Silent Pretense
To Ever Contend

AN: This is not edited.

Knives was never a particularly early riser, he never saw the raw need for mornings. Anything you did in the morning could be accomplished just as well in the afternoon. Vash knew this, so when he heard the loud banging against his room he jolted awake thinking the worst. That some old enemy had returned to have a last go with him. He groaned, falling back into bed when he saw Knives outside hammering away at the siding of the house.

'Wait, what?' He thought, and threw his covers back only taking a moment to stretch his limbs before approaching his window. He yanked open his window and threw his head out the window, immediately getting hit in the face by a metal tool.

Outside Knives stopped his hammering when he realized he had hit his brother in the face. He leaned inside the window seeing his twin lying unconscious on the floor. "Oh, I didn't quite see you there Vash," he said not truly sounding like he hadn't. "You know, you're more pleasant like this." He added to his passed out brother as he resumed work on the siding of the house.

Eventually his banging woke Millie and Meryl and Meryl, of course, was the one to stomp outside.

"Knives!" She barked in annoyance and he spared her a glance, raising a brow when he saw she was still in her night clothes.

"Couldn't be bothered with showering before gracing the outside world?" He asked in slight disdain.

Meryl huffed in annoyance and folded her arms. "What the hell are you doing? It's seven in the morning and you woke the whole house up!"

"You ask the most ridiculous questions sometimes. What does it appear that I am doing?"

Meryl studied him for a moment before turning her attention to the house, her eyes widened in shock. Planks of wood littered the ground accompanied by various nails screws, and other pieces of hardware; a set of tools were resting immaculately in a tool box that was against the house. "Are you destroying the house?!"

Knives looked at her dismayed, "no you insufferable woman, I'm fixing this dump; I've decided that if I must live here, the house ought to be presentable. The roof I fixed earlier is definitely far superior to its older version. I thought why not do the same for the rest of this structure?"

Meryl narrowed her eyes as she studied the plant before her. He looked the same, he sounded the same, but he wasn't acting the same.

"Why are you bothering?" She asked carefully.

"What else am I to do all day? Do you imagine me to go out and get a job amongst your people like my half brained idiot sibling?"

"What will you do once you've completed the renovations on the house?"

"They'll never stop."

"Excuse me?"

"Even if this house ends up being larger than the entire town itself I'll continue to build."

"…why?"

"I already told you, have you no ears anymore? What else am I to do all day?"

"You could help me with the cooking; cleaning… things need to be cleaned everyday with all the sand blowing around."

Knives scoffed, "that's human female work, I won't subject myself to it."

Meryl's eye twitched as she clenched her hands to her side, "Millie goes to work all the time."

"She is hardly a woman in her gargantuan state. Now leave me alone, I can't fix this wall with you staring at me like that. Go do something."

Meryl was two seconds away from losing her cool but she swallowed her pride and stomped back into the house, stopping when she saw Millie peering outside of the window.

"What is Mr. Knives doing Meryl?"

"Apparently he's fixing the house," she muttered, the irritation in her voice was hard to cover.

"Oh," Millie looked puzzled. "Why?"

"He says its because he has nothing better to do with his time."

"So then Mr. Knives is staying here?" Millie asked a little surprised, and her question caught Meryl off guard slightly as she thought about it.

"I guess so…" she said softly as she peeked back out at Knives, allowing a small smile to grace her lip. She turned her attention back to Millie when the larger woman released a long yawn, "well I'm going to go shower. I don't think I can fall back asleep with the banging."

The petite woman nodded and watched her friend disappear into the bathroom. Deciding she wanted coffee she turned to the kitchen and started brewing a large pot. She melted into a dining chair, releasing her own yawn before groaning as the banging continued. Would they really have to live with the sound of Knives' "little" project for as long as they lived?

As she poured herself a mug of black coffee she decided that it was better than the alternative. When Knives had said that he had grown fond of her she wondered if the plant knew the feeling was reciprocated.

"Pour me a mug."

She jumped slightly at the sound of Knives' voice and turned around to scowl at him for sneaking up on her before she did so. Handing the mug to him he sat at his usual place at the dining table, his posture perfect as he sipped carefully. For a murderer he really was the epitome of regal.

"I'm surprised Vash is still asleep with your banging," she stated lightly.

"He isn't really, well he's asleep just not from nature causes," Knives replied equally lightly, smirking somewhat at Meryl's bewildered face. "Now then, what shall we do today?"

Meryl choked on her coffee and began to cough as Knives eyed her tiredly. "What do you mean?" She eventually managed to get out.

"Once I've completed with what I wanted to finish today, what would you want to do the remainder of the afternoon?"

Meryl narrowed her eyes and stood back from her chair, leaving her coffee on the table top. Knives watched her curiously as she began walk around him eyeing him, looking him over.

"Knives?" She asked softly, wondering.

"What?" He barked irritated, she was giving him a slight headache with the way she was circling him.

"It is you," she said her voice filled with awe.

"What are you getting at?"

"Why are you so different?!" She demanded forcefully. "Taking it upon yourself to fix the house forever, getting up early in the morning to do so, wanting to do something today. Why are you acting this way, what are you up to?"

"Are you normally so suspicious?"

"Don't change the subject."

Pushing his coffee away Knives stood and stepped directly in front of Meryl looking down at her, placing their faces inches apart. "I'm not," he answered directly. "I've decided to stay here, partly because of you, partly because of my brother."

"…why?" She asked softly. "Because you are fond of me? What does that even mean?"

"Vash tell you about Rem?" Knives asked backing away from her.

"…yes. He said I reminded him of her."

"In looks, in simple thoughts, but that is where the similarities end. I could not stand that woman, hence the reason I was not as distraught as Vash when she died foolishly. But, while I did not care for her, I always wanted someone like her. Vash loved her above everything, maybe above me; I don't care as much anymore. You are my Rem, and as such we ought to spend time together."

Meryl stared at him critically a frown finally making its way onto her lips, "this is what you really want? To live here, fixing this house alongside humans?"

Knives raised an eyebrow before he sat back down, "of course not."

She let out a frustrated sound, "then don't do it!"

He smirked looking her over, and Meryl thought for a moment that she'd seen a slight flicker of…no, she shook her head. She couldn't possibly have seen a faint glimmer of defeat on Knives' face.

"What is my alternative, leave? Yes I suppose I could do that, I'm not fond of being under my brother's watchful and weary gaze, but as we have agreed upon I have developed an interesting attachment to you."

"You're staying for me."

"And for my brother."

"You're staying?" Meryl whipped her head to the side at the sound of Vash's voice, but Knives didn't look moved.

"I am, don't worry, I'll be good," Knives smirked.

"I'm…going to…head for the shower…see if Millie is done," Meryl spoke up softly, retreating to the back of the house, leaving Knives and Vash to talk.

Once Vash was sure she was out of earshot he sat across from his brother.

"Coffee?" Knives questioned as he took hold of his own mug.

"No…thanks for asking…what if I don't want you to stay?" Vash suddenly asked eyeing his brother. Knives didn't look all that surprised that he had fashioned such a question and he merely sipped his coffee for a moment as if thinking over what his brother had said.

"But you do, deep down at least. Your jealousy is merely blinding you a bit, but what would you do if I left? I know you find it your personal responsibility to look after me, for whatever reason, so you're quite torn aren't you brother? If I stay I'm a distraction, if I go my absence will be a distraction. Besides, eventually Meryl will die, everyone around us will die and we, as usual, will be the only one's left standing. Could you stand to live in loneliness?"

"Stop Knives, that won't be for a long time," Vash interrupted. He didn't like to think of the future too much, it didn't seem bearable at times. He squeezed his eyes shut and thought of something that plagued him constantly. Her last words to him.

"Vash, take care of Knives!"

"Ah, those were her last words to you were they?" Knives scoffed, as he read his brother's intense thoughts. He stood and backed away from his chair, "you are foolish Vash. I am not a child any longer, I can take care of myself perfectly and if for a minute I am unable," Knives glanced at the back of the house where they could both hear Millie and Meryl getting ready, "she will." Knives gave his other half a brilliant smile, "you can love her all you want brother, but don't ever forget she is mine."

For all the slight pain he was feeling regarding the heavy burden he felt he carried Vash stared up at his twin standing to meet him in the eye. They stood staring at each other their almost identical eyes staring into each other. The identical smirk fastened on both their lips. There was a hint of a challenge and as it were, neither of them backed away from a challenge.

As far as Vash was concerned where they stood would always be shaky ground, especially where Meryl was concerned. But, as of yet, Meryl had not chosen who she preferred. He had not been rejected and Knives had not been fully accepted.

"Far better," Knives spoke up, invading the fierce electric build that was gaining between them "It was obnoxious seeing you so passive and depressed, this fire suits you much better. Now I see how we're related."

"Speaking of this fire inside me…you knocked me on the head with that hammer on purpose didn't you?" Vash seethed, causing Knives to laugh, though he sobered up rather quickly.

"I did no such thing, your head was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

"Don't get on me about! You did do it on purpose!"

As the boys continued their rare lighthearted banter Meryl had creeped up silently from her bedroom to watch them. She had heard bits of their conversation and her face had gone warm over it, but she had not interrupted. Instead she opted to view them together. They were powerful beings the two of them, and if they ever worked together they would be quite the force. It was probably a blessing that the didn't get along all that well.

She studied Vash for a moment, the man who loved her, the one she had once loved. Eventually she would have to tell him exactly what went on her mind when she thought of him, she couldn't avoid it forever since they lived in the same house.

Meryl then turned her attention to Knives. The one who caused all their problems to begin with. He called her, his Rem, and she was still very unsure of what exactly that meant and what it entailed for her. Rem for Vash was a mother, a guardian, a teacher. She could not help think Knives did not want any of that from her, and she hesitated to think what he did want from her. They had been through a lot together, a lot of strange things. That could be reason enough for why he didn't feel the need to part from her. Choosing not to make any wild assumptions she gathered her confidence and decided it was time to stroll back into the kitchen and start a breakfast. Besides, Knives and Vash's argument was starting to turn somewhat sour.

She wondered how they would live together, as nothing was truly resolved or agreed upon. It was an odd gathering of people, well, two people and two plants. One holding a very dangerous grudge, but Meryl figured they would work on it. They had a lot of things they would have to work on and she sighed at the thought. She would think about it all later, first and foremost. Breakfast.

The days of staying silent were over and she was very anxious over their very unseen future.

End of Silent Pretense

AN: I don't like it but that's life. Alright, before I hear the cries of injustice and how there are so many loose ends there could be an epilogue. Probably, I want there to be one, but I wonder if I'll get around to ever writing it. We all know Trigun isn't my thing anymore. Prerogative is very close to being discontinued and this story ended okay, but not quite how I originally wanted (whatever that was). I apologize for the lack of updates, but, well, sorry.

Now you as reviewers have two options. Deal with the ending I've given OR press me for an epi, keep in mind it might not be that great, and it could take another year. As we all know this was SUPPOSED to be KMV, and it sorta was, but its sort of a cop out isn't it, since at this point no one actually got Meryl.

/loud groan/ I'm so sorry. If I had thought I wouldn't finish the story and leave things like this I never would have bothered to write it. And for awhile I was thinking of just leaving it in unfinished glory, but I kept getting reviews…and a bit of harassment (which wasn't appreciated by the way) and so I tried to buckle down and write. This is what I got. I'm not happy. Le sigh.

And to think I'm going to co-write a new Trigun story with someone. Well, that's still the future.

If anyone is curious I'm still going to pump out AT LEAST one more chapter of Prerogative because I did have an interesting plot twist for the story and I still want to write it. It…just might never be resolved. Damn. Oh well.

Now then, THANK YOU SO MUCH! To all of you and your never ending support and emails and reminders to get me to finish! Most of it was appreciated and I really never did stop thinking about the story, I just…stopped caring. But I love you all, even though I am the worst writer in regards to updates on Trigun. Thanks again everyone/kisses and hugs/

Yours truly,
Faery Goddyss