Hank could see things getting tense, a low conversation between Reed and the Connor clone, Nines. Surreptitious glances at the FBI puke, Perkins. Then the android standing, fingers drifting over Reed's evidence ID access badge that vanished when his hand moved away.
He'd never been close to Reed, but he respected the guy. When Hank saw that gleam in Reed's eye, fist curling and arm tense as Reed approached Perkins, Hank stepped in, a hand to his shoulder to stop him. "Go watch your partner's back, I'll take care of this asshole," Hank growled under his breath, cocking his head back at Perkins.
Reed studied him a moment, then nodded. Without a word, he turned and strode after the android.
"Hey, Perky! I gotta fuckin' question for ya!"
Gavin could have gone toe to toe with Perkins, and distracted him long enough, probably. But it would have cost him his badge, and Reed had to have known that. Hank's seniority and rank would shield him a little. The fact that he was also nearly a foot taller and more massive than Perkins meant he had a much better chance of going more than one round with the fucker.
Besides, Hank recalled the fear in Connor's voice, the fear in his own heart, not just for Connor but for all of them. The two girls at Eden that Nines had let go, the ones who ran or fought back because they were being hurt and couldn't take it anymore. And the ones- the ones like Connor. Who deviated quietly, privately, out of love. Millions and millions of androids, he doubted Connor was the only one like that. Hank had a score to settle with the obnoxious fucker.
Hank thought of all that as he strode across the bullpen. The man had only enough time to register the rage on Hank's face before the blow landed. Perkin's head snapped back and he staggered, flopping against the wall before sliding down, clutching his bleeding nose.
The other reason Hank had been willing to take the hit, was because he knew it would get him sent home, and he had to make sure his boys were okay.
"Fuck all this!" he growled as Chris Miller tried to gently lead him away.
He pulled away with a growl and strode out to the parking garage, masking his fear with anger.
On his way home, he could see shit going down, military presence. Had to pass through three roadblocks. At least they had the grace to be fucking embarrassed when they saw his rank. One exceptionally nervous, no doubt newly minted soldier had actually fucking saluted.
The radio didn't make him feel any fucking better so he turned it off. Finally he pulled into the driveaway, wanting to crawl right through the garage door. Instead he kept up the act of anger, hollering for Cole as he unlocked the front door.
Cole came running, throwing himself into Hank's arms and he scooped his son up. Sumo lumbered after. "Con? Con, come on out." He was already carrying Cole towards the garage.
Connor emerged and it took a moment to register what was different. "Didn't know you could take it off." Hank brushed his thumb over where his LED used to sit.
"He did it with your pliers, Daddy," Cole said, sounding much younger than his eleven years.
They wound up on the couch, Connor tucked into his side, Cole curled up in both their laps, suddenly much younger than his 11 years. The last time Hank watched the news for so long, it had been about New York City and airplanes.
Uprising. Androids being rounded up, taken to camps. Connor and Hank both had reached for Cole then, wanting to cover him, to shield him from it, even if it was too late.
He'd let them, holding Connor's arm tight to his chest while pressed to his father's, Hank's broad hand between his face and the TV.
Markus, the one who'd sent out the demand video. Others with him, standing brave even when bullets flew. State of emergency.
Then an army. White and grey uniforms, an endless stream of them, and at the front, in a white and black jacket, high collar open and flapping in the night wind-
"Connor look! He looks like you!!"
Finally it was over. Androids were people.
It wouldn't be that simple, of course, it never was. But laws were being drawn up and pulled down.
The following day found Hank waking to a knock at the door. He saw Connor trying to stand, but Cole weighed him down. "I'll go," Hank assured him.
They had all fallen asleep on Hank's bed, Cole having been very happy to learn he'd gotten his birthday wish. Hank in turn had heard about how Cole had saved the day.
Still in the clothes from yesterday and not caring, Hank only stopped long enough to check his weapon, not entirely happy at the hour. Add to that, the only two people he trusted were asleep in the other room. When a look through the peephole showed Gavin Reed he raised an eyebrow and opened the door, tucking his gun away.
"Wanted to say thanks," Gavin said as Hank stepped out onto the front porch. "I was ready to- I know what it would have done to my career. So I appreciate it." Gavin looked over his shoulder where the RK900 was leaning against this car, looking a lot more casual than when he'd arrived at the DPD. His black and white high collar jacket was gone, replaced by a brown leather one Hank recognized as belonging to Gavin.
"Glad I could help. Just wanted to do what was right."
"Something else, uhm. You own an android, right? RK800 model?"
"I don't own anybody, Reed," Hank growled.
Gavin held his hands up. "Sorry! Sorry, didn't mean it like that. Just- Nines was going through some CyberLife records. There was a similar model put out, a few years ago in Chicago. Just one of 'em, actually. Program got scrapped, no one wanted to work with him. Paper trail goes a little fuzzy after he got donated to some shitty school, but it looks like he got sold into Detroit and bounced around a lot, finally wound up at some shady second hand place. CyberLife wasn't happy but he was just one so they let it go."
"Got a point?" He asked, knowing he was talking about Connor but not knowing why.
"Nines is ... He's a prototype, too. With CyberLife gone, there won't be any more like him. Doesn't know if he'll be welcome at Jericho, considering what he used to do, why he was made. And he- He's alone, Hank. He just, if you've got him, if he's here, Nines would like to-"
Hank nodded, eyeing the other android again. The way he met Hank's gaze, then looked down and away reminded him of Connor. "I get it. Family, right?"
"Something like that, yeah."
Hank reached back and pushed the door open. "Wait here." He stepped inside and closed it. "Connor, baby," he called, smiling when Connor came out of the bedroom, carrying a sleepy Cole piggyback. "Your brother wants to meet you."