Author's Note:Just had some extra time this afternoon, and I really didn't feel like writing anymore angst. It's short and probably has no point, but eh, since when does anything I write? Also, this is my first Trigun fanfic. If I'm really blowing it please let me know.
Warning(s):Slight shounen-ai and language.
"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses. Hit it." - Blues Brothers
"I'll break your face if you don't give 'em back, needle-head. How's that for 'talking it out'?"
Vash frowned at the nickname, wondering idly if having a hairstyle such as he had was really cause for such cruelty from his compatriot. He sighed and spun the black-framed sunglasses between his fingers without thought.
"I think you really need to work on this whole hostility issue. It's gonna start to upset the girls," he replied conversationally, continuing to spin the glasses.
Wolfwood watched them like a cat. "Who? You mean those two insurance ladies?"
"The least you could do is learn their names," Vash said looking slightly amused.
Wolfwood only replied with a grunt as he continued to watch his sunglasses spin like a top between the skilled fingers of his annoying, blond friend. If he so much as scratched them, Wolfwood would break him in half.
"These are so dark. I mean, how do you even see through them?" Vash said, placing the sunglasses on his face. Wolfwood was torn between laughing at the large shades on the other man's skinny face, and taking them back with a quick lunge.
"Maybe I don't like the light as much as you do," he replied cryptically. "It's not like those crazy-colored ones you wear block out anything."
"Hey!" Vash exclaimed, looking rather indignant. "Mine block out a perfect amount of light. And without the adverse affect of becoming so sensitive to light that your eyes stop dilating."
Wolfwood couldn't really read the blond's face that well, what with the large sunglasses blocking just about every aspect of his upper face, but he thought he saw a glimmer of a smile in the forehead. He hadn't realized just how dark they really were. It was unnerving not being able to see even a shimmer of Vash's eyes behind the lenses.
"Here," Vash said, reaching into his pocket to retrieve said pair of sunglasses. "You try mine on, and tell me what you think."
"What? And risk looking like a damn fool?" Wolfwood asked looking disdainfully at the sunglasses that were being held in Vash's outstretched hand. "I generally like to let you take care of that."
Vash raised an eyebrow, just high enough that Wolfwood could barely see it above the rim of the lenses. "Just try them on, will ya?"
With a sigh, Wolfwood took the orange-red sunglasses and placed them on his face. Looking up, he frowned slightly. Vash had taken to peels of laughter, bumping the table they were sharing with his knee and causing the Wild Turkey bottle to teeter dangerously.
Vash continued to laugh, while Wolfwood watched, looking not amused. Finally, the blond started to catch his breath and was clutching at aching sides when he decided to comment.
"Man, Millie would laugh her butt off if she could see you right now."
Wolfwood's frown deepened. "She's the short, angry one, right?"
Vash snorted and shook his head, his breaths still coming out harshly. "No, she's the tall one. Jeez, are you ever going to get it right?"
Wolfwood sighed and took another shot, not liking the fact that the alcohol hadn't decided to kick in yet. It had been a long day, and Vash seemed to have decided that it was bonding time again.
"I know their names just fine," he said shortly.
"Oh really?" Vash asked, grinning. "Then what are they?"
Wolfwood frowned yet again. Just what was old needle-noggin' getting at, anyway? Who cared if he knew their names? He was gone tomorrow anyway, just like always.
This time Wolfwood was positive that Vash rolled his eyes at him, but only because he had leaned back, tilting his face at just the right angle for the lamp behind him to illuminate the lenses for a brief moment.
"Merle, Wolfwood, her name is Merle." The blond sighed and took another shot, refilling Wolfwood's glass along with his own. "You'll get it someday."
Wolfwood was about to ask Vash just what made him think he would stick around long enough for that, but thought better of it. Now really wasn't the time. The two sat in silence and Wolfwood took the wonderfully rare break in conversation to have a cigarette and another shot.
Vash watched the smoke float lazily from the tip of the cigarette to swirl around Wolfwood's strong face. Vash blinked behind the lenses, wondering if Wolfwood could see where he was looking, and then thinking that it didn't matter, since he could barely make anything out in the dimly lit bar anyway.
"Gimme my sunglasses back," Wolfwood said, finally starting to feel the alcohol and finishing his cigarette. He could feel the start of a grin coming over his face.
Vash smiled back, obviously much farther gone. "Sure, if you give me mine back first."
Wolfwood just shook his head and handed the sunglasses to the red-coated gunslinger, and then held his hand out to get his own. Vash placed his glasses back in his pocket, and the looked up at Wolfwood, or rather, Wolfwood thought he did. It was really getting hard to tell just where exactly Vash was looking.
"Can I wear 'em just a bit longer, Wolfwood? Please?" Wolfwood could hear the alcohol in the other's voice now, and would have smiled if the question hadn't unnerved him so. He really wanted to say no. Wanted to tell the spiky-headed kid to take them off right friggin' now before he went stir-crazy from not being able to see his eyes, but refrained for whatever reason. Alcohol, maybe.
"Uh sure…whatever you want," he said flippantly, taking another shot.
Vash giggled and fell back unsteadily against his chair. It was just about time to get back up to their rooms. The girls were probably already fast asleep by now. How the two of them had managed to sneak past them was a miracle, but Wolfwood kept glancing over his shoulder every now and then trying to see if that angry one was glaring at them from the shadows. Just in case.
Vash hummed a sigh and started to pour himself another shot, having just finished one up when Wolfwood's hand stopped him. Smoke-gray eyes bore into dark lenses, hoping the other was looking at him.
"I think you've had enough. We should probably hit the sack."
Vash playfully snatched his hand back with a grin. "Aw, come one, Wolfwood. We still have half a bottle to finish!"
"Considering that's our second bottle, I'll say we're doing just fine now. Let's go," he said standing, but almost sitting down again when a wave of dizziness came over him. Funny, he had spent most of the evening praying he'd get drunk as hell, but when it started to kick in he was wishing he hadn't had a drop. Irony must be having another party.
Vash wobbled to his feet and almost fell on his face, but Wolfwood shot a hand out to catch him under the arm, steadying them both. It wasn't easy pretending to be sober for another person. Wolfwood bit back a giggle of his own as his sunglasses drooped down low on Vash's nose, revealing watery-blue eyes that were clouded over with alcohol.
Wolfwood gauged the blond's actions as he stepped away from Wolfwood and the two made their way out of the bar. Vash stumbled a bit down the dusty road, and every once and a while Wolfwood caught himself watching the other with a stern gaze. Something just didn't seem right.
Wolfwood fought off the alcohol in his system with diligence, walking straighter than he thought possible to the rickety hotel they were all staying at. He got up the stairs and was slightly caught off guard to notice that Vash was climbing them just as easily as he was, but every time that he turned to look over his shoulder the blond would stutter-step or stumble.
When they reached Vash's room, Wolfwood pulled the key from the inebriated blond's pocket, who was currently grinning and leaning against the doorframe.
"Aw, Wolfwood, how come you aren't as drunk as I am? You had just as much as me." Vash asked with a slightly askew smile.
"Practice," the other man replied shortly, opening the door and casting the gunslinger a sideways glance. Vash stepped inside and stretched, starting to take off his jacket at the sound of the door closing and what he thought were footsteps down the hall.
He whistled slightly to himself and started to undo the black outfit he wore underneath the sometimes stifling red coat. He turned, the black shirt only slightly open, reaching out to grab his sleep shirt from the bed, when he stopped.
There was a priest standing by his door.
Vash made a surprised noise and stepped back, instinctively redoing the few clasps he had just undone.
"Wolfwood! What are you doing in here?!"
Wolfwood's eyes narrowed slightly, storm clouds over desert sand. He met the blond's gaze evenly.
"You're still wearing my sunglasses," the priest responded flatly.
"Oh…Oh! Eh-heh," Vash managed, scratching the back of his head in mild embarrassment. "Here you go," he said taking them off his face and handing them towards him.
Wolfwood nodded in appreciation, but stayed where he was. Vash looked nervous for a moment and took a few steps forward, bridging the distance between them and handed the sunglasses out again. Wolfwood wanted to sigh at the sight of the other's eyes again. It wasn't really anything personal, but Wolfwood really didn't like not being able to see the stupid blond's reactions sometimes.
He started to reach for his glasses, but stopped.
"You're not really drunk are you, Vash the Stampede?" Wolfwood said looking up from the sunglasses that were still being held out by said outlaw.
"Uh…heh. What are you talking about?" Vash said smiling. "I'm just as drunk as any man would be after having what we had to drink."
"Sometimes I wonder about you."
Vash's smiled started to fade into something resembling innocence, before reversing and turning back into a smile again. That empty one that Wolfwood recognized easily now.
"You don't have to worry about me, Wolfwood," Vash said, grinning widely. "I'm just fine."
Wolfwood just turned and started to open the door before stopping and looking over his shoulder.
"Get some sleep."
Vash stood taller and saluted, screwing his face up into one of seriousness that he could never legitimately pull off. "Yes, sir, Wolfwood, sir."
The door shut with a small click, and this time Vash was positive he heard footsteps going down the hallway. With a sigh, Vash slumped to sit down on the side of his bed. He frowned, suddenly realizing something was in his hand.
Wolfwood had forgotten to take his sunglasses. He would have to return them sometime.