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When Thirium Runs Cold

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Nines glanced over his shoulder, watching the shadow of Gavin moving through the curtains. He snickered, turning back to lean over the guardrail. He reached into his sleeve and pulled out the cigarette he had stashed there earlier. He pulled his lighter from his pocket and flicked the flame on.

“What are you doing?”

Nines startled, spinning around. He flew his arms out to the side, the cigaret loosening from his grip and falling the four stories down to the ground. Gavin was standing by the door, arms crossed, foot tapping against the balcony.

“Uh.” Nines looked between his open hand and the lighter, which had gone out in the spin. “I was just, uh, getting some fresh air.” He gave Gavin a wide smile.

“Mhm.” Gavin stepped forward, holding one hand out, gesturing with his fingers a bit.

Nines deflated a little. He nodded over the side of the balcony. “It fell.” Gavin raised an eyebrow at him. “What? That’s all I had, honest!” Gavin gave him a disappointed frown. Nines gasped and placed his hand over his chest. “You don’t believe me?”

Gavin shook his head and walked forward. He grabbed Nines’ other arm and pulled it forward, pushing the sleeve up and revealing the backup cigarette he had stashed there. Nines frowned as Gavin snapped it in half and dropped it to the floor.

“Honestly,” Gavin said. “I don’t see why you continue such dreadful habits.”

Nines shrugged. “I guess I’m just a bad, bad boy.” He stepped closer, sly smile on his face. “Guess you’ll just have to punish me.” He shook his head slightly and rubbed one of Gavin’s arms.

The android was not impressed. He stepped back, shrugging with his hands out to the side. “I guess your punishment will have to be not hearing the message I just got from Hank.”

Nines pouted. “You, uh, you heard from him? is he?”

Gavin smiled softly at him. “They’re both fine.”

Nines scoffed, crossing his arms and turning his head away. “Like I care.”

Gavin chuckled softly. “Well, he said they found some unique evidence at a new crime scene that may interest you.”

Nines glanced at him. “Oh, yeah? They find Connor’s big ass head?”

“Seriously? Are you still upset about that?”

“No.” Nines scoffed. “Of course not.” He scoffed again. “Why would I?”

“Right. Well, do you wanna hear what they found or not?”

Nines pouted, shrinking down a bit. “Yeah, fine, whatever.”

“A hair.”

Nines blinked at him. “That is the single most interesting thing ever found at a crime scene I’m so glad you told me.”

Gavin laughed. “It’s who the hair belongs to that’s the interesting thing.”

“Then why didn’t you lead with that, hm? Who is it?”

“Does the name Oakley Magdalena ring any bells?”

“What?” Nines dropped his arms, certain that the name Gavin gave him had to be a trick or some kind of cruel lie. “That’s impossible.”

“Well it’s not. Hank just called me to let you know.”

“Of course,” Nines said, resuming his pouting mode. “That little jerk couldn’t be bothered to tell me.”

Gavin sighed. “He’s your brother, Nines. You gotta let it go.”

“He’s the one who has to let it go! I’m totally over it.”

“Obviously.” Gavin rolled his eyes. “So are we going or not?”


“To Detroit? To work the case?”

“Oh. Uh. C-can we?”

“I’ve already asked the captain. He said we could take the time off to go help, considering your work on the case already. You and Connor know it better than anyone else.”

Nines sighed. He turned to lean over the railing, looking down at the lowly-lit grass below. “Yeah. I guess. I mean, that case was our dad’s biggest regret. They day Fowler closed it was the worst.”

Gavin slid up next to him, placing a hand on his back. “Well, now gives you the opportunity to finish it for him.”

“Yeah. Hey. YEAH! That jerk! I bet Connor didn’t tell me so he could solve it all on his own the big idiot! Well I’ll show him. C’mon Gav. We’re gonna go to Detroit and solve it first!”