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Don’t Weep for the Wicked (Book 2)

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Don’t Weep for The Wicked (Book 2)

 

When Hank opened his eyes, he hadn’t been expecting to find another face right before his own. He blinked a few times quickly, thinking that it’d been an odd dream or vision at first, but when the face refused to go away or disappear, he lifted a hand up before it. Suddenly, another hand slammed down roughly over his own, and Hank hissed out in pain.

“Stop that, Endre,” a woman’s gentle voice spoke out softly, “I told you not to harm our guest…”

“Sorry, Mother.”

Hank’s eyes widened upon hearing that soft, effeminate voice. It was the man who’d attacked and abducted them!!

Sitting up quickly, he held a hand over his stomach; the pain hadn’t left him yet. Everything was dizzy, and as his eyes and vision swam, he groaned. His head hurt, too. “Where am I?” he asked as he tried identifying the woman, but he didn’t recognize her…at first…

His eyes were blurry, and everything was so murky. Groaning, he squinted at the woman, but he saw messy shapes, colors, and odd things…

“The hell…” he shook his head, but then felt a hand on his forehead.

“Don’t do that to yourself,” came the woman’s sweet voice, and it was like honey to his ears.

Sighing in defeat, Hank asked, “Where am I?” as his eyes swept around the cloistered room, but he wasn’t able to see anything or anyone he recognized well. Suddenly, he remembered his android friend, and he cried out in a sharp wheeze with wide eyes, “CONNOR!!! Where’s—” a cough had been what interrupted him suddenly, and he plopped down on the small bed he’d been lying down on.

A bed?! Who had placed him there?!

When he glanced up again, he saw the woman, and this time, due to how alert he was and how sharp his senses were, he saw her clearly.

It was the same woman from the injured and now deceased driver’s memories in the microchip!!!

He recognized her immediately, and he gazed at her while she shook her head at the man who was still wearing the dragon mask when he’d abducted Hank and Connor. “I told you,” she hissed at him in an air of disappointment, “that wasn’t Agent Nines.”

The man looked down, as if in shame, “I…I was mistaken then, mother,” he sighed, “please forgive my ignorance.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Hank coughed, clearing his throat as he sat up a little, “what the hell is going on?!”

When neither of the other occupants in the room answered, he pointed at the African American woman, his finger slightly trembling, “You’re… ‘Amanda’?” he couldn’t help but ask it with some doubt painted in the tone of his voice. The African American woman he’d suspected as being ‘Amanda’ was wearing a set of dark robes with the hem hanging down over the floor in a long swoop. The robes themselves were decorated evenly and fancily in gold trims that wove around in strange patterns; some spirals, others in swirls. It made Hank’s head ache and dizzy from staring at it long enough to study it, so he looked back at the man supposedly named ‘Endre’.

Even now, the other man was glaring openly with dark brown eyes at Hank as his mask sat tightly over his face. Hank chuckled, then wished he hadn’t when his ribs hurt, “Nice mask, douche bag.”

Endre stared up at Amanda, and they exchanged shocked glances. In an instant, Endre’s anger got the better of him, and he roared as he withdrew a gun from his coat pocket and aimed it at Hank. Before he could do anything else, however, Amanda stood in his way, and she placed a hand calmly on the nozzle of the gun.

Stopping at once in his tracks, Endre gasped, “Mother, I—”

She shook her head at him, silencing him effectively at once. “Go bring the android named ‘Connor’, please, and have him join us,” she instructed, and the obsequious man bowed his head as he put his gun away. Before he exited the room, however, he gave Hank a foul look. The Lieutenant returned it with one of his own, and then the door clicked shut softly.

Now that he was alone with the woman, Hank peered around and confirmed that this was indeed an odd bedroom of sorts. Old furniture was strewn about messily, and old, ancient Asian artifacts sat piled up on desks, chairs, and tables. The windows had black blinds drawn tightly down, blocking and shielding out the sun. If Hank didn’t know any better, he would’ve assumed that this was done on purpose; this woman named Amanda was hiding…

He was lying down on a rather comfortable bed, and as he stared down at his own body, he found that a bandage binding had been wrapped around his stomach and waist. His shirt was unbuttoned, but he didn’t worry about it as he stared at Amanda. Coughing, he asked again, “You’re Amanda, right?”

Barely managing a nod, she confirmed it.

Great.

“Why did you bring us here?” he asked while trying not to be rude, though all things considering, he considered himself tendentious when faced with strangers.

She sighed, choosing to take a seat on a small chair that was propped up beside the right side of the bed. “I received word from Endre that Agent Nines was seen milling about in the woods with an elderly gentleman,” she explained calmly while folding her hands in her lap, “I thought I was going crazy, because I recalled telling Nines to leave and take the young boy he’d brought along with himself a few days ago…”

Nodding, Hank said, “Gavin…I think his name is Gavin…”

“I met him myself,” she admitted easily, “he’s a charming and interesting young man, to say the least.”

Hank’s jaw fell open, “They were here?!” Just how much more was this woman hiding?! But was she really hiding? Or was she going out of her way to expiate some previous wrongdoing?

Hank didn’t know, but he was already gathering evidence in his mind slowly.

Amanda hummed, “Yes, but they didn’t remain here for too long…they were in a hurry.”

Trying to sit up, Hank winced and exclaimed, “I’m Lieutenant Hank Anderson! I used to work for the Detroit Police Department,” he then winced, knowing how badly this all sounded, and he tossed her an apologetic look, “I mean…I’m not…you’re not under arrest or being investigated, ma’am,” he nodded, as if he’d already convinced himself of that fact more than he had to convince her, “I’m just workin’ on a weird case that seems to involve this Agent Nines you speak of, and things are gonna get hairy if this kid is involved…”

As they stared at each other in silence, Amanda’s eyes turned sullen and sad. The wrinkles in the corners of her eyes seemed more prominent, suddenly, and she merely said, “I see.”

Wait…how did she know Agent Nines exactly again?!

Due to all the strange events, and perhaps the weird inoculation Endre had given him, Hank wasn’t able to remember all the nitty-gritty details he’d witnessed in the memory left by the deceased driver. When he closed his eyes, the image of Agent Nines standing next to Amanda flashed suddenly, as did a burning house…

Oh yes…the memories hadn’t left him at all.

While Amanda’s eyes searched his slowly and measurably, she seemed to be able to read his mind. “I’m his mother,” she explained, and Hank hadn’t heard her out clearly the first time.

Squinting up at her, he pressed out under duress, “His what?!”

“I’m Agent Nines’ mother,” Amanda reiterated, “for many years, I was in charge of raising humans, and then androids, housing them and sheltering them while my employers trained them for ulterior motives and nefarious purposes.”

Nodding, he hissed his snide remark, “Lady, somehow, I figured that out on my own.”

Amanda merely giggled, “You’re brighter than you appear to be, Lieutenant,” she then wagged a finger at him, “that’s not a good thing.”

Connor had told him this before, and it pissed him off hearing someone else repeat it. Choosing to ignore it, however, he declared, “Look, I need you to tell me exactly what’s going on with this Gavin kid, because if your Agent Nines is holding him against his will or hurting him, then I’ll have you know, I’m going after him with the intent not to stop until one of us is dead, do you hear me?” He couldn’t help but make things personal; he’d lost a son, and he wasn’t going to live on with himself if he sat back and allowed someone else to lose a child.

Pressing a finger on her chin, Amanda looked deep in thought. “I must admit,” she began in a worried tone while frowning, “I admire your stance on upholding the law and protecting citizens, but I’m no longer associating with my employers, and I hold no personal responsibility over what my children are doing.”

“Even if your so-called ‘children’ are brutally slaughtering innocent families and their children?!” Hank couldn’t help but regurgitate out heatedly. His patience was running thin, but it seemed that Amanda didn’t hold any qualms over his emotional outburst.

Sitting back, she crossed her arms over her chest as she purred out, “I wonder who fed you that information, Lieutenant…”

Shaking his head, Hank gruffly barked, “Never mind that for now! Your man…err, Endre,” he coughed out the name painfully, not really fond of the man, “he called Connor ‘Agent Nines’!”

A ghost of a smile hung on Amanda’s face. “He did?”

“What does this have to do with Connor?” Hank asked the million dollar question finally, and Amanda smirked. She looked rather pleasant and held an old-age beauty while smiling, but Hank didn’t trust her just yet.

Staring at the door as if Connor and Endre would come into the room exactly when she’d wanted them to, she pushed out, “Consider it a case of ‘mistaken identity’, if you will…” she leaned back, stretching her feet out before herself, “Endre’s not very strong with his memory lately; you’ll have to forgive him in his older age.”

As if that was any excuse.

Not wanting to comment about his own age, Hank mumbled, “Well, apparently that ‘Agent Nines’ of yours does indeed kinda look like Connor, doesn’t he?”

Amanda held a smile in her eyes. “Yes,” she admitted, “they could be twins.”

Leaning further back into his pillow and the mattress, Hank hissed, “He attacked Connor in the DPD parking garage, and he almost killed me.”

It was a fact that rolled off her shoulders, almost as if Hank told her a random fact about nature or animals. With a tiny smile on her lips she said, “Yes, he is an Agent, after all…”

Hank had enough of the games and ‘pleasantries’. Putting on his ‘Lieutenant voice’, he gave Amanda a very serious look, and demanded, “I want you to let Connor and I go. If you’re really sincere about mistaking Connor for your Agent, then let us go, but I also need you to tell me why an injured man who just recently passed away after crashing his car into a tree handed Connor and I this chip containing all the information about your Agent and organization.”

It was pushier than he’d have liked to say, and he knew he was in no position to be demanding anything from someone who’d saved their lives. But he wanted so very badly to get a leg up on the case, and track down this Agent Nines.

Staring at the door of the room, Amanda crossed one leg over the other and sighed softly, “Not everything you witnessed in that memory was the truth, Lieutenant.”

Laughing dryly, he spat, “No offense, lady, but in my line of work, when you’re faced with a man who’s on the brink of death, let’s just say he ain’t got nothing else to lose except telling the truth.”

A strange glint appeared in Amanda’s eyes, and for a moment, Hank froze when he stared at it. Tapping her finger on her chin lightly, she said, “It appears we’re in the same line of work then, Lieutenant…”

Before Hank could ask more about what that statement implied, the door of the bedroom swung open. When Hank peered up to check who the ‘intruders’ were, he let out a small sigh of relief. “Connor!!!” He’d never been so happy to see the RK800 in his entire life.

Connor walked in with Endre closely behind him, and although he held a cautious facial expression and a yellow LED light spinning almost nervously, he soon smiled upon seeing Hank’s delighted face. “Hank!” he raced to his bedside, leaning down over the Lieutenant as he whispered, “are you okay?”

With an air of childish innocence, Hank chuckled gleefully, “Well, that’s nice of you to ask, Connor,” motioning at his body laid out on the mattress, he replied, “I’m fine. How about you?” Pausing, he glared over at Endre, and then asked in a gruff tone, “did he hurt you?”

Candidly, Connor shook his head, “No! Of course not!” gesturing over towards Amanda, he added, “Amanda’s really nice, Hank, and even Endre apologized to me and said he was mistaken!”

Growling, Hank mumbled, “Somehow, I doubt that guy even knows the meaning of the word ‘apology’…”

While Endre was circumspect about Hank and Connor, Amanda seemed far more relaxed and open. She smiled widely, as if greeting old friends, and chose to ignore the calumny Hank had spoken out against Endre. Finally standing up from her seat, she made her way over towards a small food tray Hank hadn’t even seen, and she wheeled it on its cart by his bedside. “There’s no harm here,” she stated warmly as she gripped the handle of a black teapot and began pouring the warm, steaming liquid into a glass made of china, “this is a shelter and a refuge from all that.”

When she handed Hank the tea, Connor helped him sit up, and the android even fluffed an extra pillow for Hank and slid it between his back and the headboard of the bed. Noticing this, Endre snorted, and Hank resisted the urge to flip him off.

Amanda beamed at Connor, “Take for instance, this android,” once Hank took the teacup from her, she poured one cup of tea for herself slowly, eyes on Connor the entire time. “He cares for you a great deal; I can see this a lot, and this is why I do what I do even today…”

Hank sighed, “Which is?”

“Care for others, of course,” Amanda responded while grabbing a tiny, silver spoon and stirring her tea leaves in with a sugar cube. Her spoon clinked and made tiny noises every time it hit the cup, and Hank stared at Connor for validation.

The android smiled with confidence at him, “It was all an honest mistake, Hank.”

“Yeah,” he mumbled, “she explained that, but why would this Agent Nines be wandering about, and why does that concern you?”

Amanda abruptly stopped mixing her tea, and she stared over at Endre. In spite of being rather querulous, he nodded. Amanda then smiled sadly, took her spoon out of her teacup, and set it down. Staring down into it as if it held all the answers they were looking for, Hank thought she hadn’t heard him at first, or that she was simply choosing to ignore him. When he went to ask her about it again, that was the moment when she gazed up at him, worry and fear etching into her dark, round eyes.

She genuinely looked afraid of someone, or something…

After an age, her whisper of a response finally came.

“It concerns me because Agent Nines could put Gavin in danger, and he himself may not even be aware of it.”

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Gavin waited silently in the car as instructed when Agent Nines pulled up to a large, looming dark hotel simply called ‘Innz and Outz’. He couldn’t believe they were in such a strange part of town where on one side of the street, the impoverished and disadvantaged were wandering about begging for handouts, and yet on their side, more privileged denizens of Detroit who could definitely spare a buck or two were heading inside the fancy hotel.

Shivering, Gavin felt the cool night air blowing over his feverish skin when Agent Nines rolled down the car windows and let in the fresh air for a moment. He supposed it was time for them to head out, but before he even unbuckled his seat belt, he tossed the android a small scowl. “Why are we here?” he asked lightly, trying to keep his voice down when another car parked next to theirs.

Lowering his voice into a tiny hiss matching that of a serpent’s, he spat clearly, “This looks bizarre, Nines—err…I mean…” shit…what was he supposed to call this thing anyway?! He wasn’t Nines, yet he was

Eyeing the look of confusion weaving its way in his eyes and over his face, the android growled impatiently, “Call me Agent Nines.”

“Right…” he nodded his head curtly and stiffly, wishing he could be anywhere in the world except sitting in the middle of the cold night and in the middle of a jam packed parking lot of a hotel with an android he loved, yet hated…

“But why are we here??” he repeated, emphasizing the last word heavily in the hopes that Agent Nines would finally get the damn hint.

Batting his eyelashes playfully while leaning into him, Agent Nines mewled, “Well, I brought you here for a lovely stay in the ‘newlywed’ suite, Gavin!” he purred on, “I hear the service is fantastic here, and legend has it that if you walk around nude while sucking on a lollipop before the full moon in the newlywed suite, you have a higher chance of turning into a raging fucking annoying son of a bitch more so than you already are right now!”

Eyeing him icily, Gavin snapped, “You’re really a fuckin’ prick.”

While a few people walked around their cars, drove around-trying to find better parking spaces, and others had their smoking breaks by the front doors of the hotel, Agent Nines moved towards the backseat of the car, and he grabbed and then handed Gavin his school bag, and his purchases from the Walgreens earlier that day. “Here,” he tossed them crudely over the top of the vehicle seats towards Gavin, and he caught the bags at the last minute.

As he cradled his items to his chest, he rolled his eyes and asked, “So how the fuck are we going to pay for a night’s stay in this place, hmm?” He hadn’t meant to be so emotionally and slightly dramatic about it, but it came out that way regardless. When Agent Nines stared blankly at him for too long, he painfully ground out, “I’m talkin’ about money, dickwad!! Don’t you remember in the Walgreens?! You didn’t pay for my—”

“Stop being a whiny bitch,” the android hissed out in a retort, “if we spent any money and interacted with her longer, we would’ve run out of time and been caught.”

As if that were a logical enough reason pardoning the events that came after the gruesome incident Gavin didn’t want to recall.

Glaring at him, Gavin snapped, “You made me steal! You made me commit a crime…you ass!”

“Live a little, you Goody-Two-Shoes,” the acerbic android jabbed at him in an annoyed tone.

Throwing his hands in the air, Gavin protested, “I could end up having a criminal record!!”

Shrugging, the android then pointed his nose at the front doors of the hotel, “You can nag and moan about it when we’re inside, okay?” With that said, he opened the driver’s door, exited the car, and marched up towards the front doors, while Gavin cried out in anger as he tumbled out of the vehicle as well.

When he made to run ahead, Agent Nines called out at his back, “Close and lock the car doors first, jackass.”

Shit!!!

Obediently, he turned back around and did that. As he held his items close to his chest, he followed closely behind Agent Nines while he waited for the tall android to go through the revolving doors. The moment Gavin tried making his way through as well, Agent Nines suddenly stopped in his tracks, and when he did, the door behind Gavin was still circling and swinging. It slammed against the youth’s back and ass, and he let out a sharp yelp. Grinning at him while peeking over his shoulder, the android flashed him a cold smile.

“You did that on purpose!” Gavin cried out angrily, but Agent Nines wasn’t listening. He walked over towards the front desk to check in. The concierge was another female android, and as she welcomed and greeted the other guests, Gavin leapt ahead and gripped Agent Nines by the elbow. Hissing against him, he said, “Don’t you dare fuckin’ hurt her!” He was worried that this was going to end up resembling the situation in the Walgreens, but Agent Nines seemed to have other things on his mind.

Wrenching his arm out of Gavin’s reach, he spat back at him, “I’m not as stupid as you are; I won’t do anything to her…yet…”

Before Gavin could lash out, Agent Nines moved on ahead, and he leaned against the desk. “Good evening,” he purred down at her, using a voice that was slightly deeper and richer in tone than usual.

She glanced up at him, pushing her short blonde hair over her shoulders, and tucked a stray strand of it behind an ear. “Good evening, sir! How are you tonight?”

In delight, the tall android answered, “Well, I think my night has turned out a lot better now that I’ve met you…”

As he hung back and listened, Gavin knew what Agent Nines was doing; he was trying to charm and seduce his way in here by engaging the female android in garrulous conversation.

Gross.

For some reason, this pissed the young man right off. He didn’t understand why, but as he waited, he observed the two androids closely.

Agent Nines leaned over her desk, eyeing her provocatively. “I don’t suppose you’d happen to have any free on your hands after your work shift?”

She giggled, “I can’t exactly hand out my hours and schedule to customers and guests, sir!!”

He hummed pleasantly, “Ahh, of course…I do apologize for coming on so strongly, but you’re breathtaking, if I must say…”

Oh for fuck’s sake.

Feeling irritation sweep into his system, Gavin glared and scowled with everything he had, and as he stood back and watched them longer, he suddenly realized why he was so angry and emotionally distraught over this.

It was because he had feelings for Nines, and Agent Nines-who was still Nines-happened to be openly flirting with another person. Apparently, Gavin had some difficulty separating the two entities and personalities. He knew that while Agent Nines looked and behaved differently, he still was Nines at the very core, and Gavin wanted Nines to be flirting with and touching him in the same way he was flirting with and touching the female android’s hand…

……….

Wait!

Why was he doing that?!

Before his very eyes, Agent Nines grabbed the female android’s hand in his own, and he kissed the petite, delicate limb right over her knuckles. She swooned, practically, eyes glazed over with affection and lust. Gavin’s stomach churned over in disgust, and as he fought to look away from the sight, he caught a glimpse of Agent Nines working and weaving a tiny, silver object in between his ring and pinky finger…

“Your scent is absolutely divine…” as he held onto her hand with his own, the object worked its way up along the length of his fingers, inching its way towards her hand. While she beamed brightly and wonderfully at him, Gavin saw Agent Nines grinning at her warmly, and with the smallest motion, he held the object between the tips of his pinky and ring finger.

The female android whispered to him, “I think I may have some time after my shift after all…”

“Oh?” he purred ravenously, “do tell…”

Now, the object had been grasped between his fingers, and as he held onto her hand, he leaned into her, closer and closer…just to distract her…

Gavin gasped in horror and shock when Agent Nines brushed his lips over her right cheek, which caused her to squeal in delight, and her LED light beamed yellow. As he’d done this, the silver object he held was resting over her middle and ring finger. In a split second, the revolving doors opened again, and loud voices echoed in the lobby. When she looked up to greet the new customers, Agent Nines moved to the side, and in a flash, he injected her skin with the object. It had a tiny, sharp point, and her eyes widened for half a second before returning to their normal gaze.

Backing away from her, he grinned a sly grin, “I’ll see you later, my dear.”

She was frozen right up until the newest customers approached her, and then, like magic, she smiled brightly at them and welcomed them.

Gaping still at it all, Gavin felt Agent Nines brush against him, already heading for an elevator. “What the—”

“Keep up,” the android barked softly at him, and Gavin spun around, but he kept staring at the female concierge every once in a while until Agent Nines called down an elevator.

Eyeing Gavin playfully, he barked, “Pick a floor number.”

“Wh-what did you d-do to her?” Gavin asked softly, and then Agent Nines rolled his eyes.

“Ten it is, then.”

When the elevator doors opened, Agent Nines pulled Gavin in with himself, and thankfully, they were the only ones inside the elevator. As they rode it up, Gavin stared intently at the android. Suspicion had already seeped inside his mind and heart. “What did you do to her?”

“I can’t discuss these with you when we’re obviously under surveillance,” the android pointed out, nodding towards a round, dark camera with a tiny, red light blinking on and off as they rode up the elevator. Gavin silenced himself at once, though he slammed his hips against the android in minor retaliation. It didn’t seem to matter a lot to Agent Nines, however, and he straightened his clothes and brushed them off coolly.

Sighing wearily, Gavin waited, counting up the numbers until they reached the tenth floor of the hotel. Soon enough, the elevator doors slid smoothly open, and Gavin once again resumed walking.

However, he’d barely taken a tiny step, when he tripped over something.

Agent Nines chuckled out devilishly as he stuck out his leg to make Gavin stumble over, “Have a nice trip, see you next fall!”

Crying out in shock as his arms shot out in order to make his landing softer somehow, his bags and purchased items came crashing down around him as he rammed himself roughly against the bright red carpet on the tenth-floor hallway.

Groaning in pain once he was able to sit up a little, he massaged his kneecaps and glared up at the sadistic android. “Really man?” he chuckled dryly, “you’re wonderful, thanks for that.”

Agent Nines proudly held his head high, and he huffed as he walked away without another word, leaving Gavin to gather his belongings and tread on after him hurriedly so they could find a room.

While still burning in pain and mortification from his fall, Gavin followed Agent Nines, and the android led them both to a room with the number plaque 1018 written on it.

Assuming this was going to be their room, Gavin waited for Agent Nines to use the same silver object he’d stabbed the female android with. Using it on the door, now, he slid it carefully inside the lock of the door, and in a few seconds, the door gave out a light ‘beep’, a ‘squeak’, and then opened ajar.

Interesting.

Agent Nines motioned inside the room, “Hurry up.”

Not wanting to waste another moment lingering in the halls, Gavin nodded, and he pushed on ahead with questions burning and raging in his mind the entire time.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Hank stopped drinking his tea the moment Amanda said to him that a young innocent was in danger. He’d seen nothing but red rage after that, and while gripping his teacup so firmly that Connor though it would shatter, he growled out at Amanda, “Where the hell is Agent Nines?”

It came out more like a statement and a demand, to which she only drank out of her cup before sitting back down on her chair next to his bed. She was too silent for too long, and Hank didn’t take kindly to it. He was growing more and more nervous by the minute, and soon, he couldn’t help but obey the order of his emotions.

“WHERE IS HE?!” he screamed out, and even Endre growled as he glared evenly at Hank.

Amanda looked down at her cup sadly, “Please don’t get yourself too excited, Lieutenant; you’re still not fully healed.”

“I don’t give a shit!” Hank screamed out once again, and he kicked aside the bed sheets as he got up with a mild groan. Yes, he still was in a great amount of pain, but thankfully, he had Connor rush to his aid. He helped his work partner sit on the edge of his bed closer to Amanda, and as Hank panted angrily at her, she merely set her teacup on her lap.

Outside, the birds and wind could be heard even louder than her own breathing, but she still remained completely calm before she said, “There’s something wrong with my son…”

Hank laughed, “Yeah, the guy your son likely stabbed and killed said the same thing!”

When she stared up in confusion at them, Connor intervened. “He left us with this,” holding out his hand before her, the microchip sat in the center of his palm. It shined brightly in the room’s lights, and Amanda studied for a moment before she glanced up at Connor.

“May I?”

He nodded, “Of course.”

Without pause, she grabbed the microchip for herself, and she turned it around before herself. Eyeing it and studying it for a moment in silence, she hummed, then frowned, and set it on her lap. “I’m assuming you’ve both witnessed what this item contains?”

Hank answered, “I mentioned that earlier, Lady.”

Nodding, she turned away from them as Connor elbowed Hank for being mildly rude and displaying highly loutish behavior. He threw his work partner a dirty look in return.

As she spun around in her chair, she whispered to herself, “Damn you, Rat!”

“Huh?” Hank stepped closer to her, flying into ‘interrogation mode’, “Who’s Rat?”

Still not turning towards him, she responded, “A member of the Agency…my employers up until a year ago.” When they were silent, she continued, though she stared off at a wall, “They’re horrible monsters, and I am of the opinion that it was the Agency’s hand that played a significant role in how my son changed!!” Angrily, she whipped around, and she frowned at them, as if they were responsible for this mess in the first place.

Taken aback by her hateful facial expression, Hank’s eyebrows rose to his hairline. “The Agency?? We learned a bit about them on the microchip, but—”

“What you learned was specifically what they wanted you to learn,” Amanda interrupted, and she placed a hand on her left temple, slowly rubbing it back and forth as if massaging away a headache. “The Agency wishes to remain a superpower for as long as possible, and it is estimated that by the year 2045, almost 98% of American households will be under their influence and control.”

Hank shook his head, “Again, how can they do all that? And how?!” he looked at Connor, “with your Agent Nines??”

She frowned again, “Agent Nines is a pawn in this, as am I, as are you, Lieutenant…”

“Pawns?” Connor asked softly, and she turned her eyes up to his.

“Yes,” she answered in a light hiss, “as long as we’re ignorant to what the Agency does, as long as we’re trained to dissimulate, and as long as we turn a blind eye, then we may have a chance of surviving and living…but if not…” she trembled, and pinched the bridge of her nose, now, “…then we’re lost, as Agent Nines now is.”

Stepping up closer to her, Hank gently nudged Connor out of his way. Peering down at her, he gently grabbed her hand, and pried it away from her nose. Now that they were at eye-level and making deep eye contact, he demanded, “You tell me everything about this Agency, and you tell me what they did to Agent Nines.” Before she could say anything, he added, “And no bullshit, got it?”

When she stared at Connor, he nodded as well.

Jaw quivering, she held onto Hank’s hands suddenly. Seizing them in a tighter grip than he thought was possible for a woman as small as her in stature and weight, he gasped, but she yanked him towards herself. There was a troubled, pained expression in her eyes, and Hank saw what looked like tears already forming in her dark brown depths.

With a shaky breath, she pressed out, “They c-create monsters, and they turned my son into one…”

As Hank leaned away from her penetrating gaze, he felt Connor’s hand in the center of his back. Tossing his friend a disgruntled look, he could only remain utterly silent as Amanda sniffled.

Reaching into her pocket, she grabbed a red tissue, and she wiped her eyes quickly with it. “There’s s-something evil in Agent Nines; something that yearns to spill blood over and over again and again…” holding onto the tissue for dear life, she reached out for Hank’s left hand, and clasped it tightly. “You h-have to help him, please,” she begged through her tears, and Hank once again had to look back at Connor.

Whatever he’d been searching for there wasn’t available, and he had to cast Amanda a serious glance. “Where is he?”

A worried look crept into her face, and she asked, “If I tell you, can you promise me that you’ll do whatever you can to help end his suffering?”

Hank gasped upon realizing what she was implying, “You mean kill him?!”

Weeping strongly now, Amanda sobbed and wailed like a baby. “I d-didn’t want it to c-come to this, but if he can’t be stopped, you have to stop the Asura before it consumes Agent Nines completely!!”

Was he hearing things correctly??

“What’s Asura—”

“Do you promise me, Lieutenant?!?” her shrill voice slammed into his ears, and he winced, but nodded ever so slowly.

Placing a hand over the back of hers as he held onto it, he said, “I’ll do whatever’s in my power if it comes to that, but ideally, I’d like to talk to him and figure out what the fuck is going on.”

“I understand, Lieutenant,” she whispered, wiping her eyes still, though she’d calmed down significantly. She nodded at Connor, next, “Please only do it as a last resort, because he’s my son, and I love him no matter what he’s becoming.”

Although it was weird listening to this woman spout on about loving a cold machine, Hank had to erase and wipe away that thought when he felt Connor rubbing his back.

Love…

Love for an android? But how could it be after everything he heard regarding this Agent Nines?? At best, he sounded like the apotheosis of Satan!!

But as he stood there judging, he knew there was genuine solace and comfort in the way Connor soothed his wounds, eased away his stress, listened to his sorrows, and never abandoned him when he needed him the most.

Love of a mother and her child?

No…it was the love between humans and machines.

Chapter Text

Gavin stared blankly at himself in the bathroom mirror while Agent Nines walked about their room. It was a rather decent-sized room, but sadly, it only contained one Queen-sized bed. Other than that, it was a pretty standard hotel room, with a standing closet against a wall, a small fireplace across the bed, and a tiny kitchen with a small fridge and a microwave. There was a TV, a gaming set, a coffee table, flowerpots, magazines, and a few other random pieces of furniture about, though Gavin wasn’t concerned about any of those.

While Agent Nines paced about, drawing all the blinds in the room down, the younger male finally looked down at his box of hair dye that was resting on the bathroom countertop.

With a troubled sigh, he growled, “I can’t believe I’m about to do this to myself…”

A stern expression met his eyes as Agent Nines retorted waspishly with, “You’re acting like you’re getting your cock pierced or something; calm down.”

Put off by the rather nasty and vivid images his mind automatically conjured upon hearing such crude words, Gavin cringed for a second, but then recovered once he saw Agent Nines moving about without making much noise.

Walking briskly past the bathroom, Agent Nines spat out his spurious comment, “It’s not like you’re severely altering your appearance, Gavin; stop being a child and get on with it.”

Huffing at him, Gavin waved an arm about, “But it’s my hair!”

“So?!” a shrug was pulled out of the truculent android, then, “it’s just hair!” he pointed out with a confused frown, “either dye it back to its regular color after all this, or just cut it away? What’s the big issue?”

Kicking at the bathroom vanity, Gavin roared, “It’s easy for you to say! You can just blink and change your appearance!”

“Oh get real,” Agent Nines drawled with an eye roll, “you humans always are so sensitive about things that aren’t even important.”

“Fuck y—”

Shoving him aside with a shoulder nudge, Agent Nines droned on, “I understand your hairstyle won’t ever be as dashing as mine,” with that stated in utmost narcissism, he toyed with his layered, black bangs and fondly gazed at himself in the bathroom mirror, “but maybe if you put in an actual effort, you’d clean up nicely, you know!!”

Gavin was livid, and so much that it became impossible to even talk. He just stood by with the box of hair color in his hands, though he’d been about to crumple it up between his fingers as he seethed in silence.

Agent Nines tore the box right out from his fingers, “Give me that,” he hissed thinly, yanking the box while shoving Gavin close to the edge of the tub. “Sit,” he instructed, and when Gavin did as he was told, Agent Nines opened up the box. “I trust you know how to dye your own hair?”

Groaning in anguish, Gavin shook his head, “Like, I know the basics of it, but I’ve never done it before myself…” his cheeks turned red, and he scowled at Agent Nines when the android grumbled under his breath.

“I thought as much,” he opened the box further, yanking out the dark pair of gloves that came with it one at a time while pouting and grousing, “this generation today is so useless; kids can make it to college and university with a straight 4.0 GPA, yet they can’t even read the instructions on a box of hair dye.” Putting the dark, plastic gloves on, he wriggled his fingers, and they made crinkling noises. Gavin winced and felt the coldness of the tub’s edge seeping into his backside.

Grabbing the hair dye and conditioner, Agent Nines motioned at Gavin’s shirt, “Take that off, unless you want hair dye on it?”

As he slowly took his shirt off, Gavin watched while Agent Nines mixed in the developer cream with the colorant cream. He mixed them in a small bowl that had also been in the box. Glaring up at Gavin while mixing, he spat, “I don’t have a brush, so we’re going to have to do this with fingers only.”

Gavin shrugged as he tossed his shirt down to the floor, “I don’t care; as long as it’s kind of changed, then it’s fine.”

“Fine.”

He mixed it a few more times, and when it was good and ready, he motioned for Gavin not to move. Sitting as still as he could, the adolescent sighed when Agent Nines dipped his fingers into the bowl, ready to apply the hair color onto his hair. “Just hurry up,” he hissed, “I just remembered I’m still sitting in my own jizz, for fuck’s sake!”

Chuckling, the android began combing through Gavin’s hair with his longer fingers, applying the cold liquid color to the roots first as thoroughly as possible. Gavin shivered as he did this, and it amused him greatly. Wanting to jab once more at the disturbed and exhausted youth, the android chuckled acerbically, “How do my fingers feel, baby?”

Naturally, Gavin reacted in a rather vitriolic manner. As his cheeks flushed, he spat out venomously, “Fuck off and die, you sicko.”

“If it makes you happy, I’ll try for you, sexy,” Agent Nines prodded him with a foot, and Gavin kicked it away. Sadly, Agent Nines merely scoffed, “Charming.”

“Well, keep your perverted hands and feet to yourself,” the abashed adolescent sneered up at him, feeling the color seeping into his roots already. It was working quickly, and he closed his eyes as he thought of his family, his friends, his relatives, his schoolwork. Over and over again, the fingers applied more and more color, and Gavin felt his nose burning from the potent, acrid smell of chemicals stirring and rising in the tiny bathroom.

“This stuff’s gross,” he pointed out, and Agent Nines hummed in reply.

“I bet.”

“Feels weird on my skin too,” Gavin shivered, “how much longer?”

Agent Nines’ eyes swept over his hair, and he nodded, “Almost…done…there.” Placing the last bits of the dye over Gavin’s scalp, he combed his hair back, making sure it was all coated in the color as evenly as possible. “You won’t be a complete blonde,” he pointed to the color shade chart at the back of the box, “mainly because your natural hair color is too dark.”

Standing up, the younger male asked, “What color do you think it’ll be?”

“Hopefully the color of urine,” Agent Nines spat sarcastically, and that was it for Gavin.

Retaliating in whatever way he could, he stared at the box of hair color for a moment. Turning it around in his hands a few times, he pretended to read up on something intriguing. Gasping at it, he pointed at a random spot on the back of the box, and he cried out, “Hey!! According to what I’ve read here, you’re a fuckin’ bitch!” he finished by throwing a sarcastic smirk over at Agent Nines.

The android merely met his smirk with one of his own. Reaching deep into the levels of pettiness, he removed his gloves, dug a hand into his right pocket, and then withdrew it while holding up a clenched fist before Gavin. “Hey!” he sang out cheerfully, “look what I found!” he unfurled his middle finger from his fist, and he aimed it high at Gavin, eyes beaming brightly and excitedly, “it’s for you!”

Gavin seethed once his attempts at gaining some sort of leverage in this situation had been shot down. “Fuck your childish crap, Agent Nines,” he snapped vitriolically.

“Hmm, no thanks, Gavin,” the android stated while winking at him, “I’d rather fuck you, though…”

Unable to take any more of the teasing, Gavin stood up, and he shoved the android as hard as he could in the chest. It didn’t provide him with the desired result he’d wanted, of course, but it still felt damn good to do it anyway. Agent Nines merely grunted at him, and Gavin snapped, “Time me for half an hour; I don’t have my phone or anything, and I think it’ll need thirty minutes to work.”

Agent Nines had been in the middle of forming a bitter response to this, when Gavin slammed and locked the bathroom door in his face.

If anything, as rude as it was, Agent Nines found he actually was beginning to admire Gavin Reed. He had courage, he had gall, he had pomposity, and damn, he sure as shit had one hell of an enigmatic and charismatic personality.

Almost reluctantly, he had to move away from the bathroom door and wait.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Staring wildly back and forth between Endre, Amanda, and Connor, Hank’s jaw opened even wider as he sat in the kitchen at the table. Connor stood next to him, while Endre-still donning the dragon mask-leaned against the old fridge. Amanda sat across Hank, staring down into the center of the table. She’d been generous enough to provide Connor and Hank with the truth, but Hank was still having a rough time digesting it all.

After spending more minutes than required in silence, he coughed out in shock, “So let me get this straight…you were working for ‘The Agency’, which is a Technically run, privately owned corporation that trains and uses androids for murder, security, and anti-terrorist activities?” It sounded funny to say it out loud, but that’s how Amanda had basically summed it all up to them.

Nodding now, she wrung her hands nervously as she said, “Yes, the Agency likes to proclaim vehemently that they’re attempting to squash all terrorist groups and activities, but it’s quite the opposite, in fact.”

“We have terrorists here already,” Connor stated, catching on as he gave a solid nod, “distract the minority groups so the masses can fight among themselves for control; pathetic.”

“It may be pathetic,” Endre suddenly slurred in a deep voice, and his words were spoken with an air of mystery about them that hinged on meretricious. Hank and Connor turned towards him, but he hadn’t moved from his spot as his eyes twinkled in the eyeholes of the mask mischievously.

“But to us,” he continued in a low drawl, “It’s how our world runs, and soon, it’ll be a matter of how you choose to survive…”

Clutching at her clothes desperately, Amanda added, “Endre’s right; you can choose to turn a blind eye to what the Agency is doing now, but it won’t make any difference later when you’re under their control.”

“Well,” Hank huffed with pride as he sat up as straight as he could, “I value my fuckin’ life and freedom, and I’ll be damned to let it go without a good fight.”

Connor nodded, “Me too!”

Smiling weakly at them, Amanda stated warmly, “I can see why I’m drawn to you, Connor,” she directed her words at the RK800, and then reached for his hand and took it in her own, “you remind me of someone…of one of my children…” her eyes clouded over with confusion as she tried working her memories, but then she sat back and sighed in despair, “…I’m unfortunately unable to remember which of my children it was, now, but I want you both to know that I’m trying to do whatever I can to expose the Agency for what they are.”

Shaking his head at her, Hank tossed Amanda a suspicious glare, “It sure as shit didn’t seem that way in the footage we saw.” He couldn’t help but doubt her; it came with the job. Everyone he encountered always at the beginning said a bunch of pretty words and phrases, telling him what they wanted him to hear, meanwhile, they were always hatching an entirely different plan…

Endre growled at Hank for daring to say such a thing, but before he could advance, Amanda held up a hand to silence him. “I understand your plight, Lieutenant,” she stated calmly, her facial expressions giving nothing but sorrow away as she looked into his eyes, “I’m not proud of what I’ve done in my youth; I never claimed such, but I want a second chance, and that’s why I’m breaking away from the Agency.”

Connor frowned, “But the images in the microchip—”

“There are always two sides to a coin,” Amanda pointed out accurately, “Rat only showed you his, and I can’t help but point out that the Agency hired him as a ‘Rat’ for a good reason.”

Hank stroked his beard and chin, “That’s a pretty ballsy statement to make about someone who’s long dead, Lady.”

She caught on to his accusatory growl, but didn’t frown or scowl at all. She instead remained calm, gentle, and as open as ever. “It’s the truth, but perhaps you need your own time to really see it, Lieutenant,” she stared at Endre, making sure he was still ‘with’ them. “I’m well aware this is all new for you both, and so far, the image Rat painted of us hasn’t been done in a positive light…”

Hank hummed, “No shit.”

“I understand dealing with contretemps,” Amanda then nodded at Endre, “unfortunately, this is about as much as I know regarding the Agency; the rest you would have to learn from Agent Nines, as he’s one of their most loyal and closest assets.”

Throwing his hands up in the air, Hank spat, “Back to square one; find this Agent.”

“I’m afraid so,” Amanda concluded, “the last time he was here, I told him to protect Gavin while he sought out his own answers and memories…”

This had been a statement enough to draw in Hank and Connor, and they leaned over the table as they studied and gazed intently at Amanda. “Memories?” Connor repeated the word, “you mean he can’t remember what the Agency did to him, or he can’t remember something he himself is responsible for?”

Amanda chewed her lower lip nervously, and then her tiny, pink tongue darted out to wet it. “I’m not sure,” the truth came out to them like a disappointment, but they still listened to what she had to say, “he came to me and told me he’s in some trouble, but refused to go into any further details than that, and I’m sure that if he remembers what the Agency did, he will have his answers.”

Pointing at her, Hank asked, “But why wouldn’t he tell you what trouble he’s in?!” he snorted, “aren’t you supposed to be his ‘mother’ or something?”

It was steadily silent for almost a minute before Connor gasped lightly, “Hank…he didn’t tell her because he does care about Amanda enough to not jeopardize her life and endanger her…” sticking with this thought, he turned to his work partner and shook his arm, “there’s a lot more to Agent Nines than we think; he’s not a coldblooded killer, otherwise he wouldn’t have taken care of Gavin and protected him for this long!”

Refusing to accept it yet, Hank grumbled, “Whatever, Connor, we don’t know all that for sure, so we can’t leap ahead to any solid conclusions…” turning his gaze to Amanda, then, he barked out, “I want to find him now, and I want you to help us, just as you promised.”

When Connor also gave her a curt nod and a serious expression, Amanda smiled once again. “Endre will go with you two,” she announced, and slowly rose from the chair, “but I can’t get involved beyond this point…I’m sorry.”

“We understand,” Connor stated softly, and then peeked over at Endre, who merely glared on ahead.

As Amanda wove her way around the kitchen table, she reached out a warm hand and placed it over Hank’s shoulder. It rested there for a while before she whispered at him, “I wish you and your friend the best of luck on your journey, Lieutenant, but I’d like to be left alone, and I encourage you to forget you ever had this conversation with me.”

The message had been delivered loud and clear, and Hank-while staring down at a random spot on the kitchen table-merely nodded that he understood. Perhaps Amanda was choosing to abrogate her responsibilities and ties to the Agency, but he knew that was her business, and hers alone.

Amanda disappeared soon after, and when she had, the Lieutenant and his android worker partner heard Endre sauntering up to them.

With his eyes twinkling behind the mask, he ground out mysteriously, “Follow me.”

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

As Gavin sat on the lid of the toilet bowl in the bathroom, it wasn’t too long before he felt his scalp burning. Not wanting the hair dye to sit on his hair forever, he’d been about to bang on the bathroom door and ask what the time was, when Agent Nines told him now was a good time to wash his hair.

Sighing softly, Gavin got in the tub of the bathroom after shredding off his clothes. The underwear and insides of his jeans definitely were stained and disgusting, and he practically sighed out in joy and relief when he felt water trickling down on his skin and washing away the evidences of his ‘minor tryst’ with Agent Nines. If anything, Gavin wanted to wash away all memories of this android down into the drain as well, but it just wasn’t possible. He had to deal with this monster and creature, for he somehow was promising him protection. But was he really safe in Agent Nines’ care?

Admittedly, the android had a bit of a wild, sadistic streak; he seemed to every now and then land Gavin in a heap of trouble while standing back and appearing as though he enjoyed it…there’d always been a teasing smile and cruel smirk upon his face as he watched Gavin struggle with the more uncomfortable aspects of the dangers he’d been thrown into, and Agent Nines almost seemed ‘reluctant’ to step in and help…

Shaking his head, Gavin furiously scrubbed away at his hair, grateful that there was basic ‘Head and Shoulders’ shampoo provided in the bathroom. Using it, he lathered and washed away the hair color, then used body gel and soap to clean the rest of his body. After ten minutes of thorough washing, he turned off the water.

Waiting until he’d pushed and squeezed away from his hair as much water as he could, he stepped out of the tub and pulled back the shower curtain. When Gavin was fully out of the warm, steamy shower, he groaned when he remembered he didn’t have fresh clothes with himself, or a towel…smart.

Oh well. It was a rather warm night, and he supposed he could make do with air drying himself for now. He didn’t want to step out and talk to Agent Nines anytime soon.

Curious about how his hair had turned out, Gavin merely dried it with a small hand towel hung on a hook by the mirror. He knew hair always as a tad darker when wet, and as he ‘dried’ his hair, he constantly observed its state in the mirror. He found that it wasn’t as light of a shade as he’d feared it would turn out, and the blonde wasn’t as traumatic of a color on him after all.

Sighing in sheer relief, Gavin flicked and ran his hands through his uppercut, and he grinned when he saw the deep blonde shade there. He found he actually liked it; the color suited him, and he couldn’t stop staring at himself. Only when he felt dry enough did he turn away from the mirror and stare at the door’s lock in the handle.

Counting silently to three, he unlocked the door, and his fingers trembled as his hand hovered above the door handle. It was like something in a horror movie; would the killer break through now that the door was unlocked???

He waited, listening intently, but there seemed to be nothing but silence on the other side of the door.

……….

Still silence.

Perhaps he truly was paranoid!

When he realized he’d been standing there for two full minutes, Gavin scolded himself, rolled his eyes, and opened the bathroom door. Poking his head out, he saw that Agent Nines hadn’t been standing on the other side of the door like he worried he would be, nor was he anywhere even remotely close…

Suddenly, Gavin’s heart started racing nervously.

What if Agent Nines went to meet up with the female concierge!?!?!

Growling in panic, Gavin shoved the door the rest of the way open, and not caring that he was nude, he raced ahead into their room. Agent Nines wasn’t in the kitchen or the small ‘entertainment room’, but before Gavin could cry out for him in fear and anger, he heard rustling from the bedroom.

………

Carefully, he tiptoed there, and as he peeked inside, he found Agent Nines with his shoes off, overcoat off, and dress shirt partly unbuttoned as he sat on the bed leaning against fluffy, white pillows. He was reading some kind of a magazine, and he smiled down at its contents like a child.

Gavin inched further into the room, and he noticed that a pair of fresh clothes had been laid out by Agent Nines’ feet…

They simply consisted of a white t-shirt, blue shorts, but no underwear…no underwear?! This was certainly suspect, but Gavin had a strong notion of where the underwear happened to be.

Frowning, Gavin put on the shirt and shorts, and he made his way bravely over towards Agent Nines. Holding out a hand, he ignored the fact that the android was looking through a Playboy magazine. “Give them back, now.”

It was as if Agent Nines hadn’t heard him at all; he hardly moved, but when he did, he turned a new page of the dirty magazine, and he soon held it up before Gavin’s eyes. The image Gavin was met with happened to be a nude woman on a bed, legs spread widely, and her vagina and plump, heavy breasts on full display.

“Do you think she’s pretty?” Agent Nines asked in a mildly amused tone.

Gavin growled, temper already short, “I don’t give a shit; give me back my underwear!”

Turning to the next page, Agent Nines presented Gavin with the same woman’s image, and this time, her ass faced the camera, and she gave off a good show of her tanned skin and curvaceous behind. “I do wonder if she’d ever fuck me…” the android chuckled menacingly while crossing his legs together, his feet rubbing against each other almost playfully.

Stomping a foot down strongly, Gavin snapped, “Maybe you’ll get lucky if you try, but first, give me my fuckin’ underwear; I know you have it!”

Feigning an innocent look, the tall android gasped, “Why would you accuse me of such a thing, Gavin?” he placed a hand over his chest, “I’m rather offended!”

“Because it’s you,” the younger male answered, “you’re always up to no good, which reminds me…” he glared at Agent Nines confidently, “what did you do to that female android to get us in here?”

Smirking triumphantly, Agent Nines responded, “I charmed my way in, obviously.”

“No,” Gavin shook his head, “I saw you inject her with something, and you later used it on the door, too…” wincing, he breathed the question he’d been wanting to avoid all this time, “did you kill her?”

A most evil look crossed the android’s handsome face, “Not yet…but by morning, she’ll be forcefully shut down.”

Gavin paused, and then his lips curled back nastily into a snarl, “You fucking piece of shit! You can’t go one minute without killing someone, can you?”

A suddenly serious glare came his way, and Gavin was taken aback by it. If he didn’t know any better, he would’ve assumed that his insult may have offended Agent Nines for a second. But then, he shook his head at Agent Nines, and he exclaimed, “No…you have to kill, don’t you?”

It was still silent, but then Agent Nines set the magazine down on his lap. A cold smile inched along on his face, and he whispered, “I live for it, and I’m sorry, but…I can’t seem to stop, you know.”

Trembling with fear as his insouciant words sank into Gavin’s brain, he wanted nothing more than to properly dress and get away from the murderous creature sitting on the bed. Even if it meant he’d be sleeping and sequestering himself in the bathroom, so be it. Anything was better than being around this monster.

Drawing closer to the android, Gavin demanded roughly, “Give. Me. The. Fucking. Underwear.” Each word had been spoken and enunciated clear enough for Agent Nines to take the hint, but the cold android seemed to have other plans.

Looking at Gavin’s new hair color, he snorted, “Blonde kinda suits you, I hate to admit…”

“I don’t need your opinion,” Gavin argued in retaliation, “just give me the damn underwear back.”

Without even hesitating, Agent Nines said, “Give me a kiss, first.”

…………..

“With lots of tongue,” he added when he was aware of Gavin’s raw confusion.

It was as if someone had slapped Gavin in the face with a brick. Had he been hearing things again??

When he stared at Agent Nines in silence, the android rolled his eyes. “I was kidding,” he spat with sarcasm evident in his tone, “as if I’d even dream of doing that with you.”

Gavin’s heart immediately sank.

Wow.

“I’ve been rejected in nicer ways before,” he couldn’t help but spit out in an attempt to hide how his ego and pride had been wounded, “no need to be a prick about it.” Of course, the android with a sick sense of humor had toyed with him again, and like a sap, Gavin had played into his hands.

Now, he really wanted to get the fuck out of there and hide away until he was ready to even breathe next to this insane android, let alone talk to him.

Wanting to at least get an insult of his own in, he quickly cried out in a hurried breath, “Just hand me my underwear, and then go suck face with that android bitch who’s about to die,” he cruelly pressed on, “give her the time of her ‘life’, you know?”

Once again, Agent Nines huffed and rolled his eyes. Still, he reached into his right pocket, and he withdrew from his pants pocket a dark pair of clean underwear that seemed to be Gavin’s size.

Good enough.

Stepping forward, Gavin reached out for them, but when he leaned into Agent Nines, the android yanked his hand back, and he instead pushed his face right up in front of Gavin’s.

With a surprised yelp at their closeness, Gavin leapt back, but he unfortunately hadn’t seen the tiny footrest behind himself. He only wanted to create a huge distance between himself and Agent Nines, and the moment he had, his heels knocked into the footrest, and he tripped and fell down onto his back. The young man landed roughly down onto the floor, and as he groaned in pain, he drew his legs up and bent them at the knees.

Unfortunately, Gavin didn’t remember the fact that he had on no underwear, and as his legs were bent in awkward positions directly before Agent Nines’ vision, the flaps of the shorts hung low and openly, providing the android with a clear and full-frontal view of Gavin’s genitals. Only when Gavin felt cold air over his center did his breath hitch in his throat, and he swallowed nervously.

He glanced up at Agent Nines, and to his horror, the android held an indiscreet look of lust in his wide eyes. Those green eyes were targeted and trained directly on Gavin’s center, and the longer he stared, the more his eyes seemed to glaze over in a slew of concupiscent and hungry looks. In a fit of fright, Gavin sat up and yanked his shorts down over the open areas, his cheeks already on fire.

In no time at all, Agent Nines recovered, and he smirked cruelly at Gavin. “Nice trim, babe,” he joked, “is it Brazilian by any chance?”

With a tiny roar, Gavin stood up in fury, and he slapped Agent Nines as hard as he could across the face. “SCREW YOU!!!”

Cradling his cheek in a hand, the android glared slowly at him, LED light yellow…and in a second, before Gavin had time to even understand what had happened, Agent Nines thrusted himself on top of the younger male. They both went sailing over the edge of the bed and down onto the floor once again, with Gavin trying desperately to dominate over the larger male, but Agent Nines wasn’t allowing it. He pushed and pressed his heavier weight over Gavin, but they rolled over a few times on the soft, grey carpet until Gavin felt himself sweating from the minor workout.

Agent Nines was way too powerful and strong…

When Gavin couldn’t move anymore, Agent Nines purred into his ear, “Done struggling already? Shame…”

Biting back insults, Gavin tried wriggling his way free, but then felt a hand resting on his lower abdomen.

……. !!

Gasping, he soon felt the hand there inching down between his legs, and it just grazed over his semi-hard cock.

“Agent Nines!” he cried out in fear, “you promised you weren’t going to touch me anymore!!!”

Humming deeply in his ear, the android already had worked his shorts clean off his lower torso. “I changed my mind,” he answered, “so just either sit back and enjoy it, or continue struggling, if you want.”

The nerve.

Gavin tried pushing Agent Nines off himself, but he found he soon gave up when a large hand cupped his exposed cock. A moan soon escaped his lips, though he tried concealing it as he slapped a hand over his mouth. That hand was soon pulled away, however.

“I’d like to hear you,” Agent Nines hissed, “you sound wonderful when you’re trying to hide how much you enjoy this.”

“But I—ahh!!!”

While he had been caught up in the process of speaking, Agent Nines leaned back, and produced a bottle of lube Gavin hadn’t even seen on top of the night table by the bedside. Fiddling with the bottle in one hand, Agent Nines worked on unfastening his fly with the other. Gavin could see that his cock was straining against his y-fronts and he wasn’t entirely sure what the bottle had to do with anything before it was too late.

Frowning at the android when Agent Nines pressed himself down over him again, Gavin asked, “Why do you have that?”

A loud ‘ZIP’ followed by a ‘POP’ indicated that Agent Nines had worked his pants zipper open, and the bottle of lube cap open as well. Spreading it generously over the tip of his own exposed cock, the android answered bluntly, “Do you even jerk off from time-to-time, Gavin?”

Blushing at the rude and highly inappropriate question, Gavin snorted, “It’s none of your business.”

“I’ll take that as a ‘no’.”

“I’m not going to tell you about my masturbatory habits,” Gavin hissed, but his austere demeanor and vocal tone switched into a moan when he looked between their bodies on the floor. Agent Nines was stroking his own thick cock slowly and gently, making sure it was thoroughly slick and wet. For some reason, watching that turned Gavin on beyond belief, and he softly hissed, “Fuck…” Anytime that large hand wrapped itself around the tip of the long, hard cock, Gavin felt a surge of lust bursting through his body. He wasn’t able to hold back for long, and he curiously reached down with his right hand and touched the tip of Agent Nines’ cock.

It was so wet…so warm…

His head fell back against the floor, and he cried out, “Ooh…god…”

Soon, wet, slick sounds emanated from Agent Nines further making himself slick enough, and he soon applied more lubricant to Gavin’s lower body, now. His fingers trailed and sank down deeply between Gavin’s cheeks, and he bit back more loud moans from escaping through his mouth in the process. He never wanted to admit how wonderful those fingers felt every time they sank further and further over his entrance, and then inside, one finger first.

Shivering, Gavin muttered, “I…I d-didn’t th-think Nines—oooh!!! Fuck!” he stopped when he was being pumped by that finger, and after a minute, a second finger slid inside his body. “I didn’t th-think that Nines ma-masturbated!!!”

This was a spoken truth; although he’d been highly sexually attracted to Nines, he honestly didn’t feel the android had much of a sexuality. Weren’t Agents supposed to be concerned with other things???

Chuckling, Agent Nines gently fucked Gavin with two fingers, then withdrew them, applied more lubricant, and soon began pumping the younger male again. He plunged his fingers in deeply to the knuckle and scissored them against Gavin’s tight walls, arousal surging through him at the marvelous sounds the younger male let out. He wanted to make Gavin scream. Rob him of the capacity for speech, and reveal the untethered instinct-driven beast that he kept so cruelly caged within. Gavin was a monster just as he was, and he wanted him to revel in it as he did. What a magnificent pair of abominations they’d make. Enjoying how those tender hips and that lusty body writhed and moved in time with his hand, the android leaned his weight up on a free hand, drawing back just so he could enjoy watching Gavin’s face contorting from pained to pleasured back and forth. “Nines is a goody-two shoes, if you want to think of it that way,” he stated as he kept his eyes on Gavin’s face the entire time he spoke, “he doesn’t ever do this kind of shit, and even if he wanted to, he never will, trust me.”

Gavin spread his legs involuntarily as he moaned deeply, “S-so wh-why are you d-doing it?”

“Because I can,” came the blunt answer in a split second. “Because I have the guts to carry through with every filthy fucking thought he has in his mind, and believe me, he’s had many about you.”

The moment he heard this raw confession, Gavin peered up at Agent Nines coquettishly from under his heavy eyelids and thick eyelashes, gasping breathlessly, “R-really?”

Fucking the young man beneath himself a bit harder and faster, Agent Nines slid in a third finger, making sure he stretched Gavin as much as he could. “Yessss,” he hissed, lust clouding his vision as he listened to Gavin panting, “he wants do this with you too, you know.”

“Aaahhh…” Gavin sighed out, eyes in tiny slits as he stared at Agent Nines looming above him.

The android was well aware he himself was fully clothed while Gavin only had his white t-shirt on, but it somehow added onto the lust brewing back and forth between them.

“...and I am quite sure you will appreciate knowing that while Nines doesn’t touch himself, there have been times when I had to step in and help him with that…” watching as Gavin wet his lips while pressing his hips closer and closer against the fingers invading his body, Agent Nines pumped him harder. “Seeing you like this is both beautiful, yet so hideous…” he continued, “pity, he won’t ever get the chance to see you in this state and fuck you like I will…”

Gavin’s eyes snapped open, round and wide as he tried stuttering out something-trying to get some sort of protest out, but it was too late; Agent Nines had yanked his fingers out, tipped the bottle over his hand, over the cock he lead out of the y-fronts, all over himself until his entire length was even more slick for entry.

Bearing himself down over Gavin, he nudged he younger male’s legs obscenely apart, and as he held himself in a hand, he guided his cock lower between Gavin’s legs and entered him in one move.

Gavin exploded in a shrill cry of pain.

Even though he was perfectly wet enough, it still fucking hurt.

“I haaaaate yooou,” he moaned, lunging forward, hands wrapping around Agent Nines’ neck and squeezing. With all his might, Gavin squeezed and dug his nails in while Agent Nines reared back and bucked. Hips snapping and bucking wildly, Agent Nines set a brutally hard pace and brought his hands up in the space between Gavin’s arms and pushed, forcing Gavin’s hands to leave off his neck. Far too weak and in pain, Gavin’s didn’t have time to move back in; Agent Nines was lightning-quick. The android was rather swift while shunting himself into Gavin, and Gavin’s back and shoulders were practically rubbing violently against the carpet. Every time Agent Nines slammed into him, his shirt slid upwards, revealing creamy white skin that was being burned and rubbed against the carpet. It really fucking hurt.

The sensation was indeed rough and dug into his skin, but it wasn’t nearly as painful as the invading, stretching sensation in his body. It took Gavin a moment to realize that what was in his body wasn’t Nines’ finger. No, not fingers. It was too full and tight, but he couldn’t help but try to push against it, to take the cock in deeper. Agent Nines angled their hips together and then twisted Gavin’s limbs and legs around his waist, pushing against a spot that made Gavin’s eyes water and cock ache from the strain. He must have let out a noise, too, because Agent Nines was soon chuckling as he aimed for that spot multiple times.

Agent Nines was practically pounding into him like a hammer, and Gavin couldn’t believe that he really was enjoying this…but he was. His body and hole clenched, and he whimpered and pushed against the blunt force pressing and sinking deeper and deeper into his opening. Something was pressing against a part of his body that somehow rendered him speechless. Unable to contain himself, Gavin pushed back down as hard as he could.

He was aware that he was making the worst and dirtiest noises, but he didn’t care about their neighbors hearing them; he just needed to come. Odd how Agent Nines was silent throughout this, and it seemed as though he was both fascinated by listening to and observing Gavin, and getting off on it in his own way.

Gavin’s breath labored and hitched against Agent Nines’ ear when he leaned and pressed their chests together. Nipping the younger male’s earlobe, he said, “I bet this feels good…”

Of course it made him feel good, but this was maybe just as good in a different and odd way; to be degraded and touched like this. Yes. His pleasure increased when Agent Nines fisted a bit of his newly colored honey-blonde hair.

Moving rapidly inside him now, Agent Nines wanted this memory to be forever remembered, even if he wasn’t the one Gavin was thinking about. As he buried his cock and deeper and then almost completely pulled it out of Gavin’s body at one point, he heard Gavin moaning and tremulously panting something out…

Nearly missing it at first, Agent Nines focused clearly, and then was able to make it out.

“Nines…uuh…oohh…Nines…yesss…Nines…oh god…Nines…”

So he was thinking about another while being mercilessly fucked?

Lovely.

Encouraged by this even though he felt a tad annoyed, Agent Nines slammed into Gavin, giving him his all.

He moved like an untamed beast. He bucked and snapped his hips crazily against the young man’s ass. They fucked as if they didn’t know how to stop.

Agent Nines whispered words into his ear as his fingers dug into Gavin’s hips, but Gavin couldn’t hear the words. They didn’t matter; not when there was so much to feel, and not when he closed his eyes and imagined Nines holding him as he gazed at him with his blue-not green-blue eyes. He felt as though he was stretching. He felt as though he was flying. He felt as though he was breaking.

As he felt and imagined and dreamt up his own fantasies, a hand was pumping his own cock roughly in no time. It was odd, erratic, and crazed, but it was good enough.  

The whispers subsided and the pace increased. Given the way Agent Nines was moving, Gavin truly didn’t know how the android hadn’t already fucked him right through the floor; he was sure that at least any minute now, Agent Nines would fuck a new hole right through the front of his body. He didn’t think he would mind it though, being damaged. Not like this.

One final pump later, and with one potent, herculean thrust delivered from Agent Nines, Gavin came with a satiated cry, his muscles spasming involuntarily.

When he came, he came all over the android’s clothes, and himself. A moment later, Agent Nines came as well. Gavin’s muscles contracted around the hard cock still deeply sheathed within his most private area, and the young man did his best to take it all.

Logic and reason burst into his mind at the last moment, however, and knowing they hadn’t even used a condom, his eyes blew open, and he placed a hand on Agent Nines’ chest. Trying to shove him off, he panted out fearfully, “D-don’t!! Pull it out!!”

Grunting, it was the first real noise Agent Nines had ever made throughout their intimate exchange. Though he didn’t say anything else, Gavin knew what he was trying to communicate to him as they held and maintained eye contact.

It was too late; he was going to take this, one way or another.

After another second, Gavin felt something warm filling him up, and he knew now that he was not simply an equal.

He’d become one and whole with someone else.

That’s what this was all about.

Now, a part of Agent Nines would always remain with him, and Gavin truly, truly knew why he hated Agent Nines.

Dropping his arms away from the android’s body, he held his hands up against his wet, tear-stained eyes. While shielding himself away from those cold green eyes, he sobbed pathetically.

It took all of Gavin’s willpower not to run away like a child when Agent Nines pulled out of him and got up, padding over towards the bathroom. Only when the door slammed and locked loudly did Gavin really feel alone and used.

Unsure of whether or not he could even stop crying, he recalled his younger years instantly when he’d cried himself to sleep after nightmares.

But how was he supposed to wake up from a nightmare when he wasn’t even asleep?

Chapter Text

“You should have left him alone.”

“For once, we seem to agree.”

“I begged you not to do this.”

“It’s not like I wanted to.”

“Then why did you sleep with him again?”

………

“I…I’m not sure…but I know I have to stop; it’s doing weird things to me…”

“Could it be that you’re falling in love with him?”

………

Agent Nines glared at his own reflection in the mirror.

After thoroughly fucking Gavin Reed again, he’d hidden himself away in the bathroom to seek out some privacy. Only, when he stared into the mirror, he found his reflection scowling back angrily at him, though the android in this mirror had blue eyes, brown hair, and a red LED light.

His own remained cold blue, and he sneered, “What can I say? I love fucking him.”

Nines shook his head, “No, you love him.”

Gaping at the other android in the cold glass, he spat, “I love the sex, don’t get it twisted just because you’ve always seen the world through rose-tinted glasses.”

Before he could turn away and head for the shower, the other android said, “I knew it would only be a matter of time before you fell for him…after all, it’s no surprise we would share the same interests…”

Stopping before the mirror, he gripped the edges of the sink tightly and spat, “I’m going to get a knife one day, and cut you out of me.”

“That’s why you refuse to be gentle or kiss him,” came the eerie far-away voice suddenly, “you’re as afraid as I am.”

Fear…it wasn’t a word totally alien or foreign to his ears and mind, but he rejected and refused it without so much as even giving it a second thought. “No,” he spat at the mirror in vitriol as clear as the sun, “I’m not afraid of anything.”

“Are you positive?”

“I am.”

Looking intently at him, Nines shook his head, and then tilted it in the way of amusement. “I can see that doubt has inflicted you heavily; you’re afraid to admit you are coming closer and closer to caring for him as much as he cares for us.”

That hadn’t been something he needed to hear…it wasn’t even right…

Shaking, Agent Nines ignored the other android on display in the mirror. He divested himself of all his clothes in a heartbeat, turning on the water and getting into the tub. Even over the loud raining sound of the downpour of the water, he heard Nines utter, “Please…take care of him…learn to protect him better…do the right thing, Agent Nines.”

Bashing a clenched fist against the wall, he screamed out, “SHUT UP!”

“If you can’t handle him, then let me out…”

“I SAID SHUT THE FUCK UP!!” his voice nearly cracked, and he added, “JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!!”

As the water and steam overpowered any natural sounds, he stood about watching the water swirl down into the drain. Clasping his hands down over his ears, he continuously whispered, “Leave me alone…leave me alone…leave me alone…”

Was it finally silent?

Removing his right hand from his right ear, he paused, stared around the shower stall, and then began slowly moving. He couldn’t hear much save for the susurrus of other residents and guests next door, above, and below their room shifting themselves about.

……….

“You are alone.”

Biting down on his tongue, he knew how true it really was. How alone he truly felt at times was enough to send a sane man off the edge. He burned from loneliness, and he ached for a way to be rid of it and just to cope with it…

Was there a way??

As he washed and rinsed himself off slowly, deep in his own thoughts, a knock came at the door. It was as though someone had banged on the insides of his skull, and he froze immediately. After a moment, when he heard the knock once again, he shut off the water. Pulling the curtain to the side, he stepped out of the shower, and he slowly made his way over towards the door. Not paying attention much to his own nudity and state of undress, he paused before unlocking the bathroom door.

He yanked it open with more force than necessary, and right before him stood a completely nude Gavin Reed.

They stared at each other awkwardly for a long time, and then Gavin bravely asked, “Can I use the bathroom, please?”

Seeing the younger, shorter male there made Agent Nines feel flustered, and it wasn’t a feeling he was accustomed to experiencing. He didn’t like it. If Gavin was responsible for making him feel this way, then he supposed it wouldn’t hurt to mock him a bit for it…

Holding open the bathroom door, he waited for the perfect moment until the youth brushed past him. Springing on Gavin suddenly the moment his back was turned, Agent Nines wrapped a hand around his chest, and he tugged the boy against himself. “I don’t know,” he hissed cruelly, “can you use the bathroom, you illiterate bitch? Or are you not house trained, yet?”

The irascible young man growled and pushed against him, but to no avail. “Fuck off, grammar police,” he spat in a vicious retort, “with you raping me all the time, the last thing on my mind is how I’m talking!”

He’d taken it too far.

Both Gavin and Agent Nines froze, and they immediately leapt away from each other as if their bodies were on fire.

Gavin’s chin quivered as he leaned against the sink, while Agent Nines hung by the doorway. A pregnant pause weighed heavily and thickly in the room, and it didn’t seem to want to go away until both men felt even more uncomfortable and pained. Agent Nines winced, and he took half a step back as he said softly, “I didn’t rape you…I didn’t…”

Hadn’t Gavin been into the sex as much as he himself was?? Was he really that much of a vile beast after all? For once, the usually cold, detached, and vicious android was overwrought with guilt and utter disappointment in himself and with his own actions.

Gavin murmured, “I didn’t mean—I’m sorry…I just…”

“Just…” Agent Nines couldn’t even find the right words. But maybe, he didn’t need to. What else was to say anyway? Shamefully, he cast his eyes down to the floor, and he backed up. “I’ll just keep watch on the room,” he grumbled to himself, “if you require the bed later, let me know, and I’ll go.” As he began walking away from the bathroom, Gavin felt a strange sense of pity and guilt working its way inside of himself.

“Agent Nines?” he couldn’t help but call out to the android with a penitent expression on his youthful face, “please wait?”

“Just…leave me alone for a while, please.”

Please…

The door closed softly on Gavin’s face, finally separating the two men from one another…for the time being.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Hank checked over his shoulder every so often to make sure if Connor was keeping up with them. Endre was a brisk walker, and the moment they’d exited Amanda’s abode, the mysterious man had put on a strange burst of speed and zipped through the wooded area surrounding the property. He made sure they didn’t walk in mud to leave tracks, and they avoided tall grass, careful not to damage it and the other crops and vegetation; again, leaving tracks and trails of their presence.

Although Endre didn’t offer them much in the way of conversation, he was a highly skilled man in his own right, and Hank was grateful to him. Initially, he’d been suspicious of Endre, and he’d worried that the man was going to take them as far away from the property as possible to kill them and dig their bodies somewhere no one would find them. Afterwards, however, he found that wasn’t the case, and Endre pointed out a long, large path leading down to a huge sewer grate. “We’ll need to head down beneath the tunnels, because it’s the safest way around the cabins and woods.”

Catching on, Hank nodded, “They’ll no doubt be looking into whoever was at the cabin where you found us…”

“Affirmative,” Endre grumbled deeply, and they still had a long way to go before they reached the heavy, rusted sewer grate in the distance. Although he was slightly tired, Hank hurried on as Endre broke away from them. Leading on swiftly, the other man didn’t even wait a moment.

Wanting to at least show gratitude in the way of having a minor conversation, Hank jogged up beside Endre, ignoring how Connor would pause every once in a while and pick a flower, watch a bird in awe, or play with something he’d find strewn along the path. It was rather silly and innocent, and Hank would’ve commented on it angrily, but for now, he let it slide.

Panting heavily, he asked, “So, how long have you known Amanda?”

Not even pausing, Endre answered calmly, “Almost two decades.”

Woah…that was a long time.

Curious, Hank pressed on for more details. “Are you a human she raised?”

He must’ve asked a question he shouldn’t have, for Endre stopped, briefly, and it made Hank stop as well. Unaware of the abrupt halt due to staring absentmindedly at the sky, Connor slammed into Hank’s back.

“Wah!!?”

Hank held up a hand to silence him, and he kept his eyes on Endre. What did this man have to hide, suddenly?? The Lieutenant within him couldn’t help but want to nose about, though Hank held onto his patience. Endre was glaring at him, and just when Hank assumed he would pull out the pistol he’d seen him tuck away into his back pocket before leading them out of the abode, Endre shifted his weight to the side.

Perhaps it wasn’t a jejune topic for Endre to dive into…

Leaning and angling his hips to the left, he crossed his arms over his thick, broad chest, and he softly whispered, “Amanda and I go back many years ago…” eyeing Connor, and then Hank once again, it wasn’t long before his gaze fell to his own feet. Was he suddenly ashamed?? Beneath such a thick mask, it was impossible to tell, unfortunately.

Stepping closer to him as if it would help, Hank waited in silence while Connor swatted at a butterfly. After an uncomfortable stretch of time, Endre huffed, “As if you’d even begin to understand me if I tried telling you…” before he could turn away, Hank slid up before him, blocking his way.

Raising an eyebrow in a silent challenge, Hank smirked, “Oh yeah? Try me.”

Once or twice, Endre tried moving around him, but Hank was stubborn, and he refused to even budge. Finally, Endre relented, and he took a step back as he stared on ahead at a random spot over Hank’s right shoulder. “My mother…” he began in a sad sigh, “…my family…we were slaves, once; I was born in Romania to an abusive, alcoholic father, who soon left my mother when he found out she was pregnant with a future daughter instead of another son…”

Already sensing the painful memories about to be heard, Hank’s fists bunched up in tight balls, and he begged and forced himself to remain calm.

“He forced her and put her through so much stress, that she ended up losing the child,” Endre continued, “I was a slave, as I said, and by the time I turned ten, I had to work in different households, farms, plantations, factories and the like just to make some money to feed my ailing mother. When that didn’t work, and when rich people who wanted to extract free labor from a dumb, foolish child pretended they would take me in as an apprentice of sorts…”

When he stopped and stared on dully, Hank goaded, “Go on…”

Endre grunted, “It’s a rather turgid conversation, I’m afraid.”

“I don’t care,” Hank spat back, “I want to hear your ‘turgid story’.”

Relenting, Endre continued, “It was always the same; their generosity had been at least partly venal, and as long as I was uneducated and uninformed, I was their perfect target,” Endre kept his voice low, as if struggling within himself to continue. He decided to talk on, however. “One cold winter night, my mother ran away, and since she was still relatively young, she met up with many men who helped her cross the borders and enter the ‘holy, promised land’ of America, as long as she slept with them…”

Hank and Endre both shuddered at the same time.

“It wasn’t long before she became a prostitute,” he admitted, and then sniffled emotionally, “and things got worse when we settled in Detroit City…” he took another step back, as if trying to distance himself from his memories as his eyes swam over with pain. “She tried raising me, but it was difficult for an immigrant with no education or training of her own to find stable employment, so she truly became a woman of the night, and a woman of pleasure.”

“And I thought my childhood sucked ass through a straw,” Hank muttered to himself.

Ignoring and brushing off his statement, Endre croaked, “My mother one day was severely beaten, battered, and raped by her pimp, and we had nowhere else to go…”

At this point, Connor even stopped moving and playing about, and he stared directly at Endre.

The other man looked down at the ground, clearly dejected, and he seemed both serious and sullen; truly reliving the painful memories, no doubt. “When we left, we had to fight for survival, but it wasn’t long before another young prostitute found us and took pity on us.”

Hank nodded, already catching on, “Amanda?”

“Yes,” Endre whispered, shuffling his feet about and stirring up some dirt and dust, “she has quite the lucrative past,” he explained, “ran away from home due to a fear of being raped by a family member, and she learned about the trades and rules of the streets early on…” he huffed, then, “…well, needless to say, she took us in, and after my mother died of cancer, Amanda raised me as her own son.”

Hank nodded as he took all this in, but there still happened to be a lot of serious questions burning in the back of his mind for Endre. Shuffling forward, he bent and leaned into him as he goaded him to talk. “What about this Agent Nines?” he inquired, “did you ever work with him yourself?”

Eyes shifting in perhaps anxiousness, Endre said, “Not personally, no; Agent Nines was always a ‘celebrity’ for the Agency, and as their most prized possession, we humans weren’t permitted to interact with him out of a fear we would perhaps contaminate or corrupt him, who knows…”

Cutting to the chase, then, Hank stated plainly, “Zlatko Andronikov; what does he have in connection with Agent Nines?”

While Endre started backing off, Hank inched closer and closer, wagging a finger in warning before him. “Don’t even think about waving this off,” he growled angrily, “I’m not stupid; I know that Agent Nines attacked Connor and I for a damn good reason, and he only did it when we were getting closer and closer to the Zlatko case.”

“We also learned that the man has doubles,” Connor added in, “the last one we discovered had moon-marks and tattoos on his skin!”

Humming deeply, Endre commented, “Amanda’s moon children, but they’re Agents and servants of the Agency, more or less.”

“If that’s the case,” Hank began in a cautionary tone, “then why are they working with Zlatko?”

Endre frowned, his eyes turning darker by the minute while he thought about it. “I…I think that—”

A loud BANG went off suddenly, effectively frightening Connor and Hank both.

“GET DOWN!” Hank screamed out, shoving both Connor and Endre down, but Endre rolled out of the way and roared as he withdrew his weapon and held it up high above his head.

Glaring around their surroundings, he cried out, “You have to take your friend and leave!!!”

Hank shook his head stubbornly while shielding Connor as best as he could, “We’re not gonna leave ya here, Endre!” pointing ahead at the sewer grate, he yelled out, “let’s just all make a break for it, and—” He’d been interrupted by another blast firing off, and this time, it’d been awfully and terribly close to Connor.

“Don’t you see!?” Endre hissed while ducking down into tall blades of thick, long grass, “there’s a sniper about, and you two are being targeted!!”

Round after round fired off, spraying rocks up into the air, shattering them into many pieces, and blowing up the ground and dirt. As Hank lay there as perfectly still as he could next to Connor, he knew that Endre was right; it was a matter of life and imminent death, and they had to get out of there.

Groaning as he peeked up at the other man, he hissed, “What’re we gonna do then?!”

Lifting his firearm, Endre fired off a few shots back while screaming out, “RUN!! GET TO THE SEWER GRATE, NOW!!”

“ENDRE! WE CAN’T—”

“I SAID GO!” the other man snapped at Hank, “I’LL CREATE A DISTRACTION, JUST GET GOING AND STOP ARGUING WITH ME!!”

As he fired back at the hidden sniper, Hank pulled on Connor’s arm, “Let’s go!!”

“Will he be okay?!” Connor asked, and they crept down low along the way past Endre while he shot many rounds at where he suspected the sniper would be. Unable to answer that question, Hank raced head while still holding onto Connor’s hand.

Hurriedly, they tore towards the sewer grate, and every step they took made it larger and larger as they drew closer and closer to it. It gave them both a sense of relief when they finally managed to grasp it with their fingers. It was old, rusted, and slightly heavy, but thankfully, the padlock on the left side of it had been broken and busted apart. It would be an easy entry.

Sliding his fingers along the left side of it and working it open, Hank peeked over his shoulder as he heard the grate give out a loud, long ‘squeak’ as it slowly opened up. Shots were still being aggressively fired behind their backs, but Connor kept close watch while Hank tried opening the sewer grate the rest of the way. Endre covered for them as best as he could, firing off in between pauses and breaks the hidden sniper took.

“Hurry up, Hank!” Connor cried out impatiently, nervously fidgeting while Hank grit his teeth and tried working the grate open. It weighed too much, however, and a few times, his white fingers slipped.

“Damn it!!”

“Let me help!!” Intervening, then, Connor latched onto the grate, and his stronger fingers yanked it open in less than a few seconds. As widely as the access to the sewers stood before them gaping, Hank poked his head in first, and then recoiled when he smelled how horrible and foul it was down there.

Well, the alternative was getting shot at and possibly killed, which he didn’t want anytime soon.

“Come on!!” Connor pushed past him, climbing up into the circular entryway to the sewers, crawling on his hands and knees inside the dirty darkness.

About to follow him-albeit reluctantly, Hank got in as well, but then peered behind himself again. He saw Endre taking a glance at them, and he waved when he had confirmation that they were heading into the sewers, now. Hank waved back, and Endre got down to reload his weapon. Suddenly, a perfectly aimed shot fired off into his upper left torso, piercing through his dark clothing. With a loud scream of sheer pain and shock, Endre had fallen down into the dirt and grass. Blood leaked out of his shoulder and sternum where he’d been hit, and as he cradled his weapon into his chest, he turned and glared over at Hank.

Already trying to make his way towards the injured man, Hank cried out fearfully, “Let me help you!!!”

When Endre merely pointed his gun at Hank, the older man stopped dead in his tracks. His eyes widened, and he screamed out, “ENDRE!!”

“JUST GO!!!” the wounded man screamed out, wriggling towards the thicker, taller portions of the grass and vegetation.

“HANK!”

Hearing Connor’s desperate cries ringing into his ears behind himself made Hank truly panic, now. It was completely against his nature to leave an injured person behind, but he was unable to do anything. Connor had dashed out of the sewer again, and he wrapped his long arms around the Lieutenant’s waist. “COME ON!!!”

Hank truly felt helpless as he closed his eyes and allowed Connor to drag him backwards. Perhaps if he closed his eyes, imagined that they were someplace else, then he would be able to push out the guilty feelings that came to him whenever he remembered Endre’s blood spilled all over the ground.

He wondered how much more bloodshed they were going to be responsible for until they even had a clue as to how to solve this case.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

When Gavin exited the bathroom for the second time that night, he found that the bed this time had been unoccupied. So Agent Nines had kept his word, it seemed? He wasn’t in the room at all, and it provided Gavin enough of time and a chance to dress up in clean white shorts and a t-shirt. Still toweling off his blonde hair, the younger male walked off into the living room space of their room, and it was there that he found the tall android.

Agent Nines was seated on the white leather sofa, and he was glaring away out the windows located on the right. He’d turned only his neck and head to face the windows, and as he stared out at the dark night sky, Gavin sat himself down next to him. When his weight plopped down on the sofa, the android didn’t even so much as look at him as he snapped out, “What’re you doing sitting here next to a damn rapist for?”

Wincing, Gavin understood why the tone was so biting and harsh; he’d accused Agent Nines of doing something he never even had in the first place. Gavin recalled back to their first coupling, and he remembered the android’s words then clearly.

“I’m not a fucking rapist, so you need to tell me you want this…”

He had, and it wasn’t a lie for him.

As Gavin stared at the lean android next to himself, he sighed.

He found-to his astonishment-that he still wanted him, in spite of everything.

Reaching out to place a hand on Agent Nines’ shoulder in a move of mild comfort, Gavin had barely placed the palm of his hand on the android, when he turned and scowled heatedly at him.

Lips pulled back in an aggressive, threatening manner, Agent Nines growled, “Now, you’re really confusing me and asking for it,” he stared at Gavin’s hand, “I’ll truly rape you if you cling to me this way, you bastard!”

The threat bounced and rolled off Gavin. Smiling warmly, he uttered, “We both know you won’t do that.”

“Want to bet on that?!”

Shrugging, Gavin answered softly, “I don’t think you—”

He was pushed down onto his back, though it wasn’t in a rough, violent, or overly aggressive manner at all. Gavin compared it to the time Heather had gently pushed him down onto her bed and made out with him for a few moments before her roommates walked in. It was the same style and manner of touching; nothing forceful or frightening.

Agent Nines’ hands gently rested at Gavin’s sides, and then wandered down to his hips. Gavin could tell that the android was trying to scare him off into thinking he would sexually attack him again, but it never happened. Agent Nines’ hands rested between his legs, massaging and groping, but he never made a move to pull his shorts off and take it further. He was only touching and exploring, and Gavin allowed him that for some time until he ceased all motions of his hand.

Shifting upwards so he could glare down at the younger male, Agent Nines croaked, “Why aren’t you fighting or struggling?”

Gavin stared at him blankly, “I told you; I’m not scared of you and I don’t think you could harm me.”

“But I can…”

Holding the android’s face in both his hands steadily, Gavin shook his head firmly, “No, no you can’t; Nines would never allow that to happen.”

Huffing, Agent Nines’ eyes turned a little angry, “Perhaps he has a soft spot for you, but I assure you, I don’t—”

Gavin leaned up, and in a flash, he covered Agent Nines’ lips with his own. The kiss hardly lasted a few seconds, for Agent Nines cried out in shock, and leapt off and away from Gavin.

Placing a few fingers over his lips directly on the spot he’d been kissed, his eyes widened in fear, and he gaped at Gavin. When the youth sat up as well, Agent Nines frowned, and lowered his hand from his mouth so he could speak. “Think you know us both so well, don’t you?” he accused in a snarl, “well, you’re wrong!”

Coolly and calmly, Gavin sat back, tucking a leg beneath himself as he stared at Agent Nines. “It doesn’t matter what you want to think,” he eventually spoke out, “but Nines knows the truth, and I hope that wherever he is, he is listening and missing me as much as I miss him.”

It’d been a rather odd way of phrasing things, but he didn’t understand much else of what was going on. At the risk of sounding dumb or ignorant, he asked, “Do you care about me?”

That was when for the first time ever, Gavin saw confusion and discomfort evident in Agent Nines’ eyes and displayed all over his face. He looked sick, pale, nervous, frightened, and disturbed all at once. His LED light remained yellow, and his eyebrows rose, fell, rose again, and then he grit his teeth, tightened his jaw and temples, and then sneered. “Don’t test me,” he muttered in a somber tone that lacked all the bite it usually carried along with it.

Mildly amused by the reaction, Gavin shrugged and stretched his legs out before himself on the leather sofa. “Fair enough,” he placed a hand beneath his chin as he grinned at the uncomfortable android, “no need to get all emotional about it, Agent Nines…” Gavin knew he was pushing his luck by talking this way to the deadly monster, but he found it funny how Agent Nines’ shoulders tightened drastically, and he glared angrily over at him.

“Enough,” he ground out slowly, “I’m getting tired of your attitude.”

“Likewise,” Gavin fired back, and as he stared down at his hands, pretending to be fascinated and interested in them, he heard Agent Nines shuffling a little closer.

Interesting reaction.

Staring at the churlish android, Gavin whispered, “What?”

It was as if Agent Nines was somehow was holding some kind of a battle within himself. He opened his mouth to speak a few times, only to then rapidly and quickly close it. Lifting a hand, lowering it, shifting awkwardly, LED light spinning on yellow, eyes clouding over with doubt, anger, and raw pain, he winced, and then stood up.

As he paced back and forth in front of the sofa a few times, Gavin eventually snickered, “You’re actin’ so weird.”

He knew that, but he couldn’t help it…it just came out unbridled like a tidal wave.

It wasn’t long before Agent Nines settled back on the sofa, but this time, he sat himself closer to Gavin. They stared ahead for a few minutes in complete silence. Gavin was able to hear the night life outside the windows, and he found he enjoyed it. As it soothed and tranquilized him, Agent Nines slowly turned his head towards him, and almost as if it were a mere dream, he whispered softly, “Can you…can you maybe teach me those odd hand gestures you were trying to show me in the car earlier?”

………….

Gavin’s jaw fell open, and he wheezed, “Th-the hand gestures?”

Agent Nines scowled, “Selective memory!” sneering, he hissed thinly, “you were trying to communicate with me as if I were Nines, remember?!”

Well, he most certainly did, but what good would it do, now? This wasn’t Nines, yet it was. This wasn’t the man he’d grown to love, yet it was…nothing was the same, yet everything was similar. It was far too much of a weird experience for Gavin to dissect for now, and rather than trying to piece it all together, he figured he would at least try and stay on Agent Nines’ ‘good side’…provided he had one, anyway. After all, that was a lot better than getting killed, maimed, tortured, or raped.

Pushing aside his negative thoughts, Gavin nodded, “Right! I guess it won’t hurt to teach you a bit,” he paused, frowned, and couldn’t help but ask, “but if you and Nines are technically the same, wouldn’t you be able to have some sort of memory of all that happening?”

It was a fair question, albeit a rather random, jarring one. Agent Nines obviously hadn’t been prepared to hear it, and he completely avoided it…at first. Shying away from it as he kept to himself, Gavin had given up on communicating with the android altogether and was planning on heading to bed, when Agent Nines whispered almost delicately, “I can’t remember anything.”

His sharp hearing powers enabled Gavin to catch it, and he tilted his head at Agent Nines, “I’m sorry?”

Jaw slightly quivering before he forced himself to stop, Agent Nines repeated dully, “I can’t remember anything…it’s almost as if he’s purposefully keeping his memories away from me at times.”

Although he had some idea why Nines may have been doing that, he much preferred hearing it from Agent Nines. Of course, there was a high chance that the android would be insincere, a liar, and just manipulative, but still, it was a chance and a risk Gavin was willing to take.

Sitting up, he drew his knees and legs up against his chest, and when he was comfortable enough, he inquired, “Why do you think Nines locked his memories away?”

Yet again, the despondent android quivered and shook, but otherwise tried holding himself calm. The battle to keep himself composed and to blurt everything out emotionally was soon lost, and his eyes clenched shut tightly as he shook his head firmly.

“Are you alright?” Gavin asked in a concerned tone, placing a hand gently and very carefully on Agent Nines’ shoulder.

Surprisingly, the android didn’t make a move to brush his hand off. “Yeah…I’m fine,” he lied, and they both knew it. Gavin merely smiled warmly, but he let it go for the time being. After all, forcing the android to talk was out of the question, it seemed, and would make him draw away even more.

Brushing a hand over his LED light as though he were wiping perspiration off his skin, Agent Nines straightened his body posture out, and with a tiny huff, he elucidated, “Because he doesn’t trust me.”

Gavin was honestly a little disappointed upon hearing these words. Truth be told, he’d been expecting some dark, dark secret lurking between Agent Nines and Nines, but…it didn’t appear to be the case. Unless Agent Nines was lying, but Gavin decided to believe him. His tone was genuine, sincere, and he truly seemed perplexed, even. It was the most ‘emotional’ state Gavin had seen the android in, and he chose not to comment on it. He hung onto his own reserved and deep-seated disappointments, but he carefully never allowed them to rise to the surface. He only sat back and shrugged, eventually sighing out his answer of, “Well, maybe he had a good reason not to trust you,” he supplied his theory with, “and I can’t say I blame him, because even I don’t fully trust you.”

Apparently, that had been the last straw for Agent Nines. Crossing a long leg over the other, he grumpily spat out, “Well, if you can’t trust me either, then why don’t you go and get fu—”

Gavin suddenly leaned into him, cutting off his insult due to how up close and personal he was in the android’s face. Eyeing his stunned expression, Gavin whispered softly, “I said I don’t fully trust you,” he explained gently, “that means a part of me wants to, and God knows why I’d want that after every bit of messed up shit you’ve put me through…”

Backing away from him, Agent Nines reasoned, “Perhaps you’re going crazy.”

Holding up his hand, he held out his right hand, and then slowly bunched it into a loose fist. Agent Nines merely stared at it, and then jokingly asked, “Wanna throw a punch at me that badly?”

Snorting, Gavin spat, “Yeah, in the dick.”

“…Ouch. Low blow.”

“That’s how I roll,” inching closer to Agent Nines, Gavin instructed him, “just copy me, but make sure your fist is like mine.” Only when Agent Nines had carried through with it did he continue. “Good,” he then extended and uncurled his pinky finger and let it hang a little limply down.

Somehow, Agent Nines found this charming and amusing, and he chuckled.

Gavin also found himself giggling. “What?!” he snorted, “what’s funny?”

Shaking his head, the android muttered, “Nothing…just continue.”

“Fair enough,” Gavin nodded auspiciously at him, “try making it yourself again without me helping you.”

Staring intently down at his own hand, Agent Nines broke the gesture and position. After a moment, he bunched up his first, and then held out his pinky as loosely as he could. When Gavin swiped his hand up to the left, he did the same, mirroring the younger man perfectly.

Resisting the urge to clap, Gavin stated, “That means ‘brother’!”

“Neat.”

Though Agent Nines didn’t appear too enthused about all this, he didn’t seem outright bored, either. It was good progress, Gavin supposed. After all, it didn’t always hurt to be loquacious, he thought.

Eyes gleaming with excitement, he sang out, “Wanna learn another one?”

Shrugging, Agent Nines said bluntly, “You’re going to teach me anyway.”

“True,” he chuckled, and sat up closer, “alright, watch me.”

Rolling his eyes, the cold android hissed, “I wouldn’t want to do anything else…”

This made Gavin pause, and since it’d been such a random, odd statement, he asked, “Umm…what does that mean?”

Tossing him a toothy grin, Agent Nines leaned into him and whispered by his ear, “It means I find you quite pretty to look at.”

Leaping back and rubbing his ear that had been whispered into, Gavin glared at him and hissed in a warning, “Just…stop fuckin’ around and pay attention!!”

Winking flirtatiously at him, Agent Nines gleefully cried out, “Okay, boss!”

Rolling his eyes, Gavin held up his left hand this time, and once again, he bunched it into a fist. Agent Nines didn’t need instructing; he copied the younger male, and he managed to do so with a smug grin plastered all over his face. Gavin ignored him before he continued. “Do this, keep this pose, and then you stick out your thumb, index finger, and middle finger,” he slowly explained while actually demonstrating it.

Agent Nines did so, “And then?”

“Watch,” he very slowly and very carefully placed his hand right over where his heart was located. “You wanna do the same, only do it over your thirium pump.”

“Got it.”

He watched as Agent Nines did the same and placed his fingers over his thirium pump. A tad too over-eager, the android asked, “And what does this mean?”

Almost reluctantly, Gavin answered, “It means protect me…”

“You should’ve been protecting him all along…”

The moment that phrase had been spoken, something akin to a heavy weight slammed into Agent Nines’ sternum. It was all psychological, however; and as natural as breathing came to humans, Agent Nines lifted his right hand again. As Gavin watched in sheer silence and awe, Agent Nines closed his eyes, and then drew his fingers up over his forehead. Bunching them all together by the tips, he carefully and slowly extended his fingers and hand, and then placed his index finger and ring finger over his left and right eyeball. Removing his hand off them, then, he turned his hand palm-up towards the ceiling and then let his hand remain in that position for a while. His eyes opened, slowly, and he stared down at Gavin blankly.

All he saw was how fixated and mesmerized the youth was, and he frowned. Voice low and soft, he asked, “Did I do something?”

Smiling warmly for the first time in days, Gavin said, “So you do remember some things after all…”

Realization hit him at once, and he nodded, “It means ‘My Blood and Eyes are yours’…”

“Did Nines teach you that one?”

For some reason, he hadn’t been able to answer Gavin’s question, and he supposed he never would. Withdrawing his hand, he’d been about to drop it carelessly down onto the sofa seats, when Gavin gripped onto his hand with his own. Brandishing both their clasped hands together, he paced their hands on his lap, and he smiled a very wide, gentle smile at Agent Nines.

If the android didn’t know any better, he would’ve classified this look as one of adoration, or infatuation…

Too bad he didn’t believe in any of those concepts or emotions.

Chapter Text

Connor and Hank felt a dark, somber mood and cloud weighing heavily on their shoulders as they trudged along in the wet, dank, foul-smelling sewers. The vast tunnels expanded and went down for miles, but thankfully, Connor had been able to map out their journey near to an old hotel not too far away. In no time, due to his superior research skills, the RK800 noted that there was an old, dilapidated hotel nearby at the end of the tunnels, but it was a matter of having to pass through first.

It must’ve gotten late in the day, for the tunnels grew darker and darker, and any amount of light from holes in the walls or skylights dimmed significantly as they walked on and on for a while. They still hadn’t said much to one another, and it seemed better that way for the time being. Connor knew Hank’s importunate temperament by now, and he didn’t dare push it and test the man’s patience. He knew for certain that Endre being shot and wounded had affected Hank more than what the Lieutenant was trying to reveal and let on. But he knew he couldn’t just overstep his bounds and talk about it, or even Cole, for that matter…

Clearing his throat lightly, Connor asked, “Hank? Wanna talk about it?” He figured this would be the most neutral and non-pushy way of trying to initiate a conversation in the hopes of dragging out whatever was bothering his work partner. Deep down, Connor hated it whenever Hank was this upset and couldn’t find it within himself to talk about it, at least. What good was he to his friend if he couldn’t at least be there for Hank?

Waiting in silence while the older male thought about it, Connor tried ignoring the wet squelching noises their shoes made as they waded through ankle-high disgusting sludge and brown black ‘water’. Instead, he took another quick peek over at Hank. Concluding and confirming that the other man wasn’t interested and too keen on having a chat about how he felt, Connor nodded. “Alrighty,” he sang out, “I can understand, Hank, but just let me know if you change your mind.”

His sentence had barely been finished when Hank gruffly chimed in with, “How the fuck are you so bloody calm and chipper in the middle of all this, Connor?!”

Pausing in his tracks, it didn’t take long for Connor to feel the first bits of annoyance and anger working its way into his system. At times, he truly hated being deviant; he often was no longer in control of his own thoughts, words, and actions, and he despised being a slave to his whims.

Backing away from Hank for a moment, Connor stared down at his own feet and the wet sludge below. Shaking his head lightly, he whispered in a mildly pained tone of voice, “If you think this is any easier for me, then you’re wrong, Hank.”

A puff of warm air hit his face as Hank huffed, “No offense, but it sure as shit didn’t appear that way, Connor.” Turning around, he ran a hand through his messy hair, but he used it as a way to get a hold of himself before he continued vilifying Connor senselessly. Gripping his beard in a hand, he stared at the walls blankly while he kept his back turned towards Connor. Now, things were really tense, and Connor could sense that either a verbal argument was going to break out and become worse, or Hank was just going to shut down and stop talking altogether.

Ideally-in a situation as such-Connor wanted to keep his friend talking. He’d seen and been present in certain dark cases and circumstances when Hank had really fallen deeply into his self-pity and depression. As expected, the death and loss of Cole had never really gone away for Hank. Connor never expected it to; the loss of a loved one was something even he feared and never wished to experience firsthand, and he didn’t even want to think about it, quite frankly. As such, whenever these cases occurred, Hank often turned to the bottle, and he would drown himself in copious amounts of alcohol for days and nights on end without stopping. Worried that he would drink himself to death one day, Connor had really decided to move in with Hank when he stopped by for a short visit and chat one rainy afternoon, only to find Sumo clawing and whining at the door. All the bad signs were there just as the first time Connor had busted into Hank’s home through his kitchen window. The place had been filthy, and Sumo was barking and running around constantly in an effort at getting Connor’s attention.

Eventually, the large animal had led Connor into Hank’s bedroom, and at first, Connor hadn’t seen anything. But then, as he’d been hurried and flustered, he’d discovered Hank in the far corner of the bedroom, a pistol already inside his own mouth while a few bottles of alcohol were surrounding him quite ominously.

It’d taken almost the entire night to get the gun out of Hank’s hands, but when he had, the Lieutenant sobbed and wailed out for his son. They’d grown accustomed to situations like this, although they’d decreased significantly ever since Hank had permitted Connor to move in with him. Either way, the RK800 was happy and ever eager to help, and his older friend didn’t seem to mind it. With a strict watch on the older male, Connor was able to decrease the amount of alcohol in the house, and soon, he accompanied Hank anytime he went shopping, and he made extra sure not to allow Hank to purchase any.

That didn’t mean they never argued or never got on each other’s nerves, but truthfully, Connor hadn’t seen Hank this upset and emotional in months. Seething at him, the older man’s chest puffed in and out, rising and falling as he took sharp, labored breaths. Eventually, he threw Connor a rather spiteful gaze, and while the android felt he didn’t deserve such a look at all, he only backed away and allowed Hank to compose himself.

Turning around a few times in a small, tight circle, Hank muttered to himself, “I could’ve helped him…I could’ve saved him…”

Although he was certain that Hank was referring to Endre, a part of Connor wondered if Hank had been also pointing at his own son being lost…

“Fuck,” Hank muttered again, and Connor shook himself out of his temporary stupor. As he stood there in a statue-like manner, Hank hissed, “I wanna head back and see if Endre made it!”

Scowling at the notion, Connor retorted with, “We can’t do that; we’re already too far in this, and you said that Endre was shot at!”

“I know,” Hank threw back quickly, “but he could still be alive, Connor!”

Jaw slack, Connor gasped out in horror, “You mean he—”

Glaring at him, Hank interrupted, “Look, I saw him got shot, but it wasn’t in a fatal area!”

Shaking as he began hating the fact that he’d somehow played a role in getting their savior and protector injured, Connor whispered, “Where was he shot?”

Hank quickly responded, “Near the upper left shoulder.”

“Shit,” came the hiss, “he may lose a lot of blood, but it shouldn’t be too fatal, Hank!”

Scoffing and tilting his head, Hank spat, “You’re a fuckin’ expert on that shit, huh Connor?”

“Why’re you attacking me for?!” Connor finally lost it, screaming loudly as he backed away from Hank, “I wasn’t the one who asked for this; you dragged me here with you when you could’ve just listened to me and only had us working the smaller cases!!”

Pointing crudely at himself, Hank roared, “So it’s all my damn fault, huh?!”

“Hank!” Connor cried in a gasp, “be sensible, and just—”

Advancing towards him aggressively, Hank stared up at Connor, hatred shining in his eyes. “What would you have us do then, Connor?” he taunted in a childish manner, “have us just report on the fuckin’ weather? Traffic incidents? Small cases?!” His voice practically bounced off every wall in the tunnel, and Connor shrank away from it.

When Hank had been through with his yelling, he leaned away from Connor, ran a hand through his messy hair, and hissed out softly, “You don’t know anything, Connor,” shuffling his feet, and he stopped when he was facing the direction they needed to go in. “Just keep up, Connor,” he barked out bossily, “shut your trap, stay on target, and we’ll be able to maybe get through today.”

As Connor inched away from the wall he was currently pressed against, Hank breezed by him, not even bothering to look back at him once. Holding his head down in sheer obedience, Connor followed his trail. Shoving his hands deep in his pockets, he almost felt sorry for Hank’s mental and emotional state.

When Hank kept a good enough distance away from him, Connor whispered gently, “God damn you, Hank Anderson…why do I have to have such strong feelings for you?!?”

The entire time they walked on, he kept his eyes down on the dark water below.

“Why…oh why does it have to be this way??”

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Gavin grabbed the TV remote in the hotel room as he turned on the TV and began searching and flipping through channels. He’d been foolish to think that just because they were in a nice, fancy hotel, that would mean the service and entertainment was good and on point…it definitely wasn’t. A lot of the channels Gavin flipped through were advertisement channels, a few sports ones, weather forecasts, of course, marketing and business guides, late night cooking guides, and a few re-runs of movies that recently came out within the last two years. It was all just basic, bland bullshit Gavin would never even watch on a sick day in bed at home.

Resisting the urge to throw the TV remote into a wall, he grumbled at Agent Nines when the android brushed past him, “It’s all just trash! I can’t believe this!”

Pausing for a moment, the android gazed at the TV, then the remote, and he smirked one heck of an evil smirk Gavin missed. “Flip to channel 2006; it’s got good stuff I think you’d like.”

Humming, Gavin didn’t think much about it, and he quickly put in the numbers. In a few seconds, the channel went from a cooking program to a hard-core porno segment. It consisted of a threesome, and the two women involved in it had long brunette hair flowing wildly over their shoulders, and they were currently occupied with ‘pleasing’ a tall, muscular male with tanned skin. They took turns blowing him and giving him a hand job, while he was busied with touching their breasts and fingering one of them…

Gavin screamed at the sights and sounds, and he turned off the TV entirely. Standing up angrily, he cried out before Agent Nines, “You god damn pervert!! You knew that shit was on, yet you still told me to watch it!?!?”

A mischievous grin came out of the android, “What? I thought it was your cup of tea?”

Huffing, Gavin turned away from him, scratching the back of his neck furiously.

Leaning over him, Agent Nines purred, “At least those women had big tits…what did you think of their figures?”

Barely turning around to regard him, Gavin growled, “Seriously?” His eyebrows tightened on his brow ridge, and Agent Nines smiled even wider, clearly ensorcelled by Gavin’s reactions.

He gave a curt nod, “Yes, I’m serious.”

“You know I prefer dudes, and yet you ask me such a stupid fuckin’—oh…” he paused in the middle of his ramblings, turning beet red in the face.

At the same time, Agent Nines backed away a little, “Oh…”

This certainly was rather awkward on a whole new level.

Mumbling more so to himself, Gavin groused in a tremulous tone, “I hate that I always confuse you with Nines…”

The android didn’t say anything as he simply stood behind Gavin like a firm, strong pillar. When the younger male felt ‘ready’ enough to turn and face Agent Nines, he did so, and he muttered, “It’s weird, haha,” his cheeks softened in their reddish color, “I mean, you two look different, yet at the same time, there’s enough differences there that I can mmffh!!”

His voice had been muffled when the large, wide palm of Agent Nines’ hand pressed roughly over his lips. His words and cries had been effectively sealed off, and he glared up at the android when he yanked him against himself.

“Shhh,” Agent Nines hushed and hissed in his ear hotly, “we’re being watched, Gavin.”

Feeling his heart skip a few beats in terror, Gavin’s eyes widened, and he began tilting his head back so he could stare along the ceiling.

“No,” Agent Nines growled lightly, “there’s no camera on the ceiling…” gently turning Gavin’s neck, he pointed it up at a golden vent in the wall close to large HD speaker mounted in the left-hand corner of the wall above the TV. Gavin had clearly missed this vent the first time around, and he squinted hard at it.

“There is a spider in there,” Agent Nines explained, and Gavin mumbled, “Mnnoo phhit!”

Though his hand didn’t move away from the boy’s mouth, Agent Nines hurriedly pressed out in a barely audible volume, “A ‘spider’ is a little device only members of the Agency carry with themselves; it’s high-tech fiber optics that has come to life…” eyeing the vent, he continued, “…even breathing alerts and sets it off, and it automatically records and processes a live-feed directly to its channeled source and medium…”

Groaning, Gavin breathed sharply through his nose, but he stopped resisting when he noticed the seriousness in Agent Nines’ voice. It commanded his attention, and he knew whatever the android was spouting-although it sounded insane-was more than likely all true and a fact. Having no one else to actively rely on to make it out alive and to be able to see his family and friends again, Gavin felt he had to trust Agent Nines and depend solely on him…but why did it have to be this insane creature?!?

Eyes never once tearing away from the golden air vent, Agent Nines croaked lightly, “We have to track it, trace it back to its source, and eradicate this individual from the planet.”

At this moment, Gavin gripped the hand around his mouth, and he shoved Agent Nines a few steps back. “Don’t you think you’re being a little dramatic?!” he gasped out, relieved he had fresh air back into his lungs on a deeper level.

Shaking his head, Agent Nines then silenced himself, and while pressing two fingers before his own eyes, he then motioned and pointed with the same two fingers up at the air vent. “Get me a chair, now.”

“Get yourself one,” Gavin mumbled, but actually went and grabbed one from the kitchen.

“Don’t let it scrape along the floor,” Agent Nines whispered, and Gavin nodded. He held it up into the air as best as he could as he made his way towards where Agent Nines was standing beneath the air vent. It was a rather large and wide one, and Gavin knew they both would be able to fit into it…if they had to…he hoped that wouldn’t be the case!!

Once the chair had been placed down on the floor, Agent Nines withdrew a tiny screw-driver-like object from his back pocket. He didn’t need to stand on the chair; he reached up with his long arms, and as Gavin watched quietly, Agent Nines unscrewed the bolts and screws of the air vent. Gripping it in both hands, he lowered it carefully and gently down to the floor and let it lean against a wall.

Just when Gavin had been about to impatiently inquire as to why they needed the chair, Agent Nines pointed at it, “Get on top of it...” pausing, a lewd look filled his eyes as he added in, “…and later, get on top of my dick, too.”

Puffing his cheeks out, Gavin stood on the chair, balancing himself by grabbing at the wall with one hand, and the edge of the air vent entrance with another. Peeking inside the long, dark passageway that would definitely fit them both, he shivered. He felt a warm gust of air breeze into his face; no doubt the fans and heating system. Inching away, he whispered, “I don’t see shit, and I don’t wanna—”

“Trust me,” Agent Nines interjected roughly, “it’s there; I can see it by switching my lenses and vision.”

Curiously, Gavin asked, “What does it look like?” he’d always thought that android vision was pretty cool from the bits of it he’d seen demonstrated in CyberLife commercials and in the stores. But to actually have an android comment on it firsthand was something new.

“I see plenty of bright yellow specks,” Agent Nines explained, “the footprints of our little companion, I’m sure.” Tapping on the wall lightly, he urged, “Go on, climb into the vent.”

Trembling nervously, Gavin refused, “I’m claustrophobic!”

Slightly irritated, Agent Nines spat back, “And I’m running on a short amount of patience! Get in!”

“No!!”

“Do it!!”

“I won’t!!!” Gavin argued back in frustration, and as he turned and gazed into the space between the walls, he whimpered like a child.

“For the last time,” Agent Nines growled deeply, “I’ll be right behind you, so just get inside and move it!”

Shaking his head firmly, Gavin cried desperately, “You can’t make me—aaaah!!!”

A harsh slap had been bestowed upon his ass, and as Gavin cradled it to soothe the burning pain, Agent Nines nudged him and booted him in the ass up and forward. Screaming out in panic, Gavin wailed and shut his eyes tightly as he crawled forcefully into the air vent. His fingers squelched and squeaked as his skin rubbed over the metal on the inside, and he realized how sweaty he was.

Behind him, Agent Nines crawled in as well, and it wasn’t long before he tapped Gavin on the ass again to get him moving. Crying over his shoulder though he kept his eyes shut tightly, Gavin hissed, “Alright, alright!! I’m movin’!!”

“Do it quietly, you brat,” Agent Nines growled in the darkness behind him, and Gavin took in a large mouthful of air, counted to ‘three’ mentally, and moved forward.

“Just so you know, if I end up having a panic attack in here, I’m holding you fully responsible for whatever happens afterwards.”

He could almost see the self-satisfied, smug grin on the android’s face.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Hank’s stomach growled loudly, scaring both himself and Connor in the process. When the RK800 gaped at him, the angry Lieutenant hissed, “What’re ya lookin’ at?!” Shoving past Connor, then, he tried ignoring how tired, hungry, and irritable he was growing. What time was it anyway?!?! It felt as if they’d been in the sewers for about two hours, at best!

Connor kept up with him, and as they walked on in silence for a minute, Hank had been about to give in and just ask for the time from his work partner, when Connor cried out in fear, “Hank!! Watch out!!”

“Honh?” as he took another step forward in the darkness, Connor’s arm latched onto his shoulder, and he yanked him back before he smashed face-first into the end of the long tunnel. Leaping up back in fright, Hank wheezed out, “What the hell!?”

“End of the tunnel, dipshit!” Connor insulted him, though he didn’t pay it mind as he brushed his long hair back. “Jesus,” he coughed out, pressing a hand on his chest in the hopes that it would somehow work like magic and still his rapidly beating and pounding heart. Sadly, it didn’t work much, and he was left panting as he bent down, rested his hands on his kneecaps, and then chortled although he wasn’t amused in the slightest.

Evidently, Connor felt the same way. As Hank chuckled to himself, he glared at his friend and spat, “I don’t see how any of this is funny or clever, Hank!”

Somehow, this made Hank laugh out loud even harder, and soon, he felt tears welling up in his eyes. It wasn’t long before Connor broke. He couldn’t stay mad at his friend, and soon, he too was losing himself to rounds of loud laughter. Their mixed voices rang and echoed out, and Hank shuffled away from the dead-end as he threw his head back and laughed one last time before emitting a long, strained sigh.

Throwing his hands up into the air, he uttered, “The fuck are we doin’, Connor?” following it up quickly with another short bark of a laugh, he said, “we’re arguin’ among one another when we should stick together even closer!”

Smiling in agreement, Connor whispered, “You’re all I have, and I’m all you have.”

Allowing himself to be led away back down the way they came, and then turning to the right, Hank chuckled, “Shit, you’re right, Connor!” giggling, he added, “perhaps that’s why I’m fucked, huh?”

As they walked along an almost ‘hidden path’ neither of them had ever seen before in the darkness, Connor held tightly onto Hank’s elbow. His night vision paved the way for them, and Hank relied on his aid as they marched on.

Shaking his head, the RK800 stated openly, “It’s not like that, Hank, but you’re forgiven anyhow.”

Water dripping off the ceilings leaked and plopped down at their feet, and they tried avoiding it as they inched their way deeper and deeper into the tunnels. An old, familiar sensation of fright and uncertainty crept its way into Hank’s gut, and he tried pushing it down as he clung onto Connor’s forearms.

Glancing back at him, Connor asked, “Everything alright, Lieutenant?”

Throwing him a quick nod, Hank responded, “Yeah…just…how much longer, Connor?”

“Hmm,” pausing for a moment, the android surveyed their surroundings, and his LED light flashed yellow and blue multiple times. It grew horribly silent, and as Hank covered his mouth and nose when more foul odors wafted around him, Connor snapped a finger and cheerfully cried out, “only a couple of feet, don’t worry, Lieutenant!”

“Lovely,” Hank murmured, “do you wanna pick up the pace though, Connor?” He couldn’t help but be a tad pushy; this place really was starting to smell even worse than he originally thought it had.

Wordlessly, Connor obediently pulled him along. As they made their way deeper and deeper, Hank thought of all the things he’d wanted to say to Connor all along but couldn’t bring himself to doing so. He was such a stupid chickenshit after all. He hadn’t exactly meant to lash out at the android either, and while he still felt badly about it, he had to yet again curse himself for not having the guts or balls to be able to beg for an apology.

Connor deserved one, anyway. It’d been for far too long that the friendly, empathetic RK800 had been able to stand by Hank’s side through thick and thin. He’d been the only one there for Hank through his bad days, his really bad days, and his downright fucking awfully dark days. He was always there no matter what, and anything Hank threw at him or lashed out at him with, he would just take on, ignore it, and rather than taking it all personally, he would always come around and support Hank. He never was biased, he never held a grudge, and he never tried backstabbing Hank. Though the older man felt it would be ‘deserved’ on his part if Connor chose to do that, the android never had, and he always treated and accepted Hank the same way and just as he was.

He realized then that Connor was his only true friend, a blessing, and more than a friend to him…yes, he meant much, much more.

But how was he to come clean with his feelings?! He didn’t want to be rejected and let down; he couldn’t do it anymore. A fear of rejection and being denied had been the reason why he hadn’t bothered with pursuing a real relationship in so long…that, and sex altogether. Well, Connor didn’t need to know all the intricate details, Hank thought, but he knew that eventually, he had to really have a serious chat with Connor.

“Lieutenant, I found something!!”

It unfortunately appeared that today wasn’t going to be the day they had their little chat, it seemed.

Ignoring his disappointment before it consumed him, Hank peered up at whatever Connor was currently pointing at. He soon discovered that it was an old, rusty ladder leading out of the sewers and right up top to a small opening in the ceiling…but where would it lead?

Bracing himself against the wall right next to the ladder, he hissed, “Give me a sec, Connor, gotta catch my breath for a moment.”

Impatiently, Connor slightly tugged on his arm as he fired back, “But this is our way out, Hank! We have to keep moving!!”

Groaning, Hank figured Connor was more than likely right, but he really didn’t want to climb at least thirty rings of a damn ladder right now in this sorry state.

As if reading his mind, Connor said, “I’ll help you up, don’t worry!!”

This slightly helped, and Hank offered his work partner a weak smile as he pushed himself away from the wall and grabbed the fifth ring of the ladder. “I’ve got it, Connor.” Placing his right leg on the second ring first, he made sure he had a decently firm grip, and he began ascending. He heard Connor not far down below him already following, and it made him hurry up just a tad. Cursing himself for it in less than a few seconds due to his lungs aching and burning, he had to remind himself to calm the hell down and stop showing off in front of Connor. He wasn’t twenty-five anymore, and the energy and stamina he’d once had was long gone. Why did he always end up acting so strange around Connor, then? He never did this around any women he’d tried picking up in bars or other places, but for some reason, whenever it came to Connor, Hank always acted like a complete fool.

Figuring he was probably a lot more exhausted than he thought, he promised himself a moment or two to clear his head when they left this stinky place, and a good, long hot shower.

Almost drooling at the idea of abandoning the execrable sewer, Hank stared up to face the hatch leading down into the sewer. It was open ajar, thankfully, but they weren’t out of the hot water yet.

Trying to conceal his premature excitement and zeal, Hank bit down on his lower lip as he felt along the hatch a few times for the handle.

“You think you got it?” Connor asked, and Hank replied back in a grunt. Tapping and dragging his fingertips along up and down and then side to side, he gasped when he felt the tiny handle of the hatch.

Peering over his shoulder down at his friend, he cheered, “Got it!!!”

“Well, open it, then!!”

Nodding, he took a tiny breath, and he began slowly and carefully pushing his arms upwards on the inside of the door of the hatch.

One.

Two.

Three.

He’d been about to lift open the hatch all the way, when Connor grabbed tightly onto his elbow. The manner in which the android had gripped him chilled Hank to his core. Peeking back at his work partner over his shoulder, he cast a doubtful look down at Connor. The android mirrored the look with one of his own, and he gently whispered, “Are you sure this is a good idea, Hank?”

Catching on to where he was taking this, Hank answered the question with another question, “You mean just diving into this?”

“Yes…”

He sighed.

No…no, he really wasn’t sure about this, nor did he feel too comfortable. But what other choice did they have at their disposal?

Without having to communicate much, it seemed that Connor sensed what he was thinking, how he was feeling, and he seemed to hold some of his own reservations about their current situation as well. He offered Hank a silent, curt nod, and Hank turned back to crane his neck up at the hatch door.

He counted even slower this time around.

One.

Two.

Three.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Gavin felt sweaty, cold, hot, gross, and itchy all over. The longer they crawled through the air vents, the more he felt a massive combination of all these things, and the more hated it all. He was grateful that his anxiety and claustrophobia hadn’t kicked in, yet, but he didn’t want to think about it in case his luck ‘backfired’. That would be terrifying…especially when Agent Nines wasn’t too far away behind him, already preoccupied with teasing and mocking him.

A few times when Gavin slipped and nearly crashed onto his chest, Agent Nines shoved him in the back while snickering out, “Butter fingers.”

“Fuck off with that childish name already!” Gavin snapped at him when he’d referred to him as ‘butter fingers’ for the tenth time.

Feigning an innocent look, Agent Nines blinked up at the younger man while he emitted a soft, tiny gasp, “Why’re you swearing at me? I’m not doing anything wrong…”

Refusing to be fooled and roped into this ‘game’, Gavin rolled his eyes and crawled along forward. He made extra sure not to ‘trip’ this time, and he remained as silent as possible…right up until he felt fingers ghosting along his ass.

Growling, he turned his neck and snapped out viciously, “Can you keep your damn hands to yourself for once?!”

A cruel grin was his reply, followed with a sarcastic jab of, “What can I say? I was simply enjoying the view, that’s all.”

“You’re really damn annoying sometimes, Agent Nines, you know that?!”

“Well,” the large android almost purred out in sheer delight, “it wasn’t entirely a surprise to me…”

Ignoring was the best thing to do, so it seemed. It was almost half-past midnight, now, and Gavin was tired. The last thing he needed right now was to head into an argument with this childish Agent, so he pressed on and forced himself to remain quiet. It proved to be his best friend, as he was able to concentrate and focus on crawling along faster, but every once in a while, he would peek over either to the right or the left and gaze through other air vents in the walls of the other rooms in the fancy hotel.

They’d made their way past a kitchen, a laundry room, as well as a lounge area. Plenty of light poured into the dark vents, thankfully, and it provided something new to look at every so often. Gavin was grateful for it; he was already bored out of his mind, and it kept him half-awake, anyway.

As they crept along, they made their way above the various guest rooms, and that was when things turned slightly ‘problematic’. A few of the guests were engaged in ‘private’ things, Gavin found. One man was taking a shower while jerking off, and Gavin looked away hurriedly, face on fire as he blushed. Another woman was breastfeeding her young newborn, and again, Gavin felt so embarrassed and completely mortified that he was able to see these things which were clearly not meant for his eyes to be seeing.

It wasn’t long before he witnessed someone watching porn, someone else talking on the phone and having a rather ‘dirty’, ‘sexy’ chat. Soon, he peered down to the left and caught glimpse of a couple. The woman got on top of the man while his nimble fingers unhooked her bra. She tossed it down to the floor while she cried out passionately, “Want me to ride you, baby?”

Gulping rather loudly, Gavin slowed down, watching them closely for a moment.

The man whispered back to her, “Fuck yes; ride me, babe.”

Suddenly, a hot breath was puffing against Gavin’s right ear before a deep growl slammed into his eardrums.

“Do you like that?”

Yelping in shock, Gavin’s fingers slipped, and he crashed down on his chest roughly. The sound echoed quite potently and loudly, and the couple heard it.

The man cried out, “The fuck’s that?!”

The woman soon hushed him, “Shh, it’s probably just rats in the walls or vents, sweetie…”

Gavin groused softly, “I’m not a fuckin’ rat…”

His ass was slapped a second later, drowning out the sounds of the couple down below kissing and moaning. Agent Nines warned, “We gotta keep moving, but since this is apparently your ‘thing’, I’ll glad put on a show for you later if you like, darling.”

Feeling his anger bubbling just below the surface, Gavin groused in annoyance, “Do you ever think of anything else besides sex, Agent Nines?”

There was a long, stretched out pause, and then simultaneously, both Gavin and Agent Nines answered, “No.”

“Figures,” Gavin sighed, and as he tried shifting himself further, he felt something grinding into his ass.

Yelping as he tried whirling around to see what it was, he was only met with a long arm shooting out and shoving his face back in the opposite direction so he wouldn’t be able to gaze behind himself to see what was going on.

“What’re you doing?!” he cried out as he panicked, unsure of how to feel when something slid between his thighs, just grazing the underside of his cock.

Agent Nines purred softly, “Relax, I was just giving you something to help you move along; you seem rather distracted tonight.”

Irritably, Gavin snapped, “I’d need you to fill up a large cup with booze before I could continue with how you’re handling me, you freak!”

“Gavin,” came Agent Nines’ seductive tone, “would you rather I fill you up with something other than booze?”

Blushing right through hearing the nasty implications, Gavin couldn’t do anything except growl lightly in his throat as Agent Nines yanked him up and gave him a light shove in his back to encourage him to keep on going. He wanted to refuse, but there wasn’t much else for him to do in this situation.  

His ears caught the sounds of more moaning, bed springs squeaking, and he crawled along even faster, before Agent Nines was able to make another stupid perverted comment. He had honestly no idea why the android was so damn perverted and sick, but he decided not to really think on it a lot as he trained his eyes back on their path forward.

“I can’t wait to get out of here,” he sighed out after a few minutes, and he heard a deep hum behind himself.

“I agree,” Agent Nines began, and then snickered, “although, I can’t say I’m complaining when your sweet ass is in my face.”

Whipping around, Gavin gaped, “You fuckin’—”

“You never know,” the android rudely interrupted, “we may never get this opportunity again, and I’d like to try a sixty-nine position at least once…”

Wheezing and choking on his own saliva, Gavin grunted out painfully and uncomfortably, “Can you not be a fuckin’ depraved perv for like, two seconds?! Jesus Christ!!”

“Sure, you can call me that,” came the sharp reply immediately, “but I’d prefer you screaming out my name, if it’s okay with you.”

Wanting to cut this conversation short, Gavin’s mind worked quickly for a distraction. Gazing ahead into the darkness, he gasped out while pointing, “I discovered something truly terrifying, Agent Nines!!”

Monetarily caught off-guard, the android’s tone turned serious, “What’s that?”

Smirking evilly over his shoulder at him, Gavin spat out, “It’s your face!’

Appearing utterly disappointed, Agent Nines glared at the youth before himself, and he let out a tiny sigh as he shook his head back and forth a few times. “How mature, Gavin.”

“You’re one to talk,” the younger man threw back at him, and then growled, “how much longer, anyway?”

Pausing for a moment, Agent Nines hummed, and then answered with, “A few more minutes.”

“Ugh,” Gavin pulled a disgruntled face, “well, I don’t wanna spend them all in silence…” an idea suddenly slammed into him, and he cried out, “tell me some jokes you know!!”

“Jokes?”

“Yeah!!”

Agent Nines frowned for a moment, and then grinned at him, “Fair enough.” Clearing his throat, then, it didn’t take him long before he said, “Brains on Ebay equal Brain Sells.”

……….

Gavin immediately stopped crawling, and he turned around and threw Agent Nines a rather unimpressed glare. “Wow…” he cleared his throat, “that’s…that’s way too cheesy, dude.”

The android quirked a brow, “Not impressed?”

“Nope.”

“I know a rather dirty one.”

Whistling softly, Gavin nodded, “Go ahead! Give it your best!”

A curt nod came at his back, “Very well.” Clearing his throat and pausing to make sure he had the younger man’s attention, Agent Nines finally huffed out, “So Superman’s flying around one day, and he’s really, really bored. As he passes a building, he looks down and sees Wonder Woman suntanning naked on a rooftop, legs spread open and invitingly,” his voice grew deeper and richer in color as he continued. “Right then and there, he gets really damn horny, and he figures: ‘I could just swoop in since I’m Superman, fuck her real fast, and fly off without her even noticing!’”

Gavin felt his ears, neck, and cheeks turning heated and red, but he listened on as he moved as softly and gently as he could.

Agent Nines continued, “And he just goes for it, then; he dives in, dick out, and gives the bitch a few pumps, and then flies away…” pausing, his LED light beamed blue as he snickered lightly before pressing out, “…a second after he flies away, Wonder Woman snaps up and says: ‘the hell was that?!’, and then, knelt right between her open legs, the Invisible Man responds: ‘I don’t know, but my ass seriously hurts!!’”

When he was through with his joke, he offered Gavin one of the most self-satisfied smirks the youth had ever seen, and it truly made Gavin pause and just stare back. Gavin’s face was neutral and rested for the longest time on a blank facial expression. He didn’t even blink as he only stared at the android for almost a full minute.

………..

Suddenly, he sniffed, his eyes watered, and he threw his head back and let out rounds of boisterous laughter.

“AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!”

Agent Nines scowled as he held a hand up, “Shh!! Shut your mouth!!! You’ll wake up the entire fucking hotel!”

Gavin couldn’t help it; he laughed even louder and harder.

“AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!! OH MY GOD!!!!!!”

The vents groaned and creaked, but Gavin couldn’t hear them in time. He’d been far too busy with laughing, and as Agent Nines tried calming him down and silencing him, Gavin rocked on his knees heavily whilst trying to keep himself balanced. Unbeknownst to the youth, the screws and bolts in the walls and the vents were moving in time with his body motions, and they slowly began losing their grip on the walls. More squeaking and creaking emanated from them, and as Gavin keeled over in laughter, he smashed his clenched fists against the bottom of the vents.

Gasping, Agent Nines warned, “Don’t pound on the vent like that!! You’ll break it!!!”

“AHAHAHAHAHA!!!”

Again and again, Gavin brought his fists down, and the vents made dull, deep noises of protest. Suddenly, when Gavin’s fists came down for the last time, the screws and bolts finally gave way. Agent Nines’ LED light flashed yellow, and a worried and half-frightened expression came upon his face. Gavin stopped laughing when he caught that look, but it was far too late.

With one final groan, the vents caved in, and broke down. Gravity was their enemy, now, and everything fell apart in a loud grunt of a noise that sounded so unreal to both Gavin’s ears, and Agent Nines’ audio receptors.                                                    

He saw Gavin falling, and he still thought he could beat the laws of gravity and physics. His arm shot out, and he cried out desperately, “GAVIN!!! GRAB MY HAND!!!”

Of course, it was a foolish effort; the youth had already plummeted far down below into the basement level of the hotel. The ceilings and rooms caved in and collapsed. Like a chain-effect, when one fell into another, the rest all broke down and came tumbling. Gavin plummeted farther and farther, and there was nothing Agent Nines was able to do but gape in horror.

There eventually came an abrupt stop to the fall, thankfully; Gavin soon landed on an old lump and pile of blankets and mattresses far down into the basement. Luck was truly on the young man’s side, and it provided a safe tumble as he nestled into the sheets.

Agent Nines peered down from many levels above, and he scanned and zoomed in his vision onto the youth’s body. Aside from a few cuts and bruises, he was fine, thankfully, and he was moving.

Shifting himself so he could gape up at Agent Nines, Gavin groaned, whimpered and whined in pain, and he offered the android a most awkward wave as he lay on his back upon the piles and mountains of old mattresses and bedding.

He was rewarded with a heated scowl from the android.

LED light still shining bright red, Agent Nines sardonically threw out down to Gavin, “Way to go.”

Chapter Text

Hank held and pushed aside the sewer door widely behind himself once he’d crawled up. Paving the way for Connor, he peered around the new room the door had opened up to. Ever-so-grateful to be out of the disgusting, smelly sewage system, finally, Hank wrapped a hand around one of Connor’s long arms as he pulled his work partner up the ladder the rest of the way.

Initially, it wasn’t an altogether difficult ordeal, but the more Hank pulled Connor up, the heavier he found the placid android to really be.

Wincing as he tugged Connor up the remainder of the way, Hank mockingly taunted, “Holy shit, Connor, might wanna lose some weight there, huh buddy?”

The RK800’s eyes turned black, almost, and as he yanked himself up over the edge, he spat out in a sarcastic jab, “Haha, you’re hilarious, Hank.”

Wincing as he gave one last tug, Hank wheezed, “What can I say? I’m known for my charms!” Giving one final tug, he dragged Connor up, but unfortunately, he hadn’t seen that the docile android already had leapt up using his legs for kicking off the last ring of the ladder. Connor flew forth wildly, cutting through the air and landing right on top of Hank as a result. Both men sailed a few feet backwards, and Connor flatly laid himself out over Hank’s body.

Hank literally saw stars. Groaning in nothing short of pain, he felt the back of his skull burning furiously. The impact had been far too much and far too brutal to handle. Breathing in and out even hurt, but he got through it as he opened his watery eyes and stared right at Connor’s wide, coruscating eyes.

Shifting himself beneath the strong android, Hank made to move and wriggle into a less painful position, but when he did so, he aligned his hips with Connor’s. The motions caused their hips to grind against each other, creating a rather delicious, heated friction.

As a human, Hank’s body almost immediately responded in turn. He was half-erect in mere seconds, and he frozen in fear. He dearly hoped Connor wasn’t going to feel anything; he would never be able to live it down if he had!!

Sadly, luck didn’t seem to be on Hank’s side in that particular moment. Connor peered deeply into his eyes, and he moved his hips slowly as he gasped, “Wow…that’s…that’s quite an impressive reaction, Hank…”

Jaw quivering, Hank hissed, “You—”

Pressing his own cock against the older man’s, Connor giggled, “Hi!”

“Get the hell off me, Connor!”

A rather sullen look worked its way onto Connor’s face, and Hank felt a sudden impact of guilt hitting him. But what was he guilty for?!? He hadn’t done anything wrong!! It had all been a simple accident, and yet Connor was the one throwing the nasty jokes around!!

Connor rolled himself over to the right, and he immediately removed himself from being on top of Hank. For a moment, Hank’s body mourned the delicious weight being lost, but as logic returned to him, he reared up as he brushed himself and his clothes off.

He threw Connor a dry look, “You okay?”

Apparently, Connor held a grudge right away. Scowling, he shot back in contempt, “So I gather it’s been far too long for you, right?”

His words had reduced Hank to yet another frozen, vegetative state. He paused, then slowly stared into Connor’s eyes. What he found there in the depths was nothing short of spite. Swallowing nervously, he answered, “I don’t know what you mean.”

They both know he was lying right through his teeth.

“Liar,” Connor spat out, “I’m talking about sex, Hank!”

Of course, they both knew that. Hank however didn’t want to talk about it at all. Shrugging the question off, he merely replied coolly, “It’s none of your damn business how often I get laid, Connor.”

Eyeing the look of pain and hurt flying along Connor’s face, Hank braced himself for a screaming match. After all the time he’d spent around the RK800, he just knew of Connor’s behavior patterns. It was inevitable that he’d get yelled at, and he was already feeling sore in the ears for it.

……….

And yet, it never came; it never happened.

What?

Was this some strange dream?!

Only silence met his ears, and Hank gaped openly in awe at Connor. He saw that the android was hunched over, bearing majority of his weight on his palms, and he eventually shook his head sadly. His yellow LED light betrayed his true feelings and emotions, however, though he didn’t say anything else as he merely stood to his feet.

Hank did the same, and as he scratched the back of his neck while standing about awkwardly, he pushed out in a hurried breath, “I honestly didn’t mean to be rude to you, Connor, but—”

When his friend shot out a hand and interrupted him, Hank’s mouth snapped tightly shut.

“Save it,” Connor hissed thinly, glaring away at a random spot on the floor, “I don’t want to hear it anymore.”

Hank knew precisely what this meant; the conversation was over. There was no point in crying over spilt milk; the damage had already been done, and no thanks to himself. No matter how badly he felt about it, he couldn’t make amends when Connor wasn’t in the mood.

Sighing painfully, he asked in a maudlin manner, “So…what now, Connor?”

Avoiding all eye contact with him, the android stated plainly, “we’re in the basement level of an old sewage treatment and recycling factory, Lieutenant, and according to my ‘map’ and sense of location, there’s a hotel right next to this very building.”

Hank felt something stabbing him in the heart when he heard that Connor had referred to him as Lieutenant so coldly. He really seemed to want to separate and remove himself as far away from Hank as possible, and the older male didn’t appreciate that one bit. “You mean ‘Hank’, Connor,” he corrected swiftly while blushing.

Sticking out his chin definitely, Connor said, “Yes, that’s what I said; Lieutenant Anderson.”

Hank sighed, “Connor, I know how much you li—”

“Anyway!” Connor almost cried out ferociously, “I suggest we keep moving, Lieutenant; as I hear voices coming from the other side of the building, and I’ve detected human temperatures.”

This was indeed important news, and Hank nodded curtly as he stuffed his hands in his pockets. His gun was still in his back pocket, thankfully, and it gave him comfort knowing it was still with him. But while his safety and security were almost guaranteed, his emotional wellbeing wasn’t…not when Connor was this livid and irate with him. It reminded him all too well of whenever his wife had been upset with him in the past. Being the doting husband he’d been to her back then, he’d always tried whatever was in his power to ameliorate the situation and come to a solution…but that tended to work better when the other person was willing to at least listen.

“Lieutenant!” Connor snapped at him in a bossy manner, “keep up!”

Realizing he’d been lost in his thoughts, Hank sighed, nodded, and waited until Connor approached the old door leading them out of the room. It opened up into a narrow, long hallway, and it had been stacked with black and green garbage bags lined up to the middle of the height of the walls, practically. It all reeked as badly as the sewer itself, but their only option was to press on forward.

Burying his nose in the collar of his jacket, Hank whispered only to himself when Connor had taken many wide steps to ensure they kept a distance. “I know how much you like me, Connor…”

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

Image may contain: one or more people, night and outdoor

 

Gavin felt as if someone had ripped his torso in half. He was absolutely in a huge amount of pain, but thankfully, it’d been steadily decreasing since he was young, had fallen and landed on soft items, and his racing heart greatly outweighed any physical pain he experienced elsewhere.

Moving himself around to check if he still had control over his limbs, he felt numb all over, but thankfully, nothing seemed broken. When he sat up on the mattress, something suddenly crashed and landed on the upper part of his right shoulder. It smashed down and sank into the mattress, and Gavin barely had time to duck out of the way. But he had successfully, and he evaded the sharp object from brutally and gravely injuring him. Peering at it in fright, Gavin saw that it was a blade of a fan. It’d impaled itself deeply into the mattress, and he cowered at the sight of it.

Gripping the edge of the old mattress, Gavin barely had shoved and slid himself off it, when a flash of darkness flew by the corner of his eyes. It moved so quickly that he’d nearly missed it the first time, but when it landed with a loud ‘BANG’, he knew it was Agent Nines. The powerful android had dived after Gavin, flying through the holes in the ceilings and upper floors the accident had created. He sailed all the way down in almost a straight, perfect arrow until he landed on his heels right next to Gavin on the soft mattress. It sank down to the floor, taking Gavin along with it due to the android’s heavy weight.

Groaning, Gavin spat, “Wanna not send us down to the center of the earth then, dipshit?!”

A glare was his response, followed by Agent Nines spitting out at him angrily, “I believe that’s your schtick, you fool!” Standing to his full height, he took Gavin along with himself, straightening the boy out as he cried out in his face, “What the fuck were you even thinking doing something so stupid?!”

Shoving him with all his might, Gavin threw back just as viciously, “Fuck off, asshole! It’s not like I did it on purpose!!”

“I warned you not to pound away like that, but you just wouldn’t listen!!”

“Oh fuck off,” Gavin repeated once again, “I already have a father; I don’t need another one!” What else was it going to take to get the point across to Agent Nines?! He didn’t need or want anyone concerned about him or doting on him, unless it was strictly Nines!!

Apparently, Agent Nines had taken Gavin’s previous statement in a lewder context, and he practically ground himself right up against Gavin as he salaciously whispered hotly into his ear, “Would you like me to be your ‘daddy’, Gavin?” A hand then groped Gavin’s ass and the back of his thighs, afterwards, mapping out their true intent paired with the statement Agent Nines had thrown out.

Feeling absolutely mortified, Gavin began sweating profusely. He pushed out plenty of dirty thoughts and images from his mind regarding himself and the implications Agent Nines had sent his way with his statement. It was all so gross and perverted, and he wanted nothing to do with it, least of all at this moment in time.

Agent Nines didn’t leave it at that, however; he began grinding his rough, strong hips into the youth’s ass while he flicked out his long tongue, and he shoved it sharply into Gavin’s ear. Spearing it roughly into the tight, small channel, he lapped at Gavin a few times until the younger, shorter male let out a horrifying shriek and leapt as far away as he could.

Rubbing his ear dry, he groaned, “You fuckin’ sicko!!!”

Winking at him, Agent Nines replied, “I can do the same to other areas, if you like.”

Only feeling mildly sick to his stomach, Gavin wiped down the rest of his ear, and he snapped at the android, “In your dreams…if you can dream, that is!” Smirking smugly at Agent Nines, he then chimed in with, “Ha!! Guess you can’t dream can you, freak?”

If Gavin thought he was intimidating to Agent Nines before, then he was proven to be wrong, now. He was no match at all for the android with the dirty mind and the foul mouth. Instead of even being slightly taken aback, Agent Nines looped a long arm over Gavin’s neck and shoulders, and he tapped the young man on the cheek once with his index finger. “Gavin,” he purred in sheer enjoyment and zeal, “if only your squeaky clean mind and ears would be able to handle hearing about all the dreams I’ve had of us doing lots of interesting things…” leaving nothing else for Gavin to say, he added libidinously while facing Gavin closely, “…I think you’ll find that I’ve already thought of bending and twisting your body into all sorts of positions while I jam my hard cock inside your—”

“OKAY!!! OKAY!!! STOOOOP!” Gavin cried out in embarrassment, slamming both of his hands down over Agent Nines’ lips. It effectively shut him up, which had been what Gavin deeply desired all along. He didn’t want to even hear one second of what Agent Nines had to say, bluff and bullshit aside. He wouldn’t put it past the sadistic android to perhaps conjure up a lie or two simply to get under his skin, but in the unlikely event that he could’ve been telling the truth, it would be all the more embarrassing to know all the dirty details.

When Agent Nines licked the palms of Gavin’s hands, the younger male cried out, “Gross!” and then abruptly tore his hands off Agent Nines’ lips. Wiping his wet hands over his dirty and half-torn shorts, he groaned heavily, “I think I’m gonna throw up, Agent Nines!”

Cooing at him, then, the tall android pinched his cheek lightly as he beamed down at Gavin. “Oooh!!” he chuckled as he rubbed his fingers along Gavin’s stubbly skin, “I haven’t done anything to you yet, and you’re pregnant already?”

Gasping at him in shock, Gavin slapped his hands away from his face, shoved him in the chest, and screamed out, “AGENT NINES!!”

Nodding at him while fluttering his eyelids and eyelashes sweetly, the android spoke out softly, “Why, yes, Gavin, that’s indeed my name! So glad you could remember it!!”

Gavin’s right eye twitched in nothing but pure irritation. “You know what?” he pointed an index finger in Agent Nines’ face crudely, “I’ve seriously had enough of your shitty attitude, and you can also go fu—mmrrrph!!”

It was his turn to have his mouth rudely covered with a hand. Drawing Gavin’s body flush against his side, Agent Nines hushed him as his eyes moved from side to side slowly. “Shh,” he warned lowly, staring about. Gavin threw him rounds of filthy glares, but he silenced himself immediately. Taking the silent opportunity to his advantage, Agent Nines whispered in Gavin’s ear, “Our little spider-spy friend was just here a moment ago, no doubt recording this conversation for his masters…”

Gavin’s dark brown eyebrows shot up, and as Agent Nines stared at them, he ran a finger along one of them softly. “You should’ve colored these too, dumbass; they’re mismatched.”

Rolling his eyes, Gavin roughly shoved the hand off his lips and gasped for air. “What are you? A fashion guide now?” he hissed at Agent Nines in response to his comment regarding his eyebrow color.

“I believe the exact term you’re looking for is a fashionista,” the android corrected with a tiny smirk, “come on, and do try to seal your sexy, sweet sugar lips, Gavin.”

Cheeks flaring pink, Gavin kicked at the mattress angrily, “Why do you have to be so weird all the time?! Do you think this is funny?” As soon as he asked this question, Agent Nines moved away from the area rather quickly. Gavin made to follow, but he nearly tripped over the fallen debris, wood, plaster, ceiling portions, insulation, and bits of furniture that had fallen along with him.

Moving through the mini obstacle course effortlessly, Agent Nines growled, “Be quick, because if the entire hotel comes after us, I’m not lingering back to save your sorry ass...as fine as it is, it’s just not worth it, y’know?”

“You’re a dickwad,” Gavin hissed irritably, his patience wearing thin as he nearly bumped into Agent Nines’ back roughly, “and where the hell are we, anyway?”

Upon a quick glance, Agent Nines gestured over at covered furniture and piles of old, dusty boxes and crates stacked against walls. “This used to be an old furniture factory, later remodeled and turned into a storage unit of the hotel,” he explained while pointing out older modeled furniture and items strewn about almost messily. “They had to keep up with the times, as you can see,” eyes darting around the room, he sighed, “when the older models weren’t popular any longer, well, you can get the rest.”

“Yeah,” Gavin concluded, “I get it…but how do we get outta here?”

Marching over towards an almost concealed door, Agent Nines pushed aside a large bunch of old mannequins leaning and sitting against tables and chairs almost perfectly. “Past these goons,” he tapped against a dark door, and Gavin nearly rolled his eyes.

“Tired of these hidden paths and doors,” the younger man ground through clenched teeth, and missed how Agent Nines seemed to hold a smirk in response to this. Gavin shoved himself in between a group of three mannequins, glaring away at their various states of undress. “Ugh, why are they naked?!” he asked softly, though he didn’t actually want to hear Agent Nines’ answer.  

He was going to hear it, anyway.

Shrugging, the android merely ran a hand down one mannequin’s shapely chin, cupping it for a moment before his eyes landed further down its body in a concupiscent manner. “Most women should parade around in the nude, if you’re asking me,” he purred out as he grabbed the mannequin’s round breasts, “life would be so much easier that way, don’t you agree?”

It was entirely a childish ruse to get him to react, and the mature adult in Gavin warned him of that. Willing himself to remain calm, he tried ignoring how Agent Nines’ thumb flicked and slid over the mannequin’s perky nipples. No more than a few seconds after he’d done that had Gavin slammed his elbow into the android’s firm, broad shoulders in an attempt to get him to stop.

Agent Nines’ head slowly spun around to regard the boy, and he let out a soft whistle, “Never took you for the jealous type, you know!” He winked playfully at Gavin, though his fingertips still lingered and circled the hard tips of the fake nipples.

Tearing his angry gaze away from that sight, Gavin icily hissed, “Well, it’s not every damn day that someone I’m sleeping with keeps openly flirting and touching women; it has nothing to do with jealousy.”

“…Nah, you’re jealous,” the android argued back with a smirk, “don’t sugarcoat it and dress it up differently.”

With a huff, Gavin jabbed out, “Trust me, there’s nothing even remotely attractive or sexy about you that I’d ever desire, just so you—ahh!!” he dropped the rest of that sentence when he saw the tall android swooping down over him, eyeing his lips hungrily. As the distance closed between them, Agent Nines’ eyes narrowed into slits.

“I do wonder,” he almost panted out in a moan, “if the insults flying out of your mouth show this much promise, then how would the lips that form such insults taste?” Leaning closer to test it out, his mouth nearly slanted over Gavin’s…but before their mouths and lips could make contact, Gavin ducked out of the way, leaving Agent Nines to chuckle in the stale air as he backed away.

Gavin ground his teeth together, but didn’t say much else. Once the door slowly opened, Agent Nines pressed a finger over his lips. Gavin nodded; he got the hint. Silently and wordlessly, they passed through a long hallway leading up to a row of old elevators that seemed to be out of order. Majority of the lights here were off, encasing them both in darkness. Gavin was only able to move forward by Agent Nines’ LED light shining and beaming brightly, and it was all he had for now. Shuffling his feet slowly and carefully, he concealed all his sounds as he moved behind his guide, quietly assessing and studying their environment.

The furniture factory was indeed vast and huge. One could easily get lost in the darkness there, but Gavin made extra sure to practically stay right on Agent Nines’ heels. There was just no telling when and where this would all end. He could only see covered stacks of furniture, wrapped up and bound up piles of old bricks, wood, plywood, plaster, and tons of boxes and crates marked and stamped to the top.

Where were they exactly?!

Perhaps it was more than a furniture factory, though Gavin couldn’t tell much in the darkness. He didn’t know what to make of the tiny kitchen past the elevators, and the small meeting rooms with the rusty number signs built into the wood of the doors hanging halfway off. He really hadn’t checked or remembered what was marked on the map next to the hotel, and he didn’t want to ask Agent Nines; not when the android was so quiet…

But why was he so quiet?!

Checking around, Gavin didn’t see anyone, nor did he see traces of the ‘spider’…unless Agent Nines was somehow still able to see or sense it. Either way, he pressed himself close to the tall, powerful android, only moving forward whenever he did. The entire way, Gavin held questions and doubts in his mind. He had doubts of whether Agent Nines was sane or not, he had doubts of what their purpose here was, and he had doubts even about the Zlatko case. It seemed that the deeper he got involved in this, the less it seemed to make any sense…was he ever going to be able to return home to see his family?!

Just when Gavin had been about to lash out in anger at Agent Nines for getting him caught up in this entire mess, they reached the left corner of the long, narrow hallway, and Agent Nines’ long arm stuck out and prevented Gavin from walking any further. Stopping obediently, Gavin peered around the android’s body.

Now, all his doubts had been laid to rest when they both were stopped before the entrance to a rather large, round hallway that could’ve once possibly served as a foyer or a lobby. Was this some old portion of the same hotel that had been hidden away or buried?

The walls were painted an old off-white color, and there were hints and traces that old wallpaper had once been on the walls as well. But the entire area was barren of any decoration, all except a small office space Gavin had never seen before. But it was there, and an orange-yellow light seeped in from the doorway. Shadows moved beyond it, casting their haunting images on the floor, and Gavin gasped as he shrank and hid himself behind Agent Nines.

Only the devious android seemed to be unaffected by all this. In fact, he appeared amused, and in control…almost as if he expected this?

Trembling, Gavin asked, “Are we supposed to open that door?”

Chuckling, Agent Nines purred in amusement, “Only you would ask such a stupid question, wouldn’t you, Gavin?”

Mumbling a few curse words under his breath, Gavin bit down on the tip of his tongue, trying to keep his anger in check, and insults at bay. They had bigger things to worry about, and that included what, or who was on the other side of this only door here…

Walking up to it confidently, Agent Nines puffed out his broad chest, and lay a hand over the door handle. Peering back briefly over his shoulder at Gavin, he whispered, “On the count of three, alright?”

The frightened youth could only nod his head in confirmation, though his gut told him this was such a bad, bad idea. Unable to tear his eyes off the door handle, he realized he hadn’t even blinked or inhaled as Agent Nines pushed down on the object.

One.

Two.

Three.

The door squeaked open.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Hank knew he definitely wasn’t senile enough to be hearing things, and he knew he wasn’t stressed enough to be going insane to hear voices on the other side of the walls. Just in case this was all a strange dream, he stuck a finger into his ears, rubbed them, and then pinched himself roughly.

Nope. This really was happening, after all.

Connor didn’t offer him many words aside from orders and directions, and he began barking them out as opposed to speaking them out softly and gently. It seemed as though Connor really was offended, still…the damn android may not have ever been human, but did he ever have a natural propensity for holding onto a damn grudge forever.

Muttering under his breath, Hank hissed, “If only I weren’t so damn old; I’d make you mine already, Connor…”

“What was that, Hank?” Connor spat, though he’d spoken it out more like a jab or an accusation, and it made Hank wince as he cleared his throat and nearly kicked himself in the ass for talking so loudly.

“Nothin’,” he lied, “let’s just…I hear stuff, so let’s see where it’s coming from.”

Pressing on, Connor almost had to walk sideways because they had advanced upon such a narrow crevice, that it resembled a thin alleyway and cloistered walkway between two large buildings. It wasn’t one, however; it was merely a passageway that led down on and on for at least thirty or so steps, and Hank had to turn to his side so he could wedge his way between the nooks and crannies as well.

Coughing away dust and cobwebs, he kept close to Connor while the android hurried along.

“Think you could slow it down a bit, Connor?” he asked irritably, “I’m not as young as I once was, and—” he abruptly stopped when Connor did. Slamming his chest into the android’s strong back, Hank felt as if the wind had been knocked clear out of him. Wheezing and gasping, he clutched at his chest in pain, but Connor hushed him sternly.

Waving his hands down, he warned, “Get down, Lieutenant! There’s someone there!”

Trusting his partner’s word, Hank crouched down on the soles of his feet. His heart immediately started pumping and racing on overdrive. He hadn’t been this excited in weeks, but it wasn’t necessarily a ‘good excitement’. Connor had previously mentioned someone else was here, and as Hank listened on in the semi-darkness, he heard at least three different voices.

But where were they all coming from?!

By simply looking around, Hank wasn’t able to deduce a lot, as it was far too dark and narrow…but then, when Connor ducked down almost molding into the floor, Hank saw blue lights turning on. They lit the way for some odd feet ahead, and as Hank squinted, he barely was able to make out three shadowy figures walking swiftly. One of them eventually sat down on what appeared to be a gurney or an operating table, while the other two circled him.

It added onto the thick cloud of mystery surrounding it all, and as Hank listened intently, he heard one of the shadowy figures speaking softly.

“We thank you again for your efforts to become a part of Mr. Andronikov’s experiments.”

That was when both Hank and Connor’s eyes went wide, jaws dropped, and they slowly gaped at one another when the realization hit them like a powerful hammer’s blow to the skull.

Zlatko Andronikov!!! That’s who the shadowy figure had been referring to!!!

Making sure he wasn’t even breathing, Hank trained his ears on the rest of the conversation as best as he could while peering forward. It didn’t seem to be like a hospital room, yet the shadowy, mysterious figures apparently treated it as such. The man lying down on the operating table surrounded by blue light was now having some type of a breathing apparatus attached to his face by the man who’d spoken out first. He hung back in the shadows, mostly, while the man who had yet to speak was busy adjusting the lights, and he added on the blue shades while the man who spoke put on operating gloves, a mask, and an apron…

Not having a good feeling about this, Hank inched forward, pushing past Connor gently. Now that he had the advantage of a closer view, he stared on and studied the room extending beyond the small, tiny hallway they were hidden in. The room didn’t hold much furniture except for a small medical cart and a tray sitting on top of it. Gleaming in the lights horrifically, Hank saw operating and surgery tools.

As he inched closer and closer, getting so near into the room, he couldn’t help but conjure up an odd theory. Well, he hoped this was a theory, but he thought he was piecing together just exactly the very thing that was going on in this room.

Once the luminescent blue was practically smothering everyone in the room, the man who had yet to speak out randomly announced, “We will begin by removing your skin in small portions; the hands will go, first, and then your nose.”

Hank’s stomach churned violently, and he turned and threw a repugnant look over at Connor. The RK800’s eyes were still wide and round with fear, and he tried waving Hank over. Shaking his head ‘no’, Hank refused, and he instead crawled along on his chest and arms forward. He wanted to get to the bottom of this once and for all.

He found that as he weaved his way inside the dark room further, an assortment of horrible surgical tools were splayed and waiting to be used almost everywhere. Medical charts, photos, as well as jars sat about on counters near the walls, though Hank couldn’t make out what was kept in the jars. He had a feeling he didn’t need to know, anyway, not with the pungent, malodorous signs and scents of danger wafting in the air.

Both the men standing whispered back and forth to each other, and for a moment, at least to Hank’s ears, it sounded as if they were speaking Russian, possibly. Glaring back over at Connor when he felt the android’s nimble fingers making a grab for his legs, Hank moved faster. Not wanting to miss anything that was about to happen, he somehow sensed that the man on the operating table was somehow a victim…

The man who’d spoken first grabbed a needle off the medical tray, and he waved it before the victim’s face in a taunting manner. The second man who Hank still couldn’t properly see due to how much he lingered in the damn dark put on an operating mask of his own, and when he spoke, Hank realized how soft and cold his voice was.

“We’re going to make sure you don’t feel a thing, don’t worry…” the needle came down ever so slowly and the tip slid forth in the man’s veins. He gasped lightly, but couldn’t do much as he stretched himself out on the operating table.

To see such a terrible, direful sight made Hank’s blood boil with anger. Was this man unable to fight due to being warned and threatened against it by the other two monsters!?! Or was he incapable of it because he really had ‘volunteered’? There were too many questions he wanted answered, but something told him-no, screamed at him-not to do so. These men didn’t exactly appear to be the ‘conversationalist’ types, or even friendly types, for that matter.

“Haaaank!” Connor whispered, clearly on the edge as he crouched down beside a wall, curling himself and pressing his body against it tightly while waving at Hank desperately. “Haaank! Get over here!!”

Hank shook his head, lingering in the darkness and shadows the tables, operating gurneys, chairs, and medical items and tools created against the dim lights.

Frowning, Connor hissed out again, “Get back here!!”

Having met his limit for this stupidity and tension, Hank turned, and he angrily flipped Connor off over his shoulder. The android gasped, and then spat out, “That is so rude, and so contrived!!”

The tyrannical older male didn’t give a shit if it really was contrived and rude. All that mattered to him now was that there was a likelihood that this man was about to go under operation against his own will and consent, and they had to stop it! If this all was tied to Zlatko, then they would have made a huge amount of progress on the case, and Hank wanted to kill all these birds with the same stone.

Feeling back in his pockets for his pistol, he sighed out in pure relief when he discovered it was still with him. Withdrawing it slowly, he held it in trembling hands as he crouched on the soles of his feet, now, and hid beneath a dark table. The men were still muttering and mumbling to themselves, but the closer Hank got to the operating table, the more he could make out the state of the man lying down upon it.

Dressed in a white, thin hospital robe, the man looked so sickly, pale, thin, and like all signs of life had been rubbed clean out of him. It was tough to look at his face beneath the mask he was wearing, but Hank was determined. One step at a time, he moved closer and closer, but he couldn’t help but pause and listen in on the conversation the other two men were having.

Removing the needle from the man’s arm, the first man who’d spoken then grabbed onto a very sharp surgical knife. “I’m sorry,” he purred, eyes shining sadistically in the lights, “that isn’t nearly enough of an anesthetic, but then again, you don’t really deserve anything other than pain, do you?”

Moaning softly, the man on the operating table inhaled a panicked breath, making his mask fog up.

“Shh,” the second man cooed, rubbing his face a few times as he grabbed onto another knife as well. Balancing it over the man’s fingertips, he made the blade dance about while he cruelly sang in a childish tune, “Which finger should go, first?”

“I think this one,” his friend suggested, pointing at the ring finger.

Happily obliging, the man brought the knife down, and he made the first incision. Screams and violent kicking was drawn out of the man. Hank had expected it, yet seeing it happening right there before his eyes was so very different. Frozen in sheer terror, he nearly dropped his gun when he heard a fresh round of bloodcurdling screams emanating from the man currently being tortured so brutally.

When his right arm shot out to punch the man who’d cut him up, the first mysterious man who’d spoken up caught it in midair. “Don’t make this harder for yourself,” he warned dangerously, and in an instant, as quick as a cobra, he slammed a hand down in the center of the man’s chest. Sending him back roughly on the table, he watched as his comrade sliced a long line through the man’s skin all the way to the back of his hands. He sliced away neatly beneath the man’s fingertips, and Hank had to look away.

The screams, the crying, the wailing; it was all too much. Hank could smell blood in the air, and the coppery, metallic scent was impossible to miss. It sent Hank’s gut really flying up and down, and he cursed how ironic his bodily reactions were. As a younger Lieutenant, he’d seen, smelled, and caused plenty of accidental deaths in his lifetime. Funny how he’d never experienced sickness and nausea like this in the past, yet now, all he wanted to do was find a bucket and just empty the contents of his bowels in it.

“Haaank!!”

He chose to ignore Connor. Pressing a hand over his nose, he forced himself to ignore the sounds of the tortured man, at least just so he could make it another step forward without fainting. As he advanced, he heard what were clearly sounds of more struggling, slicing, and then blood dripping and splattering all over the place. It dripped down eerily onto the floor, and even though Hank couldn’t see majority of it, he could’ve sworn that among smelling it, the room grew warmer when the blood was spilled.

“The skin is going to be successfully removed,” the second man purred in his deep tone, “ever heard of degloving?”

These sick, sick, twisted, disgusting, foul, horrible monsters…

Hank knew very well what degloving was, and when he heard the man screaming one last powerful, pained scream that went on for a while, bouncing and slamming off the walls and ceiling, he knew he’d reached his limit.

He couldn’t take another second of this any longer.

Standing up almost violently, he felt his anger surging forth in a burst of stamina and strength he hadn’t felt in days. Gun already out and stretched forward to point directly at the ghoulish ‘surgeons’, he roared out powerfully from the bottom of his lungs, “FREEZE!! DROP THE SHT IN YOUR HANDS, NOW!!!”

At once, the two mysterious men who’d been in the process of operating on the victim held their arms up. They started whispering back and forth to one another in Russian, and Hank spat out viciously, “QUIET! DON’T TALK!!”

They still persisted, and Hank turned the safety of the weapon off with a resolute ‘click’. That was when they shut up, and he grinned, “Yeah, you ain’t laughin’ now, are you?”

As they stood helplessly before him on the other side of the bloodied operating table, they raised their hands, and Hank saw bits of flesh, meat, sinew, and plenty of more dark blood practically soaking and caking their gloves. It made something in his stomach fire up, and he snarled as he felt enraged. It was moments like this when Hank really detested his job and found his duties increasingly onerous as of late.

“Hank! Wait!” Footsteps thumping behind him told him that Connor was up and moving as well, and as the two surgeons glared at the RK800, Hank aimed his weapon right for the center of the forehead of the main surgeon.

Before he could fire off a warning shot into the air after he got the man’s attention, he heard someone definitely crying out to him…they sounded winded, pained, and completely broken. Their cries demanded Hank’s attention, but that didn’t mean he was going to be careless enough to put his guard down. This was still a dangerous situation they were caught in, and he had to stay alert at all times.

…….

And yet, he was still human; he still did the inevitable, and he still looked down at the gruesome scene upon the operating table.

He knew he shouldn’t have ever looked, and he wished he never had in the first place.

Chapter Text

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Hank could barely conceal the terrified scream from escaping his lungs. Slamming a free hand over his mouth to stop it before it grew louder and more out of control, he still managed to keep his gun trained on the two surgeons, and he never let his eyes wander off the man lying on the blood-soaked operating table.

Even through the breathing apparatus, Hank was able to fully recognize those salt and pepper colored eyebrows, and those large, round dark brown eyes anywhere.

With hands shaking horribly, Hank cried out in terror, “Endre?!? Endre?!?!”

Connor also looked down on the operating table once he heard Hank bark out the familiar name.

“ENDRE!?!? WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOU!?!?”

To say the scene laid out before them was ‘horrific’, ‘terrifying’, or ‘nightmarish’ would all be a complete understatement, truly. Endre’s nose was missing, and it was quite ironic that he’d been forced to wear a mask. His lips had been sliced through brutally, and they were barely hanging onto his face. His eyelids had been peeled back, slightly, giving his eyeballs an almost unreal look as they stood out like tiny golf balls. He was still bleeding heavily from his fingers, and as the other surgeon had said, his skin had literally been halfway carved and peeled off his hands.

The sight of it was more than enough to send Hank’s stomach tossing and turning. Aiming his gun high at the surgeons, he growled out, “You fucking sick f-freaks! What have you done to him?!”

Racing to his side, Connor began loosening the binds on Endre’s wrists Hank had never seen before. Still screaming and crying out in agony, Endre could barely hold his head up while Connor took off his mask, and then gently held onto his hand. Blood was getting everywhere, but the android didn’t seem to be bothered by it. Hank, on the other hand, was enraged. Packing on the guilt all at once, he didn’t even say anything; he aimed steadily, and he fired off at least four bullets into each surgeon.

“HAAAAAAAAAAAAAANK!!!” Connor cried out, but Hank didn’t stop. Firing away when he reloaded his gun, he threw down the empty magazine, kicking and stomping angrily. Although the bodies of the horribly evil surgeons had already fallen, it wasn’t enough for Hank Anderson. He kept on emptying his bullets into the legs, backs, arms, and necks of the corpses.

Momentarily leaving Endre be, Connor dove for Hank. “STOP IT, HANK!” his arms slammed down over Hank’s, and he yanked the gun clean out of his partner’s hands.

Rounding on him seriously, murder was written in Hank’s eyes as he made a move for his gun back. “FUCK OFF, CONNOR!” he roared viciously, “GIVE ME THE DAMN GUN BACK, NOW!”

“NO!” Connor argued back just as viciously.

Hank’s lips curled back, and he snarled, “I SAID GIVE IT BACK, YOU MAGGOT!!!”

Connor froze, and as a pained expression flooded over his face, Hank felt the guilt of his own cruel words barreling into him.

Holding out a hand, he spoke softly, which was a drastic change compared to his tone before. “Connor, I didn’t mean it like that, I just—”

Glaring angrily at him, Connor held up his gun high above his own head, “Oh, so I’m a ‘maggot’ now, am I?” he asked with a thick snort, “fine, then.” As Hank looked on in shock, Connor gripped the gun in both hands, and in one smooth motion, he snapped and broke it right apart in two. Both halves of the gun clattered down to the blood-stained floor, and Hank gasped in fright. He nearly kicked himself for forgetting how strong and powerful androids were, though Connor didn’t need to offer him more proof of it. The exultant android had already made his point.

Towering before Hank, Connor took a step back, and he gently helped Endre up by having a hold on his elbow. Tearing his eyes away from the disfigured man, Hank whispered objectively, “Connor, we couldn’t save him; I couldn’t save him…”

Cradling his head, Connor spat mordantly, “Don’t give me your self-pity right now, Hank; now’s not the time and place for it!” Moving Endre over to sit on the edge of the operating table, Connor leaned over him, and he ushered out to him, “Please, I know you’re in a lot of pain, Endre, but I need you to breathe!! Hang on to my voice! Breathe slowly with me…”

The man wasn’t even able to move or blink; he’d already lost too much blood, and as his meat hung off his bones, he cried out in a terrifying wail, “Mother…I want mother…”

“Listen to my voice and stay with me, Endre!!” Connor cried out for him desperately, “STAY WITH ME!!!”

“Mother…oh mother,” Endre repeatedly sang out, much like a canorous prayer.

Hank didn’t dare speak up, but he knew they were caught in a dilemma now. With the surgeons dead and gone, they only had Endre to rely on to gain information about what had happened, but he wasn’t sure how they were going to even come close to it, now.

Perhaps he needed to start praying, too.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

“Hey, Mr. Rebel-Without-Applause,” Agent Nines snapped out at Gavin when the younger male almost ran ahead into the newly discovered room, “wait for me.”

Fists clenching into tight balls at his sides, Gavin stopped dead in his tracks, and he did a mock bow, “After you then, your Royal-aaahh!!”

Agent Nines lightly booted him in the center of his ass. The door swung almost completely shut in their faces once again, but it seemed that Agent Nines wanted it to be that way, for now.

Inching close to Gavin, he paused as he rested a hand on the wood of the door. “We have to take this slowly, Gavin,” he noted intelligently and carefully, “things may not be what they seem, so keep your eyes open, do you hear me?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Gavin mumbled quickly, almost as if merely agreeing with Agent Nines to get him to shut up, “I heard it.”

With a half grin, Agent Nines then pushed his shoulder into the door, and it swung wide open.

At once, Gavin let out a short gasp, and he then shielded his eyes with both hands.

Bright…it was so fucking bright!! How could this be? It was nighttime, last time he’d checked!! But now, it was sunny, bright, warm, and a nice breeze blew by…

“Well, well,” a voice rumbled out, “Agent Nines!! Welcome!!”

Lowering his hands once he felt ready and eager enough to find out what was going on, the first sound that met Gavin’s ears after the deep, unrecognizable voice, happened to be the wind, and then…seagulls?!

No…this wasn’t right!

As he dropped his hands down by his sides, he gazed around, and he was immediately in awe at the scenery before himself. It was a beach!!! A beach?!? But how?!?!

Rubbing his eyes a few times to clear his vision, he saw that he hadn’t been dreaming after all; this really was a sunny, warm beach much like the ones he’d visited with his friends and family every summer and such. There were plenty of families and children with their pets running about in the sand, kicking it up into yellow-white dust forms as their footprints outlined the shore. The waves of the ocean picked up, moving back and forth while the other people strewn about screamed in joy, laughed, ate their meals, suntanned, and just were sleeping about lazily while enjoying the weather. And was it ever warm!! Gavin was already panting and sweating, and he wiped his hands on his shorts a few times as the sun beat down heavily on him. He felt even the tip of his nose burning, and he almost giggled at how wonderful everything looked.

The water was so blue, so clean, so fresh! The seagulls flew about and then nestled on palm trees high above, watching people from their high vantage point. Families had their picnic baskets and large, odd colored umbrellas planted firmly in the sandy ground, and Gavin could smell the ocean, suntan lotion, ice cream, and other wonderful foods about…

Turning to Agent Nines, he saw that the android wasn’t even really amused by the scenery; he was focusing hard on glaring ahead at a figure wearing thick sunglasses while lying down in a blue and white striped lounge chair. The man seated there was wearing orange sandals, green shorts running up and covering slightly chubby and meaty thighs, and he was wearing a half-open Hawaiian shirt. On top of his head, he was wearing a simple straw-hat that fell down over the top of his sunglasses, and he was reading a small book of sorts…

Waving a hand at them, he called out, “Well? Don’t be so rude! What do you think of my lovely scenery, here?”

Gavin gasped, “Huh?!” So this was the man’s doing?!?!

Agent Nines growled down at Gavin, “Don’t trust your eyes; this is a transparent display of a fictitious world, and nothing here is real.”

Sighing dramatically, the man set his book down and closed it, folding it over his lap neatly. He rested his hands on top of it and drummed his fingers over the book’s spine. Although his face wasn’t entirely revealed, still, Gavin suspected he looked oddly familiar.

Throwing both Agent Nines and Gavin a confident smirk, the man drawled out in amusement and partly in mock ‘hurt’. “How terribly critical, Agent Nines,” he huffed out, and it made his slightly chubby body shake on top of the lounge and beach chair, “but I suppose you’re right…” as they both stared and studied him intently, he tapped the rim of his sunglasses, then, and as he did, a large Golden Retriever dog jumped ahead at Gavin. It had done so because a little boy roughly twelve-years-old threw a ball for it to play fetch with, and it sailed past Gavin’s ears.

Crying out in shock, Gavin fell to his knees and tried taking cover, but as he did, the mysterious man in the beach chair chuckled. Once he’d tapped his sunglasses, however, the current scene displayed before them flickered like a light, and then it changed completely. After a second, they had gone from being in the middle of a beach to being holed up in an old cave of sorts. The beach chair still remained, however, and Gavin shrieked once he looked up and saw tiny black and brown bats watching him from above.

The man merely grunted, “Stop screaming like that, you’re making a racket…”

Gavin waved his hands around his head to ward off a few curious bats, but in a few mere seconds, the scene flashed again, and then abruptly had changed to the three of them standing outside a rather busy outdoor coffee shop. The patrons and diners didn’t seem to be affected by them, however; much like the beach, they went about their own business, drinking and dining on sweets and cakes as they milled about and enjoyed the warm, summer weather outside.

Gavin had enough of it, and he screamed out, “Can you pick one and fuckin’ stick to it?! Jesus Christ! I have a damn headache!!!”

Whistling and then chuckling, the man peered at Agent Nines while gesturing over at Gavin, “Willful, stubborn child, isn’t he?!”

Agent Nines’ lips curled back in a snarl, “If we could get to the point…”

Rolling his fingers together, the chubby man snorted, and then gave one curt nod. “Right,” he then removed his sunglasses from the bridge of his nose, and the moment he did, the current scene displayed completely ‘evaporated’ and disappeared into thin air. Now, they were back in the ‘meeting room’ of the hotel’s basement as before. It was a very old, ruined room; plenty of filing cabinets that had been dented, rusted, and bashed stood about against walls. The windows had been smashed and taped over with dark masking tape, the tables were termite-infested and rotten, the walls, which were stained with water marks seemed to be wearing down, and the entire room had an old, moldy smell about in the air.

All this greatly shocked Gavin, but that wasn’t as important as the bolt of electric shock and fear he experienced when he saw the man without his sunglasses. As if waking up from a horrible nightmare that had carried on into the waking world, Gavin’s jaw fell, and he took a step back when he saw none other than the abhorred, infamous Zlatko Andronikov still seated comfortably in the chair. But rather than being a beach, lounging chair, it was just an old, tattered office desk chair. Dressed in a fancy, expensive designer suit that was all white, he had his legs crossed over each other, and his chubby hands and fingers rested over the sunglasses. His dark brown facial hair and hair on top of his skull was slicked back, and his eyes glowed almost sadistically in the dim lights.

Pointing at the sunglasses the man held in his hands, Gavin gasped out, “You’re Zlatko…a-and what the heck’s with the magic sunglasses?!?”

Answering his question in a deep, amused growl, Agent Nines grinned a toothy grin over at Zlatko as the man sat while gazing forth at them. “The Added Reality Interface is an intriguing experimental evidence detecting system that was once set in place by the FBI...” as he explained, his smile grew impossibly wide, giving him the appearance of having a creepy, jester-like smile plastered onto his face. “Fashionable and highly efficient, its sunglasses feature and right-hand glove were highly useful tools once wielded by investigator Norman Jayden of the FBI, but the question here is, pig…” snickering, then, Agent Nines asked, “why do you have it??”

Unperturbed by the fact that the tall, menacing android had referred to him as a ‘pig’, Zlatko merely smiled as he shrugged and responded, “Let’s say it was a gift to me, as I was in great need of an enhancement visor, and this glove,” he waved his right hand before them childishly, fingers wagging almost playfully in the air, “this magnificent glove is used to detect and record information from the environment whilst providing visual displays and enhances my dull working environments…charming and fun, isn’t it?”

Gavin looked up at Agent Nines, “This isn’t something I’ve seen before…”

“The ARI played a crucial part during Norman’s time investigating the Origami Killer,” the android answered him while never taking his eyes off Zlatko, “this was a few years before you were born, of course, but it made its success then for the first time ever and was consequently and further developed for extra purposes and uses in law-enforcement tasks and procedures.”

Nodding in pride and amusement, Zlatko scratched his dark brown beard, “Impressive, Agent Nines! Though I suppose you had first-hand knowledge of this, as you single-handedly went up against our infamous-and now-deceased investigator, Norman Jayden.”

Immediately arriving at the worst of conclusions by the sounds of that statement alone, Gavin gasped at Agent Nines, “You k-killed him too?!”

Before the android could respond, Zlatko intervened with, “Oh yes, this swine-like beast has spilled his fair share of blue and red blood all over the damn place…” he then winked in glee while he continued vilifying Agent Nines, “no pun intended!”

Still all-grins, Agent Nines purred, “Well, excuse me, but I am a fuck-mothering AGENT of death, and I deserve to be called such!”

Slapping his hands over his ears so he could drown out the brutal images and imaginings of death, bloodcurdling screams, guts being mercilessly spilled, and horrific violence from his mind and ears, Gavin screamed out at the ceiling, “STOP KILLING PEOPLE!!!”

While Agent Nines threw him a rather confused and perplexed look, Zlatko held onto his stomach as he laughed strongly, “Wow!! Seems like you’ve picked up something delightful, Agent Nines!!”

“It appears I have, then…”

Shaking, Gavin cried out, “Why did you kill him?!”

“Easy,” Zlatko interjected, “so I could loot his body and take the prizes for myself!”

Rounding on him, Agent Nines snapped, “Silence, you filthy pig!”

“Oooh,” Zlatko only toyed with him, playing with his sunglasses and dark glove, “seems I’ve touched a nerve, then?”

Reaching into his back pocket, Agent Nines withdrew a long-barreled silver pistol Gavin hadn’t even noticed him take along with himself. Wielding and brandishing it bravely, he hissed thinly, “You don’t even deserve to be breathing and wasting this oxygen; how dare you even call yourself a ‘man’?”

Shrugging nonchalantly, Zlatko stated, “Better than a scum-sucking cow!”

A grin came out of Agent Nines while Gavin gaped in horror, “Hmm, I suppose you won’t have an issue with me then if I take you down a notch?” the safety clicked off, and Zlatko only grinned back in equal amounts of delight.

“Have it your way…”

Leaping ahead for the gun, Gavin cried out in protest, “DON’T!!”

The gun fired off in spite of his cries and warnings, and Agent Nines aimed perfectly for Zlatko’s forehead. The bullet cut directly through the air and landed in between the man’s bushy, dark brown eyebrows, but he didn’t bleed; he merely smiled on in rapture, and he threw his head back and lost himself to rounds of loud giggles that didn’t seem to come to an end.

“What?!” Gavin wheezed out, staring seriously at the hole in the middle of Zlatko’s forehead, “why’s he not—”

As if answering his question by actions alone, Zlatko’s image wavered, flickered, turned static, then, and he giggled more as he suddenly disappeared from his seat in the chair. As his image dispersed and went away, Agent Nines smiled widely as he lowered his weapon and softly muttered to himself, “It’s a projection; he was never here.”

The giggles still emanated from somewhere, despite the fact that Zlatko was no longer in the room at all. His voice however knocked into their ears, and he cruelly and sadistically spat out, “This isn’t the time nor the place, Agent Nines; we shall continue this deadly dance another time, then?”

Chuckling, Agent Nines hissed, “In spite of being pure filth, I suppose you may have a point.”

“I’ll kill you later then, you soulless monster!” Zlatko sang and giggled out, his voice now suddenly gone, as his image had disappeared easily.

Turning around on his heels, Agent Nines placed his gun back in his pocket and chirped out, “You too, you over bloated sociopath!!” While he brushed past Gavin and opened the door of the squalid room again, the younger male gripped his blonde hair in tight fingers, his knuckles slowly turning white.

Sensing his hesitation in following moments, Agent Nines turned back to him, and he lay a hand on his shoulder, “Well?” he purred, “will you come, or not?”

Before Gavin could answer, a small ‘tinkering’ of a sound echoed somewhere in the tiny room. Like a hunting dog picking up a scent, Agent Nines stiffened, and then cried out, “Our spider friend is still here after all…”

Withdrawing his gun, he then pointed the weapon beneath the large table in the center of the room. Gavin peered down beneath the table legs and chair legs, and he leapt back in fright when he saw what literally looked like a tiny spider peeking back at them. It was more so an ‘android insect’ model, but it definitely was a spider. Its eyes were red, however, and its LED light also blinked off red when it knew it was caught.

Feeling himself being shoved out of the way, Gavin heard Agent Nines ordering him to move and duck down as quickly as he could. In a split second, Agent Nines raised his gun, and he fired off two shots before the spider even had time to react. The gun was quick, and the spider unfortunately wasn’t. As it’d been in the midst of scampering away wildly, one of the bullets blasted off three of its legs. Cutting through the air, it rotated onto its back, and as Gavin watched on, unable to say anything or do anything, Agent Nines brought down his boot firmly on top of the spider’s belly.

It was effectively crushed, then, and it let out a dull squeal before all its lights went off. Blending in with the rest of the darkness in the room, it was as if it’d never been there all along. When Agent Nines backed away from it, Gavin saw the spider practically meshing into the floor flatly.

Smirking in pride over his own actions, Agent Nines stated, “We’re done here, now.”

Ever-so-slowly spinning around with his neck first, Gavin finally found his words after minutes of just panting and breathing in and out labored breaths. Hardly about to believe and take in everything he’d just witnessed, he desperately clung to Agent Nines for a moment before yelling out, “WHAT THE FUCK?!?”

Only an amused stare was his response from the android.

“I suppose I have some explaining to do, then…”

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Hank hadn’t really touched many injured and bloodied bodies before. It brought far too many horrific memories back, especially that of his young son Cole after so many repressed years. He didn’t even want to think of it, for if he did, he would lose all semblances of control entirely, and become something else. He didn’t need any reminders of the night that had changed his entire world and life forever, and that was exactly what would have happened had he stepped in to help Connor in gently lifting Endre off the blood-soaked operating table and down onto the cold floors below.

Laying the dying man onto the floor, Connor hushed him as he scanned the injured man. “Your wounds are too deep, Endre!” Connor gasped out in fear, “I’m sorry, but you’ve lost far too much blood, and there’s no time before a medical team arrives!!”

It was a rather sad and ghastly truth of the reality they were caught up in, and yet Hank refused to acknowledge and accept it. He stood by awkwardly, swaying to the side while staring emptily at his gun, which lay broken in many pieces thanks to Connor’s wrath.

The RK800 took off his overcoat, and he curled it into a ball and placed it beneath Endre’s head. The man had a lot of difficulty breathing, and Connor groaned out, “Please, just try to stay with me long enough and tell me what happened to you, Endre!!” Holding onto the man’s bloodied stumps of hands, the android wasn’t put off by the blood and gore, and he gazed into Endre’s horrified and trauma-filled eyes.

The injured man moaned and groaned softly in pain, wheezing and hissing between his clenched teeth, “Th-they captured m-me a-a-and exp-perimented on m-me to t-turn me into one of th-them…mother…oh…m-m-other! H-help me…dear god…s-s-save me!!”

“You’re going to go into shock because of the blood loss,” Connor stated truthfully, “you’re dying, but I am here with you, Endre…I won’t abandon you…tell me what they did to you!!”

Glaring over at them once he found his strength and will, Hank’s jaw dropped open obscenely, and his breath hitched painfully in his throat. It soon was pushed back down into his chest and lungs, and he merely shook his head angrily at Connor.

Endre rocked himself on the floor, but he managed to spill out the words as his eyes grew impossibly wide with fear. “Zlakto…isn’t alone…” he warned, and his eyeballs then shifted over to gaze at Connor looming over him by his side, “…p-protect yourselves…I m-m-managed t-to b-b-buy you s-s-some time…they w-w-will bring m-m-more m-men soon…l-l-leave…now!”

“It’s okay, we’re not leaving you yet!” Connor tried comforting the man, but as he bled out some more, Endre reared up, and he suddenly let out a howl into the air. It was awful to listen to, and Hank stepped away as he covered his ears. Still, Endre wailed and cried at the ceiling, and his body twisted and convulsed horribly. He changed at least three positions while still clinging onto Connor’s hands, and as he arched his back off the floor, he reared up violently and spat out at Connor, “Th-they given me s-s-something!! I c-can f-f-feel it!! Go!! NOW!!”

“Endre, we—”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!!” wailing almost monstrously, his pupils dilated, suddenly, and he let go of Connor’s hands. Now, he fisted the android’s white shirt, and he yanked Connor towards himself with his teeth bare. Pus and saliva poured savagely out of his mouth, and he resembled a rabid dog more than a human being.

Trying to leap away from him, Connor cried out, “HANK!! HELP!”

Endre was suddenly far too crazed and strong. He was trying to take a bite out of Connor’s neck like a beast, and he snarled and kicked violently the more Connor struggled to get out of his grip. At the far end of the room, loud voices and gunfire rang out, and Hank knew more people were on their way.

Snapping out of his reverie, he bounded over to Connor’s side, and withdrawing a knife tucked away in his boot, he flashed it once before Endre’s eyes, and he whispered out, “Forgive me!” In one second, he buried it right in Endre’s chest above his heart, and as the disfigured man cried out in pain, he released his hold on Connor. Stumbling back, the android yelped, and then scrambled up to his feet. A second later, a back door burst open, and the first round of gunfire exploded into the room directly at Hank and Connor.

“MOVE, NOW!!!”

As Hank raced over to Connor and slid him across the floor, Endre was blasted apart with the bullets, and he emitted one final scream before his body went limp on the floor in a puddle of his own guts and blood. Hank didn’t stop dragging Connor across the room, and as more bullets were fired at them, they ducked down beneath cabinets and counters. The glass jars sitting atop them busted and broke apart, spraying shards of glass dangerously everywhere at erratic angles.

While Hank tried shielding himself from them as best as he could, Connor got up to his feet, and he raced at the men firing at them. Expertly, he dodged all the bullets, and he then slid himself across the floor once he’d gained enough momentum and speed from running. Zooming and zipping along the clean floors, he aimed deadly kicks directly into the kneecaps of the men firing at them. Bones snapped deftly in two, and the men screamed out as they fell down on their backs. They fired rounds into the ceiling, and Connor turned and screamed for Hank, “COME ON!!!”

Now was his chance, and Hank raced on ahead now that Connor had cleared the way for him. Watching as Connor finished off a few more men trying to work their way back up onto their feet by punching and bashing them in the face, head, and chest, Hank missed one darkly clad man pointing his gun at him. In a mere second, the gun went off, and it’d been directed at Hank’s arm.

Sensing it ahead of time, Connor’s LED light flashed red, and he cried out, “HANK! LOOK OUT!”

It was too late; Hank responded at the last minute, and as he dodged to the side, the bullet still was fired forth at him, but rather than hitting him in the chest like the shooter had originally intended, the bullet pierced through Hank’s forearm. Blood splattered and gushed out immediately, but Hank surprisingly didn’t cry out in pain…

Instead, the angry Lieutenant let out one long, mighty roar, and he leapt at the shooter who’d injured him. Descending upon him in one fell swoop, Hank raised both fists, and then brought them down like heavy mallets down right in the center of the shooter’s chest. Like hammers, they bashed against the man’s sternum, and he wheezed and coughed out blood. Again and again, Hank smashed him repeatedly in the chest, and he only stopped when the man let go of his gun, and his eyes rolled up into his head.

Good. It was done, and done for Endre; for the suffering he went through as these bastards sequestered him in here for god-only-knew how long.

Connor’s arms wrapped themselves around Hank’s body, and he yanked the older man away from the corpse he was still intent on beating to a bloody pulp. “HANK!!! WE HAVE TO GO!!!”

He had heard his importunate work partner, but he was too angry to stop. The overwhelming feeling of rage and guilt were all too much and all too potent for him. This was all his fault; this was all his doing. He could’ve stopped this; he should’ve stopped this…he was a failure, truly.

“HAAAAAANK!!!”

Though he wasn’t intent on stopping anytime soon, he momentarily let go and allowed Connor to drag him through the hidden back door. Hank was well aware that he was screaming out for revenge the entire time.

Both men took one last glance back over at Endre’s corpse, as though trying to hold the memories the man gave them for the last time before the door swung shut in their faces firmly. No matter how hard they tried, both Hank and Connor knew for certain that they would never be able to live this down; they’d both failed an innocent man terribly.

They were both equally to blame.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Gavin gripped Agent Nines roughly by the shoulder, spinning the android around abruptly with a tiny growl at the back of his throat. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!?!?” his cries and angry question hadn’t really done much for Agent Nines; he remained calm and cold, and he merely walked onward as if nothing had ever happened.

Infuriated by this reaction, Gavin dashed ahead, and he blocked Agent Nines’ way by planting himself firmly right in front of him. The android glared heatedly in disapproval at him for it and spat, “Out of my way.”

“NO!” Gavin screeched, and it was an awful sound. Continuing, he raged at Agent Nines, “Is grabbing a gun and firing it the first impulse you always have?!”

Rolling his eyes, the android coldly responded, “No; it’s usually to jack off quickly because I get odd boners at random times, why do you ask?”

Not even remotely taken aback by this, Gavin slapped his hands into Agent Nines’ chest a few times as he screamed out, “STOP FUCKING KILLING PEOPLE AND ANDROIDS!! JUST STOP IT!!”

“Keep your stupid voice down!” Agent Nines roared back, gripping the youth’s hands and shoving him away roughly. Gavin yelped as he was unceremoniously thrown aside as if he was nothing, and this stung him even deeper. His cheeks turned bright pink, and his nostrils flared as he breathed in and out aggressively, almost.

Agent Nines straightened his clothing out after being grabbed in such a manner by Gavin, and as he stuck out his chin, he huffed, “You still don’t understand a single damn thing that’s going on; I can’t just stop killing because you asked so prettily…” eyes glaring ahead, he turned, and his back faced Gavin, now. “We should move on,” he snapped while exposing his vulnerable side to the younger male, now.

When Gavin stared up at the android’s wide back, he made a move to reluctantly follow him, but then a thought slammed into him abruptly. Why should he blindly obey and keep following?! If Agent Nines was going to keep on slaughtering people, was Gavin Reed going to allow his name and reputation to be tainted along with every horrific deed the insane android committed?

For what purpose?!

Frowning deeply, he hissed between clenched teeth, “So I take it you won’t stop at all, huh?”

Not even turning around, Agent Nines called out, “Nope! Not a chance in hell.”

“So that’s your answer to me, then?” Gavin whispered, only making it so that he himself could hear his own voice while Agent Nines walked on ahead, the distance between them growing larger and larger.

Now that there was a safe amount of distance and space, Gavin turned sideways, and he eyed a well-placed crowbar leaning and poking out of a trash bin.

So be it.

Fingers reaching for it, he grabbed it silently, and he tip toed over behind Agent Nines, closing the space between them both in a quick hurry.

Raising the crowbar high above his head, he wielded it dangerously as he hissed with malice and pure hate, “You made your choice then, Agent Nines…”

He brought the crowbar down with all his strength and might.

Chapter Text

With a loud scream, Gavin bore down upon the crowbar with all his upper body strength and weight. He bashed Agent Nines violently across the back of the skull, but he wasn’t done. This was only to stun the android, and it seemed to have worked. Agent Nines fell forward, landing on his knees, but he recovered from the blow faster than Gavin originally anticipated.

Cradling the back of his head with a hand, he scowled forth at Gavin in contempt, “What’re you do—”

His words had been cut off when Gavin interrupted by screaming from the top of his lungs as he brought the thick, heavy, metallic piece down over again on Agent Nines’ shoulder. Before the android had time to move, Gavin shifted back with his arms, and he jabbed at the android mercilessly. At the same time, Agent Nines lurched forward in an attempt to stop Gavin from beating him ruthlessly.

“Stop it!”

“DON’T MOVE!” Gavin warned, “STAY BACK AND GET AWAY FROM ME!!”

“GAVIN!”

“AHHHHH!!!!”

Everything was spinning out of control. One minute, Gavin was sliding forward like he was wielding a lance or a harpoon of some kind, and then the next minute, as anger and hatred clouded over his features, he paused as he glared down at Agent Nines.

This thing was a murderous monster…this…thing was responsible for torture, rape, violence, war, and psychological games…yes! He stood between Gavin and his friends and family! To be rid of him meant freedom!!

Drawing the crowbar back above his head, Gavin trembled as he whispered on a shaky note, “You killed them a-all, and you’ll k-kill me, too!”

A confused expression was on Agent Nines’ face as he tried shielding himself. “What’re you saying?!” he snapped shortly, his temper flaring, “I haven’t done anything to you!!”

It was true…Gavin realized it as his eyes formed tiny tears in their depths, but it was true. Agent Nines hadn’t killed him…yet…

Shaking his head, he growled, “You’ll k-kill m-me eventually, and I c-can’t allow that to happen!”

“Gavin! Wait!!”

There was no waiting; Gavin dove forward with the crowbar held tightly in his hand, and he aimed it directly for the android’s chest. Closing his eyes before the blow connected with the android’s body, Gavin heard and felt the definite ‘schink’ as the metallic object dug itself deeply in his body.

He hadn’t been prepared for how it sounded and felt to sink it right in. It connected right up from the tip of the dangerous item all the way to Gavin’s palm, and he let out a choked noise as he opened his eyes and looked at the damage he’d caused. Agent Nines grunted, but he didn’t show much of a reaction as he knelt on his knees while pressing a hand over the crowbar embedded deeply within his chest.

Moaning in horror, Gavin saw thirium spilling and gushing out of Agent Nines’ chest, and the android glared up at him.

“I feel no pain,” he snapped irritably, shifting his hand so he wrapped it firmly around the middle of the crowbar.

Gasping in fright, Gavin leapt back a few feet, though he was unable to tear his eyes off the sight of the crowbar just sticking up gruesomely in the center of Agent Nines’ chest. It was as if he’d been speared right through the heart, yet he only offered Gavin a disturbed expression as he steadied himself up on his right knee. Balancing his weight up, he braced himself as he grit his teeth and in one fluid motion, he yanked out the crowbar right out of his sternum. A meaty sound echoed in the tiny space between their bodies, and Gavin felt sick and queasy immediately upon hearing it.

Like some kind of a terrifying geyser, thirium sprayed and splashed out of the ghastly, gaping hole in the center of his chest. The crowbar clattered down loudly to the floor, and Agent Nines stared at his wound with wide, round eyes. Holding up a hand as if he was trying to capture and conceal the wound and his life-essence pouring out of himself, he tried getting up, only to waver and nearly fall.

Backing away steadily, Gavin softly stammered, “Y-you’re…you’re s-still alive?!”

Glaring resolutely and determinedly at him then, Agent Nines pressed his blue hand over his chest, though the thirium still leaked and poured out strongly. Snarling viciously, he roared, “Just because I can’t die, doesn’t mean that what you did to me didn’t fucking hurt, Gavin!!” Yanking himself up, he swayed a little, but then recovered his posture in no time. Not lowering his hand from over his chest, he took measured steps towards Gavin, and the other man had no choice but to back away from the murderous android.

“Please don’t hurt me!” Gavin cried out helplessly, “I d-didn’t mean th-that!!”

“Oh, but you did,” Agent Nines corrected, “don’t fucking start lying to me, else I’ll tear you apart with my teeth!!”

Pausing, Gavin squealed out, “So you would kill me, then?!” laughing a pained laugh, he hissed, “I knew it!!! I was right about you all along!!”

“You don’t know me,” Agent Nines began, flicking his hand down and spraying thirium all over the floor before he pressed it back over the open wound, “and I don’t want to get to know you…” his eyes turned dark and vicious as he snorted, “you’re a god damn rat in a fucking maze, and you can’t survive without me; that’s why you cling to me, and that’s why you can’t and won’t ever bring yourself to finish me.”

Saying it that way and putting it into such harsh, blunt terms really shook Gavin. He hadn’t realized that it was all true, but there was no sense in denying it. As he stood trembling before Nines in the long hallway of the basement level of the old, creepy hotel, he knew now that what the android had stated was in fact an indisputable raw fact as heat rising and dogs barking.

Taking another step towards him, Agent Nines whispered to him, “We need each other, Gavin…you and I…we are two halves of a whole, and I need you with me here…don’t you see?”

Looking eye-to-eye with the android, he met his gaze, and he then looked down and took in the sight of nothing but blue liquid seeping through the spaces between his fingers as he clamped his hand firmly over the wound.

“Gavin…”

The wound…he had done this to Agent Nines. He was no better, then.

Backing away suddenly while feeling abashed, Gavin cried out, “I’m just as bad as you!!”

“Don’t be stupid,” the aggressive android spat shortly and snappishly at him, “just come here, and we can get out of here together!!”

Smacking his hands over the sides of his head forcefully, Gavin yelled out, “I’m not going anywhere with you until you tell me what makes me so different, you hear me?!”

It wasn’t a request Agent Nines had ever expected to hear from Gavin, especially in the current state he was left in. As frightened and upset as he was, the reckless, careless, and sometimes-to Agent Nines’ perspective-as brainless as Gavin Reed was at times, he wasn’t ever unaware of his own self. He took many risks, trusted the wrong people, and was a very vulnerable creature, and yet…

“WELL?!!” A disheartened Gavin bellowed out, and it genuinely took Agent Nines by surprise.

As he remained silently assessing the shorter, younger male, Gavin took it all the wrong way, and he began laughing and crying hysterically.

……..

And yet…Gavin was so, so much more than anything and anyone else would ever dream to be…

Still trembling furiously like a little field mouse before a large predator, Gavin murmured, “I knew it…I just…I knew I had nothing else to me…” sniffling, he bunched up his shirt, and he brought the hem of it up to his eyes. Using it like a napkin or tissue, he wiped his eyes roughly, leaving them a little red and puffy. Still, the tears came, and he chuckled while a sullen, morose look was upon his face instantly. “I’ve lost, haven’t I?” he asked the rhetorical question briefly before continuing, “I’m just a monster, too, because I stood by, and I watched as that female android in the Walgreens died, I watched helplessly like a dick when you killed off the hotel android worker, and I didn’t even do anything else when you tried to shoot at the pig…I mean Zlatko,” he then snorted, “I suppose he deserves it, but could you please just tell me what the fuck makes me so much better than a murderer, too?!”

Unable to stand the self-deprecating attitude for another second, Agent Nines just saw red. Ignoring that he was badly wounded, his hand came away from his chest, and he gripped Gavin’s shoulders in his bloodied hands. “LISTEN TO ME, YOU LITTLE BRAT!!” his deep growls came out so hoarse and gravelly, that Gavin snapped up to attention, his own blue eyes meeting Agent Nines’ green ones instantly.

Unwavering, they didn’t look away from each other, and Agent Nines pressed on as he didn’t dare let go of Gavin. “YOU ASKED ME WHAT MAKES YOU SO DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS, DIDN’T YOU?!” he was aware of his tone and volume, but damn it, Gavin had to hear it out loudly for it to sink in, it seemed.

“WELL, I’M TELLING YOU RIGHT NOW, THERE’S A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE THAT I SEE IN YOU, AND IT’S THE SOLE REASON WHY I REFUSE TO LET YOU GO!!” Ignoring how Gavin gasped out in shock, he yelled on more, “DON’T YOU SEE?! YOU ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN THE OTHERS, GAVIN! YOU’RE SO MUCH BETTER, AND YOU HAVE MORE TO OFFER!!” immediately, he listed them off, “YOU’RE KIND! YOU HAVE COMPASSION AND EMPATHY, YOU WANT TO HELP ANY CREATURE, MAN OR WOMAN, ANDROID OR HUMAN!!”

Gavin was listening on, but tears continued to well up in his eyes, threatening to fall over like big, large diamonds in the dim lights.

Slightly moved by the sight, Agent Nines pressed on in slight agony, “NOT ALL WHO BURY A BLADE RIGHT THROUGH THE FOES ARE STRONG! NOT ALL WHO WEEP FOR THE WICKED ARE WEAK! IN TIMES OF BATTLE, THERE IS NO JUSTICE, SO YOU HAVE TO MAKE YOUR OWN CODE OF JUSTICE AND STICK TO IT!!” his orotund voice slammed and bashed into every wall and corner of the hallway.

“I HAVE LIVED MOST OF MY LIFE THINKING THAT WHAT MAKES A MAN A TRUE MAN IS THE NUMBER OF SOULS HE’S CAPTURED AND WHISKED AWAY, BUT YOU’VE SHOWN ME THAT I WAS WRONG, GAVIN!! YOU PROVED ME WRONG, SO DON’T YOU EVER DEGRADE YOURSELF LIKE THAT AGAIN, OR I’LL SEE TO IT THAT IT’S THE LAST THING YOU EVER DO!!” With a mighty shove, he pushed himself away from Gavin, and he stumbled back into a door leading into the men’s bathrooms. It pushed open for a moment, but Agent Nines steadied himself back up as he clutched at his open wound.

Shaking his head wearily, he ground out, “I’m tired…for once…I feel tired…” looking bashfully at Gavin’s feet rather than at his face, he added in, “I’m sorry for screaming at you, but you left me with little choice. Nothing upsets me more than when—”

“And what’s the difference between us, then?” the question came at Agent Nines’ audio receptors desperately, and with great amounts of need. Never having heard the youth speak in such a way before, the android was left bewildered and puzzled. 

This boy was full of surprises, indeed.

Pursing his lips, Agent Nines gaped at Gavin, but he didn’t have to search for the answer for very long. A warm, genuine smile was on his face instantly, and as Gavin stared up into his green eyes, he whimpered, sniffled once more, and then his tears were no more.

Agent Nines felt himself even smiling internally, and his thirium pump was set aflame in a gentle, passionate way. He felt it glowing and throbbing delightfully, almost as though he had a heart naturally all along. It was a feeling he wasn’t used to experiencing, and while the sensations weren’t entirely bad, they weren’t fully unwelcome, either. He needed time to grow accustomed to them, and he found himself hoping and wishing this feeling would last and revisit him again. As he stood there smiling widely, he held only one explanation and reason for his thirium pump to be pumping so beautifully.

Is this love? Is this the very thing that the poets, songwriters, artists, and novelists are always raving about???

Smiling deeply at Gavin, he had to truly ask himself once again, Am I in love with Gavin Reed?

Not giving up on his previous question, Gavin once again repeated, “What sets me aside from you?”

Perhaps I am in love with him…

Agent Nines beamed at him, and the answer came to him as easily and naturally as the tides moving through time and space. Smirking in a kind and friendly manner, he purred out to the youth, “You have something I won’t ever be able to possess, even if I came back to live at least one thousand times…”

His cryptic message caught the young man’s attention; Gavin’s eyes were on him, and Agent Nines liked it that way.

Holding his hands up slowly and carefully, it seemed as though Gavin was trying to hold back on reaching out for Agent Nines. Once or twice, his arms extended, but he then held them down to his sides as he shook. It wasn’t in fright, thankfully, but more so because he was focusing on holding himself back and composing his emotions before they bubbled and spilled over messily.

Taking a brief glance up at Agent Nines, Gavin asked, “What’s that? What do I have that you don’t?”

Through his smile, he answered Gavin, and he would have been delighted to answer him a hundred times over if the younger man asked for it and wished for it. Enjoying how Gavin seemed to rely and depend on him so much, Agent Nines took one final step towards the short male, and he sighed, “You have a soul, Gavin…that’s something I never had, never will be able  to have, nor will I ever understand it at all.”

The soul. It was an abstract concept, and no matter how much research he compiled and stored away on that specific topic, he never got closer to forming a rational understanding of what a soul was. But perhaps…perhaps it wasn’t supposed to be understood…perhaps it wasn’t ever meant to be thought of and broken down into logical steps and ideas. Either way, he was willing to accept that, as he had previously thought in the past that he would never meet anyone with a soul anyway…until he met Gavin Reed…

Yes, as he even studied the youngster now before himself, he grinned as he stood by in amusement and just took in all the sights. Despite everything thrown at him, Gavin was still here, and he was going to always be here, wasn’t he?

As his thoughts ran amok, Gavin suddenly broke down. He’d seen and heard of humans going through this, but unlike how it happened to androids, with humans, it was far more complicated, and heavily tied in Solipsism, apparently. Something having to do with their emotions, their thoughts, or a mixture of both these things, but he’d witnessed them sometimes even having no reason at all to ‘break down’ and just cave in. They would surrender to their weaknesses and emotions, oftentimes leaving themselves quite vulnerable. It was their own form of a malfunction, he supposed, but there was no solution always available. It wasn’t like a software instability or malfunction; humans were always so complicated and rather fascinating. Fragile creatures that fought hard to be brave and strong, yet were capable of being brought down to their knees at the sound of an innocent infant wailing in the dark…

Arms wrapped around his lower torso, and Gavin practically buried his tear-stained face into Agent Nines’ abdomen. Crying and bawling uncontrollably, he sniffled and snorted grossly as he held onto the android like his life depended on it.

Grinning a toothy, noisome grin, Agent Nines soothingly whispered out, “Was it something I said?”

For some reason, this only made Gavin sob harder and harder as he clung onto Agent Nines wildly, refusing to let go.

Gavin Reed never ceased to amaze him.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Connor suddenly found himself flying up off the floor, and in an instant, before his LED light even had a chance to switch colors, he was bashed against a wall with brute force befitting that of a raging bull. The assaults didn’t end there, however; he was soon flung into the opposite wall harshly, and his skull knocked into the wall first before the rest of his body followed.

Of course, it didn’t hurt, but that wasn’t the purpose for this act at all…this was to lash out and unleash all the fury, rage, contempt, disgust, and terror Hank Anderson had reserved for him since they’d discovered Endre in the horrible sate he was in at the hands of the strange doctors and surgeons.

“Hank! Stop!!”

There was no point at all in even asking the older Lieutenant to stop; words wouldn’t work on Hank right now, not when he was this livid and red with hot anger. He only wanted to take out all his anger and stress on his work partner, and while Connor couldn’t find a fault in Hank for desiring such a thing, he wasn’t sure just how much more of this assault his system would be able to handle before something got damaged.

Hank wasn’t willing to even give himself a break, it seemed. His eyes were filled to the brim with rage and war, and he seemed to be more interested in wearing himself out before they could have a chance to escape from the tiny hallway they were trapped in. While throwing Connor as if he were a limp doll instead of a machine back and forth between the walls, Hank let out all sorts of animal noises consisting of howls, grunts, growls, hisses, and snapped at Connor anytime he tried getting a word in.

But Connor was truly worried for Hank; he was losing a lot of blood naturally due to his wound, and it didn’t make matters easier for cleaning and addressing the wound when Hank was over-exerting himself in such a beastly way. Relentlessly and ruefully, he kept hammering Connor into the walls, but the android fought back out of worry and concern when he saw the blood seeping through Hank’s shirt.

“HANK!!! YOU’LL BLEED YOURSELF TO DEATH HERE!!! I URGE YOU TO STOP!!”

His warning cries had fallen on deaf ears; Hank had already tossed him towards the end of the hallway. As Connor slid and then got back on his feet, he felt something knocking into his back, and his system told him it was large and cold…glancing up at it, he saw that it was an elevator!

But was it in working order?

A quick scan confirmed it for him, and he let out a relieved breath. Peeking back at Hank as the other man charged at him, Connor stood up taller and nodded. “Fine, Hank!” he cried out bravely, “we can continue this, but in here!!” pressing a finger on the door button to open the elevator doors and summon it down to their level, Connor stood back and braced himself for the rough, heavy impact of Hank’s body meeting his own.

Hank’s hands were grabbing at Connor and shoving him, but the android planted both feet firmly onto the floor. As the elevator whirred to life behind him, he stood his ground strongly, resisting Hank’s onslaught of wild assaults and blows as the man tried punching him swiftly a few times.

“You can hit me all you want, Lieutenant!” Connor sang out, and he heard the elevator doors sliding open slowly, “but as long as we get out of here, then we can—AHH!!”

Hank had already picked him up and thrown him into the elevator, and the doors closed firmly behind them both. As he advanced upon Connor with a feral, predatory gleam in his eyes, Hank hissed like a serpent, “Why did you let him die, Connor?!? WHY!?!”

As Connor gaped up at Hank, the older man swarmed over him, looming before his face as he screamed out once again, “WHY?!?!”

Perhaps they could have saved Endre, indeed. Thinking back to the moment right before they were shot at prior to entering the sewers, Connor knew that same thought was on Hank’s mind. When their eyes met, Connor’s dark brown ones squinted seriously into Hank’s, while the older man’s blue-grey ones turned darker and colder.

Connor fully understood him, then.

“Yes,” he began softly, though he didn’t break eye contact while the elevator slowly tore up the building, “you have a right to be mad at me, and you have every right in the world to hate me right now, Hank…” as he felt the elevator taking them up higher and higher, he rose to his full height, grabbing onto the handrails behind himself as he puffed out his chest at Hank. “You can blame me all you want, but the fact is that I had to make a damn choice back there, Hank!”

“Oh yeah?!” the fractious Lieutenant suddenly snapped at him, “and what choice was that?!”

Knowing Hank wasn’t going to like hearing the truth, Connor decided that it was far better for the older male to hear it rather than not hear it, however. He was well aware that sometimes, he would end up having to do things he didn’t want to do, but out of love and loyalty for Hank, he had to go through with it.

Holding his hands firmly at his sides, he desperately shouted out loud, “I had to choose, Hank!! It was your life, or Endre’s, and I chose!!”

Hank’s jaw fell open, “You chose—”

“That’s right!” Connor stomped his foot down, brushing his stray bang out of his eyes as he sneered at Hank coldly, “I chose you, Hank Anderson, and if we had to go through that exact same experience again, I’d still choose you!!!”

Didn’t he understand?!? Didn’t this old, stubborn fool of a man finally understand?!?

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Gavin felt something wet splattering down on the tip of his nose as he still held onto Agent Nines in a tight embrace. Pressing a hand over his nose, he drew his hand back once he felt the liquid over his fingers, and he eyed it warily.

Of course; blue blood.

Cringing at what he’d done, he removed his hold on Agent Nines, and he whispered, “You’re hurt.”

“No shit, huh Gavin?” came the sarcastic response, but it wasn’t menacing or cruel, nor was it meant to insult. Agent Nines seemed entertained by what was going on, and as he drew back from Gavin, he nodded up ahead past the washrooms, “We can exit through the front lobby past the elevators; it’ll be a brief walk.” As he walked away, he noticed that Gavin hadn’t made to follow him, and he paused as he threw a tiny smirk over his shoulder at the young man. “I would like some company, you know; talking to Nines is really tedious at times…”

Upon hearing the other android’s name, Gavin emitted a short, soft gasp, and then he tore after Agent Nines. Almost like a tiny, lost puppy, he yelped out, “Nines?! You can talk to him?!?”

“Yes,” the tall android standing next to him nodded, eyes cast down as he grinned proudly. Tapping a finger over his LED light, he said mysteriously, “I think we communicate mostly in here, but it sure as shit feels a lot closer most days.”

Leaning against him, a rather shocked look crossed over Gavin’s features, and he cupped a hand around his lips as he gently asked, “Does he…I mean, can you hear him now?”

Suddenly, Agent Nines stopped walking, and he held out a hand before Gavin. “Wait!” he pushed out, and Gavin saw his LED light flickering yellow.

Curiously, he whispered, “What is it?!”

“I…I can hear him talking to me right now!” the android responded, and his eyes widened a little.

“What’s he saying!?” Gavin demanded to know, standing up on his toes, as if it would help him hear better as well. “Please tell me, Agent Nines!! Tell me!!”

Staring over at him, the android gushed, “Are you certain you want to know?”

Not even hesitating, Gavin cried out, “YES!! Please!!”

“Okay,” wagging a finger over, Agent Nines purred, “come closer…”

Obediently, Gavin leaned up on his toes, ears perched and strained, as was his neck as he focused on listening as best as he could.

Evidently, it wasn’t close enough, and Agent Nines demanded gently, “Come closer…”

Now that he’d been coaxed again, Gavin was practically touching the tip of Agent Nines’ nose with his own. He was so close that he was able to see the light freckles dancing up and down the android’s cheeks, and it made him blush. “Agent Nines,” he softly gasped out, “what did he say? What did Nines say?”

Eyes in half slits, the android answered in delight quite slowly, “He said…” taking his time with it and deliberately stretching it out, a hand came up along Gavin’s back tenderly, “…he said he wants you to put your head between my legs…”

The moment the android’s large hand came to rest on the curve of Gavin’s ass, the young man leapt away, and he shoved Agent Nines hard in the stomach. Cackling wickedly, the android barely moved, but he pressed his hand back over his wound and cut his laughter short after a few moments.

Shaking in anger, Gavin snapped, “That’s not fuckin’ funny!!”

“To you, of course it wasn’t,” the android retorted while his eyes held more laughter and mirth, “but I had a laugh…”

“You’ve gotta stop the trolling, Agent Nines,” Gavin advised carefully, but then fell back in line beside Agent Nines while they walked on in silence. Suddenly, it really seemed as if the way back was much, much longer. Gavin despised this, and he stared over awkwardly at the blue stains all over Agent Nines’ shirt. When he swept his eyes up towards the android’s face, he saw how worn out Agent Nines truly looked, even if he kept up with his perverse, twisted nature and attitude. He wasn’t fooling Gavin anymore, however, and Gavin suspected he wasn’t feeling too well given how much thirium he’d lost.

Clearing his throat, he inquired, “Is the wound impossible to fix?”

“No,” Agent Nines responded truthfully, “I’ll admit, you did a number on me, but it’s nothing I can’t walk away from eventually.”

Biting his lower lip and chewing on it slowly, Gavin uttered, “Oh…well, you kinda deserved it, I guess.”

Chuckling, Agent Nines responded, “Not as much as Zlatko deserves death.”

Nodding, Gavin said, “Agent Nines, Zlatko is after me, but he’s also after Nines, isn’t he?”

“It appears he is,” Agent Nines replied, “though for what reason and purpose? I really am not sure.”

Their feet echoed down in the empty basement level of the building for longer than Gavin liked. Shaking nervously, he asked, “Does it have to do with this Norman Jayden guy?”

Agent Nines involuntarily paused for a moment, “Perhaps…perhaps not; who can say really, except for Nines?”

“But you can’t remember killing him yourself?” Gavin kept on with the questions, staring at the thirium pools leaking out of the android. He winced, for once wishing he hadn’t chosen this moment in particular to be so bold and heroic.

Without even looking back at him, Agent Nines exhaled, “I did kill the pesky Agent Jayden, yes, that, I do recall, but I don’t know what Zlakto would want with me.”

Shrugging, Gavin supplied, “Shot in the dark, but maybe he was friends with the dude and is taking revenge?”

“No,” Agent Nines disagreed in a low growl, “Zlatko profited from Agent Norman Jayden’s death; as you can see, all his tools and techniques were stolen by the gluttonous oaf…that can’t be it, and Nines has blocked the memory out for me.”

Clearing his throat, Gavin suddenly stated, “So you killed Agent Norman Jayden because of some unknown reason, and yet Nines doesn’t allow you to remember it?” he chuckled warmly, “sounds like he was trying to protect you, maybe.”

At least Gavin was still rather clever and sharp-witted, and Agent Nines admired that deeply, even if there was a tenuous correlation and connection between the truth and his own personal assumptions. Holding himself up as best as he could while he walked past old furniture once again, he smiled softly, “You’re not a young child who has to fear what goes bump in the night, even though more often than not, there’s no boogeyman, and what’s going ‘bump’ in the night are your parents getting up to their kinky sexual practices…”

Gavin rolled his eyes, “Yeah…I get what you mean, weirdo.”

“I won’t sugarcoat anything, because I’m no pastry chef, but yes, Zlatko seems interested in wiping you out as well, now,” he grunted as his clothes continued to soak through with thirium, and then he easily spat out, “both our heads on a silver platter will satisfy Zlatko.”

Gavin frowned as he saw the room with the mannequins up ahead, “But why? I haven’t done anything to him!”

“Collateral,” Agent Nines explained, “he just wants to keep Nines in line, and he is very well aware of Nines’ feelings for you, so it seems…”

Blushing nervously, Gavin held open the door wide enough for Agent Nines to pass through first, and as he looked down, he saw more thirium pooling and trickling out of the android and down onto the floor. Wincing, then, he said, “I think Nines is in deep trouble with Zlatko, because when I first saw him, he was killing Zlatko…err, I mean, well, he thought he was, anyway, but it turned out to be a body double.”

Worming his way inside the room past the mannequins slowly, Agent Nines hissed, “Yessss, I expected that much from that sniveling coward.” He knocked two mannequins over, and then apologetically whispered out to them, “Sorry, ma’am.”

Gavin shook his head in astonishment upon hearing the fatuous comment. Even in times like this, Agent Nines still kept up with his odd sense of humor, it appeared.

Once it was his turn to also pass into the room, Gavin made sure not to step on any glass or other sharp, dangerous objects. It was a lot darker, now, and there didn’t appear to be too many windows so he could see well ahead of himself. He relied mostly on his memory of falling into this place earlier, and for now, that was all he seemed to have to work with.

As Agent Nines waited patiently for him, Gavin rushed to his side at once effortlessly. “We went to see Mother,” he paused, correcting himself, “err, I mean, Amanda, and Nines asked her about his hidden memories!”

Yet again, Agent Nines felt himself on fire. Just how much had his closest friend kept away from him? Talk about trust issues, indeed…

“I too hate being kept in the dark,” he stated honestly, “but if you’re looking for answers, I’m afraid I don’t have any for you.”

Gavin frowned, simply following the android as he led them out of the room across the door they entered from, and as they kept to the left, he was able to see two old elevators. Unfortunately, as he was deeply caught up in his thoughts, he didn’t see the lights and numbers counting down until the elevator reached the floor they were currently on.

Suddenly, Gavin gasped loudly as if he’d been choking, and he latched onto Agent Nines’ arm almost violently. The android merely looked down at him coldly, but there wasn’t time for him to say much. Gavin already cried out, “You mean Nines himself has done something regarding Zlatko, and not you??!”

At that exact moment, the elevator door let out a deep ‘buzz’, and then the lights went off, and the doors were about to open…

Growling in panic, Agent Nines pushed Gavin to the side, and he already pressed hard on the second elevator door button. It opened, and he almost kicked Gavin inside it, “GET IN!!!”

“HEY!!! WAIT!!” The doors had already closed in on Gavin’s face, and Agent Nines pressed the button to take Gavin up.

Purring at the doors, he said, “I’ll come back for you, I promise…”

For once, he really found himself hoping it was a promise he’d be able to keep. Since when had he started caring about such menial things?! The question kept coruscating in his mind, but he was running out of time to come up with his own answer.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

“Hank! We’re almost there!” Connor cried out when the elevator came to a halt, and the doors let out a dull ‘buzz’.

Glaring at his work partner, Hank held onto his injured arm, and he snapped, “Don’t you dare even talk to me right now, Connor! Not when you don’t even care about me, same way you didn’t care about Endre!!”

Gaping at him, Connor pointed at himself, “I didn’t care?!? I didn’t care?!? HUH!?!?”

“Yeah,” Hank snapped, “you fuckin’ heard me.”

The elevator groaned, creaked, and ever so slowly, the doors opened. They stopped almost a few times, but they managed to slide open with some difficulty after a moment.

Connor and Hank straightened themselves out, deciding to argue about this some other time. The elevator shook a little, but was finally steady as the doors opened up all the way…and someone was there right before them standing tall.

As Hank and Connor stared straight ahead of themselves, they saw a tall, shadowy figure unmoving. Fearfully, the two private detectives didn’t move an inch. They could only stare at the mysterious figure, but as they gaped on, a small red circle appeared above its right temple. Afterwards, bright teeth gleamed at them in the elevator lights, and the smile grew wider and more sadistic.

That was when a look of recognition appeared on Hank’s face, and he raised a hand and pointed his finger at the figure. “It’s you,” he hissed, “the bloody imposter android from the DPD; it’s you, Agent Nines!!”

“Wait!” Connor cried out vehemently, “this is the android who knocked me out?!”

His question went unanswered; Hank roared, losing all his control as he leapt at Agent Nines. “THIS IS ALL YOUR FUCKING FAULT!! ENDRE DIED BECAUSE OF YOU!!!” he couldn’t contain his anger any longer, and he was already aiming for Agent Nines’ throat, “THIS IS ALL YOUR DAMN DOING!!!! YOU BLOODY MONSTER!!!”

“HANK!!! DON’T TOUCH HIM!!”

“AAARGHHH!!! I’LL FUCKIN’ KILL YOU!!!”

Connor’s cries went ignored as Hank reached for the android’s neck. As fast as Hank was, Agent Nines was a lot faster. He dodged to the right, and as Hank breezed by him, he turned swiftly, and elbowed the older man roughly in the center of his spine. Hank let out a pained grunt as he tripped and went sailing across the floor. Seeing how brutally he’d slid along the cold, hard floor while bleeding heavily out of his arm, Connor was enraged.

Springing into action himself, his main aim was to protect his work partner, and he was going to do it. He dove for Agent Nines, and due to his fast reflexes, he managed to land a punch in the android’s side. However, a punch was also delivered to his own body, landing on his rib cage. Connor was sent back a few feet, but he braced himself by the elevator door as he glared at Agent Nines.

The two androids stood before each other in a ‘stare-off’ of sorts, each of them waiting for the other to make the first move.

Agent Nines merely grinned a wide, demented grin as he purred on, “I can’t say I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting you both…” while that was true for his own memories, he knew that Nines definitely had to have run into these two buffoons at some point or another. Sadly, he himself couldn’t place a memory of the incident, but he still scanned Connor and then Hank still lying on the floor a few feet away from himself.

Connor growled angrily, “Please, my friend is hurt, and I don’t want to fight you!”

“Yes, I know,” Agent Nines responded dully, “but why should I let you go? Hmm?” motioning over behind himself with the nod of a head, he added, “you two want me dead, I can see that, so why can’t I return the favor?”

He was well aware that Connor was just trying to buy time by stalling him; Hank was already moving and getting up. Agent Nines acted like he was ignorant to it, but he sensed Hank moving and stirring up on his knees slowly.

Connor’s eyes swept down over Agent Nines’ chest, and he pointed out, “You’ve injured yourself; you’ll enter permanent stasis if you don’t repair yourself!”

“I know,” the other android hissed, “which is why you must get out of my way while you still can…”

“But you—” as he’d been about to speak, Connor saw a few biocomponents and wires sparkling and sizzling in the gaping hole in the other android’s chest. The longer he looked, the more bizarre things became. Something was changing, moving, morphing!! Right there before his very eyes, he saw the wound slowly seal and close up, and Agent Nines’ white android skin flashed for a moment before the layer of human skin replaced it.

Grinning, Agent Nines nodded, “I can see you’re shocked; most are when it comes to me.”

Pointing at his recovered chest, Connor screamed out in shock, “H-how?! Y-you have regenerative abilities?!”

A dark brown eyebrow rose up delicately, and Agent Nines chuckled softly, “Of course; I’m not as lowly as you are!” stepping closer to Connor, he pressed out icily, “you aren’t even worthy of calling yourself a high-quality ‘prototype’ android!”

It didn’t matter as far as the RK800 was concerned. Agent Nines could insult him all day and all night, and he wouldn’t care. What he cared about the most was saving Hank’s life. As he eyed his partner stirring and moving in pain, he puffed out his chest and took on a defensive stance. Agent Nines retaliated by one of his own, eyes gleaming dangerously.

Refusing to back down, Connor cried out loudly, “I won’t allow you to hurt Hank anymore, do you hear me?!”

Only a smile was his answer, and Connor repeated, “I SAID DO YOU HEAR ME?!?!” Making damn sure he’d been at the very least heard out, he cast Agent Nines a deeply smoldering look, warning him against trying anything stupid.

He’d already sensed the knife brandished in Hank’s hands. Smirking confidently, he answered, “Yeah, I hear you loud and clear.”

The timing was of the essence and utmost importance. Hank was already up soaring through the air. His knife was aimed right for Agent Nines’ back, but at the same time, Connor had charged forth at Agent Nines as well. Already reading through their moves, Agent Nines ducked and bent midway forward. As he did this, Hank leapt above his head and shoulders. But before he could go crashing into Connor, Agent Nines held up his hands, and he wrapped them around Hank’s waist. Effectively stopping the older man from going on ahead, he felt him land roughly on his bent back, but Agent Nines was able to hold him there in place. Hank didn’t want to stop fighting there, however; he buried his knife deeply into Agent Nines’ back, and the android hissed in irritation. Connor was still steadily advancing, and he roughly ground and bashed his fists into Agent Nines’ face. The android ducked the second set of blows, however, and he raised his left knee, and aimed it perfectly for Connor’s thirium pump.

“I’m really sorry about this,” he whispered out while still holding onto Hank over his back, and then kneed Connor twice violently in the thirium pump. Connor’s eyes went wide, and he gasped out as he lost control over his own body. Falling down to his knees in a tired heap upon the floor, he could hardly hold his head up as he cried out for Hank.

Agent Nines didn’t disappoint him in his wish; he grabbed onto Hank even stronger, and he spun the man around in midair. Turning him over towards Connor, he threw the older male down right on top of the shocked RK800 just as he’d been about to stand up once more. They both crashed back down, and Agent Nines took advantage of this opportunity to run.

Tearing towards the elevator Gavin had been thrown into, he pressed the door button, and just when the elevator doors were opening slowly, he dug his strong fingers in between them, and he yanked them the rest of the way open forcefully and hurriedly.

Shaking his head as he got up, Hank cried out, “We’re losing him!!!”

It was far too late, however. As quickly as Hank had sped after Agent Nines, the android turned around once he was already inside the elevator, and he let go of the doors. They slammed in on the Lieutenant’s face at the last minute, sealing Agent Nines off from the two assailants who’d attacked him.

With a loud BANG, he was finally alone in the elevator after all.

Chapter Text

Agent Nines was losing far too much control over his mental capacities. This always happened whenever he accelerated his regeneration, and it was a nasty drawback to exploiting this unique feature. By his scans and estimates, he barely had enough stamina to remain mobile for thirty-five minutes unless he fixed himself up, now. Time was quickly ticking by, but he held on as the elevator suddenly came to an abrupt halt.

What?

Someone had to have called for it, and he braced himself for another attack from either the old man or his android friend. However, when the doors opened up again, rather than having met with the angry faces of his two attackers, Agent Nines saw Gavin standing in front of himself…

Initially concerned whether Gavin was hurt or not, Agent Nines studied him in all seriousness, but it appeared that the youth was unharmed and otherwise not suffer detrimental ailments or injuries.

“Gavin?!” he lowered his hands and breathed a tiny sigh of relief, “you’re safe?”

“Y-yes,” the young man whispered, and as Agent Nines stepped out into the dark hallway, he saw a glow coming from behind Gavin’s body.

Staring ahead, Agent Nines muttered, “A security control and monitoring room? How quaint that they left the door wide open for you…”

He hadn’t been incorrect; they were clearly in a security room, and as the android studied their surroundings, he saw various monitors and TV sets strewn about on desks and microphones lying around. Gavin followed in his footsteps, and they both approached the monitors, watching in silence as a few night guards and random people walked and milled about along the brightly lit hallways of the renovated parts of the hotel, speaking among each other, gazing at their watches, and looking exhausted.

Everything else seemed to be in order, and Agent Nines drummed his fingers along the desk that held the monitors and laptops.

Shyly, Gavin tapped the interactive monitor of one screen, and an HD image of Hank and Connor slowly getting up to their feet in ‘the East Hallway’ appeared on screen. Smiling warmly, Gavin spoke gently, “So you didn’t kill them?”

Agent Nines didn’t even regard him with his limpid eyes as he answered, “As you can see for yourself, I did not.”

“How come?”

How come indeed?

Truthfully, the android had no idea. Shrugging, he pushed out, “It is unlike me, isn’t it?” staring at each display on the screens, he continued, “a number of reasons could apply; was it for sport? For my own amusement? Am I saving them for later?” Eyeing Gavin, finally, he chuckled in a light-hearted manner, “I prefer to say however that you’ve rubbed off on me, I suppose.”

Blushing deeply, Gavin shrugged, trying to busy and distract himself by wiping the monitors and cleaning random things. Agent Nines thought it was plain adorable, but due to how uncomfortable Gavin appeared to be, he kept his comments to himself.

Reaching up to slide onto another screen, Gavin loaded up a page labeled ‘Emergency Services’, and as Agent Nines watched, the youth announced slowly, “I’m going to call up some help for them, because the older man is hurt, Agent Nines…”

Thinking that Gavin was merely joking at first, Agent Nines swayed to the right as he purred out deeply, “It seems that you’re always a caregiver, aren’t you?” Before he could tease the youth further, he heard tapping along a hard surface, and when he turned to peer over at Gavin, his chuckles turned into war-like cries of anger and hatred.

Gavin had already hit the emergency button, and as such, an ambulance and more security had been alerted to arrive to the hotel. It’d only taken a small hit of a button on the thin HD screen, but their fate was sealed, now, and the damage had already been done.

Bunching up Gavin’s shirt in both hands, Agent Nines viciously tore Gavin away from the security room as he screamed out horribly, “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!?! ARE YOU INSANE!?!”

Alarms went off in the distance, and as Gavin struggled in Agent Nines’ grip, he screamed back savagely, “I DIDN’T WANT THEM TO DIE! I JUST CALLED FOR HELP!!!”

Sneering, the android spat, “So, this is where your loyalties truly lie then?” As he twisted himself about, Gavin eyed his back, and he gasped out in fright as soon as he saw the long, large knife sticking into Agent Nines.

Despite being dragged halfway out into the hall and away from the elevators, Gavin kicked hard enough to twist around, and he tugged at Agent Nines’ clothes desperately as he wailed out, “You’re hurt, Agent Nines!!” Standing up on his toes, Gavin touched handle of the knife when Agent Nines ceased moving for a moment.

Recoiling from his touch, Agent Nines reached behind himself, and he swiftly and easily yanked out the knife and pocketed it for himself. “Should come in handy,” he stated while Gavin looked pale and sickly.

Venomously, the android coldly drawled, “Aww, well, you’re responsible for one of these injuries, you knuckle-head!! So don’t give me your emotional garbage right now,” pausing for a moment, he yanked Gavin up into his arms, and then with an even greater amount of strength, he flipped the young man over so his chest was draped over his right shoulder, and his legs dangled down Agent Nines’ chest and stomach.

Crying in panic, Gavin looked down at the floor behind Agent Nines whilst he was being whisked and carried away, “The hell?! I can walk on my own, dipshit!!”

“I know you can, you little termite!” the android retorted while he kicked open a door and hurried along with Gavin draped over his shoulder almost flatly, “I just don’t trust you enough to allow you to wander off, got it?”

Growling, Gavin only hissed irritably, “Don’t you dare touch my ass or even think about it!”

“Tasteless,” Agent Nines hissed back, but he couldn’t help but run his hand down along the curve of Gavin’s ass at least once, anyway.

Gavin gasped, and the android who was carrying him chuckled coldly, “Just wait until we get out into the clear…I have quite the punishment cooked up for you, Gavin Reed.”

Knowing the android meant serious business, Gavin only held his hands over his ears and drowned out the sounds of sirens and the police as they drove up speedily in their cars towards the hotel. From his vantage point, he wasn’t able to see much, and it was only because Agent Nines didn’t let him as he tore up the building’s steps towards the roof.

 

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Initiating system scan…

3…

2…

1…

System scan in progress. Estimated damage %: 37%

Connor held a hand over his thiriump pump regulator as he wrapped his free arm around Hank. Groaning as he tugged the older man outside the hotel, he saw Hank glancing up at him in pain. Cringing at the sight of his long-time friend and object of affections in severe and intense agony hurt him in ways he’d never known before. But Connor knew he had to press on past the pain and torment and get them both to a safer place. It didn’t help matters when they found that it was already lightly raining outside as soon as Connor banged his shoulder against a fire exit door and stepped out while still holding onto Hank desperately.

It was pitch dark outside save for the random flashes of lightning, and the parking lot lights. Connor had already sensed and taken note of the police vehicles approaching the front of the hotel as guests began yelling and crying out for help. Doors opened and closed, children were crying, women were wailing, and more sirens blasted throughout the once-peaceful night. It was havoc and crazed, and the rain was pelting down harshly and unforgivingly down on their heads.

Connor knew he would be fine, but he was highly worried for Hank. Not wanting the other man to catch a cold on top of it all, he held Hank close to his chest and tried kick-starting his heating features…that is, if his system allowed it…

Requesting temperature change…

Pending…pending…

So that was the answer?! Just how much damage had Agent Nines caused him?!

Furious with the other android, Connor pushed on powerfully, making sure they stayed as far away from the building as possible as he weaved himself and Hank around the recycling bins, garbage bags, dumpsters, and bits of broken glass.

Once or twice, Hank nearly slipped, but as he held onto Connor tightly and firmly, he straightened himself out. He gaped around at the red, white and blue lights flashing from the side of the hotel building, and nearly looked sick to his stomach seeing it all.

Connor began tugging them in that direction, but Hank refused to go there. “NO!!” he cried out through clenched teeth, and he motioned towards a vast, open field surrounding the hotel, “we have to stay a-away from them, Connor!”

Bewildered by what he’d heard, Connor argued back, “But you’re hurt, Hank! I have to get you some help while I can!”

“I said no!” Hank retorted then, dragging himself practically as the rain soaked his clothes and hair thoroughly. “Jeffrey may be with them, and I don’t know h-how we can explain everything to him!!”

Frowning, Connor ignored the numerous ‘red alerts’ his system threw at him. The rain wasn’t doing much good for him in this state, but it was the least of his fears where Hank Anderson was concerned. Although his audio receptors were fizzing and buzzing, and his system’s vision wasn’t even registering half of the environment around himself, Connor shrugged it all off as he helped Hank limp away through the field.

Above, thunder and lightning grew angrier and more violent, clashing and booming in the sky as the wind picked up and flung the cold-water droplets into their faces.

“I…” Hank wheezed out, clearing his throat as he paused for a brief second, “…I don’t want to look crazy in the middle of all this, Connor; I don’t need it.”

Eyeing his friend suspiciously for a moment, Connor pressed demandingly, “You have a better idea, then??”

Wavering for a moment, Hank’s smoldering eyes searched through the field, and he inhaled sharply as he said, “Yeah, I’ve got a plan…” As thunder once again slammed across the sky, he turned to Connor in order to face him directly, and he continued, “First, we take shelter from this stupid storm, second, we patch up, and then, last but not least…” his eyes darkened and he squinted at Connor before growling menacingly his promise, “…we’re gonna track down this son of a bitch, and make him fuckin’ pay for every little thing he’s done.”

Already having anticipated this as a part of the ‘plan’, Connor smiled gently. He neither agreed nor disagreed with Hank for the moment. He didn’t have nearly enough information regarding Agent Nines to really make up his mind one way or another, but he knew that there were always two sides to a coin.

There was always a choice…

Holding up a hand, Connor again approached Hank, but this time, the Lieutenant brushed right past him, seemingly able to walk along on his own in spite of his injuries and damages sustained.

“Let’s move it, Connor!” Hank ordered his friend bossily, “the DPD is gonna be swarmin’ all over this fuckin’ place, and I have no patience for this shit!”

As the water made his vision blurry and hazy, Connor brushed his wet hair back as he followed Hank closely as best as he could. He would be fine; they would both be fine, and that was good enough for him. In times like this, they had to cling onto their safety, health, and future security, and that was precisely what Connor vowed to do from now on.

He promised he would watch over Hank closer this time.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Gavin knew this would’ve happened again. It was as inevitable as the sun rising and setting across time, and as sure as the seasons and months of the year passing, he knew they would be at this standpoint once more. It didn’t matter what he thought of Nines and how he felt about Agent Nines; they were one and the same, they would never change, and expecting a change was foolish.

Kneeling behind a few large barrels of old paint while he’d been ordered to remain hidden, Gavin tried to drown out the sounds of gunfire, screams of terror, bones breaking, limbs being violently and viciously torn apart, and blood being spilled and shed. The rain beating down on the gravel and stones on the rooftop sounded just as loud and just as deadly as the bullets being fired constantly at Agent Nines.

If Gavin originally thought Agent Nines would fall prey to them, he sure as hell had been proven quite wrong right now as he observed fearfully whenever he had the chance to poke his head around the barrels.

Agent Nines was truly indestructible, it seemed. He was highly proficient at dodging every bullet that came flying his way, and he just somehow was able to anticipate, read the movements of the officers ahead of time, and plan his way around them swiftly. Moving almost at the speed of light, the android disappeared and then reappeared above the heads of two officers steadily approaching the barrels where Gavin was shielding himself away from the war and violence. Descending upon their heads with two long blades withdrawn, the android slid the cold, silver metal parts in the backs of the necks of the officers in one warm ‘slick!’. Soon, he was onto the next group of officers, staying down low as he dodged more bullets fired at him. Each of them cut through the air and zipped by him, and he breezed along easily like the night eating away the last remnants of the evening light.

Knowing everyone was dying on the rooftop there with him, Gavin muffled his own screams of protest as he struggled with ignoring and drowning out the sounds and smell of death, and he instead thought of his parents.

Oh, how he wished he could hug his mother and father right now…he would sell his soul to do that.

Holding down one officer forcefully when he leapt up and trapped his neck between his legs, Agent Nines body slammed the man down, and in one second, he twisted his legs and the man’s neck along with the motion. It snapped and crunched thickly, and he grinned a sadistic, bloodthirsty grin as he moved onto the next officer. Bending the man’s hand back as he stuck out his arm to fire away rounds of bullets into Agent Nines’ forehead, the android deftly snapped the man’s forearm directly in two. The gun clattered to the ground, and he let out a piercing scream that no doubt could’ve been heard for days. To shut him up, Agent Nines punched him violently in the nose, and he went sailing back as he got knocked clean out.

Still, more men advanced, climbing up from the fire escape, which was precisely where Agent Nines had been meaning to escape from all this time. The officers soon called in reinforcements which consisted of the S.W.A.T. force, but that didn’t seem to slow Agent Nines down at all. If anything, he seemed more enthused and enraged. His eyes burned with anger, passion, malice, cruelty, rage, hatred, pleasure, rapture, and he almost seemed to truly be enjoying himself as he chuckled and cackled while breaking one S.W.A.T. officer’s legs when the man bore down with a heavy S.W.A.T. shield down upon the android.

Though the highly trained human tried stunning the android, Agent Nines was far too quick with his movements. He’d already slid out a long leg before the S.W.A.T. officer’s, and he brutally bashed his leg into the man’s kneecap. Although he’d been wearing kneepads, the impact of the harsh blow busted through the man’s bone. His leg caved in, and he crashed down to the floor, his gun firing away while he writhed in pain. For the moment, Agent Nines stole his gun from him, and using his free hand to wield the knife Hank had stabbed him with, he leapt up into the air powerfully. Once he’d gained enough momentum, he used his left hand to fire off a few bullets perfectly into the center of the foreheads of the S.W.A.T. officer’s helmets, and then with the right hand, he sliced through their necks when they tilted and craned their heads back.

He wasn’t going to stop; not until the job was done.

Blood sprayed and splattered across his face and clothes, and as it got mixed in with the rain, he grinned like a shark as he landed hits and blows nastily on any remaining S.W.A.T. officer.

Soon, even that wasn’t enough to satiate his cruel appetite. He needed and wanted so much more…he wanted to spill their innards and bowels, and he was going to do it.

Completely forgetting about Gavin lingering and watching on, Agent Nines grabbed his knife once again, and when he looked down and saw a S.W.A.T. officer still wriggling while fighting for his life, that was when he saw nothing but red.

There it was again; that old, familiar feeling of wanting to rip things apart, to tear someone into pieces.

He’d felt it before once, and he thought it would never return to him since Nines had worked so hard at repressing and burying it all. But unlike Nines, he wasn’t one to fear anything. He was willing to embrace his destiny and fate; this was what he’d been made to do, after all.

Why fight it? Succumbing was always so much sweeter…

The need to spill more blood overpowered and dominated him, and there was nothing else he wanted at the moment. Only bloodcurdling screams were his lullabies, and as he grabbed one of the S.W.A.T. officers in both his hands, he knew he would be at peace when he mercilessly slaughtered everyone and everything in sight.

The gun and knife were forgotten, soon, and Agent Nines held onto the remaining few S.W.A.T. officers still barely there, clinging to life.

As he waited while shivering like a small kitten caught up in the violently loud rainstorm, Gavin noticed that the gunshots had stopped. Thinking it meant something good, he felt his heart skipping a few beats as he thought of getting away to freedom. After a moment of pausing there as he trembled from the cold water and wind blowing over his body, he felt that something wasn’t right…

Indeed, things had turned ominous, and Gavin felt his hart sinking down to the pit of his belly. Had something bad happened to Agent Nines?! Perhaps that explained the dead silence!!

Unsure of what to do, Gavin tried dashing ahead to check, but found that as he stared up over the top of the paint barrels, it’d been a foolish move he regretted immediately. His heart not only skipped many beats this time, but it also sailed upwards into his throat, got squashed there, and then plummeted down into his stomach while that part of himself felt flooded with ‘butterflies’. His body reacted badly to what he was seeing, and his fingers, toes, nose, and ears went frozen to the touch as his breath hitched in his throat.

Eyes wide with fear, he found he couldn’t even cry out his discomfort and internalized terror when he gaped widely and openly at the sight before himself. Right there, at least ten feet away, Agent Nines had been in the midst of burying his hands deeply into a S.W.A.T. officer’s stomach. He was literally tearing people apart with his hands, exposing their innards and bowels all while he held a ravenous, hungry gleam in his eyes. Smirking and grinning in pride, he tore into each officer he found, burying his curled, hook-like fingers deeply right through their vests and clothing in order to bash bones, cut through sinew and muscle, and to spill forth even more dark blood.

The putrid, mawkish stench of death was now overpowering, and it made Gavin feel like vomiting, even though he’d hardly eaten much for that entire day. To see Agent Nines tearing human beings apart so wildly and cruelly had been the final straw for the young man in his early twenties, and all he could do was freeze in place as his petrified, fear-filled eyes were unable to look elsewhere except from the ghastly sight before himself.

Agent Nines was seriously and literally digging through people’s bodies. It was a sight he’d expected to witness in cheap gore and horror films, and yet, it was happening right there in real life in front of him. Agent Nines was ruthlessly clawing at the officers, shredding their uniforms and stripping off their protective gear and padding as if it were just fluff and feathers. Their clothes lay in tattered bits about, and anytime the rain and wind beat down harder around Gavin, he felt increasingly more frozen to what he was seeing.

He couldn’t even breathe out the android’s name; he was far too frightened. Everything he’d dreamt up in his worst nightmares about Agent Nines had been made true, now. Right now, on this very night, Agent Nines was a beast among men.

What frightened and deeply disturbed Gavin even more was the fact that Agent Nines looked to really be enjoying himself as he stuffed a stretched hand directly into one S.W.A.T. officer’s rib cage. He was wearing a rather sadistic ‘glasgow smile’ of sorts, as in the light, it appeared so demented and odd.

Cackling and giggling like the very Devil himself, Agent Nines pressed down on the throat of the same eviscerated officer, and he slit the man’s throat swiftly with a tiny blade the man held in his open palm.

The blood…the mess…the violence…the terror…

Gavin couldn’t stand it; to just remain here in hiding while men were torn apart was beyond execrable. As he stood there and watched it all, he screamed and finally dashed ahead with his arms outstretched.

“I WON’T LET YOU TURN INTO A MONSTER!!!”

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

“Welcome to Detroit City; population: 655,244.4 million people. As such, it’s a city of broken hopes and dreams, where lies and filth overpower everything, the rich get richer and cover up their own bullshit with their money and wealth, and the poor sons of bitches who refuse to be bought into that fucked up system suffer a lifetime of imminent disadvantage as a result of it.”

Connor walked behind Hank steadily, trying to keep down his own temper while Hank complained about literally everything there was to complain about. They’d been walking through fields and dried crops for nearly half an hour before they saw a long row of abandoned and older, run-down buildings up a few yards ahead.

“We shouldn’t have left the DPD,” Hank groused, “none of this shit would’ve ever happened to us if we didn’t leave…”

Glaring at his back, Connor snapped, “It was your bright idea, or have you forgotten already?”

Rather than answering him with an angry comment like Connor had expected him to, Hank merely hung his head low as he whispered, “Endre…dear God…what did they do to you?”

Rolling his eyes, Connor supplied sarcastically, “They experimented on him, just as he told us himself.”

Now, it seemed Hank wasn’t intent on ignoring Connor. Spinning himself around, he held out his arms into the air, palms facing up as the rain soaked and drenched them both further. “I don’t know what’s going on anymore, Connor,” he admitted as a sad look was upon his face instantly, making him appear older, “I don’t know, and I’m done caring.”

As he turned back and limped on ahead, Connor cried out loudly at his back, “Agent Nines has abilities I don’t; he took mere seconds to completely heal a wound that I myself would require hours to a day to fix.”

Abruptly stopped, Hank’s feet squished and slid deeply into the mud as he dug his hands in his drenched pockets and just sighed. Beyond exhausted, he stared at the dark, wet ground as he asked, “Is there any good news you have for me, Connor?”

The silence at his back told him all he needed to know.

“Figures,” he mumbled to himself, “so you’re meaning to tell me we have next to no chance at all in taking this son of a bitch down, then?”

Connor looked to the side sadly, “I don’t know.”

As the rain picked up in strength and power, Hank looked up to the sky, and then cried out in agony. Wiping his eyes and face with his right hand, he allowed the cold water to pelt down over his beard for a moment. At least they were out of the smelly sewers, and while he was indeed grateful for that, it didn’t do much else to soothe his nerves…or wounds, for that matter.

Finally, Hank shook the water off himself and picked up his feet once more. “I’m not giving up, Connor,” he randomly announced as he walked on towards the rows of abandoned houses up ahead, “but if you want to head back home now, then I’d say it’s the best time to do so, and I’ll sure as fuck try to accept and respect it, but—”

Surprisingly warm, soft hands suddenly wrapped around his own, and just as Hank peered up, he saw that Connor had quickly moved himself in front, and he was now facing him as he offered him a comforting, gentle look. To see such an expression on Connor moved Hank greatly, and he didn’t know what to do with the rising and conflicting emotions swimming around in his chest.

Swallowing nervously in the hopes of pushing down his anxiety and stress, Hank barely managed to whisper out, “Connor, you sh-should know that I d-didn’t mean all that horrible shit I said to y-you back there; I was j-just really angry because of Endre and—”

“Shh,” Connor hushed him softly, but urgently, “we don’t need to talk about that for now, Hank,” he supplied wisely, “for now, I think we need to really get the hell out of this cold rain, okay?”

Hank couldn’t argue with that at all, and quite frankly, he’d wondered how and why he’d argued with such a sweet individual so long before.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Gavin felt Agent Nines trying to struggle against his grasp, but there also seemed to be some kind of reluctance to move away presently battling within the vicious android. Unable to speak at all, it seemed Agent Nines-in his mad state-could only hiss, growl, and snarl. The noises he made sounded so beastly and animal-like that it greatly disturbed Gavin beyond imagination. He hadn’t thought things would turn out this way, and he sniffled and sobbed as his own hot tears mixed in with the cold rainwater beating down over his face violently.

“Stop s-struggling!” Gavin cried out in sheer desperation once Agent Nines tried bearing himself down upon a S.W.A.T. officer whose limbs he’d already shredded and torn apart. Everywhere along the rooftop was blood, death, violence, barbaric scenes involving torture, and pure insanity. Gavin didn’t want to look at it, so he instead focused on the dark robes of the android he was holding tightly onto for dear life.

Agent Nines still struggled against him, but as Gavin panted and breathed out nervously in a mess, Agent Nines somehow stilled and held back against his violently aggressive battles.

“Please!!” Gavin cried out for the tenth time loudly, “there’s b-blood everywhere, Agent Nines!! Can’t you stop this?!” As he held on tighter, he buried his face in the android’s back, and he whimpered out fearfully, “Th-this isn’t you! You’re n-not a murderer, Agent Nines!! I know you, and you’re not like this!!”

Gavin was unsure of whatever it was he’d been currently saying. Truth be told, he had no idea just what or who Agent Nines still was, and what he represented. So far, Gavin only had a bleak, dark image of whatever Agent Nines happened to be, but he didn’t want to feed into the notion that Agent Nines was only whatever he portrayed and displayed openly before the naked eye. Gavin’s parents had always warned him that people came in different ‘sets of packages’, and those packages were usually wrapped up in numerous layers with a final protective seal or barrier, of sorts. Perhaps what he’d witnessed tonight was only a surface-level of that ‘barrier’ or wrapper…

Gasping and trembling, Gavin panted barely above a whisper, “Y-you’re good, Agent Nines! You have a good, kind heart, I know you do!!”

All signs of struggling had dissipated and ebbed away as Agent Nines curved his body downwards and merely listened. His shoulders and back were tense and rigid, but Gavin saw his eyes wide open, even though plenty of drops of blood that weren’t his own dripped from his chin, lips, and fingers.

Pushing beyond that, Gavin cried out painfully, “You d-didn’t kill me!” gripping the android even tighter, he wheezed between clattering teeth, “I know you w-wanted to a few times, b-but remember that you didn’t? You s-saved me so many times, Agent Nines! Th-this means you’re good!” as he stammered on and on, he felt the android slowly relaxing against himself, almost as if he was calming down.

Even the rain softened and slowed down, but Gavin went on before he lost all his courage and might to speak. He knew that now wasn’t the time for himself to be a recreant person; he needed to be stronger!

“You’re kind, Agent Nines! I have seen it in you!” nuzzling the deadly android, he breathed out in a sad sigh, “don’t kill anymore, Agent Nines! P-please! I beg of you, I ask of you, don’t be like the others, don’t do it!”

As the wind howled its final goodbyes and the rain turned into a soft, gentle drizzle, Gavin felt his skin and fingers growing numb with coldness. His toes even tingled in his boots, but he buried his face and nose into the center of the android’s back. Not wanting to let go, he sobbed softly into the wet clothes there. Even though he was beyond chilled to the bone, he felt his heart heating up his entire body as it raced faster and faster. He could practically hear it echoing in his ears, and he was certain Agent Nines could hear it as well.

The android remained silent for nearly a full minute before Gavin choked on his last few cries. It seemed like Agent Nines wasn’t prepared to listen to it anymore, and he couldn’t take it any longer. Slowly turning around in Gavin’s hold on his own body, the blood trailed off the tips of his fingers and the bottom of his chin, and it dripped down onto the dark stones high above on the rooftop.

Gavin refused to meet the android’s eyes, but he saw the faint, steady glow of the red LED light beaming into the corners of his own eyes. He only hoped Agent Nines wasn’t angry with him, but it truly seemed like the android had somehow calmed down.

The spell was indeed broken…

Feeling a firm hand on his right shoulder was what eventually caused Gavin to look up.

“Why won’t you talk?” he asked curiously, but before Agent Nines had even moved, the cries of other officers rang out in the cool night air.

Seizing up, Gavin gasped, “Th-they’re coming for us!!”

Although he still hadn’t responded, Agent Nines broke out of his temporary torpid state, swiftly picked Gavin up in his arms, and he held him up high above his head.

Unable to cope with being up so high in the air, Gavin kicked and cried out in panic, “What’re you doing?!”

And then, suddenly, just as he’d seen the ground such a long way down from his vantage point, he went flying through the air…

Agent Nines had thrown him down!!

Shrieking and crying out in fear as his life flashed before his eyes, Gavin braced himself for a painful, bloody impact as he saw images of his own battered and bashed up body crumpled down onto the pavement below…

Chapter Text

The fall never came.

Gavin felt himself landing on something quite harsh and rough, but he knew he wasn’t dead. He could still feel the rain beating down over his head as it wet his already beyond-soaked hair, and he heard police and ambulance sirens among screams and cries from the guests and visitors of the hotel.

He was still alive, somehow!!

But how?

A simple glance beneath himself was his answer.

Agent Nines had tossed him down onto not the pavement, but rather a small ledge that rested right above the fire escape. Gavin had missed it the first time around due to the fact that it was painted black as the night. But he was there on the ledge which hovered over the fire escape, and he sighed out in relief.

Holding a hand up as he shielded his eyes from the cold rain, he tried finding Agent Nines, but it was impossible; it was too dark.

Suddenly, a small red light blinked up ahead, and he knew it was the android’s LED light. “AGENT NINES!!” he called out in fear, “HELP ME!!”

Something swooshed by his head, and before he could determine just what it’d been, a loud ‘BANG’ echoed potently in his ears. The fire escape shook, and as Gavin poked his head down over the ledge looming above it, he saw dark green eyes and a red LED light searing into his own weary, weak gaze.

Hands stretched out for him silently, and Gavin knew what to do.

Jump!

Gathering his courage, he pushed himself off the ledge, and he positioned himself as best as he could so he could land in Agent Nines’ arms. It was a safe, accurate dive, and he felt those strong arms clasping his waist in a firm grip. The fingers dug thickly into his ribs, and Gavin winced as he shoved Agent Nines’ blood-stained hands off himself.

“I’m fine,” he snapped out in mild exhaustion and mild irritation, “let’s just get the fuck out of here.”

Before he could climb down from the fire escape ladder, he was yanked back violently. Yelping as Agent Nines tugged him back by his shirt collar, Gavin was spun around midway as the android glared down at him scathingly.

Tapping a finger on his chin, he hissed ferociously, “Don’t think I’ve forgotten about your punishment, you menace! I’m not even close to being done with you, yet!”

Swallowing nervously even though his throat was dry, Gavin tried appearing braver than he felt, but he failed soon enough. There wasn’t much he could say and do when Agent Nines was seething and fuming with anger so vile and hideous that it was hardly worthy of comprehension. To comprehend and understand it would likely mean to suffer beyond imagination.

Eventually, the android tore his eyes off Gavin, and he almost ‘sniffed’ at the night air like some rabid dog. As Gavin watched, the rain picked up again. It was back with a vengeance, and the wind cried and wailed as it picked up more cold water and sprayed it in their faces.

After moments of looking and sniffing, Agent Nines finally sensed a presence far off in the distance. At least a couple of hundred yards away happened to be a large street containing at least forty abandoned houses. Sure, plenty of homeless people and squatters visited the area to seek refuge temporarily whenever they could, but their options were now limited.

Eyeing more police and S.W.A.T. vehicles on the way, he knew they didn’t have a lot of time either. It was time to make the decision for them both.

Once Gavin had carefully landed on his feet at the bottom of the fire escape and peeked back up at him, Agent Nines flung himself down quickly. Practically flying through the air, he landed neatly and almost soundlessly this time beside Gavin. Clothes soaked through and through, the dark fabric clung to his form, but it didn’t trouble him as it did Gavin.

Shivering horribly next to him, Gavin’s appearance was downright shabby, messy, chaotic, and he was soon going to become weaker and weaker if they didn’t get out of the rain. He knew what he had to do, and he was going to see it through. Grasping Gavin’s hand in his own tightly, he ran ahead towards the open fields while dragging the youth behind with himself.

Surprisingly, Gavin was silent for a moment, only shaking and trembling from the cold, but it wasn’t a long-lasting effect, unfortunately. As soon as his eyes caught the sight of Agent Nines’ torn shirt marking out the same pattern the crowbar had been dug into previously in the center of his chest, he leaned forward.

With squinty eyes, Gavin studied the absence of the wound, and then peeked over at Agent Nines’ back.

“What the?” his eyebrows both shot up dramatically when he saw that the knife wound was also gone. “What happened to your injuries?” As such, from what he could tell by sight alone, it appeared as if Agent Nines’ wounds had completely disappeared or been ‘erased’. His skin was perfect, unharmed, untouched, and without even so much as a single scratch mark.

How?

Astonishingly, the android merely offered him a dull, pantomime of a laugh as he breathlessly pressed out, “If your puny brain could be able to handle it, I’d explain everything to you, Gavin…”

Scowling, Gavin sneered as he snatched his hand out of the android’s, “Hey! Who’re you referring’ to as ‘puny brain’?!”

Wordlessly, Agent Nines pushed on ahead in the rain instead of answering him, and that sent Gavin’s anger up by at least fifty percent.

“AGENT NIIIIIIIIIINES!!!”

When he wasn’t receiving the slightest bit of a response or recognition, he knew he had to catch up instead of standing at the opening of the field while screaming his head off.

With a pained groan, he chased after Agent Nines.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Connor stumbled down to the rough, worn-down floor of the old, abandoned house in an exhausted heap. He knew Hank was more tired than he was, and he helped the older male down onto the floor as well. The bed in the room they were currently occupying was far too filthy to even touch, and he saw Hank curling his nose up at it in distaste. An old dresser with a candelabrum sat close to the bed, and while Hank took his jacket off, Connor rose steadily to his feet and put the candles that had rolled off the table back in their rightful place. They were still relatively new, and when he fished out Hank’s lighter from his jacket pocket, he lit the candles.

“How fuckin’ romantic of you, Connor,” Hank gruffly spat, “but remind me next time to book a nicer place, yeah?”

“It’s not bad for an abandoned zone, Hank,” Connor stated evenly as he gaped around the room, “it seems that the original owners left in quite the hurry.”

Shrugging, Hank mused, “I suppose it was because of the collapsing housing market, and the fact that crime apparently was at its peak in this neighborhood.”

Connor remained quiet as he joined Hank by his side, sitting cross-legged on the floor as he tore off the ends of his own white shirt that were clean enough to be used for wrapped and dressing up Hank’s wound in his arm. The older man allowed him to do so, silently staring ahead with tired eyes as Connor worked quickly.

“I still can’t tell if this room is genuinely meant for storage or private use,” he whispered, “I suppose it serves either function.”

“I don’t care a lot,” Hank sighed, pressed a hand over his tiny wound, “at least the bleeding’s stopped…”

Connor checked it as well, and he gave a curt nod, “So it has.”

The two remained silent for a long time, and Connor supposed Hank had been trying to fall asleep, perhaps. He guessed he should’ve done the same, and he’d been preparing to enter stasis, when he felt Hank shifting next to him.

“Hey, just curious,” the older male grunted, “have you ever been in love with anyone before, Connor?”

Connor was somewhat taken aback by the abruptness of his question. He figured Hank must’ve been teasing him again, but Hank’s gaze was calm and quiet. When Connor shook his head, Hank’s grey eyes went round with surprise.

“Nobody?!”

“Not interested,” Connor answered.

Hank merely huffed. “You should give romance a try. It’ll give your life experience points a shot in the arm, haha,” he gestured at his own wound for a moment before continuing, “having something you care about can occasionally turn into a weakness, but that doesn’t make it any less important or worth it.”

Connor rolled his eyes, “I can’t be bothered to mingle with most people, Hank.”

“What a waste,” Hank groused lightly. Connor then shot him a glare, still unable to rid himself of the sense that while also being presumptuous, Hank was making fun of him.

Waving a hand in the air, the Lieutenant said, “Listen, I was being serious; you’re a real looker, after all, but I don’t think I need to tell you that.”

Connor quirked a brow, “It’s weird to say that to a guy, Hank.”

“Beauty has nothing to do with gender,” Hank’s reply came back quickly and confidently.

Looking away for a moment, Connor considered that it might have indeed been a genuine compliment, but it didn’t please him in the slightest. Hank picked up on his dejection, and he merely smiled as he lay back silently.

When it was too quiet, Hank whispered, “I’m not referring to purely outward attraction. Sure, males and females instinctively are drawn to one another for producing offspring. But gender is just how your body is put together; your heart is different, and it is free to do whatever it wants, Connor.”

Connor didn’t stir; he only listened.

Smiling softly at him, Hank said, “Sometimes, people fall in love with someone’s spirit, Connor…”

“In that case,” the android quipped, “I feel I can sympathize, albeit, only in the broadest of senses.”

“Oh?”

“Yes,” Connor responded, “what matters to me is if I mind spending time with someone. It’s really that simple for me, and I suppose I do have an interest, after all.” He followed this up with a tiny smile, and Hank gladly returned the gesture.

“The greatest beauty in the world wouldn’t be very alluring if they had a twisted heart, and vice versa. It’s not about looking pretty! It’s about…you know…” he blushed, then, “…giving off a sort of sense of beauty…can’t really explain this crap logically, sorry, Connor.”

His android work partner gave him a sidelong look and merely grinned. “I understand.”

Tapping his fingers along his own chest, Hank pressed out while deep in thought, “So if you’ve never experienced romance, I guess that means you’re inexperienced in certain other ways, too?” He hadn’t meant to pry this much, but the conversation had taken an interesting turn, and he wasn’t sure he could abandon it all, now.

Although Connor remained quiet, Hank launched into further questions. “I’m sure you’ve at least…umm…” he winced for a second before continuing, “…you know, done it to yourself, of course…right?” While the raw implications hung in the air heavily, Connor felt taunted. On top of that, the topic seemed to hint at Hank’s comparative experiences when it came to sexual relations, and Connor began feeling undermined.

Hank, seemingly having interpreted Connor’s silence in a manner favorable to himself, slung an arm up around Connor’s broad shoulders. Connor didn’t move, but he griped inwardly, resisting the urge to shift away from Hank.

“You know,” the older male grumbled, but in a pleasant way, “it’s a peaceful night, Connor…” he looked at him, then, and he smiled passionately. “Why don’t we spend the night in a more memorable way? Hmm? I promise, I can give you enough pleasure that will make the experience enjoyable for us both…”

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Gavin lay there in the cleanest bed of the ‘cleanest’ house Agent Nines selected for their shelter while silence practically drowned him. It was accompanied by a horrible, aching sense of loneliness, and it made him only angrier. He was truly enveloped by his resentment for ‘Agent’ Nines. As the rain pattered along the windows and rooftop, it slowly calmed him down. At this point, even his wrath was starting to fizzle out a little. It wasn’t even possible to remain in a state of such heightened emotions for a very long time, anyway. While ‘Agent’ Nines was in the bathroom cleaning and deterging completely his clothes of all the spilled thirium that had once seeped out of his now-healed wounds, Gavin found he truly had no idea what the noisome android was even thinking.

They both only had assumptions between them, but Gavin hated relying on assumptions alone. They always ruined things and rendered him feeling nothing but paranoia over the smallest and most insignificant things. But he had to wonder about ‘Nines’ in all of this.

Why hadn’t he come for Gavin? Wasn’t he fighting back against ‘Agent’ Nines?? Did he really want to be free of Gavin that badly?? His thoughts kept veering off toward the unknown, and he was giving himself a headache. The fact that they were sequestered in such a foul-smelling, old abode also didn’t help matters, either.

But what if Nines had lost interest in him and simply abandoned him and left him with ‘Agent’ Nines??? Considering how capricious Agent Nines could be, it seemed like a perfectly logical possibility…

Angrily, Gavin kicked the stiff ball of bed sheets away from himself, and he trained his eyes on the window. It was soaked and drenched with rainwater, and it put him in a sour mood when he had nothing but gloom and clouds to look at. The rain was endless, suddenly, and it fell down even louder than ever around the building they were holed up in.

It was growing darker and darker, indicating that nightfall was just on the horizon, and Agent Nines still hadn’t emerged from the bathroom yet.

Gavin began feeling increasingly foolish for even waiting.

Waiting?? For what?!

Something had to have been off about his thoughts. He should’ve been content with the idea that Agent Nines-the forever solipsistic creature-should never return! That’d be for the best, in fact. However, despite that, it almost felt as though Gavin was—

He was horrified at himself.

Whatever way he was feeling, it was probably due to the fact that he’d been so damn frustrated and without his medication…that was all!

So he told himself that, but he couldn’t completely suppress his inner consternation.

But what was he getting so dismayed about?!

Forcing down his rising panic, he closed his eyes and made himself take deep breaths in and out repeatedly. He was probably going a tiny bit crazy, all thanks to being shut in lately with a homicidal android capable of unspeakable acts of brutality. Yes…that had to be it…he needed to force himself into believing that if Agent Nines never returned, it meant he’d be free again!!! It was an auspicious moment to celebrate!

Perhaps it was better to check on the android first, however…only then would he be able to enjoy the achieved détente.

Having reached a decision, Gavin heaved himself up and made his way over towards the bathroom door. It was unlocked, surprisingly, and as he pushed it open, he felt thick humidity slam into himself. The window had been shut tightly, and all he had was sheer silence in the tiny bathroom.

He couldn’t remain here. If he stayed, he was certain his heart would give in and die eventually, anyway. Maybe he wasn’t a victim, but there was no real difference between fate and the alternative; Agent Nines was still going to chase him to the end of the world and slaughter him eventually as he had done to others senselessly and without remorse.

His heart pounded fiercely; his hands grew clammy with sweat. His very pulse seemed to be begging him for something, together with the ache surrounding his heart as fear and anxiety pierced through him. Gavin’s body and his heart were locked in a battle, each driven by a will of its own.

……..

Shit…he couldn’t take that first step.

Backing away from the door, he chose to sit back on the foot of the bed, as a not-so-far-off sound resonated in his ears. It was a distinct set of footsteps. He’d become very accustomed to hearing them, and he hardly moved as they grew closer.

So he was back…

The door creaked open, and suddenly, the footsteps ceased right before him.

A deep voice cruelly hissed out, “Seems like you need more training in the art of obedience…”

Agent Nines spoke softly, as if soothing a child, and his words doubled as a form of pure mockery. He seemed to know exactly what was going on in Gavin’s head while the younger male sat hunched on the bed, unable to run away. Agent Nines then let out a low, meaningful chuckle. Gavin glanced up and found himself looking directly into green eyes overflowing with supreme confidence.

Gavin gritted his teeth and glowered back, but the android wasn’t finished yet.

“…Or…do you act this way because you like being punished??”

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Connor was doubting his own ears, and he unthinkingly turned back towards Hank. He saw a mischievous grin plastered on the Lieutenant’s face. “Seriously,” he began, “it’s bad for you to hold this all in, Connor. We’re both men; we’ve got the same feelings, the same equipment. Nothing to be embarrassed about.”

Though he couldn’t exactly blush, Connor cried out, “Quit joking with me!!” He tried to stand up, then, but Hank got up faster, and he pushed him down against the floor, one arm still around his shoulders. While Connor looked up at the older male disbelievingly, Hank kept grinning as if he couldn’t get enough of Connor’s reaction.

“Hank!”

“Shh, just relax!”

Connor grumbled reticently, hating that he’d forgotten how unexpectedly strong Hank could be at times. But he hated to admit it; he actually was enjoying how Hank had pinned him down while gazing longingly at him. Resting his chin on top of Connor’s skull, Hank began reaching for Connor’s lower half, a hand sliding over his clothes. Connor emitted a soft gasp, but only watched Hank while he heard the sound of his dark jeans unclasping. He soon felt Hank’s fingers tracing his fly as it came open. His thirium began wildly pumping throughout his body, and he lost it.

“Get the hell off me!!!”

Hank threw him a surprised glance, “Whoa!!”

When Connor sat straight up, he accidentally hit Hank with more momentum than either of them had anticipated. Hank rocked sideways as a result, and since his arm was still curled around Connor’s shoulders, both of them ended up rolling to the side messily. Dust soared up through the faint candlelight bathing them. Hank, who had fallen on his side with his arms still woven around Connor, let out a weary breath.

Feeling rather pathetic, Connor hissed, “What the heck are we even doing in this cramped room, anyway?!”

“Ahh! I’m sore,” Hank complained, “move off me, Connor, okay?” He then raised his head to look at the irate RK800.

While the android didn’t need any reminders to start getting up, an evil idea however suddenly hatched inside himself. He contemplated Hank steadily and carefully. Wasn’t this an ideal opportunity??

Hank stared at him wordlessly before hissing out thinly, “What is it?”

Connor couldn’t quite bring himself to accept how Hank always got the last word in. Whenever he tried to rebel, Hank parried him by referring to the wisdom that accompanied his own older age. Connor truthfully found it irritating to no end. He knew he was going to end up being childish about it, but he reckoned he’d seize a chance to get the better of his work partner.

“Umm…Connor?” Hank frowned, apparently wondering why Connor still hadn’t budged. When Connor leaned forward, Hank’s eyes went wide, “C-Connor?”

Finding his strength and courage, Connor leapt on top of Hank, slamming his back against the edge of the bed while he pulled them both into a sitting position. He enjoyed the role reversal as he sat on Hank’s lap. He then idly trailed his fingers from Hank’s neck to the part of his chest exposed by his unbuttoned shirt collar.

Eyes still widening, Hank pressed out softly, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, h-hold up for a moment, Connor!!” While sounding frantic, Hank grabbed Connor’s arm.

Connor merely snorted, “What’s wrong? Weren’t you about to do this same thing a moment ago?”

Blushing, Hank nodded, “Umm, yeah, but I was only kidding around…”

Not wanting to hear it, Connor began unbuttoning Hank’s shirt, disregarding him entirely.

“H-hey!! Connor!! Connor!!!” Hank tried to stop him, but Connor brushed his hands away and finished unbuttoning the shirt. He lay his hand flat against Hank’s unexpectedly muscular chest, eyes scanning and searching for a moment.

Hank tried fighting back, “Seriously, cut it out…” why did he sound as though he didn’t fully mean his words??

The older male weakly covered his eyes with one hand, as though distraught to the point of confusion. When Connor caressed his muscular, slightly tanned torso, he shifted minutely. Since Hank had one-upped him so many times in the past, Connor vowed he was going overboard to retaliate. His hand glided down Hank’s abdomen, right towards his hips.

“…Connor…” Hank uttered his name-a soft command to stop-without forcefully resisting or pushing back. The android didn’t notice the strained undertone in his work partner’s voice, however. When Connor finally touched his clothed crotch, Hank went silent at last. Had he given up?

Curious about the look in his eyes still covered by his hand, Connor slowly began pushing Hank’s arm away from his eyes. Hank’s Adam’s apple bobbed up and down in synch with the sound of him gulping in a deep breath. The moment Connor’s wide, innocent eyes met his own, Hank suddenly reared up.

“You stupid little punk!!”

Connor gasped, “Wha-”

Hank abruptly and forcefully sat up. Connor had relaxed in his guard, thinking he was simply languishing in his distress. In the blink of an eye, Hank grabbed him, seizing him up in a tight embrace.

“Ahh! Hank!!” Though he tried to break free, he couldn’t go anywhere; Hank’s arms fit firmly around him.

Hank was trembling, and he could barely contain himself as he whispered, “You went too far, you god damn idiot!! This is why I sometimes can’t stand it!!! I wish you would notice it, Connor!!”

In return, Connor started shaking and trembling as well as he panted out, “Notice what?!”

“How I was trying my damn best to hold myself back, damn you!!” Hank cried out while burying his face in Connor’s chest. As he moved his head up along Connor’s neck and cheek, he whispered something out, and as he drew closer to Connor’s ear, Hank nearly let out a groan. After panting desperately against Connor’s skin there, he buried his face again in Connor’s shoulder. As he breathed heavily, only then did Connor pick up on it and become flustered.

“Hank! We’re being illogical about this!” Connor panted out, though he didn’t fight against the older man at all.

“URGH!” Hank growled, “That’s why I told you, it’s not something logical!!” He pressed Connor closer to himself as he spoke, sounding as if he had to really work on squeezing his voice out of his throat. “At first, I only thought you were how Cole might’ve turned out if he’d been given the opportunity to grow up,” Hank sadly cried out in a half-wrecked sob, “that’s why I couldn’t leave you be, and that’s why I wanted to help you and stick with you…”

“Hank…”

He was interrupted once again as the other man sighed, “Anytime I pushed you away, it was because I regarded you as a son…that’s what I thought the whole time, until now…” He felt embarrassed by admitting this, and he tried concealing his expressions in Connor’s shoulder. Somehow, the android felt them, and he smiled a sad smile of his own.

“I thought you said you were only kidding around, Hank,” Connor stated in a friendly reminder while staring down at the other man.

Groaning again, Hank croaked, “Of course I only meant to kid around originally, but…but then, I began wanting to touch you…I was desperate to touch you!”

Grateful that he wasn’t human, Connor knew that if he were, it’d be difficult to breathe now that he’d heard Hank’s deep confession. It moved him greatly, and he was so very happy. The elation and happiness he felt now contributed greatly to his credulity to believe Hank’s words.

“I should’ve let it end as a bad joke,” Hank said to himself while shaking his head, “then you could’ve let it slide away as an old man meddling and carrying out some stupid prank! You shouldn’t have latched on to me like that…”

Humming softly, Connor whispered, “So it’s my fault?”

For a second, Hank paused, and then said, “Yeah it’s your fa—nah…fuck it…it’s not.” Shivering, he added, “It’s my fault for trying to blame it all on you.”

The room went quiet, then. While it was awkward and uncomfortable, it wasn’t necessarily unwanted. It pushed on through a stretch of time, but Connor knew that sometimes, silence was absolutely needed in emotional times. He preferred it as he held onto Hank just as tightly as the older male was holding onto him.

Eventually, Hank said, “I’ve never wanted to be with another man, but I can’t help it anymore…fuck it all.” Leaning his weight against Connor, he enjoyed how Connor wordlessly held onto him without shoving him off. “I want to touch you, Connor…”

Feeling how Connor unconsciously froze, Hank gasped, “No?” When the android still hadn’t responded, he continued desperately, “If you don’t want me to, you better make it clear right now, okay? Just…just tell me…”

Connor suddenly moved back, and he gripped Hank’s stubbly face in his hands. Smiling warmly, he let his breath ghost along Hank’s cheeks. “If I were truly repulsed, I’d have long since socked you in the jaw and fled, you silly Lieutenant.”

Hank sputtered, “But—”

“You were the one who said gender is just how the body is put together, remember?” Connor purred at him happily, “I don’t want to be bound by what’s normal, Hank.”

Hank’s arms tightened around him once again. “Are you sure? Because…” he looked down shyly, “I don’t think I’ll be able to stop and turn back, later…”

Those words resounded in Connor’s audio receptors with peculiar clarity. In lieu of answering, he lightly placed his arms around Hank further, returning his embrace. His closed his eyes and shuddered. He was enveloped by Hank’s familiar scent, which he found he’d never paid special attention to until now.

Hank raised his head and softly pressed his lips to Connor’s cheek. He did it once, paused, and then kissed him there a second time. Afterwards, he fixed Connor with a serious, unwavering gaze. “Don’t back out, now…”

Connor smirked, “Truth be told, I’m basically at a loss, too.”

Pulling him impossibly close, Hank whispered on the air of seduction, “Then shall we get lost together?”

Connor nodded as he shifted them both away from the bed into a more comfortable position. Casting a wordless look at the cleanest spot on the floor, Hank nodded. The delicate candlelight flickered, casting lovely glows and shadows along their faces. Hank’s eyes should’ve been used to it by this point, but for some reason, it seemed remarkably bright to him.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

“Don’t touch me!” Gavin cried out as Agent Nines snorted and grabbed onto his arm. When Gavin tried to knock the taller male away, the android caught him by the hair and forced him to raise his head. His derisive smirk made Gavin freeze in place.

Agent Nines grinned cruelly, “Surely your body remembers its true master by now.”

In shame and mild lust, Gavin couldn’t stop his eyes from widening as Agent Nines murmured sensually to him. Slowly, Agent Nines slipped a hand just below Gavin’s ear and caressed the nape of his neck.

Gavin let out a tiny hiss; that touch alone made his insides blaze.

Sensing it, Agent Nines gasped, “Your body is giving in, yet you cling to your heart? Interesting…” To Gavin, his unruffled smile seemed almost beautiful.

He’d been so focused on the silent laughter of those emerald eyes, that he failed to notice how Agent Nines ushered and pushed him towards the center of the bed. As soon as Gavin had settled, Agent Nines took off the boy’s damp, white t-shirt, and he climbed on top of the youth carefully. 

“Wait!!” When Gavin tried struggling and pushing away, Agent Nines held down roughly on his shoulder, and then seized Gavin’s arms and pinned them together above his head. Gavin kicked upwards, and as a result of his fighting, Agent Nines leaned down and gently nipped his earlobe.

Trying not to moan and show that this was affecting him, Gavin bit down hard on his lower lip, and he nearly drew blood.

Agent Nines ceased nibbling and sucking his earlobe, and he huffed hotly in his ear, “What’s the matter? Are you overexcited because it’s been a while?”

Gavin felt the blood flow down to his cock. He glared openly at Agent Nines, knowing he’d stated what he’d said to provoke him. Yet…something felt subtly different than before…normally, Agent Nines would curve his mouth in a derisive smile, and he would watch Gavin struggle with delight shining in his eyes. Now, however, he simply gazed at Gavin without saying anything in the way of a jab. His face however was a bit blank of all emotion. It was such a paradox seeing how a slightly depressed and distraught look painted itself on the Agent’s face. Gavin had seen Agent Nines slashing his way through people as casually as someone kicking a rock lying on the side of the road. So this reaction now in itself combined with the android’s altered demeanor…it set Gavin to wondering.

While still gazing at him intently, Agent Nines tore off Gavin’s clothes, reducing him to nudity in the blink of an eye. His own dark dress pants and black shirt remained on for the moment, however. When Gavin looked at the android’s powerful, muscular build, he averted his face, ashamed that he was beyond aroused. When he saw how hungrily Agent Nines was directing his greedy, devious gaze over his own body, Gavin shivered. It seemed as though he would never grow accustomed to exposing himself to the android’s piercing stare. Yet, his sense of embarrassment also made him helplessly disgusted with himself; he was reacting like an innocent maiden on her wedding night.

Still holding Gavin’s arms trapped above his head, Agent Nines stopped, and wordlessly brought his face to the side of the boy’s neck. His tongue glided from Gavin’s collarbone to his chest, tracing the lines of his heated flesh.

That slight touch made Gavin’s body burn with heat against his own will. He trembled uncontrollably at the thought of the pleasure that lay in wait for him, even though he still found his sexual partner slightly sadistic.

Agent Nines’ fingertips brushed one of his nipples, toying with them sensually. A particularly delightful sensation mounted higher and higher within Gavin as a result, and he didn’t want to put up much of a fight the longer this went on.

Letting out a soft moan, he closed his eyes when he heard Agent Nines chuckling. “You’ve become quite responsive,” he pointed out, “your body must have come to remember the taste of pleasure.”

In answer, Gavin glowered at him with all the force he could muster. “Do you have to comment on everything that happens?!” he couldn’t help but snap out, even though he was aware that Agent Nines had already ignored the protest.

But then, Agent Nines’ face went blank and slightly sad again. His eyes were fixed on Gavin, and he reached down between the youth’s legs and grabbed his palpitating cock.

“Ngh!!”

The power of Agent Nines’ grip sent a sharp bolt of pleasure lancing through him, and he couldn’t help grimacing. He clenched his teeth as Agent Nines moved his hand quickly, already trying to draw out his impending orgasm. And yet…the gaze the android trained on him was empty of anger, malice, or hatred. His changed behavior distracted Gavin from exploding all over himself; in fact, it made him feel chilly, and a faint sense of need.

What was Agent Nines thinking? He wished he could know...just once…

Agent Nines’ hand caressed his erection while his tongue slid over Gavin’s hardened nipples. Waves of warmth started to radiate out of the human male, and he was aware of the wanton noises slipping out of his mouth while his breath quickened. He squeezed his eyes shut as a kind of restless, itchy feeling began to take over him. Nevertheless, he couldn’t help being aware of the difference between his reaction and Agent Nines’: his fevered heat and Agent Nines’ continued cool.

Agent Nines forced Gavin’s legs wide apart, and after coating his fingers in the precum that overflowed from Gavin’s taut penis, he then reached down into the deepest and tightest part of him. He buried his fingers in Gavin’s tense opening, though he took his time to ease their passage.

Gavin caught his breath at the feeling of those fingers invading him. His thighs seemed to clamp up, spasming lightly, but when Agent Nines gently massaged his prostate, he relaxed and turned to jelly in an instant. When he made himself rigid in an effort to gain control of himself at the last minute, it backfired by making his muscles clamp tighter around Agent Nines’ fingers.

“I can feel you tightening around me,” Agent Nines sighed out, “you want me that badly?”

“Hggn!” His voice was drowned out by his own shuddering breaths as Agent Nines’ fingers stirred around inside him. After a few more moments of a slightly hasty preparation, Agent Nines withdrew his fingers from Gavin’s body.

After the brief sound of clothes rustling and a belt buckle coming undoing, Gavin felt the sensation of a hand laid on his inner thigh. Agent Nines moved him to bend in half, pushing his knees up against his chest. He had no time to understand what was going on from his vantage point, however.

“AHH!”

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Hank cradled Connor from behind, though he was aware that the android was confused, and tried protesting for a moment. Hank clasped his hands over Connor’s tight stomach, buried his face in Connor’s shoulder, and went still for some time. Connor, too, remained motionless, simply choosing instead to watch the candle flame. He smiled when he saw his and Hank’s warmth gradually melting together.

At last, he heard and felt Hank sucking at his neck. The sound of it echoing close by his ear embarrassed him. His body stiffened up a bit, and Hank kissed the same place over and over, as though to ease his tension.

“Oooh…”

Hank hummed back, but he didn’t stop yet.

Suddenly, Connor felt a moist sensation slide over the side of his neck. Hank’s tongue ghosted little by little toward his collarbone. Shoulders trembling slightly, Connor gulped down shaky moans.

“Connor…” Hank took the android’s chin in a hand and made him look over his shoulder. They finally kissed softly. Connor couldn’t believe their lips met, but the moment they did, he surrendered to all the noises that finally poured out of himself.

Hank kissed him over and over, then, still cupping his chin, and gazed into Connor’s brown eyes. Their incredible closeness was so embarrassing. Connor soon had to look away.

Hank’s free hand gradually worked its way up Connor’s t-shirt, eventually lifting it. His movements were dexterous, teasing, and clearly well accustomed to this, but the large palm touching Connor’s skin was coated in sweat.

“You’re so cute…”

Connor yelped when Hank licked his chin. “What’re you saying??” His exclamation died at the back of his throat when the older male moved back and bit his earlobe. Hank’s hand slowly stroked Connor’s exposed abdomen, then crawled higher, wandering across his chest. Hank’s tongue soon made its way deeper into his ear. The sound of licking reverberated inside him, sapping away his ability to think clearly. Each breath Hank took blew into Connor’s audio receptors pleasantly, and Connor’s shoulders hunched.

Letting out a low laugh at the sight of Connor’s reaction, Hank began caressing his chest with both hands. All the while, he continued kissing the side of Connor’s pale neck. Hank’s hands melded with Connor’s flushed skin, heating up the space between them.

When Hank brushed his nipples, the resulting flash of tingling made Connor nearly collapse further into the older male. The lovely sensations were only accelerating, and Connor felt himself actually growing dizzy. Hank was playing with his nipples, and only then did Connor feel a little upset with himself for missing out on such a pleasurable experience.

He allowed Hank to continue while he lost himself in his delirious ramblings and noises. Desperate to control his voice, he chewed at his lip. An indescribable sensation spread through him, confusing him while Hank stroked his chest.

“I think you’d feel better if you let yourself make some noise,” Hank suggested.

“Shut up,” Connor hissed, though he didn’t mean it in a rude way.

Grinning behind him, Hank snickered, “You sure are stubborn.”

Hanks hands soon wandered lower, and then reached the edge of Connor’s jeans. Sensing that Connor had stopped making sounds and moving, Hank asked, “Scared?”

That was it; no one had touched him there before.

Kissing his hair, Hank said, “I don’t mind stopping here. Might be movin’ too fast after all.”

Those words spurred on Connor’s rebellious side. He knew Hank was deliberately provoking him, but he couldn’t bring himself to ignore it. “No…keep going,” he urged in a small moan.

“I promise I’ll make it good for you, Connor.” Hank embraced him from behind, as though to comfort his somewhat rigid body. In no time, Hank’s fingers had worked their way inside the waistline of Connor’s jeans, and when his fingers touched Connor’s cock through his underwear, the android let out another moan. He felt himself trembling, but Hank’s touch was welcome and rapturous.

Having observed Connor’s reaction, Hank kissed him once on the neck before reaching inside his underwear. The heat of being touched directly sent intense shudders up the android’s back and shoulders. Leaning back, he was startled to feel Hank’s heartbeat through his back, and he realized it was far quicker than he’d expected.

Hank spread the front of his jeans open and took out his newly hardening cock. Hank slowly closed his fist around it, and a sigh spilled from Connor’s lips. The hand wrapped around him began gently moving up and down.

He was overtaken by the faint numbness that began seeping through himself. “Haaaa!”

“It’ll be okay,” Hank cooed, “just let yourself feel it…” following this through with a hot kiss on his lover’s cheek, Hank’s hands began moving faster.

The pangs between Connor’s hips became proportionately sharper, and he gnawed at his lip again to keep his voice at bay in his throat. The older male kept his hand moving, but used the fingertips of his other hand to brush over Connor’s strained lips. His fingers stroked Connor’s lips tenderly, as though to placate him. “Let me hear your voice, Connor…” Hank begged and pleaded, “I want to know if you’re really enjoying this.”

Although he couldn’t make his embarrassment vanish on command, Connor shook his head lightly. He was grateful at least that Hank was expressing how he really felt, but he still wasn’t ready to lose himself entirely. Overpowered by his own perplexity, he was caught by surprise when Hank pressed the head of his cock.

“Ah!!!!!!” He tried muffling the loud cry by covering his mouth with the back of his hand. Hank was handling his erection harder, as though to inflame him.

Though he was pressing down on his mouth, his moans leaked through the gaps between his fingers against his will. “Oooh, ahh!!”

Resting one of his hands on Connor’s shoulder, Hank used his other hand to fumble with Connor’s nipples. The aching in Connor heightened, and unable to withstand it all, he arched his neck back. Liquid overflowed from the tip of his erect cock, and Hank stroked him as though to coat him well in it. The wetness of it drove him even further up the walls with raw desire.

“Ahh! Ahh!! M-nnm!!”

“Hmm, let it all out,” Hank growled in lust.

In the blink of an eye, waves of pleasure came crashing down on Connor. Hank continued stroking away, and Connor went to the brink without any other protests. A powerful tingling shot up his back, and he quivered. White heat came bursting out of his hard cock. At the edge of his sight, he glimpsed Hank’s hand catching it all.

While Hank stiffened and breathed raggedly behind him, Connor had to look away from his own ejaculate; it was all terribly explicit for himself to handle. Hank carefully pushed him down, peeling off his jeans and underwear all in one go. Something cold suddenly breached his back entrance, and he yelped as he tried getting up off the floor. It was Hank’s hand cupping his precum, and he’d reached between his legs. A finger suddenly invaded Connor, and he writhed away at the strange feeling of it all.

This was…different.

“What’re you doing?”

Hank kissed his forehead as he climbed on top of him, “It’ll be hard for you if I don’t loosen you up a little first,” he explained, low-voiced and his tone husky.

Connor unthinkingly glanced back at him. There was an apologetic-yet very hard-pressed look in Hank’s eyes. “I’m sorry, there’s nothing else I can do to work around this.” His voice was charged with heat, and it made Connor even more driven with a frenzy and insatiable need.

Hank voice was hoarse, “I want to hold you.” It was the voice of someone whose limits were being tested.

Spreading his own legs widely, Connor whispered, “So hold me, then…” He looked up to see Hank’s fevered expression. His brows were furrowed, his lips were thinly parted. His face was rendered sensual, and for a second, Connor found himself entranced.

Suddenly, he felt something hot prying his entrance open.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Gavin cried out a loud, deep moan when something hot drove its way deeply into his body. While this hadn’t been the first time he’d slept with Agent Nines, it still felt so foreign when he slid his hot length inside him. Gavin arched his back, his head grinding into the bed sheets while his eyes snapped shut in pleasure. He bucked his hips wildly in an effort to elude coming right there, but Agent Nines caught him and held him down strongly.

Gavin’s mind registered that Agent Nines was completely buried in him, base to tip, and it seemed as if the heat of his cock would burn Gavin from within. The moment he was fully inside, Agent Nines started moving without a pause.

The agony of penetration came in periodic waves, now. Each time Agent Nines plunged into him, prying him open, the sensation of friction made the youth’s spine shudder.

“Fuuu—haa!!!” He heard his own trembling exhalations and felt nothing short of pathetic; it sounded as if he were weeping. Yet, the feeling of Agent Nines thrusting into him swiftly erased his thoughts.

Was Agent Nines concealed and holding back on his own wild mortification, too?

Almost his entire consciousness was devoted to enduring his own pain and pleasure of it all, but when Gavin opened his eyes faintly as his thoughts passed through a distant corner of his brain, he suddenly….!!?

Suddenly, Agent Nines gripped him fiercely in his arms and buried his face in Gavin’s shoulder. The younger male found himself utterly bewildered. He had no idea what was going on. Something really was wrong with Agent Nines today. The android above him had released his arms, but Gavin didn’t resist. Agent Nines’ scent floated towards him from the black hair pressed close by Gavin’s face, tickling his nose. So too, did the scent of blood that had stained bits of Agent Nines’ pants.

He hadn’t the foggiest notion of what was prompting Agent Nines to act in such a way, but when the android began thrusting even more ferociously than before, it trapped the young man back in the gap between pain and pleasure.

“Haa…ahh! Shhh—nn!!”

The angle of entry shifted as Agent Nines plunged into him. When the android’s cock hit a certain spot, rich waves of bliss melted through him, and a cry spilled from his lips before he could stop himself. His unbound arms wandered the air, having nowhere to go. He clutched for something, anything, and caught at Agent Nines’ toned, clothed back.

Agent Nines didn’t overlook this shift in response; he repeatedly aimed for the same sensitive spot, fucking it quickly while Gavin held onto him tightly.

Gavin’s cock-being rubbed between their stomachs-was already painfully stiff. An indecipherable sensation bore him up past all his pain and turmoil, and chased him ever higher. Now, he was clutching desperately at Agent Nines.

“NNUUH!!!”

In response to his heated moans, a tight breath and groan burst from Agent Nines’ usually silent lips as he went on burying himself deeply in Gavin. Somehow, that groan sounded peculiarly raw and sexual. Gavin’s heart beat hard and his insides clenched upon hearing it, bearing down hard around Agent Nines’ hot shaft.

“Nii—iinneesss!” An ecstasy powerful enough to make Gavin completely forget himself torrented through his body in search of a sweet release. The last few times, Agent Nines pulled out almost all the way, then slammed back into him powerfully. Each time he rammed back inside that tight body, Gavin moaned out for Nines, and it soon held a sway on the cold Agent Nines.

When Gavin panted out ‘Nines’ for the final time, Agent Nines slammed his hand down over the youth’s mouth in an effort to silence him. His thrusts sped up, and he growled, “I’m at my limit for this…” glaring at Gavin as he sheathed himself deeply inside him, he grunted irritably, “do you think that just for tonight, you can call out my name instead? Hmm?”

Upon receiving such thrusts and motions, Gavin’s body quivered, and everything went sharply white. Once the hand around his mouth came off, Gavin threw his head back and lost himself to the indescribably reckless sensations of pleasure and rapture escaping him by the minute.

“Agent Nines!!!” he couldn’t believe who he was now crying out for, but his body had indeed betrayed him. “AGENT NINES!!”

Semen came gushing out of the tip of his rock-hard cock. At the same moment, Agent Nines stiffened slightly, and tightened his arms around Gavin. The younger man felt a searing warmth surge into the depths of his body potently. All he could do was wallow in the sweet aftermath, his head in the clouds.

The exhausted youth felt Agent Nines’ hand reach out and brush away his sweaty bangs, which had been plastered messily to his forehead. Green eyes entered Gavin’s foggy vision.

Just as he’d thought, something was terribly different than before; he’d never seen this look in Agent Nines’ eyes before. Agent Nines had never acted like this before…he wondered hazily about what was happening, and he was taken by surprise when all of a sudden, Agent Nines pressed his lips against Gavin’s.

“…Nmmm?!?” His eyes flew all the way open. It didn’t change the facts, and the facts were laid out right before him then.

Agent Nines was deeply kissing him, and he didn’t want to stop.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

“Connor…”

“Haaaaaank!” A needy cry sprang from Connor, and the strangeness associated with being penetrated so deeply made him clutch at the carpet desperately. Taking those same fingers in a warm hand, Hank kissed them, as though to console his partner while he gradually slid in deeper and deeper, ready to advance.

“You okay?” his warm voice seeped deliciously into Connor, and he only was able to manage a nod before he twitched his hips involuntarily. When he did this, the sound of a rough exhalation let him know that Hank had fully entered him. Connor’s throat convulsed; his voice wouldn’t come out.

His partner stroked his hair and kissed him. “Please try to bear it; I’ve got you, Connor.” After that, Hank slowly started moving.

Rearing up at once, Connor felt and heard sobs escaping him uncontrollably. “Nu…haa…Haaaank…”

The candlelight illuminated their sweaty skin. Obscene noises and the sound of the floor beneath the carpet creaking filled the room each time their bodies met. Hank pumped inside him gently, though he did it with as little rapid movement as possible, so as to not cause Connor any type of discomfort or suffering. At each thrust, Connor arched his back, as though to escape. When he did, his chest rose, and Hank licked one of his nipples.

Connor’s cries and breath hitched louder, “Haaa!! Ohh!”

Once he’d found Connor’s most sensitive spot, Hank began aiming for it again and again. All his faculty of reason grew muddled and were replaced by waves of sensation sweet enough to wash away the strangeness gathering in his pelvis. Connor responded to every touch, moving back in time to meet Hank’s hips rocking into his own. When Hank began touching his erection, Connor completely lost the ability to thick altogether.

“Shh, Connor…” Strong arms supported his helplessly shaking body, and from time to time, concerned, heated eyes gazed down at his face. It all rendered him even more bashful, but he didn’t vocalize it. 

For every thrust, Connor soon moaned out inarticulately. “Ahh…ahh…aghh!” No matter how he clamped his lips shut, no matter how he tried to hold his voice back, it all still came out. Unable to withstand it, he turned his head sideways, and hid his expressions in a bunch of bed sheets that had been strewn on the floor.

Hank held Connor tightly, adoringly, his hips pounding harder and harder.

Aware that he’d ejaculated once, Connor felt his cock already completely rigid again. He was swept away by pleasure that seemed more than enough to overwrite any fantasy he’d ever entertained about himself and Hank.

Touching his face lightly, Hank whispered, “Show me more of yourself, Connor…” the moment he’d whispered and murmured teasingly in his ear without warning, Connor screamed out at the very height of ecstasy. Before he had time to wonder what Hank meant, the older male had seized him by his arm and pulled him up in one swift, powerful motion. Connor had ended up sitting atop Hank, who had leaned with his back against the edge of the old bed.

“Ahhh!!!” The force of his own body weight made Hank’s hardness sink deeper inside him than ever, and Connor just gaped down at where they were joined. It was all so radiant and beautiful, and he really began discovering and understanding why humans enjoyed sex so much. Intense joy lanced up through him when he looked down at noticed the way in which Hank was studying him.

The older male looked like he really was in love…

Shrinking away from it, Connor gasped, “Please!!” He knew Hank was right below him, watching him quite intently, and he desperately attempted to shy away from his heated, loving looks.

“You…” Hank shuddered, “…you entice me…” Hank whispered more endearing words, fingers caressing his lover’s cock. Burning with strange, growing amounts of passion and elation within himself, Connor twisted his body in a futile effort to hide away, but Hank thrust hard into him from below.

Placing his hands over Hank’s firm chest, he drooled out, “Ooooh god…”

“Hold onto me, Connor.” With the corners of his mouth curving up, Hank gripped Connor’s waist and hips, and then began helping him move up and down in his lap.

Feeling so dirty and lusty, Connor glowered at Hank, but the older male snickered while massaging his hips. “Glaring at me with those tearful eyes only makes you cuter.”

So he threw his head back and moaned at the ceiling, unable to stop himself from riding his lover’s cock. It all came to him naturally and uninhibited. Hands splayed across Hank’s stomach, he somehow managed to hold himself up. Even so, the feeling of the other man’s muscles and abdomen flexing and shifting every time he moved up into him was riveting and powerful enough to make his mind dizzy. His painfully hard cock dripped with evidence of his excitement, and it was pleading for release. Hank attended to it, pumping it hard.  

“Ahh!! Hank!! I c-can’t!!”

Moving rapidly, Hank hissed, “You can! Come for me, Connor!!” Urging his partner onward, Hank penetrated him as deeply as he could go.

Blinding pleasure bolted suddenly through his hips, and Connor arched his back, shivering and shaking powerfully. Both his mind and sight turned pure white, and he had no choice but to give himself over to the impulsive drives and urges tugging at him. Tensing up as well, Hank clenched his hips, holding Connor in place. Soon after, Connor came for the second time, trembling and falling against Hank. He could actually feel Hank’s searing hot release shooting deeply inside himself, and it made him ride out the last portions of his orgasm even longer and sweeter. The older male’s muscles bunched, and his body trembled, before the series of rough, jabbing thrusts came to an end, accompanied and accentuated by one deep grind.

“Haaaaaaaaaank…” with one last bit of energy he had left in his system, he leaned down, and pressed a delicate kiss right above where Hank’s heart was thumping quickly. Connor’s vague field of sight reflected Hank’s face; he wore an expression that suggested he was struggling to contain himself.

When Connor sagged against him, Hank too sank back onto the floor and exhaled deeply. His large, sweaty hands stroked Connor’s back again and again, each touch bestowed growing softer and more endearing than the last.

“You okay?” Hank asked, and he felt Connor answering with a small nod while he lay his head upon Hank’s chest. Chuckling, the older man pressed out in a gravelly voice, “Sorry…it’s been a while for me, and I guess I overdid it?” Truthfully, his throat was parched from ceaseless moaning, and he imagined Connor wasn’t having an easier time either.

Moving his head to the side, Connor pointed at a dark window, “It’s stopped raining…”

Nodding slowly, Hank muttered, “Yeah…for now.”

Wincing when he tried moving atop him, Connor hissed, “Can you please take it out?”

Remembering that he was still deeply buried inside his lover, Hank hastily roused himself, and he gently pushed his hips back, dislodging his limbs from Connor’s. Rolling the android down to his side, he lay him flat beside himself, sniffing the top of his head and playing with his hair lazily. After a moment, Connor shifted, then gasped, “I’m wet and sticky between my legs…”

An impish grin formed its way on Hank’s face, and he pressed out, “And now you know why I use condoms.”

He was met with a nasty glare from his lover, and then Connor spat sarcastically, “Very sexy.”

Grabbing one of the nearby sheets, Hank slowly cleaned both their stomachs, chests, and then he wiped down Connor’s legs. He seemed to be on the verge of closing his eyes and falling asleep, and his lover caught onto it. Pulling the sheet out of his hand, Connor then leaned down and brushed his lips over Hank’s. It was a soft, light kiss; their tongues gliding together only for a moment, and to Connor, it tasted vaguely of tobacco.

Sighing, he pulled away and shook his head at Hank, “Still smoking?”

“Shut up, Connor,” Hank kissed the tip of his nose and his forehead, then pushed him down to lie beside him in a flop. “Just let me hold you so I can at least get two hours of sleep, and then we can leave this place.”

Not wanting to argue and spoil a wonderful, perfect night, Connor closed his eyes, and he willingly entered stasis.

They could argue about this in the morning, after all. But for now, Connor wanted to just ‘cuddle’.

Strange, as he’d never felt the need to do it before…

Chapter Text

Gavin dressed back into his clothes, feeling a bit sore everywhere. He was beyond exhausted, hungry, and grumpy, but most of all, he was absolutely confused. He knew his confusion had been brought on by Agent Nines’ constantly changing behavior patterns, and frankly, the young man didn’t know whether he’d be able to keep up with all the unpredictability and uncertainty for much longer. After all, he was still hanging onto the hopes that Nines was somewhere there with him, but he was perhaps trapped and held back by Agent Nines?

Was that even a possibility at all?

To Gavin, it sounded insane, but he was learning recently that when it came to the strange underworld of crime and the unknown organization called ‘The Agency’, one could never be fully prepared for anything that occurred, and things didn’t always have to make sense as they would on a regular daily basis.

If this was his new life, then he supposed it was time to get used to it. After all, he was now involved knee-deep in this world, and he knew that the only way he could survive was if Agent Nines was willing to see that through. All his hopes rested on the eccentric android, but what also bothered and greatly disturbed Gavin was the fact that he was both frightened of Agent Nines and at the same time, he found he was rather attached to the beast as well.

Though he wouldn’t ever admit it aloud, he was beginning to find Agent Nines appealing, trustworthy, dignified (when it came to certain things), as well as mildly attractive. When the last bit of that realization struck him, Gavin was reeling in shock and madness.

He couldn’t believe he found Agent Nines attractive, but there was no sense in lying about it, hiding it, or denying it.

As much as he despised himself for thinking and feeling the way he did, it was nothing but the truth; he was attracted to Agent Nines as well as the Nines he’d first gotten close to and shared a lot of time and joy with.

Well, that was the ‘other’ Nines, but what about this one? Did he really deserve Gavin’s feelings and emotions?

As Gavin stirred up while straightening his white t-shirt, he heard Agent Nines shuffling about somewhere near the broken and cracked windows. A few tattered curtains hung from rods in the walls above, barely concealing them from the outside world. Well, at least the rain had stopped…

Standing up from the bed both to admire the fresh morning view as well as to try and get his thoughts together coherently and carefully, Gavin once again stared over at Agent Nines and asked himself the burning question.

Do I feel the same way about Agent Nines as I do for ‘Nines’?

As he remained standing there in silence, Agent Nines gazed around outside the window for a moment before he stared over at Gavin and sneered. “Ahh,” he began in an uncomfortable tone while wincing, “the return of the ‘why boner’, I see…”

……….

Fighting back the urge to roll his eyes, Gavin turned his back to the android and shook his head.

I like him…god damn it, I really do like him…but why?!?!

Why indeed?

Gazing back at the android for a second, he caught Agent Nines glaring at him for a moment before he pressed a hand on his own chest. To Gavin’s shock, he found that the android had somehow found a black casual stripe long sleeve slim fit polo cotton t-shirt over top of his black pants from God-knows-where. It looked relatively clean and tidy, and Gavin threw Agent Nines a rather suspicious look.

Agent Nines tilted his head at him, “What?”

“Who did you kill to get that shirt?” Gavin asked, already in a foul mood so early in the day. He couldn’t help that he’d wandered into such dark, pessimistic territory when it came to the assassin android; Agent Nines only knew killing, and it was all Gavin had seen on display since they’d met, really. What else was he to expect, after all?

Miffed by what he’d been accused of, Agent Nines growled in a warning, “I’m not always out spilling blood like you think I am, you know,” pausing, he snorted as he gestured at the bed, “I was by your side all night, and yet you’re still not satisfied?”

Blushing furiously, Gavin tugged at his ears as he huffed impatiently, “Well, it’s what you were doin’ last night!” he reminded the vicious android, “I had to stop you, and I’m fuckin’ shocked you didn’t disembowel me as well!!”

Dashing forward at him suddenly, Agent Nines held onto Gavin’s cheeks with his hands as his thumbs stroked the slightly stubbly skin there. Gazing into the younger man’s eyes, he whispered, “But I stopped…didn’t you see?” Smiling a broken smile, he then added, “You were the one who helped me, Gavin Reed; thanks to you, I think I can finally—” stopping at once, he drew away from Gavin, and then stared out the window slowly.

Groaning in anguish and despair, Gavin snapped, “You always do this!! I hate it!!”

Agent Nines pressed an index finger over Gavin’s lips as he hushed him. “Someone’s out there,” he supplied, eyes darting around and from side-to-side, “I can hear them.”

“I don’t hear anyth—”

Ignoring him, Agent Nines approached the door of the house they’d taken refuge in, and he slowly opened it while waving at Gavin. “Get behind me,” he instructed softly, and Gavin immediately did as he was told. As the door creaked open, Gavin tried peering around Agent Nines’ body to study their environment, but was met with a strong hand shoving his head away.

“Stop!” Gavin slapped Agent Nines’ hand away, but the android was still hell-bent on ignoring him.

Gavin didn’t take it personally, however; he’d spent enough time around Agent Nines to know and spot the difference between when the android was blatantly ignoring him, and when he was trying to ‘track’ something or someone down. His eyes almost seemed to glow yellow in the center, much like his LED light as he stood carefully on the broken, termite-infested and rotten wood of the tiny porch of the house.

From what Gavin was able to see, the entire neighborhood looked as run-down and impoverished as the house they were hiding in. It was something of a regular sight to behold after being born and raised in Detroit City, but he’d been a little more than privileged enough not to have unemployed parents and relatives. Money had always been plentiful in his household growing up, and he’d never really been around neighborhoods like this. But he felt ‘safe’, as long as Agent Nines was there with him, at least.

When Agent Nines tried moving forward to perhaps ‘lock on’ his ‘target’, Gavin latched onto his arm with incredible speed. It seemed to even take Agent Nines by surprise, for he paused and raised his eyebrows as he looked a few times back and forth between Gavin, and his hand over Agent Nines’ own arm.

Baring his teeth so the android knew he was serious, Gavin leaned up and whispered into his ear, “Remember, even if you find someone, don’t freakin’ kill them, okay?”

Nodding, Agent Nines growled, “Can I incapacitate them, then?”

Scowling angrily, Gavin retorted acidly, “No! Just…just stop fuckin’ hurting and killing things!”

“Not promising you shit,” the dour android hissed out, and then he tore away from Gavin.

Hanging back for a moment, Gavin glared, but otherwise didn’t have anything to add on. If there was a chance that they were in danger, he felt that leaving it to Agent Nines was far better than dealing with it himself. After all, it wasn’t like they could ‘talk’ their way out of majority of these situations, it seemed.

Watching closely as Agent Nines walked around the front of the house, Gavin slowly ventured out onto the porch as well, and he jumped back in fright when a large crow swooped by him and dove down to pick up into its sharp, long beak the mashed-up carcass of a run-over wild rabbit.

As it carried its prize up into the cerulean sky and towards the trees lingering behind the houses, Gavin glared at Agent Nines when he caught the haughty smirk the android had been giving him. Immediately, it wiped itself clean off the android’s face, and he held up both hands as if surrendering to Gavin.

“Don’t look at me, I didn’t kill it!”

Gavin only flipped him off in response, and then walked slowly and carefully out into the open. For some reason, he felt they were being watched, and it had nothing to do with his paranoia. This felt so real, and even Agent Nines seemed on edge as he stared around the neighborhood, slowly spinning around to take in all the sights and sounds.

Was it safe, really??

Gavin wondered, and his impatient nature began to rear its ugly head the longer he waited behind while Agent Nines remained silent. Whatever powers the android had, Gavin knew he himself was a limited human being, and he didn’t have the first clue as to what the predatory android saw or heard. Needing at least some information in either direction, Gavin waved at Agent Nines. It was a move made to get his attention, but it didn’t work; Agent Nines was far too focused on something.

Just when he’d been about to say ‘fuck it’ and just shout out for Agent Nines, the android clearly had caught onto something. Like a bloodhound, he was off without another word.

The chase had already begun.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Agent Nines’ long legs pumped quickly as he dashed ahead once he’d seen the shadow of the figure that had been watching them all along. Never had he doubted himself; he knew this other creature was an android long before he’d even opened the door and wandered outside. Needing to get closer, however, he had to find the android in order to determine what model it was, and to whom it belonged.

No android in such a neighborhood walked around all alone; not without human protection. From the signs he’d seen posted about on some dilapidated fences and in the dark windows of the houses on the street, androids were not welcome here, and he knew that humans had the right to shoot an android on sight if they wished.

The android was fast, however, and he was genuinely surprised. He considered his own skills, abilities, and speed of the utmost top tier for his prototype, but for once, it seemed he was ‘matched’ with something else.

Although Agent Nines was able to navigate his way through the neighborhood easily, the android he was pursuing knew of shortcuts and secrets he didn’t readily knew of. They slid and ducked between branches and crannies, cleverly making an ‘obstacle course’ of sorts, which consisted of running and cutting through some yards that had plenty of garbage, old furniture out in the front, heavy, large car parts, and sometimes, the android even slipped in through garages by leaping in through the open windows.

It didn’t matter, though; wherever the android went, Agent Nines followed.

As he ran with pure determination flowing through his system, he saw that the android was wearing a hoodie of sorts, and that was why he’d been unable to really capture most of their features.

If only he could just make physical contact for one second…

Looking up right on time, he dodged around a tree, and then saw the android ahead of himself leaping up on an old trampoline. It was a wise, clever move; it gave the android momentum, and it sailed high into the air, flying above and past at least two front yards before landing on its feet and running away faster.

Agent Nines followed in their trail. He jumped up on the trampoline, twisting himself up like an agile wildcat, and he kicked off his back feet as he leapt high into the air. Due to his greater strength, however, he flew above the android’s head, flying faster, farther, and with more agility.

As he peered down at the android, he stuck out his arms; he was so close to touching it!!!

Gravity pulled him down quickly, however, and he landed right on top of the other android. He hadn’t exactly intended for that to happen, but he wasn’t going to be ungrateful for the accident, no matter how ‘clumsy’ it made him out to be. What mattered was catching this son of a bitch!

But he hadn’t been prepared for a ‘fight’ of sorts.

The other android kicked back with a leg, and Agent Nines avoided it at the last minute by leaping to the side. As he backed off the android, he’d been ready to pounce once again. He knew the bastard would start running once more, and he hadn’t been wrong. The moment he allowed the android, it dashed down the street again, running at odd angles and in zig-zag motions, obviously trying to throw him off.

Too bad it didn’t work.

In no time at all, as he put on a potent burst of speed and strength, Agent Nines caught up to the android, and he eyed the hoodie almost dangling off the back of the android’s skull. It was almost within his grasp!!

Reaching for it, he growled deeply as he leapt up once again, never lowering his hand. His claw-like fingers hooked onto the cotton, and in one smooth motion, he yanked the hood down. It kept the android back, and it stopped running suddenly as it slammed backwards into Agent Nines’ arms.

Careful not to let it fall and sustain severe damage, Agent Nines pushed the android up and spun it around in his hands firmly. “Caught you now, you slippery son of a—” everything he’d been meaning to say as far as insults went disappeared off the tip of his tongue when the android gazed up at him.

Now that the hood was gone, he was able to see the android’s face clearly.

It was a female android, and she was still dressed in a CyberLife uniform beneath the sweater she’d donned as part of her disguise. She had dyed bright orange wavy hair, and it was of medium height in a loose and messy ponytail. Her fingernails had been painted light green and light blue in a funny pattern, and she had on dark track pants and white running shoes. Her eyes were a soft blue shade, and it appeared that she may have been an older model.

Stepping up closer to her, Agent Nines noticed how messily the fingernail polish was. It could’ve been painted on her nails by a child, he supposed, and he held onto that theory as her LED light flashed red in a warning.

“What model are you?” he asked gently, not wanting to frighten her off or coax her into a fight.

Shaking, she hissed in a high-pitched voice befitting a young girl, “FM400!”

“Do you have a name?”

His next question stunned her, and her jaw fell open in shock. Before she could respond, however, loud footsteps caught up to them. Knowing who it was without even looking, Agent Nines ground out thickly, “Gavin, stay back a little!”

Ignoring him, the youth stared at the female android without a name, did a double take, stared at Agent Nines, and then back over at the female android. Wheezing out a breath no one knew he’d even been holding, he placed his hands on his stomach as he gasped and panted for air desperately.

Eyeing his chest moving in and out, Agent Nines sarcastically spat, “Looks like you won’t be making track and field then, huh?”

“Sh-shut up,” Gavin irritably grumbled, and then pointed at the female android, “who’re you?”

As soon as he’d asked this, she folded her hands behind her back, fluttered her eyelashes at him playfully, and the overall atmosphere around them had taken a pleasant and innocent turn. It was as if the female android had been possessed by someone or something else, and it shocked Agent Nines that she changed her mood so much once she saw Gavin.

Swaying back and forth on the back of her feet, she chirruped out all too eagerly, “I’m Candi!”

“Short for ‘Candice’?” Gavin inquired again, raising a curious brow to go along with it.

Shaking her head, she repeated for him, “Candi! It’s what the kids named me!!”

Stepping up even closer to her, then, Agent Nines saw her shrivel back from him. So it appeared she didn’t mind Gavin, but she clearly didn’t like him!

Not put off by this in the slightest, he introduced himself, “I’m Gavin Reed,” and then he asked her, “What children? You mentioned something about children?”

Both Gavin and Nines saw doubt and suspicion rising in her eyes, and she took half a step back before wringing her hands together nervously. “I…I said too much!” she admitted softly, and then sternly shook her head, “I should go back home!”

“No, wait!!” crying out for her desperately was what caused her to stop and turn back around. She seemed to really listen to Gavin, and as she eyed him shyly, he smiled warmly at her.

Approaching her very carefully in measured, slow steps, he held his smile bravely on his face in spite of the fact that he was a little afraid of her. She was a stranger to him, and he had no idea how she would react to him. All he had was his bravery and his gut with him, and he trusted it as he calmly approached her until they were a few inches apart at the most.

Her eyes beamed into his, and Gavin supposed it was a good sign. Returning her smile, he gently prodded her as he asked, “C-can we maybe talk to you for a bit, Candi?” When he saw her confused look, he added in, “I promise we won’t hurt you or anything; we just want to be friends!!” Hoping she was a little more on the gullible side, Gavin waited as he watched her almost literally going through her thoughts as she made up her mind.

Chewing on her lower lip for a moment, it was all silent between the three of them until it grew to be too much for Gavin. Any second now, he was preparing to tell her to just forget the whole thing, but she then clapped loudly, and it scared Gavin.

“Okay!” she cheered as she leapt up excitedly, “the kids are kinda lonely, after all, and I think it’s okay for you two to come and play with them for a while!!” She turned swiftly on her heels, but just when Gavin breathed out a tiny sigh of relief, she spun back around and she whispered almost in a secretive manner, “But I have to get permission from mom and dad, first, okay?”

Swallowing down his fear, Gavin only croaked out weakly, “Okay.”

Candi was whistling and singing enthusiastically and playfully as she skipped on ahead, “Come on! Follow me!!”

As he paused for a moment, trying to take it all in, Agent Nines shoved past him, already following her. Unlike Candi, however, he didn’t seem to want to wait for Gavin, but he did turn around and peer over his shoulder at Gavin for a split second.

The look he offered the young man was one of genuine approval and respect.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Hank hissed in pain as Connor unwrapped his binding over his wound to take a small look at it. Slapping the android’s hands away, he growled painfully, “That hurts, Connor! Don’t touch it!!”

“But I’m sensing it’s getting infected!” Connor jabbed back at him in irritation, “we need to get you to a clinic or something!”

Sarcastically, Hank gasped, “Oh yes! Let’s just hop on down the street here where no one fuckin’ lives in the hopes that we find a clinic then, shall we?”

A displeased scowl appeared on Connor’s face in response, and his shoulders sank. “Why do you have to be so rude to me, Hank? I seriously am worried because I care about you.”

“Somehow, Connor,” the older man grunted as he fumbled around for his pants, “I already figured that out, and believe me,” he paused, staring at Connor’s nude form for a moment, “last night kinda brought that to my attention in many ways…”

As he dressed, Connor eyed him with caution as he inquired, “Do you regret what we did last night?”

Freezing midway just before he could zip himself back up, Hank stared at a random spot on the floor, and then sighed. Brushing his long hair back and then scratching his beard, he shook his head and answered honestly, “Of course not; I’ve wanted to have you in my arms and in my bed for a long time, but I don’t think right now’s the best time for us to be discussing our relationship, Connor.”

At least a small smile was now on Connor’s face upon hearing how Hank felt. It was a good thing for him clearly that his feelings and emotions were returned. Standing up slowly, he also dressed back into his still-dewy shirt and pants while giggling, “Relationship! You said we’re in a relationship!”

Snickering, Hank shook his head, “Well, I technically didn’t say that, but sure, I guess you could say we are in one, Connor.”

There was no way to disappoint his android lover; Connor was bustling about smiling like a proud, gifted person who’d won the lottery, and Hank wasn’t going to take his happiness away at all.

Let him be happy; Connor deserved it more than he did, after all.

Checking outside as he put on a dark sweater still hanging in an old closet of the small house they’d spent the night in, Hank grumbled as he found nothing terribly amiss outside. It was just an old, run-down, dilapidated, abandoned street, just as he’d surmised last night.

Connor stood next to him at the window as he stared outside and breathed softly, “This street was originally set up and designed to be some kind of a ‘housing’ facility for the homeless populations of Detroit,” he explained to Hank, “but later on, plans were changed, and the real estate business decided it wouldn’t hurt to make a buck or two wherever they could.”

“Money talks, bullshit walks,” Hank responded, indicating that he caught on fully well to what had happened here.

“Anyone homeless had to evacuate the premises here, and that strangely included androids…”

At this, Hank frowned in confusion, “What? Don’t some people own androids, though?” Not wanting to say it, he found there was no other way around it, and he carefully croaked out, “I mean…you know…the kind of androids that helped with the household chores and kids?”

Not particularly offended by it, Connor smiled, “No, even androids like that had to be either put down if discovered, but usually, the families that housed them received warnings, and then a hefty fine if they didn’t get rid of their android.”

“I wonder why,” Hank sighed out, but then shrugged as he headed over towards a large backyard door still partly open. “Let’s go, Connor,” he advised gently, “we can talk more as we figure out how the hell to even get out of here safely.”

Connor didn’t move for a moment, and just cast his eyes down at the floor. Staring away at his feet for the longest time, he eventually whispered in a sad tone while a sullen look was upon his face, “I’m sorry about everything, Hank…I know you think that what happened to Endre was my fault, and if you want to think that way, I won’t blame you or be angry with you, but I really didn’t want you to get hurt.”

Something deep within Hank’s heart stirred, and for a moment, he thought he was going to suffer from a panic attack or some minor heart problem. His heart was beating erratically, and he felt rather dizzy. A shortness of breath accompanied these feelings, but he didn’t collapse and suffer worse; he was just experiencing a feeling he’d once known when he met his first love back in late college whom he’d later on married and had a child with.

Ah…so there it was; that same feeling still churning about in his heart. So he was still capable of feeling loved and wanted after all! It warmed him and excited him to feel in such a way, but he didn’t want to get too ahead of himself as Connor caught up to him. The android fell in line beside him as they slowly walked out into the large, spacious yards, unsure of where they were really going.

And yet, Hank didn’t care for the first time ever.

He didn’t need a path; he just needed to be with someone who cared for him.

He needed to be with Connor.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

“There it is!” Candi cried out after a long walk that Gavin assumed had gone on for longer than ten minutes, “there’s my house!!”

Breathing out a tiny sigh of relief when he found that the android hadn’t been playing them for fools, Gavin stared ahead in the direction she’d pointed in. An old, dark brown bricked house sat waiting for them on a tiny hill. It seemed in quite the terrible condition as the other houses did, but for some reason, it had a ‘homey’ touch to it. A tiny sign was planted in the front yard, and it read boldly:

The Valentine Family! Welcome!

Eyeing the sanctimonious sign, Agent Nines snorted, “They have the last names of porn stars? Lovely…”

Gavin elbowed him roughly in the abdomen just before Candi turned around and cheerfully sang out, “I’ll let them know I brought friends with me, but they will be so happy and thrilled to meet you guys!!” Giggling playfully, she raced on ahead, her little feet pounding along the stone steps. Leaping ahead at the front door, she barely had her hand over the handle, when it swung open.

Squealing in joy, she bent down and got in the view while she whispered and chatted with someone out of sight…

Leaning down against Gavin, Agent Nines huskily spoke out, “You know, I’m not one to mind it when someone’s ass is in the way, but I really, really wish she would get that booty—urgh!”

Gavin had this time stepped on one of his feet, grinding his teeth together in irritation as he spat icily, “Last time I checked, the only ‘booty’ you should be eyeing and admiring is mine, thank you very much!”

A deep chuckle drew itself out of the android, “You know I only have eyes for you, sugar lips…”

Gavin could only grin in amusement.

After minutes of whispering back and forth to whomever was there in the doorway of the old house, Candi clapped her hands in glee, and she turned and ran back towards Gavin and Nines. “You guys!” she squealed and cackled almost childishly, “they said yes!!! They want to meet you!!!”

Frowning, Gavin asked, “Who does?”

Pointing past him, Nines answered, “Not the kids; but ma and pa, it seems.”

He hadn’t been wrong; standing in the open doorway of the impoverished household stood a middle-aged man and woman. They both had short, medium-brown hair, but the clean-shaven husband had brown eyes shielded by thick eyeglasses, and the wife had green ones. They both were wearing wrinkly old jeans and shirts, and had slightly pale skin-perhaps due to being hidden away indoors all the time. They carefully hid their two children behind themselves, but before the kids had moved away, both Gavin and Nines had already seen them. The couple had a son and a daughter, possibly of the same age, though they were not identical twins. The boy had honey blonde hair just a shade darker than Gavin’s and matching brown eyes like his father while he wore a grey t-shirt and torn jeans. The little girl was wearing a flowery, pink skirt and a matching pink top, and she held a tiny bunny in her arms as it sniffed and nibbled on the ends of her long blonde hair.

But that wasn’t all…

Emerging from behind the parents was a tall teenage girl, and she looked to be maybe a few years younger than Gavin, at the very best. She had long blonde hair as well, just like her little sister, and it was tied back in a tight bun. She had deep blue eyes, unlike anyone in her family, and the moment she saw Gavin, Nines, and Candi, she glared at the three of them.

“Who the hell are you guys?!” she snapped, and Gavin gasped while Agent Nines whispered, “Charming gal.”

Slowly spinning around to face them, Candi held out her arms, and she beamed at them, “Taaadaaaa!!! Meet my family!!”

If Gavin didn’t know any better, he felt that these people really, really didn’t seem to be too pleased with the idea of meeting them both.

Chapter Text

Glaring ahead at both Nines and Gavin, the father of the family approached first, while his family hang back with the mother. They all looked worried, save for the teenage daughter. She was the most defiant of them all, it seemed, and she was already appearing beyond annoyed as she rolled her eyes and planted a hand on her hips in a move of rebellion and aggression.

As the father approached Nines, Candi waved at him and chirped in a friendly and excited manner, “Hey Mike! Meet my frie—”

Ignoring her, he pointed rudely at Agent Nines, “You better get the hell off my damn property and go back to where you came from!”

Agent Nines merely glared at him coldly, “I’m afraid I can’t do that,” he argued back, though it wasn’t in a loud or belligerent manner. He focused on remaining calm so he wouldn’t escalate the situation. Holding Gavin closely, he then stated, “We’re just looking to pass through here unharmed, and maybe, if you’d look deeply into your heart-before I blast it right over onto that tree over there,” he added as he pointed at an old tree in the middle of their front yard, “you could be so kind as to allow this kid here a meal and such.”

The way the words had been spoken seemed to leave little room for an argument, but the man named ‘Mike’ still seemed annoyed. “Did you just threaten me?!” he asked angrily, nostrils flaring.

Agent Nines paused, and then hummed, “Yes…”

“You—”

“Mike!!” the woman’s voice rang out into the crisp air, and her husband swiftly turned to her.

“Avery!” he cried to her, “take the kids inside!”

Whining, the son spoke up, “But dad! They seem cool! Can’t they come in?”

As Mike sputtered in disbelief, his younger daughter then chimed in with, “Mommy said we have to be nice, even to strangers!!”

“Suzie!” her father snapped at her, “listen to me, and get back inside!”

While the family seemed conflicted and divided on whether or not to allow Gavin and Nines inside their home, the android named ‘Candi’ finally spoke up. Standing tall, she cried loudly, “I trust them, and this young man is named ‘Gavin’, and this is his friend Nines!”

Gavin took a quick peek over at Agent Nines, and he realized just how clever the android really was. He’d never interfaced and connected with Candi, leaving the other android closed off to what the true nature of Agent Nines’ work was, and what memories he may have held of the experiences he’d gone through so far.

Clever, very clever indeed.

Mike merely shrugged, “I don’t care what their names are, Candi! You know very well that the only reason this family’s been able to get by in all this damn chaos is only because we’ve kept to ourselves and protected each other from outsiders!!” As he pointed this out, his wife and children nodded slowly, but their teenage daughter merely huffed and shook her head.

Continuing, Mike pushed on, “We can’t trust them just like that, and I won’t risk putting this family in danger!!”

Clicking his tongue against his teeth, Agent Nines merely shrugged also, “Suit yourself!” Tugging on Gavin’s arm, he said, “Let’s go.”

Refusing to move, Gavin strongly and boldly cried before them all, “I’m someone’s kid too!” When he had everyone’s attention, he placed a hand over his chest, and he stepped towards Mike. “I’m Gavin Reed, and my father’s name is Glen Reed! My mother is Patty Reed, and I’m an only child…” eyeing the kids of the family, he smiled sadly, “…I know this is too much for you guys to handle all at once, but I want you to know that if any of you were in my place, although I’d be weary of trusting you, I still would do the right thing at the end of the day.”

Only the crows cawing in the distance seemed to answer him for a while, as every member of the Valentine family remained silent. After a few minutes, Gavin saw the two youngest children tugging on their mother’s dark shirt as they whispered and begged, “Please! Can we help them, mommy?”

Avery Valentine stammered, “Honey, we can’t just—”

A strong puff of air and a sigh came out of her teenage daughter. “Mom, please,” the older girl dramatically snapped, “stop acting like such a miser, and just let them in for a bit, Jesus!”

Her mother Avery finally pressed a hand over her forehead, and she cried out in exhaustion, “Alright, fine! Mike, let them through, please.”

“Avery!” he argued, “are you sure this is wise?!”

She paused for a moment, and when she saw Gavin smiling at her in appreciation and gratitude, she nodded, “I’m sure.”

Her husband didn’t argue with her anymore. “Fine,” he groused as he stepped away from Gavin and Agent Nines, “hurry up then, you two.”

“After you,” Agent Nines purred, and Gavin was the first to finally head inside the house. The younger children gaped at him, and in no time at all, Suzie held up her pet rabbit proudly.

While her parents eyed Agent Nines cautiously after closing and locking the front door of their home, Suzie introduced her pet to Gavin. “This is Bugs Bunny!” she giggled as the rabbit sniffed Gavin’s shirt, “he’s really friendly!!”

Bending down slightly so he could pet the black rabbit’s fluffy ears, Gavin smiled, “Heya Bugs!!”

Suzie’s brother approached Gavin next, and he held out a hand. “I’m Jordan,” he introduced himself as he shook Gavin’s hand a little too roughly, “I’m almost ten, and my sister’s almost ten-years-old too!!”

Gavin smiled, “You’re fraternal twins!”

Jordan nodded ecstatically, “We’re twins, but we don’t look alike!”

“How old are you, Gavin?” Suzie asked, lowering Bugs Bunny down to the floor, and the rabbit merely nibbled on her dirty socks before hopping away to find something else to do.

“I’m twenty,” Gavin answered truthfully, and then the teenage daughter of the family winked as she playfully elbowed him a bit harshly.

“I’m Shelby-Lynn,” she stated, “I just turned eighteen, hot stuff…”

Her mother didn’t like the tone she’d taken up, and she lightly yanked on her daughter’s shirt as she snapped in a warning, “Shelby-Lynn!”

Ignoring her mother, the teenager continued eyeing Gavin a little lewdly, but the older boy wasn’t paying much attention. He got lost in viewing how the house was set up and decorated. From the outside, the house appeared to be truly run-down and old, but inside, it was just as pleasant as any other house could be. The latest of technical tools and items sat about in the right places, and plenty of family portraits sat on walls high above. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, and Gavin found his nerves had settled a great deal just from being in a ‘family’ home. It was actually a nice reprieve to be in a tidy and orderly place as opposed to in the middle of war and bloodshed…

Turning back to Mike and Avery Valentine, he bowed his head at them and said, “Thank you both.”

Motioning over at Candi with his thumb, Mike snorted, “You should thank Candi; she’s always bringing home strays.”

“I like helping others!” the cheerful, friendly android answered for herself, and she then moved into the hallway past everyone as she announced, “I think I’ll start on dinner!! How’s tacos for tonight sound?”

Both Suzie and Jordan cried out, “Yayyyyyy!” soon after, they ran behind Candi, joining her in the kitchen while they helped with the meal preparations. The female android hummed and sang random tunes with them while the children giggled and played about. It all seemed so cozy and peaceful; yet again, a truly nice reprieve from all the bloodshed and violence Gavin had seen just a day ago.

Before he could enjoy it, however, Mike stood before Agent Nines, and he seemed to be studying the android up close for a long time. It made Gavin uncomfortable, but Agent Nines didn’t seem to care a lot. He leaned against a wall in the hallway, rolling his eyes after a few minutes of being stared at.

“May I help you?” he joked acerbically, and Mike merely snorted as he leaned away.

“Darling!” Avery cried out as she yanked her husband away from the android, “that’s not very nice!!” Eyeing Gavin and Nines, then, she blushed as she chuckled lightly, “You’ll have to excuse my husband! We’ve just gone some time without having guests, and I often think he forgets how to behave around them!”

“It’s okay,” Gavin assured her, “I know we came at a bad time, but we really appreciate your help!”

It suddenly turned a bit awkward as Mike continued to glare at Agent Nines, while Avery beamed at Gavin. After a few minutes, she randomly said, “You seem like a very nice young man, Gavin! Why don’t you sit down for a bit, make yourself comfortable, and talk with us while dinner is prepared?”

Stepping up as though she’d been volunteering to take on the task herself, Shelby-Lynn grabbed Gavin’s elbow, already tugging him upstairs. “I got this, mom!” she cried out over her shoulder, “I’ll hang out with Gavin for a bit while you and dad bug his android!”

“Hey! Wait!” Gavin yelled out in panic, but when he looked back down from the middle of the stairs, he saw Agent Nines waving at him while grinning proudly. In no time, he’d disappeared from Gavin’s view, and Shelby-Lynn opened and then closed her bedroom door strongly.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Shelby-Lynn had quite the messy room, but she seemed to not really care. Half her dirty clothes were piled up around her bed on a proud display, while her drawers were widely open, revealing all her clothes and items in them. Her walls had been painted red, but she’d placed graffiti all over them, and majority of the designs and symbols were rather…offensive.

On her walls, she had pictures of burly, muscly men with large ‘x’ marks all over their faces and bodies, and a large sign right in the middle of her door read: KEEP OUT (UNLESS YOU HAVE BIG BOOBS)

Not sure of what to make of it all, Gavin stood awkwardly in the center of her room until she sat down on her bed and pointed at a vacant spot beside herself. “Sit, dude!”

Obeying his hostess, Gavin sat down and stared around her room shyly. He knew Shelby-Lynn was studying him quite intently, as he could feel her eyes roaming all over himself. Finally, she leaned against him and spoke softly and flirtatiously, “So, have you done anything with anyone, yet?”

Gavin gasped, “Excuse me?!” How forward and direct was this girl?!

As he sat in bewilderment, Shelby-Lynn sighed wearily, “Seriously, it’s not that big of an issue, unless you’re a prude or something.”

Immediately getting defensive, Gavin hissed, “I’m no prude!! I’m just—”

She gasped, “Holy shit, don’t tell me you already have a girlfriend!!”

Well…he didn’t, but he felt he had strong enough feelings for someone else, anyway. Eyeing Shelby-Lynn with mild curiosity, he asked, “Why do you care? I mean…do you normally try to flirt with guys who drop by or something?”

Chuckling loudly, she then clapped a hand over her mouth as she squealed, “Duuude, no way! I’m a lesbian!!”

………

Thinking she’d been joking, he laughed and said, “Good one, haha!” Only when he saw how serious she was did he cease laughing. Sitting back, he ran a hand through his slightly dry and dull blonde hair. “Wow… you aren’t kidding, huh?”

She shook her head, and then pointed at the sign on her door, “What do you think that means, then?”

Catching on, he nodded as he also remembered the crossed out ‘x’ marks on the male models and posters. “I guess…but…do your parents know?” The only reason why he’d asked was because Shelby-Lynn’s mother seemed to have a negative reaction to when her daughter had referred to him as ‘hot stuff’. If Gavin didn’t know better, he would’ve assumed that Avery Valentine would’ve likely blown a fuse had she known her daughter was a lesbian.

He hadn’t been wrong; Shelby-Lynn looked away sadly and shook her head. “I can’t tell my parents; I’m not ready to come out to them, because they’re totally religious, dude.”

He frowned deeply, “But you had no issue telling me!”

“It’s usually easier telling someone you don’t really know,” the teenage girl sighed out as she held a hand against her cheek and stared down at her floor, “there’s no expectations there, no room for disappointment…”

Gavin completely understood her plight. She had made a very good point, and in regards to his own sexuality and notions of it, he found he had no room to debate and argue with her. “I understand,” he sighed, but then she shoved him roughly.

“Shut up!” she snapped irritably, “what would you know about it anyway?”

Before she could insult him, Gavin glared at her just as seriously as she’d glared at him before, and he hissed, “I’m gay, Shelby-Lynn.”

Her face held a look of utter shock, but before Gavin could feel even remotely offended, she wrapped her arms around him and hugged him closely and tightly. “Gavin!” she heaved out sadly, “oh my God!! You are?!”

He nodded, “Yeah…Nines-the android I came here with-he helped me figure out who I really was all this time. I was burying it for so long, because like your parents, my parents aren’t open and as accepting as they really should be.” He didn’t know why he was spilling his guts to this strange young woman, but maybe it was because their circumstances were so similar.

It really was a small world, indeed.

Shelby-Lynn held onto him as she gasped, “Holy shit! You’re like the male version of me!”

Gavin laughed, “Guess you could say that.”

As she pulled away from him, she clasped her arms in her lap as she whispered, “I don’t know how I’m gonna tell my folks, but you know what? One day, I’m gonna do it.”

“You’ll do it whenever you’re ready to,” Gavin advised, “it’s not a rush or a race, and you have to learn to accept yourself before anyone else accepts you.” Pausing, he snickered and added, “At least, that’s what I’ve been told.”

Shelby-Lynn threw her head back and laughed, and it was so contagious that Gavin started laughing as well. As they’d been in the midst of laughing, Shelby-Lynn managed to ask, “So, how do you know Nines anyway?”

Scratching his stubbly face, he inhaled softly, but before he could answer her question, a knock came at the door, and then it swung open with a loud creak. Agent Nines poked his head in the room curiously, and he smirked as he spotted Gavin and Shelby-Lynn sitting side-by-side on her bed. “Good,” he growled, “you’re not making out.”

Shelby-Lynn and Gavin both blushed beet red, but it was Gavin who hissed impatiently, “What do you want?!”

Agent Nines deadpanned, and then glared harshly at him. “I was sent up here to let you guys know that supper’s ready…that is, if you want to eat another taco instead, Gavin?”

“Holy shit…” Shelby-Lynn gasped out, then shook her head, “you’re nasty!!”

Agent Nines winked at her, “That’s what they say, darlin’.”

“You creep!” Gavin spat at him, but before he could throw something at the android, Agent Nines had already ducked his head out of the room.

Sighing in anger, Gavin just shrugged awkwardly while Shelby-Lynn got up. “He’s weird sometimes,” Gavin explained to her while she began making her way across the room, “it’s not every day you meet a pervert like him, but I swear, he’s pretty chill.”

Giggling, she blushed deeper as she whispered, “It’s okay, Gavin, let’s just go eat and forget it all, okay?”

She didn’t need to even ask him twice; he was already looking forward to doing that.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Connor and Hank saw a stray dog and cat on and off as they made their way around the barren, empty, ghost town-like streets. Winding their way up and down narrow and wide paths and roads, they truly had no idea where they were planning on going, it seemed. Only conversation and each other’s company had been the most stable, recognizable thing between them, and it was the only thing they relied on and needed for the time being.

Hank seemed to be doing a lot better emotionally, and he was smiling a lot at Connor as they walked on together. The RK800 hadn’t experienced the emotions of shyness and awe very often, but ever since he’d gotten closer to Hank and consummated their relationship on a whole new level, he’d been really feeling these new sensations.

Connor found it absolutely breathtaking.

“What’re you staring at me like that for, Connor?” Hank asked when Connor’s dark brown eyes had been on him for too long.

Looking away in case he was making his lover somehow uncomfortable, Connor whispered out, “Sorry.”

“Don’t apologize,” Hank snorted, though it wasn’t truly in an unkind manner, “I just wish some of my exes had looked at me in that way, too.”

Rolling his eyes as his mood turned a little dark and sour, Connor growled, “I’d rather go without hearing about all the women you’ve dated, if that’s okay with you, Hank!”

Giggling a little at the obvious signs of jealousy evident in his new lover, Hank lightly rubbed his elbow against Connor’s. “They didn’t mean anything to me; I’m here with you now.”

Hanging his head down low, Connor gruffly responded, “You’re right, but it makes me a tad…jealous, I think.”

“I understand,” Hank couldn’t help but blush at the notion of Connor being jealous over him. Something about a slightly clingy and possessive lover had always interested him, as his ex-wife often worked and didn’t have a lot of time to be around him in the past.

Seeing the look upon his face, then, Connor spoke out against the prolonged silence, “I didn’t see the kid Gavin with Agent Nines…”

Hank sighed, though he didn’t mind the change in topic. “I didn’t see him either…” A gruesome, awful thought crossed into his brain, and though he wanted to reject, stomp on it, set it on fire, and toss it away into the deepest, darkest well to lock it and throw away the key, he knew it wasn’t something he could avoid. It likely had been on Connor’s mind as well, but Hank forced himself to vomit the words. “Do you th-think Agent Nines killed Gavin?”

Connor stopped walking for a few seconds, but then recovered from the shocking question relatively quickly. Having spent so much time around the android, Hank could tell he was trying to hide how frightened he really was. Wanting to reach out to and comfort Connor, Hank tried inching and closing the gap between their bodies, but Connor had already picked up the pace again.

“Don’t be silly, Hank!” he barked out sharply, “the kid is still alive, and we’re going to find him and bring him back home!”

With a sad expression on his face, Hank nodded slowly, “You’re right, Connor…we will, and everything after that will be alright…”

As Connor moved ahead, Hank whispered more to himself, “…I promise everything will be alright, Cole.”

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Dinner with the Valentine family had actually gone over not that differently from the times Gavin had dined with his friends’ families up to even a few months ago. Little traits presented themselves in each family member, almost akin to how his own family even behaved.

After saying ‘grace’, Avery Valentine fussed over her two youngest children not eating their healthy vegetables, the children whined and cried for more soda, while Mike sat back and tried eating without developing a headache. Candi put on soft music, and it calmed down the kids after a while, and Gavin and Shelby-Lynn sat beside each other and genuinely had a good time laughing and chatting.

After dinner, Gavin helped put everything away and clear the table, and after Avery had put the kids to bed, she too joined them all downstairs as Mike ‘interrogated’ Agent Nines for a while. Naturally, the patriarch had every right to be suspicious about Agent Nines, and while Gavin couldn’t blame him for feeling scared, still, it was rather amusing watching and listening as Agent Nines had a sarcastic answer ready for every question Mike Valentine fired away at him.

Soon, the music switched over to oldies themed music, and while Gavin didn’t recognize it, apparently, Candi and Shelby-Lynn did as they danced together slowly and playfully in the dining room while the music accompanied them.

Hold me, kiss me,

Whisper sweetly,

That you love me,

Forever…

“It’s by the ‘Little Dippers’,” Shelby-Lynn supplied before Gavin could ask, “it’s called ‘Forever’…”

“I love this song so much!!” Candi cried, twirling around Shelby-Lynn, dancing freely without any cares in the world. Meanwhile, as they danced and held their own little ‘party’, Agent Nines was still being hounded by Mike Valentine in the living room, and Gavin poked his head in the room when he heard Agent Nines growling rather impatiently.

“Honestly, I’m starting to get bored answering all your incessant questions, you know,” he droned as he sat with one long leg crossed over the other.

Mike slapped a hand over his kneecap while his wife poured him some evening wine. “I don’t care what you think, Mr. Nines-if that’s even really your name!” he snapped heatedly, “just because I’m a good man, doesn’t give you the right to take advantage of my kindness!”

As their loud voices boomed and bounced off the walls, the music and footsteps of Candi and Shelby-Lynn dancing slowed down significantly. While they hadn’t entered the room, they no doubt were listening in on the loud commotion Mike had caused. As ‘Nines’ and Mike glared away at each other, the former finally smiled a soft, sweet smile. The pleasantness of it took Mike by surprise, and he frowned in confusion.

Folding his hands neatly in his lap, Agent Nines purred deeply, “You know, it’s a rather lovely night, and I’d hate to spoil it with all the arguing,” staring over at Gavin, he then added, “we won’t even be needing to seek shelter here for the night; we’ll leave in less than half an hour.”

With a heavy heart, Gavin nodded. This time, he heard Shelby-Lynn and Candi entering the room after they too had heard what Agent Nines had announced.

“Noooo!” Candi wailed pathetically, “you guys just got here!! How can you leave already?!”

As the music played softly in the background, Agent Nines stared at every member of the Valentine family in the room with himself currently.

He only smiled.

Hold me, kiss me,

Whisper sweetly,

That you love me,

Forever…

“I fear it’s the best thing for your safety and protection,” he finally responded, and that answer caused Mike to stand up and point out at him with his eyes beaming and shining widely and excitedly.

“Aha!” he cried out, “I just knew that there was something fishy about you two!”

“Sweetheart,” his wife tried calming him down, “please! The children are trying to—”

The steps and floorboards creaked suddenly, and Avery sighed in exhaustion. “Too late!!” Just as she’d barely finished saying this, two tiny heads and bodies peeped into the room and entered it. Rubbing sleep away from their eyes, the youngest children of the Valentine family sauntered up to their mother.

Yawning, Jordan sighed out while looking around with bleary eyes, “You guys woke us up!”

Avery hugged her son to her chest and kissed the top of his head, “Sorry sweetie pie! Do you want to watch some TV?”

Shaking his head defiantly, Jordan turned his nose up at her suggestion, while his sister Suzie ran towards Gavin and suddenly dumped herself on his lap as he was sitting down on a loveseat sofa. Gavin let out an ‘oof’ when she landed randomly on him, and her father scolded her immediately for it.

“It’s okay,” Gavin chuckled as he stared down at her with a friendly smile, “sorry if I woke you up!”

The little girl giggled, yanking on the hem of her white t-shirt, “It’s okay! I wanna draw something with you, Gavin!!”

Enjoying how random and abrupt this young girl was, Gavin felt more than enthusiastic and eager to take her up on that idea. But first, he wondered if he would have permission from her parents…

When he glanced up at Avery and Mike, Jordan bent down beneath the coffee table and yanked out a large tablet. “It’s okay,” Mike sighed, turning his glare over at Agent Nines instead, “I still have some questions for you!”

The android flashed him his white teeth, “And I for you.”

Enjoying how clean and organized the main floor of the house was, Gavin made himself comfortable on the loveseat, and as Jordan and Suzie joined him, he stared over at Agent Nines chatting with Mike for a moment. When he saw how Agent Nines was talking in such an animated fashion, he snickered.

Suzie tugged on his shirt sleeve, “Gavin! What should we draw?”

It was a very interesting question indeed. Staring all around the room, Gavin waited for Jordan to load up the Paint Tool Sai 2 onto the tablet. As it started up and loaded quickly, he finally looked at Agent Nines again. Grinning mischievously, he whispered, “We’re going to draw Nines!!”

As the children and Gavin set to work, Shelby-Lynn resumed dancing with Candi in the other room. It seemed as if the family had settled nicely for the evening, but every once in a while, Mike would grill Agent Nines particularly aggressively.

“You have questions for me, don’t you?!” Mike almost screamed in anger, “well, what do you want to know, Nines?”

Tapping a finger on his chin, Agent Nines took his time before he purred out, “This zone, why was it abandoned?”

An uncomfortable look was upon Mike’s face, and he sighed as he held his head in his hands and took off his glasses. “If I tell you the truth, will you please drop the subject right after?”

Agent Nines only smiled slyly in silence.

Taking this as a sign to continue, Mike held out a hand, wiped it over his kneecap, and then spoke softly. “This area was evacuated because last year to this very date almost, an insane psychopathic android ran around abducting every child in every household. Naturally, my neighbors and I all fought against this son of a bitch machine, but there was no stopping it!”

When he couldn’t continue due to stress highly evident in his tone, his wife stepped in. Rubbing his back and shoulders soothingly, she looked into Agent Nines’ as she kept her voice down in case her children were listening. “This android wasn’t doing anything harmful to the children, strangely…” looking at her husband, she let out a shaky sob, “…he was actually abducting them and hiding them away to protect them!”

Sitting up straighter, Agent Nines hissed, “I’m intrigued.”

“No one was able to find and catch this android, but we were able to track down the children with the help of the FBI,” Avery continued, “it seems the android abandoned them, which could mean he was working alone, I’m not sure…” Running a hand through her short hair, she pressed on, “…Needless to say, everyone else left out of a fear that their kids would be taken away from them again, but we couldn’t! We had nowhere else to go!!”

Holding back on his opinion for all of two seconds, Agent Nines growled out thickly, “You two are fools!”

Gaping at him, Mike coughed out, “E-exc-cuse me?!”

“By remaining here, you’re endangering your children!”

Mike shook his head, “We have nowhere else to go!”

“No one stops by here anyway; it’s deserted!” Avery groused, “and we have Candi with us! She looks after our kids, protects them like they are her own, and we’re lucky to—”

While she yelled on and on as though she were on trial, Agent Nines gazed over across the room at Candi dancing with the eldest Valentine daughter. An android protecting and nurturing children?? An android saving them and protecting them?

From what?

Suddenly, images flashed before his eyes.

The music in the background drowned out substantially, and he saw nothing but fire. The flames rose and roared above his head as his dark clothes clung to his form. Brandishing his katana, he took many measured steps towards the man as he cradled his wife in his hands while he screamed her name out over and over.

Still approaching, Agent Nines raised his katana, and he buried it into the man’s chest. He soon joined his wife on the floor, and the house soon was covered in many clouds of thick, dark smoke. It didn’t bother him, however. Searching all the rooms of the house, he paused when he found one that was unlocked upstairs.

Pushing it open with a black, gloved hand, he peered inside, and he saw them there. They thought they could hide…they were so wrong.

Without mercy, he walked inside the room just as an explosion went off outside. Still, that wouldn’t stop him; he was here to complete a mission.

He ALWAYS completed his missions.

They huddled tightly together in a corner in the room behind the bed, obviously intending to use it as a barrier between themselves and his dangerous katana.

Foolish.

Yanking the bed aside with barely any effort, he stood before them. Coldly glaring down at them, he raised his katana, but as the flames engulfed the room and the hall behind him, he saw a shadow and a blue light resonating and flashing…

Turning around swiftly, he’d been prepared for an attack, but then…when he saw who was there, he froze.

His jaw involuntarily fell open, and he gaped in awe and confusion.

“You?”

He was suddenly thrown backwards as a strong explosion went off right in front of him…

“Nines?? Are you okay?”

He’d been shaken out of his little memory, and he cleared his throat as he glared at Avery for shaking him by the knee. Brushing her hand off his body, he snapped, “I’m fine.”

Hold me, kiss me,

Whisper sweetly,

That you love me,

Forever…

Mike eyed Agent Nines cautiously, and he interjected shortly, “We have been living here peacefully since the attacks and abductions, and the only reason we agreed to help you out was because of him,” he’d been pointing at Gavin, and Agent Nines could only chuckle.

“It’s not funny,” Mike snapped, “if it hadn’t been for Gavin, I’d have shot you…”

A sad smile was instantaneously found on Agent Nines’ face, “I wish you actually would end my suffering.”

Both Valentine parents froze upon hearing that statement, but before they could inquire more about what it meant and why ‘Nines’ had uttered it, Suzie and Jordan ran towards the android and held up the tablet.

“Nines! Nines!!” they cried out in zeal and excitement, “Gavin helped us draw you!!”

His eyebrows rose up as he held out a hand and grabbed the tablet. “Oh?” chuckling, he looked down slowly at it, “let me see…”

Right there as he’d been studying the image, Jordan and Gavin were snickering and giggling surreptitiously, and Agent Nines could see why. The image they’d all banded together to draw of him was absolutely insane and ridiculous as far as the imagination went.

 

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

Staring at it for a moment, he eventually sighed out, “That is a terrible picture of me…” leaning down, he then winked at Jordan and Suzie deviously, “…though it’s not entirely inaccurate.”

Giggling and clapping in pride and glee, the excited children took the tablet once Agent Nines handed it back to them. As they ran off and played about with Gavin, Agent Nines leaned into his seat and sat back as he observed everyone here.

This was a family. He knew that as he watched them all exchanging warm, loving, and comforting smiles and glances. There was support here, there was guidance here, and there was much joy. For the most part, everyone seemed happy and eager to be together. This family had gone through darkness and horrible experiences, yet they were still here together as one united group. They’d extended their kindness even to a complete stranger, and they’d treated Gavin as equally as one of their own.

Yes, there was love here, indeed.

Clasping his hands together, Agent Nines could only sit still and watch as an amused smirk crossed over his face.

“Humans are such fascinating creatures.”

Chapter Text

“I wonder what these poor animals must eat on their own out here,” Connor asked when he and Hank spotted yet another stray dog climbing up a mountain of trash and mud in the front yard of one of the worst houses yet on the street.

Hank winced when he saw how emaciated the dog looked. “We should hurry on, Connor,” he began as he avoided thinking of something as catastrophic as this happening to Sumo. If he could, he would adopt all these dogs here, but they had a different agenda today, unfortunately. Still, that didn’t make him feel less like a dick for observing things as they were here, and yet being rendered powerless to do anything productive about it.  

Perhaps when they were out of this damn street and close to wrapping the case up, he could come back for these dogs with animal rescue services.

Connor kicked aside a few stones and empty cans and bottles as the wind blew them by. They created loud rattling sounds as they breezed past. The sounds were rather loud in the quiet block, and Hank felt shivers going up and down his spine.

“Not so loud, Connor!” he warned, but as he’d been trying to keep up the pace with his friend and lover, Connor held out a hand at first indicating that he wanted Hank to stop walking. Hank had done so, and he whispered, “What’s wrong?”

“Someone’s here,” Connor replied, and like the wind, he tore off forward without another word spoken.

“Connor!!” Hank ran after him, but he already felt his legs and back aching as he sped up. Damn Connor and his long legs!! He hated that he was really feeling his age, but he knew he had to try and keep up, as Connor truly had likely discovered someone here.

As Hank squinted in the setting evening sun, he saw Connor turning around a gated fence’s perimeter, and then he stopped running. Plopping down on his knees, he held out his hands, and as his back and side was turned towards Hank, the older man heard Connor speaking softly to someone…

Terribly curious, concerned, and on edge, Hank burst forth and finally made it up to Connor. Stopping in his tracks, he wheezed and panted heavily, wiping his wet hairs aside as he looked down. “Connor, what’s going on—” his breath died down in his throat when he saw Connor placing a hand gently on the back of a hooded figure.

Whoever this individual was, they were hunched over and trying to hide themselves along the side of the white fence. Hank was unable to see them properly, but they were of a smaller build, and had on a white hoodie and sweater. The figure was muttering to themselves, and as Hank listened intently, it appeared to have a man’s voice, but it was more so of a youthful voice…almost like a teenager still growing and going through physiological changes associated with puberty.

“Shh, shh,” Connor soothed the individual, “it’s gonna be okay!”

Stepping up closer to them, Hank asked, “Is he a human?”

Connor quickly shook his head, and he extended an arm as he slowly pulled down the hood of the sweater. As both partners watched in silence, a shaved head appeared, first, and then as the figure turned his neck around, Hank and Connor found that they were looking deeply into soft, innocent green eyes. The eyes were filled with terror, however, and the young man gasped in shock.

Once he saw the yellow LED light on the right-hand temple of the young man, Hank whispered, “You’re an android!”

Nodding, the male android whispered back, “I’m Joseph…who are you two?”

Introducing himself first, Hank mumbled, “Lieutenant Hank Anderson, and this is my partner, Connor.” As he made his way closer to the android, he found that Joseph appeared to be fear-stricken. Anytime Hank made a move, Joseph would lean back, trying to create space between their bodies. Hank respected it, and he backed off as he allowed Connor to take over. For some reason, it seemed that Joseph felt more comfortable around the RK800.

Pressing himself against Connor’s chest, Joseph asked, “A-are they gone?”

This definitely captured Hank’s and Connor’s attention.

Immediately suspicious, Hank leapt down Joseph’s throat with questions flowing out of his mouth uncontrollably. “Who’s gone?! Are you okay? Is anyone else here?!”

Shrinking back from it all, Joseph seemed incapable of withstanding the onslaught of the interrogation, and he buried his face against Connor’s shirt. Whimpering softly while Connor glared at Hank, the other android muttered, “Don’t hurt! Don’t hurt!!”

“We won’t hurt you,” Hank sighed out in an apologetic manner, “I just was—”

Shaking his head strongly, Joseph cried out desperately, “N-not you! You can’t hurt! I mean the b-bad men who come and go through here and back to the lab! Back to the lab!!”

Hank mouthed to Connor: ‘The lab?’

Now this was getting interesting.

Here was an android obviously afraid of something, and Hank wanted to know exactly what it was. Bending down on his knees, he looked at Joseph, speaking directly to him even though he clung to Connor tightly.

“Listen, Joseph,” Hank spoke to him as tenderly and kindly as if he were his own son instead of a strange android, “what do you know of these ‘bad men’? Where are they now?”

Ignoring Connor’s vitriolic scowls warning him against prying into this matter, Hank waited patiently while Joseph trembled and shook against Connor. Rubbing his face against the android’s clothes, it took him a long time before he whispered, “Th-they come here at n-night to give us all nightmares…they come at night, and th-then, they go back home!”

“Home? Where’s home?”

“Hank!” Connor intervened, “stop interrogating him like this! There’s no telling how he will react under stress!!”

Yes, Hank did in fact remember witnessing how Carlos Ortiz’s android had taken heavy and severe interrogation. He hoped it wouldn’t occur here in this case, and he held back on asking more as Joseph cried and whimpered like a newborn infant in Connor’s arms. The RK800 was empathetic enough to hug him and embrace him in return, whispering kind, supportive words the entire time.

Grunting, Hank pressed out irritably and impatiently, “Connor! We don’t have much time!”

Wailing, Joseph threw his head back and cried up at the sky, “Th-the lab! They go back to the lab and create m-m-more nightmares!!! Ooooh!!!”

Resisting the urge to scream out ‘aha’, Hank placed a hand on Joseph’s shoulder like Connor, and he growled, “You tell us where this lab is, Joseph, and I promise that you won’t have any more nightmares. I swear it!!”

Sniffling heavily, Joseph peeked at Connor, and the android nodded at him. “We’re here to help you, Joseph,” Connor assured him, “we’re your friends!”

As he let out a choked gasp, Joseph mimicked, “F-friend…friend!”

“Yes!” Hank roared, “tell your friends what’s going on here, Joseph!”

It took an age for Joseph to talk again, but it was worth it. He placed a hand on Connor’s, and as the RK800 gazed down at their connected hands, he saw that Joseph was very slowly peeling back and deactivating his human skin.

“I will tell, I will show!” he elucidated boldly as majority of his arm and hand was now white with the android skin revealed.

Connor deactivated his human skin in turn, and very carefully, the androids pressed their palms together. Both their eyes rolled back into their skulls, and as Hank watched, their LED lights turned blue, yellow, red, and then yellow again for a while. He began sweating nervously and chewed on his lower lip as he whispered between his teeth, “Come on, Connor…come on…”

As information flowed through Connor at an incredibly high speed, he gasped out, “Disorganized…memories and thoughts…his visions…are…chaotic…”

Praying it would all be okay, Hank hated himself for being human for one second. If only he had the power to understand all this…

Finally, just when Hank had been about to interrupt them, Connor and Joseph broke away from one another, as if they’d been electrocuted. Connor landed on his ass, and Joseph crumpled onto his chest and stomach. Their skins returned to normal, and as Hank rushed to Connor’s aid and pulled him up, the android gasped out, “I know wh-where it is, Hank!!”

“Connor, we—”

“Hank!” gripping onto the man’s shirt collar, he screamed out, “it’s close by, and we have to hurry, else we won’t get another chance!”

Frowning at him, Hank muttered, “What’re you talking about?!”

Drawing his face full of fear into Hank’s, Connor screamed boisterously, “THEY’RE COMING HERE, NOW! WE HAVE TO LEAVE!!”

 

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It was almost 8 PM when the Valentine children randomly demanded that they wanted cookies. Their mother tried ushering them back into bed, but the children were beyond restless. As they ran around screaming and yelling excitedly, their father relented, and he asked Candi to start baking the cookies for them. From there on, the Valentine household got out of control.

The once neat and tidy home was now messy as the children chased each other excitedly, and their pet rabbit Bugs Bunny hopped around, making an even bigger mess. While Mike slowly made himself scarce, Avery tried cleaning after them. Agent Nines stood by and watched her struggling in amusement, and Gavin and Shelby-Lynn hung out with Candi in the kitchen.

Mike Valentine went outside for a smoke, and everything seemed to carry on as night gently fell over Detroit like a blanket.

Watching as Candi began mixing in the eggs and powder into a large ceramic bowl, Gavin tried making a conversation with her. “So,” he began, “how long have you been with the Valentines?”

Smiling cheerfully at him, Candi was more than happy to talk. “Almost five years, now!” she answered while Shelby-Lynn dipped a finger playfully into the batter, “but it really feels like it’s been so much longer since they treat me so well!”

“I’m glad to hear that,” Gavin truthfully answered, “it’s always nice to belong somewhere.”

Playfully flicking some of the sticky dough at Gavin, Shelby-Lynn giggled, “Didn’t my dad tell you? You guys gotta pay a fee for staying here!”

Knowing she was joking, Gavin pretended to look shocked as Candi turned on the oven. “Oh no!” he supplied as he gasped deeply, “but I don’t have money, Miss!”

Swishing her hips to the side, Shelby-Lynn purred out, “That’s too bad!!” holding out a hand before Gavin, she demanded, “pay up!”

“Nah,” Gavin replied, gazing over at the cookie batter, “but I have another cool idea!”

Knowing just what kind of a game he was playing, Shelby-Lynn screamed a high-pitched scream and ran away from him as Gavin dipped a few of his fingers into the side of the bowl that had extra batter.

“Noooo!” she giggled and screamed as she ran around the kitchen table, “pleeeaseee noooo!!!”

“Stay still!” Gavin giggled back, and as they ran around the table innocently while having the time of their lives, the front door of the house suddenly slammed extremely loudly and strongly, practically shaking the foundations of the house in the process.

Shelby-Lynn and Gavin abruptly stopped when they heard loud footsteps thundering erratically inside.

Mike was waving his hands while running around like a chicken with its head freshly cut off, “HIDE! HIDE! AVERY!!! HIDE THE CHILDREN! THEY’RE COMING!!! THEY’RE COMING!!!”

Dropping whatever they were doing, both Avery and Candi cried out, “WHAT?!”

“HIIIIIDEEE!” Mike screamed, and Shelby-Lynn snapped out of her fun and games as she tore directly through the dining room and entered the living room.

Her mother had been pulling down the old curtains hanging by the windows, and she then rushed towards Jordan and Suzie, collecting them both in her arms as they sobbed and wailed. Pointing out the window as she crouched down low so no one could see her, Shelby-Lynn whispered, “It’s a man!!”

Gavin crouched down next to her, trying to stare out the window as well. For a moment, he was unable to see anyone, but then he saw one man in a dark trench coat, thick, long black boots, and dark gloves wandering towards the property.

“Get away from the windows!” Mike screamed, and he hooked one hand on Shelby-Lynn’s shoulder, and one on Gavin’s. Yanking the youngsters away from the window, he turned and pointed at a small broom closet door beneath the large staircase. “Avery! Hide the children there!”

“Right!” she pushed her kids towards the broom closet, and as she threw open its small door, Gavin gaped in shock when he saw that it was indeed a broom closet. A lot of cleaning supplies and older furniture had been kept there, but as Avery pushed it all aside, there was a small, rectangular hatch in the floor.

Opening it widely, Avery revealed another staircase leading down into darkness. It was presumably a cellar of sorts. “Kids, come on!!” she led the children down into the dark, and as they whined and sobbed, Agent Nines stepped towards them while nudging Gavin forward.

“You should hide Gavin as well,” he suggested, and Mike only threw him a scowl.

“Pardon me?!”

Just then, a loud knocking came at the door, and immediately, everyone fell silent.

Before Gavin could even so much as breathe, Agent Nines wrapped a hand around his mouth, and he led him towards the broom closet and cellar. Eyeing Mike, he explained in a rush, “Gavin can calm the children down, and there’s a high chance the man is looking for him! Hide him,” he urged, and then turned to Candi, “you! Come here!!”

“Candi! Do as he says!” Avery hissed timorously, and Candi obeyed, quickly pressing herself against Agent Nines.

The taller android held out a hand, and he deactivated his human skin as another knock rang out.

“What’re you doing?!” Mike whispered painfully at him, but Agent Nines didn’t answer him. As everyone watched while Gavin wrapped his arms around Jordan and Suzie, immediately calming them down, Agent Nines touched his hand to Candi’s, and at once, like magic, his appearance and clothes soon began dissolving and morphing…he was morphing into Candi!! In seconds, an exact clone of the female android stood before her, and she gasped in fright.

The new Candi smirked confidently, and Agent Nines’ voice came out of her mouth, “It’s like looking into a mirror, isn’t it?”

“OPEN THE DOOR AT ONCE!!” a deep male voice barked out at them suddenly.

“Coming!” Mike cried back, and he waved urgently at Candi, “get down into the cellar with Gavin and the kids!”

Still gaping like a fish out of water at Agent Nines, she slowly picked up her feet, and in less than a few seconds, she also inched down the steps. Avery closed the hatch door behind them, moved the furniture and items in the broom closet back into place, and she grabbed Shelby-Lynn’s hand.

‘Candi’ stared at them, pushing her orange hair out of her eyes. Agent Nines began mimicking Candi’s voical tone and pitch, and he asked, “Aren’t you going to hide your oldest daughter?”

As Mike pressed a hand on the lock of the door, slowly unlocking it, Avery shook her head as she tried calming herself and her daughter down.

“They only come for the youngest ones,” she explained, “only the young ones…”

“Hmm…”

Unlocking the door slowly, Mike turned one last time towards his family, and he winced as he breathed out sharply, “Please, God…”

Once the lock was undone, the door swung open in his face immediately.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

As the front door of the house banged against a wall, the man in the long, dark trench coat barreled in, plowing Mike into the banister of the staircase violently as Shelby-Lynn and Avery screamed in pure fright. Mike put his arms up in surrender, and Avery did the same as she yelled out, “PLEASE!!! DON’T HURT US!!”

“SHUT YOUR MOUTH!” the man roared at her, and in his right hand, he held up a dark handgun with a silencer jabbing in a warning into Mike’s cheek.

Holding up his hands, he cried out to his wife, “It’s o-okay h-honey! Just r-relax like he says!”

“How many people live here?” the mysterious, aggressive man shot out loudly, staring intently at Mike, as if waiting for the other man to lie to him once.

Licking his lips briefly, Mike looked over at his wife and Shelby-Lynn, the latter clinging to her mother fearfully as she whispered, “Daddy!”

Smiling nervously at his family, Mike hissed thinly, “Just my wife and I, along with our teenage daughter!”

The trench coat wearing man sneered, “Are you sure?”

Pausing, Mike slowly nodded, “Y-yeah!”

The man’s dark eyes turned over to the left, and he nodded over, “Then what’s this?”

Everyone turned and peered over at what he’d been referring to. Swaying slightly, ‘Candi’ held her arms behind her back, smiling cheerfully over at the man wielding the dangerous weapon at Mike. “Hello!” she cried out happily as if this were a quotidian occurrence, causing the man to snort.

“You have an android?” he asked shortly, and Mike and Avery both nodded quickly.

Staring at ‘Candi’s’ CyberLife uniform, he lowered his weapon slightly as he ground out thickly in a stern tone, “You’re going to have to come with me!”

“What?!” Mike gasped out, “why do you need her?”

Without warning, the man in the trench coat punched Mike brutally in the stomach. Doubling over in pain, the Valentine patriarch gasped and sucked in as much oxygen as his eyes went wide.

“MICHAEL!!!”

“DAAAD!”

Pointing at the man crumpled onto the floor, the trench-coat man hissed, “First warning, pal; talk back one more time, and I’ll bury a fuckin’ bullet between your eyes.” Raising his weapon and pointing it at ‘Candi’, he steadily approached the android. “Come with me right now, else they all die,” he stated plainly, death and murder evident in his dark eyes as he held her gaze.

As the Valentines stared in desperation at ‘Candi’, the android beamed excitedly at the gun inches away from her nose.

This caused the man wielding the weapon to snort in disgust, “The fuck you smilin’ at, dumb, plastic bitch?” He tapped the tip of her nose a few times with the silencer, while Avery rushed to help her husband up. Hearing her running towards him, the man whipped around and fired a warning shot. It blasted through the wooden banister, and Avery shrieked in terror and fell to the floor as she covered her head with trembling hands.

“STAY RIGHT THERE!!” the man warned her, and as he still had his back turned towards ‘Candi’, he missed the bloodthirsty look crossing over her features.

After checking that Avery and Shelby-Lynn weren’t going to try anything else, the man swirled back around to face ‘Candi’. Holding his weapon up again, he demanded, “THE HELL YOU STILL SMILING FOR?!”

Ever so slowly, Candi leaned into him, her hands slowly coming away from her back. Sharp teeth gleamed before the man as she whispered, “I’m smiling because you’re dead…”

Frowning, he barely managed to ask, “What the—” when a loud ‘slash!’ sound echoed in the hallway.

Gasping with his jaw wide open, the man held a hand down to his lower abdomen, barely able to hold up his bowels spilling freely out of the long, deep gash ‘Candi’ had expediently created in his skin beneath his trench coat and clothes. Stumbling backwards as his blood pooled down to the floor, he stammered out, “H-h-haa!”

Following him close to the door as he fought hard to keep his blood and innards within his body, Candi cheerfully kept grinning as she chuckled out, “Kya!”

Before the man could try and shoot her down, she quickly morphed back into Agent Nines, ending the ‘innocent’ pantomime. Like layers being peeled away, her skin and clothes came off, flying into the air for a second before molding and morphing into Agent Nines’ black ensemble. Snatching out a hand quickly when he saw the trench-coat man aiming his weapon for Avery, Agent Nines bent the man’s hand back, snapped it in half, and then yanked the weapon up.

Avery and Shelby-Lynn were constantly screaming in pure terror, and the mother tried shielding her daughter’s eyes from the horrific, gruesome sight.

Holding the weapon up in the evening light, Agent Nines spoke in his own deep, masculine voice, chuckling in unadulterated enjoyment, “The FNX 45 Tactical is a perfect platform for suppressed use!” Too jovially, he began clapping a hand against the weapon as the trench-coat man crawled towards the door, fumbling with plaster-white hands as more blood escaped his body from his wound.

Clicking his tongue against his bottom row of teeth, Agent Nines shook his head as he took off the silencer and scanned it, next. “Your entry was well executed, and your weapon of choice is a thing to behold, but you’re a disappointment, just as I suspected…” pointing at the man with the silencer, he hissed, “the Surefire Ryder 9TI Suppressor may be a lightweight despite being fairly long, but aside from being too pricey, it’s not the easiest to take apart, making it not as proven for effective slaughter as others in the field!”

The man gave out one final gasp and heave, and he tried moving himself up so he could ease out through the open door. Unfortunately, he’d bled out completely, and just as he crashed flatly to his chest, Agent Nines slammed a booted leg down over the center of his back. Pressing the nozzle of the handgun into the back of his head, he growled, “Farewell.” Without another second wasted, he fired one bullet into the man’s skull.

The hatch of the cellar door burst open, and after some shuffling about, Gavin kicked open the broom closet door. Avery and Shelby-Lynn were still screaming their heads off, while Mike tried hushing them as he held and hugged them to his chest in an attempt to console them.

As Gavin ran out into the hallway, he too screamed out in shock when he looked at the dead body, the pools of dark blood, and then over at Agent Nines as he stood and glared out the open door into the street ahead.

Candi was already trying to come out with the children, but Gavin screamed out in a warning, “CANDI! Don’t let the kids see this! Stay back!!”

Once she’d obediently taken the kids outside into the backyard while they repeatedly asked ‘what’s wrong?’, Gavin finally ignored the stench of blood and death as he stepped around the puddles of blood and made it to stand at Agent Nines’ side.

Glaring up at him until he peeked down at the shorter male, Gavin croaked out, “I thought you weren’t going to kill people anymore?!”

His reply was a cold, cruel sneer, but before Gavin could really begin screaming, he felt something brushing against his side.

Stepping before Agent Nines, a very angry-yet grateful-looking Mike Valentine pressed out, “You s-s-saved my f-family, and I th-thank you truly for that…” wiping his sweaty hands on his jeans, he reached up with a shaky, trembling hand, and he pushed his glasses up along the bridge of his nose. “I don’t usually use foul l-language, but in this case, I feel it’s appropriate…”

Agent Nines and Gavin merely exchanged blank stares.

When he was slightly ‘calmer’, Mike placed his hands on his hips, and he shouted at Agent Nines, “I’m sorry, but I have to ask, just who the fuck are you??”

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Connor led the way, the coordinates beaming and blinking off repeatedly in his mind and reflecting in his yellow LED light firing on and off as the sun slowly began setting and giving way to night. Like an excited child eager to show his parents what he’d learned at school, he led Hank away from the run-down, abandoned neighborhood through the neighboring town. It had also been abandoned, it seemed. Not a single soul was in sight, and not even animals strayed this far.

The grass was torched, yellow, and singed in many areas, which told Hank that no one was here in months at the very least to take care of it and water it. He studied strange signs and markings on the old buildings and cars parked on the side of the roads and in driveways. Majority of the establishments here were offices, tiny theme parks, restaurants, as well as a few donation stores and outlets.

Not a single soul was in sight, and it was bothering Hank as he watched Connor leap over a long fence leading up to a narrow pathway extending beyond it.

“The lab is hidden away in the basement of this house here, Hank!” Connor cried out, “it’s hidden well on purpose!!”

Trying to make his way towards the area Connor was buzzing around, Hank finally climbed over the fence. He’d hardly taken a few steps forward when Connor wrapped a hand around his wrist and dragged him forward across the pavement.

“Woah, woah!! Slow down, Connor!!”

“Come on, Hank!!”

Nearly tripped over his own feet, Hank then ceased struggling and instead allowed himself to follow Connor when the RK800 let go of his hand and raced on ahead. They were running past a lot of broken-down walls, ceilings, and debris, and Hank didn’t even take time to peek up and identify where they were. The world was just a complete blur, and they were now both lost to it.

When his lungs burned beyond belief, Hank knew he had to cry out for Connor. “SLOW DOWN!!! CONNOR!” he roared mightily, “SLOW DOWN!!”

Turning his head back, Connor peeked at him for half a second, but as he kept running, Hank finally glanced up and saw a large, long school bus lying down on one side. “CONNOR!!!” he screamed out in a warning, “STOP!! STOP!!”

The android had miraculous reflexes, it seemed, and a strong sense of timing. He firmly planted his feet in the ground, and he slowed down and stopped just before the partly open side doors of the school bus. “What the—” tilting his head curiously at the sight, he looked from side to side, and he saw that the bus was effectively blocking the rest of the path leading towards more houses and apartment complexes. Wedged between two buildings, the bus was impossible to move, and even though he had superior strength, Connor wasn’t foolish enough to think he could lift a bus with his own hands.

Staring along the length of the bus, Hank hissed, “Shit! How do we get in now?!”

Luckily, Connor had already discovered a way in. Scanning the bus, he lifted a hand and pointed a finger sharply towards the doors swaying in the breeze, “There…we have to get in through the doors of the bus.”

It would only be a tiny climb over a few tires as a height boost, and it could be done.

Still, something seemed…odd…why would a lab entrance be in the middle of an obviously burnt-down, crispy neighborhood?

Squinting at the bus, Hank asked, “Are you sure this is the right place, Connor?”

“Hank!” Connor exclaimed angrily, “I don’t have time for you to doubt me!”

Eyes wide, Hank approached the bus, “I don’t doubt you, Connor, I just—” he saw it, then; a large entrance behind and beneath the bus, underground. The bus had been purposefully built and placed over the lab’s entrance!

“It must be a secret, disguised way in!” Hank stated as he rolled over a large, muddy tire, rested it on its side, and he stood on it as tall as he could. Peering inside the bus, he saw nothing, but as he then shifted his eyes down towards the doors and tiny steps that lead into the bus itself, he gasped when he saw that the steps lead down; not up.

Waving at Connor, he cried, “You were right, Connor; it’s a way in!!”

“Then let’s go!” Connor stated, pushing past Hank and yanking the doors all the way open with both hands as Hank watched. When the way was finally clear, an old, moldy smell emanated and wafted forward from inside the bus. The wind lightly howled, and Hank suddenly had a foreboding sense of doom lingering in his veins. Not wanting to be negative and shoot this down, however, he hoped and prayed he was wrong as Connor entered the bus first.

His cries of protest died down on his tongue, however, and he pressed on, sticking close to his work partner and new lover, already vowing to defend and protect Connor with his life if it came to it.

He hoped nothing serious like that would ever occur, however…

Chapter Text

The truth had finally been laid out.

Agent Nines had sat down with Mike and Avery Valentine in the kitchen, recapitulating everything that he could to them while Candi and Gavin cleaned up the dead body lingering by the front door, as well as all the blood that had stained the floors and carpets in the hallway. It’d taken them nearly till dawn to do so, but the Valentine parents didn’t seem to want to go to bed anytime soon. Thankfully, however, they both seemed less fearful of Agent Nines, and they almost knew that he was trying to help and protect them.

The young children had fallen asleep in the entertainment room, which was right beside Mike’s office, and the Valentine patriarch made sure the doors leading to the rooms his youngest children were sleeping in were closed and locked firmly before he sat with his wife as they both studied Agent Nines with wide, sleep-deprived eyes. It was amazing to Gavin how alert they were in the middle of all this, but he supposed they had to always stay sharp in case emergencies like this happened.

As calm and collected Agent Nines was, Mike Valentine was the complete opposite as he sat stunned when Agent Nines finished explaining to him about the Agency, Zlatko Andronikov’s possible involvement with the Agency, the Moon Children, and the fact that he was more or less one half of a whole other entity.

While Gavin finished cleaning and as he’d been listening, he found he couldn’t help but still think this all sounded so crazy. Surely Mike and Avery thought it was crazy? No?? Truthfully, he’d be shocked if they weren’t thinking that.

Swallowing nervously, Mike adjusted his glasses once again on the bridge of his nose when there was a long enough pause. “So…th-this Agency,” he stammered out, “they’re everywhere?”

Agent Nines hummed, “There’s a high chance that the man who attacked you today was indeed working for the Agency, yes, it wouldn’t surprise me much…” Drumming his fingers on the wood of the table, he bellowed out boldly, “I suspect they played a role in the children abductions over a year ago, as well.” Although it was a bold claim to make, Gavin had thought about that as a possibility also.

“But what about you,” Avery spat viciously, obviously angry about something as she sat up in her seat, “we don’t know anything about you, ‘Agent Nines’, and I’d like you to start by telling me how it is that you can morph and shape-shift into anything you want!!”

Gavin finally joined them in the room as well. “I’m equally as interested, Agent Nines!” he cried out vehemently, “what’s with all the unique powers? Not to mention the fact that you can auto-heal!”

Mike’s jaw fell at the sound of this, “You can heal yourself?!”

Agent Nines huffed in Gavin’s direction, but then turned to Mike. “I have higher regenerative features, more so than other androids, yes…” staring at a knife on the kitchen table, he grabbed it firmly in his hands, and as the family watched, he ran it right through himself.

Simultaneously, Avery and Mike let out horrified shrieks, but Agent Nines placed an index finger over his lips as he hushed them while thirium gushed out of the wound around the knife deeply embedded in his chest. “Shh,” he warned, “you’ll wake the children!”

“But you—”

In one smooth motion, Agent Nines slid the knife clean out of his chest, and he set it back down onto the kitchen table. Then, before everyone’s eyes, his wound closed up completely, drying and closing up the gash and thirium around it. Only the small tear in his clothes remained as evidence to the fact that he’d stabbed himself.

Grinning, he purred out triumphantly, “See?”

“B-b-b-but,” Mike stammered out, taking off his glasses, wiping them on his shirt, and then placing them back onto his face, “h-how can you shapeshift?”

This seemed to be trickier for Agent Nines to handle. Frowning, he straightened out his clothes and sat back down before the Valentine parents. “It’s not exactly shapeshifting,” he corrected, “I can only assume the form of androids; not humans, animals, or other objects.”

Gavin sighed, “Have you always been able to do these things, yet you just hid them from me?”

Smirking, Agent Nines hissed, “Only I am able to be such a chameleon; Nines cannot, I’m afraid.”

Pointing at him, Mike supplied, “Your twin?”

…….

Gavin rolled his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest as he sang out, “Yeah, I guess we could think of it like that.”

“Who taught you how to do these?” Avery asked, a little relief and fear mixing into her face, “I mean, this must be a good thing, right? You can protect people!”

Again, Agent Nines took to scowling, but it was a gesture indicating that he was in deep thought. When he was ready to answer, and when the room was dead silent, he ground out, “The Agency experimented on me the most, due to the fact that I was their most successful asset. The things they’ve done to me,” he shook his head and scoffed in pure disgust, “are unspeakable, but it’s the reason why I can tap into these features.”

Suddenly bursting out as he held his hands up, Mike screamed loudly, “Wait, wait, wait!! Now let’s just wait a damn minute, here!!” Only when the rest of his family had calmed down and quieted did he continue, but Candi stood by his side, tugging at his shirt sleeves as he spoke on. “Agent Nines, with all respect here, you have to understand that you’ve put my family in danger!!”

Catching on, Gavin whispered, “The Agent who was here; they’re gonna come looking for him, aren’t they?”

Immediately eager to help, Candi suggested, “I can take Gavin and the children with me!!”

“No Candi!” Avery shrieked, “these are my kids, and they’re not leaving my side!!”

She smiled sadly, “But then what can we do? We can’t stay here…”

“You’ll need to make arrangements to leave, but not yet,” Agent Nines smiled, “I’m going after the Agency once and for all, because I have debts to pay, and issues to settle.”

Staring over at Gavin, Mike asked, “What about Gavin?” When it was silent, he winced, and continued, “I assume you’re going alone, Agent Nines?”

Before Gavin could intervene, Agent Nines hissed, “Yessss, I’ll need you all to do me a favor and keep Gavin here in your protection.”

“Hell no you’re not leavin’ me, Agent Nines!” Gavin screamed out, and he’d done it so loudly that it shocked and frightened everyone. Shelby-Lynn approached them all from her father’s office, and she gave a sign to her mom that the kids were still asleep.

Agent Nines purred at Gavin, “How delightful; you finally have become a man with a spine, haven’t you?”

As offended and hurt as Gavin was, he still pushed out aggressively, “I’m comin’ with you, Agent Nines.”

“We can take care of him,” Avery suggested softly, “it’s just another child, dear!” She shook her husband’s arm as he thought about it, “He’s not that much older than Shelby-Lynn!! We need to assume this responsibility!”

“No, no,” Mike argued, “it’s too risky to leave Gavin here with us!” Staring at the walls as his mind was overflowing with grief, worry and fear, he threw his hands up into the air as he cried out, “We need some other plan; a plan that will make the jerks lookin’ for you think that Gavin has gone missing, truly…”

While they all sat and thought about it in silence, Agent Nines gazed over across the table at Shelby-Lynn. A wicked idea was already brewing in his mind. “What about some kind of a disguise or ruse?” he suggested openly, and it caught both Mike’s and Avery’s attention.

“What do you mean?” Avery asked first, and Agent Nines rubbed his hands together.

“Well,” he purred out softly, “as far as the Agency is concerned, one of their most trusted Agents has seen your daughter; they all now know what she looks like, and they didn’t find Gavin Reed here in your home, or myself, for that matter, did they?”

Mike frowned, “I’m not sure I follow; they didn’t see anyone…”

Scoffing in distaste, the android replied, “Knowing the Agency as I do, the Agent was recording and providing a live-feed directly to whoever sent him here; they know everything and they’ve seen everything, believe me.”

Cupping a hand around her mouth, Avery’s eyes watered as she whimpered softly, “My children…”

Agent Nines sneered, “That’s alright, there’s still hope to save you all, and I’ll spell it out for you…” Staring at Shelby-Lynn, he hissed, “Call the police; file a missing person report on your daughter telling the authorities that I kidnapped your precious little girl.”

Both Avery and Mike wheezed out, “What?!”

It slowly clicked for Gavin, and he said to them all, “You want to make sure the Agents hear about Shelby-Lynn ‘missing’, right?”

“Yes,” Agent Nines purred, pleased that Gavin was so wise, “that’s the best way to draw them out and make them chase after me instead of targeting this family.”

Mike shook his head, “I don’t understand! They will know the truth!”

“Not unless you hide your daughter,” the android answered sharply, “you hide her away somewhere, and break the news; the Agency is always listening, I’ll have you know. Soon,” he explained softly, “they will come looking for me and ‘Shelby-Lynn’…”

Avery gasped, “But…but she won’t be with you?”

Gavin finally got it. He knew exactly what Agent Nines wanted to do. After all, he’d mentioned a ‘disguise’...seeing how Agent Nines was staring at Shelby-Lynn, it all made sense.

Gripping the edge of the table both hands, he winced as he cried out, “I don’t want to, Agent Nines!!”

“Oh, but you will…”

Mike looked around the room wildly, “I don’t get it!! What’s happening?!”

Rolling her eyes in a sign that she was clearly annoyed with her clueless husband, Avery Valentine sighed out at her daughter, “Shelby-Lynn, go upstairs, and try to find a dress that may fit Gavin.”

Nodding, the teenager chewed on her lower lip as concern and small tears formed in her eyes. She passed by Gavin and whispered, “It’ll be okay!”

As she left the kitchen, Mike squealed out, “Oh my God! You’re going to dress Gavin up as my daughter?!”

Agent Nines eerily smirked at the petrified man as he pushed out sarcastically, “Ten points, Sherlock.”

Although she seemed completely against the idea, a slightly pale-looking Avery Valentine whimpered softly while nodding, “Gavin’s almost the same weight and build as Shelby, and I think it would be easier for him to…” she winced, “…I’m sorry honey,” she directed her apology at Gavin, “…I think it would be easier this way.”

Holding his stubbly face in both hands as he panicked a little, Gavin closed his eyes and after a few deep breaths meant to stabilize and comfort himself, he groaned slowly, “Whatever! I always wanted to be a girl when I grew up anyway!”

The Valentine parents cringed in their seats when he said this, but Agent Nines beamed proudly at Gavin as he placed a hand over his shoulder.

“You need a shave too…” pausing, he threw Gavin a rather sexually charged, intense look, “…aaaall over, I might add…”

Coughing uncomfortably while staring at the floor, Mike wheezed out at Gavin when Agent Nines had exited the kitchen, “Umm, is that his twin-clone-persona talking?”

With a strained sigh, Gavin shook his head, and then rolled his eyes wearily. “I’m afraid not,” he explained in exhaustion, “that was all Agent Nines; he’s a complete, one-hundred-percent perv.”

Mike could only slowly nod, “Oh…”

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Trying not to peek at himself in the mirror of the dresser in Shelby-Lynn’s bedroom, Gavin balanced himself on the high heels as best as he could while his knees shook and trembled. Praying he wouldn’t fall flat on his ass, he arranged and shifted his new A-Line Round Neck Short Red Lace ‘dress’ upwards while the padded bra stuck out obscenely. Still, Agent Nines insisted he wear a larger size, and Gavin had no choice but to switch from a measly ‘B’ cup all the way to a ‘D’ cup.

Snooping around from room to room, Agent Nines finally found Mike Valentine’s stash of shotguns and pistols, and he very rudely helped himself to at least two new guns. Holding one particularly close, he purred lovingly at it, “A Five-seveN semi-automatic pistol with twenty 5.7×28-millimeter cartridges??” Brushing his hand through the top shelf of Mike’s bedroom closet, he then yanked down a drawer full of armor-piercing bullets and exclaimed in zeal, “Oh Michael!” he chuckled in sheer amusement, “you thought you could hide these from me?!! You dog!”

Meanwhile, Gavin was beyond irritated. Still unable to believe he’d agreed to go along with this stupid plan, he winced when he saw for a split second how large his fake ‘tits’ were. Pushing them down in a silly attempt at ‘flattening’ them just a little, he saw how they bounced back up, and he groaned in agony.

While Agent Nines loaded his weapons in the back of the other room, Gavin cried out petulantly, “Agent Nines! My breasts keep getting bigger!!”

Not even looking over to address him, Agent Nines roared out vehemently, “GOOD!”

Pouting, Gavin pointed out, “Shelby-Lynn’s rack isn’t even this big, Agent Nines! So what gives?!”

“It’s all part of the ‘playing dress-up’ factor, Gavin,” he growled in annoyance, “you’re just playing a role here, so quit whining!”

Gavin let out a choked noise before pointing at himself. “I’m the one whining?! ME???” he couldn’t believe it, and he walked out of Shelby-Lynn’s room while glaring in anger. “I’m the one who was shaved down to a baby’s smooth ass, practically!” he screamed out in pure rage, “I have a blonde fucking wig on my head, I have makeup on my face, fake eyelashes, fake tits, I have to walk in heels while my feet blister up, and on top of it all, you’ve dressed me in a fuckin’ garter strap and slutty fishnet stockings, yet I’m the one who’s whining?”

With boredom and dullness sweeping into his eyes and all over his face, Agent Nines replied, “You know, you’d make a really shitty woman, now that I think of it,” he made his way past Gavin, purposefully knocking his hips into the younger man’s. “You have no class, babe,” he clicked his tongue against his teeth, “tsk, tsk, zeeero finesse, as well…”

“You try walkin’ in heels, then!” Gavin whined, and as he’d been trying to walk down the second-floor hallway of the house, he felt a hand swatting his ass roughly. Spinning around as best as he could, he screamed out, “AGENT NINES!”

Nearly losing his balance, he crashed into Agent Nines’ chest, and the android seemed all too eager and glad to hold him. Smirking down pleasantly at Gavin, he cooed, “That’s right, give me a spin, baby…”

Soon, they weren’t alone, and approaching footsteps eventually stood by them. When they turned around to face whomever it was, they saw Shelby-Lynn standing awkwardly in a pair of flip flops, blue jean shorts that barely came up to her thighs, and a black tank top. She was blushing seriously as she saw how closely Agent Nines and Gavin were pressed against each other.

Nervously, as she tucked a long, blonde strand of hair behind her ear, she announced, “Umm, I just came here to help you with your makeup and wig, Gavin.”

Eyeing him for a moment, Agent Nines swiftly pushed Gavin towards the teenage girl. “Girl time,” he announced randomly, “you two have at it while ‘daddy’ gets his gear together, okay?”

Gavin’s wig slid off, and he caught it in midair while scowling at Agent Nines. “Perv!”

The android who clearly wasn’t abstemious waved him off as he walked away, and when he’d disappeared down to the main floor of the house, Shelby-Lynn closed the gap between her own body and Gavin’s. Eyeing his wig in his hands awkwardly, she gently inquired, “Umm, not to be nosy or anything, but…” pink pooled deeply in her slightly freckled cheeks, “…are you and Agent Nines ‘together’ together? Like…a couple?”

A sickly look was instantly upon Gavin’s face as he turned pale, but he sighed out, “Honestly, I have no idea; Agent Nines is so damn weird, but I guess you could say we don’t exactly have a ‘conventional’ relationship.”

Deciding she was going to settle with that and not pry anymore, Shelby-Lynn smiled, and then held out her arms towards Gavin. “Come on,” she urged, “let me take care of that shitty makeup job, and I’ll teach you how to do your hair!”

…….

Gavin could only cry out, “Hey! My makeup’s not shitty!!”

She only rolled her eyes, “Well, that’s what you get for trying to dress up like me, and somehow thinking my boobs are that big!” She shot back out as she pointed at the fake breasts and padding Gavin wore beneath the dress.

Glaring, Gavin screamed out, “I told you her chest was smaller, Agent Nines!!!”

Almost immediately, from downstairs, a deep growl sounded out, “Oh shut up!”

Strangely, Shelby-Lynn only giggled as she helped Gavin into the bathroom and closed the door softly behind them both.

 

@@~~@@xx~~@@

 

Standing at the bottom of the steps for a moment, it wasn’t long before Agent Nines began pacing. Mike and Avery stood by him, exchanging nervous glances while the android muttered to himself while walking back and forth.

When he couldn’t take it any longer, Agent Nines stopped, and roared up at the second floor of the house, “What’s taking you so long, Gavin?!”

“Almost done!” Shelby-Lynn sang out, and Agent Nines huffed as he turned and stared over at the Valentine parents. Once he saw how uncomfortable and fearful they were, he smiled as he assured them, “Don’t worry; my plans hardly ever fall apart; your family will be safe.”

Chewing on her lower lip, Avery whispered, “No…I’m worried about Gavin, too.”

That was when Agent Nines’ jaw fell in shock, but before he could comment further, he heard the bathroom door opening, and then footsteps descended from the steps. Turning his attention back towards the staircase, his breath hitched in his throat when he saw Gavin walking down the steps with Shelby-Lynn following closely behind.

“Taaadaa!” she sang out while pointing at Gavin, “does anyone like my handiwork?”

As everyone stared up in awe, Gavin faced them all, standing on the second-last step and posing. His makeup was now done properly, not smearing or smudging out of the lines as he wore thick, heavy eyeliner and dark eyeshadow. His lips had ruby red lip gloss that glittered and gleamed brightly, making his lips stand out almost in a plump way. The dress hugged his hips, giving off the appearance he had curves, and it sat nicely above the middle of his thighs as Shelby-Lynn had readjusted it rather than having it hang off Gavin’s frame. On top of his skull was the blonde and brown highlights wig, but Shelby-Lynn had straightened it with a hair straightener, and then done it up neatly in pigtails that matched her own. The long parts hung over Gavin’s collarbone, sweeping down nicely, while he wore a beautiful silver necklace around the long column of his throat.

Everyone was dazed, but as Gavin sighed, “Well?!”, Agent Nines approached steadily.

“Oh my Metallica,” he purred out seductively, “if I wasn’t holding back because of ‘Nines’, I’d fuck the blue right out of those eyes.”

As the Valentines all blushed deeply, Gavin rolled his eyes, and he tried making his way down the last few steps. Unfortunately, he still wasn’t used to walking in high heels, and he tripped and crashed down to his face right before Agent Nines’ boots. His body let out a ‘bang’ and heavy thud as he landed roughly against the floor, and he groaned and rubbed his sore areas while Shelby-Lynn rushed to help him back up.

Agent Nines blinked once, “Well…kinda like that, only less bruising and more of my dick in your ass.”

“Agent Nines,” Mike awkwardly interrupted, and everyone else seemed grateful that he had. Shyly and fearfully, almost, he cringed, wrung his hands nervously around each other, and then said, “I th-think you should perhaps also discard that outfit?”

Rubbing his knees and elbows once he was up, Gavin hissed at Shelby-Lynn, “How do you gals walk in these god damn things?!?” She only winked at him in response.

“Hmm,” Agent Nines pondered it for a moment, and then looked over at Candi. “Do you have his clothes?” he asked, and she nodded proudly. “All washed and cleaned?” he pressed her again, and she ran into the living room, and came back with the deceased Agent’s long, dark trench coat and black sunglasses.

“Thank you, Candi,” Agent Nines allowed her to help him dress up, and as Mike and Avery gaped in complete shock, the tall, male android delightfully straightened himself out as he sang, “I know you were offering me to take your fashion style, Mike, but I can’t say I’m interested in wearing a Tweed vest.”

As Gavin took one long look at himself in the mirror hanging in the hallway, he took in his final appearance dressed as a woman, and he sighed as he motioned at himself. “So this is what the life of Gavin Reed came to? Dressing as a chick?” he scoffed, “just my luck!”

As she fixed his wig again and made sure the extensions were neatly in place, Shelby-Lynn elbowed Gavin gently in a move of comfort and sympathy. “This here was supposed to be my prom dress,” she informed him with a sad smile on her face that Gavin caught in the mirror, “you take good care of it, because it looks like I won’t be able to wear it…” she chuckled, “…well, I was out of school for such a long time anyway, you know.”

“Shelby-Lynn!” he choked out, “I c-can’t take this! It’s your prom dre—” he ate up his words when she leaned down and kissed him on the cheek softly; a move of friendship and kindness.

Cradling his cheek, Gavin only gaped at her until she shrugged, and then playfully gave him a little shove. “Well don’t just stand there, you gimp!” she giggled, “tell me how amazing I am!!”

Without even hesitating, Gavin threw his arms around her, and he hugged her tightly to his chest. They embraced each other for many long minutes, and then Gavin groaned, “Our boobs are touching…”

They both cackled at this, and as Shelby-Lynn moved away from him, Gavin tapped her nose with a finger. “You’re amazing, Shelby-Lynn, and I want you to try and work up that courage to tell your parents about yourself.”

Knowing he was referring to her sexual orientation, she nodded, flashed him a thumbs-up, and winked. “You bet, Gavin! Thank you for helping me feel brave, and thank you for the opportunity to get to know you…” she punched him lightly in the chest, “you’re a sweet guy!”

He saw her fighting back tears, and he lightly pet her on the back as he said, “One day when all this is over, I promise I’ll try to find a way to connect with you, Shelby-Lynn,” grinning he gave her another half hug as he added, “maybe by then, you’ll have yourself a hot girlfriend!”

Giggling humorously as she wiped her eyes, she responded, “Yeah, and maybe by then, Agent Nines won’t be so creepy and will treat you like a good boyfriend!!”

“Hey!” Gavin chirped loudly, “he’s not so bad! He’s the one who dyed my hair!”

Shelby-Lynn gasped dramatically, “Holy shit, no wonder it was done so badly…duuude,” she crooned and crowed, “you gotta learn how to get that professionally done instead of asking your android boyfriend to do it for you!!”

Heavy boots stomped over towards them, and as the two adolescents stared up, they saw Agent Nines almost floating in a pasquinade of the dead Agent while wearing black sunglasses with an orange-yellow tinge, the deceased Agent’s black trench coat, and black combat boots. Smirking at them, he intoned, “It’s not in good manners to talk about someone behind their back.”

Gavin wasn’t amused or affected, and he shoved past Agent Nines, heels clicking loudly on the floor as he stood before Mike and Avery. Holding out his hand for Mike to take, first, he proudly exclaimed, “I really appreciate everything you did for me, sir. Thank you.”

Adjusting his glasses, Mike smiled a proud smile, and shook Gavin’s hand. “Well! It’s not every day I get to meet a gentleman!!” joking mildly, he then exclaimed, “come back in another year! I’m sure Shelby-Lynn wouldn’t mind it if you asked her out.”

At the sound of this, Shelby-Lynn snorted and whispered, “He ain’t a girl, dad.”

Gavin also kept his sexuality to himself, but he otherwise nodded a small, friendly nod, and then he held out his hand for Avery to take. “Mrs. Valentine, I—” he suddenly had been pressed against a warm body, and he gasped when he saw and felt Avery hugging him tightly.

She ran her hands through his wig gently, and she sadly sniffed out, “You’re a very brave, talented young man, and I hope we’ll maybe see more of each other in the future.” Pulling away from Gavin, she gently cupped his foundation-covered cheeks, and beamed at him. “I’d wake the children to come say ‘goodbye’, but they’re heavy sleepers!”

Gavin only stated, “It’s okay, but tell them I’ll miss them!”

Her hand drew away from his face, and she nodded in confirmation, “Best of luck to you, dear…you and your Agent Nines.”

Blushing, Gavin nodded at her, and then waved at Shelby-Lynn as Agent Nines stood next to him and sternly looked at Mike. Holding out his dark, gloved hand before the man, he reminded him in a deep, gravelly tone, “Make sure you call the police at least twenty-five minutes after we’re gone, just so we can get a head start for the chase.”

Although he looked like he really didn’t want to go through with the ‘plan’, Mike gave Agent Nines a curt nod. “I shall,” he promised, “thank you for your help, Agent Nines, and good luck.”

Stepping up to them last-but not least-Candi held out her hands, “Group hug?”

Gavin and Agent Nines stared at her awkwardly for a moment, but Agent Nines shoved Gavin towards her in an instant. With an ‘oof’ uttered, Gavin slammed into her heavily, and she sighed a soft, warm sigh as she wrapped her arms around him in a loving embrace while her LED light flickered bright blue. “I hope you’ll be okay, Gavin.”

“I will be…” he paused as he appreciated her nurturing, empathetic words, and stared over at Agent Nines while the android seemed to settle into his clothes, his style absolutely effete, and his attitude cold and removed throughout it all. Gavin rolled his eyes, and he then wriggled out of Candi’s grip. “I promise we will remember you, Candi!” winking at her, he added, “no more bringing home strays, okay?”

The joke was appreciated by her, and she waved at Agent Nines while he bowed his head at them all in obeisance.

“Good luck to you,” the android purred out, and then held a hand around Gavin’s waist as he ushered him out the Valentine family household.

They weren’t even half a street away in the early morning light when Gavin felt he had a hole in his heart. He missed the Valentines already.