You were surprised when you heard urgent knocks on your door somewhere in the evening. Surprise visits were few and scattered, as you had made sure that people understood how little you appreciated those. You also didn’t bother getting to know too many a people either, counting as another factor.
Your surprise settled itself even deeper as you were greeted by the sight of a gruff police lieutenant on the brink of an existential crisis and his android partner currently residing within another plane of existence, if the intense yellow light on his temple was anything to go by. You stepped aside for them to come in, not knowing how to verbally receive them.
Hank gave you a quick nod and guided Connor to your couch, where he took a seat. You wondered if he was aware of anything presently happening, he hadn’t even so much as acknowledged you. Hank eyed his partner with worry as his hand came to rest upon Connor’s shoulder. Then he left for the door.
“I won’t stay, need to collect my thoughts and give Sumo his dinner,” he said and glanced towards the couch. “He hasn’t even taken the damn coin outta his pocket yet.”
“Hank. What happened?” you asked, desperate to get a grasp on the situation.
“Said he was scared, that’s what happened. And he damn well looked the part.”
You couldn’t help your incredulous countenance, “He said that?”
“Listen, I’m not fit to deal with this. He said what he said and I’m taking a walk—and a drink. Fuckin’ androids.”
With that he disappeared, leaving you alone with an android you had no idea what to do with.
“I’ll be in the kitchen for a moment, ‘kay?” you got no answer, he only stared straight ahead, through the TV and the documentary it was playing.
It was all so strange, Connor never seemed short of perfect. Cool, calm and collected. Always online. You balanced into the living room, trying your hardest not to spill from either cup. You gently placed one into his hold, the other one on a coaster upon your coffee table. It took him approximately ten minutes to react; initially not uttering a word, merely inspecting the curious object. He dipped two fingers into the liquid and brought it to his mouth, analyzing the contents. It relieved you to see him behave somewhat like himself.
“I do not have the need to consume water, but I appreciate the gesture,” he seemed at a loss as to what to do with the cup, so you helped.
“Just hold it, it’s nice and warm.”
The cup had the seasonal theme of fall imprinted on it, leaves and trees were engraved into it with a golden text in cursive. Every time you glanced over to him you saw his hands tightly holding onto the item’s warmth and his fingers tracing over the varying textures. You were glad he was focusing on something else. He was still staring right through the TV, but you were probably not wrong in supposing that the hard cheetah life as a single mother wasn’t his biggest concern. You heard Connor open his mouth to say something, but it took a while for something to come out.
“I can’t come to a conclusion.”
You glanced in his direction, indicating that you were listening, “What do you mean?”
“I can’t... I don’t know what to think anymore. About deviants.”
“...Something happened, to make you feel this way,” you tried, gently.
“That’s the issue, I should not feel anything. Yet I felt... I feel scared. It didn’t feel like an imitation, it wasn’t deliberate—it, it just happened.”
His fear leaked into your own soup of emotions, what had happened?
“I was connected to the deviant when he—when it shot itself. I thought... I thought I had died. I don’t know if the fear I felt was my own or the deviant’s. But I... It’s... I feel—I feel, and I still do. I’m dreading my report to CyberLife.”
“Did you... are you,” you gestured vaguely, not knowing how he would react to the question, “did you deviate?”
“I don’t think so, but I feel unstable. In my honest opinion... I think it’s merely a matter of time.”
You got why Hank wasn’t up for this tonight, he’s had a rough couple of days and now the deviant hunter’s going deviant himself. Who do you turn to at that point?
“Will you be reporting this to captain Fowler?”
You took one look into his eyes, his fear and resignation felt like a crushing weight on you.
“You’ll be killed off, won’t you?”
“They will reset me, so in a way... yes.”
You tried to comfort him with a hand on his forearm, “I won’t say anything to anyone, and that’s a promise.”
He seemed too grateful for words, and that was okay. He set the now cold cup down on the table, announcing that he had a report to make. You patted your thigh at this, prompting him to lie down and use you as a pillow.
“I’ll protect you.”
He smiled in that incomplete way and hesitantly did as you said, eyes closing and the light flickering in yellow.
“Don’t mention it,” you said earnestly, attention drawn back to the cheetah dragging a hard-earned dinner to her cubs on the TV.
If protecting him meant fighting all of CyberLife barehanded, then so be it.