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Connor’s Tattoo

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Since his deviance, Connor has felt a drive to learn… irrelevant things. Though most things he discovers serve no purpose, there’s a sense of satisfaction to completing his self-set missions. Hank calls it curiosity before ruffling his hair and telling him not to get in too much trouble with it.

His latest subject is a recurring tattoo of a semicolon. Most often it is on the wrist, though he’s seen it placed elsewhere. His first theory of it representing a dedication to the English language had fallen through. Most people he’d seen with it had little connection to writing professions, and many seemed to lack even a personal interest in such studies. When it appeared on Simon, Connor decided a direct approach was most likely to satisfy his interest. He waited until the end of a meeting in Jericho to approach the other android.

“Excuse me, I was wondering if you could explain the meaning of your tattoo.” Simon finishes gathering his belongings, then looks at Connor. The detective knows he’s been avoiding Simon. The resemblance to Daniel was difficult for him, so his sudden approach had likely been unexpected. Unwanted, maybe? As Connor prepares to make an excuse to leave, Simon smiles. It’s a bit sad, but open. Connor abandons his excuses and lets the other gather his thoughts.

“It’s a symbol for people who struggle with depression or suicide. They or their supporters use it as a reminder to keep going.”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t understand the connection.” Connor tilts his head, trying to find a link between mental health and English. Simon taps his fingers on the tattoo for a moment, likely working out how best to explain.

“Alright. So, a semicolon is used to create a break in a sentence. It isn’t over, but there’s a pause, a moment of silence.” Connor nodded, and Simon continued. “Depression is that pause. The semicolon is a reminder to keep going. Life isn’t over, as long as you keep fighting. There’s more to the sentence as long as you’re here to see it.”

Connor’s LED cycles yellow for a moment, processing. When it turns blue, he smiles. “I see. Thank you for telling me. I know this can be a difficult topic to discuss.”

Simon’s smile comes back, looking happier than before. “Yeah, it can be a heavy topic. I’m glad you asked though. You and I haven’t talked much.”

“It would be beneficial to change that.” He intends to now. It’s unfair to alienate Simon over a similarly to Daniel, and the former Jericho leader deserves better. First, though, there’s something Connor needs to do.

~*~

When Connor enters Hank’s house (his house? They’ve lived together a while.) that evening, Hank is on the couch watching a game. “Meeting run long?” He asks, not looking away from the TV. Connor sheds his jacket and hangs it by the door.

“No Lieutenant, there was something I needed to do.” His shirt sleeves are still rolled up to the elbow, letting the new semicolon on his wrist air out as advised. He sits next to Hank. The man turns, freezing when he sees the new addition.

“What’s that about?”

“The semicolon is used as a metaphor for the fight against depression. Though not originally-” Hank waves his hand, cutting Connor off.

“I know what it means. Why’d you get one?”

Connor takes in a breath he doesn’t need, stalling. “Because I do not want your sentence to end, Lieutenant.”

Connor is engulfed in a hug almost faster than he can process. His arms come up to return the gesture, and he feels a head come to rest on his shoulder. “For the last damn time, call me Hank.” The android grins, leaning further into the embrace.

“Of course, Hank.”