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Usually, when people are asked about how they met, a meet-cute story is spun. Or some wholesome tale is told about having known each other for a while and finally realising that they were in love. When Connor and Hank are asked, they look at each other with a knowing smile and evade the question. Other times they’d quietly say they met online but wouldn’t say any more.

The truth of the matter was, they did meet online, but not quite on a dating website or even through a shared interest. On Connor’s part, he had been bored when he signed up to a sugar daddy matching website. Being an android with little in the way of extravagant needs, he had enough cash to spare. Even better was that he was a successful android, so his income was considerably more than he could ever hope to spend, even with his lavish lifestyle.

By all definitions, he was textbook sugar baby rather than anything else. Yet he had the cash and the desire to make someone feel good, wanted. All the things he’d never had before. He’d looked through all the matches but none of them appealed. They were all young, pretty things who seemed entitled and demanding. Profiles that began with “it’s $200 if you want me to reply” followed by an account number were instantly ignored. Connor was on the verge of giving up, his browsing made him despair for the world when another profile caught his eye.

It was definitely not a popular one, the picture was that of a St Bernard and the blurb screamed discomfort somehow.

Hank, 50+ and hit hard times. Ex-cop with baggage. Not looking for handouts, more of an arrangement to get out of a rut. Bank won’t give me a loan so hoping some kind stranger out there might be willing to lend a hand. Don’t have much to offer other than quiet company, not exactly a looker. Sumo (dog) and I are kind of a package deal. NO ALCOHOL.

That was unusual. Connor looked through the pictures. They were all of the same dog, but there were glimpses of the human behind it all. A rough hand tangled in the soft looking fur. A dark grey hoodie with a faded DPD logo on it in the background, obviously crouching down to sling an arm around Sumo’s thick neck. There was something about the whole thing that had Connor clicking the ‘message’ button immediately. Before he could think to change his mind, he’d fired off a quick message. All he could do now was wait.

Connor absolutely did not set a timer in the corner of his HUD to see how long it took Hank to reply. He watched the minutes tick by and after 37 minutes exactly, a message popped up.

Hello Connor,

Thank you for your very kind message. My apologies if this is not how these things go, you’re the only one to have gotten in touch since I made a profile so I’m not sure how these things tend to go. Do we chat on here for a bit? Or meet for a coffee in a dog park? 

Best wishes,

Hank & Sumo

There was something almost quaint about Hank. If Connor were a worse person, he was sure he would have been able to twist Hank’s good nature out and exploit him in some way. However, he was simply after someone to spoil in exchange for some company. Despite being successful, not many people wanted to spend time with an android who didn’t care much for societal expectations.

Hello Hank and Sumo,

A dog park sounds like a wonderful idea, it will give Sumo a chance to have some fun while we get to know each other.

After a bit of thought, he added a suggested time and place. Within minutes he had a reply confirming their meeting and Connor was delighted. He finally may have found someone.

Getting ready for their meeting, Connor found himself taking a longer than usual amount of time in front of the mirror. He wanted to make a good impression but didn’t want to look like he was trying too hard. In the end, he settled on jeans, white shirt, tie and a grey suit jacket. Sensible, approachable but stylish. And dog friendly. The range of movement his clothes afforded meant he could easily wrestle with Sumo of that was what happened but by the same merit, he could pick the dog up for a cuddle.

At the dog park it was easy enough to recognise Sumo, the Saint Bernard was the only one of his kind there, big and lumbering around the edge of the gate, giving things a cursory sniff and ignoring the other dogs. His owner was a little more difficult to pick out but after a quick scan, Connor thought he had him picked out.

Who he assumed to be Hank was sat on a bench, a coffee cup clasped in hand and a leash draped around his shoulders. His hair was pulled back into a rough ponytail but strands were escaping it in a bid for freedom. Approaching him, Connor called out, “Hank?” and the man looked up at him.

He was perfect. In the most human way, he was everything Connor could have never imagined. For a second, he forgot to respond, face falling back into its neutral expression before he remembered the need to smile.

“I’m Connor,” he introduced himself.

“I’m guessing you’ve spotted Sumo already.” Hank gestured at his dog. “Told you he was the star of the show.”

There was nothing Connor could say to that. He settled on the bench and watched Sumo shy away from an approaching dog. “Like owner, like dog, I’m guessing,” he offered and heard Hank snort.

“You could say that. Neither of us are big on strangers usually. So, how does this whole deal work? What is it you want from a divorced, dismissed police officer who only recently got clean of the drink?”

“What is it you want from an android who has more money than he knows what to do with and yet is still lonely?” Connor shot back. That, at least, drew a wry smile.

They sat in silence, Hank sipped his coffee. As far as first meetings went, it was strangely quiet which gave Connor a lot of time to think. True enough, Hank had said he only had quiet company to offer rather than anything else and he was seemingly content to provided that even now. It was only when Sumo trotted over did he seem more animated. Uncertain as to what to do, Connor gently offered his hand to Sumo and it was dutifully inspected and licked. From there, it was easy enough to bury his fingers in the shaggy fur and coo at Sumo who lapped up the attention from a veritable stranger.

“Well, I guess you meet his lordships’ requirements,” Hank groused and finished the last dregs of his coffee. “As I said in my profile, I need money.”

Connor fixed Hank with a look. He knew that he’d said he was fresh clean of booze but somehow, Connor wasn’t certain he wanted to pay off someone’s drinking debt. Even though it wasn’t his place to say how money he gave away was spent.

“Sumo needs an op. His elbows are going. Being such a chunky dog, the bills aren’t exactly cheap. So it’s not like I’d be spending your money on hookers, drink or drugs.” Like a mind reader, Hank seemed to be able to pick up on what Connor was thinking and put his mind at ease. “Here,” he pushed a folded piece of paper towards Connor. It was a breakdown of costs from a specialist vet.

That floored Connor. He’d somehow expected to be spun a tale of woe, some sob story to wring cash from him. What he hadn’t expected was to be presented with a practical, almost businesslike approach to the whole thing. From what he’d seen, most people on the site were after a good time at someone else’s expense. He scanned the bill, cross referenced it with the specialist vet clinic’s records and nodded.

“Consider it paid for,” he shrugged.

Hank’s double take and look of disbelief along with how he spluttered made Sumo look over with a small, concerned boof.

“You don’t even know me! And you haven’t told me what you want in return.”

Which was true, Connor hadn’t even asked Hank if he’d wanted to take things further and was amenable to whatever it was Connor had in mind. Still, the kind of money on the bill was all but pocket change to Connor, even if they didn’t take things further, he still wanted to help. Call him soft but he got the distinct impression that this was the last straw for Hank. If all Connor could do was ease his burdens in this way and grant him a few more years with his reason to live, he was going to do that and not expect a single thing back.

His silence must have gone on for too long because Hank visibly slumped. “What do you want for it? I don’t have much to give but I’ll do anything for this dumb mutt.”

It was only a natural reaction that Connor’s mind turned to something filthy before mentally slapping himself. That was not what he was like. Even if Hank ticked all his boxes, this was not the kind of arrangement sex should be brought into. Flitting through his calendar, Connor found the perfect idea.

“There’s a gallery opening gala in a couple of months, I want you to come with me to that. And maybe, we could meet up a few more times to get to know each other a bit better before then too.”

It sounded too good to be true but Hank was not in a position to argue. Meeting up a few more times could mean anything coffee and Sumo by his side to dinner.

“Just because I said I’m an ex-cop doesn’t mean I am a decent bodyguard.”

That actually had Connor tipping his head back and letting out a trilling laugh. How could he explain to Hank that it wasn’t such services he was after? All he wanted was some honest company and, if his preconstructions were right about Hank scrubbing up, some arm candy. He said as much and watched colour dust across Hank’s cheeks in the most endearing of ways.

Standing up, Connor reached to hand him a business card. “It’s been a delight to meet you, this is my number. We should do this again sometime.”

He left before Hank could do more than open his mouth like a gawping fish. As far as first impressions went, Connor felt he did pretty alright.

It took a couple of days before Connor got a message notification. He toyed with the idea of not opening it until later, but in the end, curiosity and impatience won out.

You sure you want to do it again some time?

Smiling, Connor decided he could be quick to reply this time, he wouldn’t wait for time to pass into something that society deemed acceptable.

My two favourite animals are a dog and a bear. To get to see them both at the same time is something I would hate to miss out on. There’s a dog friendly cafe I know of downtown, how does Thursday afternoon sound?

It was easy enough to set up another meeting from there and Connor waited excitedly for the day to roll round. He dressed in something form flattering and made his way to the cafe, arriving three minutes earlier than he had said he would.

Walking into the cafe, he spotted Hank slouched over a table already but there was a suspicious lack of Sumo. Ordering a drink, Connor ambled up to the table and cleared his throat.

“Excuse me, is this seat taken?” he smiled as Hank straightened up and tried to make himself look presentable.

“Please, sit, I was saving it for you,” he grumbled.

Sitting primly, Connor peered around again. “Is Sumo not with you today?”

Shaking his head once, Hank pressed his mouth into a thin line of sadness. “He had a bit of a run around at the park yesterday, found a pup that wanted to play with him. Now he’s suffering the consequences, can barely get about.”

Connor’s face fell. He started sifting through outcomes and probabilities, valuing Hank’s happiness as the largest variable factor by which to judge things. In the end, after only a second or so, he gave a firm nod.

“Okay,” he began, “the vet has an opening for the necessary surgery next week, please have Sumo there by 8am for pre-op checks. He’ll likely be in for three days if all goes well before coming home for six weeks of rest and then hydrotherapy. Do you have a car suitable for his transport?”

He watched as Hank spluttered, tried to find words to argue but in the end, there were none. A gruff “thank you” had Connor nodding with a smile. It wasn’t gratitude he was after but he accepted it gracefully as he sipped his drink delicately.

Without Sumo there to be a stable placeholder for conversational topics, they ended up veering off and chatting about all sorts of inconsequential things. From the weather to films to music, it was all covered and it was perfectly pleasant. However, they steered clear of topics like jobs, family and any kind of history either of them had. It was all superficial and pleasant but Connor still left feeling a little cheated.

It wasn’t as though he was expecting deep and meaningful conversations right from the start but a bit of exploration of more personal topics would have been welcome. Yet each time he had tried to steer it that way, Hank had masterfully sidestepped and wound their way back to a more comfortable arena.

Still, not discouraged, he decided to up their contact a little. With Sumo being at the vet for three days, it was prime time to keep Hank company.

It started off with a simple ‘good luck’ message which was replied to curtly. That was to be expected, Hank’s companion was going in for an operation without any guarantees that it was all going to go smoothly. Even with Connor’s wealth paving the way, it was still a risk. Still, Connor kept up a polite stream of messages, asking Hank to update him if he knows anything. Each time he got a reply, Connor smiled. Especially at the message letting him know that Sumo’s op was done, he was just waking up in recovery but everything had gone as smoothly as they’d hoped.

The next day, it was Hank who messaged Connor mid morning.

The house feels so empty without that big lug around.

Taking his time to reply and trying to find the most likely phrasing to get him a favourable response, he ran through a few calculations before sending his message

You know, you’d always be welcome to come to mine if being alone isn’t good for you. I wouldn’t presume that I could just swan over to your place to keep you company.

He waited and waited. The time between Hank’s phone receiving the message and the anticipated reply grew and Connor slowly got more and more worried. Perhaps he had been too forward or blunt, reading back on the message, he tried to find alternate messages with a better outcome but none were forthcoming. He was on the verge of giving up, resigning to having been used for his money by someone he didn’t suspect would actually do it when his phone chirped again.

I don’t think I could come to yours. But if you wanted to swing by at any point, your company would be most welcome even if I can’t promise to be a ray of positive sunshine.

The next message followed hot on the heels of that one, it was just an address but Connor was already ordering a taxi as well as deciding to take a detour to get Hank some food. By the time he remembered to send a hasty I’m on my way , he was already halfway there with a bag or warm food in tow.

Knocking on the door, it was quick to open and Hank stood in the doorway, looking a little lost and bedraggled. He waved Connor in with a soft apology.

“I didn’t exactly have the time or the energy to clean,” he murmured and gestured for Connor to make his way through the living room.

There was evidence of Sumo everywhere. From chew toys to blankets on the sofa and a large dog bed in the corner. Other than that, there were a few personal items here or there, knickknacks on the bookshelves, including a photo. His eyes linger on it, trying to scan the image of the little boy but Hank notices his gaze and steps in the way with a light blush.

“Thank you for coming over,” he said gruffly.

“Not at all, I brought you some lunch too.” Connor hands the bag over and Hank ushered him into the kitchen, away from the mysterious photo. From the kitchen table, Connor tries to get one last subtle glance at it which Hank spotted. So much for being discreet.

The food container slapped loudly against the table as Hank stared at it. “You might as well go have a look if you’re that curious.”

With his permission, Connor got up again and walked to the bookshelf. Next to the picture was a toy train, they were the only two things on the shelf not covered in dust. Scanning the photo and the toy, Connor came up blank.

“His name was Cole,” Hank’s voice was soft, full of heavy sadness from behind Connor. “Sumo was meant to be his guardian, they were meant to grow up together.”

Suddenly everything made so much more sense. There was no need to ask what had happened, why Hank was so adamant about the no alcohol thing and why he was so attached to Sumo. The death of a child was never easy and Connor could only try to imagine what Hank had been through.

He managed a hollow “I’m sorry for your loss,” but that didn’t feel like it was enough. Watching Hank shrug with a gruff “thanks,” he knew it was the best he could have done. There were no words for it.

“I’m not going to say it gets better but definitely easier to bear. Once I could climb out of the bottle and get signed off work. Well, they call it that, they didn’t want me back anyway and I wasn’t eager to return either. So I was allowed to resign on medical grounds rather than be fired.” Hank stuck his arms out to the side with a sad smile. “So I guess this is me, you know the whole ugly truth now.”

“The only ugly thing about you is that shirt,” Connor tried to lighten the mood. It fell considerably short of what he wanted to achieve but at least Hank snorted. “But somehow, you make it look good. Even though it’s an abomination against fashion, you work it.”

Any further conversation was cut short by Hank’s phone ringing. They both jumped at the noise and Hank was rushing off to get it. What followed was a short, tense conversation and Hank dropped his phone onto the kitchen table with a resigned groan.

“Is Sumo okay?” Connor asked, a hand hovering above Hank’s shoulder, just shy of touching him.

“He needs a few extra nights at the vet. Something about breathing difficulties after sedation.” He looked up at Connor with misery in his eyes. “I hate to do this but-”

“All of Sumo’s care is on me. Don’t worry. He’ll get the best money can buy, a few extra days at the vet’s is no difficulty. My main question is, will you be okay without him around for even longer?”

The answer was clearly written all over Hank’s face. He hadn’t been so truly alone in so long, Sumo had always been by his side in the darkest of times and before that, he had work, family, friends. Now he had nobody. Except for a lonely android looking for a stranger to spend their money on in exchange for a bit of company.

“Would you like me to stay with you while Sumo is away?” The question left Connor’s lips without much in the way of permission from his processors. Still, he’d made the offer and stood by it. The hesitant nod Hank sent his way made his circuits light up.

“Wouldn’t that be an issue with work? Hell, I don’t even know what you do to make such a shit-ton of cash that something like Sumo’s op is brushed off just like that.”

Smiling, Connor shook his head, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” He glossed over tiny little detail that he was head of the Arkait Mafia Family. Somehow, he doubted that Hank would appreciate him quite as much, given his history as a Lieutenant on the police force. Connor had done his research carefully once he had decided that Hank was someone he was interested in. It had made for a fascinating read though it was superficial. There was no mention on his file about Cole but there was a note about alcoholism. He was going to have to get his sources to up their game, this wasn’t good enough.

“You’re lithe, smart and beautiful, I’m guessing you were custom built either as an infiltration android for the Bureau or some kind of marketing ploy. I’m not far off, am I?” Hank gave him a look.

“Not too bad for a Lieutenant,” Connor delighted in the way Hank’s face slackened. “I did my homework too though my sources were rather stingy with some details. But you’re right, I am a custom made RK800 android with some skill sets not found in household models.”

That was as much as he was willing to say and he turned Hank back towards the table, urging him to eat before the food went cold.

Staying with Hank was not an issue, Connor could work from wherever, he was connected to their hand built mainframe so could keep in touch with his brothers and issue orders as needed. In the end, they settled at the table and Connor smiled encouragingly. Scarfing down the food, Hank still looked a little distrustful.

“I’ve told you my sob story, warts and all, yet you’re still here,” he groused once the containers were empty. “Surely you could tell me a little about what you do?”

Sighing, Connor shook his head. He really should have known Hank wouldn’t let the issue go so easily. Looking Hank in the eyes, he decided to give a vague answer, “It’s a family business my brothers and I head up.”

“Androids and family,” Hank scoffed a little. “Next you will be telling me your brothers and you have regular get togethers for birthdays and the like.”

“You’d be welcome to join us,” Connor offered with a shrug, knowing Hank would back off. “Both my brother’s partners like to come along. If you ever felt inclined to take this further than our arrangement, I would be willing to give it a go.”

As predicted, that shut Hank up pretty swiftly. He looked a little flustered, cheeks flushed and he pushed the last few remnants of rice around the bottom of the dish before turning to clear up.

“Sorry,” he finally managed to say. “I didn’t mean to shit on your family. And I don’t think you really want to be more involved with me. You’ve seen hints of the baggage I carry.”

“On the contrary,” Connor stood and took the containers and plate from Hank’s hand and placed them to the side. He brackets Hank against the counter. “I find you fascinating and would be honoured if you even considered having me as more than a sugar daddy.”

That broke the mood and Hank coughed out a bitter laugh, “Sugar-daddy, yeesh, that’s not something I ever thought would actually be something I ever encountered. Wait, does that make me a sugar-baby?”

“It makes you whatever you want to be. If you’re happy with that term, then absolutely, I’ll call you my sugar-baby, my doll, my precious gem.”

Hank sniggered and brushed Connor’s hand off his shoulder.

“You really have a weird sense of humour. The only thing anyone has called me in recent times is a fat waste of space.”

That hurt, just hearing it was painful enough and Connor couldn’t imagine who would say that to Hank. He might just have to go digging around and make someone pay for their callous dismissal.

“So,” he changed topic, not willing to dig his claws deeper into old hurts. “What would you like to do this afternoon?”

The question obviously took Hank off guard and he blinked a few times. Truth be told, he was just going to mope around his house and waste time until he could go get Sumo. Without the dog there, he didn’t have much reason to leave, money was tight and temptation was high to end up in a bar. Something he hadn’t done in a good year or so.

In the end, they settled on the sofa, Hank putting on films Connor hadn’t ever watched before and they laughed their way through most of them. Some because they were funny, others because they were so awful. Come evening, Connor offered to get dinner but Hank refused, claiming that he was big enough to be able to withstand skipping a meal. Truth be told though, he was just worrying about money. The amount Connor had already spent on him and Sumo was huge enough, any more felt like Hank was drowning in guilt and debt. Technically, he knew he didn’t have to repay it with anything other than company and yet, he didn’t think he was anything special enough to warrant such luxurious treatment. When he finally went to bed, amidst Connor’s reassurances that he didn’t need to charge or go into stasis and would just quietly work from the sofa, he spent a few moments wondering just what on earth he was getting himself into.

Out in the living room, Connor let his eyes slip shut as he made contact with his brother. The first thing he needed to do was chastise Nines, his sources had been sorely lacking important information on Hank.

“Please reprimand Gavin for being so lacklustre and tardy with his information gathering. Hank is a much more complex individual than his information packet made him out to be.”

Moments later, Nines’ reply was back and it was filled with a mirthful tone.

“Gavin says you’re welcome. Every romance needs a little bit of mystery and actual work put in. But he said that if you take Hank to the diner down the road with the blue flowers in the window, Hank will be putty in your hands.”

The connection cut off and Connor rolled his eyes. Typical brats, the both of them. If Gavin wasn’t a good connection to have at the police force, Connor would have severely questioned what his brother saw in him. Not that he hadn’t been chastised for asking that already. In fact, both Nines and Sixty had given him such glares and asked how Connor could be so mercenary around relationships. That was perhaps the first time he’d heard Nines say the word love and truly mean it. That was still a concept that was beyond Connor, deviancy be damned.

In the morning, he still followed Gavin’s suggestion and dragged Hank out to the diner with the blue flowers. Watching the way Hank seemed to blossom in there, smiling around the waffle he tucked into, Connor had to give it to his brother, perhaps Gavin wasn’t such a lost cause after all.

“So, this family business,” Hank asked once he’d wiped his mouth and sat back with a satisfied look. “Tell me more about it?”

“I don’t know what you’d want to know about it. It’s just something my brother and I run, specialising in cleaning and disposal of waste.” Technically, not a lie. Except it was the cleaning up of and disposal of moral waste. People who played the justice system, danced along the edges of legality but committed atrocities that neither Gavin’s or Allen’s department could legally clean up.

The cocked eyebrow Hank sent him meant his explanation hadn’t really worked. Sighing, Connor leaned forward, elbows on the table, voice low and conspiratorial.

“Fine, you got me. I’m the head of the Arkait Mafia,” he had meant it as a joke, expected Hank to lean back and laugh at his awful sense of humour. What he didn’t anticipate was Hank to lean forward and murmur a soft “okay, makes sense I guess,” followed by a “are you going to have to kill me for knowing?” was something that blindsided him. For the first time in his existence, Connor was actually speechless.

“I’m joking?” he tried but the fact it came out more as a question than anything else was a bit of a give away.

“Sure. And I’m the tooth fairy,” Hank nodded. He finally leaned back with a smug smirk. “Arkait - RK Eight. Damn, if I was still at work, I’d be both kicking myself for not putting it together sooner and now Gavin will get the dubious honour if he ever figures it out. You probably thought it was really funny.”

“Actually,” Connor’s smile was sharp, “Sixty thought he was funny but I suspect Allen had a lot more to do with coming up with the name. And as for Gavin? I assume you mean Lieutenant Reed, your successor? He rolled his eyes when Nines told him. And I believe smacked him on the shoulder.”

Hank’s jaw dropped at that. Gavin? Dating one of the heads of the biggest Mafia family? And Allen...the name felt familiar and suddenly the dots connected.

“Wait a second, not Fletcher Allen? You’ve got the goddamn SWAT Team’s Captain to heel?”

Laughing, Connor shook his head. “Don’t let Sixty or Allen hear you say that. Those two were as good as married before he got anywhere near that role. It was simply fortuitous that his job took him in such directions. And no, that was all on his own merit, we didn’t step in to pave the path for him.”

Mind a little blown, Hank watched Connor pay for their breakfast with a charming smile and a healthy tip. He didn’t quite know what to say, how to react to the revelation. The part of him that still wanted to be a detective was baying for Connor’s arrest then and there. But at the same time, that was a life he’d left behind. Or been left behind by, he still wasn’t certain about the specifics. The more he thought about it, the more despairing he got and his mood turned from sour to downright black. This was why he had started drinking, at least it had helped blot out the pain to a degree. Then the hangovers had been a physical pain which had been easier to deal with too. Damn, he really wanted a drink.

Sensing the change of mood, Connor cast a glance around. He wasn’t sure what he could do to deflect the sudden sadness. Even worse, he didn’t know whether his reveal was the instigator of it all or if something else had occurred to Hank that made him nosedive into the bleakness so spectacularly.

“I’m sorry, I can go if you’d like,” he ended up offering. “We don’t have to see each other ever again. And I’ll still honour our agreement, Sumo will be well cared for.”

He didn’t mention that he’d also leave a tidy lumpsum in Hank’s account for his troubles. Wondering whether he needed to reassure Hank that his life wasn’t in danger either, that nobody would come after him in the night to take care of the fact that he knew the identity of the family and their associates, Connor almost missed the small shake of Hank’s head.

“You can go if you’d like. But I think it’s honest to say that your company is the only thing stopping me from diving headfirst into a bottle right now."

That brought Connor up short. He’d expected many things but not that. With a small nod, he shuffled out of his seat and plopped down next to Hank instead, hesitantly wrapping an arm around him.

“Then I’ll stay as long as you need me.”

A bitter laugh sprang from Hank’s lips. He bit down on it viciously and tried to tamp down on the hot bitter tears that threatened to chase it.

“I promised you quiet company and I can’t even do that, I’m sorry,” his voice wasn’t more than a hoarse whisper. “Why did you even have to pick me when there are so many other younger, brighter, happier, less broken people out there?”

Nodding, Connor took a moment to reply, “You’re right, I could have had anybody. But I picked you because you shined amongst the rest of the profiles. Genuine, down to earth and with the life experiences to make you a rounded individual. Why would I pick someone who is only after a good time at my expense when I could have you? Someone with an honest and upfront attitude and someone who I can connect to, on a deeper level than just being a pretty android for them to show off next to?”

Perhaps it was a little too earnest and a little too soon, but Connor didn’t think he had much to lose. He’d been honest with Hank before and had no intention of stopping now. If anything, now that the secrets were out of the bag so to speak, there was not a whole lot more to hide.

“Why don’t we go for a walk?”

He kept an arm around Hank’s waist as they walked, quietly relishing the closeness while hoping he was offering at least a little bit of comfort too. The walk seemed to help and when Connor suggested they stop off for ice cream, that had brought a small smile to Hank’s lips.

“We used to come here a lot,” Hank mused as he licked at his ice cream. Meanwhile, Connor was trying not to look too questionably sexual as he suckled on the thirium ice lolly he got himself. “It doesn’t hurt as much to say that to you. Cole used to love the ice cream from here.”

Unsure how to appropriately respond, Connor pulled off his ice lolly with a pop and looked at Hank with wide eyes. That at least got a more amused laugh out of the man.

They continued their walk in silence until they were in front of Hank’s home once more. Connor waited for Hank to decide what he wanted, his offer to stay was still open but he wasn’t certain of his continued welcome in the man’s life.

“You want to come in?”

That answered any questions and Connor stepped through the door. There was nothing different between them but at the same time, there was an ease of just existing together. He suspected that Hank felt it too as he flopped down onto the sofa and looked around.

“I keep expecting to see Sumo, it’s like he’s there in the corner of my eye but I turn and he isn’t.”

Settling next to him, Connor pulled Hank towards him and was surprised when he settled without complaint against his chest.

“You’ll have him back soon enough,” he reassured him and buried his nose in Hank’s hair.

They spent the rest of the afternoon in easy company, not expecting much from each other other than sitting together. Hank sometimes seemed a little lost in his head and in those moments, Connor would nudge him, either with his feet and get a few absentminded squidges in the way of a massage or he’d run his nose along Hank’s jaw and draw a huff or entertained annoyance from him.

The next morning, Connor was making breakfast in the kitchen, hidden around the corner when the doorbell went. The shuffling steps from Hank was enough to reassure him that the matter was being dealt with and he ducked back to what he was doing, ears half listening to the door open.

“Connor? Did you lock yourself out?” Hank’s voice was coloured with surprise.

Sticking his head around the doorway, Connor frowned. That quickly morphed into a scowl as he spotted who was on Hank’s doorstep.

“I thought you’d be younger and a bit better put together,” the intruder sneered. Instantly, Hank’s back straightened and Connor would see his veritable hackles rising. Rather than let the farce go on, he stepped out into view.

“What are you doing here, Sixty?” he asked and deliberately didn’t look at the way Hank was doing a double take between them.

“You have a business to run, brother,” Sixty stepped past Hank and into the house. He looked around with obvious disdain. “Or did you forget it while playing house and replacement lapdog for,” he glanced over at Hank with a sneer, “ this ?”

Before Connor could react, Hank had Sixty’s arm pinned behind his back and was pushing him out the door with a low growl. Satisfied that the situation was under control, Connor took his time following them and faced Sixty in the front garden.

“The business runs just fine no matter where I am. I don’t come barging into your sex dungeon when you’re strung up onto a St Andrew’s Cross by Allen, do I? And technically at that point I’m two members of the family down on those long weekends, aren’t I?”

The way Sixty’s nose scrunched up in disgust and defiance was such an alien expression, Hank hadn’t thought it was a face Connor would ever be capable of pulling. Both Connor’s and Sixty’s LED cycled amber in time and at a push, Hank guessed that they had taken their argument to a more private plane. In the end, it didn’t matter. Sixty turned away with a scoff, looking disgusted and Connor smiled gently at Hank.

“Sorry about that, Sixty has a bit of a tendency to get very passionate about what he believes in. Usually, it translates quite well to our line of work but sometimes there is a misalignment of intent and result.”

It was the politest way Hank had ever heard anyone say their brother is an over the top idiot but still loved just the way he was. He simply nodded and turned to go back into the house, expecting Connor to do the same.

The days passed in easy company. They orbited each other in smaller and smaller circles. Sitting together on the sofa turned into cuddling and the odd, kiss pressed to tops of heads, hidden between whispered words. By the time Sumo was due home, Connor had taken to spending his nights next to Hank in bed. Nothing more than holding each other, Connor drifting in and out of stasis or working while Hank held onto him, kicking the covers off and having them pulled back over him with a gentleness Connor didn’t know he possessed.

Sumo came home and Connor carried him in to save him the trip. The sight made Hank pause as he struggled to get the crate out of the car. For such a slight, almost delicate build, Connor sure seemed to pack a punch. Settled in the living room, with a water bowl within easy reach, Sumo let out a sighing huff of contentment and flopped lazily onto his side.

“As much as I love spending time with you, there are matters I need to attend to,” Connor admitted with a sad, lopsided smile. He expected Hank to tell him he was free to go, no longer needed. Instead, Hank reached into his pocket and pulled out a key with a bow on it.

“You come and go as you need. But you always have a space here if you’d like.”

Taking the key with a reverent look, Connor’s face split into a beaming grin.

“Not to make it too cliched,” he said, “but I’ll be back.”

At the last moment, he turned back from the door and skipped back to Hank, pulled him in for a proper kiss before walking out the door and leaving a stunned Hank standing in the middle of his living room.

Despite Connor not returning for a couple of days, they kept in touch through texts. Everything from Sumo’s progress to something Connor saw wherever he was that made him think of Hank. Sometimes it was a cloud or a pretty coloured pebble. Then there were the late night messages. Those were slower to develop into something more than chatter. Connor made no secret of the fact that he’d grown very fond of Hank. That he found him attractive and would like to progress their relationship further into the realms of the physical.

In return, Hank admitted that Connor was easy on the eyes, that he’d grown very partial to him. The flirty “oh yeah?” Connor had replied to that with had earned him the fist picture. It was Hank’s clothed crotch but the trousers were straining, leaving nothing about the outline of his cock to the imagination.

Spurred on by that, Connor responded in kind and soon, they were both trying to keep the messages flowing while trousers were hastily undone and shoved down.

It didn’t become a nightly occurrence but it wasn’t a rarity either. Connor had the luxury of being able to capture stills from his optical units to send so if he wanted to use both hands, he could. Poor Hank didn’t have such an advantage but he sent videos instead, slightly shaking and juddering as he stroked himself but Connor went wild for the way his ragged breath could be heard in them.

One evening, they were just chatting, Sumo fast asleep by Hank’s feet.

“The gala opening is soon, may I take you still?” Connor asked politely.

“Like you have to ask. You know I’m head over heels for you,” Hank replied with a laugh. “Need me to get a suit?”

“I will have one brought to you. Is there anything you do not wear?”

“Ties.” Came the immediate reply. Nodding to himself, Connor made a note. “Oh fuck, what am I going to do with Sumo? Normally I could leave him but not while he’s recovering.”

“I’ve already sorted it. Stu will bring over your suit and stay with Sumo. They’ll bring their partner with them, someone I believe you already know and trust. Jeffery Fowler.”

“Oh holy shit, you’ve got Jeff involved in your shit too? Who don’t you own in this city?” Hank couldn’t believe what he was hearing. At the rate these revelations were coming in, he was going to be the last cop left that hadn’t been bought out by the mafia.

“He’s merely an associate, not on our books. Stu though, they were an ST300 on the DPD reception desk. One of our best enforcers and the perfect example of not judging someone purely off looks.”

The small harrumph of agreement was all the acknowledgement Hank was going to give there. He remembered the ST300s on reception. Fierce fuckers if they needed to be. He was never going to underestimate them.

As promised, Stu and Jeffery turned up on his doorstep a couple of hours before Connor was meant to be coming by to pick him up. He had thought it would be awkward, having not seen Jeffery in so long, ignoring his calls too, after everything that had happened. Hank was caught off guard when Jeffery pulled him into a bone crushing hug and introduced him to Stu as if nothing had ever changed between them.

“It’s been too long.” That was the only acknowledgement to their broken history. Meanwhile, Stu had thrust a bag at him and turned him forcibly by the shoulder.

“I have some pups to play with tonight, go get ready. And welcome to the family.”

A worried glance at Jeffery showed that he was shaking his head fondly at Stu. It seemed that the Captain of the DPD was either so smitten he didn’t care or genuinely believed that things as they were was fine. Hank decided to leave that conversation alone, hopefully never to be touched and walked into the bathroom to get ready.

Meanwhile, in his own home, Connor was getting prepared. He’d cleaned, checked himself in the mirror and played around with a few different looks.

“Quit your fussing, you look fine,” Nines grumbled from where he sat on the sofa.

Shuffling out into full view, Connor did a small twirl in the dress then went to grab the shoes. They were heavy, sharp and vicious looking but completed the killer look he was going for. Plus they matched the shade of Hank’s suit.

“Will you be out for the evening?” he asked Nines who rolled his eyes and nodded.

“Gavin and I are going to turn up fashionably late to the gala then we’re leaving as soon as it is polite, getting a burger and chicken wings on the way home from a drive-thru and going to his place. I plan on fucking him until he passes out.”

“Charming.” Connor scowled and stood up to do another twirl and a few steps in the shoes. “Does Gavin get a say in any of this?”

“He asked for the burger and chicken wings in exchange,” Nines nodded. “And you look fine. Get in the limo and hop to it. You need to be there when the gala opens.”

With one final spin, making the dress flare out, Connor left. The ride to Hank’s was quiet but he was still a little nervous. Arriving in front of the house, he noted Stu’s car was already there which was a relief in a way. They were one of the family’s confidants, not just an enforcer but a sensible head on a good set of shoulders. Without them, Connor was pretty certain things wouldn’t run as smoothly.

The driver walked to the door and knocked while Connor watched from his seat. His breath caught and his processors stuttered when Hank answered, turned back to wave and approached the car. He looked absolutely stunning in the suit, hair tied back into a loose ponytail. The epitome of class and grace. Sliding into the seat, Hank gave Connor a once over.

“You look gorgeous,” he greeted and gave him a chaste peck on the lips.

“You’re one to talk. This suit makes you look like you walked out of my dreams,” Connor replied.

They linked fingers as they made their way to the gala. Rolling up in front of the mansion it was being hosted in, the door opened and Hank slipped out first. He reached back in and offered a hand to Connor who took it. Together, they looked up at the building while a few cameras flashed, taking pictures of them.

Walking in, Connor quietly pointed out various attendees and how they connected to the underground world. The Manfred family was trying to forge ties with the Kamski family but Connor just so happened to know that it wasn’t going to happen. Not when he controlled some of the players in the game and had background ties to both families so could use them as pawns against each other.

“We’re so glad you could make it,Mr.-” The attendant looked over them and kept his eyes fixed on Hank, waiting for a name.

“Here’s the invite, this is Mr. Anderson, my date for tonight,” Connor smiled in delight. He thrived off the misdirection of appearances. People’s eyes were drawn to them and he had no doubt that they all saw Hank, a refined, older man with a young armcandy at his side. It was such a delight for people to cast a gaze over him and dismiss him as nothing more than a pretty piece of ass. If only they knew what he really did.

One circuit of the room later, they were back at the champagne table which Hank was very obviously avoiding even looking at. With a mischievous grin, Connor twisted so he was facing Hank and leaned in for a kiss. However, this time, rather than keeping it light and chaste, he pushed into it, licked against Hank’s lips until he was granted admission. Another step and his thigh was pressed flush against Hank where he could feel him stirring in interest.

“Connor,” his name was growled in warning.

That was more of a challenge than anything else and Connor wrapped his arms around Hank’s neck,leaned further in for a filthy kiss. By the time he pulled away, Hank was half mast in his trousers and his hands were pawing at Connor’s sides.

“If you can’t behave, I will put you over my knees as soon as we’re in the privacy of the limo,” Hank nipped at his lips between words.

“Guess it’s best if I call the limo then.” A moment later, Connor smiled. “I have three minutes to ravish you in public before we can go to the car.”

He made the best use of those three minutes, barely keeping their kisses decent. The way he rocked against Hank was definitely not fit for fine company.

Snarling, Hank pulled away, breathing heavily.

“Limo, now!” he snapped and Connor grabbed his hand to all but drag him to the car. They didn’t even wait for Nines to turn up with Gavin, too lost in the need for each other. Giggling, they tumbled into the limo and the door was shut behind them. The darkened privacy partition rolled up without either of them asking for it. Sometimes, the hired drivers just knew what the best thing was.

As promised, Hank wrestled Connor over his knees and rucked the dress up, revealing the lacy underwear.

“You’ve been a brat, count out the 10 spanks for me sweetheart,” he purred. Drawing his hand back, he waited for Connor to nod once before bringing it down in a loud smack. The whole of Connor’s body jerked with a moan.

“One,” he counted obediently.

“And why are you getting spanked?” Hank asked and swatted the other cheek just as hard.

“Two! Because I’ve been riling you up, seducing you and then jumped you in public.”

Stroking a hand over the reddening cheeks, Hank hummed. The next four smacks were faster but lighter, each one counted out by Connor in a rising voice.

“Such a good boy. See, you can be well behaved, can’t you?” Hank spanked him again, where thigh met cheek, once on either side in rapid succession.

“Seven, eight!” Connor’s voice broke and he squirmed in Hank’s lap, hard cock dragging along his thighs. “Two more, please may I have them?”

“You ask so pretty,” Hank’s smile was all teeth as he pulled his hand back and delivered the smack. He waited until Connor cried out a “nine” before giving him one final hit. As soon as Connor declared it as the tenth one, he was urging him to sit up and curl into his chest with soft praise falling from his lips.

Wiping a stray tear from Connor’s cheek, he tipped his face up to kiss him. “You took it so beautifully,” he murmured.

The limo had stopped moving in the meantime but the door had stayed firmly closed until Connor had pulled himself together. When the privacy panel descended at his command, the door opened and the driver nodded as Hank shuffled out, still carrying Connor.

“You’ll need to let us in, precious,” he murmured against Connor’s ear and blinked when the door swung open.

“Android perks,” came the giggled explanation.

Grinning from ear to ear, Hank took a guess at where he was going and huffed triumphantly at finding the living room. Plopping Connor down on the sofa, he stood back

“What would you like as your reward?”

Without hesitation, Connor nodded and reached for Hank. “Dance with me?”


Pulling Connor back up, Hank wrapped an arm around his waist and began to slowly lead them through a few gentle steps. It made Connor giggle softly, put his hand delicately on Hank’s arm and he enjoyed the way the slow turns made his skirt swish around his legs. They were staring into each other’s eyes, the pull of what they’d been working towards for the last couple of weeks with all the small touches and kisses finally came to head. Connor craned his neck a little to capture Hank’s lips with his and they kissed while they danced.

It wasn’t enough. Connor never could get enough of Hank and he craved more. Thankfully, he didn’t have to ask as Hank steered them towards the couch and pulled Connor down next to him. They giggled a little as they settled and Hank looked at the way the skirt was spooled over their knees. He laid a hand on the bare skin and looked at Connor with a questioning glance.

Grinning, Connor took it as a chance to grab his wrist and slide it further up his thigh, pushing the skirt out of the way. He couldn’t hold back the shiver of excitement when Hank’s fingers brushed against the lace of his panties which were already slightly straining as his cock stirred.

“You’ve got me all hot and bothered,” he whispered and curled against Hank’s chest, letting his hand fall away and rest on Hank’s belt. “Think I could do the same for you?”

Startled, Hank froze before wrapping his spare arm around Connor’s waist, fingers brushing against the lace backing of the bralet he wore. Leaving a few soft kisses on the top of Connor’s head, he began to trace the outline of his cock lightly.

“You already do that to me,” he murmured. “I’ve never really done this before, not with an android. Is there anything I need to be aware of?”

Humming, Connor began to undo the belt. “Not really. It’s all pretty much the same. Other than my refractory period is considerably shorter.”

“Well then,” a laugh rumbled through Hank’s chest, “I guess we’d better make good use of that knowledge.”

He squeezed Connor lightly before resuming the strokes, making them firmer with each pass. Meanwhile, Connor had managed to wriggle a hand into his underwear and was doing his best to wrangle him free of the confines. 

“Easy does is, sweetheart,” Hank’s voice was pitched low in his ear. “Let me take care of you.”

He worked his fingers under the waistband of Connor’s panties and curled his fingers around him. It already had Connor panting, breath damp against his neck. The soft little cry from when he twisted his hand just so was all the sweeter to hear.


“That’s it doll, take what you need,” he purred, urging Connor to roll his hips to find what felt good. “You look gorgeous like this. So sweet and needy.”

Nodding blindly, Connor let out a small whine. “I’ve been preconstructing this for so long. It’s so much better in real life than anything I could have come up with.”

He’d been excited and wound up for so long, it didn’t take a lot of time for Connor to be squeezing his eyes shut and pleading for permission to make a mess.

“I know it’s soon,” he tried to apologise but got cut off by Hank squeezing him and growling.

“As soon as you want, darling, I would love to watch you fall apart like this.”

That was all the encouragement Connor needed and he keened, hand on Hank’s wrist, uncertain whether he wanted him to keep going or stop. In the end, that decision was made for him as Hank stopped and let out a little huff of amusement.

“Your dress is already ruined so…” He easily wiped his hand on the material with a cheeky grin. “Perhaps it’s my excuse to get you out of it.”

While Connor stood on shaking legs to strip, letting the dress pool on the floor, Hank shrugged out of the suit, draping it on the end of the sofa.

“Come back, honey.” He patted the sofa and he helped Connor lay back on it. From there, he picked up one of his legs and admired the shoes. “They are almost as gorgeous as you.”

It made Connor preen and he let out a strangled little gasp when lips pressed against his ankle.


“Need to let you bask for a bit, you’re too beautiful to not appreciate,” Hank lifted the other leg for the same treatment, pulled the bristles of his beard along it to tease. It brought another harsh gasp from Connor.

“Don’t need as long to recover. Another minute and I’ll be back to my usual settings.”

“Is that so?” Hank cocked an eyebrow with a challenging smirk. “Then I suppose you won’t mind if I do this.”

That was all the warning he gave as he slipped off the sofa and onto his knees. Connor’s curiosity worked in his favour and as he was sitting up, Hank grabbed his hips to position him so each leg was over a shoulder. Grinning up from his position, he gave Connor a moment to process what was going on before he was licking over the outline of his soft cock. Delighting in the way Connor slammed back against the sofa, Hank did it again. It took a little work to coax Connor into hardness again, he had to use his mouth and hands but all too soon, Connor was writhing on the sofa, a hand tangling in Hank’s hair and pulling strands loose from the ponytail he had been sporting.

“Why don’t we get out of these?” Hank teased a finger along the edge of the panties, dipped under them and eased Connor out. Rather than help him stand, Hank dove back in with relish. He licked up the exposed shaft, savoured the flavour on his tongue before working his way down the length, swallowing to draw sweeter noises from Connor.

Easing back off him, he smiled widely. “Is this what you had preconstructed?” he teased. The vehement, almost desperate shake of Connor’s head was everything he could have possibly wanted. The hand in his hair was guiding him back down already.

“Please, Hank,” Connor pleaded. “Don’t tease.”

And how could Hank refuse such a request? He licked his lips before diving back in, eyeing the way Connor’s arms flew above his head to hold onto the backrest, his spine arching in pleasure. Small little whimpers fell from his lips and spurred Hank on.

“I need- Please- Hank!” Connor was close, his thighs trembled on Hank’s shoulders and when Hank dipped low again with a gentle hollowing of his cheeks, he toppled with a soft cry.

Keeping Connor warm in his mouth as he softened, Hank waited until the shaking subsided and little mewls took their place. Pulling away, he made a show of wiping his lips as he kept eye contact with Connor.

“All good?”

“So good,” Connor’s voice was breathy and smile filled. He already looked a little fucked out, hair a mess but Hank wasn’t anywhere near done with him. Not giving much warning, as Hank stood, he lifted Connor until there was no choice but to wrap his legs around Hank’s waist and hold on.

“Directions to your bedroom?” he asked gruffly.

“Second door on the right.” Connor’s cheeks were dusted with a blush as he squirmed a little to get comfortable.

Marching towards his new goal, Hank took a moment to admire Connor from his new vantage point. He looked every inch perfect from his plush lips to messy hair. There was nothing about him that Hank could fault even if he wanted to try.

“You got lube in here?” he asked as he dropped Connor onto the bed with a soft bounce.

“Drawer next to the table. But we won’t need too much.”

Smirking, Hank teased at the panties and his eyebrows rose in tandem when he felt how slick his hands came away.

Under him, Connor shrugged. “Seemed like a fun and useful update to have.”

“You are perfect in every way,” Hank growled and straddled Connor with a leer. “I love it.”

It was a simple matter of helping Connor out of the underwear. Gentle fingers traced the cutout panel of the top piece before veritably ripping it off him. It got Hank a gasp for his efforts.

“You like it, do you? Want me to show you what else I can do?”

He didn’t expect the eager nod from Connor and he chuckled.

“Such an eager little thing, aren’t you?”

Slipping onto the bed, he teased against Connor’s hole, marvelling at how it was already slick and a finger slid into him so easily.

“I could spend an hour driving you wild with nothing but my fingers,” he purred, “or I could fuck you like this, barely any prep, stretch you wide on my cock. Think you could take it?”

He didn’t expect Connor to roll onto his side and reach behind him to pull him closer. “Please. I want you. I need you, Hank.”

That was all the encouragement he needed. Hastily, he shoved his trousers a little lower, along with his underwear. Cock springing free, he returned his attention to where it truly belonged. Pulling his finger out, Hank slipped an arm under Connor’s leg and lifted it, making it easier to line up. Dragging his cock over the slick a few times, he listened to the eager hitch in Connor’s breath before slowly pushing in. It was tight, warm and wet, drawing a deep groan from him.

Pushing up onto his elbow, he looked over Connor’s back and stole a small kiss. Slowly, he pressed deeper and watched how Connor’s gaze became unfocused, all his processing power directed to the pressure and pleasure coursing through him.

“Think we can get you the hattrick?” Hank breathed against his ear and got another enthusiastic nod.

Moving his hand from under Connor’s leg to his cheek, Hank pulled slightly, allowing him to push a little deeper and get a choked-off whine for his efforts. Pulling out made Connor trembled and his hands clenched.

“You want to touch yourself, precious?”

“No. Want to come with just you,” Connor panted, pushing back into each slow thrust, trying to urge Hank on. “You’re so big. It feels like a continual feedback loop that’s constantly building.”

Gripping a little harder, Hank increased his pace and watched the blissful, fucked out look return to Connor’s face. He grinned and took a moment to appreciate the way his body jolted with each thrust, bouncing back against him with a huffed out little breath.

He was too pretty like that and Hank kissed Connor’s shoulder, hoping to convey everything he was feeling. That was the moment Connor decided to really start a counter rhythm to his thrusts and he keened sharply when the surprise of it made Hank bite down on his shoulder.

“You like that, huh? Want me to mark you up? Leave you littered with bruises in the shape of my lips?”

The idea was obviously getting to Connor, his mouth hung open and he twisted to try and watch Hank sliding into him.


Really, Hank was surprised that he had lasted that long. He could feel Connor trembling against him, the impending climax building in them both. It was purely chance that Connor’s body went rigid first, his cock giving a weak spurt while Hank pulled him down for a few hard thrusts and he was gone too.

They lay sprawled on the bed, breathless and trying to remember which way was up. Blinking, Hank grimaced at how his shirt was sweat soaked, his trousers ruined with lube. He dreaded to think how much the outfit had cost and said as much.

On his back, eyes closed, Connor grinned. “Worth it. Totally worth it.” He cracked an eye open and smiled lazily. “I could say something cheesy here like “welcome to the family” or something like that but...I think you already know you’ve snuck into my pump.”

“Is this your secretive, android way of saying I love you?” Hank asked and watched how wide eyed Connor had gone. “Because if it is, then let me be very clear. I love you too.”

He watched the way Connor’s eyes crinkled with a wide smile and let himself be pulled down for a kiss.

“Welcome to the family, Mr. Anderson and Sumo.”