Every Heart For Years

A/N: This is an AU, so don't be so surprised if characters are by OOC by certain degrees, but certain parts of the story originally follow along.

Prologue

Love, it's a funny thing. When your little, most parents shower you with the attention and love you crave. However as you grow older, you desire more. Love from someone else. To have someone else's heart belong to you and likewise. To be alone is probably the hardest thing in life. Even the most evil of people, they have their lackeys, and in a way, that is their family… their 'love'.

Milly Thompson… the girl I grew up with. My best friend, certainly a bright minded woman, but getting her to use that mind, well… that can be a problem sometimes. She thinks with her heart, which I used to think was something I'd want to do. At the age of eighteen, she married a man… Nicholas D. Wolfwood. A man made for her quite literally. However just after a year of happy marriage, he shot himself. No one knows why exactly, but Milly insists he was murdered. And somewhere inside, I agree.

Though Milly remarried, she married someone… or more something that was much more violent than Wolfwood, however when it came to Milly he was the sweetest guy ever, if you looked past the façade he often gave. He's the brother of the famous outlaw. The one that destroys the towns and villages around him faster than anyone can rebuild them. Knives isn't exactly… gentle, but he cares for Milly and hell, I'll even say it. He loves her. And he also seems positive that his brother is the one who killed Nick and he wants to find his 'dear' brother.

So in the end, I guess even family can't save you. The loving bond that you hold to someone through blood can't save you. That's where I swore off love. Well… that love that consumes you completely. To find that one person you love so dearly that you couldn't live without… I swore I would live without him. There is only one problem with that I never thought about. You don't get to pick. You don't get to choose. You don't have a say.

And you certainly can't help the way you feel.

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" He's near, I can feel him." Knives growled out as he stared at the city below them from the cliff. Milly let out a half whimper and suddenly latched herself onto his arm. " I can't believe he did all this… in one night?" Knives simply nodded and let his wife cling to his arm, a half annoyed look sat on his face. Not too far to the right of him, he spied Mily's best friend Meryl staring at the city in disbelief.

" Why are you here? I mean, I can understand Milly but you…" Meryl snapped a glare towards Knives, who simply smirked at her. Always trying to get me to leave. Yeah right, like I'd leave Milly alone with HIM. Snorting slightly, she waved a hand towards him and turned on a heel, starting down the cliff. " It's my job. I'm a bodyguard, and Milly's father hired me to be her guard." Knives pulled his arm free from Milly's grasp and motioned her to follow Meryl.

Somehow Milly found a smile and hurried to catch up with her 'sister'. " I know Daddy said to follow me, but really… Knives can protect me." Meryl simply raised her brow a little towards the taller woman before shaking her head. " I'm not just your guard but your best friend Milly. I won't leave you alone to face this. If this… man really did kill Nick, I want to be there for you." Okay maybe it's a little more. I feel as though I should be here… maybe even ahead. Sighing softly, she looked over at Milly who looked slightly depressed.

" Sorry it's just…" Milly let out a half squeal and giggle, shaking her head a little. " It's in the past. Nicky is happy, I know it. For me, you, the family… even Knives." Meryl inwardly groaned, somehow doubting that Wolfwood would have ever approved of Knives… though whatever made Milly happy, the Priest did seem to approve of. Shaking her head a little, it seemed Knives had appeared out of nowhere next to Milly, the ever present scowl on his face. " I can't stop him, you both know that, but I still want to see him."

Knives always seems so persistent to see his brother. The way he talks about him it's as though the man doesn't know what he would want. For him to stop or him to just keep following. Meryl let out a groan as they turned and started down the path towards the city ruins. Fresh smoke still came up from between the cracks of the rubble. Meryl groaned softly and tried to swat the smell from her nose, but it didn't matter what she did, her eyes watered and blurred her vision.

" Split up like always?" She muttered, but Knives caught it and gave a nod. Taking Milly's hand, he led her straight through the city. Taking a left turn into what she assumed to be an old street, Meryl wrapped her arms around herself, wiping at her eyes with the back of her hand now and then. So what is he supposed to look like again? Red coat, blond hair, and as tall as Knives? Well that's such a great description. Running her fingers through her short hair, trying to remember what exactly Knives had said to her if she should ever meet his brother.

" He's evil. He goes for the plants first. He'll destroy those and while the people of the town, village, city whatever, try to fix them, he goes about killing off their families. Eventually he gets bored and simply destroys the rest of the town with one strike. Just because he can, and I suggest if you meet him, you run and hide. You'll know it too. Red coat, slightly blonder hair than me and longer… he may even still keep it spiked. A large silver gun, that's what you'll most likely see first."

Meryl blinked slightly. The chances of survival in this kind of wreckage were impossible. Yet she had a feeling that their 'trio' wasn't the only ones in the town. Rounding another corner, she tried to keep track of all the turns she was taking. It could become very easy to get lost in this sort of destruction. Her mind started to wander again at one of the few times Knives ever even muttered something towards her.

" He's got excellent aim. So chances of winning a draw against him are unlikely. He feels nothing for whom he kills. Women, children, and men… they're all the same to him. Chances of living around him are small. He doesn't like to let people live. He'll stay in a town days after destroying it, picking off people who come to help or to find him." "So how do you know all this?" " Simple. I used to follow him. Sometimes I even helped. However he left me behind after I was shot. Said I was a lost cause. That's when Milly took me in."

Somewhere inside, Meryl wasn't sure if that had even been the right thing to do. Knives was rather violent at first when Milly tried to help him, but unlike her, he never harmed her. Once or twice he had actually cut her open with his rants and raves about being a weak link and how humans were the most annoying things he had ever met. He even ranted that he and his brother had been sent to Gunsmoke to simply kill the humans. Thankfully, he never did cause her much damage, especially after he seemed to realize how much Milly was caring for him… about him.

Milly had that affect on people, unlike her. She worked constantly around the town, mostly as a waitress at the local café, but when they needed a skilled bodyguard, they called her. After her mother died at the age of seven, her father started giving her lessons in guns. Slowly, she was becoming the most skilled 'gunman' in over one thousand iles. And then her father was shot. Murdered. A gang that had been formed to chance the 'legendary' outlaw, and came into the town, ordering free drinks, company and places to stay. Her father stood up to them, and went down doing the same.

Meryl stopped in the middle of the alleyway, where two buildings fell towards each other, creating a very dark and smoky walkway into what felt like nothingness. Thinking of her father, it always gave her courage. Taking a deep breath, she continued into the dark, which seemed to lead into one of the few still standing buildings. The room was small and very empty. Only a chair rested in the center, and sitting on the chair was a man. She couldn't see his face at all, since he was staring down at the floor.

He could have been dead for all she knew. She hadn't thought of bringing a light with her, so she couldn't even make out what he was wearing. She simply saw the etched lines of someone sitting before her. Something familiar came off him in waves, something that both frightened her, and yet urged her forward. " Ex-excuse me sir?" Wimp… she growled slightly as she saw his shoulders rise a little before a snort was close to follow.

" Sir? Now that is something no one has ever called me." The voice was almost dead sounding. Flat, harsh and very cold, she could have sworn he wasn't even moving his mouth, had not been for the little bit of light. Twitching her nose softly, she took a step towards him reaching towards his shoulder. The smoke in her eyes caused her to blink, and as she opened her eyes, she found herself staring straight down the barrel of a gun. A silver gun.

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Okay first of all, no this not going to be like changing Vash into Knives. There are reasons, which of course will come up later! And for those of you who didn't guess, it's Mery's thoughts at the beginning.

I also forgot my disclaimer. I don't own Trigun, but believe me, I wouldn't mind owning Vash. R&R Pwease?