Tea & Thirteen Sugars
A Trinity Blood Fan Fiction Inspired by The Blanket Scenario Challenge
by Darth Stitch
DISCLAIMER: Trinity Blood was created by Yoshida Sunao (R.I.P.) and is now an anime directed by Tomohiro Hirata and produced by the studio GONZO. The Blanket Scenario Challenge is a fan fiction challenge originally created by Chelsea Deanne and her website is at http // www. mikomi. com / squittle / main. htm (just remove the spaces as FF Dot Net is picky).
I'm not directly connected to the fan fiction challenge itself, I do admit I was inspired by the idea of "two characters, one blanket, an isolated cabin and a raging snowstorm." So this is written as a respectful tribute to that challenge and perhaps I might be able to see if I can enter it officially with their group. For now, here's something you guys might enjoy…
AUTHOR'S NOTES/WARNINGS: Trinity Blood is an anime which has a post-apocalyptic setting and portrays (among other things) the Roman Catholic Church/the Vatican as a major military power, as well as a spiritual one. Kind of like it was way back in the Middle Ages, except women can now hold positions as cardinals and bishops. Not only that, but if you watch the anime, one gets the impression that a lot of the rules we take for granted have been changed – i.e. the vows of celibacy for priests and nuns. I figure that if THAT vow was strictly in effect, I would NOT see a nun openly confessing her romantic feelings to her priest colleague. So if this kind of thing disturbs you, I suggest you stop reading now.
If there was one thing Father Abel Nightroad had learned in his years as a traveling priest, it was that God had a sense of humor.
And it was a wicked one at that, Lord forgive him.
Abel knew that he'd done things in his life that would most likely earn him several centuries in Purgatory but seriously, his penchant for getting into the most ridiculous situations must surely smack of Divine Meddling. Consider the predicament he and his young colleague, Sister Esther Blanchett were in now – trapped together in a tiny shack in the middle of nowhere, in the midst of a raging snowstorm and the only means of keeping warm was one single solitary blanket.
And Abel just knew that he had nothing more in his pocket other than four lousy dinars. Not that would get him the means to make fire, get another blanket or even buy him his favorite drink of milk tea with thirteen sugars. Esther had gagged when she had first heard him ask for that in a cafe and he'd just given her his typical silly smile and sheepishly pushed his round-rimmed glasses over the bridge of his nose. Professor Wordsworth had once opined that wanting thirteen sugars with his tea must be the result of Abel's unique Crusnik physiology – sort of like why some vampires…er, Methuselahs, had extreme tastes in food and drink.
Whatever. Abel had just smiled and gotten the hell out of there before the Professor could take it into his head to talk Abel into participating in a "scientific experiment."
Esther sneezed and Abel bent and wrapped the only blanket they had over her shoulders. As usual, she protested, "But what about you, Father Abel? You'll catch your death in this cold!"
"It's all right, I'll manage," he reassured her. He knew he appeared fairly harmless and often vulnerable when he wasn't in Crusnik form but the nanomachines in his blood were always working and so, he had a longer tolerance for the elements than ordinary humans did. He sat back down and leaned against the wall, watching his colleague. Poor girl, her lips were blue from the cold…
She had a pretty mouth, did Esther, and Abel found himself noticing that a lot these days, especially when he gave her an excuse to scold him. He'd just stand there, wear his silly smile and watch her talk, not really paying attention to what she was saying and just letting the sound of her voice wash over him… and he'd better just cut that line of thought Right. This. Instant.
Maybe he was just really lucky that Roman Catholic priests these days weren't really required to take that vow of celibacy.
At first, he thought he felt drawn to Esther because she reminded him of his lost Lilith in some ways – that beautiful red hair and that single-minded determination for justice, to make things right – things he'd understood all too well. And then, there was that endearing air of innocence that she still had about her, even though she was no stranger to murder, having killed a man to avenge the woman who'd been the closest thing to a mother she'd ever known. Esther wasn't Lilith, of course and if he'd any lingering doubts about that, she had, in the time he'd known her, established quite firmly that it was more than enough that Esther was herself, unique and precious to him all the same.
Ah, Lord, he was really going to get it the next time he went to Confession, wasn't he? The Professor would never let Abel live this one down and his penances would probably be dire indeed. He'd yet to confess what was really behind his clowning around, making overly dramatic deathbed requests, falling into fountains at the most inopportune moments, whenever he'd caught young Ion Fortuna, the Count of Memphis, making calf's eyes at his Esther.
Somewhere Up There, the Good Lord was probably laughing his beard off.
Nine hundred years was a long time to mourn Lilith's loss, a long time spent in penance and atonement. Abel had contented himself with simple human companionship – uncomplicated human friendships. A simple hug, a pat on the back, a comforting touch – nothing more and nothing less. Even then, it hurt to get even that close to these humans who were so much more fragile than he was and whose lives seemed to be over in just an eye blink. Abel had learnt however that he could not truly live if he completely closed off his heart – not as a priest or even just a simple man.
Abel shivered and it wasn't from the cold.
Of course, Esther noticed that and naturally, misinterpreted it.
"This isn't really going to do, Father Abel," she said, managing to sound brisk and commanding despite chattering teeth. "We're both going to freeze to death." She scooted over right next to him and tried to throw that blanket over both of them but of course, it could barely cover his much larger frame.
"Stop, really, it's quite all right," he told her. "Can't have both of us coming down with pneumonia, eh, Miss Esther?"
She scowled and he just didn't think the word "adorable" in connection to her pretty downturned little mouth. "You really shouldn't think about being gallant right now, Father Abel. Lady Caterina would be quite unhappy with me if I let you freeze to death out here." And then, she looked thoughtful and Abel just knew she was coming up with one of her truly bright ideas…
She stood up and then settled herself quite comfortably on his lap and wrapped the blanket around both of them.
Abel meeped, his glasses fogging over and almost falling off his nose.
"There," she said triumphantly. "Now we'll both be warm."
Abel struggled to say something coherent about observing proprieties, anything to get his mind off the warm, sweet weight of her on his lap, or her scent, or the way that she fit perfectly against him, just so and he could just feel the hot flush creeping over his normally pale cheeks and quite possibly the rest of his body.
Oh Lord, and she looked so innocent and trusting as she cuddled against him, the expression on her face worthy of a seraph.
"Ah… Miss Esther… this isn't… very proper," Oh, that was a masterpiece of eloquence, Abel Nightroad, it truly was…
"Of course it is," Esther said primly, plucking Abel's glasses off his nose and carefully wiping the lenses clean with her handkerchief. "I'm merely putting my training to use and improvising under very adverse circumstances."
And that was when Abel caught the gleam of unholy mischief in her eyes and knew that he'd been had.
"Clever girl," he breathed, his attention being drawn once more to her mouth, noting that her lips still had the faintest tinge of blue. And before his better sense could kick in, he found himself leaning down and gently brushing his lips against hers.
Well, she was cold after all.
He felt her gasp with delight and shivered as he felt her fingers on his skin, featherlight touches on his neck and his cheeks, loosening the black ribbon that held back his silver hair and running her hands through the silken strands. He'd been so long without that kind of touch and he never knew how starved he was for it…
And she tasted sweeter than milk tea with 13 sugars.
He felt and heard the rustling of his great black wings and knew that somehow he'd shifted partially to his Crusnik form without his conscious command. Alarmed, he drew back from her with a shuddering breath, steeling himself for the inevitable fear and rejection. The Crusnik who fed upon vampire blood was a terrifying sight for both Terran and Methuselah and he'd seen that terror in her eyes before.
Instead, she surprised him yet again.
"Beautiful," she whispered, her blue eyes wide with wonder.
"No – " he began in automatic denial, well aware of what he looked like, what he was but she'd put a single finger to his lips to stop him.
"Abel, I feel safe with you. I always will," she said. And then, as if to end the conversation, she settled back against him comfortably and tucked her head beneath his chin, keeping his glasses in her small hands.
Bemused, Abel could only rest his cheek against the softness of her hair and noted, with fierce satisfaction, that her lips were rosy red from their kiss. He found himself smiling faintly and allowed his wings to close over them both, enfolding her in his embrace, safe from the cold.
Safe in his arms.
- end -
Author's Endnotes: You guys might probably guess that the last bit is inspired from that beautiful shot of Esther and Abel in Crusnik form from the anime's end credits. Anyone have a clear decent screencap of that?