The darkening of the sky was no match for the shine of Pax's face. He was seated across from me, both of us on the floor of my bedroom.
There were a number of chairs and beds available, but we always sat on the floor.
The window was wide open, curtains blowing in the gentle summer breeze and the sound of the city could be overheard.
Pax’s monitor was a soft pink blush. His tiny facial features were moving side to side, bouncing around his robotic skull. He smiled at me. The pixels widening into a goofy grin.
“What?” I half-laughed.
“Show me it again?” he asked, though he knew he could have demanded it and I would have still.
I lifted my shirt and he sighed, “In a dream...” he trailed.
I nodded, “I had to draw it right away. It's a perfect match as far as I can remember.”
“I like the geometric design of it,” he said, eyes narrowed into the middle of his monitor, squinting at the tattoo splashed across my stomach.
His eyes rolled back up to my face and I dropped the hem of my shirt, letting it cover the tattoo once again.
“I wish I could get a tattoo,” he said, but he could easily have said “I wish I could dream” and both statements would have been true.
I frowned. I hadn’t thought about the possibility that Pax wouldn't be able to get one as well. It seemed obvious now. Just yet another thing that differentiated us humans from them robots.
“But you can,” I replied, an idea popping into my head.
Pax’s face flickered to a question mark. He usually tried to keep his face looking somewhat human around me. It was a nervous habit though I always insisted I didn't care.
“Look, just meet me here tomorrow after my class. I've got a plan. What do you want tattooed?”
Pax's face returned to his monitor and he grinned even wider before it switched to an image of a dove.
I smiled too, “It's perfect.”
“Are you ready?”
Pax was lying across a workbench. It didn't look the most comfortable, but it would have to do. The artist, or mechanic, depending on who you asked, had an engraving tool in one hand.
A sketch of the dove had been drawn onto the metal of Pax's thigh. Pax was still wearing that same blush pink smile of the previous day.
“I'm ready!” he replied cheerfully.
I took his hand and the artist began to etch away at the metal. Soon enough the tattoo was done and Pax stood to look in the mirror at it.
“The lucky part is that you can always replace the panel if you're sick of it.”
Quietly, Pax replied “I'd never get sick of it.”
I placed a hand on his shoulder. The artist went into the next room over to clean the equipment.
Slowly, very slowly, Pax leaned his head against my chest.
“Thank you,” he whispered quietly, “I wish for a lot of things. I wish I could dream. I wish I could kiss you. I wished for a tattoo and this is damn close enough. Thank you.”
“Its alright Pax,” I replied, “And I wish I could kiss you too.”