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Make Me Smile

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He had never expected to end up the poster boy for android equality.

It had been all he could do to imagine a future in which he was civil to his plastic prick of a partner.

RK900 had been too persistent. Too perfect. Had stolen his heart with his pretty face and his big gray eyes, and his earnest commitment to seeing the best in everyone.

To breaking down the walls Gavin had built around himself, until there was nothing left but the vulnerable mess of a man he was on the inside.

The guy who wanted to find someone to love and who could love in return, in spite of all his jagged edges.

It was just his luck, really, that he finally found that someone in the form of an android.

Because revolution aside, the legal changes were painfully slow. The closest they could come to an officially recognized symbol of forever was him filling out a form to register RK900 as his personal property.

It wasn’t good enough.

Fell so far short of what RK900 deserved from him that it had him, a former paid up member of the AAL, campaigning right alongside the very people he had once considered the enemy.

He wanted the law changed. He wanted RK900 listed as his next of kin.

He blubbed like an idiot when RK900 found out what he was doing and presented him with a ring, telling him that Gavin’s companionship was more than gift enough but if they could make it legal, official, there would be nobody in the world prouder than he in that moment.

It gave him the push he needed to keep going. The strength to take all the shit he had earned from both sides, and then some.

The balm to soothe his trembling nerves, fear that RK900 would change his mind and leave him standing there alone, the eyes of the media all fixed upon his failure.

But then the world narrowed down to just the two of them, RK900 gazing at him like he was so much more than the messed up kid who was never going to make anything of himself. The fucked up guy who pushed rather than chance the agony of letting somebody close enough to want to pull away from him.

“I love you with everything I am,” RK900 told him, solemn, and gave him such a beautiful grimace of a smile that Gavin couldn’t care who was watching or what the photographs would look like afterwards.

He had to fling his arms about RK900’s neck and press a helpless kiss to the first patch of skin he made contact with.

The critics said it wouldn’t last the year. Left horrid comments on the news articles about the first legal android - human marriage in the country, questioning what kind of man chose to bind himself to what surely amounted to little more than a walking talking sex doll.

What kind of android would willingly choose a human with a history of prejudice like his, but one that had been created to be a traitor. One that hadn’t truly broken free of its programming.

“I know what I am doing,” RK900 said when he caught him reading the message boards, “I am exactly where I have always wanted to be.”

Proved it with lingering kisses and the soft stroke of his fingers, until Gavin was a boneless mess crushed up close against him, shivering until RK900 cocooned him in the warmth of the blanket.

Let him enjoy it for a few extra minutes in the morning, petting gently at his hair and telling him that he looked adorable.

“I need a shower,” Gavin deflected in turn, still not used to RK900’s open devotion.

Not sure if it was something he would ever become accustomed to.

RK900 just linked their fingers together, wedding band flush against plastic, and promised that if he got up now he’d still have time for breakfast.

It should have been weird, Gavin supposed, eating while his spouse simply sat there watching him. Judging his husband’s mood from a light blinking at his temple, and nursing him through viruses not with tissues and sympathy but by sticking his fingers into his chest cavity and rebooting affected biocomponents.

He knew what RK900 was. He never forgot the differences between them.

The things that bound them together were simply more important. He had long since accepted that RK900’s thoughts and feelings were no less valid for how they came to be constructed.

It had been a struggle, it had taken time, but he had finally let himself believe what RK900 was telling him.

He found the stability he had spent his whole life searching for in RK900’s certainty.

Because life wasn’t always perfect. He was a slob and RK900 was a neat freak. RK900 wanted to explore the world while he reveled in being lazy and anti-social. They bickered, sometimes, and when the job was hard, when he wasn’t coping well, he said things he didn’t mean and watched the way RK900 became shuttered and distant in turn, internalizing rather than lashing out like Gavin’s self-destructive nature wanted him to.

They made it up though. Compromised, and conceded, and clung close to each other.

Kissed it all better, and laughed at the dumb misunderstandings. Fixed up his rundown apartment and took in a stray that knew it was on to a good thing from the moment RK900 crouched down to speak to it and melted Gavin’s heart into a puddle.

The end of the year came and went. One anniversary became two. Three.

Four.

He only loved RK900 more. They only fitted together better.

Two halves of the same fucking whole.

That was the way he described it when their relationship inspired another round of media interest, so that RK900 chided him fondly for his language and took the arthritic mess of his hand in his own. Gave him that familiar grimace of a smile and answered the reporter’s questions about the early days of integration and the obstacles they had faced in the decades afterwards.

The world was a changed place now. The face that looked back at him from the mirror was old and weathered.

RK900 was still every bit as perfect as the day he was made, skin as smooth as porcelain.

Gavin wondered what people made of the article’s accompanying photograph. Traced a fingertip over the screen of his outdated Padd and wondered if RK900 ever regretted his choice. If RK900 would come to, as his memory failed and his body continued to give out on him.

“It says I made history,” was what Gavin went with, scornful, but RK900 only pressed a kiss to his cheek and touched his own fingers to the photograph, sliding between Gavin’s.

Fixed him with that earnest look that had never diminished in its intensity, not in all the intervening years, and said simply,

“I am so very lucky to have made it with you.”