Gambit

DISCLAIMER: I do not own the characters of Kuroshitsuji, nor am I clever enough to have thought of them on my own. This story contains male/male relationships between an adult and a child—if that offends you, please stop reading now. This story is dedicated to my amazing "husbandou," Dahlia. Without her brilliant ideas, it wouldn't exist!


Chapter 1
His Butler, Absurd

The air outside was hot, but dry. A cool breeze swept mercifully through the trees, making the afternoon heat bearable…and even pleasant. Even the Phantomhive was enjoying the draft enough that he had opened the large bay window behind his desk in the study as he worked on his lessons. The curtains billowed and fluttered noisily, but the cracking of the fabric blended well enough with the crisp rustling of leaves outside that the boy hardly noticed it.

It was a rare day in the Phantomhive estate. There were no guests, announced or otherwise. The Earl had no appointments and the country seemed to be in a surreal state of calm lately. Queen Victoria had little need for her obedient little guard dog, and though Ciel anticipated a letter every day, it had been a few weeks since the last one. It was bittersweet, this unusual quiet. Though it gave the young Earl a well-deserved break, he was bored.

A polite knock on the door pulled Ciel's attention from the history book in front of him, and he lifted his one good eye in time to see the door to his study open. His loyal butler stepped into the room with a pristine silver tray in his hand. Was it time for tea already? The young Earl had lost track of the hour some time ago.

"Pardon the intrusion," Sebastian purred in his smooth voice. "Today's afternoon snack is a chocolate mousse layered cake with sliced almonds and shredded white mint chocolate, served with peppermint tea to compliment the flavor."

He stopped beside his young master's chair and lifted the rich looking cake from the platter. As he leaned forward to set the plate down, he eyed the boy seriously. "Has my Lord given any thought to the matter we discussed this morning?" he asked in a low tone that had a hint of urgency to it.

Ciel sighed and put his book aside as he sat back in his oversized chair. "I don't know what you expect from me, Sebastian. It's not like I'm going to suddenly have some epiphany and—" He stopped short and blinked when the cake was shoved in front of his face, then narrowed his good eye up at his intrusive butler.

"Young Master, it is a matter of great importance," he insisted, finally setting the plate down onto the boy's desk.

"It's just a birthday," Ciel insisted with an annoyed frown as he lifted his fork.

"It is your betrothed's birthday," Sebastian corrected boldly. "And you ought to get her something special for it. She will be here in a matter of days with your future in laws and you should do your best to be polite and welcoming."

"What a nuisance," little Phantomhive grumbled, scooping up a small piece of the rich dessert in front of him and taking it into his mouth.

"I will make the necessary arrangements for the carriage to take us into town after you finish your tea, Young Master," Sebastian continued, ignoring the comment.

"I don't know what to get her!" Ciel said, looking up at his butler. "You go buy her something, and put my name on the tag."

"No, Young Master," his butler said flatly, putting the boy's tea down beside the cake. He held the tray under his arm and stepped around to the other side of the impressive desk. "Will you be requiring anything else?"

The Earl's brow twitched and he glared quietly at his butler. "What use are you?" he huffed furiously as he took another bite of his cake. He hated when Sebastian said no to him. "Just go."

Sebastian's mouth curled into a short-lived smirk, and he bowed obediently. "Yes, my Lord," the handsome demon purred with a hint of laughter in his voice, before he stood and turned to leave the study.

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Ciel wasn't sure at what point it was that Sebastian decided it was appropriate for him to ride in the carriage with his master, but apparently he had...presumably to lecture his young master more on the duties of a betrothal. With Tanaka at the reigns, Sebastian had helped the young Phantomhive into the carriage and then climbed nonchalantly in behind him. He took a seat across from his young master and smiled that infuriating smile. Ciel was less than amused. He narrowed his good eye at the smiling demon, and looked out the window without a word.

Sebastian proved him right within minutes. "Young master, you should at least pretend to care about such an occasion and put a decent effort into finding a suitable gift for Lady Elizabeth."

"I don't know what girls like," Ciel insisted, rolling his eyes and crossing his legs as he gripped the body of his ornate walking stick. "Meaningless trinkets."

"You know what Lady Elizabeth likes."

"Ridiculousness."

"Young Master," Sebastian said sternly—almost scolding the stubborn boy.

Somehow, Ciel gave in with a sigh and slouched a little in his seat. "I hate birthdays…" he muttered quietly.

His butler nodded his head quietly and watched the small Phantomhive carefully. "I know, Young Master. But they are a matter of great importance to your bride-to-be." A defeated sigh escaped him then. He lifted a gloved hand to touch his forehead and close his eyes. "My, my…" he murmured. "What about jewelry, my Lord? Ladies always appreciate a pretty trinket to decorate themselves with."

Jewelry? Ciel didn't know the first thing about women's jewelry, but he supposed it wasn't a terrible idea. He lowered his head and thought quietly about his fiancé. She often wore earrings, did she not…?

"A locket, perhaps?" Sebastian suggested as he watched his master, "with Young Master's picture inside. A romantic notion such as that would certainly be befitting—"

"How absurd," Ciel muttered defiantly. "Don't confuse romance and sentimental mush. I don't know anything about romance, in any case. I'll get her a pair of earrings."

Sebastian smirked quietly and nodded his head. "Of course, my Lord," he agreed placidly. What a child his young master still was. Despite the pain behind those pretty eyes, the Earl was still very much an innocent boy; still cringing at the idea of mushy romantic gestures and dances with ladies. It heated the demon to his very core to think that one day the innocent soul before him would be his for the taking. He could almost taste it whenever he thought of it and he had to quell the urge to lick his lips.

When they arrived to town, the sun was still high in the sky. Ciel felt its heat the moment they stopped and he groaned at the lack of any kind of breeze here in the market. He took Sebastian's hand as he climbed out of the carriage, adjusting the hat on his head as he scanned the buildings along the street for a jewelry shop. When he caught sight of one, he headed on his way without a word of warning to his butler. The demon would be at his heals as he always was.

Once inside, his nostrils were swiftly attacked with an overwhelmingly sweet aroma. He suppressed a cough politely as he passed the small Eau du Toilette display to peek curiously into the glass cases filled with sparkling, lustrous jewels. Where to begin…?

He felt Sebastian's presence beside him almost immediately. A gloved hand appeared in his line of vision with a tiny box in it, held open to reveal two brilliant pink diamond earrings on ornate gold posts. The young Phantomhive lifted his gaze and sighed a little. How was it that Sebastian always knew exactly what to do without a moment's hesitation? One day he vowed to see the man falter.

Sebastian smiled knowingly at his young master and nodded his head. He handed the Earl his wallet and the earrings and gestured to the register. Ciel would be making this purchase himself—it was only right. He glanced around the fancy shop as the young teen walked to the back of the store to pay. He never understood what attracted humans so much to such pointless ornaments. He had no interest in trivial man-made junk.

A quiet smirk spread across his lips as he heard his master whispering to the store owner about having a custom locket made to match the earrings. He shook his head a little. In what world did young Ciel think that he could ever hide anything from his contractor? He said nothing of it when the boy returned; he simply took the carefully packaged gift into his hands and followed his master back to the waiting carriage.

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Sebastian sighed when the study bell jingled loudly in the otherwise quiet kitchen. That was the third time in less than an hour that his Lord had called him up to the study—and each time with nothing but complaints and frivolous orders. It was obvious he was bored and pent up from being inside so much with nothing but his work and studies. He did wish the Queen would write the boy soon—or else he was beginning to think that the Phantomhive was out of a job.

The butler smirked at the idea and wiped his hands dry. "My, my you are trying today, Young Master…" he said softly. He looked at the partially-prepared food in front of him and shook his head. He had so much work to do; the future in-laws would be there in two days and he was trying to prepare ahead of time. He sighed quietly as he removed the apron around his waist and headed upstairs to tend to his finicky master.

"Sebastian."

The boy hadn't even the patience to wait for Sebastian to fully open the door before making his demands. The demon held back a chuckle and touched his chest with a quick bow. "My Lord?"

"I'm hungry. I want something sweet."

"Young Master, Afternoon Tea was less than an hour ago. You aren't hungry, you are bored," Sebastian insisted calmly.

"I don't care, I want something sweet. Make me something."

"Young Master…"

"Just make something," Ciel persisted stubbornly.

Sebastian sighed and smiled a little as he looked at the boy. He looked so tiny in that large, lavish chair. Tiny and fragile…a combination that sent hot chills down Sebastian's spine and made it difficult for him not to break the contract and take his soul right there. The boy's resolve only excited him more—but it was precisely his bratty, demanding personality and the constant banter they shared that kept him well amused by his little master. "Yes, my Lord."

He turned in the door way, but stopped with his hand on the door frame. "Are you going to ask me now? Or were you going to wait until I returned with your snack to order me to retrieve your shoe, my Lord?" he asked with a knowing smile as he looked back at the boy.

Ciel's bright blue eye widened considerably as he stared at his butler. He glanced down at his shoeless foot under the desk and frowned deeply. "Che… just get it," he demanded bitterly. How had Sebastian known? He certainly couldn't have seen through the thick wood panel across the front of his desk. That damned demon… The boy crossed his arms and sulked silently in his seat. He had removed the boot and tossed it out his open window out of boredom before even ringing the bell—wanting to amuse himself by inconveniencing his know-it-all butler. He could never win.

Sebastian simply smirked and nodded his head gently. "Yes, my Lord," he said softly as he left the room. Very well, he would play fetch with the young master.

He returned soon enough with a small platter in his hands. He smiled politely to his master as he set a glass of milk down, followed by a slice of layered chocolate cheesecake. "I will retrieve your shoe now, my Lord," he said softly, smiling a little at the fact that the brat refused to even look at him. He shook his head a little as he headed outside to find the missing shoe.

"Oh? What have we here…" he said with a warm smile as he watched a beautiful black figure stretch itself across the front stoop. He knelt down to scoop it up gently, laughing softly at the sweet little 'mew' that escaped its perfect mouth. She was beautiful. Perfection. He sat down on the steps with the stray in his lap and happily rubbed her paws, watching as her claws extended slowly.

The butler cooed happily and leaned in to brush his cheek against her soft head. "So soft…" he said softly. He continued to rub her perfect little paws and sighed. If only his master were this well-behaved. He smirked a little at the thought.

It was the sound of horse hooves that finally pulled his attention away from the lovely creature in his lap. He released her with a reluctant sigh and stood, waving to her. "Wait for me tomorrow," he said to her as always, before turning to watch a letter carrier dismount his horse. It was no regular letter carrier though… this was the Queen's official messenger.

When Sebastian finally returned upstairs, he carried the shoe and the letter both on a silver platter. He knocked gently and then entered the study. "My Lord."

"What took you so long?" the Phantomhive huffed furiously. He was sitting with his chair pushed back, legs crossed—the one bare foot dangling most beautifully in the air. He had finished his milk and cake, and was tapping his finger impatiently on the arm of his chair.

"Forgive me, my Lord," Sebastian said with a little smile as he stepped forward. He knelt at his master's feet and placed the tray down gently. "Your boot had a few scuffs on it from its unfortunate fall from the window. I couldn't very well bring it back looking as such; it would be most unbecoming of a Phantomhive to have a scuffed boot."

He took the boy's ankle gently into his hand, sliding his fingers up that slender leg and catching him under the calf muscle. The action was enough to turn the young teen's cheeks an impressive shade of red. That only made Sebastian smile more as he slid the boot slowly onto his young master's foot, and tied it carefully. He touched the tongue of the boot then and looked up at his master, making eye contact with the boy.

The sultry look in his eyes only made the poor boy even more uncomfortable. His little shoulders tensed up and he leaned back a little, looking startled. Then, a gasp escaped his perfect lips as that gloved hand slid up the front of his shin, to his knee. "My Lord…" Sebastian murmured softly. "I must insist that you keep your boots on, for now." He smirked a little when his hand was swatted away.

"What do you—" Poor Ciel hadn't the time to finish the startled demand before his nose suddenly itched, and he sneezed once…twice…three times. He took in a deep breath after and was about to yell at Sebastian again when he saw the off white envelope on the tray beside his butler's knees…and the Queen's Red seal.

It was about time.


Waahhh! I know, like nothing happened in this chapter, but the good stuff is coming, I promise!

This story is based off of an idea my dearest friend, Dahlia, had! She's brilliant and deserves credit for being the brains behind this outfit, lol. Anyhow… Sorry the chapter was so slow, it's really just the introduction chapter…and I gave you a little teaser as to Sebastian's impure intentions! Ohoho! I hope you enjoyed it!

PLEASE review and let me know what you think, I'd love to hear from you! I'm not sure yet how often I'll do my updates…maybe every Sunday? Hopefully I can live up to that. Lol I have no idea yet how long this is going to be, but I do know everything that I want to happen. It's rated M for things to come!

-Lo