The Phantom Company threw an annual ball as a show of goodwill towards it's shareholders, executives and supporters. 'Friends of the Family' were also in attendance, despite the fact Ciel relied on Sebastian to remember all their names. It had taken him less than an hour to tire of playing host, and he left it up to the butler to take care of things, so that he could sulk in a chair at the back of his ballroom.
"Did you ask him just to irritate me, or did he invite himself?" Ciel watched Prince Soma drag Agni around his hall, while the upper-class Englishmen tried to stay out of his way. Soma's enthusiasm was markedly out of place, and the gentry didn't know quite what to make of him – Ciel, for his part, was just grieving for the lost decorum of his ball.
Soma, on the other hand, was blissfully ignorant of Ciel's misery and having a fantastic time as he charged through the unsettled noblemen in pursuit of the servers holding plates of tiny cakes. One panicked, dropped the dish and ran away from the beaming man, leaving Ciel to beat his head against the armrest, and Agni to help Meirin clean up (which meant doing all the work, and then straightening out everything Meirin had destroyed while 'cleaning'.)
Sebastian had paused in his duties to see how well the spoiled young master was doing at 'sociability', and assured him, "Prince Soma must have invited himself – which means, technically, there are no uninvited guests here."
It was the first time in about three years that Sebastian had been wrong, and his statement was proved false almost immediately after he had said it. Ciel was about to reply, but the new figure making it's way across the hall made him stare dumbstruck. Beside him, Sebastian watched in silent disbelief.
The newcomer wore a crimson gown which brushed the floor and sported a slit that revealed their left leg with every other step they took. The neckline was half an inch away from being called 'decadent', not that their flat chest was provocative even with the dress's help. A black choker, to match the black heels and the clip that held extravagant red curls in place. Catching the demon's eye, he adjusted his glasses and winked.
"Grell Sutcliffe," Sebastian shuddered. The young master rubbed his forehead in irritation (or possibly because he had been beating it on the armrest) and waved a hand. The butler nodded his understanding. "I'll remove him." The demon started towards Grell – but was beaten to it by the zealous prince.
"You look fantastic," Soma gasped, not really caring who he was talking to, what gender they were or why the Phantomhive butler was standing a few feet away looking ominous. "So much colour!"
Thoroughly flattered, and amazed to actually be receiving the kind of attention that he dressed for, Grell beamed. "Well, everyone here dresses so drably! Just look at the Earl. No one here ever dresses in a passionate colour." Taking in the Prince's rich purples and blues, he added, "Your country must be brilliant, if everyone wears clothes as bright as yours."
Grell's real aim had been Sebastian; he had been hoping a beautiful, classy dress might thaw the demon's icy demeanor. But he could see Sebastian looked as unimpressed with him as ever, and Grell wasn't really surprised by this point. For once though, he wasn't upset by it either – even if the demon didn't care about him, Soma seemed to, and so the reaper ignored the demon and smiled.
Taking advantage of the way Agni was still trapped undoing the mess made by him and made worse by Meirin, the Prince put out a hand and asked with all his usual enthusiasm, "Would you like to dance?"
Fluttering his eyelashes and with that very pointy grin of his, Grell took the offered hand. The Earl and his butler watched as they stepped onto the hall's centre, Grell moving with unsettlingly practiced grace in his heels. "Well," Ciel said grudgingly, "I guess they can't do too much damage like that." Sebastian just shook his head at his master's naivete.
The nobles who had shied away from Soma continued to give him a wide berth – if anything, they stayed further away, now that he was dancing with what they assumed to be a woman in a scandalous scarlet dress.
They were the only colour in the room; With no Madame Red, or like-minded noblewomen around, all dresses in the room save Grell's were dull shades of pastel or bitter, inky colours. And of course, every man except Soma and Agni wore a uniform black suit. They stood out – to both their enjoyment. Attention had always been Grell's aim with a dress like his, and the prince naturally expected it.
But it was obvious that they were having a much better time than any of Ciel's other guests. As it turned out, they were both appalling dancers (even though they thought they were fantastic.) and Grell's ease in heels didn't prevent him from falling over once, or being knocked down by Soma twice.
The fourth time they met Ciel's marble floor, they accepted defeat, and Soma pulled Grell outside to enjoy the gardens at night. By then, Agni had finally banished Meirin to the kitchen and had stood staring at the couple with an unusual mix between horror and they went outside, he instinctively started to follow, but after noting that it was his Prince gleefully dragging the man in the dress outside, he decided to leave it alone, and went to help Sebastian.
It was a pleasant sort of night, much warmer than had been forecast. Most of the Phantomhive gardens were unlit, so Grell and Soma took a slow walk around the manor in the light shed by the windows. "So," Soma started cheerfully, "Why are you dressed like that?"
"I was trying to impress Sebas-chan," the Shinigami answered honestly, suddenly finding the truth embarrassing.
"Oh?" the Prince hid his disappointment poorly. "Do you like him?"
About to cry, 'yes' with his usual passion, Grell stopped himself to actually consider the question. At first, he had just been ecstatic to meet a demon, and his indulgent imagination had dreamed up their romance. That added to the butler's looks had been irresistible. But... "He certainly doesn't like me. He only pays attention to his master, and he never wears any colour, and he never gets enthusiastic... And once, he stood on my face!"
They had stopped walking by now. Grell was looking very disgruntled, the kind of face that comes with finding out what you thought was a compliment was really an insult – though it was beyond either man how he could have taken being stepped on as a compliment. Regardless, Soma put his hands on his hips, and jabbed Grell in the forehead. "If he doesn't like you, why try to impress him?"
Everything Grell did was on impulse, so without any real answer, he just shrugged. "It is quite a dress though," he said as an afterthought.
The slit was currently exposing most of his thigh, and Soma just nodded and repeated, "Quite a dress." There was a brief silence between them before the prince regained his usual vigor. In his most imperial tone, he demanded, "Give up on Sebastian!"
Grell took another look at Soma, at his richly coloured clothes, his jewels, purple hair and brilliant smile and said, with a bright grin and typical fervor, "Sure." Less than a second later the prince pounced, dragging Grell down into a kiss.
Agni had, unfortunately, chosen that moment to check on his master's well-being; Sebastian was checking Grell hadn't set fire to any of the plants. They watched for a minute, not out of voyeurism, but a mutual, terrified curiosity. When the demon gained the willpower to close the front door, he shared a glance with the Indian butler which read, "Oh, gods, why?"
A/N: I believe the honour of the first SomaxGrell fic is all mine. And it spawned from a game of LittleBigPlanet, when a friend and I got creative with the design of our Sackpeople... But since this is the happiest pairing ever, I might as well make it live. I'm not much of an angst shipper ; But, HOORAY for romances between people who never meet in canon.
Oh, and thanks to everyone who gave me a review or favourite for my first story. It's really incredible encouragement 3