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[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/3b/7d/b9/3b7db9c9a43102431f4e12268eb3adc1.jpg]] Mavis' eyes pulled wide at the idea of meeting a dog that big, and an honest trickle of fear shot down into her stomach for just a moment. [i That's sure a big dog.] She swallowed, "[B Really?]"
As a kid, she had been more afraid of dogs than she was now. They were fast, rough, and loud, and she didn't like any of that. The dogs she was comfortable with, usually, tended to be old and quiet and slow. It was why she was better suited to cats. As an adult now, and adult sized, she was beginning to understand them more, but the knee-jerk hesitation was still there. That was a big dog. But maybe he was friendly? Friendlier than the crazy, mean one down the street from her grandmother's house?
On the other hand; [i would Connor introduce her to his friend's dog??] Would Hank like that? That second moment lent a modicum of excitement into Mavis' voice even as she hesitated initially. In the end, she was still meeting a dog, and that was a good thing!
Mavis frowned when he did, coming back over to the cart with the food and setting it down. Sure, picking favorites didn't serve a whole lot of purpose, but neither did eating ice cream or going to the movies, and those were all greatly enjoyable things! But the idea of explaining the concept of simple pleasure to a police android sounded arduous...
But then, her partner continued, and chose one. Mavis blinked, surprised, and wondered for a moment if he truly favored the color, or if it was just the color he saw the most. [i But also who cares, stop analyzing him, you jerk!] It sure was cute that he did pick one though, and that gave Mavis a smile. "[B I like blue,]" she commiserated with a nod.
And when he asked her, her smile just grew a little. "[B I think I like pink.]" The black clad woman responded as she took hold of the cart handle again.
Connor liked the way she seemed excited about the picture of Sumo. He didn't quite know why. He wasn't looking to impress her. Perhaps it was just because he cared a lot for Sumo. He nodded at her words before letting the hologram drop. "It's likely that you'll see him in person eventually. He's very friendly."
The moment was over and they both returned to their task at hand. The pet food was in front of them. Connor went straight for the brand of food he usually got and grabbed the biggest bag there was with ease, lowering it into the cart. He stood there idly while Mavis studied the products before her. When she finally chose one she called over to him.
He might have thought she was simply talking to herself as she sometimes did, but he heard his name and he looked at her, blinking. Waiting.
His favorite color? That wasn't something he'd been asked before. He took a moment, his brows lowering as he thought. "I'm not sure I have one," he said honestly. "Picking favorites doesn't serve much of a purpose." He thought a little bit longer. It might not be [i practical] to have a favorite color. But it [i was] human. "Although, I think if I were to pick one it would be... blue," he finally added.
He returned his thinking gaze to Mavis's. "What's [i your] favorite color?"
[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/3b/7d/b9/3b7db9c9a43102431f4e12268eb3adc1.jpg]] Mavis' brows arched, "[B That's not actually too far off of a human's. Interesting,]" she mused. And thinking brought up his temperature. Relatable. But she kept the humor to herself. It felt juvenile. And it felt like something she was trying to forget.
"[B But,]" she raised a finger, smiling at him. It did falter slightly, but she turned her attention to the snake, pointing at it. "[B that means the snake can see you in the dark, which is pretty cool.]" Something was telling her not to speak so loud. Whether it was just being in the store, or having shouted at Connor earlier, or because she was feeling very guilty with the confused looks she had gotten continually throughout the day.
She smiled when she saw his confused little tilt of his head upon seeing Mortimer. "[B He's kinda funny looking isn't he?]"
When she looked at him again after showing him what felt like almost too many pictures, Connor was smiling. It put a little color in her face, relief, joy to see he seemed interested at least. She had made him smile. His words however pushed her gaze from him, feeling suddenly bashful. Mavis had gushed a lot about them. "[B I do.]" She didn't call them her babies lightly, especially after moving out here.
Her attention returned to the android when he drew her attention, leaning slightly as she pushed the cart in front of them to see the picture. "[B Oh my gosh,]" she marveled, "[B I knew St. Bernards were big, but I've never actually met one. They're [i huge],]" she said, looking back up at Connor. "[B Holy cow.]"
With that the pet food was within sight. The aisle was divided down the middle with dogs on one side and cats on the other, though the refrigerated, specialty foods were all together in one cold case at the end. Mavis parked the cart in the middle of the aisle. There weren't many other patrons in the store so she didn't worry about it, and would keep an eye out for more people. One more sip of the coffee and she was combing the aisle for the familiar packaging.
Stopping, she found a misplaced cat toy tucked in between some of the stacks of bags. Mavis looked at it. It was a little furry mouse with a bell on it fastened with a ribbon. She nudged it with a finger, humming in thought.
"[B What was I here for again...?]" she murmured to herself, squinting at the colorful bags. Cat food? Or litter?
Mavis clapped her hands together, "[B Prima.]" and shifted to look at the wet food. She was fine with dry food for now. Humming to herself in thought, she considered the different flavored tins. Not wanting particularly to think, she chose a mixed packaged of the cat food tins shrink wrapped in plastic. There were about fourteen of them in one. That would do.
Picking it up, she tilted her head, "[B Hey Connor,]" she called quietly over to him. "[B Do you have a favorite color?]"
When his attention was turned back to Mavis, he was startled by her next question. He never knew that humans could be so inquisitive. "It ranges," he told her. "But when idle it usually rests about one hundred degrees Fahrenheit or thirty seven point seventy-seven degrees Celsius." He said this with his usual robotic tone of giving simple information. "But if I have been particularly active physically or mentally it will rise a few degrees. And will lower when I enter sleep mode." He turned his attention back to the animal. It had looked away by now and curled in on itself.
He pulled his hand away when he reached for her phone. He looked at the pictures intently. He had never been close enough to a cat to hold one and her affection towards the animals reminded him of Hank's love for Sumo, even if they were expressed a bit differently. When they got to the photo of the cat named 'Mort' Connor was a bit confused. He was about to ask her why she would shave her cat, but she had moved on from it too quickly for him to get the words in politely.
He did not tell her that they could not be her 'offspring'. He had gotten into trouble before when confronting humans about their metaphors and similes. He was still learning how to detect them, but this one was obvious enough.
He looked at the next few pictures with interest before Mavis finished her small presentation. Connor smiled at her. He was not aware that the correct way to respond would be to fawn over the photos and proclaim "they're so cute!". Instead he said, "I'm sure they're very lucky to have you. You seem to care about them a lot." After they made their way a bit further down the isle he added, "They look so small compared to Sumo." He held out his hand and a holographic photo appeared over his palm. He didn't use this feature much. Mostly because he didn't have the need. But this seemed like a good moment. Mavis had shown him photos of her pets. He could at least return the favor. It was a photo of Sumo stretched out on the sofa. He took up almost the entire thing. His head was in Hank's lap, the both of them napping. Hank would kill him if he knew he had shown her this picture, but what he didn't know wouldn't hurt him.
[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/3b/7d/b9/3b7db9c9a43102431f4e12268eb3adc1.jpg]] The steadiness of an android's gaze, Mavis had figured once, was probably what made them the most unsettling. It was far from uncanny valley, but it was touching on it just slightly, perhaps. It was the same reason people gave cats a lot of grief for being creepy or unfriendly; those preconceptions that people didn't know weren't true. In a cat's case, their eyes were very moist, wet by plentiful tears that meant they didn't need to blink. Mavis supposed the same sort of thing- perhaps not to do with tears, but by construction- pertained to androids. It was a look that was likely not intended to be as searching as it came across, but gave the impression to a socialized ape that it was seeing through you. It made Mavis smile a lot, almost in a surrendering way. And that was saying something regarding her, who smiled a lot to begin with on a day to day basis.
She glanced up at Connor who was currently occupied with gently touching the wall of the terrarium for the little ball python he was looking at. The woman peeked in at the animal and wondered if the snake could see him well, "[B What's your core temperature, Connor?]" she found herself asking in genuine curiosity as she stood beside him.
Mavis was embarrassed again, keeping her eyes low as she took hold of her coffee again. She was terrified of being too much for the android, and then of not being taken seriously. Another anxious part about androids, as a general; Edward was very different having grown up with her family for so long; but it was their silences. As shown in the car earlier that day, there wasn't as much of a need to respond even in affirmatives or speech placeholders, often just silences in response. It made her anxious. Unsurprisingly, Mavis really cared about how she was coming off to her new coworker. Often, she had found that she cared [i too much] about the opinions of others and tried to understand their emotional stances so she could maneuver them. So, interacting with someone socialized very differently, or perhaps generally unemotional overall, was really a struggle for her.
Even with people she had been seen as too energetic, and she knew she tired people out or confused them. It was a difficult balance, and a struggle she felt like she was losing. Today had been an anxious day to boot, and it wasn't helping her make a very good impression. Mavis knew she had time to fix it, but it was disheartening to feel like nothing she did would really improve upon, or impress or strike her partner as positive coming from her.
But with that, Connor's acquiescence to her brought her eyes back to him, brows arching. She couldn't help but smile, excited to see he was, if politely. "[B Okay,]" Mavis responded, taking her phone out of her pocket. Now to find the best pictures of them, so she didn't show too many.
She swiped through her camera roll, shifting closer to Connor so he could see, their shoulders almost touching. "[B Let's see if I have one with all three of them,]" the detective mused, pausing at one with a dusty yellow, dough shaped cat lying on his back, looking at the camera almost as if in inquiry, one leg stretched up in the air in the foreground of the photo, and his paws languidly folded across his ample tummy.
"[B Here's Kevin,]" Mavis explained, chuckling as she tipped the screen a little more towards the detective beside her. The photo kind of encompassed him as a cat, big green eyes and compromising position. "[B his fur is really thick but so super soft, it just makes him look fat.]" She considered the photo again, "[B Well, he might have gained some weight, actually. They're all still acclimating to their new home, but that'll come off of him soon.]"
She flipped through a couple, pausing at one with the blurry form of what looked like a skinny goblin in the shape of a cat in the darkness with bright, reflective eyes. It was completely out of focus. Mavis snickered at that and kept going. "[B Mort looks like a cryptid in that one.]"
"[B There. Here's a better one,]" she tilted the screen again for Connor. The picture was of two more cats, one a black shorthair with a cut in her ear, and the other a very pink, hairless cat with some spots of gray on his face- namely his nose and the top of his head and the toes of two of his feet. The naked animal was wearing what looked like a little, black t shirt with a zombie on it. "[B The black one is Mel, and the sphinx is Mortimer. And you can see Kevin in the corner back there.]" she gestured with her pinkie to the upper right where it looked like Kevin was smelling the floor.
"[B Those are my ungrateful offspring,]" Mavis said with a fond grin, scrolling just a bit farther. "[B And there's Mortimer getting his daily bath,]" she said, showing a tub partially full with the warped, spindly body of the pink cat submerged, with his face poking up above the clear water, a few little toys floating around with him. "[B He loves it.]"
With that she smiled at Connor and closed her phone again, slipping it back into her pocket, "[B Those are them. Mel and Mort are rescues, and Kevin actually got abandoned on our property back west by his owners.]" Mavis shrugged, eyes distancing a little as she crossed her arms. "[B We adopted him in the end, poor guy, once we figured out he was socialized.]"
Connor watched Mavis get distracted with whatever was in the tanks in that isle. For a moment he wondered if she had even heard him. He stepped closer to the tanks and peeked inside one of them. Snakes. He had never seen a snake in person before. They were interesting. He scanned several of them and he was informed of their scientific names. One of them looked up at him and stared. Connor looked back and blinked, touching his finger to the tank. He knew it was nonsensical to be empathetic towards an animal incapable of complex thought, yet he still wondered what it must be like to live in a small glass box. He wondered if a part of him already knew.
His eyes flicked back to Mavis when she stood from where she was fawning over the smallest of the bunch. He was glad she heard him because he had almost forgotten what he had asked.
He could tell by the small twitch of her lips that she was more than fond of her three cats. She told him their names and he tried his best to commit them to memory for the sake of their... friendship. The way she talked about them was strange, but nothing about this woman seemed to surprise him anymore. He kept reminding himself that spending all his time with Hank did not prepare him for working with someone younger. Different generations would surely have different ways of speaking... right? Then again... Mavis calling her cats stupid might be similar to Hank calling Connor a "fuckin' android" even when he's happy with him...
After her next question her movement did not go unnoticed. He could tell she had a desire to show off her cats, much like a mother would want to show off her children. Connor thought for a second. He [i did] promise himself he would work on their relationship after the unfortunate start they had. And... he never minded looking at pictures of animals. So...
"Sure," he said with a small smile.
[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/3b/7d/b9/3b7db9c9a43102431f4e12268eb3adc1.jpg]] Mavis grinned at his comment about her song, "[B Yes it is.]" she responded, shifting her shoulders a little. It gave her a little trickle of pride at that, even when she knew he likely didn't care. As normal as her life was to her, people noticing the difference, or what felt like it, even if it was simulation, or just polite mention, it made her feel good.
It was always a joy- a distracting joy- to see kitties, and so she was as distracted with them as Connor was for a good handful of moments. "[B Aww, look, so playful!]" she cooed, gazing in at them. "[B And so relaxed with strangers gawking at them, what good babies.]"
And soon they parted ways from the nice attendant with a little wave, and directed themselves towards the direction they were headed for a reason. God she wanted to look at all the animals though, not pay attention to what she was here for... but perhaps she could do that after she got the food in hand. But on the other hand, Connor had a goal in mind, and once he was done with it she supposed he would want to leave. She pouted a little, wishing she could stress relieve.
Maybe just for a moment. They were passing the snakes. Maybe she could just- "[B Oh my god, look at the smallest python!]" she cried softly, trying to use her don't annoy other customers voice. The detective dropped into a crouch, peeking into the little hollowed out log shelter the cage had. Inside that was a soft, almost matte it was so young, small little python, perhaps over a foot long.
But presently, with her fingertip pressed against the glass still, she turned and looked back up at Connor. Her brows arched, reaching up to the cart to stand up again. "[B I have three cats,]" she responded, nodding to the side as she envisioned all of them, eyes moving away. Weird, stupid bitches. They made her grin, eyes flickering back to the android's face.
"[B Their names are Maleficent, Mortimer-Charles, and Kevin.]" she was smiling again. "[B They're my stupid children, I love them.]" She loves them enough to take them across the country with her, with them yelling the whole drive over. Mavis shook her head a little.
She turned to him, smile growing a little, "[B You do? That's cool,]" It was a final, satisfied response to him. Connor ticked a box with that statement in his favor.
"[B Do you want to see them? I have pictures.]" her hand was twitching towards her hip, but she stopped it. He probably didn't, it was just reflex. Mavis laughed a little awkwardly, eyes going up to look at the aisle again. They managed to get to toys, at least. The right direction at least.
Connor didn't mind the short bit of silence that followed his question. He wanted her to be sure of his answer. If he managed to screw up anything else with her, then... well, they might as well call the whole investigation off. Partners who couldn't get along weren't exactly great at working together, either. He finally nodded, pleased, when she did respond.
"Mavis, then," he said softly, looking back at the road. But not until after he caught a glimpse of the small smile she had offered him. It was something, at least. He shook his head when she apologized. "It's alright," he told her. "Let's just... Start again." He glanced over at her again and offered her his own twitch of a smile.
It seemed to be a mutual agreement because the ride was pleasant enough. Silent... but pleasant. Especially when Mavis turned on her music. He analyzed a portion of the music. "This song is just over a century old," he told her, though he was sure she already knew that. After that, the rest of the ride was silent other than the music and Mavis humming along to it every now and then.
Soon enough she was pulling into the parking lot of the pet store. It wasn't the same one he usually went to, but he knew that the dog food Hank usually bought was bound to be sold there. Connor always found it rather funny that the man bought Sumo high quality food, yet ate such horrible stuff himself.
They climbed out at the same time and Connor found it entertaining that she might [i want] to get yelled at by the animals. He followed her inside, the air conditioning hitting them in the face as the doors slid open. Connor's eyes scanned, just as Mavis's did, to see where he needed to head to find the dog food. She spoke softly, more to herself, then pointed at the kittens at the front of the store. They both stepped up close to take a look. Mavis cooed at the animals. Connor poked his finger through the cage, catching one of the kittens by surprise. It turned around and batted at his finger and Connor's mouth moved up in a smile again.
He removed his finger when the employee approached and asked if they needed any help. He let the conversation unfold before him, getting distracted by the playing kittens beside them. He watched them tumble and meow at each other, his LED blinking blue. He almost didn't notice when the conversation was over. His lifted his head back up to Mavis and the android who had been helping her. Kenneth. AP700. He could tell that he was wondering why he and Mavis were out together. It wasn't exactly normal for humans and androids to be friends lately. Not that it was unheard of, but they usually didn't go shopping that the pet shop together.
They stepped away and started to make their way to their needed isles. Connor had said that they could just start fresh, but he still felt a weight in the air. He wanted to talk to her about something she liked... She had talked about buying in bulk...
"How many cats do you have?" he asked her, picking up a dog toy on a end cap and giving it a good squeeze before setting it down again and looked ahead where Mavis was walking with the cart. "What are their names?" There was a short pause. And then... just to be safe, he added, "I like cats."
[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/3b/7d/b9/3b7db9c9a43102431f4e12268eb3adc1.jpg]] It wasn't like she was expecting this job to be low-stress or anything. It was just all of the people she had spoken to; angry, bigoted, combative. She would have to buckle down and either deal or figure out how to do something about it. But Connor's response to her made her frown a little, sighing through her nose. That made her think. A man's job, probably, all that bullshit.
She looked at him as he thought about that, answering her so simply. Mavis almost wanted to press him, but thought against it. But that didn't keep her little, uncertain frown from her face. It came alongside a little, frowning hum, "[B Mm, okay,]" she responded.
'Stomping' wasn't a word she ever thought she would hear from Connor. For some reason it was a descriptor that she wasn't expecting. Usually, for what she had seen, androids weren't very colorful with their descriptors. Maybe he had gotten it from someone. That didn't negate that he was right. Mavis just wanted to do this right, and get something positive out of today. Something to prove she was supposed to be here. Not to anyone else, but to herself.
Mavis was expecting Connor probably wanted to go home, so when he accepted her invitation her brows did arch. Well, at least she could offer him a ride somewhere, not that he sounded super thrilled about it. Agreeing, she turned to grab her coffee for a sip before turning on the car. She wasn't expecting him to talk to her again, and so hearing him again Mavis almost missed what he said. It was a major tone change from just before, too, which caught her by surprise, turning to look at him. He held her gaze, too, which made her flush a little just for the sheer intensity of the apology.
Being called 'not yet a detective' did draw her brows together a little. She had the certification, she had her everything in order. It felt like he, or whoever had told him that, wasn't taking her seriously. Was this- really just some throwaway position that they gave to the bottom of the barrel, unwanted forensic anthropologist and funeral scientist they had to just[i put] somewhere because she was already moved out here for DPD?
She dropped her eyes, feeling her stomach tighten along with her lips, pressed together a little as she tried to think of a response. He had a good point, she supposed. And she couldn't assume he was as socialized as any man. She felt guilty, he sounded really upset. Mavis nodded, "[B Yeah, you're welcome to do that.]" she said, glancing at him again and reached for a little smile. Something.
There was a pause. "[B I'm sorry for yelling,]" and with that she put the car in gear. Mavis was on the fence about what she felt she should apologize for... cuz she felt bad, but she had to sort through what, exactly.
The drive to the store was quiet. Mavis wasn't really feeling brave enough to make smalltalk, and wasn't entirely sure the android would appreciate it anyways. What would she even talk about, anyways? What would interest an android?
She was getting distracted from driving with this, so Mavis reached and turned the radio on quietly. It connected to her phone and brought up the song she was partway through when she last had it on. It was a song from 1939, crooning quietly about being in love. To fill the silence broken only by Mavis humming along now and again.
Soon enough the store came into view. One of the few places that she knew the location of in the city so far, and parked. "[B Let's see if we can get yelled at by the birds,]" Mavis said in a quiet tone, grinning with a little laugh as she put the parking brake on, unbuckling and hopping out, coffee in hand.
The store was nice and cool inside, Mavis' eyes immediately going up to the signs denoting which aisle was which. "[B Ooh, hamsters,]" she said, again in that quiet tone. It was almost like she was speaking to herself, but loud enough that Connor could hear easily. But with that she went over and retrieved a cart from the little corral, sitting her coffee cup in the little part for purses.
Her eyes landed on something familiar, seeing the little cages on the table set in the front of the store. Mavis gasped, "[B Connor, look! Kitties.]"
An android employee came over, smiling at them with his arms folded behind himself, "[+blue Is there anything we can do to help you, today?]" He was a dark haired AP700, glancing between both individuals, though his gaze lingered for a couple moments on both.
Mavis straightened from leaning down to coo at the adolescent cats. "[B Do you carry Smart-X cat litter?]" she asked, "[B And the Prima wet cat food?]"
"[+blue Yes, we do!]" he responded, folding his hands in front of himself. "[+blue Would you like assistance finding them?]"
The detective smiled, "[B No, thank you. I'll be okay. But, do you sell in bulk?]" she asked, tapping at her chin. "[B That won't be for today, but for future reference.]" she needed to get her stock under control eventually.
"[+blue Easily,]" the android responded. His nametag read Kenneth. "[+blue Anything else?]"
She shook her head, smiling again, "[B Thanks for asking.]"
Connor waited for quite some time. In the rear view mirror he noticed Mavis duck back into the house for a moment, no doubt to tie ends up with the forensics team. That had always been Hank's role so he was thankful she had thought to do so. Not that it would have mattered much, otherwise.
While she was inside he sat still for a moment. But he had never been good about sitting still for long periods, even when he wasn't a deviant. S he reached into his coat pocket for his coin and started to fidget. He rarely thought when he did this. He never told himself what to do or when to do it. It was originally meant to calibrate his fine motor skills, but lately it had just been to ease his mind.
When Mavis returned he did not stop his coin tricks. He was starting to feel rather guilty, so he kept his head down. Why had it been so hard for him to remember to simply call her by her first name like she had asked? He noticed her stress levels go up. He couldn't read her like he could other androids, but he could tell.
Connor was mid-spin with the coin on his middle finger when Mavis finally spoke his name. He grabbed the coin in a matter of seconds and it went right back into his coat pocket as she continued to speak. He didn't look at her. Just out the front as he replied. "Depends on the day and the crime." His too-human eyebrows always managed to betray him when they dipped low on his forehead, even for just a second. He finally looked at her when she spoke her next question. "I'm fine," he told her. It was the truth. He wasn't injured, after all. This time his face was as still as stone. That must have been enough for her because she launched into what she had discovered on her final trip into the house.
From the sound of the evidence, Connor wanted to bring up his hunch that there were not two, but three attackers. But he figured now was not the time. So he simply nodded.
He listened further to her options of what else the day could hold, depending. He looked out the side window as she spoke, thinking it over. After a moment of silence, he finally weighed in. "We should give them more time to uncover anything we missed before we go stomping around the neighbor's yard." That was option number one off the list. Option number two- parting ways- was sounding rather nice just about now, but the professional in him told him that it wasn't a good idea. He had no phone and what if there was a breakthrough? He never had this problem with Hank because he was [i always] with the man. So option two wouldn't work, either. It seemed like her third option was the only one that would work. And... he did need the dog food. He also knew that they needed to repair whatever had happened between them and this would give them that chance.
"Sumo will run out of food tonight. So, if you're going, I might as well tag along to get him some more," he said, emotionless. They sat there for a moment. His face twitched slightly. Just as she was about to turn on the engine, he finally looked over at her for the first time. "I- I'm sorry," he said, rather softly and out of character for anyone that didn't know him that well. "I never meant to upset you." His eyes never left hers and his brows were creased once more. "Hank was introduced to me as Lieutenant Anderson. It took a long time for me to start calling him by his first name because he was in my system [i as] Lieutenant Anderson. You were introduced to me [i as] Ms. Pernell because you were not yet a detective. You asked me to call you Mavis. I... would like to try to keep doing that if... you would allow it."
If Hank were here he would have commented on how unfair this was. Because Connor "had to have puppy eyes built in". Connor didn't know what this meant, nor did he know how to activate this feature or when he was using them. But this would have been one of those moments.
[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/3b/7d/b9/3b7db9c9a43102431f4e12268eb3adc1.jpg]] Mavis looked around at the same fucking officer making another comment just as Connor grabbed him. His voice was so calm when he spoke, too. It sent a lurch through her stomach, both in trepidation of a potential fight and because she wished she could stay that calm when she was mad at someone.
Mavis twitched a little when Connor turned back to her, blinking and nodding, "[B Course,]" and handed him the keys. And once Connor was taken care of her eyes snapped back to officer Gregory.
She pointed at him, "[B I'm fucking watching you,]" the detective warned. "[B believe me. If you continue harassing me or my partner I will not hesitate to file a complaint, do you understand me. I won't tolerate your bullshit.]" and with that she turned and went back inside the house.
There she spoke with the personnel working inside, introducing herself and dodging questions asked at her about Connor, to see if they could glean anything else the android or she missed combing over the house the first time. All she got was them finding more human blood samples and partial fingerprints by the back door. That was promising at least. She closed her notebook and offered her card to as many of them as she spoke to, being the lead investigative officer at present on the scene. She told the forensic team about the tattoo on the arm of the body outside, and his identity as Connor had told her. It was all detail work, but communication she figured was important.
Lastly, she told the team about the escape route of the suspects and that she and Connor would be in touch with the house owner and to call them first if they were going to engage. That back yard would need to be searched eventually.
Eventually she got back to the car, taking her hat off and running her fingers through her hair with a sigh. Now, what to do about said partner. She stopped by the back of the car, sighing. Mavis didn't want to make enemies, especially not on her first official day, but it seemed in her efforts to draw boundaries in the sand early on, that was what was happening. She brought her eyes up to see the shape of Connor in the passenger seat through the window.
Presently, she got in the car and pressed her forehead against the steering wheel with a centering exhale. She was still buzzing with the realization that this- today- had been a really [i bad] first day, actually. Cat-called, almost getting in a fight and just more awful comments slung at her or her partner. Two misfits making one hell of a peculiar team- she hoped at least.
But. All it was was the first day. That's it, really. It was going to get better than this, it was too early to make a judgment yet. [i First day, first day, first day...] she thought to herself, breathing the words, tightening her face for a moment. [i It'll get better.]
Highly aware of the android in the seat next to her, mavis was getting self conscious with the show of distress. Half of her said he could fuck off if he didn't like it, and half was just uncomfortable because she was being vulnerable with anyone. Mavis didn't know what to say to him as she sat there. She also wasn't feeling brave enough to peek over, either just yet. He hadn't said anything at all except that he was going to the car after she snapped at him. It wasn't promising by any stretch.
She finally looked over at him, sliding her arm up behind the wheel and hanging onto it as she turned her head towards him. "[B Hey, Connor?]" the woman began. "[B Is it- always like this? The precinct? The- people, I mean?]" she corrected herself. It was a shitshow if it was, and currently her faith was shaken. Mavis Pernell didn't even plan on having this job in her lifetime. Didn't plan on moving across the country for this job.
"[B Are you okay, also?]" she asked, concern flickering her eyes over his frustratingly opaque body language. Usually with people you could at least tell it was forcibly neutral if someone was still upset, but the android was perfectly calm. Which was terrifying.
She paused a little. "[B So, I spoke with the investigation team and they found more blood samples in a different pattern on the carpeting than what they think was the stab victim- Ayers or whatever his name was- and partial fingerprints also on the back door. There was a set on each entry point. So maybe we'll hear something good soon.]"
Mavis looked ahead at the empty street in front of them. "[B So, we have a few options right now.]" she spread her hands where they were on the steering wheel, inclining her head, and started counting on her fingers. "[B Go get a warrant to search the neighbor's property at least the back yard, and start some research on our body. See if he has other criminal friends, start the inquiry around him and his stupid tattoo... We could part company for today, if you would prefer that. I'll drop you off wherever you want, and then we can remotely work on what we want, and keep in touch. Or, we can do none of that at least for now, and go to the pet store to get pet food and see if they have any puppies or something else relaxing and alive. You still need dog food, right?]" Mavis peeked back over at Connor as she said that, still not sure if she was confident in how to approach him in conversation. She was a serially friendly, and often overwhelmingly so, person and she knew it. And she had also just yelled at her new partner she barely knew today, so she was even less confident regarding if he would be okay with her being so informal with him. But she suspected he would tell her.
Since becoming deviant, Connor had found himself capable of something he hadn't been used to before: forgetting. He could file away important case information and such, but there were other things that might slip past him, whereas before he could simply update a line in his code. He wasn't sure what it was about deviancy that allowed this to happen. But now he sometimes managed to forget small things. Like going to pick up dog food. Or remembering to call someone by their preferred name.
So when she rounded on him, Connor had not been prepared for it. Her tone was sharp and cut right through him, leaving him stunned and blinking blankly at her. Every word was a jab and even when she had turned away once more, he was glued to the spot, staring at the place she had just been. His face betrayed no emotion save for the twitch of a brow.
The moment she called out once more, he thought she might be hollering at him again, but when he managed to snap out of it and look towards the crime scene again, he noticed she was off towards the coroners who were taking the android's body out of the house for transport.
Connor shook his head slightly and walked calmly to catch up with Mavis as she shouted at them and covered the victim's face with her hat. Despite just being yelled at, he held a good amount of pride for her in that moment. Connor had stepped up beside her just as the shroud was put over the body. He could practically feel her anger radiating off of her. She turned away from the coroners in anger, but Connor watched as they loaded the Android up. A part of him was afraid that they would simply send him to a landfill, though why, he wasn't sure. There were laws now, but he wouldn't put it past anyone. Especially if he didn't have a will written before his death, which not many androids do. He watched the doors of the vehicle shut before turning back to Mavis and picking up on the officer's attempt at humor.
"And right," Connor corrected him.
The officer rolled his eyes. "I don't cover up my toaster when it finally kicks the bucket. I just go buy a new one and throw the old one in the trash."
Normally Connor could ignore these statements. But this time he couldn't hold his tongue. Perhaps he was still upset by what had just happened with Mavis. Perhaps it was his guilt eating away at him again. Whatever it was, his anger escaped quickly before he had time to think. He grabbed the officer by the bullet proof vest, yanking him close. "You're afraid," he said, oddly calm, almost nose to nose with the man. His LED was yellow. "You talk big, but you're so afraid of becoming second rate. I pity you." And for a moment, it seemed that Connor really did feel for him, brows raised, face soft. "But not enough to save you when you eventually talk yourself into something you can't get yourself out of." Connor finally let go of him, smoothing out his vest instead of shoving him like he wanted so badly.
He turned to face Mavis. "I'll be in the car," he told her, void of emotion, before turning and heading that way. If she had other things she wanted to do, she was more than welcome, but Connor was done. He climbed into the car and took a seat to wait patiently.
[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/3b/7d/b9/3b7db9c9a43102431f4e12268eb3adc1.jpg]] She found herself staring for a moment at Connor as she thought, looking at the android in front of her. He reminded her of Edward at home. Well, sort of. The blond android was different, of course. Looser. A true country boy, as they called him. But Mavis was still missing home, feeling a little unreal staring at this android from all the way across the country. But then she realized she was staring, sort of. Not directly at him but looking even as she was thinking.
Mavis reached her arms up above her head, turning away when he did and stretching her back with a little groan. It was evidence of her discomfort, but she was trying to hide it.
"[B We'll have to come back, then, and make an inquiry. Officially.]"
'Ms. Pernell' Mavis' face twisted at that, a frustrated noise coming from her. Manicured brows came together as she turned towards the android. "[B You know what, Connor,]" her tone was sharp, even as she brought it low so as not to yell at him in the middle of the street. "[B I don't usually care about the damn name thing, but the least you could do is use my actual title.]" the woman snapped. "[B I don't know if you were programmed with inborn misogyny or what.]"
"[B It's detective Pernell. Whether you like it or not.]" the detective said, shifting her weight as she pushed her gaze over the scene again to see the coroners wheeling out the homeowner's body, uncovered, down the front walk.
"[B Hey!]" she called, abandoning Connor immediately and going up to them. She dropped her voice, but not the sharpness in her tone as she approached them and swept her hat off, a covering over his face now. "[B What the fuck are you doing, taking him out like this? It's an android neighborhood, show some respect!]"
The person gave her a confused look before glancing at the gathered onlookers. But he didn't say anything.
"[B Go get a fucking shroud, you coward.]" she hissed, yanking her head towards their awaiting ambulance.
The responder did so and came back with one, glancing only briefly at her as he spread the covering over the body. That was when Mavis retrieved her hat, never once save to spread the cover with a hand, removing her eyes from the man until it was done. The human man.
"[B [i What] is wrong with you?]" she grumbled, sending them on their way. With that she glanced over the house again, sighing, arms crossed over her chest.
"Feisty," came officer Gregory's quiet comment from the security line by the fence.
Connor, already having stepped away, could still hear Mavis speaking softly through the door. He heard her attach the prefix to the victim's name and it sounded strange, yet incredibly humanizing. He couldn't say whether the android would take her up on the offer to come speak to them. Connor knew they had every right to question the android as they might be a witness. Captain Fowler would have wanted them to drag him in for questioning right away. But Connor wouldn't speak a word about this. He didn't want to be the source of any more stress for anyone. Perhaps that was an error on his part... but he was done questioning innocent androids that didn't want to talk. They would work their way around it.
He felt Mavis step up beside him as they looked up and down the street. When she spoke again, Connor turned his head to look at her. She stopped to think and their eyes met for a brief moment. He waited. When she finished her thought, Connor realized that there was more going on inside her head than she was letting on. He looked away for her sake so that it didn't feel like he was seeing right through her.
"I doubt any of them will want to talk," he told her. "Our biggest chance is with the neighbor." Connor turned back to the scene of the crime. "I've seen everything, I think," he said as he walked. "Whether it's enough remains to be seen." When they were out front again, he turned towards Mavis once more. "Is there anything else you wanted to take a look at, Ms. Pernell?"
[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/3b/7d/b9/3b7db9c9a43102431f4e12268eb3adc1.jpg]] Mavis, from her position on the ground, placed a hand on her hat to push it just slightly so she could shade her eyes and look up at Connor. She stood up, "[B Sounds good to me,]" and followed him.
Walking, even just as far as they had, Mavis looked around the neighborhood. Run-down looked like the theme of the place. Mostly android denizens, it looked like, and probably most of them gathered at the scene they just excused themselves excessively through to get to open sidewalk, dodging questions and concerned faces. Not a lot of anything in the yards, or in the driveways. Androids weren't able to reproduce, so it made sense that there wouldn't be a whole lot of children's toys or things in the yards like she was expecting. But it and the lack made the place look a little deserted. It was so [i quiet].
Someone hiding behind the curtains didn't put her at ease, either. She couldn't shake this ominous feeling. She glanced at Connor as he entered the fence of the neighboring house, and she followed.
She frowned back at him when he looked at her, uncertain as well, but Connor tried one last time. She peeked in the window, through what barely she could see behind what looked like sheer curtains. All Mavis really got was the existence of back windows, cut off by a partition wall.
"[B Well,]" Mavis offered to the voice behind the door, lowering her voice. "[B We're down at the DPD if you would feel safer coming to us. Away from the area. We would appreciate whatever information we could get so we can put away whoever did this to Mr. Sander.]" It sounded awkward using the android's one and only name with the prefix, but it was respectful in her terms, and she meant it as humanizing.
"[B Just in case you change your mind.]" the detective said, glancing after Connor as he turned to leave the front porch."[B Have a good one.]" and with that she followed him.
Sighing, she slid her hands in her pockets, looking up and down the street they were standing in. No cars, or rather not many. Cars were expensive and only certain android models "made with the programming allowing them to make realtime decisions on the road like a human" could actually get licenses. So, road and dock workers, such androids "made" equipped with that were the only ones able to get licenses. But that didn't mean they could afford a car.
Apparently a learning AI still didn't mean they could apply for a test, either, or lessons, so thought the government.
"[B I-]" Mavis sighed. "[B I wonder, too. I guess this is worse than we thought.]"
Her eyes dropped, glancing down at her shoes for a moment. She could proactically feel her humanness all over her body. People had struck fear into this community. She half wondered if letting Connor go by himself would be more helpful...
There was a shadow in the lines of her face as she looked at the houses again. In her eyes she was seeing dark faces, scared people, familiar history; chains, stolen lives. It tightened her lips and she sighed again.
"[B I don't know. Maybe-]" she looked at him, looking a little lost, uncertain. It was a delicate situation that she was only familiar with in theory, that she only remembered just on the outside of campus. She [i hid] from it while she was working at the mortuary. She hid because she could, focused on her work; not knowing all the good she could do with her privilege and it made her feel guilty. But standing here with a second chance, she wasn't sure what to do. Mavis knew she could do some good, but she had to do it in the right way. Understand what was going on.
"[B Maybe we should go. Hope someone comes forward. We can see- we can go door to door for a little, just so they know, just in case anyone's brave. Hold out a little hope someone saw something.]" Her lips tightened a little.
"[B But you're right, they're scared.]" Mavis shook her head, whispering just above her breath, "[B Fuck.]" in wonder. Or perhaps it was bemusement.
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