**All credit for the character designs and original manga/story go to Yana Toboso. I take no credit for any character designs.**
**This is set within the manga canon, not the anime.**
*Warning: This will contain homosexual romance, though only hints at it at the beginning. There will also be shota somewhere along the line. If this bothers you, do not read (or just age Ciel by a few years inside your head, I don't care.). I don't typically like shota due to my aversion to pedophiles and other creepy people in general, but this is the one situation where I have bent my own 'rules'. This is mainly to preserve the original character designs as much as possible. I have aged Ciel one year to make myself a bit more comfortable, but that's still quite young. As I said before, if ANY of this bothers you, turn back now. I do not condone sex with minors or romantic relationships between adults and minors in any way in the real world.*
Black, like the dark center of long since burnt out embers. The fire. There was a burning singe of hot and cold at his fingertips, a disquieting thump and ache inside that frail chest. Why couldn't he open his eyes? He could feel the fire, taste the bitter sting of smoke in his throat, the heat lapping at him with golden tongues of flame, yet beyond closed lids there was nothing but darkness. No light was shed by the fire that consumed him. This was not darkness. It was emptiness. Nothing. A void. The bright burn of a migraine was there, throbbing, dull in the blackness of the vacuum and sucking the breath right out of his lungs until there was the vague sound of fabric rustling… no, not fabric. Feathers. Like heavy wings shifting, flapping, growing ever closer. Then there was nothing once again, nothing save for the loud silence screaming into the boy's head in anticipation of something about to happen.
Ciel felt as if he was being watched.
Lashes fluttered like inky butterflies upon his porcelain cheeks, brows furrowing in effort until, almost, it seemed as if a key had been turned, a door unlocked, and those eyes flew open with such force that it nearly hurt.
Eyes. Above him.
Claret hued irises swam like twin lanterns in Ciel's muddied sight, the rest swallowed by black until his eyes adjusted to the dark of his decadent bedroom. It was only when those eyes blinked slowly (leisurely) that Ciel's hitched breath was released in a groan. Hopefully, such a groan would convince that Cheshire grinning butler of his that he was irate, not frightened. So frightened.
Sebastian smelled like cinnamon and cloves.
A painfully demure voice tore through the painful whine of silence that permeated the air, hanging like little golden dust particles upon their shared breaths. "Young Master, I hate to awaken you but-" A small, pale hand shoved at the demon's chest in an attempt to push him away. Ciel didn't want his butler to feel how his heart pounded against his chest like galloping hooves. Sebastian was indeed displaced from his original position, but only because he allowed it. The red-eyed, black haired butler continued on with that complacent yet obnoxious grin without event. "…Young Master appeared to be in distress." Sebastian finished. With that, the demon, Ceil's butler, elegantly peeled one glove from his hand, the one without the seal, and gingerly placed the back of those pale (perfect) knuckles to Ciel's dainty brow, which frowned despite a lack of resistance. "There appears to be no fever. Young Master, were you experiencing a nightmare?"
It was hard for Ciel to discern genuine concern from Sebastian's purposeful and expert goading. He didn't trust it, especially since… those eyes. Had he dreamt of Sebastian's eyes or had he been awake? Ciel averted his dual-hued gaze, tight-lipped. "I cannot remember. I do not wish to discuss it further, Sebastian. Fetch a cup of tea, preferably something that shan't keep me awake."
Omnipresent smile never fading, the demon butler rose with the grace of a feline from the very edge of the bed and dusted himself off with more dignity than anyone had any right to possess while patting one's behind. Ciel eyed him suspiciously as the taller of the two smiled down at him, discretely sliding his glove back on.
Ciel looked so small and delicate amongst the mounds of bedding atop that huge and luxurious piece of furniture, like a doll left behind upon its owner's bed. At thirteen years of age, the boy had, oddly enough, not really had so much as a growth spurt, leaving that androgynous beauty of youth that Sebastian so admired in him– almost as much as that precious and delectable soul which was almost too perfect to want to consume, almost. "Yes, my lord." There was a flicker of amusement at the boy's spectacularly aloof demeanor (more so than usual, of course) within the demon's eyes as he stepped back once, bowed, straightened himself, and turned to leave with that candelabra in hand lighting his eerily pale face so that those high cheekbones and noble nose cast strange and wicked shadows on his exit toward the kitchen to prepare some tea.
Chamomile sweetened with a touch of honey would be nice.
Ciel sat with his legs dangling from the edge of the bed without touching the floor, fingers scraping through his hair roughly as if the slight discomfort of a tug at his hair would pull the memory of his dreams out of his head. This wasn't the first time he'd had a nightmare, far from it. It would be freakish to say he didn't experience nightmares with such a past as his. However, this one was different. It hadn't felt like sleep so much as paralysis. The boy also knew that whatever it was, that butler of his was the cause, whether it be psychological or otherwise. Ciel heaved in a lungful of air, then produced a sigh, deciding then to ask Sebastian a few questions upon his return.
Speak of the devil…
A quiet knock came to Ciel's bedroom door just as his lids began to sag sweetly, form just slightly slumped. He hardly heard the first few times, but soon the door itself opened with a subtle click. "Master?" The sound of that familiar voice caused him to startle somewhat, but not enough to kill his ever present sarcasm and wit – even while sleepy.
"-so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you." Ciel quoted, voice husky from mild fatigue.
There was a pregnant pause before Sebastian emerged from the blackness of the unlit hall with a tray laden with tea and vanilla macaroons in one hand and the candelabra in the other. Ciel didn't quite know how he had managed to open the door like that, but it didn't surprise him either.
The demon butler grinned as he strode toward his master, placing the silver tray upon the bedside table just at Ciel's right.
"Nevermore." The demon replied, finally, causing Ciel to burst out into sudden, harsh laughter. It died soon enough and once it had, Sebastian wasted no time. "Chamomile tea with honey, sir. I also thought Young Master might like a light snack before returning to sleep. I've prepared-"
"Sebastian." Ciel interrupted, eyes settling fiercely upon his butler's deceptively submissive expression as he poured a cup of tea and placed it on a matching tea saucer, turning the handle toward Ciel and offering it to him silently.
"Yes, Young Master?" The demon replied calmly, rose colored eyes lifting to rest upon Ciel's face, meeting his gaze. He was the only one who ever saw both of those beautiful eyes, really. At all other times, the right, which contained the seal, was hidden by that elegant eye-patch. It suited him, certainly, but without the black obstruction over his fay face, Ciel was easily the most beautiful boy he'd encountered in… well, centuries. It only made sense that he would become as attached to both him and his soul as he had. Ah, that soul…
"How long were you in my bed, Sebastian? I believe I awoke to you – awfully close, I might add – hovering over me. Why?" Ciel betrayed as little about his dream as possible. Sebastian raised one elegant brow heavenward before shaking his head mildly. "No longer than a minute. I only leaned in close to shake Young Master awake just as you were apparently on the verge of waking on your own. Is there a problem?"
Ciel scowled inwardly before shaking his head. "It's nothing, Sebastian. Nevermind." His breath seemed uncomfortably hot over the tea, though it was truly only warm steam that he was breathing with the cup held up to his lips, not drinking it. The scent of it was pleasant – perfect, really. Damn Sebastian and how perfect he was… in every way, it seemed. Ciel silently cursed himself for thinking of his butler so… fondly. "The smell is pleasant." The slate-haired boy stated before placing the mouth of the cup to his lips, rosy and flush from biting them in his sleep. Careful sips were taken with those gemstone eyes cast thoughtfully toward the ground.
"Thank you, Sir. Unless there is anything else the Young Master would need, I shall take my leave and return for the emptied tray in the morning so that Young Master might continue his sleep." Sebastian stood as still as a statue, posed with the back of a gloved palm against the small of his swallowtail-coated back, the other hand delicately clutching that lit candelabra. Submissive. Perfect. Waiting on an order. Perfect. Silent. Perfect.
Ciel stared at him for a moment, watching the candlelight flicker and undulate, causing his servant's beautiful (since when was he so beautiful?) face to look highly cinematic. If only that word existed to be within the boy's vocabulary, it would have fit perfectly!
"I…" Ciel started, drifting off for a moment into silent thought. He felt off, all of a sudden. Could it have been because of the dream? It had only been Sebastian's eyes, hadn't it? "Stay with me until I fall asleep again." Ciel finished his cup of tea and nibbled gingerly at a macaroon. It was perfectly done and delicious as usual, but he had no appetite. Ciel was sleepy and confused.
"Yes, My Lord." The demon uttered, that Cheshire grin softening to what might've been an affectionate smile. Then again, Sebastian was so unreadable, Ciel didn't bother to try (consciously). Ciel pushed the tray away and flopped back onto the bed with a sigh, wallowing over to his favored spot on the bed. He waited. Sebastian tucked him in as usual and watched with an unchanged expression as the littler male squirmed to make himself comfortable. "Goodnight, Young Master." Sebastian murmured softly, his voice like rose petals and feathers on the wind. The reply he was gifted with was a sleepy grunt.
Once it was obvious that Ciel was once again asleep, Sebastian stood, bracing his free palm lightly against the bed as he did so. He'd planned to blow out the candles and leave the room promptly, but a touch of warmth to his hand almost startled him – yes, startled. That crimson gaze slid downward to discover the change that had disrupted his routine, finding a small and pale hand curled loosely around two of his own long and elegant fingers. Sebastian stared for a moment before that grin curled outward across his face, though for once there was no maliciousness or mockery in his expression. Ciel slept on, unaware.
"You are full of surprises, aren't you, My Young Master?"