i lost a bet and had write something dark that for once didn't center in the d. gray-man universe. i'm a little worried about my first foray into another series. this is just an other one shot; still i hope you all enjoy.
Warning: contains non-graphic adult themes.
i do not own these characters, they are the intellectual property of their respective creators.
Hate was the only thing Ciel Phantomhive could feel anymore. It was the only thing keeping him alive. All his fear, all his pain, all that was left of his soul existed to feed the hate.
He had broken so easily; it had taken his captors little over a week to destroy the proud young aristocrat. He had begged and screamed for his freedom. He was branded like an animal and caged. He had pleaded for mercy. He was denied any. He had even threatened them. He was mocked. All through that first week he prayed and prayed for someone, anyone to come and save him. He prayed that this was just a nightmare and that any moment he would wake in his own bed. Any moment his mother would hear him cry and rush in to comfort him. His father would be there too; his tall powerful form ready to chase away all the monsters.
No matter how hard Ciel prayed, nothing changed. Everything he loved was gone and it wasn't coming back. His parents were dead; his home was burned. In the dark of his cage, Ciel frowned. They had even killed Sebastian. Somehow that seemed the worst injustice. The great black dog had done nothing to deserve such a fate.
He hated himself and the wretched creature he had been reduced to. Like all children, he had once fancied himself the hero of his own story. His parents, being the kind and doting sorts they were, did nothing to discourage this. He was special; he was precious. He could do no wrong. He was victim of an over inflated sense of self importance. He was loved by his family and blessed by God. He hated all of them now. Not one of them was real anymore.
Within that first week his captors taught him the truth. He was nothing. He was a weak little boy; utterly powerless and pathetic. Ciel could do nothing to stop them from doing whatever they wanted. He was as important as a worm and just as easily dismissed as one. He hated his old perception of himself; how could he have ever been so foolish? He hated his weakness; he still cried and begged each time they brought him out to play.
Ciel knew that his struggles were useless, but he always tried. Somewhere buried beneath all the raw hatred was something like hope. Something that said, maybe this time it will be different. It never was. Gradually that little spark of hope was snuffed out, buried under the anger and fear. His struggles were just another part of the routine now, another motion to go through before his captors could get serious in their play.
Ciel even hated the word 'play' now. He hated how naïve he had been when they first told him they were just going to play together. The things they did were not play to anyone but themselves. Most nights the play would leave him bloody and sore, but sometimes the play would be gentle and the only thing that suffered was the boy's mind. Gentle play was confusing; at least violence let him keep the flow of hate steady.
He shifted position in his cage. He was almost healed from last week's playtime. That could only mean that his primary keeper had already scheduled his next play date. So many childhood words had horrible new meanings now. Ciel would be happy to never have to play with toys again. He shuddered involuntarily; Butterfly Mask loved to play with toys when she was with him. He hated her the most.
It struck him as odd that he didn't hate his captors equally. He knew nothing about them specifically except that they all must be people of some importance. They always wore their stupid masks to protect their identities, even when they were alone with Ciel.
Feather Mask, his keeper, kept him fed and his cage mostly clean; he had even called a doctor once when Ciel didn't stop bleeding. The man never hurt him unless it was part of group play at a party. Ciel suspected Feather Mask was guilty about keeping him here and hoped the man felt miserable and got a stomach ulcer.
Cat Mask never played at the parties; he liked being alone and playing gently. Ciel despised him. Cat Mask was far younger than Feather Mask and was convinced that Ciel should enjoy playing. Some of the things he did were not wholly unpleasant; sometimes it seemed he knew Ciel's body better than he did. The whiskers on his mask always tickled Ciel's legs when he was between them. The boy hated him; regardless of how it felt, it was unwanted and unasked for.
One night, Cat Mask did nothing at all. He brought a picnic basket filled with meats and cheeses and other nutritious foods. He freed Ciel from his shackle and collar and fed him by hand. He told funny stories about his youth and peppered him with chaste kisses. That was the night the last flicker of hope in the boy died. "Can you save me?" he had asked in all honesty. He would tolerate the man's touches if he could just get him out of this place. Cat Mask had touched his arm, right above the mark he had been branded with.
"There is no one who can save you." Ciel had cried then; Cat Mask comforted him as best he could and then left. From the hall he could hear the man argue with Feather Mask. "I want nothing more to do with this…" he had said. He never came back. Ceil then hated him for leaving.
He hated Red Mask, Bird Mask, Green Mask, Diamond Mask and Devil Mask. There were more who attended the parties and just watched, but he saw them the most. They never missed a party or a chance to play.
Worst of all was Butterfly Mask. She wasn't the only woman in the group, but she was the only female who ever played. Ciel was terrified of her; she was unpredictable. With the men he almost knew what to expect; Butterfly Mask didn't have the ability to hurt him like they could. She had to get inventive. Ciel had nearly died the first time she came to play. He shivered with the memories.
Butterfly Mask was doubly cruel. At first she had embraced Ciel so gently that if he closed his eyes he could almost imagine his mother. She cooed and stroked his hair lovingly. "Poor baby… poor pet… everyone has abandoned you!" her words were spoken sweetly but stung. She rocked him like an infant. "They've all left you… poor little pet. They must not have loved you very much at all… you must have made your poor parents so unhappy." Ciel started to struggle against her; that couldn't be true. "They must be so happy to be dead! They never have to see your sad little face again. Don't struggle now my sweet little pet." She had kissed the top of his head. "They must have hated you so much to prefer death to staying with you… I wonder how they managed so long with such a wicked child?" Ciel sobbed and she gently wiped the tears from his face. "There, there pet…" she soothed. "I know you feel awful about being so horrid… do you know what happens to wicked children who kill their parents?"
"I didn't kill them!" Ciel had screamed. He knew they loved him; he had just been too weak to save them. He knew it wasn't his fault. He pushed his guilt into the ever growing ball of hate inside him. He hated them for dying and leaving him to these monsters. Butterfly Mask was the worst of all the monsters.
"Oh… yes you did, pet. A little bit each day. 'Mummy, I want a toy… I want a candy… Daddy, I want a puppy…' You killed them a little each day. I'll bet even your puppy was happy to be free of you." She never stopped smiling. "Such a wicked little boy; wicked children need strict punishment." She pulled a riding crop from the folds of her dress. "This is for your own good dear; you know you deserve nothing less." She giggled. The sound made Ciel's blood run cold; she was a madwoman. "Spare the rod; spoil the child."
She tore his back to ribbons and then lectured him on good posture when he could no longer stand. He lay on the floor and shivered; the pain in his back unbearable. "You have no manners little boy… I will teach you to stand properly." She said coolly as she pulled the heavy draw cords from the window curtains. She bound his hands behind his bloody back with one and with the other Butterfly Mask made a loop in one end and slipped it over the boy's head. Ceil would either stand up or choke. She walked him awkwardly around the room until her arm was tired. Even that wasn't enough for her.
She had pulled the rickety stool from the vanity table and lifted Ciel on to it. He fell immediately; one of the legs was shorter than the others and the weakened boy had no balance. She scowled and pulled his cord until he stood on it himself. Butterfly Mask climbed up onto the vanity and looped the free end of the cord over the room's hanging light. She tightened it till there was no slack and Ciel was forced to balance on his toes.
Ciel was past crying; his voice had abandoned him some time ago. This was about survival now. She was trying to kill him. He focused on how badly he wanted this woman dead and staying alive to spite her. Everything hurt. His hands were soaked from his opened back. The cord was rubbing his throat raw. His legs trembled as he desperately tried to keep his balance. I hate you! DIE!
He started when he felt the handle of her damn riding crop tap his knee. "Stand up straight now, pet… don't move." She purred. His eyes widened as he felt the cool leather handle slid up the inside of his thigh. She wouldn't! She moved his baggy shorts; he was certain where she was going and had to get away. In a wave of sheer panic, Ciel took a deep breath and pushed off of the stool, kicking it away. The cord about his thin neck went taught and he felt his back pop.
Butterfly Mask did nothing. She had stood by and watched him hang there, feebly kicking and struggling until the light fixture came free from the ceiling and sent him crashing to the floor. Ciel had coughed and gasped, later he learned he had broken a blood vessel in his eye. It burned terribly. Feather Mask had come in at the sound of the crash; he was furious. Butterfly Mask was never allowed to be alone with him after that. His captors made sure there was always someone else in the room to stop her before she got carried away and went too far.
Ciel found it wasn't enough to just want her to die; he wanted to be there to watch when it happened.
There was a loud creak as the door opened and flooded his cage with light. Ciel sighed and scooted to the back of his cage; his little body was too weak to struggle tonight. He was right; there was another play date arranged. His insides froze as he saw both Feather Mask and Butterfly Mask; she looked happy. That was never a good sign. There were others behind them. Why? He thought numbly. Why is there no one?
He was dragged out of his cage and down to the main hall. It must be a party tonight… he was tired, too weak to even walk properly. The room was crowded. Ciel grimaced; he hated when the parties were this full. It was always worse being stripped bare and exposed for play in front of so many.
"Tonight is a special night…" Feather Mask told him. "It's the 31st. You've been with us for a month now. This is your big night."
Ciel frowned. It's only been one month… all this, it's just been one month… It hardly seemed real; it felt as if this was his whole life now. How could it possible be that only one month ago his biggest concern was Mother finding out he had snuck cookies from the jar?
He looked around the crowd; there was something different about their demeanor tonight. Usually they joked and laughed. Everyone was still smiling, but it was an anticipatory, excited look. Something was wrong.
Butterfly Mask swooped down on him and lifted him onto the table. The stone surface was cold as ice and Ciel shivered. The table was nothing new. He had been bound to its surface many times before. Yet his heart pounded as if it would escape from his chest. Was she going to lead the play tonight? Ciel swallowed back the panic at the thought, determined to just live through it.
Silk gloves ran over his skin as she pushed him back and fastened down his hands. The crowd murmured and with a sickly giggle she tore his shirt open. Ciel frowned at the ruined fabric; he wasn't going to get another shirt.
When Butterfly Mask stepped back he saw the knife. It was an ugly gaudy thing with a jeweled handle; it was the kind of knife someone would buy just to show they could afford one. Feather Mask was displaying it to the crowd and speaking words in an unfamiliar tongue. He looked at Ciel and smiled.
"Oh…" Ciel whispered softly. They were going to kill him tonight.
With a surge of adrenaline he pulled at his arms and tried to move away. Save me! Why is there no one to save me?! His mind screamed. This was the perfect time to be saved. Someone would come through that door to his rescue. God would intervene; God wouldn't let it go this far. If God was there at all, he would stop this.
Feather Mask brought the knife down hard, cleaving into defenseless flesh. High and loud, Ciel screamed as he was gutted. Impossibly hot against his cold skin, his blood spilled everywhere. He could taste it in his mouth. Shock set in mercifully fast, dulling the pain as his body tried to keep going. Ciel weakly lifted his head to look. "Oh…" his insides were out. At the sight of his own exposed inner workings he determined that there was no such thing as God.
Something in the room changed as his blood dribbled into the grooved designs carved into the table. An artificial quiet settled over the crowd like a thick blanket. Ciel wondered why he was still alive when his body had poured out so much. It felt hollow and cold. A thick darkness swam lazily across his vision and around the room.
Ciel didn't see its eyes; it had none, but he had the distinct impression of eyes staring down into his. The creature had no form, no real shape. It vacillated and wavered between human, animal and other things found only in fevered nightmares. It couldn't make up its mind about what shape to take. Rapidly it shifted from old man to young woman, from black bird to great cat. It was a thousand things and nothing all at once.
"Stop that…" Ciel gritted out against the pain. Again the thing shifted form. It was mostly eyes and teeth.
"Oh." The thing spoke; great eyes blinked slowly. Ciel wondered dimly if anyone else in the room could hear it. "Well, aren't you…" there was humor in its voice. "A very small master." Bright teeth grinned at him like a Cheshire cat. "You have summoned me."
Ciel screamed as the creature descended on the gaping wound in his stomach. Its gleaming teeth came back red. It smiled and licked them clean. "Oh…" Ciel managed. The demon, as he was sure that was what the creature was now, was eating him. For a moment he held the demon's eyes with his own. I hate you, but I still hate them more.
The demon looked both surprised and pleased. It lapped at Ciel's blood like a giant cat, no longer devouring him but just lightly snacking. "You have summoned me…" it repeated, lips moving against Ciel's skin. "This fact will not change for eternity." It punctuated its speech with a sharp possessive bite that made the boy spasm. "What has been sacrificed will never be returned." It paused and watched Ciel for any sign of comprehension.
I'm your sacrifice? He thought. Somewhere in his dying body a fire ignited. That's not fair! I've been used… they gave me no choice. I was used! First I was their toy, then they killed me to summon you… The demon stared at him with curious eyes; its tongue dipped back into Ciel's wound. The pain felt distant now. They used me and now they want to use you…
The demon's grin widened. "But, you have summoned me…" Ciel nodded. He understood; his soul was already the demon's, he wasn't going to get it back. He had nothing more left to lose and so much to gain. "Now…" the demon kissed away the blood from his lips. "Choose."
Silently, Ciel made his choice. The wound on his stomach closed leaving the creature diligently cleaning away the extra gore that stained his pale skin. Something like a hand but not reached up to caress his face. It covered his eye. Pain arced through him like lightening. The demon had marked him.
The crowd in the hall came back to life then. Ciel didn't know if they had seen the exchange between him and the demon or if it had all happened in his mind. Either way it had happened and he didn't care about the details. His hands were free; he hesitantly reached out and touched the indistinct black haze of the demon. It was warm and oddly solid without really being so. Inhuman eyes looked up expectantly.
"This is an order." Ciel said firmly. "Kill them."
The demon's pupils constricted with excitement. "How shall I kill them, master?"
"Play with them."
The doors to the hall all clicked shut and locked in unison. "Yes, my master."
Ciel pulled the remaining tatters of his shirt around him and scooted to the edge of the table. He dangled his legs over the side and absently kicked his feet. With out blinking or flinching he watched the ensuing slaughter. It was strangely satisfying. The demon was creative in its play, and messy. Blood pattered over Ciel like a light warm rain.
Some part of Ciel's damaged mind was sure that watching his demon tear his captors' limb from limb was unhealthy. He didn't care anymore. Any shred of guilt was forced down with thoughts of how they were only getting what they deserved. They showed him no mercy and he was only returning the favor.
"Wait." Ciel commanded softly, half expecting the demon to not hear him. From across the room it stopped mid strike, Butterfly Mask's dress firmly in its grasp. "Bring her here." He whispered with a thrill of excitement. With the demon he was no longer powerless; he had control now and no one would stop him. It made him dizzy.
The demon's maddening grin widened as he dragged the screaming woman forward. "Yes, my master?"
Ciel ignored its questioning tone and spoke to his former tormentor. "You are a horrid woman." He told her, wiping the terrified tears from her cheek. "Do you know what happens to wicked women who hurt children?" she shook her head frantically, pleading for mercy. Ciel met the demon's eyes. "She likes to play… don't disappoint her."
"Yes, my master."
Ciel had to turn away long before she stopped screaming. He would have nightmares for years from it. He felt nauseous and by the time the demon had finished, he'd thrown up over the side of the table. I asked for this… he reminded himself.
"Master?" the demon was at his side, contentedly cleaning its claws from the carnage.
"What happens now?" Ciel asked. He half expected the demon to claim his soul immediately.
"Now," the demon said patiently. "You give me a name, a form and a function."
"Why?" Ciel felt oddly nervous being put on the spot light this. It was utterly absurd to feel like this after everything that had transpired tonight.
"You are my master." The demon indulged. "I will serve you and you alone for as long as you live. You need to tell me how you want me." It chuckled, a low rumbling sound that was almost a purr. "I doubt you want me like this all the time… I can be your familiar, the black cat on your doorstep or the raven on your shoulder, ready to pluck the eyes from anyone who opposes you. I can be the general of your army, the advisor at your side. I can be the woman who warms your bed and keeps your body happy. I can be your assassin, the poisonous snake who lurks in the bed of your enemy." The demon paused to look at the boy. It made a thoughtful sound.
"Perhaps not…" its voice changed, becoming something comforting, soothing. "You are a very small master after all." Its sharp teeth dulled; its smile became gentle. "I can be the kindly old cook who bakes special sweets just for you. I can be the nursemaid who holds you through every bad dream and thunderstorm or the doting old uncle who brings you every toy you ever wanted. Or if that's not enough…I can be your older brother who is always there to listen and protect you from the bullies who would steal your pocket money."
"I'm not some pathetic child!" Ciel snapped. He hated how tempted he was by the demon's offer. If he asked, the demon would become a substitute family for him. If he asked for that it would only prove how weak he was. No matter how badly he needed the comfort the monster was offering, he wasn't going to ask for it. Ciel was determined to prove he was made of stronger stuff. His mind raced, trying to figure out how the demon could best serve him. "Why me?" he mumbled without meaning to.
"Because you summoned me." If the demon was annoyed with his silly questions, it didn't show it. "Well, technically…" it gestured to the mass of meat that had once been Feather Mask. "That thing used you to summon me… he didn't use his own body or risk his soul to call me, so it gave me a choice. He would have made me look like some horrible beast and go out to destroy his perceived enemies and bring him riches and such." It sighed melodramatically. "Its so old hat… utterly boring, a waste of my time and skills… but you, my young master" it was grinning again. "You looked like you would be a challenge. You looked like fun. I feel like you will push my abilities to serve to a whole new level."
At the word 'serve' Ciel for some reason thought of his father's butler, Tanaka. The man was always there, always ready for anything. If father's cigarette dropped ash, Tanaka was there with an ashtray. Tanaka ran the day to day business of the household without anyone being aware of his actions. Ciel had always been in awe of the man's almost magical abilities; he wondered if he'd survived and gotten away before the mansion was burned. Probably not.
"I want you to be my butler." Ciel finally said. The demon blinked thoughtfully. "Not just any butler, but the best in the world. You will be capable of doing anything I ask. You will know exactly what I need, when I need it and be ready before I even ask. You will be at my side whenever I call. You will be calm and pleasant, you will never be upset. You will be the perfect servant and you will only be loyal to me. You will always protect me, you will never betray me. You're right; I am small, so you will be my power."
"Ah…" the demon sighed happily, its voice shifting into a polite tenor. "I knew you would be a challenge. I shall be one hell of a butler then." The indistinct mass of shadows was replaced by a young man in black. His clothing was general; as if the demon only had the vaguest idea of what a butler was supposed to wear. His demeanor was near perfect. The man exuded professional grace and confidence. "Does this meet your approval, Young Master?" he asked with a pleasant smile.
"Fix your eyes…" Ciel looked away uncomfortably. It still had poisonous red-orange eyes. It was difficult to remember that the figure before him was not human.
"Of course my Lord." He replied courteously. The eyes that met Ciel's were a warm and very human brown. "If this pleases you Young Master… please, my name?"
"Sebastian…" Ciel answered without thinking. "Since you're my new loyal dog."
"I don't much care for dogs…"
"I don't care what you like." Ciel snapped back.
The demon's smile widened and he gave a thrilled little shiver at the boy's tone. "You will be a most… interesting master."
"Sebastian, I want to leave this place." The smell of the room was making his stomach roll. He stared pointedly at his knees to keep from viewing the scattered remains on the floor.
"Of course my Lord." He glanced at the floor. "The floor is a tad slippery. Please, let me help you to the door." He lifted the boy with ease and carried him over the puddles of gore and unidentifiable human pieces. Ciel was surprised to find the demon had a heartbeat. "I've taken the liberty of hiring a coach and reserving a room for you in town… after you've retired for the night I shall return here and take care of this mess."
"Don't leave me." Ciel ordered, too tired to care how childish it sounded.
"Very well then." Sebastian didn't miss a beat. "Shall I burn down this house instead?"
"Do that." They had burned his home; it was only fair. Ciel should have been surprised to see a black coach waiting for them by the front door, but Sebastian had given him the impression that if the demon said there was a coach then there would be a coach. He tried to ignore the red eyes of its midnight black horses and the way they snorted smoke.
Sebastian smiled at him and opened the carriage door. "I have a change of clothing for you." He shut the door behind them. Ciel pulled away violently as the demon touched him. He was breathing hard, memories of the last month still too raw. Bad things happened when his clothes were gone. "Master…" Sebastian raised his hands in an appeasing manner. "Forgive me for this." He caught Ciel's hands and pulled him into a tight hug. "You told me to anticipate your needs… for the moment you need this." Strong hands rubbed gentle circles on his back and carded through his hair. "It's all right now." He soothed. "They are all dead. You have me now and I will take care of you. I will protect you; I will be your right hand. You have nothing to fear now. I will never leave you."
It was false comfort; the demon was just being a loyal servant and telling Ciel what he needed to hear. Even as he buried his face into the demon's shirt, he hated him. "Don't try and comfort me. I don't need…"
"Master you are making this difficult." The demon cut him off. "Please just think of this as an adjustment period. I need to learn how to serve you properly and you need to learn how to be an effective master. You were unspecific about your needs and I do not yet know my limits. I saw that you needed comfort and that's what I am prepared to give. I have no intention of coddling you further unless you order me to." He kissed the top of Ciel's head, making the boy whine unhappily. "Too far? See, I'm already learning. No kisses, even if they are made with a pure intention. Calm down little Master… in a few weeks after we are used to each other, we shall both pretend that this never happened. Alright?"
Ciel nodded against him. Real or not, the demon's gentle touches soothed him. He could accept this if it was only for a little while. He let the demon dress him in clean clothes.
"Does your eye hurt at all Young Master?" Ciel nodded again; it had been throbbing for a while now. "Please, let me look." Sebastian tilted his head to examine the boy's right eye. "Ah… I'm afraid I carved our contract a bit too deep. Your eye will be quite useless in bright light. Please allow me to put something over it."
"Fine." Ciel remained motionless as Sebastian produced a bit of gauze and set it in place. "You didn't do a very good job on the clothing." He said to break the growing stretch of silence.
"Really?" Sebastian hummed. "Perhaps when Master is feeling a bit better, we can go shopping and you can teach me what is proper." He stepped out the carriage door. "I'm going to burn down the house now; would you like to watch or shall I draw the curtains so you can rest?"
"As you wish, my Lord." Sebastian pulled a lighter from his pocket and went into the house. Ciel leaned out the window and watched his former prison rapidly catch blaze. There was no way all that smoke could come from just walking about with a lighter. The demon returned with a look of satisfaction and climbed up to the driver's seat.
As the coach lurched to life, Ciel settled back into the comfortable seat. He felt as if he had just abruptly awakened from a nightmare only to discover he was now trapped in some strange dream. He was at a loss about what to do next.
"I suppose I'll rebuild…" he thought aloud. His childhood home was gone; he would ask Sebastian to rebuild it. He would learn just how much his demon could do. He would restore whatever damage was done to his family's reputation. His childhood had been stolen from him; perhaps he could reclaim some part of it, erase the horrible new definitions of 'play' and 'toys' and remake them as they should be.
He closed his eyes. The people Sebastian had killed for him probably had families. They wouldn't be too happy with him for what he ordered the demon to do; some of them might want revenge. He thought of his new butler and almost smiled. Ciel wasn't afraid now.
He was still a child, but wasn't powerless anymore.