Chapter Two

He let out a groan as he saw her step into Zydrate Alley. He should have known she'd follow him, it wasn't as if she didn't know where to find him. She looked furious as she stepped up to him, but the look just made him want to laugh. So he chuckled a bit. "What's so funny?" she demanded.

"Your face," he said, poking her lightly on the nose.

"You lied to me," she said with a pout, jumping up next to where he sat on his dumpster.

"Get used to it, Kid, that's how the world works," Graverobber replied. He looked as her with a grin, to which she scowled back. "How can I make it up to you?"

"Really?" she asked. "You're going to make it up to me?"

"Time's money, make it fast," he sighed.

"I..." Shilo's voice was tiny, and her eyes dropped to the Zydrate gun the had holstered to his belt. It had a fresh vial waiting for the next customer.

"Anything but that." He pulled his coat shut, blocking the glowing blue substance from her view.

Shilo glared at him with all the ferocity she could muster, making him laugh again. "Stop laughing!"

"Can't help it, Kid, you look ridiculous when you're trying to act tough."

"Why?" She said, looking down at her hands in her lap. "Why can't I..."

"I'm not getting you hooked on the stuff," he growled.

"Why do you even care?"

That's a good question, he thought. "You've never been under the knife, there's no need for you to have it, Kid."

"So? There's other kinds of pain to get rid of." She let out a sigh and leaned back against the cold wall. "I don't want to feel this pain anymore."

Graverobber watched her in silence for a moment, then let out a sigh of his own. He saw a cluster of junkies heading his way down the alley, so he tried to put the girl to the back of his mind and worry about business at hand. Getting her out of his head seemed to be becoming increasingly difficult.

Shilo watched as Graverobber charmed his clientèle out of their money, slowly getting drowsy as the night wore on. She wondered fleetingly how long he'd stayed at her house that day while she'd slept through it. Eventually she fell asleep on top of the dumpster.

Time was dragging slowly, Graverobber noticed. Only a handful of customers since the initial mob at the start of the night. He decided it was time to give up the rest of the night and do a run through the graveyard for harvesting. Then he spotted Shilo, fast asleep as she often seemed to be in his presence. For a moment he considered ditching her, or carrying her back home, but leaving her there would just make him feel like a dick, and carrying her required too much work. He walked over and pushed her shoulder. "Hey, Kid," he snapped.

Shilo woke with a start, having never been so rudely awakened before. "I have a name," she growled.

"So do I," Graverobber said, walking down the alley, not bothering to wait for her.

Shilo jumped off of the dumpster, grabbing her pack, and ran after him. "So what is it?"

"What is what?"

"Your name."


Shilo looked at him with an eyebrow raised. "Nunya?" she repeated.

"Yeah, Nunya Business."

Shilo groaned and rolled her eyes. "So where are we going?"

Graverobber almost regretted not leaving her behind. "You talk too much."

"Where are we going?" Shilo repeated, ignoring his statement.

He sighed and stared up at the massive buildings that reached high above them. "It's harvest time."

Shilo thought about that for a moment before realizing what that meant. "Oh. The graveyard." She shuddered, remembering the last time she'd been prompted to extract Zydrate from a corpse by the same man she was following; she hadn't been able to bring herself to do it then. But maybe now, after all that had happened, everything fucking her up forever... "Can I... try it again?"

He stopped and looked at her. "Last time you couldn't get the glow for yourself. Now, I have the feeling if you do, you'll keep it."

"What's wrong with that?"

"I already told you, Shilo, I'm not letting you get hooked on it!" he shouted.

She looked at him, stunned. She hadn't heard anything he'd just said except for her name. "You said my name," she gasped in awe.

Graverobber looked confused. "I did?"

Shilo smiled at him. "You didn't call me kid."

He stared at her for a moment, really not remembering saying her name. He was feeling increasingly warm, and his chest felt kind of tight. He pulled his eyes away from her slight frame and gave her a little shove forward. "Get going, Kid."

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