Disclaimer: Check my last fic.
Author's Note/Dedication: I auctioned a story for the Help Chile fund, and LJ user bj_kun7 was kind enough to make a bid for me. 3 I hope this fic is worth what you paid! XD
Warnings: Younger Ciel—perhaps 10 ½? Innocent shouta. (If such a thing exists. XD;)
It began—as many lessons did— in the context of a class.
Biology was the topic of study, today: human anatomy and the body's many functions. The intricacies of the muscles, the abilities of the ligaments, the arrangement of the bones; the circulatory system, the sinuses, the balls and joints and hinges… Sebastian (whilst adjusting his newly-acquired glasses, pushing the wire rims deftly up the bridge of his slender nose) provided an overview of the lesson plan with little more enthusiasm than his young master was obviously feeling, slouched—as he was—over the top of his desk.
Thin nostrils flared outward with noted displeasure; perhaps the demon should see to it that a lecture on etiquette should follow…
But no. That was neither here nor there. Science was the topic currently at hand, and thus it was the teachings of science that he would impart upon his charge… despite the noted temptation to do otherwise. Even still, he was a believer in loopholes; though he was unable to give his contractor's idle fingers a swift smacking with his silver baton, he made it a point to begin their session by dropping a schoolbook— with a meaningful thwack— before his tamer's gloomy face. It was enough to startle, but not (unfortunately) enough to straighten the nobleman's arced spine; nor did polite requests or curt demands make any headway in garnering the boy's wandering attentions. He pushed the tome aside without so much as cracking the cover.
Sebastian's second attempt to instigate interest was the direct result of previous conversations with the Undertaker. Having foreseen such a predicament, he had asked the secret shinigami what educational details might appeal to the preteen's fancy; in response, the Undertaker had—rather generously—allowed the butler to borrow his favorite skeleton, affectionately named Betty. The emergence of the emaciated model at least pulled an animated reaction from the tiny earl, albeit one of disgust. Once he'd managed to quell his revolted shivers, Ciel curtly informed his servant that he was an idiot, for how was a frame of yellowed bones supposed to help him learn about muscles and skin and blood?
The demon was forced to concede the point.
But defeat was not without its victories, and it was thanks to Ciel's rude commentary that the butler-turned-tutor was able to revise his instructive strategy. And indeed, the third time was the charm: Ciel was wholly fascinated by the mini makeup mirrors that the devil had managed to procure— entranced by his ability to reflect images from one surface to the other… In this way, the nobleman was able to examine the shell-like coil of his ear; see in detail the bulge of his jugular; watch his irises wax and wane as Sebastian lit and blew out an adjacent candle.
Yes, the earl's interest in science was thoroughly whetted. Yet, the mirrors themselves quickly grew wearisome— they were small, and fragile, and limited in their scope. Wouldn't it be easier, the petite boy commented, to simply bring in another human to poke and prod at?
Sebastian suggested Finny or Bard.
Ciel ordered him to take off his shirt.
And so it was that the teacher became the textbook, open and ready for reading. Initial attempts to stand on tip-toes met with snickers and failure; Ciel refused to clamor atop his chair like a child. Another order fell from those pouty pink lips, and the demon willingly obliged, laying himself carefully upon the woven Turkish rug.
Then he waited.
…and waited some more.
For the boy was suddenly hesitant, visibly unsure—hands scrunched tight, tight, tight around his ruffled cuffs, and his head tilted downward in a display of poorly-concealed embarrassment. After all, it was one thing to scrutinize his own, familiar body… quite another to purposely put himself so close to another. And while he was indeed interested in taking a closer look (particularly at this body, for he knew it to be a forgery), in the wake of this pressing silence he could only remember the months he'd spent in captivity, when the only time he'd been close to other people had been when his antagonists were about to tor—
The patient butler cracked an eye open, arching his brow in a taunting sort of way.
All other thoughts left the boy.
Yes, it was occasionally useful, the devil thus thought—inwardly chuckling as his tamer huffed and glowered and stormed purposefully over, plopping beside him on the carpeted ground—to have a master who was so full of useless pride. Hubris would one day be his downfall, surely, but for now it was enough that it'd been able to entice him down onto the floor, peering over the demon's prostrated form with an eager kind of curiosity. To any other creature, the intelligent gleam in Ciel's mismatched eyes might have been considered frightening— reminiscent of a tot who'd just discovered ants and a magnifying glass. But Sebastian was unfazed and amiable (and always, always amused), and showcased his compliance to his lord's every whim by relaxing his limbs, closing his eyes, and allowing the child to do whatever he pleased.
Which Ciel took immediate advantage of.
He began his investigations at the crown of his servant's head, examining the counter-clockwise swirl of the devil's white-blue follicles. Hardly any were properly visible— the veritable cow-lick had resulted in a tangled forest of silken ebony, untamed and full. From this off-center focal point, the design coiled outward; it wasn't long before the Golden whirl had been obscured by the sheer mass of his mane. Disheveled and slick, but still somehow perfect, the glossy strands were, indeed, attached to Sebastian's scalp— the earl checked. He also found (as hefty handfuls of hair shifted through his loosened fingers) that the individual strands were just-slightly thicker than the boy's own locks. What's more, these threads had been endowed with the faintest, gentle curl: the color sliding from brown to black to navy as they cupped Sebastian's temples, caressed his chin, and hid his ears from view.
Unacceptable. His servant was allowed to hide nothing.
The boy remedied this unforgivable annoyance with the crook of his thumb, excavating those fleshy flaps from beneath said layers of ebony. The lobes were unblemished—no piercings or gems to mark his status—but the insides were as intricately detailed as Ciel's own. On a larger scale, perhaps, but the arches and crevasses were the same. And such a marvel ears were, really: like little cathedrals in design, empty and echoing.
As if to physically confirm their splendors and similarities for himself, the earl ran the very tip of his finger around the outer rim of his servant's ear—following the half-formed figure-eight of his cup-shaped pinna.
The touch evoked a tremble from Sebastian. It startled his master; Ciel barked a command to keep still.
The base of the malleable earlobe melded flawlessly into the hard rim of the jaw bone—the boy followed the curved contour with his piercing azure gaze, pausing at the faint cleft that marked the middle of the devil's face. If he could extended an invisible line upward, Sebastian's beautiful continence would have been perfectly symmetrical along it. But why would anyone want to split his stunning features in two? As a sophisticated gentleman of pedigree and refinement, Ciel could not bear the thought of such artwork being damaged; with renewed vigor, he marveled over the planes of Sebastian's pallid forehead, ran a hand down the dramatic slope of his narrow nose, admired the clock-spring fringe of his thick, lowered lashes, and scrutinized the dusky rose that decorated his angled cheek bones. The nobleman leaned slightly forward during his observation of this last segment, hands on his knees and his rump in the air. How astonishing: the demon's skin was marred by a million itty-bitty, teeny-tiny, near-invisible pores, just like a true mortal's. What stunning attention to detail! Why, with his luminescent, vermillion irises so hidden from view, he looked almost human.
Transfixed, the child pressed even closer, the tips of his bangs tickling the plump, moistened underbelly of oversensitive lips; instinctively, Sebastian's mouth twitched into a smile. The dangling moonstone tresses danced in reply, whisked back and forth by the butler's gentle inhalations, and Ciel's own warm exhales. The little earl did not notice when their breathing slowly synchronized, but the incident did not escape his servant— the demon's grin widened the slightest fraction as his charge's explorations took him further south, his soft gray hair (and delicate, probing hands) lingering and trailing and winding a path downward, following the veins and muscles of Sebastian's porcelain throat.
A pause. The traveling fingers had discovered the butler's protruding clavicle, the v-shaped construction of bone taut against his flesh. After a teasing dip into its semi-circle center, Ciel's left and right hands separated for a moment, sliding opposite ways down the diverging paths.
Or trying to, anyway.
But he was just a child, and their proportions did not mesh; sitting, as he was, on one of the demon's two sides, Ciel was unable to comfortably reach the opposite end of Sebastian's broad shoulders. He could have kneeled, he supposed, and strained his arms, but already his legs were tingling, and the base of his bowed back ached. Besides, the Lord of Phantomhive should never strain. He would simply have to maneuver himself into a new, more advantageous position.
And so it was that Sebastian found Ciel straddled across his stomach, his slight weight pressing into the flat planes of his belly. This new location seemed to please his master greatly: from it, he was able to slide easily up and down, and examine his butler's form at a new, more central angle. Already the dynamics of Sebastian's face seemed novel, fresh… and now he could quite easily touch each shoulder, which had been the point and purpose to begin with. To celebrate his miniature victory, the boy took the opportunity to examine one of Sebastian's arms: lifting it, weighing it, and flexing its socketed joints. The devil, obligingly, made certain that his charge was not attempting to heft dead weight, but even still his muscled limb was far heavier than Ciel had been prepared for. After a moment of maroon-faced struggling, the child dropped the devil's elbow upon his upper thigh, choosing instead to simply balance it there whilst he toyed with the monster's spidery fingers.
How extraordinary, the nobleman mused as he did so, inspecting each knuckle, each nail, each whorl in the demon's fingerprint. That same detail extended everywhere, did it? Truly, had he not known any better, he would never have guessed that this guise was merely that: a guise. It all seemed so genuinely human— so much so that Ciel could practically hear the blood rushing through the blue veins at his butler's bent wrist… smell the scent of clean flesh wafting from that same pulse point…
Intrigued, and wondering if he might yet be able to find a flaw in the devil's immaculate design, the earl pressed his button nose up against the joint between Sebastian's hand and forearm. The skin was initially tepid, but had soon absorbed and reflected the warmth of the boy's silky cheek, bequeathing the heat back onto its supplier. (Again, so human!) For a spell, Ciel simply remained as he was, ears and brain and heart straining to hear, process, and calm respectively.
Sebastian (as before) waited. Calmly. Emotionlessly. Even as, beneath his impassive mask, his every nerve shivered…
And then— movement. Slowly—ever so slowly!— Ciel began inching down the alabaster expanse of the demon's half-extended arm, the invisible peach fuzz of his rounded cheek working against the bare, pinking smoothness of his butler's velvet flesh. The downy hairs' taunting tickle was greatly exacerbated by the boy's candy-sweet breath. Inner thighs shifted; sinews and ligaments stretched, loosened, readjusted. Sebastian was starting to notice (with disturbing clarity) every point of contact that had been formed between his body and the body of his prepubescent charge…
And still Ciel traveled— gently, gingerly down—, cheek joined by ear once arm met shoulder, and shoulder met chest. With the same deliberate meticulousness, the nobleman felt for every ridge that the subservient monster's ribcage should make; his sprawled hands fell against Sebastian's tensed pectorals, (brushing carelessly against the peaking nubs of velveteen nipples,) and then he paused— listening intensely— for something deep within the left-side chamber of his butler's chest. With bated breath, the little one lingered, his lily-white temple pressed flat to where the devil's heart would be… and oh, the sheer delight that shone upon that elfin face when (yes!) he was met by the rhythmic, rapid sound of blood pump, pump, pumping, rushing from chest to brain to limbs to—
The child was slipping south again, sucking in the scent of sugar and sweat and soap. He almost laughed (almost, and blushed cherry-red when he realized it) when the devil's abdomen abruptly convulsed, the spasm physically shaking him… as if this were some sort of ride. Or game. And perhaps it was, to him, for he intentionally repeated the action that had caused it: the brush of his hair, the air from his nostrils, the cautious sweep of his prying palms.
And indeed, another sporadic shudder resulted. As did another small smile. But those were not the only outcomes... Taken aback, Ciel pulled away enough to stare down at the strange lump that had been forming against his body, just inches below the epicenter of his ministrations.
He blinked. His head cocked. He reached enthusiastically downward, wanting to examine this startling change in Sebastian's apparent anatomy—
But he was stalled in his efforts by the demon's sudden shifting; two large hands wrapped around the boy's smaller ones, invoking a touch that rendered both still.
"We'll leave those lessons for later," Sebastian said simply.
With that, class was dismissed.