Ciel's been plagued with nightmares again. It's not the first time this has happened, and it certainly won't be the last. He has always dreamed of past events that have happened, played on constant repeat in his head to forever torment his conscious. He's not the sort to focus on the negative (or positive) what-if's of life, and has never dreamed about them.

At least, that's how it has been since before the ball; before Sebastian handed over that packet of papers with that stupid, almost-pitying smile of his.

Things changed. His mind plays things out differently in every dream, now thinking of all the ways that little Trancy brat is to blame for what happened. But the packet that Ciel was given… how was it not found earlier?

Ciel turns over in his bed, curling his pillow around his head. He doesn't want to think about it.

His mind refuses to stop. How could he miss such an important detail? How did he not find this packet earlier?

Ciel opens his eyes and cranes his head to stare at the clock. It's late in the night and even without being able to see through the dark he knows this.

But something is off, and Ciel reminds himself of how he is supposed to be. A clock is never behind of its schedule. A clock is never, and cannot be, anything but professional.

He sighs, and focuses. To put one's emotions before everything else is beyond reckless, and, regardless of how easily emotionally influenced that Trancy boy is, Ciel will not budge. Justice will be served for what has happened, and anything beyond that is unnecessary.

Unnecessary, he thinks. And then, despite the odds, he drifts off to a state of mind resembling that of sleep.

He drifts off for only a short time, though, before- as the boy could (and should) have probably guessed- finding himself once again wandering amongst a dream. He opens the door in front of him- some sort of elaborately carved wood he doesn't recognize- and finds himself staring in the main hall of his own mansion.

It's big, he thinks.

It's… surprisingly big.

He knows this is an odd thought- of course it's big, why wouldn't it be?- and takes a glance down at himself. How old is he? What sort of clothes is he wearing? Something isn't right.

There is logic without reason and reason without logic, but then there is this. Ciel yells out against his better judgment, "Papa!" He walks slowly forward, almost in a trance, as a bad feeling creeps up his back.

Slowly, Ciel starts to forget he's in a dream. His eyes become more worried, and he makes hurried glances around every corner. He yells out, again and again, from the main hall. He's hesitant to find out what's up there. He knows it's not going to end well.

It hasn't ended well yet, anyway.

He walks to the stairway. He takes his first step. Another yell out, and yet still no response. Ciel shudders. There is something horribly wrong and he doesn't quite know what, and that bothers him more than anything. He leans against the railing with his back and vomits forward.

That's right. No one is going to save him. He wipes at his mouth and eyes with the back of his hands. He is stronger than this. He knows he is.

He turns his head down by the main hall's entrance, only to find a butler standing in black.

Not his butler.

Things start to become distorted now. The black edges of his vision creep up on him, and it takes him a little bit longer to realize that there's nothing wrong with him. There are tiny spiders crawling on the walls from the corners of his mansion outward, crawling towards him.

The darkness ripples, and Ciel can only bewilderedly look at the black butler, who tilts his head.

"Well?"

And Ciel runs up the stairs, barely catching himself with his hands as he wildly trips. He screams now for someone he thinks he knows is in the mansion, screams louder and harder until his throat goes raw.

A name dances in the back of his mind, as if it will help him if he simply calls it out. It is too unfamiliar to him, too awkward on the tongue, and so it remains unsaid.

Ciel cautiously makes his way through the hall of the mansion, and calls out again.

What if his parents are already gone? What will calling out for them do?

But someone calls back this time.

"C-Ciel, is that you?"

It's Papa!

"Ciel, leave! Get a-"

And then there is laughter. It is sharp and harsh, childish and immature.

Ciel almost listens to his father.

Almost.

He rubs at his eyes and mouth again. He can feel the bile and tears just waiting for the perfect moment.

He has to be stronger than that.

He takes a step ahead, pauses, turns back towards the main hall where that butler is still staring at him, uncaring and uncurious, and then heads down the hall.

Ciel finds his father in the study, sitting in the chair behind his desk as per usual. There's a strange blonde boy sitting in his lap, and it takes Ciel a few moments to realize that his father's only not moving because he is tied to the chair.

It takes him another minute to realize the other boy is Alois. It seems as if that was the obvious answer, but his mind almost doesn't recognize the name.

Alois leans back on his father's arm, kicking his legs from over the other side of the chair. From his position across Ciel's father, he stretches up and licks along the man's jawbone, watching Ciel out of the corner of his eye.

His father speaks up. "Ciel… g-get out of here!"

The one thing he shouldn't have said. The blonde boy's eyes light up, and he looks over in awe. He pushes himself up, off Ciel's father, and struts across the room. "The Ciel?" He giggles.

Ciel backs up a step. And then another, and slowly another.

And then he trips. He glances down, slowly, carefully, trying not to take his eyes off of the blonde, and finds his mother sprawled on the ground. There's a cloth shoved in her mouth and a bullet hole in her forehead.

Ciel lifts up his hand to try and rub away more bile, only to find it covered in his mother's blood.

He screams.

He turns sharply and vomits, doing all in his power to not soil his mother. After this, Papa and Ciel would bury Mama. She shouldn't be in such a state. Ciel wipes at her face, tries to wipe the blood and death from her face, but it just won't work and-

He's picked up by the collar of his shirt by the older boy. Ciel feels as if he shouldn't be so much bigger at him, but the thought goes nowhere.

"You're next." Alois says, and places Ciel on the desk. Ciel turns to see his father, to see if there's any chance everyone might somehow survive this, and-

There's blood dripping down the window. Ciel's eyes only meet glassy, lifeless ones.

He crosses his arms in front of his face and screams.

That name- that strange name from before is back. Ciel screams it in a last attempt. "Sebastian," he says, "I order you to end this at onc-"

And it's morning.

"Young Master, I do believe it's time to get up."

Ciel blinks his eyes wearily and frowns.

Justice will be served, he reminds himself, and anything beyond that is unnecessary, regardless of how pleasing it would be.