A/N: I should be working on some of my multi-chapters - should being the operative word. But I felt inspired to write this after reading Rustblaster (which was so adorable, oh-so-slashy, and way too short), and Kuroshitsuji (just as adorable, if not moreso, about as slashy, and way longer!) Thus, I wrote this oneshot in honor of Toboso Yana, the wonderful Mangaka of both manga.
Disclaimer: I don't own Kuroshitsuji. Nor do I own the excerpt from Alice in Wonderland, which Sebastian was reading from.
Warnings: Yaoi hints all around, though I suppose you can ignore them if you want. They're most prominent in number nine and ten (and Ciel is, obviously, older at those points. This jumps from past to present to future often). Also, there might be some ooc-ness, because I'm only on the Madame Red part of the manga, when they find out Grell is a death god. So there are probably miscalculations.
That Butler, Cat Lover
Sebastian likes cats. They are noble, elegant, and beautiful, all while being quite adorable and intelligent. Young master Ciel, he's noticed, is a bit like a cat.
1. Cats are beautiful.
Ciel is beautiful, Sebastian cannot deny that. He may be a brat, and his requests are often appalling (though not impossible. He is a demon and a butler, after all), but he is cute when young, and grows to be beautiful. His eyes are so large and blue that the demon butler often feels as if he could get lost in them and drown. His face is pale and sweetly shaped, like a heart, and his hair is so black that it tints blue, or even a deep emerald green, when the lights hit it in just the right way.
His body, though delicate, is as finely formed as a cat's, with lithe and slim limbs. His milky pale skin is soft to the touch, with fine, barely-there hairs all along his expanse. Sebastian cannot stop himself from petting him (though, of course, he only does it when the young master is sleeping).
2. Cats like to nap.
It is appalling how quickly his young master manages to fall asleep. During a conversation, while he's eating, during a bath, or even (and this one causes him his current grievance) during a lesson.
"Young master," he calls, in his usual soft tone, but there is an edge to it. The boy in the chair does not stir, though his eye (the one visible) twitches behind its socket, indicating his dreaming state. Sebastian twitches, too, though his is more from annoyance than dreaming.
"Wake up, my lord," he demands, about to go give the boy a good shake, but the way Ciel curls into himself, a peaceful smile forming on his usually severe face, makes him hesitate in his step. He falters, lets his foot fall, and smiles, walking up to his master. Sebastian gently picks the boy up in his arms, bridal style, and deposits him in his large bed, tugging off his boots. He pulls the blankets up to his chin, watching the way the boy curls into the mattress with thinly veiled amusement, before heading off to the door. His young master's naps are, to him, an endless source of amusement.
3. Cats are intelligent.
Sebastian often thinks his master is a stupid brat, but this is not so at all. Young master Ciel is brilliant enough to be considered a child prodigy. He is the mastermind behind all of Sebastian's current victories (though being a demon certainly has its perks), and his strategical skills are on par with a general, if not better.
He is a champion at chess, defeating even his aunt, the beautiful and rather intelligent Madame Red. And, for a child, he can hold his own against even mafioso in pool. Ciel is more business savvy than even the best, and manages to run both a toy and candy empire. The Funtom company has had the highest business dealings in recent years, ever since the child Earl took over the company.
And so, when the young master innocently suggests they play a game of chess, Sebastian politely declines. "I am sorry, my lord, but I am much too busy right now." If the boy notices that this happens to be a conditioned response (as well as how Sebastian always manages to disappear for many hours afterward), he pays no mind. He only steeples his fingers and smiles.
4. Cats are independent.
The crowd is a large one, and even Sebastian, having the grace of a demon, finds it difficult to coordinate through. Still, master Ciel wanders ahead of him, refusing to let him walk too closely or, god forbid, hold the orphaned child's hand.
When asked about this, the boy responds, with much annoyance, "Sebastian, I run two empires, deal with criminals and murderers on a daily basis, get kidnapped more often than one can count, and am engaged to be married. I am an Earl and a noble, not a child, and as such, how undignified would it be for me to hold my butler's hand?"
Sebastian only smiles in response. The young master is very independent.
5. Cats are stubborn.
"Why not ask for my help, young master?" questions Sebastian. Ciel growls in response, angrily (and quite messily) slashing his stained blade through the air.
"I can make my own food, Sebastian. I do not need you!" replies the boy, looking very angry with an adorable (ahem, angry) blush marring his pale cheeks. The butler sighs, wishing Lau had never suggested that Ciel was too co-dependent on him, and curses his master's stubbornness.
"I do not need you!" Ciel says again, angry tears forming in his blue eyes (even staining his black eyepatch in a very ignoble manner), and Sebastian gently wraps his large, gloved hands around the child's hand and his knife. Together, they complete the peanut-butter and jelly sandwich. In the end, thinks Sebastian, his master can still say he made it all alone.
6. Cats are lazy.
Tap, tap, tap goes the pencil, maddeningly hitting the desk at intervals. Sebastian feels his eye twitch in irritation.
Finally, he reprimands, "My lord, stop that! Are you not supposed to be finishing the documents pertaining to your business?"
Ciel pouts in response, and suddenly his childish face looks even more adorable. "I don't feel like doing them. They're boring," the boy says. Sebastian sighs, rubbing the bridge of his nose to relieve stress.
"Well then," he begins, in what he hopes is a compromising and patient manner (though they both know it isn't), "what do you feel like doing? We could finish some of your lessons, or perhaps practice your dancing again. Lady Elizabeth has arranged a visit for the morrow."
Ciel pouts again and drops his head to the desk, subsequently messing up all of the papers that Sebastian had so neatly and painstakingly piled together. "I don't feel like doing anything!"
"I see," says the butler. "Well, excuse me." He grumbles while making Ciel's dinner that day, wishing he'd made a contract with a less lazy master.
7. Cats get into things.
Sebastian is a prideful butler. He never feels ashamed at having to work for a child (enslaved, by any and all definitions of the word), but he does take pride in his work. In fact, he knows that, without him, the Phantomhive manor would not run at all (and might just be a war-zone, considering the other members of his young master's staff).
That is why he feels an emotion, almost happiness, when he completes the ten layer cake for his lord's birthday (which Ciel does not really want to celebrate). It is a beautiful cake, all pink and blue, with lacy bows and sweets decorating it. The frosting alone is handmade, with the very best materials, and took him hours to create, not to mention the further hours it took to adorn the cake with it. The cake, too, is made from scratch, and Sebastian is very happy with the results. He is especially proud of the minute sculpture of his master on top of the cake, carved entirely from white chocolate.
He smiles at the sight of the beautiful cake, and allows himself a few moments of well-deserved leisure, taking a much-needed bath. It is when he returns, only to find the whole top half of his creation gone, that his pride takes a step into the next level.
"Finny, Bard, Maylene!" he shouts, and they rush to him, eyes wide with fright. "May I ask who it was that indulged themselves with this cake?"
They all go pale and indicate each other, Tanaka-san, even the cats, and he sighs. This would not get him anywhere.
"Get back to work," he orders, and they promptly rush out (sure, now they obey him to the 't'), leaving him to his seething. He recreates his masterpiece in a few hours, and deigns to bring his lord some tea, only to find the boy sleeping peacefully, his tiny face stained with chocolate and frosting. In the end, he really wants to get mad, but can't get himself to comply. "It is his birthday, after all," he reasons, and takes care of his burdensome master.
8. Cats are territorial.
Ciel has been rather moody lately, thinks Sebastian, as he watches his master grumpily cross his arms.
"I do not want him here!" declares the young lord of Phantomhive. His cheeks, still melded with baby-fat, are puffing out adorably, reddened in an irritated blush. The situation is rather difficult on the butler.
"But, my lord, shinigami or not, Grell is a guest. It is unbecoming of a noble to turn away a guest, or treat one badly when in one's care," the demon admonishes. Ciel's cheeks puff out further.
"Fine," the blue-eyed boy finally agrees, almost too placidly. Sebastian feels himself slowly growing weary. "But he will not sleep in my beds, he will not eat my food, and he certainly—" Sebastian sighs, readying him for a headache. "—will not flirt with my butler!"
The butler's eyes widen in shock for the first time in centuries, and when he looks back, Ciel is flushing even darker, his eyes averted. Sebastian allows himself a smile. "Of course, my lord."
9. Cats are graceful.
Ciel is the most elegant human he has met in a while. Sure, the boy cannot dance without stepping on his toes, and he isn't very athletic, but his subconscious movements are graceful. Sebastian loves to watch him, and does so in an almost predatory manner.
He loves to watch Ciel take notes with his quill, loves to watch him play chess, loves the way his fingers join together when he steeples them, loves how he raises his pale legs and arms to wash them in the bath. His watching Ciel is a very demonic trait (he's very possessive of what he considers his own, and Ciel has been his own for over a decade now, body and soul).
That is why the situation where he most loves to watch his master is when the boy's long, graceful legs are wrapped around his waist, his arms locked behind the butler's shoulders. He loves the way the boy's pink mouth opens to moan his name. He loves how the delicate, sweat-slicked body moves against his own. He especially loves watching Ciel's face right after they have both found completion.
10. Cats love to cuddle.
The demon butler has never deemed his master as someone who enjoys post-coital cuddling. How wrong he is (not that he minds).
Ciel's body is warm and soft and slick against his own. The boy rests his head against the butler's lithely muscled chest, his blue-black hair a ticklish halo around his sleeping face.
The young master's thin arms are wrapped possessively around his butler's body, like a child with a favorite toy or security blanket, and Sebastian has a feeling he'll complain of numbness in the morning (his hands are under the butler's broad back), but he cannot find himself enough to care in this perfect, sleepy moment.
"Seb...astian.." the sleeping boy murmurs, yawning cutely, and the butler leans his head back against one of his hands, the other petting the boy's back, like he would do to a napping cat. Ciel, and all of his mannerisms, are just too adorable.
11. Cats hate heights.
Ciel Phantomhive, Earl of the Phantomhive noble family, a watchdog to the Queen, as well as lord of two major empires, is afraid of heights.
Sebastian has known that since forming his initial contract with the boy. When they visited France on orders of the Queen, he had subtly suggested that they go atop the Eiffel tower. The young master's face had abruptly turned the exact shade of his butler's crisp, white shirt. He had even thrown up when a kidnapper had hefted him to the top of a tall building, and fainted in the man's grasp when, upon seeing Sebastian, the man had threatened to let him fall. Even small heights, like standing on top of a chair to reach for something high up, seem to scare his master witless.
That is why, for the many lives of him, Sebastian can't figure out why Ciel is never frightened in his grasp. He is not, after all, a short man by far (especially considering his young lord's own diminutive height), so why is Ciel always comfortable in his arms? He did not think he would be able to figure it out.
So, when he finds himself in a similar situation once more, he asks, "Why are you never frightened in my arms, when I lift you up? Are you not afraid of heights?"
Ciel looks him right in the eyes, face colored with a blush, and says rather determinedly, "One is not afraid of heights, Sebastian, one is afraid to fall from those heights. I know I am safe with you, so what reason is there to fear?"
Sebastian smiles at his reasoning and doesn't ask again.
12. Cats are nocturnal.
Ciel is an insomniac. He cannot sleep, for his sleep is plagued with nightmares. That is why Sebastian has to stay up with him all night, doing things to make the transition into dreamland easier.
"Read the directions and directly you will be directed in the right direction," he reads to the restless boy. Ciel only frowns in response, which is odd since Alice in Wonderland happens to be his favorite book.
"And here is a glass of warm milk, young master," he says, offering the platter. Ciel sits up, drinks the milk down in a single gulp, lies back, and stares up at him with those impossibly blue eyes. The contract in his uncovered eye glows.
"One sheep, two sheep, three sheep, four..." he counts, forcing his master to follow along. The boy stubbornly counts with him all the way to a hundred, then a thousand, and more and more till Sebastian is ready to tear out his hair.
"Hush, young master, don't say a word. Your loyal servant will purchase for you a mockingbird..." Ciel stares up at him with wide eyes as his sings, mouth open slightly in enchantment, and Sebastian realizes that his deep, soothing tenor is having exactly the opposite effect on the boy.
Finally, he declares, "All right, then, my lord. Go ahead and get up." Ciel smiles and immediately (after being dressed by Sebastian, of course) begins tearing through the house. He only falls asleep when the sun comes up.
13. Cats are protective.
Sebastian has never seen anyone act the way Ciel acts around Elizabeth.
Time and time again, the boy tells him that he does not love Elizabeth, at least not romantically, but he is very protective towards her.
"If I do not care for her, who will?" he always says, and the butler does not point out that the young mistress has her mother, servants, and other caretakers. He only tells himself that he is not jealous when the young master once again glares at a guest who asked to dance with his fiancée.
He spends the rest of the day tightly going about his business, as well as ignoring Ciel (or as much as you can ignore someone whom you have to serve in near everything), until the boy snaps (though, to Sebastian's equal anger and relief, he waits until after Elizabeth is gone).
"What is the matter with you, Sebastian?" asks Ciel. As a demon who cannot lie, nor deny his master, the butler has to respond.
"I just feel it is unbecoming for a nobleman, especially an Earl such as yourself, to spend so much time enamored with your fiancée when you should socialize more with fellow nobles – perhaps create more business dealings?" And this is at least partly true (for he could not lie), but there is still suspicion in his lord's gaze. It is when that suspicion dawns to realization, then shock, that Sebastian begins to grow embarrassed. He turns to leave, but a small hand grabbing his coat lapels stops him. He can break away if he really wants to (Ciel being so frail), but the truth is that he doesn't want to (the horrible, horrible truth).
When he turns around, Ciel's one eye is filled with equal dosages of worry and amusement. "I'm glad I don't always have to protect you, Sebastian," the boy confides, face heated. "Sometimes... sometimes it's nice to be protected."
14. Cats are manipulative.
Sometimes, Sebastian thinks, Ciel has him wrapped around his little finger (and what a small finger it is). The demon feels, contract or not, his master could boss him around if only he'd bat his long lashes – smile a bit more. This worries him.
The only good part, though, is that Ciel does not know just how much affect he has on his butler. Or so the poor demon thinks.
"Sebastian," calls the boy, forcing the demon to drop whatever he's doing in order to meet with the boy.
"Yes, my lord?" he pants expectantly. Ciel gives him a bemused glance. "What is it?"
"Nothing," replies the young master, after making the butler wait anxiously for a few more moments, "I was just making sure you'd come."
Sebastian takes his anger out on the staff.
15. Cats hate dogs.
Ciel hates Pluto. Now, this in itself would not be so bad, especially since Sebastian himself has a strong dislike for dogs (so it would be rather hypocritical of him to berate the boy). But the young master doesn't just dislike the man-dog, he abhors him, and Sebastian can't figure out why.
After all, Pluto does not cling to Ciel, or lick him lovingly till his immaculate clothes are ruined, or follow him around all day. He does all that to Sebastian. And the butler knows for a fact that Ciel is not bothered when he sees dogs in the street or with a guest or otherwise. So why, he wonders, does Ciel hate Pluto?
He finds out one night when, after tucking the boy in for the night, his young master grabs one of the tails on his coat.
"Can you tell Pluto...not to sleep on your bed?" he asks, sounding vulnerable, and Sebastian's eyes widen.
Finally, he smiles. "As you wish, master."
16. Cats have nine lives.
He holds Ciel in his arms, with only one thought (a mantra, really) running through his mind. It's too late, too late, too late, too late... He was too late to save his master, and he has to live with that.
He can feel Ciel's soul against his too still chest, and the boy's limp, lolling head is propped up against his shoulder, but he finds himself uncaring about the sweetness of the soul he could (and by all means should) devour.
"I don't deserve to eat his soul," he finally decides, hating the quiver in his usually cool voice. "After all, I failed his order. I failed as a demon and a butler – I could not protect him."
Instead of eating his soul, Sebastian leans down to kiss his master. A final kiss; a farewell. A few seconds go by, then a minute, though it feels like more. Suddenly, Ciel begins to cough, his hacking breaths spurting blood past his lips.
Sebastian wants to berate him for worrying him, wants to be happy for the second chance he got to protect the boy (thus ensuring him his soul), but all he feels is relief.
Ciel offers him a somber smirk. "You won't get my soul that easily." Sebastian only hopes it's true.
17. Cats are royal.
Sebastian is a demon and a butler. As such, he has lived for a long, long time. Centuries and millennia have gone past him in a blink of an eye. Within that time, he has met many a man.
He's met kings, sultans, kaisers. He's met peasants, merchants, demi-gods. He is even acquainted with the Queen whom Ciel serves. Humans, he knows, are not and probably never will be as aristocratic as their inhuman kin (they simply do not have it in them, being so mortal and full of flaws).
But, as he watches his master lounge in his wingback chair, he realizes that no one is quite so majestic, so kingly, as Ciel Phantomhive. The boy is eloquent, lovely, and picturesque (which, as far as Sebastian knows, makes him the epitome of what royalty is supposed to be).
"Sebastian, I wish to have some cake," says the boy (or rather, demands).
The butler furrows his brows. "If you have cake now, you'll spoil your appetite, my lord." The boy pouts and throws something of a tantrum, eliciting a sigh. He may be the picture of royalty, but he'll always be Sebastian's royal pain.
18. Cats hate water.
"Young master, you are covered in blood, sweat, and grime," admonishes Sebastian, frowning. The boy stares up at him through blood and dirt matted hair, eyes wide. He can see a pout beginning to form. "I will ready a bath for you immediately."
The butler turns around, ready to set off to his task, when the boy says, "No!" The manservant swivels around, slight shock evident in his wine-colored eyes, before a patient mask replaces and hides his true emotions.
"What?" he asks, voice soft. Ciel purses his lips, angry.
"I said 'no.' I am your master, and I can decide whether or not I bathe!" Ciel softens his tone only when Sebastian pins him with his passive gaze. He looks embarrassed. Finally, the butler disappears, leaving the dirt-matted boy alone in his own filth. Ciel tucks his head down, face burning with shame, stinging tears pricking the corners of his eyes. A hand under his chin prompts him to look up. Sebastian's smiling face fills his blurry gaze.
"Hush, young master," says the butler gently. He carefully unbuttons the child's jacket and shirt, helping him tug off his boots and pants. In his free hand he holds a moist towel, and gently bathes the boy with it. "Your wish is my command."
19. Cats are habitual.
Sebastian has memorized his young lord's schedule by heart.
"Wake up, young master," he prompts every morning, helping the sleepy boy sit up. He tugs his nightgown over his unruly hair, sticking up like duck-fluff, and helps him put on his bathrobe.
"Nice and clean," he says, gently bathing his master's porcelain skin with a soft towel, and watches with amusement as the boy blows bubbles.
"It is the most important meal of the day, my lord," he advises, as he forces the young lord to eat something healthy for breakfast (instead of the candy and cake the boy demands).
"It is your responsibility," he chirps, when his master grumbles about the amount of paperwork (and work in general) he has to do.
"Lunchtime, Earl," he affirms, pulling back the top over the tray to show the noble his meal.
"And with the window open, too," he grumbles, closing the offending object. He gently lays a blanket across his master's small, slumbering form.
"Work again," he proclaims, waking the boy up so he can finish his workload.
"You are in sore need of a bath!" he teases, helping the boy into the tub and dousing it with bubble-mixture.
"Goodnight, Ciel," he murmurs softly, pulling the blanket around the boy's shivering form. He gently presses a kiss to his pale, hair-matted forehead. Even if they do the same thing every day, Sebastian never grows tired of it.
20. Cats have claws.
Sebastian always needs to protect Ciel. The boy is so small, so fragile; after all, this is why they made the contract in the first place. Thus, Ciel is always his first responsibility. He protects the boy's health over his own.
Normally, this works for both of them. After all, he is a demon and a butler. He will not die so easily, and most of his wounds heal instantaneously. However, there are some enemies (those of the inhuman sort) that can seriously harm even him.
This demon, in particular, with its four sets of knife-sharp fangs, thousand eyes, and eight, heavily muscled arms, is troubling. He has trouble holding it back with just the lamp-post that he tugged from the street. He can smell its putrid breath in his face, and he briefly closes his eyes, secretly thankful that he has at least kept his end of the bargain with Ciel. He has protected Ciel up to this point, and maybe, when and if he can return from the underworld, he can have Ciel's soul after all.
His thoughts are cut off at the monster's blood-curdling howl, and when it moves away from him, agony written all over its hideous features, he sees a tiny, shaking form holding a bloody cane.
"See," says master Ciel, "I can protect you, too." Sebastian does not speak, but he feels proud of the human (his own little human).
Sebastian likes cats. They are beautiful, intelligent, and fierce. Master Ciel is quite a bit like a cat. Thus, concludes the butler, petting the sleeping boy's soft hair, Sebastian must like Ciel. Yes, he believes he does.
A/N: This is complete, being only a oneshot, but if you guys have some other kitty traits that you think might work with Ciel, please tell me, and I'll try and work it in. I'm sorry if there are any errors - I wrote this spur of the moment. I just graduated from high-school (yay me!) and this is a mini-present from myself to me (LOL, I'm so dumb!) I am feeling uninspired for anything but oneshots, so it might be a while till I update my multichapters. Plus, my email is on the fritz (it rarely lets me sign in anymore), coupled with how busy I am for university preparations, meaning that I haven't been able to reply to all reviewers, favoriters, etc. My inbox is a mess and I really need to clean it up, so bear with me. I'll try to get around to doing something productive soon. But, till then, I'm sorry!
R&R: This isn't my first fanfic by far, but it is my first Kuroshitsuji fanfic. As such, please tell me whether you liked it. Sorry for any errors or ooc-ness.