I couldn't remember how long I had been laying there. Only that it was very dark, and very cold. And I was very alone.
I awoke lying on the hard, wet cobblestone alleyway between a shabby motel with no name and an empty house, boarded up and dark. My cheek was numb when I peeled it off the icy ground, my eyes squeezed shut. My head was spinning. I felt ill. I couldn't remember anything.
There was a light.
I blinked my eyes open slowly, shielding my face from the bright oncoming light. I heard footsteps coming from the same direction as the light. Each step made my head ache more. I held my hands up to my ears and closed my eyes again.
"What is a little boy like you doing all alone in the streets of England at this hour, young Phantomhive?" A familiar voice asked, the hint of a giggle at the end of each word.
"Undertaker?" I asked. Then, in a flash of pain, it all came back. The alarm calling him to the front lawn, the discovery of Pluto nearly fatally injured
the arrival at the clinic, taking the dog and the service in for examination
the sudden appearance of Grell Sutcliff
the more shocking attack of William Spears, and the brutal, bloody murder of
"Where is Sebastian?" I asked as the Undertaker helped me to my feet. I took a step forward, then my wobbly knees gave way and I fell on my hands. The Undertaker giggled slightly, helping me up again.
"Be careful, Phantomhive! The streets are slippery with blood at the moment, it seems!"
"Where is Sebastian?" I asked again, this time with more urgency. "I must return to my home before another threat upon my life is made." The Undertaker laughed once again, holding me under the arm and leading me out of the alley.
"So selfish, Phantomhive! Why do you always assume that the threat is intended for you?" This thought gave me pause. What could he possibly mean? That the assault was not meant for him? He had been the only one there, aside from that idiot Sutcliffe that had most likely helped Spears, and Sebastian
"Where is Sebastian?" I shouted angrily as we reached the door of the Undertaker's morgue. "Where is he?"
"I can't say that I know," The Undertaker said as I sat down heavily on a chair, glaring at him with my normal eye. He turned away, disappearing behind the curtain. "He is a mysterious one, your butler. A fascinating demon indeed." I stopped dead, staring open-mouthed at the curtain.
wh-what?" I stammered, my heart suddenly pounding. "What do you mean?"
The Undertaker laughed hysterically from behind the curtain, poking his pale face, obscured by outlandish silver bangs, out at me.
"Little Phantomhive, you really thought I couldn't tell your 'One Hell of a butler' was a demon?" The Undertaker finally returned, with a wooden tray carrying a tea pot and two glasses. "A trained Reaper myself, I am more than a little insulted."
"AA REAPER!" I jumped to my feet, my visible eye wide. "Y-you??" Giggling softly, the reaper nodded while pouring a glass of steaming mint tea.
"Of course. You didn't think I was human, did you?"
I didn't think you were a killer!" I threw back, recoiling.
"I was. Am. Silly boy, I have yet to raise my voice at you and yet here you are in front of me, panicking and shrieking retorts, as if I've physically stuck you." I glared at the Undertaker.
"I have yet to so much as insult you." The Undertaker continued. "Tea?" He asked, offering me a cup. I stared at the hand, the reaper's bone-thin, grey hand, for what seemed like an eternity, before I took a breath and sat back down, nodding and taking the cup.
"As for your butler, I haven't the faintest idea as to where he is," The Undertaker giggled, sipping his tea and licking his lips excitably. "That young reaper, Grell Sutcliff, I have a bit of thought as to where he might be."
"He could be rotting in Hell for all I care of him," I snorted, looking down at my reflection in the tea. I was a complete mess, cut and bruised and muddled and wet. Aside from the steam warming my face and the crazy retired reaper adjacent to me, I was completely alone.
"Not a very nice thing to say about your rescuer," The Undertaker commented, sipping his tea once again. My neck snapped up, and I was staring directly at the Undertaker.
"What do you mean my rescuer?" I shouted accusingly. The reaper giggled to himself, unaffected by my anger.
"Oh little Phantomhive," The Undertaker said, shaking his head and taking another sip of tea. "Can you really remember nothing of last night?"