— February 25th, 2040. 08:38:04
Markus blinks his eyes open. He is greeted with the sight of a pale and beautiful face, Connor.
Connor is already awake, looking at his lover fondly with the warming brown eyes of his. “Good morning, Markus.” he says.
A smile settles on the darker-skinned android. What a nice thing to wake up to.
“Good morning, love.”
Connor smiles back as he lifts himself off of the bed. He plants a kiss on Markus’ temple before heading to the closet, grabbing his usual suit. Not CyberLife issued anymore, though.
The suit is completely black, with the occasional grey streak. It envelopes Connor’s stature and compliments his overall appearance perfectly, in the revolutionary’s opinion.
Markus quietly whines the moment Connor gets away from the bed. The other, hearing him, chuckles.
“You know I have to work, you’re the only one with the day off.”
The RK200 sighs and gets up as well. His face isn’t showing a full smile, but his features are relaxed and content.
“And that gives me an opportunity to walk you to the station.”
Connor frowns whilst adjusting his tie.
“It’s quite a long walk from here, are you sure?”
Markus nods. “Of course, let me grab some clothes, I’ll join you at the entrance.”
“Got it!” comes out of the RK800’s mouth before he walks down the stairs.
Markus smiles. Cute. He grabs a jacket and puts on some pants, keeping his soft yellow pajama top, not really caring.
He proceeds to walk down the stairs too before heading to the entrance of the mansion, greeting Simon and Josh on the way. North is still asleep on the couch.
Markus kindly allowed his friends to stay while they get rights to own a property, while Connor had Hank. But his lover happily stayed with him this night.
He spots Connor at the entrance, looking as handsome as ever. His black suit and dark hair absorbs all light the sun gives it, but his skin and eyes are working harmoniously well with the shining beacon of light.
The coin Connor is fiddling with is sending the occasional blinding flash, as usual.
“Ready to go?” Markus suddenly says.
Connor turns to him and tucks the quarter back in his pocket.
“Yes. Are you sure you want to walk with me to the station?”
The other smiles again. “Of course, I want to spend the most time I can with you.”
The RK800 snorts. “Cheesy, as Hank would say. Let’s go.”
Markus grabs Connor’s hand and they say goodbye to Simon, Josh and North, who just woke up, hair disheveled.
The moment they are off the porch, the other leaders start whispering among them, but it flies completely over Markus’ ears.
“Is anyone going to tell him anytime soon?”
“Not today. He seems relaxed for once.”
“You said that yesterday, Josh!”
“I can’t say telling him will do good as it’ll create a big shock, but keeping it a secret and letting him live like this isn’t good either.”
Detroit City Police Departement station
“Welp, we’re here. See you tonight?” Markus mutters as they stop in front of the pretinct.
“Yes, see you tonight, Markus.” Connor replies.
Markus smiles and ruffles his hair, much to the other’s protests, and plants a quick peck on Connor’s lips. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” Connor says with a smile.
The RK200’s smiles widens and he turns around to head back to his property, but is stopped when Connor calls out to him. He faces back to him.
“Yes? Is something wrong, love?”
“You have to let me go, Markus.
If Markus still had his LED, it would flare red. His mismatched eyes blink rapidly in panic and confusion, but Connor is already entering the pretinct when he wants to express those feelings.
Hearing the door click close and the entrance robot announcing the revolutionary's arrival, Simon looks up from his book.
“Welcome back, Markus.”
North glances away from the TV and notices Markus’ distressed look. “Somethin’ wrong?”
She scoots to the side to let Markus crash on it.
“Connor said I had to let him go. I don’t understand, what did he mean? Does he want to break up with me?”
North narrows her eyes in mild questionning, but realization hit her like a speeding train. She immediately sends a message to Simon and Josh through their internal communication line.
“We have to tell him now, Connor or whatever literally told him to let him go now Markus thinks he’s breaking up with him!”
Simon forces himself not to fumble with his book in surprise. Josh fast-walks down the stairs, trying to look like he’s just casually walking down to the living room.
“Josh, I don’t care what you say but we’re telling him.”
Simon adds, eyeing the dark-skinned android.
“I wasn’t going to refuse it. Now is, unfortunately, the perfect time.”
“Glad you agree or else I would’ve slaughtered you despite the laws of this land.”
“Get off the internet, North.”
Ending the communication, Simon and Josh slowly sit down next to Markus, who looks at them with the same confusion North wore earlier.
“Guys? Is something wrong?”
Simon opens and closes his mouth like a fish.
“Yes. We... have to tell you something.”
Said android adjusts himself into his place of the couch and nods, signaling his friends to continue.
North is the first to speak up before either of the other two could even inhale an android breath. Blunt and direct.
“Connor is dead, Markus.”
Carl Manfred’s mansion
“Connor is dead, Markus.”
The moment those words came out of North’s mouth, Markus’ view of the world seems to slow down.
He doesn’t know what’s going on, but he feels himself hitting the floor and faintly hears the worried shouts of his friends.
Connor is dead?
No, that can’t be, he was with me earlier!
I walked him to the station, he woke up next to me, even told me he loved me!
He can’t be dead!
Is this just a really bad joke?
“Y...You’re all joking me, aren’t you?’”
Markus yells out, face full of despair and shock, eyes on the verge of tears in the overwhelming situation. “If you are, then this is cruel!“
Simon franctically shakes his head and crouches down to the shaken android on the floor, putting his hands on the other’s shoulder.
“We would never do that. We’re telling you the truth, Markus.”
It takes all of his inner emotional strength not to let himself stutter and voice waver.
“But this morning...!”
“This morning was just a hologram version of Connor you made yourself months ago, no one knows how you did it. It happened a week after he died.” Josh blurts out, interrupting Markus.
Feeling all the attention on him, Josh glances down to the beautiful, wooden floor, sun still brightly bouncing off of it, as if oblivious to the pain they were all in at the moment.
This really doesn’t set the mood.
He decides to keep going.
“Connor died January 1st, after a group of anti-androids raided our location where we were celebrating New Years. He blocked a series of bullets from an android family. The humans had machine guns, we couldn’t fight against that, so we had to evacuate. Many of our kind died that day. Please remember, Markus.”
Mismatched eyes widen. He smiles bitterly.
“What are you on about?”
North rolls her eyes in impatience and grief. She retracts her skin to show her true body, the white and cyan, and crouches down in front of Markus.
“Let me show you.”
Markus hesitates, but he reaches out and grabs North’s forearm.
It feels like he just fell straight into the ocean. His systems couldn’t fake the breathing anymore and it was all just too much.
Markus smiled at the sight of the happy androids in front of him, celebrating a year that might be a year full of hope for his people.
Shifting his attention to his left side, where stood Connor, somewhat smiling as well. They were holding hands, sitting on a bench.
He smirked and leaned down to peck at Connor’s lips, who‘s face exploded blue and started sputtering.
Markus laughed and pulled the RK800 closer to him.
“I love you, Connor.”
Connor calmed down and smiled. “I lo-“
Screaming and a gunshot replaced the ending of the sentence.
The brown-eyed android shot up from his seat, alarmed, followed by a frowning Markus.
“SCATTER!” was heard and androids just started running, trying to find safe hiding spots and exits.
More gunshots. An explosion from their far right.
Connor’s programming instincts kicked in and he ran into the smoke.
“Wha- Wait, Connor, no!”
Before he could join his lover in the cloud of smoke, Simon suddenly appeared next to him and grabbed him by the arm.
“We have to get you out of here, Markus!”
Markus’ eyes widen, his head turning from Simon to the cloud of smoke. “But Connor’s in there! I can’t leave him!”
The blonde sighed and tugged his arm.
“He’ll be fine! He jumped on a moving train went into the CyberLife tower alone and came out alive! I’m sure he can survive this! Most are safe right now, North and Josh are evacuating! But you, you can’t die! You die, everyone will panic even more! Plus, the humans have machine guns. We... We can’t fight back this time, Markus.”
The other bit his lip, but he had to agree. He let Simon drag him to safety. The secluded place was dark. The screams and quick gunshots were haunting.
He did not know how much time has passed. Minutes? Hours? How long until the humans were satisfied?
Markus felt terrible for leaving so many of his to die. He shouldn’t have let Simon take him in.
During what seemed even more long hours, a couple of androids and North joined them in the hiding spot.
“There’s eleven dead so far. Josh went elsewhere with the remaining androids, but he’s fine.” North said in her private line with Markus and Simon.
“What about Connor?” Markus asked.
The strawberry-haired android looked at him. “I don’t know.”
When silence took over the place, Markus deemed it safe to come out.
He slowly opened the door hiding them and stepped out.
The humans did indeed left. Though, they left behind a gruesome sight.
There were eleven bodies, just like North said. As the many others slowly came out of their hiding place, he could just see the varying levels of injuries the androids had. Thirium stained the ground.
He could recognize some familiar old residents of Jericho, Josh, some AP700s Connor freed.
Speaking of him, where was he.
“Connor? Connor!” Markus called out. No answer.
He stopped in his tracks when he saw a familiar body, laying on the floor. Eyes wide open but devoid of shock, torso full of bullet holes and to finish it off, one between the eyes.
Markus lets go of North’s arm and retracts quickly.
They did tell the truth.
Connor is dead.
All the moments he spent with Connor for the rest of January and start of February were just recaps and memories he was somehow projecting from his mind.
That’s why he felt deja vu most of the time. It didn’t stop him from enjoying it but..
Now it did.
Markus buries his face into his hand and breaks into sobs.
Simon, Josh and North don’t say anything and Markus is grateful for that. He doesn’t want any pity at the moment.
He lets his companions hug him all at once, hearing sniffling from them every now and then.
So that’s what Connor meant. His projection glitched and made the fake Connor say what he had to start doing the moment he started grieving.
Let him go.