As her eyelids were now getting heavy, the mercenary was sitting on a cold metal chair in a back room of Viktor's clinic. In front of her was a makeshift bed on which Judy was laying, her body in a state of coma. V was exhausted, both physically and emotionally. Traces of tears stained her cheeks, tears that she cried out when she saw her beloved girlfriend laying on that bed, she was desperately begging her to wake up but every attempt proved to be in vain. Pictures of that scene flashed through V's mind: Judy's beautiful face changing colors to a pale shade, her hands trembling as she looked in panic at V before collapsing on the ground. A look of desperation and fear for her life that painted itself over Judy's face, as the crimson liquid slipped through her fingers, staining her clothes and spilling out into the hard concrete. V could pinpoint exactly how she was feeling at that moment: an overwhelming amount of fear was rushing through her body as she watched life being drained out of the one she loved the most. The immense heartache she felt as she looked into Judy's dark eyes filled with despair. Terror, that she felt as she was on the verge of losing the person that mattered the most to her. It felt as if all of her deepest nightmares had come true and her entire world was crashing down right in front of her. She couldn't help but feel an overwhelming feeling of guilt, knowing that all of this was solely a consequence of her previous actions, even though Misty and Panam kept on telling her this wasn't the case. The dark quietness of the place she was in made her mind escape into the one place she never wanted to be: her thoughts. The attack they've barely survived made her wonder about something that she never wanted to let inside her head. Sometimes she wondered if Judy wouldn't just be better off without her, as irrational as that might feel to an outsider. Even though she helped the techie with a lot of things and offered her emotional support in countless situations, she often felt like she was just nothing more than a burden for the girl to carry, a cause of a lot of her suffering. How would things unfold had V never walked into Lizzie's Bar in the first place? Would Evelyn still be alive, or would she just find someone else to do the heist, ultimately leaving her in the same condition? Would Jackie still be alive? One thing she knew for sure: it was more than likely that she would've never met Judy in the first place, but on the other hand Judy wouldn't be laying here in a fucking coma.

V shook her head, letting the thoughts go away for a while. She focused on watching the techie, as her chest was rising and falling again and again, her breathing and heartbeat both stable. With every smallest movement that Judy unconsciously made, V felt her heart stop, desperately hoping that her output would wake up and that she would hear her adorable, raspy little voice just one more time.

She stepped up to the bed and gently sat at its side. Lightly shoving away the blanket that was covering Judy, V softly laid her head on the woman's chest, careful not to press it too hard. She closed her eyes, listening to the heartbeat for a couple of seconds. Having pulled away, she softly caressed Judy's cheeks, looking at the sleeping techie's face for a few moments. The merc felt a sharp stab of sadness in her heart as she was staring into her love's closed eyes, wishing that they would open for her in that moment. A couple tears fell across her cheeks, but she quickly wiped them away.

"You'll be okay soon, babe. I promise" she practically whispered, pressing a soft kiss on Judy's forehead, before pulling away and returning to her chair.

V felt so grateful to Victor for letting Judy rest in his clinic. The merc and the ripperdoc have set up a makeshift bed for her to lay in, which was placed in the back of his clinic, behind the operational chair and all of his equipment. While Vik was working on something in his office, he told her to watch over the wounded woman and to immediately notify him in case anything goes wrong. The techie was meant to stay in the clinic until her condition got more stable. She also felt extremely grateful to Panam, who agreed to stay with her, even though she obviously had to return to her camp, which wasn't a short drive away. As the nomad was now gone, searching for something to eat, V was left in silence, with the clicking of Victor's keyboard and the beeps of the ECG monitor Judy was hooked up to being the only sounds somehow filling it. The merc hasn't left the techie's side for a second since Vic announced that she was gonna leave and she couldn't help but feel very sleepy as of now. To say that V lost her track of time would be an understatement. It's been four, maybe five hours since she walked into the clinic. Vik and Panam didn't even try to make her leave though, knowing that she would resist anyway.

A sudden sound abruptly took the merc out of her thoughts. She looked behind her to see her nomad friend entering the clinic with a plastic bag in her hand. Taking out a couple long, tortilla looking objects, she gave each of them to V and Viktor, before finally sitting on a chair next to the merc with the one she saved for herself.

"Got us some food." Panam said, opening what seemed to be one of those synth-meat kebabs. A 'thank you' could be heard coming from Viktor's direction.

V blankly stared at the piece of food, as if she was contemplating its existence. She had to admit, she did feel hungry, but all of her appetite was lost due to everything that's happened during the course of the day.

"You need to eat, V." after taking a bite of her own food, the nomad leaned over V speaking in a soft voice

The merc lazily took a bite and while it didn't taste bad, any enjoyment that could've been had from the bite was hiding beneath a thick layer of negative emotions. She glanced at the sleeping Judy, memories of their time spent together rushing through her mind.

"I fucked up, Pan" V sighed, her sight focused on her unconscious output

"V…" Panam said "Look at me" she softly turned V's head in her own direction "She's gonna be just fine, alright? You did good. You saved her"

"I don't know… all of this… it could've been prevented" a look of uncertainty was apparent on V's face as she spoke

"But it happened." Panam's delivery turned more firm. "Also, you really need to get some rest." she put her kebab into a nearby table, crossing her arms

"I'm resting now." V said in a sarcastic tone. After a second she let out a yawn, her eyes rolling afterwards. "You're right. I'm pretty fuckin' exhausted"

"Let's finish our food and let's get you home, okay?" Panam's tone was back to a softer one as she was looking caringly into V's eyes

"But… Judy." V's glare turned to her sleeping beauty once again "I can't leave her like this. What if, what if she wakes up, or, or something… and I'm not there…" a hint of panic could be heard in her voice

Suddenly she felt a comforting touch on her shoulder.

"I'll watch over her." she heard a deep, male voice. It was Viktor. "Anything happens, I'll give you a call."

V felt a sudden flow of warmth into her heart, taken aback by the ripperdoc's proposition.

"Vik… wow, thank you…" the merc stuttered "I don't even know what to say."

"Don't mention it" Viktor smirked "From the moment you walked in here with her, I knew there is something more between the two of you" he winked, causing a slight flush of red to appear on V's cheeks "As I said, I'll do anything to make sure she's alive and well." he continued.

"You're the best, Vik." V smiled genuinely.

"Now go and get some rest, kid!" he gave her a pat on the shoulder, returning to his desk.

/

Walking out of the clinic, V could feel a certain heaviness on her eyelids as she was following Panam back to her truck. The feeling she felt was even magnified by the darkness of the sky above them. She could feel herself getting a bit confused at the thought of just how much time has passed during her stay with Judy in the clinic. The merc really lost her track of time, didn't she?

As the two entered the truck, not a word was said, each of the women lost in their own individual worlds. The short drive back to V's apartment started with Panam rapidly changing radio stations, silence being the last thing she wanted to hear. The merc didn't really pay attention to the sounds of the outside world, as she was now venturing into the realm her mind had created for all of the thoughts that emerged in her head ad nauseam. She could feel a swell of emotion built up in her throat as she pictured a pale, bloody image of her output once again, but she tried her best to suppress the feelings, not wanting to make another scene. Panam has suffered enough, being witness to not only V, but now also Judy being in a terrific situation, the merc really didn't need to make her choom carry the burden of trying to comfort her once again.

A hand was placed on V's thigh as the car stopped in front of H10. She looked left to see Panam looking at her, her expression soft and reassuring.

"Don't blame yourself V." she said in a genuine, consoling tone "It's gonna be okay."

V nodded, trying to put on a bright face. The nomad would probably have to be blind to not notice just how forced the smile was, but she didn't say anything.

"Thank you Panam… for everything." V said, leaving the car. She took one last glance at her Aldecaldo friend, who was trying her best to make the merc feel just a little bit better, before shutting the door and making her way to the building's elevator.

The inside of the elevator felt claustrophobic: with more and more emotions building up in V's throat, stinging at the corners of her eyes, she felt like the walls were about to cave in on her, suffocating her to death. Even though she was alone in the small room, she was focused on not letting the tears find an escape from her eyes, as if she was expecting someone to judge her the second they see her in that state. Pictures of everything that has happened flashes in front of her, with the wound forming on Judy's stomach being the common denominator to all of her thoughts. It was like that memory was a parasite, consuming all the positive feelings to make a home for itself in her mind. She thought of Panam as well. Why was the nomad so… nice, so compassionate and so helpful to her? V couldn't help but feel like such a burden to the other woman, a pain in the ass, an anchor bringing her down. She could feel goosebumps run through her spine, as she desperately tried to get the thought of her head. Another thing slightly confused her: why wasn't Johnny commenting on anything, like he always used to do? Maybe he could somehow relate to her? Well, obviously he could because he essentially felt everything that she did, but could it have been something deeper, more personal than just that? It made her wonder about his memories regarding losing Alt. It was possible that he felt just as helpless and desperate then as she did now.

A couple minutes later V stumbled into her apartment. She instantly threw herself onto the bed, not even bothering to turn on the lights or clean herself up a bit. All she wanted for now is just to disappear into the realm of her dreams, hopefully as a form of an escape from the reality that was starting to overwhelm her. Whatever happened though, she had her mind focused on Judy. As she thought of her girlfriend, lying there in a coma, unable to process what's going on around her… it all felt so surreal, even though she's spent the entire day by her side. Every inch of V's being begged desperately for Judy to be okay. After a while she felt the bubble of emotions in her throat get too enormous to control, with it busting shortly after. She felt herself start to shake, as her teeth pressed into her bottom lips, the action followed by a series of uncontrolled sobs as her breathing grew ragged. The woman buried her face in the pillow with her blue hair almost shielding her vulnerable face from the rest of the world, as tears soaked the fabric. There she was: defeated. The legendary merc, curled up in a fetal position while every last tear escaped her eyes, as if they were waiting for this moment for a very long time. As if it were a mantra, the words "it's gonna be okay" kept quietly coming out of her mouth, growing quieter and quieter with every minute, as her exhaustion and the heaviness of her eyelids were starting to take hold. Soon enough, she couldn't tell what was real anymore as she drifted off to sleep.

The next morning V found that the simple act of getting up suddenly got more difficult than ever before. She wiped her eyes, letting out a yawn as she reached for her phone. Her first instinct was to check for any messages from Judy, but sadness quickly found its way into her mind as she suddenly remembered the past events. She felt herself sigh with a frown suddenly appearing on her face. However, her brain quickly went into a variation of panic mode as she noticed an unanswered call from Viktor about an hour ago. It was 7 AM when she woke up, so something must've happened to trigger Vik calling her at such an early hour. Did something happen to Judy? The thought alone sent a shiver down her collarbone. Without hesitation, V dialed up the ripperdoc's holo. Thankfully, he picked up almost instantly.

"Vik… d-did something happen?" she stuttered, mildly panicked. It wasn't until a second later that she noticed a relaxed expression in the man's face.

"Relax, V… I got good news" Vik comforted her "Looks like Judy's regaining consciousness. She woke up for a second like an hour ago. Was in a delirious, half aware state, pretty much, blurted out some nonsense and went back to sleep. But it's a very good sign nonetheless" he smiled

V felt a massive grin of relief appear on her face. She definitely did feel a level of excitement at the thought of her beloved girlfriend getting better.

"But…" Viktor added, making V's excitement disappear immediately. There's always a but, right? "Got some bad news too" he frowned

The merc felt her heart sink back into her chest.

"Now don't worry, it's not as bad it might seem to be" he reassured her "It's just that… I've got some high-demanding patients today and I won't be able to look over her. It would be best if you took her somewhere she can rest peacefully. I will obviously help you with transport, but-"

"Vik, I don't know shit about this medical stuff" V cut him off, a mix of fear and slight anger could be heard in her voice "All I could possibly do is give her some MaxDocs, but what the fuck am I supposed to do if something bad happens and… and… I-I don't want her to… flatline" she stuttered, her voice cracking at the end, a couple tears appearing in her eyes at the thought of her output meeting her demise because of the merc's shortcomings.

"Calm down, V" Viktor said, his tone was almost demanding "Her condition is stable" he continued, returning to his softer delivery "Nothing bad will happen to her. This much I know for sure"

"A-are you sure?" V said, trying to hold back a sob that has built up in her throat

"I'm one hundred and more percent sure, V"

The merc took a few deep breaths. "Alright. I'll be there soon" she declared having managed to calm herself down a bit

"That's the spirit." Vik smiled "See ya, V"

As the man hung up, V felt herself sigh before taking off the worn out clothes she fell asleep in. She lazily stumbled into the shower, turning the water and letting the warm, relaxing liquid rain over her naked body. Although she couldn't have been more glad knowing that Judy is going to be perfectly okay, a part of her still felt a dose of fear over having to take care over her by herself, not having Vik at the other side of the room, ready to intervene in case anything goes wrong.

The merc felt a sudden headache appear, with the familiar blue glitches distorting her vision and a RELIC MALFUNCTION DETECTED alert at the top. Not this fuckin' bullshit again… The pain was followed by a cough, which she tried her best to control but simply couldn't. It might've lasted for no more than a few seconds, but for her it felt like an eternity. Her throat was painfully swollen when the cough finished and her hands were covered in blood which also managed to stain the wall she was leaning on. She cursed under her breath, looking down at the reddened water flowing down the drain.

"You're a fuckin' mess V, you know that?" an all too familiar voice could be heard behind her. She turned around to see Johnny on the other side of the bathroom. Quite some time has passed since he'd last showed up.

"Damn, could you stop showing up when I'm naked? Thanks." she said, with a hint of irritation in her voice

"I mean… Not that I complain." the rockerboy smirked, looking straight at her breasts as if to annoy her even more

"So, what's this about?" V rolled her eyes "Cause I doubt you'd show up just to complement my fuckin' breasts… Huh, on a second thought, that's probably not even that far-fetched"

"Ha, that's a good one" Johnny chuckled, taking off his sunglasses "Look, V…" his tone suddenly turned serious. And the merc knew that when Silverhand got serious, it implied that he truly meant business

"I know that you and the BD chick are close, I understand that you're worried about her, I really do…" he continued "But the thing is, you don't have time to stay by her side all that time. There are more important things right now. We don't want you flatlining because of a fuckin' Relic malfunction do we? Go to that corpo bitch from Arasaka and finish this, whatever it takes."

"First of all, the BD chick has a name, y'know." V said, causing Johnny to roll his eyes "Second… Hanako can wait. Judy can't. I need to be by her side, because it's my fuckin' fault that she even is in this situation-"

"Yeah, Hanako can wait" he interrupted her "But death won't wait. So choose wisely." the rockerboy disappeared, as a hint of annoyance could be heard in his voice.

V sighed, walking out of the shower and taking some random clothes out of her wardrobe. She didn't care about any armor enhancements she had on many of her jackets and other pieces of clothing; it's not like she was gonna do any gigs today anyway. Picking a cheap breakfast burrito from the vending machine in her apartment, she walked out. Destination: Viktor's clinic.

/

An exhausted V collapsed onto the sofa, letting out a sigh upon landing. She glanced around the spacious apartment - that was certainly something that she envied Judy for. A couple hours have passed since her latest visit at Vik's. The sleeping techie was carefully transported to her home by V, Misty and Viktor. Making sure she was safe along with all of the equipment she needed such as an IV and an EGC monitor she was hooked up to, was not the easiest of tasks and the merc definitely found it tiring. As her vision focused on different aspects of her output's apartment, more and more memories came into her mind. The robot Judy was building still wasn't finished. V felt herself smile looking at it, remembering the remark Johnny made about the merc getting all mushy when she saw Judy looking at her. She had to admit, she could feel the butterflies in her stomach every time she thought of her even to this day. Even though the techie was now peacefully sleeping in the neighboring room, V could feel an overwhelming amount of sadness mixed with guilt every time she thought about the condition plaguing her. The conditions that were plaguing both Judy and V, to be more exact. The simple thought of Judy almost dying was too much to bear, but the thought of her beloved techie having to witness the merc falling prey to an overwhelming disease was just something completely different.

Wouldn't it be easier if V had just disappeared now, sparing Judy the trauma of watching her die in front of her eyes? Wait… did she just seriously think that? V could feel a shiver run through her spine as she analyzed the thought that had creeped into her head. She shook her head and stood up from the couch, trying to make it go away.

Just focus on something else… She walked into the kitchen and grabbed one of the stools that stood there, bringing it with her into Judy's bedroom. The merc could feel herself froze, a pit forming in her stomach as she looked at her sleeping output, hooked up to all these machines. She felt something in her throat again, along with a sudden urge to cry but it seemed like there were no tears left for her. With a sigh, she slowly put the stool at the side of Judy's bed and sat down.

She held Judy's hand in her own, softly caressing the top of it with her thumb.

"Baby, please. Just… wake up" she whispered with her voice barely audible. It cracked at the end, emotions taking the best of her.

The merc shook her head, scratching at the back of it and letting out a heavy sigh. These feelings really would be her downfall, huh? Glancing around the room, in one of the corners she spotted her acoustic guitar she'd brought from her apartment after Judy had been safely transported, knowing just how much the techie loved hearing her play. She picked up the instrument by its neck. A blue light flickered as V started softly strumming on the strings: it was Johnny, who appeared in the room, leaning against a wall with his arms crossed, ready to criticize any mistake the woman would make.

While some sort of a melody unfolded, V didn't notice the rockerboy giving her a thumbs up in approval - she was too focused on her own thoughts and the things she was feeling. She could picture an analogy being made between life and a song. Each has its set beginning and end: with the first note of a musical piece symbolising birth. A climax of sorts, whether it's a guitar solo, a drop or a breakdown, would represent an experience which would change the course of one's life forever. And once the last note has been played, life is over, leading into something unknown, whether it's just plain black nothingness or a form of afterlife. V felt as if she's already been past the climax, stuck somewhere in between that and the last note, most certainly heading towards the latter. A deeply depressing thought to be sure. Could anything even be changed? Was her fate even in her hands, or was it a case of fatum, where everything would be up to whatever higher power was up there, controlling the universe? Could have all of this pain and suffering that the aftermath of the Arasaka heist brought to everyone around her be avoided? V would've given anything to revert the deaths of Jackie and Evelyn. She would've also given anything to be a part of the future she'd envisioned for herself and Judy: buying an apartment together somewhere far, far away from Night City and living peacefully, not having to worry about the inevitability of death itself. Looking at the sleeping woman, she couldn't help but feel a massive void eating away at herself. She thought her number one priority was making sure Judy didn't suffer because of her… and it seems like she's failed at that. Deep down V just… wanted everyone to be happy. Even if she met her unfortunate demise, the last thing she'd do is Judy grieving for her and falling into a depression of sorts - which wasn't nowhere near being out of the realm of possibility. Dark, bitter thoughts like this were plaguing her mind more and more with every day that passed by.

It was time to put her thoughts into words. Never stopping the strumming, V carried out a note with her soft voice, keeping it quiet almost as if she didn't want to wake Judy up. Shortly, the singing transformed into a lyric.

"Don't you cry for me when I'm gone."

That… that was powerful. V felt a couple of tears fall from her eyes as she put the guitar down, not taking her eyes off Judy for a single moment. It was a moment of pure, uncut desperation.

"Look, V…" Johnny took out one of his cigarettes and lit it up. "There's something I've learned back during my time with the band, something that I'll probably never forget, as cheesy as that sounds" he let out a chuckle. V observed him carefully as he spoke. "On one of the tours, this guy from another band told me something along the lines of: 'your best songs come out of things you should forget'. He was probably stoned as fuck, hell, we all were back then." the rockerboy smiled and scratched the back of his neck, taking a puff of the cigarette. "But you can't deny, there is some wisdom in that."

"I… I'm not sure I understand." V frowned

"The thing is…" Johnny paused and took a puff out of his cigarette "Suffering makes your creative mind feel right at home, as fucked as that sounds. I've experienced this before. Every artist has. You ever wonder why most of the songs you hear on the radio are about love, heartbreak or other things like that? This is exactly why." he made another pause, closing his eyes for a moment, searching for the right words to say "Sometimes we don't want to forget. We'd rather pour our hearts out onto a piece of paper or into a song."

"Wow, Johnny, that's…." V sat there, unable to say a thing. The last thing she'd expect is to hear such a philosophical speech from the man inside her head. She had to admit though, hearing him talking about something with this level of passion was somewhat hypnotizing.

"Everyone is fucked up, V. Hell, we're the living, breathing examples of that." he chuckled "I understand why you're losing hope." his tone turned into a serious, albeit softer one "Truth be told, there are no happy endings in this city. Not for people like us."

"I just don't know what to do, choom." V shook her head "What if something doesn't work out? I can't just leave Judy like that."

"Hanako."

"I'm not gonna soul my soul to fuckin' Arasaka like that." V hissed

"Nobody is saying anything about sellin' your soul!" Johnny spat out, with a hint of annoyance present in his voice "Fuck, V, I'd be the last person in all of Night City to as much as suggest that. It's simple, really. You go to her and check out her offer. Then politely decline, as it's common knowledge that doing shit for Arasaka does wonders for… well, nobody but Arasaka. But, whatever she tells you might give you an opportunity to fuck over those pricks in some other way."

"Whatever." V said "I… fuck, I'm not ready for that. It just feels like… like a point of no return."

"Cause it is a point of no return. But time isn't running in our favor, V. You'd have to find a way sooner or later, if you wanna live."

"Fuck, man…" V shook her head as she felt a swell of emotion building up in her throat "Why does everything have to be so difficult… Why can't everyone just be okay?" she looked at Judy as her voice cracked at the end, a tear escaping from her eye.

"Get yourself, together, V." Johnny sighed "Remember that I feel everything you're feeling, right? It's not easy for me either." The rockerboy took one last puff out of his cigarette before flickering away into nothingness.

V was left alone. Again. With only an unconscious Judy by her side, she was ready to get lost in her thoughts once again, as much as she hated when that happened. She kept thinking about what the rockerboy had said to her merely minutes earlier. His speech about suffering in art was really powerful - definitely more so than she expected something that came out of his mouth to be. It showed that beneath all of the cynicism, he was still a wise man, who definitely knew what he was talking about. The merc sometimes wished she had the determination he'd always show. That part of her was long gone - it died somewhere along the way, perhaps with Jackie or Evelyn. Maybe it was still there, hidden somewhere deep beneath multiple layers of hopelessness and uncertainty. It would reappear whenever she was with Judy - with their minds and bodies intertwined everything suddenly seemed possible and she felt alive again. She wanted to live for and with Judy. But when she was sitting in that quiet bedroom, with the unconscious techie at her side V was at an all time low. Even though Judy was safe, saved and quickly recovering, the remorse the merc couldn't help but feel was overshadowing everything else.

Something abruptly took her out of her thoughts: it was the ringing of her holo. An unknown caller… interesting. The merc shrugged and picked up, her curiosity taking the best of her. Much to her surprise, the person that appeared in front of the holo was none other than that pink haired Mox bouncer girl from Lizzie's. Rita was her name?

"Hey, V, right?" the woman said "Got your number from Judy a while back"

"Yeah. What do you want?" there was a certain coldness to V's tone. She wasn't really in the mood for talking about business or gigs and what else would a Mox bouncer want from a merc.

"Ayy… I'm not calling you to offer you a gig or anything, okay?" Rita was visibly taken aback by V's cold response. The merc also noticed an unusual concern painted on the Mox's face: a far departure from her usual tough appearance. "You seen Judy around? She's not responding to my calls or anythin'"

"Why, did Susie tell you to call me to get back her main source of income or what?" V still didn't let her guard down

"Fuck, V, that's not what I-" Rita shook her head and pinched the top of her nose, looking down for a couple seconds. "Judy is my friend, okay?" her tone softened "I'm just like really fuckin' worried. It's unusual for her to be this quiet out of a sudden, and I thought-"

"She got shot." V cut the bouncer off. The merc has recognized Rita's concern as genuine and she decided to get straight to the point, not being in the right mood to have a long conversation.

"What… is she…" a look of shock and horror was painted on Rita's face. V couldn't help but feel a bit of guilt as she looked at the woman's reaction. Suddenly finding out that your friend's been severely wounded would be horrifying for anyone, wouldn't it?

"She's alive, just… she's been sleeping for, like, the whole day." V sighed "I'm sorry, Rita. I didn't mean to be so harsh. It's just… there's a lot of shit on my mind lately, y'know?"

"It's okay, I mean… fuck…" the woman's voice was still trembling, still full of distress. "Uhh, just let me know when she wakes up, okay?" she added after she'd calmed herself down a bit.

"Will do."

The call ended.

V sighed, leaning back into the chair. She looked at Judy and couldn't help but feel tears building up in her eyes again. Please, just let her fucking wake up… The merc moved closer to the sleeping woman and lightly caressed her cheek, her thumb softly stroking it. She gave Judy a kiss on the forehead, before pulling away, making a couple tears stain the woman's blanket in the process. She could feel all of these emotions building up again and she just knew that the dam holding them back was about to break, making them pour out like a flood. The merc hid her head in her palms, blocking her vision and letting the tears fall onto her clothes, as she started sobbing again.

"Judy… just wake up… please." she said in between the sobs, the words she was saying barely recognizable.

It was like everything else disappeared. It was just V and her thoughts. Until...

"V… don't… cry" she heard a weakened voice. A voice that she's been craving to hear for such an absurdly long time.

With tears blurring her vision, she looked up to see Judy.

She was awake, looking at V with her weak eyes.