Been awhile since I've written for a new section, so I hope the character portrayals are alright. The story itself has no definite time within the original plot, so it's just a random story. Read it for the lulz ^_^
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
For Sebastian, his entire existence had been one repeat scenario after another. Some soul figuring they were teetering on the edge of death would make a plea for him to save them, quick to have his aid in the heat of the moment and subsequently selling their soul to the devil. He'd gotten many an easy meal like this but when you lived for eternity, it grew tiring quickly. This is why Ciel was so…valuable. Where the others were burgers, Ciel's soul was like the finest steak. Mmm, steak…
"SWEETIE!" A voice screamed to his left. A blur of red flew in through the window and before it could land on the bed, Sebastian had rolled off of it and was already far across the room. Grell Sutcliffe dived face-first into nothing but the blankets.
"So now you've taken to haunting my residence?" Sebastian asked dryly. It was too early in the morning for this. He hadn't even made breakfast yet.
"For collecting fifty souls this week alone, Will let me have a day off!" Grell said. He picked up a pillow and shoved it against his face, breathing in the butler's scent. "Ahh, smells like death and corrosion. Just how I like it!"
Ugh. "Yes, that's all great, Grell. But of all the places to go, of all the things to do on your rare day off, you've come here, to me, when you know how I feel about you?"
"Oh, Bassie, you're just being shy!" Grell threw the pillow aside and flung himself toward the man. Just as he was about to grab him, Sebastian pulled another fast move by walking out the room. The door being suddenly opened caused the reaper to crash painfully into the surface.
"Ow…that wasn't very nice!" he called out.
Sebastian didn't return an answer. Instead, he headed down the hall and began his daily ritual of forcefully waking up the other servants of the household. Bard grumbled and rolled over to go back to sleep for another five minutes but would otherwise be up presently. He learned long ago though to never physically touch Finny when waking him. The one time that he had, the boy had turned in his sleep and subsequently flung an arm out, knocking him through four walls before he was able to bring himself to a stop. No, Sebastian wasn't trying to repeat that scenario.
Instead, he carefully placed a piece of candy from the Funtom Company on his chest and stood back. The boy's nose twitched and then he bolted upright, limbs flailing and sending all objects within reach crashing into the ceiling, walls and through the window. And through all of this, that piece of candy still remained on his chest. It was a wonder of science.
"Chocolate!" Finny screamed and savagely ripped the wrapper off. Popping it in his mouth, he melted at the taste. "I don't think even Angela could make me feel the way these do!"
Somehow, I agree with you, Sebastian concurred with amused silence. Clapping his hands twice to get the boy's attention, he called "Up and at 'em!" and strode purposefully from the room.
Sadly, the hardest part still lay ahead as he headed across the hall and tapped lightly on Maylene's room. Hearing nothing inside, he pushed open the door to see she too was still dozing. On his first day, he'd awoken her by gently tapping her. Sadly, she too was one of those people that woke up in a frenzy but everything she did resulted in chaos. Upon opening her eyes and seeing his face, she'd become flustered and in her attempt to get dressed for the day, she'd wrecked the entire room…and accomplished nothing.
So, he instead took to setting an alarm clock for her. Sebastian put the device on the bedside table and turned his back on it, going to the closet. He didn't need to see what happened next. The alarm went off and the girl shrieked and sprang out of bed, babbling in her fake, cockney accent about being late, about needing to set the table, about needing to dust the living room.
"Brush! Where's me brush? Ooh, I had it right here, right here it was! On the dresser! And ahh! I'm still in my jammies! A maid can't clean in her jammies, no she can't, what a shame!"
When seen like this, it was hard to believe the woman was really once a sharp-shooter. With a sigh, Sebastian held up the missing hairbrush and handed it to her. "It was on your bureau. Same as it always is."
She yanked the brush through her hair a few times, hurriedly tying it up in ponytails. "Oohh, I'm late! Late, I am! Must hurry up for the Master—!" She spun around and came face to face with her maid's dress, held out by the butler. Snatching it, she was just about to start undressing until she realized the man was still in the room.
Sebastian didn't care to see the rest. Heading out, he gave her to the count of three before he heard the loud scream, knowing she was daydreaming about him in the most embarrassing way and sliding to the floor from a massive nosebleed.
That only left Tanaka, but that came later. Once the morning tea was made, he'd place a cup beside the man's bed and he'd wake up on his own. No flying fists and kicks of fury, no flustered panics. Tanaka was easily his favorite of the Phantomhive servants.
Entering the kitchen, he actually had to stifle a gasp of horror as he was reminded with painful clarity that Grell was still there. The reaper was sitting on the kitchen table, the top buttons of his shirt undone and a dainty finger pressed to his lips, a naughty expression on his face. "Don't I make a scrumptious breakfast, Bassie?" he cooed.
"Mm-hmm," Sebastian humored him, putting a pot of water on to boil.
"Oh, Sebby, I knew you loved me!"
"…that is, if I even ate breakfast."
Undaunted, Grell replied, "Why don't you start with me?"
With his back turned away, a wicked grin spread on his face. Casually walking to the door in the kitchen that led outside, he threw it open and walked back into the kitchen. Due to Bard's explosive cooking methods, he often prepared the meals himself and began to melt a piece of butter on a pan.
He heard it much sooner than his immortal counterpart did. Picking up the morning's newspaper, he sat down at the table and happily began reading, as though completely oblivious. A soft padding of feet quickly grew to a loud rumble and before Grell could get out of the way, Pluto the demon dog was tackling him, thinking he was the one with the food.
"No, you stupid mutt! You're getting my clothes all dirty! How is Bassie supposed to desire me if I'm not looking my best at all times?"
Sebastian evilly let this go on for several minutes until he checked the time and realized the others would be down soon. It was probably best that they didn't meet the reaper…especially since they were supposed to be a species that worked in the shadows only.
"Grell, I have a proposition for you," he called over as he began the cooking.
At hearing his voice, Pluto perked up, wagging his bottom hopefully for a treat. Grell on the other hand wiped his face off disgustedly. Even in his human form, the 'dog' drooled completely over his face. "And what, dearest Bassie, is that?" he grumbled.
"It would seem Pluto has taken a liking to you. He followed me here from the underworld and refuses to go back. If you can train him for me, I'd be much obliged. In return…I'll let you hug me."
Grell gave him an incredulous look, then turned back to the dog. Pluto was nibbling on the man's glasses, sharpening his teeth. "You want me to train this brute? Impossible! Only an Angel could!"
Clearly not, if Angela pushed him upon me, Sebastian scoffed. "But Grell, you're quite perfect for the job. You have such high energy, just the sort of person that he'll need to be around. Why…you're the only person I trust for such a task." Here, he turned around and feinted puppy-eyes. "Grell. Please."
The blush that covered the redhead's face ran all the way up to his roots. "Oh, you're just too cute! But still…really, dog training isn't my thing. Especially if the dog is one of your kind! And you know how much Will hates demons…"
Sebastian shrugged. "Fine. For the privilege to take photographs of me for thirty seconds, would you do it?"
Like a pot beginning to boil, he could see the reaper fill with that much more excitement. He was close to his breaking point. But the man looked back at Pluto, who was finally off of him and instead chasing his tailless bottom around in pathetic circles. "Make those semi-nude pics and we have a deal."
Sebastian was about to reply with a sharp retort when he heard footsteps on the stairs. The others would be here in only seconds. He was unfortunately out of time. "Fine! But no clothing removal from the waist down." He quickly strode over to the reaper and grabbed him off the floor by his arm and all but kicked him outside. Behind him he shoved Pluto out the door too. "Don't come back until he's properly trained either." And with that, he slammed the door on a very affronted Grell.
"Who was that?" Finny asked, rubbing sleep from his eyes.
"Oh, nothing. Just letting a moth out," Sebastian smiled. He finished with the breakfast and tea, quite pleased with himself.
The next few days were rather uneventful. He accompanied Ciel everywhere, as per-usual but no flamboyant redheads randomly tackled him. He was thankful for the chance to put down his guard a bit. When Ciel had asked where Pluto had gone, he'd told him the truth and to that, the boy actually cracked a smile. "Now that would've been a sight to see! You truly are evil, Sebastian."
The butler bowed. "I'll take that as a compliment."
It was noon on the fifth day when he heard a disturbance coming from the back of the property. His first thought was that the house was under siege again from those looking to seek revenge from the Phantomhive name but he doubted mere humans could stomp loud enough to make the trees shake. Well, ignoring Finny.
Considering the others were joining Lady Elizabeth in the parlor to sing English folksongs (he himself beating a hasty retreat outdoors), nobody was around to take notice of the garden phenomenon. A few more bushes trembled from the footsteps before a seriously unkempt Grell made his appearance. The reaper turned around, gave a harsh drag on a large leash and Pluto in his original form came to join him.
Pushing sweaty hair out of his face, Grell shrieked, "You wretched demon!"
Sebastian looked up from his book with innocent eyes. "Why Grell, what is it that bothers you so?"
"You knew this dog was an utter lost cause and yet you coerced me into trying to train him anyways! Do you know how pissed Will was with me? I didn't only lose my beautiful, custom-made death scythe and was given toenail clippers instead, I was also demoted three levels! Do you understand just how hard it is to gain one level? Do you? It took nearly my entire existence to get where I was and in one fell swoop, I lost it all and now I'm the butt of everyone's jokes!"
By the time Grell finished, he was huffing louder than when he'd first arrived. Sebastian fought to keep the smirk off his face. It had been a week free of Pluto's constant annoyances and he'd enjoyed it greatly. The servants had missed the dog but he'd assured them that he'd be back very quickly. But to his amazement, the reaper had lasted an entire five days. Truly commendable.
After catching his breath, Grell straightened up and an evil glint of his own flashed across his eyes. Showing off his brilliant sharp teeth, he struck his classic rocker pose, complete with tongue to the side. "But in the end, I reigned victorious!" he announced.
Sebastian had barely paid attention to Pluto but he quickly looked over him now. The dog had sat patiently throughout the entire conversation, no shuffling or stirring, no breaking free to chase the birds, no scratching behind his ear. In fact, his tongue wasn't even lolling and he looked rather stately as he sat beside Grell.
The reaper's smile grew even wider. "Would you like further proof he's trained? Pluto, transform for me please." The dog gave a curt nod of understanding and seconds later was in his human form. The tuxedo he wore was impeccable, the bow straight, the lapels crisply folded. He gracefully strode over to the table where Sebastian was sitting and carefully poured himself a cup of tea, crossing his legs and sipping slowly.
No amount of tea could get rid of the sour taste in Sebastian's mouth.
Grell came over too and sat down, his self-satisfied smirk never leaving his face. "Do you really think I would've endured the hell I've been through for completely nothing? It started off with smaller breakthroughs that I was able to expand upon. Everyone called me a fool, they thought it was impossible too! But you see it with your very own eyes, a dog not only trained, but cultivated as well. That is the Sutcliffe way!" He struck his pose again to stroke his ego some more.
Cultivated was the last word Sebastian would've used to describe Grell and trained was a close second considering the man could barely control his sexual impulses.
As though reading his mind, the reaper's smile grew its widest yet as he said, "I'm here to collect on my debt."
Over the past week, Sebastian had been confident, no, cocky that Grell would fail. He was the only one in the household that had been able to at least establish a shred of decorum with Pluto and even that wasn't much. He'd had no reason to worry about Grell succeeding if even he couldn't do it. Clearly his arrogance had been his downfall.
"Alright. You win," he replied, refusing to betray anything. "What kind of butler would I be if I couldn't even uphold this one deal?" He smoothly stood up and led Grell through a back entrance into the mansion. Pluto didn't seem to notice and continued to stay where he was.
Sneaking past the others who were now warbling "London Bridge is Falling Down" at the top of their lungs, Sebastian headed for a second staircase that was seldom used. Before he could reach it though, Ciel passed by them on his way back from using the bathroom. Grabbing the butler's sleeve, he pulled him aside and hissed, "What is he doing here?"
It was the hardest feat in the world for Sebastian to paste a smile onto his face for his clever master. "It would appear that I lost our little bet. I am fulfilling my promise to Grell."
It was almost comical to see the man gritting his teeth, and his eye nearly twitching in annoyance. Ciel smiled knowingly to rub salt in the wound. "Oh really? How honorable of you."
"No, no. I am only cough…one hell of a butler…"
Without waiting for a reply, the man continued his ascent upstairs to his awaiting doom.
Needing to see to believe, Ciel poked his head out of the side door to spot Pluto dining on a piece of cake with as much care as he himself would. In stunned silence, he closed the door, wondering if he should break this amazing news to his servants. But from above, he suddenly heard a commotion and loud voices yelling. Not wanting the rest of the household to notice, he quickly made his way upstairs to investigate.
Foregoing a polite knock, he burst into Sebastian's room to find a sight that would make him think twice about randomly entering others chambers uninvited. The demon was completely shirtless and had even removed his gloves. In his hands though was Grell's vest as he pinned him to the wall though keeping his face very close. Maybe he'd had the demon figured all wrong…
"You cheated!" Sebastian growled, giving a hard shake to the reaper. "You didn't train him at all!"
"I did too train him!" Grell cried in defense, trying to get him to let go of his shirt. "There must be a cat around here and he snapped out of it!"
"If he's truly trained, why should a cat affect anything?"
"First, could you please let go of me? You're stretching the fabric and honestly, we reapers don't get much to wear. Plus, I dressed my best just for this day—"
"Grell, look me in the face and tell me if it looks like I give a damn about ruining your outfit," Sebastian snarled. Slamming him against the wall again he yelled, "Tell me!"
"Alright! It was just a silly little theory I tried out. Naturally dogs love treats so I used that as incentive to get him to do simple things like sit. Soon I found out he would do nearly anything I instructed as long as I gave him enough treats. Everytime I did, I would ring a bell so he would associate the two together. In time, I was able to remove the treats and just control him with the bell and he would still do as I say, figuring a treat was in the near future. Unfortunately, his biggest weakness is cats and everytime he hears or sees one, all the training goes out the window and he becomes wild again! It's just a basic part of dog instinct that I can't break!"
To understand better what they were talking about, Ciel made his way over to the window. Gone were the posh manners of Pluto and back was the untamable dog that'd been roaming his property for weeks. He had ripped off all of his clothes and now ran stark naked around the house, chasing a black cat.
Turning back to the room, Sebastian was dressed again and holding the flash photography device in his hands. "I'm destroying the film in this," he said.
"Nooooo!" Grell shrieked. "I did exactly as you asked! But no dog is 100% perfect! At least let me keep one picture!"
Ciel smirked and leaned back against the closet door. "He's right, Sebastian. Even you couldn't get Pluto to drink tea."
It was times like this that made Sebastian want to break his contract and suck out his soul anyways.
"I suppose…one picture is fair enough." Again, without waiting for a reply, he turned and walked away. Grell skipped happily after him and out of morbid curiosity, Ciel went with them. They waited with abated breath within the dark room as he developed the pictures, then hung them to dry. Within minutes, objects in the photos began to come forth and before long, they were all finished.
Ciel let out a bark of laughter and Sebastian allowed himself quite the pleased grin. In Grell's hyperactive state and his constant need to be overly-theatric, none of the pictures had actually captured Sebastian. With only thirty seconds to snap, the few photos taken were all of various points of the room wall or only caught pieces of the demon such as a pants leg or a shoulder. Nothing concrete for the reaper to treasure.
"My one chance, blown!" he cried, sobbing into his hands. "Why does life have to be so cruel to a woman?"
Both of the other two ignored his laments and ushered him out the room. Still with a self-satisfied smile, Sebastian handed the terrible pictures to him and pointed to the front door. "It's been nice seeing you, Grell."
The redhead sniffed. "Yeah, well…nice seeing you too." He lifted his hand as though to wipe away a tear and instead reached into Sebastian's breast pocket and whipped out his handkerchief with lightning speed. "Ha! This shall be my payment for my troubles! Now I can smell this and it'll be like you're with me all the time!" With his enthusiasm renewed again, he blew a kiss to his beloved and literally skipped out the door.
"Remind me never again to make bets with Grell," Sebastian muttered as he finally headed to the living room.
"Oh, I dunno. I thought it was pretty entertaining. Seeing you squirm like that…"
"Me, squirm? I'm quite offended!" The butler declared.
Finding it a futile argument, Ciel could only change the subject. "I could really go for a cup of tea at the moment."
Sebastian graciously obliged. "Yes, my lord." With that said, he went off to do what he did best.
And Pluto continued to run rampant across the yard, everything returned back to normal.
I originally wrote Maylene's name as Mey-Rin, since it was spelled and pronounced that way in the dubs but changed it after seeing that everyone else on here spelled it the first way. I originally had posed the question to my first few reviewers about why it was changed but I think I figured it out myself…
Often times, L's in Japanese are said with an R sound (my best example is the character L from Death Note; his name though is said Eru instead). Thus, they back-swapped it for the dubs, turning the L sound back into an R. With that said, it's very likely that for any other Black Butler/Kuroshitsuji stories I write, I'll probably go back to using Mey-Rin since it's what I'm most familiar with.
Anywho, be kind and leave a review ^_^