The rest of the day passed rather quickly. Six in the evening came before Gavin fully realized, and he was left sitting at his desk, shifting his attention between the phone in his hand and the screen of his terminal, not really registering either. He and RK900 hadn’t spoken much since the incident in the lone isolation room downstairs; both seemed to agree to keep what had happened between the two of them, without actually saying anything. Gavin, mostly, wanted to keep it on the down-low out of shame, and RK900… Well, he wasn’t fully sure why the android wanted to keep it to himself other than to spare Gavin the embarrassment. Then again, maybe he worried that if word of his potential to deviate got out, there would be backlash?
Either way, they were sitting in a near-oppressive silence now, RK900 sifting rapid-fire through files on a tablet and Gavin blankly focused on nothing in particular on his terminal. He'd been looking over the same report for the last ten minutes now, vision bleary. Finally, feeling as though the silence might suffocate him, he spoke up: “where do you go after work?”
RK900 halted his work, turning to look at Gavin with a carefully raised eyebrow. “I reside at the precinct,” he stated blandly, as if it was obvious.
“What, so you get a state-of-the-art car but not an apartment?”
“The car was a smart and necessary purchase. An apartment is not,” came the cool reply. RK900 glanced down at the time displayed on the screen and switched his terminal off. “To offer a broader reply, on occasion I will explore the city. It is not a wise idea, in my opinion, to be physically unfamiliar of the city in which I work and reside. I do also occasionally visit Lieutenant Anderson and Connor.”
“Yea, I… saw the photo Connor posted,” Gavin muttered, shifting away from the android’s piercing stare. The ocean of emotions had remained, though faintly, and it was almost overwhelming. “I should… probably get home.” And drink myself into oblivion.
RK900 eyed Gavin cautiously, eyebrow quirked. “Will you be okay?” he asked, voice soft – the first notion since earlier that day that everything in Gavin’s life was very, very, very fucking not "okay".
“I will be,” Gavin half-muttered-half-whispered, moving to grab his bag and toss his empty paper coffee cup into the trash by his desk. Rising to his feet, he hesitated a moment, glancing at the android seated at the desk next to his. “You… have any plans for tonight?”
A brief glimmer of surprise danced across RK900’s features as he also stood, head tilting, eyebrow raising once more. “No, there is nothing on my calendar for tonight,” he offered, that dull thrum aching in every part of his being, his LED briefly circling yellow. The thrum seemed to worsen with each and every crack - it hadn't let up all day, at this point.
“Wanna, uh, fuck, I don’t know… I just…” Gavin took a deep breath, eyes flicking down to the ground, before finally admitting, “I probably shouldn’t be alone tonight, s’all.”
RK900 quietly studied Gavin; the detective had the notion he was reading his vitals and resisted the urge to snap at him to stop. After a moment, the android spoke. “I believe you are correct in that observation, Detective. But why not reach out to-“ a snap of static cut off RK900’s speech, and he cleared his throat, before attempting again – pointedly ignoring Gavin’s startled expression. “Why not reach out to your friend, Deondre? You two seem close.” Was that... was that slight bitterness in the android's voice?
Gavin’s head began to swim as he stared at RK900, desperately trying to make sense of what the fuck just happened. “N-no, I mean, I ain’t gonna burden him with my bullshit. We’re… not that close.” He gave an aborted attempt at a casual shrug, attempting to pay no attention to how his hands had begun to shake slightly.
“I see,” RK900 spoke, a crackle dancing across the last word.
“The fuck’s going on with you? If you don’t wanna fuckin’ come with me, just say so,” Gavin snapped, turning to focus an intense and somewhat hurt gaze on the android. “I’ll just get fuckin’ obliterated by myself.”
“N-no, Reed, I apologize,” RK900 was quick to speak, almost cutting of Gavin’s last sentence, “as I said, I have been having some issues. Nothing to worry about.”
Gavin faltered, watching as that ocean of emotions swam through RK900’s eyes; the android appeared concerned on a surface level, his LED now circling fully golden with the tiniest burst of vermillion, but a million different things lingered in those ice blue eyes. “Uh, y-yea… Sorry,” he stumbled, feeling suddenly sheepish. “Why don’t you go and get looked at or something?”
“I doubt much can be done for me; I am the only android of my type - the only fully completed model,” RK900 replied coolly, shifting away from Gavin’s stare.
“O-oh,” came the startled, breathy reply. “Well… fuck.”
Silence fell between them for a moment, before Gavin sighed heavily, almost awkwardly toeing at the ground with the tread of his boot. “So?”
“Yes, Reed. If it would make you feel better, I will accompany you back to your apartment.”
“Nah, it’s fucking funny! He hates people but ho-lee shit he loves you!” Gavin let out another guffaw of laughter, the wound across his stomach aching slightly. He was already fairly drunk, and it was well past the time he should have attempted to go to bed, but honestly… Watching RK900 get mauled by a particularly feisty cat was pretty worth it. Besides, he hadn't laughed this hard in a while, it felt like. And certainly not on... he gulped down a mouthful of whiskey to banish that thought, wincing momentarily at the burn.
Finally snatching all four paws from his jacket, the offended android carefully deposited the tawny colored animal onto the floor. He, himself, was feeling the effects of “alcoholic” thirium – a purchase that Gavin had all but convinced him to buy because he didn’t want to be “drinking alone” (RK900 had tried to argue that Gavin would not be alone, but that had not seemed to be sufficient). “I certainly hope he did not tear my jacket. Also, Reed, your cat is adequately named.”
“Tell me about it,” Gavin sniggered, taking another mouthful of whiskey. “He made me burn my eggs the other morning by scaring the shit out of me. Oh, and he’s shat in my bed at least three times after I was gone too long.”
It was RK900’s turn to laugh, a quick beat that knocked the wind out of Gavin and left something warm pooling in the pit of his stomach. He sat up abruptly, whiskey sloshing dangerously in his glass, a deep (alcohol-induced of fuckin’ course) blush creeping across his cheeks. “Did you just…?”
RK900 cleared his throat, smoothing out his jacket, attempting to remain dignified despite having worn Gavin’s cat as a scarf not but five minutes ago. The thrum had turned into a throb, causing him to develop a very negligible quiver in his hand. “Did I what?”
“Did you fuckin’ laugh?”
“And if I did?”
“Jesus.“ Gavin was suddenly slumped against the android, arm around his shoulder, laughing softly against him. “Warn a motherfucker next time, that was fuckin’ se-eh-“ He cut himself off sharply, bolting upright, blush deepening. RK900 had a good chance to look over the detective then, noting how wide his eyes were and how his hand had drunkenly clamped over his mouth, obscuring the deep blush that worked it's way down his neck, beyond the collar of his long-sleeved tee-shirt. Gavin's eyes were shining, both from the effects of the alcohol and from pure embarrassment, and as he pulled his hand from his face while glancing away sheepishly, his tongue darted out to nervously wet his lips. RK900 found his eyes following the movement before he even realized it.
Without warning, there was a sudden stream of errors, another whip-like crack, followed by a prompt the interrupted RK900’s vision - K̴I̴S̴S̶ ̵D̵E̸T̸E̶C̷T̷I̷V̷E̸ ̶G̸A̵V̴I̵N̶ ̴R̴E̸E̷D̶. The android sucked in a sharp breath, and Amanda screamed.
And she screamed.
RK900’s vision flooded with glaring red error after glaring red error after nonsensical prompt after glaring red error. It distorted the face in front of him, pulled jagged red and blue and green pixels, all splaying out around the preliminary prompt.
K̴I̴ S̴ S̶ ̵ D̵E̸T̸ E̶ C̷T̷I̷ V̷E̸ ̶ G̸A̵V̴I̵N̶ ̴R̴E̸ E̷D̶
His LED was rapidly spinning crimson, cycling faster than Gavin had ever seen. And… and he couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t fucking breathe. He did not need to breathe, necessarily, not like a human. So why… Why?
Amanda kept screaming. Why wouldn’t she stop screaming?
“-hundred! RK900!” Gavin grabbed the android by his shoulders, shaking him slightly, fear coursing through him. “Fuck! What the fuck?”
Blue eyes suddenly snapped up to meet his, vision clearing to focus on the soft green that gleamed with a heart-breaking startled shimmer. “R-Ree-eed,” he managed, hand reaching up to grab hold of Gavin’s shirt.
“Oh, my fuck, what the fuck, Nines you gotta snap out of it, please!” Gavin was frantic, alcohol fueling his terror, his body damn near shaking just as much as RK900's was. “Please, Nines, please!”
“Reed,” RK900 snapped, voice suddenly clear, eyes wide and focused on the devastating expression on the detective’s face. He brought his other hand up to rest on Gavin’s cheek, grounding himself as his fingers carded through overgrown stubble and brushed against surprisingly soft skin. “Fuck, Reed, I’m sorry. I’m here.”
Gavin collapsed against him them, a cracking sob echoing against the android's chest chest, his well of emotions bubbling over for the second time that day until he was choking for breath. RK900 let his arms wrap around the trembling form, fighting as hard as possible to retain in full control of his actions. He could feel the hands clutched tight against his jacket, pulling at the material as Gavin used it to ground himself, pull himself out of the absolutely overwhelmed state that that had just thrown him into. Eventually, he was able to calm down, timing his breaths as he sat back, not even realizing he had essentially seated himself in the android’s lap.
Silence hung heavy in the air, before; “you called me Nines.” RK900 was soft, apprehensive, unsure of what to make of it as the name rolled off his tongue.
Gavin looked up at him, wiping at his face. “It slipped out,” he muttered, shaking his head. “You scared the fuck out of me. What the fuck.”
“I am sorry, that… It was not my intention.”
Gavin swallowed hard, becoming aware of his position, pushing off RK900’s lap to grab his glass and take a heavy swig of whiskey. They sat apart on the couch, the previously relaxed ambience now jolted into something staticky and harsh. Nines felt a sharp sting punctuate his being, enmeshing itself with the ache that had fully blossomed in his chest. Something acrid lay heavy on the back of his tongue, cloying its way down his throat. With more effort than he would have liked, he reached forward for his glass of wine and took a heavy drink. Blame it on the alcohol. Suddenly, there was a breathy chuckle, and Gavin relaxed back into the couch. “You said fuck,” he blurted, turning back to RK900 with a sly expression, doing his best to push down and block out any of the negative things that were swirling around him like a tornado. Ignore, disregard, shove down. Sip your whiskey. Focus on something else, like the fact that prim-and-proper RK900 said ‘fuck’.
It was RK900’s time to flush, a soft blue dancing across his face, LED stuttering into that nervous marigold once again. “I suppose I did,” he murmured, hiding his mildly flustered expression behind another long drink of wine, polishing off the glass. Anything to not have to talk about it.
A heavy silence fell between them once more, both unsure of what to say or what to even make of whatever the fuck had just occurred. Gavin turned to the clock, letting out a huff as he caught sight of the time. “Fuck, it’s almost five… when the fuck did it get to five? I have to be up in, like, a fuckin’ hour,” he groaned, collapsing fully into the couch, sliding down until he was pressed against the cushions, head dangerously close to RK900's lap. “Maybe I just call out sick… Fowler’d understand.”
“Reed, while that would be irresponsible, it would be more irresponsible for you to go into work in this state. Furthermore, I apologize for keeping you up so long, the… effects of the wine have made my senses dull and I… lost track of the time,” RK900 offered, shifting slightly, frowning. He resisted the strange urge to run his fingers through the man's soft brown hair. “I can go into work and tell Fowler that you are unwell.”
“Would ya, please?” Gavin asked, sitting back up to level RK900 with an earnest stare.
“Absolutely. Now, you should get to bed.”
“Yea, yea, I will,” he muttered indignantly, downing the rest of his whiskey.
“I’ll head back to the station,” RK900 spoke, rising to his feet, going to deposit his and Gavin's glasses in the sink.
“You sure you’re good to go back there?”
“I can initiate the self-driving mode on my vehicle, and when I return to the station, a soft boot should reset the effects.”
“Jesus, sober in an instant, wish I could do that,” Gavin muttered, standing and stretching, shirt riding up.
RK900’s eyes lingered on the revealed skin, and he swallowed hard, ignoring the prompt that glimmered just out of view that dared him to run his fingers against the most assuredly soft skin, to trace the forget-me-nots tattoo, to run his- RK900 cut himself off there, yanking his eyes back up to Gavin's face, ignoring the heat that coursed through his systems. “I will see you tomorrow, yes?”
“Yea, I’ll be in then, should be fine… Just gonna try and sleep all day,” Gavin replied, a faint smile dancing across his face.
“Very well, Detective. And please, do actually sleep.”
“Fuck, what are you, my mom?”
RK900 rolled his eyes at that, a move that made Gavin’s heart skip a beat. “Very funny, Reed.”
Gavin ignored the flush of heat that crossed his face for what very might have been the hundredth time that night, and watched as RK900 made his way to the door. “Hey, uh…” The android turned to look back at him, eyebrow quirked. “Thank you… Nines.”
The soft smile that graced RK900’s face at that made Gavin’s heart attempt to hit hyper-drive. “Of course, Detective Reed. Sleep well, I will see you Wednesday.”
And with that, he was gone. Gavin stood in the middle of his living room, hand slowly reaching up to cover his heart.