CHAPTER 13: THE EDGE OF THE SEA
At first, all he saw was blue.
Calm and peaceful, the warm waters surrounded him, encasing them in their gentle push and pull of current. Tiny dust particles floating by were caught by the twinkling light from overhead, making them shine like wandering stars in the deep blue sea. It felt so right, so safe.
He stirred. There was a light overhead, just as he remembered, glistening on the edge.
I have to go there. He thought.
This time, there was no fear and no pain as he swam up to the surface. For some reason, he knew the path was clear now, and a smile lit his face as he reached for the open air.
He closed his eyes as he broke through the surface, feeling the cool breeze on his wet skin mingling with the warmth of the sun above. He heard the sound of birds circling overhead and of waves crashing on land nearby. He opened his eyes.
Again, at first all he saw was blue.
This time, the blue of the sky was dotted with small white clouds that rolled by without a care, and the bright sun, just one, that hung at the two o'clock position in the deep azure sky.
White birds sailed high overhead, singing and speaking to each other as they flew. He floated on his back on the gentle bobbing water watching the birds play and sing for some time.
Eventually his eyes followed the path of one bird as it glided down lower on the horizon and came to rest on something. A rock? Curious, he turned over and began swimming toward the bird and it's perch.
As he came closer, he realized that the bird had landed on a beach. A brilliant white sandy beach that stretched nearly the length of the sea itself. And again, he felt the urge to reach the edge of the clear clean waters.
Without hesitation, he plunged headfirst through the crisp spray and began swimming to the gleaming shoreline. As he did, he seemed to catch glimpses of people, places, and words, but he didn't understand what these things meant. Some were happy images, some were not.
Maybe the answer is there. He thought, eyes fixed on the white strip of land.
As the beach got closer and closer, he began to make out shapes above the shore. Some became trees, green and lush. Some were hills, mountains, and rivers. Others became animals, darting amid the brush and trunks of the larger trees. A whole world stretched out before him.
I've seen this somewhere before... he mused. Before he knew it he felt the sandy sea floor underneath his feet. It felt so good to sink deep into the soft bottom as he waded closer to the shore.
Then something to his right caught his attention...another shape...different than the others. And it was slowly coming toward him, wavy and indistinguishable at first, it soon took on a clearer form.
Tall, with long dark hair that billowed in the soft breeze, and deep brown eyes, he gazed at the beautiful woman walking barefoot along the shore to where he stood, ankle deep in the lapping waves.
She stopped a few feet in front of him.
"I know you," he said wondrously, "don't I know you?"
"Yes, you do." She answered with a warm smile. "Although you forgot about me for a long time."
"What is this place?"
"It is where all souls who were lost come to find peace. We call it the Edge of the Sea. It connects the old world to the new." The woman held out her hand for him to take. Her long white dress flapped in the breeze as the sands sparkled and the sea hugged the edge of the world. Everything seemed perfect. Except...
"Why is it that we are the only ones on this beach?" He asked, hesitant to take her offered hand.
"Not everyone makes it to the Edge, for reasons of their own. Either they cannot find it, or they do not wish to come here. You are very lucky to have found your way here."
"Why can't I remember anything?"
For a moment the tall beautiful woman looked very sad, "You can remember, you are simply choosing not to. But I must tell you that if you wish to stay in this place with us, you must remember. You must first remember everything."
He nodded his head slowly, feeling strangely afraid at the prospect remembering, "How do I do it?" He finally asked.
The woman offered him her hand once more saying, "Take my hand and come onto the shore."
He took her hand and she pulled him up onto the warm white sand. The moment his feet felt dry land, every memory in his life came back over him like a single crashing wave. He staggered from the blow as the images shook his mind, but the woman held onto him so he wouldn't fall into the water again. Quickly as they came, the visions were gone and he was left gasping for air and clinging like a child to her dress. The woman lovingly stroked his short blonde hair.
"I'm glad you made it, Knives." She whispered.
Knives raised his eyes to look at her again; even though he knew who she was he still stared in disbelief. When the memories came, he had felt the fear and pain, just like before. But instead of fighting it, he had accepted it and had been surprised to find that instead of the anger and pain he'd felt before, his heart was felt somehow lighter. His last memory had been of his Vash and Meryl speeding safely away together in the escape pod. For a split second, he saw hundreds of faces of all colors and hues surrounded themselves by masses of feather filled wings. Then there was a brilliant light all around him. When he looked down, he saw the light was coming from his own body, glowing like a beacon. Such a feeling of peace, he'd never known before.
Then...nothing. Not until he woke up in the blue of the sea again.
But still, a small emptiness filled his heart. There was something missing.
"Was this what it all meant?" He breathed. "Was this what it was trying to tell me in my dreams? That I was meant to die? That my destiny was to fail?"
"No, Knives," the woman said, kneeling down in the sand with him. "You did not fail at your destiny. Through your last selfless act, you have created more life in your death than any other being in the history of the universe. But, it was still your choice to make. No one else could have made it for you."
Her brown eyes glinted in the bright sunlight as she tipped his chin up so she could see into his eyes, "When I sent you the dream," she spoke softly, "it was meant to be a message for you, that you still had a chance to change things. Both for you and the ones who loved you. Everyone deserves a second chance, my son." Then she cradled his face in her hands and kissed him softly on the forehead.
Knives broke down in her lap, his tears falling freely on her white dress as he cried and clung to her like a child who never had a chance to grow up. The hate of a hundred years washed away like the waves on that sandy white beach.
"I'm sorry," he sobbed, "I'm so sorry, Rem, for everything. Please...forgive me."
"Knives," she hushed, stroking his hair again, "I forgave you a long time ago. You're my son, and I will always love you."
Knives buried his head in her arms again and wept for what seemed like hours. But this time he cried tears of happiness as well. The emptiness was gone. He'd had to go back to the very beginning again, but he'd finally found the thing he wanted most.
Wrapped in the love and caring he'd longed for all his long life; Millions Knives fell into a peaceful dreamless sleep.
At peace at last, there, at the Edge of the Sea.
Vash was become increasingly aware of the warm weight pressed against his chest and the slight tickle of hair on his face. Shifting, he breathed out air to puff the strands from of his mouth and nostrils. The air around him was dusty and it tasted like grease and smoke, and...something else, something nice.
The outlaw opened his eyes, slowly adjusting to the musty dark of the small pod. When he saw Meryl curled up on top of him in the cramped space his breath hitched in his throat. She was alive, and she looked all right. And...and he was alive to! He nearly cried in relief as he touched her pale face is if it was fragile enough to break. She sighed and nuzzled into his touch, and he felt his heart jump again. If Knives had killed her didn't know what he would have done...
He sat up suddenly, bashing his head against the ceiling of the escape pod in his haste. "Ow! Maaan!" He whined, holding his spiky head where he knew a lump was sure to form.
Meryl stirred in his lap and Vash noticed how close they were to each other. In all the chaos of getting of the ship, he hadn't had time to be nervous or shy. But now, all he could see was her and the way she clung to him in her sleep. Her arms draped snuggly around his shoulders and her legs sandwiched between his own. Vash felt his heart thrum in his chest when she groaned.
"Meryl?" He whispered, half sorry that the moment had to end. "Meryl, wake up. Are you ok?"
"Hmm? What's...going...Vash!" She exclaimed when she opened her eyes wide enough to see him, flinging herself against his chest and hugging him with all her strength.
"Oh, Vash! You're alive! I'm so happy you're all right! I was so worried! Are you hurt at all?"
"Yeah, yeah I'm just fine," he laughed grabbing onto her so she wouldn't slide off his lap in all the excitement, "and you?"
Meryl flushed when he pulled her in, but managed to laugh in spite of it, "Yes, I think I'm all right."
Vash reached out his good hand and lightly touched her face.
"Ow..." she winced. There was still a good-sized bruise on her left cheek where Knives had struck her in the PTD.
"Sorry," Vash breathed and gingerly kissed the spot. Meryl felt her heart jump at his gesture and trained her eyes on her hands. She felt his hands leave her face and brush along down her arms only to rest on top of the folded hands she was staring at. Her skin felt alive with the sensations of his touch as he lifted her chin up so he could see her face. For the time being, nothing mattered, nothing existed except the two people tangled together in the dark.
The only light in the cramped pod was a dim red blinking bulb that flashed slowly on the broken display. Meryl could not see his face clearly as he slid his fingers along her jaw line and behind her neck, letting his hands move through her hair at its base. She leaned into his touch, the only sound audible was the sound of steady breathing and the blood pounding in their ears.
He shifted toward her and placed a kiss on her neck just behind her ear. She instinctively leaned in so they were pressed together on the small seat, her legs straddling him. The red light gave their bodies a burning look that matched the feelings beneath their skin. In the near dark, Meryl felt bolder than she'd ever been and placed her mouth tentatively on his shoulder kissing him lightly. She felt him shiver under her and felt for his face, careful not to poke him in the eye. Her hand met his lips somehow and he kissed her open palm before moving her arms around his neck.
Their heads came so close that Vash could feel her nose brush past his as he held her face in his hands. He hugged her closer and buried his face in the nape of her neck as she moved her hands over his back.
Vash was almost too wrapped up in the pleasant sensations to notice the little blinking blue light that began to flash on and off. He stopped and focused on it.
"Meryl," he said, bringing her out of her dreamy trance, "look at that."
She turned and found the button, "It's the one that starts the ship, right? But, I thought it didn't work?" She reached out and touched the blue dot of light.
Immediately the blue light faded and died, leaving the panel dark again.
"Vash," Meryl whispered, "if the controls on the pod weren't functional, then how did we...?"
Vash tapped the cracked blue button on the control panel and nothing happened. It had been dead the entire time, even through the escape itself.
"Knives..." Vash breathed, "he must have..."
"He saved us, didn't he?" Meryl said quietly.
Vash said nothing, but quietly nodded his head in agreement.
Hanging his head in acknowldgement, Vash thought back to the last seconds before the explosion. He'd felt the mental link between himself and his brother get staticy, like it was being blocked with difficulty. Vash knew Knives had done it to protect him from any metal kickback from the machine when it activated.
He quietly reached out his mind again, but all he found was silence. Knives was gone.
"Um...Vash?" Meryl ventured, "About what I said earlier, before we escaped...I..."
They both jumped when a loud banging came from outside the pod.
"Hello! Hey, is anyone in there?" A hard masculine voice shouted, shortly followed by a second voice, bright and feminine.
"Hello in there! Do you need any help?"
Vash and Meryl looked at each other before both calling out, "Milly? Wolfwood? Is that you?"
"Hey, I was right big girl!" The man's voice said with a hearty laugh, "It is them! Hey! Vash, you old dog! I knew you wanted to be alone with the small girl, but don't you think this is a little extreme!" They heard the priest guffawing just beyond the door.
"Oh, Nicholas, stop that," they heard Milly chastise him sweetly, "besides, they might want to be alone right now. Who knows? After today we might be godparents!"
There was a loud thump from inside the pod as both people inside conked their heads on the roof of the ship.
Wolfwood chuckled, "I think we better help them out of there after all, honey. Give me a hand?"
"Of course, dear," Milly trilled, "besides, I'm sure they wouldn't want to miss what's been going on out here anyway."
The door creaked slowly open as they pushed and pulled. Finally the heavy round portal gave way and fell to the side with a clang. Light poured into the small dark pod, momentarily blinding the two inside.
"Come on out you two, you won't believe your eyes."
Together, Vash and Meryl stepped out into the light.
All they saw was blue.
All around them, the world looked like it was covered in a blanket of green.
"Oh my..." Meryl gasped when she saw the miraculous sight in front of her. Not only was the ground covered in a layer of thin green grass, but also the grass looked like it was still growing before her eyes. Soon the whole desert that had once stretched out endlessly dry and barren was draped in rolling hills of long blowing grass. She had never seen anything so beautiful in her entire life.
Before she had a chance to say a word, a flash of brown and pink attacked her and began squeezing the life from her.
"Meryl!" The tall woman squealed. "I'm so glad you're ok, I was so worried about you, but when Mr. Vash said he was going to get you back I just knew everything was going to be fine!"
"Oof," Meryl patted her best friend on the shoulder, "thanks Milly, but I think you'd better let me go or else his trip may have been a waste." Milly loosened her grip but still hung onto the small insurance girl as she happily chirped away. It seemed that she and Wolfwood had been trying to track the two of them down for a couple of days.
"Tongari!" Wolfwood clapped his friend on the back, nearly making Vash fall flat on his face. "You're looking worse for the wear! Small girl over there likes if pretty rough, huh?" He jibbed, causing Vash to go as red as his old jacket and stammer like an idiot.
"Nicholas, that's enough, dear," Milly chided sweetly. She turned back to Meryl and continued her account. "We were about to turn around and go back home, Meryl, and it really was a coincidence that we saw your ship flying through the air at that exact moment. We really didn't know if it was you at first, but then Nicholas saw the writing on the side and it convinced him that you were really in there. What did it say again, dear?"
"SEEDS," he said flatly, "I'd seen that word before, and that's what convinced me." He gave Vash a sideways look and raised an eyebrow.
"Then of course," Milly continued, "that's when it happened."
"When what happened?" Meryl asked.
"There was this big flash of light from over there," Wolfwood pointed to the horizon, "that spread out over everything. After that, I don't know, we both lost consciousness for a while. I don't know how long we were out, but when we woke up everything was changed." He indicated the green grass, billowing like waves all around them.
Milly gave a giggle and raced up the nearest hill, "Come on, darling! Let's look at the valley!" She sang.
Wolfwood turned to follow her, but paused to look back over his shoulder at Vash, "I don't suppose you'd mind explaining all this to me someday, eh Tongari?" Then he grinned and climbed up over the hill.
Meryl stood transfixed, still unsure of what she was seeing. Part of her told her it was real, and another part of her was convinced she was in heaven somehow, it was all too beautiful.
Vash stepped foreword, snapping her out of her trance and quietly taking her hand. She turned to face him and noticed that his expression was mixed with unmistakable sadness.
"Come one you two," came Milly's voice from beyond the nearest mossy hill, "you don't want to miss this!"
The two of them walked in a daze over the rise of land to where Milly and Wolfwood both stood.
Before them, thousands of tiny buds were growing at a rapid rate. Some of those buds were snaking upward to the sky, twisting and branching out until huge leafy trees canopied the valley. Other buds blossomed out, exploding the valley in gallons of flowers and bushes and vines.
"It's a miracle." Milly said as she clung to Wolfwood's arm in awe.
Meryl felt Vash give her hand a gentle squeeze and she tore her gaze from the wonders below to look up at him. She was surprised to see tears glistening on his face as he watched the Eden unfold before him.
"Vash?" She said softly. "Vash, he did it, didn't he? He got the plant to work?"
"Yes. In the end, he sacrificed himself to save us all." Vash let his lower lip tremble as he spoke. "I...I should have tried to save him...there was still time...I could have..."
"There was nothing you could have done, Vash, and you know it." Meryl cut him off, stepping in front of him and grabbing both his hands. "Knives made his choice. It's what he wanted to do. There was no way you could have stopped him."
Vash looked down at her and at their hands laced together. She was right. Even he realized at the time that there was nothing he could have done to stop his brother. In the end it had been his choice and he had to respect that.
Letting out a long sigh, Vash gave her a small smile and pulled her toward him. "You're right." He said. "You were always right."
"I'm glad you're finally seeing reason, Mr. Stampede," she teased.
"I guess I just had to get some sense beaten into me, Insurance Girl," he fired back.
Meryl laughed and leaned her head against his chest. "Everything will be all right now, won't it?" She questioned, hearing his response rumble through her ear when he spoke.
"Yeah, everything's going to be great."
"Um, Vash..." she said, suddenly shy, "uh, about what I said in the pod back there. I, well...I mean, you don't have to give me an answer or anything. I just...It's something I've been meaning to tell you for a long time now, and I had to say it before...well...you..."
Vash stopped her in mid sentence by pressing his mouth against hers and kissing her with all the passion he's given her in the escape pod. Shocked stiff at first, Meryl soon relaxed into his arms and kissed him back with equal fervor.
Wolfwood opened his mouth to shoot a witty comment in their direction, but Milly clapped her hand over his mouth and dragged him away over the next hill. "Come on, dear, some things are better left unsaid."
Vash and Meryl never noticed as their two companions disappeared. Instead, they fell into the soft young grass underneath them, too wrapped up in each other to see the evening stars begin to dot the sky.
A gentle breeze swept up the hillside as they lay gazing out at the new forest below. Lazily, the breeze made its way through the tree tops and up until it reached them, blowing past them like a ghost.
Take care of her, and yourself, brother...
Vash sat up in a flash. Meryl had felt something as well and she sat up looking at the sky in wonder.
"What was that, Vash?" She whispered.
Vash stared intently at the night sky and listened for any other sound or sign, but there was nothing else. Sighing, he turned to the fragile, beautiful woman beside him and realized just how much he loved her. He was so grateful to her for loving him, grateful to Milly and Wolfwood for letting him see what a true relationship could be like, and in the end, grateful to his brother for making him see the truth about himself. Brother, he thought, I hope that wherever you are right now, you find some happiness of your own.
"Vash?" Meryl kissed him softly on the lips before leaning down against him. "You felt that to, didn't you? What was that?"
He looked up at the sky one last time before pulling her into his arms and falling back on the grass with her.
"An angel," He whispered, kissing her again, "just an angel watching over us."
Fifty summers later, the world was still as green as it had been the day Knives made his last atonement to mankind. The suns still arched overhead at their own leisurely pace, marking the days, the months, and the years. The moons, each with it's own distinctive shape, color, and in one instance, markings, still hung in the starry sky at night. Everything continuing on as it had since the beginning of its existence.
But some things are not made to last forever.
Vash the Stampede, the infamous outlaw who had passed into legend fifty years ago, a man who time could not touch, was losing the most important thing in his life today.
Meryl was eighty-three just last spring, and although time had been kind to the spirited insurance lady, the age of her human body had finally caught up with her. Her hair was streaked with steely gray, and her skin showed the many lines and wrinkles that came with old age. She'd developed arthritis a few years ago and couldn't handle her derringers anymore, so she put them away in a drawer for one of her children, or their children.
One of her many joys as she'd grown older had been to watch Vash play with the little ones.
She remembered the day she announced he was going to be a father. He'd been beside himself with excitement, even though the pair of them had been terrified at the prospect of a plant/human baby at first. They had no idea of knowing if the pregnancy would go all right, or if the baby would be able to function in the world.
In the end, everything had gone just fine and Meryl had given birth to a healthy set of twins, a boy and a girl who they named Brad and Rem. Even though Meryl swore she would never go through another labor like that again, she ended up doing it twice more. By the time she was finished, she and Vash had four healthy happy children.
The third was a girl who they named Tessla, but their last child was harder to name. It took Vash years to be able to talk openly about his brother again, and by that time Meryl was busy with the twins. They both agreed they should honor him somehow, but naming their child Knives was almost like asking for trouble.
"From everything you told me about Rem," Meryl once said, "it really surprises me that she'd name a child something violent, like Knives."
"Well, Knives wasn't really his first name," Vash replied, holding up one arm as Brad did pull-ups on it while expertly changing Tessla with the other hand.
He's like a fish in water when it comes to the kids, Meryl thought. "You never told me Knives had another name, Vash. What was it?"
"Alex." Vash answered, giving Tessla her bottle while thumb wrestling with Brad on the floor.
"Alex?" Meryl let the name roll over in her mind for a while. "So it was Vash and Alex, huh?"
"Yeah, he didn't start calling himself Knives until after the first six months. I think it was after the first time we got beaten up by Steve." Vash gave her a sad smile.
Meryl knew all about Steve and the history of the twins. "Alex sounds wonderful." She said, giving him a quick kiss.
The two of them lead a quiet happy life with their four children for many blessed and peaceful years. They were never married, but lived to see their children find wives and husbands and start families of their own. The last time Meryl counted, she and Vash had eighteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren on the way. There seemed to be an odd disposition for twins in the family.
Milly and Wolfwood got married the year of The Rebirth, as people had started to call it. They had eight children and ran the orphanage in town, which Wolfwood had renamed, The Chapel Home for Children.
Everything was perfect for many many years.
Then one spring day five years ago, Wolfwood, at eighty-seven, laid down for his afternoon nap, and never woke up again. Milly had been devastated, and Vash and Meryl had been right by her side the whole time along with their two families. The Wolfwood's had been like a second home for the Stampede kids. All of them remembered Uncle Nicholas's fantastic stories and Aunt Milly's home baked chocolate pudding cookies. It was a hard day for all of them when they buried him out by the big oak tree.
And now it was happening again.
Meryl lay back on her and Vash's bed, propped up by pillows. The doctor said there was nothing else he could do for her and it was now only a matter of time. He'd left them alone to say goodbye. The children were all outside with Aunt Milly guarding the door; waiting quietly for the head of their family to come out and tell them their mother and friend was gone. Vash the Stampede knelt by the bedside of his lover, his friend and his companion, tears streaming down his face, his strong hand firmly holding her frail one.
There, surrounded by her family and the love of her life, Meryl regretted none of the past fifty years. Just being together with Vash, sharing his hardships and his joys was enough for her. She could die content knowing that he would continue to live, that he would never be lonely again so long as their children were around. He would always have a little part of her with him now.
Meryl lifted a weathered old hand and laid it on his smooth youthful face. She could feel the wet tears on his cheeks and the tremble of his lips as he quietly sobbed.
"Shh," she hushed him softly, "we both knew this day would come, Vash. Please, don't cry. You made me so happy."
"Don't go, Meryl." Vash choked, looking at her in quiet despair. "I don't want to be alone."
"You're not alone, Vash. You never were." Meryl whispered. She could feel her heartbeat fading as she ran her fingers through his unruly spiky blonde hair. "I will always be with you now."
Vash kissed her hand and laid his head on her shoulder, lacing his fingers through hers.
"Thank you." He sighed. "Thank you for loving me. And for our family. I promise I'll look after them after..."
Meryl put her weary arms around his shaking frame and held him close. He meant too much to her, she didn't want to leave him or her children, but she knew she had no choice. And he was right; he would look after them all so none of them would ever be alone either. Meryl smiled and sighed contentedly.
"Vash, you are a wonderful man, and you are a wonderful father, and I...I,"
But Meryl never finished her thought. Her head slumped to the side and her eyes slowly closed, the last words dying on her lips just seconds before she followed them.
Vash's hands shook as he carefully gathered up her fragile body in his arms and rocked back and forth on the bed, crying into her hair and kissing her face. He knew she was right, and he would survive this like he'd done everything else. Their family and the memories of their time together would be enough to sustain him. But just then, he wanted to stay with her, for just a little bit longer, cradling her in his arms as he had done so many times before.
"I love you to..." Vash breathed through his tears, finishing her last sentence for her.
As she slipped away from the world, Meryl began to feel lighter and lighter, until it was as if she was floating away on a breeze. Behind her closed eyes, she began to see dazzling sparkles of light, like ripples on water.
When she opened her eyes again, all she saw was blue.
It was so peaceful and warm in the blue, like being under water. She looked up and saw a brilliant display of crystalline light playing across the surface of the water, and so many different colors that it reminded her of a dancing garden of flowers. Familiar somehow...
She had an unmistakable urge to reach out for it, so she began swimming upward, hands stretching out to grab hold of the flitting racing petals of light.
The cool breeze caressed her skin as she broke through the surface of the water and felt the warm sun. White birds circled serenely overhead, calling and playing in the deep blue sky. It was then she realized that the hands she was holding up to the sky were the hands of a young woman, and that her body felt strong and full of energy, just as it had when she was young. Although, strangely, she couldn't clearly remember ever having been old. She lay on her back in the gentle waves and let it carry her for a long time as she watched the birds dance above her.
Something off to the right caught her attention. Not too far away was a strip of white sandy beach that seemed to fill the entire horizon. Pulled toward it, she swam the rest of the way until she could feel the sandy sea bottom under her bare feet. Just beyond the beach was a forest of thick dense trees and lush green grass. Over the forest rose mountains and hills. Everything was so full of life and peace; she almost didn't notice the presence in front of her.
Before her on the beach, stood a man.
He was tall with light blonde hair and eyes the color of the sea behind her. The wind whipped the loose white shirt he was wearing around his body as he stood with a tranquil smile on his handsome face.
"I know you." She whispered.
The man's smile broadened and he held out a hand for her to help her onto the beach.
She took his offered hand and stepped onto the warm white sands.
In a moment her eyes snapped up and she stared in wonder at the man in front of her.
"You remember now, don't you?" He said warmly.
"Yes...I do," Meryl started, taking in her surroundings, "but...I don't understand."
"I've been sent to welcome you." He answered, and pulled her into a warm hug. There was no awkwardness or rush of blood, just the calm comfort and safety of their embrace. Meryl latched her arms around his back and returned the hug to the man who'd once vowed to kill her. With that smile on his face and his eyes as calm as the sky, he actually looked much more like his brother than he did while he was alive.
ILLUSTRATION: Meeting You (Got to Ricki's Trigun Anime Page under Mabel's Fan Art)
A sudden sadness made her back away from him as she thought about the man she'd left behind.
"And Vash?" She questioned, knowing he would understand her.
Knives smiled again and led her back to the edge of the shore.
"He'll be fine, Meryl," he reassured her, "all of them will. If you look into the sea you can see them sometimes, this is, of you want to." He gave her a sideways look and winked.
"I want to." Meryl replied, and she stared hard at the lapping waves in front of her. Then she saw him. The image was blurry at first, like it was underwater, but gradually it came into focus. He was playing with the grandchildren, little Alex's sons who, naturally, had their grandfather in a strangle hold on the floor. Meryl laughed and shook her head.
The image of Vash raised his head suddenly and looked around, as if he'd heard her. Then he gazed up into the sky and smiled, his eyes shinning with understanding.
ILLUSTRATION: Watching You (Go to Ricki's Trigun Anime Page under Mabel's Fan Art)
"Thank you." Meryl whispered.
Knives smiled and held her hand. The two of them stood and continued to watch the waves until the one sun sank low on the horizon, bathing everything in gold, there at the Edge of the Sea.
Thank you everyone for support me and the Edge of the Sea. Please R & R and let me know what you think. Special arigato to Ricki-chan and her reverse beta reading!! Until next time...Love and peace!