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Burned and Broken Attachment

Chapter Text

“Where is Detective Reed?”

Hank glanced away from his monitor, focusing first on Connor before his gaze fell on the empty desk across the walkway. He took in Detective Reed’s blank monitor and untouched workspace before Hank shrugged and went back to his own work.

“How should I know where that asshole is?” Hank clicked at the windows on the screen, continuing to sort through the crime scene photos Connor had provided. “Reed’s a grown man. If he’s late, he’s late. Who cares why?”

Connor tapped his finger ring finger on the desk.

He should have predicated that answer.

The Lieutenant and the Detective had been on poor terms since he saw the footage of Reed attempting to kill Connor in the evidence room.

Hank did not seem to share Connor’s opinion that beating the man in combat had been punishment enough.

“It is unusual for him to be late,” Connor said, weighing his words. He turned back to his screen, ignoring the way the empty desk out of the corner of his eye picked at his insides. “The man is too ambitious to risk future promotions with small infractions such as tardiness.”

“What’s your point?” Hank rubbed between his eyes, looking at Connor with an unreadable expression. “Reed hates you and you certainly don’t owe him any worry. Why do you care if he’s late?”

“I am not worried, exactly,” Connor said. He put his hands in his lap and stared at the desk. “My feelings on Detective Reed aside, he is a constant in our environment. His absence is noticed and it’s more distracting than I’d like to admit.”

“Ah, I get it,” Hank said. He snorted and got up from the desk. Hank stretched, cracking his spine and straightening out his pressed shirt. “With jerks like that, it’s better to know where they are so you can keep an eye on them.”

Connor did not answer.

The truth that he found comfort in the familiar atmosphere of the precinct would be too difficult to explain.

Unlike the wild and changing world outside, Connor felt safe in a place that was predictable. It had essentially replaced his Zen Garden as a place to retreat where he could feel comfortable.

Detective Gavin Reed was an annoyance, but he was a reliable annoyance.

“Perhaps he overslept,” Connor offered himself an explanation. He went back to his own caseload, though his eyes continued to linger on the empty desk in his periphery. “I’m sure he’s fine.”

“Knowing our luck, you’re right,” Hank said. He patted the desk and walked away. “I’ll be right back. Going to get a cup of coffee.”

“Yes, Lieutenant.”

Detective Reed did not arrive at the precinct for the rest of the day and he did not answer any calls from Fowler or any of the other officers.

“I can’t believe you volunteered to check on that asshole,” Hank grumbled, slamming his car shut. “It’s been a day. He’s probably passed out drunk and he’ll come crawling in tomorrow with a headache and a worse attitude than usual.”

Connor bit back the “You’re one to talk” on the tip of his tongue.

Hank had been much better on that front thanks to Connor’s intervention, but the man was not completely free of his past lifestyle and relapses were unavoidable.

That Hank had reserved his bad days for the weekends was a small blessing Connor did not intend to impede with a witty retort.

“I believe our bromance is the closest thing that man has to a friend,” Connor said, smiling as Hank winced at the term “bromance.” He took a few steps down the path to the apartment complex and buzzed the main office to let them in. “It made the most sense for us to come.”

“I’m not sure threatening to turn you into scrap metal on a daily basis is a good foundation for a friendship,” Hank snorted. He stepped through the unlocked door with Connor and they went for the elevator. “Should have sent Chris or Tina. At least they have a civil conversation with the jerk once in a while.”

“Perhaps,” Connor said. He left the elevator and strode down the hallway. “But I’d prefer to look into it myself.”

“I noticed.”

As they approached the apartment listed in Detective Reed’s personal file, Connor slowed his steps. He reached a hand up and knocked twice on the door. According to the building schematics, the apartments in the building were small with a single bedroom and a small living space with a kitchenette. The man should hear a knock if he were awake.

No response.

Connor knocked louder. “Detective Reed? Are you there?”

“It doesn’t look like he’s home,” Hank said. Connor noted the change in tone, turning from irritated to something more serious. He appreciated the concern—Connor had a bad feeling about the situation, too. “Reed hates you, but he’d never miss a chance to yell at you.”

“Unless he didn’t hear for some reason,” Connor said. He knocked once more and tried calling out again—there. A sound. “I heard something.”

“Good enough for me,” Hank said, voice soft. He raised it and shouted, “We’re coming in, Reed!”

Connor slammed his hand on the electronic lock on the door and hacked it in a fraction of a second.

The skin returned to his hand as he pushed the door open and entered the apartment. The living room area showed no signs of struggle or break-in. Connor scanned the area and headed for the door that led into the bedroom.

“Detective Reed!” Connor called, hoping to get the man’s attention in the best case scenario that the man was indeed passed out drunk or had merely overslept. Connor didn’t believe himself, but one of the benefits of deviancy was hope. “Are you there?”

He was.

“Well, shit,” Hank said, vocalizing Connor’s thoughts. “Reed! Hang on.”

Connor had already made it to the bed and worked on untying the gag stuffed in Detective Reed’s mouth. The man coughed as he was freed, almost choking on the oxygen as his lungs inhaled the stale air. He went for the ropes around his arms next, though not before taking pictures as evidence.

Hank helped Detective Reed sit up and took over the human element of comfort while Connor scanned the room for any sign of an intruder. “What the hell happened?”

“Fuck if I know,” Reed said, breathing hard. He coughed again to clear his throat, reaching up to rub it with swollen hands marked with rope burn. “I barely had time to throw my keys in the bowl when I walked in the door and the next thing I knew I was tied up.”

Connor left the bedroom and returned to the living room. He scanned the area once more, but did not see anything that appeared misplaced.

The lack of evidence concerned Connor more than if he’d walked into clear signs of a fight.

“We shouldn’t stay here,” Connor said, returning to the bedroom. “There’s no telling when your assailant will return.”

“I won’t disagree with that.” Hank helped Detective Reed to his feet and kept the man steady. “Can you walk?”

“I’m fine,” the man said. He shoved at Hank, though Connor saw the shake in his limbs and the pallor of his skin. Detective Reed hugged himself and snorted. “Why are you two here, anyway?”

“You did not arrive to work and were not answering your calls,” Connor said. “We came to check on you.”

“I get that,” Detective Reed snorted. “I want to know why you two specially are here. Did you piss Fowler off again?”

“Nope, Connor volunteered,” Hank said. He stayed close to Detective Reed in case the man fell as he walked toward the door, still fully dressed in his clothes down to the boots on his feet. “He missed your annoying face, what can I say?”

Connor felt Detective Reed’s confused glare on his back, but neither commented.

“Let’s get out of here,” Hank said. He rubbed his arm and looked around. “Something is giving me the creeps.”

Detective Reed was the first out of the bedroom and Connor followed just in case. There had been no one in the main living room, but he had learned not to underestimate an opponent.

“Shit,” Detective Reed said, standing over a small end table near the door. He pushed at the small bowl and scowled as he turned it over, letting a few loose pieces of change clatter on the surface. “The fucker took my phone and keys.”

“That may be in our best interest,” Connor said. He stood next to Detective Reed and looked at the man. “If the phone is still on, we should be able to track it.”

“We can, but right now we need to get back to the station and report what happened,” Hank said. “Let’s move.”

“Yes, Lieutenant.” Connor nodded in agreement, already compiling a to-do list for when they got back.

Whoever assaulted Detective Reed in his home would regret attacking Connor in the one place that he felt safety and comfort.

He would not forgive the disturbance of his peace.

The men who activated him were not his owners.

They had said as much when he asked for his designation and registration information.

He was to be a gift.

“Gav’s going to love you,” they had said, holding up a picture of the man to be his future owner. He registered the man’s name and left the spot for his designation blank. His owner would assign it later. “The guy lives all alone and heaven knows he can’t take care of himself.”

A need.

He would be needed.

“I look forward to meeting him.”

Chapter Text

“I told you everything!” Detective Reed said, throwing his arms up. When they came down, he dropped them heavily on the table in the interrogation room they’d moved to after they returned to the station. Detective Reed had turned down the offer to get checked at the hospital for any lasting damage to Connor’s displeasure. “I walked in the door, felt a hit, and woke up on the bed restrained. I didn’t hear anyone. I didn’t see anyone. I was alone until you two showed up and that’s all I know.”

Hank crossed his arms and snarled at the two-way glass. No one was on the other side to see it, but the motion felt automatic. “There’s no evidence on the scene either, so this guy knows what he’s doing.”

The disturbing lack of evidence of a second party in Detective Reed’s apartment had them all on edge.

According to the Detective, the only things out of place were his missing keys and phone.

He swore that nothing else had been moved when he’d returned to the scene with them to scan the apartment one more time after it had been cleared and an officer had been stationed to watch the door.

They returned shortly afterwards to go over the events one more time.

“Are we done? I’m not sure how many more statements I can give that all say the exact same thing.” Detective Reed huffed and rubbed at his mouth. Connor turned toward him and the Detective shot him a sneer, cutting him off before he could say a word. “And yes, I’m sure that I don’t have a clue who’d want to do this. Most people who don’t like me just beat the shit out of me.”

“Don’t I know it,” Hank muttered. He pushed his hair back and collapsed into the chair across from Detective Reed. “Can you at least think of anyone recent you might have rubbed the wrong way? We need some sort of lead.”

“Connor,” Detective Reed said, throwing his thumb over his shoulder to point at Connor without turning to look at him. “I’ve been on desk duty since I got knocked out in the evidence room and the only thing I’ve done after work the past month is crash at home. So unless your plastic pet is off the leash at night, we’re out of luck.”

“Prick,” Hank said. He got up and gathered the paperwork. “You know damn well Connor didn’t do it.”

“I didn’t,” Connor said, perking up. The accusation had been in jest, but Detective Reed had stumbled upon a new angle of which to approach the situation. “But another android might have. The lack of evidence at the scene could be evidence in and of itself. An android naturally wouldn’t leave fingerprints or any sort of hair on the scene and they’d be much better at making sure nothing was disturbed—or putting things back where they were if the android had been into your things.”

“Are you saying some random android broke into my house, knocked me out and tied me up?” Detective Reed asked. He turned in his chair, letting his arm fall on the chair back as he looked at Connor properly for the first time since they’d found him helpless on the bed. “Why?”

“I don’t know,” Connor said. He filed the information away and nodded. “But it’s a lead.”

“It’s a lead,” Hank repeated. The Lieutenant tapped the folder with Detective Reed’s case twice on the table. “It’s late though, so we’ll look into it tomorrow with fresh eyes. Reed, take some time tonight and think about any androids you might have ticked off more than usual.”

The Detective deflated and slumped into the chair. He covered his eyes and massaged his temples with one hand. “It’d be faster to give you the list of ones I haven’t pissed off: None.”

“You never make anything easy, do you, Reed?” Hank asked. He tucked the case folder under his arm and snorted. “Do you have a place to stay tonight? You shouldn’t go back to your apartment until we know more.”

“I’ll get a hotel or something.” Detective Reed got up from the chair and pushed it under the table. “But if this guy doesn’t show over the next week, I’m going home.”

The two humans moved to the door of the room, ready to retire for the evening.

Connor, however, could not stop the question: “Is it wise for you to be by yourself, Detective Reed? We don’t know the true motives of your attacker.”

“Are you saying I can’t handle myself?” The Detective said, spinning on his heel. “Is that it?”

“I’m saying that humans sleep and androids do not.” Connor stepped closer and reached up, pressing his finger into the bump on the back of the man’s head where he’d been hit. If it hadn’t disappeared after another day, Connor was dragging the man to an infirmary for his own good. “And you still have a head injury.”

“Don’t touch me,” Detective Reed said. He swatted Connor’s hand away, though there was no true bite to the strike, and stepped back. “I don’t exactly have friends around here, so I don’t have much choice in the matter.”

Connor frowned.

He knew the Detective wasn’t popular by any means, but he seemed to get along well with a few people. Did he not consider asking any of them? The man had been attacked.

“Connor, I know what you’re thinking,” Hank said, pointing at Connor’s face. He frowned and his pulse picked up. “So don’t even say it.”

What Connor had been thinking?

He looked at Detective Reed and back at Hank. He ran through the possible topics that the man could be referring to and—oh.

Yes, that would work.

“I would feel much better if someone was keeping an eye on the Detective,” Connor said. He turned on his friendliest smile and tilted his head. “We have the room and I would not mind keeping watch if he were to stay with us for the time being”

“Fuck, I knew you were going to suggest that,” Hank said. Connor continued to keep his smile and eyes locked on Hank’s face. He mimicked a head tilt he had seen Sumo do on occasion and the man threw his arms up. “Fine! You win! Reed can stay with us until we catch the guy that hog-tied him.”

“Thank you, Lieutenant,” Connor said. “I’m sure Detective Reed also appreciates your hospitality.”

“I don’t,” Detective Reed said, following Hank out of the room. “But I don’t mind stealing your booze, old man.”

“You’re going to stay the hell out of my stuff, Reed!”

Connor shook his head and followed the other two.

The humans would sleep and Connor would go to work looking for any android that might have mentioned Detective Reed in conversation.

Markus should be able to help point him in the right direction.

The android had been waiting with his new owner’s friends for a full twenty-four hours.

“What sort of dishes does Gavin like?” he asked. “I want to be prepared on the first day.”

“Hell if I know,” one of them said. “Why don’t you turn yourself off or some shit?”

“I do not require stasis at this time and I can not answer commands if I am turned off.”

“Are you sure we can’t have some fun early?” Another man asked from across the room. “Gav won’t even be back in town until tonight and I’m bored.”

“No,” the first snapped. “A present’s a present. You don’t open and use a gift before you give it to someone, do you?”

“He would,” a third said. “He’s an asshole!”

The three laughed and the android continued to sit still.

He hoped his new owner would arrive soon.

He wanted to go home and be of use.

Chapter Text

“Connor!” Markus reached out to shake hands, greeting Connor with a bright smile that spoke of how well he had been doing. However, Markus had also been busy helping as many androids as he could adapt to their newfound freedoms and Connor felt lucky he’d managed to catch the man. “It’s good to see you.”

“It’s good to see you, too,” Connor said. He let go of Markus’ hand and crossed his arms. “I only wish that I was here for something other than business.”

“Then you’ll have to make time for a visit in the future,” Markus said, clapping him on the upper arm and squeezing. “But what brings you here today? You mentioned you needed assistance?”

Connor followed Markus into the privacy of his office and took a seat across from his desk after the other android settled into place. “Yes, I was hoping you could suggest a few individuals that I could speak with who listen to gossip or pays attention to their surroundings more than most.”

“For what purpose?”

“We believe an android attacked an individual as a form of retaliation for an offense,” Connor said. He folded his fingers together and rested his arms on his knees as he leaned forward. “We had hoped to track him through the victim’s cell phone that he had stolen after the assault, however they were smart enough to turn off the GPS. As such, we have no leads aside from the fact we strongly believe our suspect to be an android.”

“And you’re hoping that they might have bragged or mentioned the act to someone else?” Markus asked, catching on quick. “And you want to ask around to see if someone has heard anything.”

“That’s the short of it, yes.”

Markus leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. “I’m afraid I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head, but I know Simon and Josh are out and about. They might be able to point you in the right direction.”

“Even that much is appreciated,” Connor said. He rose to his feet and brushed his suit jacket out. “If you hear anything about androids attacking humans, I would also appreciate it if you passed that information on.”

“Of course,” Markus said. He paused and pressed his lips together. “Though if you want something to do in the meantime, I do have another suggestion.”


“You know that we’ve been recovering and repairing androids from the city dumps, correct?”

Connor nodded. It’d been Markus’ first priority after solidifying their civilian status and main rights. Markus had given an impassioned speech about how he’d crawled out of such a dump himself and could never forget the half-functioning and broken androids that he’d left behind.

“We have been keeping logs of their testimonies of how they ended up in the garbage from all of the ones that can remember,” Markus said. He stood to match Connor and walked around the table, holding out his hand with the skin retracted. Connor took it and accepted the login information to a database on the Jericho server. “If your suspect was indeed harmed by a human first, it’s possible he came from the dump and may have mentioned it in the logs.”

“That is incredibly helpful,” Connor said. He released Markus’ hand and tested a connection to the database, scrolling through a few logs to make sure everything worked properly. “And may be helpful in the future when we run across this again.”

“Or to have a history of what humans have been violent,” Markus said. He crossed his arms and his expression turned stern. “As part of our agreement, humans are not being held accountable for old offenses, but all the same, a pattern is a pattern.”

Detective Reed popped into his mind and Connor steadied his expression to keep his concern from slipping onto his face.

“You have a point,” Connor said. “This is incredibly helpful, Markus. I’ll go speak with Josh and Simon before scrolling through the accounts.”

“I hope it helps,” Markus said. He paused and his expression turned down, but he kept eye contact with Connor—strong and compassionate. “And I trust if you do find out your attacker is an android, I hope the DPD will treat him fairly?”

“Of course.” Connor put his hand on Markus’ shoulder. “I will personally guarantee it.”

“You know, things would go a lot faster if you’d just tell us off the record how many androids you trashed,” Hank said. Connor walked into the door as Hank threw a beer bottle at Detective Reed’s head. The other man caught it and popped the lid off on the side table. “Maybe one of them crawled out of the dump to come kick your ass.”

“That’s what Markus suggested,” Connor said, amused that Hank had the same line of thought as the android leader. Josh and Simon had also supported Markus with the database of injuries androids would be their best bet. “If that is the case, the Lieutenant has a point.”

“Hell no,” Detective Reed said. He took a sip from the beer and slumped onto the old couch. “To start, I really don’t remember most of the things I did because I would have been hypothetically drunk at the time. And two, I’m not admitting shit. I can’t get charged for assault, but you can sure as hell get me for property damage.”

Connor took off his suit jacket and draped it over his shoulder. He stood in the center of Hank’s living room and frowned. “Which as an officer you shouldn’t have been doing no matter how you felt about androids.”

Detective Reed threw his arms out, holding the beer bottle neck between his fingers. “Which is why I’m not admitting to anything.”

“For now,” Connor said. He walked into the bedroom to hang up his jacket before returning to the others. “However, if I find your name in the list of testimonies Markus gave me, I do hope you’ll be honest in your participation so we can help catch the one that attacked you.”

“Testimonies?” Hank asked. He sipped on his own beer and crossed his arms on the counter. “What sort of testimonies.”

Connor gave a brief explanation of the database and both Detective Reed and Hank’s eyes widened as he noted how detailed some of the entries were.

“They saved video files for most of the accounts to back up their verbal testimonies,” Connor said. He paused and took a seat on the couch opposite Detective Reed. “Some of them are brutal.”

“No shit,” Detective Reed said, though his voice held no bite. “You looked through the list yet?”

Connor shook his head. “There are thousands of entries and I thought I’d start tomorrow.”

“Good move,” Hank said, voice proud. He’d been working hard to make sure Connor kept work to working hours. “I don’t know if we can help with that, but let us know if we can, okay?”

“I will,” Connor said. He looked between his two fellow officers and asked, “How was work?”

“Long,” Hank said. He smirked and took a swig of his drink. “Though amusing. Your evidence photos of Reed tied up are making circulation and everyone had an opinion.”

“Bad opinions,” Detective Reed snarled. “I want to see how they’d handle it.”

Hank snorted and the conversation fizzled out. Connor’s partner squeezed onto the couch and turned on the television to fill the evening with noise. Detective Reed and Hank rooted for opposing teams and Connor found their back and forth banter amusing.

He rather liked having company over.

Sumo joined them around halftime and collapsed on the floor at their feet. Connor reached down to pet the dog until the two humans turned in for the night.

“I don’t know what was so important that you had to get me here in the middle of the night, but it better be good.”

The android came to full attention and turned to face the door as a newcomer kicked it open and came inside.

He knew that face.

His new owner had arrived.

The man stopped and looked straight at the waiting android. He pulled a cigarette away from his mouth—the android took this moment to do a proper facial scan to replace the still photograph that had been acting as a placeholder—and pointed it at the android’s face. “What the hell is that doing here?”

That was his cue.

“Hello, Gavin Reed,” the android said, running the script he had been given by the man’s friends. “I am your new PL600 household android and I am delighted to meet you. Would you like to register my name at this time?”