"Bard, Finny, Maylene," Anna called, carrying over a covered silver platter, Sebastian walking beside her, "thank you for your hard work today." She turned to smile at the senior butler, Tanaka. "And thanks for the suggestion for the tea, Tanaka. I think Ciel really liked it."
"Ho, ho, ho," the butler replied merrily, sipping at his teacup.
"Thanks for allowing us to help!" Finny replied cheerfully.
Anna place the platter on the servants' table and removed the cover, revealing a beautifully-made lemon meringue pie, with shreds of truffle sprinkled overtop it.
"Wow!" the three servants gasped.
She smiled. "I thought you all deserved something special as appreciation for your hard work, right, Sebastian?"
"Yes," the demon butler agreed as he set down several plates and cutlery, "you all did very well today. Keep up the good work."
"Is this really all for us?" Bard exclaimed in amazement.
Anna nodded with a kind smile.
"Thanks Anna! Thanks Sebastian!" Finny thanked gratefully.
Sebastian shook his head. "This was all Anna's idea," he retorted. "If you should be thanking anyone, it should just be her."
She smiled at him before looking back at them. "I've made sure it's not too sweet so that you all don't feel like you've consumed too much sugar," she informed them. "Enjoy, okay? Meanwhile… Sebastian and I will go tuck Ciel in," she said.
"By the way, Anna," Finny began, "I've been curious, but why do you address the Young Master by his first name?"
She turned back to look at them with slightly regretful eyes. "I'm afraid I'm not going to be working here as a Phantomhive servant for a long time," she informed gravely. "Ciel's hiring me is more or less conditional. Therefore, I thought it was best not to lay down too many ties to him, especially in the presence of other noble guests."
Without warning, all three servants were at her feet, hugging her legs, tears in their eyes, surprising Anna.
"W-What's gotten into you three?" she gasped in shock.
"Y-You won't be staying with us?" Maylene cried. "Y-You're actually going to be leaving someday?"
She nodded sadly, pulling them off her. "Don't worry," she assured, "that day won't be coming too soon." So long as Ciel doesn't figure out what his heart's wish is, she added silently, and Sebastian dipped his head in her direction, his eyes secretly shining in affection.
"You're like the female counterpart of Sebastian," Finny commented. "You are both the perfect servants."
Well… Sebastian thought, we are both not of this world. An angel and a demon, working side-by-side to protect a human soul; who would have ever predicted something like this would happen?
Anna turned away. "Even we have our flaws," she said quietly. Clearing her throat and the souring mood, she headed to the door and smiled back at them. "Well… I will bid you good night."
"And so will I," Sebastian chimed. "Good night."
"Good night!" Bard, Finny and Maylene bid, and both Sebastian and Anna left.
As the four servants sat down, Bard began to cut the pie into slices.
"We should get Sebastian and Anna together!" Finny declared boldly.
Maylene nodded quickly. "You're right! They would be absolutely perfect together!" she agreed. "W-We should do something!"
"Like what?" Bard implored. "It's not like we could do anything special to set the two of them up together. They'd probably figure it out before anything could actually happen, and then Sebastian would have our tails for it."
"We could make Anna the head maid!" Maylene announced suddenly. "Why not? Sebastian is the head butler. Why not make Anna the head maid?"
"There is a badge meant for the head maid of the Phantomhive family," another voice said, and all three servants turned to see Real Tanaka sitting next to them. "Another crest was created for the Phantomhive head maid, but there was none that was appointed in the end. That could be given to Miss Anna."
"Yes! That's a great idea!" Finny cheered. "Do you know where the crest is, Mr. Tanaka?"
Tanaka nodded, pulling out the crest from his inside vest pocket and placing it on the table before them. Then he transformed back into the other Tanaka.
"This is perfect!" Bard said happily. "Anna's going to be so surprised!"
As Anna and Sebastian quietly proceeded to Ciel's office to fetch him, Sebastian ran his fingers through her hair, bringing him alarmingly close to her. But she did not flinch nor retaliate in any way.
"Anna…" he murmured, glancing over her delicate form, "how do you feel about me?"
"I-I don't know…" she replied, averting his gaze. "Sometimes you just… sometimes you infuriate me. But other times… other times I feel like… as if… I just want to hold you tight and never let you go… I don't know, Sebastian. I have mixed feelings."
He advanced on her, his lips inches from hers and she didn't move. Silently, Sebastian stared into her eyes momentarily before he kissed her very gently for a moment before pulling away. Her eyes remained closed.
"How was that?" he whispered softly, still close to her.
Her eyes slowly half-opened and she glanced at his lips before meeting his eyes. "Kiss me again," she breathed, and he smiled.
"Yes, My Lady," he murmured clearly before meeting her lips once more. Anna kissed back, and one of Sebastian's hands wrapped around her waist while he placed the other on her cheek, deepening their passionate kiss. She rested a hand on his chest, the other threading her fingers into his hair, pressing him closer.
"Anna…" he breathed between kisses, "we have to still… the Young Master…"
She withdrew from him completely, a charming blush staining her cheeks. "Sebastian…" she murmured, and she dropped to her knees as unbearable pain consumed her mind and body. She was unconscious before she was caught by Sebastian.
"Anna! Anna!" he exclaimed, but she didn't respond. He quickly gathered her into his arms and held her against his chest before tugging at the collar of her dress, reaching down her uniform to allow his fingers to brush over the mark, and he gasped, pulling his hand away immediately as it seared him. "So that's what caused this," he murmured before fixing her uniform, lifting her into his arms as he swiftly carried her back to her room.
"What is the meaning of this?" Fang demanded with a hiss. "What did you do to Anna?"
"Absolutely nothing to hurt her," Sebastian replied. "It's the Greater Demon's mark that did this. Apparently it broke my seal and injured her further. That is what's doing this to her. For now, I will put the Young Master to sleep, and then I'll return to see what I can do."
Turning quickly to leave, Sebastian paused, turning back to plant a soft kiss on Anna's forehead, infuriating Fang, who immediately leaped to scratch at Sebastian, but he leaped back.
"Get away from her, you demon!" the feline hissed.
Sebastian smiled. "I will return soon."
"Sebastian," Ciel muttered, glancing up from his papers as the butler walked in. The young earl's face was illuminated only by the light of the candleholder beside him on the table. "Where is Anna?"
Sebastian smiled widely, hiding all deception. "The maid wasn't feeling all too well, so I sent her back to her room while I tended to your services," he told him smoothly.
"Very well," he responded. "Sebastian, I am tired. I will retire for the night from my work."
"I have a hot bath already prepared for you, Young Master," Sebastian informed.
Ciel put down his papers on the table and walked past Sebastian, and the butler picked up the candleholder, swiftly following after his master.
Mmm… where am I? Anna thought as she fluttered open her eyes, wincing at a slight pain in her head.
"Are you alright, Anna?" Fang demanded, appearing in the side of her vision.
"Yes," she breathed, "I'm going to be fine. Don't worry about me." She slowly sat up, a hand on her head as she felt the pulsing pain receding. "Where's Sebastian?"
"He left to go tend to Ciel," the cat answered. "There is definitely something wrong with that demon."
Anna blinked in confusion. "What do you mean?" she implored curiously.
Fang flicked his tail before leaping down to the ground from her bedside. "That demon kissed you on the forehead before he left!" he meowed angrily, "That jerk!"
Adrian began to wail in his cradle from the cat's radiated tension, and Anna gasped, rushing over to tend to the baby.
"Oh, o-oh no, shhh…" Anna hushed, picking the baby up into her arms and cradling him as she tried to hush Adrian. "Shhh… shhh… it's alright. Shhh… it's alright, Adrian… hush now…"
"Sorry," Fang apologized.
As Adrian began to quiet down through Anna's warm, reassuring presence, she nodded at the cat, rocking the baby back and forth as she sat on the side of her bed.
"Fang… I have to be honest with you," she began unsurely. "About Sebastian…"
"What about him?" the feline implored, irritated even by the mention of the rather infuriating demon.
Anna looked into her partner and friend's eyes deeply. "I think I may be falling in love with him," she admitted quietly. "Every time he kisses me… I feel… my heart soars in my chest, and-"
"Absolutely not!" Fang cut off brusquely, "What about Michael? I thought you loved him!"
"I do!" Anna defended, trying not to disturb the child she was cradling against her chest. Then she decided to place the child into a heavy slumber as to not be disturbed. "But… I just don't love Michael romantically… not in the same way I do Sebastian…"
The cat leapt up next to her and stared up sadly into her twin azure orbs. "Anna…" he said in a sad voice, "listen to yourself. You're falling in love with a demon. For all we know, Ciel Phantomhive could have ordered Sebastian to make you fall in love with him so that you would not leave Ciel's side."
"I don't know…" she sighed, rocking the child kindly. "Sebastian is not an easy demon to read, but then again, none of them are. Only time will tell, I suppose."
"Anna… you can't tie yourself to this demon," Fang told her. "You know that you will have to eventually leave, either back up to Heaven or else go to tend to someone else's wishes. You can't make permanent ties to anyone."
"But he's not human, Fang," she replied. "He won't die that easily."
"You're right," the cat replied decisively, "he's not human. He's a demon. You can't do this, Anna. You know this as well as I do; an angel and a demon could never be together. He'd have to work very hard to prove that he is worth the love of a holy angel. Only then perhaps he may be a valid candidate to be worthy of your affection."
"But what if I already am falling in love with him, Fang?" Anna whispered conflictingly. "I can't just ignore my feelings for him…"
"Anna…" he murmured, and she went to go place baby Adrian back into his cradle.
There was a brief knock on the door, and Anna called out, "Come in, Sebastian."
The demon butler pushed open the door, smiling at her and her cat. "How are you feeling right now Anna?"
"Much better, thank you," she responded, feeling the thought of his 'affection' for her being a lie weigh like a ton of lead in her heart. "Ciel's asleep?"
He nodded, walking over to touch her cheek, and Fang hissed at the demon. Immediately, Sebastian moved close to kiss Anna, and she kissed him back, infuriating Fang even further.
"Anna!" Fang exclaimed, and she pulled back from the demon abruptly, but Sebastian furthered his advances, crashing his lips against hers passionately as he fell deeper and deeper in love with the beautiful angel.
Kissing her furiously, he pushed her down onto the bed as he embraced her tightly against his chest.
"Sebastian- S-Sebastian, stop," she breathed, pushing him away. She twisted her head to the side, and he placed soft kisses down the side of her neck. "S-Sebastian!"
The demon pulled away abruptly, looking at her. "Anna," he said.
"Sebastian…" she told him, pushing him away as she walked up to the door, facing away from him. "You don't love me… do you… it was all just Ciel's orders, wasn't it…"
"That's not true," he replied. "I really do care about you, Anna."
She whirled around, tears streaming freely down her face. "Don't lie to me, Sebastian. Have you, or have you not been ordered by Ciel to make me fall in love with you?"
Sebastian was completely taken aback. "W-What?"
"Don't avoid the question, Sebastian!" she cried. "Don't lie to me! I know this was all on Ciel's orders, wasn't it!"
He nodded. "Yes, it was my master's order to make you fall in love with me," he admitted without hesitation. "But he said nothing about me having feelings for you. I have fallen in love with you, Anna. I don't lie."
She shook her head, pulling back against the door. "Don't lie to me, Sebastian Michaelis!" she wept tearfully. "Leave me, Sebastian. Get out of my sight." She whipped open the door and ran out in a hurry, tears flying from her face.
"Anna!" Sebastian called, about to chase after her.
"Stop, Sebastian!" Fang hissed angrily, leaping in front of him. "Don't hurt Anna more than you already have! You've never loved her, have you! You've broken her heart, Sebastian. Don't do any more damage that's already been done to her fragile heart."
"You don't understand, Fang," Sebastian retorted. "I really do love Anna. I don't lie, remember? She doesn't understand. It is very hard for a demon to grow affections, but even in the manner of just two days, I have grown very attached to this beloved angel. I'll only say this once, so listen well, Fang. I love her."
"Stupid Sebastian," Anna wept quietly to herself as she sat outside on the mansion grounds, wrapping her wings around herself. "I don't know what to do anymore…"
Without warning, a spark flared in her mind, and she turned to look up into the starry sky. There was something wrong, and immediately, she spread her wings and took to the skies, rushing towards the source of the problem.
She arrived on site a tall building in the middle of a field not far from the estate, and it was on fire. She heard a scream coming from inside, and immediately she swept into one of the higher windows, smashing through the window inside. Without warning, a sharp blade pierced through her wings, and she collapsed against the ground with a scream of pain. Turning to see her attacker, she was met by the fallen angel Ash.
"You pathetic fool!" he hissed, "Always the brave angel trying to play the heroine. You're a fool, Anna, and you're about to die."
Anna immediately summoned up her own sword, but Ash stabbed at her before she could completely make its solid form. The end of the blade pierced into her left forearm, and she let out a cry of pain as her sword dissolved with her lack of focus.
"You're going to die, Anna," Ash told her, twisted his blade briefly before yanking it out. He propelled the blade down once more towards her side, and Anna expected pain, but none came.
"My, my," Sebastian Michaelis murmured, standing over Anna and in front of Ash, gripping the blade in his hand, causing it to bleed. "I apologize, Anna, but I could not follow your last order. I am far too attracted to you to allow you to be out of my sights."
"Demon!" Ash hissed at Sebastian, swinging his sword at him, but Sebastian dodged easily, grabbing Anna by the waist to carry her to safety.
Anna winced as Sebastian set her down, inspecting her trembling, injured wings. "You're bleeding, Anna," he told her. "Get out of here. I'll take care of him."
Ash chuckled before clicking his fingers once, and Anna's breath hitched, her eyes widening with terrible fear. She screamed, shaking her head while her entire body shook with horror.
"What have you done?" Sebastian demanded, trying to wrap his arms around Anna's shaking form as much as he could.
"One's greatest fear… is also their greatest weakness…" the fallen angel chuckled darkly, Anna's blood glimmering on the end of his blade.
Anna's fear of fire… Sebastian thought instantly. It doesn't help that we're in a burning building, either.
"NO!" Anna screamed, pushing away from Sebastian as she ran away from him, wrapping her arms around herself.
Immediately, Ash lunged at the demon with his blade, and Sebastian dodged easily. Instantly, Ash swung his sword at some of the burning wood walls and support. Instantly, burning beams began to fall from the roof… and towards Anna!
"Anna! Move!" Sebastian shouted at her, but she was paralyzed with fear.
Thoughts of her death haunted Anna's mind. She could still hear her own screams of agony as the flames had engulfed her, smell the scorching stench of her flesh as it burned, and the sinking feeling in her heart that it wouldn't end.
Without hesitation, Sebastian threw himself towards Anna defensively, and held up the pillars that were nearly going to fall on top of Anna. Without a second thought, Ash stabbed Sebastian through the lower torso, and Anna was snapped out of her trance with Sebastian's pained gasp. Staring up into his pained twin crimson eyes, Anna realized what had happened.
"W-Why?" she whispered.
He smiled at her, even as a trickle of blood streamed down his lips. "It's because I've realized something that's unbelievable, even for me," he told her gently. "I love you."