I was determined to get this up before the final episode airs with subs tomorrow. My dear friend Aki got me into this series, and it has become a great love of mine. (As the people who read my KH story can tell you, neglecting updates in favor of obsessing over this. ^_^) But I was looking back at... I think it's chapter forty-three, where Finny and Maylene cry in the rain during the murder mystery arc, and I wondered. They care for Ciel and Sebastian so much; what would happen if they knew the truth? So here is a manga-verse ending, and hopefully it lives up to the idea I began with. Enjoy!
One day, Ciel Phantomhive sat down at his desk and wrote a letter. He took the best parchment and his favorite pen and began to inscribe upon the pages words that he had been certain no one would ever see. But he had come to realize over the four years since his rescue from his tormentors, that it would be unfair to leave with such a mystery. As the source of his actions had once pointed out, he had people who loved and cared for him. It was wrong to leave them in the dark.
Sebastian Michaelis. A demon, a butler, a caretaker, and the reason that Ciel was writing this letter. He was going to tell those who cared for him the truth. Whether they believed him or not was their own affair, but he had decided to offer them an explanation regardless. He could think of no better way to spend his time, now that his goals had been realized.
Sebastian came that evening, as the lamps were burning low, and Ciel was leaning back in his chair, exhausted. He had spent the day writing, and a stack of papers on his desk showed how much effort he had put into the letter. Sebastian did not ask any questions, merely collecting the sheets into a neat pile and folding them into the waiting envelope. He set it back on Ciel's desk with a soft hiss of paper meeting wood, and smiled warmly. "Bocchan…"
"I know." Ciel whispered. He forced his legs to move, standing from his chair and looking up to meet Sebastian's claret eyes. He had grown, but not enough to match his butler in height. Sebastian pressed one white-gloved hand to his heart and bowed halfway.
"My Lord, your revenge is complete."
"It is." He swallowed, glancing back at the letter on his desk. "I have a final order. Take that and place it downstairs, in the center of the foyer."
Sebastian smiled. "Yes, my Lord." He took the envelope and disappeared, leaving Ciel once again with his thoughts for a brief moment. Maylene would find it first, on her way to dust the library. She would call Finny, Bard, and Tanaka, and then…
Movement alerted him to Sebastian's return. The butler pulled off his white gloves, the black mark of their contract stark against his pale skin. He took a step towards Ciel, and paused. The young Earl stared at him, warring emotions on his face, before bowing his own head. "Sebastian… I am yours. The contract is complete."
The demon smirked, crossing the room in two quick steps to stand at his former master's side. "As always, Bocchan is kind. I expected a fight." He reached out, running cool fingertips along Ciel's cheek, down the curve of his jaw and under his chin to tilt his head up.
"I don't go back on my word." Ciel met his eyes, cobalt and ruby, fire and ice. They stared at each other for a long moment, and Sebastian licked his lips, his eyes suddenly blazing with hellfire.
"Well then, little master…"
It was a shock to hear the first pet name that the demon had given him. It hadn't been used since that day so long ago, when Ciel had left behind heinous torment and a bloodied altar to begin a new life. He tried to speak, faltered, and tried again. "Wait…"
Sebastian froze. Was this the fight that he had been expecting? He waited, curious to see what Ciel would say, but the young teen only requested quietly, "Not here. Please… not here. I don't want the others to… find…" He trailed off, but his meaning was clear.
The demon laughed softly, reaching out to gather Ciel to him one last time. It was lucky that he truly hadn't grown much bigger. The teen still fit comfortably in the cradle of his arms. "Very well." As he walked to the wide window behind Ciel's desk, flicking it open with a casual gesture, he commented softly, "You're trembling, little master. Do you fear death?"
Ciel didn't answer, but a tremor ran through his thin form. Sebastian smiled. "Death is easy." he murmured. "It will be like falling asleep. You needn't fear. I will be with you, until the last."
There was only a sharp exhale against his neck, almost like a sigh of relief and almost sounding like his name, before Ciel reached up with thin arms and wrapped them around the demon's neck, nestling his head in the hollow of the demon's throat. He no longer trusted himself to speak without sounding lost. Sebastian only reached up to stroke Ciel's hair briefly before turning back to the window, leaping out and carrying his brave little master away into the night.
As Ciel had predicted, it was Maylene who first discovered the letter. She paused in the foyer, glancing at the envelope and the names written on its crisp paper before scooping it up and hurrying back to the servant's wing. Sebastian would surely scold her for abandoning her chores, but the letter was addressed to them, in the young master's handwriting. It was surely important.
Finny, Bard, and Tanaka were just entering the hallway, rubbing sleep from their eyes and grumbling about the early hour, as they did every morning. Maylene showed them the letter, and all of them agreed to convene in the kitchen to read it. Finny was the only one to pipe up, asking if they should find Sebastian in his bright voice, but Bard pointed out that the letter was addressed only to them, not to Sebastian. If it was horribly important, they could show the butler later.
The letter was opened, the many sheets unfolded and read, all of the servants hunched together over the kitchen counter. It was Finny who drew back first from the story presented to them, pressing his hands to his mouth as if attempting to stop the whimpers that escaped his lips. He sank back into one of the narrow wooden chairs, his eyes wide and scared.
Maylene pulled away next, unable to read farther, and Bard soon backed away as well. And so Tanaka read the final few paragraphs out loud, because they needed to be heard.
"It's… It's not true…" Finny whispered. "They're playing a joke on us; we're going to go upstairs and find Sebastian getting Master Ciel ready for the day, like always…"
"Wouldn't he be in here making tea…?" Maylene questioned.
"He slept in…?" Finny offered hesitantly. As one, the three servants glanced at the row of bells along the wall, knowing that their master would have rung for his butler in annoyance by now.
Finny's blue eyes filled with tears. He gripped his knees tightly, rocking ever so slightly back and forth on the chair. "It's a lie… It has to be!" he nearly shouted, voicing the denial they were all thinking. Maylene took off her glasses, rubbing her eyes.
"He's trying to protect us. He's had to go undercover in some case, and needed to give us a story, no matter how fantastic…"
"Idiots!" Bard cried, glaring at both of the crying younger servants. Tanaka merely watched quietly from the corner. The cook marched around the counter to stand before both Maylene and Finny. "When has the young master ever lied to us?" he demanded.
"But… He said he was going to… die…"
"Never, that's when!" Bard said furiously. "He might not tell us everything, but he has never outright lied. If this… story… is what the young master is telling us, it must be the truth. No matter how much that hurts."
"But…" Finny sniffled. "Mr. Sebastian… a demon? He was so good to us… All of us, and especially Master Ciel… He can't be a demon…"
For a moment, each of them considered the quiet, handsome man, the epitome of perfection, and the little boy he served. He had caught Maylene, then working for a different lord, when she was hired to assassinate the young Earl Phantomhive. When brought before the child, she was not handed over to Scotland Yard, as she expected, but instead offered a new life and a new home. Bard, they had found on a battlefield, surrounded by his dead comrades. He, too, they offered a new life, away from the constant roar and death of battle. But it was Finny who possibly owed them the most, rescued from a life of torment and experimentation. And the blond teen finally understood the look that he had seen in his Master's eyes the day they met. Kinship. From that letter, knowing now what his lord had gone through as only a child of ten, he could finally understand that the Earl knew what it was like to suffer for nothing more than the amusement of others.
"All we knew was death…" Maylene whispered. "And they… Mr. Sebastian taught us everything. He was so patient with us, no matter how many dishes I broke…"
"No matter how many gardens I ruined…"
"No matter how many meals I burned…"
All three stared at each other for a moment, and then Bard walked over to tug both younger servants into a hug. Finny broke then, outright sobbing against his shoulder. "Our job… He told us our job was to protect the house and the young master!" he wailed. "Why would that be our job if this was going to happen; if Master Ciel knew that he had to…!"
"What are we going to do?" Maylene sobbed. "What are we going to tell Miss Elizabeth and Marchioness Middleford…?" Again, without meaning to, their thoughts jumped to Sebastian, this time the memory of him allowing the hyper blonde girl to dress him up "cute". He'd worn the pink bonnet without complaint, never once anything other than perfectly polite and kind.
"I don't know…" Bard whispered, holding them tightly. The only thing he knew for sure was that they were still family. Even if the head of the house was… gone… they were each other's only family.
Silence reigned for a few long moments, in which the only sound was Tanaka refolding the letter and returning it to his envelope. The eldest of the Phantomhive servants had yet to speak, letting the others vent their horror and sadness. Finally he cleared his throat softly to catch their attention, and said quietly, "But, couldn't you all have guessed?"
They stared at him in shock, and Maylene whispered, again horrified, "You knew…?"
"I guessed." Tanaka murmured. "Certainly you noticed that Sebastian could do things no human being should be able to do."
"…There was always something off about his eyes." Finny whispered. "Like garnets. They were… pretty, but there was something about them that was… unreal."
"No matter what we messed up, he could always fix it, no matter how little time there was. We always chalked it up to how poor our skills seemed in comparison…" Bard said. But the conversation, again, was leading them in circles back to the same point.
If he was a demon, why would he care so much?
Tanaka set the letter on the countertop. "I will send a message to the Marchioness, to request her and Miss Elizabeth's presence within the next few days. But for today, I feel that the three of you should mourn as you see fit." He turned and left the kitchen, and the other three stared forlornly at the damning pieces of paper, feeling rather lost. Eventually, they left the same way as Tanaka, forced to accept that neither Master nor butler was coming back. They didn't know what the future would hold, but for the moment, they just needed time.
It was Maylene, once again, who found it. The small slip of paper that lay on the floor in the foyer, folded into a tiny packet. She unfolded it with shaking fingers, and a blue sapphire ring tumbled into her palm. She shivered, feeling tears well in her eyes again. But even though the paper itself was blank, a certain aura clung to it. An aura of darkness and garnet, and an aura of apology. Maylene clutched the ring tightly, somehow knowing that he was still nearby, and whispered, "Thank you… for everything." With that, she hurried up the stairs, to return the ring to Tanaka, and give everyone the closure they needed.
You have been my faithful servants for years now. You have never questioned serving someone as young as myself, and for that… I am grateful. I trust you, more than I should, and because of that I feel that it is only right to tell you the truth.
On the remaining pages is an account of what has happened to me, since the moment my parents were murdered and my home burned to the ground. I entrust you with this knowledge, and ask that you please share it with Aunt Francis and Elizabeth as well. Every word is the truth, but before you begin, I must tell you the ultimate truth.
Sebastian is a demon.
I mean this in the most literal sense possible. On a desperate night four years ago, I summoned him to my aid, and the contract we forged has been my security and my damnation. He has aided me in all of my endeavors, and in return, I must give him my soul. I will die tonight, and there is nothing anyone can do to change this.
I must ask that you explain this to Elizabeth as best as you possibly can. I know that she will cry, but there is nothing I can do. If I have never said it before, I will say it now, at the end. Thank you for everything you have done for me these past years. I can only hope that you will read the story of my life, and understand why this is how things had to be.