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one step forward (two steps back)

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"So, you gonna kill me? You'd be doing me a favor," Hank says dryly. It's not as authentic as it might have been a year and a half ago, when all he had left was Sumo and the monotony of each passing day. Before Connor walked straight-laced and objective-obsessed into his life and refused to leave. "Are we doing this fast or slow? Because you really can't beat the slow and painful way I've been killing myself."

His abductor doesn't reply. He hasn't spoken even once through the whole process. The gun to the back of Hank's head when he got in the car after a run to the supermarket. The lilt of a phone GPS directing Hank in lieu of the perpetrator's voice. The shackling to a gurney on the top floor of an abandoned warehouse.

All in a day's work, Hank supposes.

After a bit of shuffling, the criminal pulls an empty plastic Coke bottle from his backpack. And yeah, maybe the legal system disapproves of calling someone a criminal before their trial, but Hank is fairly certain he's seen enough to make the call for them.

There's a pop and hiss of different glass vials, each carefully measured and added into the soda bottle.

"Shake and bake, eh?" Hank continues. "I'd be careful if I were you. A little mismeasurement and this'll literally blow up in your face."

The other man starts rapidly shaking the chemical Coke, and Hank uses the sound to cover his attempt at testing his handcuffs. They must be high quality, because they don't even creak. Even the slats of the gurney refuse to budge.

"You lock the wheels on this thing, or am I about to get the ride of a lifetime?"

Still nothing.

Hank wishes he could reach to scratch his nose. He wishes he was dressed in more than sweats and his DPD sweatshirt. He wishes this place had indoor heating.

The mixture in the bottle starts turning a familiar red color, and suddenly Hank's good humor vanishes. This isn't a meth bust, this is red ice, and no matter how much time passes, he'll never find amusement here.

"Hey," he snaps, mouth suddenly dry. "I'm talking to you."

He wonders how long it will be until Connor notices his absence. He's expected at work in the morning. Connor will realize then. How long will he take to figure out what happened? How will he know where to find Hank? The questions start coming faster, forcing him to regulate his breathing and try to clear his mind. Despite everything, he has trained for this. He knows what's about to go down, and it's odd to realize that he's actually concerned about the outcome.

Connor will find him. Connor never gives up.

The other man carefully distills the red ice with a precision that speaks of moderate practice. His hands are shaking just a little, like he's got something to be nervous about here too. Hank resents him for that.

The red ice is sprinkled in the Coke cap, and his abductor starts using a boxcutter to chop and grind it down. Then he finally speaks.

"I prepared a speech."

Hank wonders if this is just a particularly fucked up bachelor party.

"I wrote it in my head, for ten years, and then I wrote it all down so I couldn't forget any of it."

Hank's eyes narrow. He's both debating the strength of the gurney's bolts and the meaning behind ten years. His gut says "prison sentence," and judging by what the guy's currently doing? Drug bust. "You part of the ring then?" he asks casually.

The man's hands shake a little more. "Depends."

"Depends on what? Your mood? The time of day? Are you only complicit when Mercury is in retrograde or on Canadian bank holidays?"

The man's voice sounds particularly pissed off. "Depends on if you mean in reality or what the court decided."

Hank doesn't answer. He waits for more, and "more" comes in the form of the man pulling a sheet of printer paper from his back pocket. It's covered in typeface, though it's far too small for Hank to read from here. This guy really typed something up, huh? Figures. Maybe he and Connor will hit it off. Whenever the android arrives.

"I prepared a speech," the man says again. There's a decent chance that's the first sentence on his page. He stares at the carefully written words. He stares.

Hank racks his brain for a way to deescalate the situation. He looks for a way to escape.

"I prepared a speech, but now that I'm rereading it, it's shit." He balls the paper up and shoves it into his pocket. "I was a mule. And unwitting mule. Not part of whatever fucking red ice ring you said I was. I had a job. I had a wife and kids, and you stole that from me." His hands are shaking wildly now. "Threw an innocent man away and stole my life from me." He splashes water into the cap and starts prepping a syringe. "And now I'm going to take everything away from you."

I beat you to that, Hank thinks. Then he lounges back on the gurney and huffs out a heavy sigh. "So, doc, what's your diagnosis?"



Hank is frequently late. Not "got held up in traffic for 10 minutes" late, but "I woke up 2 hours after I was supposed to arrive" late. Few things frustrate Connor more than tardiness. The only thing worse is when there's something he doesn't understand, and right now, his two pet peeves overlap.

Hank should have arrived by now. He knows today is the celebration of Connor's first full year as an actual employee at the station, and he'd promised to be on time as a "congratulatory gift." Yet now the clock hits twenty minutes past. Late. Again.

Connor meticulously adjusts each of his cuffs. He straightens his tie.

Then he rings Hank's phone. The connection warbles in his head, over and over until he's kicked to Hank's "Did it beep? I didn't hear it beep. This is Hank; leave a message," answering machine. Even more unusual. Typically Connor gets a sleep-gruff and tetchy reply by the fifth ring.

Maybe Hank is in the car? It would be irresponsible and illegal to answer while a human operator is behind the wheel.

Curious, Connor tracks the GPS location of Hank's phone and is startled to find it on the other side of the city, in the condemned industrial sector that's soon to be repurposed as android apartments. What is Hank doing there? And so early in the morning?

A readout on Connor's HUD warns him that the phone battery is at 1%. This is triply concerning.

Recent privacy laws have banned certain android abilities without permission or warrant, but Connor likes to think that he and Hank are close enough for this to be a negligible violation. He accesses the phone's camera and microphone, frowning at the empty black visual he gets. Face down. Or in a pocket. But the audio yields results.

Hank is panting rather loudly, as if he's taken up running marathons in abandoned parts of Detroit before 8:30 a.m. He swears under his breath, deep and throaty, and Connor raises the volume.

"Where in the... hell is that, stupid, fucking android..." Hank curses, and Connor's eyebrows shoot up. "The fuck is taking him... so... so fucking long—" The strain of using the microphone kills the battery, and the feed is lost.

Perhaps this has all been a ruse? Hank's promise of punctuality as a present might have been a deliberate red herring to encourage Connor to check on him. Hank might have a real gift waiting in secret.

The concept of Occam's Razor informs Connor that the simplest possibility is typically correct, but the logic hits a barrier somewhere around in his CPU. He's projecting. Maybe.

Deviancy has given him many positives, but the negatives are far from few. The chance of Hank waiting in isolated secrecy to give Connor a special type of present is incredibly low. But it's still there.

After all, statistically speaking, there's always a chance for unlikely events to take place.

He'd be lying if he said it wasn't a constant in his mind. It's not like Connor feels particularly good about his Hank-related fantasies, it's just that he's learning what he likes and dislikes, and the Lieutenant is definitely in the former category.

It's probably nothing.

But if Hank did want to get Connor alone on his first anniversary of employment, this would be the perfect tactic. Connor is pretty sure they've been dancing around one another for months. He's far from oblivious of the way Hank treats him versus others. The lingering touches. The loaded glances.

Connor peers around his terminal and inside Captain Fowler's office, where a table covered in Thirium pouches, a pile of cards, and a couple small packages sits. The celebration won't be until later anyway. He'll just go... check on his partner.

Connor stands up slowly, irrationally certain the entire bullpen can see his current objective glowing by his head. No one turns to look at him, and he walks at a carefully calculated pace to leave the department as quickly as possible without attracting attention.

He nods politely to the receptionists and calls for an autonomous cab. Destination? Last known coordinates of Hank's cell phone.

The ride seems like it lasts unnaturally long, giving Connor far too much time to preconstruct increasingly impossible scenarios. Hank confessing his feelings. Hank kissing him, soft, and directly on the lips. Hank gripping the nanofibers of his hair and tilting his head back. The scratch of a beard on Connor's exposed neck. Large hands loosening his tie and manhandling his hips.

The cab honks once, as if annoyed that Connor has gotten so incredibly distracted. He's arrived.

Connor aggressively quarantines any further projections and clears his mind and expression. Perfectly neutral. He practices his surprised look. Oh, Hank! For me? I had no idea! Then he walks toward the corrugated warehouse door, noting the lack of a security latch. The building has "come on in" practically written all over it.

The metal grate creaks loudly when Connor hefts it. It lets a shaft of light beam across the dusty floor.

"Hank?" He ducks under the grate and steps inside. "Hank? It's me, Connor." He scans the interior, searching for heat signatures. He find birds, small nesting swallows tucked into nooks and crannies of the concrete and steel infrastructure. One trills a melodic chirp and interferes with his audio input. The frequency waves peak and spike, forcing him to draw inconclusive data. A second analysis locates a second floor in the warehouse. It appears perfectly stable and in acceptable condition, despite the building being condemned.

Connor pulls up the floor plans from City Hall's database and turns for the staircase, blinking rapidly. He does some research as he walks and finds the building was condemned for the same reason as the rest of the industrial block. Stream-lined machinery and android labor was eliminating the need for enormous manufacturing plants, and with real estate in Detroit at a premium, there are very few possibilities for placing android housing for the newly freed bots.

He flips through zoning policies and the loopholes utilized to approve land use for what was essentially housing development, using the remainder of his CPU to continue scanning the premises.

"Hank?" he calls again, and this time, just as he steps fully onto the second floor, he hears the reply.

"Connor?" It's deep and scratchy, and the idea of a torrid affair drops off the list of possibilities. Hank is in obvious distress, and Connor berates himself for ignoring the chance of harm. He locks onto Hank's heat signature, several degrees above his typical baseline, and sprints toward the other side of the space. He vaults slabs of concrete and abandoned machinery, scattered by looters, darting around tattered curtain racks and half-shredded room dividers that still sit arranged like cubicles.

When he finally skids into view of Hank, his right hand is pressed to the small of his back, ready to unholster his gun at the first sight of danger. There is none.

Hank is alone, shackled to a gurney. His body is showing signs of physiological distress and exertion. Connor's HUD recommends a toxicology report.

"Jesus christ..." Hank huffs. "He's not here. Fucking hell..." He shakes his head hard, sweat droplets flying from his damp hair. Connor tracks them with far too much intensity.

"I'm right here, Lieutenant," he says cautiously.

"Shut up. Shut up, " Hank grits out. He tilts his head back now, jaw clenched, teeth bared, and eyes squeezed shut.

"Lieutenant..." Connor steps quietly over. "Hank. Hank, something is wrong. I'm going to help you out of these handcuffs, and then—" The moment his fingertips brush Hank's wrists the gurney jerks violently.

"Stop!" There's clarity in Hank's eyes, no matter how briefly, and Connor can watch his pupils dilate and contract in real time. "You're here..." The wonderment in Hank's tone touches something deep in Connor's wiring. "You're actually… shit..." He seems to draw a sudden conclusion. "Connor. Go! Get out of here!"

Connor knows his LED is rotating red. "I can't leave you here. I'll call for help and—"

"Don't you fucking dare! Connor! Don't call!"

"You need medical attention, and—"

"Connor, I'm on red ice, okay? So you can save whatever weird sample shit you wanna run. If the department sees me like this and does a blood test, my job could be in danger."

"I'm sure that regarding the circumstances of what I'm predicting to be abduction and forced administration, they'll be more than understanding of your—"

"No, they can't—"

Annoyed by Hank's multiple interruptions, Connor powers through. "—situation. So the fact remains that you require medical attention, and I'll be calling for immediate backup."

Hank growls somewhere deep in his throat. "Are you such an emotionless machine that you can't understand the meaning of pride?"

The outburst gives Connor pause. He blinks, struggling to process when his red LED is fogging his mind with deviant stressors and emotions.

It's been a long time since Hank has managed to offend him, and despite knowing his mind is under the influence of a derivative methamphetamine, the words still sting slightly. The fact that there's no immediate apology hurts more.

Pride. It's perhaps the first emotion Connor ever felt. He developed it himself before even going deviant at all. His first mission, saving the child hostage on the rooftop, hadn't awarded him any in particular. He'd still been full machine, or as close as he ever was, and the Mission Successful pop-up didn't do much to elicit a response other than a new task: Leave high-rise.

By the time he was assigned to Hank, things had started to shift, but his first tingle of pride didn't come from the capture of Ortiz's android. It was in the bar when he'd looked in the mirror. It was impossible to explain, but seeing himself, head on, was such a rush. That was what he looked like. What other people saw.

He'd brushed at his hair, straightened his tie, and glanced at the planes of his face.

He'd felt good.

The last time he'd felt it before full on deviancy was when he'd laid Detective Reed out on the floor of the evidence room, and that burst had been so intense, his internal temperature had raised by an entire degree.


He understands it, and he understands what Hank means. Weakness is often seen as embarrassing and negative, and Hank doesn't want to be found in this state by anyone else who knows him (perhaps Connor shouldn't be so pleased to be the exception, but he can't help it). Weakness is associated with failure, and pre-deviancy, failure was an emotion to Connor. It was painful even when androids couldn't feel pain. It was complete invalidation of worth.

Connor never wants to feel that way again, and he doesn't want Hank to either. So he stops. He doesn't call.

"At least let me remove your restraints, Hank," he says softly, nearly a murmur.

"God… No," comes the choked reply. "You can't."

Connor reaches out slowly and tips up Hank's head. He looks at his dilated eyes and the droplets of sweat sliding down his nose despite the chilly warehouse. "I can," he insists. "I am more than capable of picking such a simple lock."

"What do you know about red ice?" Hank asks instead.

It's a foolish question considering Connor has access to all current information regarding the drug and its properties. "Do you think you're overdosing?"

"No. No, I don't… But Connor…" A bead of sweat slips from the underside of Hank's beard, along his neck. Connor watches it slide down his throat, catching on stray stubble as it falls. "Connor, if you let me out of these, I might not be able to stop."

Stop what? he wonders. His confused head tilt must convey the message adequately.

Hank shakes his head and huffs a self-deprecating chuckle. "You're really gonna make me say it, huh? Look, there's no easy way of putting this, but I'm hard enough to pound nails right now, and you've got that face and that uh, that—" Hank jerks his chin in Connor's direction. "—ass…"

Connor might not have been so far off after all. He tries to temper his external excitement, Thirium pump already accelerating, as he scans Hank. Increased blood flow shows intense arousal, though it doesn't take pricy equipment to see that much anyway. Connor bites his lip. "Are you interested in me sexually, Hank?" He regrets his words immediately, wishing he could pull them back in and use more colloquial, human-like phrasing.

"Shit, kid, it's not a—" Hank cuts off and grits his teeth again with a loud grunt, as if in pain. He curls forward and tugs hard at his cuffs, making the gurney squeak and jolt. When he looks back up, that brief lucidity is gone, and Connor finds himself hopping back and away before he can talk himself out of it. There's no recognition in Hank's dark eyes, the familiar icy blue reduced to a sliver around his blown pupils. It's absolutely terrifying, and Connor knows exactly what he has to do.

He activates his self-lubrication process and lets it start to warm up.

"Hank," he says, to no reply. "Hank, it's me, Connor." He steps closer once more, but the sudden clank and jerk of Hank's body frightens him back yet again. As if suddenly aware of Connor's presence, Hank yanks and pulls at the handcuffs like a leashed animal, trying and failing to reach for the android. "Hank. Hank, please."

For several minutes, he talks to him softly, waiting for this particular peak to pass, watching the way the pink of his gums is exposed and how a frothy drool seems to build up just inside his mouth as he pants wetly. When the high subsides, Hank's body sags, not yet exhausted, but less violent all the same.

"Fuck… Fuck… " he spits. "You gotta get outta here. I don't know how… how much longer this is gonna take to get outta my system." He shakes his head again, still trying to clear it. "It's been… a couple hours now. Probably got a… couple more to go. Shit can fuck with you for… for up to twelve goddamn hours…"

"If you'd grant me a saliva sample, I could estimate the remaining duration of effect."

The expression on Hank's face is so genuine it hurts. "If you touch me, especially my mouth, there're gonna be consequences."

Now's Connor's chance. Now or never. "I'll help you with those as they arise."

"You have no idea what you're agreeing to."

"You're experiencing high blood pressure and intense sexual arousal. I can help with that. I'm… equipped to deal with the matter."

Hank groans deep in his chest at that. "So you, uh, what, got a dick? Pussy? Asshole, at the least?"

There really is no delicate way to go about this. "I don't excrete waste, so an anus is impractical." Connor hesitates, then verifies the vocal command. "As for a phallus or vulva, I wasn't sure which one I'd prefer, so I purchased both."

Hank's panting increases in volume and tempo. "You can not say shit like that right now."

"Why not? I intend to do my best to assist you."

"You don't even know what you're offering. Have you ever had sex before? Ever fucked? Been fucked?"

Connor shoots him a hopefully withering look in response.

"Damnit…" Hank's dopamine levels spike again, and Connor frowns.

"Would you accept my help, Hank?"

"We… work together. We can't do this. Hell, even if not… If you got caught…"

He should walk away. Objectively Connor knows this. He should forget Hank's pride and walk away and get help. He should disable his lubrication process and certainly not think about fucking Hank when he's under the influence of a powerful drug. That is borderline illegal in multiple respects, the least of which being blatant fraternization between a police detective and his superior while one of them is on the clock.

But deviancy is an unavoidable thing, and with it comes temptation.

Connor has never been so tempted in his life.

Here's Hank Anderson, the man of his wildest preconstructions, like the greatest anniversary present he'll ever receive, practically asking Connor to have sex with him.

He'd have to be an incredibly strong-willed android to walk away.

He's not sure that he is.

"Hank, you're high on a forced methamphetamine. No one would accuse you of anything illegal. Your job is safe."

The sliver of iris is vanishing again, bit by bit. "But you aren't, Connor."

There's a moment of hesitation, intentionally amplified by Connor for Hank's benefit, seeing as he doesn't actually require an entire second to process. "You're my commanding officer. A human. And I'm an android."

"With free will."

"It's new to me. Sometimes I get confused."

"Connor, that's not how it—"

"If you ordered me to help you, I would gladly. My previous urge to obey orders could accidentally mix with my wish to help you now."

He's offering Hank an out. An excuse to wipe this all away by tomorrow. A chance to laugh it off and say mistakes happen, but we can still be friends, right? It's not a foolproof plan, but Hank is wearing down quickly. Connor's Thirium pump feels like it's come loose and gotten stuck in his artificial esophagus.

"Connor… I…"

They both breathe, one for survival and one for aesthetics.


He walks closer to the gurney. Jumps slightly to sit on the edge as Hank scoots his legs to make room. Connor watches Hank sway toward him like a magnet. He smells like human sweat and body odor, and Connor inhales it deep into his lung-like internal containers, holding it inside in case it's the only part of Hank he's allowed to have.

Temptation is an evil, evil thing, and it's curling in Connor's structural components, slithering like smoke until he's sure Hank can see it pouring out of the seams of his chassis. He wants this so badly, even though he knows he shouldn't. He should wait. This is not the time. Hank is in and out of lucidity. But if he turns this down, he'll never get the chance.

It's like every want Connor ever suppressed, every urge he never felt as a machine, is here now in full force. He was able to fight Amanda and Cyberlife, but he can't fight this.

There's hot breath puffing across his face. Lips mere millimeters from his own. "Connor…"

He's selfish. Human in the worst way possible.

"Order me, Lieutenant," Connor whispers. "I want you to."

A moment of tension, trembling and delicate.

"Connor, fuck me."

It snaps.

Connor surges forward, lips against Hank's, knocking him back onto the gurney. Shackled hands skate along Connor's arms, taking in what small surface area they can touch. Hank's beard is scratchy against Connor's face, and he can feel the damp of sweat on his hands where he weaves them into Hank's hair. The kiss isn't sweet; it's frantic. And Connor honestly can't tell whose fault that is.

"If you want out, now's your chance," Hank grunts into his mouth. "I can't promise I'll be able to—"

Connor shushes him. "You gave me an order. I should follow it."

Hank's laugh is free and loose in his throat. He's rolling under again. "Your funeral, kid."

There's precisely half a second for Connor to process and then a hand tightens in his hair, yanking him close. His LED circles red once, relaxes back to blue. He's stuck here, hovering over Hank, head trapped near Hank's shoulder, practically buried in his neck.

"Better get to work," Hank slurs.

"Hank, I can't… I can't see what I'm doing."

"You're an android. You'll figure it out."

Fuck me. The order had been: Fuck me.

Was that an intentional indication of position? Connor can do this. He can.

Balancing himself on one arm to keep from crushing Hank, he reaches down with his other hand to unfasten his jeans and shimmy them down his legs.

"Mm…" hums Hank, neck craned to see what Connor's doing, even when he himself cannot. "No boxers? Briefs? Cute little Cyberlife-brand panties?"

Connor blindly wraps his hand around his dick, twitching at the sensation, still relatively new to him. He hasn't done much with it on his own, holding out foolishly for the chance that Hank might want to… He cuts off the train of thought and groans into Hank's shoulder, hand moving faster.

Hank reaches down as far as the shackles allow and lifts one of Connor's thighs up, tipping him partially sideways and bringing his lower half into view. "Oh, look at that," he purrs. "Look at you."

Connor's hips thrust once, inadvertently. He pants a little as his climbing internal temperatures start to necessitate circulation. This feels different from his exploratory, personal escapades. It feels much, much better.

"Connor, you're so… small. "


He fights Hank's hold in his hair, trying to meet the man's eyes. He's not allowed the freedom of the motion.

"You're so small. You'd fit in my hand."

He would, but that's not the point.

"Can you even fuck me with that thing?"

Connor bristles. Now it's his pride at stake, and he's not having it. It's not that he cares about the human concept of masculinity, it's that the implication that he might fail his mission is never appreciated. Especially now. He gives himself one final squeeze, then releases. "I can do it , Hank," he insists.

Hank's hand drags him until his ear is millimeters from Hank's mouth. "Then what's taking so long." The words rumble through his audio components. Not a question. A show of power. An attack on Connor's ability to accomplish the goal at hand.

In retaliation he throws a cluster of objectives into his task list and starts preconstructing his actions. Even if Hank won't give him the leeway to look down, his processors show him the golden linework necessary for movement. "I require lubrication to prepare you," Connor says, already reaching between his own legs to gather some of the copious slick there, more than warmed up.

"If you're gonna start with a finger… might as well just fuck right in. Same size," Hank huffs, twisting on the gurney to drag his sweats and boxers down with legs and feet alone. The attempt isn't entirely successful at first, but it works well enough to grant Connor access. Hank's eyes are unfocused and glassy, but the bite is still present. He's trying to rile Connor up, and it's working too well, exacerbated by how suddenly distracted he becomes at the glimpse he can get of Hank's cock if he really strains.

It's dark red with desperation, veins popping and stark against the soft skin. If Hank could hold the entirety of Connor's dick in one hand, then Connor could only just wrap his fingers around Hank's enough to touch. He almost loses sight of his intentions, until Hank growls his name through gritted teeth again.

There's a hiss of air when Connor pushes his first finger inside. Hank's jaw is grinding, more likely from the effects of the drugs rather than Connor's actions, but there's not much he can do like this, spread across Hank's lap, head pinned. Connor focuses on how warm it is inside Hank's ass. A balmy 101 degrees Fahrenheit. It's soft too, like nothing he's ever touched before, and the internal pressure acts like a suction, drawing him in rather than pushing him out. Connor takes a few moments to gently press about, searching for the prostate gland and failing to locate it. Even a scan proves unfruitful in aiding the search. He slips in a second finger and tries to scissor them, but gets a solid heel in the spine for his trouble.

"Easy, Connor! Jesus… Not so fucking mechanical!"

There's a bit of a tremor building in both of their bodies, making delicacy difficult. Connor can feel it in his chassis as his arousal starts to build and overlay with his excitement to finally fuck Hank. Meanwhile, Hank's tenuous grip on coherence starts to weaken for another wave of euphoria. His pupils dilate completely and Connor can smell his body excreting red ice through the sweat glands near his neck and jaw. He tentatively licks Hank, just a brush of his tongue, to see the stats and information appear.

Instead his toxicology analysis is cut short by Hank wildly shaking Connor's head. It pulls hard in his hair and makes him moan before he can temper himself. Hank's other hand clatters loudly as he yanks at his restraints. "Do it, or get out." Hank squeezes his fist until a few nano-fiber hair strands start to snap. "Connor, now. "

Panting just as loudly, Connor pulls his fumbling fingers free and lines himself up as best he can without visuals. The sensation as he pushes in shatters his objectives and glitches his HUD. Connor slides his phallus all the way inside Hank until their hips meet, and the wispy gasp he puffs against the scruff of Hank's beard just blows right back in his own face.

Hank is the one who needs it. The one who was asking for it. He's been hard long before Connor even arrived. But in the moment it's such a challenge to remember that, and Connor can only concentrate on how Hank feels, tight and clenching around him.

"Hank… Hank… " he pants. Connor trails some light kisses along his sweat-damp throat unthinkingly. Soft and gentle shouldn't be the mood right now, and despite his joy of getting what he never thought he'd be allowed to have, Connor wishes that things could have been different. That he could have a loving and unhurried first time instead of a frantic scramble in a warehouse.

But Connor never gets everything he wants.

"Shit!" Hank grunts, starting to thrash. "That all you got?"

"I'm giving you a moment to adjust."

"Fuck adjusting. Can you get any deeper or not?"

Connor's LED spins red again. "No. I… I can't."

"Just move would you?"

After a moment of recalibration, Connor shifts to get his knees properly under him. Hank still won't release his head, and while it might have started to give a human a backache from arching so long, instead he just feels comforted, like maybe this is Hank's way of holding him close right now.

The theory of sex is easy. Connor had expected to feel good. He'd expected to thrust his hips in a measured pattern until climax. He'd expected the process to require a certain amount of finesse.

None of his research could have prepared him for the real thing.

Hank's ass is suffocatingly warm, and the way that the muscles seem to flutter and clench is incredibly distracting. It has Connor overheating and shaking like the connection to his mobility processors is broken or partially severed. It's impossible to keep his strokes smooth and even. Pulling back too far results in his phallus slipping out, and Connor has already reinserted far too many times for either of their taste. He ends up just sporadically grinding against Hank's ass in a manner that he predicts is mutually unsatisfying and frustrating for the both of them.

It doesn't matter that Connor was planning to count beats per minute or angle his thrusts exactly thirty-seven degrees upward. All the information is gone in the heat of the moment, reducing him to what he imagines is much like the human level, senses dulled and HUD empty.

He chases that peak, rutting as fast as he can until his respirator is hitching every intake and his optical units slide shut.

Hank's feet cross behind Connor's back and violently yank him close, over and over, like he's trying to do anything to get Connor deeper, make him thrust harder.

There was a reason for this whole thing. A point. And somewhere along the line Connor has lost it, because he heaves a breathy, static-filled, "Hah, ahh ," into the damp of Hank's hair, the soft strands right behind his ear. Maybe humans can have different intensities of orgasm. He doesn't really know, and he lacks the CPU to find out, but when he comes, Connor is swept away by it. It feels like physical input, rolling through his torso and limbs.

It feels amazing, yes, but just as quickly it's too much, and he has to pull out or else face the brunt of Hank's squeezing desperation as well. While it had been embarrassingly easy for Connor to slip out mid-intercourse, it's impossible now. Hank's legs are locked behind his back. He's stuck, and the overstimulation has Connor shaking and twitching to get away. Finally he's forced to use his real strength. He wrenches his pelvis back and free, breaking Hank's grip.

Connor just needs a few seconds. A few seconds to pant and cool his interior systems and let his hips continue their aborted, phantom thrusts into nothing.

But Hank has other plans.

Oh, right. Hank .

Connor remembers the reason for all of this and comes to the conclusion he has been as selfish as he's been unhelpful.

"Hank, I—" he starts, only to have his hair released in favor of grabbing his wrist, still close enough to Hank's shackled hands to be at risk.

"Is that it?" Hank asks. His hand squeezes and grinds delicate chassis and wiring together. "All those articles about android sex being better, and that's all you got?"

Connor knows the pain of failing a mission, but this is something new. It's shame, burning and bright, like he's about to melt down right here across Hank's lap. There must be an issue with his processors because the emotion gets mixed up. It settles firmly into the Sexually Arousing category instead of Exhausting Defeat like it should.

It isn't really Hank talking to him right now. The haze in his normally clear, blue eyes is almost visibly swirling, in tandem with the tremor in his muscles and the grinding of his jaw.

"Worth a small fortune and he loses his goddamn mind the second he gets his dick wet. Pathetic." Hank's legs swing out and around before kicking Connor square in the chest and knocking him backward off the gurney. He does a lopsided, inverse somersault before sitting sprawled and dazed on the floor. His internal gyroscope is still spinning.

"I'm sorry, Hank! I can do better! Androids have no refractory period. I can try again!" Connor attempts to climb back on, only to be kicked back once more.

"Bullshit. Even if you did, that dick of yours won't be getting me anywhere fast."

The gaze Hank shoots Connor's crotch feels so powerful he's tempted to cover his phallus with a hand. It's ridiculous of course, an android succumbing to human physical embarrassment, but for some reason, when it comes from Hank… "I could," he croaks in almost a whisper, voice affected in a manner that makes no mechanical sense, "use something else?"

The sneer drops off Hank's face as he slides into another lucid moment. "Connor, no. You don't have to—"

"But I want to!" Connor stumbles to his feet, taking advantage of Hank's sobriety to clamber onto the gurney again. He reaches out for Hank's face, creased with worry, and uses the back of his palm to wipe the frothy drool from Hank's mouth and beard. "I want to give you this, Hank."

With a groan, Hank tilts his head back out of Connor's grasp. "It's not that simple."

"I know." His voice is practically inaudible. It's set to a level three. "I know I'm being selfish."

That gets Hank's attention. "Selfish? You?"

"I'm capable of it."

"I don't doubt that I just…" Hank's blood pressure starts to slide back up. He grunts, possibly in pain, possibly in frustration. Maybe a potent combination of both.

Connor's guilt squeezes his Thirium pump. This is his fault. He taunted Hank. He gave him a taste of relief that he failed to ultimately provide. He manipulated this situation for his own benefit. And worst of all? He's greatly considering making it worse. "Hank, I can help you. I said that I, that I… I purchased every part possible."

Hank tilts his head to the side to lock eyes with him. More drool is starting to track down his mouth again. "Your pussy as small as your dick is?"

They had seemed reasonable purchases at the time. It isn't like Connor has an actual definition of gender, and this way he got to have all the experiences he wanted while sacrificing the least amount of internal and external space. The parts he'd chosen were functional yet minimalist. He hadn't really considered the practical application, even though he'd scanned and composited a three-dimensional model of Hank's phallus months ago.

He uses the visual of the real thing now, matching it against the specs of the biocomponent he'd purchased. "It might be a tight fit, Hank." He doesn't regret his decisions. After all, they were some of the first big ones he made post-deviancy, but he wishes Hank didn't find them so unfulfilling right now.

"Oh, fuck yeah."

Or… maybe not?

Connor doesn't understand this perceived human dichotomy of what genitalia should be what size, but he sure can't be upset if Hank is happy.

"Come on. You're not doing any good to me over there. You said you wanted to help, right?"

Top-of-the-line joints and limbs or not, Connor wobbles and flails to get into position, a certain thrill in his Thirium pump regulator at how Hank laughs at his excitement.

"You're dying for it, huh? Can't wait for me to take you for a test drive?" Hank groans when he sees Connor straddle him again, probably drawn in by the viscous drips hanging from between Connor's legs and sliding down his thighs. "Fuck, you've never done this before either, huh? Gonna be your first time?"

Connor's little "yes, yes, yes" is both an answer and an indication of his excitement.

"Never understood the whole 'virginity kink' thing," Hank rambles, "but damn if I don't wanna break you in on my cock."

"Just break me , Hank," Connor chokes out, and the crooked grin on Hank's face triggers another lubrication release. Connor's hand is actually shaking as he takes hold of Hank's phallus, inconsistent Thirium flow is affecting his movement, and he tries and fails to restart his regulator to amend the problem. A warning pops up on his HUD, alerting him that his CPU usage is too high to manage such a detailed task simultaneously. It suggests some programs he could disable to free up the processing power, but Connor deems them all vital at the moment.

He settles for some smaller tasks, like Facial Composure Control and Vocal Modulation Levels, but they don't give him much more to work with.

"Jesus fuck. Are you helping or making things worse?" groans Hank, planting his feet on the shitty excuse for a mattress so he can buck up into Connor's hand. "Your motherboard crap out on you?"

Determination. He has to prove he's better than this. He has to convince Hank that maybe later, without the red ice, they should do this again.

Do it gentle and sweet so Hank can kiss up and down Connor's neck, and so Connor can feel and memorize every inch of Hank's chest and stomach and hips. So they can take their time, and Hank can tell Connor how much he wants this, how much he wants him, how much he loves—

The second the head of Hank's phallus meets Connor's vulva, he thrusts up and in. It catches Connor completely off guard, and without his vocal regulation, he lets out a noise that's not dissimilar to a wail.

Thousands of brand new sensors flare to life and crash his task list, letting "Give Hank the ride of his life" dissolve into fractured binary and disjointed pixels. When Connor had said it might be a tight fit, he'd neglected to specify that Hank was almost exactly the same measurements as his component's outer limits, a fact that they're both all too aware of now that he's inside.

"Oh, yeah, " Hank groans, throwing his head back. His hands try again and again to grasp for Connor's hips but catch on the handcuffs instead. " Fuck , now that's the stuff."

Connor watches his own drool make a slowly falling trail from his mouth to the bare sliver of Hank's stomach. Then he jolts. Saliva? He doesn't have any. It would interfere with the sterility of his oral sensors, so how… He runs a quick scan and comes to the shocking conclusion that his Thirium distribution process is glitching, the memory chip overheating inside the molten heat of Connor's core.

He tries to up the speed of his panting, but it's coming out with a hint of a squeak at the end of each gasp, like Hank is somehow punching the noise out of his vocal modulator, even though it's located too high for physical contact.

Hank's feet are flat against the gurney, and he locks his abdominal muscles to pound up over and over into Connor, who can't do much more than fumble for the handrails and hang on tight.

For the first time since deviancy, Connor finds himself thanking Cyberlife for their quality parts. The near vacuum of suction that Hank is creating is enough to turn any subpar vaginal components inside out on the downstroke. Instead Connor gets to enjoy the distinct sensation that Hank is touching every synthetic nerves continuously as his internal walls press and squeeze together only to be pushed apart a second later.

The Thirium distribution continues to attempt to clean Connor's vocal speaker. It floods the component to eliminate nonexistent debris and the overflow spills from his mouth and drips down onto Hank.

"Shit… Look at you," Hank slurs. "Look at me, Con. Face up." He laughs when Connor tries and fails. A particularly savage thrust hits a tight bundle of nervous wiring and makes his chin fall right back down to his chest. "Fuck detective work. This is what you were made for. Or maybe not…" Hank trails off. "If you were made for this, you'd handle it better. Wouldn't, fuck , wouldn't lose it at the smallest touch. I said, look at me, Con. "

It's the hardest task Connor will ever carry out. Harder than escaping Amanda. Harder than deciding whether or not to shoot a deviant. He strains every possible muscle in his body, raising his eyes to meet Hank's even though it seems it'll be impossible to hold.

Hank's laughter is like thunder and Connor swears he can feel it travel through their connection right into his head.

"You crying? Is it that good?"

Connor jolts in surprise. He frees one hand from its death grip on the gurney, frowning at the indents in the metal where he's accidentally crushed the railing. He feels his face gingerly. It's wet. Yet another Thirium distribution error it seems. Where else is he leaking from? His visual components, his oral cavity… He's almost afraid to find that his nose is running or that his brain is leaking out his ears.

He'd love to check, but he's a little preoccupied with covering his mouth and hanging on for dear life.

"Tell me, Connor," Hank says, a bit of his softness leaking through. Another break in the high? "How're you doing? How's it feel?"

Connor muffles a vibrating moan, but he doesn't think that's what Hank is looking for.

"Y-you… you need me to stop, Con? Or you wanna take a moment? Con? Connor?" There's a tremor in Hank's voice, and his hips stutter as he tries to slow down.

"N-no, ah , Hank, please," Connor forces out. He inhales a massive gasp of air, trying to tick down his internal temps by even a single degree. "Keep going, please, Hank, you have to.. Hank, don't stop, just, please, you can't stop—"

"Jesus, Con! Okay, okay!" Hank's smile is kinder this time. It's like a glimpse of what Connor could have had if he hadn't fucked this all up. If he hadn't gotten so damn greedy and gone straight for the gold without passing Go or… He's mixing his metaphors, but he couldn't care less.

To counteract Hank's slowing thrusts, Connor settles for slamming his own hips down to meet him. He hopes his calculations of force are correct to avoiding bruising or shattering Hank's pelvis, but when there's no audible complaint, he shoves the numbers and mathematics from his processors.

It just frees up more space to sulk. Connor's mind fills with the idea of Hank stroking his hair and telling him how good he is.

"Hank… it's… ah, it's so good. You feel very good. You're, hah, perfect, Hank… Hank? Hank, am I good? Am I doing this right?" He sacrifices a few degrees of increasing heat for the chance to speak. His words jumble and gurgle in his throat, mixing back and forth with a robotic inflection and then a voice strained with too much emotion. "Please tell me I'm good, Hank."

For a moment, Connor almost thinks he might get his wish. Hank's brows draw together like he feels something besides arousal. Something closer to what Connor has been feeling. But then the moment passes and Hank's knees shoot up behind him, knocking him forward to drape across Hank's chest. It punches a gust of air out of both of them, but Connor can't take another in when he feels Hank beneath him.

"Shirt off," Hank growls. The register makes his chest shake, which Connor can feel even better from his new position. As much as it pains him to sit up, he struggles out of his tie and the rest of his clothing, relieved to find that it exposes his rear ventilation and helps cool him down slightly. Once he throws the garments to the ground, Hank's knees knock him forward again, and it's only instinct that guides Connor to shove the DPD sweatshirt up the rest of the way to Hank's armpits so he can press as much of their bare fronts together as possible.

All the movement has Hank grinding and pressing on seemingly new, untouched places inside of him, so his expression matrix is glitching like crazy by the time they settle down.

When Hank starts pounding upward again, Connor meets him with every stroke, and he is no longer embarrassed by his drool leaving wet patches on Hank's clothes or his sticky tears dripping off the rounded curve of his chin. He's close enough to Hank's face to study him better now, without the effort of keeping his head up.

No. Wait.

It's still a challenge, and he has to fight the urge to bury his face in Hank's shoulder now, encouraged by the way Hank's dilated pupils threaten to devour him whole.

"God, you're fucked out," Hank breathes, and the hot air curls around Connor's face and registers as a chill against the wet streaks on his face. It's the embrace he can't have.

He's no longer able to reach the handrails, so he balls his fists in Hank's sweatshirt, clenching the thick material and feeling how damp it is with Hank's sweat. "P-please… Tell me how good I am…" he tries again.

Hank would have. His Hank would have. But as he keeps forgetting, this isn't really his Hank.

"You know what's good? My hand is good. At least it knows what it's doing." It stings briefly, but then Connor sees it, deep in Hank's eyes. A challenge. "Come on, Con. You think I don't know you can do better than this? A human could do better. Aren't you faster? Stronger? You used to claim you can't feel pain, but we both know that's a lie. And you sure as hell can feel pleasure."

It sets him alight. He's shivering, hanging off Hank's every word. Beat him… He has to beat him at his own game. Too bad he has no idea how. He's already close again, orgasm only delayed by the fact that he does have some semblance of a refractory period. It takes him a decent while to reboot the program, considering it chews up a massive chunk of CPU. But now he's struggling, sensitivity turned down to twenty-five percent, chin sliding in the pool of distilled Thirium that's too copious to be absorbed by the fabric anymore.

His processors are slipping… He can't think… Hank is still maintaining a punishing pace, made possible only via chemical assistance…

"Come on, Connor," he hisses by his audio component. His jaw is locked tight by the urge to grind his teeth. "You gonna come again? Can't even get me off once? Young, pricy android like you can't keep up with an old man like me, huh?"

Connor… He wants to… He can't quite…

"Mmhm. I can feel that. Fuck , I can't hardly pull outta you. It's like you've got a vice grip on my cock, Con. I barely even fit." Hank arches his neck to look down their bodies again, probably watching the tilt of Connor's hips and how his structural spinal system curls to find the best possible angle. His thrusts stop for a second, enough to shock Connor into further desperation, but then he slams up hard. Once. Twice.

Stray strings of binary float unparsed through Connor's vision like stars.

"Feel that? That's what a cock feels like. This is how a human fucks." Hank's voice finally hitches. He's sounded out of breath, but finally, finally he sounds more affected. "I can feel it, Connor. You about to come? Hmm? Can't take much more? Christ, if my hands were free, I'd let you fuck into one of 'em." He's rambling again, lost in his own words. Connor isn't much better. "I'd… I'd teach you, Con. I'd show you how to do it."

Softer again. His Hank.

"I'll teach you how to be good. How to use every inch you've got there. I'll teach you how to ride me and I'll ride you, and I'll teach you how to… how to…" He loses his train of thought and doesn't even seem to realize he's faded out. Connor tries to check his eyes for coherency, but his visual components are blanking out, blinding him for whole seconds at a time. Or no, wait, maybe he's blinking? Are his eyes even open? Half-shut? He can't tell, fuck.

"Push against me," Hank says. His words are muddled by spit and his drug-heavy tongue and the folds of his sweatshirt that Connor's scrambling is mashing into his face. "Grind your little dick on my stomach. Yeah, there you go. Like that."

Connor obeys, still trying to manage any side processes. Why does he need to? Why is he even trying? Oh. Oh. It feels so nice when he does this. The combination of sensation on both of his components. He can feel the whorls of hair that cover Hank's stomach and they send prickles of electricity through his form.

Hank's hardly moving inside of him now. Each thrust jars Connor's body up and down, but his phallus is barely moving in or out. Connor's too tight for that, wound up and at the edge of his stamina. This orgasm is bigger. He can already tell.

His HUD can barely warn him anymore, but when he gains a fractional moment of control over himself, checks in enough to know that his face is slack and mechanical buzzes are falling constantly from his gaping mouth, he can see a glimpse of it. The pop-up. It's like an afterimage, like when a human stares too long at a bright light. Emblazoned on the back of aesthetic eyelids, singed into the matrix of pixels that make up his high-definition vision.

A countdown.

This isn't just going to be an orgasm. This is going to force a full reboot.

He can't disappoint Hank again.

With the last shreds of his energy, the single-digit percentage of processing power he has left, Connor flails a hand to smack at Hank's cheek. Pats it wetly in the sweat and drool matting the spot where beard meets sideburn.

"H-hank," Connor manages, peering through his own drooping lids and the blur of Thirium tears.

It actually stops Hank's movements, makes his hips freeze until Connor nearly wails an alarm tone to start him up again. He's trying to stop, even now. Even in the throes of however his body is processing the red ice. He thinks Connor is distressed, and it's making him stop. The internal temperature of Connor's Thirium pump edges from yellow warning to red alert, and his LED color shifts to match.

"Hank… I'm going— going to come," wheezes Connor. His speaker can hardly raise its volume over the roar of his cooling fans. "Keep going."

There's a wrinkle between Hank's brows and Connor wants to rub it out. Something in his own face must do the trick, because it soothes itself away and Hank nods jerkily. "Okay, okay. You can come, Connor. Go ahead."

"No. H-Hank… Keep going ."

"I am."

Connor's next moan is one of frustration. He searches his mental dictionaries for the vocabulary, but nothing is searching right and invalid strings clutter his Print Output functions. "I mean, after I come. Keep going . Don't stop. Even if I, ah. Ah! Even if I stop responding, or if I have to reboot. You have to finish." He won't fail. He won't. He won't he won't hewon'thewon'thewon'thewon'thewon't.

"Shit… For christssake… You sure?"

"Hank." Connor snaps it. He really puts his whole Thirium pump into it. "Yes."

"'Yes,' he says," Hank mutters, but then he's adjusting his own grip, getting his hands settled on the gurney's railing, replanting his feet and tensing everything at once. Hank lifts both his hips and the entirety of Connor's weight and works lower back muscles that will probably be rendered immobile by tomorrow.

Connor squeezes tighter and tighter, pressing his hands to Hank's chest so he can raise his torso in a sharp arch before he comes. He hears the static-laden mewl his vocal modulator emits and then everything cuts out. His vision shrinks and fizzles like an cathode-ray television shutting off.

The warehouse's emergency lights flicker and die, a few bulbs popping in the distance, and off to the side, Hank's dead phone crackles one last time as an invisible EMP blast fries its circuitry. Connor's consciousness follows his self-created electrostatic discharge, throwing horizontal lines of interference on tablet screens and holographic displays around the area. Androids on the city outskirts flicker their LEDs yellow as they sense the oddity, unsure of what it is. He ghosts along the near obsolete telephone wires and cables, deftly avoiding the only hospital in range and settling for scrambling the GPS functions of autonomous vehicles instead. His processors feel endless, like he's expanding to cover the city, in control of every scrap of metal with a halfway decent charge in it. But no sooner does he relish the rush of power than he reaches the extent of it. Sine waves even out and fall flat and the pulse ends.

Connor is violently sucked back into his body to find himself emitting a constant, high pitched drone, Hank still fucking up into his limp form, true to his word. The noise Connor is making is fortunately too far out of the human hearing range to bother Hank, which is good, because he can't stop. His circuitry is over-sensitized and trying to activate self-defense protocols that are impossible without control of his limbs. He's stuck here, fading in and out mentally as his CPU struggles to handle rebooting and thought processes simultaneously.

Hank's thrusts have lost their rhythm. His legs are shaking and he's got to be exhausted. And also close. So close. Connor wants to tell him to come, even beg him to. Not for his own benefit, but for the good of Hank's teeth. His jaw has to be aching as he grinds the enamel over and over. Connor lets one stray spark twitch his head an inch to the left, exposing his shoulder. It's enough.

Hank huffs hot breath against the slope of Connor's skin, then bites down hard on the plastic. His teeth slip and skid on the smooth surface, but then he adjusts and finds just the right position to dig in. It deactivates the nanosurface, from Connor's feet to his head, even his hair. Hank groans and bites just a little harder. He's leaving dents, and Connor wishes he had the power to tell him how much he loves it.

But he doesn't. A restart countdown appears and he can focus on the numbers at last. It pulls him under, and Connor just projects and projects, I love you, I love you, please don't hate me after this, I love you, you can't leave me, don't let me have ruined everything good that I've ever had.



Hank feels like shit.

For a guy who spent three years of his life trying to drink or shoot himself to an early death every night, he's shocked to realize he can actually feel worse than that .

But he's sure of it now, because every goddamn day he puts off returning to the DPD is twice as bad as any previous hangover.

He'd come back to his senses, body aching and boneless with the withdrawals and exhaustion. He'd overtaxed every muscle he had, and Connor, shaking and twitching Connor, had helped him up. He'd dressed Hank, picked the locks and snapped the cuffs from the gurney, wiped Hank down with his oh-so-precious jacket. Then he'd proceeded to scan the scene, taking note of the abductor's DNA residue and sampling the remains of the red ice setup. Quick, efficient, and everything Connor had been made to do.

Because he was a fucking investigative model, not an overpriced sex toy. And yet he'd gently helped Hank down the stairs and into a cab. Hurried him into his house before curious neighbors could see and then assisted him in showering and changing into clean boxers. It wasn't like Hank minded. They didn't have much modesty between them at this point.

Then Connor had smoothed a calming hand through Hank's still damp hair as he tucked him into bed. There was the rattle of food pouring into Sumo's dish and the click of the door lock as the android let himself out.

That had been that.

Hank took three whole weeks off, more vacation time than he'd even had after Cole's death, and sure, maybe the continued work had added to his depression, but it had also kept his mind occupied. Pushed away the darkest of the dark thoughts for all that was worth.

And here he was, stretching out every day of his remaining sick leave just to avoid having to ever look Connor in the eyes again.

Jeffrey keeps him updated of course. The case was simple for Connor to solve. Child's play. He'd identified and located Hank's attacker in a matter of hours, and then he'd led the sting and arrest team the following day. Jeffrey said he had never seen the android so merciless. Hank not only knew that he himself had, but also the reason behind Connor's anger.

It was Hank.

He'd read the reports. Connor had been meticulous in describing the nature of Hank's capture, impairment, and the subsequent rescue. He'd also very carefully left out any mention of what had transpired in the warehouse. According to the paperwork, Connor's fear and anger for Hank's wellbeing was the source of the low-level EMP that had affected the nearby regions.

It just made Hank feel worse. Maybe his abductor was right. He deserved to be fired. Connor hadn't had a clue what he'd agreed to. It was his tendency to rise to the occasion and face challenges head-on that had spurred him to action. Drugged out of his mind or not, Hank had been perfectly capable of reining it in. The few times he'd forced himself to lucidity had been proof enough of that. But Connor had kept at it, and the temptation was too strong. Everything Hank had been wanting was dangled right in front of him, and Connor had been saying yes, and…

If Connor had said no, Hank would have stopped. Hell, he'd tried to several times, only for the android to insist that he continue. And it wasn't like Hank had needed much convincing.

Today would be the start of week four. He can't keep doing this. His sick time and mandatory recuperation is running out, and it's not like this house and Sumo pay for themselves. Someone has to make money around here.

So Hank hauls himself out of bed and stumbles into the bathroom. He's long since ripped down the Post-Its either by or about Connor, but he remembers them still. It's not so easy to forget all about it.

Connor. Connor and his soft skin, and how it had warmed up against Hank's own, growing hotter and hotter as the android panted and puffed. How human he'd looked, even just for a second, eyes half-lidded and unfocused, leaking tears while he drooled from that mouth that never closed.

Hank remembers pounding up into him long after he shut down for a reboot. He remembers every moment of that morning and almost wishes he didn't. He almost wishes the drug had taken his memories like whiskey can do, just so he doesn't have to worry about the idea of what Connor's got going on down there infiltrating his mind the moment he sees him.

He'd said some nasty things. Hurtful nasty, not just dirty nasty, and even if Connor had seemed into it, there was no way to know it wasn't still stinging a few weeks later. Because the truth is, Hank loved Connor's dick. It was cute and the perfect size for everything Hank wanted to do to it. And hell, maybe he really was an awful old man, but he wanted so badly to show Connor how to really use it. How to feel good and make his partners feel good too.

The problem was that Hank didn't like the thought of Connor's partner being anyone but him.

He smacks his head against the wall of his kitchen. Last step before he can leave: grab his keys. That's it. Come on, Anderson. Don't wimp out now. The longer you stay away, the guiltier you become.

Fuck , he's guilty. He's so damn guilty, maybe he should just move away. California is expensive, but it sure as hell is far. Maybe Utah has better real estate prices. Or Nevada. Oregon? Is that over there? Uh… Hank doesn't know shit about the West Coast, except that it's where Connor is not.

Alright, gear up, old man, he thinks, and forces himself to grab his keys and walk out the front door. He's gone grocery shopping a couple times, and it was never this hard to pull off his lawn then. But now it's like even his car has reservations about this whole Going Back to Work thing.

When he pulls into the DPD parking lot, Hank ends up killing too much time idling around. It isn't until he sees Reed drive into the lot, or no wait, shit, that's 900 behind the wheel, that he can steel himself to get out.

He won't let Reed beat him inside.

Unfortunately, instead of the inconspicuous entrance he planned, Hank steps out right as 900 presses a far-too-sweet kiss to Gavin's temple, and when the pair spots him, Gavin nearly implodes on the spot.

It's a sad, sad day when Reed and 900 are able to interact smoother than Hank and Connor can.

Hank walks inside with the ambient noise of Gavin's incoherent sputtering and pointless threats following him. It attracts every eye and visual component in the building, but has the added bonus of letting Hank take on an irritated affect instead of a guilty one. He sits hard in his seat as Gavin calls him every uncreative insult he can muster, 900 trying to steer him away, and then—

There he is.


"Good morning, Lieutenant." Ah. So it's back to titles, is it? "It's so good to have you at work again. Your absence has been noted and felt by everyone here."

"Thanks, Con. I mean, Connor." Shit. "Sorry." He's really bad at this.

The day progresses terribly. Every coworker finds the time to welcome Hank back, like he wants the constant reminder of his absence or something. It's not until the time comes for Hank to clock out that shit gets really weird.

"Hank," Connor says softly as he watches him shut down his desktop terminal. "I'd like to speak with you before you leave. Privately. Perhaps in your car?"

Even though he'd rather hack his own dick off with a butter knife, Hank manages a nod. "Uh, sure thing. Meet you there?"

"Got it."

The android must clock out wirelessly, because his LED flashes yellow, and then he stands up and heads for the door. Hank doesn't like the way 900's gaze follows Connor, looking as worried as that guy's face can possibly be.

Hank endures a few minutes of awkward chatter with Jeffrey, and then he's free to walk out the door, like a man heading to his execution.

Even from the DPD doorway he can see Connor in his car, a little red light that's got to be his LED fuck fuck fuck . The parking lot normally seems bigger than this. How did he get so close so fast? God, he's already inside his car, what—

"I have an apology to make," Connor says, looking straight ahead out the windshield, and Hank's whole world view shatters around him.

"What?" he chokes out, not looking over either.

Connor's LED is spinning red, red, red. "I have to apologize, Hank. For what happened."

"No, Connor. You don't. I—"

"I do!" The android so very rarely raises his voice. It's startling and throws Hank off his game. "I do, Hank, because I value… this. Us! And I don't want my own illogical decisions to ruin our… our friendship."

For some reason, this makes Hank very angry, the idea that Connor has spent the last few weeks convinced everything was his fault. "Connor, I didn't treat you right. That's on me. I'm the one who should have been in charge. I have the experience and the—"

"Don't patronize me, Hank." Damn, this android sure can interrupt. "I'm not a child. I'm an adult android, and I don't need you acting like I can't think for myself."

"Oh, so I'm just supposed to think you knew what you were getting into!"

"Of course! Well. No. I suppose you're right. But it was even better than what I have preconstructed in the past."

"What?" Hank is so confused. He can practically see his own damn LED whirling like a lightshow.

"Hank, I am so, so sorry. I knew you were under the influence of red ice, and yet I still agreed to engage in sexual activity."

"Are you telling me, that you thought you were pulling one over on me? "

Connor blinks. He still does it far too quickly to be human. A single flaw on a perfect face. "Yes?"

Hank frowns. "Connor, I selfishly used the whole fucked up opportunity to get something from you I knew I'd never have gotten any other time. I'm the one at fault here."

Red turns to yellow. There's a flash of blue. Back to yellow. "Hank," Connor says slowly, "then I'm guilty of the exact same thing."

They sit in the car. It's dark outside. The night shift is arriving. Neither of them speak. Ben Collins pulls in and parks close to the entrance, far enough where he won't notice them. He gets out with a box of donuts and those instant coffee pods that are so terrible for the environment and heads inside.

Connor clears his throat. Pointless. He can't get phlegm. "I enjoyed it," he says.

Hank can't breathe. He needs to clear his throat for real but can't summon the will.

"But I also enjoyed… thinking about another time. In the future." Still yellow. Still no oxygen to Hank's scrambled brain. "I thought about… you kissing me. On my neck. And touching my hair. Saying… saying how good I am." Connor turns and looks at him. It's the first time they've made eye contact tonight. "Can I show you something?"

Air finally rushes into Hank's lungs. He's light-headed. He coughs. "Sure. Sure, what's up?"

Connor reaches up slowly. Loosens his tie and starts to unbutton his pressed, white shirt. Not far; just to his Thirium pump. Hank had seen that glowing. A bright blue outline against Connor's blank chassis as he'd rebooted on Hank's—

With fingers that don't tremble, though they did Hank saw them they did , Connor pulls down his collar. There's his clavicle. Smooth, unmarked skin, save for two moles that Hank is dying to touch, but he can't that's not for him it's not

Then Connor deactivates his skin. Not all of it, but enough. Enough to reveal his chassis underneath where there is a cluster of small indents marring the flawless surface. A bite mark. Hank's bite mark.

"Jesus christ, Con. I'm so—"

"Don't apologize." More eye contact. Does this guy know how intense that is? Hank's shaking with it. His heart is pounding and god, Connor can probably see that too. "Don't apologize. Leave more."

An invitation. Clear consent.

"I'm not good at sex, Hank."

That's bullshit. And Hank planted that there. "No, Connor. You are. I was just—"

"You promised to teach me."

Fuck. The android's even giving him another out. An excuse for continuing this… whatever it is, while denying all emotion behind it.

But apparently, Hank hasn't wronged Connor at all. So lying like this, taking the opening and fucking him behind the guise of just fulfilling a promise, that would be an injustice.

Hank's not going to do that to him. Ever.

"Fuck whatever I 'promised,'" Hank spits, and even though Connor's LED goes red, he still leans into the android's space. "Come home with me. Let's start this fresh." He gently takes hold of Connor's jaw. His hands are free to move and touch freely this time. "Give you a good second time too."

Connor's LED flickers. "And a third?"

Hank nods solemnly. "And a fourth."

"Hank, I'd like us to be exclusive."

There are so many good things that have happened to Hank in his lifetime. Things he doesn't and will never deserve. But hell, he's had more than his fair share of fucked up, bad things too. And turning this down? It would only hurt them both.

"Connor. I don't think I can share you with anyone else."

Then he holds Connor's perfect, goofy face in one of his hands. He brushes that rogue lock of hair gently off his forehead. He gives Connor the sweet, delicate kiss he'd been asking for, two fingers pressed on the hidden indents in Connor's chassis.

And Connor's LED spins a bright and blinding blue.