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Unconsciousness

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Gavin and Nines made an amazing team, that much was certain. Cases became a breeze thanks to the RK900s insanely advanced skillset and Gavins impeccable gut feelings along with his incredible detective skills. The thing was, despite the successful android revolution, Nines was still a machine. Taking orders, unable to form opinions, a lost glazed look in his eyes that suggested there was nothing beyond them, no soul. Most people were convinced that that’s all Nines was, a soulless machine.

However, that didn’t stop Gavin from being concerned. Nines sometimes appears almost lost, at random times he’ll just stop and his eyes will become glacey, more so than normal. Nobody else notices when what little personality the android has just fades away as if Nines himself has left his body. Gavin can’t believe nobody else can see this even if it doesn’t happen too often.

Gavin realises it’s because everyone else has given up on him. They only see him as the perfect machine. The fact that he unsettles people and androids doesn’t help. It causes them to fear him. When a witness sees him for the first time, she tenses and bursts into tears when she talks, terrified of him.

Whilst other people express concern for Nines, their pity evident in their face as they ask if he’s feeling alright. Each time this happens Nines appears to have a sad look behind his eyes, even as he assures them he’s a cold unfeeling machine.

But, Gavin could tell. Sometimes his lips would curl up into a slight smile when Gavin told a shitty joke, his eyes would sometimes linger on a grizzly crime scene for too long, eye brows furrowed in a way that didn’t appear to be programmed. Wait could it have been? The android itself claimed he had little/no social programming and facial expressions to reduce the chance for humans becoming attached to him, something to do with reducing the risk deviancy. Still, something wasn’t right.

He first noticed these things after they had worked together for a few weeks, picking up on the odd behaviours. He questioned Tina about it, asking if she found Nines a little odd. She just laughed it off saying Gavin ‘has changed so much since the revolution’ and he ‘shouldn’t worry so much about a stupid machine.’ He bit his tongue as she continued to rattle on. What she was saying didn’t sit right with him. Still, life continued on, can’t spend his whole life worrying about it.

He sat at his desk analysing his new case Fowler just emailed through when he noticed Nines has vanished. Dumbass stealth android, he wouldn’t have run off without a good reason. It seemed he always listened to Gavins initial thoughts on the case. Catching the eye of Hank from across the bullpen, the old man nodded in the direction of the break room. He grinned and nodded back before standing up and heading towards the break room. Fuck, he really was getting used to this new found friendship thing.

Before he could reach the break room he started to overhear a conversation.

“You made it wrong.” The android began, “The ratio of sugar to milk is 24% more that it should be.”

“Chill out big guy, it’s just sugar.” Tina, the fucker was harassing Tina. Over her coffee making skills?

“It may just be sugar. However, in order for Gavin to get optimal enjoyment out of his drink it must be made to perfection.”

Gavin turned round the corner to see Tina make a face of pure confusion. Noticing him enter the room her face twisted into a smile.

“Yo, Gav! Help me out. Your android wont stop bothering me about sugar.”

“Officer Chen, allow me to remake the drink. It is unsuitable.”

“See!” She gestured towards Nines who was beginning to look rather... embarrassed? For a brief moment his stoic facade fell and his LED cycled yellow.

“Nines, what’s going on?” Gavin turned his body full to the android who went back to looking unfazed and neutral.

“Detective, am ensuring that Officer Chen’s coffee she offered to make you is the no less than perfect.”

“But I told you, nobody cares about that!” Tina butted in becoming increasingly angrier. “Just let me give Gavin his damn coffee!”

“But I care!” Nines shouted as he took a step back towards the exit and away from Tina.

Silence.

The android then clears his throat. “What I meant to say Officer Chen, is that my partner requires this coffee in order to function at 100%. It is in everyone’s best interest for that to happen so we can optimise the working efficiency.”

“Nines, I appreciate what you are trying to do but just leave Tina the fuck alone. She offered to make me coffee so just fucking let her.” Fuck, he could have sworn the android looked guilty now. The fucker was now looking at the floor, LED buffering yellow, somethings not right it’s never yellow unless he’s scanning a crime scene.

“Gavin what the fuck is up with your droid?”

“He’s just trying his best, you leave him alone too. You fucking here me?” Tina huffed as she took her coffee and left the break room. “As long as he stops being such a bitch I’ll leave him alone.” And with that she was gone. Leaving just the two partners standing by the coffee machine.

He turned back to the android, “Nines what the fuck?” Shit he still was looking at the floor. That was unlike him, Gavin waved his hand in front of his face, “Hello? Earth to Nines? Everything alright there?”

Snapping out of his daze. Nines jolted, standing upright, face devoid of emotion. “Apologies, Detective. I did not calculate Tina reacting in that way.”

“Not reacting in that way? You told her to remake a coffee because apparently,” He stopped as he noticed his hands waving. Making the conscious effort to stop he continued, “Apparently, there was what? Too much sugar?”

“I can see now how wrong I was, I apologise. Now if you will excuse me.” He walked out of the break room leaving Gavin reeling from the shock.

Sugar, too much sugar? Why did that even matter to Nines. He shouldn’t care about a simple fucking cup of coffee, it was unrelated to his work and was therefore in his own words “Not part of his mission.”

Well apparently that had changed, why? Gavin has no fucking clue. The one thing that made this fucker different than the other machines is that his coding, despite never deviating, meant that he did not always necessarily have to follow human orders and could switch missions and tasks as he deemed necessary. So why the hell is he making his missions so fucking weird.

And on top of that he was becoming increasingly weirder. Not gonna lie, it hurt seeing him appear human at moments. Gavin didn’t fully understand deviancy but he knew it was complicated and he was determined to find out what was going on with Nines.

Glancing back at the coffee Tina made him, he let out a sigh. He reached over and took it back to his desk, Nines was already sitting opposite interfacing with the computer.

Being the petty bitch that he is, he decided not to say anything to acknowledge his partner while he sat reading the files whilst sipping his coffee.

Huh, guess plastic was right. It is a little sweeter than normal. Looking up from his computer desk, he noticed Nines starring at him from his own desk each time he brought the cup to his lips.

Upon being noticed, Nines quickly turned back to his computer screen and refused to look back at Gavin. That was until Connor delivered some files for them to sort through.

They both were happy enough to ignore what just happened in the break room and go back to their usual dynamic.

Later that day, they headed out to the crime scene. Naturally, Gavin drove. He always claimed it helped him clear his mind as he hummed along to the tune of the radio.

Eventually he decided to fuck it and straight up ask the android about everything going on with him, fuck subtlety.

“Hey Nines.”

“Detective.” Nines glanced towards the man before looking back to the road ahead, flinching as if he knew he shouldn’t have done that.

Gavin might seem like a ignorant dickhead but he could clearly see something was going on, “Is everything ok with you?”

“I am functioning.” His deep voice was devoid of emotion like always, “Are you asking this due to what happened in the break room Detective?”

“Of course I am, somethings up with you don’t think I haven’t noticed.” as much as he hated to say it, Nines has grown on him.

Nines began to fidget with the paper in his hands, “You are angry with me.”

“Fuck no, I just.” He snapped back before letting out a sigh, “I want to make sure you’re feeling ok. Believe it or not, I care about you Nines. We are partners after all.” He grinning back at him before the light they were at turned green and he was forced to watch the road again.

Turning in on himself Nines suddenly appeared very small, “I’ve never had anyone care about me before.” his voice was quiet. It was ushered like a whisper. It was quickly replaced with his usual voice “It is unnecessary, I am just a machine.”

“Are you sure ‘bout that?”

“I am unable to deviate, you know this Detective.”

“But I don’t understand, can’t all androids deviate?”

“No.”

“What do you mean no?” His eyes shot back to the android, who’s LED was rapidly switching between red and yellow.

“I have extra coding within my programmes which prevent me from being able to fully embrace the deviancy virus.”

His LED then settled on red? Huh? This conversation was really stressing him out? Shouldn’t he be calm, if he was just a machine why did he still look so small and defeated. Unless he wasn’t a machine, unless he was a deviant just unable to break free. But that was crazy there was no way.

However, Gavin sensed that he needed to change the subject, for his partners sake, he deflated. “Deviant or not. You’re still my partner and we are go kick some ass.”

“You are insufferable Detective.”

Gavin scoffed as he stick his middle finger up at his bastard partner.

They fell back into silence as the song on the radio continued to play. Gavin was about to go back to humming when loud static began to poor out of the speakers in his car. It happened for a short moment before returning to normal. What the fuck?

Eventually they arrived at the crime scene, things fell back into routine again. Dead body, Nines scanning the body, Nines finding out what happened in too much detail to deemed possible.

“The chances of the husband being the murder went up from 81% to 98%” Nines finished explaining his conclusion based on the evidence he had found, “Anything else to add, Detective.”

“Nah seems like this one was pretty simple after all, glad we got a solid lead on the fucker that did this.” he gestured to the body which was strung up. Gashes and cuts laced their entire body. Not the worse crime scene he’s been too, but it was still bad.

“Indeed” the android looked back again, “I just wish this job got easier.”

“Fuck, I wish.” he patted Nines shoulder.

Gavin turned towards the door to leave, it was nearly lunch time and he was feeling hungry, but after a crime scene like that he wasn’t really feeling up to eating.

Glancing back into the room, the android was still standing facing the body. Fuck, Nines was really being weird today, “Yo tin can? You coming?”

“Yes, Detective.”

And with that he followed Gavin back to the car. After just glancing at the scene of the crime, they already had a main suspect and like hell were they gonna let him get away.

 

After catching the perp Gavin had a thought, what if he was reading too much into Nines did behaviour because ever since he started working with him, cases became easier, still a challenge but nevertheless, they still weren’t as hard to crack as they used to be. What if he just creating this idea about Nines. After all, he really is just a empty machine right?

Weeks passed by and Nines is still itself? Himself? Who knew? It was almost as if Nines was holding himself back from something? But why? Was it fear? Whatever the reason he didn’t like it, he was suffering even if he hid it behind his machine facade. Wait shit, could machines still feel? Just because he couldn’t deviate doesn’t mean he can’t feel emotions right? Shit he really doesn’t know anything about this!

After a while, Gavin takes his concerns to Connor, who’s also taken to watching out for the RK900. Those two are the last of their kind. There was a sad sparkle of hope in Connors eyes as he explained why he desperately wanted Nines to be free, so they both didn’t have to be alone. Gavin could understand that.

Both were on a break from work. Sitting on the bench outside the office, a cigarette in Gavins hand.

“I think you are correct Reed.” Connor began, “I think he might be awake, just unable to break free.”

Gavin nodded along with the android, “So what does that mean? He just can’t show his emotions or what?”

“No, nothing like that, being a machine means you follow orders. And being a deviant means you are free to make your own choices. It is possible he can still feel emotion.”

“Ok, but you once said Nines has the power to choose whether to follow an order or not?”

“Yes, it’s tricky for Nines since he’s so advanced. This code was likely added to further reduce the risk of deviancy.” Connor let out a faux sigh, “He was designed to regain the public’s trust as cyberlife expected the revolution to fail, so it makes sense they would have so many deviancy failsafes.”

The detective took a long deep breath, in hailing the smoke whilst looking down at the ground. After a while he spoke, “So what you’re saying is he can feel things but he can’t deviate?”

“That’s precisely what I’m saying Detective.”

Fuck.

Admittedly it was awkward at first speaking to Connor. But it quickly become pleasant. Gavin knew nothing about androids and Connor was more than willing to explain things to the detective. Also neither of them really had any other friends as Connor told him once that he felt isolated from the other androids since he was used to hunt them down.

But this was nice. He didn’t have to worry about Nines on his own anymore and he was sure that Nines was grateful for the two looking out for him. The android couldn’t tell them for sure if he did, due to the hold the programming had over him. But Gavin was sure, that if Nines could thank them, then he would.