~Inferior~Ash Landers x Reader
As you stomped your way through the snow, you couldn’t help but feel a sort of childish joy. Everything looked so bright and clean. It was like the whole world had been painted white just for your own amusement. If it wasn’t for the cold, you might have stayed outside all day.
Cruuuuunch. Your eyes flew open wide as your leg half-way up to your knee was plummeted into a mound of snow. The wet substance immediately began seeping into your pants leg, making you shiver uncontrollably. Within seconds a dark shadow was cast over you, enveloping your own shadow as well as the white snow before you.
“Do you need a hand, My Lady?” The butler’s hot breath washed over your neck as you turned to face him. The man was as white as the snow itself, save his eyes. His suit was alabaster, as was his hair. Each lock was a different length and the ends curled ever so slightly, making his mane look a bit messy. It seemed as if every strand had been deliberately placed, however, and if anyone asked you, you’d say he looked perfect. For a moment, his beauty had you dazed, but then you grew a bit irritated. It wasn’t the hair, or the sharp jawline, or even the odd aura about Ash that had you so captivated. It was his eyes. You thought that they were the loveliest thing you had ever seen. A pale violet color, they seemed to glow even amongst all of the snow. Compared to him, you were average (to say the least). It bothered you to no end, mainly because you would never fit alongside him. Whenever you looked in the mirror in the mornings and saw the butler standing behind you, you felt so far apart. It was like you didn’t even deserve to be in the same world as him, much less the same room. Ash’s expression softened as your face began to reveal your inner turmoil. “My Lady?”
“O-Oh.” Your entire face grew hot as you tried to hide your feelings. You knew it was probably too late, though. “No, I’m fine. Just enjoying the snow.”
To tell the truth, you had almost completely forgotten that Ash was with you. He was so quiet that his presence seemed to disappear with the gentle sound of the falling snow. “I see. We should return soon, however. You might become ill in such--”
Ash stopped as you fell to your knees and began rolling your gloved hands around in the snow. Even through the thick material, you could feel its iciness against your palms. Soon a tightly packed sphere had been formed. A small smirk appeared on your lips. “Hey, Ash…”
Ash opened his mouth, but before he could speak he was pelted by the ball of snow that you had just created. The butler blinked furiously, his thick black lashes covered in small snowflakes. Before he had time to compute what had just happened, you retreated behind a nearby fountain. The water had frozen mid-stream so it looked like part of the statue itself. An excited giggle escaped your lips.
“Really,” Ash spoke so low that his voice almost blended with the sound of the snowflakes hitting the ground.
Your eyes narrowed as a gust of icy cold wind caused a flurry of snowflakes to hit you directly in the face. They stung your cheeks and pricked your eyes, causing your vision to blur for only a few seconds. When it finally cleared, the butler was nowhere to be seen. You gasped as another gust of wind tore the air from your lungs. “Ash?”
“Yes, My Lady?”
You pivoted on your heel, but as you did so, something cold and wet sent you flying backwards into the snow. You blinked furiously, trying to clear your vision. You could barely make out the silhouette of a man standing over you with his hand outstretched. Ash smiled at you mischievously.
“You have one heck of a throwing arm…” You muttered as you lifted yourself into a sitting position. Ash fell to one knee and tilted his head. His hair was gently tousled by the cold winter breeze.
“Maybe I threw it a little too hard. My apologies.” You could still hear laughter in the butler’s voice as he dipped his head and closed his eyes, placing one hand over his heart.
“Ha!” You fell back into the imprint that you had made in the snow and smiled. “I would have done the same to you if I could have. Plus, I know you’re not sorry so don’t give me that.”
You heard two distinctive crunches as Ash stood and balanced his weight. He clasped his hands together behind his back, wrinkling his white suit slightly. “How very blunt you are, My Lady.”
“But am I wrong?”
There was no answer. After a moment, Ash cleared his throat.
“Shall we return to the manor?” You could tell by his tone that it wasn’t open for debate. As you forced yourself to your feet grudgingly, every bit of the excitement and energy that you had found previously drained out of you. Ash extended his arm to you, but you ignored him.
“Being looked after like this is really no fun,” you pouted as the two of you made your way across the winter wonderland. You could see the outline of your manor in the distance through the hundreds of tiny snowflakes that fluttered down to earth. It looked dark and lonely. The inside was no different, at least not to you. You took a few steps then stopped when you realized that Ash was no longer with you. He stood a few feet away watching you with a calm expression.
“Oh? And how would you prefer for me to look after you, then? I am your butler. I serve you, so your wish is my command.”
The sincerity of the butler’s words caused you to stare, dumbfounded, at him. He had never spoken to you that way before. You had always thought of him as your keeper…but Ash did have a point. You were the master and he the servant. You could make him do whatever you wanted.
“I see…” You spoke quietly. After a moment, you straightened your posture so that you were as stiff as a board. “Right, then. Ash Landers, I command you: approach me.”
Ash did as you commanded. He gave you a slight bow as he stopped a few inches in front of you. “Yes, My Lady.”
You blinked a few times, unsure of exactly why you had given him that order in the first place. An anime sweat-drop slid down your forehead. “A-Alright. Now give me your blazer. I’m cold.”
Without hesitation, the butler removed his blazer and wrapped it around your shoulders. A delightful scent permeated the air around you as he closed the distance. It was sweet yet sharp. You couldn’t quite identify it, but whatever it was it made your head grow light and your mouth water. As Ash smoothed out the shoulders of the blazer, he smiled. “There. Is that better?”
You sighed, your eyes half-closed. Before you had time to think, you muttered, “Much better.”
Ash straightened his posture, thus increasing the distance between the two of you. You could no longer feel his heat radiating against your cold skin or feel his presence around you. The scent stayed, however (probably because you were wearing his blazer). The butler smiled. It was a flawless, angelic smile that made your heart fracture into a million tiny pieces. Every bit of elation faded away and was replaced by bitterness. You could feel your expression hardening.
“Tell me; what is it about me that bothers you so, My Lady?” Ash sounded slightly amused as he spoke. The corners of his lips were turned upward slightly.
As you pressed your lips into a tight line, you felt all of the blood drain out of them. Your hands clenched into fists at your sides as you exhaled deeply. “You really want to know?”
Ash tilted his head and tossed his shoulders in a small shrug. Your forehead creased as your brows furrowed.
“You make me feel inferior.”
Ash blinked a few times. After a moment of silence, an odd grin stretched across his face. His eyes held a sort of malicious glint that you had seen only in quick flashes previously. It was that unnerving glow that you tried to ignore; played off as a trick of the light. Now, however, it was undeniable.
Ash approached you swiftly and before you knew it, you were enveloped in the most warm, heartfelt hug you had ever experienced. You felt your heart melt as he tangled his long, slender fingers in your (hair color) locks.
“Oh, Miss ______. You’re only human. Of course you’re inferior~.” Ash closed his eyes and smiled as you let out a small gasp of surprise. There was a fluttering sound as a pair of white wings wrapped around you, forming a sort of protective shell.
“O-Only human?” You repeated slowly. Ash laid his chin atop your head. You could feel his heartbeat as he pulled you even closer.
“Yes. Humans are unclean. I shall purify you, however. Don’t you worry…soon you will be as pure and clean as the snow.”
The angel’s comparison amused you. As you wrapped your arms around his torso and let your head rest against his chest, your lips curled into a small smirk. “Clean as the snow, eh?”
You ran your foot back and forth across the white substance. Before long, you had cleared away a patch of dirt. ‘Too bad if you clear all that snow away, there’s nothing but filth beneath.’