John is sent to Rudy’s after his MX “fell” out of a moving a car and he needs a new one. Rudy tells him that they’re out of MX’s and he’s being given a different model, a DRN. John recognizes the model, a more inefficient model. Rudy sets him up to be turned on, which John wants to be over and done with, since he never wanted a synthetic partner to begin with. Rudy give’s John the tool to turn on the DRN. He does so and the DRN awakens with a jolt. He sits up and look around the room before scanning John. He introduces himself as Dorian, and compliments John on his record. John tells him to update his files and then they can go.
In the car, Dorian is getting used to being awake, and asks what he should call John. John just says Detective. Dorian expresses how happy he is to be working alongside him, but is confused since he was decommissioned, and wants to know why he’s there. John just says that he’s required to have a synthetic partner, but Dorian takes offense to the word synthetic. Dorian continues to try and get to know John better, or at least get along but John just wants him to be quiet.
They walk into the police station, Dorian taking note of the MX’s. John tells him to register so that they can continue his case. There is a lead, involving the kidnapping of a detective and a possible suspect is brought in. Dorian and John go to question him, John using a more hands on approach. Dorian says there’s a better way and hack John’s synthetic leg, unknown to him, and takes a moment to look through the suspects medical files. He discovers that the suspect shot themselves, and use the information as leverage to get him to reveal where the detective was taken.
They start to make their way to the address, Dorian not happy the way John was handling the prisoner. John warns Dorian not to report if he doesn’t want to end up like the last synthetic he had. They get there and discover a bomb, Dorian see’s the wires and offers to lead the way for John. An MX advises against it, but John decides to follow Dorian. They get to a door and open it, finding the missing detective inside a glass box. They realize it’s a set up and what they thought was a bomb goes off, and the detective face is melted off and dies.
They discover how the prisoner escape, and Dorian apologizes to John as he knew three of the officers who died in the process. They go over to the detective’s body, John asking for a lab box to send to Rudy so that they can figure out what killed him, but Dorian is able to take some of the blood and analyze it and send it to Rudy himself.
They begin to cross reference cases and discover a missing one. Dorian realizes that John believes someone specific is behind the crime, but won’t say anything. Dorian calls John out for not trusting anyone, but also doesn’t really blame him, given everything that’s happened to him. John doesn’t want to hear it, but Dorian can’t help it, and they start arguing, but are interrupted as John gets a phone call from Rudy. He ends the call and goes out, Dorian asking where he’s going, but John doesn’t answer.
John goes to see a memory specialist, who hooks him up to a machine, and he is able to recall that his missing girlfriend was a member of the group that had killed the detective. Dorian arrives and brings him out of the memory as he was in a state of shock. John asks if he used the locator chip and he confirms. They go to a restaurant outside and John tells Dorian what he remembered. They’re interrupted by John’s synthetic leg malfunctioning and Dorian tells him that the best way to fix it would be olive oil. John decides that he should acknowledge that Dorian saved his life, but Dorian says that he only did it so that he could stay on the force. It takes John a second to realize that he’s joking, and finally recognizes Dorian as different from the MX’s. He takes it as a compliment. As Dorian starts to talk about the way his memory works, John realizes that they could put the MX recording from the detective’s kidnapping into Dorian and find a way to connect everything.
They get the MX, and discover that they’re after evidence from a specific case. John calls the Captain and tells them that they’re after evidence and they need to go on lock down. They get to the station, and are able to take down the culprit before they can retrieve the evidence.
The next day John and Dorian search through all the evidence locker room trying to figure out what they were after. Dorian tries to go through the compute network but the sabotage was thorough, but he promises to keep trying. Later Captain Maldonado and John talk. He asks why he was given Dorian. She believes he’s good for him, but that doesn’t fully answer his question. She believes he’s special, just like John.
John and Dorian drive out of the precinct. Dorian guesses that John wants him quiet, but John declines, and asks him to call him John.
Due to the early cancellation of the show, many fics about the two tend to try and continue the relationship from the series ending, depicting how they believe it would have gone. Writers also typically write the two in a relationship would cause problems for the department, given Dorian's synthetic status, and his status as technically government property.
On AO3 it is the most written ship in the Almost Human tag, and the most written ship for both characters.