Tick Tock - Dickory
|By : Manga_bird|
Category: +A through F > Detroit: Become Human
Views: 37 -:- Recommendations : 0 -:- Currently Reading : 0
|Disclaimer: Transformative work using Detroit Become Human - not for profit|
Green eyes widened as he choked and trembled. He could feel it on his face. Oily. Greasy. Bile rose in his throat again, choking him more. Phck-phck-I-can’t-breathe-I-can’t-breathe-A sob finally broke free of his constricted throat. It was a pathetic sound. The barest whimper, no louder than a mouse. Hot tears blinded him as he cried in shock and fear. Heavy footsteps pounded the stairs outside. He heard the shout of his name before the door was kicked open so hard it almost took the old frame with it.
“Gavin!” Nines cried in alarm as he ran to his crumpled body and gathered him against his chest. He’d only seen Gavin this bad once before, at Cyberlife Tower after that nightmare. He re-opened his memory files and reviewed what he’d seen Elijah and Connor doing. “It’s alright, Gavin…I’m here. You’re safe…Just follow my breathing…Breathe, Gavin…Breathe.” His low and gentle voice rumbled in his chest, soothing him. Gavin clutched at his white jacket with blue stained gloves, quivering in shock and fear as he was caressed and rocked. He was soaked with thirium. It coated the arm of his jacket, his side, and his jeans. It was soaking through his clothes. It was in his hair and smeared across his cheek. Nines used his own sleeve to wipe his face a little, hushing and soothing him as he wheezed and choked in his arms.
“Killer-back-he’s-ba-I-ca-” Nines repeated his calming instructions through the panic and stroked his slicked hair. He continued to soothe and rock Gavin in his arms as his eyes analysed the gruesome scene. All the parts he could see seemed to have come from a single android. Two shocking blue eyes had halted outside the small clock doors to stare blankly at the room. He could see audio processors and various other chips and circuitry for motor functions and memory storage. There was a perfectly removed thirium pump, two hands, two feet, thigh sections, calf sections, forearms, and upper arms. The power core had been rewired to perform as a lightbulb, flooding the room with a gentle glow. He would need to analyse the parts to be sure they all came from the same model, but it certainly seemed like a once complete android.
He examined the writing on the wall. Talent had gone into it. It was deliberately sharp and jagged, the way you’d expect a sick and twisted person to write, but with far more nuance and precision. He wanted it to look disturbing. Nines saw the music box lying in the puddle of thirium. Hickory. There was an ornate G carved into the upside down lid. It was made for Gavin. Hand carved. There was a small piece of paper on the floor, just within reach. As he snagged it, he read the note Gavin had found, his head tilting curiously. An android had written it. With thirium. He ran his tongue over the blue writing and ran an analysis. He held Gavin tighter as he read the results, LED spinning red in the darkness. Aaron Hughes, WR500. Reporter, Detroit Daily. “Is-it…Nines…Is-it…It’s-not…” All the parts could easily have come from a WR500 android. Nines analysed the thirium he was kneeling in to make sure. Aaron Hughes, WR500. Reporter, Detroit Daily.
“It’s Mr Hughes…I’m sorry…” Gavin’s chest wracked with helpless sobs as he burrowed himself further into Nines’ chest, shaking his head in denial. “I’m sorry, Gavin…Come with me. I’ll get you out of here. ” Nines spoke softly as he pushed himself to his feet. He simply lifted Gavin. There was no way he’d be able to withstand his own weight at the moment. He could barely get breaths in and out without choking. He was shaking like a leaf. His skin was paler than Nines had ever seen it. Ashen. The scar across his nose looked red in comparison. He needed to be outside in the open air, away from the gore and carnage. Connor and Hank were just pulling up as he stepped out.
“Shit, what the fuck happened?” Hank demanded as he hurried over. His blue eyes were frantic as he ran them over Gavin’s frail body. He’d curled himself into Nines’ chest, green eyes dull and vacant as his body trembled. Nines waited until he’d set Gavin on the steps and eased his head down between his knees before turning his attention to Hank, who instantly sat at his side. That was good. Gavin trusted Hank when he was vulnerable. He was breathing a little easier the moment Hank’s firm hand began rubbing circles on his back.
“The Hickory Killer has returned. I’ve already contacted forensics and Colin.” His expression left no room for arguments, but for once Hank didn’t give any. He may hate the FBI stealing cases, but he also knew what this case had done to Gavin the last time. He was in no state to be anywhere near it. The best solution was for the FBI to handle it, perhaps with him and Connor on a consultant basis. Connor quietly excused himself to head upstairs. Nines’ LED span red as he processed what he should do. Gavin was in distress. He shouldn’t leave his side. At the same time, Connor may require his assistance with analysis.
“Go on, son. I’ll wait here with Gavin,” Hank encouraged quietly as he noticed his troubled gaze, but he was still hesitant. He ran a scan of Gavin’s vitals. His stress levels were high. Well into the eighties. Nines blinked as he sent an emergency message. He could only think of one other person who may be able to calm him down and make him feel secure. He didn’t bother to make a voice message. He simply took a picture of Gavin and sent the address. He crouched in front of Gavin, who flinched as gentle hands touched his knees.
“Gavin…I shall assist Connor. Lieutenant Anderson is going to stay with you. Is that acceptable?” Nines asked softly as he scanned him with a searching gaze. Gavin looked up with vulnerable green eyes at the suggestion. Gavin did not want him to leave. He watched Gavin’s eyes close as he reached up and ran his fingers through his oily locks. The motions were familiar. They calmed him a little. Nines watched as he slowly began leaning into Hank’s side. Hank gradually encircled him in an awkward side hug in response to the needy contact. “I shall return soon,” Nines assured softly before getting to his feet. Gavin gave him a slow blink of understanding. He didn’t have the energy for anything more as he continued to wheeze.
“It’s okay…you’re okay…” Hank murmured softly, the scent of old leather and cheap cologne slowly soothing Gavin’s shaken nerves. There was a time Hank would have just smelled of stale whiskey. Connor had been good to him. He’d missed this Hank. This was the Hank he’d needed back when Jack…Phck! He tried not to sob out loud as he curled further into Hank’s chest. Hank held him tighter, as if he could read his thoughts. Gavin had never had a father, but he’d like to think that this is what a father’s embrace felt like. Large arms holding him tight, one hand soothing his back while the other ran fingers through his sticky hair. Hank didn’t even complain about the blue now staining his clothes and hands.
“Sh-should-have…Sh-should-have c-called! I should-have r-realised he-was-missing!” A dull sense of dread and pity settled over Hank as he cottoned on to what Gavin was saying. It had to be someone he knew and cared about that the killer had gotten to, and there were very few people who fitted that description. Gavin was covered in thirium, so that ruled out Tina and Miller, and Chloe would likely be with her boss somewhere, so that pretty much left Aaron Hughes as the only one unaccounted for. “He-called-me…Sunday night. I tried-to c-call back, but the-call didn’t-go-through. Th-thought-he-was busy! I-thought he’d blocked-calls or some shit! I should-have-known when I-didn’t hear-from-him yesterday!” Tears of loss and guilt streamed down his cheeks, one of which was smeared blue with thirium. He was a fucking mess.
“Hey-hey!” Hank gruffed as he grabbed his pale cheeks and gave him a serious look. “You listen here, son. This is not your fault! You had no reason to think anything was wrong…You’re right. People sometimes miss calls or turn off their phones. Sometimes they’re busy and they don’t call back. It doesn’t make this your fault!” Gavin dropped his green eyes shamefully. He couldn’t accept that. How could he? Sure, maybe he was right about the situation, but the reason behind it? That was his fault. The Hickory Killer wouldn’t have taken Aaron if he hadn’t meant something to him. It was their casual fling that had gotten him killed.
“Christ, what happened to you?” Brad’s somewhat unwelcome voice asked, though it was slightly less snarky than usual. Gavin quickly swiped a now un-gloved hand over his eyes and took a shaky breath, trying not to make it too obvious. He barely even let his friends see him crying. Fuck letting random techs see it. He coughed and spluttered as Hank quietly said that a friend of his had just died. Brad was a little more subdued and apologetic after that as he passed by to enter the shop, Haley following right behind.
“Wait! Haley!” Gavin called, trying to push out a voice that was stronger than he felt. “You might not want to…I-It’s pretty phcking bad,” he stammered through a fresh wave of nausea. Haley’s LED flashed yellow at the warning. It was unheard of for Detective Reed to be like this on a scene. She tightened her lips and nodded her thanks and understanding before following Brad upstairs with her kit clutched tightly in her hands. Gavin watched her go and hung his head again, stomach turning as he thought back to the scene. The thirium. The limbs. Aaron’s plastic head in his open chest cavity. He gagged. Hank’s hand was there in an instant, rubbing circles on his back. He’d never been sick at an android crime scene. Fucked if he was starting now. Man the phck up, Reed!
“Gavin!” Gavin’s head jerked up in surprise as Chloe walked towards them like an angel. She was wearing all white that day, her face filled with warmth and gentle sympathy as she hurried towards them with light clicks of her heels. “Nines sent for me…You look terrible!” she added worriedly as she crouched down in front of him, ignoring the snot, tears, and thirium as she leaned forward and enclosed him in her arms. She smelled like a sweet floral perfume. Gavin latched onto her and trembled again. Her white dress was ruined.
“Lieutenant Anderson, it’s good to see you again,” Elijah greeted quietly as he stepped up to the scene. Hank looked at him like he’d grown a second head. He sort of understood that Chloe had met Gavin over at Cyberlife Tower and they’d hit it off, but he didn’t know how the fuck Elijah Kamski came into all this. “Ah, he didn’t inform you…I’m Gavin’s half-brother. We found out a short time ago…” Elijah explained softly as he approached and hesitated behind Chloe. He knew she was likely better at this sort of thing, but he desperately wanted to be there for his brother. He just didn’t know how.
“No fucking kidding…” Hank replied in a quiet amazement. Now that he actually saw the two together, he could kind of see it.
“Does he need to stay here, or…” Elijah trailed off as he motioned towards the luxurious sports car that was parked at the curb. Hank looked at Gavin sympathetically. He didn’t seem to be in the middle of a panic attack anymore, but he was definitely coming down from one. That likely meant he didn’t need to go to the hospital. He was still in a state. He was quietly trembling and sobbing into Chloe’s smaller shoulder as she held him. There was procedure to follow, but at the same time…
“We’ll need a statement as soon as he’s feeling up to it.” That likely wouldn’t be for the rest of the day. He could barely string a sentence together.
“N-Nines-I-want-Nines!” Gavin choked out desperately, unwilling to even think about leaving without him. Chloe hushed and murmured that of course they weren’t going anywhere without Nines. Hank felt a little warmth at that. With the way they’d met, he’d worried about Nines and Gavin working together. It was nice to see his fears had been unfounded. They’d gotten far closer than he’d expected, and they were so attuned to each other. Nines appeared a few seconds later, almost as if he’d heard Gavin’s desperate cry.
“Nines, take the rest of the day off…Make sure he’s okay and take his statement later if he’s up to it.” Hank knew his orders would override anything Gavin had instructed previously. Nines nodded and voiced his simple agreement before joining Chloe. He was gentle as he helped Gavin to his feet, catching his weight as he stumbled. Still too shaky to walk. Nines picked him up like a princess and carried him to Elijah’s car, climbing into the backseat and sitting with him in his lap. Hank watched the car drive off as he heard Connor approaching from behind. “Well?” he asked expectantly as he turned to his partner.
“It was definitely Aaron Hughes…Only him. His parts have been removed and disassembled, but…” Hank looked at him sympathetically as he nodded his understanding. Connor had a really vulnerable quality to his movements and expressions. They hadn’t exactly been friends, but no one deserved to end up like that. His LED was spinning between red and yellow before Hank stepped up and embraced him. "Thank you, Hank," Connor murmured, burying his face in his larger shoulder.
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