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    Thorn Wilde
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Cyberpunk 2077 in the property of CD Projekt Red. The characters and locations in this story are for the most part not mine.

Metanoia - 4. I Know the End

Content Warning: Mentions of transphobia, vomit

They call it ‘getting your affairs in order’. That thing you do when you think you might die, or know you will. I feel like that’s what I’ve been doing the past few days. Been meeting up with friends, calling people on the holo, clearing my calendar and finishing up jobs that need doing. Episodes are getting worse, closer together. Can’t afford to wait much longer.

I roll up at Kerry’s around seven, parking my bike next to his car and entering the house unannounced. He’s said I can drop by any time, so that’s what I do. ‘Kerry?’ I call.

‘I’m upstairs, kid,’ comes the reply, from the direction of the bedroom. I take the steps two at a time and find him sitting on the bed with one of his guitars. In front of him is a good old-fashioned piece of lined paper onto which he’s scribbling down musical notes with a pencil. Now he puts the pencil down and looks up at me, smiling. ‘Hey. There you are.’

I return his smile and bend to kiss him. ‘Hey. Workin’ hard?’

He shrugs. ‘Done about as much on this thing as I can today.’ He picks up the paper and stuffs it in a drawer, then places the guitar on the floor next to the nightstand. ‘How was your day? Kill anyone interesting?’

I laugh. ‘My work consists of more than killin’, Ker. I consider myself more of a . . . thief than an assassin, most of the time. ’Sides, I try to only flatline people if I gotta.’

‘Merc with morals, huh?’

‘Maybe.’ I sit. ‘I dunno . . . If I got a job where I gotta neutralise a target, I try to go in quiet. Random gonks I just knock out. Zero the bad guy, then get the fuck out. If killin’ ain’t in the job description, I don’t do it ’less I have to. Like, if I’m in danger or I have to protect someone else. Or, very occasionally, if they really deserve it.’

‘You’re such a pussy,’ Johnny says, appearing at the foot of the bed. ‘Pacifist merc? Please!’

‘Never said I was a pacifist,’ I tell him. Out loud, I continue, ‘Just don’t like unnecessary loss of life. Enough death in this world as it is.’

‘Well, you’re not wrong,’ says Kerry. ‘Now, let’s talk about something a little more pleasant . . .’ He leans in close, lips close to my ear. ‘I’ve been thinking about you all day. I really need to get fucked.’

His words send a jolt through my body, down to my groin. As it happens, I did remember to wear my dick today. ‘That so?’ I murmur.

‘Mhm . . .’ Then he kisses me, sliding his soft, wet tongue inside my mouth, and I hungrily kiss him back, pulling him into my lap so he’s straddling my thighs. He puts his arms around my neck, grinding against me. I tilt back my head and pull him close so our chests are flush together.

When he pulls back a little, I say, ‘That can prolly be arranged,’ and I grab his ass with both hands, squeezing hard. Kerry’s eyes flutter closed and he groans, head falling forward so his forehead rests against mine.

‘Good,’ he whispers. Then he lets go of me and pulls off his shirt. I immediately take advantage, pressing my lips to his exposed collarbone. I lick down to his left nipple, liking the reaction I get as Kerry arches his back with a soft moan. I take the hard bud gently between my teeth and suck on it. ‘Ah, yeah . . .’ he breathes. I tweak the other between my thumb and forefinger, and his hips buck. ‘Ah!’

I’m learning new things about Kerry every day. Both what he likes in bed and what he’s like as a person. I soak it all up like a sponge, every moment, taking what I can get for as long as I can.

He gets off me, gets to his knees on the floor and pulls my pants down, revealing my silicone dick, which is already hard. He takes it in his hand, stroking it slowly a few times before giving the tip a teasing lick.

‘What’s it like?’ I ask, my voice breathless.

‘Hm?’ Kerry licks it again.

‘Ah! Um . . . sucking it. I mean . . . it doesn’t taste . . .’

‘Like the real thing? No . . . but I can smell you.’ He kisses down the length and buries his nose in my groin. ‘It’s kind of like sucking a cock with a condom on it, only not quite. It’s nothin’ like a dildo. It . . . feels real, ’cause it’s yours.’

I slide my fingers into his hair as he takes this extension of me into his mouth. I feel it all; his tongue, the hot cavern of his mouth, his breath, his saliva. ‘Fuck, Ker . . . I love your mouth . . .’ He chuckles around my cock, and it reverberates through the silicone and cybernetics into my biodick and up my spine, feels like. ‘Good for a lotta things . . . that mouth o’ yours . . .’

Kerry looks up at me through his lashes, and then he opens up his throat and takes it all the way in.

‘Ah, fuck!’ I shut my eyes. ‘Fuuuuck . . . So good . . .’

I don’t get to come. Too soon, he pulls his mouth off me again and stands up. ‘Get your clothes off.’

I grin. I like it when he’s impatient. ‘Yes, sir.’ I stand up and get undressed, watching as Kerry peels off his pants. As soon as I’ve pulled my shirt over my head, he’s there again, kissing me and pressing his bare chest against mine, his hard cock rubbing against my thigh. ‘How d’you want me?’ I whisper against his mouth.

‘Don’t care.’ He’s breathless, desperate. ‘Just need you in me.’

‘Then get on your back, on the bed.’ He does as I ask, and I climb up after him, grabbing the lube from the nightstand. While I open him up with my fingers, I take his gorgeous cock into my mouth, sucking him off while I finger his ass.

‘Fuck, V,’ he moans. ‘If you’re not careful, I’ll come.’

I take my mouth off him for a minute and look up at him. ‘Then come. You’ll have plenty of time to build up for another one. I can go all night. Wanna taste you.’ I take his hand, place it on my head so he can grab hold of my dreadlocks. Then I swallow his cock again, taking him as deep as I can and sucking hard while my fingers locate his prostate. I press my thumb against his taint at the same time.

‘Ah! Oh, my . . . fucking . . . V!’ Seems I’ve rendered Kerry Eurodyne incoherent, and I’m prouder of this than I have any right to be. His thighs tremble, his back arches, and he blows his load into my mouth. I swallow it all, making sure to lick him clean.

I let him have a break after that, lie down next to him and kiss him, running my hand all over his torso, feeling his skin beneath my fingertips, his heartbeat beneath my palm as I lay my hand flat on his chest. ‘You got any idea how hot you are?’ I ask softly.

‘Well, I look pretty good for my age,’ he says with a small shrug.

I bite his shoulder. ‘You look pretty good for any age,’ I say firmly. ‘And don’t you forget it.’

A faint, pink tinge enters his cheeks. ‘How do you do that?’

‘Do what?’

‘Make me feel . . .’ He looks away. ‘Never mind. You gonna fuck me or what?’

I don’t press the issue. Instead I roll on top of him, kiss his throat, his jaw, his cheek and lips while I lube myself up. He spreads his legs for me and I hook them over my elbows before pressing inside. His ass his tight and hot, like his mouth was. The sight of him, of his face, mouth open and eyes closed as he arches his back and groans, is almost enough to make me come.

He lets me set the pace this time. I go for slow and deep, angling my thrusts to hit his prostate, and it doesn’t take long before he’s moaning underneath me. He puts his arms around my neck, pulls me closer, kisses me hard. I pick up speed, losing myself in him. My breath comes in short bursts and my heart is racing. I reach between us, where he’s getting hard again, and stroke his cock while I fuck him.

‘V . . . V, I’m gonna come soon . . . I . . . I need you to . . .’ He swallows. ‘Need you to come too!’

And I wish at that moment that I had a real cock so I could fill him with my cum like he filled me. I move faster, fuck him harder, until my climax hits me and my hips move erratically of their own volition. ‘Ah, fuck, Ker!’ I kiss him, stroke him faster, and he comes for a second time, spilling over my hand and his own stomach.

Rolling off him, I reach for some tissues and wipe off my hand and his stomach. I kiss around his bellybutton and he laughs. No, giggles.

‘That tickles, you gonk!’

Nosing his navel, I look up at him. ‘Oh really? You’re ticklish, are you?’

‘Yes, and I swear to god, if you tickle me, I’ll—’ But I don’t get to find out what he’ll do, because he dissolves into a fit of laughter as I begin to tickle his sides. ‘M-mercy!’ he manages. ‘Please, stop!’

I stop. ‘Well, since you ask so nicely.’ Then I stretch out next to him and kiss him, and we lie there for a little while, facing each other. His hand lies open on the mattress and I take it in mine, lacing our fingers together. Finally, my curiosity gets the better of me and I say, ‘What is it I make you feel?’

He releases a short, quiet laugh. ‘I dunno . . . like everything’s . . . new? Kinda? Christ, I don’t even know what I mean.’ He bites his lip, looking at our joined hands. ‘Like this all means something. I’ve . . . not had a lot of meaningful relationships in my life.’

I pull the covers over us and take Kerry in my arms, pulling him close. ‘But you were married at one point, weren’t you?’

Kerry nods. ‘Yeah. Her name’s Louise. Had two kids together and everything.’

‘So you married a woman. I thought you were gay?’

‘I am. Only one of many reasons why it didn’t work out. Doesn’t mean I didn’t love her, though.’ He smiles. ‘My kids too. Ted and Kim. But . . . I haven’t seen ’em in years. Louise didn’t want me to. Can’t say I blame her. Like I said before, I make for a shitty dad. They’re grown now, want nothin’ to do with me. Shit, my oldest must be nearly your age. Fuck . . .’ He laughs. ‘Don’t think about that. Please.’

I laugh too. ‘Okay, old man, I won’t.’

‘My turn to ask a question.’ He fixes me with his shining, cybernetically blue eyes. ‘What’s your real name?’ Then he looks away. ‘You, uh, you don’t have to answer if you don’t want.’

‘No, it’s okay.’ I smile, taking his hand and pressing it to my chest. ‘It’s Vincent. My mom helped me pick it when I told her I didn’t wanna be a girl. But everyone’s just called me V since I was twelve or somethin’. ’Cept my brother.’ I make a face. ‘He called me Valerie.’

Kerry frowns. ‘Seriously?’

‘Yeah . . . My parents were real supportive. Dad even took the eddies out of our savings to pay for blockers and hormones for me when I hit puberty. But my brother couldn’t deal. Kept callin’ me his sister. Called me a freak. Said I’d never be his brother. Y’know . . . stuff like that.’

‘And here I thought that kind of shit died out back in the twenties. I’m sorry, V.’

‘Yeah. We stopped talkin’. Then he went off and died in the Metal Wars, leavin’ just Dad and me, so . . . that’s that.’ Talking about this used to make me sad. I’m surprised at how little I feel now. Nothing like your own mortality to bring shit into perspective, I guess.

‘His loss,’ says Kerry softly and strokes my cheek. ‘So . . . can I call you Vincent?’

I laugh. ‘I’m so used to V. But if you really want—’ Pain spikes in my head and I groan. ‘Ah, shit!’ Relic’s malfunctioning again. I turn away from Kerry and cough hard into my hand. The cough triggers my gag reflex and I roll out of bed, stumbling toward the bathroom while the world glitches around me. Falling to my knees before the toilet, I vomit into the porcelain bowl. I puke until there’s nothing left, then sit down on my ass, back against the wall. ‘Fuck . . .’

When my vision starts to clear, I see Kerry’s bare legs as he enters the bathroom after me. ‘V? You okay, babe?’

‘Not really.’ I sigh. I can’t keep this up. Can’t put it off any longer.

Kerry flushes the toilet and gets me a cup of water from the sink while I stare at the floor. He sits down next to me and hands me the cup. While I drink, he strokes the back of my neck, slowly and soothingly, saying nothing. I rinse my mouth with the last of the water and spit it into the toilet bowl.

‘I wish I had more time,’ I say, my voice hoarse from throwing up. ‘Wish . . . wish we had more time.’

‘Yeah. Me too, kid.’ He kisses my temple, then pulls me into him so my head rests on his shoulder. ‘I got you.’

‘Need to call Hanako tomorrow.’

Kerry nods. ‘Okay. Then what?’

‘I dunno. Just, figure out a way to fix this. I . . . I don’t have much time left.’ I look at him. He’s hard to read right now. ‘I don’t wanna go, Ker. Just . . . wanna stay here.’ With you. It’s implied. I don’t have to say it. Fuck. I’ve known him for, what, two weeks? Too short. Too little time. Not enough time to fall in love, not really. But . . .

His voice pulls me out of my thoughts. ‘Tell Johnny somethin’ for me?’

I smile. ‘He can hear ya. Can tell him yourself.’

He nods. ‘Right. Johnny, just . . . promise to bring him back in one piece, okay?’

The Relic sparks again and with my voice, Johnny says, ‘That’s what I’m trying to do, Kerry.’

Kerry blinks, studying my face. ‘Was . . . was that you or him?’

I frown. ‘I . . . it was him. I don’t . . . that doesn’t usually happen.’

‘Sorry.’ Johnny steps into my field of vision, sitting at the edge of the tub. ‘Didn’t mean to do that. Maybe you should take one of those omega blockers.’

I shake my head. ‘No. I don’t wanna lock you out.’

‘Oh. Okay.’ Johnny takes off his aviators, looks at me and Kerry. Something in his expression is . . . almost fond.

I laugh softly, shaking my head, and pull away from Kerry a little so I can see his face. ‘He loves you, you know.’

‘Wha—?’ Johnny splutters. ‘I do not! Take that back!’

Kerry laughs too. ‘I know.’ He sighs. ‘Much as I hated his guts sometimes, I spent a lot of time loving him. Guess a part of me always will. But . . .’ He licks his lips. ‘You gotta know by now, V, that what I feel for you is totally separate from what I felt for him.’ And even though I just threw up, he leans in and kisses my lips chastely.

We go back to bed after that, and I fall asleep in Kerry’s arms. I wake up at some point in the night, from a dream I can’t remember, and he holds me, kisses me, and we fuck quietly and gently, face to face. He’s on top, I removed my packer before we went to bed. It feels different from before, somehow. Not like fucking so much as . . . something else. Something more.

The next morning, I call Hanako Arasaka. She tells me to meet her at Embers tonight.

I need to go home. Need to feed the cat, swing by El Coyote Cojo for a chat with Mama Welles. Need to drop Judy a line, see how she’s doing in Seattle or wherever she is now. Get my affairs in order. So around noon, I finally manage to tear myself away from Kerry. It’s hard, leaving and not knowing when I’ll come back. If I’ll come back. And if I do, will it be me or Johnny in this body?

Before I leave, I hand him a box.

‘What’s this?’ he says, and opens it. Then he laughs. ‘You’re . . . giving me your dick?’

I grin. ‘Nah, just thought I’d leave it with you for safekeeping. I’ll be back for it.’ And you. Once again, it’s implied. ‘Um, do you think you could stop by my place and check up on my cat? If . . .’ I don’t want to say, If you don’t hear from me. But he understands that too.

‘Sure, kid.’ He stands, wraps his arms around me, and holds me for a little. Then we kiss, and finally, I step away. ‘See you around, Vincent,’ he says.

‘Yeah. Catch you later, Ker.’ I put my hands in my pockets and leave the house. Hop on my bike.

Johnny enters my field of vision, leaning up against the Rayfield. He’s smoking a cigarette. ‘You okay?’

I nod. ‘Yeah.’

‘We’ll figure it out, V,’ he says, sounding so sure I almost believe him. ‘I’ll make sure you come back for your dick.’

Laughing, I start the bike, setting off down the driveway and leaving North Oak behind.

I've been naming the chapters of this story after songs, partly cause the jobs in the game are all named after songs, so thematically it makes sense. For this chapter I picked I Know the End by Phoebe Bridgers because at this point there's a very real chance that V will die and not come back. It's a beautiful song. Don't let the quiet start trick you; it goes out with a bang.

Headcanon notes:

There's a closed door upstairs in Kerry's house, near the area with the bed. This is the upstairs bathroom in my mind.

I usually play Transmission last of the Act 2 main jobs. After Tapeworm's finished, V calls Hanako automatically to arrange a meet, but I pretend he doesn't and holds off until he's ready, because otherwise it makes no sense that like two weeks pass in game before I go to meet with her.

Copyright © 2021 Thorn Wilde; All Rights Reserved.

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