A/N: First ever attempt at Kuroshitsuji fanfiction and quite possibly my last for some time. (I should be hard at work on another fic in a completely different fandom, but I have watched all the episodes and am working on reading the rest of the manga for Kuroshitsuji and wanted to do something for my favorite butler and his master!)
Warnings: BOYXBOY YAOI. Not really shota, since I made Ciel sixteen. Unfortunately the yaoi is more hinted at than explicit, but Kuroshitsuji is all hints and teases…
Disclaimer: Nope, don't own them. I'd love to, though, so if anyone ever hears that the manga-ka is selling them/raffling them off/throwing them out/getting rid of them/raffling off spare parts/giving away their used clothes/etc, let me know! (I call dibs on Sebastian…)A Conversation at Midnight
"Is something troubling you, bocchan?"
Ciel Phantomhive nearly jumped at the sound of the smooth, deep voice. As it was, he sat up straight at his desk and faced the door and the voice's source, deep blue eye already narrowing into a glare. Though he was now sixteen and more a man than a child, some things never changed and his desire to glare at the smugly smirking demon was one of them.
The slate-haired young man stared with displeasure at his butler for a moment but remained silent. Sebastian, as a demon, knew more about lies and lying than any human - even the best of swindlers - ever could. The dark-haired man could probably smell a lie.
Even so, Ciel tried.
"It's nothing, Sebastian." The young lord pushed back from his desk, leaving the papers scattered there for the next morning. Nothing was urgent, just simple matters of party invitations he would decline if possible and bills for managing his estate. He wasn't anxious to see how much money was owed; Bard had managed to blow up the kitchen once again. While the Phantomhives were by no means poor and never would be, thinking about the waste never failed to irritate the family's young leader, the only still-living Phantomhive.
The demon chuckled as his master stood.
"Now, now, bocchan. It is not healthy to keep such things bottled inside." Sebastian's voice was honey, smooth and sweet. "If you are not willing or able to entrust me with your troubles, perhaps Lady Elizabeth-"
Ciel's face contorted into a grimace of disgust with the tiniest hint of guilt in it. Though the blonde noblewoman was supposed to be his fiancée, since their childhood she had only gotten more insufferable. Her obsession with all things 'cute' hadn't diminished and her love of squealing when she saw him and holding him in a tight embrace hadn't faded, though Ciel's patience for such things had. Duty would eventually force him to wed her, but he wasn't eagerly anticipating the day as Elizabeth was. So far, he had managed to keep the young woman ignorant of his true feelings and intended to keep it that way. Annoying as she was, he still couldn't stand to see her tears.
Annoying as she was, she was still his fiancée. There was a certain loyalty owed to her even though they were not yet married, but the young lord had been having disturbing, shameful thoughts lately. The dreams were even worse, since he had no control over what his sleeping mind conjured. According to what he had read and what a tutor had once been hired to teach him about (through book study only, of course), the dreams that had disturbed his sleep as of late were natural for a man his age. Though natural and expected, there was something distinctly unnatural about the scenes inside his mind that played for him as he slept.
The partner, for example, was never Elizabeth, had never been Elizabeth, and likely never would be Elizabeth. Ciel had noticed the young woman get more than one appreciative glance at parties he simply couldn't avoid. Her form had filled out nicely as she had grown and was in the full blossom of her youth with a delicate figure and a lively manner most older woman envied and the gentlemen found simply irresistible. Beyond that, the Earl had not cared to notice more. It was only after he had seen the admiring stares from other men at the parties that he had even realized his future bride was more a woman than the little girl he had known as a child.
The dreams normally left him with one sort of problem or another, both equally embarrassing when Sebastian woke him up in the morning. It didn't help that his nights were haunted by images of ivory skin, pale lips and glowing crimson eyes with catlike pupils framed by strands of black silk. It didn't help that the same face woke him up every morning with a pleasant, if ironic, smile and a freshly brewed cup of tea. Some mornings, Ciel would almost lose track of whether he was awake or dreaming, since many of the dreams started as simple everyday scenarios that quickly took a heated turn.
He had needed to indefinitely suspend Sebastian's help with dressing and bathing, at least unless he wanted to embarrass himself. The butler would always do the last, final touches on the Earl's clothes to make the young man's appearance immaculate, but the butler had been banned from buttoning (or unbuttoning, for that matter) Ciel's shirt and definitely no longer helped the slate haired man into his pants or out of them.
"No? Perhaps Prince Soma will be able to help you, or perhaps-"
"I said it's nothing, Sebastian." Ciel cut off the demon angrily, moving around his desk and beginning to walk towards the door without looking the taller of the pair in the eye. He could feel crimson eyes follow him and almost taste the smug amusement radiating from his servant.
In truth, the dreams were the least of what troubled him, though the images had led him to contemplate several important questions. Absently, his steps slowed to a stop just a few feet beyond the desk and still several feet from the butler who stood just inside the door of the office. Ciel reached up and gently touched his covered eye, the gesture drawing an interested expression from Sebastian. The Earl didn't notice.
The dreams had caused him to question quite a few things about the 'relationship' between himself and the demon he had contracted. When he had been young, he hadn't cared or given much thought to the eventual consequences of the contract. A soul was an abstract concept and hardly worth worrying about then. Still, as he grew older he had become less narrow in his view of the world - after all, if a demon could exist, then why not a soul as well?
What was going to happen to him on the day the contract was finally fulfilled? Would he die that day at Sebastian's hands or would he be allowed to live and die of natural causes?
What really happened to a soul dragged down to the world of demons? Demons, Ciel knew, consumed souls, though he wasn't sure of the method. Would he still be conscious, even then? Would he feel pain?
Most importantly, was he just another meal to the demon in front of him? When Sebastian looked at him with one of his enigmatic smiles, did he see 'Ciel' or only a meal he couldn't yet partake of?
None of his questions had been answered yet and some questions could not be asked. Demons were supposedly heartless as well and Ciel was not about to reveal his hand and his heart unless he was certain of the outcome. The Earl of Phantomhive would not try to play a game that would be impossible to win.
"What... happens to me once the contract is fulfilled?" The Earl's question was slow, yet it had slipped from his lips before his mind had given it permission. He scowled, the sour expression more directed towards himself than the slightly surprised look Sebastian now wore. The smug grin that spread over the demon's face moments later wasn't a big improvement, though the smirk sent warm shivers through Ciel's body. The nobleman then met his butler's eyes, pride not letting him take back the question. He met Sebastian's eyes evenly, doing his best to look down on the man who was still a foot taller than he was. The young man pretended he had intended to ask the question, though from the knowledge glimmering in the crimson eyes his own uncovered eye was locked with, he was certain Sebastian knew that the query had been unintentional.
"Do you not remember the terms we agreed to all those years ago?" Sebastian asked smoothly. Ciel's scowl deepened.
"What happens to my soul once it belongs to you?" he clarified, now unwilling to give up until he knew the answer. "Answer me."
Sebastian made a thoughtful expression, one that would have seemed sincere if not for the subtle mockery in his eyes. A white-gloved finger tapped the demon's lips thoughtfully, drawing Ciel's attention to the soft pink color he had seen and felt so many times in his dreams-
The Earl cut that train of thought off before it could travel anywhere dangerous.
"Is that what has been troubling you?" the demon asked. Ciel's visible eye narrowed.
"This is an order. Answer me." He didn't actually tap into the power of the contract, but normally the reminder was enough. The taller of the pair chuckled.
"Of course, bocchan." Sebastian began to walk forward and the Earl had to resist the urge to back up. The air around his butler was suddenly so much more predatory, as if the man was a panther with the scent of injured prey thick in its nostrils.
"After our contract has ended, your soul becomes mine to do with as I please until the end of time." Sebastian was almost too close to the young man, making said young lord uncomfortable but it was an oddly pleasant discomfort. Ciel shifted slightly in place, now craning his neck to look into the demon's eyes. The butler's irises had begun to glow and the pupils were slitted as his demonic nature manifested slightly. The human swallowed thickly.
"Your soul..." The demon seemed to roll the words on his tongue, as if savoring some sort of taste. The butler leaned closer, Ciel's heart beating rapidly in what felt like anticipation as the elder's lips drew closer. The nobleman opened his mouth to speak, but Sebastian's mouth passed his by and the butler's lips slid along Ciel's cheek before the young man felt air move quickly across his neck as the demon inhaled deeply.
"I'm sure it will taste wonderful, bocchan."
Suddenly reminded of exactly what his situation was, Ciel made a disgusted noise and backed up, bringing up his hands to shove his servant away. He turned away from the black-clad creature in the form of a man, ignoring the amused look the other wore.
"As I expected," he forced himself to say, not looking at the demon. "Get out. I can find my room on my own and prepare myself for sleep. I don't need your help."
He could feel a sudden heat at his back as the demon stepped closer.
"Did I upset you, young master?" Sebastian asked, voice smug with knowledge.
"You didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. You're dismissed." Ciel hissed through gritted teeth. The taller man's chuckle was more felt than heard.
"Would it please you to note that not all demons eat their prey? Some of us find it more entertaining to keep some souls around to amuse ourselves," the honeyed voice murmured in the otherwise silent room, making something like hope leap in Ciel's chest, but the Earl ruthlessly beat the emotion down.
"It would please me if you left," he muttered lowly in response, though his heart was only halfway committed to his words.
"Did I not teach you how to properly order me?" Sebastian asked, amused. "Have you forgotten that as well, bocchan?"
"I haven't forgotten anything." Ciel retorted, voice rising in his anger as he let his temper get the better of him. With a deep breath, he once again calmed down. He could use the power given to him as the demon's contractor, but would Sebastian be able to sense his hesitation if he did? If this was all he could have, then this is what he would content himself with for as long as he could get it. The young lord could hear Sebastian step closer, now almost touching him. He refused to turn around, though he knew the slight tremors running through him at his butler's proximity were obvious to the demon.
"Then order me. I am but your loyal servant, after all."
Ciel considered for a moment, then set his shoulders more firmly though he still didn't turn around.
"Tell me more about the demons that don't eat the humans they have made contracts with," he demanded. The request might be revealing more about his mindset than he wanted to, but he was truly curious and he needed to know.
"Why the sudden interest, bocchan?" Sebastian voice was almost mocking and definitely smug, as if the man knew exactly why Ciel was asking.
Irritated, the slate haired lord turned around and glared up at his butler. He tried to ignore the fact that their bodies were scant inches apart and how tall the demon's body was, how warm, but part of his mind instantly focused on those facts and would not be budged. He was careful to keep his sudden rush of emotions off his face, keeping the stoic mask he had perfected long ago firmly in place.
"Answer me. That's an order, Sebastian."
The servant smiled, tilting his head a bit to the side.
"Yes, my lord." Ciel waited for the demon to continue, not moving from his place even as Sebastian straightened to look down at his little master with an oddly intense expression. Slightly uncomfortable, Ciel spoke again to cover up the sudden tension in the room.
"Forgive me. I needed to find the words." Sebastian said with only the barest hint of sincerity. "Some demons, bocchan, prefer to keep some human souls in order to... play with them. Those with enough power can make a spirit take corporeal form once more. Some demons play with souls they later eat while some simply keep a soul in order to play with it and find other humans to consume. Most demons, however, don't have enough willpower to keep from eating everything they have made a contract with."
Ciel nodded impatiently, filing the information away for later consideration.
"What do you mean by 'play'?" he demanded, a sudden rush of heat and discomfort moving through him at the seductive smirk the demon sent him.
"Demons have many of the same pleasures as humans, though demons have less concern for what is 'right'," Sebastian explained softly, taking a small step forward. Ciel stepped back instinctively, heart pounding faster as his butler backed him into the edge of his desk. The demon pinned him in place though they did not touch, Sebastian's hands coming to rest on the desk to either side of Ciel's hips. The lord's arms were bent slightly at the elbow and his hands rested on the desk behind him, keeping him from falling as he leaned back. "A demon enjoys violence much more than any human and most enjoy torturing what humans were foolish enough to make contracts with them."
Ciel swallowed thickly, trying not to move even though the logical half of his brain was warning him to order Sebastian away, get out from under the demon pinning him to his own desk. He struggled to keep his stoic expression from breaking.
"What else?" Ciel demanded, voice a bit breathy. His butler leaned even closer, the Earl's visible eye widening as their noses nearly touched. He could feel the taller man's breath move across his face, warm and sweet. He almost leaned forward, the desire to taste the mouth and see if it was as sweet as the breath, but caught himself just in time. Sebastian's chuckle reverberated through both their bodies.
"Some souls are kept for carnal pleasure, bocchan. If a human is appealing to a demon, then the demon may keep it to satisfy his desires." Sebastian stared intently into Ciel's eyes, fiery red boring into ocean blue. The young man felt as if his breath had been stolen - for a moment, he forgot how to breathe on the intensity of the look alone. "Whether or not the human wants it does not matter."
The human nodded, eye wide and breath coming in short pants. His body was tensed in anticipation, though for what even Ciel himself was uncertain. The butler smirked, eyes fading back to a dull crimson. He straightened up and stepped backwards, once again the image of a perfect servant.
"Does that answer your question, my lord?" he asked, bowing slightly. The Earl nodded, shaking slightly as he too straightened up and tried for a semblance of his usual cold personality.
"Yes. Now I believe I said earlier that you were dismissed. Leave."
"As young master wishes." The demon stood from his bow and turned towards the door, a knowing look in his crimson eyes. Ciel watched him go until the door to his office had been opened and shut and Sebastian's footsteps had faded down the hall. With a small sigh, he turned towards the large window behind his desk. He stared without seeing the bright stars or the full moon, staring sightlessly as his mind wandered.
"'Until the end of time...'" he repeated towards himself, recalling what the demon had told him at the beginning of their conversation. The memory of Sebastian's demonic eyes staring into his own, his strangely intense look when he had told Ciel how some demons kept human souls for 'carnal pleasure'.
He shivered, eyes closing briefly as other images, small snippets of the scenes he saw nightly in his dreams, ran through his mind. His own delicate, pale hand against even paler flesh, glowing red eyes darkened by want and need and a skilled tongue diving deeply into his mouth, the taste of sweets and fire-
He shook himself. He had no way of knowing exactly what Sebastian had meant by his explanation. Was Sebastian the kind that would keep Ciel's soul to 'play' with it? Would he simply eat the spirit of his former master the moment the lord died or the contract was fulfilled? That intense look had suggested something, and if his hunch was correct...
"Eternity, huh?" Ciel whispered to himself, placing a hand on his chest over his heart. He could feel the steady beat under his palm and half-wondered when the comforting rhythm would end and he could learn once and for all exactly what Sebastian intended for his soul once it belonged to the demon.
If he was correct...
Eternity didn't sound so bad after all.
A/N: Let me know what you think!