Sebastian took the boy, "Thank you finny. There are left overs from dinner, feel free to help yourself." He said, as a way of dismissing him. He never fed his master left overs. Itvwas saved for the servants, unless his master requested it. He carried his master the rest of the way to his room. He was well aware his master would likely demand an apology tomorrow. At least his guests left on time. Being unable to monitor things had made him worry his plan might not work. Alas, luck was on his side this time. He changed his masters clothes, getting him into his night shirt quickly. He tucked his master into the bed, smiling slightly. "Perhaps I should have cut you off, master." He said, thinking out loud. He turned and secured the curtains shut, so the last of the suns rays would not bother Ciel. He turned back toward the boy, walking over to the bed. He studied him for a while, watching for any hint of a possible night terror. Maybe the wine would have the affect of giving him a quiet slumber, as well. He cpuld not help but shake his head in amusement. One would think he drugged his master, with how quickly he passed out.
The small earl was regretting his decision to drink so much right about this time as the wine coursed its way through his system rather quickly. Ciel didn't typically indulge in alcohol very often as it was easier for him to get drunk due to his small frame. This was no exception. The boy's demeanor didn't change much when he drank though his words did become a bit harsher, but this wine was different. This was a dark red wine, petite sirah, which contained more melatonin than the others. Sebastian discovered this during a wine tasting event recently, the butler having to escort his master out quickly before he fell asleep at the table.
He began his slow walk to the steps and carefully began to ascend them, gripping the banister lightly. Each step was harder and harder to make and his eyes more difficult to keep open. Ciel only reached halfway up the stairs before the small frame collapsed, not having the energy to hold him up anymore. Luckily Finny was nearby, quickly darting over and catching the small Lord before he tumbled down the staircase. Carefully he lifted Ciel into his arms, allowing him to adjust if he needed to, and carried him up the rest of the way. It was at this point that Sebastian appeared, Finny giving him a reassuring smile.
[+green "He's asleep now,"] he told Sebastian, carefully placing the still and sleeping boy in the butler's arms. [+green "He only made it halfway up the stairs before I caught him. He's okay and hopefully won't feel too awful in the morning."]
Sebastian eyed his master, slightly worried. His master wasnot typically one to indulge in a lot of alcohol, and Sebadtian had noticed him go to the wine more often than not. He would make sure his master made it to his room after he saw the ladies off. He was glad his selection worked its magic though. Francis had little choice but to oblige. She could have requested to stay, but luckily it seemed it had not even been in her plans.
"Goodnight, Ciel." Lizzie went over to him and gave him one last very tight hug. "I am happy your ok." She said, only withdrawing when Francis cleared her throat. Which allowed Ciel to refill his lungs. Bard had been quick to clesr the table and practically ran out of the room, due to Sebastian shooting him icey glares throughout the meal. Nearly every time he so much has twitched. Sebastian was quick to usher the out of he room. Not that it was particularly hard.
Francis peeked over her shoulder. "I expect that game next time." She called, though she had not missed Ciel being nearly unable to stand. She let the butler shoo them out, mainly because she did not want her daughter to see Ciel fall flat on his face.
Sebastian thanked them for coming, and apologized for being so quick to shove them outthe door. Francis only smiled at that. "Nonsense. Your just doing your job." She said, he would have been a poor butler indeed if he let his master embarass himself in fron of his fiancé. "Keep taking care of him. He is the last of the Phantomhive line." She said quietly."
Sebastian bowed, "of course, my Lady." He nodded to the driver, who had just hung out until it was time to leave. The riegns snapped, and they were off. He remained there until they were out of sight, then hurried inside to find his master. He too, was worried about how far he made it before he collapsed.
Ciel slowly rose from his seat, straightening his jacket before leading the ladies out into the hallway. It seemed that Sebastian had calmed some and lack of bloodstains on his clothes led Ciel to believe that the cook was still alive...either that or he was buried in the garden somewhere and Sebastian had already saw to the cleanup. His game with Lizzie had lasted quiet a while, longer than he expected really, and he hoped it meant he wouldn't have to play his aunt today. It wold be even better if they would leave after dinner was finished. Ciel sighed quietly at that thought, knowing the positive outcome wasn't likely and he would probably be forced to put up with his family for at least another two hours.
He couldn't wait until they left. They were growing incredibly exhausting.
The small earl sat at the table, raising an eyebrow faintly at Bard's position by the table. So he was still alive...how interesting. He smiled faintly at the thought of how much hell the chef probably got from the demon, he actually took secret pleasure in watching his butler flip out completely on the rest of his staff. It was far better than any book he could read. Once the ladies were seated, he waited for them to begin before eating himself and remained somewhat quiet throughout dinner. He chimed in only when he needed to and drank a little bit more wine than he probably should have. In all honesty, he didn't care. Perhaps becoming black-out drunk would make his family easier to deal with.
It didn't take long for the wine to affect his system, his eyes become harder and harder to keep open while the rest of his body threatened to drop where it was. Ciel slowly stood, having to grip the edge of the table to keep from falling over as he wobbled dangerously for a few seconds, before sighing tiredly. [+blue "With all do respect, I think I need to lie down,"] he told the ladies quietly, mostly directed to his aunt. He hoped he could make it up to bed and not tumble down the steps first. [+blue "I'll have Sebastian escort you out..."]
Sebastian returned a few hours later, dinner being ready to be served. He was still irritated, but no longer furious. Again, Bard was stationed to help serve the food. Mey-rin being much too clumsy and Finny just didn't know his own strength. No matter how much Sebastian tried to emphasize the importance of remembering.
"Dinner is ready." He said, his polite tone much less forced. Bard was lucky he was such a good stratagist, otherwise Sebastian would have probably killed him for creating those blasted Easter eggs. The hall was already fixed, the clean up having gone rather wuick due to Finnians super strength. He held the door open for them. He glanced at the board. It looked like, in the end, his master had won. It had been expected, of course. I looked like Ciel had stalled the game with his aunt, as Lizzie was still seated at the board.
Ciel occasionally glanced up at the doorway, half expecting his butler to emerge through it with bloodstains on his uniform and dragging a recently deceased cook behind him. Whatever had happened he knew the damage was extensive due to the fact that he didn't return immediately. Still, he knew it wasn't something that Sebastian couldn't handle and fully expected the mess to be cleaned by the time dinner was ready...and maybe even be a few staff members short.
Why did these things always have to happen when he had company over?
Quietly he looked over at his aunt after watching Lizzie for a few moments. His cousin didn't seem to care about the explosion and was more than happy to pretend nothing happened. Francis, however, was watching him and expecting some sort of an answer. This left him in a difficult position as he couldn't exactly come out and tell her the truth. If he did, she'd probably try to have him committed. He was well aware of how mad it sounded to normal ears. Perhaps he could give her a half truth that she could accept.
[+blue "Bardroy was in the military before he came to work in the kitchen,"] Ciel informed her quietly, looking back down at the chessboard again. Lizzie had just moved, now it was Ciel's turn to counter. He decided to give her another chance to defend again, moving his queen a few spaces towards her king. [+blue "Once in a while, he'll get a little carried away with things. It's nothing to worry about."]
Sebastian had managed to calm himself slightly by the time he reached the hall that led to the kitchen. He stopped short, eyebrows raising high. The entire hall was wrecked. Finnian was half buried in the rubble, Bardroy trying to dig him out.
"Kitchens fine..." with a grunt Finny was pulled free. Sebastian couldn't answer, as he quickly climbed over the pile of wall and ceiling to the kitchen. Everything inside was in perfact order. He checked dinner, and found it doing well. He exhaled slowly, able to relax knowing that tonights meal was untampered with. He turned, going back over the pile to confront the two imbeciles he worked with.
"What. Happened." He stated, his tone demanding more than questioning.
Finny giggled nervously. "I was cleaning the gutters, and found one of Bards specual exploding eggs. I guess I held it too tight." He grinned sheepishly. Sebastian could only tilt his head and wonder how the hell Finny was still intact. Surely he should have lost his arm, or at least his hand. But other than bruises from the fall, he was completely unharmed.
"I will finish dinner and work on repairs.... you two clean this up..." He walked down the hall, no doubt his master would want to know what happened. However, he would have to wait. He rubbed the bridge of his nose when Mey-rin slammed into him. "Everything is under control, return to what you were doing. She was quick to leave him alone, picking up on his growing bad mood. He was a demon, and even he was begining to be surprised he had no grey hair yet. This was going to put him hehind on trying to get the ladies to leave.
Francis noted her nephews lack of response. She was well aware that each of the servants had their downsides.... both Ciel and Sebastian covered up for their mistakes well, but she still figured it out. She wondered how anyone would manage an explosion. Due to the lack of alarm, she knew it had to be a common occurance. She rose a questioning eyebrow at Ciel. Lizzie, after the inital startle, seemed happy to pretent it never happened.
[+blue "Yes, Lizzie, it does. In an L shape,"] he explained to her again. She was retaining her chess knowledge rather well and seemed to know how most of the pieces moved. Once in a while she needed correcting but Ciel didn't mind. She was trying which was a lot more than he could say for some others he had tried to teach. [+blue "And it's called a knight, not a horse."]
He took a couple of small drinks of tea as he watched his fiance ponder over her pieces and the moves she could make with them. If this wasn't a lesson he could have easily stomped her six moves ago and moved on. If it was someone else, he would have. Luckily Lizzie seemed eager to learn and always seemed to enjoy their lessons even if she did lose every game. She was just happy to be in Ciel's company, something the boy had a hard time understanding. He knew how difficult he was to deal with, hell he heard it from Sebastian nearly every other day. Still, if she wanted to see him and he had the time to spare, he wasn't going to push it.
Ciel's head snapped up quickly as he heard the explosion, looking to the demon after he heard the cook's voice. Clearly he had disobeyed whatever instructions he was given by the demon and decided to do things his own way. Even though Sebastian tried to remain polite and cordial he could see the seething rage beneath and knew it was likely that Bard may end up a missing person. He sighed as the demon excused himself, finishing his cup of tea and setting it aside.
Sebastian watched Lizzie as she studied the board. The demon could see several possiblilties that could turn the game around. However, it would not teach her anything. She reached up, then lowered her hand. Her brow furrowed as she studied Ciels pieces arround her king. "The horse only goes 3 spaces, right?" She questioned, double checking her knowledge. She looked up at Ciel. It was clear she knew she was losing. Sebastian supposed Ciel was lucky his fiancé wasn't a poor sport. She was just happy to do something with him. It was a lot more than some arranged marriges he had seen.
Francis had fallen silent, having no good comeback. Sebastian was impressed by his masters ability to lie smoothly. While it was rather hypocritical, his skill was mpressive for someone so young. He wondered if the lies would ever catch up with him in the future. Either way, Sebastian would be there to support him. Watching him squirm in the limelight of all of his 'white lies' would be incredibly entertaining. He lookd around the room, growing bored with watching Lizzies inevitable demise. He was still there primarily due to hoping to watch the game between his master and Francis.
A want that was crushed within 10 seconds as a massive explosion shook the manor. It caused Sebastian to grow ridgid, and both the ladies to jump. Before anyone could get up, bards voice filled the room. "Uhh, hey Sebastian? I could use you help in the kitchen..." Sebastian stood there a moment, wondering if it would be terrible to serve Bardroy for dinner. Nobody but him had to know.... He glanced at his master. Like Francis, Ciel was too smart for his own good. He wouldn't even have to ask what happened to the chef.
Sebastian decided that revenge was not worth the end result. "If you will excuse me..." He left at a quick pace, rage boiling under the polite smile. Rage that Ciel could see, if for no other reason than knowing the demon.
Ciel took the tea cup, looking into it at the rather light color. Such a hue typically meant the drink was less caffeinated than the other blends and it gave him the idea that his butler was genuinely trying to make his master tired. It was one of the only ways to get his guests to leave though he imagined his aunt would still refuse to budge if he were to pass out on top of the chessboard. She could be incredibly stubborn when she wished to and exercised that right frequently. Still, Ciel couldn't help but wonder what else Sebastian had been planning and how much hell the young earl would have to give him later for it.
He took a few sips as he watched Lizzie make her move, successfully protecting her king from his knight. In all honestly, he could call checkmate in a single move and end the game. If he did so it would call an end to their lesson and he would be forced to play his aunt. Good thing he still had quite a few other moves he could make. Reaching out after a long moment he moved one of his bishops a couple of spaces and took her queen, quietly setting it aside. This move left him open to check, it would be interesting to see if Lizzie would catch up on it.
Sebastian went to the table, quickly serving the tea. It was a blend of chai and chamomile. Something to help bring his lord to a genuine tired state. It was the only way to fool Francis. He even chose a spesific wine for them to have with dinner tonight. It was one that usually put his master into a hard sleep, which was honestly what he needed. He just hoped his master did not go over board due to who he was drinking with. He was still quite young.
His goal was to have them leaving by the end of dinner. If it was sooner, great. Lizzie was known to push late visits, and when they were together Francis rarely argued the point. She did not visit often, usually Lizzie came alone or with her maid. As he handed a cup to Lizzie, he studied the board. Even though it was a lesson, Ciel was winning. It was pathetic really. Even if she knew what each peice did, it was like she just moved them. There was no real stratagy behind her moves. He moved to stand behind his master. Lizzie moved her rook, all the way across the board to protect her king, who had been in check.
The young master led his guests up the stairs to the study, keeping the faint frown on his face. Sebastian would certainly be answering for that little stunt later. Instead of convincing his guests to leave and allowing the small earl to rest they insisted on staying at least another hour to keep an eye on him. Great. Ciel knew himself well and could feel his energy levels winding down. If this kept up much longer, especially with his aunt's relentless and demanding demeanor, he knew he would end up saying something he'd regret later.
Ciel sat down quietly behind the chess board, picking his usual color of black over white and watched as Lizzie sat across from him. He managed to get a couple of hints and teachings in between his aunt's badgering, Lizzie having tried and failed to reroute her attention to a different direction. She still seemed hell-bent on Ciel hiring more servants, feeling her nephew wasn't protected enough. If only she knew the truth.
[+blue "There's actually five,"] Ciel retorted, keeping his eyes on the board as Lizzie seemed to carefully think out her move before moving a piece forward. Little by little she was improving but was nowhere near Ciel's skill. He decided on an easy move for her to counter in order to give her some defensive practice. [+blue "Tanaka is still a servant even though you don't see him much. What happened to me was out in London, anyway. I fail to see how their protection of the manor and its guests have any part in this. It's as I've told you earlier. [i I] went out on my own. [i I] failed to follow Sebastian's instructions for my safety. What happened to me is no one's fault but my own."]
Normally he wouldn't mind throwing his butler under the bus and redirecting his aunt's anger in his direction but this was different. She didn't fully understand the circumstance and insisted on terms she knew nothing about. This was about Ciel having the final say and he'd do his damnedest to get it. The exposed eye lifted at Sebastian's entrance and he gestured to the small table near Francis.
Sebastian pushed the cart back to the kitchen to be washed. He smiled, pleased with himself when the contract had not alerted him about his master being hurt. Good, he did not want to accidently hurt Ciel. That would just look bad, and unprofessional. He quickly cleaned up, telling bard to put the dishes away. Chef did so, after lighting another ciggarette. Sebastian took the time to finish dinner preparations. The roast that was planned would take a few hours, on a low temperature to give it a tender easy to tear apart texture. One of the meals he was always proud of when it came out. It always looked stunning, and had never recived negative feedback from it. From his master, anyway. Nobody else ever critisized his cooking. Not that Ciel did very much, either. He put the peice of meat in the oven, he would return later to make sure it was not going dry. He turned to Bardroy again. "Bardroy," the chef turned to him, "I would like you to check the meat in the oven every 30 minutes. If it starts turning black, or has a dry look," he gestured to the communication pipes that led throughout the whole manor. "I will be in the study with the young master and his guests." He said. Bard opened his mouth, but Sebastiand cut him off. "Touch dinner with anything, and you won't be eating anything but your own cooking for a month." He threatened. While the chef was slightly better than when he first arrived at the manor, it still did not look edible. Bard saluted obeidiantly.
Satisfied, Sebastian made a new pot of tea and gathered a fresh tea set. Organizing everything perfactly on the serving tray, he made his way up to his masters study. He listened through the door for a moment. Francis was talking, and it seemed Lizzie had given up trying to keep control of the topic.
"I am just saying you can't expect 4 servants to keep the manor well protected." She was saying. "I am sure you do not want a repeat of what happened. Imagine if you had guests over, you would have been held liable for what happened to them."
Ah, it seemed Francis was trying to convince hos master to hire more people. The demon did have to talk himself out of being truly offended. She did think he was human, after all. The demon knocked politely before entering. His poor master seemed not to be too enthusiastic about the conversation."I have brought refreshments..." he said, which was rather obvious. His master looked like he needed some less attention on him, though. Francis, of course, ignored him. Favoring the answer from Ciel over acknowledging a servant.
Lizzie sat opposite Ciel, their lesson being inturrupted.
Ciel groaned internally when he heard his aunt speak up and mention she would like a game as well. Normally he looked forward to chess and enjoyed each game but when it came to his aunt he would rather put out a campfire with his face. She had a tendency to best him at the very last second which, no doubt, brought his butler enjoyment. Hopefully, with any luck, she would change her mind he had a few games with Lizzie first.
He began to lead them up to the study, listening to his fiance prattle on and on about their game and lessons, and how one day she may become as good as Ciel. He, personally, doubted that as there weren't many chess players on his level. About halfway up the stairs, he felt a firm grip on his ankle followed by a sharp tug. As he stumbled and nearly fell down a couple of steps, the grip was gone. He knew it to be Sebastian's power, a fact that caused a frown to form, and Ciel quickly reached out to grab the banister before he fell completely on his face. Once his balance regained, he straightened himself up as Lizzie quickly came to his side and voiced her concern over him.
[+blue "I'm fine, Lizzie,"] he told her quietly, trying to hide the irritation at Sebastian from his voice. So that's what the demon had been up to. Damn thing. [+blue "Just a bit tired, I suppose. It's been a long day."]
Sebastian began to clean away the dishes from the table. His master would be fine to escort the ladies upstairs so they could play. He would be up in a little bit with some fresh tea, as it was courtesy to have it available. On their way out he heard he heard Lady Francis speak up.
"I would not mind a game, as well. It has been a while since I had a good competitor." Sebastian smirked, he would definatly have to be there in time for that game. He wondered who would win. The last time the pair had a compition, Francis won. Even if it was because the demon allowed it. Francis was a good pawn to use when teaching his master important lessons. Like humility. Sebastian had used her a lot for that, due to his master having a lot of pride in his ability to win. He rarely lost, and having a demon aid you made his losing numbers practically nonexistant. With the cart now full of the used dishes, he left the same way his master had led the ladies. He took a quick peek at his masters location, mosly becasue he did not want his master hurt. He was near the top of the stairs, perfact. He retreated back toward the abandoned cart. At the same time, some invisable force gripped his masters ankle. The grip was gone quickly. Sebastian knew Ciel would know the cause. Hopefully it was just enough to make him stummble, have to grip the rail at most. Plus, it would make the lafies worried about him, and hopefully encourage them to want him to rest.
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