It was a mistake, a part of his routine that had gotten so normal it was in his high priority programming. When he catches himself doing it he physically stutters, like a glitch shocked through his system. Hand outstretched with the pristine white coffee cup, a clean elegant gift he had gotten Gavin for his birthday two years ago. He had cussed about how plain and stupid the mug was, yet insisted on using it everyday anyways. The one time he was served coffee in another cup he stomped into the break room to pour the drink into the 'right' cup.
He stares, processing the hot instant coffee in his hand. He knew he didn't need to do this anymore. He… Shouldn't do this anymore. He blinks, drawing the cup in and pressing it to his chest. It's warm, like Gavin was. He does a little jolt again, and coffee spills against his pristine cyberlife uniform. It's hot now, splashed against his chest, hot like Gavin's blood.
Two steps behind him, a miscalculation. A gunshot, then two more, a splattering of red, Gavin's blood on his chest. A human shield. He pulls out his own gun, fires three bullets, eyes narrowed and aim true. He doesn't make sure they're down permanently before he's next to Gavin, its code, your own safety above all else. But he doesn't care. All he cares about is the blood, Gavin gasping, cursing, groaning in pain.
There are three bullets that hit his body, one just grazed his shoulder, another is in the center of his other shoulder, both are liveable-The third is close to his heart, far more hazardous. He presses his hands against the worst one, earning a yelp of pain. Gavin clutches his wrist, eyes erratic as they meet his. "Phhhhuck." He lets out a long curse, writhing around. He pushes harder, receives a glare and a moan of agony. "N-not gonna say nothin? That bad, huh?" He asked, fear creeping into his voice. He hadn't even realized he was silent. He was too busy running through evaluations, because a 27% survival rate was far too low.
His teeth chatter, his led spinning yellow then red then yellow. "Gavin." He says his name, there's no comfort to offer. He's a realist, he always had been. Empty comfort wasn't his style. If Connor were here he would have Gavin calm, not terrified. He was supposed to be a superior model, the best android the world had ever seen, but he couldn't even comfort his lover as he died. "Gavin." He repeats, lamely, tears in his eyes. Stupid, weak tears. He had never cried before, not once, yet here he is, when Gavin needs him most. Pathetic. "I love you." He was telling him he was dying in a roundabout way, because statistically he was going to. The ambulance wouldn't be here on time, even if they were there was no guarantee. For the first time in many years he feels entirely lost.
Gavin groans, eyes shutting as he begins to cry, from pain or emotion he didn't know. He didn't want to know what he looked like as he died either, but he wanted to watch, to remember and savour every last moment he had with him "Phuckin shit… I love you too Nines." He knew it already, but hearing it from him was always different. He was so emotionally reserved, such blunt affection was hard to draw out of him. "Take… Take care of Muffin for me." He added hoarsely, the image of their small feline causing the tears to finally escape.
"You have a 27…." He pauses, a low panic entering him as the number flickers. "A 24% chance of survival." He says, desperately keeping eye contact. "Stay awake, you can take care of Muffin yourself." Gavin will never see Muffin again. He checks his GPS, 7.45 minutes until the ambulance arrives.
Gavins eyelids flutter, and he makes a low dying moan. He looks so pale… Three gunshot wounds would do that to anybody. He leans closer, pressing his lips against Gavins, he barely reciprocates, but his hand twitches like he wants to hold him. He's settling into his deathbed rapidly, Nine's can't save him. He pulls away his blood soaked hand and grasps Gavin's, squeezing. He pulls away from the kiss "I love you." He starts, and then he's repeating it, a mantra he holds onto and continues after Gavin takes his final stuttering breath. A mantra he holds onto as paramedics pull him away, as Connor arrives and takes his rocking form into his and apologises over and over and over again.
A mantra he holds onto as he stares at the half spilled coffee cup, splashes of coffee cooling on his clothes. He pauses, lip quivering as he escapes his head and quiets his voice. He removes the cup from his chest and reenters the bullpen, making his way over to his desk. The empty desk across from his is a reminder of his failure as both a partner and a cop. He sets the cup on his desk, pristine white edges lines with drying streaks of coffee.
He went into his files, preparing to delete the two he would no longer need. His daily work routine, making Gavin coffee to start his day. Deleted. Easy, painless, priorities reorganized, his day now has a few extra minutes. The second was harder, he couldn't just delete 'I', 'Love', and 'You' from his vocabulary. They were commonly spoken words, he needed to know and understand them. He searches a moment, until he creates a program instead. The words "I love you" when in sequential order blocked from his voice box directly, attempting to say them would only make him look like a gaping fish. But he didn't think that would be a problem, the only person he would ever say those words to was dead.
He blinks back to reality, stares at his terminal before interfacing with it, opening the most urgent cases and beginning his first day back to work. Worried eyes pass him over but he doesn't care, he is an android, he is a machine.