Disclaimer: I do not own Trigun. I do not own Meryl, or Milly, or Wolfwood, or Vash, or even the cute little black kitty. I simply write fanfiction in my spare time. Though sometimes I really, really, really wish I owned Vash. *hehe*

Chapter 1

I spent a long time in the desert after I shot Knives. The bitter winds, the stinging sands, the unforgiving suns. My only company - aside from my psychotic, thankfully unconscious brother - were my thoughts. It was a long time to be out there. Alone.

Okay, okay, maybe two weeks, but hey, two weeks is a long time to go without donuts!

But if there was one thing I learned while I was out there it was that I felt two things. Three if you count the damn, unholy weight of my unconscious brother. But I'm going off into a tangent again. So back to where I was. . .

There were two things I felt out there in the desert: hunger and need.

Now this wasn't hunger for salmon sandwiches, mind you, although I could have done with those, though I still wonder about where they get salmon sandwiches out in the middle of the desert but why question food? It wasn't the kind of hunger for donuts even. And the need! Dear gods! The need! I didn't need water or food or any sort of physical sustenance. It was deeper in the gut, no longer physical or spiritual but both. I had felt it settle in once I had walked away to confront my brother.

I could solve it easily. It was a simple enough problem and I already knew the answer. But damn it all, there was this ironic twist that was just killer. Ready for it? Are you sure? Alright, here's the kicker. It was a hunger and need that I knew would never be satisfied because I knew there was only one cure for it and it was never going to be mine.

Heh. I rushed that. But I thought I should be melodramatic while I'm at it. People expect that of me, notorious outlaw that I am.

I think that was the closest I could come to defining it. Out in the desert, with Knives slung on my back, unconscious and heavy as sin, I thought of those two things. Hunger. And need.

Funny that I never noticed it before. I mean, come on! How could I have not noticed that this was deeper than donuts!


"Hello Mr. Vash!" Milly calls out to me gaily as I approach. She barely blinks at the heavy burden I settle gently my side. Knives is still groggy, still incoherent. I give her my trademark smile and the 'love and peace' gesture.

"Yo! Milly, Meryl!" I answer cheerily. "Do you have any donuts?"

"Oooh!" Mily says, innocent as always. "He looks just like you, Mr. Vash."

"It's not like he came back with a baby, Milly," Meryl snaps tersely. She still hasn't looked at me and I wonder if she's angry.

Milly titters. "I know that sempai, but they look almost like twins."

"Yeah, yeah." She starts to turn that face to me, that face that reminds me of all the good things Rem was and all the beauty this world is. But just now there isn't beauty and I draw back instantly. Oh hell. She's bristling like a wet cat. "And you! Humanoid Typhoon," she snorts. "What the hell took you so long?"

I smile down at her feeling suddenly sheepish and nervous. "I, uh. . ."

"Yeah, yeah," she says already turning away and waving her hand over her shoulder. "Come on. You probably need a bed for your brother."

"I, Meryl -" I feel the need to explain why my brother is in this condition, why I'm no longer wearing the red coat, why - why the hell was she so angry? "It was only two weeks, Meryl," I pout.

"I was worried about you," she retorts angrily. I flinch expecting her fist to connect with my head. Funny how she could still give me a bump on the head even if I'm so much taller than her. "Come on. You're staying with us. I'll be damned if I let you out of my sight again."

I follow her grumbling form willingly. A stirring of hope begins in me - she was worried about me? - but is quickly squashed down. She probably only wants to keep me close because that's her job after all. No, she wasn't being extra caring. She's just doing her duty, like I have to do mine.


"Eh?" Milly says in wonderment.

It is my third case of donuts and I feel no need to stop.

"Well it's like this," I say between bites. "Knives." Chomp. "Brother." Chomp. "I want." Chomp. "To help him." Chomp. "Slightly evil." Chomp. "And -"

"What?" Meryl screams.

I wince. Ooops. I said that last thing out loud. "What I mean is that, he's just lost the way. Misunderstood. You know. Lost," I finish weakly. I swallow the lump of dough that had stuck in my throat. "Donut?"

"And you intend to nurse him back to health and make him all good and pure. Is that it? Is that it?"

I grin, hoping the smile looks reassuring. Bonk. "Ow! Meryl! Why'd you have to hit me for?"

"For being an idiot you broomhead," she says.

There is silence in the room and I can sense Milly looking from me to Meryl to me to Meryl again, hesitant. "Ano . . ." she says.

"I guess you want me to leave then," I sigh to Meryl. I toss the last donut in my mouth and swallow hastily. Bonk. "OW! What the hell, woman?"

"Who said anything about you leaving? I just said you were an idiot."

"But - "

"Knives can permanently have my room. I don't want to sleep in it after he's been - " her mouth twisted distastefully. "I don't want to sleep in there anymore. You keep your room. I'll move in with Milly."

"But - "

She raised her fist. "What?"

"Uh, thanks."


A/N: More to come when I have time and when I feel the need to procrastinate again.