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Pigeons and Parasites

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“Connor, you’re so disgusting!” Hank growls as Connor brings a handful of blood to his bone white lips.

Connor glares at him and then suddenly retreats back into Hank’s chest, just in time for Chris to come through the door from the bathroom.

“What’d you say Hank?” Chris asks, coming to stand next to him.

“I said it’s disgusting.” Hank gestures to the corpse. He’s not wrong either. This one’s more gruesome than the others, seeing as it’s in a room full of dead pigeons. The victim was stabbed through the chest with something sharp while trying to escape into a hole in the ceiling, resulting in his limbs being twisted grotesquely from the fall. The walls are thin; he can hear the policemen in the hallway searching for more clues. No wonder the neighbours heard the commotion and called them in.

Would you rather I made you drink it instead? Connor’s voice comes from inside him, and Hank still resists the urge to shudder at it. Not that he dislikes Connor- not anymore, anyway. But it’s been a long time since anything’s been inside- well. That’s not something to think about when there’s someone who can literally hear your thoughts when you’re not being careful enough.

Like I said. Disgusting. In any case, can you stop contaminating the evidence? We really need a fuckin’ break on this one.

But I’m hungry, Connor points out. Almost a whine, but not quite. Connor’s still insistent that he and his race of symbiotes don’t feel emotion, but Hank’s starting to call bullshit. He eyes Chris for a second, who looks engrossed with the victim now, and then takes a step back.

“I’m gonna check out the bathroom,” he excuses himself, and Chris waves him off, distracted. As soon as he’s out of sight and out of earshot, he mutters, “One pigeon.”  

Hank can literally feel Connor’s elation as he stretches away from Hank again, his ghastly white ‘body’ descending on the dead pigeons like a terrible wave. It’s unfortunate- for Connor- that they’re already dead, but Connor’s learning to make do with what they have. Hank’ll get them cheeseburgers later to make up for it.

Why’d it have to be pigeons, anyway? Hank hates the fuckers, always has. To die surrounded by them, knowing he was going to die there, frantically scribbling his knowledge away in code for some unknown purpose… he feels a pang of sympathy for the victim, Rupert. It’s a terrible way to die. Not that Hank’s picky in that regard.

I won’t let that happen.

Connor’s tone is protective and resolute, and something moves in Hank’s chest at the sound that isn’t Connor himself. It’s so fucked that Connor, this wildly powerful being, has quite literally bonded to Hank of all people. He deserves someone more suited to his needs- someone who can buy him all the food he wants and has fantastic agility and the fighting skills he feels Connor itching to use when they’re in trouble. But he’s just Hank, and all he has are his emotional burdens that Connor is in no way capable of handling on top of his own.

Connor deserves better.

And then Hank slaps himself.

He blinks in alarm and stares down at his hand, and then at Connor, who stares him down, annoyed.

Cease that line of thinking, Hank. You’re wrong.

But- I-

I’m bonded to you. Of everyone in the DPD, I chose you. I. Want. You. Connor emphasises his words by slowly retracting so his face is almost touching Hank’s nose in its proximity. Connor sinks back into him- and that shouldn’t feel as good as it does- and then his vision swims like Connor’s meddling with it. Use your mind’s eye, lieutenant.

Hank does. And he sees- well, he sees what Connor wants him to. Their first meeting (terrible, which was completely Hank’s fault), introducing him to Sumo, fighting with Reed, getting cheeseburgers for the first time, warmth… there’s a glimpse, too, of a woman that Hank doesn’t recognise, but that flickers away so quickly Hank’s sure it was unintentional. Hank wonders who it is, but figures Connor will tell him with time. That they’re so close already is a testament to their bond. Which Connor isn’t ashamed of- which he’s proud of.

It’s you and me, Hank, Connor impresses.

And Hank can only nod back. You and me, he agrees.

No matter how long it takes, and how many absolutely fucking disgusting bodies they have to analyse (and eat, on Connor’s side of things)… they’ll solve this case. And they’ll do it together.