Orders of Love
"How did this happen, Anna?" Sebastian demanded, immediately moving to sit by her side. "May I?"
She nodded, and he carefully peeled away the fabric of Anna's uniform from her neck to see the black star pentagram imprinted on her left collarbone over the smooth and flawless skin.
"I'm not sure," she answered carefully. "I was just coming back from getting the cradle from Michael, and the next thing I knew, I spaced out for a moment before I found this mark burning on my neck. Do you recognize whose symbol this is?"
Sebastian inspected the mark carefully before allowing his soft white gloved to brush over it, and she couldn't help but wince.
"My apologies if I hurt you," he told her, realizing that the mark was sensitive to a demon's touch. "I do not particularly recognize this symbol, but I can guarantee that this is a Greater Demon's mark. Only a Greater Demon can imprint on a human, more or less, an angel."
"Could Laurence Kingsley be the culprit?" Anna.
Fixing up her uniform, Sebastian shook his head. "Laurence is just a regular demon like me," he responded. Pausing, he implored, "Does Fang and Michael know about this?"
She shook her head. "I haven't told them yet," she said softly. "I don't know what to do. I've rarely ever heard this happen before. What does this mean?"
"Rest assured," he soothed her, "this only means that the value of your soul has gone up."
Anna bit her lip. "And that's supposed to put my fears at rest?" she demanded, "I'm being targeted, Sebastian. That has to scare me, at least."
Sebastian smiled at her gently. "So long as you work under the name of Phantomhive," he began, "I will do everything I can to help and protect you, unless ordered by the Young Master otherwise."
"And I trust Ciel won't try to have me killed, correct?" she implored worriedly.
The demon chuckled. "Most unlikely," he assured. "But rest assured, Anna, I will protect you."
Anna's lips twitched into a small smile, but her eyes still reflected deep worry. "Thanks, Sebastian," she murmured gratefully, her hand nervously moving to her collarbone.
"Don't worry, Anna," Sebastian told her, taking her hand in both of his and kissing the back of it softly. "I will protect you, My Lady."
Recalling the words of his master, he smiled at her sincerely before looking at her, stroking her cheek. She didn't flinch from his gentle touch. "May I?" he implored.
Her dim eyes blinked at him in slight confusion, and he moved closer to her, waiting to see if she'd react, but she didn't, remaining still. Very softly, Sebastian kissed her tenderly, his hand still on her cheek as she closed her eyes, allowing the demon to kiss her. As he kissed the angel, Ciel's orders rang through his mind.
Make Anna fall in love with you, Sebastian, Ciel had ordered. I don't care by what methods, but you must make sure that Anna stays by your side, because you answer to me. We can't have any of Anna's angel friends to convince her to go against my goals. So do all you can to protect her, unless my safety is in danger first. This is my order.
Sebastian's lips brushed against Anna's cheek before running teasingly over her ear, causing her breath to hitch before she pulled away abruptly.
"Sebastian, I can't," she told him. "Especially not with a demon, this isn't right. We're two completely different species."
Immediately, Sebastian pinned her down onto her bed, his eyes staring deeply into hers. "What is your relationship with Michael anyway? Is he your lover?" he demanded.
"Angels are given a promised partner when we are created," she explained. "But Michael has truly fallen in love with me, but I see him more as a guardian figure, so I do love him, but just not romantically."
"Would you like to explain how angels are created?" he implored, stroking her hair. "I've always been a little curious about that. I never really could ask one, as the last one I encountered tried to kill me."
"Many of us were human before we died one way or another," she explained, "Becoming an angel allows us another chance at living, though not completely human. But only specific humans become angels; the ones that still have something they're strongly holding onto in life. That, as well as other factors."
"So what are you holding onto?" Sebastian asked, moving aside so she could sit up. "What is your story?"
She sat up, looking out the window sadly. "My mother died giving birth to my youngest sister, and my father died when I was fourteen," she began quietly. "I became head of the family household, having to watch over my younger brother and sister, and right when it seemed that our family was going to crash, I was offered a job to take out all who opposed the Queen. However, due to the rapid success of our family once more over time, I was suspected of being a witch."
He nodded knowledgably. "Yes, witch hunts were quite popular," he agreed. "So… I suppose that you-"
"Yes," she cut off, closing her eyes, shuddering at the memory, "I was tried and found guilty without any solid evidence when I was sixteen, and then… I was burned at the stake."
"You must have been terrified," he said gently, "and in so much agony."
Anna dipped her head, unaware that her entire body was shaking from her inner terror. "It was a slow and painful death," she admitted in a shaky voice. "If I ever see fire, I can still hear my own screams on that day…"
Sebastian was honestly surprised that Anna was revealing so much of her past to him. "Why do you actually answer me truthfully, Anna?" he implored curiously.
"You are protecting me, aren't you?" she pointed out. "You should at least know what I'm afraid of."
He blinked at her incredulously. "But isn't there the possibility that I might be lying, My Lady?" he suggested.
Anna chuckled, looking at him with kind eyes. "Sebastian, you've said it before yourself," she pointed out, "you don't lie."
Sebastian chuckled, shaking his head. "Very true," he said with a sigh. "My my, I never imagined that my words would be sent right back at me."
"But it's true, isn't it?" she pressed, stretching her arms as she stood up. "You won't lie to either me or Ciel, right?"
He remained silent, but nodded.
"In any case," she continued, "after my death, I awoke as an angel, and my job as the Queen's Watchdog was passed down to the noble Phantomhive household generation by generation, and now… the duty has fallen onto Ciel."
Sebastian became a little suspicious. "It sounds like you've been watching the Phantomhive family for a long time."
Anna nodded. "Being the Queen's Watchdog is not an easy task," she told him, "as I suppose you've realized by now. It must be difficult guarding Ciel sometimes."
"If one who serves as a Phantomhive Butler could not protect his master, then where would we be?" he responded easily.
She shrugged. "Very true, very true," she agreed.
"You have a remarkable human side to you, Anna," Sebastian complimented. "I'm not sure of the words to fit you, but just… remarkable. Skilled, passionate, caring, and obviously beautiful." His crimson eyes scanned delicately over her form.
She chuckled. "Coming from a demon, I'm a little flattered," she commented with a blush, looking him over. "You're not that bad yourself. You went one-on-one with an psychotic angel and won."
Sebastian smiled, reaching over to stroke her cheek. "You're a very, very beautiful angel, Anna," he sighed. "I think I may be falling for you."
The angel immediately pulled away, eyes wide in surprise. Before she could speak, Sebastian drove himself at her, his lips meeting hers perfectly.
"Sebastian, what are you-?" she cut off, her face turning red.
He shushed her by running a fingered glove over her lips. "Shhh…" he hushed gently, eying her smooth, perfect mouth. "I want you, Anna…"
"Absolutely not," she told him. "You're a demon and I'm an angel, there's no question about it. We can't be together."
"Anna!" Fang hissed from outside. "I'm coming in there! I don't care what's going on! I don't trust you being in there with a demon for so long!"
Anna put a reasonable amount of distance between herself and Sebastian before calling for the cat to come in. The cat pushed into the room, glaring at Sebastian suspiciously.
"I'm sorry if I made you worry, Fang," she apologized to her friend sincerely. "I'm alright now."
So it seems that I'm not the liar after all, Sebastian thought. Are you planning on keeping this a secret from all of the people that care about you, Anna?
It seems like a bad idea, doesn't it? She echoed into his head, shooting him a glance. I can hear your thoughts if you're not paying attention and guarding them well, remember?
"Can you two please not leave me out of this conversation?" Fang demanded irritably. "I would very much like to know what's going on, Anna. Where did you go? What happened?"
She bit her lip, looking at Fang sadly. "I was taking a safe flight around, and then I don't know what happened, but I saw a flash of black, and the next thing I knew, I had a black star pentagram imprinted on my left collarbone, and it was burning," she explained, and the cat hissed in realization. "Yes, Fang, I've been marked by a Greater Demon; I've been marked to die. I don't know who did it; I don't know why they did it; and I don't know how they did it."
"Who else knows about this?" the angelic cat demanded.
"So far, only you and Sebastian," she answered softly. "I don't know whether it's a good idea to tell Ciel, and I know Michael will be both worried and furious. Sebastian says that this means that the value of my soul has gone up."
Fang flicked his tail. "And that's not a good thing," he said, "we can only be thankful that an angel's soul cannot be stolen so easily, otherwise you'd be brought back into Heaven right away."
"Oh?" Sebastian said, intrigued. "And why so?"
"We can't tell you," Anna responded gently as Fang hissed at the demon. "It's the angels' special secret. I trust that you have your own secrets to hide as well."
He nodded, and Fang turned to Anna. "You must tell Michael so that he's aware of this," he advised.
"I'd rather not…" she murmured nervously. "I know he's not going to take it well, so I'd rather not tell him myself. I'd avoid telling him altogether if I could help it."
Sebastian pulled out his pocket watch and looked at the time. "Oh my, oh my," he sighed, "I apologize for interrupting this matter of utmost importance, however, we must get going to Undertaker's shop."
"Ah yes," Anna agreed, standing up, "the infamous Soul Reaper, now-retired. Telling Michael will have to wait, Fang, but I will tell him… sometime. But for the moment, we must get going. I'll have Maylene take care of Adrian if he needs anything."
"Fine," Fang reluctantly agreed, "let's get Ciel and go."
Anna shook her head. "You're staying here, Fang," she addressed. "I need you to help take care of Adrian and inform Michael of my situation while I'm gone. I don't think I want to be here when he finds out…"
The cat nodded. "I understand," he said, turning to Sebastian, flicking his tail demandingly, "protect her, Sebastian. Don't you dare allow Anna to get hurt, or else you're in big trouble."
Sebastian politely bowed. "I understand."
Arriving at Undertaker's shop in the streets of London, Sebastian rapped twice before opening the door, stepping into the coffin-filled room after Ciel and Anna.
A dark-cloaked man with long dirty grey hair covering his eyes wearing a hat grinned widely at them. He really did look like a Grim Reaper sometimes. Beside him stood a frigid man wearing glasses and a suit, a long, retractable stick in his hand.
"Welcome, Earl Phantomhive," Undertaker greeted darkly. "What brings you to my shop today?"
"Sebastian~ !" a sing-song voice shouted, and a red-cloaked, red-haired, red-eyed man leaped at Sebastian with arms outstretched.
Easily, the butler dodged his advance and allowed the Soul Reaper to fall to the ground. He frowned as he got up, revealing sharp, pointy teeth.
"Well… this is definitely not what I expected," Anna couldn't help but comment, looking around at the dark-looking room, filled with coffins.
"Grell Sutcliffe, what are you doing here?" Ciel demanded.
"Not often do I find a wishing angel enter my shop," Undertaker commented, looking at Anna. "What is your name?"
She smiled. "Anna," she responded.
The red-loving Shinigami popped up in front of Anna, staring at her calculatingly. "A wishing angel?" he commented, "you don't look much like-"
Immediately, the quiet man's stick struck Grell over the head, and he glared down at him. "How dare you disrespect this legendary angel," he scolded, bowing at Anna. "Welcome, I am William T. Spears."
Grell's head had a bump on it as he got onto his knees, tears flowing down his face. Pouting, he whined, "You're so mean, Will. I thought you didn't like angels, especially when that last one infiltrated the Shinigami Library."
"I don't know where you get your information then," William retorted gruffly, glancing back at Anna. "Wishing angels are in fact in charge of our Dispatch Management Division of Shinigami. Wishing angel Anna is one of the most famous wishing angels known, and she's often talked about among the DMD. That repulsive excuse for an angel the previous time in that monastery was far less elegant that the one present before us."
She scratched her head with a flush of embarrassment. "I appreciate your flattery," she said, "but please allow me to be frank; we're here strictly on business."
"Ah yes," Undertaker replied, looking at Ciel, "I take it you wish to see whether I have any information on Lord Gareth Druton's son, Anthony Druton's disappearance."
Ciel nodded. "Do you know anything?"
Undertaker placed a long nail on his mouth before nodding, creepily hovering over to him. "First, Earl, give me that," he beckoned, "bestow upon me the finest laughs, and I'll tell you anything you need to know. I lost last time to that butler of yours, but I won't this time."
The young earl growled in frustration, but Anna smiled at him.
"Let me take care of this, Ciel," she chided. "Don't worry, this will be quick."
"Ooh…" Undertaker murmured, "I've never gotten a laugh from an angel before."
The angel smiled, walking over to the retired Shinigami and whispering into his ear briefly before he burst out laughing, Anna graciously stepping back from the ruckus she caused back over to Ciel and Sebastian.
"Well… that wasn't too hard," she said with an innocent smile.
Sebastian raised an eyebrow with an amused smirk on his face, and Fang had a similar expression. Ciel, however, looked a little impatient, though he patiently waited for Undertaker to stop laughing.
"So if I may so ask," Will began, looking at Anna, "why are you with a demon and his master?"
"Ah, an intriguing question," she replied easily, "I'm here to grant Ciel Phantomhive's dearest wish, but since he doesn't have any for the time being, I'm here to stay by his side until he does. I'm also here on a promise I made a while back."
The Shinigami looked unimpressed, glaring at Sebastian warily. "And you're not repulsed at… that vermin's presence?"
"How dare you insult my beloved Sebby as 'vermin'!" Grell pouted.
Sebby? Well… I will keep that in mind. Anna thought as she blinked at Will, ignoring Grell's comment. "Not in the slightest," she said, smiling at Sebastian, "he's been quite gracious to me, in fact."
Sebastian offered her a smooth bow. "All the better to serve you with, My Lady," he teased as Undertaker began to sober up.
"Ahhh… I have seen Utopia," he sighed contently, "I truly admire you, Lady Anna. Now… onto business. Please, have a seat, Earl Phantomhive."
As Ciel took a seat on a coffin, Grell leaned closer to Anna, whispering, "What did you say to him?"
"Oh, just a little joke I picked up during work one day," she responded intuitively.
Sebastian glanced at her briefly and couldn't help but admire the independent angel before him. Perhaps making her fall in love with him may prove harder than he expected… especially when it seemed that just the opposite was beginning to happen.
Now, now, Sebastian, he scolded himself privately, making sure that Anna couldn't hear these thoughts, you've been roaming around the human world for thousands of years, and within a few days you find yourself being attracted to an angel? What a mundane mistake to make, as if even I was to have her fall in love with me and or vice versa, there would be a very little chance that we could actually be together, considering we are two entirely different species.
Sebastian… Hey, Sebastian, Anna's voice broke into his musings. You look distracted. Could you at least try to look like you're paying attention please?
"So… what can you tell us, Undertaker?" Ciel implored.
"As I'm sure you know, Lord Druton does secret underground deals by making powerful drugs," he began. "Obviously, this has gotten him into trouble, proven by his son's kidnapping. Apparently, there were documents sent to him, but he nor Scotland Yard has revealed what those letters contain. So far there are no clear suspects, but there are reasons to believe that an associate of his, Lord Mitch Ridley, may be one of the prime suspects."
Ciel shook his head. "I've already checked Lord Ridley's alibi, and it's solid, it can't have been him," he replied.
Undertaker chuckled, "Just what I'd expect as the Queen's Watchdog."
"Anyone else you can think of, Undertaker?" Anna implored.
"Well… it would prove more helpful if we could get those documents from Lord Druton," he replied. "Otherwise it would take a little while to go through the Shinigami Library Archives to get any decent information."
"Hmmm…" Ciel murmured. "Then we have no choice but to try and get the information from him ourselves directly."
"We can do that when we go to the dance later this week," Anna said. "Speaking of, Ciel, it's about time we start shaping up your dancing skills before we go, otherwise I'm going to be really worried about how you're going to grow up."
"Hey!" Ciel resented. "I can dance just fine!"
She chuckled, looking at William and Grell. "What are you both doing here anyway?"
"We're investigating a case of mysterious deaths," William answered.
Grell nodded in agreement. "We thought that Undertaker could help us," he added, "but we couldn't get much information either."
"Hmmm…" Anna hummed thoughtfully, glancing outside. "Something strange is brewing out there, but I can't put my finger on it…"
Sebastian patted her lightly on the head. "You're just thinking too much, Anna," he assured her as she glared at his belittling of her. "Everything's just fine."
She sighed, "If you say so, Sebastian. But anyway, we should get going soon, Ciel."
The young earl sighed. "Very well, Undertaker, if you should find anything, please have a message sent to me. Sebastian, Anna, let's go."