It was just another gloomy day for London, as the rain heavily poured down from the sky. The puddles didn’t help, making it impossible not to trip. Of course, the place did live up its reputation – sunny days didn’t really exist there. Every single street reeked child kidnappings to murder, and anyone would be foolish to venture out alone. The era in which you were living in was most likely the utmost dangerous of all – not that it bothered you.
In fact, it kept you and your father in business.
Sure, it was scary, precarious and altogether life-risking, but you couldn’t help loving it.You loved the idea of being a detective ever since you were little. Every day, your father would come home from work and sit you on his lap, telling you all about his amazing crime-fighting adventures. Life couldn’t be more perfect.
Well… That was until your mother passed away.
Ever since then, your father had become more distant, and you had learnt to take care of yourself, just waiting for the day that you could make him proud. You prayed to God that this was the day, the day you saw a smile on his face! The day that you, (Name) Randall, became a detective.
You wanted to feel the thrill of danger; you wanted feel the butterflies beat against your stomach, begging to escape. You wanted to feel the harsh silence send a shiver down your spine. You wanted this, but most of all, you wanted to feel the warmth of your father’s arms.
I am ready.
The voice echoing in your head told you to carry on. A satisfying splash was heard as your brown boots collided with the many puddles covering London’s streets. This was your chance and you wouldn’t mess it up for the world – especially by arriving late. You had to show that you were ready and willing to be on time, only hoping that your uniform wouldn’t get wet and muddy in the process.
Skidding to a stop as you hit the corner, you straightened your clothes; a brown skirt, boots, and buttoned up waistcoat with a white blouse underneath. A blue ribbon tied around your neck was the only thing that gave your outfit even the tiniest amount of colour. Your (h/c) hair was curled and elegantly framed your face, which you quickly patted down before slapping your tartan cap onto in. Gripping the strap of your mini black shoulder bag tightly, you emerged from the shadows with you head held high. It made you want to giggle – you both looked and felt so sophisticated. Honestly, it was just amazing. And to think – after today, you would be an Official Detective of Scotland Yard!! Your dreams were becoming a reality right before your very eyes. All you needed now was a smile from you dad, then your life would be complete.
“Good morning, Frederick,” you greeted the shaggy haired inspector as you passed him.
He simply smiled and took his hat off before slightly bowing his head in response. “G’day, Miss (Name).”
Your heart beat increased dramatically as you neared the male who stood before you. He seemed to be glaring at something in the distance – or someone.
“What seems to be the matter, Father?” you inquired, tilting you head as you addressed him.
Though he didn’t show it much, the flash of his eyes indicated that you startled him. No normal person would’ve noticed that, but you did because you were a detective. Hah! Boy, did you love how that sounded.
“Ah, (Name),” his deep voice addressed you. His gaze shifted to their original position and yours soon followed. You raised an eyebrow when you realised he was glaring at a child who seemed to be the same age as you, if not slightly older. You could only see the back of him, but it was obvious that he was someone of rich nobility by his carefully tailored suit that was made of only the finest fabric. A taller male stood by his side, whom you suspected to be his butler. The only thing that striked you as odd was that his outfit was entirely black, except for the white gloves he wore.
“It’s that Phantomhive boy.” Once again, your father’s voice broke you out of you train of thoughts, causing you to shift you gaze to look up at him. Yeesh, he really needed to shave.
“Phantomhive?” You recognised the name of the family who were well known for serving the Queen. Their house was set on fire a few years back, the only survivor being their son, who emerged from the flames with a man dressed in black. At first, you didn’t want to believe it, but now proof was staring you right in the face.
After exchanging a few words with his butler, the boy spun around and started to walk in your direction.
“I assure you, Lord Randall, this case no longer needs your assistance. My butler and I have deduced this to be another of Jeff the Killer’s victims, who thankfully disappeared a week ago. There is nothing more for you to worry about.” The Phantomhive boy had a very high manner of speaking, showing off the years of practice he’d had from living as well-cared for as he did. His right eye was covered by a raven eye-patch. You guessed it must’ve been from the arson attempt of the Phantomhive Family, but what you didn’t understand was why he had no scars around it.
His one blue eye turned to look at you. “And who’s this?”
A confident smile appeared on your lips as your father acquainted you with the boy. “Earl Phantomhive, allow me to introduce you to my daughter, (Name) Randall. She’s currently training to be a detective of Scotland Yard. (Name), this is Ciel Earl Phantomhive, the Queen’s Guard Dog.”
Ciel glared up at your father. “I would appreciate it if you would not give away my identity as the Queen’s Guard Dog so willy nilly.”
You let out a laugh. “I assure you, Earl Phantomhive, my lips are sealed.” Giving him a smirk, you stuck out your hand, “nice to meet you.”
“Pleasure.” He shook yours before his arm fell to his side again.
Smiling, you said, “Ciel. Not a common name, is it? If I’m not mistaken, it’s French for sky.”
He nodded, “you’re correct. And (Name), that’s a very… unique name, too.”
There was no way that you would let this boy chastise your father like he did. Earl or not, you were going to show him what you were made of.
“I’ve heard a great deal about you, Guard Dog,” you began. Ciel raised an eyebrow. “About how you were the only one to escape the fire that night, and appear to the public once again as the true heir to the Phantomhive Estate and Funtom Toy Factory, with a butler dressed in black by your side. What’s more is that you appear to be unscathed – well, except for that unfortunate right eye. Funny how there are no scars around it, wouldn’t you agree?”
The young Earl curled his hands into fists, his eyebrows twitching in fury. “It is not wise to stick your nose where it doesn’t belong, Miss (Name).”
“Oh really?” your grin grew wider by the second, “isn’t that what you were doing to my father’s case, My Lord? I hear it isn’t wise to be hypocritical, either – yet, that is what you appear to be doing.”
You were almost certain that steam was flying out of his ears by now. You wished that you could turn your head and see your father’s amused face, but decided it wasn’t the best idea.
Ciel looked as if he were about to march up and smack you, but his butler put a gloved hand on his shoulder, “My Lord.”
He shoved the hand off. “Stop it, Sebastian.”
“You know, I’ve heard of brilliant detectives before,” Ciel’s attention snapped back to you, curious at what else you had to add, “my father being one of them, but you solve cases on a different level. Not even Vincent Phantomhive was this good. It’s almost… inhuman.”
You were sure you imagined it, but there was definitely a glint in the young Lord’s eyes as you said the word ‘inhuman’. No, you must be seeing things. This was Victorian London, for God’s sake, not the Medieval Times! Magic and supernatural things just didn’t exist.
Ciel cleared his throat. “I believe we have yet to get properly acquainted, Miss (Name). Now tell me, do you play chess?”
Your eyes lit up. “It just so happens to be my favourite.”
“So, will I expect to see you at the Phantomhive Manor tomorrow?” he asked.
Nodding, you replied, “I’ll be there.”
Ciel gave you one last look before turning on his heels and walking away.
“What on earth are you playing at?” your father growled when he was sure the Earl and his butler were gone.
“Don’t tell me that you don’t think the Phantomhive boy isn’t hiding anything.” You smirked, “I’ll convince him to allow me to accompany him on his next case, but little does he know, I’ll actually be investigating him. Father, this is our chance to get him back after all the times he’s wronged you in the past. If I am able to get even the slightest amount of dirt on him, the Phantomhives will be shamed and you may be the new Guard Dog. The Randall family and Scotland Yard will finally get the praise they deserve and Ciel Phantomhive will not be able to take it from us.”
His glasses glinted in the sun, and an evil crooked smile made its way onto his face. “Hmm, that isn’t quite such a bad idea…” Your father turned his stern gaze towards you again. “Write to update me regularly.”
You nodded, “of course, Father.”
You began to walk away without looking back until his voice stopped you, sending a shiver down your spine.
“Oh, and (Name)? Do not disappoint me.”
Vigorously nodding your head, you swallowed a gulp. It then became clear to you that in a detective’s life, there was no room for mistakes. One slip could mean the end.
The tall, gigantic building loomed over you as you stood at the grand entrance of the Phantomhive Manor. It was hard to believe that this was the same mansion that was set on fire a few years ago. The marble walls were crisp white, and the many windows were cleaned until they shone, with not a speck of dirt tainting them. The blue roof reminded you of Ciel, as weird as that may have sounded. Of course, it was normal for the manor to look like this. An important Earl such as Ciel would only have the finest of servants, after all.
Should I really be doing this?
You questioned yourself, but then remembered everything you stood for. Your father was counting on you, and you just couldn’t let him down. It wasn’t like you had a choice, anyway. For crying out loud, you were a detective! This is what you signed up for. There was no room for fear or regret in this job. If there was a mystery, you would solve it, and Ciel was a mystery. After you did this, the Randall’s name would be glorified, and everything would be how it should.
Let’s do this.
You slowly raised your hand and aimed to knock…
When all of a sudden, the door burst open and you quickly jumped to the side as a screaming blonde-haired boy came rolling out on a wheelbarrow with a bespectacled red-head on top of him, the two tripping on the small porch step and crashing in one heap on the floor. It took all you had to not try to blink the scene away. Maybe you got the address wrong…?
The blonde boy stood up, grabbing his straw hat and placing it back on his head before his cerulean eyes landed on you. He just stood there for a few seconds before breaking into a happy grin.
“Well, hello there, Miss! What brings you here?”
“Uh…” you began, “I was looking for the Phantomhive Manor, but I must be lost…”
“No, no! This is the right place, yes it is!” the red-head clarified in her raspy voice.
“Course. Can’t ye tell? The Young Master only has the best servants,” a voice sounded from behind you. You turned your head to see a man dressed in a white chef’s coat leaning against the wall, a cigarette in his mouth.
“Yup! We’re Phantomhive Servants!” the blonde-haired one confirmed.
“O-of course.” You straightened yourself up, before giving them your trademark confident smile. “Pleased to meet you. I’m (Name) Randall. Earl Phantomhive invited me for a game of chess.”
“Ah, Miss (Name).” another voice from behind startled you, and you spun around to see the infamous Phantomhive butler.
“Sebastian,” another smile made its way onto your face as you greeted him.
“My Master is waiting in his study. Please do come in and make yourself at home. The Phantomhives offer the best hospitality for our guests, after all.”
The door closed with a click, and it then became known to you that you were trapped in your fate like a bird in a cage – or better yet, a cat in a dog’s kennel. There was no going back now. You would either succeed, or die in the hole you dug yourself into.
Sebastian led you up the stairs and through multiple corridors, until he finally halted in front of a beautifully carved mahogany door.
After three knocks, he called, “Young Master, Miss (Name) has arrived.”
A bit of shuffling was heard from the inside before a bored voice called, “let her in already, Sebastian.”
The butler gave a cat-like grin before replying, “yes, My Lord,” and opening the door.
You didn’t look back as you entered the clean and well-kept study. You tried not to gulp when the door shut with a click behind you. It just didn’t make sense – you were so confident earlier – what was the difference now? Was it that you were in enemy territory? Maybe because no one was with you? Whatever. It didn’t matter that you were scared – all you had to do was be careful not to show it. Plus, what could a kid with an eyepatch do to you? Okay, so he was Earl with a really scary butler, but everyone knew you went to his manor last. If you did go missing, they’d be able to find you and hold him responsible. Ciel was smart – he wouldn’t do anything to risk his name, surely.
“Miss (Name), please, have a seat.”
You looked up to find Ciel staring at you intently with his one sapphire eye. On the desk was a single chess board, the black side facing him. Slowly, you sat down, wracking your brain of what to say. Should you apologise for yesterday? That might be a good way to start. Wait, no! You would appear weak, and there’d be no way that he’d let you accompany him on his next case after that! You’d just have to wait to find out what would happen next.
There was nothing but silence between the two of you as you gaze never left each other’s eyes. It was as if you were having a staring contest, to see who would blink or look away first, but neither of you did.
Well, that was until Ciel rested is chin on his hands, allowing you to see a single royal blue ring on his finger.
That must be the Phantomhive Family heirloom.
“That was quite… The show you put on yesterday,” he stated, which you took as an invitation to reply.
Trying your best to keep your calm aura, you replied, “I was only trying to make the scales fair, Earl Phantomhive, for my father’s sake.”
“I see. Never have I seen someone of your spirit, which is why I invited you here.” His gaze drifted back to the chess board. “I want to see if I’ve finally found my equal match. I believe white moves first?”
You let out a silent breath that you weren’t aware you had been keeping in. Swiftly, you moved your knight out of its starting place.
A couple of moves were exchanged between the two of you until Ciel finally took a pawn from you. He picked it up and waved it tauntingly in front of your face.
“Now, if you answer my question, I’ll give you this piece back.”
This made you laugh. Just what on earth was he playing at? Well – apart from chess.
“I’m afraid that’s not how it works, young Lord. Once something is lost, I am afraid it is lost forever.”
Ciel raised an eyebrow at your words, and you saw a flash of something on his face before a wry smile was brought to his own lips.
“Still, you’ve made me curious. What is this question?”
Ciel waited till you made your next move before speaking. “What is your real motive for coming here? Tell me.”
Another chuckle left your throat before you faced him again. “Only for a game. You think a mere pawn is worth me giving up everything? Surely you don’t know me enough if you think I’d do something so foolish. I haven’t lost yet,” and with that, you took his bishop.
“Would you mind change if I took your rook instead?” he challenged.
You shook your head. “It doesn’t matter how many sacrifices I will make, as long as the end goal is met. You haven’t taken my king, Earl Phantomhive.”
“Yet,” he finished with a smirk.
The game carried on and on. All that remained between the two of you was the silent determination to win, and believe it or not, that little chess match could be your ticket to fulfilling the first part of your mission, if you played your cards right.
“Checkmate.” Your proud statement echoed throughout the room, and a smirk appeared on Ciel’s face as he looked at you.
“So then,” you leaned forward, “take me on your next case with you.”
Your request (well, it sounded like more of a demand) left Ciel blinking rapidly at you, in awe of what you just asked.
He regained his composure before giving you a hard glare. “I work best alone.”
You knew this wasn’t going to be easy, and you weren’t going to give up the challenge.
“Is that so? You said it yourself that you found your equal in me,” you smirked.
Ciel couldn’t say anything; you had used his own words against him.
“What seems to be the matter? I need work, and you need assistance. I don’t see anything wrong with this reasoning, unless, of course, you have something to hide.”
He breathed an annoyed sigh, before explaining to you. “Strange shadow-like creatures are said to come out at night and steal the children from the town of Avers Hill. Our job is to find out who or what is causing them to appear, put a stop to it, and return the stolen children. We leave tomorrow at dawn.”
You grinned. “I thought you might say that. Of course, the real game has just begun.
Ciel returned your gaze with another rare but infamous smirk. “Miss (Name), I believe we are going to get along just fine.”