Disclaimer: I don't own Trigun.
A/N: Okay, so I managed to – finally – write something that's not angst or flangst or even crangst. I intended to write something fluffy/funny/schmoopy for Celesma, my lovely beta and dear friend, who I wanted to cheer up and write something to make her smile. Not sure what happened then but this kind of came out of it.
A/N2: Beta read by Celesma. All remaining mistakes are my own.
He wakes up every morning and still can't believe he is alive.
It should have been impossible that he survived this. It still is freaking unbelievable.
So unbelievable that, in fact, every morning he wakes up, he just lies there for endless moments, just breathing, listening to the beating of his heart, recalling everything that has happened the day before, because, and that might be stupid, but, somehow, he believes, if he were dead, he wouldn't remember, wouldn't even try to, 'cause there'd be no point to it and nothing like the flow of time anymore anyhow.
Breathing – even the air seems fresher now. Maybe, because for the first time since what feels like forever, he's appreciating being alive.
Heart – thump, thump, steady and calm. Kind of slower than it used to, less pushed by what it was forced to be. For some reason no one has figured out as of now – another reason this whole being alive thing is still making him suspicious – his body seems to age less and less faster recently. He's becoming healthier – and that is damn ridiculous, all things considered. It makes him fear that the inevitable backlash will be all that much harder to take, and yeah, he guesses he's always been kind of a pessimist, but come on, all of this is just too good to be true. And with all of this, he means saving the freaking world side by side with Vash, a naïve idiot, who is also Vash the Stampede, Humanoid Typhoon, and the best fighter he's ever seen, and a dork, and his best friend, and a lover of donuts, and lover of –
So they saved the world together and then stuff kind of happened.
Like 110% of all of that happened much differently than Wolfwood had anticipated it would – for one thing, he was alive to save this friggin' dustball, first big surprise. Then Vash kind of beat Knives into submission with feelings, of all things. He guesses it kind of figures and he should have expected it, after all, he's kind of been living in Vash's pockets for years, but whatever. Vash is unpredictable at best and embarrassingly chick flick at worst.
That's probably a part of why he fell in love – in love for god’s sake – with the fuzzball in the first place, and without noticing it for the longest time on top of that.
Next big surprise: that crazy, stick-up-her-ass doctor friend of Vash's tells him whatever has been making his body eat itself seems to have slowly eased up, though she has no idea why. Wolfwood has a pretty good idea, actually. Being around – like closely, nose-touchingly around – a certain all-powerful stuffed-with-nuclear-rainbows being, he kind of assumes it was inevitable that he got affected by it in some way.
He has to admit though, that it really only clicked in that moment the doctor frowned up at him with that mixture of concern and vague disgust – okay he'd probably still smelled an awful mix of blood and spilled guts and cigarettes but she couldn't smell Vash on him or could she? – and then it had kind of hit him what it was that was healing him and that he could never, ever tell anyone what it was.
He may have kind of blushed though, and then she'd arched an eyebrow and looked strangely amused (and even more vaguely disgusted) and asked no more, so yeah, real subtle here Wolfwood, good job.
The day after he surprisingly didn't die, and found out he even wasn't going to in like five months, and that crazy dirtball of a planet was still there, and the ships from the earth came – well, the day after, he mostly slept.
Vash slept on even the day after that – damned bastard didn't even wake up once, and therefore made Wolfwood fret by his bedside like a friggin' girl, what the fuck.
And then, when he finally did wake, he had looked up at the priest and smiled at him, all goofy, like hey man what's up another sunshine and donuts day in paradise, like he hadn't almost died two days back – that's when Wolfwood clogged him a good one and then hugged him, all tight and chick flick like and had a hell of a time forcing himself to let go after like ten minutes of crushing the asshole's ribs and hiding his face in his neck, while Vash went from completely puzzled to worried to strangely silent and hugged him back, gently, because he's Vash and he's stupidly affectionate even to people who just hit him like ten seconds ago.
So yeah – a lot of crazy, unbelievable stuff had happened. Kept happening, actually, because when you save the world that doesn't mean the crazy stops happening, just that this time it's the good crazy, apparently, since a lot of people are still, understandably, over the moon with what had occurred these last several weeks. It all kind of blurs together in Wolfwood's mind – he's not used to so much laughter and partying that never seems to ease up, much less the absence of threats, and can people please stop trying to hug him, thank you. And because it kind of blurs together, so many things happening at once, he tries to remember as much as he can, as clearly as he can, so he can be that much more certain he's really alive and not in some maddeningly sweet fake afterlife.
What makes it easier to believe he's really here and in the land of the living is actually the fact that he highly doubts anyone, either God or the devil, much less himself, would ever have the imagination for the crazy stuff that keeps happening to him, so there he goes.
Stuff like that night the day after Vash had finally had the decency to wake up again. That night, after they'd finally escaped the hundred-plus people that wanted to thank and/or hit them – Milly had cried and hugged them both halfway to death while babbling incomprehensible stuff; Meryl had given them both the evil eye and an annoyingly long lecture about risking their lives while other people were left behind waiting for their corpses to appear in the sand and get eaten by nonexistent worms or whatever, and then proceeded to beat Vash with the bedside lamp when he dared to protest – well, after all that, survival instincts kicked in again and they'd decided to hide outside for a while.
Just the two of them.
They hadn't been alone like that since that embarrassing scene when Vash had woken up, and he'd kind of not noticed that until they were alone again, or alone together or whatever, lying on their backs on the hood of a broken down car outside in the sands, staring at the stars in companionable silence.
At first, he hadn't been thinking about anything really – he vaguely remembers wondering what Vash thought looking at the stars, if they kind of looked different to him; he remembers thinking how the night sky used to make him feel lonely and lost and now it's kind of the opposite, and then the enormity of all that had happened kind of hit him for the first time, and that had made him turn his head to look at Vash, and wow, Vash was actually already looking at him, why, when had that happened, and man did he look breathtaking with the starlight washed over him –
Vash had held his gaze, and Wolfwood had held his breath, and then Vash had just smiled softly, like he knew something Wolfwood didn't, like he was happy about whatever was going to happen next even before it actually happened.
But that couldn't be – no, it couldn't be that, that would just be too good to be true.
And with all that had been accomplished, all that couldn't-be-true stuff that had taken place, regardless of whether he had been thinking it never ever could, because stuff like that just didn't happen to him – well, he probably totally shouldn't have had doubts in that moment, but he did, because saving the world, okay, but Vash being in love with him? That would be taking it too far for sure, so he kind of did – nothing.
Which made Vash frown in confusion, rise on one elbow and stare quizzically at the priest, who kind of stared back at him with a mixture of defiance and something embarrassingly close to vulnerability.
Apparently saving the world side by side with the Humanoid Typhoon didn't help Wolfwood from still underestimating the sly bastard.
As dorky and naïve as he sometimes pretended to be and other times actually was, Vash knew him like no one else ever had and could read his poor ass of a soul like a recipe book if he wanted.
Hence, it really shouldn't have surprised him as much as it did – maybe the actually dorky and naïve side of Vash had rubbed off on him and wasn't that an uplifting thought – when Vash kind of shook his head and huffed in exasperation, his expression open and soft and freaking tender, and murmured something along the lines of, “If I someday end up losing my mind, it'll be your fault, you know,” which was rich, really, and was also totally uncalled for and out of nowhere.
Or maybe not, because the next thing he did – which was of course just as crazy as what he'd just said, because once Vash got started, he was never satisfied with doing or saying just one crazy thing, no, it always had to be a buck load of crazy, like crazy got lonely real easy and he therefore always wanted company for his crazy – the next thing he did, he began leaning closer to Wolfwood, all slowly, like he thought he might scare him away.
Actually, it might not have been all that slowly at all, maybe it just seemed that way to Wolfwood, who was experiencing it all kind of in slow motion, because it was un-fucking-believable.
He couldn't move, couldn't take his eyes off of Vash. Vash, whose lips were now centimeters from his, like he could feel his soft, moist breath on his skin. Vash, who kind of sighed when Wolfwood inhaled sharply. His heart was beating like he was running over the sands towards the faraway horizon, instead of lying down under the stars, unmoving, staring up at them while not seeing them at all, when Vash closed his eyes and pressed his mouth against his lips, sweet and yet insistently.
Now it was his turn to sigh, in relief or surprise he didn't know, and because he had to make sure, had to make himself believe that this was real, he'd buried one hand in Vash's ridiculous hair and used the other to press them both closer together.
Vash had moaned and kissed him harder and gripped his shoulders, holding him down and in place, which had been ridiculous, like Wolfwood was going anywhere now.
No matter how hard he tries to keep that moment fresh and clear in his memory, he can never tell how long they kept doing that, kissing and hanging onto each other for dear life – apparently still not used to the happily-ever-after that was still suspiciously lacking in any threats, but who could blame them.
He remembers them going back to looking at the stars, lying close together, sharing body heat – or, in Vash's case, sharing body furnace-like heat, fucking figures, though Wolfwood couldn't tell what of that heat came from Vash being a plant and what came from Vash being in stupid-Tongari-love with him.
His memory of all that remains kind of fuzzy, but well, he'd just had had the breath both crushed and sucked out of him, it's probably a miracle – another frickin' miracle – he remembers anything at all.
After alternating between staring at the stars and staring at a suspiciously smug-looking Vash in a kind of overwhelmed daze, he asked the first thing that came to his mind.
Vash turned to look at him. His expression was confused, but Wolfwood had the feeling Vash was quietly laughing at him.
“Since when what?”
He rolled his eyes. Figured Vash wasn't going to make this easy for him, the bastard.
“Since when – this?” he had asked, waving a hand back and forth between them.
“Oh, um. 45 minutes and 31 seconds I think,” Vash said matter-of-factly, turning his head to look up at the night sky again, face impassive.
Wait a sec.
Vash turned back.
“What do you mean 'what'?”
Wolfwood rose up on one elbow, scowling down at Vash's butter-wouldn't-melt-in-my-mouth expression.
“You've not been in – you've not been having these, these feelings for me before 45 minutes and 31 seconds ago?!”
Vash frowned at him as if he was being particularly dense or something.
“What?! No! We've been lying here for 45 minutes and 31 seconds. Now it's been 45 minutes and 56 seconds,” he added after a short pause.
He delivered all that with a straight face and a matter-of-fact voice, but his eyes gave him away, shining with barely concealed amusement.
Wolfwood opened and closed his mouths several times in quiet fury, realizing he had been had.
After figuring miserably that there was nothing he could say that would adequately express his annoyance, he lay back down, sulking.
Vash had the balls to quietly snicker at him.
“It's cute when you do that.”
“Okay, okay, I apologize.” He still sounded like he was laughing.
Vash sighed – like he was the long-suffering one here – and said, “Okay, I will answer. It's just, I'm not so sure myself. No, actually, I really don't know. I guess I've been kinda stupid about it, or maybe cowardly, I don't know.”
He'd started sounding suddenly wistful, staring at the stars again, though it seemed like he was actually seeing something else. Wolfwood turned to look at him, silently urging him to continue.
“I guess I kind of realized how close we had become and that no one has ever understood me better than you, and that also no one has ever been as infuriating or has ever gotten under my skin as much as you. And when – when you left – I was angry, with you, with myself. And scared.”
At that point, he had turned to the priest, fixing him with a stern look.
“Do not ever do that again.”
Wolfwood's breath had caught in his throat for a moment, then he'd turned his head towards the sky again, mouth twisting into a lopsided smirk.
“You're a mother hen, Tongari.”
“Nick, I'm serious.”
And he would never, ever admit how that nickname made his heart skip a beat and his insides do something other people might call the warm and fuzzies or whatever.
“Okay, okay, just don't say it again, idiot. Makes me nauseous.”
“Also, it's your turn,” Vash said, all snotty like, completely ignoring what he'd just said.
Damn, not that stupid question.
“What do ya mean?” he had replied, trying to bail, looking anywhere but at Vash, whom he could feel staring a hole in the side of his face.
“When did you know?”
He sighed. That was Vash's I'm-serious-like-Humanoid-Typhoon-power-level-steel-in-my-voice-serious tone.
Better to play along and get it over with.
“Like months back, okay? Not like I could have done anything about it with fucking Legato creeping around in my head and Knives keeping a death grip around several thousand people's necks. And I never would have – ” He cut himself off, huffing in annoyance, then forced himself to continue.
“I never would have believed you to return my – I mean I had a hell of a time believing you came after me, that you considered me a friend, that you would really be that stupid and postpone going after Knives to save me, of all people.”
He'd shut up at that point, embarrassed, and kind of unbelieving that he'd actually went and spilled his guts about all that stuff he'd never planned on letting Vash know.
At least not until Vash had went and attempted to suck his face off, so to say.
He turned to look at Vash again – still overwhelmed with the fact that he could do that now, stare at him, whenever and however long he wanted – and, big surprise, Vash had that look on his face again, the one that reminds Wolfwood every time of how old Vash is and how freaking lonely he must have been for longer than he perhaps likes to know.
And because apparently good things happen to the both of them now, and they're alive, and, however it happened, together now, he takes Vash's face in his hands and kisses him, softly, drinking in every whimper and gasp, and lets himself get lost in gentle heat and starlight until the morning comes.
That night has been days back now, but he still feels overwhelmed by it all. So, each morning, he makes himself remember, listens after the beat of his heart, the quiet in and out of his breath.
Then, he turns around, watches Vash's face – who mostly sleeps longer than him, the lazy sasquatch, sometimes stealing the covers, sometimes drooling all over the pillows, and it probably figures the guy would even dream of eating donuts all the time – and still can't believe his crazy luck.
And, because he has to make sure he's really alive and all – like who wouldn't, right? – he sometimes wakes Vash by dropping random stuff onto him, like cats, or the Punisher, and then Vash would squeak – really girly-like – and look around wild-eyed and then try to yell at Wolfwood and sulk simultaneously, which he would mostly fail at, because in the end he can't help but smile at Wolfwood's cocky smirk and kiss him in between throwing pillows at him, because this is their crazy happily ever after and they never saw it coming, but they have it and it's theirs and it always will be.