Chapter 13: Finding the Words
When I woke the following morning (surprise, surprise), I was feeling much better. In fact, I felt good enough to go back to work; I had been doing nothing for so long that I was craving some activity, some task to complete. Even socializing with those ridiculous human servants and their bratty little master would be welcome; I was dying for any kind of positive interaction. After squirming in the warmth of his bed for a bit, I forced myself out and went to take a bath. It was as I was meticulously washing my hair that Sebastian returned to the room.
"Grell?" A note of panic snuck into his voice, probably because I wasn't where he left me.
"In here, love," I called, and he was in the doorway immediately. When he saw me smiling at him, head covered in shampoo, he sighed.
"I didn't expect you to wake before I called," he muttered. "I thought you might have…" The look of relief in his eyes was touching; he really had worried about me!
"No, darling," I said, shaking my head. "I'm right here, just fine. But I'm glad you're here; I have a question for you."
"What's that?" he asked as I rinsed my hair out. When I sat up, he watched the water run down my chest, and his lips curved.
"Ahem… Well, I was wondering… Do you think it would be okay to tell the little master I'm back now? Believe it or not, I think I'd like to get back to work," I laughed…but his smile had fallen. "What's wrong?"
"I've told you, he won't be pleased that you've returned. It may be best for you to keep your presence here a secret."
"Oh…" I replied quietly. Now I couldn't even work during the day? What was I supposed to do? I couldn't stand to just sit there and be idle for who knew ho long; I had already done that for two months, and it had nearly driven me crazy. Sebastian must have seen the look of despair on my face, as he hesitantly continued,
"However…if you make sure to stay on your best behavior at all times, I may be able to find something for you to do out of his way. But you'll have to be very careful around him," he warned.
"I can do that. But Sebby, why will he be so upset that I'm back?" I asked. A frown had creased his lovely face by that point, and he wouldn't meet my eyes.
"He's always thought of you as a threat. Since your disappearance, he's grown accustomed to having me to himself again," he explained, though I got the feeling he wasn't telling the whole story.
"Well, he'll just have to get used to sharing," I giggled, but Sebby was not amused.
"Please be careful. It probably wouldn't take much for him to throw you out, and it would be my duty to keep you out." With that unpleasant threat, he went to his closet to retrieve my clothes. When I came back to his bedroom, wrapped up in my towel, I found my outfit perfectly washed just like before.
"Okay, love," I said as I dressed. "I'll be good, and I won't cause any trouble." He nodded, but he still seemed worried.
"Then I'll tell him you'd like to return to work. For now, you should stay here, and I'll call you when you're needed." Before he could leave, I grabbed him and pulled him back for a sweet kiss.
"Try not to worry too much, Sebby," I told him with a smile. "I'll be right here." With only a brief nod, he left me again. Alone. Waiting. Somehow, it felt familiar…and it was just as boring as always. I couldn't help but wonder how his little master would react to my return. He was used to having Sebby "to himself"? Well, that was too bad for him, because as we've clarified, Sebastian wanted me. Still, the prospect of being thrown out was a little scary. I would have to make sure I behaved well. If it was for my love, I could definitely do that.
Listening to the sounds of the manor was torture; I could hear them talking, working, laughing…and strangely enough, I wanted to join in. I was just longing for some kind of attention…even from those dumbbells. But Sebby had told me to stay, so stay I would. As a show of my intentions (and a way to pass the time), I walked around Sebby's already-spotless room and straightened up where I could. Maybe I should go start on Madam Red's; it certainly wasn't doing well without being maintained…
Then suddenly, the bedroom door opened (much sooner than I expected), and Sebastian stood in the hall waiting for me.
"Downstairs. The master would like a word with you." He looked so grim; it worried me a bit.
"Is he angry?" I asked as I followed his lead, but he didn't answer. After waiting in the entrance hall for a few minutes, the little master came down the stairs as well. His half-gaze fell on me and grew significantly cooler. As he came to stand in front of me, Sebby moved to be at his side. Of course, that only made me more nervous.
"So you are back," the boy said, staring up at me disdainfully.
"That's right. Did you miss me?" I giggled, trying to be friendly.
"Hardly. Sebastian tells me you've lost your Death Scythe." Upon hearing that, I stiffened and shot a glance at Sebastian, wondering why he would say such a thing. That little boy had no right to know. "If that's the case, I'm sure you don't hold much standing with your fellow Reapers anymore." Ouch. Just like that, he had managed to cut straight through the pleasantries and right to my current weakness, leaving me helpless. "In your residence here thus far, you haven't proven yourself especially useful; I have enough idiotic house servants as it is. And now you've lost the one thing that gave you any remote purpose for staying. So tell me: why should I keep you on now?" I was gaping like a fish out of water, unable to think of one good reason when he had denounced me so thoroughly. I glanced desperately toward Sebastian, but he wouldn't even meet my eyes.
"I-I…" What could I say? "Well…"
"That's what I thought," the little lord said decisively. "I've no use for you. Find yourself somewhere else to stay. Sebastian, escort him off the grounds."
"Yes, my lord."
"But Sebastian, before you go…" He turned to face his butler and reached up to take hold of his tie. Then in one motion, he dragged him down and kissed him full on the mouth.
Shock. Horror. Revulsion. And the most horrible, searing, white-hot fury I had ever felt in my life. I was frozen in place, forced to watch…and Sebastian wasn't even fighting! He might have even been—I gagged at the thought—kissing him back! I couldn't stand it. I wouldn't. After everything I had been through, everything I had sacrificed, I would not just stand by and let that brat have him… When that horrifying display ended, the boy glanced over his shoulder and gave me a smug smirk.
And I lost it.
"You little brat!" I screeched, lunging at him, but Sebastian was instantly there to hold me back. I ignored him, solely focused on that boy and attacking him any way I could. "Who the hell do you think you are? I'll kill you!"
"Oh?" he replied calmly, "With what?" That only fueled my anger; I could've torn him apart with my bare hands.
"I'll wring your little neck!" I barked.
"Hm. I should've known it would come to this eventually. Sebastian, get him out of here; he's giving me a headache," the boy said, turning to leave.
"Understood." Without a hint of remorse, Sebastian then dragged me (literally kicking and screaming) from the manor. I was shouting and struggling the entire time, but when it came down to it, he was much stronger than me. When he got me past the outer walls, he stopped and released me. I was so worked up by that point that I lashed out, trying to slap him. But he grabbed my wrist before I could do so.
"Let me go," I whimpered, trying to wrench my arms away. I was in so much pain, and I just wanted some way to express it, aside from the tears now running down my cheeks. "Let me go!"
"You're hysterical," he stated coolly. "Calm down, and I'll let go." After trying fruitlessly for a few more moments to pull away, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, forcing myself to be calm. Eventually, his hand released mine, and I collapsed against his chest, sobbing quietly. With a soft sigh, he wrapped his arms around me to hold me there.
"Relax," he said gently. "You'll only hurt yourself more."
"…he can't have you," I breathed, clinging to his jacket.
"I'm afraid he does…"
"You know what I mean," I insisted, pulling away and laying one hand over his heart. "Not like this. Please tell me…tell me you haven't—"
"No. I haven't. But he's been this way ever since you disappeared," he explained. "Since he was suspicious of our relationship, he saw your absence as an opportunity. And you know I can't refuse a direct order."
"But you can't just let him…! I won't stand for it," I told him plainly, crossing my arms
"Still so passionate," he said with a smile. "And possessive. We can talk about this later. As soon as I'm free tonight, I'll come to Madam Red's manor. Wait for me there." Of course, I was reluctant to let him go…but what choice did I have?
"All right, darling," I sighed. "I love you…" With that sweet smile still in place, he kissed me gently and left me where I stood. Words can't express how much I hated watching him go back into the house where that conniving little monster was…but I comforted myself with the knowledge that he only wanted me, and I would see him that night. Meanwhile, I needed to blow off some steam. Normally, a reaping spree would be my first choice. But since I didn't have that option at the time, I decided to pay a visit to my friend instead.
"I see… My, who would have known Lord Phantomhive had such exotic tastes…! Ehehe…" he giggled once I had recounted the whole morning.
"It's not funny," I grumbled. "What am I supposed to do? That kid owns him. I can't be there all hours of the day to stop him from trying something… He's only like, twelve! What is he doing trying to kiss a grown man like Sebby, anyway? He could never handle—" I quickly cut that thought off; the very idea of them sleeping together had me retching.
"Hmm…it certainly is quite a dilemma," he replied thoughtfully, running his fingertips along the lacquered surface of his coffin. "And children do tend to be quite persistent. I imagine even now—"
"You're not helping," I grumbled, shooting him a glare, but he just shrugged.
"I'm only being honest. Haven't you established sir butler's feelings for you? Aren't you confident in them?"
"Well…yes," I answered. "Mostly. But his being forced to…do things with that little boy certainly isn't good for our relationship."
"Perhaps not, but all couples have their issues," he snickered. "Yours is simply more tangible than most. It's simply something you'll have to overcome, the pair of you. You know that their contract has to end sometime…"
"Yeah…" Of course, what he said made sense, but it didn't make me feel any better.
"Then all you have to worry about is making sure that you're still here when that time comes," my friend said simply. It sounded so easy when he put it that way, but it was more complicated than just that.
"But now that he knows how I feel, he'll try to keep Sebastian away from me. What if he's ordered not to see me?" I muttered, voicing a fear I'd been dwelling on for some time.
"Then have him wear a blindfold while you're around," he giggled. At first, I thought he was making fun of me, and I was going to tell him off, but he continued, "There are a few sayings that apply here: 'love conquers all,' 'love will find a way'… As a lady, I'm sure you're aware of them? There may be a myriad of obstacles standing in your way, but if you feel as strongly as I believe you do (and I do believe it), you won't let anything keep you from him. Is that right?"
"…it is. I was important enough that he risked his own life to save me when I was in trouble…all I have to do it wait. And I'm complaining because I'm impatient." To be honest, I was a little ashamed of myself for being so unwilling to compromise for him. But no more. I would do whatever I had to, be where I needed to be, stay and wait for as long as necessary, until he could be there for me. I had already given up so much. If there was anything I had plenty of, it was time. "You're right. There's not really anything he can do about it at the moment. …But what am I supposed to do? I can't work for that little brat anymore, and I can't be with Sebby all the time; what will I do with myself?"
"It's my understanding that you have some skill at prettifying dead women," the Undertaker pointed out, grinning in my direction. "I may know a mortician who could use an apprentice."
"Apprentice mortician, how glamorous," I laughed. "But I guess finding a job is the best way to pass the time. Will you keep me entertained?" He shrugged.
"You've seen how entertained I am by this position. And you'll no doubt meet some…colorful characters, as I have. Staying here also has the added benefit of being able to see sir butler whenever he and his master visit. You're welcome to do as you please, but I would gladly accept the company," he said. For a moment, I didn't reply. But I smiled and moved closer to put my arms around his shoulders. That seemed to confuse him for a moment, "Eh…?"
"Thank you," I said simply. "For being my friend through all of this."
"Ehehe, don't thank me, milady; you've been quite entertaining yourself," he giggled. "It's my pleasure to help when I can."
"You mean when it's convenient for you…?"
"Of course that's what I mean." For the next few hours, we continued to discuss my options, now that I had been fired from both of my jobs. I never decided anything definitively, but I enjoyed talking about it. Really, now that I had no obligations (other than to Sebastian), I was pretty much free. More so than I had ever been. I could do whatever I wanted, be whoever I wanted, wear whatever I wanted. In a way, it was very liberating. As we talked, I tried my hand at painting up a corpse or two; it was very natural, given my little escapades in the past. But before I knew it, it was getting dark out, and I knew Sebastian was expecting me to be waiting for him. So I bid a quick farewell to my friend and hurried off to Madam Red's manor to wait. Sebby wasn't there yet, but I had gotten used to being patient for him.
As I sat on my bed and stared at my shoes on the floor, I couldn't help but be anxious. What if he didn't show up? What if he had already been ordered to stay away from me? I don't know how long I waited, but every second was nerve wracking. After what had happened that morning, how could I not be—
"Grell." When I heard that voice, I immediately looked up to find my love standing in the window. Within moments, he was on the bed with me, kissing me so I moaned against his lips. Even after the kiss ended, he kept me in his arms. And I certainly didn't object.
"Mm, did you miss me, darling?" I purred, nuzzling against his neck.
"I did just get you back, after all." He softly kissed the top of my head and continued, "I told you he would be unhappy."
"Yeah, but I didn't expect that! If you hadn't held me back, I swear I would've killed him right there."
"And put yourself in even more danger with your fellow Reapers?" I had to laugh at that.
"What more can they do to me? Besides, you would be worth it. As long as he's around…I know you can't be completely mine."
"I'm afraid you're right. If he calls, I have to answer." What I wouldn't give to have that kind of relationship with him…
"So there's no help for it. I'll just have to wait," I said with a shrug, pulling away to sit up on the bed. "Until he's out of the picture."
"Wait?" Sebastian repeated. "Until I've fulfilled our contract? You realize that it could take years—"
"I'm fine with that," I told him with a smile. "We're immortal, love; a few years is nothing."
"You would just stay here? You know you couldn't be in the manor; we wouldn't see each other every day as we have been. What would you do?"
"I'll figure out some way to occupy myself. Maybe I'll stay with my friend and help him work. Maybe I'll work with humans. Who knows? Just so long as I get to see you whenever I can and know that you still want only me…that'll be enough." He was just staring at me, seeming unable to believe what he was hearing. Then we both opened our mouths and said,
"I love you."
… My heart almost stopped. Did he really…? I stared at him in shock and disbelief, not quite sure how to respond. He wasn't meeting my eyes, and he was blushing just slightly. I swallowed hard and opened my mouth…then closed it again, causing him to laugh.
"Not exactly the reaction I had hoped for." So he had said it! With a very discreet pinch on my arm, I confirmed that I wasn't dreaming. It was real…and he had really said he loved me.
"I-I'm sorry…I just…didn't expect…" Somehow, my eyes were already full of tears. He must have realized that I was having difficulty with his little revelation; his arms wrapped me up and held me close again. While I struggled to control myself, he explained his feelings.
"I didn't expect it, either. It wasn't a conscious decision I made. However, when we returned home to find you missing, I was worried. More than that. I might even go so far as to say it hurt. That was when I realized," he cleared his throat and continued, "That I felt…something. When I found out you had been abducted, I felt compelled to bring you back. And seeing you so broken and abused…" His grip on me tightened while I listened with rapt attention. "It made me furious. Then last night was so unlike anything I've ever… Seeing you look at me that way and knowing that you wanted nothing more than to be with me… It's difficult to find the proper words." For the first time, he actually seemed at a loss. Like he felt something that just couldn't be described in plain words. Blinking back tears, I sat up and moved closer.
"It's all right, darling. I know what you mean." Our next kiss was probably the most passionate, beautiful thing I'd ever felt. Wrapped up in him and surrendering myself completely…and he loved me. Nothing else could possibly have been more perfect. When that kiss ended, I found myself resting against his chest as he lay back on the bed, still holding me. My love's red eyes watched me so gently, and I muttered, "Say it again, Sebby…" A soft smile curved his lips, and he whispered,
"I love you." Oh, just hearing him say it set my heart on fire…! As I buried my face in his chest, he started to pet my hair and continued, "But you know that doesn't change my obligations. My master still has to remain my top priority."
"That doesn't matter," I answered blissfully, so happy that nothing could upset me. "He can't live forever. I was patient enough to wait for this moment…and I can be patient a little longer. Will you still want me when that time comes?"
"A demon's emotions are not so easily swayed," he informed me. "Of course I will."
"Then don't worry. I'll be here…" Still grinning ear to ear, I leaned my head against his shoulder. "Waiting until you're mine for real."
"And so I will be, my pet," he purred, softly kissing my head. "Yours."
A/N: Okay, so I told myself I was going to present this without comment…but I can't do it.
Yes, Sebastian finally said it. I wasn't going to let him at first, but then Grell got kidnapped and…well, his feelings developed on their own. I suppose going through things like that speeds up the process a bit…and Grell is hard to resist.
I really like the fact that Grell's relationship with the Undertaker has been slowly progressing, too. I love the two of them as friends. Gal-pals. Girlfrans.
I felt like the beginning was a little rushed, and my time-transitions are crappy as usual, but I hope you can look past that and accept the big picture. Sebastian…at the end here…I'm afraid he might have been a tiny bit OOC. But I think, considering the events of the past 12 chapters, he's changed a bit (just like Grell has), so I'm okay with it. I hope you've enjoyed the story thus far! If you did, you're welcome to check out my other SebbyxGrell stories, "My Sweet Prince" and "All Mine, All Yours." Thanks for reading!