"Crossroads"
By Ricki & Susan

"Gunsmoke & Feathers" series, Story 4. This is the first one I wrote with Susan's help. Thanks Susan! I'm just a beginner when it comes to anime fanfiction so I hope you all like it! --Ricki

Midday & Moonrise
         Vash stood next to the car he and Wolfwood had taken without permission from its owner, what most people liked to call 'stealing'. He felt a twinge of guilt over that. Maybe he and Wolfwood both needed to use that little confessional of his, only he didn't have any change on him and Wolfwood hadn't acted very remorseful. He had kept making remarks such as "Ah, now this is how a man of the cloth should travel!"
         Vash looked in the direction from which he was feeling a slight tug pulling on him. The Insurance Girl may be driving the latest edition Sand Dancer built especially for the rough terrain of the desert, but he knew the towns, and the surrounding countryside. He had been this way before. He doubted she had ever been this far out near the Great Desert. It wasn't a tourist attraction. She might also be traveling faster but if he was smart in tracking her he knew he could cut the time easily enough each day. She wouldn't have the lead for long, even with the better vehicle. He would find her. He was sure she wasn't trying to hide her trail either, not in her condition. He even estimated she would only be able to go a couple of days at the most. But they were already three days behind.
         Before he climbed in, he lifted his gaze to the horizon where he had felt the tug coming from. He turned to Milly for confirmation. She considered the fading link and pointed. He nodded; she had pointed in the same direction as he felt the tug coming from. He gave her a thumb's up gesture. He took out his sunglasses and slid them on over his eyes hiding them. He turned to look at Milly and Wolfwood as he started the engine. Wolfwood yelled a loud "Go with the protection and blessing of Almighty God!" over the roar. Vash quirked a small smile and returned Milly's wave with a quick goodbye of his own as he pulled out of camp in a great cloud of dust.

         When the car was out of sight, Wolfwood thought to himself, Wow. Poor guy, he's got it bad! And he's only now getting a clue about having a clue. He turned to look at Milly. She was still waving with all her might and yelling, "Good luck Mr. Vash! I know you'll find her in time.... because you have to...." She trailed off and lowered her hand. Wolfwood lifted his eyebrows glancing back in the direction Vash had left. He knew Vash hadn't heard any of that, his car was long gone leaving only a lingering trace of dust in the air. He wondered what she meant but then saw the puzzled expression on her face. Milly probably didn't know either.
         He pulled a cigarette out of his pocket and lit it, going over their current circumstances in his mind. He doubted Milly had even noticed the fact that they were now stranded. His extra ammo had been left in the trunk of the car, and Wolfwood moaned with the realization of this. They were going to be left with precious little to protect themselves with unless Vash and Meryl returned soon. "So," he said after taking a drag on his cigarette, his only comfort in the circumstances. "What are we going to do now?"
         Milly turned in surprise. "We go back to town to wait of course!"
         His gaze settled on her face. "Of course," He replied softly. A corner of his mouth turned up. As he took another drag the smoke from his cigarette curled up near his eyes and he narrowed them to avoid the sting. He looked around and then back to her and asked, "Honey, how do you suppose we are going to do that?" He waved his hands around in either direction, indicating the absence of any useable vehicle. "Vash just left with the only means of transportation." If only I still had my Angelina II.
         Milly put a finger to her lips in thought, "Oh yeah." Then grinned as she rolled her eyes over at him and then behind him. He was going to regret that question, he just knew it. She pointed at the broken vans that Blondie and Yellow Eyes had left behind. "What about those? Didn't you say that you knew how to fix motorcycles?"
         Wolfwood turned and took a long look at the dusty vans and began unbuttoning first his jacket and removing it and then his shirt. He decided it was in his best interests to skip trying to explain to her the differences between motorcycles and automobiles. He threw his garments over his cross, no sense in them getting as filthy as he knew he was going to get.
         At first Milly had tried to help. Fearlessly ignoring his "women know nothing about engines" glower, she had stood next to him as he had leaned over the engine inspecting what the extent of the damage was. Soon he was asking for the tools he had found in the back of one of the vans. This was where they discovered the different definitions they both thought the word "help" meant. In Wolfwood's dictionary it meant "when I ask for a tool by name, hand it to me." In Milly's it was "argue that her big big brother would have used this one instead." Their conflicting definitions were soon at cross-purposes with each other. To the credit of both, Milly recognized immediately that she needed to leave when she saw Wolfwood's lips thin out and his face flush and Wolfwood put a clamp on his mouth and temper. He finally asked her, very calmly but firmly, to see if she could piece together a meal for them even as she was saying that she should go and see if there was something she could make for a lunch. She turned and hurried off, grateful for something useful to do.... over there. She felt bad about upsetting Mr. Priest; he had so much on his mind.

         Hours later he had finished piecing one of the engines together and the remaining pieces lay scattered on the ground around the van. He stopped for a moment and stood back from the engine, wiping the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand leaving a smudge of grease in its place. Milly was nearly finished preparing the meal. She guessed Blondie had been some high lord of crime the way he traveled in style for just a little kidnapping job. Whatever, she was grateful for the rich bounty he had left behind. The food they had left had not only supplied her during her three-day stint alone, but also would be enough to feed them comfortably for a few days of travel in the desert. As long as Mr. Priest liked canned food and jerky.
         It was at that moment that she happened to look up and over at Wolfwood while he took his break. She started to look down before doing a double take. Oh my. Why hadn't she ever noticed him like this before? He was gazing off into the sky enjoying his cigarette. She noticed the gleam of sweat covering his skin and the play of the shadow and light over his muscles and the way his damp hair fell across his forehead. Her lungs refused to work for a moment and her heart skipped a beat. As if feeling her eyes on him, Wolfwood looked over to return her gaze with a soft smile. Now her heart was beating rapidly and she felt herself flush and unsure of where to look, but she should stop staring, why couldn't she stop staring? What kind of reaction was this? She had liked boys in the past and boys had liked her but this was something different that she had never experienced before. She felt out of her element and was unsure of how to act. She wrenched her eyes away and awkwardly finished the last bit of preparation, in truth though; she was just doing work so she could avoid looking at him. She could feel his continued gaze resting on the top of her head.
         Lookawaylookawaylookaway, please, lookaway! She silently urged him. Her strange reactions were confusing her. She chanced another look at him through the covering curtain of her hair. She heaved a sigh of relief. He was looking at the sky again as if in deep thought when he wiped his brow again. She stood up and pulled a handkerchief from her pocket and walked over to hand it to him. He looked down at it in surprise and then a lift of his lips accepted it and wiped his face clearing off a good deal of the grease. She walked away and came back with a cup of water, which he accepted with a nod of thanks. After drinking it he felt ready to see if his work had paid off. There had only been a few damaged parts really. He jumped into the van and turned the ignition. Nothing. What had he done wrong?
         Wolfwood tried the key again, and when there was no result, he put his head down on the steering wheel. See? I was right! Motorcycles and vans are completely different… His eyes lifted as he decided to tell Milly that it was no use, but as he did he noticed something. No, it couldn't be. The gauges told him that maybe motorcycles and vans weren't so different after all. They both needed gasoline. He cursed himself for not checking first. Damn.
         With one last spark of hope he checked the other van, and then sighed. No wonder Knives had abandoned them; he must have siphoned the gas out of them. Smart bastard, may he choke on the fumes! He stepped away from the vehicle, disgruntled and disgusted and leaned on the side considering their options, it wouldn't take long, and there were precious few.
         He pushed off from the side and walked over to where Milly was waiting with lunch. Should he try the 'good new, bad news' approach?
         "Honey?" Milly looked up holding a plate ready to hand it to him. Seeing the look on his face, she lowered it back to her lap and waited to hear what he had to say. "I have some good news and some bad news." She placed the plate on a flat rock next to her and stood up to face him. "The good news is that we won't have a bumpy, dusty ride over the desert and picking sand out of our teeth. The bad news is that we won't have a bumpy, dusty ride over the desert picking sand out of our teeth." What do you know? They were both the same news! He watched her face as her eyebrows lifted and she considered what he had told her. He reached over and gently placed his hands on her shoulders. Damn, forgot my hands were greasy. Maybe she won't notice. "We are about a hundred iles away from the nearest town... So I guess we'll just have to hoof it!"
         Milly shrugged, "I knew you would say that!"
         "But…" He paused until he had her full attention. "What you didn't know is that we aren't heading back to town; we're going to follow Vash."
         Milly frowned. "I already told you that he has to do this on his own..."
         "And the reason it took Needlenoggin and I three days to get here was because we left a trail of nasties behind us, and no matter how battered they are, they are in a real ugly mood and I doubt they'd treat us like company! So, it's just safer to head after him." God but he was good. He had made that all up in the spur of the moment. "Besides," he added grudgingly, "He's got all my ammo." Wolfwood waved to his cross and said, "It's completely empty."
         "Oh, I don't have my stun gun either." Milly didn't argue with that for which he was extremely grateful. He hadn't wanted to admit that he had only made the decision to follow Vash just then. But he couldn't have her walking back into the trouble they had just fought through to get here. Maybe she didn't mind but he didn't think his nerves could handle it if she was repeatedly in danger... it had been giving him fits all along and was one of the strongest reasons he stayed with this fun-loving trio. It was fine and dandy if he and Vash had cut a swath through the bad boys; it had even been kind of fun, but Good Lord, not with Milly with him. He just about lifted a palm to cradle her cheek when he remembered that his hands were filthy. God, she was so beautiful, he just wanted to grab her up in a long embrace. He pulled her a pace closer and gave her a quick kiss on the forehead and turned even as he saw the look of puzzlement cross her face. But too quick, otherwise he would have seen the deeply longing look that followed it. He was disturbed. Why had he done that? He went and cleaned up before slipping his shirt and jacket back on.

         Now that the heat of the day had passed, Wolfwood and Milly set out with what provisions they could carry and his cross. For once, his Mercy was dead weight and useless in the event of an attack. Milly followed him through the desert, occasionally offering to carry it to relieve him, but Wolfwood wouldn't let her. How the girl thought she could lift it was far beyond him. Of course, a lot of things about Milly confused him. She didn't act like any girl he knew, she was too tall, too strong, and if he was to believe the story she had told Vash about Knives and Legato, a real freak of nature too. For some reason, he didn't really mind. Maybe it was because the four of them were all freaks of some sort anyway. Helps to travel in packs, he mused.
         Milly followed along patiently, ever so often humming to herself, or breaking in with a story about her childhood. The silence in the desert was humbling, and Wolfwood felt it something of a comfort to have her talking. It was much better than his stint in the desert before Vash and the others had found him! At least he had plenty of food, water and he figured that out of the three he'd much rather have Milly by his side. At the moment, she was contemplating which flavor of pudding was her favorite.
         "…See, Meryl always used to tell me that banana was the best, but it always used to bug me because, where do the bananas come from anyway? There aren't any banana trees around, so I think that maybe the Plants create them from scratch, you know, how they create water and electricity…" She trailed off as she noticed that Wolfwood was actually watching her for a change. "Oh, Mr. Priest, what's your favorite pudding? Vanilla, banana or chocolate?"
         Wolfwood smiled, she really was an innocent in all of this wasn't she? "Chocolate."
         "I just knew you'd say that," Milly said, continuing. "Because my little big sister used to say that people who liked chocolate are very passionate." She smiled, but then something hit her and she stopped walking, dropped her head and her face turned red. "Maybe I shouldn't have said that."
         The priest stopped and set his cross down beside him. He wasn't sure why she was acting this way, but he had the feeling he should change the subject as soon as possible. "So, what is your favorite flavor, now that you've told me everyone else's?"
         "Vanilla," the insurance girl said, relieved somehow. "People who like vanilla are innocent and always tell the truth." She smiled, "And banana is for people who are the life of the party. You should have seen Meryl at the New Year's party a few years ago…"
         Wolfwood smiled and thought to himself, I wonder if she's talking about Meryl or herself… After a few drinks she's pretty wild too. He thought longingly of the night they all spent drinking in his hotel room before the quick draw tournament. What he wouldn't have given for a good glass of hooch and a warm bed! "Well, it's going to be getting dark soon, so we'd better get going."
         "Oh yes," Milly agreed and once Wolfwood had shouldered his cross again they were on their way.

         As the suns were going down they began to notice the lights on the horizon ahead of them. Milly asked, "What do you think it is? We haven't made it to the next town yet, have we?"
         Wolfwood studied it a moment before saying, "No, which means it's probably nothing good." With a frown, he thought of all the things it could most likely be out in the middle of nowhere. One thing he knew it wasn't and that was a pudding shop. He decided not to share his wealth of knowledge and experience with Milly. It was enough if just one of them worried about the possibilities. Let her join in the worrying when it was time to run.
         When they were close enough to hear voices, he laid a hand on her forearm halting her. He jerked his chin toward an outcropping of rocks near the edge of the light from the camp. They could hear the voices calling back and forth to each other without care of caution. Stupid, thought Wolfwood, but obviously they weren't expecting to receive any visitors, welcome or not. He stood still just listening. Right away he could tell it wasn't a group made up of weary honest travelers, (he could hope couldn't he?) even though they weren't close enough yet to distinguish what was being said. He knew this kind of banter… Hell, he had participated in this kind of banter before. It probably meant there was good booze however…
         He groaned to himself as he remembered their predicament. No ammo meant they had no leverage against these assumed outlaws. He could have probably managed to get himself into the group without any problem, but with Milly along he didn't have that same option. Saying a quick little prayer for Milly's safety, he quickly and quietly outlined the problem for her.
         "We can't just make camp here tonight or they'll be sure to find us in the morning, and we can't go past them either. There's no cover for us to hide behind on that side of the camp; the terrain is completely flat for iles once we get past this rock. Their sentries will easily spot us and pick us off."
         Milly wanted to ask him how he knew all this but realized that now was not the time. Instead she pursed her lips for a moment and then said, "I have a better idea, let's go introduce ourselves and have a seat next to the fire. It's starting to get cold out now that the suns have set." Milly started towards the camp and Wolfwood grabbed her arm and pulled her to him, lowering his face close to hers, nearly nose to nose and hissed as quietly as he knew how.
         "Are you suicidal?"
         "Hmmm, no. In fact Mr. Vash would say..."
         Wolfwood slapped a hand to his forehead, "I know! I know! He disapproves of suicide more than anything else! That was a rhetorical question..."
         "You and Meryl have a lot in common Mr. Priest; Meryl asks those all the time!"
         "Arrrrgh!" He took a deep breath and said, "Listen, we can't go and expect help from outlaws! We don't have anything to defend ourselves with."
         "We also don't have anything to steal."
         Wolfwood's eyes lit up with hope as he remembered, "Then again... If they get nasty you could do that thing…" He gestured with his palm out, "What you did back there to save Meryl. I mean with a weapon like that we would be unstoppable, a force to be reckoned with."
         "I can't." He stared at her. Why did there have to be an 'I can't?'
         "What do you mean you can't?"
         Milly shrugged and closed her eyes. Her knowing place was just a cool breeze, it didn't give her any warnings, no fear, nothing. She shrugged. "I can't. Before, Meryl was in danger, but now she's not so I can't do anything."
         Great. Just great. It works for Meryl but not for us. How much danger do we have to be in before it kicks on? This sucks sand!
         "But that also means that we're probably not in any danger either!" She ended with a bright smile, what he could still see of it in the fading light before the moons came up.
         "Oh well now, that's a relief..." Wolfwood's shoulders slumped forward. "I knew I should have gone back to bed instead of getting up for donuts."

         As Wolfwood stared at his toes, Milly placed a hand on his shoulder. "Come now, don't be so glum." He didn't move as she tried to cheer him up. "Having company out here wouldn't be so bad now, would it? I'm sure Mr. Vash would agree with me if he were here."
         "I'm not Vash, if you haven't noticed."
         "Of course I noticed," Milly replied, "Trouble always seems to follow him around, but it doesn't follow you or me, now does it?" She smiled encouragingly as he looked up at her finally. "See, that's it. Thankfully Mr. Vash and Meryl aren't here otherwise we probably would get caught up in something."
         Wolfwood shook his head at her logic, a smile coming to his face briefly. "So what do you have in mind to do?"
         Milly lifted a finger into the air, "I'm glad you asked!" She came over and patted his Mercy. "You are a priest, and I'm your nun of course! Who would harm a man of the cloth?"
         Opening his mouth to argue, Wolfwood suddenly realized that the insurance girl had come up with a surprisingly good idea. "You know, Honey, that just might work."
         "But don't call me Honey or you will ruin it!" She shook her finger at him, hefted her bag onto her shoulder and headed down into the encampment. Wolfwood grabbed up his cross and hurried to follow her down.

         "Who's there? Show yourselves!" Two armed guards stood at the base of the hill, guns cocked and fingers on the trigger. They aimed outwards into the darkness towards Milly as she came down into the light that was being given off by the campfires around the site.
         She held up her hands as she came towards the strangers, and said, "Oh what a relief! I thought we'd never find anyone out here at all! God has been good to us today!" Her smile glittered through the night and the men relaxed and lowered their guns as they saw a woman approaching them.
         Wolfwood watched from the darkness and mumbled, "Damn, how does she do that?" He shook his head and started after her, only to catch his foot on a stone and start to fall. Somehow he managed to throw his cross in front of him and it buried itself in the sand, acting as a crutch to support him. He sighed in relief, only to have two guns pointed in his face a moment later. "Hey hey hey!"
         Startled, Milly waved at Wolfwood, "Oh Father! I was worried you would have trouble getting down the hill! Thank goodness you are all right!"
         "Father?" Wolfwood said under his breath. He sighed again, Oh yeah, play along and hopefully no one gets hurt. Hopefully I don't get hurt! He nodded, "I'm just fine, Sister, although I'm not sure why these two gentlemen are pointing their guns at me."
         "Oh, sorry Father," one of the men said as he put his gun away. The other didn't move, but after an elbow jab in the ribs he complied as well, though Wolfwood noticed that it didn't keep him from glaring suspiciously and asking. "What is a priest doing way out here anyway?"
         "Oh that," Wolfwood started, but Milly cut in.
         "We were on our way to Tin Town but our van ran out of gas about ten iles from here." She smiled again, "Wow, we sure were blessed to find you gentlemen all the way out here. I thought we'd never find a warm place to spend the night!" She tilted her head to the side and Wolfwood watched her, curious to whether Milly was actually acting or this was for real. He figured it was probably a mixture of both.
         The two men seemed to melt at Milly's expression and almost immediately put their guns away. "Well then maybe we should get you to the fire! Come along, I'm sure you're really hungry. You too, Father, our boss is sure to be surprised a priest has found himself all the way out here." They turned and headed into the camp, Milly followed along merrily.
         "Hey, you two don't happen to have pudding do you..?"
         Wolfwood watched in disbelief. Just how..? He shrugged and pulled his cross from the ground in one swift tug, and swung it onto his back to follow.
         The camp wasn't very big, but there were enough men to surround two bonfires, so there had to be at least 20 men, not to mention the guards and various personnel who set up the tents. Wolfwood privately took note of each weapon, of each man and vehicle as they walked towards the center of the camp. It wouldn't be too hard to steal one of the vehicles and head after Vash and Meryl, but he was afraid for Milly's safety.
         Ahead, Milly was discussing the various flavors of mocha frosty creams with one of the guards, so she didn't seem to be in any trouble. Wolfwood was still uncomfortable, although he did marvel at how Milly could adapt to any situation. She was kind of like Vash that way. No wonder he liked them both. Oh he liked Meryl too, but she…well, she was nice enough… Though, he couldn't quite put a finger on it, he just wasn't attracted to her at all. Maybe he just liked tall women.
         Wolfwood smiled to himself, but the smile faded as they came to the main tent. For the most part it was like all of the other tents, but it was much larger and if a tent could be called foreboding, this was it. For one thing, it had a sign above the tent that read…
         "Bernadelli!!" Milly exclaimed excitedly. "Oh my goodness, Mr. Priest! It's the Bernadelli Insurance Society! Can you believe it!!"
         "Isn't that the company you work for?" Wolfwood let out a low whistle and started to dig into his coat for a cigarette. As soon as he managed to get one to his lips, Milly turned and looked at him with a dark expression. He sighed, Oh yeah; priests don't smoke, do they? It's not like I'm an ordinary priest! Instead of putting it away like Milly surely wanted him to do so, he lit it and took a long slow drag until he was purely satisfied. "So," he said, the cigarette dangling between his lips, "What are the Bernadelli's doing way out here?"
         "I would ask you the same thing," a man said as he came out from the tent. Not very opposing, he wasn't an inch over Meryl's height, balding, and wore little half-glasses on his nose. He was in a suit and tie; very different from the men around him that looked and talked more like outlaws. Wolfwood took in the men in the camp and would bet most, if not all, had past run-ins with the law. He returned his attention back as the man said, "My name is Henry Gardine, and I'm a Risk Management Agent." The man straightened his tie and cocked an eyebrow, "And you don't look much like a priest and nun, so who are you?"
         "I'm Milly Thompson!" The insurance girl chirped, "Aren't you from the October City office?"
         "Thompson?" Gardine asked as he squinted disapprovingly over his glasses. "I didn't think we'd find you. But this is obviously not Stryfe, so where is your partner?"
         "I'm Nicholas D. Wolfwood," grumbled the priest, feeling ignored. He puffed on his cigarette again and continued. "You looking for Meryl? She's with Vash."
         Gardine coughed and sputtered, "What?! You mean the Humanoid Typhoon has her?!"
         "No," Milly said cheerfully, "She ran away and so he's going after her. I'm not exactly sure where they were going, but I'm sure she'll be all right as soon as Mr. Vash finds her."
         "You sent Vash the Stampede after Stryfe? What is going on here? You were supposed to stop him from causing any damage! I was sent out here because you and Meryl were supposed to report in weeks ago. We keep getting more damage reports and nothing is being done about Vash!" Gardine's face started to turn red and he swung around and stormed back into the tent.
         Milly hurried after him, but Wolfwood stayed behind to finish his cigarette. With a last long breath, he tossed it to the ground and started after her. "Oh no, I'm sorry, but you'll have to stay out here," one of the guards said. "That tent is for Bernadelli agents only I'm afraid."
         Wolfwood cast a glance in the direction Milly had taken and shrugged. He turned to talk to the guard and asked, "So, what do I do in the meantime?"
         "Can we offer you a drink?" One man asked hesitantly, not quite sure what to offer a priest.
         He was rewarded when Wolfwood smiled, "Ah, now you're talking." He hefted his cross more securely on his back and said, "Lead the way my dear man!"

         "But we sent our report out a few days ago." Milly said as she sat across from Gardine. "At least I think so, but the post man was killed, so I'm not sure if it actually got mailed…"
         Gardine frowned over his glasses, "You were supposed to report back once a week. And the reports we were getting were utter garbage! It was more like reading a novel than a report. As if we needed a running account of everything that Vash the Stampede was doing… We needed action, Thompson! You were supposed to bring him in like you did with Argoth the Belligerent…"
         "Actually, that was just an accident," Milly said under her breath. In fact both of their original assignments had been captured by accident, but Meryl made Milly swear silence about it. They had been trying so hard over the years to be insurance agents that if anything were to ruin that… Milly really wasn't sure what they'd do if they lost their jobs. This was all they knew. "Please don't fire us, we can do better! This has been a tough job, but we're doing so well!"
         "As if I believe that!" Gardine pulled out a briefcase from under a cot and slammed it down on the folding table in front of him making the pens jump. He flicked it open and started flipping through a huge stack of documents. "Look at this! All of these are insurance claims after the Humanoid Typhoon went through each town after you found him!" He shook his head; "Mr. Bernadelli himself would be rolling over in his grave if he knew what a horrible job you have done! We're going to find Stryfe, get her away from Vash and take you home for reassignment. And someone else will be assigned…" He waved a hand at her, "You will tell me where they were headed."
         Milly lowered her head, "Yes, Sir."

         The fifth moon rose over the city, brilliantly full, followed by the third and fourth moons. Wolfwood looked up at them over the fire, a bottle in his hand and a cigarette hanging unlit at his lip. He raised his bottle to the moon and then his eyes fell on Milly as she came into the firelight taking in her crestfallen countenance. "What's the verdict?" Although he had a feeling he already knew.
         "We're going to find Meryl, and then the two of us have to go home…" She sat down next to Wolfwood and buried her head in her hands. A faint sound of crying came from her and Wolfwood frowned, leaning close to her he could hear her mumbling, "I don't want to leave you… I don't want to leave Mr. Vash. This is the first time that Meryl and I have felt we were in the right place, and now we are going to have to go home and start all over again, and we were so happy!"
         Wolfwood wrapped a long arm around Milly's shoulder and took the cigarette out of his mouth. "What do you mean you have to leave? Weren't you doing your jobs?"
         "We weren't doing them right!" Milly sobbed, looking at him, and took the bottle from his hand. She sipped at the liquor as Wolfwood looked on, a bit shocked. "We can't lose our jobs, because that's all we have! But I don't want to leave you either!"
         With a sigh, Wolfwood pulled Milly into his arms and held her as she shook with tears. He didn't want to admit it to Milly, but maybe it would be better if they went home. At least they wouldn't be in harm's way anymore… But then again, what if another agent was assigned to Vash? At least Milly and Meryl had been able to take care of themselves. Who knows what trouble a different agent would be to Vash? No one would understand the inner workings of the situation better than Milly and Meryl. They had been able to face Knives and Legato and survived! He doubted any other agent would be able to say the same. He smiled down at Milly, "Don't worry, Honey, we'll think of something, I promise."
         She shook her head briskly in his arms, "I know, I know." She was trying to convince herself, Wolfwood figured. Milly pulled away a bit and sniffed, rubbing her nose on the sleeve of her jacket. "I'm sorry, I don't know what got into me. As soon as we find Meryl, she'll know what to do, I'm sure of it." She smiled, her eyes still red, but that smile said it all, and Wolfwood smiled back. He sure did love her.

"Daybreak & Bruises - Part 2

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