A note in advance: I had to write this as a short story in a Creative Writing class a long time ago, and at the start I got a little carried away and It began looking more like a novel than a short story. So the relationships may seem a little rushed since I had to cut the story off short. Oh yeah, Girl!Ciel.
It had been the summer of 1872 when they met. One of the days where in Great Britain, sizzling days of bleary heat would mesh into nights of sticky humidity, and dissolve back into daylight with hardly a single person's notice. The little miss had been Cielle Phantomhive, heiress of the Phantomhive fortune, a girl of long midnight locks and drowning sapphire eyes. Cielle's parents were Vincent and Rachel Phantomhive, both receiving wealth from french ancestors. Vincent worked for the queen of England, and that would be the gravity that lured the two together.
He had been a charming young man, one that many would thrust potential on. He was a man of silky raven hair and flaming auburn eyes. He had been Sebastian Michaelis, charismatic butler of the Phantomhive estate, and soon after would mean much more.
It had been in the winter of 1883, three day's after Cielle's 14th birthday that Cielle had gained two pieces of life-altering information. One; that on the evening of December 15th, 1883, at 6:00 pm Rachel and Vincent Phantomhive had fallen victim to a tragic carriage accident, and Two; every penny, every inch of land, every servant, every duty of the fallen "Queen's Dog", was left in charge of Cielle Phantomhive and her new guardian Sebastian Michaelis.
It would be the spring of the year 1887, while the little mistress was reviewing a business request for the Phantomhive's Confectionary Empire, whilst enjoying on of Sebastian's amazing pastries, that Cielle would notice something. A key fact that should not have been ignored, and repeatedly shoved to the dark corners of her mind for the past seventeen years. A constant that made itself so obvious that it was easy to pass over. Her ever faithful, and loyal guardian, Sebastian, seemed to possess the impossible possibility of being perfect, a perfection that neither slowed down nor died over the period of time she had known him.
Even going over her hazy memories lazily sewn together from her first years, Sebastian always had the appearance and energy of a young, sturdy man. He had always been the icon for perfection, never a hair/button/thread out of place. He had never been caught slipping up like Cielle's other, rather incompetent servants. Sebastian always kept his infuriating knack of indirect insults, witty comments, and stepping above the place of a servant, which really should have withered away over time.
He harbored intelligence that was seemingly endless, about everything and anything , that most men of even Cielle's status would have boasted to have known. Along with his constant twenty-eight and sly demeanor, Sebastian could rival any of Cielle's fellow nobles whether it be wit, charm, or genius. By now, he should have been a senile old man, but that certainly was not the case. And that, it plagued Cielle.
Rather than dismissing the thought again, Cielle let her mind wander from all the queen expected her to do in place of Vincent. Pushing aside documents and letters regarding requests for balls, service, or service reports, Cielle processed in her prodigal mind anything and everything that made her frustratingly admirable butler so...inhuman.
Cielle Would ponder this for the next month, observing her butler quietly before she executed her move. And so it had been for every affair any Phantomhive got themselves into, counting back hundreds of years. Life, to the Phantomhives had been that of a game of chess. They observe, learn the situation or opponent before a confrontation should ever occur, then strike. Strike they did, wiping away all filth of England or wherever they handled business, making a name, a statement, the Phantomhives. This is why they had been survived for so long, retained their wealth, and exceeded in everything they do, no matter what means it takes.
It would be another summer in the heat of 1888, during their most recent case, when Cielle would finally confront her butler. It would be then, standing amongst the disgusting odor of rotting flesh, and a mid a peculiar case of serial murders, that Cielle would for once, surprise her usually stoic butler.
"Sebastian..." Cielle spoke above the sound of the Scotland Yard shouting orders from outside the alleyway. (It had been a challenge convincing the morons that she and Sebastian were, indeed, sent by the queen.) "Hmm?" Hummed the servant in question, as he examined the dead prostitute's body attentively. "You haven't aged. by your complexion, I mean. Why?" The girl stated bluntly, not being one to beat around the bush.
The wave of shock left Sebastian's expression as quickly as it had come. "Cielle, these stab wounds seem-"
"Sebastian!" Cielle huffed, angry that her butler had even considered that she wouldn't notice his abrupt change in subject. "Sebastian, I asked you a question, and I order you to answer it truthfully!" Cielle demanded, aristocratic status shining through as she walked towards her butler. The man's attention strayed from the dead woman and onto Cielle as she stormed up to him.
'Ah, still as rash as ever. It's been a while since she's last displayed such arrogance. Almost endearing." Sebastian thought to himself, smirking.
Sebastian glued on a sugar-coated smile and said; "You know it is against my aesthetics to lie, but you'll have to pardon me, My Lady, there are some things you must not know...yet." He knew she wouldn't buy into "playing dumb", but it was doubtful that she'd accept that answer either. There was a resounding slap! in the now silent alleyway, as Sebastian's head jerked to the side.
"Do not speak to me in that manner again Sebastian, do you understand? You should add that to your damned list of principals as well." Ciel fumed sarcastically behind her cold mask of constant indifference. It was -oh, and it was- hard not to shatter from what she herself had said, to what seemed to be the last part of her broken family, and the way Sebastian always seemed to be hiding things from her, the way he constantly taunted her; wasn't he supposed to comfort her? Sebastian did not look up from the ground. "Of course, My Lady." Sebastian replied as he let his usual provocative smirk slide back into place. Sebastian faced his Lady, and bowed deeply; "I hope you'll forgive my ignorance Lady Phantomhive."
Before Cielle could demand even more, or even apologize, Sebastian had already moved past her and continued speaking, "It is already quite dark out. We should be on our way back to the Phantomhive estate if we want to stay on schedule for supper." Sebastian's baritone echoed through the alleyway, while Cielle stood defiantly for a few moments longer on the cobblestone. No, she wouldn't let her butler sly away from this so easily. So Cielle held her head up high as she made her way to the awaiting carriage, pretending like what Sebastian said hadn't hurt.
Sebastian Michaelis was a very principled man, always on to be organized, clean cut, prideful- yet not quite boastful-, and let it show. The way he walked, the way he talked, the way he held himself with sure-fire confidence even while being scolded, always suggested an air of nobility. Sebastian believed three thing firmly and absolutely: 1) There is a place for everything, and everything has it's place be it person, rank, or object. 2) The precise time you declare yourself to be present somewhere, is the precise time you will be there. 3) Lying does not accomplish anything, and nothing will be achieved by being false.
Sebastian also harbored a strange affinity to his young charge, and had to the parents before her. Rachel and Vincent Phantomhive, the first of the Phantomhives to request his service for their relationship to the queen. He had formed a contract with the lovers when they were first betrothed, and received payment in the most distinct way. Of course, being two naive, fresh, and deliciously blind lovers, Rachel and Vincent never thought too far beyond the next step of life. This, of course, as it does for all humans, brought upon their downfall, and ultimate demise. All it took was for the enemy to be one step ahead in the game.
Sebastian spent a good deal of his time merely observing his heiress, when he wasn't busy delivering letter, shopping, finished the stacks of paperwork that is mistress predictably left unfinished, or taking care of the queen. The "help" that the two performed for the queen, consisted of exterminating any worries the queen may have. From trivial demands, such as interrogating a fool here, exposing a scandal there, and so on to bigger, more exciting things, like the duo's current case. Jack the Ripper. though, assisting the queen alongside the Phantomhive family was what he was summoned to do.
That night on August 15th 1888, as Sebastian was waiting for Maylene (the maid) to prepare Cielle for bed, he contemplated what he would tell his Lady if she attempted to bring about the situation from earlier. If he was lucky, he could avoid that dilemma; perhaps shake her up a little bit so she would forget about it as he had gotten her to do that afternoon. his thoughts were interrupted as Maylene stumbled out of Cielle's room with an unbalanced pile of laundry stacked on her arms. "Th-The Young Lady would like t-to s-s-see you now." The maid stuttered uselessly, and Sebastian went in before she could topple over on him. The butler calmly strolled over to the Phantomhive's master bed, only the rustling of parchment in his hand reminded him of what he initially came to her for.
"Do you have the list of potential names I requested?" The girl asked from her bedside. "But of course, what kind of butler would I be if I could not perform such a mundane task?" Sebastian smiled in fake humility.
Cielle regained her composure. "Well?" She demanded hastily. As soon as the first sound was uttered, papers cam streaming from seemingly nowhere, with an impossible amount of names listed on them. Cielle frowned, and silently wished Sebastian wouldn't toy around like that. "You can't possibly believe that I am going to read through all of those right now, Sebastian." The man smiled. "Oh no, that's why I went through the list myself and narrowed it down to fifty potential suspects." Cielle flinched, but remained silent knowing the man would continue.
The man's smile widened. "After that I ran extra background checks on each of the fifty, cross referenced, and searched for at least two alibis for each."
"How many does that leave us with?"
Feet shuffled. Paper rustled. "What was the point of all the extra paper than? Wasting trees, are we Sebastian?" Cielle challenged the still figure. "No, I wasn't sure whether or not you wanted to take my information since I am but a servant, and run through the list yourself." Another glare. Another grin. "You just like to irritate me, don't you?"
"I must disagree, My Lady, I'm just one hell of a butler."
It would be the next morning when the young woman was drinking her tea that she remembered that she had been so agitated that she forgot to question her butler again. She would then toss her pen across the room in frustration and mentally curse the way her perfect butler distracted her.
It would take two hours for Cielle to forgive herself for complimenting her butler (albeit mentally) and build up the confidence to ask the question again.
"You called for me." Sebastian stated the obvious, directing his gaze at the young woman sitting in front of an antique mahogany desk. The one that used to be just a tad too high for the mistress a few years back. "Yes Sebastian, regarding my inquiry that has yet to be answered by you." Cielle said slowly, as if rolling the idea around in her mind a few times before speaking it. Sebastian immediately recollected the question she was talking about. "I'm afraid you'll have to clarify for me, My Lady." Sebastian said, eyes downcast in submission, but a knowing smirk carved into his face. Cielle's brows furrowed most unladylike, though wanting to get straight to it, she obliged. "Why are you so perfect, Sebastian?" Cielle asked, sounding more like a statement.
The raven's eyed widened in mock surprise, and faked being flabbergasted. "Why, I do not deserve such flattery from one so brilliant as you, My Lady, although I do not believe myself to be perfection." He finished with a flourish, placing his left had about his heart in pretend butler humility. Cielle, who appreciated nothing in being mocked, marched straight up to her servant and reminded him just who he was speaking to.
When the red imprint staining his face faded, Sebastian straightened his spine and a look of shocking seriousness filled his expression. They both knew playtime was over. They had observed, calculated, and tested the waters with each other.
Moments passed, spiraling into minutes which passed like hours between the two. When their eyes locked, flaming crimson into dazzling oceans, something was spoken between them, a mutual feeling, an understanding of sorts, words were formed where there was no breath.
That's when Sebastian decided.
That's when Cielle knew.
Then they would unconsciously get a little too close, lean closer, reservations would snap behind enflamed eyes, blood would pulse fire under icy skin, a force so great, so unbeknownst to the two beings would pull them together. Neither knew who initiated the kiss; too busy occupying themselves with the feelings buzzing around their heads. A kiss so vastly different from the stories Cielle had read, but there was something. There was something that undeniably held the two in orbit around each other, seemingly not from this earth. That would be all the two were sure of as thoughts stopped processing, calculations put to rest, forgotten and unwanted in the back of their minds, and all there was, was feeling. This would be the first time Cielle would live in the present, ignorant of the past, and careless towards the future.
Eventually they would stop, breathe again, life resuming. "you want...to know...so I shall tell you." Sebastian breathed into Cielle's ear, though she would hardly hear him. anxiety would weigh down the air it would seem, as Cielle's lungs attempted to regain their regular patter. That would be when Sebastian shattered the relative silence with a cold, hard, fresh piece of knowledge.
Gasps were choked up rather than words. "You-you what? My...parents?" butler stared coldly at master. "Yes, your parents, for the sake of better serving their country without fault, sacrificed their own daughter. If they had decided to think ahead, read between the lines, and changed the agreement I would've left along with them. Actually, you may never have been born." He stated into the cool night air.
The view from the balcony was breathtaking, though that's not what stole precious oxygen from the Phantomhive's lungs. "Don't...speak of...of th-their death so carelessly!" The fear in the girl's voice overpowered the threat in her order. "My Lady, you seem to be forgetting that they sacrificed you life- your soul- over theirs." Sebastian knew the betrayal the child would be feeling, but he also knew there would be no point in sugar-coating anything. "I...I would've been the same way, given their circumstances, I mean they were just engaged! They couldn't have remembered to read that deeply! All they probably knew was that you needed a soul, and they probably though it would be theirs! I would've agreed just as fast!" Cielle continued in defensive denial, not even sure who she was trying to convince anymore.
"Would you?" Sebastian pondered aloud, but it made it's target in the girl's mind. "...No." She admitted.
It would take twenty minutes after learning that her butler- no, this demon, had made a contract with her parents in turn for her own soul once she was dead, and she hadn't known any better for the past seventeen years that a death sentence served as a butler, that Cielle would realize that she got her answer, though she'd do anything to rid herself of it. Sebastian was only by her side for her soul. She would then wonder why she wasn't scared, this being, this creature, was after her soul.
Panic would strike her mind, not because of the fraud humanity standing before her, but because she actually felt no fear at all. She was steps away from death, and only frustrated with how she could not have known! Remembering all those times where he would perform acts of wonder for her sake, killing roomfuls of criminal masterminds after her fortune or life for his young charge, doing spectacular things in the blink of an eye, it was no human feat, but since it had been him, her butler, she had always found that fine, even normal.
Then it occurred to her; if her soul went to Sebastian after she died, why would he spend so much effort defending her life? Why had he protected her at all? "...Why...?"
The question wasn't meant to come out, and she was still entertaining these thoughts with wide eyes, when Sebastian laid a kiss upon her head, and gave her the answer. The answer that would've been the downfall of all her questions, should've made her doubts and fears cease. Would've; if she was not the stubborn, dubious noble that she was.
Because I love you."
It would be the winter of 1989; a full century after her faked death and immortal rebirth; she and he would be merely holding hands and admiring the glitzy view of the crystal ball resting precariously above Time Square before it is dropped.
It would be then that the little miss would accept her demon's- no, her lover's feelings, and her own. Among the 100 million other people surrounding them at that moment, to Cielle Michaelis, there were only she and him.
January 1st, 1990. The New Year begins.