"You say you found her on the outskirts of town, and you have no idea who she is?"

"That's right."

"Well, everything seems fine. She probably just passed out from the heat, poor thing."

Becca opened her eyes slowly, not sure if she really wanted to be awake or not. She was lying in an uncomfortable bed in a dimly lit, but warm room. There was strange equipment on a table next to the bed, and she could see two men across the room talking. One wore glasses, and looked very professional. The other was tall, blonde, handsome, wore a red trenchcoat, and bore a striking resemblance to Vash the Stampede. She smirked about the thought, but told herself it was just coincidence.

"So, what do you suggest?" The blonde asked, looking over at where she was lying, pretending to still be asleep.

"What do you mean? There isn't anything I can do for her, especially with supplies the way they are right now. I suggest you wake her up and get her out of here. I have other patients I need to see." Becca assumed he was a doctor of some sort. Probably private practice, from the look of the room.

"And take her where?"

"Not my problem." The man smiled and walked to one of his bookshelves, his hands folded behind his back.

"And you get paid for this?" The blonde muttered under his breath and took a few steps toward Becca, kneeling by the bed to look at her. "She's barely old enough to be out on her own like that. It's dangerous for a young lady to be alone in the desert."

"Indeed. She's lucky that you found her, rather than someone with more... improper desires."

"That's enough. We don't need to talk about that." He reached down and brushed a strand of hair from her face with his fingertips, she opened her eyes to look at him. He met her gaze with a warm, but concerned smile. "Feeling okay?"

"Yeah... I suppose..." She spoke softly, her throat horribly dry, making her voice hoarse. "Where am I?" The blonde opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off.

"Memory loss isn't uncommon in these cases. She may seem out of sorts for a bit, but she'll straighten out." The doctor cut in, making the blonde throw him a slightly annoyed look. "She'll need to rest and drink lots of water."

"Do you remember where you came from?" The blonde asked, trying to ignore the doctor. "I've never seen you around here."

"Fairfield." Becca answered groggily. Both men looked at each other, obviously confused. It became clear to her that neither of them had ever heard of it before. "It's in California." More blank stares met her words.

"Perhaps we should find you a hotel." The blonde extended his hand to help her up. "It seems like you might be here for a while."

"Fun..."She muttered.


Kim awoke to a harsh sun beating down on her face. She could hear murmurs around her, but felt so hot and light-headed that she could only bring herself to roll her head to the side.

"Poke her again, I think she's alive." Kim groaned at hearing someone say this.

"Amanda, get your stupid friends out of my room!" She spoke without opening her eyes. An uproar of male laughter sounded from all around her.

"She's alive, all right."

"Feisty!" A man's rough hand cupped her chin, and she opened her eyes to look at who it belonged to. "Sorry, love, but this ain't your room."


"You might want to be careful about what you say around here." The blonde man warned Becca as he led her through the streets. "People around this town don't generally like crazy people running around spouting nonsense."

"It's not nonsense!" Becca snapped. "What I said is true! My friend and I got dumped here... Wherever here is, although it looks like Texas... and I need to find her so we can go home... somehow."

"Easy, there." The man chuckled. "You know, you're cute when you're angry."

"I'm glad you think so, but I wouldn't be so angry if you would just listen to a word I'm saying!" Becca was fuming at this point.

"I am listening." The man said sternly, changing his tone and dropping his voice. "I'm just the only person here who will." Becca stopped for a moment as his words sunk in, then had to run to catch up with him.

"What kind of place is this, anyway?" She looked around at the quaint western-style town. "More importantly, where are you taking me? Isn't there a hotel closer to that doctor's office?"

"We're heading to my hotel room. I doubt you have money for your own." The man turned a corner, and Becca tried to follow close behind, being careful not to step on the ends of his coat. "Or am I wrong?"

"You're right..." She grumbled. She hated other people looking out for her. She nearly had to jog to keep up with him, due to the difference in their heights, and his long strides. "So, what, are you a cosplayer here for an anime convention or something?"

"A what?" The man looked back at her, puzzled.

"Ohhh, I see." Becca nodded smugly, crossing her arms. "Staying in character. Good dedication. I admire that."

"No, really." The man stopped walking and turned to face her now, looking concerned. "What are you talking about?"

"Come on, you think I don't recognize your costume?" Becca was laughing now. She couldn't believe what a character she had run into.

"Is this how you talk to people where you're from?" He looked slightly offended. After all, these were his clothes she was insulting. "This isn't some costume. What do you think I am, a circus clown?"

"No, you're Vash the stamp-" The man clapped his hand over her mouth before she could finish her sentence, and all she could do was let out a muffled "Hey!" as he pulled her into an alleyway a few feet away.

"I don't know who you are, where you came from, or how you actually got here, and I certainly don't know how you know me..." His face had changed dramatically; much more serious now. He had her pressed against the wall, and his face was only a few inches from hers, to ensure that she was the only one that heard him. "But I'm asking you to please, please, never call me that again. I don't need people around here to know who I am."


"What should we do with her?" A man held Kim's arms behind her back, as she knelt in the dirt, praying that she was dreaming, and was really anywhere else.

"I suggest we just use her body and toss her." Another man piped up.

"Just leave her." A third man spoke, his voice much smoother and more mature-sounding than the others. "You don't know where she's been."

"Awwww, but boss..." A chorus of complaints filled the air from the handful of men that were gathered around.

"I don't want to hear it!" He snapped menacingly, looking around at each of them, shutting them all up. Kim glanced up to see what kind of man had this much power. He was tall, well-built, and Kim recognized his blue hair immediately. "You really think she'd do anything but get in the way?"

"I want to help!" Kim blurted out, then looked back down, scared and embarrassed. She didn't know what else to do.

"Oh, so you can speak for yourself." The man motioned for her to be released, and walked over to her, circling her slowly, and scanning her with his eyes. "So, you think you can help me? What is it you think I need to be helped with, hm? What can I possibly not handle by myself?"

"Y-you're... Legato, right?" It took all her effort to get the words out, for various reasons, fear being a big one. A few chuckles rose from the group around her, including some from the man himself.

"Impressive, you know who I am." He stepped in front of her, giving her a mocking smile. "I suppose you could be useful, if I ever forget my own name."

"I want to work for you!" She blurted again, digging her grave deeper. It was worth a shot, at least, in her opinion. The chuckles from around her grew into full-blown laughter, as Legato grabbed her by her hair and pulled her to her feet, not letting go.

"Fine." He narrowed his eyes, watching her struggle to look as if she wasn't in pain. "You have three days to prove your worth." He let go of her and let her drop back to her knees.

"And what if I fail?" She managed to get out as he turned from her and began walking away. The only response that met her ears was his laughter.


AN: Okay, I tried to make chapter two longer than the prologue. This chapter is over 2x as many words, so I think I did an okay job. XD