This was just for fun, inspired by how I can't breathe through my nose at the moment due to a cold. A quick one-shot to get my writing back, enjoy!

Kuroshitsuji © Toboso Yana


Nasal Irritation

A finger paused, mere inches above the tiny ceramic figurine that stood on the board game. If that finger decided to be cruel, it would topple over the gamepiece with a single merciless flick. However, the figurine was safe for the moment, for the board game had not been touched once in ten minutes.

The finger's owner, Ciel Phantomhive, had taken his mind off of the game and was regarding his butler across the room with a lazy blue eye. Sebastian, with a feather-duster in hand, was cleaning the mahogany bookshelves in Ciel's office.

Ciel knew that if he desired, Sebastian could have the job done faster than he could say the word faust. Perhaps, Ciel mused, Sebastian just enjoyed irking him to no end by working at a normal pace.

Somewhere outside his window, a bird chirped contentedly. The young Phantomhive heir cocked his head, suppressing a humorless smile. It's a bit too early for spring yet, little bird.

The icicles that had nestled on the rooftops of the manor were slowly beginning to melt, their sharp tips waning down to watery nubs. The water from these icicles made the most galling plopping noises as it hit the lower rooftops and the ground below. As Ciel had suppressed his smile, he also suppressed a little 'tch' sound that threatened to erupt from his lips. How was one supposed to concentrate with the natural equivalent to a leaky faucet outside his window?

When the mind is not focusing on a task at hand, it tends to stray into weird waters. Ciel knew this all too well. Living with a thing that was nonhuman made him wonder about all kinds of things. Sebastian usually kept his talents to a bare minimum unless it became necessary to demonstrate them. Unfortunately, this only provoked Ciel's interest more and more. Just what was his demon capable of?

"Sebastian."

"Yes, Bocchan?" The butler replied, without as much as a pause in his dusting. That tone of the young master's was all too familiar to him: it had the undertones of the amusedly curious. Sebastian knew from experience that demons did not appear on Earth very often. That combined with the mind of a thirteen-year old boy proved to be very troublesome for him. The young master was always curious about something. What would it be today?

"Can you sneeze?"

Sebastian had not been prepared for that one. His hand faltered the slightest bit, and he turned a claret gaze onto his master.

"Sneeze, Bocchan?"

Ciel removed a cupped hand from underneath his chin, nodding. "You know, to expel air through the mouth and nose—"

"I am well aware of its definition, as I have seen humans do it many times," Sebastian replied pleasantly. "However I have never performed this action myself."

Ciel blinked, once. "Never?" he asked quietly. Sebastian's eyes crinkled up into his trademark smile.

"Never. I suppose I could give it a try if my master ordered, but I doubt that I would be able to produce any genuine effect even if I wanted to."

"But," the young boy began, pushing his chair out and rising. The wooden legs scrubbed against the floor with a squeak of protest. "Despite the fact that you are not human, you do have a human's body. I know you are not subject to disease nor do you require food and sleep. But you must have some response to a natural incentive, Sebastian." Ciel strode over to the bookshelf that his servant was cleaning, his hands laced behind his back and a half-smile about his lips.

"Oh?"

Ciel gave another nod. "Mm. Humans are very receptive to any stimuli: the sun. Illness. Dust. Pollen. These things generally provoke nasal irritation."

Sebastian smirked, his incisors appearing pointed for an instant before disappearing behind his lip as his grin closed. "How unfortunate for them," he mused, continuing to clean the books. He stopped when Ciel held out his hand, palm open. Sebastian raised an eyebrow at this, but nonetheless took the hint and handed the feather-duster over.

"And what would happen," Ciel inquired slyly, "if you were to experience such nasal irritation, Sebastian?" With his right hand he took the feather-duster, reached up, and gently brushed it over Sebastian's nose, moving the soft feathers in a quick circular motion.

"Your nose is definitely sensitive, as proven in that curry contest," Ciel remarked, moving the duster. Sebastian stared through the veil of feathers with a look that clearly asked, are you quite finished, Bocchan?

"So," the boy's voice became rather murky. "Doesn't your nose want to relieve itself of this bothersome tickle?"

He waited, but Sebastian's response was simply a tired blink. With a sigh Ciel removed the feather-duster from his butler's face and handed it back to him.

"Tch."

"I deeply apologize, My Lord," Sebastian began, not sounding in the least bit remorseful despite his claim to be, "but I don't possess such a human capability."

He raised his arm and resumed dusting, biting back a grin at the expression of disappointment on his master's features.

"Now, I believe if we have the time to try to make demons sneeze, we certainly have the time to be filing those company papers," Sebastian continued.

"Of course," Ciel closed his good eye, composing himself. "I will return momentarily with the documents, Sebastian." And with that the boy glided out of the office, leaving Sebastian to finish his work quietly.

Once the sound of Ciel's footfalls had ebbed away, Sebastian's working hand paused. He frowned, reaching out with two gloved fingers and nimbly plucking a feather from the duster. It was brown, and caught the light quite nicely when Sebastian twirled it between his fingers.

After a moment, the demon placed the tip of the feather against his nostrils and wiggled it around. At first there was nothing. Then, he could have sworn he felt some sort of prickling sensation up there…as if something was trying to dispose of the ticklish object blocking his airway.

Sebastian wrinkled his nose, and almost immediately the feeling vanished. He sighed, and a little smile wormed its way onto his lips. It was the kind of smile the demon wore when no one was around, the leer of things dark and arcane.

"How interesting," he said.

The End.