Title: Bite the Bullet
Word Count: 1,200
Summary: A collection of Trigun drabbles. All characters, all genres.
Comments: I'll add more as I write them. :D
I Thought I'd Lost You
Bright blue eyes and dark, dark hair. He looked so good in his tiny suit. That time of year again, though little Nicky didn’t know it yet. But the questions would come, when his mind was old enough to form them.
She’d been so devastated when Vash had told her the news, how he died and why. But now she was almost glad things had turned out the way they had. And he wasn’t really gone. He never would be. Not really.
Millie smiled at her son and held him close.
“For a moment there, I thought I’d lost you.”
She'd seen his power in the churchyard. It was frightening. Narrowed eyes colder than the stone, flitting from plot to sloppily constructed plot. Carefully controlled voice drifting back over the warm wind; “Why do they even bother...” It wasn’t a question.
“Respect for the dead.” My answer makes him fix his golden gaze on me. I swallow nervously. He turns away, boots crunching on the loose sand.
“The dead are dead. He’ll join them soon.”
“Knives doesn’t want him dead.” My reminder makes him smile.
“Knives isn’t here, is he?”
Such a cold chuckle. I shiver.
“So um...you got any siblings?”
A golden-eyed glare. A fork changes hands.
“Oh come on, just about everyone’s got brothers and sisters.” A snicker. He knows where this is going. He ignores them, his concentration wholly on his food.
“Staccato, maybe? Allegro?” Another snicker. Glances exchanged. “Oh, I know! Presto! Grave! Grave works for you, right? Or Adagio—”
The Gung Ho Gun stops, chokes, from a sudden lack of air. Legato’s fist tightens in his collar. A growl, chair on the ground, pancakes forgotten. He ponders the benefits of a quick kill, a slow death.
“Her name’s Vivace.”
Gaping maw and long, pink spines. Wide, empty eyes, flapping fins. Vash stared at it in horror, appalled that something so hideous could swim the deserts just beneath the golden sand.
“What is it?”
“Don’t you know?”
He thought such a monstrosity would be indefinitely burned into his retina, but looked again anyway.
Meryl was enjoying this way too much. “It’s a fish, Vash.”
“Yes, I can see that. Sort of. But what kind?”
It was long as his arm and covered in sand-scoured pockmarks.
Millie was beaming. “That there’s a Gunsmoke salmon, Mr. Vash!”
Fingers fumbling in the dark.
It had started with a simple kiss, one that quickly escalated into something more. Now clothes dotted the floor in crumpled heaps, from the door to the bed.
A grunt. Another click. An impatient growl.
Vash liked it when she growled. Her frustration fueled his mounting excitement.
A whispered curse, “Dammit, Vash, do you really need this many?”
He hadn’t thought much of his attire before. He liked the effect it was having.
A wicked grin. She was so flustered she couldn’t think straight.
He didn’t think he could go back to jeans after this.
It was the perfect name, really. A single word that summed up this pitiful planet, that simultaneously spoke of its heat and its harshness, its dry winds and its scouring sands. That word gave him hope, helped maintain his belief that one day the humans really would die out, that those damn pods hadn’t made any difference anyway. Rem hadn’t won yet. Knives was very much still in the game, and all because of one little word, one brilliant little word.
Knives turned to a disgruntled Vash and grinned, proud.
“I still say we should have named it Bob.”
“So who’d you meet in the desert?”
Vash thought back to all the sand dunes, identical under the twin suns’ rays; remembered the mirage-that-was-no-mirage as if he'd stumbled across it just this morning. He’d approached the two figures cautiously, warily, one hand on his gun.
“Hello, good sir. We appear to be lost.”
The golden man looked like some sort of robot. His companion was taller, with blue-upon-blue eyes, no whites.
“I'm in a time-space valley. I cannot foresee the path back to my homeworld.”
Vash sipped his drink and shifted in his chair.
“No one you’d know.”
The bulb was irreparably broken, but the glass was still sharp. Inside the silhouette of the plant stirred, her many cherubim wings fluttering weakly. Her wide, slitted eyes were terrified.
“S’all right, girl,” the scientist cooed. He was careful to keep his movement as slow and deliberate as possible. His partner stretched out a gloved hand to gently smooth the sweaty hair matted to her forehead.
The cry was more of a howl. The two scientists turned, startled; a blonde man was darting through the jagged hole, light blue eyes blazing with unsuppressed hatred.
“Get your hands off my woman!”
“I know, baby, I know.”
Wolfwood’s low voice caught Millie’s attention. Frowning, she found herself drawing near the slightly ajar bedroom door.
“I’m working you too hard, huh? Sorry. You’ve just been on my mind lately...”
Wolfwood was sitting on the bed, his back to the door as he lovingly caressed something Millie couldn’t see.
“You’re so beautiful,” he cooed. “I can’t keep my hands off you. I wanna kiss every one of your sweet little—”
Millie was shocked. “Mr. Wolfwood!”
A startled gasp. “Millie!”
And the Punisher lay between them, naked and gleaming in the priest’s lap.
“What does Vash mean?”
Rem looked surprised. “Mean?”
“Yeah.” Knives held up the utensil for her. “This is a knife, right? And ‘million’ is...a lot. So what does Vash mean?”
Rem’s eyes traveled over the blade uneasily. “Vash means...I don’t know. I don’t think it means anything.”
“I don’t understand. Why would you name me after...this? Doesn’t it hurt people?”
“It doesn’t have to.” She sounded nervous. Knives’ confusion grew.
“But still...why? Vash doesn’t have a last name.”
“I don’t know, Knives, we didn’t name you. She did.”
This wasn’t the ship he’d grown up on...
The stench of formaldehyde was overwhelming. He struggled to force it through his lungs as his brother slumped limply against him, gasping for air. Knives stood rigid with shock.
He watched a tiny bubble work its way behind gleaming white ribs, then disappear inside a torn lung. It reemerged an instant later through a jagged hole in her trachea.
They did this on purpose. They tormented her just to learn...
Her eyes were missing, sockets bleeding.
...how to control us...
How had Knives been so blind?
This was hell.
“I know, Meryl.”
Just like that, like it was no big deal. Meryl wasn’t surprised; she knew, too. She laid a tiny hand over his and squeezed, sighing when he took it and squeezed back.
“But he’s here now, safe. You can’t run from them forever.”
He looked at her, weary green eyes trying to convey what he couldn’t in words. “I can’t just quit, Meryl, you know that. Not with so many people still after my name, bounty or no. This gunman thing, it’s my job now. It’s still dangerous.”
“Then take a vacation.”