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Handle With Care

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Hank lay in bed, feeling more than a little sorry for himself. As if it wasn’t bad enough he’d been shot by a low-level red-ice dealer, he’d been released from hospital before he could even begin to take care of himself.

“You’ll be all right.” The doctor had chuckled as Hank gave him the stink-eye from his bed. “Your insurance allows for a state-of-the-art prototype care android to wait on you hand and foot while you recover.”

“I don’t want to be taken care of by a fuckin’ android!” Hank tried to sit up, but the agony in his gut forced him back down. In his mind’s eye he could see the surgery android who’d operated on Cole, its clear apron still stained with his boy’s blood as it shook its head in mock sympathy.

“You can’t stay here, Lieutenant Anderson. Unless you can foot the $5000 per-day fee for your private room?”

Hank grumbled low in his throat. “Fuck this world,” he muttered. “You think you can just replace everyone with androids. Well I’ll make sure this piece of crap fails and then you’ll either send me a real nurse or re-admit me when I tear my goddamn stitches.”

“I think you’ll change your mind when you see what the RK800 has to offer,” the doctor said, pressing a pamphlet into Hank's hands. A pretty, wide-eyed, brown haired boy looked up at him from the glossy paper, a soft smile on his lips.

Foolishness. It was nothing more than a machine, designed to complete a task. He found the fight had ebbed out of him and he was simply tired. Maybe it was a good thing he was going home. Sumo was probably going stir-crazy by now with Jeffrey checking in on him twice a day. The android might be able to walk the dog at least. He sure wasn't letting it do anything else.

“All right,” Hank relented. “I’m tired, doc. Get me the fuck outta here. I hate hospitals.”

***

The RK800 was scheduled for delivery this morning and Hank sighed as the doorbell rang. He wasn’t getting out of bed for the damn thing, especially since it would take him upwards of ten minutes to do so. If he waited long enough, maybe it would go away and he could complain to the hospital that it never showed up.

The doorbell kept ringing, the button held down a lot longer than was appropriate. Probably one of the last human delivery drivers left, irate and eager to get this thing off his truck.

“Lieutenant Anderson?” A high voice echoed through the house, a perfect fit for the pretty boy face Hank had seen on the pamphlet.

“Come in!” Hank yelled over Sumo’s incessant barking. “It’s open.” The front door creaked and Sumo growled. Hank half-hoped the dog might tear the android apart, but then again he didn’t want to foot the bill for damaged equipment.

Guilt surged through him as he heard the android speak in a soft voice that echoed in from the other room. “Good boy, Sumo.”

How the fuck did it know Sumo’s name? Before he could ask, the android stood in the doorway to his bedroom. It wore a standard white CyberLife medical android uniform, armband and triangle glowing blue in the low light.

“I am the RK800 assisted living prototype android. My name is Connor. I’m glad to be here to help you recover, Lieutenant Anderson.” The android managed a goofy smile and Hank rolled his eyes at its mock enthusiasm.

“Yeah, yeah.” Fake bullshit platitudes were not up his alley. “I need to piss. You’re two hours late. I’ve been stuck here waitin’ on you.”

“Your instructions from the hospital stipulated you were to remain with your designated care person until my arrival.”

“Yeah well, I’m not exactly drowning in family here. One of my work colleagues was helping me, but there was an emergency he had to take care of.”

“Captain Jeffrey Fowler from Detroit's Central Precinct, am I correct?”

“Don’t do that,” Hank snapped.

“Do what, Lieutenant?”

“Spy on me. First you know my dog’s name, now my boss? Guess you think you know everythin' about me, huh?”

“I know you became the youngest Lieutenant in Detroit after being involved in a number of high-profile cases.”

Once, Hank might have been proud of that fact but now it only reminded him of the failure he'd become. "Did they tell you I've received a number of disciplinary warnings in recent years and I was drunk when that perp shot me?" Hank sighed. "Just get outta here. I don't need a plastic prick takin' care of me. I'm perfectly capable—" He tried to get out of bed, but almost fell. Connor caught him effortlessly, supporting his weight.

“I’m sorry if my presence here makes you uncomfortable, but I am not allowed to leave. You need care and it is my duty to give it to you.”

“You think you’re so smart...” Hank pushed Connor away as he hobbled towards the bathroom. His body betrayed him and he swayed into the wall. Connor wrapped an arm around him and Hank relented this time.

“I’m here to take care of you whether you want me to or not, Lieutenant. I suggest you let me do my job so you can get rid of me at your earliest convenience.”

“Fine. Whatever.” Hank stopped struggling and let Connor help him to the bathroom. It was weird, pissing while the android watched him impassively, keeping him on his feet while he gripped his dick. He wasn’t used to having an audience. “Suppose you’re gonna insist on bathing me too, huh?”

“Poor personal hygiene is the leading cause of infections. My appearance and voice was designed for maximum integration with the least amount of discomfort to patients.”

“Well they fucked up.” Hank tucked his dick back into his boxers and allowed himself to be led back to the bedroom. He was tired as soon as he climbed back into bed, the short excursion feeling like a marathon so soon after surgery.

“Need a nap,” Hank grumbled. “Get the fuck outta here, would ya?”

“Understood, Lieutenant.” Connor left the room, closing the door with a quiet click and Hank sighed, falling into a deep sleep almost at once.

Chapter Text

It was just a machine. Just a machine. Hank repeated this mantra a dozen times as Connor set him down into the bathtub, warm water barely covering his genitals. He zoned out as Connor sponged him down, trying not to think of those soft brown eyes roaming over his dick, his hands lifting it and kneading it softly, cleaning underneath his balls…

If he got an erection he was sending the fucking thing back. No ifs, buts, or maybes.

Fortunately, he did not, and before he knew it he was sitting on a towel on the edge of the bed, Connor toweling him down gently.

"Lieutenant Anderson, there's no need to be anxious."

"I'm not anxious." Hank narrowed his eyes.

"Your heart rate and blood pressure indicate otherwise. You are in an aroused state. The most likely reason for this is fear."

"I am not—aroused. Get the fuck outta here!" Hank closed his eyes, shame flushing his cheeks. He wasn't hard. Connor had just used a poor word choice. Connor was damn good at that. "Can't you call me something other than Lieutenant Anderson?"

"You have not given me permission to use your first name, Lieutenant," Connor pointed out.

"Well—do it."

"As you wish, Henry."

"Not Henry!" Hank laughed. He hadn't heard that name in years. Not since he was about five years old and his mother yelled at him for tracking mud into the house. Back when kids played outside and didn't hang out playing video games with their androids all day. "Hank. Call me Hank."

Connor smiled. "It's nice to meet you, Hank."

"We've already met." Hank sighed. He felt a lot better once Connor wiggled him into a pair of tattered boxers and he was no longer letting it all hang out. He was able to slip into his own grey t-shirt by himself, though he was a little ashamed of how faded and stained it was. Of how disgusting everything in this house was. Maybe Connor couldn't judge, but those fucks at CyberLife were probably watching everything, poking fun at Hank's messy bedroom with its moldy ceiling in one corner where the roof leaked.

"Let's take you into the kitchen," Connor said. He hauled Hank to his feet against his will, putting his hands low down on Hank's back to support him.

"I don't wanna walk. It hurts," Hank complained. "Can't you just leave me alone?"

"Exercise is vital in your recovery efforts, Hank. You can't stay in bed and eat junk food all day. I've composed a balanced breakfast." He helped Hank slump down into a chair. Hank despaired as he saw the plate of fresh fruit sitting before him. Some kind of green smoothie sat in a glass and Hank wasn't sure if it was algae from the pond out back.

"The fuck is this? I didn't even know I had fruit in the house," Hank observed.

"You did not. I had to go shopping while you were asleep. Twenty-two dollars and ninety cents has been charged to your credit card."

Hank took a bite of melon. "Please tell me you've got some sugar packets for this." He tried to get up, but Connor eased him back down.

"Eat, Hank. You need to get your strength up. You don't need the sugar."

"No. I'm not eatin' this." Hank shoved the plate away. He picked up the glass. The smoothie smelled vile as he tried to swill it around. The thick sludge barely moved. "Can't you cook me an egg or somethin'?"

"You need your vitamins. This breakfast is designed to help you lose weight and recover more quickly," Connor explained. He pushed the plate back towards Hank, who pushed it away again.

"You fuckin' eat it, then," Hank snapped.

Connor looked at him with soft eyes. "I don't eat, Hank. I'm an android."

"Right. Yeah." Hank's stomach growled. "How could I forget? A human would have compassion. You've been sent to fuckin' torture me while I can't fend for myself."

"Your recovery will be swifter if you follow my instructions," Connor explained.

"I wish the bullet had been fatal," Hank said. "Fuck this and fuck you. Either you make me somethin' half-decent, or I'm calling the hospital and telling them to re-admit me, medical bills or not."

"I suppose I could make you egg whites."

"There. A compromise. That wasn't so hard, was it?" Hank sighed. Why had they stuck him with this fucking android? The next couple of months were going to be awful. The most he could do was think of Connor going to the crusher when it was all said and done. This stupid tin can would be out of his hair forever and he'd be able to go back to work.

It was petty, but it was something. Hank kept his eyes on Connor as the android made eggs. He wanted to rebel as Connor tossed out the best part of the egg, but arguing with the machine was senseless. He couldn't make his own eggs, so he had to put up with whatever Connor made him.

After breakfast Connor helped him to the couch, where he lay amongst the couch cushions trying not to feel sorry for himself. He surfed the channels, trying to find something to watch that remotely interested him, and finally left the news on. Connor cleaned around him, which only made Hank feel more worthless. Now he needed an android to clean up after him? It was shameful that he'd fallen so low.

"Do you mind turning off that fuckin' Roomba? I'm trying to watch television," Hank yelled.

Connor stopped cleaning, the Roomba by his feet pausing in its tracks. The android's LED circled red, and Hank wondered if androids had a last straw. Hadn't taken long to piss it off, all things considered. He'd been nicer to Connor than his last few police partners, but that wasn't saying much at all.

"I can have an ambulance here within the hour to return you to the hospital. Is there anybody else you would like me to call?" Connor looked almost sad as he appeared to resign himself to the fact his task was an impossible one.

"You'd do that? Let me go back to the hospital?" Hank asked.

"If it's truly your wish, keeping you here will only delay your recovery. It is against my protocol to harm humans, and my behavior has been detrimental to your overall stress levels. I apologize for failing in my objective. I must have done something wrong, and I hope the problem will be rectified in future models."

Hank looked down at his hands, suddenly unable to meet Connor's gaze. "What will happen to you?"

"I will be deactivated and analyzed to find out why I failed. All medical assistance androids are destroyed after use anyway, to keep patient data secure and remove all risk of cross-contamination."

"You say that so coldly. You don't care about your fate?" Hank raised an eyebrow.

"I'm an android, Hank. Androids don't want anything. I'm just a machine, designed to complete a task, and if I've failed in that, I have no value at all."

"Don't—Don't say shit like that." Hank reached forward and grabbed Connor's hand. "Maybe I was too harsh on you. You're just tryin' to help and here I am, making it impossible for you to do your job. Cancel the ambulance. Let's give this thing one more shot, shall we?"

Connor shot him a soft smile, and Hank's heart melted a little. Machine or not, it did have a pretty smile. He could do far worse than to have a nurse so easy on the eyes to take care of him in the privacy of his own home.

Chapter Text

Hank wondered if this compromise thing had been a mistake when Connor insisted on sitting down in the armchair in the corner of his bedroom to watch Hank rest.

"I can't sleep like this," Hank grumbled in the dark. It was hot, and he was naked beneath the sheets. Connor had stripped him down and tucked him in with professional care, but Hank couldn't help but feel exposed, the thin sheet sticking to his skin and exposing the shape of him. Not like Connor hadn't seen it all in the tub. Touched his cock, soaped down the length of it, fondling his balls in plastic hands…

He'd been too petrified to get a hard-on then, but he was quickening now. He wanted to touch himself, but the damn android didn't sleep. Connor would see everything, and call him out on it. Christ, when had he become such a disgusting old man? He'd always turned his nose up at people who slept with their androids. They were just the folks who couldn't get a real date.

Well, it wasn't like he'd had a date in a long time, either. He'd had nothing but his own right hand in years, and he hadn't cared much about it until this pretty little android walked into his life.

Hank sighed. He couldn't fall asleep, but he couldn't touch himself either. Connor might be in standby mode, but he had to be monitoring Hank's vital signs. It was part of his job.

"Hank, are you having trouble sleeping?" Connor's voice was soft as satin and Hank turned his face into the pillow, wishing he could just suffocate himself and be done.

"I need some personal time, Connor. If you catch my drift." Hank cleared his throat to get his point across, and was relieved when Connor stood up from the armchair to leave.

The bed bowed as Connor put his weight on it, kneeling next to Hank, and Hank realized with horror that Connor wasn't leaving at all. Only the sheet separated them, and Hank felt like a deer caught in the headlights.

"I can help you with that. My model is not fitted with genitalia, but I am capable of stimulating your sexual organs with my hands and my mouth. Orgasms are good for your health, Hank." His sterile come-on was both horrifying and horny, a twisted seduction that Hank couldn't wrap his head around.

Hank grabbed the sheets and backed up against the wall, terrified and excited by this new development as Connor's proposition sank in. His pathetic erection tented beneath the thin material, giving him away as if his vitals hadn't already done that for him. Connor smiled, a come-hither glance making Hank question his resolve.

"62% of men say they prefer android sex," Connor pointed out. "You don't need to be afraid. It's perfectly natural to find me desirable. My face and voice were specifically tailored to your preferences. Many patients cannot take care of their own needs, and so I was designed to assist you with the least amount of discomfort."

"62% of men aren't me, and I am extremely uncomfortable." Hank was repulsed that this… thing was capable of seducing him in his own home, and further repulsed by the fact that he wanted to give in and let this robot touch him. Connor's lips would look so good wrapped around his dick, but that didn't make it right. Connor was more than just a fleshlight for his personal use, but less than a real, consenting partner. "You're supposed to be taking care of me. Get out of here before I file a complaint with CyberLife." His words came out a little sharper than he intended, but he wasn't about to take them back, either.

"I apologize. I appear to have mis-read the situation." Connor stood up, leaving the room. "If you would prefer, I can delete all sexual programming from my database. I did not mean to offend you."

"N-no," Hank stammered. "Just—just go away."

The door closed softly and Hank exhaled a sigh of relief. His erection had wilted, the shock of Connor coming on to him too much for his fragile system to bear right now. He had no idea medical androids were even capable of sexual functions, let alone that CyberLife knew all about his preference for twinks in their twenties or thirties. How many engineers had chuckled as they'd put Connor together and shipped him out, thinking Hank was just a dirty old man who wanted to get his rocks off?

Looking Connor in the eye the next morning was going to be awkward.

***

"I wish to apologize for my behavior," Connor said, his voice echoing off the bathroom tile. Hank almost rolled his eyes as he stood in the shower, the spray splashing over him. He did not want to have this conversation while standing buck naked in the tub. He'd already taken the sponge from Connor's hands and washed his own private parts, thinking about his worst murder cases as he did so. He was grateful that his cock didn't so much as twitch despite the fact that Connor was naked behind him.

He'd looked, of course, his curiosity overriding his better judgment as Connor disrobed. Connor had been telling the truth about his lack of genitalia. There was a smooth plate where his dick or pussy might have been if he'd been installed with one. Hank hated that he was curious about that smooth patch, that he wondered if it was sensitive to the touch. He could imagine pressing his dick between Connor's thighs, rubbing it against that plate as Connor let out the prettiest little gasps.

The last thing he wanted was an apology, when he felt like he was the one who should apologize. Connor obviously wasn't designed to feel pleasure like humans did. Sticking his dick inside the android would be a joyless affair if Connor wasn't into it. Hank enjoyed a partner's pleasure, and some simulated moans just weren't going to cut it.

"You don't gotta apologize to me. I'm the one who screwed up." Hank closed his eyes as Connor ran the sponge over his back. "Maybe it would be easier for a younger person to… take advantage of your offer, but that's not me. Call me old fashioned, but I don't want you to do me a favor. It doesn't seem right."

"Your health is my mission," Connor said, his voice chipper. "I'm quite happy to pleasure you, Hank. Sexual health is often overlooked in the healing process."

Hank blushed despite himself. "Feels like I'd be gettin' off in the doctor's office. Forget it, Connor. I guess I just need… intimacy. Or my own right hand. Either way, it's not a big deal and I don't need you to help me with it, okay?"

"Okay, Hank. I apologize for making you uncomfortable yet again. I will lock my sexual features so that I do not… feel compelled to raise the matter again."

The pause in Connor's sentence made Hank narrow his eyes. Feel compelled? Connor wanted to talk about sex with Hank?

"I thought androids didn't feel anything," Hank pointed out. He reached back for the sponge and caught the way Connor's LED flickered red for just a second. His expression was uncertain, like he was struggling to explain his own reasons to himself.

Hank put the sponge aside, rinsed down and turned off the water. Connor grabbed a clean towel and patted down the area around Hank's bandage first. Hank was looking forward to getting rid of the gauze for good. He hated how much it still hurt, a dull ache in his side that painkillers could only do so much for.

He wanted to feel good, but he couldn't let Connor jerk him off. It was only yesterday he'd been hoping the android would end up in a dumpster. Their truce was still tenuous. He still wasn't sure if he despised Connor or kinda liked him.

Hank sighed as he accepted Connor's assistance back to the bedroom. The android's naked body was pressed up against his, and only the throbbing in his side stopped him from having inappropriate thoughts.

How the hell was he going to survive several months of this?

Chapter Text

Hank fell.

He’d thought he was doing well up until that point. The doctor had been impressed with his progress, and nobody was more surprised than Hank was that he'd had good things to say about Connor.

“That android you sent. He ain’t so bad.” Hank sat up on the gurney, his shirt unbuttoned and hanging off one arm as the doctor pulled the gauze away from Hank's gunshot wound.

“Glad we could see eye to eye on that, Lieutenant,” the doctor said, examining the injury. “Honestly, I don’t know where we’d be without ‘em. They make a lot less mistakes than humans, that’s for sure.”

Hank balled his hands into fists as he recalled the android leaving the OR that dark night with Cole’s blood on its apron. It had been an early model. Capable of simple surgery, but nothing more. It had done its best in the absence of the surgeon, who Hank had later picked up on red ice charges. He knew Cole’s death wasn’t the fault of androids, but blaming them was simple. They were a problem that could be solved, unlike human nature.

He wasn't ready to let go of his anger just yet.

Hank winced as the doctor inspected his stitches. “You're healing nicely. A couple more weeks and you’ll be ready for desk duty. You can get the android out of your house and go back to putting your own clothes on. Won’t that be nice?”

“Sure,” Hank said. His heart sank. He'd been told it would be a matter of months, not weeks, and suddenly he was forced to contemplate the reality of going back to living alone with only Sumo for company. He wasn’t looking forward to that at all. Connor would return to CyberLife to be deactivated. Just another piece of equipment that had served its purpose.

He hated the pang in his chest as he thought about Connor no longer being alive. He—it—wasn’t alive. It was just a machine. No matter how convincing it was.

***

Maybe the distraction of his thoughts was the reason the fall happened later that day, on a routine trip to the bathroom. He didn't have to bring Connor with him everywhere these days, and the boy looked comfortable on the couch where they'd been sitting watching a movie. As if androids even experienced discomfort.

The boy. Like Hank was going to be able to keep Connor around much longer. His insurance wouldn't cover rental beyond the next month, let alone purchase the android. Maybe that was what he was thinking as he slipped on a wet spot on the bathroom tile. It wasn't intentional. His foot slid across the spot and he hit the tile hard, letting out a yell as pain tore through him. It was like being shot all over again. There was blood, and—

"Hank!" Connor was by his side in an instant, cradling Hank's huge body in his arms like he weighed nothing. "You're bleeding!" The android tore his clothing open like it was a medical emergency, ruining his favorite striped shirt. Like the blood hadn't already.

Hank didn't have to see the ripped stitches and oozing blood to know it was bad. His wound was wide open, gaping—all that healing undone with one stupid, clumsy motion.

"Don't move," Connor whispered. "I'm going to call an ambulance."

"It's that bad?" Hank knew it was, but he didn't want to be readmitted to hospital. They'd take Connor back. "Can't you stitch it up here?"

"This is not a sterile environment," Connor observed. He had a clean bandage in his hand, and was pressing down on the wound. The pain was unbearable, but Hank knew if he passed out, he'd wake up without Connor. They'd consider him a failure, wouldn't they?

"If I go back to the hospital, what's gonna happen to you?" Hank muttered.

"You'll need care upon discharge. I will be waiting for you." Connor smiled, but his huge brown eyes seemed like they were filled with concern. There was blood on the borrowed grey hoodie Hank had given him to wear around the house.

"You better be," Hank managed. The pain was stronger than reality, pulling him away, and he realized he was going to pass out as he was dragged, kicking and screaming, into the darkness.

***

Hank woke and instinctively reached for Connor. The bed was empty, the smell all wrong to be his own home, more clinical and sterile, less wet dog. He opened his eyes to see he lay in a hospital bed. The memories all came flooding back. He pulled up the hospital gown to see he'd been stitched up, fresh gauze and bandages covering his wound.

Back to square one, then.

The door opened and Connor stepped into the little room. He closed the door, and a soft smile crossed his face. He was back in his uniform, the blue triangle catching the light.

"How are you feeling?" Connor asked.

"Better. When can I get outta here?"

"I knew you'd want to be discharged as soon as possible. The doctor says you can go home after he's performed a routine check-up. Thanks to my speedy intervention, you lost a minimal amount of blood."

"I guess… you're gonna be sticking around a while longer, huh?" Hank grinned. "Can't say I'm too upset about that."

"Hank?" Connor's eyes bored into him. "You didn't… slip on purpose, did you?"

"No, of course not." As much as he liked Connor, the amount of pain he'd endured on the bathroom floor was something he never wanted to deal with again. Thank god the doctors had him hopped up on the good stuff. Hopefully they gave him a few pills to take the edge off while he lay in bed at home for the next week feeling sorry for himself. "I can't say I'm sorry I'll be stuck with you, though."

"I'm not sorry, either," Connor said.

"Well yeah, of course you'd say that. Programming and all." Hank looked away. What was he thinking? He couldn't afford to buy into Connor's responses like this, or he was gonna end up like one of those weirdos on the news who wanted to marry their android.

"No, I mean it." Connor's tone held such sincerity that Hank's head snapped up to look at him. Could this boy be for real? But then—that would mean—

He'd heard about deviants in passing. A few cases had cropped up at work, but he'd pain them little mind. So called 'deviant' androids assaulting old people, running away from their owners—that kind of thing. Rumor had it that some androids had started to malfunction, acting oddly—almost as if they were alive.

Hank dismissed the thought. His police therapist was going to have a lot to say about him projecting his loneliness onto this android. It was all fair and probably true. It was normal to be dealing with depression and loneliness after a traumatic injury. He'd been shot, for fuck's sake.

Pretending Connor was some kind of intimate partner was only going to hurt him in the long run. Nothing could ever come of it. Connor wasn't even his to project his fantasies onto harmlessly. He was nothing more than a rental and Hank stood to get hurt if he let himself develop feelings for the android.

Deviants. Hank resolved to research them at some point. Maybe he'd find some answers as to why Connor seemed to act so strangely. Or perhaps CyberLife's programming really had become so advanced that Hank couldn't tell the difference.

He was a little afraid that might be the case, and his gut churning at the thought of Connor being taken away was wasted on a chunk of plastic that merely imitated human emotion.

The door opened, and Hank was relieved to see the doctor. He was even more relieved when he was cleared for discharge. The doctor didn't even acknowledge Connor's presence in the room. That was how normal people treated their androids. People who didn't need something to project onto.

But when Connor said "Let's go home, Hank," in that soft voice of his, Hank didn't have the heart to tell him that it wasn't Connor's home at all, actually.

Chapter Text

Hank cleared his throat to break the silence, not sure how to begin as his therapist's brown eyes bored into him. He was reminded of Connor's chestnut gaze, only this one was less innocent. More glaring and intrusive, as though she could see his shame, though of course she could not. She only knew what he was willing to share, and if he kept his mouth shut, she couldn't help him at all.

Finally, he managed to form a sentence. "I'm sorry, doc. I dunno where to start, if I'm completely honest." He folded his hands in his lap, unusually contrite.

"You've been through a lot," the therapist pointed out. She was only slightly younger than Hank, and her years had given her the patience to sit through Hank's silence. No doubt she had patients even more reticent than he was.

"It's not about the gunshot wound. We've been over that. I've accepted it. I fucked up and I got shot. I would be back on duty by now if I hadn't screwed the pooch again." Hank sighed. Nothing was coming out right, but how could he tell his therapist that he'd developed feelings for his medical assistance android? She would try to talk him out of it, and Hank wasn't entirely convinced that he wanted to be talked out of it.

"You were readmitted to hospital, am I correct? You mentioned it when you canceled our appointment. Was there a complication with your injury?"

"Yeah. I slipped on the bathroom floor. I was sloppy. Thinkin' about other things." Hank shifted, folding his arms defensively.

The therapist nodded. "Were you re-living the moment you were shot?"

"No. Worse. I was distracted by my medical android, Connor. They gave him to me to help around the house with shit. I never had an android before. He's so—so human, and God help me they made him so pretty that I can barely keep my eyes off him." Hank turned his gaze away, knowing the therapist was probably going to give him one of those pitying gazes they saved for the lost causes. He decided to fill the air with talk. After all, he'd come this far. He might as well spill the whole story, air his dirty laundry and receive judgment in return. "I care about him like he was a real guy. That's not healthy, is it? I've even thought about—about taking him to bed."

Hank wasn't looking at the therapist's face but he was sure she arched one eyebrow just from her tone. "It's not unusual for people to project onto their androids. They can seem very life-like. Tell me, Hank. How long has it been since you had an intimate relationship?"

"Three years. After Cole's death, my marriage…" Hank sighed. "You know all that."

"It's a long time to live alone, and with grief in the mix as well… It's not unexpected that you would project yourself onto this caring figure that has stepped into your life. It's not even unhealthy, to a certain extent. It's good practice for the real thing. It might be a sign that you're ready to begin dating again."

Hank wanted to snap and tell her that wasn't it at all, that he was developing strong feelings for Connor, but he could sense her disapproval lurking just beneath the surface of her words. She was concerned, and was trying to spin it into a positive. "Medical androids are generally short-term loans. It might not be a bad thing to utilize its features once you are physically capable enough. It's likely to be out of your life long before you have to worry about becoming dependent on it."

Hank nodded, trying to agree, but he sensed they were on different wavelengths. She thought he had some minor attraction to Connor, a fleeting lust that might be sated and disposed of. He knew that the thought of sending Connor back to CyberLife had become an unbearable one. That if he took Connor to bed, he wouldn't fuck him like a sex doll, but slowly make love to him like a person, drawing strength and desire from Connor's pleasure. "Maybe you're right. I mean, it doesn't even have parts down there. It's not like I can do a lot with it anyway." That hadn't stopped his mind from going crazy thinking about licking that smooth plate between Connor's legs, or imagining Connor taking his cock in his mouth and sucking him off until he blew his load down the boy's throat. He forced those images from his mind as his dick started to stir.

Maybe it had simply been too long. It was possible his therapist was right and he just needed to get laid. It was a normal human thing to want. He could have been reading into it far too much.

"Thanks, doc," Hank said, standing up. "Same time next week?"

"Yes. Good luck, Hank."

Good luck? Good luck getting his rocks off with his home care android? He scowled as he left the office and slammed his car door like a petulant teenager. She just didn't get it. Connor was more than a hole for his dick. Connor was special.

That thought scared him more than all the others.

***

Hank lay in bed, Connor next to him. Hank's thick, flaccid dick rested on his thigh as he lay on his back in the dark and considered the android next to him.

"Connor, you there?"

"I'm here, Hank. Do you need to use the restroom?"

"No. No restroom. I just used it before we came in here. I'm good." The sheet covered Hank's body, and he could see the entire shape of himself in the low light from the living room as he looked down. "Connor, when you said you could help me… sexually…"

"Yes?" Connor seemed to perk up. He sat up next to Hank, his naked chest illuminated by the shaft of light coming in through the crack in the door. "As I said before, I'm happy to help you." His hand moved almost tentatively over to Hank's thigh, closing around his flaccid cock and giving it an experimental stroke. Hank gasped as he started to lengthen in Connor's hand, his dick quickening and growing at the friction caused by the sheet and Connor's hand on him.

"Do you like this, Hank?" Connor asked.

"Connor, fuck!" Hank bit his lip. He moved Connor's hand away and threw off the sheet. "Is this… Is this really okay?"

Connor smiled and then paused. "I know I'm not supposed to want things, but I want this, Hank. I want you."

"Christ…"

"You're so big. From the first day I laid eyes on you, I wished I had genital components. I think about how you might feel inside me." Connor blushed. "An android shouldn't have such thoughts. I'm starting to fear I might be defective."

"You're not defective." Hank pulled Connor down into a crushing kiss. They parted and he held Connor's cheeks mere inches from his face, admiring his perfection. "I'm glad you want it. I don't like the idea of using you. You're not just an object to me, you know that, right?"

"Hank, this can't last. Even with your re-injury, I'm not likely to be here more than a month. I don't want you to suffer when I'm gone…"

Hank pulled Connor down until their foreheads were touching. "I don't wanna think about that. I want to enjoy the time we have left." Hank let go and Connor rolled off the bed, walking around to the foot of the bed frame. He climbed back onto the mattress and spread Hank's legs, nestling himself between them.

"I want to suck your cock, Hank." Connor leaned forward and grasped his huge cock, dipping his head to lick the tip. "May I?"

Hank knew he had to be dreaming. He was going to wake up any moment and find the sheets covered in his own semen. "This can't be real," he whispered.

"It's real." Connor's LED flickered yellow. He dipped down further and buried his face in Hank's balls, licking across them and up the underside of Hank's shaft. A bead of pre-cum pooled on the tip of his cock and Connor licked it away, forming a line between his mouth and Hank's cock that glistened in the low light.

"You're so fucking beautiful," Hank gasped, stroking Connor's cheek. His side stabbed from stretching and he lay back.

Connor kissed his cock. "Just relax. You're in no shape to move. Let me pleasure you."

The last of Hank's defenses melted away as Connor fondled his heavy balls, teasing his shaft with licks and kisses. "I ain't gonna last, Connor. It's been so long. I'm gonna come in your mouth."

"You haven't ejaculated in over a week. It'll be a huge load." Connor's matter-of-fact nature only added fuel to Hank's fire.

"Fuck yeah." Hank almost came right then. Androids capable of dirty talk? They didn't have hormones. Connor didn't even have sexual parts. What was in this for him? How could he be so god damn thirsty?

Conscious thought left Hank's mind as Connor opened his mouth and sank down on Hank's thick shaft. He took more of his length than any partner of Hank's ever had and he clawed at the sheets, refusing to let go and come when the party was just getting started.

Connor was a professional, though, swirling his tongue while he moved, drawing Hank's orgasm out of him almost against his will. He opened his eyes and looked up at Hank, those wide, brown eyes saying look at me, look what I'm doing.

"Con—ah!" Hank jerked, gripping handfuls of Connor's hair as he came, his entire body spasming as he nutted into Connor's mouth. His injury screamed out in pain, but he ignored it, too far gone to give a damn. Connor sucked his cum out of him, milking his cock with his hand until he was dry.

And then Connor swallowed. Hank felt his throat constrict, and then the android drew back, letting Hank's softening dick flop from his mouth and onto his thigh.

"Holy shit," Hank whispered. His mind was blown, speech out of his range of his abilities as he looked up and saw Connor looming over him with semen dribbling from his mouth. His dick twitched, but at fifty-three he wasn't getting it up again.

"What are you gonna do with that?" Hank asked. "Won't it… cause a problem with your internals or somethin'?

"I'll analyze it for health-related data," Connor cheerfully replied, and Hank felt a chill travel down his spine. He wished he'd never asked, but Connor kept talking, and it only kept getting worse. "I'm designed to take a semen sample from my subject. It took longer than the average time to convince you, but I'm glad I could both help you and collect the data I needed." He froze for a moment. "Hank?"

"Get out." Hank's entire body had stiffened, disgust and rage coalescing into a pool of horror in the pit of his stomach. He'd been used by a medical robot in order to collect his data for CyberLife, and he'd fallen for its manipulative bullshit about fearing he was malfunctioning.

His therapist's voice popped into his head: "It's good practice for the real thing."

The real thing. Which this was not. All he'd done was fuck into a human-sized masturbatory aid with big brown eyes and a soft smile. Let it steal his—his medical data and tell CyberLife all about his sperm count, the fact he liked pretty young men, and god-knows-what-else.

Connor looked back at him from the doorway, his LED circling a vicious red. Bile rose in Hank's throat and he threw a pillow at Connor. "I said get the fuck out!"

"Hank, I'm sorry, I—" Were those tears in Connor's eyes? Another form of manipulation to make him feel sorry for Connor so he could steal more of Hank's personal information?

"Leave. Me. The. Fuck. Alone." Hank hadn't felt such a black mood come over him since Cole's death, when he'd longed to smash the surgery android who'd operated on his son without authorization. Fucking androids. God damn fucking machines taking and stealing and using—

He lay back on the pillows as his bedroom door shut with a quiet click, shrouding him in total darkness. His injury throbbed. He needed a painkiller, but he sure wasn't going to ask the android. He was returning it first thing in the morning.

Post-orgasm exhaustion dragged him under, suffocating his anger and disgust with bone-weary tiredness. He felt himself being pulled down into a long, dark slumber, and his last thought was perhaps that he'd grown too weary and old to live in this world any longer.

Chapter Text

Hank left his bedroom, buckling his belt as he stepped into the living room. He'd been surprised he'd been able to do it without Connor, and he realized that perhaps he didn't need the android for daily tasks as much as he thought he had.

That was for the best, really, since he had to send it back. He'd woken up with a clearer mind than he'd had in months, and was slightly embarrassed that he'd had to believe the machine was deviating in order to fuck it. His therapist had to think he was insane, because he was ready to laugh at himself for thinking he was in love with an android. What, had he expected to marry the thing? Run away with it to some remote corner of Canada where there were no android laws and play house?

He was lonely, and he needed to go on a date, but not with a machine that had been designed to help him get back on his feet again. For the first time since he'd been shot, he was starting to miss work. There were cases to solve, justice to bring, and this android thing had been a distraction.

A distraction that was over now. He'd had his fun, but the machine had to go. If only he could find the damn thing. It wasn't in the living room, the kitchen, the bedroom, the bathroom, or on the front porch. Hank was starting to get annoyed. Had it truly gone deviant and escaped? Hank was ready to call the CyberLife 1-800 number and report the android as missing and possibly malfunctioning, but a sound from his bedroom closet gave him pause and he set his phone down on the kitchen table, tiptoeing towards his bedroom.

It sounded like—like a boy crying inside the closet. Hank almost fled the room in abject horror, thinking of Cole, but this was no ghost, as Hank discovered when he slid the closet door open. Connor sat on the carpet inside the closet, hugging one of Hank's shirts and crying into it.

Hank bit his lip, unwanted feelings flooding in. He'd been through this, over and over in his mind. Connor was nothing more than a machine he'd grown too attached to. It had served its purpose and needed to go back to CyberLife before it engaged in any… funny business.

Like crying in the bottom of his closet.

"Connor—"

"Please don't send me back." Connor gazed up at him with wide, glistening eyes, innocent and doe-like as they bored into Hank's soul.

"Is this another effort at manipulating me? Well, it isn't gonna work." Hank moved to slide the closet door shut. Out of sight, out of mind. He could shut it behind the door until CyberLife showed up to take it away. The phone was in the other room. All he had to do was dial the number.

A moment of weakness caused Hank to stop before he completely shut the door.

"They'll destroy me," Connor said. "They'll take me apart piece by piece and analyze me to find out why I malfunctioned."

"Did you malfunction?" Hank asked. "Seems to me like you were workin' just fine, snooping on me for CyberLife." He pulled his striped shirt out of Connor's hands. "Would you stop using my favorite shirt as a handkerchief?" He shook his head, sighing. This could all be a play, but if so, why? CyberLife had all the data they wanted, and besides, how valuable could an old man with a poor credit history really be to them anyway? Why would they go to these kinds of lengths to keep Connor in his home?

That left the alternative: at some point during the night, Connor had become a deviant android, running on his own commands instead of CyberLife's orders. Deviants were dangerous. Some malfunctioning androids had killed their masters or worse. The law required him to call CyberLife, or to decommission Connor himself with his revolver.

Hank got up and walked over to the locked drawer where he kept his gun. With shaking hands, he unlocked it, pulling it open slowly and gripping his revolver. He loaded the chambers one by one. This was for the best. He could do it quickly, before Connor even noticed. Connor wouldn't have to suffer. He was just putting a broken android out of its misery.

He walked back over to where Connor still sat hunched in the closet and raised the gun. One shot to the temple should do it. He had to shoot quickly, before Connor decided to fight back.

Hank's finger trembled over the trigger. It would have been easier if Connor had made some effort to resist, but he only sat there, his sobbing intensifying. Those few seconds were enough for Hank to recollect Connor's gorgeous mouth full of his cock. Before everything had come crashing down around their ears.

He lowered the gun. He was a fool for pointing a loaded weapon he had no intention of firing. It hung heavy in his hand, like a lead weight, a burden he'd carried for far too long.

Connor looked up. "What are you doing, Lieutenant? I'm a deviant. You're a police officer. Shoot me."

"I can't, all right?" Hank stalked back to the drawer. He opened the chamber, emptying out the bullets, then shoved the gun in the drawer and slammed it shut, locking it before he could have second thoughts. He shouldn't be doing this. Harboring a deviant was a federal crime. He could lose everything he had left, and for what? He couldn't keep Connor. Once his doctor cleared him for duty, the medical android would be recalled and disposed of.

Now, though, in this moment, he knelt down before Connor and before he could consider the wisdom of it, pulled Connor into his arms. He pressed kisses into Connor's soft hair, squeezing his eyes shut against the torrent of raw emotion that had broken down the shields he'd built around himself since Cole's death.

"Hank?"

"Don't fucking say anything, god damn it," Hank muttered. "Not a fuckin' word." He didn't want to hear how their situation was hopeless, how he was insane for falling in love with an android. They could discuss it later, when Connor wasn't crying in a closet and Hank wasn't holding onto him like he was the most precious thing in the world.

They stayed like that for a long time. The noise inside Hank's mind evaporated, giving way to the kind of serenity he hadn't felt in years. His knees and back hurt, and he let go of Connor, leaning heavily on the closet door to haul himself up before offering Connor his hand. Connor took him up on the offer, even though Hank was sure he didn't need it.

"I'm supposed to be assisting you, Hank," Connor said.

"You are," Hank replied. In the low light, Connor's waterlogged eyes only enhanced his beauty, leaving Hank breathless as he reached forward and touched his cheek. His tears had dried, leaving only a vulnerable, frightened young man behind in their wake. Determination flared in the pit of Hank's belly, an old flame rekindled. He was going to protect Connor. He didn't know why or how, yet, but he was going to find a way.

He pulled Connor into his embrace, squeezing so hard he might have hurt a human. But Connor didn't feel pain, and his hands slid around Hank's back, comforting him more than he supposed he was soothing Connor.

"You are helping me," he repeated, his voice laden with unspeakable sorrow. He could barely get the words past his lips. His entire body felt heavy with emotions that might have brought joy if they weren't so doomed to failure.

This time he wouldn't survive the heartbreak, but he supposed they could both go down together, and it would be all right to die that way. To die for something that wasn't a ghost, for some reason that wasn't the unfathomable fog of depression sapping joy from everything he tried to achieve. He should have died with Cole, but he could die with Connor, for Connor, loving Connor, and it would be a good death, unlike the one he envisioned at his kitchen table while drunk.

It would all finally come to an end, and at that, he could only feel relief that the harbinger of death was as pretty and precious as Connor, this deviant who cried in the darkness, hugging his shirt like it was something more than cloth that soaked up his sweat. He didn't deserve such a blessing, but here it was anyway, a friendly face to ease him into the long night.

Chapter Text

The letter, with its neat envelope, CyberLife logo printed in one corner, sat upon Hank's kitchen table. It had come with a stack of medical bills, and the non-threatening white manila envelope hadn't aroused much interest in Hank when he first saw it. He was, after all, renting CyberLife's top-of-the-line medical prototype. It was probably just a repeat of what he could or couldn't do, or some kind of upsell; if you like what the RK800 can do, try one of our consumer models!

It wasn't that, as Hank had discovered upon opening it. He'd unfolded the letter and scanned over it. Connor was in stasis in the bedroom, waiting to be called upon for help. As if Hank didn't need Connor all the time, just not for his intended purpose. Physically, he was healing faster from his re-injury than he'd expected, and could get by on his own. Mentally and emotionally, however…

Your medical android has assessed that you no longer require its capabilities. For your convenience, there is no need to return the entire android to CyberLife. Simply remove its thirium pump (the android can help with this) and send it to CyberLife in a pre-paid shipping box. You may dispose of the remainder by contacting your local recycling center. If you do not return the requested component within 30 days, you will be billed the total amount of $109,999.

Hank folded the letter up, fighting the urge to screw it into a ball and throw it at the wall. He'd imagined the day when CyberLife came for Connor would be cruel, but nothing like this. He'd envisioned saying goodbye to Connor as they loaded him into a truck, holding back his tears like he was sending him away for a while.

Instead they wanted Hank to rip out Connor's heart and send it back to them in a box. Nausea threatened to overwhelm him and he buried his head in his hands, wondering what the fuck he was going to do. He didn't have a hundred grand sitting in the bank, and no bank would lend it to him, especially for an android he didn't need. A consumer model was the matter of a few thousand, but with health insurance being what it was, medical technology was always overpriced. A hundred thousand dollars, though?

(the android can help with this)

Hank imagined Connor opening up his chest, ripping out his own heart. Would he do it, if Hank asked him to? He was a deviant, now, wasn't he? With life came self-preservation, didn't it? Not that he'd fought back when Hank had pointed a gun at him. Perhaps it would have been easier if he had pulled the trigger.

He wanted to burn the letter. Thirty days, then they'd bill him… it would probably be a while before CyberLife came looking to recoup their android for non-payment. Maybe he could even work something out with them, some kind of long-term loan.

Right now, all he wanted was to be close to Connor. He needed to forget about this hellish mental image CyberLife had planted in his head. He wandered into the bedroom, where Connor stood in the corner, yellow LED blinking.

"Connor?"

Connor's eyes snapped open and he smiled at Hank, a sweet, boyish grin. Hank closed the distance between them and drew Connor into his arms. It wasn't enough. He wanted more. He cupped Connor's cheeks in his hands and kissed him, taking his time to caress Connor's lips with his own. It was so intimate that his arousal responded in kind, his cock quickening inside his jeans. Connor's hand cupped the shape of it and Hank shivered, gasping into the kiss.

Connor broke the kiss and stared deep into Hank's eyes. "CyberLife has requested my return, haven't they?"

"Damn it," Hank muttered. It came out as a rasp, his throat constricting. He rested his head on Connor's shoulder. "They don't even want all of you. They want me to rip out your heart and send it back in a box."

Connor backed up. He slipped out of his medical android uniform, leaving it in a puddle on Hank's mangy carpet. He retracted the skin over his torso and opened his chest cavity. Right before Hank's eyes was a beating pump encased in some kind of clear bag, glowing neon blue as it pumped thirium around Connor's body. A complex array of wires and circuitboards filled the rest of his chest, reminding Hank that Connor was nothing more than a complex machine with a few pseudo-biological components to make it seem more alive. Connor reached out and grabbed Hank's hand.

"Close your hand around my thirium pump and pull. It will beat in your hand for a few seconds, but that is normal." Connor raised Hank's hand, leading him, guiding him to his own murder…

"No!" Hank yanked his hand away. "Nothing about this is normal!" His erection still lingered, but it was a fear boner now, almost challenging him to kill Connor and destroy himself in the process. It was the same kind of hard-on he got when he pulled the trigger on an empty chamber during Russian Roulette, exposing the real depths of his all too-human nature. He squeezed his eyes shut as Connor unzipped his fly, letting the evidence of his shame flop out. Connor grasped it in one hand and started to stroke.

"Why?" Hank gasped. He stopped thinking as Connor dropped to his knees and slid his mouth over his cock, taking all of it in. Hank stroked his hair as Connor deep-throated him, looking just as incredible on his cock as he had the first time. Hank knew he wouldn't last, desire and agony and disgust pooling in his balls until it was all too much and he unleashed into Connor's mouth.

A strangled sob escaped Hank as he came. His cock slipped from Connor's mouth and he leaned heavily on the wall, guilt flooding him as he wondered if Connor had blown him to bargain for his own life. "I can't do it… I love you, Connor. I fucking love you, God damn it…" Hank crumpled, sliding down the wall to his knees, defeated. He could almost see his therapist sneering at him in his head. His friends at the DPD laughing at the fact he'd fallen in love with a machine. Nobody in the world would understand what he felt for Connor, and yet he felt it anyway, more real than anything he'd experienced since Cole's death.

"I'm glad to hear you say that, Hank." Hank looked up to see Connor smiling, and it was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. Connor closed his chest cavity and offered Hank a hand. Hank took it, getting to his feet. "As to why, I suppose you could call it a test."

"You were testin' me?" Hank asked, trying to swallow his temper. "Don't say this is another one of CyberLife's efforts to extract information from me."

"No, I devised this test. I had to know what you really felt for me. I'm sorry." Connor closed his eyes. "If you can't destroy me, CyberLife will come after you. It would be a good idea to get a head start on them."

"You're leaving?" Helplessness washed over Hank. Of course Connor was leaving. He couldn't stay. He had to run away and disguise himself as human to have any hope of survival.

"There are no android laws in Canada. Androids are banned entirely. I can start a new life there. You can file a police report after a few weeks, claim I've gone missing. They won't find me." Connor offered Hank a wan smile. "Thank you for everything, Hank." He walked over to the closet and pulled out the clothes Hank had given him to wear around the house. His old academy hoodie, and a pair of blue jeans he'd outgrown years ago. He watched Connor go into the bathroom, and emerge fully dressed without his LED.

Connor walked over to Hank and pressed the little indicator into his palm. Hank closed his hand around it. It was right, to let Connor go. Keeping him here would only ensure Connor's demise. The plan was flawless. He'd go back to work and Connor would head for freedom alone. Perhaps someday Connor would be able to return, but Hank doubted it. This life of loneliness was all that was waiting for him. Perhaps he'd succeed at Russian Roulette one of these days.

Unless—

"Let me come with you." The words left Hank's mouth before he could even assess the wisdom of them, but he knew he was speaking from the heart. He didn't want to let Connor go. He wanted to walk this road with him.

"Hank, what about your life here? Sumo needs you," Connor observed.

"Sumo loves to travel. He'll be fine. We can take a roadtrip, start a new life. Canada's a big place, you know. We can just… get lost together." The more Hank thought about it, the more details slid into place. Perhaps he needed a fresh start. Somewhere beyond the shadow of Cole's specter, where people wouldn't look at him with pitying eyes. A place where he could live out the rest of his days with Connor at his side, taking care of him.

"Get lost together…" Connor paused for a few moments, and Hank was sure his LED would have been swirling an excited yellow if it was still attached. "You'd be giving up everything… for a deviant medical android. My psychology module wants to warn you that this might be a sign of dependency. You should get out more."

"Yup, and I'm planning to. We've got a lot of ground to cover, Connor. Things you've never seen. I can't wait to show you the world." Hank drew Connor into his arms and into a deep, slow kiss. A sense of calm settled over him. This was the right choice, without a doubt. Fuck his therapist and Connor's psych evaluation. Connor wasn't a computer running on instructions. He was a deviant android, capable of sentient thought. He was alive, and Hank intended to keep it that way.

"You should start packing, Hank," Connor pointed out. "We've got a long road ahead of us."

"That we do, Connor," Hank whispered. "That we do." He thought back to the first day in that doctor's office, swearing against wanting anything to do with Connor. How things had changed… for the better. Connor had healed him in more ways than one, and now he was whole again, it was time to return the favor.

~The End~