Falling Down - Drocell

by taitofan

Rated PG-13 for implied shounen ai and shota, plus disturbing imagery

Disclaimer: Kuroshitsuji is not mine, considering if it were, Drocell would be a main character and Grell would get all of his wishes to come true. I'm sure many of you are glad it's not mine.

Author's notes: Okay, here we get into the romance a bit more, though it's only been upgraded a little. I've decided I will continue my other idea right in this fic rather than make a new one, so there will be more chapters after all. This part covers approximately the same time span as the last part did, just from Drocell's side. I've added my own back-story for him, and I will warn now that it's a bit dark at one point. I've upped the rating not only for that, but for the fact that seeing as I will be going on, the romance will eventually warrant it anyway. Might as well do it now, right? Reviews are lovely and are great motivation remember!

Flames do nothing but make me laugh, although I'll listen to any CC you have. Please read, review, and enjoy! Finished 04-15-09

He was up before the sun.

This was nothing new, as he couldn't remember the last time he'd been able to sleep more than a few hours at once without waking up from the pain, coughing violently. Even the sleep he did get was fitful, often full of cryptic nightmares. He hated being awake most days, but he hated being asleep even more.

The task of getting dressed was automatic, as was eating a piece of plain bread for breakfast that he'd no doubt regurgitate sooner or later. He couldn't remember the last time he'd been able to eat a full meal either. His eyes showed the lack of sleep and nutrition most of all, and he took pains to apply enough kohl and brightly colored powder around them to hide the signs of his illness. He wouldn't have bothered if he didn't need the money, but unless he wanted to live on the same streets he worked on, he supposed there was little choice.

It was probably too early to begin working, but he decided to try anyway. It was better than staring at himself in the mirror and wondering why he hadn't just jumped off a bridge yet and ended it all. He'd never get better—he knew that. His family didn't want anything to do with him, he had no friends, no lover, no one at all who would miss him…

Sighing deeply, Drocell picked up his barrel organ and headed out the door of his small flat, hoping that maybe that day something would happen to give him hope again.

"London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down…" He turned the crank and sang along to the tune mindlessly, having to use all of his willpower to sound cheerful. He'd already been out for hours, and the amount of coins in the hat at his feet wouldn't even pay for a loaf of bread.

The morbid song was the only thing he could think of at the moment as he fought off the combination of hunger and nausea he felt. He tried to ignore both as the words poured from his lips, a memory of his past running through his mind for but a moment. He and his two sisters running outside happily, his parents singing the song as they all played the accompanying game… The thought was gone just as soon as it had come. That had been so long ago it seemed…and besides, there seemed to be a child coming his way.

"…my fair lady." As the first verse of the song finished, the boy was standing before him and throwing a small handful of coins into his hat. He was a cheerful looking boy, grinning up at him with his bright blue eyes full of happiness. How long it had been since Drocell had that look aimed at him! His heart warmed and a smile he hadn't genuinely felt in so long spread across his face. "Hello. What might your name be?"

"I'm Ciel! What's your name?" He looked over to where Ciel's mother was waiting patiently, assuming that she was where the coins had come from. A quick glance down to his feet confirmed that it wasn't merely a few pence he'd received. Ciel… He'd heard that name before. And this boy certainly looked to be the right age to be who Drocell thought he was…

"If your name is Ciel, I reason you must be Earl Phantomhive's son. It is a pleasure to meet you." Though he didn't really expect anything, he stuck out his hand…and was amazed when Ciel shook it immediately. He was either very kind or very well mannered. Both, he hoped. "My name is Drocell Cains. Did you like my song?" Ciel nodded, an excited look on his face. Drocell was glad to see that not all children of aristocrats felt the need to turn their nose up at him as they walked by. He tried to think back to the last time anyone had stopped to talk with him… With the exception of the times he heard shouts to get a real job, he honestly couldn't remember.

"That's my favorite song! Me and Lizzie sing it with Mama and Auntie Anne when we play. Is it your favorite song too?" Drocell couldn't help but chuckle softly at the boy's enthusiasm, his smile growing ever so slightly. He didn't know who Lizzie was, but he assumed she was his family too. The boy was lucky to have so many people who loved him. Focusing back on the boy's question, he tapped a finger to his chin in mock thought. He didn't really think he had a favorite song, but he wanted to see Ciel's brilliant smile turned to him even more.

"Well, I love performing it, therefore I think it must be so. I reason it is an honor to share something of such importance with the future earl… I do hope you remember the joy music brought you once you take your father's place." Ciel looked confused at the question, but he nodded nonetheless. He likely didn't know that he was of such an important rank, even being so young. Dare he even think Ciel might think they could become friends? Oh, how he wished it was possible…

The boy opened his mouth to say something, only for his mother's voice to inform them they needed to be going to meet his father. Drocell normally would have thought any parent attempting to regain their child's attention merely did not want the child around him, but after the kind women's generosity—both with her money and her son's time—he believed she was sincere. The fact that Ciel looked upset about needing to leave made his heart flutter in a way that he hadn't felt in a very long time. Ciel was certainly bringing out a lot of emotion in him…

It was dangerous to feel that way, he knew, but at the same time he didn't really care. He was dying and Ciel was giving him that hope he'd wanted so desperately, even after having only known him for mere minutes. He reasoned that he could risk these forbidden emotions one last time. Ciel was young anyway. He wouldn't even be able to mature enough to realize what was going on before Drocell was no longer of the earth.

"Goodb—" Ciel's words were cut off as Drocell grabbed the boy's petit hand and placed a kiss to the back of it. He watched the boy's reaction carefully—his blue eyes widening, his cheeks becoming dusted a light shade of pink, his breath hitching… It was a lovely sight. One he would likely never see again, so he basked in the boy's beauty as long as was safe before letting their hands fall. He never once stopped smiling.

"Goodbye Ciel Phantomhive. I do hope we meet again."

Ciel and Lady Phantomhive left then, Ciel not really knowing what to think and the Lady seeming rather bemused. It was better than her yelling at him, so he happily accepted it.

The nausea and hunger pains were gone, replaced by a newfound sense of life. Even if he probably had no more than a few months left to live before the illness overtook him, he was determined to see it through to the end. He placed his hand back on the organ's crank and began to turn it once more, this time not needing to fake his happiness.

"Build it up with silver and gold, silver and gold, silver and gold…"

Drocell had gone to bed that night feeling just as content as he had when he'd first met Ciel. The boy was all he could think of…and for once in his life, he didn't let the haunting memories of his family disowning him after finding out he preferred the company of the masculine persuasion guilt him into submission. True, Ciel must have been about twelve years or so younger than him, but it wasn't as if anything could happen even if he weren't sick. An earl and a street performer? A twenty-year-old who made barely enough to eat by singing to children on the streets? How preposterous. He knew his place. That wouldn't stop him from dreaming of the possibility though, just that once…

With thoughts of that beautiful boy on his mind, he slept.

…And woke up hours later, the nausea rising once again and his heart racing. He stumbled out of bed and, knowing he'd never make it to the lavatory, leaned over a bucket he kept by his bed. The few things he'd eaten that day finally came back up…but it was different from all the other days. There was blood this time. And he just couldn't stop.

He coughed and heaved, a mixture of blood and bile coming up even after all the partially digested food was gone. This wasn't normal, he knew that much. Was…was it time? Was he going to die now? It wasn't fair—he'd just finally found his reason to live! He'd wanted to see Ciel again! He didn't want to die!

His strength quickly left him, and he fell to the ground in a heap, blood running out of the corner of his mouth. Yes, it seemed this was it. He couldn't even get up or yell for help…

"Ciel… I am sorry…" With those last words he saw a glimpse of red. Then he saw nothing.

When he was a child, he'd wanted to be a puppeteer. He'd always loved marionettes and dolls, and though his father always sneered that those were only for girls and sissies, he'd never listened. Though singing on the streets hadn't been horrible, he'd always regretted never having the funding for his dream.

…Until someone had reanimated his soul at least. He wasn't sure he ever wanted to see a doll again after that. Not after what he'd been forced to do.

Drocell had finally found out who Lizzie was. He'd gotten to see Ciel again too, even tell him that he was beautiful. Alas, it had taken all of the willpower he could muster even to say those few things before the horrid force had taken control again. Five years he'd spent in limbo—not quite pure enough for heaven after his preferences but certainly not evil enough for hell—never being promoted to heaven because he couldn't let go of his feelings for Ciel. It was ridiculous he'd reasoned; he'd only talked to him for five minutes and yet he felt so strongly? But he did. And if going to heaven meant forgetting Ciel, he didn't want to leave limbo.

He certainly hadn't wanted to see him under those conditions though. He was lucky that demon with the boy had stopped him before he'd done something he'd regret, though he wished that reaper had been able to sever the unknown force's control over him instead. What he wouldn't have given to speak to Ciel on his own… Well, all he had was his soul, so he reasoned he would have given that. The boy who'd made him want to live again deserved that much.

"Hmm, yes, I knew I'd seen you before! Even if you did have straw spilling out of your pretty head, I just knew I'd met you once! You were the sick one, right? So much beautiful blood everywhere! You smelled like death even before I arrived!" Had Drocell had an eyebrow to raise anymore, he'd have done so to the being who had just appeared before him. This was… "Ah, but I'm not here just to chat. A lady should always get right to business, right? Now, I have a proposition for you…"