By Selenity Jade
Disclaimer: I don't own Trigun. Nightow-sama does and the companies who purchased the rights to it.
Notes: Written for 30Kisses Livejournal community.
Beta: Thank you, Merrick!
She watched him without appearing to do so. At first, it was because she was afraid of him and kept watching for signs he'd turn on them. He had insanely attempted to change his twin by killing off the people Vash loved. What was to stop him from trying again? Especially the way he behaved.
From the moment he woke up after Vash had brought him to them bleeding and unconscious, Knives was silent. For months, he didn't speak where she could hear him. She still didn't know what his voice sounded like. She wasn't even sure he was speaking to his twin and she knew Milly hadn't heard him speak despite the larger woman's attempts at bringing the man out.
Vash had had to warn Milly off in that fumbling way of his.
She was unwilling to question Vash about his twin; she didn't want to ask anything that might upset the fragile, almost explosive, balance they had achieved in this small house.
Knives ignored them all. It was as if all life had gone out of the man. From what she had heard about him before Vash went to fight, Knives was nothing like the one she was forced to associate with, if it could be called that.
He lived there with them in any case.
He stayed away from her and Milly whenever possible; Meryl was positive it was on purpose.
Even Vash seemed worried about him. He was like a man who had lost everything, existing but not really living. As if being beaten had destroyed a part of him.
So she watched him whenever she could. She watched for signs he was going to release all he was holding in that stoic exterior. She studied him for signs of the insanity that had led him to try to destroy his own brother.
After months, she ruefully had to admit, she simply watched him now. He was fascinating to observe when she could get away with it. Though for all he noticed her, she could have stared openly at him. He never turned towards her. He glanced at Milly with those blue eyes more than he looked her way – if he had at all – if only because Milly persisted in bringing him meals sometimes. Milly never could hold a grudge and she seemed to have forgotten this lanky man was the cause of Wolfwood's death.
Never mind that Vash and Knives weren't really men at all, but plants. It didn't matter. After she had finally accepted that Vash wasn't human, it was much easier to accept that his twin wasn't and it rarely crossed her mind, except when Knives seemed to purposely snub them as lesser than he.
She wondered what he thought about since he refused to break that silence he had started for whatever reason. Maybe because the two women were beneath his notice and his twin had beaten him, proved to him that he couldn't continue doing as he pleased regarding this planet and the people here?
Or maybe he felt betrayed by his brother?
She didn't know and couldn't begin to guess what went on in his mind, so she watched him day after day, careful to make her observance unobtrusive.
When she had started watching him just to watch him move, open a door, drink from a glass, she realized that she no longer watched him for signs of impending doom, but instead she watched him for signs of life in that expressionless face. He would never glance up when she entered a room, his white blond head bowed over the table or the sink. He walked past her without glancing down from his great height. It was if to him, she didn't exist.
She felt Vash come up behind her as she watched Knives sit listlessly on the fence in the yard.
"He's still out there."
"Yes," Meryl agreed.
"He's not going anywhere."
He laughed, brushing his hand over the ends of her hair like a soft breath from a kiss. "He won't disappear the moment you take your eyes off of him, Meryl."
She blushed. "I'm not-!"
"Don't worry," the spiky blond said with a gentle smile. "I think it would be a very good thing for him and for you."
The gunman laughed putting his hands up in a placating gesture. "I'm going out now; Milly needs supplies for dinner."
Meryl forced herself to stop blushing and nodded curtly at the tall man. "Alright. Don't spend too much."
He shook his head in amusement – she didn't know why – and left the kitchen. Meryl found her eyes immediately seeking the tall, lanky form in the yard and nearly gasped when she found he wasn't there.
Vash walked out of the house, into her line of view, and continued towards the gate. He paused near the large water tower and appeared to be talking to it. It wasn't until a shadow disengaged from the tree did she realize Knives had been standing beneath it. He didn't answer his twin, but turned and started back towards the house.
Meryl found herself wishing he'd look over here. Just once. Just one glance to let her know he knew she existed.
He entered the house in the same silence that had become so commonplace for him, never glancing towards the kitchen window she watched from.
AN: Hmmmm. I kind of like this fic, I guess. I may write a one-shot sequel to this, I'm not sure. We'll see. ;