Chapter 7: Finale

Knives tried to move quickly, as the bullet careened toward him. It smashed into his back, and collided with his spine. He fell to the ground in a bloody pool. Behind him, Spike tried to stay up. Vash ran to his brother and lifted his limp body up.

"Knives! Knives! Are you ok?" Vash cried.

"Knives lifted his head to talk to his brother.

"So, this is the end, huh?" Knives said wearily, "I always thought.I'd have the chance to..beat you, brother. If I was to be beaten, I had at least thought you would do it. But no, this low-life bounty hunter has brought me down. Fuck! Why!"

Vash looked down on him sadly, and watched as Knives began to twitch, and then lay still. He then dropped Knives to the ground and stood up. He turned to Spike.

"He could have been saved!" Vash yelled at him, "But you had to interfere. Why!"

As his anger increased, his gun started to change. The top flipped off of the gun flipped off, and a small gear inside began to spin. Vash suddenly raised the gun in the air, and a metallic substance covered his arm. Spike noticed the gun was what was covering him. Then, his arm began to inflate, until it was almost like a cannon. He aimed it at Spike; tears in his eyes.

"You'll pay! You'll pay for what you did!" he yelled.

"Vash! No, please!" Merrill yelled at him.

"Yes Mr. Vash, don't do that!" Milly yelled behind Merrill.

Spike raised his gun. Suddenly, Faye ran out and grabbed Spike's arm.

"Spike! Don't hurt him! He saved my life. You had no right to shoot his brother!" She yelled.

"Faye?" Jet questioned, "What are you doing here?"

"Stop it Faye!" Spike yelled, "It's for the bounty. Even if we are alike, or different, good or evil. I'm a bounty hunter Faye, and so are you. Wake up, and smell the cash in it. Even if it costs this whole town. I don't like the idea of it, but if that's what it takes." he trailed off.

Vash readied his gun, and yelled, " Alright, bounty hunter, fight me."

Spike knew this was the end. He had suddenly realized he felt as if money was all he wanted now. He did not want that, though. He liked the thrill. Well, if this was not thrill enough, this fight, he decided it would be time to give up bounty hunting, even it was all he was good. He hoped to God this wouldn't be his last hunt.

From Vash's point of view, even with the compassion others were throwing to him, he couldn't stop it. His rage consumed him, and he began to fire the cannon. The people began to run as the blast gathered energy.

"Oh Vash, no!" Merrill yelled, then walked slowly toward him.

Spike watched as she clasp her arms around him.

"Oh Vash," she cried, "I love you!"

The blast in the cannon stopped. His arm retracted to what it had once been. Milly looked in awe as Merrill explained her true feelings for Vash. Suddenly, tears began to stream down Vash's cheeks.

"Oh my God. What was I about to do. I know my brother should have been given one last chance, but over one life, I almost destroyed hundreds. I'm sorry, bounty hunter," Vash told him.

"I should be apologizing," Spike admitted, "for the first time in a long while, the money seemed more important to me. I do have one request, though. I; am truly sorry for killing your brother, but would you at least give me the pleasure of an old-fashioned duel?"

Vash thought for a moment, and answered, "why not".

Merrill, still hugging Vash, hugged him even tighter. Milly herself began to cry.

-_________

The townspeople stood on the sides of the street, as the two gunmen paced away. Merrill sat in suspense with Milly by the hotel. Jet and Faye watched from the hotel roof, with Ed and Ein. After ten paces, they quickly turned and fired. In a strange twist, both guns were hit and flipped out of each other's hands. As they landed, Spike jumped and grabbed Vash's gun; Vash jumping for Spike's. They rolled, and fired. Vash ducked behind a water trough, and Spike ducked behind a phone booth. They fired shots between each other, barely missing. Suddenly, Vash turned to fire, and realized Spike was no longer there. He turned back to face the barrel of his own gun.

"Nice piece of machinery," Spike said, and flipped the gun back to Vash. Vash laughed and did the same.

The people cheered and laughed at the display they had witnessed. Spike pulled Vash up, and they both began to walk toward the bar. -_________

As Spike and his crew prepared to launch their ships, they took a last look at the planet where they had met such interesting people. The moons were full in the night's starry sky, as their engines fired up and the took off.

On the roof of their hotel, Vash and Merrill watched as the ships took off into the sky. It looked so romantic, for the two of them. The ships became twinkling dots in the night sky as time passed. As they watched, Vash leaned over, and shared a long kiss with Merrill.