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Yes, my Lord.

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Ciel's horse reared and lunged forwards, sending a very unprepared Ciel flying headfirst into the woods. He tumbled as he flew, landing hard with a thud and cried out, pain radiating through his ankle. His foot was at an odd angle, and it throbbed mercilessly. His horse galloped away then, becoming a small dot in the distance, and he cussed. Carefully, he tried to stand, using a tree trunk as support, but any time he put the slightest bit of weight on his foot it ached. The young boy groaned internally as he stood, cursing himself and his own stupidity. He should have been paying more attention to his horse, but his mind was elsewhere. He wondered how he was going to get back home considering his horse was long gone, and the most movement Ciel could muster was a hop. A breeze blew at him, lifting his hair in all sorts of directions and he muttered, shaking his fringe back from his , he thought. It always comes to this. Calmly, ignoring the searing pain in his foot, he leaned his head against the bark of the tree. "Sebastian." He ordered, his eye flashing beneath its eye patch. "Come."

It was a few seconds of silence before the butler appeared, looking neat as always. There was not a single strand of hair ruffled on his head. He stood tall, at roughly 6'1", but bowed upon seeing his master. "Yes, young master?"

Ciel frowned- his voice was too pleasant. He stuck his leg out, holding onto the tree for balance. "I fell, and this hurts. Is it broken?"

Swiftly Sebastian bent down and grabbed Ciel's leg, tilting his head. "I'll have to remove your boot to see. This will hurt, young master."

Grimacing, the young boy nodded, bracing himself. "Do it."

Sebastian gingerly maneuvered the boot up, being as gentle as he could be, but each tiny movement resulted in a hiss from his master's mouth. His face was now a sickly pale colour, and his knuckles were white from holding on to the tree so tight. Sebastian managed to get the boot off, much to Ciel's relief, and examined his foot. It was bent at a slightly odd angle, but upon looking at it Sebastian decided it was not broken. "It appears to be dislocated."

Ciel lay his forehead against the tree. "Put it back into place."

"Pardon, master?" Sebastian's eyebrows raised. He had never particularly popped a bone into place before, considering it was extremely hard to break his. "I'm not familiar with the process. Perhaps we should call for the doctor?"

"Can you do it or not? If I wanted a doctor I would have called for one instead of asking you." He grumbled, attempting to glare at the butler, who only smiled in response.

Sebastian crossed a hand over his heart. "A Phantomhive butler who cannot do this much isn't worth his salt." Carefully, he placed his fingers on Ciel's foot and, without giving Ciel any warning, snapped his foot back into place.

Ciel gasped and cried out, pain swarming through his whole leg. He sank down, falling into Sebastian, and groaned. "I think I'm going to throw up."

"Young master, I would ask you not to that, please." Sebastian said, scooping the boy into his arms. He did look dreadfully pale, and sweat was forming on his forehead. Was it really that sore? Sebastian picked up the shoe on the ground and shook his head; humans are so fragile.

Swiftly he stood, and began to run back to the manor. The wind blew at their faces, nipping Ciel's ears, but the lurches and jumps of Sebastian was too much, and Ciel clutched at his lapels. "Stop."

Immediately Sebastian halted, the cessation of motion causing another wave of nausea to roll over Ciel. "Yes?"

"Sebastian," He groaned. "If you don't want me to throw up, slow down. Just walk."

Sebastian held back a sigh and began to walk. It's not that Ciel was heavy- he hardly weighed a thing- but rather the fact that walking was slow, and Sebastian had to start dinner preparations soon. Still, he walked, taking care not to jostle his master, who had his fist still clutching to the lapel of Sebastian's uniform. His eye was closed, and Sebastian would have thought he was asleep if it wasn't for the twitching of his mouth. Eventually they reached the Phantomhive manor, and were greeted by Mey-rin. She waved at them and Sebastian rolled his eyes, nodding back. Bounding over, she saw Ciel and put her hands to her mouth, cooing. "Aw, is he asleep? That is so cute! I wish someone would carry me like that when I'm tired." By someone, she meant Sebastian, of course.

Ciel's eyes opened and he flushed red, the embarrassment of Mey-rin's words damaging to his pride. He was not cute; he was a respectable Earl! Ciel pushed himself off Sebastian with a grunt and landed hard on the ground. He groaned, but pulled himself up, and tried to walk, but his ankle wavered with each step and more searing pain shot up his leg. Panting, Ciel looked up at Mey-rin. "Get back to work."

She bowed her head and nodded, scurrying off. Sebastian shook his head at his master's obvious mistreatment of his staff- he could be incredibly bratty sometimes. Ciel could feel Sebastian's stare as he attempted to walk to the room, but chose to ignore it, focusing on not falling again. Each step was painful, but was feeling slightly better since Sebastian had knocked it back into place. Watching him struggle, Sebastian took two strides and ended up next to Ciel, who was panting from his efforts. "Young mater, the servants have left. Allow me to carry you."

"No." A few more shuffles and he'd be at the stairs. Ciel gulped- how was he supposed to get up them?

Silently, Sebastian's strong arms wrapped around Ciel from behind and he lifted him up gingerly, taking care not to hurt him. The boy squirmed in his arms, but one stern stare from Sebastian's dulled crimson eyes quietened him, and he caved, leaning his head against his butler's chest. Truth be told, Ciel liked being carried by Sebastian. He felt safe, complete in the knowledge that almost nothing could beat his butler, who would protect him for the rest of his life. Ciel frowned as he thought about that. He knew he shouldn't take too much pleasure from something like this, since Sebastian was only here for Ciel's soul, and only kept him safe as part of the contract. Still, he indulged himself and inhaled, lying still in his arms. It was a strange feeling that this contact gave him. He knew he shouldn't feel this emotionally attached to a demon, but he couldn't deny it; they had some sort of bond that Ciel felt was something other than the contract. Maybe he was just kidding himself, and Sebastian felt nothing. Either way, it wouldn't matter, because once he'd discovered his parents murderers Sebastian would take his soul and leave, and Ciel would never see him again.

Sebastian walked into Ciel's room and placed him gently on the bed. He could see his master's forehead creased in thought, almost worry, and he tilted his head. "Is something wrong?"

Ciel's eyes shot up and widened, before a slight blush coloured his pale cheeks. "No. I'm fine."

"Would you like a bath?" He said pleasantly, unconvinced by the boy's lies. Although he did wonder why he was blushing- his master wasn't usually one to blush.

Ciel sighed and nodded. "Yes. Run it now."

"As you wish." Sebastian turned and walked to the en-suite, where a grand bathtub sat. He turned the golden tap and filled it with hot water, watching the steam added a little cold water too, and once it was full, removed his glove and dipped a finger in. It was just the right temperature for the master.

Walking back in, he saw Ciel lying on the bed still, his eyes closed. It was not even dinner time yet, but his breaths seemed to rise slowly, and Sebastian could tell he was ready for sleep. Shaking his head, he scooped Ciel upright and lay him against the headboard of the bed. Ciel was too tired to complain when Sebastian removed his coat and tie, and started unbuttoning his waistcoat and shirt. He folded them neatly on the bed and signaled for Ciel to lie down so he could remove his shorts, underwear, socks and shoe. Normally Ciel would have some part in undressing himself, but his ankle hurt and he felt weak and still slightly sick, and the relaxing sensation of being carried in Sebastian's arms as well as the prospect of a bath was too much, and he was struggling to fight off sleep. Once he was ready, Sebastian lifted him against his chest and carried him to the bathroom. He placed him gently in the bath and sat on a nearby seat, accompanying his master. "Is it to your satisfaction?"

Ciel's voice was quiet. "It'll do."

The butler smiled- Ciel would never directly compliment him, but would always mention if something Sebastian done was less than desirable. Every 'it'll do' or 'its satisfactory' was actually a high form of praise from the young master. Ciel sat in the bath with no movement for many minutes, until he started to slip under the water. Sebastian's hand shot out and cupped his head, bringing him back up. Ciel's eyes fluttered, and he looked around, slightly confused. Sebastian sighed. "Do you plan on washing, or falling asleep and drowning?"

Ciel looked at him lazily, stifling a yawn. "Shut up and wash me."

Bowing his head, Sebastian smiled. "Forgive me, young master. Of course."

Removing his gloves, which were already wet, Sebastian rolled up his sleeves and grabbed a cloth, dipping in in the water. Ciel hunched over so Sebastian could wash his back, and he noticed the prominent ridges of his spine poking through his skin. Sebastian frowned. "It appears I am not feeding you well enough, young master. I can see your bones."

Ciel dismissed his worry with a wave of his hand. "It is not your job to worry about something so trivial. You know I eat everything you cook."

Sebastian nodded but frowned, eyeing up Ciel's body. He was very thin, despite the fact that he did eat everything Sebastian made. Was he not cooking enough nutritious things? Was he cooking too little portions? He didn't have much knowledge of human diet, and it was proving to be quite troublesome. His hands began to comb through Ciel's hair, massaging shampoo in. He noticed that it was the most unusual colour, a mix between a steel grey and navy blue, and it was a colour Sebastian has not seen on another human in his life. Rhythmically he moved his fingers and gave a small sniff when Ciel tilted his head back and smiled, feeling even more relaxed. Shampoo trickled down his face, along his cheek, and unthinkingly Sebastian reached out and wiped it away, his fingers lingering against Ciel's soft skin. His features were still young, but he was beginning to reach the cusp of maturation, the signs showing all over his face. His cheekbones were more prominent, his jawline was loosing its roundness and becoming sharp, and an adam's apple was beginning to form in his neck. Sebastian started at his young master, tilting his head. He was maturing, but his body was still awfully thin, and as he noticed the deep dents of his collarbones he frowned- he definitely wasn't feeding him enough. Without thinking, he slowly flitted his fingers across Ciel's cheek, some form of admiration surging through him. He may be a brat, but Sebastian was happy that Ciel was his master.

Ciel's eyes flickered open and he looked at Sebastian. He was tired, but he swore he felt the butler touch his face, and thought made him blush. "What are you doing?"

Sebastian lifted his finger to show a trail of shampoo. "Catching this, young master."

Ciel blushed harder. Of course Sebastian hadn't just touched his face, why would he do that? He was just doing his job, like Ciel asked. Even though he knew this, and knew there was nothing to feel sad about, he couldn't help but feel a small pang of disdain. Did he want Sebastian to touch him? Is that what he was feeling sad about? The thoughts swirled in Ciel's head and he groaned, rubbing his forehead. What was it exactly that he felt for Sebastian? Was it admiration? Loyalty? Friendship? Or was this bond just a result of the contract? His head hurt, and he turned to face Sebastian. "Fetch me a towel."

Sebastian grabbed a towel as Ciel stood, the pain in his ankle having resided just enough for him to regain some balance. Sebastian draped the towel around his shoulders and helped him out the bath, letting Ciel lean against him. Water dripped on the floor and his uniform, but he didn't mind. He helped Ciel back to bed and dried him carefully before dressing him in a pale blue nightshirt. When he was ready and in bed, Sebastian smiled. "May I make the presumption that you wont be eating dinner tonight?"

Ciel yawned and nodded. "You would be right. I don't think I should eat anything anyway, I still feel a little sick. Cook for the others if they're hungry."

Sebastian bowed. "Of course."

As he left the room, he was called back by a faint shout from Ciel. He turned, his inky black hair swaying. "Yes, young master?"

"Thankyou."

The butler did a double take, clearly shocked. Ciel had never said thankyou before, especially not without prompting, and Sebastian shook his head. He must be very tired and in a lot of pain if he was delirious enough to thank him. Still, he bowed. "It is my duty to serve you. Goodnight, master."

Ciel yawned, already drifting off to sleep. "Goodnight, 'bastian."

Chapter Text

Sebastian knocked twice on Ciel's door before pushing it open, carrying a trolley of tea with him, and a side selection of scones. The young master was still asleep , his dark blue hair spread across the pillow in all directions, leaving his face clear to see. He looked peaceful when he slept, Sebastian noted. As if all the rage and anger he kept inside him floated away. Sighing, he drew the curtains and called out, "It is time to wake up, sir." When Ciel didn't stir, he tried again. "Young master, it is time for you to wake." Ciel's nose crinkled in his sleep, and he turned, facing away from Sebastian. The butler sighed and walked over to him, sitting on the edge of the bed. He bent forward, the tips of his hair tickling Ciel's cheeks, and spoke clearly and loudly this time. "Young master, wake up."

Ciel stirred then groggily opened his eyes. He saw the familiar face of his butler through hazy eyes, and smiled, still assuming he was dreaming. "Sebastian.." He said, looking at him. Once he blinked, and Sebastian became clearer, Ciel gasped and sat up, his cheeks colouring red. "Sebastian! What are you doing?"

"Well, sir, you just weren't wanting to wake up. I called to you twice, but you slept through it." He said, giving a helpful smile. Ciel's hair was sticking up in one bit at the back, as if it were completely independent to the rest of his head. He'd have to comb it- it would never do. "Would you like to know today's tea?"

Ciel rubbed his eyes and sat up against the headboard. He was aware that Sebastian was still sitting on the edge of the bed, and looked at his hands. "Yes."

Standing swiftly, the butler rose and poured the tea he'd strained previously, his tailcoat flipping with the motion. The aroma filled the room, a sweet brew but with a hint of spice. Ciel sipped, the warm liquid soothing his throat, and he sniffed appreciatively. "I like it."

"Very well, sir." Sebastian bowed. "Would you like a scone?"

Ciel's eyes drifted to the tray of treats and he stopped, suddenly aware of how ravenous he was. He hadn't eaten much the previous night, and his stomach was grumbling. "Sebastian, bring me the platter."

"Of course." He said, bringing the platter to the young boy. "I have prepared scones, fruit bread and croissants for you to choose from th-"

Ciel grabbed the tray and began to eat, taking bites of everything Sebastian had made. He was hungry, and Sebastian really was the best chef anyone could ask for. Eventually, three scones, two slices of fruit bread and a croissant later, Ciel wiped his mouth, and looked at Sebastian innocently, who was holding back a smile. "I'm finished."

"Very well. Hungry, were we?" He said, turning his back to smile. He had never once seen the Earl eat so fervently, it was as if he hadn't been fed in days. There was very few foods left on the plate.

Ciel ran a hand through his hair and stared at him. "Quite. What do I have to do today?"

"Nothing, sir. Completely free schedule." Said the Butler, already laying out Ciel's clothes for the day.

"In that case, I would like a violin lesson." Ciel rested his hands on his stomach, which although normally flat, was sporting a small bump with the food he'd just eaten. He never usually asked for violin lessons, but a part of him just wanted to be with Sebastian today.

Sebastian's black eyebrows shot up in surprise- the master never asked for the lessons, Sebastian usually had to force them upon him. But he would comply. "Of course. Please allow me to run you a bath for this morning."

Ciel stood and kicked back his covers, stretching his arms above his head. He wore a large nightshirt to bed at night, and it came to just above his knees. When he stretched, it rose to mid thigh, and Sebastian found himself forcing his eyes away as he filled the bath. What was this feeling? He'd seen the Earl a million times before, dressed him for bed and undressed him too on some occasions, but something felt different this time. The messy hair, the sleepy smile he gave him, the bare legs...what was this feeling he had? Did he think the master was...cute? Sebastian shook his head immediately afterwards and firmly told himself no. There was no way he felt anything other than loyalty to Ciel. They were bound by contract, that's all. Demons do not associate with humans in that way, and Sebastian would be no exception. Still, even as he helped the master into the bath, he couldn't help but wonder. He didn't hate the young master as he did other humans. True he was a brat, he was stubborn and young and he treated his staff poorly, but he was also brave, and cunning and determined. His soul was a flame that couldn't be burned out, and whatever emotion he felt he felt fully. Be it hatred, betrayal...love. Although he'd yet to feel that emotion. Ciel's soul was just so alive, Sebastian could practically taste it just by being in the same room. As Ciel sat in the bath, he moved his hand as Sebastian was washing him, and it caught on something and he hissed, bringing his hand above water. He was disguntled to see that a part of the metal decoration on the antique bathtub had broken off, and he'd sliced his hand across it. Blood oozed out and dripped down his hand, the droplets staining the water. He called for Sebastian, but stopped when he saw how intently the butler was staring at him. "Sebastian?"

"Did you know a demon can get a taste of someones soul through their blood?" He said quietly, not really thinking about what he was saying. He was starving, he hadn't eaten in a soul in however many years and the hunger gnawed at him, aching and hurting and begging for something to devour. His thoughts of the master soul rushed through his head, and he was even more aware of the growing starvation inside of he would not touch anyone's soul but Ciel's; his was the perfect soul.

Ciel stared at him then lifted his bloody finger to Sebastian's mouth. It wasn't too deep a cut, but the thick blood that trickled out was crimson in colour, and dripped down his finger. "Taste it."

"Yes, my Lord."Sebastian's tongue traced the length of Ciel's finger, catching the trickle of blood. It was an explosion in his mouth, the fire and life of Ciel's soul so evident that Sebastian's hunger spiked, and he wrapped his fingers around Ciel's wrist so tight that the young boy gasped, but he ignored it and carried on licking at the cut again. He had never tasted Ciel's blood before; he'd always thought it unprofessional of a demon to drink the wine before the meal was served.

"Sebastian, stop." Ciel looked at him, his voice quiet.

Sebastian looked up, and gently released Ciel's hand. He was ashamed of himself, how could he grab the master like that? He was always hungry, he couldn't afford to loose it over things like this. "I am so terribly sorry, young master. Please forgive me, it will never happen again."

Ciel tilted his head. He really was sorry, and Ciel couldn't be mad. There was something so otherworldly about watching Sebastian loose didn't happen often. "Did I taste good?"

Sebastian looked up, his eyes meeting Ciel's. He wasn't angry, as Sebastian had thought, but rather interested, as if the most amazing thing in the world had just been placed in front of him. The butler bowed his head respectfully. "Young master, you tasted -quite simply- absolutely mouthwatering."

Ciel smiled, fingers tracing across his wrist. Red marks were beginning to form where Sebastian had grabbed him, but he wore them like a trophy- a sign to the world of just how good he tasted. "How long has it been since you ate?"

"Many, many years. I regretfully inform you that that is why I lost my control at the taste of you blood. The hunger you felt this morning is what I feel every waking moment, except I feel it on a much larger scale. It burns like a fire inside of me." He said, grabbing a towel to help Ciel out of the bath.

"Why don't you go eat someone, then? If you get there before a reaper they're yours." He said, pulling the towel close around him. As much as he liked to aggravate the butler, the thought of him in pain genuinely displeased Ciel.

A small laugh came from behind him, and Sebastian bowed. "I thank you for the advice, young master, but I'm afraid I cannot. It will cause trouble with that idiot, Grell, and the only soul I desire is yours. Nobodies can compare. Having your soul after years of fasting will be like eating the richest banquet in the world that only I can have."

Ciel couldn't help the sense of pride that welled inside him at that moment. Out of all the souls in the world, Sebastian only wanted his. He had a Phantomhive soul, a soul that burned with passion, and nothing could compare. "Very well then, you will starve until I am dead. Then I am yours."

"And until then, I am yours." Sebastian said, getting down on one knee. He rose afterwards and dried off the young boy, before helping him dress for the day's activities. He placed a bandage around the master's cut finger, before apologizing once again.

"Stop apologizing. It's pathetic. You're a demon, act like one." Ciel said, although he did not remove his hand when Sebastian's tapering fingers wrapped around it, examining his wrist.

"Of course." Sebastian's eyes flitted pink for a nano second, so fast that Ciel wasn't sure if he imagined it. He poked Sebastian's face gently, right under his eye, and looked at him. "Do it again."

"Do what again, sir?" Sebastian stilled- Ciel wasn't usually one to touch him. He would take his hand, or hang on if he was being carried, but he couldn't actually remember the last time he touched his face.

"Your eyes. I want to see your real eyes."

Sebastian closed his eyes, then after a second, opened them to reveal his real ones. They glowed pink with black slits in the middle, and he looked oddly terrifying, but it only spiked adrenaline into Ciel's veins. Sebastian stilled as Ciel came right next to him, their noses almost touching. "Master?"

"Ah." He breathed, looking at them. The irises seemed to move within themselves, the black of his pupil seeming to merge with the pink continuously. "You don't show me your real self often."

"If I showed you my true form it would kill you." Sebastian said simply. "But I can show you parts, at a time. But don't stare at me too long, young master. Demons are incredibly good at manipulating and persuading people, but we use our eyes to help. They entrance whoever is looking to make them dazed, and who knows what I might do? After all, I am a demon, maybe I should 'act like one', like you said."

Ciel snickered and tilted his head, pointing at his eye with the mark bore into it. "As if you could control me. I'm not scared. I control you, or have you forgotten?"

Sebastian smiled, then lifted his hand. He pointed his finger at Ciel, and by moving it in a circle, forced Ciel's body to twist round, without even touching him. Ciel craned his neck, staring at Sebastian. "You bastard, that's not fair! I didn't know you could do that, let me go."

"Of course." Sebastian dropped his hand and Ciel's body could move again.

He stretched, before casting a look to Sebastian behind him. "You never told me you could do that."

"You never asked." The butler said politely, standing up to his full height. He towered over Ciel, but opened the door for him as they made their way to the study. It was a large room with plush chairs and a desk, with ornate rugs on the floor and a large window on the wall, with thick velvet curtains. Bookshelves lined the whole west wall, and the sun streaming in offered them light. Sebastian picked up his violin and handed Ciel his, then set their music page to the right one. "Now then, shall we begin?"

Ciel groaned as he looked at the music. There was no way he could learn this, it was much too difficult for him. "Not with this. It's too hard."

"Sir, you have not even tried." Sebastian said, playing a run through of the song. It sounded perfect when he played, and Ciel rolled his eyes. Was there anything this butler couldn't do?

"Fine, but I cant do it." Ciel managed the first four bars well, and the got stuck, unsure of how to accommodate with the change of tempo. He couldn't move his fingers fast enough, and so the whole piece missed beats and ended up sounding sloppy.

Sebastian smiled, then played through again, this time slower so Ciel could see his finger movements better. "You need to be ready to change strings before the note comes up, you cant change immediately on that note- it's a transition."

Ciel tried again, but when he played slower he couldn't count right, and messed the music up again. He grunted. "This was bad idea."

"It is pitiful to give up so easily." Sebastian tucked his hair behind his ear and put his glasses on, adopting the look he always did when he was Ciel's tutor.

Ciel glared at him. "Shut up. Some of us have to actually work to build skill."

"Young master, I have to work to build skill, too. Do you not remember the first cake I ever made you?" Sebastian's eyes flicked to Ciel and he shook his head, sighing.

Ciel frowned. "Yes, it was horrid. I threw it at you."

"I remember." Sebastian played the song through again. "But practice makes perfect, for a butler and an Earl alike."

When Ciel tried again, and messed up, he raised the violin into the air as if to smash it, but Sebastian's hand caught his wrist and stopped him. "Master, allow me to help." Sebastian placed the violin back into Ciel's hands, and stood behind him. His own arms wrapped around the boy as he shifted Ciel's fingers from the strings to on top of his own, as his own hands took position. "Here," He said, his voice at Ciel's ear. "Watch my fingers."

Ciel found it hard to concentrate and do as Sebastian asked. Their faces were almost touching, and Sebastian's breath tickled his ear and his neck as he spoke. He could feel the weight of the butlers arms wrapped around him, feel the warmth of his hands underneath Ciel's. His heart pumped so fast he was certain that Sebastian could hear it. What was happening?

"Young master, are you paying attention?" Sebastian looked at Ciel, who's eyes were thoroughly glazed. His breaths were shallow and rapid, and Sebastian could hear the thrum of his pulse in his neck. What was wrong with him? Was he sick?

Ciel snapped out of it and whirled his head to look at Sebastian, moving so fast that their noses accidentally touched. "Huh?" Ciel said, trying to step away from Sebastian. "I'm fine, but I don't want to play violin anymore. Let's just..sit down."

Ciel released himself from Sebastian and sank down in the armchair. He motioned to Sebastian, who was still standing, to sit in the one across from him. The butler frowned, but sat anyway. It wasn't proper etiquette for a butler to sit, especially when in the same room as the master, but Ciel looked quite dazed, so he complied.

"Sebastian, tell me about yourself."

"I'm afraid there is not much to tell, sir. I am but your humble servant."Sebastian masked his shock when he answered; Ciel had never once in the three years he'd known him asked him a personal question.

Ciel waved his hand and dismissed the answer. "Shut up. Just tell me something. Your favourite colour. Your birthday. Anything."

Sebastian pondered as he thought about such an odd request. The young boy had never cared for personal information before. "My favourite colour is a mix between blue and grey. The shade of the sea at sunrise I think would be a good way to describe it. The shade of-" Sebastian stopped. What was he going to say? The shade of Ciel's hair? His eyes? He frowned and moved on. "I do not have a birthday."

Ciel lifted his head slightly. "What do you mean you don't have a birthday? Everyone has a birthday."

"I do not." Sebastian said. He was not bothered by his lack of a birthday. They weren't important when you were immortal, and the whole concept of a birthday was rather pointless when you had nobody to celebrate with.

"Then I'll give you one. You should be made to suffer as much as I do with the dreadful things." Ciel said, smirking. "Let's make it April seventh."

"That's just a week away, sir." Sebastian said, frowning. That was quite soon for a birthday that he wasn't particularly sure he wanted.

"Yes it is, but its what I've picked for you. On April seventh, we'll celebrate your birthday." Ciel said, laying his head back against the sea. His mind was clearing now, free from the intoxicating presence his butler couldn't help but ooze out.

Sebastian stood and bowed, hiding a smile. "Yes, my Lord."

Chapter Text

It was the day of Sebastian's birthday, and he started it by knocking on Ciel's door. "Young master? It is time to wake up."

He wheeled the cart inside and Ciel lifted his head groggily. "'Bastian?"

"Yes young master?" He began to prepare the tea leaves.

"Happy birthday." Ciel sat up against the headboard and dipped his head to the butler.

"Thankyou, sir." Sebastian said, smiling as he poured the tea. "Today's agenda is-"

"Whatever it is, cancel it. We're going out today." Ciel said, stretching as he did so. "We have a ball in two weeks remember, and I want something new to wear. Consider it a half day for you; you'll be doing no work in the mansion today."

Sebastian bowed, but gave a nervous laugh. "So, Baldroy is cooking your dinner? And Mey-Rin is washing your sheets and restocking the china cabinet?"

Ciel nodded. "Yes. They're a rather incompetent bunch for staff, but I would rather you stay with me today than be in here."

"Of course, my Lord." Sebastian poured a cup of tea and handed it to the young boy. "Would you at least let me serve you breakfast? It will ease my mind once I've witnessed you eat something I have made myself."

Ciel nodded his head in agreement, and picked up a scone. He was awfully fond of Sebastian's scones, they were the best one's he'd ever had. So soft on the inside, the berries and nuts throughout adding even more flavour. He looked at Sebastian after finishing his second scone, and said, "Right, you go prepare the carriage while I get changed and take care of some things."

Sebastian said nothing as he bowed and walked away. As soon as he was gone Ciel jumped up and ran down the stairs, nearly colliding with Mey-Rin. He looked at her sternly and sighed. "Mey-Rin, it is Sebastian's birthday today. I'm going out and I'm taking Sebastian with me, so while we're gone, I can't imagine we'll be more than three hours, decorate this mansion. His favourite colour is a mix between blue and grey, so find some things in that colour. Get Baldroy to make a cake, but just a small one- I don't trust his cooking."

Mey-Rin's mouth dropped and she looked at Ciel in shock. "It's Sebastian's birthday? Why didn't he tell us? I haven't even gotten him anything! Oh, but don't worry, master, I'll have this place looking amazing for when you come back!"

Ciel walked down the stairs towards the door, where he could see Sebastian standing at, waiting. "Good."

As he reached the Butler, Ciel opened the door and walked towards the carriage with Sebastian following beside him. The ride into town was quiet, but it was a content quietness. Ciel couldn't help himself from staring at Sebastian, from his dark red eyes and porcelain skin to his thick black hair framing each side of his face. Ciel sighed. It wasn't right, that something so evil would look so beautiful. He had long being trying to understand his feelings towards the butler, but it seemed that each time he did he became more and more confused. He couldn't deny the attraction he felt to his butler, or the deep loyalty he felt for him. Sebastian has become the most important person in his life; he'd grown to depend on him so much that life without him was unimaginable. But what was this? How could this be right? Not only did Ciel have feelings for a demon, he had feelings for a man. Of course he'd never been one for religion, and he did not believe in a God who would strike him down for having such thoughts, but it was so unusual, so hated by society. It would ruin the Phantomhive name if anyone ever found out. Ciel closed his eyes, stress weighing down his shoulders, and concentrated on breathing. Nobody would find out, because there was nothing to even keep secret. Whatever he felt for Sebastian was completely one sided, and he mustn't forget that. He was a demon and he was in it for one thing- Ciel's soul. Still, he couldn't stop his heartbeat from racing whenever those eyes met his, or Sebastian touched him. Was this a crush? Infatuation? Love? He didn't know, and the confusion made his head pound.

"Master, are you alright? You look very pale." Sebastian said, leaning forward. His black eyebrows drew together and his breath blew across Ciel's face, who shivered.

"I'm fine, Sebastian." He said quietly, fingers clenched around his cane tightly. He shouldn't come so close, it was hard enough for Ciel to watch him from a distance.

Sebastian looked at the boy, who's fingers were clenched so tightly that his knuckles were as white as bone, who's face was so still that he looked dead. What was he thinking? What was so troublesome to his master? While his eyes stayed closed, Sebastian very softly drifted his fingers down the side of Ciel's head, his silky hair falling past his hand like water. Ciel's eyes snapped open and he looked Sebastian in the eyes, his whole body frozen. He said nothing, too busy concentrating on keeping his breaths from hyperventilating and sending him into an asthma attack. Sebastian pulled his hand away and held up a finger, displaying the tiniest bit of fluff. "Just getting this."

Ciel let out a large breath after a few seconds, shaking his head side to side slightly. Of course Sebastian wasn't touching him like that, he was just helping him look presentable. Even though he knew the butler felt nothing, he couldn't stop the disappointment that coursed through him each time. Eventually they reached the town and Sebastian helped Ciel out. They walked together, Ciel leading the way to the most expensive-but best- suit makers in all of London. They pushed open the heavy door, the jingle of the bell alerting mister Smithborne, the owner and tailor of the shop, to come running.

"Ah! Young Earl Phantomhive, how nice to see you again. What can I do for you?" He said, gesturing to all the suits he had.

Ciel walked over to a plush chair and signaled for Sebastian to follow. "I am in need of a new suit for a ball I must attend soon."

"Oh, really? Well, I have plenty of choice. What colour were you thinking, and when is this ball?"

"Two weeks. Sebastian, what colour?" He said idly, raising a finger to his chin in thought.

Sebastian smiled. "I think red would look nice, young master."

Mister Smithborne wiped his brow nervously and smiled. "A full suit done for two weeks time? That's quite pressing, Earl Phantomhive."

Ciel tilted his head. "No, no, I wasn't finished yet. I want a new suit for my butler as well, the finest you have. In whatever colour he desires."

Mister Smithborne's jaw dropped and he looked at Sebastian, disbelief on both their faces. He said incredulously, "You want a suit for him? B-but he's just a butler!"

Sebastian frowned and faced Ciel, his tone curious. "Yes, young master, I am just a butler. I'm flattered, but why?"

"You may be just a butler, but you are my butler. If I want you in a suit for the ball then you'll be in one. Now, mister Smithborne, I require two suits for two weeks time. I should think that a capable tailor such as yourself can manage this, yes?" Ciel said matter-of-factly. He didn't quite know himself why he was buying Sebastian one, but it was too late to say no now.

"Y-yes, of course. I'll have to take his measurements now if that's okay." The shopkeeper pulled Sebastian to a little platform then took the measuring tape from around his neck and began placing it around Sebastian's body, writing down in a small notepad as he did so. He then gestured to rolls of his finest fabrics and lace. "What would you like?"

"Sebastian, pick whatever you want. Cost is no issue." Ciel pointed to a deep crimson fabric, similar to the shade of Sebastian's eyes. "I'll take this, with that white lace around the neck and sleeves, and the gold ribbon."

Sebastian pondered over the fabrics, each one seeming silkier and more luxurious than the last, before settling on a purple one. He'd never had a suit so fancy before, and Ciel had never bought him anything before. He stared at the fabric, desperately trying to figure out what was going on as he pointed at it. "This one."

Ciel tapped his cane. "Give him black lace and black ribbon with it. And have them done in time- I shall make a point of coming to collect them nearer the time. This should cover it." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small drawstring bag filled with gold coins and dropped it into the tailor's hand.

He counted it, eyes widening when he realised how much Ciel had given him. Nervously, he scratched his head and grinned. "Yes, this should do it. I'll get started right away."

"Very well. Sebastian, let's go." Ciel said, walking towards the door. As they left and walked around London, they didn't talk. But that was alright, as Ciel liked the silence. He was never much of a big talker, and Sebastian never demanded conversation from him. As they walked past a bakers, Ciel stopped in his tracks and walked up to the glass, eyeing up all the delights in the window. There was ones he'd never even seen Sebastian make yet. Ciel could feel himself salivating; there was nothing he loved more than a sweet treat.

Sebastian laughed quietly, bending down till his lips were at Ciel's ear. "Master, are you hungry?"

"Not particularly. I just desire that cake, doesn't it look delicious?" He said, pointing to a cake on the middle of the shelf. It was small and white, with pink cream on the top and a mound of raspberries on it, drizzled with a fruit sauce.

Sebastian frowned. Food, especially cake, had never appealed to him,but the young master loved them. "It is pleasing to look at, however I am not so sure I would enjoy the taste."

"It must be so sad being a demon." Ciel said, walking into the shop. "You can never truly enjoy cake."

After he bought it and they sat down in a table far away from anyone else, Sebastian smiled. "I'm sure there are worse things about being a demon than not being able to have cake."

"What's the worst?" Ciel said, taking a bite. His eyes closed and he smiled, taking more bites. He had a bit of pink cream on the corner of his lip, and Sebastian suppressed a grin.

"I believe the worst is probably being stuck in my realm until I am summoned." Sebastian said, laying his head on his hands. "True, your world is dreadfully boring, but my realm is not a paradise either. It is far more dangerous there, I don't have the enjoyable lifestyle I do here."

"You don't dislike butler life?" Ciel said, picking a raspberry off his cake and popping it into his mouth.

"No, young master. I am your butler till the day you die, and I will enjoy every day." Sebastian said, bowing his head.

Because each day brings you a day closer to my soul. Ciel closed his eyes, suddenly not hungry anymore. He knew that Sebastian was just amusing him, making conversation, but he couldn't help but fill in the hidden messages behind each sentence. What was he going to do? How long would these feelings stay for? No matter how hard he tried to repress them or pretend they didn't exist, one look or one touch from Sebastian and they'd come rushing to the surface.

Sebastian looked at his master, wondering what on earth he'd said wrong. Ciel had looked at him so sadly, then closed his eyes. Had he said anything to upset or hurt the master? No, he couldn't have! All he said was that he enjoyed being by his side- how could that upset him? Sebastian sighed as he looked at the young boy inside him. Never had he wanted more than now the ability to read minds. Sebastian took off his glove and slowly reached out a finger to scoop the icing off Ciel's lip. His eyes opened immediately, and he watched Sebastian lift his finger to his mouth and suck the icing off. He pursed his lips, then put his glove back on, unimpressed. "I fear I never will truly enjoy cake."

Ciel's heart was beating a hundred times a minute, his lips still tingling where Sebastian's finger had grazed them. What was he trying to do? Was it a game? Was he trying to see how much he could do to antagonize Ciel, making him drown under the weight of these feelings? Ciel sighed and stood, raising a hand to his head. "Come, Sebastian. There's one more thing I have to get."

They exited the shop and walked along the mainstreet, the light grey sky offering very little sunshine. They were quiet, the only conversation coming from Sebastian asking Ciel if he was alright, to which he sighed and nodded yes each time. The city bustled around them, everybody moving and walking, all determined to get somewhere. As they walked, Ciel's mind wandered. He was lost in his thoughts, desperately trying to think of a present for Sebastian and if Mey-Rin had decorated the mansion well enough. He wondered if his butler was having a good time. As he was crossing the road, he cast a glance back, only to see he'd lost Sebastian. A piercing screech filled Ciel's ears, and he turned to see a horse and carriage ready to hit him, the rearing horses' hooves a very evident threat above him. So this is where he would die. On a cold, people packed street in the middle of a dirty road, head caved in by horses. Sebastian would be pleased to get his soul early. The next thing he felt was a pair of arms wrap around him, and he was yanked aside, his head against the chest of his butler. Sebastian cradled him, his lips at his ear, tone biting. "Are you trying to get yourself killed, young master?"

Ciel winced at Sebastian's tone, and tried to free himself from the man's arms. "No, I-I wasn't paying attention, I crossed the road but then I turned to look for you, and when I looked back the carriage was there, and-"

Sebastian pulled him back to his chest and sighed. "It's alright. I wouldn't let anything happen to you anyway. You just gave me a fright, I thought someone had taken you when I felt your distress."

Ciel stilled. Could Sebastian feel all his emotions, or only when he was in danger? He thought about it, and then relaxed against the butler's chest. Sebastian could only feel his distress because of the mark, he didn't know anything about what had been bothering Ciel all of today. "Sebastian." He said, his blue eyes looking up to meet his piercing red ones. "Where did you even go? Aren't you supposed to stay by my side for all eternity?"

Sebastian blushed, trying to win Ciel over with a smile and a laugh. "See, well, yes, but there was a cat, and it was a very rare breed. I just had to follow her, she was so beautiful, with such silky hair and oh, her paws-"

Ciel grabbed Sebastian's chin and looked at him. "You cat obsessed moron. Let me up."

Sebastian freed him, and Ciel stood, brushing down his coat. He ordered Sebastian to stay put and arrange the carriage for the ride home, while he done some last minute business, to which Sebastian replied, "Yes, my Lord."

Ciel walked through the busy streets of London, hurriedly making his way to a shop he'd only ever passed once. He reached it and pushed open the door, sighing as he did so. In boxes all around the room were hundreds of different types of kittens, all meowing like crazy as soon as Ciel walked next to them. He looked at each one, entirely unsure of what breed was the best or what Sebastian would even like. Still, he knew that after three years of denying him a cat, there was really no wrong one to pick. He scanned them all, before an obscure looking one caught his eye. She was small, with half a tabby orange face, and half a pitch black face, with a pink nose. She had one green eye and one blue eye, and each of her black legs ended in a white sock. She was absolutely the most absurd looking animal Ciel had ever seen, and he laughed out loud. He called to the shop keeper, who hurried over.

"Have you picked one?" He wheezed, eyeing up the kittens.

Ciel pondered it. Sebastian was no ordinary butler, so he should have no ordinary cat. "Yes. I want that one, with the ginger and black face."

The man coughed into his sleeve then reached into the box, pulling the kitten out by the scruff of the neck. He walked over to the counter, winking at Ciel. "Want her put in a box for a present?"

"Yes." Ciel said, disinterestedly watching the man. The sooner he was home the better.

The man nodded and popped the kitten into a large box filled with an old rag, which she immediately laid down on. "Is it for your lady?"

Ciel smirked. "Something like that." He handed the money over to the man then picked up the box, eyeing up the kitten inside. He wouldn't put the lid on until they got home, he didn't want to give Sebastian a dead cat.

She looked up at him, meowing. His claws scratched the inside of the box, and he shushed her, wondering how he was going to keep her quiet until he decided to reveal her to Sebastian. Ciel hid the box behind his back, then summoned Sebastian, who appeared almost instantly.

"Yes, master?" He said pleasantly, eyes drifting to what Ciel was holding behind his back.

Ciel panicked and called out, "Sebastian! I order you to run home now, b-but don't go inside until I'm there! Go!"

Immediately afterwards, a very confused Sebastian departed from Ciel, and began to run at a speed that only demon's can, choosing to jump from rooftop rather than make his way through the crowds. Thankfully, the kitten had nestled down in her blanket by now, and was asleep, her tiny chest rising and falling with each breath. Sighing with relief, Ciel made his was to the carriage Sebastian had prepared, and climbed in. "Phantomhive manor, now."

As he pulled up to his mansion some time later, he saw Sebastian sitting on the steps, awaiting him with a leisurely smile. Ciel placed the lid on the box containing the sleeping kitten and exited the carriage, the door held open by the butler. They made their way to the door, Ciel walking with bated breath, and pushed it open. When they walked in, Baldroy, Mey-Rin and Finny cheered and clapped, shouting out a combined "Happy birthday!"

Ciel looked around the manor, surprised that it actually looked well decorated. There was balloons and streamers, all in a mix of blues and greys, with ribbon draped around the banister of the stairwell,too. Even the candles in the chandeliers had been changed to dark blue ones. Ciel nodded approvingly. "Well done Mey-Rin."

She bounded up and wrapped her arms around Sebastian, much to Ciel's distaste. The butler awkwardly patted her on the back, still looking at all the decorations. The maid snuggled against him, her cheeks bright red as she called out, "Happy birthday, Sebastian! The master wanted you to have a party, so we decorated while you were out! Do you like it?"

Sebastian looked at Ciel, who's cheeks were fast turning pink, and smiled, stepping back from Mey-Rin. His first ever birthday party. "I like it very much. How blessed we are, to have such a kind master."

Finny jumped, clapping his hands. "It's going to be so much fun! Look Sebastian, I even made the flowers a blue grey colour, just like you like!" Finny gestures to a bouquet of roses, which had once previously bee white. Ciel sighed as he looked out the window and saw that Finny had also accidentally dyed half of his favourite rose bush blue as well.

Sebastian picked a rose up and smiled, handing it to Ciel. "Don't worry, master, I'll have them white again tomorrow."

"Don't forget me! I made a cake for this!" Baldroy shouted, wheeling a cart in as fast as he could. He pulled it to a stop and exclaimed as the cake nearly went flying. It was two tiers, sloppily made, with the worst piping Ciel had ever seen.

He walked up to it and put some icing in his mouth, cringing when the overly strong taste of salt filled his mouth. "Baldroy, did you make this icing with salt?"

The blonde haired chef licked some, and laughed. "Whoops! They look the same, how was I to know? Sorry Sebastian, I'm sure the actual cake is fine though!"

Sebastian covered his mouth with his hand, trying not to laugh at the disgusted look on his master's face. He walked up to Baldroy and patted him once on the shoulder, offering the only praise he'd ever given. "Thankyou very much. I'm sure it is delicious." Sebastian then bent down to the master, his voice just above a whisper. "Please don't eat whatever he's prepared for dinner- I'm afraid it may kill you."

Finny bounded up to Sebastian, looking up at him with wide eyes. "Do you like it? How old are you? Do you want some cake? I didn't have time to get you a present, is that okay? I-"

"Finny," Sebastian said, desperate for him to stop talking. "Calm down. Yes, I like it. It's rude to ask someone how old they are, don't you know? And I'll have some later, thankyou."

Ciel tugged on Sebastian's sleeve, and pointed upstairs. "I have one last surprise for you, but it's just for you, so nobody else can see. Go and wait in your room."

"Yes, sir." Sebastian left, a slight smile on his lips.

Finny tugged on Ciel's sleeve, nearly pulling him to the ground with the force of it. "Aw, come on! Can't you tell us what you got him?"

"No, but you will find out soon enough. Release me." Ciel picked up the box and walked up the stairs, opening the lid to check on the kitten. She was awake again, her strange eyes looking up at him innocently.

Gingerly, holding the box in one hand, Ciel pushed Sebastian's door open. He was sitting on his bed, tailcoat lying folded by the bed post, and looked at Ciel inquisitively. Ciel blushed, and handed Sebastian the box. "Happy birthday, Sebastian."

The black haired butler removed the lid, and gasped when he saw what was inside. He carefully lifted the kitten out,his eyes examining her as she swatted at him with her paw. He petted her and brought her close to his chest, his fingers squishing her paws and rubbing her nose, carefully tracing along all of her body. He looked up at Ciel, a true wide smile on his lips. "She's mine?"

It threw Ciel, he had never seen such joy on his butler's face before. He blushed harder, and looked at his feet. "Yes, she's yours. But she is only your responsibility, I'm not feeding her, training her, naming her or having anything to do with her. She is purely yours."

Sebastian sat the kitten carefully on the bed and stepped forward, wrapping his arms around Ciel. "Thankyou."

Shock coursed through Ciel, and before he knew what he was doing he had wrapped his arms around Sebastian and squeezed, burying his face in the crook of Sebastian neck, inhaling. His heart was beating so fast, he couldn't stand being this close to him, it was too much, he wanted to touch him, to kiss him, to feel his arms wrapped around him forever. Ciel let out a shaky breath, and detached himself from the butler. "You cat obsessed moron."

Sebastian grinned and went back to his bed, playing with the kitten. Se jumped at him, paws swinging, climbing up across his body until she had both paws on his cheeks and was biting his nose. Sebastian laughed. "Young master, you certainly picked the strangest looking cat I have ever seen."

Ciel tilted his head, having never heard his butler laugh so genuinely before, looked away and muttered, "Well, she was just there, and she looked so absurd that I thought you'd like her. An unusual cat for my unusual butler, if you will. What will you name her?"

Sebastian brought the furry creature to his chest. "Rei."

After they had named her, Sebastian and Ciel descended the stairs together, Sebastian carrying Rei in his arms. The rest of the staffs cooed over her , all wanting a shot at touching her or petting her, but Rei seemed to only want Sebastian and Ciel. She tried several times to leap from Sebastian's arms to Ciel's head, but he always caught her, giving an apologetic grin to the young master any time she got too near him.

Suddenly, there was a ruckus, and through the door came Elizabeth, slamming into Ciel as she ran. "Cielllll!"

"Elizabeth." He said, clearly displeased. It was not proper etiquette to be unhappy at the sight of your fiance, but Ciel couldn't help the sense of dread he felt upon seeing her. He knew that she was his betrothed, but he could not stand the thought of marrying her. He felt no attraction to her whatsoever, and had made an agreement to only meet her when decided previously. Yet, as always, she ignored this. "Why are you here?"

"I told you to call me Lizzie! And I'm here because it's Sebastian's birthday! Who do you think decorated all this?" She said, twirling. Her blonde ringlets bounced, and she touched Sebastian's arm. "You do have the strangest favourite colour, though, Sebastian. It's quite dull. Although, it does remind me a bit of Ciel's hair, don't you think?" Elizabeth reached out ruffled Ciel's hair mesilly, causing him to whack her hand away and glare.

The information clicked, and Sebastian looked at the room again. He'd blurted out that his favourite colour was the mix of blue and grey, an indescribable steely navy so unusual that it was only known to Ciel's hair. That's why the whole manor was decorated in blue and grey. Sebastian looked at Lizzie, petting Rei with one hand. "On the contrary, I find it to be the most fascinating colour there is. And yes, it does remind me of the young master's hair."

Ciel couldn't look away as Sebastian's eyes bore into him, for just a second too long. He looked at him with that half smile, his shiny black hair framing his face, and Ciel had to force himself to remember how to breathe. Was Sebastian's favourite colour the colour of Ciel's hair? Is that what he was trying to say? Could that mean something? Ciel's head instantly began to explode with questions, and he winced, the exhaustion of the whole day making him sway on his feet. Sebastian saw this an walked over to him, placing a hand on his shoulder.

"I'm afraid my master cannot entertain you tonight, Lady Elizabeth. He is not feeling well, and I am going to put him to bed." Sebastian said, bowing.

Before Ciel could protest, Sebastian had whisked him up into his arms, Rei now resting on his shoulders, and carried him effortlessly up the stairs. Ciel couldn't deny how tired he was when a yawn overtook him, and the need for sleep burned his eyes. It had been an incredibly long day, and he looked up at Sebastian as he undressed him and readied him for sleep.

"Sorry to leave your party so soon, Sebastian.I'm afraid I'm not a very good host." Ciel said, lying Back in just his underwear as Sebastian looked out a night shirt.

The butler pulled the shirt over the young boy's head, and removed his eyepatch carefully, his fingers combing through the silky hair once again. "Don't be. You have been most gracious today, my Lord. A new suit, a party, a day free of chores and a kitten. I couldn't have possibly imagined anything as wonderful as this. I think I will grow to like birthday's very much."

Sebastian's words were fast becoming hazy as Ciel's head hit the pillow, and he reached up, touching his butler's face briefly before letting his hand drop. "How old actually are you?"

Sebastian laughed, watching Ciel's eyelids flutter closed. "Older than you could ever possibly imagine."

As Ciel faded off to sleep, Sebastian sighed, sitting on the edge of the bed. His young master had never been so touching before, and as he looked at his sleeping face, he saw only a young boy with no hatred and no anger in his heart, a boy who got bashful and was kind and threw a party for his butler, and he faltered. "How am I supposed to take a soul from someone like you?" He often forgot how young Ciel really was, and although his soul was alive with his anger and with his rage, there was new feelings in there. He could taste it when he had his blood- Ciel was beginning to feel love, and it was filling his soul, ripening it, flavoring it. If his flame burned any brighter Sebastian would have an even harder time keeping his hunger in control. Who did he love? A part of Sebastian's brain whispered that it could only be him, and he pushed the thought away. Ciel could not love him, could he? The boy was not stupid, he knew that Sebastian was a demon who was bound by contract, a demon who would eat Ciel's soul and never see him again. A demon who couldn't love. Sebastian frowned, rubbing his head with his hand. Could he love? Is that what he could describe this feeling he hat for Ciel? It ran deeper than the bond, he knew that much. No other contract had ever felt like this. From any other master, the displays of affection and kindness shown to a demon would be considered pitiful, and yet from Ciel, it was so touching that it resonated within Sebastian's bones. His young master had done all this for him, for no other reason than to make him happy. Was it ever impossible to consider the idea that Ciel might love him? Sebastian pursed his lips, his fingers absent-mindedly combing through Ciel's splayed hair, and he sighed, confusion spilling over him in ways. He knew that demons were not supposedly capable of love. Still, as the sleeping boy mumbled out his name and smiled, the closest thing to love Sebastian had ever felt flushed over him, and he bent down towards Ciel, brushing his lips across the younger boy's gently. "Goodnight, young master. Thankyou."

Chapter Text

It was the night of the ball, and Ciel had gotten Sebastian to fetch their suits from town for later than night. He arrived back at the mansion quickly afterwards, holding the two garments in his hands, and laid Ciel's out on the bed for him. It was almost time to leave, as Ciel had been washed, fed and waited on hand and foot all day, so there was nothing else to do other than get ready. Ciel walked in, leaning against the door frame. "Sebastian, go have a bath before we leave. I want you looking your best tonight."

"Of course, sir. But, if I may ask, why?" He said, facing the young master curiously.

"The mistress of the manor is rumoured to be crazy. She has shown great interest in every one of her husband's affairs, and each woman he's laid with has mysteriously gone missing, with no trace left behind. He's a promiscuous man, and that is a lot of women gone missing. I have the feeling that she's hiding them, and I intend to free them." Ciel said, sitting on the edge of the bed , casting a look at his butler. "Should it need be, I'll need you to dazzle her or interest her in some way so I can go looking for them."

Sebastian bowed. "Yes, my Lord. I shall take my bath now. I trust you can dress yourself?"

"Don't patronize me. Go." Ciel said, already sliding off his thick coat.

He pulled the bow of his tie off, casting at aside, and popped each button of his shirt, casting it aside, too. He picked up the new shirt- a soft white fabric with a large neck ruffle and deep red buttons- and put it on. Ciel touched the buttons lightly, amused at having contrasting colours; he'd never seen that before on a shirt, but he liked it. Quickly he tied his cravat around his neck- a large one of the deepest reds- and pulled it tight. He then put on his waistcoat, a light gold one with four red buttons, and pulled on his shorts, which were a deep dark red to match. His socks were knee high and red, each one with a gold ribbon around the top to hold them up, and his coat was luxurious and thick, and crimson. It was soft velvet, and looked extremely elegant as he pulled it on, completing his whole ensemble. The sleeves of the coat were billowing, the ruched material lined with lace, and the inside of the coat was a shining gold silk. He admired the suit fondly, rubbing the material between his fingers.

"Young master, It appears I was right. Red does most definitely suit you." Sebastian said, his voice quiet. He drank up Ciel, who looked glorious. The luxurious coat stuck to Ciel's slim body, the darkness of the red contrasting against the young boy's pale skin and dark hair. He hadn't seen Ciel in new clothes for a long time, and the change made a impact, Sebastian having a hard time looking away from the young master.

"Yes, I think you picked well." Ciel turned round, shocked when he saw a half naked Sebastian. His butler stood tall by the door, with just the trousers of his new suit on. His feet and hands were bear, the nails of each, black. His torso was bare, the defined muscles of his abdomen showing, and the only item on clothing on him was the towel draped across his neck, catching any droplets of water that his hair happened to release. His hair was pushed back from his face for once, and Ciel felt himself suck a breath in, feeling quite unable to look away. Sebastian was beautiful. He blinked. "Why are you almost naked?"

Sebastian looked down at his chest, then smiled, slightly embarrassed. "My apologies. I was in the middle of getting changed and I wanted to make sure you had managed to get ready okay." Sebastian sighed internally at his quickly thought of excuse. Truth be told he didn't know why he had come to see Ciel, he just knew he didn't like not being around him.

Ciel sucked in a shaky breath. He had very rarely seen Sebastian out of his butler's suit, and he wasn't sure how much longer he could take it. Sebastian was literally the most beautiful thing Ciel had ever seen, and he cursed once again at how something so evil could look like an angel. He didn't know what to do, what he wanted, where to look, and blush coloured his cheeks as he averted his eyes. Why was he feeling this way? It shouldn't be happening, he shouldn't be feeling like this. Before, he'd just yearned to be near him, to feel his touch, or hear him call his name. But now, seeing him standing there...Ciel's heart started pounding. He wanted to run his hands through that thick black hair, feel the warmth of his skin against his own, drink in the sound of his voice. What was this? Ciel clenched his eyes shut, ashamed of himself. It was immoral to think about another this way, where was his respect? It was not right to think about such things, especially not about one's butler, buy Ciel couldn't help it; Sebastian turned his thoughts to mush. "Oh...okay. I got ready fine, go finish up yourself."

Sebastian bowed then walked out, pursing his lips. The young master had been acting awfully strange the past few weeks. Sometimes, Sebastian would catch him staring, with the most pained expression on his face. His cheeks would be tinted pink, and his eyebrows drawn, his lips opened slightly as shallow breaths were sucked in and out. He wished he knew what the master was thinking. Had he done something wrong, to be looked at so intently? Did he make the master unhappy? The thought made Sebastian sour, and he put it to the back of his mind. Perhaps it was hormones, Ciel was thirteen after all. Sebastian sighed as he started getting dressed, pulling on a soft black shirt, a purple bow tie, a black six buttoned waist coat with purple buttons, and a thick purple coat which fell to his knees. It cinched in at his waist then billowed out, the waterfall style showing the legs of the suit also. He pulled on new black gloves made of silk, and toweled his hair, before tucking a lock behind his ear and putting his glasses on. He walked back into Ciel's room, knocking on the door before he entered. "I believe we're ready to go, master."

Ciel couldn't believe his eyes. Sebastian looked utterly, undeniably, impossibly divine. The rich fabric clung to his lithe figure, its silkiness making my look as though he was the Earl of his own manor. His hair was tucked behind his ear, and glasses sat upon his face. Ciel couldn't help but smile when he saw him. "Come here, Sebastian."

Sebastian came by Ciel, and knelt down at his command. The boy's soft hands, free from any gloves, picked the glasses up and carefully took them off Sebastian's face, his fingers lightly caressing his skin as he did so. Sebastian resisted the urge to take his young masters hand in his and hold it to his face again. He needed to stop thinking like this, a lifetime with Ciel would be torture if he continued to pine over the young master when nothing could come from it.

Ciel's fingers lingered, and hesitantly he tucked a part of Sebastian's hair that had sprung free behind his ear. "There. Now we can go."

The ball, 30 minutes later.

A butler opened the door for Ciel and Sebastian, and they walked inside the grand mansion. It was a lively party, with a hall filled with people and a group of musician's playing music and many waiters serving continues drinks to the laughing guests. The host herself, Mrs Potter, swaggered up to meet them with a drink in hand. Her flaxen blonde hair was piled on top of her head in a mass of curls, and her extremely tight corset made both her bust huge and her waist tiny. It was Lady Jane Potter, the wife of the wealthy businessman Henry Potter. She sauntered up, squealing. "Oh, Ciel! I'm so glad you made it! And you brought a friend!" She exclaimed, her hand trailing down his torso. "Hello, handsome. What's your name?"

Ciel sighed. He disliked drunk people- they were far too stupid. "This is Sebastian, who you've met before, Lady Potter. He is my butler."

She gasped, and covered her mouth, giggling. "Oh, dear, so it is! I'm ever so sorry, Sebastian. I just didn't recognize you with your new clothes, you look positively dashing!"

Sebastian bowed his head gratefully. "They were a gift from my master, Lady Potter."

"Oh, how positively adorable! Tell me, Ciel, how are you? Are you alone in that house by yourself? How is little Elizabeth? What age are you now- ten?" She pinched his cheek and pulled, much to the displeasure of Ciel.

He narrowed his eyes and forced a smile, the growing anger inside of him become a very real threat to the conversation. "I am fine, thankyou. No, I am not lonely- I have staff that live with me. Elizabeth is fine. And actually, I am thirteen."

"Allow me to intervene." Sebastian tapped Jane, and offered her his arm. He could see the young master was loosing his temper, and was quick to help. "May I have this dance, my lady?"

She giggled and agreed, turning away from Ciel to make her way to the dance floor with Sebastian. Now that Ciel was free, he breathed a sigh of relief, and looked around. The dance would be finished in a few minutes, so he didn't have time to explore, but he hoped Sebastian would have the brains to at least talk to her while they danced to get some information. There was groups of people everywhere in the hall, and all were talking or dancing or were slumped in their seats, intoxicated. Should he try and talk to people first? Or was it best to slip into the shadows and look for a way to go unnoticed? Ciel decided on that, and looked for Sebastian. His eyes caught him, seeing his hand on her waist, and his head laid against hers as he spun her. Ciel watched, squinting, as Sebastian laughed and touched Lady potter's face. Jealousy spiked in Ciel, and he gritted his teeth, trying to remind himself to be rational. He knew Sebastian was charming, and was using that charm to his advantage, but he couldn't help but hate seeing him touch another so freely. Those hands should touch Ciel and Ciel only. Turning away, Ciel grabbed a champagne glass and drank it in one, before picking up another. He was not one to drink, but with nothing to do and this anger inside him, he found it harder to care.

The song stopped and Sebastian excused himself from Lady Potter. He walked up to Ciel. "Master, I managed to get her to tell me- hold on, are you drinking?"

Ciel turned round and drank the last of the glass in front of Sebastian, before sitting it down on the table. "This is a party, is it not? I think I am entitled to drink whatever I please."

Sebastian narrowed his eyes. What a brat. "Of, course. Anyway, I got her to tell me of her husband's affairs. She said how she hated them so, that there was so many women who she'd found with her husband, but that they wouldn't be a problem anymore. She mentioned that this place has a basement as well as an attic, so I'd say those are places to check first."

"You certainly got a lot of information for one dance." Ciel said curtly. "Drunks can never hold their tongues."

"A Phantomhive butler who cannot do this much-"

"Yeah. I know." Ciel cut him off, sighing. He didn't know why he was being so snappy with Sebastian, but he couldn't stop thinking about them dancing together, him holding her so close with that chest of hers pressed against him. Was he attracted to her? Ciel could see that she was attractive, but he did not feel anything for her himself. "Anyway, I've taken a look around here and it seems the exits for both up and downstairs are closed off, but not impossible to slip through. I could probably make it through there if there was a distraction, so keep her busy and do not let her wander away. If she catches me it's game over."

"Yes, my Lord." Sebastian's voice was cold as he bowed and went to find Jane again. Ciel was being awfully nasty with him, much more than usual, and he wondered again what he could have possibly done wrong to upset the master. As he walked towards the very tipsy woman, he could see Ciel slipping off to the side and out of sight, away to investigate throughout the mansion. Still, he pushed those thoughts away and gave a charming smile when his eyes met with Lady Potters. "I'm ever so sorry for leaving, my master needed me. But I am free to spend the rest of the night with you, if you please."

"I would very much like that, Sebastian." She giggled, wrapping her arms around his neck. How could a butler be so handsome? None of her butlers were this handsome.

Sebastian leaned in with his lips at her ear, his voice soothing. "May I be so bold as to call you Jane?"

"You may." She whispered, a shiver racking down her spine. She caught Sebastian's hand wrapping round her back, and his eyes lazily drifted to her chest. "Are you staring at me, Sebastian? How indecent."

"Forgive me, Jane. I just cannot fathom how your husband could do such a thing when he has the most beautiful woman in all of London right here." He breathed, gripping her waist tighter. He could see it working, her heart was speeding up and her eyes glazed over- just a little more persuasion and she wouldn't even be able to look at anything but him, and the master could slip through without her catching him.

"Oh, Sebastian..." She fawned, looking around the room. "People are staring, they must be thinking such awful things of me, dancing so closely with you."

Sebastian tucked a lock of hair behind her ear and gave his most sultry smile, staring at her through narrowed eyes. "Then why don't we leave where people can't see us, Jane?"

Jane gasped, but warmth spread through at Sebastian's suggestion. Her husband had done it so many times to her, why shouldn't she be allowed? The way he looked at her, that desire...she couldn't refuse. "Follow me."

Ciel watched as Sebastian and Lady Potter escaped the crowd and made their way up the staircase hidden by the curtain. Ciel watched in confusion- what were they doing? Where was Sebastian going? He looked around the room, hoping to see the same confusion on everyone elses' faces, but they were all so drunk that they paid no attention to anyone but themselves. Ciel felt uneasy, a knot in his stomach that just seemed to twist and turn. Shakily, he raised the third glass of champagne to his lips and gulped, trying to combat his drying throat. He knew he should leave and go search for the girls, as the entrance to the basement was not being watched to haughtily by Lady Potter, but his feet couldn't move. There was only one reason why Sebastian and Lady Potter would have gone off together, but it was so horrifying that he didn't even want to think about it. Sebastian wouldn't do that, would he? Anxiety flushed over Ciel, and he rubbed his head. He didn't want to think about this, he had a case to solve and he couldn't get distracted. Taking a deep breath, Ciel walked towards the door and opened it, casting a quick look to make sure nobody was looking. He slipped inside, and walked down the stairs, looking for any doors or signs of hostages. He listened, his hands feeling across the wall as he walked, but he heard nothing. "Hello? Is anyone here?" He called out, hoping for a reply, but none came. Just silence. Ciel ran through the corridor again, checking and knocking on every door, but each time he was met with silence. The basement must be empty then, he thought. Ciel decided to try the attic next, and began walking up the stairs again. His head was starting to feel light, and he wondered if it was due to anxiety or the third glass of champagne, but either way he pushed through and opened the door, slipping back into the hall as unnoticed as he left it. When he was back in the hall he was greeted by a butler who offered him yet another glass of champagne. Ciel picked it up impatiently then began to make his way up the same stairs Sebastian and Lady Potter had earlier. The attic. He had to go to the attic. Just the attic. Ciel cursed, and turned the corridor instead, trying to find Sebastian. He just needed proof that he wasn't with Lady Potter, just one glimpse of him and then his mind would be put to rest. His heart began to race and he drank the glass of champagne in one, dropping the glass at his feet. His head was feeling very fuzzy now, and his balance wasn't quite as good, but he felt happy. Of course Sebastian wouldn't be with Jane, he wouldn't do that to Ciel, but still, it couldn't hurt to check. Ciel wondered if he was drunk, but he didn't care. He just had to focus on finding Sebastian. As he walked along the corridor, his hand against the wall, he could hear faint noises. Tilting his head, he followed it to a room at the end of the hall, with the door slightly ajar. He could hear squeals- no, moans- as he walked along, each one louder and faster than the last. What on earth was going on? Was somebody hurt?

"Oh, God, Sebastian! Faster! Harder!" A voice called, one Ciel immediately recognized as Lady Potter.

His heart missed a beat, and he froze. No. There was no way his Sebastian was in there with her, doing that. Ciel peeked through the door, his hands shaking, and saw the coat and tie of Sebastian's new suit lying crumpled on the floor. He looked up to see the whole bed shaking, and there his butler was, with Lady Potter's legs wrapped around him. He thrusted and she moaned, and Ciel covered his ears, trying desperately to forget what he'd just seen. He couldn't watch this, he couldn't see Sebastian do this. It wasn't right. A sob hitched in Ciel's throat and he turned and ran as fast as he could, his faulty balance causing him to stumble at a few points. He found an empty room with the door unlocked furher along the corridor and ran inside, shutting it behind him. He lay back against the door, his heart pounding so fast he felt as if it was going to burst. Why did it hurt so much to see him with someone else? He had seen it once before, and even though it was unpleasant it had never hurt like this. He felt as if he couldn't breathe, like each place Sebastian had touched burned. He wanted to claw his skin off. Tears dripped down Ciel's face, and he cursed himself. Logically he knew that Sebastian was not truly his, and was free to be with whoever he pleased. He knew that he shouldn't be so upset, he knew that he had a fiance of his own and that his butler was an adult. He knew this, but he still couldn't accept it. Sebastian would always be, irrevocably and undeniably, his. Ciel closed his eyes and banged his head off the door. "You idiot..." He said to himself. "Why do you care so much for that bastard?" An unattended bottle of champagne sat next to him, and Ciel grabbed it. He may not be a drinker, but tonight he was. He didn't bother with the cork, choosing instead to smash the top of the bottle off the cabinet, knocking the top straight off. He poured it into a wine glass he found in the china cabinet of the room, and drank. He wasn't sure how much time past, but eventually he had drank half the bottle, and he was struggling to remember his own name. Groggily, he went to move and fell, landing face first on the floor. Oh well, he thought. It was comfy here, anyway.

Sebastian left the room, smoothing his coat out as he did so. That would have given the young master plenty of time to search the mansion. He went back to the hall, but was surprised to see that Ciel was not there. He quickly checked the basement, but he wasn't there either. Sebastian stopped, biting his lip. Where had he gone? Was he lost? Had someone taken him? It was about time they made the case, or left, but Sebastian couldn't prepare the carriage without finding the young master first. He walked through the manor, looking in all the side rooms and other party halls he came across, but he still couldn't find him. Sebastian sighed and closed his eyes, using the mark to help locate him. He breathed in, focusing on Ciel, and was immediately alerted to his presence. "Oh." Sebastian said, heading for the stairs. "What on earth is he doing up there?" He followed the sense until he'd reached a door. He couldn't hear any noise from the room, but regardless he pushed the door open anyway. When he saw Ciel, his jaw dropped. He was splayed on the floor, his hair a riot, his clothes crumpled, a smashed half empty bottle of champagne next to him. Sebastian pinched the bridge of his nose. "Young master, it is time to go."

Ciel lifted his head, seeing a slightly blurry Sebastian. He scowled and struggled to sit up, pouring more drink into his glass. He missed most of the glass, spilling it on himself, but he didn't care. "Shut up, 'Bastian. I-I leave when I want to."

Sebastian knelt down and prized the bottle from the young boy's hands, which wasn't hard since his coordination and strength were thoroughly weak. "Master, you're intoxicated, and God knows why, but unless you have found the girls - which I doubt you've even looked for- we are leaving."

Ciel looked at him and teared up, remembering what he had seen. He drank to forget it, but it seemed the only memory that was not fuzzy. Lady Potter's voice, calling his name, his hands on her hips...Ciel hunched forward, tears dripping down his face. "I hate you."

"What?" Sebastian said, confused by Ciel's words. Was he crying? What the hell happened when he was gone? "It's a bit dramatic to hate me for taking you home, my Lord."

"You idiot." He seethed, looking up. His teeth were clenched, trying not to let out sobs, but still tears trickled down his face. "I hate you. You and that stupid Lady Potter. Burn in hell."

"Master, what are you talking about?" Sebastian tried to touch Ciel, but he recoiled and slapped his arm away when it touched him. Sebastian had never once been rejected like that from Ciel, and he felt a small pang of hurt. What could he have possibly done wrong? Why was the young master so upset? "Why do you hate me? And what has Lady Potter got to do with it?"

"You were with her. I saw you, with her legs wrapped around you." Ciel cried then, sobs wracking his small frame. He shook with each heave of his chest, his small fists weakly pummeling against Sebastian's chest as he tried to wrap his arms around him.

"I see." Sebastian said, realization dawning on him. The young master had seen him bed Lady Potter, and he chided himself for being so careless. He was only a child, something like that was bound to traumatize him. "Master, I am sorry you saw. I realize that it must not have been pleasant. Please forgive me."

"No." Ciel said, gripping Sebastian's lapels. "I cannot forgive you. I c-cant't get it out of my head, seeing you touch her like that, Sebastian. I can't stop thinking about it, I h-hate it! Why would you do that?"

"You ordered me to keep her distracted, sir. I did what would take the longest amount of time to give you a better chance of finding the girls. I don't understand why you are so upset." Sebastian frowned, holding a sobbing Ciel against his chest. He stunk of champagne, and he could barely string sentences together. Sebastian wondered how much he'd actually drank.

"I ordered you to distract her, not bed her! You're no better than a whore, your hands are to touch nobody but me. Nobody but me, Sebastian." Ciel pulled Sebastian closer to him, tears dripping onto his face and onto Sebastian's new suit.

"Master?" Sebastian froze, unsure of what Ciel had just said. He'd thought the young boy was upset because he saw Sebastian acting like that, but it seemed that he was actually upset that Sebastian had slept with another. Was he...jealous? "What are you saying?"

"I'm saying that I hate you." Ciel hiccuped. He pulled off Sebastian's glove, showing his mark identical to the one on Ciel's eye. He lifted Sebastian's hand against his face, crying as he looked at his Butler. Did he honestly not know how painful it was to see him with another? Could he genuinely not understand how Ciel felt? "This mark on your hand, its the same as mine. It means you're mine, Sebastian. Only mine. And seeing you with someone else, touching her so fondly, staring at her and that vulgar chest of hers, I cannot do it Sebastian. I can't, and I want to kill you for it."

Sebastian gasped and held the young master close to him, cradling him against his chest. He picked the boy up and laid them on the bed together, his lips at Ciel's hair, his ear, his cheek. He whispered, his voice soft, suddenly understanding why he was so upset. He was jealous. Ciel must feel the same way Sebastian did, there was no way he would get so upset if he didn't, was there? He simultaneously rejoiced at discovering this, and scolded himself for upsetting the master so deeply. "I never set out to hurt you, young master, and I am truly sorry. I'll never do it again. It is my wish to serve you and only you, until the day you die. I will not so much as touch another soul until that day comes, if it is your wish. I only desire you, I swear on it."

Ciel cried silently, tears dripping down his face. He clung to Sebastian, the dizziness in his head making it hard to even think. His vision was growing blurry, and he had to concentrate to hear Sebastian's words. He was so angry at him, so filled with rage and jealousy, but when he was in his arms it was so hard to remember that. All he could think was how safe he felt, how right it was to be back in these arms. "'Bastian..."

"Yes, bocchan?" His voice was soft, and he ran his fingers through Ciel's hair, his lips skimming across his cheeks and his forehead. He knew it was selfish of him, but Ciel was heavily intoxicated, and it might be the only chance he got to feel him like this, to see the small vulnerable boy who clung to him so dearly, as if he was air himself. He couldn't let it pass, and as such he traced Ciel's features with his finger, tilting the small boy's head towards him.

"I...I think that I...I lo-" Ciel stopped short, panic in his eyes.

"Master?" Damn it! He was so sure the master was going to say it, the final conformation of his feelings. He was so close, just two more words! What was wrong, why did he stop? All Sebastian needed was those words, just a sign that Ciel felt the same as he did.

"I am about to throw up." Ciel said simply, giving Sebastian a small smile. Seconds before Ciel heaved, Sebastian grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and leaped to the bathroom, sticking his head over the bathtub just in time.

Ciel retched and threw up into the bath, his small body disagreeing with how much he had to drink. He groaned as his stomach tried to empty its contents, so continuously that his throat burned and his head ached. He felt Sebastian rubbing his back, his tapering fingers combing his hair. After what seemed like forever, Ciel slumped down against the wall and groaned, putting his head between his knees. He didn't think he'd ever been that sick in his life. Sweat was dripping down his face, and he blushed red with embarrassment. "'Bastian, I-I'm sorry..." He slurred, attempting to lift his head.

Sebastian turned the taps on of the bath and knelt beside his young master, cupping his face softly. It was not pleasant to be around someone who was completely drunk, incomprehensible, and who smelled of sick and booze, but it was his master, and he would rather stay here with him like this than leave for anybody else. "Hush. I think it's time we took you home to rest, young master."

"But the case..." Ciel said, attempting to stand. He fell instead, landing in Sebastian's arms, and didn't bother trying to stand up. His head hurt too much to do anything other than lie there.

"Can be solved some other time. Right now, you are my priority." Sebastian stood swiftly, and carried Ciel. He held the young boy close to his chest as he opened the window, and leapt out. He hopped roof to roof, stopping only when they reached the Phantomhive manor. It was late, so he carried the master straight to his bedroom and laid him down gently, trying to disentangle Ciel's arms from around his neck. He undressed him quickly, pulling a nightshirt over his thin body, and pushed the hair back from his face. He was almost half asleep, his heavy lidded eyes struggling to stay open. Sebastian couldn't help himself, and he cupped the master's face."What where you going to say to me, before you fell ill?"

"Huh?" Ciel was floating in and out of consciousness, the warmth and comfort of his own bed too overwhelming.

"I said, what were you going to say to me? You said that you thought something. What did you think?" Sebastian asked, but to his dismay, the only sound to exit Ciel's mouth was a little snore as he drifted to sleep. Sebastian sighed, then smiled, as he caressed Ciel's cheek with his thumb. "It's alright, young master. I think I know what you were going to say. And it's good, because I think that I love you too." With that, he brushed his lips against Ciel's and stood, taking care not to wake him.

Ciel dozed on, completely oblivious to reality, and Sebastian smiled. Ciel felt for him so deeply that he drank himself near dead in anger at the sight of seeing him with another. Sebastian wished he could tell Ciel how little it meant, that it was simply an order, just a way to buy Ciel time. He wanted to tell him that he cared not for Lady Potter, or her breasts, or the breasts of any woman for that matter. He wanted to tell the master that he belonged solely and completely to him. Of course, he did not know how possible that was, depending on how much Ciel remembered from tonight. He dank so much Sebastian wouldn't be surprised if he forgot his own name come morning. Still, he couldn't help but hope that some part of him knew what he said. His bond with the master had only grown stronger, and upon feeling his lips against his, his hair in his hands, his skin burning at Ciel's touch, hearing him say his name and look only at him with his large, blue eyes, he could not deny his feelings. He was utterly in love with Ciel Phantomhive.

The next morning.

Ciel groaned as Sebastian came in bright and early, drawing the curtains and offering that day's meal choices. His words were screams, and Ciel shrieked, covering his head with the covers. "SEBASTIAN! Close those blasted curtains and get out my room!"

Sebastian laughed quietly, tilting his head. "I'm afraid I can't do that, it's time to get up! You have much to do today, a meeting with-"

"Will you please stop shouting? For the love of God, I'm right here, I can hear you!" Ciel moaned, his head pounding. He felt like he had died, and had been brought back to life. His head ached, his stomach heaved, and his eyes burned. Every noise was a hammer to his head, and the morning sunlight felt like a knife in his eyes.

"My apologies. Don't you want to hear what I have for breakfast?" Sebastian said, lifting the lid of a platter of muffins and cakes.

One look at them, and Ciel's stomach lurched. He gagged, but held it down, and shivered. There was no way in hell he was leaving bed this morning. "Sebastian, either stay here and shut up, or get out. But do not bother me today."

"Very well." Sebastian took his apron off, drew the curtains closed, and sat on the other side of Ciel's bed, resting against the headboard peacefully.

Ciel faced him, eyebrows raised. "What the hell are you doing?"

"I believe 'stay here and shut up' was one of those options, so that's what I'm doing." He said simply, looking at Ciel .

Ciel frowned, blushed, then grumbled, putting his head back under the covers. His heart automatically started racing whenever Sebastian was near him, and the cloudy fragments of last night were coming back. He couldn't remember much, apart from seeing Sebastian with Lady Potter. He vaguely remembered drinking, and then talking with Sebastian, but he couldn't recall the rest. Surprisingly, he did distinctly remember vomiting into a bathtub, and made a mental note to ask Sebastian exactly what happened. "Okay, do what you want. But wake me and I'll kill you."

"Understood." Sebastian pulled the covers back from Ciel's face, much to his chagrin. "I just want to make sure I can see you breathing. You drank so much last night I thought you might have died come morning."

"I feel like I've died." Ciel muttered, turning to face Sebastian. His eyes were closing as sleep began to claim him again, and he mumbled out, "Sebastian, can you promise me something?"

"Anything."

"Never let me drink again." Ciel said, as he went back to sleep.

Sebastian laughed quietly and placed his hand on Ciel's forehead, brushing back his hair. "Yes, my Lord."

Chapter Text

Ciel looked around him, and all he could see was darkness. He was in some sort of room with no light, and he felt as if the walls were moving every time he shifted position. He couldn't tell which direction was up or what was down, and his head spun with confusion. "Sebastian?" He tried to call out, but his voice was nonexistent, barely a whisper of noise, and a heavy weight was settling on his chest, making it almost impossible to breathe. Where was he? What was happening? Ciel tried to walk, but every step led nowhere, and he couldn't judge whether he was even moving at all. All he could see was this all engulfing darkness, and the only sound was a long drawn out whisper, an eerie voice calling out his name. "Ciel...Ciel...I'm watching you, Ciel..." Ciel began to run, his chest heaving, his muscles aching, putting all his strength into escaping, but the weight was too much. He tripped and fell, landing on his back. The weight on his chest got heavier and heavier, crushing his lungs until they could not fill, and his head began to feel light. "S...Sebastian," Ciel gasped, clawing at his throat. "Sebastian!" The air in front of him seemed to shift and waver until it took to form of a small black creature, with very long claws and leathery wigs stretched out behind it. It's eyes were bright yellow, and it laughed at him, gaining more weight as it sat on his chest. He tried to push it off, but his arms would not move, and his face scrunched up in pain. No air, his lungs were burning, aching, this creature was coming closer, pulling at his throat, his hair, his face and he couldn't move it. As Ciel stared into the eyes of this creature, he gathered what little air he was able to scrape into his lungs, calling out to the only one who could save him. "Se...bas...tian."

Sebastian's hands touched Ciel's face, and shook him gently. "Young master, wake up. Please. Wake up."

Ciel's eyes flicked open, and he gasped, clutching his throat. It was that dream again, the one that had tormented him the past week. His lungs burned, and he doubled over, hyperventilating. "Sebastian." He coughed out wearily.

"I'm here, young master." Sebastian held Ciel's face in his hands and looked at him, eyebrows drawn in worry. The Earl had been subjected to this nightmare the past seven days, but he had never had a reaction like this. Normally he would awake quietly at a call from Sebastian after one of these nightmares, sometime around five in the morning, with sweat dripping down his face, but that night when Sebastian had heard Ciel calling for him so frantically, he saw the body lying on the bed, his whole body jerking and shaking, as if he was having a seizure. Tears dripped down his unconscious face, and his breathing was far too fast and urgent. Sweat covered his whole body, sticking his fringe to his face, and when he woke up he immediately doubled over trying to breathe. Sebastian had panicked, completely unsure of what was wrong with him. He shook him, calling his name, but it was as if he couldn't wake up until he had experienced the climax of his nightmare, and was thoroughly terrified. Sebastian brushed Ciel's hair back from his face and cupped the shaking boy's cheek. "You're alright, you're safe. Breathe."

Ciel was too much in shock to even blush at Sebastian's contact. His whole body felt strange to him, weak somehow, as if it was just new and he was learning how to use it. He tilted his face towards the butler, aware but uncaring of the tear that dripped down his face. "I called for you. I needed you to save me, Sebastian."

"I heard you, bocchan. I came as soon as I heard you call me, but I couldn't wake you." Sebastian said, bringing the young boy close to his chest. He was half lying on Ciel's bed, sitting back against the headboard with Ciel cradled against him. "What did you need protecting from?"

"Before, the dream was just darkness." Ciel whispered. "I couldn't breathe in those ones, but it was never anything more. This one was worse. I tried to run and I fell, and this black thing with wings and yellow eyes was sitting on my chest, clawing at me. It was so heavy, I couldn't move my body at all when I saw it."

Sebastian's eyes narrowed. "Black, with wings and yellow eyes? And it was sitting on your chest?"

"Yes. I thought I was going to die." Ciel said, resting his head against the butler's chest. He could feel his shakes start to calm down at Sebastian's touch, and was incredibly grateful for his comfort. Sebastian had once said to him that he wasn't good with comforting people, or crying people, and Ciel had said they were the perfect match, since he never needed comforting, and didn't cry. He would laugh at the irony if he wasn't so scared. "Surely there's a way to stop this? I'm thirteen, I can't continue to have nightmares like a child!"

Sebastian smiled at the young boy's damaged pride, and tilted his face up with a gloved finger. "I think I can help. But you might not like it."

Ciel frowned. "What will you do?"

"Well, what your describing to me sounds like a low level dream demon. They're small demons who pray on people in their sleep,and feed off their life source. In the way I feed on a soul, they literally feed on your living energy- too much visits of them can leave you extremely weak and fatigued. They're easily beaten by someone such as myself, obviously. But when attacked, the victim cannot move and as trouble breathing. I believe you call it sleep paralysis. Anyway, in order for me to actually beat it, I have to temporarily visit the dream realm, specifically your dream realm. It means I'll have to get inside your head, in a sense."

"What do you mean, get 'inside my head'?" Ciel said warily, shifting to face the butler. His hand was still combing back Ciel's hair, but he didn't mind. He wasn't sure how much longer he would get to feel Sebastian touch him so carefully, and didn't want to take it for granted.

"While you sleep, I will be able to see inside your mind. I'll see your thoughts, your memories, your emotions...but I'll be able to access your dream realm from there, and then I can find this pest and kill it."

Ciel stopped, fear coursing through him. Sebastian would be able to see his memories and thoughts? Would he be able to see what Ciel really thought of him? That was too much of a risk, one wrong move and he would jeopardize the relationship with Sebastian forever. He did not hold many things dear to his heart in life; he had no friends, no family, and nothing to use against him. But Sebastian was the chink in his armour-he was the only thing in the entire world that Ciel couldn't bear to lose. He looked up at Sebastian's expectant face, those deep red eyes staring at him with such kindness, and shook his head no. He would rather have a nightmare every night and feel Sebastian's touch safely than let the butler know his feelings, and never feel that touch again. He would hate him after that, he knew it. A demon cannot love, does not love, and will not love. He just wanted Ciel's soul, any unnecessary emotions would only drive the butler away, and he couldn't let that happen. "No."

"Pardon, master?" Sebastian said, eyebrows drawn in confusion. "Do you intend to suffer every night instead?"

Ciel closed his eyes and laid his head against Sebastian's chest. "You don't understand. I can't let you in to my head, Sebastian."

"Why?" Sebastian could not help but desire to get inside Ciel's head. He wanted some proof, just some evidence or a slither of hope that Ciel may feel the same way as him. He didn't know if he could trust the drunken ramblings of Ciel's from last week, no matter how much he longed to. It was foolish to believe when there was no real proof, wasn't it? Just one visit, and he'd be able to see his feelings as well as save the young master from further distress. Sebastian couldn't help but sigh at the young boy's stubbornness. What was he hiding that Sebastian didn't know? What was he afraid of Sebastian seeing? As he held Ciel close to him, rubbing his back slightly as his breaths evened out, the butler frowned slightly, his thumb skimming across Ciel's cheek. "What are you hiding from me? Do you think things about me you do not wish me to see? Do you really despise me that much?"

Ciel looked up in shock, his heart beat racing at Sebastian's touch. Did he have to do that? It would make it so much easier to get over these feelings if his heart would stop loosing control every time Sebastian so much as looked at him, but it was as if his butler was dead set on driving him wild. Ciel wondered if he knew all along and was just messing with him, in some sick sadistic way. Why would a demon touch him so gently? Why would a demon hold him in the night, and calm him down every time he couldn't help but spiral out of control? Sebastian didn't owe him this, and yet he did it anyway. Maybe it was a joke, or some sad way to thank him for Rei. Ciel didn't know why, but he knew that he wouldn't ever ask Sebastian to stop, even though every touch was like a fire on his skin, reminding him that what he felt was completely one sided and in-explainable. "How could I ever despise you? You are the only thing dear to me."

Sebastian stopped in shock. His young master rarely said such sentiment, and once again he found himself overflowing with desire to hold Ciel in his arms. He knew it was wrong, to be so happy when Ciel said such things, he knew he should be disgusted by the amount of emotion a master felt for his demon, he knew that the only thing that should bond them was the contract. He also knew that he couldn't help but fill with affection for Ciel in times like these. He had almost never told Sebastian things like these, leaving him to find out on his own through the use of magical cameras and such, so hearing them from his own lips was quite...extraordinary. "Master?"

Ciel pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. He knew he shouldn't have said that-if he kept letting these things out Sebastian would figure out how he actually felt, and then things wouldn't be the same. "Just forget it. You're not getting inside my head, Sebastian. I'm sorry, but I can't."

"Very well." Sebastian moved Ciel away from him, and made to stand. "It is three in the morning, so I will be returning to my own chambers now. Goodnight-"

"Don't go." Ciel looked up, his hand outstretched and clinging to Sebastian's. He looked very young then, with those large eyes and messy hair, and the fear in his voice won Sebastian over. "Please, I can't go back to sleep unless I know you're here to wake me up."

"Okay, bocchan. I will stand guard until you fall asleep." Sebastian moved to leave the bed and stand by the window, but he was stopped when Ciel grabbed his arm.

"Please...please stay in the bed with me instead. Just for tonight." Ciel couldn't explain why he'd reached out, but all could think about was the peace he felt lying with his butler. It was funny that the one he could trust the least, the one who would eventually take his soul and leave him, was the one he needed to be near. The logical side of him screamed, knowing that it was an unreasonable request to ask a grown demon to lie with him, when he could easily protect him standing up, but Ciel tried not to listen to it. Sebastian was being unusually kind and he wouldn't let it go without taking advantage of it.

The tall butler removed his tailcoat and laid it against the armchair in the room, and let go of Ciel's hand. He pulled his gloves off with his teeth, sitting them on top of his coat, and pulled off his tie and waistcoat, leaving him in just his shirt and trousers. "I do not have nightclothes with me, since I do not sleep, but I imagine that this wont be too uncomfortable for you to lie against."

Sebastian lay back on the bed with Ciel, this time laying down fully. Ciel pulled the covers up over him, Sebastian's tall frame barely making it onto the bed. He frowned and bent his knees as he lay on his side, staring at Ciel. The young boy allowed himself to lie in Sebastian's embrace, with his face mashed against Sebastian's shirt, and clung to the fabric with a fist. He was asking too much of his butler, he knew that, but the fear of the nightmares was too horrible to bear. He felt safe with Sebastian, and if keeping him here for one night was allowed, then he'd do it. "Thankyou. I have not slept with another in...well, since they died. I used to be afraid of thunderstorms, and I'd run into the room with them. Mother on one side, father on the other. "

Sebastian held the boy closely as he lay on the bed, his eyes never leaving Ciel's face till his eyes had closed and his breathing steadied. His fingers rhythmically brushed against Ciel's hair as he pulled the sleeping boy's body closer to him. He couldn't describe this feeling very well. He was so small, so delicate and soft and just so young, cradled against his chest with his arms across Sebastian's chest, clutching at him even in sleep. What did the young master feel? Was he simply searching for comfort, or was this more? Could it be more? Sebastian frowned and sighed, all these thoughts racing through his head, giving him no peace. He did not know how he'd accumulated these feelings for the young master. Certainly, they were not instantaneous; Sebastian remembered how bratty he was when they first met. He refused all the food Sebastian made, he named him after a dog, he criticized Sebastian's tea constantly, he wasn't used to the butler lifestyle and as such with every mess up Ciel would make him start over each time until he got it right. He was cruel sometimes to his staff, unbelievably rude to others, and possessed such a pessimistic outlook on life that he almost never smiled or praised anything. However, as he grew to know him, and he began to learn how to make the food, how to brew the tea, how to serve him properly, he become a true butler to the young boy. He saw the Earl buy new glasses for Mey-Rin, new hats and books for Finnian, magazines and cigarettes for Bard, saw him praise each of their efforts when they attempted to do the simple tasks assigned to them, even when they failed. He grew to see past that cold exterior, and see the young boy who still asked for milk and honey when he wasn't feeling well. He saw the cunning and the genius that lay within him, saw him make every single day a move in a chess game, using them all as his pawns. He was stubborn, rash, co-dependent, rude, and selfish, using everything life gave him as a means to pursue his own matters regardless of who was caught in the crossfire, but he was also smart, and kind, and brave, and generous to those who reached out to him. He was a complicated character, so filled with anger but still so young, with a soul that simply couldn't be put out no matter what happened to him. Sebastian couldn't exactly pinpoint when, but some time alone the way he'd started to protect the young master out of his own will rather than the demands of the contract. Some time along the way, he had grown to love this bratty, selfish, fascinating boy.

Was there any chance he had grown to love this demon?

Chapter Text

The next night.

Ciel had slept soundly with Sebastian beside him the night before, but he knew that he would not be able to ask such a thing from his butler every night; it would be demeaning to do so anyway. He was thirteen, not just some child, and he had been sleeping on his own for a very long time. One night of contact was fine, but no more. He kept reminding himself of these facts as Sebastian dressed him for bed again tonight. He had fallen asleep next to the butler but had awoken without him, and the space beside him, still indented with the shape of the large man's body, seemed increasingly empty. Ciel had stretched his hand over, fingers lingering on the covers and sighed, knowing it was too much to expect him to still be there. Why did it feel so right to be next to him? Why did his pulse race every time Sebastian looked at him, or his mood drop if he was not with the demon? Just when exactly had he started to feel this way? Ciel struggled to force the thoughts away and he sighed, rubbing his forehead. Sebastian looked up, eyebrows furrowed. "Is there something wrong, my Lord?"

There he goes again, Ciel thought, with that voice so soft it could convince you to do anything. He looked so innocent, as if the demon within was nonexistent, and Ciel closed his eyes again. How much loner could he do this? When would these feelings fade? "No. I just want to sleep."

"Understandable, master. You've had a very long day. Please, allow me to read you something to help you sleep." Sebastian said, crossing his arm over his chest and bowing.

Ciel lay in bed and nodded, his pale hand pointing to a book of poems sitting by his bed. "I want Poe."

"Really, master? Edgar Allen Poe before bed, haven't you learned?" Sebastian chided him, but still he picked up the book and flicked it open, scanning through them. "What one would you like?"

"You pick." Ciel brought the covers up to his chin and nestled down, preparing to be lured to sleep. Sebastian's voice had that effect.

"Very well." A few seconds later, Sebastian settled on one, and cleared his throat. "From childhood's hour I have not been/As other's were- I have not seen/As others saw- I could not bring/My passions from a common spring/From the same source I have not taken/My sorrow- I could not awaken/My heart to joy at the same tone/And all I lov'd-I lov'd alone/Then- in my childhood- in the dawn/Of a most stormy life- was drawn/From ev'ry depth of good and ill/The mystery which binds me still/From the torrent, or the fountain/From the red cliff of the mountain/From the sun that 'round me roll'd/ In its autumn tint of gold/From the lightning in the sky/As it pass'd me flying by/From the thunder, and the storm/And the cloud that took the form/When the rest of Heaven was blue..."

Ciel looked at him, his eyes slowly shutting, and he whispered, "...Of a demon in my view."

Sebastian could feel the young master's presence fade slightly as he fell asleep, and he respectfully bowed and placed the book back on the chest of drawers. It should be a good few hours until he had a nightmare, which left Sebastian able to start preparations for the next day. It was true, the young boy's schedule had been full that morning: a meeting with the lead CEO of R. Bliss Manufacturing to discuss the possibility of expanding business into America and producing for them; a German lesson and a violin lesson with Sebastian himself; a meeting with the manufacturers for Funtom to discuss the recent sales for the past six month following the release of new toys; and a donation to be made to the orphanage. The young master was thoroughly worn out, and Sebastian had noticed him struggling to keep his eyes open the entire day. He was much too discourteous when meeting with the american CEO, with his head dipping forward as if to sleep, and his lethargy had caused him to miss four notes when playing his piece on violin. He swayed on his feet and Sebastian organised an early dinner, then sent the Earl to bed to sleep. He couldn't help but worry over him- how was he going to manage to run the business if he couldn't even stand on his own two feet? He had lost much sleep, and Sebastian could see the bags forming under his young master's eyes. He sighed, and tucked his hair behind his ear as he ascended the stairs. Such a beautiful face shouldn't be marred by something like that, he thought. As Sebastian lay on his own bed- something he did not do often- he cast his mind back to the night before, and stared at the ceiling in frustration. What did any of it mean? Why did he feel this way? He was going against everything he'd ever believed in, everything he'd ever been taught or witnessed in all his years of being alive, and yet he couldn't seem to stop himself. He couldn't stop the smile that spread across his face when Ciel proved him wrong, or made him proud, or surprised him. He couldn't stop the happiness he felt when he saw Rei, the little kitten the master had specifically bought, despite him being allergic. He couldn't stop the jealousy that grew inside him when anybody but him touched Ciel in any way. How could someone so little make such a large impact? He remembered the feeling of his thin arms wrapped around Sebastian's torso, the side of his face buried against his chest, and the little snore that escaped his mouth when sleep claimed him. He was ready to wake him up, to protect him like he was supposed to, but the young boy didn't stir once in his sleep. Sebastian lay with him all through the night, his hands gently combing through that silky slate blue hair which slipped through his fingers as softly as water. His face was so peaceful in sleep, and once again Sebastian found himself shocked at just how truly beautiful Ciel was. When nothing was obscuring his face, and there was no hardships or responsibilities or anger to worry about, his face redeemed its youthfulness and acquired a certain peacefulness that Ciel rarely wore on his face. He had gathered the best features from both his parents; the strange grey blue hair and slender face the exact same as his fathers, and his large blue eyes and pale complexion that of his mother. He didn't smile often, but when he did- usually to achieve something in return, Sebastian noted- he exuded charm, and a sweetness that only a child could have. Numerous times he had heard from both women and men that Ciel was in fact very beautiful, and Sebastian wondered how he'd never really noticed it before. He remembered staring at his face while he slept, noticing how his long dark lashes brushed against his cheek so gently- how could he have not realised it sooner? Sebastian shook his head and chided himself with a sigh. Butlers should not think about their masters like that. Demons should most definitely not think about their masters like that. How could he have possibly fallen in love with him? How could he have let it happen? Three years. All it took was three years, a time period almost the equivalent of a second for him, to fall in love. Sebastian groaned internally, and raised balled fists to his eyes- why did it have to be Ciel? He was so young, with so much ahead of him: marriage, children, expanding the business and growing up. And Sebastian would be by his side through all of it, albeit not in the way he truly wanted. He knew it was selfish to wish that Ciel choose him, he knew that it was a possibility beyond consideration and that in the end,he would take Ciel's soul and that would be the end of it, but it was a scenario he could not stop from running through his head. How could such a small feeble boy tear him up inside this much?

Ciel couldn't breathe. The demon was sitting on his chest again, only this time it was even heavier. He thrashed and squirmed, yet he still couldn't move. Amazingly, Ciel opened his eyes, but the weight was still there, and air was wheezing out his lungs like it was being released from a popped balloon. Where was Sebastian? He had to get Sebastian! Ciel tried to move, but his limbs disobeyed him, and the extra effort only caused more strain on his already deflating lungs. He couldn't see the demon, but he could feel him, a concrete gargoyle weight on his rib cage, pushing so hard Ciel was certain his ribs would break. He tried to call out, but no noise came. He couldn't even make a whisper. Panic settled in, and Ciel could feel himself go into hysterics as he struggled to break free from this demon's hold. He was awake- why could he still feel it? In an attempt to save himself, Ciel pushed as much as he could, and rolled himself off the bed. He landed with a sharp thud, his head whacking the hard wooden floor painfully, and he seethed. His limbs moved extremely slowly, as though he were trying to run through water, and he cursed internally. Somehow, the weight was getting heavier, so heavy that his airway was crushed, he couldn't breathe, he couldn't make a sound. Ciel felt his head ache with pain and his lungs burn, dying for oxygen. He could feel his cough coming on, but with no force it just stayed trapped in his lungs, only adding to the pain. Damnit! Where was Sebastian? Ciel tried to drag his body across the floor to reach the door, where he could ring his bell and summon him. Ciel dragged himself half a metre before he collapsed, the lack of oxygen just too much. His body convulsed and with a heave, he vomited onto the floor. Ciel tried to cough, tried to clear his airways, but that restricting weight made it impossible. He was choking, he could feel his nose and windpipe become constricted as well as clogged, and he gagged, desperately trying to stop this. His whole body was on fire, and his vision started to get black spots. Where the hell was Sebastian? That was Ciel's last thought as he drifted in and out of consciousness, his hand still outstretched for the bell.

Sebastian stopped suddenly as he felt Ciel's presence weaken. He was out the back with Rei, feeding her some milk and tidbits of fish, when he felt it. Sebastian whirled round in confusion and ran back to the mansion- how the hell could his presence weaken even more if he was already asleep? As he pushed the door open to Ciel's room, Sebastian looked around. "Young master? Are you oka-" Sebastian look down at the floor to see a very still, un-moving Ciel lying in front of him. His head oozed blood at the side, and vomit lay on the floor beside him. His limbs were splayed at unusual angles, as if he couldn't quite figure out how to move them yet. Sebastian immediately dropped to his knees and grabbed Ciel's face, tilting it towards his own. "Young master! What happened?"

When Sebastian noticed the vomit leaking from Ciel's nose and mouth, he gasped, and hauled the boy into his arms. He could hear the faintest rasp of a breathe escaping his lips, and Sebastian realised that he was choking. He dragged Ciel to the bathroom, where he quickly ripped off his glove and stuck his fingers into Ciel's mouth, attempting to clear his airway. Sebastian tried to recall what the asthma book had said about such attacks, and after clearing Ciel's mouth he quickly shifted into position and hit him between the shoulder blades. After three hits, Ciel managed to cough, and retched the last contents of his throat into the toilet. He coughed so hard that Sebastian thought he was going to throw up again, but he managed to get it under control when Sebastian clutched him to his chest, his voice soothing as ever. "Just breathe, bocchan. Deep breaths. Focus on something."

Ciel made a few more strangled coughs, and then sucked in a breath, his hands shaking. He felt Sebastian rub his back and his hair, whispering in his ear with that cool tone he used to send him to sleep. Ciel tightened his arms around him, trying to hold back the tears. He was so sure he was going to die. He could barely breathe as he lay there waiting for Sebastian, but as the demon entered the room the weight on his chest seemed to vanish, and Ciel was able to suck in the tiniest of breaths. "S-seb...astian.."

"I'm here." He said, burying his head in Ciel's neck. He was so afraid that he wouldn't have been able to help him- healthcare was so absurdly new to Sebastian. He'd only learned that the young master had asthma a few months ago. "Can you breathe?"

Ciel ignored him. "I thought I was going to die, choking on my own vomit. How disgraceful." His voice was shaky, and his fingers still clutched to Sebastian, but his breaths had evened out.

Sebastian chuckled. "Very. But you never have to worry, I told you I'd protect you until the very end. Nothing will kill you, not even yourself."

Ciel rested his forehead against Sebastian's shoulder and frowned. "Yes. I'm sorry, it seems once again I have soiled your suit in some way." Blood from Ciel's head was dripping onto his chest, and Sebastian's coat was covered, too.

Sebastian laughed and de-tangled himself from Ciel, taking off his tailcoat, jacket, waistcoat and tie, folding them and sitting them on the floor. He scooped Ciel up in his arms gently, and smiled. "Do not worry about something so trivial. I have multiple uniforms, but I only have one master. Which do you think is my priority?"

Ciel lay his head against Sebastian's chest and closed his eyes. His throat still burned, and his chest ached, but he was able to breathe freely. "Or rather, which do you have a contract to?" He spoke under his breath, but forgot how good Sebastian's hearing was.

"Bocchan, do you think I give loyalty to you only because of the contract?" He said, shaking his head.

"Why else would you? You don't owe me anything. You're not even paid to be a butler. You're stuck here because I made you be." Ciel couldn't help the biting tone that came into his voice as he said that, knowing very well that Sebastian couldn't refute the truth.

"While I may not be paid, I like butler life, and your human money means nothing to me. I don't ask that of you. While we are bonded by contract, and that I cannot deny, but I could leave if I wish;you have not ordered me to stay here. I could potentially live my own life and only come for you when needed. But I don't, young master. I live here with you because I want to. I cook for you, dress you, clean you, teach you, protect you and help you because I want to. My loyalty is both that of a butler and a demon, bocchan. To act as if I view life here as an inconvenience...do not think so little of me." Sebastian said, pulling Ciel's night gown over his head. He saw that his pale chest was forming a very big, dark bruise, and anger seeped through him. This demon had gone too far.

Ciel noticed Sebastian staring at the bruise and crossed his arms across his chest, looking to the side. He knew what Sebastian was trying to say, but a part of him discarded it, labeling it as just a lie to soothe his sickly master. Ciel didn't need pity. He looked at Sebastian with hard eyes. "Do not lie to me, and do not pity me. I will kill you."

Sebastian knelt down, coming close to Ciel's face. His breath tickled Ciel's nose, and the sweet smell of honey filled his nostrils. He'd never noticed how alluring Sebastian's smell was before, but as it surrounded him, it reminded him delightfully of his favourite sweets. "Young master, I do not lie. And I do not pity. I am just simply very, very angry."

"Why?" Ciel raised his eyebrow, unsure of what exactly he had done. Sebastian had scarcely mentioned his temper before, and he couldn't stop just the slight shiver that racked through his body.

Sebastian's eyes flashed pink, and he grinned, showing of two pointed canine teeth. His tongue flitted across them, and he held Ciel's chin in between his fingers. "Because someone has hurt what is mine."

I'm glad you guys have been reviewing this so much, it really gives me the motivation to continue writing I apologise for any errors in the punctuation or spelling of these chapters, I'm constantly in a fight between my British grammar and my laptop's american grammar, so sometimes spelling can be a tad mixed up. Anyway, I'm total Sebaciel trash and I hate myself for making you wait so long for anything big to happen, but it's coming, all in due time. I don't like to rush things, but I'll try and get a chapter to you at least every 2-3 days. Hope you enjoy!

Chapter Text

After Sebastian had washed the Earl and cleaned the room, he carried Ciel to his bed and very lightly lay him down. He dried him off, being extra careful with the large bruise on the young boy's chest, and dressed him in a clean nightshirt. He sat in front of Ciel, and bowed his head. "Master, I really have to insist that you let me into your head tonight. That demon nearly killed you, and you can't keep spending every night awake from nightmares, or suffering from this. I can fix it, will you let me?"

Ciel closed his eyes and sighed. He knew it was taking a toll on his health and his work, but could he really risk the chance of Sebastian seeing something? Ciel met Sebastian's ruby eyes and he sighed- there really was nothing else he could do. He would have to let Sebastian in. "Okay. But, do I have to let you see everything? There's some things...I don't want you to see."

"You can lock certain things away from me, but that only makes it harder to find this demon. Think of your head like a corridor. Each door is a memory for you, something you hold close to you, the founding components that make you who you are. If you lock it, I can't get in, and if the demon is in there I cannot kill it."

Ciel pondered this, pursing his lips. He could keep his feelings a secret, couldn't he? "Okay, I think I'm ready. What do you want me to do?"

Sebastian's large pale hands sat either side of Ciel's face, and he looked him straight in the eyes. He blinked, and when they opened, the iris was a shimmering pink, and his pupil was that crescent moon of black in the middle. His teeth elongated, giving him those fangs again, and a black aura seemed to exude from him. Ciel couldn't help but thing that terrifying as he was, he was eerily beautiful. Sebastian smiled. "I need you to close your eyes, and listen to me."

Ciel did as he was instructed and closed his eyes, concentrating on his breathing. Sebastian's fingers held his head in place, and he swore he could feel those tendrils of black snake around him.

Sebastian's voice was very soft, calming and hypnotic. "Young master, open your mind. Let me in. Just relax, and let me in...Relax..."

Ciel felt his heartbeat slow as Sebastian whispered to him. It was almost like he was getting pulled underwater, and Sebastian's words were garbled and hard to hear. He was so sleepy, but he felt like he was floating. Was he floating? What did Sebastian mean let him in?

"Stop thinking so much, bocchan. Just breathe and relax, just open your mind to me..." He cooed, his breath blowing across Ciel's face. It was sweet like honey, and Ciel breathed in, smiling. He felt like he was flying, or lying on something soft, like petals, and that honey scent filled the room. Sebastian could go wherever he wanted, he decided, a dazed feeling spreading through his veins. Sebastian touched his forehead to Ciel's, his voice soft. "Good, Bocchan. Now, sleep...sleep for as long as you like..."

Sebastian's black aura encased Ciel, and with a final smile he slumped against Sebastian, his eyes closed. Sebastian closed his own eyes, and focused on accessing Ciel's head. As long as they were physically touching and Ciel was protected by his demonic form, he would be able to access the young master's mind. Sebastian reached out, and felt the presence of his mind. He reached out tentatively, and a few seconds later, he was granted access, and moved into the young boy's unconsciousness. Sebastian opened his eyes to see that he was in a very large corridor. It was similar to the manor, except the walls were all white. So this was where all Ciel's memories lay, he thought, amused. He hadn't thought it would be that easy to get into Ciel's head, but he was so tired that he offered little resistance. Cautiously, Sebastian reached out and touched the nearest door, and pushed it open slightly. He was relieved it wasn't locked, and quickly stepped in, wondering what memory he would see.

Ciel sat on the grass, a young boy of only five. His hair was long and shining in the sun, and Rachel had dressed him in a small sailors outfit, although he'd taken off his hat and sat it on the grass with him. Next to him was Vincent, his father, who's hair shone that same remarkable colour. Ciel lifted his small hand and grabbed his father's, a wide smile on his youthful face. "Lift me, father!"

Vincent chuckled and picked Ciel up, lifting him high into the air. He threw Ciel up slightly and caught him again, resulting in a bout of giggles from the young boy. His father set him down after that, and bared his hands as if he was a lion. "I'm going to get you! You better run!"

Ciel shrieked with glee and ran from his father, his hands in the air. Vincent followed slowly behind, laughing every time Ciel squealed. His arms scooped around the young child's waist and he hoisted him up, laughing as he held the child to his face. Ciel laughed too, a sound so pure that Sebastian couldn't believe it- he'd never heard the Earl laugh with such a carefree nature before. Ciel placed his hands on his father's face and then wrapped them around his neck, squeezing the man to his chest. The memory started to fade, and when Sebastian saw that it was about to replay he opened the door again and left, that bright sunlight leaving him behind when he shut the door and entered the corridor. These seemed to be some of his earlier memories, Sebastian noted.

He kept walking, this time opening a door on his right. He was suddenly in a room that used to exist in the old mansion, and a young Ciel was sitting on his mother's knee, his face buried against her chest. They sat in a large armchair by the fire, and the warm glow caused an orange light to dance across Ciel's delicate features. The crackle of the fire was the only sound he could hear, and as he looked closer he could see Rachel had her blonde hair down, where it spilled over her shoulder and onto Ciel. He was almost asleep, his little fingers clutched around the fabric of her dress as she rubbed his back, her lips kissing his head lightly. Sebastian stared at the scene, feeling slightly unable to look away. He had never seen Ciel's parents, or rather even hear him talk affectionately about them, and seeing him so calmly cradled against Rachel, nothing but just the two of them in each other's presence...it was something he never expected to see. Feeling as if he was intruding, Sebastian exited the room,closing the door behind him.

The next door was a metre up, and when he checked it, he was relieved to see it wasn't locked either. He walked out to the back garden of the manor and saw Ciel, around seven years old, was lying on his back on the grass, with Vincent on one side, and Madam Red on the other. They each held one of his hands, while Rachel sat against a tree, a book in her hand. The sun shone down on them, and the sound of chirping birds filled the air like a song. They weren't particularly talking, but as Sebastian walked up closer towards Ciel, he could see Madam Red sit up, and lift the boy onto her lap. She cooed over him, and laughed delightedly as he wrapped his arms around her. He gave her a kiss on the cheek, and she snuggled against him, squeezing his small body before allowing him to stand up. He tugged at Vincent's hand, smiling. "Come on, father. I want to go on your shoulders. Can I?"

"Alright, alright, you can come up." Vincent laughed and stood up, easily picking his son up and sitting him on his shoulders. He began to spin and lunge, laughing freely as Ciel screamed and flung his hands into the air.

Rachel looked over her book and met her sister's eyes, giving a small smile. "Boys."

"Sebastian!" Ciel shouted, his arms outstretched.

Sebastian stopped, tilting his head. How could Ciel see him, wasn't this a memory? Just then he saw a large red setter bound up to meet them, and he chuckled at his own foolishness- he had forgotten Ciel named him after his old dog. He walked closer, bending down to see Ciel clamber down from his father's shoulders and run towards the dog, who he then wrapped his arms around, and kissed on the head.

Rachel sighed, but her voice was kind. "What have I told you about kissing the dog?"

"I shouldn't do it, mother!" He said, but still he ran his finger's through Sebastian's coat, laughing when the dog tried to give him a paw. "But I just love him so much! Sebastian is my best friend."

Sebastian tilted his head and stared at the dog in front of him. He had never particularly liked dogs before, but seeing how much his young master had loved the animal, he relented, and smiled. It wasn't so bad to be named after a dog. Swiftly, Sebastian stood, having not felt the demon's presence, and left, closing the door quietly shut before him. He had a feeling he knew which memory the demon would be attacking from, but he couldn't help himself from seeing a glimpse of what his master used to be like. In every memory so far he was young and happy, with eyes so bright and a smile so wide that Sebastian couldn't take how beautiful he was. He truly looked like a cherub, from his pale complexion and his button nose to the bright blue of his eyes, both unmarked from any sign of the contract. It was obviously a happier time for the young master. Sebastian smoothed his coat down before continuing to walk down the hallway. Suddenly he saw the walls change colour, and they were now a smoke grey. The atmosphere felt different as well; this would be where he demon was most probably hiding. He tried the door, but found it locked. Sighing, he called out, "Master? I need you to let me in here, there's a high chance he's here. I'm sorry if it's unpleasant, but please let me in."

Ciel wasn't sure how to describe the feeling. His body was asleep, but his mind was awake, and he could feel Sebastian roaming around. Certain memories were dragged to the surface as Sebastian rummaged through his mind, but it was nothing unpleasant or particularly meaningful- just ones of his childhood. He could hear Sebastian call out to him, complaining of a locked door. Ciel sighed, and focused on relaxing himself. He reminded himself he needed to trust Sebastian and let him find this demon. He knew which memory he wanted in to see, and with a deep breath, unlocked the door for him.

Sebastian tried the door again, surprised to see that it opened this time for him. He walked through and stepped out into a corridor filled with thick smoke. He saw Ciel in front of him, panic in his eyes as he attempted to run through the smoke. He screamed out, "Father! Mother! Where are you?" His voice was a screech, and each breath sent his small body into a fit of coughs. Still, he forced himself on, his hands feeling along the wall, his eyes scrunched closed as the heat from the blames burned him. Sebastian realised that it was his master's tenth birthday- the day his mansion was burned down, and he was kidnapped. He walked behind him, the smoke having no effect on him, and followed Ciel to a room where he stopped at the door and screamed. Vincent was sitting in his chair in the study, but flames filled the room. They were raging and pulsing as if they were alive, and they licked up Vincent's body and along the floor and walls, creating a fire prison from which he couldn't not escape. Ciel cried out, but couldn't move, as the fire was slowly spreading towards him. He tried to turn, to run and find his mother, but he tripped and landed had on the floor. Sebastian's hands instinctively reached out to lift him, but they passed right through Ciel as if he was a ghost. The small boy's lungs were burning, begging for a release from the thick black smoke that filled the whole mansion, but there was none. He watched as Ciel crawled along the floor, before his hands touched something the smoke was concealing. Ciel looked down and saw that Sebastian lay at his feet, fire having burned away most of his hair and skin. The dog looked at him with empty eyes, its body splayed on the floor, and the young boy cried, the tears dripping down his face. Sebastian wanted so desperately to help him, to pull him out of this mansion and away from the overwhelming feeling of pure, undiluted agony and fear, but he couldn't do anything but stand and watch as everything in Ciel's life burned away. Sebastian turned around, looking at everything in the memory, but he couldn't see the demon. However, he could sense that it had been here before, meaning that at some point, Ciel had had to of dreamed of the mansion burning and his parents dying. Sebastian frowned, and tutted. "That'll never do. Upsetting my master is a very big mistake, little friend." Sebastian walked back to the door, and as the memory started to fade, he cast one last look at young Ciel before leaving the memory behind.

Sebastian was in the grey corridor again, and as he moved towards another door, it shifted, and became black. He touched it, surprised to find the handle burning hot. He pushed the door open, and as he stepped inside, was frozen. He was in a very large room, with high columned seats lining all round the sides, and an alter in the middle. He saw many cloaked figures with their faces hidden behind masks pin Ciel down, refusing to let him go. He watched his master scream louder than he'd ever heard before, watched him writhe and kick and buck, tears dripping down his face as he tried to break free. "No! No! Let me go!"

Sebastian couldn't look away. He walked closer, seeing the scene prior to when he arrived, clenching his fists. Ciel's body was covered in cuts and bruises, and blood dripped down his pale white skin, marred by the dirty fingerprints of his kidnappers. He screamed again as he saw one of them lift a poker up, it's end a glowing bright orange. Sebastian watched as they held Ciel down while they pressed it into his skin, the noise emitting from his master inhuman. It was a screech of pure terror and pain, the poker making a sickening sizzling sound as it burned through his flesh, searing into him a mark he'd never be able to forget. Ciel thrashed again, unable to do anything but scream as their hands clung to him harder, their nails biting into him, his side on fire, burning, melting his skin, the only sound the delighted laughter which seemed to flow from their mouths. Sebastian looked away and swallowed, his hands shaking. He knew he would make an appearance soon, but he did not know if he could continue to watch this. A thick hand snaked it's way around Ciel's throat and squeezed, and Sebastian watched as his master choked and gasped, desperate for breath. He could see his eyes screw shut as he fought against them, his frail body desperately trying to break free from the bonds they put him in, but to no avail. The room was dark and lit only by candles, and the butler watched in silence as the men started the ritual. They crowded round Ciel, chanting as they were killing him, the delighted glee in their eyes starting a fire within Sebastian. He wished he could kill them again.

And then, at the height of the ritual, as Ciel was glaring at them with hatred in his eyes, the room went deathly black, and Sebastian saw himself. He was in demon form, of course, and he watched as his past self glided towards a very terrified Ciel, voice taunting. "My my, you're a little master, aren't you?"

Sebastian watched the event take place, watched the confused screaming of the tormentors, desperately trying to grab at Sebastian, beg him to grant their desires instead. But he stood only by Ciel, head tilted, relaying the conditions of the contract, and the eternal price Ciel would pay. Sebastian watched as the deal was made, and he gave Ciel his seal. He had never thought about how painful it was to be on the receiving end, but the scream that left his young master's mouth made him wince; he knew he could have been more gentle with the boy, but at the time he didn't care. He just wanted the contract completed, so he could could be one step closer to his soul. This was a very dark memory, and this was the first time Sebastian had ever seen it like this. He was not fully aware the extent his master was tortured to, and watching it happen again, a part of him wished he could have just killed them without the command from Ciel. His past self freed the boy and slaughtered everyone else in the room, quickly snapping their necks or punching straight through their chests, the pile of bodies around the alter growing. Ciel shook where he stood, blood dripping down his body, bruises covering his neck, his face, his chest, the sizzling flesh of his side aching and bleeding, unable to feel anything else but pain. His eye felt as if it too, had been seared with a poker, and his lungs ached, deprived of oxygen for so long. He was so small, and so broken, and Sebastian knelt before him, staring into eyes that could not see him. "Oh, bocchan..." He said, lifting a finger to his face, careful not to pass right through him. "I am so sorry." The whole memory reeked of hatred, fear, despair and distress, it was shrouded in black, the tendrils of Sebastian's demonic presence seemed to edge up the walls and along the floor, covering everything. Sebastian had never noticed how truly terrified Ciel was the first time they met, his wide blue eyes no longer holding that same sparkle, his beautiful smile nonexistent. Here, the beautiful young boy had been destroyed, ripped apart by the hands of those vile men, and what remained was a cold, distant child, with a body and mind full of scars. This was his Ciel. This was the Ciel with a soul that burned so brightly, churned on with the seemingly never ending fire of rage and anger that flowed through his veins. This was the Ciel he loved. Sebastian sighed and stood, then suddenly whirled around, as the scene changed. He was no longer in a room with an alter, but rather in a cold dark room, where the only thing he could see was a cage. Ciel was trapped inside, his thin shaking frame desperately clutching at the bars, tears dripping down his face. He shook at them, begging for escape, but the only sound he could hear in return was laughter. That's when Sebastian saw it. The small demon had crawled inside the cage with the young master, and was climbing along his back and to his chest. It forced him down and sat on him, its greedy hands clamping round his head, feeding off his life source. Ciel gasped and clutched at his throat, but his weak arms could not move the demon, and his body convulsed. The memory started to shimmer and shake, and Sebastian could tell that Ciel was troubled by this, obviously feeling the effects of the parasite that was feeding off him.

Sebastian's voice was soft as he called out to Ciel. "Bocchan, it's okay. Just relax, he can't hurt you anymore. I've got him. Just relax, I'll have this done in ten seconds." Ciel managed to calm himself down, and the memory returned. Quickly, Sebastian bent down and bent the bars of the cage, his lithe arm reaching in and gripping the demon from Ciel. It was small, but it screeched, trying to fight him off. Sebastian laughed as he tightened his hand around its neck, tilting his head. "Let's not try to fight me. I am much, much more powerful than you, and I told the young master I'd have this done in ten seconds. Goodbye, parasite." With that, Sebastian used his free hand and punched straight through the demon's head. It turned to dust around him, then broke away, a nonexistent wind blowing the fragments of it away.

Sebastian exhaled and then, brushing his air back slightly, walked back out the door, resting his head against the wall for a few seconds. He couldn't seem to get the sound of Ciel's screams from his ears. Thinking he was done, Sebastian made to walk back, when something caught his eye. Further down the corridor, the walls went from grey to a very vivid red, and there was a single door. Curiosity got the better of him, and he quickly walked along the corridor, his hands trailing across the wall. The door was very large, and very grand, and Sebastian looked it up and down, his hand hesitantly trying the handle. When it was locked, he cursed, and tried to calm himself. If he was right, behind this door would be Ciel's memories and feelings of him. He just needed a quick look, that was all. "Young master," He called out, voice alluring. "Let me in. I know you wish to keep this hidden but I need to see it, please. I promise you, no, I swear to you, that what I find here will not change anything. I'll still be by your side, loyal as ever, until the end. Please, grant me access to this, Bocchan."

Ciel stilled. He could feel Sebastian in his mind, and he knew that he had reached the part of Ciel's subconscious where he kept all his thoughts, feelings and memories of Sebastian hidden away. He couldn't show it to him, could he? Was it worth the risk? He said nothing would change, but when he saw what was in there, saw what Ciel really thought of him...he groaned. He wished he just knew how Sebastian felt. He wished that he was brave enough to just tell Sebastian, and most of all he wished there was a chance that it would work out for him. The butler had never asked for anything in his whole three years for Ciel, he noted. Why did he want to see what Ciel thought so badly? Could he know what he was keeping hidden away? Was he curious? Disgusted? Either way, Ciel knew he had to make a decision. He could order Sebastian to leave, and continue in the same routine every day, or he could open the door, and let Sebastian see how he really felt. His head bursting, Ciel groaned and relented, the stress of keeping his feelings a secret too much for the exhausted boy. He gave Sebastian free roam of his head, hoping he wouldn't live to regret it.

The door clicked open after what felt like a lifetime, and Sebastian seized his chance. He slipped inside, expecting a memory, but shocked to see nothing but a very large screen in front of him, ready to play. He walked over and watched it, confused. What was this? Then, the screen started to blip, and the film began. It was almost like a slideshow of memories, so many of them that it could only show a few seconds of each. They ranged from the very first time Ciel had ever met Sebastian to when he bathed him earlier that night, and as Sebastian watched their lives unfold on the screen, he tilted his head, a smile forming on his lips. These were all Ciel's memories of him, every single time Ciel had ever looked at him, spoken to him, thought about him- they were all playing on the screen, as if viewed from Ciel's own eyes. Sebastian listened, as hundreds of thoughts started to fill the room, the words becoming writing on the walls. His fingers traced the letters, and for the first time in a very long time, Sebastian's heart skipped a beat. I cannot hep but stare at him. How can a demon be so beautiful?...When he touches me, my heart races and my mind clogs until I can think of nothing else but him...His voice soothes me, and I think I could listen to him all day...Why do I feel this way? What is this?...Is it normal, I wonder, to feel so safe in the presence of the person who will one day kill me?...Why do I feel so right when I'm in his arms?...I wish I could tell him these things...A demon cannot love, doesn't love, and will never love...I can't think when he's this close to me...He smells of honey. I like it...I think I just want to be with him today...He only wants me for my soul, I mean nothing to him...He will never love me, and I know this...I wish I could ask him to stay with me every night...

Sebastian read every thought, his fingers tracing every one. There was enough of them to cover all four walls, and the montage of memories was still playing on the screen. He could hear Ciel's voice speak all of the thoughts at the one time, and as he listened to every one, letting the words fill him more than any soul ever could, he tilted his head back, and smiled. "Oh, bocchan."

Suddenly, a very large thought was written across the wall, taking up most of the space. Sebastian whipped his head up and looked at it, a large smile breaking out on his face. Written on the wall was a large, cursive 'I love him', and Sebastian touched it gently. "And I love you."

At that moment, he withdrew from Ciel's mind, and they were both snapped back into their bodies, forehead's still touching, his arms still holding the young boy. Ciel looked up, his eyes wide. His cheeks flushed red, and he stuttered. "S-Sebastian-"

Sebastian cut him off, wrapping his arms tight around the boy and pulling him close to his chest. He buried his face in the crook of Ciel's neck, breathing in deeply. His hands were tangled in Ciel's hair, and his lips brushed across the pale skin of his neck with a smile. "Bocchan. I love you."

Ciel looked up in shock, his heart thumping like crazy. Sebastian was clinging to him, touching him so softly as if he were made of glass, his voice as soothing as ever. He lifted Sebastian's head up from his neck and held his face, looking him in the eyes. "What did you say?"

"I said I love you, my Lord." Sebastian said, placing his own hand over Ciel's. He could hear the young boy's heartbeat, practically feel it pulse through his skin. "I have felt these feelings for you for a very long time now, it seems. I did not know if it was love, to be honest I didn't think it could be love. But I know now that it can be nothing else. I love you."

Ciel closed his eyes, his hands gripping the lapels of Sebastian's suit. He looked up, taking a deep breath, and stared at him, trying to show him just exactly what he was saying. "Sebastian, no matter what you saw in my head, you must not lie to me. A demon cannot love, do not patronize me. I will kill you for trying."

Sebastian pulled his glove off with his teeth, and cupped Ciel's face. He leaned in, his breath sickly sweet and brushing across the boy's face, and rested their foreheads. "I have never once lied to you, young master. If a demon cannot love, then I give you all that I can feel. I give you the closest thing to love I ever have and ever will experience in my life. Order me to tell you the truth if you must. My answer will not change- I love you."

Tears slipped out of Ciel's eyes and he flung his arms around the butler, burying his head in the crook of Sebastian's neck. He tentatively ran his finger's through the butler's hair, clutching on tightly, surprised at how soft it was. "Sebastian, this is an order: tell me the truth about how you feel for me. Tell me what you want."

Sebastian tilted Ciel's head up, holding his face between his hands. "Some time over the last three years, I found myself in love with you. I wish to love you, to protect you, to stand by your side for as long as you want me. My feelings for you...there are different to any other contract I've ever had. I cannot explain how it feels,young master, for this is truly the first time I believe I have ever felt this way. But all I can tell you is that I wish to remain loyal to you throughout the years of your life, I wish to protect you from any threat you may come across, and I wish for you to end my torment and tell me you feel the same way. Most of all, I wish to kiss you."

Ciel's heart stopped, and he sucked in a breath. That was an order, and Sebastian did not lie to him. He really felt this way about him. With tears still dripping down his face, Ciel chucked all thoughts of how wrong he was, how immoral this was, how perverted and cruel and unheard of his feelings for the butler were, to the back of his mind. He focused on one thing: the love he had for Sebastian. "Then do it."

Sebastian held Ciel's face in his hands and slowly, he pressed his lips against the young boy's, his fingers wiping away his tears. He pulled away, a teasing smile on his lips. "Master, am I really that bad that you have to cry?"

Ciel laid his forehead against Sebastian's and wrapped his arms around the man's neck, giving the smallest of smiles. "Shut up."

Sebastian brought him closer to his chest , resting his chin on the top of Ciel's head. He wanted to kiss him again and again, but the young boy was obviously overwhelmed, and very very exhausted. He rubbed Ciel's back, his breath tickling his ear as he spoke. "Would you like some warm milk and honey?"

Ciel lay his head against Sebastian's chest, his eyes fluttering. He wasn't sure, since it had been so long, but for the first time in three years, he felt the smallest glimmer of happiness flicker inside him, and he drank in the feeling, desperate for a taste of what his life had once previously been filled with. "No, I don't need it. I just want you to stay with me tonight."

Sebastian kissed the top of Ciel's head gently. He was so small and fragile, cradled against his chest with his arms looped around Sebastian's neck, his fingers lazily playing with the butler's hair. "Then I'll stay with you."

Sebastian lay Ciel down on the bed gently, and brushed his fingers across the young boy's eyelids, which were fluttering closed. He peeled the rest of his uniform off, until he was in his underwear and his undershirt. He lay next to Ciel, pulling the small boy's body next to his, and tucked his hair back softly with his fingers. Ciel lazily grabbed his hand, finger's tracing the mark with his finger. He held Sebastian's hand to his face, and closed his eyes. "Is it sick that in my head, I know this is wrong, but yet I cannot find the strength to care?"

Sebastian gave a small smile, noticing again how long Ciel's eyelashes were. He wrapped his arm around his thin waist, their faces inches apart. "Yes, you are positively sick for loving a demon. But I love you anyway, bocchan."

Chuckling quietly, Ciel laid his head against Sebastian's chest and sighed. "Ah, Sebastian."

Hesitantly, Sebastian tilted the young master's head up, his voice soft. "Goodnight, Ciel."

Ciel had never heard the demon say his name before, and it send a shiver down his spine. It sounded different from his mouth somehow, as if he was the only one who should be able to say it. He wanted him to say it again and again. Ciel pressed his lips to Sebastian's, lingering for a few seconds, before breaking away, a beautiful smile on his youthful face. "Goodnight, Sebastian."

Chapter Text

It had been a week since then, and although natural order had relatively resumed, Sebastian had made a point of touching Ciel so lightly that nobody but he would notice as he walked by him, and the morning routine of dressing the young boy had become an event of some embarrassment for the young Earl. He even tried to do it himself for the first few days, but after Sebastian had to continually fix his shirts, tie and socks, he relented, and allowed the butler to dress him. Sebastian did not stay in his room every night, but he did sit on the edge of Ciel's bed, reading him Poe or pushing his hair back until he fell asleep. It was similar to their normal routine, except there was something between them that even Ciel struggled to explain. He just felt it-that slight change that, when their eyes met, caused a shiver to spread through his body and blush to colour his cheeks. He wasn't quite sure if he'd gotten used to it yet. For so long, love had been meaningless to him, a simple abstract concept made up by those who could not handle the reality of the world. Simply a means to blame your actions on and become lazy, he believed. Some of this still held true for him, naturally, but Ciel couldn't describe it. He knew that this feeling was most definitely love for Sebastian, and yet it was different. It was more than that. Could 'love' even begin to accurately describe what he felt for the demon? Ciel Sighed and sank down in his chair, his top hat sitting on the table. They had an order from the Queen, to check out a long line of disappearances of men around the East End of London. They'd managed to trace the men back to a prostitute whom they'd all slept with, as every man she bedded seemed to mysteriously vanish without a trace. Scotland Yard had tried multiple times to visit the woman and gather evidence, but there was simply nothing they could fine, so the matter had been passed on to the Queen's faithful guard dog and his companion.

"Master?" Sebastian said, knocking on the door.

"Come in." Ciel waved his hand as Sebastian entered the room, his gaze averted to the window. It was a grey day, with thick clouds and no sunshine to be seen at all. Typical of London, really. "What a simply awful day."

"Indeed, my young Lord. You will have to wear your thick coat." Sebastian said, standing beside his arm chair.

"I can't, don't you remember? That bloody cat of yours chewed it all." He grumbled, frowning. What a bad idea it was to allow him to have a cat- it really only caused him trouble.

Sebastian gave a nervous chuckle, scratching his temple. "Indeed my Lord, I'm incredibly sorry. She's just teething, she has to chew many things or she'll be in pain."

"So that allows it to destroy my clothes?" Ciel scoffed.

"Fret not, master. You have one last winter coat left. You can wear that." Sebastian said, hiding a smile.

Ciel's heart stopped, and he turned around, eyes wide. "You can't possibly mean..."

"Yes, my Lord. How did you guess?" Sebastian reached behind him and pulled the coat up to show Ciel.

It was one that Elizabeth had bought him, and it was quite possibly, the most horrifying thing Ciel had ever seen. Knee length and thick, the coat was made from light blue wool with brown lace on the hands and sleeves, brown buttons down the front a large brown bow at the back. It had no decent pockets and the colour combination was an eyesore, as well as the fact that on the breast pocket she'd had their initials threaded on, with a love heart between them. Elizabeth had picked it for him, saying that it matched her own dress that she wore when they went to look for the white stag, and Ciel couldn't have refused her in front of the whole mansion. So, regrettably, he was forced to accept it.

"I'm not wearing that." Ciel said simply. "There is no way in hell I'm wearing that."

"Master, you do not have any other coats, and Lady Elizabeth went to the trouble of gifting it to you." He said, trying to keep a serious face. Imagining Ciel in the coat was far too funny. "You have to wear it."

Ciel stood up, baring his teeth. "Burn it. Throw it out. Rip it. It would be an insult to the Phantomhive name to be seen in such a thing."

Sebastian looked at him, giving his most softest voice. "Wont you at least try it on? Maybe it is not as bad as it looks."

Ciel stared at him, ready to argue, but his butler looked at him so expectantly that he sighed, and wavered. He raised his arms. "Fine. Put it on."

Sebastian slipped the coat on and buttoned it swiftly. He stepped back to view Ciel, and as soon as he did, laughter began to shake his whole body, and he had trouble keeping his mouth from slipping. "Marvelous, sir."

Ciel looked in the mirror and let out a cry. He looked positively horrid! "The clashing colours and utter girlishness of the embroidery, this is imply awful! I cannot wear this."

He whirled to face Sebastian, and upon seeing him again with that bewildered anger in his eyes, lost his composure and doubled over, laughing. He didn't think he'd ever seen something as ridiculous in his entire life before, and seeing the young master in something so unfit for a Lord was too amusing. He'd never seen Ciel look more like a true child as he did then, wearing his coat with the large red love heart stitched on at the pocket.

Ciel stopped, tilting his head. Sebastian was laughing? When did he ever find anything funny? This was the first time the young boy had actually heard him laugh, and although it surprised him at first, when he realised he was the stem of the laughter his curiosity turned to chagrin. "Sebastian! Stop laughing at once! This is not funny!"

The butler straightened and raised a hand to cover his mouth, which was still holding some compressed chuckles in. "My apologies, sir. You look positively dashing."

"Shut up! Get this off me, I look vile! And you, how dare you laugh at me? Do you think this is funny? Do you-"

Sebastian silenced him with a kiss, his lips pressing softly against Ciel's. He'd caught him when he was speaking, and as such his lips were parted, allowing the demon a taste of the young boy. Sebastian pulled away with a smile, suppressing his chuckle. "I would never laugh at you, bocchan."

Ciel's eyes widened, and he looked at Sebastian with slight shock. He wasn't expecting the kiss, especially not when he was yelling at him. The butler was too close, his scent was overwhelming, the slight taste of him still lingered in Ciel's mouth and he shuddered. His hands pushed Sebastian back slightly while he took a deep breath, trying to control his erratic heart rate. "Don't do that."

Sebastian frowned. What was he doing? Why did he push him back, refusing a kiss now when he'd kissed him before? Was this a game to him? His voice came out sharper than he intended it to. "Don't kiss you? My apologies, my Lord. It wont happen again."

"Sebastian, you know that's not what I meant." Ciel said, his eyes still closed. He opened them briefly to look at the butler, but he was facing away, clenching his jaw.

"If you do not wish for me to kiss you, then perhaps you should make it an order." He said coldly.

Ciel placed a hand on the man's face and pulled it towards him. He placed his lips against Sebastian's, parting them, and moved his hand to the back of Sebastian's head to pull him closer. Keeping a check on his breathing, Ciel smiled against Sebastian's lips and pulled back slowly. "I meant that you shouldn't kiss me without warning first. You have an incredibly overwhelming presence when you're up close, with a scent that clouds my head, and it can be too much for me to focus on you and breathing at the same time."

Sebastian pulled Ciel closer to him, his hands resting on the young boy's back. He understood what Ciel was talking about- demon's were known to have a strong presence. "So as long as you know I'm going to do it, it's okay?"

"Yes. Now let's get me out of this dreadful coat. It's not that cold, I'm sure I can manage without one." Ciel begged, shrugging the coat off and handing it to Sebastian.

"Very well." Sebastian took the coat from Ciel and tucked it under his arm. He tilted his head towards the door and said, "The carriage is waiting outside, shall we depart now?"

Ciel nodded and stood, making sure his pistol was still tucked into his waistband. There was no real threat of danger, but it was always safer to carry it just in case. He walked in front of Sebastian, casting a meager 'goodbye' to the servants who waited for him at the end of the stairs. They were a hopeless bunch really, they couldn't do their jobs properly at all, but they did go out their way to do things for him, even though it usually ended in the mansion being completely ruined. Ciel guessed he was happy they were there. After Sebastian opened the door to the carriage for him, he slipped in and laid his head against the seat, looking out the window at the dreary day. Sebastian sat opposite him, his hand resting on his hand, staring at Ciel.

Ciel raised at eyebrow. "What are you looking at?"

"Nothing, sir. My apologies." Sebastian bowed his head and shifted his gaze out the window, but he casually glanced at Ciel when he knew he wasn't looking. He was sitting with his head against the seat, his half lidded eyes staring lazily out of the window. Sebastian could see them flutter closed every few seconds as he struggled to keep himself awake, and he tapped the window to get Ciel's attention.

"Are you tired, my Lord?" He asked. Sebastian couldn't figure out why, Ciel had been sent to bed at the usual time and woken up at the usual time, there was no reason why he should be tired.

Ciel felt his eyes snap open and he faced Sebastian, scoffing. "No." In reality, his eyes burned with how much they wanted to close. He hadn't been able to sleep last night, due to the ramblings of his own head. He wished for Sebastian to stay with him longer that night and talk with him, but his pride-as it so often did- refused to let him ask such a thing. He couldn't help but think about this case, about the fact that they'd have to visit prostitutes, especially when his butler was not opposed to sleeping with people for information, and he was handsome enough that desperate women wouldn't leave him alone. Ciel wasn't used to the jealousy that accompanied these types of situations, and it kept him tossing and turning throughout the night.

"Alright." Sebastian sat back against his seat, but he watched as the Earl's eyes dropped again a few minutes later, and his mouth slacked. Every bump of the road woke him up and he groaned, trying to position his head against his hand to sleep peacefully.

After Ciel was woken for the fourth time by a bump in the road, he sighed and sat up, deciding sleep just obviously wasn't for him. However, as his eyes started to droop again, he felt a pair of arms encircle him, and lift him from his seat. "What are you doing? Put me back!"

Sebastian smiled and shifted Ciel so he was lying in the butler's arms, cradled against his chest. "You wont be jostled this way, my Lord. You can sleep, it's still a while until we reach the east end."

Ciel was going to protest when his weariness washed over him, and he sighed. Sebastian was holding him close so that the bumps of the carriage wouldn't disturb him, and the softness of his thick coat was more welcome than the harsh leather of the seats. "Okay."

He fell asleep a few minutes later, his arms looped around Sebastian's neck. His face relaxed and again Sebastian studied him, still amused at how his face retained all its peacefulness when he was asleep. He looked unburdened and, as many had said before, much cuter. Holding his small body in his arms, Sebastian again struggled to understand the feeling arising in him. He felt the urge to just protect him, to not let anything harm him. Part of the contract dictated that Sebastian must protect him, but this was different- he willingly wanted to. If he didn't know any better he'd regard it as a maternal instinct.

They hit a small bump and Ciel's body was moved a little, but he only scrunched his face up and hugged tighter to Sebastian before settling back into his sleep. He grumbled a little, slurring out something like, "...'Bastian.."

The butler pressed his lips to Ciel's head and shushed him, his fingers playing with his dark hair to lure him back into sleep. As arrogant, rude, irritating and plain devious as his master was, Sebastian could not help but feel affection for him when he was so tightly clinging to him, uttering his name even in sleep. His master so rarely talked of his emotions, in fact he'd never even seen him offer more than hand holding to Lady Elizabeth, and yet here he was, asleep in his arms. Sebastian couldn't quite wrap his head around it yet, the idea of loving Ciel. It was so strange, the prospect of a demon loving his master, even more strange to have the master love him back in return. He knew it would be very complicated, but Sebastian couldn't muster the strength to care about that just yet. He focused on tilting Ciel's sleeping face to his own as the carriage halted, and kissing his lips softly.

"Master, we're here." He touched his face, a gloved thumb sweeping across his cheekbone.

"Hm? Sebastian?" Ciel groggily opened his eyes and blinked a few times, getting his vision back to normal. He unwrapped himself from Sebastian's neck and yawned, before shifting off the butler so he could open the door. He'd slept remarkably well, as Sebastian had kept his promise of not letting any bumps in the road wake him. Sebastian opened the door and exited, helping Ciel down with an outstretched hand.

As they closed the door behind them, Ciel looked around in disgust. They were in the east slums of London, where the houses were packed so close together that the air was thick and un-breathable, giving an almost claustrophobic atmosphere. The buildings were all very narrow and tall, the paint peeling away from the outside and grime crawling up the sides. The sewers of the buildings were running freely down the side of the streets, and the cobblestone pathway was littered with rubbish and manure that had yet to be picked up. Washing lines were strung between houses, the few pieces of clothing the tenants actually owned dirty and ragged despite being washed. Pubs and gambling shops lined the thin street, and the noise of drunken jeers and crying children were all that filled the air.

Ciel raised a hand to his mouth and coughed, the foul damp air upsetting his lungs. He looked at Sebastian and frowned. "This is absolutely disgusting."

"Indeed, but the Queen has asked it of you, sir. We have to enter the slums for this woman." He said, almost pleasantly. Ciel wanted to punch him in the face for smiling when his surroundings were so wretched.

"I'm aware of that. Let's move before I catch a disease." Ciel set off, eyes trained solely on the ground to make sure he avoided what he hoped were puddles of water, and the sewers that ran along side the pavements. He kept his gloved hand to his nose, trying desperately to breathe as little as possible, the damp wind blowing around him, trying to pull him in all directions.

They walked for a few minutes before Sebastian took the lead and led them to a large run down building with a wooden door which had a shabby 'open' sign attached to it. Loud jeers and music came from it, and Ciel sighed, knowing he would have to go in this nasty place. He motioned to Sebastian, who opened the door for them, and they stepped inside. The inside was even worse, Ciel decided. It stank of booze and sex, the women were either sitting on tables or on stage, each trying to entice men to pick them. All of them looked ill in some way, yet still they let men grope them and touch them, all to get some money. The place was filled, and a narrow staircase upstairs led to a floor where all that could be heard was heavy panting and squeals.

"How utterly vile." Ciel said, trying not to touch anybody or anyone.

"Oi! Ain't you a bit young for here?" Came a voice beside him, and Ciel turned round to see a woman who's chest was pushed up to her chin. Her hair was fiery red and pined back from her face, and her dress was a poorly made, yet billowing one of green. Her face was a bit gaunt and her teeth were browning, but her eyes were a very soft brown.

"That's irrelevant. I'm here to see this woman." Said Ciel, as Sebastian handed the woman a document of the prostitute. "Her name is Anna Rightly, aged twenty-five, and she was known to be working at this brothel. Do you know her?"

"Sure I do! That's ol' Anna, she's a favourite in here." Jeered the woman, winking. It sent a shiver down Ciel's spine. "Are you wanting a taste of her?"

Sebastian cut in then, giving the prostitute a smile. "We're actually hoping to discuss something with her, my master has some business that includes her. Could you perhaps tell us where she is right now?"

"She ain't here right now. But I can tell you when she'll be back, for a price." The woman said, eyeing up Sebastian.

Ciel sighed, and looked at her. "How much do you want?"

"Oh, I don't want money. I haven't seen a man as handsome as this fellow in a long time. I want him." She said, pointing a bony finger at Sebastian.

Ciel stilled and faced her, anger seeping through him. Was this seriously going to happen? They'd only been in here for a few minutes! "What? He's my butler, you can't have him. Just take the money."

She laughed then, and shook her head. "Some of the nice men here leave me bits of food, and some tip. I can get by that way. Besides, your money will run out, and I'll be back here again, whereas a night with him...that I'll always remember, I'm sure. So I want him, in return for the information."

Ciel clenched his fists and struggled to breathe. What prostitute would turn down money to choose Sebastian? Sebastian bent down besides Ciel and whispered in his ear, his cool breathe tickling the boy. "Master, if I may say, I think it would just be best to get this over with. Don't you do anything for her Majesty's orders?"

Ciel faced him, teeth bared. He really wanted to punch him now. He should've known this wouldn't bother Sebastian, he'd done it before. How foolish it was to think that loving Ciel would change that. He gave a stout laugh and smiled at Sebastian, his eyes hard. "Fine. Go ahead." If he was smart he wouldn't go.

Sebastian bowed. "I'll be quick."

Ciel cocked his head in disbelief-what an absolute idiot.

The prostitute interjected, laughing. "Don't be! It better be good or I'm not spilling anything."

Ciel turned then and walked out, leaving a slightly bewildered Sebastian behind. He stood outside, but the noise was too annoying, so he walked further down the street, again avoiding as much mess as he could. It was starting to cloud, and the chilly dampness of the air caused Ciel to cough, shivers starting to spread through his body. He knew that soon he'd need a coat, but he wouldn't admit that to Sebastian, especially not after stating that he didn't need one. That would be defeat. So he walked about, the wind furiously blowing around him now, and the drop in temperature caused his teeth to chatter. The sky had begun to turn dark grey, and Ciel groaned. How long was Sebastian going to be? It felt like hours had passed, but when Ciel checked, it had only been twenty minutes. He walked past one man who was huffing on a very large cigar, blowing the smoke out through his nose. It was thick and dark grey, and when it reached Ciel his lungs burned. He double over and coughed, trying to clear the smoke from his body, coughing so hard that tears stung his eyes.

The man laughed as he watched Ciel. "That your first smoke, son?"

"Yes, I can't say its a particularly enjoyable past time." He muttered, straightening up. He wondered how easy it would be to end the conversation and get away from this bear of a man.

"Everyone coughs first try. Tell you one thing, they're the best for these cold nights, warm you right up inside they do." He said, nodding. He offered Ciel a drag, and laughed when he declined. "Well, have fun freezing, boy. It's going to rain soon."

Ciel gave his thanks then pivoted, walking as fast away from the man as he could. He had to be careful who he talked to in these slums, it was far too dangerous. As he was walking, the skies gave a rumble, and opened up to let loose a monstrous rainfall. Ciel was immediately soaked and he grunted, having nothing to hold over his head. He tried to look for shelter, but the only place that would offer him any sanctuary was the brothel, and he was damned if he was stepping foot in there again. So he stood outside, shivering and holding his arms close to his chest as he waited, hoping that his butler would hurry up.

Sebastian had been led upstairs by the red haired woman, and she took him into a small ramshackle room with peeling paint and a bed in the middle. She lay herself down and beckoned for Sebastian, who was already removing his coat. He unbuttoned and unzipped his trousers, pulling them down just enough, and sighed. This would be relatively disgusting.

The woman looked at him, hitching her skirts up excitedly. "What's your name?"

"Sebastian." Bored, he parted her legs, already able to guess she didn't have any underwear on. How disgraceful for a lady. He leaned over her, not touching her, but rather placing his hands on the bed and the bed frame, and thrust.

"Oh!" She gasped, her fingers clinging to the bed sheets. He was handsome, and he was big!

Sebastian looked at her distastefully as he pushed into her again, his mind wandering to what that night's dinner preparations were going to be. The woman moaned beneath him, her back arching every time Sebastian moved. She circled her legs around him and pulled him closer, her high pitched squeals hurting his ears. He hoped she didn't dirty his suit- he'd hate to have to wash it again. He did this for what seemed a tediously long time, but at least she was enjoying it, her moans coming much faster and louder the longer he lay with her. It occurred to him that he should start asking for information.

"When is she next working?" Sebastian said, his hips rolling as he thrust into her.

The woman raised her head, bewildered. Her hair had come undone and was spilling down her face, plastered to her forehead with sweat. "What? Oh, God!"

"Anna. When's her next shift?" He said, frowning. Humans were so easily distracted.

"Oh, its, uh- ah! It's T-Thursday!" She said, arching her back. "F-faster! I'm about to-oh God!"

Sebastian picked up the pace, eager to get this over with. The sooner it was done the sooner he could report to Ciel, and they could leave this disgusting place.

"Oh, Sebastian! Sebastian!" She yelled, with a loud moan escaping her lips as she sank against the bed, panting.

Sebastian himself finished with little drama and made himself presentable again, checking in a nearby mirror to make sure she hadn't ruined his suit. He faced her, frowning. He didn't like her calling his name, it was almost as if she dirtied it. "What time Thursday?"

"Hm? Oh, you're best catching her at any time after five." She said, still lying on the bed. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head, and she smiled. "Feel free to come back any time. You don't even have to pay."

"Thank you, but I'll have to decline. I don't think the twenty minutes are quite worth it." He said, absent-mindedly, putting on his coat again.

The redhead raised her head, confused. "Twenty minutes? You've been here for just over an hour, mister."

"What?" Sebastian looked up, unaware that he'd spent so much time in here. He looked at his pocket watch and saw that he had indeed been there for over an hour. It couldn't have possibly been good for the young master to be outside the brothel for that long, it was still getting very dark at night and the slums were dangerous. As Sebastian looked out the window, he saw the absolute torrent of rain pouring down, and cursed. "I have to go."

He ran down the stairs and pushed open the door to the street, his eyes wildly scanning for Ciel. He saw him, huddled against the wall of an old building next door, soaked to the bone. His hair was plastered to his head, the ran dripping off it forming a small puddle where he sat. His clothes stuck to him like a second skin, his white shirt so see through that Sebastian could see his skin beneath it. He was sitting with his head on his knees, his arms wrapped tightly around them. The wind blew at him, causing the boy to shake even further.

Sebastian immediately bent down next to him and lifted his face. "Master? Are you alright?"

Ciel's bones felt as if they were frozen, and he seethed at the pain of Sebastian moving his neck. His face was deathly white, his lips taking a blue rim, and he struggled to get his words out through chattering teeth. "G-g- get away."

"What? Master, we need to get you home immediately, you're turning blue! Why didn't you go back inside instead of staying out here?" He said, taking off his coat and dropping it over Ciel. Still the young boy sat, unable to move.

Ciel looked at him, glaring. "'I'll be quick'. T-that's what y-you said." Ciel gave a bitter laugh, which turned into a fit of coughs. His lungs couldn't handle the cold, they felt as if they were aching and burning inside of him, like oxygen was unattainable. Sebastian rubbed his back and Ciel weakly slapped his arm away, ignoring the pain in his joints. "D-don't touch m-me."

Sebastian looked at Ciel, trying to ignore the feeling of hurt that spread through him. What did he do to upset him this badly? Surely it couldn't be because of how long he was in there for, could it? Still, as Ciel tried to stand, grunting with pain, Sebastian's arms caught him when he took a step and fell. He lifted him up and held the freezing boy to his chest, before covering him with the coat fully and running to the carriage. He opened the door and climbed in, laying Ciel down on the seat, ignoring the trail of water he left. He brushed his hair back, frowning when his glove came back dripping wet.

Ciel shivered, his teeth unable to stop chattering. He couldn't feel his hands of his feet, and each breath felt like knives in his lungs. Still he managed to glare at the butler, that absolute idiot who had a wonderful hour whilst Ciel was stuck in the rain. He felt as if he hated him then. "I-I told you n-not to touch m-me. Y-y-you broke an order."

"My priority is your life. If your life is in danger, then I don't have to follow the order." Sebastian said softly, kneeling beside Ciel. He took off his glove and pressed his hand to Ciel's face, closing his eyes when the temperature he felt was similar to that of ice. He gently rubbed his thumb across Ciel's cheeks, worry coursing through him. "Master, why didn't you seek shelter? You could have waited inside the brothel for me, you would have been safe from the cold."

Ciel shook his head the tiniest amount. He was glad to be out of the cold, and Sebastian's coat did offer some warmth, but he was still chilled through to the bone, and everything ached. How could he explain it to him, that being inside was more painful? Knowing he was so close, doing that with some whore as if it was nothing. Ciel's jealousy and pride wouldn't allow him to go inside, and so instead he waited outside, getting drenched by the skies. "C-couldn't. You were in there w-with her."

Sebastian laid his forehead against Ciel's, worry spreading through him. He knew that Ciel's asthma would seriously worsen if he was left in this condition, and he cursed at himself and his own stupidity. If he'd just paid more attention to the time he would've been able to catch Ciel just as the rain fell and get him back safely. He'd failed as a butler and as a protector. But still, he didn't understand what the young master meant. Why couldn't he have gone in, just because he was also in there? "I don't understand."

Ciel looked at him, and sighed. How could he not realize the jealousy he felt? Was it not the same for him? It was bad enough to see someone touch Sebastian, even that spiked his jealously, but to know that he was sleeping with a whore? To be so close to such a thing would drive him crazy. "You're mine. N-not hers. Hurts."

Sebastian closed his eyes as understanding swept over him. Ciel was upset that he'd slept with the prostitute. Sebastian held a hand to the boy's cold face, and tilted it so they were looking directly at each other. "My Lord, I am so very sorry. I did not think about it very much, I was stupid enough to think that because I had done it before I could do it again. I did not realize that when you said I could go, you didn't actually want me to go. If it makes you feel any better, I didn't even touch her with my hands, and I didn't want to. I only used her for information, I promise."

Ciel looked at him, saw the earnest look in those ruby eyes and let a small breath out. He still wanted to punch him, but he knew his butler truly was sorry. His eyes began to close, and as his vision of Sebastian faded, he managed to squeeze out a quiet, "Idiot."

Sebastian laughed, and scooped Ciel up into his arms. He was still dripping wet, but he held him against his chest, keeping the coat firmly wrapped around his frail body. "Yes, quite. But, as much as you may not want to see me, please do not close your eyes. I don't think sleeping is wise right now, please wait until we reach the mansion, and you have been sufficiently cared for."

Ciel rested against Sebastian, who's large arms were trying to fend the shivers off from Ciel's body. He looked up, and hesitantly, placed his hand on Sebastian's face. "Okay. How m-much longer?"

"Ten minutes, my Lord. Then you'll be home." Sebastian said, leaning in to press his lips against Ciel's.

However, Ciel turned his head, protesting. He looked at Sebastian, and in between his bouts of coughing, managed to speak. "D-did you...kiss her?"

"No." Sebastian said. When Ciel heard this, he turned his face back to Sebastian, and tilted it up. Softly, the butler kissed him, trying desperately to warm him up. He parted his lips, and moved his hands along Ciel's body, rubbing at his skin to get rid of the goosebumps.

Ciel broke way and gasped, his breathing heavy. Sebastian's touch was soft, but induced shivers of a different kind. Ciel couldn't help but blush as he tilted his head back, his eyes closed. The panting hurt his lungs, and his chilled body couldn't cope with the warmth that appeared where Sebastian touched him. "Sebastian. J-just give me a minute..."

Sebastian placed his lips against Ciel's neck, kissing his way softly down from the boy's jaw to his collarbones, smiling against Ciel's skin as he let out a small moan. Immediately Ciel's hands covered his mouth, and he looked at Sebastian with wide eyes, shocked that he had made such a noise. Sebastian laughed, and kissed his forehead. "It's alright, bocchan. It's supposed to feel good. Consider it part of my apology for being such an imbecile today."

Ciel laid his head against Sebastian's chest, his heart beat racing furiously. He was happy to see that his jaw had stopped chattering at least, and Sebastian's lips had left a trail of warmth from his own lips to his chest, and the butler's large hands were still working at warming Ciel, too. As embarrassed as he was at his own inability to control his noises, he was delighted to see the mansion from the carriage window, and he clung to Sebastian as he exited the carriage. They exited, and seconds later Sebastian was carrying him up the stairs, blazing past the other servants. He lay Ciel down on the bed gently, and began to strip his soaking wet clothes from his body. He gently towel dried him and his hair, drying it enough so that no cold droplets would fall onto his body anymore. Then, Sebastian began to pull off his own clothes, much to the confusion and fear of Ciel.

"Sebastian, w-what are you doing?" He said, trying to sit up. His bones still ached, but he couldn't focus on that now.

Sebastian chuckled as he was unbuttoning his shirt. "Relax, bocchan. We can't put you into a bath of warm water just yet, that would put your body into shock. We need to warm you first. Both our clothes are cold and wet, but my body is not. Such things cannot affect a demon, so my temperature should be good enough." As he dropped his shirt on the floor, Sebastian lay on the bed next to Ciel, and held his arms open. "Come."

Ciel stared at him, still in shock. Logically, he knew what Sebastian said made sense, and he knew that the covers alone would not be enough to warm him. But he was so unfamiliar with Sebastian's body, seeing it felt like some sort of intrusion. He knew he should not be so shocked to see another man's chest, as Sebastian had seen his hundreds of times, but as he moved towards him, Ciel could do nothing but stare. He lifted a hand, and tentatively, he placed it against the skin of his butler's chest. He was a slim man, but very lean muscled, and Ciel could feel them beneath the skin. His skin was very pale and smooth, with no hair on it, like porcelain. Sebastian waited for him patiently, watching as the young boy slowly laid down next to him , his shaking hands pressed against his chest. Sebastian held Ciel tightly, undeterred by his cold body. Ciel wrapped his arms around Sebastian's neck as they lay, and the butler's hands pressed against Ciel's back, caressing him lightly. His small body began to warm up as they lay.

He kissed along Ciel's jaw again, his lips making their way down his neck, his tongue lightly trailing across his skin as he did so. Ciel shivered, and he looked up. "Cold, my Lord?"

Ciel struggled to breathe, Sebastian's kissed starting a fire under his skin. He managed to shake his head a little. "No."

Sebastian's lips met with Ciel's then, and gently, he parted them. He kissed him slowly, ensuring not to frighten the young master, and very softly, he let his tongue push against Ciel's. He kept his hand on Ciel's face, holding him as they kissed.

Ciel broke away, closing his eyes and turning his head. Blush crept up his face furiously. "Wait, I-I don't know what to do, Sebastian. I've never kissed anyone before."

"I'll teach you. Face me, bocchan." He said gently, bringing Ciel's face back to him. He parted Ciel's lips with his finger, and smiled. "Just copy what I do. Be gentle."

Sebastian kissed him again, and pushed his tongue against Ciel's softly. Ciel was unresponsive for the first few seconds, then he looped his arms around Sebastian's neck and moved his own tongue, trying to copy Sebastian's. He tentatively entered Sebastian's mouth, and was delighted to see that he tasted like honey. Ciel kissed him again, trying to get used to the feeling of it. He pulled away, his cheeks colouring red when he saw that he'd managed to slobber on his own face a bit. Sebastian wiped it away with his thumb and smiled, touching their foreheads. "Good, my Lord. Very good for a first try."

Ciel laid his head in the crook of Sebastian's neck and sighed. "It's too much pressure."

"What do you mean?"

"Being with you. You're undeniably good at whatever you do, and then there's me, who can't do a bloody thing. It must be like being with a blundering idiot." Ciel frowned as he thought about this. It was true, no matter what Sebastian seemed to excel in everything he did, even if it was his first try, and then there was Ciel, who managed to dribble down his own face the first time he tried to kiss. What an embarrassment.

Sebastian laughed and held Ciel to his chest, kissing his hair. "Master, you mustn't hold me so highly. I am extremely old and have been learning these skills my entire life, you are only thirteen. You cannot expect to be good at everything, especially not first try. Come now, you're warm enough for a bath."

Sebastian lifted Ciel up and carried him to the bathroom. He sat on the stool as the bath filled, occasionally kissing the top of Ciel's head. The boy lay in his arms calmly, his ear pressed to Sebastian's chest, listening to his heart beat. "So you do have a heart."

"Yes, I have a heart." He said, smiling slightly. "It pumps blood around my body, just like yours does."

"Hm." Ciel mused, tapping his fingers on Sebastian's chest in time with the beats. Ba-dum. Ba-dum. Ba-dum. "Sebastian?"

"Yes, my Lord?" He said, sticking a finger into the water to check its temperature. It was just about right, and he withdrew his hand.

"Why do you taste and smell like honey?" Ciel had been curious about that for a very long time. He'd never understood why a demon would smell of something so sweet.

"It is because you enjoy sweet things, particularly honey. Demons manage to get their way a lot of the time because we change slightly for whoever we're with, so it's easier to overpower them. That's why its so easy to convince people or tempt them." He said, turning off the taps. "I'm around you primarily, so for you I will smell, and apparently taste, of honey."

"Oh, I see." Ciel said. He guessed that made sense.

"Now then, let's warm you up." Carefully, Sebastian placed Ciel in the bath, watching to see his reaction. Thankfully, it didn't seem to be too hot for him, and the Earl relaxed, heaving out a sigh as the water warmed him.

"This is nice." Ciel said as he rested his head on the rim of the tub. "Wash me."

Sebastian picked up the cloth and dipped it in the water, before wringing it out. He dragged it across Ciel's pale skin, scrubbing at some of the dirt that he got on him from leaning against the wall earlier that day. He gingerly lifted Ciel's limbs and washed them, then lay him back so he could wash his chest. Thankfully his bruise was receding well, to the point where now it was just a light yellow splotch on his chest. Still, he didn't like that it had ruined Ciel's skin, and frowned as he washed it. Ciel raised his foot and placed it against the end of the tub, allowing Sebastian to wash his leg. He repeated with the other foot, and when Sebastian was finished washing him, he sat forward. "Hair."

"Of course." Sebastian began to wash Ciel's hair, his fingers massaging into his scalp as he cleaned it. His large hands shielded the boy's eyes when he poured a jug of water over to wash the shampoo out. Once he'd repeated that, he cleared his throat. "You're finished, my Lord."

"I think I'll just sit here for a while." Said Ciel, closing his eyes as he rested against the tub. The hot water was good for his joints, and he could feel himself being able to move more freely by the second. The pain in his chest, although still there, had reduced significantly, enough for him to take a deep breath in and let it out without a hitch. "Sebastian?"

"Yes, sir?" The butler watched him carefully, making sure his head didn't slip beneath the water.

"Once I'm out this bath, I want you to take one, and scrub every single part of that whore off your body. Then, bin your uniform- I'll buy you another." Ciel said, his voice stern.

Sebastian shook his head, giving the Earl a questionable look. "Is it really wise to bin it? I mean, only her legs really touched it, I'm sure a wash-"

"Bin it." Ciel glared at him, cutting his sentence short. He would not have any trace of that woman in his house.

"Ah, okay. As you wish." Sebastian sighed, bowing his head. What an incredibly jealous little boy. "Anyway, I found out that Anna will be working on Thursday, in the evening. If I manage to get her for the night I can probably get some information about-"

"You will bed nobody unless I tell you to. That is an order." Ciel said, his eyes flashing.

"Yes, my Lord." Sebastian tilted his head, eyebrows drawn. "Then, what do you propose we do? Only a client will be able to see firsthand what happens, and the only other person able to see her would be another employee."

Groaning, Ciel rubbed his eyes. He absolutely hated the idea, but he knew that it had to be done. What else could he do under the circumstances? "I think...I will have to go undercover on this one again."

"Master, you can't possibly mean that, can you?" Sebastian's eyebrows raised in surprise. "You're going to sneak in as a prostitute?"

"It's either that or have you bed her. I think I've expressed my distaste for the latter quite clearly, have I not?" He said, eyes lazily drifting to look at Sebastian.

Sebastian bowed his head. "Yes, sir. Well, we have three days till Thursday, so as long as we can get you a dress and a wig in that time, I think you should be able to get in. But what are you going to do if someone else tries to bed you?"

"As if I would ever let that happen. No, you will be my client. You will talk with me until we find her, and when she takes a man upstairs we will follow. Then, you can go and see what exactly she's doing to them." He said, quite proud at his plan.

"Ah, I see." Sebastian mused, pursing his lips. "It is not a bad plan."

"Of course it isn't." Ciel scoffed. He turned to Sebastian, his tone mocking. "A Phantomhive Earl who cannot do this much isn't worth his salt."

Sebastian's eyes narrowed, but he smiled in spite of himself. "Quite so, sir."

Ciel stood then, beckoning for a towel. Sebastian draped it around his shoulders and helped him out of the bath, then carried him to the bed. He quickly dried Ciel, making sure that his hair was mostly water free, then pulled a nightshirt over his skinny frame. He looked at him with a wide blue eye, the other still hidden beneath the eye patch. Sebastian's tapering fingers cupped Ciel's face and, moving under the string, pulled the patch off, laying it on the bedside table. He fluffed the master's favourite pillow a few times, then pulled the covers back, allowing him to settle in. After this, he bowed. "I'm going to take my own bath now, as requested, sir. Goodnight."

"Wait," Ciel said, his voice soft. "won't you stay? It's been a while."

"If it is your wish, then I will retire here tonight with you. First I have to go wash, but I will be back momentarily." Sebastian bowed and headed for the door, but a shout from Ciel stopped him.

"Wait, you can use my bathroom. It is simpler." Ciel said from the bed, the covers pulled up to his chin.

"A butler using his master's bathroom is unheard of, sir." Sebastian said, shaking his head. "It would be best-"

"If I'm letting you sleep in my bed with me, do you think I care about something as trivial as a bathroom? Just hurry up." He grumbled, turning to lie on his front. He starfished, spreading his limbs out as he lay, taking up more than half the bed in the process. He had almost dozed off by the time Sebastian emerged from the bathroom, but he managed to raise his head groggily. "You done?"

"Yes, bocchan." He said. He stepped into the light, and Ciel felt his eyes widen. Sebastian was standing with a towel wrapped around his waist, his slick black hair dropping water down his chest. His skin was pale white and unmarred, and he could see that there was not an ounce of fat on his body; Sebastian was designed to be the hunter. Ciel couldn't help but wonder if he was the prey. He walked past Ciel to pick up his underwear and, so swiftly that Ciel didn't even see anything, changed into them. He still did not have a night shirt, and since he usually spent his nights in the manor in his uniform, did not have anything else to wear. He faced Ciel and bowed apologetically. "Regrettably, this is all I have to wear tonight. Perhaps we should purchase some nightshirts for the future, master."

Ciel blinked slowly, struggling to form words. "Uh...yes, yes okay. Sure."

Sebastian smiled and waked over to the bed, giving his hair one last dry with the towel. He then folded it and sat it aside, reminding himself to clear it away in the morning. He was about to talk when he looked at Ciel, a slight smile on his lips. "Master, is something wrong? You seem to be having a problem with your nose."

"Huh?" Ciel raised his hand to his nose and saw that his fingers came back covered in blood. A nosebleed? "Shit, Sebastian hand me that towel. T-this has nothing to do with you, sometimes I just get them!"

Sebastian chuckled at the blush spreading across Ciel's face as he handed him the towel. Truth be told he was quite flattered- it made a change from Mey-rin or Grell. "Of course, sir. Are you alright?"

Ciel held the towel to his nose, feeling his neck turn hot with embarrassment. He wanted to punch that smug look off Sebastian's face- he smiled as if he knew exactly how Ciel had gotten a nosebleed. Well, he was wrong. It wasn't because of anything other than natural, normal circumstances. Just an act of nature, is all. Definitely not because of topless demon butlers. When his nose had stopped, he handed it back to Sebastian, who again folded it and sat it aside. The tall man slid under the covers and faced Ciel, a soft smile on his lips. Hesitantly, Ciel moved a bit towards him every few seconds, until he was pressed against Sebastian's chest. He felt an arm circle around his waist, pulling him closer, and Sebastian's lips pressed against his forehead.

Ciel buried his head in the crook of Sebastian's neck, the vibrations from his voice proving quite ticklish. "You've kissed me a lot today, Sebastian."

"Would you like me to stop? I'll understand." He said quietly, brushing Ciel's hair back from his face. He had been quite scared that Ciel would have to go to hospital that night due to his chills, and the relief that flowed through him when he turned out to be alright was long lived.

Ciel thought about it, then shook his head. As strange as it was to be with Sebastian, especially when he had moments that reminded Ciel just how far from human he really was, he still longed for his touch. No matter how many thoughts passed through his head, be that of Elizabeth, his family, his friends, even his own moral judgement, as soon as he felt Sebastian's lips press against his he couldn't focus on them anymore. It was as if he blocked out the outside world, sealing just himself and Ciel in together. He never suspected he would grow to love this demon. He would never have believed it had you told him three years ago. But at some point in all the time they'd been together, he couldn't deny that Sebastian has quickly become the most important thing to him. Lady Elizabeth, he loved because she was his cousin. He pleased her out of social norm, was with her because he simply had to be. Everything about them was arranged, and forced, as it often was in noble families. He knew he may grow to fall in love with her one day, as she had with him, but he couldn't bring himself to see her as anything other than his cousin. But Sebastian...nobody expected him to love Sebastian. Nobody expected him to depend on him, or fight for him, or even become attached to him. And yet, he had. He depended on Sebastian more than anyone else in his life. He spent every day with him, learning from him, fighting side by side with him, even fighting to get him back when people tried to steal him away. He needed him, far more than he'd ever needed anyone before in his life. Somewhere along the line he had started to realize just how important the butler was to him. Even knowing that one day he would devour Ciel's soul, and that they were only together in the first place because of a contract, couldn't deter Ciel's feelings. He hadn't been held like this in so long, he'd almost forgotten what it felt like to be touched so gently. Sebastian treated him as if he were made of glass, afraid to break him. How ironic, Ciel thought, for a demon to love so gently.

"No." He said, placing a hand against Sebastian's chest, feeling his heartbeat. "I don't want you to stop."

"Very well." Sebastian tilted the child's head up and slowly pressed their lips together. He kissed him softly, but for longer than he had before, drinking in the taste of Ciel with every dip of his tongue, He felt a small hand slip into his hair, pulling him closer, and he traced the outline of Ciel's lips with the tip of his tongue, before kissing him again. He went deeper this time, their tongues pushing against each other softly, and Ciel couldn't help the small moan that escaped his mouth again as heat spread throughout his body.

He broke away, covering his mouth with a hand, blush creeping up his neck. He tried to bury himself under the covers, but Sebastian pulled him up to face him, and pulled his hand away. "Bocchan, stop hiding. It's okay, it's supposed to feel good. The servant's quarters are downstairs, nobody would even hear you but me. You do not have to be embarrassed."

Ciel frowned, his forehead pressed against Sebastian's. "But you don't make those sounds."

Sebastian laughed and kissed Ciel on the lips lightly. "I am very old, and have a fair share of experience- I find it easier to keep my noises in. Besides, I don't want to frighten you. You're still so young."

"So its not that it doesn't feel good for you?" Ciel said, hiding his face again. He couldn't help it, he'd been thinking about it all day. He had no idea if Sebastian was enjoying himself or not, and it annoyed him. It was unfair to take without giving any back.

Sebastian swiped his thumb against Ciel's cheek, pulling his face up to look at him. "That's what you were worried about? That I wasn't having a good time? I promise you, I am enjoying myself. Please do not worry so."

Ciel didn't know if he could believe him or not. Was he saying this to appease him? Was Ciel really that bad that Sebastian wasn't even out of breath after kissing? Come to think of it, Sebastian didn't look ruffled after anything they did. What a humiliation! How dare he? Anger flushed through him, and with a surge of adrenaline, he made his move. Ciel pinned Sebastian down quickly and, taking advantage of his shock, straddled him. His heart was racing, but still he leaned down and kissed along Sebastian's jaw, his hands placed on his chest. He left a trail of kisses all down his neck, letting his teeth graze down the skin as well. He could feel Sebastian's pulse quicken beneath his lips, and he rejoiced internally- finally a reaction! Ciel grinned against the butler's skin and with slight force, he bit his neck, leaving a small imprint of teeth marks. He heard Sebastian gasp, and he laughed, feeling very proud of himself. He smiled sweetly at the demon below him, his voice full of charm. "So you do like it."

Before Ciel knew what was happening, Sebastian had flipped him, and was now lying on top of him. He kept himself supported with his elbow, ensuring that his weight was not fully on the boy. He panted, the desire to take Ciel burning through him, and shook his head. "Of course I like it, that was never the issue. The problem is, I like it too much. And you are playing with fire, bocchan. Is teasing a demon really a wise thing to do?"

Sebastian eyes changed to pink, and his teeth elongated. He stared at Ciel with something akin to hunger in his eyes, and he couldn't stop the shiver that shook through his body. He was scared, but the adrenaline pulsing through his body fought with it, making him feel wild. He touched the marks on Sebastian neck and smiled. "It seems you have been marked by me tonight."

"Indeed." Sebastian blinked and his eyes changed back to that dark crimson, and his tongue flitted over his teeth. He could hear how erratic Ciel's heartbeat was, feel the fear alongside the longing rush through him, and he shook his head, gaining control again. "My apologies, sir. But really, please do think before you tease me- I might not always handle it this rationally."

Ciel sighed and chuckled, watching his butler lie down next to him again. He knew it was dangerous to try and take control over Sebastian, especially with something as delicate as this, but he couldn't help himself. He just wanted a taste of it, a taste of seeing Sebastian loose his composure for once. He rolled himself over until he was almost on top of Sebastian, then proceeded to starfish again, his legs entwining with the butler's, his right hand clasping his, and his left hand draped around his neck. Sebastian's chest became his pillow, and he was surprised that it was actually rather comfy. After squirming for a few minutes, Ciel settled, and his eyes began to droop.

Sebastian shook his head, his right hand rubbing Ciel's back. "Really, master...all the room in this bed and you choose to lie directly on top of me?"

"Shut up." Ciel said, his face pressed against Sebastian's chest. "My bed, my rules. Speaking of rules, promise me you wont leave me tonight. I want you to be here in the morning."

Sebastian squeezed the hand holding Ciel's. "I promise I'll be here."

"Good." Ciel yawned and snuggled in closer to Sebastian. "Goodnight, 'bastian."

The butler kissed his head softly and turned gas lamp off, showering the room in darkness. Ciel clung to him a little tighter then, and he continued to rub his back, his voice soft. "Goodnight, bocchan."

Later that night.

Ciel awoke to the sound of a crash. His eyes flicked open, but he couldn't see, as it was still dark outside. He guessed that it must have been somewhere around three in the morning, and he rubbed his head. Why was the bed so empty? Had Sebastian left? Ciel frowned and quickly leaped out of bed, his hand instinctively grabbing the lamp. He turned it on after a few fumbled attempts, and looked around him, bewildered. Sebastian was nowhere to be seen, but he could hear voices. Quietly he checked his own room, but there was no signs of anything different. The only thing missing was his butler. Panic spiked through his veins as he stood, walking towards the door. Was it intruders? Had something happened to Sebastian? Surely he would never drop something- the man could carry eight boxes in one go without dropping them. He was too lithe to be clumsy- so what was the noise? He stepped out of his room, and listening intently, followed the voices down the hallway to his study. There was only two, and one of them he could make out as Sebastian instantly. The other one was high pitched, it belonged to a woman, but he couldn't pin who. Who was there with him, and why did they sound so familiar? Ciel frowned and tip toed as lightly as he could, keeping his back to the wall as he made his way towards them. The door to his study was slightly open, and Ciel craned his head round to look the tiniest bit in. He saw Sebastian leaning against the desk, with a pair of women's hands pressed against his bare chest. Ciel stilled- who the hell was that touching him? What was going on? He heard Sebastian's low mutter, and he strained to hear what he was saying. He could only catch a fragment of a sentence, but it made his blood boil. He was sure he'd just heard Sebastian say "I love". Who the hell was he saying 'I love you' to? Anger seeped through Ciel and he clenched his fists, aching to punch him. He hated that stupid demon, he wanted to kill him. Ciel pushed the door open with one hand, fury surging through him, ready to shout, but what he saw he was not prepared for. There, with her hands on his bare chest and her lips pressed to Sebastian's, was Mey-rin.

Chapter Text

Sebastian had been lying peacefully beside Ciel when he heard a crash and a curse, and immediately he slid from the bed and walked to the doorway, making sure not to wake the master. He stepped out, looking side to side, until he heard another curse further down the hall as something else seemed to break. Sebastian sighed and began to walk towards it, muttering to himself. The young master shouldn't be wakened at all- all this noise simply wouldn't do. The noise was coming from Ciel's study, and as he pushed open the door, he saw the familiar figure of the manor's maid, standing by the window. Sebastian tilted his head, his arms crossed across his bare chest. "Mey-Rin? What are you doing?"

"Oh!" She squawked, her hands flying up to cover her mouth. She caught sight of Sebastian as he stood into the light, saw his glorious marbled skin and the bare smoothness of his chest, not a scrap of clothing covering it. Her nose immediately burst, and she hastily scrambled to stop the blood flow. "S-Sebastian! You're almost naked! How...exhilirating!"

"Mey-Rin, keep your voice down. The young master is asleep- do you intend to wake him?" He said, raising an eyebrow as he fought the urge to sigh.

"N-No, I don't. I was just..." Mey-Rin paused. What really was she doing? How could she explain to Sebastian that her midnight trip here was really for him, but she chickened out last minute? "I actually went to check for you in your room, but you weren't there, and then I panicked because I thought you might be patrolling, and then I got scared in case you saw me and-"

Sebastian cut her off with his cool voice. "You were trying to enter a gentlemen's bedroom? How uncouth, Mey-Rin. Why were you looking for me? And what were all those bangs?"

"Ah, yes, I know. I just need to speak with you is all. I-It's important and I want you to listen, now that you're here...anyway, I may have bumped into some things. I don't have my glasses on." She said sheepishly, looking at her feet.

"Very well, clean up whatever you broke when we're done here." He said, stepping forward until he was directly in front of her. "Now, what did you want to tell me?"

Mey-Rin looked at the easily six foot man in front of her, staring at her with those deep ruby eyes, and quivered. He was so gorgeous, a work of pure art, a sculpture crafted by the finest artist in the world. There was not a single flaw on his face or his body, and his talents were endless. Everything from the smooth alabaster of his skin and the thick shiny hair on his head to the long tapering fingers adorning his capable hands was perfect, and she couldn't deny it; she was completely in love with Sebastian. For years she had sat by idly and let her feelings grow and develop, never known by anyone but herself. She had planned to tell him, planned to make him see just how much she loved him, and then he would love her, too. At least, that was how it was supposed to go. Now, with him standing right in front of her, so close she could touch him, she froze. "I, uh, i-it doesn't matter! Sorry to disturb you, goodnight!"

Mey-Rin made to run away, but Sebastian's hand shot out and wrapped around her wrist, refusing her exit. He gently tugged her back to him, and summoning all his charm, gave her a smile, and blinked his eyes slowly, letting his eyelashes flutter gently. His voice was soft and melodic, and he could see her melt like butter when he spoke. "Won't you tell me, Mey-Rin? It's the least you could do for disturbing the peace? After all," He said, gesturing to his chest. "I was just getting ready for bed."

He sleeps topless?! The plum haired maid immediately raised her hand to her nose, unable to control herself. He was so perfect, so charming and sweet and right in front of her, looking at her like she was the most beautiful girl in the world, he just had to like her! She knew it! She took a few shaky breaths, her heart racing beyond her own control, and gulped. She could do this. "Well, Sebastian, I, um...basically I... I..."

"Yes?" Why wouldn't she hurry up? He had better things to do than stand here and listen to her stutter all night. What if the young master awoke and he wasn't there? He smiled again at the maid, hoping she would spit it out.

"I-I can't! I'm sorry for disturbing you, I'll just clean this and leave." She said, her palms sweaty. She knew she couldn't tell him, it just wouldn't work. Men like Sebastian don't love girls like Mey-Rin, and she knew this very well. Still, her heart lurched if she imagined what it could be like, as she often had. Kisses as they worked in the kitchen together, cleaning the rooms together, sharing a dance in an empty hall after everyone else had left the party...it was all she wanted. To be held by him, be near him, to love him. She had often fantasized about asked Ciel's permission for them to be together, or better yet, get married! It was a dream she couldn't help but love. But it was exactly that- a dream. In real life love didn't work like that. Whoever you love will not always love you back, and the overwhelming fear of loosing Sebastian like that was absolutely terrifying.

Sebastian sighed, and pinched the bridge of his nose impatiently. He didn't want to be here, he wanted to be with Ciel, holding him in his arms, spending all night staring at his master's angelic sleeping face, before he woke up in the morning and proceeded to grumble the full day. Alas, that was not what his current situation was. "Very well. Please do hurry and clean this, and then return to your chambers. You shouldn't be out so late at night- you are a lady after all. Guns or no guns, you must be careful."

"Sebastian...I love you!" She gasped, having finally said it. Before he could even speak, she went off on a tangent, desperate to get all her feelings out now. If she didn't say them, she never would. She had to hope, to take that risk and pray to God that it would be in her favour. She knew Sebastian cared about her, he was always watching out for her and fixing her mistakes- surely that had to mean something? She shut her eyes tight, trying not to look at him as her feelings poured out. "I-I've loved you for a very long time, since they day you came to recruit me, and I haven't been able to stop it. Everything about you is perfect, you're polite, and sweet, and caring, and talented, and a great chef, and you always take such good care of Ciel, a-and you just always help us and make everything right and you're such a good protector too! You're so loyal and you always look out for me, and on top of all that, you're more handsome than a Greek God! I can't help but love you, Sebastian. Please say you l-love me, too!"

Sebastian froze, and then very slowly, blinked and let out a hiss of breath. This was not good. Not good at all. Why couldn't people just see that he was a demon? If Mey-Rin knew that, she wouldn't be standing here gushing about how great he was. No- she'd be running for her life. How was he possibly supposed to tackle this to keep the household working efficiently? She was sure to be an emotional wreck! Still, he could see how taxing it was on the girl to admit such a thing. Her whole frame as shaking, and the quiver in her voice had not gone unheard. He could hear her gulp heavily as she looked at the floor, and he sighed, something like guilt settling in his stomach. Sebastian opened his eyes, and shook his head, his voice soft. "I'm flattered, but I'm sorry. I cannot accept your love, and I cannot return it."

Mey-Rin stared at her, her eyes wide. The breath left her body, and she felt the physical pain of rejection as if it was a blow to the stomach. How could she ever possibly think that Sebastian was interested in her? She was nothing but a maid, and not even a good one at that. He was probably so tired of fixing all her mistakes that he couldn't even be bothered to look at her outside of work. She was so stupid! Tears fell down her face, and she bowed her head. "Oh...I-I'm sorry. I think I should go."

"Mey-Rin." He said, sighing as he reached out to touch her. She jumped back as if his touch was as hot as a poker, and managed to knock over a small table with a lamp on it, and they crashed to the floor, but Sebastian's hand shot out and steadied her before she fell too. Sebastian cussed internally, knowing that if the master wasn't already awake he would be now. He was ready to shout, but one look at the girl's tear struck face stopped him, and he tried to speak to her again. "I am truly sorry."

"Can you just tell me why?" She said, her voice breaking. "Is it because I'm bad at my job? Or because I'm not pretty enough? Do I embarrass you? Do you even like me?"

As she began to sob, Sebastian felt himself panic. How was he supposed to deal with this? Since when did he become a heartthrob? Still, she deserved and answer, and he took a step closer, tilting her chin up with his finger. "You may very well be the worst maid I have ever met, but you protect the master, and that means you are efficient. You are plenty pretty, Mey-Rin. Do not think so little of yourself, please; a lady does not have such thoughts. No, you do not embarrass me. If anyone, that would be Bard."

"Then why? Why won't you love me?" She said, wrapping her hands around his wrist. When he didn't answer, she choked on another sob, then looked at him, her voice quiet. "...Is there another woman, Sebastian?"

"There is someone else." He agreed eventually, weighing his words. "I love them very much. Almost stupidly, to be rather frank."

"Just, just let me show you!" She said, her eyes wild. Before Sebastian knew what was happening, Mey-Rin had her arms wrapped around Sebastian's chest, and as she pressed her lips to his, she kissed him with all her might.

Sebastian felt shock flow through him as he registered what was actually happening. He moved his hands to her hips to push her off when the door swung open, and there stood Ciel, his face the picture of fury. He watched his young master's face change as he realised just who was attached to his butler, and when Ciel looked him in the eyes with that murderous glare, he truly did fear for his life. He pushed Mey-Rin off rather too forcefully, desperate to explain before Ciel could jump to any conclusions, and she tumbled, almost falling over.

"My Lord-" He began.

"Shut up." Ciel said, his breathing heavy. He could feel himself shaking with anger, flowing through him like liquid fire. He had never been humiliated like this before, the betrayal sitting like a rock in his stomach. How could this happen? How could Sebastian have done this? "Don't speak to me you piece of shit."

Sebastian flinched at his tone, but kept his mouth shut. He watched as Ciel made his way over to Mey-Rin, who was still crying kneeling on the floor, and burned a hole though her with his eyes. She looked at him, sniveling, and wiped her nose on her sleeve. "M-Master," She hiccuped. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have been out so late, and I woke you up. Please don't blame Sebastian, it was all me."

Ciel's voice appeared to be calm, but when Sebastian saw that cruel smile on his lips he tensed- he knew exactly what Ciel could be like in one of these moods. He hoped Mey-Rin would not antagonize him, for her own sake as well as his.

Ciel tilted his head and smiled sweetly. "And what exactly where you doing with Sebastian at this time of night? Were you planning to stay here and kiss him? In my study? Were you planning to do more than that, perhaps?"

Blush coloured the girl's cheeks red, and she shook her head fervently. "No, master! Of course not. I-I just-"

A slap resonated across Mey-Rin's face, and she fell to the floor. A sob racked her body, but she kept it in, the tears dripping silently down her face. It was the first time Ciel had ever hit her, and it stung. She lay there, breathing quietly, until Ciel looked at her, his eyes narrowed. "Get out of here and back to your own quarters. But if you ever think of trying this again, I will fire you. Do not forget your place in this mansion- you are easily replaceable. Leave."

Mey-Rin bowed and scurried off, holding a hand to her cheek as she ran. Ciel leaned his neck to the side, cracking it, and then faced Sebastian. He was absolutely furious. and his hands turned to fists at his side, shaking slightly with the waves of rage that flowed through him. He was going to kill that stupid butler, demon or not. He motioned for Sebastian to kneel at his feet, and when he did, Ciel struck him across the face. He knew that pain wise he was probably not hurting Sebastian, but he didn't care. He needed to hit him, to humiliate him back. He punched his face again, and again, before he forced himself to stop, his chest heaving. Sebastian offered no resistance, allowing the master's fists to slam into his face as many times as he pleased. He looked up at him when he stopped, his eyes soft.

Ciel clenched his fist again. "You can speak now."

"My Lord, I am sorry." Said Sebastian, his voice low. He looked at Ciel earnestly, willing him to believe him. "I promise you that it was not how it looked. I heard a crash in the night, and when I went to go check it, I found it was Mey-Rin. She said she had entered my bedchambers to look for me-"

"She went into your room?" Ciel demanded,gritting his teeth.

"I was not there." He reminded the boy gently. "I was lying with you. When she discovered I was not there, she appeared to have back-pedaled and knocked some things over, and then ran into your study for fear of being caught. That was what I heard, and I followed the sounds to the study. That's when.."

"Go on." He said curtly.

"That's when she told me she was in love with me, and when I rejected her, she tried to kiss me." Sebastian said simply, bowing his head.

"Don't lie to me." Ciel said, gripping Sebastian's chin roughly with his hand. "I heard you said 'I love you' to her!"

Sebastian's eyebrows furrowed. "Pardon? I never said such a thing, bocchan. I swear it- I do not lie."

"Are you calling me a liar then, demon? I heard you say it." He said, his mouth set in a grim line. How strange it was that such a beautiful face could hold so much wrath, Sebastian thought.

Suddenly, Sebastian realized what Ciel had heard, and he gave a small breathy laugh. "Oh, master."

"Is something funny?" Ciel said, his voice like venom. He couldn't believe what Sebastian was telling him- how could he when he had seen it with his own eyes? Confusion rolled over him as he tried to discover the truth. Sebastian did not lie to him, but then what was happening? How could he possibly explain that kiss? His hands on her hips? Her arms round his neck?

"She asked me why I did not love her, you see. She asked if I had someone else. Naturally I told her yes, and that I loved them. That is what you heard." He said softly, watching Ciel's reaction.

The young boy stilled, and he looked at his butler. There was no maliciousness in his voice, no anger or nerves or anything but simplicity; he truly believed in what he said. Ciel had to deal with the fact that his butler may very well be telling the truth, and he placed his hands on either side of Sebastian's face, looking intently at him. Only one way to know for sure. "Sebastian, I order you to tell me the truth: Is there anything between you and Mey-Rin?"

"No, bocchan." He said, rubbing his face against Ciel's hands. "I love you, and only you."

Ciel sighed gently then and sank to his knees, wrapping his arms around Sebastian's neck. He pulled him close and nestled his head in the crook of the man's neck, his voice quiet. "I love you, too, you stupid fool. Is your face okay?"

"I'm fine, my Lord." Sebastian said, wrapping his arms around Ciel. He placed his lips against his ear, his breath sending a shiver down the boy's spine. "You know that yours are the only lips I'll ever want to kiss. My loyalty is with you, always."

Ciel broke away and gave him a small smile, finally able to see clearly now that his anger had dissipated somewhat. "Yes, I know." However, the room was still very dark, and when Ciel went to walk he tripped over the table and landed on the broken shards of the lamp, cussing as they sliced his skin. "Shit!"

Sebastian's arms immediately picked him up and brought him to his chest, his eyes searching Ciel's body, looking for any sign of injury. He could see blood seeping out from one at his collarbone and he frowned, his voice urgent. "Master, are you okay? Does anywhere else hurt?"

"I'm fine, don't worry so much." Ciel said, flinching as he started to feel the pain of his injury. It wasn't deep, but it was bleeding, and the liquid against his chest made him feel uncomfortable, as if his nightshirt was sticking to him. "Take me to my room- you can examine me there with better light."

Sebastian quickly carried the boy to the master bedroom and lay him down gently, careful not to upset his wound anymore. The lamp was still on, and it cast an orange glow onto Ciel's body, showing that a slightly alarming amount of blood had spilled from his collarbone. Sebastian sat beside him, and tenderly unbuttoned Ciel's nightshirt, before lifting it over his head. He lay completely naked in front of the butler now, but he did not feel nervous or ashamed, as Sebastian's eyes were focused solely on the gash he had. It was at least eight centimeters long, but only a few millimeters deep, and Sebastian prodded it with his finger's gently.

"It will heal." He said, laying his hand on Ciel's chest. "Please forgive me for letting such a thing happen, I should have cleaned the lamp up straight away."

Ciel shook his head at Sebastian's melodramatic response. It was as if every time he forgot something or missed a tiny detail, he had failed at being a butler, and the world would be plunged into a never ending abyss of doom and sorrow. It was actually rather comical. "Sebastian, it's fine. Just bandage me so I can get back to sleep."

"Certainly." Sebastian said, but he made no effort to move. When Ciel, stared at him with his eyebrow raised, Sebastian gave a breathy chuckle. "Although, I have a request. A better idea, if you will."

"Well?" Whatever it was, he better hurry up, the blood was dripping down his chest.

Sebastian did not answer him, but instead licked Ciel's chest, catching the trail of blood on his tongue. He closed his eyes as it exploded in his mouth, a moment of pure bliss. It tasted even better when he was riled up, as if he could literally taste the rage and the passion. Sebastian held back a shiver. His eyes met Ciel's, seeking permission, and he nodded slightly. The butler lowered his head again, and began to clear the blood from Ciel's chest and wound, his tongue gently flicking over the cut as it continued to bleed. His hands automatically moved to Ciel's waist, and he could feel his grip tighten the more he got to taste. The hunger inside him roared like a bear woken from slumber, and Sebastian grinned. His hair tickled Ciel's chest, and as Sebastian's tongue left the wound and began to make it's way up his chest he shivered. Sebastian began to kiss his neck, his lips featherlight as ever, planting them all over Ciel's skin. The boy gasped, and wrapped his arms around Sebastian's back, pulling him closer.

"Se-Sebastian." He managed to whisper, as the demon found a sensitive spot on his neck. It tickled, but not in a way that made him want to laugh; in a way that made him want to shiver.

Sebastian's head was filled with the essence of Ciel's soul,the taste of it lingering in his mouth. He could feel it right in from of him, burning so bright with life, tainted by anguish and yet still so pure. It was heavenly. He kissed at Ciel's neck, his tongue darting out to lick the skin before he nipped it lightly with his teeth. He felt Ciel gasp, but he pulled the butler closer instead of shoving him away, and Sebastian held him tighter in return. He made his way back down to Ciel's chest, his eyes spying one last trail of blood that had made its way almost to the young boy's belly button, and he smiled wickedly. He moved his head down to Ciel's hips, and softly caught the droplet on his tongue, licking all the way up the trail. His tongue skimmed over Ciel's nipple and the young boy convulsed, a loud gasp coming from his mouth. Sebastian licked his lips, savoring the taste of the blood now that the cut had stopped bleeding. He tilted his head back, his eyes closed, and let out a guttural moan- how in the world had he been lucky enough to find such a perfectly delicious soul? If he was feeling this from the red ambrosia that simply flowed through his veins, how mind-blowing would the actual soul taste?

"My Lord," Said the butler, in between the kisses he was planting all down Ciel's chest, towards his hips. "You are delectable."

Ciel slithered a hand into his hand and yanked his head up, his eyes gleaming with pride. "You want to eat me right now, don't you?"

Sebastian smiled, his fang-like teeth fully on view. He did not lie. "Absolutely."

Ciel was about to make a snarky reply when Sebastian reached his hips, and began to trail his tongue over Ciel's prominent hipbones. He shuddered, his eyes growing wide. "S-Sebastian..."

"I can feel your jealousy, you know. I could taste it." He said quietly, resting his head against Ciel's lower abdomen. "You needn't worry, bocchan. No woman's hips can compare to yours. They're lethal- I'll have to be careful I don't get cut." To add to his statement, Sebastian trailed a finger along the edge of Ciel's hip, and down into the deep dip that led to his flat stomach. He raised his head, his eyes flashing with mischief, and traced Ciel's bottom lip with the tip of his tongue. "No lips are as harsh yet as soft as yours." Finally, he looked Ciel in the eye, their bare chests just centimeters apart, Sebastian holding himself up above Ciel with just one arm. "And no soul could ever outshine yours."

Ciel's face was flushed scarlet, and his breaths were more like pants. His head was swimming with Sebastian, he was overwhelmed, that sickly sweet honey scent floating into his nostrils, his mouth, until it was all he could sense. He was aware of his body's own reaction to Sebastian-he was fairly sure the butler was aware of it by now, too= and as sweat rolled down his face, he looked at the man with a pained expression, his voice shaky. "I need you to move."

"My Lord?"

Ciel grunted and grabbed the covers with one hand, and pushed Sebastian with the other. He manage to roll the butler to his side and yank the cover's over himself, breathing heavily. His entire body felt hot, and it was almost painful. He'd never experienced it so furiously before, and he sucked a breath in, squeezing his eyes shut. If Sebastian had stayed on top of him like that...Ciel immediately tried to block that thought as his body yearned for Sebastian, and blush spread across his cheeks. No, no, no. This was wrong, he wasn't ready for such things yet. It was just his stupid body, whenever Sebastian touched him it reacted on its own! He glanced at his butler, who's face was rather confused. "I just...need a minute. T-To cool off."

Sebastian registered the Earl's position of crossed legs and red cheeks and understood, biting his lip to hide a laugh. He hadn't meant to get the boy riled up so much, and he knew his master would not take to it appreciatively. Still, he brushed the silvery-blue hair back from his head and smiled, hos voice kind. "I understand, bocchan. Please, do not be embarrassed."

"I'm not embarrassed!" He yelled, shooting Sebastian a glare. His eyes traveled south, and when he took in the image of Sebastian's bare chest he gulped. "This is all your fault. You stupid demon."

"Would you rather I didn't touch you, my Lord?" He said. His words were simple, but his eyes held a mischievous glint in them.

Ciel looked at him, his face strained. "Shut up." He closed his eyes and sighed, then opened them again after a minute. "Can we just lie here until I feel normal, please?"

"Of course." Sebastian lay down next to him, and pulled the boy into his arms. Ciel tried to protest, blush creeping up his neck as he squirmed, but Sebastian silenced him with a kiss, and held him close to his body again. They lay silently, Sebastian just combing through Ciel's hair with his fingers, until eventually, Ciel nodded against his chest, giving a relieved smile.

"I feel better now." He said, nestling into Sebastian's chest. "Turn off the lamp."

Sebastian waved his hand, and the lamp turned off. Ciel maneuvered himself until he was almost directly on top of Sebastian again, and hesitantly, he wrapped his arm around the butler and squeezed slightly. It was the first real sort of hug he'd given to anybody since his parents died, and it felt...good.

Ciel avoided his eyes, his voice quiet. "Sebastian, I don't know if I'm ready for anything more than what we did tonight. My body was, apparently, but...I can't. Not now."

Sebastian only chuckled, and kissed Ciel's head. "Master, do not worry about such things. I'm not planning on tainting the purity of your soul any time soon. I am old enough to restrain myself, and should you need to just order it to stop, and I will follow suit-I am your loyal dog."

"Ah, so it's the soul your concerned about." Ciel said, a faint smile on his lips. "So no matter how hard I may try to tempt you in the future, you won't do it? You'll keep my soul pure?"

"Yes, that's true." He laughed at the young boy's sudden surge of confidence. "Do you plan on tempting me in the near future?"

Ciel pursed his lips. "I quite fancy the sound of a game, don't you? I'll temp you, push you to the very edge of insanity and lust, and then just when you're going to do it, and you're going to taint me, I'll order you to stop. I think that would be fun."

Sebastian stilled, and he tilted Ciel's head up. He stared at him, and deliberately licked the sharp points of his teeth. "You are extremely devious, master. But that is a very dangerous game."

Ciel grinned, and flipped so he was on top of Sebastian, but lying on his back. He reached his hands up behind his head to grab Sebastian's face, and gave him an upside down kiss, before gently rolling his hips across Sebastian's crotch, their legs intertwined. "What's a game without a thrill?"

Sebastian closed his eyes, holding in a gasp. The desire to rut against the boy was aching within him, but he managed to restrain himself. It was so strange for him, to be the one being seduced. For many many years, it was he who had seduced others. He looked at Ciel in front of him, a mix or anger and awe could one child have turned the tables so quickly after all these years? Ciel was playing a game, one where he was putting too much trust in Sebastian. How wicked he was, to push a demon to such limits. Still, they had a contract, and Sebastian was determined to get his hands on Ciel's perfect soul no matter what- he would definitely win this game. "Yes, my Lord."

Chapter Text

The next two weeks had went by relatively unhitched. Ciel couldn't help himself form glaring at Mey-Rin when she walked by, but Sebastian had went out of his way to spend almost all of his time with the young boy to ease his mind. They slept in the same room most nights, worked together most of the day and still spent their evenings preparing to retire. Ciel still attempted to lure Sebastian in, but he kept it simple: small smiles and lust-filled stares from across the room- he would build it up bit by bit, each move specially calculated to win him the game. For that night however, they were sitting in a comfortable silence, preparing Ciel for bed. It was when Sebastian was washing Ciel that he decided to inform his master of a certain event the servants had been thinking about.

"Bocchan, the servants were talking the other day." He said calmly, his large hands washing Ciel's body with a cloth. "They appear to want a holiday, perhaps at the resort you made."

"A holiday? But it's the middle of April, nowhere is warm." He said, frowning. He didn't have any problem with the servants wanting time off, in fact they were entitled to it.

"I think they want to go to the beach. Granted right now it is indeed too cold, but I should think that in May it will be warm enough."

"Sebastian, do you want to go on this holiday?" He said, his tone amused. The butler was oddly interested in the topic.

"If you would come with me." His voice was quiet, but Ciel heard the words fine.

He whipped his head round, frowning. "What?"

"I said I would like to go on the holiday if you'll come with me." His face stayed the same, but Ciel could catch the glimpse in his eyes when he said it. This was a risky move from Sebastian, to speak so forthright. "Obviously I have to stay with you for the contract, so even if I do get a holiday as an employee I wouldn't be able to go unless you came. But, I don't want you to come for that reason. I think a break from the others would be nice, wouldn't you?"

Ciel sank into the water, heaving a sigh. It was not that he didn't like holidays, but rather that he didn't like leaving the manor unprotected. Of course, if everyone was gone then there would be nobody to suffer any injuries, but he still felt uneasy. Sebastian watched him as he averted his eyes, his tone light. "Maybe some other time, if it's a different place."

"You don't like the beach?" Sebastian reached out and turned Ciel's head towards him, bringing their faces closer. He knew that if the young master got overwhelmed enough he'd be easier to convince.

"It's not that I don't like it, it's just..." Ciel sighed in frustration.

"Just what?"

"I can't swim." He muttered, so low and so fast that even Sebastian struggled to hear it.

"I know that I have amazing senses, but could you say that one more time, young master?" He said, a slight smile on his lips. He could see blush creeping up Ciel's neck and cheeks as he again tried to turn his face away.

"I said that I can't swim." He said louder, his voice taking on a more harsh tone. Why did he have to make him say it twice, was it not embarrassing enough the first time round?

"Ah." Sebastian paused, pursing his lips. "That's no good. Any distinguishable man should learn to swim properly."

"Don't you think I know that, you idiot?" Ciel hissed. Sebastian only chuckled at him, spiking his temper higher. "I was never properly taught."

"I'll do it. I swim quite exceptionally."

"What? You, teach me?" Ciel shook his head. "It would be an embarrassment to be caught learning how to swim, especially so by my butler."

"We can go somewhere just the two of us, and I'll teach you privately. Nobody will know or see you." He soothed, his fingers brushing back Ciel's fringe. He cupped his cheek with his hand, water droplets making their way down Ciel's cheeks as if he were crying. Sebastian wiped at them. "You cannot go forever not knowing how to swim, bocchan."

He knew that, and he reluctantly gave the smallest of nods. He stood, expecting to be draped in a towel, but rather was surprised when Sebastian simply scooped him up into his arms.

"W-wait!" Ciel said, his hands thrusting out to cling to Sebastian's shirt. "What are you doing?"

"Carrying you. I thought that much was evident." Ciel could practically hear the laugh in his voice.

He grumbled, shivering. "I'm cold, just dry me already."

Sebastian grabbed a large towel and wrapped it round them both, Ciel still held in his arms. He shifted the boy so that he was now pressed against Sebastian's chest, his legs wrapped around his waist, holding on tightly. Water dripped from his body onto Sebastian, bit he didn't care. He lit the fire in the mantelpiece and lowered himself down in front of it, his free hand rubbing Ciel's back. The warmth and the crackle of the burning wood filled the air, and it enveloped Ciel like a pair of loving hands, pulling him closer to sleep, He shifted in Sebastian's arms, moving back to being cradled, and rested his head against the butler's already wet chest.

He hadn't expected that Sebastian would do this- he was normally incredibly strict to routine. Washed, dried, dressed, bed. As Sebastian rubbed the towel over his skin, drying his skinny body delicately, he looked up into the eyes of the demon, who was touching him as if he was made of glass. "This is nice."

"I thought you might like something to ease your stress before bed." He said, raising the towel to dry Ciel's hair. "You don't sleep well when you're troubled."

Occasionally, Sebastian would do something or say something that would make Ciel feel that foreign rush of affection again, that feeling that he had lacked in his life for so long. It brushed past him, chipping away at the hard armour he kept up, bit by bit freeing a part of himself that Ciel had thought would've been locked away forever. It was these things that he remembered, storing them all away in his head to use as stories for night time, the sick love of a demon and a boy. He wondered if this particular story would have a happy ending, and gave a slight smile, his lips pressed against Sebastian's chest. They sat there for an immeasurable amount of time, the only proof of time passing being the darkening shadows coming in from the window, the moon illuminating the room from above. Sebastian would stoke the fire when it got low, keeping it alive and warm enough for Ciel, who was on the verge of sleep. His eyelids drooped, his pale cheeks were flushed pink from the heat, his lips slightly pouted, as if inviting Sebastian to kiss them.

"You really shouldn't do that, master." He breathed softly, brushing his finger down the side of Ciel's face. He hadn't noticed it, but he had begun to rock his body slightly, as if he were cradling a baby. The thought made him smile- a demon with paternal instincts was quite amusing.

Ciel's eyelids stayed closed as he muttered, "Do what?"

"Look like that." Sebastian kissed him briefly, just a touch of lips. "I fear it makes me feel quite infatuated."

"That's a good thing. I want you to only ever want me." Ciel said, hugging closer to Sebastian. His hair was almost fully dry, those silky strands covering his face like a curtain.

Sebastian looked at Ciel, smiling. They rarely had moments like this, and to sit here with Ciel in his arms with no insults or snarky comments, just the two of them basking in each other's presence...it was nice. Sebastian would dare to say that he even felt happy. He never thought that he could, considering the life he lived. He didn't believe that it was possible for a demon to experience such emotions, but the child in his arms-the child who murmured his name at night and who clutched to him with white knuckles when they held each other- had easily proven him wrong. This spoiled, arrogant boy had managed to stir up whatever love was left inside of him, and bring it to the surface. Sebastian, kissed his forehead. "I will serve you to the very end. My loyalty and love belong to only you."

"Just remember that when you've swallowed me up, Sebastian. I'll be inside you, and I'll know if you love someone else. I won't stand for it, and I'll do everything I can to make you wish you'd never eaten me." He said, amused at the thought of tormenting Sebastian even after death. However, the thought of Sebastian having a new master stirred some jealousy in Ciel, and he frowned, shaking the thought out of his head. It would only ever be him. Still, he tilted his head up. "Promise me."

"I promise you, Bocchan. I will never love another the way I love you. It will always be you." He said softly, catching the boy's chin in-between his finger and thumb. He lifted his head up further and kisses him, deeper than they did before.

Their lips pressed against each other, parting as Sebastian moved his hand behind Ciel's head, pulling him closer. Sebastian's tongue gently entered Ciel's mouth, pressing against his own, and again Ciel was met with that taste of honey. He leaned into it, tilting his head at a different angle, and with a bit more force, kissed Sebastian back, knotting his hands in his butler's hair as he did so. It was intoxicating to be this close to him, tasting him, feeling the smoothness of his hair between his fingers, feel the spike in his pulse of exhilaration every time Sebastian touched him like this. His head buzzed with thoughts of the immorality of their relationship, the truly sinful act of every kiss and touch, the responsibilities the he had disregarded to experience the whirlwind of love and lust, and he relished in it. It was almost refreshing to do something so hated; if he was white and Sebastian was black, he had never more in his life wanted to be painted grey. Every shiver those tapering fingers sent across his skin was just a reminder of how alive he felt, cradled in death's arms. Sinful whispers in his ears that drowned out the other voices in his life, a constantly reminder that Sebastian was more than an escape- he was a haven. A place where he didn't have to hide who he was, what he'd done or what had happened in his past, a place where his feelings were not judged and his love was returned. Until his end, Sebastian would be there.

Ciel broke away, gasping for air. He always forgot to breathe out of his nose when they kissed, too caught up each time in connecting with Sebastian to think about something as trivial as breathing. He rested his head in the crook of Sebastian's neck, his voice quiet. "I love you."

Sebastian hugged him close, his hands slipping under the towel to feel Ciel's skin against his hands. He said nothing, but stood up and carried Ciel to his bed. He laid him down softly, and dressed him, stopping every few minutes to brush his fingers across Ciel's face, his hips, his legs. He was flawless, his skin like porcelain were it not for the scar on his side. He held his hand over Ciel's marked eye, an almost wicked smile on his lips as the signs reacted with each together, flashing briefly.

Ciel placed his hand over Sebastian's as his eyes drifted closed again, his voice muffled through slacked lips. "We are connected."

A final kiss on his lips, Sebastian withdrew, blowing out the candle. "Yes, my Lord."

___________________________________

 

The next free day Ciel had, he left in secret with Sebastian to learn how to swim. He wasn't entirely sure where Sebastian was taking him, but he enjoyed the feel of the wind against his face as they leaped through the trees, his butler's ever agile moves propelling them at an alarming rate. The branches barely shook when he landed on them, having to sport his body weight for a mere second before he was gone again. It was afternoon, and the sun was nestled in the sky, giving light but little warmth. Ciel hadn't expected any other type of sun for England, really. He stayed clinging to Sebastian for the journey, admiring the sights of the trees and the hills whipping past him while the butler ran. Eventually, he started to slow, and he stopped enough for Ciel to make out some cliffs and water. He'd brought them to a large body of water, like a lake, which was surrounded by rocks and ledges of all different heights. It looked good for diving, Ciel thought.

"Sebastian, where is this place?" He said, holding on as the butler jumped off the branch and landed on the ground smoothly on the balls of his feet, making almost no noise.

"Just somewhere I found that would be good for practice. It has lots of places to jump and dive off, which will be good for you the better you get. The overall depth is similar throughout the lake, but there are some shallower parts." He pointed to them.

Ciel peeked over the edge at the lake below him, assessing it. It was light blue and still, the only ripples the ones caused by the slight wind. It didn't appear to be dangerous, but he still prickled at the thought of having to get in it. "So, what happens now? I can hardly go in dressed like this." Ciel gestured to his outfit.

Sebastian bent his face, hiding a smile. "Well, I have brought something for you."

"Hm? You have?" Ciel picked up the garment Sebastian had handed him, and held it in front of him, his eyes wide in horror. "No. Absolutely not. No, Sebastian."

Sebastian's shoulders shook with suppressed laughter as he tried to talk the Earl into it, his voice soothing. "Master, it is not so bad. It is the most fashionable one made."

Ciel looked at the swimsuit in his hands, a horrible creation of navy and white that went up to his neck and down to his knees, with sleeves to the elbows. It had two little gold buttons by the neck, and an anchor sewn in on the leg. It was absolutely hideous. "You picked this out on purpose, you bastard. I won't wear it."
"Then you'll have to go naked." Sebastian said simply, the corner of his lips turned up in a devilish smirk.

"Eh?" Ciel stuttered, his cheeks flaming red. So it was either naked, or looking like a five year old boy? Ciel cursed, clenching his fists. "Fine! I'll wear it. But, don't you dare laugh!"

When Ciel emerged from the woods clad in the nautical swimsuit, his head hanging down and his cheeks a fiery red, Sebastian bit his lip and closed his eyes, trying not to laugh. He walked to meet Sebastian, his feet dragging, and looked up at the older man with murder in his eyes.

Sebastian raised a hand to his mouth as his shoulders shook, desperately trying to keep his laughter in. Ciel looked even smaller and childish, as if he were only five years old, and it contrasted with the look of death on his face. The eye patch made him snicker, and he bent down, failing to keep a straight face. "You certainly look like you're ready for the seas...captain."

Ciel glared at him, ripping his eye patch off. "Shut up! What are you going to wear?"

Sebastian chuckled then, standing back up. "Oh, I am going naked."

Ciel blanched and he choked on his words, infuriated by the indignity of it all. "That's not fair! I have to wear one of these stupid things, why don't you?"

"I didn't bring one for me, sir. Now, onto the actual swimming part. You should feel no fear with me, for I am truly an excellent swimmer and tutor. By the end of today you will know how to swim- rest assured my methods do not fail." He smiled. Ciel didn't trust it.

"What exactly are these methods?" He asked warily, eyeing up the butler.

Sebastian stepped closer to him and flashed him a wide, devious grin. "This."

He pushed Ciel off the edge of the cliff with one hand, watching as he fell through the air, his mouth opening but forming no scream. His body twisted and flipped in the air, and he struggled to brace himself for the impact of the water. When he hit, he sunk almost immediately, the speed of his decline forcing him through the water. He struggled to get his bearings, still thrashing his small body in an effort to clear the bubbles surrounding him, but to no avail. His mouth was still open, and as he tried to close it more water flooded in, filling his throat and his lungs. He kicked weakly, trying to push his way to the top, but it wasn't until something wrapped around his torso and pulled did he finally break above the water.

Ciel's head broke the surface and he gasped, drinking in the air. Water fell from his nose and mouth and he coughed violently, having swallowed and inhaled a large amount. His body stung from the impact, and his lungs burned painfully. He turned towards the hands holding him, rage flowing through him. "What the hell was that, you bastard? Are you trying to kill me?"

"I was assessing just how much natural skill you have in water. Apparently you have none at all, which is quite bothersome." He frowned, pouting his lip in thought as if chucking Ciel off the edge was nothing. "Master, I would never let you die, you know this."

Ciel grunted and whacked at his bare chest with balled fists, thrashing again. "Let me go!"

"What a time to take a tantrum, sir. But, very well." Sebastian immediately let go of Ciel and moved back, watching him struggle to keep himself above water.

Ciel kicked his legs and pushed his hands, desperate to stay above the water, but still he sank. He tried to inhale any air he could, but he was having trouble actually floating. Growling, he shoved a hand out. "Come back and help me!"

In an instant Sebastian had hoisted him safely above water, shaking his head in disappointment. "You really have no natural swimming skills, bocchan."

"Shut up." Ciel wrapped his arms around Sebastian's neck and clung to him, afraid to let himself be fully in the water. It was cold, but it had heated slightly with the heat from the sun, to a temperature where he would grow gradually accustomed to it. "Just teach me already."

Sebastian chuckled and nodded, pushing Ciel's soaking hair back from his face. "Well, let's practice floating first. This one is easy- you just have to lie on your back, and relax."

Ciel looked at him incredulously. "Lie on my back and relax? So no kicking or paddling? I'll drown!"

"Trust me, young master. I won't let anything happen to you." He said, touching their foreheads together.

Ciel grunted and looked at the water distrustfully before he finally complied. Sebastian's hands pressed against his back as he lay back in the water, gulping nervously as he tried to relax his limbs. He could feel Sebastian holding him gently, but he still flinched when the waves crashed into him, threatening to take him under again.

"Master," Sebastian soothed. "you have to relax or it won't work. I promise I won't let anything happen to you, just breathe."

Ciel closed his eyes and nodded, trying to let his limbs float freely. After another minute or two, he managed to relax himself enough that his body moved with the waves instead of being pulled under by them, and he could feel Sebastian's hands slowly retreat. That panicked him at first, but when he realised he was still floating without them, he released a breath he didn't know he'd been holding.

He opened his eyes curiously. "I'm doing it?"

"Very good, bocchan. Can you float the other way now, on your stomach? It's the same principle." He said wrapping his hands around Ciel to keep him safe while he repositioned him.

Ciel gulped but nodded, ready to lie on his face. "Can I open my eyes?"

"Yes, but not for a long time, or it'll hurt." He said, his hands this time settling on Ciel's stomach as the boy went face first into the water.

Ciel was surprised to find that he found this one easier, and again he managed to float, remembering to keep his limbs loose. He briefly opened his eyes, but was disappointed to see that his vision was just blurry, and stung. He closed his eyes then, and pulled himself back into a vertical position, holding onto Sebastian.

"It does hurt to open my eyes, I don't like it." He muttered, frowning.

Sebastian laughed, brushing his hair back again. "Who knows, maybe in the future they'll invent something you can use to see clearly underwater."

"I think there's something like that that's been tried in the past." Ciel mused, pursing his lips. "Goggles of some sort apparently."

"You humans are very interesting, you know. Always looking for ways to belong places you don't belong; creating balloons to take you into the sky, glasses to let you swim among the fish. It's greedy, isn't it?" He said, almost to himself.

Ciel scoffed at him. "You're a hypocrite. You don't belong here at all, and yet you're always waiting to be called in to this world at the chance of a quick meal. You take on any role you need to, you adapt. So do we."

Sebastian gave a slight laugh, his lip lifting as he brushed his tongue along his teeth. "Quite so, young master. Now, shall we try breaststroke?"

After many failed attempts to keep himself above water-resulting in Sebastian being kicked five times and Ciel's head ducking under water seven times- Ciel had eventually managed to get the hold of the movement for breaststroke. He managed to move himself sluggishly across the water, without Sebastian's guiding hands as support, his frail legs just barely managing to keep up with his arms. Sebastian sighed, pushing his own hair back, watching as his master slowly but surely managed to swim the three metres towards him.

Ciel raised his head, only leaning on Sebastian slightly as he kicked his legs under the water to keep himself afloat. He discovered that if he relaxed his body he had natural buoyancy, which eased his panic a little. He looked at the butler, ready to go again, before he stopped in his tracks, his face a mask of horror. "Sebastian, fix your hair."

"Pardon, sir?" Sebastian looked quizzically at Ciel, but before he had time to ask what was wrong Ciel's hands were already bring his hair forward until it was back in his face, covering his eyes and sticking to his cheeks.

"You looked like Tanaka with your hair all pushed back like that, it was positively horrifying." He said, relaxing now that Sebastian's hair at least partly resembled his natural style.

Sebastian sighed, uncomfortable as his hair stuck to his skin, but smiled and bowed his head. "Very well, I shall let it sit like this. Now, try that again, this time moving your legs more."

Ciel swam again and again, until it was approaching evening, the sky becoming a hue of purple, orange and pink. His limbs ached and he was incredibly tired and hungry, but he was proud to see that he had made some progress, and could manage swimming for a short period of time. They swam towards the bank, where Ciel then hoisted himself out, before collapsing on the ground in a tangle of limbs. He lay on his back, panting, staring at the sky, before Sebastian's shadow was next to him, and he heard distinct chuckles.

"Are you tired, master?" He asked, laying next to him.

Ciel looked aside to see that Sebastian wasn't actually naked, but had swam in his underwear. He frowned. "I thought you were naked?"

"I didn't have time to get these off before I jumped in after you, you drowned much faster than I anticipated." He said pleasantly. He stretched his hand out, palm upturned and looked at Ciel, waiting.

Hesitantly, he placed his hand in Sebastian's, relishing in its warmth despite the cold water that had covered him just moments before. Sebastian reached to his side and produced a basket, which he opened to reveal small sandwiches and a blanket, and fresh clothes. Ciel gratefully accepted the food, shoving the cucumber sandwiches in his mouth as fast as he could, suddenly ravenous. After he had eaten as many as his small stomach could take, he scooted closer to Sebastian and lay down, using his chest as a pillow and Sebastian covered them both with the blanket. He could feel his hand comb through his hair, brush across his cheek, trace down his spine till his fingers met the two dimples at the base of his back, sending a shiver through his body. He wrapped his arm around Sebastian and nestled into him, his hand laid flat against his chest, feeling his pulse. They stayed like that for a while until Ciel shifted, straddling the butler. He tilted his head, giving his best frown. "Get me out of this thing."

Sebastian chuckled then freed Ciel from the suit, choosing just to rip it off rather than extort extra effort and take it off manually. Ciel looked down at his now bare body, a bit shocked at the speed in which Sebastian had ripped it off, and then gave him a very rare smile, shaking his head slightly as he did so. He leaned forward and kissed his lips, then tilted his head up as his lips found their way across Sebastian's neck, his tongue darting out to lick the droplets of water from his skin, laughing as Sebastian shivered when he blew cold air onto his neck after licking it, watching as the goosebumps spread across his skin. Sebastian lay perfectly still for him, letting Ciel explore at his own pace. The young boy continued his kisses down Sebastian's neck to his chest, where he stopped briefly to lay his ear against the skin, listening for that familiar beat that he had grown fond of. It was like a metronome, keeping him in time and grounding him to the present. He held onto Sebastian's face with one hand, a faint smile on his lips as Sebastian kissed his palm, leaning into the touch.

Ciel continued his kisses, removing his hand from the butler's face to place them on his chest, steadying himself. His left hand went to Sebastian's nipple, where he curiously pinched it, earning a slight intake of breath from Sebastian. Ciel tilted his head, laughing inside that Sebastian had actually given a reaction. He moved his mouth the next nipple, and slid his tongue over it softly, delighting again in the fact that Sebastian appeared to hold his breath. So this could be used as a move for his game. Ciel looked up at him, his smile full of cheek. "So this is what you like."

Sebastian looked at him and brushed a thumb across his cheek, before sitting up and holding Ciel to his chest. "I like you."

Ciel frowned. "But did you like that?"

He tilted Ciel's head back, staring into his eyes with the smoldering gaze that made the boy feel like jelly on the inside, and licked his lips slightly. "Yes, I liked it."

Ciel shivered before wrapping his arms around Sebastian and yanking him closer, their mouths immediately locking together. He let his left hand break loose to nip at Sebastian's nipple while they kissed, earning him a slight groan. Ciel smiled into their kiss, drinking in as much of Sebastian as he could. He broke away, his left hand trailing down his chest slowly and deliberately, his voice a whisper. "Your move."

Immediately Sebastian turned the tables, pinning Ciel down in a matter of seconds. His eyes were pink now and his teeth had elongated slightly, and he flashed him a grin that was equal parts endearing as it was frightening, sending a shiver down Ciel's spine. He tilted the boy's neck up and kissed all down it, nipping at the skin with his teeth lightly. He bit harder at the base, just enough to draw blood and a flinch from the boy, and his tongue lapped at it, the taste sending a shudder through his body. He pinned Ciel's arms above him with one hand, using the other to slide up Ciel's thigh slowly, keeping his fingers light so as to tickle him. Sebastian's mouth covered Ciel's nipple and his tongue licked at it, causing Ciel's breaths to speed up. Sebastian did the same to the other nipple before moving his head further down Ciel's body, trailing his tongue down the perfect skin. He used his other hand to hold Ciel's other thigh, and planted kisses all over his hipbones and abdomen, watching the boy writhe and wriggle beneath him, unable to stop the moan that left his mouth. Heat was spreading through his body, and he was suddenly aware of just how naked he was, with nowhere to hide. Sebastian had turned the tables on him, countered his attack brutally. He rutted accidentally as Sebastian's face got dangerously close to his crotch, and blush coloured his cheeks.

Sebastian grinned that devilish grin again, his lips now kissing up Ciel's thighs. He broke away to look him in the eyes, licking his lips. "Checkmate."

Chapter Text

It had been a week since Sebastian had left Ciel high and dry. He remembered the distinct smirk on his lips as he pulled away from Ciel's thighs, seemingly unaffected by the sight of his trembling lips and obviously aroused body. The withdrawal had made Ciel confused, certainly, as he struggled to sort his conscious thoughts from his bodies own desires for Sebastian. At first he was mad, and was even more rude to Sebastian than normal, but the time sulking had allowed the boy to strategically plan his next move. It became evident that Sebastian would not easily be tempted by matters of the body, whereas Ciel had no control over his own bodies reactions, thus dooming him to loose. And so, he had decided there was only one effective move he could play: jealousy. Ciel knew for a fact that Sebastian detested anyone but him touching him, and he wondered just how exactly he could induce the jealousy effectively enough to get some sort of reaction from the butler. It was then that he remembered that night was the night he was to play a prostitute, and he smiled to himself. What better way to make him jealous than having some dirty old geezer eye him up?

"S-Sebas...sebastian! I can't, please! N-no more! Ciel groaned, his hands against the wall, Sebastian stood firmly behind him, his strong hands unforgiving, doing their best to force Ciel's body into the right position.

"Come, now. This is your second time, your body is used to it, is it not?" He said, an amused tone in his voice. Ciel's body was positively shaking, the sweat rolling down his face in little beads.

"Agh! It hurts!" He squealed, gritting his teeth. How could people do this every day? How was his body supposed to adapt to something so unnatural? "I-I'm coming! I'm coming undone!"

"Master, please do not exaggerate. You're not coming undone, your body is fine." He said, shaking his head. He pulled the strings of the corset tighter, his lips in a small smile when Ciel clenched his fists. "You're almost there."

"How do girls do this?" He huffed out, wiping his forehead against his arm. "It's unreasonably painful for something you have to do every day."

"There are much more painful things, I imagine." He finished tying the corset and stood back, watching as Ciel sank to the floor. "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine." He spat out, resting his head on the floor. The truth was the corset was so tight he felt as if his ribs would break and his lungs would burst, and each breath that passed through his lips was stretched thin, as if he couldn't get enough air. He sat up, and tried to breathe clearly, his eyes closed in concentration. "I'm fine. Just dress me."

Sebastian wiped a damp cloth across his master's forehead, freeing him of the sweat which had started to stick to his hair. He could see that Ciel was having trouble breathing, but he knew that he could manage if it was just for a short time. He lifted him up effortlessly and sat him on the bed, his hand trailing across his even smaller waist. "You're absolutely tiny."

"Isn't that what's attractive these days? I need to look desirable for tonight, that's why I had you do it so tight." He muttered, his fingers tapping impatiently on the covers.

"Indeed, sir." Sebastian chuckled, lifting a hand to his face. "Although, I do worry that you'll break if you wear these any more- you're already so thin."

"Shut up. I won't break, just leak." Ciel frowned, squirming at the discomfort in his torso. How did women wear these dreaded things? He had a new appreciation for Elizabeth as he thought about it.

Sebastian dressed Ciel in a dress they'd had specially made. It was off the shoulder and was made of light blue satin trimmed with white lace, featuring white bows on the back of the bodice as well as on the sleeves of the dress. The back was bouffant-style, and the V-shaped neckline left a large part of Ciel's creamy skin exposed. The skirt fell to the floor in elegant pools of satin, and there was a hidden pin at the hip, holding some material in place.

Ciel poked at it curiously. "What does this do?"

"I'm not sure. Miss Hopkins said to undo it when you're in the brothel, but we can try it now I think." Sebastian mused.

Ciel shrugged and un-clipped the pin, his eyebrows rising when he saw that it meant the material from his upper left thigh down to his ankle seemed to melt away and pool at his feet, creating a slit for his leg to poke out from. Ciel stood and tested it out, his cheeks flaming red in embarrassment. "Is it really necessary to have this much of my leg out?!"

Sebastian watched him, his tongue licking lighting against his lips. With so much smooth unblemished skin on show, pale and perfect, Ciel looked delectable. The sky blue matched the softness of his skin, and managed to bring out the blueish tint in his hair. "Yes."

Ciel looked at him, an eyebrow raised. He noticed Sebastian's clenched fist as he stood, and laughed, striding up to him. "Help me practice. What makes me look most...delicious?"

Ciel sat on the bed and crossed his legs, letting his bare one drape over the other, the material flowing over his skin like water. Sebastian carefully put on his shoes- white boots with blue laces- and at back, watching Ciel hungrily as he shifted his poses. The young boy laid his right leg out flat and brought his left leg up, once again displaying the smooth pale skin that looked so much like porcelain. He tilted his head back, the fake bunches cascading over his shoulders, and placed a gloved finger to his lips. He looked Sebastian in the eye and bit it, slowly pulling it off until his hand was free, and he beckoned to Sebastian with one finger, a lopsided smile on his face.

"What about this?" He said, his voice soft as the butler leaned towards him, teeth sharpened.

"Master, if you look this good I'm afraid I won't be able to let you leave the mansion." He said, inhaling deeply. He cupped Ciel's face and hesitated before their lips touched. "May I?"

Ciel pushed his lips to Sebastian's, opening them slightly until that honey taste filled his mouth once again. His hand snaked its way into Sebastian's black hair and he pulled him closer, shivering as the butler's gloved hands settled on his now tiny waist and squeezed. Ciel kept his eyes open, staring into Sebastian's ruby ones as he hooked his legs around his hips and pulled him closer, their bodies joined at the hips.

Sebastian broke away, his thumb wiping across Ciel's lip. "You're not going to win with that move, master."

"It's not a move, you bastard. Just kiss me." He grunted, pulling him closer again.

Their lips joined again and they kissed deeper, Sebastian's tongue lightly brushing against Ciel's. His lips moved from Ciel's to his jaw, his neck, kissing all the way down until he'd reached that creamy expanse of skin at his chest. He sunk his teeth into it, his pale tongue sweeping over the skin as he did so, grinning as Ciel gasped and tightened his grip in his hair.

"S-Sebastian," He said, tilting his head back. "Don't mark me just yet, I need to be pure enough for one of them to want me. I need something to make up for the lack of bosom."

"My apologies." Sebastian drew back, and seeing that there was only a simple bite mark on Ciel, went back to kissing his neck. He nestled his face against the younger boy's flat chest, a smile on his lips. "I assure you, you are plentiful desirable. I'm almost afraid to let you go, bocchan. What if someone touches you? I think I'll rip their arm off."

Ciel rolled his eyes, but ran his fingers through the butler's hair. "What about when the Viscount Druitt touched me? You didn't care then. This will be the same, besides as long as you get to me before anyone else nobody will have to touch me."

"I did care." Sebastian frowned, his hands still caressing Ciel's waist. "But it is my duty as your butler to ensure your plans go unspoiled, and Lady Elizabeth posed a threat, so I had to distract her. This will be worse than when the Viscount touched you- the men in this place are dirty and pathetic, they're not worthy of touching you."

"As if you have never slept around." Ciel scoffed, but secretly he was delighted at how protective Sebastian was acting. He was right- jealousy would be the way to win the game in the future.

Sebastian's hand cupped his face, and burgundy eyes stared into his intently. "Ah, but I've desired none as much as I desire you, bocchan. I want my hands to be the only ones that touch you."

Ciel kissed him, his hands on Sebastian's chest, tugging at his uniform. "Then make sure you're always there. Fight off anyone else who wants me."

Sebastian bent his head, their foreheads touching. "Yes, my Lord."

 

Later that night.

Ciel scrunched his nose up at the stench of the night air, the foul smell of excrement and booze burning his nose. Music and jeers drifted out from the pubs, the dimly lit streetlamps the only source of light. Again he could hear families shouting and babies crying, and he grunted as he walked towards the brothel, a gloved hand covering his mouth. Sebastian followed behind him, changed out of his butler uniform and into more casual wear. They walked briskly, and Ciel's brow furrowed as he pushed open the door to the brothel and walked inside. The women were draped across the banister and siting on tables, each one attracting her own audience of men. They hooted and jeered, their grabbing hands pulling at skirts and limbs, each one desperate. Ciel groaned, but stopped as he felt Sebastian's hand press against his back.

"Stop frowning. You need to look pretty, not grumpy."

"Shut up." Still, Ciel relaxed his face and walked forward, spying an empty table. "I'll go here. You go find Anna, and keep an eye on her. We have to leave when she does."

They parted ways then, Sebastian striding through the crowds to look for the girl. Ciel himself walked towards a table, where he sat lightly on the surface, his face expressionless. He didn't expect to be surrounded so quickly, but it appeared to have been a while since a new woman had joined the brothel, and the men were excitedly eyeing him up as if he were a piece of meat.

"Oi! You sure look young, Missy. What age are you?" One man said, leaning forward. He was missing his three front teeth, and the rest were browning.

Ciel lightened his voice, making it softer. "I'm old enough."

Another man looked over, his hands pinching at the dress. "This ain't half fancy, what are you doing here? You must be an expensive whore."

"Price reflects value." He said, smiling at the man. He felt disgusted inside, but he would just have to put up with this until Sebastian came. He leaned forward, allowing them all a view at his tiny cinched waist.

"Have you been here before?" He said, eyeing him up. Ciel felt himself throw up in his mouth a little as the man licked his lips.

"No. I'm new to the business." Ciel tried to keep his tone light.

"Are you pure?" The man's voice was disgustingly raspy, and spittle flew from his lips.

Ciel swallowed and tried to smile. "Yes. No man has ever touched me."

"Boys! We've got a virgin!" One man yelled, signalling all the men. They cheered and ran towards him, those hands shooting out to try and grab at his dress and his arms, each one trying to shout over themselves, like a pack of wolves establishing dominance.

Ciel stood on the table, aware of the glares from the other women. Apparently his virginity had just made him an even more desirable object, despite his expensive appearance. He sank his back against the wall, trying to avoid being grabbed. "Gentlemen, please."

The man with missing teeth leaned forward again, his breath reeking of booze. "You ain't got much of a chest though, and you're awful' small. You ain't really worth it, you're still just a whore at the end of the day. Plenty of these girls can show us a good time for cheap."

Ciel wasn't sure why, but that struck a nerve inside him, and he bared his teeth at his damaged pride. Then, putting on his sweetest voice, he turned to the men and smiled blindingly, his hand reaching for the pin. "I may not have a chest, but I've got legs."

He un-clipped it, and smirked as the men's jaws dropped when the skirt fell away. The cool air blew against his bare leg, and he cocked his hip, showing his leg off more. He had calf high boots on with thigh high stockings, and the men were hooting wildly, trying to grab him. He danced out of their touch, and looked down in shock as one man grabbed his stocking and pulled it down, leaving just his bare leg on show. Grubby hands grabbed at him and slurred voices shouted, and Ciel frowned. Where was Sebastian? He didn't know how much longer he could fight off these men. He realised it was probably a bad idea to showcase himself like that and cursed mentally.

"Oi! How much are you, whore?" A man with light brown hair and a jacket full of holes said, His grabbed Ciel's leg and slid his hand up, his grip too strong to break away from. His eyes were wild and his sneer was mean, a cigarette dangling from his mouth. "I want you, I haven't had a virgin in a long time. I would just love to see your pretty little face scrunched up in pain as I take you."

Ciel looked at him, disgusted, and tried to wrench his leg free. "Too much for you, you disgusting bastard. I would rather lie with the stray dogs of London than go anywhere near your bed."

It was then that he felt a familiar pair of hands encircle his waist, and he was lifted to Sebastian's chest. Sebastian glared at the men and they parted, some of them still ballsy enough to shout and jeer at him. He turned on them, his eyes narrowed. "Sorry, gentlemen. But, this ones mine."

Ciel laughed and wrapped his arms around Sebastian's neck, leaning into his embrace. His eyes scanned the crowd of disgruntled drunk men, until he saw that one of the men had raised a glass as if he was preparing to throw it. "Sebastian, watch that man, I think he's about to hit you."

"Understood." Sebastian caught the glass a centimetre before it hit his face, and he clenched his hand, breaking it immediately. He brushed the flakes of glass on his trousers, then went back to holding Ciel with two hands. He eyed up the man, tutting. "Now, is that any way to treat a lady? You could have hit her."

The man, who Ciel had learned was called Thomas due to the shouts and chides of the crowd, grunted, raising his fist. "How come you pick him but none of us? Whores don't get to have standards, you get who you get and you lie there and take it! How dare you reject me!"

Ciel laughed, then placed his hand on Sebastian's cheek. His voice was light and playful, but with an undercurrent of venom. "Oh, it's nothing personal. He's just one hell of a lover."

With that, he was carried upstairs to the upper floor, where the only sounds that could be heard were the groaning of bed springs and pants. Ciel's face crumpled distastefully as he and Sebastian entered an empty room. He was about to speak when Sebastian swiveled him until Ciel's legs were forced to wrap around his waist, and he pressed him up against the wall, locking their lips together. He kissed his deeply, his hand snaking up that bare thigh as he held onto Ciel possessively.

He spoke against Ciel's lips, his voice low. "Where did they touch you?"

"My leg." He whispered, groaning as Sebastian's hand tightened on his leg, his finger's inching closer to his underwear. "My glove."

"Take it off." He said, his voice blunt.

Ciel knew it was ridiculous to take orders from a butler, but he couldn't help himself and raised the glove to his mouth, biting it and pulling his hand free. Sebastian grabbed his hand and kissed his palm, before pinning it above Ciel's head. He kissed him again, unable to stop the venom in his voice. "The thought of someone else touching you makes me feel sick."

Ciel drew back, panting. His cheeks were flushed red, his head filled with Sebastian, but he managed to grit his teeth and muttered out a very strangled, "Then erase their touch with yours when we get home. Right now, you need to get Anna."

Sebastian inhaled deeply then stepped back, before bending down to let Ciel slip off. They walked quietly to the next rooms, Sebastian poking his head in until he found Anna's. He opened the door and walked in, and Ciel followed behind him. His eyes went wide as he looked, and he felt his jaw drop. There in front of him was Anna, with two curling horns spouting from her forehead, and two very large, leathery bat wings hanging off her back. She was completely naked and atop a man, pinning him down with her claws. Her teeth were sharpened, her jaw unnaturally unhinged as she raised the man's body to her mouth, and ripped out a bite. She hissed as they entered, the blood running down her face as she glared at the people who'd interrupted her meal.

"Sebastian, what is she?" Ciel said, unable to tear his eyes off the woman. She was terrifying, like a creature of legend, but he couldn't stop the feeling in his limbs, pushing him forwards towards her. He looked at the women with a smile on his face, reaching his hands out as if to hold her.

Sebastian grabbed him and yanked him back, his voice sharp. "She's a succubus. Or rather, a female form of demon. She lures men to bed, and eats their souls with a kiss."

Anna turned to face them, and smiled. Her voice was like music to Ciel, a melodic trill that made his head feel funny. He knew they were here to kill her, and yet he couldn't quite control his body, being held back only by Sebastian's arm that was wrapped around his waist. "What are you doing here, demon? Can't you see I'm busy? You're a bit too late, I've already eaten his soul."

Sebastian laughed and shook his head. "I'm afraid I'm not interested in that, I only desire my master's soul. We're here on the Queen's orders to put an end to the mysterious string of disappearances that you've left."

She cocked her head, amused. "You're on a leash? How boring. Do you really plan to kill me, a fellow fiend of hell?"

"If it is my master's wishes, then it's what I'll do." He said simply. Ciel was looking dazedly between them, trying to sort out his thoughts. He loved Sebastian, he knew this, but his head was feeling cloudy, and his body ached to gravitate towards the woman. He grunted and closed his eyes, trying to fight the feeling.

"Oh my, it seems your little master is having a hard time dealing with my presence." She cooed. "Are you sure he'll still order you to kill me? I think he wants me."

Ciel clutched at his head, desperately trying to force her influence away. He doubled over, trying to focus only on Sebastian and not her words. She was evil, she had to be killed. He repeated it to himself again and again, like a mantra. "S-Sebastian...k-ki- agh!"

"Master?" Sebastian said, holding him back as his body lurched forward, his hands stretching out to reach Anna's. His eyes were wide and his face slack, as if the only thing that mattered was touching her, feeling her, being with her.

Anna laughed, and took another bite of the man, wiping her mouth delicately afterwards. "He's putting up quite a fight, it's admirable. But, what can beat a demon's lust? It's what's tempted men for centuries."

Sebastian looked at her, then grabbed Ciel's face, pulling it towards his. "A demon's love, of course."

He kissed Ciel, and as his own honeyed essence began to flow into his senses Ciel kissed him back with a groan, the passion from the succubus now being mingled with Sebastian's effect and being directed solely onto him. Ciel wrapped his arms around Sebastian and kissed him deeply, desperately tugging at his hair and his clothes, overwhelmed by the desire to take him.

Sebastian broke away and grinned at Anna, who's face was slacked in shock. "Close your mouth, it's not ladylike."

"Unbelievable. You just managed to break his focus from me. Do you know how near impossible that is to do once I choose a man? Once I reach out to him, he's supposed to be mine, so how were you able to take him?" She bared her teeth, outraged at having been bested. Her wings flared and she growled, a deep guttural sound. "I want him."

Sebastian, who was still being wildly kissed on the face, hair and neck by Ciel, gave her a sly smile. "Sorry, but he's mine. Body and soul, until the very end. That's the perk of being on a leash. What a pity for you- he has the most delectable soul you'll ever taste."

Anna screeched, and turned towards Ciel, her eyes almost hypnotic. "Come to me. I'm waiting for you, don't you want me? I want you. Come."

Ciel looked at her then Sebastian, then bent his head, a wicked smile on his lips. "Stay here, Sebastian." He rose, breaking away from Sebastian's hold and walked towards her, right into her outstretched arms. She cradled him against her naked bloody chest, and bent her head towards his. She frowned as Ciel began to laugh, but parted her lips anyway, ready to take his soul.

While she was looking solely at his lips, Ciel jammed his thumbs into her eyes as hard as possible, taking advantage of her struggle to get more fingers in, clawing as much as he could. "Now, Sebastian! Kill her!"

Anna screamed beneath him in shock, blood flowing from her eyes, and shot her hand out, ready to snap his neck. However, it was caught by Sebastian, who smiled at her politely. "Yes, master."

He wrapped his other hand around her neck and in one swift movement, ripped her head from her shoulders. Her body slumped forward on top of the half eaten man's, and miraculously disintegrated into a black fog that seeped through the floorboards before being swept out the window by a breeze. Her head did the same, and as soon as every part of her had left the room Ciel's head cleared and he slumped, landing on Sebastian.

"My head." He groaned, feeling the butler's arms wrap around him. "That was not pleasant."

"We'll run you a bath once we return. Master, if I may ask, how did you break her spell? I thought that she was going to kiss you, but then you gouged her eyes, which was quite a surprise, sir. You hate getting your hands dirty."

Ciel looked at him as if he were dumb. "Well as soon as you kissed me all the feelings I felt towards here went towards you. Even when she called out to me, I didn't feel anything towards her. All I was thinking was that she might hurt you if you fought, and then my head went kind of crazy and I just remember trying to pull her eyeballs from her face. I hate doing field work, this is your job, you know."

"My apologies, sir." Sebastian laughed then stood, holding a worn out Ciel in his arms. "I must admit, it was rather...interesting to have you so enthusiastic. A lady should never act so rash."

Ciel hid his face, aware of the blush creeping up his neck and cheeks. He hadn't behaved distinguished at all, draping himself over Sebastian so carelessly, especially when someone was watching. He knew that it was the succubus that made him act so, but he had a feeling the butler would tease him about it relentlessly, and he scowled. "Shut up, you know that wasn't really me. Hurry up and hide this guy so we can go home."

Sebastian bit back a smile as he picked the corpse up with one hand and shoved him in the wardrobe. He held Ciel close to his chest and exited the room, walking down the stairs quickly. He was met by a sea of faces, watching him warily, some of them with blush on their cheeks.

A voice called out from the crowd. "That was some pretty loud screaming up there. Everything alright?"

Ciel raised his head, surveying the crowd as Sebastian walked by them. "Of course, I told you all: he's simply one hell of a lover."

-------------------------

As Sebastian laid Ciel down on the bed and began to remove his clothes, Ciel took a massive breath as the corset was released, and his lungs could fill fully again. He laid back against the pillows peacefully as Sebastian slid the rest of the dress off, as well as his shoes and stockings. Never again was Ciel taking advantage of breathing. He raised a hand and un-clipped the bunches from his hair, flinging them aside, and rubbed a hand over his painfully sore ribs.

"I refuse to wear another corset."He said, flinching as a dull ache spread through his torso. "I think my ribs may actually break next time."

Sebastian laughed as he pulled of Ciel's underwear, leaving him naked on the bed. His chest rose lazily, the red indents of the corset running along his smooth skin like welts. Sebastian's finger's traced them softly. "I think that would be wise. This looks sore."

Ciel looked at him, amused at his own thought. "Next time you're the one that has to wear it."

"I'm afraid I wouldn't be very passing, bocchan. Have you seen many six foot women?" He said, smiling slightly as he sat by the boy.

Ciel snickered, closing his eyes to picture Sebastian in a dress. "Maybe you could join a tribe of Amazonian women."

Sebastian kissed along Ciel's neck, hearing the slight exhale of breath as he did so. He murmured against Ciel's skin, his voice low. "I think I'd much rather stay here."

Sebastian licked at his neck, his teeth grazing down the skin lightly, causing Ciel's body to shiver. He felt a small hand on the back of his head, latching on as Sebastian moved further down his chest, his pale tongue flicking over one of Ciel's nipples. He felt the boy shudder and smiled against his skin.

"W-What are you doing?" Ciel managed to get out, Sebastian's touch leaving a trail of fire on his skin.

"I believe you said I could replace their touch with mine, bocchan." Sebastian said, his fingers tweaking at Ciel's nipple, causing the boy to bite his lip.

Ciel was uncomfortably aware of the heat spreading through his body and he closed his eyes, trying to regain some control. "I don't remember them touching me there."

"That's right," He said slyly. "It was here, wasn't it?" His lips moved to Ciel's leg, and he trailed his tongue slowly up the inside of his thigh. He planted kisses all over the skin, before inching higher, and sinking his teeth into the soft skin of Ciel's leg.

He cried out, his hand tightening in Sebastian's hair as his tongue swept over the skin and he sucked, his teeth biting in slightly. He writhed as Sebastian's other hand inched up his right thigh, parting his legs, leaving him completely open and defenseless. He could feel his heart race, feel the blood pumping round his body, rushing to the places where his hands touched. It was so obvious the effect the butler had, Ciel was almost ashamed of himself. He was complete putty in Sebastian's hands. He knew he could say no if he wanted to, he knew he could end it with a simple order, but everything in his body was screaming at him not to.

Sebastian lifted his mouth, staring at the now purple-red splotch of skin on Ciel's thigh, marring its perfect whiteness. "There, it's only my mark that's left."

Ciel could do nothing but whimper as Sebastian began to kiss along his thigh, moving up until his tongue traced over his hipbone and down his abdomen, coming infuriatingly close to Ciel's crotch. He opened his eyes and lifted his head, his voice feather-light. "Don't. If you're going to do what you did last time, then stop- I can't take it. My body feels like it's burning...j-just don't continue if you're going to leave me like this, Sebastian."

Sebastian looked at him, somewhat taken aback by the torn look on his young master's face. He'd never spoken to him so boldly about it before, but he could see that he meant it. His whole body was shaking, tears at the brim of spilling over, and his lip quivered. Sebastian knew that he wasn't thinking about the game right now, but rather the overwhelming intimacy between them as his lips met his skin, and his hands tightened in his hair. He looked at Ciel, then bowed his head. "I understand."

Ciel lay back down, expecting Sebastian to pull away, but he was shocked to feel something warm on his member, and he gasped as he saw that it was Sebastian's tongue, trailing up lightly. He swirled it at the head and Ciel shuddered, his free hand clinging at the bed sheets. His mind raced, trying to find out what the hell was happening and why it felt so good, but his thoughts were scattered and pushed aside as a pleasurable tingling sensation spread through his body, causing his breath to come out in a shudder. Sebastian continued to lick at him, almost painfully slowly, until Ciel felt as if he was about to break. A whimper escaped his mouth, and Sebastian's fingers gripped Ciel's hip as he heard it, taking Ciel in his mouth.

"O-Oh, my God!" Ciel said, throwing his head back. Sebastian's mouth was warm and wet and good, his soft tongue swirling across him every time he bobbed his head.

Sebastian moved faster, able to take Ciel in his mouth fully, and sucked his cheeks in, aware of the boy's groans. He wasn't sure why he hadn't just backed away and left it, but seeing the young boy so vulnerable and open, so aware to his touch, he couldn't stop the desire to make him happy. He was caught up in his feelings of love towards him, so unused to seeing his large blue eyes so soft and unguarded. He held his hips down to stop them bucking, and felt Ciel tangle both hands in his hair as he arched his back, his breath coming in short quick pants.

"S-Sebastian! I can't, I-I think I'm-" Ciel moaned deeply as a warmth spread through his entire body and he came, his toes curling as his hips bucked. Pleasure spread through his limbs as if it was a drug in his blood stream, and he sank against the bed, a thin sheet of sweat on his forehead. He lifted Sebastian's head up with his hands and pulled the butler towards him, his voice soft. "'Bastian."

"My Lord." Sebastian said as Ciel's hand held his face, and he looked at him through half lidded eyes. His hair was messy, his lips swollen from kisses, and pink twinged his cheeks. He looked absolutely beautiful, and Sebastian wanted nothing more than to keep him with him forever. "Are you alright?"

"I..." Ciel looked at him, unable to find the words. How could he explain the feelings? The warmth that spread through him at Sebastian's touch; the way his lips left a fire under his skin; how he melted when those eyes looked at him like that. He looked at him, tears spilling onto his cheeks, and gave him a very small, genuine smile. "I feel happy, Sebastian."

Sebastian kissed him slowly and lay beside him, his hand over Ciel's rapidly beating heart. He brought him close to his chest, kissing the top of his head softly. "Then I am happy."

Ciel's hands tried to undo Sebastian's shirt buttons, but his exhaustion meant that he struggled getting them to even coordinate enough to undo them. Sebastian helped him, and pulled his shirt off, before settling back next to Ciel. He felt the young boy's head rest on his chest, his ear pressed to his heartbeat. Ciel hummed along with it, his limbs entwined with the butler's as they lay.

"I like hearing your heartbeat." He said suddenly, his voice quiet. "It reminds me you're alive, and that you're here with me. I keep thinking this is a dream, or some sort of sick game, and I'll wake up back inside that cage."

"You will never be in the cage again, bocchan." Sebastian said, brushing his finger's through Ciel's hair. "I promise.That is the contract we made; I freed you, and now I will spend every day of your life with you, until you have achieved your goal."

"My soul will be yours for the end of time." Ciel said, his eyes flicking up to meet Sebastian's. "Yours, and only yours."

"Until then, I belong to you. Mind, body, spirit." Sebastian said, wrapping his arms around the young boy. He pulled the covers up over them, and turned off the lamp, holding a very exhausted Ciel to his chest.

Ciel struggled to get his words out through his slacking lips, but he tried anyway. "Sebastian, is my soul still okay for you?"

"What do you mean, young master?"

"After tonight...will I be impure? Will I still taste as good to you?" Ciel's voice was quiet, and he was glad Sebastian couldn't see the blush that crept up his neck. "I don't want to do things that will make me a disappointment; I'm a Phantomhive, my soul should be the best."

Sebastian smiled against Ciel's hair, struck by the boy's consideration. Normally he was so selfish, so guarded, but here he lay naked on Sebastian's chest, his voice soft and quiet, wondering if Sebastian would be happy with him. Not many people gave such consideration to a demon. "You're not impure, bocchan. Your soul lives in darkness yet is untouched by it, it's remarkable. Normally, for a soul to be considered impure, it would have to be bedding someone that altered the purity. Even that, for it to really affect a soul's taste...it would have to be in a tasteless or perverted, non-consensual way. What we did was small in comparison- your body is still virtually untouched. And...I love you. Stupidly so, to be honest. And I believe that you love me also. So, I think that it will not have affected you much."

"What if it has?" He whispered, frowning at himself.

"Then," Sebastian said, tilting his head up. "I will devour you knowing that I was the one to make that change. I do not regret it, young master."

Ciel kissed him slowly, then settled against his chest, feeling inexplicably safe and warm, as Sebastian's arms wrapped around him. "I love you."

The words were fleeing, impossibly fast and muttered against his chest, but Sebastian heard them. He rested his head back on the pillow, unable to stop the smile forming on his lips. "And I love you."

 

Author note: Sorry this took so long, I've been incredibly busy with sleeping, my birthday, and some personal stuff. Anyway, I realised I never did write Ciel's prostitution mission, so here you go. I know the dates don't match up but you'll have to forgive me, I really did forget I was supposed to write it. I hope you enjoyed this chapter, if it was too smutty then I apologise, I never actually planned for this to happen, but it's 2am and that means my thoughts are pretty gay. Anyway, please review!

Chapter Text

The day of their holiday had arrived, and Sebastian was loading their things into two different carriages: one for the servants, one for Ciel and him. It was sunny, and for once it offered both heat and light. Sebastian could see Mey-Rin waiting patiently in the carriage, trying to be on her best behaviour for the master. She had avoided most contact with Sebastian after that, taking extra care to do her job right so that she wouldn't have to get him to help her. She stayed out of the master's sight when possible also, making sure to gather his sheets and clean the rooms when he was out or busy. The other servants had noticed the change in her, but whenever they tried to ask her what happened she just brushed it off, refusing to tell them anything. Of course, Sebastian hadn't let anything slip either, deciding that it was up to Mey-Rin how much she wanted to say. He turned to Ciel, who was standing with his face turned towards the sun, drinking it in, and smiled.

"You can't photosynthesize, master. I'm afraid the sun won't help you grow any taller." He said, gracefully dodging the swipe Ciel made at him with his cane.

"Shut up and do your job." He said, scrunching his nose up.

He turned his face back to the sun, taking his hat off. It felt nice on his skin, the warmth. England was so usually grey and dull that the mere sighting of the sun was something that always lifted his spirits. It reminded him of those days when he and his father would lie on the grass of the back garden, looking at the clouds or playing tag. He knew it was foolish to think of such things, after all, what would thinking do? It wouldn't bring them back, nor fix his situation. Still, he couldn't help but remember how it felt to feel their arms around him again, hugging him close to their bodies. He would never admit it, but he missed them.

"We're ready to go, young master." Sebastian said pleasantly, waking him from his nostalgic trance. "We should arrive at the resort in the evening."

"Very well." Ciel said a silent goodbye to the mansion and the sun as he climbed inside the carriage, followed suit by Sebastian.

They sat in silence for a while, Ciel staring out the window as the scenery passed by like a cinematic record. He wished he could be outside, just enjoying the cool breeze and the heat, but he knew it was pointless to moan- he'd be at the resort in a few hours and then he could sit outside for as long as he pleased. The heat had made the carriage warm, and he removed his coat and blazer, leaving him in just his shirt, waistcoat, tie and shorts. Sebastian had picked him an outfit of emerald green that day. Ciel sat, thinking about nothing in particular: the fact that his resort was now finished and they would be the first to try it; that this would be a full week without Elizabeth or his aunt calling to check up on him; wondering if the new roses Sebastian had planted would flourish well; and thinking about the miraculous situation of him somehow having a full week free of any work responsibilities.

He turned to Sebastian, his voice light. "Did you bring any reading material?"

"Yes, sir. I brought some Dickens for you, and a particularly interesting book I found called 'A string of pearls: the Demon barber of fleet street.'" Sebastian removed his outer coat, lounging back in his uniform. "I think you will be satisfied."

"A demon barber?" Ciel mused, pursing his lips. "More interesting than a demon butler, for sure."

Sebastian's eyes narrowed, but he saw by the quirk of Ciel's lips that he was only messing with him, attempting to rile a reaction. He tilted his head, giving a smile that would melt your heart. "I'm sorry to disappoint, sir. Maybe next time when I cut your hair, I can give Sweeney Todd's method a go."

Ciel clasped his hands and raised them to his face, chuckling quietly. He knew at times Sebastian would probably delight in slicing his neck open with a knife, but he didn't worry- the feeling was mutual. He supposed that was what love was: even though Ciel wanted to punch him in the face most days(and could do without receiving any punishment), he didn't. He thought about the butler in front of him, wondering what would happen if anyone was to know their secret. He doubted the servants would react too horribly- they all loved Sebastian, valued Ciel as a master and none of them held a particular torch for any God. He could imagine Elizabeth's reaction, oh how she would cry. She'd positively hate him, undoubtedly. He supposed he couldn't blame her, she had loved him madly since they were children, and instead of returning it the way she wanted him to, he'd gave it all to his butler, of all people. He imagined the reactions of the press, and how his company would most certainly go down in flames, and the reactions of his parents who would turn in their graves if they knew of their son's desires. All of this raged on in his head, and yet he couldn't bring himself to think that Sebastian was a mistake.

He looked at the man, who's inky black hair lay messily around his seemingly perfect face, and cocked his head. No, he didn't regret choosing him. Ciel was going to die as soon as they figured out who killed his parents anyway, so why deny himself? Why force himself to spend the remains of his life with a woman he didn't love? Or focusing on a company that had nobody to take over it? Ciel had decided it was simply smarter to live in the moment, to love who he wished and do as he pleased. He would worry about whatever problems arose in the future.

"What are you thinking about, bocchan?" Sebastian said, amused. The young master had been staring at him for the past ten minutes, a very warm look in his eyes. It was rare to see him show such emotion.

Instead of answering, Ciel leaned forward and kissed Sebastian. He drew back, the smallest of smiles on his lips, and crossed his legs, again looking out the window. "That."

Sebastian crossed his arms and raised two fingers to his lips, hiding a smile. "If I knew you were this pleasant when we go on holidays I would have suggested one much sooner. Perhaps monthly ones."

Ciel rolled his eyes, but was unable to really stay mad at Sebastian. Truth be told, he was looking forward to the break they had planned, particularly enjoying the thought of lounging back in his hot spring, no duties, no messages, no work. One week of freedom. He looked at Sebastian. "Did you pack any clothes for yourself besides your uniform?"

"I packed nightwear and my uniform only." Sebastian shuffled, then pulled off his tailcoat as well, starting to feel the heat as they approached afternoon.

"What a shame. I'm sure Mey-Rin would have loved to see you in a bathing suit." Ciel voice was calm, but he was fighting the desire to laugh at the thought of Sebastian in one of those horrid swimsuits with the big collars and wide stripes, which stopped at the shoulders and the knees and would undoubtedly make him look like a giant child. His lips failed him and quivered, forcing him to close his eyes as he tried to pass off his suppressed laughter as a cough.

Sebastian felt his own lips pull into a smile watching Ciel. He so rarely found humour in things that he was genuinely debating wearing one of the suits just to amuse the young boy. There was something truly fascinating about seeing him relaxed, with that hardness taken out of his eyes. Sebastian would be damned if anything ruined his mood on this holiday. "Master, would it be terribly rude of me to ask you to come here for a second?"

"What is it?" Ciel said, leaning forward to move. He felt Sebastian's hands on the side of his face and then their lips touched, Sebastian parting Ciel's with his tongue gently. He kissed him slowly and softly, and Ciel's hands found their way to Sebastian's neck, his fingers playing with the ends of Sebastian's hair. Eventually Sebastian drew back with a satisfied smile on his lips.

"That's all." He said, looking out the window again.

Ciel took a deep breath then sank back in his seat, humming contentedly at the taste of Sebastian that lingered in his mouth. He raised his eyebrow, smirking. "How unprofessional."

"My apologies, sir." The butler looked at him with gleaming eyes. "I cannot promise to improve my professionalism, however."

Ciel cocked his head tapping his cheek with a finger. "That's alright, you can make up for it by playing a game with me."

"What game do you wish to play, bocchan?" He said, reaching into his jacket pocket for a deck of cards.

"This one."

Ciel crossed the space between them until he was right in front of Sebastian, and he pushed him back against the seat with one hand. He placed a knee in-between Sebastian's legs, balancing himself so he could lean in and kiss him, snaking his free hand into the butler's hair. Sebastian waved his hand and the curtains of the carriage closed, and then he wrapped his arms around Ciel, bringing him closer. Their kiss deepened as their tongues pushed against each other, a dance of give and take that was made for just them. Sebastian found himself lying down on the seat, his long legs splayed across the carriage, while Ciel sat atop him, straddling him. He broke away from the butler's mouth to kiss down his jaw and neck, disgruntled when Sebastian's tie and collar got in the way. He pushed the tie down enough to undo a button or two, granting him access to Sebastian's collarbones, which he playfully kissed and nipped at. He felt a pair of hands untuck his shirt and slide up his chest and back, stopping to pinch at his nipples. Ciel placed his hands on Sebastian's chest and leaned back as those hands touched him, gasping slightly as the tingling sensation it sent throughout his body.

He pulled his eyepatch off, pushing his fringe out the way so his marked eye was on show. "Do the glove thing."

Sebastian raised a confused eyebrow. "Pardon, sir?"

"The glove thing. Take your glove off, the way you always do." Ciel gasped as warmth spread throughout his body. "Now."

Sebastian's eyes lit up in recognition and he laughed, surprised at having found a particularly strange thing the young boy liked. He looked Ciel in the eye, and raised his hand to his mouth, biting the tip of one finger. He slid his hand out the glove, and as soon as he spat the glove out Ciel pounced on him, kissing him again. The carriage hit a bump, causing Ciel's small body to rut against Sebastian, and both of them moaned into the kiss. Ciel delighted in finally getting some form of noise from Sebastian, and he bit the Butler's lip as they kissed, almost hard enough to draw blood. He grinned wickedly as Sebastian sat up, holding him to his body with a hand placed on his back. Sebastian bit the top of his ear before dragging his tongue all down Ciel's neck, causing him to tilt his head back and dig his hands into Sebastian's back, each brush of his lips sending shivers down his spine.

Ciel never knew it was possible to feel this alive. He didn't think that his head would spin like this, that his body would burn and ache in so many good ways, that his skin would tingle and his breath would quicken and every part of him would become hyper aware to his surroundings. He had no idea that the whole world could stop when he was with Sebastian. It was addicting, like a buzz he couldn't shake, and it shoved out any feelings of guilt he would have felt. He pushed Sebastian back down against the seat again, and gently rolled his hips, rutting against him like they had when the carriage hit the bump. He whimpered slightly as the pleasure of friction rolled through him, and his small hips bucked again or again of their own accord, until his forehead was touching Sebastian's chest, his hand holding onto his shirt as more moans left his mouth. His body was desperate for something more, desperate for something it couldn't achieve alone. It was around this point that Ciel had realised he was most likely going to loose this round of the game, considering his body was flooded with warmth and he was dying for a release like Sebastian had shown him earlier. However, he hadn't been blind to the fact that Sebastian's hips had rose to meet his thrusts each time, and that the butler's own face had a tiny scrunch in it, just by his nose.

Ciel kissed it lightly. "How is it possible for an ancient demon to look so...cute? This must be what you feel like when you look at a cat."

Instead of replying, Sebastian moved his hips, watching as the friction caused Ciel to dig his fingers into the leather of the seats, screwing his eyes shut.

Ciel looked at him, biting his lip. His face was flushed, his voice weak. "You win. I can't take any more, I feel like I'm burning up inside."

He slumped against Sebastian, burying his face in his neck. He knew it was a stupid move to try and win against Sebastian again- he'd already discovered that the butler had much more control over his body than he did. Truth be told his own body was on fire, aching all over to be touched, and he was equal parts exhilarated and angry with the situation. When it came to the game, he would most definitely have to work the jealousy aspect if he ever wanted to win. This carriage adventure was basically him sacrificing a chess piece that in all honesty, he probably didn't need to. Still, he hummed happily as he lay on Sebastian's chest, pressing kisses to the butler's neck and jaw, thinking out future strategies.

Sebastian breifly wondered what the other servants were doing. He was positive they were not in the same position as him, anyway. He lay, with Ciel on top of him, his soft lips pressing kisses wherever they pleased, and a long forgotten fire had started up in his belly, a need and a longing he hadn't felt in a long time. Sure, he'd slept with people before, but it wasn't the same. Doing it because you have to is one thing, but to really want it, to have it so close but impossible to reach, it was infuriatingly wonderful. His body had long forgotten the feeling, and its arrival only made him feel more alive, despite the untouchable end goal. He wrapped an arm around Ciel and began to drag his fingers through the young boy's hair, combing it back to a more presentable state.

He brought Ciel's face to his and kissed him slowly, his bare hand held against his cheek. Ciel leaned into the touch, and looked at him through large hazy eyes, blinking slowly. He gave him a lazy smile before settling back against his chest.

"For a demon, you're very good looking." He said softly, entwining one of his hands with Sebastian's. "Is that on purpose or do you just look like that?"

"Thankyou, Bocchan, but I must ask- are you insinuating demons are ugly?" There was amusement in his tone, and he smiled against Ciel's hair.

The young boy scoffed. "Well, Claude is ugly. His face is plain, his eyes are the colour of cheap gold, and his hairstyle is rather odd. Do you not think his head is quite large also?"

Sebastian started to laugh, his shoulders shaking with small chuckles. He kissed the top of Ciel's head, rubbing his thumb over Ciel's hand. "I can't say I've ever paid attention to his looks. I tend to pretend he doesn't exist, actually."

"I would hate to have him as my butler." Ciel mused, shuddering at the thought. "I can't fathom what it would be like to see that boring face every day for months on end. I bet he wouldn't be able to make a cup of tea right, either."

"In contrast, Alois is very much his opposite, isn't he? He's a physically beautiful boy, he's loud, he's expressive and rash, he's-"

"A brat." Ciel shot daggers at Sebastian, daring him to go on.

Sebastian leaned forward and kissed him, his voice dropping to a murmur. "Come now, are you really getting jealous because I said he was beautiful?"

Ciel frowned, trying to ignore the shiver that went through his body when Sebastian's voice dropped that low. "No, I just don't think you're focusing enough on the fact that he's a pompous sniveling brat who contributes nothing to society, is dumber than a dog and has an annoying voice, is all."

Sebastian just chuckled again, amused at the venom in Ciel's voice. He watched as his face screwed up in hatred of Alois Trancy, and lifted his hand to the boy's face, his voice soothing. "In any case, I would rather serve you than him. You have a better soul, you are surely a much better master, and you are much, much more beautiful."

Ciel hid his face in the crook of Sebastian's neck, hiding the blush that crept up his cheeks. He didn't want to admit how easily his jealousy piqued at the simple statement, but Sebastian saw right through him anyway. He just kissed Sebastian's neck again, knowing he'd understand what Ciel couldn't say. The darkness from the closed curtains was making him sleepy, and as the minutes past he nestled into Sebastian's body and began to drift off, feeling completely safe with his his butler's long arms draped across him.

"Master, we're here." Sebastian said, pulling Ciel into a sitting position.

"Huh?" Ciel sat up, looking around to see where he was. It was then he remember the holiday and the resort, and he yawned, trying to wake up more.

The young boy stretched and rubbed his eyes before leaning over to Sebastian, stretching up for another kiss. Sebastian shook his head and kissed him, simultaneously tying his patch back onto his face to cover up his eye. He scooped their coats up in one hand and opened the door with the other, and the cool spring sky met them. It was evening, and the sky was a beautiful light purple, and the brand new resort stood before them. It looked spectacular, as if all the gloom and despair of the town had completely vanished, and the only thing that remained was a peaceful tranquil feel. As Ciel stared, surrounded by his excited staff, he gave a small huff of a laugh, taking his first step towards the resort. He had a feeling this would be a good holiday.

Chapter Text

Ciel lay back on the bed, admiring his room. The suite had been decorated nicely, with deep reds and golds, and the setting sun cast an orange glow on the room. It made Ciel feel very warm, and he nodded his head approvingly- they'd done a good job decorating the place. All the rooms were very grand, and the only mild part of the building was the servants quarters. The rooms were smaller and less extravagantly decorated, with less windows for light. His own servants had made a beeline for those rooms until he reminded them that they were on holiday, and could pick whatever rooms they pleased. Finny had dropped to his knees then, flinging his hands around Ciel's legs and starting to wail about what a kind master he was, until Ciel blushed and jerked his leg, freeing himself and muttering under his breath. Mey-Rin was still avoiding him as much as possible, and it was creating a hostile feel to his holiday. He sighed.

"Sebastian, tomorrow I want to speak to Mey-Rin. Let her know." He said, staring at the ceiling.

"Now, master?" Sebastian was currently unpacking the boy's clothes into the wardrobe.

"Once you're finished that." He looked at the butler. "Which suite will you stay in?"

"I'm sure the one next door will do fine." Sebastian cast a glance over his shoulder, noticing the small frown on his master's face. "But should you request it, I'll be here. You need only ask."

"Hmph." Ciel said, closing his eyes. "I see."

After Sebastian had finished, he went to the bathroom, his hands on the taps. "Would you like your bath now?"

Ciel was feeling rather tired, from the long journey and satisfying dinner he'd had upon arriving. It was getting well into the evening now, and he felt groggy and lethargic. "Yes, make it bubbly."

After he started filling the bath, the butler walked towards the boy who was laying sprawled on the bed, and began to unlace his shoes. "You shouldn't have your shoes on the bed, young master. It's not proper."

"I'm on holiday, I don't need to be proper." He murmured, his hands behind his head.

Sebastian shook his head and sighed, pulling off the boots. He sat them down beside the bed, then began to pull his socks off. He deliberately let his fingers skin across the sole of Ciel's foot, causing him to make a strangled noise as he jerked his foot away. Sebastian kept his laugh in as those big eyes glared at him, a small pout on the young boy's lips. He hated being tickled. "My apologies, sir. My hand slipped."

Ciel said nothing, choosing to lie back down instead. Sebastian continued to undress him, slightly frustrated at the Earl's unwillingness to actually move his body in any way to help the butler. It made it awkward for Sebastian to get his shirt and jacket off, trying to force Ciel to sit up so he could maneuver his arms through the sleeves. He closed his eyes and sighed, reminding himself that every now and then Ciel played up.

"Something wrong?" Ciel said, giving him a smile that would melt your heart, as if he'd done nothing wrong.

"No, master." Sebastian said patiently. "Nothing is wrong. Now come, your bath is ready."

As Sebastian was going to stand, Ciel sat up and wrapped his arms around the butler, inhaling deeply. "Stay with me tonight."

"Is that a request or an order?" He laughed, hugging the young boy to his chest.

Ciel was gradually learning to show his affections in small ways now, and he was much more comfortable around the butler than he'd originally been. It felt strange to Sebastian, to feel this unknown longing inside him as he held Ciel so gently, almost as if it was against who he was as a demon, but he couldn't back out even if he wanted to. There was something intoxicating about it, the warmth that spread through him and the stirring of emotions he hadn't felt in hundreds of years was creating a blip in his long long life, and he was relishing in it. Even for a demon, there was an appeal in something so wrong.

Ciel smiled against his neck, his fingers tightening in Sebastian's hair. "That depends on what you say."

There was only ever one answer. "Yes, my Lord."

Ciel sat in the newly drawn bath, submerged to his nose in bubbles. He'd kept requesting that Sebastian make it bubblier until the entire surface of the water was covered with them, and only the top of Ciel's face could be seen. Sebastian knelt by the bath beside him, shielding the boy's eyes as he poured a jug of water over his head.

Ciel sat up more and frowned, pushing his hair back off his face. Sebastian's eyes scanned his face, lip quirking at the ever changing face of Ciel. He was approaching fourteen this year, and his face had begun to thin, his jaw line becoming sharper, and the adam's apple in his throat starting to form. His voice was still soft, having not broken yet, and his body was petite, but Sebastian knew it was only a matter of time before those changed, too. With his hair slicked back, the butler got to see the full of Ciel's face- something that didn't happen often.

He reached his hand out, tracing his fingers down Ciel's cheek, turning his head to him. "Your face changes so much with each month, and yet you still do not grow."

Ciel raised his hand from the water and flicked it at him, covering him in a spray of small droplets. "I don't want to hear that for someone who's been the same for centuries!"

Sebastian dragged his hand down his face, shooting a look to his young master to let him know he was not amused. "You're making a mess now."

Ciel just snickered and grabbed his tie, yanking Sebastian forward. Their noses were nearly touching, and he placed his wet hand onto the butler's face, watching as the droplets made a path down his cheek and onto his uniform. "You could relax a bit you know, we're on holiday."

"A butler's duties never cease, sir." Sebastian said, tilting his head. He placed his hand over the boy's for a few seconds.

Ciel leaned forward and wrapped his arms back around Sebastian's neck, placing a gentle kiss against his lips. He touched their foreheads briefly before drawing back and settling into the bath, letting Sebastian wash him with a cloth. He sat in the bath peacefully, the aroma of the lavender wash and the heat of the water soothing him off to sleep . He began to slip, but was once again caught by Sebastian's hand, who lifted him back above the water.

"Time for bed, bocchan?" He said, a small smile pulling at his lips.

"Yes, did you bring my pillow? You know I cant sleep without it." Ciel stood, and he felt Sebastian's eyes linger on him for a second longer than usual before a towel draped around his shoulders, and he was scooped out.

"Of course, sir. It is already unpacked." Sebastian carried him to the bed, which was situated conveniently next to the window, showing a view of the other villas and the hills surrounding the resort. The purple lit sky of evening had taken over from the suns dying rays, and the resulting view was rather beautiful.

Sebastian dried him carefully, holding Ciel to his chest as he did so. While his hands brought the towel across his stomach and hips, his lips pressed again Ciel's neck, catching the few droplets his partly dried hair had let fall. He felt the weight of a small body lean against him fully as a sigh escaped Ciel's lips, and his eyes grew heavy. Sebastian sat him against the bed wile he dried his legs, noticing that the hickey he'd placed on his inner thigh had disappeared now, nothing but blank creamy skin left. His thumb rubbed over the spot absentmindedly, and then he stood, reaching for a nightshirt. A few seconds later the Earl was dressed for bed, and he knelt.

"You are ready for bed, bocchan."

"Mhm." Ciel just reached out and brought his face close again, planting a very soft kiss against the butler's lips. He parted his own, and let Sebastian's tongue skim across his bottom lip before entering his mouth. He exhaled into that sweet taste, his fingers gripping Sebastian's hair and pulling him closer, leaning them back onto the bed. He felt Ciel's hands leave his hair, and instead just wrap around him as he hugged him close, before pushing him over so he was lying next to him.

Ciel yawned and his eyelids fluttered as he lay beside Sebastian, intertwining their fingers. "If I wake up and you're not here, I'll kill you."

Sebastian bit back his smile, choosing instead to brush his thumb along Ciel's cheekbone instead. "Very well, sir. Goodnight."

Ciel said nothing as he began to drift away, sleep finally claiming him. Within minute he was snoring, a noise so soft it could be mistaken as a purr from a cat. Sebastian himself slid his hand from Ciel's then changed into the new nightclothes the young master had bought for him, and settled back on the edge of the bed, his fingers brushing back Ciel's hair from his face. He was perfectly happy just to sit, since he had no need for sleep, but some hours into the night, his ears pricked as they heard a familiar giggle.

Sebastian stilled, immediately on alert. Who was that? It wasn't any of the servants voices, and they had all picked rooms further away, and there was nobody else in the resort but them. An intruder? An assassin? It was then that the windows slammed open, and a tall lithe body lounged against them, legs dangling off the edge. The long red hair fluttered with the breeze, and a chainsaw was held carelessly in his gloved hand. He smiled, showing a range of wide, pointy teeth.

Sebastian frowned, clenching his jaw-of course it would be him. "Grell Sutcliff."

The reaper tilted his head, the cascade of fiery hair spilling over his shoulder gracefully. He giggled again, his bright green eyes wide. "Hello, Sebby. Long time no see."

Chapter Text

Sebastian sighed, tilting his head at the ever outrageous reaper, who was casually lounging on the windowsill, flashing a pointed grin. He hated that smile. "Grell. It's not been long enough, if you ask me."

The red head jumped down and frowned, making a tsk noise. His gloved finger clenched into a fist. "That's not very nice, Sebby! Here I am, ready to give you all my love-"

"I don't want it." Sebastian stood rigid, glaring at the man in front of him. "I must ask you to leave now, and stop making so much noise. My young master is trying to sleep."

"Hm, that won't do." Grell cast an eye over Ciel, who's hair was splayed out against the pillow, his small chest rising and falling with each breath. "I need him awake, actually. The little brat has a use, tonight."

"Too bad. We're on vacation, which means no unwanted attention from desperate foolish reapers who can't keep a job." Sebastian smiled sweetly, but his eyes were narrowed. He gestured towards the window. "If you would be so kind as to leave now, thankyou."

"So stoic!" Grell fanned his face, his long legs striding him closer to Sebastian. He leaned in close, their noses almost touching, ignoring the way the butler's lip curled in disgust. "I love a man who hides his desires. Makes it all the more fun, don't you think?"

"Grell, the only desire I have towards you is to punch you in the throat, and trust me, I do not hide it."

The red head squealed and drew away, holding his hands to his heart. "So cruel! But, unlucky for you, I have some business with your young master." His emerald eyes narrowed and he smiled wide again, running his tongue across the sharp teeth. He took a step towards the bed. "You see, he owes me one."

"Lay a finger on him and I will most certainly rip your arm off." Sebastian said simply, striding up to the reaper. They were both very tall and lithe, making it easy to stare into his eyes. Ruby clashed with emerald, and he felt himself tense when the maniac started to laugh.

Grell flung his head back and trilled, clapping his hands giddily. "How exciting!"

Suddenly there was a gunshot, and Ciel was bolt up in bed, the gun in his hands. He gripped the sheets with his free hand, his eyes looking around the room wildly. It was then that he saw it was Grell in his room, and noticed that he was cradling his shoulder, which Ciel had conveniently managed to shoot.

"Bocchan, you're awake." Sebastian said fondly. He ignored the wailing of the reaper, who's blood was spilling out onto the floor. "I am terribly sorry sir, I've failed in keeping your sleep undisturbed."

"Sebastian, what the hell is going on here? Why is he here?" Ciel scrambled to his feet, gun still in his hand. His hair was rumpled, and his pale legs stuck out from the bottom of the white nightshirt. Sebastian thought he looked adorable.

"You shot me! You little brat, I'll kill you!" Grell raged swinging his hand with the chainsaw. It revved to life, ready to slice Ciel's head clean from his shoulders. "Who even keeps a gun on them when they sleep?"

Sebastian's hand gripped his wrist, and crushed it so tightly that the bone cracked, and the chainsaw dropped to the floor. He leaned in, his voice a whisper in Grell's ear, and smiled pleasantly. "I don't think so. You see, I can't let anything happen to my master. Especially nothing at your hand."

The reaper shivered in glee, temporarily ignoring the pain in his shoulder. "Oh, Sebby! I love it when you're rough."

Sebastian dropped the reapers wrist and stepped away in disgust, his eyes flying to Ciel. He surveyed him, making sure he fared no damage. "My apologies, sir. He appeared here a few minutes ago- I was just in the process of making him leave."

"Ah ah ah! Not yet, I still need to talk to Ciel." Red hair trailed behind him as he smiled, lifting a long pale finger to his cheek as he pursed his lips. "I believe you owe me one."

"What?" Ciel scoffed, raising his gun again. "Explain yourself, or I'll shoot. Again."

"Alright, alright, no need for that." Grell grumbled, his fingers rubbing over his gunshot would. He knew it was going to hurt to get the bullet out. "When I was your protector against Drocell, you said I could have Sebastian for one full day and do whatever I want to him. Do you remember?"

"Yes." Ciel's word was clipped and short, his eyes narrowed. He held the gun steady, his eyes never straying from the reaper in front of him. "What of it?"

"I've come to collect my payment." His eyes flitted to Sebastian. "I think I'll take him now."

Ciel tipped his head, and a smile tugged at his lips. He dipped his head, the long hair of his fringe hiding his eyes, and then shifted his gaze up, boring into Grell with those large, blue eyes. "I believe the deal was that in exchange for you protecting me, you could have Sebastian for one day. I'd hardly call your wailing and disastrous fighting protection."

Grell growled at him, baring his teeth. "Are you saying the deal's off? Are you not a man of your word?"

Ciel's eyes narrowed then, but he let the jab at his honour slide. "If you weren't so incompetent you would have had him, but alas, you are nothing but a failure hidden beneath a flamboyant exterior. You will not touch my butler for one second, let alone one night. You are not worthy to."

Sebastian chuckled then, raising a hand to his mouth as he did so. He tilted his head in thanks to the young boy. "That is a relief, master. Thank you."

"It's not fair!" Grell raged, balling his fists. His broken wrist was all bumpy and jarred, but he tensed it anyway, gritting his teeth through the pain. "I was going to have so much fun! The things my hands would have done to that body, the things my tongue would've-"

"I am positively revolted by the very idea." Sebastian said, looking like he'd just licked the bottom of a dirty boot.

"You will never touch my butler." Ciel said softly, that smile on his lips again, the one that screamed he was going to hurt you and enjoy it. "He is mine, and only mine. I would never disgrace him with the likes of you, it would soil him even more than a whore."

Grell lunged, his hand wrapping around Ciel's neck and lifting him from the floor. He clenched, watching the boy's face redden as he struggled for breath, his eyes going extremely wide. His voice was a hiss. "I don't like being told what I can and can't do from a spoiled child."

"Master!" Sebastian raged. He took two steps forward, ready to fight, but stopped when Grell's grip tightened, and Ciel's hands fell at his side, twitching.The gun hit the floor. "Grell, let him go."

"Not yet, Sebby, I'm just having some fun!" The cheer disappeared from his voice with his next sentence. "If you take another step I'll tear my fingers right into his throat and wear his windpipe as a necklace-that's not what you want, is it?"

"I'll stand here, but release your hold a little or I will be bound by contract to fight you. My duty is to keep him alive at all costs." Sebastian said, eyes flitting to look at Ciel.

Sighing, Grell released his hold a little, just enough for Ciel to scrape a breath in, his heart racing. "Fine, there. Now, I'll let him go...if you kiss me. With tongue."

Ciel flung his head down and sunk his teeth into Grell's hand, as far as they would go. Blood filled his mouth, and he retched at the coppery taste, as if he'd swallowed a bunch of old pennies. Grell screamed and flung him down, and Ciel hit the floor hard. He grunted, his eyes searching for the gun, mildly aware of Sebastian advancing towards Grell.

In the time that he was distracted, Sebastian had wrapped his hand around Grell's jaw, squeezing it with increasing force. The red head couldn't talk, or move his head in any direction, and when he went to fight, Sebastian slammed his fist into his stomach with enough force to send him doubled over.

"I will never kiss you, for as long as I live." Sebastian said, repeatedly punching Grell. His fists pummeled into his sides, his ribs, his stomach, until the reaper was struggling to breathe, sinking to the ground on his knees. "I belong wholly to my master."

Ciel walked over then, the gun in his hand. He stood over Grell, raised his hand, and shot him in the leg. The man screamed, looking up with rage in his eyes. "Why do you keep shooting me?!"

"Isn't it obvious?" Ciel said, frowning. "You disturbed my sleep."

Grell groaned, his fingers flitting over the two gunshot wounds, his eyes scanning for the chainsaw. He pouted when he saw that Sebastian had it, holding it with an iron grip. "All this because I woke you up? You truly are cruel."

"Thank you." Ciel smiled. "You also tried to take Sebastian, which I simply can't allow."

Sebastian leaned in to the reaper, his voice dark. "The mere thought of my lips on yours makes me wish I could die."

Grell whined, banging his fists off the floor. "It's not fair! I'm surrounded by gorgeous stoic men and I can't have any of them! Life is so cruel, all I wanted was a taste of Sebas-chan! I promise I'll return him the exact same!"

"That is not the issue." Ciel leaned down until he was looking into Grell's bright green eyes. They would have been pretty if they weren't so wildly unsettling. "The issue is that he is mine. I will not give him away."

"He's just a servant!" Grell huffed, moving to face Sebastian. He fluttered his eyelashes and made an attempt to move his position into something that resembled sexiness. "Come on, Sebby- don't you want to? I'm a real power-bottom."

Sebastian's lip curled down and he shook his head. "I belong to my master, and only him."

"What is it with you demons and this extreme loyalty?" Grell crossed his arms, huffing. His body was still aching from Sebastian's punches, but he'd always loved a tough man. Just one night with him, one night to feel a good kind of pain with Sebastian, that was all he wanted. Was that brat really too attached to his butler to let that happen?

"Well, there is the bond of the mark which we share." Sebastian said, kneeling beside Ciel. "But, it is not just that. I am-"

"Mine." Ciel took Sebastian's face in his hands and turned it towards him, crushing their lips together. His hand slithered into that black hair and he tugged, opening his mouth as their tongues brushed against each other, teasing over the roof of his mouth and the outskirts of his lips. He pulled away, wiping the spit from his mouth after such a messy kiss. "Do you understand?"

Grell stared with impossibly wide eyes, his jaw slack. He looked at Ciel, and then Sebastian, who licked his lips hungrily as he gazed at Ciel. He could feel his face drain, stuck between the overwhelming joy of seeing Sebastian act in such a way and the absolute horror of seeing that it was with Ciel. "Ehh? What the hell? You two are together? Is that even allowed, can demons even do that? That's unheard of, that's-"

"Sick? Cruel? Disgusting? Immoral?" Ciel said, counting off the words on his fingers. He smiled at Grell. "No matter what it is, it's happening. So I'll tell you again- stay the hell away from my butler. "

When Grell was silenced, Sebastian chuckled and stood, his fingers brushing across Ciel's face as he opened the window's wide open to allow the sounds of night time life enter the room. The breeze was a cool one, and Ciel rubbed at his neck as he gulped it in. He waved his hand in Sebastian's general direction. "Do what you will with him, and then get him out of here."

"Yes, my Lord." Sebastian bowed, and then turned, grabbing a fistful of Grell's hair and yanking his head back.

Grell shivered with glee, unable to contain the excitement at being touched so roughly by Sebastian, despite what he'd just seen. "Oh, Sebby! So rough, take me!"

Sebastian punched him in the nose.

Blood splattered all over his face, and he yelped, hands automatically rising to assess the damage. His nose ached at the slightest touch, and he could see from the way it was sitting and the sharp crack it made that it was broken. He whined, teary green eyes staring at the demon behind him. "I told you before not the face!"

Sebastian only laughed and moved his fingers down Grell's shoulder until he found the bullet hole, where he then promptly dug his fingers into the wound and ripped the bullet out, ignoring the reapers screams. He did the same to the leg, pushing into the torn flesh with more force than necessary. Once he'd done that, he stood and walked away for two steps, and upon hearing Grell sigh in relief whirled round and caught him across the jaw with his kick. It was forceful enough that it sent the reaper flying out the open windows, and Ciel hummed happily, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips. The butler then picked up the chainsaw and chucked it out after Grell, watching as it whacked him in the stomach upon landing. He heard the quiet oof of the reapers groan, and then shut the windows, catching sight of a very unamused William sauntering out of the woods to grab Grell by the collar of his coat and drag him back to HQ.

Ciel yawned, and rubbed his eyes. "What time is it?"

Sebastian bit back a smile- Ciel looked too cute. His hair was ruffled, his lips were swollen from the kiss still and his tired eyelids drooped, giving him an almost sultry gaze. He had a red handprint on his neck, which was less that ideal, but it would fade soon. Sebastian picked up a clock to his right. "It's four in the morning."

Ciel grunted, looking at the blood all over the floor and himself. "Clean this, then change me."

Sebastian bowed and then set about gathering water and towels and washcloths, and in a few minutes the floor was sparkling, no traces of Grell's visit anywhere. The butler then crossed the distance between him and Ciel, and pulled the boy into his arms.

He ran his fingers through the top of his hair, smoothing it out. His voice was soft. "Are you alright, bocchan?"

"I'm fine." Ciel just leaned into Sebastian's hold, another yawn leaving his lips. "Just change me so I can sleep."

Wordlessly, Sebastian lifted the nightshirt from Ciel, folding it and setting it on the nearby chair. He reached into the drawers next to them and pulled a clean one out, a soft one that was pale purple in colour, and pulled it over his slim body. He then cupped Ciel's face, and planted a very soft kiss on the boy's lips, smiling when he felt the familiar touch of a small hand wrap around his wrist, gently squeezing.

Sebastian picked Ciel up and carried him to the bed, brushing his fingers across his face when Ciel curled up next to him, his head resting on his chest. He pulled the covers around them, and wrapped his long wiry arms around the boy, pulling him close. He kissed his forehead, taking a deep inhale. He would not let anything else ruin this holiday for Ciel.

"Goodnight, Sebastian." A quiet voice said, coming from the small form nuzzled against the butler's body.

He rested his head atop Ciel's, and closed his eyes. "Goodnight, bocchan."

Chapter Text

The next morning came after a troubled night. Ciel had barely gotten any sleep due to the impromptu visit of the dramatic reaper, and even after he had been chucked out by Sebastian, he still felt restless. He tossed and turned in the sheets of the bed, unable to find peace even with Sebastian lying next to him, trying to comfort him with the brush of his hand over Ciel’s back. When his eyes finally did shut, the first beginnings of bird calls were singing to him from the window, and he groaned.

“Sebastian, please shut those birds up,” he mumbled.

“Young master, I believe that would involve killing them,” he said diplomatically.

“Then make me deaf,” he tried again. “I need some sleep after that stupid reaper.”

Sebastian wrinkled his nose distastefully. “I can still smell him in the room. He’s quite the menace, isn’t he?”

“I don’t think you used a strong enough word,” Ciel muttered. “I have no idea why he’s still allowed out to do field work, he’s an absolute mess. He’s the most selfish, idiotic, lust crazed lunatic I’ve ever met.”

“A valid point,” Sebastian agreed, “but despite his suspensions they allow him back each time. I think that he must be a remarkable reaper.”

“Eh? You can’t be serious?” Ciel scoffed. “He’s incompetent!”

“He might seem so, but he’s actually very skilled, or at least when fighting. He’s the only one of his kind- besides the undertaker- that I feel I genuinely have to work with when we fight.”

“You beat him fairly easy tonight,” Ciel mumbled. "Besides, the idiot only just got his chainsaw back- the stupid fool was running about with scissors for weeks."

“I did, but he was not trying his fullest. He was more focused on you than me, if I’m honest. Plus, you shot him, and you know how dramatic he loves to be with those things.” Sebastian pursed his lips. “Either way, we should just be glad he’s gone. I don’t think I have the patience to deal with him anymore; if I kill him the paperwork will be horrendous.”

Ciel snickered. “Just leave that for William. I think he hates Grell more than you do.”

“I despise that boring reaper,” Sebastian said with a shake of his head. “I do believe I’d get more entertainment listening to the life story of Lady Elizabeth's doll than talking to him.”

“He always tries to grab you with his stupid scythe,” Ciel chuckled a little, smile growing on his face. “You should break it the next time you see him.”

“I think he’d be at a complete loss of what to do,” the butler mused. “He’s never without it.”

“What a pitiful excuse for a scythe,” the young boy said as he pulled himself up to a sitting position. “It’s not frightening in the least.”

“Neither is William- he’s practical. I can’t imagine it would be too easy to carry around a large bladed scythe everywhere.” Sebastian murmured gently.

“How tedious that the reapers, the controllers of death across the world, the ones who keep the balance in the world, have to be so utterly sensible,” Ciel mused, tilting his face towards the window. “Death is far too systematic for my liking.”

“What do you mean, young master?”

“I mean that such a textbook system is the worst way to end a life. It’s routine- and who wants routine after death? You’re supposed to be free, supposed to have escaped the drags of mortal life and instead you end up right back where you started: name noted, soul clipped and body left to rot.” Ciel sighed. “It’s a disheartening fact that reapers should have to be practical.”

“Would you rather they run wild, leaving souls hanging in suspension, taking whoever they wish?” Sebastian asked curiously. “With no balance, the world would fall into chaos, bocchan.”

“And in chaos; passion breeds.” He smiled. “I have let you into my life, and promised you my soul- I have tipped the balance, and let chaos into my life. I am nearly killed on a daily basis, I’m dancing on the fine line between good and evil, I spin a web of lies and hide my secrets deep within the darkest corners of my mind…and I regret nothing. A life without chaos is a dish without seasoning, Sebastian.”

“I see,” the butler said curtly. He touched Ciel’s face. “And would you wish that upon everyone in this world?”

“Sometimes I think that it is what’s needed,” Ciel admitted. “It appears that we have fallen into a slump- not just London, but the world. What is money, or economic growth when around you everything is so dreadfully boring? There is no point in expenditure or revolution if even then, the order of this world will not change. You will be born, you will work, you will die; and even then, you will be neatly tucked away by a reaper, stored away like a toy on a shelf. But, I feel that I am too fond of this life to share it with others. My chaos is for me and me alone.”

“I think the order is needed so that there is places for people like me,” Sebastian whispered in Ciel’s ear, pulling him closer. “If everything was in chaos, who would even have time for a demon like me? I’d be scavenging for a meal, fighting almost any being I came across, desperately trying to make my stance within the mess of the world. It is because of this order than I am able to control the chaos that lies in London’s underbelly, using the hidden shames of others’ to delude them into coming with me. I need the real dystopian side of life to stay hidden, or I will become lost in it.”

Ciel turned around and kissed him softly on the lips. “You break the routine.”

“The reapers hate it.”

“I love it,” Ciel shrugged.

They were silent for a few minutes, Sebastian’s fingers absentmindedly trailing a path along Ciel’s back, gently trying to soothe him back into sleep. He lifted the young teens face slightly, lips quirking as he watched the weak sun drift over his face, gliding across it with the softness of a tender hand. Ciel watched him silently, dark hair pushed off to the side by Sebastian’s elegant fingers. The demon blinked. “My Lord, wouldn’t you like to try sleeping again? It is awfully early.”

“I don’t see the point,” Ciel mumbled. “I’m much too awake now. I think I shall just lie here with you until we get up.”

“As you wish,” Sebastian said simply, arms wrapping round Ciel’s thin body. A moment of silence passed between them before Sebastian cleared his throat.

“Something you wish to ask, Sebastian?”

“Yes, master. In hopes of not stepping out of place, I would like for you to speak with Mey Rin today.” Sebastian ducked his head in respect, feeling Ciel tense next to him. “I know you are angry at her, but she is a servant of the Phantomhive manner- one that has been skittering about you for that matter. She cannot protect you fully if she is afraid of you.”

Ciel scrunched up his nose, tutting. “She should be. She kissed you Sebastian, she saw your body and she touched you and-“ Ciel stopped and took a calming breath, fists grabbing onto the covers. “It makes me extremely angry to think of those things. I want to hit her again when I think about it.”

“Do not hit her; hit me,” Sebastian said, lips pressed against Ciel’s hair. “I am the one who went to inspect the noise whilst I was indecent. I’m the one who did not refute her fast enough- the girl does not know about us. She has no idea how much she hurt you, and she never would hurt you intentionally. She loves you.”

Ciel blushed, gaping. “No, she doesn’t! She’s my servant!”

“And?” Sebastian said with amusement. “Mey- Rin is extremely fond of you, bocchan. She can see perfectly well without those glasses- you’ve seen her aim- and yet she refuses to go anywhere without them. She won’t even get a new pair when she breaks the ones you gave her, she just fixes them. She would protect you with her last breath, that’s why we recruited her.”

Ciel grunted, but after Sebastian’s hand ran through his hair, coaxing him into leaning against the other, he let out a weary sigh and relented, waving his hand. “Fine, fine. I’ll speak to her later today. On one condition, though.”

“What?”

“I do it alone.”

Sebastian tilted his head, eyes narrowing as he tried to figure out Ciel’s intentions. Seeing no hint of maliciousness or scheming on his young master’s face, he nodded once, hand crossed against his chest. “Yes, my Lord.”

Chapter Text

Ciel cleared his throat.

“Mey-rin, a moment.”

The red head jumped at the sound of his voice, quiet yet stern, and quickly bowed in response. “Y-yes, young master.”

Ciel began to walk, hearing the scuff of her footsteps behind him. He sniffed. “Lift your feet, Mey-Rin. You’ll damage your shoes and the floor if you continue to drag them like that.” Quickly, she shuffled, and Ciel could make out her individual footsteps. He pushed open a door to a large empty room, complete with chairs, and gestured. “Please, sit.”

“Sit, my Lord?” the maid gasped, walking in, her hands clasped at her front. “I am your servant, I must stand.”

Ciel shrugged. “As you wish.”

He elegantly walked over to the plush armchair and lowered himself into it, lifting his finger to his lip in thought. He tapped it consistently, in time with the clicking of the large wooden grandfather clock on the wall, and locked Mey-rin in his gaze.
“I wish to talk to you about the incident with Sebastian,” he began, watching as she squirmed uncomfortably. “You realise that your behaviour was out of line, yes?”

“Yes, master,” she said quietly. “I’m sorry for over stepping my boundaries. It won’t happen again.”

“I know it won't,” replied Ciel coolly. “I’ll give you a minute to explain yourself. Go.”

The maid flustered, and then sighed, wringing her hands together. “Well, I’ve loved Sebastian the minute I met him, yes I have. You know the life I used to live before I met him...it was full of pain, and regret...but he took me away from that, and brought me here. He’s a saviour to me. A-and everything he’s taught me, the way he treats you, the way he runs the manor so perfectly, it’s just- I feel as though I cannot help but love him, my Lord. And in doing so, I acted rashly, and uncouth. I embarrassed myself and him.”

Ciel thought it over. As much as it irked him to hear another say they loved Sebastian, he also knew it couldn’t be helped; he was devilishly handsome, and charm oozed out of every pore, and his facade showed him to be a kind, considerate man who worked hard and showed pride in his job. By all means, the character of Sebastian Michaelis was perfect. But that’s all he was- a character.

Mey-rin did not know the real Sebastian- the conniving, blood thirsty, fickle, slimy demon who could destroy a city with the snap of his fingers. She didn’t know of his low guttural voice, the deadly sharp teeth, the way his eyes blazed and shone the most vibrant of pink. She didn’t know the real him.

This calmed Ciel a considerable amount. After all, was her love really a threat when they essentially loved two different people? “I understand. But, you must also understand why I cannot let you be together- my estate is my priority, and keeping the Phantomhive name clean must always come first. If you were to distract yourself with him, and vice versa, I could never truly believe that your loyalty and your heart would go to protecting the estate, rather than each other. On top of that, if you were to get married or couple, you would have to leave my service- no taken woman can be seen working, after all. I require your skills Mey-rin, and you were hired because of them. To lose them would be a great pain and the estate would surely suffer trying to find someone to take your place. After all, a shot like yours isn’t common, you know.”

Mey-rin sniffed, and offered the young boy a wobbly smile, quickly dropping into a curtsy. She rubbed at her nose. “Thank you, my Lord. I understand, and my duty is to the Phantomhive estate more than anything else. I will protect you with my last breath, and I am sorry for forgetting my place. If you permit it, I would like to apologise to Sebastian as well.”

Ciel nodded and gently smoothed his fingers over his eyepatch, as if to fix it. “Sebastian, come.”

Moments later, they heard a knock at the door, and the elegantly clad butler walked in, bowing gracefully. His voice was like rich velvet.
“Pardon me, master, I was in the hall and heard you call.”

“Mey-rin has something she wishes to say to you,” he said, waving a small delicate hand at the maid, whose face had turned bright red.

She sniffed again, and tilted her head up, voice belting out a little too loud for comfort. “I’m very sorry! It was very rude of me to go snooping, and to even think about entering your chambers. I am a maid of the Phantomhive estate, a-and I must not disgrace this household with my behaviour. I hope you can forgive me for the way I acted, and it will not happen again.”

Sebastian gave a small smile, and dipped his head. “It is forgiven.”

The air deflated from Mey-rin’s chest, and she nodded gratefully. “Thankyou...though, if I may?”

“Yes?”

“You said you loved another, yes?”

Sebastian blinked slowly, a smile spreading on his face. “Yes, that’s correct.”

“A-and, does she love you back?” the maid questioned, looking at Sebastian earnestly through her huge glasses.
Chuckling, the butler raised a hand to his lips. “I dare say the feelings are mutual.”

The red head gave a tender smile, thinly veiling sadness. “Then I am happy for you, and I wish you the best. I hope that sometime, you will bring her to meet us all.”

Ciel smirked. “Yes, Sebastian, it would be an honour.”

Face unchanging, Sebastian bowed. “Perhaps, my Lord.”

Ciel chuckled. “Mey-rin, that is all. You may return to your duties.” As she curtsied and left, the Earl turned to his butler, a playful smile on his lips. “As for you, Sebastian, I think I should like to go for a swim.”

The beach was wide, and light soft sand sunk inbetween his toes as Ciel walked, the sun beating down on him. The rest followed behind, Finny and Bard shouting loudly as they caught sight of the sea.

“C’mon, Finny, I’ll race ya!”

Finny shrieked as Bard took off, immediately racing after him. “Hey wait up! You started without me!”

Sebastian shook his head as he watched them. “Honestly, they’re such children.”

Ciel watched as the two men began to splash each other, laughing happily. Mey-Rin followed behind them, albeit slower, dipping her toes into the water first and yelping. Her mood had improved since earlier, and the young Earl was actually content to see her enjoying herself. His anger at her had dissipated a great deal, and in its place was a twinge of pity.

Sebastian saw him looking. “I heard what you said to her. It was very mature, and a believable lie.”

“Well, not all of it is a lie,” he reasoned, “after all, I would have to terminate her service were she to get married. And I do want her priority to be saving the manor, not you.”

“But you kept your feelings a secret.”

“Of course I did, she cannot know,” Ciel scoffed, “Nobody can. We’re wicked, Sebastian.”

Sebastian stopped, and laid down a towel for the boy, a strange smile on his face. “You humans are so peculiar. You realise you only set yourself limitations, yes?”

“Stop speaking in tongues,” grumbled the Lord, “get on with it.”

“Well, you as a society have restricted yourself. You cage yourself in, adhere so strictly to your morals, and all for what? You only follow such rules because you’re all scared; nobody wants to go to hell, and so you all desperately try to follow the rules, to stay pure, to be ‘good’. In reality, none of it even matters. You will all die, and time will move on, and you will be forgotten. And your soul will sit idly by, waiting for its turn to be cast into the world again, and live it all over once more; It’s terribly depressing to think that even though you are granted so many lives on this earth, you let fear rule every single one.”

Ciel mulled it over, and pursed his lips. He supposed that Sebastian had a point. “I don’t fear God, in fact, I am not even sure he is real. As for Hell, I have been there, and I have suffered it; but there, I met you. I felt no fear signing myself over to you, and I regret nothing. Society may be afraid, and they will never understand, but I am too far gone to ever go back; I have killed, gambled, drank, and seduced my way through life, and to most I am still a child. I am the very definition of wicked, and I have no doubt that if high society knew, they would be disgusted. But I live my life for me, and I am tired of the limitations. I won't cage myself.”

“But you will not be honest, either, young master,” Sebastian said quietly, looking at Ciel with sharp ruby eyes. “You will hide this life, hide the true nature of the Phantomhive’s for as long as you live. You will play your role as the innocent child as long as you can, spinning the web of lies until you have caught everyone in it.”

“What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly,” he replied curtly. “They can never know- it would be selfish. I may have cast away my cage, but to do so and be so brazen, so open, it would ruin the Phantomhive name. Such things may be fine in a hundred years, but for now, I must stay in the shadows.”

Sebastian chuckled. “You really think it’ll be fine to love a demon in a hundred years?”

“Oh, heaven’s no. Not a demon,” he smirked, “but a man, maybe.”

They sat in respective silence after that, simply enjoying the feeling of sun on their skin, listening to the squeals and yells of the other three, splashing in the water. The sea was gentle that day, tugging waves calm, lapping at their waists. There was a small rock face just to their left, which finny and bard were currently jumping off and into the water.

“Hey, Sebastian!” Called Finny, “Come here!”

“Go see what he wants,” Ciel murmured, dismissing the butler.

Gracefully, Sebastian rose and sighed, making his way over to Finny. “Yes?”

“Watch this!”

The blonde jogged back, and then, narrowing his eyes, began to run. He crouched when he reached the end of the cliff, and jumped as high as he could, which for him, was really rather high. Sebastian watched as he soared through the air, his small body curling into a ball for his descent to the water.
“Woohoo!” Finny screamed, finally hitting the water.

“Bother,” Sebastian uttered, seconds before a giant wave of water slammed into him, drenching him head to toe.

Finny’s catapult was so powerful that it had sent water flying everywhere, covered Mey-rin, Bard and, unfortunately, Sebastian, who was still standing by the shore.
There was silence as Sebastian pushed the soaking wet hair off his face, and then, it started.

A shriek of laughter erupted from Ciel’s mouth, and it didn’t stop. He doubled over, and laughed so hard his face hurt, his fingers grabbing at his stomach as more pearls of laughter overtook him, rocking his small body. He could barely speak through the giggles, stopping only for a few seconds at a time to wipe his eyes, before seeing his butler and losing his composure once again.

The rest of them stared in absolute shock; they had never heard Ciel laugh before, never anything more than a snicker in the years they’d been with him. Yet, there he was, laughing loudly and freely, his youthful face lit up by his wide unabashed smile, the sound of his giggles dancing through the air like wind chimes.

“Oh, my God,” muttered Bard quietly, “he’s actually...laughing? Am I hallucinating?”

“N-No! He really is!” Mey-rin squawked.

And then Finny began to laugh, pointing at Sebastian. “Mr Sebastian, I-I’m so sorry! Hahaha!”

The other two hesitantly giggled, and then began to really laugh, taking in the sight of the unamused butler, who was currently ringing out his tailcoat.

Ciel’s laughter finally died, and he lay back, chest heaving. “Sebastian, get over here.”

The butler moved as he was called, unable to stop the smile spreading on his lips- hearing Ciel’s genuine laughter was a complete shock, but it stirred something in his core, sending a warmth all through his body. He looked so angelic in that moment, porcelain skin shining in the sun, slate hair catching the light, shifting with every moment, his eloquent laughter truly a beautiful sound; Sebastians instincts were screaming at him to protect Ciel, wrap him up in his arms and make sure he never stopped laughing.

He reached Ciel and bowed, water dropping off his hair. “Bocchan.”

“Wet dog,” the boy replied, smirking when Sebastian’s eyes narrowed.

“I’m ever so glad that amused you,” he said scathingly, with no real malice. He began to strip from his uniform, leaving his chest and legs exposed as he folded his clothes neatly on the towel.

“If I had known it would bring me such joy, I would have ordered Finny to soak you sooner.”

As much as he wanted to snap back, Sebastian couldn’t find it in him- if he had known that something so simple would make Ciel laugh, he’d do it every single day.
“Yes, My Lord.”