Disclaimer: I do not own Kuroshitsuji: all Kuroshitsuji books, characters, merchandise, etc. belongs to Yana Toboso.
October 24, 1888
I am pleased to announce that I have been able to find a bed to sleep in tonight; dry clothes as well. But as I tossed and turned in an attempt to fall asleep a thought struck me: How on earth would that ditzy girl get a hold of a burning match? She wasn't even allowed to use a knife to cut her meals, much less a match. How in the blazes did she get a one? Where did she get one? How, where, when, there are too many questions! Ah, perhaps I'm over thinking this.
It was well past midnight when I mulled my thoughts. After hurting my head from thinking too much, I rose out of bed and went to the mirror hanging from the wall opposite the bed and stared at my reflection. I reached out and, using my fingertip, traced the shape of my face and then my nose, eyes and lips. I leaned in closer to study my features and frowned upon closer inspection. The moonlight streaming into the room made my face look wider. Or was it just me? But eyes weren't quite right either. Were those dark spots below my lower lash line? My eyes weren't normally this exhausted looking. Not only my eyes, but my whole face overall looked tired, like I hadn't slept in days.
So now I'm frustrated. I know I need to fall in slumber or this indecent face won't restore itself. But my brain and body simply refuse to settle down for the night. Forgive me for this short passage. I write this in vain; I shall go and do my best to let the clock's regular ticking to lull me to sleep.
I woke up the next morning to chirping birds and cold feet. Thin rays of sunlight hit my face. Through squinted eyes I was able to make out a silhouette of Sebastian preparing my tea.
"Good morning, master. Did you have a peaceful sleep?" I replied with a yawn. He continued. "This morning we have a breakfast of herring kedgeree and broiled tomatoes drizzled with a balsamic béchamel sauce. Poppy seed muffins and lemon curd crumpets will accompany the course. Which would you like?"
"Neither. I'll eat downstairs."
"Very well; however, we must hurry. Today's agenda is full, and we're already behind schedule."
"We?" I tilted my head up so Sebastian could tie on my red bowtie. Next, he pulled my arms through a brown vest and buttoned the silver buttons.
"Yes," he said. "If I remember correctly, you sent all of your tutors on an extended vacation. You said 'they act like they're working hard when they just want the money.' So, until they return I will be your tutor for all classes. Until they return."
I froze. Terror gripped my brain and body. Sebastian was going to become my tutor. It wasn't the first time; I could count the times he had stepped in as a substitute, but as much as he was one hell of a butler, he was also one hell of a teacher. He was extremely strict and demanded absolute perfection; nothing less. To make matters worse he repeated himself. If the servants had good reason to scatter like mice whenever he reiterated there was no doubt in the world that I should follow suit. So I gave him the hardest look I could muster before heading down to the dining hall.
Thump. Thump. Thump. My cane hit the floor in time with my strides. I moved with the stoic air that had become one of my trademarks. Head up, gestures swift and fluid, a calm demeanor; everyone was well aware I would by no means show any signs of panic or confusion. I was acknowledged for being a clever president - callous, proficient, and perceptive. Every secret within the company was exposed to me. I had no blind spot.
I took my seat at the head of the table. The meal was already spread upon the table. Sebastian had grown to learn to keep everything in reaching distance. At least, within my reaching distance. I ate slowly, anxiously anticipating the day's lessons. Actually, I was filled to the brim with dread. I was a relatively good student. I understood the material taught, finished work on time, and passed all my tests with flying colors. Not only that, I reached and usually surpassed expectations during lessons lacking textbooks and paper, save dancing. But that day I was nervous. The slightest clanging sound of pans knocking together in the kitchen while Bard tidied up was enough to make me jump a few centimeters off the padded chair.
I'm not myself today. I must have drunken too much of that white wine yesterday – wait, did I even drink any? Curses, I'm as thick as the servants.
I lifted a forkful of kedgeree to my mouth only to drop it onto my trousers. In a hot-headed fit I slammed my fist on the table. Speaking to no one and looking like a fool, I hollered, "I'm Ciel Phantomhive, work with me, darn it!"
When I awoke, I found the black haired butler from the night before standing at the base of my bed, a gleaming silver cart sitting at his side. He smiled courteously and turned to the contents on the cart. I watched the steaming fountain of tea exit the teapot and gracefully accumulate in the teacup. Three sugar cubes plopped into the black tea. When he held it out, I accepted it and took a careful sip. It was sweet, but lacked the cream I so loved in my tea. Searching for my pad and pen, I came to realize it wasn't anywhere in the room. A heated glare landed on the butler, which hopefully was what caused him to turn around. He glanced at my sulky expression for a split second before turning his back on me once again.
"You seem to be irritated, m' lady. May I ask what's bothering you?" Ooh, I really hate that subtle cheekiness every man's born with. Puffing my cheeks I turned my head toward the windows. I heard a sigh escape the man's lips.
"Really, miss, there's no need to have such a childish tantrum so soon after waking up. If you would just tell me what's wrong, I could help you." This time I turned my whole body away from him, leaving him my back to look at. Another sigh from the butler. His footsteps rebounded off the walls, along with the hushed squeaking of wheels rotating. The door clicked open. I waited for him to leave the room. Nothing happened; it was silent for a few minutes. Then, his voice shattered the quiet.
"Breakfast has already concluded, so I'm afraid you'll have to wait until dinner comes to eat." The door clicked shut. I sat still for a while, just in case any servants decided to barge in. I walked to a window and threw it wide open. An early afternoon breeze flew into the room, blowing my hair away from my face. I relished it for a moment and then turned the teacup upside down. The dark tea that should have landed in the flowers below splattered against the walls instead, bullied by the warm wind. Satisfied I closed the window, checked my reflection to make sure I looked decent, and walked downstairs barefooted.
Arriving at the dining hall, I wasn't surprised to find it completely deprived of people. I did an about face, making my way outside. I scanned the grounds, sure of finding a servant or two pruning plants or weeding the garden. Across the lawn there was one with blonde hair, planting seeds it seemed. I flounced over; I was delighted with the way my skirt billowed out like a parasol as I did.
The servant was very slow in doing his work. He had a solemn expression on his face as he gingerly made a shallow hole in the earth. He dropped a single seed in and covered up the hole. I squatted down near him, mimicking his position.
I felt something slimy and muddy crawl over my toes. I looked down. A big, fat, pink worm was wriggling across my foot. Mentally scolding myself for not taking the time to put on a pair of shoes, I picked up the disgusting thing and flung it away from me. Apparently, it must have ended up in the servant's shirt because as soon as I let go of the worm he began to dance and scream like an idiot.
The worm finally fell out of his shirt and burrowed back into the dirt. The blonde haired boy stood there, breathing hard. Eying me, he smiled a little. "Hello. Who are you?"
I response to his question I pointed to the manor, then to my nightgown. Confusion filled his face.
"You're a guest?" he guessed. I nodded enthusiastically. Finally, someone who has some intelligence! His smile broadened. He bowed quickly and said, "I'm Finny, the gardener of the manor!" Amused at his sincere happiness I curtsied. Something behind me caught his attention. He waved at whoever was approaching.
"Meyrin, come meet master's guest!" I spun around to see Meyrin.
A young maid with raspberry colored hair and thick circular glasses was running over, tripping once, and then continuing her previous pace. She arrived out of breath, cheeks flushed a brilliant shade of pink.
"Finny, Sebastian needs us at the stable house," she said hurriedly. This immediately caught my attention. Stable house? Was the earl going hunting?
"But I haven't finished planting the seeds Sebastian gave me…" Finny sighed dejectedly. Sure enough, a small sack filled with black seeds was lying at his feet. He'd only planted about ten of the thousands of seeds. He should have made haste in his work; he would have more seeds planted. Meyrin her arms with vigor.
"Finny! Remember last time we didn't do what Sebastian said right away?" The two shivered, their faces migrating toward the blue end of the spectrum. As soon as they recovered, they made a break for it, leaving just a pile of kicked up dirt and an upturned sack of seeds.
I sighed. Alone again. I trekked back to the manor, stopping by one of the many bathrooms to thoroughly wash my feet and hands of any dirt. Then I explored the rest of the manor.
Unfortunately, it wasn't long before I lost myself in the immense expanse of lavishly adorned hallways, all of which were lined with identical dark brown doors. Feeling mischievous and hungry, I opened all the doors I came across, purposely leaving the doors ajar. I giggled silently to myself. It was fun being a playful little girl-guest. Not that the rooms themselves were interesting. Most were either guest rooms or storage spaces. However, I must have found the hall containing the earl's room because one of the doors I opened had a sterling silver handle unlike the brass doorknobs all the others were built with.
Peering into the room, I saw a canopy bed much more luxurious than the beds in the guest rooms. No doubt it was dressed with a satin bed sheet, satin feather-stuffed duvet, and fluffy blanket on top. Rather than having various throw pillows to rest on there were two extremely large, plain white pillows. A cherry tree wood night stand stood next to the bed, a china clock and candle stand placed atop. I found myself adrift in a fountain of thoughts while staring at such a ritzy place to spend a seven or eight sleep in.
"What are you doing?" The sudden, demanding voice brought me back to reality almost immediately. Slowly, ever so slowly, I turned around. My spree had ended. I brought my eyes up in a sort of dignified manner. My heart was too proud to display any signs of shame. Once I laid eyes on the person every trace of emotion in my brain dispersed. There goes my stay.
I had been caught by none other than Ciel Phantomhive.
And so ends the second chapter ^^ Sorry it took so long to update... I hit a wall while typing this. I'll try to update faster now that I'm on break (AKA mass production).
Kuroshitsuji © Yana Toboso, 2008
© CheckeredQueen, 2011