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“Would you like a cup of coffee?” asked Connor. He glanced across the police station toward the break room.

Hank was busy with their case, grumbling to himself. Still, he looked up for a moment.

“That would be nice. Thanks, Con,” replied Hank.

Their relationship had been steady lately. They’d settled into a bit of a routine at this point. After each case, they’d sit in the police station together and split the paperwork to take some work off Hank’s shoulders. Connor had offered to complete all of the paperwork of course, since it was much easier for him to digitally compute the reports and email them to Captain Fowler, but Hank reminded him that he was more than just a servant now. He could do as he wished.

Connor still wanted to get him coffee, though. There was something… domestic about it that Connor particularly enjoyed.

Walking into the break room, Connor spotted Nines by the coffee maker, already making a pot.

“If you are here to make coffee for Hank, it will have to wait. This coffee is for Gavin,” Nines said. He tilted his head slightly at an angle, processing Connor’s arrival.

“It’s an entire pot,” Connor pointed out. “I highly doubt Detective Reed would benefit from that level of caffeination at two in the afternoon. Or at any time for that matter.”

Nines blinked as his LED turned from blue to yellow and back to blue again.

“I always make Gavin a full pot of coffee so that I can sample it multiple times for accuracy in temperature and flavor with various amounts of dairy and sucrose packets. Once I determine the sample will be to his liking, I serve the remaining coffee with the appropriate mixture.” Nines finished scanning Connor. “Why has your stress level increased by two percent, brother?”

Connor gritted his teeth, his LED spinning red. “Just because your partner has delicate sensibilities does not mean you can commandeer the coffee maker for your own personal use.”

Connor attempted to reach around Nines for the coffee pot, but Nines grabbed his arm, gripping it more harshly than necessary.

“Gavin does not have delicate sensibilities,” said Nines, glaring down Connor, his own LED now a deep red as well. “I simply care about what he puts into his body. I suppose you can’t say the same about Lieutenant Anderson, considering he clearly consumes large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis.”

Connor wrestled his arm out of Nines’s hand and pushed him backward. Despite RK900 being a newer and stronger model, Connor had more experience with fighting. He grabbed both of Nines’s shoulders and pulled him to the side against a wall. Nines went in for a kick, but missed narrowly and hit a chair. Connor pressed closer to him, pinning Nines’s wrists above his head. Their faces were so close now that Nines only needed to whisper.

“You should learn to control your stress level better,” he sneered.

“You should learn to choose your words more wisely,” said Connor.

“Very well. If it’s this big of a deal, then you may take six ounces of coffee for Lieutenant Anderson. The remainder of the coffee will be for Gavin.”
Connor gripped Nines’s wrists a little tighter and brought his lips to Nines’s ear. “Eight. Ounces.”

“Fine,” said Nines.

This wasn’t the first time that Connor and Nines had a small conflict. It always worked itself out in the end, particularly because they both knew the value of the bond they had as the android equivalent of brothers.

At that, both androids dropped out of their fighting stance, straightened their clothing, and turned to walk back to the coffee maker. Their LEDs returned to a calm blue.

They were both slightly startled to see Hank and Gavin standing in the doorway with their mouths hanging open.

“Hank,” said Connor. “Why is your heart rate elevated? Should I be concerned?”

Hank closed his mouth and looked at the ground, his eyes a little wide.

Nines stepped forward, next to Connor. “Gavin, your heart rate is also elevated. And you are blushing.”

Gavin rolled his eyes in an exaggerated gesture, but he was still blushing. “God, Nines. It’s nothing. I told you not to say this type of shit out loud.”

“Were you two fighting?” asked Hank. “I heard a sound and came over to uh..” He seemed to lose his train of thought, his eyes darting between Connor and Nines.

“A simple brotherly quarrel,” stated Connor. “Nothing to worry about.”

“I’ll be at my desk,” Hank murmured before hurrying out of the room.

Gavin threw one more glance at Nines, then at Connor, then turned around and left as well.

Connor and Nines shared a quizzical look.

“Did you notice anything strange about that interaction?” asked Connor.

“Yes,” said Nines, grabbing a mug for Gavin. “Gavin distinctly lied about the presence of blood rushing to his face causing what humans call blushing. He also showed clear signs of arousal, despite there being nothing prior to our interaction that I would consider to be foreplay.”

Even Connor cringed a little at the choice of words.

“Just so you know, I do not think it is considered socially acceptable to discuss foreplay outside of intimate settings,” said Connor gently. “But I have to agree. Hank does not usually appear to be flustered by me at work…” He paused to think for a moment. “Other than the one time that I asked him if we could engage in a sexual activity during the lunch hour.”

“Do you enjoy seeing Hank… flustered?” asked Nines.

“Yes,” said Connor. “I do enjoy it. When Hank is feeling good, I feel good. I know you’re still struggling with the emotions associated with being a deviant, but do you enjoy seeing Gavin flustered by you as well?”

“I think that I do,” said Nines. “I think that I like Gavin a lot and I would enjoy seeing him in different moods and situations, particularly ones that make him… vulnerable. Does that make sense?”

“It does,” replied Connor. “Though I’m still unsure of exactly what triggered this response from them.” Connor briefly reconstructed the situation, watching himself pin Nines against the wall and watching Hank and Gavin enter, their arousal growing. “Oh,” he said.

Nines didn’t wait for Connor to elaborate before he reconstructed the events himself.

“They were aroused by us fighting each other,” stated Nines.

“Correct,” said Connor. “Fascinating.”

Nines poured out exactly eight ounces of coffee for Hank, then began sampling the remaining coffee for Gavin.

“I would like to replicate the event we just experienced,” said Nines.

“Is your reconstruction ability not functioning anymore?” Connor removed the skin from his hand and reached for Nines, inviting him to see the reconstruction through Connor.

Nines swatted away at Connor’s hand.

“I’m functioning fine. I mean that I would like to fluster Gavin a second time through similar means.” Nines looked away, but Connor could tell he was a little embarrassed as now it was the RK900 model who was experiencing a raised stress level.

“Hmm,” Connor looked down at the mug of coffee. “Perhaps we could perform a sort of experiment.”

Nines turned to Connor and quirked his head again. Connor knew Gavin found that action cute, which was probably why Nines had conditioned himself to do it more often than usual.

“What type of experiment?” asked Nines.

“I believe we should attempt to fight in front of Hank and Detective Reed a second time and measure their vitals to determine the best possible future approach. There may be a way we can use our bond as brothers to our advantage.”

“For once we are seeing things from the same perspective, Connor. Shall we agree to perform this fight tomorrow afternoon? Gavin will be leaving the office early today and I don’t believe Lieutenant Anderson has finished his paperwork for case 45781.”

“Agreed,” said Connor. “I will see you in the office tomorrow.”