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Word came through from V that she was done at the ripper's, and was getting a ride home with Diego and Lani. She'd said home. Judy pretended they both meant the same thing by that. Like I even know what I mean when I say 'come home'. Took a cigarette from her stash out front with her. Smoked it with the vehemence of a lapse. Not even a good reason to slip backwards, just felt less needy than standing outside her building to wait for V.

Judy heard the car before she saw it. Principales Radio and low engine grumble. She tossed her cigarette end into the gutter. 

The car looked like a Villefort of some kind, maybe a Cortes. Customed to a point where it was hard to tell. Droptop, hydraulics, plastered in Valentino rose decals. Way too wide for the dogleg onto Charter St. Took a painful series of turns before the lowrider crested the rise and rolled towards her. 

Gangoon behind the wheel wore a mustache and sunglasses. Shirtless, tattoos crowded his frame. Woman in the passenger seat wore a look Judy recognised - pissed off, but tight lipped. Waiting to explode. 

V lounged in the backseat. She looked different - beyond the new clothes and lipstick. Shade from a hat just emphasised her glowing optics. She sat with her chest open, elbows on the backrest. Grinned when she saw Judy. Held up a pack of Matapang grounds. Judy beamed back. She's sweet. Kind of a gonk, but sweet as hell.

She was out before the car had fully stopped, crossed to Judy and pulled her into a hug. Wait, is she taller? She moved more naturally, too. Face pressed against V's clavicle by the embrace, she couldn't see but it was safe to guess… "Chip some new legs?" 

"Yeah!" V enthused. She stepped back to show off the cyberware. "Like em?"

"They're, ah," Judy's breath caught. Holy shit . Sculpted thighs filled out V's skirt. Below that, long slender prosthetics, designed like a sprinter's legs. Matte black for the most part, tattoo designs picked out in that gold-effect tungsteel rich Valentinos liked. The same metal encased the feet and ankles, recalled the visual of boots. Built in stilettos. Ay mami. "Holy fuck, V, you look amazing." 

V giggled, covered a blush with her hand.

"See? What I say?" The woman leaned over the passenger door. " Told ya she'd love em. Ay, you must be Judy eh? V told us aboutcha." 

"Shit, yeah, this is Lani and Diego," V indicated the car with her thumb. "Mentioned em before." 

"Uh-huh." Judy nodded to the 'Tinos. "Thanks for bringing her back in one piece. And you can get back to Heywood via Westbrook, y'know? Route by the river's an easy drive." 

"See?" Lani grumbled. " Told you."

Diego rolled his eyes. "No lo hiciste! Said to go through Kabuki. V said Westbrook."

"Y no la escuchaste, just drove straight like a gonk." 

V winced. Looked like this wasn't the first time she'd seen them argue today. 

"No luchemos delante de extrañas, dalé," Diego's expression was pained, but he put on a smile as he looked to Judy and V. "Hasta luego, Ciberaña, Judy." 

Judy led V inside as the car pulled off. Chrome fingers interlocked with hers. How has two nights felt so fuckin long? She paused before her door, leant back onto V. Felt her lips against the back of her neck. "Missed you, neña." 

"You too," V's voice by her ear. Arms around her. "Try an be less chaotic next time I got biz." 

"Promise?"

"Promise." V pulled tighter, then let go.

Inside her apartment. Judy made coffee. Felt like drinking, but she had work later. V rattled off places and names, how the last three days went. Where she found those legs, how come she didn't get a car or have enough to rent a pad. Judy concealed her joy at that. Of course, V wanted her own apartment. Just nova that she's stayin here a few more days.

Seemed like V was chooms with half of Heywood by now. Thought stirred, kicked up silt in the depths of her mind. All these people really just like her for who she is?

"... so then we get to Miguel's, an he says he can cut a deal cos I'm cool with Jackie, but I still need ten grand more than I got so I came home. Oh! Stopped by Lani & Diego's first." She waved a hand in front of her face, indicating that this is when she'd experimented with lipstick. "Tried fake eyelashes too but even I could tell they looked fuckin gonk. How was your week?" 

Got in a fight with Rita. Got in a fight with Reggie. Scared one day soon Ev will be too much of a big shot to have time for me. "Same old, I guess. Can't complain." She leaned her head against V's shoulder. Hard swell of metal under the polyester. Eyes strayed to the deific gold pattern on V's thigh. God damn they're incredible . "So, you're like a whole Valentino now, huh?" 

"How you slice that?" 

"First refuse Mox help, go to Heywood, chip those legs, pull up in that ride with the Blackouts hat like you're some foolia off the block in Vista…" She saw confusion in the slant of V's mouth. "Messin with you neña. You not thought bout what they might want from you though?" 

V shook her head. "Shit, be pretty lonely if I let that hold me back. Most those people aren't like 'Tino 'Tinos anyways, more like affiliates. Ain't so dumb I don't think people might try an fuck me, don'worry." 

How can she make it sound so easy? " Sposed to worry boutcha, V. What if Maelstrom wanna start shit with your new chooms for poaching you?" 

"Strom wouldn't care bout that. Valentinos don't scro- uh, they don't lurk Watson, so…" V tailed off. Cleared her throat and sipped coffee. 

Judy sat up, better angle to look V in the face. She picked up on some shifts in V's optic suite. Cams tilted inwards, aimed at her. "Gonna ask one time, an tell me to fuck off if you don't wanna talk about it, but you were gonna say scroll, right? Got a BD rec implant?"

"Sorta. Kinda nuked my dome." V's expression was hard to read. Without eyes, the shape her mouth made was anything between pride and regret. "Gave myself fits for a month, but it was worth it." 

"Holy shit, why?" This had to be the reason for the snuff scrolls in her stack. No way V wasn't involved. Who's sending them? "V, did you…?" 

"Stuff we scrolled wasn't… mean, I didn't wanna-" V stopped, paused a sec. Let out a breath. "Ain't like Mox virtus. So I torched it. Put my head in a microwave. Fuckin hate that it's still in m'head, makes me wanna-" ganic knuckles turned white around her mug. Left hand snapped up to claw at the side of her head. 

"V!" Judy reached up to grab her wrist. V relaxed, let her arm be guided away from her head. "Cmon, s'over now."

V's voice was soft, hurt. "Sorry. Had a moment, you know?" 

Fuck was that, bad intention read? Flashback? "I know." Judy set her coffee down. "If they made you do it, it's not your fault. You know that, right?" 

"Judy, don't. Please?" V kneaded the flesh of her palm between thumb and forefinger. "Don' need t'be saved." 

That tone was familiar. Judy heard it before, usually from battered joytoys who fetched up at Lizzie's. Pride was all they had - to outright ask for the help they needed might break them. She climbed into V's lap. Cupped her face with her hands, gently tilted her head up. "You're okay. M'here." 

Some feral desperation in the way V kissed her. Leant up and forward, pressed hard against her. Thrills ran through Judy as she felt V's hand clamp around the back of her neck. Piercings dug into her lips. Ganic hand found the small of her back. 

Judy reached down, brushed a hand along V's thigh. Sharp intake of breath as V broke off the kiss.

"You okay?"

"M'preem, jus," V's mouth was slack for a second. "Forgot how good that feels. Old legs were pretty much numb." 

"How bout when I do this?" Fingernails, brushed lightly. She leant forward, whispered, "that feel good too?"

" Fuck ," V hissed through clenched teeth. 

Judy bit her lip. "Want me to play with your cyberware, V?" 

"Yes, Judy." Halfway between a whimper and a growl. 

Fuck, bet I can make her growl forreal. Judy shifted backwards until she knelt on the carpet. 

"Whatcha doin?" V leant forward.

Judy shook her head. " Ssh , no. This is for you , baby." She rested her head against the inside of V's knee. Near body heat, a little warmer. Soft gyroscope purr. "Wanna make you feel good ." 

"You…?" Voice carried confusion, full lips in an O. 

"Think y'heard me jus fine." Judy traced around the frieze of some ancient skeleton saint with a fingertip. "How's this feel?"

"S'nice."

"Good. Don't overthink it, neña. Just lemme take care of you." She moved slow, ran her lips and cheek across V's leg, near her knee. Grinned when she was rewarded with a twitch, a stifled gasp. "Oh, you're sensitive.

"Still gettin used t'- fuuck." V groaned as Judy dug her fingertips in. Felt like RealSkinn, or whatever equivalent corps used for their killdolls. Judy knew from experience that fast scratches meant shredded nails, but with the right steady pressure… V's breaths deepened, came faster. 

"Take it you like that?" Judy teased. She hooked her thumbs under the hem of V's skirt. "An this was a good choice." 

V shifted, allowed space for the garment to be pushed up. Judy's breath caught when she saw the prosthetic seams. Like filigree stocking tops, picked out in gold. "Jesus fuck." She slipped one hand between V's legs, pressed against the fabric. Felt wet heat. "Think you missed me… what?"

V's jaw was set. She sat upright, optics trained on Judy. 

Judy looked straight into V's red lights. "Whatcha thinkin bout?" Did I fuck up?

"Nothin, s'jus gonk shit." V shook her head. "M'all good."

"Uh huh?" Judy traced her finger along the implant seam. "Tell me, or I'll stop."

She chewed her lip. One finger tapped against the couch cushion. "Okay but don't be mad." 

"Relax," Judy leant against V's knee, chin resting on her hand. "Promise I won't." 

"So, was jus thinkin your neck's so beautiful. Like it was made for my hands." V spoke fast, looked down and blushed right after. 

"That what's so awful?" Judy couldn't suppress a laugh. "Y'just like chokin girls?" 

V looked up, dumbfounded. "Yeah. Mean, ain't it kinda fucked?"

"It really isn't, baby. N'even if it is, I'm into it." Is that why she freaked out the first time? Poor thing's scared of what she wants? She straddled V again. Took her borged hand and guided it. The arm was uncovered metal, cool and alien around her throat. "Here." 

"What if I hurt you?" 

"You won't. If I tap out like this ," Judy patted her palm against V's forearm. "Just let go." 

A second hung between them before she felt the pressure. Thumb and forefinger, either side of her windpipe. She could prolly tear my throat out if she wanted. She felt her lips part, moan squeezed out of her as she grew light headed.

Judy saw spots. V's optics swam in her vision. Saw the other woman's grin. Between their faces, that rough metal. More claw than arm. Something shifted under her, Judy realised she was moving, grinding against V's leg. Chrome either end of me. Throb between her legs. 

V squeezed once, then let go. Huge shuddered inhale. Headrush as Judy's blood-starved brain flooded with oxygen. She wrapped her arms around V's neck, couldn't keep from rutting against her as they kissed. 

"That what you were after?" She managed, around heaved breaths and V's mouth. 

Instead of an answer, V slid her hand between them. Her fingers were wet with slick when she pulled them back. "What do you think?" 

Judy took V's fingers into her mouth. Ran her tongue between them. Shit, is this my first time tasting her? She looked up into V's optics. "Wanna do it again?"

"Yeah." Low, dirty drawl. 

"Good." She kissed V's mouth, then climbed off her. "Got something you're gonna like. Want you naked by the time I get back." 

Glanced back at V from the doorway, watched her pull her tank over her head. One hand, tugged from the back of the collar. The inelegance of the motion made Judy smile. 

In her bedroom. Judy had left the Ms Studd and its shard out, waiting for V's return. She fired up the mirror as she kicked off her shoes. Wriggled out of her overalls. Soaked panties. Caught her reflection before she took off her top. There was something so dirty about getting fucked half-dressed. The thought of V tearing it off her sent a thrill through her gut. She grabbed the dildo and returned to the front room. 

V sat with one foot on the coffee table, blackout ink and mismatched chrome gave her body a patchwork look. Judy kept her eyes off the tortured flesh at V's shoulder, the ugly scar that bisected her right nipple. Focused on her chest vent. Smooth musculature of her midriff. Mess of scars on her hip, not quite covered by a tattoo. Inscription on her sole. 

"Hot."

"What?" V looked up. Tooth caught the light as her smile widened. "Y'gon fuck me with that?"

"Said I would. Wanna wear it first though? I really wanna ride it while you choke me." What is it about her that jus sayin what I want makes me giddy? She stepped closer, leant over V. Arched her back and murmured into her ear. "Sound good?" 

Rapid, eager nodding. "Yeah, real good." 

One palm against V's chest, gently pushed her against the backrest. Noticed the derm on her wrist. Some new shit? Looks legit medical. The harness for the Studd was simple, minimal webbing. Enough to be secure, still offering access to a wearer's cunt. Judy pulled the harness up V's legs, fastened the straps around her hips. "Ready for this?" Judy took the shard from its case. "Said you'd never used one before."

"Sure," V took the shard and slotted it without ceremony. "How weird could it- Whoa." 

Her optics had changed color, same mauve as the visual overlay. Judy put one knee either side of V, then paused. Saw V's inhaler on the couch, must have come out of a pocket. Shouldn't. Gotta go work tonight. She picked it up. Felt so good though. "C'n I…?"

"Course. I ain't stingy." V reached out, hands ran down Judy's hips. 

The hit fired into her mouth harder than when V had blown it. Judy clamped her mouth shut to keep from coughing it out. Waited a sec. Took air in behind vapour. 1 2 3… blew a plume at the ceiling. "Thank you, baby." She leant to kiss V. 

Chill spread out from her lungs but the high came on like sinking into a warm bath. Tides of gentle heat flowed under her skin. Washed from V hands up her spine. Back down to her pussy. Judy shuddered. Steadied herself with one hand on the couch. With her other, she reached behind her. Took hold of the Studd and guided it. 

"Hellf- fuck," V threw her head back, growled between clenched teeth.

As the silicone cock entered her, she felt the hinge joint knuckles of V's prosthetic hand slide up her chest. Fingers curled around her throat. 

"Still want me to?" V's voice was husky, sounded distant, muffled. 

Judy nodded. She rose and fell. Fucked herself on the dildo as V's grip tightened. Relaxed. Judy opened her eyes. V's mouth was slanted, lips pulled one side. 

"Shit, if ya sure." Optics left trails in Judy's vision as V shook her head. Squeezed.

Whine escaped Judy's lips. Felt it rattle off V's chrome hand. She writhed, held in place by the neck as V thrust into her. 

Hot, heavy, liquid feeling. Vision blurred, darkened. Light flashed as the grip on her neck relaxed. Tightened almost immediately after the headrush shudder breath. Tried to say something, tongue felt heavy. 

V's lips moved, Judy heard nothing over the blood rush in her ears. Optics turned red. Wait what… V reached forward. Felt like reliving a screwed track. Something slid into her neural port. 

The darkness at the edges of her vision turned mauve. Judy whimpered as she felt her own cunt clench around the Studd. V's thrusts came harder now, both hands on Judy's hips. Muscles tensed. Spasmed. Nails dug in. She threw her head back and screamed as the orgasm burst like a dam. Darkness.

"Judy? Judy?" Someone patted her cheek. She blinked. "Ah, thank fuck. Thought ya decomished there."

"W-wuh?" Air still felt electric. Body felt liquid. Vision blurry, colours normal. "Am… did I? Shit."

"Shyeah. Jus chill a sec. S'all preem." Something shifted. V sat next to her. "Turns out heavy painkillers'n choking don't mix so great." 

"Who knew, right?" Judy rubbed her face.

"M'so fuckin sorry Judy, shouldn'ta-"

"Uh-uh, save it." Massaged her neck. " Said I wanted it. Came so hard I blacked out. All good." 

"If ya say so…" V didn't sound convinced. 

More of the room came back into focus. Stand up . Bare feet against carpet. Judy pushed, tensed her core for balance. "See? M'okay. How long was I zonked?"

"Seconds." V shook her head. Her optics flickered. "Heh. Came and went. Mean, shit , had me worried I'd-" 

"I know. But I'm all good, neña. An we know for next time." Blinked. Felt like slow-mo, darkness flickered half a sec after the motion. "Where's the Studd?" 

V nodded towards the coffee table. "Jus there. Shard's with it. That thing is… whew . Ya mess with it? Hits like a truck."

"Nah, s'factory settins." Judy sat again, right up against V. Draped herself over her. Her dermal . Of course the toy would feel more intense - V's physical sensations had to fight through the painkiller. "Slots in your brain." 

"Huh." V glanced at the thing. Reached over absently to play with Judy's hair. 

Nails against her scalp. Reverberated through her skull. She wriggled until her head was in V's lap, gaze into her face. "Purple looked weird on you, though." 

"Yeah? Not my color?" V chuckled.

"Have to see it again to know." Judy grinned. "Wanna check? I wanna."

"Dincha jus knock yourself out?" V shook her head, laughed. "Shit, you're needy when you're stoned."

Judy bit her lip. Why's that feel good? Being teased like that usually pissed her off. "I am . I need to make you cum. You did me an it's not fair." She put stank on the last couple of words, stuck her bottom lip out. 

"Ain't gonna fight you off," V looked amused, far as Judy could tell. "How d'ya plan on doin that?"

Judy felt chromed out fingers trace over her. Thumb teased a nipple. Tiny shocks down her spine. She's into this . "I wanna suck your cock V. Want y'to wear it again."

.

On her knees in front of V. Eyes met purple optics. Color like the lowlights, like the walls, like V was meant to be here. Drool on her chin. 

"Why'd ya stop? Y'good?" V's voice shot through with tension. 

" Patience neña." Judy circled a thumb around the spit-wet tip of the dildo. Grinned when she saw V's jaw clench. "Gonna get you off, jus on my-"

Scalp tightened as V's fist balled in her hair. Opened her mouth as she was pulled onto the toy. Silicone hit the back of her mouth. Judy gagged. Spit pooled, ran past her lips. 

"Hell's teeth you're fuckin perfect ." V snarled, voice frayed and lustful. 

Judy tried to keep her throat open as V found a rhythm. Pinned in place by unforgiving chrome. Choked-up tears mixed with drool as V facefucked her. 

Wasn't the first time she'd been treated like this. Couple of hookups, sometimes Maiko had liked to make a mess of her too. That was to make a point, or felt like. Never been called perfect. She'd never been wasted like this for it. Been blackout drunk, sure, but that just made her feel loose and numb. Now, every nerve ending was a live wire. Even the cock in her throat felt like - 

V thrust once more, growled "Fuck." Voice almost sounded like it had through the modulator. Her chrome remained steady, but stomach tensed and chest heaved as moans and heavy breaths gave way to ragged panting. "Fuck me. Fuckin hell Judy. C'mere." 

The hand let go of her hair, tugged gently at her arm. Judy climbed onto the couch while V ejected the Studd shard. Drew her into an embrace. V's chin on her shoulder. Corner of her optics hard, angular against Judy's skin. "Who's needy now, neña?"

"Shaddup." V squeezed her. Kissed her neck. "That was - spirits, I could fuck you all night."

"How much stamina y'think I got, beautiful?" Judy smiled. Wiped the spit off her face backhand. Settled back into V, enjoyed the warmth from her chest vent. " Nothing in this machine will make you happy. Psh. Don't think I been this happy for years ." 

.

"... so it don't hit me that hard I guess." V's reflection shrugged. 

Her eyeliner smudged into something smoky that at least looked planned. "Yeah? How come?" 

"Cos I take it every day, since I was like 14." V held up her inhaler. "Just said. Sure you're fine to go to work?" 

"Yeah. M'just a lil spaced. Far from the first to show up stoned." What time is it? Am I late? Judy adjusted her overalls. Drool stains on her top. She took it off, found a clean black wifebeater. "I'll be fine. Jus won't drive."

"Uh-huh? I'll walk with you." V had dressed, at some point. Her lipstick had gone. 

"Y'don't gotta, y'prolly busy." 

"Nope." V shook her head. She grinned. "What, embarrassed to be seen with me?"

"Of course not!" Still gotta introduce her to... Wait! Something by work. "I tell you about Reggie? She wants to talk to you. Should still be up." Judy messed with her hair. Sensation on her fingers and scalp at once made her breath catch.

"Oh, shiny. I'll holo her in a sec." V went into the front room. 

.

Tug on her arm. Guided her away from a neon sign that looked like the evening sky from her grandparents' roof, back in Laguna Bend. Looked around into V's face. Her optics seemed to pulse. In the dark street. She's holding my hand. She squeezed. "Chrome?"

"Yeah. Know you like it, so…"

"Like your other hand too." Judy reached for it and missed. 

"Yeah?" V pulled her close. Arm around the small of her back. Kissed her, stepped back before she could react.

"Course." Judy let V lead her through Little China. Why are we outside- Lizzie's. Work. "Don't see flesh n chrome, just see V." 

V smiled. Wide gonk grin. "You're too good for me." 

She mean I'm too good to her or…? Was wrong either way, Judy didn't feel too good for anyone. Especially not this chromed out angel woman who looked for the good in everything even after coming up in Maelstrom, being forced into so many awful things. Judy felt light in her company. Warm enough that the years of pain and frustration evaporated a little, like steam from the street.