So! I thought it would be nice if I actually uploaded a little something for Christmas. I wrote this back in, um, April and didn't have the nerve to upload it because it is dirty. But it seems a waste not to considering how long it is, and I feel a little bad because I've been so busy with school I've neglected writing anything.

Based on a dream I had which involved a few things that, like most things in dreams, make little to no sense. One of these things involved Meryl, for some reason not only consenting to sleep with Vash in the same bed, but doing so with three other women too. Not "sleep" as in "have an orgy with," I mean "sleep" as in "forced to share a bed due to some sort of dream logic that makes sense only in dreams." As such, this story should have started like this:

Meryl didn't understand how she'd gotten into this situation. She was in bed with Vash the Stampede, a blonde, a brunette, and another long-legged, supermodel-type with long dark hair nowhere near as cute as Meryl's attractively short bob.

But since I am at a loss as to how that situation could ever be explained in a rational sense that is not how this story is going to start out. Also, please exercise your suspension of disbelief for a few other things in this story, as I don't feel like changing dream logic to real logic because I am lazy.

Warning: Many italics died to make this story what it is. They died so you could have smut.

Seriously, though, this is M for a reason. It's smut! Porn! (*with fluff) If you don't like it please hit the back button. If you're underage but you still want to read it, well, I'm not going to stop you (certainly never stopped me...)

Meryl didn't understand how she'd gotten into this situation.

She was in bed with Vash the Stampede, the sixty-billion double-dollar man, in his sixty-billion double-dollar house. His bed was equally worthy of the sixty-billion double-dollar price tag due to its sheer size alone.

But if it was so big, why was Meryl in the last one-fourth of the bed containing Vash and not the other three-fourths of the bed that didn't contain Vash?

And why did that mean she was pressed up against Vash the Stampede's leanly-muscled side?

Thank the lord above he was wearing a shirt. Meryl had the impression that he didn't normally wear clothes to bed, but for her sake had donned a loose shirt and even looser sweat pants. For her part, she was still wearing her tights underneath her pajama shirt, on the basis that she normally didn't sleep with pants on, but like hell was she going to sleep in the same bed as Vash in just a shirt and her panties. Which were pale lavender today and not, say, the neon green pair with little black kitties on it that was still visible beneath her black tights.

Small mercies.

A bigger mercy would have been for Vash to have worn his heavy coat to bed, because she could feel all his nice, firm musculature beneath his loose clothing, and she was only distracting herself from how hard breathing had gotten by freaking out over A) being in bed with Vash the Stampede B) being pressed again Vash the Stampede in his bed C) being insanely turned on because she was in bed, pressed against Vash the Stampede and… Dear God in heaven he had just moved and created another scant centimeter of space between them his superior weight had turned into a black hole she was sucked into.

Wow. Oh, wow, that felt… certainly a lot harder than the rest of him. Was that an implant? It was brushing against her arm.

She tried very hard to focus on the ceiling, but since it was dark and she couldn't see the ceiling, she tried at least to focus on the darkness where the ceiling should be, and not the part of Vash's chest that was brushing against her arm, or the feel of his warm breath stirring the hair on the top of her head.

This was bad. This was so bad.

She needed to get out now before something terrible happened. She was losing her mind and he was so warm and comfortable and- and warm.

Unbidden, Meryl's mouth opened and voiced a tiny whimper, somewhere between fear and deep, unrequited longing, and it was this sound that woke Vash up.

He has been sleeping somewhere wonderful and untroubled, a place he had been visiting more recently since he bought this amazing bed, but this time it was somehow better because the feeling of warmth and contentment was suffusing his entire body, so much so that it took him a few slow seconds to realize the feeling hadn't been caused by his dreams, because he was awake now and he still felt warm and content.

And Meryl was inexplicably pressed against him.

Well. Nice! Or wait. No, not nice. This was bad. This was so bad!

Had he reached for her in his sleep? Was this his fault? Was she, at this very moment, contemplating all the horrible things she was going to do to him in revenge for using her as some sort of over-sized teddy bear?

In a panic, Vash tried to focus on his breathing. Maybe if she thought he was still asleep, she would wait to exact her punishment. She couldn't judge him for something he'd done in his sleep, right?

Actually, Meryl was not contemplating vengeance of any sort, nor was she aware that Vash was awake. She was concentrating very, very hard on the feel of his implant against her arm, telling herself that the more she thought about it, the less likely she was to want to touch it.

So far, she was failing miserably.

Maybe Vash wouldn't notice if she just reached over and touched it? He was asleep, right? It wasn't like she was taking advantage of him or anything, right?

Being pressed against Vash was obviously bad for her mental health. It would be better if she just got up right now and went to go get a glass of water or something. Maybe then she'd be able to forget how ridiculously warm he was, and how nice it felt to touch him, to feel like she belonged next to him.

Suddenly Meryl felt inexplicably depressed. Here she was having inappropriate thoughts about Vash, but how did she know he even liked her like that? He certainly wasn't very forthcoming about those sorts of feelings, and despite the fact that she was tucked quite neatly against his side, that was more a happenstance of fate, not the result of Vash's careful maneuverings while he thought she was asleep.

As far as she knew, the only time Vash was ever capable of careful maneuverings was when he was in a gunfight, torn between the opposing extremes of taking out the bad guys and protecting the civilians. For all that he was a womanizer, he played the hapless goof more than the practiced ladies' man. And, despite the quiet hope Meryl held deep, deep within her heart, she really had no evidence that he saw her as anything more than a friend.

And what would she even do if he did have some desire to take her in his arms, divest her of her clothes, and show her he could still be a humanoid typhoon without a gun in his hand?

Meryl huffed in silent laughter. Right. Well, since that certainly wasn't going to happen any time soon, she didn't have to make any serious decisions just yet. Now for the tricky part of getting out of bed without waking Vash.

While Meryl went and made some mental decisions Vash would have been very contrary to had he known about them, the humanoid typhoon in question was trying incredibly hard not to think about taking Meryl into his arms, divesting her of her clothes, and then proceeding to ruin her for all other men.

He had just about convinced himself that there was no need to be rash since Meryl was asleep. There was no reason for her to go anywhere, so he could enjoy the feeling of having her so close, of smelling her hair and feeling the impression of her slight body against his.

And then she proceeded to move. Away from him.

Without pausing to consider the consequences of what he was doing, Vash wrapped an arm around Meryl and hauled her back against his chest. Meryl was too shocked to do anything but let out a quiet, almost-missed "Eep" noise, and Vash nearly thought he'd gotten away with his brash action. Then every inch of Meryl's body that he could feel stiffened with tension, and he realized that he'd spoiled everything.

There was absolutely no way Vash was still asleep, Meryl thought. Not to have reacted like that and who did he think he was, manhandling her and- and treating her like his own personal over-sized teddy bear?

She was about to give him a piece of her mind, when the arm that had been wrapped around her retreated, and Vash pulled away from her.

Instantly, Meryl felt cold.

Suddenly the light clicked on, and Vash was leaning over her with bland, friendly concern on his face.

"Are you ok, Meryl?"

There were several different answers to that question. No, she was not okay because Vash had just violated her Personal Space Bubble, and had, in fact, been violating her Personal Space Bubble for far longer than he was allowed. No, she was not okay because Vash had stopped violating her Personal Space Bubble, and she had decided she rather liked having her personal space disregarded.

Or: Yes! Yes, she was okay. She was perfectly fine she just needed to go get a glass of water and… wait a minute. Had Vash gotten closer?

Unbeknownst to Meryl, while she had been struggling with herself over the merits and risks of an honest answer, she had also been biting her lower lip. The alluring display of her shapely lower lip growing red and swollen due to the ministrations of her teeth had so fascinated Vash that he'd forgotten his strong avowal to back off and pretend nothing had just happened.

Meryl drew in a sharp breath and licked her suddenly dry lips. Why was he staring at her like that? Why was he… oh, God, when did he get so close? And why wasn't she more worried? He was looming over her and… oh, God, she'd never seen him look like that before and were his eyes darker somehow?

She couldn't have any idea of what she was doing, Vash thought. She couldn't realize what she looked like with her lips slightly parted, and her eyes so very large in her face. She couldn't realize how badly he wanted to kiss her, so badly, in fact, that he was willing to risk any sort of beating she deemed necessary, if only he could feel those soft lips against his just once.

He was going to kiss her.

There was no doubt in her mind. Though part of her continued denying it, there was a larger part fully anticipating what he was about to do, clamoring for him to kiss her, touch her, run those large hands all over her in a way she'd only allowed herself to hope for in her most secret fantasies.

"Vash," she said—gasped—"what are you—?"

After so long being acquainted to Meryl, knowing her, speaking with her, and lusting over her, Vash knew perfectly well there was a danger in letting Meryl speak her mind, so he didn't even give her a chance.

And, oh, this was worth anything. For Meryl to finally shut up and for him to be the cause of it. Not that he didn't like it when she talked, or when she got angry with him, even, but there were so many other things he'd like to be doing with her mouth. Right now, kissing was at the very top of that list.

This was officially the best day of his life. Meryl was in his bed, he was kissing her, and it looked like it'd be a nice long one before she cheerfully walloped him into an uncaring oblivion and… kissed… him back?

But there was no way to mistake the soft noise she'd made against his lips, or the way her arms had found their way around his neck. She was pulling him closer and kissing him back and instead of being as happy as he should have been, he was very, very confused. Since when did Meryl like him like him? Why hadn't he been informed of this sooner? Shouldn't she have said something?

Vash drew away to rest his forehead against hers, and Meryl frowned up at him. Did he seriously just kiss her and then stop when she kissed him back? Did she do something wrong? God! What was wrong with this man? Why did she like him so much?

"Meryl?" Vash—the man who had accosted her and then proceeded to make out with her—was now speaking with the innocent voice of a child. "Do you like me?"

Meryl closed her eyes and prayed to the lord above for patience. When she opened them again, Vash nearly recoiled in horror. There it was! The expression that said he'd ruined everything again. Now he was going to have to sleep on the floor, no longer blessed with the feel of Meryl's soft, warm body or her amazing kisses, and the incredibly sexy way she clung to him like she didn't want to let go.

"God," Meryl said, "You are such an idiot!"

"Buh?" Said Vash, rather intelligently considering the lengthy list his mind was presenting to him of things he would never get to do with Meryl now, because she was obviously going to kill him.

"Yes, I like you." And these beautiful, holy words broke Vash out of his mournful trance, and made him snap back to the present and glimpse the rather interesting expression that had just crossed Meryl's face. What was that a mixture of? Frustration and… arousal, if the way she was panting slightly was anything to go by.

She was panting because of him. How adorable! He could really get used to this.

"Are you listening to me?" Meryl ground out.

"Yes." He smiled, very slowly, and Meryl suddenly wished she hadn't said anything, because he was wearing that strange expression again, and she wasn't sure if she liked it or not.

"You like me." His smile grew wider and he leaned forwards so his lips brushed hers as he spoke. Meryl felt the tingles from her lips travel all the way down her spine.

Vash reached over to cup her cheek with his hand, marveling at how soft her skin was and how he was allowed to do this. Slowly, he let his hand slide through her hair to rest at the back of her neck, tilting her head just so.

"And do you like it when I kiss you, Meryl?"

"Y-yes" Meryl answered. Then, aware that he was teasing her somehow, she glared at him and added "So what if I do?"

That confrontational tone was so distinctly Meryl, Vash couldn't help but laugh, enjoying the moue of displeasure she made when he chuckled.

"Just what the hell is so funny?" she demanded.

"Your panting… it's cute." And before she could fully process what he'd said, he kissed her again.

He was possibly the most annoying, infuriating, sexy… infuriatingly sexy and annoying man she'd ever known. And his hair really was softer than it looked. Meryl clung to him, letting one hand dig into the hair at the back of his head, and indulging a long-held fantasy to discover if the needles on his noggin really were spiky.

Then Vash—who had already demonstrated his supreme inability to resist her lower lip—decided to test what would happen if he used his teeth on it, and Meryl stopped thinking coherently, and clung to him in desperation as she wondered abruptly why, why, why hadn't they done this sooner? Oh. Right. Because he was an idiot and she'd been in denial.

Mostly just because he was an idiot.

An idiot who kissed really, really well.

Vash smiled into the kiss and brushed Meryl's bangs away from her face. It was extremely satisfying having his feelings returned. There was absolutely no way to mistake the honest passion Meryl was radiating: from the fingers running through his hair and tightening on his shoulder, to the soft, short little gasps she made as they kissed. Why hadn't they been more honest with each other?

Maybe if he had been less of an idiot and she had been less… scary.

But, no, part of why he liked her was because she was scary. God, she was cute when she was angry. Her face got all red and she made angry frowny faces at him. He loved it when her face got red. In fact, her face was pretty red right now. Hmm. Vash really had to admit he liked her face like this better than when she was angry. Everything about her was better when she was like this, because she was his.

Meryl gasped, sighed, and panted as they kissed, feeling an overwhelming contentment in finally being able to kiss Vash the Stampede, her humanoid typhoon. In fact, she couldn't think of anything else she wanted, anything that could possibly be better than—wait. A thought was slowly swimming through the melted pile of glop that was Meryl's brain. Meryl continued enjoying herself and waited for it to come to her. Finally, she realized what her mind was trying to remember: implant.

She wanted to feel up Vash's implant. She was allowed to do that now, right? They were kind of making out in Vash's bed and, ok, so maybe she bore an indecent attraction to Vash's various scars and metallic parts. It wasn't her fault he had such an interesting body! The contrast between firm, sculpted muscle and hard, metal whatsits was just too much for her to resist. Not to mention the scars. She didn't even want to get started on how much she liked the scars.

With a boldness she didn't know she possessed, Meryl let the hand in his hair drift across his face and over the tendons in his neck, down his chest and then dart up his shirt. She was rewarded doubly with a sharp inhalation from Vash and the feel of lukewarm metal under her fingers. Carefully, she traced the grill with her fingertips, wondering idly what sort of fiasco had left him in need of a metal plate over his heart. Curiosity getting the better of her, she began exploring, letting the very tips of her fingers dance across his skin. Was there any part of him that hadn't been sewn or stapled back together?

What was Meryl doing? Vash had recovered from the initial shock that was his reaction to feeling her fingers against his chest only to wonder at the reason behind her actions. He'd never been embarrassed about his body—or, to be more specific, the frankensteinen criss-cross of scars that made up his body—before. But he'd never kissed Meryl before, or had the opportunity to do other… things… with her before either. She'd seen the testaments to old battles that dotted his skin, but other than accepting that they were part of who he was, how did she really feel about them?

In the middle of following an extremely jagged slash that spanned the expanse of his right pectoral, Meryl was surprised to find that she was no longer enjoying hot, passionate kisses, or the varied contours of Vash's chest. Instead, Vash was holding her hand—regrettably not inside his shirt—and staring at her with a serious, worried frown.

Oh no! Was she supposed to wait until the first date before feeling up his implant? But that wasn't fair. What, she was only allowed to look, but not touch? Not that she got to look all that often. In fact, now that she thought about it, Meryl was starting to feel like she'd been cheated.

"Meryl…" Vash began, then realized he wasn't sure how to phrase what he wanted to say. "It's not, I'm not…" He paused to consider his words. "It's not very pretty under there," he finished rather lamely.

A single black eyebrow rose. "What, really? I had no idea. It's not as if I haven't seen you shirtless before, Vash."

But Meryl's attempt at using sarcasm to diffuse the situation was met only with a searching look. In response, Meryl could feel her face heating up as she tried to think of a way to explain how she felt without actually explaining how she felt.

"I'm not opposed to how you look," she finally said, in what she hoped was a fairly diplomatic answer. Her noncommittal choice of wording was spoiled by how bright her face was and her inability to look him in the eyes.

"You mean you like how I look?" The incredulous tone of voice Vash used was what got her. The instant Meryl looked up to protest that she was wildly attracted to his scaring, Vash caught her chin and forced her to look him in the eyes. He already suspected he knew the answer, because Meryl was simply unable to control her blushes, but he wanted to hear the answer from her.

"God," Meryl groaned, looking somewhere over his right shoulder and trying not to think about the scar she had just been molesting. "Why do you keep asking me that? I already said yes."

And then because poor Meryl looked so flustered and if she really didn't mind his scars this could only fluster her more, Vash took off his shirt.

Meryl watched as Vash sat up. She watched the muscles in his arms shift as he reached for the back collar of his shirt. Then her vision shifted into slow-motion as inches of glorious naked male torso were slowly revealed for her perusal. And then Meryl's brain rewound the video and she watched the whole scene play out again several times, while taking a copious amount of notes, just to make sure she'd remember this moment forever after and just in case she was tested on this later. Oh, how she hoped there'd be a test.

That dazed look was extraordinarily flattering. She certainly hadn't been kidding when she'd said she liked how he looked. Vash felt a grin tug at his mouth. She was panting again, and that flush appeared to spread all the way down her neck into her pajama shirt. If she was allowed to oogle his chest, he wondered if he was allowed to do the same.

Taking her small hands in his, he placed her palms flat on his chest. When she began touching his chest with obvious glee, he leaned forward and caged her body in with his arms, nudging her face slightly as he sealed their lips together. And when he nibbled at her bottom lip and ran his tongue across it, he had the distinct satisfaction of feeling Meryl's hands fist against his chest as she struggled to remember what she'd been doing with them. It was nice to be appreciated.

Again with that lip thing! Not that it wasn't nice, but every time he did that her thoughts scattered to the winds and oh, where was he going? She liked it, really, so why was he kissing away from her… oh. Oh, wow. Since when was her neck that sensitive? And—who was making that noise? Was that her?

Meryl was enjoying herself, if that low keening noise she was producing was anything to judge by. The skin of her neck was so smooth, Vash thought, as he traced the line of her collarbone with his tongue. No doubt the rest of her would be just as soft. But since this bore further investigation, he let one hand stray to the extremely important duty of undoing the buttons on her shirt.

By this point Meryl had given up trying to memorize the patterns etched across Vash's skin and had taken up holding on to his incredibly nice shoulders for dear life. Which were also pockmarked and gouged. Everything about him was driving her to distraction. The ridges of his spine, the scar tissue that somehow stopped just short of marring the perfect line down the middle of his back, the… were those screws?

But Meryl instantly forgot the strange and exciting bolts sticking out of his flesh when Vash's lips touched the top of her breast. When had he unbuttoned her shirt? Why had he unbuttoned her shirt was more like it. He was a man so it was different for him to take off his shirt and- and she didn't remember telling him this was okay!

Blushing deeper and confirming Vash's suspicion that her flush went past just her neck if he hadn't already figured it out for himself, Meryl slapped a hand down over the exposed part of her chest and looked up, only to be met with a pair of watery puppy dog eyes.

Oh, this was so wrong. That was the expression he gave her when she refused to let him eat any more donuts. That was not an appropriate expression when the baked goods in question were attached to her chest! Not that her breasts were baked goods. Or even synonymous with baked goods. Regardless!

"Meryyylllllll," Vash whined. "I want to see!"

"You!" Meryl sputtered, feeling the tic grow in her forehead in an automatic reaction to his tone of voice. "They are not donuts!" That would show him!

"Who said anything about donuts?"

What was with that look? She couldn't recall him ever making that face before, but now that she thought about it, that was the same expression he'd been wearing since they'd started kissing and, wait, what was he—Vash kissed her again and temporarily derailed her train of thought. However, he'd forgotten to pull the brakes, so Meryl's train of thought continued barreling along full steam, and though she floundered helplessly in the desert for a few seconds, eventually her train got back on track.

Kissing! He was trying to distract her with his mouth, but she was wise to his cunning plan to stifle her protests!

Vash pulled away and cupped her face in his hands. The objection in her eyes sputtered and died when he bumped their noses together and smiled.

"Please let me see?"

Where was he getting that look? It was disarming all her defenses and turning her on at the same time. A truly deadly combination. Did he use this on all the women he chased after, or was this a special look only she was privy to? Meryl swallowed and looked away, but his insistent fingers were under her chin, turning her face towards him.

"What's wrong?"

"I'm not one of your big-chested showgirls, Vash." Of course she instantly hated herself for admitting this petty jealousy, but it was hard to forget the women he normally pursued. They were all the same: Beautiful with a nice rack. There usually wasn't any other sort of unifying personality feature, but she had eyes and she knew what she did and didn't have. A sure hand and a handful of ready guns, not a large chest.

"Since when did you start falling for my idiot act, Meryl?"

"What? Since never, that's when! You may be an idiot, but only a real idiot would believe you're nothing but a lovable good-natured clown with a weakness for donuts, alcohol, and the local beauty."

"So you have nothing to worry about. Besides, better that the rumors say I'm a legendary player and womanizer, than that I have a weakness for a certain short insurance girl with a sharp temper and an adorable haircut."

"Who're you calling short, you long-legged stick insect?" Meryl landed a solid hit to the side of Vash's head and folded her arms over her chest.

"A-adorable," Vash insisted, trying to covertly feel for a bump. "I said you were adorable too!"

Meryl let out a token huff of indignation, but the smile on her lips betrayed her as well as the gentle hand she ran through his hair.

"Don't be a baby. You're fine."

"Kiss it and make it better," he pouted.

So Meryl smiled and cupped Vash, the Big Baby's face in her hands, pulling him down for a kiss, the very first one that she'd initiated. She looped her hands around his neck, and when his mouth again followed the line of her neck downwards, she let him unbutton the rest of her shirt.

Vash finished parting the folds of her shirt away from her chest and sat back to enjoy his handiwork. He knew he was making Meryl nervous, but he wasn't about to rush this. Her breasts were small—perfect—and her nipples were as cute as the rest of her and perky too, further evidence that she was highly amendable to everything they'd been doing together.

But hurt and self-consciousness didn't suit her, so just to prove that he really didn't have a type unless it was her, and also simply because he couldn't resist, Vash dropped a kiss on the top of one of her amazing breasts. And then more or less couldn't stop himself from moving down the dip between her breasts and outlining them with kisses, or from teasing her sensitive nipples with his lips, his tongue, and his fingers. He'd do anything to keep her gasping like that.

Meryl fisted a hand in his hair and tried not to think beyond what he was doing with his mouth and how it felt and… she just tried to avoid thinking period. Because if she thought at all about what he was doing to her, then she started thinking about other places that would benefit greatly from the addition of his mouth. When said mouth drifted to her stomach, another extremely sensitive part of her started clamoring for attention, and Meryl wasn't sure how she felt about Vash the Stampede wrecking havoc down there. Though sources seemed to indicate that form of devastation would be entirely welcome.

But, to her minor disappointment, Vash decided her mouth had been idle too long—even though her vocal chords had been quite busy—and decided to occupy it with his. They settled into a rhythm of slow, languid kisses that left Meryl with enough grey matter to start exploring Vash's back again. Her fingers couldn't resist retracing their way down his spine to find those very appealing screws, and once she'd mapped around them with her fingers, she began following some very intricate gouges at the base of his spine.

Vash chuckled against her mouth. "So you really like my scars, huh?" He was suddenly reminded of a deeply honest Meryl admitting much the same thing, the first time she'd seen him shirtless at the beginning of their adventures, long before he'd begun to realize his feelings for her. It was nice to know she'd never be tempted to run away by the sight of his body. Much the oppositve, in fact.

Meryl was about to protest that it wasn't like she had a thing for them or anything like that—even though they both knew better—but just then her fingers slid beneath the waistband of Vash's pants and he squeaked and jerked away from her.

It took Meryl a few lengthy seconds of shocked silence before she realized that the most dangerous gunman in all the world was giggling like a child.

"W-what did you do?" He gasped through his laughter.

Meryl only stared at him. Then she realized what had just happened and started laughing too.

"I don't believe it! You're ticklish on your ass!"

"My butt," Vash exclaimed with the same air of bruised dignity as a teenaged-girl, "is not ticklish."

"Uh huh," she scoffed.

"My tailbone, on the other hand, happens to be very sensitive."

"Oh yeah?" And before Vash could stop her, she reached around and gave his—rather shapely, if she did say so herself—ass a healthy grope. Vash instantly broke out in helpless giggles and tried to push her away.

"S-stop that!"

Meryl grinned unrepentantly. "Even feared outlaws have to have their weak points. Yours is apparently your butt." She made another move to molest his lower back, but Vash caught her wrist in one hand. When she tried to outwit him with her other hand, he anticipated her movements and caught her other wrist, pinning her hands above her head with ease.

He took a few seconds to catch his breath, and then he treated her to the same grin she'd been displaying earlier. "What about you? Ticklish anywhere, Meryl?"

Raising an eyebrow, she smirked at him. "I'm not ticklish."

Vash took this as a direct challenge and began trying to evoke a reaction from her. He tried the usual places first—her neck and under her arms. When she made no response, he trailed his hands over her in apparent confusion. Meryl bore it all with smug enjoyment until Vash's wandering hands travelled over her chest.

"Vash, my breasts are not ticklish."

He gave her a look that said he didn't believe her, and gave one of them a light squeeze.

"Vash!" She cried in indignation, trying to break free of his hold. For a second she struggled against his hand, but then his touch became more of a caress and she looked up into intent eyes. He kissed her, and when he nudged her thighs apart with one leg to settle his weight between them, she sighed into his mouth.

This was the first time he'd rested his entire weight on top of her. Before he'd leaned over her at an awkward angle, and Meryl had to admit she liked this much better. He was extremely warm, and despite that she was too, she still found it very pleasant. This man had so much going for him already, it wasn't fair that he was so damn warm too.

Meryl hummed happily when he laced their fingers together, bringing their hands to rest next to her head and burying his face in her neck. She closed her eyes and listened to the sound of his breathing in her ear. The metal grill over his heart was pressing into her chest, but she found she didn't mind. He was conscientiously keeping most of his weight off of her, so she enjoyed the feeling of being surrounded by his body without being smothered.

Did she have to fit so perfectly to his body? Her legs were only resting alongside his, and all he could think of was wrapping them around his waist. Of course he knew she'd fit under his chin, considering how much shorter than him she was, but did she have to fit so perfectly into his arms? He could only imagine what it would be like to be inside her, and it embarrassed him how much he wanted it. Surely Meryl was aware of it herself, but he certainly didn't want her thinking that was all he wanted from her.

Vash pressed a quick kiss to the side of her neck and moved to rest his forehead against hers. "Is this what you want, Meryl?"

"What I want…" Meryl contemplated this question, gently pulling one of her hands from his so she could touch the beauty mark beneath his left eye. He sighed, closing his eyes and turning his face into her touch and she knew.

She wanted so much more than a one-night stand with this man, and she suspected he did as well.

"What I want is—" and she poked him in the stomach, to his very great surprise.

Vash reflexively drew away from her, and she took the opportunity to run her finger over the long surgical scar running down his stomach to the left of his belly button.

"How did you get this scar? Did somebody try to steal your kidney?"

He craned his neck to see what scar she was talking about, then scratched the back of his head in thought.

"Well," he hedged, "this one time I was working at a donut shop…"

"Oh, stop," Meryl scoffed. "You worked in a donut shop? And, don't tell me, you were attacked and hot, scalding frying oil started flying around and then you got stabbed with sharp, donut-related debris."

He gave this some thought. "That's not exactly how it happened."

"You didn't work in a donut shop?"

"I did too! I know how to make donuts and everything!"

Meryl gave him a small smile of patient disbelief and continued running her finger up and down the scar. "Vash, will you tell me about how you got all these scars one day?"

"Is that really what you want?"

"What I want," Meryl smiled and brazenly dragged her finger down his scar to skim beneath his waistband, "is to see how far this scar goes."

He gulped. "Really?"

Was he blushing? Meryl smiled despite herself. Somehow Vash's ability to morph between innocent boy, village idiot, and dangerous criminal never ceased to amaze her. How could he be so confident with her body one moment, and then blush like a virgin when she expressed a desire she knew they both wanted?

"You want it too." Her hand twitched against his hip, but in the end she couldn't convince herself to move it further downwards. There were some things neither of them was comfortable with just yet.

"Yes, but…" He blushed further and pressed a kiss to the corner of her mouth. "I'd rather you got what you wanted."

"I'm through chasing you, Vash the Stampede," Meryl declared. "It's about time I caught you."

"And what will you do with the sixty-billion double-dollar reward now that you have me, Meryl Stryfe?"

"Who said anything about money being what I wanted?"

"Then you must want… Hah!" Vash had her wrist pinned above her head the instant it made a telltale twitch towards his rear end. But he wasn't expecting her other hand to fist in his hair and pull him down for a kiss.

Then she hooked one leg around his waist and pushed her hips upward to meet his, and Vash instinctively wrapped one hand around her hip. She had lovely hips, and he would have loved to explore them more, but he was too concerned with matching his rhythm to hers, for every time they connected at just the right angle, Meryl would gasp breathlessly against his mouth.

He'd be the worst kind of liar if he didn't admit to having… certain ideas about her hips. Specifically ideas about pushing that short little white skirt up them, dragging her navy tights down them, and doing positively illegal things to all the smooth, luxurious skin beneath. Not content simply to let his hands rest on the prominent points of her hipbones, he ran them down the outside of her thighs, knowing that without the tights his hands would be free to travel the length of her wonderful bare legs.

There was an extreme difference between knowing he wanted her and knowing he wanted her, Meryl thought, somewhere in-between digging her blunt fingertips into Vash's shoulders and pressing her hips into his. This was amazing, but all too soon she was lamenting the clothing that separated them, especially when Vash's hands moved from her chest, down her waist, to her legs, and then retraced their steps. Her legs were slightly jealous of her chest, and the rest of her had to agree that this rivalry was both silly and unnecessary. All Vash needed to do was get rid of her tights and she could feel the rough calluses on the pads of his fingers from her head down to her toes. Everywhere sounded nice, actually. He should get on that.

The problem was that he couldn't get her tights off like this, but they were both enjoying themselves immensely. It wasn't a problem he was capable of solving when she moaned into his ear like that or rubbed herself against him like that. But somehow—after a few indecisive minutes spent nibbling at her neck—he mustered the superhuman control necessary to hold her hips steady long enough to regain some higher brain function, which left the two of them panting and staring into each other's half-lidded eyes at they recovered.

When Meryl finally got around to opening her eyes, she found that Vash looked just as out of it as she was. Actually, there was something very sexy about an exposed, vulnerable Vash. His hair had been just as pointy as it always was when they went to bed, but now the majority of it was listing downwards in various directions, the way it did after he showered, or in the mornings after he'd just gotten up. His face was flushed bright red, and his eyes, normally so sharp and attentive, were hazy. It flattered her how much he dropped his guard when he was with her.

"I like your hair better like this. How do you get it to stand straight up, anyway?"

"Magic," Vash answered with the ghost of his most ridiculous grin. "And I like your hair like this."

Meryl dragged a hand up to her head self-consciously, knowing that her short hair had a tendency to bed-head. "What, sticking it all directions?"

"Looking adorably mussed. It's cute."

"Again with cute! Is there anything else you find cute about me I should know about?"

"How you get angry when you're embarrassed," Vash replied without missing a beat. Meryl blushed harder. "How you yell at people when you don't want them to realize you're worrying about them, or doing something nice for them. How you blush and gasp when I—"

Meryl hastily covered his mouth with her hand, not sure she wanted him to continue. Vash waggled his eyebrows at her and she made a face, feeling him smile against her palm. Then he pulled her hand away, cradling it between his. They were so big, his hands. Between his real hand and his fake one, her tiny hand was completely dwarfed.

"Did you ever want your real arm back?"

"At first? Yes. But after what it was used for, I think I'm better off without it. Sometimes I regret having lost it." He gave her a look full of implications, and Meryl blushed thinking about reasons why he regretted having a fake arm, instead of two real flesh-and-blood appendages.

"Can you feel anything?"

These were the questions she'd always wanted to ask Vash, Meryl realized. For as long as they'd known each other, they had never been open like this before. She'd never been able to take his prosthetic arm in her hands and marvel at the workmanship, or how neatly it attached to what was left of his real arm. Vash obligingly let her bend it at the joint and manipulate the fingers.

"I can feel that, but the sensation is dulled and almost nonexistent. Still, I'm lucky to have such a good prosthetic."

"I've never seen one as well-made as this! Usually prosthetics are clumsy and hardly worth the trouble. Is this another of your lost technology?"

"Something like that," Vash laughed, and Meryl impulsively pressed a kiss against his metal arm.

"Can you feel that?"

He gave her that slow, easy smile that never failed in making her blush and tapped his lips. "I'd feel it more if you kissed me here."

So she slid her hands around his neck and leaned forward to smile against his lips. "I could kiss you elsewhere, too."

Vash's hand found her hip. "Maybe later," he promised, and kissed her.

Meryl lost herself in the feel of his lips and his skin, his warm body against hers and the comfortable pressure between her legs. When she bothered to think about it—when she bothered to think at all—Vash's fake arm wasn't cold and foreboding. Either from her body heat, his, or some combination of the two, his metal arm seemed as hot as the rest of him, and she only noticed his fake hand at all because it was inching under the waistband of her tights.

She couldn't resist the urge to squirm under his hands, especially since he lost his concentration and his grip very easily and had to spend a few seconds each time trying to find the waistband of her tights and slip his fingers under it yet again. Soon she was laughing into the kiss and bucking her hips in a way that would have been arousing if only she could stop laughing. Vash growled something wordless against her lips, caught the edge of her tights, and pulled them down in a motion so sudden Meryl only paradoxically laughed harder.

And then Vash—who presumably didn't like being laughed at in this sort of situation if the red tips of his ears were anything to go by—pressed a hand against the very center of her and Meryl's laughter was cut off by a very large gasp.

Vash dropped a too-smug kiss on her nose. "Do you like that?"

It took a lot of effort to glare at him when he started moving his fingers in slow circles, but Meryl did her best. The effect was somewhat mitigated by her moan when he applied pressure in just the right spot, but the only thing that was important was… that… Meryl completely forgot what was important other than the feel of his fingers pressing against her and his warm lips.

There was nothing better than a panting Meryl. She wasn't quiet, because Meryl should never be quiet, but hearing her labored breathing peppered with stuttered gasps was preferable to being chewed out any day. Though the next time she lectured him was going to be a problem. He normally spent such times wondering what it would be like if he simply picked her up and silenced her mouth with his, and now that he actually knew, it was going to be even harder to resist pinning her to the nearest wall and taking her from angry to impassioned. She was adorable when she was angry and when she was panting. If he could get both at the same time…

He pulled away from her kiss-swollen lips and pressed his mouth to her neck. "Meryl, you're so wet."

And Meryl died because since when did Vash—clueless, dangerous, extremely smoking hot and she-wasn't-just-talking-about-his-gunslinger-skills—Vash say such things? Sure, he liked to snoop around ladies' hotel rooms and she was pretty sure he wasn't opposed to the occasional peek up a woman's skirt, but that was just an act, albeit one with benefits, and didn't translate to him whispering such things in her ear when his fingers were in-between her legs.

When was he like this? When had she stopped lying to herself and pretending that he didn't turn her on? Because that was truly a wonderful day if one of the results was Vash murmuring very un-Vash-like things to her, and, God, even thinking about it had her reacting and- when had he pulled her tights off?

"I hate you," Meryl said with utmost sincerity.

Vash drew away from what was no doubt going to be a mark on her collarbone in the morning. "What?"

Meryl opened her eyes to find Vash staring at her crotch, his fingers now idly tracing patterns along her inner thigh.

What was that expression on his face? It took some time before Meryl's scattered wits managed to stagger their way home and she was able to decode his expression. Was that- was that disappointment?

Well fine! Meryl was too aroused and wound up to bother being anything but honest, and if he was going to touch her like that and get her… get her wet and then be disappointed with his efforts, she was going to give him a real reason to be unhappy!

Granted, they were cute, Vash thought, but they were too reminiscent of her usual color scheme. While he liked Meryl in frilly lavender with big black stitches, he had to admit, "I like the lime green pair better." He had thoughts about that pair. Risqué thoughts about seeing it up close and personal.

Vash's survival instincts clamored for his attention, pointing out that he was being subjected to some very serious killing intent, and he looked up straight into the headlights of Meryl's glare.

Realizing he had just admitted a rather intimate thought out loud, Vash winced, tried to pretend he hadn't said what he had just said, and waited for the inevitable explosion.

An angry Meryl was not a Meryl who took kindly to confusion. In general, while confusion could temporarily diffuse her anger, it was also a means of reigniting it. So in the space of a few seconds Meryl had two different reasons to be angry, and she simply seized upon the most recent as the cause for her righteous indignation.

"You… you what?" Her cheeks were as incensed as the rest of her. He'd seen that pair? That was the secret pair nobody but Millie was ever supposed to know existed! That pair was even worse than the other-secret-but-not-quite-as-secret pair with a tiny gun embroidered on the ass that said "Bang!" around the band.

"How- how did you know that I-" she sputtered in embarrassment before another, more distressing thought occurred to her. "Who have you told?"

"Why would I tell anyone else to look up your skirt?" Vash frowned in distress at the very thought of anyone else getting to see what was his favorite pair.

"You. What."

"Not that I… not that I did that. On purpose. It was an accident!"

Meryl narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously. A likely story!

Was she really going to make him explain this? Vash's face lit up and he tried to look anywhere but directly into her eyes. "They show through your tights. And… they're cute?"

"You!" Meryl fumed incoherently. "That pair is supposed to be secret!"

"Why would you keep it a secret?" Vash thought about this a second and amended himself. "Why would you keep it a secret from me? It's my favorite."

"It's obviously not a secret to you, or you wouldn't have seen it!" Sighing, Meryl dragged a hand through her hair. It was impossible to argue with him when he gave her that pathetic look. She peered down at what she was currently wearing while trying not to think about what state it was in.

"What's wrong with this pair? I like it."

"You also like the lime green pair with the cats on it better, or you wouldn't keep it around when it embarrasses you," Vash pointed out. He held up his hands placatingly at the sour look she gave him. "I like this pair too!"

The forgotten hand that had been familiarizing itself with her thigh skimmed beneath the edge of her underwear and Meryl was suddenly paying close attention. "Though I might like you better without it." His fingers connected with skin.

And slipped further inwards, until they were pushing inside her as deep as they could go.

Meryl sucked in a sharp breath at the pleasure that flared in her stomach and dripped downwards. "Vash…"

He hadn't been exaggerating. It was impossible to ignore how ready she was, but he wasn't ready yet at all. He wanted to make her eyelids flutter and hear the pitch of her gasps when he found a spot she particularly liked. He wanted her pulsing around his fingers, struggling to survive the pleasure as she called his name. He was never going to be able to hear her call his name without thinking of this, and he was so deeply grateful he couldn't even begin to describe it.

With a quick motion, he tugged her underwear off and slid it down her legs. Then, before she lost the initial sensation, he pushed his fingers inside her again. Meryl instantly moved to wrap her arms around his neck, and Vash nearly let her, but unfortunately it wouldn't work with what he had in mind, so he ducked and her hands ended up fisted in his hair instead.

He started off slow, pressing kisses to her stomach, but as his fingers began to move faster, he could feel the strain that quickly spread through her body, even as the hands on his head tightened further into his hair. When he pulled his fingers out, some of the tension left her body as she lowered her back to the mattress, only for her hips to jerk upwards again when his fingers slid straight up to touch an incredibly responsive part of her anatomy.

His thrust his fingers inside her, never losing the pace, and let his tongue continue where they'd left off.

Meryl moaned and tried to hold onto Vash's hair, but it was a losing battle. She was throbbing beneath his mouth and his hands, and there was a delicious exhilaration spreading through her entire body. Everything felt so good and she could hardly bear it when Vash flicked his tongue a certain way against her or hit a particularly good spot and fresh waves of pleasure washed through her.

She was already slick, and Vash wasn't helping matters as his tongue ran up and down, before returning to driving her crazy. The combination of his hot, wet mouth and the friction was burning her up, until her entire body was insufferably hot. She tried to wipe her sweaty bangs from her face, but they fell back into her eyes and Vash ran his tongue from where his fingers were straight up to flick against her again. Her hands scrabbled for a grip in his hair, but they were shaking too badly to hold onto anything, and her entire body was drawn tight with the tension of unrelenting pleasure, quivering uncontrollably as she tried to breathe through her gasping pants.

"V-Vash. You- I-" She couldn't find the words to tell him, but he understood what she needed.

He sucked her clitoris into his mouth, to distract her when he removed his fingers. Quite focused on what his mouth was doing to her, Meryl didn't realize his intentions behind moving her thighs just so and sliding one hand beneath her to tilt her hips up. When his fingers drove into her quick and at the perfect angle to sink as deep as possible, Meryl abruptly buckled beneath him and he had to hold her thighs steady to continue prolonging her orgasm as long as possible.

Reality crumbled somewhere beneath her, and blackness and an all-encompassing warmth settled around her, until she was quite convinced she was dying. Time ceased to exist and she forgot about such trivial worries as breathing and being able to see, her world narrowed to the intense pleasure sweeping through her entire body, the directions it moved in, and how it pooled and eddied within her in a way entirely impossible to follow, but gratifying nonetheless.

After a probable eternity later, Meryl opened dazed eyes and found Vash was still slowly lapping at her, which might explain why she kept twitching sporadically. A fissure of pleasure opened in her stomach and she closed her eyes and ran a hand through her mussed bangs, surprised at how much effort it took merely to lift her arm. God, this man really was going to kill her, wasn't he?

She flexed her other hand, startled to find it was still in Vash's hair, despite having had no notion of where either of her arms had been a little while ago. Vash gave her one final lick—which startled a tired gasp from her mouth—pressed a kiss to the inside of her thigh—which tingled… what was with him, anyway?—and moved to lay next to her, pulling her into his arms and rolling them both so they were lying on their sides, tucking her head neatly under his chin.

"See? If you weren't short I wouldn't be able to do this." Meryl hummed vaguely and let the comment slide, which was probably why Vash had dared bring out the dreaded "short" word in the first place, knowing perfectly well she was too tired to retaliate.

He was warm and the patterns he was drawing on her back were starting to lull her into sleep, but there was a part of his anatomy that was incredibly hard to ignore from this position, and the hands on her back were drifting vaguely lower.


He bent his head to look at her, nudging her nose with his. "What is it?"

"Kiss me."

Of course Vash would have to be a fool to ignore a request like that. Mindful of how tired she was, he placed his lips lightly against hers, holding her close and enjoying the feel of her warm and naked in his arms. Unexpectedly, Meryl's small hands, previously curled into loose fists between them, began skimming their way down his chest, reaching his waistband and drifting under the material of his pants.

Vash was going to have to get used to this, Meryl smiled. He couldn't react like a startled animal whenever she made moves on him. Especially since she planned to do this a lot from now on.

"Meryl, what're you do—" She silenced him with a kiss.

"I'm still curious about this scar. And I did say I wanted to kiss you elsewhere." Her fingers found and began rubbing at said scar to further illustrate her point.

It never bode well when Meryl had that expression on her face. Whenever she made that face, it usually meant he was going to be scolded, or denied food, or forced into impressed slave labor such as carrying her and Millie halfway across the desert along with all of their luggage.

Now she was wearing it while making a rather blatant and… not unwelcome suggestion, and Vash's poor, simple mind couldn't take it. On the one hand, he'd learned long ago not to trust that look, but on the other… he really wanted to see her follow up on her offer, but- no, it was probably a bad idea. Even thinking about it was proving uncomfortable for him.

Discretely, he tried to take her hands in his and move them away from the trouble spot, but Meryl was having none of it.

"God, you truly are the strangest man I've ever met. I just offered to—"

Vash quickly covered her mouth with his hand and hissed at her. "Don't say it! I know what you just offered."

Annoyed, she pried his hand away and frowned at him. "Then what's wrong? You don't want me to—"

"No!" Vash pressed his hand back over her mouth again, an action which prompted a frustrated Meryl to lick it which so wasn't helping. "It's not that I don't want you to it's just that… well." He swallowed nervously. "I haven't done… this in a while and if you did that I might not, uh, it would be bad."

Why did he go for the smart, highly intelligent one? He could have picked a dull, pretty, vapid girl with… ok, no, he was just lying to himself now. That shrewd look was extremely fetching when it wasn't turned on him. It was fun watching Meryl tear down other people's excuses to get to the truth of the matter, but it was embarrassing enough to have to admit this and if she spoke about the issue in her usual detailed matter it was just going to suck.

But instead of repeating the very nature of his problem to him, which he was highly aware of thankyou, Meryl simply raised an eyebrow. "Really?"

"Yes. Really."

"Oh, so you mean I can't even…" and before he could figure out what she was talking about, she had slipped one hand into his pants and- Vash gasped sharply at the contact. Her fingers, which usually looked so delicate, even and especially when she held those tiny derringers of hers, were wrapped around him and he was burning with curiosity to see what they looked like, curving around the hot skin of his-

"You're a horrible person. The absolute worst." He told her with frank seriousness.

"Mmhm," Meryl smirked, and adjusted her hand so she held him in a firmer grip. Little tingles shot from the base of his spine straight up.

"Meryl," he gasped. "You need to stop or-"

"Or what?"

"Or—" And Vash forgot the suitably melodramatic thing he was about to say when she gave him a light, tentative stroke.

"Ngnha" was all he managed to say, caught between trying to argue with her and trying not to think too much, lest he think about what was happening and—she really had no idea what this was doing to him, did she? Actually, no, scratch that. Meryl looked far too pleased with herself and considering where her hand was she had to know what sort of effect it was having.

"You really don't want me to…?"

"You're killing me, Meryl. I really mean it. I might not survive this time if you keep this up."

Instead of contradicting his irrationality, Meryl gave him another stroke and then… let… go?

"Ok. If you want me to stop, I'll stop."

Vash sighed into her hair, deeply pained. "Evil. The absolute worst. The only woman in the world who can take Vash the Stampede into her hands and twist him to her diabolical will! You're the dangerous one here!"

His words were somewhat undermined by the way he was groping her ass, but Vash figured she wouldn't mind. She had such a lovely backside, and normally it was covered by her tights, her skirt, and, to make matters worse, her cloak as well. Entirely too much clothing, as far as he was concerned. Actually, he pretty much decided right there that he hated her cloak and that it had to go. It was concealing things from him! Meryl things! This was unacceptable.

"Oh?" Meryl asked innocently… too innocently. Vash was instantly suspicious.

"I'm dangerous, am I?"

With a shove, she had him flat on his back and moved to straddle his waist.

"Possibly the most dangerous and deadly opponent I've ever faced."

Meryl kissed the skin under his left ear, pausing to tug very carefully at his earring with her teeth. Painstakingly, she kissed her way to the corner of his mouth, and when their eyes met, Vash tangled a hand in her hair, crushing their lips together. For a long time the only sounds came from their heavy, comingled breathing and the soft, wet sounds of their mouths together, and when they finally broke apart Meryl gave into the temptation to kiss the beauty mark beneath his eye.

"Definitely the most dangerous and deadly opponent I've ever faced," Vash breathed, running his hands up and down her sides.

"I'm sure you've faced tougher opponents than me." Deliberately, she rocked her hips against his.

"No," Vash started shaking his head, "no way, definitely not."

"And what was that about taking you in my hands and twisting you to my diabolical will?"

He sucked in a breath, torn between overwhelming curiosity, and knowing that if she started that he wasn't going to make it, but before he could convince her of this, Meryl took matters into her own hands and divested him of his pants. She pressed a kiss to the inside of his thigh, and his eyelids fluttered closed of their own accord, only to shoot open a second later when nothing else happened.

As far as he could tell, Meryl was just staring at him. It was making him nervous.

"What?" A thousand tiny concerns were drifting through his head. He was obviously very- but Meryl should be well aware of that… maybe he… well it didn't look like there was anything wrong to him, but then he saw it every day so maybe… he wasn't entirely human, but he'd always thought there was nothing physically different about him-

"No scars," Meryl said. She sounded slightly disappointed.

"Is that a bad thing?"

"No, just…" Her thumb moved to rub circles along her favorite scar on his stomach, which stopped just beneath where the waistband of his pants had fallen. It wasn't that it didn't lead to certain other parts of him, but it was rather anticlimactic to find there weren't any new scars for her to discover.

"Only," Vash coughed nervously, "it would be bad to get injured there in the first place. There are some things that are just more important."

When he put it like that, it did sound rather inconvenient to be a man, if you had to worry about that kind of thing. Still, she looked dubiously at his fake arm. "More important than losing a limb?"

"It's like a limb, but more important," Vash asserted with extreme conviction. "You don't get it because you're a girl." And he poked one of her breasts to illustrate his point.

"Yes, I am aware of that, thank you. Do you have a problem with me being a girl?"

Gaping at her in shock, he covered the metal grill covering his heart with a hand. "Women," he asserted, "are full of majesty and splendor. There is absolutely nothing better than that which is contained within the lithe and delicate form of the woman for—"

"No more!" Meryl clapped a hand to his mouth, but though she tried to roll her eyes in disgust, she couldn't hide her tiny smile. "Where do you get this stuff from anyway?"

"I think about it during gunfights," he confided.

"You think about nonsense during fights?" She didn't bother hiding her incredulity. "You do not!"

"I do too!" He frowned, insulted in spite of himself. "It helps me concentrate."

"You think about nonsense when you're fighting."

"I write all my own material. I should publish a book."

"You're full of it," Meryl scoffed.

"It's a lot of work being an idiot," he protested.

"No it's not! You're already an idiot. For instance, we're both naked and you want to talk about nonsense."

"You brought it up first!" He thought about her second point. "And the naked part is your fault too."

Incensed, Meryl leaned forward and flicked him on the nose. "Oh yeah? You're the one who molested me in my sleep. And then kissed me!"

"You moved away from me! I couldn't let you leave, not when you were so warm and sleeping next to me like that. And you just looked so… kissable. I can't be held responsible for what your lips have made me do."

"I wasn't pressed against you on purpose- it's not like I was going to feel you up in your sleep, even if I thought about it."

Vash grinned. "You were thinking about feeling me up?"

"What things have my lips made you to do?" Meryl countered, face heating up.

"Things like this-" He kissed her, pulling her flush against his chest and letting one hand dip low to caress the curve of her ass. "And this-" His mouth drifted down her throat, and Meryl tilted her head to give him more room, helpless under the onslaught of his lips. "This-" Reaching her collarbone, he cupped her breasts in his hands, pressing a kiss to one and sucking her nipple into his mouth.

By this point, Vash had pulled her up with him, so she sat straddling his lap while he kissed and licked at her chest. She could fee him, and, God, if he wasn't hot. It seemed improbable, but he had to be as hard, if not harder than before when she'd closed her fingers around him. He'd seemed very serious before about it being too much, but so far he'd managed and… Meryl licked her suddenly dry lips. She wanted to return the favor.

For the second time that night, Vash found himself flat on his back courtesy of a very determined Meryl. Before he could react, she had slid down his body to press exploratory kisses to the firm muscles of his chest. Despite himself, Vash found his entire body tensing, and a startled gasp escaped his mouth when she kissed his stomach. Even as he tried to regain his breath, she was drifting lower, one hand running up his leg to—

Meryl blinked in shock when Vash's palm suddenly appeared in front of her face.

"You're not actually going to twist… are you?" he asked in a worried voice.

"No!" Meryl huffed and rolled her eyes, batting his hand away and dipping her head to show him exactly what she had in mind.

Vash was dead. He was dead and—no—he was comatose. He'd gotten himself stupidly injured in another gunfight and now he was having a dream, an extremely vivid dream where he and Meryl finally admitted their feelings for each other resulting in a subsequent release of all their pent-up sexual tension and now Meryl was drawing him into her mouth and, God, just the thought was nearly enough to finish him, much less the actual sensation and he had never had a dream quite as realistic as this. The sound alone was enough to make him struggle for breath even as he realized it couldn't be a dream. Dreams had never sounded like anything before. Which meant that it was real.

He cracked an eye open and immediately wished he hadn't. The actual sight of Meryl, with her wonderfully kissable lips and her adorably mussed hair, bent over him with one hand fisted around him as she bobbed up and down sent a sharp bolt of arousal through his entire body. Vash swallowed thickly, unaware of how tense his arms had become as he clenched his fists in the sheets.

Meryl was starting to think Vash hadn't been being his normal melodramatic self, but one glance at him and she was just as convinced she didn't want to stop. It seemed like his entire body was strung with tension, and she could see his eyes flickering restlessly beneath the lids. Just a little bit more, and he'd probably…

But Vash was threading a gentle hand in her hair, and that small, deliberately slow gesture drew her attention.


It was the closest she had ever heard him come to begging in a non-lethal situation and she stilled instantly.

"Not like this."

She pulled away with one final stroke, sitting back and unconsciously licking her lips. Vash's eyes fluttered shut briefly in response to her actions and the image she'd presented, of that small tongue darting over her pretty little mouth right after she'd had it wrapped around him.

Meryl nibbled her lip for a second in hesitation, watching Vash sigh, before slowly crawling up his body, both of their eyes locked on each other. Settling her legs around his waist, she lifted herself up on her knees, reaching one hand down between them to grasp him and angle him just right. Vash pulled her down for a kiss even as she gradually lowered herself until she was sitting fully on top of him. In that instant they both broke off with identical gasps, trying to adjust to the sudden sensation of being together.

For an instant, Vash fought fiercely for control. Meryl was everything he'd imagined—all tightness and slick, wet skin, and he could feel the involuntary shivers that were already running through his frame. He was so close already and being inside her was overwhelming. Maybe if he had had more endurance- but, no, there was no way he could have lasted. Not when she smiled at him like that, whispered his name in such a breathless voice, glared at him with that spark of anger in her eyes.

Vash lost all reason when she shifted her legs, and he could feel the smooth, soft skin of her thighs brushing against his legs. His leg hair stood on end as a shudder tore through his body and the heat that was moving everywhere through him was centering in one specific location.

Everything was hot. Meryl gasped when his hands flew to her hips, pressing her down and driving them further together. She couldn't get enough air. She'd barely even moved, and the sheer pleasure had driven the air from her lungs. What would it be like when they really started to move? Despite the heat, she felt a shiver go through her body at the thought, and clenched her thighs together reflexively, prompting Vash's fingers to flex against her.

There was nothing he could do. He'd been driven too far and even humanoid typhoons were, well, humanoid. Some other time he'd tease her, and push her up again and again, take her slowly and feel the two of them move together in an unhurried rhythm until they reached a crescendo. For now, he was determined that even if he was going, she was coming with him.

One hand slid from its place on her hip inwards and down, questing for that little bundle of nerves. When he found it, Meryl jerked against him, and he used his other hand on her hip to encourage her momentum, helping her up only to pull her back down in time for his thrust. Their connection was harder this time, and Meryl moaned, already pushing herself back up as they fell into a frenzied rhythm.

Meryl could feel the sweat dripping down her spine. As she moved herself in time with Vash's body, her hands were slipping on his chest, searching for the leverage she needed to keep herself upright. Even the grill over his heart was slick with sweat. Between trying to meet Vash's thrusts and trying to support herself, she was falling apart. The insistent fingers playing between her legs weren't helping. Every time Vash touched her she lost just a bit more focus and jerked, her whole body spasming. She wanted him inside her, hitting her as deeply as possible, and without the control she needed, she just couldn't get what she wanted.

As if being joined had suddenly granted him mind-reading powers, Vash grasped her hips and rolled them in one smooth motion so that Meryl suddenly found herself staring up at the broad planes of his chest. A gasp started in her throat, stuttered, and died as he took control of their movements and she forgot there was anything beyond moving together, her legs wrapped tight around his hips as he thrust into her.

The blackness behind Meryl's closed eyelids was starting to grow fuzzy, the pleasure overriding her senses, and her hands scrabbled blindly for something to hold. She flexed her fingers in the firm musculature of Vash's back, stroking, kneading, sliding from the hair at the nape of his neck and over his sweat-slick skin. Something was tensing, coiling within her, and Meryl surrendered herself to it.

Vash knew Meryl was almost, almost there, and refused to come before she did. Eyes intent on her face, he was waiting for the moment she fell to pieces around him, holding himself back with the very last traces of his self-control.

And then her fingers ghosted over the "sensitive" spot on his tailbone.

Vash jerked, gasped out Meryl's name in an embarrassingly high-pitched voice, and buried his face in her neck, hips shuddering as he came.

His last conscious thought was to roll them back over again rather than suffocate Meryl with his superior body weight before succumbing to sleep and the lure of a soft, person-shaped teddy bear.

Sometime later, Vash twitched awake as Meryl ran her hand over his butt again.

"I hate you," he groaned, even as he cuddled her closer and pressed a kiss to her forehead.

"What was that, needle-noggin? About your ass not being ticklish?"

"It's… sensitive!" He couldn't stop the full-body shiver when she poked him.

She giggled when he confiscated both of her hands and brought them to rest between them, but her laughter trailed off when Vash didn't respond, only pushing his nose into the top of her head and breathing deeply in a way that ruffled her hair. At first, Meryl thought he was tired, but when he started shaking she began to worry.

Maybe she'd gone too far with the teasing. Maybe Vash the Stampede did have a weak point—his embarrassment over his ticklish spot.

Hesitantly, Meryl nudged his chin with her head, daring to look into his face and was struck momentarily speechless to find Vash holding her tight as he shook with silent laughter. Tears were leaking out of his closed eyes, and his face was unnaturally red. Feeling somewhat devious, Meryl prodded his butt again.

Unable to contain himself, Vash burst out into helpless laughter.

"I- I can't believe—," he gasped out, "and I never knew- !"

Meryl grinned. "You mean, after all these years, you never knew your ass was ticklish?"

"And where was I supposed to find out?" Vash asked, his laughter fading as he smiled at her. "I love you, Meryl."

The distant roaring in Meryl's ears could have been her subconscious cheering in the loud voice of a hyperactive teenaged-girl, or the sound of her heart climbing up the inside of her body to lodge somewhere in her throat. She imagined it was some combination of the two.

"Wha…" She swallowed and tried again. "What did you say?"

Vash gave her his slow, bone-melting smile. "I. Love. You." Each word was a kiss pressed to her cheeks, her forehead.

"I love you, Meryl."

He leaned in to kiss her, and Meryl gasped into his mouth. The contact was suddenly fresh, her surprise at the pleasure and the comfort of finally having his lips on hers new again. Without understanding why, her face started to get wet, and soon Vash was wiping at her cheeks, whispering things to her and rubbing her back.

"Y-you!" She almost poked him in the chest, but when her finger touched the metal grill over his heart, her palm flattened of its own accord. Even through the criss-crossed bars of metal she could feel the heat emanating from him and the steady beat of his heart.

"You are so stupid, you stupid man-thing-you! All those times I was so worried and you could have died and I just- I never told you and you should have been more careful!" She was aware that she'd started blubbering, but she was powerless to stop the words that were falling from her lips. "You always care about everyone else's lives but never about—and what about you? If you- if something happened to you, to your life… because if you died… how would I live?"

"Meryl, Meryl, it's ok. I'm right here."

"But what if you're not, what if, one day, you go away again and leave me…?"

Vash held her as she cried into his chest and breathed deeply, aware that in some ways she was crying for him the way he'd never been able to. He'd cried for the lives of others taken in meaningless struggles, because of Knives and his henchmen, and simply because all life came to an end eventually. But never for himself.

He, who wasn't human. Who felt, thought, and lived like one, but would never be a human. He'd never cried for himself. Always for others, for the roles he'd played, for the things he'd failed to do. Never just for himself.

And here was Meryl, who rolled all her insecurities and fears into a tight ball and hid them deep within herself, who would bully him, call him names, and do anything just to appear capable and strong, and who never, ever, wanted anyone to see her cry.

"I'll always come back," he promised, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.

His Meryl, who had followed him, who understood him, who had cried his name as she climaxed. He'd felt her clench around him and fallen, until he wasn't sure who was holding the other. Because friends were hard to come by when you were Vash the Stampede, the sixty-billion double-dollar man, and people who he could love, who let him that close, were even harder to find.


Meryl scrubbed at her cheeks, embarrassed of herself and hating how wet her voice sounded, and how her hiccups wouldn't go away. She cupped his face in her hands, and pulled him down so she could look in his eyes.

"It's not… really any of my business. And it happened a really long time ago. But how, how, could you trust Knives? The man was named for a weapon! Why would anyone name a child after a weapon and then expect him not to grow up into an evil megalomaniac after he discovered he had mind-control powers?"

Vash snorted through his nose and then had a minor coughing fit when he tried to laugh at the same time. Meryl just looked so… so serious.

"Vash! I'm serious!"

He couldn't help the laughter that bubbled over, or the desire to hoist Meryl onto his chest and roll back and forth with her while she made squawking noises, clutched at his chest, and demanded he put her down.

"And what if I don't put you down?" He wrapped his arms around her waist and squeezed to let her know he wasn't joking around.

"Then I—" Whatever dire threats she was about to voice died on her lips when he started kissing her neck. Her skin tasted salty, and he let his tongue dart out to lap at the little hollow beneath her ear.


Rolling them over, he rubbed their noses together and rested his forehead against hers. Meryl opened her mouth and closed it, aware of the blush that was spreading across her cheeks without her permission.

"What if I keep you here with me…" Meryl shivered when he dropped his voice an octave and whispered across her lips. "Forever?"

"As if you could keep me entertained that long, spikes-for-brains."

Maybe she wasn't immune to his charms. His long, nimble fingers. His lean, wiry frame. All those scars. And his endearing, if somewhat annoying, personality.

That didn't mean she couldn't make him work for it.

"Oh, really?" She knew better than to be taken in by his wounded puppy dog face, but that didn't stop him from trying.

"If you're so bored, I guess I'll just go to sleep."

So saying, he rolled away from her over to the part of the bed that was ice cold from never having been slept—or not slept, anyway—on, and yanked all the blankets with him as an afterthought, enjoying Meryl's shriek when she was pulled from her warm place in the bed and all her soft, luscious skin was exposed to the cool air. Vash wished immediately he hadn't thought of her soft, luscious skin. It was very hard to appear disinterested in her when all he could think about was her shivering and her nipples perking.

Still, it would be worth it. Mentally, Vash began to count backwards from fifteen.

He had hit seven when Meryl gave a sharp tug and tried to pull the blankets back, an action made impossible because he had cleverly tucked them underneath his body. The next step would be for her to- take advantage of his exposed back?

She was getting very, very fond of Vash's squeals. The secret of his ticklish butt was one she would take with her to the grave. Nobody would ever be able to take advantage of him like she would. She would guard it, jealously, and use the knowledge for terrible, evil things.

Even through his hysterical laughter, Vash felt his arm hair stand on end. Meryl was up to something diabolical. He was kind of turned on at the thought.

Knowing it was exactly what Vash wanted and that she would be playing straight into his arms didn't stop Meryl from flinging herself over his side, until they were a ball of covers, flailing limbs, and laughter. Tangled up together, Meryl felt warm and elated. She'd finally gotten adorable, aggravating Vash into bed, and he'd told her he loved her. She almost felt like crying all over again.

Rather than do that again, she resorted to trying to poke Vash in his ticklish spot, which of course just turned into outright fondling. Not that either of them minded, though Vash put up a token protest and tried to ward her off despite his insane laughter. Eventually, even Meryl couldn't resist, and the two of them were laughing together, Meryl sprawled out across his chest as he laughed into her hair.

She was sweaty and sticky and she probably smelled terrible, and she didn't care. She needed a shower and she wanted Vash to come with her so she could bundle the sheets in the wash, and they could get clean together just so they could get everything dirty all over again.

Propping herself up on her hands, she leaned over Vash and kissed him.

Apparently using kisses as distraction didn't just work on her. Vash had threaded a hand through her hair and tried to pull her closer, but Meryl broke away and smiled at him.

"God," she whispered, knowing her face was heating up with nerves at what she was about to do, "you're the most annoying man I've ever met. You're stubborn, rash, too idealistic for your own good, a cry-baby, philanderer, trigger-happy, smart mouth, needle-noggined, idiot.

"And," Meryl swallowed down her nervousness, "I love you."

Vash smiled what she was beginning to realize was the smile reserved only for her and pulled her down into a deep kiss. Along the way, Meryl somehow ended up straddling his waist, and sometime after a lengthy make-out session with heavy petting things started to get more intense. Eventually, it became obvious that sleep would remain elusive that night, though a joint-shower venture would probably happen sometime in the immediate future.


Elsewhere, Millie turned over in her sleep in the only guest bedroom in Vash's sixty-billion double-dollar house. In her dream, Wolfwood whispered something naughty in her ear and she giggled, curling herself further into her blanket cocoon.

Epilogue, the next morning, at breakfast:

"Millie, Millie, guess what; last night Meryl said she likes me!"

"Well, of course she likes you, Mr. Vash. Mr. Wolfwood said the two of you would eventually sort your feelings out in bed, and you had to share one last night, now didn't you?

"And, just in case you were wondering, even I know Mr. Wolfwood was talking about sex!"


"Meryl, that is a really nice hickey you have on your arm there."




"I… felt left out?"

Now it's up to you to decide which of the naughty bits I actually dreamed and which I made up just to tie the narrative together!

P.S. If you liked this you should totally go bother Re-Ane to finish her Trigun one-shots. A lot of, hm, ideas I had came from reading her wips!
P.P.S. Also go check out hina_meta on tegaki. She has some old VxM drawings I used for inspiration~