What Hurts the Most

Disclaimer: I don't own Trigun or anything related to it. I also don't own the song "What Hurts the Most" as that is owned by others. I gain nothing but satisfaction from this story, so please don't sue.

Warnings: Shonen-ai/Yaoi/Slash. However you wish to refer to is, that is what it is. Also, spoiler for the anime episode 23 (Paradise) of Trigun.

AN: This is my first Trigun fic that I've written, so please take it easy on me. This is set ten years after the events in Episode 23 have taken place. I've based anything that is directly referenced to Trigun from the anime as I have, to my regret, yet to read the manga. I've had an idea for something like this for a while, and I hope that you enjoy it!

AN 2: The bold quote from the beginning was taken from the end of Episode 8 (And Between the Wasteland and Sky) during the preview for Episode 9 (Murder Machine).

Anyway, please read, enjoy, and review, in that order!

I can take the rain on the roof of this empty house
That don't bother me
I can take a few tears now and then and just let them out
I'm not afraid to cry every once in a while
Even though going on with you gone still upsets me
There are days every now and again I pretend I'm ok
But that's not what gets me

I met a lone man in the desert…a traveling priest, Nicholas D. Wolfwood. He smiled and told me that I'm a troubled man. Faced with his all-seeing smile, I could say nothing in my defense. Did I meet this man because I was destined to? Or was it a small jest of God? The man's name is Nicholas D. Wolfwood, a traveling priest I met in the desert.

I'm sitting here, alone. It has been ten years since you left, and I completed what I had to do. I confronted my brother, and now he is, at the very least, tolerant of humans, even if he'll never come to understand my compassion towards them.

I can take sitting here alone, I've been traveling alone for most of my life after all. Even when I had traveling companions, I was still separate from them. Well, except for you of course Nicholas, because you could see right through me. I can also take crying over losses and mistakes, that has become a normal thing for me as well. That's not what I regret most now Nick.

What hurts the most
Was being so close
And having so much to say
And watching you walk away
And never knowing
What could have been
And not seeing that loving you
Is what I was trying to do

What I regret the most, what eats at my heart everyday, was the fact that there was so much left unsaid between us when you died. I know you felt bad about that fact that Knives sent you to guide me to him. You thought you were betraying me because I didn't know. What you didn't realize was that I already knew. I think I started putting the pieces together shortly after the quick draw tournament that we both took place in at May City. I always knew that Milly was very intuitive, even if no one else ever really realized just how correct her observations could be. Your reaction when she said that you must have been a gunman in a former life was what gave me the first real clue, and I simply pieced it together from there.

I knew what you had to do long before I fell in love with you, so you never betrayed me. I wish I could have told you so that you would not feel as if you had, but I knew of Legato's telepathic abilities. If I had told you, you would have been in more danger than ever before.

It's hard to deal with the pain of losing you everywhere I go
But I'm doing it
It's hard to force that smile when I see our old friends and I'm alone
Still harder
Getting up, getting dressed, living with this regret
But I know if I could do it over
I would trade, give away all the words that I saved in my heart
That I left unspoken

Do you know I still keep in touch with the girls? They've both managed to move on in their own ways, even if I never have. I know that Milly loved you in her own way, and I'm grateful that she managed to move on afterwards. Though I still believe that she knew about the two of us, even if Meryl never caught on before everything happened. Meryl too managed to move on, though I know that it hurt her that I could never love her as she had come to love me.

I still visit them twice a year, though it's harder to see them than almost anyone else. Probably because they were there when it happened, and their happiness, as much as I wished it for them, constantly reminds me of what I will never have.

I remember the day you left with a clarity that only great pain can bring. You protected me with your Cross Punisher when Caine shot at me that day, and we took cover in an abandoned bar. Had I known when you went to take care of Chapel that I would never see you alive again, never get a chance to tell you everything, then I would have traded everything that I've hidden in my heart to stop you right then. I'd have given up all the words that I had saved for the day when peace came just to save you.

What hurts the most
Is being so close
And having so much to say
And watching you walk away
And never knowing
What could have been
And not seeing that loving you
Is what I was trying to do

I think it was when I found you that I realized more so than ever before exactly why you shot Zazie that day on the roof. I realized then that I would have broken every vow I had ever taken if I could've protected you. I finally understood that look in your eyes when you killed Zazie. I finally understood why you were willing to kill one who looked like those you were trying to save, even knowing what he was.

That is also one of my biggest regrets. Did you die thinking that I resented you for killing him? I didn't really. I was upset because I wondered if something else could have been done, but I could never hate you for it. I had actually come to the conclusion that the reason you had done it was because you felt there was nothing else to be done, even if I didn't truly understand before I saw you in that church.

I've also had ten long years to think about it. Even when I had my brother here, I'd still replay those two days often enough every night in my dreams. I know that there was nothing else to do. Had you moved, he would have seen you and shot. Had you shot to wound instead of kill, he would have still had one gun and would have shot Milly, one of the kids, or myself. Had you done nothing, even with my talking to him he probably would have shot me. I understand that now, even if I hadn't then.

What hurts the most
Is being so close
And having so much to say
And watching you walk away
And never knowing
What could have been
And not seeing that loving you
Is what I was trying to do

I miss you so much Nick. I regret so much of what was left unsaid. I can only look forward to the day that I will see you again so that I can tell you everything that I never said before. When I see you again, I will tell you everything. I won't hold anything back this time. Even if when we see each other again we have eternity promised to us together in paradise, I won't leave anything until later. I've done too much of that already.

Even if we don't have the paradise everyone envisions together, I know it will be paradise for me because I will be with you. I know that I had found paradise with you. I'd found paradise at the end of your lips. I'd found paradise in the circle of your arms. I'd found paradise in the warmth of your love.

Not seeing that loving you
That's what I was trying to do

I miss you so much Nick, and I still love you more than ever Nicholas.