A/N: I finally get to start my pre-series fic. This has been two years in the making, and after all this time it's posted. I guess there's nothing left to say except happy reading! -NB-

Disclaimer: I will only say it once. Own Trigun, I do not. Any extra characters are of my own doing and therefore belong to me. Simple as that.

Out of the Gunsmoke

By: Neptune Butterfly

Prologue: The Kiss

He sat in silence as the tall insurance girl got the sandwiches wondering what had come over him. Crying wasn't his thing. But after everything that happened, he couldn't hold himself back any longer.


A sandwich appeared in front of the priest's face. His grayish-blue eyes stared at it for a moment before they moved to the holder's face. A kind smile and a pair of light blue eyes met him, urging him to go ahead and eat.

"Thank you," Wolfwood gratefully accepted.

Milly continued to smile as she took out a second sandwich from the bag on the table and pulled up a chair. The priest bent down to pick up the coffee mug he dropped earlier. "I can get you more coffee if you like."

Wolfwood came back up with the cup and looked at her. "Nah. It's okay, Big Girl."

The two of them ate, lost in their own thoughts. All Wolfwood kept thinking about was what he had done and what he was about to do.

He killed a child. Breaking a promise he made to God and himself. Even so, he crossed that line to save his friends' lives without question. And he was about to betray them; Meryl, Milly, and worst of all, Vash.

Wolfwood had a great deal of respect for the Humanoid Typhoon, but his lofty ideals didn't fit the world they live in. 'All the more reason I was willing to protect him,' he thought. 'And I'd do the same for the insurance girls.' Their own values closely matched Vash's. Why else would Meryl allow him to negotiate with someone who is holding a gun to her head. 'Talk about trust. And Milly. She's a more innocent reflection of him.'

"Mr. Wolfwood?"

"Hm?" The priest came back to reality, and realized that he was staring. "Oh sorry," he laughed nervously, "I didn't mean to scare you like that."

Milly had a good idea of what the priest was thinking about. "It's alright. You must have a lot on your mind.

"Yeah, I do..."

"Say, Mr. Wolfwood--"

"--You don't have to call me 'Mr.' Just Wolfwood or Nicholas." They were friends after all.

She nodded. "Wolfwood, can you tell me about your church? About the kids? You said you ran an orphanage."

"I did didn't I?" There was a bittersweet edge in his voice and smile. "Well, only if you tell me more about you're family."

Milly giggled. To Wolfwood, it was the most comforting sound in the world at the moment. "Of course Wolfwood!" She remembered to take off the 'Mr.' "I'll be happy too!"

Anything to take their minds off the last few days...

The light coming from the window had grown dim, and the wind outside shook its panes signaling an oncoming sandstorm. The insurance girl took note of it as she realized how late it was.

"...I guess I better go. Meryl will be so worried." Milly began to pick up trash from their meal.

Despite everything, the last three hours made Wolfwood feel happy. Happier than he felt in a long time. The young woman in front of him somehow gave him a sense of hope and peace during his darkest hour. But when tomorrow came, it will be gone.

Something inside him said it wouldn't come to that if he could make her stay just a little longer.

She turned to Wolfwood and smiled. "I'll go throw this away for you 'kay?" Meaning the wad in her hands. The brunette tossed it into a bin in the corner and turned to leave. "Goodnight!"

'Please, don't leave yet.' "Milly..."

The insurance girl stopped and turned back around at the doorway, a little surprised. The priest rarely used her real name. She saw his desperate smile which made her own falter slightly. "Yes?"

Wolfwood lifted himself off the bed and rolled his shoulders back in a stretch. Sitting in the same place for three hours made his whole body a little stiff. He kept his eyes on Milly as he walked towards her. Her face changed to show puzzlement.

He halted at a still respectable distance of two feet. What should he say to her? He had to think of something before the silence became embarrassingly long. "I can't tell you enough how much this means to me."

"I'm really glad I could help." Milly sensed a blush creeping up her face and looked down at her shoes. "Um...I-If you need anything..." She watched the priest's shoes shuffle an inch closer towards hers, "y-you know where our room is, right?"

"Yeah, I know."

"Then get some sleep." Her voice was noticeably higher than before. Milly took her time bringing her head back up. "Goodnight, Wolfwoo--"

He kissed her.

Without warning, the priest quickly closed the gap between them and slid his arms around the tall insurance girl's waist placing his lips firmly over hers.

A stunned Milly stumbled backward almost running into the kitchen table widening her light blue eyes for a moment before she fully registered what was happening. When she regained her balance she slowly closed them and raised her arms to encircle Wolfwood's neck.

They tightened their hold on each other and deepened the kiss. There was no reason to hold back any longer. It seemed like there was no end to the moment. Time ceased to exist.

In Wolfwood's mind, everything suddenly became clear. This was all he needed...


Nothing else mattered but her. The embodiment of everything he wished for from the world and from life.

But something else nagged at the priest. He realized what he had just done to the woman who resided in his embrace. Milly pulled back from their lip-lock as if she sensed his regret. This wasn't right, and they both knew it.

Sudden fear of his actions clouded Wolfwood's dark gaze as the insurance girl stared back. She did not want him to close up again. She didn't care. What will happen will happen, so why bother holding back what was in their hearts?

Wolfwood shut in his fear and slid away. Milly's hands fell from their hold around his neck to his chest not ready to let go.

"I'm sorry Milly."

It was only the second time he'd ever said her name, but it held even greater significance now then his pet name for her ever did. Wolfwood reluctantly pulled her hands away and turned breaking their eye contact. He headed for his room where only a few minutes before they were actually laughing and talking over sandwiches she and Meryl made.

"Wolfwood..." Milly extended one arm while holding the other against her chest.

He reached the doorframe just as she said his name and just stood there. Thoughts raced through his head. He shouldn't keep her here.

"You better get going. I'm sure she's getting worried."

Milly knew who he was talking about, but she didn't want to leave him alone. She lowered her arm but didn't move. A question made an attempt to take form on her lips. There was something she had to know. Meryl suspected something and related her suspicion to her partner as they made the sandwiches earlier. It had slip Milly's mind when she found Wolfwood sitting on his bed deep in thought.

But it all came back as she remembered what he said about it being his 'job' to protect Vash. Add that to the priest's sudden behavior change, and there was no doubt that in her mind something was missing from the picture. What could get Wolfwood so worked up?

"Don't worry about me." He interrupted before Milly could finally give her question a voice. "There's no need. Worry about yourself and your partner."

His tone wasn't harsh. It held real concern, but Wolfwood still refused to face her. He didn't dare move until he heard the insurance girl's footsteps leave the apartment and fade down the hallway.

A/N: Kuroneko-sama says review! -NB-