STAY

With a clank, the cup of coffee—black, as the Priest preferred—fell to the cold tiled floor. Its contents spilt around it, creating a mess that would soon become sticky or slick if it were not cleaned up soon. Millie decided not to worry about the mess yet. What was more important at this moment was the Priest.

"You smell nice."

Millie held back a small gasp of surprise. Where had a comment like that come from, all of a sudden? It seemed like a strange kind of compliment, coming from the Priest, and during such a situation. Loosening her hold around him slightly, she gently pleaded with him.

"Please," she said, her voice soft but stern. "Eat your sandwiches."

For a moment, Wolfwood said nothing. Millie could feel his wavered breathing against her shoulder, seeming desperate and shallow.

"Will you eat them with me?" The Priest asked finally, his voice almost as unsteady as his breathing, almost as unsure. It took Millie a moment to fully take in his question. Of course, it couldn't hurt to have a sandwich with him, she assured herself as she released her hug from around the Priest's shoulders. It might make him feel a bit better to have someone there.

Walking back to the kitchen, Millie retrieved the sack of sandwiches, which she had left on a counter as she prepared Wolfwood's coffee. Noiselessly the girl reentered the room where Wolfwood still sat on his bed of rumpled sheets, watching Millie expectantly as she sat down beside him. Conveniently, there were two sandwiches in the bag—that meant one for each of them. Millie put on a crooked smile, and handed the Priest his sandwich as she took her own.

Being around Vash the Stampede so much had accustomed both to the taste of Salmon Sandwiches, which happened to be one of the outlaw's favorite foods. It still puzzled Millie why the sandwiches were said to be made of Salmon, when salmon were a type of fish she'd only seen in her books; the planet she lived on was a desert planet, where no fish could possibly survive. This gave the Big Girl enough to think about as she ate her sandwich in silence beside the Priest, who studied his sandwich carefully and turned it over constantly in his hands, as if he were also trying to figure out the mystery of the Salmon Sandwich. Millie glanced at him from time to time, but he would only return her gaze when he had popped the last bit of his small meal into his mouth.

"Thank you," the dark-haired Priest murmured, his own, smoky-blue eyes locking with Millie's bright blue ones. For a few, dreadfully long moments, there was silence, in which one set of eyes stared at the other, both expressionless, unreadable.

Then Millie stood.

"Sempai is probably wondering where I am," the girl announced, eyes still locked with the Priest's. "I should go."

As she turned to leave, Millie found that she couldn't bring herself to turn the handle on the door. She could feel it. Those eyes of his, those dull, smoky orbs that clearly read 'sorrow'. She could feel his eyes on her back, and the girl was swept with pity, which kept her feet plastered to the spot in front of the door. Those eyes were pleading with her, and she slowly turned around to face them.

"Can't you stay?" Wolfwood quietly pleaded, his voice thick with desperation, longing for comfort. "Just a bit longer?"

Devotion to her Sempai and pity and care for the Priest kept the girl rooted to the spot, unmoving. Her eyes were no longer looking into the eyes of the Priest, but focused on the slowly setting sun outside the single window of the small room. As the sky went dark, so did the room, whose sole source of light now came entirely from the first moon, still low in the sky where she could not see it. But as the room went dark, Wolfwood's eyes lit up, became more pleading.

"Please?"

His plea broke through a wall in Millie's conscience. Sighing, she found that her feet could function again, and she seated herself beside the Priest once more.

"A bit longer," Millie agreed, smiling genuinely as the Priest continued to watch her intently with his smoky eyes. Again there was silence, and again the two locked gazes, not knowing or having the knowledge to know what the other was thinking.

Finally, the Priest looked away, down at his hands that were folded loosely in his lap.

"Thank you," he said in a half-whisper, his voice different from the last few times he had spoken. It sounded relieved, yet sad all at the same time. Millie opened her mouth to respond, but found that she couldn't. For a moment, a desperate, fleeting moment, she wondered why.

Then discovered that the Priest's lips were on her own.

The girl's first impression in such a situation would have normally been surprise, but she found that she wasn't. Instead, she found herself with a blank mind, save for the trivial little thoughts that managed to pass by. One such thought was the way she discovered the Priest's mouth tasted. It startled her, slightly, to realize that it didn't taste like cigarettes or smoke, much like the mouth of a devoted chain-smoker normally would. She reveled in this, thoroughly enjoying as much of the kiss as she could until the Priest pulled away.

When he did, he was breathing heavily, much the same as Millie suspected her own breathing to be. She couldn't tell, as her thoughts were still too caught up in that brief moment of contact with the Priest. There was another moment in which their eyes locked, using the moment to catch their breath. Millie wasn't surprised when Wolfwood kissed her a second time. Then a third. Then another. Another.

It wasn't until Millie caught a glance out of the window and spotted the second moon that she realized how very late it had become. Catching herself before she allowed Woflwood to pull her in again, she took in a deep breath and spoke.

"It's very late," she murmured hoarsely, her lungs having trouble providing her with a sufficient amount of air to speak normally. The Priest's breathing was as unsteady as hers, and his eyes widened as she spoke. That desperation that had earlier filled his eyes returned, and his breaths went from heavy to shallow.

"Can't you stay…?" the dark-haired Priest asked the girl imploringly. "Can't you stay with me…?" His last words faded into a whisper, and Millie once again found herself unable to look away from his eyes. Those smoky, dull eyes that so pleaded with her, that begged for her presence. Before she could stop him, the Priest had again drawn her into a kiss. Millie didn't resist.

She kept her eyes closed as he pulled away, smiling despite herself. "I'll stay," the Big Girl agreed, "Just a bit longer."

She could almost feel the relief pooling off the man who held her, and felt her back being pressed against the bed.

"Thank you," the Priest whispered, kissing the girl's cheek as his fingers fumbled to undo the latches on her heavy cloak.

It was later than she would have normally woken up. Judging by the position of the suns, Millie guessed that it must have been around ten o' clock in the morning. Funny. She never slept in late. Rubbing her eyes as she sat up in her bed, Millie became dreadfully aware of the fact that she was not in her own bed, and that she was bare of almost all her clothing. It took a bit of doing on her part, but images of the night before flashed back into her mind.

She blushed.

At the end of the small bed with its rumpled sheets was a small table, and on that table the girl spotted her yellow pajamas, folded neatly for her. Millie guessed that the Priest had gotten them for her while she slept in. Smiling, she dressed, and made up the rumpled sheets on the bed. It was only once she had done so that she sat back down, and wondered where the Priest was. Would he leave without waking her, or without even a note? Millie assured herself that he wouldn't do anything like that, and decided to wait.

So she waited.

It wasn't until the second sun was visible in the sky that the Priest walked back in, holding a paper bag in one hand and two mugs in the other, its contents clearly smelling of coffee. When he noticed the girl sitting on the bed, the Priest grinned, slightly, then walked to the table where Millie's pajamas had earlier been, placing the bag and the mugs there.

"I made breakfast," he explained, removing the contents of the bag, which showed to be Salmon Sandwiches. "I didn't think you'd be awake, yet."

Millie smiled, accepting the sandwich the Priest offered her. "I don't usually sleep in late," the girl replied, taking a bite of her sandwich. Why did it taste different than the night before? Again they ate their meal in relative silence, and Millie took the time to observe the man who sat beside her. Nearly all physical traces of his confusion and sadness from the night before seemed to have worn off, but no manner of physical changes could hide the look in his eyes. It was more subtle than before, but it was there; that deep, desperate confusion, that sadness that Millie had gazed upon so many times the night before.

The night before… why had she stayed with him, she suddenly wondered to herself? Was it out of pity? Out of concern?

As she inspected the last bit of her sandwich, the answer to her question came to her, slowly and cautiously. She stayed because she wanted to. She wanted to stay with him. She finished her sandwich with one last small bite, as did Wolfwood.

The silence had come again, this time more uncomfortable, more tense than usual. Something was wrong.

"Wolfwood-san…?" Millie asked unsurely, feeling the need to break the silence that had built a wall between them. Her voice drifted on empty air as the Priest adamantly avoided her gaze, not answering right away. His focus was on his hands, which lay limp in his lap. Millie could almost feel the tension seething from him.

Something was very wrong.

"Wolfwood-san?" Millie asked again, her voice imploring. Why didn't he answer? Almost immediately after she spoke, the Priest rose, his expression grim but his eyes unreadable, which Millie found strange. Those smoky eyes had been her one way of knowing even slightly what this man was thinking. How was she to know what was on his mind now?

"Stay," the Priest said suddenly, his voice breaking crisply through the still air. "Please stay here."

"Are you going?" Millie asked innocently. It was only then that the Priest met her eyes. Holding back a gasp, the Big Girl realized the look she saw in his eyes was the same one Vash the Stampede so often wore.

It was cold determination. He was going to do something. Millie realized that she didn't want him to go. That he shouldn't go.

He shouldn't go.

The cold look in the Priest's eyes stopped Millie from saying anything, and the words in her mind jammed in her throat. How could she possibly stop someone who was so determined? Before she had become aware of it, tears welled in her eyes. She couldn't stop him.

"I'll be back," the Priest assured her, looking away painfully as tears streamed down the girl's face. "Please. Please stay."

Forlorn, the girl nodded. She couldn't stop him. Something was wrong, and she couldn't stop him from going. Though tears blurred her vision, slightly, she could see the faint crease of a smile on the Priest's lips, and could hear the murmured sounds of a "Thank you."

Then he was gone, the door closed tightly behind him. Millie's eyes were closed tightly, also. She had to stay now. She had to stay for him, because he had told her to. He'd be back, he'd said so. She had to stay.

She hid her head in her knees as the first gunshot rang out.

She wanted to stay, for him. Because he said he'd be back. She knew he'd be back, because she believed him.

More gunshots.

She'd stay. She wanted to stay.

For him.

**That was… horrible, to say the least. Review anyway, would you? ::gets on her knees and begs:: please??**