Don't Go in the Water!

Disclaimer: the characters are not mine.

Note: This story takes place after Ciel and Sebastian visit Houndsworth where they get Pluto. The story presumes Ciel cannot swim (even though he seems to be able to during the Second Season episodes) – its humor so I'm taking a few liberties.

000

"Bocchan, I noticed that during our trip to Houndsworth you didn't go swimming with the staff…" Sebastian stated as he buttoned Ciel's white nightshirt after giving the boy his nightly bath. Deftly each button was thrust through the opening and secured. "Could it be you don't know how to swim?"

"What does it matter if I can swim or not when I have you?" Ciel replied in a bored tone, his single blue eye on his neat butler. Finally the nightshirt was buttoned and Ciel strolled from his spotless bathroom into his bedroom. "If I happen to fall into water, you'll save me as you always do."

"That may be, but swimming is a skill one should know." The demon stated as he watched Ciel climb onto his four poster bed and get settled. "It is not that difficult and can come in handy."

Ciel glanced at him skeptically. "I hope you're not going to be a pest about this…"

"I have put swimming lessons on your schedule for tomorrow morning." Sebastian stated in a firm voice. "There is a lovely swimming hole here on your property, a place I noticed you avoid like the plague."

"I'm not going to swim in that old mud hole!" Ciel exclaimed as his blue eye flashed with fury. He tore the black eye patch off of his other eye and tossed it carelessly onto the nearby dresser. His other eye opened to reveal its odd pinkish color with the contract mark on it. "I have more important things to do with my time that frolic in some scummy pond!"

"Your father swam there from what I understand." Sebastian stated as he carefully pulled the covers up over his young charge. His pale face took on a thoughtful expression then, his dark red eyes narrowing in suspicion. "Surely My Lord is not scared of water?"

Ciel's eyes widened for a brief moment and then quickly returned to normal. He casually crossed his arms about his thin chest. "Don't be ridiculous, Sebastian! Of course I'm not scared of water! That's the most stupid thing I ever heard. If I were such a coward, then surely I'd be too scared to sign a contract with a demon – I'd be shivering in my shoes and jumping at shadows."

"Many humans fear deep water if they cannot swim, as drowning is an awful way to die." Sebastian bent at the waist so he could better peer at the boy. "And since you're not scared of the water, the swimming lessons will go on tomorrow as planned."

Ciel groaned. "You are going to be a pest I see…"

"I am trusted to see to your education and this surely is a part just as learning to waltz or studying geography."

"Anything but waltzing!" Ciel cried with new horror filling him at the hated word. He watched with utter disgust as a smug smile crossed the demon's face. He knew Sebastian enjoyed torturing him at times and there was little he could do about it.

"I do hope you are more graceful in the water than on land…" The demon's grin grew wider.

"Stop laughing and get out!" Ciel ordered as he could feel his cheeks growing hot. No doubt the demon was thinking of his two left feet or maybe about that dreadful pink dress…it was enough to give him nightmares.

"Very well. I will see you tomorrow." Sebastian left and the door clicked shut behind him.

Without the lit candelabra, the room grew darker and Ciel lay in the dark staring up at the ceiling. Swimming…how had Sebastian found out he couldn't swim? He had been so cavalier about it all. "Scared of the water…I'm not scared of the water!"

The wind howled outside and something struck the glass of the nearby bedroom window. The next moment the window swung open and someone was crawling within his room. The suddenness of it sent a white hot burst of fear through Ciel until he spotted the long red locks of hair blowing in the strong breeze. The fear rushed out of him like air from a broken balloon. "Great, all I need is a visit from the red thing…"

"Hello my dear!" Grell happily said as he leaped onto Ciel's plush bed next to the startled boy and wrapped him in a tight bear hug. "I have decided we shall have a girl's only night!"

"I'm not a girl!" Ciel squeaked in an unusually high pitch tone as he struggled for air. "Let go of me!"

"Oh, but you are a girl!" Grell insisted as he let go of the young earl. The redheaded reaper bent so he could study him with his amazingly green eyes. "I saw what a beautiful girl you were at Viscount Druitt's ball that day!"

"That was a disguise, you idiot!" Ciel glared at him, contemplating if he should call for Sebastian but then he realized that was probably what the freak wanted. Yes, Grell really came to plaster himself to his butler and gaze moony-eyed at him. It was sickening.

"But you were still a girl!" Grell insisted. He reached into a bag hanging from his arm and pulled out a black thing. The next moment it was plopped down onto Ciel's head and the boy realized it was a wig of two long black ponytails just like the one he had worn before. "Don't you look wonderful now?"

Ciel sighed in misery but left the wig on his head. "What do you want?"

"I made an amazing discovery!" Grell loudly proclaimed as sparkles danced in his green ringed eyes, his body quivering.

"You're moving to a foreign country?" Ciel asked hopefully.

"No! I learned that I can make copies of Cinematic Records, cut out certain bits and attach these different bits together! If assembled just right, it tells a story!" Grell sat up straight, his face glowing with pride.

"And you're telling me this why?" For the life of him, Ciel couldn't see what this had to do with him, he really didn't.

"Because I want to share the wonderful story I created with you! It took me weeks to assemble just the perfect bits!"

"I can't see Cinematic Records…" Ciel hoped that would be the end of it and the reaper would leave. Still, he knew things with Grell never went smoothly. "Go show it to your co-workers."

"Oh, I did!" Grell took on a puzzled expression then, a red painted fingernail near his chin. "I really don't understand it. The story is just so exciting and full of lovely red but they didn't seem to fancy it at all. Poor Ronald turned as white as a sheet and Alan bolted out of the room although I can't fathom why…"

That didn't sound good and Ciel frantically pondered what horrid stuff Grell had showed them. "Look, I'm only thirteen. I'm not allowed to see certain, ummm, things."

Ciel prayed it would work.

But Grell didn't get the hint. "Oh, there's none of that stuff in it! You think I would share juicy bits with you? You couldn't appreciate it!"

"I still can't see it! I'm not a reaper!" Ciel's mind frantically thought of any other excuse he could come up with. "Look, go show it to Undertaker. I'm sure he'd love it."

"I already did and yes, he did love it!" Grell happily replied as he once again squeezed Ciel and pulled him against his side. "But now we're going to have a fun girl's night! Look, I even brought us a snack!"

Grell pulled a plate of cookies out of his bag and placed it onto the bed. To Ciel's surprise, they actually looked good and they smelled wonderful as well. He narrowed his gaze and realized they looked rather familiar. "Did Sebastian make those?"

"Of course he did! I took them while they were cooling earlier!" The thief smiled broadly to reveal his shark teeth. He had stolen the wig earlier too.

"All right, all right, we'll watch this thing you created!" Ciel huffed but sat back against his fluffy pillow. It had dawned on him that Grell would not leave until he had watched it, whatever it was. He picked up a cookie and munched on it.

"Yes!" Grell exclaimed with much excitement, his eyes flashing yellowish for a short time. "I just know you're going to love it!"

The reaper then pulled a little white bottle out of his red bag and took the cover off. Before Ciel could protest, a cool drop of some strange liquid was dropped onto his good eye.

"Hey!" He protested as he shoved the weird bottle away.

"There! Now you should be able to see the Cinematic Record! The effects will wear off I'm afraid but it should be good for a few hours." Grell then pulled the long coil of film out and set it to rolling in the air before them. The redhead leaned back against Ciel's pillow, making himself comfortable as he started to chew on a cookie.

Ciel gasped, his mismatched eyes going extra wide. He could see the record hovering there in the air! It was like looking at the image on a painting except it moved and was glowing! And there were sounds! He sat up, the cookie in his hand forgotten as he gawked open-mouthed at this display of magic. He could see the sea at night, the waves crashing against some sandy beach. Soft moonlight fell on the water, the light tranquil. Then a girl appeared in a one piece swimsuit and she ran into the crashing waves. She started to swim and then without warning she seemed to be tugged under. The water turned red. But wait, why was the water red? Was it some trick of the light? A nervous feeling grew in his gut and suddenly he felt uneasy.

The scene changed then to show some other people but once again the sea appeared. And then Ciel saw some horrid thing that lived in the sea, some fish-like beast with a white body, a pointed nose, a mouth full of teeth worst than Grell's and cold dead eyes. Ciel sat horrified, unable to watch but yet unable to tear his eyes away either as the story unfolded. And so for ninety horrible minutes he clung to Grell's side as the various scenes played out, the Shinigami often shouting at the people on the Cinematic Record. In the end some men on a boat fought the sea creature valiantly and one even managed to survive. But he had seen red, a lot of red.

"Well? What do you think?" Grell asked as he licked cookie crumbs off of his slender fingers. "Wasn't it exciting?"

After a few minutes, Ciel blinked and realized the awful moving pictures had come to an end. He shook his head to clear it. "What was that thing?"

"It's a shark. They live in water." Grell explained as he collected the reel and put it back into his bag.

"T-they do?" Ciel quickly vowed silently he was never going to go into water ever again.

"Where else would they live?" Grell gazed at him for a long moment. He blew Ciel kisses and then leaped out the still open window. "When I make a new one, I shall bring it over!"

The young earl sat there for several minutes unmindful of the cookie crumbs and the dirty plate left on his bed. In fact, he hardly noticed them as he thought about what he had seen. He had even forgotten he was wearing the wig. He had never known things like that could live in the water…

000

"Please, Bocchan, get into the water…" Sebastian requested for the tenth time in a row. The demon stared with puzzlement at his young lord who was acting very bizarre indeed. He had half expected him to make some fuss but not anything like this.

Ciel was wearing his black swimming trunks and was near the small lake on his property, but his arms and legs were wrapped around a slim tree in a death grip, his jaw tight. "I'm not going in!"

"Oh dear, you do have a serious fear of the water. It's far worse than I had thought." Sebastian sighed heavily as he thought of the work he'd have to do now to tackle this phobia. "Couldn't you just put a toe into the water?"

"NO!"

"What could have brought this on?" Sebastian asked himself as he pondered the question. Ciel had not behaved this way at Houndsworth at all, so he was truly mystified.

"I'm not taking a bath tonight either!"

Thanks to Grell's unscheduled visit, Sebastian had a huge job ahead of him. He thought of the empty plate and the cookie crumbs he had found all over Ciel's bed that morning. "I fear I must limit your sugar intake. It clearly does strange things to you. I never expected you to steal a plate of cookies though."

"I didn't steal it." Ciel replied as he cautiously let go of the tree. He straightened his back and glared at his perfect butler. "I'm not going in the water and that's final."

With that said, Ciel turned on his heel and headed back to the house. He paused when he was several feet away from Sebastian, turning his head to look at him. "Are you coming? Someone needs to dress me properly…"

The demon sighed but started to follow. The idea that something had happened between yesterday evening and this morning itched at his mind. He had never known Ciel to go into the kitchen and to take cookies as he expected everything to be brought to him. Did the boy even know where the kitchen was? And had that been perfume he had smelled this morning in Bocchan's bedroom while getting him ready for breakfast? He had thought the sweet scent had been blowing in through the window but had someone visited him last night?

"Bocchan, did someone visit you last night?" Sebastian asked as he quickly caught up to his young charge.

"I don't want to talk about it…" Ciel replied.

The demon narrowed his eyes, his gaze locked on the boy's bare back. Had he just shivered? He thought he had seen a faint tremble run through him or was that just caused by the cool breeze blowing through the trees? Still, the reply did not deny a visitor either. Then a particular annoying redhead popped into his mind. Grell had a bad habit of climbing in through windows…had the Shinigami visited Ciel last night? The scent was one that Grell took to wearing…

Why would Grell visit Ciel and what did it have to do with Bocchan's new fear of water?

They made it back to the manor and soon he had Ciel properly dressed. He sniffed at the air around Ciel's bed and yes, he could indeed smell the reaper. "Was Grell here last night?"

"He showed me some Cinematic Record…" Ciel admitted as he stood and picked up his walking stick. His back perfectly straight with a regal bearing, he headed for the door. "I'm going to my office to work on my Funtom business."

"Very well, My Lord." Sebastian watched him leave, puzzled. Humans couldn't view Cinematic Records so the answer made little sense. Now he would have to find the annoying redhead and find out what the record had contained. "Ah, Master is always creating extra work for me…"

In a flash Sebastian raced off of Phantomhive property and was in London, his senses stretched out for reapers. Even during the day they would be out collecting souls and he hoped to find at least one he knew if not Grell himself. He raced across countless rooftops and soon caught the particular odor that told him at least one reaper was nearby. Hoping it was one he knew, he hurried in that direction.

Sebastian paused on the rooftop as he stared down into the alley below. Two reapers were there collecting a Cinematic Record from a dying soul. As luck had it, he knew these two and he sighed with relief. The last thing he needed was to encounter one he did not know and who might see his appearance as a threat, as he didn't have time for a battle. He needed to solve the mystery so he could properly deal with Ciel's water phobia but he couldn't do that until he knew the cause.

Without further ado, he leaped down into the alley before them. "If I may borrow a moment of your time?"

"What do you want, Sebastian?" Eric asked as he casually held his saw in one hand. He and Alan had already collected the soul so they knew he wasn't after that.

"Grell has apparently visited Bocchan last night and showed him some Cinematic Record. Do you happen to know the contents of said record?"

"Oh!" Alan gasped as his face whitened and his green ringed eyes widened in what looked to be fright.

"Truthfully I fell asleep…" Eric admitted as he stretched, muffling a yawn. "I only recall a bit of water at the beginning…"

"How could you sleep through that?" Alan turned to Eric.

"I was tired…" Eric replied. The blonde reaper spent many nights sitting up beside Alan's bed so he slept when he could.

"But it was so horrid!" Alan exclaimed as he shivered at the remembered images. "I had to run out of the room as I just couldn't stand to watch more of it…"

What he was hearing didn't sound good. He knew Grell had an unhealthy fascination with blood and if it were bad enough to send a reaper running from the room… "Horrid in what way?"

"It was about some monstrous shark eating people!" Alan blurted out.

"That explains Bocchan's refusal of swimming lessons…" Sebastian frowned, a white gloved hand pressed to his head. "What bad timing. How will I ever get young master into the water now? I swear Grell did this just to cause problems! And here I have been protecting him from the sight of blood the best I could…"

The contract mark on his hand burned and Sebastian sighed. "If you'll excuse me, gentlemen, I must depart. Bocchan wants his lunch. When you see Grell, please send him over."

Soon Sebastian was back at Phantomhive and was serving Ciel his lunch.

Sometime later Grell showed up and the demon grabbed him by his long red hair, shoving him up against the nearest wall as his eyes glowed an eerie scarlet red. He quickly stepped in to block any escape. "You have put a hitch in my lesson plans, Grell. Thanks to your bloody entertainment, Bocchan is refusing his swimming lessons which he truly needs to learn as I sense there are many dunks into water in his future."

"Let me make it up to you, Sebas-chan!" Grell said with a wide grin of sharp teeth. Instead of fearing the predicament he was in, the redheaded reaper found it exciting.

"And how do you intend to do that?" The demon asked with curiosity.

"I can sneak you up to the Shinigami Realm. We have a pool in the building for our use. Ciel can learn to swim there…"

"And why would he go into that water?"

"Because the water is clear!" Grell explained with a broad grin. "You can clearly see the bottom of the pool. We are more advanced than the humans, you know, and possess things that won't be invented for at least decades if not a hundred years! The pond is all murky and then he thinks anything could be lurking in there but he can clearly see no threat awaits him in our swimming pool…"

"That had better work." Sebastian said in a cold voice. "Please do not show my master any more violent records…"

"But we were having a girl's night of fun!" Grell exclaimed in protest.

"So that is why he was wearing the wig this morning when I came to wake him…"

"He looks so cute as a girl!" Grell said as he twirled a bit of red hair around a finger. "Perhaps I should adopt him as my daughter…"

"Heaven forbid you be a mother…" Sebastian stepped away from Grell. "Please wait here while I go get Ciel dressed in his swimming trunks again."

Grell made himself at home on a lovely upholstered chair with fancy carved legs, his legs crossed in a lady-like manner to show off his red-and-black high heeled shoes. The idea of seeing Sebastian in a swim suit was enough to make him swoon and his leg bounced nervously. He took a deep breath, his thin chest expanding, as he tried to control himself. He wanted to let the anticipation build and then the grand prize would be so much better. "I can't wait to see Sebas-chan in swim trunks! Aaahhh…all of that lovely skin!"

Upstairs, Sebastian had just entered Ciel's office where the boy was busy working on his Funtom business. The boy raised his head from his papers, his large blue eye settling on him with curiosity. "Yes, what is it? Did the mail arrive?"

"Not yet, Bocchan, but Grell is here and he is sorry for frightening you with that distasteful Cinematic Record." Sebastian carefully said he pondered the best way to get the young earl to cooperate.

"You know about that, how horrible it was?" Ciel was not really surprised that the demon had found out about it, as he was very good at that sort of thing.

"Yes, one of his co-workers told me…" The demon admitted. "I have done my best to protect you from blood and gore; the more unpleasant things of the cases we solve. I did not expect Grell to undo that with his idea of entertainment. Nor do I fully understand how he even got you to see the Record as it played."

"He put some liquid in my eye…" Ciel explained as he leaned back in his chair. "What does he want? Did he come to apologize?"

"He has generously offered us the use of the Shinigami swimming pool so I may teach you to swim in safety. I'm sure he's risking much trouble at work in doing so."

"Swimming pool? No! I'm not going into any pool or water!" Ciel cried as he glared at his butler angrily.

"That is a pity…I was going to teach you a new game…" Sebastian slowly turned his back on the boy and took two steps towards the door.

"A game?"

A grin spread across the demon's face and he paused. Slowly he turned again to look at his young charge. "Yes, a game or perhaps two even, but as you don't want to go into the water I guess you cannot learn them. Shall I refuse Grell his offer and send him on his way?"

Ciel hesitated, uncertain. He did enjoy games and doing research for Funtom. Could these water games perhaps lead to a new product he could sell somehow? He knew many children did go swimming during the summer and that it was a healthy activity. On various trips in his carriage he had rode past kids splashing about in various bodies of water, yelling and shrieking in glee. They were as different from him as day from night and he could not imagine behaving in such a manner. "You know I'm not very strong physically, Sebastian, due to my asthma. Do you think swimming would be possible?"

"In a pool it should pose no real risk, especially with others there to help supervise you. The water will help support your weight and it should allow a bit of exercise." The demon felt pleased with his clever scheme as he saw that slowly Ciel was caving in to his desires. Then his grin returned. "And I assure you no evil creatures will lurk in the water except for one you already know, a particular redhead…"

Ciel had no idea what a pool really was but he had to admit he was curious just a bit. He knew the Shinigami had strange devices; things he had never seen before. "All right; I'll go there…but if I don't like it I'm leaving!"

Sebastian knew that was the best he could ask for at the moment. He suspected that Ciel was not truly scared of the water but was just upset from the horrid images Grell had thoughtlessly shown him. A true phobia would be a much harder thing to deal with. He quickly dressed Ciel in his black swimming trunks again and then followed him down the staircase to where Grell waited. The redheaded reaper led them outside and away from the prying eyes of the servants. There he opened a portal and led them to the Shinigami Realm.

Quickly Grell hurried them over to the large building that held the swimming pool. The redhead peered around nervously, worried that they might get caught. Without wasting any time, he opened the door and motioned the other two to enter and then dashed in after them.

Ciel stopped dead in his tracks and his mouth gaped open at the amazing sight. A large rectangular body of water was before him, the water crystal clear. The bottom was a breathtaking blue and shimmering reflections from the water danced on the walls around him. In all of his life, he had never seen anything like it before. "Sebastian, what is that…?"

"That is the swimming pool, Bocchan." The demon replied with a smile, pleased to see his charge so entranced by it. The likely hood of getting him into the water went up.

"We are required to know swimming, you know." Grell explained as he stood next to the young boy. "Souls die in the oddest spots! Excuse me while I'll go change!"

Grell hurried off to the locker room.

The demon didn't need a locker room. He just used his magical powers and exchanged his butler outfit for a black pair of swimming trunks in the blink of an eye. Changing his outfit this way was a huge time saver. Without much effort, he could change his clothing into anything he desired or needed. He studied the pool for a moment and quickly identified the shallow end. Without any further thought, he leaped into the water. "Come in over here, Bocchan. It is shallow and you can get used to being in the water."

Cautiously Ciel lowered himself to the hard rim of the pool – was that some sort of rock maybe – and then into the water. The water was up to his waist and he clung nervously to the lip of the pool. From here he could see the pool only grew deeper; a somewhat uncomfortable thought as surely it would be over his head. He turned to regard his demon that was standing there apparently at ease. He had never seen Sebastian in anything but his butler's outfit and seeing such a large expanse of skin on him now was sort of weird.

"Aaahhhh….Aaahhhh!" Grell cried in excitement as he shook and shivered, his green ringed eyes locked on the shirtless demon. "Sebas-chan! You look fantastic! If I should die now I shall go to Heaven happy for just seeing you like this!"

Ciel carefully turned to see Grell standing on the lip of the pool, his knees knocking together and his body trembling, even his long red hair swaying about. His red-framed glasses were still on his face but his clothes…Ciel didn't know what to make of it at all. He was covered all right but in what he had no idea. The bottom part was some skimpy red bit of fabric and there was another odd bit on his chest? "What in the world are you wearing?"

"A women's bikini!" Grell exclaimed with glee. "Do you like it?"

He lifted his hair and posed for them as he fluttered his long fake eye lashes. Then he made kissing motions towards the demon, his red painted lips puckered.

Ciel didn't know how to answer that at all as he had never seen anything like it before. "I'm not sure."

"They will be all the rage in the future!" Grell assured him with a toothy grin. Then he bent forward and handed Ciel some strange object. The thing looked a bit like a square board except it was made from a material the boy had never seen before. "This will help you practice."

When Ciel laid the thing on the water, he discovered it floated.

"The first thing you shall learn is how to kick your legs." The demon explained as he accepted another board from Grell. He held the board out in front of him, stretched out on the water and kicked his legs. Soon he swam across the shallow end of the pool to the other side. "Now you try it. I assure you, it is very easy."

Ciel had to admit it did look easy, but it couldn't really be that easy, could it? Would the thin board really keep him afloat? It was as skinny as his wrist and very lightweight yet it had held Sebastian just fine. Nervously he gripped it tightly in his hands and leaned forward, the water coming closer and closer to his face. Then he lost his balance and fell over the rest of the way. For a moment he panicked, sure his head was going to go under but he clung to the kickboard and held his head above the water. He then recalled he was supposed to kick with his legs and he did so. To his amazement he was moving across the pool!

"I did it!" Ciel exclaimed in amazement when he reached the other side. He got his feet under him and held the rim of the pool with his free hand.

"Very good, Bocchan! You need to practice more." Sebastian told him. "As you just learned, kicking is what propels you through the water."

Ciel swam to the other side again and was about to swim back towards Sebastian when he heard the ominous sound of the door to the pool building opening. He pondered on how he would explain his presence here to some Shinigami, possibly ones he had never met before. Did they all have death scythes? Would they attack Sebastian? Technically they were invading the reaper's space but they had been invited. Now if Grell had the authority to invite them was a different matter.

Grell was torn on what he should do, run into the locker room or stay to face the music. Finally he leaped into the pool with a splash and stood protectively near Ciel just in case.

The newcomers appeared then and Grell sighed in relief, his shoulders slumping at the sight of his co-workers. "For a moment I thought it was William!"

"Nah, it's just us." Ronald Knox assured his senpei as he walked into the room with Eric and Alan. The blonde gazed at the demon and the mortal in the pool with large green eyes. "I can't believe you snuck them up here! You have a lot of guts to do that!"

"Well you better figure out what you'll say if William does appear." Eric warned Grell with a wave of his hand. "He'll give you a month of overtime…"

"And he has that sharp nose." Alan reminded the redhead.

It was said that Spears could smell a demon from a mile away or maybe two miles. Each time the rumor was circulated the distance increased and his fabled nose grew stronger. No one knew if it was true but it was a story new recruits eagerly told each other during lunch or while studying.

"How can he smell him over all of this chlorine?" Grell truly hoped that the chlorine would indeed cover Sebastian's demon odor or else he might get stuck with the scissors again. They may have red handles but he hated how small and puny they were compared to his powerful chainsaw.

No one had a real answer so the three new reapers headed towards the locker room to change.

000

Back in his office, William T. Spears paused in his paperwork, his nostrils flaring. There was a peculiar odor drifting in through his open office window and one he didn't like. It smelled like demon and he feared it was. Several members of his staff had started to associate with that demon, Michaelis, because of Grell and by the smell of it, it seemed likely they invited him up for a visit. "What was he thinking, bringing that demon up here?"

Spears stood and headed for his bookshelf. Recently he had purchased a new item from Undertaker, a product called Demon-Be-Gone. It came in a spray can and the crazy old man had claimed a few squirts of the magic liquid would chase demons away. He hoped it was true, as Michaelis was a tough nut to crack. He was a skilled fighter and was fearless. He had faced him before and had lost. Grabbing the can, he headed out the door with his death scythe in hand. Once outside, he started to sniff the air to follow the stinky scent to its source.

000

They were all in the pool trying to help Ciel learn to swim, the young boy now trying to use his arms instead of the kickboard. Getting air was tricky though and often he got a face full of water instead. Still he knew he was improving. Before he couldn't even imagine doing this and now that he could and that made him feel very accomplished.

Ciel grew a bit tired from all of the unaccustomed exercise and so he sat on the rim of the pool, resting. He watched as Sebastian used his demon magic to create some sort of twisty snake-like thing, the demon calling it a slide, at the deep end of the pool. Grell was the first one to try the thing out, yelping with excitement as he slid head-first down the thing to splash into the water.

After that, everyone had raced to try the thing out. Ronald had even declared that maybe, just maybe, the water slide was better than dates with secretaries.

"They're acting like children." Ciel declared as he watched the four reapers racing back to the top of the slide to go down it again, laughing.

"Adults like toys too, Bocchan." Sebastian informed him as he knelt next to his young charge. "They just prefer a different kind of toy."

"It's too bad we can't market those slides…" Ciel replied.

"Why don't you try it?" Sebastian encouraged as he rose to his feet again.

"And end up in the deep water? I doubt if I can swim that well."

"I will be ready to catch you, of course…" The demon promised.

Ciel was used to acting a certain way and that was like a dignified adult. The slide seemed very childish, especially with the loud whooping sounds the reapers were making, Ronald's voice even louder than Grell's. Slowly he climbed to his feet. "I suppose I could try it out for test purposes, in case this thing is marketable somehow."

He walked along the edge of the pool until he reached it. There was a pair of steps leading upward and as he slowly climbed up, he pondered where Sebastian had gotten the idea. Did they have these things down in Hell or did he see one somewhere else? Was it based on something else he had seen somewhere? Finally he reached the top and a small flat area greeted him. Walking across it and holding onto the side railings, he soon met the slide part itself. A trickle of water ran down it from somewhere, where he had no idea, and he seated himself carefully with his legs extended in front of himself. The sides rose upward to prevent falling off, which he thought very practical.

And then he was going down the slide, his body twirling around and around the curves at a crazy speed until he was almost dizzy. With a loud splash and a yelp of surprise, he was dumped into the water with a great spray of white water. He sunk under for a moment, bubbles around him and almost panicked as he recalled how deep the water really was. Then he kicked his legs and swam up towards the light. His head broke the surface and he took a breath of air. Sebastian waited nearby and Ciel swum the short distance to him.

"Did you enjoy it, Bocchan?"

"It was a very unique feeling…" Ciel admitted as he wrapped one arm about the demon's shoulder for support. His body felt very strange, almost weightless, in this deep water. It was an even weirder feeling than going down the twisting slide had been. "It kind of made me dizzy with all of the twists."

The demon grinned, pleased.

The door opened then and Spears appeared. He stood there with his hedge trimmer in one hand and the can of Demon-Be-Gone in the other. Almost immediately his green ringed eyes fell on Sebastian and Ciel. The dour supervisor frowned. "Demon! How dare you foul our Realm with your sulfurous stench!"

Ciel focused his eye on the sour man. He had feared sooner or later he would show up and there he was. "What do you want?"

"What do I want?" Spears repeated, surprised by the young boy's nerve. "You and your demon do not belong here. You are a threat to the safety of my Shinigami."

Ciel laughed. "You see a thirteen-year-old as a threat? I'm very frightening, am I?"

Ronald paused at the top of the slide, gasping at the phrase that the young earl had dared to utter.

"Or maybe you think your reapers will get injured on the slide, hmmm? They could fall off the top and get injured yet jumping off Big Ben is OK?" Ciel snickered at his clever words. "We're not doing anything but using this pool and have provided you a free slide in exchange."

"That is not the point." William said with a somewhat pink face. He felt the constant urge to adjust his glasses but couldn't due to the fact that both hands were full. Then he recalled he could use the hedge trimmer for that and he did so. "The point is your demon is stinking up the premises. I could smell him all the way in my office."

"William!" Grell ran over to his boss and hovered at his side soaking wet, water running down his long hair. "I'm only teaching my daughter how to swim!"

"What on Earth are you wearing?" William stared at the redhead in disgust. "Can't you be normal and wear swimming trunks like every other male reaper?"

"And show all the men my bosom? Really, Will, you know I'm a female! How dare you make such a crude remark and in front of my innocent daughter no less!" Grell's eyes turned more yellowish as his temper went up a few notches.

Spears moaned. "Don't be causing problems, Grell! I told you not to bring that creature up here!"

Ronald, Eric and Alan watched the exchange of words with rapt fascination. They should be worried about getting in trouble but for the moment that was forgotten.

Ciel knew he could leave and should probably, but he disliked Spears bossy attitude. "What are you going to do? You know you can't beat Sebastian in a fight."

"I don't have to." Spears said with confidence as he held the can of Demon-Be-Gone in front of himself. As always, his facial expression was serious as can be. "I have this can of anti-demon spray from Undertaker. It will chase you out of here…"

"I have never heard of such a product." Sebastian stated as he stared with curiosity at the can. He easily swam the short distance to the side of the pool and set Ciel at Eric and Alan's feet, the two reapers standing at the side of the pool. He didn't trust Spears not to send his hedge trimmer telescoping and he needed both hands free. William didn't dare shoot it at his own reapers or so he hoped. "Pray tell what does it do?"

Ciel quickly scrambled to his feet and went to stand behind the two reapers.

"It will make you flee in a wild panic." William answered in a confident voice. He had not tested the can, not even the slightest whiff, as he had been saving it for a dire emergency. "You will be the test subject of this new product."

"Oh? How interesting." Sebastian stated as he walked along the side of the pool to move closer to William. "Are you going to use it?"

"If you refuse to leave, then yes." William pointed the can at Sebastian, his finger on the button at the top.

"I will not leave until Bocchan is ready to leave."

"William, no!" Grell cried as he tried to shove the taller man's arm down so his beloved demon could not be sprayed by the unknown stuff. "You can't, you can't spray Sebas-chan!"

"I have no choice." William stated coldly. His finger pressed the button and a wide stream of faint spray came out, the stuff flying all over the large room with the swimming pool. It hung in the air like a faint mist and then started to slowly settle on everything.

Almost instantly William knew he had just made a serious error, his nose wrinkling at the strong odor.

Demon-Be-Gone smelled just like demon!

"You're trying to chase me away with demon cologne? Really, Mr. Spears I had expected better from you…" Sebastian's lips twisted upward into a grin. The situation was most humorous indeed.

A horrid gasp escaped from Spears' mouth, he clamped a hand over his nose and he raced out of the room, the useless can of demon cologne flung at the demon before he left.

"What is that smell?" Ciel asked as he sniffed at the air, not sure if he liked it or not.

Eric turned to look at the boy. "Didn't you ever smell it before? That's what a demon smells like."

"Sebastian doesn't smell anything like that!" Ciel quickly said in defense of his demon.

"That's because you're a human; you can't smell it. Reapers have better noses so we do." Eric explained to him.

"We're all going to smell like demon now…" Alan told his partner as he felt the demon cologne falling down onto his skin.

"Spears won't have anyone to blame but himself." Ciel stated.

"My love life is over!" Ronald wailed as he sniffed at his own arm from where he stood at the top of the slide. "The girls will say I stink!"

"I don't know about you, Ronald, but I'm going to enjoy this!" Eric said with a crooked grin. "Spears won't want us in the office now and that means no reports! I prefer field work anyway. Maybe I'll go get some of those new fangled contact lenses the doctor's been trying to push on people. I heard they got red ones…"

"Eric!" Alan gasped when he heard the blonde's idea. "But with red eyes and that smell…"

"I'll look like a demon!" Eric laughed at the shocked expression on his boyfriend's face. "You should get some, too. We can't be serious all of the time; got to have a bit of fun."

"Do you think girls will go for a reaper that looks like a demon?" Ronald asked with much interest.

"Red eyes, I can get red eyes? Where?" Grell practically knocked Eric into the pool with his excitement as he raced over to the taller blonde. Almost all of the other Shinigami were taller than Grell and it was one reason he could pass for a female so easily.

"The doctor's office. It's some fun thing they invented. You'll still have to wear your glasses." Eric explained.

Sebastian jumped back into the pool. "Come Bocchan, let's practice your swimming a bit more."

The boy headed towards the slide, determined to give the thing another try.

000

"What do you mean it'll take a month to wear off?" William said unhappily as he stood in Undertaker's shop. "I smell like demon, my reapers do, my death scythe does, the office, the office equipment, the lunchroom, my office… everything we touch gets the demon stench on it!"

"I'm sorry, William, there must have been a mix-up…" Undertaker said with a grin. "I really thought that was the proper can I gave you… Now I think I got a cleaning product here somewhere, so if you can make me laugh…"

William sighed. "I don't know any jokes…"

"Just sit on that coffin there. That's right. Now tell me everything that happened since you entered that pool room to confront the demon…" Undertaker settled himself on a second nearby coffin, anticipation building in his thin body. He could almost feel the laughs coming already.

"Why?" William gawked at him blankly.

"Just tell me!" Undertaker ordered in a firm voice. "Don't leave anything out. I want to hear it all!"

Time passed as William dutifully told the tale.

"And then he said I was scared of a thirteen-year-old!"

"He-he-he-he-he! That's a riot!" Undertaker laughed as he waved a hand indicating that William should keep going.

The tale continued.

"And then when I pressed the button the horrid demon stink came out!"

By this time Undertaker was rolling about on the floor, laughing wildly.

By the end William realized he was the victim of a practical joke thanks to Undertaker. The man was a demented loon and couldn't be trusted it seemed. He was given the bottle of promised cleaning liquid but he wasn't sure if he should trust it at all. He popped back up to the office builing, scowling over the matter. On the way to his office he encountered Eric and Alan in the hallway, both with the nerve to parade around with red eyes. Without a doubt, Slingby was a bad influence on Humphries.

He poked a finger into Alan's chest. "Humphries, next time you're going to see Undertaker!"

With that declared, Spears vanished into his office and the door slammed shut.

The two stared at Spears' closed door in confusion. After a moment they both headed to the office.

"Ten girls want to date me!" Ronald exclaimed happily. "They seem to be nutty over red eyes!"

And Grell was admiring his red eyes in a hand mirror, the paperwork on his desk forgotten.

In his office, Spears fumed. "I hope the fad of red eyes pass soon. Seriously, what had that doctor been thinking when he invented those things? Since when are demons popular? It's all Michaelis's fault!"

Back at Phantomhive, Ciel was planning on how he could manufacture and sell slides. He had realized the things would work just fine without water. Still he hoped that he could visit the pool again soon, as swimming was more fun than he had thought.

The End