It’s new, to say the least.
Events and interactions were once processed by Connor as simply pieces of information. Now, emotions are tied to every single one. Every little thing noticed now seems significant in some way or another. He’s debated on countless occasions to contact Kamski for any insight he can give, but stops himself when remembering that Kamski will only respond in his cryptic riddles.
Hank tells him he’s overthinking it. He tells Connor this a lot. It’s usually Connor who brings it up, and Hank willingly listens. Even though he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he still tries to answer Connor’s questions when he asks.
“Although I’m grateful you’ve allowed me to stay in your home, I can’t help but feel...”
“Is that what it is?”
“Connor, if I didn’t want ya here I’d kick ya out. Ya think I’d let just anybody stay in Cole’s old room? Fucks sake.”
A small smile appeared on Connor’s face at his response. His and Hank’s relationship has definitely come a long way. He once overheard Officer Chen describing to Hank that their partnership was a sort of “father and son”.
Father and Son.
Connor liked the sound of that, but at first he couldn’t shake the feeling that he’d been infringing on Cole’s memory somehow. He didn’t know how to feel about staying in Cole’s old room (even if it had been cleaned out and inevitably turned into a guest room of some sort) as well as being seen as “Hank’s new son”.
It wasn’t until Hank assured him that he could shake the unfamiliar feeling.
“Cole woulda loved ya, Connor.”
It’s the little things about Hank that make Connor realise how quickly his mood can change purely based on the actions of others.
When Hank wears a shirt that does not even remotely match his pants.
When him and Hank succeed in obtaining a confession from a suspect at the department.
When he happens to look up from his desk and catch Detective Reed’s gaze, if only for a millisecond, as the detective always immediately looks away flustered.
When examining that Hank still has breadcrumbs in his beard from lunch.
Seeing Kara and Alice once more. Though this time, under much better circumstances.
This particular emotion seemed to plague Connor frequently, mostly due to his past actions before deviating.
It was once triggered the instant Connor saw Kara and Alice many months after the whole police chase incident. He felt immense guilt and regret for how he’d so determinedly hunted them.
Kara’s grip on Alice’s hand tightened as she began to recognise who she had come face-to-face with for the first time in months.
“I’m sorry... At the time, I thought I was doing what was right. I now know I was so very wrong.”
To Connor’s surprise, it wasn’t Kara who responded. Alice’s little hand slowly let go of Kara’s grip in favour of engulfing Connor in a hesitant hug.
“I saw how you saved those androids on the news,” she said softly. Alice’s embrace weakened as she turned to meet Kara’s gaze. A silent understanding. A silent forgiveness. Kara’s gaze shifted to the taller man, a small smile on her lips.
“My name is Kara,”
Her smile was returned.
“I can feel your uncertainty, Connor”
“How is it that you’re able to figure out everyone’s internal conflicts before they realise it themselves Markus?” Connor asks, his face serious, looking out over Markus’ balcony. Markus chuckles.
“What can I say? I’m a superhero,”
Connor looks at Markus quizzically.
“Your LED has been a steady yellow, my friend.” Markus explains, gesturing towards his forehead. Connor silently turns his head back forward to glance briefly at the ground below the balcony.
“Am I happy?”
A few moments pass, Markus clearly deep in thought to find a suitable response. The autumn breeze fills the silence. Connor finally turns to meet Markus’ eyes, but he’s instead now looking over the balcony at the sunset on the edge of the horizon.
“You have friends, family, things you enjoy, right?” Markus finally asks, still clearly contemplating. “That’s what makes most happy,”
Hank, Markus, Kara, Alice, his coworkers,
Things He Enjoys?
Too many things for a concise list...
Over his thoughts, he hears the balcony door slide closed, Markus’ footsteps fading away. He feels...
As Connor looks out over Markus’ balcony at the surrounding trees and silhouette of the city framed by the sunset, a smile gradually appears upon his face.