Disclaimer/Notes: As much as I wish I owned little Vash and Knives, I don't. (But weren't they the cutest when they were little?) When it comes to Trigun, I own nothing. A quick note: this is a mangaverse story about little Vash on the SEEDs ship...and the manga version of events is slightly different than that of the anime.

"Knives! Knives, where's Vash? I've been looking all over for him."

"Oh...Rem. He's in there again."

Tinny. That's how they sounded through the heavy metal door. Like distant, cheap bells chiming. He heard the voices but didn't bother to speak. Speaking would ruin it all. He just breathed softly, slowly, in and out with the rhythm of his heart. His heart...

There's no difference between human hearts and ours, right?

Right? When Knives had asked that question, he'd felt sure his answer was the truth. But...

He banished the thoughts from his mind. Too many thoughts...too many questions. He let his questions float out in the air around his suspended body. No...not suspended. He was merely there, floating amidst his musings and the stars that peered at him through the thick glass. Even with Rem...even with all these people here, it felt oddly alone. Vash hated to be alone. To share sadness and pain with another was so much better than feeling happiness and having no one—no one—to give that happiness to. But for now, it only felt right to float in here with only the stars as witness to his tears.

Zero gravity.

Nothing bound him to the ground that he walked. Even the unshakeable gravity he'd read all about had relinquished its hold on him. It felt like forever. His eyes drifted closed so only the brightest lights could pierce the impending blackness. The only thing he saw was the stars, and if he tried hard enough, he could imagine himself among them. He wondered if they felt alone sometimes. There were a lot of them, but they were so far away from each other.

"Vash! Brother, are you going to waste the day in there? Come on out! ...There's much to be done."

So close and yet so far.

"Not now." The words weren't audible to anyone but himself. He didn't want to leave this place yet.

The voices continued to talk outside. "Knives, will you be okay out here?"


The door opened slowly and she stood there. She twisted the door closed and turned around. Almost like a jump, like a leap, she braced her feet against the inside of the door and pushed herself forward, until she was right behind him. Her voice wasn't tinny anymore. "It's so dark in here, Vash. Something's bothering you, isn't it? You're sad."

She always seemed to know. He didn't understand how she could always tell how he was feeling.

Maybe she guessed.

"No," he murmured weakly. "I'm fine." His voice sounded a bit shaky to his own ears.

He thought she'd gone away. It was so quiet. She hated him, anyway, he was sure...for what he'd done to her.

He felt soft warmth enveloping him. Her scent was so close. She smelled like the flowers in the Rec Room. Like violets, and smiles, and warm blankets at night. "Don't be sad, Vash. You don't have to be in here all alone, you know."

He'd been all curled up, but she uncurled him easily and pulled him into her arms. She wiped at the tears on his cheeks and flicked them into the oblivion where his thoughts resided. "Why are you crying, Vash?"

Her manner was so serious, but the question was as gentle as the touch of the air around him.

"Are you mad? Because..." He pushed slightly away and glanced down. "I hurt you. I was so mad but I was scared so bad and I couldn't do anything..."

Rem smiled and touched the carefully wrapped wound across her abdomen. "It wasn't your fault, what happened. You were scared. You had every right to be scared. But you shouldn't be, now. I promise I won't leave you. I know what it feels like to have someone special leave you, and I don't want anything to happen to you or to Knives. You're both very, very special to me."

Vash just stared.

"So do you want to come out, now? I actually have some dinner ready for you boys."

He didn't resist when she took his hand.

"You don't have to be alone, Vash."

Finally he looked up and smiled into her serene face. "I don't want you to be alone, either, Rem. You promised so I'll promise too, okay?"

They opened the door together, and she looked at him and smiled back. He gripped her hand tightly and skipped forward, once again bound to the floor. He didn't mind it so much, though. Floating alone in zero gravity was nice, but walking together with a friend was fine anywhere.

He smiled and sealed their pact with his soft words. "I'm here, Rem," he pulled her along, his pale blue shirt far too large for his small frame. "I won't ever leave you alone!"

Their pact shattered that night along with the ship they had lived in for so long. He watched from far away, floating in the lonely stars. He stared at the splintered, burning remains until the tears clouded his eyes too much to see, and the only thing Vash never forgave himself for was that he hadn't been with her when she'd died. She'd been all alone.

It was funny how much wandering the desert sands felt like zero gravity, all alone with the wind whipping his thoughts around him. This was his punishment for leaving her there.

Author's Notes: Hehe, I depress myself. It was just so sad when he told Rem he'd never leave her alone, to realize that his promise was so easily broken. Poor Vash! (huggles him) That and Vash in zero gravity is just the cutest thing ever. I used only little flickers of hints about what had gone on in the manga, like when Vash stabbed Rem, and a couple quotes, but the rest is all me. ya like it, hate it? Please Review!