Author's Notes:  Well, here's my first attempt at twincest—if you can't figure out what that means just by looking at the word, I'd recommend rechecking your learning abilities—yaoi/shônen ai (I tend to not differentiate between the two).  The pairing is, obviously, Vash and Knives, the Trigun Twins, as I like to call them (I know, it's corny).  It takes place after the Seeds ships crashed, in the ten-year period the twins wander around with each other before they get to the Seeds ship where Knives holes himself up for a year to make the guns.

Trigun belongs to Nightow Yasuhiro and anyone else holding copyrights to it.  Myself, obviously, is not included.

Oh, and by the way, "In Yo" is how the Japanese say "Yin Yang," in case you didn't know.

In Yo By Annie-chan

Vash woke suddenly from his dream.  Again, he had woken up in a cold sweat, scared beyond imagining.  His breathing was so fast, he was in danger of hyperventilation.  His heartbeat wasn't much better, and its breakneck pace was making him dizzy, even though he was flat on his back.

Rem, he thought, tears threatening to spill over.  He tried to keep them from falling, for his brother, who was curled up beside him on the gentle desert slope, was beginning to stir.  The twins could sense each other's emotions, even while sleeping.  Granted, they weren't so sensitive to each other while sleeping, but they could feel each other all the same.

Rem, he thought again.  I'm sorry.  I'm so sorry.  I should have known why he went off by himself shortly before the ships began to fall.  I knew he had something planned for that day.  He squeezed his eyes shut.  But, like a fool, I believed he would never do something so horrible.  I kept my faith in my brother's sanity even after I knew he was going crazy.

A tear slid down his cheek, and he stifled a sob to keep from waking his brother.  It was his fault.  No, not entirely—but still, he was responsible for the disaster four years back almost as much as the man sleeping beside him was.  Knives ultimately brought the ships down, but it was Vash who allowed him.  He knew very well that something was not right inside his brother's head, and that his hate for the humans only made Knives' mental well-being get worse and worse with each passing day.  It had gotten to the point where Vash could almost hear the gears turning in his brother's head, plotting to get rid of all the humans in one way or another.  No one else was aware of the changes taking place in the older twin's demented imagination.  Outwardly, he was the same as he had always been.  Inwardly, Vash was constantly aware of the decay in Knives' ability to think logically.

I should have stayed with him at all times, Vash thought miserably.  Maybe I could have stopped him, then.  Maybe we'd still be on the ship, looking for a suitable world to land on.  Instead, most of humanity is dead, and the survivors are stuck on this hellish desert world.  He looked over to his brother, who still twitched restlessly between waking and sleeping.  Every once in a while, a slight moan or mumbled word would escape his lips.  He looked so harmless, curled up and sleeping as he was.

Vash grimaced as certain memories came to his attention.  They were back on the Seeds ships, life going on as it normally did for them.  They were about eleven months old, roughly equivalent to eleven-year-old human boys.  It was getting late in the "day," according to the ship's chronometers, and the boys had just finished talking to Plant Three.  The Plant had been agitated from a short circuit breakout in the part of the ship he powered, and they had taken the job of calming him down upon themselves.

Steve, the man who usually looked after the Plants—though the boys were much better and faster than him, due to the fact that they were Plants themselves—had come staggering in the room just as they were about to leave, and he was drunker than usual.

"Hey!" the drunken man had demanded as soon as he saw the boys in the Plant chamber.  "What are you two little bastards doing in here?!"  He had never liked the twins, and the drink just made him worse in his hate toward them, especially if he caught them by one of the Plants.  To tell the truth, both Vash and Knives thought he was afraid of them for some reason.

Vash, scared of the much larger human, had hid behind his brother, who merely took his hand and tried to walk past Steve and out the door without making a big deal of it.  He had always been the more logical of the two, and didn't like to get into confrontations if he didn't need to.  It was obvious he didn't want a fight.  Vash watched in horror as the big man grabbed his brother by the neck, breaking the handhold the twins had on each other, and threw him up against the steel wall, headfirst.

Vash had heard Knives' skull crack open from where he stood.  His brother fell to the floor, blood flowing brightly out from under his hair, and lay there like a dead thing, his mouth hanging slightly open, his eyes wide and glazed over.  He hadn't made a sound.

The younger twin would have run to his brother had Steve not shoved him back, making him stumble backward into a piece of machinery.  All he could do was watch as the drunkard went over to his fallen brother and started beating on him ruthlessly.  He huddled there against the machinery, his eyes fixed on the morbid scene.  Knives could not struggle, could not scream, as vicious kicks and punches were laid upon him like he was some sort of life-sized doll that a naughty child had grown tired of.  Blood was streaming from his mouth, as well as from several cuts and abrasions over his skin.  Nasty bruises were forming, colored an obscene shade of black-purple.  Vash lost count of how many times he heard bones break.  All the while, his brother's agony was blasting through his terrified little mind.  The physical pain was not there, but he could almost feel it just by watching.  The Plant, too, was screaming in his mind, the pain of its kindred reaching its already scared and confused psyche.

Suddenly, Steve just stopped in his assault.  He just stared down at Knives for a minute, then got up and left the room.  Vash listened intently, waiting for him to get far away, then hesitantly crawled over to the bloody mess that was his brother.  The older twin lay in a spreading pool of blood, the bright red liquid soaking through his clothes, matting his long pale hair.  Bruises covered all of his exposed skin, and his eyes were swollen shut from repeated blows to the face.  Vash was afraid to touch him and risk injuring him any more.  Finally, he reached out fearfully and stroked his brother's hair, whispering reassurances that he didn't know if his brother heard or not.  It was pure luck that Rem and Mary had stumbled into the Plant chamber, looking for the boys.

Knives had been in a coma for three days, and in a catatonic trance for about a week after he woke up.  By the time he came out of the trance, his body was well on its way to total recovery, for Plants apparently have much faster healing abilities than humans.  But, as soon as he came to his senses, Vash could tell that something had been irrevocably knocked loose in his twin's brain.

It was only a month later that the disaster took place.

For the past four years, they had wandered the desert with each other, staying as far away from human settlements as they could.  Vash would rather try to get along with the humans, but Knives wouldn't allow it.  Knives had nearly struck his brother the last time Vash had argued going into a human settlement.

Why can't I leave him? Vash couldn't help but ask himself, staring at his brother's sleeping form beside him.  Knives had finally stopped twitching, and had fallen back into complete sleep.  As soon as he had asked the question of himself, his answer made itself painfully obvious, just like it always did when he asked himself that question.  Because, he's the only person I know on this planet.  He's the only one I know I can at least partially trust.  He's the only one that knows what I am and is not afraid of me because of it.  And…I don't want him wandering out here alone, doing God knows what.  He still wants to destroy all humans.  But…why?

Rem was dead and gone, the only person he could really call his friend.  He had come to love her very much.  He didn't think there was any romantic love there, judging by how Rem had described romance to him when he had asked one time.  It felt more like what Rem had described as the love a son felt for his mother.  Rem was the closest thing to a mother the twins had ever had.  But, she had raised Knives exactly the same as she had raised him.  Why didn't Knives turn out the same?

It probably had something to do with that beating he took not long before the disaster, Vash though bitterly.  He knew it was wrong to wish someone dead, but it took all his willpower not to be glad Steve was dead for what he had done to Knives…for what he had done to both of them for as long as Vash could remember.

A surge of emotions boiled up from his soul.  Anger, grief, loneliness, helplessness, regret…everything painful, nothing soothing.  His only true friend was gone, along with so many innocent lives.  The man responsible for that, his psychologically disturbed brother, was the only one he could place his trust in.  They—everyone—were trapped on a world that wasn't fit to harbor any life besides sandworms.  Life was hell.  He would have given anything to reverse the disaster, to still have Rem, to still be looking for a good planet to land on…to still have his brother as he should have been, not a maddened and vengeful shell of what he used to be.

He couldn't help it.  The tears refused to be held back any longer, sliding down his cheeks, blurring his eyesight to the point where he could barely see at all, despite the fact that the first of the suns was just about to rise above the horizon.  He rolled over onto his stomach, burying his face in his folded arms, crying quietly.

"Vash?"  A gentle hand was placed on his back, rubbing back and forth soothingly.  Knives had woken up.  "What's wrong, Brother?"  His voice was always so tender, so loving when speaking to him.  It was so different than that hateful, bloodthirsty growl he adopted when speaking of the humans.  Why?  What was the difference?  Why must he hate humans so much?

"I-I h-had a n-nigh-nightmare," Vash half-lied, turning his head to look at his twin through his tears.  He couldn't tell Knives the other reason for his distress.  His vision was blurred, but he could see the deep sorrow in his brother's eyes.  He really did care for him a lot.

"Oh, Vash," Knives whispered.  "I'm sorry."  He reached out and brushed his tears away, his fingertips ever so gentle.  To Vash's surprise, the next thing he did was reach out and pull him into a firm embrace.  He had never done this before.  Whenever Vash had had a nightmare before, he would dry his tears, tell him everything was okay, and then make sure he got back to sleep all right.  This was certainly something different.  "I'm sorry, Brother," Knives repeated softly into his hair.  "If it had to do with me, I'm sorry for causing you so much pain."

Vash almost physically jumped.  How did he know that?  Was he just guessing?  Just how much did he know about Vash's all too frequent nightmares of the disaster?  Did he even know they had to do with the disaster?  Was there some way his brother was looking into his mind without him knowing?  So many questions flashed through his mind so quickly.  Knives apparently sensed his confusion and gave his brother a tight squeeze.

This feels so good, Vash thought, his pain and confusion fading into the background.  He had never felt so safe, so secure.  Not even curling up in Rem's arms under a holographic tree and taking a nap back on the ship felt this nice.  He ignored the little voice in the back of his head protesting that this was the man who had single-handedly brought his life to near ruin and snuggled up closer to his brother's warm body.  Knives had one hand tangled in his short blond hair, massaging the scalp, soothing away any negative thoughts and feelings.  His other hand was gently moving up and down Vash's back, relaxing his muscles and coaxing him back to sleep again.  Vash's head was pressed lightly up against Knives' chest.  His brother's strong heartbeat and steady, even breathing eventually lulled him to sleep, undisturbed by the nightmares that so often plagued his nights.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The next day…

They were, as usual, walking through the desert with no particular destination in mind.  They didn't live anywhere, and Knives had refused to go near human settlements in the past three years.  Vash was glad he had stopped seeking them out and then torturing and/or killing everyone in them like he did for the first year or so on this planet.  He got the feeling that his protests had finally convinced him to at least stop actively seeking victims out.  He still had killed his fair share in the past three years, though, not letting any humans unlucky enough to cross paths with them by chance get away alive.  It seemed no amount of protesting would steer him from doing at least that.

Vash suddenly dropped into a sitting position on the sand under their feet.  "God, Knives, I'm tired.  Stop walking so fast and take a rest, will you?"

"I'm sorry," Knives admitted, standing beside him.  "I didn't think I was going that fast."  He pointed to a rock formation not far off.  "If we're going to rest, we should do it in the shade.  You can get sunstroke sitting down just as easily as you can walking."  It took him a minute, but he managed to drag a protesting Vash to his feet to walk over to the tall rocks.  The younger twin had always been a bit of a whiner when uncomfortable.

They went slow, due to Vash's fatigue, but they got there shortly.  It turned out to be more than one formation, and that the one they had seen from a distance was on the rim of a large dip in the desert.  Several more natural towers rose up from random points in the dip.  They sat at the base of the one on the rim and leaned back against the warm stone.

Vash sighed.  "Man, there's got to be a twenty degree difference between the sunshine and the shade."

Knives was about to agree when he stopped and listened intently.

"Hey, Knives?" Vash asked next to him.  "Are you okay?"

"Quiet!" his brother hissed, holding his hand up in a signal to stop talking.  After another minute of listening, he suddenly grinned and took off running.

"Knives!" Vash called after him, earning no response.  "Hey!  Come back!"  Tired as he was, he ran off after his brother as fast as he could without collapsing.  He got about halfway around the rim of the depression, Knives not far ahead of him, when he saw what his brother was going after.  A large group of bandits was taking shelter from the suns under a rather large rock formation on the other side.  Oh, no!  He's going to kill them!  "Knives!  Stop!  Don't do it!"

He saw Knives skid to a halt extremely close to the bandit camp.  Plants moved very quietly anyway, but the sand had muffled Knives' footsteps to the point of silence, and the bandits were unaware of his presence.  They obviously hadn't heard him yell out for Knives to stop, either.  Vash quickened his pace when he felt the buzz in his mind indicating that Knives was preparing to unleash some kind of psychic attack.

"KNIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  DON'T KILL THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Every head in the bandit camp swung around to look at them as Vash finally caught up to Knives.

"Vash!" Knives almost screamed.  "You fool!  I wanted a sneak attack!"

"Kill them!" the bandit leader shouted to his men.  "They'll get the sheriff from town!"

"Don't kill them, Knives!" Vash pleaded.  "They've done nothing!"

"Nothing?!" Knives demanded, outraged.  "They kill their own kind!  They steal!  They rape!  That's hardly nothing!  They're just like all the worthless humans on this planet!"

"Knives, please don't—"  Vash was cut off by a bullet whizzing by his ear.  Shit!  They're shooting!

"Now, look what you've done!" Knives raged.  He began to retreat, not having any desire to get killed any time soon.  Especially not by a bunch of flea-bitten society rejects.  He could alter the bullets' courses so he wouldn't be hit, but retreat was still the wisest thing at the time.

"I've done?!" Vash countered, retreating as well.  "You're the one who—ah!"  He cried out and fell to the ground, clutching a bullet wound in his left leg.

Knives saw red.  How dare they?  How dare they injure a superior being?!?!?!  He immediately forgot his retreat and charged back toward the bandits, ignoring the hail of bullets coming his way.  He singled out the one who had shot his brother—though even he wasn't quite sure how he knew which one it was—and opened up the bandit's chest and belly with a thought.  The man's scream died out in a watery gurgle as he fell to the sand, twitching.

"No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Knives heard Vash scream from behind him.  He paid his brother no heed.  He looked up at a cluster of the bandits, paralyzed by the sudden, messy death of their comrade, and released.  Their heads whipped around so fast they were twisted off their bodies, blood spraying like fountains from their neck stumps as they, too, fell dead.  He was no longer being shot at.  All the other bandits were running for their lives, terrified of the monster that had invaded their camp.

Yes, he thought, watching them flee.  Run.  I'll find you all sooner or later.  This will be an amusing hunt.  He raised his hand toward some more bandits, and was about to rip their spinal cords from their backs when a sudden weight slammed into him from behind, knocking him down the shallow slope.  He couldn't see who it was, and was unable to fight back as they rolled down to the bottom of the depression.  When they finally stopped, he began twisting and kicking, trying to break free of the two arms wrapped around him in an iron hold.

"Knives!" Vash screamed, trying to calm his maddened twin.  "It's me!  Stop!  Stop it!"  It was hard to ignore the sand that had been ground into the bullet hole in his leg.  He gritted his teeth and stared down at his brother, who had stopped struggling and was now looking up at him with infuriated confusion.

"Why did you stop me?!?!?!?!" Knives shrieked.

"You know I don't like you killing, Knives," Vash replied through clenched teeth.  "I had to stop you."

"They deserve to die, you little fool!" Knives hissed.

"I'll never believe that," Vash said, hoping to God that Knives didn't fly completely off the handle like he sometimes did in situations like this.

"They shot you!" Knives roared.  "You're bleeding!  That's reason enough to kill them!  I'll hunt down and kill every one of them in the slowest ways I can think of for that reason alone!  Their being humans is farthest from my mind at this moment!"

"You should never have to kill, Knives," Vash growled, his anger rising.  "And, I will never allow you to use me as a reason to do so."

"You're right, Vash," Knives said, unfathomable anger flashing though his deep blue eyes.  "I shouldn't have to kill them now.  They all should have died four years ago.  But, they're still here to hinder us, all because of that fucking bitch's undeserved sympathy!"

Something in Vash's head snapped almost audibly.  He drew his fist back and slammed it into his brother's jaw as hard as he could, whipping Knives head back, earning a startled gasp of pain.  "You…you…how dare you?!?!?!" Vash gritted, his voice dangerously low.  "Don't you ever talk about Rem like that!  I'll kill you myself if I ever hear that again!!!!!!!!!!!"  He suddenly stopped as Knives turned his eyes back to him, his lip cut and bleeding from the impact.  He had never seen such hurt in his brother's eyes.  He backed away, letting go of him.  Knives sat up, gingerly touching the small cut.  "N-no, Knives.  I-I didn't mean that…I mean…"

"Vash," Knives said weakly, blood dripping down his chin.  "You…you hit me."  He looked away, his voice cracking.  "Why did you hit me?"

"Because…because, you said…"  His reason suddenly sounded so trite and inadequate.  It had only been words that had set him off.  He knew Knives hated Rem.  Why should an oral declaration of that hate matter so much?  "I-I'm sorry, Knives.  I didn't mean to—"

"I didn't want to kill them so painfully, Brother," Knives said quietly.  "But…to see them hurt you…it's just too much for me to handle.  You're the only person I have!  I love you, Vash!"

"You've always been too protective of me," Vash said, laying a hand on his brother's slightly shaking shoulder.  "You can't always shield me like this, especially not to the point of killing people.  I love you, too, Knives.  You're my brother.  How can I not?  But—"

"No," Knives interrupted, his voice stronger than it was a few seconds ago.  An odd tone had made its way into his voice, and Vash didn't like the sound of it.  He looked back up at Vash.  Something was shining in his eyes that immediately made Vash nervous.  "I didn't mean I loved you like that."  Vash didn't have the time to ask what way he meant before Knives grabbed hold of the front of his ship-suit, pulled him to him, and pressed his bleeding lips to his brother's.

Vash gasped and tried to pull back.  The fact that his brother was kissing him was more than enough to freeze him like a deer in headlights, but the sharp taste of his brother's blood flowing into his mouth brought him out of his shock, and his fleeing instincts kicked in.  He put his hands on Knives' shoulders and tried to shove him away, but his twin only growled and wrapped his arms around him, holding them firmly together.  He tried to twist out of Knives' grasp, but only succeeded in knocking himself backward into the sand, Knives on top of him, holding him to the ground.  He squeezed his eyes shut and beat down the urge to clamp his teeth down when he felt his brother's tongue slide deep into his mouth.  He thought he could take no more of this when his brother finally pulled back, leaving Vash gasping for breath and trembling in a mixture of fear and revulsion.  Knives reached up and wiped the blood from Vash's lips, his fingers as gentle as they had been brushing his tears away the night before.

"This is what I meant, Vash," he murmured, his eyes soft.  He lowered his head again, this time lapping lightly at Vash's throat.  "I could feel no different for you.  You're the pinnacle of perfection.  So far above the human vermin that have infested this planet.  I meant this planet to be ours and ours alone."

Vash was terrified now.  He had to get out of this!  There's no telling what Knives would do to him now if he just let him do as he pleased!  He took the first thing that popped into his head.  "Kn-Knives…my leg."

"Oh!"  Knives' head snapped up, and he jumped into a standing position above his brother.  "That's right.  You left our supply bag back at that first rock, right?"

Vash nodded silently, accepting the hand his brother offered him and stood up.  He couldn't walk by himself, so he put his arm around Knives' shoulders as Knives wrapped his own arm around his waist, holding him up.  As they limped back toward the first rock, Vash's mind was in turmoil.  My brother is sexually attracted to me.  That's just not right!  Family should never feel that way for each other!  Oh, Rem…what do I do?

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

One week later…

Vash was walking normally again.  The bullet wound was almost gone, due to his people's healing abilities.  The wound turned out to not be very bad in the first place.  The bullet had gone all the way through, leaving a pretty clean trail, and not hitting any major blood vessels.  It had still bled a lot, and hurt like hell for the first few days.

Nothing had been said by either brother about the kiss.  Vash had wanted to stay away from that subject at all costs, and Knives acted as if it had never happened.  Vash found himself wondering if he had even meant it.

Maybe he had just gotten too much sun that day, he thought to himself, watching two of the moons rise, lying on his back on the desert floor.  There wasn't any sand for miles around, just flat rock, broken here and there by the occasional natural sculpture.  He was walking pretty damn fast before it all happened, in warmer than usual weather.  I guess people might do things they wouldn't normally do if they were overheated.  Maybe he doesn't want to bring it up, because it was unintentional and he doesn't want to mention it.  Maybe.  I hope.  He hadn't convinced himself of that very well.

The funny thing was, he didn't feel revulsion when thinking about it like he had when it had happened.  He thought that feeling would stay for quite a while, but it didn't.  All he felt now when thinking of the kiss was confusion, apprehension, and a little fear.  Brothers just aren't sexually attracted to each other.  Hell, people shouldn't be sexually attracted to any of their family.  It just wasn't how things were done.

Still…this was Knives, who didn't have what you could call a normal thought pattern.  But, that wasn't an excuse for feeling that way, in Vash's opinion.

To tell the truth, Vash had been less and less sure about his opinions of this type of thing as the week wore on.  Yes, he still thought it wrong, but some of the reasons he thought up for feeling that way were starting to sound irrelevant.  The only reason that still held solid ground was that it just was not a proper thing to have sexual feelings toward a family member.  That had been an unspoken rule in society for centuries, if not millennia.

It had been practically the only thing on his mind for that week, and the urge to bring it up was getting more and more prominent.  He didn't want to talk about it at all at first, but curiosity was getting the better of him.  Finally…

"Knives?" he ventured, sitting up.

"Hm?"  Knives turned his head to look at him from the spot where he was watching the moons rise as well.

"Um…there's…there's, um…well…"

"Just spit it out."

"There's…something I need to talk to you about."

"So I gathered," Knives replied with a wry smile.  "What is it?"

"Um…well…I need to talk to you about…about the…k-kiss."  He managed to force it out through clenched teeth.  He saw Knives sit up out of the corner of his eye.

"What about it?"  That something was back in his eyes again, but this time was mixed with something else.

"Why?" Vash asked, looking him in the eye.  "Why did you do it?"

"I told you that, already," Knives replied.  "I love you."

"No, that's not what I meant.  Why do you feel that way for me?"

Knives looked confused.  "I…I can't really explain it.  You may as well ask anybody why they love anybody."

"B-but…it's just not right."  Vash's voice was tiny.

"What?" Knives snapped, his breath hissing through his teeth.  "How is it not right?  How is my loving you not right?  Answer me!"

Vash forced his voice to strengthen.  He needed to be firm.  Knives was not one to back down easily in anything.  "It's incest."

"Incest," Knives repeated disdainfully.  "That's such a filthy word.  A word such as that is unfit to represent what I feel for you!"

"A filthy word for a filthy practice!" Vash almost screamed, his eyes flashing.  "Relatives should never feel that way for each other!  Especially siblings!  Lustful, sinful things like that should never be allowed to happen!  It's disgusting!  I—"  He broke off abruptly.  Knives was sitting across from him, his head bowed, his fists clenched, his entire body shaking.  His breathing was halting, indicating his attempt to keep from crying.

"I-is that wh-what you think of me, th-then?" Knives choked.  "I-I'm filthy?  I disgust you?  Be-because I love you?"  His head snapped up, tears running down his face, his eyes shining with a flurry of emotions.  Sadness, betrayal, adoration, anger.  "I love you!  I can never feel any different!  There's nothing unclean in what I feel for you!  How can something so strong and pure be wrong?!  You only think it's filthy because of what those damn humans conditioned you to think!"  He suddenly lowered his voice, bringing it down to nearly a whisper.  "All they want is to turn you against me.  They want you to join them, ignorant of their treachery!  And, you're letting them!"  His fingers were digging into his pant legs, and he would rip the fabric if he put much more pressure on it.

Vash risked getting close to his brother to lay a hand on his shoulder.  "The humans have nothing to do with this, Knives.  Incest is wrong, pure and simple.  I'm sorry to have to say that to you, but it's been a rule of society for—"

"And, who taught you this?" Knives interrupted bitterly.

"Back on the Seeds ships," Vash replied.  "All the medical journals and all the books on the ethics and morals of societies past and present—with some exceptions of very ancient cultures—have said that sexual relationships between blood relatives have been ethically and morally wrong as well as physically dangerous."

"Physically dangerous how?" Knives demanded.

"Well…children born from people too closely related are most likely…to have…medical…defects."  He realized before he finished just how irrelevant and stupid that reason was in this case.  He and Knives were extremely unlikely to be conceiving children any time soon.

"Idiot!" Knives exclaimed.  "We couldn't make any children even if we tried!  Besides, my feelings for you are more than mere sexual attraction!  I love you!  My love for you is much deeper than just desires of the flesh!  I'm willing to forget about sex, if you'll only accept my feelings for you!"

"Knives," Vash said hesitatingly.  His defense was quickly falling to pieces.  "It's…it's just not right…"  He wouldn't meet Knives' eyes.  His own eyes were starting to sting.  He felt his brother's hands on his shoulders, and before he could react, he was pulled into a tight embrace, his head against Knives' chest.

"Brother," Knives whispered into his ear, gently stroking Vash's hair.  "It is just as right as the love between anyone else.  It's not lustful.  It's not sinful.  It's just a deep affection that I have no choice but to feel for you.  If…if I were anyone but your brother, would you have reacted in the same way?"

"N-no," Vash murmured.  It felt so good to be held, to be loved.  He felt safe…completely secure.  Just like when they had fallen asleep in each other's arms after another of Vash's nightmares.  Is this really so wrong? a small voice asked in the back of his head.

"Then, please…don't hate me for loving you.  The humans may think its wrong, but you are not human!  You don't have to follow their rules just because you read it in some books!  Prove yourself to be better than them by not being weighed down by their empty prejudices!"

"Oh, Knives…I…I…"  He couldn't find words to say.  Yes, he loved his brother, but only as a brother.

Right?

He felt his brother's hand softly cup his chin and tilt his head up to look into his eyes.  What he saw in Knives' deep blue was love of the purest kind.  He was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion.  He didn't think Knives was capable of such profound affection.

Knives and Vash stared at each other for a long time, neither moving nor making any sound.  Slowly, hesitatingly, Knives eventually lowered his head and kissed Vash chastely, his lips light and unassuming upon his brother's.

Do I want this? Vash thought, struggling to decide how to react.  He felt a single tear slip from Knives' eye and drop to his own cheek.  He closed his eyes.  Yes.  His arms slid around his brother's waist as he established some leverage against the ground and kissed back forcefully.

He felt Knives gasp at the unexpected return of affection.  The gasp was replaced by a deep purr as he tightened his hold on Vash and responded in kind, opening his mouth and brushing his tongue against Vash's lips.  Vash's lips parted to allow him in, but the younger twin's tongue snaked out to intercept his brother's, engaging Knives in a battle of wills and of stubbornness.  Neither twin was willing to give up without a fight, twisting and tangling their tongues together.  They eventually both had to pull back, neither having won, both out of breath and wanting more.

"I love you, Knives," Vash whispered, holding his brother tight.  "Thank you for making me see that."

"Mm.  My pleasure," Knives responded.  His hands moved in soothing patterns over Vash's back, feeling the tenseness in the muscles there.  He suddenly grinned devilishly, noticing just how tightly his brother was clinging to him.  "Care to show me just how much you love me?"

"Kn-Knives!" Vash gasped, his eyes wide as they met his brother's.  Knives chuckled and pressed their lips together again, slipping his tongue inside before Vash had the chance to resist again.  He felt his twin shiver in his arms, clearly taking pleasure in it.  He was more than a bit surprised, however, when Vash suddenly shifted his weight, lying back against the smooth rock that made up the desert floor, bringing Knives down with him.  "Is this answer enough for you?"

Knives felt a surge of emotions and hormones alike spread throughout his body.  Vash was offering himself.  Could it be true?

"This was your idea," Vash said, grinning, pulling Knives down for another kiss.  He was rewarded with the feel of Knives' long slender fingers caressing him, seeking out the seams of his clothes.  Yes, he would enjoy this.  He would enjoy this very much.

Owari

Author's Notes:  I highly disapprove of incest, but I wanted a challenge, and writing about something I disapprove of in a favorable light was quite challenging indeed.  So, how'd I do with my first attempt at twincest?  I hope I did okay.  Yes, I made Knives pretty OOC (I tend to do that), but this is over one hundred twenty years before the anime takes place.  We really don't know how they acted toward each other in that ten years they spent wandering around with each other before they found that Seeds ship that Knives got the guns out of (after making Vash wait for a year for him to come out, the meany).  Anyway, let me know how I did, onegai shimasu!  My email is mangareader@hotmail.com.