The title refers not to the drollery itself, but of the person experiencing it. xD
All characters © Toboso Yana
The Undertaker blinked. Behind the thick locks of hair his eyes gleamed a vibrant butterscotch in the dim light.
"Mr. Aberline, you're going to have to do much better than that."
The Scotland Yard officer flushed a deep beet color, all the way down to the tips of his mustache.
"M-my apologies, Undertaker-san," he muttered, eyes fixated on the tips of his loafers. "What would you prefer, satire? Slapstick? Ambiguity?"
"Mmm…" the Undertaker stroked his chin with a nail. His hair, a premature gray, cascaded down his back and framed a faded black mantle. The sleeves were far too long, ending somewhere around his knees.
After a moment he grinned, replying, "Anything that can put a laugh into me. I just love a good chuckle!" The stitch-scars on the side of his face undulated as he giggled; the laughter sounded wet and damp in the stone room.
The young officer heaved a sigh and decided to try again, more than a little creeped out. I must really want this information, he thought as he racked his mind for something even remotely amusing to say. Aberline had to pry into the deeper corners of his memory, for nothing came to mind. Working with Lord Randall 24/7 did that to you.
"Umm," Aberline began after a moment, "Surprisingly, the most popular cause of death in London this year was from erotic asphyxiation…I bet you have trouble closing the lids to those coffins! He! He…eh…"
Another defeated sigh escaped Aberline's lips. "Alright, I give up," he breathed. "My sense of humor is not well exercised. What else can I do to obtain more information on Earl Phantomhive's latest case?"
"How disappointing, Mr. Aberline," the mortician frowned. He glided over to the detective and draped an elbow around the young man's shoulders. Aberline suppressed an apprehensive shiver. "I'm but a lonely man. Is it too much to ask for a little humor now and then? The Earl was able to make me laugh…although it took him a few hours," he added. "Shitsuji-kun was able to do it too."
Now Aberline let out a guffaw despite himself. "Are we talking about that little boy who never even cracks a smile? Well I'll be!"
"The funniest customers are the ones with the gravest dispositions," the Undertaker agreed with a small titter. "Ask little Ciel what he did to make me laugh."
"I doubt he'd tell me."
"I guess you don't want this information as badly as you say you do," the Undertaker remarked with a shrug.
Aberline's blue eyes became ardent. "Oh, but I do! I don't care what it takes to get it, but I will do it! I'll even…" The young officer trailed off and zealously began to disrobe.
The lines around Police Commissioner Randall's eyes deepened as a scowl ensconced into his features. Aberline was late. How long did it take to get simple information from some underworld, second-class mortician who didn't seem to know what the word 'haircut' meant?
Aberline was, in a sense, still a rookie. He was young and enthusiastic, yet hopelessly unaware of London's darker side. Randall remembered when he had been like that, before he had become tangled with the sins of society. But that was many years past. So for now, he would answer Aberline's perpetual streams of questions and guide him through and behind the city's veneer of peace.
That is, if the man could show up on time for once.
Lord Randall grumbled something low and incoherent, grabbing his coat to set off.
The Undertaker's shop was not far, so the Commissioner needn't have taken a carriage. Yet he did so anyway, because he was growing old and his joints were stiff. The chilly winter weather didn't help much, either.
Once there Randall got out of the carriage and looked up at the large stone sign above the shop. Already he didn't like this place one bit. It reminded him of that devilboy and his butler. It had that same aura, that same…smell to it. The dirty yellow smell, not exactly smelt with the nose, of esoteric things and sewer secrets.
His thoughts were interrupted quite abruptly by the sound of laughter. Lord Randall vaguely thought of cackling witches on their broomsticks as his heartbeat slowed to a normal pace. It took Scotland Yard's commissioner a moment to register the sound as laughter, since one heard it so rarely in his line of work. Nonetheless it was, and whoever was making that sound was certainly amused.
Lord Randall pushed open the oak door to the Undertaker's place, and got quite a surprise. The owner was doubled over one of his coffins in a paroxysm of giggles and gales. Randall's eyes strayed away from the Undertaker to behold something even more spectacular. He didn't speak for a while but simply stared. Eventually words came to him, and when they did they were uttered not in his typical gravelly voice but in one that suggested a chimera.
"Mr. Aberline…pray tell, why are you doing the polka in teacup skivvies?"