Unlike Connor who had a preference for things that smelled and/or looked aesthetically pleasing to eat, Nines just kinda ate whatever. There didn’t seem to be a preference but he also had a knack for eating things because he’d someone else eating it.
After Connor’s eating phase died out (which was approximately five months), Hank felt like he was going to be prepared for Nines’ five months of “android development”. Or at least that what he and Amari were speculating. Other androids didn’t seem to be having this issue and Amari suspected it was due to two things.
One, other androids didn’t have father figures like Hank- and if they did, androids mostly assumed a caretaker’s role. Not the “child” role. Two Part A (specific to Connor), he chose to become deviant rather than acquiring through a trauma. Two Part B (specific to Nines), he was “born” after the revolution and was immediately adopted into the family where he also assumed the “child” role. Unlike all the others whom Connor freed from CyberLife.
Hank had learned from Connor’s… eating habits, which have now thankfully have returned to normal, that Nines was bound to do the same thing. Hank had fail safes in place thanks to Amari working with him on those. If Nines ate something that expanded his stomach, Hank knew how to find the valve that would release pressure until he could safely get Nines to a hospital. If it was something corrosive, Hank had a pill that would temporarily stop whatever reaction was happening. If he was overheating, well, that was a simple coolant drink and a trip to the hospital. Basically, Hank was prepared and ready for whatever was going to get thrown at him. He hoped anyway.
As Hank stared at the bag of popcorn in the microwave he tried so hard to block out the petty argument of his two adopted sons on the couch. Apparently, the couch wasn’t big enough for the two of them. It really was, Hank made sure of it after the whole mites infestation and had to buy a new couch.
“Move,” Nines hissed kicking Connor’s leg.
“No, you’re the one who’s in my space,” Connor hissed back and shoved Nines with just as much force.
Nines scowled and kicked back locking his legs, “My legs are longer so I need more space.”
Connor retaliated with pinching the back of Nines’ knees forcing the other to unlock them, “So find space somewhere else. Not in mine.”
“Eights!” Nines kicked him again trying to establish dominance.
Connor kicked him back refusing to budge, “You move, you’re bigger. Besides I’m older you have to do what I say.”
“No I don’t!” Nines growled, “Just because you’re older-”
“How about you both move because I'm the biggest,” Hank interrupted and squeezed himself between the two androids.
He set the popcorn in his lap and groaned as the two dove for the bowl trying to fight off each other for first dibs.
“Okay, stop!” Hank’s voice rose but not enough to be properly classified as pissed. “If neither of you can behave-” Hank didn’t have to say anymore than that because both androids zipped back to their respective places and shut their mouths. “Good.”
The TV was flipped on and some magic show was playing. It wasn’t normally Hank’s choice of entertainment but for some reason it fascinated Nines and Connor; each one trying to work out how the trick had been done without looking it up online.
The first twenty minutes of the show were boring to Hank- he’d seen them done a million times before- but he liked listening to Nines and Connor gasp and react with the audience. Another five minutes passed and the boys were falling silent.
The TV magician sucked the ink from the pen, grabbed the canvas from the table and spat all over it. Just like “magic” a painting of the Detroit skyline appeared in vivid detail.
Hank glanced over at Nines wondering if the android had seen the magician sucking the ink from the pen. Instead of watching the TV screen Nines’ head was tilted backwards and his mouth hung open. The kid was fast asleep and couldn’t care less about the show.
Hank felt a soft thump on his other shoulder and saw Connor’s head bobbing forward. He had to admit it was endearing that they had decided to install the stasis countdown patch allowing them to fall asleep like a human would. Slowly, instead of just flipping a switch. It activated at 10% battery and at 5% they were asleep.
The only downside to the patch was that Hank wouldn’t be able to wake either of them long enough to get them to sleep in their beds. For the first time, Hank was grateful that Connor and Nines insisted he start working on muscle strength. Because now, he could at least get Connor’s heavy ass into bed. Nines was delightfully built as a lighter model so he only weighed about seventy-two pounds.
Hank pushed the blanket up under their chins and let them sleep. Sumo trotted into the bedroom and jumped up onto Connor’s bed. The android made a small noise but was right back to sleep in less than a second.
Gavin laughed loudly and obnoxiously. “I can do that shit in my sleep.”
“Impossible,” Nines informed him, “in order to perform any kind of ‘magical’ trick, one must be conscious.”
“How about the idiots getting sawed in half?” Gavin challenged, “they’re all knocked out.”
“They are not,” Nines argued back, “it is all part of the illusion. They are simply pretending to be knocked out rather than actually unconscious.”
Gavin scowled. “Wow, you really suck all the fun out of it don’t you tin can?”
“Fun is a relative term- oh.” Nines didn’t finish his sentence because his partner was already walking away.
“Tin can?” Gavin poked his head into the break room. Again, there was no sign of his partner. “Hey Ben,” he asked the officer who was making himself a cup of coffee, “have you seen Nines? I wanna fucking go to lunch already.”
Ben looked up, “I think he’s in the evidence locker.”
“Damnit Nines,” Gavin growled and marched out of the break room and to the evidence locker. He swung open the door expecting to find Nines mulling over some evidence or piecing together some cold case.
“OH MY GOD!” Gavin was screamed. Nines was sitting on the floor with a box of pens and there was blood dripping out of his mouth.
Nines was startled by Gavin’s sudden presence that he choked and began spitting blue across the floor.
Gavin ran over and began checking Nines for injuries and screaming for Hank. He knew his voice was loud and hoped it was loud enough for someone to hear him. “Fuck! Are you hurt!? What happened!?”
“Detective,” Nines garbled, “I’m fine.”
“You don’t fucking look or sound fine! HANK WHERE ARE YOU!?”
“FUCKING HELL!” Hank appeared at the door and was at Nines’ side in an instant. “What the fuck happened!?”
“I’m fine,” Nines voice sounded like he was underwater, “It’s not thirium.”
That got Hank and Gavin to stop.
“It’s not blood?” Hank clarified, “You’re not injured?”
Nines shook his head. “I was attempting to recreate the ink painting from last night.”
“I thought you fell asleep for that part?”
“I saw the beginning of it and then I looked up the rest of it online this morning.”
“Dammit Nines,” Hank groaned, “it’s a fucking trick pen filled with a water based whatever bullshit. There’s no actual ink in there and the fucking canvas is fucking coated in wax so the fake ink doesn’t stick to it!”
“Oh…” Nines’ LED was blinking bright red as he stared at the ruined piece of paper. He averted his eyes, “I should most likely inform you that the sensation of procuring ink from the cartridge with my mouth was pleasurable and I found myself unable to stop.”
Hank shucked his jacket and began to scrub at Nines’ face, “How much ink did you swallow?”
Nines averted his eyes before mumbling as soft, “Approximately twenty cartridges.”
Hank groaned and abandoned the towel. “Get in the car, we’re going to the hospital.”