Title: Finny's Confusion
Author: Sybil Rowan with lots of help from WingedPanther73
Summary: No one had been very frank with Finny when he was rescued from the scientists. There are several preconceived notions and a lot of shame he suffers under until faced with Snake's romantic advances. (Fem!Finny)
Warnings: I go by the manga where Bardroy is an American and I don't have to deal with Angela. This story deals with the fact that Finny is confused about "his" gender; I'll spell out why. This is a gender-bending story after a fashion. Another HUGE note: in this fanfic Madam Red is still alive and hasn't been caught, yet. I obviously will need her (an OB/GYN) to further some of this plot. That, and, well, I just liked her character a lot. Expect an altered canon where Snake and Madam Red meet.
Author's Notes: I'm a Snake/Finny shipper, but this one is a bit different than I'm used to writing. It's my first attempt at a gender-bending story. We'll see how it goes!
Disclaimer: Black Butler is owned by Yana Tobosu.
Beta Reader: None, this go around.
Date: April 2, 2015, 02:01am
Word Count: on going
I never knew who I was... what I was... until I was free of them. No, not even then did I know everything about myself. There was a part of me die Wissenschaftler had locked away into a steel box. Everyone believed what they saw of me from the outside.
Everyone trusted what I said, because I believed a lie myself. It wasn't until I met that one, special person, my most precious person, that the steel box was cracked open and I learned, and accepted, the truth about myself... and I learned the truth about my own... body. My body... the thing my soul and spirit lives in.
Wasn't it mutilated beyond... loving? What was he teaching me about myself?
"Finny! Out of bed already!" Bard snapped, dragging Finny from his wonderful dream. It was about flying, but this time Bard had stopped him before those shiny, brass bars appeared, keeping him in a small, violet sky.
He opened his wide, green eyes and peered around to see it wasn't quite dawn yet. He stretched and rubbed his blurry eyes with the back of his wrist. His mind engaged and he leaped out of bed, getting Bard's raised eyebrows.
"The hell? You'll break your neck if you ain't careful, kiddo!" Bard was shaving his neck with his straight razor, so he was grumpy over sudden movements. Finny chided himself, once again: think first, and then act. Still, leaping of bed in excitement was something he didn't do all the time. This was one of those special times. His thoughts were on a particular person he wanted to please.
"I need to hurry!" Finny insisted as he threw on random clothing at the foot of his bed and bolted from their shared room. He ignored Bard's angry, yet hushed, chastisements as he ran down the hallway and towards the footman's room beside Earl Phantomhive's suites.
He tried softening his steps as he got closer and gently turned to knob to Snake's bedroom. He'd been given very express permission to enter Snake's room on this morning or he wouldn't have dared. After all, he hated being intruded on, having had it happen so much for the first twelve years of his life.
Snake was shy, too, but they agreed that if Finny were to knock too loud it'd wake up the Earl, and neither of them wanted the "wrath of Sebastian" rained down on their heads. They agreed to trust each other and use time markers. The grandfather clock chimed five, so he knew Snake would be ready to see him.
He slipped in as silently as possible and peered around to see Snake was finishing combing his hair back; a scowl was on his his normally impassive face. Yes, he would be running into Master Ciel's Aunt Frances today. Snake had confided that much over dinner last night in a low grumble. The hair and scowl only confirmed it.
"Good morning," Finny whispered after he shut the door.
Snake gave a slight smile at Finny and set aside his comb; Finny's face suddenly flushed and his heart thudded. He had been feeling more and more this way lately, and he tried to figure out why. He wanted to ask Bard, but he was so nervous because of... there were things in his past that stung and he was terrified of facing them. The idea of even speaking about his past upset his stomach and made him tremble.
"Thanks for helping me out, says Emily," Snake said, interrupting Finny's thoughts and anxieties. "The Marchioness Midford doesn't care for snakes, says Keats."
"Oh no, you're helping me out. Or rather your friends are. Thanks for agreeing to loan them to me today. I'm having problems with moles, so I hope they can get some of them."
Snake waved his hands in the air and said, "No, you're helping me by letting them loose in the garden so they can eat their fill, says Oscar. And yes, Oscar says, they love moles."
"Great!" Finny said enthusiastically and then clapped his hands over his mouth in embarrassment, afraid he had woken Master Ciel. Snake came over and laid a hand on Finny's shoulder. The footman gave a gentle, friendly squeeze. The older teen has been doing more and more gestures like this lately; and Finny's stomach fluttered every time. Finny was so confused by this new look in Snake's eyes he was getting now.
He didn't understand that look Snake gave him or anything about how Snake was acting around him right now. Over the past few weeks, Snake was closer... more pats on the shoulder... more smiles when it was just them, alone... Lots of different things. Finny was wondering why the changes were occurring. Then again, there were so many things in this newer, larger world, apart from die Wissenschaftler he didn't understand.
He lowered his face and took a step back from Snake. Finny was still afraid of letting anyone touch him for very long. Snake lowered his hand from Finny, taking the hint. Again. Finny actually loved it, feeling Snake's hand on his shoulder, but then Finny would freeze, and then they'd maintain that wall between them. That was the pattern over the last several weeks.
Snake, drifted into his normal, impassive persona, clenched his gloved hand tight, and said, "My friends all know what is expected. Thank you for this so much, says Wilde."
"Thanks for trusting me with them. I'll take such good care of your friends. I promise," Finny said, hoping his earnestness carried through, but something in Snake's slight frown told him it didn't. Did Snake not trust him for some reason?
"Wordsworth is a little older. I'm afraid for him while I'm away," Snake said in dire tones. Wordsworth was already at the hothouse, so Finny knew the older snake didn't know what they were talking about.
There was a knock at the door. It was Sebastian sending Snake on to his duties and starting the day for all the servants before he woke Master Ciel. Finny lead the snakes out to the dew covered garden and let them hunt their prey.
He sat on a low, stone wall close by the cistern and tried to sort out why Snake would even want to touch him. He was too changed from what a natural person should be. He shook his head and knew Snake wouldn't know that. He was terrified, though, that the footman would discover what had happened to him one day and reject their new friendship.
Finny's anxiety and imagination died down after tending the garden over the day. He would pause now and again to watch the snakes play in the garden. He couldn't stop grinning at their antics. He had gotten so distracted that he had almost missed lunch, but Bard brought him a leftover sandwich and warned him Mey-rin was going to chew him out at dinner.
He nibbled the sandwich after Bard left and watched the sunbathing snakes. He smiled until he noticed Wordsworth wasn't among them. He tossed aside the sandwich and called his name over and over. Snake seemed so worried about the elderly serpent. He could NOT leave Wordsworth unattended! He needed to make sure the snake ate and was well!
"Wordsworth!" Finny shouted over-and-over. He finally burst into the hothouse where he saw the inert reptile among the herbs. "Please tell me you're alive!" Finny shouted and did the one thing Snake had told him to never do: startle his friends.
Wordsworth jerked awake and hissed at Finny when the gardener grabbed him up and shook him. Finny gasped and dropped Wordsworth- the snake was an adder, therefor, venomous. Before Finny could check the snake he had just dropped, Wordsworth slithered off into a dark corner and then disappeared.
Finny's stomach felt like a lump of lead, suddenly. His mind started playing scenarios about when Snake would arrive back home. None were pleasant. His vision blurred as he went on the hunt for Wordsworth, panic fueling his shouts and trembling shoulders.
The sun was setting and Finny was a nervous wreck. He had lost Wordsworth. He probably had hurt the snake, and the Phantomhive footman would be home so soon. In misery, he herded the other serpents into the footman's room and sat on the side of the bed trying to figure out what to do. He took a deep breath and started to sob hysterically while the rest of the snakes settled on a large cushion by the fireplace so they could bed down for the night.
No! He wouldn't give up on Wordsworth!
He patted a few snakes' heads and pleaded with them to stay put before he bolted from the mansion again and into the garden. He started crawling on all fours around the hedges. Finally, his determination payed off. There was Wordsworth, curled up under a bush.
"I'm so sorry, Wordsworth. Please come with me. I promise I'll be careful. Please, please, please," he begged the snake. For some reason, Wordsworth perked up, cocked his head, and then let Finny pick him up.
Finny, as gingerly as he ever could be, took the snake back into the mansion and up to the footman's room. He loved animals so much, and he was terrified he'd hurt Wordsworth. He laid the adder on Snake's bed and tried to figure out if he had any injuries. The snake eventually slithered off the bed and curled up with the others, by the fireplace, that were all sleeping with fat bellies. Finny sighed in relief, figuring that was a good sign.
He flopped back on the bed and let out another sigh. His shoulders untensed and his breathing slowed. His eyes drooped and his long, hard day finally wore on him. Sleep came quickly, regardless of dinner coming shortly or this not being his proper bed.
I had the same dream... of flying. It was so wonderful and I loved it. But then, the clouds parted and there were shiny, brass bars. I slammed into them, hard, and started tumbling towards the ground. I couldn't see what was below me and I was terrified. I tried to fly again... but I couldn't. I was always destined to hit that murky darkness below I feared so much.
When Finny woke it was murky darkness. There was something around his waist and pressed to his back. There were blankets on him and he wasn't wearing his shoes any longer. His muscles all tensed out of pure reflex, ready to strike, but then he figured it was Snake snuggled behind him when he felt a cool, scaly hand.
How did this happen? A shock went through him as he tried to remember when Snake asked to be here, so close, to him. No memory came at all.
Finny broke out of the protective embrace and rolled off the bed and onto the cold, hard floor. He moved to a corner, rolled up into a fetal position, and hoped beyond hope that Snake hadn't figured out what die Wissenschaftler had done to him so long ago. They had changed him... cut him... made him something very different...
"Ummm... Finny...?" Snake asked as he woke up slowly in response to the suddenly empty, cool bed.
"I'm here... fine... really...!" Finny insisted in a whisper, swiping tears away from his eyes, hoping he couldn't be seen in the dim light. He knew, though, Snake could see in total darkness just fine. His glowing, amber eyes took in everything.
Snake peeled back the blankets, walked over, and sat beside Finny. "You're the worst liar I've ever met. What's going on?"
Finny knew all the snakes must be asleep if Snake was talking without aid from his friends. "Sorry. I was trying to figure out how I got here. You know... staying in your room during the night. I want to go back to Bard."
"You were asleep on my bed when I got back from the Midfords' home. I didn't have the heart to wake you. I told them at dinner you were fast asleep, so they said to just leave you if I didn't mind. Bard saved some dinner I can go get for you."
"Oh," Finny said, balling up a little tighter, wondering if Snake was going to say something further, or just make the offer for leftovers.
Nothing else came. Just a calm, quiet presence beside him. Snake was so peaceful; Finny's anxiety eased off, and his drowsiness came back.
"Did you want anything to eat? I'll get it."
Finny shook his head at Snake's question. "I'm just tired. I should let you get some rest and go back to the servants' quarters," he whispered.
Snake seemed to tense up, and he wouldn't meet Finny's eyes as he pleaded in hushed tones, "Please, just stay here. It'd make so much noise and people know where you are, anyway. Unless... you don't like to be here. I know most people don't care for me or my friends, but I promise we won't hurt you at all."
"No, I like you and I like your friends. I know you and they would never mean me harm." Finny's pulse started throbbing rapidly. Snake's head jerked up, and he gave Finny a baffled, pained look. Finny didn't want to hurt the other servant at all. "I'll stay here." Then Finny admitted shyly, "I want to stay... If you want me to stay."
Snake seemed shocked as he had a slight gasp. He gave a slight smile and reached over towards Finny's hand timidly. He took it in a firm grasp, finally, and said, "I want you to stay with me, here, in this room. If you don't want me close by you because of my appearance, I'll keep my distance. If you want me to stay on floor while you sleep on the bed, I will."
"Don't be silly," Finny said in rush, almost getting to a normal speaking voice rather than a whisper. They both let out sighs when Sebastian didn't come around after a few minutes. "I want to be around you, but I'm afraid you need to keep your distance from me. I'm not a safe person. I'm not what I seem on the outside."
Snake squeezed Finny's hand tighter. "I know you have a good heart. I have faith in that, and I don't give a damn about the rest. You could easily judge my past, and I don't want that. I joined Phantomhive to start anew, even with the hopes of having new friends." Snake stood and gently tugged up Finny. Finny let the older teen tuck him into bed as they were: Snake cuddling Finny.
Finny was afraid though. What if Snake's hands moved around and figured things out about his body? Finny was so frustrated and felt tears leak from his eyes. He wanted this sweet, kind physical touch from this person he'd grown close to, but he was so terrified of horrifying Snake by his past being revealed.
To be continued.