Ch. XX

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"Sit back down and let me help." You instructed.

Connor's gaze found yours, and he realized that you allowed no backtalk. He seated himself inside the car, however turned towards the side, with his feet still on the pavement.

"Roll up your pants."

He got to work silently, occasionally releasing a soft grunt of displeasure, while you searched for the leg in Kamski's backpack. It was perfectly compatible with the RK800 and was also the right one.

You kneeled down in front of Connor, not really caring about dirtying your dress, and put your hands on his right knee. After letting your fingers feel the surface, you managed to find the two small buttons in the popliteal area. You positioned both your indexes on them, pressed down, and pulled the leg away.

"Feel anything?" You asked as you put the damaged limb away and reached for the spare one.

"No. The...discomfort has ceased."

"Good. While I put the other one on, take Kamski's backpack and look for a cable."

Connor complied, the rustling of fabric accompanying the clicking caused by the limb connecting to the rest of the leg.

Satisfied with your work, you rose back to your feet and looked at the Android, who was holding out the cable to you. Gently, you took it from him, fingers brushing against his. His skin was cold, but soft.

"I'll need you to turn around for this so I can access your processor."

"So you have knowledge in robotics? Just like Kamski?"

Oh, right. He had no way of knowing that you were his assistant. Or that you used to be.

"Yeah. I contributed in the creation of Androids. I was the one that made the physical designs, for instance the faces." You opened his skull, quickly finding the place you needed to put the plug into. "And I also tested Androids and took care of bugs or glitches." You fished the spare memory drive out of your pocket, and connected it to the other end of the wire. "But once we're done with this, you'll already know that. Much more than that."

Connor closed his eyes, led once again blinking yellow, then blue, yellow, blue...the cycle continued for a minute.

Your heart was hammering in anticipation, stomach fuzzy and warm. You were going to get Connor back.

Thick, black lashes trembling, he woke up, brows furrowed in absolute confusion for a second. Until his gaze landed on you.

"(Y/n)..." He whispered in wonder, the biggest, goofiest, most sincere smile you had ever seen on him washing over his face. He immediately stood up, slightly unsteady on his new leg, eyes glistening. Was he...was he crying?

You laughed in relief and utter bliss, immediately bringing Connor into a crushing hug. He was back. Your Connor was back.

Hot tears spilled over your cheeks and landed on the Android's suit as he reluctantly embraced you too, arms wrapping around your back.

"I'm here. You're here." You whispered, running your hands up and down his back, as if you were still in disbelief that it was actually him, physically standing in front of you, holding you close. "Connor."

He nuzzled his face into your hair, enjoying the closeness more than he would have ever cared to admit. His Thirium pump was hammering erratically, you could clearly feel the beats as he embraced you.

Slowly, far too soon for Connor's liking, you let go, moving your hands up his neck to cup his face. He really had cried, one glistening trail of a tear on his cheek.

"I'm so happy I could get you back." You smiled gently. Unlike Brennan, saving him had been a success. Finally, something positive.

Connor's led blinked yellow, then blue as he smirked back, putting his hands over yours, enjoying the touch. Blissful, warm, fuzzy—it felt like home.

"We should get going." Connor then added, taking off your hands in spite of not wanting to. "You said you have bus tickets, right?"

"They'll get us to the border." You nodded and pulled them out of the backpack, presenting them to the Android. With eager, careful eyes, he analyzed them, then looked back at you.

"And Kamski's friend? May I take a look at the address?"

You found the notebook and presented it to him as his LED flashed yellow once again.

"It's right by the border as well. We should take the bus, look for him, and then cross." Connor explained.

"Good. But before anything else, we...we need to get rid of your LED."

You could see a trace disdain on Connor's face, however he didn't say anything, other than nod.

"Be right back, I'm going to go look for something sharp. Stay low. And cover your LED with something, since it's pretty visible when it's so dark out. Okay?"

"Okay."

You returned to the car only minutes later with a sharp stone, watching Connor stare at virtually nothing, LED blinking a soft amber under the hand he had laid on his temple to conceal it.

"Do you want to do it, or should I?"

"I can do it." He answered sternly and took the stone from you, bringing it up to his forehead. The LED blinked a deep red, a tremor going through Connor's hand.

"Let me. You're going to end up hurting yourself."

You tiptoed to be able to get a proper look at his temple, then took the stone back from Connor.

"Sorry. For being such a nuisance." He added while you focused on the LED. "First, I get my memory deleted, then I get shot in the leg, and then...this."

"It's not your fault, Connor." You forced out a side of the led with the tip of the stone, then pushed it below the metallic piece, which finally caused it to break off. You caught it in your hand before it hit the floor, then showed the transparent, lightless piece to Connor. "Here. One step closer to being a human." You smiled.

"May I keep this, assist—"

"Well, I'm technically not an assistant anymore, but yes. Of course you can."

"I don't know why I feel the need to hold onto it."

"Sometimes, Connor..." You shrugged your shoulders cluelessly. "Sometimes it's important to hold onto your past too. It shows you who you were. And maybe one day..." You put your hand over his, closing his fist around the LED. "Maybe one day I could put it back and you can wear it without being afraid of anyone or anything. One day."

He smiled bitterly. "One day."

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