Hello again~ Happy New Year! May the year 2009 be a good one for you all (^^)/

This was really just a random idea that's been plaguing me for a while ... so I thought I'd write it out so I could get back to my other stories :D Um, more written in the author note at the end~ For now, I hope you enjoy the story~! Once again, thank you to Ryouta, my wonderful beta, for checking this over (^^)b

Disclaimer: I .... still don't own it ... :sigh:

Ciel often wondered which of them was really in charge.

For all intents and purposes, it should have been him: he was, after all, the head of the Phantomhive family, the Queen's watchdog; Sebastian was merely his butler. Not to mention the demon was to obey his orders by their contract.

However, there were times when doubt plagued him. Yes, he gave orders – only for Sebastian to twist and interpret them in his own way. He was master of the household – but it was the butler who kept everything together and moving to a tight schedule. Ciel often found things done before he even ordered it. Even though Sebastian was supposed to anticipate his wishes, Ciel could not deny it irked him: was he that easy to read?

He felt sometimes like the demon's plaything, each of them manipulating the other, though Ciel could not help suspecting that Sebastian was a far better player at this game than he was. There was a glint in the demon's eyes that Sebastian never bothered to hide, a suggestion that no matter how much he bowed or appeared to obey, he could not be controlled. Ciel knew he was only master of their contract while he lived; after that … He could not forget that it was only Sebastian's wish to obey him that gave the contract power. How many people had died, how many souls devoured by this demon's wish? He dismissed that thought whenever it floated to the surface of his mind, rotten like the bubbles of air that rose from a swamp's depth. As long as Sebastian obeyed him, that was all that mattered. And when the day came that Sebastian no longer chose to obey him –

No use worrying, he told himself.

Sebastian was his power, the only thing that gave Ciel his ability to command. Without him, he was little more than a child, vulnerable and defenceless. Who, then, was the master? Himself? Or Sebastian?

The binding between them also frightened him. Not that he had placed his soul in pawn, walking the knife's edge between oblivion and power; but that he felt himself changing and did not know how much of it was the demon's influence. He had to be hard, emotionless, had to build up armour to protect himself as he dealt with England's underworld. But how much of that armour was protection, and how much his reality? Ciel did not want to end up like Sebastian, cold and contemptuous of human life, cynical and proud, but he feared that the demon's influence was twisting him, corrupting him like some foul plague. There were times when Ciel stared into the mirror and wondered if his branded eye was purple from his sapphire blue mixing with demonic red.

Still, there were times when Sebastian seemed almost human – insisting that Ciel celebrate his birthday even though the boy had no wish to smile ever again; Ciel also saw the care in his eyes as he watched Sebastian play with every cat he encountered. Sometimes he imagined he saw it in that claret gaze directed at him, but told himself that it was impossible.

A human becoming a demon; a demon becoming a human. Was it possible? If they were corrupting each other, who really had the upper hand? They were two sides of the same coin, mastery passing between them as the coin flipped, for only one side could ever be on top at a time. Perhaps it was that neither of them was in charge; perhaps a higher power was playing with them both. But Ciel did not believe in God, not since the day God had abandoned him and a demon had come to his rescue. Sebastian did not bow to any god, mocking their power.

Master and servant: perhaps they were not so different, in the end.


Author Ramblings:

Thanks for reading~! \(^o^)/

For those of you who are reading my other Kuroshitsuji fic, For Nevermore, thank you for the reviews and faves! I've been kinda busy (and really sleepy lol) over the New Year's holiday, so I haven't been writing much, but I'm doing my best to finish it soon~ So please wait patiently for a little while longer! (^/\^);;

Thanks also to the people who voted in my poll~ ^^

I feel like the point of this drabble changed midway through XD Ah well, maybe that's just the way my thought pattern seems to work XD And why do ideas always seem to come at really inconvenient times? Like, right before I go to sleep? orz haha~

Anyway, hope you have a good year! (^^)/