A/N: I know. You're saying that I should be working on my other stories, but I couldn't help myself. But at least this little four-chapter fanfic is already done and written. I'll release each chapter about every week or so.
And this will be an adult fic, which means there will be adult content, but not until the final chapter. The edited version will be here and the unedited one will be on my website (see my profile for the address).
Hope you enjoy it!
A big thanks to my sister and beta, EternalSorrow, for editing for me!
She really should have known better. Or if not, then she should have taken notice of the obvious signs and avoided this situation altogether.
But then again, exactly why would she have been expecting this?
What was happening was so far out of her range of expectability as to be laughable. At the moment, though, she couldn't seem to find the humor in running for one's life.
Well, maybe not her life; not that she was one hundred percent sure of that. But then, one couldn't be completely sure considering the circumstances.
And who knew what would happen next. She wouldn't have been surprised if pigs had started flying, everything had gone so topsy-turvy.
Even though she'd been living with two plants for over a year, this was still way beyond the realm of reality and more than half-way into wonderland.
Or maybe all of this was some horrible nightmare; one that she couldn't seem to wake up from no matter how hard she pinched herself.
Everything had started out perfectly fine and normal, or as normal as life got when living with tow plants. The four of them, meaning herself, Millie, Vash and Knives, had decided to buy a large house about twenty miles outside of the city of December. By selling both Millie's and her own apartments they'd had enough to buy the place and extra. Buildings built outside of cities and towns were never in demand.
They had it all worked out, too. She and Millie would continue to work at the Bernardelli headquarters while Vash would watch over his brother. So far Knives hadn't shown any genocidal behavior, aside from the occasional rant about humans being the scourge of the universe, but they weren't about to give him the chance.
And keeping Knives far away from civilization had certainly seemed like a good idea at the time.
Even though this was done because of Knives, the person in question was largely kept in the dark about their plans. His personal records more than disqualified him from having any say in the matter. Though everyone knew that he was aware of their arrangements. He had a way of seeing through them.
Or maybe he'd just read their minds.
Heaven knew her and Millie had no defense against him. The only thing that saved Vash was his plant defenses, which barred anyone from entering his head without his permission.
Vash's control over his plant abilities was practically nonexistent, something Knives always saw fit to point out to him.
So after the four of them had moved everything into the four bedroom, two bath house they had gotten into a routine of sorts. Monday through Friday she and Millie would go to work for most of the day; it was a long drive there and back, after all. During which Vash would watch the reforming (one could hope) Knives.
On the weekends they would spend time at the house, mostly fixing it up. The last owner had been less than attentive toward the place. When they'd acquired the building, the roof had leaked horribly, the porch overhang had looked about ready to cave in, and other numerous problems had presented themselves.
Not that they hadn't known about the problems, but one didn't usually expect to wake up one morning and find that the house had flooded with water, the plumbing having rusted away.
The four of them had lived in this fashion for over half a year when the symptoms, as Meryl now called them, had started.
It had begun like large problems usually do, quietly. Until it's ready to rear its ugly head and bites you in the behind.
At the time they had been unnoticeable little occurrences. Such as when, around Christmas, the twins had argued over who would get to do what. Both of them had wanted to put the star on top of the tree. Then they'd had a small war over which one got to cut the bird for dinner.
Even the planet of Gunsmoke had its own type of turkey, though it was vastly different in looks from its Earth cousin. The only things they'd had in common were that neither could fly and that they tasted alike. While a chicken had feathers, this bird did not. Its body was covered in a brown, thick hide to insulate itself against the hot sun. And instead of clawed feet it had large, flat flippers with sharp points at the end.
By the time they'd finished, there had only been tiny, bite-sized pieces left.
At the time the incident had been unbelievable. Meryl had never imagined Knives to act so . . . well, childish. She had no trouble seeing Vash do such a thing, but he'd been more intense than usual.
The twins had vaguely resembled two animals fighting for dominance . . .
She would have been laughing at it, but right now the situation was much too serious for it. As there was a little bit of time for thought, she went over other signs that should have tipped her off to something being wrong.
This behavior had continued from then, varying in degrees from small quarrels to all-out brawls. After a particularly bloody battle when they had both ended up with cuts and bruises all over themselves, Meryl had asked them why they'd been so aggressive lately.
They had given her identical looks of confusion and promptly told her that they had no idea what she was talking about.
That had been about two months ago. Since then they had become gradually more violent until after one particular incident when all hostilities had mysteriously ceased altogether.
She had been inside the house with Millie at the time. The twins had been out in the backyard, working on some siding. The window in the kitchen, which faced the backyard, had been wide open. And the kitchen was where the girls happened to be, preparing dinner.
The sounds of their conversation floated in as the two friends quietly went about making the meal. As was typical between the two brothers of late, an argument had sprung up eventually; over what exactly Meryl had never figured out.
"You're wrong, Knives! The board needs to be longer, not shorter!"
"I will ask for your advice when I believe it is needed, not before!"
She and Millie had exchanged looks of exasperation and distress. Whatever was between them, the girls had wished that it could have been resolved rather than them continue to bicker like children at every little thing.
But their prayers were not answered that time, for shortly afterward they had heard the distinct sound of flesh hitting flesh.
Both of the girls had dropped what they were doing and rushed for the back door, hoping to stem off the worst of the fighting.
As they made it outside, Meryl had taken one look at the twins and immediately ordered Millie to go and get the medical kit.
The backyard was a large open space of desert that spread out for miles broken only by large boulders and the small shed off of the house. And then there had been the cliffs. About a mile away they stood, seeming to jut out of the sand. Their shadows had always towered over the house during the hottest part of the day, mercifully bringing a cooler temperature when they needed it the most.
While the big girl went and got the medical supplies, she had cautiously walked up to the mass of tangled limbs and blond hair that was rolling about on the ground. Already she had seen two bloody lips and numerous other cuts and scratches on their faces and naked torsos. Meryl had decided that they must have taken their shirts off in the heat.
She had just about decided on her plan of action to separate them-which involved a lot of browbeating and yelling on her part-when Vash growled out a few words, with more viciousness than she though possible for him, that stopped everyone in their tracks.
"You can't have Millie, Knives!"
Meryl froze in shock, mouth hanging open in surprise. Just what was that been about, she'd wondered?
Knives had also stopped moving, but instead of being surprised he had been suspiciously staring his brother in the eye. Then he spoke, and his voice was deeper and rougher than Meryl had ever heard it before.
"I never wanted that one, you idiot."
The short woman was simply stupefied and only watched as the two stared each other down before Vash gave an almost imperceptible nod of his head. Whatever they had communicated between themselves, it seemed to have stopped the fighting.
They had then untangled themselves from each other and it was after they had stood that the two of them noticed Meryl. Neither of them had even had the decency to look embarrassed by their actions. Instead they both stared at her with looks that had clearly asked what she wanted, as if moments before they hadn't been rolling around on the ground, beating each other to a bloody pulp.
She had finally found her voice and her irritation and confusion had been clearly heard. "Just what in the world were you two talking about!"
Vash had waved his hands in front of him in a placating gesture. "It was nothing, Meryl, I swear. We were just having a little discussion."
The angry woman had then turned to Knives. "Well?"
His eyes had narrowed and told her in a tone that a parent would use with their overly curious child, told her, "Simply a little misunderstanding between us that is now cleared up."
She had been just about to continue the conversation when Millie burst upon the scene with the medical kit and set about hustling the two men inside the house to clean up.
Now she dearly wished that she'd run after them and badgered them until they confessed all. But now it was too late, and she and Millie would have to manage with the circumstances as they were.
Though it would have been nicer if they knew what they were dealing with . . .