This is it. The final chapter. I've had a lot of fun writing this but it's time for Gavin and Richard to live their lives and for me to move on as well. I might return to do one-shots for Gavin and Richard but for the most part, I'm going to finally make my first, original story. It's all thanks to you guys that I've finally got the confidence to attempt an original story of my own. It's quite similar to DPD in the sense it's also a romance/mystery/comedy mish-mash that doesn't make any sense. A new year, a new story.

But seriously, I have to thank all of you, my dear readers, for supporting me along the way. The amount of views and comments I've got are incredible. I never fail to smile from each and every word you guys send my way. I may not be the greatest at responding back and I may not be the best writer in the world, but your endless kindness has helped me. Writing this was a journey in and of itself, and I couldn't have done it without you guys. So thanks. Thank you all very much, and I hope you guys will support me in my jaunt into my first original story.

You guys can find my discord 'thekingofsadness#0076', my discord server 'Alphawave's den' and my tumblr ' Alphawave-writes'. Keep an eye out on AO3 and Wattpad for my latest, as-of-yet-untitled story. See you in the next life XD

The upgrade

Until that fateful day, no one had ever seen Perkins without his trademark FBI badge. Not that he looked any better with his trademark grey coat and his perpetual scowl. The only change to his clothing to even suggest he was not on the job and was in fact here on a casual visit was the red sweater he wore instead of his usual grey suit jacket underneath his coat. Perkins was a very private person by nature who really only have Captain Allen as a friend, and Captain Allen worked in a completely separate building from the officers of the DPD. Which made it that much stranger that he was even in the DPD precinct at all.

Gavin only took a brief glance at the commotion before returning to his computer. His vacation days had come and gone in a flash. Whether it was by design, the accumulation of all the good karma points he had acquired, or just a coincidence, Gavin had been getting fairly laidback and straightforward cases. He only looked up once to check on Richard, who was trying his hardest not to smile. He barely got the time to ponder the meaning behind Richard's curious expression when he heard Perkins' throat clear loudly behind him. Gavin turned in his chair, face to face with not just Perkins, but Irwin, Hank, Connor, Tina, Chris, Fowler…hell, everybody he knew in the DPD was here, all clustering around his desk.

Gavin didn't know if he should be worried or afraid. He was leaning toward the latter. He had not seen Perkins since the RA9 case. "Uh…what's up?"

Perkins was uncomfortable, making a tentative step backwards, but Irwin forcefully pushed Perkins to the front. He sighed. "Reed, a while back, I heard that your sergeant application got rejected."

Gavin inwardly cursed. He'd been so busy with the case that he'd completely forgotten about his sergeant application. Shit, that draft e-mail must still be on here somewhere. He turned to check but Richard placed a hand on the arm rest, stopping Gavin's chair in its tracks. A coy, knowing smile spread across his lips.

Perkins continued, "From both my own personal experience and from what I heard, I thought it was good riddance you didn't become a sergeant. The fact that you had a relationship with your partner as well as your own personal ties to this case, I thought that would distract you from your job, but if anything, it made you more focused. I was…surprised to say the least when you found the culprits, and I was even more surprised you managed to talk down RA9."

He quickly handed an envelope to Gavin, quickly shoving his hands into his pockets. Gavin stared at it with wide-eyes. "What is this…?"

"I pulled a few strings," Perkins said quickly, not comfortable with explaining how. "The committee has decided to take a second look at your application with a new, unbiased group."

"B-but why? Why do this for me?"

Perkins rocked on the heels of his feet. "You didn't screw up completely. The charges against you were complete bullshit after what I've seen. You deserved a second go."

Richard stood beside Perkins. "I might have convinced Inspector Perkins to do this as a favour to me." He turned to Perkins. "Dare I say it, I think we are becoming friends."

"Me? Be friends with an android?" Perkins spluttered.

Tina chuckled in the background. "What would you two be called?" She asked Richard. "The two dicks?"

"It would be confusing, seeing as we both are called Richard," he acknowledged. "Perhaps to make things easier, you can call me Richard the first, and Perkins Richard the second."

"Why am I Richard the second? And wasn't he the tyrant that starved to death in jail?" Perkins grumbled.

Gavin wasn't paying attention to the argument in front of him. He was still staring at the envelope. His hands trembled and his throat felt dry. This was it, this was his future all in his sweaty grip. He would either be a sergeant or he would remain a regular detective. His fate was in his hands.

With shaky hands, he ripped the envelope and stared at the single paper held within. He read it, then he re-read it, then he read it again for the third time.

"Well?" Hank asked impatiently. "Out with it."

"I-I got it," Gavin whispered. Then, louder, "I'm going to be a fucking sergeant."

The hoots and shouts of congratulations overwhelmed Gavin's ears.

They all came to him, initially all at once, but after figuring that was not a valid tactic, approach one at a time. Connor and Tina gave their heartfelt congratulations. Hank gave a small laugh and said something along the lines of "It's about time". Chris and Ben both patted Gavin good-naturedly on the back, unable to think of the appropriate things to say. Irwin and Perkins just nod, the barest of smiles creeping up their faces. Richard's grinning proudly, giving comforting little touches and encouraging little words like "I knew you could do it". It's all too much for Gavin. It's all too much to comprehend.

Everybody continue in exchanging pleasantries until they realize that Gavin wasn't responding. His head lowered as he dropped the letter on his desk. A hand goes up to his face. The crowd went silent.

"Gavin," Richard said, concerned. "Are you…crying?"

"N-no," Gavin mumbled, wiping at his eyes. "F-fuck, I got something in my eye, that's all."

Richard rolled his eyes and crouched down so he was level to Gavin, gently tugging his face so that they were facing each other. Gavin's eyes were red-rimmed and watery but the smile on his face was proud yet soft. A single tear streamed down his cheeks.

"You're going to be a sergeant," Richard said quietly. "Aren't you happy?"

And Gavin laughed through the tears and the embarrassment that bubbled up his chest for crying. It was such a stupid little thing to cry about, except it wasn't a stupid little thing, it was his dream. He was one step closer to his dream, and it wouldn't have been possible without Richard. If he didn't rescue Elijah, if he didn't talk to Perkins, he wouldn't be here right now, ready to bawl his eyes out in front of everybody and make another mockery of himself.

"Richard," Gavin grinned, "I'm the happiest fucking person in the world."

Richard just smiled as he pressed a quick kiss to Gavin's cheek. In return, Gavin hummed contently. He didn't know if he actually was the happiest person in the world, but at that moment, with Richard and his friends and colleagues all around him, he'd like to think that he was at least in the top 100.

The happy tears flow uninterrupted down Gavin's face.

He awkwardly adjusted his shirt for what felt like the 500th time. Gavin was getting first day jitters, except it couldn't be first day jitters because this technically wasn't his first day. He must have looked like an idiot, standing outside the precinct doors deliberating whether or not he should go in or not. Everyone was waiting for him inside and yet he felt the pang of embarrassment deep in his chest. Then he felt ashamed for even feeling embarrassed in the first place. This was still the DPD he had worked so long with. These were still the people he knew and begrudgingly loved.

He glanced at the see-through glass, staring at his own reflection. He never thought he'd be back in uniform. He didn't think he looked good in uniform when he was just a beat cop and he still didn't think he looked better now, but he had to admit that it fit him better. He didn't look as out of place as he thought. The blue uniform with the three chevrons on his arm and the dark blue cap, they felt like a part of him, an extension of his body. He was a sergeant, and he looked like one too.

Gavin let out a breath, adjusted the cap on his head, and walked into the precinct.

He issued his new clearance card to the receptionist and stepped into the bullpen and is immediately greeted with a wolf whistle. He turned around to find Richard grinning at him.

"Like what you see?" Gavin purred.

"Very much so," Richard said, his hand trailing down Gavin's chest, admiring the fabric or perhaps even the man beneath the fabric. He leaned close to Gavin's ear and whispered, "I must admit, I much prefer seeing you out of uniform."

Gavin laughed and pushed Richard away. "Wait until I get a spare, babe. The fucking company that makes these is having a backlog of orders the size of Mount Everest."

Richard set his back straight and made an exaggerated pout. "Pity. I was going to put your uniform through its paces."

"Oh yeah?" Gavin's eyes twinkled, shortening the difference between their bodies. "And exactly how are you going to do that?"

"Guys, don't flirt without me. How else am I going to blackmail you?"

Gavin turned to find Tina and Chris approaching sporting wide grins and shiny new detective badges on their belts. Their old cop uniforms were gone, replaced with business casual suits. Chris was wearing a grey jacket and pants with a black shirt underneath, while Tina was decked out in a navy blue two-piece pantsuit.

"Chris, you look good. And Tina, you look like a Charlie's Angel got booted out of the 80s original run for being too Asian."

"Is that a compliment?" Tina laughed.

"You look good too, man," Chris smiled nervously. "Hard to believe I'm a detective now."

"You mean, hard to believe we're detectives." Tina turned to Gavin. "Did you know they paired me up with him?"

"You two are partners?" Richard pointed at Tina and Chris.

"Yep," Chris sheepishly rubbed the back of his head, "and if I know Tina, I'm either babysitting her or she's babysitting me."

"No mortal on this planet can stop Tina Chen from bringing justice to this godforsaken planet," Tina bellowed in a dramatic voice.

Chris gestured to Tina. "See what I mean?"

Gavin let out a smile. Despite Chris's protests, he had a feeling he'd work well with Tina. Someone had to make sure she didn't go too crazy, and Chris was just the man to do that. He pointed his thumb to the meeting room. "Are all the other officers there?"

"Not yet," Tina replied. "You're early anyway, so you've got a bit of time to mingle, Sergeant Reed."

Gavin couldn't help the smile creeping up his face. "You wanna know a secret? I've been practising saying 'Sergeant Reed' for a couple of days now and it still sounds fucking surreal."

"I can attest to it," Richard added. His hand found Gavin's and their fingers entwined. "Gavin's been spending a lot of time practising in front of a mirror."

Chris and Tina glance down at the pair's conjoined hands, suppressing a giggle. They both turn their heads to the side, their eyes lighting up in recognition and amusement.

"I'll see you at the meeting," Tina grinned, quickly ushering Chris away despite his muted protests. Just as they were gone, Gavin felt someone tap him on the back. He turned around to find Elijah and Chloe, smiling softly at him.

"Gavin," he said.

He couldn't say any more because Gavin hugged him with the force of a bull, knocking the breath out of his lungs. Chloe hid her giggles behind a scar-ridden hand, an imperfection that only seemed to heighten her humanity.

"G-Gav, you can put me down," Elijah wheezed. Gavin let him go, only to give him a light punch to the shoulder. It was an effort to make up for the overly affectionate gesture from before.

"Glad to see you don't look like complete shit," Gavin grinned.

Elijah was still a bit paler than normal and the bruises from his fight still left a purplish tint on his body but despite all that, he smiled gratefully. "I could say the same for you. You don't look all that terrible in a uniform."

"Someone out of the two of us has to look decent," Gavin shrugged. "Might as well be me."

Elijah let out a scoff. Chloe giggled again. "If I may say, it's good to see you two are on talking terms again," she said.

Much as Gavin would like to deny it, it definitely felt better to be able to talk to Elijah normally again. The path to forgiveness had been both tenuous and strenuous. When Elijah had finally regained consciousness a week after the attack, Gavin had spent half the time telling him off for being stupid enough to get into a fight and the other half worried sick about Elijah's physical condition and the what-ifs that lingered in the air. When Elijah was well enough to maintain a conversation for longer than two minutes, they had talked extensively about Arthur and the android issue and their lives. It wasn't easy conversing with elijah like a civilized adult but Gavin could see that Elijah really did appreciate it. By the time Elijah finally left the hospital, the scars they both bore had finally begun to heal.

The last time they had met was a week ago for dinner at his dad's house. Everybody was teasing him about Richard, including Richard himself, but it was a perfectly normal, uneventful dinner. It was difficult for the two cousins to open up so suddenly but they were making progress. Of course, that didn't stop Elijah from being a cryptic bastard. He plastered on an innocent look on his face but it was obvious he was hiding something behind his back.

"Come on, out with it, Eli," Gavin said.

He turned his head. "I don't know what you are talking about."

"Eli, come on, I know you got a present."

Elijah smirked. "Not just me." He shoved a small wrapped present into Gavin's arms. Gavin eagerly ripped through the wrapping paper, his eyes narrowing as he brought it to the light.

"It's a…picture frame?" Gavin asked.

Elijah nodded.

"Er…thanks?" He said, unsure what to say about such a strange, cheap gift.

Richard grinned. "It's not complete without this." And from a discreet compartment in his jacket, Richard produced his own present. It's a small photo album, and when Gavin opened it, there were tens if not hundreds of pictures of Gavin from when he was a kid all the way to the present. There were pictures familiar and new: teen pics lost to the internet, baby photos he didn't even know he had, embarrassing pictures that Gavin had hoped would never see the light of day. He flipped through the pages until he came to the final few. These pictures were staggeringly different in quality, taken with a much better camera and yet he wasn't smiling stiffly at the camera but organically captured at the moment. In one picture his face was captured at the peak of his fury, and in another, he was napping contently with a tired smile on his lips. The rest of the photos was Gavin smiling or laughing, looking so free and easy and content. At once, Gavin knew that these were the pictures that Richard had took of him.

Gavin flipped to the last page and a photo popped out. He knew this photo well. It's the picture one of those nosy reporters had taken when Gavin kissed Richard after capturing RA9. Richard's cheek scar seemed to glow in the shot as did Gavin's detective badge on his belt, which only seemed to highlight the tenderness of that moment as they caressed each other in an intimate embrace. He turned to Richard, finding him also staring at the photo fondly.

Gavin smiled. "You know, you could've just cut out any gay magazine from that month and I'm sure it'd be of higher quality than this."

Richard didn't retort back. Instead, he pointed at the picture. "Turn it over."

Gavin flipped the picture over to see a short, simple message in what could only be Richard's handwriting. The font was crisp and computer-perfect except for the areas where the ink spluttered and spurted, tiny dots of ink ruining its sterile perfection. He couldn't help but laugh. Gavin had a feeling Richard purposely chose a faulty pen for this exact purpose. He read the message Richard wrote.

The dawn of my creation began with you. By your side, I have lived to see the sun rise and feel the warmth of its rays kiss my skin. You've given me life, love, and memories worth a thousand dawns.

I hope my sunset ends with you too.

- RK900 Richard

Tears well up in Gavin's eyes, which he quickly wiped away. By his side, Richard's LED glowed yellow. His smile turned nervous.

"Is it…is it OK?"

Gavin responded with an eager kiss to his lips, a wordless affirmation that yes, yes this was beautiful and wonderful and perfect. Richard responded with a satisfied hum, plucking the photo from Gavin's hands and placing it into the photo frame. The kiss was brief and when they separate, they take their time to stare at the newly framed photo. Gavin didn't know where to put this. It might be too much of a stretch to put it on his workplace desk where everybody could see him snogging Richard. Maybe on top of the cabinet in his apartment's hallway, or near the TV? He didn't know, and he was sure to talk about it with Richard later, but first, he had to focus on the more immediate things.

Namely, the cousin and his android partner staring at him with an amused grin lifting his cheeks.

"Thanks, Eli," Gavin said softly. "Appreciate it. Really."

"Just make sure to invite me to the wedding—well, once android-human weddings become legal, that is," Elijah said.

"Invite me too," Chloe added.

Richard laughed softly but made no attempt to suggest they weren't going to be married. It wasn't something Gavin had ever talked about, let alone thought of, but for some strange reason, it didn't repulse him as much as he thought it might. Living together with Richard for the rest of his life as a couple of gay fucks, that sounded pretty good actually. Yet another thing to discuss later. Much much later, Gavin thought.

"Hey, Reed?" Gavin turned around to see Hank approach him. "You're needed in the conference room."

"Oh," Gavin turned to Elijah. "I guess we'll catch up later?"

"Call me for coffee at your lunch break, I'll be in the city today. Extra cream, extra sugar, right?"

"You know I only drink black," Gavin remarked.

"Pink unicorn Frappuccino it is," Elijah laughed as he exited the DPD with Chloe by his side.

Gavin headed over to the conference room where the chatter of new and old officers echoed loudly. His eyes widened at the number of people in the room. Fowler told him that he'd get a bigger-than-average squadron for the next couple of weeks, at least until the transfer papers for some of the officers were officialised, but it was one thing to hear it and another to see it. As soon as Gavin stepped up to the podium, everyone fell silent, watching him.

It's strange to have people look at him like this, with respect and fear. Gavin had a feeling that if he just went up to everybody and said "good morning, class" that the rest of the squadron would reply with "good morning, Sergeant Reed". He saw a few officers' eyes light up in recognition (probably recognised him from the news, he thought) but the majority stared at him blankly, quivering microscopically out of their own self-inflicted fear. Gavin almost wished Tina and Chris had remained officers so he'd have a familiar face in the crowd. Apart from Richard by his side, everyone in this room was a stranger.

His hands grip the sides of the podium, hiding his own nervous tension. He turned to Richard who stood in a military stance by his side. When their gazes do connect, Richard softened. A smile formed on his lips, its sole purpose being to comfort Gavin. It worked remarkably well, as always.

"Aren't you two those gay detectives?" A voice said.

Gavin turned to the source, his eyes landing on a young man at the very front. The officer let out an arrogant smile as he leaned back in his seat, resting his hands behind his head.

"Yeah, what of it?" Gavin asked. "Got a problem with me or my partner?"

The kid's lips twist into an exaggerated sneer. "An android with a human? That's not natural."

Just a glance of the kid gave Gavin enough of an idea of their character. They were cocky, ruthless, and thought they knew everything there was to know about life. Gavin recognised all that from one glance because he was that person, once upon a time.

…Well, OK, he still was, but he was trying to be less of a shit. He had to if he wanted to stay a sergeant. Although if he was being honest, it kinda felt nice to be...well, nice for once.

Gavin's lips curled into a smile as he turned to the officer. "You know, I was going to do a short little speech but since you've kindly voiced your opinion, I might as well tell you my story."

Beside the kid, another officer sharply elbowed him in the gut. He winced in pain. Gavin placed his hands on the podium.

"I'm Sergeant Reed, and the android next to me is my partner, Richard. And yes, we are dating, not that you guys should get any ideas."

A few chuckles break the silence. Gavin could feel the tension in his stomach slowly uncoil.

"I know a lot of you guys are still distrustful of androids. Believe it or not, I was the same. I hated androids. I thought they lacked the basic humanity inherent in humans, I thought they looked weird, but what I was most afraid of was the fact that they were simply better than me. It wouldn't be long before they replaced me, and I resented that. I focused so much on what androids could do better than humans that I forgot what made humans so great in the first place. And I didn't know until the deviants started showing up."

Gavin glanced at Richard, who understood his cue. He slid over to Gavin's side by the podium, his body a breath away. "It's no coincidence that deviants, when given free will, mimic human behaviour. The breadth of emotions that humans have, the ability to form and break relationships was something us androids never had. We might be efficient, but we were emotionally stunted, incapable of making decisions outside of logic."

Underneath the podium, out of sight, Richard grabbed Gavin's hand. It took all of Gavin's willpower to not smile like the lovesick puppy he was. The officers were leaning in, curious as to where this speech might lead.

"Even on an individual level, we've all got our pros and cons, our strengths and weaknesses. On our own, our weaknesses might be our undoing," Gavin gazed at the officers, a healthy mix of androids and humans, all looking at each other, "but that's why you've got partners and teams. Now I might be the biggest hypocrite for saying this but this is going to be my number one rule while I'm in charge of you guys: always—and I mean always—take care of each other. Because whether you're android or human, black or white or Asian or other, you guys are all officers of the DPD. And together, you guys can do way more than you ever thought possible."

The silence that followed was deafening. For a second, Gavin thought he went too wishy-washy at the end until he heard a single clap, followed by a few others, and soon the officers were politely clapping. For the majority, they didn't really seem to care about what he said, but in the corner of his eyes, he caught a few people staring at the officers around them. He saw the people that gazed fondly upon their new coworkers, friends, and rivals, their eyes alight with hopes and dreams. Even the kid in front stared at Gavin with wide eyes, slowly taking in what had been said. Gavin's message really only registered with a small fraction of the officers but for him, that was more than enough. As the tension fled from his body and he closed his eyes, he couldn't help but think that this was what it felt like when you found your place in life. This really was his dream, and it's right there in front of him, in every single officer right in front of him.

Oh, he was going to have fun being a sergeant.

As the clapping died and the officers looked at Gavin with visibly more relaxed shoulders, Gavin smiled once again. "Now that all the boring stuff is over, it's time for the party to get started, everybody. Line up." From a small table behind his back, he pulled out a huge amount of tablets, all documenting the different duties and shifts of his new officers. The officers groaned. Richard by his side was trying not to smirk too widely. Beneath the podium, they were still holding hands.

"Seriously, Sergeant Reed?" He heard one officer mutter under their breath as they picked up their tablet.

Gavin couldn't help but grin. He was never going to be tired of being called Sergeant Reed.