The Usual Disclaimer: I do not own Trigun, Meryl, Milly, Wolfwood, Rem, Knives, or Vash, as much as I wish I owned one particular character. . .Oh well, I can dream, can't I?

Glory

Chapter Eighteen: Moving Out

A few days later found Glory sitting on a cliff overlooking an endless stretch of land, the larger sun dipping into the horizon. It was peaceful here, now, and silent. The air was starting to chill, just slightly. The stars were visible in the far distance behind her, flickering every now and again.

She heard sand crunch and counted the feet walking towards her, their pace. When they stopped, she smiled. "Hello boys," she said.

"Hardly boys," Knives' voice returned.

"You act like it."

"Correction, he acts like it."

"Hey!" Vash snapped.

"That was a childish gesture," Glory scolded.

Those feet moved again and then Glory was sandwiched between her brothers, all three of them sitting. They all stared off at the suns - sun at the moment - and the thin golden clouds stretched across it. Each was silent with their own thoughts, but Glory had a strong feeling that they were all thinking the same thing.

"We have to leave," she said.

To her left, Vash bowed his head, seemingly biting his tongue. To her right, Knives nodded.

"I agree," the latter stated. "We have stayed here long enough."

"I'm not leaving Meryl," Vash warned.

"We're not asking you to," Glory told him, smiling slightly.

"You're not seriously considering," Knives began, "taking that human with us?"

"Not at all," Glory replied. "I'm considering that you need me, and that Vash needs Meryl."

Knives stuttered. "We're not leaving him behind with these humans!"

Glory glared. "You keep forgetting, Vash has his own life."

"And I'm well within hearing distance," Vash added with humor in his voice.

Glory glanced at him. His face didn't show an ounce of humor. "You can do whatever you want, Vash," she told him. Reaching out, she looped her arm around his shoulders.

Knives was silent for another few moments. I refuse to let you go again, he thought, pointedly at Vash. Glory heard it, too.

"You don't have much choice," Glory told him.

"And you won't be letting me go," Vash added. "I'll stay here. With Meryl, with Milly and Wolfwood, with the Thompsons."

"Good luck," Glory chuckled, eliciting a laugh from Vash.

"With the humans," Knives sneered. "Why must you continue to -"

"Live with them?" Glory interrupted.

"We are living with them," Vash said. "Look around you, Knives. Just because we're not human and they're not Plants doesn't mean that we can't live together. We've been living together for over a century."

"They've weakend you," Knives said, harshly.

"You're wrong, Knives," Glory told him. "You two. . . you're complete opposites. Knives, you're physically extremely sensitive, whereas Vash is emotionally sensitive. You're bent on killing, Vash is bent on saving."

"And what about you?" both brothers asked.

Glory smiled. "Well, let's see. . . I'm strong to pain, both physical and emotional. I don't like killing things, but nor do I stick my neck out for everything that moves."

"So, basically. . ." Vash began.

". . .You're in the middle," Knives ended.

Glory nodded. "Which is why I'm the only one who can make you two understand one another." Finished speaking, she got up and began walking away.

In the back of her mind, she could sense that they were talking mentally to one another. She left them there to talk, and went back to town. But she didn't enter the Thompsons' house again. Instead, she looked in an alley for crates, and used them to climb onto the roof of an abandoned old building. The foundation cracked under her feet and creaked with each step, despite it being made of stone.

She sat there, on the crumbling roof for a few moments before another presence found her. The one she was waiting for.

"Twenty years and I finally get my date," Marcus said. Beside her, he fanned out a blanket on the roof and she got up to sit on it. Marcus sat beside her and the first thing he did was wrap his arms around her.

It felt nice, to say the least.

"You've been waiting twenty years. . . for this?" Glory asked him.

He chuckled. "Ridiculous, isn't it? Still, twenty years should show how dedicated I am to you."

I waited a hundred and thirty years for Vash, she thought, sadly. Trying to sound happier than her thoughts were, she said, "Well it shows dedication to something."

He laughed this time, and his arms tightened around her. "Glory. . ."

"Yeah, Marcus?"

He paused. "Glory, I think you need. . ."

She tilted back her head on his shoulder to look up at him. "What do you think I need?"

His eyes went from her eyes, to her lips, to her breasts, and back up. He didn't answer her, but he didn't have to.

Glory straightend and turned towards him. "Why do you think I need that? Or. . ." she added, making it seem like she was slowly thinking something out, "is it you who needs it. . ?"

He bit his lip. "Both?"

The best part about his guess, was that it took a little pressure off her thoughts. The worst part about his guess, was that he was right. Unable to stop herself, she leaned forward and waited for him to kiss her.

When he did, she saw in the far distance, a star flicker to life that was never there before. Filled with thoughts of that star being an omen to her life, she closed her eyes, leaned in closer, and let the rest of the night unfold without hesitation or reluctance.

Next Morning

Everyone looked surprised or angry when entered the Thompson house, her hair loose and trailed by Marcus, who had opened the door for her. A part of her felt full, like the page of one's journal. Having finally filled that page, she allowed herself to flip it over and start a new page. Her only hesitation of doing this was the possibility of hurting Marcus.

She hated not loving him like he loved her, but he had given her something incredible, and she hoped she repaid it in full. After all, up until last night, she was a virgin by default. Because she had had to watch over Vash all this time, there had never been a moment steady enough to let such a relationship bloom.

. . .And in a few days, she was going to squash that bloom, and possibly Marcus' heart.

Marcus and she went up the stairs, he to his room and she to hers -

Vash and Knives were both in the room waiting for her. She knew they'd be. She shut the door, knowing that a lot of questions and anger would begin pouring out of the two. The only thing they seemed to have in common was a strong familial bond, centered around protectiveness of Glory.

"Where were you?" Knives asked, but his voice wasn't as calm as his features.

"You know the old abandoned building on the egde of town? . . . I was on the roof," she explained. She sat down on the bed and looked up at her brothers. What bothered her the most of this situation wasn't Knives' unrelenting anger, but Vash's seemingly shocked composure.

"You were with Marcus," Knives snapped, gesturing in the general direction of Marcus' room.

"Yes, I was." No use denying it; she wasn't even ashamed.

"All night!"

"It's good that you noticed."

"How can you sit there and nonchalant about this!" Knives ranted. "He's a human!"

"I know he's human," Glory returned. "It doesn't matter."

"Do you intend to marry him!" Knives went on, heedless. "To settle down and have children with him!"

She didn't answer out loud, but by Knives' sudden silence, she knew he heard her thoughts. No.

"No," Vash echoed aloud, speaking for the first time. "You let him. . . and you don't want to. . . Glory?"

She shook her head. "What Marcus did was what I needed. I don't need it anymore." Her eyes were solely on Vash.

It seemed to enrage Knives further. He glared at his brother and rounded on Glory, lifting her chin so she had to look at him. "Why did you go to a human!"

That seemed like a stupid question. There were only three of them; who else was there, besides humans?

And that's when it hit her. She stood up, looking at Knives incredulously. "This isn't about you, Knives."

His jaw clenched. "You don't understand a thing, Glory! Whatever you need, we can give you, at any time! Why didn't you come to us!"

"Knives -" Vash began, only to get cut off.

"She should have come to us!" Knives snapped towards Vash.

"That's commonly known as incest, Knives," Glory told him.

"Not with our kind," he shot back.

"It's. . . ridiculous!" she said, lifting her hands in the air. She stepped away from Knives and Vash to stand alone, and faced them. "You can't honestly believe that I would go to you if I wanted sex, Knives."

He gave her a look that stated, 'Yes I do'.

Both she and Vash were stunned to silence.

"No," Vash said. "You can't force her into doing anything, Knives."

Knives glared at Vash. "We're her brothers. We can take care of anything she needs. Just us."

. . .And just like that, it made sense. "This isn't about sex at all," Glory said.

"Then what. . ?" Vash began.

Knives shut his mouth.

"It's about us," she said. "Knives really wants it to be just us, just us taking care of one another." She folded her arms. "Spurred on by last night's conversation, most likely."

Knives gave her a glare that could kill. "It had nothing to do with that conversation."

"I believe it did," she returned. "First Vash gets a human lover, and now me. You think you're losing us."

"I'm not losing you!" he yelled.

"But you think you are. Knives," she said, coming closer, "I'm not going to marry Marcus. I'm not sure he'd even ask."

His eyes narrowed and he turned his glare on Vash. "And what about you!"

Vash glanced away. "I love Meryl," he said, quietly. "I do want to marry her."

For a moment, Glory could swear she almost saw Knives go up in flames. A second later and he seemed to compose himself.

"Fine," he said. "But I won't lose both of my siblings." He walked over to Glory, wrapped an arm around her, and glared at Vash.

"See, that - that right there," Glory said, shrugging away. "That is why everyone thinks you're mad. Very possibly, you are, Knives. Vash isn't leaving or rejecting either of us."

"What else could it be?" Knives snapped at her.

"I'm accepting Meryl into our family, too," Vash said. "I don't have to leave somebody behind to gain someone new, you know."

"Vash is right, Knives," Glory said. "There's no rule written that in order to love a new person, you have to stop loving someone else."

It enraged Knives again. "This isn't about love!"

Glory could have slapped him. She should have, really. "Then what it is about?"

"Knives," Vash answered. "It's about Knives."

Knives glared at Vash as though it'd shut him up.

Glory nodded as it made sense. "It wasn't too long ago, that you two reunited," she said, thinking aloud. "And not much longer after that, you found me and then I almost died. Knives. . . you're clinging."

Knives turned his glare on Glory. "I do not cling!"

"You're spoiled," Glory accused.

"You have both of us now," Vash went on.

"Once spoiled, people fear -"

"- losing what they have."

"They percieve everything -"

"- as a threat to take away -"

"- what they still have."

"Stop it!" Knives yelled. "Don't psyche me!"

Biting her lip, Glory stepped up to Knives and hugged him around the chest. A moment later Vash joined the embrace, hugging Knives and Glory in one.

Knives went completely quiet, both verbally and mentally. Nearly a full minute passed before Knives did anything, but finally, he began to shake. With her mind, Glory could feel his emotions rising and taking control of him, a warm feeling which brought with it visions of unending joy.

Love.

Knives was feeling love. For th first time, Glory felt Knives' love for her and for Vash. The effect it had was incredible: Glory felt herself begin to shake as well, and Vash. Knives' arms wrapped around her and Glory shifted enough to hug Vash, too. In unison, after several minutes, the three of them fell to their knees, holding one another and shaking.

Glory looked up at Knives and then Vash, and saw that they were both smiling. Vash was also crying silent tears. Knives let one arm let go of Glory and shifted so it went around Vash, and then all three of them were smiling and silently crying, unable to let go of one another.

It was so peaceful, so pleasant, so needed that when someone knocked on the door, Glory felt as though she had been taken from a warm beach and dunked into a pool of freezing water. It hurt.

In her arms, she felt Vash jerk and Knives snap his head up. All at once the moment was broken and they were shaking now with the pain of seperation, holding each other more tightly than they were before. They looked at the door.

"Who is it?" Glory asked, her voice shaking as she struggled to regain her composure.

"It's. . . it's Meryl," a voice replied. "You three have been in there all day; it's time for lunch already."

And I showed up just after breakfast, Glory thought. We've been like this for a long time.

Knives glanced down at her, then over at Vash. I had no idea this much time had passed.

Vash was looking at the door. "Thanks, Meryl," he said. Looking back at Knives, he nodded. Me neither.

Glory smiled and leaned into Knives, tightening her arms around her brothers. Nothing wrong with losing track of time while hugging.

The twins chuckled. Agreed, they thought in unison.

Following Evening

It was a farewell. Glory stood, standing next to Knives, facing Vash and Meryl, Milly and Wolfwood, Marcus and a few others. It was time for her and Knives to leave, time for her to show Knives the other side of humans.

Behind her was a jeep. She had the keys in her pocket. Her boomerang she had thrown into a gorge earlier this day, getting rid of it for good. She had finally taken off her chain, and left it in their room at the Thompson's. Considering she wore it for Vash all these years, it only seemed right that she leave it behind for him, for him to do what he wished with it.

Knowing Vash, he was going to keep it.

"You sure you two don't want to stay longer?" Vash asked, hugging Glory tightly.

"I've got a lot to teach him," Glory replied and stepped back. "I can't do that here."

Knives stepped forward and hugged Vash as well, but it was obviously much harder for the twins to let go of each other. Glory said her goodbyes to the rest of the group, and returned to Vash once more for one last thing. Out of her back pocket, she pulled out a piece of paper, folded over and over so it stayed extremely small.

She took Vash's hand and in doing so handed him the paper. "Good bye," she said, though it was faint.

She and Knives got into the jeep and drove away, though Knives looked back as they began. Turning to her again, he spoke.

"What did you give him?"

"A song I remember," she replied. "I thought it fitted the moment well."

"How does it go?"

She smiled. Wetting her lips, she began to sing:

"I had a dream that I could fly, I can feel each moment as time goes by. We'd never be too far away, you would always be here, I heard you say. I never thought. . . thought that it could be our last goodbye. I still can dream. . . that one day love will fall out of the sky. Do you still remember, all the time that has gone by? Do you still believe that, love can fall out of the sky? If from where you're standing, you can see the sky above, I'll be waiting for you, if you still believe in love. Find a way, to bring back yesterday. Find a way to love. I hope we stay, when tomorrow becomes today. . . Love will find a way. . ."

Vash

"I'll be waiting for you, in my heart you are the one. If I cannot find you, I will look up to the sun," he read aloud. "Do you still remember, all the time that has gone by? Do you still believe that, love can fall out from the sky? If from where you're standing, you can see the sky above, I'll be waiting for you, if you still believe in love. . . Do you believe?"

As it ended, he looked up and smiled at the sun, through his tears. I believe, he thought. I'm waiting for you, too.

The end. It took forever for me to decide on how long it'll take to reach the ending. As though you can't tell.

Well, Glory left behind Marcus. Vash decided to stay with Meryl. Knives left with Glory, but they're not going to stay gone forever.

Song: Do You Still Believe. It's from the game 'Legend of Dragoon'. Full lyrics at animelyrics dot com.

And wasn't their hug just beautiful? :Tears in eyes: So pretty. I'm very happy with it, heh.

See you! :Waves: The endings are always so sad. . .