Disclaimer: I do not own Trigun; I do not own any of the characters from the Trigun universe. Yasuhiro Nightow and Young King Ours own the copyright to Trigun and all the various characters therein. If you want to give money to someone for these wonderful characters, give money to them.
Please do not steal this fan fiction. That would make me more than a little aggravated. If you wish to archive this fic, please email me first at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments and criticisms are welcome and appreciated.
Into the Clear
~ love ~
"You must be the seed, descend into the earth. Searching for the union of death and then rebirth."
But I need
love. It is patience; it is kindness.
I need love. It is rain after the dryness.
I need love. Sister Wisdom, help me see; it's the one thing that I need… the only thing that I need.
"The Harvester is near. His blade is on your skin. To plant a new beginning…"
Well then, let
the cut begin.
Let the cut begin…
—Sixpence None the Richer
(lyrics by: Matt Slocum; album: Sixpence None the Richer;
© Sixpence None the Richer, 1997)
Vash ran his hand through his hair and sighed for the fifth time in as many minutes. The gesture was quickly becoming annoying and made Meryl want to snap at him for being an idiot and stalling. If he had something to say, he should just say it instead of constantly messing with his damn hair.
He caught her fingers drumming impatiently against her outer thigh just above the knee and knew she was close to losing her temper. He offered her his customary smile while looking very sheepish, "I don't know where to start."
Meryl rolled her eyes. "Why did you come out here, Mr. Vash?"
"Please don't call me that."
"Well, "Mr. The Stampede" is too dumb sounding, otherwise I would call you that. Or how about Mr. Outlaw? Mr. Typhoon?"
Vash sighed, "You know what I mean."
"Alright, fine," Meryl grated as she told herself she didn't care that her sarcasm was causing Vash to visibly wince. The jerk deserved it, she reasoned. Besides, it helped her feel like she was in control if she could take her angst out on him. "Why did you come out here, Vash?"
He clenched his jaw as he looked at her, "What you said back there was right. About me trying to scare you… you're right. I was."
Meryl waited for Vash to continue, but he seemed lost in his own thoughts, as if he was trying to think of what to say next.
"Is that why you came out here? To tell me that?"
"No," Vash looked at her and pursed his lips together. "Look, this isn't easy for me you know? I have no experience with this sort of thing. What you said back there— it… it made me happy… but it also… disturbed me… I guess."
"Disturbed you?" Meryl asked incredulously. "What I told you disturbed you?"
Vash fought to hold onto his patience. She as upset, he reminded himself. She was speaking out of anger. Regardless, Vash couldn't tune out the caustic tone in her voice. It clashed against him and made him want to snap back at her. "That's not what I mean. That didn't come out right."
"Then what do you mean?"
"Could you stop with the whole angry/defensive thing?! It's annoying. I came out here to try to patch things up between us, the least you could do is give me a chance!"
"A chance?" Meryl scoffed at him; "You've got to be kidding me! I practically hand you my heart and you throw it back at me. If you're not interested, if you don't feel the same way the least you could have done was just say so instead of treating me like a child and telling me that I don't know what I'm feeling. Regardless of what you may think I am an adult Vash, I know what I feel."
"You're one to talk!"
"'Regardless of what you think you deserve to find love. What makes you think you don't deserve love?' Does that sound familiar to you? It should."
Meryl worked her mouth angrily as she remembered her words from earlier. Of course, he was taking her words out of context. What she said was an observation based on his reaction to her confession. He told her from the beginning that she didn't know what she was saying, as though her being in love with him was some sort of puppy-love, kiddie-crush between two grade schoolers. She was an adult and knew her heart. Nothing irked her more than having her feelings and thoughts belittled like that.
Nevertheless, he was right.
She had said that to him and as damn aggravating as it was to admit it, she could see his point. She had to look away from him when she realized that Vash was faintly smirking at her with a knowing look in his eyes.
Damn, spiky-headed idiot…
"My point still stands," Meryl said evenly. "I know what you are Vash, I know how old you are, I know you'll probably live for another few hundred years and I know what you are capable of… but I can't help what I feel. I'm sorry that it disturbs you."
Vash sighed, "That's… that's not what I meant when I said that! I didn't react to what you said earlier the way I really meant to, alright!?"
He glared at her in frustration. The conversation was fated to dissolve into an argument no matter what he said. She just didn't seem to understand his point-of-view and he felt bound and determined to make her understand.
"Do you have any idea what they would do if they knew?"
"If who knew? The Gung-ho Guns? Your brother?"
"You think they would be worse if they knew I was in love with you?"
"You would be a target."
Sparks of anger flashed in Meryl's eyes as she looked at him, and she had to fight the urge to smack him upside the head for being such an ass. "Aren't I already a target just by being your friend?" Meryl asked, satisfied to see him purse his lips together and frown in response to her question.
"Besides," she continued, "I'm a big girl now. I can make the big, adult decisions for myself and believe it or not, I can take care of myself. Do you think I was sent to follow your scrawny butt around because I'm some sort of defenseless little thing?"
Vash sighed and shook his head, she still didn't get it. "You can't see the forest through the trees."
"You're being terribly naïve."
"Yes, you are."
"Alright," she said impatiently, "explain it to me. Oh, and use little words so that I can follow along, okay?"
"Damn, you're bitchy," Vash said with his most charming grin in an effort to diffuse the situation to a more reasonable level.
Meryl huffed and gestured with her hands for him to go ahead and explain himself to her before folding them over her chest stubbornly. Vash had to admit, he rather liked her like that. Seeing her flush with anger rather than puffy from tears was a welcome sight in his eyes. He absolutely couldn't stand to see her hurt; just the thought of her in danger or being hurt because of him was enough incentive for him to push her away. Yet, try as he might to call forth that resolve, it would not come. Instead he was forced to tell her exactly how he felt and hope that she would be smart enough to pull away from him, but he knew she wouldn't.
At least, he secretly hoped that she wouldn't. It was a selfish hope, and he felt guilty for thinking it.
"Don't you realize what kind of danger you're putting yourself in? Every time I try to send you people back home or attempt to ditch you, you always find me again. Knives' goal is to push me over the edge and he has been trying to do that since the beginning. His favorite method is to destroy everything I care about."
He clenched his knee as he looked at her, "If something happened to you… I don't know what I would do."
The pair sat and endured a long stretch of silence together; Meryl absorbing and processing Vash's words while Vash tried to sort out his own feelings and thoughts. Each feeling overwhelmed, but neither quite certain where to begin.
Shy eyes peered at the reflective plant, taking in the stillness around him. Upon looking at him, only one question came to mind and she asked it with gentle tones, "What do you want?"
Vash looked at her with probing eyes and felt the beginnings of the answer form in his mind. He still felt like he was navigating that cliff, but for some reason, he did not feel quite as uncertain. The fear of making a mistake was still there, the uncertainty… but the way she looked at him was like a salve.
Meryl felt herself begin to blush under his gaze, "I mean, what do you want to happen next? How do you feel, Vash? Where do you go from here? Where do I go?"
A smile parted his lips, "I was just asking myself that. In fact, I was asking myself that as I was looking for you."
He nodded briefly and idly rubbed his knee.
"And what did you come up with?"
Vash swallowed hard and longed for a drink of water, suddenly very aware of the dryness in his mouth. It had been eons since he had felt so nervous and he couldn't help but to feel embarrassed by it. "I can only answer one of your questions, Meryl, and that's the one where you asked me how I feel. It hurt me to know that I hurt you today. It bothered me when I saw you crying. I liked it when you took care of me and bandaged my hand. I call you 'Insurance Girl' because if I let you in, you automatically become a target. It scares me to think of you being hurt or killed because of your association with me… but when you're not around, I miss you and I worry… and I can't stop thinking about you."
Vash bored his eyes into hers, "If I give in to this feeling, Meryl, I'll lose myself to it. I can't do that, I'm afraid to. I can't fall that deep and then lose you."
Meryl thought her heart would explode, it was beating so hard. She had two conflicting emotions surging through her at once: joy and frustration. She wanted to wrap her arms around him and press herself against his body. She wanted to breathe him in and taste his lips against hers. She wanted to love him, but he was afraid to. He was afraid to give in to the very same emotion that drove him out here. He was afraid of living, of being mortal.
"Vash, you can't live the rest of your life afraid to become close to someone. You can't pretend that you don't feel when you obviously do! It's not right! You deserve better than that."
"I don't want to go through that again."
"You can't live life and enjoy the goodness of it if you're afraid of experiencing the bad that goes with it. No one lives a painless life. That's part of being alive, Vash."
"So what do you want, Vash?"
He gazed at her for a long moment, considering his answer. "I want… I want you to be happy, safe."
Meryl smiled, "Do you know what I want? Do you want to know what I want?"
He looked at her with a shy look in his eyes, but said nothing. Her smile grew warmer, giving him a glimpse of the happiness he just ignited within her before she leaned toward him, cupped his face in her hands and delicately kissed his forehead. She felt him grow still from the contact and she blushed. She had not intended to kiss him, but her body seemed to move toward him of its own volition. Not that she minded, she just didn't want to embarrass him or do anything she might regret later.
"You make me happy. I feel safe when I am with you." Meryl let her thumb slide across his cheek as she spoke, "I want to love you Vash. For the rest of my life, I want to love you. But only if you'll let me and only if you will love me in return. That's what I want."
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him lift is bandaged hand and move it toward her. He moved it toward her face and pushed her dark bangs away from her eyes as he smiled at her. Her breath seemed to catch in her throat when she saw that smile and felt his fingers gently caressing her.
"I want that, too."
AN: Curious about the song this chapter was named after? You can listen to the MP3 at: http://sugoiweb.com/MP3/Sixpence_Love.mp3