Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters from Trinity Blood. As much as I would like to, I don't unfortunately lol. This is an Ion x Esther story.
Chapter 01 – Seeing is Believing
"… We have been living in isolation for too long," the Empress Augusta Vradica explained, "We have our differences, just like Terrans do. But it doesn't mean that we can't find a way to co-exist. This Star of Hope may be the solution we have been waiting for."
The Empress had ordered that he, Ion Fortuna went to the Outer World to seek out the 'Star of Hope'. Apparently this 'Star' would be the link between the Terrans (Humans) and Methuselah (Vampires) and the Empress hoped that the Star could help bring the two races together in peace. Of course, with unity can also bring war.
It was one reason why the Empress wanted someone to seek out this Star and see what type of power they possessed. As soon as he located the Star, it was his job to keep an eye on them and find out as much as possible. As none of us knew who it actually was, we needed to find out what their intentions may be, what their status was in society, if they were aware of the power they possessed and so on.
Ion was down on one knee with his head bowed. He had been summoned by the Empress in regards to this mission and had been sent for alone. The Throne room where other noble blooded Methuselah came to seek audiences with the Empress was a very large and dimly lit room. A Terran would have difficultly looking about the room without straining their eyes or even getting up to have a closer look at their surroundings. Methuselah with stronger senses and physical attributes could adapt better to a room of this size and darkness. But even for them, the Empress who sat on the other side of the room to them would still have difficulty seeing her. The most any could make out would be her slim figure sitting before them with the long veil she always wore to conceal her face.
No one has ever actually seen her face as far as Ion was aware, not even the Empress' personal guards or servants. He could see that it was the Empress' way of protecting herself as she was what made their Empire so prosperous and peaceful. It was she who gave them a land of their own where Terrans wouldn't try to oppose them. It had been this way for hundreds and hundreds of years. She had been the one to give guidance to their people and she had always made the right decisions in regards to improving their Empire further. Ion couldn't picture a life without the Empress there with them. So if concealing herself from all is what was required for her to stay in power, then so be it.
"Ion Fortuna, Count of Memphis. Do you accept this mission to the Outer World in order to locate the Star of Hope?" Even though the Empress sat on the other side of the room to Ion, her voice was still very loud and clear for anyone to hear, no matter where you were in the room. She had a very calm, deep but powerful voice. Just by hearing her talk, you could feel the power she possessed both within her status as Empress but as a person. You would never dare to cross the Empress if you had any senses. But no one ever would as far as Ion was concerned. She never abused her power and she was loved by all.
Having her talk to you directly was always an honour if you didn't work as a personal servant or guard. So how could he not accept this mission she was giving him directly? He felt she must have very high faith in him to given him a mission which would determine the future of their lives. But deep down, he couldn't help but doubt it in some way. They had lived just fine without the need of Terrans. So why jeopardise something which worked just fine for everyone already? It was a gamble which Ion didn't feel was needed and should be risked. Terrans were very ignorant beings, he felt they wouldn't be able to understand their kind and would probably see it as a threat to their race. War was all he could think of, he felt getting rid of them would be the best thing they could do for themselves.
"Count, is something on your mind?" The Empress asked, causing Ion to pull himself out of his thoughts. How long had he been out of it?
"Excuse me Empress; forgive the delay in my response. I will carry out your wishes as you command of me."
"Very well, however, is there something you wish to ask me?"
Ion looked up in confusion.
"You seem to have doubts in this mission. May I ask why?"
Ion blinked a few times, not certain if he could speak his mind to her. He shouldn't doubt the Empress; he has no right to question her orders. All he could do was have faith and hope it wouldn't be the wrong decision. He would be the one to witness the Terran's intentions first hand. If he felt the Star of Hope was going to be a threat, he would kill them without a moments delay if it meant protecting their kind.
Shaking his head, Ion replied, "I do not have doubts Empress. I was just wondering what you would like me to do if this Star of Hope should turn out to be a threat."
"If that is the case, it would be best if they were brought into our custody so we can try resolving the matter. I wouldn't want any unnecessary deaths." Ion nodded as she went on, "I've been given a report that the Star is residing with the Vatican. You will be given the details in the report I have written for you."
One of the Empress' servants approached Ion with a folder, along with a parcel of other items required for the mission. At the time, Ion didn't know what else was required for the mission. That was until he was dismissed and got the chance to read the report on his own.
That's when his cussing and dilemma started.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
"I can't believe I am doing this. I can't believe I am doing this." Ion cursed repeatedly. Staring at himself in the mirror with his ruby coloured eyes, he began to wonder what he was doing to himself. He stared in disgust at the outfit he was dressed in. Why was he doing this again? Oh right, it was a mission given to him by the Empress. Of course it was his duty to obey any orders that were given to him, no matter how minor, serious or, ridiculous they were. At times he would have his doubts, sometimes he would have to bite his tongue to keep himself from objecting. Other times it would be something he expected or was more than happy to accept and follow through. But this time, when he had finished reading the report, he felt as though someone had slapped him in the face. But what was more insulting was not being told of THIS minor detail.
He usually composed himself well in front of any situation and kept his thoughts to himself. Especially if it was an order from the Empress, he was usually honoured just to have the pleasure of being in her presence. 'But this...' This mission, it was an insult to himself, his pride, his honour, and just in general, it was an insult! He was the Count of Memphis! No mission like this should be given to him. He should be one of the last people to do anything like this. But like it or not, he had accepted it now and nothing could change that.
"Ion?" A familiar voice came from behind the door, "Are you ready?"
The moment Ion heard that voice, he raced to the door and slammed his body against it, not wanting the visitor to come in, "Radu! You stay out there! Don't you dare try coming in!"
"My my," the man named Radu said in an amused tone, "You sound very distraught. Whatever may be the problem?"
"You know damn well why I'm like this!" Ion growled, "I am still trying to get ready!"
"You have had two hours to get ready. It's time to go now."
"I told you I'm not ready!"
"Well time isn't going to stand still and wait. Now come out," Radu turned the handle to the door and applied his shoulder to it. He started pushing towards it so he could get the door open. Radu couldn't budge it first which surprised him. In terms of strength, he knew he could overpower Ion but in the blonde's desperation to not be seen, he could probably rival his strength at this moment.
Radu managed to get the door open slightly with the crack about an inch or so wide but Ion wasn't going to let it budge any further.
"Radu! If you don't leave me alone then I'm NEVER coming out!"
"Oh dear, so it has come to this," an unexpected voice came behind Radu.
Radu turned to see Mirka Fortuna, the Duchess of Moldova standing behind him. She was a very beautiful woman with long blonde hair and red eyes, similar to her grandson's and like Ion, her age would be hard to guess. Both looked quite young, but being vampires or Methuselah as they liked to be called, their age would surpass any human's by hundreds and hundreds of years. That was the same for Radu and other Methuselah that lived in their Empire.
Radu bowed to her as he slowly loosened his grip on the door. He didn't want to let it go and suddenly have the door slam shut because of Ion's weight on it. Once the door eased shut, Radu moved aside for the Duchess to have access to the door. She walked up to it and nodded to Radu in thanks. Gazing back at the door she gently knocked and asked, "Ion? Are you still in there? If so, can you please come out? You have a job to do, and you must honour it like any other mission you are given. You know that."
Ion had his back to the door and sighed when he heard his grandmother's words. He knew she was right; he had no excuse for his behaviour. If this mission was given to someone else and they behaved this way, he wouldn't be impressed. So what gave him the right to act like a child and behave as though it was the end of the world? At times like this, he needed to swallow his pride for the greater good.
Taking a deep breath, Ion turned towards the door and opened it so his grandmother and Radu could see him. Taking a few steps out of his room with the white heeled boots he was wearing, he tried looking as composed and calm as he always did. But when he thought back on his reflection in the mirror, he couldn't help but stumble a little in embarrassment. Mirka, his grandmother giggled while Radu turned his head to the side, trying his best not to laugh. Imagine, the Count of Memphis, wearing a blue and white nun's dress which Terran women wore.
The outfit consisted of a nun's hat which was navy blue in colour with white edging. The long material which hung from the hat flowed all the way down Ion's back in length, like it usually did for other nuns. The dress matched the colour of the hat had the same white edging around the front of the dress, the sleeves and bottom of the dress. Around the collar was a rectangular gold bar which acted like a button to hold the two flaps of the collar together, but hanging from it was a thick gold cross which was the accessory worn with the outfit. The dress flowed to about half way down his shins where white heeled boots were noticeable. He didn't look very impressed and his cheeks were slightly pink but Ion continued standing there for his friend and grandmother to examine.
"Oh Ion, you look so cute!" Mirka cheered as she smiled sweetly at him. Radu raised his hand to his mouth as he coughed and cleared his throat of the light chuckle which was about to pass his lips. He looked to Ion and nodded with agreement, "Yes, very cute." Radu was trying to remain serious about the situation, but his tone and eyes told otherwise. Ion's eyebrow twitched with annoyance as he could see his friend's amusement. Ion knew that if his grandmother wasn't here, Radu would be laughing so hard he wouldn't be able to contain himself.
"There is just one thing," Mirka observed as she tapped her finger over her chin.
"What is it?" Ion asked with slight annoyance. He had really tried his best to dress right. It was one reason why he needed a couple of hours to prepare. Although part of the reason was to get over the embarrassment. But that didn't work as obviously shown.
Mirka didn't answer immediately but when her gaze shifted down to Ion's chest, he realised what it was and shook his head immediately, "Oh no! No way! Definitely not! I will not do it! I refuse! You can't make me!"
"Ion, I gave you something for that..."
"Yes grandmother! I know! But I still won't wear it!"
"Do you know how to put it on?"
He blushed, "O-Of course I do!" 'I think,' Ion thought in his head. But must he really wear a bra? Wasn't a dress enough already? He knew he couldn't afford to have his cover blown, but would his chest really be the difference between him being mistaken for a girl or not? Ion was already aware of his pretty features, no thanks to his grandmother's constant compliments and Radu's teasing. Radu was a lot taller with broad shoulders and more masculine features than Ion, yet what really annoyed him about this was that they were the same age. Why did Ion still look like a frail teenager when he was anything but one? He was very powerful in terms of strength and speed, but also senses. Ion could not think of anyone who could hear or see something quicker than he could. That wasn't the point though; he still wished he looked more like Radu. Mirka would keep reassuring him that his 'growth sprit' would happen eventually. But how many decades must he wait for that?
To his dismay, Ion found his grandmother guiding him back into his room where she followed and closed the door behind them. He was thankful Radu didn't follow; he didn't need to watch something as ridiculous as this. Ion sighed as he stood by the mirror again, having to dread seeing himself in a dress once more. Mirka just smiled sweetly as she walked over to the dressing table where she left the bra and padding for him to wear. She picked it up and held it out to him, "See here Ion? This is how you clip it when you have it behind your back. These straps are adjustable so fix this up after you get the bra on. And these," she waved the pads, "Are to go inside the cups alright?"
Ion had his head turned to the side with his eyes glaring at the ground. Must she have to explain this to him? He knew how it worked. But having to watch and listen to his grandmother teach him how to work a bra embarrassed him more than wearing a dress. It was like her trying to give him tips on how to undress a girl. It was not healthy hearing this type of thing from your grandmother.
Mirka wasn't sure if he had listened or not but when she made an attempt to stand behind him, Ion quickly turned around and took the bra from her, "Grandmother! I'll put it on myself!"
Mirka was taken aback from his loud outburst, "Are you sure? I can help you to make it easier."
Ion went red at that statement. She might as well offer to put his underwear on as well. "That won't be necessary! Now please go!"
Mirka giggled but nodded in response. Ion was already embarrassed enough as it was, she didn't want him feeling any more insecure. But she was still family, he didn't have anything to feel ashamed about with her. But like a good grandmother, she decided to let him have his way. She gave him the padding which he hadn't taken from her and started heading to the door, "If you need help, don't hesitate to call me alright? Please be done as soon as you can as you really need to go."
Ion nodded and waited until she walked out and heard the door click shut. Once alone, he looked down at the bra and pads in his hands and shuddered as he turned his head away. Was there a reason why his grandmother chose pink? Of all colours, why pink? Was she trying to get her fun out of this situation like Radu was? Even if it was a mission, he knew this moment will be branded in his skull forever and even IF he managed to forget, they will always remind him of it. Not that it would be something he could forget that easily anyway. If anything, Ion felt he'd be traumatized by this experience. But alas, he needed to persevere. 'Whatever doesn't kill you can only make you stronger right?' Somehow, that didn't help him at all.
Bringing his hands to his collar, Ion struggled as he tried undoing the gold plate where the cross hung and the collar connected. Since the collar went right up his neck, Ion found trying to look down at the collar wouldn't help as his chin kept getting in the way. Sighing in frustration, Ion felt tempted to tear the damn dress in half but didn't act on it. Instead, he turned his ruby gaze to the mirror and used his reflection to help him undo the gold plate.
This helped him in a matter of seconds which he was thankful for. Ion was in no mood for anything else to come up in regards to this mission. He hoped once putting on this stupid under garment that he can finally be left alone in regards to the outfit and have people focus on the more important things.
As he worked on un-doing the dress, Ion's mind began to drift. He started thinking about the mission and what he may encounter when he reached the Outer World. He put the bra on without any problems and added the padding as ordered. He felt like an idiot and looked like an idiot when he saw his reflection. He debated if whether or not he could take it off when he was away on his mission. At least no one would be around to say otherwise if he did choose to remove it.
Once Ion got the dress back on and started buttoning it up, he blinked when he noticed his reflection change in the mirror. He blinked again in confusion, uncertain as to what he saw since it happened so suddenly. His reflection was there now as it usually was, but as he stared into the mirror more, he watched as he saw the image change again. This time, it held for a moment longer for him to recognise the person before him.
There, sitting on the other side of the mirror seemed to be a young red haired girl with blue eyes. Her hair was short and the colour seemed to be brighter than his eyes. She was brushing her hair and looked to be occupied with what she was doing until her gazed drifted and suddenly locked with his. They stared at each other, not certain if what they were seeing was a dream or not. The girl look startled and confused, just as much as Ion was. He wasn't imagining this was he? But how could he? He had never seen this girl before.
Ion couldn't help but feel drawn by her reflection though. She seemed to glow like some kind of goddess with her surroundings dimmed and blurred. He couldn't make out the details of the room, not that it really mattered. Nothing seemed to matter at this moment. Ion was more than contempt enough to just sit and stare at her like this.
He watched as the girl started lifting her hand towards the mirror, this made Ion's heart skip a beat. Not that he was certain why, but he did feel compelled to do the same. He lifted his right hand towards the mirror and started moving it closer and closer just like she was. They were moving at the same slow pace just like a mirror image, not wanting to do anything too abrupt to scare the other away. But just as their fingers were about to touch the glass, Ion jumped when he heard the door to his room open, causing him to bring his hand back as he looked to the door.
Radu was standing there as he waved, "Sorry Ion, but the Duchess wanted me to summon you." He noticed the startled look on Ion's face and suddenly grew concerned, "Are you alright?"
Ion looked back to the mirror and saw his own reflection again. It was as if nothing happened, but Ion wasn't the type to imagine things like that. It wasn't a dream, it really did happen, but he didn't have the time to think on it.
Smiling towards Radu, Ion shook his head and replied, "Everything is fine. Sorry to keep you waiting, I'm ready now." Ion picked up his suitcase and looked back at the mirror once more before heading to the door.
"Nice chest by the way."
The operation to retrieve the Star had commenced.
Author's Note: Hope you all enjoyed this so far. I hope none of you didn't mind me having Ion cross dress in this story :-P I couldn't help myself. The first time I watched the anime and saw Ion, the first thought that came to my head was, "Wow, he is so pretty." And I'm just such a sap for 'cross dressing' stories lol. I've read many where girls cross dress as a guy but there is hardly any with the guy cross dressing. I suppose it's because they can't pull it off as well as girls can cross dress as guys. But I KNOW Ion can lol. He is being forced to whether he wants to or not anyway hehe. Anyway, please let me know what you think. I'll try to get the next chapter out as soon as I can. Thanks for reading!