It's been a very long time since I tried my hand at writing another story about Abel. This one will be a little different and perhaps darker than my other stories. I'm just venturing out a bit and trying something new. Review and tell me what you think.

Disclaimer applies: I do not own Trinity Blood


She noticed it almost immediately when he had walked into the room. The way his shoulders were hung, the dragging of his feet and the ever present look of complete sadness and grief in his eye. There was something truly wrong with Father Nightroad today. Though Sister Esther couldn't quite put her finger on it. Though the sight of him sent cold pins into her heart. She hated to see any one of her dear friends in any pain, most of all him. She sat silently and watched her friend and co-worker give his report to Lady Caterina. Abel looked as if he had been dragged through an iron press and left outside to dry. What could be giving him so much grief? It had been a fairly simple mission of escorting a new bishop to a church in the south. It bothered Esther that she couldn't figure it out. If only she knew more about him. She had always hated the fact that Abel was a mystery to her.

"So..." Caterina looked over her teacup. "You had no problems what so ever, I presume?"

"Not one." He spoke blandly. Esther wondered if Lady Caterina noticed the pain in his eye. It wasn't hard to miss. He was practically begging for solace and comfort with them. She wanted to jump out of her chair and wave guide markers in front of Caterina's face. The cardinal took a long sip of her herbal tea, before setting back down, she sighed out loud, before looking back up at her old friend.

"I know your itching to go. So take the rest of the day off. Send my condolences like always." Esther titled her head to side, slightly confused, by her employer's words. Condolences? Who died? Why hadn't she been notified?

"Thank you." Abel bowed slightly, before retreating the room. Esther waited until the door was fully closed before she started her game of twenty questions.

"What does he mean, my lady?" Caterina quickly turned her head and looked at the nun, almost as if she had forgotten that Esther was in the room.

"It's private Esther." She spoke shortly.

"But... He looks so sad. Isn't there anything I could do from him?"

"No...Give Father Nightroad time."

"So who died then?" Caterina lowered her eyes to Esther.

"That is a very private matter. If Father Nightroad wanted you to know he would have told you." Esther gasped slightly at the cardinal's words. She had apparently forgotten that she was talking face to face to the Woman of Steel herself. She gulped nervously. "Never mind that now. I need you to run an errand for me." She handed Esther a light blue envelope. "I need this delivered to his holiness as soon as possible." Esther nodded. "Afterwards please feel to enjoy that rest of the afternoon off, but please leave our dear Abel alone. This has always been a difficult time of year for him." Esther nodded again and quickly left the cardinal's office. Esther glanced around the hallway, hoping that the priest was still wandering around. She was hoping to catch him and ask him personally. Though she knew that she would pay for it later. Unfortunately, she noticed that the six-foot priest had disappeared without a trace.

"Father Nightroad?" She called out, crossing her fingers that he would hear her. No such luck. How did he disappear so quickly? "Where did you go?" Esther hoped someone would answer her question. No such luck.

~0^0~

Esther sat outside in one of the Vatican's many gardens later that day. Her heart filled with much grief. She had practically search the entire grounds of the Vatican looking for her friend, Abel. She wanted ever so badly to ask anyone if they had seen him, though was quiet nervous that her snooping would be reported to her employer. Instead, she hoped that if she kept an eye out, she would be able to spot him. How many six foot silver haired priests worked for the Vatican anyway?

"If only he wasn't so mysterious." She spoke softly to herself. "Perhaps I would not be this curious and drawn to him." True enough, Esther hardly knew a thing about the priest, aside from his atrocious eating habits, inopportune time of saving her, their fellow colleagues and...black wings. She sometimes wondered where he got those wings and why were they atonement for his sins? What sins could a priest have that would cause him to believe that a lovely gift, such as wings, were a sin in the first place?

Esther had once tried to question him about them and he had immediately changed the subject. So did most of their colleagues. Cardinal Caterina, on the other hand, stated that the information was classified and any more snooping would result in a write up. Those words only made Esther want to find out more. She was practically addicted to being curious.

"Don't be too long..." Esther pulled herself out of her thoughts long enough to hear a familiar voice call out. It was Sister Kate. "You know how we get when you stay down there too long."

"I know..." Esther's eyes lit up. It was Abel. "I'll try not to stay to long."

"Please give my condolences as well. I'll say a prayer tonight." Esther stood up and noticed the two not far away. She could still see the sadness and grief in his eyes.

"Thank you, Kate." He gave her a sad smile. "Until later then? Perhaps some of your herbal tea?"

"Anything for you Abel." Kate smiled. Abel turned and started heading off, while the hologram nun disappeared. Sister Esther took her chances and headed after the priest.

~O^O~

The sun was starting to set west, as Abel made his way down a very familiar path. One that he took every time this time of year and one that a part of him wished he never had to take. Still, with out her light and wisdom, he probably would have withered in the pits of hell much longer than he already had. Visiting her on the anniversary of her death was sort of a penance for him. He owed it to her. Even after all this time. Lilith would always out shine him, no matter what.

He was running a little late this year. The sudden mission Caterina had ordered on him at the last minute had taken him two hours south just to deliver a new bishop. He would probably have to write a very long apology letter to the man for his brash behavior. He could only assume why Caterina asked for him to take the mission. She hated it when he crept back into the catacombs. "I don't want another nine hundred years to pass by before you emerge." Why she ever thought that he would return to that lifestyle was a complete mystery. Abel had sworn to himself to right his wrongs and hopefully one day erase all the blood that was strained on his hands.

He only stayed a few hours in her tomb, a day at the most. Mostly talking out loud. Telling his deceased friend of all his accomplishment he had made throughout the year. Sure...he had once in great while fell asleep there, but he also showed up when his vacation day was over. This year he was going to have much more to stories to tell her, mostly because of his new sidekick, Miss Esther Blanchett. A notorious red hair woman with a temper that could revival his own when she was mad.

He was quite proud of her and was extremely excited to share the news with anyone who would listen. Since he had found her on the streets of Istvan, Esther had shown a courage that was not shown in many nuns outside of Rome. Though she could be misguided in her path, like everyone else can. She wasn't afraid to pick up the pieces and continue on. That includes that fateful night on the streets on Carthage.

He had regretted having to show her that form. He hated it when people saw those razor sharp wings, the dangerous claws, and the blood red eyes. It was always the same look in their eyes. Fear. Then those haunting words would escape their lips. Monster. Esther was no different...at first. In the end, she turned out to be quite curious about the crusnik and would try and corner him for interrogation any chance she could. He was starting to run out of idea to distract her and pretty soon she'd figure out the he didn't want her to know. He was hoping to save her the time to pity him. He enjoyed her friendship the way it was and wished she keep it to that.

"Father Nightroad..." Abel stopped dead in his tracks. Speak of the devil and he shall appear. He turned slowly and came to view Sister Esther running to catch up with him. He hoped it wasn't time for another game of twenty questions. He really wasn't in the mood. Still, he tried to put his best foot forward and attempted to smile.

"Good evening Esther."

"Good evening." She stopped in front of him. "I've been looking all over for you. You are a rather difficult person to find, you know." His smiled widened. He had been counting on that. "I was wondering if I could ask you something." His hope sunk deep into the pit of his stomach. Not this. Not now.

"Maybe later, Esther. I'm running late." He tried to brush her off politely.

"Just one question. I promise. I just wanted..."

"Esther..." He said a little more sternly. "Later. I am in no mood for games tonight."

"I know..." She spoke hastily. "But I've been worried all afternoon, after your report. I just wanted to know who did you lose?" Abel thought at that moment his heart had stopped beating. This wasn't the question that he thought she would ask. This wasn't her business and he planned on keeping it that way.

"It's personal, Esther and I would hope that you would respect my wishes and drop it." His voice held a slight hint of anger.

"It's just that I heard Cardinal Caterina and Sister Kate give their condolences. I thought that maybe I could..."

"No Esther. Please drop this. I do not wish to discuss this matter with." Abel could see tears starting to form in her eyes.

"Is it because I'm not as superior as Caterina or Kate?" She yelled. Before Abel could even speak, Esther grabbed the front of his cassock and gently shook him. "Why are you such a mystery to me? Why? Do you not care about me?" Taken slighted back by her forwardness, Abel stumbled to try and find the words that seemed to have disappeared on the tip of his tongue. "You are one of my dearest friends." A tear cascaded down her cheek. "You have been my savior on numerous occasion and always someone I can rely on. Why can't I be the same for you? WHAT ARE YOU NOT TELLING ME?"

"Esther." Abel growled at her and yanked her hands off his clothes. "If you are intent on being my friend you would respect my wishes and my privacy." Esther lowered her head and sunk to the ground. The tears were falling more freely.

"Of course." She muttered. "Because if you wanted me to know, you would have told me."

"Precisely." He hoped she understood why he had to be so forward. What he was saving her from. His tale was not for the faint at heart. It pained him to see her hurt, but this was for the better, she wasn't meant to have such nightmare, she was far too innocent. Esther sat on the ground crying silently to herself. Abel had no idea what to do. He was running even later than he expected now, but his heart didn't want to leave it at just this.

"Just go..." she mumbled between her tears. "I know you want to..." Her voice was tearing Abel to pieces. He leaned forward and patted her lightly on the head.

"Trust me when I say that it's better this way. I'll see you later, Miss Esther."

Abel didn't look back once as he strolled away. He tried very hard to ignore her small muffled cries. Though on the winds, he was almost positive he heard he voice.

"I'm worthless."

~O^O~

"Good Evening." He spoke as her coffin came into view. "Sorry I'm late. I was a tad bit sidetrack on the way here." As always, the beautiful maiden lay deadly still beneath the glass. Looking as if she was merely sleeping, instead of the reality and remembrance of her beheading. Her skin completion still kept its lovely tone of coffee cream and perhaps a slight hue on each cheek.

"Caterina and Kate send their condolence to you. As they do every year." Abel stopped at her side and looked down upon her. A tiny hope in the back of his head hoping that she would open her eyes and smile at him. He placed a hand on the glass and look upon her. How he wished he could turn back time and perhaps save her from his twin brother. He missed her smiles, her thoughtfulness, but most of all, Abel missed her wisdom.

Lilith's wisdom was what enriched Abel's life now. Remembering her strong words of encouragement and hope, always gave him the strength to carry onward and do good. It was those reasons and many more that earned her the honor of the Black Saint.

"I have so many stories to tell you this year..." he started. "I don't know where to even start." He did though, as he thought about another redhead, whom he had walked off on in her time of need. He felt a sprig of guilt crawl over him again, before he washed it away.

"We have a new member in the Ministry of Holy Affairs, she's quite the character. She reminds me of you sometimes. Her name is Esther Blanchett. She's the toughest girl I've ever seen, aside from you and Seth. She's not even afraid to go up against the Rosenkruez. She has talent, a lot of talent and I'm very proud of all the progress she has made since she's came to Rome."

Truth be told, the Priest was as bright as a sunspot when people praised Esther for her good work. Always impressed with her kindness and amazed by her will to succeed.

"She even saw my other half..." he mumbled. "And still she's not afraid of me." Abel could only imagine what Lilith would say. "It's seems that you've met you match, Abel."

"She's a good person. A tad bit on the curious side, but still a good person."

He went on to tell her how the two of them had met and of all the tragedy that followed the young girl. He left nothing out. He told her of catching up with Seth in the Empire and of all the good work she had been doing, plus all the new people he met while in Byzantium. Once he had finished with every story he could think of, Abel let out a loud and long sigh. He truly did miss her, more than anything.

"I sometimes wish what happen, never happen. I still have nightmares about that day. I know Sister Kate has noticed. She once mentioned hearing me scream in my sleep."

A week didn't go by that Abel didn't dream about the frightful event. His brother's rejoicing words in his ear, the soft splashing of fresh blood on the cement, and the sight...even the thought of trying to remember the gory detail brought deathly shivers upon the priest. In all respect he sometimes wished that the pain wasn't real at all.

"I try not to think of the pain sometimes. There are days that I feel that it'll consume me if I let it." He sighed deeply and shook uncontrollably. He felt weak. He hated that feeling. "I sometime wish you were a figment of my imagination." He blurted out. "Then it would probably be easier to deal with things. Maybe I would be able to move on and live." A single tear crawled slowly down the priest cheek.

"I'm so sorry. I never meant to be such a failure." He felt a wave of emotions wash over him and before he knew it, Abel was sobbing relentlessly over Lilith's coffin.


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Lil~Rahl( A divison of Crusniks~R~Us)