All characters © Toboso Yana

Summary: Most dying humans are allowed to die unless their soul is "beneficial to the world," according to the Shinigami. The Undertaker lets "slip" that Ciel's soul may be such during chapter 50. But of course, Ciel never listens.


The Devil Doesn't Know

The local Undertaker gave the boy before him a puzzled glance. "A safety coffin?"

Ciel Phantomhive tapped his cane impatiently against the floor. It made a wet thocking sound in the dankness of the Undertaker's shop. "Precisely. I need not repeat myself again, Undertaker."

The Undertaker brushed some pale hair away from his face with a long-nailed hand and giggled. "What mishap have you gotten into this time, Earl?" he asked, although he already knew. The butler wasn't with him.

"There was a slight misunderstanding at my manor the other night," Phantomhive replied, averting his eyes. "There were...casualties."

"I see, I see." The Undertaker bustled about, looking through his array of coffins. "One-point eight meters, would you say?"

Phantomhive nodded. "In addition to the safety coffin, I want a bell installment. You can also dispose of the grave liner."

The Undertaker burbled out another chuckle. "Hee, hee! An interesting request, Earl," he leered, tapping his chin. "Are you expecting someone to come back to life? Or are you just burying him under the pretense of death?"

The look Phantomhive gave him was cool, remorseless. It was a look that told the Undertaker not to question any further. Behind his bangs the Undertaker grinned, amused by how a thirteen year old boy could possess such an inflated sense of authority. Granted, most of that was that butler's doing, but the Undertaker grinned nonetheless, because even someone like the butler was like a child compared to him. Youngsters and their egos these days.

He pulled out a quill. "Excuse me for a minute—what epitaph shall I give your dear butler?"

Phantomhive seemed to think for a moment before a catty smile pulled the bottom half of his face up. It was quite a grotesque gesture. "An Irish proverb is all that comes to mind at the moment," he answered, and recited the poem: " 'May ye be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you're dead.' "

"Very fitting, though I doubt his soul would ever be up for grabs," the Undertaker noted, his veiled gaze falling on the boy's eye patch. "Have you noticed," he began, "that whenever you take on the Queen's tasks people often get hurt?"

The Earl's gloved fingers tightened ever so slightly on his cane. "Well that is a given," he shrugged.

The Undertaker paused from his scribbling. "But the one who always seems to emerge unscathed through it all is you, Earl."

"Sorry," Phantomhive gave a small smirk, "I'm just not that good at dying."

"You are terrible at it," the Undertaker agreed, nodding and returning his quill (a raven's feather, Ciel Phantomhive noted ironically), "but rightfully so, since your soul is 'beneficial to the world,' after all."

At this Phantomhive frowned. "Pardon?"

"Oh nothing, nothing." A sleeve flapped noisily as the Undertaker dismissively waved his hand. "Just me rambling along, take no notice."

Phantomhive had long since grown accustomed to tuning out half of what the Undertaker said anyway, so he merely sighed. "The funeral is this afternoon, Undertaker," he said. "I would like to have Sebastian buried within the hour, if possible. And bring shovels; we'll be needing them."

The Undertaker clapped his hands together. "Of course!" he exclaimed jovially. The long stitch-scars across the bridge of his nose stretched as he beamed.

"That's why you're so amusing, Earl," he announced to the empty shop after the boy had left. His hand searched the pockets of his robe for a stale biscuit, as he'd suddenly become rather hungry. "You never take anything I say seriously, so I really can say anything to you. Hee, hee!" Finding little to eat in his pockets, the Undertaker sat at his table and began to work on the epitaph.

"Despite your contract, we can't allow you to die before your time since your soul is a beneficial one," he remarked, even though the Earl was long gone. "I wonder if Sebastian knows that it won't be on our list for at least another seven decades, hmm?"

Only the faint echo of his voice bouncing off the stone walls answered him, and the Undertaker began to laugh again.