He hasn't been living under a rock.

In a shitty apartment, an abandoned warehouse, and the occasional dumpster, yes. But no one can accuse him of being out of the loop.

They've been airing the footage of the Genetic Opera 24/7 for months now, and he can't decide what it works more; his twisted sense of humor, or his gag reflex.

He settles for saluting it with his drink, lips twisted into an ironic smile, as he passes another holo-board, horrific images of viscera and decay splashed across it for the discerning public to consume. It's fitting, too, that Rotti Largo's death would come in the form of blood and opulent ruin, in the same sort of fucked up media circus that his life had boasted. Watching the masses gobble it up like the sheep they are makes a vicious grin split his face every, every time.

They gulp at the red kool-aide, and he waits for them to taste the cyanide.

Fuck, he feels a bit sorry for the kid, though. He doubts that she sees the same humor in it he does.

He recognizes her, despite her efforts to change herself. She may have gotten rid of her hair (it is short- it makes her look like an elf or something), and she's drowning in a ratty sweater that was probably her father's, and her face has become harsh and angular in a way that has nothing to do with lack of food and everything to do with grief, but she's still innocent in a way that he hasn't seen in a long fucking time.

She's been broken, but she's never truly doubted that she'd knit back together again. People have hurt her worse than she'd ever imagined they could, and still she trusts. Resilient. Or stupid.

So when she shows up again, looking like she's holding a howl of grief inside her through sheer force of will, fishnet clad legs slinking beneath the tattered grey knit, he loads the zydrate gun evenly, never breaking eye contact.

Might make her forget for a little while, at least.

"How's it goin', kid?"

She didn't think he'd remember her. He can tell. Her eyes flash with something like recognition for only a moment before returning to blank anguish. Or maybe just blank.

"I can't pay." She says bluntly, shivering a little as she wraps her thin arms around herself. Then she squares her too-small shoulders and gives him what is probably supposed to be a suggestive little smirk but comes off more like a grimace.

"First time's free." He murmurs, and watches the expressions flicker across her pale face. Relief and disappointment and blind, crippling terror. And he realizes. She wants him to make her hurt, just as badly as she wants him to chase the hurt away. He swallows, jerking his eyes away. Seventeen. She'll be back.

"Where's it hurt, darlin'?" He asks automatically, a mischievous leer spreading across his face. It's a good expression, and it falls across his features easily, comfortable like an old habit.

Her lips quirk up into the barest hint of a smile, looking up at him with deadened eyes, like a porcelain doll, and he thinks perhaps her sense of irony is better developed than he'd guessed-

Silently, she lays her hand on her chest, over her heart.