Forever and Always

By Chocolate Moosey

Ciel wrapped his lips around the tip of a stiff object, hands secured around the base. His single eye was narrowed in determination.

"I was not aware that this was a talent you possessed, young master." Sebastian commented, raising an eyebrow. Ciel rolled his eye, releasing his mouth as he glared up at his butler.

"I have a lot of talents you don't know about—now shut up. I'm trying to concentrate." He snapped, returning to the task at hand. Sebastian smirked.

"Yes my lord." He nodded. Ciel took the wooden object in his lips once more and blew into the tip, eliciting a squawking noise from the base. Ciel flapped his hand in quick succession, producing the signature call of the Canadian goose.

"It's a bit late in the season for geese— don't you think, my lord?" The black-haired demon inquired as Ciel crouched down and continued to produce the repetitive sound from his game caller.

"It shouldn't be." He replied, brushing a lock of dark blue hair from his face. "They tend to stay around the manor for the greater part of the year—I have a feeling it's because Finny feeds them breadcrumbs every morning and they refuse to leave."

"I see." Sebastian nodded, returning his gaze on the horizon. It was a particularly grey morning for March—even considering the usual dreary weather around the Phantomhive manor—and a light fog clung to the mossy floor at the edge of the forest. At the end of his sight, the demon spotted two dark shapes fluttering in the distance.

"My lord." He said, nodding towards the geese. Ciel nodded and gestured for him to crouch beside him, bringing the wooden game call to his lips. As the young earl produced another set of goose calls, the avian pair grew close, their strangled honks soon joining those that Ciel produced from his caller.

Making as little noise as he dared, Ciel placed the caller within his hunting coat and collected his rifle from a where it was slung over his back. Twisting the bolt handle up and back, he placed the shell in the chamber, released the bolt, and took aim.

"Do you think I could get them both with one shot?" Smirked the earl, securing his finger around the trigger. There was no need to watch his voice, as the docile geese had been sensitized to human activity from their years around the manor.

"No need." Sebastian said, a smirk of his own evident in his voice. However, it seemed devoid of his usual deviant mirth and Ciel allowed himself a hollow shutter. Sometimes it was difficult to remember that his companion was inhuman until he pulled something so unsettling in his master's presence.

The earl shook himself, returning his attentions to the hunt. The geese seemed to be flying right towards him, blithely unaware of the weapon in his hands. Ciel fixed his sight just before the closest goose, leading the muzzle of the gun in a steady path just ahead of the creature before he tightened his grip around the trigger and pulled.

Ciel neatly corrected himself from the recoil, watching as the goose plummeted to the ground below, leaving several dark tawny feathers in its wake. However, something strange was happening with the second goose: it began to squawk in distress, swooping down upon its fallen companion. Ciel's eye widened as he watched the animal land by the dead bird's side, honking all the while.

"It would be in your best interest to just kill it, my lord." Sebastian instructed. "It will die anyway."

"Why didn't it just fly off?" He asked incredulously, dispelling the empty shell and loading another round at his butler's suggestion. In quick succession he aimed, shot, and the second goose fell over dead. "What a waste." The youth mumbled, climbing to his feet and brushing the dirt from his knees as he marched out into the clearing to assess his kills.

"It seems as if the other bird was its mate." Sebastian explained, producing a burlap sack out of nowhere and promptly bagging the first goose.

"Mate?" Ciel questioned, watching his butler drop the second bird into the sack.

"Canadian geese mate for life." Continued the butler, pulling the drawstring on the sack closed. "If you kill one, the mate will stay by its side until you kill it or it dies from starvation."

Ciel scowled. "That's ridiculous. It's just an animal." He shifted his rifle from one arm to the other. "Why doesn't it just find a new mate? There's bound to be plenty more around here—I hear them shrieking and making a commotion every night around dinner—."

"Like I said, my lord. They mate for life." Sebastian interrupted; Ciel stared at his butler half-incredulously and half-annoyed as the demon smiled sheepishly. "I apologize for interrupting you, master. That was rude."

Ciel shrugged off the comment as they began their trek back to the mansion. He raised his hand to his chin, using his index finger to rub thoughtfully at the band of his ring. Sebastian stared at him with piercing garnet eyes, but otherwise remained silent. It was a curious sight to see his master so pensive about mere animals, and he fought the urge to inquire about the boy's thoughts.

"Do demons mate for life as well?" Ciel finally spoke, locking his eye with Sebastian's. To his surprise, the demon's brows raised and he thinned his lips. "You didn't expect me to ask you such a personal question." He stated flatly.

"In all honesty? No." Sebastian shook his head. "My lord hardly ever inquires anything of my personal life, so it came as a surprise." He explained, eyes locking on the nearby silhouette of the manor. "However, I shall tell you."

"Then tell me, Sebastian." Ciel demanded, impatient as usual. The corner of the demon's mouth twitched into a grin as his master folded his arms over his chest and arched an eyebrow. "Well?"

"To answer your question: yes. My kind does mate for life." He replied simply. Ciel's eyes widened. "Does that surprise you?"

"Mate." Echoed Ciel, licking his lips in thought. "It's a bit of an animalistic term—I suppose there is nothing like marriage in your world?"

"No." Sebastian shook his head as they entered the courtyard. "Not until very recently—many higher-ranking demons attempting to keep up the appearance of a human will marry their mate; but it means as little as a piece of paper with signatures on it."

"Don't let a priest hear you say that." The earl snorted.

"It's true." The demon replied with an elegant shrug, collecting the bolt rifle from his master. "If my lord would wait here for a moment? I'll go deposit these in the kitchen and lock up your rifle."

"Don't let Bard find them." Ciel warned, unsure of whether he was referring to only the geese or the gun as well; but Sebastian was already gone. However, within several moments the front doors to the estate were already open and Sebastian was waiting for him on the other side.

Ciel walked into the entrance hall, shedding his hunting coat and folding it over Sebastian's extended arm. "So demons don't regard marriage very highly, then?"

Sebastian released a small sniff that could've been a laugh as he followed Ciel up the stairs towards his chamber. "It's a nice sentiment, but nowhere as binding or precious as matehood."

"How does one demon go about mating another—?" Ciel froze in his question as long fingers wrapped in white brushed against the crook of his neck. Even though the stiff collar of his dress shirt, Ciel could feel the intimacy and heat of the touch and shivered despite himself.

"It's an exchange of blood." Explained his servant. "One of the participants bites here and drinks a small amount the other's blood. The second party then does the same."

"That's it?" Ciel blinked.

"That's it." Sebastian smiled.

"Is there a ceremony of some sort? What is the binding factor?" Frowned the younger of the two. Sebastian allowed himself a small chuckle at his master's naïvety.

"There is no ceremony—like you suggest before, it is an animalistic act. The exchange of blood is usually followed by…" He paused, considering his words. "Activities of a devious nature."

"Ah." Ciel nodded, attempting to fight down the blush threatening to invade his cheeks. "And the binding factor?"

"The blood." Sebastian repeated as he held open the door to his young master's chamber. "Once the blood has been exchanged, you take on a different scent. This allows other demons to know that you are… off the market, so to speak."

"But you could still commit adultery." Ciel replied with a frown, depositing himself onto the plush bed as Sebastian made his way to the bathroom and began to fill up a washbasin. "Besides, two humans could theoretically exchange blood and it wouldn't alter their body chemistry."

"Two very valid points, my lord." The demon nodded, setting the basin of warm water on the nightstand and dampening a cloth in it. "However, there are also several other key elements to mating that make it much more intimate than marriage."

"Go on." Ciel prompted.

"Like I said, demons mate for life—someone can only be one person's mate; but a demon can take as many mates as he or she pleases, as long as those demons are unmated." Sebastian explained as he stroked Ciel's face with the cloth. "When two demons make a blood exchange, their body chemistry does, in fact, change. Female demons are only able to sire children with their mate."

"All the more reason to commit adultery and get away with your hands clean." Sniffed the young earl, bearing his arm for Sebastian to clean. Sebastian shook his head, still smiling.

"If you are intimate enough with another demon to mate them, then you will not feel the need to engage in promiscuous activities with anyone else." He rolled down Ciel's sleeve and pushed up the second one. "Besides, mates are much more susceptible to strong feelings and emotions in their partners. If one is indulging in carnal pleasures, then the other will most likely be able to sense those emotions."

"Plenty of people marry for wealth or to sustain their business." Ciel mused as Sebastian removed his vest. "Many are even betrothed at a young age, like I was. But at the same time; they still fool about with others on the side— whose company they prefer to their husband or wife— for their own pleasure." He paused. "Do demons typically mate for business or formal deals?"

Sebastian sighed and nodded as he unfastened the buttons of Ciel's dress shirt. "It is rare, but not unheard of. However, considering the usual conditions for matehood, it is generally frowned upon outside of highly elite families."

"The usual conditions?" Ciel inquired as the demon ran the damp cloth along his chest. His breath hitched as he realized the water had cooled—particularly at the point when Sebastian brushed it over his nipple.

"If you choose to be bound to someone for life, you might as well love them sincerely." Sebastian explained. Suddenly, Ciel released a cold little laugh. The demon glanced up into a blue-violet eye looking down upon him in mirth.

"Love?" Ciel echoed, his lips twitching into a smile. However, the humor was fading from it and there was only cruel intent there. "Am I supposed to believe that hell-born demons have a sense of love or commitment?"

Sebastian smiled weakly, feigning hurt. "My lord, I am offended!"

"You arse." Ciel snorted, shoving his leg into the butler's grasp. "Stop acting like an idiot. It's strange."

"Yes, my lord."

Ciel fell back into the bed, allowing his servant to clean the dirt from his knees as he stared up at the ceiling, deep in thought. "Sebastian?"

"Yes, my lord?" The demon inquired, removing one of Ciel's boots and wiping down the length of his calf.

"Can demons mate humans as well?"

Sebastian froze, and then laughed. "I was waiting for that question." He paused, reaching over to dampen the cloth one more. "And yes. We can mate humans if we desire."

"A demon and a human in love." Ciel smirked to himself, recalling an old French fairytale his mother had told him when he was a child. "That sounds almost like La Belle et la Bête. Have you heard of a situation like that before?"

"Not personally; but most definitely through word of mouth." Sebastian explained. Ciel hummed, his curiosity apparently quelled.

"So it's almost like you're my mate, then?"

Or maybe not.

Sebastian started, staring at Ciel with large claret eyes. It was quite a sight to see him taken aback for once. "My lord?"

"We are bound together, are we not?" The earl asked, pulling up into a sitting position. He removed the patch from over his light violet eye that shone with the mark of the beast and brushed his fingertips over the back of his servant's hand where it resided in black.

"In a different way, yes." Sebastian muttered. "I suppose you could say it is similar."

"You do not love me, then?" Ciel gave a small, bitter laugh. Sebastian was silent. His master continued. "Have I offended you?"

"Not in the least, my lord." Shrugged the demon, turning his hand palm-up to collect Ciel's hand in his.

"Good." The young man nodded curtly. "We are still bound together for the entirety of my life." He cocked his head to the side, the light in his eyes dimming as the wry humor faded from them. "Shall you drop dead by my side if I am to go?"

"I am to collect what is mine and continue on." Sebastian whispered, pressing the back of Ciel's hand to his lips as he knelt before him. "But until then, we are bound."

"Forever and always?" Ciel prompted dryly.

Sebastian smiled, his grip tightening a fraction around the earl's hand. "Until the day you shall die."

AN: Ohai dramatic irony and innuendo! Its been awhile! December, was it? In AP Literature. Oh yes my friends, those were good times.

Now that I'm done being a nerd, its time to... be a nerd. Huh. Anywho! Here is my first-ever Kuroshitsuji fanfiction; and I am quite proud of this little puppy. I was actually inspired by a conversation I had with my dad about Canadian geese. They live at a golf course by my house/on my school's soccer feild year-round, so we see them flying around a lot. My dad was telling me about how he used to go hunting and if he were to shoot one goose, its mate would always stay close to its side seeing as they mate for life, so you'll usually be able to bag two. I also made sure to pick out the right kind of rifle for Ciel to use-- I instantly recognized it in the manga seeing as my aunt just gave us a more modern copy of one. So being a gun nut, I got all excited BD

Just to fill you all in: this is NOT anime cannon. This is manga cannon and takes place between chapters 37 and 38-- to be percise, right after Ciel gets measured for his new outfit and right before what I have dubbed the "Cluedo" story arc. So if you've read through the entirety of the manga, you'll know exactly why this is so ironic (that is, unless it was some elaborate plan and he's faking).

Also, I am very proud of myself for not having this story lead into secks. Its the first T-rated story I've written in... holy crap, in about three years. But I couldn't leave molesty times and innuendo out! Because I love molesty times and innuendo...

In any case, I'm sure I have bored you into a stupor! Thank you so much for reading! Much love, you guys!