Mr. the Stampede says . . . eat your Wheaties!

The light fell slant ways through the unshined window onto the bare, languorously stretched body of Meryl Stryfe. Twin strands of white-gold light tickled her nose and skritched softly against waking skin. Individual shoots warmed her and she turned into their gossamer embrace, smile curving her lips. She mumbled something content and indistinct, fingers tracing light to another warmth.

And found none, crumpled sheets echoing remembered heat to a misplaced caress.

Meryl frowned and opened a still dreaming eye to examine the absence. Gone in the bright, bright suns. 'Gainst the window not clear. She pressed her head desperately to the bed in confusion, pillow lost to unconscious flooring. It was far too early.

"Vash?" she murmured hazily.

The clacking noise she hadn't even noticed filling the small room suddenly stopped. The unsteady chair she'd complained about to the manager creaked under a slight shift. She shivered at hidden smile, happily aware of the unseen glitter in that sweet, psychic way she had when it was early and she didn't know the magic of night was gone.

"Good morning."

Cat-like, her curled hands swiped at the sleep in her eyes, naked form arched to push it into full wakefulness. Meryl tipped her face up receptively, anticipating Vash's kiss. But not the clacking that resumed and the cool burn of neglect. Growling, both eyes snapped open, searching out her forgetful tease of a boyfriend.

Across the room still, marvelously shirtless and working with undue attention at her typewriter. And occasionally pffting locks of hair that looked like sunlight and felt twice as beautiful from his eyes. The strong line of his back was comfortably dry, and Meryl could only hope that meant he'd not yet worked out. She liked watching.

Finding her frustration unheard, the insurance girl concluded a more direct approach was necessary. Meryl finally sat up and set about the ritual game of "Finding Where Ever the Hell Whatever the Hell Left of My Clothing Fell", as she had dubbed it in a not unenjoyable rant to Vash. That had gotten even more not unenjoyable as he "calmed" her. Eyes half-lidded, Meryl thrummed a sound of approval at the oh-so explicit memory.

Dammit girl! she swore at herself. Focus!

The slight woman breathed out unsteadily, forcing the admittedly alluring images from her head. She needed to find her clothes! Her grey eyes scanned the splintery floor quickly and she amended that to finding any clothes. Her attention skipped back to Vash, as it always seemed to, confirming what her previous glance had told her.

He was partially clothed. Therefore, he had not decided they were to be nudists again, fun as that had been. Therefore, clothes must be somewhere.

At last she caught sight of a scrap of white, hiding in a crumpled pile next to the night stand. Triumphant hands snatched it from its ignominious position and unwrinkled it in a wide, expansive gesture. A shirt! Sure, not her shirt, but in a way that was even better.

Quickly shimmying into the well-worn shirt that smelled faintly of donuts and gun oil, she slipped onto the floor. If the desert had one advantage, it was the complete lack of cold floors in the morning.

While quiet appeared to be an impossibility on the warped floorboards, Vash was either too focused to notice her stalking approach, or enjoyed her predatory proclivities too much to protest. In any case, Meryl was able to creep up behind him and enfold his unresisting chest in a hug. The typing stopped, much to her satisfaction, as he leaned back into her.

Perhaps too aware of the very nice way his back was pressing against her breasts, she dipped her head to his and breathed, "You forgot to kiss me."

Twisting around to fix perfect aqua eyes on her, he nodded, "Yes. I did."

And then he turned back to the typewriter without ceremony, fingers again at work as her shocked arms fell to her sides. Meryl's eyebrow twitched. Okaaay. Again interrupting his work, she bodily forced one hand from the machine and used the opening to slide onto his lap.

He continued to ignore her, so she pouted, "Do I have to beg?"

Vash stopped cold, pleasantly shocked, "You'd beg?"

Fighting against the sexy half-tones of his voice, she glared, "No. But I might get violent!"

"You'd get violent?" he purred merrily.

She swatted at him, "Is there anything that doesn't turn you on?"

He shrugged. Meryl growled again, roughly pulling him down for the kiss he was denying her with such dedication. Her mouth opened against his, scraping teeth again his lower lip until he responded in kind. Her tongue swept over his, searching and tasting. He held her tightly, enthusiastically tangling his tongue with her.

After a moment, or several, they broke apart unwillingly. Meryl smiled, stealing another swift kiss, "There. That wasn't so hard was it?"

Vash seemed not to hear as he licked her jaw line, kissing downward to the neck his large shirt did nothing to conceal, "No, but now I'm distracted. You're very distracting."

Squirming slightly in his grasp, which seemed to only encourage him, Meryl attempted to learn exactly what she was distracting him from. It looked like a letter.

"Who are you writing?"

His hand slid under the shirt, teasing the flesh beneath her breast as he counted ribs. His mouth was still at her neck, fascinated by that area so often concealed. Obviously on a different track, he mumbled, "You're wearing my shirt. That makes us an outfit. You're trying to drive me nuts, aren't you? I can't be an outfit."

She giggled a little at his wandering. While Meryl had never understood his quirky, slightly insane mood-swings when she first began following him and still couldn't ever predict how it would apply any particular night to his mood as a lover, she had learned to appreciate them. And their intensity.

But, she thought as that teasing hand suddenly left her breathless, everything about Vash is intense.

"Vash," she demanded. "Vash! Stop a second. I want to know who you're writing to."

Dazed eyes met her, uncomprehending and enthralling. He kissed her softly, breathing, "You're so beautiful. And addictive. Did you know I'm addicted to you?" Slowly she shook her head. Giddy, yet oddly serious, he continued, "I want you to be my addiction." He kissed her again, hot and needy. "My obsession." Vash halted suddenly, childish tones contrasting his flushed face as he pled, "Be my obsession."

Meryl grinned, fingers dancing above the edge of his pants, "You're already mine."

He went to kiss her again, but from unknown reserves of strength she summoned the willpower to stop him. Staring at him with a deep, commanding eye, she asked evenly, "Who are you writing to?"

Vash blinked, "Huh? Oh, that! Your boss."

Her fingernails dug into his shoulder, "Oh, that? You were ignoring me for that!" His second comment caught up to the insurance girl, sparking indignation, "My boss?! Why?"

He smirked, "I have some complaints."

Caution had never been his forte. But quick recoveries had, so he took her slap in stride, hauling Meryl back toward the bed with a cheerful, "But the letter can wait."

Her words muffled by his mouth as they fell together onto the mattress, Meryl groused, "That's what I said."


Karen's eyes widened as she read though the scandalous letter. It was so ridiculous . . . not to mention intriguing. The author did have a point, but the Chief would most assuredly not appreciate it. Oh dear, the Chief! She certainly didn't want to leave the letter in with Meryl's report. It'd just get her friend in trouble. But she also couldn't pretend it didn't exist.


And she sure as hell didn't want to present it to the Chief herself.


Who was behind her. How did he do that? Did he not breath?

Karen turned attentively to face him, expression snapped into a manically deferential smile that gave only a slight hint of her terror.

Without preamble, he jerked his head at the stack on her desk, "Is that Stryfe's latest."

The agent gulped, nodding hesitantly,

"Is that part of it?"

Karen bit her lip. The Chief got a hard look in his eyes.

"Yes," she blurted.

He crossed his arms expectantly.

"Sort of," she corrected. "It's a letter of complaint, from Mr. Vash the Stampede." The Chief started to speak, but Karen interrupted. Now that she'd started she couldn't seem to stop, "He doesn't like your dress code. He says that while our uniforms are 'cute', he considers the 'many buttons' to be 'choking hazards.'"

The Chief stared, obviously wondering who he could punish.

Karen braced herself, "Mr. the Stampede also says Meryl wears 'far too much clothing' and," she took a deep breath. "He really, really, really *hates* tights."

endnotes: And there you have it! Fluffy pointlessness with a lusty Meryl and schizophrenic Vash. I'm just sick of angst, alright! Give me a break. Maybe the next story will actually be IC.

Trigun is copyright (c) Yasuhiro Nightow and Young King Ours.