::takes a deep breath:: Well, this is the first time I've actually committed to finishing a fanfic for a fandom other than "SWAT Kats" in years. High time, I guess (and it certainly took long enough). And, when this idea hit me, I knew I just had to write it. The title is borrowed and, sadly, I don't know who wrote the original. If you do, please let me know so I can give proper credit. I heard it as I was leaving a restaurant with my family. "Weddings and Wives, Shotguns and Knives" was announced as the dinner theater presentation for the evening. My immediate thought was, "That sounds like an episode of Trigun!" So, there began my first effort at a Trigun fanfic. Even though it's meant to be funny, I hope I got everyone reasonably well in character. Any and all comments and constructive criticisms would be most helpful.
Vash the Stampede, the most wanted gunman on the planet, his bounty nothing less than the astronomical price of $$60 billion, studied his image in the tiny mirror. There wasn't much to see given the mirror's comparative size to his tall frame. Vash backed up several feet. Better. Well, the view was better at any rate. He could now see the full effect.
Vash frowned. Tuxedos were just not his style. He glanced wistfully at the overcoat hanging on a peg by the door.
He looked back at his reflection. Then down at the front of the tux.
"I feel so stupid in this get-up," the lanky blonde muttered. His face pulled into a pout as he reached out to take the jacket material between two fingers and tug it away from his body as though it were something nasty. He heaved a dramatic sigh and presented a put-upon face to his imaginary audience. "The things I have to do for a special occasion."
He shot the coat another sidelong glance.
She wouldn't mind that much... would she?
"Get back in your tuxedo! Do you have any idea how much it costs to rent one of those?!"
With a strength her size belied, Meryl Stryfe hauled the much taller gunman back down the hallway. By his ear.
"Well, you're not in your dress yet, so I thought...! GAH!" Vash yelped as Meryl gave his captured ear a fresh twist.
"That's quite enough!" Meryl snapped. "I won't have any of your shenanigans ruining this wedding! I'll dress once I'm sure everyone else," she yanked on Vash's ear for emphasis, "is ready."
"Ahhhh! Insurance Girl, you're ripping my ear off!"
Meryl spun on her heel, coming around so they were nose to nose, never once losing her death grip on the blonde gunman's ear. "INSURANCE GIRL?!" she bellowed in his face so fiercely his hair gusted as though in a Level Five typhoon. "Are you going to call me that forever?! ARGH!"
With a final snarl of frustration, Meryl bodily slammed Vash back into the room from which he'd started. Fortunately, releasing his ear in the process. "You get that tuxedo back on and get cleaned up ASAP!"
Then, she was gone, stomping down the hall with the thundering steps of something ten times her size.
Sprawled awkwardly on the floor of his room, Vash heaved a sigh. "I guess she does mind that much," he muttered. Then, he whimpered piteously to himself. Was that the feeling of his appendix rubbing elbows with his kidneys?
In the room adjacent to Vash's, a prone figure listened to the proceedings with growing fury before huffing a snort of disgust at Vash's personal pity party, all too audible through the miserably thin walls. Vash was going to marry that... human. That wretched female that dared not only to raise her voice at him but had just several days ago shoved the refuse they gave him as nourishment in his face. He was still trying to remove the vile vegetable remains from his nose, in fact. Or perhaps that particular malady was just this horrible plague he'd acquired from the humans. What had that big female called it? The "creeping crud"? Now, there was a fun new euphemism for humanity he'd have to tell his brother.
Knives paused and shook his head, forcing it up off the wafer thin pillow he'd been provided. The movement brought stabs of pain from the half-healed gunshot wounds that peppered his body. Knives grit his teeth. At least his head was clearer. He'd been starting to wander again. Blasted fever. He had no time for such distractions.
Though it was only a human ceremony and, thus, utterly invalid and worthless as far as their kind was concerned, he still would not permit Vash to marry the human. Hurt him as it might (and moving from his bed was definitely going to hurt him more than he'd like to consider), put him at risk in his enfeebled state as it surely would, he was going to stop that ceremony, one way or another.
By evening, everything was in order. Even to Meryl's satisfaction.
Except perhaps her own attire. "I don't know...," she murmured, pausing her mad frenzy of activity at last and idly brushing a hand down the smooth satin skirt of her dress. "Is it a little too...?"
"You look perfect!" Milly gushed, hugging her from behind so exuberantly that Meryl was lifted off her feet.
Meryl struggled reflexively but found her feet firmly back on the floor soon enough. However, the brief "flight" had caused the butterflies in her stomach to take wing again. What if something went wrong? Were all the guests accommodated properly? Was there enough food?! Would Vash's mere presence cause the roof of the church to burst into flames or a horde of crazed bounty hunters to raze it to the ground?!! Was there a report she should be doing?!?! Was...?
"It's time!" Milly suddenly chimed and began steering her friend from the room.
Meryl shot a glance at the clock.
It was time!
But, was the...?!
"We'd better get going. It's bad to be late for your own wedding," Milly admonished, propelling Meryl from the room before she could compose another half-formed worry-laden thought.
Knives was also ready for the big event. Rising from his bed, he bit back a moan and stood to his feet. He steadied himself as a wave of pain and nausea swept over him. No. He forced the sensations down. Mind over matter. Now was not the time to be feeble, not that there ever was a time to be feeble. But, now he needed to concentrate.
With the church conveniently visible from his bedside window, laying his plans had been easy. He'd studied the street just beyond his pathetic prison on more than one occasion. There was a gunsmith's barely a couple blocks from the church. Finding a suitable weapon should be easy enough. As should sighting a single well-aimed shot straight to the female's head. Perhaps not very spectacular, but it would serve his purpose... and his current means. There was no use in wasting his energies needlessly on the human.
The platinum blonde smiled. Yes, everything would work perfectly.
Everything was going perfectly.
Meryl puffed out a breath of relief. The brief fire Vash had started by playing around with one of the candles in the foyer had been put out quickly enough and even his tuxedo had survived with only minor damage. Now, the last guest was seated.
The pianist began playing, his notes echoing back to where she waited. Sucking in a fresh breath, Meryl stepped forward.
She couldn't believe this moment had come.
Knives paused only once outside the church, testing the weight of his newly acquired weapon. Its metal barrel was a dull gray in the gathering twilight. Yes, this pistol would do. It had all the range he needed and was well-made. There would be no need for a second shot.
Smirking, Knives stepped into the church's tiny foyer. Before him, two double doors made of rough-hewn wood barred his path to the sanctuary from which emanated the sonorous voice of some religious leader or another.
"...and if anyone can see any reason these two should not wed, let him speak now or forever hold his peace."
Knives couldn't have asked for a better cue.
With considerable bravado, he kicked the doors in front of him open, bringing the gun up into a firing position in one swift motion.
"I have a reason, Vash!"
Every eye in the room fixed itself on Knives.
With considerable rancor, Knives realized it was himself. Blasted human infection! His eyes narrowed to icy slits as he sought his target. Then, he paused. And, for the first time, he took in the scene before him fully.
Vash stood to the right of the altar, the black-haired, bad-tempered cyclone, his target, stood on the left. Absently, Knives noted that said cyclone had produced a derringer from somewhere and Vash appeared to be seriously considering a candlestick as a potential weapon. Knives might have laughed at them, but he was too busy trying to re-establish his hold on reality. Because in the center of the tableau, in front of the altar, stood one very startled Milly Thompson and one grim, gun-wielding priest.
A priest who was supposed to be dead. Knives was quite sure the priest was supposed to be dead. Honestly, one really couldn't find good help anymore. They couldn't even die right.
With considerable annoyance, Knives realized that his concentration was drifting again. And, he was starting to hurt too. Mind over matter was simply not working. Especially not when his mind was so uncharacteristically fuzzy. Which only added to his irritation.
And, most infuriating of all... he'd interrupted the wrong wedding. One which he could care less about and which certainly was not worth the time it would take to destroy. Let alone the pain he was in.
No, it was not worth it.
With as much dignity as possible given the circumstances, Knives straightened himself and looked forward, staring at no one in particular.
"My apologies. I seem to have found the wrong wedding."
With that, he turned and slowly made his way out of the church. For a few minutes there was silence.
Then, the minister cleared his throat.
"Ahem, does anyone who means to attend this wedding see any reason these two should not wed?"
None of Milly's greatly extended family did, of course, so the wedding proceeded
without incident save for the muffled sounds of the best man trying unsuccessfully
to quell an uncontrollable bout of snickers. Fortunately, no one, least of all
Milly and Nicholas D. Wolfwood, engrossed as they were in each other, noticed
when the snickers changed into a yelp as the Maid of Honor somehow contrived
to get in a position to hit him. Which was just as it should be.
Just a note here: No, I do not have any explanation for how Wolfwood is still alive. I thought of inserting one, but there's really no place to put it and it's not terribly important to the plotline (besides which, I couldn't think of anything plausible that was even nominally original). I hope that's not a major problem for anyone. Eh heh... The story's just supposed to be a silly little thing.
And, as a secondary note: Yes, I know Vash discarded his infamous red coat at the end of the final episode, which is why I described his non-formal wear as just "an overcoat" and left it at that.