Normally, Amber would bring her bodyguards. Tonight, however, she wanted to go by herself. She snuck away from the GeneCo building and, under the cover of night, slipped into the crowded streets of the city. Half an hour later, she found the man she was looking for. He was leaning against an alley wall and though his back was turned to her, Amber felt as though he knew she was there and the only reason he'd come here at all was because he knew she would come tonight. This omnipotence scared her, but she wouldn't let it show.
"Graverobber, I need a hit," she ordered, forcing on a mask of boredom as she strutted over to him.
"Bitch, pay me," he replied tauntingly. She tossed him some coins and he smirked. "Where are your guards now? Are they slinking in the shadows, or have you come by yourself like a big girl?" he asked her, pretending to wave at the shadows.
"It's none of your business, now is it?" she snarked back, irritated by him. He only grinned all the wider, knowing he was getting under her skin.
"I'm just trying to make friendly conversation," he said, affecting an expression of innocence. Amber snorted. Friendly conversation? Sure. There was nothing friendly about either of them. "Well, let's get this over with," he sighed a moment later, digging in his bag for a little glass vial. There was nothing friendly about either of them, but his blunt words hurt Amber more than she had expected.
"Whatever," she replied shortly, hoping he hadn't seen her hurt. He hadn't. Good. Instead, he gestured to the alley wall and Amber obeyed his taciturn instructions. She pressed her back against the wall and spread her legs. Graverobber grinned wolfishly, liking what he saw. Amber saw him looking at like this and gave a sultry smile in return. He knelt before her and, from his pants, pulled out his Zydrate Gun. He loaded the thing that beautiful blue glow and then pressed the gun's sharp needle into Amber's exposed, femoral artery. She jerked as the gun went off and sent a spark through her body. She moaned in pleasure as she felt the glow surge through her body and encase it in bliss. Graverobber smirked at how vulnerable she looked right now, but she didn't care. Let him stare. She couldn't feel nothing at all.
Now, Amber loved Zydrate for many reasons, but one of the bigger reasons (beyond the feeling of bliss and painlessness) was that she could look at Graverobber however she wanted without having to explain herself. Of course, she didn't get why she thought she had to explain anything to Graverobber at all, but still. While under the effects of Zydrate, Amber could stare at Graverobber without question because her alibi would always remain the same. It was the blue glow that made her look at him that way. It wasn't because she actually saw something worth looking at him, right? Honestly, she wondered why she needed him at all! But a strange sense of coyness always overtook her when he was around. She had just gotten better about hiding this coyness. With Zydrate, though, Amber could observe him freely and blame it on the high later.
While observing him, Amber smiled a real smile at him and reveled in his presence. She wasn't sure when or why, but she had grown to truly care for him on some level. It was not in a romantic or familial sense, but in a friendly sense nonetheless. Hmm, hadn't she said there was nothing friendly between the, earlier? Oh, she couldn't remember, but she didn't care. Instead, she dwelt on the feeling of friendship. She hadn't had a real friend in a long, long time and Graverobber was the closest thing she had now… but she hated him for that. She didn't know why they were friends. Was it because he was good in bed? Because he supplied her Zydrate faithfully? Because he was always there she needed? Because he listened to her when nobody else did? Because she needed him physically? Emotionally? Because he had something nobody else did? Because he took her seriously when nobody else did even if this wasn't exactly a good thing? There were many reasons, but Amber couldn't focus on a single one. Instead, she let the blue haze whisk her away…
All during Amber's musings, Graverobber's mind was running a similar track. He hated Amber and held more disdain for her than almost anybody else he knew, yet he found himself just as dependent on her as she on him (yes, he knew she was just as addicted to him as his main good), but not in a business sense. Oh true, she was a good and loyal customer, but Graverobber needed her in other ways he didn't understand and would certainly never admit to. Perhaps it was for her physical beauty. Perhaps it was for her rebellious nature. Perhaps it was because, despite being an egotistical, spoiled, brat she was always truthful with him. She was too proud to lie because she believed her truth to be the only truth. Even in her whining she never lied. She acted pretentious, but Graverobber always saw through it and whenever she did come to complain to him, she held nothing back. Unlike the other junkies who only said what they thought Graverobber wanted to hear, Amber never held back. Or perhaps he only liked her for the fact that she reminded him that everybody suffered, even the upper crust. And on some level, it did feel good to know he was defiling and corrupting his worst enemy's child. It was his own private revenge against Rotti Largo. Either way, Graverobber knew two things. one was that he was dependent upon Amber and two was that their relationship, their need, was not built upon affection but upon a strange need for a snarky partner in crime. It was not, in anyway, a healthy relationship, but neither of them felt compelled to stop. Especially not when all they had was a life even worse than the life they shared.
Graverobber finally roused himself from his musing and he gathered Amber's limp figure in his arms. Normally, her guards would take her home after she fainted, but tonight it was his job. He did not mind. As much as Graverobber hated Amber, he still looked after her, but not because he felt any true sense of love for her. Instead, it was almost like a business decision. It would do no good to lose such a wonderful customer. But what was strange was how Graverobber carried her. Without even meaning to, he had begun to hold her closer to his chest, carrying her bridal style and walking with a light step so as not to disturb her, not that a girl with so much Z in her blood would wake up anytime soon anyway. It was just that, usually, Graverobber just slung bodies over his shoulder and ran. He was carrying Amber bridal style and holding her close
Half an hour later, they were back at the GeneCo building. Graverobber saw Amber's guards looking for her and he whistled them over. The moment they saw them, they began to sprint at him but the moment they realized who it was sleeping in his arms, they came to an immediate stop. As far as Graverobber knew, they were entirely mute, but they didn't need to speak in order for him to know what they were thinking.
"Looking for something?" he taunted. It was a dangerous move but he knew full well they wouldn't do anything as long as he had Amber in his arms. He wagged his tongue at them and laughed while they stood like statues, motionless and expressionless. He could still sense their anger, though, and that was enough for him.
After a few more jibes at Amber's guard, Graverobber finally decided to quit his game. He set Amber down gently and backed away slowly. The guards watched him closely but they made no move to stop him, even after they had Amber back in their own arms. A silent treaty was made that as long as Graverobber brought Amber home, he would be free to leave GeneCo's territory unharmed. All parties, except Amber, were more than happy to agree with this treaty. Graverobber watched until Amber and her guards were out of his line of sight, then he cursed at himself.
"Why am I risking my neck to watch Amber get to safety?" he asked himself. Then he darted into the shadows, but not before casting one last look over his shoulders as the guards carried Amber inside. He rolled his eyes at her. "Sometimes I wonder why I need you at all."
AN: Just to be clear, this is supposed to be an analysis on the nature of the Gramber relationship and therefore is not technically romantic. You may read it as such, but this was not intended to really be a romance story. I'm unopinionated about Gramber, I'm just saying this story is more of an analysis about why they were together at all and to me, it's one of those emotionally-dependent relationships that are really unhealthy but neither person wants to leave because the life that waits beyond their relationship isn't much better than what they have at the time.