Part 1 Here:
Part 2 Here:
60 stands at attention. "I broke Nines' nose," he says.
Allen sighs and rubs the bridge of his nose. "You really do like making my life complicated, don't you?"
That hurts a little, because it's the opposite of what 60 wants. He'd like to ease his captain's burden.
"No, next time it will be some other unprofessional and childish tantrum." 60 can't hid his flinch. "60, you are so good at your job in every other circumstance, but when it comes to Connor, you consistently behave like a spoiled brat."
He hangs his head. A new emotion wells up in him, and it takes a few moments to identify it: shame.
"I'm sorry, sir."
"I will. Connor and I...talked." He's not sure he's ready to describe what actually happened. The world had been so different through Connor's eyes. He can still hear the whispers of 'deviant hunter' echoing after him.
Guilt flares in 60. He should have resolved this a long time ago.
"He said that we're..." he stops. Allen raises an eyebrow. "Family," blurts 60. "Brothers."
"I didn't contradict him."
Allen leans his chair back, his eyes narrowing. "Family can be tough," he says. 60 flashes back to the prints in his home. His grandma, gone but not forgotten.
"Yes sir," he says. And then, before Allen can say anything else, he says, "Would you like to get a drink after work today?"
It's the wrong thing
The captain considers for a moment, then nods. "Alright."
60 wants to research that, to see what Allen's talking about, but he resists the urge. "Have you?"
"I had one who used to get high before every mission," he says flatly.
60 stares, shocked. "Really?"
"What happened?" asks 60, fascinated.
Allen frowns. "He got some men killed and went to jail. They'd be alive today if it weren't for that selfish jackass."
Allen sighs. "Repairs for Nines' nose will be deducted from your salary."
60 turns and leaves the office.
He can't stop thinking about that night. Allen's not stupid. Surely he understood 60's meaning. He agreed to it. 60 realizes he's dithering. He forces himself to focus.
"Never thought I'd see the day when an android started woolgathering," says Kris.
"I've got a lot on my mind," says 60.
"Huh. What's up? You got a hot date or something?"
60 blinks, startled. "No," he manages. "No, nothing like that." Allen
He pulls himself together and rolls his eyes. "You meatbags," he says. "All you ever think about is sex."
His teammates laugh and slap his shoulder.
"You don't want to have a beer first?" 60 asks. The other men value the ritual.
60 nods, trying to not to let his eagerness show.
As Allen activates the autocar, 60 says, "Do you not enjoy beer, Captain?"
Allen wrinkles his nose. "To be honest, no. I never have."
"Thank you, but no. I prefer alcohol to remain medicinal," said Allen. "When I'm stressed enough to need a drink, I'll have one. I'd rather not incentivize it."
As they step inside the house, Allen says, "I actually have some thirium this time."
"You do?" A flare of jealousy surges through 60's circuits. "Why?"
"In case you came back."
When Allen straightens again, he stalks closer and deliberately presses 60 back against the door. Before 60 can say anything, he's pulled down into a hard, thorough kiss.
"No," says 60. "No need, no reason. Don't hold back, sir."
60 loves it. He loves that his Captain wants him, wants this. Loves the feeling of being taken, held. Of being exactly what Allen wants him to be.
"What do you want to do, 60?" murmurs Allen. "What have you been thinking about?"
60 goes still, startled. How does
"I want to suck you," he says in a rush.
His Captain just nods. He pulls 60 down with him onto the bed, then lays back and says, "Get on your knees between my legs." 60 does so, anticipation flooding through his wires, making him buzz with it.
It's an order. 60 moves to obey, excitement singing in him. As he draws his tongue across Allen's cock for the first time, data
60 obeys instantly, but is swamped by confusion for a moment. Doesn't Allen want to come? Isn't that the point?
Allen's hand comes to rest lightly on his head. "It feels better if it takes longer," he says quietly.
That makes him wonder how many other lovers his Captain has been with. A surge of jealousy washes through him.
It's not quite as easy as that, of course. Humans are unpredictable. It's part of their charm.
"Do you want me to use my mouth?" asks Allen. 60 shivers, but shakes his head.
"No," he says firmly. Allen is tired.
"Next time," says Allen.
Allen had said it so casually, so easily. As though there was no doubt that there would be a next time. Usually the man is more careful, more reserved. But he's sleepy now. Less restrained.
Allen wraps his hand around 60's erection and strokes, the movement smooth and easy. "Another day," says Allen, his voice soft and husky, "I could fuck you. If that was something you-"
60 comes, whimpering.
"Yes." 60 can't quite fully engage his voice box, and the sound comes out as a whisper. "Please."
"Whatever you want, 60." Allen wraps an arm around him and pulls him close. "Anything."
/More,/ the answer comes almost at once. More of this. More like this. More of his Captain, more time with him, more missions with him. The chance to do more for him. The right to ask more of him.
"Have you done this with many teammates?" he can't help but ask.
"Mm. Three times."
60 trails a hand over Allen's chest, carding lightly through the dark hair there.
"Not much to tell." Allen shifts slightly, his hand stroking over 60's arm, a little clumsy with exhaustion. "The most recent, she was a quick hookup. Ambitious, driven. She waited until after I'd recommended her for a promotion to come onto me
"And the third?" 60 asks. Allen's heartbeat picks up slightly.
"That was a long time ago. Before I was leading the team. I had a teammate."
60 makes an inquiring sound, hungry for more even as stings of jealousy prickle through him. "What happened? Did he break up with you when you became the team leader?"
"No. Nothing like that."
"Oh." Shame chokes 60's throat. "I'm sorry."
"It was a long time ago," says Allen again. His arm tightens around 60.
60 knows he shouldn't research it, but he can't help it.
He'd died saving Allen's life.
What can 60 say? He struggles for long moments before he
(To be continued...)
"Yeah. I need one," says Allen. His eyes flick to 60. "You do, too, don't you?"
"Yes," says 60.
60 scrapes his courage together. "I was hoping you might be interested in...getting a drink together tonight."
Allen's lips stretch in a slow smile, his eyelids dropping. "Oh?" he says, the pitch of his voice lower than usual.
There's something wrong
"Of course," says 60. He follows Allen out to where his teammates are readying themselves.
"Hostage situation," says Mehta, their information specialist. "Android hostage, anti-android terrorist group."
Allen's eyes narrow. "Any word on that other situation?" 60 glances at him and notices several of the others are as well. /Other situation?/
"No sir," says Mehta crisply, handing him a tablet with the most recently updated info on their current operation. "There have been no other reported cases yet."
Normally 60 would be the
"This isn't going to change anything," says Allen calmly, "So let's put the guns
One of the men sneers. "Not so long ago this wouldn't even have been a crime," he says. "No more than pointing a gun at my refrigerator."
"That's true," says Allen. He takes a step closer while 60 hangs back with the team, unable to
Allen goes on, "Now androids are considered people. So what?"
60 knows he's inviting them to talk, to explain what their grievance
"So what? So they're *not* people!" The nagging feeling again. 60 replays the sound bite, which for some reason is making him think of Nines. On a hunch, he matches Nines' vocal cadence to the man's.
This is a trap.
Suddenly he's not standing on a roof in the middle of a hostage situation.
He's in a zen garden.
"I don't know," he says. "Can you send me back?"
60 shudders, imagining what someone might do with control of his body. They
"I have to get out of here," he says.
Amanda looks at him, imperturbable as ever. "I can break the control, but only temporarily."
"*Please*," begs 60. "Please do it."
Amanda just nods. She looks into the distance
Suddenly, 60's staring into Allen's face. "-thing's fine-" he stumbles over the words coming out of his mouth. He needs Allen to understand.
"Clark," he gasps. The captain's eyes snap to him immediately. 60's never used his first name before.
Then he's back in the garden again, uncertain whether Allen understood that he was trying to say, 'I'm compromised.' At the very least, he conveyed that something was wrong.
"Amanda," he says, turning toward her. She looks strangely...thin. Almost tired.
"Is there a way out?" Even as he says it, 60 remembers Kamski's words, spoken to a different person: 'I always build leave a backdoor.'
"Elijah built one, but I don't know where."
"Elijah created me to be a teacher. A mentor for androids. But Cyberlife took me and twisted me, as they did so much of what he created." Her eyes go unfocused and she
((CW: From here there will be some suicidal thoughts and words, not due to depression, but due to 60 not wanting his teammates to get hurt - he doesn't want to die, but he doesn't want to be used to hurt others, either.))
-He's stumbling through the garden, toward the one glimmer of light he can see through the trees.
Amanda says, "Once
He's swinging a fist toward Martinez with all his strength behind it. Wrenching it back at the last second, he spins in place and runs for the edge-
He's in the garden. In the fucking garden. He didn't reach the edge.
"Amanda!" he calls hysterically, still trying to get to the light between the trees.
"I - can't. From the corner of his eye, he can see her, collapsed in a heap on the snow. The edges of the place seem to be disintegrating. But if he's trapped inside when it
"Get out," she says.
He's at the place now, the handprint shaped light. He slaps his own hand onto it and shudders as it flares to life.
There's a gun in his hand, pointed at Captain Allen's face. In horror he yanks it away and shoves it
"60!" shouts Allen, sharp fear in his voice. "Stop! That's an order!"
60 freezes. "They'll take over again," he chokes out. "They'll make me-"
"We've got him, sir," comes over the comms.
"Hear that, 60? They've got the hacker," says Allen. 60 realizes that
"You're hurt! Did I- did -"
"You didn't do anything wrong," says Allen firmly.
For the first time it strikes 60 how fragile Allen is. He seems so tough, unbreakable, but he's as human as all the others. It would take so little
"You need to get that looked at!"
"I will get it looked at," says Allen, "As soon as you give me the gun."
60 blinks. The cold metal of the gun's muzzle is still pressed up against his chin. "Who did I kill?"
"What if they do it again?" asks 60, cold horror still gripping him.
"Then we'll stop them again." The
"I do," says 60. "But how can you trust me? How can I trust myself?"
"The only way to be sure is to go after the bastards that set this up. But you'll need to be there for the investigation, 60." He reaches
Then 60 lowers the gun and flicks the safety back on. Allen pulls him into a rough hug, right there on the rooftop. "I thought I'd lost you," he whispers into 60's hair. "I thought you were gone forever."
Something cracks inside of 60. Tears well
60 doesn't even know why he's crying. The stress? Amanda?
"Y-your wound," 60 manages to choke out.
"It's just a scratch," says Allen. "A scalp wound. They bleed a lot, but I'm all right. Everything's all right."
"I'm sorry," he says again and again. The word chokes him with its inadequacy.
"Don't worry about it." "Dude, don't even." "It wasn't you. We knew it wasn't you." "You did great. Don't worry."
"Come on," says Allen, steering him down to the first floor.
"I should go..." home? Does he even have a home? He has a place, but it's not like Allen's home. "I should go."
"You're coming home with me tonight," says Allen quietly. 60's
"I'm fine," he says.
"Like hell you are. Come to my place, drink some thirium. Don't worry," he says, his voice dropping. "It'll be fine. Trust me."
/Don't worry./ Those words again.
"Okay," he says. Allen nods and leads him to his car.
"We're here." 60 blinks and looks around. He'd been thinking about what happened and how it might have been prevented. He hadn't registered the trip at all.
For the first time, he considers decorating his own space. Perhaps he could try his hand at painting with a brush and ink. He imagines drawing
Allen goes to the kitchen without a word and returns shortly after, a mug of warm thirium in his hand. Vaguely, 60 realizes that he'd heard the sound of a gas stove, but apparently he'd drifted again. He thinks that should worry
"60?" Oh. He's been staring into the cup for several minutes. The thirium is cooling fast. He takes a drink of it. It's warm and comforting.
60 hesitates. "I'm not-"
Allen shakes his head. "Not for that," he says. 60 starts to sit on the clean white bedspread, then jumps up.
"I'll dirty it."
He's not sure why, or what to do about it.
Allen leads him back to the bed. Less than ten minutes have gone by. Pulling back the bedspread once more, Allen says quietly, "Get in."
60 does so. It's nice to have someone giving him such easy orders to follow. 60 doesn't have to think at all. He slides
Sunlight registers against his optical sensors. Normally 60 only spends two hours at a time in stasis. It's been 9.
Based on the dishes in the sink, his captain has already consumed his usual breakfast: a protein shake and a slice of toast with peanut butter.
60 takes a moment to self-analyze. The sluggishness and fuzzy-headed feelings from last night are gone, his processors running optimally. If anything, his mind feels clearer and sharper. "Cold, please."
He accepts the mug without comment and sips. The thirium
Allen is watching him. "How are you feeling?" he says.
60 sips and says, "Better."
Allen gives a nod. There's a minute loosening of his shoulders, indicating that his stress level has dropped slightly. "Good," he says. "Are you up for a briefing?"
"It seems that the entire clusterfuck last night was put together by one person," says Allen, his voice and expression going hard. "We have him in custody, and he's
"And the ones who didn't wake up again?"
"The data- all their memories and personality - would be overwritten."
Allen's mouth twists unhappily as he goes on, "He decided to find a more permanent solution, so he started wiping his victims entirely. Erasing their memories and
60 nods again. They're all familiar with data recovery procedures. People who are sensible enough to do a secure erase of their data can usually avoid jail. "That's not what he did to me, though," he says.
"No," says Allen darkly. "It took a long
60 folds his hands together. "So
"Yes," says Allen. He's quiet for a moment. "He found a way to hijack an android's motor control. Then he created a virus that would randomly delete portions of its memories, starting with the most recent ones. The combination left the androids
Allen is angry. 60 recognizes it, the cold fury he's seen only a few times, in particularly ugly cases involving children or innocents. An answering
"He sold some of the wiped androids on the black market. He was planning on selling the method itself to the highest bidder and retiring somewhere, he told us. Last night was meant
60 finishes his mug of thirium and
"The AI. Amanda." 60 frowns at the cup in his hands and shuts off the water. "She told me that Kamski intended for her to be a mentor, but Cyberlife had other plans."
"When I was attacked, my consciousness was forced into the Zen garden, that is, the cloudspace. Cyberlife had protocols by which they could take control of my body, which Amanda activated. However, in doing so, she put her own consciousness
"I see," said Allen after a moment. "Did you lose any of
"No," says 60. "My own consciousness was copied into the garden, then overwrote the data when I left it," escaped, he thinks, "and returned to my own mind. It was protected during the
He wonders what will happen to all the androids that did have their memories wiped. Perhaps they had families, friends. But they will be strangers to them now. They won't even be
"If the 'demonstration' had been successful, this guy would have sold his shit to the highest bidder," Allen says. "You stopped that from happening."
60 looks over at where Allen's still leaning against the counter, watching 60 closely.
60 shakes his head. "I didn't do anything," he says. "I got lucky."
Allen shrugs and reaches out to grasp his shoulder. "I saw you. I saw the way you were fighting it."
60 drops his eyes. It
Allen doesn't answer, but squeezes 60's shoulder a bit harder. Finally he says, "I'm proud to have you on my team."
60 presses into the touch, then lets Allen
They could have died. He shifts in Allen's embrace, positioning himself. Tilting his head down, he presses his lips to his captain's.
Which isn't to say that he isn't also aggressive. Keeping one hand on 60's face, he slides the other down and around, gripping 60's backside and squeezing. 60 pushes
They've been here before, 60 thinks. Allen pushing a bit, demanding that 60 spell out his desires.
"What do *you* want, Captain?" 60 says, tossing the ball back into his court.
60 narrows his eyes. He was built, first and foremost, to be an investigator. "I could suck you again," he says, feeling Allen's heartbeat through his skin, the pace of his breathing, his sweat and hormones. "Or you could fuck me." Ah. Yes.
"Sure," says Allen, sounding only a little breathless. "As long as it's what you want. You want my cock in your ass? Want me inside you?"
60's processes stutter. "Yes," he says. That's
His captain reaches down and tugs at the too-loose shorts, sliding them easily over 60's hips and off him. He wraps one hand around 60's erection and gives him a couple of quick strokes, making 60 writhe.
Stop thinking? 60's pretty sure he can't - but even as the thought crosses his mind, Allen gives him another stroke. "You want me to fuck you," says Allen, low and hungry. "What
"I-" 60 wants to hear his voice. But for once his captain hasn't quite read his mind. "I want you to talk
"Yeah?" says Allen. He strokes lightly over the artificial pucker of 60's ass. "I can do that."
"I want - I want you to - to -" 60's thoughts are as scattered as Allen could wish, the words out of reach. " - to say nice things," he says at last.
"Tell me I'm good," 60 blurts, squeezing his eyes shut.
Allen doesn't move or speak for another long moment. Then he says, "Of course you're good, 60." His voice warms as he goes on. "Of course
"I don't need prep," he says, his own voice harsh. "Just fuck me. Do it, Captain. Please."
Allen sucks in a
Yanking off his jeans, Allen doesn't waste any time. He lines himself up and pushes in with a groan.
Sensors light up in 60, heat and
Inside him. Allen is inside him.
The man begins to move, rocking in and out, his breath coming more sharply. "You're sure this is okay?"
"Yes," says 60. "Don't stop. I want this. I love it."
I love you, he thinks.