Hospitals? They fucking sucked.
Gavin would rather have just sat on Tina’s floor while she stitched up this little stab wound. It was just like asking your friends to pierce your ears for you, right? Let’s talk about boys while you fix this hole in my guts, It’ll be fun.
But he was unconscious when they dragged his ass here, because he’d also fallen down some stairs, so he didn’t get much say in how this shook out.
It was just unlucky.
Perp cornered in another fucking foreclosed parking garage- when was city planning gonna get on that? Welcome to Detroit, half our real estate is fucking unlivable. Jesus.
Anyway, the perp wasn’t alone. Gang affiliation. Walked in on some kind of meeting by chance. Nines said they should leave, but Gavin had insisted they could handle it. Someone shot out the light, people scattered like rats. Chase scene. The stairwell.
Nines was like three flights ahead of Gavin, obviously.
Harder better faster stronger what-the-fuck-ever.
Gavin reached another landing and a guy jumped out of the door that led to the rest of that floor, surprising him. Got him good, then shoved him backwards down the stairs.
One of the last things he saw was the guy’s brains blown out the side of his head. Nines must have looked back.
That would have given him some warm fuzzies if he wasn’t preoccupied with dying.
Nines wouldn’t have looked back for him a few weeks ago.
“Keep up or stay home.” He’d said smoothly, looking down his nose at Gavin like talking to him was just a fucking inconvenience when he tried to give the android shit about always taking off on his own. It made Gavin feel useless, and useless was as good as unemployed, because androids were so much better. Nines seemed to rub that in his face at every opportunity.
“I don’t care to babysit you.”
Gavin had learned very early in their time as partners that trying to punch Nines was a Disney park fast pass to a broken hand. Would be worth it, in his book, if it did anything to the android at all.
It did not.
His skin didn’t even go away.
Made Gavin wonder if Connor was just humoring him that one time.
But stuff had changed for them, slowly. Gavin learned that the arrogant look Nines always had was just kind of his face. That he didn’t mean any harm in pointing out every irrationality in Gavin’s behavior, he just wasn’t great at expressing empathy that he really did feel. Gavin could relate.
That was part of it, and also Gavin was an insecure disaster and his first response to perceived criticism was to get defensive and lash out.
But they learned to interpret each other. Gavin tried his best not to jump to conclusions and Nines started to voice positive things instead of only neutral or negative. The way Nines seemed to try for him made Gavin wanna try back. Stuff just clicked at some point, and they worked great together. He hadn't closed this many cases so quickly in months.
And then Gavin found out that Nines was fucking funny. It started with little remarks, deadpan sarcasm, teasing.
Then Tina invited him to play cards against humanity with them at a little office party and he fucking wiped the floor with them.
Next he learned that Nines was considerate, and patient, and thoughtful, and smart, obviously, and gentle and cool and hot-
On to why hospitals sucked so much.
Literally nobody in history liked the smell of them. They were too quiet. The fucking gowns they put on you? Way too drafty. Every time Gavin saw another patient he wondered what they were dying of.
He was not happy to be waking up in a hospital.
Nothing hurt that bad. Thanks, drugs. His mouth was super dry, and his IV itched a little. The blanket over him felt uncomfortably restrictive.
Nines was there, standing with his hands clasped behind his back despite the presence of several chairs. Fucking weirdo.
“How long you been there?” Gavin croaked, scrunching his nose at the way his voice sounded.
“Since your operation concluded.” Nines responded without moving. Without blinking. He was being extra roboty. He hadn’t acted like that in a long time.
Operation, huh? Maybe he was stabbed a little better than he thought he was.
“That sounds like a family visitation only kind of deal”
“It was.” Nines stepped closer and pushed the cup of water Gavin hadn’t noticed on the rolling table beside his bed toward him. Too smooth, too mechanical. “I edited your information in the hospital’s database. We were married briefly. Don’t worry, I’ve changed it back.”
Nines had such a cute habit of breaking the law when it suited him.
“The fuck,” was all Gavin could manage, too groggy to actually give him shit for it.
He took a sip of his water and felt way better, but not any clearer. All his limbs were like jelly. Nines remained perfectly still. Fucking staring at him.
“Are you okay?” Gavin asked.
Nines’s eyes narrowed just a fraction.
“You’re aware you are currently in a hospital, yes?”
There was the bitch Gavin had a big gay crush on.
“Yeah, are you?” Gavin didn’t know where he was going with this. His head felt like mush, he just wanted Nines to stop acting weird. Nines was looking at him like he was a moron now, instead of a vaguely interesting inanimate object, so he was doing something right. He patted the bed next to him without really thinking about it, “just sit the fuck down, chill out.”
Nines obliged him, too easily, sitting on the edge of the bed, his eyes locked on Gavin’s face.
“So, what happened with the guys we were after?” Gavin tried. He didn’t want silence right now. Hospitals were too quiet.
“A few were apprehended. The backup we called intercepted their escape. Several slipped through. One unfortunately perished.” Nines said it like he wasn’t the one that put a hole in the guy’s head.
“Paramedics took you away. You had a punctured lung, a concussion, a number of contusions and a few broken bones.” If Nines’s eyes were lasers Gavin would have two smoking holes in his face by now. It was kinda hot.
He was gonna ask if Nines was angry at him or something, but then his LED did a thing Gavin rarely saw it do.
It turned yellow.
“There were so many variables, hundreds of potential outcomes, I should have been able to handle it but,” Gavin was hypnotized by the mini light show. It just kept spinning.
Yellow yellow yellow,
“the statistical probability for injury was consistently above 60%, you-"
“Hey,” Gavin grasped the android by his shoulder. Nines was usually the one to initiate any physical contact between them these days. He knew it was grounding for Gavin, in a more positive way than violence was. He hoped it would be the same for the android.
“We got unlucky. It happens.”
Nines stared at him, then to the side, then back again.
“This experience has been unpleasant. I’ve...grown so accustomed to your presence, I don’t...” Gavin watched him kind of look around then, like the world was a dictionary and he was trying to find the right word.
He knew he had a crush on Nines.
No denying that one.
It wasn’t just a ‘think about him when you masturbate’ kind of crush, either, he’d fantasize about completely domestic shit. Cooking and cleaning and shopping together and walking in the park holding fucking hands.
Sitting in a hospital bed watching his partner having a muted android meltdown, it suddenly occurred to him that the crush might be mutual.
Did Nines daydream about adopting kittens together, or imagine what he fucks like or check out his ass?
Did Nines wanna kiss super bad right now? The drugs in his brain told him there was one way to find out.
Gavin tugged Nines into leaning over him, hands finding his face, guiding him in, no resistance so far.
He let his eyes fall shut as their lips met, trying to feel as much of it through the painkillers as he could.
There was just a beat of hesitation, and then Nines kissed him back.
He knew what he was doing, like always. That was good, cause Gavin didn’t have the brain power to lead this show for long.
Some tension in Gavin’s chest that he didn’t know was there finally snapped. An emotional tension, not his stitches. Hopefully.
Everything was really good right now. He liked the kiss, he liked Nines’s tongue in his mouth, he liked Nines’s hand on his waist. He hadn’t really noticed that he’d wrapped his arms around the android’s neck like a desperate teenager. His lungs were starting to ache and he kept trying to bargain with them, just one more second, just wanna feel it a little longer, wait one more-
He didn’t hear the first couple camera snaps, but the next seven of them got his attention.
Gavin reluctantly pulled away from the kiss, still clinging to the android, and looked toward the sound. It felt like literally all the blood in his body decided to take a vacation to his face.
His friend Tina Chen was standing in the doorway, with some flowers, a get well card, a blue balloon that had ‘its a boy!’ crossed out and ‘get better BITCH’ scrawled over it,
and her phone, still taking fucking pictures.
The smile on her face was absolutely blinding.
Nines made no move to put any more distance between them. That made something in Gavin’s chest feel warm.
And it meant he could use the android’s conveniently located shoulder to hide his face.
“This is officially my favorite time I’ve ever visited you in a hospital,” Tina said, stepping into the room.
“Nines, please kill her,” Gavin’s whine was muffled against the android’s jacket.
“Hello, Officer Chen,” Nines greeted her politely.
Tina deposited her gifts on the table beside his bed, and then started pulling things out of her jacket. A bag of gummy bears, two huge KitKats, spicy Doritos, some cans of iced coffee. Gavin peeked at her suspiciously as she unloaded her contraband. God he fucking loved Tina.
“I take it back, you don’t have to kill her.”
“How merciful of you.” Nines turned his head and pressed a kiss into Gavin’s hair and it almost fucking killed him.
So it was gonna be like that, huh? They were just gonna be all cute and intimate now without even talking about it?
Gavin rubbed his face into Nines’s shoulder. Good. He sucked at talking about stuff.
“You’re welcome,” Tina said, her hands on her hips, looking utterly too pleased with herself. “It looks to me like you’re holding up alright.”
“Yeah, I’m just fuckin’ peachy, Tina.” Gavin decided his face was probably a normal color again, so he lifted his head to look at her proper. She was still smiling so big. He would find it very endearing, if he didn’t know it was because she had like 700 pictures of him making out with Nines in her possession right now.
Tina reached out and patted his cheek. “Good. I’m glad you’re alright, really. I’ll uh... let you get back to...” She wiggled her eyebrows.
Gavin pulled the biggest frown the bruises on his face would allow.
“I’ll come check on you in the morning. Later Nines,” she waved fondly, flashing one more big smile, and then waltzed out the door.
Nines was kissing Gavin again before he could decide which frustrated noise to make. Less desperate this time, slower. That nice warmth spread through Gavin's chest again. This was definitely his favorite hospital visit, too.
Just when he was starting to think he’d be content to do this till the sun exploded, it stopped, and Nines stood up.
He didn’t go far, though, he just walked around to the other side of the bed and then crawled in beside Gavin.
“You should rest,” the android said, his voice taking a tone Gavin had only heard a couple times before. Soothing, gentle, soft. He’d jump off a cliff if that voice told him to. “I’ll be here,” Nines assured him. Then he tucked himself snugly against Gavin’s side and rested his head on Gavin’s chest.
‘Dying,’ the human reminded himself, ‘I’m fucking dying.’ A knife hadn’t done the job, so the world was getting creative.
Being held like something precious by probably the most perfect man he’s ever known was a good way to go.
Tina was going to absolutely decimate him.