A/N: Okay, I'm kinda cheating, this is the idea I'm using for Camp NaNo next month. But I'll probably rewrite. Anyway, hope you enjoy.

"Together, we can do this. We can make conditions better for our poor. Decrease the prices of food pills, 'grams, and everything needed for comfortable living. And for the rest of you, conditions can be improved even further. Every candidate since about a century ago has lied to you."

Bishop's standing with his hands on the podium, gesturing emphatically, and Rocket prays that he's damn near the end of his speech.

"But I don't lie. I need your help—I need your votes. And what I do with the presidency will be great. Thank you."

Bishop backs away from the podium, waving—and his foot doesn't quite hit the ground and bam.

Falls flat on his back, head slamming on the platform.

Rocket's actually kind of interested in what's going to happen next, leans forward a bit, to get a tad closer to the stage—

And Client #729 pulls the 'gram jack out of the back of Rocket's head.

"What an asshole," 729 says. "Can't stand him. 'Oh, I came from a slightly kind of poor family, so you know I'm gonna do shiny'. Asshole thinks 3,000,000 Creds a year is fucking poor. Only he knew, y'know?"

Rocket hates being jerked back to reality suddenly. He can feel every cut and bruise on his body, every pain, he can taste the blood in his mouth.

This isn't the first client to take him hostage. Probably not the last. It comes with the job.

Rocket experimentally pulls at the mag-cuffs on his wrist. They're still tight.

It's kind of ironic that he lives in a world where real food is more expensive than fucking handcuffs. And good ones. These are police grade.

"You can't get out, shiny baby," 729 says.

Rocket sees the wand that would release him, it's in the pocket closest to 729's dick—if he just got a bit closer then Rocket might be able to shove it.

729 grabs Rocket by the back of his head, starts to pull him closer, but stops, letting Rocket's head slam back into the pillow.

"Hah, I don't even know whose name to fuckin' yell when I come," 729 says. "Rude."

"Usually people don't care," Rocket says. "A whore's a whore."

"I'm asking." 729 slaps Rocket in the face. "And if you get fucking smart again, that'll be with a belt. One of them studded ones. Like they used to have."

"How was I—I was just sayin' a fuckin' fact!" Rocket says.

729 laughs, turns around to reach for his belt, and Rocket tries to reach out with his foot, maybe kick the release wand, but 729 turns back and belts him across the foot, and then across his bare chest.

He goes on whipping Rocket for a bit, but Rocket tries to ignore it. He stares at the ceiling, tries to focus on everything but the pain.

Ceiling's dripping, and it's rhythmic, right in time with the whipping, so Rocket tries to focus on something else, the rat in the corner maybe, or the general dinginess, but it doesn't work.

Rocket does have a masochistic streak.

He fell in love with a kidnapper once.

"I'm Dionysus. Dion." He extended his hand, exposing the barcode that Rocket could suddenly feel burning into his own wrist.

That distracts Rocket from the whipping, but it almost hurts more. But yeah, he has a masochistic side, some pain is good, but not this much.

"You gonna beg, whore? You gonna beg for your fucking life? C'mon, do it, and then we can have some real fun," 729 says.

Rocket doesn't say anything, just flinches. He has one shot, one shot, and he thinks he can time it—

He kicks out, and deactivates the cuffs. 729 tries to hit the button again, but Rocket hits him hard across the face, and the metal cuffs give it a little extra umph.

729 falls back, temporarily stunned, and Rocket uses that time to get the cuffs off, because if he doesn't, he could fall prisoner again at any time—those things have a huge radius.

"Fuck you!" 729 yells, lunging at Rocket and grabbing his leg.

"Fuck you," Rocket says, kicking 729 in the face and scrambling back to his feet.

He gets out the door, runs down the stairs, and keeps running for three blocks before he stops to breathe. The kidnappers never follow.


Dion followed.

But Dion was a massive exception.

Rocket leans against a wall, feeling cold, wet stone at his back. He's in the Old Quarter, uninventively nicknamed the Shitty Quarter.

It is the worst part of New Angeles, but y'know, sometimes when poor people don't get any fucking jobs, the only places they can afford are in the Shitty Quarter.

Rocket takes his time getting back to the House.

He knows he's probably going to get reprimanded for being late, probably has some new job, probably is going to have to pay some exorbitant fee for getting a glamour for his injuries.

Sometimes it seems like the House forgets how popular Rocket is.

It takes him a good forty-five minutes to get back. It's raining, dead of night. Rocket can't see a goddamn thing for about fifteen minutes of the trek, due to the fact that technically the Old Quarter is not fit for anybody to live in and they took the streetlights out to discourage people from going in it.

He sighs when he reaches the House.

The neon green sign's kind of flickering and wavy, from the rain or the failing neon—but it's still visible from everywhere. It looks fucking shiny in this weather.

The House of Snakes.

Rocket used to think the name was funny. It still is kinda funny. Y'know…male whorehouse? House of Snakes? Yeah, you get it. Childish. But fuck, Rocket was a child when he started there.

He runs up the small flight of steps and shoves the right door open. The right door's for employees, left is for clients.

Dom is waiting for him.

(Dom. Short for Dominatrix. She runs the place. Only girl.)

"Where the fuck have you been?" she asks Rocket, shoving him against the wall.

"It was another 'napper—"

"And for God's sake, put a shirt on. You've got a job."

"I need time to get ready, Dom, please, just give me a while," Rocket says.

"We've spent too many fuckin' Creds on you for you to show up five hours after a job fuckin' shirtless. Quit your S&M bullshit. Freaks clients out."

"Give me time for a glamour, Jesus."

"No time."


"Because client #730 is Bishop," Dom says.

"You don't mean—"

"Yeah. That Bishop."

"Fuck me blind and call me Susan. Got some good dirt on him, then," Rocket says.

"Just go."

"Yes'm," Rocket says, saluting her. He quickly runs up to his room to grab a shirt and a glamour—costs him 150 C to cover his wounds, fucking bullshit, especially since he didn't get paid for 729.

It takes about five minutes for him to decide it's worth it for Bishop and scan his barcode.

Then he's off.

Gotta love a good, ol' fashioned gay politician scandal.

A/N: I think it's gonna be Bishop's POV next chapter...anyway, please review, and I'll return non-RG reviews.