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Running Up That Hill

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"It's dark... I'm scared, Claude."

He trembled. Under the cool, silk covers, Alois curled into a ball. His eyes, wide and open, saw nothing.

"Don't go. Don't leave me. Don't leave me alone, Claude."

He could hear the wind blowing outside the winding. Outside, an owl hooted. Alois shivered and closed his eyes. His arms tightened around his knees, and his fingers dug into his legs.

"I'm just a dirty little brat."

When a branch, too close to the window, scraped at the glass, Alois screamed. He screamed and screamed and screamed, high-pitched and screeching. His nails broke skin. Blood welled up beneath his nails.

"Claude! Claude! Come here!"

Alois shook. Spidery hands touched him, calming him, soothing him.

Missing Trancy Heir Found!

missing since birth... kidnapped by fairies... claims he was raised in a nameless village... abused, hurt, raped... found by his father... lies, lies, lies... back with a black-haired butler... "Don't leave me alone, Claude..." the Phantomhive heir, Ciel Phantomhive...

"Claude, look up everything you can find about Ciel Phantomhive."

Their big sweaty hands grabbed and pulled at his arms and legs. He cried out and whimpered against the cloth in his mouth, kicking out and struggling. One of the men said something, low and husky. Another one smacked his head.

Alois saw stars.

Burning pain. Needles everywhere. Tearing. Bleeding. A punch. A kick. A thrust.

He screamed, but they just laughed.

Let me go, he pleaded in his mind, let me go.

They didn't listen. The men talked some more. Something about being like the last one. The other one. The one before him.

Little boy. Pretty blue eyes. Soft, pale skin. Dark blue hair.

A hand slid down his thigh. He whimpered again and closed his eyes tight. They laughed again.

Another hand trailed against his chest, pinching harshly at the skin.

They commented on his light blond hair, his light gray-blue eyes, the only differences between he and the other boy.

The other victim.

"Ciel Phantomhive..."

The boy, unconscious and still as death, was curled up inside the suitcase on that man—Sebastian Michaelis' lap.

Alois takes an excited step forward, a grin breaking out on his face. Finally, finally he has found his companion, his friend, his fellow sufferer. The boy with the... pretty blue eyes, soft pale skin, dark blue hair. The missing boy who came back with a black-haired butler and an eyepatch covering—no, hiding something—one of his eyes.

The seal—the contract on Alois' tongue burned. His skin throbbed from light, spidery touches.

He tried to get closer.

The butler pulls away and throws knives. "I won't let you touch him."

Alois stopped.

"Bocchan would be sullied if an inferior, dirty person like you were to touch him."

Suddenly, Alois felt cold. Unbelievably cold and shaken up. At the same time, hot anger coursed through him.

That man doesn't understand. He wasn't there. He didn't see—he didn't feel—he didn't experience the same things Alois and Ciel did. He couldn't understand. But how did he know? No one was supposed to know. No one was supposed to live to tell the tale.

Alois made sure of that. Claude made sure of that.

And then that man—that butler destroyed the chandelier, and everything fell into darkness.

Nothing's changed.

Alois screamed.

"It's dark... I'm scared, Claude."