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.
Though she was sure it would surprise Bassy greatly, the two women managed to make their way to Grelle’s room with very little problem because, contrary to what he seemed to believe, they were quite capable of navigating the manor. And, equally contrary to Sebastian’s expectations, Mey Rin had very little issue with staying in the room as Grelle stripped off her coat and shirt, openly admiring the view, her glasses steaming up slightly with the heat coming off of her reddened cheeks.
Grelle let out a small laugh, pretending to be far more embarrassed than she was flattered as her own cheeks took on a rosy hue that wasn’t entirely faked. It did feel nice to have someone love her body even as she herself seemed to find nothing but flaws in it some days. And Mey Rin was so earnest in her loving of it, not a bit of her adoration could possibly be faked. She knew that. Even being an assassin, the young maid seemed to wear her heart on her sleeve. Grelle had to admit to loving that about her. It was so easy to tell what Mey Rin thought of anything.
She would equally have to admit to having to preen a bit, parading around without a shirt on as though putting on a show, dramatically searching for a clean one to put on, fumbling with it as she found one, dropping it clumsily on the floor a few times for good measure. Listening with glee to the sharp intake of breath from behind her every time she did. Teasing, perhaps, but she knew for a fact the Mey did not mind it in the least.
“Miss Grelle!” The protest came from behind her as Grelle dropped the shirt once more. “Oh miss, you’re a horrible tease, yes you are…” The maid complained lightly, not meaning a word of it.
Grelle looked over her shoulder, shooting her a confused, yet somehow still teasing grin.
“What...whatever do you mean Mey Rin?” She asked, eyes wide and innocent even as they shone with a hidden mischief that the maid would no doubt pick up on despite her poor vision. In fact, Grelle was rather hoping she would pick up on it.
“Ooh, you know what I’m saying. You’re wicked, yes you are. Teasin’ a poor maid like this. Ought to be ashamed of yourself.” Mey retorted, feathers ruffled ever so slightly in a display that Grelle found utterly adorable. She was so indignant. As though she wasn’t enjoying the little show at all.
“Oh, but surely...you know that if...if I were teasing...I’d do far worse…” Grelle replied, fluttering her eyelashes, still the picture of innocence even in spite of the words coming out of her mouth as she turned around, shirt now lying forgotten on the floor. Her maid was far more important than getting dressed. She sauntered over, practically cat like as she came to stand in front of the maid. Mey’s eyes widened behind her glasses and Grelle felt that familiar rush of pleasure coursing through her. The other woman really did know how to stroke her ego.
Grelle couldn’t help it, rather than going for a kiss as had been her plan, she opened her arms and swept Mey Rin into a hug, holding her against her chest, revelling in the way the maid seemed to fit perfectly in her arms as though she been made for it; just short enough to tuck under her chin. They were chest to chest, their bodies pressed up snugly against one another. Too snugly…
The butler frowned before her eyes widened. Well...that was...a development. She pulled away abruptly and held the maid at arm’s length, taking her in from head to toe. No...No she’d not been mistaken. It was barely perceptible. But there was a very small bulge to Mey’s stomach and not the kind one got from overeating… Oh dear.
It just wasn’t possible her mind told her. She was a reaper, not human, though she had been at some point whereas Mey Rin most certainly was, human through and through, the only unnatural thing about her was her vision. Surely this couldn’t be. But the proof was there...or at least Grelle believed it to be.
She looked the maid over again. Yes, it was definitely there and Mey Rin was aware of it if the lengths she’d gone to to hide it from view were any indication at all. But, if that were the case, surely Mey Rin would’ve told her about it? Unless…? No. No, she told herself firmly. Mey Rin would not do such a thing to her. Besides, who would she even have slept with? Baldroy? He was like a brother to the maid. Finny was a child and Sebastian wouldn’t do such a thing in a million years. It was hardly as though Mey Rin left the manor. So then...hers?
Mey Rin was staring up at her in hurt confusion and Grelle sighed. Alright. If she’d not been told then there must be a reason… Now how to bring it up to the maid without seeming insensitive?
“Mey Rin...darling...er...have you something you...wish to tell me?” Grelle tried nervously, not wanting to push the maid into anything but rather trying to gauge her reaction to it all. The blank stare she received in answer was not overly encouraging.
“I...don’ think so Grelle. Ought I? Well…’cept the fact that I love you, yes I do. But you already know that.” Mey Rin smiled, though she still looked confused.
A sunny smile broke out over Grelle’s face for a moment.
“Oh darling, I love you too.” She responded, before mentally chastising herself for sounding too much, well, like herself. She still had to play a role here. Wouldn’t do to go and ruin it all over something like this. “But...er...I was rather referring to...something else…” The brunette chewed on her lower lip. Still no response from the maid. Did...Oh no! Grelle realised with a horrible start. Mey Rin had no idea did she?
Grelle supposed it made sense. She’d no real experience with babies or mothers or anything of the sort. It wasn’t as though she went around murdering women who got rid of their children at night...nor was she any sort of doctor. But to be so clueless as to what was happening with her own body? She frowned. How best to break this to the maid gently? She had no desire to cause a panic after all, particularly as her own mind was somewhat in turmoil over it all. On the one hand, it shouldn’t be possible at all and Grelle had never heard of a reaper impregnating a human before but on the other, this was her chance. She was finally going to have the child she’d always desired. And true, she was not the one to bear it but she loved Mey. This child was only further proof of it. She was going to be a mother. Internally, glee was winning out over incredulity, for the moment at least, she was certain that the dread and panic would return with a vengeance later on.
“Er…” She began eloquently. “When precisely...were you...were you going to-to inform me you were...ah...with a child?”
The maid stared at her wide-eyed, confusion replaced by concern, then panic before settling back on disbelieving confusion again.
“I...I don’t follow you Grelle...I’m with a what? Don’t be daft.” The maid let out a nervous laugh.
Oh dear...This was going to be rather more complicated than she’d expected. How her life had come to her having to explain to the other mother of their child that she was in fact expecting was anyone’s guess…