What I'm Looking For
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, as well as a manga drawn by Kiyo Kyoujou.
AUTHOR'S WARNINGS: Trinity Blood is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the Roman Catholic Church/the Vatican is portrayed as a military power as well as a spiritual one. The series also strongly implies major and controversial changes in the Church, such as women being bishops and cardinals as well as romantic relationships and quite possibly marriage between members of the clergy. If this disturbs you, do not read any further.
Earlier stories in the Milk Tea series can be found on my FF Dot Net profile.
I have spoken with eternal angels
I have held the hands of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone
- "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," U2
Little Zachary was not afraid of the dark.
Most children were terrified of the monster lurking under the bed or that awful boogieman living in the closet. There were ways to fight these nefarious creatures, as any sensible child knew. The best way was to keep the light on, even just a nightlight, because these terrible things absolutely hated the light. Some children also knew about the Secret Trick of making sure one's feet was firmly beneath one's blankets so that they would not be tugged out of bed by the ankle by a Thing's cold, clammy claws. Hiding under the blankets so that the Monsters would not see them was a good idea too.
However, Zachary did none of these things and was not afraid of any monster or boogieman.
This was mainly because Daddy would kick the bejeepers out of any boogieman or monster who dared to hurt Zachary. And Daddy was very, very good at that, even if he acted silly sometimes. Zachary actually enjoyed it when Daddy was being silly because they would laugh and play together. Daddy was really good at hide n'seek, for example. Actually, Daddy was good at seeking, because he wasn't very good at hiding; Zachary could find him easily because he chose really silly places to hide. Zachary was very good at hiding himself and he knew all the best places where it would take ages for any other person to find him. However Daddy always found him and that meant running at full speed along the hallway, Daddy hot on his heels, while the nannies would frown disapprovingly and Mister Virgil would try not to laugh really hard.
Hmmm. Maybe both of them weren't very good at hiding after all.
Mommy would laugh at them and say that she had two little boys to take care of, instead of one. Zachary would then have to remind her that Daddy wasn't little. In fact, Daddy was very tall and riding on Daddy's shoulders and seeing the world from that lofty height was a fine thing indeed. However, being on Mommy's lap was nice and cuddling her was also wonderful, because Zachary knew that would make Mommy smile again. Sometimes, Mommy was sad and worried, especially when Daddy was away fighting monsters and other bad people. It was Zachary's solemn charge to take care of Mommy while Daddy was gone and both his parents said that he was very good at doing that.
Sometimes, Daddy would be sad too, although Zachary didn't know why. However, he would climb up on Daddy's lap and hug him just like he would Mommy because that made Daddy's sadness go away and he would smile and be his silly self again.
Auntie Seth and Auntie Isabel (who wasn't really his aunt, but was his gramma but she didn't look like anybody's idea of a gramma so he called her Auntie instead) were also very fun to play with, whenever they came to visit. Auntie Isabel also knew how to do magic and when Zachary was a lot littler than he was now, she would make her Crusnik Turtle Abelcrombie fly and dance for him. In fact, Auntie Isabel and Auntie Seth got him his own Crusnik Turtle, who kept him company when it was time for bed. His aunts were also not afraid of any monsters and they were also very proud of Zachary for being brave.
Zachary's Daddy was very brave and very strong. In fact, Zachary wanted to be just like him when he grew up. Zachary was only four now so that wouldn't be for ages and ages and ages but it was something to look forward to.
One night, a monster came and snatched Zachary from his bed.
Zachary tried to be brave, even when the monster pinched his arm with its claws and made him bleed. The monster took him to a very dark place with very little light. And even in the light, the shadows seemed to be made of many other Scary Things that could only want to eat little boys.
Daddy once said that people were being really brave when they had to face scary things like these but would fight back anyway and do the right things, because they had people they wanted to protect. Just like Daddy protected him and Mommy and all their other family and friends. Just like Mommy also was being brave by ruling her people well as a Queen and wanting to make peace and not fight with other people like the bad people wanted everyone to do. So Zachary tried to be brave and to fight even when the Monster said things like this:
"Little Prince, we shall make a feast of thy flesh and send thy bones back to thy mother."
Zachary kicked it in the shins and tried to run but he was snatched back by the monster. And there were other monsters who surrounded him, all laughing with sharp claws and wicked teeth. Other people would call these monsters vampires and not Methuselah like Uncle Ion and Auntie Astha, who were definitely nice, even if Auntie Astha hit Daddy on the head sometimes and called him a "pumpkin-head" which didn't make sense, because Daddy's head wasn't a pumpkin.
Grown-ups were so weird.
Anyway, these bad vampires wanted to make everyone afraid and fight each other, like Zachary heard Daddy talking about with Auntie Caterina and Mommy sometimes. (Zachary liked Auntie Caterina and in fact thought she was very pretty.)
"Brave little Prince!" said one of the monsters and they laughed again.
"Let me go! My Daddy will be very mad if you don't let me go and you won't like it when he's mad!" Zachary shouted.
"He is right, you know," said a strange, almost familiar voice. "My brother has quite a temper and you really don't want to test that. Put the boy down."
"Mein Herr!" said the vampires and they all knelt down to this very strange person who looked a little bit like Daddy. Scratch that – he looked a lot like Daddy except his hair was a different color and he dressed all in white.
This Mein Herr person knelt down so that he could look at Zachary better. Just like Daddy and Zachary too, his eyes were the same color blue. His eyes turned red when he saw Zachary's wound.
White wings unfurled from his back and he stood up. "I thought that my orders were perfectly clear. The boy was not to be harmed."
The vampires looked at each other, confused. The one who had hurt Zachary said, "Mein Herr?"
"Not a hair on his head was to be touched. Not a scratch on his precious skin," The Mein Herr said almost in a sing-song voice. And then, he struck out and the vampire who had hurt Zachary fell over with a big hole in his chest. And there was a lot of blood everywhere.
The Mein Herr turned and spoke to another strange man with very long dark hair. "What sort of help have you been hiring, Isaak? They displease me greatly."
The man named Isaak bowed. "Forgive me, Mein Herr. As always, your wish is my command. Shall I administer suitable punishment?"
Another vampire spoke out, "Now just a minute – I thought this boy was to be our hostage to make the Queen of Albion bend to our will!"
The Mein Herr person only looked at him and the vampire turned very white. "I will leave the rest of you for my brother… and he is not as merciful as I. " And then, the Mein Herr person picked Zachary up and took him away from that awful dark place.
"Does your wound pain you, small one?" The Mein Herr asked Zachary as they seemed to go up and up and up this endless stair. It was very weird to be carried around by this person who was like-and-not-like his Daddy and thinking of that made Zachary sniffle a bit. He didn't want to cry but this was very scary and very confusing and he really, really wanted his Daddy and Mommy at that moment.
Something cold brushed against his skin, quick as thought and Zachary saw that his wound was suddenly all gone, as if it were never there. He looked up at the Mein Herr who had a little bit of blood on his lips.
"What did you do?"
"A kiss, small one, to make it better. Doesn't your father do that? Kiss the hurt away?"
"Mommy does that to me most times." Zachary inspected his perfectly healed arm and then looked up at the Mein Herr again. "Um. Thank you?"
"You are most welcome." The Mein Herr smiled at him. It was a bit like Daddy's smile. Really this was beginning to give Zachary the creeps.
They came to a room that had very large windows overlooking the sea. The Mein Herr set him down and Zachary walked to one of the windows and then began looking around. There was a desk in this room, like Mommy's when she needed to work and a lot of shelves with a lot of books. However, there weren't any storybooks – they all looked like grown-up books and not very fun.
"Will you bring me home now?" Zachary asked. The Mein Herr was scary because he put a hole in that vampire and even the other vampires were afraid of him but then he took Zachary's hurt away. This all didn't make sense. It was beginning to make Zachary's head hurt.
"Perhaps. Perhaps not. I should like to keep you. Perhaps it will be a novel experiment, to be your new father. Would you like that?"
Zachary frowned. "No. I'm my Daddy's little boy, not yours."
The Mein Herr laughed. "Oh, yes you are, so very much your father's son." Again, the Mein Herr stepped closer to Zachary and knelt right next to him, brushed a lock of silvery hair out of Zachary's eyes. "You look so much like my beautiful Abel. And you have grown so much since I last saw you."
Again, Zachary frowned. "I've never met you before. Who are you?"
"You were only a baby, just born, when we first met. And surely… you must have guessed who I am by now. Do I not look like your father?"
Zachary nodded, hesitantly. "You do. A little bit."
"I am your Uncle Cain."
Uncle Cain?! Zachary's eyes went wide and the Mein Herr laughed. It was beginning to scare Zachary, the way he looked and sounded and acted like Daddy but not Daddy, even though he hadn't hurt him, not the way the vampires did.
"I was supposed to kill you before you were born – you and your mother," (Uncle?!) Cain said softly. "She is my Abel's precious one and she was so round and full with his seed in her… so beautiful… so perfect… she took the sorrow and the dark away from my Abel's eyes and I found that I could not hate her. And then, I beheld you, took you into my arms first, covered with your mother's blood and you were as beautiful as my brother, his exact image in miniature and the best part of all there was no hate in your newborn eyes…"
Zachary did not quite understand what Cain was saying but there was Something Terrible and Dark in his eyes that definitely frightened him now. Something that wasn't quite right.
"I used to like the sorrow and the dark in my Abel's eyes; they made him all the more beautiful. I killed Lilith first because she took that away but I have made my Abel hate me and now he will never forgive…never love me again…"
But there was sadness there too, just like Daddy's…
Daddy had said that to be brave was to fight on, to do the right things even when they were very scared.
So, Zachary reached out and touched Cain very, very gently on the cheek.
Cain's eyes went wide.
And then, the window blew in and Daddy was there, dark wings outstretched, his scythe in hand, looking very, very angry. He was covered in blood all over but it didn't look like he was hurt. Maybe he had to fight the vampires first before he could get to Zachary all the way up here.
"Let. My. Son. Go."
Oh boy. Daddy wasn't very happy at all.
"Come now, Abel, I only wanted to see my nephew," Cain said cheerfully, standing up and once more unfurling his own wings. A long black spear appeared in his hands. "Surely you would not begrudge his Uncle Cain a chance to say hello."
"A fine way to say hello, snatching a child from his bed at night!"
"Shall we fight here?" Cain asked him. "You are scaring the boy."
"No, he's not scary," Zachary told him. "It's only my Daddy." Here was the reason why Zachary never feared the monsters – he'd never been afraid of his father in that other form, ready to fight them. He never minded when Daddy had his fangs on and his eyes were glowing red. Daddy had once been forced to show that when monsters came for Zachary and Mommy and he was so sad because he thought Zachary would be scared of him. But how could Zachary be frightened of his very own Daddy?
Since Cain didn't seem to be stopping him, he toddled over to his father, tugging on his robes, wanting to be carried up into his familiar, much-loved arms. Which Daddy did, immediately, holding him very close and kissing him briefly on the forehead.
"Twice now you've spared my son's life, although you had to go and put him in danger first. What do you really want, Cain?"
Safe now in Daddy's arms, Zachary thought about the strange look in Cain's eyes and his words. There were so many things that he didn't understand here and there were some things that he almost comprehended now and it was hard to put it into words but he tried, he really did: "He's very scary but he's sad too, just like you sometimes, Daddy."
And then, Zachary called out to Cain:
"If you made Daddy mad, maybe you should tell him you're sorry. I say that when I do something bad."
Both Cain and Zachary's father looked at him with identical bemused expressions on their faces.
And then, Cain spoke first. "As I have said before, he is very much his father's son."
Daddy said quietly, "He is also very much his mother's child as well."
"Father Nightroad," Cain called him by that name that some people gave to Daddy sometimes, which always made Auntie Seth giggle. "As a priest, should the devil seek forgiveness, shall it be granted to him?"
"The Lord forgives; I am only human, not divine," Daddy answered him and there was that same sadness in Daddy's eyes that Zachary had recognized in Cain.
"And I am not my brother's keeper…" Cain murmured. "Will that always be your answer, Abel?"
"As I have said before – I am only human. But… I had a brother once and I loved him."
And at that Daddy spread his wings again and they flew away from there.
Daddy's cheeks were wet with his tears.
They would stop in a clearing where Daddy would hug Zachary again and thoroughly inspect him for any other injury, although he wouldn't find any. They would go home where Mommy waited and where he would be hugged and kissed again and not let out of her sight for even just a minute. There would be warm soup and hot chocolate and safety in his father's arms where the monsters would never get him.
But Zachary would never forget his last sight of his strange Uncle Cain, who was weeping too.
Darth Stitch (to her Cain Muse): OMGWTFH CAIN?!
Cain Muse (points to Zachary): But he's SOOOOO CUTE! Can't I keep him?
Abel Muse (outraged): OH HELL NO YOU MAY NOT!! (brandishes scythe)
Cain (pouts): Even if I say pretty please with milk tea & thirteen sugars on top?
Abel: I'd send the devil a pair of footie pajamas first – so I say again, HELL. NO.
Cain (singsongs): You're a priest, aren't you not allowed to swear?
Abel: … (sweatdrops)
Zachary (to Stitch): Why is my uncle so WEIRD?
Darth Stitch (sweatdrops): Beats me, kiddo. He's supposed to be our resident psycho villain but ohhhh noooo…. He has to try for a redemption arc too!
(Sorry, talking about Cain Knightlord makes me swear. A LOT. Pardon the language.)
I am of the firm belief (and you guys have seen this in my stories) that Cain is a fucking PSYCHO, always has been, always will be. It would probably be more accurate to say that he is literally Abel's mirror image, because they do and think things through along the same lines although for different purposes. Cain has that same happy smile, that same diffidence and apparent carelessness and absentmindedness about things… only it terrifies the shit out of you because you damn well know that he can rip you apart if the whim takes him. I imagine if you know Abel very well and you're confronted with his brother, you're going to get the creeps because there are so many things just plain wrong about Cain. Cain says it himself: "I am a Crusnik. A being who needs nothing and therefore a being who needs everything."
You have to wonder how Abel makes it through sane and whole with 100 percent fusion of the Crusnik nanomachines while Cain does not. I tend to think that there has been something rotten in Cain from the very beginning.
Sure, Cain desires the love and adoration and acceptance of people, as Abel does (well, maybe Abel will skip on the adoration part because… uh… eww? WTF?). The difference is that Cain wants to go about it by ridding the world of the people who do NOT love him, who will not bow down and call him "Lord." Abel however wants to earn his atonement by protecting the humans he had once hated, to carry on what Lilith had asked of him. Abel, who was once Contra Mundi as Cain was, no longer desires that kind of power – not that he actually ever did to begin with.
It's not easy wandering about in Cain's mind – it's a sick twisted place. Does he love his brother? I think so. Is that love one any of us will recognize as a healthy, thriving sort of thing? HELL NO. That's why I have a hard time swallowing the notion that Cain is good, Cain is nice, Cain is sugar and spice…. Do I pity him? In his madness, yes. There is something pitiable about the Cain in this story although I still wouldn't get a mile of him. I don't care how cute he is or the bishounen thing. You couldn't pay me to get within a mile of that psycho.
Do I have a story on how in the hell Cain Knightlord was present at the time Esther gave birth to Zachary? Um. Yeah. Somewhere in the vast lumber room that is my mind. I think. (gulps)
I have tried to mirror the confusion and pity one must feel around this Cain Knightlord in the person of our little guy Zachary Kyrys Nightroad (heh, his full name). As you've surely noticed, he definitely is Daddy's boy with a touch of his mother's compassionate nature. No, Zachary will not make nice with his Uncle Cain. Make no mistake, the lights are on but Something Terrible is at home in Cain Knightlord's head and Zachary is perceptive enough to see it. Will there be some kind of reconciliation/resolution/redemption for the Nightlord twins? We'll see where the story takes us. If I'm going to do this, I'm going to think it over and make it believable.
As always, your reviews and feedback are much appreciated!
(Yeah, the next Tea story in continuity will follow soon. I'm trying to get my thoughts organized here… never fear. Hehehe...)