"So… yesterday… what was that, exactly?"

For a moment, V felt surprised after hearing Judy's question. The techie she fell in love with so quickly was sitting there on the pier, taking another puff of her cigarette and staring out into the rising sun over the city's skyline. V looked at the tattooed girl for a moment, as if she was trying to analyse her movements and find some sort of a hidden meaning in her presumably straight forward question.

"Don't remember, or you want me to remind you?" V said, somewhat awkwardly

"You know exactly what I'm tryna say. What did it mean, like, to you?" Judy took another puff of her cigarette and continued looking at the view in front of her, as if she was afraid of looking at her partner for some reason.

The question sent a shiver of uncertainty down V's spine. Has she fucked up? Perhaps she misjudged the situation, maybe Judy didn't want a relationship after all? Maybe it was just meant to be a one night stand all along? Slight anxiety filled V's heart at the thought of her being rejected by the girl she adored so much right there. She was starting to get lost in her thoughts again, she remembered about her Relic-related condition again? She wanted to form a relationship with Judy so bad, but could she really make Judy live through the pain of her succumbing to the disease?

"V?" Judy broke the silence, waiting impatiently for the other girl's response.

Fuck it, she couldn't just sit there endlessly, not saying a word, right?

"Think it… I mean…" V started, causing Judy to look her in the eyes "I hope it was the beginning of something nice?

The reply made a small, honest smile appear on Judy's lips as she looked away again.

"Unless… you see things differently?"

Judy let out a small chuckle, a look of relief mixed with happiness appearing on her face. This made V's thoughts relax a bit, as all of her fears of possible misjudgement disappeared instantly.

"Ugh, can be such a gonk sometimes." Judy laughed "Ruined all my plans, you know?" she said, looking at V "Was gonna leave Night City for good. Even started packing. But now, I got a reason to stay" Judy looked V in the eyes and softly cupped her hand.

As V felt the warmth of Judy's hand on hers, a smile appeared on her face. Although, it was guilt that she was feeling somewhere in the background. Was this really a good decision? She was trying to keep in mind the fact that Judy had to find out exactly how dangerous her situation was, but now… now it was not the time for that.

"Why'd you wanna leave?" V asked

Judy took a sip of her coffee. "Y'know, everything that happened. Guess it just got to me. But now, from where I stand, Night City started to feel like the place to be" she said with a smile that made V's heart flood with love and happy feelings again.

Suddenly, Judy turned to see V and looked her into the eyes. Damn, she felt like she could melt because of the girl's beautiful dark eyes staring into her.

"Gimme your hand, V"

Without a word, V put out her hand for Judy to see. The tattooed girl held her hand above V's for a second, making V figure out that she was about to transfer some data to her. A couple short moments later, a notification that said 'biometric lock key added' appeared in front of her eyes.

"All set, congrats. Just gave you unlimited access to my pad." Judy said with that lovely, honest smile on her face

V sat there in awe, staring deeply into those two beautiful eyes, amazed at the showcase of trust Judy had just displayed for her. Her mind was starting to get overwhelmed with the amount of love she was feeling in that moment. Just her and Judy.

"Whoa… you're asking me to move in?"

"I-if what you want… Or just drop by when the urge grabs you"

V sat there, looking at her girlfriend's pretty face. This is really happening, huh? V chuckled happily, thinking about how just around three weeks ago Judy was merely a stranger whom she just met before the Arasaka job… and now, they were starting something new, looking forward to a new, better future. Together.

"Dunno what to say…" V chuckled, holding Judy's hand and looking into her eyes "Nobody's ever done anything like this for me. Really shows trust."

"Wanna go there now?" she added a second later

Judy stared into the water for a second, as if she was contemplating her next move. She bit her lip and took another sip of her coffee, looking back at V shortly after.

"You know what? Why the heck not!" she smiled, locking eyes with V

V blushed a bit, cupping Judy's cheek with her hand. She pulled the other girl into a kiss, their lips touching mere seconds later. Everything else disappeared, it was just the two of them. For now… in that moment, nothing else mattered. Even though the kiss lasted for a couple seconds, to them it felt like the time had suddenly slowed down.

As both of them pulled out, V was the first to get up into a standing position. She offered Judy a hand, but the other girl had already stood up as well.

"What? Think I can't stand up on my own, huh?" Judy said playfully

"Nah, just never hurts to help, y'know?" V smirked

"Suuure, mi calabacita"

"And that means…" a look of slight confusion appeared on V's face

"You gotta find out yourself, V." Judy said, with a confident smile.

The two returned to the cabin for a second to let Judy put on her usual clothes.V stepped into the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror. She brushed her dark blue hair as it, expectedly, turned into a mess overnight. After putting her usual dark makeup, the pair ate a small breakfast and headed out.

As the two made their way to V's Porsche… or actually Johnny's Porsche, to be more precise, V couldn't help but stare at Judy almost all the time. Fuck, how was she just so damn beautiful, she thought. She blushed each time Judy noticed she was looking at her, causing an adorable little smile to appear on the techie's face.

When they got closer to the car, an all too familiar face appeared in V's vision. Following the usual blue static, Johnny appeared. He was leaning on the Porsche's door, taking a puff of a cigarette.

"What now?" V rolled her eyes, expecting yet another of his remark

"Look, I know that you two are having fun, but I'm gonna warn you, if you do something to my car I'm gonna-"

"Don't worry, we're not gonna fuckin' shag in your car" V said, annoyed at Johnny. It's funny how quickly her delivery changed when she was not talking to Judy. Apart from all of his annoying little remarks, she's actually grown to like Johnny quite a bit. Them insulting each other all the time was just a way their friendship worked. "On a second thought… that would've been pretty hot, don't you think?"

Johnny sighed "At least you're fuckin' a chick and not that stupid cop."

V flipped the rocker off, causing him to chuckle and disappear shortly after. He was referring to River obviously, a guy she liked, but not in the way he liked her, which led to a very awkward situation and… well, they don't really speak to each other nowadays.

"Daamn V, that's a nice ride you got there!" Judy exclaimed, excitement in her voice, as the two girls got into the car.

V turned the ignition on and pulled out of the cabin's driveway afterwards.

"Thanks!" she said "It's Johnny's actually." Judy looked at her, very curious.

"How come?"

"Ugh, it's kind of a long story"

"And we got all the time in the world right now" Judy smiled. That was true, as the girl's apartment was pretty damn far from the dam. Adding Night City's usual traffic to that, this could easily prove to be a one hour plus drive.

"Where do I begin…" V put her left hand on the side of her neck, thinking, her right hand still firmly holding the wheel "So you know Rogue, right?"

"From that bar for mercs, The Afterlife, right?" Judy asked

"Exactly" V nodded "So her and Johnny… you can say they had… a thing going on in the past" she looked at Judy, who looked a bit surprised at the revelation

"Ha, so I guess you're not telling her about what happened at the movies?" Johnny suddenly appeared and laughed with a stupid grin appearing on his face

"I fuckin' hate you" V said, annoyed

"At least the feeling is mutual, choom" with that, Johnny disappeared again

At the sound of snapping fingers, V looked at the girl next to her for a second. As she presumed, Judy was just trying to get her back to reality. Getting lost in your thoughts while doing 60 in a Porsche wasn't really the safest of situations, after all.

"Ugh, sorry. Johnny was just saying some bullshit in my head again" V said, with an embarrassed and annoyed face

Judy laughed in a way the merc found really cute "That's okay" she smiled, although V could see it in her eyes that she didn't fully understand how V's situation with Johnny and the Relic looked like. She couldn't blame her though, all of this must've felt so damn surreal and absurd for the other girl. Yet, it was all as true as it could get.

"So where was I…" V said "Ah, right! So Johnny and Rogue had this thing going on in the past… that's why she decided to help us in the first place. So long story short, Johnny wants to get revenge on this Adam Smasher, a scary lookin' cyborg dude that killed him back in 2023. So we go with Rogue to the docks, where this guy called Grayson is located, and he is apparently somehow connected to Smasher. What happens after is that well… we get into a fuckin' shootout, we win, obviously and not a second later, bang! Grayson is on the floor, cornered and begging for mercy, saying that he has something related to Silverhand. I take that 'something' from him and it turns out that he just gave me the keys to this bad girl right here" she proudly smacked the driving wheel of the Porsche with a smirk on her face

She looked at her passenger to see a mix of amusement, excitement and surprise on Judy's face.

"Whoa… that's quite a story, V!" excitement could be heard in Judy's voice, as she passionately looked at V's face.

V took her gaze off the road ahead of her to look at her partner for a second. She noticed the passion with which Judy looked at her.

"You just love to listen to me, don't you?" V chuckled, making Judy blush a bit

"You know I do… that's not the only thing I love about you" Judy said teasingly. That was true, though as she absolutely loved the sound of V's voice and listening to the stories she often told was just mesmerizing.

Judy gave V a soft kiss on the cheek, which made her smile and blush at the same time, even though she was still looking at the road the whole time.

"Can we make a short stop at Lizzie's for a sec?" Judy asked "Gotta take care of some work stuff. Don't worry, it'll just take a minute."

"No problem, Jude" V said softly.

She looked to her right again, to see Judy who was now looking out the window onto the dirty, although somewhat mesmerizing streets of Night City. V kept thinking about how lucky she was to have this girl now, all to herself. They made a declaration this morning, after all. Whatever it was before, they were in an official relationship now. V smirked at the thought that she could officially call Judy her girlfriend now, had she an opportunity to introduce her to someone. However, it wasn't long until darker thoughts found their way into her head. The Relic. The disease that is eating away at her very life. Judy knows, but she doesn't know just how little time left V might have on this world before she gets overwritten by the chip and fades away. Was it selfish of her to make Judy believe that their relationships will last forever?

"You know, V…" she heard Johnny's voice somewhere, but he wasn't anywhere to be seen.

Could be hiding in the trunk for all she cared.

"You can't just bury a lie and expect no one to dig it back up" he continued "She has to know."

"What, think I don't know that?" V said "It's just pretty fuckin' hard to tell someone who loves that you're gonna flatline soon"

"No one said it would be easy" Johnny replied, somewhat harshly "Here's the thing: she deserves to know. Especially after what you two said back on that beach"

"Never knew you were a man of feelings, ha ha" V laughed

"See? I just never fail to surprise you" Johnny smirked and probably disappeared again, as no other words were said after that.

V often disagreed with the man inside her head but one thing was certain: this time he was right. Maybe a bit too right, even. The woman sighed as her imagination projected a thought of Judy, devastated at the news of V's inevitable death.

As the two got stuck in a traffic jam, they made some small talk just to pass the time. And that's how the next 30 minutes passed before they arrived at the home of Moxes - Lizzie's Bar.

After V parked the Porsche, the pair got out of the car and instantly headed to the club's entrance. As always, they were greeted by Rita, the pink-haired bouncer and Judy's close friend.

"Yo, Judy so you brought your output along, huh?" the bouncer said, with a smirk on her face

"Damn right she did" V replied just as she noticed Judy was starting to blush just a little

"Ha ha, nice to see the two of ya" Rita laughed, letting them enter the bar.

Making their way through the club, V could hear the electro music more and more, as the immense bass started making its way inside, shaking her body through the core. Even though Judy wasn't ever an extravert per se, V noticed the way she made chit-chat with some familiar members of the Mox gang that they often passed on their way to the basement, where Judy worked. The two made their way downstairs. V watched as Judy sat in front of her computer setup and started searching for something, her eyes focused on the screen the entire time.

"So… what is this all about?" the merc asked

"Huh?" Judy looked at V surprised, as if she had forgotten about her presence "Uh, nothin' really. I just have to send this one BD to a client and we can head out."

V glanced around the room. The last time she was in the Lizzie's Bar basement was when she was still searching for Evelyn and Judy was merely a stranger for her. She frowned as memories flooded her mind. The place was a reminder of all the awful things her and Judy had endured in the past. Looking at the braindance seat, she could picture her sitting there for the first time, doing research for the Arasaka heist. With that, more thoughts entered her mind. The image of Jackie's dead eyes in that Delamain cab was planted into her brain, perhaps forever. Another thing she'll likely never forget is the moment she stepped into Judy's bathroom to see Ev's bloodied corpse with Judy sitting by her side, crying her eyes out.

"V, you okay?" she heard a familiar voice from behind her. She turned around to see Judy, looking at her with a concerned expression on her face

"Uh, yeah" V said awkwardly "Just y'know… thinkin' about stuff."

"This about Ev?"

"Kinda. Jackie as well"

Judy nodded with a painful look on her face. She had never really admitted it, but she still thought about Evelyn all the time. When that day came, she unfortunately found out what V felt like about losing her best friend.

"It's okay though" V said after a while, forcing a reassuring smile on her face "Don't worry about me, Jude"

"I'll try" the other girl smirked

V really wanted Judy not to worry about her that much. She sighed, getting lost in her thoughts again. Her deadly condition would really ruin Judy's life one day, wouldn't it?

"Fuck's sake, V" Johnny suddenly appeared, sitting comfortably on the braindance chair, taking a puff of his cig "You know I can feel your thoughts, right?"

"And?" V rolled her eyes "I'm not in the mood to hear yet another one of your dumb remarks"

"And I'm not in the mood to hear your bullshit again" Johnny sighed, getting up from the chair and taking another puff of the cigarette "You don't wanna tell her? Fine. But stop feelin' so fucking sorry about yourself, it's really starting to piss me off"

V was visibly taken back by his response "You know it's not that fuckin' easy, right?"

"Yeah, I do." Johnny said in a more serious tone "But you ain't gonna accomplish anything like that" he disappeared

The mercenary sighed again. She hated when Silverhand was right, but there he was again, spitting facts into her face for the second time that day.

"Okay, I'm finished" Judy got up from her chair and stretched. V couldn't help but stare at the way her belly showed from under the overalls when she did that.

"Ha, you're staring again, huh?" the girl smirked teasingly, sending a flush of red onto V's cheeks

"What, have a problem with that?" she said playfully

Judy laughed "Let's go" she motioned V to come along, as she walked out of the room.

Shortly after, the two were already on the ground floor, making their way through the club's corridors.

"So what, now we're gonna have the whole day to ourselves?" V said, a smile appearing on her face

"Yep" Judy smirked "If we don't fuck anythin' up, that is!"

The two girls laughed, leaving the club and entering the Porsche a second later. While they were still in the club, it started raining, drops of rain softly hitting the windshield as V was turning the ignition on. They drove off a second later. Next destination: Judy's apartment, which was just a couple blocks away from them. V could feel herself getting a bit dizzy from time to time, with the uncomfortable feeling of nausea appearing and disappearing time to time. The familiar blue glitches filled the sides of her vision and that was the sign she had to prepare herself for the massive headache that would come with a Relic malfunction.

As it hit, they had fortunately stopped at a red light. V hissed in pain, holding her forehead. The notification "RELIC MALFUNCTION DETECTED" appeared in her vision.

"Fuck, not now" she whispered, as the pain was pretty damn overwhelming. As always.

"What's going on?!" Judy put a hand on her shoulder, looking at her with worried eyes

"It's the fucking Relic again…" V said, still holding her head in pain

Judy sighed with a saddened expression. This served as yet another reminder that V's condition was very much true. She didn't wanna believe that the girl she loved so much had to go through all of this. But it was real and she had to accept the facts somehow, even though she tried to push the thoughts away every time they came up.

"I'll take the wheel, okay?" Judy said softly, looking V into the eyes

"Yeah…" V nodded. As much as she loved driving, she wasn't really in the right condition to do so right now. Even though they didn't have to drive far from there, she didn't want to put herself, and more importantly, Judy in danger.

As soon as the light lit up in the color green, V parked on the side of the sidewalk. A moment later, the car was back on the road. This time the techie was the one behind the wheel.

"Heyy, this car is fuckin amazing!" Judy said with excitement suddenly appearing on her face.

Even though the pain still filled her head, V found the strength to giggle at Judy's expression. It was just so damn adorable in a way, seeing her simply having fun in V's vehicle.

A couple more minutes passed and Judy was already parking at the back of her apartment building. But that wasn't V's focus right now. Why the fuck has the Relic malfunction warning still not dissapeared? With every passing second the girl felt worse and worse, more and more glitches filling up her vision. As the car stopped, Johnny appeared in front of it, leaning over the hood with his hands on it.

"The fuck is happening, Johnny?" V said in her thoughts "Why isn't this disappearing?"

"Your condition is getting worse." Johnny said in a serious tone, a tone that sent shivers down the girl's spine for some reason.

V stumbled out of the car, extreme nausea overwhelming her when she stood up. Everything around her was starting to get blurry, twisted and distorted. RELIC MALFUNCTION DETECTED - the only thing she could still see clearly. Judy was in front of her and, thankfully, didn't see the way she was struggling. She was talking about something, but V couldn't make out any words. It all sounded like white noise to her.

An unknown force sent her stumbling towards a wall, she leaned on it as she felt her body give up on her. Fuckfuckfuckfuck… she desperately tried to look for the omega blockers she had somewhere in her pockets. Meanwhile, the nausea mixed with an extreme migraine were the only things she felt. Suddenly, she felt a headache more severe than the ones before, hit her. It felt like a Scav shoving their scathe straight into her brain.

She screamed in pain, inevitably causing Judy to look back and panic, perhaps. But wherever she was, all she saw was a blurry figure which didn't resemble her girlfriend in the slightest. That was it, the dizziness completely took hold of her, as she started to stumble backwards. In that moment, all she could hear was ambient noise and some muffled, panicked screams in the backgrounds. She guessed it must've been Judy, witnessing the horrifying attack her loved one was just suffering from.

V fell backwards, the back of her head hitting a lamp post on the way down. A second later, she was laying on the asphalt, staring at the clouds above, with cold rain washing her face. She felt as if she could drown in it.

"Fuck, V!" a panicked Johnny kneeled in front of her

This is it, huh? Am I dying? V thought, as she laid there, frozen in place. She felt a warm liquid pour out from under her, perhaps from the wound in her head. Her vision was starting to get more and more blurry with every passing second. She saw a panicked, teary-eyed Judy running up to her.

Then… blackout.

I hope you liked this chapter, it's the beginning of an all new story! Can't wait to see all of your thoughts about this!

If you have any criticisms or other opinions you'd like to tell me, please do. I'd love to be able to improve upon something, if you find sth like that!

See you next chapter,