Title: "Tovaras"

Author: Erena G.T. Rose

Fandom: Trinity Blood…

Rating: Mature: Blood-letting, implied sexual content and yaoi/slash.

Disclaimer: Note, that I do not own Trinity Blood…if I did…you'd definitely know it.

Summary: Abel and Cain: A fight to the death—the final battle. Or…is it? Written from Abel's POV.

Author's Note: The word "Tovaras" is a word frequently used in the series. However, just in case you missed its definition, here it is. Pronounced (Toe-Var-Esh), the word is used to described a partner or a kindred spirit--this is a person you trust explicitly...with your heart, your body, soul and well-being. You would fight and more than likely die to protect them...and they would do the same for you. That is the definition we gather in the series. That is the one I'm running with here.


"Tovaras"

And the world continued to turn…

The big battle came and went; Esther assumed her rightful place in the world, not as an orphan but as queen of a powerful nation. The Methusala and the Terrans were working at erasing centuries of hatred and mistrust; the Empire and the Vatican were speaking peacefully about things that had to be changed—

It was over.

The final showdown between Cain and myself came and went, as well. I died, I rose again from the dead—with the aid of my long fallen sister—and then I fought, battling a creature of inexplicable power. It wasn't physical strength or even the strength we gain from drinking the blood of Methusalas…

His power over me is such that it isn't made of energy or steel—it isn't particularly deadly in the hands of any other, but when he uses it against me, I am without any ability of my own to do what I long ago promised I would.

My brother—my twin…Cain…

Tovaras…

The one to whom I entrusted my life, my heart—my soul and well-being. He was the one I trusted above them all…and in the end, we betrayed each other so completely—and I thought it ended.

Centuries passed…and then I found Esther and it all happened so quickly from there; Cain was alive and I was suddenly thrust into a world of complicated emotion. I hated, I loved—I desired to kill and I craved his embrace…the same embrace we shared so many centuries ago.

Tovaras…

We fought and we cleaved flesh from bone, opened wounds so deep they painted the sky obsidian with our blood. I wonderered, even as I fought, if I could bring myself to strike the final blow. I swore of killing centuries ago and in that final moment—the time to set aside my oath—I caved and could not do it.

((O0oo0O))

The last stand came—the two of us, in the hollow-chamber of an upper-bell tower in an old church. It was amazing, what with the attack, that the monument still stood…

I took it as a sign of God's favor, if such a thing existed.

As he laid there, bleeding from wounds nearly mirroring my own, his once flawlessly white wings dripping with a mixture of his blood and my own, I lowered my scythe and gazed at him one more time, sure that this would be the last time I would get to do so.

And then, as if his body would no longer bear the weight of the transformation, his Krusnik form faded into his human one—eyes wide and demonic returned to their human shape and oddly crimson color. Pale skin, streaked with blood and rain beneath a tattered robe of white and red—and his wings folded gently against his back, sticking out at odd angles as if broken…and then they too disappeared as if they were only a mirage.

I breathed deeply and looked into those eyes, so like my own—a mistake, if ever I had committed one. He took the opportunity with both hands and reached out to me, long fingers coated in that black substance that spilled from both of us.

"Abel," he whispered it, softly. "My brother…come to me." His eyes pleaded with me and what a fool I am—I loosened my hold on my weapon, if only for a second, disarmed by the sheer emotion glistening in those crimson depths. Oh holy Father, if there is mercy in your heart, I pray you show it to this poor sinner—for what I am about to do…

I raised my scythe again, intent. I felt the burn of tears behind my eyes and blinked them away. For a second, Cain flickered and wavered in my gaze, obscured my rain and blind sympathy…

With a whispered prayer, I changed my grip and swung the scythe down full force… "Forgive me…"

…There was a whisper of sound as the scythe arched for its target, hungry for blood…

"Tovaras…"

The blade stopped, poised against the thin flesh of his neck; Cain, to his credit, flinched and closed his eyes as if in pain.I watched, both disgusted with myself and overwhelmed by distress. I slipped from my Krusnik state and stood there, clutching nothing but air between my fingers. I reached inside my coat and removed the gun, finger on the trigger.

Tovaras…

Cain's eyes opened slowly—sluggishly. Was he fading into the darkness? I could feel my own wounds, steadily dripping—but the infusion of Lilith's own blood had made me strong and the wounds were mending quickly. Cain was having no such luck.

He looked paler and more fragile than I could ever remember him being—even as children, Cain had been the strong one with the ready smile and dancing eyes.

"My brother," the whisper was weak, throaty; the normally smooth cadence of his voice was choppy and unsteady. I faltered, my knees buckling under me until I collapsed onto the cool stone, just beside him. The rain was streaming through the gothic-windows, but I felt nothing—saw nothing…

Nothing but my brother…

"Cain." I couldn't help myself; If this was going to be the end…if he was going to bleed-out here, just outside the circle of my arms, I was going to say goodbye first.

"So we've come down to this?" He was weakly dragging himself into a sitting position and I watched as he leaned back gingerly against one of the stone walls. Lightning flashed outside and I knew there was commotion at the Albion Palace—but…

"Yes…it appears this is it, then." What else could I say? I couldn't kill him—wouldn't kill him—but he was dying anyway. I couldn't save him…and so I was watching him slowly die of blood-loss.

Cain gave a weak smile, a pale parody of its former glory and I found myself returning it, feeling as tired and world-weary as he looked. What had become of us, the unstoppable Krusnik twins? Weren't we friends once? Brothers and Brothers-in-Arms? Didn't we fight for a cause and promise one another that nothing could break the bonds of blood?

Weren't we once more than this?

"Do you remember when we were young? That time you hid Seth's favorite animal from her?"

I blinked, feeling myself transported back to a time long past—a much simpler time, albeit.

"I remember." ….I did. And then I cocked an eyebrow at him, feeling tired but light. "And as I remember, it was you who stole the teddy bear…I just got the blame for it."

Cain nodded, "A week in the Detention Room—I remember." He sighed and it sounded…wheezy. "It was lonely at night…without you."

"We shared a room…"

"And sometimes a bed."

I blushed because what else could I do; leave it to my brother—down, defeated and most definitely dying—to remember that as a child…an powerful hybrid child…I was afraid of the dark.

"You look like her when you blush like that." It sounded soft and harsh at once, the words enunciated too sharply. I only glanced at him and he blinked, a show of agitation.

"Forgive me…old hatred." He apologized, uncharacteristically. I wondered…

Of course, if I didn't ask now, I wouldn't ever know.

"Why?" I felt the word thick in my throat and coughed roughly to clear it, feeling emotion swell over me with the return of old memories. "Why did you kill her?"

"Our sister?" Cain seemed to pause, mulling it over—or maybe he was simply too tired to speak. I could hear his heart slowing gradually. "Lilith was…" he paused again, searching for the right words—when he did find them, he looked at me and the look in his eyes told me that this would probably hurt.

"She was in the way...of us…and our plans." Cain sighed again, short of breath and I watched him. "She was…always mothering us. She told me…to stop drawing you into things you weren't…really willing to do yet." He laughed shortly, "She said it like…like you and I were so different…different enough to be separate people."

I nodded, "She wanted us to stop fighting the war against the humans."

Cain coughed and I thought I saw the glitter of black liquid on his tongue. "No…no. She wanted us to…stop fighting, yes….but…the us that she saw…at the base…our relationship…I loved you…"

"Of course. I loved you as well, my dear brother."

Crimson eyes narrowed and he tried to raise his hand to cut an imperious gesture in my direction. "Stop being…foolish. You know…what I mean." He coughed again. "She didn't think…we should…see each other. Said it wasn't…looked upon kindly…in the Terran society." He sneered and I was helplessly enthralled by the emotion in his voice, bitter and sweet at once. "Sister was a threat to us."

"She was only watching over us, Cain…as she was meant to." I gently reminded him.

He coughed and nodded weakly, "I know that …now. I knew it afterwards too, when…I was too broken…to move." He smiled, "The whole time…I thought of you…and I missed you…already."

I said nothing.

"And then…I heard…you went…and spent nine-hundred years…sitting by her crypt." He coughed, "I didn't…understand it."

Again, what could I say?

"And I didn't…want to believe…you chose the…Terrans…over me." He closed his eyes against some pain I couldn't feel but could clearly see painted across his face. "You chose…human filth…over…us."

"Humans were worth protecting, Cain. I dedicated my life to what Lilith tried to show me—their short life spans make them beautiful and rare, precious each and every one. They create and they craft; they love and they live for what makes them happy. What isn't to cherish about them?"

"They are…petty…judgmental…self-righteous…fools." He spat the words, one by one, more by necessity than emotional outpour. "They judge…and they destroy…that which…they do not…understand." Lord Bless him, his heartbeat is so slow now…

"But they are rare and beautiful—if only you had learned to understand them." Oh, what might that have been like? To live out my years with Cain in the embrace of the Terran world? Working for AX together? Going on trips to Barcellona and Albion? We could have visited Seth in the Empire and traveled all the world together as family.

Lost opportunities drifted in my mind like so many ghosts.

His eyes were drifting closed and then fluttering open, as he fought to stay with me. His lips were turning blue and his eye-lids were gray. I could barely hear his heartbeat now—what was this strange pain in my chest?

"Abel…" my name, spoken so softly that at first, I thought it was the wind, but then I caught sight of his lips moving slowly and I pulled myself closer, leaning against the wall beside him, weak but on the mend.

He was whispering my name feverishly, one after another with what seemed to be the last breath in his body. I felt a sharp pang of loss and tried to close of the flood of images that swept into my mind—Cain's smile, Cain's laughter…his arms wrapped around me in the night when the shadows shifted eerily. Cain's reassuring strength. The brotherly warmth and affection that I never found anywhere else.

"Abel…" I leaned closer and breathed into his ear, "I'm here."

A pale, shaking hand fell into my lap and I glanced at it only briefly before taking it in my own; his skin felt like ice against my own and I unconsciously found myself rubbing his hand together between my own, trying to warm it.

"I'm here, brother…I'm here."

He stirred briefly and his crimson eyes opened to half-mast; he gave me a weak smile and those eyes danced for me, as they used to when we were young. He coughed and rivulet of black blood flowed from between his lips. I tried not to look at it and focused only on those eyes.

"Brother…forgive me for my sins." His words were barely audible above the rain steadily coming down and the distant cheers I could hear riding the wind. I wondered what had happened, but I ignored it.

"Of course you are forgiven, brother." I pressed a kiss to his temple, unable to help myself. I was a priest, wasn't I? Couldn't I bear the burden of sins recanted if it was my own brother's soul to cleanse? I forgave Cain a long time ago…my vow to wipe away as the enemy of the world was all that had held me to this course. It was finally over now.

"Abel…I want you to know…brother…I never stopped loving…you." A convulsion went through him and I could just make out the parlor of death stealing over him; his blonde hair, rich and fine, obscured his face as he leaned forward for a moment, seemingly catching his breath...

And when he did not move...he seemed already gone from this world.

Silence. Horrible, agonizing silence. It was as if a song had been playing in my mind this whole time, a soft, melodic tune without words but bearing a name—a tune that brought me some feeling of whole-ness…

…And now it was gone, painfully and without warning. I felt as if I were stricken by the Lord himself and my body failed to move when I commanded it to do so. All I could do was stare at the limp for of my brother and watch, with drastically reduced lucidity, as the rain drops that had clung to his golden hair dripped slowly—oh so slowly—to the stone floor.

I don't know how long it was before I managed to regain control—a second? An hour? An eternity? I reached out, hands shaking, my gun laying beside me—discarded.

"Cain?" I whispered his name half-hoping that he would stir in response.

Nothing.

"Brother?"

Silence.

Shaking and unable to breathe, I reached out and tipped his head back, the blonde locks spilling everywhere around us like a silken waterfall. My own hair mixed with his and I swear the colors blended together in the stormy, full-moon's light. I looked down into his face and saw those eyes closed in peace, lips parted just slightly and tinted fully a pale, cold blue.

A sharp pain in the region of my heart made me gasp and I buckled forward, his body cradled against mine, his cool, lifeless face—so beloved—pressed to the blood-stained fabric that covered my chest and torso.

He was gone, gone from this world as surely as if I had dispatched him by my own hand. And hadn't I? I inflicted wounds, intending for them to bleed heavily—and that is what he died off, so drained of blood. Now, not even the Sleep of Ages would spare him from the after-life, as it had Lilith; he was gone to meet the Lord in Heaven…or Hell.

An image of this beloved—and once, so hated—brother, writhing and screaming in brutal, agonized misery struck like lightning in my mind. Surrounded by the damned and the soulless, forever locked by chains that burned and branded into his skin like red-hot pokers. Bare-foot, standing in a lake of sulfur and lava-fire, he screamed and screamed, reaching outward toward the unseen-roof of the cavern, crying out for mercy…

"Abel!..."

The image was so real that for a moment, I could feel the heat of the fires on my face; tears burned behind my eyes and the scent of sulfur filled my nose.

The weight of my brother's damnation weighed on me…

…and then my heart thumped hard and painful as I shifted a bit, bringing his expressionless face closer to my chest, cradling him like a child in my lap.

For a second, an insane second, everything in me went still. This was madness—treason and betrayal and a number of other disparagments against the vow I made—but …

Cain's smile invaded my mind and I could see us as children once more, my brother just on the other side of the Detention room, his back pressed against the padded wall much the way I was. I remembered his smile, his words of confidence and cheer. "Brother, we're together in this forever. We'll do whatever we have to…" Dancing red eyes and a smile that could light all the world, "We'll do what our heart tells us to…"

"Tovaras…" I felt his voice in my mind…his voice and my own. Did I imagine it? It didn't matter now. I was already ripping the front of my tunic open, shredding the fine material to get to my bare skin.

The wounds weren't fully closed yet but the blood was beginning to congeal on the surface. Quickly, with no time to waist, I pressed Cain's lips to one particularly large slash, just a scant inch above my heart.

"Please let this work…"

Utilizing gifts that I'd forsaken many centuries ago, I reached for my will, molded it and then bent it toward Cain, pulling at the energy of his already deteriorating body. I willed it to listen—to obey…and then I commanded….

"Drink…"

Silence.

For that long moment, I thought I failed and despair rose up inside me, sharp and bleak.

…And then, just barely, two cool lips pressed themselves against me, moving so slightly as to suggest an attempt to bite.

It was enough for me.

I reached up and entangled one hand in his long hair, just at the back of his skull and pressed him closer to me, reaching again for the will of his body.

"Feed on me…so that you might live."

More movements, this time, not so soft—was the body responding to his starved cells or did some piece of his soul still reside in that shell?

I pressed harder. "Feed, brother. Live…for me."

A brush of lips, cool and then sharp pain as twin fangs pierced my skin—and then a wave of heated pleasure as my brother fed from me, quenching the thirst in his own body while I quickly burned up with desire.

I buried both hands in his hair, clutched it in fistfuls, knowing on some instinctual level that I was giving Cain a great-deal of power; with both Lilith's blood and mine now flowing in his veins, he would be my equal again and then no doubt surpass me once he'd healed properly…

…but I wasn't prepared to let him go yet. If the Lord saw fit to damn me to hell for this transgression, then so be it. There was still time—Cain could be saved and I didn't necessarily mean through prayer.

Those lips were warming now and a wicked tongue lapped hungrily to catch each tiny rivulet of dark blood that tried to escape from him. I groaned, unsteady now—oh Lord, it had been so long since we'd done this! What pleasure.

He fed hungrily, my brother; when he finally lifted his head, I was nearly too drained to keep my own eyes open anymore. He wasn't draining me to the brink of death, I noticed—and was thankful. It was control on his part, but when he looked down at me, I was half laying in his arms, entranced by the way his perfect, pink tongue slid over his lips, catching each precious drop of blood. His eyes were focused on me, searching…searing.

"Why, Abel?" He cocked his head, heads feathering through my hair, "I could kill you right now and walk away, full and much more powerful than before."

It was true—I knew it was true. I didn't say anything in reply.

He watched me for a few moments longer and then he sighed, "As usual brother, you're too kind to your enemies—even me." He nuzzled my temple and breathed his next words against the feather-light pulse that beat there.

"Tovaras…I thank you." And then he leaned down and placed a kiss fully on my lips, the two of us melting together as he always had—perfectly. I sighed with sudden peace, unsure why but willing to accept it; the loss of blood was affecting my judgment, obviously.

His hand cupped my cheek and I broke away from him, for just a moment, to press a kiss to the center of his palm. He blinked down at me and then stroked my skin softly, "Ah, Abel. My tovaras." He sighed, "You know this will not end."

I blinked, unable to focus on him too much; my eyes were dilating in and out. "I know."

Cain nuzzled me again and I turned my head to kiss him; I felt him bite down on his own tongue and a bit of rich, warm blood flooded into my mouth—it tasted of Cain and Lilith and myself. Rich, heedy, entoxicating. I swallowed the mouthful he gave me and licked my lips, hungry for more. I panted for it but I was rebuked by a soft, warm chuckle.

"More of that when you come to me again." Cain smiled down at me and his eyes were dancing, both dangerous and comfortingly familiar. He tucked a loose strand of hair behind my ear and I shivered.

"What makes you think I will return to you?" I tried to sound defiant and sure of myself—a little hard to do when I was so limp I could barely move.

Cain smiled, his lips tipped upward in a natural, graceful expression. "Because…you always do." He raised my hand to lips and I was entranced by the color of his eyes—and then I inhaled sharply as he bit down on one of my fingers, drawing blood.

I glared at him for all I was worth at the moment, but he was already sucking the finger into his mouth, the warm heat of his wet tongue curling around it as he swept the blood away. It was an entirely erotic gesture and one I clearly recognized; the blush that flooded my face probably utilized what little of blood was still left in my body.

My brother chuckled at my blush. "Ah, so sweet! You've always been so—delectable." He brushed his thumb over my lips in a sweeping caress and then sighed, looking deep into my eyes. "You will hunt me down, Abel—you've sworn to do so until you kill me. You won't be going back on that promise, will you?"

I tried to muster my bravado. "Of course not. Your life is forfeit until you renounce this path of insanity you've been following." I coughed, a little weaker than expected. "The world is at peace now and RosenKreuz has no place in it."

Cain watched me and I knew he was weighing my words in that oddly serious way he had. A long pause passed between us where I closed my eyes and concentrated on the feel of him absently playing with my hair.

When he did speak, it was a struggle to open my eyes and look at him.

"Maybe RosenKreuz is no longer a necessary unit but I refuse to lay back and die because the world has judged me guilty, Abel." He nodded, decisive. "I will not be obscured because they will it so."

I sighed, unable to say much to that. "I will find you eventually, brother…what will we do then?"

It seemed that Cain was unable to resist a parting shot. He smiled at me prettily and rose, cradling me in his arms with an assurance that only came from renewed strength.

"We will do what we've always done, tovaras—play another round of hide and seek."

I tried to hold onto that thought, knew it was out of the ordinary and possibly important…but then Cain was growing his wings out and we launched into the sky; I was cradled to his chest like an infant and all I could do was lean against his warmth.

I had no idea where he was taking me or how I would carry on after this…

The last thing I remembered was looking up into his eyes, his face silhouetted against the moon as its light streamed over us…

And a soft, alluring voice whispering, "Tovaras…"

((O0oo0O))

I woke up, two weeks later—in the medical center, in the royal palace of Albion.

Alone.

I groaned when I woke but what was I expecting? Cain, sitting quietly by my beside while I rested? Or perhaps a note, worded kindly?

No, that wasn't my brother's style at all.

On the other hand, I felt groggy but—oddly at peace. I looked out the window, just beyond my bedside and smiled.

He was out there…somewhere.

All I had to do was start looking.

((O0oo0O))

Of course, when I'd gotten some more rest and actually gotten out of the medical ward, I realized that things weren't necessarily better, just decidedly less complicated. Not uncomplicated…just less so. There was no more RosenKreuz to worry about—just my brother and our uncertain relationship…

Our uncertain future.

"Tovaras, don't be so distressed. I'm not far from you now—actually just getting some rest. Autumn leaves make a comfortable bed and the sky is so blue here. Perhaps you'd care to join me?" It was a whisper of temptation in my mind.

A side effect. We swapped blood, directly. He was back in my mind—telepathy—where I had once shut him out. Of course, it didn't really matter so much anymore. I didn't really view him as a threat to my safety or to the others I was so used to protecting.

Now, it was just a matter of how long I could keep up the façade of disinterest.

I returned his message with an image of my smile and added, "Perhaps you might just come out, send up a signal flare and wait for me to arrive?"

"Now what fun would that be?" And like that, his presence faded to the back of my mind, dropping the connection between us—for now.

With a sigh, I gathered my things from the suite Esther had granted me in this palace and I left.

((O0oo0O))

A few days later, Esther was officially crowned Queen of Albion—and I wished her a farewell. There were some tears on her part and a heavy-heart on mine…but I left nontheless.

I could not stay.

She gave me her blessing and said she hoped I found him—though I noticed that she made no mention of killing him.

I wonder how much she suspected.

((O0oo0O))

I was in the desolate wasteland-landscape of Albion's outskirts when I passed a hooded figure standing in the shadows of a ruined building. I eyed him as I passed and took in every minute detail; these days I was feeling hyper sensitive, always alert.

The after effects of Krusnik blood might have had something to do with that.

I took a few steps more, almost deciding to completely ignore the intruder…but then a pair of crimson eyes—my brother's eyes—flashed in my mind and I paused.

"Are you planning to accompany me?"

The Methusala, young by their standards, flung off his cloak and stood there, bold as any full-grown male of his species. He leveled a pair of devastatingly red eyes at me and I blinked, only now realizing how much they reminded me of Cain's…

Even the boy's blonde hair could be something of a resemblance.

Ion nodded to me. "I'm coming with you."

"I'm going to find my brother—I will search to the ends of the earth. I will kill him." That's what I said, of course, but the truth was, I didn't know what I was going to do. Kill him—kiss him; steal him away and disappear into the Empire. Lock him up in that fine summer estate Esther was offering me in the mountains?

Decisions, decisions.

Ion watched me, looking far too old all of a sudden. His eyes were deep, fathomless, but his lips quivered a bit before he pressed them together in a firm, determined line; his jaw was strong and his fists were bunched at his sides. "I'm going with you, Father Nightroad—I want to see what you make of your life." He looked down suddenly, like a man examining his own guilt. "I want to see…if you and your brother…make better choices than me and Radu."

Ah, Radu. So that was it?

The boy still mourned for the loss of his tovaras….no surprise, of course. So he was comparing Cain and I to Radu and himself? Interesting. For a moment, I wondered how much he knew.

And then he raised his head to lock gazes with me. "Esther told me that…you and Cain…are special." He swallowed thickly, "She said that you two were bonded in the way Radu and I were. And she said…she said that if I was going to get over Radu, I had to learn that not all love ends in misery."

Esther—my quiet, shy Esther Blanchett—said all that?

Cocky little she-devil.

But what could I do? Esther—brilliant, emphatic Esther—she was right. So I turned and began to walk away.

Ion blinked, "I may acoompany you?"

Cain's chuckle filled my mind, "Ah, let the boy come, brother. It might be good for you." A pause, in which I sensed my tovaras thinking over something carefully…and then…. "I have some memory of this Radu he speaks of…maybe he will take some comfort in those memories I might share with him."

I blinked, a little shocked by the invitation. "I think you sounded…human…just then."

An indignant snort, "Don't make me laugh, Abel." And then he was gone again.

I nodded to Ion, knowing he was waiting for an answer.

The young Methusala trotted to my side and we set off, not walking briskly, nor slowly. Just walking.

The autumn breeze danced around us—before us, behind us…over us. I inhaled the scents of autumn and smiled, pleased by the cold, crisp freshness of it all. Winter was coming…and after that….Spring.

A time for new beginnings.

Who knew what the change of seasons would bring?

I looked down and smiled at Ion, suddenly pleased he was with me; traveling was always so much more fun with a companion.

I adjusted my glass and stuck my hands in my pockets, falling easily into the old routine of "Abel Nightroad: the bumbling Priest." Of course, it wasn't always an act.

I'm notoriously clumsy.

"Not to mention a scatter-brained, air-headed, over-blown sugar addict with a habit of stumbling into the worst situations."

"Shut up, tovaras."

And the world continued to turn…

((O0oo0O))

The End.