Reposted 24th of April because of some problems with the layout-thing-kind-of and some minor corrections.
Summary: Ronald disappears one day, leaving behind no trail. William, Grell, Eric and Alan must find him, and without telling anybody; doing so would leave Ronald to suffer the consequences. But can they find him within the 21-days limit?
AN: Look who's back! This time with a Kuroshitsuji fanfic for you all~ And not cliché. Hope you like it.
I am still new to this whole fanfiction-thingy, so bear over with me. Also, do notice that I am not from an English-speaking country.
I haven't used as much time on this chapter as I did on the oneshot with Tsubasa, because I wanted to upload it. If you find any mistakes, do tell me. I would appreciate it very much.
I haven't thought about when this story takes place. Mmmh… Maybe after the newest chapter of Kuroshitsuji? School-thing.
The title is only temporary. I can't choose between Timeless, Your Reaper and 21 Days. Tell me what you like the best!
It's rated T for now. It may end up as a M later, though~
Anyways! I won't uphold you for any longer. I hope you enjoy~
- A fan fiction by Nathalaia
Disclaimer: I own nothing and am very happy by stating that fact; I couldn't have made as awesome a person as Grell~ Besides, I couldn't even draw if my life depended on it.
"When you're done with that, do say so. Then I'll give you something else to do."
Ronald looked up from the papers in his hand and grinned. "Of course, Boss. Leave it to me!"
William's answer was a short nod before he turned his focus back to his own work.
Ronald kept his gaze on William for a minute or so, deep in thought. Then William glanced up and raised one of his eyebrows slightly.
"Is there something wrong, Mr. Knox?"
Ronald quickly averted his eyes. "Not at all! Sorry." He could still feel William's eyes on him for about five seconds before he, apparently, decided to leave it and continue his work in silence.
Ronald sighed inwardly and turned his focus to where it should be; the papers.
For the moment he was in William's private office, seated at the end of same person's desk, with the other seated barely an arm's length from him.
William's office was a smaller and closed off room in the main office, held in casual colours. Mostly white, black and different nuances of grey.
Being supervisor had its peaks; William got his own office, though there were windows in one of the walls right in front of the desk, so that he could keep an eye on his officers when he wanted to; when he didn't, he could just cover the windows with curtains.
The room itself wasn't that large, but it wasn't small either. A desk with one chair, a table with two chairs – one of which Ronald sat on – a large bookshelf and a lamp – humans were far behind in technology.
Ronald shook his head slightly and glanced at William again. Why he had fallen for his cold boss was beyond his imagination. The man rarely spoke anything other than work-related things to him, and that wasn't even often. And usually it was only a sentence or two.
Suddenly said boss lifted his head, nearly stopping Ronald's heart from beating. When he noticed that William wasn't looking at him, though, but seemed to be listening, Ronald let out a soft breath of air and concentrated on whatever William was listening to.
Fast approaching steps could be heard. Clack, clack, clack. Heels. They both dreaded what – who – was to come; they would recognize those heels any time. Only one person…
"Will~!" The door to the office was slammed open and a beaming Grell waltzed in. "I missed you~! Oh, and Ronnie!"
Grell Sutcliff. Troublemaker and sanity's enemy number 1. The man – who firmly believed he was a woman – was the most wicked, annoying person Ronald knew in the whole Dispatch Department. And he knew many of the other shinigami.
Grell was friendly enough and all that, but he tended to overdramatize the smallest things and had a temper worse than Mother Nature. He also had a sickly fascination of the colour red. This was probably also one of the reasons he liked blood. Actually, he was pretty violent when he wanted to be.
Despite all that, Grell was still Ronald's friend. And a close one too.
"Sutcliff," William said coolly and pointed his death scythe at him, it being the only thing that held the psycho from hugging him. "I take it you finished the assignment I gave you?"
"Of course!" Grell smiled and poked the pruning pole tentatively. "All the souls are collected."
"Good. Then go and write the reports."
"But Will~!" the red-head whined. "I don't want any paperwork! It's only another way to die a painful and slow death!" The last word was emphasized with a higher pitch and his trademark pose.
"Off you go, Sutcliff," William said and ignored his whining. "Now, before I hurt your face."
"You're no fun…" Grell pouted and crossed his arms. "So cold. Oh! But one glare from you leaves me hot and craving~!"
"Get. Out," William said and poked Grell's forehead using his death scythe.
Grell uttered a cry and hurried outside with a remark about how cruel William was and how he was absolutely no fun.
Ronald saw Grell sit down at his desk, smack his heels up on the table and casually lean backwards, giving his red-polished nails an once-over. He wouldn't get any work done for today, that much was sure.
"Honestly…" William murmured and readjusted his glasses, having also watched Grell.
Ronald allowed himself a smile before returning to his work. They worked in silence in about half an hour, before Grell decided that it was way too boring to sit out there without any company and therefore waltzed inside again.
"Will~! It's so boring! Can't I collect more souls? You know-"
"No," William said sternly and watched Grell like a hawk; any sudden movement and his death scythe would smack the redhead's head. "Do your work. You haven't moved a finger since you came." Grell opened his mouth, only for William to speak up again: "Work. Not your nails. Looking at your nails doesn't count as moving a finger. It's regarding work, and nothing else."
"But Will~!" Grell cried and pouted, crossing his arms. "I told you countless times: Work and I aren't a good combination."
"We know…" Ronald muttered, finally joining the conversation instead of listening and looking. "You always blackmail me into doing yours."
Grell smirked, flashing his shark-like teeth. "But Ronnie! I'm a woman. A woman shouldn't be forced to do unnecessary work."
"Quiet both of you," William interrupted and looked at them, adjusting his glasses. "Sutcliff, I want the reports in half an hour. If you aren't done by then, you'll get overtime. Mr. Knox, continue with your own, too."
"Yes, Boss," Ronald murmured, stealing a glance at William before looking down at the papers.
"Give up on flirting with him, Sutcliff. He doesn't have any feelings," a voice sounded from the door. Three heads turned and saw the two standing in the doorway, one smirking slightly and another wearing a calm expression.
"Mr. Slingby, Mr. Humphries," William nodded slightly at them. "Done with your assignments too, I take it."
"We are, Mr. Spears," Alan said softly and handed William his and Eric's work.
Grell scoffed at Eric. "He is a softy, believe me. Inside that cold shell is a romantic- Gah! Watch where you point that thing! It almost scratched my face!"
William pulled his scythe back with a cool face and looked the three over. "Mr. Humphries, Mr. Slingby, Sutcliff, go make your reports. You have an hour. Except for you, Sutcliff. Half an hour. No more. Off you go."
"Kid," Eric grinned, having first noticed Ronald now. Alan looked over his shoulder, smiling slightly at
Ronald. "Sitting in the boss' office again, eh?"
Ronald grinned back and raised the papers slightly for Eric to see it. "Yeah. Work, as you see."
Eric just smirked and headed out together with Alan. Grell went too, though only after having tried to hug William, just to be smacked on the head by that person's scythe.
Ronald finished the papers and rose from the chair, handing them to William who nodded at him. Then he went outside to the three others, seeing Grell sitting as before, doing absolutely nothing. In fact, Alan was the only one who seemed to be working, but just barely, given that Eric was busy distracting him.
Ronald sat on his own desk and greeted the three.
"Ronnie~!" Grell whined. "How come only you can stay in Will's office without getting kicked out? It's not fair!"
"We all wonder…" Eric murmured and was slapped on his arm by Alan.
"Be nice," the brunette scolded softly.
Eric just grinned and kissed Alan gently. "Yeah, yeah, sweetheart."
"Oh~! Isn't that just romantic, Ronnie?" Grell sighed.
Ronald smiled faintly and looked at the two. How he wished he was in their place. But then again, he couldn't imagine him and William being like Alan and Eric. Maybe because William rarely, if ever, showed feelings. He was always calm and collected.
He shook his head slightly. William had to have feelings. It was just about pushing the right buttons…
"What are you thinking, Ronnie?" Grell asked, though he looked incredibly smug. "Thinking about something special? Or… Someone special?" Ah. That explained the smug look.
Eric's smile widened and he turned his gaze to Ronald. "Someone, huh? Who might that someone be?"
"None of your business," Ronald murmured and looked at the two.
Alan looked up from the papers and smiled at Ronald. "Mh. I think everyone in this room knows."
Eric laughed and patted Ronald on the shoulder. "Keep trying, kid. You may have more luck than Sutcliff."
"Hey!" Grell exclaimed. "Will loves me, he just needs to face it."
"Yeah, right…" Ronald muttered and sent Grell a grin when he growled.
The first person to figure out Ronald's crush on William was Grell. And it hadn't taken long time for him to see it. He had then told Alan, who had already figured it out by the time he said it, and Eric, who had suspected it.
"Well guys, I'll be heading home now," Ronald said and hopped down from the desk. He saluted them and grinned, before he turned around, grapping his jacket on his way.
"At 9am tomorrow morning, Mr. Knox," William's voice sounded from his office. "Be there at sharp, or you'll be sorry."
"Whatever you say, Boss!" Ronald smiled and gave a wave, hoping he hadn't heard what the three others had said. He probably hadn't. He wasn't one for gossip. He most likely just saw him about to leave and spoke up then.
On his way out he greeted some of his friends – mostly young women. He also sent each and every of them a charming smile. Now, if there was only one other who would find his smiles as charming…
Ronald frowned when he made it outside. It was raining. Great. He sped up, still with a frown adorning his face. How could he make William notice him in the way he wanted him to? No matter what he did, William would remain as cold as ever – not that Ronald had tried the obvious, like, for instance, grabbing the taller shinigami's neat necktie and smash their lips together. No, doing that probably wasn't the way to melt William's heart – if he had one, that is. Many of Ronald's friends would often make a remark about how William's heart was made of ice, or simply didn't exist.
Ronald didn't agree with them on that; he believed everyone had a heart, even William. The trouble was melting that heart.
He always turned in work in time, not only because he hated overwork, but because he didn't want William to think of him as some idiot like, per say, Grell, who seldom – if ever – did any of his work.
Ronald sighed and skipped down a side street.
Not only did he always do his work on time, he sometimes even asked William if he wanted any help. William had been sceptical at first, but had gotten used to it over time – how long was it? A couple of years? – now only giving Ronald a slight wave and a stack of paper that needed filling.
Ronald believed that William at least didn't hate him. If Grell had been the one to ask, William would have shut him up halfway through his sentence with a glare and a calm "Get out, Sutcliff, and start doing your own work as a start."
The young reaper sighed softly and ran a hand through his now wet hair. He had more than once wondered if William already had a girlfriend (or boyfriend), but the thought seemed absurd. The thought of William having anyone – besides Ronald, of course – was simply… Weird.
Then again, William probably didn't even swing that way. A male with a male. Ronald had often thought about that, and-
A different presence in the air made Ronald stop dead in his tracks. It was the feeling of a demon, and too close, that is.
Ronald just managed to spin around on his heels to meet the red eyes of a demon, before he was pushed backwards and pinned to a wall.
"Ronald Knox, isn't it?" the demon said quietly, leaning towards him so that Ronald could feel its breath on his ears.
"Demon," Ronald hissed and gave the demon a discreet once-over. It was definitely a he, with broad shoulders, a slim body and long limbs. Its hair seemed to be a dark brown, but with the rain – and darkness – it was difficult to say for sure.
"You are one of Spears' officers, aren't you?" the demon said. It was asked like a question, though he looked like he already knew. How the hell had the demon known his name anyway?
"What is that to you?" Ronald asked cautiously, alarmed at how the demon smirked and took a lock of Ronald's hair between his thump and middle finger, fiddling with it.
"Ronnie, huh…" the demon said, smile widening, eyes turning to meet Ronald's glare. "I know a lot about you, young reaper. It must be my lucky day; my prey is alone in a deserted area of the city, in a side street, with nowhere to run, and no one to call for help. Not even your precious boss."
Ronald stiffened for a second, not only because of the demon calling him a 'prey', but the knowledge it seemed to have of Ronald's feelings, hinted in the last three words.
He had to get away. This demon could only mean trouble.
And he was right about that; the stranger let go of his hair and made a move for his hands. Ronald, however, managed to free himself just in time and take some steps sideways, all the time keeping an eye on the unsettling smiling demon.
"Oh? You want a fight, little one? I didn't plan on you getting hurt, but then again, you're not leaving either. If you want a fight, little shinigami, then come and get me. And if you try to run, I'll catch you like the cat does the mouse. You won't escape my grasp."
Ronald held out his hand, summoning his death scythe. What did the demon want with him? Why not just kill him? What was it planning?
No matter how Ronald looked at it, he was in trouble. He may be strong, but demons were dangerous for a reason. Grell, being one of the strongest – and most wicked, but that's another thing – shinigami was known to have withstood a demon on his own several times. William, with his quick thinking and deceiving looks hiding how strong he actually was, could probably survive a fight against a demon too. But Ronald…
He shook his head, clearing it of all thoughts that would only lessen his chances against the demon. He had to get away and fast. This demon seemed to play with him, no plans of killing him. And that was never a good sign.
Adjusting his grip on his death scythe, Ronald chose fight instead of flight and lounged for the demon with his lawnmower.
The demon – damn him – avoided with a laugh. All of a sudden he was behind Ronald, whispering: "Is that all? You might want to give up; you don't stand a chance against me."
Ronald hissed and spun around, aiming for the demon's head, only to meet air. His breathing was slightly uneven, surprised by the demon's quick moves and, honestly, a bit scared. The demon was playing with him. Playing. And no matter how much Ronald tried to deny it, fact was that it frightened him. What kind of demon played with a reaper? Demons only intertwined when a soul was in the middle of it all, but now…
The demon had sought him out, not wanting to kill him nor, apparently, hurt him. What the hell was going on?
"Show yourself!" Ronald shouted, eyes darting from one place to another, ready to defend himself should the demon suddenly attack.
But the demon had disappeared from sight.
Ronald kept looking but slacked his grip on his death scythe slightly.
"What the hell…" he whispered to himself, a bit confused, though not believing for a second that the demon had left him for good. Not with the words it had spoken before.
His ears caught a sound that a mere human wouldn't have noticed, but also quite hard for a shinigami to pick up. His lawnmower scratched the demon's side, not enough to be any kinds of fatal, but doing some damage for sure.
Ronald allowed himself a grin, only for it to vanish the following second when he was grabbed from behind and pulled backwards to a solid chest. Hands now gripped his wrists and he felt the demon's breath on his ear:
"Oh my. You're tougher than you look. Now look at what you have done."
Ronald glanced down slightly, looking at the wound he had inflected on the demon. Blood dripped down on the ground in a steady rhythm, indicating a deeper wound than Ronald had first thought. He would have grinned had he not been in this situation. "Serves you right for underestimating me," Ronald hissed and tried to wriggle free.
The demon laughed darkly, clearly amused. "So it seems."
It let go of him and Ronald barely managed to avoid being stabbed in the stomach by the demon's knife.
So now the demon got serious. About time. Though, it didn't really help him.
He avoided another hit directed towards his arm and took several steps backwards while gripping his death scythe harder.
No way he would let the demon win. What would William and the others not think of him? Not being able to take on a simple demon. Pathetic.
He swung the lawnmower after the demon, almost wounding it again. But it was too quick.
Ronald felt a sudden pain in his arms and looked at them, seeing he had a wound on each from the demon's blade. Not anything dangerous, but it bled either way. And most importantly: The demon had easily managed to wound him and he hadn't even seen it. Damn it!
He turned and blocked an attack from the demon. Quickly he let go of the lawnmower with one hand and grabbed his knife, hidden from prying eyes under his jacket. He managed to slash the demon's arm deeply before he felt something collide with his stomach and was thrown violently against a wall. He slumped down on his knees, gripping the lawnmower tightly as on reflex, gasping for air. Black dots appeared before his eyes and he tried desperately to stay conscious.
"My, my," the demon's voice murmured somewhere behind him. Arms locked around his upper body and lifted him to his feet, holding him there. "I'm sorry about that, but I didn't see any other way."
"Piss off," Ronald hissed and elbowed the demon's ribs.
The demon let go with a laugh. "Still not done yet? Fantastic."
Ronald ducked the knife, quickly backing away. His head hurt, but he ignored it. He looked at the smiling demon, eyes narrowing. Holding his death scythe tightly, he attacked the demon more fiercely than before. The demon blocked using hisknife, still smiling.
Ronald jumped away and looked at the demon for a long second. This really wasn't going to end well. The demon seemed capable of much more than it showed. Just how strong was this demon? He had a bad feeling about this.
So he chose what he should have done before: Turned around and darted forward, away from the demon and the street.
The laugh that followed made Ronald speed up. If only he could get to the main street where there were people. Why did he choose to take the side street? Bad things always happened in side streets.
He ducked when he heard the sound of a knife being thrown through the air. The knife hit the wall beside him with a sharp clang! and fell to the ground. Ronald kept running, listening closely to his surroundings. Only his own running steps could be heard.
"Didn't I tell you, reaper?" the demon's voice sounded like an echo. "If you tried to run, I would just track you down."
Ronald whipped around and lifted his scythe, and just in time. His scythe met the demon's knife and he looked into the smiling demon's eyes.
"Leave me!" Ronald shouted. "The boss and the others will notice if I disappear and will take action!"
"My dear," the demon said and caught the wrist of the hand holding the scythe. "That's exactly what I plan on happening."
Ronald's eyes widened and he was forced to drop his scythe by the hard pressure on his wrist, threatening to break it. "What exactly are you planning?"
"Revenge, little one," the demon answered with a sickly sweet smile.
Ronald growled and attacked with his knife again, lounging for the demon's face. The demon, however, grabbed that wrist too and held it back. "You won't stop until you lose conscious, will you?"
Ronald just glared at the demon.
The demon chuckled and pried the knife from Ronald's hand. "I guess a little blood won't hurt. Much."
A sharp pain spread from his stomach throughout his whole body. A cry emitted from him and he quickly looked down, only to be met by a horrifying sight: His own knife had pierced his stomach and was now covered in dark, red blood. His blood.
Now, reapers might be more or less immortal, but they could feel the pain from wounds as well as any creature. And damn, did it hurt.
A weak and pained cry escaped his lips as the demon pulled out the knife. The black dots before his eyes had returned with a vengeance and he would have slumped to the ground had the demon not held him up.
"Mh…" the demon murmured softly and stroked Ronald's cheek with a finger. Its other arm held Ronald tightly against its solid chest. "No wonder you're his weakness. You are a pretty one. And strong too."
"What are you… Talking about?" Ronald breathed, trying to break free from the demon's hold, with no luck. He was too weak and the world was spinning. He felt nauseous and his body hurt.
"William, sweet one," the demon said and adjusted his hold on Ronald, lifting him up in his arms. Ronald uttered a cry of pain.
"I… I don't…" he began, but was silenced by the demon's hand covering his mouth. The world was steadily turning black.
"Hush, little reaper," the demon said with a smile. "Succumb to the darkness. You can no longer fight nor can you escape. Sleep."
And that's what Ronald did, no matter how hard he tried not to. His sight blackened and his body became limp. The last thing he heard, before he fully lost conscious, was the demon's quiet laughter followed by a: "I have got you now, dear Ronnie. Now, let's see if your boss can find you in time. I'll make him pay. Dearly."
AN: Tell me what you think in a review! Also, do point out every mistake you see. If you have any ideas, tips or anything, just tell me. I do not care about flamers. They'll be used to burn my homework and other schoolwork. So… Actually. Send flamers.
I am not sure a mere knife can block a death scythe, but... Oh well.
This is also my first try at a fanfic with Kuroshitsuji, so I'm not sure the personalities are as they should be… And, and, and, I am afraid Ronald seems a bit weak. Mmmh… Don't like that. Sigh.
Anyways! I hope you enjoyed the prologue. As you should have figured by now, this will be a multi-chapter fanfic. But do not expect future chapters to be as long as this. I don't know what happened… But I guess it's fine, mh?
I think there will be about… 5-6 chapters in all.
I don't know when the next chapter will be up, but I can say for sure that I won't leave this story, now that it's uploaded! I'm almost done with next chapter, though, so it will be up soon.
Till next time!