Making Amends, Attempting to, Anyway
The trio found themselves back on the grounds of the Phantomhive Estate, and Sebastian suddenly realized that all of his wounds dealt by Andrew Hawkins had been healed and instantly knew that it could have only been Anna through the use of her immense power in the short while her powers restored themselves.
"Welcome back, Anna," Ciel told the maid.
She nodded at him as her glowing gold eyes returned to their azure blue. "It's good to be back, Ciel," she told him. "I'm very proud of you for realizing when to use Artemis. That was a close call there." She hugged the young earl close to her, feeling him embrace her back for a moment before pulling away.
"Annabelle…" Sebastian's voice was quiet and soft, and she looked at the butler emotionlessly, a mask of indifferent coldness on her face. In the demon's eyes were the deep feeling of remorse and love; an emotion Anna could not find in her heart right now.
"I'm surprised at you, Sebastian," she said quietly, keeping her voice devoid of emotion, "you cried for the angel you condemned to death, which was the final key to bringing me back to tying my soul back to my body." She turned to Ciel. "That was why I said that perhaps it would be very hard to bring me back is because it is Sebastian: a demon. The final 'ingredient' to tying a soul back to its respective dead body is the tear of a lover or someone that cares deeply for the deceased person."
The demon took a step towards her. "Anna, I-"
"Stop, Sebastian," she cut off, taking a step back as she maintained their distance. "I don't want to hear your excuses. I know everything." She sighed heavily, her gaze softening at him. "I'm not going to be so forgiving just yet, Sebastian. But… I do thank you for shedding a tear for me. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be standing here. So… thank you."
Suddenly the demon's arms were around her, holding her tight. In response, Anna held herself stiffly, refusing to hold the demon back. Trying again, Sebastian kissed her as gently but as fiercely as he could, but still, Anna responded with only stiff indifference. Staring into her eyes, he found a dark chill within them that he had never seen before she had been killed.
Is this the result of what my actions? He thought. Have I sealed off Anna's heart forever?
"Well, Ciel," she began simply, turning to the young earl, "shall we go inside? I'll make you some tea."
Ciel glanced briefly at Sebastian, noticing his stiffness before gesturing a nod to her, and the two returned inside. The butler stared after them.
"Somehow, just somehow I've got to regain Anna's favour," he murmured out loud. "But just… how?"
Life in the Phantomhive Manor returned to normal, with the exception that Anna was very cold to Sebastian… and it was so obvious, that even the three idiot servants noticed it.
"Hey, Sebastian, did something happen between you and Anna?" Baldroy asked.
He nodded. As much as I hate to ask them… he thought, perhaps my only option left is to ask these three morons for advice. That or else the Young Master, but he'd probably never let me live it down.
"Is there anything we can do to help?" Maylene offered.
The butler nodded. "Tell me, how does one regain a lady's favour?" he requested.
"Ooh, chocolates, for one," Finny said. "Flowers are another."
"Romanticize her," Bard suggested. "Say things that will make her feel good."
Sebastian mentally faltered. Will such ludicrous ideas even work? He thought. Those ideas sound absolutely absurd! They'll never work! Then again, I really have nothing to lose. She's already furious with me as it is. As embarrassing as it will be, I will do what I need to in order to regain Anna's favour. And being the demon butler I am, I should be one hell of a charmer.
Attempt number one: flowers.
Anna was doing some dusting around the library while neatly organizing Ciel's books around the place, absentmindedly humming a simple tune as she worked. There wasn't much that she was thinking about, only wondering what would happen after she had granted Ciel's wish.
Where will my journey take me next? She wondered. What's going to happen between me and Sebastian if I am forced to leave? Suddenly she remembered the Contract she had made between her and Sebastian. When Ciel's Contract is complete, my soul will be taken by Sebastian instead of his. I just hope I am able to grant Ciel's heartfelt wish before that happens.
The angel maid turned around to see Sebastian holding out a beautifully arranged bouquet of flowers in front of him, offering them to her.
"These are for you," he told her. "I thought I'd pick all of your favourite flowers."
She blinked in surprise before taking them from him. "Thank you," she said softly, inhaling their fragrant aroma for a moment before pushing them back towards the demon. "Put these in a vase and set them in Ciel's study." Her voice was cold as she walked past him out of the library.
Sebastian sighed. That idiotic trio, he thought in annoyance, the flowers dying in his evil radiance. There's no way something simple like that would be able to impress her so easily. Time for a new approach.
Attempt number two: impressive chocolates.
"Finely chop the best dark and milk couverture and mix," Sebastian muttered as he cooked. "Melt over a bowl of 60 degrees water. After boiling and then cooling slightly, add some fresh cream. Cool while stirring, and add some cointreau when the mixture is at body temperature… Then pour into the mould."
After he had finished making the chocolates and modelling a huge, life-size chocolate statue of Anna in her full angelic glory, he exhaled deeply in satisfaction. The other chocolates were moulded and made to perfection, and he smiled at his finished work. Now all that was needed left was the await Anna to arrive.
"Sebastian," Anna sighed in annoyance as she stopped at the doorway, "what is it you called me here for? I've got other work to do, you know."
Immediately the butler was in front of her, taking her hand in his as he was on one knee down in front of her.
"These chocolates are for you," he told her. "I've made these and specially crafted all these sweets just for you."
She blinked, looking at the chocolate sweets on the tables in the large hall. "Thank you, Sebastian," she thanked. "It saves me the trouble of asking you to make some. Ciel's invited the children from the Ornwell Orphanage to come over to the manor tomorrow. It's one of those 'charity acts' that nobles do. These would be perfect for them, great job."
Coldly, she pulled her hand from his and turned and left, leaving Sebastian alone once more. He sighed heavily.
Anna… he thought sadly. First flowers don't work, now chocolates aren't the solution either. Just what do I need to do in order to get through to your heart?
Attempt number three: flattery leading to seduction.
Sebastian kept bothering Anna through the Blood Contract and eventually drove her to her bedroom. Upon arrival, she found Sebastian standing there awaiting her, the room dark and illuminated by romantic candlelight.
"Welcome, my beloved Annabelle," Sebastian greeted warmly.
She sighed, apparently unsurprised at his third attempt to win back her favour. "Sebastian," she said, "what is the meaning of this?"
Very gently, Sebastian went over to kiss her softly. "You are the greatest and most beautiful angel I've ever met," he whispered, his voice sounding like velvet underlying a seductive tone.
"Sebastian, stop," she breathed, hesitating slightly as she tried to push him away. "I-I can't…"
His lips brushed along her neck, licking her soft skin before nibbling on her ear, sending waves of pleasure ripple through her.
"I want you, Anna," he exhaled, his breath warm in her ear. His demonic powers were layered into his voice, setting Anna under a sort-of spell that would help cause her to give in to her desires. "I want to devour you… your body, your soul…"
As quickly as it came, the desire within Anna left as she pulled away from his arms, disrupting the mood.
"Well, Sebastian," she sighed, stretching out her arms, "as much fun you appear to be having, I need to go and do my job. Goodbye."
Without another word, Anna left the room and left Sebastian dumbfounded and speechless. Had absolutely none of his seduction methods worked?
Let's see… he thought calculatingly, I used the sweet tone, the romantic atmosphere, the flattery lines, and the little arousers of the pleasure spots…. Did I miss something?
In his frustration, Sebastian sighed heavily before all of the candles in the room blew out, leaving the butler to wallow in darkness as he contemplated his next strategy to regain Annabelle's favour.
Ciel sat at the table, reading through the morning's newspaper before Anna rolled in breakfast on a cart.
"Good morning, Ciel," she greeted, setting breakfast on the table for him. "Any interesting news recently?"
The young earl shook his head with a heavy sigh. "Not recently, no," he answered. "After everything that has happened to us in the past few weeks, to me anything in the newspaper could be qualified as 'uninteresting'."
The angel laughed.
"Where's Sebastian?" Ciel implored, and immediately the mood sobered up quickly.
"I believe he's making tea," she answered. "Do you have any idea what's been up with him lately? He's been acting really strange."
Ciel raised an eyebrow. "Are you still mad at him for what happened?" he asked curiously, and she seemed contemplative before shrugging and nodding. He smirked in acknowledgement. "I see…" he trailed off. "Well, I'll speak with him when I get the chance. You are dismissed."
Anna bowed before leaving, and not minutes later, Sebastian Michaelis came in through the door with another tray, this time with the highest quality teacups and teapot with freshly brewed tea.
"I see Anna has already delivered your breakfast, Young Master," Sebastian commented as he set Ciel's teacup in front of him. "Oh, and the new lightweight bullets you ordered have arrived, I have them right now in…" He trailed off, feeling rather unsettled as the he young Earl of Phantomhive smiled as innocently as he could at him.
"I've been hearing from Anna that you've been acting strange, Sebastian?" Ciel noted. "What is the meaning of this?"
Sebastian grimaced. Did he really become so desperate to the point that he would ask the Young Master upon how to regain Anna's favour?
"I've been meaning to try and regain Annabelle's favour," he explained, "however, every single thing I do for her apparently just isn't enough."
Ciel chuckled in amusement. Out of all things, the one thing that Sebastian apparently could not accomplish was regaining an angel's favour.
His attempts must have proved to be very amusing, he thought.
"Well, would you like me to give you some advice, Sebastian?" Ciel offered, very amused.
The demon glared, annoyed at how amused and how entertained his little young master appeared to be at his frustration. Then he sighed in defeat, knowing there wasn't anything he could lose by asking Ciel's advice. "Very well, Young Master," he began, "what do you suggest for me to do?"
"Sebastian, just talk to her," he told the butler. "Just talk to her upfront and straight."
Sebastian stared at him, aghast. "Not to be rude or anything, Young Master, but are you serious?" he demanded. "Will something as simplistic as that actually work?"
Ciel shrugged lightly. "You may be surprised, Sebastian," he assured. "Sometimes even the simplest tactics can work." Sebastian's additional strange look caused him to add, "Just try it Sebastian. You'll see."
Anna was cleaning the windows of the game room, making the glass clean and shiny. Polishing it up nicely, she sighed in contentment.
"Finally all done," she sighed.
There was a soft knock on the door, and she turned to see Sebastian there, a serious look on his face.
"Yes? Is there something you need, Sebastian?" she asked, keeping her voice at a neutral level. Then she sighed, "Or are you going to try something on me again? Cause if you are, you might as well not bother trying because it's not going to work."
He shook his head. "That's not it," he said. "If I had made you uncomfortable before, Anna, I give you my sincere apologies. Can we talk?"
She set down her cleaning cloth, gesturing him to enter and he did so, closing the door behind him. "So, Sebastian, what would you like to discuss?"
Immediately, Sebastian was right in front of her, his arms wrapped around her waist as he pulled her to him, hugging her close.
"I'm sorry, Annabelle," he whispered into her ear, "I'm so, so sorry for dealing away your soul. I believed that your soul couldn't be taken because of the Secret, but I had no idea… I promised I would protect your soul and fight for it if it came to that… and I did. Anna, you have no idea how much I love you. You are everything to me."
Hearing the sincerity in his voice and words, she hugged him back, resting her head on his shoulder. "Sebastian," she said gently. "All I ever needed to hear from you was the truth." She pulled back, reaching up to cradle his face in her warm palms, staring up into his crimson eyes. She reached up and kissed him gently and slowly.
"Anna," he sighed, hugging her tightly.
She stroked the soft wool of his coat, smiling softly. "You know, Sebastian," she said gently, "when I was dead, I heard you… when you were taking care of my body… I heard you… I heard everything, Sebastian."
"Oh Anna," he groaned, assaulting her lips with his own. "You… only you… I will never let you go ever again… Never again will I come that close to losing you forever…"
Wrapping a leg around hers, he tripped her, pinning her to the ground as he lay on top of her, his face dangerously close to hers.
She glared at him. "If you try something on me now, I'm going to hurt you," she threatened in a hiss, but she sighed when she saw his devilish smile, his eyes glinting mischievously. "Right," she reminded herself, "being the sadomasochist that you are, you'd probably like that. Just get off me, Sebastian."
The demon chuckled, sitting up as he pulled her up next to him.
"But," Anna continued, "I really need to hit you. You mind?"
He shook his head, spreading his arms wide in welcome. "If it makes you feel better," he replied, "do it."
The angel stared at him for a moment before giving him one clean smack across the face. "Okay, I feel a little better now," she assured him. "Thanks."
Rubbing his cheek, he nodded at her before leaning in to give her a gentle kiss.
Suddenly, they felt a distinct disturbance in the air, and immediately they both knew that it was the weakening Greater Demon Andrew Hawkins.
"Do you sense what I sense?" Sebastian asked teasingly.
She nodded. "Ciel must have dealt him quite a mortal wound if he's too weak to keep up a guard on his location," she agreed. "Oh, but even after everything he's done to me, I'll admit that I'd feel at least a little bad for attacking a defenceless and wounded demon."
He raised an eyebrow at her. "May I remind you that this demon is not defenceless in the slightest?" he recalled. "Not to mention he's attacked you, kidnapped the Young Master, killed Fang, and then stole your soul."
Anna sighed heavily, "True. Okay, let's go tell Ciel and see what he wants us to do. Maybe it's time to get rid of him once and for all."
Ciel smiled at the delivery of the apparently-good news. "Excellent," he said satisfyingly. "Obviously you two have worked out your differences. Now, let's hunt down Andrew Hawkins and destroy him, once and for all."