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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

He was Handsome by Talentless Freak

He was Handsome by Talentless Freak

A Trinity Blood One-shot (Abel-centric on Tres)
Friendship to Romance

Author’s note:

I am so done with this. It took so freakin’ long! Now, it’s done! :D I don’t like me any more. :(

The frugal morality of it is—he’s a cyborg; ‘more of a machine than a man’. Leon once said that to me—told me that Tres is not human enough.

I remembered the pre-Armageddon black cat I named Estrella. I called her a star even though she looked like a monster to the regular village that I found her in. She had tuffs of fur missing from several places on her body; she had rashes in between her toes—I remedied that though; her eyes had a transparent gloss filmed over them and make her look mystical, almost fantastical. The villagers said that she was a witch in disguise of a cat. Then did they call her the monster of all evils that she was not. The villagers didn’t know what happened to her next as she was brought to my place, up the highest hill and inside the glamorous Aristarcus Mansion that resides in The Villa; she was being brought to the world of the real monster, the real threat to their lives. Before I became a monster myself, she always greeted me with much affection and graced me with her lovely greenest emeralds, better than that you’ll ever see. Her eyes would glow by the moonlight, in the shadows of the rooftops there, under the scrutiny of the hill’s grounds. Whilst, I watch from the lit room with an agape colossus window. They were preparing me for something and my body ached for rest; my mind screamed for freedom, release from stress and body, unbind from fatigue. The studies, the tutors—everything was madness. But, every afternoon and early evening, she was there to gaze up at me and purr against the railings of my room’s gargantuan hole. I gave her shelter, food, and, for sometime, love within those few but precious hours—just the two of us, just two monsters bathing in the sun’s ambiance or the moon’s borrowed beauty.

I saw them maltreat Estrella; day by day, it got worse as my training began to torture my soul. Estrella’s inner beauty never changed like her features. Unlike I. My drugs. The corroding education that fills your mind with lies, sorrow, and the feeling of forlorn inadequacy in any system—teaching you that only you are there to protect yourself, and there’s no god to save you from this sinful earth. Teaching you to pray for cover-up that you believe in something bigger than you, but you know that there isn’t, stating that you are your own god. By the time that the cat and I grew so close each time we met, I have grown cold while she gave warmth to the earth that I despised then and there. My eyes didn’t glow like hers—motherly love for the stars as they burned through the lightyears which bathed the cosmos in its endlessness, bared beautiful innocence as she wonders for us all what life means in such a pixel space; mine were full of remorse for my soul, at the same time, full of loathing and promised demise of the whole of society’s make-ups for their faults. My eyes were hollowed of any emotion. Hollow of any affection.

Ha! I laughed at my own madness. At the world’s stupidity.

My laugh enveloped the room one night. I couldn’t stop myself. Everything turned blue then black; holes pierced the velvet black cloak and invented stars right before my eyes. But, crimson paint trickled pass them and soon bought my soul to the Devil’s care. I panicked under the blood stars glare. They were eating my life away with their river tears of redder than red. I became the madman I was when I took on the Mars Project which drove many to extinction; I took in the insanity that rode up the farm infected with diseases like guilt and lying. That very night, I took my first life. I killed my cat. My star. My Estrella. They checked my room after that laugh chocked Estrella and continued through their searches—‘Training complete’. I heard them say it. I heard them say I was ready for Mars. And, explained to me the concept of Estrella—everything on that Earth was a lie; I was a lie. I am only a project for the government.

I still treat myself like that, a project. Like Tres, I was made for the sole purpose of destruction. I should ask Leon who’s the real machine of destruction is now.

I was currently sitting on the edge of Palazzio Spada’s rooftop. As I remembered all those things in my past, I had corrupted my spirit enough to drag an elephant to its knees… It was a dark night and I barely kept track of time. I felt too awful and sick of myself to do so. I wanted to brood there for as long as I had extra time to spare and waste.

My recent mission pushed me to plunge my head again into the ugly monster’s mouth. And everything went black… I give up. Monster, you—

“AAAHHH!!” I screamed. I was so distracted that an attacker was already close enough to kill me; I was pushing him away while my head turned to the direction I chose to escape to.

Two hands grasped my arms, rooting me to that same spot. I felt the fear grip my core. I was going to die… All the pity grew in my chest and I readied myself to turn Crusnik as those hands were strong like iron… never are they to let me free—when…

“Father Nightroad, status report.”

“Tres!” I gasped. It’s only him… not my monster.

Just then, my eyes stung. My breathing went labored and rasping. My whole body started to shake uncontrollably. The perils of the universe conducted the traumatic rhythm of my convulsion; all over the globe, people imaged monsters into a curious being called many names—I was one of those creatures of the deep. Dark was my soul—I could never be forgiven. He didn’t even make me. Those thoughts crudely fueled the motor of turmoil shaking my body. The tears fell more desperately than any other time I felt them swell. They formed larger drops than any I’d ever seen; If I could cry a river, a litter would be on that murky body and it would board the persons I’d held dear, hurt, sacrificed, murdered—people I killed. The entire of my existence trembled and convulsed—the energy drained from my muscles but encouraged by the flow of grayed past sins that corrupted my heart and feasted on my soul. MY SOUL!—oh, how cruel! My soul was none and nevermore. My soul was non-existent as I am Terran. Human. That rigor fact pelted my robes with unclean beads of bodily expunge.

I was a wreck. I didn’t have faith enough. I shouldn’t have been called a Father. The Vatican couldn’t even change me.

Intrepid arms engulfed my lithe fragile form and rested me on something tender while my eyes filled with my frivolous pain, unspoken sorrow, deriving unfaithfulness to the Only God. I curled up into a ball, and—WAILED! Hauled to the world my infidelity, my scrounging for repentance, my unbridled woe. The vex I felt for myself that transcends inversely to the mask I wore daily; a mask to disguise the ugly putrid sin that had been made by man’s hands—never to feel God’s embrace, forgiveness, love.

I sobbed and I sobbed and I sobbed. Screamed the living daylights out of me. My memory erased of the little wonders of nature; those felt even by the small plaza that I always go to—and, pain was left in its wake. Hollowness soon entered my mind; ironically resulting for me to grab at pain to remember that I was still alive. All the suffering I felt for all those centuries, extorted to the wind and midnight air.

The world was always so cruel. Getting crueler still… I trembled.

Hands, those miraculously gentle forgiving hands traced—No! Etched!—divine gossamers on my back. Filming my frail composition a soft fabric that warmed through that instance, even against the valiant forceful chilling moan coming from the nighttime winds.

Encroaching near the closure of my collapse, I gripped tightly whomever’s shoulders where there that moment as my vehement vituperations exiled the profanity of my cynic deeds.

As I come to the close of the vigorous act, the owner of the hands that caught me spoke, “Father Nightroad, status report.”

I just realized; I haven’t answered Tres’ question a while ago. It took me quite a while to catch my breath. “I-I’m f-f-fine… T-Tres.” I sobered, throat ragged from all the outcries I launched to the heavens.

Tres still held me in place for five more minutes, even after the crying spectacle I played before him. His hands still grooving soothing patterns over my ghostly skin. The alabaster moon shone plainly his face, contoured into a phlegmatic expression. I felt so alone. So stupid. Tres was just taking pity on me. I knew that he could not feel, but he simulated pity when needed—to the Cardinal, to an acquaintance. My body started again. My shoulders shaking with self-wroth, a bier containing all the things that deadened in me. My head filled with frightful thoughts of damnation and regretful outcomes, deaths; my hands useless once more, whilst my body began to shake, drastically taking on the worst of any seizures. And soon, I was off his lap and was plunging to my death like a fallen angel.

I spread my arms to their full. I embraced the wind. Barely hearken the cry from my head, the cries from the souls attached to mine. Selfishness encompassed me with greed; I wanted to die—regardless of anyone, anything. That hole that I felt broaden in my chest grew into a galactic rift, surging all emotions in, but I felt nothing gross that darkness, and left pain, suffering, torment, madness, contempt, portending wintering the gloss of my glass heart. Now, an ice-cold heart that was as fragile as glass bringing up the froth of my madness to surface the tides of face unto my whole. I wanted to break that stupid ice; I wanted to die.

I free-fell about a few feet, eyes closed, when a body pressed against mine in a protective embrace. I fell back to earth with a roaring thud. Tres was there. He had apparently free-fell with me. I was carried just beside his hip, so that I didn’t touch the ground harshly. Then, a pang of pain bereft me my nostalgia—the shackles of my marrow dribbled with neglect in opening for the fall. My muscles tensed as the hurt grew—the emotions flowed and the blood pumped devilishly in my veins.

Tres moved slightly so that I could stand but I grasped both of his shoulders by sheer instinct and blurted, “Wait! I-I c-can’t-t stan-nd…”

In mid-sentence, he scooped me up bridal-style and hurried us to somewhere unperturbed by noise and people. The Spada was obviously a very busy building, in and out, everyday and every night. His fast pace lulled me into a trance—half asleep, half awake—I barely noticed the crowds that we passed and the streets that we crossed. The noises died and the people blurred; no one existed, nothing mattered. I felt so weak. My expression waned and my face fell to a cruel pose. My eyes were bitter and my cheeks were furious. By the time he made another turn, I fell asleep.

“Father Nightroad.” Tres motioned for me to awaken.

“I wasn’t asleep, if that’s what you’re thinking.” I debated. I got up sourly from his firm hold, and slid to the spot next to him. “Thank you.”

“Father, you are not well. I should’ve proceeded to the health facilities in the Vatican premises…”

“But we aren’t in the Vatican now, are we Tres?” I said, looking around. We were definitely not in the Vatican anymore. There were trees everywhere behind us and we were on a cliff, enough to lay down without risking rolling off, over to the ocean below.

“Where are we, Tres?” This place was not common. The look of the surroundings spell-bounded me, and the trees swayed with the ocean drift. The grass was soft and quite tall; the vines that crept upon the forest floor overreached the old protruding wrinkled patina roots. The night sky here was unbelievably more radiant with stars and clearer than the Vatican’s. I closed my eyes to preserve the painting forever. This place was untouched—but, how did Tres know about such a place?

“Somewhere far away from the Vatican.” Tres looked like he doesn’t want to tell me where exactly from the Vatican.

“O.K. Just as long as we can stay here for a while.” I reasoned with him. Reveling on the gallant humorous stimuli all over the haven with all of my senses. I felt so free and alive; I forgot why I felt so terrible in the first place. My wounds healed rapidly. My sores were laid to rest. I gazed up to the stars that burned galaxies away. My back flattened the green playful grass that cushioned my flesh. It smelt of purity and innocence; this place was very far away. I cleared my mind of the antagonistic thoughts and ideas, and collected many touches and smells from the spiked treasured emerald…

Emerald… My brow furrowed.

“You are disrupting the Cardinal’s behavioral pattern. Her emotional well-being, as confirmed by Father Wordsworth, has declined for the worse. This also affects her health and the longevity of her life. I cannot let you just do that; I will hold you responsible for any turn of events against the Cardinal’s favor. You must re-evaluate your state of mind. Father Wordsworth presumes that you are depressed and, therefore, in need of emotional support. This depression stems from your unknown past. In my database and sub-hierarchies, I cannot find the root of the problem supposing from any past traumatic experience.” Tres dragged on.

“Father Nightroad—“ His monotonous chorus was suddenly stopped by my breath, “I know… you want to know…”

“Negative. I do not want. I can only require. You are to inquire me about your past because it is required to—“

“Save Caterina’s health, and over all, her life.” I mused darkly. I want to make her better but—to reveal my past to an unemotional cyborg is just—so down-casting, because he can’t understand remorse, anguish, guilt. “ I am sorry, Tres, but I cannot. Maybe to the Cardinal herself—“

“Negative. It will have a negative feedback on the Cardinal. You shall tell it to me.” Tres commanded.

“Well, Tres, I can’t! You just won’t understand!” I fumed. Finally opening my eyes. I was furious. Tres was just pushing it too far this time. I couldn’t wind that kind of information just at anybody who asks for it—I needed someone who understands. I needed someone who I could share the most intimate of secrets, the most provocative of thoughts, the darkest of ideas that plague me every time I close my eyes. The world had to be our pearl and we its oyster. A lover, per say.

I turned away from Tres, getting up into a lopsided seating position. He fell quiet while I remembered Lilith and her smile. She had so much spirit and hope and faith; while, I stomped on them, crushed everybody’s spirit, tormented the space with even more darkness emanating from my contrive aura. She had so much life. So much potential for greatness, even in a normal life, she could be a hero. And, I just blew that all away from her. My greed and anger crushed me and destroyed her, and Cain. Cain killed her because of my fault. Cain was right—I am the reason for everything that had gone wrong.

I groaned a guttural moan of grief—the despair I felt was immense; it was welling up in my chest up to my eyes. Then, suddenly I remembered. I remembered why I was feeling wronged and had to get away from the public’s prying eyes, the global pressure of politics in the Palazzio Spada. I was lonely. I was weighing the humanity of Tres against mine. I was again belligerent; even the slightest of topics, I get all gussied up versus the world.

‘You’re such a whimp, Four-Eyes.’ Leon… was right.

He was always right; maybe even about Tres’ humanity, spirit and soul. I was only kidding myself. Again, another lie. Am I only good at lying?

Sin is archaic, eternal, and relentless in plaguing you. I sighed to myself. Tears were threatening to rear my ugliness again.

“Abel… she ordered me a mission. The Cardinal stated that ‘your always alone and out of touch’.” Tres slightly cooed, like a normal human would. “She asked me a favor: to keep watch of you—make sure you are not alone in your self-pity. Your reaction is… ordinary, Abel. Human. The Cardinal shares your pain now. She said, ‘If you need a friend, Abel, you always have one in all the persons you touch.’

She asked me to ‘talk’ to you with my own vocal focus. And, asked the Professor to upgrade my Human Interaction Program. The Cardinal had taken many steps into integrating my servo-systems to compromise with your situation—“

“Tres! I don’t need to—“

“Abel!” he shouted over my voice. His right eye flashed red.

Then, a long draught of words filled the eternal space under that night sky; the silence between us stretched as far as the one star to another star. For moments, minutes, it felt like hours: I digested Tres’ speech. His words even from before were only true… then, I just realized that Tres said my name… Tres addressed me by my first name…

“Say that again… my name. Say it.” I asked him unfeeling.


“No—my first name. Without those pretensions.”

I was staring at a spot somewhere on the grass between the two of us. I was glaring it down like it would burn to hell like all the other things I wanted to disappear, hurt and be gone. He just did something he never did before. Tres. Tres said my first name. Raised his voice on me. Got annoyed, or even got mad at me. I needed to know that he’s real. That the emptiness I felt was real and I could fix it… without a scythe, without gore ringing through the air of any town, of any place… I could repent for my sins. I could change—like Tres.

He’s not just a machine. He had it in him all along… William just helped him out of his shell.

“Abel..” Tres soothed. “I am here to be your friend. ‘Not just companion, not just acquaintance’, as you put it.” He smiled slightly then continued. “I had my system upgraded to empathize with you. Cardinal wants me to be your ‘crying shoulder’. I’m now your friend.”

I was now completely astonished—he smiled; he called me by my first name; he cooed for me? There’s something you don’t see everyday.

But still, the ill feeling grew and swelled to an atrocious size. The extra weight on my spirit brought the ends of my lips to an upside-down curve of a grizzly smile; Tres stopped smiling at that point and looked quite worried.

A lot of feelings brewed that minute with the other Father. He moved closer to me and enveloped his legs around my sides; I felt a hand guide me to his chest. Instantly, I felt myself scoot closer to him—for his artificial warmth, artificial human interaction, for his real spirit for Caterina. And I thought of myself versus him again, in a weighing of humanity. He would win. He’d win over me. As I leaned on him and brought my legs up, I forfeit the fight that wagged Armageddon inside my head—I let go and let Tres be more human than I am. Because, even though Tres acted like he was just a machine, built for destruction alone by the madman who conjured him, there was still enough human in him to tear away a piece of compassion for the Cardinal’s endevour. The respect she got from him was greater than myself. I felt so cheap. Tres—something everybody, even Leon, saw as an unfeeling machine—was better than me in being a friend to a woman that I saved and had been called friend by the same woman whose eyes flashed with fear the first time she saw me. Tres won. Tres won.

I felt my shoulders slump as a sign of defeat, and I sank closer to the cyborg.

All the agitation and hurt subsided with the encroaching waves creeping up the side of the cliff. The harmonious ebb of nature withing the rhythm of my heartbeat and the tattered tiredness I had felt for so long now that I can’t even remember how it all compounded into a monstrous entity named irreparable doubt. The entire world washed away into foam then nothingness—the melody inside Tres’ warmth was overpowering my fatigued brain and ill-fated heart, lulling the universe into a psychedelic trance beguiling it into a nutshell. We were alone. The universe trapped a nutshell. But, still the stars were ours to see and the ocean for us to hear and lullaby the forest’s frivolity to usurp human emotion into the brink of crying for thanks.

Tres’ warmth grew—and I cuddled closer. Warmer—closer. Warmer—closer. By the time that I was clinging to his chest… Tres was smoking hot. I mean really HOT.

Tres was sputtering puffs of smoke and suddenly broke down on top of me!

I eventually found the Vatican—after three whole hours of searching for a route out of the safe place. And, hurried the warm bundle in my arms to Professor William Wordsworth’s study.

Now, I get to rescue you.

“Abel?” a head popped out of the two swinging doors to the operating room. “He’s O.K. now. Don’t worry.” William almost always found ways to fix things.

“Thank you for fixing him.” I said all of a sudden, despite the fact that I felt better through Tres but immensely worried that I had caused him pain, in a way.

“Don’t worry. It is part of the perk being a prodigy.” William joked.

For a few more minutes, he seated himself next to me and magically made his pipe appear out of thin air. He dimly hummed a tune that made the hairs at the back of my neck stand. How suspicious. It was like he knew something that I didn’t. He didn’t even ask me where I had gone. Or what happened to Tres. He just joked and worried with me outside the operating room in his study.

He knows something that I don’t. What is it? “William, what are you chuckling about? Do you know something that I don’t?”

“Of course I know something you don’t… Just like you know something I don’t. Tell you what, I’ll make you a deal—you tell me what happened when you were with Tres and what you felt during those moments; and, I’ll tell you my little secret.” William finished with a Cheshire cat grin.

I glared at him. But—something inside me gloriously protested to know what William was hiding. Like it was something meant to be confirmed.

I lied to William—partially. I told him that Tres hugged me when I fell from the rooftop at Palazzio Spada, then after a few moments, he broke down. William could tell that I was lying, but sensed that it was partially true and those moments were too humiliating to declare truth, within all of the fantasy.

“William… can I go to Tres now?” I asked shyly.

“Sure, you can—Oh! I forgot! My little secret is…” The rest was whispered to me—then my face grew hot.

“Hahahahaha! Go on, now.” he chimed with an even bigger grin than what he had earlier—my face can’t be that red. “Go to your prince charmingGGG!!” William chided out of the study.

“Deserves you right, William!” I haughtily spat at him. I kicked his ass—literally.

Tres lay unmoving on top of a metallic table. There he lay motionless and stared coldly up the ceiling.

This is my fault.

“It’s not your fault.

“My units just broke down due to stress on systems rigging my Human Interaction Program. The professor stated that overheating my body is part of the upgrade; but, I only required the upgrade so that my mission for Cardinal Sforza be complete. Professor downgraded my Human Interaction Program as it was before the mission; I would no longer experience shutdown due to overheating.

Mission Complete.” Tres’ monotone echoed through the cold room and rang in my ears.

“I…” didn’t have a friend, after all.

“Yo! Four-Eyes! What are you moping about now?!” Leon grunted irascibly.

“Just wondering where his boyfriend is.” Hugue answered dead-pan. A grin hiding behind a book of poems.

“NO! HE’S NOT MY BOYFRIEND! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU, PEOPLE! YOUR IN PAPACY! I’M IN PAPACY! WE’RE ALL IN PAPACY! OF ALL THE IDEAS…“ Abel shouted frantically, unsuccessfully hiding the embarrassment he felt. He concealed his reddish-purple face away from the other fathers by turning on his heels to the opposite direction where Tres was supposed to come from.

“Abel and Tres-sy! Sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G—“ Leon’s singing was interrupted by an apple clogging his pie-hole. He chocked at the sudden impact that, in inevitable irony, interrupted his breathing.

“Tres!” they chorused as the Gunslinger hefted another apple, crimson light scanning the premises—possibly for another one like Leon, A.K.A. person berating Abel without proper consent in doing so, e.g. embarrassing the father in front of other ecclesiastical figures.

“Apples, and other essential picnic favors due for mission parameters and success, retrieved from Sister Kate.” Tres unblinkingly stated.

“Analysis of shocked stares confirm your fear and vitality for survival. It was ordered by Cardinal Sforza to remind you of what our mission objective is… which is to?” Tres robotically reminded them.

“To enlighten Father Nightroad’s disposition as sanctioned by the Lady Caterina Sforza herself. We are not to create undue emotional swagger for the priest in question. The priority of this mission is Father Nightroad’s well-being or else…” their chant ended suddenly, remembering the look on the Cardinal’s fierce, piercing scrutiny.

“I will delete you from my Friendly Identification List, immediately be put to a Genocide Bar-Listing—backed by Canon Article 3025…” Tres reminded them flat.

“’Hurt Abel and I’ll pluck out your limbs one-by-one!’ You hear me?!’” the other’s chorused atrociously haunted by the Cardinal’s look, the look that: melted the ice in Sister Kate’s served iced tea, drafted the picture of pure relentlessness when a hunter peers down at his prey, the unforgiving heat of hell itself would give—Hugue de Watteau, Vaclav Havel, William Walter Wordsworth, Leon Garcia de Asturias, Petro Orcini, Matthaios, except Bartholomaios… all gulped.

“Together you’ll fall… by my hands…

“That’ll be all, gentlemen. Good Day!” Caterina turned and smiled sweetly.

“Why did we have to go?” Petro impatiently asked. “We are not even part of AX.”

“The Lady Sforza deemed that you too shall participate in Father Nightroad’s Therapy. ‘The more, the merrier.’” Tres quoted Caterina’s words perfectly, effectively running chills down everyone’s spine in hearing her voice.

“F-Fine… just don’t do that again.” Petro huffed. He couldn’t stand that woman’s voice anytime soon.

“Father Nightroad, are you cold? The temperature reading indicates that the atmospheric heat is just enough not to cause extensive perspiration; and perfect for an outdoor activity, with winds reaching 50 meters an hour. You shouldn’t be experiencing chills.” Tres asked Abel with the full of his attention, concern not evident in his voice—but Abel knew something the others, except William, didn’t.

Abel’s cheeks adorned a pink flush.

“Aw… isn’t that cute!” Leon teased, finally getting the apple off his teeth and out his mouth.

“LEON!!” Abel whined. “ Not now, please… Besides, it’s for your own good you stop.”

Nobody noticed Tres, until he was right next to Leon. “Father de Asturias, this is your second warning. Third would be your last.” he warned. His eyes flashed red and was pointed directly at Leon’s temple. “Am I understood, Father?”

He remembered the Witch Hunt Mission the cyborg handed him to file in the Spada. Leon nearly wet his pants.

The other fathers spent the day relaxing themselves—Hugue was reading under a tree; Vaclav was conversing with William; Leon spent the day away from ‘Father Four-Eyes’; Petro was meditating with Matthaios; and, Bartholomaios dueled with Tres—and repeatedly lost. Abel was cheering for Tres in the out-field, enjoying himself with waving at the other fathers from the highest hill and writing down his thoughts about the day on a piece of paper sealed by the Cardinal herself—while he stole glances down at the winner of the two Gunmetal Hounds.

“So… how’d it go?” Leon fervently asked the cyborg. “Can we go now? Are we FREE yet?” Maybe he could trick Tres into clearing every sentence he had.

“Positive. You are all cleared; Mission complete. Father Leon, you are cleared for this mission but the Cardinal said that you are still a felon with numerous more accounts to lay clear. You are dismissed.” Tres announced to his brethrens and to Leon’s exasperated face.

One by one, AX Agents bade Abel goodbye and filed out the room; the Inquisition fathers went on their way with a nod to the therapeutic client. Only Tres stayed.

“My mission is not yet complete, Father Nightroad.” Tres suddenly addressed Abel from behind, only a half a meter away.

“Oh… What did Lady Caterina say? And, what can I do for you—you know, to help complete your mission?” Abel welcomed him with a smile. What does Caterina want now?

“I am to spend the night with you. And, find out the secret your hiding from me.”

Abel’s eyes popped from their sockets. “How’ll you do that?”

“I will accompany you to your quarters if needed; I will hibernate on a chair. Do no worry, Father. I will not intervene with any of your affairs this evening; this is for the assessment of the over all impact of the mission on you, to make sure that your emotionally stable and physically fit.” Tres informed matter-of-factly.

Wait… “Physically fit?” Abel nervously asked the intimidating Gunslinger.

“I will perform an analysis with a bio-scan, Father.” Tres innocently informed the father to come him down. “Your quickened heartbeat indicates stress, or nervousness, Father Nightroad. Status report.”

“Oh…” Abel smiled sheepishly then turned to leave for his room. I must first get away from hell’s door.

Abel marched rapidly to his place, a Tres billowing after him.

“Well. Goodnight, Tres! I said. I rolled to my side, facing the wall and my back facing Tres.

“Goodnight, Father Nightroad.” he bade back. I heard him stand as the stool screeched the marble floor and turned off the light emitted by a little stub of a candle in the corner, leaving another candle to burn through the night until it would be reduced like its former. The room was now dimmed to match the eerie atmosphere outside the fathers’ chambers. It was designed like any other room within the corridor; its door was southeast of the bed and a bedside drawer by the northwest corner. There was an extra stool in each room as well. And, I thought that Tres replaced the stool to the exact spot it had moved in the far eastern side of the room, away from my bed, as squeaks penetrated the distilled momentary silence.

Then…For a long while, nobody spoke. Maybe Tres had already gone Hibernation Mode. “Tres?”

“Father Nightroad.” he acknowledged.

“Nothing… sorry.”

“I have no use for apologies.” Tres’ monotone filling the space between us. “But, I have use for information owed.”

“Huh?” I uttered, confused. What was he talking about?

“Father Nightroad, since we entered your sleeping quarters 9.45 minutes ago, you have been avoiding me. As you pass me, your heart apparatus doubles its speed. Have I mistaken your actions and moved against your betterment?” Tres phlegmatically pressed.

“If you are uncomfortable with my stay—“

“Oh, no! I just—“ How can you explain this to insensitive Tres?

“I’m sorry.”

“Father Nightroad, I have no use for apologies, only information.” Tres voice sounded closer. “Please tell me your discomfort.” Closer still.

“Tres…?” I breathed. “Where are you?”

“Right here.” His breath unusually close for a person on the chair across my room. Breath?

I turned and there he was; Tres was beside my bed, leaning down to meet my face two inches away. I looked at him while he studied my face intently. Then, I fully faced him and turned my body to his direction. The last of the candles’ fire that lit my room descended on him, to fall great depth and mystery onto the cresses of his face. His face’s features were undeterred but tense—I couldn’t look away from his piercing gaze. He could see right through me. He could see right through the mask that I wore, unrelenting everyday. He, after all the searching, understood; I couldn’t relive my past—never again—and it was cleverly hidden for the purpose of concealing my inner demons. Tres moved and the naked feeling evaporated as I felt heat course through my veins again.

“Father Nightroad, If I make you remember the things of your past…” Tres face was not within my good vision. “I’ll propose to the Cardinal to get me reassigned to another partner, and I will personally handle your new partner’s papers. I now know too much about you to make a comfortable atmosphere within our partnership; mission completion must be regarded highly and I am functioned to accomplish any mission and hold responsibility and esteem for my brethren’s safety.

Mission complete—Father Nightroad has not been accompanied overnight, in exception of completed analysis—the father has been registered to be stabilized, due to biometric scans and psychiatric readings.” Tres said as he moved for the door.

“Wait!” I said and he stopped in his tracks. “I just… needed for someone to understand… Please don’t leave…”

Tres moved away from the entrance and paced to my bed. He started taking off his boots, then socks; next, he removed his jacket; then, the robe came off. He shifted my body so that he could lie down with me in the humble bed and covered himself with my blanket. “Tres, what are you doing?”

“I will complete my mission. I am to stay ‘till dawn or morning’s first light. Then, I will report to the Cardinal.” Tres said softly. “I am speaking several volumes lower than that of my normal speech volume. We are only 3.52 inches apart.” he continued like he could feel my blood race to the flesh on my cheekbones.

“Thank you.” I breathed to the 3.52 inches of space between us.

“I will continue to be your partner.” Tres stated. “As you wish.”

“Thank you.” I chanted again. I was not able to complain or ask why he was in bed with me. My mind failed to comprehend all of the emotional outpour that my heart pulsed to it. The sinuous betraying river in my body warmed places that shouldn’t have been warm in the first place; my chest, cheeks, and the southern areas of my body. My feet began to twitch and my forehead started beading with sweat from all the heat my body was generating. Apart from the all-heated tat made of my newly kindled feelings that seamed around my body, my feet grew cold and I started to fidget.

Tres moved slightly but he successfully closed the space between us and enveloped me into a hug.

“Wha—what are you doing?” I asked him and sweatdropped.

“Holding you.”

“Wha-why?” I blushed furiously. I felt the heat line my cheeks and ears. I have never been hugged before. Even by Lilith. My breathing became laboured and I was beginning to sweat profusely. What is Tres up to?

“Do you need a rational explanation in holding you, Father Nightroad?” Tres asked. He almost sounded like he was teasing?

“Yes.” I falsely demanded an explanation even though I just liked his company more than the whole wide world’s right now.

“You are fidgeting, Father Nightroad; you need the synthetic warmth radiating from my nano-synthetic flesh. And, partly, unable to answer: information unavailable.” Tres steadily answered.

“What do you—“ I started to break the hug and protest but something soft stopped the movement of my lips and locked them gently in place. It was perfect for caressing my lips and it tasted like strawberry coated with chocolate; I was immediately transfixed into having more of that flavour when it was pulled away. After the sudden contact, I remembered how to breathe again and realized that I had just been kissed.

“I theorized that that may placate you from questioning further and answer all your questions regarding my unusual behaviour.” Tres’ voice mechanically approached my ears.

“Oh…” was all that I could say. Professor Wordsworth wasn’t lying after all; and, indeed, he was handsome—perfect for your body size. Professor can be such a jerk sometimes. He was telling the truth! He whispered to me a little secret that even the Cardinal didn’t know; Tres volunteered to find me but neglected to sanction the H.I.P. upgrade from her; “Due to unknown factors, Father Nightroad is experiencing stress and self-rebuke. I require a classified upgrade for this mission, Father Wordsworth. It is for efficiency in coaxing the father into a better, at the least, stable state. The requirement for this mission is not advisable to be repeated for any other subject for after missions; this only fits for the mission parameters of this specific mission’s package.” Tres—somewhat—was worried for me, cared for me… In that moment, I started caring for him to. I chucked all the doubts out the window, and let them be gone with the wind.

Except for one… William could still hold this hostage against me, or even Tres! Shoot… He can be such a jerk sometimes.

“Abel… what’s wrong? My stress scan shows that you’re thinking of a distressful matter; please state the problem and I will delete it.” Tres said to me while hugging me tighter, either to secure me from breaking down or just make me feel secured.

“Thank you but—I think William won’t appreciate that I sent you to ‘delete’ him.” I joked to him. I kind of liked that we were in this position, but still… wait—he said, “Abel”, not, “Father Nightroad”? “Umm…”

“Negative. I will continue to hold you ‘till daybreak. That is final, Abel. And, I will call you by your first name to distinguish a close relationship between the two of us, only if the circumstance provides it; unless, you want me to move this confidential project or data from a hidden sub-hierarchy into my main database?” Tres responded with a crisp retaliation.

“About Father Wordsworth. He will be dealt with in the morning.”

“YOU’RE GONNA KILL HIM?!” I shouted just enough for the room to fill and not to penetrate other rooms. He won’t, will he?

“I will not terminate Father Wordsworth. Goodnight, Abel.” Tres assured me.

“Phew.” I breathed. “You’re going to tell him? Everyone? The Cardinal?!” my breathing raked as I reached the last person.

“If you wish…” Tres said against my hair, his chin just past my gaze.

“No, no, no! I just…” I said whilst curling up like a ball. Making me cozier in his arms.

Tres silenced me with another kiss. “Shhh… I will keep this secret in my hidden sub-directory, under your hidden sub-hierarchy.”

Tres then intertwined his legs with mine and locked me to the bed, with him as my anchor. All other sounds were drowned out by the beating of the drum of drums singing the song of songs. Our hearts melded into one rhythm and traced the notes that filled the midnight air with each leap. I placed my head in the crook of his neck and placed one of my hands near his pulsating apparatus; I took in the melody that churned the little world our bodies meshed together which simulated the evening many eves ago. I finally understood. He was handsome—hands down. He won the wage on humanity against mine, even though he always paraded that he was a cyborg unable to feel; he devoted himself unknowingly but wholly to Caterina as her Gunmetal Hound and she was always the priority of any defense. He had a good body shape too. I felt the smooth waves of his legs’ flesh and the strong-built of his torso. Every muscle he had was toned and adorned his lean form. I felt my cheeks burn some more dignity I had with my humiliation; the thoughts you would get when you spent too much time with a papa whose hobby is flirting with women… Infectious…

“Abel, if this makes you uncomfortable…” Tres muttered an inch from my right ear.

I quickly capped another of that stupid question—with a kiss of my own. “I theorized that that may placate you from questioning further and answer all your questions regarding my unusual behaviour.” I gave him the reason with a hidden smile playing in the shadows of his own neck as I bent down to curl into a ball.

“Hmmm…” he hummed. Tres was smiling—I could feel it.

We both went to sleep that night in the same bed in the same room with the same feeling within us. I still wonder what he looked like, that night, when he first smiled. But, I prayed for everything to be alright, not only us—but for William; because I didn’t know yet how Tres would deal with him.

Author’s Note:

This was inspired by many a song and finally by the Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe.

‘I felt my cheeks burn some more dignity I had with my humiliation; the thoughts you would get when you spent too much time with a papa whose hobby is flirting with women… Infectious… ‘ Sounds familiar? Hahahaha… Leon’s not the only one with that hobby. The other one is the one who said this. cough Abel!

“The nerve!” said I. “The nerve!”

Hahahahaha!! XD

Insanely me ;)

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