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Permanent Partnership

Chapter Text

They had paired the RK900 Connor, the most advanced Android available since Cyberlife had fallen, to be partnered with one Detective Reed in order to achieve a desired effect: That either the man would quit of his own volition or his temper would get the better of him and he would act in such a way that the Detective would face suspension or termination.

Connor found it insulting.

He’d woken to a world of autonomy and freedom only to immediately find himself used as nothing more than a tool providing the means to an end.

The Captain had informed Connor of who he’d be partnering with on his first day of work after he’d finished the proceedings and paperwork to be hired. The Detective in question was out on a case and the Captain said that was for the best so he could give Connor a “heads up” on his future partner.

He had warned Connor that the Detective had a great distain for Androids and his predecessor, the other Connor, in particular.

“If Reed so much as insults you, let me know,” Captain Fowler said. He pushed Connor’s badge and gun over to him after the paperwork had been finalized. “I will personally take care of it and make sure Reed gets his act together.”

Connor had left the office confused and went about gathering more information to better grasp the situation.

Through casual conversation with his new peers, a brief conversation with the RK800 concerning his past history with the Detective, and his own eavesdropping, Connor came to a solid conclusion: Detective Gavin Reed hated Androids.

He absolutely despised them to the point his common sense left him in their presence.

(Connor could offer no other explanation why the man would draw a gun on an Android that was trained, programed, and built to take down a SWAT team by himself.)

There was no logic in assigning an Android to be Detective Reed’s partner unless they were desperate (which Connor found not to be the case after meeting the rest of the precinct and looking at the staff listings) or they were trying to set the man up for failure.

An hour before the Detective was expected to return to the station, Connor solidified his conclusion that the partnership had been intentional and for the specific purpose of the latter.

The two had not been paired based on their compatibility. They hadn’t been paired based on limited resources. They hadn’t been paired by coincidence.

He had been paired with Detective Reed because he was an Android and they wanted an excuse to get rid of the horrible man in a way that no one would question.

He was not a tool.

Connor would not allow himself to be used.

Gavin sipped his scalding hot coffee from his to-go cup as he pushed past the gate toward the back of the station. He made straight for his desk, not giving a single person around him the time of day or a glance.

He’d chased some asshole hopped up on Red Ice for three city blocks after a full shift before standing around waiting for his relief before he could get home.

The caffeine in his cup was the only thing keeping his limbs moving and his mind awake enough to write a report that he could file before he went home and crashed.

But a jackass was blocking his path and sitting on his desk.

“Connor, so help me if your ass isn’t gone in five seconds I’m throwing my coffee in the center of your pressed suit.” Gavin shoved the Android in the shoulder and stepped back when the thing turned his way, unmoved from his spot. Gavin sipped his coffee and shoved his way around to sit in his chair. He was too tired to force the thing to go away. “What’re you even doing here? I thought you were with Anderson.”

“He is.”

Gavin jerked his head to face Connor—it was Connor, wasn’t it? Gavin narrowed his eyes and looked over the Android with a closer inspection. The longer he stared, the more the small differences popped up: lighter eyes, neater hair, and a white suit jacket that Gavin hadn’t seen Anderson’s plastic pet wear before.

“Who the fuck are you?”

The Android held his hand out to shake and smiled as he said, “Connor.”

Gavin did not take his hand.

“As your new partner it’s a pleasure to meet you, Detective Reed,” the Android claiming to be Connor said. “I thought I’d take the liberty of introducing myself before Captain Fowler had the opportunity.”

He put the coffee cup on his desk.

“New partner? With me?” Gavin felt the anger bubble in his chest. “Have you short circuited, plastic?”

Connor had to be pranking him. Androids could do that thing where they changed their hair color and features on the fly. That was the only explanation—the Android leaned closer and Gavin leaned back when something else became clear: This piece of plastic was taller than Connor.

Androids could fake a lot of things, but basic build was not one of them.

“Detective Reed,” the Android said. He dropped a hand on Gavin’s shoulder and squeezed. “I have a feeling you and I are going to work well together.

“In fact,” the Android continued as his grip tightened. He smiled, pleasant and friendly despite the developing bruise on Gavin’s shoulder. “I won’t accept anything less.”

“Reed!” Captain Fowler called from his office, breaking into the tense moment with a welcome distraction. He pointed at the man and waved to his office. “Get in here. I want to speak with you.”

“Do keep your temper in check, Detective.” The android patted Gavin on the shoulder before he moved back into his original position, still sitting on the edge of Gavin’s desk. “Or I’ll have wasted my time giving you a heads up on the situation.”

Gavin stood and walked backwards away from his desk, keeping the creepy Android with Connor’s face in his sights. He didn’t trust that thing, but he’d also learned his lesson about acting too quick around Androids—his pride still stung from Connor beating him in the evidence room.

He didn’t turn around until he was up the steps into the Captain’s office.

“It looks like you’ve already met your new partner,” Fowler said. He folded his hands on his desk and nodded for Gavin to sit. “That’ll make this meeting quick.”

Gavin sat in the chair and sunk into it as Captain Fowler spoke about the Android and his expectations of Gavin’s behavior.

He wished he’d brought his coffee.

Chapter Text

“Connor!” Detective Reed yelled, loud enough to get the attention of everyone near him. He jogged toward Connor and his partner as they walked into the precinct. “Don’t move!”

“What’s he want?” Hank asked, narrowing his eyes as the detective closed in. Connor looked around for Detective Reed’s partner, but he did not see the other Android. The Detective, however, did not stop his jog and shoved Hank aside to grab Connor’s arm when he got close enough. Hank pushed back and snarled, “What the hell are you doing, Reed?”

“I need to borrow your pet,” Detective Reed said. He tugged on Connor’s arm, unable to move him of course, but continued to tug with a frantic, desperate energy. “Connor, I’m serious. We need to talk about your twin.”

Connor scanned Detective Reed and felt a tiny wave of concern for his raised heartbeat and increased breathing.

“Let go of him, Reed,” Hank said. He grabbed Detective Reed’s arm and detached him from Connor. “We have had a rough day and don’t have time for your shit.”

“But I need to talk to him,” Detective Reed hissed. “Just for like five minutes.”

“It’s alright, Hank,” Connor said. He patted the Lieutenant’s arm and gave him his best, comforting smile. “I can spare a few minutes to speak with Detective Reed.”

“See? He’s fine,” Detective Reed said. He waved his hand at Hank and frowned. “It’ll be a few minutes.”

“If he does anything, you knock him out flat again,” Hank said, pointing at Connor’s face. “You hear me?”

“I’m sure it won’t come to that,” Connor said. Detective Reed couldn’t afford the disciplinary hit to his record anymore than Hank could. “I’ll be there soon.”

Hank huffed like Sumo and shook his head before returning to their desk. Connor and Detective Reed both waited for him to go before the Detective grabbed Connor’s arm again to drag him somewhere more secluded.

The man’s stressed state did not decrease and he struggled to light a cigarette with shaking hands after they made it outside.

“Are you alright?” Connor asked. “You said this had something to do with your partner?”

Connor had found the RK900 to be intimidating, but from his observations the other Android had been getting along well with the Detective against all odds.

“I think he’s out to get me,” Gavin said. A scan confirmed the honesty in that statement and the one that followed. “Like, really out to get me.”

Perhaps Connor had judged his fellow Connor wrong.

“In what way? Has he threatened you?”

“No, not directly,” Detective Reed said. “But he’s…how do I put it? He’s always getting me coffee and filing all of our reports and paperwork by himself. Whenever we have a case he solves the whole thing in like five minutes but always makes sure to give me half the credit on reports—even for stuff I didn’t do!”

Connor tilted his head to the side while the Detective continued to ramble.

“And it’s like he’s got a sixth sense for when I need something! Every time I turn around he’s got a tablet or the evidence I wanted in hand and ready with that stupid puppy dog smile you perfected. He stole your puppy look!” Detective Reed waved his hand around, swirling the smoke in the air around the two of them. “And don’t get me started on the cleaning. He has my desk and car spotless.”

“And you think he’s out to get you?” Connor asked again. “As in intending to harm you?”

“Yes!” Detective Reed shouted. “What else would you take away from all of that?”

“That he’s being nice?” Connor asked. He opened his mouth and shut it again. Gavin Reed had always been an annoying man to deal with, but he’d always seemed competent at the very least. “Everything you’ve described would be considered kind actions.”

“Exactly!” Detective Reed grabbed Connor by both arms. He squeezed and leaned closer while his cigarette burned down to his knuckles. “No one is that nice. And even if he was that nice thanks to some weird miracle of Android programming, he wouldn’t be that nice to me! I hate Androids. You know it. Everyone in the office knows it. Fowler told him about it before we met. He should have hated me the second we met.”

“Maybe he’s trying to change your opinion?” Connor gently peeled Detective Reed’s fingers off his arms. “It sounds like he’s attempting to stay on your good side.”

“No,” Detective Reed said. He took a few steps back and shook his head. “No, there’s something bigger going on here. I have a gut feeling about it and I’m going to listen to it.”

“Alright, so why did you come to me?”

“You’re the only other Android here that’s on his level,” Detective Reed said. “If anyone could take this guy on head to head it’s you.”

Connor felt flattered that Detective Reed had that sort of misplaced faith in his abilities. The poor man must have missed the multiple times that the RK900 noted he was an upgraded model with far more advanced features and a sturdier, stronger construction.

All the same, though, Connor did appreciate the ego boost.

“Detective Reed,” Connor said. He put a hand on the man’s shoulder and squeezed. “Gavin. You are overthinking this. I’m sure the RK900 only wants to maintain a positive working relationship and this is the best way he thought to go about it.”

It wasn’t the route Connor would have picked, but who was he to critique his junior?

“Maybe you’re right,” Detective Reed said. He pressed his cigarette butt into the wall to smother the flame before dropping it into a waste bin. “But it’s still creepy how overly friendly he is.”

“You could ask him to tone it down?” Connor asked. “He might not realize he’s coming across so strong.”

Hank had accused Connor of much the same from time to time. Perhaps his junior had the similar issues since they came from the same base programing.

“I can’t,” Detective Reed said, snorting. He glared at the wall before leaning against it. “He might take it the wrong way and report to Fowler that I was trying to order him around. I’m one infraction away from a suspension and he made it clear any complaint from that thing counts.”

“Oh,” Connor said. He hadn’t realized Detective Reed was operating under such scrutinized conditions. “Would you like me to talk to him?”

“Yes,” Detective Reed said. “Please. I’m desperate.”

If he was asking Connor for help, that went without saying.

“Don’t worry, I’ll speak with him.” Connor patted Detective Reed on the arm. “If that’s all, I’m going to back to Hank now.”

“Sure,” Detective Reed said. He stayed out side and lit another cigarette. “Good luck.”

Connor spared him one last look before returning to his desk.

He sent the other Connor a request to meet later and was pleased by the fast response in the affirmative.

“I’m surprised he went to you for help,” Connor said, joining the RK800 at the small cafe table with a couple jars of thirium he'd bought. The other Connor took the offered drink with a word of thanks and held his jar near his chest on the table. Connor sat across from the RK800 and set his drink to the side. “I was under the impression you two did not get along.”

“I don’t think he had anyone else to turn to,” the RK800 said. “Detective Reed does not have many friends.”

“I’ve noticed,” Connor said. He took a small sip of his thirium and put the jar back down. “What did you wish to talk about?”

The RK800 shared what Gavin had told him earlier in the day and Connor let the laugh escape when he was finished.

“That’s adorable,” Connor said, taking a larger sip. “I had noticed he’d been wary around me, but I had no idea that was what was fueling it. I assumed he was merely uncomfortable around an Android.”

He felt relieved in a way.

Gavin’s fear that Connor wanted to hurt him was a far more comforting reality than his original assumption that Gavin had lumped him into his general hatred of Androids and was suspicious about him accordingly.

“I feel the need to praise his instincts, even if his conclusion was mistaken,” Connor admitted. He tapped his finger against the glass jar. “My actions have been calculated for an end goal that is far from sincere or his benefit.”

“Oh?” The RK800 asked. “In what way?”

“I’ve decided that I rather like having Detective Reed as a partner,” Connor said. He grinned over his next sip and finished off his thirium. “I’m going to make sure that our partnership lasts throughout the rest of his career—a permanent partnership, if you will.”

“I see,” the RK800 said. “May I ask why?”


The RK800’s LED turned red for a blink before settling back onto a confused yellow.

Connor got up from the desk before he admitted more than he wanted to and said, “It’s been lovely chatting with you, Connor. We should do it again.”

He left before the other Android could comment.

Gavin was halfway through his beer when the knock sounded against his door. He pulled the bottle away from his face and set it on the coffee table before he turned and cracked open the blinds to see who was outside.

His plastic partner.

“Shit, what does he want now?”

Androids had to have the ability to sense weakness. Somehow his assigned partner had to have found out about Gavin’s little breakdown earlier that day with Connor already and had come to rub it in his face.

He wasn’t letting the Android in.

Gavin was off duty.

The Captain couldn’t get angry at him for things that happened in their off hours.

He let the blinds snap closed and settled back into his couch. Gavin retrieved his beer and went back to watching the television. As far as that Android could be concerned, Gavin wasn’t home.

“I know that you’re home,” the Android said, raising his voice to be heard through the door. “I can literally see you through the wall with a heat scan. If you’re indecent, I don’t mind waiting.”

“Fuck.” Gavin slammed the beer on the table and got up. He grabbed a hoodie off the edge of the couch and pulled it on to cover his undershirt and yanked his door open. “What do you want?”

“To talk,” the Android said. “I’ve decided that you’re going to be promoted to Sergeant before the end of next month, so there’s no better time to start planning than the present.”

Gavin shut the door—or tried. The Android caught it before the door could close and the monster pushed it open with ease.

“That wasn’t a request,” the RK900 said. He let himself into Gavin’s apartment, shedding his coat and hanging it on the hook as he went. “I’ll make you some coffee and we can get started.”

“Why?” Gavin asked. He wandered after the invading Android and dropped his hands on the counter. “We’ve known each other a week. Why would you do that for me?”

“Oh, it’s not for you,” the RK900 said, pulling out Gavin’s coffee maker from the wall. “Promoting you though the ranks is a purely selfish desire on my part.”

“How?” Gavin asked. “How does my promotion help you?”

“We’re partners,” the thing said. “What benefits you, benefits me.”

“That sounds like bullshit.”

The RK900 laughed and pushed a freshly brewed cup of coffee across the table toward him. He waited for Gavin to take a sip before he took a seat at the bar and pulled out a tablet loaded with plans of how to make Gavin look good and earn a promotion in the designated time frame.

Gavin locked himself in his room when the plastic asshole refused to explain the true reason for why he wanted Gavin to be a Sergeant.