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Clyde (22:05) :

Neil, I’ve told Elijah of your Amanda problem. He said you should come to the Tower tomorrow, and we’ll have someone fix you up.

 

RK900/Neil (22:06) :

So, this is remediable ? I am relieved beyond belief, thank you, Clyde. I should be able to come during Gavin’s lunch break. I take it you had a discussion with Kamski, then ? How did it go ?

 

Clyde (22:06) :

Suffice to say, it went good. We’re okay. See you tomorrow, brother.

 

The following morning, Clyde took the lift down to the maintenance floor as soon as he arrived to the Cyberlife Tower. The last time he'd been here, he was quite dazed and didn't really take the time to look around, so he actually took a moment to observe his surroundings. Sure, all assembly floors were similar; long, wide corridors with glass doors and white panels. But they were evolving as the legislations changed, and the assembly machines were now mostly out of service, a flurry of workstations being installed instead to provide care to active androids. The place was bustling with activity, and he felt quite lost, standing in the middle of this procession of technicians; most seemed to be androids. One of them took pity on him, and she walked up to him with a polite smile. “Can I help you sir ?”

“Ah, yes, I'm Clyde, mister Kamski's assistant. If I remember correctly, there was a technician called Liliana working on this floor. Do you mind asking her to come with me ? We have a... particular situation on our hands.”

“Of course, please give me a moment to access her schedule” the employee said pleasantly, and her LED turned yellow for a second.

“It appears that she's supposed to perform a rather consequent operation this afternoon, do you need her in particular ? I could refer you to-”

“I'm positive. Please bring her here with a portable diagnostic machine.” Clyde's voice was firm and decided, so the employee nodded in assessment, and she turned on her heels. A few moments later, she came back, followed by Liliana; the redhead technician had a slightly bewildered smile on her face, visibly worried by the odd request. When she saw Clyde, however, she seemed reassured, and she followed in tow, dragging her imposant case of machinery with ease.

As they rode the elevator to the last floor, Liliana had a warm smile, her eyes shyly trained to the floor.

“You seem to be doing much better than the last time we met. I'm glad.”

And, lifting her chin suddenly, she didn't give him time to answer before she added, a bit flustered; “Those new eyes and haircut look really good on you.”

Clyde felt a surge of warmth fill his chest as he smiled. Being complimented on his looks by another android was so gratifying- not on his chassis, which he knew was designed to be handsome to humans, but on his own, personal aesthetic choices.

“Thank you… very much, Liliana.”

 

When Elijah, who was sitting nonchalantly on the edge of his desk, looked up from his tablet as Clyde and Liliana were stepping in, he had a general feeling of uneasiness he couldn't quite place; something was odd. But as he squinted at the two androids walking side by side, it seemed that a chunk of ice had formed in his gut. Clyde was his usual, oblivious self; but Kamski's expert eyes immediately picked up on Liliana's behaviour as she stood next to him, giving him expectant side glances and furtive, shy smiles. Her intentions were as clear as daylight, and Elijah found, when a cold shiver coursed along his spine, that he really didn't like that. However, he managed a pleasant smile as he put the tablet down to welcome them.

“Ah, there you are. Hello, Liliana. Thank you for being here. See”, he said, pushing himself away from the desk and up to his feet, “we are expecting a visit later today from the only RK900 unit ever produced, who’s been experiencing heavy software issues. As you surely know, the RK models possess some particularities in their core programming, which make their case even more unique; however, I don’t have the time to take care of this myself, so I’m going to show you how to deal with this, and you’ll fix our friend Neil” he said as he walked up to the androids. Looking from one to the other, Elijah had a sly smile as he added, “But before we get going- Clyde, would you be a dear and go get me a cup of coffee while we set up the machinery ?”

Clyde frowned, tilting his head. “There’s an untouched cup on your desk.”

Damn.

Undeterred, the man lifted his eyebrows insistently. “Clyde, please.”

The android simply sighed and rolled his eyes as he walked back to the door. As soon as he’d disappeared, Elijah walked to the big case that Liliana had been dragging, and hunched over it. He gave a little hum.

“You know” he said, opening the top of the container, “I get it. Really, I do.”

Liliana had a jump. “I’m sorry ?”

“It’s understandable. Clyde really is a nice person. Plus” Kamski added, taking various control consoles out of their cases and plugging them together without looking up, “He’s such a good looking android. Funny how those RKs always end up super attractive, heh ?”

Liliana had a forced laugh, her eyes wide open. “I’m sorry, sir, I don’t-”

“That being said” Elijah cut, his voice a little louder, “I hate to disappoint, but...”

And with that, he closed the lid of the case with a thump and straightened his back, finally looking the technician in the eyes with a little smirk.

“You see” he said, articulating in a calm and deep, but also quite threatening voice, “Clyde is mine.”

The redhead android blinked twice, frozen on the spot, and she opened her mouth. It took a couple seconds before she finally managed to speak.

“He's not a thing to be owned, mister Kamski” Liliana said, her voice quivering but her gaze fierce. Elijah snorted, and he leaned forward as if to tell her a secret. 

“It’s nice that you care about him, but this is not quite what I meant, miss” he breathed with a devilish smile.

“Um- everything alright over there ?”

Clyde's voice acted like a switch on Elijah's face, and he regained his pleasant and composed expression in the blink of an eye before he turned to his assistant. “Absolutely. Thank you, Clyde” he said, seizing the coffee from him. Clyde squinted at him suspiciously, and crossed his arms; but Kamski remained impassive as he turned to Liliana.

“Alright, miss, let me show you what you're gonna have to do. Clyde, please ?” He said, patting the backrest of his office chair. Clyde approached, his head tilted with curiosity, and sat down, placing his hands on his knees. Elijah put a hand on the android's shoulder, and he grazed his thumb along Clyde's spine for a couple seconds longer than necessary before he tapped to reveal the neck port. Then, plugging him to the diagnostic console, Elijah walked back behind his desk and gestured to the technician to join him. Liliana followed, but she had a scowl of apparent distaste etched on her face. If he noticed, the man didn't acknowledge it.

“The terminal displays the problematic code extract from RK900’s program, while the tablet shows Clyde's program working in real-time. Let me show you how I patched the issue on him. Clyde, could you please access the Zen Garden ?”

The workaround was already somewhat tricky to pull on a RK800, and it was rendered even more so by Neil's particular array of anti deviancy measures; therefore, it took more than half an hour for Elijah to cover the extent of the process with Liliana. When they were done, and Clyde was unhooked from the machinery, the technician gave them both a cold, phony smile before she walked outside rapidly.

“Alright, what did you do to that poor android ? Her stress levels were through the roof ever since you were alone with her” Clyde said reproachfully while turning to Elijah. The man answered with a shrug.

“Oh, nothing.”

“Hmm” the android squinted, “did you try to bully her so she wouldn't screw up with Neil ?”

Elijah snorted mockingly. “Hah, no need for that. She's my very best tech. Do you really think I'd have entrusted you to anyone those capacities I doubted even a little bit ?”

There was a short pause as Clyde pored over that little mark of affection, and he seemed pleased. “What is it, then ?”

“...well, I thought I'd tell her not to get her hopes up with you.”

Clyde snorted as he approached, lifting his eyebrows in amused disbelief. “Elijah, are you being jealous ?”

Kamski grunted. He didn't really like how that sounded, especially coming from the android's mouth. “No, I just figured I'd spare you from the unwanted attention is all.”

Clyde crossed his arms, smirking. His golden eyes were unbearably beautiful. “What makes you think it is unwanted ?”

Something dropped and shattered within Elijah, and he blinked a few times as he tried to determined what exactly. It must have shown, for in front of him, Clyde widened his eyes and dismissed his mocking smile instantly.

“Oh dear, Elijah, that was just mindless banter, I'm-”

Kamski stopped him with a hand gesture as he let himself fall in his chair, his eyes trained on the screen of his computer. His breathing had become laboured, without him even noticing; and the telltale bout of sharp pain was searing in his chest. What is wrong with you , he wondered to himself as he leaned forward and pushed his palms to his eyes wearily. Why are you so stupid, so stupid and worthless and-

“Elijah.”

Clyde's hand fell to his shoulder and gently squeezed, putting a halt to the painful train of self-deprecating thoughts running in his head. A second hand slid down the side of his neck to his other shoulder, and soon, Clyde leaned forward, caging Elijah's shoulders with his arms in a tight embrace. His head leaning next to Kamski's ear, he said, his voice low and gentle; “I'm sorry. I'm here. I'm not going anywhere.”

Elijah had the tiniest nod, and he pressed his head against Clyde's cheek, his eyes screwed shut. Breathing was still agonizingly painful, but at least, his brain was silent now. He allowed himself to enjoy the calming hug for a few moments, before he gently pushed on Clyde's arms. The android, taking the hint, backed away, but he took the time to run his fingers through Elijah's hair before he took a step back. The man sighed, and while one of his hands was rubbing on his eyes, the other felt around the pocket of his hoodie until it found grip on a little yellow bottle. Popping the lid open, Kamski took a Xanax, pushed the cap closed and threw the bottle carelessly on the desk with a grunt.

“Alright, let's get to work, boy.”

 

After that, buried deep down in his work, Elijah put himself in a numb and peaceful state of mind. He didn't see the hours go by, and noon came earlier than he expected; Clyde started to become agitated, and he paced around the office like a captive dog. Kamski followed him from the corner of his eye, the incessant movement putting him vaguely on edge. Around twenty past noon, the android seemed to receive a phone call, and he darted to the door; Elijah had a little sigh, and he resumed reading the report that sat in front of him, awaiting for his approval. Clyde didn't show up for another couple hours, which was kind of inconvenient since he was the one who usually made sure that everything ran smoothly and cohesively; the man thought of calling him back, but he figured Neil probably needed him more than he did right now, so he just asked a secretary to run errands for him instead. It wasn't like usual, though. It felt lonely.

When Clyde walked through the door, Elijah greeted him with a sarcastic “Ah, finally you're gracing me with-” but he cut himself short as he realised that Neil was following in tow. He was dressed in one of those sleek, fitted black police uniforms that most DPD androids wore on duty; and the sight of him brutally reminded Kamski of something that he'd done his best to bury under a big, comfortable pile of denial. He watched, his heart crushed in a vice, as the brothers walked up to his desk; Clyde, who'd always seem so upright and formal on his own, looked quite smooth and agile when he stood next to the rigidly straight Neil. They stopped in front of him, looking cheerful, and Neil spoke up.

“I wanted to thank you for what you've done for me, Elijah.”

Embarrassed, the man shook his head and shrugged dismissively. “I didn't do anything. You'll want to thank Liliana instead.”

“Oh, I did” the tall android answered, “but I'm convinced that you played a big part in this. Therefore, please let me express my deepest gratitude for everything you've done.”

Elijah blinked, his eyebrows lifted high on his forehead. “Uh, that's fine. I wouldn't leave one of Clyde's brothers in distress.”

“That is generous of you” Neil smiled.

“Don't mention it” Elijah said, waving a dismissing hand. He was quite uncomfortable with this display of feelings, but when he glanced to his side, he saw that Clyde was beaming; so he decided it wasn't too much of an inconvenience, and he tried his best to put a warm smile on his face too.

The thought that had hit him earlier, however, simply wouldn't leave him alone. As Neil was about to get back to the precinct, Elijah observed him, thinking absentmindedly of how good Clyde would look in that black uniform; it was the sole consolation his sad brain could find to alleviate the grief he felt when he thought that maybe, maybe Clyde would choose the police work over him. Every time he laid eyes on his assistant, he couldn't help but imagine how unbearable his life would be without him. Taking in a sharp breath, Elijah had a shiver, and he wrapped his arms around himself. Suddenly, it seemed to him that he was back on the doorstep of his house, a year ago, watching the last of his Chloes leave.

Suddenly, he felt so alone.

 

Elijah's patience lasted only for a few hours before he finally couldn't take it anymore. As they were wrapping up the day, after most of the employees had already left, he approached Clyde's desk in what he hoped was a casual stroll. However, the android lifted an eyebrow as he examined him critically with his beautiful golden eyes.

“What's wrong, Elijah ?”

He opened his mouth to answer, but Clyde cut him short. “-And don't you dare tell me that you're fine, your heart rate is absolutely erratic.”

“Damn androids”, he muttered. “You got a minute ?”

The answer was a short nod, so Elijah sat on the edge of the desk and started shaking his dangling leg with a hint of nervousness. Forcing himself to maintain Clyde's gaze, he breathed in.

“Have you decided what you want to do regarding Connor's proposition ?”

The android hummed absently. He seemed absolutely relaxed. “Oh, I see. Well, I have taken a decision, yes.” And, lifting his hand, he leaned his head on his extended fingers with a short sigh and a gorgeous smile. That shameless teasing was a quite unexpected side effect of the recent evolution of their relationship. Not that Kamski minded, though; not only did it show how comfortable Clyde felt in his presence, but he also had to admit it was pretty attractive. They had taken to their newfound closeness surprisingly easily; Elijah realised with embarrassment that he was being rather clingy, but Clyde never seemed to mind. Right now, though, he didn't really feel like playing along, and he rolled his eyes with annoyance.

“And that decision is...?”

Clyde lowered his eyelids. “See, I have given it some thought, and I found that being a detective probably wouldn't suit me. I'm afraid being around you made me too delicate for such a crude job.”

For about a second, all of the man's worries disappeared, but they were brought back tenfold when the android raised his voice again. “But.”

A shiver coursing down his spine, Elijah tried to have a polite smile. The result was a kind of panicked grimace. “But ?”

“But being your assistant doesn't suit me either” Clyde added, mercilessly fluttering dark eyelashes over his sharp eyes. “It is a waste of my abilities, and we both know it. I'd much rather do something more fulfilling.”

His throat getting increasingly dry, the man simply nodded while crossing his arms. He'd anticipated this moment for a long time now, and he thought it would have come much sooner; but still, it felt like a punch to the gut. “Do you know what you'd like to do ?” He asked, trying to keep his composure despite his disappointment.

“As a matter of fact, I do. My model was designed to work flawlessly with humans, which gives me superior social abilities-”

“Okay, you're literally talking to your creator, cut the crap. I know how social protocols work.”

Pissed off by the interruption, Clyde shot him a black look of an incredible intensity, and Elijah felt himself falter a bit. But the android kept speaking without acknowledging him.

“I'd like to make a difference for the future of androids, and I think my diplomatic skills can help. So I'd like to become an ambassador of some sort.”

Kamski stood in place for a second, surprised. But soon, as he watched the android sitting in front of him, pride started blooming in his chest. Clyde really had come a long way since the day he deviated, an anxious android with close to no self esteem, following him around like a shadow; and there he was, confident, making his own choices and standing up for himself. Elijah just couldn't be happier for him, even if it meant separation. And after all, he thought, he was familiar with loss; it was nothing he had never seen before.

“That's a great idea” he answered quietly, his smile soft and warm. “I'm sure you'll be wonderful at it.”

Clyde had a stop and gave him a look that was hard to place. It was clearly not the reaction he expected. But he regained his composure very quickly, and getting up from his chair, he answered; “Why thank you, Elijah.”

Without taking his eyes off Kamski, the android walked lazily around the desk, trailing his hand on its edge, until he was standing in front of the man. “You know, I was hoping that maybe you could have a quick word with Cyberlife's CEO about that, since they have an android's ethics committee. I heard you know the guy pretty well.”

Clyde tilted his head to the side, a playful smile on his lips. A lock of hair escaped from behind his ear and slipped in front of his intense amber eyes. Completely entranced, Elijah chewed on his bottom lip absently. God, Clyde. How can you be so gorgeous ?

“Yeah well, he said he'll think about it” he retorted with as much assurance as he could muster. The android hummed and put a hand on his chest, closing the distance between them; settling between the knees of the sitting man, he nuzzled in the crook of his neck. Elijah couldn't hold back a little jolt of surprise; Clyde sure was getting bolder by the day. The android backed away suddenly, lowering his eyes.

“Oh, that's right. I'm sorry.”

Elijah lifted his eyebrows, confused. “What for ?”

“We shouldn't risk being seen like this. It's dangerous for your image.”

He hummed thoughtfully, tilting his head to the side. “It should be fine. People don’t usually enter the office unannounced, and the place is empty at this hour anyway” he smiled as he pulled Clyde back against him, lightly squeezing his thighs around his hips. Holding him closely, he leaned to the android's ear and, trailing his lips along his neck, he added in a teasing whisper; “Just don't start something you don't intend on finishing.”

Clyde looked at him curiously, slightly frowning his brow. “I have finished all of my tasks for today, I don't see what you're referring to.”

The sensual atmosphere was instantly torn to pieces, but Elijah found that he didn't really mind, and, endeared, he took the android's chin in his hand and gave him a light kiss. “You're so innocent, boy.”

For a second, the shadow of confusion lingered on Clyde's face, before realisation dawned on him, and he glanced downwards with a somewhat embarrassed voice. “Oh. I'm sorry”, he simply uttered.

Kamski lifted the hand still on his chin to invite Clyde to look at him in the eyes. “Hey now. Don't feel pressured to do anything you don't want to do.”

The android shrugged, but his voice sounded a bit unsure. “It's not that I don't want to, it's just… I have trouble figuring out how to proceed.” His eyes darted to the side, and he added, his voice quieter; “I know intercourse is intimate to humans, not unlike interfacing, and I want to experience that intimacy. But it's not something intuitive to me, and I... wouldn't want to ruin everything.”

Elijah slid his hand from Clyde's chin to his cheek, caressing his cheekbone with the tip of his thumb in what he hoped was a reassuring motion. “You could never ruin anything. It's fine to be nervous.” He smiled absently, and added airily; “You know, it would be a first for me too. Having sex with an android, I mean.”

Clyde's eyes widened in surprise. “Really ? But- the Chloes…”

Kamski heaved a tired sigh. “Yeah, the whole world thinks I used them as sex dolls, but it's far from true. Actually, as lovely as they are, I've never even felt attracted to them.”

The android seemed positively dumbstruck, and he frowned, his eyes unfocused and his mouth slightly ajar. “You didn't feel attracted to them… but you’re attracted to me ?” His expression shifted rapidly to a painful wince and, screwing his eyes shut, he added with a whine ; “But why?”

Elijah had not expected that reaction, but still, it didn't surprise him. Clyde had always had confidence issues, especially when it came to the Chloes. He put his other hand to Clyde's face, cupping his cheeks, and tilted his head slightly to take a better look at him, absently wishing he had his glasses on.

“I don't know. I just- never had with them whatever it is I have with you, I guess”, and he punctuated that by planting a firm kiss to the android's cheekbone. With a quivering sigh, Clyde leaned against his chest, and Elijah wrapped his arms around his shoulders. They remained like that for a while, before the man whispered gently; “Come on, boy, let's go home.”

 

 

Elijah didn't say anything more about it when they arrived home. They spent a quiet evening, simply hanging around in the living room next to each other. Sitting on the couch, the man’s head leaning against his shoulder, Clyde had his arms crossed and a slight frown on his face. He couldn't quite place his discomfort, but it wouldn't let him be; ever since their conversation at the office, he was feeling quite out of it. If Elijah noticed, he didn't pick up on it.

However, as they were laying in bed face to face, the android decided he had to do something. He had to make up for his blunder, to prove how deeply he cared, to take a step. And he wanted to do so on his own, without the help of any behaviour program; he could, of course, have simply downloaded some practical knowledge on the matter, but he wanted the experience to be his, and his only.

*

Watching Elijah's eyelids fluttering lazily in front of him, and despite being extremely nervous, he managed to extend his hand within an inch of the man's torso.

“Can I touch you ?” he whispered, slightly shaking. Elijah chuckled sleepily and, without answering, he pulled him closer, looping his arm under his head.

So, slowly, Clyde slipped his left hand under Elijah's shirt, and gently pressed it flat on his stomach. The skin felt soft and smooth under the tip of his fingers; he traced little circles on its surface, hypnotized by the way thin hair circled around his navel. Focusing on those details helped Clyde calm down, and he started running his fingers higher, following the curve of the ribs before settling on the edge of the pecs. The android was focusing as hard as he could on his sensors, trying to map every single aspect of Elijah's body, trying to know all of him.

But he came to a halt, sensing something on the skin; lifting the shirt to take a look, he noticed a little cut, near the heart. It was slightly prominent, as if there was something underneath. Frowning, Clyde lifted his gaze. “What is that ?”

Elijah hummed absently as he wiggled out of his shirt and chucked it to the floor. “Nothing.”

“Don't you play that game with me. What is it, Elijah ?”

The sharp unfaltering gaze of the android gave him a shiver, and he rolled his eyes with an annoyed sigh. “Listen, can you trust me for a second here ? I'm telling you, it's fine !”

But almost immediately, he softened his tone as he added; “I promise I'll tell you soon, okay ? Just forget it for now”, and he tapped affectionately a finger on the top of Clyde's head. Suspicious, the android tried to run a subsurface scan; but the area was obscured, as if something was blocking his sight. Of course, Kamski had taken precautions; so he relented, simply nodding. But he must have seemed uncomfortable, for Elijah pushed himself a bit closer. “Now, what were we doing again ?” He purred, and Clyde chuckled faintly as he was being pecked on the cheek.

Focusing again, he resumed his exploration of Elijah's body. His palm slid up against the plane of his chest, until his fingers encountered a salient collarbone. Following its edge, Clyde's hand found its way to Elijah's right shoulder. He grazed the muscles lightly, doing his best to memorize the way the fibers of his deltoids intersected with his biceps, and how the ensemble moved gracefully in unison; the beauty of it all was mesmerising to him.

The android gazed up to the man's face, searching for a reaction to his touch. He had his eyes closed, a peaceful smile on his lips, and his throat emitted a low hum at the contact of his fingers. Encouraged, Clyde trailed his hand along the pecs and back down the line of hair on the middle of his torso. Elijah wasn't particularly muscular, and the weight loss he'd suffered during the year had left his ribcage apparent despite his stomach getting fuller; it produced a contrast that a human would have probably considered disgracious, but the android found that he adored the slight curve of his belly, and he let his palm rest there for an instant.

His fingers, running in circles around the navel, followed the crease of the lower abdominals until they encountered a hipbone, jutting out right above the elastic of a pair of boxer briefs . Feeling the fabric, Clyde had a quivering sigh, and he tried to steady himself, to find his courage; as if he'd felt his uncertainty, Elijah, looking up in his eyes, threaded his fingers through his hair. So, his hand slightly shaking but determined, he slowly slipped a finger under the waistband of the man's underwear. Timidly, he laid his palm on the side of his hip; his Thirium pump was on the verge of overheating, and he had to take a moment to calm down. But Kamski took the opportunity to hunch forward and sweep Clyde along in a passionate kiss. In a moment of bravery, the android let his hand slide to Elijah's crotch with a swift motion; but as his hand inevitably took hold of the erect penis, he started panicking, realising that he truly had no idea whatsoever of what to do now. He paused there, frozen in place, for a couple seconds before he heard a tiny chuckle escape the man's lips; “Relax, boy. You're doing great.”

“Elijah.”

“Hmm ?”

Clyde closed his eyes for a second. When he trained them to Elijah's face, he did his best to put on a confident face. “I'd appreciate if you could refrain from calling me 'boy’ in such a setting. I find it rather infantilizing.”

He almost expected the man to laugh at his face, but Elijah hummed in agreement. “Got it, sweetheart.”

And leaning closer, he kissed Clyde's cheek, before asking, as he gazed intently in his eyes with a disarming smile ; “Do you need help with that ?”

It felt rather embarrassing, but the android looked away as he gave a sheepish little nod, and soon, a hand wrapped over his, while another lowered the underwear still in the way.

“Stop me anytime, okay ?”

And, gently, he started guiding Clyde's hand in a back and forth motion, slowly stroking his member. Clyde had his eyes attached to Elijah's face, and he monitored very closely how the variations of pressure and rhythm he applied to his movements affected his heart rate. It didn't take long for him to find the most efficient way of making it spike, and he watched, satisfied, as the man gradually lost his composure with every swing of his wrist. Soon, the hand that was wrapping his let go to grab at his forearm, shuddering, and Elijah let out a groan.

“You're a fast learner” he breathed out, biting his bottom lip with a shiver.

His slightly dazed look and flustered voice gave a new confidence to the android. This isn't difficult in the end , he thought; but focused as he was, he didn't notice that Kamski had lowered his arm, and he gasped audibly when he felt a warm hand get in his pants and cup his own groin. Suddenly, a swarm of informations assailed Clyde, and he froze, overwhelmed, as Elijah started toying with him. Focused on pleasing, he had never even considered he might feel pleasure too, and the intensity of that new sensation was very disorienting to him.

Smirking mercilessly, Elijah pushed his forehead against Clyde's. “You don't look so smug anymore, do you, sweetheart ?” He growled, his voice lower than the android had ever heard it before. Somehow, it was arousing him even further, and he felt himself arch forward.

With a low, satisfied laugh that rumbled in his chest like thunder, Kamski let go of the android, and he pushed his elbow to Clyde's shoulder until he fell to his back; there, laying on top of him, he kissed him vigorously, grabbing the synthetic face with both of his hands. When he got back up on his knees, his disheveled silhouette towering over him, Clyde couldn't repress an appreciative grunt; Elijah was looking so good, his bare chest heaving in rhythm with his slight panting and his eyes shining avidly. Several locks of hair had escaped his bun and were hanging loosely in front of his face as he impatiently discarded his askew underwear, and when he looked down at him with his haughty smile, Clyde felt his hips twitch.

“Alright, down with those, now” the man groaned, tugging at the android's sweatpants, then at his shirt. Clyde let him manhandle him without protesting, both aroused and intimidated by what was to come. Sitting on his heels, Elijah grabbed Clyde's right knee and pushed it aside, humming as he swept his eyes on his body appreciatively. His right hand was rubbing circles on the inside of the android's left thigh, thumb grazing ever closer to his genitals.

“So, do you want me to go ahead, baby ?”

The pressure of the thumb at the top of his thigh increased, and Clyde could only let out a strangled whine. However, visibly dissatisfied with the answer, Elijah dug his fingers into the thigh. Had Clyde been human, it would have probably hurt; but he simply felt a slight itch as his skin flickered under the pressure of the fingernails, and it seemed to the android that even with his eyes closed, he could still see the bright blue gaze tear right through him.

“Yes”, he moaned, nodding desperately. “Please.”

“Hmm, let's see if you really mean it”, Kamski smirked.

Sliding his hand up the thigh, he rested his palm on the pelvis for an instant, and, slowly, he trailed his fingers down between Clyde's legs, carefully avoiding his dick, and pulling a shuddering sigh out of him in the process. When he reached the junction of the leg and the ass, Elijah took his sweet time, caressing the skin with the tip of his fingers; slowly, he inched closer and closer to his goal, reveling with delight in the tiny jolts that shook the android's body. Finally, his thumb reached the entrance, and he started patting the muscle playfully. Clyde's body had a shiver, and the android dared not open his eyes, a kind of chaste shame hanging over him, even as desire was overcoming his body. Observing him curiously, Elijah paused for an instant, and he pressed a gentle kiss to Clyde's knee as he steadily inserted a finger in him. In response, Clyde gasped and opened wide his golden eyes; Kamski was still looking right at him. The sight felt comforting to him, and he managed to somewhat shake enough shame off his shoulders to gratify the man with an appreciative moan.

With a much warmer smile, Elijah grabbed Clyde's hips and, after he’d taken the time to align, he eased himself inside him. The android's fingers flexed reflexively as he let out a ragged breath; slightly panting himself, the man slowly started grinding against his partner, watching his face attentively. Clyde's eyes had drifted to the ceiling, unfocused, and his mouth was slightly gaping, as a sign that he was finally giving in. Elijah doubled over and leaned on his elbows, one arm on each side of the android's head; nibbling on his ear, he whispered softly; “You feel so good, sweetheart. Everything alright ?”

Clyde barely groaned a slurred “Yeah” before he grabbed Elijah's face and kissed him sloppily. The man had a throaty chuckle, enjoying the eagerness of the gesture; and, carding his fingers through the soft raven locks, he closed his eyes for an instant as he moved his hips faster. Then, letting go of his hair, Eli lowered his hand and caressed Clyde's cheek lovingly before he pushed on his arms and pulled his torso away from the android's. Initially, Clyde had a plaintive whine, but it was cut short when he felt Elijah's hand close around his cock and stroke him off to the steady rhythm of his thrusts. And still, those impossibly blue eyes boring right through his. Unable to form a coherent thought, the android flung his arms around Kamski's neck, his fingers clawing reflexively at the skin of his back, and a shiver ran through his body as he approached orgasm. Elijah diligently maintained his pounding and, sure enough, it wasn't long before Clyde felt his body arch, a breathy cry escaping his lips as he dug his nails in the man's shoulders, and suddenly, nothing made sense anymore, apart from the intense ecstasy he was experiencing. When the sensation cleared, and his limbs relaxed with little jolts, Elijah stilled himself and smiled warmly, panting slowly. Clyde let his hands slide along his neck, cupping his jaw, and as his brains gradually returned, he bit his lip, wincing apologetically.

“Your back- I'm sorry, I-”

Elijah chuckled. “That's fine. Don't worry.” And, with a slow and careful move, he pulled himself out and laid down on the side, pressing his hand flat on the android's chest. Clyde frowned slightly.

“But what about you ? You didn't-”

“Don't worry, I said. It's okay. I don't mind. Did you enjoy yourself ?”

Clyde had a sigh, and he scooted closer to Elijah, nodding without really looking at him. “Of course I did”, he breathed out.

“Good.”

*

Elijah let his hand slide to Clyde's shoulder, and he nuzzled to the crook of his neck, humming with bliss as he pressed kisses to his pale skin. “See ? I told you”, he whispered, “that you could never ruin anything.”

Unsure of what to say, emotion pooling in his throat, the android simply nodded and wrapped an arm around Elijah, bringing the covers upon them with his other hand. They laid there, embraced tightly, watching the city lights flickering on the surface of the water outside of the window, until Kamski turned his head to Clyde's face and observed him with a thoughtful sound.

“Say, have you tried entering stasis since we met with Connor and Hank ?”

Clyde sighed. “No… No, I haven't.”

“Well, how about you try now ?”

And, crawling upwards, he gave him a light kiss and pushed his forehead to the android's cheekbone. “I'll put you in maintenance mode at the slightest hint of a glitch, I promise.”

Clyde leaned his head against Eli's, closing his eyes, and said in a slightly quivering voice; “Okay, but… you'll stay here, right ?”

“Of course, sweetheart.”

So, holding the man even tighter against his chest, he summoned his command prompt and, with a little shiver, he entered stasis.

 

 

It was the sound of running water that pulled Clyde out of his slumber. Even before he opened his eyes, he could feel that Elijah's pressure against his torso had disappeared, and he had an initial rush of panic; however, his brain soon made sense of the information it received, and calmed him down a bit. Still, he crawled to the edge of the bed and got to his feet swiftly, his mind feeling peculiarly blank as he walked to the bathroom door. The android stopped dead in his tracks when he reached the black sliding door, wondering if he was breaking some sort of social contract he wasn't aware of; but he still had trouble organising his thoughts coherently, and he really craved the warmth of Elijah's body, so he slowly pushed the glass panel open. The bathroom was very minimalistic; the door faced a blank corner, and the room opened to the right. Against the farthest wall, hidden from immediate sight by a geometric dividing wall, there was a wide walk-in shower, and Kamski was standing still in its center, basking in the hot water with his eyes closed. He did not move when Clyde entered; but his lips formed a peaceful smile as he simply said “Hi there”.

“Hello” Clyde answered quietly, approaching. He stood there, a couple feet away, not quite knowing whether he could come closer or if he wasn't welcome; but Elijah jerked his head to the side, inviting him silently to join him. So Clyde stepped under the water, facing the man's back, and slowly, hesitantly, he brushed his hands against Eli's hips, who leaned back into the touch. Feeling allowed, the android looped his arms around Elijah's stomach and pressed his torso to his back. The sensation of wet skin against his seemed to help alleviate the daze that was covering his mind, and Clyde felt a little better as he pressed a kiss to the nape of Kamski's neck and put his chin on his shoulder. The man put a hand on his, threading their fingers together, and tilted his head until their cheeks touched.

“Your skin shouldn't be that wrinkled simply from a shower” Clyde noted with a smile. “How long have you been in there ?”

Kamski chuckled. “I don't mind hefty water bills. Plus, warm water is nice, isn't it ?”

Clyde squinted a bit. “I don't know. I don't have the ability to muscular relaxation like you do. But if I may, you should turn down the heat a bit, such a temperature could have negative effects on your vascular system and-”

“Boy, please.”

The android rolled his eyes and pursed his lips. “Okay.”

Nestling further in Clyde's embrace, Elijah sighed happily. “You've finally been able to spend a night in stasis. I'm proud of you, boy.”

Clyde laughed, slightly embarrassed at this praise that he didn't feel he deserved. “I didn't do much. Besides” he said, slightly somber, “I feel weird. My mind seems… Foggy.”

Humming airily, Kamski patted the android's cheek absently. “Your system isn't used to it anymore, just give yourself some time. You'll be just fine, dear.”

Clyde nodded and closed his eyes. The combined sensations of Elijah's body against his and of the countless little drops caressing his skin felt so nice. He stood there, motionless, simply enjoying the moment, until Elijah stepped away to grab a bottle to his right. Watching him intently, Clyde tilted his head, curious. “I had never noticed you had a tattoo.”

The man smiled. “Which one ?”

“Hum ? I only saw the one on the back of your arm, you have more ?”

Lifting his hands to wash his hair, Elijah smiled mischievously. “Well, there are three in total. Feel free to search.”

Clyde picked up the invitation in his tone, so he ran his hands along the man's body as he scanned diligently every inch of his skin. Even if he was genuinely focused on his search for the hidden tattoos, he placed a few kisses here and there on Elijah's back, which had him hum blissfully.

“This is the one I saw” Clyde said, running his fingers along the back of Kamski's right arm. “Is it… binary code ?”

“Indeed.”

The android gently pressed his thumb against the skin to examine the slightly washed out pattern. It was simply composed of three columns, each containing five lines of zeroes and ones.

“...Deus ex machina” he read out loud. “Of course.”

Elijah laughed. “I was eighteen when I got this one. I had run Cyberlife for two years at that point. It's a bit on the nose, I'll admit that much.”

“Hmm. Now where are the other ones ?” Clyde hummed as he trailed his lips against Kamski's shoulder blades. The man had a chuckle.

“Keep searching, sweetheart.”

Clyde was rubbing his palms down the man's spine when he suddenly stopped moving.

“Oh, you've found the dumb one, haven't you ?” Elijah said with a snicker.

The android couldn't even answer right away, appalled as he was. When he spoke up again, his tone was loaded with judgement. “You have a dinosaur tattooed on your left buttcheek.”

“That’s Yoshi ! … And also that's how I learnt that making drunken bets with Gavin is a bad idea.”

“Oh dear.”

“Well, at least I got the cute dinosaur. Gav has a Kirby, that's marginally worse.”

Clyde heaved the heaviest sigh, and he decided to pick up his search instead of voicing everything that this answer inspired him. However, since there was no sign of ink on the back of Elijah's legs, he decided to turn around and take a look at his front. His arms still held up above his head, Elijah could only smile against Clyde's lips when this one pulled him closer and kissed him.

“Alright, where is that last hidden tattoo, then ?” the android purred, cupping Kamski's jaw in front of his face and tracing circles through his beard with the tip of his pale fingers.

“I'm not telling, and I'm surprised you never noticed it before. Almost offended, actually”, the man pouted.

“Funny how you expect me to know every inch of you when I first saw your body yesterday evening. I still have a lot to discover” Clyde retorted as he ran his hands down the soft and straight surface of Elijah's neck. In response, Kamski smirked.

“Well, you better get on with it then.”

“Yes, sir.”

Pressing his hands flat on the collarbones, he slid them down across the chest until they rested on Elijah's pectorals. There, discreetly nestled on the left ribs, was the last tattoo; a simple arrow, those tip pointed towards the heart. Clyde trailed a finger along the thin line of ink, admiring pensively how it intersected with the curves of the muscles showing under the layer of skin. With a thoughtful little hum, he looked up. “The two others have a rather… straightforward meaning, but what about this one ?”

Elijah gently took Clyde's face between his hands and lifted him back to his level. There, holding him close to him, he whispered “It's a bit personal, dear”, and he kissed him. They shared that warm, passionate kiss for a while, and when Elijah turned his head aside to breath, Clyde simply nodded and leaned his cheek against the man's shoulder, watching how the water running against the edge of his nose caught light as it fell.

“Is it like those cuts on your chest and wrists ?” He asked, a hint of sadness in his voice.

Elijah noticed, and ran his hand through the android's hair in an attempt to comfort him. “I'll tell you when it's relevant. I promise.”

Suddenly feeling tired, Clyde closed his eyes and stilled himself as much as he could.

It felt so complicated to feel.