00 - Entropy - 00

A Kuroshitsuji one-shot

It probably started with the curry.

It wasn't that he'd never wondered before - he had, while nibbling joylessly on his cookies or cakes or whatever other delicacy Sebastian could scourge from the edges of the world - but it had always been a flitting thought, one that got filed away quickly under the list of things that Ciel didn't know about Sebastian and never would, with the bottom item of said list already heaving and wheezing beneath the crushing weight of the others standing atop of it like the poor souls forming the base of a human pyramid.

He'd wondered - for a second, a moment - but it had never gone beyond that.

Until he saw Sebastian eat the damn curry, that was. Saw him lick it off the spoon - the light casting a brilliant sheen on the wet surface of what little tongue he saw - then watched it disappear into Sebastian's mouth, and his throat constricting and his Adam's apple popping as if to make a damn point.

Which in a way, Ciel was pretty sure Sebastian was.

"So you do eat," he drawled later, while inspecting a cookie as if he were spinning a newly-made coin from some exotic country in his fingers.

Sebastian just looked up with his brand of mild disinterest mixed with that seething condescendence. "Would I ever have claimed otherwise?"

"I never saw you eat before," Ciel said, in a way he knew sounded like, 'so why didn't you ever tell me this actually rather insignificant detail about your dietary habits?'. He swallowed, and narrowed his eyes. "You said you didn't."

"But young master," Sebastian said, and by God, there was fake-appallment on his face. "I would never lie to you."

Ciel huffed, giving his best version of an 'oh, please' glare - yes, glare, not look - and waited.

Then he watched the smile Sebastian had been holding there uncurl on his lips, slow and heavy like the white fluid dripping down his chin most mornings, and he said, "I said that I didn't - not that I couldn't. A fine difference, as the young master would be well advised to learn."

The cookie in his hand cracked.

Ciel was watching Sebastian.

Studying him, rather, as if trying to memorize every detail; looking at the way his head bobbed up and down while he was sucking Ciel's cock, how the dreary evening sun dappled on the crown of his head in sparks of silver, only dimly aware of how he himself was squirming awkwardly on the edge of his bed like someone fumbling to keep an umbrella above someone's head. Watched how Sebastian stole glances upward, pursed his lips, took him in deeper, watched until he came, hard, and couldn't watch anymore before he could again, and Sebastian was standing, licking his lips and cleaning his fingers with the elgant handkerchief he kept in his pocket. Sebastian was probably distantly amused by the fact that said handkerchief was used for little other than wiping up his cum, and that thought made Ciel's hands curl into the sheets and a deep frown to settle over his face.

But he kept watching.

How Sebastian said, "It's time for bed now, young master," how Sebastian went over to the window to close the curtains, fine silken hair ebbing and falling just slightly with the movement over his long, straight, altogether way too perfect back. And then how Sebastian made his final bows before he left, so deep the bangs on either side of his face slid forward along his high cheekbones and his deep, twining, horrible eyes closed for once - and Ciel still kept watching.

But he didn't ask. Bit his tongue, sat back defiantly in his bed (at least Sebastian didn't tuck him in anymore), crossed his arms over his chest, and didn't ask. Just watched.

Then listened.

To Sebastian's receding footsteps, sound muffled as he waltzed up along the blood-red carpets outside that ran through the mansion like veils about to start pulsing. Then listened to the faint echo from when they'd disappeared down the corridor, then scattered and slipped down beneath the edge of Ciel's hearing.

Ciel waited a few more moments. Heard his own heart and the steady tick-tick whirr-whirr of his blood pumping through his own (real) veins, and then he finally got up.

He didn't really know why he had to know so badly exactly, why he had to know with such fiery intensity rather than the mild curiosity such a detail should be befitting of. Didn't know, but suspected that perhaps it was just unfair that Sebastian knew everything about him. Completely unfair how Sebastian had forced Ciel's life into a piece of parchment over which he'd printed the ROUTINE in bold, gothic letters. Yes - perhaps Ciel just wanted to know this because he wanted to find out something about him, even if it only was whether the damn demon ever slept or not.

Or maybe, maybe, what he really wanted to know was just how human Sebastian really was - or the opposite. How not.

He was careful not to make any noise when he tiptoed across the carpet and to the door, held his breath (bu-pump bu-pump sang his ears), before he opened the door just a slit. A cone of light fell onto him and the room beyond from the row of shimmering chandeliers ahead. And Ciel stood like this, for just a second - hesitating, maybe - before releasing his breath and slipping down the hallway.

Sebastian did have a room of his own, of course.

It was a matter of convenience, really: Ciel had assigned him a room down the hallway soon after Sebastian had stepped into his life, all dark and poisonous heat that made Ciel's nostrils raise. Ciel had found it amusing, at first - shown the room to Sebastian with a haughty tone and daring him, just daring him with his eyes to comment on its size and unfurnished state, with old dolls and stuff from his childhood stacked up in the corners like remnants of a fortress of an innocence long gone. It had been amusing, for all its few seconds of bravado, amusing to demean a demon like that. But Sebastian had only smiled, bowed, and acted like Ciel had offered him the crown room in the King's palace, and Ciel had curled his hands into fists and stormed out of the room. Never, he had vowed, to return again.

The door still looked like it had the day Ciel had discarded the room all those years ago. Nestled inbetween two larger rooms he'd used as a child, it lay quiet, unassuming, and half-forgotten amidst the fading hands of memory. Ciel stopped in his tracks before the room, regarding it like a vile insect creeping up the wall of his bedroom.

He forced his heart to calm down, forced himself to listen. Was Sebastian still in there? Was he up? He reached out his hands, putting them against the mahogany, then leaned forward, pressing his ear against the door, and listened. Tried to tame down the race of his heart enough to pick up something on the other side of the door, edged forward in anticipation and childish impatience, crowding in closer to the door, until -

It opened with just the tiniest creak in the world - so tiny that Ciel was sure that his own muffled gasp had to have been louder, before he managed to bite it off - and then the door was open, open just a creak and Ciel thought, he'll know I'm here now, he must have heard, he must - only to have all his thoughts driven into a wall and scatter as he heard Sebastian's voice drift to his ears.

"Young master," it said. Quiet, soft. A cat's paw, with the promise of the claws snapping out just beneath.

Ciel froze. Could feel the taste of his own heart at the back of his throat. Could visualize it: Sebastian coming to the door and opening it with his usual mask of mock-subservitute, with the amusement pulsing behind his eyes and condescension sharp on his lip. Could see it so clearly that when he blinked and tried to steady his gaze, he could see him standing there, see them standing face-to-chest, and it was only when Sebastian spoke again that Ciel was snapped out of the fatal descent of his own imagination and realized, He's not talking to me.

Realized it, because he heard Sebastian continue, in a mock-high voice, "Shut up, Sebastian. You're such a bore."

Ciel took in his breath. Held it. Thought, "What the -?" and then had the front row of his thoughts tumbled over by a bigger one pressing in from behind that simply screamed, "GET OUT OF HERE."

His feet remained where they were. He kept holding his breath until he trusted himself to start breathing again, as quietly as he could, in, out, in, out.



"But young master," Sebastian said from the other side of the door, in his normal voice, and yet not. Higher, somehow. Crueler. More mock-surprised that it would have been any other time during the thousands of times they'd rehearsed this exact same conversation. "As much as I regret you find my presence a bore, I must insist you finish your lecture."

Nervousness slid into Ciel's stomach and tangled it into a thousand tight knots. He shuffled closer to the door then - quiet, careful not to make any sound - brought his face to the slit in the door, daring himself to look into the face of whatever this was, closer, closer -

Then he saw. And the impact, for a moment, made him feel like his stomach had been punched out of him.

Sebastian was there. On the bed. With his back turned to him, leaning forward as if cradling something in his arms. And he had something in his hands, held out on either side like a victory Goddess her two torches. Ciel first had trouble placing the objects, blinking to bring the image into sharp focus, then blinked again to make sure he wasn't hallucinating, and when he was sure he was seeing right, let himself think, "My God," so loud it almost slipped past the barrier of his lips.

The things in Sebastian's hands were Ciel's toys. His old toys. He remembered one, the one Sebastian was clutching in his right hand - a stuffed animal, a black bear he had gotten for Christmas years ago, wrapped up in a big love-red parcel he remembered having just ripped apart the day he had received it.

And the other one -

"I haven't been happy with your services lately," Sebastian said, lifting the toy in his left hand up and down like a puppeteer. His voice was high-pitched, annoying, scratchy, desperate.

And what Ciel should probably have been thinking was, "What is Sebastian doing with my stuffed animal and the porcelain doll I got from Lizzie for my birthday years ago," or, "That porcelain doll looks nothing like me - she's Martha, the doll my mother hand-made," but somehow, all he could, with the lance of embarrassment skewering through his chest, hot and hard, was, "Do I really sound like that?"

Sebastian continued, oblivious to the boy peeking through the door. "I apologize pro-fusely," Sebastian said, while lifting his right hand. It sounded wrong, so wrong, too high-pitched and mocking, a mere parody of Sebastian, like a, like a, like - like the whores Ciel had seen lurking outside at night with their cheap perfumes and the cheaper lives, and - Sebastian was wriggling his hand again, the bear popping up and down before its head fell forward, drooping against its chest in mock-defeat. "I shall strive to satisfy the young master to my utmost competency - after all, I know why he's doing these things better than he does."

Ciel couldn't believe if he'd ever seen something so wrong in his life - wrong in the most original meaning of the word; wrong in such a deep, gut-clenchingly instinctual way that it made him physically recoil and lift his upper lip in a sneer of disgust, until -

"You don't know anything about me," Sebastian said in the role of the fake-Ciel, and unleashed a shower of embarrassment tearing through the real Ciel.

"Ahhhh," Sebastian went on, the bear popping up and down thoughtfully. "But I do. And that's the problem."

And then, right along with Ciel thinking the same thing, Sebastian said, voice right back to the high-pitched, mock-pubescent wail, "I have no idea what you're talking about."

And then, the mood changed.

Sebastian sat up straighter, smoothing out all the wrinkles on the back of his uniform. Held both toys a little higher, and when he spoke again, it was low, sensual, dangerous. "Ah, I do wonder," he said, the bear in his hand moving along wistfully, "where the young master's mind wanders when the nights are long and his thoughts astray. Sneaking into places they shouldn't." He paused. "Or should they?"

Ciel waited, thought -

"What in the world?" Sebastian sighed, low and mock-scandalized, and so close to Ciel's own voice that a moment that he found himself flounder in the grip of panic, thoughts sent astray as he tried to convince himself he hadn't just said that aloud, but then Sebastian waltzed all over the dizzying hive of his mind.

"I do wonder," he said, in his 'Sebastian' voice this time, and while Ciel couldn't see the smile on his lips, he could hear it, "if the young master ever wonders what it would be like."

And then, Sebastian giggled. It was not a giggle Ciel had ever heard before - raw and off-pitch, a little crazy and like the wail of a violin, erupting sharply and then dropping, and Ciel was just trying to wrap his mind around it when he saw the bear advancing on the porcelain doll, and he held the door a little tighter, clinging to it for lack of anything else to steady him, and Sebastian said, "I'd love to know if he ever wonders what it would be like to touch me." Lower, "If I can feel pleasure." Lower still, a whisper that that slid right into Ciel's stomach, "And if I'd look like him - stupid and drooling and at mercy, the way he's too stubborn to admit he enjoys. Maybe even... 'will he ever kiss me'?"

Lightning stitched the sky into the earth of Ciel's mental landscape, successfully splitting it in two and leaving him floundering.

Sebastian continued his thoughts for him, lifting the porcelain doll and saying, "I never think of such things. Why would I ever?"

"Indeed, why would you ever?" Sebastian went on, voice now perfectly conversational. "Why would you ever, indeed? That, as we both know, would be out of line. Because we both know one thing with absolute clarity, don't we?"

Ciel waited for the hammer to strike.

"That you're mine," Sebastian said, and suddenly his voice teetered off-key, sounding manical, and then, louder, pointed, "Don't you, young master?"

And that's what did it: that's what twisted down the final knife of terror into the rest of the nauseous mass of his emotions, and it was too much, too much, too MUCH, TOO MUCH.

Ciel turned and ran, ran down down the corridor and didn't stop panting until he was inside his room, the familiar scent of the furniture rushing into his nose and the feeling of safety re-descending, and he almost tore his clothes off of him before jumping into bed and throwing the sheets over him and falling into a hectic sleep plagued by one of the worst nightmares he'd ever had.

As always, it was Sebastian's voice that woke him.

"Good morning, young master. It is time to get up."

Ciel opened his eyes, threads of a confused dream still clinging onto him like water weed after a swim in the pond. Blinked them, tried to re-orientate himself, then let them fall onto Sebastian standing in front of him.

Who was looking at him with the most confident, most ridigly unwavering smile of duty on his lips.

Ciel blinked groggily.

"Are you still sleepy?" Sebastian asked. "It is already eight AM, however, very much your usual time to get up. Would you like me to tell you today's schedule?"

And Ciel just - looked at Sebastian. "No, that'll be fine," he said testily, like a person trying out his voice after a long period of not using it. Threw his forehead into a row of frowns. Looked.

Perhaps for just a second too long.

Sebastian cocked his head to the side. "Is something the matter, young master?" No condescension dripping beneath just then, sounding genuinely surprised; or as genuinely anything as Sebastian ever got. "Would you like me to service -"

"That'll be fine." He nearly dripped over his own words in his rush. Then, forcing haughtiness into his voice, "Go make some tea."

"Certainly," Sebastian said with a mild smile. "Today's tea is - "

"Whatever, Sebastian."

And while Sebastian walked over to the coffee table to prepare his tea, all Ciel could think, thoughts hot and desperate, that it must have all been a dream after all. It had to have been a dream, right?

Sebastian bent over to pick up the tea can and Ciel watched the way his uniform creased, then smoothened. The hair trickled down along his cheeks like it always did, and his eyes were trained on his task with a mild mask of pleasantries plastered across his face again, just like they were always were.

No gloating, no manical laughters, no talk of touches (kisses), no nothing.

Just Sebastian, as he could have been any other morning. Just Sebastian, pouring his tea and sucking his cock when he wanted him to and saving his life on the side. A dream, it had to have been a dream. Had to. Had to. had to have just been a fever-induced dream (did he have a fever? Did he want to have a fever?), had to have been, because whatever else -

Whatever else it could have been, he knew he could not face. Or he would lose his mind over. Would not, could not accept.

And then, once Sebastian had finished pouring the tea and had turned around to face him, Ciel didn't see it. Willed himself not to see the canniness that flooded his face for maybe just a second, didn't see what lurked there. Fought off the tendrils of fear until they whisked away and this was just another day, one of many, just another day that loosened yet another knot on the noose.

And so, when Sebastian started, "About last night -"

- Ciel cut him off.

"Just give me the tea," he said. More firmly, "Just give me the damn tea, Sebastian."

The smile on Sebastian's face said so much, and yet so little. "Certainly, young master. Certainly."

Author's Notes: Ouch. Sebastian 1:0 Ciel. Or, if you count all my other fics, it's something like Sebastian 3:Ciel 1? XD

Yeah. Thanks for the continued support for everyone in the Kuroshitsuji fandom. This was written for unsolvable, who left this prompt in my open drabble request meme. If you have any other good ideas for Kuro one-shots, leave them there and if my Muse is in the mood, I might indulge you (and her XD). Also, please please vote on the poll in my profile! :D (Please, with some creepy cookie curry on top?)

Beta'd by hedonistic_opportunist.