Note: I saw a funny MMD video on YouTube where Ciel, Sebastian and Grell were dancing outside. For unknown reasons Ciel was pantless and just wearing a white shirt. So I started pondering why Sebastian would allow Ciel to go outside in such a state and came up with a story. The MMD goes under the name of "kokoro".
Disclaimer: the characters are not mine.
"Sebastian, why is the backyard full of dead birds?" Earl Ciel Phantomhive asked as he stood by the large window in his office looking out through the glass. The young man turned to glare at his butler, his single blue eye flashing. "It looks frightful. How could you allow such a thing to happen?"
"Dead birds, my lord?" The demon asked in surprise as he bowed with a white gloved hand over his heart. "I shall take care of it immediately."
Turning, he left Ciel's office and quickly headed through the manor, his dark red eyes watchful for any other problems that might crop up. Normally he was on top of things and prevented many mishaps with the servants, as they were simply horrible, but this one had slipped by him somehow. Hurrying outside through the back door, pleased the kitchen was still in one piece, he stopped in his tracks in surprise. The backyard was covered in the lifeless bodies of dead birds, crows by the look of it. Stepping up to the nearest one, he examined it carefully but saw no obvious injury to the carcass. Lifting his eyes, he sighed as he saw that the black feathered bodies were all over. It would take time to clean them up and to dispose of them properly, time he didn't have to waste. He needed to do the laundry and get started on making lunch…
Soon he had the yard neat again, the dead birds in the trash. Pausing for a moment, he stared up at the brilliant blue sky and pondered if some creature had been involved but he didn't sense any other immortal in the area. Nor could he think of anyone that would play such a prank.
Maybe the birds had just been sick…
It was a few days later that Sebastian noticed that he felt slightly off. He couldn't exactly pinpoint anything though, nothing specific. His head did not ache or his bones and his nose was not drippy…not that demons ever caught such human problems but he just didn't feel at his usual best. Thinking about it for a moment, he finally settled on the idea that he was a little tired from the extra problems the servants had been causing the last few days, causing him to use his powers more. He had been forced to rebuild the kitchen twice and a hole had been blasted in the dining room floor. And there had been that shoe polish incident…and a can of white wash had run down the main staircase, on carpet no less. It had been a true nightmare! His stomach was rumbling in need of a soul to eat and he didn't have one to munch on, so that affected him too…
"I just need to tighten my belt more…" The demon whispered. "In the past I've gone a lot longer without eating, so it's no big deal really. Ciel's soul is very much worth the wait."
He stopped his moment of self reflection and hurried to make Ciel a pot of Earl Grey Tea. Soon it was ready and he carried it to his young master's office where the boy was doing paperwork for his companies. "Your Earl Gray Tea, My Lord."
He poured the tea and stirred in the proper amount of sugar he knew that Ciel always took. Stepping back, he waited patiently for more orders.
"Thank you, Sebastian." Ciel stated as he lifted the tea cup to his lips and took a sip. The next second his blue eye grew round as a saucer and he spat the tea out all over his desk, retching. "Ack, it tastes horrible!"
The demon's garnet eyes widened and he quickly stepped forward, a concerned look on his face. "What is wrong with it, My Lord?"
"It tastes like salt!"Ciel reached across his desk to the silver tray the teapot sat on and stuck his finger into the sugar container. Tasting his finger, he glared at the demon. "This is salt, not sugar! What is wrong with you, Sebastian?"
"I …. I do not know. I have been feeling a bit … off these past few days." He admitted in a worried tone. "I did not think it would affect my work. I am deeply sorry, My Lord. Allow me to fetch you a clean cup and sugar for your tea."
"Please do that." Ciel pushed the ruined tea away, his butler immediately removing it as well as the bowl of salt. "I suppose one of the servants put salt in the sugar bowl."
Within minutes Sebastian had Ciel drinking his tea, but the demon's mind was in turmoil. It was rare when he made such a major blunder like that. Even that incompetent Shinigami hadn't confused salt with sugar.
The demon silently vowed to be more careful. He would be sure to verify that it was actually sugar in the sugar bowl and not salt in the future.
But to his horror, he messed up again the very next day!
Sebastian had a roast in the oven and his fingers were flying over the fresh veggies as he chopped them into a tasty salad for his master. The knife flashed up and down with expertise, each bit of veggie cut into perfect pieces. As he chopped he thought of the other things he needed to gather for the young master's supper and of the desert he would prepare. Deciding that he would prepare a batch of sponge candy instead of baking the usual cake as somehow they had run out of flour and he hadn't noticed until just now – how had that happened? Moments passed as he recalled the candy recipe and what would be needed. It would be simple to make and fast. Perhaps Ciel would enjoy it and he could start making the candy for his company.
Suddenly Sebastian snapped too and realized he had just been standing there, thinking, the knife motionless in his hand! Shock rolled through him, as such a thing had never happened before! The shadows in the kitchen were noticeably longer as well, suggesting it was a lot later than he had thought. "What is wrong with me?"
He practically leaped when he recalled there was a roast in the oven and he ran to go check on it, fearing the worst. He cracked open the oven door expecting a burnt black mess but to his relief the meat looked OK, juicy and tender. Sighing at the closely avoided disaster, he ran a white gloved hand through his raven tresses. How could he have just spaced out like that, the cooking forgotten?
Quickly tossing the salad veggies into a bowl, he fetched the baked bread from that morning and quickly set about making the candy on the stovetop as the roast finished in the oven. He set everything on fancy plates and put it on the serving cart to wheel it out to the dining room.
To his horror, the table was not set and Ciel was nowhere around!
He smacked himself in the forehead: another thing he had forgotten! He quickly set the table properly, including vases of fresh flowers and then hurried upstairs to fetch Ciel. He knocked on his office door before entering and saw the young man was still busy with his paperwork.
"It's about time. I'm starving." Ciel informed him curtly as he stood, stretching his legs. "And where were you earlier? I thought you were giving me lessons…?"
"It must have slipped my mind…" Sebastian admitted.
"You seem to be forgetting a lot of things lately. Are you ill?" Ciel came around the desk and stood before him, looking a bit concerned. "I never knew you to make so many errors before. I know I've tried to trip you up in the past and you didn't even blink an eye. Are you sure those dead birds didn't give you something?"
"Well, I have heard of a demon flu that sometimes goes around…" Sebastian admitted as he realized that Ciel's words were true. It had started after he had picked up the carcasses of those dead crows. "But I think its more rumor than truth. Demons are very hardy and we rarely get sick and I somehow doubt if this is that flu…"
"How do you know it isn't?" Ciel demanded. "Does it act like a human flu?"
"From what I recall hearing, the demon flu is very different." Sebastian explained as he tried to remember the stories that had been passed around long ago. "It says it makes one want to do a crazy dance and then afterwards you feel awful…"
"Dance?" Ciel's single blue eye grew wide. "That's insane! Why would the flu make one dance?"
"I did say it was just a rumor." Sebastian reached out and pulled Ciel out of the room. "Come, your supper will grow cold."
As he followed Ciel down the staircase, doubt grew inside the demon's mind. What if he was coming down with the flu? He had feathers and those birds had feathers…had he caught some disease from them? He served Ciel his supper and then stood back to watch him eat. The young earl's eye slid over to him then and he could feel the boy's steady stare.
"Perhaps you should go to bed early, Sebastian. Sometimes one can put the flu off by resting and I don't ever recall seeing you rest or take a day off. You may simply be overworked."
"If that is your wish, my lord."
"Very well. I shall retire early today once you are done eating and I get you ready for bed." Sebastian watched as Ciel finished his meal and then followed him upstairs where he helped the young boy change into his nightclothes. It was a bit early for Ciel to retire, but clearly the boy was serious about him taking a rest. Once he was settled in bed, Sebastian retired to his own small room. He undressed quickly and climbed into bed, but sleep was hard to find.
He kept thinking about the rumors he had heard more than a thousand years ago, the wild and crazy ones about the demon flu. No one he knew ever had it or if they did have it, they had kept it a secret. He really didn't want to believe it, but there was clearly something wrong with him and it was a possible answer. After what had seemed like eons but had actually been only an hour, he managed to silence his mind and get some sleep.
Hours later he woke up to find the sun shining in through his bedroom window, the bright light blinding to his scarlet eyes. It seemed to be much brighter than normal for some unknown reason. Then he realized his throat felt abnormally sore and almost scratchy, as if it were as parched as a sand dune. He tried to smack his lips but to his shock they were actually glued together, his mouth that dry. And his tongue, it felt like it was stuck to the roof of his mouth. Slowly he raised a black finger nailed hand to his forehead, testing to see if it felt hot but he didn't notice anything in particular. Still, he could swear his brain felt just a tiny smidgen of ache or was that his imagination? His covers had been thrown off during the night and his legs felt restless. He felt the instinct to keep moving them and although he tried as hard as he could to still them, wild jerks went through his muscles, jerks that would cause his leg to leap off of the bed's surface. That explained why the sheets had been tossed onto the floor during the night.
Getting up slowly, he went into his bathroom and drank a glass of cool water. That made his mouth feel better, but his throat was still dry and somewhat sore.
Odd, as he had never experienced these symptoms before.
He stared at himself in the mirror and noted his black hair was a horrid mess, poking up at odd angles. A comb quickly fixed that and he set about washing and dressing for the day.
He had great difficulty getting his shoes and socks on as his feet refused to stay still. Finally after having a huge fight with them he managed.
He would rather fight the reaper, as that would end a lot sooner.
"I do not have the demon flu." He told himself. "The demon flu does not exist. It's just a legend. Therefore I cannot possibly have it."
He prayed that it was true.
Nor was he sure what would come after the dancing part of the legend, as he had never paid any real attention to it.
He only knew it would be horrible and painful.
"I am not sick. I cannot get sick." He lied to himself. He could not lie to Ciel or to others, but lying to oneself was perfectly OK, right?
Or maybe it was self denial.
He left his small room and woke up the other servants. Then he prepared a fast breakfast and headed upstairs to wake Ciel. He got him out of bed, into the tub and scrubbed him clean. All the time his feet keep moving about, as if he was nervous or something but he knew he wasn't. His legs just felt jittery and he found it impossible to stay still.
Then a soft sound came to his ear, as if carried on a breeze of air from outside. It was faint but possessed a wonderful melody. He tilted his head, listening to the wonderful music. His hands stopped washing Ciel's back as he listened to the enchanted tone.
"Sebastian!" Ciel huffed, annoyed. "Are you spacing out?"
"Do you hear that?" The demon asked as he stood and gazed towards the nearby window. "There's lovely music coming from somewhere…"
"I don't hear anything. You're imagining things!"
"Let's get you dressed…" Sebastian replied as he pulled Ciel to his feet, the rest of the bath forgotten in favor of the lively melody. He lifted the boy from the bath and quickly dried him with a towel and then quickly put a white shirt on him. But as he was doing the buttons, he would pause and glance towards the window with his head tilted.
"You're not paying attention!" Ciel complained in a huff as he watched his most loyal servant.
"I think, my lord, it is time for your dance lessons." Sebastian stated as he gripped Ciel by the wrist and quickly started to haul him from his bedroom and down the hall, not even noticing the boy was only partly dressed. The music had his full attention and he could feel the desire to dance to it, the proper steps already in his head. Yes, he would move his arm like that and step this way…it was all so clear!
"Sebastian!" Ciel cried as he was forcibly dragged down the stairs in his bare feet. "You didn't finish dressing me! I only have a shirt on! What about my pants, my socks and shoes? Surely I cannot be seen like this!"
But Sebastian really didn't hear the boy's complaints, as they sounded like the soft buzz of a bee to his ears. The music was everything and the urge to dance. He headed right trough the manor and towards the front door.
"What? No, don't take me outside like this!"
But the demon paid him no heed and quickly he was dragged outside and onto a soft expanse of lawn. Once there, Sebastian let go of his wrist and he turned to regard the boy with his tutor expression. "Now I shall teach you how to dance."
"You already taught me how to waltz. One horror like that is enough!" Ciel moved to escape indoors, an angry expression on his face as his single blue eye flashed. "This is utter madness!"
Seeing the boy's intention, Sebastian quickly moved to block his escape. His eyes glowed a brilliant red to show he was accessing his demon powers and he felt great satisfaction when the boy gulped nervously. He had often seen how Ciel went through moods, often accepting his fate and at other times dreading it. At the moment he had clearly switched to the dread part. A smile spread across the demon's pale face and he bent at the waist so he could look the boy in his face better. "Now it's always good to know a variety of dances, my young master. One must be properly educated to socialize as your station warrants and that includes dancing. Now we will learn a new wonderful dance…"
"You have that demon flu, don't you?"
"Do I?" Sebastian raised his arms and indicated that Ciel should copy him. He soon was leading him through the various steps, the steps that just came to him out of the blue. They did not touch each other at all, as it was not that type of dance. Instead he had Ciel stand in front of him with a good amount of distance between them. He felt better than he had in a long time as he swayed this way and that to the music in his head, his body moving gracefully. He quickly forgot about his dry throat and the other bizarre things as the dance took over everything.
Then a loud jarring squawk broke his good mood.
"Sebas-chan!" Grell cried happily as he came running out from within the trees and skidded to a halt in front the two. "I came over hoping to catch a glimpse of you and hear you are! But what are you doing?"
"He went insane is what!" Ciel complained loudly as he moved through the steps unhappily.
"Dance lessons." The demon replied, ignoring the young earl's outburst as he kept moving through the dance he had just created.
"What fun!" The redheaded reaper exclaimed as he squeezed himself between Sebastian and Ciel, forcing the demon to back up to create more room. "I want dance lessons, too!"
Grell started to copy the moves Ciel was making in front of him, not caring that he was out of sync or doing them backward. "Ah, how exciting, dancing with Sebby!"
The demon for once ignored the redhead right in front of him, the dance moves being more important. They continued on for a bit longer and then Sebastian began to notice an uncomfortable feeling in his head. It was the strangest feeling ever, as if his head was too small for his brain and that his now too-large brain was giving him this ache. And what was that tickle in his nose? He could feel some pressure building and building and then he sneezed violently, the flu germs flying all over Grell and Ciel.
His head started to bang then, the most horrible feeling ever and he collapsed to the grass to lie there, moaning, one hand clasped to his aching head. "I feel awful…"
Ciel stopped dancing and turned to glare at the demon unhappily. "I told you it was that demon flu!"
The wonderful music he had been listening to faded to only leave him with the worst head pain ever. Then he felt movement inside his nose and realized it was dripping some noxious gooey slime. Oh, the horrors!
"Sebas-chan!" Grell cried in obvious worry as he bent over the fallen demon, a look of worry on his face.
Ciel marched up to the demon and gripped him about one wrist tightly. "Help me drag him inside. I've had enough of this madness."
Sebastian felt the reaper grab his other wrist and soon he was being dragged like a sack of potatoes over the grass and towards the manor. His spine and head bumped up each step, causing more hideous pain until stars flashed before his eyes, until he was through the front doors. Even in the awful state he was in, he could tell that Grell was doing the majority of the pulling, as that arm felt like it was about to come out of its socket. His bones started to ache then, a most uncomfortable feeling with the pain traveling rapidly up and down his body.
His limp body slid much easier over the highly waxed floors and he stared dumbly up at the ceiling overhead. He noticed a few cow webs in distant corners but they soon were forgotten. His head was aching too much to pay attention to anything important.
All too soon he was dragged into the servant's quarters and Grell heaved him onto his bed.
"Oh, I feel awful!" He had never felt this awful in his immortal life and he truly wanted to crawl off into some dark corner and die. "Put me out of my misery!"
"You have the flu." Ciel stated with a frown. "You'll recover."
"This is too painful to be just a mere flu…" The demon moaned as a new burst of pain shot through his head. He sneezed violently two times in quick repetition, the power of them lifting his upper body right off the bed. "My head is banging like a drum is in there…"
"That's how the flu is." Ciel simply replied.
Sebastian could feel the bed shift as Grell perched himself on the edge and took hold of his hand. "Don't worry, Sebby, I'll take care of you!"
Sebastian's groans increased in volume. He shifted his head slightly so he could see the annoying reaper, the reaper who was now holding his hand while he was too weak to do anything about it. Then he saw movement in the background and Ciel stepped forward, the young boy grabbing a big handful of the long red hair.
"Come along, Grell." Ciel ordered as he started to walk towards the door.
"What? Wait! I want to stay with Sebas-chan!"
"Someone needs to finish dressing me and to get me my breakfast." Ciel explained as he continued out of the door, pulling the redhead along. "Luckily, you have some experience being a butler. You can do Sebastian's job while he's sick with this demon flu."
"But…" Grell protested weakly as he tried to cling to the doorframe to Sebastian's room.
"And you had best not burn down the kitchen, either!"
"I can't even cook!"
"Well, what did you feed Madame Red?"
"Fine, we'll eat sandwiches then."
The voices grew fainter and fainter until the demon couldn't hear them anymore. His head kept up the steady beat of pain and his nose was leaking all over his chin. He wiped at it with his handkerchief but quickly he realized that was not enough. How could humans stand these colds and flu's? It was the worst torture he had ever endured. He would rather lose an arm to the reaper's chainsaw then to be stuck in bed with the pain shooting all over his body. At least he could regenerate an arm quickly but this; he feared it would continue for days, maybe a week or two.
He hoped the manor didn't burn down in the meantime.
He managed to doze off and was somewhere in that odd state between half awake and half asleep… A loud clatter of a metal tray hitting the floor followed by a loud crash of breaking pottery rang through the manor and woke him up again. The tray seemed to vibrate on the floor, the vibrations going right into his aching head.
The demon groaned.
The suicide threats followed and the loud shrieking of the other servants.
And Pluto started barking.
Ciel was yelling for his tea, which was now clearly all over the floor among pottery shards. The demon could imagine it all too well.
Being sick was real torture in more than one way, as now he would be forced to listen to the endless disasters for at least a week, presuming that the demon flu lasted a week. It may be a lot longer, as demons were immortal.
It was far worse than any torture down in Hell.
Time passed as the sun moved across the walls of his small bedroom.
And then the door opened and Grell came in happily to feed him something which he claimed was chicken soup. The demon had no idea what it really was, but it clearly was not any chicken soup he had ever seen or tasted. Too weak to protest, he was force fed the unknown stuff. It was tasteless really and had some mystery meat in it along with some bit that might have once been a vegetable.
Nor was he brave enough to ask what the redhead had put into it.
If he were lucky, he might die from food poisoning.
But he wasn't that lucky.
"I hope you're not feeding this to Ciel.." Sebastian managed to croak out after being forced to consume a bowl of the flat soup.
"Oh no, Sebby, I made this especially for you!" Grell said happily as he wiped at the demon's mouth with a napkin. "I've been feeding Ciel sandwiches."
"Add salt to the soup so it's not tasteless." The demon uttered as he lay there waiting for pains to start shooting through his stomach. With Grell, he had to expect that. But oddly enough the redhead's attempts at cooking didn't kill him, maybe because it was incredibly difficult to burn soup.
The days passed with several major disasters each day and Sebastian feared soon Ciel would run out of plates, saucers, bowls and teapots for Grell to smash. And if the reaper didn't break it, the other servants would. It was a miracle the house was still standing. He hoped that Grell was keeping Baldroy's explosives out of the kitchen.
But slowly he grew better and the aches and pains from the flu started to fade. When he finally managed to crawl out of his bedroom to go check on the manor and its current state, he was shocked to see Ciel sitting at the dining room table in his under-drawers with Grell's bright red jacket over his bare shoulders, the same jacket he had stolen off of Madame Red's corpse. The young earl was busy eating a sandwich that threatened to fall apart at any moment as it was stuffed with an incredible amount of fixings, mostly chopped vegetables by the look of it but the demon saw bits of cheese and sliced meat as well. The sandwich was apparently served directly on the metal serving tray, which indicated all of the plates had been smashed. A teacup of tea was at his elbow and there was some other blob there that the demon had no idea what it was supposed to be – a desert maybe.
"Why aren't you dressed?" Sebastian asked weakly as he leaned heavily on the nearest chair, his strength not back yet.
"It seems all of my clothes have shrunk in the laundry…" Ciel replied as he took another bite of his sandwich, chewing. "You'd be lucky to get them onto a doll…"
The demon sighed. "Wool does that, my lord, if it's washed in hot water."
Another thing for him to fix when he fully recovered from the demon flu – he just hoped he would be strong enough to do it.
"Is your meal satisfactory?" Sebastian asked as he eyed the odd looking sandwich. It certainly wasn't the dainty tea sandwiches he prepared for guests when they had company. No, this thing was huge and over packed with stuff. And what was that white goop dripping out of it?
"These actually taste very good, believe it or not." Ciel said as he took another bite. "Sebastian, I order that you learn how to make these things from Grell."
The demon hung onto his head and groaned. The horror, the reaper showing him how to cook, the world was official upside-down now!
"Yes, My Lord." The demon replied as he bowed the best he could and headed for the kitchen to see what was going on in there. To his relief, it was still in one piece and he prepared to swallow his pride to learn how to make the sandwich.
Then there was a loud shriek and he was knocked to the floor by an over-eager Shinigami.
Another week passed slowly and by then Sebastian had made a total recovery from the flu and Grell could go back to his reaping. But before he left he got the urge to do a crazy dance, pestering Ciel and Sebastian to dance with him. Finally they both gave in, as he had been working hard these past few weeks and stopped Baldroy from blowing up the house with his explosives.
"This dance is vaguely familiar…" Sebastian stated but for the life of him he couldn't remember why it was so familiar. It certainly was not the waltz or any of the other dances he knew and he knew a lot of them over the centuries.
"Not again!" Ciel moaned as he waved his hands about in the air and moved sideways to the dance steps.
Grell was dreading showing up at work, as he had been gone for so long and surely William would be angry at him. That and his head was feeling kind of funny…he didn't pass out as Sebastian had, possibly because he was more used to pain and beatings and getting hedge trimmers in his head, but he felt just awful as if a carriage had run him over. Still, he made his way to the office and clung to the wall with one hand as he walked towards his office.
"Sutcliffe, where have you been?" William demanded to know when he saw the redhead stagger in to work, a black gloved hand clutching at his head.
"Don't shout so loud, Will!" Grell exclaimed as he winced in pain. "My head is aching something awful…"
"Did someone hit you in the head?" His boss asked as he stepped closer to the other man.
"No…" Grell would have shook his head but it was hurting too much. He just wanted to go take a nice nap, maybe at his desk and he would put the Do Not Disturb sign on his door. "I think I'm coming down with the flu…"
"But Shinigami can't catch the flu or did you forget that?" William reached out and gripped Grell by his chin, raising his head so he could see the other better. "You don't have a hangover, do you?"
"Of course not! I think I caught that demon flu from Sebas-chan…" Grell sniffed loudly as he could feel his nose start to drip.
"But the demon flu is just a myth, a legend, it's not real…"
"Tell that to this flu!"
Grell sneezed then, the germs going all over his boss.
William stood there horrified for a moment, frozen in place. "We better get you to the infirmary."
But it was too late. The demon flu germs were in the office and soon all of the others would be coming down with it. But at least he had gotten to spend some time with his lovely Sebas-chan.