Writing exercise for writing in the present tense. Enjoy!
All characters © Toboso Yana
This is perhaps the first time, in all of his centuries alive, that Sebastian Michaelis had made a conjecture so utterly wrong that it astounds even him. He had seen the boy as an easy break—a few decades of easing back, with a nice reward for his leisure. The weak human didn't look like he would need much besides quotidian tasks and cleaning jobs. And such a scrumptious-looking soul too.
It is only shortly after his establishment as the boy's butler that Sebastian sees just how mistaken he was. Life with the child is far from insipid. They live in a mansion whose weal is constantly being jeopardized by the housekeepers who do more harm than help. He constantly finds himself picking up after their messes in addition to his own chores. Since the boy does not attend school and his parents are now dead, the pedagogic butler has to read up on and teach him his studies.
These semi-customary jobs do not pose much of a problem to Sebastian, unlike something else that does, something not so customary. He soon discovers that the boy, Ciel Phantomhive, is the last generation in a family of underworld crime-fighters. And to Sebastian's dismay, nineteenth century London couldn't be rifer with misdeeds and turpitudes.
The only two reasons a demon should ever be present in the human world was if it is feasting on souls or if it has bound a contract with a human. In a pact such as this, there is only one rule for the demon: serve and protect the master until his soul is yours. Sebastian is well aware the contract cannot be undone once it is enacted. A pity, for the boy is making his job very difficult.
Ciel takes it upon himself to carry out the orders of the Queen, and with every assignment practically waltzes into the throes of danger. Sebastian finds himself carrying out the most ridiculous of tasks, ranging from baking chocolate curry in a curry contest to performing circus acts under investigation. Demons have no shame, so he carries out his master's orders with indifference. However, it is proving to be more difficult than he thought to keep the master out of peril.
Demons, like most inhuman creatures, also have the uncanny ability to sense other nonhumans. Sebastian didn't think his supernatural acumen would pose a conflict…until he saw the kinds of people his master dealt with.
London's underworld is full of nonhumans.
They are mostly Shinigami and demon variants, but others exist that are more potent. Sebastian doubts that Ciel is aware of this fact, and wisely chooses not to tell him until it is absolutely necessary. If they pose no danger to the boy, Sebastian sees no reason to let him know.
Of course, anything other than a human is also able to detect another of its kind. Sebastian can tell in an instant, if someone is human or merely pretending to be, and vice versa. However different the creatures in London may be, they all share one understanding: their identities must be kept a secret. Humans in this age do not respond well to the blatant paranormal. When one nonhuman encounters another, they do not need to acknowledge each other aloud; it is a kind of esoteric understanding, a silent agreement shared by the things that take the shapes of men.
Some would drop subtle hints that they are above the norm, Sebastian included.
"Keep your soul safe," some would say to his master, who would simply blink and nod, unaware. None come out and reveal their true natures unless compelled to, especially with Sebastian around.
Grell Sutcliffe had been the exception to that rule. Sebastian doesn't think he's ever seen a more flamboyantly idiotic Shinigami who was not only stupid enough to draw attention to himself, but had the gall to imperil the life of his master in a murderous melee.
"Sometimes you cause so much work for me, Bocchan," Sebastian had said to his master once, amidst his daily chores in the mansion.
"That's your job, is it not?" Ciel had replied then, pointing a manicured finger at his right eye. "It's not my fault that those four create more messes than you can clean."
In truth, Sebastian had meant something entirely different.