Disclaimer: I do not own Kuroshitsuji: all Kuroshitsuji books, characters, merchandise, etc. belongs to Yana Toboso.
October 23, 1888
Recently, I've been strolling around the market and boutiques near here – let me tell you, those purple flowers they plant everywhere smell horrifyingly putrid. I swear if I ever get my small hands on the landscaper responsible for dulling my sense of smell, he or she shall not live a very merry life.
Furthermore, I constantly hear bits and pieces of conversations from young old various aged ladies talking amongst themselves about their beaus; how perfect they are, how handsome and rich and successful they are. Of course, I question whether or not these ladies actually have one or just dream up some unreachable man. I fight the urge whenever I hear things like this. Who on earth would want to be in a relationship with almost every man's business is their first priority?
Only one person suitable to be a husband comes to my mind – I cherish him so. He's very attractive: dark, silky hair, fair skin, intelligent, caring, and he has the most beautiful smile. Yes, when the corners of his lips pull up revealing a toothy smile my heart melts and I can't find the sense to deny any of his requests. Love is a wondrous thing. Petty, but wonderful. I dread the day when his fiancé will walk down the aisle and into his arms. Hopefully it'll be a day far in the future.
Heading back towards my grievances (which, no matter how negative, I find quite enjoyable to record!), some thick-headed girl decided to run along and burn the whole manor on fire. Luckily, I was away on an errand so I'm still alive and as healthy as I'll ever get. But of course, I finished my errand and came home right when the night was approaching. Having no other choice, I began my trek to an old friend's house to spend a night or two. I'm nearly there now (it's difficult walking and writing at the same time and in the dark), and it just crossed my mind of how discourteous knocking on one's door at this hour is. I do hope he won't mind my sudden overnight visit. And if he did, it wouldn't matter. I need, or rather want, a bed to sleep in. Tonight.
As I watered the vase bursting with bird of paradise, watsonia, and Casablanca lilies outside of the study, the demanding voice of my petite master reached my ear drums.
"Sebastian, I'm retiring for the night." The soft click of a door shutting and there he stood in all of his adolescent glory. His face was set in its default expression – halfway between a frown and a look of boredom, his eyes a bit less than half lidded. He yawned. "Is my bath drawn yet?"
I finished watering the flowers but made sure to take my time completing the task, earning an impatient sigh from the young earl. Whether it be out of habit, duty, or amusement, I haven't a clue, but I placed my left hand where my heart was and bowed.
"Of course, young master. As you requested, the water is infused with lavender buds and lemon leaves tonight." He nodded and walked down the hall. The sound of his cane hitting the floor grew fainter and fainter. I turned to leave, making sure to give the flowers an affectionate pat when my ears picked up the sound of someone knocking on the front entrance.
I debated what to do, weighing the pros and cons of each action. You should answer the door, a voice in my head advised. It's chilly outside during this time of year, especially in the evening. I'm sure the Earl will understand. Besides, he should be able to bathe himself; no harm in letting him be independent every once in a while.
No, go tend to your master, another voice urged. The person on the other side of the door is probably just a drunk who found his way into the country. Who's more important: some faceless stranger or the person you contracted with?
Shaking my head, I belatedly followed my master to the master bathroom, where he was waiting, bare as a newborn baby except for an oversized towel he wrapped himself up in. Thankfully, he appeared as a mass of fluff with a head perched on top.
"Sebastian, what took so long?" he demanded. I responded by raising an eyebrow; normally he didn't mind waiting a while before his bath. I believe he slightly detests the amount of time it takes to get himself clean. Or getting clean.
"Forgive me, master, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait a little more. There was a knock at the door and I have yet to answer." His grimace deepened but he nodded his head, signaling me to go see who was calling this late.
Arriving at the door, I straightened my uniform and made sure I looked presentable. I opened the door, greeted with the sight of a soaking wet, childish girl wearing what resembled a maid's uniform. Past her I could see and smell the raging tempest London was in the midst of. Gazing down at the girl I asked in a polite tone, "May I help you, miss?"
She bit her lip and held up a slip of paper. It was troubling to read what was scrawled on but I was able to decipher the message despite the wet dots that decorated the paper. Is this the manor of the Earl Phantomhive?
I replied yes and she produced another piece of paper, wetter than the last. I would like to see him, as he and I have some business to discuss. Seeing that it would be cold to leave her in such torrential weather I welcomed her in, ushering her into a guest room.
"If you wouldn't mind, miss, I think it'd be best for you to change your attire. You'll catch a cold if you stay in that wet dress." I laid out a simple white dress trimmed with faded-grey lace onto the bed. I stepped out of the room and paused to say, "Once you're finished please wait here until I come for you."
Then I shut the door, leaving our mysterious guest to her privacy.
I am not a very patient person.
I can tolerate tardiness if my butler had a short something to attend to, but waiting forty-five minutes for my bath is inexcusable. And seeing that he wasn't going to return anytime soon, I made up my mind to take a try at cleansing myself.
I slipped into the warm pool of water, breathing in deeply the aromatic smells that wafted up with the steam. I let my mind drift away; unconsciously I search for the little bowl that holds soap. Upon finding it I proceeded to scrub it all over myself. The smell of peaches filled the room, mingling with the original scents.
Sebastian decided to return while I was enjoying the sensation of being engulfed in the warm water. I opened my eyes and glared at him. I knew he could tell I was displeased; all the same he finished the bath I started on my own, dried me, and yanked the usual oversized shirt I wore over my head, a navy blue bathrobe after. But secretly in my mind I was developing a plan that would leave Sebastian annoyed. Or upset. Both were fine.
As he led me through the manor to meet the guest he said had come to see me, I rummaged through my mind for any ideas that would jumpstart a good plan. He always takes a break to see that black kitten whenever he's stressed. Perhaps eliminating the cat will hit a nerve. How to ki –
"Master, we're here." Sebastian respectfully stood to the side while I entered the parlor. I took a seat in my typical red velvet fauteuil and waited for my so-called guest to come in. I heard the door open and shut softly, and then the hushed sound of slippers padding across the floor over to the center of the room. The faceless person sat down and a length silence invaded the room. I kept my eyes – or rather, eye - closed partly in my desire to indicate my displeasure in having such a late appointment and because drowsiness was slowly coaxing me to rest my tired mind and body and sleep.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. I suppressed the urge to shiver, sighing lightly instead. The frosty wood floor made my feet to turn cold. I kicked myself for not ordering Sebastian to fetch my slippers after my wash. I lifted my one visible eyelid, catching a pair of thin, pale legs and warm white slippers.
"You wished to discuss something?" I asked. He or she didn't respond. Figuring the person wasn't worth my precious time I was about to excuse myself when a paper was thrust in front of my face. It's a pleasure to meet you after so long, Ciel. I looked up to finally see who it was visiting me – how dare they address me so informally?
Two cerulean eyes identical to mine locked gazes with me. A darker, purple tinged head of blue-gray hair similar to my own framed a pale peach face. The white satin ribbon tied into her hair matched the nightgown she wore.
A spark of déjà vu surfaced in the back of my brain. I struggled find a memory with this girl alive in it but everything was murk; my normally clear mentality was diluted with the oncoming slaughter of drowsiness. So, I did the best to verbalize my some of my thoughts.
"Who are you?" I wanted to add 'why aren't you speaking' but my lips went slack. She quickly jotted down something into the pad and turned it so I could see. You don't remember me? When I shook my head she seemed to disapprove. Another scribble. If you're tired to this extent, this can wait until tomorrow. But I will need a room to stay in for the night. I nodded and rose from my chair. Sebastian conveniently came in, my slippers in hand. Undoubtedly, I silently noted that she was shorter than me by a good two inches or so.
"You failed to remember these, young master." He said as he slipped them onto my feet. I stifled a yawn.
"Sebastian, please show our guest to her room. She will be staying the night." He bowed and turned to the white clad girl.
"Please allow me to escort you, my lady." She dutifully followed him out of the room and into the depths of the manor. As for me, I trudged out through the door, making sure to close the door behind me, and plodded the long way to my sleeping chamber. Shutting the door, I released the yawn I held in earlier and flopped onto my bed. I undid the two bows holding my patch in place and laid it on the shallow table neighboring my bed. Crawling under the covers, I welcomed the warmth that instantly enveloped my body. I was asleep instantaneous after, in the clutches of a deep, dreamless sleep.
Congratulations on making it to the end! If this story seems a little familiar, I uploaded the same story a few months ago then took it down. It went through some major revisions, so, yeah T_T;
Kuroshitsuji © Yana Toboso, 2008
© CheckeredQueen 2011