My first story in a long, long while...I been reading my Trigun manga and watching the anime again..and devising a way to combine them. o.o I hope everyone enjoys! And I am using an OC...meh, so shoot me. I haven't used one in a long, long time. This story has been in development for....err...a year. I finally got around to it. So review and tell me how you all like it!Posts may be every few weeks though, given my hectic schedule...which may, just may, become less hectic after the 28th. And after that I may post every review, let me know what you all think! Thanks!
Disclaimer: I do not own anything of Trigun!
Oasis of Chance
The faint lights of a small town flickered on the distant, dark horizon. The night was calm and serene. A refreshening, cool breeze would sweep over the sands every once in a while and journey across the desert planet of Gunsmoke. Yet, there was a difference this clear, peaceful night. Instead of the usual critters of the night roaming the vast desert, there was a man traveling across the barren land and to the glittering town. He was a man who seemed to have been traveling for a long time. Sweat was coated over his skin and heavy breaths fell from his dry mouth. It wasn't only the traveling that was wearing on the tired one's strength but the heavy burden slung over his shoulder. Even in the dark, it was easy to tell this was no traveling bag of any sort, but an unconscious person. Though the poor wanderer was fatigued, he never gave much thought to his own well being, but to the welfare of the one he was carrying. The "traveling companion" hadn't stirred for a the whole seven hours Vash had been walking. Perhaps... it as better Knives didn't know where he was being taken. Vash had paused to rest and gaze at the distant town ahead. He knew the town well and also a kind friend there who could help him out with his stubborn brother. His only hope was when Knives did wake, he wouldn't feel well enough to rampage on the human race. Adjusting his brother, Vash gave a little smile and continued his journey on to the town of Rakuen.
It had been another hour before Vash reached his final destination in Rakuen. The tired (and thoroughly drenched) Vash was standing on a dimly lit wooden porch, knocking on the door to the house. A few lights flickered on inside and footsteps could be heard as the resident of the lovely household came to see just who was knocking on her door this late at night. When the door swung open, a young looking blonde woman was standing there, lavender eyes trying to take in the sight before her. She knew it was Vash...but my! To her, he looked so utterly horrid and on the verge of collapse. Why was he drenched on a dry, cool night like this? And it seemed Vash had brought a friend with him. Without a word, the mysterious woman let Vash inside and closed the door. These two were in horrible shape and needed rest and hospitality to recover.
"Oh Vash! Even if you two had a fight, this was overkill! Even with your kind's excellent healing abilities, he's going to be bedridden for a week recuperating! The wounds are infected, the bandages are damp and extremely dirty, not to mention the swelling of the infected tissue...at least it seems his body has pushed the bullets out...which is good..."
The worried complaints continued from the frantic young woman. Rubbing alcohol was poured into the exposed wounds to cleanse it of dirt and other impurities. The old, dirty bandages that Vash had wrapped the wounds up in had been cast clear across the room and now laid limp against the wall. Vash could only sit by and wear a guilty smile as he witnessed his trustworthy friend skimming through her medical kit and picking certain salves to apply to Knives' rather nasty wounds. The more Vash saw the exposed tissues and swollen flesh, the more remorseful he felt for injuring his brother this badly. If Nicholas was still alive, he would be yelling at Vash and asking why he didn't finish Knives off. Both knew how much strife and chaos Knives had caused. All the calamities and milestone incidents such as the Big Fall and Lost July had all been Knives' fault. Still, the fact remained Knives was Vash's brother and Vash couldn't stand taking a life no matter how angry he was. It was unfathomable and he was sure Rem wouldn't have wanted that. Even now after 150 years, Vash wanted to try and get Knives to understand there are some good souls in this world. Maybe now he could finally get that chance.
"Let him rest in bed for now until morning. It looks as if his regenerative abilities are kicking in."
The young lady was pulling off the rubber gloves and storing away the canisters of healing salves, leftover gauze and bandages. Knives was lying on the bed with his upper portion of the suit torn off and adorned in fresh medical bandages. A comforter was pulled up to cover Knives from the chest down and a pillow had been fluffed and placed under his head. The girl had done everything she could to make sure her wounded guest would be comfortable for his recovery.
The journey had taxed every fibre of muscle within his aching body. The bed full of neat, thick covers and pillows was a sight for sore eyes. The conscience was chanting the word "sleep" for minutes before Vash turned away from it and headed towards the small bathroom. Every inch of his clothes and body was covered in filth. Blood, sand and sweat had mixed into a rather offensive smell. The stained and stenching coat and clothes were removed and placed in a neat pile right outside the bathroom door. As Vash smiled happily at the awaiting shower stall, all the events of the previous day, the battle and his wounded brother began to plague his mind. The water was beginning to fog the mirrors and glass of the stall as he stepped in and let the water cascade over his rough and scarred body. He'd been standing under the water for some time just thinking about the scenario. It didn't really occur to him that this might be the worst thing to do. Bringing Knives here to a fully human town could be nothing but a disaster waiting to happen. What Vash was hoping that this town's integrity as a true paradise would appeal to his narrow minded brother. The hmans here were very peaceful. There were no ruffian sorts in this place. Everyone here helped one another, got along with one another and never fueded amongst themselves. Could this hopefully convince his human-hating brother that he was wrong to assume all humans were vicious, selfish beings? Vash sighed and decided to finish his shower, praying that this decision of his was not foolish and he had not endangered another populace of humans.
Savory scents and the sound of sizzling spread from the downstairs kitchen. Various skillets and pans rested atop the four eyed stove where the girl was carefully tending to the cooking dinner. The table had been set only for two as she wasn't expecting her wounded guest to be accompanying them tonight. The memories of the infected gunshot wounds, the blackened bruises and various cuts and scrapes riddling the poor man's body caused such a vivid surge of sympathy towards the stranger. Vash hadn't yet told her what happened to the both of them but during dinner was going to be pressing on the matter.
Delicious, succulent plates of hot food were set onto a neat, polished dinner table. Glasses of fresh orange juice were placed beside either plate and the silverware neatly set upon cloth napkins. The pans were sitting in a basin sink full of soapy water, awaiting to be washed later. The scent of dinner had infiltrated the closed bedroom door and caught Vash's attention. It was within moments he was downstairs in an open white shirt and baggy tan pants, his green eyes glazed with hunger as he stared at the food. Drool began to pool at the corner of his lips and it took his patient and hospitable friend to wake him from his stupor.
"You going to sit down and eat or just stare at it?"
The young woman's sudden appearance from the pantry and warming smile broke the spell and Vash immediately took up a seat. He tried to talk to her through the mouthfuls of food and she found him to be too incoherent to understand.
"Can you tell me without the food in your mouth? I can't understand you," she said as politely as ever. It was a big and audible gulp that finally cleared all the food from his mouth and permitted the man to speak.
"I said, I am really thankful you're letting us stay here! I didn't know where else to go with him, and only you, him and one other person knows what I am...what he is. I felt this was the safest place to come to, Tyla," Vash admitted quietly to her. "My brother is...well, he will be a lot of work and I know not a single person who has the same patience with him as me...well! Except you," he hastily finished up. Tyla was getting a bad feeling about something. Vash's speech pattern wasn't usual and it suggested he was hiding important details from her about his brother.
"What's his name?" she asked innocently while spinning her fork in the pile of spaghetti. Those bright, animated green eyes dulled and turned away from her. The smile and fake happy mood he was presenting finally crumbled and revealed a concerned face.
"...Knives," he said in a whisper. Tylas eyes widened. While she may have been born in this town and never once left it on the sandsteamers or caravans, the stories of the other cities and towns had reached their little haven. The horror story of the deserted town where the single name "Knives" had been painted in blood on a monument had chilled her. No one was to be seen, things seemingly left in place without struggle. Coffee cups were said to still be full and sitting on tables, laundry baskets half full while the rest were on the lines being blown by the dusty, desert winds and food that hadn't been touched still sitting on the table.
"You don't mean...you brought into my house, my town, the very one who caused the disappearance of a whole town, do you?"
"...And the real person behind July. And August..."
"What?!" Tyla proclaimed loudly and jumping from her seat. All along Vash had been blamed for those two incidents and while she believed he didn't do it, she couldn't believe he had brought the very same one who did into her home. The fresh thoughts of sympathy for her newer guest from a few minutes ago were now completely forgotten. At very basic terms, Vash was admitting he brought a monster into this town.
"Gale, please! We got nowhere to go where they could be forgiving...I wanna send my two friends letters tomorrow so they will come here. I was hoping maybe with your kindness and understanding, you could persuade my brother into giving the humans a chance," Vash pleaded. The desperate and begging look in his watery eyes warmed Tyla and she couldn't find herself refusing. Maybe it was worth a try to convince this Knives there was more to humans than the obvious greed, selfishness and sloth.
"Fine, Vash. For you. Finish your meal and write those letters tonight. I'll drop them off at the office tomorrow. Ok?" Tyla mustered a smile and hoped that this night would not be the beginning of regret.
Morning for the town of Rakuen was always busy. Women buying food for their families, people selling off goods they handmade, men going to work on building more homes and shops...though the town's population was few in number, they did the work of a metropolitian city like December. The two suns had rose and shed glorious light upon these hardworking folk. But even small towns must have their one lazy number...and that was Vash. While Tyla had rose with the rest of her town's people, Vash slept heavily in the feather soft bed. After that shower and smorgasbord of food last night, sleep as the third best thing. Truly, it was a need Vash's body craved. The fighting and exertion of his raw power had wore down on him. Now, he had to let his body have time to recuperate and heal itself from the damage Knives had inflicted. Then after that it would be time to confront his brother again...
Tyla busied herself in the kitchen fixing pancakes, sausages, bacon, toast, eggs and fresh fruit. It was a lot of food but her plan was to try and talk to this Knives and persuade him to eat. If Vash wanted her to take care of Knives, then she was going to do it no matter what that madman may have done to countless others. Food sizzled in frying pans and in the oven while Tyla cut up some pears and apples. She didn't know what Knives was like and figured to bring him a sample platter of everything then go from there. Would he be mad though that a human cooked food for him? Or feel superior, as a master would to a slave? There was only one way to find out. Tyla gathered up a tray with plates and bowls of food, and a tall glass of orange juice then proceeded upstairs for Knives' room.
In a quiet, sunlit room a figure in bed began to stir. There were a few groans and complaints as the inhabitant of the bed started to push the covers back and try to figure out where he was. All he could remember was lying on the ground looking up to Vash. Before fainting, Knives remembered that he smiled to his "foolish" brother...Vash had really gritted it out in the fight. All because he wanted to protect those filthy beasts. How could he have miscalculated his fight with his brother like that? They were both protecting something very important to them. For Knives, his own kind that he felt were enslaved and needed set free. For Vash, the oppressive and backstabbing race of humans. Why had Vash won? What drove him? How deep did that connection to the humans go? All those scars he remembered his brother had...all caused by humans who had forsaken him. How could he continue on forgiving those pests for their sins?! It didn't matter though, did it? Not now...right now, Knives was growing more concerned on figuring out where he was. Pain shot up his body when he managed to sit up in the bed. The regenerative powers of his were working slowly. It meant he needed sustinence for his body's abilities. Where exactly was he? His attention turned to a woman who opened his door and entered the room. Savory smells of food reached his nose yet he refused to give in to that. He was more concerned on why a human was here. Where was Vash? Cold blue eyes watched as the woman set a tray of food down on the table by his bed. Blue eyes met lavender eyes when she looked up and offered a very pleasant and disgustingly innocent smile.
"Hello, Knives. I am Tyla Gales. Your brother is still sleeping if you are wondering. Are you feeling any better? I thought you'd be hungry so I made you food. You ought to eat anyway. Your body needs it's nutrients to heal."
Knives couldn't help but feel a cold shiver of resentment for this girl. This human was daring to tell him what he needed? Even if she was right...she had no authority to tell him what he needed. To his surprise, the woman pulled a chair next to the window and sat down there. There was a caring look in those eyes of hers...much unlike the humans he was used to. Could she really be concerned about him? If she was friends with his brother, Knives was sure Vash told her the stories of the things he done. So why wasn't she scared or resentful of him for killing thousands of her kind? Why did she hold such a honest and genuine shimmer in her eyes? It made him hate her. What did she know about her own species? Was she just as oblivious to their sins as she was of their own murderer sitting before her? Knives gave a glimpse to the food then turned away from it. He laid back down and turned to face the wall, away from the food and from the stupid human girl. He felt too weak to do anything about it right now. Once his strength returned though, he would do something about the nest of humans in this pitiful desert.
Vash finally began to wake around one O'clock in the afternoon. Hands stretched into the air as he let out a satisfied yawn and felt much better after that long slumber. The muscles didn't ache as much and his wounds were almost completely healed. There was a touch of tenderness in his body, but nothing too troublesome. With such good rest, Vash felt he could take on the tasks he had in mind for the day. The letters he would have to write to Meryl and Millie had to be carefree so as not to worry them. Especially Meryl. He wrestled with the thought of telling her Knives was with him and they both were safe, but considering what he had informed her about his hateful brother and the catastrophes he committed, it was in best interest not to alert her to such news.
He'd gone downstairs to the kitchen to find it sparkling clean as usual, but empty. The chair dragged noisily across the wooden floor as he sat down, sat paper on the table in front of him and a pen. He started on his letter to the girls and firstly asked about their welfare. It was better to start out with asking how they were doing first and hoping to deter them by having them explain everything that was happening where they were. He left out the whole idea of battle, of Knives and only stated he was staying with a friend of his in a small town. The risk of having them fleeing their safety to this town and see him was lessened if they weren't given reason to be overly concerned. He emphasized the best he could that he was fine, and would leave soon to their town and meet up. Hopefully this would keep them in their spot and waiting for him instead of chasing after him across the hot sands and unforgiving suns. Finishing up the letter, he sealed it in a white envelope and put it on the table. Later he would visit the local post office and turn it in to be sent. Now, after such a long night's sleep, his stomach again was agonizing for warm, delicious food...and he now noticed the cook of the house was nowhere.
The house turned up empty. Tyla was no where to be found in every room...except one. The door was shut and his hand rested uneasily on the shiny handle. A fear raced through him. If Tyla decided to bring food to him and stay, would Knives still be weak enough to fail in attacking her? It had been his wish not to have her revealed to him until he was awake and introduced Tyla. A soft breath fell off his lips as he mustered the courage and turned the handle. The door swung open to reveal Knives awake and sitting up, silent and motionless as stone. Steam rose from the food on the table beside him, untouched. At the window sitting in a chair was Tyla with a benign expression on her features. The two of them seemed to be tolerating one another...but the moment Vash stepped in fully, azure eyes flickered toward him and narrowed in fury. It stopped the blonde right in his tracks as he caught sight of his brother's murderous gaze.
The raw feeling of hatred flowing through Knives' veins could not be comprehended easily. For him, seeing his brother sparked his anger and it quickly ignited. This was the brother who had betrayed him twice...shot him twice. The same blood and family, and he had turned a weapon on him. If his body had not been in dire pain, Knives would have leapt off this bed and showed his brother the worst hell possible. Even the quiet human sitting in the room watching over him didn't infuriate him as much as his traitorous brother did. Those green eyes his brother possessed softened with pain and sorrow as he stepped out and closed the door. Tyla only observed, not saying a word to Knives or Vash...and it appeared her wounded guest preferred it this way. After Vash had gone, he went back staring into space with those bright blue eyes and becoming motionless once again.
Evening approached and the day was coming to a close. Shops were closing up and people were returning home to tend to their families. The suns were red on the horizon as they set and casted a golden glow across the sky. All day and Tyla could not get a word from Knives. The man only sat there in the bed silent, still and withdrawn. The enigma sitting before her made her wonder what he was thinking. The pain she saw in Vash's eyes and the pure hatred Knives flashed towards him wa enough to clue her in that Vash had hurt Knives deeply...not only physically, but emotionally. With only his brother for company, to be betrayed by that one person had to have shattered Knives' world. It robbed him of the only safe zone...and now he was at a loss what to do, where to go. Everywhere there were humans and for someone who had a deep running hatred for the human race, it was impossible for him to live. Would he consider himself drowning in a sea of vermin if he was forced to live along humans? Would it suffocate him? Seeing the sun setting and dying away behind the sandy mountains reminded Tyla of the time and the fact she needed to fix dinner. The lunch on the table was cold now and had gone untouched by Knives. Without a single word to him, she had stood and retrieved the tray of food, leaving Knives alone. The door shut silently as she closed it and headed downstairs.
Vash had been sitting at the table snacking on donuts. The newspaper was unfolded all over the table, and his eyes scanning every word printed. Tyla only watched him for a moment and was always amazed at the speed he ate donuts. It reminded her she would have to keep a regular stash of them around if Vash would be living here for a few days.
"Newspapers? Since when do you read newspapers?" Tyla asked Vash. A large, powdered donut had stuffed Vash's mouth so he held up his reason for the newspaper. As Tyla took the cut out paper from his fingers, she frowned.
"Coupons for 50% chocolate donuts at the Donut Factory? Seriously?"
Vash gave eager nods and finished his donut. A gasp of air filled his lungs as he ate it and could breath again. The coupons were set down on the table as Tyla sat in a chair with Vash. Inquisitive eyes stared Vash down and suddenly the great Vash the Stampede was feeling uneasy. Those eyes always meant she was preparing to question him. A smile broke through his features as he looked at her.
" Vash, I want to ask...why is he so stubborn? Why not accept food and water?"
The question made the man think. To answer it, he would have to divulge the whole story to her. There were even parts of his past he could not remember for the sake of his life. Things probably long forgotten or buried down inside him for a reason.
"Truthfully, this is what kind and mild is for him. We came down with the ships a long, long time ago. And we are plants...like I told you before. We were saved from being killed by a woman...named Rem. We were taught about humans and their past...over time, Knives just...one of the crew members abused us and Knives couldn't take that...he's responsible for the ships crash landing on this planet..."
Tyla had always known what Vash was. Common logic told her a man like him could not have survived with that many scars and sling a gun that well without being inhuman. A time long ago she remembered him stumbling to her doorstep bleeding and in bad shape. Bullet holes had riddled his red coat and rivulets of blood pouring down his clothing. Tyla had taken him in and witnessed bullets being pushed out of his body. No human body was capable of such a feat and it was her first clue to his inhuman identity. Medical care was provided to him and he was given as much time as needed to recuperate in her home...and when she questioned him about the incident with the bullets, he decided to let her know. Tyla was the most accepting and kind hearted person he ever met after Rem. A sense of guilt for the way humans express their fear through violence wrecked her a moment...but did it make Knives any different then for being scared of humans and killing them?
Pasta boiled on the stove as the two worked quietly in the kitchen to make dinner. Night now hung over the sandy, little planet. Tyla decided on something quick to make, choosing spaghetti and garlic toast. It would be another try at getting Knives to eat something or maybe at the very least, try and drink some water. The pasta was strained in the sink and set in a large bowl with heated sauce. A plate was prepared and had two slices of garlic toast set atop the heap. Vash didn't think Knives would accept the food still but it was worth a try. Before she went upstairs to deliver any food to him though, Vash wished to have a talk to Knives.
"Tyla, give me abut ten minutes with him first...ok?"
A look of confusion crossed her features but she only nodded and set the plate aside and went to fix her own and Vash's. It was going to take a lot to get through his brother's thick skull to at least give the humans a second chance.
Blue eyes stared up to the night sky in fixation. Everything in his past since landing here was passing through Knives' mind. The mystery of his brother always protecting those insects still bothered him. Did their own kind deserve to be forever doomed to those damned bulbs and extinguishing their lives to serve these selfish humans? No matter what planet they would have landed on, his brethern were going to be used to make life for the humans to enjoy. That was all humans made them for...if that was so, why give them a conscience? And then there was the matter of something unfamiliar swelling inside him. It wasn't painful nor did it seem to rob him of energy. More...it seemed to give him more energy. It felt like an electrical current coursing through him and though he knew his body and mind were relaxed, deep inside he felt it. It was funny he never in his hundred and twenty years of being here, had this occurrence. As he stared at his hand flexing its fingers, he wondered if it was a power inside of him that was being unleashed and recognized for the first time...and he didn't know how to control it or call on it. The creaking door broke his focus as he stared over the room and saw Vash emerge from behind the door.
Vash crossed the distance and sat by Knives' bed, not speaking right away. Both exchanged glances and it took Vash courage to finally speak up to his brother.
" I'm sorry, Knives...for giving you those injuries. I shouldn't...have shot you so many times."
The apology won no sympathy or forgiveness from Knives. Those features were frozen solid and it didn't seem like anything Vash would say would mean anything to him.
" And...Tyla's just trying to help...I told her about you. What you did...and she is still nice enough to cook food for you, and welcome you into her home. So could you...you know. Accept food and drink, and treat her just a bit more kindly? For a hundred something years...you been trying to convince me to see it your way...it's not fair."
The problem Vash always had was he talked too much. The very sound of his voice was enough to anger Knives. Once his idiot brother had ceased talking and decided quieting down would be more appropriate, Knives decided he would say something after the whole day.
"I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for three weeks, brother. If I don't see anything new...I'll kill them all."
A silence overcame them both and Vash could find no words. A hundred and twenty long years Knives had been trying to convince him that humans were parasites...and here, Vash had three weeks to prove to him not all of them were. That there were kind people still in the world like Rem. Not all hope was lost. It was the best chance he would get and if Knives promised his full cooperation, it would hopefully work the way Vash wanted. He left his brother's room and began walking downstairs, pondering about the situation. Deep down...something nagged at him. Would Knives change his mind in three weeks? Was it enough time? Somehow, Vash's more negative beliefs filtered in. The biggest fear was having to fight his brother again and mentally, he prepared himself. He had hope in humans...but he hadn't much hope invested in his brother.