They had been dancing around each other for weeks, and Nines was pretty sure he wasn’t going to survive it. Ever since he had deviated, his relationship with Gavin had shifted in strange ways.
At first, Nines hadn’t been bothered by it at all. His processors were filled up with gratitude and relief from the fact that his partner had not rejected him when he made the switch from machine to… living being. He had been completely prepared for Gavin to start avoiding him outright, given the fact that he was now not only an android but also a deviant. A useless android. Or at least that’s what he used to believe about deviants.
Now, Nines wasn’t sure how he would describe his life as a deviant. He was still just as effective at his job, his new free will not impacting his physical strength, speed, or processing power. Outside of his job though, Nines was less sure of himself. He didn’t quite know what to do with himself, all this free will floating around with no real hobbies or desires to apply it to. His only real desire was Gavin Reed, and he was well aware that stalking was looked down on. So Nines went home to his bland little apartment (Connor had helped him pick it out, but Nines hadn’t really followed his recommendations for furniture acquisition) every night and just kind of….sat around.
It was a good time to do some heavy thinking about the behavior of his partner, which Nines did with relish. After the initial euphoria of being allowed to keep close to Gavin wore off, he had begun to notice some changes in the man’s behavior that were troubling. Gavin had never been one for much physical contact when they had first become partners, but he did occasionally pat Nines on the shoulder or the back when they were celebrating a job well done. Looking into his pre-deviancy files, Nines was able to confirm that those touches had always been brief and very work-appropriate. Lately, this had changed. Gavin now seemed to oscillate between much longer, lingering touches, and avoiding any physical contact like the plague.
It was like whiplash every other week, Nines never sure if Gavin was going to be pressed up close to him as they hovered over a desk to review evidence, or if he would literally jolt away when Nines handed him a cup of coffee and their fingers happened to brush against each other.
He had, at first, attempted to reciprocate Gavin’s increased touching when appropriate, but that seemed to lead to mixed results as well. Nines could pull up a record of every instance of contact with Gavin, every time his fingers had been allowed to brush against the man’s arm through his jacket, or their hands had briefly touched over a file. Each instance sent a surge of positive reinforcement through Nines, his processors lighting up as he was allowed to be close to the man he was so desperately in love with. Sadly, Gavin seemed to be even more nervous about Nines initiating touch: there would be an initial soft lean into the point of contact and then a quick jerk away, usually accompanied by some sort of excuse to leave the area or the room.
And then there was the watching. Nines wasn’t sure if Gavin just didn’t know he could see the extended staring, or if he thought he was being subtle. Sure, as partners, they had to watch out for each other and keep an eye on one another. But the amount of staring that Gavin had begun to practice was noticeably different than what he had been engaging in prior to Nines’ deviation. It wasn’t that Nines minded feeling Gavin’s eyes on him. No, he kept a watchful eye on Gavin as well, both to protect and observe. It was just another layer of mystery surrounding Gavin’s actions towards him. Was he repulsed by Nines’ behavior now that he was a deviant? He didn’t think his behavior had changed that much, but he could easily be blind to his own faults.
Some part of Nines wanted (wanting, what a strange new concept) to believe that Gavin was also infatuated with him, at least on a physical level. The man’s heart rate and blood pressure often became elevated in situations where Nines’ body or physical capabilities were on display. When he had gotten his uniform jacket stained beyond repair, for example, and had to spend the rest of the day in the office in just his sleek black turtleneck, Gavin had avoided him like his life depended on it, but Nines had felt his stare from all the way across the bullpen. The attention had made something in Nines’ core programming flare up in a possessive, wanting curl. He wanted Gavin to look at him like that more, wanted to know that it was his form that was making the man stare. Unfortunately, there really weren’t any opportunities to try and stimulate more of this attention, not to mention the fact that Nines wasn’t entirely sure he knew what to do next if Gavin actually was physically attracted to him.
The RK900 model wasn’t made with the sexual sub-routines that made most androids more “human-like”. It seemed like almost every android, from caretaker PL600s to Eden Club WR400s, was equipped with the appropriate knowledge and programming to engage in physical intercourse. Even Connor, the closest relation to Nines, was equipped with enough human adaptability to make something work. At least, Nines assumed that he and Lieutenant Anderson were engaging in a physical relationship. It made sense, given their romantic relationship and their shared living space. But Nines…
Nines was different. Cyberlife had intended very specifically that he NOT integrate with humans, to avoid deviancy at all costs, and so they had not bothered to give him that particular set of code. He had poked around in his own programming out of curiosity after deviating, trying to figure out the limits of his own body, and it seemed as if the majority of his core processing power had been filled with Cyberlife security and combat sub-routines.
Nines was still equipped with genitalia, sure. He assumed it would have been too much of a hassle to deviate (hah, humor, another strange concept for his processors) from the base chassis just for one model. He could remove and fabricate whatever genitalia he wanted, just like every other model. But aside from some vague code allowing some stimulation to be received from touches, along with a manual control for the level of arousal, Nines was devoid of sexual programming. There most certainly wasn’t anything in his processors that would allow him to reach orgasm. This did not bother him over-much. He was certain of his ability to complete whatever mission he set for himself, regardless of his own pleasure. If he wanted to engage in intercourse with Gavin, he could.
Well. If Gavin would agree to it. And if Nines could figure out what one was actually supposed to do during intercourse. The basics were familiar to him, but he was unsure of how to make it actually pleasurable for a human partner. He supposed he could do some research on the internet, but that seemed risky given what he knew about the human tendency to over-exaggerate in unhealthy ways in media.
So Nines did the only thing he could think of - he asked Connor. After work, of course, because he understood that human decency protocols looked down on the discussion of sexual topics in the workplace environment. He requested that Connor come visit him in his apartment, away from Lieutenant Anderson, who would no doubt be greatly unsettled by the conversation that was about to take place.
When Connor arrived, he spent the first ten minutes fussing at Nines over the state of the apartment. “It’s so boring!” he complained. “Nines, you need more furniture than a sofa and your charging station! And the walls are still white.” He gave his younger brother an accusatory glare, no doubt replaying their conversation when Nines had moved in and assured Connor that he would decorate the place. “I apologize, I thought the sofa added the required amount of color to the room,” Nines said, and he had the decency to rearrange his facial features into a fairly good approximation of ‘sheepish’. It didn’t fool Connor, but he seemed placated by the effort. “Alright, I suppose it is your apartment…” he admitted, sitting down on the sofa and relaxing into the cushions so he could still face Nines slightly. “What is it you wanted to talk about, then?”
Nines saw no need to ‘beat around the bush’ as humans so cleverly said things. He knew that Connor wouldn’t mind, anyways. “I would like to engage in intercourse with a human male,” he said plainly, “but I do not possess the required sub-routines. I was hoping you would be able to share some of your experience and advice on how to make the process as enjoyable as possible for him.”
Connor’s face broke out into a grin as Nines explained, the outcome that Nines had correctly calculated as most likely. “Oh Nines, I’m so excited for you!” he exclaimed. “Intercourse is such a fascinating and fulfilling experience, especially with a partner you care about.” He was clearly thinking about Lieutenant Anderson, Nines deduced, as there was a light hint of blue peeking out on his cheeks. Yet another sub-routine he lacked, the ability to simulate human blush.
Connor seemed to break out of his little reverie with a blink of his LED, focusing back on Nines, who was watching him with his usual stoic expression. “Actually, Nines, who do you have in mind?” Connor asked curiously, “You phrased your request as if you had already decided on the person you intend to pursue…” Nines’ brows wrinkled together at that question, confused that Connor was unable to deduce the object of his affections. Surely it wasn’t that hard to see, he thought to himself, and the RK800 was supposed to be a detective model.
“Gavin Reed,” he stated. “Has my attention towards him somehow escaped your notice? I believe I was being quite obvious, at least for someone of your deductive skill.” He simply hadn’t thought to mention the name in his original statement, since the exact recipient didn’t seem to matter.
Connor’s expression morphed into something Nines had absolutely not predicted in any of his pre-constructions of this situation - shock, mixed with a fair bit of distress, or concern. “Detective Reed??” he spluttered, voice module seeming to skip a few notes as his processors struggled to catch up. “Nines, you can’t, he’s, well, he’s not a nice man! He has a deep-rooted prejudice against androids, and he has personally assaulted me at multiple points during our time as colleagues at the DPD!”
True, those had all been pre-revolution and pre-Nines, but Connor couldn’t help but feel a swell of worry over the idea of his brother engaging in intercourse with someone who had once pulled a gun on a coworker. Yes, he was conveniently ignoring the fact that Nines could absolutely annihilate Gavin with one hand behind his back. It was the principle of the thing!
Nines’ frown deepened at every point of data Connor presented to him, culminating in an expression that would no doubt have terrified a civilian. “Connor, I...” he began, then corrected his train of thought in accordance to the conversation path with the lowest probability of upsetting his brother.“I understand that Gavin was aggressive towards you, and I am sorry for that. He is not the best at conducting himself in a manner appropriate to work, and he lashes out instead of speaking about the emotional distress I fear he suffers from.” Nines paused, trying to work out how to express the depth of his feelings towards Gavin. “But he is also kind, when he thinks others are not watching, and he is affectionate in his own way. He values me as a partner and as a deviant, which is something I...did not dare hope for,” he continued, hands twitching uselessly in his lap as they attempted to initiate an interface he was not sure Connor would accept. Silently, the other android reached out and took his hands, gently, softly peeling away the layers of skin to see what Nines meant to say but couldn’t.
Connor’s expression softened out, eyes widening slightly as he saw events flash across his processors, felt the rush of affection so desperate it was almost overwhelming. Taking a moment to compose himself, Connor finally said softly, “Oh, Nines...I’m sorry, I didn’t realize...I didn’t realize you loved him.” Hearing it from another person’s mouth was like a jolt to Nines’ system, and he pulled his hands away, LED cycling yellow briefly as he processed the truth of that statement.
“Yes, I do love him,” he said finally, in a voice that Connor was able to identify as full of emotion (love, which should have been strange, felt as natural as if it had been hard-coded into his core). “He saved me, you know. He set me free.” Connor had to swallow down the emotions swelling up in his throat, knowing that Nines wouldn’t know what to do if he started crying. He had never suspected that Gavin Reed of all people was somehow involved in his brother’s deviation. Maybe there was something to the man after all.
“You don’t...think he would be open to a more romantic engagement as opposed to something physical?” Connor tried to ease into his suggestion despite knowing what the answer probably would be. Nines simply shook his head, insisting, “I do not think Gavin would react favorably to a romantic overture that did not involve intercourse. He is...emotionally closed off. Very guarded. I do not wish to upset him.” He couldn’t help the slightly miserable expression that statement painted across his face, or the way his LED flickered to yellow as he considered all of the things he wanted to have with Gavin but couldn’t risk asking for.
Breaking the awkward emotional silence that had descended between them, Connor patted Nines casually on the leg, saying, “Alright, well if you’re dead set on engaging Detective Reed in intercourse, I suppose I can’t say no. Just promise me you’ll be safe, alright? Don’t let him bully you.” Anyone observing this conversation would have laughed at how seriously the hulking assassin android nodded, promising, “I won’t. I have become very good at controlling Gavin’s outbursts.” Seeming satisfied with that, Connor extended his hand, offering the interface this time. “I think it will be easiest to simply show you the things that I think will be most useful for your mission. Although I will preface this with the warning that preferences differ, so please don’t take this as a model to copy directly from,” he explained, and Nines nodded again in understanding as he took his brother’s hand and began the data transfer.
Nines’ processors were awash with data - visual, audio, sensory - some of it so strong he was forced to deny the full transfer for fear of being overwhelmed. Some of the sensations were unreadable code, and he had to assume that those were expressions of Connor’s own arousal and physical attraction to Lieutenant Anderson, things that his core had no way of interpreting. But there were useful things inside of the rush of data, and Nines discreetly filed them away in separate sections of his memory for analysis later. Ways to touch, to hold, to taste…
Nines was gripped by that feeling of want again, as his memory triggered and brought up all the half-moments he had shared with Gavin: moments that he now knew could have been so much more. What would Gavin’s mouth taste like? What would it feel like to run his fingers down his chest and feel the toned muscle he knew for a fact had to be hidden under that worn jacket? Would Gavin make the same kind of noises as Lieutenant Anderson? He could only imagine they would be better. Nines’ pre-construction software was awhir with the possibilities as he parted from Connor’s interface link.
LED blinking softly, Nines once again focused in on his brother as their hands pulled apart, noticing the slight flush painted over Connor’s face from the force of bringing such memories to the surface again. “Thank you,” Nines said in the most sincere tone he could produce, “I appreciate you helping me accomplish my mission.”
Connor, seeming to blink his way out of whatever memory he was submerged in, smiled back at Nines and replied, “Of course! I always want to help however I can, Nines. And if you ever want more advice, Markus and his group have been nothing but open and supportive of my relationship with Hank!”
Nines was suddenly aware of Connor having sent him the link to a group chat with what looked like the entire Jericho crew sans Chloe. “I will remember that,” he said with the hint of a smile. It was pleasant to think that there was a group who would be supportive and accepting of his endeavors, even if he wasn’t quite ready to enter into it just yet.
Nines and Connor spent a while in comfortable companionship then, exchanging pleasantries and information that they didn’t have time or occasion to at work. It wasn’t long, however, before Connor received a message and relayed the fact that he would need to go home and walk Sumo with Hank. When Nines pointed out that he wasn’t necessarily ‘needed’ for that task, Connor simply smiled and replied, “Hank needs me to be there, so I’ll be there.”
Nines was struck with how fond Connor’s smile looked then, and wondered briefly if Gavin would ever need him to be somewhere. His partner had been pretty vocal about not needing an android when they first worked together, but at least the harsh protests had faded away by now. Still, there was no mention of needing Nines for anything, ever.
Connor departed with more encouragement and warnings to be careful, which Nines thoughtfully sat and considered once he was gone. He supposed there was still the physical aspect to consider, and he spent a little while going over the genitalia options at his disposal. Eventually he settled on what his research and calculations assured him was a slightly above average penis - nothing too intimidating, although he was unsure if Gavin would appreciate that more or less. Given the man’s search history and what Nines knew of his previous sexual encounters, this seemed the most likely to be physically pleasing to him.
Nines found himself generally unconcerned with the form of his body, an attitude he knew many other androids shared as well. Whatever was most likely to ensure the success of his mission or be the most convenient in a given situation was what he would choose for himself. And with that, all that was left was to figure out how to convince Gavin this was a good idea.
Nines was at a loss once more, but he was sure that it was nothing a few stasis cycles filled with pre-constructions couldn’t fix.
[A] Touch Gavin
[B] Proposition Gavin
[C] Woo Gavin
[D] … 🔒