The first time Dorian noticed a shift in their relationship was that lazy Sunday spent in John’s company. It had been his partner’s decision to show him the areas of town that had meant something to him growing up... For Dorian, it had been a long day, because he usually spent his day off checking his circuits, codes, and re-charging, which wasn’t too time consuming or exerting.
Still, walking through the park with John, hearing him reminisce over peewee games, and stopping for food at his favorite street vendors had been a revelation. The proclaimed hatred for rules, humanity, and all the little things that made life worth living, had disappeared from John’s tone. He didn’t become more touchy-feely or loving, just less guarded.
That day, they ended up going to a game, and Dorian was happy to be slowly included into the inner sanctum of the few people John seemed content to share his space with.
The following weekend they ended up spending time together again, but it was spent slightly differently. They stayed at John’s place. For all of John’s complaining about his synthetic leg, Dorian had a chance to see him care about the mechanics of it. John tested how fast and how well it responded to his need, and then showed the same care for his firearms; dedicated to having the best tools at his disposal in case they were needed.
It reminded him of John’s ability to help and troubleshoot issues when Dorian was hurt in the line of duty. Detective Kennex might appear to be a lone wolf with a blatant disregard for the rules and laws that didn’t get him the results he needed to satisfy his internal value system, but he certainly was practical and talented at finding on the spot solutions. Dorian admired that in him. John never minded getting dirty and taking risks in the pursuit of his task, while he, the sentient android, always had to ponder the statistics and probabilities before ever deciding on a course of action.
Overall though, they made a good team; both championing the victim’s rights to a better and safer life, even though Dorian might be more of the idealist than his human partner.
Dorian stopped reminiscing about the past month now that they were back at John's appartment, and focused on the present...
*** *** ***
It was early afternoon and after making small talk with John, who was preparing his food, Dorian gave him some space to let him eat in peace. He sat quietly on the sofa, running a low-level analysis of his systems in the background.
Dorian smiled when John sat next to him on the couch once he was done eating. They spent a few minutes bickering to determine the best program to watch. Dorian was a curious bot and wanted to explore anything and everything that would help him experience human interaction and drives. John had much less patience with what he perceived to be human lacks and failures. Eventually they settled for a documentary on Space discoveries. That got them talking about all the questions they had, the extrapolations they could make, and ultimately what it really means to be human.
These moments spent away from work, and away from the pressure to perform, were becoming his favorites. Dorian didn’t even know he could have preferences!
The next day, he found the detective busy doing reps and seeing his muscles expand and contract with each preacher curl; it reminded him of those classical statues his memory somehow got imprinted with. The ultimate Greek ideal was not an abstract anymore; it was Kennex’s form rolling with the movements.
“I challenge you to twenty more before you call it quits!” Dorian said as he dropped his vest on the back of the chair in the kitchen.
John stopped mid curl and laughed at his friend. “Are you trying to goad me into a losing battle? I’d accept your challenge if I wasn’t worried you’d get hurt!”
“Worried?” Dorian didn’t know what to make of that statement. His model was a marvel of engineering and quite able to clearly interact with humans, but he was still learning to understand the complex layers that he kept unraveling from his partner.
“Why would you be worried, John? I’m sure I can do some reps without it being too straining.” He was too confused, and couldn’t say how he even got to Kennex' side.
The detective continued his exercise, one exhale at a time, one muscle contraction at a time. The single-minded focus made him discount the note of concern in Dorian’s voice.
“Man, I just mean that part of the reason the MX-43’s were unique was that they were sentient, they experienced emotions.” He took a breath and completed the last of his reps.
Hooking his arm around the shoulders of the partner he considered to be so much more now, John lead them back towards the kitchen, and pulled out a bar-stool before sitting on it and turning towards Dorian.
“It means even if you can’t feel hurt physically, you could be mentally harmed Tin Man.” He stopped to gulp some water from the bottle on the counter top. “I don’t want you to feel crushed when I win and go cry to Captain Maldonado!” He shoved the android towards the seat next to him laughing.
Dorian looked at the man, the perfect picture of wounded pride. “If you were ever to best me, I wouldn’t be discouraged. I’d be eager to fix my shortcomings though.” Though the smile he let spread on his features belied the expressed desire to best his partner...
*** *** ***
Oddly enough, as John looked Dorian directly in the eyes, he couldn’t help but notice how attractive he found his partner.
It’s not like John couldn’t see the beauty around him, he just thought he had forgotten why it mattered. No one could give him back those rose colored glasses and make him care about companionship anymore. Still, there was something different to his relationship with Dorian, he wanted to spend time with the DNR.
Sure these life and death situations were helping to drop the barriers he so happily erected to protect himself from this cruel, untenable world. Kennex wanted to make fun of Dorian, seeing in him a Don Quixote of sorts. As they grew close and worked together John was loath to realize that rather than focusing on the pipe dreams Dorian had been fed about right or wrong, the android was intuitive and attuned to him, John Kennex.
In a way Dorian understood him better than anyone else, because Dorian knew how to read him and adapt to him. John didn’t have to portray someone he wasn’t, he didn’t have to fake interest, or find something in common with others to relate. Dorian was already the most important person in John’s life for the simple fact that he was the best there was in dealing with what mattered to him most… policing.
The lives they lead were the ultimate common thread. The discussions they had were just the right side of annoying. Some would say they even bickered like old couples, and in all honesty if that was what companionship was about, John wouldn’t look the gift in the horse mouth.
And now, John was almost ready to admit that the physical aspects of companionship were also something he not only wanted, but needed.
He remembered how much better he felt once he started sleeping fully through the night. He’d reluctantly let Dorian give him massages to help him decompress, and soon after, he’d decided it was okay to take care of his own self and please himself again.
Yes, the first time he pleasured himself it had hurt, he couldn’t even remember how he’d managed to come because his head wasn’t in it. He hated himself for being alive, he hated the fact his body still had urges, and he particularly hated having to take matters into his hands.
Months had passed and with each instance it had taken less and less time in between sessions. He was now reacquainted with his body. He knew what worked for him, how to cum fast, and how to drag it out for the slow burn. But he was never able to truly let go the way he had before; toes curling, mind blown, breath lost, boneless and satiated.
Still, he admitted that working with Dorian had improved his outlook on life. The world was still a shitty place to be most of the time. The time spent with the drudge of society, with the violence, and with the drugs, had become just a sideline. That wasn’t who he was anymore. Now he had a job to do and a home to get back to. He had friends, and a partner. He had things to do, and people to be with!
*** *** ***
Sometimes, Dorian slept at John’s loft on the weekend when Rudy’s lab didn’t feel welcoming enough after the activities they’d shared away from the office. That meant that John often fell asleep before Dorian plugged in, and woke up too late to see him with his eyes closed.
Dorian though got to see John at his most unguarded moments. Brushing his teeth, slowly waking up and feeling for his synthetic legs, and napping on his sofa while watching sports on television. It was endearing to see how much of John was revealed in these inconsequential moments.
What is truly striking though, is the increased physical closeness they experience, expressed in a hundred little ways. Dorian finds John leaning over him to grab the remote, and touching him to show him something of import. He notices John turning towards him to attentively listen to some of his comments before brushing them off just for fun, and ultimately minding them, just because.
It’s enough of a change that Dorian is not afraid anymore to be up close and personal. He understood that John wasn’t ready to accept a heavy conversation about feelings, but Dorian started doing little things too. He let his leg brush his friends when they seat on the sofa. He leave his arm spread over the back of said sofa, even when John extend his neck trying to find a good position to remove the strain of his shoulders. He combs his friend's hair when he brings him coffee in the morning, trying to wake him up unhurriedly...
*** *** ***
As the Holidays were approaching, the romance in the air was getting thicker for most, and Dorian was full of new questions one could anticipate from a DNR. Kennex managed to answer what he could without being too much of an ass, and for John it meant realizing he still had a sex drive and remembered what lust felt like.
Recollecting the easy way in which Dorian whipped out his impressive dick in the patrol car, John found himself longing for an opportunity to see how life-like it really was. Call it misplaced curiosity, or a healthy libido, but he needed to feel the texture and heft of Dorian. He wanted things he’d never even thought of before. He wanted to taste it. He wanted to know how Dorian would look when he got close to coming; if he would close his eyes or his fists, if he would whine and shout, or if he would call his name...
These loose thoughts were enough of a distraction, but having Dorian punching him in the shoulder to get him out of his reveries, or messing his perfectly fine coifed head to wake him up, added to his new fascination with his partner’s long and clever fingers too.
In short he was becoming obsessed; and not in a good way. His work was bound to suffer and he certainly needed to find a way to cope. He needed to stop snapping at Dorian every time he wanted to take a different path, assess the situation in a singular light, or drive him crazy with questions. But that was near impossible, because he didn’t know if things would be okay, if things would ever be right, if he even had the moral permission to get close to his partner.
Another day off came and went, with the two of them deciding to spend it at target practice with Dorian spending the night again. And John was incredibly thankful, because that morning, as Dorian gave him his coffee while he was drying his hair it came with a kiss. Neither shy nor forceful, just the type of kiss expected from someone that knows he is welcome and entitled. Someone that is not going anywhere but willing and determined to stay by his side.
John must have done something right!