It was only Tuesday and Gavin was beyond irritated. And, to add to the crappiest week ever, the coffee machine in the break room was broken.
"Gav, you should really -"
"I should what, Tina? Huh? What should I do? The damn coffee machine isn't working and I need caffeine. This is bullshit," Gavin snorted, leaning his hip against the small table in the break room with a crushed, empty styrofoam cup in his left hand. He had already tried messing with the machine (of course it had to be a machine that let him down, the irony) and he wasn't having any luck. Googling 'how to fix a coffee machine' solved nothing. Technology was horrible.
Gavin had been talking to Tina for a while about how much of a drag his last criminal case had been. He ranted about androids, made a few relevant jokes about his two pets back at home, and he laughed so hard that if he had coffee it would've went out of his nose. After about ten or fifteen minutes of slacking off, which was out of the norm for him, Gavin made his way back to his desk. He pointedly ignored the looks he received from Hank and Connor.
He proceeded to make a spiteful expression when the walked past them. With a heavy sigh, he plopped down at his desk and kicked his feet up, folding his arms behind his head. His green-grey gaze rested on the computer monitor. Seven new emails. He bet if he refreshed the page it would double. No one ever told him how many times he would have to virtually take care of business and file the most boring reports in the world. It was mundane. Impossibly mundane.
For example, he had to do DWI reports, burglary reports, put evidence together for courts, work early hours in the morning (which he only survived by drinking coffee, so it was hopeless for him to remain awake now), sit in court on his off days, surveillance — don’t even get him started on surveillance. Often he wasn't even out in the field getting action, just trapped behind an office desk waiting around. The job wasn't what he thought it would be, but Gavin was still passionate about it. He had to be, because passion was what got people ahead. Tina was passionate.
He could remember when they met and became friends in high school. Tina was a great judge of character, part of the reason why she joined the police field, and she knew that the tough facade that Gavin had was just an act. She could tolerate him when most people couldn't. He respected that about her more than she could ever know. Plus, she happened to like his cooking. Gavin was an avid Italian. He was born in the United States, but he knew how to make everything. He was traditional. Lasagne, Risotto, Spaghetti Carbonara, Arancini... that was just to name a few.
His mother was born in Italy, and he got most of his traits from her. Sofia Moretti - her family name was code for dark hair. His father, on the other hand, was from Detroit. They must have met when she came to America for career opportunities. Gavin didn't know that much about his father because he left when he was five years old, so he only really had his mother in his life. That was okay, though, because she taught him everything. Authentic cooking, their language, and the best alcohol to drink, because Italians could really hold their liquor. His mother was stubborn, just like him, so they got along quite well.
He still visited her all the time. He drove over to her small apartment on the cleaner side of town and he would bring her velvety, purple crocus flowers. She loved them. Then they would usually talk while they made a meal together, and she would ask about his nonexistent love life.
Gavin's hate for androids stemmed from the fact that his mother couldn't ever land a stable job. Androids replaced her because they weren't paid for their labor, they didn't need to rest, and they didn't need employee benefits. These were the reasons that he was so protective about his own job, and his constant desire to get ahead and step on toes. It was the way he had to be if he wanted to have success. However, success came at a price. Gavin stayed after hours, battled insomnia, and was an asshole to just about everyone.
His pets could tolerate him, though. Gavin had two of them. An orange tabby cat named Cinna, like cinnamon, and a german shepherd dog named Bruno. Yes, Bruno. He was the most stereotypical cop in the world and he embraced it. Cops ate donuts, sure, but it was really only about the coffee for him. Surprisingly, even with the broken coffee machine, the department was bustling with activity. He would never understand how people could wake up so early. Everyone seemed to be avoiding him lately. It was probably because of how tense and brazen he was with all the freed androids walking around the city. While he seemed to be on good(ish) terms with them now, he still thought that they were out to get his job and that they were creepy as hell.
"Gav, Fowler wants to see you in his office. Don't ask me why," Tina commented as she walked past his desk, an amused expression on her face when Gavin groaned aloud. Of course Fowler wanted to drag his tired ass into his office for a one-on-one at this hour.
He stood up from his work space two minutes after he was told to go. Yes, Gavin loved to make people wait on him. He shuffled up to the office and cleared his throat briefly before he entered, trying to mentally prepare himself. Though, as he pushed open the door to Fowler's office, he quickly realized that nothing could have prepared him for this.
"Reed," Fowler greeted from his rolling chair. Beside his desk there stood a Connor duplicate, its hands clasped behind its back. Immediately Gavin wanted to turn around and high tail it out of there. He could handle one Connor, but two? He slowly sat down across from his boss and glared holes into the thing's cold, crystal blue eyes. "Your attitude's gotten to a point where no one in this godforsaken department wants to work with you. We found another next-level RK model android in Cyberlife's basement facility for us to have. Cases have been piling up. RK900 shouldn't be too much trouble."
Gavin chuckled dismissively, already starting to break into a nervous sweat. "What?"
"He's your new partner."
"I'm not working with a fucking robot," Gavin said slowly, his voice bordering on hysterical. He got out of the chair and started to head for the door, because there was no way this was happening to him today. Not when the coffee machine was broken. He could handle seeing androids, but not communicating with them. Things were still tense between him and Connor, though the RK800 was really friendly toward him.
Fowler's authoritative tone cut through him before he could leave the office. "No grievances, Reed. You're working together. I don't want to hear it."
Gavin turned around to glare at the android. The thing looked just like Connor, but also entirely different. The demeanor was the main oddity. "Cap, why's it looking at me like that?"
There was a heavy sigh. Fowler shook his head and somehow found the patience to reply. "You'll have three chances to get along. If you can't, then there will be consequences."
"Why are you doing this to me? Look at this thing!" Gavin cried, making a wild gesture with his hands at the tall, stoic android standing in front of him. "It's - c'mon, seriously? Is this a joke?" He asked, another breathless chuckle escaping his lips. "This has to be a fucking joke."
"I don't make jokes. RK900, will you escort your partner to the bull pen?"
RK900 blinked once, the LED on his temple flashing blue in three short intervals. "Certainly, Captain. Detective Reed, follow me." He swiftly passed Gavin, his legs making long, confident strides across the tile. Even his walk differed from Connor's. His jacket was white and black, and the collar covered the majority of his neck. And, of course, he was more buff, like a brick wall.
Seeing that there was no other option, Gavin swallowed his pride and left the office. He went to the bull pen and helplessly watched as the android made himself at home on the other unoccupied side of Gavin's desk. The last person who had stayed there was Officer Nancy. She had slept for her entire shift and never filed any of her reports on time, so she was fired. Gavin could still remember the obnoxious sound of her snores. Now the desk was being occupied by Connor's brother. "Fowler said that they found you in the basement?" He asked, trying to start up a conversation. No, Gavin wasn't being talkative or trying to be friends with him, he was figuring out some information. The detective in him was curious.
"Yes. I was unactivated for a month after the Revolution," RK900 answered, his voice even. "Lieutenant Anderson and my sibling found my body in the basement during their investigation of stolen bio components. They were scheduled to view the inventory storage -"
"And instead we found Nines," Connor interrupted, standing by his twin with a delighted smile painted on his face.
Gavin stared at the two of them and their obvious differences. Connor was a tad bit shorter than his duplicate and he had kind brown eyes. Meanwhile, the newer android was expressionless, staring at Gavin, and kind of hot. He quickly dropped that thought from his mind and blamed it on his current caffeine withdrawals. Gavin was getting the shakes in his hands. "Nines?" He wondered, his eyebrows drawing together. "You named it after a fucking number? Why the hell would you do that?"
Connor's smile became more broad and he glanced up at his brother. "Actually, Nines responded quite positively to his first given name. It will also help others make an accurate distinction between the two of us."
Gavin snorted. "Yeah, whatever. I'm pretty sure I can tell the difference."
"Gav, who is that?" Tina asked as she approached the trio, arching an eyebrow as she stared up at the Other Connor. That was what Gavin was referring to him now in his head: Other Connor.
With a loud and annoyed sigh, Gavin shot the two androids standing in front of him a dirty look. "It's Other Connor. They apparently found it at Cyberlife and now its my new police partner. Whom of which I don't need, by the way." Gavin seemed pained just talking about it. He plopped down in his chair and started replying to his emails, which were now tripled. He should have taken care of them earlier.
"Hello. My name is Nines. Detective Reed incorrectly introduced me," the RK900 explained patiently, but also with a hint of sass in his voice. It caused Gavin to look up from his computer monitor with a small amount of shock. Nines held out his hand for her to shake, saying, "I am currently sterile."
"I'm Tina. I hope you give Gavin a lot of trouble." Tina laughed and shook his hand, peering down at her friend. "He seems nice, Gavin. He has blue eyes and he's tall," she teased in a sing-song voice, making Gavin tense up and blush cherry red. "And probably really smart." She knew about his tastes, and mentioning the fact that Nines ticked off a few boxes for his ideal date was enough to make him nudge her hard. Tina got the hint and backed off, though she was still grinning.
"Serves you right, Reed," Chris chimed in from his side of the bull pen, "for being so cruel to Connor. Now you're going to have to learn to work with someone different than you. Maybe you'll start to like androids."
Nines turned toward Connor with confusion, his LED flashing yellow as he processed what Chris said. "Detective Reed has been cruel to you?"
Oh shit, Gavin thought, looking between the two of them.
"No, he hasn't," Connor replied, shocking everyone who was listening. "His personality is simply unfortunate, and he has an unreasonable hatred for androids. I'm sure that he'll learn to be more respectful now that he has you as his partner. You're more tolerant that I am."
"Prick," Gavin huffed.
Nines hummed thoughtfully. "Regardless, I will not allow his callous behavior to surface as often."
"The fuck did you just say?" Gavin asked, squinting up at him. "I'm not callous. Who even uses that word? Don't tell me you're going to be like a walking dictionary around here. And I'll behave however the hell I want to. If you have a problem with that, then you can shove a -"
Connor intervened. "If you're suggesting a fight, then Nines will beat you. There is an eighty-seven percent probability."
"It is a ninety percent probability," Nines answered definitely, staring at Gavin so hollowly that it caused the human to pause for a second.
Gavin swallowed and lamely told Nines, "Fuck off, plastic. I could beat you in a heart beat."
"Be careful, Detective. He's a military android," Connor warned, looking between the pair with worried brown eyes. He didn't want any fights to happen, but he suspected that there was going to be a lot of tension in the department for a while. Connor obviously wasn't on board with Fowler's decision to place his brother with Gavin, but at least Nines had a job and a purpose now.
Hank left the break room and noticed the group all talking to one another. He was carrying a cup of coffee and appeared to be bored until he heard the commotion between Gavin and Nines. "What's going on over here?"
"The real question is where you got that fucking cup of coffee, Anderson, because I know for a fact that you didn't drive all the way to Starbucks in your shitty car filled with empty beer cans," Gavin snarled, shooting up from his desk to point an accusing finger at the older man.
"I fixed the machine earlier," Hank said, choosing not to react to Gavin's commentary. He sipped his coffee and walked away from the scene, not wanting to get too involved with drama. He had enough of that to last him a life time. "C'mon, Connor. Let's go over some of the details from our last case. I have a lead."
Tina left soon after Hank and Connor, so Nines was now alone with Gavin. He silently worked and glared at the RK900 every now and then for emphasis of how displeased he was with his presence. Nines didn't seem to care, which infuriated Gavin two times as much. He left his desk to grab a cup of coffee from the machine that Hank had fixed, cursing under his breath all the while.
"Back already, Detective?" Nines mused blankly, not looking up from his own computer as Gavin returned. "I was fully expecting a twenty minute absence."
Gavin rolled his eyes so hard it hurt. "Yeah, well, humans need a break, stronzo. You wouldn't know anything about breaks, though, huh?"
"I sometimes require a break, as I can potentially overheat with software updates and -"
"I didn't ask you. Do you have a case, or am I going to have to do all the digging around here?"
Nines patiently stared at Gavin over the top of his computer monitor and he tilted his head to the side. "I was waiting for you to ask me that. I have five separate cases. Would you prefer to choose?"
"What are they? List them out," Gavin muttered, taking a sip from his steaming coffee and feeling a familiar burn on his tongue. He did it again, not minding the way it stung. He cared more about drinking the beverage than losing a few taste buds. "All five of them. Then I'll pick, since I'm in control of the investigation."
Ignoring Gavin's last sentence, Nines began to list the cases in a calculated manner. "Four homicides and one case of severe theft. Shall I send you the details, or - "
"Yeah, send 'em over. I'm leaning toward the homicides. Those are always fun to figure out." Gavin kicked his legs up onto his desk again and protested whenever Nines effortlessly shoved his ankles off, his feet slamming onto the tile. He parted his lips with disbelief. "What the hell was that for, you stupid microwave?"
Nines' LED flamed with red and he lowered his tone. "Do not interrupt me again, Detective Reed. Your calcaneus should politely remain on the floor, not in my personal space," he added, and then he was standing. "We will be taking your vehicle to the crime scene."
Before Gavin could say anything more or even begin to protest, the android was already halfway to the exit. Now his fate was sealed and he was doomed to work with this impossible robot.