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Avalanche

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February 8th, 2019

When Gavin had stepped into the bullpen in the morning, he was surprised to see that RK900 was not sitting and waiting at his desk like usual. A ridiculous sense of concern washed over him, which he quickly shook off and mentally beat himself up for. Fuck that asshole, I don’t care where he is.

Gavin had gone about his morning as usual – dropping his bag at his desk, making a coffee, logging onto his terminal, scrolling through his phone for a few moments, browsing through emails, looking over case files, seeing if anything new had popped up.

Before he knew it, an hour and a half had passed. Gavin sat back, looking around the bullpen, feeling that same stupid concern wash over him. Okay, fine, it was weird that the android wasn’t here. It wasn’t supposed to be his day off. Maybe he had to get his fucked-up hand fixed and it was taking too long?

Maybe… Maybe Connor would know. Gavin stood, stretching momentarily, feigning casualness. He gathered himself a moment before he headed to Connor’s desk, nodding at both him and Hank.

“Detective Reed,” Connor greeted, nodding in return. “How can I help you?”

“Hey, uh, Connor,” Gavin shifted nervously, stuffing his hands into his jacket’s pockets. “My partner’s late and I was wondering if you knew what was up.”

“Oh… he… informed me he was taking the morning off. Something about some minor damage, I suppose,” Connor replied, sitting back slightly. His posture had become a lot more casual and easy-going since deviating, something that everyone noticed (and that honestly helped take the edge away from his once-out-of-place cheery demeanor). “He didn’t tell you?”

“No… Are you sure that’s it?”

“Yes, I am,” Connor said, voice steady though he looked away. It almost felt like he was hiding something, but Gavin wasn’t going to pry.

“Well, thanks,” he sighed, turning away, only to be caught by Connor calling his name softly.

“Gavin, I know… I know that RK900 is not easy to work with. I’ll be honest – he terrifies me. But he is trying. He is waging a war within himself that shows no pleasant outcomes. Please, try not to think too horribly of him,” Connor spoke, voice soft. Gavin deflated at that, shoulders slumping.

“I get it, Connor. Thanks,” he murmured, before making his way back to his desk.

It was another hour before RK900 finally stepped into the DPD. He quietly made his way through the security checkpoint and over to his desk. Gavin, meanwhile, was leaned back in his chair with his eyes closed, attempting to map out of all of his cases mentally. He didn’t notice RK900 sit in his chair, nor did he notice the look that RK900 levelled him with – one of somewhat regret, an almost apologetic glint in his eyes – before it faded back to the normal straight face he always wore.

“Detective.”

Gavin damn near jumped out of his skin, practically falling out of his chair. “What the fuck, you dick? Don’t do that to me!” he snarled, leaping to his feet and leaning over his desk, hands braced against it, to glare at RK900.

“Apologies, I did not intend to startle you,” came the stoic reply. Gavin rolled his eyes at that, a grumble escaping him.

“Where the fuck’ve you been?”

“I went to have my hand looked over to make sure that there was no damage beyond surface level.”

“And that took practically three hours?” Gavin snapped, dropping back into his seat. “You coulda fucking told me.”

“Android repairs are relatively intensive and delicate, Detective,” RK900 replied, sitting back ever so slightly to almost-but-not-quite glare at Gavin. "Especially for a model of my caliber."

Gavin rolled his eyes again, tilting his head back to stare up at the rafters. “Fuckin' a, you prick. Still coulda told me,” he muttered, wondering why he even cared. Probably just ‘cause it affected his job, that’s all. RK900 merely inclined his head at that in faint recognition.

-~-

Gavin found himself on the roof again during his lunch break, cigarette hanging loosely from his lips as he sat and thought over the last week. And his damn cases that he knew had to all tie in somewhere, even if it was just one person being involved. But then who the fuck was this one person?

To top it off, forensics had come back on the dead guy they had dealt with over the weekend. He was their supposed android murderer and definitely a red ice dealer. (In fact, the destroyed carcass of an AK700 was discovered in the closet of a spare bedroom during a full sweep of the house after the perp’s body was removed.) His name was Michael Spritz, a long-time conman and drug peddler. Gavin hypothesized that a deal had gone wrong, and the perp took Michael out. The AK700 unit appeared to have been in the closet for a while, judging by the dust gathering on it – just another victim to add to Spritz’s tally.

It was also likely that Spritz was at, or at least worked with, one of the red ice rings Gavin had discovered. The few perps he pulled in from those busts, however, were not willing to talk. One had even thrown out the old “Snitches Get Stitches” adage that Gavin scoffed at. He’d take a few stitches for a shortened prison-sentence, in his book. And he had damn sure done that in the past – when he was a kid and got caught smoking pot with a friend of his, he ratted that friend out faster than he could even think in turn for only doing a month of community service. Sure, he felt guilty about, but, well, that’s life. Don’t fucking trust anybody.

Except Tina and Chris, he supposed. Maybe Hank and Connor, too.

Gavin stubbed his cigarette out on the rooftop before throwing it into the dumpster below. He hesitated a moment before lighting up another; his life was a mess and if smoking meant possibly dying quicker, then fuck it. He made a mental note to pick up another pack on his way home from work.

How had his life even gotten here? Shitty, abusive dad; alcoholic mother; entirely over-shadowed by his genius cousin; barely scrapped by in high school and spent more time drinking and getting high than studying; a couple short stints in county jail as a teen for stupid shit; depression and anxiety through his entire life that meds barely touched; an involuntary psych stay after a suicide attempt at 19 that almost succeeded if Eli hadn’t found him then; a revolving wheel of countless therapists and psychiatrists; turning his life around at 20; joining the Police Academy with Tina after she got her Associates…

It hadn’t been fucking easy. The depression and anxiety were still there (but that’s what meds were for, he supposed, now that they finally found a cocktail which actually helped). A lot of his criminal record as a teen had been expunged by his excelling in the Police Academy, which he was incredibly thankful for. And now his mother was dead – though he could barely bring himself to care – and he hadn’t spoken to his dad since he was 24, not after he lost his shit about Gavin getting engaged to Ryan. He was pretty much well and alone in the vast majority of his life, the more he thought about it.

Somehow, it was a miracle Gavin wasn’t more fucked up than he already was. Had his life stayed on the path it was going as a teen, hell, he might have been one of those android-murdering, red-ice-smoking assholes he was after.

The thought made Gavin shudder, and he smashed his spent cigarette on the ground a little too hard, cursing to himself. Yea, things could have been a lot worse – but fuck RK900 and Fowler and the goddamn universe for putting him into this situation still.

-~-

Gavin was making his way down the rooftop stairwell when his cellphone began to ring. He picked up with a swift, “Detective Reed, Detroit Police.”

“Hey Reed,” came Officer Person’s voice, “you might want to get down to the river’s edge on Milliken State Park. Two bodies surfaced.”

“Ah, shit,” Gavin grumbled, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Got it, thanks Officer Person.” With a sigh, he shoved his phone back into the pocket of his jacket and hurried over to his desk. RK900 looked up at Gavin questioningly.

“Well, looks like we got another coupl’a additions to the bodies-in-the-river case,” Gavin offered, grabbing his bag and checking the clip in his gun. Probably unnecessary, but he felt better anyways. “Milliken Park, right on the shore.”

“Understood. I can drive us there.”

“Of course, you can,” Gavin muttered, rolling his eyes. He didn’t want to admit that he was just, y’know, ever-so-slightly jealous of the gorgeous car that the android had. Top-of-the-line, fully electronic, all of the bells and whistles possible… And the fucker couldn’t even appreciate it. He supposed that he should just be happy to have a nicer apartment in a better area (thanks, dead-mom), but damn did it piss him off that an android had nicer things than he did and the bastard couldn’t even feel anything for them.

Though, Gavin did notice that RK900 almost seemed to eye his car smugly, looking over the sleek body of the Audi, checking that there wasn’t a single line askew. There was a sense of pride that resonated through the android for a moment, before he smoothly slid his way into the driver seat. Gavin felt almost surprised – almost.

Because of course, RK900 would be fucking smug about his practically $75,000 electric sportscar.

The ride to the state park was silent – bar the usual background classical music – which gave Gavin time to think over this development. Person had said two bodies, which was unusual. Typically, only one body was discovered, but, well, this was only the third occasion in possible relation to his cases.

They pulled up to the gaggle of cop cars, some with lights on, others without. The forensics van pulled in just behind them, followed by a New Jericho truck. Gavin halted, looking at the truck. Why the fuck would anybody from New Jericho be at the crime scene? He hopped out of the car, eyeing the truck wearily. It had parked, but no occupants had stepped out.

“I suppose one of our victims must have been an android,” came RK900’s smooth voice.

“That’s the only explanation,” Gavin muttered, turning away and heading to the cordoned-off shoreline. Various people milled about, marking evidence on the shore, while crew still worked to pull possible evidence out of the river.

“Detective Reed,” Officer Person greeted upon seeing him. “Quite a gruesome scene. Two bodies, one in serious decomp, the other… most likely an android.”

“I figured as much. Who called it in?”

“Anonymous, unfortunately, but not surprising,” was the answer. Person turned back to the scene, a frown on her face.

Gavin stepped up to the two bodies lying on tarps across the rocks. The fist vic was an older male – long, scruffy hair, overgrown beard barely clinging to his bloated face, torn clothes. Possibly a transient, but who knows how long he’d been in the water for in order to fuck his clothes up that badly. And some guys liked the scruffy, overgrown look (Gavin wasn’t a fan).

The other body… was a fully naked male android. Gavin paused and looked over the body. No outward signs of trauma, no damage, nothing. He couldn’t help but note that the android most definitely had genitalia.

Gavin had to force his mind from wandering as he looked over at RK900.

The android was, rather carefully, perusing the scene around them. Gavin figured he was probably doing his reconstruction bullshit or some other stupid analysis protocol. Fucking androids…

Gavin turned back to the crew working retrieval, locating the acting-boss for them. “Hey there. Detective Reed, DPD,” he greeted.

The man, tall, tanned, with light hair and lighter eyes turned to face him. “Nice to meet you, Reed. Travis,” he held his hand out to shake, which Gavin quickly reciprocated. “That guy looks like he’s been in the water a while. And the android has got to be water-logged. Almost broke our rig tryin’ to drag it to shore.”

“Probably dumped at the same time, then,” Gavin murmured, pulling out his tablet to jot notes down on. “Anything special you saw about the scene?”

“Not really, sorry. Standard body retrieval, I guess,” Travis turned back to his crew for a moment, watching as they continued to skim the water for any potential evidence debris. “No wallet or identification to be seen for either of the poor saps.”

“Well, hopefully the one guy’s got good dental records. You work any of the other recent body retrievals from the river?”

“Nah, Jack had handled those other two that you're referencing. I was focused on other projects and retrievals throughout the state.”

“I see. Thanks, Travis.”

“Of course, Detective Reed.”

Gavin turned back to watch the crew work for a moment. They were coming to the end of their job with only basic trash floating through the river – nothing substantial to help the case at all, of course. He turned back to the bodies only to see RK900 lingering over them, studying them.

“Any ideas, tin can?”

“The android is an HR400. An android model specifically designed for sexual relations.”

“That explains the cock and balls, then,” Gavin muttered, shifting. RK900 rose from his crouched position, leveling Gavin with an even stare.

“Every android has functional genitalia to some extent, Detective – except for underage androids,” he remarked casually, as if it was perfectly old-hat. Gavin almost choked.

“Wait, wait, wait, so… so, like… does that mean you…” RK900’s stare remained level, but a corner of his lips quirked up ever-so-slightly. “I… I did not need to know that…”

“Is there a problem, Detective? I am, after all, the most advanced Cyberlife creation.” There it was, that fucking smug-ass tone. Gavin was going to fucking die.

“Sh-shove it, asshole. Let’s look over the goddamn evidence,” he managed, turning away from RK900 to hide the faint blush creeping up his neck. Fucking fuckety fuck fuck.