Soma nodded, seeming satisfied with the answer. Following it with a statement that Sebastian had known was coming. "Well, I have no doubt you will get better faster with your big brother caring for you!" He proclaimed loudly, maybe a little too loud. Agni, of course seemed to think it a great idea as Soma instantly ordered him to take Ciel back to bed. "Excersizing is all good, but too much strain could lessen your growth! You don't want to be short forever do you?" Soma questioned as Agni moved to pick Ciel up. Sebastian swiftly intervened.
"Please, pardon me, Master Soma. As I know where he is hurt, would it not be better for me to carry him back?" The Prince was already set on Ciel not being allowed to walk right now . Really, he had tried to make his masters injuries invisable. He couldn't really fault Ciel though. Kinks and knots hurt, and Sebastian knew it. He was just able to suffer thru it easily. Ciel was only human. Soma agreed, only to avoid conflict. The same reason the demon didn't argue about Ciel gping back to bed.
Ciel's gaze flickered over to Sebastian for the briefest moment before returning back to Soma. He knew his demon wouldn't be too happy to hear his exam was questioned and could just imagine the sour look he held at the time. It was almost enough to cause a faint smile to form. Luckily Ciel was able to suppress it as not to cause more questions to be sent his way. Quietly he took another drink of his tea before speaking again.
[+blue "I was examined thoroughly at the hospital,"] he lied quietly. There weren't many things Ciel felt he excelled at but lying was one of them. He had a way of manipulating words into his favor and causing others to believe almost anything he told them. It never worked on Sebastian, though Ciel did try it occasionally, but it usually worked on everyone else. [+blue "They assured myself and Sebastian that I was fine to leave and would recover fully with some rest." Ciel wasn't even sure if that was true as he had no recollection of seeing the doctor nor of what was said. Still, he had Sebastian to look after him and he knew his butler would take the best care of him possible. [+blue "It's just a couple strained muscles."]
Soma frowned a bit into his cup, "but what if you have a fracture or a slipped disk? Shouldn't there at least be a doctor nearby?" Soma argued. Though, to be honest, Ciels butler seemed to be able to do nearly anything. But even he couldn't substitute for a real doctor.... right?
Sebastian narrowed his eyes slightly as he placed the game back in its proper place . He replaced his irritated frown with a mask of indifference before he turned to face the small group again and returned to Ciels side. Agni caught eye by shifting a bit, offerng a small smile in silent apology for Somas questioning. The demon blinked once, and returned the smile to assure there was no offense.
Ciel picked up his teacup, taking a drink and resting back into the chair more once again. Soma seemed to have abandoned his cup during the game, most likely only able to focus on one thing at a time, while Ciel drank his periodically. He was happy to see it wasn't a blend he hated and was quite refreshing. He quietly watched as Sebastian picked up the game and put it away before his gaze landed on his guest once again.
Honestly, Ciel wasn't sure if he should be out of bed but it was a nice change. He didn't enjoy being stuck in one place for too long which made having illnesses and the like hell for him and everyone around him. He wasn't about to be the only one to suffer which meant Sebastian usually did with him. His back was aching quite a bit by this time but he refused to allow it to show on his face, unfortunately he couldn't completely hide it by how often he needed to shift.
[+blue "I'm fine, Soma,"] he responded quietly after taking another drink of tea. [+blue "I've been in bed for nearly three days, moving around a bit isn't a bad idea. I assure you I'll rest in a little bit. It's nothing to worry about and Sebastian is taking good care of me."]
Sebastian took that as his cue to move, replacing the forgotten tea with a fresh cup. Amusement glittering in his eyes as Soma ducked away. He then copied the action with Ciel, waiting a moment to make sure they were done with the game before moving to put it away.
Soma studied Ciel a moment, accepting the tea. "One day, I swear I will beat you." He said, still determined. "Though," Now he sent a half frightened, half bold glance toward his friends butlers, "it is wise for you to be up? I can tell your hurting."
Sebastian tilted his head a bit, but otherwise kept a bored expression. He was well aware the Prince thought he didn't handle Ciel well. However, if he took Somas advice, Ciel wpuld be very much coddled and babied.
Ciel's posture shifted every ten minutes or so, seemingly unable to find a position that didn't bother him. Sitting in the chair was much worse than the bed since he didn't have all of the pillows around him to help hold him up. With the chair, if he wasn't resting against the back, it was up to his own frame to keep him upright. When he wasn't taking his turn and observing Soma, he rested heavily against the back of the chair. He wasn't too concerned about upholding his noble image, firstly because it was Soma and the prince was more concerned about seeing his friend than worrying about his perfect posture and, secondly, the male already knew he was injured so there was no use trying to hide it.
The small earl didn't end the game as quickly as he could've, toying with the prince a bit to see if he could manage to pull himself out of the hole he had dug. After a handful of moves he could see Soma's confidence dropping nor was he able to fix his mistakes, Ciel choosing then to end the game swiftly. After three moves, Soma's king was in checkmate and more black pieces were scattered on the board than white. He made a good effort though, something Ciel couldn't overlook.
[+blue "Your queen is your second-most important piece,"] Ciel told him quietly, slouching back into his chair again. [+blue "Once you lose it, it may as well be over. Protect it better next time and you'll have a fighting chance."]
He glanced over at the two males standing patiently nearby before looking back at his guest. [+blue "Surely some tea will make you feel better."]
"Oh." The Prince had nothing intelligent to add, so he focused on trying tobeat Ciel. Sebastian hsd made sure that the bandage was completely covered so the Prince never even saw it to question just how injured Ciel was. Soma was not one to be shaken off easily. Even he had noticed Ciel trying not to slouch just that tiniest bit. The boy typically had such a perfect posture it wasn't too hard to spot the difference.
As the game continued, Soma was practically sulking and on the verge of giving up. He didn't though, and played to the end. He had noticed a couple mistakes he had made, and tried to fix them. Unfortunatly one of his 'fixes' ended up turning it into Ciels favor instantly. He had left his poor king too open for Ciel to be able to either toy with or corner. The other pieces seemed to just drop off the board as he made attempt after attempt to protect his king. Red and hazel eyes watched the board, one set amused the other pitying as Soma futily tried to salvage the game. Sebastian took his gaze off Soma, realizing his stare was unnerving the young man further. It was rather pitiful the way the indian Prince flinched whenever he drew near.
Sebastian loved serving that human only for that one reason. He had never struck him or anything, yet Soma still cowered despite the amount of time that had passed since that time.
Ciel didn't think that sharing bits of his cases with Soma was that big of a deal, mostly because they were already solved by that point nor did he believe the prince would actually do anything with that information. Ciel made it clear early on that he wouldn't accept interruptions of that sort. His cold tone and Sebastian's menacing stare surely made that message sink in. He knew Soma cared about him and considered them friends, the older teen really wanting to help and be a part of Ciel's life. He would never go into detail about the cult or the things around it but little details wouldn't hurt.
[+blue "Yes, we did,"] Ciel answered quietly, watching as Soma carefully moved a piece after looking over the board. The boy already caught sight of a few mistakes Soma could make, eager to see if he would catch them himself. Deciding to see if he had learned anything from their last match, Ciel moved his newly-escaped bishop closer to Soma's little army. [+blue "He's repenting for his mistakes, hopefully seeing things in a new light."] Ciel would never tell the prince that the two of them were torturing him, he didn't believe Soma would take to that too well. He didn't need to know how deep the darkness truly went.
"I see..." Soma studied the board. Every time he claimed he would be Ciel if failed. It was not out of lack of trying though. He made his move, figuring it too early to make too big a mistake. "Did... did you at least stop your target?" He clearly didn't like his friend doing such dangerous work. He had voiced his worry a couple times, but like everyone else who fussed, Ciel didn't seem to listen. No, that wasn't right. Ciel didn't seem to care. He thought it was sad, but never pressed the reason behind Ciels sour persona. He just hoped that someday Ciel would learn he was surrounded by people who truly care and loved him. Because any sort of affection seemed to be rewarded with a vold shoulder or angry words. It never disuaded him though, because how else is Ciel suppose to learn he isn't alone?
The two butlers entered at that point after a quiet knock on the door. Sebastian held his trademark smile, Agni looking friendly as usual. The indian butler stopped behind Soma while Sebastian poured the tea. Sebastian curiously studied the board as he did so. They hadn't gotten very far, though he suspected Ciel was already lureing his opponet into a trap.
Ciel listened as the prince began listing the names and properties of each piece, only needing corrected once. Good, it seemed he was retaining this information quite well. He didn't expect Soma to win or even come close to it but it was good to know he was remembering most of what was taught to him. His downfall was thinking ahead. Ciel never stopped thinking and planning ahead, often times having figured out a plan A with, B,C, and D behind it. He disliked not having alternatives figured out, especially when it came to solving cases, and preferred to be prepared. Thankfully Sebastian always thought this way and helped with the planning and execution of them.
He watched quietly as Soma moved his first pawn, taking note of what was around it. He had some powerful pieces that could now make an escape, Ciel would have to keep an eye on those. He looked back at his own army, thinking of a strategy and moving the first pawn that corresponded to it. In a few more moves, he would bring out his queen. [+blue "I was working on a case,"] he explained quietly, looking up at the prince afterwards. Soma already knew he went on dangerous missions though Ciel didn't give him many details. He didn't feel he needed to. [+blue "I found myself alone with the target and we got into a tussle; he was much larger than I and was wielding a knife. I was trying to escape him and I hit the wall, I was cut with the knife at some point. It was fairly deep and I was losing blood quickly. That was why Sebastian took me to the hospital, he wanted to be sure my body had enough blood to keep me sustained and that my back wasn't broken or injured beyond repair."]
Sebastian quickly emptied the trolly after he left Ciel, dropping the dishes off at the ktchen. He then left immediately to send the Prince up to his master. He emtered the parlour, giving the younger man a slight bow. "My Master is waiting in the Lounge." He said, "I will be bringing refreshments up momentarily." He held the door and stepped aside, allowing both males to pass.
"Agni, go help him. I can find the lounge." Soma intructed, Ciels main house was like a maze, but he had been in it enough times to know the way.
"Jo agna." Was the other butlers reply before following Sebastian willingly. The demon sighed, but didn't refute. It would have been rude to deny the man from following orders. Of course, what soon followed was idle chit chat. Starting with a "How have tou been, Mr. Sebastian?"
The demon turned his head to look back at his 'friend' . "I have been well." He answered. Adding a swift, "yourself?" To not seem rude. The two fell into a comfortable conversation, Agni doing most of the actual talking. While wating for the water to boil, Agni had taken to cleaning the dishes which left Sebastian to be able to make something to go with the tea. He had allowed Agni to pick, since Ciel wanted something for Somas taste and Angi knew the Prince best. The other butler had chose a ginger spiced tea. He offered it to Sebatian, who accepted it. Ciel didn't drink it often but it would help keep his mind sharp for his lessons later.
Soma entered the lounge, smiling happily at Ciel his self proclaimed little brother. He saw the board, excitedly sitting opposite Ciel. "I will beat you this time, Ciel!" He said, grinning. He rattled off each piece, only stumbling on the knight. He always seemed to forget the knight only went 3 spaces in an L, not 4. He could be dense, but he was smart. His downfall with this game seemed to be the fact he couldn't plan ahead of 'now' if his life depended on it. He made his move, asking Ciel a question as he did. "Why were you in the hospital?" He studied Ciel, genuine concern in his eyes.
Ciel kept his slow walk down the hallway, resisting the strong urge to stop and lean against the wall for a minute. The more he moved his hips and torso, the more his lower back hurt and cried for rest. He knew he shouldn't overdo it but still needed to work the muscles a bit in order to prevent them from weakening. He was already small, he didn't need some kind of muscular dystrophy as well. So he worked through the pain as best as he could, only accepting support a few feet away from the lounge. Once inside, he moved towards the large chair that could easily fit someone twice his size, and slowly sat down as Sebastian retrieved the game and brought it over. He watched quietly as the board was set on the table, each piece being placed in its proper position with black facing Ciel. It was his preferred color in chess despite white having the slight advantage of moving first. He didn't feel he needed it and he liked to adapt his own strategy depending on how his opponents began their game.
Ciel tried to get comfortable once Sebastian left to retrieve Soma, leaning back a bit and closing his eyes. He was grateful he wouldn't have to drink that tea ever again, remember the hell he endured the last time. He had tried to be a bit more hospitable, requesting Sebastian procure real Indian tea to treat his guests. It was incredibly strong smelling, but the taste was worse. The small earl surely thought his stomach was going to reject it, horrid cramps and a cold sweat occurring about an hour after ingesting it. He remembered feeling so ill that Sebastian had to escort them out while Ciel spent the rest of the afternoon in bed. Once he heard them arrive, he straightened his back a little to appear more regal before watching as Soma happily sat in front of him. The straight(ish) back didn't last long, Ciel having to slouch a bit due to discomfort.
[+blue "White goes first,"] he told the older male quietly. [+blue "Do you remember how the pieces move?"]
"As you wish." The demon stated, slowly walking with Ciel. He had the cart with him, rsther than leaving it to fetch later. He didn't want it left, in case Meyrin saw it during her rounds. Somehow she always ended up ontop of an out of control trolly if she got her hands on one. The tea set was one of Ciels favorites and he didn't want to have to order a new set. Again. Probably for the 10th time just this year alone. He didn't want to deal with that sort of anger from Ciel right now. He stayed close, just in case his master needed support. Just far enough away for him to not be too convinent to lean on though, as Ciel was suppose to be strengthing his muscles. Maybe he could try to work the knot out tonight. The bruising looked to have decreased quite a bit. He found it amusing his master felt the need to say what he shouldn't serve. After that particular tea had made his master sick. Well, the demon had thought the boy would be sick. Ciel had gone between discomfort and agony for a while before the tea stopped assulting the boys body. The demon had thrown the rest of the box away immiediatly, not wanting it to be accidently served to Ciel should someone elses butler decide to 'help.'
He never complained to Ciel about it, but he actually really hated it when another house's servant butted in to help. Agni was no exception. As much as the taller man intrigued him, and was actually good at his job, he would much rather not have the help.
Agni, of course, was not one to have his offer to help refused. It could be annoying.
He entered the lounge behind Ciel, the most obvious thing in the room being the billards table. He separated from Ciel, as the boy chose where he would like to play. The demon easily finding the chess board among the rest of the board games. Many other nobles laughed when they saw all the childish games only to be unnerved by either butler or master silently daring them to voice their thoughts. He returned, swiftly setting up the war based game. "I will send Soma up promptly." He said, bowing shortly before leaving. His behavior back to all business after his rather flirtatious attitude durimg breakfast. The demon knew he would have been perfactly safe trying to poke at Ciel at the moment. However, the boy would need to know the raven was capableof showing restraint. He knew that nobody, no matter how well meaning someone might be, could so much as suspect anything. He included the other servants in that as well. Their mouths sometimes didn't know how to stop.
Ciel remained relatively still as Sebastian dressed him both gently and quickly, though he had to shift and move a couple of times. This didn't seem to bother his butler, the taller male still able to cloth him in almost no time. Nervousness and slight anxiety were appearing with each passing second, especially with a guest like Soma who didn't seem to understand boundaries. It wasn't because he was embarrassed the Indian was going to walk in on him putting his pants on but because the brand was still exposed until his shirt was on and tucked in. It was a stain on Ciel's past and he had Sebastian swear he would keep it covered at all costs. Having it deemed him less than everyone else, making him a piece of property to whomever or whatever put it there. In all reality, he shouldn't even have his title with it. It was best to make others believe it never existed.
Heterochromic eyes flickered over as Sebastian presented a flat pair of shoes that still complimented his outfit, informing the boy that his typical pair would hurt his back more. He accepted this, allowing Sebastian to slip them on, before donning the eye patch and rings. This short amount of time on his feet had already caused the knot in his back to ache, a small hand reaching around to rub at it gently for a few moments. He'd rather deal with the stitches than this nonsense. At least his butler thought ahead and wasn't asking him to climb stairs. Once he was fully presentable, he looked back at his butler as the two began their slow walk to the lounge.
[+blue "Make sure we have a tea that matches our guests' tastes,"] he informed Sebastian quietly. [+blue "But not the Kadak tea, unless you make a different pot for myself. It hurts my stomach."]
The demon nodded, turning toward Ciels wardrobe. He studied the clothes there for a moment. Finally, he picked something more for Ciels comfort but it still showed Ciels place in society. While the boy had a more comfortable outfit, it was more something the poor might wear. Not something his master should be seen in by guests. Though, he doubted the Indian Prince would even notice or care what Ciel wore. He returned, laying the chosen outfit out on the bed. He dressed Ciel quickly, as the more time they took increased the chance of Soma returning to the room. He was not too worried after the brand was covered, as that was the biggest concern. His master didn't want anybody knowing about it.
It was one of a few things he didn't understand. His master could get panicky if someone got close to spotting it. "I must apologise, but I am afraid your heeled shoes might be too much strain on your back. Please, make do with these." He requested. Ciel, being so short for his age, typically wore heeled shoes to try to make up for his lack of growth. Though, heels seemed to becoming more and more of a womans trend. Sebastian remembered a time where the tall shoes were strictly for men in high society. Once Ciel was dressed, he stood. He pushed the cart further aside so Ciel could stand. "The board will be waiting for you. I will tell Soma where to go in a little bit. I doubt you want him to see how much your hurting." The Prince would, undoubtedly, drag Ciel back to bed if he did.
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