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Avalanche

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February 7th, 2039

Gavin stepped into the DPD Central Station, doing his best to ignore the paper hearts and pink and red streamers hanging from the front desks. He hated that the department wanted to decorate for holidays, but he especially hated it during February. At least the decorations would only be up for a week.

He stalked to his desk, mood particularly sour, ignoring the streamers hanging from the breakroom’s archways. And the streamers on various desks. And the stupid glittery paper hearts. At least the decorators had the presence of mind to leave his desk alone.

As Gavin approached, his eyes caught sight of a rather large paper cup sitting on the surface of his desk, amidst a few different stacks of papers. “The fuck,” he muttered, plopping his bag down and grabbing the offending cup. Its label read “The Hideout”, a well-known and very expensive coffee shop. He spluttered for a minute, wondering if Tina had decided to gift him a coffee – especially considering the time of the year – but when he looked up from the label his eyes met RK900’s.

“Good morning, Detective Reed,” the android spoke, moving away from his desk to fold his hands neatly in his lap, “I hope the coffee is acceptable. Consider it an apology.”

Gavin simply froze, unable to process what the actual fuck was happening. Had this stupid fucking Terminator bastard gone and got him a coffee? To apologize? What the FUCK?

“Uh, th-thanks,” Gavin managed, setting the coffee back down on his desk, ignoring how his hands were shaking. RK900 nodded and turned back to his terminal, reviewing the information they gathered from Sunday morning.

Gavin spun on his heel and brusquely made his way over to Tina. She looked up from her terminal, slightly startled. “Gav?”

“Breakroom, now,” Gavin managed, gesturing to the entryways. Tina was quick to her feet and they made their way to one of the back-corner tables, where Gavin promptly dropped himself into a chair. “What the fuck is happening in my life, Tee?”

“Uh, Gav, you’re scaring me. What happened?” Tina pulled the second chair closer to Gavin and sat next to him, leaning in a little. “Last I saw you, you went home with the really nice guy – Deondre, right?”

“Yea, yea, De, whatever,” Gavin dragged a hand down his face, groaning. “We can talk about De later – right now, I need an answer as to why the fuck RK900 is bringing me coffee from like the most expensive place in Detroit.”

“He… what?” Tina gapped, eyes wide and focused on Gavin intently. “Dude, that is… what the fuck?”

“That’s what I said!” Gavin groaned. “Like, okay, so… He interrupted De and I at De’s place ‘cause I was ignoring him – which he fucking found De’s literal house using my phone’s GPS that is so fucking creepy – and then he apologized for it and now there’s coffee on my desk as further apology and I fucking can’t, Tee, I can’t.”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Tina butted in, trying to make sense of Gavin’s rambling, “so he tracked you down using your phone’s GPS, interrupted you and Deondre, and then he felt bad about it so he apologized and bought you coffee? He’s not supposed to feel bad about anything!”

“That’s what I’m saying!” Gavin groused. Tina and Gavin both were startled by the noise of someone clearing their throat. They whipped around to see Hank standing at the coffee machine. “What?”

“Gavin,” Hank began, making his way to their table before swinging a chair out and around, sitting on it backwards and leaning over the backrest. He ignored Tina’s muttered, “gay”.

Gavin shifted uncomfortably, nudging Tina before facing Hank more fully. “What is it?”

“Connor wasn’t sure I should tell you this, but RK900 showed up on our doorstep Sunday morning, looking rather… fuck, I dunno, distraught? Anyways, he went on about how he may have made too many missteps with you and was frustrated with you but wanted y’all to have a good working relationship and what the fuck ever…” Hank took a deep breath, steadying himself to drop the next line. “Basically, he was asking for advice on how to try and, I guess, make up for whatever he had fucked up.”

Gavin and Tina both sat in stunned silence, glancing between one another and Hank. Tina was the first to break the awkward silence – “Holy shit, Gav, are you gonna break the unbreakable?”

Gavin flushed at that and vehemently shook his head. “Fuck no, Tina, stop it!”

Hank merely chuckled and made to stand, setting his chair back at the other table. “Don’t tell Con that I told you, okay? He’s stressed about RK900 as is, though he doesn’t really wanna talk about it,” he punctuated that with a shrug, before grabbing his coffee cup and leaving the breakroom.

Tina turned to Gavin, leveling him with a serious stare. Gavin avoided her gaze, anxiously drumming his fingers on the table. She sighed and patted his shoulder gently. “Gav, this all seems like a lot right now. If you need me, you know you can always reach out.”

“I know, I know,” Gavin offered, sighing softly. “You know I will. How many drunken nights have I called you bawling at three am?”

Tina chuckled lightly at that and threw her arm around Gavin, pulling him into a clumsy hug. “More than I can count, bro,” she snarked, grinning, “but if you need me don’t hesitate.”

“Thanks Tee,” Gavin smiled faintly, rising from his chair. “I should get to work, I guess. All of my major cases are dead-ending and it’s killing me.”

“Aw man, that’s a horrible thing. But I bet you’ll crack something big,” Tina said, standing and stretching. “I’ve got a lot of little dumb shit right now; it’s all easy but it’s annoying.”

“That also sucks,” Gavin remarked, as they made their way to their respective desks. He grimaced slightly at the rather large, garish, paper mâché heart hanging from some of the lights in the center of the bullpen.

“You gonna be okay?” Tina asked, her voice sincere, concerned.

“I have to be, Tee,” Gavin murmured, stuffing his hands into his jean’s pockets. Tina offered a soft smile and headed to her desk. It remained undecorated aside from one small paper heart that leaned against her monitor. Looked like origami; Andrea probably made it for her.

Gavin padded over to his desk and sunk into his seat, sighing heavily. The coffee sat, undisturbed, and after a moment he reached out and took a sip. Fucking heaven.

-~-

Gavin pushed the door to the roof open, sighing into the cold air as it swept around him. Lunch break couldn’t have come any sooner; he was driving himself crazy trying to connect the dots between his cases, and surprisingly, RK900 wasn’t having much luck either. They had to be missing something.

Gavin made his way to his usual spot on the roof, right on the edge and up against the railing, away from everyone else who liked to hang out up here. He plopped himself down, legs dangling over the edge of the building, hands fumbling for his cigarette and lighter. He popped his cig into his mouth and puffed it up before wrapping his arms around the railing, leaning forward. The view wasn’t great – an alleyway, some tall buildings, lots of lights, a brief glimpse of the interstate – nothing spectacular.

He tried to train his thoughts to focus on the case, but they wandered instead, out of his control. RK900 was perplexing him – wasn’t the bastard supposed to have zero emotions? Or maybe he was just faking. That made more sense. Emulating, as Connor had once called it.

Valentine’s Day was in a week, and that would mark the tenth year since Ryan’s death… Fuck, ten years. Gavin never thought he’d live to see another Valentine’s after Ryan’s death and here he fucking was, ten years later.

The sting of tears caught him off-guard and Gavin scrubbed a hand over his face before taking a deep drag of his cigarette. It was, admittedly, impressive that his self-destructive tendencies hadn’t gotten him killed years ago. It was like death wanted nothing to do with him; instead, the universe only wanted to make him suffer. Make him angry, make him hate everything.

Snow began to fall, and Gavin muttered a soft curse, defeated. He slumped against the bars of the railing, face turned away from any onlookers, a few tears slipping down his cheeks. He could feel the cold seeping into his being, through his leather jacket and his hoodie and his long sleeve shirt, but he didn’t care. He was fucking miserable. The snow gathered around him as he puffed his cigarette and tried to steady himself. He desperately didn’t want to go back into the precinct looking like he’d been crying.

Footsteps caught Gavin’s attention, and he tensed for a moment before convincing himself that whoever it was would leave him alone and change path. Until the footsteps didn’t change path. Until someone’s presence was approaching. Until a warm cup of coffee was offered to him. Gavin quickly scrubbed at his face, doing his best to hide the fact he’d been crying – fucking pathetic – only to look up to see RK900. The android gave a faint nod, still offering the coffee.

“Sorry to bother you, Detective, but I noticed you lacked sustenance for lunch today. Coffee should hopefully get you through, but if you’d like, I could retrieve a proper meal for you,” RK900 spoke, voice soft, something flickering behind those ice blue eyes.

Gavin, after a moment, shakily reached out to take the warm cup, doing his best to ignore how his vision blurred with tears. “Thank you,” he murmured, cursing at himself for his voice trembling. RK900 frowned almost imperceptibly, before his expression shifted back to complete neutral. He seemed to almost battle himself for a second, before the android relaxed and leaned forward on the railing, gaze focusing outwards over the city.

Gavin quietly sipped his coffee, unsure of what to do or what to make of the situation he found himself in. Why the fuck was RK900 being nice, when less than a week ago, he had Gavin by the collar in the breakroom? Did he actually feel bad for that little altercation? There was no way, no fucking way.

RK900 shifted, then, straightening up. He crossed his arms behind his back and turned to faced Gavin. “Detective, why are you currently so distraught?”

Gavin tensed at that, eyes flicking up to RK900’s face before dropping back down to his coffee. “That’s none of your business,” he managed, swallowing hard.

“We work together, so I would hope that you would be able to open up and… inform me of such things that might impact your workflow. Negatively or not,” RK900 offered, glancing down at Gavin impassively. Gavin felt his blood run cold.

“It is none of your fucking business,” he managed, shuddering, vision blurred. RK900’s expression seemed to fall, and the android paused for a moment, before collecting himself and nodding.

“Of course, Detective. Apologies,” he offered, before simply turning away and leaving Gavin alone to stew in his thoughts and confusion. What the actual fuck could that have been?

He slumped back against the railing, burying his head into his arms, tears soaking into the leather sleeve of his jacket and dripping onto his lap. At this point, he couldn’t give a single shit who saw him. Pretty much everyone knew what time of the year it was, and most everyone learned to stay out of his way as he became much more volatile.

Gavin chewed into his lip, grip on the paper cup tightening. He was shaking full-body now, both from the cold and from trying to contain himself. He could feel various emotions building – anger, sadness, pain, loss, frustration, hatred, all sorts of fucking things – swelling inside of him. With an angry cry, Gavin chucked the half-full coffee cup across the railing, watching through blurred vision as it bounced off the wall of the next building and landed perfectly in the dumpster below, spray coffee across the walls and floor.

He sat there panting, chest and shoulders heaving, tears streaming down his cheeks. He was so fucking pissed; pissed at that stupid piece of shit smug-ass android, pissed at Fowler for pairing them up, pissed at the universe for continuing to torture him, fucking pissed.

All Gavin ever wanted was to get better. Clearly, everything else had other plans for him.