He'd always wondered. All those years... his whole life
Never once... not once had he found a girl who hadn't jumped at the chance to change their bodies, let alone touched one. And they... they were always the first to go. Always the first things to be lost to a warm scalpel. What girl wants to wait for her body to give her the shape she thinks – spends all her life being told by the celebrities she looks up to, the magazines she reads – she should have, when the world tells her repeatedly how much easier it would be to just let a SurGen do it for her?
Why bother waiting for your body to catch up with your dreams?
But now he'd found himself a perfect girl, without even a hint of plastic in her, and she stood right before him. Pressed between the wall of her mother's crypt and himself, breathing heavily, the top three buttons of her blouse open. How this had come to happen, he didn't quite know. Something had changed. Something tiny, almost imperceptible. A thrill in the air that shimmered between them.
Perhaps it was that moment of understanding that caused this. Of dawning realisation of how she'd changed. In only months, Shilo had changed... so very much. The way she held herself; her developing pride of self, strength and something like... worldliness. He had watched the metamorphosis, had been there through almost every moment of it, but the proximity had blinded him to it. All in that moment, it was there for him to see. All this change, and it had all taken place in only the short few months since she sought him out.
He was hardly difficult to find, even in the labyrinthine streets within which he prowled. Stalking the dark alleyways, feeding off the very worst aspects of society. Making a living off the innumerable bodies- the sickness they had created for themselves through the decades of pollution took many a life, leaving the waters surrounding this barren island choked with their remains.
Or those dead by the hands of the Repomen; the Black Ravens as they would have been called a century ago. They were the ones to deliver the legalised slaughter of those that tried to save themselves with surgery.
Then there were his addicts, and the whores, and the desperate, seeking any kind of... salvation. Of escape from the cruelty of the world. He mingled seamlessly with all ranks of the hell he lived in. They all wanted genetic perfection, and even the highest in the social hierarchy could find solace in the warmth of street Zydrate, in replacement of the cold, clinical touch of the mass produced crap.
But then... there she had stood.
Standing before him, shivering in the dress of her mother, the blood of her father, and the gore of her godmother.
Her only family, and she stood wearing them.
Though, of course, he'd never tell that he hadn't made himself difficult to find. He knew she didn't know anywhere beyond the fence around her house, so he waited. He'd seen the screens that splashed her horror, her grief and her pain everywhere. Read the papers that told of the bloody mess that she hiding from. He guessed that she would either run away home, or to find him.
Not like there was much else for her turn to.
He'd never seen anything quite like that. Something so undeniably innocent, thrown bodily into the darkness of the world without so much as a warning. Suddenly, she was forced to see that the world wasn't as sugar coated as the television and fairy tales would make her believe. Now she saw it for what it was- a cold world, only kept warm by the lies and blood and betrayal of the roaches scuttling around on its surface. That's what this life was, and those brown eyes had found the cotton-wool blindfold ripped way, leaving them wide and staring, when all she wanted to do was close them and hide them away.
Oh how she had changed from that skittish little girl in that dark cemetery, and even from the girl defiantly refusing to allow tears to overflow.
She was her own person now.
Well... her own person, but a little bit his too, he liked to think.
Certainly a little bit his, he mentally smirks as she had gasps at his touch. He was always careful to maintain a space between them. Oh, he would grab her hand when they had to run from the Gencops without a thought, nudge her hip jokingly with his own in happy camaraderie, but he wasn't intimate with her. Never her. He didn't want her to be one of those parasites, didn't want her draping herself over him. He wanted her close, but not... that close. He cared for her too much for that. The intimacy he had with her was showing her where he lived. Letting her bandage or stitch any wounds he got in their exploits, and making sure she knew how to survive. It was more than he'd let any one else have, and it was more than enough for him.
At least... he had thought it was.
But now his guard was slipping. He was acting on subconscious desires, unveiled the moment he noticed how she'd changed. The transformations were all in her actions and the way she stood, rather than her physical appearance. Nothing much had changed there, aside from a hint more liberal application of make up as disguise, a few streaks of colour in her wig, her choice of clothing a bit more honed for fleeing Gencops. She'd learned well from him, his little partner in crime. She had picked up his knack for hiding behind the mask of a smirk. She had even managed to copy his own grin pretty well.
Though, of course, the devil knows his own tricks, and her mask was full of cracks. Plus, she trusted him too much to try all that hard to hide herself from him. A little too trusting, but then... he hadn't the heart to teach her better. He wasn't a man to be relied upon by anyone, but then... she didn't have much else to rely on now, did she?
A single finger, grazing across her cheek was enough to elicit the small gasp. Her eyes were huge in the darkness, the only light from the flame on the wall, which she had lit only moments before. The chandelier remained dark, simply as she could not reach. She had never ventured into the house itself, after that first day. The only reason she went back in the first place was when he pointed out that she needed to shower and get clothes to wear. After that, she had locked the front door and never looked back. She hated the prison she had been kept in, and when she explained... he didn't blame her, even if the idea of living in a house that large and comfortable amazed him... well, he distracted himself from those thoughts at the idea that it was also the home of a man who stole his clients, and had probably hunted for him once or twice. A reason he never revealed his real name.
But the tomb of her mother... here she came back to every week or so. She seemed to feel guilty about something, and he had to be careful to keep some sense of street-wise-tough-ass when ever that emotion flickered across her features, prevent his tongue from curling around the question he so wanted to voice.
His hands were rough against her soft skin, but warm, and gentler than she might have expected. But then... he was always gentle with her. Always aware of her fragility. He had seen her, face shown on far too many of the screens that hovered all over the city, so many angles of her heartbreak, her weakest moment, and every atom of his existence rebelled at the idea of doing anything to send her back to that. After being the one to introduce her to the brutality of the world, showing her how it worked – the living feeding off the dead, so very like the insects she so adored – the idea now felt crueller than even he was able, to add any more to what she'd already experienced.
Funny how, for someone who had never been outside her house, she probably knew more than she thought about the human race, just from studying what were supposed to be the "lowest lifeforms" in this excuse for an existence.
Lazily his finger traced the crest of her cheekbone, around the edge of her face, tracing her jaw before coming to a stop at her chin, where he flipped his finger in a way that left his nail pressed to her flesh, not quite forceful enough to cause real pain, but only to ensure she knew that he wanted her unwavering attention.
Not that it was likely of wandering.
He filled her every sense completely. She was aware of every point of contact, though they were sparse; his right leg, between both of her own, though with only an inch of contact at her thigh. His arm, pressed against the wall behind her head, but also just brushing her shoulder if she moved just so. The leather of his coat brushing her trembling hand. That finger, under her chin. Every touch was tingling, and she could feel heat creeping up her cheeks. Even in the muted light, she knew its stain was bound to be painfully obvious.
He was so close that she could smell the tingling scent of fresh Zydrate, of hair dye and freshly turned dirt, death and sweat and just him that combined to create a strangely comforting aroma that, while most likely would have scared her not so long ago, now meant home to her more than the sterilised, clinical smell of her room ever could. Even more than the clean, perfumed smell of her father's distant embraces.
He was so close to her, and yet the lack of real contact was driving her to distraction. He towered over her – all she could see was him, and yet he stayed so far away from her touch. She didn't dare to even reach out to him, in case the spell broke. In case he realised what he was doing, remembered himself and walked away
He could feel her trembling. She was staring at him with so many emotions barely concealed behind those wide brown eyes. Trust, confusion, lust... but no fear. The one thing he never saw in her any more, and certainly not for him. The night at the Opera had made her somewhat jaded. She never let him see her cry - not that she did very often - and she never showed fear.
He'd taught her the skill of hiding her emotions, but that night was more of an education than he could ever be. Emotions, when they presented themselves clearly as they did when he first met her, only made her stand out as someone to be taken advantage of in this world. Trust, love, everything that the world should be built upon was now nothing more than a way of breaking people down. It had been the way ever since what he called the Fade – the times in which industrialisation crippled the globe, when the first people started succumbing to the sickness. When people stopped living, and began merely to exist. That's all the world amounted to. The proof lay in the fact that people, when they die now, rarely even got a burial. Mounds upon mountains of dead thrown onto a human compost heap like the rubbish that they are, because they never really lived. Not really.
He even started to think that he wasn't... truly living.
But she... maybe she was still alive.
And yet she still laid her trust in him. She knew him far too well to even contemplate the possibility that he could betray her.
He smirked at her look. A smirk he used only for her. The sluts he worked with were so oblivious that they ceased to register the difference between a friendly smile and a distasteful scowl, so he never bothered with honeyed expressions. Crooned songs, telling them of the rapture that they're about to experience worked better than wasted looks. Even with those still somewhat aware – new to the game, or more able to control their dependency to infrequent visits - he rarely used a much more alluring visage. He prefers to opt for the more predatory grin, all teeth and thin black lips. Better if they knew to fear him. Scared sluts pay better.
But those masks didn't work with Shilo. She'd seen horrors worse than him, masquerading as gentry and paternal love. His dramatics only ever lead to her laughter. God only knew how rare a laugh was in this world. And she of all people needs every bit of joviality she can find. Better if he could be the one to provide. So he kept up the charade of trying to scare her, for her amusement. Acted surprised with his growls elicited giggles.
But this... this grin spoke of a completely different breed of predator. This enticed his prey, hypnotised and relaxed the beholder, drawing her in.
His finger followed her nervous swallow, though slowly, still just skimming her skin, before turning to follow her vein. The calluses on his skin were creating the most amazing sensations against the softness of her heated flesh. When his finger reached her vein, it paused for a moment, before being joined by the others, stroking against a sensitive spot that they found there that was pronounced by a soft shudder, a fluttering of her eyelids and a gentle sigh. The pause didn't last long, though the widening of his smirk showed that the reaction had not gone unnoticed. Fluttering over a last small expanse of skin, his hand came to a stop at her collar bone, stroking another point of sensitivity, and he had the pleasure of seeing the look of surprise as he ducked his head before he finally closed his eyes, breaking eye contact for the first time as he captured her surprise with his lips.
He matched the "o" that he found. Smoothed the puckering of her lips, oh so gently with his tongue, until she relaxed against him as his hand moved back up, around the back of her neck, stroking the base of her skull and grinning against her lips at the shudder it elicited. He slipped his hand under her wig, tired of it.
He wanted her to be all herself, nothing fake.
She tried to protest, but he only used this as an opportunity to taste the inside of her mouth, efficiently silencing her, and again she relaxed against him, even as he let the fake hair drop to the floor.
He fought the urge to kiss as vigorously as he normally would, had it been anyone else. He was like a child with a new toy, careful of breaking it. This was a new concept to Shilo, and he knew it. It was obvious in her timidity, the strong dealer persona dropping from her shoulders more and more with every second. It was always lax when she was alone with him, but this was different. Her confidence was long gone; flown through the barred window on the door the second he had backed her up against the wall, though he could feel her recovering it as he slowly educated her. She picked up the basics almost as quickly as she had those of the trade she now lived by – helping him with his "business".
He pulled away first, watched her eyes fluttering open, eyes showing just how very dazed she was, as well as uncertain of what to do now, or to say.
He studied her properly. Her make-up was stronger than it had been before. Green eye-shadow just the right side of garish, offsetting her eyes and the discarded hair perfectly. A tiny bit more colour in her skin from fresh air... well, as "fresh" as this planet could provide nowadays. He had been cautious in the way that he kissed her, matching her lips with his as best he could, aware of the paint still adorning his. He appreciated his effort now. Almost perfectly, her lips wore the shadows of his own, with only a slight smudge, which he now rubbed at carefully, feeling her breath panting across his thumb.
Her hair was growing back, though far too slowly in her opinion. She refused to go anywhere without her wig, aside from rare occasions in which she could use the difference in appearance to escape capture. Even then, she loathed to be parted from the femininity that it gave her. She had been forced to give up her skirts and dresses due to practicality, and though she wouldn't let it show, he could tell it bothered her still.
He ducked his head again, chuckling as she misread his aim. He felt, rather than heard, the huff of annoyance at the trick become a mewl of surprise and pleasure at the feelings the touch of his lips against the pulse at her neck brewed inside of her. A hand still at her neck, slowly moving up to drag lightly through her hair- not much longer than stubble, barely an inch or two, but enough for him- his right hand fell to her waist as he marked her gently, just above where the chain of her cameo fell. With careful application of sucks and licks, he left a significant blemish, yet did nothing to startle her further by using his teeth.
The taste of her skin was... exhilarating. Something completely new, so clean and... untouched. Even Amber, with the luxury of having baths when ever she wants, could never taste like this. No amount of water could ever wash her of the taste that permeated her every cell. He could taste the perfume she used, every hit of Z, every hint of other people's bodies, every piece of plastic in her whenever he sampled her wares. With a kiss, every unnatural tinge was palpable on her skin. A metallic, cloying taste. He didn't so much mind it. It was a taste that he was used to, and it was not as repellent as it used to be. It even started to hold a strange attraction to him.
He would never crave it, though. No, it was far too common.
But nothing was so uncommon as what he tasted now.
She tasted of nothing but herself. Even from the years of her father poisoning her blood, the evidence of which ran up her arms – small needle marks, nothing like the muzzle burns of the sparking Zydrate guns – she was clean now. There had been days where there had been a chance of danger. That many years of complete drug dependency could not go without repercussions. There had been days where he had demanded that she return to her bedroom, to recover. It had ended with her camping out in this very room, swaddled in too many blankets to count, which he had fetched from the house. He had to hand it to the man, what ever her father had given her, it gave her one hell of an immune system.
He had guessed that she would die. He didn't like the idea, but when she told him that she hadn't left her room in years, and when he saw the precautions set up in her room- the plastic drapes, the lock on the door, the gas mask laying on the table… well, it seemed like it was unlikely that she would have been in contact with many germs. Just touching him should have just about killed her on the spot. Plus living on the streets all this time would have done what ever damage he failed to. But it seemed that the poison he fed her day after day must have had something in it. Fuck knows what it was, but she was a tough little bug, and she hadn't had much more than a sniffle – aside from the withdrawal of course – since he met her.
His right hand glided gently up the soft cotton of her shirt. He felt her shiver delicately as he passes sensitivity. But the reaction that makes him grin against her skin is the instant freeze that occurs when that hand finds the small breast almost lost under the loose fabric. Barely ghosting across the small rise of flesh, and she finally reached out for him. She grabbed the leather of his coat, and he rewarded her leap of faith with a firmer pressure, nipping the flesh of her neck to contain a moaning answer to her keening voice. They… they where what he'd always wondered about.
Even with all the ability of the SurGens, with the advances of technology and surgery… even with all that, he had never felt anything like this. He had been curious, of course. But he had no frame of reference. But breasts felt like this. This wasn't what he was used to. Not by any means.
The contrast between them was sharp, sharper to him than it would be to anyone else. When you've felt a hundred fake breasts, in varying states of quality, you notice the difference when you at last get the real thing. They still felt hard, unmoving and solid. Over the years, yes quality had improved, but all the same they never felt… like this.
He needed more.
Shilo growled slightly when he removed his hand, to which he chuckled darkly, not without a hint of surprise.
"Patience, Kid," He laughed again as she started at him breaking the vocal-silence that had fallen between them, pulling back to look at her "Lest we forget ourselves."
Her eyes fell to his hand, watched as it moved from her breast to between them, finding the first button and popping it open. Then the next. And the next. Ever the efficient, he didn't bother going further than that. But with each inch more exposure, Shilo's breathing increased perceptibly, and her face reddened more and more, the flush staining the pale flesh that was revealed. She looked back at him, but he didn't meet her eyes. His attention was fixed. Her breathing was still quick, and his eyes followed the rise and fall of her chest hungrily. The black, lacy bra was cute, pretty, but tantalising all at the same time. It was semi-transparent, delicate patterns traced across it, with a black satin flower adorning the central piece.
Her laughter, however, brought his attention away- though he noted that the effects it had were indeed desirable- to focus on her face.
She stood, wig on the floor, red faced and shirt open, with him pressing her against a wall, and laughed. Outright and without control. Her darkened lips drew back in an open-mouthed grin as she leaned her head back against the wall.
"…Am I missing something?" Graverobber asked as she started to calm down.
"You! You look ridiculous!" the laughter picked up again.
Graverobber blinked, before grinning mischievously. "I look ridiculous?"
"You might want to pick your jaw up off the floor" she winked, "Wouldn't want to graze that pretty little chin of yours."
And so her confidence returned. Sarcasm was his art, and so it was her own. Banter and insults had become the norm for them both. Jibes, gay jokes, bald jokes, chin jokes; they weren't above anything when they got going. To give the kid her due, she gave as good as she got. All those yeas of suppressed teenage rebellion certainly gave the kid some punch.
But then, he was ever so fond of dirty tricks.
Her laughter caught in her throat as his hand launched down the front of her bra as he pressed close to her again, warm flesh taking away the chill that the thin bra had failed to keep at bay. Her eyes went wide and he leaned in to whisper in her ear.
"Leave my chin outta this."
He couldn't keep the husky edge from his voice, nor the smile from his lips or the fluttering of his eyelashes at what he found. Soft flesh, softer than he could have dreamed. Smooth, warm and soft. No, nothing he'd found before this could even compare. He could feel the change under his hand as her nipple hardened, another new feeling. He could feel tissue, muscle, everything just below the surface. His breathing picked up, like hers had before.
He pushed back again, looking at her. Her eyes were half lidded now, and he could feel her chest lifting and falling with every quickened breath. Carefully, he squeezed, just enough to get a reaction. She gasped softly, swallowed. Her breasts were still small, hardly bigger than when he first met her. The meds kept her hormones contained (hadn't that been fun when she came off them…) and had she been off them any earlier then perhaps something could have changed. But at the age of seventeen, the time for development had been and gone, and so she was still the same height, give or take an inch, and the same sizes where it counted.
But right now… that didn't matter. Size, as they used to say, doesn't matter. Particularly when you're pure, and real.