Disclaimer: No Kuroshitsuji pwnage for me.
Author's Note: Hopefully the first of many fics from me for this fandom, but as I forgot my list of plot bunnies at school this weekend, this might be all I write for a while. How sad.
Also, as this is my first piece for Kuroshitsuji, please be kind. I know it's probably awful… but I hope you can enjoy it anyway! :D
Warnings: More of that unending chess metaphor. As written by someone who sucks at chess. (Yea! XD) More importantly, one-sided, somewhat-twisted SebastianxCiel, if you sorta squint. (Even more yea! X3)
He doesn't play chess anymore.
Instead, he passes his time gazing solemnly at the many stone pieces, fingertips touching, pale brow furrowed, visible eye narrowed in veiled disconcert. Veiled like his right eye—secret to all except one. He leans back in his magnificent gilded chair, like a king upon his throne, and stares at the checkered board, its many black and white faces illuminated by occasional flashes of unearthly plasma, and a rumble like that of moving mountains.
Outside, a true game is in session. Pieces are moving, breaking, dying. Someone is winning, someone is losing.
The rain falls like tears.
Beside him, a shadow speaks. And he is not afraid, for the shadow is nothing but a black pawn: powerless unless someone directs him to the end of the board. At that time, he becomes a sword, a demon, a queen. At that time, he becomes unstoppable and unbeatable, confident in his abilities to protect his king.
But the king, far on the other end of the board, remains feeble. Weak. Incapable of even protecting himself, forced to cower behind rooks and bishops and knights in order to stay alive.
Even now, after everything, he is nothing more than a helpless child. His supremacy is but an illusion. A phantasm. A shadow at his side, whispering sweet nothings from upturned lips.
Yet, for all that, he is still king. The king. And whither he is powerful or powerless, pushing or passive, cruel or kind, he will still be king.
The game will still be over when he falls.
And he knows that fall is not a matter of 'if,' but 'when.' For even if he succeeds, he will fall. Fall into the deepest, darkest, pits of Hell, consumed by the shadows and the mouth that purrs and smiles and promises him victory. After all, the queen has that power… the power to defend, destroy, succeed.
And for now, the king owns the queen. And for now, that is enough. But he knows this will not be true forever. Nothing is forever…
Nothing except their contract.
He frowns, steepled fingers clenching in irritation. "I am not deaf, you know," he snaps, shooting the speaker a one-eyed glare. "I heard you the first three times."
The black pawn offers a Cheshire grin full of imaginary concern. "While the fact that the young master's hearing remains fully intact removes from me a great weight of concern," he murmurs, his low voice full of half-suppressed insolence, "I must confess that I thought he was above such adolescent behavior as ignoring those who wish to speak with him."
"I was not ignoring, I was thinking," he returns curtly, gaze drifting back to the board. "I would have thought you were intelligent enough to figure that out by yourself, Sebastian."
"The young master expects far too much from me. I am nothing more or less than a butler to the core…"
There is laughter in the shadows, laughter drowned out by rain and thunder and light that almost erases the darkness completely.
But there is not enough light in the world to bring Ciel Phantomhive back from the darkness.
The pawn speaks again, with words as black and sweet as molasses. "Though it is above my place to assume such a thing, I was wondering if the young master might fancy a game of chess. It has been so long since he last played, and I know how much he loves it. If I might take the liberty…?"
But even as he bows and suggests this friendly match, the king is shaking his little grey head, pushing the board and playing table away as he stands. The pieces clatter, trembling as if terrified. "Playing you would bore me," he drones, gliding towards the lounge door. He can feel the shadow follow, rather than see him. "I have better things to do."
And it is understood. And it is also a lie. They both know it is a lie. Like the veiled fear, like the hidden eye, the shadow can see through this, too; he understands far more than the boy likes or acknowledges. But for now, it doesn't matter, so long as it gets him out of playing chess. For in a game like this, in this battle of life and death and eternal damnation, the king cannot risk losing to his pawn.
He seems to emerge from the darkness itself, his white-lipped smirk a stunning contrast to the shadows from whence he came.
"My oh my," he whispers to no one, crimson eyes caressing the carelessly knocked playing board. Through the high windows, watery moonlight cascades; half-evaporated raindrops throw prisms of starlight. The ethereal glow makes the discarded marble pieces glisten like ivory and ebony… "The young master really should be more careful. He knocked one over."
Spidery fingers lazily lower; he plucks a toppled token from the checkered board. For a moment, it lies heavily in his gloved hand, and he can't help but notice the ironic instance of symbolism.
"…beautiful," he breathes to the king in his palm, bloody eyes soft with private amusement. He cannot help but love this marker, this moment, the future it foretells: stubborn and strong but still weak, weak, weak and finally his to play with as he pleases. So close to falling, to breaking into a thousand, shining, perfect pieces… But no. "Not yet. Not yet…"
The butler carefully places the king on his square, tall and proud and perfectly worthless.
"I'll wait…" he promises the wavering moon, his beautiful smile chilling the midnight air. "I'll wait until I hear the words 'checkmate.'"