Dance Lessons 2
Ronald woke up the next morning with his head buzzing from a hangover. Once people realized the demon had left with the sour human in tow, they had crept back into the nightclub and he had partied until the early morning hours. Truth be told, he had stayed far later than he should have, chatting and flirting with numerous secretaries and other cute girls from the office. But the sun had risen and so the blonde Shinigami had dragged himself out of bed, showered, gotten dressed and reached for his death scythe … only to realize he had left it at that fancy manor and not just any manor, but Phantomhive; the one with a resident demon. A cold dread filled him then and his face grew pale. He imagined the trouble he'd be in if William found out. "He'd give me a month of overtime for sure!"
His hangover cleared instantly at the horrid idea and he dashed out the door, his white shoes sliding on the smooth corridor floor. He hurried to Grell's apartment door and banged on it with his fist, nervously checking his watch every few seconds. He needed the redhead to go with him down there as the demon was his friend really. The moments ticked by as the second hand went round and around the watch's face, Ronald growing more and more uneasy. He pressed his ear to the apartment door, listening for the slightest sounds of movement within and heard nothing. He hadn't seen Grell at the party last night, not after the demon had appeared and left with the human kid. Had he gone with them? Had he been out all night? Was he sleeping now unaware of the time? "Grell-senpai, wake up!"
The blonde waited anxiously for several more minutes and then tried the door. To his relief, it was not locked and he darted within – only to find the room empty except for the redhead's usual mess of clothes, makeup, perfume, shoes and other things tossed about in random chaos. The scent of perfume was strong in the air, as if he had just missed the other by a short time. Ronald frowned and stomped on the floor in agitation. "Now what am I going to do? I don't want to face that demon by myself, not without my death scythe!"
Hurrying back out into the hall, he saw two other Dispatch Officers heading to work. The two best friends were walking slowly and chatting, their death scythes resting on their shoulders casually. Relief fled trough Ronald upon sighting them. "Eric! Alan! You got to help me! A demon has my death scythe!"
"How did that happen?" Eric asked as he came to a stop as Ronald ran up to them. "I thought you had the day off yesterday?"
"I did. But I agreed to help Grell babysit and it was at that demon's house. I … I sort of forgot it there…" Ronald could feel the heat rising up into his face now. How could he have been so stupid? "I know it was incredibly stupid and I won't ever misplace it again, but I really don't want William-san to find out! He'd force me to do overtime! But I don't want to face that demon on my own weaponless either…"
Alan stared at the young blonde in shock. "You went into that demon's house?"
"Grell said it was safe and it was, but I just forgot my lawn mower there…and Grell-senpai isn't in! Who knows where he went off to?" Ronald wringed his hands in worry, checking his watch again. "We only have about fifteen minutes to get it and come back…"
"Don't worry about it." Eric patted Ronald on his shoulder. "We'll go with you and see that the demon gives it back, right, Alan?"
"Of course…" Alan replied but looked unsure himself.
"I'd like to see this famous Sebastian anyway…" Eric commented with a wry smile as he motioned for the other to create a portal to Phantomhive. "Grell's always talking about him."
Ronald sighed in relief and made the portal. The three Shinigami jumped through and landed outside the huge manor. They headed up to the front door and stopped before it on the top step. Ronald took a deep breath, trying to force his nerves back to where they belonged. He really didn't know why he was so jumpy now, as Sebastian had seemed harmless enough yesterday and hadn't threatened him in any way, not really. It was just he felt so naked without his death scythe and now he knew the demon had the upper hand! But he gritted his teeth and knocked on the door firmly with the ornate doorknocker.
"Oh, who could that be?" Sebastian said to himself as he paused on his way to the kitchen, turned and headed towards the front door. He passed by Ciel and Grell, who were trying to waltz somewhat unsuccessfully.
"Ow!" The redheaded Shinigami cried in pain. "A gentleman is not supposed to step on the lady's feet!"
"Well you're standing too close!" Ciel shot back at him somewhat angrily. The young Earl looked very unhappy as he clumsily moved around the floor in halting steps as he attempted to lead Grell in the dance. He felt weird dancing like this and he disliked it strongly. Truth be told, it was embarrassing beyond belief and the fact that the redhead was weird didn't help any. He didn't feel comfortable at all with his hand on the other's waist even if that's what the dance called for.
"But this is the waltz, darling; we're supposed to be close!" Grell grinned revealing his shark teeth and batted his long eyelashes at the young boy. "It's a dance of romance!"
Ciel twisted his face in utter disgust at the words.
"Now don't make such a horrid face! It's not proper at all. You'll frighten your dance partners!"
Ciel tried to twist his face even more, hoping that the redhead's words would prove true. Maybe then he would leave and the dance lesson would be over. But to his dismay, the reaper in the odd-looking dress only grinned.
"You'll not be rid of me that easily! Sebas-chan promised me a kiss if I'd teach you to dance and I am determined to get it!"
Ciel groaned, his hopes of escape plummeting. Then his sharp mind thought of something else, a new way to get out of the lesson. "So you work that cheaply? You're not even worth a pence or a farthing? Did my Aunt ever pay you or did you do that for free, too?"
The green seemed to vanish from Grell's eyes as they turned more yellowish, his mouth grimacing in anger. "Why you little brat!"
Ciel's single blue eye widened in horror when he saw the redhead whip his chainsaw out of the air. How he had managed to hide it in that tight, form fitting dress the young earl didn't know, but it was something he hadn't counted on. Turning, Ciel ran shrieking the other way with Grell in hot pursuit.
Sebastian opened the door and gazed at the three Shinigami blankly. "Yes? I am afraid Earl Phantomhive is busy at the moment and cannot be seen…"
"Look, demon, I just want my death scythe back." Ronald explained as he stared the demon in his creepy crimson eyes boldly.
"Ah, yes, the monstrosity you left behind carelessly yesterday…." Sebastian glared at the now startled blonde. "Why should I give it back when you leave it lying about where humans can get their hands on it? It has caused a great deal of trouble."
"Did someone get hurt?" Alan quickly asked with concern in his voice.
"No, it is not that…"
Sebastian's words were cut off by a blood curdling shriek from within the manor.
"SEBASTIAN!" Ciel shouted above the sounds of heels hitting the polished wooden floors. Then there was a loud crash of breaking glass and a girlish gasp of shock.
"Young Master! Watch out for that wax I just dropped!" Mey-Rin shouted.
The three Shinigami and Sebastian hurried within the manor just in time to see Ciel running as quickly as his short legs could carry him, a look of wild panic in his single exposed blue eye. Grell, wearing a black dress with red ruffled trim with a long split down the front center of the skirt, was right behind him, the chainsaw held high in the air and roaring. Unfortunately, Ciel didn't see the spilled wax and stepped right in it. Instantly his foot slid out from under him and he sped forward even faster, truly shrieking now. The wild redhead stepped in it a second later and lost his balance as well, his heels slipping and sliding due to the wax. The reaper lost his grip on the chainsaw and it went flying from his hand, the deadly weapon tumbling end over end. Finally it sailed through the window, breaking the glass in a magnificent crashing sound and vanished from sight. A moment later Ciel collided with the plaster wall and then Grell crashed into him from behind. Finally the two collapsed onto the floor, moaning in pain. Cracks zigzagged through the plaster and chunks of it rained down on the two individuals who lay there, arms and legs spread outward.
"Oh dear…" Sebastian said sadly as he checked his pocket watch. "The dance lessons didn't even last ten minutes. Bocchan, you must really try harder."
"I see little black crows circling…" Ciel said in a dazed voice, pointing a trembling hand at the imaginary birds.
"Grell-senpai, are you all right?" Ronald asked as he hurried to his mentor's side, his lawn mower forgotten for the moment.
The redhead sighed. "I'll live. That kiss better be worth it!"
Sebastian bent over the injured reaper and gave him a dazzling smile. Grell instantly recovered, leaping to his feet and carelessly tossing the poor earl onto the hard floor. Stars danced in Grell's green ringed eyes and blood ran from his nostrils. "Oh, Sebas-chan!"
The reaper took one step and instantly fell to the floor again due to the coating of wax on the bottom of his heeled red shoes.
"Oh dear, now I have even more things to repair and it seems Young Master may have a concussion…" The demon sighed as he eyed the new damage. "I will get behind schedule…"
Eric gazed about confused. "What kind of place is this?"
"It is a daily occurrence I'm afraid." The demon replied as he bent to pick Ciel up off the floor and attempted to get him to stand. "Could you help hold him while I check for injuries?"
"Of course." Alan laid his death scythe down and quickly stepped forward to help, Eric joining him. The young boy swayed in their grasp, his balance unsteady.
Sebastian started to feel on Ciel's body, checking for broken bones or anything else that might need to be treated.
Mey-Rin eyed the long device lying on the floor. To her it looked very much like a boat oar except it was extra long and her bad eyesight didn't let her see the sharp blade along the one side of the "oar". She shifted her bad gaze to the crowd around the young master and saw to her delight that they were all busy. And so she snuck forward, bent low and grabbed the thing by the one end, hauling it towards herself. Once she had it, she hurried off before anyone could see. "This is just want I need to get cobwebs off the ceiling, yes it is! I'll just toss a dust rag over the one end. It'll be perfect! Sebastian will be so pleased!"
"Well, it looks like Young Master will be fine. He just needs to walk off this concussion." Sebastian said as he removed the soiled shoes off of Ciel's feet so they could be cleaned. He then did the same to Grell. "Grell-san, would you be kind enough to help Ciel recover, since you are partly responsible for this mess?"
"But he started it!" Grell pointed out, annoyed.
"That as it may be, you are the adult and thus you should act like one. You shouldn't allow his words to rile you up or don't you want that kiss?" Sebastian ran a white gloved hand through his hair, which had the desired effect on the reaper.
Grell jumped to his feet and grabbed Ciel, wrapping an arm about him so he could walk him around the room. The young boy clung to the redhead's side as he started to walk very much like a drunk tossed out of the pub in the wee morning hours.
"So how about my lawn mower?" Ronald asked as turned to the demon. "Can I have it back now?"
"Oh, very well, but please keep a better eye on it." The demon hurried to a nearby closet, unlocked the door with a key and pulled the lawn mower out. Carrying it over, he handed it to the blonde.
"Yes!" Ronald cried with glee as he grabbed his death scythe by its handle. He then checked his watch. "We have five minutes to spare. We better hurry back or William-senpai will notice we're all late!"
"Wait…" Alan said as he turned about in obvious confusion, glancing down at the floor around him. "Where's my death scythe? I laid it down right here and now it's gone!"
"Well, the demon didn't take it." Eric said as he indicated the demon butler with his chin. "I was watching him the entire time."
Sensing something else was wrong, Sebastian turned to his guests. "Now what is the problem?"
"My death scythe is missing!" Alan explained as he pointed to the floor where he had left it. "It was here and now it's gone!"
The demon sighed. "It seems the servants seem to think they're wonderful toys to play with. I shall have to go see who has taken it."
"Toys?" Alan gasped. "But they can kill people!"
"I am afraid I am not that lucky." Sebastian said in a somewhat weary voice.
A cloud of billowing black smoke poured forth from one of the doorways as the entire house shook. The few final shards of broken glass clinging to the smashed window gave way, falling to the floor.
"What the heck was that?" Eric asked as he gawked at the dark cloud billowing into the room.
The cook then poked his head out into the room, his face and clothes smeared with black. Oddly enough, the bit of cigarette still clung to his bottom lip. "Hey Sebastian! I think I just blew up the stove! Do you have another one by chance?"
"We will have to cook on the grill outside until I can purchase a new one…" The demon replied. "Bardroy, how many times have I told you not to use dynamite for cooking?"
""Twas not dynamite, it was gunpowder! You never said I couldn't use that…it was just that lunch time is sneaking up right soon and I wanted the Earl's lunch to be ready is all…"
The smoke started to clear and Eric noticed a figure up at the top of the staircase, near the railing. It was the maid. She had the long-handled garden slasher, a rag over the blade end and was clumsily waving it about in the air for unknown reasons. As far as he could figure, she was trying to get a clump of cobwebs up near the ceiling. She stumbled then and the weapon fell out of her hands. It fell through the air, the rag coming free to reveal the shining blade. Before it could hit anyone, Sebastian easily leaped up and caught it. He then presented it to Alan. "Do be more careful with it."
"Mahahaha!" Ronald laughed as he pointed a finger at Alan. "Your death scythe is a duster!"
The demon grinned evilly at the blonde, his eyes glowing red with black slits. "I wouldn't laugh if I were you. Wait until you find out what yours was."
A chill traveled down Ronald's spine and he quickly shut up. He tightened his grip on his precious lawn mower and inched towards the open door. "I … I think we should be going now."
Taking charge, Eric shooed Alan and Ronald outside before any more mishaps happened. They ran down the outside stairs and breathed a sigh of relief. The group came to a stop when they saw two servants nearby, arguing.
"Well, I saw it first!" Finney the gardener said as he fiercely tugged on the handle of Grell's chainsaw. "I could use this thing, whatever it is, to trim trees! There's lots of dead branches that need to come down before they fall and hurt the poor little birdies!"
"Yeah, that may be…" Bardroy the cook said in reply as he too tugged on the handle. "But I could use it to chop up this hunk of beef! Sebastian said we gotta use the grill now and there's no way that big hunk will fit on it. That sucker looks like it'll cut right through the bone and all!"
"But I found it!"
"Doesn't matter. Food comes first!" The cook replied as he accidentally hit a button that turned it on. The blade came to life, growling and spinning around rapidly. "Yeah, this thing will do nicely! You can have it after I cut the meat."
"But it'll be all bloody then!" Finney whined unhappily.
"And Sebastian doesn't want sawdust in the Young Master's food! He'll kill us for sure!" A grin spread on the cook's face then. "And if we're good, he might let us eat the leftovers!"
"FOOD!" Finney cried happily and let go of the death scythe. "Hurry up and slice it so I can do the trees!"
The two ran off towards the rear of the house, laughing with excitement.
From within the house they heard the maid's voice.
"Where did that thing go I was using for dusting? I swear it landed around here somewhere. Sebastian! Do you know where that big boat oar went?"
The Shinigami didn't waste any more time but quickly created a portal to the Shinigami Realm and leaped through it. Once they were safe, the three breathed a sigh of relief. They had escaped from the demon unscathed and had their death scythes.
Ronald dashed into the office just as the hand on his watch hit the hour. "YES! I made it on time and not a second late!"
Eric came up behind him. "You know, you better check your death scythe over. It sounds like the servants might have had their hands on it."
"Awww, their just humans!" Ronald laughed as he put his lawn mower onto the floor, as he had been carrying it on his shoulder. "What could they possibly do to it?"
He pushed it forward then on its wheels and a huge puff of fuzz shot out the rear end, flying up into the air all around him. The fuzz, of course, was from Ciel's expensive carpets which the servants had mowed. The demon, not liking the unnecessary repairs he had been forced to do (unnecessary as Ronald should have taken his death scythe with him when he left) had magically stuffed all of the mown carper fibers into the mower. Ronald gasped in shock, his mouth dropping open and his green-yellow eyes as large as saucers. "What the …?"
Alan coughed and waved his hand in the air, trying to push the fuzz away. Eric quickly grabbed him and led him to a cleaner part of the room.
Ronald, who was now covered in bits of different colored fuzz bent over his lawn mower in confusion, gaping at it open-mouthed in shock. The fibers were very obvious against his neat black suit, which truthfully wasn't so neat looking any longer. And it was in his hair as well. And as he stood bent over, he could see more fuzz sticking out the bottom end. His heart sped up then and his nerves started to jump, his stomach getting that odd feeling he hadn't felt in ages. The humans hadn't broken his death scythe, had they? He flipped it over then to see the bottom and shrieked. "It's full of fuzz! My death scythe is full of fuzz!"
"What's going on here?" William T. Spears demanded to know as he stood there with his usual dour expression. "Knox! What's the meaning of that outburst?"
"I…" Ronald gulped as he quickly stood up, red faced. "It seems my death scythe is, ummm, damaged?"
Spears strode forward and stopped before Knox. He peered downwards at the upside-down lawn mower and adjusted his glasses. A large amount of multi-colored fuzz was visible on the mower's bottom. Spears poked at it with the sharp tip of his hedge trimmer, a big clump coming free to land on the floor. "Knox, trimming carpets is not an authorized use of a death scythe!"
"I know, William-san." The blonde said sheepishly with his eyes downcast. "It … it was an accident."
"How does one accidentally mow a carpet?" Spears asked. He held a black gloved hand up in the air, his palm facing Knox. "Don't answer. I don't want to know what you were doing. It's bad enough I have problems with Sutcliffe. And speaking of Sutcliffe, where is he?"
"I don't think he'll be coming in today?" Ronald guessed.
"Good. It seems I'll have enough problems with you today. Now go clean that up and get that horrid fuzz off of your clothing!"
Ronald jumped to do as he was told, eager to get his death scythe in working order so he could collect his souls for the day without any overtime. He just hoped it would work as it should once he cleaned it.
That afternoon Ciel found himself dancing with Grell. To his relief, the Shinigami had apparently misplaced his chainsaw and now he couldn't threaten him or so he hoped. He gripped the redhead's waist with one hand and his other hand was entwined with Grell's fingers. He forced a fake smile on his face as they moved around the room in time to the music, Sebastian standing off to one side in his teaching spectacles and with his pointer in his hand.
"One two three four, one two three four…" the demon said in a steady rhythm.
The young earl had to admit that the dancing was growing easier, probably because of the repetition. He just had to watch out for walls because if he didn't he'd waltz his partner right into one. That had been funny for about five seconds and he was lucky he hadn't been bit. Luckily, he had blamed it on his inexperience. He had made his face as innocent as possible and had asked "Aren't you supposed to be teaching me these things?" and it had worked. But they had been dancing for what seemed like hours and his feet were starting to get tired.
"Bocchan, dinner should be ready soon." Sebastian announced without warning. "Grell-san, feel free to join us after your hard work."
"Really Sebas-chan?" Grell looked truly surprised at the invitation. "You're inviting me to dinner?"
Ciel decided that the dinner must be part of the bribe to get him to teach the dancing. He stepped away from the redhead, glad to be finished with the constant waltzing and spinning. It was enough to make him dizzy. "I'm done with the lessons for today. What are we having for dinner?"
"We have some splendid beef cooked on the grill in a lovely tangy sauce, Bocchan. I am sure you will love it." The demon smiled and spread out his arm towards the dining room, indicating that Ciel should lead the way.
The earl seated himself at the table, which was set out to his satisfaction. There were perfect red roses in crystal vases, the silverware gleamed and the crystal glasses for wine was spotless. All in all it was what he expected from Sebastian. Then a thought occurred to him. "If you were supervising us in the dancing, who was cooking? The food had better not be burnt!"
The demon smiled and bowed to the young boy. "Fear not. Bardroy was forced to use the grill outside. I am sure it is impossible to burn meat on the grill, My Lord."
"I hope you're right. All of that dancing made me hungry." Truthfully, he was famished. He just wasn't used to so much physical activity.
Bardroy came into the room then pushing the silver serving cart. On it there was a huge covered platter, but it was not covered with the usual round metal dome, no, this was some odd-shaped covering of something else. Ciel narrowed his blue eye suspiciously as he stared at the covering. Was that a bedsheet? Was it some type of paper? Whatever it was, it was poking high up into the air, a lot higher than any roast meat had a right to. Ciel frowned, knowing already without even looking that the stupid cook had goofed it up and dinner would be ruined.
But then the smell hit his nose and his mouth started to water. It smelled delicious, better than it had any right to if Bardroy had been the one to cook it. His hope at a decent meal inched upward.
"I did it just like you told me to, Sebastian!" Bardroy said with a crooked grin as he easily lifted the heavy silver plate onto the table, the meal still covered by the mysterious white wrapping. "I added the spices and that sauce you provided. It cooked like a charm!"
"Why is it so tall?" Grell asked from where he sat at the table, pleased he was invited to dine with the earl even if he was a brat. "A roast cannot be that tall…"
"Err, well, that…" Bardroy chewed on his cigarette, stalling for time. "There was a slight hitch at the beginning I guess you could say…"
"Bardroy…" Sebastian stated in a cold voice.
The cook began to look nervous as he eyed the demon butler, sensing he was about to get into trouble. "It's a special cut of meat is what it is! Yeah, that's it! It's like one of them there cakes that's got a prize in it! The person to get the prize, well, they win the prize!"
"What foolish thing did you do now?" Sebastian demanded to know. "Honestly, how hard can it be to grill meat?"
"Just think of it being more fun this way!" The cook replied as he reached out for the covering. With a whoosh, he pulled the fabric off to reveal the huge hunk of grilled beef covered in tangy red barbecue sauce resting on the fine silver platter, the red handled chainsaw sticking right out of the middle and pointing upward.
"My death scythe!" Grell cried upon seeing it stuck in the roasted meat, leaping halfway out of his chair. "You cooked it?!"
Ciel sighed, leaning back in his chair. "I had been wondering where that thing vanished to…"
"That thing came with the meat. Honest." Bardroy grinned, hoping he would be believed. "It's jammed in there good, too. Couldn't get it out."
Sebastian sighed but reached for the serving knife. It was clear Grell would be going home with the "prize".
Author's Note: my original idea for the story was just the first chapter, but then I decided I should write a "sequel" to explain what happened to Ronald's lawn mower and so this part was written. I admit I had fun thinking of crazy things for the servants to do with the death scythes. I even had to look up the proper term for Alan's as "Garden Slasher" is not a common item here.