ROLL THE BONES
I do not own Harry Potter, Kuroshitsuji, or Neverwhere. They are property of JK Rowling, Yana Tobosa, and Neil Gaiman. This is fanfiction, be prepared to have your canon consumed by the forces of the damned, shit out and then dumped somewhere unpleasant and used as potion ingredients in a flatulence prank sweet.
Hired to investigate the no longer derelict Phantomhive Estate, Harry gets caught up in something more annoying than Squatters when he finds himself blackmailed into being the Housekeeper.
Warnings: Slash, Crossdressing, Quiet!Competent!Perceptive!Immortal!Harry, (Surprise!)!Undertaker. Sebastian/Harry, Lizzie/Ciel.
That Butler... Cunning
Ciel was mildly gratified to witness Harry's eyebrow shoot up, Sebastian's eyes widen, and the two to exchange looks as if to confirm that they had both just heard him correctly. What followed next, was not quite as gratifying.
Harry started laughing.
Not the nasty bark of malicious enjoyment and amusement he had given a few times before, but actual belly-aching laughter that left him red faced, clutching his stomach and gasping for breath as he tried to wrestle his laughter into some semblance of control. There were even tears being squeezed out from the merry creases that his eyes had turned into as he curled up on the carriage bench, positively howling with mirth.
In contrast, Sebastian's expression was remarkably sour, "Young Master, are you sure that such a decision is wise?" he questioned grimly, red eyes canting sideways to the hysterical immortal with delicate distaste radiating from them.
Ciel sniffed, and did his best to ignore the immortal as he addressed his butler, twitching only slightly as the wizard pounded a fit against the wall, choking on his laughter as he struggled for breath. It was very irritating. "Given the nature of our newest member of staff, around the clock observation is required. During the day there shall be plenty of chores and tasks that need seeing to, and escape during daylight hours is much more difficult than during the night hours where the darkness affords more than a considerable about of cover – WOULD YOU STOP LAUGHING?!"
Harry just laughed even harder.
Ciel tch'ed and turned his attention back to Sebastian, "I expect you to fulfil your duties to the letter. A cover is pointless unless it is believable. This is an Order, Sebastian. I expect it to be followed to the utmost, as always."
All in all, the little Master got his way.
Still clad in the charcoal grey dress, Harry followed Sebastian to the servants quarters of the Phantomhive estate, giggling a little every now and again as he went. All the while, the demon tried to think of a way to make the best of this situation. It went without saying that he couldn't let on that he wasn't human, that he was a demon, humans had odd notions about the soul and if he was reading Harry right, then he would be one of the first to attempt killing him. Which was not an acceptable solution in Sebastian's opinion (for the simple fact that he got the very unsettled idea that he could actually do so if he put his mind to it). So he would have to behave as a human. Which... well, it meant the luxury of sleep, something he did enjoy. And eating, even if human food often left something to be desired – souls tasted so much better and were much more filling. It also meant he would be able to rebuff the harpy women's advances by virtue of being wed, so he wouldn't have to deal with such annoyances in the line of his work with the Young Master.
His eyes slid sideways. There was also his wife himself to take into consideration.
Those eyes were enchanting. They alone made this whole thing acceptable in his opinion, the fact that the little immortal could match him blow for blow in close combat was also cause for pleasure as well as amusement. And... while he was hardly a common incubus, there was also more personal pleasures to be had if his memories of human marriage were correct. To love, honour, and obey. Yes, he could work with that quite nicely.
They came to a stop at his quarters, now theirs. It was a perfectly serviceable room. The walls were plain cream coloured paint and plaster, no paper. Unvarnished wooden floorboards. On the left hand side was a large walnut wardrobe, chest of draws, and wash basin. On the right was a desk with several cookery books upon it, and a rather unused fireplace. Against the far wall, jutting into the middle of the room was a plain wrought-iron single bed with brown bed covers, and a bedside table with a lamp on the left. There were no personal affects that Harry could see as he followed the butler inside, door closing with a thunk behind him.
He tried to ignore the ominous zing in the pit of his stomach.
"Nice place. Bit impersonal though," he observed as he kicked his shoes off by the door.
Sebastian observed him for a moment before smirking a little, "Well, surely it would be my wife's responsibility to turn a house into a home?" he retorted as he removed his tie with a hiss of silk. He heard the immortal laugh as he too slipped his shoes off and tucked them neatly beside the wardrobe.
"Touché," he returned. "So..." Sebastian glanced over his shoulder as the immortal sauntered across the room and dropped down onto the bed, crossing his legs and eyeing him thoughtfully, "How do we handle this?" he asked lightly making a lazy gesture that encompassed the room, the both of them, and likely as not indicated the near future as well.
The demon hummed in the back of his throat as he unbuttoned his waist coat and slid it off, "Tomorrow we shall return to where-ever it is you are staying in order to collect your personal belongings. The Young Master will likely as not have plans for you to visit a tailor, Miss Hopkins, in order to order several uniforms. After that, we shall return to the estates where you and I shall go through your duties while the Young Master handles his paperwork," he explained folding his waist coat and setting it atop the chest of draws before beginning to unbutton his shirt.
His fingers stilled and a slow smirk curled onto his lips, "As the Young Master has commanded. A cover, unless believable, is pointless." He turned and advanced on the Song-bird, red eyes locking with green. "A cover maintained at all hours, even behind closed doors. Until it is no longer a mere cover, but a matter of fact."
The immortal leaned back on the palms of his hands, foot bouncing a little, he never broke eye contact, even as he tilted his head coyly, "So, the husband and wife duo, hmm? It's been a very long time since I was last married." He smirked then, eyes lidding as he looked up at the demon through long eyelashes, "And you didn't even get me a ring. How cheap," he teased languidly.
Sebastian couldn't stop the smirk of amusement widening on his mouth, "My apologies, dear. I shall correct this oversight at the first opportunity," he demurred with a graceful inclination of his head.
"So you should."
There was a moment of silence as he continued to stare into those exquisite eyes, and, unwilling to admit weakness, Harry refused to look away. At least until they heard the chiming of the grandfather clock in the hall-way. They listened to the chimes that declared it getting on to two o'clock in the morning before the immortal sighed and flopped back, breaking eye contact. Sebastian was under no illusion that he had won that exchange, merely that the human had gotten bored with it.
"I really hope you're not a blanket hog," the immortal abruptly declared, making Sebastian pause.
"Blanket hog?" he echoed dubiously, what did that even mean?
"Someone who steals all the bed covers," the Song-bird elaborated as he stared up at the ceiling.
The demon smirked, red eyes gleaming in the relative gloom of the bedroom, the only light being that from the candles on the bedside. "You won't have to worry about that tonight," he pointed out as he finished unbuttoning his shirt and slipped it off, folding it and setting it atop his waistcoat. He heard Harry scoff behind him and felt his smirk widen as a low burn ignited in the pit of his stomach. It had been a while. "It occurs to me, traditionally, upon being married, is there not a Wedding Night?" Sebastian asked, adding a delicate but unmistakeable emphasis on the words.
He was gratified to hear the ever so sudden spike of the other male's heart-rate and the stalling of his breath for all of a split second.
There was silence for a moment before Harry rolled backwards and Sebastian pounced. However, the former was a little faster and put the bed between them, face twitching a little in annoyance even as he smiled.
"Such a thing, can we even be called married without a ring, or exchange of vows?" he asked sharply, body tense like a coiled spring ready to move at the butler's slightest twitch in his direction. Sebastian's grin was all sharp teeth and feral amusement, the grin of a predator enjoying a hunt. Harry knew full well it would be easier for him to laugh it off, but his immediate reaction had been to recoil, there was something about the inhuman butler that set him on edge. Swift movements had him reacting without realisation or consciousness. He would never admit the man scared him on some level. Not after all the shit he had lived through.
"Our lord has declared it so, and thus by the law, even without a church to recognise it, we are husband and wife," the demon purred in amusement.
Harry scoffed, "You will have to forgive my reluctance to let you, ah, wet the tip, so to speak after you spent so much time stabbing other things into my body."
Sebastian gave a bark of laughter, "Is one of the laws of marriage not that a wife must honour and obey her husband, and look to his needs in all things?" he asked slyly. There was a look of revulsion on the man's face. Sebastian's arm snapped out and caught the front of that dress, wrenching the immortal forward where he fell face first over the bed, the demon placing a knee on his back to keep him from moving.
"And people wonder why I'm an Atheist," he grunted under the butler's weight.
A split second before a horse took his place.
Sebastian jerked backwards out of sheer shock, and then his bed broke. The metal warping and snapping under the stallion's weight before the creature staggered to his feet and whinneyed at him, lips pulling back to display white flat teeth. He was quite certain he was being mocked.
It was a beautiful stallion. He recognised it as the horse he saw in the field the day he followed the immortal the first time. He then realised that he hadn't managed to escape as merely waited for them to leave and gone the other direction. Cheeky bastard! His reluctant respect went up a notch and he smirked then as the horse stepped away from the now broken bed, tail swishing this way and that.
They locked eyes.
There was a pause as Sebastian stared up at his... 'wife'.
He smirked, "Well, this shall be problematic. But..." he trailed off, smirk widening, "I am the butler of the Phantomhive family. It does without saying that I can manage something like this," he stated with a smirk as he took a step towards the horse currently occupying his bedroom, black nailed fingers unbuttoning his trousers as he did so.
Harry snorted, tossing his head in distress and immediately became human once more, his eyes bugging out as he scrambled away from the demon, "You were willing to fuck a horse?!" he practically shrieked in a mixture of disbelief and revulsion – a split second before the butler caught his wrist and neatly flipped him over where he landed on the broken bed with an oomf. He kept hold of the deceptively thin wrist in his hand, smiling slyly.
"Of course. No matter what form, my wife is my wife, and a Wedding Night must be had. As is tradition. I shall attend to every detail, as my Master had ordered me," he intoned coyly, red eyes gleaming as they stared down into stunned green.
The immortal stared up at him before barking a laugh, "Even if your wife is a horse? A male horse?" he demanded, wry grin stretching across his face.
A nerve jumped in the demon's cheek, "Even if my wife is a horse," he echoed, his tone only very faintly strained. Sometimes, having a sense of aesthetics was very bothersome, especially as a demon.
Harry laughed, throwing his other arm over his eyes, going boneless on the bed. "Well, who can argue with that?" he asked rhetorically before lifting his arm away and pinning Sebastian with a look, his eyes cold and sharp, "You try to kill me again, I will end you," he warned darkly. He really disliked the filthy unsettled feeling to his magic in the aftermath of a death. It set his skin crawling and his teeth on edge with discomfort.
Sebastian loomed over him, green and red clashing, a shiver of arousal worked its way up the demon's spine.
"Unless you turn against the Young Master, I shall have no reason to," he purred.
Green eyes slid shut in acknowledgement.
Ciel arched an eyebrow as breakfast was presented to him by a positively glowing Sebastian, the young Earl could only frown in confusion before deciding that he really didn't want to know what would put a demon into such a good mood. As long as he would follow orders, then Ciel didn't care what he did in his free time. The breakfast though, was a pleasant surprise. French toast, fruit salad, and a good cup of tea – that more than anything told him that Sebastian had not had a hand in preparing said breakfast. It seemed as though Harriet had already proved her worth. Simple, well made, and delicious. Not to mention good presentation.
After breakfast, Ciel had a carriage summoned and the trio went to London. Harriet (he must get into the habit of thinking and knowing the immortal as such) was once again wearing the same charcoal grey dress as yesterday, her thick curly black hair pulled back into a simple bun. Ciel tried not to let his eyes linger on the very obvious bite marks that patterned both sides of her neck and very obviously dropped down below the neckline of her dress. His eyes traitorously slid over to Sebastian who was still looking entirely too pleased with himself.
It didn't take much guess work to figure out what happened last night and he found himself torn between disgust and mild amusement.
Sebastian would always follow his orders, to the T.
"It will be easier to visit Miss Hopkins first of all," Ciel decided as the carriage trotted through the steadily thickening number of buildings. They weren't far off London, "I also have some business at the offices, Sebastian you are to accompany me while Harriet remains with Miss Hopkins for her fitting. After which we shall stop at her former residence to collect her personals."
"Of course Young Master," Sebastian demurred.
"Yes, my Lord," Harriet intoned, she did look exhausted, just how long had Sebastian been... occupied?
Harriet shifted a tad uncomfortably as the carriage bumped a pothole. It was certainly safe to say his new husband was in no way human. Humans could not maintain that level of sexual activity for six hours straight! Fuck, even he couldn't – he was quite certain there was a moment when he had, in fact, blacked out. He was covered in bite marks, looking more like a leopard than a human, and he ached abominably.
It had been good though.
In all of his many long years, he had never been with someone so talented in the bedroom.
Oh there were a few very gifted individuals he remembered fondly, that one mafia member several centuries and time periods away was a good example. There was also the wolf-demon more recently, but things hadn't worked out when he wanted to legitimately Mate. Something that Harry refused to do, resulting in a dominance battle and – ahh, it was complicated, and messy, and full of heartbreak. And then during his stint as a prostitute he had gotten rather close with a young lady working the otherside of the red light district who would do this, quite frankly euphoric, thing with her hips that never failed to please.
He kind of wished that he hadn't left so many visible bruises on his neck though, it was particularly indecent in this day and age. He would have made more of a complaint when they happened but his neck was a particularly sensitive area, vulnerable especially given just whose mouth was there.
Meeting Nina Hopkins was... an experience.
At least for the poor little Earl. Harry was well used to eccentric characters, so the lesbian fashion designer was of no issue to him, even when she was cheerfully molesting his breasts and crowing unhappily about Sebastian marking up his 'beautiful creamy skin'. The measuring process didn't take long, but the designing process did, Harry had to veto several of them for being too skimpy or bitsy – these were work clothes. They should be sturdy, functional, and above all else, professional, he had to keep repeating. He was happy to buy some casual wear from her out of his own pocket, but she would have to wait until he had earned enough money to pay for it.
Either way, the two of them stayed in her shop until Sebastian and Ciel returned, the latter looking incensed, and the former mildly amused. Harry bid the designer goodbye and was told her uniforms would be delivered the following week. Harry told her that was fine, she had plenty of perfectly serviceable shirts and trousers she could wear in the meantime. She then wheeled around and gave Sebastian a dressing down about bruising a young lady's skin and the demon set poor Ciel to traffic light red with his cheeky rejoinder of 'well she certainly didn't complain at the time'. Harry subtly stepped on his foot, just enough for everyone to notice but not make a big deal out of, before leading them out of the shop.
Poor Ciel was utterly mortified as they marched through the streets to a small wayhouse that Harry led them to.
Sebastian watched him with a gimlet eye as the housekeeper went in to collect his belongings – only to slip out the back, and down into the sewer systems.
The demon smirked, "It seems Harriet has opted to escape, once again," he observed, watching as Ciel's face reddened with outrage only to stop and then stare grumpily at him, taking in the very smug expression on the butler's face.
"You know where she's going," he observed severely.
He shook his head, "No. Not yet anyway."
Last night had more of a purpose than simply dealing with an itch he never noticed he had, or picking on Harriet. Sebastian had poured enough of his essence into the immortal to not only irrevocably corrupt his soul, but to also make it impossible for him to ever hide from him. After all, a demon can track its own essence. It was how he was always aware of the Young Master and could always hear him if called. He wasn't some common Incubus who was incapable of controlling said essence so as not to impregnate mortal women either, Succubus were little better in that they chose whether or not to carry their young to term – often times they didn't, those who did, abandoned said young within the slums of whatever city they lived in. There were more than a few half-demons skulking about the shadows and backalleys of London, their reek was impossible to ignore to a nose as sensitive as his. With his essence draping over the Young Master in chain-like shadows of hunger, they would not dare encroach upon his future meal, and Harriet whose scent was being painted over with his own, the cloying possessive grasp of lust would ward them off even further – or draw them in to a messy death.
He smirked, sensing the immortal moving away and smiled down at the Young Master, "Shall we?" he enquired, watching as the boy nodded stiffly, gesturing at him to lead.
Deadly games in the shadows. Greed, deceit, lust, hate, and lies within lies that smell of truths and ring of gospel.
Humans were so interesting.
He wondered if that was why he was drawn so strongly to their Song Bird. The oldest of humans. Who had seen, lived, experienced, and committed the same evils, but also the same goods. An old soul who managed to stand at the complete opposite of the spectrum to him.
Faithfully, he lead the Young Master through the back alleys pausing and tilting his head as they came to the edge of the River Thames. He could feel Harriet moving further and further away under the water and could only assume there was some manner of passage or sewer under the river – most odd, he had been under the impression that the sewers ran into the Thames.
They took the long way round. Walking across London Bridge before Sebastian once again took to the task of tracking down his wife's where-abouts.
He had stopped moving so it wasn't too much of a problem to track him down.
The location though, was something of a surprise.
"Lau's, huh?" Ciel grunted unhappily as he stared up at the business sign over the door, and the red-lanterns hanging from the doorframe.
Sebastian hummed in confirmation, frowning.
There was blood in the air.
Dun dun, and chapter ends.
There was going to be a lemon in this, but then I remembered ffnet's stance on them and removed it. I hate writing lemons in the first place so I don't care XDDD