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Avalanche

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January 31st, 2039

Gavin rushed into the Detroit Police Department Central Station, slamming his ID badge on the scanners and roughly pushing through the gate, disregarding the protest of the android standing beside it. He was too busy cursing himself for deciding to go out on a Sunday night – and fuck, nothing had even come of it other than over-sleeping his alarm and awakening with a hideous headache.

He hurried over to his desk to drop off his bag, logging into his terminal (23 minutes late, goddamnit, he hadn’t even showered and he was still that late?), before throwing himself into his chair with a grunt. Tina glanced over at him, an eyebrow raised and a knowing smirk plastered on her face, to which Gavin only waved a middle finger at her.

He sat for a moment, deliberating, before hefting himself up from his chair and plodding over to the break room. Coffee. Coffee would fix the hangover. Maybe. Tina noticed his movement and was swift to her feet, right behind him.

“Rough night?”

“Fuck off.”

“Aww, I take it you didn’t get laid then.”

“Fuck off, Tina.”

Tina raised her hands defensively, giggling, before going over to the fridge and grabbing Gavin’s favorite creamer. She plopped it next to the coffee machine and leaned against the counter. “So, did you hear the news?”

Gavin spared her a glance before returning to his coffee, pulling the now full cup out of the machine and grabbing his creamer. “No, what the fuck now?”

“Well…” Tina made sure to draw the word out, “that RK900 is supposedly done with his stint with Connor and the Lieutenant. He apparently proved himself to be more than capable, and there’s a possibility he’s going to be set up with another officer.”

Gavin scoffed. “So?”

Tina shifted her weight from one foot to the other, glancing out of the archway of the break room’s entrance nervously. “A little birdy told me that they were considering a certain asshole detective.”

Gavin spluttered and choked on his coffee. “No. No fucking way. I haven’t had a partner since-“ his voice cracked and he looked away, hand tightening around the paper cup enough to crumple it slightly.

“I know, Gavin, but… It’s been ten years, y’know? And, well, you’re the only one who remains un-partnered right now,” Tina’s voice turned soft, sympathetic, and she placed a hand on his shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze. Gavin resisted the urge to shrug it off. “Besides, Gav, it’s just rumors. Who knows? He could be stuck with the Lieutenant and his boyf- erm, partner, for longer still.”

“Unlikely if he passed all of the qualifications with flying colors… A three-man-team is more of a hinderance than anything, you know that, Tee,” Gavin’s voice was softer, something Tina rarely heard, and his gaze was transfixed to his coffee. “Fuck, first a shitty night where I can’t even get fucked properly,” he ignored Tina’s whispered “knew it”, “and now this shit? I don’t need a fucking partner.”

“I know, Gav. That’s why I wanted to give you a heads-up – figured some time to think before Fowler calls you in might be beneficial,” Tina replied, giving another gentle squeeze of his shoulder before letting her hand fall away.

“Thanks, Tee. At least you’ve reduced the chance I’ll lose my job a little,” Gavin groused, rolling his eyes before taking a long drink of his coffee.

“Least I could do – you know you are one of our best, despite how much of a piece of shit you are,” Tina snarked back, giggling softly.

“Eh, fuck you,” Gavin muttered. They parted ways and headed back to their respective desks. Gavin briefly wondered just how true everything Tina had said was, and well, it wasn’t looking good. Fuck, he didn’t need a partner, and especially not a fucking android, but… Well, maybe an android partner would be better than… Gavin shook his head.

He didn’t have much time to consider it before Fowler stepped out of his glass case of an office. “Reed! My office, now!”

Fuck.

Gavin brought his hands up and scrubbed at his face, groaning as he did so. He hesitated to get up, but with Fowler glaring at him from across the bullpen, it was obvious he had no choice. Gavin listlessly hoisted himself up out of his seat and began to make his way between the desks to the steps leading up to the glass office. Fowler ducked back inside, fogging up the windows – a precaution that set Gavin’s nerves on further edge. Fowler wasn’t expecting this to go well.

Gavin took the steps slowly, hand on the railing, attempting to steel himself against the possibilities. He grabbed the door handle and cautiously stepped inside, eyes landing on…

Fuck.

Gavin gulped as he took in the form of RK900. Cold, icy blue eyes seemed to almost penetrate his being. There was no expression on the android’s face, mouth set into a thin line and eyes narrowed to a point. He stood properly upright, hands tightly clasped behind his back. Gavin couldn’t help another involuntary gulp.

He carefully maneuvered into a chair by Fowler’s desk and leveraged the man with a direct glare. “Yes, Captain?” he bit out.

“Reed,” Fowler started, “you know you are one of the best, if not the absolute best, detective of this precinct.” Gavin shrugged minutely. “And I understand that you have remained one of the best detectives, even while being unpartnered, since your promotion seven years ago now.”

Gavin swallowed hard. He avoided Fowler’s gaze, his hands clasped tensely in his lap, trying desperately to not draw blood with his finger nails.

“I know that what happened a decade ago… It changed you tremendously, Gavin, and I know it blew your whole world apart,” Fowler continued, leaning forward in his chair and fixing Gavin with a sympathetic look. Of course, he knew – he was there, as a lieutenant.

RK900’s eyes bored into Gavin’s skull.

“But you remain, currently, our only un-partnered officer. And you know how cumbersome a three-man-team is, right?” Tina’s words echoed in Gavin’s mind. “With RK900 joining our ranks, his only options are to remain as a three-person-team, or… well, to be partnered with you, Gavin. Android laws regarding police and military work are still in progress, and at this stage, we cannot legally have an android unpartnered – especially when they are not deviant.”

Gavin flinched away, chewing the inside of his cheek nervously. “Captain,” he tried, desperate to force past his voice breaking, “you know how I feel about partners. Much less… an android one.”

Fowler sighed heavily, bringing a rather large hand to his forehead to rub at it aggressively. “Reed, I get it. You hate partners and you hate androids so this is the worst possible thing I could do to you.” Fowler took a deep breath, steadying himself. “But you’re the only choice I have, anymore, unless I want Jeri- sorry, New Jericho, up my ass. You know how much pull and sway they have overall?”

Gavin nodded. He was aware, even just so, of New Jericho’s ability to create and recreate laws and ideals at the drop of a pin. Overall job accessibility with equal pay was one of the first, and most major, hurdles.

But RK900 wasn’t deviant, incapable of deviancy, right? So, what the fuck did it matter? Why would they fight for an android who wasn’t even… awake? Whatever. Gavin took a deep, shaky breath, his palms growing sweaty from how long he had them clasped. He fervently wiped them off on his jeans, still avoiding Fowler’s gaze. “Fuck, Captain, I-“ his voice broke then, and he shook his head.

Fowler had been there for him in the worst time of his life. Fowler had been the next one on scene, finding Gavin crouched over Ryan, screaming his name over and over and over, as Ryan lay motionless on the floor. Fowler had been the one to pull Gavin away from Ryan’s body, to hold him as he sobbed and screamed, the blood from his broken face mixing with his tears.

One gunshot, that’s all it took to turn a simple robbery into a homicide.

Gavin squeezed his eyes shut, forcing away the sting of tears. “Fine,” he managed to grit out. Fowler leaned back in his chair, simultaneously relieved and slightly surprised. He hadn’t expected the Detective to cave so quickly.

“Alright, well,” Fowler began, his eyes sweeping over the staggeringly tall form of RK900. The android loomed in the far side of the room, broad shoulders squared and back rigidly straight. He was an intimidating, imposing sight. Fowler wondered for a moment if he made the right decision. “Starting today, you and the RK900 are partners. I would like for you, Reed, to brief him on your current cases. Take the day to get acquainted with each other.” Fowler leaned back over his desk, resting his elbows on it. “Reed, between you-me, RK900 is… interesting. He’s not deviated, probably will never deviate. So, being that you two are now partners, you will more than likely be his… handler, of sorts? I know how you feel about androids, Reed. But please, please, do your best not to fuck him up.”

Gavin nodded, numbly. He was having a hard time processing, a hard time even trying to think. His mind was muddled by faint, but painful, memories. Crying, screaming, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan-

A hand fell to his shoulder, large and warm and gentle. “Gavin,” came Fowler’s voice, soft once more, “are you going to be okay?”

Gavin swallowed thickly. “Yes, Captain,” he replied, but his voice didn’t sound like his. It didn’t come from him. Gavin stood from the chair, looking over at RK900. Cold ice-blue eyes met his, and Gavin involuntarily shivered.

Fuuuuck.