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“The Android Inclusion Act (AIA) has been enacted today as an executive order by President Warren, granting inalienable rights to Androids until the Summit meeting in January to ratify AIA into U.S. Constitution, along with making any amendments accrued in the intervening months…”

-from Century magazine, November 15th, 2038

 

“... the Detroit Police Department is spearheading the AIA clause of ‘increased diversity in the workplace to include Androids’. This is almost certainly in part of the former Deviant-Hunter-turned-Deviant, RK800 model commonly known as “Connor”. During a crucial moment in the Android Revolution, Connor broke through his programing and subsequently liberated thousands of Androids from the assembly plant at CyberLife Tower. This turned the tide in the Deviant Leader, Markus’ favor and put pressure on the remaining human forces actively fighting against them. In a moment that was heartbreakingly human, Markus stepped in front of a firing squad and sang with a voice that can only be described as soulful ....”

-from Detroit Today , November 15th, 2038


 

< Monday, November 15th, 2038 11:35pm>

 

The pulsing lights of the club were glinting off of Gavin’s dark whiskey, giving it the look of an oil spill. His magazine’s update ping must have been drowned out by the persistent early 90’s alt rock/pop music because it suddenly lit up with a dull blue light.

 

From Chloe to Connor: Enigmatic Elijah Kamski comes out of hiding to discuss the Turing Test, AIA, Deviancy, and much more! 

 

Gavin glares down at the split picture of Chloe and Connor staring out at him from his Tech Addict magazine. He pushes it away in disgust, cradling his whiskey closer to his body. 

 

Fucking magazine’s already out of date ,  he thinks bitterly, taking a burning sip from his glass, Connor ain’t the newest Barbie on the block no more…

 

[“Hello, my name is Carter. The android not sent by Cyberlife.”]

 

Gavin shakes his head, slumping further down into the booth. The table is jolted by a sudden presence and Gavin looks up to see Tina Chen smiling broadly at him. Her hair is soaked with sweat from dancing and her eyes are lit up playfully. When she takes in his dour appearance her lips purse.

 

“Reed,” she starts, her voice pitched high to carry over the music, “I brought you out here so you could loosen up! After the day you had… I thought getting out would help,” she frowned at him, “Clearly all you want to do is wallow.”

 

Gavin sneered at her, unconsciously rubbing the scar on his nose, “Oh yes, I’m so indebted to you for bringing me to a fucking android-human club off of red ice row, thanks so fucking much.”

 

Tina doesn’t seem to take offense, rolling her eyes at him, “I know you’re pissed about Carter-”

 

“Jesus, don’t call it that-”

 

“That’s his name, Reed,” Tina’s frown gets deeper, “I know you have some deep anti-android bullshit-”

 

“Fuck you.”

 

But ,” she continues undeterred, “you need to get with the times, Reed,” she smiles finally, leaning over the table to whisper in his ear, “ Plastic pricks are in.”

 

“Ugh!” Gavin shoves her away from him, “Fucking gross, we can’t all have such low standards as you can, Chen.”

 

She smirks, “I’m surprised you have standards anymore, we all know human men are done with you. How long has it been?” she taps a finger to her lips before narrowing her eyes at him, “Five months? Maybe a little deviant dick might be good for you.”

 

Gavin closes his eyes, willing down the sick feeling in his stomach. “Just shut up and go dance with your Ken dolls, okay?”

 

Even with his eyes closed, Gavin knows the exact looks she’s giving him- worry mixed with pity and just a splash of annoyance. He doesn't want to see it. He doesn’t need her pity. He just wants the world to rewind back a few days.

 

Or a few decades , his brain supplies unhelpfully. 

 

When he opens his eyes again Tina is gone, lost in the undulating crowd of dancers. And Gavin chokes down the rest of his whisky, wishing he was home with his cats.

 


 

< Monday, November 15th, 2038 06:50 am>

 

Mornings piss Gavin off in general. Mornings that begin with Fowler shouting at him from his blackout office to ‘hurry and get his ass in there’ piss Gavin off even more. 

 

He knows the world has spun off its axis since the revolution a few days ago and the DPD has been inundated with phone calls for all sorts of crimes from human and androids alike. Fowler had even called in extra cops from Grand Rapids and Warren to help manage the number of cases coming in. 

 

That FBI twat Perkins was still lurking around- either at the DPD or at CyberLife Tower- the so-called ‘hub’ of android life in the city- as a mediator of sorts. All that has done is make his ego inflate more and he struts around the bullpen like a fucking peacock. Like he wasn’t on the front lines, mowing down deviant androids or having his men round them up in camps four days ago.

 

Not that Gavin gives a shit about the androids, Perkins just annoys the fuck out of him. His voice sounds like a fly in his ear and his self-important attitude is worse. Classic fucking narcissistic personality with a power complex. 

 

Gavin gives Fowler a ingenuine salute before he heads to the breakroom for coffee, his whole body humming with tension. He’s honestly been waiting for Fowler to call him out, to bite his dick off about playing nice with the plastic pricks. After Connor pissed him off with that bromance line outside the evidence room he’s had a somewhat grudging respect for him that can only be born out of mutual distaste. He still hates the way the android follows Anderson around like a fucking puppy, always easy with the smiles or a joke. 

 

More than that, Gavin has found the way Hank regards Connor even more stomach churning. Hank dotes on Connor, even if it’s in that gruff way of his. Like… like Connor’s his kid or something. It’s not romantic like some of the other cops like to think. Lord knows why they enjoy the mental image of old man Anderson being bent over by Connor but any detective worth their badge can see Hank feels paternally towards the fucking machine. Maybe it’s because he lost Cole a long time ago, but Gavin learned the hard way that androids aren’t a replacement for human relationships.

 

Whatever the fuck Fowler wants to talk about can wait till he’s had his first cup of coffee. Gavin is an asshole, he knows this, embraces it even but he also knows he’s on thin ice because of his very vocal views on androids. If he wants a chance of keeping his job after Fowler brings him to heel, he needs caffeine to make sure he has a chance of not running his mouth.

 

As he empties his sugar into his coffee, trying the mask the burnt taste he notices that Anderson and his lapdog are nowhere to be seen. This immediately raises Gavin’s hackles higher. Ever since they were paired together Connor had been forcing Hank to work by 07:00 sharp. Hank would shuffle in, full of loathing and Connor would have a jaunty ‘Good morning, Detective’ on his lips for Gavin despite the fact that Gavin never replied. As much as he can barely tolerate Connor and Anderson, their lack of appearance concerns him. In reference to what it means for him. 

 

Taking a deep gulp of coffee, Gavin crushes the styrofoam cup in his hand before dropping it into the wastebasket. As he walks towards Fowler’s office he’s aware of the many eyes on him and turns to give the other cops a patented Reed ‘the fuck you looking at’ face. They immediately turned their eyes down, avoiding his gaze. A cold shiver surges through Gavin but he straightens his back and walks into Fowler’s office. And stops dead on the threshold. 

 

Captain Fowler is sat behind his desk, expression grim while next to him stands Hank Anderson, a smug smile on his face. Seated close together are Connor, who looks up at Gavin’s arrival- “Good morning, Detective!”- and...Connor?

 

Gavin blinks stupidly as the second coming of ‘Connor, the android sent by Cyberlife’ regards him with what might be a sneer of derision. The second Connor is dressed in a more schnazzed-up CyberLife jacket and a black turtleneck that makes him look like a total fucking tool. But it's the eyes that catch Gavin off guard. Gone is the deep, warm brown of Connor’s puppy eyes only to be replaced with flinty grey. 

 

Finally, Gavin finds his voice, “The fuck is this? Bring your clone to work day?”

 

Fowler scowls, looking like Gavin merely ticked off a box on his mental checklist. “Detective Reed, this is RK900, Connor’s would-be successor.”

 

Connor nods at the RK900 model who gets up from his chair, his movements lithe and graceful. He extends a hand to Gavin, smirking deviously, “Hello, my name is Carter, the android not sent by CyberLife.”

 

Gavin reels back as if he’d been slapped, his glare moving from the android’s outstretched hand to its rapidly baleful grey eyes. Its LED light changes from a cool cobalt to swirling yellow, as though it was taking measure of him. Gavin is caught off guard by the thought that such a resentful expression shouldn’t suit Connor’s face as well as it does. 

 

“Don’t be a dick, Reed,” Hank sighed from beside Fowler. “They’re just like us now.”

 

Gavin sneers at Anderson, his voice clipped, “Barely. AIA only went through this morning.” 

 

Gavin feels anger spark in him as Fowler and Anderson have the gall to look surprised. Just because he doesn’t like androids doesn’t mean he’s out of touch with the world. That’s a dangerous thing for a cops to do. His eyes dart back to the android who has retracted its offered hand and is regarding Gavin with cool contemplation. The android crosses its arms,tilts its chin up, offering Gavin a subtle smirk, LED still spinning yellow.

 

Lieutenant Anderson rolls his eyes before saying, “Funny you bring that up, actually.”

 

That cold feeling from before settles in Gavin’s stomach and he suddenly wishes he hadn’t downed his coffee so quickly. “As much as I’d like to sit around and play Barbie Dreamhouse with you-.”

 

“Quiet,” Fowler orders gruffly. Gavin’s mouth snaps shut and he glares to the side. Fowler appraises Gavin for a moment, as though waiting to give another reprimand but when the detective stays firmly silent he nods, “The Detroit Police Department is going to be one of the many branches of the workforce spearheading the components of AIA. More specifically, the increase of androids in the workplace. As such, Connor has asked us to take on Carter on a trial basis to see if he’d be a good fit for the department.”

 

Gavin cuts his eyes to the android in question. Its LED is whirling yellow and if the slight uptick of his mouth is any indication the plastic prick is laughing at him. “So they are going to take our jobs,” Gavin sneers.

 

RK900 rolls its eyes, looking bored, “We already made up over 63% of your skilled medical technicians,” Gavin notices Connor’s minute frown, “and 80% of your higher learning professors are already androids. Now, we will just be paid a,” the RK900 smirks, looking down at its nails before meeting Gavin’s eyes, “ living wage for the work we already do.”

 

Gavin lets out a bitter laugh, “You think you can replace human ingenuity with core processors?”

 

RK900 places a hand on its chest, taking a step closer to Gavin, “We were made with human ingenuity, I doubt the same can be said for you , Detective Reed.”

 

Grey eyes clash like lightning as Gavin takes an answering step closer to the android. 

 

“Enough!” Captain Fowler bellows, running a hand down his tired face, “Reed, sit the fuck down.”

 

Still holding the android’s steely gaze, Gavin takes a seat and twitches as the RK900 smiles in triumph. “The DPD is already under an immense amount of pressure and incredible outnumbered as it is. Not only do I have the public to answer to, now the eyes of President Warren and the world are on us,” Fowler looks gravely between Gavin and the RK900 model, “Lieutenant Anderson and Connor have already proven what an asset human-android team ups can be….”

 

Gavin suddenly feels like he’s submerged in water. Captain Fowler’s voice gets muffled as waves of anxiety and vitriol roll over the detective. Gavin can see Connor standing up, taking point in the conversation but his words are fuzzy. Then something snaps into place and a noise of protest is ripped from Gavin’s throat.

 

“No, no, you’ve got to be kidding,” Gavin whirls on Fowler, “You want me teaming up with a tin can? Are you out of your fucking mind, Fowler?”

 

Captain ,” hisses the older man, irked but not surprised at Gavin’s outburst.

 

“Are you out of your fucking mind, Captain Fowler?” Gavin amends, his voice laced with rage.

 

“I’d watch your mouth, Reed,” Fowler glares, “You can’t have another misconduct on your record or you are gonna be running the beat again.”

 

The threat hits its mark and Gavin lets out a loud breath through his nose. He’s been on thin ice with Fowler for months, but he can’t possibly be serious. Gavin opens his mouth to make a more impactful case-

 

“If it’s any consolation, Detective,” the RK900’s voice breaks through the thick silence in the room, the tone smooth and haughty, “Connor has been helping me deal with my new deviancy and has decided that I am field test ready. I was offered a job by the DPD, on a trial basis with you as my partner,” icy grey eyes flick up and down Gavin’s frame before it continues, “Though I’ve yet to see why a human is imperative to my mission here. I’m positive I can do my job better without having to drag around a meat-sack, but here we are.”

 

In a flash, Gavin has the android pinned to the blacked out screen of Fowler’s office, his arm across its throat, “Listen here, you plastic prick -”

 

Before Gavin can finish, the RK900 had reversed their positions, pressing Gavin tightly to the glass, the android’s elbow hard on his sternum. 

 

The android smirks down at Gavin- the look clearly indicating that it finds Gavin to be horribly predictable. The RK900’s smirk is a feral looking smile that has none of Connor’s wide-eyed innocence, and causes a flood of panicked-inducing warmth to spread through the pinned detective. A second later the pressure is gone and Gavin takes one bracing step forward, his hand rubbing his chest. 

 

Fowler gives the two of them a dry look and then casts his gaze to Hank, “Is Connor sure about this?”

 

Hank merely nods, “Fuck knows why, I tried to talk Connor out of it too.”

 

Connor smiles indulgently, looking between his successor and Gavin, “Honestly, this went better than the scenarios I preconstructed,” he turns back to Fowler with a serious expression but is addressing the room at large, “Detective Reed, while possessing many unlikeable attributes is still a good detective, I’ve reviewed his casework and I’m satisfied he can meet the parameters I’m looking for.”

 

Hank huffs, saying gruffly, “Meaning if you and Carter can work together, there is actually hope for humans and androids moving forward,” he turns to Connor, his expression softening a touch, “You’re too much of a damned optimistic since you deviated, Connor.”

 

“Thank you, Lieutenant.” 

 

Hank lets out an amused chuckle before crossing his arms and regarding Gavin and RK900, “Connor and I are running point for security of Markus and the other Jericho leaders at CyberLife Tower which means you,” he points to Gavin, “and Carter on going to take over the android crime unit.”

 

Gavin closes his eyes, fucking seriously? Not only am I stuck with this aluminum ass I’m also working ‘droidcrimes? He grates his teeth together, looking to Fowler, “Am I to assume any opposition I have to the case doesn’t matter?”

 

“Affirmative,” the RK900 supplies, its smile tipping towards feral again. 

 

“Didn’t ask you, Tin Can,” Gavin grits out.

 

“Don’t care, Meat Sack, next time try not asking inconsequential questions if you don’t want to know the answer,” the RK900 shot back, its LED spinning yellow again. 

 

“I’ve already transferred all of the pertinent information to your computers as well as uploaded as much of my findings into Carter as I could,” Connor offers, smiling towards Gavin. 

 

Uploaded , Gavin tries to fight back a shiver of disgust at the thought. Having someone push information into your head by force… “Fine, whatever, can we just be done here?”

 

Captain Fowler gives Gavin a deadpanned look before releasing him. Gavin moves stiffly to the door, aware of silver eyes on him. He casts a glance at the android, cursing it in his head for looking so unruffled. The RK900’s face is impassive and clear of the red flush spreading along Gavin’s neck. Even its stupid hair is still quaffed perfectly. With a disgusted snort Gavin leaves Fowler’s office in a huff and decides today is great fucking day to take up smoking again.

 


 

<Monday, November 15th, 2038 07:38 am>

 

Pushing his back against the cold brick of the precinct, Gavin takes another long drag of his cigarette. Next to his scuffed sneakers there is already a pile of used butts, the ashes mixing with the snow. 

 

Stupid fucking android , Gavin thinks vehemently, for what must have been the twentieth time in the past ten minutes. If Gavin had known what was waiting for him at work this morning he would have called in sick. 

 

Partnered with a fucking ‘droid, he never thought he’d see the day. Anderson had no love lost for androids before he met Connor and no doubt Fowler saw those two as a litmus test. Anything to get positive press for the DPD- A positive spin on the new world hell they were all living in. 

 

And now he was forcing that on Gavin. He was sick with it. Sick with the RK900’s stupid fucking face, and voice, and its fucking name- like having one somehow put it on the same level as a human. Tina named the DPD coffee maker and you sure as hell don't see it applying for jobs. The silver-eyed tin can just ‘wake up’ and suddenly he has a job whereas Gavin had to work his whole life to get where he is. He barely made it through Academy (some bullshit about low interpersonal skills) but he’d clawed his way out and into a position he liked. 

 

He was no Elijah Kamski, but he likes to think he’s done alright for himself. He’d had his life where he liked it and then fucking androids had to ruin everything. 

 

Sure, he wasn’t fucking heartless, seeing the footage of the androids being rounded up into camps and working in the aftermath of it made him sick. It reminded him of back in grade school when they’d talk about Auschwitz and the Jews. But at the same time the androids weren’t human just because they were capable of sentient thought. Or is the capability of sentient thought the hallmark of what makes something human ? Worthy of equal respect? The world at large seems to think so but the thought made Gavin’s head spin in confusion. So, instead of facing it head on he simply was going to go home that night and get blitzed, and try to drown out the memory of Markus’ potential swan song.

 

Taking another puff of his cigarette Gavin watches the curling smoke dance in the bitter wind. Smoke, that’s the color of its eyes , comes the unwanted thought. Gavin closes his own eyes, trying to fight back the images of RK900 rising up. But Gavin doesn’t have a solid track record of ignoring dangerous substances. The detective licks his lips before raising his cigarette to his lips again.

 

If the android had been human…

 

Gavin would have been head over dick attracted to it. The RK900 model unfortunately checked all the boxes that Gavin preferred in a male conquest. Except for you know being human

 

Where its predecessor was slightly and amicable, the successor was broad and sarcastic. Gavin has dated his share of nice guys but inevitably they all chafed under his dry sense of humor and general assholishness. It was rare to find someone who called him on his bullshit and then upped the ante. 

 

The only thing soft about the RK900 model seemed to be its chestnut brown hair. The annoying Superman curl of Connor’s was brushed to the side, giving RK900 yet another sharp angle but Gavin’s hands twitched with suppressed tactile curiosity. The brown waves seemed to move with the RK900’s motions but it always settled back to its perfect position. 

 

And those eyes. Grey didn’t do them justice- Gavin’s own eyes were the muddled grey of old snow but RK900’s were silvery like smoke at first glance but if you look closer there’s an undercurrent of blue.

 

Gavin was jolted out of his dangerous musings by Officer Tina Chen bursting through the door out of the precinct. “Reed, is it true?”

 

Gavin sighed, flicking the ash off his cigarette. “‘fraid so, Ti.”

 

Her lips spasm into a purse as she tries to not smile, “So… you, Gavin Reed, have your own twinkatron?”

 

“Zip it, Chen,” Gavin growls stubbing out his cigarette on the wall behind him. He cards a hand through his hair, his mouth pulled down into a frown. “Why must you put nasty images in my head?”

 

Officer Chen narrows her eyes at him, “Yeah because your mind is so pristine,” she casts a glance over her shoulder back towards the building, “But like honestly, Connor 2.0 is kinda hot…”

 

Gavin groans, “Ti, please, I’m already stuck with it, I don’t need you drool on it and have Fowler pissed because I let his toy short-circuit.”

 

Tina bites her lip, still smiling, “I promise nothing. Do you think his muscles feel life-like?”

 

“Ye-” Gavin begins to answer unthinkingly and suavely attempts to cover his response with a cough. Tina raises an eyebrow at him but blessedly doesn’t comment. 

 

She sidles up to him, leaning against the wall as well, “Let’s go out tonight, hit a club. Maybe it will get your mind off of the tin can.”

 

“I highly doubt it,” Gavin huffs, scratching his scar. “Though getting drunk sounds really good right now.”

 

“At eight in the morning?” Tina asks, her tone amused. “You’ll have to wait on that, unfortunately.” She stretches, bumping her shoulder with Gavin’s, “I gotta run, another Camden house got broken into last night.”

 

“One of the abandoned ones?” Gavin asks, rubbing a hand over his face. 

 

“Not quite, a new family was moving in but they’ve been out of the country for a couple months. A moving company had brought in all their stuff, covered it in sheets and such. Well, the father called us in a panic last night because he found evidence of a squatter. He ended up staying at the hotel down the strip. He seems pretty shaken up, wants us to come in and clear it before his family returns in a week,” Tina frowns down at her shoes, “Dunno what’s got him so squirrelly but I guess I’ll find out.”

 

Gavin raises his fist to her, “Luck, Chen,” she meets his fist with her own before heading back into the precinct. 

 

Gavin tilted his head back against the brick, taking some deep breaths. He lights one more cigarette, not particularly caring if he’s left the android waiting. He can’t imagine the android ever relaxing around Gavin like Connor has around Hank. Sitting on the edge of his desk, kicking his feet, practising coin tricks. No, the RK900 wouldn’t do that. Too many sharp edges, if they improved Connor they probably took out all of its ‘companionable software’- the little touches that made Connor appear more human and benign. 

 

“Detective.” 

 

RK900 stepped out into the cold wind of November, facing Gavin down with a resolute expression. Its brown hair softly rippled in the breeze and snowflakes bedded down on the crown of his head, giving him a frosty ethereal look. Those icy silver eyes looked at him like…

 

...like he was a piece of lint on its jacket.

 

Gavin returned the look, nodding towards his cigarette, “What do you want, tin can?”

 

The RK900 lifted its eyes heavenward as if in supplicant appeal, “Detective, you know they’ve created synthetic cigarettes that stimulate the feeling of nicotine without the drug actually being present. That would be far better for your health.” 

 

The violent thought of putting out his cigarette on the android’s jacket momentarily surfaces in Gavin’s mind before he thinks better of it, stubbing it out on the wall behind him. He drops it to the ground, crushing it under his boot. 

 

“I’m aware, thanks for the anti-drug lecture,” Gavin sneers, taking a step towards RK900. Fucking plastic prick, looking at me like I’m stupid. I’m not stupid, “Now tell me this, HAL 9000, why would they bother selling real nicotine cigarettes if the synthetics are so much better for you?”

 

RK900 levels its gaze on Gavin, remaining silent for a moment; chin tilted up slightly and brow furrowed. In a second its face relaxes into something almost amused, “I have no program to prevent me from lying to you, Detective, unlike HAL 9000.”

 

That stops Gavin short and he can’t help the lining of curiosity in his voice, “You’ve seen 2001: A Space Odyssey?”

 

The android smirks, raising and dropping his shoulder in an affected shrug, “I just did.”

 

A shiver of unease rolls through Gavin at how unnatural that is. Sure, he could have Googled the plot of the movie in seconds but to have watched the whole thing and processed its plot in the moment between one breath and another? Gavin feels that swooping sensation in his stomach again and glares at RK900, “Fucking pretentious plastic prick.”

 

“And to answer your original query, I believe it’s because humans are creatures of habit and when you combine that with addiction it can be very hard to break the cycle of thought-behavior responses,” Gavin rolls his eyes but the android continues, “Or, simply, humans are too stubborn to give up disgusting archaic habits because changing might mean they were wrong. And if there is one thing humanity struggles with it’s hubris.”

 

“Suck my hubris, tin-can,” Gavin scoffs, moving to pass the android. The RK900 pushes him back with a firm hand so they are side by side. Gavin’s retort of outrage is cut short by the android smirking its devious smirk again.

 

“Is that how you refer to your phallus, Detective?” The android’s lips quirk up, “I know they say human males only think with their little heads but it’s very meta for you to name it so. Some might think you are overcompensating.”

 

Those arresting silver eyes flick down Gavin’s form, causing an answering coil of heat in Gavin’s stomach. Confused and suddenly dry mouthed, Gavin shoves his hand away. “Keep your damn fingers to yourself.”

 

RK900 raises both of its hands as though held at gunpoint, though its expression is deadpanned. Gavin continues around it, walking back into the precinct. The distinct clip of the androids gait makes it clear that it followed Gavin back inside instead of shutting down from cold exposure. Pity.

 

“Perhaps I can compile a list of alternative names?” it continues conversationally as they approach Gavin’s desk. Gavin can feel the eyes of the bullpen on him and notices Hank put a restraining hand on Connor’s arm. The RK900 leans its hip against Gavin’s desk, its head tilted to the side. This human gesture is so alien on it that Gavin once again is caught between disgust and desire.  

 

It chuckles slightly before continuing on, “73% of men name their genitalia, after all. The top names are: Hercules, the Rock, and Johnny… do any of those strike your fancy, Detective? Or perhaps more accurately you can name it Napoleon, given your natural shortness...”

 

“You son of-” Reed swings on RK900 before he can think better of it. But the android catches his fist before it can connect, raising an eyebrow at him. The android licks its lower lip, drawing Gavin’s eyes as its LED runs from momentary red to yellow. Gavin jerks back, ripping his hand painfully out of the android’s grip. 

 

“Detective, given your history of disciplinary offenses I’d advise you not swing at your partner again,” the android says calmly, still swirling yellow. “With your innate oppositional defiance, surely you’d rather show Fowler you can actually work with me rather than prove his suspicions that you will fail.”

 

The hairs on Gavin’s neck stand up. That phrasing… it’s what the Officers at the academy had claimed was one of his biggest weaknesses. Gavin steps into RK900’s space, pissed he has to tilt his chin up to catch his eyes. 

 

“Stop looking up shit on me, tin can. Stop analyzing me and stop thinking you can predict me,” Gavin hisses, his voice pitched low and dangerous. “You’re nothing but a glorified body-cam and I don’t want your help.”

 

It regards him with an air of disinterest, though its LED still spins yellow. “I can assure you, Detective ,” it sneers, the look a copy of Gavin’s own derision, “that I am more than capable of doing both of our jobs, but unfortunately we are stuck with each other.”

 

“Excellent, as long as we are in agreement,” Gavin mutters, “Just stay out of my way unless absolutely necessary.”

 

“Fine, only if you do.”

 

“Fine,” Gavin retorts over his shoulder as he moves back to his desk chair.

 

“Fine,” RK900 says sliding into the desk space across from him.

 

Across the bullpen, Connor buries his face in his hands and Hank pats his back, his mouth a thin grim line.


 

<Tuesday, November 16th, 2038 01:26 am>

 

Gavin watches as another android slips out through the back door of the club with the same brunette woman. That’s the third one this evening, either she’s turning tricks or-

 

The snap of fingers in front of his face jars him back to reality. “Could you at least pretend, for me , that you are having a good time?” Tina glares, swirling her drink with a twizzle stick. She follows his gaze, her eyes narrowing, “Dammit, Reed, can you stop playing Detective for one night?”

 

Gavin cracks his neck, his fingers abscently chipping away at the label of the beer in his hand. He glares at his tipsy co-worker, “Funnily enough, being around more plastic pricks isn’t helping my anxiety about being partnered with one. And besides, there is something familiar about that woman. She’s left with three androids since we’ve been here.”

 

Tina rolls her eyes, “Who cares? Maybe she’s gotten the memo that you refuse to read.”

 

“Honestly, the party line is getting boring, Chen,” Gavin rolls the abused label between his fingers. “Just because they’re supposed to be treated like people doesn’t mean I need to be happy about it.”

 

Tina opens her mouth to protest when another fucking rendition of Eiffel Tower’s Blue comes on and Tina’s eyes get saucer-big with excitement. For some sick reason this song has skyrocketed back to the top of the charts since the revolution.

 

“Reeeeed,” her voice whines, “dance with me just this once!”

 

“Hell no,” Gavin scoffs, “I know you think you were born in the wrong decade but I am so fucking sick of this song.”

 

As if she anticipated his response, Tina had already flagged down another g-

 

“Are you insane?” Gavin hissed between his teeth as Tina smirked deviously, “That’s a fucking android, Ti!”

 

She pops her lips at him, “I’m well aware, Gav .”

 

The android, a model of HR400, smiles rakishly as it offers its hand to Tina. Tina give the android her hand, grinning triumphantly at her friend. “Get with it, Huxley. It’s a Brave New World !”

 

With that, she hops off her barstool and follows hand in hand with the android down to the dancefloor. Gavin can’t help yelling after her, “Are you seriously making that comparison?”

 

A flash of Tina’s smile accompanies her half lost yell of, “I dunno, I never read it!”

 

Gavin rolls his eyes, watching as she disappears within the pulsing lights of the club. He continues abscently picking off his beer’s label and rolling the shreds of paper between his fingers. 

 

A throaty chuckle shakes Gavin out of his brooding and his eyes turn and fix on his impeccable new partner. 

 

The RK900 looks distinctly out of place in the strobing lights of Club Cy-bort, still in its stiff attire. It raises an amused eyebrow in Tina’s direction before turning its attention back to Gavin. And Gavin is sure it’s the alcohol in his system and the hot wave of bodies undulating to a dead 90’s pop song but he has the sudden urge to see if the androids lips are as sharp as his words.

 

“Detective,” it addresses him in a no-nonsense tone, “a dump site of free androids has been found downtown, with all of their thirium removed through what would be the human equivalent of exsanguination.”

 

Gavin closes his eyes, chokes back his unfortunate arousal along with the remains of his beer. He signals Chen, telling her that he’s got to go in on a case and follows the android out of the club. And if Gavin’s normal mulish personality subsides a little at the view of RK900’s backside, he can blame it on the booze.