I assumed that Trigun Maximum, which I never completed because I couldn't find a good translation and couldn't afford the actual manga, only took two years, and that Vash again leaves Milly and Meryl in a similar fashion to the way he does when he goes to confront Knives.

I hope you enjoy this final installment... Even though it's rather short... I can't believe it's over... ='(


or: Behind These Glowing Eyes

It would be thirteen months after his departure before Ren would see Vash again.

Nearly healed after her ordeal with his twin, she would be in the crowd celebrating the death of the monster Millions Knives (Warrens City not knowing the true fate of Vash's brother).

She would be doing well for herself, her connection to Vash the Stampede, Town and World Savior, having gained her more business than she could sometimes handle.

She would spy a tall, blonde stranger, dressed all in black, with vibrant green eyes that glowed behind small yellow sunglasses, standing at the edge of the crowd, gazing at her. She would see him turn, notice the now black patch of hair at the nape of his neck, and watch him remove his glasses to rub furiously at his eyes with the back of his hand, and slowly walk away.

She would not give up hope of his return.

It would be almost two years before she would see him again.

"Miss Ren, Vash is coming! He's out in the waste, still a mile from town! The guard spotted him!"

"Thomas? Is that you? Come in and help me!" Ren cried through the door. The young boy, who had been weak through his childhood, but was now a strapping young eight-year-old, hurriedly opened the shop door and rushed to her side.

"You're sure it's him? He looks different now," she commented, gazing behind her at the many newspaper clippings with photos of the elusive Vash littering her wall.

"It's him alright, Miss Ren." Thomas nodded fervently as he brought her the sturdy sick she used as a crutch and helped her down from the high stool.

"Oh, I knew he'd come back eventually." She pulled off her magnifying glasses and smoothed back the flighty bits of hair that refused to stay in her long bleached braid.

"How do I look?"

Thomas smiled her. "Pretty as ever, Miss Ren."

She snorted at his childish compliment. She knew she must look a fright. Knives had left her lacking her right leg below the knee, and she had an ugly, X-shaped scar between her eyebrows. Still, she considered herself lucky she had gotten away no worse off than that. The maniac had nearly killed her.

"Go on, Thomas. I can make it from here."

"Okay. Be careful, Miss Ren!" he called over his shoulder as he ran to the outskirts of town.

Vash was light-hearted as he approached Warrens City. He hoped she would still remember his promise.

Remembering his last sight of her, he slowed his pace a slight bit. Knives had marred her physical beauty with his cruelty, but Vash knew deep in his heart that Knives could not have changed who she really was, the woman he was attracted to.

Scarred or not, he was deeply in love with Ren, as much as he had been in a childlike puppy-love with Rem Saverem.

Now, he could finally admit it to himself.

Joy flooded him as he neared the town. He ran his hand through his blonde-tipped, jet black hair, hoping she would recognize him.

The crowd parted as Ren made her faltering way to the edge of town. Two of the teens Vash had wrestled with when he had spent time here, now grown men, came to carry Ren to the front of the crowd. They set her down and backed away.

The whole town waited with baited breath.

Ren waited with tears of joy.

Vash saw her reach the edge of town, though he was still a quarter-mile away. He saw her beautiful visage, and her harshly marred limb, and tears of sorrow and joy simultaneously welled up in his eyes.

He could kill Knives for what he had done to her…

But she lived… And that meant she could still be his.

Ren could stand it no longer. She hobbled forward on her crutches, tears flooding her vision.

She didn't get far before she stumbled and fell forward…

Vash saw her move toward him and dropped his pack, running full speed to meet her. He slowed as he neared her, catching her when she stumbled and pulling her into his arms before she touched the ground.

Overwhelmed with joy, he knelt on one knee and just held her tight as they both shed tears of happiness.

When at last they found composure, he settled her on his knee and took her face in his hands, gazing at the vision that had haunted his dreams for three long years.

The harsh scar glared back at him, but all he saw was his gorgeous Ren, his beautiful red flower in a world full of black.

Ren ran her hands through his black hair, marveling at the change in color. It didn't quite suit the vivacious Vash she remembered, but she knew his ordeals would not have left him unchanged.

"Oh, Ren… I'm so glad to have you back in my arms." Vash pulled her into a deep kiss, to the cheering of the crowd behind them, and to the embarrassment of Ren.

She pulled back as he lifted her and rose to his full height.

"Do you still live in the shop?" he whispered.


"What would you say if I suggested we go up to your room and finish what we started three years ago?"

She blushed as she felt his swift strides carrying her towards the town.

"I'd say your eyes are glowing again. Are you sure?"

He grinned and kissed her again, resting his cheek against hers after he broke away.

He whispered in her ear, "It's okay… I don't fear my power anymore. I can control it now."

She whispered back, "Then I say, let's go…"

She pulled back to gaze into his verdantly glowing eyes, behind which, she knew still rested a heart of gold.

I hope you enjoyed. If you liked this story, you may want to check out my Bleach fan-fic, The Way We Are.

Stay tuned for more fan-fics from Ishtar Tiger. =)