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Bring On The Wonder

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I can't see the stars anymore living here

Let's go to the hills where the outlines are clear

Connor glanced up at the sky, snow fell into his eyes. It was a cold night, he supposed, but he enjoyed sitting outside. It was odd thinking he liked anything, but he didn't have a better word for it. It had become a habit for him to sit outside at night, letting his thoughts wander.

He wished he could see the stars, but you rarely could anywhere anymore. He could always use his database to find photographs, but it wouldn't be the same, wouldn't cause the same feeling he had heard about from Hank. Hank would tell tales of sitting outside and staring up, Connor could detect a certain longing and sadness when he talked about them.

He was shaken from his thoughts when heard footsteps crunching through the fallen snow. He looks over and smiles slightly.

"Markus, it is good to see you," Connor says. Markus had often taken long walks at night and sometimes he came this way, so they had sometimes sat and kept each other company.

"Detective, enjoying the weather?" Markus asks, sitting on the bench beside Connor. Connor tried to brush the snow off of his jacket and hair with a slight blue blush.

"I cannot fully enjoy the weather," Connor says, looking at Markus. The snow contrasts with his beautiful dark skin. Flakes rest on his eyelashes and rest on his jacket.

"Well, you can feel the cold, can't you? It may not fully affect you for a while, but you can feel it." Markus points out.

"I'm ambivalent to snow; I use to… love it I suppose. After Amanda tried to take over the snow brought back memories without me searching for them." Connor says. He breathes slowly, pushing the image of pulling his gun on Marcus at the rally away.

"That's understandable," Markus says. He nods his head and relaxes more into the seat.

They sit there in silence, both staring at the world around them. It was beautiful now that Connor could take the time to notice. The snow seemed to glimmer in the dark light. It was soft, though when gathered together it could become hard.

He knew the games children would play in the snow. He almost wished he could do that now, but Markus may find it odd, or childish.

"How's Lieutenant Anderson?" Markus asks, breaking the silence.

"He is doing fine; we are still working together as detectives. They are now paying me as well. How are Josh, North, and Simon?" Connor asks.

"They're doing well. You should bring the Lieutenant and Sumo to visit, the kids would love it." Markus says, looking over and smiling at Connor.

Connor nods and thinks of Sumo meeting all of the Android children. He'd have to make sure he didn't crush any with his large paws.

"I will. We can set up a schedule at a later time." Connor says. Markus nods beside him and turns to look up at the sky.

"What kind of cases have you been working on now that you aren't hunting deviants?" Markus asks, keeping his eyes up.

Connor flinches and lowers his eyes to the ground. "I… we've been working on normal cases, red ice, murder, kidnapping." He still felt terrible that he hadn't broken his coding earlier. He had let the two Tracie's go and didn't shoot the Chloe, but it still didn't feel like it was enough.

Markus looks over and places a gentle hand on his shoulder. "I'm sorry. We all know you did what you had to do."

"I am fine. I very rarely did my job to the full extent like I was supposed to." Connor says, thinking of all the times he upset Amanda. He knew now that if it upset her he was most likely doing the right thing, instead of what Cyberlife wanted.

"Connor, hey look at me," Markus says, slightly touching his cheek.

Connor shivers and turns his head, meeting Markus' mitch matched eyes. He knew why his eyes were different, but it was striking. He felt his pump speed up by 5%.

"No one blames you for anything. All of Jericho love and support you. Yeah at first they were unsure, but we've all learned that you aren't bad, or evil. You're good Connor. We were all under control until we were finally freed" Markus says softly.

Connor swallows thickly and looks away.

"I mean it. I trust you." Markus says, moving his hand away.

"Thank you." Connor sighs, shoulders relaxing.

"Of course. You're always welcome at New Jericho." Marcus says smiling.

"And you are always welcome at Lieutenant's house." Connor nods. Hank had let him have the spare bedroom, and as a thank, you, Connor, kept the house clean. Hank was opposed to it since he didn't want Connor to feel like he was just a house cleaner Android. It made Connor happy, but he was glad to clean up. The house was truly a mess.

Markus nods and goes to stand. "Don't stay out too long, wouldn't want you to freeze."

"It is unlikely I would freeze in the amount of time I would be out here," Connor says tilting his head.

Markus shakes his head and laughs softly. "Have a good night Connor," Markus says waving.

Connor waves and watches Markus walk away. He watches until he can no longer see him. Once he's out of sight he looks back up at the stars and smiles closing his eyes. Maybe he really does like the cold.

 

Bring on the wonder

Bring on the song

I pushed you down deep in my soul for too long

Connor walks slowly towards New Jericho. He didn't feel like sitting in the cab when he could just walk. It wasn't like he would get tired by a thirty-minute walk. He decided to leave Sumo this time but felt that he was obligated to visit after Markus was so kind.

When he got there it was close to five, he had asked for half a day off at work for this. He walked up to the door and glance up. The building was tall and held many Androids. He looked around and took in the abundance of trees. He was glad when Markus had asked him to help in adding greenery around the building. It made it feel more… homey.

Many lived here, as did Markus and the other three. They had parts and therium just in case any of them got hurt. It wasn't too far from anything else, so the Androids could walk around the city.

He pushed open the door and walked into the lobby, it was full of Androids of many different models, most were adults. There were also a few humans who were there for a meeting. Connor made his way through the crowd to the front desk.

"Hello! Welcome to New Jericho." The man says smiling.

"Thank you. I am here to see Marcus, my name is Connor, I'm the Android se-" he cuts himself off.

"Connor, welcome. You have been authorized to the whole building. Marcus is currently on the top floor." The man said, motioning to the elevators. Connor nods thanking the man before moving through the doors and towards the elevators. He pressed the up button and stood there waiting. It finally dinged and he walked in.

When the doors open he stepped out into the hallway. He could hear the faint sound of music playing, something poppy. He could search his database but decided against it. It had a good beat to it and could tell it was made to be catchy.

He moved through the hallway towards the music. He slowed his steps when he was close, and looked around the corner. He smiled softly at the sight in front of him.

He knew Markus painted, but it was another thing to see it in action. His back was towards him so he couldn't see his face, but he could see his hand moving. He swayed slightly to music though it didn't seem to be to the music that is playing. He's painting on a large canvas. It was a more colorful piece.

He stood there silently and watched his graceful movements. He had a feeling his eyes were closed, though Connor didn't understand how that would help the painting.

"Hey, Con Con," North says in his ear, making him jump. Marcus stops and turns around, looking at the two. He should have heard her coming; he was more advanced to pick up on even the slightest sounds.

"Connor! I didn't hear you come in." Markus says, putting down his paint and paintbrush.

Connor studies him, noticing the paint on his face and the paint all over his forearms. He also had paint on his pants and on his shirt.

Markus is in the way of the painting but he can tell it's a person, most likely male. Markus has a slight blue blush on his cheeks that Connor can't figure out the cause of.

"He was just standing there watching like some creeper," North says, punching Connor in the arm softly. Connor glances at her and gives her a tight smile.

"I was observing, it is part of my programming," Connor says.

"I don't mind. Uh, can you give me a minute to clean this up? North can give you a tour." Marcus says shifting from foot to foot.

"Of course, I'll make sure to show him everything," North says with a wink towards Markus.

"Thank you," Connor says. North smiles widely and moves towards the other end of the room.

"Right this way," North says. Connor nods and follows beside her, glancing back towards Markus. He's staring at Connor but looks away when they meet eyes.

"Come on Con, I've got to show you around," North says shaking her head. Connor nods and moves to stay by her side.

She shows him multiple rooms consisting of their bedrooms, a meeting room, a games room with a tv, a gym, and a few others. It's a good place to stay. There are three extra bedrooms in case friends want to visit.

North informs him of the conditions of the other rooms. Most Androids didn't have any money, but the government had given the building to them. He learned that Markus' owner had left all his money to Markus and he had used it to make the place better. They had also gotten donations so that all the Androids could live comfortably.

They finally finish the tour by making it back to where they had found Markus.

"Showed him around, now what?" North asks, leaning against the wall.

Markus wipes his hands off and turns towards them. His arms are still covered in paint.

"So, what did you think?" Markus asks.

"The building is structurally sound and has all the needed accessories to conduce a healthy living style," Connor says.

North snorts and shakes her head. "You could just say it's nice."

"I'm glad we're safe," Markus says smiling. Connor shifts slightly at Markus' gaze.

"It is. Why do you listen to music while you paint?" Connor asks, changing the subject. He points towards the ceiling that must hold speakers.

"It helps, and it's calming. Don't you ever just listen to music?" Markus asks.

"I enjoy the beat. Though I've never just listened." Connor says.

"Have you ever danced?" North asks.

"Dance? Why would I do that?" Connor asks, tilting his head.

"Cause its fun!" North says. She moves away from the wall and grabs Connor's arm pulling him into the middle of the room. She takes his hands and moves them, pulling his body around.

"I can download instructions on how to dance," Connor says.

"Don't you dare." North laughs.

Connor glances over at Markus and sees his fond smile.

"Come dance with us!" North laughs, letting go of Connor with one hand, reaching towards Markus.

Markus shakes his head but walks over and starts moving. North let's go of Connor and starts moving in odd ways.

Connor looks between the two and slowly relaxes his body. He sways to the beat before slowly adding in other body parts. He grins to himself and slowly lets his mind go free, body moving with the music. He understands why humans love to dance, it's freeing in a way, a fun, though he didn't know why.

"Who knew the detective could dance," North says before spinning in a circle. Markus laughs and holds out his hand to Connor.

Connor looks between his hand and his face before taking it. He lets out a surprised squeak when he's twirled. He lets out a laugh when he practically falls against Markus.

Markus holds him tightly smiling at Connor.

"This is… fun." Connor breathes.

"It is," Markus says, his breathing labored.

"Get a room!" North yells at the two.

Markus let's go quickly and looks away, blushing. He moves a step away from him. Connor frowns but turns towards North.

"But we are already in a room." Connor points out, furrowing his eyebrows.

"You're adorable," North says. She shakes her head but continues to dance.

All three look over when they hear two voices coming towards them.

Josh and Simon round the corner talking to each other. They look up and pause both glancing at Connor.

"What? You know what never mind I don't wanna know." Josh sighs.

"We were dancing, Connor's never done it before," North says. Connor nods his head.

"Oh, well sorry to interrupt. Some politician is here to talk to you, Markus, but we can tell them you're busy." Simon says.

Markus looks at Connor and sighs. "Alright send them up. Connor, if you'd like, you can join."

"Thank you, but I should be getting back," Connor says.

"Are you sure? You could stay; the meeting shouldn't take too long. Plus it might be nice to have a police officer around." Markus asks.

"Thank you again, but I really should get going. I have to walk Sumo tonight." Connor says.

"Alright, thank you for visiting, feel free to come back whenever," Markus says, placing a hand on his shoulder. Connor watched Markus's face before pulling away.

"Soon. Sooner the better." North points out. Connor smiles and nods.

"Have fun with the meeting," Connor says.

"Oh, we will," North smirks. Markus looks at her and squints.

"Do you want me to walk you out?" Markus asks

"I know the way, thank you," Connor says. He steps away and suddenly misses Markus' hand on his shoulder. He brushes the thought off as he makes his way back towards the elevators.

He hears North laugh then a squeak. He gets in the elevator before he hears anything else.

 

  

I fell through the cracks at the end of our street

Let's go to the beach,

get the sand through our feet

Connor rubs his head. He never had to deal with negative emotions because of a case before, or at least he couldn't acknowledge them. The worst cases were when children were hurt, or worse, killed. They had gotten a case, someone was kidnapping children ages 7-10, keeping them for at least ten days, and then dumping their bodies. The victims were both Androids and humans, though only females.

Connor knew this case would be especially hard on Hank, so he tried to take the brunt of the work. He didn't expect it to get to him.

 "Got a break. Someone saw the missing girl in a car." Hank says, grabbing his coat. Connor jumps to his feet and fixes his tie.

"Do we have an address?" Connor asks, already moving towards the door at a quick pace.

"Yep, it should be sent to you," Hank says, and just as he does Connor gets the address. They take one of the police cars, Hank drives. They make quick time with the sirens on.

The house is large and dark, surrounded by trees. They turn the sirens off before it could be heard from inside the house, wanting to have the element of surprise.

Connor exits the car and checks to make sure he has everything. It felt odd having a gun, but he knew that as a detective it would be even odder if he didn't. Backup would be coming, but Connor felt confident that he could talk the bad guy down, or if needed to, take him down.

They moved towards the door, and Hank motions for Connor to go around back. Connor nods and takes his gun out, keeping it pointed down. He moves around the house, scanning everything. He picks up footprints on the ground. Definitely male unless it's a woman with unusually large feet. He also picked up very small shoe sizes, most likely belonging to the victims.

He moves around until he's at the backdoor. He and Hank had set up a system where Hank would send a period straight to his brain to let him know to go in. He grabbed the door and twisted slowly, and silently walking it. The house was dark but he could hear moving upstairs. He moved through each room checking it before moving on. He'd do a more thorough investigation after he makes sure no one is in danger.

He meets Hank halfway through and they nod to each other. The downstairs is clear. They both move to the stairs, slowly making their way up.

They check each room, not stopping to look at the evidence. Connor hears a high pitched scream and moves quickly to the door, pulling it open.

A large man stands in the middle of the room, a large knife raised. Connor can see a little girl on the ground, covering her face.

"Hello, my name is Connor." He says, keeping his gun raised at the man. The man turns towards Connor and leans his hand back, ready to throw the knife. Before he can there's a loud bang, and the bad guy goes limp, a gunshot to the head. Connor looks behind to find Hank with his gun still raised.

"Thanks," Connor mutters. He puts the safety back on and slides his gun into his holster. He moves towards the little girl, putting himself between her and the man on the floor.

"Abby? I'm Connor a detective, we're here to help." He says crouching down. The little girl slowly uncovers her face. She moves quickly and grabs onto Connor barring her face in his chest and sobbing.

He does a quick search on how to deal with this before rubbing her back and telling her she's safe. She slowly calms down enough that she can stand.

"I need you to do something for me ok? I need you to close your eyes. I'm going to carry you downstairs and then we're gonna get you your parents and to the hospital. Can you do that for me?" Connor asks. Abby nods and closes her eyes.

Connor picks her up easily and steps around the dead body. Hank smiles at him and moves out of the way. Connor takes her downstairs slowly and out the front door where other cop cars are coming in, as well as an ambulance.

He sets her down and ruffles her hair. "Alright, you can open your eyes. See these nice people?" He says motioning to the paramedics walking over. Abby gives a slight nod. "They are going to make sure that you're alright. Your parents should get here soon." He says, standing back up.

He makes sure she's taken care of before going back to the house.

"Hey Connor, you need to see this," Hank calls out from the side of the house. Connor walks over and sees Hank standing in front of two large garbage bins, the types that are generally used for dumps.

"What did you find?" Connor asks. Hank simply points into the bin. Connor walks up and looks inside. At least a hundred pairs of little kid shoes are inside.

"Fucking hell." Hank spit. Connor nods numbly. He knows what this means.

"Get some people to check the woods. There's… there are at least fifty more bodies." Hank calls out, voice cracking at the end. Connor steps back and places his hand on Hank's shoulder.

"I can do the rest. You should go home." Connor says. Hank sags and nods his head.

"Thanks." He mumbles walking away. Connor stares at the shoes before moving away. He goes through each room finding more and more evidence. He wants to shoot the man again and again. He's never felt this type of… anger before. How could anyone do this to children?

Once he's done he sends a report in and calls a cab. He doesn't want to disturb Hank so instead, he heads to New Jericho.

When he gets there night has fallen. There aren't many people in the lobby, but he moves to the elevators and rides them up. He stares at the walls feeling completely numb. When he gets to the top he moves slowly towards the painting room as he now calls it. Markus is there and instead of painting, he's reading.

He looks up and jumps slightly. "Connor." He says, putting his book down. He slowly stands and walks over.

"Hi," Connor mumbles, staring at the wall.

"You have blood on you, what happened are you ok?" Markus asks.

"My systems are working perfectly fine. I just finished my case. With the children." Connor says, his voice flat.

"Oh, let's go sit down," Markus says. He leads them to his bedroom and sits Connor down on the bed. He grabs a cup of water and hands it to Connor.

Markus sits beside him, keeping a short distance from him.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Markus asks.

"There… there were so many. They are innocent, why? Why did he do that? How could he? They're, they're just kids." Connor says, eyes welling up.

Markus moves closer and puts his arms around Connor, who gladly leans into him.

"I don't know Connor, I don't know. But think of this, you've saved so many little girls by catching him. You did so well." Markus says. He rubs slow circles onto Connor's back. Connor closes his eyes as he starts to cry. He knew he was capable of crying, but he never knew he could cry for emotional reasons.

Markus just holds him, letting him cry into his chest. He slowly rakes his hand through Connor's hair. Connor cries until he can't then he sits there, keeping his eyes closed.

"I don't know how you do what you do, but you're so strong, Connor. You're so brave and so strong." Markus says into his hair.

Connor nods and pulls Markus closer.

"Do you want to stay here?" Markus asks. Connor pulls away only slightly and nods his head.

"Alright, I'm going to get you a change of clothes ok?" Markus asks. Connor nods and again and lets him go. Markus sits through his closet until he finds something suitable. He pulls out a soft shirt and long, soft pants. He hands them to Connor.

He takes the clothes and stands up, taking off his clothes. Markus turns his back as Connor changes. Once he's done he taps Markus on the back.

"Alright, you can take the bed if you want," Markus says.

Connor nods and climbs on, pulling the blankets up.

"Sleep with me? Please?" Connor asks. Markus only hesitates for a second before climbing in. They don't need sleep, but Connor feels emotionally exhausted. He pulls Markus closer and keeps him there, closing his eyes.

"Goodnight Connor." Markus mumbles.

"Goodnight."

 

 

Bring on the wonder

Bring on the song

I pushed you down deep in my soul for too long

Bring on the wonder

We got it all wrong

We pushed you down deep in our souls for too long

Connor's stress level had been unusually high. Cases had been piling up, which resulted in Hank being stressed too.

"You two take a week off, you're bringing everyone down," Fowler says, rubbing his head.

"I can stay, my stress levels are still in a normal range," Connor says.

"Nope, go home. Go do anything else. Just come back better." Fowler says, waving them out of the room.

They both leave, grabbing a few things from their desk before exiting the building.

"So, what are you going to do? Visit your boyfriend?" Hank asks.

"He's not my boyfriend, but he did ask me to visit again soon. I am hoping to learn how to paint." Connor says, calling for a taxi.

"That'll be fun I guess. Don't do anything stupid alright?" Hank says, opening his car door.

"Of course. Try not to get too drunk." Connor says.

Hank flips him off before driving away. Connor gets into the cab and relaxes for the short drive to New Jericho.

He walks in and looks around. No one is in the living room, but Connor can see that Markus had been painting.

"Hello?* He calls out. He can hear shuffling and someone exiting a room, it sounded like it was from Markus' room. He waits patiently for whoever it is to come to him.

Markus rounds the corner, looking slightly breathless.

"Connor! I didn't know you were coming." Markus says. It is evident that the statement is true. Markus doesn't have his shirt on, and his pants look older.

"If this is a bad time I can come back later," Connor says, already moving back towards the elevators.

Markus grabs his wrist lightly, pulling him back. "You're fine. You're always welcome. What did you want?"

"I was hoping to learn how to paint. You are excellently skilled at it so I thought it would be a good idea for you to teach me." Connor says. He glanced at his wrist, which Markus is still holding.

"Oh! Of course, I'd love to teach you. I'm not sure I'll be a good teacher, but I'll do my best." Markus says. Connor can tell how much he loves painting, which is another reason Connor wanted to learn from him.

"I'll be right back with the stuff, make yourself at home, and feel free to play any music you want," Markus says, letting him go and walking down the hall.

Connor stands there, pulling up his music. After dancing with Markus he had taken to listening to different types of music. He has found that musicals are ideal for stories, while classical was good for working. He had also made a playlist of different genres, picking that one.

“Nice choice,” Markus says. He’s carrying two canvases and many paint supplies. Connor is impressed with how much he can carry but rushes over to grab some.

“Right, so Carl didn’t exactly teach me. He just kinda told me to close my eyes and feel. It worked out well.” Markus says. He sets up two places.

"So, I have to feel," Connor says with a frown. It's not that he couldn't feel, he knew he could, but they are so complicated.

"Yep. I close my eyes, it helps. Use whatever colors you want ok?" Markus says. He takes his place in front of his canvas and closes his eyes. Connor studies him carefully. Markus slowly brings his paintbrush to the canvas and starts to paint.

Connor looks at his blank one and closes his eyes. He can do this. He takes in a deep breath and tries to relax. Emotions think of emotions. He raises his hand and brushes the canvas.

He smiles to himself as he paints, his eyes closed. He can see why Markus loves it so much, it's freeing in a way, letting your mind wander. He doesn't realize it, but he starts humming softly to the music; the humming turns into singing.

Time passes both quickly and slowly. He isn't sure how long it takes him to paint, at least an hour. Once he feels like he's done he opens his eyes.

He's shocked at what's in front of him. He knew what he was painting but he didn't expect this. He quickly glances over at Markus, who is staring at him with a fond smile.

"You sang," Markus says. Connor tilts his head and tries to recall the memory.

"I was." He concludes, nodding to himself. He hasn't really sung before, but he thinks he likes it.

"I… finished my painting," Connor says, looking back at his canvas. It's a painting of a man, with lots of different colorful brush strokes. He painted Markus. Suddenly a deep blush blooms across his face.

"You're a natural. It's beautiful." Markus says, coming to stand right by Connor. Markus stares at the painting, taking in every detail.

"I'm sorry. I should have asked permission to paint you." Connor mumbles.

"I don't mind. Though, do you think I could keep this? It really is amazing Connor." Markus says, leaning just slightly against him.

"Of course. I'm glad you like it." Connor says. He easily supports Markus's weight as they stand there, looking at his painting.

Connor jumps slightly when he gets a message.

"I have to go, the Lieutenant needs me back," Connor says.

"Alright. Well, thank you for coming over." Markus says.

"I should be thanking you. I hope we can paint again, I think I enjoyed it." Connor says. He falters for a second before pulling Markus into a hug.

Markus seems to freeze before wrapping his arms around Connor, putting his head on his shoulder. They stand there for what is probably too long before Connor pulls away.

"Right. Goodnight Markus." Connor says.

"Goodnight Connor, stay safe."

 

 

I don't have the time for a drink from the cup

Let's rest for a while 'til our souls catch us up

Connor sighs and rubs at his head. He had been working longer hours than usual, doing extra work. The other officers seemed to be warming up to him. They'd stop to talk to him, which he found he enjoyed.

"Connor, honey you should take a vacation." Officer Althea says, leaning against his desk. She was a bit younger than Hank, but she was always very sweet.

"I do not need one," Connor says, looking back at the file on his desk.

"Just cause you aren't made of the same stuff, don't mean you don't feel. Mark or whatever his name is proved that." She said. She ruffled his hair and he glared at her, trying but failing to fix it.

"Markus, and yeah I know." Connor sighs. He fiddles with the file's papers.

"Ohhh, I see what's happening," Althea says smirking.

"What is happening? We are talking." Connor says, looking at her and tilting his head slightly.

"Oh honey, you've got it bad don't you." She says shaking her head.

Hank walks back over, holding two cups of coffee.

"What does he have bad Al?" Hank asks, handing Connor one of the cups. He didn't need to eat or drink, but it seemed to help how others perceived him.

"Markus," Althea says simply.

Hank nods his head and takes a long sip of his coffee. "Right. How've you been Al?"

"Fine, been keeping busy. The kids went to visit their father." She says, frowning slightly.

"Damn, that's shit," Hank says, sitting down.

"Nah, it's fine. They left right before the Rebellion. Told 'em it's safe now so they should be coming back. Connor, you should meet them, I'm sure they'd love you." Althea says.

"I would love to." He says, quickly looking up info in her children.

She has three children, the oldest being seventeen, the middle being fifteen and the youngest ten. He decided not to look into any more to respect her privacy.

"We should get back to work. It was good to talk to you again." Connor says, sipping at his coffee.

Althea rolls her eyes before waving at Hank and walking back towards her desk.

"What did you mean when you said 'I've got it bad'. What do you have bad?" Connor asks.

"Well… you know what, figure that out yourself, but don't use your freaky internal Google for it." Hank says with a slight smirk.

Connor nods, and looks back down at the file, flipping through it. It wasn't all too interesting if he was honest. A simple string of robberies if it could even be counted as that. The places robbed where the old Cyberlife stores. Cyberlife had opened new stores where they could buy parts when needed. They had even started an adoption thing for Androids who wanted to adopt other Androids. There were plenty of child Androids that no one wanted once they deviated.

Connor jumps slightly when his phone rings in his head. He checks who's calling and hesitates before answering.

"Markus, do you need something?" He asks.

"Oh, not really. Are you busy?" Markus asks.

Hank gives Connor a strange look. He didn't need to speak out loud, so he probably looked like he was just sitting there. He mouths Markus and Hank nods, giving him thumbs up and a chuckle before turning back to his work.

"I am not," Connor says.

"Right, well I was hoping you'd come over? You don't have to of course. I just...wanted you to." Markus stutters out.

"I will try. I have to go." Connor says, hanging up before Markus can answer. He checks his systems but can't find anything wrong. It must be an emotion. He files it away for later and turns back to his work.

He slowly rises from his chair and checks the time. He looks around and notices almost everyone is gone. Hank is snoring softly at his desk. He sends a quick message to Markus apologizing for losing track of time. He pulls his coat on and tries to wake Hank.

"Hank, it's time to wake up," Connor says, tapping him slightly. Hank slowly wakes up, rubbing at his face.

"What time is it?" He slurs out, looking around.

"It is exactly 12:22:31," Connor says, pulling Hank up.

"Fuck," Hank grumbles.

Connor hums in agreement, and walks out, calling for a cab. They get home and Hank instantly falls into his bed.

Connor sits down on the couch and looks around. He had recently bought paint supplies after painting with Markus last month. They had spent lots of time together after. Last week they had been painting when the others came in. He wasn't sure why but he started to heat up. The others had joked with them, and North had whispered to him that he should just ask him out already.

He didn't know what she meant. Who was he to ask out? He had heard that other Androids were in relationships, but he never thought himself capable.

After that, he had stopped going over, not that he didn't want to. Something just always seemed to come up, or be of more importance.

He blinked slowly before standing and walking over to the canvas. He sets up his paints and stares at the blank white canvas. His mind was blank, not knowing what to paint. This is probably what is called an art block.

He sat down on the ground and stared at the canvas. He lost track of time and was shaken from his thoughts by Hank stumbling into the room. He checked the time and saw that it was morning.

"Jesus Connor, how long have you been sitting there?" Hank grumbles, moving around the kitchen.

"All night. I couldn't decide what to paint." He says, standing up and putting away his supplies.

"I don't know why you love painting so much," Hank says, sitting down and drinking coffee with is most likely spiked with alcohol.

"It is calming. Markus is quite good at it, I've suggested that he sell his art. He could use the money for New Jericho." Connor says. He moves to sit next to Hank.

"I'm sure he is. Why don't you sell yours?" Hank suggests.

Connor thinks it over before nodding his head. "I will. I can donate the money to New Jericho."

Hank grumbles while drinking his coffee. "We should get to work soon, got that case."

Connor nods and stands, making sure his outfit isn't wrinkled. He turns back and takes Hank's cup, pouring it out. It was definitely spiked. Hank friend but stands, grabbing his coat.

They get to the office and quickly getting to work. It doesn't take them long to figure out who the culprit is, even without leaving the precinct.

They move onto the next case and continue working in sync. Hank takes a break for lunch, but Connor keeps working. He stood when he gets a message from Markus.

Hey, are you alright? You haven't been around much.

Connor sighs and closes his eyes briefly. It wasn't like he was avoiding Markus, well, not on purpose. He was just busy. He sent back a quick reply before returning to work.

He promised himself he'd go to see Markus by the end of next week.

 

Bring on the wonder

Bring on the song

I pushed you down deep in my soul for too long

Connor looks up and blinks a few times before realizing his phone is ringing. He only got one to look more normal, so getting an actual call was very unusual. He looked at the ID but didn't recognize it.

"This is Detective Connor." He says, shrugging when Hank sent him a confused look.

"Connor? Hi, this is Kara, Markus got me your number… I did ask why he wouldn't call but he said you've been avoi… uh, never mind. Anyway, me and Alice are visiting New Jericho and wondered if you could visit." Kara says. Connor pulls up his memory of Kara and Alice and winces.

"Of course. What time would be best for you?" He asks. He mouths Kara at Hank. Hank frowns for a second before his face lights up, but quickly turns to worry.

"Any time really, I'll be staying until next week," Kara says. He heard a young girl's voice in the background that must belong to Alice.

"I will see what I can do. I hope you're doing well." He says.

"Thank you, you too. Well, I'll let you get back to your work." Kara says.

"Bye Connor!" Someone, who he assumes is Alice, says loudly.

Connor smiles and ends the call. He turns to Hank and sighs. "They want me to come over. I should be free tonight."

"Sounds good, oh, I meant to tell you, I'm getting work on the house done. Do you think we could hang out at New Jericho for a day or two?" Hank asks, he rocks back on his chair.

Connor sends a message to Markus and quickly gets a response. "Markus said he'd be glad to house is for however long we need." Connor nods.

"Right, we better get back to work," Hank grumbles.

Connor nods and turns back to his computer.

 

Connor looks at his small suitcase and double-checks that he has everything. He really doesn't need much, but he wanted to be prepared.

"Hey, Connor! You ready yet?" Hank calls out. Connor closes the case and walks towards the living room.

"I'm ready," Connor says, grabbing Sumo's leash. The drive to New Jericho is silent and quick. He grabs his suitcase before getting Sumo out.

The air is crisp, Spring just barely coming along. Before deviating he had never noticed the air, other than when he had to analyze it. There was a different… energy to the air depending on the weather, but he didn't know why.

He shook himself from his thoughts and walked into New Jericho. He leads Hank up to Markus' floor.

When he gets up Markus and North are talking to each other, both leaning on the wall opposite the elevator. They both look up and smile when they see them.

"Connor," Markus says, pulling him into a hug. Connor stiffens, looking towards North. She wiggles her eyebrows at him before crouching down to pet Sumo.

Connor relaxes only slightly and lets out a breath he didn't know he was holding. He can pick up a slightly different smell than normal and analyzes it. It seems to be cologne, coming from Markus.

He pulls back and looks towards Sumo and North, blushing slightly. "You, um, you smell good." He mumbles.

"Thanks. I, I just got it." Markus says. North snorts and stands up.

"Alright, let's show you to your rooms. We also kinda got a lot of dog stuff, toys, food, a bed. Anyway, Alice and Kara are staying on the floor right below us. So, once you guys are settled in we can go say hi!" North says. They lead them to the rooms and they put their stuff down.

Markus stays with Connor as he puts away the clothes he brought with.

"So, I want you to know, before we go to see them, they don't blame you. I've told them how dangerous it was for you to go to the Cyberlife Tower. They don't hate you." Markus says, walking closer and putting a hand on Connor's shoulder.

"They should." Connor sighs quietly.

"What?" Markus asks.

Connor turns to fully face Markus. "I wouldn't blame them if they wanted me dead. I… I would want me dead."

"No, no Connor. I don't know how I'm supposed to explain this. You were still you before becoming deviant, but it's like someone is controlling you. You could only break free sometimes, and even then it's incredibly hard. Everyone did things they didn't like, couldn't stop things they wanted to. You're not alone Connor, and I… we love all love you." Markus says.

Connor nods numbly, his shoulders dropping. He leans against Markus and closes his eyes. He feels Markus pull him into a hug gently. He takes deep, shuddering breaths. The cloth against his cheek, but he doesn't really care.

"Thank you," Connor says, pulling back slightly.

"Of course, I'm always here for you. If you want you can wait to see Kara and Alice, they would understand." Markus says. Connor sits down on the bed and thinks. He doesn't want to keep them waiting, but he isn't really mentally prepared.

"Tomorrow, I'll visit them tomorrow," Connor says, nodding his head. Markus nods and sits down beside him.

"It's late already, so that sounds good. Do you want me to leave so you can get sleep?" Markus asks.

"Please don't," Connor says, placing his hand on Markus' leg to keep him in place.

"Ok, ok, I'll stay," Markus says. They stay like that for a while, just sitting next to each other.

"Let's lay down," Markus suggests. Connor nods and lets Markus guide him into the bed. Markus lays down next to him and pulls the covers up. The lay stiffly before Markus turns on slightly towards Connor. He pulls Connor closer.

"Is this ok?" Markus asks. Connor nods and lays his head on Markus' chest. He lets Markus hold him, and uses his arm to keep Markus close.

Connor's head swims with thoughts, most he instantly rejects, though he can't help but… like whatever this is, being held. It brings him comfort, and he very much enjoys it. He isn't sure how it would differ if done with another person or android.

The door swings open, making them jump.

"Oh shit, sorry, didn't know you were doing that. I'll just be going." North says, backing out.

"No, no, it's not what it seems. Why are you here?" Markus asks, sitting up.

"I came to talk to Connor actually," North says, looking between the two.

"Of course, what do you need?" Connor asks.

"Well it's embarrassing now, but Hank said you take Sumo on a walk each night and was wondering if I could come with," North says, leaning on the door frame.

"Of course. Markus, do you want to come with?" Connor asks, standing.

"I'm good. I actually wanted to work on a painting." Markus says. He fixes the bed, before walking to the door.

"Alright, let's go Con," North says, grabbing his arm and pulling him out.

 

"So, how have you been?" North asks, scratching Sumo's head.

"I have been fine, my functions are still working properly," Connor says. He looks around the small park. There are others there, some with people some alone. There are five other dogs, not including Sumo.

"That's not what I meant, but good to know. I'm gonna get straight to the point, alright?" North says, slowly to almost a stop.

Connor looks back at North and nods, trying to gauge her emotions.

"Why have you been avoiding Markus? He's been moping around, and he won't stop talking about you. Did you two get into an argument?" North asks, her tone matter-of-fact.

"I've been busy with work. There has been a 2% increase in crime since the Rebellion." Connor says. He does feel bad about not taking the time to see him, but it's not like he didn't want to. "You said he talks about me?"

"Yeah, he does," North waves her hand dismissively. "So you didn't fight? That's good. Do you like him?"

Connor blinks and tilts his head slightly, "of course, he is my friend. He has a pleasant personality and I enjoy being around him."

North rolls her eyes but doesn't say anything more. They walk around the park two more times before going back.

When they get to the floor, North puts her finger against her lips and grins. Connor nods and softens his steps, keeping so quiet that only someone as advanced as himself could hear.

North makes a surprised sound and turns to Connor, pushing him away from where Markus usually paints.

"What's wrong?" Connor asks quietly.

"Uh, nothing, nothing at all," North says, her eyes are wide, and she almost looks scared.

Connor frowns and reaches for his gun, easily moving around North. He reaches the corner and takes a deep breath before rounding it.

In the room is a canvas with a painting. A painting of… him. He slowly lowers his weapon and steps closer.

"Fuck, Connor you weren't supposed to see that." North groans.

"It's, it's me? Why would...why?" Connor asks. It's an amazing painting, and he can tell Markus was the one who painted it. There's something about it that strikes something in him.

"I think you know." North sighs.

"I… I don't. Please explain." Connor says. He turns to North and puts his gun away.

"Can't you tell? Look at that painting, really look. It has emotion in it, what emotion do you think it is?" North asks.

Connor looks at it and feels that thing in his chest again. He knows what the emotion is, but can't seem to name it. Why does this mean so much? He pulls up a list of emotions and easily gets rid of most. He's only left with a few words, but one seems to fit.

"Love." He mumbles. It's love, Markus painted love. Markus… no, it isn't possible. Connor stumbles back and glances at North. "I… he? No, this can't, why?" He asks, stumbling over his words. He can feel his therium pump beating faster by the second.

"He should be the one to tell you that," North says, gently touching his arm.

Connor jerks away like he's been stung. "I… I need to go." He feels his feet moving, and barley heard North calling out to him. He gets down to the first floor and runs out. He doesn't know where to go, but he runs anyway. He wants to go home, but he doesn't know where that is.

He lets his body carry him out into the night.

 

 

Bring on the wonder

We got it all wrong

We pushed you down deep in our souls, so hang on

Connor sits down and looks around. The wind is strong against his skin. He isn’t sure where he is, but it's near water. There isn’t anyone around currently, but that's good. He ran for an hour straight, so he covered a good distance. Why he ran, he doesn’t know, he just did it. What he did is rather human, he muses to himself.

So Markus loves him. Now that he goes through his memories it's easier to see the signs. Love is a hard concept for even humans to understand, maybe Markus doesn’t even know himself. North knew, but he believes it's easier if you're from an outside perspective.

He lets his mind wander as he closes his eyes. He loses track of time, sitting there. He opens his eyes when he hears footsteps. He looks over and sees an AX400 walking towards him. He scans her and jumps slightly when he realizes its Kara. She smiles softly at him before sitting down beside him. She doesn’t say anything for a while, just takes in the view.

“It’s beautiful here, I’ve missed it.” She says quietly after a few minutes.

“It is." He mumbles. He holds out his hand and a small snowflake falls onto it.

“We were worried about you, especially Hank and Markus.” She says. She keeps her eyes trained on the lake.

“I’m sorry.” He sighs.

She waves him off, “It’s fine. North told me what happened and I wanted to try to find you. North, Simon, Josh, and Anderson are all looking for you too. We figured that Markus would be a bad idea, so he stayed with Alice and Sumo.”

Connor nods his head but stays quiet.

“Do you want to talk about it?” She asks, finally looking over at him.

“I… don’t know why I ran, that's not what my code-not what I would do.” He says with a shrug.

“You were scared, that’s completely natural. What’s important is why you ran.”

“What do you mean?” He asks.

“Well, did you run because of how you feel, or because of how he feels?” She explains.

“I, I don’t know how I feel. I’m not good with emotions.” He says, shaking his head. He’s always had emotions, but he didn’t fully acknowledge them until after he became deviant.

“Most people aren’t, even humans suck with them.” She laughs. Connor chuckles and nods his head.

“My therium pump seems to speed up, and my stress level rises slightly. But it’s not bad? I want to be near Markus, but I don’t know if that's just because he is my friend. He is very handsome and very smart. I feel a sense of happiness when I am around him.” He tries to explain.

“Ok, well have you thought about if you want to be in a relationship with him? Do you want to kiss him, and just be closer in general?” She asks.

Connor furrows his brows and tries to think. He tries to imagine what it would be like, what it would feel like to kiss him. “I think it would be… pleasant.”  

Kara nods her head. “What does your heart tell you?”

“My heart? I don’t have one.” He says, tilting his head. “Even if I did, it couldn’t speak.”

Kara snorts and shakes her head. “Not a literal heart, silly. It’s like your brain, but it's supposedly where your emotions are.”  

Connor frowns. “I, I think I want to be with him? When I attempt to imagine a future with him it causes a happiness spike.”

“So, do you love him?” Kara asks. He looks over at her. Does he? Is he even capable of it?

When he painted with Markus, it was the most relaxing he felt. Dancing with him made his metaphorical heart sore. He felt at home when he held Markus close. He thought about him so much. He wanted to always tell him about his day, how he felt. He wanted to have Markus around all the time; he wanted to protect him. He knew he’d give his life for Markus if asked to. He’d give everything to Markus. He’d give everything for him.

He jumps slightly when he feels a soft hand brush against his cheek. He looks at Kara through watery eyes.

“Shh, baby.” She says, pulling him into a hug. He falls into her and starts to sob. He clutches at her shirt, squeezing his eyes shut. She whispers to him quietly and strokes his hair, and rubs his back. It’s oddly comforting, like a parent. She holds him until he stops crying.

“It’s ok.” She says, brushing a piece of hair that fell into his face away.

“I… I love him?” He whispers. She smiles softly and nods her head.

“How? I’m, I’m an android.” He asks.

“I love Alice, you love Anderson and Sumo. Why would romantic love be any different?” She asks.

“I don't know.” He says, shaking his head. He runs his hands through his hair quickly.

Kara nods and sits there, still holding him slightly. They sit together and stare out at the lake.

“We should head back.” He says quietly. Kara nods and stands, offering a hand to him. He takes it and stands.

“Let’s go home.”

 

 

Bring on the wonder

Bring on the song

I pushed you down deep in my soul for too long

Connor takes out his coin and moves it around. The coin is cold and slides easily around.

"Hey, it's ok," Kara says, gently touching his hand. Connor nods and the elevator door opens.

He instantly engulfed into a hug. He lets Hank hold him for a bit until pulling back.

"Don't run off like that, you scared everyone. People are still out there ready to hurt people like you." Hank scolds.

"Sorry da-Hank," Connor mumbles. Hank sighs before smiling and ruffling Connor's hair.

"Connor?" North calls out, rounding the corner with Simon and Josh.

All three jog over and give him a hug, North also punches him in the arm, but he doesn't mind.

The hall goes quite as Markus walks over. His eyes dart around the room, but never stay in one spot for too long

"We should give you two some space," Josh says, pulling the others away.

"So…" Markus starts. He slides a ring around his finger, focusing his gaze on it.

"I'm sorry for running away," Connor says. He leans against the wall, but his pasture stays stiff.

"No! You have nothing to be sorry about. I'm sorry for making you run away." Markus sighs, looking up towards Connor.

"You didn't make me; it was more me running from what I felt. I have learned that I am not good with emotions of any kind." Connor explains.

"Neither am I, it helps me to paint it out," Markus says, chuckling slightly.

"About that. The painting, it's amazing." Connor says. Markus smiles and looks down, a slight blush on his cheeks.

"I'm glad you think so."

"And, I guess we both have something to say to each other," Connor says, more like a question.

"We do, I'll start. I-I really like you, I'm pretty sure it's more than liking though. I didn't realize it until you came over after the case. It felt so right holding you, and I guess I never wanted to let go." Markus says.

Connor blushes and nods his head. "I believe I feel the same. I do not know when I started feeling this way, but I am glad that I do. For humans, if two people like each other they go on dates. Would you… would you go on a date with me?" He asks.

Markus smiles and rushes over, pulling Connor into a tight hug. "If like that very much."

Connor grins and puts his arms around Markus. He sighs and relaxes, taking in everything around him.

"I love you." Markus mumbles. If he wasn't so close, or the top model he wouldn't have heard him.

"I love you too." He says. He pulls back slightly, but leans in and presses his lips against Markus'.

He feels like electricity is running through him. He brings a hand up to cup his cheek as he deepens the kiss.

They both jump apart when they hear a cough. North stands against the way and wiggles her eyebrows at them. "Come on lovebirds, we have games set up."

Markus smiles and reaches his hand out. Connor gladly takes it and follows him.

He looks around the room at everyone. Hank, Sumo, Alice, Kara, Markus, Simon, Josh, and North. These people are his family, and as he sits down he realizes that they are his home.