[AU, Sebastian x Ciel] For fun, Detective Sebastian Michaels flirts with the wrong side of the law...and for some reason, the charming Earl Ciel Phantomhive finds himself flirting right back.
A/N: So yeah, I know I'm very, very late as far as updating this chapter, and I have no excuse, since the outline was laid long ago. But what can I say? Writer's block attacked and real life sent a legion of troops over, and I barely escaped unscathed. Please enjoy this chapter anyway, and thanks for all the reviews! Sebby plushies to all!!
"Hostage?" Sebastian's smile was still a winning one as he took the boy by the arm and led him into the upstairs sitting room. It was not as showy as the huge one he kept downstairs for entertainment purposes, this one...was a bit more intimate and private. The furniture kept here was only practical. A pair of couches, an armchair, and a coffee table. "I can't believe you're calling me a criminal, after all, I only offer you the best of what I have—which is more than many hostages can say about their captors, Phantomhive."
"You're impossible." Ciel griped, but he still lowered himself into an armchair. It was plush, and much more comfortable (he loathed to admit) than the chairs that the Madame kept back at her summer house. He sighed, looking up at his very smug host.
"So? What would you want with me, then? Lizzie is downstairs, come the end of the party and I'm not there, she will wonder."
Sebastian said nothing, only, he looked wholly amused. "No wonder she loves you so much." was what he chose to venture, after a couple of minutes ticked by, as he too, settled himself into a chair. "Please don't worry so much, I'll return you when the time comes. For the meantime, I must be content while you are mine."
Ciel crossed his legs neatly, right over left, and fiddled listlessly with the scarlet bow tied neatly around his collar.
"How eloquent you are."
"I can tell." The sarcasm dripped from Ciel's voice like acid syrup.
At this, Sebastian chuckled and opened his mouth to say something else, but the Undertaker chose this unsuspecting moment to creep in upon the two of them to set a plate of sugar-sprinkled biscuits and tea on the table.
"Here you are, master. A snack for you, and your honorable guest." The Undertaker hid his giggles behind a ghastly white hand. "Please, enjoy."
"Just get out of here, Undertaker."
The Undertaker obeyed, still chuckling all too wisely to himself. Sebastian's glare was unwavering until the footsteps completely faltered.
"Don't mind him, Phantomhive, he means well."
Ciel looked uncertain, but he was hungry, having not eaten anything ever since the party started, since he was too busy sulky, he had failed to notice any of the delectable foods offered downstairs. The biscuits looked tempting. He took one, and after staring at it contemplatively, he took a bite. It was good, the sugar had a mild sweetness that melted on his tongue.
Sebastian was watching him carefully. "Good?"
Silence ensued after that. Ciel chewed quietly on his biscuit and Sebastian just watched. At last, when Ciel licked the last of the crumbs from his fingertips, he looked at his host, "Why do you call him that?"
"Call who what?"
"Your butler, Undertaker. That's not a name."
Sebastian seemed to consider the question a long time before he answered, "He likes the name. I don't see any reason to take a name from him if he likes it." And that was all, for a long time, Sebastian said nothing again. He busied himself with tea—with good reason, Ciel discovered for himself a few moments later. The tea was not one he was familiar with, but it was good, expensive. Pity how the world saw the two words as replacements for each other.
"Cranberry lemon, freshly brewed from Thailand."
Ciel looked at him.
"Well, they're not really known for teas, I know that." Sebastian shrugged, "But it's not too horrible. Tell me, Phantomhive, do you play chess?"
Chess. Childish hobby it was, at least, Ciel deemed it so after the world as he knew it burned and left nothing but charred ashes for memory. "I used to play, but I hate chess, now. So no, not so much."
"It's not because you lack challenging opponents, non?"
Ciel looked at him, "I'd hardly think you're to make the competent opponent when you're too busy keeping wolves and practicing summoning demons in your basement."
If anything, Sebastian looked wholly amused, "I think it's the Undertaker that practices summoning in the basement. But as I don't see any demons floating around my mansion as of yet...I don't think he's quite successful yet."
"That's not very funny."
Sebastian shrugged, "Pardon, but I think it's funny." With that, he reached for another biscuit, "Since you're so sure that you can beat me, why don't we have a little bet?"
"The answer, is no."
"Whyever not?" Sebastian set the white king in place with a flourish. "It does add an interesting edge to the game, if you ask me. Without any modifications, chess gets abysmally dull."
Ciel ground his teeth, "This is vulgar, and completely unacceptable. You know that very well, detective." But for someone who looked down upon the game and degraded it so, he had a nice chess board. The pieces were even custom carved. Ciel could tell. "I"m not doing it, and it's stupid."
"So you're saying, that you're sure you'll lose to me, Phantomhive." Sebastian somehow managed to click his tongue and sip his tea at the same time, an impressive feat, really. "I'm disappointed, I must say, I expected more of you, with your name."
"I never lose." Ciel set his chin haughtily. It was true, he never lost. The only person that could beat him was currently unwilling cremated and serving an eternity's sentence in hell. "Especially not to a person like you. I just don't feel like taking off my clothes while I do it."
"Because it is vulgar?"
"And because such activities between men disgusts Her Majesty." Ciel supplied, but he doubted it would have any effect, since Sebastian Michaelis seemed devoid of any respect for anything...or anyone, for that matter.
"This isn't England, monsieur."
"I don't care." Ciel said.
"You can say what you'd like, but before you prove me otherwise, you are still a coward."
"Or, maybe I have enough respect for chess not to degrade it like you suggest?" Vaguely, Ciel remembered both his aunt and Lizzie going on about how handsome and courtly and cultured this Detective Sebastian Michaelis was. What a monster he was, and how wrong they were. Handsome, well, he guessed he could agree, Ciel could certainly see why Sebastian's eyes were the talk of Paris. Courtly...well, maybe he had a way with women? But men were another matter?
Cultured...after he had just so brutally assaulted one of England's most sacred games, heh, no.
"I'll play you by your rules once. If you insist." Ciel sat up and curled practiced fingers around a white pawn, prodded forward two spaces with a decisive clink. "Just don't throw a tantrum when you do lose, it's unsightly for someone your age."
For a chess player, Ciel decided that Sebastian Michaelis wasn't bad at all. Sometimes he made amateurish moves, but somehow, his pieces linked together to form an invisible wall. It was a playing style he'd never seen before, since his king was almost front and center—but impossible to get at. Which bothered Ciel a little, because he liked to think he knew the game like the back of his hand. And the fact that Sebastian, who looked down upon chess like he did, could manipulate the pieces in such a way that he himself had never even dreamed of...
"Where did you learn how to play chess?"
"Here and there." Sebastian replied with a shrug as he prodded his bishop four spaces to swipe Ciel's knight off of the board. "I'm not native to Europe, you know. And since chess is such a tradition, as you say, I picked it up from tavern folk, mostly."
That was one more thing to tell his aunt. Sebastian Michaelis was nowhere near the gentlemanly perfection everyone in the Parisian society made him out to be. He had done the unforgivable—bragged on the tavern folk when he was supposed to snub the very mention of them.
"Oh, and that reminds me, I'll have your cravat, Phatomhive."
Ciel stared down at the board in horror. He hadn't realized it, but in a flash, he had lost one knight, both of his bishops, and a couple of pawns. The pieces had cost him his boots, his socks, and now, his cravat. He found himself wishing that he wore gloves, Sebastian had only lost one glove, his right one.
"I don't know how to take it off." Ciel said, after a belated pause, feeling the rush of humiliation stain his cheeks.
"Because you're a spoiled brat that doesn't know any better."
"I don't have to take this from you, Detective." Ciel glared at him, but it wasn't as effective as it could have been.
But all Sebastian did was cross over to him in a few fluid steps and undid the cravat with practiced fingers.. "Sure you do, you agreed to this game with me."
"Only because you wouldn't shut up."
Ciel prodded his queen forward and knocked over a white knight. "I"ll have your left glove."
"You will not."
He almost felt like baring his teeth at the man, but Ciel held himself and just grinned at him instead. "I thought you wanted to play by your rules."
Sebastian looked highly unperturbed, "Pick something else, I'm not going to let you have my left glove."
"Because I say so."
Ciel crossed his arms, "You're not playing very fair, Detective."
The smile that he received in return said he was a mere child, and Sebastian shrugged one shoulder, "Life's not fair."
It suddenly occurred to Ciel that Detective Michaelis was too close, only a few inches away, and he was almost sitting in the older man's lap. A silent shudder passed through him, and he scooted away, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. But he didn't get very far, as the couch was only so big.
"Scared of me?"
Yes, a little. But Ciel kept his head up, "Hardly." He gave the man a long hard stare, though of course, it hardly amounted to much."I want your cravat."
Sebastian's smile grew just a little bit sinister as he leaned close again, Ciel could smell cranberry lemon on his breath. He felt Sebastian guide his hand to the silken cravat that he wore and the knot loosened almost magically at his touch. Ciel's breathed hitched as Sebastian's breath tickled his lips.
"Take it then, it's all yours."
Kissing a man...was odd. Kissing Detective Sebastian Michaelis...was even more odd. But Ciel's thought didn't get any further than that because a knock sounded on the door. They sprang apart, with Ciel looking absolutely horrified, and Sebastian looking downright annoyed.
"Come in, Undertaker, what do you want?"
"Don't tell him to come in!" Ciel hissed, red-faced.
But the Undertaker wore no smile, not even a smirk, "Master, I think you might want to come downstairs. You too, Monsieur Phantomhive."
Ciel was dangerously close to either vomiting or fainting, he couldn't tell which, and didn't want to do either. Vomiting was just unsightly (not to mention rude to your host—even if his opinion of the said host was quickly deteriorating) and fainting spells were for women. Thankfully, Sebastian's grip on his wrist was iron tight and the pain kept him alert.
A young girl in a stunning evening dress hung precariously from the chandelier. The Undertaker went ahead of them and then stopped, "I thought you might want to see this." He said as matter of factly, "To be honest, I'm quite impressed. I didn't even know this was here until some poor baroness wandered in looking for her fiancé. She had a spell, and the physician's tending to her. I supposed this is neither a sight fit for a lady nor fit for a lady in general. She's probably been dead for a couple of hours."
"And when the baroness walked in, she was already dead?"
Ciel swallowed thickly and leaned heavily against Sebastian. "Do I have to be here?"
"Yes." Sebastian replied shortly. "Did you call anyone?"
The Undertaker shrugged, "This is your precinct, detective, no matter how Commissioner West wants it to be otherwise, I didn't call anyone yet." His smile was a lopsided one as he lifted up the dead girl's skirt, revealing a pair of flawless porcelain thighs. There was a jagged L carved in blood.
"Besides, you know this better than anyone else, don't you, Detective?" The Undertaker's smile grew even more lopsided.
Ciel's eyes locked on the scar, until he couldn't look away at all. And then he didn't know anything else.