I suppose I should write a few notes here, eh? Should. You know that slutty French maid from Black Sheep? Well, uh, I’m calling her Yvonne since various translators can’t agree on the spelling of it, though I know Sakura-crisis spells it Shevonne or something like that. And to that…I’ve never heard of anyone called Shevonne, so pbbth!
Be warned, however, that the beginning is het. Riff/Yvonne. Ooh, scary, I know. I’ve never written het before, isn’t that sad? Oh yeah, hey, spoilers for Black Sheep. And I know the transition is a bit off. So screw me. After all, I can’t afford to be sued ^_~
By Elf Asato
In our entire acquaintance, she never once spoke a word of English, instead preferring to her native tongue and professional silence. I liked the professional silence better since I can’t exactly be bothered in attempting to decipher a language not of my own. One of these days I’ll ask my butler to learn for me…
My butler, Riff.
She was taken to him, especially. To him she most often spilled out incomprehensible words that made no sense in a country that wasn’t hers, and naturally he didn’t understand. I think he’s truly dense because I knew what she meant.
She loved him…but I don’t suppose he ever knew.
He had to have known her beauty, though. That in itself rendered her foreign words useless and made her available to the Englishman, though perhaps I would have been happier had she pursued her own kind. A respectable man has no business with a woman like that, I’m sure they’d say.
A man of mine has no business with a woman…and especially her.
I suppose he was attracted to her, my Riff. After all, one doesn’t usually kiss another in stone. They may be near the statues now, but there’s certainly nothing still and cold about any of this.
She had caught him by the statues, apparently, and ensnared him in a kiss. I, in some ridiculous hat, had come over to talk to him, but stopped frozen at the sight. Oddly enough, perhaps jealousy kept me as still as the statues around us.
They kiss now, as they did then, blindly against the pillar bust of Athena without knowledge of their surroundings. It seems like hours, but it must have been only minutes. Perhaps it’s that way because I’m just a child, though I don’t feel like one.
I feel jealous, and ashamed, watching this.
Her cheeks are flushed between his cupped hands as he finally ceases in kissing those swollen, dolled up lips and moves lower to continue at her neck. She sighs and runs her hands through his hair as her eyes are tightly shut. Slowly she whispers his name, the name of my butler. She whispers, “Riff.”
I want that to be me. I want the lips swollen from his kisses, the eyes tightly shut in reaction to the pleasure he brings me, everything. If I try hard enough, perhaps I can see myself in her place, though I can see me older even when I know I’m just a child now.
It’s not strong enough; it doesn’t replace her with me and he still kisses her, with one hand now cupped at her bosom and the other trailing towards her thigh. I dislike this greatly, because it’s her and not me. I told him once that love among servants was forbidden, but he’d rather throw away a decent job to kiss her. I don’t blame him, though, since I’m nothing to stay for anyway.
Maybe if I wish it hard enough she’ll go away, but I can’t because a sick part of me wants to see them go on. It wants to see my butler leave me and go far, far away just like everyone else I’d ever loved. And he goes farther away from me, my beloved Riff, as he kisses her passionately and brings his hand between her legs. This should be me, not her. He is only allowed to touch me, never her. I told him this, but it seems he’s forgotten.
Or maybe he hasn’t and he just doesn’t want to be with me anymore. For a reason, I believe this, and it makes me sad. Hearing her gasp and watching her touch him in ways I want to makes me sad. He whispers her name desperately, “Yvonne.” It’s nothing like “Cain” so I can’t even pretend it’s me he’s lusting after. Maybe he loves her.
I want to cry, but I can’t. He won’t let me. He won’t let me cry as he leaves me.
But I can’t cry anyway. I have these dreams too often to shed needless tears…
A few blinks had cleared the misty haze in Cain’s eyes immediately after waking up and rolling over to stare at the wall. As he pulled all his sheets towards him, he buried a side of his face deep into his pillow, curling his legs up beneath the covers.
Cain hated it when he had dreams like that…where Riff left him for others…where the last words of his father came true. Of course, the young earl desperately tried to tell himself that the older butler had nothing to leave, but to his pleasure he couldn’t deny the constant affectionate reassurances he would magically receive the next day after such a dream.
That’s what it had to be, magic. It was the only possibility Cain would entertain for Riff knowing just the right words to cheer him up. He would have thought it was merely in the butler’s nature, but experience had shown him that Riff didn’t wax sugar all the time; there was plenty of salt as well in that mixture…
Sighing against the cool comfort of the pillow, the young earl closed his eyes in an attempt at sleep again, but as soon as the darkness fell over his vision, he’d have fleeting images of his dream come back to haunt him. No, no…he didn’t want to sneak a glimpse of the maid’s beautiful face, flushed with desire…didn’t want to watch Riff’s hand snake up her thigh again… Merryweather and her prized tea set she loved so much. That was safe. He thought of how he and their friend Oscar were forced to endure a tea party with the little girl and her stuffed animals… But where was Riff? Cain tried to think of where their beloved butler was in this fantasy of his…but a quick look out the window showed exactly where Riff was: out in the garden, necking the French maid.
Cain turned over on the bed so that the neglected cheek had a chance at the comforting pillow, and drew the sheets up against him again. He tried to reason his way out of seeing the offending images this time. Even if he wanted to, Riff was much too prim and proper to put his job on the line by having an affair with another servant. There was no way he could ever feel Yvonne up in the garden, especially with the simple fact that she was dead. No, no…Riff would never do that. Instead, Cain tried to think of what Riff would do. He imagined the butler pouring him a cup of tea…tying his shoes…talking to Yvonne and kissing her out in the—
It was no use. He simply could not get the dream out of his mind, no matter how hard he tried.
Considering that going back to sleep without remembering those offending images was near impossible, Cain sat up in his bed with the sheets pooled around his waist, his scarred back bare, and rubbed his face in an attempt to ward off sleep further. Though he yawned, he had no desire to succumb to another nightmare. He halfway considered getting up and fixing himself a cup of warm milk, but it felt as if his entire body was dead weight. Cain imagined that it was some time in the dead of night, and the fact that there would probably not be anyone up to confront him about wandering about at such an hour persuaded him to sluggishly make his way out of bed.
Aside from the obvious, another reason why Cain hated getting up in the middle of the night was because of the temperature change. When he went to bed, Riff always saw to it that his bed stayed warm throughout the night. In contrast, the open air was always so cold in his room. Not to mention that it touched every inch of his skin directly, which made for extra discomfort.
Groping for the robe hung neatly beside his bed and sliding it on over his shoulders, the soft and luxurious fabric heavenly to the skin, Cain took one heavy and trodden step after another, making his way to the door. The second his hand grazed the coolness of the doorknob, however, the door crept open gently, rather knocking his hand aside.
For a brief moment as Cain, too fatigued to be startled, looked up and saw a small candle illuminating a stark hand, shrouding the rest of the figure in shadow, he thought that perhaps this was a spirit from a forgotten time sent to punish him for his illicit dreaming and thoughts. After all, he was a demon child since the day of his birth; God would never pardon any of his sins anyway.
The figure made a rather halting noise and inquired as he held the candle up more, illuminating them both, “Master Cain, what are you doing up at this hour?”
“Ah…I couldn’t sleep…Riff…” Cain muttered as he ran his hand through his hair, secretly embarrassed that his beloved butler would be the one he first saw after a dream like that. “Might I ask, though, why are you up this late? And coming into my room like I didn’t mind…”
“Do you mind?” Riff asked softly…simply, with a warm, yet muted smile.
Cain exhaled loudly, trying to mimic a harried sigh, but his tone was placid, as he merely answered, “No…but shouldn’t you be asleep now?”
With another smile, Riff responded, “Just as much as you should be, Master Cain. Would you like a cup of warm milk to ease yourself back to sleep?”
“That’s just what I was going to get…”
“Then nestle in your bed, Master Cain, while I fetch that for you.”
With the candle lighting his way, Riff slowly drew the door to a close, leaving the young earl to listen to his soft, but sure footsteps fade down the hall. As per the butler’s suggestion, Cain situated himself back in his bed.
How embarrassing. The very one he had had such a dream about came into his room to chide him on being up so late. The pot calling the kettle black… Cain thought it rather unfair.
…Because unlike usual, being comforted by Riff wasn’t the best of ideas. If Cain could barely erase the image of his butler kissing a sultry maid, how was it supposed to help if he doted on him, gently lulling his master to sleep? The last thing the earl wanted, as he yawned, was to see those images in his mind again, especially when he longed to replace the woman with himself.
The Hargreaves family had an extensive library, even holding licentious and, in all probability, illegal ‘reading’ material abandoned by his father and generations before… His particular line never exactly prided themselves on being the chastest of aristocrats. So Cain knew about sex, how it was supposed to be between a man and woman…and that what desires he felt at times towards his butler and attractive young men were considered wrong and immoral by a prudish society. But was it at all possible to be attracted by both sexes? Nothing in the library ever said anything about that, or how to deal with it. Was it a moral limbo, desiring what society considered wrong, and right all at the same time?
But…what did it matter how society judged? Wasn’t it about how God judged, and enduring hardships for His forgiveness? Cain’s father had said to him on numerous occasions that God didn’t bless him, and that he would never attain God’s forgiveness. Yet, he would whip him the same, giving the child a false sense that perhaps one day, he really would be forgiven.
Cain knew he would never be, though. Born out of an incestuous union, springing forth insanity and manipulation…yes, he knew himself to be an accursed child. God would never forgive him; he’d never go to heaven, so what did it matter what He thought of his sexuality?
…Throughout self, family, society, the queen, God…the only one Cain thought that mattered was Riff. If Riff thought it was wrong, then so be it, it was wrong.
At least, that’s how it was in Cain’s eyes.
The door creaked slightly as Riff silently crept into the room with a cup of warm milk at hand. Approaching his master’s bedside, he gently handed off the cup to Cain, as the latter eagerly sipped at the drink in an attempt at avoiding eye contact with him. “There you are, Master Cain.”
For a relieved second, Cain thought that perhaps Riff would make a motion to leave…but it soon became apparent as the butler kept in place that he wasn’t finished with him yet. “Ah, Riff,” Cain muttered between sips in a vain attempt to get rid of him, “thank you very much. It’s delicious as always…so you may go back to sleep if you wish.”
With his eyes averted, Cain failed to see his steward’s gaze soften. Instead, he heard Riff’s low voice ask gently, “Are you alright, Master Cain? …Was the nightmare bad this time?”
Cain’s eyes widened slightly, but he still kept them firmly on the rim of the cup, as if the smooth porcelain forever entranced him. “I-I’m fine, Riff…but how did you…know I had a nightmare? I never mentioned…”
There was a slight moment where the air was filled with dead silence, but then Riff took a seat at the edge of his master’s bed, the slight creak of the bed cutting through the stillness sharply. “How many times will I have to tell you before you believe me?” he said quietly with a warm smile. “I just know these things about you, Master Cain. I can feel it in the air – what you want, what you need…”
“I still think you’re a liar, then,” Cain muttered with a slow smile as if felt like his flesh grew warmer.
Riff gave a slight chuckle as he lifted the now-empty cup from his master’s lithe fingers and asked, “Would I be too bold to ask you what it was about? Your nightmare, I mean.”
Continuing to avoid the other’s eyes, Cain stared at his sheets as he let a few seconds of silence pass before answering, “…You were attacked by a monster…”
“A monster?” Riff reiterated, but this time with an odd sort of mirthfulness in his voice. “What…kind of monster?”
Cain tried desperately to stifle what he felt was an upcoming blush. What kind of monster had attacked his beloved Riff? A siren, luring him away with her lulling call; a harpy, taking out God’s revenge on a demon child by stealing away the only one who ever understood him; a succubus, intent on doing what physical acts Cain only dreamed of…
“…A cookie monster,” he responded at last.
An amused smile spread across full lips. “Does that mean I was a cookie in your dream then, Master Cain?” His smile continued as Cain slowly nodded in a lie, barely meeting his eyes. “Was I sweet?” he continued, at once gaining full eye contact.
Cain’s pulse quickened as he felt his hands and what seemed like every inch of his skin grow warm, like a fever. It was nearly unbearable, and he realized ruefully as he gazed into blue eyes that he could very well be blushing. And Riff’s expression certainly didn’t make things better. It was as if he enjoyed it…enjoyed the reaction he got from three short words…knew what kind of reaction he was getting and why…like he knew full well what Cain had really dreamed about.
“A sugar cookie, perhaps?”
“No,” Cain retorted quickly, “you were a deformed and burnt cookie that no one wanted to eat. The cookie monster took one bite out of you and keeled over.”
Riff simply began a quiet laughter, looking off as he mused, “Well that’s unpleasant.”
Like you said, it was a nightmare…” Cain said softly, immediately irritated at how his tone conveyed what he was trying to hide – a deep-felt tenderness reserved only for the one he knew he loved. He looked off, mildly embarrassed. The most natural of things could become so difficult under certain circumstances. In the uncomfortable silence he felt tiredness tugging at him, struggling to pull him into the dream world, but he didn’t dare close his eyes for fear of seeing…his nightmare again. He just didn’t think he would be able to stand it with Riff actually with him.
Although Cain refused to believe that Riff knew what he was feeling like he had told him so many times before, he was taken by surprise as he felt warm arms encircle him in an affectionate hug. …And it was as if by magic, but all the discomfort he had felt before, all the embarrassment, the anxiety of the nightmare…all of it vanished and was replaced by something warm and tender. In response, Cain wrapped his arms around the butler’s neck, resting his head against Riff’s as he felt comfortable enough to close his eyes. And unlike previous times, he did not see the remnants of the nightmare…instead he saw Riff’s muted, but caring face smiling at him, making him feel as if God had actually forgiven him, as if he was not an accursed child, as if he was actually special to someone.
Special to Riff.
“So…tell me the truth,” Cain muttered against Riff’s warm neck, “…How did you know I had a nightmare? And I don’t believe that you just…know.”
Regarding him seriously, the butler thought in silence for a few seconds before answering, “Would you believe me if I told you it was magic?”
Cain gave Riff’s neck an affectionate squeeze and buried his face in it, convinced that, if only for a second, the world was right.
“…Alright, I’ll believe that.”
I enjoyed writing that, so I hope you enjoyed reading it! It was just so…fluffy and demented!