"The Insurance Girls Tell All"
Part 3 - "Conclusion"
By Azalea

Rated PG-13

Melinda:     Letís talk about some of the places and people weíve mentioned-whatís become of them after all these years. Theyíve never rebuilt July, of course-just made it a National Historical Park. After several years of cleanup, they rebuilt Augusta, calling it New Augusta.

Meryl:    Ineprilís the site of Vash the Stampede Stampede, while December City has its counterpart in Wolfwood Days. Tonim Townís a strange, low key combination of historical site and theme park.
        Even the little town we stayed at while building Vashís health back has really become built up by its claims to fame. It has its own Vash Days.

Milly:     And a well named after me-the Milly Thompson Well!
        As for people, Nicky took after his father and stepfather and became a minister. And taking after his aunt Heloise, he rediscovered a principle called ďthe power of positive thinkingĒ, which he shared with any who would listen. He steered his church away from legalism, and more towards a spirit of service-and a good share of love and peace.
        Duncan died fourteen years ago. Besides having been a preacher, Duncan had something else in common with Nicholas. They both died in church, not lying on the ground, but positioned upright. Duncan fell asleep during Nickyís sermon and just never woke up. He had been falling asleep so often lately during church services that I didnít even notice until after the service when it was time to go. Itís not that he found the sermons so boring that he dozed off-it was because he found them soothing.
        Meryl and I moved in together-it was as if no time had passed since now and the days when we used to share rooms on the road while trailing Vash.
        Iíve started wearing my cross necklace again. I think about Nicholas everyday-it had been painful to do so the first few years after he died, but after awhile, his memory became sweeter. Not just sweeter, but mystical somehow. My first true love, my first loverÖthis mysterious stranger. No one knew what he was thinking of, but he told me. He never spoke to anyone else all the secrets he told me. And he gave himself to me, and only me. Then he disappeared into the desert sands, leaving me a son to carry on his name.
        Somehow I still feel him. I wake up from dreams about him, and a warm feeling follows me throughout the day. But heís frozen in time, and Iím an old lady! I wonder what age Iíll look like in Paradise.
        Time doesnít stand still. Thatís what they say. But that night and that morning I spent as Nicholasí bride, they continue. And although Iím mostly here in this day and age, enjoying who I have now in my life and what things I come across in the present, part of me will always be there, with him, lying in his arms.

Melinda:     And tell us about Naomi Ruth. Sheís quite the famous artist!

Milly:    Yes, her paintings are in many rich peopleís homes and galleries. Sheís quite in demand with her desert landscapes. So now I finally see Godís plan in all the tragedy of my life.

Melinda:     You do?

Milly:   &nbsnp;Sure. I was meant to know Nicholas so that his son would come to the world and be a great preacher. And I was meant to know Duncan, so that Naomi would be born, and she would inspire the world with her art! If I hadnít lost Nicholas, I would have never married Duncan, and Naomi wouldnít have been born.

Meryl:    WellÖthatís one way of looking at it, I suppose.

Milly:    Itís not that Iím happy Nicholas died--

Meryl:    Oh, okay. You had me worried there for a second.

Milly:     Itís just that our tragedies often have some sort of divine meaning, donít you think?

Meryl:    I guess. I still think you were better off with Duncan.

Milly:    Donít start that again! Miss Melinda, she says to me in her meanest moments that it wouldnít have worked out between Nicholas and I!

Meryl:    Iím just say-

Milly:    I donít think thatís true! I think Nicholas and I would have had a more fiery marriage than Duncan and I. But maybe all that passion would have been a good thing! Anyway, even if our marriage didnít work out, Nicholas would have had to have been the one to leave. Iím not the kind to leave, and I wouldíve never let him go.

Melinda:     Tell us about your grandson.

Milly: Oh, Justin Wolfwood. He has both Nicholasí and Vashís blood in him.

Meryl:    Yes, but heís not a legendary gunman.

Milly:     But he fights for love and peace and justice in his own way!

Meryl:    Heís an attorney.

Melinda:     An attorney?

Milly:    Yes, he fights against big business for the little guy.

Meryl:    Ironically, heís taken on Bernadelli several times.

Milly:     And won!

Meryl:    He has children, too-weíre great-grandparents! Thereís VashÖ

Milly:    Vash Wolfwood. Sounds funny, donít it? Like a description of one of those fan comics.

Meryl:    Milly! Thatís not a nice thing to say about your great-grandsonís name! Vash used to be a rare name-Vash the Stampede seemed to be the only one. Just saying the name Vash could cause a panic way back in the day. But now itís fairly common.

Melinda:    You know, it seems like your men live on in other ways. All those movies and TV series about Vash and Wolfwood-and theyíre still making them today.

Meryl:    First there were the pulp novels, then the movies like Showdown at Inepril, and Vash Vs. Brilliant Dynamites NeonÖ

Milly:     There was Trigun.

Meryl:    Yeah, that was an odd title.

Milly:    I like the first TV series. The black and white one. Vash was still the star, but really it was the adventures of the four of us-us girls, him, and Nicholas, all together.

Meryl:    Have you seen the latest TV series? That girl playing me has bigger boobs than I ever had in my life-even before I shriveled up.

Milly:    And Iím too short. I mean the actress who plays me is way shorter than I am.

Meryl: I donít even think her breasts are real.

Milly:    My favorite is the black and white episode where Nicholas is captured by bandits, and while Vash and Meryl distract them, I go in and untie Nicholas. You shouldíve seen him-well, you probably saw the episode, too--his shirt is unbuttoned, and his hair is disheveled, and heís bleeding a little from his ear. I blast the rope with my stun gun, and it breaks. And then he kisses me!

Meryl:    Donít forget thatís fictional! We didnít really have 300 plus adventures.

Milly:    I know, Meryl! Donít be silly! My mindís not gone yet! But itís a nice fantasy. Anyway, watching the TV Nicholas and TV me, or movie Nicholas and movie me fall in love, I feel like Iím falling in love all over again!

Melinda:     Whatís your favorite episode or movie, Meryl?

Meryl:    Oh, the one where I single-handedly rescue Vash from two Gung-Ho Guns that never existed. It was far-fetched-

Melinda:     But you just told me, in real life you once single-handedly saved Vash from an angry mob.

Meryl:    Yeah, I guess I did.

Milly:    Those were some strange and wonderful times-not the TV series and movies. I mean our real lives. So we didnít have 300 plus adventures.

Meryl:    We had enough. Poor Vash wouldnít have been able to take much more. Those may have been the most memorable times in Millyís and my lives, but they were hell on Vash, to be honest.

Milly:    I guess itís just as well the adventures are part of the lore of yesterday now.


Melinda:     I will always treasure my conversations with Milly and Meryl. And Iím so grateful I talked to them when I did. Not a whole year afterwards, Meryl died of complications from a fall after she tripped over Neko Neko. Like Vash being shot from behind, it was an unfitting end to such a courageous person. Milly lived on another year, then passed away peacefully while napping in the porch chair.
        Death often brings sadness, yet when certain people die, I just know theyíre okay. And I know this for Milly and Meryl. Theyíre finally with their Nicholas and Vash again.

Afterword from the Author
     Astute readers will realize that Vash's death in my fanfic was borrowed from history. I decided to give him a death like a Wild West Legend, since Trigunís setting is much like the American West. The legend is this case is Wild Bill Hickok. In Deadwood, South Dakota, Wild Bill was sitting at a poker table with three other men, when a man named Jack McCall strolled in, talked casually to the players, then shot Hickock in the back of the head. The townspeople were enraged, saying McCall was cowardly for shooting Hickok like that instead of calling him out for a fair duel. My parents, one of my cousin's sons, and I visited Deadwood a few years ago (before the HBO series premiered!). My Dad and my cousin's son got to participate in a recreation of the shooting, and then we saw a play called "The Trial of Jack McCall". I don't consider my mirroring those Deadwood events as ripping off anyone, since it's history and not somebody else's fiction. I consider it more a ďtip of the hatĒ to the Old West of legendary America.


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