You're reheating takeout from the night before while channel surfing when he catches your eye. You stop on the Channel 16 news, almost frozen.
No, not Markus, standing on the makeshift podium while giving a victory speech. The one to his side. The slender, blonde android, standing calmly by Markus's side.
“Simon….?” you whisper, and you scramble for your phone on the counter before unlocking it. It can't be, you thought your ex had disposed of him after the fight.
You still have his number saved in your phone. You couldn't bring yourself to delete it; deleting it would mean accepting he's gone, and you just couldn't do that. You slide to his name in your contacts and hit call, stepping in front of the TV while listening to the dial tone buzz away.
One, two, three, four rings and you're afraid it's not him. But you'd know that familiar sad furrow on his brow anywhere, the one he would always look at you with whenever your ex was around. It was his default expression 80% of the time. He has that expression on his face now, you can see it when the camera zooms in on his face.
“Fuck. Fuck! Fuck you Simon,” you drop to the floor as you yell at the empty room, vision clouding with tears. He was alive! This entire time, and he was alive and well. You thought you had accepted his death all those months ago, said what goodbyes needed to be said at the garbage dump where he was discarded.
Your meal is forgotten as you spend the rest of the night thinking about him, sorting through your feelings. When the sun rises in your living room, you think you have a plan. It might not be the best, but it'll have to work.
A week. He's avoided your calls an entire week. It feels like you're being toyed with, perhaps he hates you for what happened, or maybe that really wasn't your Simon. Why would his embedded cellular line still work? You know it's him. It has to be.
So you make your move. The news channel tells you that the androids have a new, temporary base of operations located off the docks, converting an abandoned warehouse to suit their needs.
You wear your most comfortable clothes for the cold weather and walk all the way to the other side of town where the docks are, public transport still not running after the evacuation. You didn't leave simply because you have nowhere to go, you've lived here your entire life, and to lose that would be to lose everything. Not that you already haven't, you think to yourself.
Lost in your own thoughts you don't realize you've reached your destination, security model androids blocking the only entrance in sight. “Stop,” they call out, and you comply. “What do you need?”
What do you need? Oh, nothing really. Just to possibly reconcile with your long lost android is all. They'd throw you out if you said that, assume you're there to take back what's yours. But that's not you, you would say you've been on their side the entire time, quietly cheering from the sidelines.
“I was wondering, if….if I could speak to Simon? That's only if he's here, I'm not actually sure, I thought I saw him on the news but I wasn't sure and I know that was a week ago but I can't ignore this feeling that it might be him and I need to tell him I'm sorry— so please.....is he here?”
You don't get another word in as you're interrupted, ushered in by the two and then promptly left as the doors shut behind you. Looks like your rambling approach worked. Now to figure out where he is.
Turns out to be harder than you thought. Most of the androids you pass don't even look your way, or they get scared and rush off to another room. You're getting discouraged, slumping onto a nearby bench and hanging your head in your hands.
This was going somewhere, but it was soon to hit a wall if nobody was going to acknowledge your presence. Your shoulder is jostled as someone, a woman, sits next to you, startling you out of your reverie. They look familiar, probably from the news, but you can't place their name right away.
“What are you really here for, human,” the feminine voice drips of malcontent, and you shrink back out of sheer habit.
“I'm, uh, looking….I'm looking for a friend, for Simon, if he even considers me that anymore. I just wanted to make sure he's ok to tell him I'm sorry about....sorry for when—” You deflate even more, and the woman harrumphs at your answer. They tug you up by the arm, no choice but to be dragged along through the complex maze of hallways and rooms, stopping in front of one somewhere in the middle of the building.
“Simon! This human wants to see you. Make it quick,” the woman demands and you don't even have time to gather your bearings before you're thrown into someone, their arms coming to catch you by your shoulders. The doors shut, and the woman walks away just as quickly as she entered.
You look up and are met with blue eyes staring you down, shock written across his features; Simon's features. That sad furrow creasing his brow even now. You don't even notice you're holding your breath, waiting for a sign, anything, from him. But he looks even sadder than before. He stumbles back as you shove him, anger fueling your strength.
“I thought I didn't miss you, but then I saw you on my screen.” Surprise flits across his features before settling into sadness once again, and you scoff. “You knew it was me, and you never answered! I wanted to apologise, reconnect. You were–are, the only good thing in my life.”
Suddenly you're pressed into his chest, crushed into a hug with his arms resting on your back, head by your ear. “I didn't know what to say, nothing could convey what I can show in person. I was so worried on if you would really welcome me back, accept me for who I am now,” he whispers, inhaling as if he's able to take in your scent. It strikes you as an entirely human action, one he never would have done if he wasn't a deviant, like he is now; like they all are now.
You pull back, cupping his face in your hands. He looks so content right now, like he's basking in your presence. “I will always accept you Simon, as you are now or ten years from now.” He smiles, forehead leaning down to rest on your own.
If you didn't already know it, you'd think you're in the past relaxing with him like you used to at home. “Are you busy?” you ask, and he shakes his head, looking at you curiously.
“No. What did you have in mind?” You chuckle and pull him to a nearby worn looking couch, dropping on it and taking him with you.
“Since you've been gone it's imperative we catch up on our favorite TV shows. Immediately. No distractions, no breaks.” He only grins in response and turns the wall mounted TV on, finding the show.
It's almost like your life was weeks before, but in this moment and time you're truly happy; the happiest you've been in a long time.
Neither of you notice the trio of Markus, Josh, and North gathered near the slightly cracked open door, whispering and giggling to each other at the scene before their eyes.
“If it's fine by you three, I'd like to have at least some time alone with _____,” Simon relays via the short range silent communication androids have, and all three scatter like leaves in the wind.
He holds you in his arms just like he used to, your head leaning against his shoulder, and you'd say this is the most relaxed you've been in awhile.