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    Thorn Wilde
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
Stories in this Fandom are works of fan fiction. Any names or characters, businesses or places, events or incidents, are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Recognized characters, events, incidents belong to CD Projekt Red, Micheal Pondsmith and/or R. Talsorian Games.

This is a transformative work based on the setting and characters of the Cyberpunk tabletop RPG franchise and the video game Cyberpunk 2077. These elements belong to R. Talsorian Games and CD Projekt Red. The setting was invented by Mike Pondsmith.

Chase the Morning - 3. The Grudge

CW: PTSD, tragic backstory, war flashbacks

Chapter named for this song by Tool.

Huge, epic thanks to the enablers at the Lizzie's Discord server and particularly the cool cats in the #Johnny channel who helped me keep him in character and suss out his backstory (and invent it where it was lacking).

Also, this chapter is almost as long as the two previous chapters combined. For this I refuse to apologise.

V is lying on his stomach, Johnny’s weight pinning him down to the cot. Johnny presses his hot mouth to the soft skin behind V’s ear, groaning, ‘Fuck! Gettin’ close . . .’

‘Fuck, yeah,’ V mumbles into the pillow, arching his back. His heart is pounding, his body going taut as Johnny hits just the right spot. Johnny’s breath on his skin and his soft groans in his ear are enough to drive V over the edge.

‘That’s it,’ Johnny murmurs. ‘Ah! Fuck!’ His hips come to a stuttering halt and he holds still for a couple of seconds before pumping in and out a few more times. Finally, his body relaxes and he kisses the back of V’s neck several times. ‘You good?’ he murmurs against V’s skin.

‘I’m good,’ V confirms, smiling. Johnny’s lips feel nice. ‘You?’

‘Yeah.’ Johnny shifts a little, pulling out. ‘Had fun.’

‘Good.’ V remains on his stomach, head pillowed on his arms, while Johnny stands up and disposes of the condom. They’ve been fucking for about two weeks. It’s good sex. Comfortable and uncomplicated. V gazes at Johnny, taking in his tall and lean frame, his long legs and well-defined torso. Watching him move naked around the tent with the dim lantern light reflecting off the metal of his arm is really something. ‘God, you’re hot,’ V says without thinking.

Johnny glances at him, eyebrow cocked. ‘Thanks. I mean, I know.’ He smirks.

‘Cocky bastard.’ V grins. ‘Wanna share a blunt before you go?’

‘Sure.’ Johnny sits down naked at the foot of the cot while V leans over the edge, rummaging in his box for a pre-rolled joint and his lighter. He lights it and takes a hit, then passes it to Johnny. Johnny breathes deep. ‘This really is some preem shit you’re growin’,’ he says, and he sounds genuinely impressed.

‘Yeah, I’m proud of it,’ V says, smiling. ‘Been doin’ it for years.’ He sighs. ‘Not sure what’s gonna happen to my crops now we’re back with the Aldecaldos, though.’

‘What do you mean?’ Johnny asks.

‘Well, it’s fine long as the pack stays in this general area, but . . . I mean, we’re nomads. Eventually we’ll move on. And honestly, I like being a nomad. I grew up that way, and when we were settled on the farm I missed it. Missed waking up in new places, seeing new sights, new people. I was born a nomad and I always figured I’d die as one.’

‘It suits you,’ Johnny says, passing the joint back.

V nods. ‘But I also like growin’ things. Eating or using something you grew yourself, it’s . . . it’s just a good feelin’.’

‘What was it like?’ Johnny asks. ‘On the farm, I mean.’

‘It was nice. Different pace. A little boring, only having the same people to talk to all the time. It was Mom, Dad, my little brother and me. Then there was Uncle Jon, his output and two inputs, one of whom was also my dad’s input for a while . . . The four of them had eight kids between ’em.’ V laughs. ‘There’s some debate on whether my cousin Will might actually be my half-brother, ’cause Bethany and my dad got together around that time, but he looks more like Uncle Jon.’

‘One big, happy poly-am family,’ Johnny remarks.

‘Yeah. It was good, though. All six of ’em raised us together. Like, I knew who my biological mom and dad were, obviously, but Tommy, Bethany and Uncle Jon are just as much my folks as Yanna is, y’know? Felt nice and safe, havin’ that many grownups lookin’ out for us.’

‘And the other kids?’

‘Well, out of the ten of us, I was the oldest. I was thirteen when we split from the pack. Second oldest was Leah. We were close.’ V’s heart aches when he thinks of her. ‘She, uh . . . she and her mom, Lara, they were killed when the farm was attacked. Along with my dad and my brother Chris.’ He takes a deep breath. This hurts to talk about, and he tries to move the conversation away from it. ‘Anyway, Will and Ria, who were born on the farm, they never even differentiated when they were little. All the adults were mom and dad.’

V takes a deep drag off the blunt, pulling smoke into his lungs. It helps dull all the feelings this conversation has stirred up in him. He’s feeling mellow and sleepy now, and he lies back, looking up at the canvas ceiling of the tent for a few moments. Johnny plucks the joint from his lips. V glances at him. ‘What about your folks? Got any family?’

Johnny shrugs. ‘Aldecaldos’ve been my family for six years now.’

‘Yeah, but where are you from?’

Johnny seems to hesitate. He pulls on the joint, holding the smoke in for a while before blowing it back out in a small cloud. Finally, he speaks. ‘College Station, Texas. Place really went to shit in the nineties. And my family are all dead.’ His voice is steady, devoid of emotional inflection, as if he were talking about the weather. ‘US government really fucked us over. I mean, they fucked everyone over tryin’ to save their own necks after the Collapse, but . . . Yeah. My dad, my brothers, my sister . . . in the end it was just Mom and me. We made it to Arizona not long before Texas declared independence. Mom took to drugs. OD’d on . . . somethin’. Not even sure what. I was about fourteen at the time.’

‘Shit,’ V murmurs. ‘Fuck me, Johnny, I’m sorry.’

Johnny shrugs. ‘Not long after Mom went, the Second Central American Conflict started. Army needed soldiers, so I enlisted. Had fuck-all elsewhere to go. They didn’t care that I was just a kid, long as I knew how to hold a gun, which I did. Sent me to Nicaragua and then Mexico. Got my arm blown off, but they needed bodies on the ground, so the military replaced it. Fought for those fuckers over a year. Then I deserted, fled into California, and ended up in Night City.’ He brings the joint to his lips again. His fingers are shaking, and V sits up, covering Johnny’s hand with his own.

‘I’m sorry I asked,’ he says softly. ‘You okay?’

Johnny turns his dark eyes on V in a cold glare and snatches his hand away. ‘I’m fucking fine.’

V frowns. ‘Johnny, c’mon . . .’

Johnny passes him the joint and stands, gathering up his clothes. ‘I said, I’m fine. Mind your own fucking biz, Vincent.’ His voice is icy, and he makes V’s name sound like a curse.

‘Why are you angry at me?’ V asks helplessly. ‘Look, I’m sorry I asked, okay?’

Johnny doesn’t answer. He pulls on his clothes and rushes from the tent, leaving V naked and alone on the cot and letting the cool evening air inside. V feels cold now that his sweat has dried, and he takes a final drag off the blunt and puts it out before pulling the blanket over himself. ‘Well . . . shit,’ he says to no one in particular.

#

Johnny strides furiously through the darkened camp. It’s late and most of the nomads are asleep. He goes to his tent, rummages through his belongings for a bottle of tequila he knows he has stashed somewhere. He needs to not feel right now. He can’t even explain where this rage is coming from, but if he doesn’t find a way to get rid of it, he’s not sure what he’ll do. He wonders briefly how livid he’d be if he hadn’t just smoked pot. He’s supposed to feel mellow right now. Sometimes, when he’s like this, he’ll find someone to fuck, but he just left the most obvious candidate naked and confused in his tent, so that ship’s sailed. Drinking is next on the list.

He finds the bottle, pulls the stopper and takes several long swigs. It stings going down, and Johnny coughs. Between the tequila and the Kush, his throat burns. ‘Fuck,’ he mutters. ‘Fuck!’ He almost throws the bottle, but then that would be stupid.

Johnny hasn’t thought about his past in a long time. Not since he wrote and recorded Sins of Your Brother, when he put all the pain, all the blood and agony and regret from the war into music, hoping for some sort of catharsis. And it worked for a while. Since then, he hasn’t thought about Nicaragua or Mexico, or the weeks he spent at that crappy motel in Pacifica drunk and high and staring at a ceiling fan. Hasn’t thought about the man who took a bullet for him, even though he still wears the guy’s dog tags around his neck. He grasps them now, clenching them so tightly in his fist that it hurts. And he hasn’t thought of Texas or Arizona for even longer. He takes another big sip of tequila and sits down on his cot, staring at the tarpaulin floor.

Why the fuck did V have to go and ask about this shit? Something about V makes him want to open up, and he hates it. Hates V for being so kind and earnest and inquisitive. Hates him for inspiring trust and making Johnny feel relaxed and somehow safe enough to talk, when he’s not safe at all. He’s never safe, and he hates the kid’s stupid, honest face.

He realises he’s shaking, and he takes another drink, reaches into his pocket for a cigarette and lights it clumsily with his right hand, bottle still clutched in the metal grasp of his dominant left. It refuses to let go, holding onto the bottle like a lifeline.

When he closes his eyes for just a moment, images flash through his mind. He imagines the sound of machine gun fire, the smell of dirt and blood. He sees men and women being gunned down around him. And further back, his sister dead, face down in the dirt. He opens his eyes again, sucks on the cigarette like he’ll die if he stops. He can’t smoke and drink at the same time, though, so he takes it out so he can wash down the smoke with more booze.

A quarter of the bottle is gone already. Johnny realises his heart is racing and his breath is coming in short staccato bursts. His face is a little wet and he tells himself it’s sweat. He takes in deep lungfuls of smoke, drinks more tequila, and slowly his mind gets quieter and his breath comes more easily. His heart is still racing, and he feels hot, but the rage has dulled to a smoulder. He stands up and feels immediately dizzy. He needs to piss.

He has the presence of mind to stopper the bottle before he puts it down. Then he stumbles from the tent, out into the cool night. Shambling away from camp, he pisses up against a cactus. He’s tired now. Exhausted, actually. He can no longer remember why he was so angry.

Somehow, he makes it back to the tent and his cot. He passes V’s tent on the way. It’s dark and quiet, and part of him, in his drunkenness, wants to go inside, sleep in there. Not sleep alone. But he has a strong feeling he shouldn’t, though he can’t recall why it wouldn’t be appropriate right now.

He crashes on his cot and falls asleep fully dressed.

#

It takes V a long time to get to sleep. He finally drifts off in the wee hours, but wakes up at his usual time, not long after sunrise. He’s exhausted but gets up anyway. Even after years with the nomads, Johnny’s still on rockerboy time, so he usually gets up quite a bit after V. But by noon, V still hasn’t seen him.

He swallows his concern. After their . . . fight? V’s not even sure what actually happened. He knows Johnny can be standoffish and even a little mean on occasion, but last night was something else. Anyway, after that, he thinks Johnny probably needs space. And so he goes about his day as normal. At dinner time, he sits down to eat with his family. Ainsley, Farrell and Carter are off somewhere else, having already made friends with some of the other teens in the camp. Ria and Will are squabbling over something or other. Luca and Sarah had a fight recently and are currently demonstratively Not Talking, even as they sit next to each other looking sullenly in opposite directions.

V sits at the end next to Tommy. Uncle Jon’s seated between Tommy and Bethany, while Yanna is trying to engage Luca and Sarah in conversation with little success. Together like this, it’s almost like it used to be, when it was just them. On the road and, before that, the farm.

‘So, V,’ says Tommy in a slightly hushed tone. ‘You’ve been spending a lotta time with a certain musician, haven’t you?’

V blinks and glances sideways at him. ‘Um . . . yeah. We’ve been hangin’ out.’

‘So . . .’ Tommy hesitates, then whispers, ‘He your output, or what?’

Looking down at his plate, V feels his face flush and is glad he’s slightly sunburnt so it won’t be so obvious. ‘No,’ he says very slowly, dragging out the ‘o’.

‘But?’ says Tommy, clearly sensing that’s not the whole story.

‘Buuut,’ V bobs his head from side to side, making a face, ‘I guess we’ve been . . . sleeping together.’

He sees Tommy try to hide a smile. ‘Thought as much. You’re being safe, though, right? Never know where those rockerboys have been. Plus, you don’t wanna end up pregnant, ’specially not if it’s not serious.’

V coughs, almost choking on a piece of soy meat. ‘Yeah,’ he says when the coughing’s stopped. ‘Yeah, we’re being safe.’ He smiles at Tommy.

Tommy was always the one V went to with questions about sex things. He’s always liked Tommy a lot. He’s always been around, as he and Uncle Jon have been together since before V was born. Since they’re not actually related, it felt less awkward to talk to him than to his parents or Uncle Jon, and he was never as close with Bethany or Lara. The only time Tommy referred him to one of the others was when V got his first period. ‘I don’t get those, kiddo,’ he said. ‘Better talk to your mom, just this once.’

V had struggled to comprehend this at the time. Yanna was a woman, and V was so sure he was gonna grow up to be a man. Tommy was the first person he talked to about that too. Tommy helped him pick his name, talked him through puberty when his new body was giving him anxiety, researched binding methods. V owes Tommy a lot. And if nothing else, he certainly owes him the truth.

‘It’s been about a week,’ he says. ‘We’re just passing time, having fun. He’s . . . an interesting person.’

‘If by interesting you mean drop-dead gorgeous, I absolutely agree.’ Tommy grins.

V laughs. ‘That too. But he’s . . . very complicated. Messy. Lotta baggage, I think. Which would be fine, if he’d actually unload some of it on me every once in a while. We had a conversation last night that turned weird and he got mad and fucked off. I think he thinks he needs to be tough.’

‘Ah. One of those.’ Tommy sighs. ‘Well, I dunno what to tell ya, kiddo. Except, don’t go into this kinda thing thinking you can fix him. That never works.’

V shakes his head. ‘No, it’s not like that. I just wanna be his friend, but feels like he won’t let me.’ He sighs. ‘Doesn’t really matter. From the sound of it, seems like he’ll be goin’ back to Night City soon, and that’ll be the end of it.’

‘What are you two talking about?’ Uncle Jon asks from Tommy’s other side.

‘Nothing,’ says V.

‘It’s private, you nosy prick,’ says Tommy affectionately, kissing Jon’s cheek. Jon turns his head and kisses Tommy on the lips.

This seems to distract Will and Ria from their discussion long enough for them both to loudly say, ‘Yuck!’

Everyone else laughs. V looks around at his family. He’s glad he has them. He may have lost some of them, but he still has all these people who love him. Johnny doesn’t have that. He and Santiago are more business associates than friends. He said he doesn’t know if he has any friends back in Night City anymore. He also said the Aldecaldos are his family now, but he so often keeps to himself. He seems to have two modes—party with everyone or sulk by himself. And for the past couple of weeks, he’s allowed V to be present while he sulks.

Just then, V sees something out of the corner of his vision, and he turns his head. Johnny’s standing not far off, looking at him. He looks exhausted, dark circles under his eyes, and he’s hunching his shoulders a little. V hesitantly gives him a smile. Johnny returns an expression that could almost be interpreted as one.

Shoving what remains on his plate into his mouth, V stands up. ‘I gotta go,’ he says to the table at large as soon as he’s chewed and swallowed his food.

‘Not gonna help with the dishes?’ says Bethany.

‘I’ll get you all next time,’ says V.

Tommy glances at Johnny and gives V a knowing look. ‘See you later, kiddo.’

Hands in his pockets, V heads over to where Johnny’s standing. ‘Hey,’ he says when he gets there.

‘Hey,’ Johnny replies. His voice is even more gravelly than usual, and he clears his throat.

‘You okay? You look like shit.’

This time, Johnny actually manages half a smile. He scoffs, looking away. ‘Gonna go do some target practice. Wanna come?’

‘Sure.’ V nods. ‘Let’s go.’

They leave the camp. Not far off, Johnny sets up about a dozen bottles on some rocks. He passes V a revolver and picks up one of his own. They both take aim and start shooting. V gets five. Johnny gets only four. He glares at the revolver as if it were at fault. Then he glances at V. ‘I’da won if I hadn’t been hungover,’ he rasps.

‘Ah. That explains a thing or two.’ V puts down the gun and turns to look at Johnny, arms folded. ‘What’s goin’ on, man?’

Johnny sighs and wipes his forehead. ‘I don’t fuckin’ know,’ he mutters. ‘I . . . guess I lost it last night. Drank half a bottle of tequila and smoked half a pack of cigarettes in like twenty minutes and then passed out.’

V wants to do something. Touch him. Hug him, maybe. Tell him he’ll be okay. But Johnny looks like a skittish animal where he stands, like he might bolt at any second, and V’s worried he’ll scare him away, so he doesn’t say anything.

‘Why’d you have to start askin’ about that stuff?’ Johnny grumbles, kicking at the dirt with the tip of his boot.

‘Hey, man, you started it,’ V says. ‘You asked me about the farm and my family first.’

They stand like that in silence for almost a whole minute before Johnny lets out a long breath and says. ‘Yeah, fuck, okay. That happened.’ He frowns. ‘I hadn’t thought of any of that shit in . . . a real fucking long time. I freaked out and I took it out on you, and that was a dick move.’

‘It’s okay,’ V says when it seems like Johnny’s said his piece.

Johnny shakes his head. He wets his lips and finally meets V’s eye again. ‘When I was in Mexico, a friend took a bullet because of me. We joined up at the same time. He was a little older, looked out for me. And then he died, ’stead of me. So I ran.’ There’s something unspoken here, V realises. Maybe this is why Johnny doesn’t want to get close to people, because then that might happen again.

‘Gonna be perfectly honest with you, Johnny,’ V says with a lopsided smile, ‘I like you and all, but I’m not sure I’d take a bullet for you.’

Johnny laughs at that. It’s weak but not forced.

‘So, we good?’ V asks softly, finally reaching out and squeezing Johnny’s right arm.

Johnny looks down at his hand, then covers it with his own iconic silver one. ‘We’re good.’

‘Okay if I hug you?’ V asks. Johnny rolls his eyes and shrugs. V puts his arms around him anyway. ‘I get that this shit’s hard to talk about, so I’m never gonna push you into doin’ it. But if you ever want to . . . I’ll listen. ’Kay?’

For a moment, Johnny tenses and V thinks he’s made a mistake, but then Johnny seems to relax a little again. ‘Yeah, never gonna happen,’ he mumbles into V’s shoulder. Then he pulls back a little to kiss him instead. When he opens his mouth, though, V pulls away.

‘Fuck me, Johnny. Your breath smells like death. Not doin’ that till you brush your teeth, dude.’

Johnny moves his lips to V’s neck instead. ‘Come with me to my tent, then,’ he murmurs against V’s skin, then amends, ‘Actually, on second thought, stop by your tent to get some more of that sweet grass while I go brush my teeth, then come to my tent.’

V raises an eyebrow. ‘It’s still early. Everyone’s up and about.’

‘Don’t care. Wanna fuck you.’ Johnny’s words make something stir in the pit of V’s stomach, because damn, it feels good to be wanted. ‘Besides, noisy camp means less risk of bein’ overheard.’

V laughs. ‘Fine, fine. Get off me and I’ll go.’

Johnny lets go of him and steps back. He’s still clearly tired and drunk sick, but he looks more like himself, somehow. They head off in opposite directions. V picks up some weed and his bong, removes his harness and prosthetic and leaves them in his tent, then goes to Johnny’s. He finds Johnny on his cot in just his underwear, having a swig of tequila. When V raises an eyebrow at him, Johnny just shrugs.

‘Hair of the dog,’ he says. ‘That weed’s gonna do me a world of good, though.’

V smiles and sits down next to him. They pass the bong back and forth until they both feel hazy and mellow, and then Johnny scoots in close and pulls off V’s shirt. He hasn’t showered, and he reeks of sweat, booze and pot smoke, but none of that bothers V. They’re just the smells of someone who lives. Johnny starts kissing his torso, sliding his right hand down into V’s pants to stroke his bio-dick. V arches his back and moans softly as Johnny bites into his throat. He pulls his hand back again.

‘Get your pants off and lie down on your belly.’

V does as he’s told, getting naked and lying down. Johnny keeps his underwear on and gets on the cot, straddling V’s thighs. He runs his hands up V’s sides to his shoulders and starts rubbing them. V hadn’t thought getting a back rub from a metal hand would be very pleasant, but it is. Johnny’s touch is measured, he puts on just the right amount of pressure. As he works, he peppers V’s neck and shoulders in kisses.

It occurs to V, through the haze of lust and pot and Johnny’s hands and lips, that this is Johnny apologising. He works his way down V’s back, his mouth always trailing behind his hands, kissing and licking V’s skin. V shuts his eyes, enjoying the moment. When Johnny’s hands reach V’s ass, he slides them down the back of his thighs. ‘Bend your knees for me. Get your hips up.’

V bends his knees, raising his pelvis off the cot a little. Johnny spreads V’s knees apart a bit, then runs his hands up the insides of his thighs. He spreads V open, sliding a finger inside his cunt. After a moment, the finger is replaced with something warm and wet. V moans out loud. He raises himself up on his elbows, looking over his shoulder to see Johnny get down on his side and press his head in between V’s thighs to get at his dick.

‘Ah, fuck, Johnny . . .’ V groans. Johnny hums, a soft rumble in his chest that gives V shivers. He slides two fingers inside, moving them in and out at a slow but steady pace, and V arches is back, panting. ‘Fuck, I’m getting close,’ he whispers, and a few seconds later, his orgasm hits him. Johnny doesn’t stop, just keeps sucking, licking, and fingering his cunt until it’s almost too much, until it almost hurts. V grabs the pillow and bites it, unable to stay quiet as he’s hit with wave upon wave of pleasure. His body tightens and he feels like he can hardly breathe as he comes again. Once he can draw breath, he grits out, ‘No, stop . . . I can’t . . . !’

Johnny stops immediately, sitting up, and V lowers his pelvis onto the cot again, thighs shaking. ‘You okay?’ Johnny asks, just a hint of concern in his voice.

V utters a breathless laugh. ‘I’m . . . I’m fine. Was just getting a little intense, is all.’ He looks over his shoulder at Johnny again and finds him grinning smugly.

‘Like how I can just wreck you,’ he murmurs. He stretches out on top of V, pressing his lips to the nape of his neck. His breath is warm on V’s skin as he adds, ‘Makes me so hard.’

A pleasant shiver runs up V’s spine. He can feel it—Johnny’s cock pressing against his thigh through his underwear. ‘Then do somethin’ about it,’ V whispers. He cranes his neck and Johnny takes his mouth in a deep, sloppy kiss. His tongue tastes metallic, and V shivers again at the memory of what that tongue was just doing.

Johnny gets up to remove his briefs. ‘On your back,’ he says. He gets a condom out of the pocket of his leather pants, which lie discarded on the floor.

V turns over and Johnny returns to the cot, rolling on the condom. He gathers V’s legs and hoists them up over his left shoulder, lining up his cock and pushing inside in shallow thrusts. The angle is incredible, Johnny’s thick cock hitting all the right spots, and V shuts his eyes, covering his mouth with his hand.

‘Look at me,’ Johnny says, and V opens his eyes again. Johnny’s dark gaze is intense, so full of lust and maybe, just maybe, a small hint of affection. ‘That’s it, now,’ Johnny whispers, going deeper. ‘Eyes on me. Fuck, you feel good!’

The praise goes straight to V’s groin. V’s whole body is quivering. He empties his mind, focuses on Johnny’s face, on his eyes, and just lets himself feel. It’s not long before he comes again, Johnny following a moment later, either unable or unwilling to hold back.

Johnny lets V’s legs down on either side of his hips and collapses on top of him, kissing his chest several times. ‘That,’ he says breathlessly, ‘was good.’

V smiles, running his fingers through Johnny’s hair, some of which clings to his sweaty forehead. ‘Yeah,’ V says softly, ‘it was.’

Johnny props himself up on his elbows and studies V’s face. He frowns. ‘I, uh . . . I think I need to head back to Night City. Not tomorrow or anything, but in a few days.’

‘Oh.’ V tries hard to keep the disappointment he feels out of his voice. He and Johnny are just messing around, he has no claim on him, and he doesn’t want one either. But he’s not in the habit of lying to himself, and saying he wouldn’t miss this would definitely be a lie.

‘You ever been?’ Johnny asks.

‘Uh, no,’ V replies, taken off-guard by the question. ‘I mean, yeah. Couple of times. Went to a ripperdoc there for my transition. But, like, I didn’t really see much of the city.’

‘Well, I was just thinkin’ . . . if you want to . . . you could come with. Just to hang out for a while. I could show you the city, we could hit some clubs, catch a few gigs . . . y’know. Just for a bit.’

‘You askin’ me to run away with you?’ V jokes, smirking.

‘I’m askin’ you to hang out,’ says Johnny. ‘For however long works for you.’ He shrugs. ‘Just thought you might have fun. Plus, good fuck chooms are hard to come by.’

V sighs dramatically. ‘You just want me for my body.’

‘Yup,’ says Johnny without missing a beat.

V laughs. Then he wets his lips, looking away for a moment. It’s tempting. He’s never spent time in a big city. The Badlands have always been his home. He knows Night City is a dangerous place, but he can hold his own in a fight. The thought of hanging out with Johnny some more is appealing as well. Finally, he nods. ‘Okay.’

‘Yeah?’ V is probably imagining the hint of excitement in Johnny’s otherwise steady voice.

‘Yeah. I mean, I should talk to my mom. She might not be keen on the idea. But I’m an adult, it’s not like she can stop me.’ He smiles. ‘So yeah. I’ll go with you.’

‘Well, that’s settled, then.’ Johnny gets off him, disposing of the condom, then lies down on his side beside him, pulling the blanket over them both. His cot is a little wider than V’s, though not by much. Johnny looks sleepy now, his eyelids drooping as he blinks slowly, his eyes on V.

‘Should, uh . . .’ V hesitates, wetting his lips. ‘I should prolly go. Let you sleep.’

‘If you want,’ says Johnny with a shrug. ‘Or not. Up to you.’ He yawns. ‘I don’t care.’

V is tired too, even though it’s still pretty early. He had a short and sleepless night, after all, and he feels thoroughly fucked out. And so he turns over on his side, facing away from Johnny, surprised when the other wordlessly drapes his arm over his waist. They’re not cuddling, just lying close out of necessity. They lie there in companionable silence, neither of them speaking. V listens as Johnny’s breathing evens out, feels the steady rise and fall of his chest against his back. And soon, V drifts off as well.

© 1988-2022 Micheal Pondsmith, R. Talsorian Games, CD Projekt Red; All Rights Reserved; Copyright © 2021 Thorn Wilde; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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I like this line.

They’re not cuddling, just lying close out of necessity.

Yeah. Uh huh. 😉

Nice chapter. It didn't feel long to me. Well done.

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45 minutes ago, Wayne Gray said:

I like this line.

They’re not cuddling, just lying close out of necessity.

Yeah. Uh huh. 😉

Nice chapter. It didn't feel long to me. Well done.

Glad it didn't feel too long. And yeah, there may or may not be a little bit of denial going on here... :P 

  • Haha 1
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