Author: korinaka PM
Tres & Esther. "Humans live to die, and that is a very well known fact, Sister Esther." And then Esther smiled, because this cool, efficient man knew so much and so little all at the same time. "Then what do androids live for, Tres?"Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - Tres I. & Esther B. - Words: 2,173 - Reviews: 37 - Favs: 63 - Follows: 6 - Published: 12-27-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3310534
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own Trinity Blood.
A/N: Requested by Splotchified.
O O O
"Father Tres, are you sleeping?"
His dark eyes snapped open and he was on his feet in an instant, already several feet away from the supposed "enemy." His hands were raised in a defensive position, and though he didn't immediately draw his guns, he was quite ready to do so, if need be.
The chuckle was probably what made him scowl and drop his stance.
"Sister Esther," he started, beginning to walk away, "you would do well not to feign assault. I am, after all, very much armed."
She harrumphed a little, and he stopped, peering at her over his shoulder.
"Feigning attack? I only asked if you were sleeping." She laughed and joined him at his side, to which he blinked at. "I'm quite curious, after all."
He once more averted his gaze from her, instead staring straight ahead of him as he opened the chapel doors and strode effortlessly inside. "If you seek an answer to your question, then that answer is 'no.'"
"Oh." She sounded almost disappointed. "Well…then what were you doing?"
"Merely resting," he replied in a flat tone, turning a corner sharply in the chapel. He began to take longer strides, attempting to distance himself from this being of woman-flesh that was currently following him relentlessly.
But apparently his efforts were to no avail, because she continued on. "Resting, sleeping—same difference." She shrugged at this and trailed him even as he left the chapel and instead began to walk down the hall, feinting purpose to his efficient pace.
But her phrase honestly interested him, now, and he slowed ever so slightly. "Pray tell, Sister Esther, but how can two things have the 'same difference?'"
She was silent for a moment afterward, and he contemplated ditching her once more. But then she tugged shyly at the sleeve of his coat, and all thoughts of leaving her scratching her head beneath short, bobbed hair were dashed. "It means…that the difference between sleeping and resting holds the same meaning."
"That is obvious," he quickly shot back, frowning, "seeing as the two directly correlate and would, therefore, share a difference between them." He wondered if she had misunderstood him.
She waved a dismissing hand. "Well there you go!"
He frowned deeper.
"Sister Esther," he said, straightening his back and standing to his full height. "I trust you have chores that must be completed this morning."
She nodded, rocking back on her heels. "That I do."
"So," he went on, beginning to walk away and trying not to notice the way that she followed him, "should you continue pestering me, that work might not get done."
"Well, my chores involve you," she said, quite proudly in fact, and Father Tres stopped short.
He turned toward her, and the light from the window above Esther made him squint. Her skin appeared to be glowing in the sunlight, but he didn't pay attention to that. And if he didn't pay attention to this obvious fact, then he certainly did not pay attention to the way her blue eyes stared at him—wide and focused—as he shielded his vision with a cupped hand.
She glanced to the left of her nervously, and then cleared her throat and smiled a little wider, cocking her head to the side. Tres watched a short piece of hair bunch against her shoulder before falling obediently with the normal style.
She cleared her throat again. "Uh…?"
Tres blinked then drew back, and felt the sudden urge to leave and leave fast. But he didn't, because Sister Esther needed him for something, and he wasn't about to disobey her wishes. "What do you need, Sister Esther?"
She pouted a little and stared up through a bright skylight, closing her eyes when the sun's brilliance became too much for her to bear. "I was told to get to know the people here—to make myself comfortable."
He exhaled deeply. "Is that all?"
She returned her gaze to him and nodded. "Yeah. You're the last one on my list, Father Tres."
They stood silently in the hall for a long time after that, and before Tres could indulge in his interest of the small freckle on the left side of Esther's nose, he turned around. "Very well. Lead to the meeting place, and I will follow."
He heard a sigh followed by the sound of someone gently touching the marble floor, and he turned to see Esther fold herself delicately on the ground. He raised an eyebrow and she smiled, patting a spot beside her.
"Here is fine," she said, following him with her eyes as he stoically obeyed, sitting in the indicated area and so close that his broad shoulders bumped hers. He fanned out his legs straight before him. She continued, "I like this hallway. It's warm, and it's never busy."
"Anyway!" she said gaily, leaning back a little bit to allow herself room to stretch. "Let's start off easy. How are you today, Father Tres?"
He grunted. "I am performing above standard today."
She returned to her normal posture, resting her hands sloppily in her lap. "I see. And…how about yesterday? How were you yesterday?"
"I was performing above standard yesterday, as well."
"And the day before?"
"I was performing at standard the day before yesterday."
She hummed a little bit then, staring at his face and occasionally letting the corners of her lips quirk upwards into an almost-smirk.
He wondered what she was so fascinated with, but didn't voice his musings.
So she continued. "What's your favorite thing to do?"
"Protect," he answered, quite sufficiently, and when she frowned he knew that he had not left her satisfied. Humans were odd creatures, indeed.
"That's not very…elaborate."
He turned toward her, and the proximity in which they were seated—if he so much as drifted a little bit forward his nose would touch hers—caused Esther visible discomfort. "If you would like me to explain in further detail, I will." He watched her cheeks flame a bright pink before she stuttered her reply.
"Um…that is…" She turned away from him deliberately and coughed into her hand, apparently attempting to hide her flushed face. "There's no need for a deeper explanation, Father." She hunched her shoulders and waited for him to turn about-face before she let down her guard.
"Very well," he said, and he folded one leg up so that he could rest his arm on it.
She pointed a finger at him, apparently done with her embarrassment. "The questions are going to get tough, now! Do you think you can handle them?"
He nodded. "Affirmative."
"Okay, then. What are…your dreams and aspirations?"
"I do not have dreams," he replied, keeping as stone-faced as possible, "and my aspirations are to succeed in becoming an efficient android for Cardinal Sforza and the Vatican."
"What's your favorite color and why?"
"The color that I find most appealing is white. It is a simple color that is easily manipulated."
"Uh…what's your…favorite time of day?"
"My favorite time of day is approximately twelve in the afternoon."
"Who's your crush?"
"My…excuse me?" He turned his head to stare at her again, a quizzical expression apparent in the lines of his lips and the crease of his brow. "Explain 'crush' clearer. I don't comprehend the question."
She stuttered and coughed into her hand again, and then she waved dismissively at him. "Nevermind."
But he was curious, now. "Sister Esther, explain to me a 'crush.' 'Crush' in the verb sense, such as smash or exert destructive pressure onto, or 'crush' in another sense that I am not aware of?" He could clearly see her swallow.
"It is…that is…ah…"
He waited patiently for her to continue, and he counted the times that she laughed nervously. Four.
"Well, you see, it's…hard to say…"
"You…you are aware of what love is, right?"
He nodded again. "That is affirmative."
"Good, good! Well, it's kind of like that."
"Please explain further."
Six. "Basically, it is…the object of one's affections, or just another word for 'affections.'"
He stared at a pattern in the marble for a moment. Seven. "Please use it in a sentence. It would further my comprehension."
"Well…one would be…'Michael is my crush.' But you could also say, 'I have a crush on Michael.'"
Her explanation was about as clear as muddy water. "I understand." He waited for a moment, and when she didn't say anything, he attempted to continue the conversation. "Who is this 'Michael'?"
She laughed. "I made him up."
"You are in love with a figment of your imagination?"
She laughed again. "No! I just used the name as an example."
He didn't understand. "I understand."
She hummed for a second. "What's the meaning of life? Why do humans live?" She chuckled after this and tucked some hair behind her ear. "You seem to know so much. I wondered…if maybe you knew."
He shook his head. She certainly switched the topic of conversation. "Humans live to die, and that is a very well-known fact, Sister Esther. I must wonder why you were not aware of this."
She smiled and touched the crease of his arm, her lips depicting her amusement. "Then what do androids live for?"
"To obey and protect."
She laughed and released him, then lay back on the marble floor. "You're funny."
He blinked and stared at her, until she grabbed him by the wrist and pulled him down gently to join her. "Is there something you need on the floor?" he asked.
She shook her head. "No. Just…resting." She pointed to the ceiling. "Enjoying the view."
Tres furrowed his brow. "It's…a ceiling." And he highly doubted that the floor was a suitable place to rest.
A companionable silence followed, until Esther sighed. "Love is a wonderful thing, Tres. I hope that someday you'll be able to experience it."
Yes, she definitely was in favor of turning the conversation around at any possible time. "Negative. I am a machine. That is not possible."
She shrugged. "It might be. Shall we test my theory? Though it does involve some acting." She sat up, and he followed.
"Do as you wish," he answered, blinking slowly. "I am only aiding you in the completion of your chores."
She smiled brilliantly and put on her best facade of infatuation, then touched his face carefully with cool, small hands. "Tres," she said, forcing herself to appear as nervous as possible.
Surprisingly, it was working quite well. He didn't move an inch. "Yes?" At that moment he decided not to remove her hand. He liked it where it was.
She smiled sheepishly and curled her fingers carefully against his cheek. "I really do love you."
Esther jumped back three feet and then stood. "Father Abel! I—" She brushed off her rump and what she could reach of her back. Her face was red again, and she was clearly flustered. "It's not what you...uh...!"
Abel smiled, sort of lopsided, and glanced between Esther and Tres—who was still on the ground, trying not to think about the sudden loss of her touch. "Was this…something I should not have seen?"
Esther shook her head vehemently. "No, no, no! I was simply testing a theory of mine on Father Tres! There was nothing—it wasn't—!"
The tall, silver-haired man smiled wide and threw up his hands in defense. "It's all right, Sister Esther! However, I wish to speak with you. If you could…would you follow me?"
Sister Esther nodded quickly. "Yes." She followed Abel, but stopped midway to help a still unmoving Tres to his feet, though he made it clear to her that he didn't require her assistance, and that even if he did, she would not be able to lift him anyway.
When she released his hand, he stared at her intently. "Thank you for your time, Father Tres, and I appreciate our conversation," she said, and she smiled and rocked back on her heels, much like before, folding her hands behind her. "You are a very enlightening person."
He was about to inform her that he was not, in fact, a person, but suddenly found that he found no need to do this. "Thank you, Sister." He was only mildly startled to find that his voice was malfunctioning.
She smiled a little wider before bounding off behind Abel, down the hallway.
And Tres was forced to wonder, as he watched her disappear with Father Abel around a corner, why his heart apparatus was currently working at double capacity.