All characters © Toboso Yana

Summary: Insight as to why Sebastian hates dogs.


Second Cycle

"What shall I call you, demon?"

It smiled, now in the fleshskin of a man. "You are my master now, so it is up to you to give me a name," it answered. "Call me whatever you see fit. I will not object."

The boy, near-naked and shivering in a shirt that floated dreadfully on him pondered in the dingy filth of his cell. Dried blood was encrusted around his ankles and wrists, and he stared at the form impassively. "I will call you Sebastian," he answered finally.

"Hm."

"Are you not satisfied?"

"I have neither satisfaction nor dissatisfaction," Sebastian replied. His eyes crinkled up at the edges to suggest some form of internal amusement. "Though I wonder why you entitled me with such a name," me mused.

"It is a familiar name," Ciel Phantomhive shrugged. His eyes clouded over with corneal nimbuses. "One that I associate with something that can never be recovered."

Sebastian tilted his head, a small gesture. "You don't say, Young Phantomhive," he said.

--

"Someone of your nature will have no qualms about remaining by my side in this form."

Or so Sebastian Michaelis thought. He had been many things, not limited to one shape. He had worn fleshskins, furskins, featherskins, and sometimes no skin at all. All were equally comfortable in their own ways. Demons were more animal than human, their tastes more rapacious and malignant than any homo sapient dentures could stand. The upside now was that he wouldn't have to bother much with speech and blending in.

Not that he did anyway.

--

"I'm glad our profits are soaring," Vincent Phantomhive remarked.

The twinkles of sun streamed in through the windows of his opulent study in liquid pools, congealing around his feet in square-shaped patches of light. The toes of his polished loafers danced in and out of this light as the man moved his feet around in lazy circular patterns.

He crossed his legs, comfortable in his armchair. "Confectioneries may seem like such a trifle product, but it certainly makes business," the Earl continued. "Surprisingly well, considering what we truly dabble with." Vincent broke off as the sound of footsteps reached the door of his study. After a soft knock the Lady Phantomhive entered with a curious look decorating her eyes in twin blue question marks. Seeing no one, she entered.

"Who were you talking to, dearest?"

Vincent closed his eyes and smiled. "Just to myself, my dear," he answered comfortably. "Speaking aloud helps me think better."

Rachel Phantomhive gave her husband a winsome smile in return. "Such words should be saved for when they are needed, unless you plan on entertaining old Sebastian all day," she joked, turning to leave.

"Oh, and dearest," she paused at the archway, not disliking the pleasure it gave her to announce this, "I do believe it is your turn to change Ciel." And with that she left, gently shutting the door behind her.

"Diapers," Vincent commented dryly, once she was out of earshot. "An underworld crime lord, changing his son's diapers." He rose and looked down to his right.

"I for one find nothing wrong with talking to you," he went on, "Since I know you're listening."

The black dog at his side raised its head and lolled out its tongue.

--

"Don't, Young Master," Sebastian advised, holding out a gloved hand to stop his charge's contact with a furry head. "It may be rabid."

Ciel frowned, gesturing to the spaniel who had approached them. "It's just a pup," he said.

"Look at the way it drools, though. And all that fur would stick to your clothing and make you look unbecoming."

With a scoff, Ciel rounded on his servant, not for the first time. "What is it with you and dogs, Sebastian?"

Sebastian merely sighed. "They are disgusting creatures, Young Master," he answered. "If you only knew where they'd been and what they do, I doubt you would want to pet one.

"Cats, on the other hand--"

"Don't even start with me, Sebastian," Ciel truncated, hands tightening on his miniature walking stick. The irritation, they both knew, stemmed from the fact that his allergies to the feline family were quite bad. Sebastian saw this and grinned in good humor.

--

Physical discomfort was nothing new. He had grown inured to the rack, the Judas chair, the whole shebang back in the day when torture was the new fad. Pain, he had once remarked, was the spice of life, its blood a rich sauce. Demons were natural sybarites; the pleasure of pain was no exception.

However this wasn't pain, not quite.

He reached up and scratched at his ear, his leg, his stomach. The itch failed to abate. Sebastian shook his head in discomfort.

"That must be tortuous," Vincent once observed. Sebastian whined in response, though the prickling had become durable over the last few years.

Fleas. Sebastian remembered dropping Asian Black rats, still alive, into the fountains of Constantinople and spreading the Black Death throughout the entire continent. How ironic that the same thing he had used hundreds of years ago would come back to bite him in the ass. Literally.

--

"Ohh, that's an interesting guest you have there," the man remarked, grinning loonily behind his long gray hair. Vincent nodded and rolled an unlit cigar between his fingers.

"Quite," he nodded.

"But," the man sighed, "Even though he's almost as old as me, we're entirely different creatures." Vincent knew he wasn't talking about species. With a hand cloaked in a black sleeve, the man reached into his pocket.

"Here boy," he crooned. The bone-shaped biscuit crumbled slightly between his spindly fingers. "Eat up."

Sebastian eventually developed a taste for the Undertaker's treats.

--

Rachel cupped her hands over her mouth, calling, "Ciel! Time for supper!"

Four-year old Ciel laughed, picking up a stick. "One more, Mama." He threw it as far as his short arms would allow, and watched as his black dog lumbered after it with a wolf-like grace. Ciel laughed gleefully and clapped his hands.

"Go get it, Sebastian!"

--

Vincent shook his head. "We do things a little differently around here Venero," he said.

The Italian mafioso lifted his leg again. "But to let filth like this into your dining room?" He delivered another kick to the dog beneath him. "Damn mongrel."

"Please Sir, he's house-trained," Vincent calmly tried once more. However his pleas were ineffective, and eventually he gave up.

It was many years before Sebastian could enjoy the luxury of killing that man himself.

--

"You know..." Ciel's tone was detached and phlegmatic as he stepped over something that may have been a man an hour ago. His bare feet were warm with blood and fluids, but he welcomed the warmth. Ciel stepped over more bodies, where he joined his new servant, shaking off the last vestiges of his ankle chains.

"What is it, Master Phantomhive?"

Ciel looked up at him for a moment coolly, eyes lidded and head tilted to the side. "I feel like I've known you before, Sebastian."

And the demon smiled.

You have.

End.