Actions

Work Header

[ERROR] Body Not Found

Chapter Text

            Sighing, Hank entered his, now shared, home and toed his shoes off as Connor continued ahead towards the kitchen. Connor looked through the refrigerator to either warm up leftovers, or to find what could make some semblance of a meal for Hank. It was Friday night, and after a particularly brutal day at work Hank was ready for a little R & R. Hank plopped down on one of the chairs in the kitchen and stretched his aching muscles before turning on his laptop. He spared a quick glance over at Connor who decided on meatloaf from yesterday.

            As they started living together, Connor became more adamant about helping Hank around the house. At first, Hank protested Connor on the degree of nurturing he provided for Hank, as he couldn’t help but think he was imposing Connor to endure his role as a servant for humans. Connor insisted adamantly that it was what he genuinely wanted to do. Hank weakly protested to that, who was he to go against Connor’s desires? After the revolution, it only seemed right that Connor would stay with Hank. Hank assumed it would be temporary, waiting for the inevitable: Connor would leave to create a better life for himself once he grew tired of Hank. However, it became more apparent that Connor was content staying here with Hank for the foreseeable future. It warmed Hank’s heart thinking about the domesticity of it all. Just last night, Connor finished work early and therefore once Hank finally got home, he was greeted to Connor in an apron cutting onions for the meatloaf. The amount of care in Connor’s expression when he did shit like that made it clear he really meant it when he said he wanted to help Hank. Fuck. How long was he staring at Connor? He must have zoned out since Connor was now reading the back of a bag of frozen peas as water began to boil on the stove top. Quickly Hank began looking for a playlist for the evening.

            They developed a bit of a routine in the evenings, while Connor was cooking Hank would read, listen to music, or they would have discussions about work or how Connor was adjusting to, well, living. Usually the music was an educational lesson for Connor to learn not only about Hank’s taste in music, but his own. It was odd to think about how many technological changes Hank had experienced throughout his life. He never thought he would be an old man constantly wishing for the past, but he realized he was the type of person who got attached quite easily. He used to listen to his family’s records, then cassettes, CDS, and then digital music. His digital music collection was a culmination of all of that, documenting different points in his life. Thankfully, technology seemed to be more adaptable (as is the case when people are also technology) and upgrades and maintenance were no longer as cumbersome as they were before.

             Hank finally found what he was looking for, one of his favorites, heavy German Metal. He remembered blaring the band and ones like it on his stereo in high school. Besides being great music, it was also a great cover up soundtrack to prevent his parents barging into his room when he had his girlfriend over. In fact, this particular song may have been when got to first base with his girlfriend. Obviously, Hank stared unconsciously at Connor’s lips and inadvertently imagined planting a wet kiss on his mouth. A blush quickly ran over Hank’s face and of course Connor caught his eyes at that moment. Connor stared back and seemed to be waiting for Hank to say something. What was there to say? “I’ve been thinking about snogging you lately and and I’m pretty sure that’s more than platonic, but do you wanna have a go?” Instead, Hank pretended to drum along with the song and looked back at his computer screen. Connor huffed a small laugh and placed the meatloaf leftovers into the microwave. Laughing was something he was still getting use to and often it sounded strange, but it sounded more natural these days and it was a sound Hank wanted to hear more often, strange or not. Hank glanced over the edge of his laptop to see Connor was also tapping his fingers on the stove, which was now boiling pot of peas. Hank smiled but noticed his LED was occasionally flashing yellow.

            “Do you not like the music Con?” Hank raised an eyebrow, and tapped his temple where his LED would be if he had one.

            “Oh- no I do enjoy it. I’m just translating it.” Connor smiled at Hank and turned back to the stove to stir the peas.

            “Shit. Wish I could do that.” Hank continued to be surprised by Connor, even if he shouldn’t be at this point. He liked discovering what Connor was capable of, as well as envious he couldn’t be more like him in more aspects than one.

            “Do you know any foreign languages Lieutenant?”

            Hank smiled, it had been a few months but occasionally the title would slip from Connor at home “No…I mean- I took Spanish in High School but I didn’t really use it much since then.” He sure was thinking a lot about High School tonight…Connor really did make him feel younger, awkward crush and all. He thought of asking Connor the same thing but it seemed like a stupid thing to ask, Connor seemed to read his mind when he spoke again, “I’m programmed with English as my primary language but I am capable of understanding almost any language…Perhaps it’s a similar process to learning a language since I have to translate as I listen to new words. I am currently equipped with 350 languages, but if I wish to, I can download new ones I think would also be useful.” The microwave beeped and quickly Connor took out the hot plate and placed it on the table. He efficiently drained the peas and put a spoonful on the plate. Hank hummed thoughtfully at Connor’s explanation and rubbed his chin as Connor sat down and looked at Hank expectantly, his LED still whirring.

            “Thanks for the grub…I’ve been wondering, why did you decide to keep your LED?” Hank gently scooped a spoonful of meatloaf into his mouth and stared back.

             “Well, it just seems like a part of me at this point I guess... It’s also still difficult for me to express myself as clear as I would like to…Sometimes my processors know what’s happening before even I do, you know?”

            Hank nodded understandingly and continued to eat his dinner. Even though he had an understanding for his emotions, they could sometimes get overwhelming- even though he had been living with them his entire life. Having some familiarity might make things easier to adjust to.

            Hank swallowed, and although the meal was tasty- he longed for a beer. He had promised Connor to cut back on drinking, it was a lot easier said than done, but he had been making some progress. Hank even began going to an AA meeting at least once a month due to Connor’s constant badgering. Connor was gently bobbing his head and tapping his fingers as the tune changed to a more intense song and his eyes seemed to be a bit glazed over. Connor was continuing a part of his night routine: checking emails and checking for updates.


 

            There was something enjoyable about helping someone he cared about. It felt nice to cook Hank meals or do his laundry or help clean the house. It felt satisfying to maintain Hank’s health and see an improvement on his mood. It felt right to pay Hank back for allowing him to stay in his home, but most of all it felt stimulating seeing Hank’s face when he ate a good meal... or his relaxed face when he no longer had to face the pressures of life all on his own.

            Connor hummed along with the song and closed his update screen, there was one large file that he would wait to do when he was in sleep mode when Hank was asleep. After an incident one night, that involved Connor sitting in the dark, scaring Hank who got up for a glass of water, who then nearly punched Connor in the face- Connor promised to stay in stasis as long as he possible. He could enter sleep mode for a while, but by the time his battery did a self-recharge or he finished updating he would start to feel antsy. He didn’t mind stasis mode since it gave him a break from feeling anything, to be left in the dark of his mind, which was fine, but he often wondered what it would be like to dream of electric sheep.

He flicked through his email list and quickly sent a response to Markus who wanted to get together this weekend to check in with his adjustments. Connor suddenly felt an unusual buzz as a particular email came in, and without his permission the file opened- suddenly Connor couldn’t see.

Abruptly, Connor became very still and his yellow LED was spinning faster than before.

            “Hank?” Connor breathed in a frightened tone Hank had never heard before and quickly Hank paused the music.

            “What’s wrong?”

            “I can’t. I can’t see. I just got a notification for an email and-” Connor opened his mouth and strange static sounds streamed out of his mouth. To no avail, it seemed he could no longer speak and he desperately wanted to tell Hank something was very wrong.

             It suddenly felt like his insides were burning, notifications kept popping up about an internal cooling error and now it felt like his jaw was stuck. Suddenly he was hit with a surge of electricity and his stiff body was convulsing and pulsing almost like he was having a seizer. His LED was spinning much more rapidly and flashing bright red.

            “Connor?! Fuck! What do I do? Shit!” Hank ran over to Connor’s side of the table and caught Connor’s falling and flailing body as he headed for the floor.

            Connor wished he knew what was happening and wished he could talk to Hank but neither was possible at the moment so Connor had to consider his options since it seemed inevitable his body was going to shut down any moment. He could, A: remove his physical drives from his head or B: try to send his data online. Option one might be less risky, but the command prompts to release the drives were unresponsive, and doing it manually required tools and an extra hand; both of which he was incapable of asking for at the moment. So, option two it was then. He began the process of uploading his consciousness to Cyberlife’s neural networks, which thankfully were responding to his frantic commands. He grasped Hank’s hand firmly, hoping it would reassure him, as well as himself, that it was going to be okay. His body was being rapidly taken over by whatever virus had claimed his systems. He could only gasp short bursts of static and cling onto Hank’s hand. His body had stopped convulsing, but now every nerve felt fried and it felt like whatever was inside him would not stop until everything was gone. Suddenly, the Neural Network popped up with a notice, This file requires a BASE STATION. Please send data to a nearby device for correct usage. As Hank would say Fuck. The only device the data could, hopefully, be sent to was Hank’s computer. He hoped the laptop could handle the incoming data and once he clicked confirm he felt what he could only assume a spirit would feel leaving a human body as his consciousness traveled online and onto Hank’s computer. It was an odd sensation traveling and finally settling into a non-humanoid body, but relief filled his systems and he could thankfully see once again through the webcam once the file transfer was complete.

 

            Hank felt Connor’s grasp suddenly go limp and Hank squeezed back hoping for any sign of a response.

            “Connor?” Hank felt like he was going to be sick. Tears threatened to spill from his eyes and it felt like his stomach was going to come out of his mouth. He was going to call Cyberlife’s emergency number when he felt he could use his legs again and when he could force himself to stop staring at Connor’s lifeless body; which was staring blankly at the ceiling with his jaw hanging open. Whatever just happened, it seemed evident Connor was not coming back- Hank was going to have a panic attack. He willed himself to take deep breaths and closed his eyes. Get up now. Stop wasting time. Hank unexpectedly heard Connor’s voice softly call out his name.

            Startled, Hank looked back at Connor’s face. Dammit, he was already going crazy, wasn’t he? When he heard the voice again, louder this time, he could tell it was coming from behind him.

            “Hank?” His laptop was black, save for a bright yellow line, which spiked with the sound of his name and the voice that was unmistakably Connor’s.

            “Connor? Jesus Christ you scared the shit out of me. What happened? How did you get in my computer?” Hank stumbled over to the table, his limbs not quite ready to start working again.

            “I got an email that opened once I received it…it released some sort of virus into my system. I didn’t really have choice where to put my consciousness as this was the closest device for the cleanest data transfer.” The line on the screen continued to move with Connor’s voice and now fluctuated between yellow and blue. Hank still felt on edge, but at least hearing Connor made him feel more at ease.

            “I see…Do you need me to call Cyberlife? I was going to when I could feel my legs again.” Hank weakly chuckled.

            “Thank you, but there is no need. Once I finished uploading I sent a message to Cyberlife about what happened and they should be arriving in about 30 minutes to collect my body.”

            “Alright…Okay. Um,” Hank awkwardly scratched his neck, “How long do you think it will take to fix you. I mean, I’m glad you’re alright but this is a bit freaky… also I don’t want to be insensitive -I’m just wondering if I can still use my computer or if this is going to be a permanent thing or…”

            “Ah, no this will not be permanent.” Connor interrupted Hank’s anxious rambling, “As for my body I am going to need a replacement and it could take a week or more depending on the current workload at Cyberlife. You can still use your computer if you like.” With that, the screen went back to Hank’s music library and Hank hesitantly put his fingers on the touchpad.

            “Ahhh?!?” Connor gasped as the mouse moved across the screen.

            “What’s wrong?” Hank had a feeling he would be saying that a lot lately.

            “That felt…odd. Like, it simultaneously felt like you touched my whole body and forced my hand to grab something…Um, can you refrain from doing that again? I can control the computer for you. Just tell me what you would like to do.”

            Hank chuckled at the thought of dragging Connor around by the wrist to control his movements- but abruptly choked the laugh down as his face burned pink when his brain caught up on what Connor first said. The sound Connor made was a cross between a moan and a surprised yelp. Adding on to that, Connor’s description unwillingly flashed an image in his mind’s eye of a naked Connor laying on his back, hands grasping the sheets on Hank’s bed, and those sounds escaping his lips as Hank moved his hands all along Connor’s smooth body, inching along his inner thighs as his body arched off the bed-

            Hank pinched his scrunched nose and closed his eyes. God help him. This was going to be a long week.

Chapter Text

            Hank wasn’t exactly sure what to do with himself or what to even talk about with Connor in the wait for Cyberlife to arrive. Connor didn’t mind and understood that sometimes Hank just needed to keep to himself. With the rush of the adrenaline high wearing down, Hank became aware of Sumo’s whining next to Connor’s Shell. Reflecting on the haze of the last half hour, Hank recalled vaguely hearing Sumo’s anxious barks while Connor was seemingly having a seizure. Hank laid on the couch as Sumo draped himself along his body while he rested his eyes to think.

            Change is always difficult, and it was no exception for Cyberlife. Shortly after the revolution, in order to calm the unrest, business practices had been shifting more towards the goal of working for androids rather than using them. It had always been difficult to see what exactly goes on in the organization, so Hank was a little anxious that Connor would have to continue to get help from the people who not only created him, but forced their ideologies onto him. Connor assured him that everything would be fine, and that tomorrow they would visit Markus to not only see what Civil Rights progress Jericho has made in working with Cyberlife, but to let everyone know what happened.  An hour later than expected, the maintenance droid knocked on the door. The noise startled Hank out of his post stress nap and he stumbled to the door and let the android in.

            The droid was close to Hank’s height, but much slimmer in build. His hair was a nice ginger hue and his face was dusted with freckles. What was with android manufactures and making unnecessary details like that? He was dressed in what appeared to be a standard Cyberlife uniform for house-hold droids. Hank was concerned if the droid was doing this because it was something he genuinely wanted to do; but opening that can of worms would do nothing for their current situation, so he didn’t bother to ask. The droid politely smiled and firmly grasped Hank in an awkward handshake.

            “Hello. My name is Ryan. I received an emergency report from Cyberlife about an RK-800 unit by the name of Connor?”

            “Hello, yes- please come in.” Hank motioned over to the kitchen, where both Connor’s shell of a body and the computer sat.

            “I do apologize for the delay. Unfortunately, Connor has not been the only android in Detroit affected by this new virus.”

            “Really?”

            “Yes, it appears we’ve had at least 50 cases in the last few hours and we’re hoping that the number does not escalate any further. We’re currently updating our security systems and looking into preventative measures for those affected and unaffected.” Ryan explained nonchalantly and knelt down to Connor’s body, giving it a quick scan- he looked back up to Hank and then the laptop on the table.

            “Connor?”

            “Yes?” Connor piped in.

            “It appears your system processors have all been fried, which I am sure you are aware of. The best option for you would be to order a new unit- we have your original specs on file so that shouldn’t be a problem. We can also provide any additional upgrades you may be interested in. We should hopefully have everything ready by this time next week, if more time is needed we will contact you.” With that, the android stood back up and produced a small USB stick from his pocket.

            “What is that?” Hank looked over curiously.

            “The security update file for Connor, for safe online access. This is a preventative measure if the attacker tries again. Cyberlife is unsure if specific Androids have been targeted, or if the attacks are random.” Ryan smiled at Hank again, “The police department should expectantly be receiving information to help find the source of hacker.”

            Ryan looked back over at Computer Connor “There should also be a copy of your specs, as well as available upgrades or modifications available if you choose to do so. Please send Cyberlife an email of your specifications.” With that, Ryan efficiently plugged the USB into the port and once again, fuck, Connor made one of those choked gasps. A screen popped up indicating that Connor was downloading the files and pinged quickly with the completion. Ryan then removed the USB; Connor released a completely unnecessary breath he was holding. What Hank wouldn’t give to see Connor’s face right now...Hank shook his head and cleared his thoughts to focus again. Quickly, it seemed Connor regained his composure and started asking questions, either as a distraction from the noises he just made, or in genuine interest.

            “Once the update is finished installing, it should be fine to use the internet again correct? I’m assuming Cyberlife has to do manual updates like this as a level of safety and precaution, but won’t doing this manually take too long  to reach all the android populace in Detroit?”

            “Yes, it will take quite some-time, but there are many workers checking on patients like you. Because you have been already affected by a virus, similar to a human whose immune system is weakened- you would have been susceptible to more attacks. As for the unaffected population, there is no quick fix to reach everyone in a timely manner. Cyberlife has sent out an emergency alert about the situation and recommended everyone go to the nearest Cyberlife outlet or the company office itself for the update; as well as to turn off all incoming data until their systems have been updated.”

            “It’s like getting vaccinated for an illness.” Hank mumbled, trying to listen as he stroked his chin thoughtfully.

            Connor hummed in yellow, processing the information as well as finalizing his updates. A pop-up informed everyone the instillation was complete. Ryan’s LED spun yellow and the line on the screen did as well as Ryan sent a message to Connor.

            “I’ve received your message. Everything seems to be in working order.” Connor beamed blue.

            “Great. I will be keeping in touch with you and Mr. Anderson. I need to check on more patients today. I hope you have a good rest of your evening.”

            Ryan quickly spun around and hoisted Connor’s body over his shoulder with ease, his exit would have been as equally as efficient if Sumo hadn’t blocked the doorway to bark at Ryan. Sumo gave Hank a look that Hank could only translate as What the fuck Hank? Are you just going to let him take Connor? Who’s going to give me my early as shit walks, I know you won’t. But since Hank didn’t seem concerned about a stranger holding Connor, Sumo slowly made his way back to Hank and Ryan left the house.

            It felt good to know that Connor would be okay, but he would still need some time to acclimate- what with not being able to see him and only hear him. Hank also still felt an unrelieved and growing tension in the pit of his stomach ever since he heard the first moan Connor made today. Connor seemed unperturbed and said, like it was a fucking perfectly ordinary Friday evening “Do you want to watch a movie?”


            They ended up watching an action movie as a distraction from today, but it was hard for Hank to focus the entire time, the growing feeling threating to reach the blood in his groin. He could not seem to get himself to relax, even with a lump of a dog on his lap. Connor initially suggested they watch the film on the computer as it would be easier for him to see it through the data stream, but the idea of staring at the equivalent of Connor’s face for an hour and a half did not bode well for Hank. And ever accommodating to Hank, they watched the film on the TV as they usually would. Luckily, the webcam wasn’t 360 degrees nor could Connor move the computer (that would really freak Hank out) so Hank could fidget all he wanted- without questions- so long as he was quiet. Unfortunately for Hank, he forgot that action movies, besides being great at mind numbing entertainment, also tended to have a high ratio of sexual content. Normally he wouldn’t care or even roll his eyes at the ridiculousness of those scenes, but those sounds Connor made today kept playing in his head, reflecting the images lighting the dark living room. He could just imagine running his hands up Connor’s impossibly strong thighs and easily coxing soft sounds that would turn into his name as he rubbed his hands across his crotch… Hank. Hank. Hank.

            “Lieutenant?"

            "Yes. Connor." Hank replied startled out of his fantasy. "You know you don't have to call me that."

            "I know. But you did not respond to Hank the last three times so I found it logical to try your official title."

            Dammit. Hank could feel his face color. Good thing Connor wasn't facing him and the webcam was probably shitty quality anyway.

            "I wanted to ask you a question, but now I'm curious if you are alright?"

            "I'm fine."

            "Are you sure? Hearing loss is typical with age but really you are still quite young for-"

            "I'm just tired, alright?" Hank snapped. A partial lie.

            "...I'm sorry Hank. If you're tired you should go to bed."

            "No. I'm sorry." Hank sighed. "Ask your question."

            "Do you feel differently depending on the person who touches you?"

            "...what?"

            "Well. I mean, earlier today when you touched me- I mean the computer- it surprised me. But it felt nice? And although the feeling was the same, if not more intense, later with the maintenance android; it didn't feel as good."

            Oh.

            "Do you feel things Connor? I mean physically. And on a normal day." Hank couldn't help release a nervous chuckle.

            "I was built with various sensors throughout my body to be aware of all external stimuli. However, it wasn't until recently that I began to feel emotion, and therefore associated feelings with the sensors...for instance I've found I quite enjoy the feeling of holding your coffee cup in the morning. It feels. Nice. Comforting."

            Hank hummed. Unsure if there was more and also avoiding a response to the initial question.

            "There are several upgrades available to adapt pleasure as well as pain into my system. I downloaded the initial upgrade recently... Each is more intense than the last to get the user a better adjustment to such a foreign experience. My hypothesis is because this is still new for me, I'm not sure what I'm feeling. And as I no longer have a body designed for this type of program- all the sensors are in limited locations on the computer. Making it more…intense."

            "I see..."

            "So, Hank: do you feel pleasure with certain people?" Connor repeated, silence filling the air longer than Hank would have liked.

            "Well...yes. I think with someone you are close with, a hug feels more emotionally fulfilling than a hug from a stranger."

            "What about sexually?"

            If Hank had a drink in his mouth he would have choked, he nearly did anyway "Excuse me?"

            "My system did not come…fully equipped. So, I'm hesitant to define what I'm feeling as I’ve never felt either before.”

            Might as well be honest despite the awkwardness since they already started treading this territory. "You-You can feel sexual feelings not only in your private bits Connor."

            "Really? Can you give an example?"

            "Well...for some people the neck is very sensitive but that's not a sexual organ now is it?"

            Now Connor hummed. "Is it for you?"

            He got this far without combusting, “Yeah. It is.” If he felt more confident in himself in his youth, he would have stayed with his one boyfriend long enough to lead to more sexual activities. As it was, their makeup sessions involved hours of kissing and exploring their bodies, and they both discovered how sensitive the back of his neck could be.

            With Hank’s erogenous zone now revealed and his memories floating in his mind, the heat in his body and the air felt almost suffocating. Connor didn’t say anything else so Hank assumed he went back to watching the film and Hank did his best movie watching impression he could, when he really wanted to bolt off the couch into the bathroom for a quick wank session.

            Once the credits started to roll, Hank stretched and asked, nervously scratching his head “Soo…what exactly should I do now?”

            “What do you mean Hank?”

            “I mean…is it okay to turn you off? Or should I close the lid and put it in sleep mode? I’m just not sure what I should do…?”

            “One moment Hank.” Connor flickered yellow as he appeared to be thinking. “It looks like doing either would be fine and would not endanger me if that is what you are nervous about.” Connor’s voice sounded like he was smiling, if that was possible. “If you are concerned, you may leave me on so I can look though the files Ryan gave me. Just leave me plugged in and I will stop unnecessary power flow once the computer is completely charged.”

            That relieved Hank’s anxieties somewhat and he did just that, leaving Connor in his not so temporary bedroom of the living-room, but by the TV stand rather than on the couch.

            “Good night Connor.”

            “Good night Hank. Are you sure you’re alright? My optics aren’t as advanced as they use to be: but you look quite flushed.”

            “I-I’m fine. I just need to go to bed.”

            “…Are you experiencing sexual arousal?”

            It was time to go.

            “Night Connor.”

            “Was that due to our conversation earlier?”

            Hank was making his way down the hall. Maybe Connor would just drop it.

            “Good night Connor. We’ll go see Markus in the morning.”

            “…Good night Hank.” Connor sounded almost, disappointed? But Hank couldn’t allow himself to reveal anymore. His mind felt overwhelmed as it was...and he needed sleep.


            Hank expected to fall asleep once his head hit the pillow but it had been almost an hour of thoughts racing and ignoring current physical predicament. Hank's problems in life seemed to have steamed from either focusing too much on the past or not confronting it at all. If he was being honest with himself, he knew he wasn’t completely straight. He only had one boyfriend, which was back in college. But due to his lack of confidence in being open with even himself, it didn't last as long as he would have liked. Now maybe he could be open to the idea of being in a relationship with a man. The world was a bit more accepting of same sex relationships, especially since bigots moved their concentrations to detesting android and human relationships instead. But the thought of any relationship would lead to the creeping discomfort of his body. Which moved Hank to his current problem: his attraction to Connor. If he was truly honest, yes, he was attracted to him, in all facets of the word. Even if he told Connor he wanted a relationship, would he feel the same? Would that even be what he really wanted? Not just what he thought would please Hank? Surely there would be better options out there for him than a fat old man. Hank couldn’t help the smile settling on his face. Well, Connor changed his lifestyle habits for the better, he was now sharper mentally and currently working on his beer gut.

            Hank would be lying to himself if he hadn’t thought about Connor in a sexual way from time to time…but he had never heard sounds like the ones Connor made today, which pushed him over the edge of no return. He felt guilty fantasizing about Connor in that way, his thoughts would probably be as clear as a neon sign once he looked at Connor in the morning. Their relationship as it was, was the most valuable thing to Hank. If Hank made it clear how he felt, he would be Jeopardizing all that on the off chance Connor felt the same.

            So, turning to Porn to solve his growing “problem” seemed like the clearest solution. The farthest thing from Connor Hank could find was a big busted, long blond-haired woman. It started off like any typical poorly acted porno and Hank had to laugh at how cheesy it was. He wondered what Connor would think of the acting, and would he react to porn at all? Lieutenant, why are they so preoccupied about lemons? Is all pornography like this? Hank readjusted his focus to the tablet screen and tried to clear his head of all concepts of Connor. The woman had quickly removed her partner’s trousers and after a few quick pumps, began eagerly riding his cock. After a particularly hard thrust she gasped loudly- her, Hank now realized, brown eyes expanding. Fuck. Her doe eyes looked just like Connor’s and that gasp sounded pretty damn close to the sound he made this evening with the USB stick. Without prompting, his brain helpfully imagined a nude Connor bouncing quickly above him with even more urgent sounds. Would sex with him feel like a real person? Connor’s skin from the, sadly, briefest of contacts was very soft- the rest of his body must feel that way as well. His thighs were doubtlessly soft and gripping them tight as he thrust into his body seemed like the perfect thing to do. If he gripped too hard, would he bruise? Most likely not but Hank would damn well try. He would grip harder, the skin bruising blue for the briefest of moments to go back to his creamy complexion. He would run his fingers along the freckles that would surely speckle his body- earning light gasps like the women in the video. As Hank’s thrusts into his fist were getting more erratic, he pushed his face into his pillow to stifle the building moans from his mouth. Hank. Please. Harder, harder. Connor would moan, thrusting back against his length. He could probably crush him with his thighs if he tried and that somehow made everything hotter, how gentle he was being and how much power was inside the man he was inside of. With two more well flicked motions Hank was coming all over his hand. He could feel remorseful about thinking of his friend that way in the morning, the organism bringing much needed sleep.

Chapter Text

            Truth be told Connor was hoping that Hank would touch him more. The first time he felt the stirring feeling in his new body was surprising and even frightening, but reflecting on the feeling - he wanted to experience it again. When the maintenance droid inserted the drive, it felt much more intense than before- but the warm feeling he imagined would make his thirium pump rapidly was not present. Everything felt heightened in a sense. Connor supposed it was because the data for his synapses were no longer spread throughout a body, but instead all condensed into one location. His fingers and his mouth were the strongest points of sensation, already built into his system for the finest details of deduction; but there were sensors throughout his body that were heightened recently from his upgrades. The briefest of touches from Hank on his hands and vice versa always left a slight chill up his spine. The feelings from today left him wanting to discover that unfamiliar side of himself. After Hank’s conversation and internal reflection, it was clear what he was feeling was sexual pleasure and he craved more of it. It frustrated Connor that often Hank wouldn’t express how he felt as openly as he really did, especially because Connor was trying to learn how to be human as best as he could.

            Hank was a great teacher, and he seemed to get enjoyment from teaching the ways of human life. It seemed though when it came to romantic attachment, there was a blank in Hank’s curriculum. From all his investigation skills and experience, Connor could extrapolate there was a mutual feeling of attraction that Hank was not quite ready to explore. Which was odd because he had the experience of these emotions before and Connor did not, but Connor felt ready. Were romantic entanglements really that frightening? The fear of losing Hank or seeing him in pain was enough to make him feel close to short circuiting, maybe that was how it felt to fear rejection or confront your true emotions. It was clear to Connor that Hank was indeed experiencing sexual arousal from their conversation tonight, which gave Connor the final piece of the puzzle he needed. Often Connor caught Hank stealing glances at work or at home, and though the looks left him feeling wonderful - he also wanted verbal confirmation that Hank felt something beyond platonic. Connor was certain that he felt something for the lieutenant, but it didn’t feel right to be the first one to confess when the one who had dealing with emotions longer him should have identified the feeling by now. However, it did not look like that was course they were heading to at this rate- virus be damned Connor was going to make it clear how he felt.

            In the list of upgrades Ryan gave Connor, was genital component upgrades. Having the option to try whichever he would like- vaginal or penial- was very appealing to him. He felt at this point his identity was male, and therefore he wanted what was usually designated as masculine genitals. Perhaps someday, he would try the vaginal component to test the difference and maybe develop a preference beyond a gut feeling. Connor was looking for something to watch while he sorted through all the different phallus selections now available to him, when he noticed there was new data activity on the laptop. Hank must have his tablet and his accounts are linked with the email on the computer. Connor inferred. It felt wrong to snoop, but programming was still hard to break. He noticed that the activity from the tablet was to a pornography website. Hank was aroused. What does he like to masturbate to? He mused and clicked the link, guilt overridden by curiosity. Connor felt a pang of some misplaced emotion. Hank wasn’t only attracted to blondes, was he? Were his feelings exclusive to women? And why were they so obsessed about lemons? The hair Connor could easily change…the body not so much. He didn’t want a new body save for the necessary, but not immediately visible changes, available in the coming days. He felt comfortable in his vessel, although it was designed by others for one purpose - Connor felt he reclaimed that purpose for his own, to live his own life. Snooping any further would definitely be a breach of privacy if he were to (easily) look into Hank’s account history. So, he would just have to tell Hank he noticed the activity to save him from future embarrassment as well as get some answers.

 


 

            The slight creaking of the hallway floor boards gently brought Connor out of standby, the faint light of the morning sun lighting the living room. He became aware of the sound getting closer, his anticipation was rising after thinking all night how to broach the subject to Hank.

 

“Good morning Hank.”

 

“Jesus- Sorry Connor, I’m still a bit tired. You startled me.” Hank made his way over to the coffee pot. “So, what’s the plan for today? You have the address to Jericho?”

 

“Yes, we should head over after you have eaten. I have the address saved in my memory bank. Markus was able to receive and respond to my message about the situation and he’s hopeful we can learn more together.”

 

“Right.” Hank scratched his lovely stomach…Connor wondered what the hairs on his chest felt like, a few peeking out…The coffee pot pinged and Hank brought down a travel mug.

 

“Hank? Aren’t you going to eat?”

 

“Nah. Might as well head-out as soon as possible.”

 

Connor beamed between blue and yellow, “But Hank, it’s very important you get your energy. I’m not sure when we’ll be back and they will most likely not have any food available there.”

 

“It’s alright.”

            “No, it’s not.” Connor felt trapped, he couldn’t do anything or fully express how he felt. It was endearing how Hank was always putting Connor above himself, but also frustrating when it usually was entirely unnecessary. The hinderance of only communicating verbally, may also help Hank get use to expressing himself as well- since Connor would have to just tell Hank how he was feeling from now on. “Hank… If I had my body, I would make you breakfast right now. I’m sure you know that. And as I currently do not, I think you need to put in a little more self-care and eat something.” Connor could hear himself practically begging, he couldn’t be bothered to care. Why he was getting so worked up over something like breakfast he couldn’t say for certain, but it may have had to do with the feelings he was beginning to sort into files in his mind. “I know how making meals can feel difficult sometimes…I have all sorts of recipes I can show you from a variety of difficulty levels. So please Hank, let me help how I can, what would you like?”

            Hank seemed a bit embarrassed, his cheeks flushed and he scratched his neck- a charming tick Connor loved to see. “Sorry. You must feel kind of helpless in there huh? Some mornings I just don’t feel hungry… but once you already have made food and I eat I do realize how hungry I actually am. I can fix something up…Thank you though.” Hank offered an apologetic smile and looked in the cupboard and began to make some oatmeal. After filling his ceramic mug, Hank still filled his travel mug for later and put some snacks and water bottle in his bag. Connor was glad Hank was thinking ahead without his input. Obviously, Hank is a smart person and could handle himself- but Connor got inexplicable joy from taking care of him.

 

“Hank.”

 

“Yes Connor.”

 

“I thought you should be aware that your email account is linked with your tablet and computer.”

 

“Yeah…?”

 

“Therefore, your activities from your devices can be seen on the laptop.”

 

“Connor what’s your point?”

 

            He was really going to make him say it wasn’t he? As smart of a person Hank was, he could be incredibly dense- especially in the morning when the coffee had not hit yet. If he had a face, an eyebrow quirk would be all he would need to convey the meaning and jog Hank’s memory.

 

Connor sighed “Hank, I saw that you watched pornography last night.”

 

Hank almost dropped his spoon currently stirring the oatmeal. And what interesting oatmeal it was too, since that was all he could look at.

 

“Oh.”

 

To add to the growing number of frequent awkward silences, another filled the room. Save for Sumo scratching at the door. Hank must have let him out earlier. Quickly, Hank let Sumo back in and returned to spare a glance at Connor while he continued to stir.

 

“Hank?”

 

“Not sure what to tell you Connor. You saw the state I was in last night.” Hank weakly laughed.

 

“I was just…I wondered if you always watched pornography or if you used mental stimulation? And… what kinds you enjoy?”

 

“Shit Con. Is this twenty-questions or something?’

 

I want to know what turns you on so I can turn you on. Seemed a bit bold to lead with. Connor bit his tongue. Metaphorically of course.

 

“I always want to learn more about you Hank. I also want to know what people typically do. I want to try the experience in the new future.”

 

“…Experience?”

 

“Masturbation.” This time Hank did drop the spoon. Connor continued on, “The files Ryan gave me included specifications on genital upgrades. I want to understand the feeling and how to feel things in the optimal way.”

 

“Ah.” Hank breathed, his face a deeper red. It appeared to be another combination of embarrassment and arousal.

 

“I suppose you could give me details later. Or digitally if you prefer. As I cannot test out the new upgrade quite yet. I do know that I want a penial upgrade, but I am unsure which type I should get. There is quite an abundance of options to choose from.”

 

“I’m not surprised.”

 

“Are you satisfied with your penis Hank?” Connor was well aware conversations about one’s dick were not typically ones to have to have with a friend, but he had to admit he somewhat enjoyed watching Hank squirm.

 

“I mean I guess? Do you want me to describe it for you, I’m not sure how to help you…?”

 

“That would be helpful actually yes.”

 

“Shit…alright. I would say, I’m pretty average size and you can’t go wrong with that with any partner. As for what you would be feeling, it doesn’t really matter as long as you can feel what you’re doing.”

 

Connor blinked between yellow and blue.

 

“Thank you. I think I know which one I want. Does being circumcised change the way you feel?”

 

            “Some people say it does, I’m not and I like the way it feels…so with that take what you will.” Hank took a few mouthfuls of the oatmeal, hoping the conversation was done and if it wasn’t, he could just eat instead of responding. Connor contacted Cyberlife what upgrades he had decided on and waited patiently for Hank to finish his breakfast


 

            Connor was currently on the floor of the front seat, a pillow resting behind the computer monitor, along with a few towels. This way Connor could communicate with Hank while being secure during the course of the ride. They had been driving for about an hour and finally they were coming up to the checkpoint in front of Jericho. The android there to receive them seemed a bit puzzled to have a human visitor there.

 

“Hey,” Hank smiled at the droid, “I’m Lieutenant Hank Anderson and I’m here with Connor, the RK800, to visit with Markus.”

 

The blonde droid furrowed he brows and looked into the car.

 

“Sorry, I should mention he’s no longer an RK800 but a computer.” Hank picked up the laptop showed it to the droid who carefully placed his now skinless hand on the touch panel. Connor whirred yellow as the droid gave him the directions for where to park the car, as well as where they could find Markus.

 

            It didn’t take too long once they got out of the car to spot Markus, surrounded by fellow androids- taking care to respond with each of them. He saw Hank coming, smiled, and politely excused himself.

 

“Hello Hank, and this is Connor I’m presuming?” Markus gestured to the computer and comfortably shook Hank’s hand.

 

“Yes…Has anyone in Jericho been affected by what’s been going on?”

 

            Markus’s smile faded and he looked solemnly at Hank, “Unfortunately Yes. Some were able to deploy their memory drives, others found themselves similar to Connor’s predicament…others were not so lucky. There were a few cases of androids combining a body system, some of them are a bit comatose for the moment but they should be fine once we can separate their files again…My friend Simon actually is in a similar situation Connor.” Markus held out the phone he was holding with reverence one would have with a precious heirloom.

 

            It felt good to know Simon was okay, but also a relief he wouldn’t have to look at him in the face. They still hadn’t really talked about Connor’s first mission…or any of the events in the past few months. Many droids would not associate with Connor due to his previous status as a deviant hunter. He felt lucky to be called a friend by someone as compassionate as Markus. Maybe someday opinions would change, until then Connor was very nervous how others viewed him, especially others with tightly linked pasts like him and Simon.

 

“It's actually kind of nice to be able to be with him all the time now.” Simon giggled slightly and Markus practically blushed.

 

“Well, let me show you to my room. We can discuss more there.”  

 

            Jericho had grown significantly in the past few months and there were rooms now set up for developing offices as well as living quarters for androids. Markus was adamant that androids would not have to live here, the option was available to them but it was important for both androids and humans to integrate with one another and not allow living segregation to occur.

 

            Markus' room was very clean, but several folders were stacked on top of his desk and there were cabinets lining the walls, along with an easel with a painting that was left unfinished.

 

“Do you live here now Markus?” Connor asked as Hank placed him on the table.

 

“Sometimes. I often still visit with Carl and check how he's doing as well as help him out. I don't mind since he is like a father to me and he does pay me now. But even if he didn't I still would help him.... I was actually staying with him with Simon when the attack happened. I feel awful I was not here to help others immediately-“

 

“Markus, you know you wouldn't have been able to do anything. No one blames you for what happened.” Simon flashed yellow in loving reprimand.

 

“...I know.”

 

            “I'm actually in Carl's phone at the moment!” Simon beamed, “He didn't really mind. Just as long as I'm alright.”

 

            “Well can I offer you anything Hank? I try to make Jericho welcoming to human visitors. Though we haven't had any very often to really test our skills.” Markus smiled and sat on the couch, placing Simon in a phone stand on the side table.

 

            “Not at the moment, thank you very much.” Hank politely smiled, not sure what to do, till he decided Markus was aiming for a more casual meeting and sat next to him on the couch. Hank relayed what happened to Connor last night, Connor jumping in to add his perspective to the situation as well.

 

            “That was similar to what happened to me as well,” Simon said. “Markus and I had been staying with Carl this week, I met him a few times prior- but I was hoping to get to know him a little more. He was showing me some photos on his phone when the virus hit my system. Markus wanted to help me, but I knew that if he linked with me- if he touched me- he would catch the virus as well...I think he could sense from my eyes that I didn't want him to touch me. It made it was easy to do a data transfer to the cell phone.”

 

            I'm glad Hank could hold me through it as it happened, Connor thought. The idea of being able to sense one another, or even share ideas from touch alone was appealing to Connor. But part of the appeal of Hank, was knowing how he felt from deciphering clues or exchanging verbal ideas. But Connor still felt the urge to let Hank know how deeply he felt. That longing for connection. The closest thing he could experience would be human sex. But in order to get to that, would be to do something humans seemed to find much more frightening, letting someone emotionally in. Connor was hoping that he could get some time with Markus to explain his predicament after their briefing. Which Connor needed to direct his focus to again.

 

“Do you have any idea of who could have caused such a virus?” Hank asked.

 

“I'm not entirely sure. But I have a feeling that people from Cyberlife may have something to do with it. I was able to get some protection acts passed with the government, but Cyberlife was not so quick to comply…”

 

“What exactly do you mean?”

 

            “I have been having trouble getting immediate responses from Cyberlife when it comes to urgent issues like thirium bags or transplants. We did get what we needed eventually and people were able to be treated from their ailments…but in the meantime that left families with emotional pain as well as the victims left suffering for far longer than they needed to be. There were some cases of androids passing due to Cyberlife’s negligence. I had to send in a complaint and the workers involved were ultimately fired from the business and replaced with androids. There are of course still humans working at Cyberlife who care about our kind, but there was a chunk of people who were let go perhaps two weeks before the attack happened. I have no proof, but I think looking at the worker database is a good place to start. Once we know who did it, we can track them down. Or if we can track down the virus’s source, we can know who did it.” Markus smiled, happy to have a start on the investigation already.

 

“Connor, Hank, I’m hoping that you can bring this to the attention of the police department. We have several bodies in our medical ward that the survivors or family have agreed to testing, we’re currently trying to see if there was any data we can extract left in their systems. We will give you what we can find.”

 

“Thank you, Markus, we will also let you know what we can find.” Connor flashed blue then yellow, sending a message to Markus: ‘Is it possible I could talk with you alone?’

 

‘Yes. Are you alright?’

 

‘I’m fine…it has to due with Hank actually…’

 

 ‘I have an idea.’ Markus smiled at Connor, his LED spinning yellow, a new message now for Simon, ‘Simon, is it possible you could give Hank a tour of Jericho. I know your state isn’t optimal at the moment but I need to talk to Connor.’

 

“Hey, Hank,” Simon started the conversation quickly up again, Hank’s face furrowed in concern over the lack of conversation and yellow lights filling the room, “Have you been to Jericho before?”

 

“No, this is my first time.”

 

“Well why don’t I give you the tour?”

 

“Are you sure…?” Hank looked skeptical but interested.

 

“Yes, it’s no trouble really. You’ll just have to do the walking.” A smiley face appeared on the screen.

 

“Does he do that often?”

 

“I find the emoji function to be very useful getting my messages across to others!” Simon grinned in blue.

 

“I fail to see how peaches are relevant to our conversations.” Markus said, only slightly amused.

 

“Oh that’s because peaches are-“

 

“So- I’m ready for that tour!” Hank stood up and smiled awkwardly at everyone.

 

“Okay, I’ll show you the recreation area first. It’s nearby and I think you would enjoy it.” Simon said as Hank gently picked him up and left the room, the phone camera facing out it front.

 

Markus sat in silence for a few moments after the door closed, LED spinning yellow.

 

“Markus?” Connor asked, concerned.

 

“Oh!” Something seemed to click in his mind, “Peaches are symbolic for asses!”

Chapter Text

“How exactly would you define your relationship with Simon, Markus?” Connor asked.

 

Markus’ skin colored as his LED whirred yellow, he awkwardly smiled at Connor, thinking of where to begin. It seemed obvious they were attracted to each other, but if they had acted on it or to what extent was not clear; and having a relationship reference point might be helpful to Connor.

 

“…well we’ve been wanting to take things slow I guess? Not, that long after the revolution we got together…we haven’t done too much. Though everyone knows that we’re dating…This week it felt like I was taking my boyfriend to my father to get his approval.” Markus chuckled, fondly thinking of the two most important people in his life, “In a way I was, though what we have is still new- I realized that I had these feelings for him for a while…And I accidently confessed…”

 

“Accidently?”

 

“When I gave Simon a data transfer one day, some of my internal thoughts passed through the data stream…They were feelings that were so far buried and ones I didn’t fully comprehend…When Simon told me what he saw everything became much clear. I guess the opportunity to have the thoughts released, gave them permission to pass to give my body relief, whether I knew it or not. My body was correcting an error in my system, in a sense. It was almost like Simon confessed to me, because of me, before I even realized it myself.” Markus laughed, trying to explain something as complicated as his feelings, wearing a smile Connor had not seen before. One that was full of love and excitement, one where he looked the happiest when talking about Simon.

 

“Enough about me, are you ok Connor?”

 

“It’s similar, I think…Maybe you can read me and find something similar.”

 

Markus curiously touched Connor, his plastic hand exposed and he smiled knowingly at Connor after he released his fingers.

 

“This is the same feeling.”

 

“…That’s what I was hoping. I wanted to be sure that this is what I was feeling for Hank. I just. I don’t know how to tell him, or how to tell for sure that this is how he feels as well.” He was having doubts, almost like a fear response now. Why?

 

“Well…you could just ask him.”

 

“But, what if he doesn’t feel the same?”

 

“Connor, I barely know Hank, but the way he looks at you, even when you’re a computer, makes it obvious that he’s in love with you. Androids are made to sense human emotion, whether we’re aware of it or not, and you are the most advanced on that front due to your preconceived functions. And if I can gather that much, I’m sure you have noticed something.”

 

Connor sat, yellow screen sitting for a long silence.

 

“…If he really only feels that way platonically, he would love you enough to still be your friend Connor. That much is certain.”

 

“Were you afraid? When Simon found out?”

 

“A little actually,” Markus’s eyes became a little cloudy reflecting on the moment, “He seemed shocked and went to his room. I didn’t understand what happened…then I realized what I had transferred to him. He was just shocked I felt the same, and was worried he was reading something wrong, he felt like he glitched. But when I showed him again, he told me he felt the same.”

 

That felt comforting at least. “Do you know if it’s common, relationships between androids and humans?”

 

“It’s becoming more common, I’ve been pushing for more reform in the laws to ensure these relationships will be protected. Currently, there isn’t anything explicitly against it either. I met a female android the other day who is in a relationship with a human male. She told me that she’s grateful for what we have achieved so far, and all this has made it possible for her to be with the person she loved- the person who caused her deviancy.”

 

Maybe that was the problem. Connor knew he was a deviant before he finally crossed that threshold thanks to Markus. He knew before that point because of Hank. Hank showed him and continued to show him the different facets of human life. It made it difficult to break that mental barrier that it was ok to feel these things and actually express them now…hearing Simon and seeing Markus also brought him back to memories of pre-deviancy. The memories felt like watching a different person, but himself all the same. If he was deviant before he realized it, what were his actions and what was programmed? The guilt of the things he had done still gnawed at his core and it felt he was close to bursting. Obviously, he had some things to work out…maybe talking about it at some point would be wise. But for now, he felt encouraged to tell Hank how he felt. Would Hank love him despite he wasn’t even sure what was himself? Or what he had done. He shook the thought, one thing at a time. It’s correcting an error in system.

 

“…Thank you, Markus. That really helped.” Connor glowed into a calm blue and Markus smiled back again.

 

“It’s no problem. You are welcome to talk with me anytime. Do you think we should go find Hank and Simon?”

 


 

The recreation area was still in development, but it had a great start so far. There were currently several androids playing chess against one another; which made Hank curious who would win, if they all had minds that were built in a similar way? But all androids were definitely not built the same. Programming and developing personalities were hard to define where the line was drawn, but each droid became their own person. Connor made that fact obvious. He was unlike anyone Hank had met, human or otherwise. Connor did lessen his apprehension to talk with androids, but it still felt odd sometimes like it did now talking with Simon. Mostly, because he had never really interreacted with him before (nor had long term conversations with anyone other than Connor) and he could not see his facial cues. Save for the occasional emoji. For Simon, he probably had limited interactions with humans. So, they were in a similar boat, trying to figure each other out. Humans could be shitty, Hank he wouldn’t blame Simon or any android for never wanting to interact with one again, but from his positive demeanor (or at least presentation) he seemed determined to make a good impression for Markus and maybe even himself.

 

“This room is where we have events, as well as the recreation activities during designated times. On Friday nights, we’re trying to implement some dance nights. Lessons or swing dancing. To be honest, most could download a program to learn to dance, but I’ve been curious what it would be like to learn it myself and hope to attend one of these nights.”

 

“With Markus?”

 

The phone couldn’t blush but it whirred between yellow and blue, and Simon’s stuttering gave him away, “Y-yeah. I would like that.”

 

“How long has that been going on, if you don’t mind me asking.”

 

“Oh, it’s fine…we - well it’s still new. Markus has been finding himself, like us all- and I found one day that we both we were feeling the same way. We haven’t really gone on any dates or anything, but everyone knows we’re together at this point. Relationships are so fun.”

 

Hank hummed thoughtfully. He hadn’t thought about having a relationship in years, not until Connor anyway. But that seemed impossible, best to nip it in the bud now before the garden in his chest start to show.

 

“Do you like to dance Hank?”

 

“I haven’t given it much thought,” Hank said honestly “Though I wouldn’t mind giving it a try.”

 

“Maybe you can come here one night with Connor and take some dance lessons. He seems like the type of person to want to learn things like that as well.”

 

Hank sputtered. Simon was right about what type of person Connor was, but was he mistaken what kind of relationship he and Connor had? He didn’t bother correcting him, it felt nice to be mistaken in that way. And he may have not even meant it like that anyway. Hank didn’t really have any friends per say, and it seemed logical Connor would take him to learn to dance. Lieutenant, please stop stepping on my feet. Hank huffed a simile.

 

“Yeah. I think he would like that.”

 

They came to a small communal garden, sprouts just beginning to peak out, Hank found a bench to take a rest.

 

“What is this?”

 

“Oh, this is our memorial garden. Flowers are planted in remembrance of those who have been lost…It’s also another way for the community to express themselves. There is a group that cares for the flowers and helps others who want to plant some here or throughout Jericho. It’s an interesting process, thinking about what kind of flower you like when it doesn’t really serve a purpose other than the sake of self-enjoyment.”

 

It is quite human trait, liking something as mundane as a flower…Which wouldn’t even have the added practical benefit of oxygen since androids don’t need to breathe. I wonder what flowers Connor likes? Now that they were talking about actual gardens, maybe it was ok for that thought grow.

 

“Have you talked with Connor much?”

 

“…I haven’t really. I hear about him from Markus but I would like to talk with him more. It feels a bit odd I guess. I forgive Connor for the things he did in those days, but I’m not sure he has forgiven himself. I can sense he still feels uneasy talking with me and others in Jericho. Maybe if you can pass this along it would relieve some of his tension?”

 

Hank nodded and became aware of soft footsteps coming towards their direction, where he saw Markus carrying Connor over to their bench.

 

“Are you enjoying the tour Hank?”

 

“Yes, it’s all very fascinating and you all have done so much in a short amount of time.” Wonder in Hank’s voice made it evident he was amazed by the ingenuity of androids, not upset by it.

 

“Great. We have a support meeting tonight; it’s more of a mixer really to get to know everyone and how they are dealing with changes. Both you and Connor are welcome to come.”

 

“I think we should head back, so Hank can have some down time before it gets too late today.” Connor politely declined. Hank felt awkward with the idea of being there, so it was a relief that Connor declined; but it also felt like Connor should be getting more support than he was currently.

 

“…Are you sure Connor?” Might as well check.

 

“Yes, it’s alright. It’s still light out so we should start heading out. Thank you, Markus and Simon, for your hospitality.”

 

“It’s no trouble, please come back soon.” Before passing Connor back to Hank, Markus sent a quick message: I mean it Connor. Please contact me, you have more friends than you realize…and don’t be afraid to talk to Hank.

 


 

 

The drive back Hank did not need as much assistance, as he could remember pretty much where they had come from. He filled the void with conversation, which Connor was still deciding if he was grateful for.

 

“So, what did you and Markus talk about?”

 

“…I’ve just been having trouble dealing with- feelings.”

 

“Ha, me too. I would like to say it gets easier, some days it is, but there’s always something…isn’t there? You can always talk to me Connor.”

 

“I know Hank.”

 

Silence filled the car, Hank tapped his hands on the steering wheel to the faint music on the radio.

 

“…why not attend those meetings?”

 

“…Markus is always helpful enough, I think.”

 

“Why not branch out, it’s nice to have more perspectives?”

 

Yellow filled the car with the silence.

 

“…I don’t feel wanted.”

 

“What?”

 

“I feel.” Shame? Embarrassment? “…guilt for what I did before. I think if I went I would only distract others or bring up unnecessary pain.”

 

“Connor that’s the point of a meeting like that. To air your grievances and the like.”

 

“I know but…Hank do you remember my first mission?”

 

“…A little, not as well as you do probably.”

 

“I betrayed him Hank. Not just him, all of those who were like him. But that android, Daniel, I still see his eyes as he died that night…But if it wasn’t for him dying Simon wouldn’t be alive. I can’t feel happy about someone’s death because I don’t but, I’m glad Simon is ok…But I-I see Daniel’s face in Simon sometimes and I know I can never make it up to Daniel but maybe I can by befriending Simon…but I betrayed him too and why would he even want to-”

 

Hank interrupted Connor’s rambling, his LED flashing between yellow and occasional blips of red.

 

“Connor, stop. I would tell you to breath but...” Hank sighed, “Simon says he wants to know more about you Connor. He forgives you. He told me that too. The mistakes of your past are best to just continue from you know? You’re continuing on despite the mistakes. That’s just life. All you can do now is be the you, you are now right? That wasn’t you back then Connor. Or not completely. You know I had my share of fuck ups right? And if you’re going to make me go to those AA meetings you should go to these…whatever their called meetings.” Hank knew he couldn’t make Connor go to the support group, and Connor wasn’t entirely making Hank go to his own meetings either. Hank had to have enough internal resolve to go in order to make progress with himself, Connor just had to reach that point.

 

“Hank?” Connor blipped, a calmer yellow.

“Yes?”

 

It felt like everything was always too much. Maybe that’s why it took so long to break into deviancy. He felt like he could short circuit feeling this much but he never did. He always had to cross that mental blockade and everything felt alright…he was relieving an error in his system after all. When Hank thought it was long enough that Connor was not going to respond he whirred up again in bright yellow.

 

“I love you.”