This is my first Black Butler fan-fiction, I have a lot of plans for it so I hope it will entertain you all as I write it. This first chapter is probably a little dull and mundane but regrettable it was a necessary evil so that we could get into the plot that is to come.
This is a Claude x Sebastian fan-fiction, I may add in other pairings as I go along and am open to suggestions on pairings as well. Furthermore, this fan-fiction begins under the pretence that Sebastian is not currently a butler or a demon, and is in fact a free lance artist. (*Grin* of course... This is subject to change as the plot develops).
All that is left to say is, I hope you enjoy and please review :)
Chapter One –
Humans were so utterly boring. They never changed anything in their lives, down to the way they treated each other, the way they behaved and the way that they lived their lives. Yes, utterly boring.
At least that was what Claude had believed until he had walked through the park on this particular day, when he had taken leave of his young Master's side to go out and collect the ingredients for the next week's meals.
He had been in his usual contemplative mood, striding confidently through the parkland with the tails of his butler attire fluttering behind him in the brisk breeze.
He paused his hasty walk as he saw a young male seated under a tree just off the beaten track; he had his knees drawn loosely up toward his chest and a sketch book placed on his lap.
Claude cast his eyes over the young man; how his slinky black locks of hair half shrouded the pale skin of his face and his complexion was completely perfect; without a single blemish. There was a faint scowl marring his delicate features as he pursed his lips in a firm line of exasperation.
He tilted his head as he watched the other's amber-red eyes narrow on whatever it was he was sketching into the book. The butler watched with curiosity as the other's long but perfectly proportioned nose wrinkled slightly in distaste, followed shortly by several vigorous scrubs with an eraser.
Unable to contain his curiosity, Claude set aside his plans of shopping for Earl Trancy's pantry, opting to stride off of the path and approach the artist.
"Excuse me." He greeted politely, it was never appropriate to forget one's manners, even more so considering he was a butler to an influential teenager.
The dark haired male continued drawing for a moment before he seemed to realise that it was him whom was being addressed; he looked up and blinked at the towering figure above him, "Good evening." He replied with equal etiquette.
"May I enquire as to what you may be drawing so advantageously?"
"O-oh..." the younger man faltered for a moment before he nodded, tucking his pencil behind his ear and handing his sketchbook up to the stranger, "My name is Sebastian, by the way."
"Claude." He answered as he took the book and studied the drawing with his hawk like eyes.
Sebastian sat for several moments, watching his new acquaintance look through his book with an expressionless mask. He fidgeted slightly, feeling uncomfortable at how his work was being scrutinised by such an eagle eye.
"These... Are most impressive, Sebastian." Claude finally concluded with a faint twitch of a smile as he handed the book back to him, "I wonder... Do you take commissions?"
"Thank you." He smiled in relief, before blinking in shock, "C-commissions?"
"Yes... You see I work as the head butler in an influential household in the district, and it is coming upon the time for my master to have his portrait painted... I have been searching for a few months for an artist worthy of the job. If you would accept you would be well paid for your time and work? And of course while you were working you would be most welcome to stay in the mansion, as I have no doubt a perfectionist such as yourself would take several days to complete such a piece of work."
Sebastian gawped at him as he spoke, a band of pale pink stretching over the bridge of his nose and his cheeks as he was so aptly described as a perfectionist. He looked down at his sketchbook before looking back up at the man before him, "I... I don't know what to say."
"Then agree to my proposal."
Well that was simple... Sebastian hesitated for a moment before he smiled hesitantly and accepted the offer. He got to his feet, putting his possessions back into his bag and hefting it over his shoulder, "When would you like me to begin this commission?" he questioned after a moment of utter silence.
"We may begin immediately if you have nothing else to be doing." The other replied, "I must collect supplies for the pantry before returning to the estate but you may accompany me if you wish before I take you there."
The artist complied and several minutes later they were walking around the market side by side, Claude was inspecting the supply list and Sebastian was feeling a little out classed, seeing so many noblemen and women around, even the butler beside him was well presented. And yet here he was in loose fitting trousers and a hand-me-down white shirt. Damn did he feel out of place or what?
"You look uncomfortable." Claude commented as he gazed at the younger man from the corner of his eye.
"Uh... Well kind of..." he sighed, "Everyone else here is... Well... Noble. I feel rather outclassed..."
"And yet your talent precedes those of these money hoarding folk who think nothing of belittling each other behind their backs and smiling so warmly to their faces." Claude offered a rare smile to him, "Trust me... Your clothes may be less formal and expensive than those worn by the people here but you could easily be one of them. Your looks are not those of an average working class male, you could fit in nicely with the higher society. All you would need was the clothing, and that isn't much to be honest with you. These expensive materials are somewhat itchy."
Sebastian let out a laugh, he smiled and ran a hand through his ink black locks, "That is certainly one way to put it I suppose... And I feel better for your words." He chuckled again, "But I could never be one of these people."
Curiosity prodded the butler, he wanted to know why the young man thought this but he didn't wish to pry into business which wasn't his. Apparently his new acquaintance noticed his curiosity on his face and smiled slightly.
"I was born into the higher society. My parents were nobility but I was disinterested in the politics of it all." He shrugged, "It is a far simpler life to be like this, less complex with matters of state and money. As a working class man I can become what I want to be rather than what my parents and peers decide. Art has always been my passion."
Claude was amazed by the level-headedness of this man, he wished his master could be the same instead of the spoilt brat he was, not that he would ever say as much, his soul was still fit to be devoured...
"So you left the higher class?" he asked, "Do you not miss any of it?"
"No... I was disinherited actually." He shrugged again, "My father believed me to be a disgrace after... A certain incident. And I was thrown from the family."
"I apologise if I was out of place."
"Not at all... It doesn't bother me. It simply means that I can live my life as I choose rather than having it all dictated to me by someone who only pretends to care as a preface rather than showing what they actually feel. Which in my father's case was often loathing."
"Loathing?" he repeated.
"Indeed..." Sebastian picked up an armful of onions from the stall as Claude paid the man, "My father was an unkind man who did not deserve the family that he had. I had an elder brother and sister, both of whom he adored. It was just me that he hated."
"I don't know for certain. Perhaps it was my carefree attitude or the way I never seemed to bend to his will. That and I was a bastard child, my mother had an affair with another man, she would never say who it was but I was the result and I don't think he ever forgave her for betraying him how she did... Even if he had it coming." He looked up the butler, "Either way he was always looking for an excuse to get rid of me."
"That seems... Cruel."
"Sticks and stones. Sticks and stones." He replied.
They shopped in silence for the most part after that, gathering the supplies from the list Claude had. The butler couldn't quite stop himself taking sideways glances at the man, he was... Unusual as humans go.
He couldn't quite put his finger on it but there was something different about him, his appearance wasn't quite right. He was almost too perfect for a human. Claude wondered momentarily if the whole story about his past and his family had been a lie, maybe the young man was one of these Angels that had been appearing in London of late. Angela and Ash, he had heard rumours about those two but he wasn't sure what to believe.
"You are staring, Claude." Sebastian waved a hand in front of the butler's face, "Are you alright?"
"Hmm? Oh yes I am fine thank you." He replied, checking the list a final time, "I believe I am finished now."
"Oh good! These bags are a little heavy." The artist laughed as he lugged half the bags with him while Claude carried the other half.
"I agree... Usually another of the household servants would be waiting with the carriage but one of the wheels was damaged in the storm the other night and is being repaired."
"So they sent the muscle man out to do the shopping?"
Claude blinked for a moment before letting loose a small chuckle of amusement at the comment, "I suppose you could say that, yes."
Sebastian smiled as he heard the other man laugh, he seemed far too serious most of the time, stoic eyes half hidden behind square rimmed glasses, it was good to hear him lighten up a bit.
"I shall escort you back to the mansion, we can see there if you still wish to accept the commission."
"Why wouldn't I?"
"Mm... The master can be somewhat difficult at times. To be perfectly honest I wouldn't b at all surprised if you took one look at him and ran a mile."
"Is it entirely proper for a butler to speak as such about his master?"
"Not at all." He smirked slightly.
"I see... Well your secret is safe with me." He smiled, slightly resembling a contented cat while he did so.
Claude stared for a moment, why did this young human man look so familiar when he smiled? He was certain he had seen that smile somewhere before...
Heading back through the park where they had met, the two men spoke of trivial things to pass the time. Although Claude was not usually one for making small talk he found it most enjoyable in Sebastian's company. In fact, he found Sebastian's company most enjoyable too...
This human truly was different, and not at all boring.
When they arrived at the mansion, Sebastian stared at the sumptuousness of the building. It was truly a marvel. And hard to believe that there were so few residents for such an enormous palace.
"It is somewhat... Boisterous is it not?" Claude offered as they walked down the drive way.
Sebastian glanced at him and then back at the mansion, "Umm... Well it is certainly... Huge..."
"Earl Alois Trancy doesn't do things by half." He agreed with an inward sigh, wondering for the millionth time if the impetuous boy's soul was really worth all the effort.
"I... I can see that... I can definitely see that."
Heading up the steps and into the foyer, Sebastian's eyes were about ready to pop out of his head. He looked around with widened eyes, hardly believing how so much decoration and class could be shown in just a single room. Golden and cream walls, ornate furniture and the biggest chandelier he had ever clapped eyes upon.
His senses were thrown off abruptly when he felt something crawling over his shoulder; paling dramatically as he saw a spider. He let out something between whimper and a groan of fear.
Claude looked around as he heard the sound and chuckled, he set down a couple of the bags and reached out, watching the eight legged critter to step onto his hand, "Afraid of spiders?"
"Terrified." He confirmed with a tremble.
"Don't worry... I won't allow a single one to harm you."
Sebastian felt that the statement seemed strange; at first he thought the man was mocking him but he saw the truth of the statement in his sunshine yellow eyes. There was something strange with this house...
Claude put the spider out and shut the door, "If you follow me we can drop these bags off in the kitchen, one of the other servants will see to putting them away."
He nodded in agreement and followed him as they walked through the corridor; he was unable to stop himself looking around with interest, "This is certainly a very wealthy decorated building." He murmured.
"Yes... The current Earl has somewhat spectacular tastes." The butler chortled to himself and pushed open the door to the kitchen with his foot. He held it open for the younger man and watched him totter through.
He licked his lips as he observed the young man stretching to set the bags on the pine island in the centre of the room, tipping his head slightly as he watched how his slightly loose trousers tightened as the he leaned.
Quickly gathering his thoughts before he was caught, he walked over and set his own bags down as well. He clapped his hands twice, "Hannah." He called.
Sebastian looked around as they were graced by the presence of another of the servants, a woman with long grey-white hair which was braided down her back, one of her eyes was bandaged over but the other was a dark blue colour and she seemed to bore into Sebastian's very soul.
"Hannah, this is Sebastian." Claude murmured, "He is an artist, hopefully he will be doing the commission for our master."
The woman looked at the butler and nodded before hastening over to the bags and pottering around, putting the food away in the pantry and cupboards, "He has been restless since you left this morning, Claude. Please try to calm him as soon as you can."
"Of course." He sighed inwardly, once again wishing his master wasn't such a brat.
He looked at Sebastian and smiled faintly, "Please come with me, I will introduce you to the Earl."
He nodded and smiled at the maid before allowing himself to be lead out by the butler.
He easily lost track of how many room they passed, he was certain that he would easily get lost if he was left alone in this place. He marvelled once again as he was lead up the grand staircase, he let out a breath and looked at Claude.
"How do you not get lost in this place? It's so huge..." he said quietly, not wanting his voice to echo around the building.
"Practice." He chuckled, "And a pocket map."
Sebastian let out a snigger and covered his mouth before it could grow into a full blown laugh, "R... Really?" he asked.
Claude pushed his glasses up his nose and pulled the booklet from his pocket, handing it to their guest to look through, "When the master goes to his town house we rent out the mansion as a museum of sorts... He has a vast collection of antiques here which people practically drool over in their haste to see them."
The young man opened the booklet and looked it over curiously, "Whoa... I really would get lost!"
He went to hand the booklet back but Claude simply waved it away, "You can keep that one." He smiled before stopping outside of one of the doors, "Please wait here for a moment." He said softly before knocking on the door and heading into the room.
Sebastian twiddled his thumbs a little anxiously as he waited outside; he checked his bag habitually before pausing as another butler walked past. He was slighter than Claude, his waist coat was a dark orange shade and his hair was a startling purple colour; the fringe parted on the right.
As he passed, the purple haired butler looked at him; his eyes almost piercing into his soul. It terrified him to his very bones but he couldn't look away to save his life. And then the butler looked away and continued down the hall like nothing had happened.
Sebastian gulped and tried to relax, which was pretty darn hard considering another butler walked past that looked exactly like the previous one except that his purple fringe was parted to the left hand side rather than the right. This one gave him a rather perplexed expression before following the same route as the previous one had taken.
Okay now he was really worried... Was he just seeing things or was he going crazy?
He would have opted for just seeing things if it weren't for a third butler who was identical to the first two. This one had a centre parting and didn't look at Sebastian at all, yet regardless of this he was well and truly freaked out now.
Sebastian jumped as a hand rested on his shoulder and spun around, looking up at Claude with a startled expression.
"I apologise if I scared you." Claude frowned faintly, "Is everything alright?"
"Uh... Of course, yes." He forced a smile, "Do you... Really have three butlers here who are identical?" he asked.
Claude glanced in the direction that the three Thompson brothers had disappeared in, "Ah... They are triplets." He smiled faintly, "We deal in the unusual here."
"I see... That would be a logical answer." He chuckled and looked back at him.
The head butler watched his reaction for a moment before clearing his throat, "My master wishes to meet you now."
"Okay!" he smiled enthusiastically and ran a hand through his hair self consciously as the butler opened the door he had come out of and gestured to the guest to enter.
Sebastian stepped into the room, blanching momentarily as he realised they were in a bedroom. He set this aside as his eyes fell upon the occupant of the room.
A young boy, with golden-blonde hair; creamy skin and intense ice blue eyes. He looked to be around twelve, thirteen at a push. Was this really...
"May I introduce, Earl Alois Trancy." Claude established with his usual polite tone, "Master, this is Sebastian. Sebastian-" he broke off as he realised he had never inquired the man's surname.
"Michaelis." He injected with an easy, cat like smile.
"Sebastian Michaelis." Claude finished.
The boy, seated on his bed, cast a wandering eye over the new comer; taking in his slightly shabby dress and attractive face. His azure eyes narrowed faintly as he tilted his head to look at him from a new angle. The male had stunning dark amber eyes, his skin was like alabaster and his complexion flawless...
"You are an artist, ne, Mr Michaelis?" he said finally.
"Yes, my Lord." He replied with a brief nod of his head, "Free lance mostly... But I have done one or two commissions. None for such a high class citizen though."
Alois tilted his head again so that he was upright again, "I see... Would you be happy to do this commission for me?"
"Of course... It would be my pleasure."
"Very well!" he sprung up lithely and landed on his tiptoes just in front of Sebastian, he leaned up and rested his hands on the stranger's shoulders and inhaled deeply, "Ne... You have a nice scent. Like fresh flowers and paper."
Sebastian stayed very still, feeling a little like a deer in headlights as he was sniffed by the lord. He swallowed and glanced at him from the corner of his eyes, "Umm... Thank you?" he said uncertainly.
Claude, upon noticing the discomfort that their guest was in, interceded, "Shall I show our guest to his room, Master?" he asked calmly.
Alois, for a moment, looking like he was considering murder as he was interrupted but mellowed instantly, "Yes Claude! Also ensure that you work out the financial side of it too."
"Yes, your Highness." He murmured, his eyes glowing momentarily and not going unnoticed by the other occupant of the room.
Sebastian on the other hand, was simply glad when the young Earl released him and skipped over to his bed in his slightly scanty shorts and flopped on his bed, "And Claude?!"
"Get Hannah to bring me something to eat... I'm hungry."
The butler offered a smile to their guest, ushering him from the room. As they walked down the corridor together in silence, Sebastian briefly wondered what he may have gotten himself into with this commission.
"Are you alright, Sebastian?"
A shudder ran through him, he rather liked the way his name sounded when coming from the other man's lips, "I... Yes. Yes of course. Why wouldn't I be?" he replied with a smile.
"Well... The Earl can be a little overwhelming at times." He shrugged.
"Oh... Um... Well I was a little surprised by his age." He commented.
Claude smiled faintly, "He is a unique child." He replied.
"Are you happy serving him?" he asked inquisitively.
Taken aback by the question, Claude was glad when they reached the room their new resident artist was going to be using and had an excuse not to answer him.
"Here we are." He paused and opened the door for him again, "Hopefully this will suit you for the duration of your stay. If not then please inform me and I can find something to better accommodate you."
Sebastian stepped inside and his mouth fell open. The room was lavishly decorated with the usual gold and cream furniture but the bed was laddened with darker sheeting and pillow covers. There was a small chandelier hanging up ahead and dotted around the room were many candles.
"This is more than perfect. Thank you." He replied with a smile.
"Excellent." Claude nodded and closed the door behind him, "Now, as for the financial aspects of this commission the sum of money we are willing to pay you is £1,500. Is this acceptable?"
Gawping slightly and sitting curtly on the bed that was to be his, "That is more than I had even imagined getting.
"You are unhappy with it?"
"Not at all! It is incredible... An absolutely incredible offer..."
Happy with his reaction, Claude nodded, "That is good to hear."
Sebastian fidgeted for a moment before swallowing, "Why did you decide to approach me in the park?"
"Hmm? You seemed... Interesting and different to other humans." Claude replied as simply as he could.
"Other humans... You speak as though you're not one." Sebastian tilted his head to the side curiously, "And I get the feeling that perhaps you are not entirely as you seem."
The butler fought the urge to smirk in retaliation... This truly was an interesting human indeed. He found himself wanting to learn more and more about him.
"I shall leave that to your imagination." He replied slyly, "Now... As you will be here for a couple of days at the most you will undoubtedly be requiring clothing and bed wear. If it is not unappealing to you, i shall take your measurements and have some made."
He tensed momentarily before standing, letting his bag rest on the bed, "Um... Sure thing. Thank you." He seemed to be saying that a lot today.
"Not at all. It would be most obscene for you to wander around naked."
Blushing slightly Sebastian stepped behind the screen and stripped off his shirt and trousers, leaving on his boxers before he stuck his head around and looked at the butler, "Do I really have to do this in my underwear?" he asked.
"By all means remove them as well if it suits you, Sebastian."
"That wasn't what I meant Claude." He replied hoarsely before padding out from behind the screen shyly; his arms wrapped around his chest.
The butler watched him from under his lashes as he pulled out a tape measure, was the younger man shy? In front of him? How endearing and adorable.
"Please let your arms to fall to your sides." Claude instructed as he walked over and stopped in front of the young man. He quickly measured his arm length, chest size, waist size, height, shoulder width, thigh width and leg length. He wasn't oblivious to the blush Sebastian was sporting as he was measured somewhat closely to his private area.
Sebastian swallowed hard, glancing down at the butler as his gloved hands brushed his bare thighs. He felt his cheeks warming slightly and swallowed again, biting his lip and looking away.
Claude stepped back and smiled, "All done." He announced, "I will return later this evening with your new clothes; until that time feel free to explore the mansion. If you get hungry at all simply pull one of the bell pulls and one of the servants will come and find you."
"Thank you." He replied and turned away to go and find his clothes.
"There is no need to thank me; this is after all my job and my duty."
Sebastian smiled and nodded before disappearing back behind the screen to get dressed again. When he returned he found that he was alone in the room. Slightly disappointed that he wouldn't be able to spend longer conversing with the mysterious butler he sighed and pouted faintly, sitting on his bed and fiddling with the bottom of his shirt thoughtfully.
He shrugged finally and lay back on the bed, never having felt a mattress so comfortable... Not since the days he lived at home anyway. He shook those thoughts away. He didn't want to think about the past, it was inconsequential to him now.
He rolled over and hugged one of the large pillows, that Claude was certainly interesting. Maybe he could steal a free drawing of him too before he left... He would make a superb model and he would be able to chat to him more at length.
To be continued...