Title: Jeux du Coeur

Author: Naria Lacour de Fanel

Pairings: Shinigami sammich

Rating: Eventually M

Warnings: MANSECKS! Fluff, a bit of OOC-ness to go with my neurotic dialogue.

A/N: My first non oneshot in a while, eh? I don't think I've ever written a multi-parter for Kuroshitsuji...This is obviously heavily based on the anime, not the awesomeness that is the manga. The only good thing to come out of the anime filler was Undertaker's identity...and Drocell.

Chapter 1: Observations

In which Undertaker forms a plan.

I have gotten into the practice of watching the capricious reaper's daily activities, and today is no exception. I am in the market for amusement, but the exploits of Grell Sutcliff also inspire within me a modicum of pity for someone as pathetic as he. He is lovely, to be sure, and were it not for that mouth of his, I'm sure his pursuits in romance would actually yield results. But, no, time and again I watch as he lets out a horrifically inappropriate girlish squeal of delight when the current object of his desire comes into view. Which, in turn, forces his quarry to take the only viable option: self preservation. Ergo fight has won over flight and they are in for a fray.

I can't stop the grin that forms as I watch the battle play out. Grell, as per usual, shows an astounding amount of overconfidence as he swings his scythe erratically. Obviously he has forsaken his training as he swings in a fashion entirely unlike what proper protocol suggests. This is how he gets himself into trouble.

And he knows it.

He knows that if he were to concentrate and seriously try to destroy the prey before him, he would be victorious. He would not be a harvester of souls otherwise. By Charon's Oar, I would never normally allow such a careless soldier in my ranks. He is capable and, more often than not, reliable.

But Grell likes to play.

He likes to parody the elation of being alive by antagonizing dangerous things, and he is stupidly good at getting himself into trouble. Grell also knows that if he doesn't play, then he will not get his attention.

Yes, all of this is a ploy. The devious redhead creates these scenarios in order to fall into a situation where he will inevitably need rescuing. There is but one man in the organization who would go out of his way to ensure the safety of a co-worker, if for nothing more than to reduce the costs of workman's comp…

Grell's eyes shine bright for a moment as he perks up. His action is so subtle that unless you knew what to look for, it would go unnoticed. He "accidentally" slips into harm's way, inviting his opponent to deal devastating blows to his seemingly fragile frame. He shrieks in pain as scarlet rivulets blossom across his bruised face. He makes a show of taking the hits, screeching and whining the entire time before the enemy takes action to end the battle permanently. I find myself pondering if the pain is really worth the goal. I really don't understand this attraction, but the sound of Grell's breath catching in his throat makes me look to him. I see the ghost of a smile on his split lips. His pain filled eyes soften for but a moment as he turns them skyward, to the rooftops. I follow his sight and there is William T. Spears, silhouetted against the moon, his scythe by his side, and the classic look of complete disinterest on his face.

"William! Help me!" Grell yelps, reverting back to the flamboyant ball of energy. He isn't in real danger. He could very well rescue himself, but we know that isn't the point here. Grell has gotten what he wants.

"I should just leave you there," William coldly replies, adjusting his glasses. Grell shrieks and pouts again, but we all know he won't be abandoned. And William doesn't disappoint. He makes quick work of preventing Grell's demise, excusing their behavior, and dragging Grell off to the office where he will chastise him thoroughly.

I have seen this particular play between these two time and again, and I know how it will end. Grell will not tell William his feelings, however convenient it might be. He will not tell William that the people he leaps after in flamboyant affection mean nothing to him, and that his fickle nature is but a way to keep his mind off a particular unrequited love. He will not tell dear William that these games they play wear on his soft and fragile heart, nor that he longs to be looked upon with tenderness, not disdain or annoyance. He wants to tell William, plain and simple, that he loves him. But, instead, the game will continue and Grell will keep up the annoyingly loud façade to banter back and forth. The game gives him opportunity to be near William, and that is enough. But I can see the tears he refuses to shed.

William will continue to deny the affection he feels for the fiery reaper, somewhat by choice, though mostly through ignorance. Persephone's tears, I know that affection is there! I see it in the way that he comes to Grell's rescue, despite the fact that he is normally on assignment elsewhere. I see it in the way he spoils the boy by finding bureaucratic loopholes to give him lighter punishments. I can see the way his body minutely relaxes around the red maned beauty…William wants Grell, but will never do anything that might compromise his work. Mr. Spears is a stiff, cold, well oiled machine of a reaper. But there is one thing in the world that can fracture that aloof facade, when even I can never get a rise out of him, and that is the irritating Grell Sutcliff. Whether or not he entirely understands why this is the case, I fully intend to use that against him. Knowledge of all things is my main weapon.

I am quite adept at manipulating others to bring my plans to fruition. I believe I will use the Phantomhive boy and his butler.

It's time for me to enter the game.

Chapter 1 folks...

Interesting fact about the author:

Undertaker/Grell was fanon for me before it became canon.

I love the idea of the shinigami having their own jargon, i.e. their own versions of "goodness" or "my god!". Expletives? Of course they are Death/Underworld based. Hence "By Charon's Oar!" and "Persephone's tears!" I was considering "Anubis' squeaky bone!" but that was just silly! LOL