Categories > Anime/Manga > Trigun > Broken Angels

Broken Angels

by millyfan 0 reviews

The residents of Sky City do their best to heal Vash's body and his mind. Even wanderers need a home, and for eighty years, this is the home of the man who becomes known as the Stampede. Sixth fic ...

Category: Trigun - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama, Romance, Sci-fi - Characters: Doc, Knives, Vash - Warnings: [!!!] [R] [V] - Published: 2005-05-09 - Updated: 2005-05-10 - 4007 words - Complete


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Theme: "11. gardenia."
Title: "Broken Angels"
Fandom: Trigun
Pairing: Past Knives x Vash
Word count: 3916
Rating: R
Warnings: References to past sex and borderline rape, angst, graphic violence, psychological
issues, alcohol abuse.
Credits: Again, many thanks to lilithisbitter for manga-related information.
Summary: The residents of Sky City do their best to heal Vash's body and his mind. Even
wanderers need a home, and for eighty years, this is the home of the man who becomes known
as the Stampede.

"Broken Angels"

Patient was found unconscious in desert twenty iles away from New Oregon Base
Settlement, due to an emergency signal issued from a lost technology communications device on his

Initial examination revealed generally emaciated appearance, hairline rib fractures,
bruises and cuts, and two large white feather wings exposed from grooves in back, one of which was
broken. Full examination conducted to determine the cause of unconsciousness. During this
examination, I found patient had suffered dehydration and significant loss of blood. The cause of the
bleeding appears to be severe internal damage consistent with lower intestinal perforation, and yet
more internal damage consistent with forced or rough anal intercourse.

I performed surgery at 1:00 p.m., July 21, stardate 016, to repair the internal
damage and install a temporary drain and ostomy. After surgery was completed, I splinted the wing
and have applied a brace bandage to hold his ribs in place to properly heal. Ongoing treatment consists
of IV antibiotics, nutrition, and fluids. He appears to be progressing better than any human with such
injuries would.

Lastly, I have notified both the sheriff of Sky City and the sheriff of the New Oregon
Base Settlement of the crime I suspect occurred here, although almost the only thing they can do is
write it down in the year's crime record.

-Dr. S. "Sensei" Wazuki, stardate 016, July 21.


/Pain. . . light. . . hurts. Did I die? /Vash blinked open his eyes, staring around the
fuzzy-looking room surrounding him. No, Rem, you're not here. Am I in hell?

He looked down next, seeing all of the tubes he was attached to, as a horrible
memory flashed through his mind. Tessla. They're experimenting on me, aren't they? Knives! Why
won't you help me?

The telepathic scream went unanswered, but the doctor standing nearby
apparently noticed his distress. "I see you're awake, Vash."

"How do you know my name? Wait, you're just torturing me like they did Tessla
on the ships, slowly draining my life, giving me cancer, destroying me," the Plant ranted, wildly
looking around the room, and attempting to drag himself out of bed by leaning on the rails. "You
want to kill me!"

"No, no. I want nothing of the sort," the young doctor said with a chuckle of
nervousness, hoping his patient wouldn't tear out stitches or awaken the other patients. "In fact,
I rescued you from the desert below. I found your name when I checked your DNA against the

"You. . . did?" Now I remember. But I can't trust you or the people here either, can
I? Humans, Knives, you're all alike. I wish everyone would die and leave me alone. . . no! Rem! I'm

"Yes. In fact, I am quite pleased you awakened. I was getting a bit worried
there. My name is Sam Wazuki, but most everyone here calls me 'Sensei' or 'Doc.'"

Can I trust you? You're human and Knives said all humans were like the people
that ran us off, tried to kill us. . .
but Rem was human and she loved me more than Knives ever did. I
can't believe he betrayed me like that. I'm never letting anyone get that close again. Never.

"Vash?" The doctor looked concerned.

"I was thinking," Vash replied coldly. "Need more pain medicine."

The room smelled of gardenias.


The doctor would be the first human since Rem to earn Vash's almost total trust
over that next week, as it became apparent that the human had no ulterior motives, no hidden
wish to see him die a painful death or to violate him.

In fact, Vash had noticed the man seemed to be very willing to allow him to set
physical boundaries and to cooperate with them as best as he could while caring for him. Among
other things, 'Doc' taught him to change the external bag as soon as he could do it, then removed
it and the drains three days later, kept the nurse and curious onlookers out of his room, had
bought him a kimono that covered more than the hospital gowns did, and seemed to understand
his concern for privacy and for not being touched or seen more than he wanted.

A tentative friendship had even started to develop, as they would occasionally
play chess or cards, or engage in small talk, whenever Vash was bored and tired of reading or
listening to music, yet too physically weak to do anything else.

The day before had been a painful reminder of the new, albeit temporary
limitations imposed on him. Doc had helped him walk for the first time in a week, but all he had
managed before begging to be taken back to bed was from the bed to the hospital hallway.

Nevertheless, the most painful thing of all was the loneliness. Rem was dead,
and Knives seemed to wish him dead. As friendly and helpful as Doc was, Vash knew that soon
enough, he'd have to meet humans that weren't like this man, the humans he had nevertheless
sided with, against his own flesh and blood.


Over the second week, the wounds from the surgery healed, as did the broken
ribs. The wing was another matter entirely: it healed, but obviously looked as if it had been badly
broken for the day before it finally slid back into its groove.

Doc had noticed just how obsessed Vash seemed with his physical recovery that
week, watching, worrying, warning as he pushed himself to the limits of his endurance to be able
to stand normally, to walk further every day, to gain the strength he had lost.

It wasn't, therefore, how Vash's body was healing that worried him the most. It
was his mind. The doctor remembered well his work in an emergency room back on earth, the
deep sorrow he felt for the rape and incest victims, knowing in many cases just how much being
violated in such a way hurt those involved.

What was most worrying about Vash to Doc was that he refused to talk about
it, to even discuss it in regard to his treatment, as if he had purposefully blocked out the
memories of his brother, of their relationship, of the betrayal, and that the Plant seemed to be
increasingly aware of and yet afraid of his own body now that he was out of mortal danger.


The first introductions to other humans, as Vash began to gain enough strength
to walk normally, seemed to go well. What Vash didn't know, however, was that these were
humans Doc knew to be kind, caring people from his past dealings with them. Nevertheless, he
soon became friends with them, and soon enough, they became the family he never had.

Ann, the Plant manager, had immediately given him employment working with
his biological sisters, as well as an advance of money for him to buy clothes and food. Despite her
often gruff attitude, he could tell that she genuinely cared for the Plants and for her workers.

Max-Simon Polo the First, a writer for the Sky City Network, had first met Vash
while interviewing Doc at the hospital, and they had soon become the best of friends. It was
through him that Vash had learned of more of what the world below had become, and both
shared a dream that someday, they would change things there for the better.

Holt was an old man who took care of the small park near the hospital. Vash
had been sad that the park had no geraniums, and one of his most bittersweet memories was the
old man's pointing out all of the other flowers there as they walked together, then giving him a
gardenia clipping to grow in his own room.

There were many others as the years dragged on, and as Vash had began to
meet people on his own. Some of those were less charitable than the first people he had met,
nevertheless, he had developed somewhat of a love for humanity. At least humans, in his opinion,
though the majority were shortsighted and vain beings, had some that differed from the norm.
Plant culture, from what he knew of it, was a closed inner circle with him left out for the most part.


As a child, he had enjoyed walking past the chambers, staring at the sleeping
humans, dreaming of a paradise and all of the new friends he would meet. Now, walking by Sky
City's remaining coldsleep chambers filled him with a bitter grief, the memories of each face he had
seen that had later died at Knives's hand in space above the planet.

For the little boy that lay peacefully sleeping in one of Sky City's chambers,
there had been a set of parents, for the old woman, ten grandchildren, for the young bride, a
husband that had died in the Fall, as it was now being called.

Appropriate, Vash had mused to himself when he had heard the landing being
referred to as such by one of his fellow workers at the Plant. He didn't know much about human
religion, aside from what he had read in the books and the little Rem had discussed with him and
Knives, but he had read of the "fall of man," and that was a very close comparison to what had
happened to humanity once more. They were promised paradise, yet they made someone angry and
they were cast into a hard life of pain and bitterness. Except who appointed Knives as "god?" No one,
that's who! He didn't have the right to kill and to punish. Yet he took it upon himself to do it. He said
we were "gods ascending." No. We aren't. He's become the devil. Yet I'm still an angel. Right? Rem?
Am I?


"You've been here ten years," Max-Simon drawled, slapping down a hand of
cards. "Readin' up on things, practicin' your skills, and all that other stuff you been doin' is good,
but are ya ever gonna go back to that bag o' sand down below?"

Vash nervously scratched at the back of his neck, then reached for his beer mug
and took a sip. "Soon. Rem wanted me to take care of Knives. I'll bet this stack of chips here he's
out killing, again."

Holt, now a man of eighty, coughed as he placed his cards on the table. "Full
house. Pay up, kids. Now, Vash, don't you want to stay? Your help with the gardens has been
much appreciated."

"I wish I could," he replied, looking down at his hand of cards. "Guess I lose

"You just lost, and you're betting fifty double dollars?" Max-Simon seemed
almost concerned. "Anyway, I'm headed back to the planet. If you want to come with me, the next
lift departure is next week."


Vash slowly walked down the hall back to his own home, holding onto the wall
to support himself. I didn't mean to drink that much. I could have won everything back if I could only
bet my clothes.

The walls before him turned into a sea of Plant Angels, all singing the most
beautiful song he had ever heard, some reaching out to him. "You're bound up in the walls?

"Because the humans hurt us. Free us."

The air was heavy with the scent of gardenias as the sisters writhed inside the
walls, their beautiful songs turning into nightmarish screeches.


"Sing with us."

It seemed perfectly rational to Vash at the time to join in their cries, if
something so simple would free his sisters from their confinement in the walls of the ships, so he
began to scream, rocking back and forth against the wall, scratching at it with his hands.

Except, as he would later learn, there were no sisters in those ship walls.


"You were hallucinating," Doc said the next day as the afternoon light shone
through the windows of Vash's room. "Nevertheless, from my evaluation of you, your condition
was temporary, brought on by alcohol and lack of sleep. Holt told me you hadn't slept in a week,
that he saw you wandering the park at night."

Whenever I sleep, I dream of him. I will myself to dream of Rem, and that works a
little more than it did before, but I still see him more often, forcing my own body to do things I didn't
want, making me his own. Why aren't you alive, Rem? He killed you, that's why. Yes. I want you back.
I need to go down to the planet, live for your ideals, I can't just lie here and rest, can I? It hurts still. It
really does. I hate being alone. Everything's so slow. I wish it would all speed up because it's like I'm
floating in honey or-

Doc looked concerned as he tapped Vash's shoulder. "Vash? Is there anything
you'd like to tell me? You look almost ready to climb the walls or something."

"Nothing," he said rather coldly, forcing himself to focus on something other
than the whirlwind of thoughts ravaging his mind. "Except I want you to look me over again,
because I'm going back to the planet below in six days. Max-Simon wants to improve
communication, and I want to show everyone love and peace and-"

"I will, but I must warn you that I do not see you to be in any mental condition
to undertake such a journey," Doc said. "The mind is just as, if not more, important than the

"I know," Vash said with a nervous laugh. "I can control myself, so don't worry,
I'm not going to go randomly hurt people or anything. Rem wouldn't want that. I'm only wanting
to be who I am, a hunter of peace, seeking the elusive mayfly of love. . ."


The pills Doc gave him that week, as he prepared for the journey back to the
planet, seemed like a heavily weighted set of scales. On one side, he had to admit that into the
fourth day, he felt more relaxed, somewhat calmer, and his thinking had become less scattered.
On the other, though, he was cold, nauseated, and tired, with an additional effect being the stabs
of pain in his cores, something Doc had attributed to the medication being a metallic element.

Doc had also been the one to make the first pair of his sunglasses for him that
week. "These will shield your eyes from the sun, yet you can see perfectly well with them, even in
a darkened room or at night, because the light source in your eyes will reflect off the lenses in

"Light sources?" Vash asked, puzzled, turning over the lenses in his hand.

"That's right. Your eyes seem to have some sort of internal light source that
activates in the dark, although it seems intense emotion can trigger it too. Like five days ago,
when you were hallucinating, your eyes glowed the oddest shade of blue."

He blinked, staring at the glasses again. After the ships fell, Knives's eyes glowed
red. They did other times too, including that night. I'm not like him though. I can't be. Rem wouldn't
want me to be like him.

"Also, you don't seem to like making eye contact with men," Doc continued.
"That's fairly common with people who have been through what you have."

"Yeah." Vash nodded, toying with one of the spikes of his hair. "It's like being
kissed or something."

"These are almost mirrored. They won't be able to see your eyes."


Ten years passed before Vash returned to Sky City.

They were ten of the hardest years of his life, even more so than traveling with
Knives, because for the first time, his life had been in real danger. Knives had reveled in taking
him to the brink of death, but leaving him where his body could still heal. The humans he now
dealt with, whether in his stints with local marshals' and sheriff's offices or simply as a neutral
party, were many times less sadistic but more dangerous, because in their blind rage or prejudice,
their inexperience with the weapons they wielded, or their desire to kill no matter what the
consequences, they weren't often interested in protecting the life of a perceived meddler.

Each of his closest brushes with death and the occasional stupid accident had
left his body marked with a reminder of it, from the burn scar on his hand from the time he had
grabbed a flaming poker out of the hand of an enraged blacksmith, to the Thomas bite on his
posterior after a drunken visit to a Thomas trough he was sure was the men's room, from the
slash down his chest muscle from breaking up a vicious gang knife fight, to the bullet wound in his
thigh from diving in the line of fire to protect a child.

He was already becoming a minor legend, for as many lives as he saved, Vash
wasn't too concerned with property, and two small towns had discovered that by this point, the
first when the gang he had stopped in the knife fight had decided to torch the place as they
retreated, the second when he, charged with monitoring a shed of explosives, had carelessly lit a
campfire a little too close to the shed.

Nonetheless, he had considered life in the desert below a great adventure, and
had so wanted to relate the stories of it to everyone in Sky City, but soon realized the somber
mood of the city as the smell of the gardenia wreaths hung everywhere hit his nose.

Vash peered at the banner on the biggest wreath, the one on the gateway to
the gardens he had so loved.

Paulson, Holt. Born 2309, died 36.


"This is interesting," Doc said, as Vash sat in his office later that day. "Looking
over your results, you do not seem to have aged a single day. It is almost if you are frozen
outside of time."

"What does that mean?"

"We always knew the bulb Plants were immortal creatures in the human sense
of mortality, only dying in cases of massive brain injury or total energy loss. It appears that you
have that same characteristic."

"Thank you," Vash whispered. "At least nothing is wrong with me."

He then made a beeline for the nearest bar, drinking until the dawn of the next


Over the years that passed, all of the people he had eventually met died, as
their children grew, and as the first of those children began to age. Nevertheless, he did his best
to not think about it too much, to instead persist in what often seemed to him as well as others a
foolish venture, showing love and peace to the sandy planet that had now earned the name

In those next forty years, the emotional scars built along with the physical
wounds: cradling the still body of a baby who had died in the crossfire of a duel, attempting to
comfort a widow of a man who had been "legally executed," seeing humanity at its very worst day
after day.

Humanity wasn't the only species delivering these wounds of the mind: he
heard rumors of entire towns being slaughtered, of a young blonde man who was the most
vicious serial killer in a planet of the hardhearted.

Vash's drinking had increased at a steady pace. Rem had warned the twins
against alcohol, pointing to Steve as an example, but those were some of her words he felt he
could easily ignore. I need the booze, he reasoned. It keeps me even, cool. If I drink enough, I don't
have to face all I've seen every night when I close my eyes. Besides, I'm a happy drunk, not a mean
drunk. If I build a tolerance to it, no matter how much I drink, I won't lose control.


It was his sixtieth chronological years that he understood it once and for all that
he would never be "normal." Almost everyone he had known from the first years on Sky City,
aside from Doc and Luida, had died by now, and although he had made friends with their
descendants and their descendants, that wasn't the same.

He had become increasingly bitter and isolated over the years, his self-control
slipping more and more, to the point where, on some occasions when someone had severely
angered him in one of the towns, he would occasionally intentionally inflict severe pain, and even
once reaching the point of torture, in the incident where he deliberately shot a man, who had
bragged in a bar about raping a boy that he had bought from a slave caravan, through both
kneecaps, then kicked the screaming man hard enough to crush his genitals.

What frightened Vash most about that incident was that he enjoyed it,
justifying his rage as righteous indignation and protecting children from a predator, though he
knew every second that Rem wouldn't have wanted that, that he was seeking vengeance on
Knives more than anyone or anything else.

That incident, a few nights before, was why he was in the bar, nursing a bottle
of whiskey through the night as if it were a bottle of water, even carrying it with him and drinking
more between trips to the alley to vomit. He wanted to forget, to escape once more.

The alcohol was what made him drop his guard that night in New Oregon, what
made him not realize that a band of thugs had been tailing him all night as he drank, waiting for
their victim, the new bank guard, to be in such a condition that he couldn't possibly defend


Pain burned through his chest this time as he awakened, finding himself
swathed in bandages. "Wha. . . not again. . ."

Doc smiled. "You know, we thought you wouldn't possibly pull through the trip
back here. Most people don't survive having a cherry bomb thrown at them. It apparently
exploded mid-throw, but it took a fair bit of your chest."

"So. . ." he said airily, "I'm gonna die."

"No. You seem to be healing surprisingly well. However, we did have to graft in
a rustproof metal grate with a mesh of Plant-generated skin and bone to enable your wound to
heal properly and to provide your internal organs with protection in case your normal muscle and
skin doesn't regrow over the area. We also fused one of your ribs with a bolt."

"M. . . metal grate? Bolt? What. . . did you do to me?"

"You will get used to it. It had to be done," the new nurse said, as she
prepared to change his dressings. "It's really not that bad."

Vash stared into the mirror at his body, as the nurse revealed more of the
damage by the second. Angry, oozing wounds covered most of his upper torso and chest, with
even some of the old scars reopened. Then, he saw the worst wound, the metal grate, now in a
small sea of gore, soon, he knew, to be another part of his body, replacing the normal chest.

An image flashed through his mind. Knives was licking, kissing at the nipples to
tease him, to bring him closer to the peak of their joining. Will you hate me? No! Why am I even
thinking this? I never wanted that again. What is wrong with me? I'm a monster, that's what's wrong,
isn't it?

The room still smelled of gardenias.
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