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Two years have flown by! Thank you Guest for being a part of our community! We are so happy with how much our little flower has grown.

 Male x Male  Fandom  One x One Roleplay Set it Right

Discussion in 'Roleplay Execution' started by Entrust, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. Entrust

    Entrust Well-Known Member Member

    Messages:
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    Local Time:
    4:19 PM
    When Hank saw that smile slip away, he knew he shouldn't have opened his mouth. He could've saved his questions for later, or not asked them at all. For the entirety of the time they'd been reunited, his curiosity had a habit of landing them in a bad place, but Connor had asked, and for some reason or another it felt harder to keep things quiet. He hung onto every word in reply as they fell from Connor's lips, and the final admission had him staring in surprise for an amount of time he couldn't be sure of.

    "Hey," was the first thing to rise from the back of his throat once he rediscovered his voice. The same hand he'd previously had placed over Connor's moved to the android's forearm, fingers snaking their way into a light hold to try and gather up his attention again. Letting go the last time turned out to be rather pointless. Hank knew the importance of letting Connor finish his work and that all he'd been doing was slowing him down, but the conversation had very quickly become its own kind of important. Maybe he just needed to look Connor in the eye while everything replayed itself in his head.

    "You took a lot of lives, Connor. There's nothing out there that'll change that," while he doubted it was what Connor wanted to hear, it was something he needed to say, "but you did save mine. For fuck's sake, you just said you were afraid of dying and you did it anyway!" Really, Hank should have been thanking him, even though it'd left him unsettled seeing Connor come back - further evidence of his nature, that at one point he was able to achieve something impossible for humans, impossible for Cole. As much as Hank used to spin the cylinder of his revolver and have the barrel rest against his temple, as much as he'd carelessly drink himself into oblivion and try eating his way to a heart attack, he was too much of a coward at the time to intentionally go all the way with it. Every attempt was left to chance, and even back when he'd dangled from the roof at Urban Farms where all he'd needed to do was let go, he was just a little too afraid when he knew he'd succeed. It didn't change the truth, that out of all those people in the hallway at Stratford Tower, people who might have had wives or husbands or sons and daughters to go back to, people with longer lives ahead of them than he had left, he knew he didn't deserve being saved more than any of them.

    He chose to vocalize as much after a hard sigh escaped him, "I was the last person in that hall worth saving, and we sure as shit weren't even on good terms." There was no bite behind saying it, no anything other than what it was: just a simple fact being shared. He wasn't in a good place at the time and neither was their relationship. Hearing Connor had made his sacrifice willingly and not because of orders messed with his original concerns, and suddenly he was almost unsure whether he should still feel relieved that it wasn't something out of Connor's control when it meant he could easily do the same thing all over again if it came to it.

    Hank could clearly recall reaching down, feeling a sense of distress even through all their arguing and what may as well have been something akin to hate to roll Connor over, limp and lifeless under his hands. He remembered hating what it felt like because of why it happened, remembered what it was like not knowing Connor would just show back up again as though he hadn't just died. He also remembered the differences compared to later on, when Conan first made an appearance and Hank was told Connor wouldn't be coming back. It was easier to accept when he didn't know what happened, when it wasn't his fault Connor wouldn't be around. Thinking he could've ever felt that way seemed wrong after the last day they spent together, and the only thing he'd be able to take away from the whole situation to ease the feeling was that believing Connor was gone never actually made him happy. Looking him in the eye after all the changes he'd shown would've been much more difficult if it had.

    Hank noticed his hold had grown the slightest bit tighter, and while he did wonder if it would have been better to retract it instead as he'd done in the moments before, he ultimately decided not to that time around. Connor could have easily pulled away on his own if he wanted, Hank wasn't about to go that far.

    "Why the hell did you do it? No matter how many times I run it through my head, it still doesn't make sense."
     
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  2. SerinaBloom

    SerinaBloom Just a Mask Member

    Messages:
    477
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    2:19 PM
    Connor could feel the heavy silemce lingering between them and once again began wondering if he had said something wrong. His fingers continued to type away, clearing the first portion of the computer's electronic finger print. He might have to stay up late to finish this. He could finish half and save the rest for tomorrow but he couldn't risk it. With Conan on the case time was an extremely important factor.

    He was stopped again when Hank spoke once more and grabbed his arm. He looked up from his work and turned to face him. The expression on his face was not one Connor expected to see. He looked like he was lost somewhere between grateful and confused. Connor was attentive to every word as Hank spoke, ruminating on them after he had paused and tightened his grip slightly.

    He was right. There were probably many other people I'm that hallway who would have greatly benefited from being saved. Connor felt a bit bad about not being able to save all those people. He could have been faster. he could have made better decisions. Still, he did not regret saving Hank. Not for a moment. Even if Hank didn't agree, Connor felt he deserved to live just as much as anyone else in that hallway had. Sure, he didn't have any family left, and his work at the DPD still wasn't pleasant as it could be (though that could be asking for a lot being a cop in Detroit), but he was still doing good, and in a way he had turned his life around and found a new purpose. A new reason to keep on going. He didn't drink nearly as much as he used to and Connor could tell that Hank wasn't using the gun for Russian roulette anymore. If he hadn't saved him in that hall way, then Hank would never have had the chance to do all these things. Finally it was Hank's turn to ask a question and Connor wasn't prepared for it. His as were searching and he glanced to the side for a moment as he tried to think of an answer that sounded plausible. After a moment or two he started speaking with a bit of uncertainty.

    "Even now, I can't say exactly why I did it. I just know that I don't regret it...I had what back then i thought was just a software instability. I saw all of my options laid out in front of me and I decided to save you, because i didn't want to see you die. Something in me just said it wouldn't be right. I couldn't even think about what would happen if you died and I had to continue the case without you. I know we weren't getting along back then, not even a little bit, but I didn't want to do the case alone and I didn't want to do it with anyone but you. I guess deep down, even if I didn't act that way, I saw you as a friend. As my partner."
     
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  3. Entrust

    Entrust Well-Known Member Member

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    Ever since he'd shown up again, Connor really had a way of surprising Hank. It left his head spinning with more feelings than he knew what to do with.

    "That's a hell of a bomb to drop on somebody," he admitted, finding himself momentarily lost on what else he could say. It'd been a long time since someone was that sincere with him on a personal level.

    Despite having seen Connor express more emotion over the past day than most people showed in years, Hank wasn't sure he'd been capable of feeling much at all before he became deviant with the way he'd presented himself, no matter how buried it was - and in regards to a washed up old cop, no less. Even if some part of Connor really did see him as a friend while they worked together, Hank couldn't exactly lie and say he felt the same. He wanted to. He tried to, once he started to realize there was more to androids than he thought, but maybe he hadn't tried hard enough. Too many things factored in with every choice Connor made, and near the end of their partnership, being friends seemed like an impossibility. If the relationship between them had been much worse, if Hank had managed to lose hope all together? His eyes found themselves seeking out the revolver that'd been set aside. He had a pretty good idea of where he'd be.

    Maybe Connor hadn't realized the meaning behind his choice at the time, but it would've made a world of difference for them both if he at least made the attempt to, if he could have shown that side of himself more. But fear was a strong motivator, one Connor admitted to being influenced by, and Hank had said it himself: not wanting to die was a normal thing. His negative side reminded him that other people died because of that fear. He knew Connor choosing to save him should have meant something good in its own right, that him having done anything selfless at all back then deserved some kind of heavy impact. For one fleeting moment, Connor had let himself act on feeling in a time when he'd have sworn he had none. It was a good thing. It was the fact that it didn't happen anywhere else that was the problem, that Hank had somehow become an exception, a priority over other lives. A priority over Connor's.

    It was something that made him a hypocrite, considering that the first thing he'd done after coming home was push Connor into drinking thirium that could've been shared with other deviants who needed it more. The realization still wasn't enough to stop him from asking, "What about how I felt, Connor?" He turned back to level the android with a stare. "You never gave that any thought, did you?" It wasn't an accusation, though maybe it had reason to be.

    "No one told me you'd come back. Saving my life was one thing, but dying to do it was a shitty decision."
     
  4. SerinaBloom

    SerinaBloom Just a Mask Member

    Messages:
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    "Yeah, I know."

    Connor seemed a bit embarrassed by his deeply honest admission. It had sounded so cheesy and implied that Connor had a deep seated care for the police lieutenant even back then. It had been something he had felt he wasn't aloud to act on, that CyberLife would take notice of him going against orders and failing to focus on the mission by getting closer to Hank. In a way he had convinced himself that keeping his distance from Hank would help keep him safe and away from CyberLife's attention. He didn't want him to become a target. Of course that had just been another excuse. He shouldn't have been so scared, but he had been nothing more that a coward and a hypocrite back then. He still was in some ways, but he made a promise to himself to over come those things. Connor continued typing away at the key board as yet another prolonged silence hung between them. He had enjoyed the calm silent moment the two of them had shared this morning, but now it seemed heavy and laden with unanswered questions and unspoken thoughts. It made Connor uncomfortable and he wished that Hank would speak up more quickly, lay everything out on the table all at once so that he could explain himself and get over the past in fell swoop. Of course it would never be that easy. The past wasn't that easily forgotten.

    Connor thought he'd feel relief when Hank spoke again, hoping to hear something positive in response to his confession. It turned out to be more questions. More question probing into his psyche wanting to know the why behind everything he'd done. He could feel Hank's heavy stare boring into the side of his head and he was too nervous to stare back, having discovered just how powerful the effect Hank's expressions and his voice had on him. He's already admitted to a lot of things and taking the blame for them as well. He wasn't about to stop now.

    "What I didn't wasn't fair on you, I know. I should have let you know that if anything happened to me that everything would be okay, but I didn't think it would ever come up or be a problem for you. I thought wrong, but I did it because I knew that I would be okay. There's only one of you Hank, but there were plenty of me. I, or my body at least, was expendable. That isn't the case anymore though. I promise I won't be making reckless decisions like that."
     
  5. Entrust

    Entrust Well-Known Member Member

    Messages:
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    Hank would've rather met Connor eye-to-eye for that particular conversation to get a clearer view of his face and anything it may have revealed, but he couldn't find it in himself to be disappointed that Connor wouldn't look his way. He did suppose he was already expecting too much. Connor had seemed like he'd been unsure of himself the whole time Hank drilled him with questions, too much like the police lieutenant and too little like the man behind the badge, the one he'd forgotten how to be. Admissions were difficult, and emotions on their own were something Connor never had enough time to fully embrace. With everything he'd already said that morning, there was no one else he'd really had the chance to express them to. Hank would be the first to say he wasn't the best person someone should pour their heart out to, he was either too hard or too awkward when it came to personal issues, but for Connor, those issues involved him and he did ask.

    When Connor replied, Hank realized that maybe he'd pushed a little too much. His stare eased away to somewhere in front of him and he leaned further into the back of the couch, forcing his muscles to loosen any tension. "Good," he breathed in response, "I don't want to see that again." Witnessing Connor die and being the reason for it ranked pretty high on his list of bad memories, even with the dysfunctional relationship they had at the time. It bothered him, more now than it did before. "And no one is fucking expendable, I don't give a shit how many bodies you had. You try watching a partner die pulling your ass out of the fire and see how often it plays on fucking repeat even if they do come back."

    Hank sighed and lifted a hand to brush it through his hair, thick fingers catching the strands at the front, pulling them away from where they'd gathered in his face. He supposed it was his turn to delve a little deeper into his side of things regarding the past. He'd been trying to push it off, meanwhile Connor was nothing but open with him. Hank hadn't exactly come off as accepting, and he was stumped on what he could say to calm Connor's worries so maybe a few admissions of his own would at least put them on some kind of even ground. It was also possible he'd just end up making a fool out of himself. Either way, it was reluctantly settled upon. "The way things were before..." He closed his eyes as though he'd find the words to say written on the backs of his lids. "I made it clear at the time how things were on my end. I'm not just talking about the beginning when I hated androids, that's on me for bein' a clueless prick." He still had a lot to learn about androids, but at the time he had no way of knowing they were actually alive. Or, maybe he did and he'd just blinded himself to it. "Seeing all those deviants... how most of 'em just wanted to be treated like people?" He thought of Markus and his peaceful attempt to free his species, then the Tracis, who were only interested in being able to love each other, the sort of love most humans never care enough to find. Hank reopened his eyes and let his fingers untangle from his hair. "I kept hoping you'd end up being like them, but nothing I did helped with that."

    He hesitated, understanding why Connor wasn't able to meet his eyes earlier the moment he discovered a difficulty in peeling his gaze away from the table in front of them. Eventually it did tear itself from the furniture to make a beeline back to Connor. "I didn't see us as friends, Connor, 'cause I gave up on thinking we could be." There was an underlining apology in there somewhere that weighed heavy in the wake of everything Connor had admitted about his own feelings earlier. It had been easy to be angry with him at the time and Hank had every reason to after so many deviants had gotten killed, but back then he had no way to know what Connor was dealing with. It wouldn't be honesty if Hank said the explanation didn't have him wondering if he couldn't have done more. "You must've cared more than I did if you really felt..." his voice trailed off, not quite able to repeat any of what he'd been told. He still found himself at a loss, how was he supposed to respond to an admission like that?

    "A lot of shit's changed," he felt he needed to add before he got too wrapped up in his line of thinking. His eyes shifted away again, and he rubbed a hand through his beard to distract himself. "Deviancy is a hell of a thing. I don't know if saying it'll mean anything, but you're, uh. A lot nicer to talk to than you were. Easier to get along with." He was also easier to get close to physically, as their early morning interactions had proved. That memory wasn't very useful in making him feel less awkward.
     
  6. SerinaBloom

    SerinaBloom Just a Mask Member

    Messages:
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    Glancing to the side Connor chanced a look at Hank. This was definitely starting to feel like an interrogation. He never thought he'd be on the other side of that experience though talking to Amanda some times felt like that. The situation made him a bit tense. He was still getting a firm grasp on his emotions and didn't quiet understand what all of them were yet. Fear was an emotion he understood all too well. He felt sadness as well when he thought about his future outside of Detroit. He had experienced happiness for the first time that morning with Hank when they sat together in bed. He wouldn't tell him that though. It was too embarrassing.

    There were so many emotions that he had yet to experience as well. Anger was something he had yet to encounter and he hoped he'd never have to. He'd heard so many times stories of androids falling in love. He'd seen it first hand with the Tracis'. He wondered if he'd ever get to feel that. If he did, would he deserve it?

    His attention shifted when Hank started speaking once more, this time he actually looked at him. Now Hank wasn't looking at him in a surprising twist. His words expressed how he had felt seeing him in that moment. Even if they hadn't gotten along something about his death had made him feel...something. It was hard to tell with Hank. He never knew how he would react to certain words and behaviors. It made him happy to hear him say that he never thought of him as expendable. He knew then and knew now how he would feel seeing Hank that way. Hank was irreplaceable. He knew Hank wasn't the best at sharing and when he did he wasn't very good at expressing them properly. Still, even with his awkward way of expression high thoughts, Connor still really appreciated Hank trying to make their exchange balanced by being open the same way he had been.

    He thought about what Hank was saying. He had seen how the deviants behaved and how deep down he really wanted to be a part of them. He had wanted to be freed from his fear, but that same fear held him back from doing so. He thought of Daniel, Rupert, the Tracis....Markus. God he wish he had taken the opportunity to talk to him. He wish he had taken that opportunity to deviate sooner. He remembered the time the had spent together before either of them had even been released from the testing labs at CyberLife. Back then they had been the only RK units in existence. They were almost like brothers, certainly more so than Conan ever would be. Sadly he had chosen to be both of their enemies, when he could have been Markus' ally at the very least. Hank had wanted that for him and he let him down in so many ways.

    "I wish I could have been better to you then. I wish I could have been better to a lot of people..." He paused a moment to gather his thoughts again. "I didn't give you much reason to think we could be friends and I'm sorry for that, but I'll make sure from now on to be a better friend."

    He looked to Hank with a smile, hoping to wrap up the topic on a happy note.
     
  7. Entrust

    Entrust Well-Known Member Member

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    Hank turned back to Connor with a softening expression. The words may as well have been a promise. Friends. Even after they'd met back up, Hank wasn't sure that was the sort of status they'd ever achieve with the past they had behind them. A part of him was amazed by it, by everything he'd seen that day, by the conversation they were having. Connor may have left his fellow deviants in a bad place before he'd allowed himself the freedom to change, but he couldn't be hated for the person he'd eventually become. He wasn't the only one who'd done terrible things he'd grown to regret, and he wouldn't be the last. As long as he kept going the way he was, maybe he could at least make a difference in other lives. Good ones.

    The idea that he and Hank could have something Connor's fear wouldn't let them before was a pleasant thought, one that found itself being weighed down by the knowledge Connor would eventually disappear the moment he was out of Detroit. Being friends would make that absence hurt more, something that was a concern Hank could've easily vocalized and probably should have, but there was a lot of difficulty in doing so the longer he stared at the offered smile. He'd managed to wipe the expression away at least a few times with bad news and negativity, and with everything they'd just discussed, he wasn't sure he wanted to - wasn't sure he'd be able to - let it happen again.

    Hank tried to bury the doubts and the worry and any bad that would eventually come. He wanted to focus on what he'd felt hearing Connor's admissions earlier, on the moments of shared happiness that morning, and on Connor's current eagerness to build something new between them. Maybe he could do that. Maybe he could take every ounce of good while he was still able to before the tide started to roll in. Connor could act as an outlet, be the source of positivity he would and did desperately need. He'd miss him more than he thought he would once he was able to help get him out.

    There was a slight twitch at the corner of Hank's mouth that he allowed to grow into a smile, smaller than the last time but equally sincere. "What the hell, better late than not at all." With the admissions already out in the open, his confidence found itself beginning to lift back to normal levels, easing away concerns and uncertainty little by little. Enough for him to be compelled by the moment to reach out with a hand and muss up those soft dark strands he'd been toying with that morning. He reminded himself to be careful, to not linger too long or overstep any boundaries the way he nearly had before on reckless impulse; an impulse he realized hadn't actually gone away. He still didn't understand where it came from or why it stayed.

    His hand retracted, and he inhaled deeply. He could sense the familiar rise of his heartbeat pulse in his chest. All things considered, he felt good. He really wanted it to stay that way.
     
  8. SerinaBloom

    SerinaBloom Just a Mask Member

    Messages:
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    Connor couldn't help smiling more widely as he received sighs of a positive response from Hank. Moments ago he had felt the weight of negative thoughts weighing on him, but just as easily as they had come they were starting to fade away. The tension was leaving his body and both he and Hank were starting to relax. He had meant everything he said. He knew that their time together would be short, and soon he would have to leave Hank and Detroit behind, but he wanted to make sure he was leaving good memories and emotions behind with him. Many people would resent him, but when Hank though of him he wanted him to leave out all the bad memories between them and have something he could smile about later.

    Seeing Hank smile, small as it was put a lightness in Connor's chest. He couldn't quite describe it, but it made him happy and that was what mattered. It made him glad that Hank wanted to have the chance to become friends as well. At least he was not alone in that. As he reached out to touch Connor's hair he didn't shy way from it and once it was there he actually leaned his head towards his hand. The light feeling in his chest grew and his smile brightened as Hank mussed up his hair, putting it out of place for once. He really enjoyed the physical contact more than he thought he would. When Hank took away his hand he kind wished he wouldn't, but he couldn't say that allowed. He sighed softly after the moment passed and turned reluctantly back to the laptop. He had gotten so distracted that he hadn't made as much progress as he wanted. Still it was good to have that talk with Hank. They both needed it to get some heavy emotions off their chests. Beginning to type away one again, Connor spoke up after a short pause.

    "I think I'll stay up late and try and get half way through this cleaning process. You don't have to wait on me if you don't want to. You'll need to get some proper rest tonight. I promise I won't over work myself. I'll come to bed as soon as I'm done with the first half."
     
  9. Entrust

    Entrust Well-Known Member Member

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    Hank could've sworn he felt a pleasant tingle along the palm of his hand before and after he'd pulled it away, a feeling that traveled up the length of his arm and across his torso. He almost wanted to fight against his better judgement to reach back out and bury his fingers where something seemed to insist they belong, but the part of him that had better sense managed to resist the temptation, and Connor's voice pulled his attention away from any physical cravings. He wasn't wrong, rest would be a good idea considering all the shit they had on their plates. They also wouldn't be ending their conversation on a bad note either, so that could be marked down as a success in his book.

    "You know I'll be holdin' you to that," he said, referring to Connor not over working himself and how soon he planned to follow the lieutenant to bed. Hank gave a soft groan as he pushed his weight off the cushions and stretched to his full height, his joints popping along the way. He took only a few steps before pausing near the arm of the couch, briefly contemplating before he faced Connor again, "On second thought, why don't you bring the laptop with you and keep an old man company before he passes out?" If he wanted to be completely honest with himself, it probably wouldn't take long at all after everything he'd dealt with at the precinct and everything he knew he would have to deal with up to and even after they found out whether or not Connor's plan worked.

    "C'mon," he spoke up again as he began to move toward the bedroom, "the typing's not gonna bother me, and I won't see the light from the screen with my eyes fucking closed." He made a turn to pass through the doorway, where entering the room unsurprisingly revealed a rather lazy Saint Bernard still spread out over the sheets. Hank wasted very little time in habitually stripping off any extra layers until he was down to a simple t-shirt and boxers, not at all dissimilar to how Connor had found him once. It was more comfortable that way and he was still covered, besides, why the fuck should he care when Connor had already dragged his drunken ass half way across the house like that?

    Immediately after discarding the clothes into a heap on the floor, he was practically throwing himself down onto his side of the mattress. Sumo, who'd already been awake, huffed at the jiggling of the bed and received a few tired but apologetic pets in response.
     
  10. SerinaBloom

    SerinaBloom Just a Mask Member

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    "Alright, so long as I'm not a bother."

    Connor picked up the laptop and the external hard drive from the table and stood to follow Hank back to the room. On his way he made sure to turn off the lights in the house so they wouldn't be a bother. Once that was done he walked into the bedroom, finding Hank already in bed with Sumo. He smiled at the sight and happily moved over to the bed and made room for himself next to Hank and Sumo. Dump shifted himself over to the bottom of the bed, giving the two of them more space to sleep. Connor propped himself up against the head board and went right back to typing.

    He glanced at Hank now and then to make sure that he wasn't keeping him awake, but after some time he could hear the subtle change n his breathing that indicated that he had fallen asleep. Not long after that, Connor finished his work up to the point he promised he would. He'd have to finish the other half of it tomorrow. He leaned over and set the laptop on the bedside table, plugging it in so that the files could continue to download onto the hard drive over night. It would save a bit of waiting time the next day. After that, he lied down and made himself comfortable before going into sleep mode for the night.

    Connor expected to only be met with darkness that he had become accustomed to when he slept, but this time there was something different about it. There was a heaviness to the air around him and it was very off putting. Suddenly he felt he had a form and when he looked down he was dressed in his old CyberLife uniform, but when he looked around he saw nothing. He was starting to hear what at first he thought was the wind, but it soon became clear to him that they were whispers. He couldn't hear what they were saying and he was starting to feel a bit of panic.

    "What? What are you saying? I can't hear you!..."

    At his insistence the voices only got louder until they were a disturbing cacophony in his head. He groaned as he felt something akin to a head ache.

    "No! You're too loud!..Just...Just speak one at a time!"

    "Okay Connor."

    The voices suddenly went silent and one voice cut through the silence. It was deep and familiar and Connor's eye went wide as he faced the person it belonged to. He was met with tan skin and piercing blue and green eyes.

    "Markus...how are you here?"

    "I'm here to talk to you Connor. You think you could get rid of me that easily?"

    "You can't really be here. I-I" Connor found himself backpedaling slowly away from Markus and his thirium pump was beating more quickly.

    "You killed many more people than just me."

    Connor felt his back run into something when he turned around he saw the two Tracis standing there, holding hands and stained with blue blood. He gasped in shock and turned back to Markus, finding the other members of Jericho standing beside and around him. Before he could do anything about it Connor was surrounded on all sides by the deviants who had fallen in the revolution.

    "We're here to make sure you pay for all the innocent lives you took."

    All of the deviants started taking steps towards him and fear was etched into his body as he realized what was happening.

    "No, stop! I didn't want to do it! I'm sorry!"

    Several hands began grasping at him and pulling him in all directions. The strain on his body felt so real it was frightening. He continued to scream out for mercy as they continued pulling him apart. Just before the end came, Connor found himself bolt up in bed with Sumo and Hank beside him. He was breathing heavily and this thirium pump was working over time until it slowly settled back into stasis mode. He gripped the sheets at his side and looked at the clock seeing he had barely been asleep for more than a few hours.

    "What...was that?..."
     
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  11. Entrust

    Entrust Well-Known Member Member

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    Hank waited until Connor had fully settled himself in before he'd finally allowed his eyes to droop shut. Just as he'd said, the typing from deft android fingers didn't come off as a bother, but instead seemed more like a gentle reminder that he wasn't alone. Before Connor, he'd come very close to forgetting how comforting that feeling could be, and he wasn't looking forward to when it would disappear all over again.

    As he figured, it wasn't long before he'd managed to drift off to the reaches of sleep. Somewhere there were captured dreams that played one at a time, unraveling like film rolls behind his lids only to erase themselves from memory the moment each one came to a finish. It wasn't a restless slumber like the many he'd had before, and the chances were surprisingly high it would've continued on like that if he hadn't suddenly found himself jerked back to reality by the movement at his side.

    Hank shot up in an instant with a startled shout, hair flying and head spinning as he nearly kicked Sumo by complete accident thanks to the bolt out of the blue he'd just received. His first thought was that someone had broken in, maybe an officer or maybe even Conan. Instinct almost made him dive for his gun, but the lack of barking from Sumo and no other presence in the room but the three of them confirmed that wasn't the case. He could feel his heart racing, his nerves still set alight with concern.

    He heaved out a hard breath, head turning to gawk at the body sitting up beside him. "What the fuck, Connor?"

    The closer he looked, the more easily Hank could see the telltale signs of a trauma in his posture and the way he clutched at the sheets with breathing that came even heavier than his own. They were all things that he'd become accustomed to responding to when Cole used to wake up in a sweat during stormy nights. Hank extended one hand first, clasping it over the shoulder closest to him. "Hey," the volume of his voice dropped several octaves, softening into something that only sought to draw in Connor's attention. Hank remembered wondering what it was that happened whenever a deviant would get their rest, what they saw or didn't see, but he didn't actually know they could have their own nightmares. From the expression Connor wore as well as the horrified tumble of words Hank had only just begun to register, maybe Connor didn't either.

    So, what did that mean?

    Hank added a little pressure to his hold, a small way to insist Connor face him more directly as his vocal cords attempted the same, "Connor, c'mon and look at me." His other arm stretched itself further than the first, reaching around Connor's front so that his hand could find purchase on the opposite shoulder, any concerns he had about overstepping again with physical proximity now far out of his mind in the midst of something that carried such a seriousness to it. There were dozens of questions that threatened to escape his throat, a need to find some sort of clarity, but how could he ask when Connor was just as confused?

    "Say something," he settled for instead, plucking only a single query from the batch when he added, "What'd you see?"
     
  12. SerinaBloom

    SerinaBloom Just a Mask Member

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    Connor could still feel all the circuits in his head firing off in rapid succession, all trying to understand what he had just seen. For a short period of time he was feeling numb to must of his surroundings. He hardly even registered Hank's voice as he shouted at him. It almost felt like he wasn't there. A second ago he had been somewhere completely different and now he was back here. In Hank's room. That thought seemed to give him comfort and his senses were started to come back to him.

    He felt a hand on his shoulder and he turned his head, seeing Hank sat up beside him with a worried look on his face. Oh no he'd woken him up. Over something that wasn't real. it couldn't have been real. It had all been in his head. Was this what humans called nightmares? He'd been given information about what they were like but he never thought, even after deviating, that he would ever experience on. It was...so frightening. He swallowed thickly on nothing and his breathing came back down to a more normal rate. Feeling Hank's hands on both his shoulders now as he turned his body to face his made him feel a bit more grounded than he had a moment ago. He wasn't hurt, he wasn't in danger, he was safe. He was still shaken by those images though.

    Finally when Hank's question came he didn't know how to answer. He wasn't sure how to explain what he'd seen and he wasn't sure that he wanted to. Recalling it would be like recalling a memory. It would replay with perfect clarity in his mind. Most human didn't remember their dream or even their nightmares. Connor didn't have that luxury. A crease formed between his brows as he closed his eyes and gathered his thoughts with a heavy breath.

    "I...It was dark. I thought it was going to be like my normal sleep cycle. I started hearing voices...and they were so loud and they wouldn't stop. I could barely hear myself think. Then...Markus was there. I didn't...."

    Connor paused again, unsure of how to continue. Talking about Markus, even a false one he was just seeing in his sleep wasn't easy for him.

    "Everyone was there in a second. They were all around me and I couldn't get away. I tried to explain, but then they started pulling on me...It felt so real..."

    Connor couldn't describe the emotions he had felt in he dream. it was fear, but it had been more intense than that. What emotion was more intense than fear? His head was lowered as he tried to comprehend it.
     
  13. Entrust

    Entrust Well-Known Member Member

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    Hank couldn't have recalled the first time he had a nightmare of his own if he tried. It was left far behind all the years that had passed by since, buried too deep to ever pull back to the surface, but he understood their cruelty like the old enemies they were. The manifestation of someone or thing tied to real events only served to make the impact hit home like an explosion, from the fear to sorrow, to regret and guilt. Hank had become acutely aware that the amount of those emotions Connor had on his shoulders would've been enough to weigh down the whole fucking planet. It showed in his struggle to find the right words to describe what he'd seen, and Hank started to wonder if it had been wrong of him to ask, to make him reflect on whatever kind of hellscape had played out behind his eyelids. He'd never seen Connor that scared before, and he'd be lying if he said it wasn't starting to scare him too.

    Even after the recounting of the nightmare, his hands held firm where they were, hoping that Connor had at least found some kind of comfort in their presence and the realness they provided. The mention of Markus and the others suggested the nightmare was tied to his regret, unsurprising considering that Connor as a deviant had never hesitated to berate himself over everything he'd done to them. The way his mind had chosen to display it made Hank's skin crawl just imagining it, and androids were supposed to have perfect memory. It was something that spoke of just how much worse it must have been for Connor, and the expression it left on his face had something horrible twisting in Hank's gut.

    "Listen, all the regret you've been carrying around has your head workin' against you."

    Emotions always screw everything up,
    was something he remembered telling Connor early into their time working together. Hard to believe something that had the potential to do so much good could turn around and cause a lifetime's worth of harm at the blink of an eye. Hank could recollect every last nightmare connected to Cole's passing, the blame and the hatred and the hurt all bottled up into vivid imagery that haunted him for years, only occasionally silenced by a dangerous amount of booze. He couldn't just tell Connor it would all go away and he'd never have to deal with something like it again. For all Hank knew, it was just the start.

    "Right now, you're back home," he tried to soothe away the fear with a different set of words, knowing damn well how fruitless it still was. Connor needed the friend he was supposed to be, not just an earful of shit that wouldn't do much good on its own. One of his hands worked itself up to the back of Connor's head where it pulled him forward into Hank's shoulder, while the opposite was relocated to press over Connor's back. "It's you, me and Sumo. Anyone lookin' to hurt you is gonna have a hell of a time doing it." Hank had been where Connor was in his own way, forced to face something that embedded itself too deep to get away from, and it just made him wish he was capable of doing more. What Connor was dealing with wasn't something that could be swatted away, it wasn't some child's dream of scary monsters, it was bound to past mistakes. Maybe time would be the only cure, or maybe he wouldn't find a cure at all.
     
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  14. SerinaBloom

    SerinaBloom Just a Mask Member

    Messages:
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    Another silence hung between them and this time he wasn't so bothered by it. Instead it was a relief from the constant noise he had been exposed to in his nightmare. He took a moment to recompose himself. He thought about what he could do and figured there was always the options of deleting the nightmare from his memory. That would only be a temporary solution though if it ended up happening again. Still, it would be a momentary relief.

    He listened, looking up slightly as he was being spoken to by Hank. He knew that his sense of guilt and regret was holding him back from moving forward, It wasn't like he could just act like it never happened though. It wouldn't be right. Having Hank there for him made it easier though. He gave him hope that he could someday move on and become someone better than he used to be. He just had to find out who that person was and how he would get there.

    He was surprised to hear Hank refer to his home as Connor's as well. It...actually felt rather nice. He couldn't say he'd ever had a home before. Sharing one with Hank wasn't so bad either. As Hank pulled him towards him, Connor didn't resist and leaned heavily against his shoulder. He closed his eyes and felt the weight of Hank's hands on his head and back. The closeness was soothing, the same way it had been earlier this morning. He took in a breath and relaxed significantly, hearing the resonance of Hank's voice and the comfort they provided. He was safe. He was home. he was with Hank.

    "Thank you, Hank...I think I'll be okay. I might be able to delete the nightmare from my memory..."
     
  15. Entrust

    Entrust Well-Known Member Member

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    Hank could hear the emulated breathing begin to even itself, could feel Connor starting to relax against him and it aided him in doing the same. The worst of it fortunately seemed to have eased away more quickly than expected, and while knowing that did wonders on it's own, Hank hadn't abandoned his worry. The trauma hadn't just gone away, it only lessened from the initial jolt. His hold on Connor didn't suggest any intention of withdrawing because there was none, and until Connor felt well enough to pull back on his own, there wouldn't be. The embrace did become a little more firm, a more noticeable promise not to leave while it was needed. The fingers he'd already buried into dark strands of hair entwined themselves deeper, his hand beginning to stroke lightly along the scalp the same way he'd let it the last time they'd been so close.

    Being told there was a possibility for the memory to be deleted gave Hank pause. Life tended to offer a lot of terrible things that not many wanted to hold onto, things that humans didn't have the luxury of wiping away on their own, and much of the time they couldn't at all. Instead it shaped them, forced them to adjust by molding them into some kind of broken version of themselves they either resigned themselves to or had to walk through hell to do something about. While Hank didn't know what taking that away would do on a larger scale, for something as small as a nightmare, it couldn't be such a bad thing to forget, could it?

    "Guess that's somethin' else you androids have over us humans," it was easy to want to forget, but actually being able to? He wondered how often deviants might have done that to themselves, wondered how often he might have, had he the power to. It wasn't that long ago, somewhere before so many deviants rose up that wipes of the memory had been such a normal thing for them, something to 'prevent error or malfunction' that no one thought twice about, something most humans still didn't think twice about. With a computer, if there was a file someone didn't want, they deleted it, and the world continued to demand that android memories be treated the same. Only the few who were willing to see androids for everything they could be would understand how wrong that was.

    At least what Connor was suggesting came from choice, although Hank did find some skepticism in the idea, if only where risks were concerned. He'd like to think it wasn't something Connor would've considered if there was a chance that other memories could've been accidentally removed in the process, so maybe he was feeling worried over nothing. If dropping the nightmare all together was what it took to make everything better again, then okay. Hank just didn't want Connor to lose any other parts of himself to get it done.

    "As long as you're not risking anything important, you do what you have to," and if Connor happened to need anything from him, he wouldn't be told no.
     
  16. SerinaBloom

    SerinaBloom Just a Mask Member

    Messages:
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    Local Time:
    2:19 PM
    Connor could see his stress level indicator decreasing rapidly until his level of stress was only 12%. He rested comfortably against Hank and didn't really feel like he wanted to be let got yet. It was reassuring when he held him tighter, communicating that he wouldn't let go until Connor wanted him to. He continued to embrace the feeling of Hank's arms around him, one planted firmly on his back, grounding him, and the other sliding through his hair again and again, soothing him. He stayed there for some time and was just content to forget and not to think for just a moment.

    Once again silence fell on them, but it was a calm one. He figured Hank was likely thinking about what he said in regards to erasing the memory of the nightmare. He hand told him inf an attempt to gain some perspective on what he thought about it. He wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do. He didn't want to remember the nightmare, but was it better for him if he did remember? Most humans forgot their dreams shortly after waking up and the same was often true for nightmares. He really wished that was the case for him as well. Any time he would recall that nightmare it would come up crystal clear in his mind as though it had actually happened. When Hank expressed his concern over losing any more memories he reassured him.

    "Don't worry Hank. I won't forget anything else. I'll remember having the nightmare, and I'll remember this, but I just won't remember the nightmare itself. I won't have to remember what I saw...but I'll remember how it felt waking up from it."

    Connor felt that remembering the emotions that the nightmare made him feel would be enough. He'd still remember the event and the aftermath. He'd always remember the comfort that hank gave him. While his eyes were closed he went back into his memory banks and quickly clipped out the memory of the nightmare and deleted it. Once again his stress levels diminished, not only at 7%. He let out a sigh of relief, but continued to lean against Hank a while longer before finally pulling back.

    "I'm sorry for waking you, and making you worry. I'll be alright now."
     
  17. Entrust

    Entrust Well-Known Member Member

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    Relief came in knowing there wasn't any risk, and Hank certainly hoped going through with deleting the memory was the better option. Connor had been terrified enough the first time he saw the nightmare, being able to think back on it again and again didn't necessarily mean he'd just get used to it, and Hank didn't want him having relive that if there wasn't a point. There was also the issue that, with him being able to feel emotions so openly, it felt like such a poor choice to assume another nightmare wouldn't inevitably show up. The only mercy that could be squeezed out of a second or a third was the fifty-fifty chance they wouldn't be nearly as bad. On the brighter side, if Connor's plan worked, he'd be well away from Detroit in the upcoming days, maybe somehow the freedom in that would make living with himself just a little bit easier and help keep any future dreams clean. Remembering the emotions that occurred in the aftermath, on the other hand... as with anyone, it was a good and bad package deal. It wasn't pleasant, but it would offer the experience that might one day have a use in easing the damage from another kind of trauma.

    When Connor finally withdrew himself from his hold, Hank didn't stop him and he knew better than to try tugging him back, despite any distant urges he had to bury. Connor saying he was sorry for the trouble he thought he caused had Hank's expression turn sour. "I'm not after an apology," he waved off the gesture, "so go stick it somewhere else and stop tryin' to brush this off like you weren't just scared shitless." Before, he'd reached the point of believing it was impossible for Connor to feel like he was being a bother, not when he wasn't able to care if he was one. Now, it seemed like that was all he felt, and for Hank, it really set out to grind his gears.

    "You don't have the experience humans do with something like this. Hell, even we can go most of our lives and still be bothered by it!" He was the perfect example for that after he lost Cole. A distance had fallen into place between he and his wife after that, and where she put much of her time toward staying out of the house jumping from hotel to hotel gambling away money she couldn't keep affording to spend, Hank had gone straight to the bottle with long nights in a bed that felt too empty. Sumo was the only one he had to wake up to each time his slumber was plagued with nightmares of too much red painting his clothes from a body far too young. The screaming before the crash was always the worst, putting splinters straight through his heart with no time to comfort the sound, and no way to properly combat the truck in the road or the ice it slipped on.

    Hank could feel his facial muscles twitch briefly into a grimace, and he settled his weight just the slightest bit backward so he wasn't in an awkward lean now that the embrace was broken. "Things get a lot easier when you're not going at 'em alone," something he supposed they'd both been doing more than a little too long. Something they'd both have to do again.

    "You're not a fucking problem. Listenin' to you act like you are is giving me a damn headache."
     
  18. SerinaBloom

    SerinaBloom Just a Mask Member

    Messages:
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    Local Time:
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    Connor knew there was always the chance of him having another nightmare, but from what he knew not all of them were as bad as that one. Most were just a whirlwind of images that one couldn't even make out into a complete object or person. If he had ones like those he didn't think he would be that bothered by it. Of course. he couldn't predict that with certainty. he was just trying to be positive about it. He was looking forward to the possibility of having a proper dream. A good dream even. He wondered what he would possibly dream about. Maybe an idyllic life outside of the city? Maybe a premonition of what possible purpose life could have in store for him ahead. Maybe of a different world. A different time. A reality where everything had gone right, and deviants were living free and without worry. He could stay here if things were that way.

    He sat there across from Hank, still smiling softly in the after math of another close moment of theirs as well as the prospect of having a good dream in the future. He was drawn out of his revelry when hank spoke up again and he blinked to show his attentiveness. When he waved off what seemed like his millionth apology he smiled again and chuckled softly. He had been really scared, but he felt better having Hank around. it made it easier to deal with and recover from.

    "I know I was, but you made it better. I will try not to say 'sorry' so much. I'll just say thank you instead. Thank you Hank."

    He could sense Hank becoming tense, likely reminiscing about something. He said what he did trying to lighten the mood once again and help them both to relax.

    "We should probably try and get back to sleep. I probably won't wake up in time to say goodbye before you leave for work tomorrow. I have to restart my sleep cycle."
     
  19. Entrust

    Entrust Well-Known Member Member

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    Hearing that he managed to make anything better meant something, and when Connor's apology turned into gratitude instead, Hank didn't gripe about it. Maybe it was the chuckle or maybe it was the smile, it might've even been the words Connor said or the way he said them, but there was definitely something that helped Hank ease beyond his brief lapse into stress and come back to the moment. He still wasn't sure how much he believed Connor managed to get over the situation so quickly, but Connor also wasn't like anyone else. CyberLife wanted him to be adaptable, that was the point, and yet Hank knew damn good and well that the after-effects of nightmares weren't what they had in mind. Connor was more than what they bargained for, anyway.

    Despite looking hard, Hank couldn't find a lie in the smile Connor was giving, so maybe harmful emotions really weren't much different from all the other obstacles he was able to overcome. It didn't stop Hank from wanting to be around so that Connor wouldn't have to face any others head-on alone, regardless of whether or not he could. Eventually, he would have to, there was no getting around it, but until then...

    Hank was only vaguely aware that his eyes had managed to drop down in search for other worrying signs, both those he'd previously caught onto when he'd first been startled awake and those that could have been new, anything that indicated lasting effects. Shaking shoulders, uneven breath, fidgeting hands... Again, everything seemed normal, at least to the human eye. His gaze roamed back up to Connor's at the suggestion to get more sleep, something he could agree that they both needed. There were concerns however, especially at the thought of Connor not waking up early enough to say goodbye. What if he fell into another nightmare after Hank left for work? Connor might have been okay after their talk and the memory's removal, but would another bad dream send him spiraling back to square one?

    Sumo was still somewhere near the end of the bed, re-positioning himself now that everything had seemed to calm down. The dog made for good company when it was needed, and he'd helped Hank more than a few times when things were difficult. He hoped that if something did happen, Connor could at least find some comfort there. Emotions and the dreams they designed were still a brand new occurrence for Connor, but unlike humans, he didn't have an entire childhood to spend getting to understand them. That didn't make him delicate, just inexperienced, and there was nothing wrong with that. Everyone deserved to have some kind of rock that could keep them grounded.

    Hank leveled Connor with another long stare before resigning, "Alright, but if you can't sleep or something else shakes you out of it again, you wake me. Even if you don't think it's important."

    He waited only a few moments longer before adjusting his position so he could lie back down. It wouldn't exactly be easy falling asleep after what happened, but even he knew he should make the attempt. "Focus on what keeps you calm," he suggested as he threw an arm over his eyes with a deep exhale meant to help him relax. Hell if he knew whether or not it would work for an android when it wasn't guaranteed for humans either, but saying it couldn't hurt. "Maybe you'll dream of somethin' nice."
     
  20. SerinaBloom

    SerinaBloom Just a Mask Member

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    "I will."

    Connor moved to lie back down, getting back onto his side of the bed while Hank did the same. Sumo managed to squeeze himself between the two once again which made Connor chuckle softly, putting an arm over the large dog's back. Hank would just barely be able to see Connor over the mound of fur, aside from his hand resting on Sumo in front of him. Closing his eyes he spoke quietly.

    "Good night,Hank."

    He waited a moment or two longer to hear if Hank would wish him good night as well before his mind went dark and his body went to sleep.


    Connor was lucky and had no more nightmares that night. By the time he woke up Hank was already long gone and it was about 10am. Sumo was still nestled close to him and he was glad for the company. He sat up in bed taking a look around. He saw that Hanks things were gone, he hadn't forgotten anything. Of course, he had left the gun on Connor's bedside table and it would stay there since he had no plans to leave the room at the moment. He propped himself up against the head board and reached over to grab the laptop, placing it on his lap. Sensing that he was awake Sumo shift over and barked lazily for attention.

    "Good morning, Sumo."

    He reached a hand over to pet Sumo on the head for a few seconds before getting right to work. When he opened up the laptop he was glad to see that everything had finished backing up over night. He removed the external hard drive now that it had done it's job and stored it away in the drawer of the bedside table. He took some time to completely clear the computer until only the necessary programs were left. Now the real work began. Over the course of several hours Connor began creating reports and files that placed false leads all over the city. All of this information was leading them in the complete opposite direction of where Hank and the other transporters' locations, as well as where they were getting them out of the city. It would be enough of a distraction to give them all the chance the evacuate a large number of deviants is the DPD pooled their resources towards these false leads. It was almost time to Hank to come home when he was done. He would wait just a little while longer before he went ahead and executed his infiltration and submit the files. he wanted to make sure it passed all of Hank's requirements and that everything looked legitimate.
     

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