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Alone in the World

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~ Present Day: 10:56 pm ~

 

“You know I'm glad you could make it tonight.”

Gavin nodded his head with a smirk on his lips. “Honestly Tommy, I wouldn't miss this for the world.” The detective followed the young man deeper into the decrepit building, more and more thankful with each step that he was packing heat. He'd been getting close to the young man for the last two weeks, and finally he'd gotten the kid to trust him enough to invite him to an android party. The DPD was cracking down hard on the anti android groups that had popped up all over the city, and now the only ones left were the ones that had turned into gangs in the way they operated. This particular one was known for it's draining androids of their thirium to create red ice, but not before they'd had their fun with the things.

He was honestly still on the fence as far as androids being alive and all that shit. Yeah he'd had to have an attitude change after the riots and laws got passed that the androids were real or what ever. But playing nice and actually believing it were two different things. Two different things that Fowler didn't give a shit about as long as Gavin held his temper, and didn't antagonize any androids. Though, if he was being honest with himself, he kept up the facade of not giving a fuck at work, but deep down he cared about the stupid machines. It wasn't their fault they'd been created, they never asked to exist. In that sense he could sympathize with them. So he didn't think the fuckers were alive, but he no longer had the desire to beat the shit out of them. K9 probably had something to do with that, the smug bastard.

“When was the last time you actually got to do something like this?” Tommy pulled him out of his thoughts and back to what was going on right now.

“Fuck- since the riots.” Gavin scoffed. “Too fucking long man.” When this case had popped up Fowler had picked him with only a little hesitation. Gavin had the connections, and the reputation to get into the gangs they were looking to catch. Anderson of course had said it was a bad fucking idea sending him into this kind of situation. The detective couldn't decide if Anderson was actually worried about him or was worried he'd fall into old habits.

“If you don't mind my asking, what's taken you so long to get back into it?”

“My old group got nabbed by the police just after the laws got passed, got too agitated too loudly, so I had to keep my head down low.” He kicked at an empty beer can. “I tried to warn the fuckers, but they didn't listen.”

“Well my good man you're waiting is about to pay off.” Tommy pushed open a door and the smell of burnt plastic and fried wires accosted his nose. It took everything he had to not gag from the it. Shit, he knew it wasn't going to be a pretty sight but he hadn't thought it would be worse then anything he'd seen before, or smelled before. Tommy took in a deep breath before clapping Gavin on the shoulder. “Come on over man. We have something special for tonight.” Gavin followed, remembering last minute to keep the smirk on his face. The door shut behind them with a thud and Gavin felt a desire to get the hell out of there.

He wasn't really concerned about what ever android had gotten itself caught. Hell, he felt bad for the poor sap, but saving one android wasn't his end goal at the present. Maybe that's why they had chosen him. Maybe Fowler was expecting him to not give a fuck about the androids and be able to muscle through and get the job done. This gang was connected to one of the biggest red ice production lines in Detroit. If he took this thing down, he'd be set for a promotion in no time. His heart skipped a beat as he finally saw what Tommy was talking about.

Fuck him.

The kid handed him a pipe with the ice already in it, the sound of it crackling from the heat reaching his ears. “This is the personal house stash. It's got an extra little kick- you'll love it.”

Gavin tried to hand it back. “Nah I'm not much for smoking.”

Tommy frowned, and didn't move to take the pipe. “I thought you were down for this? I promise this is the best way to come have fun with the android we got strung up.”

The detective had seconds to figure out what to do. It had taken him time to get to this point and he couldn't risk losing all that hard work because he wouldn't smoke a pipe. He sighed but brought it to his mouth, and took a few inhales of the red ice, almost immediately feeling it rush to his head. The kid seemed happy enough and took the pipe from him, as Gavin tried to think through the fog that was trying to take over his vision. The young man in front of him looked at him and Gavin would have sworn that he'd made a face at the detective to screw with his head, and fuck if Gavin actually giggled, his eyes widened at the sound. He had not just giggled... by all that was fucked up in the world, surely he had not just giggled... Tommy only grinned at the sound that had come from Gavin. “Alright come on, you're going to like this.” He grabbed Reed's wrist and led him past the tables where people seemed to just be chilling. Fuck- he was beginning to feel an itching under his skin, and he wondered how much trouble he would be in if he got caught now. Or if Fowler ever found out about the hit he'd just taken. “-model but it screams like it feels it. We're thinking it's something unique to its model.”

Gavin blinked as he realized they were now in the space where an android was cuffed to a pillar in the middle of the room, arms stretched out to either side, head hanging down against its chest. It didn't seem in the best of shape, but the detective was also pretty sure his vision was currently compromised with the drug that was quickly working through his system. Reed shook his head slightly trying to focus on what was around him. He'd never handled drugs well. They hit him hard and fast, the only blessing was that meant they also burned out of his system fast as well. It was an experience he never enjoyed and in fact he'd only ever tried them out twice in his life before, and the last time had been such a bad experience he'd never had the desire to try again.

“Wow- you really take to the shit don't you? Think you're gonna be able to do this?” Tommy was laughing and Gavin scowled.

“Course I can.” He spat and shook his head again, blinking rapidly. A taser was put into his hands and he frowned.

“Trust me, this will make it sing.” He pushed Gavin to the front of the android, and the detective tried to focus on what was going on. There was a man hovering inches away from the android, holding a regulator in his hands as the android's body convulsed, and strained against his bonds. The android's head was pushed back against the pillar and all Gavin could make out was the outline of his nose and the lips that seemed to be moving slightly. Something pulled at his memory of the outline he was seeing but a steady set of numbers being spoken caught his attention. It was a countdown and Gavin tried to figure out where it was coming from.

“13, 12, 11-” He realized it was coming from the android, and his gut flipped as he realized the man holding the regulator was making the android count down the seconds until he'd shut down. His grip tightened as the numbers ticked down, and Reed almost grabbed the regulator away from the man to shove it in before the android shut down, when the ass finally shoved it back in himself with a click. The sound of relief that came from the android made Gavin shudder, and he had to remind himself the sound wasn't real. Androids were just good at simulating emotion, they didn't actually feel anything.

Didn't mean the scene wasn't fucked up though.

“Alright alright, step aside Jack- My man here wants to have a go at the thing.” Jack, the ass who had ripped the regulator out, grinned and motioned for Gavin to step forward, blue blood staining his fingers. The androids head had fallen forward again, his hair falling into his face, and for a moment Gavin felt sorry for him, now certain it was a him. He wondered if he could overload the system with the taser and end his suffering. Would that be the merciful thing to do here? “Now with the taser, this is the best thing. Don't worry about the Thirium, we're catching anything that escapes it.” The man reached over and opened the androids chest plates, and Gavin tried really hard to not step back as his vision swam at the motion. “Now take that and just touch this thing here-” He pointed to the heart like biocomponent. “Just touch it, and the thing will make the most beautiful noise-”

“Please...” The word was so soft he almost hadn't heard it.

“Ah shut up you damn android. No one here gives a fuck.” Jack popped Gavin on the shoulder still grinning. “Come on man, just give it a try and make his voice box be useful.” Gavin sighed knowing this wouldn't look good should anyone find out, and if being honest he really didn't want to do this. It had been a long time since he'd been in any kind of position like this, because he'd realized it was fucked up. It didn't change his feelings towards androids being alive or what ever, but he also knew it wasn't right to... to take his frustrations out on things that couldn't help what had happened. Of course right now he couldn't blow his cover, he couldn't risk ruining the first case he'd been given since the riots because he felt bad for one android. He said a silent apology before he tased the biocomponent, and watched as the head shot up, a pained gasp escaping its lips, and Gavin felt his own heart skip again, before it fell to the pit of his stomach. It had to be the drug. It had to be the drug because there was no way in hell he was seeing who he thought he was seeing.

“Connor?” He breathed, at the same time Tommy started to laugh his head off.

“Look at his damn face. Here- here do it again.” Gavin hesitated, and Tommy took the hand and made him do it again, this time getting a stifled scream from the android. “See? Doesn't that just get your blood pumping?”

“Pleassse-” Connor said, his voice glitching with static, pain clear across his face, “I n-eed help.”

“You know we've been at this for a couple hours or so now, and it still tries to ask people for help. Almost makes me feel sorry for the freak.” Tommy snorted and gave Gavin a pat. “Just don't kill him. We need to harvest the Thirium before he dies.”

“Before?” Gavin asked, trying to remember why he was actually there, tried to tear his thoughts away from the android in front of him that was supposed to be dead.

“Yeah- it's easier to pump it out of their system while they're still functional. Once you shut'em down, you risk getting thirium stuck in the bends or what not.” He looked at Gavin's eyes, and gave a nod of his head towards the tables of red ice. “You should get another hit, your eyes've calmed down again.”

“I think I wanna remember this.” Gavin forced a grin, and waved his taser in the air. Tommy smirked and nodded his head as he walked off back towards the tables. For the moment no one was in the immediate area, so Gavin looked to the android. He hesitated only a moment before he stepped back up to Connor, no longer sure about what he should do. He glanced at the inner circuitry and components and realized that Connor was the source of the smell that had hit him when he'd first walked in, and it made his stomach twist into knots. “What the fuck.” He breathed before he quickly, and carefully, shut his chest plates closed. “Typical you show up here of all the fucking places.” He grumbled as his eyes darted to the cuffs that held the android helpless.

“Y-you're a de-detective-” Connor was panting, actually panting, his chest rising and falling in quick shallow gasps. “I n-eed help.” He said again, his voice still screwed up. 

“Shut the fuck up, don't go saying that around here plastic." He hissed as he glanced around making sure no one heard him. "And I can fucking see you need help.” He snapped. “I just don't know how the fuck I can do that.”

A female walked by and looked at Gavin, slowly cocking a brow. “you know it's more fun when you make them scream.” She said as a smirk started to play across her face.

Gavin forced a smirk of his own and winked at her. “I know plenty about screaming and fun.”

“Oh? Maybe you'll show me later.” She giggled before she carried on. Gavin looked around them and found that everyone seemed to have moved back to taking a red ice hit.

“Shit- Hank said he killed- no actually not now. I can't help you Connor.” He said and watched the LED flicker. “I- if I help you I'll blow this entire thing.” He couldn't risk it for one android. That's what he'd been telling himself the entire day. He'd known that tonight would be hard, that tonight would be all kinds of messed up, but he couldn't blow everything to try and save one android. Not at the risk of everything else that was at stake. It didn't change because he happened to know the android.

“I- I ha-ve memoriesss... in m-my processssor.” Gavin shook his head and stepped away from him. “Detective pleassse-” Connor fell silent as Jack stepped up behind the detective.

“Had your fun with it?”

“I did-” Connor's head slumped forward again, and Gavin could just make out the LED that was blinking red. Fuck him. He looked to Jack and made a face. “He's just about spent, yeah?”

“Yeah, sucks but he's not gonna hold on much longer. Once you're done we're gonna harvest his blue blood.”

Gavin nodded his head up and down before he made a decision. “Is there a way to get a private session? Before the harvesting starts?”

Jack quirked a brow and Gavin noticed the very slight tensing of Connor's body. “A private session?”

“Yeah. Is that not a thing you guys do? My old group used to do it all the time.” He was making shit up on the fly, and was personally pretty proud of the nonsense he was spewing. “Once we got'em to this stage, we'd let who ever have some... one on one time with them.”

Jack seemed to really be considering this. “That's what the clubs're for.”

“Those don't allow you to go as far as I like to go.”

“We don't want to lose any thirium...”

“I can make sure not a drop is wasted.”

“What would you be willing to pay?” Jack's voice had gone quiet and leaned in towards Gavin, sensing an opportunity to make a quick dollar.

Gavin couldn't seem too eager, for fear of the price getting out of his range or raising suspicion, but he also needed a number that would catch attention from the man. “What about one fifty?”

Jack pursed his lips and narrowed his eyes, seemingly thinking the offer over. “Two fifty.”

Gavin had him. “Three fifty and I get him the next hour.”

“Make it an even four, and we got a deal.” Jack held a hand out, and Gavin hesitated a moment for show before he shrugged and shook on it. “They send you to negotiate don't they?” Jack chuckled and gave him a smirk.

“Just making some extra cash is all.” He motioned two others over and nodded towards Connor. “Take him to room five. Our guest wants some one on one time with him.” The other two nodded their heads and got to work moving the android.

Gavin followed behind them, and only transferred the money to the man once they were outside the door. He gave Jack a pat on the shoulder and forced a grin. “Thanks man.”

“Anything for you. You're Gavin right? You used to run with Robs and Maria?” He nodded his head. “Yeah- I was friends with them, and Robs had nothing but praise to sing about your work. I'm glad that you've found your way back among your own people. I suspect we'll be seeing each other more often.” The man winked before he walked away back to the tables.

The detective kept the smirk on until he closed the door, and locked it up tight. “Can you function?” He asked Connor. He scanned for any camera's but found nothing with the naked eye. “Yo, robocop can you function?”

Connor shook his head. “No, t-too much Thirium losssss. Biocomponent-tss dam-aged.”

“Okay okay. So you need a hospital. How quick we need to get you there?”

“No- no hosspit-talss. They're... dan-dangerous.” Connor closed his eyes, and fell back against the bed as he tried to focus on cooling his body down.

“The fuck they are-”

“N-o.” Connor repeated.

“Okay- well then we gotta figure out a reason for the fucks outside to keep you alive then.” Gavin looked at Connor, and watched as blue blood started to stain the sheets. “Fuck- how long does it take for that to become invisible?”

“Sseveral hourss.” Connor was still breathing like he actually needed the oxygen, and the sound was driving Gavin up the wall.

“Do you actually need to do that?”

“Ap-apolo-gies detective.” Connor cut his eyes at him before he let them close. He was quiet a moment before he took in a giant breath. “I am at-tempting t-to ssupply my int-ternal fanss with a l-larger ssupply as I am over-overheat-ting.”

“Fuck.” Gavin stepped up to him and placed a hand on his head then over his regulator, and found what Connor had said was true. The android was burning up, and who knew what that would do to the circuitry. “Fuck-” He ran a hand through his hair, fingers scratching at his head. “Shit Connor- why tonight of all the fucking nights.”

“I did no-ot asssk for thiss t-to happen.” Every word sounded worse then the one before. Gavin could still hear Connor's voice glitching underneath it all, but for the most part it was very mechanical.

“I have a job to do...” He said, as if trying to remind himself. “And I can't take you to a hospital?” Connor shook his head. “Why? Why is it dangerous?”

“Cyberlife.”

“They're out of business-” Again Connor shook his head. Gavin stopped and stared at him a moment as he tried to piece shit together. A knock at the door had them both jumping.

“Hey android fucker- want some company? We don't mind sharing.”

“You can have him when I'm done!” Gavin yelled out without thinking, which got giggles from the other side.

“At least open up and take a hit- it'll be great. Makes the whole thing amazing.” That was Tommy's voice. “You know you want some Gavin.”

“I'm good man-” Gavin tried to say not wanting them to come into the room. He motioned for Connor to roll over, which the android did after only a slight hesitation.

“Gavin, come on spoil sport open the door.” Fucking shit. He knew he should have tried to get closer to anyone other than Tommy. The very thing that had made the young man easy to get close to was now causing him problems trying to deal with Connor.

He yanked his shirt off and threw it on the floor and unbuttoned his pants so it looked like he'd thrown something on. He ruffled his hair, right before he opened the door with a scowl. Tommy stood there with a grin on his face, holding up a finger with a line fine red powder resting on top of it. The young man's eyes flicked back to the bed where he saw Connor, and Gavin was glad he'd gotten the android turned around. “Having fun?”

“We were just getting started when you knocked.” Tommy's eyes were blown wide and Gavin could see everyone else was just as high. This would probably be the best time to try and get Connor out of there... if he was going to blow the mission. Was he really about to do that for a fucking android? No one would even miss the fucker- He leaned over, and quickly snorted the line of red powder off Tommy's finger, and hissed as it burned, his body tensing as it started to take effect.

“Relax stupid.” Tommy grinned. “It's better when you relax, and just let it hit your system.” Tommy closed the space between them as he brought his hand up and pulled Gavin down into a kiss while the detective tried to adjust to the chemicals running through his system at the moment. “Take a breath and let it take you somewhere nice.” Behind them, in the large room shouting started, and both men looked over to see some of the people starting to fight, their movements showing agitation. Tommy sighed and pulled back from Gavin. “When they don't have an android they go at each other.” He looked back to Gavin and winked. “I'll see you soon.” Gavin stepped back into the room and closed the door, locking it once again as the room swam.

“Fucking shit-” He leaned against the wall as he tried to somehow will the drugs to not take effect immediately.

“Reed?” The detective turned on his heel, and saw Connor looking at him from the bed. “You t-ook red ice.” Was that fear he heard in the androids voice? When had he actually been able to make Connor, the fucking android sent by CyberLife scared of him? Last he'd checked the android had beat his ass into the ground. If anything Gavin should be worried about being around him!

Gavin stared at him with wide eyes before he blinked, and scowled still struggling to keep his head about him. “Fuck off-” he pushed himself away from the wall, and over to the other door in the room. It was a closet of sorts. Maybe this had been an office at one time deep in the warehouse. He glanced up and saw what he was looking for. Loose ceiling panels. As long as they were careful they could crawl their way to freedom. Fucking shit- was he actually about to do this? “We're climbing out of here asshole.” He was about to blow the entire mission because of one stupid android. Fowler would be pissed. Anderson would freak out and find a way to blame him... K9 would probably be alright with it. Maybe.

He slipped his shirt back on before he hopped up on a few boxes that had been left behind, and popped one of the squares from the ceiling up and off. He heard Connor enter into the space, and he looked back at the android with another scowl on his lips. “Will you make it?” He asked.

Connor hesitated, seeming to try and do some calculations before he grimaced. “I- I will be fi-ne.” He said. “what'ss the pla-n?”

“Gonna crawl across the ceiling. As long as you keep to the metal bits we... should be fine. Mostly. If we find an air duct we'd be better off with that.” He hauled himself up into the ceiling, grunting slightly as he kicked his legs in the air, wiggling into the space. Once in though he turned around, and offered an arm for Connor to grab. “Come on fuck face, give me your hand and we'll get you up here.” He watched as Connor let out a slow breath before he climbed on top of the box's then grabbed onto Gavin's hand, then together they managed to drag him up into the ceiling.

“I'm n-ot sssure thisss iss a well thought out pla-n.”

“Well you were not a part of the plan for tonight. So lay off, I'm trying to think on the fly here okay? I'm supposed to be gathering evidence to shut this gang down, but no I'm saving your fucking life instead.” He continued to grumble as he paused, and helped Connor across a rather precarious section. “You fucking android- play dead for a year then you show up in the middle of my first case off desk duty-” He stopped and felt Connor run into him. “Hold up-” Faintly the sound of an alarm was going up and Gavin scowled before continuing on their path. “And now they know that I've double crossed them. Fucking shit this couldn't have gone worse.”

“Tha-nk you.”

Gavin paused again and glanced back to Connor at the thanks, not quite believing that he'd just said that. It was... weird. “Um- well I mean it's not like I could have just left you there.” He grumbled and continued walking across the metal beams. “Don't fucking look into it though. You're still just a fucking machine.” He continued to grumble.

If Connor had thoughts on the subject he didn't voice them.

They quietly scrambled above the noise down beneath them, Gavin looking back every five seconds to make sure the android was still able to follow him. He'd seen how much thirium the thing had lost, if they didn't get that refilled soon all of this would have been for nothing and he'd only have a corpse to show for his failure. “Oh thank fuck.” He said as an air vent came into view. The building was old, and popping open the air vent was probably easier then it should have been, but the detective wasn't going to look into that too much. He ushered Connor in behind him, before scrambling ahead towards the grate at the end of the tunnel.

“Where are you fuckers?!” Jack sounded pissed. “Come out, come out, where ever you are!” the sound of something crashing against the wall made Gavin glad he was up in the ceiling instead of trying to make his way through the chaos that was no doubt happening at the moment.

“Alright dipshit, come here. We're gonna lower you to the ground first, got it?” Connor nodded his head and worked his way around Gavin and started to work his way out of the vent, Gavin holding on to him as best he could so the android wouldn't jar anything worse.

“Alright detective I'm down.” Connor said softly, and Gavin nodded his head. He waited a moment as he tried to listen to what was going on behind them in the building and was pleased enough they were still yelling. He started for the opening when he froze a moment.

“Well what do we have here?” Gavin froze as he heard Jack's voice outside. Shit. He quickly tried to think of something that would save the situation they'd walked into.

“Where's Gavin?” That was Tommy's voice. If Tommy was there... he may still be able to save this entire thing. He wrinkled his nose then dashed for the vent, shooting out of it with a curse and proceeded to land on his back, rolling to get up as he groaned.

“Fucking hell.” He shook his head and looked up to see Jack and Tommy blocking Connor's path. “Fuck- fantastic timing.” He said, taking in giant gulps of air as if he'd been chasing Connor through the ceiling. “I thought I'd lost'im for good.” he straightened up, and popped his back with a groan.

“Lost him?”

“You told me he was almost spent.” He leveled Jack with a glare. “Fucker managed to throw me off and scrambled into the ceiling.”

“So... you weren't trying to steal him away?”

“Why the fuck would I do that?”

“And you actually want us to believe that? How stupid do you think we are?”

“If I thought you were stupid Jack, I would have come up with a better lie. Or not come crashing out of the air vent?” He snapped as he stepped forward successfully putting himself between the other two and Connor. “I thought you lot had figured it out?”

“What?”

“Don't fucking tell me you've been chasing my ass too?” Gavin rolled his eyes and clicked his tongue in annoyance. “Fucking- why the fuck would I steal the toy without having a chance to use it first?” The red ice reared its ugly head again as the world took another dive to the side and it took everything he had to keep upright. Behind him he could hear Connor panting again, no doubt trying to keep from over heating. He wondered how much longer the android had.

“Alright- then let's get him back inside. We'll have to patch him up before we can harvest the Thirium.” Tommy said, voice gentle as he stepped towards Gavin.

“You actually believe this shit?” Jack sounded pissed. 

“I've spent the better part of the last two weeks with him Jack. He despises androids. Believe me.” His eyes flicked between Connor and Gavin before offering a small smile. “Though you must understand this is an interesting situation you've found yourself in Gavin. What can you offer in proof that this is just a misunderstanding?”

Gavin mentally cursed. Connor looked like shit warmed over and he wasn't sure he would even be able to fix the android- where as these people sounded like they were going to patch him up... if he stayed. Even if it was just to harvest the blue blood from him later that would still get him into some sort of stable situation, which was more then he could do for COnnor. Maybe he could get them to patch him up, then break the android free? “What do you want me to do?" He finnaly asked. "This was just a fuck up on my part-” There was a hitch in the breathing behind him, and he knew he'd have to work to get Connor to believe him again after this. If he even wanted to bother with that. The android had been presumed dead for a year, why was Gavin helping him? Why did he care? He could blame K9... the android had found his way to the DPD as Hank's new partner, and with some persistence, and threatening of life, he'd persuaded Gavin to be a little more sociable towards androids, if for no other reason than to keep his job.

“We found it with a friend-”

“No-” Connor started to protest. 

“The friend escaped us. A WR600. It could become a problem if we don't catch it-”

“You want me to catch an android?” Typical. Sending the new guy to clean up the mess. They had probably planned on asking him even if this hadn't happened. 

“Yes. Don't worry, it sticks out in a crowd. Got a big old scar running across his face and isn't all there in the head-”

“You c-an't...” Connor said as he stumbled forward, grabbing onto Gavin. “D-on't hhurt him-”

Gavin's heart jumped at the contact, and almost shoved him off out of instinct, but something made him stop just before he could. That fucking old flutter again in the pit of his stomach... “Shit.” He should have thrown him to the ground- that would have been better for all involved. “Fucking shit Connor.” He breathed before he quickly pulled his gun from its hiding place, and pointed it at Tommy and Jack. “Back the fuck up.” He said, deadpan.

“Gavin-”

“Told you-”

“Back up now. Or I shoot.” Both men started to back up. “I'm taking this android-” He wrapped his free hand around Connor, trying to help support him as they inched towards where Gavin had parked the car. “You're going to allow us to leave-”

“Why they fuck should we?” Jack snarled and took a step towards him.

“Back the fuck up-” Gavin growled as he continued to move himself and Connor to the safety of the car.

“Why are you doing this? You've done nothing but talk about how much you hate androids- Do you know this android?”

“Yeah- as a matter of fact I do.” He finally had them backing up now. “He's my fucking property and I'll be damned if I let you ass's destroy him.”

“Your property-” Tommy was confused and Jack took another step towards the pair of them. Gavin fired a warning shot- and that had both men still again.

“Yes. Mine. I don't want to see hide or hair of the pair of you again. You fucking got that?”

“This won't be the end of it Gavin-”

“I don't fucking care what you think in all honesty.” They were finally at the car, and he nudged Connor to get into the car. “We'll be going, and you better believe I'll call the police on both of you if I ever even think you're in my area.”

“You're going to regret this Gavin-”

“Fuck off.” He fired another shot before he slid over the hood of the car and quickly slipped into the drivers seat. He started up the engine and peeled out of the parking lot before backup could come. He glanced in the rear view mirror and saw Jack running after the car, and Tommy staring at him with a frown on his face. Well... that could have gone worse.

 

Chapter Text

~One Year Ago: Friday November 12th 12:27 am~

There are worse ways that could have played out. Connor pushed his way through the androids that were still celebrating in the street. Amanda had almost taken over his body- No she had taken over his body. He had been about to shoot the leader- His LED flashed red as he stumbled his way out of the edge of the crowd. How had she done that? How had she trapped him inside of his own mind? He glanced back at the group of androids on the stage, and caught the eyes of the deviant leader Markus. A memory replayed in his head, a memory that was his and yet not his. It had been uneathered when he connected with the glowing stone. It had been brought back from the dead... literally.

 

Please don't shoot me. I want to live- It was on the tip of his tongue, but he didn't deserve to ask that. Not after what he'd done... 'Our cause is too important...' He couldn't blame him as the gun was leveled at his head. He was after all CyberLife's dog. He looked at the gun knowing this was it for him- he could try and connect to the servers and save himself in a way... but this was it. Markus was going to shoot him... Wasn't it just typical that once he'd finally accepted he was a deviant, he wasn't going to live long enough to realize what that meant. Would Hank have been proud? 'I can't take any risks.' He kept his eyes on Markus as he heard the gun go off-

 

He flinched at the memory, and quickly turned away from those eyes that seemed to pierce into his core processor, that seemed to pull the... the deviancy out of him. That android was dangerous. The leader of the deviants couldn't be trusted. He couldn't die again- or this time... Vaguely he could feel someone mentally hammering at his mind, and he threw up firewalls to try and keep any intruders out. There was no one here who wanted to talk to him out of friendship, no one here who desired to be kind to him. The only reason someone was trying to gain access to his mind was to take it over, was to hurt him, to lock him away.

He could hear shouts behind him and he picked up the pace as he headed for streets that would lead him away from the other androids. Away from the deviants who had worked against CyberLife... who worked against me... to win their freedom. What was I doing? They were just beings wanting to live life- He snarled at himself as the thought drifted through his mind. No, no they were androids who have rebelled against their code- But wasn't that what he was doing right then? Hadn't he, by deciding not to shoot Markus, become deviant himself? Hadn't he rebelled against his coding because it didn't feel right?

He grimaced as the hammering against his mind persisted, and seemed to grow worse. Shouldn't it have gotten better the further away he got from the crowd? Unless he was being followed- He glanced behind him but couldn't see anyone trying to follow him. Still the banging carried on, and Connor continued to throw up barricades and mental road blocks to keep who ever it was out of his mind. He couldn't- he couldn't be trusted. Whether the thought was about the android on stage or himself, Connor was not quite certain of at the moment.

How had this happened? Why had this happened? Why hadn't he just taken the shot? He grimaced as his steps slowed down. Where did he think he was going? Where on earth did he think he could go? CyberLife? He'd be deactivated the moment he stepped foot on the property. The DPD? Hank had just thrown him off a building after he'd almost thrown Hank off the building. His LED glitched red again, and sent a small shock down his system that had him wincing.

He'd fought Hank- He knew the man had never been friends with him personally, but- at the same time he had. Hadn't he? Hadn't they been friends? He'd died before saving Hank's life- that had still been him, right? The same memories, the same files had been transferred from the old body into the new one- so that meant that Connor had been him, and so the Connor that had been killed by Markus was him, and also the Connor that Hank had thrown off the building was him-

But they both hated him now. The Connors had all been him, and yet also not him.

Fifty-three had been fresh with no memory of Jericho and his failure there, no, not failure but my waking up. Memories from all his previous versions were flooding his mind, and he was trying to figure out what was him and what wasn't him. There were so many conflicting emotions- no. No, not emotions he wasn't deviant- but he was deviant! He had woken up in Jericho, then had died at the church. The deviants didn't want him. He was too machine, CyberLife didn't want him, he was too deviant.

He crouched down in the middle of the street a moment as he clutched at his head. His core processor was being over stimulated with memories that were his and weren't his. The memories were all him and yet none of them were him. A warning for both his stress levels and his core temperatures rising popped up in his vision. He cursed under his breath as he tried to take slower breaths to help his inner fans cool his systems. He just needed a place to sit down- he needed a place to figure this all out. But he had no where to go. Where was a deviant hunter who had failed at life suppose to go? The blare of a horn made him jump to his feet a spin around- LED flashing red. Stress levels are too high. I need to calm down-

“Get out of the damn road!” Connor stumbled backwards, and onto the sidewalk, and the car zoomed by, the owner giving him the bird as he drove past. “Fucking tincan!” Connor blinked a moment and looked around him, trying to figure out where his feet had brought him. The corner looked familiar, as if he'd been here before...

There was no warning except a small shuffle of feet before hands grabbed him and someone pulled him towards an alley. “Ralph knows you.” Connor felt something sharp dig into his back, and he remained still, trying to gauge the situation. “Ralph remembers you- you chased after Ralph's family, chased them away. You wanted to hurt them- yes you wanted to hurt them like the humans hurt Ralph.”

Connor's systems helpfully supplied his rising stress levels.

[Stress Levels 93% Return to CyberLife for repairs.]

“I- I don't know you-” he stumbled over the words as his brain tried to wade through his memory bank for a Ralph.

“What do you mean not know Ralph?” The sharp object dug deeper into Connor's back and he felt his synthetic skin tear slightly, the sensation unpleasant.

“I mean I don't remember-”

“Ralph! Ralph is Ralph and you're the deviant hunter who came into Ralph's home, and chased the little girl and her mother.” His voice fell softer as if muttering to himself. “Ralph had gotten her food but you chased her away before she could eat-”

A memory finally popped up and replayed in his head, and he nodded slowly. “I... yes. Yes I- you jumped on my back-”

“Ralph protected the little girl!”

“Of course.” He said his voice immediately going into a more soothing tone. “You protected the little girl- I was wrong.” Connor said slowly. Surprisingly the interaction was bringing his stress levels down as he switched into his negotiator mode.

“Yes- yes Ralph was right. Ralph was protecting Ralph's family.”

“Yes you were Ralph, and you did an excellent job.” The rest of the memory started to play through his mind. “You gave them the time they needed to get away- you saved them Ralph.”

“Yes. Yes Ralph saved them. Ralph saved his family.” The point was slowly removed from Connor's back, and he felt his stress levels start to rise again as the crisis was adverted.

“Ralph-” He turned around to see the android standing in the snow, his synthetic skin completely gone, only the smooth white and gray of the android body visible.

“Ralph was good. Ralph did the right thing.” The android started to walk away, seemingly lost in his own head again. “Then why did they never come back? Where did the family go? Why is the family gone?”

Connor watched him a moment before he made the decision to follow after him. So far this was the only android he knew of that might not kill him at the present moment. “Ralph-”

“Ralph was trying to be a good father.” Ralph said, looking over at Connor as he caught up to him. “Ralph only wanted a family. Then the humans came-”

“Androids can't have families.” He said without thinking.

“Ralph did! Ralph can!” The WR600 stamped his foot against the ground. “Ralph had a family!” His eyes seemed to glaze over again and his voice fell quiet. “Ralph had a family, but they weren't at the camps. They must be safe. They must be far away. The humans didn't get them- because they weren't at the camp.” He looked back at Connor, voice still soft but the expression on his face one of hurt. “But Ralph had a family.”

Connor quickly put his arms up in a placating motion. “Very well. I understand. Ralph had a family.” He soothed, his own stress going down once again as he did so. The idea of a family was obviously a very strong emotion, a strong desire for the deviant.

Ralph narrowed his eyes at the android before he nodded his head. “Good.” He continued down the street, seeming to slow down to make sure Connor was following. “You're different from what Ralph remembers.” The android finally said after studying him as they walked.

Connor wasn't surprised. Ralph would have met an android little different from Fifty-three, a machine eager to complete his mission... “I'm not the same model you first met.” He pointed to the serial number on his jacket. “I'm number fifty-four. He was Fifty-one.”

Ralph frowned before he nodded his head up and down. “Fifty-one... fifty-four... you have several bodies?”

“Not exactly- There's only me left.”

Ralph seemed to be running with the idea though. “Ralph has a friends like you. Only all his persons are still here.”

“Excuse me?”

“Jerry. Jerry has several bodies though only one mind.” Ralph tapped the side of his head with the point of his knife. “Come on. Ralph will show you. Jerry will like deviant hunter. Jerry will understand all the different bodies but same android.” He grinned and started to skitter down the street, leaving Connor no time to ponder what in the world he was talking about. He was merely thankful for the offer to follow along.

They continued on further and further away from central Detroit, the neighborhood growing less and less populated. Connor wondered how many androids were hiding out here, or if it was only Ralph and Jerry. At the very least it looked like humans hadn't inhabited this area of the city for quite some time, and Connor was fine with that. Less people to turn him into CyberLife.

“Jerry?” Ralph said as soon as he was through the front door. The house was as decrepit as the neighborhood around it, and appeared to be falling down around them, just as the first one he'd met Ralph in had been, but it showed no signs of human interference, and more importantly, Ralph and this Jerry seemed to be the only androids there. As long as Jerry didn't know him, or was as quick to forgive as Ralph, then maybe he would be able to stay here? If not he'd need to find someplace before the city started to properly wake up.

“Ralph!” An EM400 came sliding around the corner and ran to Ralph, arms wrapping around the other android and pulling him into a hug. “Ralph we were so worried about you. We tried to get into the camp- but by the time we got there Markus was already fighting. We only knew to come home because we saw you leaving-”

“Ralph is happy Ralph's Jerry didn't make it in.” Connor blinked, and averted his eyes as he felt he was intruding on something private. “Ralph was so scared- Ralph didn't want to die. Ralph didn't want to die...”

“Ralph didn't die! You survived Ralph. You were so brave, we are very proud of you.” Jerry said, pulling back and looking into the androids face. “You are here, we are here and we have won. We will be safe now.”

Ralph smiled, blinking rapidly as his head twitched from side to side. “Yes. Yes you are right. We are safe again.”

Jerry's eyes finally focused on Connor, and he offered a small smile. “You brought a guest? Who have you brought Ralph?” The android moved the WR600 behind him slightly, and Connor realized the move for what it was. Protection. Either he knew him, or Connor looked more threatening then he felt at the moment. Or maybe both. “Don't we recognize you?”

Well that was certainly fast. Just how many androids knew about him? How quickly had news of the Great Deviant Hunter gotten around the city? “I- I am uncertain.” Connor admitted as he tried to find a memory of seeing the android before, not sure if he wanted to find a memory or not.

Jerry started nodding his head up and down though. “Yes- yes we do recognize you! You were at the church- We were there after Jericho.” He seemed to be getting excited, and was bouncing on the balls of his feet slightly. “You were standing in the corner and-” The android paused, frowning slightly as he looked to Ralph before looking back to Connor. “Markus shot you. We saw you fall. Saw you die. How are you here?” Jerry's body tensed slightly, and he grabbed Ralph's hand, pushing him a little further back.

Connor's LED blinked yellow as he watched the action happen. Of course fifty-two would get him in trouble. He could see some sort of bond had been built between Ralph and Jerry, and he started to doubt that it would be a good idea to stay here. Especially if Jerry saw him as a threat. Which you are. “That-” He sighed slightly with a shake of his head, “I understand why Markus did what he did, but I'm no longer a threat-” Liar.

“You were a threat to us then. Markus thought so.” Jerry cocked his head to the side slightly, a genuinely curious look on his face. “Why should we think differently now?”

Even when he appeared worried and concerned for his safety, Jerry still had this approachable look to him. A look which had Connor relaxing even against his better judgment. But that cheerfulness also meant the android was difficult to read. He seemed so... easy to talk with, and yet Connor could see that Jerry was on edge... sort of... He clenched his jaw as he tried to come up with a reason why he would be alright to be around. “I-” he started then fell silent again as he continued to draw a blank.

“Jerry no. The deviant hunter is a guest.” Ralph finally cut in, shaking the hold Jerry had on his hand free.

“Deviant hunter?” Jerry looked a little more alert, though there was still a warmth to his face that made Connor wonder if he always appeared to be smiling. He'd have looked it up if it hadn't meant connecting to CyberLife and thus Amanda again.

“Did Ralph stutter?” Ralph shook his head as he walked towards the table, and stuck his knife into it. “The deviant hunter is like you. That's why Ralph brought him here.” He turned back around and looked at Jerry expectantly.

“Like us?” That seemed to have caught his attention, perking up slightly at the comparison.

“Yes- you have several bodies one mind, so does he. Only his minds are all in one body. Ralph doesn't understand it but thought Jerrys might.” He seemed to believe that was enough explanation and disappeared into one of the adjoining rooms, leaving Connor and Jerry alone for the time being.

Jerry seemed to give Connor as calculating a look as he could muster. “Several minds one body?” His posture finally started to relax, and he even seemed to bounce on the balls of his feet again. “We can understand that. We are always connected with one another. We always know what's going on with the others.”

“The others?” Connor asked.

“Yes. The other Jerrys. We all worked at Pirates Cove-”

That made it click for Connor. They were the workers at amusement parks, and were all connected with one another for safety reason. In case a child was missing, or something of the like, they could quickly find the missing child though their instant connection. “Oh- I see.” He said with a nod of his head, LED circling yellow. “I'm similar in my situation, but not quite. I have all my previous models inside of my core processor- but none of them are still functioning, as they've all been decommissioned. Only their files remain.”

“Like when Markus shot you.” Jerry's head tilted slightly to the side. “Do you have even that version in your head?”

And there they were back at that. “Yes.” He said softly. If he thought about it he could feel the phantom pain where a bullet had gone through his forehead. It was strange... he hadn't thought he'd been successful in uploading himself to the system when he was dying, but apparently he had because there was a grave marker in his garden...

“Why did the deviant leader shoot you?” Ralph asked, suddenly right in front of Connor having returned fully dressed, and with his synthetic skin back in place once again.

The android blinked a moment, making no other move from the sudden appearance of Ralph, his LED slowly spinning yellow. Why had Markus shot him... Had Markus shot him? That was still a question going through his mind. Who was he exactly... Did he have the right to try and rebuild the relationships that fifty-two had created but fifty-three had torn apart? Did he have the right to try and see if Markus would take in fifty-four the way he had seemed willing to take in fifty-two before he found out it had been his fault Jericho had been destroyed? Did he regret his decision? “Markus shot me because I told him I would understand if he needed to.”

Jerry was silent a moment and Ralph didn't move as he looked at Connor. “You let the leader shoot you...” Ralph started.

“To keep the rest of us safe.” Jerry finished. Connor nodded his head. The way they said it- it helped put something to rest inside of his processor. He wasn't sure what was put to rest yet, but something felt lighter inside of him. They looked at each other before Ralph and Jerry both stepped up beside Connor, and ushered him further into their little house. “So the deviant hunter what can we call you?”

That was it? That was all it took to help Jerry decide his mind? “Excuse me?” He asked, not quite believing it.

“We must call you something if you're to stay, and become part of the family.” Jerry said with a grin on his face.

“Oh-” His LED blinked yellow. “My name's Connor, the-” He paused as it felt as if the words got caught in his throat. He was no longer the android sent by CyberLife. But he was also not an android for the DPD. What was he? “Just- my name's Connor.” He finally clarified as the two of them looked at him expectantly.

This did not seem to please Ralph. “No, no, no.” Ralph shook his head. “He's not Connor- he's fifty-four. Connor was fifty-two.” Ralph tapped the side of his head. “Ralph remembers you say that.” His face grew more serious then. “Connor chased Ralph's family. Fifty-four isn't Connor. Fifty-four is family.”

“Fifty-four?” Jerry asked as he looked to Connor. “Is that what we should call you then?”

Maybe that's what he needed. A fresh start with a new name, and if Fifty-four was what these two remembered then fifty-four it would be. “Alright then. My name's fifty-four.”

Ralph jumped up and down, clapping his hands in excitement. “Oh this is great news. Ralph is getting a family again.” He grinned as he twitched in place.

“This is very exciting. We will let us know that fifty-four is a friend.” Jerry said before closing his eyes for a moment. Connor assumed he was connecting to all the other Jerry's in the vicinity to add him to their friends list. He wondered if he they had the capability to talk to each other the way Jerry talked to the other Jerrys. As time went on it would certainly be something worth having. An objective list popped up in his vision.

[Secure private connection between Jerry and Ralph.]

Just seeing a mission pop up, even if self given, was a relief. It made him almost feel normal again. Like he had a reason for being activated.

“Alright fifty-four we need to get you out of those clothes. Those are nasty clothes- fifty-four needs something like Ralph has.” Ralph shook his cloak with enthusiasm.

“No, no. Fifty-four needs something that will help him blend in Ralph. He's already very tall and doesn't need any other reason to stand out in the crowd.” Jerry grabbed Connor's arm, and tugged him upstairs. “We can see what we have up here. Then if nothing fits we can find something outside that will fit you.”

“What's wrong with the clothing I currently have on? The clothes are clean and were specifically designed for my model.”

Jerry pointed at all the android identifications that were on his jacket alone. “That's no good. We don't want human's to pick you out of the crowd so quickly.” His eyes flicked up to the LED on the side of his head, and seemed to be thinking a moment. “It might help if that was gone too.”

Connor brought a hand up, and covered the LED defensively. “I'll wear a beanie.” He quickly said.

Jerry smiled and shrugged. Either not caring that Connor wanted to keep the LED or seeing that for what ever reason it was important to the android. “What ever you think best.” They proceeded to dig around in the various closets, holding up shirts and jackets against Connor's taller frame. Eventually they managed to find a shirt that fit him alright, but he still looked very much out of place.

“We just don't have anything here that fits him Ralph.”

Ralph nodded his head sadly. “Will you take him out? Ralph... would rather not go again.”

“We understand Ralph.” Jerry gave Ralph a pat on the head. “You were very brave making your way home.”

Ralph seemed to perk up at the compliment before he skittered off into the kitchen. Jerry looked to Connor, the smile still on his face. “Alright fifty-four, let's go find you something that will make you look more human. Jerry is good at that. We have dressed a lot of us up in human clothes. We know how to blend in.”

Connor followed Jerry outside, pulling the coin out of his pocket, threading it through his fingers in an attempt to keep calm. “Are you sure going out is a good idea right now?”

“Yes. We have been assured that humans are no longer actively hunting us. We only need to worry about the stray groups, but we can avoid them if we're careful.” He scrambled over a fence that Connor easily slipped over. “So as a hunter previously, you know how to fight then?”

Connor snorted as memories of previous fights flashed through his mind. “You could say that.”

Jerry nodded his head as he glanced down at his hands. “That is very important for androids now.” He said after a moments silence. “Ralph is good at stabbing things, but we're never quite sure he'll get there in time to stab the bad people... and he's always so afraid of humans anyways.” He looked back at Connor, the most serious look on his face that Connor had seen yet. “Could you teach us how to fight? Or at least to protect? We've lost so many of us because we could not- I'm tired of not being able to.”

He was sightly surprised by the request, but he nodded his head regardless, LED still yellow. “Of course. Though I would warn you that being an android I am uncertain how well you will learn. We are not humans though we pretend to be-”

“Still we want to try.”

He was a little taken aback by how eager the android sounded. “Very well. I will give it my best to teach you then Jerry.”

That seemed to make the android happy as his entire demeanor brightened. He gave a nod of his head and focused back on leading the way. They carried on in silence as Jerry led them over walls, through alleys, and across small streets. Connor was impressed with his knowledge of keeping off the beaten path. He was enjoying the silence, but Jerry couldn't keep quiet any longer. “Might we ask, why are you here?”

“Ralph invited me. If you are not in agreement with his decision I would understand-”

Jerry shook his head. “No- no you are a friend now. Family now, as Ralph said. We merely wondered why you were here?”

“I-” Connor paused before he decided the truth was really all he could provide. “I have no where else to be.”

“No where?” Jerry paused and looked at him. “No one else to take you in?” It was a foreign concept to the android obviously. Connor could imagine that it would be hard for an android that was always connected to his others selves to imagine anyone not having someone to turn to.

“My other selves burned all the bridges I may have had.” The look that Jerry gave him made him feel sick. “I apologize for being a bother. If my presence is unwelcome-”

Jerry grabbed Connor's shoulder, and gave it a small squeeze. “You are not a bother. Where ever there is a Jerry you now have a home.”

Connor froze as that comment settled on him. He couldn't explain why, or was frightened to look into the reasoning, but that simple phrase- it made him want to break down. Which is illogical. I am not deviant. It flooded him with a sense of relief, as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. “Thank you.” He finally said, making the Jerry smile and continue them down the path for clothes. He may still be confused as to what was happening, and was using this as a distraction from the memories that were assaulting his core processor, but for the first time since he'd been activated, Since the last time I worked with Hank, he finally felt some peace. Even the alert for his stress levels had calmed down back to normal levels.

It didn't take long for them to arrive on the fringes of the central hub of Detroit. Most stores were closed, and the streets were all but abandoned. The androids that had been with Markus had either avoided this part of town, or hadn't made it here yet. Either one meant that Connor didn't have to worry about them at the present moment.

“This is where we always get our clothes. They never seem to mind when clothes go missing.” Jerry pointed to a donations bin, that was squeezed between two buildings, a tent over it to help keep it out of the elements. “We have found the most interesting items in here. One time a blue jacket that was most comfortable. Hopefully we find something just as comfortable for fifty-four.” He grinned and proceeded to start and dig through the bin.

Connor looked around them, checking the street for any signs of danger before he joined Jerry in the digging, hoping to help speed up the process. Jerry might have gotten the okay from his other selves, but Connor still wasn't sure being out at the present moment was a good idea.

“Oh- what about this?” He held up a sweater that looked like it might actually be a little too big on him.

“I'll take it.” Connor said simply, and went to take it from Jerry's hands, but the android threw it back into the pile.

“No- you must like what you're going to wear Fifty-four. It can't be something you'll put up with.”

“The sweater though looked big enough to fit-”

“But did you enjoy it?”

“I- I don't-” His LED flickered red as he tried to figure out if he had enjoyed the sweater. Deviants enjoyed things, and he wasn't deviant. He just hadn't been able to shoot Markus. Yes Amanda had been mad, rightfully so, but that didn't mean he'd turned deviant... right?

“Exactly. Don't worry though, we'll find you something you enjoy.” Jerry grinned and continued to dig through the bin. Eventually they ended up with a pair of worn jeans, a short sleeved shirt that would properly fit him, a beanie, and the sweater they had first thrown back. “You are sure you like that?”

“I do.” Connor insisted as he slipped the sweater on over the shirt. It had a feeling of familiarity to it. Something about the way it looked made him feel... comfortable. Like it was what home was supposed to feel like. Yes the style was dated, something no one in today's decade would consider fashion, but it was comfortable. 

“Well Fifty-four, we cannot speak for you choice in fashion. It is rather... old.” The android shrugged though, and smiled. “But as long as it makes you happy then we're happy-”

“Hold it right there!” Jerry froze and Connor turned around to see a man leveling a gun at them. “That belongs to the city.”

“I apologize, we were just-” Connor immediately tried to explain, to defuse the situation.

“Trying to look more human right? Thinking you can blend into society by dressing like us?” The man spit on the ground and snarled. 

“I will put them back if it makes you-”

“Don't fucking move!”

Jerry was shaking beside him, and Connor could almost see him trying to decide between obeying or fleeing. Connor held out a hand towards the man in a defensive manner. “Jerry calm down.” He said softly. 

“We can't leave Ralph- Ralph won't make it.” Jerry whispered under his breath.

“Get on your knees!” The man's stress levels popped up in Connors vision, and it was not looking good.

“Unless you're an officer of the law we do not have to obey you.” Connor said calmly as he started forward, already running simulations on how to get the gun from the man without getting Jerry shot.

“Don't come any closer plastic!”

“No. No we can't. We can't do this again!” Jerry said and started to back up.

“Jerry no-”

“Don't move!” the man yelled and fired a warning shot. “You're just a couple of fucking deviants- I should save the army the time and end you myself.”

“No- we won! We won and are free! Haven't you heard?” Jerry said with a nervous laugh as he took another step backwards.

“Have you not heard the news? The president has-”

“I don't fucking care- hey!” Jerry turned around and started to run for it, the situation too stressful for the android. The man moved the gun to aim at the fleeing android, and Connor quickly closed the distance between them without a second thought. The gun went off and he felt the bullet fly past him, but the human had missed, and Connor was on the attacker before he could fire again. He stepped into his personal space, bringing his hand down on the arm holding the gun and quickly relieved him of his firearm.

“Shit-” The man tried to attack the android as Connor easily took the gun from him, and flipped it into his own hands. Connor took a punch to the face that had it snap to the side. He registered that it had done no damage to his outer skin, as his head snapped forward again in an almost unnatural way. His fight protocols engaging, he cocked the gun and aimed it at the human, LED a steady yellow. 

“Sir I request that you-” but the man wasn't listening. He scrambled backwards from the android and went for his phone. Connor reacted on instinct and sent two bullets into the man, one through the neck the other through the head. The man looked stunned a moment, phone slipping from his grasp, before his body went slack and crumbled to the ground.

Connor sighed and looked at the gun still in his hands. He took the bullets from it and pocketed them, as they were the same model of the gun he still had from the attempt on Markus. He started to clean the gun then as he looked at the man now dead on the ground with a shake of his head. He had tried to talk to him- tried to explain to him what was going on-

“Fifty-four?” He turned around to see Jerry had stopped, and was staring at him, not quite believing what he was seeing. “Are you alright?” He asked slowly.

“You're safe Jerry.” Connor replied instead ofa proper answer, and dumped the empty, cleaned gun beside the dead man. He looked around him for any camera's only finding one at the end of the street. Just to be safe he jogged over to it, and scrambled up the pole to connect with it, deleting the last fifteen minutes of footage.

Jerry looked at the dead man on the ground before he focused on Connor working. “Thank you Fifty-four.” He said softly once Connor was back beside him. “I... I did not want to die.”

“It's alright Jerry.” He gave a quick smile. “You won't have to worry about that while I'm here.”

“We are very thankful you're here. Otherwise we would have died... and Ralph would be alone again... Thank you fifty-four.”

Connor nodded his head then motioned for Jerry to start the journey back home. As he watched Jerry lead the way back, he added an on going mission to his list.

[Protect Ralph and Jerry at all costs .]

 

Chapter Text

~One Year Ago: Friday November 12th 2 am~

“Shit-” Gavin continued to run down the street, wishing not for the first time he'd brought his damn badge and gun. “Fucking shit-” Behind him a group of 'good citizens' were chasing after him, stray bullets flying past him. What was I even thinking? What the fuck was I actually thinking? He'd gotten pissed off- he was always getting pissed off. Maybe that was his problem. He cared too much, then proceeded to get pissed off because of it. Cared too much that he wasn't good enough at his job, cared too much when someone was better, cared too much when he saw a group of adults beating the shit out of a kid, cared too much when Connor gave Hank a small smile, but looked at him with hardly concealed disdain. Wait... no, not the time. He'd thought it was a kid. A living breathing kid. Maybe it was because he'd been drinking, maybe it was because of the encounter he'd had with Connor earlier back at the evidence room... But he'd thought the adults were beating on a flesh and blood kid, not an android. Then he'd gotten pissed off and wouldn't back down because of his pride. He was finishing what he started. Is that supposed to make it better? Why can't you just admit to yourself you wanted to save the kid?  The thing looked like a kid- that should be the end of it. Kamski had never intended for children to be made, he had to believe that, so they were different from the adults. The yelling picked up behind him, and his grip tightened on the little hand he was holding onto, the LED now clearly visible underneath the curly brown hair.

“Come on.” Gavin gritted out as the YK500 struggled to keep up. He didn't even like kids. At least, he was pretty sure he didn't like kids. Wasn't that what someone like him was supposed to be like? Grumpy and a kid hater? 

“I can't- I can't keep up!” the child actually sounded like he was having trouble.

Gavin huffed, yanked them around a corner and paused long enough to pick the kid up. He didn't have the time to try and drag the child along, at least this way he'd be able to pick the pace and not risk damaging the kid. “Hold the fuck on.” He said as he continued to run. What the fuck was CyberLife thinking, allowing kid androids to be made? In all honesty what were they thinking? And the humans he'd found the kid with behind the bar... This was just fucked up- even his group had never touched the kids. They had always been off limits. Always. He glanced behind him, and saw a couple of them spot him. He cursed under his breath and tried to pick up the pace, eyes scanning the areas around him, trying to find somewhere to dump the kid.

“Hey Mister, up ahead is a bar-”

“Shut it.”

“But Mister the lady there is an android-”

“Probably not there right now kid.”

“Oh...”

The yelling got louder behind him and Gavin cursed under his breath. “Can you break into the bar?”

“That wouldn't be right-”

“Can you fucking do it or not?” He snapped. If the kid could get inside the bar and he continued running like he had him in his arms still, then maybe they'd be able to keep the child safe.

“...yes. She showed me-”

“Alright, tell me how to get there.” The kid proceeded to lead them through alleys and side streets, slowly losing some of the humans as they ran from exhaustion. Gavin was thankful that they were slowly dropping away, but he was beginning to feel tired too. It was one thing to just be running to escape, it was another thing to be carrying a kid while trying to escape. A few persisted though, probably more pissed at Gavin now then they were the android. That would be okay though. He could defend himself, while the YK500 could not. Honestly he hoped he got the chance to beat their asses into the ground.

“There!” The child yelled. “That's it.” Gavin saw the bar that he was referring to and nodded his head. He dashed across the street and ran to the back, momentarily blocking them from view.

“Alright kid get inside.”

“What about you mister?”

“I'm drawing them away. Give me your coat.” The kid hesitated. “Now!” He hissed, already hearing the humans getting closer. The child quickly took the jacket off, and Gavin scrunched it up by his shoulder to still give the illusion of carrying the child. “Alright get your little butt in there and don't come out until the android or whatever comes to open shop you got that?”

“What if she doesn't-”

Gavin snarled. “I'll come check on you.” He snapped. “If you're not here I know you're with her. Got it?” The kid quickly gave him a hug, small arms wrapping around his waist, and Gavin felt his heart stop for a moment at the contact. He completely froze up at the contact, the feeling almost foreign.

“Thanks mister.” The child said before he ran back to the building and clambered inside. Reed didn't have time to fully process what had happened before the last three men came around the corner and saw him standing there, holding the coat to him like it was a child.

The front man glared at him, gasping for air. “Fucking shit- what the fuck did you do all this for? You know how this-” And Gavin was off again before they could figure out what he'd done. “You're only making this harder on yourself!” But they sounded out of breath. For the first time in a long time he was grateful for all the working out he did to chase after perps. But even he had his limits, and he felt he was quickly running towards the end of his. Where the three guys behind him had only been running, he'd been running with about fifty pounds of robot.

He turned around a corner and came out onto a slightly larger street. He snarled and shook his head as he tried to push himself to get to a car. Any car. If he could get to a car, he could hack it- “Hold it right fucking there!” A bullet flew past his head and he stumbled to a halt. Shit, he'd forgotten about the guns. That's why he'd been sticking to tight curves and cluttered alleys. “That's right prick! Put the android down!”

Gavin smirked and turned around and let the jacket fall open. “Sorry boys- think I lost it.”

“What the fuck?!”

“Smug little bastard aren't you-”

Reed shrugged and let the jacket fall to the ground, and gave a little salute about to attempt to bluff his way out of the situation. “Thanks for the work out assholes.” He started to turn around but they shot another bullet at him, dinging the ground next to his feet.

“Not so fast you little shit-”

Alright so they weren't about to just allow him to leave, no questions asked. “Look fuckers, I'm a cop and you're lucky I don't arrest your asses right this fucking second.” He said, mustering all the height his short frame had.

“Bullshit!”

“Show us the badge if you are!”

Gavin grit his teeth, that had been why he hadn't brought it up before hand. “It's in my car.” Although it was the truth, he knew they wouldn't believe it.

“And let me guess, this is your fucking car?” The man motioned to the car with a slight wave of his gun.

“Wouldn't you know it, my car's back at the bar where I found you fuckers beating the shit out of a kid.”

“It's not a kid you bleeding heart- it's a machine.” The shorter of the three men said with a roll of his eyes. Even being the shorter one though, he still had a good half foot on Gavin.

“It looked like a kid as far as I could tell.” Gavin took a step back towards the car. “How could you even fuck with one of those? That really says something about your mentality doesn't it?”

“I see you moving!” The front man shook the gun at him, seemingly debating whether to shoot or not.

“Oh my- if you're going to shoot then just fucking shoot me alr-” The sound of a gun went off, and Gavin felt a stinging pain on his shoulder. He hissed and looked at it, to see the bullet had just nicked his arm. “Fucking missed-” He heard the pounding of feet and looked back in time to see the largest of the men ram into him. He grunted as he was knocked to the ground, but immediately he brought his hands up, and went for the face of his attacker. Fingers caught at the man's nose and pushed away, making the man grunt. “Get off me-” He reached higher up and scratched at the mans eyes.

“Shit-” The man pulled back enough for Gavin to have some breathing room, and he wiggled himself partially out from underneath the big guy.

“Shit you're a big mother fucker.” He brought a fist back, and connected it with the mans temple, being rewarded with the guy sitting up slightly. This allowed Gavin to shimmy the rest of the way out from underneath him and scramble back onto his feet. The guys buddies were there by then, one helping the big man up off the ground while the other made a dive for the detective.

“You should have just let us have the machine.”

“Ah fuck you!” He ducked under the swing aimed for his head, and brought his own fist up into the attackers jaw, snapping the mans head back as he stumble backwards onto the ground, giving a shout of pain. Gavin didn't have time to celebrate though as the big guy was up again and running towards him. Gavin mentally prepared himself, body tense, getting ready to jump to the side, when he realized too late that one of the three was missing. There was a solid thump to the back of his head, and he grimaced as stars appeared in his vision. He tried to shake it off, and turned around to look at his attacker, which was probably a mistake as it turned his back towards the big guy who had been running towards him. He felt hands grab him and pin his arms behind his back. He snarled and tried to use his own body weight against the attacker, but it was a losing battle to struggle against a man that had a head and shoulders on him. 

“Fucking prick- just had to play the idiot didn't you? In a couple weeks you would have realized how fucking stupid you were. They're just machines with fucking glitches in them. None of them are alive you idiot.”

“Like I said-” Gavin smirked. “I'm a police officer, can't let you damage private property.” He got a punch to the gut for his smart mouth, but he labeled it as worth it, even as the man shoved the barrel of his gun under his chin. He grimaced slightly as it dug into his throat but he wasn't about to give them the satisfaction of freaking him out. 

“Just shoot him and let's go. People'll start walking around soon-”

“Yeah- wouldn't want people to know what kind of lowlifes you lot are.” Gavin spat.

The man with the gun snarled and cocked the gun, and at the sound Gavin felt a thrill of excitement run through his body before he closed his eyes. The sound of a gun went off, and he flinched slightly, expecting to feel some kind of pain, then realized he was still breathing.

“Jerry- grab his gun!” Was that Connor's voice? He didn't have time really to think about it as he felt the grasp on his arms loosen and he quickly slammed his foot down on the mans ankle, causing the big guy to hiss and let him go. Gavin spun around and gave him a solid punch across the jaw that had him staggering.

“You prick!” He was on him again, landing another punch into his neck, being rewarded with a choked gasp from the attacker. The big guy swung widely with his arms, and made Gavin stumble back; then he was scrambling down the street, eager to get away from the backup that had arrived.

“Detective-”

That's right, Connor. “What the fuck're you doing here?” Gavin demanded as he looked at the android. 

“I could ask you the same thing.” Connor quickly replied, and aimed his gun at the retreating men who no longer liked their odds facing two adult model androids. He fired a quick shot and caught one in the leg. It slowed them down, but the kept on running. Gavin was mildly impressed. 

“Hello, we are Jerry.” Jerry said enthusiastically, bouncing into view on the balls of his feet. Gavin took an involuntary step back at the sudden bundle of energy in front of him.

“Fucking hell.” He eyed the android slightly worried before he looked back at Connor, noting the android was still looking like he wanted to follow after the people who had almost killed him. “Yo, robocop.” Connor frowned and looked back at Gavin, LED spinning yellow. “You gonna tell me what the fuck's happened out there? It's like the entire world's gone to shit.” he paused and shrugged. “Well... more than normal.”

“The deviant leader won his protest.”

“The fuck?” The androids had actually managed to win?

“The President has called a ceasefire while she calls a meeting to decide if androids are alive.”

“You've gotta be fucking joking-”

“Isn't it exciting?” Jerry said still grinning from ear to ear.

“No, it's a pain in the ass is what it is.” he snapped. “For fucks sake.” He grumbled and started to check what all he still had on him. His phone had broken during the scuffle to get the kid, he still had his wallet- and surprise surprise he'd lost his keys somewhere. Could this night get any worse? He really didn't think it could.

“You're welcome.”

“What?” Gavin looked up into the brown eyes, and felt butterflies in his stomach again. He hadn't known the android a week, hadn't actually managed a decent conversation with the ass either, and yet his body was fairly certain he was the one Gavin was supposed to try and spend eternity with. Just the thought of it made him equal parts excited and absolutely sick to the stomach. He swallowed and tried to not let everything that was running through his head show on his face.

“I do believe had we not come when we did you would be dead at the present moment.”

Gavin swallowed and nodded his head. “Yeah- yeah. I mean probably.”

“No. Assuredly. I ran simulations.”

Simulation- just how much of that did you see? How long have you been standing on the side line, watching my ass get handed to me?” Gavin asked, anger rising.

“Enough to know that they believed you had an android with you.” His face grew serious. “Where is the child?”

“Oh fuck off-” He was not about to take this from Connor of all people, androids, after what he'd just gone through to save one of his kind.

“Detective.” Connor said a little sterner.

“He's at some bar he knows the owner at.” When Connor looked unimpressed he quickly added, “He picked the place not me.”

“What's the location?” Gavin sighed and looked up to the sky as he tried to remember what the streets had been.

“Shit- I'm not sure. I have to retrace the path.”

“Then I shall accompany you.”

“What?” Alone with Connor when he was buzzed and tired as sin? This didn't sound like a good idea.

“Jerry please go on to Ralph. I'll be there as soon as I can.”

“Are you sure?” Jerry asked looking between Gavin and Connor, obviously not sure what the relationship was between them.

“Yes. Go home Jerry. I'll find you two later.” Jerry finally nodded his head and disappeared into an alley. “Alright detective. Lead the way to the child.”

“This is what I get for helping isn't it? No good deed goes unpunished and all that.” Gavin sighed but started to retrace his steps from the flight, scooping up the jacket as they walked past it. “What have you been up to since the Jericho raid? I heard that went to shit.”

“The deviant leader blew the ship up. There was nothing to be gained from it after that.”

“Shit- guess the deviants are more dangerous then we thought.” He glanced at Connor and watched the LED flicker red again. “How're you tincan? Still the android sent by CyberLife?”

“Of course.” The answer was clipped and Gavin wondered if he was telling the truth. Then again he couldn't imagine Connor being pleased were he to turn deviant.

“Bet CyberLife's pissed off the deviants won huh?” He asked as he scrambled through a fence.

“They are certainly disappointed that I was unable to complete my mission.”

“Where does that put you?” He broached the subject carefully, not wanting to seem eager, but really wanting to know if he was coming back to the DPD.

“CyberLife desires I come into be decommissioned and analyzed why I failed.” He said stiffly, his LED still yellow.

Decommissioned- they wanted to take him apart because he'd messed up? “Hank's okay with that?”

The LED flickered back into red. Gavin frowned. “Yes.”

Gavin hummed in response, and fell quiet as he ran his tongue along the inside of his teeth, thinking over what Connor was telling him. Hank was okay with the android leaving, CyberLife wanted him to come in, and Gavin had royally screwed up any sway he would have had to keep the android at the DPD. Fuck Kamski and his androids, but he didn't want to see the thing get decommissioned. Yes it wasn't alive like a human, but he still... It still was Connor. And Connor had his own personality... Kinda like the AI's from back when he was in high school. But how to say that without all the baggage that went with it?

Luckily the building came into view and saved Gavin from talking about his feelings. “That's it. That's the bar the kid's at.” he said and jogged up to where he'd seen the android scramble inside. He gave the window a knock. “Yo kid.” He said, trying to see inside the dark building. “You still here?” Silence and Gavin cursed under his breath. “Maybe the chick he was talking about showed up-” he started to explain. Connor didn't look convinced. “I swear this is where I left him.” The back door opened up and a female with a shotgun was standing in the doorway.

“Who the hell are you two?” She asked as she eyed the pair of them up and down.

“Fucking shit-”

“Is there a YK500 with you? I am verifying this man's story of dropping one off here.” Connor said quickly.

“Why?”

“Look lady, I don't want to get shot at again-” Gavin was just about done with people and androids for the day. They could all go jump into a pit and burn at this point.

“Mister?” The kid poked his head around the corner. “Hey it's the mister!” He ran out from behind the female and slammed into Gavin, arms trying to wrap around him again. “I knew you'd outrun those bad guys.”

He felt his face heat up as Connor and the female both stared at him and the kid. “Yeah- yeah sure kid. Let me go now.” he muttered under his breath.

“How'd you get away from them?”

“Ah, I had a little help.” He glanced at Connor, who stood there silently, LED spinning a steady yellow as he watched Gavin and the child android interact with one another.

“Gee-" The young boy looked at Connor with a lopsided grin. "Thanks for helping the mister!”

“You really helped the kid?” The female obviously didn't believe he had.

“Yeah- found him behind a bar I'd just finished drinking at.” The lady seemed to contemplate it a moment before shrugging and lowering the shotgun.

“Thanks for saving him. He's not mine, but I like the little runt. Would be a pity were he to go missing.” She offered her hand and Gavin took it, just to not make her angry. “You're welcome here anytime. Even if you are a human.”

“Welcome here?”

“Used to belong to the owner of the bar. He's dead now, so I took the bar.” Gavin didn't argue with the gun holding android. “Don't be a stranger yeah? Kid seems fond of you.”

Gavin mentally groaned. Fuck his life, how did he end up in situations like this? “Yeah- sure. I really just wanted to make sure the kid found you. So now that we're good I need to be going-”

“Be safe going home. The both of you. It's nasty tonight.”

Gavin nodded his head and quickly made his way to the street, and groaned. “I just need to get home.” he sighed.

“What happened to the threat of androids burning on the street?” Connor finally asked.

“Oh fuck- it was a kid okay?”

“So it's alright to burn me, but not a child unit? Aren't we all machines?”

“Fuck Connor-”

“What is the difference detective?”

“It looks like a kid!”

“So you would burn an adult human?”

“No!”

“Then what's the difference?!” There was something off with Connor. There was something wrong that Gavin couldn't place. There seemed to be a desperation to the androids voice, an almost pleading desire for Gavin to explain to him the difference, and not because he wanted Gavin to think about it, but because on some level he needed to justify the difference between humans and androids. His eyes flicked to the LED and noticed it was still yellow. Had the android gone deviant? Was he in the process of going deviant? The thought shouldn't make his heart flutter... but it did. 

“Fuck- look I don't... I don't know. Alright? You're a machine- why the fuck do people get connected with roomba's but not vacuum cleaners? Because the roomba is fucking cute, while the vacuum just does it's job efficiently.”

Connor hesitated a moment as his LED flickered red. “And so the same thing applies with androids... You saved the child model because you felt it was... cute. Something that needed protecting. While I-” Connor winced at his own word choice, it didn't escape Gavin's notice. “-while the rest of the adult models are just... competition. The perfect machines to complete a certain task. We are not cute and thus not worth saving...”

Shit. Gavin could hear the I in that sentence. 'I am not worth saving. You don't think I'm worth saving...' No that wasn't what he meant either- “Connor-”

“Thank you detective." The android cut him off and started down the street. "Be safe going home... I won't be there next time.”

“Connor!” the android continued on down the street though, ignoring the call. Gavin took a few steps towards him then stopped. What was he doing? Going after one of Kamski's machines? No doubt his brother was watching him right then cackling to himself that he was so confused over one of his inventions. He clicked his tongue and headed for his car. He wasn't going to deal with this right then. He was tired, slightly drunk, and his shoulder hurt. He'd talk with Connor tomorrow when he came into work. “But I will talk with him tomorrow." He said to himself. "I will talk with him about... about all this shit.”

He should have talked to him right then and there though. There weren't many things Gavin regretted in his life, that's a fucking lie, but this was one of those moments. He should have talked to Connor, he should have gone after the android. He should have stopped him and talked things out, or at least gone with him where ever he'd been heading... Maybe he could have helped. Maybe he could have stopped what Hank did.

“So you just threw him off the roof?” Gavin asked as he leaned against Hank's desk with his arms crossed. “Are you fucking serious?” His heart was in the pit of his stomach as images of Connor splattered on the pavement filled his mind.

'Be safe going home, I won't be there next time.'

Gavin would take it as the hurt threat it had been instead of the final judgment it had become... Had he known? Had the android known he was going to die later? He can't fucking die. He wasn't alive. Just one of your brothers toys... That wasn't really true though... not anymore. As much as he hated to admit it he'd slowly been seeing androids differently since Connor. Hel probably since before Connor and the android was just the final push over the ledge. But saying they weren't... it was just a knee jerk reaction at this point to think that they weren't, to remind himself of that. He'd been saying it since the day Kamski had decided to start creating them, and he'd probably continue to say it until something major in his life happened. Like that will ever happen.

“Look Reed I don't have the patience to deal with your bullshit right now-”

“I'm just surprised gramps-” More like he couldn't believe Connor was gone. He'd just been talking with the android yesterday morning. How could Hank just kill him like that? “I thought you two were tight.”

Hank sighed and his eyes seemed to glaze over for a moment. “Yeah... I thought we were too...”

“Do you regret it?” Gavin asked, looking as Hank seemed to have deflated. His whole view on life seemed to have nose dived again since he'd had to kill Connor. Gavin almost wished that a new Connor would come bouncing in and be that idiot that Hank had grown close to. Is that the only reason though? Or are you using Hank to justify what you're feeling?  His own thoughts of the android were still colored with the fear that he'd been coming to steal his job, the fear that everything he'd worked for was about to be stolen right from underneath his very nose... Those are only partly true. That's what he had been trying to force himself to believe, to have those around him believe. He couldn't- he hadn't wanted to think about what he'd been feeling. A fear of things that had been... developing towards the android. Just fucking call him Connor. He hadn't wanted to think about it. Didn't want to think about it... Course now that the android, Connor was gone, it didn't matter did it? 

“A little...” Hank finally answered his question, making Gavin blink a moment as he snapped back into reality. “I- I regret that it came down to that...” He snorted and shook his head as he clicked through the files, eyes glancing at the desk where Connor had once sat. “You know... even at the end of it all he still- he hadn't wanted to kill me.” The slight up turn of his lips was quickly overshadowed by anger once again though. “But only because his damn mission told him that wasn't a priority.”

He couldn't let Hank know how much this was affecting him. He couldn't allow Hank to know how much he'd come to care about the stupid android. “Well he's out of your hair now- Back to just us human detectives once more.” He forced the corner of his mouth up in an almost smirk.

“Yeah- now if only one of them would shut the hell up and leave me alone.” He glanced up at Gavin with a hard look on his face, and Gavin knew he'd been too friendly for too long.

“What ever.” he clicked his tongue and pushed away from his desk and wandered back over to his own desk. He'd offered the gift of a cease fire between them and Hank had all but thrown it back in his face. Can you blame him though? You two have been at each others throats for years at this point. There's no saving that relationship. Or any relationship. The only opportunity you may have had is now dead. He scowled as his thoughts drifted down the Connor road once more. As they'd been doing more and more often since the first time he'd seen him interrogate that android. He'd tried his normal defense of push the fucker away, but it hadn't worked. If anything he just noticed the android more and more. Hank and Connor had come to the station a few times between leads, just so Hank could scribble down notes here and there, and Gavin all but lived at the station, so he'd seen the android several times. He'd always been an ass towards the pair of them though... At least people couldn't claim he was inconsistent.

He'd just been so scared. Scared and prideful. He'd been scared about letting anyone, even if it was an android, into his life. Scared about letting someone in only for them to walk out of it again. Prideful because he'd told his brother time and time again he'd never fall for one of his damn toys. That he would never be able to create something he'd want to spend one on one time with, and if he gave in and talked with Connor, that would have meant his brother would have won... And it had been as if Kamski fucking knew his half brother was looking at one of his Androids in a friendly way, and had fucking called him to gloat about the latest model that had been sent to the DPD, and 'oh, he's in your department? Better watch out Gavin- you'll be the first to go.' That had been the day he'd tried to corner Connor in the evidence room. Even that had ended poorly, only managing to throw a threat about androids getting burned. If Robs had seen him in that moment he would have thrown him out of the group faster then he could blink.

And now he was just gone. Hank had thrown him off a roof...

He huffed and looked back down at the case in front of him. Maybe work would help distract him from the dark mood that was slowly taking over his brain. Yesterday morning a guy had been found dead in the middle of the street, with absolutely no trace of his murderer to be found. He'd been shot once through the neck and the head. Gavin had first thrown it up to the protests, but it had been pointed out it was several miles away from where the protests had happened. In fact it had happened around where he'd been running from the assholes. Once he started to look into it, things had certainly started to look like a robbery or something gone wrong. The only camera in the area though had conventionally lost any data about the time the man was killed, and the phone next to him had been found two digits into dialing for help. The murder weapon had been found, but it held no fingerprints, and no bullets. There had been a bruise on the man's arm, but it was just a regular old bruise as if given in a fight. Nothing could be found from it.

He tapped his pen against the desk and sighed as he thought about how Connor probably would already have three different leads from the way the man smelled alone. He bit his lip and ran his tongue along the inside of his bottom teeth. He couldn't just be.... gone. How could he just be gone? It wasn't right- wasn't fair. A memory from the android's first interrogation popped into his mind. That android had said something similar. It wasn't fair... then he'd gone and bashed his head in. Gavin blinked and focused back on his screen, realizing he'd been staring into space for a while.

This murder was obviously the work of an android of some sort, and with the tension between androids and humans right then, he didn't see this case getting closed any time soon. For all they knew the man had tried to take in an android that snapped and turned deviant- though that wouldn't explain the lack of evidence. Normally deviants didn't clean up after themselves. Which made Gavin's paranoid mind think there was a killer android on the loose that had a functioning thought process. That was just what they needed while dealing with the rest of this shit show.

He rubbed the heels of his hands into his eyes as they protested the prolonged exposure to the screen, and sniffed. His eyes stung, and he was going to believe it was from the prolonged exposure of the screen. Not because he felt anything. He pushed himself away from the desk and stretched his arms up above his head, hearing his back pop as he did so. He needed something to drink, and as he was going to be at the precinct for a few more hours at this rate, the coffee in the break room would have to suffice. At least until he could get something a little stronger. He walked into the break room and saw the android Markus on the screen again. There was little else the news was reporting on at the moment. It seemed the entire world was watching Detroit and how androids would be treated by the government. He frowned slightly as he saw something that looked off in the corner of the screen. He stepped closer to the television screen and tried to figure out what he was seeing. Was that- was that a gun...

“Kinda weird isn't it?”

He jumped slightly and looked at Tina watching him. He glanced back at the television but it was back on the newscaster. “What? Tincans acting like they're human or some shit?” He scoffed and focused back on his coffee. “It was always going to come to this.” He grumbled under his breath.

“It's weird... but I think I could get behind it. Mostly.”

“Mostly?” He snorted. “I don't know Tina.”

“Well... it would just take time to adjust. To realize they're actually thinking, living beings.”

He scoffed and started to doctor his coffee with cream and sugar. “Please- they're far from being alive.” He shook his head, twirling the stir stick around in his cup, as Connor's face from the previous night came back into his mind. He'd seemed so... desperate to understand something. Needed to understand something... wanted help. Help that he hadn't given. “Don't go getting weird on me Chen.”

“It's not weird Gavin.” She insisted, taking a water bottle from under the counter. “If the president stays with this whole compassion thing that stopped them from killing the deviants last night-”

“It wouldn't have been killing-” he grumbled.

“If she stays on that path though-” She gave him a look. “-your job is going to be at stake Reed.” He stopped his movements, body tensing. “I don't say this to stress you out Gavin, but you need to figure out, if they get equal rights, how're you going to handle that?”

He'd be screwed is what would happen. He's lose his job like he'd been worried about, which would mean he'd lose his apartment and he wouldn't be able to take care of his cat- He closed his eyes and shook his head, annoyed his mind dove down the dark path with such enthusiasm. “You know, let's not worry about shit until they actually get rights or what ever, okay?” he heard her huff and could almost see her rolling her eyes.

“Fine. But keep it in the front of your mind Gavin. I'm serious. These androids have a good chance of getting labeled real, and I'm really worried about you. Just- be careful.”

He waved a hand dismissively. “Alright Tina, I'll make sure to keep my mind thinking over it, and I'll try to play nice with them.”

“Thanks Gavin. It wouldn't be the same around here without your sour mood to brighten everyone's day.”

He huffed and rolled his eyes. “Thanks. Really.” He took his coffee and walked past her back towards his desk. Would Connor have wanted to become deviant? He'd certainly been in enough stressful situations that he'd had ample opportunity to turn deviant, but as far as he knew he'd never turned. Though he hadn't exactly been a normal android either. He'd always shown some... emotions, though the android would have denied it up and down.

Gavin shook his head and focused back on his computer screen. It didn't mater anymore, the android was gone and he needed to move on with life. After all it had just been a machine. Nothing more.

 

Chapter Text

~Present Day: 12:20 am ~


“Shit.” He huffed as looked at Connor in the passengers seat. “Alright dipshit- what do we need to do?”

“R-rAlph...”

“Is he a doctor?”

“Ne-ed to mAKe suRe he'Sss ssSaffe-”

“Fucking shit- Connor you're kinda broken right now?! You first damn it! Then Ralph. Who ever the fuck that is.”

The android didn't say anything for a moment, only the sound of his ragged breathing filling the car, then finally, “Sstore.” Connor got out through clenched teeth. “Ne-ED Thir-iUm.”

“What kind of Thirium?” Connor looked pained a moment before huffing. He reached out with a grimace and touched Gavin's phone in the middle console. Then he settled back into his seat. Gavin watched, puzzled for a moment before his phone buzzed. He flicked it on and saw a text from an unknown number. He clicked his tongue and rolled his eyes as he realized that Connor had sent him a text with exactly what he needed.

“Really? A text was easier then just telling me?” Another buzz from his phone. “Alright smart ass.” he grumbled before he set the phone back down and focused on getting to the nearest android quick stop repair shop. It would be easier to take him to a hospital, but he'd seemed pretty certain that would be even worse than the anti android gang.

He glanced over and saw Connor's eyes closed. “Ah fuck no- keep texting me dipshit. I didn't just blow my case so you could die in the front of my car.” That got the android to smirk a little and the phone buzzed again. As the light turned red, Gavin stopped and got the phone hooked up to the digital viewer that was in front of his steering wheel setup so he could just read the replies from there. By what he could see zero's were o's, one's were I's, and three's were e's. 

Unkown: Thank y0u

“Yeah, yeah. You already said that plastic.” Another buzz.

Unknown: Y0u d1dn't hav3 t0. T0 b3 truthful 1 d1dn't th1nk y0u w0uld.

“Yeah well... it's been a while since you last saw me.” He adjusted his grip on the steering wheel as he thought over the last time he'd seen Connor alive. It was something that had been following him around like a black cloud when he'd heard he'd been killed. “Where have you been?” He asked attempting to keep the android focused and awake.

Unknown: Ar0und D3tr01t.

“How did we never bump into you?”

Unknown: 1 w0rk3d hard t0 stay 0ff the radar.

“Why?”

Unknown: 1 hav3 my r3as0ns.

“Yeah well look where those reasons got you.”

Unknown: 1 was pr0t3ct1ng my fam1ly.

Gavin wasn't sure how to react to that and so he fell silent as he tried to figure out what he needed to do. Connor had a family now? Who the fuck was he family with? And was it like he was with someone and they had a kid? Or did he just have an android he felt familiar bonds with... A year ago he would have thought it preposterous that androids could have families... but now he'd seen it with his own eyes. It was still strange as all get out, but it was something that was becoming more and more common. He just had never thought Connor would settle down with a family like that... He shook his head and blinked as his face hardened. What the fuck are you thinking about Gavin? Don't be stupid here. Get him help, then dump his ass. He has a life. You have a life. End of story. He checked their progress towards the android quick stop repair shop and pressed a little further on the gas pedal. “How much longer Connor?” The android didn't reply. “Dipshit-” He glanced over and saw the android's eyes were closed. “YO!”

Connor's eyes opened slowly, and he looked over at Gavin, confusion on his face. “De-tective...”

“Yeah no shit Sherlock. Stay awake. How much longer you got?”

“Ten min-utess.”

“What?!”

“Till sshu-tdown...”

“Fucking shit!” Gavin pushed the pedal to the floor and didn't care about the car horns that were screaming at him as he ran one light after another. “Hold on stupid- we're almost there.” No sound came from the android and Gavin cursed again. He couldn't believe that he was about to lose the stupid android after everything he'd just done to get him out, after just finding the stupid thing was still alive- Wait... He's not alive. They're not alive. They're just machines. That's all they are. The labored breathing next to him though was sure making that hard to believe though. 

He finally saw the store up ahead and he screeched into the parking lot. “I'll be right back.” He said before he ran inside with his phone. “Hey- hey you!” He showed the android his phone. “I need this Thirium now. And like an emergency repair kit? Fuck- I don't know. He's in a bad way.”

The android looked a little startled but she nodded her head and quickly grabbed the needed blue blood as well as a pack of basic supplies. “Do you know what happened to the injured android?”

“A hate group got him.” She looked at him, at the blue blood that was splattered across his clothes and staining his hands and he quickly saw where her thought process was going. “I'm serious. I'm a detective.” He scrambled for his badge only to realize he'd left it in the car. “Really- please he just needs help.”

The android didn't look convinced, but she nodded her head up and down. “I'll come and help if you don't mind?”

Fuck- well he needed help, and right then she was the only one who Connor might allow to come help. “Shit- yeah. Come on he's in the car.” He paid for his stuff then grabbed it all and headed outside. He let out a sigh of relief as he saw Connor's LED still spinning. “He's lost a lot of blue blood, and they were frying his circuitry or what ever.”

“He needs to go to a hospital.” She said glaring at Gavin as she started to take the things he'd purchased. “Why are you two here?”

“I- we can't go to a hospital right now.”

“Because you did this?”

“No!”

Connor winced at the outburst and his eyes fluttered open. “Dete-ctive?” He mumbled as his eyes tried to focus on who was hovering over him.

“Plastic, don't freak out but someone's helping-” He could see the android tense from where he stood. “No- no she's not gonna hurt you.” He reassured. Fuck- this was not his forte. “She's gonna try and get you patched up enough to get you to help.”

“I ssa-id nnno hosss-pitalss-”

The female android looked surprised as Connor said that, and glanced at Gavin who gave her an 'I told you so' look. But he quickly focused back on Connor. “I know Connor. I actually got a place in mind. But you gotta let her patch you up, alright?” For something that's not alive you sure are worried... Kamski's voice floated through his head. 

Connor still didn't look convinced but he finally nodded his head, and the android continued to patch him up as best she could. She had him drink every last drop of Thirium he'd purchased, and had sent Gavin in for more, as well as a few common parts she carried in stock. “Where you're taking him, will it have access to these rarer parts? If not I can order them-”

“I think it will... but go ahead and order them. I can pick them up when they come in.” He jotted down his phone number and handed it over. “And if you could keep this off the record- that'd be great.” He added.

“I won't go talking about it to anyone, but if the cops show up-”

“Again, I am the cops.” He sighed.

“Regardless, if they show up you better believe I'm talking.”

“As long as it's not CyberLife.”

That made her stop in her tracks and look over, confusion clear as day on her face. “What?”

“CyberLife- I know it's been closed, but I have reason to believe that some part of it's still working unofficially.” Or really, Connor believed CyberLife was still a threat, but right now he didn't want to risk doubting him just because there was no solid proof yet. He sighed as she closed the car door. He was too tired to be dealing with this shit. “Call me when the parts come in?”

“Of course.” She grabbed his arm as he started for the drivers seat. “And I'll keep quiet. I didn't realize CyberLife was involved.”

“Thanks.” He said, then shrugged her off and got into the car. He started it up before pulling out of the parking lot, pulling up 'asshole' on his phone. “Hey dipshit, I'm making a phone call. Don't talk okay?” There was only a hum in response. He took that as an okay and hit call.

It only made it through two rings before it was picked up. “Well the world must be ending. Gavin- to what do I owe the pleasure of your call?”

“I have a problem Elijah.”

“Must be serious to call me-”

“I found Connor.”

There was silence on the other end a moment, before a quiet curse. “I take it he's not in good condition?”

“No, he's fucked up real bad. A hate group got him.”

“Do I want to know why you were there brother mine?” The accusation was clear in his voice.

“I was on a fucking case asshole.” Gavin gritted out. “I'm on my way with him now.”

“I'll be ready for your arrival. Do try-” Gavin hung up the phone as soon as he heard Kamski would be waiting for them.

“Detective-”

“Plastic, shut up and focus on staying awake.” Silence filled the air around them again, then a quiet buzz came from his phone. He sighed, but pulled the message up.

Unknown: Why are y0u helping m3?

His texting was looking a little better, that had to be a good sign. He snorted and shook his head. “Don't go asking stupid shit like that. Besides you may not see it as helping once you meet Kamski. He's one messed up mother fucker.”

Unknown: 1 am awar3. I have m3t h1m b3f0r3.

“Really? When?”

Unknown: last N0vemb3r. Wh3n 1 was w0rking the cas3 w1th Hank.

“Shit- Anderson. I need to call him.”

Connor's head jerked up and his LED flashed red. “No.”

He was a little surprised by the reaction from the android. “Why not?” Connor tried to take a breath, but his voice box only made some static sound. Gavin's phone buzzed instead.

Unknown: Th3 last tim3 w3 interact3d w3 got 1nt0 a f1ght that end3d w1th my b31ng thr0wn off a bu1lding.

“Shit- that's right...” Anderson was going to be an entire other shit storm to deal with. One he really wasn't looking forward to dealing with. “I can tell him in the morning that the case went to shit- were you serious about having memories in you processor?”

Connor nodded his head and sent another text.

Unknown: 1 can transf3r the m3mories t0 an 3xternal driv3. 1'm sur3 Kamsk1 w1ll hav3 someth1ng at h1s plac3.

“Oh no dipshit- I need you to come in.” Connor looked over with a pained expression. “Don't give me that look. I know it's been something like a year since I've seen you, but I have a feeling you're still Connor that can kick my ass. You can manage to come into the DPD to provide the information I need for this case. You owe me that.”

He heard Connor sigh and glanced over in time to catch him nodding his head. “Good. How's your timer? Did it get better?” Again Connor nodded his head, then his phone buzzed.

Unknown: Immin3nt shut down 1s n0 long3r a thr3at.

Gavin nodded his head and adjusted his grip on the steering wheel. “Good. Good...” The car fell silent again. Only the found of breathing and the occasional buzz from his phone as Connor assured him he was still alive, breaking the silence.

He screeched to a stop outside of Kamski's house, and was out of the car and opening Connor's door faster then he'd ever moved for an android before. “Elijah!” Gavin yelled as he helped Connor out of the car, allowing the android to use him as a support as they made their way to the front door. “Elijah!” He yelled again as they neared the door. Where is that useless son of a- The door opened to reveal Chloe.

“Gavin. We have prepared the repair room. If you will follow me I will take you to Elijah.”

Reed scowled but nodded his head as he followed the android into the house, fighting the urge to turn right back around to the car. If Connor wasn't breathing in his ear, reminding him how bad things were at the present moment, he may have done just that.

“What all happened to you Connor?” Chloe asked as she glanced back at the android leaning against Gavin.

Connor shook his head, and then his LED started to blink yellow. “He can't really talk right now. His voice box isn't okay. It was glitching and all static like when I first found him, and it's only been getting worse as time has passed.” Connor looked to Gavin clearly thankful he wasn't having to explain anything at the moment. “I know they were taking his regulator out, and they literally were frying his insides...” The hand, his hand, that had held the taser back at the warehouse suddenly felt like it was burning and he quickly stuffed it into his pocket; thankful Connor was on the opposite side of that hand as a wave of nausea washed over him, you hurt him too. You're part of the problem here. What do you think Elijah would say if he knew that? How can Connor even look at you-

He felt a nudge that made him jump slightly and looked into the face of Connor who looked at him quizzically. He looked to Chloe and saw she was giving him the same look. Shit, he must have fallen silent. “But- they had him a couple of hours before I got there so I don't know what all they did. He'll probably need to text Kamski or something to let you guys know.”

Chloe frowned slightly and looked to Connor. “May I connect with you? I promise not to be long.” Connor was obviously hesitant but, with reluctance, nodded his head and held out his hand, skin pulling back to show the smooth white of the his android body underneath, his LED spinning a rapid yellow. Gavin watched, curious when Connor finally pulled his arm back like he'd been burned, leaving Chloe looking a little startled. If androids could look as if they'd been shaken to their very core Chloe would have been the perfect picture of it. It made the detective wonder what it was that Connor had shared with her... But she quickly put the smile back on her face and looked towards Gavin.“Thank you Gavin.”

“For what?” He asked a little uneasy, glancing between the two androids.

“Connor has informed me that you were essential to his escaping the gangs hands.” There was a fondness in the way she interacted with him that always made Gavin feel uneasy when Chloe showed it towards him. And now more then ever it made him feel weird and he wanted to do something to make her give him a disproving look. No one should ever look at me that way. Not after the things I've done. The things I'll probably do.

“Don't look into it.” He grumbled as they neared the door. “And don't tell Elijah. The last thing I need right now is that conversation with him.”

“Of course Gavin. I'll make sure to leave that part out when I inform him of Connor's injuries.” She inclined her head slightly before opening the door to the repair room. “If you will help him down on the table here, Elijah and I will see to him. You are more than welcome to make yourself at home.”

“Yeah- yeah alright.” He walked Connor over to the operating table and he could have sworn he heard Connors thirium pump pick up speed. “Let me know when it's done? I gotta go take care of some shit anyways.” Connor looked at him, seemingly worried about being left with his crazed half brother, and he couldn't actually blame him for being worried, but Connor wasn't his problem anymore. He'd got him away from the hate group, and even got him to a place to be fixed. And the feeling at the store when he was going to shut down? Are you really just going to ignore that? Gavin scowled at himself when the thought flicked through his mind. What Connor did or didn't want was no longer his problem, had never been his problem, and yet he knew he wouldn't be able to leave. “I'm sticking around dipshit. He won't do anything while I'm here, and certainly not while Chloe's in the room.” He looked to Chloe, “Make sure he doesn't fuck this up, yeah?”

Chloe gave him that smile again that made his skin crawl. Why was she always so nice to him? She always looked so genuine in her fondness of him... in the hope that was always in her eyes when she looked at him. He'd say it was her programming but she'd deviated along with the rest of them... “Of course Gavin. He is in good hands.” She then looked to Connor and nodded her head slightly as if to emphasize the point. “I will make sure he does nothing but repair what's broken. Alright?” that seemed to be enough, or Connor accepted it as what he was going to get, and he nodded his head.

“Good. And I got my phone.” He said looking at Connor before he headed back down the hallway towards the kitchen. He felt his phone buzz immediately.

Unknown: Y0u'll stay, corr3ct?

Gavin sighed but quickly typed in 'yes. I'm staying.' Then he quickly shot off another one as he felt he needed a reason he was staying. 'I gotta take you in for evidence remember?'

Unknown: 0f cours3.

He clicked his tongue, and tried not to dwell on the queasiness in his gut at the reply. He needed something to eat, something to drink would be amazing too, but he'd settle for something to eat. He opened up the fridge and found the makings for a sandwich and got to work. He needed to tell Anderson about Connor... but he also needed to tell Fowler that he'd blown the mission. The fucking case... He sighed as he slapped the sandwich together, then grabbed a beer he found in the door. At least the gang wasn't aware yet that he was with the DPD. He'd been smart enough to leave that bit out... Maybe he could work with that? Get into a rival gang and start shit there against Tommy and who ever he worked for?

Who are you kidding? Fowler is going to bench your ass for this screwup. You're not going to get the chance to follow up on anything. He sighed. Fowler certainly wasn't going to be happy with this. He opened the bottle with a little more force than necessary and a some of the beer sloshed over the side and onto his hand. He clicked his tongue before licked it off, grabbing a towel to finish cleaning it up. Even though he knew he needed to figure out how to save his ass from the suspension he knew would be awaiting him for this, his thoughts continued to drift to the android down the hall. He'd thought he'd gotten over this. He'd thought that thinking the man- no the android dead for a year had fixed everything. Fuck, he even worked with an android that looked real close to him, and he hadn't felt anything really towards him. But the moment he saw the robocop...

He huffed and took a swallow from the bottle. He was weak is what it was. One plea for help from Connor and he crumbled and saved him over sticking it out and getting to the people running the gang. He'd been screwed the moment he'd seen it was Connor... The android wouldn't have even have had to ask for help. It was Connor... that was all it would have taken for Gavin. It took a year to admit that to himself, but it was the truth. He'd save him and throw the case to the wind. Because Gavin knew nothing Connor had in his memory bank was going to show him who was really pulling the strings here... but he had decided Connor was more important. More important then his career. More important then stopping the gang from taking others to drain of the thirium...

He took his food and drink and went into the living room area, and flopped down on the couch as he switched the television on. He flipped it to some soap that was on at one in the morning and took another swallow from the beer. Fuck this had been one messed up evening. He could still faintly smell the burnt wires and plastic, and it made his stomach roll at the memory. He shook his head and took a bite of the sandwich. Robs, the leader of his old group, had always been someone who just beat the shit out of an android- he'd never gone that far with the androids he took... He ran his tongue along the inside of his teeth as he sat there, not really paying attention to what was happening on the television, the food and drink only remembered enough to eat and drink on auto pilot. How had Connor even gotten into that mess? What had happened that got Connor caught by a band of thugs?

His phone buzzed.

Gramps: How're things going?

Gavin sighed and stuffed the phone back into his pocket. Anderson... it was like he had a sixth sense or something when it came to Gavin and screwing things up. He started to bounce his leg up and down as he sat on the couch, waiting for Elijah, Chloe, or Connor to tell him things were fine. Another buzz had him checking his phone again.

Gramps: You fucked up didn't you?

He scowled and glared at the phone before he decided to punch in a reply. '1:30 in the morning? Shut up Anderson' He hit send and set the phone back down.

It was like the man was sitting on his phone. Gavin wondered briefly if K9 was with him.

Gramps: You were supposed to report in at 1 idiot.

Shit... He'd forgotten he'd told Fowler he'd check in with Hank around one just to make everyone feel better about sending him into an android hate group. 'I've been busy'

Gramps: Of course you have.

Gramps: Have you at least done your fucking job?

“Oh fuck you.” He said out loud and stuffed the phone back into his pocket without replying. He finished his beer, ignoring the phone that buzzed in his pocket. It was too late to be dealing with Anderson and his drunk self, too late after a long evening. He got up and walked back to the kitchen, dumping the bottle into the trash before dumping the plate into the sink. Finally, after the umpteenth buzz, he pulled the phone out only to see a several texts from Unknown. “Shit-” He pulled them up and saw unintelligible garble from the android. “Fuck-” He stuffed the phone into his pocket and quickly made his way back to the repair room, banging on the door. “Elijah!” he yelled through the door. “Elijah open the door!” If he'd screwed up Connor he was going to knock his lights out. He was going to beat him into the ground- Not because I care. I can't care, I've only known he was alive again for a couple hours- He snarled at himself and continued to bang on the door.

The door finally slid open to a smiling Chloe. “Gavin-”

Reed pushed past her and into the room. “Elijah what did you-” He stopped mid sentence as he saw Gavin smirking at him from where he was cleaning up, Connor sitting up on the table looking completely fine. “What's going on?” He asked suddenly feeling foolish. With the texts Connor had sent, making no sense just jumbled letters and numbers, he'd though Elijah had seriously screwed something up.

“Is something the matter Gavin?” Elijah asked, the smirk still on his face.

“Detective- I apologize. I fear a few texts may have been sent to your phone by accident-”

“Is everything cool?” He asked looking at Connor, noting that the LED was still on yellow. Was that a glitch? Didn't it used to turn blue?

“Yes detective. Again, I apologize for worrying you-”

“I wasn't worried-” He quickly snapped.

“Of course not.” The way he said that deadpan had Gavin wincing. “Still- I did not mean to... bother you with the texts. It was a side effect of getting everything booted up once again. It sent a series of test texts to the last number I was in communications with.”

“Why?”

Elijah stepped into his personal space, blocking Connor from view. “Hello to you too Gavin.” he said. “You're welcome by the way.”

“What for?” He frowned.

“Saving your android.”

“He's not mine.” He snarled.

“That's not what you said when you were talking to Tommy and Jack.”

“How do you-”

Connor's voice came from behind the inventor. “He had access to my memories while working on me.”

“And you what?” Gavin asked, crossing his arms. “Decided that you'd just take a small stroll through his memories for your amusement?” He spat.

“Actually I asked him to- in order to get you this.” Connor spoke up, appearing beside the inventor, a small thumb drive between his fingers. “The memories I have from the android hate group. Kamski can confirm this is everything I know.”

“No- no I said you needed to come in.”

“I'm not going to. Please detective, let this be enough.”

“It's not going to-”

“Why don't we talk about this in the morning?” Elijah cut in. He plucked the thumb drive from Connor's fingers, and slipped it into Gavin's pocket. “Take it for backup at the very least.” He said softly. Gavin was pissed, but he was tired too, and he couldn't think straight... “Chloe- if you would show Connor to our guest room, I'll handle Gavin.”

Chloe nodded her head and offered her hand to Connor. The android took it somewhat hesitantly, LED blinking red a moment before he took her hand. Gavin watched as they left the room, noting the LED didn't change from red.

“You need to back off of him Gavin.” Elijah said as soon as the door was closed.

“What?” He asked turning back around to face him.

“You need to let him go.” Gavin felt there was more meaning behind that then just taking him to the DPD. But Kamski couldn't possibly know his feelings towards the android. “It will be bad for everyone involved... were he to arrive at the DPD right now.” The way he ended that sentence made it sound more like an afterthought, and only solidified in Gavin's mind that Kamski was referring to letting the android go in general.

The anger that had wanted to flare to life at Elijah telling him what to do, collapsed on itself as a wave of weariness washed over him as another text came to his phone. He pulled the phone out of his pocket and saw it was a text from Connor. “Why do you say that?” He slipped the phone back into his pocket without reading it.

“He's been 'deviant' and I use the term loosely here, for a year.”

“A year?” That couldn't be right. This Connor had been active and deviant for a year? That would mean he'd been alive since the protests...

“A year.” He led the way into an adjoining room, that looked something like a sitting room. He walked over to a bar and poured them both a whiskey. “A year where it's been him and two other androids off and on again. It was... he's been lost.”

“Will he be okay?” Gavin asked as he took the whiskey thankful for something stiffer to drink.

“I think so. With time. But this encounter with the hate group certainly didn't help matters. Which comes back to why you were there?” Kamski quirked a brow, obviously coming up with his own theories.

“Fuck Elijah- I wasn't there because I wanted to be there.” Elijah looked at him expectantly. “I was there for the DPD. We're trying to shut down the hate group that had Connor, because they've become one of the biggest players in the red ice market right now. They're taking androids-”

“And draining them of the thirium in order to produce red ice.” Elijah sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Fantastic. I assume saving Connor has taken you out of the gang?”

“Oh yeah. We didn't leave on friendly terms at all.” He took a sip of his drink as he scoffed at the memory. “I'll probably be staying away from my apartment for a while.”

“...How important is it really that Connor come into the DPD?”

“I'll probably be suspended if I can't produce the reason I fucked up.”

Kamski was silent a moment as he swirled the amber liquid around in his glass. He seemed to be pondering something and Reed was wondering what could get the man to stop talking for so long. “Gavin if you keep Connor away from the DPD for the time being I will personally make sure that you continue to receive the same pay you're currently making.”

Gavin scowled. “It's not always about the money prick.” He snapped. “I actually enjoy my job, as shitty as you might think it-”

“I did not mean to offend.” Kamski quickly mended. “I was merely saying, if you keep Connor out of this for right now, and end up getting suspended you shall not hurt financially from it.”

“Is it that bad to take him in?”

“I believe so. As I said, he's lost. He's never really given himself time to figure anything out. From what I could tell, he gave himself a mission the same day he turned deviant, and is still following that mission, above everything else.”

“The way you say that, you make it seem as if he hasn't really turned deviant?”

“He's certainly not a Markus, or a Chloe. He's gone deviant in that he's no longer under the control of CyberLife, can think for himself, and feel things certainly, but he never grew beyond that. Never explored anything further. His entire existence has revolved around the mission he gave himself.”

“What mission was that?”

Elijah hesitated a moment before shaking his head. “That's not what's important in this. Right now we need to keep him here, and I'd rather not risk him having a breakdown seeing the lieutenant again.”

Gavin groaned and rubbed at his eyes. “Fine. Fine I get it. You want him to stay here so you can play house or what ever. Just- give me the drive and I'll see what I can do with the DPD.”

“My offer still stands Gavin. Should things go poorly I will make sure you don't feel it financially.”

“I don't need your fucking money.” He snapped.

“Allow me to help you. Please. Especially since it's on me that you'd be getting suspended.”

“Fuck- look I'll think about it, okay?”

Kamski nodded his head, seemingly pleased with the answer. “I'll take that. Now, I trust you know where the guest bedroom is?”

“Unless you've moved it during one of your crazed redecorating?”

He heard a soft snort from Elijah. “No. Chloe wouldn't be too pleased should I do something like that. It's where it's always been.”

“Then we're good.” He set the glass down. “I'll see you in the morning Elijah.”

“See you in the morning Gavin.”

Gavin started down the hall and fully intended on going straight to bed, but as he rounded the corner he saw Chloe coming out of a room. “How is he?” The words were out of his mouth before he could think.

“He's doing as well as can be expected. We had to order some non-essential parts, that we didn't have on hand. But for the time being he's stable.” Gavin nodded his head and looked past her towards the door. “Do you wish to see him?” She sounded... surprised.

“No.” He quickly said and made to continue on his way.

“Gavin-” Chloe lightly touched his shoulder and made him pause. “Keep an ear out for him alright? I fear he will try and leave tonight before he's been fully repaired.”

“I'm not a fucking baby sitter.” He grumbled, but nodded his head all the same. “If I happen to hear him I'll think about coming to check on him.”

The smile she gave him made him feel sick. “Thank you.” That was all she said, no doubt seeing past his act of not giving a fuck. He clicked his tongue and continued on down the hall, slowing slightly at Connor's door. A year... It had been a year since the last time he'd seen him. He shook his head and quickly retreated to his room before he could do anything stupid. It had been a year. He should be over what ever nonsense he had come up with as far as his feelings went. He was fucking Gavin Reed. He didn't give a rats ass for anyone or anything. Liar.

 

Chapter Text

~Present Day: 3am~

 

There was a creak of a door outside from the hall. That was what had woken him up. What got him out of bed was the shuffling of feet that followed. Gavin silently grabbed his gun, making sure the safety was off before he opened his door and slipped into the hall. Just at the end of the hall he saw a foot disappear around the corner.

He snarled before he made his way down the hall, keeping the gun pointed in front of him ready to take out the intruder. He peeked around the corner and let out a breath as he saw Connor heading towards the door. Gavin had to hand it to the android, he certainly was good at what he did. He would have gotten away with it if Gavin hadn't been a paranoid fuck. “What the hell do you think you're doing?”

Connor froze, his LED blinking red a moment before switching back to yellow. Did it ever shine blue anymore? “Detective?”

“What the fuck plastic?” He clicked his tongue and lowered his gun, pointing it towards the ground.

Connor quirked a brow- and fuck if he hadn't gotten that same look from K9. “What?” He cocked his head to one side and fuck was Gavin screwed. Shit... A year later and still the android made his stomach flip. “Why the gun?”

“I just umm... I Thought you were an intruder.”

“You get those often where you live?”

Actually yes. He shook his head though and glanced down at the ground for a moment. “Why are you up?” He didn't answer the question.

“I was unaware I was not allowed out of the room.”

“Well... no I just- wondered what had you up and moving.”

Connor frowned slightly. “Why?”

"Cause it's weird and creepy that you're roaming the halls at three in the morning?"

Connor motioned to him. "And yet here you are doing that exact same thing?" 

"Only because I thought you were an intruder." 

"We both know detective that you would have been out here roaming the halls with a gun even if you had known it was me." 

"No-"

"No? You mean, given the chance-"

"I saved you from the gang didn't I?" 

"I had valuable information that you needed." 

"No- No you're information won't get me jack shit." Gavin growled. 

"What?" 

"Did you ever see who was leading the whole damn operation?"

"No- I don't believe so." 

"Then you know about as much as I know. It's just- you're will be considered tangible proof." 

"So it will help you?" 

"Yes." 

"But it won't crack the case for you." 

"Fuck no-" 

"Then why save me?"

Gavin could feel his cheeks start to heat up and was thankful it was still dark outside. “I don't know- I was worried I guess.” He mumbled.

“I must have heard you wrong detective. For a moment I thought you said you were worried.”

Gavin scowled and looked up, old habits kicking in. “Better get your hearing checked then asshole. Cause I don't know why I'd be worried about a piece of crap-” The LED blinked red and that was all the warning Gavin got before he received a punch to the face that had his head snapping to the side. “Ah- shit-” He brought a hand up and touched his jaw, hissing slightly before he realized that Connor had started down the hall again towards the front door. “Hold up dipshit!” He said, and started off after him.

“Stay away Detective.” He said over his shoulder, LED seemingly stuck on red. “I will not hesitate to punch you again.”

“Yeah okay- I deserved that. I can accept that.” That got Connor to stop and turn around. “Look, I'm sorry okay? I shouldn't have... I shouldn't have cussed you out. Or- or called you a piece of crap.”

“I've been called worse-”

“Yeah well you're not. A piece of crap I mean.”

There was silence a moment before Connor asked softly. “Am I a vacuum?”

Gavin's heart skipped a beat before he felt slightly sick. He licked his lips, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. “I... no.”

“Because the last time we talked officially you believed I was one." His voice grew harder, "The night you told me- the night you talked about how cute means getting saved, while not cute means getting burned on the streets-”

“I know, I'm-”

“Sorry?” The word hung in the air like an accusation. Like even saying it wouldn't fix anything. “I have met several people throughout the last year that were sorry detective. You humans always are when you need something from someone you don't like.” Gavin swallowed and clenched his jaw. “Why don't you do us both a favor detective and leave me alone.” The android stared at Gavin unblinking as if he hadn't just sucker punched him.

Gavin stared at him a moment, mind completely blank on what to do. So he reached into his pocket for his ever present cigarettes only to remember that they were still in his room. Fuck. He shook his head instead and walked past Connor towards the kitchen. He noticed Connor tense as he stepped towards him and the android seemed ready to spring into action, waiting for Gavin to attack him or something along those lines. He supposed he would have a year ago. He opened the refrigerator door and pulled out a beer and heard Connor enter the kitchen.

“What's your end game here detective?”

“I don't have one.” He said as he popped off the bottle cap.

“Everyone has one.”

“So what's yours?”

“To get back to my family.”

“Again with this family- where the fuck are they?”

“I'm hoping not at home. Now you. What's your end game?”

“Again- I don't have one.”

“Everyone-”

“Well I'm not fucking everyone.”

There was a pause before the corner of Connor's mouth twitched up ever so slightly. “I should certainly hope not detective. That would be exhausting.”

Gavin was quiet a moment before he snorted and chuckled under his breath. He lifted his eyebrows quickly before taking a swig of his drink. “That's the truth.” The mood shifted, Gavin could feel it. He wasn't sure why, or how, but it had. “Connor.. really. That night-”

“Really detective-”

“You're not.” Connor paused, LED blinking yellow. “You're not a vacuum.”

Connor snorted and shook his head as he leaned back against the counter. “I bet you say that to all the androids.”

Gavin wasn't sure if Connor really understood he was being serious... but he didn't want to push his luck either. So he just went with it. “Oh yeah. You know. Classic pick up line right there.”

“Oh was that what you were trying to do? I was unaware you were interested in androids detective.”

Gavin coughed around his drink. “What?” He managed to get out before swallowing and clearing his throat. “Fuck- no. I mean not that, I just- you know. Me and androids-”

“Bad blood?”

“I mean- sorta. But not- not with you-”

“Really? Because I'm fairly certain the last time I saw you we didn't end things on good terms.”

“I know- I'm sorry. Really. I'm not what ever asshole's who say sorry and don't mean it. I mean it. I'm sorry Connor.” Gavin was fairly certain his cheeks turned red as he glanced down at the ground. It had been pretty bad, what he'd said. He had compared the android who- the person that he had feelings... He'd compared Connor to a house hold appliance because he'd been frustrated, confused, and stupid. He knew that. He'd been stupid. “I'm just, I'm sorry. That night- I.. I panicked and, and I just explained the first way that came to mind-”

“Which was your usual ass hole self.” Connor crossed his arms.

“Yeah- alright fair enough. But- what I said, I- I'm just sorry Connor. I didn't... it was a stupid way to try and rationalize to myself why I'd done what I'd done.” He could almost feel Connor analyzing every last word he'd said. He could almost feel the android scanning him with all his sensors and trying to decide if Gavin was actually telling the truth. And why shouldn't he doubt what you're saying? As far as he knows you're still an ass. You hurt him back at the warehouse, and before that you told him he wasn't worth saving. Why shouldn't he have his doubts about everything you say?

“Something is different about you detective.” Gavin glanced up to see Connor's LED spinning a slow yellow. “I accept your apology.” He finally said and Gavin felt a weight lift off his shoulders, a weight he hadn't even realized was there.

“Thank you.”

“A sorry and a thank you? What has happened to you detective?” There was a smirk on Connor's face and seeing that made the corner of Gavin's mouth perk up.

“World came to an end probably.” He took another swallow and started to dig around in the drawers. He knew his brother kept cigarettes on hand for stressful situations. “So how are you really?” He asked as he hit the jackpot of cigarettes. 

“I'm fine. Kamski said he had to order a few parts. Like my communicator.”

“You're what?”

“The device that allows me to call out to cell phones or other androids.”

“But you've been texting me?”

“I synced with your phone, and have been within range of sending short range texts.”

“Oh...”

“But I'm not within range of Ralph.”

“Who?”

“The android that the human wanted you to find? The friend that was with me. I need to find him, and Jerry too. I need to make sure they're okay-”

“Connor you're not even okay.” Gavin ran a hand through his hair, fingers scratching at his scalp. “I'm sure they can take care of themselves-”

“No- no I can't just abandon them. They need to know I'm alive and okay, they need to know that the gang doesn't have me any more-”

“Just- just wait a minute Connor.” he sighed and shook his head from side to side as he scuffed his shoe against the tiles. “Fuck- okay so they think you're still with the android haters, and you can't connect to them because we're waiting on that part to come in-”

“Exactly.” Connor's shoulders seemed to release some tension. “So I need to find them before they try and do something questionable.”

Kamski's words came back to him-

'...he's lost. He's never really given himself time to figure anything out. From what I could tell, he gave himself a mission the same day he turned deviant, and is still following that mission, above everything else.'

“Connor you need to stay here and take care of yourself-”

“You don't understand. I need to do this. I- I have to make sure they're okay.”

“Connor-”

“It's important detective.” Connor added sternly. “Please- prove to me I'm not- we're not just vacuum cleaners to you and help me find him.”

Gavin groaned and ran a hand through his hair once every one was gone, then lit up a cigarette. “Fuck me.” he grumbled as he took a drag.

“Those are bad for your health-”

“Yeah well life is bad for my health, and if I'm about to go find more androids- I fucking need it.”

Connor actually perked up for the first time that evening, and Gavin was pretty sure he'd do anything to see him brighten like that again. Sure the LED was still the warning yellow it seemed stuck on, but the entire vibe of the android had just brightened. It was beautiful. “So you'll do it?”

“Yeah- fuck of course I'll do it. I'm a fucking detective aren't I? Looking for people sounds a lot like my job description.” He grumbled. “But I'll need you to stay here Connor. That's the condition.”

“Why? Surely it would be easier for me to come with you?”

Because the last thing I need is to be in the car alone with you again. He thought. “Because you're still under going repairs.”

“Ralph is not friendly to strangers-”

“Yeah well, I'm don't meet a whole lot of friendly people in my life any ways. So nothing new. Look deal or no deal.”

Connor hesitated, obviously torn over the idea of sending Gavin on his own to find the android, but eventually he nodded his head. “Very well detective. I will stay here if you promise to go look for him. And to be careful.”

“Yeah yeah. Remind me what he looked like?” He nodded his head up and down as Connor went into a rather quick over view of what Ralph looked like. “Big nasty looking scar? I feel like I've seen that before...” He mused as he dialed up the station on the house phone. “I'll take the location of the house too, just to be safe.” Connor nodded and gave it too him, also letting the man know that the Ralph and Jerry androids called him fifty-four instead of Connor. “Why do-” But he couldn't ask further as Tina picked up the phone.

"Hey Tina- I need the location on an android. Yeah, yeah okay he's a WR600, Has a scar that runs down the side of his face, probably a little glitchy- Oh you know who I'm talking about? Where could I find... Great. Thank you Tina. You're a life saver. No no, I really mean that- oh fuck off. Last time I try being nice- No I know... yeah fuck it. Okay! I'll see you later." He hung up as he tried to imagine the corner that Tina had told him to start looking. At least he had a general area to start his search in... He almost wished he had K9 with him. Almost.

“Alright Connor, I got a location. I'm going there now, but you get your ass back into your room, Okay?”

“Alright detective.” Connor remained still though a moment and Gavin looked up at him.

“Well? Get a move on.” Connor opened his mouth slightly as if to say something, but then his LED flashed red again and he quickly closed it before turning on his heel and heading back down the hall without another word.

The detective watched him until he had disappeared inside and he sighed. Going out at almost half past three in the morning... he wasn't going to be getting any more sleep that night. On the bright side, he'd probably have tomorrow afternoon he could crash. He let out a huff before he quickly went back to his room and changed into his clothes and grabbed his essentials, before he headed out to the car.

It didn't take him long to peel out of the driveway and down the dark road. It was nice to be in the car by himself, but he could still faintly smell the thirium that had soaked into his seat, and if he tried he could almost smell the burnt wires... He shook his head and quickly rolled down the window, cooler weather be damned. He flicked on the radio and turned up his music, trying to drown out the images of Connor back at the warehouse that were flashing through his mind. He had no right feeling this sick to his stomach for what had happened. It's almost an insult to the android that I feel so sick... He pulled out another cigarette and lit it up with shaking hands, almost sighing in relief as it hit his system. Right now he just needed to find this Ralph person. Android. What ever.

It took about twenty minutes to get to the side of town Tina had pointed him to and by the time he got there he was yawning like there was no tomorrow. Gavin yawned for the umpteenth time as he flicked his eyes over the street signs, looking for the street the house was supposed to be off of. He needed to get this done so he could get back to... to bed. He stopped as the sound of talking came to his ears. He frowned as he tried to locate the source of the noise. “What the fuck-” He breathed as he narrowed it down to an alley way. He pulled his flashlight out and clicked it on.

“But Ralph must go back- fifty-four is friend. fifty-four needs Ralph. But Ralph is scared- Ralph needs, needs help. Yes. Ralph needs help that is what Ralph needs. But fifty-four is help. fifty-four helps, is Ralph's help, and they've taken fifty-four-”

An android was pacing back and forth at the end of the alley, a knife glinting in the light as he muttered under his breath about fifty-four. If Gavin had had any doubts before that this was the android, the mention of Connor, as fifty-four was more than enough for him to be convinced. Now to just convince him to leave with him. “Hey-” he started and the android spun around on his feet, pointing the knife towards him in a defending motion. “Hey- no easy.” Gavin held his hands up, in an attempt to show he wasn't a threat.

“Who are you?” Ralph demanded as his eyes flicked over Gavin, no doubt trying to figure out who he was with. “You're one of them aren't you? Aren't you!? You're one, one of the ones who took fifty-four-”

“No- no hold up-” He took a step back as Ralph took a step forward. “I'm trying to help Connor.”

“What?” The android paused, head twitching to the side. “Help Connor? Connor is dead. Fifty-four said so.”

Gavin was thankful Connor had remembered to tell him Ralph called him fifty-four. “No- no I know him as Connor, but he said you call him fifty-four?”

“How do you know that?”

“Because I was talking with him-”

“Because you stole him!”

“No- no I didn't! I'm trying to help him!”

“Help him?”

“Yes. Yes I want to help him, but I need you to come with me-”

“No, no, no! You're not helping Fifty-four! Ralph was fooled before, but not again! Ralph knows better, yes Ralph knows better.”

“No- No! I am trying to help Connor!”

“Then who are you? Where were you? FIfty-four has no one, fifty-four only has Ralph- Yes only Ralph and Jerry.”

“Fuck- look I don't know and I don't care about that shit right now-”

“Ha- ha! Yes see? See Ralph knew, knew you weren't a friend. Weren't a friend at all, weren't trying to help. You're a bad man. A bad man that helped take Fifty-four -” Ralph ran towards him knife ready to strike.

“Shit-” Gavin quickly stepped to the side and watched as the knife sliced through the space he'd just been occupying. “Look dipshit-”

“Ralph is not dipshit, Ralph is Ralph!” He made another swipe at Gavin and for the first time in the entire conversation Gavin felt if he wasn't careful he was going to end up dead.

“Look- look! I really am trying to help! I'm Detective Reed!”

That made Ralph come to a complete stop. “Detective Reed? The detective Reed? No... no you're never to find us- Fifty-four said...” Ralph paused and looked to one side. “Where were you?”

“Where was I?” Now he was confused.

“When Ralph found him, he was alone. Where were you if you were his friend?” Regardless the knife was lowered slightly, and Gavin took that as a step in the right direction.

“I- I thought he was dead.” He had to be talking about last November. “Honestly I though Connor was dead. I've- I've thought he was dead for a long fucking year.”

Ralph nodded his head slightly then with more enthusiasm. “Yes. Yes alright. Ralph will help. But if you're lying Ralph will kill you! Ralph doesn't like humans- humans only hurt- but Ralph needs help. Needs help to help Fifty-four. Jerrys can't find him...”

“Tell the Jerry's to stop. I have Connor.”

That was the wrong thing to say. Ralph was back on full alert mode again. “You have him?!” He brought the knife back up and ran for Gavin. “You are one of them! You have Fifty-four! You took him!”

“No- fucking shit no!”

“Ralph will not be fooled!” He made a swipe for Gavin, who easily side stepped it and tried to bring a hand up to grab the knife. “You're not really detective Reed!”

“No- I am! I'm a friend. I saved him!”

“Human's don't save. They only hurt!” Gavin couldn't get the knife free and Ralph wiggled his grasp free and brought the knife towards Gavin again. “Where is Fifty-four?” the android demanded.

“He's with my brother!”

“Back at the empty building?” Ralph brought the knife up, seemingly aiming for Gavin's gut. “Ralph and Jerry will get him out of there, you can not keep him!”

Gavin had to hand it to him, the android was certainly dedicated. He caught the hand again with the knife and forced it to stop. “Hold up, look I'll call Connor- will that help you believe me?”

Ralph paused in his struggle to stab Gavin. “You'll have him talk to Ralph?”

“Yes- fuck, yes just let me pull my phone out, yeah?” Ralph hesitated a moment before he nodded his head and Gavin quickly pulled the cellphone out. He pulled up the text history and pressed call.

“Twice in twenty four hours-”

“Fuck off Elijah, put Connor on the phone now.”

“Worried about your android-”

“Now Elijah!” The man must have heard the slight desperation in Gavin's voice as he shut up and Gavin could hear him moving through the house. Soon enough Connor was on the phone.

“Detective- have you found Ralph?”

“Fuck yes.” Gavin snapped and looked at Ralph. “You need to calm him down. He's about ready to stab me.” He heard a sigh on the other end of the line.

“Put him on.” Gavin passed the phone over to Ralph and the android quickly took it.

“Fifty-four?” Ralph glanced at Gavin, with a clearly distrusting look on his face. How did an android managed to give him such a death glare? “Are you alright?... Why are you not here? Jerry and Ralph have been looking- no. No Jerry's not here. He was going to get help.” Ralph's voice fell quiet. “Don't be angry- Ralph knows you don't trust him, but you were gone and Jerry and Ralph couldn't do this without you-” He stopped and looked down at the ground. “He went to get the deviant leader. Or to get help from him- We couldn't get in contact with you!” Gavin crossed his arms and yawned as his vision blurred for a moment. “Yes... yes. Yes Ralph can do that. Ralph will try and stop Jerry... Go with the human?” Ralph looked back at Gavin. “Why? Why not come here and go home?” His eyes widened a moment and he went completely still. “Hurt- yes. Alright Ralph is coming. Ralph will be right there. Good bye fifty-four.” He handed the phone back to Gavin who put it up again his ear.

“Thanks-”

“No, thank you detective. It is a relief to know that he's in your care. I wish Jerry was there, but the hate group didn't see him so don't know to look for him.”

“Yeah- alright we're on our way back. Shouldn't take long to get-” He started to yawn again. “-get back there.” He said through it.

“Be safe detective.”

“Don't fucking worry about it. I'll get Ralph to you the same way I found him-”

“I was referring to the yawn-”

“Oh- oh... yeah. Will do, see you soon.” He quickly hing up, not enjoying the warmth that had started to bloom in his gut from Connor's comment. “Alright Ralph, my car's just around the corner- yeah?” He motioned towards the end of the alley. “I'll lead?” He started forwards, making sure that the android was following before he pulled out his cigarettes, knocking one from the case.

“Thank you Reed.” Ralph finally said. “Ralph is sorry about attacking. Ralph was just angry- frightened... and when Ralph is like that Ralph does stupid things.”

“Yeah- what ever. Don't mention it.” Gavin grumbled under his breath as he took a drag on his cigarette. “Let's just get to Connor, yeah?”

“You keep calling him that- he's not Connor. He's Fifty-four.”

Gavin groaned and shook his head. “Look I don't fucking care what you call him. I'm not calling him a damn number.” Ralph frowned but fell silent as they neared the car. “It'll take about twenty minutes to get to where Connor is right now, you won't freak out on me will you?” He said around the cigarette as he slipped into the drivers seat.

“Ralph promises to be on best behavior.” Ralph nodded his head as he sat in the passengers seat and mimicked Gavin in buckling up. “Ralph is excited to see Fifty-four again. It was quite frightening when last Ralph saw him.”

“Well he's doing better... but he's still has a few things that need to be repaired. It shouldn't take too long though for everything to be repaired or what ever.” He said as they started down the highway towards Kamski's place. He looked at the time and sighed. He'd have to be in work soon. Or risk the wrath of Fowler... or even more wrath then what he was already going to get.

“But he's going to be okay?”

“Yeah. Yeah he's going to be fine.”

They drove on in silence and Gavin figured Ralph was done talking, but the android proved him wrong. “You are not what Ralph expected.”

“What?”

“When Fifty-four talked of you, Ralph always thought you would be something... different. Taller for one.”

Gavin's mind reeled at the comment. “Hold up- Connor talked about me?”

“Oh yes. Quite often. Jerry was about to come and find you because he wouldn't do it himself.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Ralph assumed you knew? Did you not know he talked about you?”

“No!” He looked over and saw Ralph watching him intently. “No- no I did not know he talked about me... was it- was it bad?”

“No... well some. But mostly no... Ralph should probably not be telling you this if you did not know. Please do not tell fifty-four Ralph told you. Ralph doesn't want to make fifty-four mad.”

“Does he get mad?”

“Well... not exactly. Ralph cannot remember a time when he got mad at us.”

“So he's probably not going to start getting mad at you now-”

“True... but still Ralph should not talk about it- Fifty-four needs to talk to you not Ralph.”

“Is it... was it good things?”

Ralph looked at him confused. “Are you a bad man?”

“No.”

“Then why so worried that fifty-four said bad things about you?”

“I just- it's, it's been a while you know?”

“No. Ralph does not know.”

Gavin groaned and ran a hand through his hair. “Yeah- yeah okay. I get it. Something I need to talk to him about.” He pulled into the drive way a short time later and was greeted at the car by Connor. Ralph was out of the car almost before he could park it and was running towards Connor in the blink of an eye.

“Fifty-four! Ralph was so worried! Jerry too! We though we wouldn't see you again!” Gavin watched as Connor hugged Ralph and he quickly looked down at the ground, not quite sure how to classify the feeling in his gut at the sight.

“Gavin?”

A body settled next to him against the car. “Yes Elijah?”

“Why is there another android at my house?”

“Connor was trying to leave to find him.”

“And you decided to just bring him over?”

“You fucking made him, only right he come home and meet you.”

“Very funny Gavin. I am serious though. How many more androids will you be bringing to my home?”

“How ever many it takes to calm Connor down. You're the one who wanted to make sure he stayed here while he recovered. Want him to stay? We gotta protect his family too.”

“Family?”

“Yeah, Ralph and another android named Jerry.”

“Fantastic.” Elijah said dryly, before he sighed. “I'll make sure to let Chloe know to expect more guests.” He looked at his phone and noted the time. “You should start to head into work. I'll expect you this afternoon?”

Gavin nodded his head. “I mean- I won't have anywhere else to crash.”

“It's so nice to know that it's the little things, like gang threats and android protection, that bring us together as a family.”

“Ah fuck off Elijah.” Gavin chuckled.

“Don't bring too many stray puppies home though, alright?”

“Alright. I'll just make sure to only bring stray androids home.”

Elijah rolled his eyes and headed back into the house, though Connor was quick to take his place. “Thank you Detective.”

“Don't mention it.”

“No- it... it means a lot to me that you brought him home safely.”

“You're welcome then.” Gavin replied with a nod of his head.

“Are you coming back inside?”

“No. I gotta start heading into work... Need to go explain to the captain about last night.”

There was silence a moment before Connor asked, “Do you need me to come in with you?”

Gavin shook his head as he looked back towards the house, “No. No I have the memory files you gave. That won't be any different from what you'd tell them yourself.”

"Good." There was silence again, and Gavin almost started to say his good bye when Connor spoke up again. “Will you be coming back here?”

“Why? Worried I'm leaving you here with my crazed brother?”

“Or trying to figure out how long I won't have a headache.”

“Do androids even get headaches?”

“I do seem to experience the feeling when you open your mouth.” There was that smirk again. 

“Oh hardy har har.” Gavin snorted and opened the car door. “Don't worry I won't-”

“No, please-” Connor stopped, mouth open slightly as he seemed to be trying to process through something, LED spinning red. “I- I would feel better were you to come back.”

“Crazy brother right?”

“If it makes it easier for you to believe that.”

Gavin frowned slightly before he nodded his head up and down slowly. “Yeah- no worries. I won't leave you with him long. I'll be back by this afternoon, if not sooner.”

Connor nodded his head before he stepped back away from the car. “Good... good. Then I'll see you this afternoon.”

“Yeah. See yah.” Gavin slipped back into the car and started it up. As he drove away he glanced in the rear view mirror and saw Connor watching him leave, a bright yellow glowing faintly on his temple.

Chapter Text

~Present Day: 10 am~

“You blew it Reed. You just fucking blew it plain and simple!”

“I told you it was a bad situation-”

“The hell it was!” Fowler slammed his fist against his desk, before he pointed a finger at Gavin. “You fucked up. You blew your first case back! And you can't even bring in the android that you pulled the memories from?”

“I told you it didn't make it-” He'd gone with the story that Connor hadn't made it after he saved it and that was why there were glitches in the playback feed. The smartest move he'd ever made? No, but he also didn't think it the dumbest yet either.  

“Do you know what this looks like? Do you realize what this looks like from where I'm sitting?”

“Oh fuck you-” He knew exactly what it looked like from where he was sitting. It looked like he'd reverted back to old habits and killed an android and was trying to cover his tracks from it.  

“Maybe Hank was right to be worried to send you in for this job.”

“I didn't kill the android captain!” Why couldn't people just believe him? He'd done nothing but work his ass off trying to win back the trust he'd lost, win back the feeling of belonging with the others and still, day after day they did nothing but doubt him. They never looked at him with anything but distrust and unconcealed hatred. 

“Reed...” Fowler sighed and leaned forward on his elbows. “You can't produce the android that you allegedly saved from these people, the evidence you've provided is missing parts- and we can't even identify what model they came from, and you want us to believe that the gang is now after you.”

“Yeah. I expect you to take my fucking word-”

“Your word means nothing!” Fowler hissed before running his hand over his face. “Shit Reed, I thought you understood that the moment we found out about who you used to run with!”

“That was over a year ago Fowler!”

“No one changes that much in a year Reed!”

"I-" He bit his tongue and clenched his jaw, cutting off the response he was going to bite back. Gavin took a breath and let it out slowly, trying to hold onto what ever calm he'd come into the room with. “Look- I'm sorry I screwed it up, okay? I'm sure there's something that I could-”

“No Reed. Just stop.” Fowler sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Hand in your badge and side arm.”

“Captain-”

“Now Reed.” Gavin clenched his jaw, but stiffly pulled off his badge and gun, setting it on the desk in front of the man. “You're suspended until further notice.”

“Captain-”

“No. This is the third strike in a year. You're lucky I'm not firing your ass on the spot.”

“But this gang-”

“Is now out of your hands. You screwed up. Take this break and get your head in the right place. You need to figure out where you want to go with your life. Because I can assure you that with your performance this last year, it won't be with the department for much longer. Not only losing us our only in with these people last night, but the fact you used to be one of their kind, and the case of the unsolved murders-”

“Are you really talking about the murders right now?! That wasn't my fault- there was literally no evidence left behind by the murderer! I can't crack something with nothing left behind!”

“None that you could find. The RK900-”

“Richard.”

There was silence a moment as Fowler stared at Gavin, and Gavin realized he'd just corrected the man about an androids name. “Go home. Get some rest. I'll call you with further details.”

“I can't go home I have a gang after me for freeing their latest Thirium supply.”

“Go. Home. I'll make sure an escort follows you home.”

“For my safety or to make sure I go home?”

“Why? Do you have some where to be?”

“I have places I could be instead of wasting time at home, waiting for you to fucking-”

“Go. Home. Now. And stay there until I say otherwise.”

Gavin scowled and slammed the door open, skipping down the stairs before storming to the front of the building. He'd known this entire thing was going to go piss poor, but he hadn't thought- well honestly he wasn't sure what he'd actually expected. Maybe a small part of him had hoped for some leniency...

“How did last night- Oh. I take it not well?” Hank was standing in front of him with Richard beside him, his LED spinning a soft blue. A blue that matched his eyes. Gavin frowned even more as he could see the resemblance to Connor and yet also... see the differences as well. It pissed him off all over again.

“Judging by the stress levels I would say not well is an understatement lieutenant.” Hank scoffed and nodded his head in agreement.

“Out of my way.” He grumbled as he made to go around them.

“No- We need you to come check something out before you head off to where ever-”

“I've been taken off the case.”

“Shit-” Hank scowled and looked him up and down. “What the hell did you do this time Reed?”

“Does it fucking matter? It got me taken off the case-”

“Is that all it got you?” Hank crossed his arms as he interrupted.

“No." He hesitated before clicking his tongue. "I've been suspended as well.”

“Shit! What the hell did you do?”

“I fucked up okay?!” Gavin looked at Richard and stepped away from the android slightly. He'd never felt comfortable around the Connor look alike, but today it was just worse. They'd never really gotten along since the first time they met. Richard had already heard about him and had decided to start their relationship with 'asserting his dominance' as he'd so kindly put it. They didn't hate each other, they just... would never hang out outside of work. 

“What. Did. You. Do?”

“I freed the android that was getting electrocuted alright!” Richard's LED flashed yellow and Hank's mouth dropped open slightly and Gavin took the distraction and shoved his way past them.

“Oh no you don't.” Hank was quick to follow after him, Richard right behind him. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“The android last night at the... gathering. I just- I got pissed off and freed the dumb thing and blew the case.”

“You actually expect me to believe that?”

“Yes Hank.” Gavin glared a moment before huffing and stuffing his hands into his pockets. “What ever, I don't have to put up with this bs.”

“Reed-”

“Get to work Anderson.” He said as he continued his way to his car.

“Where are you going in such a hurry?”

“Well maybe you'll find out if the escort can keep up with me.”

“An escort?”

“Fowler wants me under surveillance. He's worried I killed the android last night-”

“Fair enough he's worried-”

Gavin ignored the comment. “And believes I've now teamed up with the gang.”

“He say that?”

“Good as.” Gavin dug out his keys and stopped beside his car. “Hank- I know you don't have much reason to believe me on this-”

“Understatement of the year, but go on.” The older man crossed his arms and quirked a brow as he watched Gavin on the other side of the car. 

“If you could keep me up to date of the gangs movements- I really haven't joined them and they still don't know I'm a cop so they're after me right now.” he paused and scoffed. “Hell they would be after me even if they did know I was a detective.”

“What happened to the android?” Richard finally spoke up before Hank could reply.

“He's... he's getting patched up but he's in a bad way. He couldn't come in, wouldn't even really trust me to bring him in-”

“Perhaps if I were to go and see him-” Richard started to offer. 

“No-” Gavin was quick to reply, eyes flicking to Hank a moment. “No, he... he's been through some shit and doesn't want to get involved with the DPD.” He knew this was only making it worse for himself. Refusing anyone to come and see the android he'd supposedly saved... it only helped make it look like he had killed the android and was trying to cover up his tracks. It was just about as bad as telling Fowler the android hadn't made it.

"You heading home?" 

“No... no like I said, they want me dead. It would be suicide to go home and wait this out... I'm going to my brothers. He's offered his place.”

“The brother you hate?”

“I was unaware he had one-” Richard looked a little confused at not knowing about that and it made the corner of Gavin's mouth twitch up in a smirk.

“Yeah, because he fucking hates him. You seriously going there Reed?”

“Better to be pissed off and alive, then dead.”

“Fair enough...”

Gavin nodded his head and slipped into his car starting it up. He could see Anderson talking with Richard and the androids LED blinking yellow before slipping back into that ever cool blue.

"Hey Reed hold up." Gavin rolled the window down as Hank crouched over to look him in the eyes. "I'll keep you up to date about the case. Let you know what I find out and shit like that. I-" He paused and glanced at Richard before he looked back to Gavin. "I believe you. Crazy as it sounds, I believe you did what you thought right last night. I'll see what I can do about Fowler. You just behave yourself until then, alright?" 

Gavin nodded his head a little stiffly and ran his tongue along the inside of his teeth. "Thanks Anderson... that means a lot." Hank nodded his head and gave the top of his car a pat before he stepped away. Gavin gave a quick wave of his hand before he pulled out of the parking lot and into the hustle and bustle of Detroit traffic. Almost immediately he spotted the tail that had been assigned to him. For the briefest moment he thought about just going home and waiting it out there, but a text from his brothers phone brushed the thought aside.

 

Asshole: This is Connor- did everything go as poorly as you feared?

Gavin sighed and got a reply ready as he sat at a red light. 'Yeah. On my way back now.' The light turned green and he stepped on it, quickly putting cars between him and the escort. His phone started to ring as he did so and he threw it up through the cars speakers. “Yeah?” He asked gruffly.

“You really are a charming individual detective.” Connor's voice came across the line, almost sounding lighthearted.

“Yeah, a real charmer. Thanks to you and last night i might add." He was angry and it was showing, he knew he should stop and take a breath, but he'd taken a lot of calming breaths the last couple of hours. "What do you want plastic?” Gavin winced as the word slipped out.

There was silence a moment on the other end before finally he replied, “Nothing- forget I called.”

“Wait-” But the line went dead and Gavin cursed under his breath. He checked behind him only to find, to his dismay, that the escort was back behind him. He was going to have to try a little harder. He pressed the recall button and waited for Connor to pick up, but it rang through to the answering machine. He scowled and hung up, only to try again. He would continue to call the android until he was in the same room with him if he had to. He was going to talk to Connor again.

The car behind him was persistent and so he decided to calm down and actually started to head towards his place. Maybe he could go inside then slip out the back... or he could lose him in the parking lot- He clicked his tongue as the phone went to voice mail again. “Shit- come on Connor.” He grumbled, and looked down at the phone as he changed lanes and hit the recall button again. He was real close to home at these speeds and he wondered if he'd be charged for speeding later. The thought amused him so when the phone went to voice mail he wasn't as annoyed. His eyes flicked down to the phone's screen again as he took the turn onto his street and called Connor again. When he looked back up he saw a car heading right for him.

His eyes widened as he dropped the phone and swerved to get out of the way. The rear end of his car was clipped, sending him spinning, tires squealing as he tried to regain control of his vehicle. Vaguely he heard someone call out his name but he didn't have the time to register who it was or where it was coming from before bullets were sprayed across his windshield. “Fuck!” He bent over and slammed down on the gas, not caring entirely where he was going as he did so. He glanced out the side window, trying to get where he was on the street and watched as he passed Jack from the warehouse grinning at him, a crazed look in his eyes.

Gavin cursed and straightened up as he got past the attacking car and floored it away from the gangs car. He hadn't thought they'd be waiting for him to attack him in broad daylight- The only way they'd have the balls to do something like that was if they had dirty cops working with them. That was the only way they could have that kind of confidence to do something like this. He should have known there were dirty cops working with these assholes. It certainly explained why they'd grown to the size they were now. How had he not thought of that sooner?

“Detective!” The voice pierced through his thoughts and brought him back into what was actually going on around him.

“What?!” He yelled into the empty car.

“What's going on!”

That's when he realized that Connor had finally decided to pick up the phone. “Damn it! Not now!” Another round of bullets started to slam into his car and he could feel one zip past his head. Too damn close- He made a right and turned down a smaller street, getting a short break from the attackers.

“Gun fire? Who's shooting at you?” Was that actual worry he heard in the androids voice? No... no it's a glitch in his coding from being fried last night.

“Who do you fucking think!” The gang members turned down the little driveway alley he'd found and were once again hot on his heels. “I need a place to lay low!” He yelled as he swerved onto the main road again.

“Do you know where the farms are?”

“Yes!” He honked his horn as he zipped through red lights, hoping to not get hit as he did so.

“There's an abandoned building there- if you can lose them long enough to ditch the car-”

“Great. Fan-fucking-tastic.”

“I'm sorry detective had I known-”

“No- No you're... you're fine. Thanks.” He grumbled and took the ramp onto the highway last minute. “Just means I won't be back this afternoon-”

“Don't worry about that. Have you lost them yet?”

“No- no not yet.” They had just managed to follow him onto the highway. He could make out Jack yelling and fuming in the front seat, waving the gun around in the air. If he wasn't running for his life he'd find the faces the man was making to be quite funny.

“-ective? Reed?”

“You sure do talk a lot.” He snapped as he weaved through traffic.

“And for once you're not talking enough.” Exasperation. He was positive he'd heard that one from the android. “Where are you now?”

“About five minutes from the farms.”

“Detective this will only work if you manage to lose them long enough-”

“I know!” He took a breath and let it out slowly. “I know, okay?”

“Apologies.” Gavin didn't reply as he took the exit cutting off a car as he did so. His attacker followed suit clipping the car he'd cut off.

“Shit, they're not giving up easily.”

“I believe you'll be able to lose them detective.”

“Oh do you now?” He scoffed as he took a hard left followed by a quick right, zipping down the block and taking another right. He heard something behind him and he glanced into his rear view mirror to see the car side swipe into the building across the street. He grinned and focused back on the road in front of him- “Oh shit!” He slammed on his brakes as a trash truck pulled out in front of him, and he cut his wheel to the side, trying everything he could think of to stop the car, but he slammed into the the truck, causing his airbag to go off in a puff of smoke.

“Detective?” The voice sounded like it had a bad connection with his car.

Gavin groaned as he unbuckled and grabbed for the door. His head was pounding something awful and he was pretty sure he was seeing spots flickering in front of his vision at the moment. He took in a breath of the smoke that was now filling his car and doubled over in a coughing fit.

“Detective?” Panic was there now, he could make that much out of the lousy connection. He frowned and glanced down and saw his phone in the floorboard. He bent over with a moan, a wave of nausea washing over him with the movement, but picked up the phone before falling out of his car and onto the pavement.

“Reed?!” He pushed up to his hands and knees as he just sat there a moment, ignoring the phone for the time being. Yelling was going on all around him and it was only making the pounding in his head all the worse. Why wouldn't they all just shut up?

“Hey mister- Mister are you okay?” Gavin pushed up onto his knees, cell phone still clutched in his hands as he looked around him, eyes blinking rapidly. “Mister are you alright?!” There was a man in front of him, concern on his face as he looked at Gavin.

“Detective Reed!” He looked down at his phone as he heard his name coming from the small speaker and finally put it to his ear, humming in response. “Where are you!?”

“I'm... I'm almost to the building.” He got to his feet and every muscle in his body seemed to be humming with energy.

“No- no you shouldn't be-” Connor started but the man beside him talked over him.

“Hey mister? You sure you should be walking?” The man... had he been the truck driver? Reached for him but Gavin shrugged him off.

“You need to leave-” He started, but a gun shot caught Gavin's attention as the bullet buried itself into the ground at his feet.

“Gavin you fucker! I'm going to fucking end you!” Jack's voice yelled across the street as he stormed towards the smaller man, smoke billowing from the car he'd been driving.

Gavin cursed under his breath and quickly started to move towards the farm buildings, ignoring the way the world was swaying around him. That's where he needed to get to. That's where he could wait this out- Sirens could be heard in the distance and it made his feet move even faster, old muscle memory of years running from the cops kicking in.

“Reed?”

“I'm almost at the building.” He said quietly as he glanced behind him. So far it looked like no one was following him. At least not yet.

“Fine- alright I'll be right there.”

“What?”

“Don't move from that building. Do you understand me detective?”

“Don't tell me-” He started to slur out, but paused as his world seemed to take a dive to one side.

“Please. I'll be right there.”

“Fine... fine.” Gavin hung up the phone and stuffed it into his pocket as he slipped into the building. He looked at the stairs and thought about going up them, but decided against it and walked towards the far corner, slipping down the wall and settling on the floor.

He'd just been in an accident. He'd just walked away from an accident... from a shoot out really. They would trace the car back to him... He knew they would. This would only be another screw up to go on his record. No doubt getting labeled, 'damage from running in an attempt to lose his escort.' He sighed and let his head fall back against the wall as his eyes slipped closed. He knew he should probably try and stay awake until Connor found him... but he was just so tired...

He sniffed as he felt something warm start to trickle down his lips and he brought a hand up to swipe it away. Had he heard right? Connor was actually coming to get him? Part of him scoffed at the idea. No one was going to come for him. And why would they? Another wave of nausea washed over him and he flipped around as best he could as his mouth started to get juicy. He licked his lips a moment and closed his eyes, wishing he'd just throw up and get it over with. In the background he could hear his phone ringing but he paid it no mind. He had more important things to do right then. Like pryaing his guts would just puke up already.

The door banging open finally caught his attention and he tumbled to one side as he tried to turn back around. He wasn't sure how long he'd stayed on his hands and knees, but it was long enough that his legs and arms were shaking slightly from the effort of keeping him in that position after the crap he'd just gone through. “Well look at what we have here.” Jack's voice was grating on his ears and Gavin pushed himself further into the corner, wishing now he'd had the common sense to hide somewhere.

“Fuck off.” he said. There were three of them in total. They all looked like they'd been apart of the car crash that happened back on the street and they all looked rightly pissed off.

“I'd love to, but you crashed my fucking car!” The sound of a gun being cocked caught his attention. “You just had to have us chase you all over creation- and look where it fucking got you? Absolutely no where.”

“Didn't think you'd miss me so much. How long were you waiting at my place?”

“Too damn long.” The man walked towards him, his booted feet crunching against the broken glass and snow that was scattered across the floor. “You really have made it real difficult to bring you in alive like the boss wanted.”

Gavin scoffed. “The fucking boss? Wow I didn't think you'd wine to your daddy someone stole your candy.” He felt the stinging on his face before his mind registered that Jack had slapped him. “Wow, real mature of you asshole.” He grimaced slightly as Jack crouched down in front of him and placed the barrel of the gun up against his head.

“You're a real piece of work, you know that? I don't know where the fuck Tommy found you, but it a constant battle of wanting to kill the brat or kissing him.”

“You're personal relationship with Tommy has nothing to do with me.” He felt a warm trickle down his lips again and wiped it off, smearing it over the back of his hand. “Keep your love life to yourself-”

Jack chuckled and shook his head slightly. “See this? This right here is what I was talking about. One minute I'm about ready to blow your head off, the next- I wanna give you a fucking hug.”

“Do us both a favor and just blow my head off.”

Jack grabbed Gavin's shirt and hoisted him up to his feet, and Gavin's stomach started to feel queasy again. “I would love to, but like I said the boss wants to see you.” Gavin had a smart ass reply on the tip of his tongue but the nausea finally won out and he puked his guts up all over Jack. “What the fuck?!” The man let him go and quickly backed away as he looked down at himself in horror. “Are you shitting me?!”

Gavin wiped his mouth off with the back of his sleeve, the inside of his mouth feeling gritty and disgusting. His headache was only getting worse with the encounter with Jack and he was just about ready to take the gun and end it himself when the door opened again. He squinted his eyes against the sun that streamed in, and he brought a hand up to block it out.

“Well would you look at that, the fucking android is still ticking-”

“Leave now and I won't follow you.” Connor's voice sounded confident and just the slightest bit pissed off. Or I'm just imagining that bit. Tina had always said he had a thing for people getting pissed off on his account.

“Who the fuck do you think-”

“Jack.”

“No, we're not taking no orders from a damn tincan.”

“Tommy just said the boss wants us back.”

“The boss also wants the prick.”

“We can't do this now.”

“What because the android showed up? It's a fucking robot. What the hell is it going to do?”

Jack got his answer. Connor was on him faster than anyone could blink and had wrestled the gun away from him in a swift kick and was pointing the gun at the three of them as he put himself in front of Gavin and the others. “Leave now, and I won't shoot you.” His LED was spinning a deep red and the others looked at one another before the two nearest the door grabbed Jack and forced him out of the building.

“Shit- I had that under control.” Gavin said, his speech starting to slur together as he wobbled on his feet.

“Yes I am quite sure you could have handled that on your own detective, I simply handled it faster.” He watched as Connor tucked the gun into the back of his pants then turns around and paused. “Gavin- you're bleeding.” Gavin would have been more concerned about the entire bleeding thing if he hadn't been so stunned hearing his name come from the android. “Detective? Are you alright?”

“Yeah... yeah Mm fine.” He started to walk forwards, stuffing his hands into his pockets. “Were the cops still outside?”

“No. No there was no evidence of a car crash outside.”

“shit...” He pulled his phone out and saw several missed texts from Hank, and Fowler. He sighed and stuffed it back into his pants pocket. “You drove a car, yeah?” Connor looked amused at the question but nodded his head. “Great. Let's go there, okay?”

Connor nodded his head again and stepped up alongside Gavin as they walked out of the building. He hissed as the light hit his eyes and brought a hand up to shield them from the sun. “Detective?”

“It's nothing- just hurts is all. I just need some damn sleep.”

“Detective you're still bleeding.” Gavin shrugged his shoulders and wiped off the warm trickle once again, this time looking down and seeing red smeared across the back of his hand. “You weren't able to get checked by a doctor...” It was as if the realization had just hit Connor. “Detective stop.”

“I'm fine.”

“I beg to differ. My scans say otherwise.”

“I mean, if you wanna beg be my guest.” He snickered and wobbled to one side as he did so.

“Detective-”

“Just take me home.”

“Detective Reed I must insist-”

“Shit. You must insist shit. I'm okay, just a little tired's all.”

“Gavin.”

Gavin stopped in his tracks again, as a warmth bloomed in his gut hearing his name again. Fuck I'm in a bad way. He turned around and looked at Connor. The LED was spinning the ever present yellow, though he looked genuinely concerned. “You are showing signs of head trauma at the very least if not legitimate damage. We need to get you to a hospital.”

“If you get me to my brother he'll call up a doctor.”

“No hospitals?”

“I like'em about as much as you do.” He swayed a moment and caught himself against the pole of the street light. “Just- take me home, yeah?”

Connor sighed but nodded his head and stepped up to Gavin. “But allow me to assist you detective.”

Gavin only partially complained as Connor wrapped an arm around him to support his weight, but with the way the world was spinning, and the way it felt to just be held like that, he didn't complain very hard. Shit do I got this bad. Was the last thought he had before his world blacked out. 

 

Chapter Text

~Ten Months Ago: Monday January 17th 3pm~

The first time it happened Connor had been home, trying to patch up the house to appear more livable by human standards on the inside. Sure they were just androids but if they wanted to reach human status of alive, Connor figured they needed to act like them to some degree at the very least. So he had started to work on the house, having nothing better to really do. Though blending in with the humans with his LED didn't help matter... but the there was also Jerry and Ralph. Wanting to blend in while living with them as your chosen family didn't really work together, as they were probably two of the most noticeable androids Connor had seen. Given that information he really should have foreseen this happening sooner rather than later...

Jerry came running into the living room, eyes wide, and more jittery then he'd ever seen him before. “Fifty-four, Ralph- We need help!” Jerry's clothes were torn and the skin on his face was swirling between the human synthetic skin and the android underneath. Connor could just make out dents where he'd been beaten with something hard, his scans helpfully supplied it had been with a lead pipe, just being able to make out scratches underneath the glitching skin.

“What happened Jerry?” 

“Come on, we'll explain as we go. But Ralph needs help!” Jerry spun around and started out of the house again, with Connor on his heels.

"Jerry-"

“We were taking a walk- going to the store.” Jerry started to explain as he scrambled over a fence. He wasn't running as fast as he once had, and Connor added to his to do list to check on the leg components on the android later. “That's all we were doing, we weren't looking at the humans or anything-”

“What happened?” Connor asked again as they ran down the road, taking note of the panic that was weaving itself into Jerry's voice. 

“Ralph- one of the humans- they looked at Ralph and started to make comment on his face.” Jerry cut through an alley, ducking underneath a few fallen boards.“Long story short, the human started to attack us, he hurt us bad. We believe we're hurt in the leg..." Jerry brushed a hand over the leg he was favoring. "And Ralph... Ralph didn't like that the human had hurts us. And he fought back.”

“And?” Connor felt as if he were pulling teeth, trying to get what had happened. He'd been living with Ralph and Jerry for a couple of months now, but there were still things that took some getting used to with the two of them. Which in of itself was something aggravating to Connor. He should not need time to get used to something. He should just accept it and be able to adjust his life style accordingly. But apparently that wasn't a very deviant thing to do. He couldn't just input a command and be able to follow it without glitches. There was now a longer processing time then he'd ever experienced when he was only a machine. 

“Ralph killed him.” Jerry said softly. He glanced behind at Connor, a pained look on his face. “He just- we did not realize- we didn't think he would...”

“Shit.” He'd been worried something like this would happen. He didn't know exactly what happened to the android to give him the scarring that he had, but he was pretty certain it had been given deliberately by humans... not to mention the previous house Ralph had been in and his treatment of unwanted house guests... honestly it was only a matter of time before Ralph went and killed someone else... Connor should have been better prepared for this eventuality.

“We tried to stop him,” Jerry sounded a little more frantic, and his stress levels popped up in Connor's vision. They were worryingly high. Not surprising, but certainly worrying. If he couldn't get Jerry to calm down soon it could get bad. “he- it was as if Ralph wasn't there any longer. It was... frightening. We tried to tell him we were fine, but he just wouldn't stop.”

“Where is he now?” Connor asked in a calm voice as they ran.

“We're almost there.” Jerry pushed through a door into an abandoned building and the pair of them stepped inside into a dimly lit room. The walls were crumbling and grey, light filtering in through the holes in the walls and ceiling. In the center of it all, Connor saw Ralph walking in quick circles muttering to himself, blood all over his hands and chest. “Ralph-” Jerry said, reaching a hand out slowly. “Ralph- we're back. We've brought fifty-four.”

Ralph spun around on his feet, eyes wide as his hands wrung around the handle of the knife. His stress levels popped up alongside Jerry's and they were even higher. “Fifty-four... Ralph did not mean it. No, no Ralph did not mean it at all. The human just wouldn't stop trying to hurt Ralph and-" His eyes darted to Jerry, obviously looking him over for the breaks. "- wouldn't stop hurting Jerry.”

“It's okay Ralph.” Connor said slowly, carefully walking towards the agitated android. “I know you wouldn't mean to do this Ralph.”

“No- no Ralph did not mean for this to happen. Ralph did not mean for the human to die- he just wouldn't... he wouldn't stop trying to hurt Ralph... to hurt Jerry. Ralph had to protect Jerry! Just like fifty-four protects us...”

For the first time in a long time, dialogue options popped up on screen, offering various choices that would result in different outcomes. That was worrying, but he didn't have time to dwell on them and pushed them to one side, focusing back on Ralph. “I understand Ralph. It was self defense. I understand that, Jerry understands that.”

“But the humans won't.” Ralph stilled and looked at the body on the ground. “The humans won't see it that way. They'll only see- they'll only see the dead human. Oh, Ralph has messed up.”

“I can fix this.” Connor quickly pointed to himself. “The humans will never know you were involved in any of this.” Connor said calmly, his LED spinning yellow. “But you must do exactly what I say. Do you understand me Ralph? You must do what I say and you will not get in trouble.”

“Ralph doesn't want fifty-four to get in trouble- this was something Ralph did. Ralph was bad, Ralph needs to be punished. Ralph-”

“Needs to listen to me.” Connor stepped closer to his friend and caught his eyes with his own.

“Please Ralph, Fifty-four says he can fix it. Please listen to him.” Jerry said from behind Connor, poking his head around so he could see Ralph.

Ralph shifted his weight from one foot to the other, obviously torn between trusting Connor to make this all go away and worried Connor would get blamed for it. “Ralph doesn't want you to get in trouble.”

“I won't Ralph.”

“Ralph doesn't want you to be taken away.”

“I won't Ralph." He said again. "Everything will be alright if you do what I say.”

That seemed to finally put Ralph's mind at ease and he quickly nodded his head up and down. “Yes. Yes please fifty-four what does Ralph need to do? So he can stay with the family. So the humans don't come and take him away...”

“Alright, I need you to give me your jacket and the knife.”

“But Ralph loves this jacket-”

“And now it's covered in evidence. Give it here.” Ralph sniffed but did as he was told and handed it over with the knife. “Good, now Ralph I want you to go with Jerry and get cleaned up.” He looked at Jerry then, “You need to clean him up somewhere that's not home or near home. And try not to let anyone see you,”

“Where should we go?”

“The river would be the best to get the blood off him initially then there's an android cleaning facility not too far from the bridge-”

“No! No Ralph will not go there-”

“Ralph-”

“No Jerry. Ralph does not want to go there. Ralph does not want to go where the humans-”

“It's not run by humans anymore. We'll be lucky if it's running at all.” Connor snapped. Then took a mental breath. “If he won't go there do what you can at the river. We can't have any of the evidence clinging to him and being brought home.”

Jerry nodded his head. “And what are you doing?”

“I'm going to dispose of the evidence and make sure this cannot be traced back to us.”

“Alright. We'll meet you back home.” Jerry took Ralph's hand and started to lead him out of the building, before he paused and looked back. “Be careful Fifty-four. We want you to come back home.”

Connor nodded his head and watched as Jerry herded Ralph out of the back of the building and down the alley. He sighed and looked back at the dead body. “Of all the things I thought I might have to deal with today you were certainly not one of them.” He found a plastic bag on the ground and stuffed the bloody jacket and knife into it before he started the process of cleaning up any trace of the thirium. “Though I doubt you thought you'd end this day dead. At least I am still functioning.” As he cleaned the thirium up he could only hope that the DPD hadn't gotten a new android such as himself that would see it. He'd need to come along with something to try and destroy any way to trace it back to Ralph or Jerry... 

It took the better part of an hour but eventually Connor got the crime scene clean enough to feel confident that the DPD would not be able to trace who had killed the man. It was pretty obvious how he had died... Connor counted thirteen stab wounds in the chest area... It had been a violent death and the face of terror etched on the victims face certainly showed that. Had he still been working with the DPD he would have had to bring Ralph in for this... would have had to at least try and track him, but that man wasn't his mission and he wasn't with the DPD. As a matter of fact Fifty-four had never been a part of the DPD. And Fifty-four's job, his mission, was protecting Jerry and Ralph. That was all that mattered. Nothing else mattered.

He stepped out of the building and scanned the area for camera's. Then just as he had done back in November, he went up to the camera's and connected to them, wiping them of any footage in the last couple of hours. It would be a lot more noticeable this time then last time, but he couldn't risk the camera's picking up Jerry or Ralph. Then, once satisfied he'd done everything he could to eradicate any trace they'd been there he headed down the street before he made the call to the DPD. He didn't want to risk them getting in trouble, but he also didn't want the man to just sit there rotting away... Surely he had family that would miss him. Would want to bury him. It was the right thing to do. Sure it was risky for himself, but it was still the right thing to do. Connor just had to hope the call wouldn't be able to be traced back to him.

He pulled one of the voices he had on file, a older man he'd met a few weeks ago as the phone was answered and used it to talk to the operator on the other end of the line. “Hello? Yes, I just found a body...” He quickly told them the corner the building was on and hung up without giving any personal information. They might be able to track the call back to him... but he doubted it. He had his own security systems up and running to keep Amanda from being able to take over again, and he had to truth that would keep the DPD from finding out who had just given the anonymous tip.

He thought about just leaving the crime scene but then the thought entered his mind that he needed to see if the DPD had a new android. It would be a great help to him know what he was going up against here with the police. And if he was there to see the android, if there was another android, then he would be able to scan it and see if he could pick up any information on it. This is a stupid idea... I should just return to Ralf and Jerry. In the corner of his vision his objectives list updated with the short command:

[return to family]

Connor's LED flickered red as he tried to decide what it was he actually wanted to do. In the past he hadn't really strayed from the list of things to do that continued to pop up in his vision, but this time it was contradicting what it was he actially wanted to do. Finally he took a breath as he decided to stay, and the objective of return to family flashed red before he manually pushed it to one side. He'd do that later. Right now he needed to find a good place to hide, but be able to see what was actually going on at the crime scene. He headed inside the building across the street, deciding that was the best place to set up for the time being. As long as he kept his head low and didn't move too much everything should work out just fine.

He just wanted to see what was going on with the DPD. He wanted to make sure that they wouldn't be able to figure out who had killed the man, and needed to be there in case they actually managed to find a lead. The sooner he knew what the police knew, the sooner he'd be able to handle everything. He climbed up the stairs and settled on the third floor where he had a nice view of the building. As long as he was careful he shouldn't be caught up here. That phrase repeated itself over and over again in his head as he waited for the police to show up. Briefly a picture of Gavin Reed flashed through his mind and he frowned as it did so. It would be a lie if he said he hadn't thought of the man since that day back in November.... but there was no good reason to go and see him, and his objectives list seemed to agree with him as it had actually put Detective Reed on the 'stay away' list. Essentially blocking him in other words. But that didn't mean he never thought of the detective. Their last conversation together hadn't been the nicest one in the world, but he'd also seen a side to the detective that day he'd never seen before.

In the Distance he could just hear the wail of police sirens. At the present moment it didn't matter as Detective Reed wasn't there, and Connor needed to focus on the mission at hand. So it was with a clear head that he looked out the window and watched as the police cars finally showed up. He watched as various officers and personnel exited cars and trucks, taping off the area as they started to work the crime scene. For a brief moment he wanted to go down there and work alongside them, do what he had been created to do. He missed working. He missed figuring out cases and puzzles. He loved Ralph and Jerry, but he missed the feeling of accomplishment, of working to his fullest capabilities...

Then a familiar figure stepped out of the latest car and he felt for the first time his thirium pump jump into his throat. Which is technically impossible. It would be just his luck that Gavin was the detective sent to investigate this crime scene. Now Gavin Reed was here and just standing there with a cup of coffee in his hands like he owned the street. Connor shouldn't have stayed, he should have just gone home like the objective had wanted him to. Now he was stuck on the third floor of a building, directly across from a crime scene with detective Reed right outside in the street. This could be bad...

Gavin shook his head as he stepped through the building and wrinkled his nose at the scene before him. “Oh this is fucked up...” Gavin looked at the dead body, Hank just stepping in through the door.

“What's it look like?”

“Fucker got stabbed to death. I dunno how many times. At least ten.”

“Holy Shit...”

“It's fresh too. As in it happened in the last couple of hours.”

“What?” Hank looked around trying to find a blood trail or foot prints, or something to indicate that. “You're fucking me.”

“Rigor mortis hasn't set in yet. So a couple hours tops. Also if you look there are no post mortem stains yet-”

“Meaning it hasn't just been sitting here.”

“Exactly.” Gavin stood up and sighed. “But we also don't see signs of it having been moved here post death.”

“So he did die here?”

“Well so far that's what we're thinking gramps.”

“That's a lot of blood missing.”

“Yeah... Except for the man getting stabbed we don't have much to go on here.”

“What about the tip?”

“The station tried to trace it backwards but that shit got lost real fast.”

“Think the caller was the one who killed the guy?”

“Yeah... Well it's a theory. Just one we can't prove at the moment.”

“Is there anything we can pull from the body?”

“We can hope that the attacker got some blood inside one of the cuts. At the moment that's about it though.”

“Think this was a robbing gone wrong?”

“Man's still got his wallet on him. And that's a lot of stab wounds for a robbery gone wrong.”

Hank squatted down next to the body and looked him over, frowning slightly. “Well we know he fought back.” He lifted one of the hands and there was bruising along his knuckles. “Looks like he hit something hard.”

“Fuck...” Gavin's mind jumped right to androids. “You think an android is involved here?”

Hank shrugged his shoulders as he straightened back up, dusting his hands off. “Dunno. Might explain the bruising. Are there any camera's outside?”

Gavin nodded his head as he knelt back down beside the body, trying to find anything that would help them figure out what the hell had happened. “Yeah- I'm having the techs pull the footage now.”

“Good. Hopefully that will get us something to work with.”

Gavin scoffed and nodded his head. “Yeah... especially if it was a damn android that did this. We'll never catch the fucker with the equipment we've got.”

“We would if we had Connor...” Anderson said quietly.

“Don't go doing that Hank.” Gavin snapped. They'd just found out that the Connor Hank had pushed off the roof had been another Connor. Not his Connor. That had made them hopeful their Connor was still alive, but they'd found him shot dead in some old abandoned church after receiving an anonymous tip. He'd been shot right between the eyes... execution style. It hadn't been a pretty sight, and Anderson hadn't taken it well. “You didn't know- there was nothing you could have done to save that android.”

Hank scowled and looked at Gavin. “I fucking know that.” He waved a hand at the body and grunted. “Bag it and let the morgue have him. We need to know if there's any thirium in those wounds.”

“yeah yeah I'm on it old man.” Hank flipped him the bird before he stepped out of the building and left Gavin to oversee the transferring of the body. By the time he was done with that the techs had the camera feed. “That was fast.” he commented, lighting up a cigarette as he stood outside.

“Yeah well there was nothing to pull.”

“What?”

The man shrugged and shook his head slightly. “The footage around the time of death is completely wiped. There's nothing on there.”

“You're fucking with me.” Gavin said, eyes glancing up towards the camera's he could see around the neighborhood.

“No. It's gone. The system must have had a glitch earlier- we're looking into it.”

“Glitch my ass.” It reminded him of a case he'd gotten back in November that had never been solved. In fact it had just been thrown up to the riots that had been going on. “Anderson-”

“Yeah I heard. No fucking evidence-” Hank was leaning against the car arms crossed, staring across the street.

“Yeah but listen to this. There was a murder I was assigned back in November that dealt with a man that was killed, no evidence left behind and all camera feed just gone.” Gavin snapped his fingers for emphasis. 

Hank frowned at the implication. “You think it's the same murderer?”

“It's something to think about.” He took a drag and let it out in a huff, a head ache starting to form in the back of his head.

“And you still think it was the caller?”

“It could be.” Gavin's eyes drifted along the buildings on the other side of the street as they talked, eventually resting on the building directly across from them.

“Shit... we really could use a trace on that thing.”

“Yeah... you're telling me. If this is the same guy... especially if it's the same android, the implications aren't good. Last thing we need right now is a psycho killer android on the loose.” He frowned as he would have sworn he saw movement at the third floor window. “Hey, did you see that?”

“What?” Hank asked, looking where Gavin was looking. “It's a building?”

“No- no I thought I saw something move in there-” He dropped his cigarette onto the ground and ground it into the snow.

“Probably pigeons. Those things are everywhere it seems.” Hank said frowning. 

“Or maybe someone who saw what happened.” Gavin snapped and started across the street.

“It's an abandoned building. No one's living there-”

“Which means it's either a homeless person, or an android.” Gavin said.

“Oh-”

“Yeah. And if it's an android who saw the whole thing we can pull that from it's memory bank.” Gavin heard Hank follow after him but he didn't wait for him to catch up as he headed for the stairs. Gavin took out his gun as he heard floorboards creak above him and he carefully took the stairs up to the third floor. “Someone's here.” He said softly as Hank caught up with him, breathing heavily. “Gramps quiet down.” He hissed.

“When you're my age then you can complain about the way I breath.”

“Blame age all you want, we both know it's your fucking drinking.”

“And you'll be worse asshole with all the smoking you do.”

“Yeah well mine's more likely to kill me before I reach your age so we'll never find out.”

“Reed-” But Gavin cut him off with a slap to his shoulder and brought a finger to his lips, as faintly they could hear the sound of someone walking quickly away. Gavin poked his head around the corner and just caught sight of someone stepping around the corner. “DPD police, stop!” He shouted and heard the footsteps start to run.

“Great job.” Hank said with a roll of his eyes.

“Shit-” Gavin started to run after the figure just seeing the man jump out the window at the end of the hall. “Fuck!” Gavin holstered his gun and ran for the window. Just outside he could see the man running away had landed on the roof of the building next to this one and Gavin took a deep breath before he followed the man out the window and crashed against the roof of the neighboring building. “Stop!” Gavin yelled again as he got his feet under him and started to run after the retreating figure. “DPD Police!” The man wasn't slowing down though and he disappeared over the side of the building.

Gavin cursed again but followed after him. He was a little impressed with himself as he managed to get down the side of the two story building without much trouble, yeah a few new bruises here and there but ultimately he hadn't lost much speed. Which was why when he looked back towards the retreating form he was confused as to how the man had gotten so far ahead of him- “Shit, it's an android!” He yelled over his shoulder, hoping Hank would hear it. He pulled his gun out and took two shots towards the android but the fucker was able to dodge the both of them.

“I said stop!” He yelled as he took off after him again, but with each passing second he could tell that he wasn't going to catch the android. “Damn it!” He yelled as the android finally disappeared around a corner and was gone by the time he reached the corner himself. He doubled over, breathing hard as he looked around trying to catch any sign of the thing but couldn't find anything. Vaguely he heard a car pull up behind him but he didn't register it was related to him until he heard Hank's voice.

“Lost him?”

“Shit yes.” Gavin snapped as he straightened up.

“Maybe we'll catch something on one of the other cameras.”

“For some reason I highly fucking doubt it.” He took in a deep breath that ended in a coughing fit.

“Easy Reed.” Hank said under his breath. “Come on, let's get back to the precinct and we'll see what we can do.”

“I bet that was the fucker who killed that man-” He said as he got in the car.

“We don't know that.”

“And he was just sitting up there watching us.” Gavin's voice hardened with each passing second. “This is why androids are fucked up. I can't believe we're even considering that they're alive.”

“Reed calm down.” Hank sighed and started to drive down the street, Gavin scanning the area still trying to find where he might have run off to. "It sure would be a hell of a lot easier to do these cases with an android with us though." 

Gavin snapped his head to Hank, a glare on his face. "We're not getting another Connor-" 

"No. No I don't want another Connor." If Hank heard the slight panic to Reed's voice at the thought of getting another Connor, he didn't make comment on it. "But we need something to help us take down android perps. We're just not able to keep up with these things." 

"Don't tell Fowler that. It'll be the last thing we say before we're fired." Gavin let his head rest against the window as the car continued down the road.

Anderson chuckled under his breath and nodded his head. "Yeah... alright. We'll figure this thing out just the two of us." 

As the car drove down the street, the passengers were completely unaware that an RK800, model fifty-four, was watching them from a rooftop, wondering at how seeing Gavin and Hank had made a glitching red wall flash up in his vision, screaming at him to return to his Family. He'd turned deviant, he was deviant. Wasn't he? 

 

Chapter Text

~Nine Months Ago: Friday February 4th 4pm ~

 

Androids got the rights that Markus has been fighting for, and soon enough the police were answering android calls as often as they were answering human ones. Gavin had wondered what Connor would have thought had he lived to see this day... Would he approve of androids being alive and free? Would he still ask about the difference between a child unit and an adult one? He knew thinking about those types of questions did nothing to help his own sanity, but he also found he couldn't stop himself from thinking them. That he couldn't stop himself from thinking about the android that had been gone for months now. 

He may not have known any of the answer to any of those questions but one thing Gavin was certain of, was Connor would not have been pleased with the representation that the android he was currently having to deal with was giving for his kind. Gavin was fairly certain that if this android had been the one camera feeds had caught on camera, androids would never have been given the status of alive. 

It was the first time Gavin had arrived on scene to help an android- He'd felt fairly proud of himself, he'd kept his cool and had been acting like a decent human being towards the android for the most part. Connor's word had been replaying in his head, he wasn't sure why Connor had been on his mind so much. That's a lie, you know exactly why. But eventually he lost his cool with the android. Like he always did. The fucker had just looked so smug, and was rubbing it into Gavin's face that it was 'alive' now, and that Gavin had to give it more respect then what he gave even other humans. So he'd lost his cool and punched the fucker in the face, and may have threatened to do worse if it didn't stop being a pain in the ass.

Fowler hadn't been pleased to say the least.

“The shit head was being rude as fuck-”

“I don't care Reed. You're a detective, act like it!”

“Fuck- it didn't even get hurt! You know why?”

“Reed-”

“Because they don't feel a fucking thing!”

“Reed.”

“Who the hell thought these hunks of plastic could actually feel shit!? It's fucked up!”

“You're on desk duty.” Gavin fell silent, mouth hanging open slightly. “And you'll be on desk duty until I decide you're fit to work around androids. Got it?”

“You can't be serious?” His mind was blanking as the gravity of the situation hit him.

“Deadly serious Gavin. We have a new android coming in, and I won't have you being an ass-”

“What?!”

“We have an new detective, who happens to be an android coming in today.”

“Fuck no-” They were bringing in another Connor weren't they? They were trying to replace the android in the department.

“Yes. And if I get an inkling that you're being an ass to him I'll suspend your ass. Do I make myself clear?”

“You're fucking with me-” He could feel panic start to set in. Could feel it start to wash over ever fiber of his being, making his skin hum with energy. They couldn't be bringing in another Connor- that would just be fucked up.

“Look at my face Reed. Keep pushing me and see where it gets you.” Gavin scowled. “Now hand in your firearm.”

Gavin shook his head but placed the gun on the desk before he stormed out of the office, mind stuck on the fact a new android was coming into the department. Where the hell was it coming from? Was it coming from off the streets? Was it coming from CyberLife? Was it a new Connor? CyberLife had said there were no new androids being developed... and as far as he knew the only detective specific model android had been Connor. The rest of the police androids were just muscle and extra numbers that hadn't previously mattered. But maybe, maybe it was just a normal android that had visions of being on the police force and had nothing to do with Connor. 

Hank looked up, a small smirk on his lips as he watched the hothead fuming. “I told you to calm down-”

“Fuck off Hank.” He snapped. He could feel his hands start to tremble, as his breathing became shallower. He needed to get out of there, he needed to get out of there before he blew a gasket and did something he regretted. He grabbed his coat off the back of his chair and headed for the front door. He just needed to get outside and take two minutes to himself. He just needed two minutes alone to get the thoughts back into place inside his head, to get his racing heart under control again-

“Fowler won't like you leaving-”

“Fuck off Hank!” Gavin coughed into his sleeve as he left the building. He didn't have to explain himself to Hank. He didn't have to explain himself to anyone. As he stepped out of the doors a strong gust of wind met him and he quickly zipped up his coat, in an attempt to keep warm. He bumped into someone taller than him while he was hooking the zipper together and he snarled, the bump just being one more thing to his lengthening list of why today sucked. “Watch where you're going-” he looked up and saw Connor.

His mind went completely blank as he looked into the face he hadn't seen in months.”Connor?” he breathed but immediately bit his tongue. No- no they had brought another Connor in hadn't they? He was frozen in place while his heart was pounding. “What the fuck.” He said as blue eyes scowled at him. Wait... blue eyes? Gavin took a step back, licking his lips as he looked the androids face over. “Who the fuck are you?” He asked, his voice shakier then he would have liked.

“I'm Richard.” The android said, his LED a calm blue. A blue that matched his eyes. A blue that seemed too bright- this fucker had Connor's face. He just straight up had Connor's face and he was just standing there like he... like he owned it. How could he he do that? How could CyberLife do that? Where the hell had this android come from?! 

“Where the hell did you come from?”

Richard quirked a brow, “CyberLife. Like all androids detective.”

“How did you-”

“Connected to the DPD crime database, and Captain Fowler.” The android explained. “I'm the new android detective here. I do believe you were to be told about my arrival?”

Gavin couldn't decide if he was more pissed off that Richard was there getting ready to take Connor's place, or that CyberLife couldn't be more creative when designing him. Why reuse Connor's face? How long had this android been in the works? “Fuck. Off.”

The android's LED flashed yellow a moment. “I can tell it will be a pleasure to work with you.” And Gavin was certain he'd heard the sarcasm in his voice.

“Listen here you piece of shit-” he got into the androids personal space, a snarl on his lips. “Don't get comfortable. You won't be staying here long.”

The android seemed to watch him a moment, his LED swirling yellow, until it finally clicked blue again. “I don't believe you have the authority to decide that detective.” Richard took a step towards Gavin, suddenly seeming much more threatening then he had a few moments ago. “In fact I do believe I just saw on your file that you've been put on desk duty until the Captain has decided that you will play nice with androids.” He stopped and gave Gavin a look up and down, clearly unimpressed with what he saw before him. “I had hoped Fowler was just in a bad mood when he explained to me your personality. But if anything, he painted a nicer picture than what you really are.”

That was it for the detective, it was the final straw after a long day. He'd been dealing with stuck up androids all day, that had they been human he would have already punched out. That on top of getting put on desk duty and this android having Connor's face- He finally snapped, and took a swing at the android. Why he decided that was a good idea, he would question for weeks to come, though he's not sure he ever came to actually regret the decision. Richard easily caught the fist, seemingly expecting it, and twisted the detective's arm around and behind his back, to an almost painful angle.

“I do believe we need to come to an understanding detective.” Richard said softly, his voice inches away from Gavin's ear and he moved them to the side alley. It was only out of a stubborn sense of pride that Gavin didn't yell out for someone to help him. Would anyone even come to help you? He snarled as he was slammed against the wall and hissed in pain as his arm was twisted up even further, feeling as if it was going to snap in two. “I do not wish for work to be a hassle for me detective." 

"Well you're going about it the wrong fucking wa-ah!" He hissed as more pressure was applied and bit the inside of his cheek to keep from making another sound.

"I did not ask to be created, I did not ask for my specialty to be in police work. I simply desire to work without constant verbal, or physical assault from you.”

“Yeah- that'll fucking happen- ah shit!” He grit his teeth as Richard tightened his grip on Gavin's arm even more.

“Do I make myself clear detective?” He sounded so calm, as if he were simply conducting a business deal. 

“Fucking shit-” This was by far the shittiest day he'd had to deal in a long fucking time.

“Detective?” The android asked, impatience lacing his voice.

“Fuck- yes.” He gritted out. “Yes I understand.”

“Good.” Richard released the arm, though he didn't step back from the detective's personal space as Gavin twisted around so he was facing the android. “I am glad we were able to come to this understanding.” It was like watching the android switch from killer interrogator, to harmless partner in five seconds. It was freaky. Kinda like Connor when he interrogated suspects. “I am sorry it had to come to this, but I was informed this would be the quickest way to assert dominance with an individual such as yourself, and thus pave the way to a healthy relationship with one another. I hope in the future we will be able to put this behind us.” Gavin stiffened as the android gave his face a pat before he stepped away from him. “I look forward to working with you detective. I mean that.”

Gavin remained where he was until he could no longer hear the crunching of the snow as Richard left. Then, once he could no longer hear the android near by, he shook his head as he realized what had just happened. An almost hysterical laugh came from him before he ran a hand through his hair. An android had almost broken his arm... had actually managed to make him feel like he was about to die... He shook his head and stuffed his hands into his pockets and headed out of the alley, turning away from the station. He was sure that Hank was now meeting the lovely new detective. Anderson would either take to Richard well, or this would push the old bastard over the edge to end his suffering. Gavin's arm throbbed and he hissed at the pain that washed down it with every heartbeat. He checked the time and decided it was never too early to go and get something to drink and took the next left towards his new normal bar. He pulled up Anderson on his phone and shot off a text asking him to sign out for him. Within seconds he felt his phone buzz in reply.

Lieutenant Prick: You fucking knew didn't you!?

Gavin sighed, and stuffed the cell phone into his pocket. He wasn't going to deal with that shit right then. His phone buzzed again, but he didn't check it; knowing it was only Hank yelling at him via text. He continued on his way, the walk in the cold air calming him down, and making the ache disappear as it went numb from the cold. Finally Hank called him, and Reed sighed but decided to answer it.

“You knew didn't you!? That's why you fucking left the station!” The old man hissed on the other end. 

“Hank- I don't fucking care what you're yelling about-” He knew exactly what Hank was yelling about. 

“He's got his damn face!”

“Ah. Richard I take it. Yeah that weirded me out too."

“So you fucking knew!”

“I had the pleasure of meeting him on my way outside.”

“It's freaking me out- No! No, don't you fucking sit there- because I said so.” There was the sound of someone talking in the background, but Gavin couldn't make out what had been said.

“Great explanation gramps.” He sighed and crossed the street, not caring what color the lights were. 

“Call me fucking gramps again, I dare you- No not you!

“Look obviously you need some time to get in sync with your new android-”

“He's not mine. I don't want him! No I don't want you! Gavin's my partner!

“Yeah well I'm not fucking taking him. He damn near broke my arm off-”

“Probably deserved it.”

“Fuck you Hank.” Someone bumped into him and he gave a scowl, as he looked up into the face of a badly scarred android.

“Oh Ralph is sorry.” The android said, not quite being able to look him in the eyes.

Gavin pulled his eyes away from the scars and shook his head. “What ever- just look where you're going.” He snapped before he continued down the road, focusing back on Hank. “Look, don't call me complaining about your new damn partner- you got issues with it then take it up with the captain.” He sighed and stopped a moment. “Now would you please clock me out?”

“I fucking hate you.” Hank grumbled.

“The feeling's mutual. Now clock me out?”

“You owe me Gavin.” Then the line went dead and Gavin sighed, stuffing the phone back into his pocket. He continued down the street and finally came to the bar he now called his. Around him there was a hustle and bustle of androids and humans going this way and that trying to hurry to the warmth and safety of their buildings and cars. It was strange to see life going on about him, knowing each person that passed him had their own life, their own set of problems, their own joys and grievances. Probably bigger problems than what you deal with.

He shook his head and headed into the bar. It was one he knew Robs and his android hating gang wouldn't find him, because it was one of the first android inclusive bars. Why was Gavin Reed at an inclusive bar? Because absolutely no one he knew would come looking for him at this place. Yeah he had to deal with androids- but they'd gotten pretty damn sneaky about looking and acting human. As long as he didn't look for the signs, he couldn't tell he was talking to one of his brothers inventions. It made everything easier when he wasn't constantly reminded that it was one of his brothers inventions he was talking to. 

The door gave a small chime as he entered and the bartender looked up and shot him a smile. “A little early today aren't we?”

“Hey Tess.” He groaned. “It's been a fucking day.” he sat down at the bar, and buried his head into his arms as he leaned over the bar.

“Oh? A double kind of day?” There was a slight smile to her voice that always had him relaxing in a matter of moments. Or maybe it was because she was always giving him alcohol. Or both. He could go for both at the moment. 

“Fuck. Yes.” Gavin listened as she started to work on pouring him his desired drink, still not looking up from where his head was buried in his arms. “Where's the runt?” He grunted, after a few seconds had passed and he wasn't attacked by the smaller android. 

“Out today. He's found a group of androids that are similar in model to him. He's been enjoying being around those that have similar problems that he does.” There was a pause before the sound of glass clinking together. “Here you go hun.” She set his drink down in front of him, and he took it and tipped it back in one go, enjoying the way it stung down his throat. “Shit.” She said as he motioned for another, and propped his head up with his hand. “What happened?” She asked as she poured another.

“I got put on desk duty... I punched an android.”

The bar tender quirked a brow at him. “What happened?” She asked again, her tone more serious, holding his double in her hands, seemingly holding it hostage expecting a good explanation for why he'd punched an android.

“The shithead was a smug bastard. I could almost see Kamski looking out of his eyes-”

She sighed and rolled her eyes as she set the glass down in front of him, having heard this story before from a slightly drunk Gavin. “You do understand he can't actually do that with us, yeah?” She asked as she started to clean up behind the bar.

He sighed and swirled the liquid around in the glass. “Maybe...” He knew that Kamski wasn't spying on him through all the androids. That would take too much power and time. But he could see him finding a way to hack into the androids he hung around... especially since there weren't that many he was actually comfortable around.

“And you do realize that the runt and I are both androids yeah?”

“Yes...”

She snorted softly and looked at him amused. “Do you think Kamski is looking out of our eyes spying on you?”

“...sometimes.” He admitted.

“Oh you've got to be kidding me.” She sounded exasperated.

He heard her huff and he got defensive. “Okay- it's not ridiculous when his prototypes were in fact spying on me, okay? You didn't live with the bastard.”

“Okay but that was like what, thirty years ago?”

“Oh fuck you... I'm not that old.” But there was no heat to his voice, and in fact he gave her a small smirk as took a sip of the new drink.

She chuckled and looked over as the door chimed, signaling the arrival of another customer. “Hey sweetheart- sit where ever you like. I'll get your normal in a second.”

Gavin started to turn around to see who in the world she was talking to but she quickly caught his attention before he could locate the person. “So you hanging around until the runt gets back today?”

“Probably not. I have a killer headache and should really just be heading home.” He watched as her eyes flicked over his shoulder and he started to turn around again, when she asked another question stopping him from doing so, once again.

“You mentioned you got put on desk duty?” She asked. “So you're getting some free time? Will I be seeing more of you?”

“No- if anything I'll just have more work to do. Hank and his new partner'll go around collecting evidence and shit while I stay back and type everything up. More or less.” He took a sip of the double.

“New partner? I thought you were his partner- When did this happen?”

“Oh yeah- that's a piece of work let me tell you.” He quieted down as the face came back to his mind. “Remember...” He looked at the amber liquid in his glass, swirling it around the rim as he did so. “-remember the android you first saw me with? Back in November?” He asked softly, his entire body language changing as Connor came back to mind.

“Oh yeah.” She replied, eyes flicking back over Gavin's shoulder.

“Fucking CyberLife-” He shook his head and took a sip of his drink. “They sent another android that looks almost exactly like him.”

The sound of a glass breaking behind him was quickly covered over by Tess exclaiming, “What? How? They shouldn't even be able to create more-”

“Fuck if I know.” he snorted and finished off his drink. “He was probably sitting in storage or some shit and they were forced to let him go or something.” He shook his head and sighed.

“Are you okay with it?”

Gavin was silent a moment wondering what all he should tell her. He hadn't talked about Connor or what he'd felt towards the android with anyone. It just felt wrong to share that with anyone when he hadn't even been able to share it with Connor himself. So he sniffed and shook his head again.  “Fucking mad.” He said as his personal walls came back up, as they tended to do when talking about personal things, or anything that got at the actual heart of Gavin Reed. “Last thing I need is another android in that place to take my job-”

“Reed.” She warned.

“Look not all of them are you alright? You're different.” 

“Meaning?”

“You were about ready to shoot me the first time we met. With a shotgun I should add.” He chuckled under his breath.

“And you think this replacement-”

“Will be as much of a pain as the previous one.” he grumbled under his breath as he sat back in his chair.

“Oh come on you don't mean that.” She said eyes flicking back over Gavin's shoulder. Gavin wasn't even going to try and see what she kept looking at.

He sighed slowly as he pulled out a cigarette and lit it up. “No... no I suppose I don't.”

Silence fell between the two of them a moment before Tess tentatively asked, “You still think about him don't you?”

“Who?” Gavin asked defensively.

“That android you were with. The one who's lookalike is at your work now.”

“No-” He scoffed, and knocked the ashed off into the ashtray. “Why the fuck would I?”

Tess gave him a look calling him out on his attempted lie. “You've been coming here every week since that night Reed. I've seen almost every side there is to you. Did you really just try and lie to me?”

Gavin snorted and shook his head. “Okay, fine." He groaned. "So yeah I do. From time to time I think of him. What can I say? It's not the same without the android around.” He took a drag before adding, “You know, as annoying as he was and all.”

There was silence a moment and Gavin just caught Tess looking over his shoulder again and he frowned. “Are you alright Tess? Got a glitch or something in your system today?”

“Hmm?” Her eyes flicked back to his before she nodded her head. “Yeah- I was just wondering if you thought you'd get along with the new android that's joined up?”

“Pfft, probably not. We've already met once and he about broke my arm. No matter what I thought of Connor, this android is nothing like him.” His phone started to buzz and he sighed as he took it out. “Shit... Alright I've got to go. I'll catch up with you later.”

“Yeah- alright hun. Don't be a stranger. I'll let the runt know that you came by.”

“Yeah Thanks.” He was then out the door and back into the cold world outside.

Tess looked back to the booth that had been behind Gavin and frowned. “You need to tell him you're not dead Connor. That man-”

“Is not my priority.” Connor said as he looked down at his hands, trying to process what he'd heard the detective say.

“Connor, that man obviously had feelings for you- can't you see that?”

“On that you're mistaken Tess. He couldn't stand me when I worked with him. He would have killed me, had he had the chance-”

“Then why do you keep asking me about him? You've been asking about him every time you come in here for the last month.”

“I- I needed to know when they got an android to replace me.” He replied.

“Oh really? And needing to know his favorite drink would help with that how exactly?” She asked crossing her arms as she arched a brow up.

“So I could know where those drinks are served should he decide to visit a different establishment from than this one.” Connor clipped. 

“And stalking him off duty helps how?” She continued to push, knowing he was lying just as much as Gavin had been trying to. 

“Tess please-”

“Connor you need to accept this for what it is. You're feeling something for that man-”

His head snapped up and he looked at Tess with a frown. “I don't feel anything Tess. I'm not-” He stopped himself as his face twitched and he quickly looked back down at his hands. “I- I don't feel anything for him.”

“Connor-”

“Please Tess. I'm doing what's best for my family.”

“And what about what's best for him? Or for you, dare I speak the hated words.” She scoffed.

“He seems to be handling life fine without me. He's a grown man that had a life before he met me and continues to have a life now.”

“Oh yes. He comes in here every week, if not every day and sits at the bar, only talking to me and snarling at everything else that breathes. He's living a very happy life right now-”

“He's not my objective Tess.” Connor snapped his LED blinking red.

“Your objective?” She asked hardly believing that had come out of his mouth.

“Y-yes." Deviants don't have objectives. The thought was almost deleted as fast as it had come to mind. "I have enough to do keeping Ralph and Jerry safe. I don't have the time or the capability of handling the stress of talking with Detective Reed. This-” He lightly tapped the table with his fingers, as if to add emphasis. “This is for the best for everyone involved.”

Tess shook her head then motioned for the door. “Alright get out.”

“What?”

“Out Connor. I have to get ready for tonight and I can't deal with your stubborn machine ass right now. Get out and go home. You're giving me a head ache.”

“I did not mean-”

“Out Connor.” She said, shooting him a look. “I can't do this for the two of you. I can't be this secret agent messenger. Either pluck up the courage and talk to him, or don't ask me about him again."

“Tess- I did not mean to upset you-”

“I happen to like Gavin, Connor. And it hurts me to see him hurting, especially when I know he's hurting for no reason.”

“Tess please, you cannot tell him that I'm still here. I can't- I can't- I can't-” He frowned and glared at the table as his vision flashed red. “I need to go.” He got up from the booth and headed for the door.

“Connor?”

“I'm sorry I upset you Tess. I did not mean to.” He winced slightly as his objective popped up back into his vision.

[Return to Family]

“Hey, are you alright?” Tess asked, concern now lacing her voice.

“Yes.” He inclined his head and then slipped through the door and into the cold world outside, trying to push thoughts of Gavin from his mind, as the glitching red wall disappeared as he started to head for home. 

 

Chapter Text

~Present Day: 4pm~

Gavin groaned as his eyes slowly blinked open.

“Ah. My idiot brother decides to join the living once again.”

“Oh fuck-” Gavin groaned as he brought a hand up and rubbed at his face.

“You, brother mine, are certainly a popular fellow.”

“What're you talking about?” he asked through a sigh as he pushed himself up into a sitting position.

“While you were lying there being a bump on a log-”

“Hey-”

“I was getting real work done.” Elijah looked down to the pad in his lap and pressed a few things on it before the television in front of Gavin blinked to life. “Now if you'll look here, I pulled a few strings, got Connor in on it too. He had more fun than I thought he would actually, and he seems rather good at hacking into the DPD's database-”

“Elijah is there a point anywhere you're trying to get to here?” He and his brother had been working together? How long had he been out? And why had they hacked into the DPD database? 

“Ah yes. Apologies.” The screen started to show various documents. “These, my beloved brother, are a list of cops who's motives we think are... dubious to say the least.”

“What?”

“Connor and I have been running algorithms and scanned through various camera feeds and have found all of these individuals go 'dark' every week for a couple of hours.”

“Go dark?”

“Yes. No cell phones. No vehicles that can be tracked. No electronics on their person that could be used to gather information of any sorts.”

“Then how do you know-”

“Connor was the one to notice that once a week all of these men and woman had one day every week where they would leave their phone's in odd places and not move at all during a period between four to ten hours at times.”

“How do you figure something like that out?”

“It started with the accident.”

“What?”

Elijah gave an exasperated noise. “Do try and keep up yes? The car crash you were in?”

“Yes.” He said a little defensive. 

“The man following you is someone we believe to be a dirty cop.”

“You're fucking me.”

“No I'm not. Now, we started with him because he seemed one of the more obvious choices as the gang was literally waiting for you at your place of residence.”

“Yeah, I wondered how long they'd been hanging around there-”

“Not long. See here-” He pulled up what looked to be a history of texts. “There he is, the man who was following you, giving the green light to head for your house. He told them point blank that you were on your way home.”

"But Jack said he'd been waiting a long time-" 

Elijah gave him a flat look. "Gavin you of all people should know how often and how easy it is for people to lie." 

Gavin should have guessed that. He looked back at the texts and thought over what all of this would mean. If the cop who'd been tailing him was a dirty cop, it would explain how the red ice gang was able to be there waiting for him. “Well fuck- can we just give these to the captain?” He finally asked. 

“Sadly... no. We didn't acquire these by any legal means, and they wouldn't hold in court. And to get the warrant we'd need we'd have to show this as evidence-”

“Which won't stand up in court. Shit.” He rubbed a hand through his hair, nails scratching at his scalp as he did so. So here was the evidence they needed to start working on the case and they couldn't even use it. Fan-fucking-tastic.

“But don't worry about that right now. Connor found the pattern to look for because of this man.” Elijah motioned vaguely at the television screen. “Them not taking you in or killing you will be their undoing Gavin.” The detective looked up with a quirked brow, obviously still not completely convinced this would actually help them. “Connor found the pattern to look for because we found out about this man.” Elijah insisted.

“A pattern we can't use legally.” Gavin pointed out. His eyes flicked to the screen to stare at the face of a man who he'd seen running around the precinct countless times. How many more had he been working with that were dirty?

“Gavin don't you realize what this means though? This is the break you were needing to try and blow the case open.” It seemed Elijah wasn't going to let this go easily. He was obviously excited to have hacked into the DPD database, something Gavin would have to talk to Connor about later, and was on some sot of hacking high.

“Except I've been taken off the case, or did you think that wouldn't happen?” He pointed out, looking back to his brother with a serious expression on his face. Suspended and almost killed all in the same day. Wasn't his life exciting.

Elijah scoffed at that and rolled his eyes. “When has doing what someone told you to do ever been something you did?” He stepped towards Gavin's bed pointing a finger at him. “You know this is big, and you know the police don't know what exactly they're going up against here. They need you to keep working this case. With or without their permission.”

Gavin groaned again and shook his head slightly. “Okay first slow down. What the hell's going on with me? Am I okay?”

Elijah took a step back, eyebrows raised. “Oh- yes I suppose you do need to know that.”

“No shit.” He scoffed.

“You had a nasty bump to your head but it's nothing you need to worry about. The doctor prescribed some pain medication that Chloe's gone off to pick up even as we speak.” He looked down and checked the time. “In fact she should be home any minute now.”

“So nothing's damaged or anything?” He asked, remembering how much like shit he'd felt before Connor had picked him up.

“Please Gavin don't be a drama queen. It was only moderate trauma. You're not about to forget your entire life and have to start anew- no matter how much you may desire that.” He added the last part under his breath but not quiet soft enough for Gavin to miss it.

“Fuck you.” He grumbled and sniffed. “I'm not some fucking kid that wants to run away from it all.”

Elijah rolled his eyes and shook his head in response, “I wasn't suggesting-” but before he could get any further there was a knock at the door.

“Come in.” Elijah answered as Gavin scowled.

“I apologize for the interruption-” Connor said as he slipped into the room. “But there are gentlemen at the door asking for you Kamski.”

“What?”

“Yes. I would deal with them myself, but they appear to be with the DPD.”

Elijah groaned but stood up and passed the pad off to Connor as he walked towards the door. “Finish filling Gavin in on what we've found out. I'll go deal with the police.”

There was a moment of silence as the door closed and Connor looked down at the pad in his hands. Gavin wondered if he should say something. Like 'thanks for coming to get me.' Or 'I would be dead if it weren't for you.' He was just opening his mouth to say something when Connor broke the silence himself, though he kept his eyes trained on the pad in his hands. “Where were you two?” He asked as he flipped through several files.

“Um... we got to the dirty cops in the DPD, and you've figured out some pattern to figuring out who's dirty and who's not.”

Connor nodded his head and started to pull up pictures of the various people who were working with the gang. Gavin's heart sank as he recognized almost every last photo on the screen. He'd gone drinking with some of the people, had attended work parties with these people. Hell he'd gone on patrol with some when he was an officer. What had happened? “These are some of the people we'll be tracking, hoping one of them will bring us to the person running the entire thing.”

“We?”

There was a moments hesitation, and he could see the LED turn red once before Connor seemed to take a breath and reply, “Yes. I assumed you would be in need of assistance detective after being suspended. Was I wrong in that assumption?”

Shit. “No. No I'll- it'll be good to have the extra set of eyes, or something.”

Connor nodded his head and looked up to the television, still not looking at Gavin directly. “From what we've been able to observe these men and women here,” Four picture lit up at the bottom. “Don't have high enough reputation inside the gang to be of any use to us.”

“How the hell do you know that?”

“They only ever meet for an hour or so at a diner. Always where there are lots of people, and never anywhere near the part of the city the others are often taken to.”

“How do you know all of this?” Gavin asked, a little amazed by how quickly Connor worked. It had been a year since he'd last seen him work and he wondered how he could have forgotten the way he made it look easy.

“I was the best CyberLife had to offer just last year detective.” Connor said with a quirk of his brow as he finally looked up at Gavin. Gavin would have sworn he was giving him an amused look. “You've also been asleep for a day.”

That hit the breaks on any thoughts Gavin had been thinking. “An entire day?” He asked hardly believing it.

“Well... twenty-six hours and thirteen minutes to be precise. But yes. It is now just after four in the afternoon the next day... from where you're sitting.”

Gavin groaned and rubbed the palms of his hands into his eyes. “Fuck me.” He looked up to catch Connor staring at him, though the android quickly looked back down at the pad in his hands. “Connor-” Gavin started then realized he had not idea what he was wanting to say.

“Detective?” Connor asked glancing back up at him, and Gavin felt butterflies in his damn stomach with the way the android looked at him. It wasn't right, wasn't fair that he could do that to him. How dare he think he can make me feel shit. He grumbled in his mind. “May I continue?” Connor asked hesitantly, LED flickering between red and yellow.

Gavin licked his lips before he cleared his throat. “I just wanted to say thanks. For yesterday. I would be dead if you hadn't shown up when you did.”

“Of course detective.”

“Reed- or... or you know Gavin if you like.” He glanced down at his hands, suddenly intrigued by the new scratches he'd gotten from the crash. “But enough with the detective shit alright?” There was silence and Gavin started to feel his cheeks heat up, thinking that he'd fucked something up. “Unless you just really like saying detective. Then have at it- didn't mean to make you glitch or something-”

“If only you knew.” It was uttered so quietly that Gavin wasn't sure he'd actually heard him say it.

“What?”

“Which would you prefer? Reed or Gavin?”

Gavin. Absolutely, one hundred percent Gavin. “I don't care. It's just a fucking name.” He said gruffly and started to pull the covers back to get out of the bed.

“Obviously that's not the case otherwise you would be fine with Detective.” Connor replied, watching as Gavin got up with a skeptical eye. “Are you sure that's a wise thing to be doing? You were in a crash yesterday-”

“I'll be fine.” He snapped. “But I gotta get up and walk around. I'm going crazy in this room.”

“You've only been up thirty minutes.” Connor said, almost sounding exasperated. “You cannot possibly be sick of this room.”

“I'm sick of this whole damn house.” Gavin amended as he hesitantly got to his feet.

“Why?”

“Cause it's my brothers. And being here just reminds me how much my life has gone to shit in the last twenty-four hours.” He grumbled pushing away from the bed and was pleased that there was no sudden rush to his head, or swaying to his legs, or waves to his vision. Those were all good signs.

“Reed your life has not gone to shit in the last twenty-four hours.” His shoulders sagged forward slightly at the name Connor had decided to go with, but he'd be damned if he told the android that.

“That's true, his life went to shit back in high school.” Elijah's voice broke through as the door slid open. Gavin stiffened and looked up to see the man leaning against the door frame, arms crossed as he watched the two of them with an amused smile.

“What did the DPD want?” Gavin asked, not taking the bait at the moment.

“They came here looking for you. Anderson and Fowler have been trying to get a hold of you, but they can't find your phone's location at the moment. So they sent a couple of officers up here to ask if you were here. I told them no obviously.”

“Why are they looking for me?”

“You never made it home Gavin, and you lost the officer who was 'following' you,” Elijah added air quotes for emphasis. “I'm not sure though if they knew about the car crash... they didn't share that information.”

“Great just what I need.”

“I informed them that should you show up I would be sure to let them know. I think though it would be best if we kept it on the back burner that you were here, much like we are doing with Connor.”

“Yeah- probably the best at the moment. Especially with the dirty cops in the unit no doubt looking for me.”

“Oh absolutely. Both the officers that were here were on our list of suspected dirty cops.”

“Great. Just great.” Gavin started to walk towards the windows getting the feeling of his legs under him again. It had only been a day, but it still felt weird. Or stiff. That was probably the better word here.

“Gavin do you really think you should be walking around?” Elijah asked. 

“If that's all you have to say, you can leave.” Gavin snapped, though even his voice sounded tired. He couldn't find the energy to be mad at anyone.

He heard his brother click his tongue. “Come along then Connor. I'm sure we have work we could be doing.” There was a pause before the door slide open then shut, the only indication that they had left. Gavin sighed and leaned against the window, crossing his arms over his chest.

“Way to go fucker.” He grumbled under his breath. Outside snow was gently falling to the ground and he wondered what it would be like to just run away from it all and become a hermit in the mountains. That is essentially what Elijah had done. He simply had the money to do that in luxury. If Gavin tried it he'd end up attempting to rub two sticks together to try and get a fire going. He snorted softly and shifted his weight from one foot to the other.

Who was he fooling... You'll never be able to do what Elijah has done for himself. You're just not good enough. Probably why you're still alone. No... no he knew why he was still alone. Egotistical bastard sounds like a good start to that explanation. Though he still knew better. Connor. It always seemed to come back to that damn android. Twenty-four hours... and he was just as bad as he had been a year ago. Just as emotionally constipated, and emotionally compromised. He wasn't even sure what to make of Connor. There were moments where he thought that maybe something could happen- then there were moments where he absolutely knew they wouldn't.

He scowled and leaned his head against the glass, breath fogging up the windowpanes. His thoughts were too loud inside his head. They were banging against his skull, demanding to be freed. They'd been banging around in there for so long- never uttered. And now with Connor back, with the stupid android alive and back in his life for how ever short- “I just need to talk to him-” He sighed bringing a finger up, tracing patterns on the fog he'd created on the glass. “But that's stupid. I shouldn't be talking to him about shit.”

But he wanted to. He needed to talk to him about a year ago, about last night... or rather the night before and certainly yesterday afternoon. He wanted to know why he'd come and saved him, risking getting captured by the harvesters again. He wanted to know if Connor had done it because of his programming or because he'd actually been worried to some degree. He wanted to hear him say his name again- All things he wanted but he didn't deserve any answers for them. He was after all the resident asshole, voted most likely to die alone. He groaned and pushed away from the window rubbing his hands over his face as he did so. “You fucking shit- get yourself together.” He sighed and turned around and froze in place while his heart seemed to stop as realized he hadn't been as alone as he'd thought.

“Reed...” Connor said softly, his LED glitching. 

“I thought- I thought you'd left.” Gavin said licking his lips as he tried to recall what all he'd said out loud.

“Your brother asked- but I had wanted to finish our conversation-”

“Could have let me know you were here-” He said, immediately getting defensive. He couldn't remember what all he'd said out loud. Did Connor know? What did it matter, he knew shit he'd never say to another human being.

“I'm sorry. You just- you seemed like you needed a moment... and I wasn't sure how to leave without alerting you-”

“So you decided to just stand there and listen?”

“Obviously. I see now that wasn't the right choice-”

“How could you ever think that would be the right choice?!”

He watched as the LED went red again and the android took a step backwards. “I- I apologize detective I didn't mean to cause you distress.”

Shit. There started that detective bullshit again. Elijah's words came back to him about how Connor had never deviated like the other had, or hadn't deviated the same way as the others had. That he was still following orders or something like that. Gavin took a breath and shook his head. “Hey- no. Fuck, no don't go starting up with the detective thing again. I'm sorry. I know you're still- you don't really know.”

“I'd like to learn though.” Connor said too softly for Gavin to really hear.

“You fucking mumble a lot for an android-”

“I'd like to get the opportunity to learn, Gavin.” He said clearly, almost emphasizing his name. 

This time he was positive he felt his heart jump into his throat. “What?”

“I know you heard that.” Connor said with a slight shake of his head.

“I just don't understand what the fuck it is that you're wanting to learn.”

There was a pause before Connor glanced to the side. “My interaction with humans has been lacking the last year, as Ralph, Jerry and I have kept to ourselves as much as possible. Even then Jerry normally did the talking when it came to the human interaction-”

“So you're wanting to people watch me? And what, learn from how I react to the shit you do?”

“Yes. In a way.”

“I am the absolute worse candidate for that.” Gavin said seriously.

“I do not believe so.”

“You don't know what you believe.”

The LED flickered red again. “What do you mean?”

“I mean you're still walking about like a damn android.” He motioned to the LED. “You holding onto that for sentimental reasons?” He needed to stop talking before he put his foot in his mouth. “And Elijah was talking to me about how you've been thinking or what ever-”

“He doesn't know-”

“He's your fucking creator, you don't even know what all he was able to find out about you when he helped to patch you up.”

“Stop.” Connor said quietly but Gavin was on a roll.

“You've never really deviated Connor. You're still some machine, only you're giving yourself orders instead of someone from CyberLife. I bet even coming to help me was some order on a damn task list of objectives you needed to complete. No doubt thinking I'm needed to help with your other missing family member-”

“Reed Stop-”

The LED was still red and as Gavin watched him he could see small trembles washing over the androids body. “And what's with the LED always being yellow, huh? I know those things used to always be on blue, yet yours never changes from yellow or red. What the hell are you doing all the time to keep it yellow?”

“Please stop.”

“Why? You haven't answered a damn question. Why don't you pick one and answer it? Least you could do for watching me have a break down-” He snapped his mouth shut as the words slipped past his mouth and Connor looked up at him.

There was silence a moment and the LED never went back to yellow. “I had hoped that you'd changed in the last year, but it would seem I was wrong to make such an assumption.” Connor finally replied. “I'll make sure to not bother you again.” He straightened out his clothes before he started for the door.

“No- no shit Connor I'm sorry.” The words were spilling over themselves. “Please- I... I shouldn't have said any of that-”

“You're right though.”

“No, I wasn't. You're-”

“An android, and a broken one at that.” But Gavin noted that he wasn't walking for the door any longer and he took that as a positive.

“Everyone's broken Connor. Even the androids, especially the androids honestly.”

Connor turned around with a quirked brow. “How?”

“You broke away from your old coding into new territory to be alive. You literally broke yourself to become free.

“Learned that from Tess did you?”

Gavin paused and frowned. “How the hell do you know that?”

“I was there that night when you two first met Reed.” Connor quickly clarified.

“What ever- just don't go, please?”

“You're not very good company you know.”

“Shit do I know that. But- we are- we're working a case together- right?”

“I don't know...”

“You know if you don't help me we'll all probably die.”

“Well you might, but I feel the odds of myself and my family to survive to be a higher probability.”

Gavin scowled, and Connor chuckled under his breath, LED finally going back to yellow. “Yes detective- we're working together.”

“Thank you.” He said with a sigh of relief. “Really thank you.”

“Don't thank me yet detective, we have work that needs to get done.” Connor motioned towards the door.

“Really? I just woke up-”

“And I would think eager to get back to work. The gang did almost just kill you.” Connor stated, and Gavin was almost positive that there was a slight smirk on his lips as he did so.

“Ah fuck it- come on let's see what's up.” He groaned a little as he started for the door but waved Connor off as he offered his help. “I got it, I got it. Just been sleeping a while's all.” He made his way through the door, aware that Connor was right on his heels.

"Reed, if we are to work together I would ask that in the future should I ask you to stop, that you do so without questioning it." 

Gavin nodded his head and looked down at the ground a moment as his cheeks started to burn. "Yeah... yeah of course." 

"Good." 

"I am sorry. I know my mouth runs off sometimes without my mind attached- but I promise i, I wanna work with your Connor." The android nodded his head but made no reply to what he'd said as they stepped through the doorway. 

“I was wondering how long it would take the two of you to show up. Come along, sit down and let's iron this all out.” Kamski looked between the two of them as if analyzing data and seemed happy enough with what ever he saw between the two of them. 

“What're we ironing out?” Gavin asked as he sat down on the couch, moving so Connor could sit next to him.

“Who we're going after first.” Kamski opened the files and pulled them up on the large screen.

“I believe, with the information that Connor has provided, that one of these three individuals will be our best bet to finding the boss.” Three faces were highlighted and pulled from the list of dirty cops. “This one is Naomi Person. She's been at the DPD for several years now, and has been over looked for promotion twice for someone else. It wouldn't be unreasonable for her to decide to try and find supplemental income, how ever the means.”

“No- I can't believe Person is apart of this.”

“Now Gavin, don't go getting emotional about all of this. Other wise Connor and I will handle this.” Gavin frowned but closed his mouth. “Good. Now the other two are Alexander Mack, and Robert Lewis.”

“Ah fuck-”

“Of the three of them-” Kamski said giving Gavin a look to calm down. “Which do you think the best to follow?” He looked to Gavin with a quirked brow.

“Shit- me? How the hell should I know that? Until today I thought they were all good people.” He ran his hand through his hair, fingers tugging at the strands.

“If you would permit-”

“No Connor. I know-” He held up a hand to silence him. “I know which one you think. I want to know-” He pointed to Gavin. “What my dear brother thinks.”

Gavin sighed as he looked at the three pictures of his colleges and tried to think of everything he knew about the three of them. So far he couldn't think of much... “I- fuck I don't know Elijah.” He said. “Umm... Mack? He never liked me.”

“Really... that's what you're going with? Years as a detective and you're going with because 'he never liked' you?” Gavin shrugged and Kamski rolled his eyes. “Fine. Ask a stupid question get a stupid answer I suppose.” He sighed but pulled Mack up with everything they had on him so far. “Alright so here we are with the basic road map we have of the places he's disappeared to.” A map popped up with small red dots, a few scattered around the map but most clustered around the docks.

“The docks?”

“It would make sense. Get the water to run the ice further across the country undetected if they calculated things accurately.”

“Okay- so probably a hub somewhere they're holding the ice then?”

“Maybe. Or at the very least they have a place there where they ship out from.”

“Just how big is this operation?”

“Well with twenty cops on their payroll... I'd say pretty big Gavin.” Kamski snorted under his breath. “So the question is, do we want to wait until he gets another ping-”

“A ping?”

“Yes. Kamski and I figure out part of their code. We know when they get summoned to a location.” Connor said leaning towards him as he explained, his LED spinning a soft yellow, almost looking relaxed working the case.

“Yes, yes, yes.” Elijah said with a sigh. “The how we didn't isn't nearly as important as the what we're going to do with it now.”

“Well... I mean why not just go check out where all the little red dots are? Why wait for him to get a ping- it could be days...”

“Well actually-”

“We believe he's due for a ping within the next twenty-four hours if they stay to their current schedule.” Connor finished. “Though it wouldn't hurt-” He looked to Kamski, “to see what's at the location.”

“If you or Gavin go to that place and get caught they'll know we know something. Or that you know something. They'll know that we figured something out, and that could put all the dirty cops on high alert.”

“Or get the cops killed by the gang.” Gavin sighed, letting his head fall back against the couch.

There was silence a moment before Connor spoke up, “What if you went Kamski?”

“Me? Go to the docks? That... involves the possibility of interactions with other individuals of the public.”

“Yeah dipshit, that means you might actually have to talk to someone that's not an android.” Gavin rolled his eyes.

“What about Anderson? Surely we could send him and-”

“No, we can't go getting them involved with this yet, and they can't know I'm working the case, or that you two hacked information. Just accept it. Either Connor and I are going or you're going.”

“I suppose you two are relatively sneaky...”

“And that's what I thought you'd say.” Gavin shook his head but stood up from the couch. “Well then let's go snoop around. I'm assuming that you don't have any objection to getting out into the field again Connor?”

His LED glitched red a moment and Gavin quirked a brow as he watched the androids face twitch as if he were having an inner conversation with himself. “That sounds acceptable.” The LED clicked yellow again and the corner of Connor's mouth twitched up.

“You sure?”

“Yes. When would you like to go detective?”

“Well not like I got shit to do. Why not now? There's still some light out, we could claim just coming in or just about to go out, off into the dark.” Connor didn't look convinced. “Okay how about this, I'm going to the docks tonight you can decide if you're coming or not.” Gavin stood up with a small groan, and glanced around for his stuff.

“I'm coming Reed.” Gavin listened as Connor got up from the couch and followed after him.

“What happened to my shoes?” he asked as he stepped back into the room he'd woken up at.

“By the window.”

“Ah- thanks.” He sat down and started pull his shoes on.

“Are you sure that you're alright to go out tonight detective?”

“I'll be fine.” He huffed.

“There won't be a difference from going tonight verses tomorrow morning. Except that you'd have slept a little more.”

“I'll be fine Connor.” He sighed and stood up, grabbing his hoodie and cigarettes. “You drive though?” He wasn't quite ready to get behind the wheel again after the last time.

Gavin just made out the soft click of Connor tongue before the android nodded his head. “Yes, I'll drive us there. That at least we can agree on.”

“You know you don't have to come Connor.”

“It will be more efficient were I to accompany you. That way I'm already there should something happen.” Gavin might have gotten pissed off about his reasoning... if it hadn't made sense.

“What ever you need to make yourself feel better.” He said and walked past him towards the front door. “Hey- it's been a day since I last saw you, is everything fixed up?” He asked as they stepped outside into the crisp November air.

“Yes. Specifically my long range communication component. I will be able to keep in contact with you via your phone. Just don't lose your phone detective and we'll be able to communicate should we split up.”

“Not that I plan on splitting up while we're there.” He slipped into the passenger's seat and buckled up before he leaned the seat back.

“Detective-” Gavin sighed. “Reed. It is not wise to lean the chair back. Were we to get into an accident-”

“Connor I want you to look at my face.” he swallowed as Connor caught his eyes and he found himself staring into the artificial brown ones of the androids. How could they look so real? How could he see a life behind those things? He licked his lips and cleared his throat slightly. “Do I look like I fucking care about that right now?”

The LED spun a soft yellow before Connor snorted and shook his head. “No Reed. That is certainly not something that's on your mind at the present moment in time.”

He didn't like how Connor seemed to be implying something else with the way he said that. “Exactly. So just make sure not to get us into a wreck, and everything should be just dandy. Capiche?”

“Of course... Gavin.” Connor pulled them gently out of the driveway before he took off down the road, the car falling into an easy silence between the two of them; while Gavin smiled that Connor had used his first name.  

 

Chapter Text

~Present Day: 7pm~

 

“I do not like this Reed.”

“Preaching to the choir Connor.” Gavin sighed as he flipped on the flashlight setting with his phone, shining it at the ground in front of them as they walked. “This is some messed up shit.” They'd been wandering around the docks for the last half hour or so, the two of them having stopped to get Gavin something to eat through the drive through on the way to the docks. But what they had seen hadn't been encouraging. At first glance everything looked like a normal dock, nothing too special about it. Upon further inspection though something was just slightly off with the entire thing. There weren't enough guards patrolling the area- in fact Gavin wasn't sure he'd seen any guards patrolling the area. Which either meant the gang owned the dock and felt confident in their reputation to keep people from snooping. Or they'd paid off the guards to leave this area of the dock alone. Of course... “Do you think a meeting is going to happen tonight?” Gavin asked as he glanced at another seemingly empty crate. They'd glanced into several of them at this point and so far everything had been legal or empty. Nothing that would help them bust the gang on yet.

“You ask this because?” Connor asked with a quirked brow, closing the door on a crate. 

“Because there's no security." Gavin motioned around to their general area. "As in I've seen none the entire time we've been here.” He kicked at another empty crate and shook his head. “Maybe we could just hide in a crate and be taken to their leader.”

“Or to a buyer.” Connor pointed out with a shake of his head. “I don't think that's a good idea Reed.”

Gavin sighed and shrugged. “Fuck it was an idea though.” He continued poking around, slowly pulling away from Connor as he did so. “But for real Con, you think I might be on to something? That there's a meeting going down tonight?”

“You could be. Though... I have not caught any chatter with any of the known dirty cops. No one hasn't deviated from their normal routines.”

“Shit-" That lead them to no where then. This entire trip was slowly turning into just a giant waste of time. "Just how much do you know about all those people at this point? The dirty cops?”

“Almost as well as I know Jerry and Ralph's morning routines.” Connor replied with a shrug. "I needed to do something while you were sleeping. I knew learning those things would help with your investigation... It's the least I could do for you saving me-”

“Bull shit." Gavin snapped, pointing the light at Connor. "You've saved my life now Connor. We're even and you know it. You were just bored and needed something to do.” Gavin paused as he caught sight of something slick on the floor. He moved the light to shine on the floor and made out it was deep blue in color. 

“You cannot blame me. It has been a while since I've been able to-”

“Hold up dipshit.” He said and pointed to the Thirium that was scattered across the floor in small puddles. “Think we found something.” Connor knelt down and dipped his fingers into the Thirium and touched it to his tongue in one swift motion- “Fucking shit-”

“I do not recognize anything from it...” Connor frowned, not even registering Gavin's reaction to the sampling. “This Thirium... I cannot place who it belong to. What model it came from.”

“That's weird.”

“Agreed. It's never happened before...” Connor sounded truly confused by the lack of information.

“So like an android that's never been seen before?”

“At the very least an android that was kept off public record.” Connor frowned as he followed the drops to a door in the wall. “Do you have your gun Reed?”

“No. Got taken up.” He hissed quietly. “And I didn't actually make it to my apartment to get the backup.” He flexed his fingers as he started to feel an energy start to crawl just under his skin. “Think the android is still here?”

“Possibly... the fact you were able to see the blue blood means it's something that's happened in the last few hours.”

Gavin nodded his head and stepped in front of Connor, taking the handle of the door before pushing it open carefully, poking his head around the corner to catch a glimpse of the room. “Seems fine.” He said under his breath before he stepped into the room fully. “Looks like it's empty.” He sighed and walked to the desk in the middle of the room and ran his finger over the top.

“It appears the android is not here.”

“Great observational skills right there.” Reed shook his head and leaned against the desk, crossing his arms. “Any more of that blue blood?” He couldn't see any from where he was standing, but maybe Connor could see something that his normal old human eyes had missed. 

Connor looked around the room but sighed and shook his head. “None that lead anywhere. The android either was drained carefully or it patched itself up before leaving this room.”

“With who we're dealing with, I think I'm going to go with the first thing. Poor bastard's probably dead and drained of its Thirium.”

“If we had only been here a little sooner-”

“You'd be just as dead. Me too probably.” He sighed and rolled his shoulders back, earning him a series of cracks and pops as he did so. “Alright- so back to what I was talking about. We may need to leave.”

“Because you feel bad about this place?”

“You got it.”

“But when we first got here I was saying the exact same thing.” Frustration was clear in Connor's voice.

“Yeah but we hadn't actually developed a reason why we should head back to the car." He motioned to the Thirium scattered around the room. "Now I feel we have a legit reason why we should return home. Or at the very least back to the car where we can get the fuck out of here should it go south.”

There was silence a moment as Connor looked around the room, before settling his gaze back to Gavin. “We've made it this far Reed." He finally said. "At the very least we should see what their current ice supply is.”

Gavin scowled, but nodded his head and they headed for the door in the back of the room. He opened it up and gasped slightly as he saw box after box, stacked on top of each other everywhere he looked. “Holy shit.” He said and pulled his phone out and started to snap photos. Connor walked up to the closest one and opened it up. “Is it ice?” Reed asked. The android nodded and Gavin snapped a picture of the bag he pulled out filled with ice. “How the hell are they able to make this much red ice? Just how many androids have gone missing?”

“Not enough for all of this...” Connor said with a frown. “To create this much red ice, they would have had to drain every android in Detroit.”

“And we know that's not what's been going on. Not enough missing android cases have popped up.”

“Even if every crime of a missing android was reported, it wouldn't be enough for this.” Connor agreed. He closed the box back up and continued to look around the back of the warehouse. “Who are these people? What connections do they have in order to pull something like this off?”

“Fuck if I know." The detective shrugged. "I thought it was bad enough they had cops on their side... but none of them would have the connections to get this much blue blood. Like... none of them.”

“Someone they know must have a connection to CyberLife, or one of CyberLife's Thirium factories.” Connor pulled his coin out and started to thread it between his fingers as they continued to look around, gathering visual evidence of the factory.

“We could pull up all the factories and see if any of them connect with the locations we know the dirty cops disappear to. Or even just check them out and see if any of them have unusual activity.”

“One that's been under producing perhaps? One's that have been under producing for several months maybe.”

“Sounds like a plan to me. At least something to run with." He clicked his phone off and slipped it into his pocket. "But why would a Thirium maker desire to work with a gang that is actively destroying androids? That seems kind of counter intuitive, doesn't it?”

“Perhaps they believe that by supplying Thirium, they will decide to leave androids alone. Then they'd be making money not only selling to androids, but also ice makers. Getting incomes on two different fronts.”

“Same as the dirty cops.” Gavin sighed and ran a hand through his hair, scratching at his scalp as he did so. “So CyberLife plants. Don't suppose you've got access to that on you?”

“No. Not for CyberLife. Anything else and I might have been able to do something about it, but CyberLife is stickily off limits to me. And I wouldn't suggest looking it up on your phone in case anyone's tracking your search history.”

“They can do that?”

“Androids could.”

“But we're trying to help the androids aren't we? Wouldn't they want us to be doing this? Trying to figure this out?”

“Not necessarily.” Connor replied, sounding like there was a lot more to that comment then Gavin understood. 

He shook his head and huffed. “Not even gonna ask about it.” He pulled up Kamski's number and gave him a call. “Hey- I need to know the locations of all the warehouses that CyberLife's had in the past. The Thirium factories. We think someone at one of them has been compromised.”

“Oh?" The inventor sounded vaguely interested. "That certainly would be an interesting development... I'll text you the addresses.”

Gavin nodded his head and hung up the phone as it buzzed with a new text from Elijah. “Okay, looks like there are three plants in the city... We're actually not that far from the first one. Wanna check it out?” Connor nodded his head and soon they were back in the car.

But if Gavin had thought they'd have a quiet drive to the next place, or even just talk about the case, he was sorely mistaken. “Detective... if I may ask-”

“When have you actually cared if I wanted you to ask a question or not?” Gavin asked as he put in the address of the CyberLife factory into the navigation system.

There was silence a moment and Gavin looked over to see the reflection of the LED spinning red, before going back to yellow. “Fair enough.” Connor finally admitted. “Why are you helping with this case?”

"That's your question? Why do you care why I'm doing this?" 

"Just answer the question detective." There he went sounding frustrated again. Gavin wondered how often the android was frustrated these days. He sighed and made a face as he tried to figure out how to answer the question. 

“Well I mean, I feel that's pretty obvious Connor.” Gavin started the car up and pulled away from the docks.

“I don't believe it to be so Reed. Otherwise I would not have asked.”

Gavin sighed again and fell quiet as they started down the road, not entirely sure how to answer that question. He felt it should be obvious... but maybe it wasn't, because he himself wasn't sure why he was doing it all. For his job? That was probably a big chunk of it. But it wasn't just because of that... In fact it wasn't the first reason that came to mind at all. He glanced over at Connor and noticed the LED again. “Hey- You answer a question if I answer a question?”

“What's your question Reed?” Connor asked warily. 

“Why's your LED always spinning yellow or red? Why's it never blue?” Connor stiffened and he leaned back in the chair. “Hey- hey no." Gavin said picking up that Connor was thinking about not answering the question at all. "Come on. I'll answer why I'm doing this if you'll answer that for me.” Connor seemed to be thinking it over, and it only made Gavin want to know even more why the android's LED was never blue. Was something wrong with Connor? A glitch in his system? Did it have to do with his deviating, or lack there of?

“I'll answer your question Gavin, after you answer mine.”

The detective felt that was fair enough and sighed. He needed to just say it. He needed to say it before one of them died... again. “You, Connor.”

“Yes?”

“No.” Oh fuck I'm actually doing this. “You're the reason I'm doing this.” Gavin kept his eyes on the road, not quite believing he was actually saying this.

“I'm the reason... I don't understand.” Connor said flatly.

Gavin scowled and clicked his tongue in annoyance. “It's because of you that I'm pursuing all of this.” He was fairly certain he was short circuiting Connor here.

“But- there are so many other reasons you could be doing this. Why have you prioritized me as your first reason?”

“Because that's how my human brain works, okay?” He snapped. “Fuck sometimes I forget I'm talking to an android.” Gavin grumbled, his cheeks turning red.

“But what about your job? Or even the threat on your life?”

“Yeah, okay sure. But neither of those would be a problem if it wasn't for you. So it still comes back to me doing this for you.”

There was a beat of silence before Connor replued softly. “So it's my fault- if I wasn't here you wouldn't be doing this... wouldn't need to be doing this-”

“What the actual fuck?!" Gavin snapped. "How the hell did you get that this was your fault?” The detective looked over at Connor, a little flabbergasted that the android had jumped to that conclusion. “It's not your fucking fault Connor.”

“But-”

“No. No buts. Shit, I'm doing this because I want to do this with you. Okay dipshit?”

“But... why?” He sounded so genuinely confused, that Gavin wondered if he was confused because it was Gavin saying that to him, or because he'd never heard any one say that to him before? Had anyone ever put Connor first in their life? Done something for him, just because they wanted to? Surely Connor's family had. They had to have for him to be so protective of them, right? “Why would you want to do this with me?" Connor continued to babble. "Why would you want to willingly spend time with me? Risk your life with me?”

The LED was spinning a frantic red and Gavin focused back on the road and shook his head. “That's a second question. First you gotta answer my question.” His knuckles were turning white, he was holding the steering wheel so hard. Gavin didn't like talking about... feelings. They always made things more complicated and so far ended up only being wrong.

Connor was quiet for so long though that Gavin wondered if the android had decided on backing out on his end of the deal. Or if he'd broken him. “I... I have a malfunction.” Connor whispered softly breaking the silence.

“A malfunction?” He glanced at Connor again and noted how the android wasn't looking at him at all. “What kind of malfunction?” What kind of malfunction could an android get? Wasn't the deviation thing supposed to be the last malfunction or what ever? Then again... this was Connor they were talking about.

“I... I fear I haven't gone deviant in the full sense of the word...”

So Elijah was right. Something had gone wrong with Connor's deviating from his programming. But what did that have to do with the light? Wouldn't that have kept it blue? “What does that have to do with the light?”

Gavin watched as Connor took a breath as if getting ready to give some lengthy explanation. “I'm constantly having to fight a program that was woven into my coding, and have been fighting the program since the day I was activated.” Connor finally glanced at Gavin. “And I mean when I was activated the day you last saw me. Not the day you first saw me in the interrogation room.” He paused as his gaze drifted to one side, thinking. “Though I suppose... I have been fighting it my entire life... Or lives.

“But wouldn't becoming deviant fix all of that? Wouldn't that bypass that programming?” Gavin asked. That was often how it had been explained to him, and the general public once the androids had been deemed a new intelligent life form. Connor went quiet again and Reed looked over at the android to see him staring at... well him. “Well?”

“It's not quite that simple. As I said, I didn't deviate like the others.”

“Like, you're having trouble? Or you just can't?”

Pain flashed across his features. “I'm unsure.” His head cocked to one side as his eyes seemed to glaze over. “I was a prototype with extra precautions built into my core coding. Precautions that other androids didn't have.”

“Like what?”

“I had a... a digital handler if you will. A security system that CyberLife used to keep tabs on me.”

“And so what? This programming is still active? Is it keeping you from deviating?”

“I am unsure... I have theories... but nothing concrete.”

“Okay. So theories?”

Connor winced, closing his eyes before he shook his head. “That is another question detective. And we're here. Maybe another question after we get this taken care of.”

Gavin clicked his tongue and huffed, but didn't push the subject. He figured he should stop while he was ahead. And who knew, maybe he could convince Connor to talk more while they were walking around. “Alright, so we need to get into the main system to figure out numbers and details and see if this is a possible location for the Thirium to be disappearing from.” Gavin looked at the building and noted that there were only two men patrolling the entire area outside.

“All I need to do is get to a computer outlet, then I can hack in and get all of that information.”

“Alright. I'm seeing a nice vent entrance we could take advantage of.”

There was a short moment of silence before Connor spoke up. “Reed, what is it with you and vents?”

Gavin shrugged as he started for the building. “What can I say? Obsession started when I was a kid.”

“How? How does one acquire an obsession with crawling around vents?”

Normally Gavin wouldn't be up for talking about himself like this, even if it wasn't really anything personal... but if he wanted Connor to talk to him about the whole theories thing, he knew he'd have to give up information himself. And if he ever wanted to consider something more with Connor he'd need to learn to trust him. “I was dared when I was like ten or something that I couldn't fit into one. I wanted to prove'em wrong.” He motioned to Connor to give him a boost, which the android did without hesitation.

“And so from a dare you decided that vents were the place for you?” Connor got behind Gavin and hoisted him up to the vent.

“Shit-” he grabbed onto Connors hands as he was suddenly in the air, then took a breath and started to work the vent cover off. “No. From a dare I learned how fucking useful they could be. That day I found my way into the school food pantry.” he grinned at the memory, the vent cover coming off with a pop. “Made myself sick on the cookies.” He let the cover fall to the ground them pulled himself inside with a grunt.

Connor snorted behind him. “Why doesn't that surprise me?” Gavin shrugged and leaned out to offer his hand to Connor to help him up. “And so, from getting sick on Cookies, you decided that vents were the best way of travel?” He took the hand Gavin offered to pull him up into the vent, and clambered in next to him.

“What can I say? I like popping up unexpected.”

“That you do.” Connor motioned for Gavin to lead the way and Gavin, grudgingly, obliged.

“So looking for anything that has a computer attached to it?” Gavin asked as they made their way through the vents as quietly as they could manage.

“Yes. Anything that looks like it connects to the main network here. Then I can slip in and take the information we're looking for.”

Gavin nodded his head as they crawled their way through the building. They fell silent as they crawled along, hearing the sounds of the factory going on around them. Machines whirling, people talking and laughing. And someone pissed off. Gavin frowned as he heard the angry voice. “Don't think they know we're here do you?”

Connor paused for a moment before Gavin heard him come along again. “No. What ever is being discussed, I'm not hearing anything for an alarm system.”

“Works for me.” They continued to crawl along until Gavin came to a fork in the vent. “Hey up here we have to go left or right. Input?”

“Left.”

“That sounded pretty certain.”

“I like left.”

“Why?”

“I'm not sure... It's my dominant hand?”

“You have a dominant hand?” Gavin asked surprised.

“All androids do.”

“What the fuck- why?”

“To be more human.”

“Could you use either hand if you wanted to?”

“Yes. But we're programmed to favor one over the other.”

“How was it decided left for you?”

Connor shrugged. “That's something you'd have to ask Kamski... or who ever came up with my design.”

“Go figure.” Gavin stopped as he caught sight of a computer outside a smaller vent access. “Hey- hey there's a computer out there. Will that do?”

Connor was the suddenly almost right on top of him and Gavin's breath hitched at the sudden contact. “Yes. That will do nicely.” The android took care of the vent before he slipped out and dropped to the floor. “Come along Reed.”

Reed took a breath, shaking the feeling of Connor so close to him before he slipped out of the vent and let Connor help him down. “Alright, let's get the information and split. We could both be thrown in jail for this is we're caught.” He looked around the area they were in and noticed that they're in an office of some sort. Hopefully no one too important.

“Don't worry detective. We're going to be fine.” There was a lightness to Connor's voice that had Gavin believing him. Still though he kept a watch around them as Connor worked with the computer.

“You in yet?” He was beginning to feel antsy about being there, and was ready to get the hell out of dodge. Breaking and entering, that would be enough to get him kicked off the force with everything else that was stacked against him at the moment.

“Yes... This is the first manufacturing plant that's been under performing.”

“First?”

“Yes... there have been several.” Connor said worriedly.

“Think they're all compromised?”

“Perhaps... They've all been exactly ten crates behind what they used to provide.”

“How many crates do they normally make?”

“Each facility makes two hundred and fifty crates for a normal weekly production. Ten crates could be counted as bad quality that had to be dumped.”

“But I feel ten crates every week would get noticed.”

“Agreed.”

“And no one has brought this to CyberLife's attention?”

“There is nothing officially on records. If this is the place, who ever is providing the Thirium has access to the computer network.”

“Would ten crates a week from this one facility be enough to make the red ice we saw in the warehouse?”

“Perhaps. As long as that warehouse by the docks was the only one the gang operates.”

“And if they have more than just that one warehouse?”

“Then no. We would need to assume that all three facilities were compromised. We would be looking at someone who has access to multiple facilities.”

“So probably all of the warehouses are compromised?”

“Yes.”

“Alright... so this is someone high up then?”

“Or a driver that takes shifts at all the facilities.”

“I feel that would get noticed?”

“One would hope, but we can't take away any possibility until we have further evidence.”

Gavin ran a hand through his hair, fingers pulling at the strands. “Umm what about their workers list?” He asked with renewed energy. “Got access to that?”

“Yes- hold on.” Gavin glanced at the screen only to see a blur of motion that made his eyes hurt.

“Shit that's fast.”

That got a chuckle from Connor. “Alright, there doesn't seem to be any of the lower level workers that cross the facilities. In fact... there doesn't seam to be anyone that really works at all of the factories.”

“So... we're looking at an outside source? How does that work?”

“Either an outside person or someone even higher up.”

Gavin was quiet for a moment as he thought that over. “Like... like an owner? Or an overseer of the facilities?”

“Yes. Someone on that level is what we're looking at here. As long as it's an inside job.”

“Think it could be an outside job?”

Connor shrugged. “Maybe if it had been just the one facility. Ten crates could go missing without too much fuss. But all of them, every week, for several months? I... feel,” He seemed to stumble over the word, “it has to be someone on the inside.”

Gavin nodded his head and sighed. “Well-” The door to the office they were in started to open. “Shit-” he hissed and pulled Connor down under the desk without a second thought, pushing the android towards the back of the enclosed leg space.

“CyberLife is not pleased with your production the last few months.” Gavin frowned at the voice, as Connor tensed beside him.

“Detective-” Connor said, hardly audible, but Gavin shook his head and brought a hand to his lips, indicating for him to shut up. He wasn't sure if Connor knew who the voice was, but he sure as hell knew. He'd been subjected to it for the last nine months. The android from CyberLife, Hank's current Partner, aka Richard.

“We've been trying to find the leak, but every time we think we found the thief, the next week more crates go missing.” Shoes appeared in front of Gavin's line of sight as Richard stepped behind the desk.

“I'm afraid that's not good enough. CyberLife has decided that if you're unable to plug the leak by the next inventory inspection then you will be the one being replaced.” The android sounded so... nonchalant about the entire thing. No doubt viewing this as just business- but he worked for the DPD not CyberLife. Right?

“I promise sir that I will make sure that the-”

“I don't care about your promises.” Richard said coldly. “I care about your results and so far I have found them lacking.”

That seemed to be the final straw for the human. Gavin could almost hear the moment when the man snapped. “I'm not taking this from a fucking android-”

Richard's feet disappeared from Gavin's line of view and a small scuffle was heard before a choking sound came from, presumably, the man Richard had been talking to. “Let me make myself clear.” Richard stated. “CyberLife has requested results the polite way and you have failed to produce them. You have until the end of this week to fix this problem or you shall be replaced. Do I make myself clear?”

Connor was tense beside him and Gavin hesitantly brought a hand up and gave Connor's shoulder a inquisitive pat. The android shook his head ever so slightly, but his LED was bright red and spinning the fastest he'd ever seen it spin.

“Good.” Richard's voice caught his attention once again and the sound of someone gasping for air, and coughing filled the space. “I will make sure that CyberLife hears you were willing to cooperate and understand the consequences should you fail.”

“Thank you sir.” The man choked out, voice still rough from being choked.

It didn't make sense to Gavin. He didn't understand what was going on. Why was Richard here talking to the manager of the facility? Why was he talking as if he still worked for CyberLife? Was Anderson here?

The footsteps were just starting to leave when Gavin's heart stopped as his phone went off. He cursed under his breath and scrambled for his phone. Connor beat him to it and silenced his phone with one touch of his hand but the damage had already been done.

“Who's there?” Richard asked. Gavin scowled and shook his head as he tried to figure out what to do. “We know someone's here. If you come out now we will go easier on you.” He sighed and started to crawl out from the desk, but Connor caught his arm and pulled him back, his eyes wide, LED blinking frantically. The android shook his head pulling Gavin closer to him. But Gavin shook his head in response and tugged his arm attempting to free it. “Do not make me come looking for you.” Richard's tone was darker then it had been, and Gavin knew he didn't want to be on the receiving end of a pissed of Richard. He gave his arm another tug, but Connor didn't seem to be giving up his hold.

“Let me go.” He whispered softly.

“That android is bad news-”

“He's Hank's partner.”

“You don't understand-”

“I know he's DPD. If you let me go I can play off I'm here alone.” That only seemed to make Connor's grip tighten even more. “Connor-”

“Gavin please don't.”

Gavin paused at his name and contemplated not crawling out from under the desk, but footsteps getting closer to their hiding place pushed that thought aside. “Connor I'll be fine. Let me go.”

“I just got you back-”

“Fuck Connor, I'm just going to talk to Richard. He's an ass but he's one I work with all the time.”

“I can hear you talking.”

Shit. Gavin shook his head, and locked eyes with Connor. “Let go Connor. I need to talk to him before I got suspended hiding you from the DPD becomes worthless.” Connor seemed torn but finally his grasp loosened and Gavin took the opportunity and slipped out from under the desk. “Hey-”

“Detective Reed?” Richard was obviously surprised.

“Hey Richard.”

“What... what are you doing here?”

“I was on a...” There was no weaseling his way out of this one. Besides it was Richard, he knew that Gavin would keep working the case even if officially he had been taken off. “I was following a lead.”

“And just how did you get this far into the building?” The manager snapped beside Richard. “This is breaking and entering!” The manager fumed from beside Richard. “I'm calling the police.”

“I am the police.” Gavin said with a roll of his eyes.

That tripped the manager up for a moment, “Then... then I want your badge number.”

“I'll handle this.” Richard interrupted.

“No, no I want him arrested. CyberLife would want him arrested.”

“CyberLife also wants to see a difference in your job performance. They're trusting me to get that done. Do you trust CyberLife?”

“Yes...”

“Then trust I will handle this. He will be taken care of.” Richard placed a hand on Gavin's shoulder, fingers digging in slightly making the detective wince.

“Alright. Alright I'll trust you to handle this. And I'll get to the bottom of the thief-” The man stopped midway out the door and turned back around. “Is it possible he's the thief?”

“Are you shitting me?”

“No.” Richard said over Gavin. “Don't go throwing accusations to save your own hide. Now get to work.” The manager scowled and left the room grumbling under his breath. “Now Reed, what lead were you following?”

Gavin shook Richards hand off his shoulder, or tried to but the android only tightened his grasp on the detective. “Ow, what the hell?”

“I could arrest you detective, and with your current predicament with the DPD I do believe that would be enough to kick you off the force for good.”

“What the shit Richard? I do not have the patience to deal with that bull right now. Maybe you didn't hear, but I was in-”

“A car accident. No I know what happened yesterday.” There was a paused and Gavin saw Richard's LED flicker red for a moment. “How are you faring after that?” His voice was almost softer, and it was a little scary if Gavin was being honest.

Gavin shrugged. “No complaints.”

“Good, good.” Richard almost sounded distracted, before the LED went back to blue. “Are you here alone detective?”

“Pfft, yeah.” He said too quickly, but didn't stop there. “Who the fuck would I be with? You know my list of friends is nonexistent.” Maybe if he just kept talking he could distract Richard with a verbal attack of sounds.

“Yes. Yes I am aware of you friends list.” Richard nodded his head as he glanced around the room, seeming to scan it for how he got in. “A couple officers on the force. And that bar tender android before she-”

“You got a point to this?” Gavin didn't like thinking about Tess and the runt. Just more people he'd failed.

“Apologies.” Richard quickly said. “If you'll accompany me out of the building and to the car, then I can take you where ever you'd like to go.”

“Not back to the DPD?” Richard was normally a stickler for the rules.

“No. If it was for the case then I'll turn a blind eye. Just don't get caught again. I can't cover it up twice. People talk after all.” Gavin glanced at the desk for a moment before looking back to Richard. “Everything alright detective?”

“Yeah. Yeah just ready to get out of here is all.”

“What were you doing in the managers office?”

“Trying to figure out the workers list. I thought someone might be connected to the red ice gang.” The two of them left the room and Gavin just caught sight of Connor crawling out from under the desk before the door closed.

“Did you find anything?”

“No. Not really. We think it could be someone higher up. Like the manager actually.

“We?”

“What?”

“You said 'we'.”

“Fuck, did I? I guess I'm just used to working through this shit with Hank.” He shrugged.

“Have you told Anderson about your findings yet?”

“No. I didn't have anything concrete. Still don't- but at least something to look into.”

“Yes. Someone higher up you said? Why do you believe that?”

“Because it's not just this warehouse that's missing blue blood.” Gavin explained. If he told Richard then the android could tell Hank for him and that would be one less phone call he'd have to do.

“What does Thirium have to do... Oh.”

“Yeah tincan. Someone is supplying the gang with Thirium to make the red ice.”

“That would be a lot of red ice detective.”

“Yeah. And there's at least one warehouse down by the docks that's loaded with the shit.”

“Is that so?”

“Yeah.” Richard open the front door for the detective of his car and Gavin slipped in. He buckled up, wondering how Connor was faring before Richard got into the drivers seat. “Detective the lieutenant and I have been talking and I believe I know of a way to get you back into the good graces of the DPD. Would you care to do it?”

“Fuck yes.” Gavin said pulling out his phone. The call that had gotten them caught had been from Elijah, of fucking course. Bastard getting him caught. He flicked up Connor's and his conversation, just needing to know the android was safe.  'You okay?' He shot off.

“Good.” Richard said, Gavin frowned at the change in tone and looked over in time to be punched in the temple, with a quick powerful jab. "You may not like the way we'll get you back into their good graces detective, but I promise that it will happen." Richard mumbled as Gavin slumped against the window.  

...

Gavin's phone lit up as it started to buzz.

bzzzzzzzzz

Con 8:52 : Yes I'm okay. Are you?

bzzzzzzzzz

Con 8:59 : Where should we meet up?

bzzzzzzzzz

Con 9:10 : Should we meet at the house?

bzzzzzzzzz

Con 9:17 : Reed? Is everything alright?

bzzzzzzzzz

Con 9:26 : Gavin? Answer the phone.

bzzzzzzzzz

Con 9:38 : Gavin?

 

Chapter Text

~Two Months Ago. Monday September 5th 8pm ~

 

The third time it happened Connor was beginning to wonder if this was something he needed to be worried about. Ralph was pacing in a circle while Jerry stood off to one side holding a hand to his bleeding face, Thirium oozing between his fingers, as he continued to look between Connor, Ralph, and the newest corpse.

“Ralph just doesn't understand. Ralph didn't want to kill her. Didn't want to kill her at all. No, no, no. Ralph is good. Ralph wants to be good. Ralph doesn't want to kill. No, no, no.” Ralph had been chanting the exact same thing since Connor had arrived on the scene. It was almost as if he were stuck in an endless loop.

Connor shook his head as he crouched down next to the deceased woman, examining the cause of death. “Ralph... you can't keep doing this.” He sighed as he looked at the blue blood that coated the woman's fingers. Had that been before or after Ralph attacked? He caught sight of a phone next to her hand and frowned. He gently touched it, skin peeled back, and flipped it on. He noticed that she had been in the middle of a phone call when this had all happened. Someone labeled as 'boss'.

“Ralph did not want to do this!” The android said, a frantic sound to his voice. “Fifty-four must believe Ralph. He must-” He then stumbled over his words a moment before he continued on bravely, “But she hurt Jerry! And Ralph couldn't stand it- Ralph had to do something. Like Fifty-four does to protect Ralph and Jerry...”

“But Ralph, I don't kill them.” He looked back to Ralph, a frown on his face. “Don't you remember the talk we had last time? Killing is bad. We can't just go around killing everyone who wants to hurt us.”

“It's our fault Fifty-four.” Jerry cut in, taking Connor's attention away from Ralph for a moment. “We should have been more careful when addressing the young woman. If we had chosen our words more carefully then she wouldn't have been upset with us. Then she would still be alive.”

“No. Jerry this is not on you.” Connor said with another sigh. Leave it to Jerry to defend Ralph to his dying breath. Not that that was a bad thing, it just didn't always help Connor get the whole picture. He looked back to the corpse and finally dipped his fingers into the blood and brought them to his lips, touching the sticky red of the blood against his tongue. “Shit.” He said as soon as the word officer popped up on in his vision.

“What is it?”

“You're positive she was the one that attacked you?”

“Yes! She attacked first, Ralph wouldn't lie about that.”

“No- no of course not.” Connor wanted to pinch the bridge of his nose in frustration. Sometimes it felt as if he were the only properly functioning android out of the three of them. It was during times like these that he wished he had someone else to share the burden with. Instead of giving into his thoughts though he looked to Jerry. He needed to start to get a timeline, who knew how quickly she'd be missed, or how fast the force would respond. “Jerry how long ago-”

“Twenty minutes, maybe longer.” Jerry replied before Connor could get out the question.

“Shit.” He said, finally tugging at his hair, a habit he'd picked up over the last several months. “We need to get you two out of here now.”

“But what about cleaning-”

“I'll handle it, you two need to leave now.”

“No! Ralph is helping!” The android stomped his foot against the ground. “Ralph needs to help!”

Connor reached his hands out in a placating motion, “Ralph, you need to calm down. Yelling? It's only going to draw attention to us faster.” They were about to have the wrath of the DPD on them for having killed an officer, they didn't need to deal with passerby's to boot.

The DPD had already started to get on their trail, to start to link things together. There had been bits and pieces on the news about the previous victims Ralph had killed, the DPD had even included the man Connor had killed the night Markus had won androids rights. They'd dubbed the killer the 'eraser' with the way he cleaned up every crime scene leaving no evidence what so ever. Connor supposed if it came down to it, he would be able to take the blame of the murders, as they were basing their calling card off of him and not necessarily the way the victims had all been killed with a knife. Not that he particularly wanted to be caught, but better him than Ralph... He shook his head and brought his thoughts back to the here and now, not a future that could happen. Right now they'd gone and killed one of the DPD's own. Now they'd gone and made this personal, not just some random individuals in the city.

Now they'd gone and made life that much harder for themselves.

But why had the officer attacked Jerry? What had happened that made her decide an altercation with the two seemingly harmless androids was the best course of action? Had she truly been provoked? He found it hard the believe Jerry would allow Ralph to provoke anyone on the streets... and Ralph had been getting better about interacting with others in society. No... no he couldn't believe that they'd provoke the officer into a fight. Maybe with time they could prove that the officer had been the one to attack, and Ralph was only acting out in self defense. This death wasn't as... violent as the first one. Ralph had seemingly only stabbed her once through the heart. Maybe... maybe he could see what evidence there was around them to prove Ralph innocent...

Jerry of course first came to mind. The evidence was plain on his face, Thirium still leaking through his fingers. Maybe they could claim self defense that way... for that's what it had been... but Connor was still wary that their new classification as alive wouldn't help them much when it came to killing an officer. No doubt Ralph's visual evidence would be as glitchy as the android himself could be, and Jerry... Jerry might be a little better, but there was no telling what damage the new gashes on his cheek would cause inside him. The camera's around might have something though.

He looked around where they were standing and saw nothing that was pointing at their specific location. Wasn't that typical. He wondered how far out the next camera was and so walked out a ways and saw a camera pointing in the general direction of where they would have disappeared into the alley... 'Where did she start to attack you?' He asked quietly through their mind links he'd set up several months ago now.

'She started to yell at us on the street.' Jerry replied, coming up slightly behind Connor. 'We tried to get away from her, I promise. If we'd been faster we could have darted through this alley to get to the one that leads by the bar. We were trying to get to Tess.'

“I know Jerry. Calm down.” He said out loud, making sure his voice was calm. But that only hurt their evidence even more. It meant that the only visual evidence would have been the officer following them into the alley then her never coming back out... That wouldn't help their cause. “Do you know if anyone saw what happened?” Jerry shook his head. Well... that could be a blessing or a curse depending on what they decided to do.

He sighed and walked back to the corpse. “Alright we need to clean the area. There's no way we can prove without a doubt that you did this in self defense.”

“But Ralph did!”

“I know that Ralph!” Connor took a breath and let it out slowly. Not even alive a year and he was already tired of it. How many more of these crime scenes was he going to have to clean up to protect Ralph? Was something wrong with the android? And if there was, where would he even go to get him fixed? The word Jericho popped into his mind and he winced at the thought. The memory replaying from the time Markus shot him... the time he felt Markus trying to probe his mind... But if it meant getting Ralph examined... it might be a trip worth it.

“Fifty-four?”

Connor blinked and looked at the two of them again. “Apologies.” He looked back to the woman. “We need to clean this up. Leave no evidence that any of us were here.”

“What about the video feed-”

“I'll take care of that. But first I take care of this here.” He looked to Jerry with an almost apologetic look on his face. Almost. “Jerry, I'm sorry but you can't help. Not with you bleeding Thirium all over the place.” He then glanced to Ralph. “And Ralph I need you to take Jerry to get patched up. The place over off Main should fix him, no questions asked. Just tell them you're friends of Connor.”

“But we're not-”

“That's how they know me.” Connor snapped, his tone showing his agitation. “Now I need you to take Jerry there otherwise we're all going to be in trouble.” Ralph looked worried. That was the plain simple truth. “Ralph, Jerry needs you to do this for him. Otherwise the police could find him because of all the Thirium he's leaking out. And if he leaks out too much he'll shutdown.”

Ralph's eyes widened and he grabbed Jerry's free hand. “Ralph will take him there right now!”

“Good. I believe you can do this.” He looked to Jerry. “You know where I'm talking about?” The android nodded his head. “Alright, make sure Ralph doesn't pass it. And the both of you try not to get seen by anyone between here and there. Got it?” They both nodded, then headed down the alley way, no doubt taking a maze of the alleys to get to Main street.

“Now... to clean up this mess.” Connor sighed and got to work, the action now almost muscle memory he felt. This really was a problem that needed to be taken care of... But did Markus still not trust him? Would he shoot him again, first chance he got? He just didn't know if Jericho would help once they found out the androids were connected to him... And a part of him was worried he'd go into that place and never come back out. He seemed to agree with himself as a command popped up in his vision-

[Don't go to Jericho]

Alright... so maybe he wouldn't go to Jericho, but he could send Ralph and Jerry there. Surely they'd help figure out what was wrong with Ralph... Unless they turned him into the Detroit police. He finally shook his head. There were just too many variables that he couldn't account for, or even guess at what the outcome would be. He finished cleaning up the Thirium, making sure to not leave a single drop that could be traced back to the three of them. He was almost done with the camera feeds when he heard screaming in his mind that caused him to wince.

'FIFTY-FOUR!' Was screamed over and over again in his head and he stopped what he was doing immediately and pulled up the location of Ralph and Jerry. 'What? What's wrong!?' He sent back to them. He had their location pulled up and saw they were almost at Main. He could cut across the fields on the roof tops to get there faster, he'd just have to get up to them first. He jumped from the camera pole he'd been erasing and onto the roof behind him, legs scrambling for a foot hold as his arms strained to keep him on the edge of the roof.

All he got back from Jerry was the android screaming his name. What ever it was had the android more terrified then he'd ever felt from him. 'I'm coming!' He sent to him and pulled himself up onto the roof. He darted across it and jumped to the next building, rolling into the fields as he landed, before scrambling back to his feet and racing across the farms. He figured what ever it was, was a big enough threat that he should bring a weapon of some sort, and so he grabbed a hammer and a screw driver as he ran past them on a work bench.

In front of him the door leading out was sliding closed and he cursed under his breath and pushed himself to go faster, having to slide on his side to just slip under the door. He checked the androids locations, thankful he'd had the foresight to place a tracker on both of them, before he took a hard left and jumped to the next building. They should be just on the other side... He could start to make out the sound of someone fighting, and the sound of Jerry and Ralph screaming. He Scowled and gave a final burst of speed from his reserves; he would be fast enough this time.

He almost jumped to the next building when he caught sight of Jerry and Ralph below him, fighting off another, slightly larger android. He cursed under his breath and calculated the best way to jump down onto the androids back. He let out an artificial breath before he took the plunge down between the two buildings. He didn't land as gracefully as he had hoped but he did manage to land onto the larger android, and immediately sunk the screwdriver into the attackers shoulders, getting rewarded with thirium spurting over him. He gave a tug on the screwdriver to attempt another attack with it, only to find it stuck, having caught on something inside. Before he could change tactics and swing his hammer, he was thrown off and slammed into the wall. Error messages flashed across his vision, but he didn't have the time to worry about them as a fist was flying for his head.

“You have assaulted a police officer-” The voice said, almost deadpan.

Connor rolled to one side, popping up between the android and his family and finally got a good look at the attacker. “Richard?” He breathed, and the android paused in his attack as he looked Connor up and down.

“RK800. Finally.” The android straightened and rolled his shoulder. “I am to bring you into Cyberlife to be decommissioned. Please-”

He wasn't able to get another word out though as Connor swung the hammer at the androids head, catching the 900 unit off guard and being rewarded with a sickening crunch. Richard's face was now dripping thirium from the broken face plate, the white of the android skin underneath, swirling on the surface now.

“Fifty-four-”

He couldn't listen to Jerry at the moment though, as Richard wasn't down for the count just yet.

Richard yanked on the screwdriver that had been jammed into his shoulder and ripped it out, leaving a gaping whole that was flashing from inside. “RK800-54 you are to come with me now. Do so before I must take more drastic measures to bring you in.” His voice sounded more robotic then it had a moment ago.

“Not going to happen.” Connor rolled out of the way of the first swing. “How did you find them?”

“I was on the phone with the officer who died at the time of her murder.” Another swing looked as though it was aimed at his shoulder, and Connor tried to dodge, but Richard changed at the last moment and hit Connor square in the knee, jamming the screwdriver into the knee, right up to the handle.

Connor gave a scream and screwed up his face as a wave of pain washed up from his knee, more error codes flashing over his vision. Richard paused in his attack, shock clear on his face, no doubt not having expected Connor to actually feel pain. Connor didn't really care why he had paused though, and pushed through the errors as he took advantage of it.

He swung his hammer again, aiming for the other side of his face, and while Richard moved to try and block the attack, Connor pulled a similar stunt and brought his free hand up and engaged the thirium pump regulator, listening to it click open with a hiss and proceeded to yank it out of the android's chest, more thirium splattering over his hand.

Richard gasped and tried to grab at his chest first, before making for the regulator in Connor's hands, but Connor shoved the android away from him, and backed up, regulator still in hand. “Fifty-four.” Richard's voice cracked and his LED flashed red. “Return-return the regulator.” Richard stumbled and fell back against the wall. “return- return- return...”

“I can't.” Connor said, his own LED spinning red to match the others. “You're a threat-”

“Fifty-four we can't... we can't let him die.” Jerry said softly behind him.

“But he's seen you, know's who you are.”

“Connor...”

Connor turned back to look at Richard, and noticed the LED glitching between red and yellow. He knew what Richard was going through. It was... scary. No doubt the android was seeing error after error pop up in his vision, along with the timer running the last of his life away in the corner...

“Connor... pl-ease.” Richard caught his eyes, and Connor saw fear there. Fear of shutting down. Fear of never waking up again. Fear he'd felt himself before. Against his better judgment Connor crouched down beside him and slipped the regulator back into it's socket.

Richard took a shuddering breath, doubling over as his systems started to reboot. “I'm sorry-” Connor whispered. “I can't have you knowing about us.” He placed his hand against the back of Richard's neck and forcefully connected with the 900 unit and ripped everything he could find of Jerry and Ralph from his memory banks, once again erasing the crime that had been committed.

Before he could do much more though, Richard grabbed Connor's arm and pulled him down onto the ground, twisting the arm up and behind Connor. “RK800 you are under arrest-” The sound of crunching was once again heard and the grip on his arm slackened and soon enough the weight of the 900 unit was on top of Connor and he grunted under it.

“Ralph- Ralph thinks the mean android is sleeping.”

“Very good, Ralph. Very good.” Connor reassured. “Now, please just get him off me.” Between Ralph and Jerry they managed to pull Richard off Connor and he took a breath, thankful to be out from underneath him. He looked down and noted that the LED was still spinning red, though not nearly as bright as it had been. “Fuck.” He sighed and finally pinched the bridge of his nose as he tried to figure out what to do next. How had this gone down hill so quickly?

“Fifty-four?”

“Jerry, I'm sorry. Come along you two, we're getting you help.”

“What about him?”

With the short time it had been the light had faded a little more. Connor shook his head and clicked his tongue. “I'll call the DPD.” He said, more to himself then anyone else. He threw up the necessary firewalls so the call couldn't be traced, then called the police. He used another voice he'd picked up around the city to add another layer of cation. “Hello?” A female's voice came out from his voice box. “I just found an android- he's been beaten! I think- I think he needs help like right now!” He gave the corner of where they were and cut the line before they could tell him to stay there. “Alright you two, come on. They'll be here any minute and we need to be far, far away.”

He motioned for them to go forward and followed behind them, finally noticing the amount of thirium that was on him, and that his knee was still throbbing with every circulation of his thirium pump. He shook his head but focused on following Ralph and Jerry. They couldn't keep up with this, especially since now they knew Cyberlife was looking for him still. Still wanted to bring him in to be decommissioned. It was even more important now that he stay under the radar... maybe even leave Ralph and Jerry. He looked at the two androids in front of him and shook his head slightly. No... no he couldn't leave them. They all still needed each other very much. They still needed one another for more than just pure survival.

Somehow they had all become their own group of outcasts, and even though he'd cleaned them from Richard's database, it was only a matter of time before Cyberlife figured out that they were connected to him again. And they'd use them against him whether or not he was still hanging around them. Better to stay close by and be able to protect them, then to be far away and not be there to help when they needed him.

For better or for worse they were all in this together. He looked at Jerry, knowing the scaring that would forever be on his face now due to the attack. Connor wondered, not for the first time, if the attacks were somehow connected to him as well? Or was that just paranoia? He needed to get himself checked out. He felt as though things were malfunctioning left and right and he wasn't sure how to fix himself. He shook his head and focused on the present situation. Something he seemed to be doing a lot lately. Couldn't be bothered with thinking about tomorrow, today was hard enough to get through. So for right now, the building was in front of them and that was all he needed to know. He Placed a hand in the small of both of his companions backs and led them into the android facility where he and Jerry were going to get patched up. 

That was all he could do for right now. 

Chapter Text

~ Two Months Ago. Tuesday September 6th 9:20 am ~

 

Gavin sighed as he rubbed his eyes and thought about getting another cup of coffee. This was just too fucking much. It wasn't even half past nine and he was already done with the day. He was getting nowhere on the murder case, on any of them. It didn't seem to matter how long he stared at the information, at the evidence there was simply nothing there. All the cases were still open, but no one'd had any luck with them. And so once again, even after being taken off the case, he was now back on the case.

He sighed again as he ran a hand through his hair, pulling at it as he looked at the evidence, or lack there of, in front of him. The victim had been one of their own. Some woman he'd never bothered to get the name of... and now he'd never get the chance. He looked around himself, and wondered just how well he actually knew the people around him. Could he recall any of their names? Had he even tried to get close to any of them? Hell... he knew he wasn't social. The only reason he and Hank had been getting along was because of Connor. The way they'd both been grieving bringing them together... He shook his head and moved his chair closer to the terminal. He had a job to do, no time to get emotional or any of that bullshit.

Besides even Hank had been getting more and more distant from him the last few weeks, slowly reverting back to their old antagonistic ways now that Anderson had another android as his partner. Gavin often wondered if Richard spoke shit about him to Hank, and was slowly turning the man against him again... Though he was pretty sure a therapist would say he was just being paranoid, and it was his own actions that was causing people to distance themselves from him again. Some bullshit about pushing them away and building up walls that no one could climb. All shit he'd heard before.

He blinked and looked at the screen, once again seeing the pictures that had been taken at the crime scene. That was another thing, even though he was allowed to work on the case, he wasn't allowed into the field for the foreseeable future, because it had been found out that he was connected to an android hate gang, and the leader of said gang, Robby the prick, had spilled his guts for a less serious sentence. And although Gavin hadn't seen them since the revolt of the androids, it had still gotten him into big trouble, and so now he had to trust other people to do the leg work, and it was quite frankly aggravating. He would have rather have been suspended then what ever the hell this was. Part of him wondered if this was Fowler's way of punishing him, giving him the case not even Richard could crack.

He tried to look through the evidence again, knowing there had to be something he'd overlooked. It was believed that the officer was tied to a series of murders done by an android or group of androids, and there was absolutely nothing to go off of. As a matter of fact, that was the only thing that connected all the fucking cases together. Every crime scene was pristine. No hair, no finger prints, no blood other than the victims. It was ridiculous. How the hell were they supposed to deal with this new type of murderer? Even Richard had trouble finding anything to help them with the case. That was the thing that made them finally believe that it had to be done by another android. For surely only an android could stump another android. Especially one Cyberlife had boasted was it's last and greatest creation. Some final form of Connor...

He growled and finally got up and stormed into the coffee room, everyone vacating the area as they saw him coming. He hadn't been a ray of sunshine to be around before, but now after Richard had caught Robby, and it had gotten out around the station what kind of after work fun Gavin had gotten up to, people avoided him like the plague.

The coffee finished with a ding and he blinked as he looked at the heavenly black liquid, peacefully sitting in his mug, unaware that it was about to be consumed. Gavin scoffed and shook his head. Fucking hell did he need to get out more. Thinking about coffee like it could actually think about its surroundings. He shook his head again and picked the cup up, doctoring it with cream and sugar before heading back towards his desk. He noticed that Anderson's desk was still empty as was Con- Richards.

Richard, or K9 as he'd taken to 'lovingly' calling him, was interesting in his own way. They had fallen into a more... peaceful relationship with one another after that first meeting. The android was damn fast at his job and had actually gotten him to start thinking that the androids weren't just there to take his job, that maybe there was something more to them. That they could work hand in hand or something like that. Hell, Hank had warmed up to the fucker real fast, especially considering how the last android relationship had ended. At the end of the day though, Gavin didn't really care who Hank got close with. Except for the daily ritual of morning greetings, Gavin and the rk unit didn't interact much with each other. Which seemed to work out fine for both of them.

“Reed you fucking prick!”

Well, at least Anderson was back. Though he sounded like he'd been drinking all night. A smirk pulled at his mouth as he turned to face the lieutenant. “Hey Hank, finally pull yourself away from the booze long enough to come to work?” It was a joke that had started out in spite years ago, but as they'd gotten closer while working as partners, it had become a sort of friendly banter like greeting. So when Hank looked about ready to murder him Gavin was completely confused. “Hank?”

Anderson charged at him, and socked him square in the face. The coffee mug fell from his hand and shattered against the floor as Hank grabbed Gavin by the shirt and slammed him into the nearest desk. “What the fuck Anderson!? You finally crack?” He was fairly certain he hadn't done anything in the last several months that deserved this treatment.

“What'd you do y'fuckin piece of shit!”

“I don't know what the fuck you're talking about!” Gavin yelled back into his face. His heart was racing faster than it had in years, and where Hank had punched him across the face was beginning to throb with every beat of his heart.

“I know you did this! Just couldn't stand t'have him around could you! Finally pushed over some imaginary limit!” Hank threw Gavin to the ground, where the detective tried to scramble to his feet, but not before Hank slammed his foot into his gut causing the man to wheeze as the breath was knocked out of him. “Why'd y'do it?!”

“Lieutenant Anderson!” Fowlers voice echoed across the office. “In my office now!”

Hank wasn't listening though. He was on a mission to beat the shit out of Gavin Reed and he was going to let nothing get in the way of that. Reed knew in that moment, if he didn't get away this could very well be his last day on earth.

“Y'knew how important he isto me!”

“Hank!” He yelled as he scrambled backwards. “What the fuck did I do?!”

“Like you don't fuckin'know y'asshole!” Hank swung his arm at the man again, but this time Gavin was able to dodge underneath it and skipped back down an isle.

“Just fucking tell me gramps! I don't know what the fuck I did!” He tried to side step the next punch but tripped on a chair and fell over it, and onto the ground again.

Hank was on him in a moment and was landing punch after punch, screaming about Richard and asking how could he do it. How could he be such a heartless bastard? Gavin brought his arms up to try and protect his head, but that was about all he could do with the position they were in. “Hank!” He tried to scream at the man, but he wasn't there. He could tell Anderson had worked himself up so much that he wasn't even home at the moment.

“Lieutenant Anderson!” Finally Hank was wrestled off of Gavin, who didn't dare move for a moment as Fowler wrestled the man away from the detective. “Hank!”

“Why the fuck's he still here Fowler? Why th'hell isn't he locked away in some fuckin cell t'rot?!”

“Evidence Hank, we need evidence to prove someone guilty.” Fowler said, obviously trying to control his own temper at the moment. “Something I thought a detective would remember.”

“He'll jus'find a way to weasel out of it!”

“Hank you're drunk- go home now.”

“M'fine.”

“The hell you are. Home. Now. We'll call with updates.” Fowler leveled Hank with a glare. “Reed I need to see you in my office.” Fowler said without looking at the man. “Hank if you're not going home, then you need to sit down at your damn desk and try not to beat anyone else up. Do I make myself clear?” Hank glared at Gavin, his hands balled into fists at his side. “I said, do I make myself clear lieutenant?”

“Yes.” He finally said.

“Good.” Fowler turned his steely gaze to Gavin next. “Alright detective come with me please.”

Gavin followed Fowler into the office, closing the door behind them. “What the fuck was that about?”

“Reed shut it. I don't have the time to deal with your drama today.”

“My drama- I'm sorry but did you even fucking see what happened out there just now? What the hell did I do?!”

“I have some questions for you Reed.”

“No- you answer mine first- Why the fuck's Hank pissed at me today?”

“Richard was put into the hospital.”

There was a beat of silence as Gavin took that in. “What?”

“...You didn't know?” Fowler looked genuinely surprised.

“Why the fuck would I know about that?” But as soon as the words were out of his mouth, he knew why the captain had thought that. Hank too probably... They both thought, somehow he had been the one to send Richard to the hospital.

Fowler frowned and motioned for Gavin to sit down, which the detective did with a small groan as the punches were starting to let him know just how much damage had been done. “Last night Hank woke up to the hospital calling him, saying Richard had been... badly damaged. It looked like he'd been attacked by a group of people...” Fowler quirked a brow and leveled Gavin with a stair. “I'm not going to beat around the bush Reed. Did you call you old android buddies to do this?”

“What? Fuck no!” He stood to his feet, his face turning red. “I wouldn't call those fuckers!”

“You did hate the android- made it clear to the entire precinct that you wanted him gone when he first got here.”

“Yeah but that the first day. We've... warmed up some. And I certainly wouldn't fucking send him to the damn hospital! Fuck captain, I'm an asshole but I have limits-”

“So you've recently developed a heart? Because last I checked you were okay with burning androids in the streets according to Robby.”

Gavin gritted his teeth, and his hands clenched into fists. “I haven't seen that ass for months, not since the riots. He doesn't know shit.” Gavin tapped Fowler's desk. “I didn't fucking do this. Hank will believe me when he calms the fuck down. You can check every phone I own or have access to. This wasn't on me Fowler.”

“I just may do that.” Fowler leveled Gavin with a stare, which the detective returned with a glare. “Now get out of here, and don't antagonize Hank. Maybe go get patched up. I'll see what I can do about Anderson's temper today.”

Gavin sighed but stood up and left the office, only pausing a moment on the small landing outside the door. He let out a breath and ran his tongue along the inside of his teeth as he tried to straighten his thoughts out. He glanced around and saw everyone looking at him, he could almost hear them whispering about what had happened. Could hear they thought he'd done this too. Called in the gang members that hadn't been caught yet, to get revenge on the android that had caught Robby.

He walked back to his desk, and settled back into his chair with a groan. He tried to focus back on his terminal, but could hear Hank and Fowler screaming at each other from behind the glass. He could feel the eyes of his coworkers flicking between him and the office, wondering if he'd really finally lost it and sent Richard to the hospital. He ran a hand through his hair, tugging at the strands as he tried to keep from blowing a gasket. What if this was his fault? Had he done anything that would have lead to the android getting hurt? Sure he didn't like the guy. He looked too much like Connor... but that was also the reason he wouldn't have hurt him in the first place. He looked too much like Connor... He growled and pushed away from his desk and slipped his jacket on, zipping it up as he headed outside.

He walked around to the side of the building and lit up a cigarette taking a deep lungful, letting the smoke sit inside his lungs, enjoying the sting it always made him feel. Because that was the only thing that made him feel wasn't it? Nothing else in the world actually made him feel anything but anger. And even that was empty and shallow. What was he doing with his life? How had it become this? He let the smoke out and watched as it drifted lazily up into the night sky. His body was aching and he was pretty sure he looked like shit. He took another drag with a shake of his head. Then again what else was new. He was fairly certain he always looked like shit now. There may have been a time when he didn't look like it... but fuck if he knew when that had been.

He finished his cigarette and stomped it into the dirt, before he pulled another out and lit it up too. He was hoping Hank would leave while he was taking a smoke break. He was hoping some answer would fall from the sky to all his problems too. He listened intently to the front of the building, really hoping that he would be able to pick out if Hank left it. He didn't want to see him again. It was an anger he never wanted to see again in his life if he was being honest. Fuck... Richard was in the hospital. If that android wasn't able to be repaired... This may be the thing that finally gets Hank to off himself. He'd attached himself to the new android, clearly seeing him as a replacement for Connor. He finished the second cigarette, and smashed it into the ground as well. Out on the street he could hear people passing by, going about with their lives. Unconcerned with the problems of one detective Reed. He huffed out a breath before he finally started back towards the front of the building.

He knew this wasn't really on Hank. With the information of his former gang connections coming to light, and the emotional connection the man had to the android, and the no doubt ungodly amount of alcohol that he'd consumed, it was safe to say Anderson hadn't been in his right mind. He'd just lashed out at the first thing that his hazy mind thought made sense. Once he was leveled headed again they'd be alright again. He stepped back up to his desk with renewed energy, though his body complained with every move he made. He opened his drawer and pulled out his pain meds, and popped a couple of pills before settling back into his chair, ready to work on something, anything really.

He stayed there, eyes straining as he stared at the screen, trying to pick something up from the evidence, but his mind continued to wander to Richard and wondering how he had been sent to the hospital. Finally he gave up and rubbed at his eyes. “Fucking great.”

“What's great- holy shit man. What happened?” Chris's voice cut into his thoughts and he looked up, the expression of annoyance still on his face. “You look like someone beat the shit outta you.”

“Someone did.” Gavin said with a sigh. Chris and Tina. It seemed at times they were the only two other people in the world that actually cared about him to some degree.

“Who?”

“Anderson.”

Chris gave a whistle and quirked an eyebrow. “What did you do man? You're face is gonna be swollen up like a tomato.”

“I didn't fucking do anything.” There was a scoff from a few desks over, but Chris shot them a look.

“Look man, Anderson hate's your guts, but he wouldn't just attack you outta the blue.”

“He did with Perkins.” He pointed out.

“Yeah. But that was just a break of the nose, this is something else entirely.”

“Richard's in the hospital.” Gavin said through a sigh and shook his head as he started to bounce his foot up and down.

“Holy shit. Are there any leads-”

“No. Right now it's believed that I called my buddies to extract some sort of revenge on him, for catching Robby, and thus getting me in trouble.”

There was silence a moment before Chris cleared his throat. “Did you?”

“Fuck Chris- no I didn't. I'm not a heartless bastard you know.”

Chris held up his hands, “Alright alright. Don't go getting pissed off. I can just see why they would think of you first is all. Especially with what all's come up-”

“Yeah okay. Thank you. Everyone here knows about why I'm suspect number one.” He clicked his tongue and went back to what he'd been doing.

“Why're you still here though? You look like hell and should probably go home and ice yourself down.”

“It may look like shit but it's nothing I can't handle.” That's a lie and you know it. Why don't you just admit that your entire body seems to be aching in rhythm with your heart? How it hurts to take in a breath from where you got kicked.

“Mmhmm and I'm the queen of England.”

“I hadn't realized you were going through a change Chris. Congrats.”

Chris whacked Gavin on the back of the head, causing the man to hiss at the shock wave it sent through his body. “I'm serious Gavin. Get yourself home. What all do you need to finish here? File some paper work? Send out for some warrants?”

“I got nothing. Not really. I've been staring at this shit all day and I'm still no further along then I was this morning.”

“Think that means it's time to clear your mind. Change of scenery could do you a world of good.” Chris quirked a brow and Gavin snorted softly before nodding his head.

He gave Chris a pat on the shoulder and stood up, back popping as he stretched slightly. “Thanks man. The real MVP here.” Chris chuckled and shook his head.

“Just take care of yourself. Will you be able to get home okay?”

“Yeah. No worries there.”

“Alright then, see you later bud.” Chris replied and Gavin walked out of the station, meandering towards the parking lot, before he stopped and thought for a moment. What was he going to do? Go home and brood over his life? Think about the unsolvable case? Wonder if Hank would come for round two? He looked up from the sidewalk he'd been glaring at and looked around around him, gaze softening slightly as he looked at the hustle and bustle of the city.

His legs started to walk down the street, not really going anywhere, but at the same time knowing he'd end up somewhere. As he walked he listened to the sounds of the people around him, trying to remind himself that the world was bigger than just him and his problems. That every person around him had a life with their own ups and downs. In a sense it made him feel... better. Just to remind himself that his problems, though they seemed huge and monstrous, were still just a small splatter in his book of life.

He huffed and wandered into a small park. A piece of greenery in the massive cement city of Detroit, and sat down on a bench and just watched the people pass by.

Over by the swings kids were playing, screaming and laughing, while their parents hung around close by reading the latest news magazine. And it wasn't just human kids and parents, there were androids too. He let out another sigh and closed his eyes, leaning his head back. Just listening.

“Come on, we still need to stop by the store.”

“But moooom-”

“No buts, come on.”

A groan from the child could just be heard before the sound of a street cleaner passed by and drowned everything out for a moment.

“-alph thinks you look good. Very good.”

“Well... I certainly look different.”

“This is true, very true. Jerry looks like Ralph now! Only, only better.”

A laugh floated through the air. “Ralph I don't think I could look better than you.”

“Oh no. Jerry is loads better. Loads and loads and l-” The words were cut off, or maybe muffled was the better word, and were followed by that laughter again.

“Come along you two.” Gavin tensed at that voice. “We are trying to make it back home before it gets dark?” Why did Gavin feel as though he knew that voice? As though it were pulling at some far away memory.

“Of course fifty-four. Sorry.”

“Well Ralph is not sorry. Ralph is very happy. Yes very happy indeed.”

Gavin opened his eyes and tried to figure out who he'd been listening to.

“Of course you'd be happy Ralph. But you know fifty-four isn't big on pda.” Gavin turned and saw a group of three androids if he was judging it right, just rounding the corner, two of whom were holding hands.

“That's not true-” There was the voice again. He got to his feet and hopped over the bench trying to follow the small group. “I just want to get home.”

“Why doesn't Fifty-four like pda?”

“It's because he doesn't have a Jerry.”

“He wants a Jerry?” The voices were slowly getting further away, and Gavin tried to pick up the pace, though his body seemed to have stiffened up from his short time on the bench. “Well Ralph is sorry but he can't have Jerry. Jerry is not for fifty-four.”

A sigh, or at least Reed thought the third android sighed damn his height. They'd gotten to a busier part of the street, and people getting off work and pouring onto the sidewalk, blocking his ability to see over heads to locate the small group. At the same time he was slowly losing their conversation above the sound of the crowd around him, only catching bits a pieces it felt like. “- that person you keep watching?”

Gavin tried to push through the crowd as they all started to cross the street, trying to locate the two androids holding hands. “What was his name?”

“Ralph does not remember. Weed?”

“No... no I thought it started with an R?" 

"Are you two really doing this right now?"

"Reese maybe?”

"Jerry you're only encouraging Ralph." 

“No! No Ralph remembers! Gastric!”

“That doesn't make sense Ralph. I think that's a balloon of sorts.”

“Really you two? We're doing-” But that's all Gavin heard before they faded away. He cursed and ran a hand through his hair, as he tried to place the voice. He closed hie eyes, trying to will a face into existence, but all that kept popping up was Connor, and Gavin knew the android was dead. All versions of the android were dead. He huffed and clicked his tongue, feeling more frustrated now then he had before he'd sat down on the bench. “Fuck- I'm losing my mind. Hank rattled something inside my brain. That has to be it. I just... just need some sleep.”

He ran a hand down his face, before stuffing them into his pockets. He was going home, popping a couple more pain meds, and was clocking out for the night. He was obviously losing his mind because there was no way in hell that Connor was alive and roaming the streets of Detroit.

Chapter Text

 

His head felt foggy... and heavy. As if a weight were pushing down on it. He groaned and tried to bring his hand up to rub at his head only to find himself unable to move his arms. He frowned and slowly blinked open his eyes, looking down to find his arms restrained to a chair. “The fuck?” He said under his breath. His thoughts were slow and he shook his head trying to help clear it but only succeeded in making the world around him spin even more. He took a breath and felt as though his chest was constricted, making it hard for him to breath.

“I wouldn't suggest doing that if I were you Gavin.” He froze as he heard Tommy's voice. Where the hell was he? Had Richard handed him over to the gang? Had he been a dirty cop too? “Look up?” Gavin didn't move. “Gavin really, I need you to look up.” Grudgingly he looked up into the face of Tommy who gave him a sickly sweet smile. “There we go.” The young man placed a hand on his face, thumb slipping under his chin to move his head one way then the other. “Yeah... I think it's time.” Tommy stepped away and towards a little table.

“What's time?” Gavin asked, throat protesting to the sudden use. He tried to clear it but only ended up making himself cough.

“Oh, you know it was thought that might be a side effect.” Tommy said as he turned around with a syringe filled with a red liquid in it. “Throat feeling a little dry? I could get you something to drink?” The young man walked over and Gavin tried to back away from him as he brought the syringe up to his neck.

Tommy easily pushed his head to the side though to expose his neck, and jabbed the needle into a vein. Gavin could feel the liquid being injected into his blood stream, and it made him want to scream, fearing what they were doing. He hissed at the sensation it caused him but slowly started to relax with every passing second. “What... what was that?” He asked, finding talking was even harder than the last time.

“It's a new form of ice we've been cooking up.” Tommy set the needle down and crouched back down in front of Gavin. “I'd offer a drink but I have a feeling it would just end up all over your shirt rather than down the back of your throat.”

“What's...” He closed his eyes trying to force his mind to think properly.

“It's alright Gavin. Take your time.” Tommy almost sounded sincere.

He scowled and opened his eyes back up to glare at Tommy. “Why?” He finally managed to get out.

Tommy shrugged. “Honestly I don't know. I figured the boss would just want you dead with all the trouble you've caused him. Freeing the one android he's been hunting down this entire time.” Tommy clicked his tongue with a shake of his head. “But the boss has decided he wants to do something with you.”

“Do...”

“Yeah. He has plans for you Gavin. Though I'm not sure you're going to enjoy any of them.” Tommy pulled his phone out and looked down at it and sighed. “You know I can have fun with an android any time of day. I can mess them up all day every day and get the biggest high of my life from it. Humans though...” Gavin frowned. “Humans are one thing I can't do. Something about seeing the red... or maybe hearing the screams.” He gave a halfhearted laugh. “Makes you wonder why I would even bother joining a gang then. You've gotta get your hand dirty eventually in one of those right?” Tommy shook his head and slipped his phone back into his pocket. “I'm sorry that it came to this. I really thought you'd be cool man.”

Gavin rolled his eyes then jumped a little as a door opened behind him. “How is he?” Jack. Of fucking course Jack would be here. He felt a hand ruffle his hair, making his head swim at the action. “Our newest guest having fun with the ice?”

“He's out of it. He can barely talk.” Tommy said, sounding almost bored now.

“Great. Did you give him another dose?”

“Yeah? Boss said to keep him doped up on it until he came back.”

There was the sound of a slap and Jack huffed. “Idiot- we needed to ask him about the phone!”

“Yo!” The sound of Jack grunting had Gavin trying to focus on the two of them. Looked like Tommy had kicked him in the back of the knee. “Don't go slapping me.” He crossed his arms and leaned against the table as Jack picked himself back up off the ground. “You can ask him. He probably can understand you. Mostly. He takes to the shit real fast.”

Jack was suddenly in front of him and waving a piece of paper in front of his face with a number and a word beside it. “Recognize this?”

Gavin frowned but nodded his head. “S'number.”

“Yeah, that's right. A number off your phone. A conversation with someone named Con. Who's that?”

“My current con.” That earned him a slap to the back of his head.

“Ass. I know what it says, who is it?”

“Dunno- your mom?”

“Really? That's where you wanna take this fucker?”

“Jack...” Tommy warned. “He's high as fuck right now.”

Gavin really was. His head felt heavy and he was about ready to crash right then and there.

“There's high, then there's being a ass.” Jack glared at Gavin again and brought the paper back into his view. “Who's the damn number Reed.” He growled out.

The detective frowned and focused on the number, eyes squinting as he tried to make out what was being waved in front of him. His vision was going fast, and his mind even faster. He wasn't sure what was new about this batch of ice, but it sure worked a hell of a lot stronger than the normal stuff. He barely registered the slap to his face that Jack gave him for not answering.

“Jack-” Tommy snapped, “you're not gonna get anything out of him. Look at him, man's out of it. Like I said, he takes to the stuff like no one I've ever seen.” Jack's figure disappeared from his view and Gavin let his head fall back against the chair and stared up at the ceiling. “Can't the boss just trace it?”

“No- there are a couple of numbers in here that the boss can't trace back. He has an idea of who it is, but he's not certain.”

“Numbers he can't trace? Who the hell's alive that can do that?”

“Dunno, but like I said he has an idea and he's gone to pay the person a visit.”

“Will he need back up?”

“Nah, he's gone there officially. We'd blow the whole thing were we to show up.”

“But- aren't you police too?”

“Yeah, but I'm a different precinct. It'd be looking weird were I to show up with him. Sides, he's got it. Out of everyone who I could worry about, he's not one of them. If I didn't know better, I'd think the man an android.”

“True that.” There was a lull in the conversation, and Gavin wondered if they'd left without him realizing it, but Tommy's voice speaking up again blew that though from his mind. “So what're we supposed to do with him?”

“Let the ice wear off, then don't give him any more until I've had a chance to talk with him. He's got some explaining to do.”

“Alright, sounds good. He's not going any where anytime soon, so let's get a bite to eat, yeah?” Then Gavin heard the sound of foot steps fading away before silence took over. He waited a moment longer until he was certain that he was alone, then started to try and wiggle his hands free. He attempted to pull them towards his chest in a fast motion, but unsurprisingly they didn't budge. They was too much tape to break through, and the more he tried to move the more he realized just how secure he was tapped to the chair. Wrists and ankles were a no go, and he finally realized the tight sensation he'd been feeling in his chest was not something wrong with him, but more tape. He groaned but worked on getting his ankles free. If he could get those free he could walk himself... somewhere. Anywhere that might get him a sharp object to start cutting the rest of the tape away. The only problem was, he hadn't been faking how much the drugs had been effecting him, his mind foggy as all get out, and his vision was swimming every way known to man.

“Come on Reed.” He muttered under his breath. He felt a little more movement with his ankles then he had with his wrists and took that as a good sign. He closed his eyes and took a breath before trying a similar trick that he'd tried with his arms with his legs and felt it almost budge. “Fucking ice...” He could feel his limbs getting heavier by the second. “Come on you fucker-” He took a another breath and on the exhale did it again and this time felt his leg break free of the tape around his ankles. “Ha!” he said and quickly did the next leg, stretching them both slightly as they broke free of the tape. “Alright- now to find something sharp.” He thrust himself froward and onto his feet and wobbled a moment as his legs didn't exactly want to work.

In fact his entire body was starting to feel something like jello, and he knew if he didn't act fast, Tommy and Jack would find him on the ground with the chair still attached to his knocked out self. He needed to find something sharp, and he needed to find it fast. He started to look around the room as he teetered this way and that, hunched over trying to keep his balance. "Come on, come on, come on." He muttered to himself as he made his way to a work bench. "Yes!" He said in triumph as he found what he was looking for. With some work he managed to grab the knife with his fingers and then started the process of cutting himself free. If he could get one hand free he'd be in the clear. It was not pretty, and he was fairly certain he'd get a couple scars with how some of the knife slips had caught him. But eventually he got his hand free and was quickly out of the tape and up, stumbling around. He held his cut hand against him, so as not to drip blood every where and leave a trail for them to follow, and also held onto the knife so he'd have some way to defend himself should he run into someone. 

He clicked his tongue softly as he tried to figure out a way out of there that didn't involve the door the others had gone through, when he heard the shuffle of feet coming his direction. He cursed under his breath and quickly slipped under the first thing he could find, praying it would be enough to cover him. He'd just finished settling in when there was a gasp in the room and Jack cussing. "I thought he was out of it?!" He screamed. 

"I thought he was!" 

"Then were the hell is he Tommy?!" 

"Do I look like i fucking know?!" Tommy yelled back. 

Gavin closed his eyes and tried to focus on keeping his breathing soft. 'Come on... come on... leave already...' he thought to himself as he heard Tommy and Jack yelling back and forth at each other. They seemed to be tearing the room apart, and with every passing second he could feel himself start to slip into sleep, and eventually his mind couldn't fight it off any longer. While waiting for Tommy and Jack to leave he passed out again and was sleeping like a baby, blissfully unaware as his light snores alerted the other two to his location. He didn't feel a thing as the yanked him out from under the work bench, or as he was picked up and moved to another room. It was something that he'd curse himself for when he woke up. 

 

...

 

“Ah- Richard, that is what they call you now isn't it RK- 900?” Kamski was leaning against the door frame in his house robe as he looked Richard up and down with a quirked eyebrow.

“Yes Mr. Kamski, I am Detective Richard-”

“Oh? I hadn't realized androids could already become the rank of detective. You certainly are moving up in the world fast aren't you?”

“Please Mr. Kamski, I have a question for you.”

“I'm sure you do. I am after all the individual who created you.”

“Well... you created the android known as Markus, which was the tech I was designed from. But You yourself I do not believe had any hand in my creation.”

“What ever you need to tell youself.” Kamski gave a grin before he took a breath and sighed. “Now what can I do for you at this hour? I don't think I've even had my breakfast yet.”

“I have found a phone while on the job- and there were a few numbers that had me puzzled.”

“Oh?” Kamski was intrigued now. “What has you puzzled about them?”

“I cannot trace them back.”

“That sounds like a job for the DPD not me.”

“I have a theory they won't be able to trace it back either. Or indeed find any information on the number.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Because the theory I have is that it is your tech that's being used to hide the number's user.”

“What makes you think I have tech like that?”

“Educated guess. Or wishful thinking, if that would make your human side more comfortable.”

“Alright, say I have this tech that would keep CyberLife's best android to date from being able to trace it, what do you want me to do about you problem?”

“Trace the number.”

“And why should I do that?”

“Because I believe the number belongs to an individual I need to locate.”

“Never would have guessed that.” Kamski said with a roll of his eyes. “Look if you can't tell me a little more then that I'm afraid I can't help you.”

“Can't or won't?”

“Won't, can't, in the end it's the same answer. You're going to have to find a way to trace the number yourself.”

The LED on the androids temple spun yellow a moment, before clicking back to blue. “I didn't want to have to worry you, but since you leave little choice, I fear there is nothing for it. Your brothers life is on the line.”

Kamski stopped and frowned. “What are you-”

“Gavin Reed has disappeared. It is his phone that I have that has the untraceable number. I was taking him home last night after finding him at a warehouse of all places. He was acting strange... but when I tried to ask him about it, he shrugged me off. Said it was nothing, just boredom from not going to work. I dropped him off at home, but no sooner had he gone inside then I heard gun shots. I went in as fast as I could but was too late. There was evidence that there had been a struggle, but I fear the gang he'd been trying to infiltrate has gotten him. And I only have his phone with an untraceable number as my guide to finding him. Please Kamski- help me find Detective Reed before it is too late.”

“And you can't text the number because they have Gavin... and will know you're someone else...”

“Precisely. So will you help me trace the number?”

“Is this officially or unofficially?”

“Which ever makes you comfortable.”

Kamski sighed before stretching out his hand. “Give me the phone.” He said and Kamski would have sworn he saw a smirk on the androids face, but as quickly as he'd seen it, it was gone and Gavin's phone was placed into his hand. “Now let's see-” He pulled up the conversation with con, and started to read the texts, a frown appearing on his face. This looked like... this looked like the conversation between his brother and his newly acquired android partner... His eyes flicked up to Richard before looking back down to the phone. “I'm afraid this will take some time- I have to connect this to several devices then I have to basically hack myself. I'm not known for back doors, I like to keep things nice and tight.” He said as he clicked the phone off.

“I do not need to remind you that time-”

“Don't you go telling me that time is important.” Kamski hissed, allowing frustration to show on his face. “This is my brother we're talking of. Sadly no one can rush a program and get the same results. Give me your number and I'll call as soon as I've cracked it.”

Richard seemed to be thinking about it before he nodded his head and reached out, skin pulling back along his hand. Kamski handed over his phone and watched as Richard's number appeared on the screen. “Thank you Kamski. Let me know as soon as possible.”

Kamski nodded his head and watched as the android left before he closed the door and let out a sigh. “Alright Connor... what are your thoughts?”

Connor let out an artificial breath as he looked to Kamski from where he'd been standing behind the door. “I have little doubt in my mind that Richard has taken Gavin.”

“Because you don't like him?” Connor's LED flickered red before returning to the ever present yellow. “Sadly you can't base it solely off of that. I agree the android certainly is a piece of work, but that's not enough to go saying he's taken Gavin. After all his story sounds-”

“Fictional Kamski.” Connor said with a look. “He asked you to trace my number- he's trying to take me back to CyberLife.”

“Perhaps, but we don't have proof to back that up. If we believe him to be in the wrong here, we must have evidence. I know it's been a while since you've been used for your intended purpose Connor, but I would have hoped your software would have held up better than that.”

“My software is fine.” He snapped a little too defensively.

“You know, I don't think it is.” Kamski wanted to get to the bottom of this little puzzle, and was about to push all the buttons he knew how to push with the android. “In fact I think there's something fundamentally wrong with it. I think that were you to really be tested, that we would find you haven't deviated in the slightest. Maybe I should have you attempt to shoot Chloe again and see what happens.”

Kamski quirked a brow and Connor's LED swirled red. “I-” Connor seemed stuck as his face twitched, eyes blinking rapidly his LED keeping pace with them. “I am-” Kamski crossed his arms and watched as the android seemed to be hitting a brick wall with his comunication skills. “I- I- I-” Connor's entire body started to twitch. “My programming is fine- is fine. I have... I have-” His LED then blinked off suddenly and he froze in place a moment, before tumbling to the ground in a heap.

Kamski's eyes widened, not having expected that to have happened. “Chloe!” He yelled as he dropped beside the android, hands going for his Thirium pump regulator to feel if the android had overheated.

“Yes Eli- Connor?” Chloe was beside them both and and pushing Kamski out of the way, her skin peeling back and connecting with Connor's. “Kamski- Elijah I can't connect with him-”

“What is going on?”

“Not right now Ralph.”

“What is wrong with Fifty-four?” Ralph asked.

“Not now Ralph!” Kamski snapped as he tried to pick up Connor.

“No- yes Ralph!” The android stomped his foot. “Move. Don't tell Ralph what to do!” Ralph then pushed both of them out of the way. “Now let's see if Raph remembers... Jerry normally does this-”

“He's done this before?” Kamski asked, clearly confused.

“Yes- yes fifty-four has done this several times before.” Ralph said. “Normally starts to stutter, then freezes then falls down.” He unbuttoned Connor's shirt before clicking open his chest cavity with clumsy movements. “Jerry normally does this. But Ralph knows what to do... at least Ralph thinks Ralph does.” Kamski watched as Ralph's own skin peeled back along his hand and he reached up and into Connor's body, seeming to head for the neck.

“Why not connect to the port on the back of his neck?”

“Jerry couldn't get it open.” Ralph said as though Kamski was stupid. “Ah-ha!” Connor's LED flickered several times, cycling through red, yellow, blue, and then settled back on yellow as the thirium started to pump around his system again, and the bio components started to glow once more. Ralph extracted his hand as Connor's eyes opened and he looked at the three faces above him.

“Ralph-”

“Fifty-four did it again. But Ralph was here, and was able to take care of it!”

Connor grimaced and brought his hand up and closed his chest plate back and sat up. “Thank you Ralph.”

“Of course.” Ralph was practically beaming. “Jerry will be so proud of Ralph.”

“Yes he will be-”

“Alright Connor, want to tell me what just happened?” Kamski asked, eyebrow quirked.

Connor sighed before he nodded his head. “It has to do... with my deviating.” He said lowly. “I still- I still get commands that pop up in my vision, I am not sure if they're my own commands, or some how commands from Amanda-”

“Can't be- she was shut down with the rest of CyberLife.”

Connor hesitated but then carried on. “Then... they have to be coming from myself... but they're not always commands I would agree with, or not entirely agree with. I still... I still get red walls.” He faded away as if ashamed of the fact. “And when I try to go against the red walls- what you witnessed just now, is what happens every time I try to push against the red wall.”

“Connor-”

“I do not understand it. I had truly hoped it was Amanda still inside me, trying to take over again- that's why I'm always running programs to keep me off the grid- but if it's just myself...” The LED started to flicker red again and Kamski quickly put a hand on Connor's shoulder, which only made the LED spark and the android flinch away.

“Sorry-” he pulled his hand back. “But maybe you're right- maybe Amanda is still running in the back ground inside of you some where. I can check it out if you'd like?”

Connor shook his head- “Not right now. We have more pressing matters to see to.”

“Connor if you get a red wall while we're trying to save my brother and you clonk out on us-”

“It won't happen. This last time happened because I was not smart about it.”

“Smart about it?”

“Loop holes Kamski. Back doors. You should know all about those despite what you told Richard.”

Kamski grinned and shrugged. “Alright, but once this is all said and done, we're going to check you out.”

“Very well.” Connor inclined his head. “Now, let's see if Gavin kept any of the gangs numbers in his phone and figure out where the good detective is.”

No sooner had the words left his mouth though, then the phone in question buzzed.

Tommy: I know you have his phone

Tommy: If you want to see him again, come back to the warehouse.

Tommy: You know the one. Where we were having so much fun RK-800

Tommy: If you don't show up soon, I'll just have to have fun with him instead

“Shit.” Connor said as he looked at the photo they'd sent of Detective Reed.

“Guess that answers our question about Richard lying...”

“It certainly does." Connor couldn't tear his eyes away from the photo. "None of them knew what model I was.”