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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.

Threads - 1. Threads

Late November, 2005.

Kerry stops by the music store almost every day after school. He’s been saving up for a new guitar, and every time he passes the display window there’s that little hint of anxiety that someone else will have bought the one he wants. So far, he’s been lucky. It’s not as if the store couldn’t just order another one, but Kerry wants this one. It’s second hand, a little bruised and battered, but the times Kerry’s tried it out, it’s just felt right in his hands. Body’s made of alder, strat-shaped with two singlecoils and a humbucker. Its most defining feature, and what drew Kerry to it in the first place, is the silver bombs embossed on the ebony fingerboard.

But today, when he gets to the store, the guitar isn’t in the window display. Kerry’s heart sinks, and when he gets in he realises there’s a guy over in a corner, playing it. He’s skinny and pale, with torn clothes and greasy black hair that hangs in front of his eyes. But the most striking thing about his appearance is his left arm; it’s cybernetic, made of shiny, silver chrome. Kerry might have thought it’d be hard to play guitar with a metal left hand, but as he gets closer, he sees the stranger’s fingers dance across the frets. It’s clear from looking at him that the kid has no formal training—has probably never taken lessons—but he’s got feeling, and though his technique is unusual, he by far makes up for it with sheer tenacity.

The boy seems to notice Kerry’s approach. He looks up, their eyes meeting, and Kerry stops in his tracks, swallowing. The other boy’s face looks gaunt and sunken, as if he hasn’t had a good meal in weeks, but those brown eyes are sharp, intelligent, intense. He stops playing. ‘What?’ he says bluntly.

‘Um . . .’ Kerry swallows. ‘Nothin’. I was just . . . you, uh, you play well.’

The kid shrugs and starts playing again. It’s not a riff Kerry recognises. He remains where he stands, watching and listening, the other boy paying him no mind for a long while. But then his head snaps up again. ‘Why are you staring at me?’

Kerry blanches. ‘Oh! I’m sorry . . . I didn’t mean to.’ He swallows again. ‘You, uh . . . you planning on buying that guitar?’

The boy looks at him for a long while, as if sizing him up. It’s a little unsettling. Then he finally says, ‘No. Don’t have that kinda scratch. I’m just . . . tryin’ it on.’ There’s a slight twang of something in his accent. Southern, maybe.

‘It suits you,’ says Kerry, because it’s true. That old guitar sits naturally in the boy’s grip, like it belongs there. Kerry would be jealous if the kid hadn’t already told him he couldn’t afford to buy it. ‘I’m Kerry.’

‘I’m R—’ The boy frowns. ‘Johnny. I’m Johnny.’ He glances at Kerry. ‘You play?’

‘Yeah. Took lessons for years.’ Kerry sits down on a nearby amp. ‘Been, uh . . . been saving up for that guitar you’re holding. Don’t quite have the scratch yet, but . . . once I do . . .’

‘Well, don’t worry,’ says the boy Johnny with a shrug. ‘It would take me about a million years to come up with the eddies to pay for something like this. Your axe is safe.’

Kerry finds himself smiling. ‘Looks better on you than me. You got an instrument of your own?’

Johnny shakes his head. ‘Nah. Not anymore.’

‘Oh.’ Kerry watches him for a while longer. Then, ‘How old are you?’

‘What’s with the interrogation?’ Johnny asks. ‘You tryna fuck me or somethin’? ’Cause I don’t do that shit for free.’

Kerry stares. ‘What? No!’ he says. ‘God, no . . . I didn’t . . .’ The implication of what Johnny just said starts to sink in, however. ‘What do you mean, not for free?’

Johnny scoffs and stands up without another word. He carries the guitar over to the shop attendant and hands it to him, nodding his thanks, then heads for the door, hands in his pockets. Kerry rushes after, not even sure why. ‘Wait!’

He follows the boy outside. Johnny’s pulled on a jacket that’s way too thin, reaching into the pocket to get out a pack of cigarettes and a zippo. He lights one up, taking a deep drag. ‘What do you want?’ he says tonelessly.

Kerry stops to consider. What does he want? ‘I dunno,’ he says lamely. ‘Just . . . to talk, I guess? I, uh . . . really liked your playing. You’re good. You ever take lessons?’

‘Nope,’ says Johnny, popping the ‘p’ before taking another drag off the cigarette. ‘Used to play my brother’s guitar.’

‘Well, you’re good,’ Kerry repeats.

Johnny just shrugs. He starts walking away, and since Kerry’s all out of things to say, he doesn’t follow.

#

Two weeks later, Kerry’s saved up enough to buy the guitar. He goes after school, finding it in the display as usual. He walks in with a nervous bounce in his step, going up to the counter and laying down his eddies—the scratch he earned from his job last summer and the odd part-time shift since.

The clerk smiles at him. ‘Finally buyin’ it, huh?’

‘Yeah.’ Kerry grins. ‘Finally!’

He takes it home and spends all evening on his bed playing it, until his parents force him to kill the amp so people can sleep. Even then, he keeps strumming silently. Somehow, though, he can’t seem to make it sound as good as that other guy did.

It’s mid-December when Kerry walks past the music store on his way home and sees Johnny loitering outside, looking through the window at the spot in the display where the guitar used to be. He looks much the same as the last time Kerry saw him. Same torn clothes, same thin jacket that looks like it’s out of an army surplus sale. His hair is longer, though, and he looks, if possible, even skinnier.

‘Hey,’ says Kerry, stepping up next to him. ‘Johnny, right?’

Johnny glances at him, then looks back at the window display. ‘Yeah. Don’t remember your name.’

‘Kerry,’ says Kerry.

‘You buy the guitar?’ Johnny asks.

‘Yeah. Not too long ago. You, uh . . .’ Kerry hesitates. He’s been thinking about this ever since the first time they met, but suddenly it’s hard to say. Still, what does he have to lose? ‘Listen, I got half a plan for a band project with some other kids from school. Could use another guitar player.’

Johnny gives him a sidelong glance, one eyebrow raised. ‘You don’t even know me.’

‘No. But I want to.’

Johnny snorts. ‘Why?’

‘I dunno. Why does anyone want to know anyone?’ Kerry runs his fingers through his hair, feeling frustrated. ‘You play well. And you seem . . .’

‘What do I seem?’ Johnny asks, still glancing at Kerry.

‘I dunno. Like a cool person, I guess.’ Kerry wets his lips. ‘Wanna jam?’

‘Where?’

‘At my place. It’s not far. And . . .’ Kerry takes in Johnny’s skinny frame. ‘You could stay for dinner, if you want. My folks wouldn’t mind.’

Johnny works his jaw, frowning. Finally, he says, ‘Okay.’

They head off down the street. ‘You live around here?’ Kerry asks. Johnny just shrugs. ‘You don’t go to my school.’

‘I don’t go to school,’ says Johnny.

‘You graduate?’

‘Nah. Haven’t gone to school in . . . three years? Four?’

‘How old are you?’ Kerry asks once again.

‘Seventeen,’ says Johnny. ‘You?’

‘Same. So, if you don’t go to school, what do you do?’

Johnny looks away, wrapping his arms around himself as he walks. ‘What I have to,’ he mumbles.

Shit. Afraid to overstep and scare Johnny away, Kerry doesn’t ask any more questions.

To say that Kerry’s mother is surprised when her son drags home a teenager who clearly hasn’t showered in days, if not weeks, would be an understatement. Now they’re indoors, Kerry realises Johnny smells decidedly earthy. But she takes it in stride, lets them go to Kerry’s room. Once there, Kerry passes Johnny the guitar he bought. ‘Have at it,’ he says, smiling.

‘Thanks.’ Johnny sits down and strums the guitar, then gets to tuning it. Kerry watches.

‘Hey,’ he says after a little while, ‘are you alone?’

‘Well, right now I’m here with you,’ says Johnny.

‘I meant . . . d’you have a family? Does anyone . . . I mean, where do you live?’

Johnny shakes his head, refusing to meet Kerry’s eye. ‘There’s no one. And nowhere. There’s a shelter not far from here I stay at sometimes, when there’s room.’

‘You’re homeless?’ Kerry phrases it as a question, but some part of him already knew this to be the case. Johnny just shrugs. ‘You can use our shower if you want,’ says Kerry.

Johnny looks up at him. ‘Sorry. Guess I smell.’

Kerry shrugs. Not wanting to make Johnny too uncomfortable, he says, ‘Nah. It’s not so bad. But I just thought you might like to. You, uh . . . you could borrow some clean clothes too, if you want. Most of what I got should fit you.’

Johnny’s eyes narrow as he stares at him. ‘What do you want in return?’

Kerry shakes his head. ‘Nothing. Just, to jam, long as you’re interested in that.’ He gets the feeling Johnny hasn’t experienced a lot of kindness for kindness’ sake. Kerry feels an urge he can’t quite explain to himself to remedy that.

Johnny puts down the guitar. ‘Okay. I’ll . . . I’ll take that shower.’

When he returns to Kerry’s room, clean and dressed in a pair of sweatpants and an old David Bowie t-shirt Kerry had in his closet, he looks like a completely different person. He’s lanky and skinny, clearly in desperate need of more than a few good meals, but with his hair washed and in clothes that aren’t dirty and torn, Johnny is incredibly handsome. Kerry finds himself staring.

‘What?’ says Johnny. ‘Is there somethin’ on my face?’

Kerry shakes his head. ‘No. You, uh . . . you look different.’

‘Different?’

‘You look good,’ Kerry amends. ‘I, uh, I made us some sandwiches. Dad’s working late so dinner’ll be a while.’

‘It just you and your parents?’ Johnny asks, sitting down on the bed and accepting the sandwich Kerry offers.

‘Yeah. My brother . . .’ Kerry swallows. ‘He, uh, he died. In Panama.’

Johnny blinks. ‘He fought?’ he asks between bites. ‘In the war?’

Kerry nods. ‘Yeah. You . . . you knew someone who fought too?’

Johnny swallows a bite of sandwich and shows Kerry his metal arm. ‘Yeah. Me.’

Kerry frowns. ‘You were—how old were you?’

‘Fifteen when I shipped out,’ says Johnny.

‘That’s—’ Kerry cuts himself off, not sure what he meant to say. ‘That’s fucked up, man. I’m sorry.’

Johnny shrugs. ‘Enlisted of my own free will. Got no one to blame but myself.’

He looks away, clearly uncomfortable, and Kerry decides to drop it. He picks up his old guitar—a telecaster that’s served him well; it’s black with an ash body, rosewood fretboard, and two singlecoil pickups—and looks at Johnny. ‘Let’s jam.’

‘Sure.’ Johnny picks up Kerry’s new guitar again. It really does look good on him. Sounds good too, when he starts to play. Kerry has the sudden urge to just give it to him. Let this boy he barely knows have the guitar he spent months saving up for. That’s ridiculous, and he gets the distinct impression that Johnny would never accept—that he’s too proud. Some food, a shower, and the use of some clean clothes, that’s one thing. But he’d never let Kerry just give him a guitar. Not yet, anyway.

They play until dinner time. Whereas he wolfed down the sandwich, Johnny takes smaller bites at dinner, clearly trying to pace himself. He accepts seconds. He’s not very talkative, and when Kerry’s dad asks him who his folks are, Johnny just mumbles something about Texas and leaves it at that.

After dinner, Kerry helps his mom clear the dishes. In the kitchen, he turns to her and says, ‘Can Johnny stay the night?’

She frowns at him. ‘It’s a school night.’

‘Yeah, but . . .’ Kerry hesitates. ‘Mom, he’s got nowhere to go. I dunno what happened to his family, but . . . he’s alone. I wanna help him.’

‘Kerry, honey.’ She pats his cheek, smiling sadly at him. ‘He’s not some puppy you can just bring home with you and keep.’

‘I know that,’ says Kerry. ‘But, Mom . . . he’s got no one.’

His mother sighs. ‘I’ll talk to your father. If he agrees, I . . . guess he can stay in the spare room, just for tonight.’

Kerry smiles, even as his chest aches. The spare room—his brother William’s old room. ‘Thanks, Mom. Really.’

#

It’s hard to sleep, knowing that Johnny’s in the other room. Thinking about him makes Kerry more than a little hot and bothered, and he’s seriously considering just jerking off when the door to his room slowly opens and someone tip-toes inside. Making sure he’s covered up, he squints at the figure framed in the light from the landing. ‘Johnny?’ he says.

Johnny shuts the door. ‘Yeah.’

‘You okay?’

In the darkness, Johnny sits down at the edge of the bed. He’s quiet for a few moments and doesn’t look at Kerry. ‘I’ll suck your dick if you want,’ he says at last.

‘What?’ Kerry stares at the figure before him. His face is obscured by darkness and dark hair, and Kerry reaches out and turns on the bedside light. He immediately notices that Johnny is bare-chested, can see the clear outline of his ribs. His skin is scarred around the left shoulder, where skin meets chrome. Johnny blinks as the light blinds him momentarily. ‘Why would you—?’ Kerry begins.

Shrugging, Johnny says, ‘I dunno. Figure I owe you one.’

It’s tempting. It’s really fucking tempting. Johnny’s perched on the edge of Kerry’s bed in nothing but his underwear. He’s beyond hot. Kerry thinks Johnny may be the most gorgeous boy he’s ever met. He’s already worked up, already hard for him. But . . .

‘Johnny, I don’t want you to do that ’cause you feel you owe me,’ he says softly, voice almost breaking. He clears his throat, feeling like he’s betraying his body. This hot guy just offered to suck his dick and Kerry’s saying no? ‘I mean, if you . . .’ If you like me, he wants to say, but he’s not sure he should. ‘If you actually want to, that’d be different, but . . . you don’t owe me anything. Okay?’

Johnny looks away, working his jaw, and finally nods.

Kerry scoots closer to the wall, pulling back the covers. ‘You wanna sleep here?’

Johnny meets his eye, frowning. ‘That’s so gay,’ he says.

Kerry raises an eyebrow. ‘You just offered to suck me off, and you think this is gay?’ He shrugs. ‘’S up to you. I just thought maybe, since you came here . . .’ He hesitates. ‘Figured maybe you didn’t wanna sleep alone.’

There’s stillness for several long seconds. Then, wordlessly, Johnny gets into Kerry’s bed. He faces away from him, and Kerry fights the urge to put his arm around his waist and press up against his back. He wants to comfort Johnny, and he wants to feel his skin. But he doesn’t want Johnny to know how hard he is, and he’s not sure comfort would be welcome. Instead, he turns off the light and closes his eyes. Somehow, he manages not to touch Johnny, though he lies awake for a long time, heart pounding and balls aching, breathing in Johnny’s scent. The last thing he remembers before sleep finally takes him is the sound of Johnny’s soft breathing.

#

‘Just for tonight’ turns into a week. After that, Kerry introduces Johnny to their potential bandmates, and Johnny ends up couch surfing, staying with one or another of them a couple of nights at a time. More often than not when he stays at Kerry’s, they share a bed. Even though it’s just a twin and they always wake up tangled in each other’s limbs, nothing ever happens between them, to Kerry’s disappointment. When they find a rehearsal space, Johnny sleeps there sometimes. Like some kind of stray cat, he starts occasionally bringing gifts of food or booze when they all meet, or he contributes with guitar strings and other music miscellanea. Where he gets the money to pay for these things, he never says, and Kerry doesn’t ask.

The two of them are sitting outside on the front steps to Kerry’s house one chilly night, passing a cigarette back and forth and looking up at a sky too heavily light-polluted to see the stars, when Johnny suddenly says, ‘My name was Robert. Before. John was my middle name. My family, back in Texas, they called me Robbie.’

‘Robbie,’ Kerry repeats, and out of the corner of his eye, he sees Johnny grimace.

‘Robbie’s dead, though,’ says Johnny. His voice is flat and his face betrays no emotion. ‘He died in Mexico. He died when I realised how fucking pointless and corrupt the whole war, the whole system is.’ He grips the dog tags around his neck in his right hand, clenching his fist around them until his knuckles turn white. Kerry thinks this may be the most he’s ever heard Johnny say about himself in one go. ‘So, I’m Johnny now. I think I was Johnny from the moment I got my arm blown off. The moment I got this.’ He holds his cybernetic arm up above him, palm facing the sky and fingers splayed against the blueish black of the night. The chrome glints in the porch light and street lamps. ‘This arm. This is me.’

Johnny lowers his arm again, and there’s silence for a while. He takes a drag off the cigarette, the tip glowing red, and passes it to Kerry again. It’s nearly down to the filter, so Kerry finishes it, putting it out beneath the sole of his boot.

‘Well,’ he says, ‘for what it’s worth . . . that arm—that hand . . . it’s made some pretty awesome stuff in the past few weeks.’ He glances at Johnny. ‘Way you play, man . . . It’s,’ he searches for the right word and in the end settles on, ‘beautiful.’

Johnny scoffs and turns his face away. ‘Bullshit,’ he mutters, but there’s a hint of pink in the cheek Kerry can still see, betraying some emotion. Maybe he’s flattered.

#

Mid-February, 2006

It’s a small club—a dingy little dive near the edge of town. There are maybe fifty people in the audience, plus a handful of drunks at the bar. They’re all talking, drinking, none of them looking at the stage as the band walks on. Kerry steps up to the microphone. His hand shakes as he grabs it and he licks his dry lips. ‘Uh, hey. We’re Samurai,’ he says. A couple of people glance up at them in mild interest. Kerry swallows.

Then Johnny steps up behind him, slapping his shoulder with his metal hand. He’s grinning. Putting his mouth near Kerry’s ear, he murmurs, ‘Relax, choomba. We’ll make ’em listen.’ His voice sends a shiver down Kerry’s spine.

Johnny turns to Denny. ‘Hit it!’ he says, and she does.

With the opening riff, a few people turn to look. With the hard, rapid-fire punk beat, more of them do. Some of Kerry’s nervousness shakes loose just a little. Pushing everything else away, ignoring his pounding heart, he takes the mic, singing the first verse. When Johnny’s set to join in, instead of grabbing his own microphone like he did at soundcheck, he puts his face right next to Kerry’s, screaming into the same mic, their breath mixing.

Suit up, punch in, punch out, non-stop!’ they shout. ‘Suit up, punch in, punch out, GET FUCKED!!!’ As he starts on the next riff, Johnny licks Kerry’s cheek, grinning at him, and starts jumping around on stage.

He’s a fucking natural. Brilliant and insane. Kerry’s in awe. And Johnny’s energy is infectious; it’s easy, suddenly, for Kerry to do the same—jump around, shredding on his tele. They meet at the microphone, screaming themselves hoarse, then practically grind on each other while they solo. When the song is over, the audience goes wild.

Johnny’s face is sweaty, his hair sticking to his forehead. With a mad grin, he slings his arm over Kerry’s shoulder and yells into the mic, ‘Hey, we’re Samurai!’ The audience cheers. ‘You motherfuckers want some more?’

A roaring chorus of, ‘Yeah!’ rises from the assembled crowd, in stark contrast to their apparent disinterest before the song started. How can fifty people be this loud?

‘Preem! ’Cause we got more! Right, Ker?’ He turns to look at Kerry, grin still in place.

The grin is contagious, spreading to Kerry who, still riding the high, shouts, ‘Fuck, yeah! This is Blistering Love!’ And they go straight into the new song they finished just last week.

When they’ve finished their set, they don’t have any songs left for the encore, so they do a repeat of Cyber Sexcapades before finally leaving the stage. The club doesn’t have a real backstage area, so they’re immediately assaulted by several audience members who congratulate them and want to take their pictures.

‘Who writes your songs?’ one of them, a young man in his early twenties, asks Kerry and Johnny.

‘We write ’em all together,’ says Johnny. ‘Kerry and me.’ Kerry nods in confirmation.

‘Whoa! Really? Regular Lennon and McCartney here. And this was your first gig?’

‘Yeah,’ says Kerry. He can’t keep the grin off his face. He feels dizzy, disoriented, euphoric. He feels everything right now but finds he has little recollection of the gig itself.

‘Wow. Just think. One day, I’ll be able to tell my grandkids I was at Samurai’s first ever concert. Keep rockin’, guys!’ He shakes both their hands and walks off.

‘Hear that, Ker?’ Johnny drapes his arm over Kerry’s shoulder again. ‘We killed it. We’re gonna be huge!’ He lets go, unstrapping the guitar. He looks down at it, weighing it in his hands. ‘Few more gigs,’ he says, ‘if we can get some hype goin’, I’ll be able to afford my own.’

Kerry smiles. ‘What’s wrong with this one?’

‘Uh, it’s not mine?’ says Johnny, eyebrow raised in question.

‘Yes, it is,’ Kerry says softly. His cheeks feel warm.

Johnny frowns. ‘Huh?’

Kerry shrugs. He puts the tele back in its case. ‘It was always s’posed to be yours,’ he says. ‘That axe . . . it’s like it chose you.’ He looks up to find Johnny staring at him, still gripping the guitar in his hands. With its chipped black varnish and dents in the wood, it’s oddly reminiscent of the young man holding it. A little broken, a little battered, but perfectly imperfectly beautiful. The thought makes him blush and he looks away again.

‘I’ll pay you back,’ says Johnny quietly.

‘Pay me back by bein’ great,’ says Kerry. ‘Make this band awesome.’

‘Okay.’ Johnny touches Kerry’s shoulder lightly with his metal hand as he walks past. ‘I will.’

Kerry swallows. The place where Johnny touched him feels like it’s burning. His face feels hot too. Making sure he’s facing away from the crowd, he adjusts himself through his jeans. It’s the adrenaline rush, he tells himself. That’s probably a thing that can make you horny. Besides, he’s seventeen; looking at a wall can make him horny. He finishes putting away his guitar. On stage, Nancy, Denny and Henry have started packing down the backline with the sound guy, and Kerry goes to help, trying to keep his mind off Johnny. The boy in question joins them a moment later, having gone to the bar for a shot of tequila first.

Once the stage is cleared, they all sit down in a booth. Johnny gets them the first round of shots. They drink at a discount. After a little while, the sound tech comes over to pass them their share of the door money. It’s not a lot, but it’s more than they had expected. Nancy takes care of it; she’s better at the money stuff than the rest of them.

Johnny leans back in the booth next to Kerry, laying his head on Kerry’s shoulder and yawning. ‘Fuck, I think I’m comin’ down from that stage high,’ he says.

‘Yeah, same,’ says Henry. ‘If we’re rockers now, where’s the blow?’

‘And the hookers,’ Denny adds with a laugh.

‘Oh, we’ll be drowning in dope and groupies ’fore the year’s out,’ says Johnny confidently. ‘We’ll have to fight ’em off with sticks. Meantime . . .’ he shrugs, ‘guess we’ll just have to make our own fun.’

Nancy laughs. ‘What, orgy time? Johnny, you’re drunk.’

‘What, that gig didn’t make any of you horny?’ Johnny laughs. ‘Hell of a rush.’ Oh, good. So it’s not just Kerry.

Nancy shakes her head. ‘No, I’m good.’ She stands up. ‘Anyway, I gotta get home.’

‘Yeah, me too,’ says Denny with a sigh.

Henry stands up. ‘I’ll take you, Denny.’

Johnny looks on in amusement as Henry tries to convince Denny to let him drive her home. She flat out refuses on the basis that he’s drunk, and eventually they seem to come to a compromise of riding the metro together. ‘When are those two gonna fuck?’ Johnny says as the others leave the club.

Kerry shrugs. ‘Prolly eventually.’ He glances at Johnny. ‘You into Denny? Or Nance?’

‘Nah.’ Johnny picks up his beer and takes a sip. ‘I mean, they’re both hot—I’d do ’em, but . . . not really my type.’

‘What is your type?’ asks Kerry, also taking a drink and hoping he sounds nonchalant.

‘Uncomplicated.’ Kerry can feel Johnny’s eyes on him. ‘You were hopin’ I’d say you.’

‘No,’ says Kerry, a little too quickly. Then, ‘I mean . . . guess I’ve thought about it.’

‘’Course you have.’

‘You haven’t?’

‘Didn’t say that.’ Johnny drains his beer. ‘Need a smoke.’

Kerry tries very hard not to think about the implications of that statement too closely. ‘I’ll join ya. Prolly should get home anyway. Mom’ll worry.’

They both grab their guitars and head out into the cool night air; a nice change from the stuffy club. Johnny lights a cigarette, offering one to Kerry, who accepts. Truth is, he mostly only smokes when he’s with Johnny.

‘Wanna stay over at my place?’ Kerry asks, lighting his cigarette and filling his lungs. He feels it burn going down.

‘Sure.’

The club is local, so they walk. They don’t say much. When they get to home, the place is dark, his parents already in bed. They tiptoe upstairs to Kerry’s room, undress down to their underwear, and get into bed.

They lie in bed together on their sides, back-to-back. Johnny’s skin is warm against Kerry’s. ‘Fuck,’ Johnny mutters.

‘Hm?’

There’s a sigh and Johnny shifts a little. ‘Still horny.’

Kerry swallows hard. ‘Yeah, the, uh . . . the gig got me goin’ too.’ Because Johnny was all over him on stage. Because he can still feel Johnny’s touch on his skin. Because he was already a little bit in love with the boy with the silver hand, but tonight Johnny utterly blew him away with his energy, his presence. And because Kerry’s a little bit drunk and a lot horny, he says, ‘We could, uh . . . give each other a hand.’

He feels Johnny turn around. Feels his breath on the nape of his neck and the touch of his organic hand on his waist. Kerry’s breath catches in his throat as Johnny’s hand slides down to his hip, around to touch his belly, then lower, lower . . .

‘Fuck!’ Kerry gasps as Johnny finally touches him through his underwear.

Johnny laughs in his ear. ‘What the fuck? How long you been like this?’

Kerry swallows. ‘Like what?’

‘Hard.’ Johnny slips his fingers under the waistband of Kerry’s shorts. Kerry can feel Johnny’s own erection poking the back of his thigh.

‘Yeah? Well, what about you?’ he says.

‘Waxing and waning since we got off stage,’ Johnny murmurs. He wraps his hand around Kerry’s cock and gives it a few teasing strokes.

Kerry stifles a moan and turns over on his back, looking up into Johnny’s face. In the dark, all he can really see is the gleam in Johnny’s eyes. He reaches up, cups Johnny’s cheek, and pulls him down for a kiss. The moment their lips touch, Johnny flinches away.

‘I’m sorry,’ Kerry blurts out.

Johnny’s hand is still down Kerry’s shorts, but he’s stopped moving it. ‘I don’t really . . .’ He trails off.

‘Yeah. I—if you don’t want to, then . . . but I just thought it’d be nice to, y’know, just . . . make out . . . a little?’ Kerry’s face feels hot. This feels like such a weird situation to be in. Johnny’s literally giving him a hand-job, but a kiss puts him off?

There’s silence for a little bit. Since Johnny hasn’t moved his hand away, Kerry moves his own to touch Johnny’s thigh, sliding it up to cup him through his briefs. ‘This okay?’

Johnny nods. ‘Yeah.’ His voice is a soft, breathy whisper. Kerry wants to kiss him again, but he doesn’t. Instead, he slips his hand inside Johnny’s briefs and grabs his cock, jerking him slowly. Johnny’s breath catches in his throat and he releases a low groan on the exhale.

After a few moments, Johnny pushes Kerry’s hand away. He sits up, pulling off his underwear, then pulls Kerry’s down as well. He gets on top of him, straddling his thighs, and takes both their dicks in his right hand. It’s a little clumsy, and he makes a frustrated noise.

‘Something wrong?’ Kerry manages to ask.

‘I’m left-handed,’ says Johnny.

‘Then use your left hand,’ says Kerry.

‘My left hand is made of metal, Ker.’

‘Yeah, and you make music with it.’ Kerry can’t see why a hand whose fingers can manipulate the strings of a guitar like that shouldn’t be good for this.

‘Okay.’ Johnny switches hands, and Kerry gasps as the chrome touches his skin. It’s cool, but not enough so to be a problem. Johnny starts moving his hand up and down both their cocks, his movements much smoother now. It’s a weird feeling, the hard metal fingers, but his touch is soft and precise. Kerry props himself up on his elbows so he can see what’s happening. The sight of their dicks pressed together like that in Johnny’s fist makes Kerry whimper a little.

‘Fuck . . . this is . . .’ Kerry bites his lip.

‘Yeah,’ is all Johnny says. His head drops forward, forehead pressing against Kerry’s. Kerry can feel Johnny’s hot breath on his face as the jerks them both off furiously. Kerry’s hand joins Johnny’s, following his movements, warm flesh and cool metal working in tandem until they’re both gasping.

Kerry’s close, can feel his balls begin to tighten. ‘Please,’ he gasps, ‘let me kiss you?’

Without a word, Johnny surges forward to capture Kerry’s lips, shoving his tongue roughly inside his mouth. Kerry groans, kissing him back. With one hand occupied and the other propping him up off the bed, Kerry can’t put his arm around Johnny—can’t slide his fingers into his shoulder-length, black hair or grab his perfect ass. The kiss will have to do. Johnny pulls back a little, nips at Kerry’s lips, before kissing him deeply again, and Kerry comes with a stifled groan, spilling over both their fingers and his own belly. Johnny follows a few seconds later. It’s lucky they’re kissing, really, or they’d both be too loud.

Finally, they both take their hands away, and Johnny collapses on Kerry’s chest, his face red and sweaty. At last, Kerry’s free to run the fingers of his clean hand through Johnny’s hair, and so he does, unsticking the dark strands from his forehead. Johnny lets him. He also lets Kerry press his lips to his temple. But then he sits up, looking at his silver hand. ‘Need to wash this,’ he says. He gets out of bed, finding his briefs on the floor and pulling them on. ‘I’ll bring back some toilet paper or somethin’.’

Kerry watches him go. Johnny’s not as skinny as he was when they met. Though still lean, he no longer looks like he’s starving. Kerry stares at the ceiling while Johnny’s in the bathroom. This was probably a bad idea. He’s pretty sure Johnny doesn’t like him that way. He doesn’t even think Johnny’s all that into guys—he talks about hot girls all the time but rarely mentions boys. None of which would be a problem if it weren’t for the very real, very soft feelings in Kerry’s chest right now. He shuts his eyes and sighs, sleepy now, after his orgasm.

Johnny returns with clean hands and a wad of toilet paper for Kerry to wipe himself off with. Then he gets back into bed next to him, facing away. Kerry rolls over so the two of them are back-to-back again. He’s almost asleep when, a few minutes later, Johnny rolls over again, so his chest is pressed to Kerry’s back, and drapes his arm across Kerry’s waist.

‘We always end up like this by morning anyway,’ he mumbles.

Kerry swallows hard. ‘Yeah. Night, Johnny.’

‘G’night, Ker.’ And soon, they’re both asleep.

This is the song Samurai are playing at their gig:

I imagine it as an early version, a little rawer, with more of a rapid-fire punk beat throughout most of it, save the intro and chorus.

© 1988-2022 Micheal Pondsmith, R. Talsorian Games, CD Projekt Red; All Rights Reserved; Copyright © 2021 Thorn Wilde; All Rights Reserved.
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5 hours ago, Timothy M. said:

Kerry is a genuinely nice guy, and the band deserves success.

They were very successful for a while, and both Kerry and Johnny went on to have soaring solo careers. :) Thanks for commenting!

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