"Yes, of course!" She sounded a bit more like her usual self after hearing his voice. "I'm happy you're ok! H-how do you feel?" The question was asked with a bit of worry. "Mothers been upset with Sebastian but I am sure he was pretty busy.... He must have been really worried to refuse to talk to her." She said, though she had hoped to hear from the butler. Keeping an area quarantined was near impossible, but if anyone cpuld she had no doubt the over skilled butler could.
It was one of those moments she wished Ciel would tell her how they met. Despite her curiosity, she wouldn't ask. She was just happy there was someone who would do everything they could for Ciel. She suddenly felt tears threatening to fall, as the knowledge that he was truly going to be ok. The relief was almost unbearable for her.
The boy lightly rubbed his temple as he waited, the exposed eye looking over at the stack of papers on the desk that still required his attention. It was significantly smaller than it had been that morning but there was still quite a bit to get done. There were still a few order forms he needed to complete and sign, a case review or two that needed to be written, company repairs that needed sent, and a few other things. Honestly, grunt work such as this could be left to Sebastian but he liked to do it himself. He trusted the demon enough but he would rather see the numbers and problems of his company in person to know what was ahead instead of information being passed down. Had Sebastian kept on top of this while he was comatose? It seemed he partially did, only completing things that couldn't wait for the master to awaken. There were deadlines to meet, after all. He was grateful for that, at least his butler wasn't letting the business fail.
Ciel's attention was pulled back to the phone as he heard the girl's soft voice. She sounded horrid but seemed to be trying to keep it somewhat together to avoid worrying her fiance. [+blue "Lizzie,"] he started quietly. He wasn't entirely sure what to say to her, perhaps trying to make her feel better was a good start. [+blue "I'm so glad to hear from you; I'm sorry I worried you so. But I know you were staying strong for me, right?"]
"Alright, hold on." Francis called a servant to find Elizabeth. It wasn't long before Ciel could hear a muffled, "Elizabeth, Ciel is on the phone." She had pulled the phone away from her war to speak to her daughter. The girl didn't hide the fact she had been crying, but was quick to snatch the phone from her mother.
Completely ignoring her mothers disgruntled look, Elizabeth clung to the phone. "C-Ciel?" She stuttered. Her tone sounded terribly bland. While there was a bit of a hopful lilt to her voice. Her voice crack as well, indicating she had likly not spoken in at least a couple days. She was always trying to get her fiancee to smile. The blonde haired girl had felt like a complete failure knowing that he might not wake up. She wasn't stupid, far from it. She knew being head of the Toy Company was hard. She also knew of his dangerous job working for the Queen. She felt her Ciel deserved something better thpugh. She did not like him working for the Queen, because she wanted him to die oldwitj a happy family around him. She wanted him to smile or laugh. Not worry about if he was going to survive the day.
Ciel sighed quietly at his aunt's comments, closing his eyes as well. He was well aware of the fact that she was worried, Ciel was her family after all. She had already lost her brother and her nephew had disappeared for a time only to mysteriously return. It was natural for her to feel the way that she did. Still, he wished she would cut him a little bit of slack.
[+blue "Give Uncle Edward my apologies,"] he stated after a moment, the bright eyes slowly opening. [+blue "It's not as if I intended to cause such problems and it wasn't something I could avoid. If I could have avoided this headache, believe me, I would have."]
He paused for a moment to reposition himself, now leaning against the back of the chair with his free hand toying with the feather of the quill. Talking and visiting with his betrothed was something he tried to avoid most of the time as he found them tedious, stressful, and infuriating. She could be a difficult girl to be around and liked things to go her way. Her incessant need to make things pretty made him wish to tear his hair out. Still, it was his duty to marry her as it was what nobles did, and he cared about her in his own strange way. It was the least he could do after making her worry so.
[+blue "I have a few minutes that I can speak to Lizzie."]
"yes, well you both should know better than to let your guard down! You have chosen a dangerous job." While she did not really approve of the queen accepting a child to continue the duty, she had to admit her nephew was doing a fine job. It would be better if he wouldn't almost die, of course. "we have all been worried. Elizabeth hasn't been herself since we found out. Edward is furious that you caused her so much distress. I was told you were being quarantined, so I would like to make sure that rescheduled visit happens when you are able to have visitors." Her tone was more of a' We will be visiting soon, with or without an invitation.' She had her own ways to get information. She would learn about Ciels health if she felt like she the servants were not being honest. It would probably take a visit to cheer her daughter up.
"I am sure you have work to catch up on, however if you could spare a few more minutes I will put Elizabeth on the phone." She was not an outwardly affectionate mother, but she loved her children. Her daughters depressed behavior scared her.
It was a bit surprising to hear his aunt's voice soften a bit, strong emotion able to be heard in it. She was obviously relieved that her last remaining family was alive and on the road to recovery, Ciel could only imagine how she was feeling. After all, she thought her only nephew lost not once, but twice now. Even though she could be extremely overbearing, she still cared about the remains of her little family.
[+blue "Sebastian has been very busy looking after me these past weeks, he didn't always have time to talk,"] he told her quietly. It wasn't necessarily the entire truth but it was all she needed to know. Anything less and he feared that her attitude may be unleashed on himself. That was an outcome that was best to be avoided at all costs. [+blue "He was with me then as well, Aunt Francis. The attacker was just a hair faster than he was; Sebastian did his best as well as what was required of him. You may be sore at him but I'm not dealing out punishment."]
He rested his elbow on the sturdy surface, his hand holding his head up a bit as continued the conversation with his Aunt. [+blue "The doctor says I'll be fine, I just need to bring my immune system back up. He informed me that it could take a bit of time, maybe another few weeks."]
Sebastian was more than happy to hang up when his master picked up the call. He had work to do, this would be an opportune moment to get some practice in with those tarot cards, after he checked on the other servants though.
Francis' tone almost took a complete 180 when she heard her nephew. While her voice was still scolding, there was relief. She actually sounded like she had been crying. Stiff woman or not she cared for her brothers son dearly. "Ciel! It is good to hear your voice. Your butler has been avoiding me. I grew up in that house and I know for a fact there is a phone in there! There is no reason why he could not have spoke to me personally! And where was he when you were attacked?" part of his job was to protect her her nephew. She paused, furious and waiting for Ciel to either promise a punishment or defend his servant.
Ciel ate the rest of his lunch in silence, reviewing the rest of the schedule Sebastian had created. The only thing to his distaste so far was the liver and he would fight that menu choice tooth and nail. It was difficult to say if he would consume it or not, Sebastian had his ways of manipulating the boy to get what he wanted. He knew the demon was only following orders, but still...
He finished the meal and the tea, slowly heading back up to his study. As he passed, he could hear Sebastian speaking on the phone and struggling to stay professional. That told him that it was, indeed, his aunt on the telephone and she was giving the male hell for Ciel's state the past month. He imagined she would explode as it seemed that no matter what Sebastian did, it was never good enough. He could relate, he felt the same way around her. He tried not to allow it to bother him but some days were harder than others.
Sitting down in the comfortable chair, Ciel leaned forward and picked up the line on his desk. [+blue "May I ask, Aunt Francis, why you're harassing my staff?"] he asked quietly, resting against his desk a bit. [+blue "I'm sure they've done the best that they could to appease you while I was indisposed."]
Sebastian left immediately, heading to the nearest phone. He answered with the typical business like response. Just in case it was one of the warehouses or stores his master owned. "You have reached the Phantomhive Manor, the master is busy at the moment." He said, he held the phone about an inch away from his ear, in case it was, in fact, Lady Francis and she decided to yell at him. When he heard nothing, he cautiously touched the device to his ear. "hello?" he asked. He knew it was the Lady now. He could hear the person on the other side taking deep breaths.
"How kind of YOU to answer, butler." The woman said in a dangerously low tone. Sebastian couldn't help the half amused and half worried smile that crossed his face.
"Lady Midford," he decided to cut to the chase. "you'll he happy to know the young master is awake. He is doing surprisingly well."
He heard a soft growl, "I am not finished with you, Butler," she spat his title at him. Now he was nervous and wanted his master to hurry with his meal. He did not wish to entertain the furious woman. "however that is good to hear. May I speak to him. I wish to complain about your neglect to keep. Me. Updated."
"ah, well he is eating at the moment. He should be finished shortly." The demon glanced down the hall, wondering if his master would go back to his study to take the call, or just go to the nearest one. He could honestly say he had never come across a scarier human than Lady Midford. She could not actually harm him, but she was very smart and expected the very best. Ever since they first met the demon was unsure if she was strict or just hated him. Only when she was around did he wish he chose to make himself look slightly less attractive.
Ciel sighed quietly as he listened to Sebastian's instructions, deciding to glance over the papers between bites of his lunch. Sometimes it slipped his mind just how strict the demon could be, especially when it came to his charge's health. He had packed the meal schedule full of protein and vitamins it seemed, and the extra milk would strengthen his small frame. He already knew that he was going to detest the exercises that his butler would come up with but at least he was going easy on him at first. By the time this was all over, he could only imagine the hell that Sebastian would be putting on his body. That thought made him wrinkle his nose a little bit but something on the menu made his brows knit together: liver. It was something he never acquired a taste for and hated it with every fiber of his being. He couldn't decide if Sebastian put that on there for his health or simply to annoy the child.
[+blue "We need to discuss this liver nonsense,"] he stated, glancing inside as the phone rang. He motioned for Sebastian to answer it so he could finish what was left of his lunch. He was hoping he could talk the demon out of it, despite Sebastian's words of accepting the menu as it was.
Sebastian served his master once he was seated. "now then, young master. You requested I put together a schedule." the demon removed a stack of papers that he had somehow secured in his jacket-without crumpleing them. "I have it memorized, if you would like to hold onto this? Or it can remain a surprise to you. However I do have a few minor requirements I will be starting tomorrow. One is that every morning I would like you to do some stretches before or after breakfast. I leave that to you. At first it will be simple, like trying to touch your toes." He did not want to stress his masters body and make him ill. "when I feel you are more stable we will move onto more strenuous activities." He would not force his master to run 30 laps around the manor, but some sit ups, planks, or even jumping jacks would do him no harm. He would have to watch closely, he was a harsh instructor but there was a difference between harsh and cruel. He would not be so mean as to push him into an asthma attack.
"As for meals I will require that you, well for one, not argue with my meal choice." he gave the boy a look held annoyed amusement. He had his fair share of meal thrown back at him at the beginning of their contract. He had been rather dreadful, having never cooked for a human before. "You will drink at least two glasses of milk for the first month." He sounded like he was ordering his master, but it was his job to keep Ciels healthy. "Also, due to your current state, please tell me if there is anything you want more of. If you get hungry between meals, let me know. Just don't make yourself sick. I will be putting a cap on your sweets though." he didn't need his master filling up on sugar." He placed the papers, which were organized by days, on the table. Away from his masters meal, but within reach if Ciel wished to look. "I will monitor you and ease you into a normal eating habit once you no longer almost look like a skeleton." while he wasn't complete skin and bones, he did look somewhat frightful. He hoped to wait at least a week until the Ladys visit. Hopefully his master would appear more normal then.
As the thought crossed his mind, he heard a slight ring come from inside the manor. He turned slightly to hear better. "ah, the phone is ringing. I have no doubt it is Lady Midford." His masters aunt was Likely the one to call, as Lady Elizabeth had been in hysterics when he spoke to them the n the first call. "would you like me to entertain them while you finish your meal?" he topped off his masters tea, in case Ciels answered with an affirmative. While his master was capable of refilling his own cup in his butler absence, of would be rather uncouth to at least try to prevent such a thing.
Soft scratches of quill on paper were the only sounds audible from the study for a while, Ciel working diligently on lowering the mountain of paper in front of him. Most of it was easy but a bit tedious, many empty spaces to fill out. For the boy, it was mindless work as it required repeating the same numbers and words on multiple forms. This was some of the work he hated as it was incredibly hard to stay focused. He despised brainless work.
He managed to get over half of the stack finished before lunchtime, Ciel deciding to take a break on it for a while and find something else to do. He was still a child, after all, and was easily distracted when it came to things he disliked so. Choosing to finish the rest of the forms later in the day in favor of literally anything else, he stood from his seat and moved over to the window. The grounds were still in excellent shape, Ciel able to see Finny on the far end of the garden pulling weeds. Sebastian found the small earl still in this position as he announced lunch. [+blue "I'll be down in a moment,"] he answered, continuing to watch his gardener for a few more minutes.
Once ready, he headed downstairs and out to where lunch was served and sat down quietly. It didn't appear too bad, perhaps Sebastian was taking pity on him and choosing to serve a more grotesque meal later. He wasn't a fool, he was well aware that by giving the demon such power over his weight and muscle gain that there would be a few meals that he wouldn't want to consume. Perhaps he would make Sebastian suffer as well and have him eat some of it. Still, it seemed rather harmless, something the boy was grateful for.
"yes, sir." Sebastian said, watching his master leave. He then wheeled the cart to the kitchen. While he washed the dishes he reviewed what he knew about human food. Unfortunately the quickest way to put weight on his master was unhealthy. Plus he did not wish to contribute to his masters minor sugar addiction. Once he finished washing, drying, and polishing the dishes he started on his task. He sat at one of the tables in the library with several papers, quills and ink. He chose the library because it was close to his masters study and it kept him out of his masters way. The door was open as well, in case his master decided to seek him out. Though the boy usually just summoned him.
Sebastian was never one to do anything half-way, so he began writing a full two month dietary plan. The first month would focus on putting weight on him, the second would be to balance the back to a normal eating habit. The key To gaining weight was consuming more than what was necessary. While he contributed to his masters slight gluttony toward sweet things, he did not want his master in a habit of gorging himself.
He started with Early Morning Tea. He decided to stick to teas to boost his masters immune system. Teas like Echinacea, Honeysuckle, and Green teas. He threw in a few mornings of Earl grey to appease his master. It was one of his favorites.
next was Breakfast. Every meal came with a glass of regular milk. The lactate substance held both calcium and protein that would help build the muscle. This was required for his master to consume at least twice a day. When he drank the second glass would be up to his master. If his master did not drink it before dinner then he would give it to him in the form of the warm milk he favoured. The meals varied from simple oats to omelets to biscuits and gravy.
Next was Lunch or Afternoon Tea. He would make a point to have his master take this outside. He guessed about a week would be fine for him to start allowing his master to eat in the gardens if he wished. He would encourage the consuming of the the second glass of milk of it hadn't happened yet. Otherwise he would provide a more energizing tea to help keep his master going until dinner. These meals consisted a variety of bean sprout and potatoe salads, honey-sweetened yogurt with nuts and dried fruits, and some basic sandwiches.
Dinner would be served with either a more relaxing tea or another energy based tea. It would depend on what the evening brought. Did they have guest? Or would they have a midnight investigation after his master was able to go to town? It was hard to tell so that would be taken day by day. Or his master could request specifics if he chose, though tthe boy usually trusted his butlers decisions. On less thing on his masters mind, he supposed. Some of the meals he wrote out would be received in a less than favorable manner. Dinner varied from fish to roast beef or lamb . Heavier meals came with a lighter side such as a salad. One of the less favorable meals would be the liver he had on a couple days. Not a lot, but it would help repair any damage done to his blood stream. Even demons ate liver from time to time if they lost too much blood or just didn't feel right. While the mortal animals lacked flavor, he oblige if his master didn't want to' suffer alone.' He also compensated by choosing his masters favorite desserts on those days, regardless of health. Once finished he went to prepare his masters lunch. He chose something simple after the heavier breakfast with Ceylon tea.
Once his masters meal was ready he went to fetch his young Lord, knocking politely before telling him Lunch was ready.
That certainly was a problem for the young Phantomhive, even if he didn't voice it. Ciel had always been rather small, many of his clothes had been custom made simply to fit his petite form. He couldn't afford to lose another size nor did he wish to purchase another full wardrobe. Luckily he could leave all of that to Sebastian to figure out. The demon would do a sufficient job simply because he didn't want his meal to suffer from major health issues due to this. [+blue "Write up a daily meal and exercise schedule that I can adhere to,"] Ciel ordered, running his hand through his hair. He knew he would hate himself later for this but it needed to be done. He couldn't allow himself to fall apart in such a manner. [+blue "With any luck I'll gain back what I've lost in the next month. Just make sure it meshes with my work schedule."]
Once he had given the demon his orders, he made his way up to his study to begin some work. A soft frown touched his lips as he saw the stacks, he knew it would be quite a bit but he wasn't expecting a pile so high. He may have to work through lunch in order to finish it all before his review. Quietly he moved over to sit in front of the large window, warm sunlight streaming over the oak surface. Ciel looked over a few papers quickly before beginning his work, keeping bent over the papers until the butler served lunch.
"Very good sir." Sebastian said, clearing the dishes away. "I had Bardroy stack everything on your desk in the study. We will do a review of your lessons after lunch." The demon stared at his master a moment, his brow furrowing slightly in thought. He moved to a spot where he could see his master fully for a moment. Ciels appearance bothered him. The blue haired boy barely fit into his clothes. He had been forced to tie the bow slightly firmer to prevent it from looking terrible. He had tried to pick something that would hide how much weight he lost. It worked to a degree, but he still looked unhealthy. "Unfortunatly I must inform you that once you are more stable your physical activity will increase. You look like you even lost muscle durning the month." Sebastian stated, tilting his head. "If you don't build it up again you might find yourself whole size smaller than what you already have."
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