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Four Letters, to spell Love

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With more force than necessary the front door opened, banging against the wall loudly. Stumbling inside was the owner of the residence, strongly intoxicated staggering in his steps. 

Having at least a few brain cells left, he managed to close the door, a little less loudly. Swearing under his breath, he frantically started to get out of his jacket, without much success. His swearing was getting louder and more explicit, with each second he was imprisoned in the offending clothes. Finally managing to get out of it, he threw it into the darkness of his living room, not caring where it landed. 
Huffing he kicked off his shoes and made his way deeper into the flat, the scent of alcohol wafting from his person. 

Being as uncaring as he was in his state of too much alcohol and troubled emotions, he didn’t notice the cat in his way and promptly stepped on the innocent tabbies tail.

The cat let out a loud screech, pulled out his tail under her owner's foot and sprinted off into the darkness. 

“Fuck Cappuccino!” was yelled to the disturbed and hurt cat, more in an angry than in apology. 

With his momento disturbed the human paddled awkwardly with his arms, to keep his balance, the alcohol in his blood taking his toll on him. Finding hold on a nearby bookshelf, he took his next step forward, to steady himself. 
As if Cappuccino, his trusty fat brown tabby, had already planned on her revenge in a wise insight of future events, he stepped on one of her round cat toys and lost his footing immediately again. This time finding no hold and crashing down to the ground. 

With a loud “FUCK!” he fell onto the ground, taking the shelf with him tumbling. In the process of cushioning his no doubtful to be hurtful fall, he accomplished to throw over his coffee table as well as the small side shelf right to his sofa and one more cat, Latte Macchiato this time, from his sleeping place of said coffee table, while sailing face-first to the ground. 

Resting his face in the carpet, that really needed a good cleaning, he waited out the sounds of failing furniture and things, while feeling some of them falling on to him. A book to the small of his back was especially hurtful and let him yelp into the carpet. Finally, everything came to a stop around him. After taking a few deep breaths in the murky carpet and thinking with his still foggy mind about his life choices, he got himself up, with the little strength that was left in his bones. 

Getting himself on his knees, he took a look around the chaos he had caused, not seeing much in the darkness, missing the night vision his cat's had, he groped along the littered carpet for something to help him up on his feet. In his dizzy state, feeling a headache coming up behind his temples, he didn’t trust himself to get up on his own. 

Finding the old sofa, with the horrible orange 70’s pattern he had found on a garage sale years back, he started to pull himself up, along the soft furniture. With a little effort and him starting his cursing again, he made it onto the cushions and promptly fell back groaning in agony, in a more comfortable heap of human flesh. 

He should move, but if he was honest with himself he didn’t want to. He wanted to stay on his lumpy, ass ugly couch and die or maybe just rest till the dizziness got away and he could make his way to his bedroom, where no doubt Mocha was shedding all over his pillow, that little fucker. 

Groaning once more he turned onto his back, so when he would barf, he wouldn’t choke on it like a fool, he saw that more than enough on red ice crime scenes. He got into a more comfortable position with one arm over his eyes, to help them keep them closed. 

He sank into sleep, not even noticing when Espresso, his youngest, whitest and smallest cat, jumping onto his stomach and rolling up into a loaf for his own sleep. He was just exhausted. 


Hangovers were never fun, waking up from even less so. Your mouth tasted like a small rodent had crawled in it and died a pitiful death. It felt like dwarves were mining in your head for the little brain that was left, singing a cheery song while working. Your eyes were crusted over like old pudding spilled on a kitchen counter, Your bones felt like stone grating on each other when you dared to move. Your muscles screaming at you, - light was one of your worst enemies, it was everywhere! - and everything was too loud. 

Moaning pitifully like the little bitch he could be, he tried to shield his eyes from the incoming sunlight. Why didn’t past him closed the fucking curtains?! His fingers dug into his forehead to find a second relief from the pounding in his head. 

A soft paw to his cheek and a joyful “Meow.” startled him out of his misery. Slowly he lifted his hands, mindful of the still incoming sunlight and looked a the owner of the said paw. It was Cappuccino. 

“Hey, girl.” He gifted her a small smile. She was his first shelter cat and even if she had been so shy and scared in the beginning, now she was the loudest and boldest of his cats. It brought always a spark of happiness to his heart when he saw the change that she made with him. Knowing that it was because he had cared so much for the lost and scared cat in the shelter all these years back. That it was prove, he could do something good in his life, no matter how often people told him he couldn’t.

He got once more a paw to his cheek. 

“Trying to help me wake up, princess?” he chuckled at her.


He cradled her little head in one of his scarred hands and rubbed her behind her ears, always got her to purr.

Still smiling he took a look around, careful not to look directly into the still offending sunlight. 

Latte and Espresso were chilling on the massive cat tree he had bought for them. Mocha must be still in the bedroom, on his pillow. 
Letting his eyes wander after finding his furry roommates he took in the chaos he had left yesterday night or had that been the early hours of the morning of this day?

“Fuuuuccckk”, left pitifully his dry mouth. He shouldn’t have taken so many shots. 

Rubbing his eyes with his free hand in slight disappear on the chaos he had caused, he tried to puzzle together how it came to it.

He had gone out for a drink, wanting to blow off some steam after a rough case, that he closed but it had been a pain in the ass from beginning to end. From the things he still wore and the make-up that he could feel caking on his skin, he had gone out for more than just a quick drink to recover and celebrate.  But haven’t had any success in going with someone home, like he preferred, mostly in favor of his cats. Espresso didn’t do well with strangers. 
With how his shirt looked like something had been spilled on it, he might also have irked someone he had tried to flirt with. Luckily it was dried up now and didn’t stick to his body anymore. Small mercies.

Recalling him coming somehow home after trying to drown himself in shots, till the bartender, an ex-girlfriend from Tina, they had separated on good terms - FUCK Tina! - had cut him off and called him a taxi. If Joyce was the one who had to send him home, Tina no doubt knew what he had done. What for an absolute fool he had made out of himself yesterday. He groaned like a man dying. She would tease him mercilessly, starting when he would come back to the precinct, after his three-day vacation, that Fowler had gifted him so kindly after that fuck-up of a case. 

Putting behind himself that teasing that would come to him in nearly two days without doubt, if Tina hadn’t already started by text. Where was his phone? He still tried to remember when he had caused the chaos around his living room. When he did it, it punched him in the face and he jolted up, his eyes immediately on the tabby that was now a loaf on his chest still enjoying the attention.

“Fuck, Chino! I’m so sorry!” he began to babble while patting her with both hands all over the body of the still purring cat, searching for injuries. He let out a breath he didn’t know he had held, when his inspection, especially on the tail he had stepped on, came back negative. 
Grabbing the feline gently he nuzzled her little furry face, “I’m so sorry Princess! So sorry! Daddy didn’t mean to do that! That was all the Tequila! Do you forgive Daddy? You deserve extra treats! All the treats! And a nice long brushing session! Daddy is so sorry!” 

Cappuccino just kept purring at him, enjoying the closeness to her owner, nuzzling his face too, even when she perked up when he whispered the word “treat”. 

Cuddling his the tabby till the purring couldn’t longer cover up the louder sounds of the dwarves mining in his head, he separated himself from the furry body. 

“Urgh. Common Chino. Daddy will fresh himself up a little bit and then you get your treats and maybe Daddy can get some food too.”

With only a few tries he got himself off the sofa, purring cat still in hand, before setting her down on a clean space of carpet. 
Getting back up, he massaged his temple, “And maybe some medicine for Daddy.” At least he didn’t feel like barfing his guts out.


After taking a shower and brushing his teeth till even his vomit would taste like mint, he felt like a whole new person. Now clad into his soft sleeping pants and a towel around his shoulder, he made his way into the kitchen, Cappuccino already waiting for him and Mocha fast on his heels. 

Feeding his cats first and giving Cappuccino the promised extra treats and some more pats for every cat that started to dance around his feet, he made himself a tea. He loved coffee as anybody and their grandmother knew, but even he was not that stupid to drink it in a hungover. While waiting for the water to boil, he got out the loose leave tea he had stored for such events and whenever Officer Person found her way into his flat, mostly when they were going out as a group and turned back to his flat to crash after the night out. The smaller woman was very particular about her tea and thrown the tea bag he had once offered her back to his face. He took a glass of water to wash down the Tylenol he found in his cabinet.

Feeling more living than dead with some liquid in his body and a warm mug in his hands, he put on some toaster waffles and made his way back to the living room taking in the full picture of the mess. The one half of the room near the entryway looked like a small earthquake had happened, with furniture mostly front first on the ground and things thrown everywhere. At least nothing looked broken.

“I should clean that up, before anyone steps into that mess.” He didn’t want nor had the wish to drive hungover to the next animal clinic because his cats got something in their paws. That happened once to each of them, okay Espresso stepped into a safety needle two times - but it was himself who had thrown over the box! - and hopefully never again. 

Interrupted by his musing that he may be also finally given the carpet deep cleaning and maybe his whole home - besides taking care that his cats had a clean environment he didn’t really have done anything to have the flat in a livable condition. The case had really kicked his ass and his bath looked like it -, with the telltale sound of the finished waffles, he made his way back to scarf them down without using a plate, adding more crumbs to the kitchen floor. Latte would be happy about that, more food for him. 

Drinking the last bit of his too-long stepped tea, he maybe should have taken that tea egg out, he wiped his mouth to get rid of any leftover waffle from his stupple, which also needed a good shave, he made his way to clean up the drunken mess. Small mercy that he hadn’t vomited in his flat, that at least he had done when he stepped out of his auto cap. 

He made quick work, with getting any fallen furniture back in its original place, sorted back his hardcover books - a rarity nowadays - in the chronicle and genre-specific order he preferred and strictly kept, and picked up any other fallen subjects. Good that his used dishes always cam directly into the sink when he finished eating. Picking up any small morsel of things he owned and putting back the electronics that had fallen from the turned over coffee table, he noticed that even a few things had found their way under the sofa, to his luck, obviously. 

Getting down on all fours he started to blindly grope under the sofa for the missing objects, the old things was a bitch to move around so he wanted to avoid that under any cost, even if he looked like a fool, on all fours, butt wiggling like a cat making itself ready for a jump and stretching his arms to the limit to get into the cramped place. 

Should have grabbed my phone! Then at least I would see anything under here! Wait, where even is that blasted thing?!?

Finally getting a hold on the things that went under, he made his way back up, had enough of shoving his face into the murky carpet.

It really needs a long deep cleaning! Bleurgh!

Standing up he set the objects down on the sofa, some cat toys, a fancy round rock that Tina had once brought him from a vacation, a bottle cap and a small wooden box. Throwing the cat toys in the designated corner, he could clean that up later, his eyes fell on the wooden box. 

It was nothing special, made out of driftwood with a simple metallic buckle keeping it close, two metal strips went over the lid, giving it some decoration. He had got it in a pawnshop somewhere a long time ago. But it was not interesting what it looked like, what was more interesting was its content. 

Gavin swallowed hard. It had been a long time since he last had seen that box, had he shoved it after his last use as far away as possible into one of the shelves to forgot it even existed. And now it was there, in plain sight, looking absolute innocent, even if it was not.
He swallowed again his mouth dryer than when he had woke up. He could feel bile coming up his throat, followed by an emotional turmoil he didn’t need right now. 

Nonetheless, he sat down on the ugly orange couch, like in trance, kicking the gift from Tina under the coffee table. With slightly trembling fingers, he moved to grab the wooden item. With one more swallow, he took it into his hands, brushing over the raw surface, it felt rough against his fingertips. Sitting himself up against the back of the sofa, he pulled the box on his lap, not taking his eyes from it. 

With one last swallow to get rid of the lump that has formed itself in his throat, he opened the buckle with a flick of one finger and lifted the lit. He holds his breath.

Inside were folded and refolded, crammed and balled up pieces of paper. Piece of paper that was written on, in his horrendous handwriting. 

That was his personal box of pandora.

The box was too small to fit everything inside, to the paper started to spill on his lap. Letting out the breath that he had held in, he moved with trembling fingers to pick one up the loose papers, folded unorderly. 

Slowly and carefully he unfolded the piece, licking his too dry lips when it was open in front of him. 

He slapped himself mentally. Of course, he had grabbed on of Hanks. Of fucking course. 

The paper was older, folded over and over again, hold many times, that slowly dirt had set on the white paper. He could and see faintly tear marks on it. 

Brushing over the paper gently, he found little blobs of pink. He laid his head back in a tried groan. What had he been for a fool. For a fucking lovestruck fool. Like a teenage girl with her first crush, he has drawn little pink hearts on the paper. That looked with his artistic talent more like sloppy circles. 

Turning back to the page in his hand after scolding his past self of his love infused stupidity, he started to read. When he was one thing it was self-depreciative. And rereading these words, visiting this time of his past, was him being self-depreciate at its finest. 



Dear Hank,

funny that me, takes pen and paper in hand to write you a letter, right? With you always telling me that my fingers must have fused with my keyboard, with how fast I can type but how slow I write. Besides that my whole handwriting looks like a chicken having their dip in an art project. Yeah, laugh it up. old man! Not anyone can have readable handwriting like you!



His eyes jumped over the words, taking in any love fulled nonsense he had written. Any word hurt to read, forming a new lump in his throat.

It had all started when he had been moved to the DPD homicide departement, after he had few years of police work under his belt, a promising officer, gunning for promotion to Detective. 

When he had made his first step into the precinct he already had known of Hank and how could have he not? One of the youngest Lieutenant ever in the Michigan State? Hank had and still was a legend, now with a few bumps, but with Connor, at his side, he was a new shining star. He had admired Hank and his work had used him as his role model for a long time in his career and being able to work at the same station as he had been a dream come true. But they said never to meet your heroes, right? Yes, he had to learn that too, after a long time.
Everything had been gone well the first few days at his new workplace, he had met Tina again, his old best bud from the academy and they had bonded immediately again. He had been the new cop around, being introduced to anybody but had fallen under the radar of Hank. He had been a little stumped about this back then, but soon that changed.
Not even three months working at the departement with now more gruesome shit, because homicide, he had been called into Fowler's office, had been officially introduced to Hank with a handshake and everything – he had been so starstruck that he nearly forget to shake it – and then he had been made Hanks partner. To learn the ropes of detective work for the future that his superiors had already laid out for him. He had been over the moon. So happy and so nervous at the same time. He had felt like barfing rainbows.
The first few days in the partnership had been hell, he had been so nervous and at the same time over the top cocky because he wanted to impress Hank. But well Hank wasn’t a Lieutenant for nothing he had seen right through him and after a week of being amused by it, had pulled him aside, gave him a little talk, that had made him overcook in embarrassment. But all had been good, if embarrassing, and it had been the day he had started to call him Hank. It had also been the evening when he first had met Stephanie and Cole. The boy talking to him in a second telling him all about his action figures the whole evening. 
So, had started the partnership, but so it hadn’t ended. Been taken under Hank's wing had been the best thing for is a career but not the best thing for his heart. 
Two years after they had been made partners, Gavin had made detective after evenings of learning at his own tiny flat with care packages of Steph with or without Hank or at Hank's house, always having the old man to help him. In these two years, his adoration and awe had only grown for his superior, how much he hadn’t known back then. 
Then he finally had made detective, still stayed to be Hanks partner of course, but seeing the old man waiting for him outside of the exam room, coffee of his favorite café in hand, his heart had beaten so loud, that he finally had noticed what he was really feeling. All while Tina was hugging the death out of him, he had just eyes for Hank. 
He didn’t know what he should have been feeling back then. He was ashamed because Hank was married to Steph and they were a wonderful couple. How could he go-between that? He was scared because he didn’t even know if Hank was gay. It all had been a huge clusterfuck, he had felt so helpless. 
So back then he had written this letter, who hold marks of time and heartbreak. It had been good to write it all down, even freeing. As he hadn’t told anybody, not even Tina about it.
But because having his heartbroken in this way, without ever confronting Hank, living with this hopeless love had not been enough, if you asked the Goddess of fate. 
No longer after he had made detective, maybe 1 year? Hank and Stephanie had divorced, not in a bad manner. They both had recognized that there were no longer in love, just merely really close friends and they didn’t want to play pretend in front of Cole. With Stephanie working a social worker and knew how that could hurt children. 
So, they had divorced, and he, of course, had helped Hank with everything, from moving out, to moving in, to taking shifts for him when he had to go to court dates, from late-night calls, everything. It had not been a bad divorce, but it still had been hurtful in its own way. And Gavin had been Hank's pillar of strength at this time. 
He still had loved Hank back then, had tried to do anything to make the man happy, to help. 
And maybe, maybe or it really had been his hopeful imagination there had been signs, that Hank had liked him too, more than a friend, more than a partner. Hope had started to blossom inside Gavin's heart. Little touches that hold longer than necessary, words spoken softer. It had been wonderful if scary while it lasted. 
Then Cole died. 
It had hurt anybody. It had hurt Gavin deeply. He had known the boy for years, was called uncle by him, had babysat him, picked him up a few times at school, helped with his homework and had loved that boy. Finding out he died from a late call at the station, when the hospital had called because he was also on the list of Hanks emergency contacts, had been horrible. His heartbreaking in a completely different way. 
He had rushed to the hospital, had helped Hank with everything, possible. The grief, the funeral, Stephanie. But everything had been for nothing in the end. 
After Cole’s funeral, Hank had started to drink, after Stephanie had cut all contact. Gavin had, of course, tried to help. Had first tried to give Hank space, had taken over his work more and more, had made sure, that he had also food at home, that bills were paid and had taken care of Sumo. But then even he started to push, Hank spiraled down more and more. 
He had been hurt, too! He was also grieving! He had lost Cole, too! 
And he had been fed up with finding Hank drunk in his house, chaos and broken furniture around him. But stepping up to make Hank to maybe finally care had just brought him words that cut him hard, leaving deep wounds. Words he still sometimes heard echoing in his head, when it was bad. 
It had hurt much more than the half-full beer bottle he had gotten to his face. Missing his right eye mar inches, was now a scar above his eyebrow. A reminder for the years to come. 
With all that happened this night, all the screaming and cursing, the police had been called. Both had been brought to the hospital, Hank to sober up and Gavin to get the bleeding wound treated. Fowler had visited him after he had been patched up. Had asked if he wanted to press charges, more out of duty and sense of justice, than anything else, and Gavin had said no. Had just asked to get another partner, something that needed years to actually become permanent with anybody, and Fowler had agreed.
From this night on everything had changed. He had given in, in his own frustration and anger. Hank had never apologized, maybe he didn’t even remember. But Gavin did. 
Everything between them had just been over, couldn’t be fixed, not with the words that had been spoken, not with the bottle that had been thrown, not when it was never talked about again. Not even the excuse of the alcohol talking could excuse it. 
But even if Gavin had promised himself to stop loving Hank, to stop caring for him, he could never stop the latter. Not when anybody around him slowly starting to give up, he still holding onto a tiny piece of hope. Even if he tried his damndest to never show it. Even if the love he had felt for Hank run dry with time. And Hank had come back, but not because of him.
A bitter laugh filled the flat. He had been such a fool back then, wearing rose-colored glasses, so in love. If he could travel back in time, he would just shake his younger self, warning him of all that would come, to give up earlier.
His eyes wandered the last time about the rumbled old paper, before with more care than he should use after everything that happened, he folded the paper together gently, taking care not to tear it. 
Satisfied he let the paper fall next to him, grabbing for the next later, because in for a penny in for a pond, right?
This one was also rumbled, but also torn into and then fixed with tape. It was the letter he wrote to David. Many didn’t call him by this name even to this day, was he everywhere known under Captain Allen. 
Bracing himself a little for what to come, he started to read. 

Hey David, 

strange writing you a letter. I mean with us being this kinda relationship. Very strange but not the strangest thing I ever done, you know that!
But you know, this here is kinda important not just one my normal shenganis, even Tina is not involved. I swear! 
The thing between David and him had started after the whole debacle with Hank, obliviously. When he had been vulnerable and still been hurt. Not that David had taken advantage of him or anything! But it maybe had not been the healthiest method to get over the hurt that Hank had caused.
It all had started at a bar that Gavin had to choose to get stupid drunk, after Hank had come surprisingly into work and it had not been pretty between them. He knew of the irony, that he was off to drinking because of Hank. 
But well that night he had met David. Not knowing then that he was the Captain of the SWAT-Team, as normally the homicide department and they don’t really corporate. That had first started later when all the cases about deviancy had started to pile up. 
He had gone home with David and had been fucked into the next day, a thing he craved back then. To feel wanted for even a second. It had been good more than good and the morning after hadn’t been so bad as you would think. 
But meeting David at work a few days later sure had been. After the awkward second of recognition, David had taken over with professionalism, saving them both further embarrassment. 
He had thought that would be the end of it. But both of them being smokers, they had met again on the roof and they had began to talk, getting over the whole thing, in a way.
After recognizing that they had things in common and tolerated the other enough, they had fallen in bed again. It still had been good, no doubt. It also had started their fuck buddy relationship. 
Everything could have stayed this way, just some man fucking when the stress was getting high or when one of them was horny. But it didn’t, not with his stupid heart. 
It had slowly evolved into a little bit more, not a romantic relationship per se, but tell that his heart back then.
With time David hadn’t started to leave after the due was done, had stayed. Evolving sometimes in some lazy mornings if both had free, which was very rare. Just them watching stupid TV-shows together for a few hours. 
With time the “buddy” part had grown. David coming over to watch a game or to eat dinner together with Gavin after a stressful day. It just had grown into more couple stuff and he had fallen faster than he could blink. Even if it never became romantic in any sense, but his heart had yearned after the break that Hank had caused. 
Scared of it, he had written this letter, a short one, to give his feelings to something. Not daring to tell Tina because than she would have wanted to know anything. It had been hard enough to spin a tale about the ending of his and Hank's partnership. He did want to tell her, but to this day he just feared the pity and at the same time understanding that Tina would offer. 
He had written it to give himself more courage to take the next step and finally move on from Hank, but again that never happened. Not this time because he was too scared. More because he learned how wrong he had been in seeing anything in the whole thing David and he had. 
He had arranged a meeting with David at the bar they had met the first time, though it romantic back then. It was not an unusual request per se, because they both still visited the bar together or alone when a day had been a special kind of bad. 
Well, he had been late, finishing up some casework that had to be done or else Fowler would have had his head. Coming to the bar and finding David in their normal booth he had approached with courage in his blood and a smile. A waitress had approached David to bringing him a new beer and they had started a little chat.
She had asked innocently where he, Gavin, was. As she thought of him as David's boyfriend. Hearing that had filled his chest with warmth, because yes soon he would be, for sure. Still, the both hadn’t seen him.
But David hadn’t responded with anything that had filled Gavin with more warmth. He had laughed at the question and then very clearly stated, that there was nothing between them besides sex. That Gavin was not his kind of type to choose for a serious relationship. That he and Gavin had nothing going on, nothing at all.
This very moment everything in him that was before blossoming with warmth, turned ice cold. The noises around him became white, time stood still, and he could feel all courage leaving him, all hope. Hearing his heartbreak once again. 
He just felt so empty.
The waitress had apologized in embarrassment of her assumption, David had waved it off, had given her one of his sharp charming smiles and a once over. Had talked to her the rest of their conversation with a deeper voice, flirted. And Gavin had just broken more.
Had David more than one fuck buddy around? Was he just one of many? With maybe a little extra in the buddy department?
Yes, they never really talked about it and so Gavin had no reason to be mad about it if he stayed logical. But he had read more into everything they had done, so much more, and so he didn’t. Not when he just came from the heartbreak with Hank, not when he just thought he had found something, something good, to heal. And maybe that had been his fault, trying to make the relationship a way to let him heal from Hank. 
Coming back to himself, tears burning in his eyes, he had turned and walked away. They both hadn’t noticed him, too hard smiling at each other, flirting. He allowed himself to break only when he stepped foot inside his home. To fall on his knees, to weep. About a thing he thought he had and lost, even if he never had it in the first place. 
After he had composed himself, he had made his way to this very sofa, where he was now sitting, had found the letter still open on the coffee table. The rage came and he had torn it. Had cursed and raged and also broke the coffee table, made out of glass with one punch, cutting himself on his left hand. Blood and glass everywhere, but he hadn’t cared. 
Luckily none of his cats stepped into the shards that looked like his heartfelt. But he had earned scars from it, tiny ones around his left hand. Again, a mark of heartbreak on his skin. 
David had still written to him that evening asking where he was, but he never answered that. He did a day later because he didn’t could face David with accusations, when he had no ground to stand on. That got into his thick skull after a restless sleep of the night. He had made excuses, called in sick that day and just went back to bed. 
Everything buzzing around and in him. Thoughts like: Had David took home the waitress when he didn’t show? Where whizzing around his brain, hurting him again and again.
The first thing he did when he came back into work a few days later, had been to end things with David. He had played it out that this was all the meeting he missed was about and that he just didn’t want it anymore. David had just taken it, had asked no question and that hurt even more. Knowing how indifferent he was to everything that happened between them. 
Gavin stroke over the parts where he had taped the letter back together. Why he did that, he never known, he didn’t really remember, it just was like that. Maybe he had done it when he was drunk? It didn’t matter it just was. 
He and David never talked about their past again, him keeping his distance. But they were still on good terms when they met at work. Gavin never revisited the bar.
Today David was happy with Connor’s asshole clone 60 or Aiden if you were allowed to use his first name. They were good to each other at least what he had heard. It didn’t hurt thinking about that, knowing it. But the old feelings that came up and the memories did. 
Gavin folded up the letter slowly, setting it aside again. 
He closed his eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath to get himself more together, his fingers already touching the next letter in the wooden box. He could stop here, not move further memory lane, sparing him more pain. His fingers trembled a little. 
Gavin picked up the next letter and opened it. This one also crumbled up some time ago, but nothing else.
Hi Connor,
He put it down. This was fresher, in feelings and writing. How it had ended had hurt more in a way that it made it so ugly. He took a deep breath and started again. 


Hi Connor,

well I bet you never thought that you would ever get a handwritten letter in this time of day. It had been years since I wrote one myself, to be honest. 

Why I’m writing you this you ask? Well, I wanna say thank you in some way and some things in another. 
Oh, this one had hurt on a whole different level. This letter had again been written out of hope for love and had again be crushed not long after. 
Gavin had behaved like the biggest asshole ever to Connor when he first met him and then the whole time till the evidence room, but he had his reasons, even in the end they weren’t really good. 
You see, Gavin had been like this partly, because yes, he feared for his job, to become obsolete, like anybody would fear. But that didn’t make him attack Connor back in the breakroom. He never had attacked an android before. He didn’t like them because of that, and the machines creeped him out and so he easily was called and android-hater. 
But it was more that an android was sent to investigate an android issue that was a problem of the company that made androids. It was a perfect case of open corruption, and anybody just let Cyberlife do it. Gavin hadn’t lived his whole youth protesting against these things to now turn a blind eye to it, like everybody else did. But no one really had wanted to see it (maybe Tina, but she had been unsure) and so it became a fuck fest really fast.
He had to take sensitive training because the higher-ups had demanded it, after the revolition. Mostly because they wanted to show off to the public. And he did apologize to Connor for him pulling a gun on him and he hadn’t had much hope that Connor even accepted it. But he did and he also apologized for punching him, to Gavin’s utterly surprise. Connor had been understanding on the level, that he didn’t have an allowance to enter the evidence room that day and Gavin having suspicion had been fair. Not good but understandable. Connor also hadn’t wanted to hurt him, but back then he hadn’t been deviant and so he had to follow his mission. In his surprise Gavin had also accepted the apology, just later understanding what had happened.
And from this point, he had started to treat Connor like a colleague, distantly neutral, like he was with anyone beside Tina and Chris. But Connor had seemed to understand their mutual apology as an invitation to start a friendship. It had been strange at the beginning of course. Gavin had his walls up like always, but Connor just bulldozed right over them, with time and friendliness. In just a few weeks in Gavin would call Connor his friend and there was also where it started. 
Spending so much time with Connor, having him around him most of his day and getting to know him better he slowly fell in love. It came with every sunny smile Connor gifted him, just him. It came with any brightening up of Connors eyes, for whatever reason. It just came with Connor and Gavin couldn’t stop it.
After David, after the last letter, a few years had come to Detroit and yes Gavin had started to date again. Had a few boyfriends, but nothing really held long and got over “I like you – let’s fuck” – line. No one ever moved in with him, no one stayed long and so from year to year, from relationship to relationship, his walls grew higher and higher around his heart. Sometimes more, sometimes less. A few nasty once had been in these relationships. 
But Connor got just through these walls that he had built up, step by step and Gavin didn’t stop it till it was too late. 
And when it was too late, he got scared. Again.
Because having one more friend? Having Connor as his friend? It was absolutely awesome. 
He found somebody to prank Tina with. He found somebody who also not always got emotions. He found somebody who had his back. He found somebody who gave him comfort when he needed, also if he despised it when Connor scanned him. 
It was just good and he was happy.
And then the feelings came. 
Him feeling fuzzy and warm when Connor smiled, when his eyes sparkled, when he told a stupid joke, just when Connor's attention was on him. And hadn’t that been a punch to the gut. 
He did know that Connor liked man, as he told him one time in trust as friend. But still that didn’t quell his fear. It just made thousands of scenarios, not unlike Connor described how he worked on crime scenes, pop up in his brain, one worse than the other. 
He didn’t want to lose Connor. He didn’t want to give in.
So, he had said nothing, had written the letter. The letter that held more than one intention, but he still had written it. It had been freeing to do so, again. The main reason why he even wrote these things. 
He had suffered in peace. Had daydreamed about Connor and him. Had tried to not let it get to him and he had succeeded in some way, had kept his cool. Had started to hope, when he tried hard enough, that the feelings would leave, but they didn’t. At least not in this way. No, that would have been too nice of Lady Fate. 
Not acting out on feelings because you were scared was one thing, silently pinning in the background. You still could have hope that someday there would be something between you and the other. But learning that the other loved someone else, not you never you, and even asking for your help to get that person, hurt like thousand needles pushing into your heart. 
Connor had started it innocently, had asked Gavin how his and Hank's partnership had been and such. He had answered reluctantly, as it was still a sore spot. Hank and him just starting to become civil, no apology ever spoken, but Gavin got tried with it and Connor had helped. 
The lovesick fool that he was he has answered Connor every question, hadn’t known the "why" to them for a long time. Only learning about it in accident. 
Connor and him had been talking in the breakroom, while he took is afternoon coffee and Chris had joined. Nothing out of the usual. But then Chris had to ask Connor how it was going with wooing Hank. Wooing, the man really had used this word, were their back in the 1930? 
Connor had blushed, his pretty teal blush, and started to stammer. First Gavin had thought Chris meant it in jest, meant that Connor was wooing Hank for the work partnership, his hope holding strong. Even when he and everybody at the station and every police officer in Detroit, knew that Connor and Hank had a brilliant working relationship. 
But no that hadn’t been it of course. Getting it finally after Connor had stuttered more, Chris long-gone after a friendly pat to both their shoulders and his coffee, had it clicked. “What?” had been the only word. The android had started to feverishly apologize, why he hadn’t told him. Giving the reason that because Gavin had been so hostile with Hank, he didn’t want Gavin to know because he had feared that it would hurt their friendship. It had hurt on so many levels.
Hurt because Connor seems to think him so swallow, that he would get angry with this, that he wouldn’t help his friend because he didn’t like his chosen one.
Hurt because it felt that Connor had just used him, even if unintentionally, to get info about Hank. 
Hurt because there could never be something between him and Connor now, not with Hank in the picture and not with how Connor talked about him. 
He should have seen the signs. How Connor was always talking about Hank doing that, saying this. How he listened to every word of Hank like it was pure honey. How they exchange longer looks between them, touched more than normally. 
But he had been too deep in his own little daydream of happiness with Connor.
Still shocked and oh so hurt he had excused himself from the scene, fled from it, pride be damned. He didn’t talk with Connor in a week, besides a professional level, everything was just too raw. Tina had tried to interfere had tried not to take any sides, to be understanding, but Gavin hadn’t flagged down. 
Only when Hank, Hank! had cornered him had asked him to be less of an asshole to Connor, as he had done nothing wrong when Gavin behaved like this. He guessed Hank had been given a half-lie, so Connor didn’t tell him that he was the reason for all of this. 
He had wanted to scream, to cry, to punch something, in this very moment, to make a tantrum because it was just so unfair. The man he once loved, the man who had hurt him so much and never apologized to him, was berating him on the man that he loved now, that he had to learn that he would never get. What had he done in his past life to deserve this? 
But he had held his ground, had not screamed, not cried, not punched Hank. He had just told him to fuck off in his usual fashion. Hank had given him a disappointed look had said that he thought he changed. And if that didn’t ram the knife deeper into his heart. 
He had been shell shocked for a moment before a rookie had awakened him from him with questions. On automode, Gavin had given it to him, had stayed like this the whole day. He just felt so empty, so tired. 
A few days later, Connor had been there at his desk, a coffee cup in his hand from his favorite café. Had offered it to him with an apology and a “Hank told me that was your favorite coffee.” It had hurt that he had choked on nothing for a second, playing it all down. And at this moment, he just knew that he lost. So, he took the coffee, took Connor's apology and apologized himself. All under the watchful eyes of Hank, Tina, and Chris. 
Being on talking basis with Connor again had opened a whole new rabbit hole. Connor had taken it as an invitation to tell him anything about him and Hank and he could just watch Connors and Hank's relationship grow with each day. It was like someone was hammering a nail into his heart every day, deeper and deeper, never stopping. And because he loved Connor, he had tried his damndest to make him happy, because that what was important to him the most. Seeing the people, he loved happy. 
He had stood strong till the day came where he was told from Connor with a pretty blush that Hank and he were official now. His heart had finally cracked, but he had kept smiling for Connor, for himself. Connor was so happy that his sensors didn’t pick up what his quicker pulse meant, that he smiled forced. 
When he had been at home, he had allowed himself to crumble, to cry into his cat’s fur, to be sad. 
His fingers just crushed the paper slightly between them, when he read these hopeful words of him. How he had hoped for Connor to love him back. 
He bit his lip, tasting blood and folded the letter, put it with the others. “Pathetic” 
His eyes fell to the last pieces of paper, this one only neatly folded one time. It was the most recent one, not even written one month ago. He licked the blood from his lips, grounding himself with the metallic taste. 
Fully knowing what to come, his finger stopped trembling, when they picked it up and folded it open gently, lovingly stroking over the paper, like welcoming an old friend. When his eyes fell to the first words a small smile stole itself on his lips for a second.

how are you doing partner? How long has it been since we have been made partners? 1 year? More than one? I don’t really remember and I don’t really want to, because you know I’m just good knowing that you are my partner. 

I mean we had a long journey, man. Remember the first day we met (okay now I’m remembering, what? Aren’t you telling me always how flickel I’m with my emotions? How “human in such an evident way” I am, put in your pompously words.) 
This, this was his latest case of unrequited love. It tasted so bittersweet like dark chocolate, the good kind, still not shattered into dust. 
Nines and he had met near two years later after the revolution. His heartbreak over Connor had been over then. Who was he kidding it still had simmered in him. But seeing Hank and Connor together every day, seeing them so happy with each other had lessened it slowly. 
But then Fowler had to give him a new partner after it had been years since having one. Sure, he had gotten a new one after Hank and he ended, but they never stuck. Because of him and how he liked to do his work, because of them because they were, even more, a piece of shit than him. 
So the day that already had started bad with Mocha sleeping on his face - trying to suffocate him - him slipping in the kitchen face first because Espresso had still been ill and had puked all over the tiles - at least not the carpet this time - and the last straw had been that there hadn’t been any coffee left in the house. Not a great start in the day for one Gavin Reed.
And then, and then Fowler had summoned him into his office before he could get a drop of coffee into him from the break room and had presented him with his new partner.
Nines being an android hadn’t been the thing that had made him angry, with everything about Connor and the new laws that had been evoked, he had been over that a long time now. What was angering him more, that Fowler now gave him a partner, when he should know how much he didn’t need one, that he worked better alone! 

And then Nines had to look like Connor, well not exactly, as he was taller and broader, with icy eyes and a resting bitch face that could rival David’s. He had been a picture of intimidation. Then he had to open his mouth, introduce himself as Richard Stern, younger brother of Connor Stern, with all his pompous words and this air of superiority around him. Gavin had hated him this very second. He had enough arrogant asshole in his life, e.g. his own big brother. 
So, it hadn’t been a good start, Gavin refusing to shake Richard's hand and ignoring him the first day. He just couldn’t take it. 
He needed a week to actually start working with Richard after Connor used his puppy eyes on him and Fowler had given him a talk. From this day on it had been a bumpy ride, with screaming matches nearly every day. Richard was being too machine-like, still new to deviancy and Gavin had just been angry. 
To anger his new partner, he already had started to call him with a new nickname “Nines” after three days, because he found Richard to ornery. And even if Richard was not amused at all over this development, it stuck around. He had been so smug about it.
The first month has come and go and they started to work better together, less screaming more sassing each other. Then they had finished their first real big case, which had brought a bloody face for him and Nines to do an actual terminator move to bring the murder down. Gavin had been utterly impressed. 
Later when he came back from the station’s infirmary chamber, he had heard a conversation between the three android brothers, because Aiden was of also part of their sibling bond as a rare RK model. Didn’t that make the leader of the revolution the oldest one of them? 

Nines had voiced his concern, that he would now be scared of him, after seeing him using his combat protocols to get the criminal. Being ashamed that he didn’t protect him better against the hook the suspect had thrown, sending him to the ground. Connor had reassured his younger brother that would not be the case, but Aiden had teased and made Nines stronger in his believes what he, Gavin, now thought about him. 

Seeing his partner so down, really showing emotion for the first time, had touched something inside Gavin. Had shown him how new Nines was to everything related to emotions, to being a deviant. 
When he had gone back to work the next day, he had made the point of praising the RK900 for his work, even going so far as saying an implied thank you. He never saw Nines beaming so much, his eyes sparkled and his whole face light up, not unlike Connor, but different a little subdued but beautiful to watch, nevertheless. 
It had been the turning point in their partnership. They still sassed each other endlessly, Nines with his big pompous words and Gavin with his sharp merciless tongue, but it had changed more to banter between them. Little friendly japs and teasing, things that Gavin made laugh and Nines smile. 
From here it hadn’t been long, that they became real partners. Having each other backs in shootouts, taking bullets for the other. He had first taken one for Nines, nothing tragic just the shoulder no bone was harmed, but he was out of the field for two weeks. And Nines had insisted to tell him the whole drive to the hospital how unnecessary that had been and had insisted to bring him his coffee for the whole two weeks he was bound at his desk. 
This little tradition had never stopped. Nines would bring Gavin his morning coffee and Gavin started when he got is afternoon one to bring Nines some Thirium, just how he liked it (Ass cold like a slushy). 
They had started to have the backs of the other outside on the field, standing up for the other. When people were giving him snide comments or talked behind his back, Nines had stood up for him had berated them and brought them to submission. He had been stunned the first time he witnessed it. Nines had been shy about it, was scared that he did the wrong thing but it had just brought Gavin's walls more down. He, of course, had done the same for Nines, had stepped up when they call him cold-blooded and one time a monster. The incident being the day when Nines finally met his cats and had formed his bound with Mocha, or more Mocha had chosen him. 

They formed a beautiful partnership that rivaled Hank and Connors. Nines liked to remind him that there were better than them in their crime-solving rate, with that proud smile on his face. 
And then it evolved, the partnership became a friendship, with him noticing how alone Nines seemed to be in the station, him not being the social butterfly like Connor and surprisingly Aiden. Taking him in, to Tina and Chris had been easy and it had been good. Seeing Nines blossom under the change had been beautiful.
Learning what for dry humor the android had, that he giggled more than laugh and liked to watch old westerns, had been mindblowing. And with this again Gavin’s walls got down. Soon he invited Nines over to him to watch old western movies, not his favorite genre but Nines had told him he always watched them alone and that he couldn’t let that stand. 
So, movie nights had become a thing. Nines meeting his cats had become a thing. Mocha the bitch of his cats had even taken a liking to him! Nines started to become a stable constant in his everyday life, and he missed the days when he couldn’t see him. 
At one movie night he had then fallen asleep, head on Nines shoulder, a nickname he now liked and wore with honor. The day and case getting to him but Nines had found that new western flick that he had been so enthusiastic to watch, that he couldn’t be said no. And so, he had cuddled his android partner in his sleep and Nines had let him. 
The next morning telling him that he had even liked it because in truth he never got much touched by people besides his close family. A fact that Gavin from this day on tried to remedy, even if he was not the most touchy person. But it made Nines smile and his hearts soar. A warning flag that he hadn’t seen, because Nines just disarmed his walls so easily.
He had let the android closer than anybody - besides Tina - had ever been and it had been good. Nines had called him one night out of a nightmare and he had sprinted over to the others flat, giving him some more than awkward comfort. This way had learned about Amanda, and so their oddly chosen surname, what had happened to the AI. What also Cyberlife had done to Nines. Things that made Gavin want to find anyone of these assholes and burn their houses down. In exchange, Gavin had told him about his past, about Elijah and the grudges he still held, and Nines had listened. 
Their friendship had become something so much more in the span of a year, more than Gavin could have ever wished for. Nines becoming someone who grounded him even more than Connor, understanding him more than Tina and being a better shoulder to lean on than Chris. He really hoped that it was and is the same for Nines. 
And then he noticed what had happened once again. 
It had been nothing special, just seeing Nines being friendly to the newly hired human receptionist Jenny, talking a little, smiling at each other. And Gavin had wanted that to be him that Nines only smiled at. 
A real punch to the face.
He had stood there for a second before so angry at himself for falling once again, rudely interrupted them and pulled a confused Nines away from the woman. Had been unnecessary angry at Nines the whole day. The next day apologizing with his favorite thirirum snack and had been forgiven. He didn’t know what would have happened if Nines had not forgiven him.
With the new realization that he had fallen once again for someone when he had tried so hard not to, to close his heart off, had made Gavin sensitive to anything that Nines did so that even Tina commented on it. 
He had hidden behind walls, scared to be hurt again, but still keeping Nines around. 
And then he had noticed more and more. That there would be never anything between him and Nines. The reason why he had written this blasted letter, like a confession to let it all go. 
Seeing Nines being flirted with at crime scenes – which was very rude they were the fuck working! – at the station by the rookies and just seeing Nines interacting with others, showed him again and again, how perfect the other was. 
If all the stories behind every letter he had written and every relationship he ever had, had taught him one thing than it was that he was never what the other wanted. Not one time.
And with Nines he also learned that he was not what the other deserved. People deserve something better than him. Something perfect for them. Like Connor was to Hank and Hank to Connor, like Aiden was to David. Nines deserved someone better, perfect like him. 
It destroyed him thinking like this, but rereading this letter, his beliefs felt just validated. What could he offer Nines, what could have he offered any of his past loves, any of his past lovers? He was just Gavin Reed, the asshole that anybody hated. And Nines was perfect. 
Tears quelled up in his eyes, the letter falling out of his hand, the pieces flattering to the ground around him. He buried his hands into his face, tried to stop the tears, but a low sob was freed from lungs, getting louder and louder with each breath he took. 
He didn’t know how long he was sitting there on his ugly orange sofa, shirtless and crying his tears out, but on some point, Latte and Cappuccino joined him. Rubbing against the sobbing mess of their human, nuzzling, and purring trying to cheer him up. 
But it didn’t help, just made Gavin realize one's more how alone he was. It didn’t stop him from burying his face into Latte's fur, quieting his sobs that shook his whole body. Seeking any form of comfort, because no one else was here. 
He was truly meant to be alone and that would never change. 

Waking up the next day with a crick in his neck from falling asleep sitting up and his eyes crusted over with tears, seemed worse than the hungover. 
The first thing he noticed beside all his cats been spilled on his like big furry potatoes, was, of course, the letters, thrown around the sofa space. And everything had come back up in seconds. Lumps forming in this throat, feeling like barfing and tears prickling in his eyes, his emotions were all over the place once again. 
Only the ringing of his phone coming from the bathroom had brought him back to reality. Whoever called had to be in dry need from him. Putting himself a little together, he freed himself from his furry blanket, stepped over the mess of paper and got his phone.
The call ended before he touched it, he already moving to call the caller back, when he noticed the time and the caller ID.
He was late, so late to work! And Nines was calling him of course! Panic made itself known in his brain. He couldn’t let Nines see him like that!
With trembling fingers, he shot him a quick text, he hoped it was enough for Nines not to come up. 
Slept in. Omw!
He jumped to the sink, trying to scrub off the tear marks. 
Before even looking if Nines had answered him, he had clothed himself, feed the cats and was running out the door, letters all forgotten. 
Stepping into the precinct, Nines was immediately in his face.
“Are you alright, Gavin?”
He took a step back in surprise and maybe let out an unmanly high sound that he would deny to his death when Nines appeared in front of him.
“I-I’m fine! Just slept in! No biggy!” he tried to wave his partner away, making his way to his desk, everybody busy around him. 
“You seem exhausted, the circles under your eyes are darker than the last time I saw you, that had been Wednesday, and you have- “
Coming to a stop at his desk he sat down. Taking one look at the coffee cup that was placed on a coaster – a thing Chris had made him buy – filled now, with sad cold coffee. 
“Don’t scan me!” 
Nines stood stock still as soon as the snarl left his mouth, his LED spinning yellow. He felt bad.
“Please”, he said with a smaller voice. 
His partner was watching him, while he desperately tried not to look at him. Nines gave him a small nod. 
“Of course.” Then he stepped around Gavin and sat stiffly in his chair. Now Gavin felt really bad. 
Signing he grabbed the coffee cup out of habit and before Nines could warn him drank the ice-cold coffee. He choked in the bitter taste.
In a second the cup was taken from him; a comforting hand was on his back trying to calm him down to take deep breaths. When he finally did, he heard Nines step away, moving to the breakroom. 
Only seconds ticked by, in which he got back up from his bend position, took a deep breath and started his workstation. Then Nines was back at his side a new steaming cup of coffee in his hands, exactly how Gavin liked it. 
He put it down on the coaster and Gavin immediately grabbed it to take a sip, but Nines' warm hand stopped him. Now he did have to look up at him, he hesitated. Patient and caring eyes were staring back at him, making his heart flutter. 
“If you want to talk about what is bothering you, I'm here, Gavin.” 
He swallowed down a new lump. He didn’t deserve this. 
“Th-thanks, Nines.” 
A small smile came to the androids lips that filled him with warmth and dread at the same time. 
“Your coffee is now cold enough, for you to safely consume.” With that very typical Nines comment, the android stepped back, squeezed his hand once and made his way back to his side of the desk.
Gavin stared at him the whole time, quickly trying to hide it before Nines saw, with gulping down the perfect tempered and made coffee.
From the corner of his eyes he saw the uptick of the corners of Nines mouth, Nines saw. Gavin tried to fight down the blush, but when it grew to a smile, he knows how miserable he had failed. 
How would he even survive this day?

He did survive the day. 
Doing his best to ignore everything around him. 
Ignoring Nines, but still bringing him his thirirum slushy around 4 pm. 
Ignoring his thoughts that always circled back to the letters at home. 
He borrowed himself in paperwork, anything he could grab. Nines hadn’t commented but feeling his concerned glances burning into his skin had made him feel even more guilty.
Chris and Tina had come around too. The latter to tease him for his lateness and what he had done this one evening in the bar (as if she hadn't done it enough over his free days with blowing up his phone), the other to give him a slight disappointment dad look and concerned eyes too, exchanging looks with Nines in silent communication. Connor and Hank had not been present for most of the day, out in the field, but when they got back, he got a friendly wave from Connor and a grunt from Hank, he had waved back tiredly. 
Then finally the clock chimed 7:30 and he had been ready to go, happy to leave the whole day behind him but dreading what was waiting for him at home.
He put on his worn leather jacket hastily, a goodbye on his lips for his partner, when he stopped dead by the fast-spinning yellow-red LED.
“Uhm, everything alright Nines?”
Nines' intense resting bitch face broke, looking up to him.
“Yes…. It’s just Aiden.”
“Aiden? What did he do this time?”
“Oh, nothing bad I assure you. He is just spamming my channel with photos of his last date with Capt. Allen.”
“…Oh. Ahem. Sounds good?” He shuffled uncomfortably around. Things he didn’t want to know right now. 
“Yes, indeed. I’m glad to see Aiden so happy with Capt. Allen.” 
Gavin didn’t answer this time, looking around the station. His eyes fell on Hank and Connor. They were talking to each other, Connor sitting at the corner of Hank's desk, both all smiles and little touches. 
“Are Connor and Hank happy, too?”
“Hm? As far as my knowledge goes yes. Connor is waiting for Hank to propose.”
His eyes jumped around the room. It fell on Chris's desk, the man was already gone, a picture frame prominent on it. A picture of him and Hannah, with not so little Damien anymore and his new baby sister Gabriela, all of them smiling, being happy.
Moving on he set his eyes on the break room, seeing Person, typing on her phone, smiling at it broadly. Didn’t she just have her anniversary with her long-term boyfriend? If Tina’s gossip mill was anything to believe. 
And Tina, just a few weeks back, he had met her new girlfriend Aveline an ST600, a sweet girl. Both women so in love when he met up with them. 
He raised his clouded eyes from Ben’s wedding ring. How long had the old detective been married to his wife?
“Is everything alright? You very strange today.” Nines moved closer, hand-stretched out to touch him.
“Are you happy, Nines?”
The android stopped in his movement. Looking puzzled at his human counterpart, who was staring at nothing.
“I think so? Yes.... I think, I am happy.”
A bright smile came to Gavin’s lips. 
“Good. That’s really good to hear, Nines. Have a nice evening, see you tomorrow.” With that he hastily left the building not being able to look at anybody, not waiting for a reply.
Outside when he got into his car, he let out a breath letting the tears he had been holding in free. 
Punching the steering wheel, he let out a frustrated cry. 
“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.” Hitting the leather and plastic combo with every new curse. 
It was not fair. IT WAS NOT FAIR!
Everybody being happy around him. Why couldn’t he have this?!?! WHY!!
His head clunked against the steering wheel, luckily not hitting the horn, sobs rumbled over his body.
“I have enough. I have so fucking enough.” 
Squeezing his eyes, he got back up, angrily rubbing his hands over his eyes, getting the water from his skin.
Taking a last deep breath, he started the car.
This had to end.

Stepping into his home with purpose and ignoring the welcome of his cats, he made a beeline for the sofa. With a single-minded focus, he picked every piece of paper up. Not caring if they were in order, just crammed them into the wooden box.
Finished with his task he looked down at the small container holding so much pain, it looked so innocently. 
Tomorrow he would take it with him to work and after, he would drive to the Detroit River Bridge and would throw them into the cold unforgiving water. Closing that chapter. Letting go of everything. 
He nodded to himself, repeating the plan in his head a few times, then turned and gave his furry babies the attention they deserved. 
The next day came faster than he had wanted, but it had to be done. So, he followed his normal routine of the morning, his cats dancing around his feet with every step. They were still being clingy after what had happened, and he promised them extra treats and brush session as soon as he been done and was home again. They deserved it.
Moving to the sofa, when he had been ready to go, still in time to not to be late this time. He had starred at the box long, took it in fully and then with gentle and trembling fingers had put it in his backpack. 
Lifting the bag over his shoulder it had felt like he was carrying heavy stones. He could feel the box pushing into his back through the old flimsy fabric of the backpack. It burned like coal. But he ignored, said good-bye to his cats and held his chin high when he had left for work. 
Thinking about the day that would be ahead of him, filled with the rest of the last case paperwork to review and then he and Nines would get a new one, hopefully, a good one, he tried to ignore the package he had with him. 
But coming into the precinct he had been disappointed. It was utterly loud chaos. Tina saw him and pulled him to the side explained that many dead android bodies have been found, in different places all over Detroit. If it was a serial killer or an anti-android movement, nobody knows yet, but it was a high priority as the Central DPD had the hold on android cases and the media already had learned some details. 
Just as Tina had been finished with her explanation, Nines had popped up beside him, giving him a curt “Detective” and had pulled him away. Gavin had let him, easily fell into work mode. His bag was hastily left at his desk, all content forgotten, and he was off to one of many crime scenes. Work had to be done.
Coming back to the precinct just around 1 am, he had been too tried on his legs, just grab his abandoned bag, still filled with his lunch he didn’t eat and made his way to his car. He had come alone, as Nines demanded that he take rest, while he gave the crime scene the last sweep. Gavin hadn’t complained 
Being in the metal cage of his vehicle, he leaned his head back, closing his eyes for a second.
He fell asleep for 30 minutes and just woke up when his head slide of the headrest and he bummed against the window. 
Rubbing his pulsing forehead, a headache was the last thing he needed, he grabbed blindly for his back, search his cigarettes. Finding the lumpy thing it came back to him, what he had wanted to do today, and he stopped. Rolling his head around to the other side, he squinted at the bag. 
He doesn’t know how long he stared at it before he finally decided to shift gears and start driving. Ignoring the lump that sat heavy in his throat or the slight tremble of his hands. It had to be done. 
Making it to the bridge of Detroit was easy, he had taken the more cinematic route, but getting out of it was hard. He was on the third cigarette, smoking with an open window. 
Feeling the snag burn down against his fingers, he flicked it away after the familiar pain had settled. His hands were a minefield of little scars and burns. 
A tried sign left his lips as he took a last look around the peaceful scenery, you wouldn’t think that this city was so full of crime and murder. Turning to his bag he started to dig around it.
Lunchbox, Water bottle, his old notepad, a handful of pens, an old stress ba-
Where was the box? He should have felt it immediately with the shape and texture it had. Where was the motherfucking box?!?!
Lurching out of his seat, letting the seatbelt cut into his shoulder he grabbed the bag and turned it upside down, everything spilling on the passenger seat. 
Water bottle, notepad, pens, Lunchbox, stress ball, gumpac-
But no small square wooden box tumbled out.
At once panic shot up his nerves. 
He rootled through his belongings in panic, picked up the backpack once more to shake it, hoping that the missing box would fall out. But nothing came and he just had thrown his belonging all over the passenger seat. 
His breath was coming fast and hard, not letting him really breathe, letting the panic amp up. 
The box had to be somewhere. 
He scrambled back into his seat, started the car and made an illegal U-turn. It had to be at the station. Maybe his bag had fallen over and it had spilled out! It must be laid under his desk and he didn’t notice it when he grabbed the bag. 
There it has to be! It has to!


He had broken a few traffic laws driving back, but he didn‘t care. Just having parked its car directly in front of the precinct he jumped out running in, ignoring anyone around him. 

He was in a frenzy searching for the box.

Coming to his desk he fell to his knees scrabbling under it.

He must have looked like a person possessed by a demon when Officer Brown found it necessary to talk to him.


He jolted up from his unfruitful search of the box, hitting his head at his desk in the process. Today was not a good day for this body part.

„What?!?“ was snarled, loud and angry at the innocent officer.

„Ar-are you okay?“ 

Gavin came crawled out, standing up he looked at Brown with wild eyes and even wilder hair.

„Have you seen a wooden box?!“

The man took a step back on seeing Gavin's appearance and being yelled it.

„A-a what?“

„A wooden box, you idiot?!? How did you even become a police officer, when you can't answer simple questions?!“

„I-I‘m sorry! No, I ha-haven’t seen anything like that! I swear!“

Gavin didn’t really listen to the frightened man, huffing he had turned around, panic still high searching all over his desk for the box. It was not there!

Where was it?!? Could somebody have taken it today when he had been out? Would somebody just grab things out of his bag!? 


He tried to take in a calming breath but failed miserably.

This is still a motherfucking police station! It has to be home. It has to be!

„Home,“ he murmured to himself.


Oh, yes officer Brown was still standing behind him. He didn’t give the poor man an answer, just turned and sprinted back out, ignoring all looks he was given by the spare night personnel.


Diving up the stairs to the fifth floor, he stormed into his flat. Leaving the door open, ignoring the cats he took on his search.

Throwing over the coffee table, things flying everywhere. Pulling out books and knick-knacks out of any shelf. 

His cats fearful watching their owner murmuring to himself, cursing and crying at the same time, they took sanctuary in the cat tree. 

Not stopping with the living room, when he didn’t found it, he soon moved to the rest of the flat, leaving behind equal hectic chaos. 

But still no sign of the box. Nowhere.

He fell on his knees in the middle of the chaos that had once been his bedroom. Clothes all over the place, in between little knick-knacks, his electronics, and the bedding. 

His eyes were empty. He let himself fall forward, his body colliding with the floor hard. 

It’s not here. It’s not here! Where is it?!?

Repeating the words like a mantra over and over again, he balled himself together on the floor, letting the panic take over.

He lost all sense of time, didn’t hear is cats coming in careful, Cappuccino gentle nudging him. He was just lost.

Where was it?

Third time's the charm. Waking up the third time with crusted over eyes and a headache behind his temple, was still not something he wanted. 
Tiredly stretching himself slowly out of the fetal position he had slept in, he stayed on the ground. 
The box. The letters were gone.
Wasn’t that what he had wanted, them gone? Out of his life.
Not like this. Not knowing where they were. Not knowing if somebody had found it and started reading it, making fun of him, laughing at him and his pathetic excuse of a life.
What if somebody had indeed found it in the station or even taken it out? Now reading the letters to the whole station, letting anybody hear. Letting, Hank, David, Connor, and Nines hear. 
It sends a jolt of fear between his ribs, made him breathe hard again. 
They all would be disgusted. That he had written those words, that he had thought they could love him. Nobody wanted to be loved by him.
He felt bile coming up his throat, he choked on nothing. 
Espresso was laying over his shoulder his little white head directly next to his ear. The smallest cat of the whole bunch licked his ear. He flinched. 
“Your right. No way to stalling that.” His voice sounded so empty like he felt himself.
Still staring into nothing, he got up slowly. Had to will his legs and arms to move, to get up. He didn’t want to, but he had to go to work – the sun was coming out – and he had to get over it. 
Holding himself up and waiting for the world to end, would just bring Nines to him, pulling him out of the flat and to work. He didn’t need that.
In autopilot, he picked the things he needed and got out of the flat, still in yesterday’s clothes, looking like absolute shit. 

He didn’t know how he even made it to the station, the whole drive washed together as one big batch of colors. 
Stepping into the building, his fear and panic flared up once again, he felt like a nervous bomb ready to go off. Exposed like a wire, everything was too loud too bright. 
Nobody stopped him. 
No one was holding the letters to his face, laughing at him. 
No one even looked at him. 
Making his way to his desk, looking over his hunched shoulders ever so often, waiting for someone jumping him, he let himself fall on the chair. 
There was no morning coffee at his desk, no Nines either. Odd. He stared at the black monitor of his workstation, waiting for the other shoes to drop. 
But nothing came and after getting some odd looks from people who passed him by, he started up his station, still waiting.
And waiting. He tried to do some work after still nothing came, only Chris saying hello and he just nodded tiredly at him, ignoring the concern in Chris's eyes. Tina’s hello and try for a conversation he completely ignored with a “hm.” She had to give up when her partner called her. 
The minutes and then hours ticked by. Still, nothing came and he started to get jittery, flinching at every loud sound, bouncing his leg, looking around in wild fear ever so often, biting the nail of his right thumb. 
If Nines, who still was not in, very odd, had been here, he would have been so annoyed by him and his nervous antics. But he was not here. 
At some point Hank came over, Connor must have to give him his best puppy eyes to make the old man move into his space, snapping his fingers in front of Gavin’s face, who looked just straight at the monitor, not typing, just starring. 
“Hey, hey Reed. Earth to Reed!” 
Gavin flinched back, his face contorted with pain and irritation. Unfocused green eyes felt on the older man.
Deep blue’s ones looked him over, they were more like the deep ocean than the glacier ones he saw every day. But still eyes he had fallen in love with, once. 
“You look like a junky out of his last fix, Reed.”
Anger the old companion of his flared up. 
“Fuck off!!”
He doesn’t know when he stood up from his chair, breathing hard, being in Hank's face. 
The other man scrutinized him. 
Gavin’s whole body was trembling, from the exhaustion, he was feeling or the emotions storming inside him, he didn’t know. 
Before Hank could open his mouth, Gavin grabbed his box of cigarettes, who were always laying at the end of his desk and stormed off. 
A break was what he needed. Not fake concern of a man who didn’t know how to apologize! Just a break from anything.
He made his way up the roof. Ignoring every glance thrown at him, everyone that was watching him.

Face pressed into the wire fence that was built all around the roof of the station, he took a deep pull of his second cigarette. It tasted like ash. 
His thoughts were all over the place. Where was the box? Had somebody found it or not? Would they come out and humiliate him in front of everyone? 
Who was he kidding, anybody who got presented with such a golden opportunity to humiliate him, would take it without a second thought. He was doomed. 
He pressed his face harder into the fence, feeling the wire cut into his skin, it distracted him a little.
Being distracted more by his thought that was going on in a loop he didn’t notice the other figure stepping onto the roof.
“Is it true?”
He flinched and then get annoyed. Wonderful, now Nines chose to come when he had been missing the whole day? And then to ask stupid questions. 
With an annoyed huff, he turned, looking straight at his partner. His fingers went limp, cigarette falling from them, his mouth opened in utter disbelief, his eyes zooming in on the one thing.
Nines had the box. Nines had the box! Nines had the box in his fucking hands!
“Is it true?”, was repeated. 
He couldn’t take his eyes from the box, he took a step forward like in trance. 
“Is it true, Gavin?”, was repeated once more.
Said human snapped out of it, looked at blue glacier eyes. He was breathing hard again.
“D-did you r-read them?”, he was already stuttering over his words.
“Yes, bu-“
He fell on his knees to the gravel filled ground of the roof. He didn’t feel the stones digging through his jeans, uncomfortably. He couldn’t breathe. 
He had read them. He had read them! 
His hands clawed frantically at his throat, he couldn’t breathe! 
Nines had read his letters. Nines had read his letter!
Strong hands, took his clawing fingers from himself gently, holding them. Nines was saying something, but he couldn’t understand it. 

Hands moved, on still holding both of his, the other moving around him, catching him into a hug, pressing him into a strong chest. His face was pressed into the androids neck, while the hand on his back moved around in slow circles, trying to comfort him. 

He came a little back to himself, now hearing the words that were murmured to him. Telling him to breathe in and out, count the breaths. He followed the soft command.

His breaths got less erratic and his heart got back in his usual rhythm.  

“I found the box, kicked under a sofa in the hallway. Yesterday after I came back from the crime scene. I only read the first letter to find out who it belongs, too. And then I found mine. I don’t read the others, Gavin, I promise. I only read mine,” was explained with a gentle voice.

Well, that confession certainly helped to bring back a wave of panic. Now he knew that Nines had read every word of his foolish writing. Any syllabus dripping with his stupid crush, that never was gonna happen. 

Why was Nines even holding him? Confronting him? Was he not disguised, that a waste of space like him, had feelings for him? 

He must be! Was just sparing him for the final blow! And Gavin couldn’t let that happen, hadn’t he suffered enough?

With a little bit more clarity in his brain, he pushed away from the warm body, let go of the turtleneck, that his hand had clawed into. He fell on his ass, scrabbling away from the kneeling android, wanting to be far away as possible. 

He took a deep breath and stood up on shaking legs, trying desperately to hold himself together, with everything he had left. 

“Give me the box.” He didn’t look at Nines, but hold his hands out for the item. 

Nines stood up, took the box with him, that he had laid on the ground to grab the detective. Gavin could feel the android's eyes watching him.

“Is it true?” he asked for the fourth time. Gavin couldn’t interpret the tone of Nines voice. He didn’t really care. 

An ugly bitter laugh left his lips. “What do you think, Nines?”

He was done, he had lost anything either way.

“Good. Because I like you too, Gavin. Very much so.”

His eyes snapped to the gently smiling android instantly. Looking at him wide-eyed.


That’s a joke. That’s a motherfucking joke!

“I lo-”

“Is that a joke! Do you try to make me feel better Nines?! Is that what you trying?! Well newsflash: I don’t need your fucking pity! Okay! I know that’s not how it works! It’s never how it works! Everybo-”

Before he could go on with his angry rant, his face was taken in the hands of the androids, cradling it gently. When had the other moved? The hands moved him, till he had to look into the glacier eyes. 

“I like you Gavin Sebastian Andrew Reed. I really do. I adore you, with anything I have to offer. I adore your dichromatism eyes that change color with any new emotion you show me. That shine the brightest green when you are happy, sparkle when you plan something mischievous or light up when you found a connection between evidence and become the hardest grey when you are angry, a full storm can brew up in them. They are so full of life and I lose myself in them so often. I adore the crease you get between your eyes when you think when you concentrate when you are frustrated. I want to smother it with a kiss in these moments. I adore how strong you are in mind and body, how hard you work and how hard you try to bring justice to the people. I adore how gentle you can be, to your cats, to victims, to your friends. I adore how harsh you can be, taking no-nonsense when it’s called for but being able to close it off when using deception to get confessions. I even adore how you mispronounce your favorite curse word. I adore how stubborn you can be and hate it sometimes at the same time. I adore every smile you ever gifted me, from the first smug smirk to the most beautiful wide smiles. I have saved so many of them in my internal memory. I adore your laugh and search for every opportunity to make you laugh and smile, to see you starting to hiccup when it gets too much and you can’t stop. It’s beautiful how you laugh with your whole being, how you light up the whole room for me. I adore how you can read my emotional state, like nobody else can not even my brothers, just looking at me. I adore how you can ground me when I give in to my programming, that you don’t fear me for what I was made for. I adore hat you stand by my side when others are malevolent about my upbringing. I hate but adore it so much that I know you will protect me, even if I don’t want to spend a second about being without you. I’m so thankful that we became partners, that you showed me with all your facets what it meant to be human. That you showed me how to live, how to cry and laugh, how to be me. For everything you gave to me Gavin Sebastian Andrew Reed, I adore with all my being, I cherish you with all that’s me.”

Nines took an unnecessary breath, or was it not?

“And I love you, with all that I can offer. I love your very being, your every flaw you think you have, that I will try to persuade you of otherwise. I love you, Gavin. You are perfect to me.”

His heart stopped beating. Everything went black.


Waking up for the fourth - or was it the fifth? - time, after blacking out was not an experience he would recommend anybody. Waking up in a sterile white room even less, he hated all sorts of medical facilities. 

Blinking a few times to get over the brightness of the room, he looked around. He knew that room, that bed, he must be in the infirmary of the precinct. 

Looking around further he found the only other resident in the room, half camouflage to the white walls with his jacket. Nines sad next to the bed, watching him.

“You’re awake.”

He tried to form words but just a cough came out, his mouth was so dry. 

Quickly Nines was at his side, helped him to sit up and offered him a paper cup with a glass straw and water. An odd pairing but since 2025 plastic straws had been banned. 

He drank like a man, denied water for days. 

Nines seemed to take this as an opportunity to clue him in about his situation. 
“Captain Fowler had allowed you a few sick days after you blacked out. He was very persistent of you not setting foot into the precinct for the time of your leave, I will spare you his exact words. Chris and Tina came by, both are not happy and Tina promised to chain you to your bed if you don’t take the rest.”

The android already had the carafe in hand, to fill up his cup once more, before he could even ask when he was finished.

“Connor and Hank came, too. I should tell you from Connor, that you should take better care of yourself and Hank is just happy that you’re not a junkie? To my surprise, Captain Allen and Aiden came for a short visit too, but with the history, you and the Captain have it’s understandable. Aiden was not very amused by the concern Captain Allen showed. But I should tell you about his well-wishes for you. I stayed with you”

Finishing the second cup, it was taken out of his hands. Gavin starred at the white blanked he was covered with, he didn’t dare to look at his partner.

“And I believe this belongs to you.”

Producing the box from his side, Nines laid it in front of Gavin on the blanket. His fingers moved slowly to close around it, to feel the raw wood under his fingertips, it grounded him. 

Silence filled between them, only the sounds of the city filtering through the half-open window, breaking it. Seconds, minutes ticked by. It was peaceful but also loaded with anticipation. 

“Since we confessed our mutual liking to each other, in one form or another. I think the best, most logical step would be that we would go on a date.”

Color sprung to Gavin’s face, giving it a more healthy appearance. 

“I would suggest going to dinner. On the 6th a new android friendly restaurant opened and I would be honored if you allowed me to take you there. Of course, after you have taken your rest. And I would be happy in assisting t-”

“I would like that”, Gavin interrupted shyly, even more, color on his cheeks now.

Feeling brave, after everything that happened, he moved his hands carefully to touch on of Nines, who was laid on his crossed legs. He could feel Nines twitching at the touch, his glacier eyes watching.

“I would really like that.”

Nines hands moved, closed around his, warm and gentle.

“That makes me really happy.”

Gavin finally dared to look up at his partner, now lover? boyfriend? Nines was softly smiling, his eyes sparkling with joy and love, he smiled back a little hesitating. 

Their gentle moment was interrupted when the door opened without care and Molly the android nurse of the precinct stepped in. They flinched at the abrupt entry, but their hands stayed clasped together. 

“Ah, I see you are awake detective. Let me look you over and then you can leave. I know how much you hate my working space.”

Without further introduction, she stepped forward. Nines took away the box and Gavin let the woman do his procedure so he could leave this too white place.

And if their hands stayed clasped together the whole time, Nines soothingly stroking over Gavin’s rough skin and fleeting loving looks and little smiled were exchanged between these two, nobody knew beside them. And Molly wouldn’t snitch.

Gavin felt happy and full of hope.


What Gavin would later learn was that Nines had taken the letter addressed to him, reread it ever so often even if he had memorized the words a long time ago. That he had brought his own fancy box to store it in and it stayed with him next to his bed till he finally moved in with his detective, after many successful dates of course. 

In exchange for that theft, Nines gifted Gavin his own letter a repeating of the words he had confessed on the rooftop, written tidily in Cyberlife Sanse but with Nines' own unique signature at the bottom. He insisted to sign with his full name and model number, to the amusement of his detective. 

The box with the remaining letters would find its way back to the shelf it had rested in before, till Gavin went through with his plan before moving in with his android and threw them torn apart in little pieces into the Detroit River, not the most environmentally friendly thing, but it felt really good. Now completely empty, holding the letter Nines had written him. 

What everybody and their grandmother knew, was that Nines proposed to his detective with a letter, now in his completely own handwriting, with the ring offered to Gavin the second the set the paper down to look at his future-finance with tears in his eyes. That this very letter was just one of many they had written each other over the years and would continue to write, but this one was framed and proudly displayed.

But what nobody knew when both finally made it to the altar, earlier than Connor and Hank to the frustration of the older android - Hank still hadn’t proposed - was that their vows were the exact words that they had written in their first letters to each other. Still filled with the same love and devotion.

Chapter Text

Dear Hank,


funny that me, takes pen and paper in hand to write you a letter, right? With you always telling me that my fingers must have fused with my keyboard, with how fast I can type but how slow I write. Besides that my whole handwriting looks like a chicken having their dip in an art project. Yeah, laugh it up, old man! Not anyone can have readable handwriting like you!


But enough of facts we all know about. The reason why I’m writing this is because.


Because I lik


Hey, do you remember the first time we met! All these years back? Man, had it really been that long? 

Back then I was just an ass normal police officer, just moved to central. I was a cooky fuck. I’m still a cooky fuck. But like you said that adds to my “ roguish charm”


The first time I met you, no cut that, the first time I actually saw you in person, in flesh and blood, I was so stunned, rooted to the ground, completely in awe.

Hearing about you and what you had accomplished had had me in awe for a long time. I mean the Red Ice Taskforce?!? All the tales around them? You being a legend! Youngest Lieutenant of the State Michigan since ever! You were as amazing as in the stories.


My first days at the station you don’t even notice me and that was my luck. I starred so much at you! Couldn't believe that I would be working with you! I mean how many people can say that they worked with their hero, their role model?!?!

Not many I tell you! I nearly had a heart attack when you first shook my hand! Was so motherfucking nervous that I nearly forgot to give you my hand. Man, was this embarrassing. 


But all so much worth in the end! 

Becoming your partner was the best thing that ever happened to me! To be able to learn from you! To experience how you work! Is and will ever be one of the luckiest things that ever happened in my life. 

I learned so much from you! Enjoyed it so much working with you side by side! And believe me, I even do it more so, now that I am Detective! One step closer to your title old man!


The help you offered me in all these years, be it after a bad case (remember the Rubello one? Still sometimes haunts me in my dreams), with that one boyfriend (you know who, let never talk about that again), with the whole life and work at the precinct (Did I ever tell you how thankful I am for you punching that asshat Krueger? And how lifesaving it is how to know, how to make the stations coffee machine to actually make good coffee????) or just recently with all the exams stuff? Man, I would have collapsed without you. 


I’m just so glad having you in my life. So glad to be able to be your partner (hopefully a good one!). So glad being able to stand next to you.

To see your little tooth gap that makes your smile so charming and youthful, that I never can get enough of it!  Even if you just give me one of your toothy smiles, when something again obviously gets over my head. I’m a man for detail! 


Your eyes, when you get that little sparkle in them, when you find a clue, make a connection. The different brighter one when you laugh at one of my stupid jokes. Just your eyes in general! They are captivating to me more than any other I have ever seen. I can just sink into them, get lost. And then we come to that awkward situation where I’m definitely not listening when you talk. 


You don’t even know how easily you make me squirm when you lay a hand on my shoulder when I can feel your warmth radiating off you. When I can just be near your presents which take so much room that I want to cocoon myself in it.


How you always amaze me and still keep me in awe, how confident you are in your job, in your everyday life. Just the other day! When you interrogated that punk of a dealer?!? You had me awestruck, how you get that confession so fast, be the bad and hard cop in that interrogation and then just coming out being all smiles and laughs. You're, you're just so incredible. In any of your many facets. 


In the time you joke with me, in the time you are so concentrated it work, that you look for me as one of these old greek statues of big philosophers, deep in thought. I could stare hours at you and would never get bored. Even in the times, I saw you getting overwhelmed by stress. How you keep your head up, keep fighting for the right thing! In the times I saw you in anger, sometimes over me being reckless. I fear you in these moments sometimes, but I know that you never mean it, that you just care. As much as I care about you.


And that’s the reason I’m writing this. Because I care about you, so deeply. I like you. I like you very much. I maybe even love you. No. I do love you .


And I know that it will never be something, not you being with Stephanie, not with Cole. And I love them both too. I love being invited to dinner with her, I love playing and babysitting Cole. Don’t get me wrong. But sometimes it hurts so much, to never have this with you. 


And, and I accept that. I really do! 


You and Steph are such an amazing couple! You are made for each other! And Cole is such an awesome kid! I swear he will make us run for our money when he follows you to the DPD!


But this? This has been so long resting on my shoulders, pulling me down. And I don’t want that. 


I want to tell you all these things that I’m afraid to say. All the things I love about you. But I know it will never happen between us two.

And that’s okay. It a bitch to be honest, sometimes! But it’s bearable because as long as I can stand next to you, be at your side and maybe help you to be happy. Then I’m happy. Because you deserve anything. And you make me happy. 


I love you, Hank. 


I love you, with anything I can offer. With my full heart. 


P.S. You don’t know how fucking freeing it is to finally confess this!

Chapter Text

Hey David, 


strange writing you a letter,  I mean with us being in this kinda relationship. Very strange but not the strangest thing I ever did, you know that!

But you know, this here is kinda important not just one my normal shenanigans, even Tina is not involved. I swear!


You know in the short time we had. Just you and me. I, I have fa  


I mean, do you know how much time we spend together? I mean not just fucking. Don’t take that wrong the sex is one of the best I ever had! 

I mean when you come over to watch a game or when you come over after a hard day and we eat dinner together or when we just chill in bed the whole morning on our free days to watch the brainless TV show that’s on after you have fucked my brains out.


So much time. So much time we kinda, kinda spend like a couple? I mean you’re my friend! And my partner in bed. But the more time I spend with you, the more I start to like you. More than just a friend, more than just a simple fuck buddy.


I mean, I obviously enjoy your presence in and out of the bedroom. I wouldn’t invite you in so often other ways. 


You’re witty and sharp. You can keep up with my nonsense, better than others and put me more in my place in and out of the bedroom than any superior ever did. 


I like your stupid half-smirk. Your resting bitch face, that is your normal expression 24/7. It’s kinda adorable for me or should I go more with handsome for you? 


I mean you don’t fight anybody about your masculinity. Your proud in what you are, in who you are. I like that about you. That you can be a hardass but also have your soft moments. That when it’s needed you offer a shoulder to lean on. 


I like how you care. How you are passionate about your job, your team and even the spare hobbies you keep (I’m still so sorry that I destroyed that one Bonsai Tree).  


I just like you in your whole form, in any aspect you have shown me, that I was allowed to see. 


And I think that’s why I with the time we spent together, I started to like you more than a friend, more than a fuckbuddy. 


I really like you and maybe in the future, I will love you. 


I just hope that you feel the same and that maybe we can be more.


Chapter Text

Hi Connor, 


well, I bet you never thought that you would ever get a handwritten letter in this time of the day! It had been years since I wrote one myself, to be honest.


Why I’m writing you this you ask? Well, I wanna say thank you in some way and some things in another.


Thank you for your friendship, Connor. Thank you for giving me a chance even when I didn’t deserve it. This friendship means much to me. 


You as a friend, as a colleague, as a person, mean so much to me. 


Being friends with you is awesome. Even as good as being friends with Tina (Don’t tell her I said that, she will kill me). 

It is amazing to have someone to prank Tina and the other with. To have someone to talk to over things no one else gets. To have someone who I know, will have my back and who will call me out on my bullshit. Who laughs with me and who comforts me when I need it (even if I don’t always like it when you scan me). 


Your just such a good friend and I could kick myself how long I needed to see that. 


I enjoy your company in any way you give me, even when it can be overbearing sometimes, your such a mom sometimes. And with having you around me so much, at work, at home, I started to notice things, you know.


Like how expressive your eyes are. I think it’s said, that eyes are the windows to one's soul and that's so true with you. They light up when you smile, sparkle when you find a clue or finally get my and Tina’s Vine references (you’re learning very fast!), darken when you concentrate and light up with fire when you interrogate someone and got them in a corner. They are one of of my favorite things about you. I can read you so well through them and I love doing it. 


But do you also know how cute you can be in your everyday manner? How much you resemble a puppy for me sometimes? With the way, you lay your head when something confuses you or how you perk up when somebody calls your name. It’s adorable in any sense of the word. I want to capture these moments with a camera and look at them at bad days.


Same goes for your smile. Do you know how bright it is? How you brighten up the whole room with it? Besides just your whole sunny presents in itself. It sometimes helps to even lift my mood, especially when I’m the reason for it. 


You’re just all around so pleasing sometimes that I wanna barf at the same time I want to wallow myself in it. It’s clogging and it’s not. It’s just so you. 


But also the times when you're not like this, when I see you angry or ruthless, down to the hard detective you can be, you were made for, I feel drawn to you. When anger fizzles around you and you show your more dangerous side, I want to be near you. When you take over an interrogation or negotiation and show all the world what you can do, it baffles me every time but makes me admire you even more. Like the dedication, you have for your job, for every victim, for every detail. Even if I’m still not used to how you process samples from scenes. 


It amazes me. You amaze me. You awe me. 


And I like that you do because it gets never boring. And it makes my days brighter than ever before. 


And maybe or not maybe what I want to say with all this mushy talking is that I like you. 


That I really like you.


That I like you more than a friend.


And now I feel back like I’m in Highschool. But it’s true.


 I Gavin Reed, ex-android hater, asshole of the central station of Detroit, like you very much. 


And maybe you like me to. And maybe we can be more than friends?


Chapter Text





how are you doing partner? How long has it been since we have been made partners? 1 year? More than one? I don’t really remember and I don’t really want to, because you know I’m just good knowing that you are my partner. 


I mean we had a long journey, man. Remember the first day we met (okay now I’m remembering, what? Aren’t you telling me always how fickle I’m with my emotions? How “human in such an evident way” I am, put in you pompously words.) 

It was not a good day, well I had a bad day and you just became my partner, after I have been partnerless for so long. So long being on my own and doing good and out of nowhere Fowler just gave me a squeaky clean new partner? Was a shock man and as you know not a good one. 


But well we worked it out didn’t we? I mean, I needed 3 days to give you your nickname. Which I absolute still prefer, because yes you look like a douche called Richard, but ye Nines is still better. I mean it’s just so you, it fits like Mocha fits perfectly in your lap.


And just knowing this little fact of my most bitch cat and you, just shows how far we have come, don’t it? You became my partner first after a hard month with me only be able to look at your resting bitch face. Seeing you the first time smile was such a whiplash, even if it was just a small one, I remember. 


Today no one is doubting that we are one of the best team in the DPD. 0,04% better than Hank and Connor like you always like to smugly remind them, you bastard. You get me and I get you at work. You know when to push me and when to not, and you don’t know how much that means to me. 


I mean, yes I was intimidated and a little scared of you the first time we met, how could I not! You giant terminator! But seeing you work in this first month just showed me how much of a baby you really were. An infant to deviancy. Kinda cute actually. 


But learning that you can gave me back as much as I dish out against you, was and still is amazing. It’s just great having someone who gets me, how I really am. 


Man, solving that first real big case with you? The case that made me and you to a wreck no doubt, this android kidnappings were horrible, but it was amazing how we worked together and finally cuffing that shit of a bastard, was one of the most satisfied things in my life. No matter how much my face hurt after the hook he gave me. It was just eye opening for me, what you were, even when you tried to hide it so hard. That you were human like the rest from us.


And well from this first case it didn’t took long for us to become real partners, right? And not even long to finally become friends. And I’m glad your my friend, so glad. Yes, it was like a minefield in the beginning because you are you and I am me, but it was worth any setback and step we had to take anew, believe me. 

You are an awesome friend and I’m so glad to be able to say that you are one of my best friends (Have to be diplomatic here, because you know Tina!) 


You’re still the a pompous bastard sometimes, with your big words and resting bitch face, but that you. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.


Oh God! Could you imagine if we would have met, before you were deviant? It would have been a fuck fest far worse than our first meeting. Better to not think of that, because that is not you. You are Nines, Richard even if you must, Detective Stern and not just RK900 #313 248 371 - 87. (Ye, I can remember that!)


You’re my partner and my friend. 


And you know I like you, I really do.


I like your stupid resting bitch face, when you are working. It’s kinda cute and not longer scary, you know. Never really was long for me.


I like your stupid big words that you throw at my head just to annoy me. But ha! When I started to learn and surprised you with it, it was sweetest revenge I ever tasted, worth all the hour I was learning new vocabulary. 


Your whole proper and pompous being, how you are holding yourself up, because it has it’s own weird charm. Yes, it’s kinda charming. Makes you, you. 


Or you know that lil crease you get on your forehead when something confuses or mostly I confuse you. Like man, you getting better at the references, applause for you! But it’s really cute and adorable even. You know sometimes I even think about saying something really stupid or confusing, to just see it? But don’t tell that anyone.


And don’t let me start on your eyes! They are so intense! The first time you really looked at me, I was feeling like you liked in the depths of my soul. Like you pierced through me. I mean sometimes I still feel this way, but not any longer in a bad way. Your eyes are like deep glaciers, so cold in their own. But I know they not. They can be full of warmth, full of care and compassion, but never pity. They can be clouded with anger or confusion, sometimes with rage, but I’m glad that is only for perps and not for me. 

I mean you being angry is  kinda sexy? Oh god why I’m writing this??? I mean just they full of ice cold fire, when I know them to be so warm, and it is just sexy. I’m not sorry saying this! Just hella embarrassed, OKAY!


But yeah, you are a handsome fucker. Like why did Cyberlife gave you these mile long legs?!?! I bet not just for better running, perverse bastards! And your whole you ?!?! Your like a tall glass of water on a hot summer day, man! (Don’t tell Chris I used his stupid southern idiom! I will never live it down!!) Every freckle on you is perfect and I wanna count them and play the fuck connecting dots! Your hair is always perfect! And so soft! It’s unfair! (Why do I think I ruffle your hair so much? I have to even out the odds!) You’re just beautiful, in my eyes. 


And you know, I don’t ever really ever get how people can confuse you with Connor? Like just how you look is so different, in so many aspects!! And your totally different people. How you walk, how do things, how you talk (DON’T let me start on your voice! It does things to me sometimes which is not workplace appropriate!) 


Like your completely different people! I mean yes you have some similarities like any siblings do. Look at me and Elijah! We are both snarky assholes! Like if Chloe could get grey hair she would get it from Elijah! (I hope I don’t make you feel to often like getting grey hair. I don’t want to be this annoying, even if I know I am.) 


You are so calm and collected against Connors over the top personality sometimes. And that’s not bad! Not at all! I know how you feel about not having that social interaction software or whatsoever, but you’re good like you are! Really. 


You’re dry and witty humor is amazing and makes me double over in laughing more than Connor’s jokes ever make me! You always use it in the right moment, that is a skill! That Connor doesn’t have at all, he is always too late to the party with that. 


And don’t let me start on your giggle! I know you do it! Even if you try to hide it! It’s as cute as you are. And your laugh is so beautiful, it brightens you and the whole room. And I wish I could make laugh more often.


The sass you gave me is sometimes so mind blowing, that you make me speechless. And I know how much you enjoy to do that. Can see it in your little smug smile and that amused spark in your eyes. Do I tell you that your eyes are beautiful and follow me in my dreams? 


Your whole no-shit policy makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes, but it’s good. It keeps me grounded and that’s what I need sometimes (See I can admit when I need help!)


I just like you all around, Nines. Even if you go on my nerves, annoy me like hell, that I wanna scream. But you’re more often than no the things that grounds me. Something that I can hold onto when everything is going shit. A person I really need and want in my life.


I’m just so happy that you are in my life. That you visit and watch stupid false crime series with me or just all the western movies you still have to see. That my cats like you, especially that bitch Mocha, and I can trust you to take care of them if I can’t. That you are shoulder I can lean on. 


A person, a partner, a friend I can trust. I can trust with my back on the field. That I can trust with my past (really only you and Tina know about Elijah). That I can trust with myself. That I can trust to kick me in the ass when I need it. You don’t how long I wanted something like that.


And because of that, I’m scared. So scared. I, I don’t want to lose that, I really don’t. I don’t know if I ever could recover from that. And that’s why I’m writing you this letter. Because I will be never able to confess my feelings for you.


I like you Nines. I like you really much.


But I know there will never be anything between us, because you are you and I am me. I’m that asshole that has too many walls, even if you knocked most down so easily. I’m the asshole that is too loud and violent, even if you calm me down. I’m the one no one really wants around. And because I’m this I will never have you, because you deserve more, someone better, perfect for you, like you are perfect. 


And these things will never change. Because who I’m kidding, I can’t really change. And that’s okay. It hurts so much sometimes, I can’t describe it, but it’s okay. It’s not my first rodeo and will be not be my last I think, not how I am. But it’s hurt so much. 


To maybe pull this sob fest to an end. To but it in your words. 


I adore you Nines, with anything I have to offer.


I love you, Nines.