Jimmy’s Bar was as busy as one would expect on a Saturday night. The booths along the walls were filled with men and women in various stages of inebriation.
There were, however, no other androids in the establishment.
Despite the fact that android segregation laws had been lifted last year, androids still tended to avoid human bars due to the overwhelming amount of hatred that people still felt for them.
Connor, however, paid no mind to this fact. The occasional drunk would stumble by and take a swing at him, mumbling something about “androids never learn.
” These individuals were easily taken care of - they were often too intoxicated to reciprocate Connor’s reflexes.
He’d accepted the fact that androids would never be seen as humans - and, given the shocking lack of decency in humans, he was okay with that.
Hank suddenly clapped a heavy hand on Connor’s shoulder. He pulled back to face the android toward him, then looked at him seriously.
Oh boy, Connor thought.
“Now, Connor,” Hank started. “Tonight is not just for me to get drunk off my ass. No, tonight’s gonna be a learning experience for both of us.”
He laughed when Connor furrowed his brow.
“I fail to grasp your meaning, Lieutenant,” Connor said, narrowing his eyes.
“Well, Connor, tonight is going to be the night we finally find out how human you really are.
” Smiling, Hank turned Connor to face the counter and gestured towards an individual who stood behind there.
The stools along the counter had emptied significantly since their arrival, allowing plenty of room for Connor to see what the lieutenant had been pointing to.
There were two individuals standing behind the counter. The first was an older man, who Connor scanned over.
Ben Walker. Born 1986. Occupation: Cashier. History: Aggravated Assault, Traffic Violations.
Connor followed Hank’s arm, looking to the second individual.
Though she was facing away from him at the moment, Connor could tell she looked young, early twenties at the oldest.
Her hair was tousled and tied up with a black bandana, cropped close to her neck in what Connor believed was commonly referred to as a pixie.
The short nature of her hair drew attention to her long, slender neck and narrow shoulders. She was tall, almost as tall as Connor, and had long, slender arms.
She curved inward at the waist, giving her gentle curves in what Hank would have referred to as all the right places.
She wore dark jeans that emphasized the length of her legs and a red flannel that was rolled up to her elbows beneath the black apron that employees were required to wear.
She turned to hand a glass to the man smiling at her from across the counter, and Connor found himself taken aback.
Her face was round, but had an accentuated bone structure that emphasized the height of her cheekbones and the strength of her jawline.
Her lips looked soft as she smiled with a smile so genuine, it almost brought a smile to Connor.
Her eyes were the color of the sky in the summertime, surrounded by long, thick lashes and framed by black glasses. She had a scattering of freckles across her nose and cheeks.
Connor could have scanned her to find out her name…
But he didn’t.
He wanted to learn her name without having to scan her.
Realizing that Hank was smirking at him, Connor reluctantly tore his eyes away from the bartender to face him.
Some trace of what he was thinking must have still shown on his face. Hank chuckled and shook his head.
“See? I told ya.”
Connor feigned a look of confusion. “I’m not sure what you’re referring to, Hank.”
“Ha!” Hank laughed. “You couldn’t be more obvious!”
Connor turned away from the lieutenant, feeling his face flush a faint blue for the second time that evening.
“Who is she, Lieutenant?”
Hank smirked, then nodded in the direction of the bartender. “Come on, Con, I’ll introduce you.”
Before Connor could pull him back, Hank had strode forward and spread out his arms.
“Who’d a thought they’d ever let a Rivers work in here?” He called from the end of the counter.
The girl turned to face the booming voice, and Connor saw a flash of recognition pass through her eyes, followed by a lopsided smirk of her own.
“They had to lower the bar once they let an Anderson in!” She called back, pulling on the ties in the back of her apron to take it off.
Beneath the apron and the flannel, Connor was surprised to see a Guns ‘n’ Roses shirt.
Hank smiled and lowered his arms, walking toward the end of the counter as the girl walked over to meet him, exiting through a set of swinging doors.
Connor noticed that she was wearing a pair of worn, beaten Converse, despite the fact that they hadn’t been in production in years.
The girl crossed her arms and leaned against the counter, grinning. “I thought you’d run away, Hank. Haven’t seen you in a while!”
Hank walked toward her and met her in a warm hug, like he’d known her for years. She returned the gesture, all but disappearing in the arms of the lieutenant.
Breaking the hug but keeping one arm wrapped around her shoulders, Hank turned to face Connor. “Get your ass over here, son; there’s someone I’d like you to meet.”
Connor stepped forward, looking back and forth between Hank and the younger girl, taking note of when her eyes flickered to the yellow pulsing of his LED.
He was worried the warm expression on her face would melt away at the sight of it, but was glad to find that she continued to smile.
Why would I be glad? He thought to himself.
The girl looked him up and down a few times, her eyes flicking across his face and smiling.
Hank looked between the two of them and rolled his eyes as they stared at each other. After about a minute of silence between the two of them, he cleared his throat.
“You gonna say something? Or just make eyes at each other all night?”
The girl laughed. It was a clear, genuine sound that reminded Connor of sunshine. He wasn’t sure what that meant, but it was the only thing he could compare it to.
She stepped forward out of Hank’s arm, holding out one of her hands. When Connor reached out to take it in his own, she clasped her other hand around it.
Her hands were smaller than Connor’s, but they were warm.
“You must be Connor,” she said, smiling up at him. “Hank’s told me a lot about you.”
Connor looked at Hank for a moment, who was smirking at him, then returned his gaze to the girl in front of him.
“All good things, I hope?” he returned with a lopsided smile of his own.
The girl laughed again, shaking her head. “Of course!” She paused for a moment.