Lessons with Anna and Sebastian
"Where's Fang?" Ciel inquired.
"Went up to talk to Michael," she answered, "thought it would be best for him to talk to Michael because of some reasons."
Ciel glared. "What reasons?" he implored.
"It's only on a need-to-know basis, Ciel," she assured him. "Don't worry, you aren't in any immediate danger."
"Now… shall we please proceed with the lesson?" Sebastian reminded.
"Ah, of course. Now, Ciel," Anna addressed, glancing at the young earl as Sebastian stood in front of her with a smile, "pay close attention and see how a gentleman is to treat a lady when he asks her to dance."
Sebastian bowed smoothly to Anna, offering his hand out to her. "May I have this dance, Lady Anna?" he implored.
"I would be honoured, Sebastian," she replied, placing her hand in his as Sebastian drew her into his arms, using his demonic abilities to make the record start playing, and they took formal dancing position, Sebastian's hand resting on her lower back while his other cradled hers.
"Keep the lady close to you so that you are able to lead her easier," Sebastian instructed Ciel. "After a few natural turns, she will quickly adapt to your rhythm of your steps. This will be easier for you to wordlessly instruct her to make a turn and change directions."
"Always look your dancing partner in the eyes," Anna continued, staring deeply into Sebastian's crimson orbs. "It shows a sign of respect and acknowledgement. In addition, it makes you appear to be proficient in dancing, as you do not need to watch where you step as you dance."
Sebastian nodded in agreement. "Smiling would also be of some good as well, Young Master," he added. "Otherwise the lady may believe that you do not enjoy her company. And how could you not enjoy the company of such a beautiful and delightful angel?"
"You flatter me, Sebastian," she teased, flirting back with a gentle tone. "And who wouldn't enjoy the company of a remarkable, handsome demon?" She reached up to caress Sebastian's cheek softly, and he tilted his head into her hand, closing his eyes as they still danced.
Ah, so warm… Sebastian thought, ensuring that she couldn't hear his thoughts, Anna… I can't believe I'm thinking this… but I may be falling in love with you… even though it should be the other way around.
Anna withdrew her hand and pulled out of the formal position, turning to remove the record from the player. She turned to Ciel with a smile. "Are you ready to try, Ciel?"
Ciel nodded, biting his lip nervously as he walked over to her and cautiously placed a small hand on her back, the other holding hers.
"Don't forget to lead from the heel, Young Master," Sebastian reminded.
"Now, first few steps," Anna instructed. "Ready? One, two, three, one, two, three, one, two-"
The thirteen-year-old took a misstep and stepped into her, and Sebastian sighed.
"You've a lot to learn, Young Master," he commented. "You need to be able to read Anna's movements, and as you adapt to her movements, she'll adapt to yours."
"Sebastian, that makes no sense!" Ciel barked.
Sebastian looked at his master in surprise. "Really?" he implored, "I thought that made perfect sense…" He place a hand under his chin thoughtfully. "Strange… it makes perfect sense to me."
"Well, perfect sense to you doesn't mean perfect sense to me!" Ciel complained.
Anna sighed, and suddenly her mark seared lightly, and she winced, pulling away from Ciel as her right hand pressed hard against her collarbone.
"Anna!" Sebastian gasped, going over to her and placing his hands on her shoulders. "Are you okay? Is the mark hurting?"
"S-Sebastian," she choked, her face contorted in pain.
Ciel was so confused. "Sebastian, I demand you tell me what's going on!" he ordered. "What mark?"
"Anna's been marked by a Greater Demon, she's being hunted, and whoever this Greater Demon is, they are powerful," Sebastian answered, removing Anna's hand as he pressed a thumb against what he knew to be the center of the mark, and Anna gasped as the pain slowly receded.
She sighed heavily in relief as the pain finally vanished. Sebastian held her up as she began to fall back against him, and he smiled at her.
"Better, Anna?" he implored.
"Yes," she responded softly, taking a heavy breath as she still felt remnants of the pain stinging inside of her. "Thank you, Sebastian. What did you do though?"
He smiled, stroking her cheek gently. "It's a temporary solution, but I've placed a seal to prevent the mark from doing you anymore harm," he told her.
Anna sighed. "Again, thank you, Sebastian," she repeated. "Now, shall we continue, Ciel?"
"Are you sure you're alright, Anna?" Sebastian pressed the matter further, knowing that even an angel would probably still be in a little pain after going through something like that.
"Yeah," she replied, "I'll be okay. Don't worry about me, Sebby."
The demon raised an eyebrow. "'Sebby'?" he noted distastefully, "Really, Anna?"
Anna chuckled. "But it's cute, Sebby," she teased with a wink. "Come on, cheer up. It's not that bad of a nickname."
Sebastian sighed, realizing that Anna was trying to lighten the mood while pressing the attention away from her. "Fine, fine," he replied. "Let's continue with the lesson. Young Master?"
Ciel looked at Anna and she nodded, stepping forward to take formal dance position.
"Come on, Ciel," she encouraged, "I know you can do it. Just slide forward like you're skating."
Ciel silently gulped, and began his step, Anna following his movements. For a moment it seemed like Ciel was getting the hang of it, but then he stepped into her again.
The angel sighed heavily, "This… could take some time…"
Sebastian chuckled. "Even having a demon and an angel coach you isn't enough, it seems," he joked, which earned him a meaningful glare from his master as he walked back to his desk.
There was a knock on the door, and it pushed open, Fang padding into the room with a heavy sigh. "Good afternoon," the angelic cat greeted.
"Ah, welcome back, Fang," Anna replied, "I'm surprised Michael isn't with you. I thought he'd burst into the room to yell at me."
"Oh… I had Kieran restrain him before I told him the news," the feline explained. "It was quite humorous if it wasn't so gravely important. But yes… Michael is furious. Kieran isn't too impressed either."
She bit her lip with a frown, displeased. "Hmmm… that isn't good," she said, sighing. "Well… I'll have a chat with Kieran later about this, see what he can come up with to help me out. Any luck tracking Ash?"
"Well… they're looking into it, but the brand did help out," Fang replied. "What about you? Anything interesting happen in my absence?"
"We were trying to teach the Young Master how to properly dance," Sebastian answered. "Unfortunately, his skills are still too abominable to witness."
"Hey!" Ciel exclaimed.
Fang meowed in laughter before turning back to Anna. "By the way, it seems that a case of Angel Fever is breaking out, so I've been told to tell you to be very careful."
"Ohh… not Angel Fever…" Anna sighed worriedly.
"What's Angel Fever?" Ciel implored.
Sebastian looked at his master. "It's very similar to the human fever except obviously for angels," he began. "It began when an angel contracted it from a human a long time ago, and it spread among angels through physical contact, even just a handshake. When an angel has Angel Fever, they are feverish, and act slightly like they're intoxicated. It's quite amusing, in fact."
"You sadistic jerk," Anna pouted, "Angel Fever is nothing to laugh about. If we contract Angel Fever, we completely do not act like ourselves, and we could even accidently reveal any of our secrets. Worse yet, we often don't have any memory of what occurred while we had Angel Fever."
"And the medical department isn't able to heal Angel Fever," Fang added, flicking his tail. "If Anna should contract Angel Fever, we can't do anything but wait till it passes. Best would be to lock her in her room until it passes."
The angel rolled her eyes. "Thanks, Fang," she said dryly. "Anyway, we will continue your dance lessons tomorrow, Ciel. Fang and I will go to prepare dinner while Sebastian teaches your next lesson." With a curt bow, she and Fang left the room to head to the kitchen.
"Get your books ready, Young Master, while I prepare for our lesson," Sebastian advised. "Today's lesson is the history of the Phantomhive family."
"What are you planning to make for dinner, Anna?" Fang implored, looking up at Anna as he padded beside her.
"Well…" she began, "I think a nice steamed fish with a side of seasoned mashed potatoes and spring salad with vegetables grown here on the mansion should be suitable. Then we'll serve lemon meringue pie for dessert."
Arriving at the kitchen, Anna and Fang found Bard, Finnian, and Maylene standing in the kitchen, looking around.
"Are you guys looking for something?" Anna implored.
"We thought we heard a mouse in here," Finny answered.
"Hmmm…" the angel murmured, glancing down at Fang. "Fang, check it out. Oh, but if you find any mice, please scare them outside."
The cat immediately began trekking around the kitchen, paws quietly stalking the ground, and Anna smiled. "Would you three like to help me prepare dinner?" she offered.
"Eh?" the three servants gasped in shock.
"Sebastian never lets us help out with dinner!" Maylene protested.
Finny looked down at his hands guiltily. "I'm too strong and clumsy so Sebastian told me to stay away from the kitchenware," he told her.
"Nonsense!" Anna replied confidently. "I will need your strength to help me strain the potatoes afterwards and mash them. Plus, it's no fun to cook alone."
"B-But Sebastian-" Bard began in protest.
She shook her head. "Oh, forget about him. Old Sebastian could always learn some new tricks," she argued with a smile. "It's more fun to cook dinner together, and I could use all your help. So… you guys interested?"
"Yeah!" they cheered, and Anna gave a curt, satisfied nod.
"Tonight, we're serving steamed fish with seasoned mashed potatoes and a spring salad. Bard, I need you to grind the herbs," she directed as she washed her hands, tying on her kitchen apron. "Finny, please go out and pick some vegetables for the salad. With your strength, gathering them should be easy. Maylene, I'd like you to help peel the potatoes. In the meanwhile, I will work on the fish. If everyone does their part right, I'm absolutely sure dinner will be delicious!"
"Well, Young Master," Sebastian sighed, "shall we begin with this afternoon's lesson?"
"Fine, fine," Ciel replied impatiently.
After ten minutes of Sebastian's lecturing, Ciel was bored. "Sebastian, could we skip all this and please just tell me the most notable Phantomhives?"
"As you wish," Sebastian replied, flipping through his clipboard to present it to Ciel. It was a picture of a beautiful young woman with dark hair and a petite, slim figure. "She was the first Phantomhive to become the Queen's Watchdog; Lady Annabelle Marie Phantomhive. Kind-hearted and strong, she had to raise both her younger siblings after her parents' deaths. Leaving behind a fiancé, she died at the age of seventeen, burned at the stake on her birthday. She was accused of being a witch. Her younger brother is one of your predecessors, as after his sister's death, he was forced to become head of the Phantomhive family, eventually assuming the role of the Queen's Watchdog, and thus… the family tradition continued."
"You were around during that time, right, Sebastian?" Ciel implored. "Did you meet any of my ancestors?"
The demon smiled. "Unfortunately not, as I was elsewhere at that time," he said. "But you know, our very own angel maid happens to also serve previously as the Queen's Watchdog before the tradition was passed to the Phantomhive family. Perhaps she may have met your ancestors? She told me that she would have been sixteen at the time."
"Whatever," he replied. "It doesn't matter now. Let's continue on with the lesson."
"As you wish, My Lord," Sebastian replied. "Next, Lord Richard Franklin Phantomhive…"
Carefully, Anna carved the fish as Bard was mixing together the herbs. Maylene was now polishing up the dishes while Finny was mashing the potatoes in a bowl with a masher.
"Excellent work, everyone," Anna said. "Dinner is going to be wonderful."
Sebastian soon walked into the kitchen, and his eyes widened at the others helping Anna make dinner. "Oh my, oh my," he murmured. "This is quite impressive."
"Ah, great timing, Sebastian," Anna greeted. "If you don't mind could you help me watch the pot boiling? The others and I are a little busy right now, and I sent Fang back to my room to watch over Adrian in case he wakes up. I went and gave him some warm milk a little while ago, so he should be sound asleep."
The stunned butler went over to stir the pot as directed by Anna, and he told her gently, "You are very amazing in order to get this lot to help you. They usually just cause me nothing but trouble unless it's defending the mansion."
"That's only because you only look at their flaws, Sebastian," she replied simply. "Sure, it's easy to point out people's flaws, because everyone has them, even you and me. But it takes an open heart and mind in order to see where people truly shine. So where these guys might not be strong in one area, they're amazing in another."
The demon stopped what he was doing to truly smile and admire the elegant angel before him. "You truly are amazing, Anna," he commented softly.
"Thank you, Sebastian," the angel responded with a kind smile. "I'm sure dinner will be wonderful thanks to everyone's hard work."
After Anna and Sebastian had served Ciel his dinner, they were both cleaning up in the kitchen, and Anna was secretly making a special dessert for the servants of the Phantomhive household.
"Hey Sebastian," Anna began suddenly, "how did you end up getting so attached to Ciel's soul anyway, if you don't mind my asking, that is?"
He blinked at her momentarily before returning his attention to his work. "I've been around for a long time, as you can imagine, and I'm tired of just knowing how to eat. I decided that I'd raise my next meal so I could eventually enjoy the best dinner; that soul ended up being my Young Master's," he explained. "I wouldn't say that I'm attached to his soul. I just want the best dinner in the end."
"Hmmm…" she murmured, staring off into the distance. "Hey Sebastian… have you ever… well… you know, fallen in love with any humans before?"
The demon was surprised at how personal, and rather, how ridiculous her question was. "Of course not," he replied stiffly. "Humans always are consumed by greed. I never find them as anything else but souls for us demons to consume."
Anna sighed sadly. "It's regretful that you feel that way, Sebastian," she said gently. "Though to say, even while I was alive I didn't fall in love either. Life was far too short for my liking. But still… even as an angel, it is hard when you grow attached to souls, because you know that they'll eventually have to depart from this world."
"However," he continued, reaching to twirl several strands of her hair in between his fingers, his master's orders clear in his mind, "my feelings regarding angels and demons perhaps may be different, as I find myself falling gradually for the beautiful angel who stands by my side."
She pulled away. "Sebastian, stop teasing me," she scolded softly, a blush covering her cheeks. "I know a demon could never fall in love with me. Why should that be any different now?" Sighing, she shook her head, pulling out a box of truffles from the pantry, offering Sebastian the box. "Aside from that, would you mind testing one for me? I'm not sure whether they're bitter or not."
He obliged, slipping a piece of dark truffle in between his lips. Pondering a moment, he looked thoughtful… looked thoughtful.
"So? How is it?" she implored.
He smiled at her as he walked a little closer to her. "You tell me," he replied, pulling her swiftly into a kiss, his arm wrapping around her waist, pressing her against him, and she didn't resist.
The truffle was indeed a little bitter, Anna decided, but his kiss was sweet.