Okay dokay, so. I found scraps of this old fanfic and started to edit it due to a strange urge. Just so that all of you know: THIS HAS GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH MY OTHER RANGO FANFICS!

There is no Aphrodite here! And I do NOT own Rango! So far I only face 3 chapters, but they are quite long… I guess I won't be updating so often then, because I must concentrate more on Midsummer Dream again….

So, enjoy and please REVIEW!

Golden Sunset

Chapter 1 – You must be kidding

The sun shone down hard onto the desert ground, sucking out every single particle of moisture from the air and wherever one looked, one only saw death. Not even the tough cacti seemed to be able to withstand the torture of the sun, and their once green leaves had faded and died. These walking cacti would walk no more.

"They are goners, just like me if I don't find that damned town soon!" I mumbled to myself. I had been wondering through the Mojave Desert for days, looking for a certain town, people had told me about, in the hope to finally find a place to stay. A place which could offer me a good amount of adventure.

'Mud, what an odd name.' Once again I wondered about the town's name. I couldn't understand why any creature would call his own town 'Mud', but at the same time, I could hear the people I had met in a town many miles from here talk once again about the so called 'wonder sheriff' and what he had accomplished so far.

Some say, he comes from the West, others say he comes from a place, so terrible, any creature would kill itself just to get away from there and again others say, that he once had been abducted by humans and had been held by them as a prisoner. But that ain't the point. That sheriff saved his town from an evil mayor, from which demons had taken over mind and body and brought his dehydrated town so much water, that they've become one of the richest towns in this blasted desert! But that ain't all. He has a pact with the devil himself. People say, the Grim Reaper himself, has chosen the town, where he and the sheriff had a showdown, as his kinda base or something. I dunno if that is good, to have death within your own walls, but I guess that the sheriff's got everything under control.

The words of the men in the saloon lingered in my thoughts, as I made my way on through the desert, over the blistering hot sand, towards a town I had yet to encounter. When I had first heard the stories of the wonder sheriff and the fact that the devil himself stayed in his town, a jolt of excitement had raced through my body. What could be more adventurous than to meet the most feared creature in the whole of the desert? And especially to life in the same town as the just named one? I had not been able to resist. I had to see the "wonder sheriff" and the devil himself. Always lurking for danger and an adventure, yes, that was me alright.

I was no ordinary viper and I surely didn't seem to belong into the desert either. I was a red African bush viper and unlike the other snakes in the desert, I was not sand coloured. I also did not possess a rattle like most of the native snakes, no, I was sunset coloured and absolutely rattle less. While my stomach and chest scales were of a creamy yellow – orange mix, my back and neck resembled a magnificent sunset over an African savannah. The fiery red of my back was mixed with a rich orange and a shining yellow, making me stand out in every possible way one could imagine. My scales which stood away from my body, looked like spikes, giving me a rather rough appearance, but if one looked over me in total, one would notice, that my small, heart shaped head, my huge golden eyes and the spikey scales gave me the most exquisite appearance and one could say that I was truly beautiful. I loved thinking of myself as beautiful. No one else ever did, so I had to keep repeating that fact to myself if I didn't want to become mad.

My name was Roxette, although I preferred the name Roxy or Rox over anything else. I didn't hate my name, but it just wasn't me. Roxette sounded so good and wealthy, but it also sounded unloved. Roxy or Rox however gave me the illusion of being loved, of being close to someone who didn't want to harm me or use me. Furthermore Rox sounded more rebellious and strong willed. I liked that. I hated to be seen as a delicate young woman who could do nothing and should actually have a man by her side. I couldn't stand that thought! I was an independent woman through and through and no one would ever change that. And if anyone did have the guts to give it a try, I would beat his butt and send him flying into whatever dirty hole he had crept out from underneath!

I used to live with my family in Africa. We were as close as a family could be.

Okay, that is a lie.

My family hated me and not one day would pass without me having a bad fight with either one of my parents or my siblings. But somehow I also couldn't blame them really for it. I made my siblings and parents go through hell. It was actually quite fun. I would never do as I was told and I was continuously playing pranks on my older and younger brothers and sisters. I would drive them totally mad! I would always hide my elder sibling's things, or when my oldest brother came home with a girlfriend, I told her terrible things about him. After the second visit at our home she left him. She was a dumb slut in any case!

At some stage, nearly ten years ago, when I had reached my twenties, my parents had kicked me out and sent me away, due to the fact that they hadn't been able to handle me anymore. With increasing age I had gotten into more and more trouble and after I tossed my fiancé, which my parents had loved, over a cliff and into a lake, they had had enough of me. They didn't even want to hear the story from my point of view. They believed everything that that damned asshole told them! I mean, that was not fair! It was true that he had fallen down a cliff because of me, but I had not tossed him down! Heck, I am not nearly strong enough to do so! But just because I am a little small, that doesn't mean that I am not as strong as everyone else. But the point just is, that he had wanted to hurt me and my parents didn't believe me. They only believed him.

My siblings of course had been more than happy to get rid of me, so I left without any further discussions. In some way I had even been glad to finally get away from that freak show. Those idiots could rot in hell if I had any saying. Well, all except for my eldest brother. Even after I scared away his second girlfriend, he was the only one who stuck up for me. I think he even was sad when I left, but what do I know, I am not good with living beings. They seem to just not like me.

So I was kicked out, but I normally just say I left. It doesn't sound so – low I guess.

Due to pure coincidence, I landed up in a game ranger vehicle and was driven into a city. There I found my way to a harbour. I thought that it would be best to get as much space between my old family and me as possible. So I found a nice and comfy place on a ship and from then on my real adventure began. I saw many places and also met many people, although one could never call them friends. Folks normally didn't get along to well with me. That is because I tend to be rather nasty with other people. It is a bad old habit from me, because after all the years with those stupid brothers and sisters of mine, I had put up an iron curtain in front of me to protect myself and that iron curtain consisted of unfriendly behaviour and sarcasm. I could be nice if I wanted to be. I could even be really seductive and all, but after Richard, the dude that I "tossed" of a cliff, I never flirted with anyone again.

After a couple of years which I had spent in numerous countries, I had landed up in Vegas and looking for a new kind of adventure, I continued inland and found myself in the desert and now I'm looking for a town called Mud.

…..

Suddenly something in the distance made me look up, but I knew better than to become overly excited. I knew of the tricks of the desert. Illusions, fata morganas, hallucinations. The world of sand loved to play these games. Give poor, lost souls the hope of reaching whatever they desired, only to make them act like fools and make them go crazy in time.

But I was sure. That dark image, I had detected in the distance, had to be a town. It had to be the town. There was no point in denying it. Except for some walking cacti, there was nothing around me. No, hills, surely no mountains, no rock formations what so ever and the dark formation was exactly there, where it should be. I had nearly made it.

'Well, town. Here I come. Let's see if you all are really as tough as you say!'

I automatically started to speed up, forgetting about the blazing heat of the sun, forgetting about the desert within my throat, even forgetting the blisters on my belly, which the terrible heat had formed to torture me with an extra amount of pain.

Slowly I came closer and closer to the town, until I finally stopped, about 10 meters away from the town. I just stood there and looked horror struck at a broken down dump! I couldn't believe it. The people couldn't be serious about this town being too rich. I mean come on! This place looked terrible, but then again I had seen worse and it did have a certain flare to it. In fact, I would fit right in! mybe not with my colour, but else- this place looked so tough. As if it had braced itself against the outside world. It was just like me. I loved it!

I started to slither towards the town, my body drawing mysterious lines into the sand beneath me, my dark shadow right by my side.

I hadn't even entered the town completely, when I noticed, that all eyes were glued to my body and that every single person who had been outside on the main road, in the moment I had entered the town, had frozen. It was quiet. Deadly silence had fallen over the whole town. I hated being started at! Hadn't these morons ever seen a snake? I gave one of the people who were standing closest to me a very mean look, my golden eyes blazing with anger. The hare which I glared at couldn't move anymore and just looked back into my eyes. I guess it is a thing with us snakes, that people can't help, but to look into our eyes, with our split pupil, the special colours and so on.

I decided that they weren't worth any second thoughts, so I made my way over to the sheriff's office. I was already quite excited about meeting him. People always described him as a hero.

Once I stood in front of the sheriff's office, I noticed a sign which hung down from a post next to the small building. At first I couldn't detect what was written on there. Only after a couple of seconds of staring, I realised that the words was "Sheriff". I smiled, when realizing that the sheriff sign had been mangled so badly by bullets, that the one chain had snapped and it hung down, only held by one string. It reminded me of one of those holy cheeses, that some people enjoyed eating so much. I just couldn't hold back a dark snicker. This was going to be fun!

I wanted to bang on the door with my tail which I had curled into a small ball, when the door suddenly swung open in a fluent movement and the sheriff came strolling out, just to stop in dead track, when seeing my, to him, rather large form looming over him. He caught himself however, before he could let out a, most probably, girly squeal. But all I could think of in that moment was

'A chameleon? You must be kidding!'

I eyed the green sheriff suspiciously. This couldn't really be the sheriff I had heard about in all those stories! This had to be another one! Maybe the sheriff had eventually been sliced up and a new one was already in his place. It was to be expected, by my amount of luck, but when the sheriff cleared his throat and smiled a screw smile up at me and I had to fight back a dark smile. If this was another sheriff, I could also just play some good old tricks on him and see what he would do. Well, what I am getting at is, that I surely wouldn't fit into one of his cells and I was interested in to see how he would react to such a situation, but my fantasies of annoying the crap out of him had to be carried on at another stage.

"Oh my. Yer gave me a purdy good fright there, ma'am. Ma name's sheriff Rango and how could I help a pretty little lassie like you?" The sheriff seemed nice, maybe a little scatter brained, but friendly, not like the man with the steel mind I had heard about, but the name was right. My dark smile grew a little broader and it was on the edge of turning into an evil and mocking smile.

"Sheriff Rango you say? My my, how interesting. This will be even more fun than expected!" I snickered when I saw a small prick of fear appear in his eyes, but I continued.

"I've been traveling a lot, and I heard that this town had some pretty adventurous stories to tell, so I just figured I would come here and check the place out. Never thought one of the richest towns would look like a dump, but who cares?" I tilted my head to the one side while speaking, but also lowered my whole front body, so that I was on the same eye level as the green chameleon.

However, when I saw a slightly hurt look cross his face, I furrowed my brows and looked him intently in the eyes. "You do know that that wasn't meant as an insult, do you? I don't really like law people, but it isn't my goal to hurt everyone I come across."

I didn't want it to sound like apologizing, so I said it rather roughly. That was another thing about me. I hated to apologize, but I hated to say mean things to people who hadn't been mean to me, so I always tried to clarify such things, even though I wasn't good at it. But then it also didn't matter. Truthfully I couldn't care less what the people of this town thought of me.

After that the sheriff looked slightly surprised at me and scratched the side of his head, but then smiled his screw smile at me and shrugged before answering. "Naw, it's okay, ma'am. Yer didn't insult me. I mean, it's not like it ain't true or anything, but yer should be more careful with what yer say 'round the folks. They get slightly, uhm, angered, if yer say something 'bout this here town. So, what brings ya here?"

I couldn't help it to snicker again and I smiled a rather toothy grin down at the sheriff. "Oh, this and that. Nothing specific actually. It's just that I'm looking for some fun, adventure and a place where I could live. And by the way, my name is Roxette."

Rango snickered. "Oh, we've got enough adventure 'round here, miss Roxette. Yer'll never have a boring day 'ere, that yer can be sure of! I'm also glad that I won't have te be dealing with another death bringing snake in town! Believe me, one is enough."

By the mentioning of a death bringing snake I raised my two scaly eye brows and looked intently at Rango. With death bringing snake, he just had to mean the Grim Reaper! How exciting!

The sheriff, most probably noticing my raised brows, cleared his throat and spoke on. "Oh, and if yer thinking of staying here in good ol' Mud, yer would have to get a home and a job, lassie and the only home we could offer you, is the ol' barn house, opposite the ex-mayor's house. But don't worry. It's a beaut, really!"

I nodded, now deeply in thoughts. I never had had a job in my entire life. Not once! On my travels I never could have one and when I still lived in Africa, I didn't have to work, or to be more precisely, whatever my parents did or said, I would not work. And. That. Was. It! But now, now I had to get a job. But it couldn't be too difficult! Anyone could do that! It would be a piece of cake to find a job especially with most of the people being too scared to turn me down.

I then thought of something and just had to ask. "Now tell me, Sheriff. I heard that this town was so wealthy. You know, rich, lots of money and water and so on. How comes that it, well, doesn't look so much like a dum- ah, I mean why doesn't it look so wealthy?" I had been able to change my sentence in the last second, not wanting to insult the chameleon again.

Rango looked up at me with a puzzled look. "I don't unders-"

Rango stopped and looked at me, with a big fat grin. I, not understanding what was going on, tilted my head to the side.

Rango chuckled and hit his forehead. "Oh, yeah. Yer came in from the east. That's why! Yer haven't even seen our big lake! It's enormous! Fantastic! Not one single other town in the whole of the Mojave Desert has got a lake like that!" Rango stuck his chest out, trying to impress me or something.

I and stared at the little lizard in disbelieving puzzlement. They had a lake? A lake in the middle of the god damned Mojave Desert? He had to be kidding, most probably just making fun of me. There was no such thing as a lake in the middle of the desert. It just wasn't possible!

'Oh look. A stupid stranger! Let's make fun of her! It will be so easy. Bladi bladi bla!'

"If I was you, I wouldn't go making fun about me, you know, sheriff Rango! That can be very dangerous! So you should better tell me the truth, I mean, a lake in the blasted desert? Do I really look that stupid?" I was getting slightly angry, but before the lizard kind of creature could speak on, I quickly added something. "And you better not answer that, if you value your life!"

But instead of being frightened, Rango just shook his head and started whistling a funny little song, seeming more than pleased with himself. "I'll show ya, missy! Yer'll love it! But first I'm gonna show ya yer new home. So, if ma'am would just follow me."

And with that he strolled past me, away from the sheriff's office, seeming rather content with himself, but when I followed up behind him, looming over him like a monster from a horror movie, well, a beautiful monster, but still, I let my dark blue tongue flicker out of my mouth and taste the air, and there it was, the faint but still distinct smell of fear, radiating out from the sheriff.

'This guy is a really good actor! If I were one of these stupid, ordinary desert critters, I never would have noticed that he is actually scared of me!'

I sped up, so that I now was next to the sheriff and I lowered my entire body, so that my sweet, heart shaped head now was on the same height as his. "I've never met someone who can act that well, sheriff Rango. Say, where did you learn that?"

The sheriff froze and I looked him over curiously. Only then, slowly, did he turn to me, with a lowered voice and a strange look on his face. "Wha-what? Uhm, how do ya? Oh yeah, snake, right. Ya fellas smell the fear. Yeah, great. Uhm, I actually taught it myself. Why?"

I just shrugged. "Well, I love acting! Maybe you could once teach me some tricks or something? You know, just for fun, when you maybe once don't have anything to do. You know, no bad guys to shoot or whatever sheriffs do."

Suddenly a huge and very happy smile spread across the lizards face and his eyes seemed to glow. "I would love to, my dear! No one has ever asked me that!" I really had to try not to snicker. That chameleon was just so easy to please!

The lizard started to whistle again and strolled off, over to where the barn house should be standing and I just rolled my eyes, chuckled lowly and followed him.

Now I was sure. He couldn't be from around these parts! No one would ever talk like that, here in the desert. He had to be from quite far away, maybe from the cities or something similar. I was just glad that I was not the only one who wasn't from around these parts and if he had managed to become a hero then I could also do some good and- wait. I just remembered something. Hadn't those guys in that one bar said, the some say that Rango had been abducted by humans? If that meant, what I thought it meant then, naw, it couldn't possibly be true! Not the famous Rango! It just would be-

I was interrupted by the sheriff, who was now standing in front of me and was pointing to the most beautiful place I had ever seen, well, at least to my eyes it was beautiful. The barn was painted in a creamy kind of yellow, but not as yellow as my own stomach. Old vine ranks were growing up the sides of the front of the house and the huge doors were made from solid would and were the perfect size for me. The old barn house seemed to have two floors, and both being exceptionally large, most probably due to containing the big machines, which now were not there anymore. And in the front of the house there even was some grass, even though it was very little and nearly sand coloured due to the heat, but I loved it. It so much resembled myself. This was the perfect home for me.

"This place rocks! Love it to bits, sheriff Rango!" And without even looking at the sheriff I slithered up to the door, turned the round nob of the doors and they immediately swung open, revealing – nothing! There really was nothing inside of the huge place, but it still was beautiful. In the middle of the gigantic room, a huge stair case wound itself up to the next floor. Sunlight shone through dozens of windows, some smaller, some larger ones and one which was stretched across the whole back of the house, but to my relief an old wine red curtain was stretched across the whole back side, concealing the room from any looks, although the back was facing into the open and wide desert.

Although I could sense that the sheriff had come inside behind me, I just ignored him for now and rushed up the round stair case to the next floor, my body vibrating a little bit, I was so excited! I mean, it's not like that I get my very first own home every day you know!

The next floor was separated into many rooms, but all rather large. I came to the conclusion, that this is where the old farmers had stored their corn, hay and whatever else they had produced. There were five rooms, but I decided, that I would take away the walls of three of the rooms, so that I could have a large enough bedroom, the other two rooms could be for guests, in case I ever had any and downstairs would be the living room and the kitchen and- I was disturbed by someone clearing his throat, so I quickly turned my small head around and saw that Rango was standing behind me, grinning.

I didn't want him to know how excited I really was. I mean, normally I'm not the oh that is pretty now I'm so happy kind of person and just because of this I didn't want my reputation, well if I had one, to go down the drain, so instead of jumping up and down and making a scene, I nodded my head and then spoke clearly and slowly.

"Thanks a mill, sheriff Rango. This place is the right one. Dankie!" Without even noticing, a Afrikaans word slipped out of my mouth. I shook my head slightly.

"Well, I'm glad yer like it lassie! But there ain't much in 'ere, so yer will have to first start te earn money, 'fore yer can get all snuggled up in 'ere." Rango looked around and I followed his gaze, slightly put out, but then then again I had had worse and if I just could get some covers and some hay or something, I could make myself a wonderful bed and as soon as I got myself a work, I would be able to make this place beautiful.

"Dit is okay, it will do. If you people just give me some blankies, then I will make myself a bed and all I then still need is a job. So. Who must I kill to get a job?" In a second my tone changed to totally serious and the sheriff gulped, but he noticed the twinkle in my eyes and just rolled his big and very weird looking eyes at me, but I just smirked back at him.

"Don't ya worry lassie. I'm Purdy sure that yer can get a job down in that there saloon. I think Buford wants a new waiter or waitress in any case, so we should go there, what do ya think?" I cocked my head and let my dark blue tongue slip out of my mouth. A job as a waitress would not be so bad. Maybe nothing exciting, but then-

"Say, Sheriff. Do fights break out in your saloon?" I smirked when I saw him become a little paler. I knew exactly that I had hit the jackpot with that question. I didn't even have to listen to his mumbled explanations.

"That would be perfect, so, what are we waiting for? Let's go before some idiot takes my place!" And with that I slithered past the green chameleon and down the staircase, closely followed by the sheriff.

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