“But are you afraid to die, Connor?”
Snow gently drifted around them as Connor contemplated Hank’s question. He stared down the barrel of the gun leveled at his forehead.
“You shouldn’t do that, Lieutenant. Destroying me at this point would deal a blow to the investigation, and have negative consequences for your personal situation.”
“What’ll happen if I pull this trigger? Hm? Nothing? Oblivion? Android Heaven?”
Connor stares at Hank’s grizzled face, confused and unsure.
“Where does all your anger come from, Lieutenant? Some… Unresolved trauma in your past?”
Hank’s face twisted in anger. “You think you’re so fucking smart. Always one step ahead, huh? Tell me this, smartass. How do I know you’re not a deviant?”
“I self-test regularly. I know what I am, and what I am not.”
Hank’s arm quivered before he dropped the gun, and Connor let out a breath he didn’t even know he’d been holding.
His relief was put out when Hank quickly raised his arm again.
Connor always hated when Hank entered a depressive episode.
After the revolution, androids had slowly but surely been gaining more rights. Connor had been released from Cyberlife’s clutches shortly after. And having nowhere else to go, he had ended up on Hank’s doorstep.
Their relationship had been shaky when they first met, but had slowly progressed into friendship. And then something more.
They had naturally progressed into a relationship of the romantic sort.
So far, it was Connor’s favorite part about being deviant.
But every relationship had its ups and downs. Like now.
Connor was sitting at his desk, watching as Hank was clearly struggling not to cry in the middle of the precinct. Connor knew what it meant, and he knew what to do.
He quickly sent a text to Captain Fowler, informing him he was taking Hank home, as he was in no condition to work. The Captain did not reply, so Connor assumed they were free to go.
“Lieutenant, would you mind accompanying me to the archives to find something?”
Hank looked up with red eyes. He nodded and stood up on shaky legs.
Connor walked them towards the stairs that would talk them to the archives, then took a sharp right to the back door.
“Connor, the fuck are you going?”
“I don’t believe you are in the right condition the be working, Hank,” Connor said softly. “I am escorting you home.”
Hank stared at Connor incredulously for a moment, before his shoulders slumped and he looked down, nodding.
Connor stepped up to the Lieutenant, placing a hand on his lower back and gently leading him towards the back door.
Hank sat at their kitchen table, staring at the half-empty bottle of Black Lamb in front of him.
“Hank… You really shouldn’t be drinking.”
Hank ignored Connor and took another swig.
Connor sighed. It hurt to see the man he loved continue to destroy himself. He knew Hank was beating himself down for many reasons. Cole, mostly.
It scared Connor when Hank drank. He was terrified that Hank might yell, or hurt himself.
Mostly, Connor was terrified that Hank would bring out the gun again.
Scared that Hank would try to play that stupid game again.
Or maybe turn the gun on Connor…
Connor despised his irrational thoughts. He knew that Hank loved him, he told him every day. He knew Hank would never shoot him again.
And yet, he keeps having nightmares about that snowy night on the bridge.
Connor despised himself for his irrationality.
Sometimes, Connor wondered if Hank would prefer it if he were human. After all, Hank has despised androids for years. It didn’t seem likely for him to suddenly turn his hatred into love. Statistically, it seemed impossible.
Connor often found himself picking at his flaws, or wishing he was different. Wishing he could be better for Hank, wishing Hank didn’t have to put up with his dumb quirks.
Hank didn’t know what Connor thought of himself. He never talked about it. Connor knew his feelings weren’t as important as Hank’s, so he kept them to himself. After all, Hank needed someone to keep his depression at bay. Connor would’ve preferred it if Hank had someone… more suited for the job. But seeing as how no one else volunteered, the android would have to do.
Connor sadly watched at Hank took another sip, doe eyes beginning to water. He quickly pushed the tears back. Crying wouldn’t help Hank. Hank needed him right now, and he needed to be strong.
Does he really need you, though?
His LED spun in yellow circles.
Connor was startled out of his thoughts by the harsh sound of wood scraping tile. Hank had gotten up, leaving the bottle behind and walking towards the bedroom.
Perhaps he’s going to bed? Sleep would do him good.
Connor got up to follow, only to be stopped dead in his tracks by the sight of Hank standing in the hallway.
With the gun in his hand.
No no no no no.
Hank sighed and pushed his hair back with one hand. “Connor…”
No no no no no no no no no no no no.
“There’s somethin’ I gotta do, before I do somethin’ I’ll regret.”
Connor’s chest was heaving, trying to power his fans fast enough to cool his overheating body. His mind was racing, trying to figure out where he went wrong, everything wrong about him that lead to this moment.
Hank took a step forward, and everything crumbled.
Connor bolted backwards, backing himself into a corner unintentionally. Artificial tears are running down his cheeks in heavy streams, blurring his vision.
“Connor! What the f- Connor? Why- why are you crying?”
“I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry, Hank, I’m sorry-” His LED was spinning rapidly, an angry red.
“Connor? The fuck you talkin’ bout-?”
“Please don’t, Hank please! I’m sorry please don’t I’ll be better I promise! I swear I’ll be better just please don’t please don’t I’m sorry- “
“Please I don’t want to die, not again, please don’t I’ll do anything you want just please don’t do it again I’ll be better I promise!”
Hank’s bleary mind sobered instantly.
Connor was desperately pushing himself into the corner, cowering, seeking space, distance, a place to hide, anything. Tears hit the rough carpet in heavy drips.
Hank was surprised he couldn’t hear his heart breaking.
You idiot, he scolded himself, So wrapped up in your own misery you don’t even notice the pain of your fucking partner.
He was ripped out of his thoughts by the sounds of his boyfriend whimpering in a panic.
“I’m sorry Hank, I’ll be better, I’ll be a better human, I promise! Please Hank please don’t sh-shoo-t m-e!” Connor’s voice broke heavily and he dropped his head. “I’ll be whatever you need just please don’t kill me! I don’t want to die again, p-please!"
“Connor, Connor, no I’m not going to- fuck.” Hank tries to step towards his sobbing, shaking boyfriend, forgetting about the gun still in his hand.
Connor crumples in on himself, curling into a ball on the ground. His hands are over his head, as if trying to hide himself from Hank. He can barely hear Hank’s words through the thick panic and fear smothering his senses.
Hank turns and sets the gun down on the couch behind him, before moving to touch Connor’s shoulder. Connor lets out a desperate, fearful sound, a scream garbled by heavy breathing and sobs. He frantically tries to scramble away, despite having nowhere to run to.
Hank pulls back, sitting on his haunches about three feet back. “Connor, baby, I’m not gonna hurt you,” He spoke softly, “Never again, never.”
Connor’s desperately trying to calm down, to get his systems under control, but he’s so scared. He doesn’t want to die, not again. He wouldn’t come back this time.
Hank’s mind is a mess. This is all my fault.
“Connor… Sweetheart, please. I don’t have the gun anymore, it’s gone, see?” He holds out his hands, palm up.
Connor’s sobbing stills at the mention of the gun, slowly looking up to reveal large, sopping wet eyes.
Hank’s heart fucking shatters. Those eyes are meant for happiness, not… this.
Connor looks at Hank’s large hands, hands he loves so dearly. Hands that are devoid of the gun.
Connor’s breathing and tears slow. His synthetic heart still hammers away at his ribcage, but Hank looks safe…
“H-Hank?” Connor’s voice cracks and Hank’s chest hurts.
“I’m here Con, I’m right here, baby. You’re ok, nothing’s going to hurt you.”
Connor’s eyes dart around the room, before turning back to hank.
“W-Where’s the g-gun?”
Hank’s pretty sure he might have legitimate heart problems at this point. “It’s over there, on the couch, see? I put it down, cause I sure as hell ain’t gonna use it to hurt you. I would never hurt you, baby.”
Connor’s LED spins between red and yellow. “B-But at the br-bridge?”
Hank’s heart drops into his stomach. “Fuck… I’m so sorry, Con, I never should’ve done that. It was a dumb, impulsive decision fueled by my own bitterness and booze. I was stupid and ignorant… thought you were just a machine… But I know better now, I know you’re alive, and I know I love you. And I would never hurt you again, not even if my life depended on it.”
Connor’s eyes teared up again, fresh tears threatening to fall. It should’ve been obvious… “Hank, I’m so s-sorry. I know you wouldn’t hurt me b-but… I was just so scared.”
“Shh, don’t be sorry Connor, you’ve got nothing to be sorry for. I’m the one who should be apologizin’… Fuck, I never even thought about how that would’ve affected you, I’m such an idiot…”
“N-No!” Connor suddenly shoots forward to cling to Hank’s shirt and wrap his legs around his hips. “Yo-You’re the smartest person I know, H-Hank!”
Hank’s eyes fill with tears. He holds his boyfriend close. “Dammit Connor… Don’t try to comfort me right now, you’re the one who just had a panic attack.”
“I don’t want you to feel bad about yourself… I love y-you, Hank. I don’t want to l-leave you-” Connor grips Hank’s shirt tighter, desperate to ground himself.
“Shh, I’m not gonna make you leave, Connor. I only brought out the gun so I could give it to you. I… I trust you more than I trust myself right now… And I wanna keep livin’ so I can be with you.”
Connor drops his head towards Hank’s lap, soft tears leaving damp spots everywhere. “I-I’m sorry I overreacted. I want you to live too. I wanna be with you as long as I c-can.”
“Shh…” Hank gently stroked Connor’s soft hair, kissing his hairline. “It’s alright, sweetheart, you didn’t do anything wrong. I’m sorry I scared you, baby. I should’ve explained myself."
“I-I’m not m-mad, Hank. I could never be with you. I love you s-so much.”
They stayed on the floor for a moment, wrapped up in each other physically and emotionally.
“I-I’ll take the g-gun for you, if you really want me to…”
Hank’s weathered face crinkles in a smile. He pulls the both of them to their feet, walking Connor over to the couch. He gently picks up the gun, holding it out to Connor with care.
Connor’s fingers shake as he reaches out to take it, cautiously wrapping his hand around the handle and lifting it from Hank’s hands. He stares down at the cold metal in his hands for a moment.
Tears shine in Connor’s eyes and he looks up at Hank with a wobbly smile. “Thank you for trusting me…”
Hank’s body softens in reverence at this precious man the universe decided to bless him with. He leans in and chastely kisses the android’s soft, pink lips.
Connor kisses back, before pulling back to rest his head in the crook of Hank’s neck.
“…Should probably get some sleep, huh?”
Hank takes Connor’s free hand and leads him to the hall, before pausing and turning to his boyfriend. “Why don’t you hide that while I getcha something?”
Connor nodded softly. “Ok…”
Hank went to the bathroom and ran some warm water over a washcloth. When he entered the bedroom, Connor was sitting on the bed, hands empty.
Hank smiled and went to sit next to him, gently taking Connor’s face in his hands and washing his cheeks clear of the dried tear marks.
Connor melted under Hank’s touch, leaning into the warmth of his strong hands.
Hank kisses his cheek and sets the washcloth down on the bedside table, pulling the sheets down and crawling in. He motions for Connor to lay next to him.
Connor complies, settling in against Hank’s warm body, feeling safe and protected by his wonderful boyfriend.
“Whadda say we take tomorrow off, huh Con?”
Usually, Connor would say no. But they had both had a rough night. “Ok…” Connor sleepily replied.
Hank kisses Connor’s forehead, reaching over to turn the light off. “Sleep well, darling.”
For once, Connor didn’t have nightmares.