A/N:Written for 10orders LiveJournal writing challenge community using the prompt #1 – Smile for me.

Disclaimer: Toboso Yana and all associated companies are the rightful owners of the Kuroshitsuji universe. No copyright infringement intended and no money is being made out of this. Please support the mangaka by buying her work.

Warnings: none.

Of A Smile

"Claude. You should laugh too." It wasn't a request.

Claude didn't. He couldn't understand what drove this child, this little monster to do any of the things he did. He had assumed that he had wanted a high material and social status at the time of closing their contract; high enough to fight on par with Ciel Phantomhive and win. Yet every action of Alois Trancy proved otherwise. He found amusement in throwing away a fortune even though he had sold his soul to a demon for it. Claude thought he knew humans well, having closed countless deals before and having devoured countless souls, but not one of those had even closely resembled Alois. Of course, none of them had been a child.

Alois wanted Claude to laugh, to have fun doing all of the chores, as they were easy enough for him, mostly. He wanted his demon butler to dance, to be happy. He would be getting his soul in the end, so why couldn't he show his glee, even once? But the harder Alois tried, the less he succeeded. He couldn't break through to the demon. He would order him to dance – he wouldn't. He would order him to laugh with him – he wouldn't. He would order him to, at least, smile – and would get a stony expression instead. And yet Alois refused to give up because he wanted to believe…

If Claude had been able to look past the traits of human nature which he knew all too well and by which he judged everyone, and looked closer, he might have been able to realise the true reason behind the child's request. But he was a demon and did not understand, had never wanted to understand that part of humans which was capable of self-sacrifice for someone else. Demons couldn't die, therefore the need for sacrificing oneself for somebody else was utterly pointless. He couldn't, wouldn't believe in this child wanting the one impossible thing for a demon – love. None of his previous contracts had entailed anything even closely resembling that. And the longer this current contract dragged on, the more and more he wanted to end it and find something else, someone who would be more worthy of his attention than this child. Someone… like Ciel Phantomhive, because he could at least understand that child's reasoning and, yes, he was intrigued by the quality of that soul if the – currently – Sebastian Michaelis clung to him with such possessiveness.

Simple straightforward reasons like revenge Claude could appreciate more than the inane, strange orders his little master was giving him.

"Smile, Claude!"

Oh, if only Claude had known how wrong he was in his judgement!