That Butler, New Face

That Butler, Most Evil

"Phantomhive's bouncer is on his way!" Vanel shouted furiously. "Hold the gates. Don't let a single mouse in!" The men scrambled to get their weapons ready. "This is an emergency! Don't stand around twiddling your thumbs! Stop him no matter what!"

Sebastian calmly approached the Mafioso's H.Q.

"Don't let that bastard set one foot in here!" A few men yelled zealously as they ran outside to secure the perimeter. They didn't even notice Sebastian was already walking up the stairs as they ran past him.

"Quickly!" Henchman A yelled.

"Pick up the pace!" Henchman B shouted.

"I Say! What a splendid manor!" Sebastian said, deciding to stop and mess with them since he felt that getting in had been far too easy.

"Wha…!?" They yelled as all fifteen henchmen turned to see Sebastian standing there in their midst ever so innocently.

"Who the fuck are you!?" Henchman B demanded.

"—The hell'd you get in 'ere!?" Henchman A yelled.

"Hmm… You seem to be rather busy." Sebastian said innocently. "Might you be expecting someone—"

"What business doe a butler have here!? Which family are you from!?" Henchman B demanded as they circled Sebastian and pointed their guns at him.

"Me?'" Sebastian asked in feigned surprise. "Aah, forgive me for not introducing myself. I… work for the Phantomhive family." Sebastian said, smirking sinisterly.


{The Phantomhive Manor Downstairs: The Kitchen}

"Haah… Wherever did Mister Sebastian get to?" Mei-Rin wondered out loud.

"Yeeeah…" Finni sighed.

"He said he had an errand to run." Chêne said, acting bored so that the others wouldn't worry.

"I don't care where he is or what he's doin'… but… there is one problem!" Bard said seriously.

'Could he have figured it out…?' Chêne wondered.

"This pie!" Bard said grandly, motioning to the pie Sebastian had passed to him that was now sitting innocently on the kitchen counter. Chêne sweat dropped.

'Yeah… that figures.' Chêne thought chagrined.

"Since he said 'take care of it,' does that mean we can eat it! Or can we not!? Which one is it!?" Bard shouted.

"But since he went off and left us with it, maybe it's okay to have a bite?" Finni said dreamily as he drooled at the thought of eating the delicious pie. "Smells yummy."

"I don't see why not." Chêne said. "It's just going to go to waste if we don't."

"You idiots!" Bard yelled. Chêne's brow twitched in irritation at the insult. "You've never had to suffer it before Chêne, but making the wrong choice… means ending up with a special triple-decker ice cream scoop on your head!" Chêne sweat dropped.

'He punishes you by giving you three lumps on the head so often, that you've named it?' Chêne thought wryly.

"Think! What'll he do!? It's as plain as black or white!" Bard said dramatically.


Sebastian paused to check the time on his silver pocket watch as the bloody and beaten henchmen groaned in pain from where they lay on the ground after Sebastian had finished with them.

"Do forgive me… but as I am rather pressed for time—" Sebastian said as he snapped his pocket watch closed. Sebastian entered the H.Q. 'Half past five… I am cutting it quite close.' Sebastian thought as he opened the door to the next room to find himself face with a whole room full of gunmen.

"He's here! Fiiiiiiire!" Another henchman called as they all opened fire on the demon butler. Sebastian easily dodged.

'Hmm… Chêne was right. It appears these humans are using guns that automatically load the next round, allowing them to fire multiple bullets rapidly. My, how humans have improved these weapons since the last time I saw them. Sebastian grabbed the round serving tray he had brought with him and threw it through the air, like a discus. It whizzed threw the air in a graceful arc, slicing fingers and weapons—rendering many of his attackers unconscious or unable to fight.

"Son of a bitch!" Another henchman yelled as he led another attack group against Sebastian, holding axes and lead pipes. Sebastian grabbed a nearby coat rack, and twirled it around, using it to beat down all who opposed him. Sebastian set the coat rack back down and flipped open his pocket watch. He reached up and caught the serving tray as it flew back into his hand.

"5:34pm." Sebastian said, reading the time on his watch.


"So… I'm thinking of making gumbo or jambalaya tonight, since it doesn't look like Sebastian's going to be back in time to cook supper." Chêne said. "What do you think, Finni?" A vein mark popped on Bard's forehead.

'Don't these guys know I'm tryin' to concentrate here?' Bard thought, irritated.

"Hmm… I don't know. They're both so yummy… let's flip a coin!" Finni suggested. Another vein mark popped on Bard's head.

'Apparently not…' Bard thought. Mister Tanaka took a sip of his tea and did his Santa laugh. "Geeeeez! You're being too noisy! Can't you talk with your inside voices!?" Bard yelled.

"Bard, you ought not to get cranky. You mustn't be getting enough calcium. Here, drink." Mei-Rin said as she slammed a bottle of milk down on the counter in front of Bard.

"Keh! Forget that… Seriously, where the heck did that guy go!?" Bard asked, still fuming over the whole pie scenario. If only he could ask Sebastian…

"Don't underestimate milk!" Mei-Rin scolded him.

"Yeah, listen to Mei-Rin, Bard." Chêne said, smiling cheekily at him. "If you drink lots of milk, your bones will grow strong!"



"GYAAAAAAAH!" a man screamed as Sebastian twisted his arm and broke it. Sebastian dropped the man and he passed out from the pain. Sebastian walked up to the large pair of doors leading to the next room and opened them, revealing a grand dining hall. The table had been set and everything.

"There he is! Kill him!" Someone shouted. Sebastian looked up to see men armed with guns lining the balcony overhead. They opened fire on him. Sebastian held the serving tray in front of him, using it as a shield as he jumped onto the dinning table.

"Tch! He's hopping around like a jackrabbit!" a man shouted in irritation as they kept trying to shoot Sebastian. Sebastian grabbed the plates on the table and hurled them at his attackers, taking out most of the men on the balcony when the plates smashed into their heads. A man suddenly came up behind Sebastian and lunged at him with an axe. Sebastian kicked the man, and he fell backwards, off the table.

"Get all the guys in the west wing! We'll turn him into Swiss cheese!" Another man yelled as he reloaded his gun and began shooting at Sebastian again. Sebastian sighed and looked at the man the same way a parent would at a child who just couldn't learn from their mistakes. This was turning into such a bore.

"Just one mouse after another… I am not making the least bit of progress… This will never do." Sebastian said as he flipped open his pocket watch. "5:38pm."


"—All Right! I've made up my mind! I can't take it anymore! It's all Sebastian's fault. He shoulda been clear! I'm eating this!" Bard declared dramatically. A vein popped on his forehead and his eyes gleamed in a conniving way. "We were forced to wait, so we'll drink expensive tea as interest! Mei-Rin, tea! Finni, get the silver!"

"Yes, Sirree~!" Finni and Mei-Rin said as they and Tanaka saluted him. Chêne sweat dropped.

'First of all, you're the reason we had to wait. Second… if you're so afraid of getting a 'triple-decker ice cream scoop' on your head, why are you doing something you know will definitely piss Sebastian off… like drinking the expensive tea?' Chêne thought. She had already given up waiting for Bard to make up his mind and was currently cooking supper. The others were at least staying out of her way, since they were all still in the kitchen. She had decided on jambalaya since she was feeling too lazy to go to the market and buy the seafood she would need for the gumbo. Chêne had also taken the liberty of sending a note to Lord Randall. She had realized that even if Sebastian did manage to get back in time, Ciel probably wouldn't want to deal with anyone after going through such an ordeal, so the note explained to Lord Randall that urgent business had come up, and Ciel sent his deepest apologies for not being able to keep their appointment and that he would be happy to reschedule at a time that was more convenient. Of course, she had worded it after Ciel's own fashion and forged his handwriting since Lord Randall would suspect something if he received a note from the maid. Chêne figured Ciel wouldn't want anyone to know someone had caught him by surprise, or that he was currently playing damsel in distress.

"Let's see… the silverware should be… huh?" Finni said when he opened the drawer that should have contained the silverware.

"Is something wrong?" Mei-Rin asked.

"How odd. It should be in here, but… The silver's all gone. There's nothing left in here but spoons." Finni said, feeling puzzled. Chêne sweat dropped again.

'I guess I should have made gumbo after all.' Chêne thought. '… But I think I know where the silverware went…'


Sebastian flung his both his hands to side and the silver knives and forks slide out from his sleeves and into his hands. The demon butler held the silverware in between his fingers, like a ninja holding kunai. There was an air of deadly calm around the butler as he threw the silverware at his intended victims with deadly accuracy.

"What the hell!?" A man cried right before knife embedded itself in his forehead. Sebastian smirked sinisterly as he continued his attack while dodging a hailstorm of bullets.

"Gyaaah!" Another one of his victims cried.

"Who the hell is this bastard!?" Another man yelled as he continued to fire. Sebastian leaped into the air and flipped in mid-air, stunning the humans below him.

"I am the butler of the Phantomhive family. It goes without saying that such minor feats are within my repertoire." Sebastian said as he took out the last men still standing. The chandelier creaked when Sebastian landed on it. He was now hanging from the chandelier like a bat, the tails on his coat fell down, framing him. Their silhouette looked like bat wings. "Heavens. That was unexpectedly time-consuming." Sebastian said and jumped down from the chandelier, flipping open his pocket watch once more. "5:43pm."


* Tick-tock… tick-tock… tick-tock … *

The only sound Vanel could hear now was the 'tick-tock' of the clock in the room.

'It's… gone all quiet…?' Vanel thought. It was unlike his men to be so silent after a victory.

* Tick-tock… tick-tock… tick-tock… *

* Click * Clack *

'!!' Vanel thought, starting when he heard the ticking of the clock being replaced with the sound of footsteps. They were coming closer. Vanel aimed his gun at the door.

* Click * Clack *

Vanel's hand was shaking now.

* Click * Clack *

The door creaked open.

"Pardon my intrusion." Sebastian said, as he stepped out of the darkness of the hallway and into the room.

"…!?" Vanel said in surprise.

"I have come to retrieve my master." Sebastian said, bowing gracefully.

'A butler!?' Vanel thought, shocked.

"Ha… Ha. I am amazed. To think you took all those men out yourself. Well I'll be damned! I was wondering what sort of big man you were, but you are nothing more than a Romeo swanning around in a swallowtail coat." Vanel said. "Who are you? An assassin hired by Phantomhive? Or maybe an ex-special forces mercenary? You are not just a butler, yes?"

"Oh, but I am. Just a butler, that is." Sebastian said.

"Ha! Is that so…? In any case, I have on intention of fighting with you, Signore Butler. I surrender." Vanel said nervously, lowering his gun. "However—" Vanel said as he suddenly grabbed Ciel by the hair and held the gun to the young earl's head. "I would have you leave the goods behind." Sebastian saw that Ciel had been beaten and restrained with shackles and leather belts to immobilize him. Ciel was barely conscious.

'Is this the usual treatment for an abducted child?' Sebastian wondered, remembering the pained expression on Chêne's face when she mentioned her own kidnapping. He stared emotionlessly at the man.

"You do not want a hole in your adorable young master's head, now do you? If you are a butler as you say, you should know what the situation calls for, yes?" Vanel sneered as he pressed the gun harder against Ciel's temple.

"I have what you desire…" Sebastian replied coolly as he began removing the 'game' from where it had been tucked inside his coat. A bullet pierced Sebastian's head. The demon butler's eyes widened. Ciel's own eyes widened in shock.

"Se—" Ciel said, stunned as the loud bangs of firing guns was heard and Sebastian's body was caught in a spray of bullets, piercing his body all over. A stray bullet hit the 'game' box and the drugs spilled from the container. Sebastian's bloody and limp body hit they flood. Ciel looked to where the bullet had come from. It turned out a group of gunmen had been hiding in a secret passage behind one of the paintings in the room. Ciel scowled.

"D—id we get him…?" Vanel asked hesitantly, as though he couldn't believe how easy it had been. "… Ha ha ha! Sorry, Romeo… but this game is mine!" Vanel said. He held Ciel's head up by his hair. "And after he went to the trouble of coming to get you… how sad for you… little Phantomhive. "You see, up against the 'Queen's watchdog,' I had to have a joker in hand. And once I kill you, all will be perfetto. You were in our way from the very beginning, watching us like the police! Eeh? I'll get rid of you… and conquer Inghilterra our way!" Vanel shouted.

'He has gotten awfully confident, just because he killed one butler…' Ciel thought, irritated.

"… But I must say… you are too pretty to dismember, little Phantomhive. I bruised you up a bit, but I should still be able to sell you in one piece." Vanel said as he eased the barrel of his sun under Ciel's eye-patch and tugged it off of Ciel's face. "Now, now. Don't you be frightened. I will drug you so you do not feel a thing by the time a pervert comes to take you away—"

"Hey." Ciel said, interrupting Vanel's horrid little speech. "Play time is over." Vanel flinched at the glare Ciel was giving him.

"…!?" Vanel said in confusion.

"I can't imagine the floor makes for comfortable slumber. Just how long are you going to feign sleep?" Ciel said, glancing at Sebastian's bloody body. Sebastian's hand twitched.

"I—It can't be!!" Vanel gasped in shock.

"… My goodness. The firearms of today have certainly improved greatly in terms of power, have they not?" Sebastian said casually as he rose up from the floor and onto his feet, like something straight out of an 'Exorcist' movie. "Those from a hundred years ago do not even compare." Sebastian covered his mouth and coughed into his hand.

"What are you waiting for!? Kill hiiiiiim!!" Vanel screamed, scared out of his mind.

"Allow me to return these." Sebastian said, smirking as he opened his hand to reveal the bloody bullets he had coughed up. Sebastian threw them at his attackers. The bullets whizzed through the air, killing their intended targets. Vanel's henchmen fell down dead.

"…! ...!" Vanel said, too shocked to do anything other than stare.

"Alas. What a pity." Sebastian said as he held up one of his bullet hole riddled coattails. " My clothes are full of holes."

"That's because you were playing around, you fool." Ciel said, scowling at Sebastian.

"I was simply following Young Master's order to the letter. Your order to act as a butler… that is. I've told you before, have I not? You should be more specific in your orders, Young Master." Sebastian said. "Besides… that really is such a good look for you." Vanel flinched when Sebastian took a step forward. "You look jut like a caterpillar… it is so hideous and wonderful all at once. It befits one as small and weak as yourself."

"Get back!" Vanel screamed as Sebastian continued to approach them.

"I thought it would be lovely to take in that view a little longer… Though I suppose Chêne will be quite upset when she finds out you have been treated in such a manner. She will likely scold me for it, since she asked me to bring you back unharmed." Sebastian said patronizingly as he stared at Ciel.

"Stop!" Vanel yelled.

"… Who do you think you are talking to?" Ciel said, glaring at Sebastian.

"STOOOP!" Vanel screamed at Sebastian. Sebastian immediately froze, realized the Mafioso was probably panicked enough by now to actually pull the trigger if he came any closer. "I… I-I-I'm telling you to stop! Get any closer and I will kill him!" Vanel shouted. Sebastian brought his hand up, holding his chin as though he was thinking.

"Then… what shall I do?" Sebastian said calmly.

"Hurry it up. My arm hurts." Ciel said carelessly.

"Shut up! Be Quiet!" Vanel yelled. Sebastian chuckled in amusement and tried to fake a concerned expression, but he only ended up smirking wryly.

"But, Young Master… you will be killed if I move closer." Sebastian said mockingly.

"Are you… going to defy our 'covenant'?" Ciel asked angrily.

"I shall do no such thing. Since that day, I have always been Young Master's faithful servant. I shall do whatever Young Master wishes… in exchange for the sacrifice… and the pleasure that has been offered." Sebastian said, referring to that day Ciel summoned him and Sebastian slaughtered the entire cult in front of Ciel and Chêne. "Now…"

"What the hell are you talking about… you spooks!?" Vanel yelled.

"…Young Master. I do believe I taught you how to beg?" Sebastian said, smirking and holding a finger up besides his mouth and tilting his head slightly to side coyly.

"I command you. Rescue me!" Ciel demanded.

"I told you to shuuuuuut uuuuup!" Vanel screamed, pulling the trigger.

* BANG! *

Vanel stared in shock at Ciel. The boy was completely unharmed from the bullet he had just fired, no bullet hole or anything… but his gun was smoking, so Vanel knew he had really just fired his gun.

"Wh… Why… is… he… alive…" Vanel stuttered in horror. What were these people?

"Are you looking for something?" Sebastian said. Vanel froze when he realized the butler was now standing behind him and leaning over his shoulder, holding the bullet that should have hit Ciel. "Permit me… to return this to you." Sebastian said as he dropped the bullet into the front pocket of Vanel's jacket. "I shall be taking my master back. If you would please remove that filthy arm from his person?" Sebastian said as he made a circular motion with his finger.

"GYAAAAAAAAH!?" Vanel screamed in pain as his arm suddenly twisted and broke itself. "Ah…Aaah…" Vanel gasped in agony.

"This game wasn't all that interesting either." Ciel said, staring down at Vanel as Sebastian picked him up. Sebastian walked to the other side of the room and placed Ciel in an armchair before beginning the task of removing his restraints.

"W-Wait! You…! You are just a butler, right!" Vanel stammered. "I…! I can't die here like this! I will pay you five—No, ten—times your current wages to be my bodyguard! You can have all the booze and girls you want… So…! Come to my side!" Sebastian paused when he remembered something Chêne had said once when he had tried to persuade her into doing a chore he knew she wouldn't particularly care for, and she was back-sassing him: 'Come to the dark side, we have cookies!' she had said, rolling her eyes. At the time, he had thought what she said to be utter nonsense, but now it made a little more sense… though it was still nonsense. He ripped one of the leather straps wrapped around Ciel with his bare hands, not even bothering with the buckle.

"… My apologies, Mister Vanel…" Sebastian said, though he didn't sound the least bit apologetic. "… But I have no interest in man-made rubbish, coin or otherwise. For, you see… I am a devil of a butler." Sebastian said, his crimson eyes glowed demonically as he gave Vanel a devilish smirk. Vanel was gone. He had mentally cracked, drool dribbling down the corner of his mouth as he stared wide-eyed at the approaching demon butler. "So long as the Young Master possesses the 'Mark of the Covenant'… I am his faithful dog." Sebastian said as he bit the finger of his glove, using his teeth to hold it as Sebastian removed the glove from his hand. "A 'sacrifice'… a 'wish'… and a 'covenant' bind me to my master." Sebastian said, holding up his hand, revealing the mark of the covenant between Ciel and himself. "Until I claim his soul." The room began to darken, and dense shadows that seemed to dance, as though they were alive, surrounded Sebastian's figure as he stalked toward the cowering Mafioso.

"Too bad for you… This is game over." Ciel said.


{Outside The Phantomhive Manor}

"What the hell! Whose bright idea was it to make chopsticks outta the trees in the garden 'cos we ain't got any silver!?" Bard roared as a vein popped on his head. Carving twigs into chopsticks with a box-knife was not as easy as it sounded.

"Mister Bard's" Finni and Mei-Rin answered. Finni's stomach growled from hunger, and Mei-Rin sighed. Mister Tanaka was playing with the whirly-bird toy he had carved from a stick.

"Mister Sebastian is really late getting back…" Mei-Rin said, sighing.

"He iiiiiiis, right? Chêne will be done cooking soon." Finni said. He saw something out the corner of his eye. "Ah! Mister Sebastian, welcome home!" Finni said happily when he saw the butler approaching them, carrying Ciel. The back door slammed open, and Chêne appeared.

"Did I hear someone say they're back!?" Chêne asked excitedly. She had been coming from the kitchen to let them know dinner was ready when she heard Finni's last sentence. Sebastian was wearing his usual shit-eating grin, and Ciel looked like he was sulking about being carried.

"I have returned." Sebastian said calmly. Everyone stared at them in silence for moment before bombarding them with questions.

"Mister Sebastian, what happened to your clothes!?" Mei-Rin yelled.

"Sebastian, your message was too hard to understand!" Bard shouted angrily.

"Young Master, you're hurt! Hey, wait the Young master was out too?" Finni yelled.

"We have to treat those wounds! Mister Tanaka, please go get the first-aid kit!" Chêne said. Tanaka saluted her and ran off to get the first-aid kit. "Are you all right Ciel?"

"I just tripped outside…" Ciel lied. Chêne gave Ciel a look that let him know she wasn't buying it and wanted the whole explanation later. Ciel sweat dropped.

"My message?" Sebastian asked Bard.

"The pie! The pie!" Bard shouted. Ciel noticed Finni and Mei-Rin were staring at him, and he could practically see sparkles floating in the air around them.

"What is it?" Ciel asked, not sure if he really wanted to know.

"That's… like 'up, up and away'! Looks fun!" Finni said. Chêne suppressed a laugh at the image of Sebastian holding Ciel above his head, like when you usually played it with a baby.

"Being carried around like a princess…oooh, how nice…" Mei-Rin said, blushing.

"Yeah, normally you have to wait to be a bride to be carried like that!" Chêne teased Ciel without thinking about how that comment could possibly backfire on her.

"Oh, would you like to be my next 'bride'?" Sebastian said coyly, smirking devilishly at her and carefully putting Ciel down on his own too feet. The boy was blushing, mortified at being likened to a princess… and of all things a bride. Chêne blushed beet red, only just now realizing how she had sounded.

"Shut u—" Chêne yelled at Sebastian, embarrassed, as Ciel yelled,

"There's nothing fun about it what so ever!" and gave poor Finni and Chêne a knock on the noggin.

"The triple-decker ice cream scoop… owie…" Finni said sadly.

"That does kind of hurt…" Chêne said. Her head was so hard, she only ended up with a single scoop.

"Hey, listen to me! I thought so hard, I couldn't do anything!" Bard yelled at Sebastian.

"So you have yet to do anything…?" Sebastian asked, a vein mark popping on his head. He gave bard a triple-decker ice cream scoop and then some.

"Young Master, forgive me." Sebastian said as he bowed and knelt. Ciel was slightly surprised, and the other servants were puzzled over his behavior. "As butler to the Phantomhive family, this is an unpardonable disgrace… I do not know how I should atone for this… I have been unable to prepare dinner this evening." Sebastian said. Chêne nearly face-faulted.

"Seriously? That's what has you so upset?" Chêne said in disbelief. "I don't know what Bard told you, but I already took care of dinner. It's in the kitchen waiting to be served. I made jambalaya tonight. Don't worry about Lord Randall, I already canceled the appointment Ciel made with him for dinner tonight." She turned to Ciel. "I know I shouldn't have done it without checking with you first, but I thought you would probably be too tired after… tripping… to entertain a guest." Ciel nodded.

"You assumed rightly." Ciel said. "Let's eat. I am feeling rather peckish." Tanaka returned with the first aid kit.

"After we treat your wounds." Chêne said. Ciel tried to scowl at her, but it looked like more of a pout.


{A Few Days Later…}

"Let's see, let's see!" Bard said as he read the newspaper. "Ferro Company, an Italian trading firm. Someone attacked them, and there were loads of casualties…?" Bard read out loud.

"Did something happen in London?" Mei-Rin asked as she brought the laundry in from where it had been drying outside on the clothesline. Chêne helped Mei-Rin start folding the sheets.

"Sure sounds like it." Chêne said. "What does the paper say, Bard?"

"The survivors could only say things like, 'monster,' or 'devil,' so they all got sent to the hospital." Bard said as he scanned the article.

"Eeep! That's scaaary! What could it have beeeen!?" Finni cried, blue with shock. Chêne sweat dropped.

'I guess it's a good thing they didn't find out…' Chêne thought. Ciel had told her the whole story… once she pried it out of him.

"There were rumors that Ferro was doing terrible things to make money. So his victims' grudges became vengeful spirits~~!" Bard said in a creepy voice.

"Eeek!" Finni and Mei-Rin squealed in fright. Chêne shivered. She knew it was a joke, but she wasn't good with stuff like ghosts… which was strange, considering she was just fine living under the same roof as a devil… ghosts and spiders where her Achilles' heel.


"Kyaaah!" Chêne cried in surprise, not caring how girly she sounded.

"It's a ghost!" Finni cried.

"The sound of ghostly rapping!" Mei-Rin cried. The three of them threw themselves at Bard, tackling the chef out of his chair, as though he could protect them from the ghost.

"… What are you all doing?" Sebastian asked, clearly appalled at their behavior. Chêne noticed that his hands were together, like they usually are when a person finishes clapping.

'It was Sebastian clapping to get our attention… duh.' Chêne realized, feeling like an idiot.

"Ah… Mister Sebastian…" Finni and Mei-Rin said in relief when they saw the reliable butler. Sebastian picked up the newspaper, confiscating it.

"If you… have the time to fool around, hurry up and get back to work!" Sebastian said sternly. The other servants ran like the wind. You could practically see horns popping out of Sebastian's head as he scolded them. Chêne tried to make a run for it too, but he snatched her by the back of her collar. The others kept running, leaving her alone with the demon. Chêne sweat dropped.

'Traitors…' She thought, chagrined.

"Really…!" Sebastian sighed, exasperated. He could here the three stooges crying about how he scolded them.

"We really were working, honest! See, Mei-Rin and I finished the laundry already!" Chêne said, pointing to the abandoned basket of folded bed sheets.

"Good for you." Sebastian deadpanned. "Why were you and the others lying on top of Bard when I came in?" Chêne sighed and blushed, embarrassed at how she had over reacted at the mere thought of a fake ghost.

"Bard was saying something about ghosts because of that article." Chêne said, pointing at the newspaper in Sebastian's hand. "… You what a chicken I am whenever it comes to ghosts…" Chêne mumbled, embarrassed. Sebastian opened the newspaper and began scanning the article.

"I still do not understand how you can be so frightened of ghosts…" Sebastian said. '… When she is so unafraid of me, despite knowing what I am.' Sebastian finished in his thoughts.

"I've already told you a hundred times, because ghosts are real!" Chêne said. "I saw one, for real at the myrtle plantation back home, in Louisiana. It was a little girl, and no one could explain how I could be playing with a little girl all in white, when I was the only girl around that age that was there in a tour group that day… I had thought it was kind of strange for her to be so dressed up…" Sebastian gave her a blank stare.

'…If it was friendly, why are you scared of them? I almost killed you when we first met, but you're fine with me…' Sebastian sighed. Human women were hard to understand… but Chêne… "I just don't understand you." Sebastian told her frankly.

"You're a guy, Sebastian. You're not supposed to understand the inner workings of the female mind. As Oscar Wilde and my dad put it, 'women are meant to be loved, not understood.' My dad said he gave up a long time ago because he didn't want his brain to implode."

'You have my deepest sympathies, Mister LeBeau…' Sebastian thought. He couldn't even imagine how difficult it must have been to raise such a strange child. Sebastian turned back to the newspaper and his eyes landed on the article Chêne had wanted him to see. "Well, well…" He said, smirking. Chêne really was such a scaredy-cat… she knew full well there was no ghost involved in the Ferro Company incident, and yet she still cried out in fright earlier.

* Ring~! Ring~! *

The bell for the Study was ringing. Sebastian refolded the paper and handed it to Chêne.

"Oh dear. What could the Young Master want now?" Sebastian wondered out loud.

"I'll bet his sweet tooth is bothering him again." Chêne said. Sebastian opened the door and paused, turning slightly to look back at her.

"Chêne, about that incident…" Sebastian said. He held a finger to his lips. "Shh…" Sebastian said, smirking mischievously at her before leaving.

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