The butler gently laid his precious young master down onto the old stone bench in the middle of the garden, it's seat and back cracked, weather worn and greyed more throughout the past few years than it probably should have done, despite the time and care put into making the garden so beautiful. It didn't matter though, Bocchan was dead. No matter how clean the mansion and how pretty the garden, it wouldn't bring Ciel back.
He could never let go though of the young boy though, he was far too dear to the butler, still far too demanding for the butler, despite being lifeless. Of course, he wasn't really demanding anything at all, his lips never let a single word slip through, but Sebastian seemed to think that if he continued about his old routine then nothing would change…
Every morning he'd wake the young man up, dress him, brush his hair all whilst he's reading the newspaper, then serve him breakfast, go to let his first tutor arrive and then clean and correct the staff where ever they went wrong.
Although he knew none of it ever really happened. He'd go into Ciels untouched bedroom, put the newspaper by his pillow and get out the clothes Ciel should have been wearing that day. He'd then bring out the breakfast, explaining to no one imparticular what was on offer.
Next he went and opened the door to Ciels tutor (of course, Ciels tutor thought the butler had lost it and knew it wasn't right to keep turning up every day, but the amount he was paid to sit around for two hours doing nothing each day was enough to feed a family of four for a week).And then went about cleaning and correcting the staff on all their usual mistakes.
Despite going about the usual routine of making sure Bard's food was up to standard, replacing the items Meyrin had broken and fixing the garden where Finnian faltered, it was never the same as it had once been. Of course, this was probably on the account that the servants had moved on and it only pained them to continue working under the Phantomhive estate. But they'd continue, they'd always stay loyal to Sebastian. The life and soul had escaped from the staff, even Tanaka seemed a little more distant than he used to be, the manor and well…him…
Then after the tutor had left and the mansion was immaculate and the employees were on their morning break, he took Ciel to his office, well, he could pretend to, and lead him to his desk, letters laid out of a silver platter for him, waiting to be read. Of course, no one really sent any letters these days apart from the odd mail from Elizabeth, Agni and Soma, Lau and the others who were under strict instructions to write to him as though he were still alive. Although, these letters seemed to be slowly fading now a days as it broke their hearts, writing to a boy that could no longer write back.
On the days that there were no letters received, Sebastian would write the letters himself whilst he should have been cleaning, making sure to pick up the slack later when Ciel would be asleep. The letters were always detailed and precise, letting the young master know about his day, what he'd been up to, all about the new tea imported from India that he was eager to prepare for him, his thoughts, his feelings, about upcoming social events in high society that he should attend…Of course; none of these letters were ever opened. There was nobody to read them, so Sebastian kept them all in a draw in the attic where none of the staff would ever find them…
And then came Ciels violin lessons, taught by Sebastian personally. The long, sorrowful notes that played skilfully throughout the halls and corridors were not unnoticed by the staff. Finny often stopped what he was doing if he were close enough to the window and just listened, not wanting to disturb the astonishing melodies that came from such a delicate instrument by accidentally uprooting a tree or breaking a pipe. Of course, he knew really he should stop the butler from playing, maybe hide the violins before the next session, but he just couldn't bring himself to do it. He knew that if he broke the routine, he'd break Sebastian's heart and the gardener knew that he just wasn't ready to move on yet, if Sebastian would ever be ready at all…
Then it would be time for the child to relax with tea, maybe even a few guests would join him and they'd have conversations about the queen, politics, business, all of the things a twelve year old boy should not be discussing, but of course, Ciel often did. Not many people visited these days. Several gentlemen approached about wanting to buy the mansion, but they were all soon quickly turned away.
Occasionally, Grell would visit, the shinigami that Sebastian had once found so irritating was now a blessing, but his company was never long lived. As much love as the red head had for the demon in his heart, he couldn't stand to see him for more than an hour or two without having to depart. It killed him to see Sebastian be so fixated on pleasing whom he still considered to have been a spoiled brat. Whenever he gazed into the flawlessly suited mans eyes, he knew a little bit more of him had crept away. He was quickly becoming a butler obsessed and no longer the man Grell had fallen for.
Once the visits were over, Sebastian would go to the dining room where he'd previously set the table earlier that morning. He'd go fetch the food prepared by Bard (and of course, with assistance from the butler himself as it didn't take a genius to know that Bard's cooking was nowhere near up to standard), then bring it through, placing each dish around and between the cutlery, explaining once more what Ciel would be eating were he actually there to enjoy the hard laboured food produced.
After a suitable amount of time, Meyrin would come in to collect and clear up the plates and the two would proceed upstairs where the butler would remove his jacket, roll up his sleeves and run a bath for his contractor, pretending to bathe him, commenting on how dirty Bocchan had become during the day and how unusual it was for a child of his age to become so unclean without doing the usual activities a child would. Of course, with no child to get dirty, he could only close his eyes and pretend, washing his hair and the body of the boy who was not around to be bathed.
The next stage of the day was to dry the boy off, take him to his room and prepare him for bed, making sure his eye patch was on the table next to him, ready to not be used again the next day.
On cold nights, the butler would leave and make the young master some cocoa to warm him up and they'd converse until he was too tired to continue. At which point the Sebastian would blow out the candle that stood next to his eye patch and leave the room. Of course, this process didn't take as long as it used to take when the boy could actually struggle and strive to stay awake as long as possible. Despite having acted so grown up and mature in life, he was still a child after all and often let some of his more innocent traits shine through.
Of course, no one other than Sebastian had ever got to see that side of him, the side that occasionally just wanted to skip work and sit in the garden, and the side that often longed to play with the toys his company manufactured, but was rarely displayed due to the vast amount of work the boy had forced upon himself. The butler often sighed to himself at this time of night, wandering if maybe he should have just encouraged Ciel to live as a child whilst he still had the chance, but of course, it was too late t be thinking of such things now, what was done was done.
He'd wait outside the door until the master was settled before going to dismiss the staff, replying to any letters Ciel had ordered him too (again, all of these were written and produced by Sebastian himself, being hidden away in the attic never to be seen again). He'd clean up anything that the staff had forgotten to put away or dispose of and double check everything was ready for the next day from lessons to travel arrangements, not letting the fact that they'd just go to waste let him down.
As soon as he'd be finished and checked that there was no one else around, he'd quietly proceed to a part of the garden Finnian was strictly told not to touch and never even got to see himself. In the centre of this patch of garden lay a stone bench, surrounded by rose bushes and perfectly neat paths, covered in small pale gravel. On the bench lay the body of the young master, perfectly preserved and untouched, looking so angelic it was almost as if he were asleep. This was Sebastian's most prized accomplishment, well worth the sacrifices he had to make to keep everything this way.
He knelt in front of the fragile body, gently stroking any hair away from his face, a tiny smile shining onto his lips. He'd learnt many years ago of a curse if you will that would allow him to keep a human preserved in exchange for his own immortality, he'd slowly become human with each breath the human took. He never thought it would be of any use to him until he'd met and served Ciel.
On every full moon, the garden would illuminate and the eyes of the young boy would slowly flicker open like that of a child looking at the world for the first time and Sebastian would be by his side, waiting as always. Of course he would though, what kind of a butler would leave his master side for such an event, especially one of such importance to him? They'd talk as if nothing had ever happened and they could converse forever under the moons silver rays. Ciel would demand to know what had happened in his absence, how everyone was doing, even going as far as to ask if there were any cases from the queen yet on some occasions.
And every time a new demand left his lips, the butler would smile softly and his eyes would become relaxed and gentle. It was the only time now that he could ever utter the beautiful phrase that he yearned to say in every waking moment of his existence;
"Yes, my lord…"
Smoothly, he'd bow and promise to fulfil his wish as soon as possible, only wanting to please the child he cared for so much; his master, his life, his everything.
And as each full moon faded and day turned to night, Sebastian would gently pick up Ciel from where ever he'd wandered to in the small garden that was now his home, as he'd start to fall into a gentle and silent sleep.
The butler would gently lay his precious young master down onto the old stone bench in the middle of the garden, it's seat and back cracked, weather worn and greyed more throughout the past few years than it probably should have done, despite the time and care put into making the garden so beautiful. It didn't matter though, Bocchan was dead. No matter how clean the mansion and how pretty the garden, it wouldn't bring Ciel back…