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Something Absolutely New

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She was staring again, Grelle Sutciff realised with a start as the cup she was filling began overflowing, staining the tablecloth and causing An to let out an exasperated sigh at her partner in crime’s distraction. Hastily the brunette butler leapt for some napkins, only causing further chaos as she knocked the teacup itself onto its side, spilling its contents over not only the tablecloth but her mistress’ lap. The other woman yelped and glowered accusatorialy at her before promptly being swept away by Sebastian, who shot her a look that was both disdainful and contemptuous at the same time. Grelle shrank back slightly, keeping in line with the character she’d chosen for herself, though inside she was shooting him a far more venomous glare than he could possibly imagine. Demonic bastard. One day she would show him, she’d paint that drop dead gorgeous face of his bright crimson, splatter it with his own dripping blood; wouldn’t that be fun? And such a pretty sight too. She sighed dreamily, watching his retreating figure with unconcealed longing.

A crash to her left snapped the butler out of her daydreaming, gaze settling once more on the object of her distractions. Mey Rin had somehow managed to drop the plates she’d been holding onto so carefully not a few moments ago, the fine china shattering into a thousand pieces as it impacted with the floor. The maid let out a noise of vague distress before dropping to her knees to try to salvage what she could. There was nothing she could do of course, Grelle noted with a sigh, but she gave the younger woman credit for at least attempting it, futile though it was. Grelle did have to wonder if she could even see some of the pieces, the maid’s eyesight was every bit as dreadful as Grelle’s own was after all.

It occurred to her, rather belatedly, that being the only other person in the room, she really ought to help out but something stopped her. The same thing that had had her so intent on Mey Rin for the past few days (and it wasn’t just the fact that she was deeply fond of the maid). No, something was off about the former assassin, though Grelle could not pinpoint exactly what that something was; she was just different. Had been for the past four days Madam Red and herself had been staying at Phantomhive manor.

Granted, Grelle had not seen the maid in quite some time. The last time she’d been here had been going on two months ago. To be more precise, it had been seven weeks and two days, not that Grelle was keeping count of the amount of days that had passed since she’d last been with Mey. That would be ridiculous and childish…

But something had definitely changed in the maid. That was a certainty.

And it wasn’t just a single thing either, Mey was far less coordinated and focused. Not that she’d ever been particularly skilled at the former but normally the assassin turned maid was almost hyper alert to her surroundings, a holdover from her former employment as well as part of the reason she was even allowed to work at the manor in the first place. Her eyesight and focus was one of her most important traits, to Bassy and the Phantomhive brat at least. That she seemed so out of it was a concern by itself.

Anyone else wouldn’t notice anything amiss, Grelle thought to herself, but she’d long since attuned herself to the maid’s every move. The woman was absolutely gorgeous, and had been so obvious and sincere in her affections that obviously Grelle had taken notice. At first she’d considered it quite annoying truthfully, the almost puppylike, simpering affection Mey Rin was giving her a far cry from what she usually found herself craving from anyone she sought to have a romance with. She’d almost dismissed the other red-haired woman as an irritant with no discernable personality who blended in with the other two to the point that they may as well be one infuriating entity. Grelle had never been so glad to be wrong in her assessment of a person. Of all three of them. They may not be the brightest of people, oftentimes too enthusiastic for their own good and sickeningly genuine. But all three of them were truly marvels among humans, they were the only three who knew of her secret and kept it, without judgement or mocking. They simply accepted it. And with their acceptance Grelle had found a new appreciation for them. Mey rin in particular.

Once over her initial impressions, the maid had never ceased to amaze her. How the woman could go from an adorable klutz in oversized glasses to a competent and deadly woman with eyes that could sear the very flesh from her bones, they held so much fire and ice. She near trembled at the thought of them. There was so very much to adore about the petite maid. And Grelle was constantly finding herself discovering new things. She knew every part of Mey Rin just as surely as she knew herself. She had thoroughly explored it after all...several times. This was why it was so odd that she couldn’t pick up on precisely what was different about her maid.

Grelle slumped over the table, cursing herself and searching for the one thing that would make this whole thing make any sort of sense to her before jolting up off of it in disgust, letting out a squeal. She’d not discovered what the difference was, but she had just half lain down on the dmp patch of cold tea staining the table cloth. With a sigh, she stood up, surveilling the damage. Pondering on Mey Rin would have to wait; she needed to go and change her shirt...

As though summoned by the squealing, Sebastian materialised in the doorway, carrying a broom and a dustpan, red-eyed gaze roaming over the scene in front of him, taking in the far-sighted maid, nose practically pressed to the floor picking up slivers of china with her bare hands and dropping them onto her apron (an act which simply made the pieces slide down back onto the floor, creating even more of a mess) and the short-sighted butler, eyebrows drawn to make her look even more worried than usual, a look of utter distress on her face as she stared down in horror at the light brown stain down the front of her formerly white shirt. The demon sighed and both of the figures in the room bowed their heads. Grelle more out of annoyance than any real shame. Of course he would have to walk in to see this. He did have rotten timing.

For now however he did seem to be ignoring her, honing in on poor, love-stricken Mey Rin instead. His deadpan expression seemed to do little to deter the faint blush on Mey’s cheeks, not that Grelle could blame the other in the least. No matter how fond she was of the maid, the other butler was drop dead gorgeous. She would jump him in a heartbeat. Amongst other things… Grelle let out another shriek; her elbow had just landed in the butter dish. The demonic butler’s gaze grew somehow even more exasperated than it had been though he steadfastly ignored her for the time being.

“Perhaps a broom might be useful in such a situation Mey Rin?” He suggested with a delicately arched brow, his expression entirely baffled though he hid it behind his usual mask of long suffering patience. His tone displayed that he thought Mey Rin were an idiot for not thinking to use the tool. But then, it was hardly a change. Grelle noted with a small scowl, Sebastian did tend to view his trio of subordinates entirely incompetent. Though, he did have a point here. Why hadn’t she opted for a broom and dustpan?

The maid blushed furiously, stammering out an apology that Sebastian ignored entirely in favour of casting his narrowed gaze onto the other woman in the room.

“Sutcliff...how is it that even when doing nothing at all, you still manage to turn it into a disaster?” He practically spat out, or at least, Grelle imagined he’d be spitting the words out if he weren’t so dedicated to seeming perfect and in control at all times. “No, don’t answer that.”

Grelle shut her mouth with a click, staring balefully at the dark haired butler, before her eyes wandered back down to the stains on her uniform. How unsightly, she looked like a street urchin now. The uniform was already ugly enough. Now adding stains to it, Grelle practically wanted to cry. Perhaps she ought to. It might make everyone pity her...or she could…

Her eyes darted to the open window, shining with unshed tears. Across from her, Sebastian followed her gaze and let out a sigh moving across to the window and bolting it shut before Grelle could even begin to move. Her lower lip trembled.

“There shall be none of that today Mr Sutcliff.” Grelle frowned internally, though any irritation was soothed by a sympathetic gaze from Mey Rin. “Go and make yourself presentable Sutcliff. It’s unseemly for a butler to be seen in such a state. And you, Mey Rin, go and help him, heaven knows he shall most likely get lost trying to find his own room.” Sebastian rolled his eyes. “I shall deal with the mess in here. Once you’re done, the two of you can go and help Baldroy, surely between the three of you, you shall manage to not entirely destroy everything you touch?”

Scampering to attention, Mey Rin nodded frantically before running over to Grelle and practically pushing her out of the door, eager to escape the butler’s wrath for the day.