Sebastian practically destroyed the kitchen, unable to focus and spilling chocolate everywhere, causing it to splatter all along the walls and himself. He cursed underneath his breath and began to wipe it up, taking off his jacket to put in the wash. Sebastian was nervous. He felt it deep within himself, an unsettling feeling distracting him. He felt hot all over and was unable to focus on his chores for the manor. Having a pride to rival his master’s, he felt ashamed. How could he have fallen so far to such feeble human emotions? He asked himself.
He was a demon, he was ruthless, he was bloodthirsty, he was in love.
Having served his master since he was a boy, it’s always been a relationship of a butler serving his earl. But as he watched him bloom into a young man, he couldn’t help but feel captivated by him. The older he got, the sharper his tongue grew and the more independent he became in his role as the head of the Phantomhive. He was just another human, nothing more and nothing less, yet something stood out about him. At first Sebastian began to ponder the fact that this was one of his longer contracts, their bond simply had strengthened, blurring the line between duty and compassion, but the more he served the more he realized his feelings were deeper than just his routine as a butler.
It began on the Earl’s 18th birthday, Sebastian had worked hard to ensure everything was in order as a ball was thrown, inviting his aunt, fiance, and aristocrats that knew of the Phantomhive name. Everything was perfect- he was one hell of a butler after all, yet the one thing he could not keep up to par was his master’s mood. He could tell he was growing uncomfortable. What kind of butler would he be if he could not keep his master happy on his birthday.
He walked up to an earl surrounded by a swarm of people asking him his plans for the Funtom company, “If you may excuse us, the earl has some business he must attend to.” he bowed, beckoning a confused earl to follow him. He anticipated his master’s displeasure with the ball, so he had prepared a special treat for him.
“Sebastian what is this all about?” The earl asked, more confused than annoyed at the idea of more work.
The demon smiled coyly and sighed in mock annoyance, “Despite being the best teacher in your world, after all these years I still couldn’t teach you patience.”
The earl scowled at the remark, now more annoyed than curious about what surprise his butler had waiting for him.
He led them to the earl’s bedroom where a cart of chocolate treats and tea stood beside his bed and the earl’s favorite reading materials lay on top of the duvet, including a few unreleased stories by his favorite author.
“Just this once I will allow you to eat sweets on the bed, consider this as my birthday present.” He said watching the evident surprise on the younger man’s face. “If you may excuse me, I shall take my leave and allow my lord to have some time to enjoy by himself.” Sebastian bowed, priding himself in how well of a role he plays as a butler. As he began to turn around he was cut off by the Earl’s voice.
“Sebastian,” he paused, like he didn’t know how to phrase what he wanted to say next, “Stay with me.” he said, quickly beginning to busy himself with the sweets on the cart.
Caught slightly off guard, the butler smiled and bowed, “Yes my lord.” remaining at his place at the end of the room near the door.
The earl looked up at him with annoyance, unable to believe his demon could hold knowledge from the beginning of time, yet still can be so daft. “Sebastian, you may come closer.”
The butler began to walk towards his master, “Shall I serve you some tea my lord?” he asked, looking down at his master, only to be met with a big blue eye staring up at him. He paused a bit longer than usual, captivated by the earl. Despite serving him for years, he never seemed to realized how handsome a young man he had grown into. Yet even though he was an adult, he still held onto his softer features. His eyes were a deep blue with long eyelashes gently adorning it and with clear skin to set his pale complexion into a soft glow, becoming even more ethereal in the candlelit atmosphere of the room.
Noticing the butler’s pause, he began to feel self conscious, “Is there something on my face? It’s unbecoming of a butler to stare at his master like that.” He scoffed.
“Absolutely nothing my lord, I was just noticing at how much my lord has grown into a young man. I wasn’t aware you would ever make it past 5 feet.” Sebastian remarked, easing the tension.
“Tch, bastard, just come sit next to me.” He said, burying his face in his book as he patted the spot next to him.
Now this was new, the demon thought to himself. Nevertheless he obeyed, sitting next to his master. Not sure what his master wanted of him.
The younger man rested his head on Sebastian’s shoulder, for once, leaving the butler speechless.
“Don’t overthink this. I simply needed something to lean on.” He remarked to Sebastian, the butler staying quiet about the growing heat on his master’s cheeks.
The earl began to rub his face into his butler’s arm, taking in the feeling of the coat and the smell of his demon. For the first birthday since that day, he felt genuinely at ease. He sat there in silence listening to the pseudo heartbeat of his butler, closing his eyes in contentment.
Sebastian was lost. He didn’t know what exactly was going on yet he didn’t detest the situation either. He’s never experienced a contractor that acted in this manner towards him. He was confused, yet he felt his heart begin to swell, noticing the similarities between his master rubbing his face on his arm and that of a cat. But most of all, his heart began to grow at being treated so softly. Like a rose, the younger man was beautiful yet sharp, he felt content with such a person by his side. Without thinking, he wrapped his arm around the earl, pulling him closer to his chest and noticing the distinct change of color in the man’s cheeks.
“I thought my lord would find it more comfortable in this position.” he said before his master could mention anything.
“It’s...fine…” He replied, not wanting to give way how flustered he really was. After gaining more of his composure he began to speak. “Sebastian, thank you, really.”
“My lord, that’s not necessary-” Sebastian began before getting cut off.
“I know we have a contract, but I really enjoy having you here...I suppose it’s convenient having one as entertaining as you serve me, ensuring I don’t get too bored.” He added on to avoid sounding too sappy.
“It’s been a pleasure in serving my lord.” The demon said, sincerely.
“Yeah, well… don’t get used to such spoils demon.” The earl replied, unable to look his butler in the eye.
Despite planning on his master being surprised, Sebastian was the one taken by surprise tonight. Just as to be expected of his master, he never failed to keep him guessing.
He leaned back a bit in order to allow his master to get comfortable, wrapping his arm around him a just a little bit tighter, pulling him a just a little bit closer.
It was subtle but didn’t go unnoticed by the younger man. He buried his head in his chest before turning around to read the materials Sebastian had brought for him. The warmth enveloping him and the rhythmic sound of Sebastian’s breathing began to slowly lull the younger man to sleep.
“Goodnight my lord.” Sebastian whispered, his face buried in the earl’s hair, taking in the soft lavender scent. He noticed the gentle flutter of his eyelashes as he said that before burying his face closer into Sebastian’s chest. The two men remaining like that for the rest of the night.
That was when Sebastian’s second great fall began.
Moments such as those didn’t end there. At first it was subtle. While handing his master his tea he noticed the lingering touch on his hand from the earl as he reached to grab his cup from the butler. In the evenings, it began to become a more common occurrence for the butler to share a bed with his master, the earl's face buried in his demon's chest until daybreak, where Sebastian would get up just before his master awoke in order to ensure the morning tasks were attended to. After days that were particularly long and violent- as to be expected carrying out the duties as the Queen's watchdog, the earl would request for Sebastian to lay with him after his bath, both men silent, simply listening to each other's breathing, grateful for the other's well being. The demon wasn’t complaining though, relishing any contact he had with his master. Any excuse to get close to him he took. Sometimes on particularly slow days the earl would request for his butler to lay with him in the evening and simply share a conversation together, making jokes about the servants' incompetence and other nonsense.
They’d often talk late into the night, Sebastian genuinely laughing at his master’s quips and jokes. He began finding himself finishing his tasks faster than usual in order to have more time to spend in his master’s company. The earl too had begun to try to finish his work faster too, in an attempt to retire early and request his butler accompaniment. It remained like that for the following year. The two of them falling deeper for the other yet both of the men’s pride were too great to admit it to themselves, even more so than to admit it to each other.
So this was where Sebastian stood- in the kitchen, distressed, and covered in chocolate, looking around for some rags to clean up the mess he had made. He was embarrassed yet grateful no one was around to witness him in such a pathetic state.
Until he heard a familiar laugh ring out behind him.