Note: A friend of mine gave me the writing prompt of "I'll never understand humans" for a Tres/someone story. While listening to "Tonight is What It Means to Be Young" by Fire, Inc. (from the film STREETS OF FIRE), I was thinking about one of my favorite pastimes... and how Tres would react if he ever caught Johanna doing this...


Tonight is What It Means to Be Human

Tres paused after leaving Cardinal Caterina's office, his sharp hearing picking up a strange sound. He immediately stopped, turning his head this way and that to determine where the sound was coming from. Whatever it was, it didn't seem to be coming from either end of the hallway. Then he turned his head toward the window.

Of course... the sound was coming from above him.

He set off down the hallway toward the stairs. As he pushed open the door of the stairwell, the sound became clearer, and he nodded to himself.

As he got closer, his mind began drawing conclusions about the sound.

It was a woman's voice.

And she was singing.

Tres made his way up the stairs toward the roof of the building. For a brief instant, he considered drawing his weapons, but the closer he got, the more he was sure that he knew who it was.

Yes, it was a woman singing... and the sounds of footsteps across the stones.

Cautiously, he pushed open the door, his eyes sweeping the roof in an instant assessment.

On the far end of the roof was Sister Johanna Sinclair, her voice lifted in song, and her eyes closed as she danced on the roof.

Tres stopped in surprise. While his suspicions about who had been singing was correct, he was more than a little surprised to see the nun acting in such fashion. And yet... he was oddly reluctant to draw attention to himself, certain that if he did, she would stop.

And she just seemed so... alive.

Completely oblivious to his presence, Sister Johanna never stopped moving, swaying, circling, lost in some reverie, her voice breathless as she sang, but what fascinated Tres was the look of sheer bliss on her face.

Then she stopped, her hand on her chest as she drew in great gasps of air, and then all at once, she began to laugh aloud and started twirling around in circles.

"Sister Johanna Sinclair," he called, and immediately her eyes flew open as she whirled around, lost her balance, and staggered backward. Before she could fall, Tres was there, catching her by the wrist and hauling her upright.

"F-father Tres!" she stammered, her face going a deep red. She tried to free herself, but the cyborg's grip was too strong.

"What are you doing on the roof?"

"I... um... nothing." A quick succession of emotions raced across her face, the same reaction that Tres had noticed on Sister Esther's face after he had found her dragging Pope Alessandro around the Vatican.

"A lie is not an acceptable answer," he said flatly, gazing at her implacably. "What are you doing on the roof?"

"I just... wanted some time to myself," she admitted. "And... well... I just felt... good. So..."

"Your emotions prompted your performance just now?"

She went even redder. "Oh, God, you saw that?"

"You were dancing and singing; such behavior is not in accordance with the conduct expected of a nun."

"You forget, I'm not your typical nun, Father Tres," she said hotly, finally succeeding in snatching her arm away from him.

"That is for certain," he agreed. "You should leave before anyone else learns that you are here."

"Why should I?" she retorted, folding her arms across her chest. "There's no rule against me being here, or what I was doing."

Tres was about to respond when he realized that she was right; there was no rule against her singing and dancing on the roof of the Vatican.

"Right," she said, apparently following his train of thought. "So, if you don't mind, shove off for a while and let me enjoy myself."

"Does a dance or a song not require an audience?" he asked her.

"I'm the only audience I want right now," she said, flushing once again. "I don't do this for anyone but me. So please go away."

"You are embarrassed about someone watching you enjoy yourself?"

"YES!" she shouted suddenly, throwing up her hands in frustration.

"Why?"

She stopped. "Why what?"

"Why are you embarrassed about someone watching you?"

"Because it's..." She waved her hands in a vague gesture. "It's something private, okay?"

Tres tried to make sense of the situation. It was obviously something that made the Sister uncomfortable, hence the reason she'd come up to the roof where she was less likely to be found. But if she drew such pleasure from it, why would she be embarrassed by it?

"I do not understand," he said at last, and she sighed heavily.

"It's not important, Father Tres," she said, moving past him toward the stairwell. But the sharp-eyed priest noted the marked difference between her earlier free and exuberant movements, compared to the dejected slump of her shoulders and awkward shuffle of her footsteps now.

Tres watched her disappear down the stairs, and frowned. He had not done anything to her, not harmed her in any way that he was aware of, and yet... he could not help drawing the conclusion that he had somehow hurt her.

Then again, humans were strange that way, and Sister Johanna Sinclair stranger than most.

He shrugged, and followed her down the stairs.