As is usual, I don't own Kuroshitsuji. Of course not. That said, thank you to everybody that's been leaving such interesting reviews and favorites and such. I'm happy that you all enjoy reading these silly things I've written.
In sorting out the matter of Ciel's soul and estate, Claude and Sebastian eventually came to an agreement of sorts. While Ciel in fact had very little to do with the formation of said agreement, he was at the center of it, as usual. Claude conceded the dressing and undressing of the young master, while Sebastian conceded such day-to-days as the setting of the table.
Over the issue of who would polish the cutlery, cut the flowers, and wash the linens, there was a bitter and heated argument that resulted, as most snits between the men seemed to, in Sebastian making absurdly extravagant pastries while spider webs multiplied seemingly by the thousand. (In the end, Sebastian yielded the sheets in exchange for the cutlery; the linens were an ongoing issue.)
Ciel was only partially party to these tussles of ego. He occasionally made a face when confronted with the overnight disappearance of the kitchen door behind a monstrous mat of webs, and sometimes he seemed a bit lackluster when faced with a succulent fruit tart (the fifth that day, and all before tea). Overall, though, he let the two demons sort things out themselves.
However, ever since Claude had presented himself on the doorstep rather like a surprisingly well-groomed stray, Ciel had found another reason to protest entirely. Sebastian, never precisely the best at sharing, now found himself at a loss when Claude insisted on it. Agni had certainly showed Sebastian the path to allowing help, but Claude did not take orders and Sebastian did not give them twice. While a hard word from Ciel now and then seemed to sort things out, he wondered what on earth they did when he wasn't around.
One day in late spring, Ciel sat rather resolutely out in the garden and enjoyed the shade. While ordering the windows open had helped the inside of the manse just a tad, the fact was that the family home was built to endure the hard winds that came from the north, not allow the fragile breezes of spring in. It was, in short, still intolerably stuffy.
Meilin, Finny, and Bard, still the same disaster-ridden souls as they were before the presence of two demonic butlers, were taking naps in their favorite respective spots. (Ciel thought he'd seen Finny nestled in a particularly exquisitely-shaped hedge on the way to the garden, but he couldn't be sure.) Claude's reaction to them had been amusing; used as he was to his own, rather competent, triplet servants, his struggles to do damage control had constantly amused the ever-enduring Sebastian.
Said triplets were in fact also taking naps, if Ciel had seen the bundle of legs and arms under the servant's stair correctly. Honestly, he wasn't sure if they were actually napping (Sebastian never seemed to) or if they were simply doing some strange demonic bonding ritual. One could never be too open-minded when it came to demons, he had found.
'The house is positively brimming with people,' Ciel mused to himself, and stretched out a little under the broad parasol over the table.
'If we are to count as people,' Claude commented. Ciel fought mightily not to jump, keeping his eyes shut. He didn't have the same sense of presence towards Claude as he did Sebastian. Supposedly (he'd asked Sebastian) it had to do with the fact of Claude's innate nature, but Ciel suspected that it more likely had to do with his lack of a contract with the butler.
'I don't see why not,' Ciel retorted, slitting open his eye to inspect the cup of chilled tea that had been placed in front of him. 'You have yet to eliminate on the rug, at least.'
'What high expectations,' Claude commented dryly, his mouth set firmly in a frown. However, he was looking at Ciel so thoughtfully that there was no mistaking the fact that he was amused.
'That is the young master,' Sebastian said from behind both of them, bearing a tray set with three separate kinds of cake, all of them seemingly chocolate. (Ciel rather suspected that his butler had issues concerning the substance.) 'Constantly holding his staff to excessively high standards.'
Raising an eyebrow, he stared down at the cakes. These were no tiny treats, meant to be eaten with laughably small dessert forks. No, they were in fact full cakes- and one was exquisitely decorated with fresh flowers and a marzipan statue in the form of Artemis. Ciel surreptitiously inspected his teacup, running his fingers up and under the lip of the bottom- yes, there was the silky, faintly sticky brush of a web in miniature.
Sebastian, unaware of this discovery or perhaps feigning innocence, served Ciel a piece of cake that was, quite frankly, inexcusably large.
'Fattening me up?' Ciel asked casually, before bringing his fingers up to display the web as well. The faces of both men changed: Sebastian's "I have done nothing and am completely innocent" face was cheery and airy, while Claude's "you may have discovered something but I will never admit it while the world still turns" face was as placid as the face of a tomb.
'What is it this time,' Ciel mused, taking a bite of the cake and shooting Claude a death glare when he moved forward as if to feed him, 'the linens again?'
'Of course not, young master,' chirped Sebastian. Ciel contemplated the cake- heady dark chocolate mousse with a swirl of raspberries. Rather traditional. Sebastian must have been feeling a tad on the defensive. 'They won't need a good wash again for at least a day.'
'The cat?' Sebastian's… female friend… had been met with instant suspicion from Claude. Given that she seemed fond of rolling through any and all webs she came across, Ciel didn't feel this to be entirely unwarranted on the spider demon's part.
'No,' Claude said quietly, adjusting his glasses, 'she is hiding from the heat.'
'Then what?' Ciel demanded, thumping down his fork and sipping at the tea. His mood wasn't being helped by the heat and the heavy velvet of his coat. He rather wanted to take it off, actually, but that wasn't quite proper (and it had so many buttons that he wasn't entirely sure how to do it anyway).
'It is a matter of decor, actually,' Sebastian said with a curious sort of manner to his words. Ciel leaned back in his chair to study the man. If he hadn't known better, he would have said that Sebastian was actually… tentative.
It was a good thing he did know better.
'What sort of decor?'
It concerned his bedroom, as it turned out. Sebastian was of the mind that the young master was old enough that it should be redecorated to suit his growing maturity. Claude was in agreement with this. (Ciel hadn't yet been consulted, nor informed. Honestly, if he had actually cared he would have been positively insulted.) The issue, however, was one of color.
'Red is so lurid,' Sebastian commented with the lovely kind of smile that meant he was being catty. 'A pale, rich blue is far better.'
'That would be too similar to the guest parlor,' Claude retorted, face set into a stony stare that was approaching the kind of expression a man wore when throttling somebody. 'Which is already royal blue.'
Ciel, sitting on the bed and fiddling with his sleeves for something to do, rolled his eyes. Did it matter?
'There simply is no sense talking to the kind of man that would allow his charge to wear what he did,' Sebastian mused sadly, seemingly confiding this fact to a portrait of a duck Ciel had been given by Lizzie. (He actually liked it quite a bit, hence its location.)
'Ciel,' Claude said firmly, 'surely you desire a powerful color rather than one you would find in a nursery.'
There was a moment of silence before both butlers realized he wasn't paying attention to them at all.
Gazing out the window longingly, Ciel made a noncommittal noise. 'I'm sure it will be fine.'
'But which one?' entreated Claude seriously, expression grave as sin.
'It is an important matter,' Sebastian confirmed, and stepping up a little behind the other man he did something that made him startle and stiffen simultaneously.
Ciel, attention attracted by this curious action, blinked at both of them. Finally something occurred to him, and he smiled brilliantly. Sebastian, well used to his young master, looked decidedly concerned. Claude was still dealing with whatever had been done to his backside and thus missed both expressions.
'I suppose you'll both just have to sort it out yourselves,' he said precisely as Sebastian did something again and Claude outright jumped. Ciel's eyes narrowed. 'While I supervise, since neither of you can seem to manage the feat yourselves.'
Claude gave him such a slanting, assessing look as he spoke that Ciel wondered if he had accidentally revealed something. 'As you wish,' Sebastian agreed, and bowed. Claude took the chance to strike, which Ciel was so unsurprised by as to be outright bored.
While a battle between two demonic butlers involving cutlery and invisible threads seemed like the sort of thing to be absolutely riveting, the sad fact was that Ciel had seen it so many times he was completely inured to the sight. Instead, he took the chance to stare longingly out the window. Imagining himself as a bird, he began to take a mental flight out among the flowers- and he would of course fly high enough to stay cool.
The sudden impact of two tall bodies right next to him on the bed made Ciel jump.
'What-!' he started to demand, but then paused and just stared. Sebastian had thrown himself at Claude, and currently seemed to be aiming for his throat with his teeth. Claude didn't seem to be having any trouble fending off the other demon, though seizing the upper hand instead seemed to be challenging him. Apparently the issue of color was more important than Ciel had imagined, given that Sebastian was going at another man with his teeth over it.
'Sebastian, stop that.' Honestly, Ciel felt it was a bit much.
Giving his master a mutinous look, he ceased his desperate struggle and was instantly rolled over onto his back by the more solid butler. Claude took a moment to smooth his hair, clearly preening, before shifting Sebastian onto the bed more firmly, bare inches from Ciel, and leaning down to devour his mouth with a hard click of teeth and luxurious swipe of tongue.
So stunned was Ciel by this that he couldn't seem to- process- what was happening. Sebastian certainly had, but the expression he wore was a curious blend of excitement, frustration, and wrath. Ciel stared rather blankly as Claude shifted. Pinning Sebastian more firmly, legs between Sebastian's own obscenely long ones, hands firm on his forearms, mouth biting and sucking, Claude began to move against his rival. HIs movements possessed a kind of undulating grace that, quite frankly, Ciel had never seen before in his life.
'Oh,' he managed, and fell silent again. Claude flicked him a questioning look. 'Er.' Sebastian, still pinned into complacency by Ciel's order, tossed his head in an effort to dislodge his… attacker.
'Young master,' he began, voice a little breathy, hair tousled and lips shining wetly in the afternoon sun, but Ciel gave a funny sort of bob and just. Blinked at him. 'Young master, allow me to deal with this- miscreant.'
Claude licked his chops idly, turned an assessing stare on the young lord sitting in bed next to them, and then descended again to lick and suckle a bright ring of bruises around Sebastian's neck. (He'd been well aware of the man's oral fixation- it was hard to miss-, but until now Ciel hadn't exactly appreciated it for what good it could serve.)
'Young master,' hissed Sebastian, eyes flaring red-something. Ciel shook himself, studied the lay of Claude's hands on his butler's narrow chest, and came to a conclusion. (Questioned on it later, he'd mumbled something about sharing and lessons and busied himself with the flan.)
'Sebastian,' the demon drew himself rigid with anticipation, though he couldn't quite resist writhing faintly against Claude's still-moving form, 'I order you to concede to Claude's requests, within reason.'
'Requests! Reason!' Hissed Sebastian.
'I have no claws to rake you with, no poison sting to prick you with,' Claude murmured lowly against the underside of Sebastian's chin, and then licked him there. 'I am a considerate bedmate.'
Ciel took note of the tone. There was a strong element of unlike some people hidden in there. After a brief but illuminating moment of thought, he decided he didn't want to know much at all about that Trancy freak.
'You have been telling me I should learn something about how to do this sort of thing,' Ciel told Sebastian in what he hoped was an infuriatingly supercilious manner.
'With women,' Sebastian hissed, and then shut his eyes when Claude began to peel off his jacket, 'not spiders.'
'I imagine the theory is the same,' Ciel responded, and, feeling rather bold, reached forward to stroke his butler's hair. Sebastian reacted to the touch oddly, sliding an eye opened to look at Ciel warily. Even so, it was well worth it- his hair was sleek and firm, glossy as a raven's wing and thick enough to give it a certain stiffness. 'It isn't too bad, is it?'
Claude had finished with the jacket and was now working on the various accouterments any respectable English butler wore to keep himself neat. At the question, he flicked his gaze upwards and gave Ciel a smile as sweet as that of a child's. Though he was a little disconcerted by that expression on a demon's face, Ciel was too polite to say so; he simply shrugged in response
'It won't be,' Claude promised, and then in one swift motion undid Sebastian's shirt and dragged his tongue up the man's belly. Sebastian seized a hold of his master's arm, staring fixedly at the ceiling; Ciel could see the muscle in his jaw twitching.
'You know, you could try to enjoy it.' Sebastian looked at Ciel's arm, firmly in his hold, and said nothing. Ciel leaned in and tucked his head against Sebastian's, mouth at his ear. 'Is it bad?'
The shaky exhale Sebastian gave clued Ciel in to the fact that Claude's oral fetish was being put to good use again. The clink of a belt buckle and one soft, muted slide of a button being undone later, Sebastian was shivering and shuddering, hands releasing Ciel to clutch at Claude's already-mussed hair.
Sitting back on his heels, Ciel took in the sights: Claude bent over Sebastian, expression rapturous, hands splayed on his skinny hips, Sebastian tense and breathless, just the faintest bit pink in the highest arch of his cheeks, lips parted, tongue sweeping over his own lips as if seeking something, body arced up like an ecstatic offering.
'Mmm,' Claude commented idly, working at what he'd freed from Sebastian's pants with a studiousness than belied the intensity of his expression. As Ciel watched, he shifted his weight so as to bring a hand up to work between Sebastian's legs as well. The moan that came from his unwilling subject was so throaty as to share a border with a purr. Ciel petted at his hair again once, then did it some more when Sebastian turned his face into his master's hands.
Displaying the unusual level of talent that Ciel had come to expect of a demon butler, Claude simultaneously slid Sebastian's pants and underthings down over his thighs while swallowing his cock in a hard, sudden bob of his head. The resultant stifled cry of shock would have brought that disturbingly sunny smile to Claude's face, Ciel felt certain, if his mouth wasn't currently occupied.
'Nn, ah, nnnnn-!' Sebastian protested. His hands, still gloved, were fisted in Claude's hair tightly enough to make the cloth ride up a bit over the tops of his wrists. The suddenness with which Claude threw back his head and shook it surprised Ciel; Sebastian seemed to war with himself and eventually allow relief to claim victory over his demeanor.
'What are you-?' Ciel asked, but Claude winked at him (disconcerting, that, and not a little creepy). He bent down and Ciel realized he was untying Sebastian's shoes, then peeling off his socks, and finally removing his counterpart's clothing completely. Well… almost completely. When Claude was done (and he peeled Sebastian's pants off his with teeth, what a show-off) Sebastian was left with his shirt, the long tails framing his narrow body attractively, and nothing else at all.
'Presentation is everything,' Sebastian said with the air of somebody trying to teach a lesson while simultaneously being attacked by fire ants. Claude slid a bit sideways, tossing off his own shoes in a decidedly casual fashion.
'And nothing,' Claude continued, before turning a curious stare on Ciel himself.
Familiar enough with the other butler to know that he wanted something, Ciel still hesitated when Claude slid up Sebastian's body to pull him to him. But Claude hadn't spoken falsely (strange, for a demon), and it was with tenderness and care that he undid Ciel's own shoes, momentarily pausing with one of his feet resting in his palm.
'Claude,' grated out Sebastian. Ciel had never heard him sound so angry in so non-fatal a situation. He gave his butler a nervous side-glance.
'Calm yourself,' came the level reply, and then he was pulling Ciel's jacket off and tugging him to sit on Sebastian's belly. He leaned in, running his mouth up the back of Ciel's neck (he could feel a curious heat on a certain part of his tongue, as if the weight of his unused seal was pressing up, trying to leap into the body it touched). The slow, meaningful way he did it pricked goosebumps along Ciel's spine; he had to put his hands on Sebastian's chest to steady himself.
Ciel shuddered faintly when Claude's mouth left him. He could hear the man shifting behind him and, trusting Sebastian to see if anything truly dire was heading his way from the other demon's direction, he focused on his demon.
Petting a hand idly over his bared throat, Ciel watched in fascination as the marks Claude had left faded like wilting flowers. Sebastian's gaze, heavy-lidded, was focused entirely on him. Torn between exhilaration at the feeling of power and caution at what that meant, Ciel met the look with an authoritative tip of his head and a level, assessing stare. He'd never seen Sebastian like this- of course not. But, more interestingly, he'd never seen Sebastian at the mercy- yes, the mercy!- of somebody else.
In fact, Ciel mused, hearing Claude setting to work on Sebastian again, feeling the hard buck Sebastian gave when it happened, this whole thing was a bit… off. Why had he allowed this to happen? It was almost as if…
But he was distracted from that line of thought by the fluid rolling of Sebastian's hips under him. He'd spread his legs wide to be sitting where he was, so each upward motion of Sebastian's jarred him in a most pleasant manner. His butler seemed to know it, too, judging by the secret little smile on his mouth. Ciel reached forward and, quite serenely, placed a hand over Sebastian's eyes just as he felt the bed dip and shift and Claude's front came to rest against his back snugly.
The scream Sebastian let out was so intensely feeling that Ciel was almost grateful for the arm that Claude wrapped around his midriff. After a puzzled look upwards at Claude and then down at Sebastian, Ciel understood: Sebastian had been… breached, he decided. That wasn't too bad sounding.
Claude began to move then, hips snapping down and in with urgent force. The way he'd positioned himself, Ciel could feel both his actions- thrust after thrust- and Sebastian's responses- every shudder, every yielding shift, every inch further that he spread his legs. It was rather decidedly deliberate. (Ciel wondered if Claude had thought of this arrangement while drying the linens.)
Sebastian was, to be crass, a noisy fuck. With Claude at his back, tonguing every dip and rise of his spine, his body surging into Sebastian's, Ciel couldn't help but appreciate the kind of volume that his butler could get up to. He would have been more concerned with others overhearing if he hadn't seen the little tangle of a web over the frame of the bed; Claude's webs, he knew, had a very strange effect on certain things, not the least of them sound.
So Sebastian writhed and moaned and begged, his hands reaching up to grasp at Ciel's legs with bruising force. (A remarkable show of restraint on his part, Ciel felt; he'd seen those hands shatter stone, after all.) And Claude had shown neither mercy nor cruelty, only the burn of desire, reaching to tuck Ciel's body more tightly to his so he was moving in time with each thrust. Ciel himself didn't resist, certainly, and his clothing was less and less comfortable than he would have liked with each resounding scream Sebastian let loose. But his mind was occupied, following the thread of today's events like Theseus escaping from the Labyrinth.
He felt it when Sebastian bucked against them both. The demon's black nails paled to a deep gray when Claude grabbed his hands off Ciel's legs and held them above his head. As he shivered under them both, tossing his head wantonly, Ciel felt a tug somewhere around the level of his belly- nothing solid, just a faint sympathetic stirring. Sebastian finally collapsed back, sighing deeply, and swallowed.
Claude released his hands, drew a hand down the growing wetness along Ciel's shirt, and pressed his white-covered fingers against Ciel's mouth. He was about to resist, possibly even bite, but the suddenly-riveted expression on Sebastian's face was heady; he took every long, thin finger offered into his mouth one by one, licking each one clean languidly. Sebastian swallowed each time Ciel did, his gaze fixed on his master's face.
The soft grunt from behind him told Ciel that Claude had finished as well. He gave Sebastian's body one more hard thrust before sliding back and away, shifting to collapse on his back next to his fellow demon.
That left Ciel perched on Sebastian like a forgotten ornament. Rather than allowing himself to be further drawn in (and no, no, he had not forgotten that pull, he knew what it was and he was unamused), Ciel simply undid his shirt and tossed it off, then wiggled and squirmed and finally tossed off his pants as well, leaving him in his boxers. He would have been more embarrassed, but- really.
Sebastian had lifted his head to fix Ciel with a rather interested look.
'Move over,' he ordered, and was completely unsurprised when both of them moved only enough to sandwich him between them. Possessive bastards, both of them.
Post-coitus, Claude looked far more ruffled than Sebastian. However, Sebastian was for all appearances now half-asleep, eyes mostly shut, while Claude was looking at Ciel intently. 'The next time you use your webs to get what you want,' Ciel told him, and gave him a very hard poke in the ribs that made him wince (he wasn't sure if it was for Ciel's own pride or if it had actually hurt a bit, though he suspected it was the former), 'I will ask Sebastian to burn any spiders I see about the place.'
'What fun,' Sebastian cooed, and shifted against Ciel to give him more room.
'… Hn!' Snorted Claude. 'I did not expect you to notice that.'
'The young master is quite perceptive,' Sebastian said in such an arrogant manner that nobody would have known he was begging to be fucked harder just ten minutes ago, 'it wouldn't do to have a master who could be easily overestimated.'
'God,' Ciel groaned, covering his eyes with his hands. 'Do you two ever stop?'
'Doubtful,' Sebastian chirped again, giving Ciel a cheeky little nuzzle.
'I am unsure,' Claude replied, and ruffled his hair back into a proper (for him) arrangement. 'However- the matter of the room has been settled. It will be red.'
Ciel waited one, two, and then three beats. He savored the feeling of Claude's triumph and the sour sulk of Sebastian's defeat before clearing his throat.
'Actually,' he said, and felt the attentions of both demons lock on to him, 'I think I'd like a green patterned wallpaper put in.'
The complete dismay with which they both stared at him was so deeply satisfying that Ciel tucked his head under a pillow and fell into an afternoon nap near-instantly.
Yes, life was good.
The next day Ciel was confronted with so many spiderwebs over the dining room's doorway that he was forced to fetch an ornamental knife from the guest parlor and stab his way in. When Sebastian entered the room with five kinds of fresh-baked bread and three types of scone, Ciel just stared at him.
'How troublesome,' Sebastian said mildly, wiping a long trail of spiderwebs from the top of his head.
'I thought,' Ciel snapped out in utter wrath, 'that you two had resolved these issues.'
'Ah, yes,' Sebastian agreed, pouring the day's first cup of tea, 'but there are the linens to be considered, after all.'
Later that day, with Sebastian triumphantly shaking out the first of many sheets, Ciel turned to Claude and, in mute fury, shook a thick mat of webs at him.
'My apologies,' the demon offered, ' but Mr. Michaelis seemed rather upset at the fact that his duty of dressing and undressing the young master had been usurped, albeit temporarily.' Meilin, who was strolling about in the background, fell to the ground with a splendid gush of blood from her nose; Claude surveyed this with utmost surprise while his three servants appeared from behind a nearby hedge and attempted to revive her.
Struggling to find some kind of thing to say to this, something reasonable to say in the face of such inane absurdity, Ciel finally shook his head. The house was brimming with people indeed.
'My cup runneth over,' he sighed, and went to find Mr. Tanaka.
NEXT CHAPTER: Sebastian gets his revenge in the most absurdly inventive way possible, proving that it is, indeed, possible to outspin a spider.