A/N: Oh dear, my first attempt at humor. And before you all run off screaming, I'd like to say that despite this being a humor-fic, I've attempted to keep everything logical and the characters as IC as possible.
This takes place some time after the anime. No pairings – simple sibling love. Or should that be "love"? (I have a brother, I know what I'm talking about!)
Edited A/N: Thank you to all my reviewers – especially Lady Shadowcat, for informing me of a canonical error I hadn't noticed. It's fixed now :)
Disclaimer: Trigun does not belong to me – for which the characters are probably eternally grateful!
Once upon a not-too-distant time in the future, in an unremarkable wasteland on a barren dustball of a planet, the sun was rising. Its bright rays tinted the rare clouds that had gathered a brilliant crimson, lined with gold underneath and darkening to violet and finally a deep indigo higher up. The spectacle – which would have been deemed the "Most Beautiful Sunrise Ever Seen On This Godforsaken Ball Of Dust" had anyone been paying attention – was witnessed by several desert birds, a herd of wild thomases, a small black cat with huge green eyes… and one human chasing two running not-quite-humans.
"Why does this always happen to me?" the first man moaned as he ran over the ground. His spiky golden hair barely swayed in the breeze – hinting at the large amounts of hairgel having been used in preparing it – and his brilliant blue-green eyes were starting to fill with tears. The observant – or not-so-observant – Trigun fan will by now have deduced that this is, in fact, the infamous Vash the Stampede.
"To be honest, that is something I have wondered about as well, brother." Given the manner of address chosen, the careful watcher will need no description of the second speaker. However, as the author is feeling generous with adjectives today, there will still be one: The second running man was as tall as the first one, with short-cropped silver hair and piercing blue eyes that would have been called ice-blue if the story had taken place in a colder climate. But it didn't, and as neither author nor reader will want aforementioned eyes to melt into water (you have to be careful with those metaphors!) we shall stick with "blue". Careful observation will yield that the two speakers resemble each other exactly in all but hair and eye color, haircut and manner of dress. In other words – yes, the second man is no other than Millions Knives.
Unaware of the garrulous narrator who will attempt to be quiet now, Knives continued. "You seem to have a knack for attracting trouble – although don't you think that this is a bit extreme?"
"Hey, it's not like I do this on purpose!" Vash whined. "I just walk into town and hey presto! Something explodes, a bank is robbed, there's an earthquake, an attack by giant mutated thomases…"
"…or an insane scientist miraculously realizes you're not human, becomes intent on dissecting you and starts chasing you. Or rather, chasing us," Knives finished. "Please let me shoot him?"
"Sorry, can't let you do that. No living thing has the right to take the life of another-"
"I promise I won't kill him! Or injure all too badly!"
"-and besides," Vash continued, ignoring the interruption, "we're unarmed."
There was a pause, silence broken only by a distant-but-not-distant-enough "Aliens! Must dissect them… cut them into little pieces… catalogue and analyze them… little little pieces…"
The infamous outlaw cringed, insofar as one can do so when running at full speed. "Well… I…"
"Vash, what did you do?"
There was another pause as Knives took the sentence apart in his head and added spaces in the appropriate places. Deciding against starting another discussion on the merits of genocide vs. pacifism in favor of finding a way to survive the situation in as few pieces as possible, he said "But… what about your hidden gun? In your arm?"
"Malfunctioned?! Vash, in all the years that you've had that arm, it hasn't malfunctioned once. Why exactly is it that the one day it decides not to work is the day we need it?"
Vash pouted. "I don't do this on purpose," he repeated. "It just happens."
Opting not to drive himself insane by thinking about Vash's illogical luck, Knives simply rolled his eyes and desperately asked, "You have to have some kind of a weapon, right?"
Vash looked contemplative for a moment, then brightened. "Yes! I have this!" He kicked a rock with one boot, and Knives watched in disbelief as a blade shot out of the tip.
"Brother, I had no idea you could be so deviously intelligent (relatively speaking, of course). A hidden gun and a hidden blade?" he said, more to himself as his brother was currently discovering how difficult it is to run with a several-inch-long blade attached to the tip of your foot.
"It's OW attached to the OUCH boot, though YIKES!" Vash panted, attempting to hop on one leg.
"So, what we'll have to do is, we stop running, you take off your shoe and I… throw it at the… psycho scientist… who is shooting at us all the while…" Knives sounded less sure of his plan by the second.
"Can't OW do that. Blade HELP retracts as OUCH soon as the OW boot is off my foo – oops, that was a rock!"
Knives sighed. "Only you, Vash, would manage to come up with a hidden weapon that is absolutely useless when you need it. Now retract that before you manage to pin my foot to the ground with it." He glared at his brother, who shrank back.
"Okay, okay." Vash kicked another rock and the blade snapped back. He threw a look over his shoulder. "I think the scientist is catching up."
"And whose fault is that, pray tell? If you hadn't insisted on tripping on every rock just now…"
"Try running with a knife attached to the tip of your foot!"
"Well, you didn't have to make it appear in the first place!"
"Hey, you asked whether I had any weapons!"
"I meant ones that would be useful in this situation!"
"Oh, now you-"
A bullet hit the ground between them. The two froze for a moment, looking back towards a decidedly trigger-happy looking scientist who was much closer to them than he had been a few minutes ago. The words "little little pieces" and "shiny scalpel" floated across the wasteland.
The two started sprinting across the desert, legs eating (NOT LITERALLY! Those damn metaphors) up the ground in long, identical strides. The silence was only broken by the noise of whizzing bullets and the gabbling of the scientist, until-
"And you wonder why I hate humans, brother," Knives said sarcastically.
Vash rolled his eyes. "Please, let's not start this discussion again."
"I mean, how can you not hate someone who chases you out of a place you were peacefully staying, waves sharp objects around and is intent on cutting you into as little pieces as possible?"
"But they're not all like that!"
"Spiders are spiders."
"This person seems to resemble a rabid butterfly collector more than a spider. You know, those boys Rem told us about, with the nets and the killing jars and those boards full of dead –"
"You're messing up my analogy! A butterfly collector would be much bigger than a butterfly, for one, and capable of crushing it in one fist. And those snot-nosed boys with the nets aren't spiders, so you're saying he's not human!"
Vash sniffed. "To be honest, I'm beginning to doubt that myself… all humans I met had at least some sense-"
"You're seeing it relatively, brother. Humans have no sense, but since you're comparing them to yourself…"
"I resent that. Anyway, I like the butterfly collector comparison. You have to admit he's behaving more like one of those boys than a spider."
"I never meant for anything other than insects to come into it. You're spoiling my analogy." Knives pouted.
"A spider is an arachnid, and the analogy wasn't all that good to begin with, brother."
For the second time that day, a shout of "WHAT?!" echoed across the desert.
"Explain yourself, brother. And be glad we're too busy running for me to strangle you," Knives hissed.
Vash held up his hands. "Hey, no need to turn violent. I was just saying… I mean, if we're the butterflies and they're the spiders, we shouldn't be able to do anything against them, since we'd be tangled up in webbing. Also, they should be able to identify us on sight, unless your butterflies now have the ability to camouflage themselves as spiders. We shouldn't be able to walk, since we'd have to be spiders to be able to crawl around on spiderwebs, as butterflies we'd just get stuck. Then, butterflies not stuck in the web should just be able to fly away where the spiders can't follow. Finally, spiders don't only eat butterflie-"
"All right, all right! You've made your point clear." Knives pouted again. "I'm still proud of that analogy. I made it up on the spur of the moment, after all. And I never claimed it was perfect."
Vash stuck his tongue out at him. "Yes you did."
The twins, who had slowed down during their argument, were interrupted by yet another bullet whistling overhead. The scientist had come dangerously close – they could see the sunlight glinting off his scalpel and the insane grin on his face.
"Just shut up and run."
A/N: I have no idea how they get out of the situation – I suspect some incredibly ridiculous coincidence on Vash's part coupled with an extremely cunning plan on Knives' part. Reviews are much appreciated, especially constructive crit as this is my first humor fic. I hope you enjoyed this!