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His Butler (One-shot)

Title: His Butler

 Kuroshitsuji Tenipuri AU. TezRyo.  Tezuka as Sebastian and Ryoma as Ciel.  Based on episode 2 of the anime.

Rating: PG for violence.

Words: 3,436

Author's Note:  P-chan, here's your promised one-shot!  It didn't quite turn out how I wanted, and I'm not sure if it's exactly what you were after...  For everyone else, this was the prompt:  "Kuroshitsuji: Ryoma as master, Tezuka as butler. Ryoma trying to ruffle Tezuka up with his orders? See how much it takes before he cracks. "


Yet another task, completed flawlessly and without complaint.
Ryoma tapped the polished wood of the mahogany desk, the morning sunlight warming the high back of his cushioned chair. A single hazel eye – the other hidden behind a black patch - remained fixed on the servant standing by his desk, organising the paperwork for him to sign. Busywork. The game had not yet reached its climax, and he was getting bored of it. 
He needed a distraction, and experience taught him that the best distraction was the one standing at attention by his side. 
His posture was always so straight, his manners impeccable, his tea just perfect. As expected of a butler of the Echizen family. Nothing ever fazed him.
Well, nothing yet.
“Tezuka.” Dark brown eyes, with just a hint of red when they caught the sunlight, swivelled to regard him from behind a pair of polished spectacles.  “Bring me a grape soda,” he ordered, crossing his legs and tilting his head back to look down the bridge of his nose.
Tezuka left the room with only a quietly deferential ‘Young Master’. Ryoma scribbled his name on several pieces of paperwork, then dripped wax on them and impressed them with the family seal, admiring the way the rich red bubbled and stretched under the pressure. 
When he next looked up, a tall glass of clear, purple liquid sat just within his arm’s reach, and a long black tailcoat was once again visible out the corner of his uncovered eye.
It was a trivial request – of course Tezuka would do it without complaint. It wasn’t even remotely outside of the regular duties he performed during the course of the day. A bigger test, then.
He waved his hand at a plain white vase, stuffed with red roses – his aunt’s work. “That vase is annoying. Fetch a different one.”
The vase was perfectly fine, and he’d said as much when his aunt had left not hours before. Tezuka paused briefly, but bowed very, very slightly, and whisked the vase from its pedestal without a word. By the time Ryoma looked up from the paperwork again, another one, with a simple green pattern around the base, had replaced it.
“That one’s from the main hall. Get a new one.”
“Do you have something in mind?” The tone was neutral, and his butler might as well have been a statue for all the emotion he displayed.
That wasn’t a bad idea. A smirk tugged at the edges of his mouth. “Why don’t you sit there instead? You can be a living statue. It would suit you so well.” With a small amount of smug satisfaction, he pressed his mark into the wax of another seal.
He was expecting at least a retort for that one, but Tezuka merely approached the pillar, eyed it critically for a moment, then gracefully swung himself up on it, settling into a sitting position with gloved hands folded neatly on his lap and the ends of his tailcoat hanging in the air. All in all, he made for quite a sight, and it didn’t seem right that he could look so regal when sitting on a pedestal like that.
His butler, the most handsome.
Ryoma scowled, but refused to comment. If that was how he was going to play it, they could see who was the most patient.
Except Ryoma had briefly forgotten how good Tezuka was at the whole patience thing.
He worked quietly for at least two hours, sifting through paperwork for the toy company, checking the balance books – all boring things he’d normally get someone else to do, except that he liked being in control, and it also gave him a good cover for keeping an eye on an unmoving Tezuka. Soon, however, he grew bored of even that. Two hours, and not a twitch. It didn’t look like he’d even blinked.
His butler was the most patient, too. 
“You can get down now. I’ve decided the original vase was fine after all,” he dismissed, deadpan. “You can prepare lunch instead.”
Tezuka slid off the pillar in one smooth motion, and somehow – Ryoma didn’t see him do it, but that meant nothing – the original vase was resting in his place as he strode to the side of Lord Echizen’s desk. 
“What would you like for lunch?” There was a brief pause, and then Tezuka added, almost as an afterthought, “Young Master.”
Ryoma smirked. Tezuka might have played the part of a living statue without complaint, but he was getting to him, however slowly. A tiny slip up in his manners, but a slip none-the-less.
“I’m in the mood for roast duck.” It was a lofty request for the midday meal, especially with so little time for preparation, and he knew they were short on fowl in the kitchens.
Of course, Tezuka was one hell of butler. At precisely noon, a full three-course meal, featuring a perfectly roasted duck along with a side of steamed vegetables and three different kinds of bread was laid out to eat. A faint whiff of rosemary lingered in the air, and the flesh was even and white as Tezuka carved the duck with a steady hand. Ryoma could see Momo, Eiji and Sakuno peering around the corner, and knew that none of them had a thing to do with it. Especially not with the way they were salivating.
Tezuka tucked a napkin into his collar, one cold finger crooked against his neck for a heart-stopping minute. Then he withdrew to pour a drink and serve more vegetables onto his plate. Ryoma took delight in eating in slowly, letting the delicate flavours melt onto his tongue. There was something of a whine from the hallway.   Served Eiji right for making that huge racket in the garden, chasing mice in the early hours of the morning.
It was almost enough to chase away his foul mood from the morning – teasing his servants always amused him – but then Tezuka was there again, cleaning the side of his mouth with a practiced dab of his handkerchief. “Young Master, your face. Please don’t be careless.” 
Manners were, of course, important for a head of the Echizen family, even if there were no one else present. “It’s fine. You didn’t even give me a chance to fix it myself,” he groused.
Tezuka didn’t comment, but Ryoma could almost hear the lecture in his head. ‘One should eat carefully so as not to require the use of a napkin.’
“More importantly, this tablecloth is dirty.” It was spotless, like everything else in the mansion.
“I will fix it immediately.” And with a movement almost too fast for the eye to track, the tablecloth vanished from the table. 
Ryoma felt his face twitch. The only sign of the movement was the faint ripple of sauce in the gravy boat.
The young Lord Echizen was starting to get seriously irritated. He didn’t like losing, and he especially didn’t like the way the edges of Tezuka’s mouth had quirked up at his surprise, though there was no other change to his banal expression. He threw down his napkin without regard for proper etiquette and strode from the room. Tezuka shadowed him down the hallway, tablecloth still tucked over his arm, as Ryoma half-stomped his way back to the office, irrationally annoyed that his buckled shoes weren’t heavy enough to make a satisfying thump.
Then a small grey shape darted across his path.
The grin that spread across Ryoma’s face was positively icy.
“Apparently the other servants can’t handle the mice problem.” He paused for a moment, relishing what was certain to get a reaction.   “Get rid of them.” When Tezuka still didn’t say anything, he added, a little savagely, “Humanely.”
At last, there was a flicker across that stony expression. But then Tezuka bowed once more. “It will be done immediately, Young Master.”
Did nothing faze the butler?
Ryoma was left storming back to the office alone and in a sulk. That was stupid. Now he’d be bored. It would take even Tezuka a while to catch and release all of the mice in the house, especially with Momo, Eiji and Sakuno running around causing havoc.
He pushed open the door to his office, still scowling, but the expression vanished from his face as a white cloth was clamped over his mouth and nose. 
As he succumbed to the blackness, only one thought crossed his mind. 
He really hated losing.
Three soft knocks on the door. “Young Master.” A pause. “Young Master, I’ve cleared the mice and brought you afternoon tea.”
When still no response was forthcoming, Tezuka turned the polished iron handle and eased open the door.
Papers, scattered across the floor, chairs knocked over, and most telling – heavy curtains, rustling in the breeze.
The muscles around Tezuka’s mouth tightened.
“Just how many households have you helped, and how many have you crushed, Echizen Ryoma?”
Azuro Venere of the Ferro family. Ryoma didn’t bother replying, outside of a bland, “So it was you after all.” The leather of the belts wound around his torso and arms, pinning them uncomfortably to his back, bit into the edges of his skin. There was also a dull throbbing on his left temple, where one of the goons had whacked him after he bit him. Stupid idiot deserved it.
He remained silent as his abductor rattled off his motives and proposals. All things he’d figured out before, of course, and he quoted the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law back at him robotically.
“This is why English people are such a pain. The Queen! The Queen! You all have this stupid Oedipal complex for the Queen!” The Italian’s tobacco-stained hand cupped his chin roughly. “Binding people to your rules and trying to secure all the good picks for yourself; aren’t we birds of a feather? Let’s get along.”
He really was a colossal idiot. In a bored voice, Ryoma calmly replied, “If I’m not returned, my servant has been ordered to take the storehouse’s key to the government.” The blond gangster hesitated, and Ryoma smirked condescendingly. “Sorry, but I have no intentions of getting along with some gutter rat.”
Azuro stood and cocked a gun in his direction – but it was still an idle threat, and would continue to be until he had the storehouse key. “Don’t underestimate us adults, you little brat! I’ve already had my subordinates lie in wait at your mansion. Where’s the key? If you don’t spit it out soon, I’ll off your servants one by one!”
Ryoma just smiled humourlessly. “...You still have lots to work on.”
Azuro’s expression was worth the backhand across the face.
Tezuka came to fetch him of course, as he was bound to do, and if the frenzied reports and the distant gunshots were anything to go by, he took out half of Azuro’s group while doing so.
The Italian gangster was still projecting confidence, but even facing the wall, Ryoma could hear the rattle of the gun shaking in his hands. “Here I was wondering what sort of monster of a man would be appear, and it’s just some stiff bookworm in a tailcoat.”
Tezuka, naturally, was unruffled by the slight. “I’m here to collect my Master.”
“Just what are you? You’re not an ordinary butler!”
“No, I’m merely one hell of a butler.” The smooth baritone replied unhurriedly.
“Heh. I see. At any rate, I have no intention of going at it with you. But you know…”
Then a hand was gripping Ryoma’s hair, hauling him around and pressing a gun to his temple. Though his wince, Ryoma thought he saw Tezuka start for an instant, but was sure he just imagined it. Nothing ever fazed his perfect servant.
“You brought the item, right?” The gangster demanded. 
“Yes,” Tezuka replied, withdrawing a golden key from his breast pocket and holding it aloft between white-gloved fingers.
Then a spray out blood burst from the side of his head.
When the bullets ripped through the tailcoat, for just a second, Ryoma forgot. “Tez-!” The word died on his lips as Azuro’s arm tightened around his neck. His left eye remained open, fixed unblinkingly on the still form sprawled out on the floor, even as Azuro laughed and gloated in the background.
“Looks like I win this game! The opponent was Lord Echizen, a master of games, but I had an ace up my sleeve! It seems I’ve roughened you up a little, but… for you, I bet, more than the other bits, your eyeball will get you the most.” The cool metal of his gun slid under his black eye patch, and the slip of fabric fell soundlessly to the ground. “Hey now, you don’t have to be afraid. By the time you get completely messed up-”
Annoyed, Ryoma growled. “Hey, how long are you going to pretend to be asleep?”
He felt Azuro’s grasp tighten painfully, and saw one of the white gloves twitch.
“That’s impossible!” The gangster spat, voice shaking with terror. His underlings – the idiots that fired the shots - backed up nervously.
“Get moving already,” he huffed. It wasn’t funny anymore. He was sore, the belts were digging uncomfortably in his arms, and he wanted the stupid chain on his ankles gone. His butler was the strongest. Now that they knew that, he wasn’t keen to prolong things much further.
With what looked to be some small effort, Tezuka pushed himself from the floor and back to his feet. The acrid scent of gunpowder lingered in the air. “Modern guns have really improved,” he offered quietly, then held out a handful of spent, bloody bullets. “I shall return these to you.” And with a dispassionate flick of the wrist, disposed of the last of rats. Now it was just the three of them remaining.
Tezuka spent a moment inspecting the holes in his tailcoat – a faint crease of his brow the only sign of his displeasure. His butler, in addition to being strongest, was rather obsessed with also being the tidiest. He then inspected his glasses, until he was satisfied that they’d escaped free of cracks. He turned his attention to Ryoma last. “Young Master, they don’t appear to have treated you very well.” He took a step forward.
Azuro pressed the gun closer to his temple. “D-Don’t come any closer! Stay back, or I’ll shoot him!”
Tezuka halted. “Hurry up. His breath stinks,” Ryoma demanded.
“If I get any closer, you’ll be killed.” The words were delivered in the same business-like tone as always, and Ryoma felt another surge of irritation, mixing caustically with an undercurrent of fear. 
Maybe he shouldn’t have made Tezuka fetch that water from the mountain spring for his bath that time. Regular water would have been fine. He just wanted to see if he’d do it. “Are you trying to break the contract?”
“No.” It was the typical succinct reply. Dark eyes tracked up and down his body from behind the thin spectacles, inspecting him in a way that made his flesh prickle. Then… “Caterpillar.” The tone was as neutral as always, but Ryoma knew he was making fun of him, and his eyebrow twitched as he bit back a retort.
“What are you two talking about?” Azuro was on the verge of panic, the gun in his hand quivering with his shaking grip.
“You bastard,” Ryoma muttered, even though it was probably his fault for making his butler waste his time on pointless trivialities just to test him.
“There's no need for that.  I told you what to do if I were to ever become careless, did I not?” Tezuka stated, brushing the dust from his tattered tailcoat.
Ryoma felt his eyelid twitch at the reminder.
That jerk. Forcing him like that. Fine. He’d take a loss on their little game, if it won him the match.
His right eyelid snapped open, revealing a golden eye, marked with a pentagram that began to shine.
“This is an order. Save me this instant!”
“SHUT UP!” Azuro yelled, the tension finally breaking him. A gunshot echoed through the room. 
Smoke curled from the pistol. All was silent.
Then Ryoma turned his head, just slightly, to look his captor in the eye. 
Azuro’s stinky breath was coming in shallow pants now. “Why- why didn’t you die?”
“Are you looking for this?” The deep baritone voice asked, a gloved hand holding a single, still smoking, bullet in front of his face. “I shall return it to you.” And he dropped it, rather politely, into Azuro’s shirt pocket.
Then the gangster’s arm broke.
Tezuka gathered Ryoma up in his arms. His hands were cold but his chest was warm and still carried the coppery scent of blood. Ryoma let his cheek rest against the coarse fabric of the hole-ridden tailcoat as he was carried to the nearby chair, listening to the steady pace of Tezuka's steps in favour of the background of the gangster’s pained cries. 
“Hey, hey you! Come and be my bodyguard!” Azuro gasped out, nearly hysterical. “I’ll give you five, no, ten times the pay he’s giving you! I’ll give you all the women and alcohol you want!”
He fell silent when Tezuka set the young noble onto the chair, hand sliding down the breast of the maroon vest before grasping at the topmost belt binding Ryoma’s arms. One by one, he methodically broke each leather strap with nothing more than his hands. “My apologies, Signore Venere,” he replied formally. “But I have no interest in such things.”
“Why- What are you?” Azuro scrambled back, still clutching his broken arm, face white with terror or pain, it was impossible to tell. 
Tezuka stood, dropping the last of the restraints to the floor. Ryoma tested his wrists, working the feeling back into them. “Exactly as I said. Simply one hell of a butler.”
Ryoma watched the light of understanding dawn in the Italian’s eyes. This time, Azuro could see past the normalcy of the tone, and read the hidden meaning behind the simple words. Did he really think that a butler as fastidiously tidy and polite as Tezuka would so casually swear without meaning?
“…A demon?”
Tezuka grasped the fingertip of his right glove with his teeth, and pulled his hand free, revealing the pentagram seared into the skin – matching the one in Ryoma’s golden eye. “Through sacrifices and wishes, I am to abide by the contract and be bound to my Master. This… in exchange for his everlasting soul.”
Ryoma spent a moment savouring the slack-jawed fear on Azuro’s face. He crossed his legs and rested his chin on his hand, looking down at the pathetic criminal, whimpering and grovelling like the two-faced rat he was, and delivered his final sentence coolly. 
“Sorry, but this is game, set, and match.”
That evening, after a late dinner and once Momo, Eiji and Sakuno had been distracted with other mundane matters, Tezuka treated his wounds and dressed him for bed.
Ryoma stared at the head of silky brown hair bent over in concentration as those long fingers deftly buttoned his nightshirt closed. “You didn’t need to take so long.”
“It took me some time to notice. I was busy catching mice.” Tezuka was unapologetic.
“You still didn’t exactly rush.”
A pause, then, “No.” 
“So you agree you were annoyed.”
Silence was his only response.
Satisfied that his butler - though a demon - was still susceptible to some forms of human emotion, he stated, “You alone will never lie to me.”
Tezuka glanced up briefly, and dark brown eyes – with just a hint of red if one looked closely – studied him at length. “This contract binds us. A mark that demons put on their prey so that they will be able to find them wherever they are.” His fingers traced the edge of his eye patch for a moment. “In exchange…”
“It becomes impossible to escape from the demon.” Ryoma knew this by heart – had turned it over in his head a hundred times.
“Yes. I will follow you, no matter where you go, until the end. I do not lie, unlike humans.”
They were cold words from a cold, cold man. No, not even a man. But Ryoma felt a self-confident smirk settle on his lips all the same – the satisfaction that Tezuka was his, that the bond could not be broken, no matter the idle tasks, no matter the distance, no matter the money or temptations or anything else.
He slid his legs under the bedcovers, and Tezuka pulled the blanket to his chin. He might have been a demon butler, but the hand that brushed the hair away from his face was as gentle as a summer breeze.



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 4th, 2009 09:43 am (UTC)

dying of tests. will catch up um. soon. ;;
May. 4th, 2009 10:34 am (UTC)
That's a productive weekend right there, that is. ^__^

Good luck with tests~!
May. 4th, 2009 10:45 am (UTC)
I'm not a fan of TezuRyo but omg I love Tezuka and Sebastian...this crossover was so lovely to read and it was nice to see you used the same scenes from Kuroshitsuji ♥
May. 4th, 2009 11:38 am (UTC)
Sebastian~! ♥

Episode 2 is my favourite so far, so it was a given. ^__^ Thanks for reading, the TezRyoness aside. (Though one can't deny that Ryoma and Ciel are cut from the same cloth.)
May. 4th, 2009 11:54 am (UTC)
Though one can't deny that Ryoma and Ciel are cut from the same cloth.

OMG. I'm glad to see someone thinks the same~ When I first saw Kuroshitsuji I was like, hey, the main boy reminds me of Ryoma, from his looks to the bratty attitude (sorry not a huge Ryoma fan lol) XD I actually did something really nerdy related to Kuroshitsuji but I didn't post lol - I went to research/compare the 'accuracy' of the events with respect to the actual Victorian timeline since most of my BA degree focused on history and lit in the 19th century lol.
May. 4th, 2009 12:07 pm (UTC)
:O That's maybe one of the coolest nerdy things ever, you should totally post it!
May. 6th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
May. 4th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
May. 4th, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC)


May. 4th, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
omg *_* where is that from?
May. 5th, 2009 10:01 am (UTC)
*___* It's Commander Hirato from Karnavel.
May. 5th, 2009 11:00 am (UTC)
OMG YES! *____*
May. 4th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)


May. 6th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC)
i love this. tezuka groping ryouma while he sets him free. the golden eye. roast duck is second only to roast pigeon.

also, sakuno salivating = love.
May. 6th, 2009 10:32 am (UTC)
Roast pigeon om nom nom nom.
May. 7th, 2009 04:26 am (UTC)
with salt and lemon :D!

i'm too lazy to log in and you know who this is anyway (or do you?) soooo >>
May. 13th, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC)
OMG this is awesome! I looove it! Kuroshitsuji and TeniPuri!!! They fit the roles so well, even Momo, Eiji and Sakuno!!! :O Will you be writing more of this x-over!? Plz do! *fangirl*
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )