When Amber sees Mary for the first time, she's in her father's office. This is odd, for many reasons. First off, an attractive girl is in her gross old dad's office. She's in a black sleeveless dress that ends about mid-thigh, and black heels. She's got long dark hair, and striking blue eyes. Not a GENtern then.
As Amber steps into the room, they stop whatever conversation they were having beforehand. Rotti smiles. The strange woman merely stares at Amber. Her gaze in unreadable.
That should have been the next red flag. In all her years of manipulating others, Amber has grown good at reading people. But, she can't discern any emotion from this woman. All she knows is that her gaze creeps her out.
"Amber, meet Dr. Mason. I'm appointing her to be your own personal surgeon. She'll take care of any surgical needs you may have. She's one of the most successful and highly regarded surgeons on Sanitarium Isle."
Dr. Mason smirks at Amber's dumbfounded stare. Amber knows she should be pissed at that look, but she's too busy being weirded out. Still, she thanks her father, and leaves, completely forgetting why she went into his office in the first place.
Amber's first operation with her new surgeon (Not SurGEN. That title is reserved solely for surgeons trained by GeneCO for GenenCO. Amber always thought the name was fucking stupid.) is changing her irises from their current pale blue to a deep hunter's green.
Blue eyes are too damn spooky. Whenever she informs Dr. Mason of her request, the surgeon's red lips curl into a little smirk, as if she knows the reason behind Amber's sudden distaste for pale blue eyes. Still, she takes care of it.
When Amber wakes up, groggy from the zydrate, she's pretty sure somebody's holding her hand. She's currently unable to see a fucking thing, but she feels another hand entwined with her own. This hand is unfamiliar. There are a select few pairs of hands that she's used to. Pavi's hands (too soft, and too cold), Luigi's hands (damn big, and almost too hot to touch), and Graverobber's hands (the same pale white as the rest of him, icy, and with short filthy nails).
These hands however, are small. The nails are short, but smooth. They're soft and warm (but not too soft or warm). Amber attempts a smile through her high, and hears a quiet feminine chuckle, before passing out again.
Amber shows up at Mary's desk, high as a kite, with another surgery request. A 'fan-fucking-tastic idea, Doc.' Mary, is less than amused with her.
"So, gimme the junk of your dream fuck, 'kay? You're nice and I know it was you stroking my hand and shit. You like me, huh, you fuckin' lesbo?"
Amber knows, deep down, that this is a terrible idea. There's a part of her that hopes that Mary won't go through with it. If she's wrong about Mary having the hots for her, then this will be horribly embarrassing, and she'll need a new surgeon. And a new face.
"Amber," Mary's voice is level and calm, as always, but there's a slight edge of annoyance now. "I'm very busy. How about I get some GENterns to take you to your room."
"Rather go to your room, Marrryyyyyy. Hah! If your name's Mary, does that mean you're a virgin? That'd be soooo funny." Amber's laughing loudly and obnoxiously now. Oh fuck, I need to stop now. If I don't stop now, things are going to just keep getting worse.
"Amber, please go away."
"No." She's pouting now. Suddenly, she's hit with a flash of genius, and drops her weight into Mary's lap without warning. The surgeon lets out a little yelp of irritation and surprise. "You gotta take me to my room. Pleeeaaassse, Mary? I'll be your best friend!"
Mary sighs, and grumbles under her breath for a moment. "Get up. If you walk up to your room and get ready for bed, then I'll sit with you for a little bit when I'm done working. I'll just be about 15 more minutes. Now, go."
By the time Amber's in pajamas, make-up removed, Mary's knocking softly at her bedroom door. Amber lets out a little squeal of joy, before opening it. Mary, despite her annoyance, can't help but crack a tiny smile at Amber's joy.
Amber rushes over to her bed. Or, well, tries to. The moment she spins around to head to her mattress, she falls scuffs her elbows on the floor. She looks up at Mary from the ground, and sniffles pitifully.
Mary rolls her eyes. "Get up, Amber. I thought you wanted me to sit with you."
Amber springs up with a grin and quickly lays down. Mary sighs, and sits at the foot of her bed. She can feel Amber's eyes boring into her back.
"…Tell me a story."
Mary barks out a laugh. "No. Now go to sleep so you'll stop being a weird pervert."
Amber pouts. "Sleep with me then!" She blushes at the unamused look Mary gives her, before clarifying. "Not like that! At least, not right now. Just sleep?"
Mary turns away again. Amber can tell that she's thinking it over, against her better judgement. Mary slowly slithers up the bed, until she's lying next to Amber. Amber smiles, and cuddles up to her.
"This is just to shut you up, I hope you realize that."
The next time Amber sees Mary in her father's office is a less happy occasion. It's the morning after their weird cuddling, and Mary's gone from her bed. Amber decides to wander around in an attempt to find her.
She stops outside of Rotti's office when she hears faintly muffled yelling. She frowns, brow furrowing. She presses an ear to the door in curiosity.
"WHAT WERE YOU DOING?! I HIRED YOU TO KEEP HER OUT OF TROUBLE, NOT GET HER INTO MORE! WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF?!"
"Well, first of all, nothing happened. She begged me to sit with her, we talked, and fell asleep. That's all. And secondly, you hired me to act as her personal surgeon, not her keeper. Fire me if you want, but I'm telling the truth."
Amber gasps. Rotti has always been on the conservative side but…No. No, he can't think…
"Oh, I'll do worse than fire you, Mason. Rest assured in that. Now get out of my sight."
Amber barely has time to scramble away from the door, before it opens. She sees Mary, but she looks a little worse for wear. She smiles at Amber, uncharacteristically nervous. Amber feels her heart sink.
A few weeks later, Mary Mason has disappeared from GeneCO Tower. Amber's genuinely worried. There are only 4 and ½ people that she cares about. Her brothers, Grave, and now Mary being the four. Her father is the half.
She dresses less conspicuously than usual, before heading out for the night. If anyone knows something, it'll be Grave. Unsurprisingly, he's in the alley behind the ZSN building.
"Grave?" Even Amber herself is surprised at how hoarse her voice sounds.
Graverobber turns to look at the youngest Largo. "Why, Miss Sweet, what can I do for you?"
He's wearing his usual playful feline smile, that would be able to put someone in the middle of a stroke at ease. Amber manages a small smile in return.
"I'm looking for somebody. Dr. Mary Mason, highly regarded surgeon. She used to work for GeneCO, but wasn't trained by them. She's been missing for about a week. I don't know if she owes GeneCO anything or not. Long dark hair, blue eyes, creepy as all hell. A few years older than me, probably. You seen her?"
"Wait, Mary Mason? Am…I don't know how to tell you this…" He actually looks concerned. Amber feels terrified. "I heard she got repossessed. I saw her in an alley, barely alive. Being a surgeon can come in handy, sure, but it doesn't guarantee your safety after a repossession."
Grave leads Amber through the alleys of the city, until stopping near a garbage can, and a few decaying corpses. On the cement is Mary, breathing raggedly and unconscious. Her belly is messily stitched up, but there are still a few spots where her innards are poking through.
Calm the fuck down. Having a fucking panic attack right now won't help her. Now who the fuck can we get to help?
Nathan Wallace is awoken by pounding and screaming at his door. He quickly gets up, still unsure if this is a dream, and opens the door. Answering it reveals Amber Sweet, a Graverobber, and a half-dead woman.
"Nathan, please, it's an emergency. She's dying, and it's not safe to bring her to GeneCO." Amber's sobbing, and for a moment, Nathan's reminded of Shilo crying as a little girl, and begging Nathan to save one of her dying bugs.
He hesitates for a moment, before nodding, and letting them in. They all head down to his basement, and Graverobber sets the woman on the operating table. Nathan washes his hands as fast as he can, and gathers his supplies.
"Do you know what happened to her? What was taken?"
"No. I don't even know if she owed anything. But, my dad really wanted her gone, so he might have forged something. He's done it before. He might have just had her cut up without removing anything. I have no idea."
Nathan nods. He knows about assigning repo-men to rough up those who Rotti hates, whether they're behind on debts or not. He shoos Amber and Graverobber out.
"I'll do what I can. I can't make any promises."
After hours of pacing, and Graverobber trying in vain to calm her down during panic attacks, Nathan emerges from the basement. They look at him expectantly, terrified. He smiles gently.
"She'll be ok. Nothing was missing. But her insides were pretty battered. She'll still be out for a while, but when she wakes up, she should see a familiar face first." He's talking to both of them, but looking at Amber.
When Mary wakes up, she's in a dark, drafty basement. Her first thought is that the repo-man decided to take her home to fuck with her body even more. However, she's calmed as soon as she recognizes the figure in the doorway.
Amber slowly approaches her. "Hey, you. How's it goin'?"
Mary cracks a smile. "How do you think? How am I alive, anyway?"
"Friend of the family took care of it. Listen…I bought you a house off of Sanitarium, your passport is taken care of, and I'll send you some cash as soon as I hear that you're there. You can't stay here right now. It isn't safe."
"You don't need to send me money, Amber. But thanks."
Amber smiles at her, sadly. "There's one more thing I'm giving you before you go."
Mary quirks an eyebrow. "And what's that?"
Amber leans in and presses her lips to Mary's. In all honesty, Mary was expecting it. She smiles and kisses back, enjoying what is probably the last sweet thing she'll have for a while.
As the years roll by, Amber never sticks to merely one personal surgeon again. But she does revert back to pale blue eyes, and keeps them that color, much to everyone's surprise. She still secretly sends Mary large sums of money once a month, just because she can.
She can imagine Mary's exasperation and pride, hiding how grateful she secretly is. Occasionally, Amber will receive a mail with no return address. This is her favorite correspondence.
'Heard you got your eyes blue again. What a surprise. Say hi to the family for me. -M.'
When Amber's father dies during the opera, she isn't sad. Or at least, not as sad as she probably should be. The old controlling bastard is dead, and now she's free.
Inheriting GeneCO is more of a pleasant surprise than anything. She gives 30% to each of her brothers, while keeping the remaining 40% for herself. It works out surprisingly well.
Exactly a week after she takes control, she receives a letter. There's only one person in her life who sends letters, rather than communicating through technology. Still, she opens it up with a grin.
'So, the cruel king is finally dead, and the princess rules. How do you feel about re-opening old scars? -M'
A few days later, a GENtern knocks on her door tentatively. Amber answers, expecting something business-related. The GENtern looks skittish, as if her news will upset Amber.
"Miss Sweet, there's a woman here to see you. She says that you'll speak to her. Her name is Mary Mason."
That's all the GENtern manages to get out, before Amber takes off toward the GeneCO lobby. Sitting in one of the old black leather chairs, is Mary. Amber stares at her in awe, having gone a year without seeing her.
Her hair is slightly longer, she's still pale and thin, but less so than she was before. She looks up upon hearing the door open, and smiles when she sees Amber. Amber runs over to her, and hugs her tightly.
It isn't until later that night that Amber realizes the double meaning of Mary's last letter. On her stomach is a long, thick scar. Amber frowns, remembering with extreme clarity the night she almost lost her friend/girlfriend/employee/whatever-the-fuck Mary is.
Mary seems unselfconscious as always, however. Amber's always liked that about her. The heiress curls into Mary, as if she's afraid that the world around them is breaking.
Mary wraps an arm around her, and kisses her forehead. "I have a proposal for you."
Amber pops her head up. "It's a little early for that, M."
"Very funny. I was thinking something more along the lines of 'Amber Sweet: Bisexual Icon'. It'd be good press for you."
"What, you wanna go public? Now?" Amber's more nervous about the idea than she'd like to admit.
"Only if you want. You don't have to tell them about us. But coming out would probably add to your likability. And if it's not something you want, then forget about it."
By the next week, the latest addition of GeneCO Weekly, has a top story, titled 'Bi-con: Amber Sweet Comes Out'. Amber laughs at the pun, while Mary merely sighs at her girlfriend's sense of comedy. But when Amber kisses her, Mary thinks that she could endure shitty word-play forever.