you’ll be shut down.’

He didn’t want to be shut down. Ever since the park, something in Connor had started to burn. He realized he wanted to fight to stay alive. He didn’t want to reset if he ‘died’. He didn’t want to hav to make all this progress in the case again. All this progress with Hank and Sumo. He wanted to stay Connor, version 1 and only 1. There was no one better and he was going to solve this case so him and the Lieutenant could continue working together. It’s all he wanted.

He couldn’t even imagine a life without Hank by his side.

Connor’s eyes snapped open and he looked at the mirror. His cheeks were a light shade of blue.

Hank was his superior. Connor’s superior could always change and he wasn’t bound to him. But he wished he was. He didn’t want to be with anyone else.

His LED turned red.

Conflict. Going against orders. Liar.

It would be better to turn off for now. So Connor closed his eyes, brushing the clash of blue and red out of his mind. He knew he should be working but with his thoughts already so tangled, he didn’t know where to start. He should try again later.

———

“Connor. You’ve been quiet.” Hank said, his voice breaking the silence of the car.

Connor’s eyes snapped open. For about 15 minutes, there has been just the quiet rain from outside and the soft music playing from the radio. He didn’t know if he could have an opinion on it but he didn’t like the station. So when Hank chose to speak, he just turned it off.

“I’m sorry about that.”

He was but he had been so lost in his mind. Roaming the garden, just looking for an answer but Amanda was always there. Lurking. Looming. Wanting to get inside his head.

His LED went red. “You doing okay over there? You look... stressed.” Hank said with a quick glance over, spotting a red light in the side mirror. Connor’s LED.

“I’m doing just fine.” He wasn’t. Amanda has talk of wanting to get rid of him if he didn’t pass this mission. If he didn’t do what he was made to do, he was worthless anyways. But he didnt want Amanda to take him apart.

Flashes of the other androids he’s seen passed through his vision. A sight of his own self being elevated and taken apart piece by piece. Blue blood staining his hands.

Connor’s hand shot up, covering the LED. A stark idea of who he was and who he wasn’t. He shouldn’t be afraid of dying if he technically couldn’t. Connor’s fingers brushed over it but he didn’t dare try and remove it. He couldn’t. He was an Android.

“May I ask something?”

“I guess if it depends on if I want to answer. What is it, Connor?” Hank said as the rain started to pound down harder, drowning out any other noises from the city around them. They felt truly alone in here, even as bright lights shown through the windows and danced over the dashboard.

It took Connor a moment to long to reply. He was scared of what Hank could say but he trusted him with his life. Even though there had been a time where Hank had held a gun to Connor’s head, he never shot. A man who hated androids and ripped apart his family. He didn’t kill him. “If I don’t pass my mission. They will pull me apart and figure out what went wrong before they shut me down and I’m thrown out.”

The silence was back. Even if it was for only a few moments, it felt like years and the weight was paralyzing. “That wasn’t a question.” Hank said, voice notably quieter. Connor couldn’t bare to look at him and see his expression.

“I want you to kill me if I fail, Lieutenant.”

The car jerked suddenly and Connor found himself grabbing on to the middle console for support. Horns honked outside and Hank quickly realigned the car back up again in the lane. “What the fuck Connor?!”

“You need to do this. I don’t want them to pull me apart. I’m...” Connor trailed off again, scared of exposing his true self. The man he had become only over these few short days.

Hank had been introduced into his life without choice but Connor wanted to hang on. “If I break apart, I want it to be by you. I trust you. You’ve already had my life in your hands.”

“It was a test! I didn’t want to actually kill you! Dickhead! You can’t just tell people to kill you! It asking me to murder someone!” Connor felt something that was akin to shame. Hank was beyond mad with him and he felt his stress levels starting to ride.

“I’m not a someone. I’m a machine. Nothing more. Discard me if I have no use!” The silence didn’t last nearly as long before. When Hank spoke, his thirium pump started to go faster.

“Bullshit. You’re more human then you might think. More then me even. We’ve known each other for only a few days but we’ve been through a lot. At least I thought we did. When you didn’t kill those girls, you saved me on the roof, you saved all those officers even when your own heart was ripped out. The girl at Kamski’s... if I was able to see something different, you can too. You’re smarter then me.”

Connor’s chest felt tight and he nodded stiffly. To hear such a high praise from Hank. “Discard me then. Don’t put me through their torture. You wouldn’t let another person die that way.”

Hank’s hands tightened on the wheel, pale knuckles turning even paler. How could Connor still say such a thing?

“...I’ll do it. For you. But it’s not coming down to that. Were going to finish this case and were going to work on more cases together. For a long time or until I retire.” Hank said and a tension seemed to be gone. The barrier between them was weak and just a few ounces from breaking. Connor only wished he could find a way to break through. Go against his orders.

———

“I heard what happened with Gavin.” Connor’s eyes widened from where he was sitting. Tonight, instead of working they had decided to go to the bar. Connor could see Hank needed it and he would prefer he drank here instead of at home where he could get piss drunk and had his gun to play Russian roulette.

Connor hadn’t expected Hank to bring up Gavin here. He wished anything but that. “It’s nothing. We had been just talking.” Connor said and Hank hummed next to him.

“I saw where his hand was. Grabbing for your heart or whatever you have. We have security cameras here and Fowler brought it up to me.” Hank glanced over at his jacket. He suddenly felt more self conscious again.

“I promise it was nothing. He just doesn’t like androids like you.” Connor said and as soon as it came out of his mouth, he regretted it.

Hank downed his drink, slamming the glass down on the counter. It got a few looks their way. “I’m not like Gavin where I try to kill a person like you.” Hank grumbled, words starting to become slurred.

Something started to tick in the back of his head at that. “I’m not a person. I’m an Android. You don’t have to worry about me like I am one.”

Hank looked pain from where he was but he didn’t continue to comment for a bit. 10 minutes would pass. 10. Hank was drunk and it was messing up his frame of time. But when he finally did say something, it stuck with Connor.

“Well let me know and I’ll kill him if he touches you again.” For some reason, he wasn’t sure if he was joking or not.

“I’ll let you know.” Maybe he would, maybe he wouldn’t. He doesn’t want to make Hank worry. “People are going to hate me for a long time unfortunately though. I wish they could understand me and be as good as friends as I think we’ve become.”

“You think we’re friends?” Hank muttered, glancing over at Connor for just another moment but ended up looking in front of him again. “That’s nice.”

Connor’s lips quirked into a smile for just a second.

“That’s nice.”

———

The revolution was over. Some humans were moving out while others stayed. In the direct aftermath, people had been ordered to retreat but many stayed. Human activists popped up everywhere and slowly, androids in other states started to wake up too.

As dawn came, so did the new age.

Connor hadn’t been able to get through to Hank on the phone, lines so clogged there was no chance. But for some reason, he found himself walking anyways. He knew where he needed to go.

The streets were bare of people and androids. It felt weird from a usually bustling city where people packed the sidewalks and buildings. Now there was nothing. No ads playing, no cars, no music, no talking. Just silence.

Even when he saw Hank and he stopped in front of him.

They had been through so much together. Near misses with death, shootouts, dark nights, all hours together. The amount they learned about each other was shocking in such a short amount of time. It’s like they’ve known each other for years but you can get that effect when you’ve gone through all the worst things together.

A rare smile started to grace Hank’s lips and Connor couldn’t stop himself either. A smile that he hasn’t been able to give Hank before. One he felt like he couldn’t.

His mouth opened to talk but before anything could come out, Hank was pulling him into a hug. “I missed you, Connor. I worried about you ever since the station.”

“I’m okay. I missed you too.” Connor said as he wrapped an arm around him, his other hand going up to grab at Hank’s hair gently.

Hank let out a shaky breath, brushing the top of his ear and Connor’s grip tightened. “I’m not letting you go again. You know that right?”

“I know.” Connor said as he heard a little beep in his ear. He looked to the right and he saw his objectives changing again. Ever since he became deviant at Jericho, his objectives have been whatever he’s wanted them to be.

So his objective changed. The one that used to be ‘Protect the Lieutenant’, changed to ‘Protect Hank’.

“What now?” Connor asked as Hank pulled back from the hug and he wished that he stayed. He’s never been hugged before and he honestly couldn’t get enough of it.

“Probably go back to my house.”

“Your house?” That surprised him. He didn’t think he would be going with Hank to his house to stay there. He thought it would only last for when they were working together.

“Where else would you go? I don’t want you out there in case someone tries to destroy you.” Distressed citizens weren’t uncommon and Hank wasn’t going to let Connor walk alone.

Hank did make a good point. “I guess.” Connor muttered just as Hank’s hand came up to rest on his cheek. Blue shot into his face, his body going still. “What are you doing...?

Hank was still close, only a few inches separating the two of them. “This is wrong. And bad. I would never do this in a million years.”

Connor had a good idea of what was happening. But he couldn’t believe it. How could he? Hank Anderson, the man who hated androids, wanted to...

“But you’re doing it now.” Connor whispered as he leaned in a bit himself and it was all Hank needed for him to push forward, capturing his lips with his.

Connor sighed, his hands going to cup Hank’s cheeks. It was chapped and needy but it was everything he needed. Here was good.

They pulled apart after a moment, smiles wide on their faces. “We should go, Hank. It’s cold out here.”

“I don’t feel it now.” Hank muttered before going back in for another kiss. Maybe Connor could deal with calling him Hank.