Important disclaimer: Trinity Blood belongs to the late Sunao Yoshida . These are just the ramblings of a madwoman. Thank you.

Chapter One:

It was too hot.

Caterina was sweltering. The August heat made her ornate cardinal vestments horribly uncomfortable. She sighed miserably. As much as she hated stifling indoor air, the air outside was much worse. Too thick and hot and breezeless for open windows. And on top of that, the air conditioning sucked. So there she sat in her office, sweating like a sow.

The paperwork in front of her was stacked high. Not too high, but high enough to make her head throb. "God," she muttered, pulling off her monocle to rub her eyes. She had already plowed through the hard stuff. The rest was just sign-and-date BS. It probably could've waited till later, but Caterina preferred to stay on top of things. Even if it meant sitting for hours in a too-hot room.

Suddenly, Leon staggered through the doors. Hugue was right behind him. They were both red-faced and winded. "Caterina!" Leon panted. "Black Widow . . . there's something . . . you should know!"

"We saw her in-" Hugue had a better hold of his breath, but Caterina cut him off cold.

"I don't really care right now," she snapped. "What Sister Monica does on her own time is no concern of mine. And, it shouldn't be any concern of yours!"

"But-" Poor Leon couldn't get out another word.

Caterina pounded her desk hard. "I don't want to hear it!" she yelled at him. "Look, gentlemen, I am ridiculously busy right now. I don't have time to listen to two tattling schoolboys. So Dandelion, if you've got nothing else to say, go back to your cage. Sword Dancer, how about actually making yourself useful for once?" She yanked open a desk drawer and jerked out a manila folder. "Get yourself to Massalia. Something about parishioners whining about the Methuselah living there. Go fix it before shit hits the fan. I don't care how you do it, just fix the situation!" She threw the folder at the blond swordsman.

The two agents exchanged looks.

"Well?!" Caterina half-screamed at them.

"Oh." Leon backed away from the cardinal. "I'll . . . see myself out."

"Um . . . yeah." Hugue scooped the folder off the floor. "I'll get right on it."

They left quickly, as if they believed she could leap over her desk and tear them to shreds. Caterina went back to her work as soon as the doors shut behind them, determined to finish.

When she finally got done, it was twilight. The sky was darkening, the bigger moon was rising, the stars were peeking out. "How long have I been here?" She quickly turned off her desk light and got up.

She was heading toward the doors when they suddenly opened. It startled her. She hated being startled.

"What?!" she growled at her new visitor. "What do you want?!"

Tres stood there, of course. Following her around, of course. Hanging around her, hovering over her, always underfoot, of course.

"I have just returned from Barcelona," said the android priest, unmoved by her angry words. "May I be of any more assistance?"

The Duchess of Milan was too tired and stressed to restrain herself. She had enough. Enough of today. Enough of endless paperwork and unreliable agents. Enough of the oppressive summer heat and heavy vestments. Enough, enough, enough of everything.

"Why yes, Tres, you can," she began softly. "Would you like to know how?" She marched toward the mechanical priest. She stopped when she was just an inch from him. And in her high heels, she stood a tiny bit taller than him. "You can be a great help to me by turning your tin-plated ass around and walking out of this room. I don't care where you go. I don't care what you do. I just do not want to see you for the rest of the night! Can you just find a hobby or something? I'm so sick of you following me everywhere! I'm so sick of you!" Caterina screamed the last few words. Her tired rage gave the whole room a tremor.

The android's eyes widened, going from sleepy to shocked.

And hurt.

"So, are you just going to stand there? Is your little processor too basic to understand what I'm saying?" Caterina snarled.

Tres blinked. He backed away a couple of paces. Then, he turned and walked out of the room, his shoulders just a little bit stooped. The doors closed behind him, making an apologetic click. Sorry to have bothered you.

Caterina stared at the doors. A tiny bubble of guilt formed, but it popped quickly. He's fine. He'll just delete it later. You probably didn't even hurt him. He probably can't feel anything anyway. So, why worry about it? Why worry about him?

She went back to the desk to tidy up. A pile of forms on the desk. A report filed in a folder and stashed in a desk drawer. A stapled packet thrown in the filing cabinet.

With you, it's different.

The thought spoke up from a deep place in her mind. But she dismissed it. She didn't want to deal with it or anything else tonight. She was going home and going to bed. She finally left her office.

It was full-on dark when she arrived at her quarters. She would've skipped reading the mail her maids brought in if she hadn't seen the small package.

"Hm?" She sat on the couch and picked it up. It was something from Maria's Fine Jewels. "I don't remember ordering anything from there!" she muttered. She carefully opened it. There was a long white box inside. Inside the box was a sparkling pink sapphire bracelet. "Oooooo!" She tried it on and it fit perfectly.

She tried to find a card or something inside the package. There was none. She took off the bracelet and went to bed. She would take care of that matter tomorrow.

Author's note: This is my first Trinity Blood fic. If I've gone OOC, I'm sorry. I've been on a Trinity Blood kick for over a year now, but my knowledge of it is still pretty limited.