Seems forever since I updated this one! But thankfully all my updates are at least within the month. So sorry for the wait, but two other stories to work on. ^^' And trying to keep up with them and work. But enjoy! Please review!

Chapter 6
Festering Hostility

People's chatter surrounded them in a sea of voices. The sun was bearing down upon the dusty world in mid afternoon, when the townspeople were out and about. The many sounds and scents surrounded the two as they walked back to her home bombarded the senses. While Tyla was momentarily taken away by the scent of freshly cut apples, or beef being barbequed over an open pit, Knives seemed to ignore everything in his surroundings. Tyla was beginning to wonder if it was a good idea to let him see the plants' facility and how the humans go about receiving their food and water from them. What she had been hoping for is that Knives would see that despite how often they used his kind, the humans here were very aware of what the plants were doing...and were very grateful for everything given to them.
The two reached her home and entered. Not one word was spoken between the pair. Tyla locked up and turned to Knives standing by a bookshelf, his eyes gazing at a small picture in a picture frame. Many, little decorations were sitting there along the few picture frames of herself with her mother and father. The three had taken a picture in front of one of the plants at the facility when Tyla was still a small infant. What had caught Knives attention was the plant's behavior. The couple were smiling brightly while they held little Tyla in their arms, and the plant had exposed itself in its true form...all the way at the bottom of the inclosure, and its pearl-like eyes staring at the small baby. a slender hand was held out, its fingertips pressed against the glass.

"Did your father used to work in the facility?" he asked abruptly. Tyla blinked at the question and nodded gently as she approached him.

"Mom too...they worked together," she informed him. She walked to his side and stared at the happy picture longingly, before gently taking it from Knives' fingers and replacing it on the shelf.

"They retired," she stated blandly, her eyes never coming off the picture. Slender hands folded themselves in front of her as she dwelt on the thoughts Vash expressed to her. How come she had more hope in Knives than his own brother? Maybe having the advantage of not knowing the man for as long as Vash did gave her an edge in this rehabilitation. There was no reason to not forgive him because she hadn't been personally involved to know and feel the pain he had caused many others.

"I cannot forgive your kind, Tyla. I am trying to, but I cannot," he admitted bitterly. The flame of fury was beginning to grow as he creased his brows, and gritted his teeth.

"'re much too young to know how your pathetic kind started out here. Killing one another over water, land and food...fighting to keep plants which were no ones' to begin with! Never helping one another out...humans are desensitized and so completely selfish. Burning up their own world and moving on to the next only to use it up and utterly...disgusting," he finished with a bitter taste left on his tongue. "Your kind cannot control their impulses...they use my kind up and move on..." he muttered, as the rant calmed. Just getting it out of him lessened the pressure. As long as one human knew the root of his hatred, it helped. As his sight drifted to her, he saw moisture in the corners of her eyes, tears threatening to spill over.

"What are those dirty tears for, huh?" he asked angrily. The hateful question sobered Tyla up as her sniffles stopped and the welling of moisture in her eyes ceased.

"You...sincerely don't think I don't know that? Don't know about the atrocities committed or what one is capable of? But're one to talk. You stand her preaching to me how violent and murderous we are. How selfish we are...but you want all humans eradicated so as to stop a "virus". It's you or them. Isn't that just as violent? Just as murderous?...Just as selfish? It's just stooping to the level you condemn," she said. For her to speak so frankly caught Knives off guard, as all he could do is stare at her in disbelief. Never before had anyone talked back to him like this.

" The only mistake you're making is generalizing the population. Not all of us are like that! This town certainly isn't! You're angry because we're forced to use the plants to survive, right? Because we exhaust them like one would batteries...well, do you think we would be forced to if we hadn't landed on this arid, desolate planet?" she spewed. The docile, quiet Tyla that Knives had briefly known the past five days had disappeared. Now only this venom spitting woman stood before him.
"And who's fault was that...? Yes...Vash told me, think hard before you start laying the blame," she finished and stormed from the room. Knives stayed rooted where he was, his jaw dropped as he watched the girl leave. Those words struck him deep to the core. While fragmented words swam in his head for many years that indicated who was responsible, the man never bothered to piece it together. This human female had done just that and slapped him in the face with the cold, hard truth Knives denied ever since the beginning. And this...infuriated him.

The girls were settled in. Vash feared for them to be here while there was a veritable ticking bomb. Writing them seemed like a good idea at the time but maybe it was not. Once the two picked up on your scent, it was hard to lose them. They followed him on all his adventures and in some instances, even provided some sorely needed help. It took convincing to ensure they stayed at the hotel until he taken care of his brother. Meryl was hellbent on believing nothing could change the "demon" as she called him. If five days had already gone and there was no change, how was the next two weeks supposed to go? A minor depression began to plague Vash as he made his way back to Tyla's. The two would either show up soon or already be back...maybe some donuts would help lift his mood if not make him feel an iota better.
The home seemed as quiet as the church. The time had lapsed into the evening and Vash figured the two should have been back by now. Vash hadn't a clue why Tyla dragged Knives off by herself...and it did worry him. All it would take is something to aggravate him and he would cave in to his anger. Tyla had no way of preventing this if it were to happen.
A box of fresh, soft donuts were placed on the table. The flimsy lid was lifted and the scent of such sweet, sugary delight filled his nostrils. A happy smile came over his face as a gloved hand picked up one of the much desired pastries. The glazed donut barely kissed his lips when he heard a shrill scream. Hunger and donuts forgotten, the donut fell to the floor as Vash rushed upstairs. A feeling of heavy, frightening energy filled the upstairs hallway. the bathroom door was open and there was commotion. Vash ran and barged into the bathroom to see Tyla standing by the toiler with fright painted over her face and Knives sitting on the floor holding his forearm in pain. The shower curtain had been torn off at the hooks and laid in a heap beside the tub.

"Knives!" Vash yelled. Those eyes had turned electric blue with fury but before either brother could engage in battle, the woman stood between them. Lavender eyes begged Vash to calm down. A few moments passed with Knives heaving for breath and Vash shaking and on his toes. Tension still hung in the air as the three tried to gain their bearings and disperse the adrenaline inside them.

"Get out, Vash," Knives gritted out. The green-eyed brother stared at Knives with protest until Tyla shook her head.

"Just go...I'll be fine. Let him be," she assured. Vash took a hesitant step back and turned quickly, walking away. He would stay down the hall, not far from the two. Something about that spike in power he felt made Vash wary. What was Knives going through and why did Tyla scream then act like nothing was wrong? The bathroom door was slammed shut once Vash left and Tyla turned to Knives sitting on the floor. The toilet seat lid clacked loudly as she flipped it down. Tyla took a seat and watched Knives warily. What she had walked in on was nothing short of amazing. To think the plants had such power inside had marveled her.

"Knives," she said, with dryness in her mouth. The man continued to stare at the aqua colored bath rugs without glancing to her. This had been a secret he wanted no one knowing. The human girl had seen something he had just recently discovered himself and hadn't a clue how to control. What Tyla had told him earlier had infuriated him to his core. Intent on having another go at her, he rushed upstairs while the anger was still hot inside. It did nothing to quell the surge of power flowing within. Feeling that familiar sensation he ducked into the bathroom and barely managed to gain control of it. The flash of light cut through her shower curtain and it fell neatly to the floor, severed neatly. Before anymore destruction could result, he managed to call back the power...but not before Tyla walked in to see such odd, sharp protusions shrinking back into his arm. It was unlike anything she ever seen before.

"Are you...ok?" she asked hesitantly. The blonde glared at her a moment before giving a solemn nod. The two didn't know what else to say to one another. The male slowly rose up, grasping the towel rack for support. The power had calmed down and his heartrate returned to normal. Fixing the human with a cruel glare, he issued her one demand.

"Do NOT tell my brother about this..." he ordered. The girl only smiled to him and nodded. She had no plans to let Vash in on this issue.

"I certainly won''s getting late, and I must make dinner. Will you...join us? Please?" she asked kindly. No answer came from the stoic man standing so tall. Tyla stood slowly and lowered her head, having a feeling he was still angry at her for the things she said. She had meant to stay calm around him and ever so kind. The cruel things he was saying though had struck a nerve in her and she could no longer contain her apprehension of his blatant racism.

"I am sorry for lashing out like that...I didn't meant to upset you-" she stopped as he raised a hand to prevent her from explaining. He gave her a long, cold stare for a while which froze her to the spot. To have those icy eyes peering deep into her made her feel so self-conscious.

"I'll be down...just get the food ready," he told her. Tyla nodded slowly and left Knives to himself. The bathroom door was pushed closed to give him privacy. As she walked down the hallway to an awaiting Vash, she exhaled. All that time staring into his eyes, she hadn't realized she was holding her breath. There was definitely something about him to fear...and for some unexplained reason, she was in awed by that.

Dinner was being laid out on large plates. Steam curled from the succulent meats and vegetables Tyla had made for them. Two new guests were sitting at the table talking to Vash. The three were chatting animatedly about all their past adventures. The stories they were reliving made Tyla smile as she tended to setting out the plates and the food onto the large, long table. There were stories about the sandsteamer, and the run-in with thwe Bad Lad Gang. A mention of a man named Marlon who always helped repair Vash's famous gun. The Nebraska family and their oversized mother and son. Stories of the priest known as Nicholas Wolfwood who Milllie seemed so fond of. Through all those dangers, there were stories of great adventure that Tyla wished she could have experienced.

The last plate of food had be laid out on the table when they heard footsteps coming down the stairs. The chatter stopped as all eyes turned to the landing and saw Knives emerge. No emotion showed on his face as he calmly took a seat at the head of the table and awaited for the last person to sit. The festive atmosphere had grown icy with his presence. As Tyla sat down, Knives began to take shares of each plate, not once glancing to any of the people sitting around the table.
Meryl was trying her best to control her fear. The man named Vash the Stampede had been the one labeled the "Humanoid Typhoon" and the " $$60 billion man" for years...and now, the true one was sitting among them. The true demon responsible for all the calamities. While Vash had that outgoing attitude and aura that attracted so many people...Knives had the look of a demon and had the air that repelled those around him. How could these two be brothers?
No one knew what to say. A heavy silence rested among them as they quietly ate their share of food, fearing that if any one of them spoke a word, it would set Knives off like an atomic bomb. Tyla had been looking everywhere but across from her at Knives. What she had said earlier, she hadn't really meant. It had all been said in the heat of anger, when she was emotional about the cruel things Knives had declared. One brave moment was taken to glance to the normally stoic man. As Tyla did, she was caught by his icy eyes staring right back at her. The only expression she could read from the gaze, was of that of a wolf, stalking its prey before it gave chase. Tyla tore away from the gaze and looked down at her food, poking at the fluffy clouds of mashed potatoes.

"Um...what's for dessert?" the tall female, Millie, asked. Tyla looked to her quickly and sighed, giving a soft smile and happy to finally have a reason to speak.

"Mille feuille cake. Is that ok?" Tyla asked politely. Millie's eyes glowed with excitement as she clapped her hands together. It happened to be her favorite type of cake.

"Oh, that is perfect! And Ceylone tea?..." she asked, jittery with energy. The other three stared at her; Meryl more with embarrassment, Vash with worry and Knives with irritation.

"I ought to have some in the cupboards," Tyla said. Dinner was nearly finished, with the serving plates demolished of what it once held. As Tyla went to fetch the cake from the counter, Vash began to collect the dirty dishes for her. The suns were setting on the horizon and filling the room with such an intense vermillion red. It was the favorite time of day when Tyla felt more relaxed. Tea was put on the stove as small serving plates were set out with forks. The platter with the lovely styled cake was set down. A large knife cut into it the custard pastry and began to set slices on each plate. Millie, Meryl and Vash began to lighten up and chat quietly amongst themselves as they enjoyed the sweet, creamy cake. Tyla set a plate of the dessert in front of Knives, giving him a kindred look. The man never looked up but stared at the slice of cake for a while before deciding to take a bite of it. Tyla sat back down with the others and smiled at the 'family' that somehow drew themselves together here. And if all went well...maybe it would stay this way.