Ciel came to with a groan. His ribs felt like they had been at the mercy of an over-affectionate grizzly bear. He tried to sit up but was pushed down immediately by two pairs of hands. He opened his eyes in annoyance, and met the eyes of his butler, sitting on his left. Sebastian was looking down at him with fear and concern, mixed with loss and pain. Ciel had never seen him look so vulnerable before.
"What happened?" Ciel croaked, leaving out the expletives which he dearly wanted to insert, to save his breath.
"Your butler gave you some rather nasty bruises around your ribcage trying to save you," a soft voice on his right said. Ciel turned to look at Raphael, who looked almost as emotionally bruised as Ciel felt physically. "Hold still." Warmth filled his chest and his breathing became lighter, freer.
That couldn't be all. The angels—and the demons—in the room looked too haunted for that to be all. He managed to sit up this time, "And?"
Sebastian turned his head away, and replied grimly, "The angel's gone."
There was a thud from the doorway as Gabriel leaned his head back into the door, "And the Outcasts have been annihilated. We're not exactly sure what happened back there, but they're gone. Entirely."
AsIniNe Boy is sAfE?
Gabriel shot a disgusted look at the demon, before forcing himself to reply, "He should be fine now."
AnGeL was CouRaGEouS.
"Yes." Sebastian said quietly, "Yes, he was." He continued softly, "It was lucky you managed to shout, Young Master. We wouldn't have made it in time otherwise."
Ciel gave him a puzzled look, which in Ciel, came out more as a glare.
"Shout? I didn't shout."
The look Sebastian—and the surrounding angels and demons—gave to him were part shock, part wariness.
Then—who—or what gave that warning? The unasked question carried in the room as the hosts ruffled their wings uneasily.
Sebastian returned to his room after Ciel sank into a deep sleep and the enemy hosts parted with slightly less animosity with which they had come together.
He knew that the respective others would probably hold a long conference with each angel or demon that night. Over the mystery of the shout. Over the angel's actions. Over what had happened to the Outcasts. But he—
I thought I hated him, Sebastian mused bitterly, yet, why does my heart feel so dammed empty? I—and the rest of the demons—should be delighted that he's gone, but even the Elder demons were sorrowful. Why does it hurt so much that my adversary is gone?
"You're feeling lonely, Sebastian." A soft voice said quietly. A lad's voice. Sebastian spun around to face a young boy in a dark grey, well-tailored suit, sitting on the stool he used to polish Ciel's boots. His heart caught in his throat.
"You couldn't possibly be—"
The boy replied firmly but warmly, "I am."
The demon's eyes narrowed, "What do you want from me?"
The lad smiled at him, "Nothing. I came here to give you some answers, if you want them."
The demon averted his eyes from the boy who looked at him with complete understanding and pity. The soft emotions, so gentle and so kind, burnt his already broken heart and made him want to weep. How is it that He can do this…? I'm a demon, my heart is supposed to be dead. Dead! "It was you, wasn't it, who shouted."
"Yes. I had restricted Myself from interceding directly in affairs when the guardian angel has fallen, but," the boy suddenly grinned, "shouting isn't exactly interfering, is it?"
His smile dimmed almost at once, and loss filled His eyes, "But because of that Zerael is gone."
"Your other's name, Sebastian." The boy leaned His chin on His hands, propped up on His knees. "Fortunately—or unfortunately—he understood my message when I visited him."
"What did the ang—Zerael do?" Sebastian asked, purposefully avoiding the question he wanted to ask, and hoping he would indirectly get an answer.
"Nothing more than simple physics for an angel." The boy shrugged, "First he changed his wings into matter and antimatter, then he combined them below you. The explosion lifted you clear of the whirlwind. He couldn't be hurt by anything physical, since he'd lost the Initiative, but the nexus had a thread to Mara and Brónach. He entered it and followed it to them, and then turned himself into a catalyst, changing their beings into antimatter, which destroyed their corporeal bodies."
Sebastian bit his thin lips. He wants me to ask the question, doesn't He. Sebastian took a soft, sighing breath, and refused to oblige the boy, instead asking another factual question. "Why were the Outcasts different from the rest of us?"
The lad smiled at him again, and instead of replying, said instead, "You asked once why the angel is always given the Initiative first, didn't you?"
Nonplussed, Sebastian nodded.
"Cause and effect, Sebastian. The angel is not given the Initiative. The being that is given the Initiative becomes the angel over the years. The being that isn't becomes the demon. The human world changes you; and the other world changes you. At their core, angels and demons are not so very different, although they want to believe they are." The boy sighed, "Mara found that out—and was cast out. Because we need balance—and belief—in the universe."
And for me? What of my balance? Sebastian asked silently, refusing to voice the sentiment that made him weak in his own eyes.
The boy looked at him in the eyes, and the gentle, sad, absolute understanding of knowing how it felt to be alone shone in them. "You're wondering if something that has been lost can ever be gained back, aren't you." It wasn't a question, and Sebastian felt his tongue cleave to his throat, stripped bare before this boy.
The boy stood up, smiled at him and said, very softly, "Believe in the First Law of Thermodynamics, child."
And He disappeared.
Sebastian stared at the empty air for a moment before muttering under his breath, "You were much less annoying, angel." He took a deep breath in, let it out, and then struck the nearest wall with his fist.
The room rattled, as Sebastian forced his mind and heart to return from their unsettled state. After another deep breath in and a long exhale that approached a sigh, he felt like himself again. His amber eyes closed momentarily, and he missed the slight flicker the candles on his mantelpiece gave.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, merely changed to another form.
And that's the end of the Redemption series! Thank you to all the people who reviewed /added to favourites/ alerted etc.! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. ^^
-Cordelia Yang 2008
Kuroshitsuji belongs to Toboso Yana. Don't sue me; I'm penniless!