HIS BUTLER, FOREVER
Two years had passed since the night Ciel had met Sebastian.
The Earl Phantomhive’s carriage was quiet except for the roll of the wheels on the cobblestones beneath.
Ciel narrowed his eyes at his butler. Sebastian was being too ready with his observations tonight and though he hadn’t said a word, it was unnerving to the young master to sense such obtuse thoughts.
“Hatred is what binds us," he declared, and his butler responded with an sly grin.
“You need not try to define our contract. I will serve you until it is fulfilled.”
“Will you let me go thereafter?”
“I promise in all sincerity that you will not be bound to anything.”
“Not even you?”
The red of Sebastian’s eyes sparkled dangerously. It was not wise to tempt him this way.
"Tonight you had the chance to start over, young master..." The question Why? hung in the air despite not having been spoken. Why hadn't he?
"If I let go of hatred, then the person I've been since that day does not exist. If I don't exist, then I never had you by my side. So no, I could never let go."
"Never have I met anyone so reckless."
A glimmer of sadness fell over the boy's face. "I'll take that as your approval."
There was shame in admitting he wished for darkness, but there was also pride for it. The red in Sebastian's eyes shone like fire, nearly burning his master at this proximity, and Ciel did not step back. Never would. He had resigned himself to live this life, to abide by his decisions, to suffer the consequences. If it meant that this would be his only love, so be it.
Sebastian indeed approved. He knelt to cradle his master like the child he was, and whisked him away from danger.
As if he was safe within those arms.
High above the city rooftops, Ciel hid his face in his guardian's shoulder, and Sebastian welcomed it. The boy's heart beat so near. A beautiful serenade before dinner.
To devour this soul would be the sweetest of delicacies, one Sebastian hungered for above all else.
Somewhere however, locked in the deepest chambers of his being, there was a wish for his master's peace and longevity. A wish that Ciel may forgo their pact and live his life anew and good. A wish that will never see light or fulfillment, so far as both of them could help it.
It was not in a demon's nature to be altruistic. Therefore, nor shall he be.
Ciel couldn't sleep. So he paced his bedchamber in agitation, thoughts amuck.
On one hand, Sebastian had allowed someone who could have potentially been his only friend to die. On the other, he had secured Ciel's need for his butler's defense, and had indeed defended him. He had saved Ciel's principles with the harshest and swiftest of actions.
The young master should be thankful. Yet he felt betrayed. And he wasn't sure by whom.
"You have a chance to make something of yourself."
The uninvited words lingered in the near-darkness, cruelly invading his assumed privacy; spoken by one who had not been there two seconds prior.
Was he taunting his master by repeating the words of a dead man?
Even when Sebastian had lit a candelabrum, the room was still dim, and Ciel knew he had to compose himself. Sebastian’s eyesight was much sharper than a human’s, and having his back turned to him was only so much protection, if any. There was rage boiling in his young heart, and now that Sebastian had sought to join him --suddenly, as he often did-- Ciel could not reveal himself so openly.
"What could possess you to say such a thing?" His words intentionally biting, dismissive; as he turned from the window to face the servant. If they were closer, he may have slapped the butler for such blasphemous words.
It was his biggest fear that Sebastian may wish him well. How could he then live without him? These wonderings and musings of a weak mind must be slain at once.
"Your wandering thoughts."
No. That would not do. He could not be that open of a book. His heart could not beat this quickly.
He determinedly cast a cruel glare towards his butler, but it wasn’t working as well as he’d hoped. Body fighting to be still, only his eyes flickered on the verge of tears. Was he being unfaithful?
Sebastian could always see right through him.
Damned be the one who gave him naive hope.
"Do you regret my actions that much?" Sebastian asked, and the words hit the young master like a slap. Like a slap right back.
Ciel frowned and turned away finally. He could not hold those eyes anymore. He had seen a sparkle of red run though them. It was revenge for being weak.
Had he held the butler's gaze just a moment longer, he may have seen an unlikely flicker of sadness.
Fists clenched and unclenched on the window sill as the young Earl struggled to keep his composure. Sebastian had taught him it was improper to use vulgarities or throw tantrums. All it accomplished was to shame the Phantomhive name.
"I will not go back on my word. Our contract is a promise branded onto my soul," he whispered.
Sebastian would hear him loud and clear, always.
"Very well, my Lord. Would you like some warm milk to help you sleep?"
"Do you desire anything else of me?"
Ciel's knuckles on the mahogany of the window sill were turning white. He breathed deeply and as he looked out over his moon-lit gardens, could feel the presence of the demon come more near to him. Ciel closed his eyes, to focus on calming his breathing and runaway heartbeat. Sebastian had stopped right behind him. Ciel could feel his aura. Right there, right by his shoulder.
He swayed on his unsteady feet, and Sebastian steadied him with a hand around the small of his back. If Ciel didn’t know any better, the gesture could have passed for affection. It was exactly what he longed for.
Without hesitation, or rather, with disregard, the butler swept Ciel off his feet and carried him to the bed. Ciel let him.
His butler paid excellent attention to his comfort as he tucked him in for the second time that night. What kind of butler would he be if he didn't?
His hand lingered on Ciel's cheek after brushing his flyaway fringe away from his face, and the boy finally looked up.
Sebastian had his full attention.
"Do you desire anything else of me?" The butler repeated his question, which had been left unanswered outside of Ciel's head. Not that Sebastian hadn’t heard him.
Another flicker of red flashed over the haunting eyes before him and this time Ciel held them. He knew Sebastian could feel his answer already, on the tip of his tongue.
Those eyes were a pool Ciel relished to jump into. He saw comfort, and hatred, and power and greed, possession, jealousy, seduction, in those eyes. And this time, even sadness. Ciel's eyebrows rose by a fraction.
His butler's gloved hand still caressed his face softly, and Ciel reached up to hold it there. Please let this be real.
"Will you betray me, Sebastian?"
"Not unless you order me to."
"Will you kiss me?"
Ciel let his eyes fall shut as he held his butler's hand. He was far more than a butler to Ciel by now. He was the single companion of a young life, and both seemed determined to keep it that way, even if from the outside it was a cruel arrangement.
Sebastian looked on in wonder as Ciel held him, directing his movements. The young master traced over his own lips ever so lightly, with a hand that was not his, as Sebastian looked on. Demons did not engage in tender moments such as this, yet Sebastian allowed this. He could feel his master's thoughts vibrating through his skin, hanging on his young pink lips. Inappropriate as it may be for him and his uniform, he felt Ciel would have let him remove that glove this once. But Ciel did not seem to mind, even as he parted his lips under Sebastian's linen-clothed fingertips, so the butler could feel his every breath; a radiating and tempting heat.
Natural instincts were beginning to cloud his mind.
Ciel Phantomhive looked so inviting in this unguarded state. So powerful and powerless at the same time... A beating heart on a silver platter. So alluring for a demon.
He withdrew his hand from the boy’s grip. It would not do to hurt his young master tonight.
Ciel opened his eyes. The purple brand of their contract shone brightly and dangerously back at Sebastian. It would have disarmed him had he held the gaze longer. And so he didn't; choosing instead to retreat into safer territory.
The butler then stood from the young Earl's bed and curtly bid him goodnight, as polite as ever.
He could feel wide heterochrome eyes follow him as he walked out of the bedchamber with the candelabra.
Ciel watched his butler from afar as he polished the articles on the shelves of the Phantomhive library.
He knew Sebastian knew this too.
Yet as he sat at his desk, he could not help but wish to be in those arms. The day he would complete his revenge could not come fast enough. That was the day Sebastian would end his life. He did not deserve it. He deserved to be devoured; welcomed it.
Take me away. Take everything from me. It must be better than waiting for it.
Sebastian heard him. Sebastian always heard him. Ciel’s every wish was his to fulfill. And do so he shall, gladly. But with a heavy heart, figuratively. If there ever was a demon who could regret, could possibly give up such a seductive dish, this may have been the one.
The time is coming soon. Be patient, my Lord.
"Make this as painful as you can. That is what I deserve. Let me feel it, all of it, for it was my decision to be with you."
A lonely tear fell down Ciel's pale cheek, and his butler dutifully brushed it away.
Like playing with your food, this was. How sweet he would be. The demon beneath this disguise shined bright in the red of his eyes as he drew near his prey. The hunger was all-consuming.
Never had Sebastian made such a worthy contract as this, and never had Sebastian spared his prey from doom.
And yet, never had he felt so divided. With this corrupted soul beneath his fingertips, with this human child ready to be ravaged. Because such a dark soul was not so much a soul at all.
One would think he had spoiled his meal. But the truth was that as much as he craved this soul, the second it became his, it would be no more. And he could not part with such beauty.
Time had grown them together, into each other.
He touched his master's delicate face, and removed the patch from his eye, so he could see that contract one last time. It shone brightly in contrast to such a lifeless glare. The purple-blue of Ciel's eyes was always laced with hated, just the way Sebastian liked them. His hand lingered on the boy’s face, even brushed away the hair of his fringe. His butler, admiring.
"What are you waiting for?"
Ciel's words were harsh, impatient, as always. Commanding in a way that shook Sebastian to the core. The boy’s eyes had narrowed to slits, accusing, before returning to the way they sparkled with anxiousness. A virgin was waiting to be defiled. This arousal was beyond words. The heat of his attraction to this human was evident and dangerous, balanced on a knife's edge.
Think too much and he would let him go.
Think too little and he would devour him whole.
These were the last moments of Ciel Phantomhive's life, and he couldn't wait for them to be over. Blood-red irises and slit pupils was all he could see of Sebastian now. He was so close, yet always too far.
"Close your eyes, my Lord."
Then Sebastian's form evaporated into blackness, surrounding his master until there was nothing else.
A searing white-hot knife of a kiss was laid upon those young lips.
If Ciel hadn't been frozen by the demon's being, he would have surely screamed from this savagery, for this was the worst pain of his life. Unimaginable, and burning him completely, from where they touched, pulsating throughout his body.
He felt the ropes of death, strangle the breath from him, and constrict upon his heart, decaying everything in their path. This was Sebastian ripping his soul in two. He felt the pain, it was as brutal as he had wished it to be, and he was thankful for such a kiss. Because those were Sebastian's lips, finally on him, and it was everything he had wanted.
There, it was done. The pain subsided as their lips parted, and true to his word, his master was no longer bound to anything. Not even him.
When Ciel opened his eyes, everything had changed.
He was the King, sitting upon his lofty throne, wearing a crown of deep red roses. The rest of the pieces were knocked over and broken, surrounding him, scattered in ruin over the checkerboard. Ciel was the only chess-piece left standing, and Sebastian was on one knee before him, ever his loyal servant, kissing this hand in a way fit for a king.
The butler's coat-tails touched the ground, and he looked the way Ciel had always known him to be: well-groomed in the finest of linens and wools. Himself however, he was naked on his throne of roses.
The blue in both his eyes had returned and he settled them on the red of Sebastian’s.
"Is this the end?"
"The end has already passed."
This boy was too precious to let go. Better let him think this was the end and to be taunted for eternity by the other half of the boy's soul than to part. For Sebastian was too loyal to bear the full evil.
Ciel eyed him suspiciously. For the first time, that was not the truth. He felt it. In fact, he felt Sebastian all around him, lit like the fire in his eyes.
"Let that be the only lie you ever tell me. That is an order."
"Yes, my Lord."
Sebastian kissed his master's hand again, obediently; to be sure they had understood each other: In this place, Ciel's orders were meaningless, really, and he was the master of nothing. Because this time, Sebastian's hands were not gloved, and those black-tipped fingers crept upwards. They were in his territory now, and he was the dominant one. They both knew this.
Ciel watched as those devilish lips traveled up his arm, softly, and those fingers branded him wherever they touched, too harshly. He let himself be swept away.
His master has such smooth skin. He smelled delicious beneath him. Sebastian was ravenous after all this time, even after his taste. He wasted no time in covering the boy's body with his, but then took time to pet him properly. He enjoyed this closeness, had longed to touch him this way.
He pinned him to the throne savagely, sharp nails breaking skin upon Ciel's shoulder, where he held him. Yet as Sebastian's fingers caressed his jaw and hair, the touch was feather-light.
His master was a vision this way, most of all. Radiant like the moon in his pale skin, so slim his bones made delicate angles beneath. Sebastian brought his lips to his neck and sucked powerfully.
Ciel was fully willing to let this happen. He welcomed this violation, relished in being handled this way.
This was tenderness for a demon.
Each kiss was like a knife, and they traveled over his young body.
Here, there was no breath for him to hold. There was no heartbeat for him to try and control. There was no time to tell him this was enough.
And as Sebastian cherished him this way, in a way one would call molestation and depravity, he also answered Ciel’s last question.
"There is not enough soul in either of us to return to the realm of the living, but we can be together here. And I will serve you for this eternity. My Lord."
"You are one hell of a demon, Sebastian."