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About Literature / Hobbyist AudriFemale/United States Groups :iconexplicitly-loki: Explicitly-Loki
 
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inkandparchment23
Audri
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
I will not pretend to be a model, nor a star, nor a exceptionally well-seasoned author, nor a genius, nor a "best 'anything' of the year" award winner. I am merely a girl - a dreamer at that - with a few measly words and a story or two to tell before I'm gone.

NOTE: To just get this out of the way, because there are apparently a lot of hackers on dA, I would NEVER:

-Tell you that I didn't want to see your comments on my deviations
-Tell you that I hate you
-Tell you stop dA-watching me
-Put disheartening comments on your profile or deviations
-Use graphic or foul language to hurt you
-Or any other impolite, cruel things, especially not on dA, let alone in real life. If YOU did any of those things to me, I would NOT react in kind. I would simply delete your comment, ignore it, and possibly report you if you did not desist.

IF I LEAVE ANY SUCH ABRASIVE COMMENTS ON YOUR PROFILE OR DEVIATIONS, IT IS NOT ME. I HAVE BEEN HACKED.

PLEASE DON'T REPORT ME. COMMENT SOMETHING LIKE "Why did you say that?" BACK SO THAT I WILL BE NOTIFIED OF MY/HACKER'S RUDE COMMENTS AND CAN CHANGE MY PASSWORD.

(Sorry for all the caps-lock, had to be sure you were reading, didn't I, darlings?) ;)

Important info:

:bulletblue: You may draw any characters from my stories as long as you send me a link or a pic so I can enjoy them as well...
:bulletblue: I accept writing commissions. The details are over there somewhere<<
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Some people say that a person’s life can change in a matter of seconds. That can easily sound a bit extreme. A day seems much more reasonable, or a week or even a month. With this in mind, it is easy to accept the thought that someone could pick up the pieces of their life and move on over a course of seven years. This is just what Lady Lyn Harkeran did.

Published authoress and a wealthy distinguished woman of 25, Lyn was a woman who was happy. She was quite at peace with the world as well as the place in it which she had carved for herself.

Happiness. True happiness. 

It often seemed strange to the thoughtful woman how happiness had morphed from a rare exotic dish to a daily meal over the course of the last six or seven years. She had never in all her life been as familiar with such felicity as she was now. She could say, without reserve, that she was at peace.

Life still had its barbs, or course. But they all seemed trivial compared to the hardships she had endured in the past. Her bruised childhood, her fearsome dark triumph over her father, and her struggle to find her place in the world all seemed to make the severity of her daily trials fade. She had overcome her dark past and now walked confidently in the light.


One fine autumn day, when London was graced with crisp, cool breeze and a cobalt sky, Lady Lyn Harkeran familiarly found herself in a book shop, surrounded by the exquisite scent of leather, ink, binding glue, and parchment. She had just come from her weekly trip to the office of her editor and had decided to pay a visit to the inky world of novels.

Inhaling the woody smell of the leather bound book in her hand, Lyn felt any tension she might’ve been holding inside her loosen as though they had been massaged from her subconscious. After several more minutes, however, she noticed the time and concluded her visit with several purchases before exiting the shop with a turn of her skirts.

Her boots clicked on the cobblestones as she strode down the sidewalk, clutching her bundle of books to her chest. London was usually a bustling city, but as she walked further and further towards the more dreary area of the British city, the number of people—as well as the usual accompanying chatter—diminished considerably.

Most sensitive young women of Lyn’s age would have been understandably tentative at the prospect of walking unaccompanied down such a stretch of isolated sidewalk. But Lyn, though gentle in countenance and lady-like in appearance, was not a frail flower to be protected. She had faced great trials in her life and had seen them through, leaving her confident and unafraid. She was prepared for anything; after the life she’d lived, she doubted anything could take her by surprise anymore.

She was proven wrong, however, by a single opening door, which opened just in front of her nose and caused her to stumble—and consequently fall—backwards as well as drop her newly acquired books onto the pavement. She sat stunned for a moment before hurriedly gathering up all of her books. 

The stranger who had opened the door saw immediately what he had done and apologized profusely.

~Oh, dear,” said a soft, contrite male voice. “I’m terribly sorry, miss. Please, allow me to help you.”

“Don’t fret!” She responded with a laugh, not yet looking up. “My books and I are no more worse for wear!”

She came to a sudden halt, however, when her gloved hand brushed against the man’s own gloved fingers as they both reached for the same book on the ground. Lyn gaped at the pristine glove of the gentleman. It was in a state of the utmost perfection. As her chocolate eyes drifted upwards, they travelled up an ebony coat with gleaming buttons, over a perfect face, and held the gaze of two wine-colored eyes.

Those eyes… She stared in arrested shock. It can’t be…

Those red irises looked just as surprised as hers.

“S-Sebastian?” She whispered.

“~My l… Lyn?” 

She raised a hand to her trembling lips as her eyes became misted with overwhelmed tears. 

“Sebastian… I… I…” She stuttered for a moment as she searched for any words that she might have kept for him. 

There were none. What words could a young woman have for her old butler—a demon—after everything that had happened between them, all the years that had passed, and all the things she had done without him?

They both slowly rose to their feet until they stood before each other, staring in astonishment for several moments. 

Silence. There was silence between them.

Then Lyn smiled widely and stepped forward, her face bright.

“Hello, Sebastian,” she greeted as she would an old friend.

Even the butler smiled in return as he reached out to gather her gloved fingers in his.

~Hello, Miss Lyn Harkeran,” he answered, bowing from the waist and placing a delicate kiss on her knuckles; his composure was as perfect as ever.

“I… I thought I would never see you again,” she stated softly, lowering her eyes as he released her hand. “The way you left… all those years ago…” She placed her fingers over her lower lip as she recalled the kiss he had left on them. “It felt like a conclusion to last a life time.”

~I felt the same,” he smiled softly, “my lady.”

A grin tugged at her mouth as he addressed her familiarly.

The two of them were suddenly interrupted by the sound of a young voice calling out to the handsome butler from inside the building Sebastian had just exited.

“Sebastian? Where are you?” A boy’s voice called out, as he approached the door, which had remained open. 

A young boy, around the age of 12 or 13, appeared beside Sebastian. He was extremely well dressed for a child his age. He wore a grey Inverness coat, a gleaming top hat, and an eye-patch over his right eye.

“In this state, the Undertaker is too eccentric to hold a conversation with,” the boy said drolly. Then he noticed Lyn. “Hello, who’s this?”

~Master, allow me to introduce Lady Lyn Harkeran, a lady novelist and an old…” He paused, searching for the correct word. “Contractor of mine.”

“Master?” Lyn asked, gazing in shock at the young boy. She knew all to well what the term “master” implied.

“Contractor?” The boy inquired, looking equally surprised.

They both looked to Sebastian for answers, who sighed and gave a chuckle.

~Oh dear, it would seem that I’m quite caught in the middle, aren’t I?” He turned to the boy. “Master, I was under contract to Lady Harkeran for seven years,” he explained.

“Under contract? And you let her go?” The boy asked, sounding surprised.

Lyn felt a sudden minor swell of irritation at his tone, which was oddly superior and belittling.

~Yes, I’m afraid so,” Sebastian smiled softly, looking in her direction. “Due to unusual circumstances, I was obliged to release her from the contract.

Something about the way he had said this made Lyn blush. He seemed almost fond of the memory.

~And, Lady Harkeran, if I may,” he began slowly. “This is Earl Ciel Phantomhive, owner of the Phuntom Toy Company, my current master as well as the first to bestow upon me the title which you came to call me by.

“Oh, I see,” she nodded politely. Suddenly, confusion bled into her expression. “Wait a moment, how can that be?”

~What do you mean, miss?

“Oh, goodness, Sebastian,” she exclaimed rather quickly, quite exasperated. “Don’t call me ‘miss’, not after what we’ve been through together, please. But, what I mean is: how could Earl Phantomhive have given you your name before I knew you? That was nearly 13 years ago when I first met you. And, if you’ll forgive me for being so presumptuous, Earl Phantomhive, you do not appear to be much older than 13 years yourself.”

Suddenly, the boy smirked a bit unpleasantly.

“Yes, well, things are not always as they seem,” he stated, his vibrant blue eye melting into the color of fresh blood and the pupil sharpening into a slit. His tone was highly matter-of-fact. “Are they?” 

Lyn gave a small gasp. 

Staring at the youth for a moment, she quickly understood what he was stealthily pointing to: he too was a demon. This realization boggled her mind. Turning her gaze to her old butler, she darted him an inquiring look. With a single nod, the man confirmed her suspicions. She found it necessary to take a deep breath before continuing.

“And yet, he is your contract-holder and master?” She asked Sebastian, her gaze confused.

~My young lord was human approximately 28 years ago,” he explained once again. “At the time of his transformation, he was my contract holder and so he remains, indefinitely.

“Oh, I see,” she whispered, suddenly very glad that her contract with Sebastian had managed to be resolved as it had.

She had given the contract a great deal of thought after its dissolution, trying to think of a way that it might’ve ended up more favorably, preferably ending with her being in a stable, permanent life with Sebastian. Never had she considered that the only way to achieve this would have been for her to become a demon also.

Her gaze settled on the boy with wonder and a touch of sorrow. Although she did not know the particulars of what had happened, she had a feeling that it had not been planned, much like her own conclusion with Sebastian had been unplanned.

Shaking off her silent, contemplative state of mind, she brightened her face and stepped forward again.

“I would love so much to remain here and converse with you two until the moon rose, but I have a previous engagement,” she apologized. “However, I would be most honored if the two of you could find the time to come to my manor for dinner!” She handed the two of them cards with her name and address on them. “Any time you are available, tonight if possible!”

Sebastian looked to his master expectantly, knowing that he would be the one to make the decision.

“Hmm, perhaps we would be able to make it tonight,” Ciel Phanomhive considered. “What time would you like for us to arrive?”

“If possible, seven-thirty,” she answered.

“Very well, expect us,” the boy said, turning away. “Now, we won’t keep you any longer and delay you in getting to your appointment.”

As the young earl walked down the sidewalk, Sebastian remained with Lyn for a moment.

“It was so unexpectedly wonderful to see you again, Sebastian,” Lyn Harkeran told him with a true smile.

~The same to you, Lyn,” he responded, stooping gracefully to kiss her hand again.

His black, feathery locks caressed the exposed skin of her wrist as he showed his respect. When he straightened once more, his eyes were glowing and dancing ever so slightly. It betrayed a hidden excitement in Sebastian.

~Until tonight, madam.

“Sebastian!” Lord Phantomhive’s voice called out, summoning him.

~Coming, my lord.


There were many preparations to be made. Because of the lack of servants—Lyn had decided to take on as few servants as possible after the loss of Sebastian—the pre-visitor duties were laid heavily upon Lyn and the two maids. Everyone else kept well out of the kitchen; there were women at work.

Through all of the preparations, Lyn’s mind was a flurry of baking, decorating, giddiness, and worry.

Had she done the right thing in inviting Sebastian and his master to dine with them? Would it be the happy, reminiscent visit she hoped? Or would it only serve to stir up painful old memories that were best left dormant?

After all, none of the house’s other inhabitants new about the true nature of her relationship with Sebastian. Was such a visit wise?

Everything was well taken care of by 7:10 and so leaving everything and everyone else to the care of the two maids, Lyn returned to her bedroom to prepare herself for the visit. 

She spent so much time fretting over how she looked and smelled that she forgot that Sebastian’s punctuality was perfect. The knocker at the front door sounded at 7:30 PM precisely. Due to an unfortunate preoccupation on the maids’ part however, the sound at the door went unnoticed.

An elegant black Inverness draped over his sharp frame, Sebastian Michaelis stood alone on the front steps of the large manor. His appearance was characteristically impeccable, but his eyes had a certain nostalgic gleam to them, making them particularly spectacular. His beautiful eyes narrowed in annoyance, however, when he was forced to knock a second time.

Poor Miss Lyn, he thought to himself, amusement and pity entering his attitude. Her current servants are obviously nowhere near as efficient as I was.

Suddenly, he heard the door handle turn and he corrected his demeanor so as not to appear disapproving. He was surprised, however, when the door had opened, but there was seemingly no one there to greet him. He had expected a stuffy old butler, or some flustered maid, or perhaps even Lyn herself, but the doorway into the well decorated home seemed empty, that is, until he looked down.

Large, innocent brown eyes gaped up at him in astonishment and wonder. Sebastian stared in return with an equal measure of astounded surprise. The little waif before him seemed to be a replica of Lady Lyn when he had first met her, although quite a bit smaller and her hair a good deal longer. Her little cherub-cheeked face seemed to suggest that she was perhaps five, maybe even younger.

Sebastian’s red eyes grew wide when he considered what this meant. 

Could this little creature be Lyn’s-

“Are you here to see my mommy?” The child asked in a voice preciously articulate for being so young.

His features grew gentle and he crouched down before her.

~Yes, I am, little one,” he responded with certainty. There was no way in all creation that this child wasn’t Lyn’s. 

Her orb-like eyes grew even wider as his closer proximity as well as the sound of his voice.

“Your eyes are red,” she whispered, looking sympathetic. "Are you sad?"

The demon chuckled.

~No little one," he answered. "I am not sad. My eyes have always been this way."

"Well, they're beautiful," she told him shyly.

Sebastian looked at her curiously, tilting his head and getting a half-an-inch closer.

"~You think so?"

She nodded meekly.

“And your voice is like rose petals,” she squeaked, suddenly hiding half of her blush behind the edge of the door.

He laughed softly again.

~Rose petals, you say?” He cooed. “How odd. What makes you say that?”

“My… my mommy writes stories,” she answered. “I think she wrote about someone like you.”

~Did she now?”

“Yes, sir,” she answered, well-mannered. She came out from behind the door a bit. “A voice like rose petals, a smile like a Cheshire cat, and,” she reached out with a single chubby finger towards one of his locks of hair, “hair soft and… and bony like crow feathers.”

The very tip of her tiny finger touched his hair and she drew in a miniscule breath when she felt how soft it was.

She made him laugh yet again. How precious she was.

~Ebony, my dear. I believe the word is ebony.

“What’s ebony?” She asked screwing up her face.

~It’s a word for black, little one.

“Chaucer’s beard! Lydia! What are you doing answering the door?” Lyn’s voice came from the corridor behind the young girl, sounding a bit panicked.

Sebastian was confronted by the hem of Lyn’s skirts as she pulled the door all the way open. Quickly—but with grace—he rose to his feet before his mistress of seven years ago. He bowed respectfully.

~Lady Harkeran,” he gave a pleasant smile. “What a charming estate you have.

“Sebastian,” she grinned. “Thank you! It’s very nice to see you again, but,” her face became confused, “where is your master? I thought he would be coming as well.”

~My young master was regrettably unable to accept your invitation. I am truly sorry for any inconvenience,” he apologized.

“Oh, I see. For goodness’ sake! Don’t apologize! I’m sure whatever he had to attend to was far more pressing.” She changed the subject and glanced down at the little girl who was holding her hand. “I see you’ve already met my daughter, Lydia.”

~Indeed,” he responded with a soft smile directed towards the young girl, who returned it shyly.

“Lydia, this is Mr. Sebastian Michaelis. He was a close friend of mine before you were born,” Lyn introduced.

The little girl said nothing for the moment, but merely nodded shyly up at the handsome man. Sebastian, however, doffed his top hat and bowed so low that his face was almost level with hers.

~It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Lydia,” he said with a flourish, making the child suppress a giggle beneath her hands.

“Well, then,” Lyn smiled. “Now that we’re all acquainted, perhaps we should all go inside.”

~Of course, Lady Harkeran,” Sebastian answered, following the two women of the house as they turned away from him.

After removing his hat and cloak, he followed after the mother and daughter as they led the way.

“Mommy,” little Lydia whispered. “He looks like Mr. Crow.”

Sebastian could tell Lyn was smiling. 

“Yes, you’re right,” she answered. “He does.”

Once they were settled in the sitting room, Lyn turned to her daughter and spoke in a soft, loving voice.

“Lydia, why don’t you go to your father?” She said. Sebastian rose a single eyebrow at this.

As the darling little girl ran off, the man and the woman’s eyes reconnected. For a moment, Lyn felt a strange shyness creep in. She found that she did not know what to say. Sebastian, however, socially graceful as ever, did.

~How long have you been married?” He asked gently.

“Nearly five years,” she responded softly.

~I see,” he hummed.

Again, there was a silence. Lyn actually squirmed internally. These silences were becoming more and more uncomfortable for her. For some reason, she felt the need to explain herself.

“Well, you didn’t expect me to just never look at any man ever again, did you, Sebastian?” She asked very suddenly.  Her tone was a bit sullen. Sebastian regarded her with surprise and opened his mouth to speak, but she spoke again before he could utter a syllable. “Of course, it took about a year and a half for me to finish mourning your loss, but Fredrick brought me back to life again. He’s ever such a good man and such a kind husband! I just couldn’t have forgiven myself if had I dwelt on the past so! I apologize profoundly if you expected to ever come find me and… and…” She allowed her words to scatter and dropped her gaze. What was she saying? He hadn’t been planning on returning for her.

Suddenly, her thoughts were interrupted by the feeling of Sebastian moving beside her on the couch. He gathered her hand in his comfortingly.

~Lyn, Lyn,” he stopped her with a firm voice, but a gleam in his eyes. “You owe me nothing. Do not make such ridiculous pretense that you do.

“Oh, but I… I do owe you, Sebastian!” She insisted. “You were the first man to ever show me kindness, gentleness. You may have intended to use me, to devour my soul, but I know that God can use even wicked things to bring about some good.” For the first time, he noticed a silver cross was looped around her throat on a pedant. He narrowed his eyes ever so slightly. “He used you to save me, Sebastian.”

~Please, Lady Harkeran,” he said more formally as he drew back from her slightly. He did not demonstrate his discomfort with her newly found faith, but her hand was released and he reminded her, “You know what I am.

“I do, but I wish that I could repay you in kind, by saving you from yourself,” she mourned.

He gazed at her sorrowful eyes with fascination and reached up to gently brush a stray lock aside to see them better.

~If ever I doubted that you were the same woman I knew seven years ago,” he began so softly his tone was akin to a purr, “all I would be required to do would be to gaze into these eyes of yours. They haven’t changed a bit. You’re still the same as ever, Lyn, filled with the most deliciously scented compassion and strength.

She smiled softly and looked away, her cheeks dusted with pink.

“What is a girl to say to such an odd compliment, sir?”

~Whatever she fancies, of course.”

Her gaze flickered for a moment and she looked as though she were about to say something; her eyes indicated that her thoughts were tender. But she then visibly let go of the words on her tongue and she reached out and took his gloved hand familiarly.

“I say, let us talk of less controversial things!” She stated. 

~Very well,” he nodded, taking the obvious dodge gracefully. “As I understand it, you have become quite successful in your career as an authoress.

“I’d certainly like to think so.”

~Have you sold many books?”

“Quite a few,” she responded eagerly. “Seven in a children’s series and four separate novels for adults. I am currently working on a sequel to one of the latter.”

~Very impressive. I congratulate you, Lyn. You’ve done quite well for yourself and your family,” he responded. His tone was that of a pleased tutor and it brought a giggle to Lyn’s throat. “I must ask, however,” he continued, his voice curious, “is a certain ‘Mr. Crow’ a character of yours?”

“Oh, yes.” She blushed a bit. “I take it Lydia compared you to him?”

~’A voice like rose petals, a smile like a Cheshire cat, and hair soft and ebony like a crow’s feathers’,” he quoted, the notorious grin spreading over his lips. “Indeed.”

“That child is far too observant for her own good,” Lyn sighed, briefly passing a hand over her eyes. “Yes, I based Mr. Crow off of you. I daresay you would find his character most pleasing. He’s a mysterious man, who comes only when he is called upon, then leaves like a shadow, a single red rose left behind. Lydia’s gotten it into her plaited head that Mr. Crow is a prince in disguise and keeps pestering me to write a sequel accordingly.”

Sebastian chuckled. 

~How flattering.”

A moment later, a red-faced maid came into the sitting room. The poor woman looked quite exasperated.

“My lady, good sir,” she addressed breathily as she took in air desperately. “Dinner is served.”


Mealtime passed without much ado. Sebastian was introduced to Lyn’s husband and could find nothing wrong with the man, even though he was a rigorous judge of character. Fredrick Lutece was a handsome, strong, gentle, good-humored man, who held an obvious affection for his family. By the time desert was served, the retired butler was forced to admit that the gentleman and spouse of his lady had withstood his testing. It did, however, surprise Sebastian that he cared so much about this.

Well after supper, Sebastian and Lyn found themselves in the sitting room again. They had been there for quite some time, most of it with the added company of Fredrick. After a time, however, the man gracefully withdrew to prepare Lydia for bed. 

The atmosphere in the candle-lit sitting room grew very relaxed.

“It is truly such a shame that your master could not come,” Lyn sighed. “He missed out on such excellent company, though I say so myself.” She smiled at her joke.

~In all honesty, Lyn,” the demon stated frankly. “I believe that Lord Phantomhive failed to accompany me because he was curious to see how strong my remaining loyalty is to you.” He paused and considered something. “Although, perhaps it was better that he did not come. I doubt he would have been able to restrain himself at your little jest at the start of dinner.

“Ah, so my little irony wasn’t lost on you, Sebastian?” She winked at him teasingly.

He looked slightly pained.

~How could I miss it?” He saw as she cocked her head and looked at him with wide, innocent eyes. “Lyn, you asked me to say the blessing before our meal,” he scolded ever so slightly, though she could sense the tiny amusement in his voice.

“And you dodged the responsibility as skillfully as ever,” she added with a giggle. “It was just a bit of fun.”

Her child-like expression coaxed a deep chuckle from his throat.

~Perhaps you have changed a bit, Lyn,” he stated. “But as far as I can tell, the alterations are not distasteful at all.

A smile was delivered to him by these round-a-bout kind words and there was a moment of contented silent between the two of them.

“I’m glad you approve, Sebastian.” She spoke. “And I’m glad I received the chance to see you again.”

~And I you,” he answered with a slight nod of his head.

Their nostalgic moment was interrupted, however, by the sound of small running feet. Lydia, in her soft white nightgown, came flying into the room and screeched to a stop at her mother’s side.

“Sebby’s crying,” she said breathlessly, causing Sebastian to raise an eyebrow. “Daddy’s going to bring him.”

“Gracious, child!” Lyn exclaimed at her daughter’s sudden appearance. “Alright, that’s just fine. But whatever are you doing out here in your nighty?”

The child’s eyes grew large and turned towards the man seated across the room from her.

“I wanted to say goodnight to Mr. Crow,” Lydia whispered.

“Darling,” the mother sighed with a chuckle. “He’s not Mr. Crow. Now, go back to bed.”

~Oh, am I not?” Sebastian inquired, catching their attention. Lydia’s eyes met his and, for a moment, they were so like her mother’s when he had first met her that he felt his heart grow a bit soft. “Lydia, come,” he beckoned, extracting his white handkerchief and draping it over his other hand. “Tell me, little one. What do you see?

Padding over to him on bare feet, the small girl’s eyes were a bit shy, but very curious. Upon seeing the cloth over his hand, she looked at him as though she thought he was quite silly.

“Why, your pocket handkerchief, sir,” she answered.

~Are you certain? Is that all?

Suddenly inspecting the object again with accusing scrutiny, she crinkled her nose and squinted.

“I…I think so,” she responded tentatively.

~I see,” he said softly. “How about,” he quickly tore the fabric away from his hand, “now?”

The little girl gaped in wonder as a dark red rose was revealed between his fingers. With a gentle expression, he offered the blossom to her and she meekly took it. Suddenly, the man lowered his voice to a whisper and he playfully whispered in the girl’s ear:

~You were right, Lydia. I am a prince of sorts.

“I knew it!” She giggled.

“Sebastian,” Lyn scolded lightly, highly amused.

A moment later, the sound of a small child’s wail began to grow closer and Lyn winced a bit at the pitiful sound.

“See, mama?” Lydia said again. “Sebby’s crying and he won’t stop.”

“Yes, I hear,” the mother answered. “Come, Lydia. Say goodnight to Mr. Crow and come return to bed.”

Rising from her seat, Lyn held out her hand to her oldest child. Lydia took it, but not before bobbing a sweet curtsy to the butler. Then they left the room.

Sebastian took this opportunity to refold his handkerchief and ponder this new family Lyn had found. In all honesty, it made him quite uncomfortable. They were happy, kind, and at peace. He had no place here. He even considered leaving right then and there, slipping away into the night while no one was watching. But just as he had stood up, the sound of the infant’s wails intensified and Lyn reentered the parlor. She held a tiny babe in her arms.

“Sebby, darling,” she cooed to the crying child. “Hush now, hush.”

Still the babe cried. It was quite a raw sounding cry, as infants’ often have from many nights of tears.

“Sebastian?” The woman raised her eyes to meet his. “Would you mind practicing your skills as a butler one last time and soothe this child?”

A single raised eyebrow.

~Are you commanding me again, my lady?

“No, I am no longer your mistress, dear Sebastian. But I am asking as a favor from an old friend.” She brought the infant closer to him. “Would you try?”

~Of course, Lady Lyn,” he responded, scooping the babe into his own arms.

Externally, he had the same grace he always did. On the inside, however, he felt quite uncomfortable. Human offspring had always put him on edge. As a demon, they were of no use to him, since they hardly had a sense of who they were yet. Nevertheless, adult humans always showed a great deal of affection for the fat little drooling babes, and so he had always had to make a pretense to do the same. 

Communicating with them was another conquest altogether. Sebastian had developed a method, but it didn’t always work. The child in question would have to have the right sort of disposition. Nevertheless, at his lady’s request, he tried his hand at it.

~Little one,” he addressed the infant firmly, his eyes glowing red and his aura changing. “Cease your noise, and look at me.

On command, the baby did as he was told.

~If you are in good health, then cry no more tonight.

The wailing ceased and the little child stared up at the dark man with wide eyes, as if he had understood every syllable spoken to him and was shocked by it. Rocking the babe gently, Sebastian gazed up at its mother. She bore a stunned smile.

“I suppose,” she began with a light chuckle. “If you couldn’t calm a crying baby, what kind of a butler would you be?”

~Indeed,” he smirked. “No kind at all.

Returning his gaze to the child in his arms once more, he pondered. His time here was running out. His thoughts then shifted to the name he had heard Lyn address her child by earlier. It had not gone unnoticed.

~What is Sebby short for?” He inquired, knowing full well the answer.

“Sebastian,” she responded gently. “I thought it fitting.”

He gave a silken chuckle.

~You named your child after a demon?

“No, don’t be absurd,” the woman laughed. “I named him after my darling butler, my first true friend.”

Those words would haunt Sebastian till the end of all things.

A friend? Him? To a human?

It made a small confused smile rise to his perfect lips and, as he handed the child that bore his namesake back to his mother, he considered the sight before him. Lyn and her youngest child. A woman who was once a tiny beaten girl with shorn hair and an iron resolve, now holding a baby who bore the name of the demon who had nearly bought her revenge with the price of her soul, but released her. It befuddled him to no end.

~It is late, Lyn,” he told her, dropping all titles one last time. “I must be going. Returning late to my master’s home would be unseemly.

“Of course,” she nodded softly. “I understand. It was truly a miracle to see you one last time.”

He took a moment to appreciate her and the fact that neither of them had had to speak in order to communicate that this was indeed the last time they would meet. Her life was entirely functional and whole again; he had no business intruding upon it.

~I agree. It was pleasant to see you again as well, Lyn.” 

Stepping forward, he brought his lips gently to her forehead and then backed away.

~I wish you every happiness,” he knelt, hand over his heart, “my lady.

She could tell he meant it.

When they parted ways for the last time, Sebastian mulled over the curiousness of his fate over the past 25 years. He had met Lyn, made a contract, invested in her, let her go, and managed to somehow be instrumental in her happiness. And because of this, somehow, he was pleased. He had been a part of a happy ending.

Though he had originally come to visit his lady in hopes that she would once again fall for him, he found himself curiously pleased that she had not.

How odd humans and their lives were.

And yet, he would be a poor liar to deny his fondness for them.

From the Dark, A Light (Dark - Part 4)
Tarnisis  This one's for you, dearie. I just recently discovered this one in my archives and remembered that I had started it forever ago for you. The first three-fourths of it are from a year and a half ago so the style might change slightly as you go on, but I hope you like this unexpected fourth and final part of your Lyn Harkeran and Sebastian story!

XOXO
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As a foreign pair of feet walked the halls of the fourth floor of the Shinigami Dispatch (LD), the bespectacled heads of reapers poked out from their cubicles and watched in awe. Even Giana, who was clueless as to the identity of the stranger, stared in curiosity. In her three months of working at the dispatch, she had never seen this person before.

The moment the besuited figure boldly entered William’s office and shut the door, the room was filled with whispers. Even more curious, Giana peeked around the wall of her cubicle to speak to Ronald, who now worked--or more often, lazed--just next to her.

“Ronald,” she got his attention. “Who was that man?”

The blond shinigami turned to her slowly, his eyes still drawn to the closed office door.

“Oh man,” he breathed, putting a hand to his head. “That was Sir Hugh W. Reid.”

“Who’s he?”

“He’s one of the highest ranking officials in the Shinigami Conglomerate. When someone like him shows up, something big’s gotta be happening.”

“Like what?”

“Well,” he began, his tone indicated that he was preparing to tell a Dispatch horror story of sorts. “The last time he came to the London division, it was because a reaper had been neglecting his soul-reaping duties, leaving souls to wander as ghosts. Apparently, this reaper had received several severe warnings concerning his misconduct as well as multiple punishments and after he received his final warning, he seemed to behave. But a month later, it was discovered that he had been stealing the soulless bodies of those he reaped and performing horrific experiments on them.”

“Oh! How horrible!” 

“Yeah. The Conglomerate eradicated him as soon as it was discovered. Apparently they only sent one man to deal with him, Sir Hugh Reid.”

The red-haired shinigami turned large and worried eyes towards her boss’ office.

“Why on earth would he be in there talking to William then? I hope nothing’s wrong,” she whispered in distress.

“Oh, worried about your man, hmm?” The man teased. “Maybe he let a few case files slip. Ah, finally! The big man himself is human like the rest of us!”

“Ron! This serious! He could be in trouble,” she scolded, never removing her eyes from the door.

“Whoa, don’t be so serious, babe. I was just kidding. I mean, this is Will Spears we’re talking about, Ever-Punctual-and-Strict-William T. Spears and the ‘T’ stands for ‘tyrant’. When have you ever known him to fall behind in his work?”

The girl bit her lip in worry, thinking of all the work William had let pile up while they had taken a break from the desk-work. Desperately, she prayed that William didn’t get reprimanded because of the distraction she had been.

All the whispers in the office hushed a moment later when the door reopened and Sir Reid stepped out. With a icy glare that could’ve replaced anyone’s death scythe, he met all of the reapers’ gazes.

“Well? Don’t you all have work to do?” He demanded in a resonant voice.

Everyone spun back to their desks and put their pens to their papers, including Giana. Like everyone else, she made pretense of working furiously. Then Sir Reid left and she dropped the act. Her concerned gaze flew toward William’s office. She contemplated going to him, but she didn’t want to seem unprofessional.

Suddenly and unbidden, Ronald’s smirking, knowing face appeared from around the cubicle.

“Well? What are you waiting for? Go in and talk to him.” He eyed her hesitant face with exasperation. “For death’s sake, if you’re not going to make a move, then your relationship isn’t going to go very far, is it? I mean, it’s not like William is gonna take the initiative.”

Half holding back a laugh, half scowling, Giana rose from her desk. As she passed  the cheeky young shinigami, she gave him a solid swat on the head with her clipboard. As she neared William’s office however, the smile fled her face in favor of a more somber expression.

She knocked lightly, then entered.

“William?”

He composed himself quickly at the sound of her voice, but Giana had seen the way he had been holding his head in his hands, his back slouched dejectedly.

“Giana.” His eyes and voice were soft as he looked at her.

“Is something wrong?” She asked, closing the door.

“N-no,” he responded, clearing his throat.

She sat in the chair opposite him at the desk, which--up until a week ago--had been her usual place.

“You seem distressed,” she insisted, her eyes gleaming with anxiety. “What is it? What did Sir Reid come here for?”

With a ragged swallow, he tore his eyes away from hers. He removed his handkerchief from his breast pocket and removed his glasses to clean them; anything to avoid her gaze. This way, he couldn’t see her at all.

“I’m afraid the Conglomerate has noticed the slowed pace in my work,” he admitted, still cleaning his lenses. “It is unacceptable for someone of my station to falter in my diligence. If I fail, this division fails also.”

The girl gripped her hands together, feeling nauseous with bedevilment.

“What did he say?” She whispered.

Spectacles in their place, he could see once more, but kept his green eyes cast to one side.

“Something most troubling indeed,” he muttered. “I must have all of my due reports finished and delivered to the Conglomerate in two days, which I’m afraid, might be quite impossible.” He stood and walked towards the window, not wanting to show his distress. “If I fail to do so, I will lose my position as branch executive manager and be demoted.”

The chair clamored as she stood up abruptly.

“No!” She exclaimed. “That’s so unjust! It’s not even your fault!”

He turned to her slowly, a confused expression on his face.

“What do you mean, Giana?” He said softly. “Of course it’s my fault.”

“No, it’s mine!” She insisted, her eyes misting slightly. “You said yourself that I’ve been distracting you! I’m the one at fault!” His eyes widened and softened a bit. He opened his mouth to speak, but she silenced him. “No, please don’t try to make me feel better. We both know that my presence has been disruptive to your work.”

“Giana, calm down,” he told her. “It’s not your fault. I assure you, the blame is entirely on me.” Once again, his eyes seemed to speak more than his words. “I’ve been given a chance to redeem myself and if I fail, I must accept my discipline with dignity.”

“No, you won’t lose your place! You don’t deserve that!”

“I deserve what my efforts have gained me, Giana, and if I’ve proven myself unable to maintain my position because of... A slight distraction, then I don’t deserve the rank of manager.”

“But you’re an entirely competent manager! You have been for years! And I can’t believe that the Conglomerate doesn’t take that into account! I can’t believe that they’d be so ungrateful that they’d ignore your perfect performance in the past. Please, share your work load with me. You don’t deserve this and I want to make sure that you keep your position!”

William stared, stunned, at her for several moments. He had never seen her so adamant about anything before. It had thoroughly surprised him. There were tears in her eyes and his stomach did a flip. She truly thought that this was her fault. Nevertheless, he couldn’t give in.

“I-I can’t allow that, Miss Sutcliff. It would be...”

“I’ll only work as your assistant, William. I won’t work under anyone else.”

She swore she saw a light blush leak into his face. 

After a moment, his shocked expression faded and he smiled very slightly. Just for an instant, his eyes betrayed his true fondness for her.

“You’re so persistent,” he murmured. “In that case, you have a right to maintain your own position. Very well, you may help me with my work,” he agreed finally.

The girl smiled gratefully.

“Thank you, William. I’ll be sure not to let you down! I’ll just finish the few things I have left, then I’ll come help you!” 

Then she left and the man sat down at his desk, simply staring after her. His face felt mysteriously warm and he wondered whether the air-conditioning temperature had been altered. 

As he thought over what she had said, he felt a strange lightness enter his chest.

She only wishes to work for me, he mused.

But did that indicate that she had an attraction to him? Could he dare to have a little hope?

Death's Love-Child: Chapter 10
Things are getting serious up in here!
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She wasn’t completely oblivious. William’s words had been simple and business-like when he had told her that her presence was disruptive of his work, but his eyes... Those wonderful eyes had spoken volumes of hesitancy, doubt, and regret. And Giana suspected. Yes, she suspected that he had feelings for her. But the painful thing was that it changed nothing until William chose to openly reveal those feelings to her. Until then, she would remain his loyal and hardworking assistant.

This new realization was causing her to search emotions. Because if she had feelings for her superior, then it changed everything. True, he was a very handsome man, with that stoic face of his and the fine figure he cut in a suit. Nevertheless, she refused to allow herself to be so shallow as to base all her opinion--or possible affection--of him on his attractiveness. After all, there was more to him, such as his dedication to his work, his level-headedness, and his desire to do his best. 

While Giana would agree that he could stand to relax every now and then, there wasn’t a single thing she could hold against his character. He may have been strict, but he was rarely impatient. He may have been blunt, but he was never unkind. Yes, William T. Spears was a good man.

But did Giana’s heart foster love for him? She couldn’t say. She certainly held him in warm regard and thought of him fondly, but love was a big word. It was an intimidating thought. Though, upon deeper excavation, she found that she genuinely hoped that she loved William. If a man ever needed love, it was him.

Death's Love-Child: Chapter 9
Just a brief interlude concerning Giana's thoughts on Mr. Spears. I know, I know... It's a short and derpy chapter... sorry, but I've uploaded eight chapters today, okay? I've made up for it! Besides, this is an important look into our protagonist's head!
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Their reaping mission together had been a pleasant respite for William’s conscience. While he was reaping with the object of his distractions, he wasn’t neglecting his paperwork. But he could only reap for so long before his desk-duties began to stack to the ceiling. After a week of collecting souls, there was a staggering amount of paperwork for him to complete. And still he had trouble focusing while at his office.

Will was a sorry sight as he slouched at his desk. His face was grim and his eyes were shadowed with lack of sleep. Every stroke of his pen seemed to weigh a thousand pounds and was tortuously slow. 

He was no longer alone in his distracted state of mind, however. Giana now sat across from him, quite uncomfortable. Even her work felt far more laborious than usual, but that was because her manager’s obviously distressed state was tugging at her every thought. She was genuinely worried for him.

A week ago, she had thought that his lapse of concentration was tied to his over-diligence and that, to collect his scattered thoughts, he needed to do something different. She had hoped that their past week of reaping would have cured him of his restlessness, but it would appear that he had only gotten worse.

She stole a glance up at his strained face. There was something that was bothering him and he didn’t know how to resolve it. Someone needed to give him an encouraging push.

With an unapologetic rasp of her chair, she stood up abruptly, drawing the man’s green gaze. The first thing she did was approach the windows and pull the blinds open, allowing waning sunlight to illuminate the small workspace. Then she opened one of the windows partially and breathed in the fresh air.

Then she turned, locked eyes with her superior, and walked towards him. He almost looked numb upon her approach. The red-haired assistant pushed his unfinished tower of papers away from him and gingerly plucked the pen from his hands. Then, she placed her chair beside his and sat down.

There was a good long pause as the two of them sat in silence, Giana gazing intently at him and Will looking vaguely like a scolded child as his eyes were cast down.

“Well?” She asked expectantly. “What’s wrong, William?” His eyes drifted up to meet hers. “Just say it.”

“Nothing is wrong, Miss Sutcliff,” he lied, picking up his pen once again.

“No,” she disagreed and admonished at once. Snatching the pen from his hand once again, she placed it out of his reach and leaned forward, her eyes now showing her concern. “William Spears,” her tone was almost motherly, “you can’t concentrate. You’ve only verified twelve reports in the last three hours. Something is obviously on your mind.” She gave a small smile hoping to lighten his mood. “Even my father would see that something’s troubling you and he barely notices anything.” There was a lengthy awkward silence as she waited for him to confide in her, but his lips were sealed for the moment. She gave a sigh, “William, problems never go away until you face them. I can’t force you to do anything, but please, it if will make a difference, tell me.”

His gaze reconnected with hers and seemed to speak something very plainly, if not reluctantly. She understood its meaning at once.

“It has to do with me, doesn’t it?” She inquired.

He nodded slowly and began to reassume his confident demeanor.

“Miss Sutcliff...” He began and then winced before correcting himself, “Giana, lately, I’ve been very distracted by your... presence in this office.”

“Distracted?”

“Yes,” he answered. For a moment, he briefly considered telling her the true reason behind his distracted mind, but he banished that thought almost instantly. “I do not mean to offend you, Giana, but the presence of someone else occupying space at my desk is simply...” Here his imagination ran out.

“Would you rather I move to a vacant desk in the office?” The assistant inquired kindly after a moment.

An adamant “no” leaped into his mouth, but he restrained himself. 

“It is possible... That it might... Help,” he responded very reluctantly.

He didn’t wish for her to leave, but the thought of revealing his true emotions to her by insisting that she stay by his side terrified him. 

“Very well,” she nodded stiffly, a bit let down by the change in her situation. Then the smile returned to her face and she extended the pen she had deprived him of. “If it will help you, then I’ll do it immediately.”

He accepted the pen and savored the millisecond that their fingers touched.

“Thank you, Giana. That’s very professional of you.”

“Well, I did learn from the best... Senpai,” she gave a little light smile. He almost blushed. “Just let me move my assignments into my cubicle and you’ll have your office to yourself again in no time!”

As she gathered up her papers and made her first trip out the door, William put his head in his hands. 

He hadn’t gotten any work done while she had been with him, but how was he supposed to cope without her?

Reminding himself that she was simply in another office space and not dead, he gathered himself and set himself back again to his grueling workload.

Death's Love-Child: Chapter 8
Agh! Will! You were making such progress too! Way to go you big bungling baka!
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Giana’s heels didn’t click on the sidewalk as she walked beside her superior and her clipboard was long gone. Instead, her slim katana blade hung at her waist and solid knee-high boots adorned her feet and legs.

She had met William in the lobby, where he had been waiting for her, several assignments in hand. As excited as she was, she made certain that she remained outwardly collected in William’s presence. She would hate to disappoint him.

“So where is our first case?” She inquired, keeping pace with him.

“In an alley just off of Bridle Lane,” he answered, eyes forward.

“Why do people always seem to die in alleys?” She muttered.

“Indeed, they’re popular death sites,” he responded. They walked on for a few moments before he looked her over briefly, taking in her appearance. Needless to say, he approved.

Much to his embarrassment, she noticed his gaze.

“What is it?” She inquired.

“Nothing,” he promptly lied, snapping his eyes frontwards again. “That is, how are your nerves?”

“I’m nervous and rather excited, but fairly calm, I think,” she answered honestly.

William hadn’t planned past his spontaneous cover question, so he merely nodded in response to this. He did not wish to make a fool out of himself by answering her with a  broken, half-mumbled sentence, so he kept his mouth shut. 

“I...” She continued a bit more haltingly. She adjusted her glasses. “I’m eager to please...” You, she finished internally, then winced. She was glad that she had managed to clip her sentence. “I want to prove that I can do my job efficiently and thoroughly,” she added.

“I have nothing but the greatest respect for that,” William lauded her, his tone even. Silence then ensued again. After several more blocks, however, William finally had something more to say. “Here we are.”

The two reapers entered the dank alleyway and automatically headed for their position in the shadows. Giana wrinkled her nose sightly at the putrescence filling the space.

“Charming,” she muttered blandly.

“An occupational hazard,” was William’s grim response.

“Yes, but to die in a place like this... how dreadful.”

“Stay focused, Miss Sutcliff.”

“Of course. My apologies, Mr. Spears.”

Retreating into a shadowed area so that they were well hidden, William looked down at the girl in front of him. The space they concealed themselves in was quite small and they were in close proximity out of necessity. He had never been this close to her before. He could smell the scent of the shampoo she used in her hair: eucalyptus. Growing a bit uncomfortable, he began to think that perhaps this had not been a better option than staying at the office.

Suddenly, she turned around to look up at him and gave him a bit of a start.

“What’s the procedure when the person arrives?” She asked.

“Ah.” He had given some thought to this while he had briefly waited for her in the lobby. “When they arrive, I want you to take complete charge of this case, from start to finish.”

“E-entirely?” She stuttered.

“Yes, is there a problem?”

She gulped. It had been nearly two months since she had reaped and she had only ever done it the once. Fear began to fill her. What if she failed in front of William?

“I...I haven’t done this but once, and it was a while ago,” she admitted.

“Then consider this a test of your memory,” he told her, suddenly seeming a bit cold. “Do your best. I’m confident that it will be satisfactory,” he added to soften his message.

“A-Alright,” she assented, turning outwards once again.

As she turned her back to him and waited for their soon-to-be-deceased, her long cascades of red hung before him invitingly. Unthinkingly, his gloved fingers drifted towards them to caress them, but he felt an odd swell in his lower stomach and quickly turned his head away, withdrawing his hand.

What was wrong with him?! 

He had to focus. 

“Here he comes,” he heard her breathe.

Sure enough, along came their target, shambling down the alley and stinking drunk. They didn’t even have to put forth any effort when he stumbled, fell, and cracked open his head on the corner of a crate. Blood gushed, his eyes floated back into his skull, and Giana stepped out into the open at the perfect moment. Just as she neared him, his cinematic record unfurled skyward and began to display the moments of his utterly unremarkable life.

The young woman’s eyes narrowed as she observed how the man had abandoned his wife and child in favor of a tall glass of beer over and over again. Eventually, they had left him, leaving him to sink further into his swamp of inebriation.

She glanced down at the semi-conscious man below her, his eyes rolling. This man was not of note, he would die and meet his judgement. Suddenly, his eyes found her in their pain and drunken stupor and a sweat drenched, trembling hand was reached out to her. Her eyes narrowed again.

The sight was pitiful. But she decided to test him once more before her final decision. Crouching down beside the dying man, she picked up the bottle he had dropped as he fell and locked eyes with him.

“Look at me,” she commanded firmly. Though a bit frenzied, he complied. She then extended both the bottle and her own hand. “Choose which one you want.”

After a moment of anguished gasping, the alcoholic remained loyal to his mistress and grasped the bottle. With a disappointed sigh, Giana stood, drew her blade and swiftly cleaved the cinematic reel coming from the man’s chest. Then he died, his eyes still open and his bottle still in hand.

Taking out her report sheet, she filled out the basic information and turned around, suddenly remembering that William was still there. 

He had watched the execution--no pun intended--of her duty with interest and found himself rather puzzled at her brief exchange with him. Coming out of his shadowy spot, he approached her.

“Well done,” he said mildly. “But I am curious, what was your purpose for that final display?”

As she joined him in walking to their next destination, she kept a somber and grave air about her.

“Habit is among the hardest human vice to break,” she stated. “If he had managed to do so, he might have had some potential.”

“And you would’ve let him live because he refused an inanimate object that would’ve been of no use to him at the moment? Because he diverged from his vice out of desperation?” He asked, bewildered. He hadn’t taken her for the “angel of mercy” type and he found he was greatly disappointed.

“No,” she surprised him with her indifferent tone. “But I wouldn’t be so cruel as to deny him the chance to lessen his own judgement. We are shinigami, William. We do not pass judgement on people’s souls, only God does, this I know. We merely allow them to go to their judgement. That is the most important role of the reaper. But there are no rules against giving humans a chance to repent just before death. If they fail the test, they are instantly cut off from the land of the living.” 

William turned and looked at her with a reevaluating and slightly pleased gaze.

Death's Love-Child: Chapter 7
Getting some reaping action in! I'm aware that the actual reaping process here may differ from the canon methods. My apologies.
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Hiii guys...

Been a while, hasn't it? 

So, today I was cleaning my room--which was long overdue--and I found a few papers outlining some details of my fanfic of Pitch Black, Waking Dreams. Guess where I found it? 

That's right. Under my bed.

Oh, the irony!

Anyway, I miss you all and I just sort of used this as an excuse to visit dA again!

^-^

Love and surging righteousness,

Ink

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Patient13225 Featured By Owner May 2, 2015
Thank you for the fave :)
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Thanks for the fave! :Lotus: - NaNoEmo 
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A pleasure! ^-^
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Again, my pleasure! I love your art and your comic particularly!
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