TRIGGER WARNING

This story contains references to anxiety, depression, grief, suicide attempts, panic attacks and many more negative feelings.


As the sun began to rise, a couple soft rays of light found their way through the blinds into a dimly lit bedroom in Judy's apartment. The only other source of light in the room was a small electronic clock, with "4 AM" spelled out on the screen in color green. It was quiet. Perhaps even uncomfortably so, as the only things that could be heard were outside noises coming from other people, who were unfortunate enough to have to go to work or get other things done this early, and the soft breathing of the braindance expert who's been laying there at the bad, staring at the ceiling and drowning in her own thoughts for the last couple hours.

To say Judy was a mess was an understatement. Ever since V disappeared, she didn't resemble herself from before in any way. Even her passion for braindance was gone, as what was once her hobby turned into just another thing she had to do for a living. There wasn't a day...hour...minute where she hasn't thought about her girlfriend, now gone and probably never coming back. And the worst thing is, she didn't even know what happened to her. She never left Night City as she planned before. All in hope that one day V will show up at her doorstep and the two lovers will be reunited again.

Her breathing got more rapid than before - as more memories of her and V flooded her brain, tears began rolling down her cheeks. V's soft voice and her touch… both are things she'll probably never experience again, and the thought alone never fails to make her cry again and again. The night they spent in the cabin after diving together was the best moment in Judy's life. Yet, it was also the last time she saw V in person. They often talked on the phone afterwards, but when V disappeared Judy's chance for true happiness was abruptly taken away from her and she'll never understand why.

She couldn't sleep even for a second this night - it's been a long night, like every other night for the last 12 weeks.

12 weeks.

Exactly how much time passed since V disappeared from Judy's life. Such a seemingly long time, yet for Judy, it still feels like it happened yesterday.

She would have these sleepless nights pretty often and normally she would sink into her thoughts for a couple hours, to later take quick naps during the day, which weren't nearly enough to provide her a healthy sleeping schedule, but were just enough to somewhat keep her through the day.

This time was different though. This night will probably always be remembered as one of the worst moments in her entire life. Earlier in the night, Judy almost overdosed on prescription pills. Almost, as the only thing that made her regret her decision shortly after was a picture of V she always had on a desk right beside her bed. The thought that her girlfriend might still be out there somewhere… and even if she isn't, the last thing she'd want Judy to do is giving up, made her seriously reconsider her choice and she quickly saved herself by puking the pills out into the toilet.

With the realization of the fact she has almost ended her own life came a panic attack, the first one she's ever had.

A couple long hours later she was laying in her bed, sinking in her thoughts again. V would hate to see her like this, but the truth is that without V there was no Judy. She hated herself for getting so attached to someone she didn't even know for a long time. But on the other hand, V was the only reason for her happiness, the only person that truly cared about her and never used her as a way to to get more money or get their hands on top of the line braindances.

"Hey V… I don't know if you'll ever hear this but if you're out there somewhere… come back to me, please. Also, I-" Judy bit her tongue, trying to find words for yet another voicemail meant for V "I-I'm sorry for what I've done this night. Perhaps I'll tell you about it over a drink one day or… I don't know. It-it's just hard here without you… you know?" Judy felt the tears fill up her eyes again "I love you" she finished the voicemail and sent it immediately after. She was sending these voicemails every couple days out of pure desperation, but with every single voicemail, with every unanswered call she was starting to lose hope even more. But she still didn't have the strength in her heart to move on. She was ruined, a shell of her former self.

She laid on her back, eyes closed for the first time that night, she tried to get some shut-eye for at least an hour before she had to get up in the morning.

/

Kabuki, 7 AM

A black Quadra pulled up into a parking lot, just beside Judy's apartment building. The engine has now been turned off, but no one walked out of the car. The driver sat in there silently, with an indie rock radio station playing quietly in the background, staring at the droplets of rain hitting the side window. The driver was V… in body at least, as everything else has been overwritten by the soul of Johnny Silverhand, who was now controlling the woman's former body.

He took out a cigarette and lit it up, letting the smoke fill up his… V's Quadra. He's been here a couple times in the last 12 weeks, just spending lonely nights sitting outside Judy's apartment, thinking of a way to tell her the terrible news. If he were his former self from 50 years ago, he wouldn't even care, but V really changed the way he looked at the world and other people. After spending that long of a time in V's head, he knew exactly how much Judy meant for her and even though she obviously wasn't his type, he'd grown to like her, but also feel bad for her, seeing how many tragic situations she's had to endure. And now this… he didn't even want to imagine what Judy was going through on a daily basis, not knowing what happened to her girlfriend. Has she moved on? Or did his selfish behavior - not telling her sooner, cause her to fall into a heavy depression?

Johnny hated himself for this. V would've wanted Judy to be the first person to know, yet he's been a coward who couldn't face her. Hatred for himself has been building up inside for a couple minutes now and he had to release it somehow.

"Fuck!" Johnny yelled, punching the driving wheel in anger.

No, this time he will not back down. This time it's gonna be different. It must be. He had to give Judy some closure. He lit another cigarette, drifting off into the realm of his thoughts.

Why did V let him take over? Why did he have to endure the pain of telling all of her close friends about what happened? The thing is, he knew exactly how selfish these thoughts were, as his suffering was probably nowhere near how bad Judy was going through it. "Hell, if she is even still alive" he thought, as a realisation of just how much V must've meant to Judy hit him like a truck. The 'braindance chick' as he used to call her back when V first met her has already survived a close friend's suicide, and he knew how much she suffered because of it. Still, she wasn't the type to give up, or so he hoped.

12 fucking weeks

Or 3 months, minus a couple days. Is this enough to move on from your lover's demise? Johnny knew that it wasn't, at least not for Judy, seeing how many voicemails she's sent V in that time. He never opened any of them, couldn't bring himself to do it. She even sent one 2 hours ago, so at least that means she's probably okay. Well, as okay as a grief-struck, miserable, lonely girl can get. She's at least alive.

/

Judy woke up to the sound of the alarm clock. She sighed. She really didn't want to get up after that mess of a night. She lazily reached for the alarm, turning it off. The alarm was sitting comfortably on her desk, right beside a photo of her and V, together. A photo that only served as a bitter-sweet reminder of better days.

Before she got dressed, she unlocked her phone to see one unanswered message from a couple hours before. It was from Rita Wheeler, the bouncer at Lizzie's Bar and a long-time friend of Judy.

"yo judy you got that bd i talked about earlier? i could really use something like that rn" the message read. Now Judy remembered, she was talking with Rita about an old comedy type braindance, which wasn't available to buy anywhere, about a guy, who tries hitting on different girls in a club, but gets rejected in funny ways every time he tries. It was pretty hard to find a lighthearted braindance like that, considering how dark and over-sexualised the reality of Night City truly was.

"sorry, I had a rough night again :/ I'll try to find it for u later today" Judy texted back, she kinda felt stupid about forgetting it, but then again, she didn't really have any strength to do anything more often than not.

A couple moments later, after she got dressed, she noticed another notification appearing on the screen.

"sure don't worry about it! you okay?" another text from Rita said.

"yeah, i'm fine, don't worry about me!" Judy replied. She smiled at the fact that at least someone cared about her enough to ask her how she's doing. A smile that faded away once she looked at the photo of V again.

She sighed once again, leaving her bedroom and entering her bathroom in order to wash her face and do some makeup, as she did everyday. Even after almost 3 months of grieving and missing her girlfriend every single thing one thing didn't change - her love for makeup and tattoos. She even got a tattoo commemorating V since then. A blue flower placed on the back of her left hand, it was exactly the same design that V proudly wore on the right side of her neck. Even though the tattoo didn't necessarily fit with the rest of Judy's, it was definitely her favorite one by far.

A couple more minutes, and she was already wearing her usual makeup, looking as good as ever. Had anyone seen her right now, they'd think she's perfectly happy, as no signs of the everlasting depression caused by her loss were showing.

She walked into the kitchen and stared into the fridge, analysing everything she could prepare for breakfast, but opted for what was probably the easiest and fastest option right there. Milk and cornflakes - plain and simple, but really tasty and just enough to get her through the morning somehow.

A minute later she was sitting on the couch, eating her meal and watching some boring reality show on the TV.

Couple minutes passed, and she was already done, putting the dirty dishes into the sink, leaving them to be cleaned later. Then suddenly, something hit her, a realization. She wasn't really feeling that bad today. For the first time in… well, for the first time since V disappeared she was actually feeling somewhat okay.

Escaping into her thoughts again, she walked up to the window, just to look outside and observe the people, cars and everything else surrounding her neighborhood.

Suddenly she notices something out of the ordinary. Something that made all of the memories come back again and hit her like a freight train.

A black Quadra Turbo V-Tech.

The exact same car that V loved so much and drove everywhere. Judy remembered the excitement she felt when that car pulled up to the cabin near the dam. The time when V promised over the phone that she'd let Judy drive it someday…

Thinking of those memories made a faint, bittersweet smile appear on Judy's face for a moment. But following the smile was confusion. Who's car was this? Is it really possible that…

Judy looked at the floor, shaking her head in disbelief. For a second she thought that maybe, just maybe V came back. That doesn't make sense, Quadras aren't even that uncommon, right? They kinda are in this part of town, though…

"Fuck this…" Judy sighed quietly, as she felt another tear appear in her eye. She quickly wiped it away, as she didn't want to let it ruin her makeup. She was so tired of overthinking everything. She just ruined her mood again because of over analyzing a random car, for god's sake.

The woman walked away from the window, there were more important things for her right now. Such as finding that braindance Rita wanted earlier. She sat in front of a computer and began her search. At least that would help her take her mind off other things for a bit.

/

The pressure inside Johnny's heart was rising and he could feel it all too much. He found himself on the silent staircase leading up to Judy's apartment, sitting on the cold stairs and finishing off another cigarette, which he lit up just prior to entering the building. He knew that this time, there's no backing down. Judy had to know. There was no other way out. The thing he feared the most was seeing the girl, hopelessly hopeful that her girlfriend has returned after all, only for him to shatter her dreams a second later. He really didn't want to hurt her this way. It's funny, isn't it? Being trapped in V's body for a couple months actually made him care about people in a way he didn't back when he was truly alive half a century ago.

He was taken out of his thoughts as he heard someone say something to him.

"Huh?" Johnny said, looking up to see a middle-aged guy standing right in front of him.

"Sorry, miss, but you can't smoke here!" the guy said, making Johnny roll his eyes with an annoyed frown.

"Do I look like I fucking care?" he replied harshly. He really wasn't in the mood to talk with some butthurt stranger here.

"Ah, n-no, I don't want any trouble, okay?" the guy got visibly nervous, his voice shaking. Has he possibly recognized V's face? Not out of the realm of possibility, seeing how reputable the mercenary became.

"Just get outta my face" Johnny said quietly, but loud enough for the man to hear him.

Johnny had a smoke again, finishing the cigarette. He threw it onto the ground and twisted his shoe on it. He stood up, slowly but surely making his way through the corridor in the direction leading to Judy's door. Upon reaching her apartment, he sighed heavily. He always admired V for how good she was with talking about feelings and showing her chooms sympathy - something he never knew how to do properly. Slowly reaching for the doorbell, he felt all of these feelings, fears and anxiety-induced stress intertwine inside. He hated this with a passion. Why was he so scared of facing Judy for the first time? The last time he's felt like this was when he arrived at the Arasaka tower in 2023.

"Fuck it. It's now or never." he thought.

The doorbell rang.

"Just a sec!" he heard an all too familiar voice coming from the inside. The seconds were turning into days as he waited for the pink-green haired girl to open the door. Only god knows what would happen next.

The door opened, revealing Judy. The first thing he noticed were the bags beneath her eyes. Has she even sleeped at all this night? He felt a guilt-induced knot tying up in his stomach. Was her longing for V the cause of this undeniable pain, of all these sleepless nights?

As the two stood there, not a word was said. Johnny could pinpoint with extreme accuracy the exact moment when Judy recognized V's face. Her face turned into a mix of shock, hope, happiness, disbelief and some underlying anger as well. She stood there, frozen in place, dropping something Johnny didn't recognize at first glance. In silence, Judy slowly closed the distance between them. Suddenly, Johnny found himself in the girl's warm embrace, but he didn't have it in him to return the hug. It just felt… wrong. He didn't want Judy to make up false hopes, but he also didn't have the guts to tell her what's actually going on. From her perspective, it was V she was hugging, but that couldn't have been further from the truth. A truth that will absolutely devastate her, no matter how Johnny would reveal it. It had to be done, however. And Johnny had to speak up somehow.

He closed his eyes and let these words come out of his mouth. Words, that would set the stage for misery, again.

"Judy, I'm not…" he bit his tongue, he couldn't find the words to finish the sentence. It seemed so easy, all he had to do was say V's name. Yet in that moment it proved to be almost impossible for him.

He felt Judy slowly pull out of the hug, looking deep into his eyes as if she was trying to see through V's body and deep into his soul. He looked into hers to see a devastating look of desperation and disappearing hope.

"No, don't tell me that…" Judy said desperately, backing out slowly. "Please" she pleaded quietly, a tear appearing in her eye again.

"...it's Johnny." he said, looking at the floor. He really didn't want to say that. It felt so fucking wrong for him to be in this position. To basically have to tell Judy something that not only he should've told her weeks ago, but also something that would absolutely ruin her… again.

And he was already starting to notice the effects of that once he looked up to see Judy again.

"No… no, no, no" she was saying repeatedly and desperately, as if she was hoping it was all just another nightmare. She was walking back until she finally hit a wall, more and more tears appearing in his eyes with every step. Back against the wall, she dropped to the floor, black eyeliner flowing down her cheeks as she started sobbing.

Johnny was speechless, staring at the broken girl, who seemed perfectly happy just mere seconds ago.

"You… you fucking killed her…" Judy said in between the sobs. "You fucking killed her and…" she started having trouble catching her breath "... and you still have the audacity to… to c-come here" she said, her words barely recognizable in between the sobbing and rapid breathing. Tears were running down her cheeks uncontrollably and panic was starting to take hold.

Johnny quickly walked up to the devastated Judy. He simply couldn't look at this poor, broken girl about to have a panic attack. He kneeled in front of her and put his hands on her shoulders.

"Judy… Judy, look at me." he said, almost beggingly. The girl said something that was inaudible because of her crying and shook her head to signalize a 'no'.

"V wanted this." he said, sparking up Judy's attention. "She wanted me to take over her body. I... I didn't fucking want this to end up this way."

Judy seemed to calm down a bit, wiping away the tears with her fist. She let Johnny sit right beside her, and moments later, the two were sitting there on the floor, backs against the wall, not saying a word and both looking in opposite directions.

"But w-why… why would she do that?" Judy asked quietly, her voice still trembling. She was sitting there, hands crossed, looking at a blank wall beside the door to her apartment.

"We found out that even without the chip… well, the damage had already been done. She would die in 6 months, basically." Johnny explained "She thought this was the better option, I guess. I didn't want this to happen. But her soul is in the cyberspace now, so maybe… I don't know."

This caught Judy's attention, causing her to turn to face him.

"Are you saying there's still a chance that..." she said. He noticed a glimpse of hope appearing in the girl's eyes again.

"I don't know." he said. That came off more harshly than he intended it to.

Judy nodded in silence, staring away from him again. A couple more moments passed, with each second feeling like an hour.

"Do you have a cig?" she asked in a voice weakened by all the crying and sobbing.

Johnny gave her a cigarette without a word. She took it, not even looking in his direction and let him light it up for her. She slowly inhaled and exhaled the smoke. The rockerboy analyzed the way Judy looked. He noticed her foot was shaking as a symptom of stress. It was the same foot movement he noticed on the rooftop after he… V found Evelyn and helped Judy. Back when V was still in control, he could feel everything she felt for Judy, and even though he couldn't really relate, it definitely left a lasting impact on him, as seeing Judy in this state was hurting him immensely.

A couple moments later the woman stood up. She walked up to the window, cigarette in hand. She looked outside, smoking. Johnny noticed this and followed her. As he was right behind her, she turned around. Although the traces that the tears mixed with eyeliner made on her cheeks were still visible, she seemed to calm down.

"Johnny…" she started, staring him down as if she was scanning his soul. She took another smoke, as he noticed another tear appearing in her eye. "...s-sorry, it's just pretty fucking hard when you're literally in her body." she said, wiping the tear away.

"What I wanted to ask is… why are you even here?" she said, a moment later, after she had calmed down again.

"I just wanted to give you some closure… I guess" he replied, trying his best to look at her. It was pretty hard with him knowing that all of this could've been avoided if only he had told her sooner.

"But… why wait so long?" she said in a tone slightly different from the one before. The sentence that escaped her mouth sounded as if she was accusing him for something. Deservedly so, as he thought.

"I didn't have the fucking guts, okay?" Johnny said, looking away. He let his emotions take hold of him again. The overwhelming guilt he felt.

"Why?"

Upon hearing this question, Johnny stood there in silence for a while. He sighed and buried his head in his hands for a second, before he returned to earth and looked up to see Judy again.

"It's the fact that I know exactly how much you meant to V. I didn't want to hurt you. I didn't have the guts to do it, because I didn't want to see you suffer after all this bullshit you've been through" he responded after a moment, some anger could be heard in his voice.

Judy was visibly taken aback by this response. She didn't expect that in the slightest. She finished her cig and lazily threw it out the window onto the cold concrete of the parking lot. Johnny could see a saddened look forming at her face again.

"Did she… did she tell you how much I…" she said, looking down at the floor, trying her best to cover up the sadness that was starting to overwhelm her again.

"She didn't have to tell me." Johnny said "I basically felt everything she did, remember?"

"Yeah…" Judy sighed solemnly, as what Johnny said reminded her of the time when she saved V from drowning back at the dam and the time she first noticed the engram's thoughts when her and V's systems were connected.

"Look…" Johnny said, lightly putting his hand on V's shoulder to comfort her, causing her to look into his eyes. She almost felt like she was right beside V all over again but she did her best not to forget that it was still Johnny she was talking to.

"You really meant the world to her." he continued "To say she loved you was an understatement. I could feel all of her thoughts, right? Well, she was thinking of you constantly."

Even though Judy became more and more teary-eyed with every word she heard, this made a small, albeit solemn smile appear on her face.

"I could feel everytime she got mushy when looking at you. It was kinda annoying to be honest" Johnny laughed "I know she never told you, but she really… really loved you more than anything, Judy. She told me a lot about how she adored you, how you were the only good thing that happened to her in this fucked up city, how she only felt truly alive when she was with you… I mean… fuck…" he had to take a breath before moving on to the next part.

He also noticed how everything he said made Judy's smile even bigger, even though more and more tears fell from her eyes.

"Before she… disappeared…. her last thought I could sense was of you."

These words made Judy freeze, dead in her tracks. She stared deep into the eyes that once belonged to her beloved girlfriend, but now it was Johnny who was seeing through them.
What he had just told her… it made her start sobbing uncontrollably, quickly turning into full on crying. She could feel herself being pulled into a tight, warm embrace by Johnny. For the first time in 12 weeks, she felt like she was reunited with V, even if it was just a facade. She wanted to feel like this, even if for a moment. She could feel V… Johnny softly running his hand in circles on her back to comfort her at least a bit.

"I-I just miss her so much" she said through tears..

"I know." he said. "I do too."

"Don't let go, please." Judy said "I just want to pretend for a second"

The two stood there, embraced for a couple long moments. A few minutes passed before they let go of the hug.

"You okay?" Johnny was the first one to speak up.

"I'm not." Judy replied honestly. "Well… I might be feeling a little better, at least."

Johnny nodded in silence. "Give me a sec." he commanded, looking through his pockets. Judy nodded and turned around to stare at the outside world for a moment.

"I want you to have this." Johnny said, holding the amulet V took with her everywhere.

"What's this?"

"An amulet that V had with her every single day. This is the bullet that Deshawn tried to kill her with." he explained. God, such a long time had passed since that incident, yet he remembered it like it was yesterday.

Judy took the amulet and looked at it in silence, as if she was deeply analysing every aspect of it. A small smile appeared on her face as she put it around her neck.

"And Judy…" Johnny said, making her look at him again "Do yourself a favor and leave this shitty town. Just as you planned."

"I might just do that" Judy said, smiling. For the first time in such a long time she finally felt some closure, she finally could feel at peace with what was happening.

Johnny started making his way out of the apartment, then suddenly he felt a familiar touch on his wrist.

"Thank you, Johnny." Judy stopped him "For telling me everything…"

A smile appeared on Johnny's face.

"Take care, Judy." he said, leaving the apartment for the last time.

He closed the door behind him and leaned on a wall in the staircase. He sighed, taking another cigarette out and lighting it up. That was an emotionally overwhelming experience, to be sure. He put the cigarette up to his mouth and let his thoughts take over. He kept thinking about how Judy broke down in front of him. It was probably the first time he'd shown this level of compassion for another person. He was very thankful to V for somewhat teaching him that.

A couple more minutes passed until he finished the cig, dropped it somewhere on the ground and made his way back to the Quadra. With a smile appearing on his face, he drove off.


Happy New Year, everyone.

I'm starting it off with something completely new. This is my first venture into the Cyberpunk 2077 fanfictions as a writer and I hope it came off okay, haha. This was just a one-shot, although who knows, I might even write something longer about this game in the future.

Please, let me know in the comments what you thought about this story. I did my best to try to convey all of the emotions these people might've felt in those difficult moments and I hope I managed to do that in a way all of you enjoyed.

Can't wait to dive even deeper into this community, see all of your thoughts and opinions and, perhaps, keep writing more Cyberpunk stuff!

Signing off,
FoxyGuy87