Demon!Ciel, Alois, Sebastian
This fiction was first published for the .net Thursday Crack Ficlet "Dreams" thread.
WARNING: this fiction is...kind of disturbing, though not any more disturbing than any episode of the second season in my opinion *cough*. It involves some gore and spoilers for episode 12 of the anime second season.
This offering is NOT happy crack, but it is from the heart. - CaladriaHaru
Ciel was hungry.
It was an unfamiliar sensation to the late Earl of Phantomhive. Hunger, pain, feebleness…he had felt them once, long ago in some half-forgotten memory, and he had been extremely content to have it all in the past. But lately…lately…the ache of emptiness gnawed and writhed inside of him in someplace deeper than his stomach, nipping dangerously at the very core of his being. It was becoming steadily unbearable as Ciel trudged numbly through the hazy forest.
He was unsure exactly how long he had been making this endless trek through blue-grey scenery, but Ciel somehow felt the wearying clod of his feet had an unerring mission-that they were bringing him somehow closer to that thing that could fill him, if even for the scantest moment. And so he continued on, annoyed, wondering where that person was who always satisfied this sensation before. There was such a person once, an image of inky blackness against a backdrop of opulence, fine china and silver.
Ciel was in torment. He tried to imagine the feast he wanted spread in front of him instead of this dismal, overcast, fog-enshrouded landscape. Was it sweet? Was it full of gravy and spices? No.
No. no. no. Nothing like this. Nothing that could be placed on a table on a bed of lettuce or served nestled alongside a steaming cup of spearmint tea. Nothing that he'd need a crisp white napkin smelling of summer sun to dab from the corner of his lips.
Ciel's eyebrows pinched in frustration. He was on the verge of forming his irritation into an undignified moan of empty pain when his foot landed on ground somewhat sturdier than he had been traversing for an eon.
Marble. Grey marble.
Ciel stopped his forward momentum and looked down stupidly. What was this? Had he reached…someplace?
"I've been waiting for you."
The late Earl of Phantomhive felt himself blinking as he finally raised his eyes towards the somehow familiar voice.
Not far from Ciel's feet, in the ruin of some long-lost marble edifice, a solitary bench containing a body swam into view. The body was wearing a plum purple coat and a green vest and was topped by a mass of sun-gold hair, the only brilliant thing he had seen in the last million years of traveling to this place. He felt, instinctively, that it was significant. The silken head was turned away from him, obscuring the face of his mysterious companion in this somewhat familiar place. Ciel narrowed his eyes and stepped forward as his sluggish mind grasped for tenuous wisps of memory to connect him to the visage.
It wasn't until he found himself only a few feet from the figure that the name swam up to the surface.
"Alois." He stated simply.
"A piece of him," the voice returned. Slowly the wheat-haired boy turned his head.
Ciel had to force down the shock and instant revulsion the sight inspired in him. In spite of it, however, he found himself taking a step back, his right arm raised slightly as if to provide a shield for the image of Alois Trancy, dark, empty sockets where his pale blue eyes had been.
Alois smiled, which had the effect of making the entire vision worse by a hundred fold.
"At the very end. At the last, I get to see this expression," he chuckled mirthlessly, sagging a little on the bench. "What is the matter, Ciel? You don't like the way I look? You don't like seeing the face of the ghosts of the people you destroy? This isn't what you wanted?" Alois raised a hand to cover his mouth as he drew a long gasp. "Don't you enjoy seeing the evidence for yourself? Oh, I'm so sorry!"
Ciel recovered his composure and dove back into that maelstrom of memory, grabbing frantically at the frayed edges of what he believed was reality.
"You are gone," he stated finally, standing straighter, "there's nothing left of you. You're not inside of me anymore, so this must be…I must be dreaming." That certainly would explain the endless walking, the difficulties, the phantom hunger, and his annoying pseudo amnesia.
Alois' musical laughter rang out and echoed against the stone. "There's nothing left of me, all right," he agreed, laboring to sit up straight on the bench, "The old man took my body, Hannah took my soul, and Claude took my heart. And now you are going to take this, the last little shell of me left, the remnant of my soul and my final lingering regret. You've done a pretty job of slicing me up, portioning me out, and making sure everyone got a nibble. It's only fair that you get the last crumb, right?" Alois tilted his head, lips curved in a sad smile.
Ciel half turned his head, but his own eyes were glued to the bottomless darkness occupying the place where Alois' eyes, the windows to his demented soul, used to sit and spill forth those tears he had once reviled so much. He half wished for those tears of weakness now; Alois' accusations and demeanor were very…uncomfortable now.
"What do you mean, I get the last crumb," he asked cautiously, but even before the words had left his mouth he could smell it.
This…this smell. It was indescribable. It was warm and moist and savory and only the smallest bit bitter. Suddenly the beast growling in the darkest part of him let out a roar of insistence and began to pace restlessly inside.
"You get to absorb me now, Ciel," Alois said almost breathlessly, "that's why I'm here. That's why I left this little bit when she took me. I didn't want this part, and it was only fair to give it to you, you know, because you've won." Alois' head tilted boneless to lie on his shoulder and he raised a hand entreatingly. "So, come and get your treat now. You deserve it for being such a good sport, even if you did shun me and kill me in the end."
Ciel understood in a rush what was happening. In fact, he had wondered if all of Alois' soul had been pulled out of him that fateful day when Claude's bloody body lay on the rocks and the pain had enveloped him, transforming him even as the light of what had been Alois Trancy was drawn from him. From time to time a memory had risen to the surface at very inopportune times that Ciel was sure had not been his.
"Ciel, you are being deceived by that demon beside you. We're the same, Ciel. The same!"
He remembered that moment when Alois Trancy, blood spouting from his side, tears choking his voice, had begged him for life when Ciel had mistakenly believed he had been responsible for his humiliation so long ago. It was the same, except…except the memory was not of Alois Trancy, it was of himself, gazing down with a haughty, unforgiving gaze blazing of self-righteousness and ignorance. A merciless eye. A cold, cruel eye. The memory was accompanied by pain and frustration and unfathomable fear blanketing a sadness that was as wide as Alois' eyes were blue.
This memory must have been an echo of Alois' soul. Despite the fact that it was only the tiniest minuscule fraction of what had been taken, it was calling to a new instinct to feed. To feast on this, this package of life, of memory, of being.
Ciel's pride bristled at the very notion of needing or wanting anything from this pathetic vestige of a creature he had believed far beneath him to begin with. He, Ciel Phantomhive, taking nourishment from this pathetic copy of a nobleman? He scoffed.
"Even if your soul was whole and you begged me I'd never take a handout from you," Ciel stated resolutely, his hands balling to fists at his side.
Alois was unimpressed. "Oh come off it, you pompous ass," he drawled. "Never? You'd never take a handout from me? Not even when I was making a bargain to transform you into something that would live forever, that would unshackle you from the fate that had frozen you? Not even then, huh?" Alois tried weakly to sit up, chuckling sarcastically. "You didn't fight it. I remember that, Ciel. You didn't fight me then, did you? You were curious too."
"That's not true," Ciel found his voice sounded much more petulant than he would have liked, "your demon bitch was repressing me."
"Oh, was she?" Alois' eyebrows raised, "And Ciel Phantomhive with the iron will, who called a demon to him in a time of distress, who placed all of his resolve into every task he committed to, that Ciel Phantomhive was repressed at the crucial moment that would decide his fate for eternity? Then you don't mind if I laugh at you now, do you," Alois' voice grew in pitch and began to take on a crazed tone, "because you were either a sham before or you were a sham at that time. Either way, at some point you are lying to yourself and that's rather more pathetic than any slight I ever gave you, isn't it?"
Ciel wanted to reach out and backhand that face, but its horrific eyeless visage and a shamed creeping feeling in the back of his neck stayed his hand.
"Just eat me already, Ciel," Alois was losing steam, "I'm tired. I'm done. This was always supposed to be my last bit of atonement since I had mistakenly wronged you, too. Think of it this way, when I am gone, so will be the last witness to your moment of hesitation. Surely you don't want to remember my pathetic pain and fear for the rest of eternity, do you?"
Ciel readily admitted that he did not. No. And the hunger inside him, sensing it was on the verge of victory, redoubled its efforts to seal the deal.
"Fine," Ciel said at last, stepping forward, trying not to let his growing anticipation of his first meal show on his face.
Alois sighed with contentment and lifted his hand again expectantly.
A moment passed as the two boys stared at one another.
Finally Ciel was forced to admit, "How…" He looked at his hands.
Alois let out a noise of exasperation. "How? Like you would eat anything. You open your mouth and bite down and chew and swallow." The echo of Alois appeared to enjoy his last moment of triumph as an expression of utter disgust played itself across the face of the former Earl of Phantomhive.
"I have to…bite down?"
"Of course, you idiot. Do you know any other way to eat?" Alois asked incredulously.
Ciel's silence was admission enough. This was not pleasant. This was more than he bargained for and he wanted to turn away and run back into the forest.
A startling noise between a squawk and a hacking cough arrested the attention of both boys who glanced up. Above them, perched on a crumbling wall, a large black raven blinked and flapped its midnight wings.
Ciel took a deep breath and stepped forward, committing himself to the action the raging hunger beast demanded. He sat gingerly on the bench next to Alois and tried to decide how to begin.
As if reading his thoughts Alois whispered, "I'd start with my hands and arms and then the legs. The bones will be the most annoying parts, but that way I can't try to stop you when the pain becomes too much."
Ciel swallowed involuntarily. "The pain?"
"Of course, the pain. You knew it would be painful."
Ciel was confused. "Then why…why leave this here if you knew…"
"Ciel," Alois leaned forward and gently placed a hand on the other boys' cheek, his hollow sockets sending a chill down Ciel's spine, "shut up and eat me."
Trembling Ciel raised the hand to his lips. He opened his mouth and drew two fingers in. A second of hesitation, an indrawn breath, and then he brought his jaws together as hard as he could.
There was a sickening crack and a wet slurping sound as he grasped the wrist, prying the fingers from the hand.
Alois' mouth opened and he screamed harshly, excruciatingly. Ciel thought for a moment that the sound of such harrowing pain would put him off his lunch, but to his mute horror it only increased his appetite. He closed his eyes and swallowed, trying to shut out the sounds that began to render out feelings Ciel had been trying hard to keep silent and hidden. Feelings of remorse. Feelings of sympathy, for this might have once been his fate as well.
Presently Alois' cries died down to mute sobbing, his hand dripping crimson over Ciel's front, the bench, cascading down to the bare marble beneath them.
"I take it back," Alois sniffled, his head rolling away, "I'm just going to scream and scream and scream and I'd rather that not be the last way you see me."
Ciel was at a loss, he wanted more, needed it, craved it, and he certainly was not going to stop now, but those screams were like the crack of a gunshot on a snow-covered peak: once the snow began its course it would become a torrent of unneeded and unwanted feelings and it threatened to lay bare and naked truths that Ciel had been laboring to hide for three years.
"Only one way to shut me up," Alois half-grinned, closing his eyes as he tilted his sunny head towards Ciel.
The closed eyes were a welcome relief. This way it only looked like Alois was talking in his sleep.
"What is that?" Ciel asked, heedless of the almost sympathetic tone in his voice.
"You'll have to devour my mouth next."
"It's fitting isn't it, seal my death with a kiss? Can't I make it my last request?" Alois' voice was broken with pain and longing. His good hand tugged childlike at Ciel's front as if begging for a sweet. "No one will know. You aren't Ciel Phantomhive anymore anyway," he reasoned, "you are a demon, and once upon time a demon gave you a choice to ease the passing. I'm not too proud to say I'll take what I can get."
Gently dreaming Alois. That's what he looked like at that moment with his eyes closed, the crease between his blond brows releasing briefly. It was sympathy in his chest that caused Ciel to lean forward.
So, even demons can feel such things? He thought to himself as he tilted his head and opened his mouth. He closed his own eyes and felt the warm contact, the scent of Alois' remnant as fragrant as the most delicious feast he had ever been presented. The other boys' tongue, as it slipped along his for a ghost of an instant, was moist and soft and willing.
Ciel bit down…hard.
An age later the demon took a breath. He was bathed in scarlet, alone on the bench, momentarily sated but filled with a different hollowness.
Ciel's eyes flew open to the sensation of sunlight streaming in through the window of his rented rooms. He sat up abruptly and turned to face the implacable expression of his butler poised with a tray of tea in his hands. The former Earl of Phantomhive breathed heavily, his skin crawling.
Sebastian's garnet gaze traveled from Ciel's and flicked down to the coverlet.
Ciel blinked and took in his surroundings shakily. The four poster bed was now only two posters, the sheets and mattress upon which he sat were in tattered disarray as if a lion had sneaked into his rooms that night, moved him aside, and mauled the entire thing with gusto before gently replacing him.
He gasped and noticed that the bedside stand, of reliable oak, had been shattered, and as his eyes trailed up he perceived the wreckage of the entire room.
Sebastian cleared his throat politely, "I appear to be without a suitable place to rest Young Master's tea…"
Embarrassed, Ciel reached over and grabbed the remains of his bedside stand. In a blink of an eye the splintered wood recalled all of its fragments and became whole. Silently Sebastian set the tray down and approached the bed.
"If I may be permitted to say so, I reminded Young Master last night that sleep, in the mortal sense, was unnecessary. Merely a luxury."
Ciel narrowed his eyes and turned his chin away as he collected his pride. "I enjoy luxuries," he replied simply.
"I also recall warning Young Master that such sleep might be…unpleasant at first," the night-clad butler continued, his glance around the room suffering to say, this room is proof of it.
"Quite the contrary," Ciel began, dropping his legs over the side of the bed and lifting his hand to Sebastian, "I found it quite…satisfying. Now, bring me my blue suit, Sebastian. I'm feeling rather nostalgic."
Ciel smiled as Sebastian dropped to one knee and took his master's hand.
"Yes, my lord."