A/N: 3 months...but it feels like I've been in school for 6. Well whatever, it's time for another session of "Torture Sebastian Michaelis"! Yay! Ya know, I had many doubts about posting this. I felt it was going to be boring, especially the beginning. But, to hell with it! Just try it out and if you don't like it, thanks for reading anyway! I just thought it would be an interesting scenario. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own Kuroshitsuji.
I've never had a problem with cats. When or why would a cat ever be a nuisance, a burden, or a problem? Never, for me that is. And if they cause trouble, it's all because of a human, and that cat is justified in unsheathing its claws and baring their small, yet viscous white canine, and hissing in pure disgust. Their reason for any feral-ness would be the fault of a human…it always is. Cats are overlooked way too often. They do what they want, when they want with no care about consequences. Of course, dogs could do what they want. I mean, really, they leave their feces and mark their territory for everyone to see. They just leave it sitting there and at least cats bury their own business. But, when a dog does wrong, it is scolded and it gives the most dreadful look that some call the "puppy dog face" and scamper away with its tail between its legs. The creature can't even do as it pleases without wanting to please its master too. You can't have both. And it's sickening to watch it obey its master without a second thought; so mindless. A cat, however, sharpens its claws on an unfortunate chair and it would get scolded. But it just stares back, even with its own look that says "Are you talking to me you filthy human?" and then walks away; not caring. A cat is independent! Unlike a dog. Of course, I cannot deny that my master treats me like said animal. But a demon has to work hard for a soul as delicious as young master's.
Having noted these things however, there can only be one explanation as to why such a gorgeous cat as this, standing in front of me, has rejected my affections: She's been corrupted by a human! It only makes sense considering the amount of animal abuse in this area. But really, who would torture such a beauty? It was obviously a ragdoll/calico mix. I mean, who could miss such a slender frame that that this breed obtained from the ragdoll? Such a long slender frame, hidden behind many tresses of fur. And her colors, so vibrant and mottled together perfectly. A nice patch of white on her stomach and legs except for that one adorable black spot on her front left paw, ginger red and black covered her back along with light brown streaks leading from her behind and mixing into her tail, her oh so wonderfully groomed tail, with dark brown, ginger red, black and at the very tip, white. Her blue eyes were always so carefully trained on whatever she looked at, and I was ever so blessed to be the one thing she focused on, even if it was for ten seconds before something else caught her eye…even if her look seemed to portray pure dislike. Her ears were always alert, turning almost 90 ° whenever she heard the slightest noise, friend or foe. Everything about this cat was so poised and charming. And her personality was something I've never encountered before. It was like a mixture that you'd figure would clash and wouldn't have good results, yet having amazing ones. She acted like she was above all others, cats and humans alike but she managed to have this sort of amiable and kind approach (well at least to other people). She was lazy too, but she made it look like it was the hardest thing to do in the way she lay herself out on the green grass to sunbathe. Her pink belly could be shown through the soft white fur and she stretched with such finesse and majestic beauty. She was a skilled hunter when it was absolutely necessary to eat. As I first began watching her, all she seemed to be living off of was the water by the nearby creek and that had me worried about her health. But one afternoon, she deemed the day worthy enough to hunt. Her ears were on alert for those ten seconds it took her to locate her target, before she crouched down and her shoulders tensed. Her eyes were wide, fully focused on her prey hidden in the grass. She lifted her behind, preparing to take off, and then pounced. Unfortunately, my master called for me right after that and I couldn't watch her in the rest of her glory. She was a magnificent feline indeed. However, it pains me to know that I am not her most favorite presence when I'm around her.
It all started on a sunny spring day when young master decided to have his afternoon tea outside. I had just finished serving the white Darjeeling tea and the fruit cobbler when I saw her looking at me from a tall maple tree. She looked at me with what I interpreted as curiosity. But of course, the mere presence of the cat already had me…smitten right away. I was so entranced that I didn't even hear my master address me.
"Sebastian, what on Earth are you looking at?" he asked with a raised voice, obviously ticked. Ciel's words seemed to have startled the cat because after that, the hair on her back stood up and she jumped from the branch she perched herself on. I sighed in disappointment at her sudden leave, but then snapped out of it after realizing that young master was still calling me.
"My apologies bocchan. There was a cat." I bowed low. Young master sighed in annoyance, but he picked up his teacup.
"Well, I hope that this cat doesn't become a distraction for you today Sebastian. It'd be a shame to have to waste time getting rid of it if it does." I stiffened at the thought of Mey Rin, Bart and/or Finny chasing after her. With that horrid image in my mind, I'd have to make sure to stay on task.
"Yes, my lord." Ciel nodded and sipped his tea.
It was already 5 P.M. and I hadn't seen any more of the cat. I thought it was merely my imagination. But, the cat showed up again as I was walking home from the market. I needed to buy ingredients for the orange poppy seed cake I was going to make because Bardroy had managed to burn down the kitchen again along with the ingredients. She was aimlessly wandering and then she saw me. She froze in the middle of the road and stretched her legs high and puffed up her tail. A growl emitted from her throat as I kept getting closer. Noticing that she seemed threatened, I slowed my pace as not to scare her. Fortunately, she did settle down but didn't drop her guard. As I got closer to her, I dropped to my knees and held out my hand, beckoning to her. She hesitantly took a step forward and then another. It was a happy sight to see that she seemed to readily trust me, albeit cautious. But it was after she sniffed my hand that she turned cold towards me. She hissed at me and clawed my hand away. I backed away from her in a panic thinking I somehow harmed her. She was back on her toes again, the fur on her back sticking up with a low growl coming from her throat. I crouched to the ground once again and put out my hand and spoke soothing words.
"Come my dear. I didn't mean to startle you. There's no need to be afraid." Her ears went down and she hissed once again before taking off into the woods. I looked in the cat's direction, concerned and shocked. That's never happened before.
I saw her again, five days later late at night. Lady Elizabeth had come over to visit to get young master's opinion on the new toilette water* she bought. It was by far very strong, smelling of raspberries and a hint of orange, and the look on bocchan's face showed pure dislike. However, as to not offend his fiancé, he told her it was lovely. That soon led to Lady Elizabeth practically dousing the house in the suffocating perfume…of course, she didn't mean to. She was just constantly reapplying it on herself. I'm sure everyone would be smelling and smelling like citrus fruit for a while. What a pain indeed. After Lady Elizabeth left, we all evacuated the mansion to get some fresh air. But by then, we were all carrying the scent around with us. It's inevitable that most of us won't forget the smell. Pluto was having his own problems however. The perfume somehow clung to his body as if his "skin" was actually his fur. He changed into his dog form and licked at his fur for a while before he coughed and yowled in discomfort. I smirked a little at the canine, knowing why he was uncomfortable. The perfume that stuck to his fur didn't taste very good I bet. In a panic, Pluto let out a quick flame from his mouth and took off into the woods, a plume of smoke trailing behind him. I let my smirk stay plastered on my face as Pluto's anguish slightly amused me. Bocchan could care less about Pluto as well as he was technically my responsibility. However, since Pluto was proving to be a fire hazard, he had to take initiative.
"Sebastian go bring that blasted dog back. I can't have him burning up the forest."
"Yes, my lord." I said, bowing slightly and then leapt into the air towards the forest. Pluto wasn't hard to track down on account that he was still letting puffs of fire escape his mouth. I followed him to a small creek where he stopped to drink. I waited until he finished drinking to prepare to leap down. However, the mysterious cat I've been seeing made its way into the forest clearing and walked to the creek to drink. The poor cat could not have put herself in a more dangerous situation. Pluto lifted his head from his paws and regarded the soft noise behind him. His eyes narrowed at the sight before him, and I noticed. Pluto got up from the ground and began creeping behind the cat.
"Well that's not good." I leapt from the tree branch I was standing on and let my legs stand straight out so I could perfectly land on Pluto's canine brain. After succeeding in halting the demon hound from his viscous intentions, I scooped up the cat and receded back towards the forest, away from the dog. The cat struggled and hissed in my arms as I did this and once I placed her back on the ground, one of her claws managed to make contact with my face. Even though it made me sad to know that this one cat seemed to despise me, I kept a casual composure and set her down. She hastened out of my arms and turned to hiss at me before running back into the thick brush. I pulled off my glove with my teeth and touched my thumb to my cheek, looking for the scratch. It was by the corner of my mouth, a very small wound indeed though. She was feisty though. Smirking, I scraped the dripping blood off my cheek and sucked it off my thumb. Feisty indeed. Standing up, I put my glove back on and turned to the dog behind me who was in all his naked glory.
"You've caused quite a stir Pluto. I shall have to punish you." He looked at me puzzled before a foot came crashing down onto his skull.
"I've seen you receive worse injuries before, Sebastian, but none without struggle. Yet, a cat actually got away with a scratch on your face with no trouble at all. " Young master said regarding the fresh cut on my face.
"I accidentally frightened the poor thing."
"That is so unlike you." The young master noted. I remained silent. Even though I didn't mean to come off as threatening, she hated my touch, my existence. It was unbearable. Yet, having been, dare I say, offended, I forged ahead along side my master. We were currently at a local farm to inspect the strawberries and oranges growing in the area. The queen was concerned by the fact that the farmers haven't been harvesting on time for the past five months. According to the farmers, the fruits have been rotting just days before they've ripened. It was nothing less of peculiar and so, we set out to correct the issue.
When we reached the field, we took a minute to look around. The crops looked healthy enough at first glance, but looking directly at the fruit, they were indeed rotting. Of course, some were left untouched, but those select few were not going to be enough to sell in the market. Not nearly enough. I plucked a rotten strawberry from the branch and analyzed it. This wasn't the work of bugs or pesticides. So that would have to mean…
"I can't believe Will left me to do this all by myself! It's simply too much for a lady like me to handle!"
I picked up my gaze from the revolting strawberry and turned around. There, slightly hidden within the fruit's leaves, sat Grell Sutcliff flipping through page after page in his book of Cinematic Records. Curiously. I walked over to the red, and slightly dusty from sitting in the dirt, shinigami.
"Afternoon Grell. What brings you here?" I asked politely. Grell glanced up from his book. When he recognized that it was me who addressed him, his eyes changed from round and yellow-green to red and heart shaped.
"Oh dear sweet Bassey! You've come to save me from this place and sweep me off my feet!" Grell hopped to his feet and flew into my arms.
"Sebastian what is all that…oh, the grim reaper." Grell stayed snuggled in my arms, possibly ignoring my master. Bocchan walked closer to us and observed the red reaper with annoyance.
"What is he doing here Sebastian?"
"I'm in the midst of asking him now." I replied, dropping my arms so that he'd fall. He could only be bearable for so long. Grell fell into a dusty heap creating a cloud of dust to rise into the air. Young master furiously batted away the dust from his nose and coughed before saying, "This land used to be so fruitful. I wonder what happened…" He trailed off but Grell continued.
"It's because these greedy souls are sucking the place dry." Our attention turned to the dirty death god who was brushing himself off to no avail.
"Souls?" Bocchan inquired. Grell nodded and brought his book out of nowhere.
"Will sent me here to account for the lost souls in this land. There are thousands here and most of them are trying desperately to reconnect with the land."
"Reconnect?" Bocchan asked again. But Grell was already hopping around from place to place, fretting over something incoherently. I had an idea of what he meant though, and I think bocchan could tell I did.
"What did he mean by that?" He asked, his patience dropping. I cleared my throat.
"I believe he's talking about some people that died here." I paused for a while in case young master wanted to interject. When he didn't, I continued.
"The only cause for a large number of souls can be two factors: natural disaster or war. In both cases, death is inevitable. My guess is that when they died their souls got trapped here; confused. Because of that, they don't realize that they are indeed dead and are trying to continue their past lives like normal and that includes 'harvesting' and 'eating'."
"Precisely right Bassey!" he called from afar, still preoccupied with his task.
"What do you suppose we do master?" I asked watching amusedly as Grell fumbled with his work.
"There is nothing we really can do. We should leave the Grim Reaper to handle it. However, these rotten berries and orange trees should be removed." I placed on my chest and bowed slightly.
"I will begin right away."
It didn't take long to discard all the ruined food. It took a maximum of twenty minutes to collect each diseased fruit all together. Of course, it would have taken me ten had Grell not clung to me as I worked. I'd jump into the air to get to another section of the field and suddenly a pair of arms would wrap around my waist. Normally, this wouldn't matter as Grell was prone to doing this whenever he saw me and I'd just kick him in the face and watch him fall to the ground (but of course, I repeated these actions today). However he did this at a constant rate nonstop (I believe it was to irritate me). So it was no wonder I'd add a little extra force to my kick to his face that day and "maybe" send him flying into a nearby tree rather than directly at the ground. Using that technique did indeed prove helpful in the long run. Eventually, William did come to check on Grell's (not so) progress and corrected the issue. So not only was the fruit cleared, but also the souls. Once finished, William gave a monotone apology and matching farewell before shoveling Grell off my feet, "accidentally" stabbing Grell in the head a couple times with his death scythe.
"Well that was certainly tiring." Bocchan said, running a hand down his face. I gave him something that would be similar to a sympathetic smile before replying, "Indeed."
"That being the case, I wish to go to bed when we get home."
"Yes my lord." So when we arrived to the manor, I gave a few instructions to Mey Rin, Bart, and Finney about finishing the "reconstruction" of the burnt kitchen before following bocchan to his room. He bathed and put on his sleepwear before slipping under the covers. Once he was settled into the bed, I put down the candle holder and went to the window to close the curtains. However, I stopped midway for lo and behold, the cat was outside on the sill. Young master, noticing my action (or inaction), sat up to look at what stopped me.
"Is that the cat that scratched?" I nodded, not quite coherent for I was taken aback by the absolute beauty of her in the dim moonlight.
"Remove it." The stars in my eyes fogged up at my master's words. I turned around to see bocchan with a hint of a smirk at the corner of his lips.
"If I allow it to stay out there where it is, it will keep me up all night. I won't tolerate that." He said stretching, seeming to be unfazed by my dislike at the order.
"What if she doesn't allow me to touch her bocchan?" I asked, slightly stressing the pronoun in the sentence. Ciel laid himself back down into the mattress and covered himself up.
That's your problem isn't it?" I dropped the matter and turned back to the window. How I hated the idea of disturbing her as she bathed herself, but I couldn't disobey my master. I opened the window and the cat stopped her ministrations upon her fur. She looked at me with wide terrified eyes and stood up, he back going rigid. I brought forth my hand, to initiate an amiable approach as if to apologize beforehand to her, but she shied away from me. She took a few lazy swipes at my hand, her ears back slightly; irritated. I would have taken time to admire the cuteness of her situation had I not had a job to do. In one swift movement, I tucked my hand under her stomach and lifted her off of the sill and pulled her to my chest so she couldn't escape. She was not happy with that. Her ears were back and her nose wrinkled as she hissed at me and tried to bite my arm. Her claws dug in through my tailcoat and just barely grazed my skin. Because of this, I wasn't exactly mending our fragile relationship. The poor dear.
"Kindly return her outside away from the manor Sebastian." Ciel commanded, taking off his eye patch, his eyes watching with amusement as I struggled with the cat. I bowed and left the room.
Once I stepped out into the night, I took note of how cold it actually was. Of course I knew she could handle it, but it reminded me that she was homeless and had to fend for herself. At the time, I thought I could smuggle her into my room…but then-
"SEBASTIAN! You found Kaylee-chan!" I turned around to see Finney running towards me with a big grin on his face. At the sight of him, the cat jumped out of my hands and sprinted to the blonde. He put out his hand and I watched in horror as she met his hand with her head in a friendly greeting. Finney giggle as the cat began to lick his fingers. I couldn't help but let my anger and jealously run free inside me. Why she was choosing to befriend a destructive and loud child when a refine and composed being, such as myself, has been trying to show her nothing but kindness since the first time I saw her. So it was no wonder I let a small ( very, very small) pout come to my face.
"Tell me, Sebastian, where did you fid her? I haven't seen Kaylee-chan in a week!" I looked away from the innocent gardener as to not suddenly make away with the cat but not before sending Finney flying.
"She was upstairs on young master's windowsill. He asked me to return her back to the ground."
"I'm glad she's safe. I was starting to get worried. But now that I know she was with you the entire time, I realize I had nothing to fret over. I'm sure you guys are great friends by now." I frowned.
"Oh I wouldn't say that…" Finney stood up and walked up to me concerned. The cat, who Finney name "Kaylee", followed him but kept her distance from me.
"What do you mean? Cats love you." I sighed in exasperation.
"I'm not quite sure either." Finney pouted and inhaled deeply and for a second, he froze.
"Sebastian…you smell like oranges…" He said cautiously. At his observation, I almost lost my temper. I knew I would smell like this after being in the field all day so I didn't need anyone to inform me.
"Well I was around them all day. But thank you for pointing that out Finnian." He shook his head.
"You don't understand. Cats hate citrus." It was then that I tensed up. How could I forget? It all made sense! When I was walking home that afternoon I was carrying oranges and the scent of them probably stuck to my gloves when I tried to touch her.
And when Lady Elizabeth came over with her new perfume smelling of raspberries and oranges , the fragrance hung around me until I finally freshened up and changed clothes. When I picked her up, saving her from Pluto, she was pressed up against my coat where she could clearly smell the offending fruit. At that point, she couldn't trust me. I was the tall, dark haired man (demon) who smelled of oranges. She learned to stay away from me. Just now, she still hated me because I was, again, covered in the orange essence. How? How could I forget something so important?
I shook myself from my thoughts. Finney had picked up the cat and was petting her softly.
"Of course Finney." I said in reply to his statement. He smiled brightly and put down "Kaylee" before making his way back into the house. When he was gone, I took off my gloves and proceeded to the laundry room.
Everything was going to go as planned. I had washed my outfit thoroughly last night to rid it of any trace of oranges. Steering clear of all fruits, bocchan's breakfast consisted of salmon and grits. And I made sure not to assist Finney in the garden. I would gain the cat's trust. She was just so magnificent and I wanted to be able to pet her without having her struggle.
Once bocchan was seated and having breakfast, I excused myself and exited outside. Just in front of the door, there she lay on the pavement, sunbathing. She lifted her head at the disturbance and instantly was on her feet at the sight of me. A type of whine escaped her throat as I stuck out my hand.
"I promise you, my dear, I'm perfectly clean today." I said softly. She sniffed the air slightly and eased her shoulders. She took a cautious step forward and sniffed again. The whole time I remained perfectly still. She was finally within a foot of me after many cautious steps. I could only hope young master wouldn't call for me just yet. She approached my hand, her ears back, probably expecting the worse. She curiously sniffed the tips of my fingers and, after many long excruciating seconds, her whole self visibly relaxed. She deemed me acceptable. I lowered my hand, so close to finally petting her small head when a cold, sticky, orange liquid landed on my back…and on the cat. I froze in shock and watched as the cat screech in disgust and terror. She took off into the woods with Pluto, who saw her running, on her tail. I clenched my jaw and looked up to where the liquid had fallen. Bocchan was looking at me from out the window with a glass pitcher nonchalantly dangling from his fingers by the handle. He looked at me with a bored expression and said, "I decided to have orange juice instead of tea with my breakfast today. But Bart made it too bitter. It's a terrible shame to have to discard it." At his words, I couldn't help but let my eyes glow bright red in anger. When he finished, I slowly met his eyes, to which his widened, and gave a small, menacing smile.
"Yes, truly, a shame."
A/N: I amused myself with the ending. In English, we are focusing on "irony" and I felt it would be appropriate to incorporate that here. I hope you liked the story overall. If you didn't, I apologize. I'm a crazy cat lady (as friends call me) who had the opportunity. Oh, and just so you know, my cat, Kaylee, is indeed sensitive when it come to citrus fruit. She wouldn't come near me when I eat the little baby clementines. But I don't know if this goes for all felines so don't pin me on this. I just used this detail as a reason for a cat to hate Sebby...and that alone was hard. Anyways, review por favor.
P.S: I made the whole history lesson up with the souls. I think it's obvious though.