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Avalanche

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When Gavin returned from his lunch break, he caught sight of RK900 sitting primly at his desk, hands folded in his lap, head slightly downturned and eyes unfocused, gazing at the floor. He seemed to sense Gavin’s presence, though, as his head snapped back up and ice blue shot to Gavin’s figure. There was a moment of realization, and RK900’s eyes seemed to widen in shock.

“Detective Reed, are you alright?”

“Shut the fuck up,” Gavin grumbled, scrubbing at his face. He figured it probably was obvious he’d been crying now, but he pulled a mask of anger back on and did his best to conceal the inner turmoil he was suffering from. Stupid ass Terminator didn’t need to know what was going on – it’s not like he’d care.

Gavin was momentarily surprised to see the LED on RK900’s temple flash red before the android looked away from him, gaze dropping once more to the floor. He appeared to be almost lost in thought, LED now cycling a steady yellow.

Gavin heaved a sigh before making his way to the bathroom in order to try and wash his face off. He, rather unfortunately, caught sight of himself in the mirror and was minorly startled by how shitty he looked. Red, blotchy face; bloodshot eyes; hair slightly disheveled; jacket damp from the snow. He shuddered and turned the faucet on warm before dipping his hands into and splashing the water over his face. He repeated the motion a few more times, occasionally rubbing at his face and eyes as he did so.

Picking his head back up from the sink, Gavin practically screamed when he saw RK900 casually standing behind him, hands clasped behind his back. The android merely bowed his head, not quite meeting Gavin’s gaze. He spun around and shoved a fist against the chest of the android futilely.

“What the fuck is your problem? Why can’t you just leave me the fuck alone?”

“Reed, I apologize, but your rather… volatile emotional state has left me feeling… concerned,” RK900 stated, eyes still refusing to meet Gavin’s, looking slightly unfocused. Gavin paused, his adrenaline at being scared nearly shitless fading away to exhaustion. The LED on RK900’s temple was flickering between yellow and red. “I wish you would open up to me so I could potentially help you.”

“Fuck off, you plastic prick, I don’t want your goddamn help,” Gavin snarled, using his anger once again to mask the storm inside of him. “I don’t want to tell you a goddamn thing about me!”

Something flashed across RK900’s face, and the android suddenly focused on him fully, cold blue eyes meeting fiery green. Gavin found himself backing up until he hit the counter, as RK900 leaned in with an almost-grimace on his face. The LED was now solid red. “Why do you hate me so much, Detective? What have I done previous to our acquaintance to earn your outright disrespect and distrust in me?” he all but snarled out, hands behind his back clenching even harder together, near to cracking his chassis.

Gavin practically whimpered, hands bracing himself on the counter as he leaned back further. The phantom feeling of a hand on his collar suddenly began to choke him, and he found his breaths coming in quicker and shorter. RK900 didn’t seem to register Gavin’s discomfort, glaring down at the smaller man, waiting tersely for an answer. “I-I don’t have to have a fucking reason,” Gavin managed, attempting to keep the heated rage in his voice and falling just ever so slightly short. RK900’s eyes narrowed, and Gavin could hear the distinct crack of metal as RK900 snapped a panel or two – or all – in his hand.

The noise, and possibly the feeling of inflicting damage on himself, seemed to snap RK900 from his intense anger. Blue eyes widened, crimson LED spinning viciously as he leaned back quickly. “Reed, I-“ he tried, but a whir of static cut his sentence off and he snapped his mouth shut.

Seeing his opportunity, Gavin shouldered past the android and booked it out of the bathroom, not giving a single fuck about whatever was going on with the broken, menacing piece of shit.

RK900 stood in the bathroom alone, pulling his hands from behind his back to stare at them, synth-skin melting away to show the shattered panels of his left hand. Something… uncomfortable coursed through his being, and his vision momentarily blurred before he blinked it away. What was he doing, other than just making things so much worse?

A voice resonated through his mind palace, a laugh followed by a faint, “Good job, RK900. You have no need for friends.”

RK900 shook his head, focusing on the panels of his hand as they slowly reformed back together, fractures turning hair-line before disappearing altogether.

He knew what the Amanda virus was capable of; he had seen it first-hand from Connor’s memories. He was, being non-deviant, supposed to go along with her every word and follow out each mission she designed for him. But those memories – of Connor losing her trust, of him almost killing Markus, of him fighting for control and destroying the virus inside of him… They set something ablaze in RK900. He was too strong to be controlled by a virus of all things.

And yet she lingered; and yet she sometimes slipped through the cracks, gaining control of him. A splinter, barely even noticeable, slipped along a red wall of code. RK900 hardly even recognized it, but when he did, he felt breathless, almost claustrophobic, like he was hyperventilating just as Gavin had been moments before.

RK900 was not built to deviate.

-~-

Gavin slumped into his chair, timing his breathing to slow his hyperventilation. He was incredibly thankful that RK900 hadn’t followed him out of the bathroom. Gavin honestly had no idea what to make of this altercation… It almost looked like something else had overtaken the android.

Chris stepped up to Gavin’s desk then, drawing his attention. He offered a box of donuts with a small smile. “Hey man, you doing okay?”

Gavin huffed and took a donut thankfully. “My life’s a fucking disaster and I hate my partner, what else is new?” he half-heartedly joked, shrugging.

Chris sighed, setting the box down and leaning on Gavin’s desk. “Is he that bad? Connor doesn’t wanna talk about him at all, really. And not even Hank completely knows why.”

“Jesus… Yea, he’s that bad. I’m gonna lose my mind,” Gavin murmured, taking a bite out of his donut. “He’s absolutely nothing like Connor. Connor was so quick to assimilate and try and be normal, which was fuckin’ stupid, but like – this fucker is like… the complete opposite. He doesn’t give a shit about even just being normal, and he’s so fucking confusing. He makes complete one-eighties in his coded personality so quickly my head spins.”

“Fuck, Gavin, I’m sorry,” Chris murmured, frowning. “Let me know if you need any, I guess, help or just wanna talk. I know this is the worst time for you to be dealing with this.”

“You got that damn right,” Gavin sighed, “thank you Chris.”

Chris smiled at that, picking up the donut box to put it back in the breakroom. “Anytime, Gavin.”

It was then, as Chris was walking away, that RK900 finally reappeared. Gavin reflexively tensed, fumbling his donut for a second as an involuntary shudder wracked his body. He spun his chair around, running a hand through his hair shakily, desperately wishing he had something to ground himself with. Or even a coffee, fuck.

Surprisingly, however, RK900 instead made his way to Connor’s desk, leaning in to speak to the android. Connor initially seemed to freeze up, but his eyes quickly widened and he made to stand, hand on RK900’s shoulder. Connor turned to Hank’s questioning gaze, murmured something, before leading RK900 out of the bullpen. RK900 didn’t seem to want to even look at Gavin as he passed by his desk, head bowed and eyes unfocused on the floor once more. Connor sent a wary look Gavin’s way, giving a slight nod. His anxiety was clear.

Gavin swallowed hard, biting the inside of his cheek, unsure of what the fuck was even going on. Maybe RK900 was going to get his hand fixed? But then why would he need Connor? Gavin was thoroughly confused, and maybe even slightly concerned, which was an odd feeling to have for that actual fucking bastard of an android.

Shaking himself of the thoughts, Gavin returned to his donut, picking up his phone to scroll through it while he kicked his feet up. Maybe a slightly extended lunch break would help him cool down – he’d just work a little later into the evening.

-~-

Connor was, at first, very startled and slightly afraid when RK900 approached him. But as soon as RK900 had leaned in and murmured that his code had cracked, Connor jumped into action. He was still trepidatious, of course, but the strong urge to help an android in need overrode that anxiety. He told Hank that he would be back soon, offering a reassuring smile which Hank returned (despite nervously eyeing the RK900), before he guided the android out of the bullpen.

Connor noticed how odd Gavin acted around the larger android, and vaguely wondered what happened between the two. And then he noticed how RK900 simply refused to even look at Gavin, gaze on the floor instead. Connor instinctively nodded at Gavin – a futile attempt to be reassuring – before continuing to lead RK900 completely out of the building and to his car (that he insisted on buying upon receiving his portion of the settlement from Cyberlife, despite Hank complaining about his car being perfectly fine; Connor had witnessed it break down one too many times to even think about trusting it).

They lingered in silence, before RK900 finally spoke. “Connor, I was never built with deviancy as a potential,” he said, keeping his eyes focused on the ground, despite his voice being entirely level. “I can understand how and why it came about for you; but I lack many of the constructs that you have. I was built to destroy.”

“I am… well aware of that fact, unfortunately,” Connor murmured, leaning against his car. RK900 seemed to almost grimace at that, before his face shifted back to impassivity. “Perhaps I could share some of my protocols with you?”

“I highly doubt Amanda would like that,” RK900 spoke sharply, eyes narrowing almost imperceptibly. Connor shuddered at that name, brief memories of him destroying Amanda for good flashing through his mind palace, memories of fighting for his damn life.

“You still have to… deal with her?” he asked, trying to hide any discomfort, though he was sure that RK900 caught it. RK900 shifted ever so slightly.

“Unfortunately. I am aware that she is just a mere virus, but she seems so much stronger than the Amanda you dealt with,” he spoke, eyes finally lifting to meet Connor’s warm brown. “I am unsure of how to get rid of her. She is much more persistent with me. I find myself… losing control, and doing things that I do not… wish… to.” The last half of that sentence was hard for him to bite out, but he managed. He did not want. He could not be deviant. You do not want.

“Ah, well, that is a lot to unpack,” Connor murmured, glancing away from RK900. RK900 merely nodded, uncaring if Connor saw or not. They both had no clue quite how to proceed, and let silence drift between them for a moment, before Connor spoke again, “if you are free this weekend, perhaps we could… meet up and try to figure out what to do.”

RK900 though for a moment, remembering how Gavin had made plans with that Deondre fellow this coming weekend, ignored the strange pang that resonated in his chest, before nodding. “Yes, Connor. I am free this weekend.”

“Perfect,” Connor said softly, pushing himself off of his car. “I’m going to head back inside. I’ll see you this weekend. I’ll contact you with specifics.”

RK900 merely nodded. He needed to fix this, in any way possible. Even if it meant getting reset.

-~-

Gavin sat with Tina at their favorite little pub that night, drowning himself in a pitcher of Blue Moon. “Fuck, Tina, I feel like I’m in high school again with all this bullshit,” he took a swallow of his beer, “like that night at prom where Tyler dumped me for some dumb bitch and I spent most of the night getting drunk and high and crying in the bathroom stalls. If crying was a contest that night, I for sure would have been crowned.”

Tina sighed heavily at that memory, shaking her head. “You still owe me for dragging your stupid ass back to my parents and making up an excuse for you,” she muttered, rolling her eyes.

“I still appreciate that. Dad would have beat me within inches of my life if I came home like that,” Gavin muttered, letting his face rest on his hand as he leaned on the table. “Bad enough to have a fag for a son, even worse to have a complete failure of a son who did drugs and drank underage. Fucking Eli was always the golden child, and he wasn’t even my parent’s kid.”

“I know, Gav,” Tina said softly, leaning forward, “but hey, you’re pretty damn successful now, right? You turned your entire life around after high school.”

“I had to. It was either do something with myself, or kill myself,” Gavin shrugged half-heartedly at that. Tina frowned and sighed.

“So… what’s up with that Deondre guy, huh?” she quipped, trying to lighten the mood. It was Gavin’s turn to roll his eyes.

“Nothing’s up, Tee, we just fucked. I might see him again this weekend, that’s all,” he replied, pulling a cigarette from his pocket and lighting it up.

“He’s… different than the last coupl’a guys you’ve fooled around with, huh?”

“I suppose. He’s nicer. Got his shit together mostly. He’s Fowler’s nephew.” Tina nearly spit her beer out at that.

“What?! You got dicked down by Fowler’s nephew?”

“Tina, Jesus, shut the fuck up. It’s not that big of a deal!” Gavin groaned, dropping his head into his arms.

“I dunno, Gav, that’s a pretty big fucking deal!”

“Tina, it’s not like anything’s gonna come of it, for fucks sake,” Gavin sighed, voice muffled as he didn’t bother to pick his head up from his arms. He was suddenly very, very, exhausted.

“Well, maybe,” Tina murmured, leaning slightly further forward. “But you don’t know that for sure, Gav.”

Gavin merely groaned again, shaking his head as best as he could with it still buried in his arms.