Disclaimer: I don't own Kuroshitsuji, or the characters in this story. I simply wrote out the scenario in pure boredom. XD... like all of my other stories lol

Pairings: Ciel/Sebastian

Note I: This is an AU Kuroshitsuji story, where Ciel's parents are still alive, but very unkind individuals. Their unkindness turns on their son after an unfortunate mistake is made on Ciel's part. The story develops from there. Don't like? Don't read.

Note II: I'm LATE! I know. I'm an asshole. I've been quite busy lately, and as much as I'd like to update regularly, I DO need to make rent. Which means working… a lot. Ugh. Another fun fact? The 'g', 'b' and 'h' on my laptop are starting to go. What does this mean? I need to copy and paste those letters into any sentence I write. You have no idea how tedious that is… and how much it sets back my updates. It's sad. Weep for me and my loss of g/b/h. You don't realize how often you use those letters until you lose them. Wah.

Soundtrack Inspiration: A Long, Long Time Ago - Pan's Labyrinth OST by Javier Navarrete

"Tanaka." Rachel hissed as the elderly butler entered the drawing room of the Phantomhive estate.

She had been spending more and more time there… giving into the temptation of alcohol to ease her pain and frustration. Rachel's beverage of choice was wine, and ever since her plan to pass Ciel off to the Viscount failed, she had been consuming more than a proper 'lady' of her status should.

But her life had taken a considerable turn for the worst in the past few years.

"Yes, my lady?" Tanaka sighed, looking at his employer as neutrally as possible.

Rachel glared at him, "I told you to summon my son here." She growled. "That was nearly twenty minutes ago. Where is he?"

Tanaka didn't answer immediately; his worn eyes drifted over the woman's pathetic form. She was on a slippery path, and ever since her husband's illness struck, Tanaka had noticed her mood had dramatically shifted. He remembered when Rachel and Vincent were kind individuals. At one time, they had loved Ciel dearly… they had been happy. But when that poor little boy made the mistake of accidentally dropping his newborn sister – the Phantomhive family fell into disarray.

Of course, Rachel and Vincent weren't the only ones who changed. Ever since Sebastian's arrival, the wise elderly butler had noticed a gradual shift in the child as well. Whether or not it was for the best, had yet to be determined by the old man.

"I summoned him, as you asked, my lady," Tanaka explained calmly with a slight bow. "But aside from dragging him in here by force, there isn't much I can do to make the young master listen." He informed her.

Rachel slammed her latest (and now empty) wine glass on a nearby end table, before sending a deadly, glazed glare at the family butler. "I'll do it myself, shall I?" She snarled, walking briskly to the door before pushing past the older gentleman.

Tanaka sighed quietly, before stepping further into the drawing room, and tidying up the liquor cabinet, and Rachel's previously used glasses.

Meanwhile, Lady Phantomhive was making her way down the hall with fierce, determined strides. Liquor was coursing through her veins, while anger and resentment were fueling her momentum; Vincent used to get into a similar state and often seek Ciel out. Now, his wife was taking his place while he was bedridden. As she approached the grand staircase, she noticed her small son in the entrance hall below.

"Ciel." She snarled from the top of the stairs.

The child turned and gazed up toward the woman who birthed him - his large, visible cerulean blue eye narrowing slightly.

Before she could start down toward him to vent her frustration – she felt a pair of strong hands pressing against her back. Since she was already mid step (and a little tipsy), the light shove was enough to send Rachel tumbling down the stairs violently. It seemed like an eternity before she finally hit the first landing… never mind the fact the momentum of the fall seemed to keep her going further, until she hit the bottom of the entrance hall two flights later. Her face smashed against the polished, pristine marble floor, and a small whine of pain escaped Rachel's throat.

The woman could feel blood beginning to trickle down her chin as she struggled to retain her vision. She blinked choppily a few times, wincing as she finally noticed her knee and arm were injured. Struggling to sit up, Rachel gazed up at her small son… who almost seemed to tower over her in this state.

He didn't move, he didn't console her, or ask if she was all right.

Glancing behind her, Rachel wondered who had pushed her; the staircase was empty, but she had distinctly felt hands upon her back… hadn't she?

"C-Ciel…" Rachel coughed, glaring at her son in a silent plea for help in her injured state.

"Oh dear." The smooth, familiar voice of the handsome butler caught her attention, and Rachel froze - ignoring her pain for the time being to watch him slink into the room to stand behind her son. "That was quite a nasty fall, my lady. Are you alright?" He purred, tilting his head as he looked down at her.

Rachel grit her teeth together, "D-Do I LOOK alright, Sebastian?" She hissed, trying to keep her dignity and strength about her. "I'm bleeding, and my arm and my knee feel like they've been twisted out of joint!" She trembled anxiously. "Do something!"

"Forgive me, my lady, but I must insist on calling for a doctor." Sebastian smiled, bowing politely. "You see, it is rather dangerous to try and move an injured person after a nasty fall. I would not want to put you in any more pain." He explained. "Please be patient. I will send for someone immediately."

Reaching down, Sebastian scooped up an ambivalent Ciel into his arms – smirked once more at Rachel – and began to carry him away.

"Y-You can't just leave me here!" Rachel screamed after them; the pain in her arm and knee was throbbing uncontrollably now, though the blood trickling from her chin was slowing. As her vision began to blur again, she blinked a few times and tried to focus… but when she peered down the corridor again, Sebastian and Ciel were gone without a trace.

"S… Sebastian!" Rachel called painfully.

The lady of the household was met only by silence.

"Did that amuse you, bocchan?" Sebastian asked as he got Ciel ready for bed.

He had Tanaka send for a doctor, and Rachel was tended to in an orderly fashion; thankfully, the woman's alcohol consumption caught up with her, and she passed out during her examination. It was concluded that she probably fell down the stairs on her own, due to intoxication. She had bruised her kneecap significantly, and dislocated her arm. It was reset and put into a sling, and she received three stitches on her chin from an impact cut.

"Was it supposed to?" Ciel asked as he lowered his gaze. Since watching his mother tumble down the stairs at the hand of his 'loyal' demon, Ciel had been unusually quiet.

Sebastian smiled at him, trailing a finger down the smooth, delicate skin of his plump little cheek. "I did it for you." He purred. Placing his wandering finger beneath Ciel's chin, he tilted the boy's head up toward him. "Does that not earn me some kind of… reward?"

To the demon's surprise… Ciel didn't answer. He just stared up at him blankly at first. But there was something flickering behind the child's eyes that Sebastian couldn't identify.

Tilting his head a bit, Sebastian tried to keep his ever-present smirk on his lips. "Bocchan?" He repeated patiently. Of course when Ciel STILL did not respond, Sebastian felt a small, flicker of annoyance inside himself. "…Is something wrong?" He pressed.

"No." The boy's soft, low voice finally answered. Shifting back on his large, king size canopy bed – Ciel pulled the covers up.

Only a second seemed to pass before Ciel felt two arms bordering his small torso where he had laid down… the demonic butler hovering beside him on the bed, with an arm on either side of his shoulders. "Bocchan… you know you can tell me anything." He whispered, lifting a hand to gently caress Ciel's cheek with the backside of his gloved finger.

To be honest – the child's lack of response to his usual teasing had caught him off guard. For once, there had been something unreadable behind Ciel's large, doe-like blue eyes… and Sebastian didn't like it.

Yes, he wanted the boy to be intelligent and think in an efficient, cunning, and unbiased manner… but only if he controlled it. Sebastian certainly didn't enjoy the fact that Ciel seemed to have noticed something about him. The demon rapidly attempted to rack his brain; trying to figure out what he possibly could have said or done in the last few minutes to warrant Ciel's sudden retreat.

His silence.

"You are dismissed for the evening, Sebastian." Ciel's low, but youthful voice commanded. "I… I will not be requiring your presence in my room tonight."

Sebastian stiffened a bit, and stared down at the child blankly for a minute. It had become a part of the butler's routine to sleep with Ciel… and the tradition had started shortly after Sebastian's employ and contract with the child.

His refusal was definitely a first.

Slowly, Sebastian pulled away from his charge, and walked toward the door. As he left, his claret colored eyes lingered on the small body in the middle of the canopy bed… before the door shut, and he was back in the dark, silent hallway. Ciel, meanwhile, released a slow breath.

Another epiphany had struck the child.

Why had he never noticed how often Sebastian told him that he 'performed' and 'did things' for him? Ciel knew that yes, technically, the demon had to obey him… but it had never really struck the child until tonight. Sebastian had requested (or hinted) at wanting a reward for holding up his end of the contract.

And Ciel had denied him.

It had worked.

It was a strange… somewhat powerful feeling; being able to deny someone something they wanted. And as young as he was, Ciel actually enjoyed this influence. He felt in control. Sebastian had been guiding him ever since they met, and most of Ciel's decisions felt more or less like 'joint' decisions the two had made under Sebastian's lead.

'Perhaps… I can try to act on my own…' Ciel thought sleepily to himself. 'How far will Sebastian's loyalty go? How much could I push him?' The child wondered as he drifted off…

Unbeknownst to little Ciel, his butler continued to stand outside of his door; staring it down like his intense gaze could burn a hole right through it.

What was this unsettling feeling in the pit of his stomach? Why did that child's silence bother him so much? Had he allowed himself to become too enamored of the boy? It seemed impossible. This was certainly not the FIRST soul Sebastian had manipulated and harvested… and it wouldn't be the last. But being unable to 'read' Ciel irked him more than it should have.

Had he not instructed the boy to become well versed in the art of stoicism - to mask his true feelings in order to hold an advantage over others, like his parents or rivals? Yes, he had. But the demon hadn't really expected the child to use such practice on him. It was infuriating, it was troublesome, and fueled an uncomfortable urge in Sebastian to march back into the room – and demand Ciel tell him why he hadn't responded to his manipulative teasing.

It was pathetic for a demon as powerful as him.

Shifting his blazing red eyes down, Sebastian noticed that his tailcoat had gotten a bit longer; it was wafting and hovering around him majestically, accompanying a pulsing, green and black shadow that seemed to encompass his entire being.

'Oh my…' Sebastian sighed.

He had begun to shift into his demonic form without realizing. It happened from time to time, but this seemed to unsettle Sebastian even more that it happened tonight while thinking about Ciel. Had he become so possessive of him in such a short time? Was he really going to let 'not-being-able-to-read' the boy effect his ultimate goal to devour that delicious, pure soul?

No. He shouldn't. He won't…

Sebastian's feline-like eyes shifted back up to stare at the heavy, wooden door, which separated him from his little master.

His hands unconsciously clenched into tight fists.

Rachel awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of a small baby crying. Furrowing her brow, the injured woman winced as she slid out of bed, and slowly made her way toward the bedroom door. Her nightgown trailed behind her as she moved through the dark halls, searching for the sound of the crying child.

Pushing open one particular door that was painted a bright-red color – Rachel shifted into the room. It was a nursery; mirroring the one she had prepared for her newborn daughter. But the colors were all wrong…

Tilting her head, Rachel walked toward the lavish, black crib and peered down into it.

The crying suddenly stopped and the crib was empty. Frowning, Rachel slowly turned to leave, but gasped and froze when she saw the floor was suddenly littered with deceased infants. They lay motionless on the ground… while the stillness in the room seemed to loom over her entire being. A small noise near the doorway caused Rachel to shoot her frightened, confused gaze upward. Ciel was standing in the doorway; young, curious, and dressed in that little white sailor ensemble she used to put him in when they were a 'happy' family. Carefully sidestepping the deceased children on the floor, Rachel made her way toward her son.

But he disappeared. Anxiety gripped the young woman, and she tore out of the skewed nursery in search of her son. Turning one particular corner in the hallway, her search caused her to collide with Sebastian.

"Oh… Sebastian…" Rachel whispered worriedly, clutching at his black coat and pristine shirt. The brief sense of comfort she felt did not last, however. In a swift move, the butler suddenly had Lady Phantomhive pinned against the wall; his hand clasped tightly around her slender neck. "S-Seb… Sebastian…" She wheezed, trying to bat his arm away from her throat.

"He's mine now, Rachel," Sebastian hissed with a dark grin; bearing his razor sharp teeth. His hair seemed a bit longer… more unkempt and wild in its appearance. His clothing shifted, and almost took on a 'fantasy-based' appeal… long, flowing, and darker than the blackest night. His eyes were not their usual warm, claret color, but instead a blazing red that seemed to pierce into her very heart and soul.

"You didn't want your son," Sebastian continued. "So… he will fall under my charge."

Rachel's eyes widened, "W-What… what is this? What's going on? You will rel—" She gasped and choked as Sebastian's strong hand tightened around her neck, squeezing her windpipe.

"Silence." Sebastian's voice almost sounded like it had been layered; his normal, soothing tone lay above a darker, more malicious and distorted one. Was she just hearing things?

Her confusion was soon forgotten when Sebastian quickly plunged his other free hand directly into her body. Rachel's mouth gaped open in pain and shock, but the pressure the demon was placing on her throat prevented her from audibly crying out. She watched in horror as her own blood began to ooze and spill onto the floor beneath her.

"If you go near Ciel again… I will end your pathetic life in this very fashion…" Sebastian hissed against her ear. Squeezing his hand again, his long nails and fingers pierced through the skin of her throat and impaled her…


. . .

Rachel sat up in bed… panting, sweating, and trembling.

'A dream,' She repeated over and over in her mind. 'It was just a dream…'

Flicking her weary eyes toward the large windows of her bedroom, Rachel noticed it was morning now. Her arm was still incredibly sore from being dislocated, but her knee was beginning to feel a bit better. Sliding out of bed, she grasped the delicate cane that was going to assist her recuperation (as suggested by the doctor who tended to her the previous day) – and slowly walked toward the bathroom.

A heavy sigh passed her lips as she stopped in front of the mirror and looked at herself. There were dark circles beneath her eyes from a lack of sleep, and the three stitches she'd gotten on her chin were still visible and discolored a bit. Knowing her knee and arm were also on the mends didn't make Rachel feel any better about her current appearance.

She had once been so beautiful.

Setting the cane aside, Rachel picked up the hairbrush with her good hand, and began to gently brush her hair. Of course, even that morning ritual was disrupted when she noticed more hair than usual appearing on the brush bristles. With her lower lip trembling, Rachel continued to brush her hair, only to find clumps of it were beginning to fall completely out.

Releasing a shrill scream, Rachel tossed the hairbrush aside, and began to touch various spaces atop her head, that were now missing chunks of hair. She began to weep as she touched the crown; she felt no pain, yet somehow… her hair was falling out? Her horrified reflection stared back at her in shock – she looked like those poor, unfortunate, and unkempt women she sometimes saw through the windows of her carriage on the streets of London.

"W-What's… happening to me?" Rachel wept, clutching to the locks of hair that had fallen out.

Ciel could see her coming toward him shakily; her cane assisting her injured leg, arm still in a sling, and now – scattered, bald patches atop her head where she'd lost hair, while other parts of it framed her face in a scraggly manner.

Needless to say, Rachel looked like a wreck. The ugliness that had surfaced in her personality in these last few years was finally leaking into her outward appearance.

And for some reason, Ciel was alright with it. He should have been playing the role of concerned son; he should have tried to console his mother. But the woman before him wasn't his mother… she had made that clear for the past four years.

"C-Ciel." Rachel's hoarse voice drew the boy's attention back to her shaky form as she stopped a couple feet away from him. "Help your mother back to her room." She instructed, attempting to keep her authority… but failing due to her current, unkempt nature.

Lifting his chin slightly, Ciel stared at her. "No."

"…No?" She repeated, trembling in both shock and anger at his refusal.

Ciel turned, "I didn't stutter." He responded dully.

"I knew it was a mistake to have you." She hissed, struggling to keep up her status around her son, despite her sickly appearance.

The slate-haired boy actually tensed at that response, despite his initial hope to remain stoic and unnerved by his mother's attitude. Ciel's large, exposed blue eye flickered to the ground for a few seconds, before he tilted his chin up a bit and continued on down the hallway.

"Yes." Ciel quietly answered, glancing back over his small shoulder toward Rachel. "A mistake that will be your undoing."

Without another word, the once-innocent child turned, and continued down the all; replaced by a young boy who was battling this new sense of betrayal. Parents or not, Vincent and Rachel had gone too far. And now, Ciel felt the cold sting of bitterness.

'This will end…' He swore to himself. He was so tired of this life. He was tired of the abuse, both verbal and physical… but thanks to Sebastian's meddling, his parents were weak, angry and bewildered. There was no better time to exact his revenge.

Hearing some muffled voices from the entrance hall, Ciel dashed toward the stairs, and down toward the front doors, where he saw Tanaka and Sebastian speaking quietly. Tanaka was slipping on his coat when Ciel shouted angrily, "Sebastian!"

Both men turned to see the red-faced, glaring gaze of the boy.

"Young Master," Sebastian furrowed his brow in confusion.

Tanaka also appeared somewhat concerned, "Is something wrong, young master?"

"...You're going to London?" Ciel asked, catching his breath from running (his asthma was such a hindrance sometimes). "This is the day you do your errands, right?"

The elderly butler nodded, "Yes, young master. I was just about to leave. Is there something you'd like me to bring back?"

"Sebastian, go with him." Ciel demanded, ignoring Tanaka's question. "A-And when you are returning… stop at my father's summer estate, and make sure it's well stocked."

The demon butler looked a bit perplexed. "Bocchan, may I ask why?"

"I'm… I'm just telling you to." The stubborn child insisted.

"I don't think that's wise." Sebastian deterred; his face, while calm, showing hints of mistrust and reluctance to heed his little master's request. "Your parents are ailing, and under some strong, fevered delusions. Don't you think it's best that I stay, and help y—"

Ciel interrupted him; "You will go with Tanaka to London! That's an order!" He screamed, stomping his foot and betraying his age. Despite how quickly young Ciel was forced to grow up due to is circumstances… he was still a slave to his childish, demanding, and temperamental nature.

Both Tanaka and Sebastian stared at him in disbelief, before exchanging a hesitant look between one another.

"Yes, my lord." Sebastian finally conceded, bowing a little to the boy. The demon quietly retrieved is long, black coat, and slipped it on while Tanaka went on ahead outside to prepare the carriage.

Walking back toward the door, where Ciel still stood, Sebastian took a moment, and bent down to the boy's level. His skilled hands smoothed Ciel's hair a bit, and straightened the bow around his neck. "If you need anything, do not hesitate to call me." Sebastian purred. "You'll forgive me for admitting that I don't feel entirely comfortable leaving you alone." He said coldly, obviously unhappy with the decision.

Ciel glared right back; the intimidation he might have once felt around Sebastian was quickly vanishing. With each passing year, Ciel had become more comfortable with the fact that Sebastian was his butler, his demon, and was contracted to follow his every whim… until their bond was settled, and Sebastian took his soul.

Having resolved himself to the fact that he would die young, the small Phantomhive descendant had come to a decision…

He would not allow Sebastian to do his dirty work for him any longer. He would exact his own revenge against his parents… and settle his grief once and for all.

Of course… Sebastian didn't need to know this.

The sensation of lying to another was something Ciel hadn't had much experience with until he'd met Sebastian. It was a strange feeling, but also, somewhat empowering; the thrill of misleading and misinforming another party for your own personal gain. People either lied to spare feelings, or hide the truth…

In this case, Ciel was most certainly hiding the truth about his intentions from his demonic butler.

"Bocchan…" Sebastian hummed deeply, placing a finger beneath Ciel's chin, so the boy would look him in the eye.

Before he could continue, Tanaka called to Sebastian from outside. Sebastian tensed, and slowly stood back up to his full height. He spared Ciel another suspicious glance, before nodding, and leaving the mansion.

Ciel stood at the open door and watched as Sebastian stepped into the carriage with Tanaka. The carriage steward snapped the whip at the black horses pulling the vehicle, and they started off. A single, doe-blue eye watched the carriage ride further and further down the long pathway that led to the Phantomhive estate, past their vast acres of property and into the distance.

When they were almost out of sight, Ciel slipped back inside and closed the door behind him…

It had been so easy.

After gathering and preparing what he needed (as well as a child of his age and height could, that is) – Ciel had made his way toward his parent's master bedroom, with a lit candelabrum in hand.

When he had opened the door, his mother had been speaking angrily to his fevered father - who in response, was just rambling nonsensically to her fears and fury.

Their eyes had met.

Two of them, destroyed by their bitterness, anger and sorrow… and a child, driven by his passionate resentment and hatred toward the two people who were supposed to love him the most.

All he'd had to do was tilt the candelabra slightly; catching the flimsy curtain cloth and carpet aflame.

Rachel and Vincent immediately began to panic, but due to their injured and sickly states, neither could act fast enough. Ciel fled after throwing the candelabra to the ground, and left the room – locking the door behind him with the skeleton key he'd stolen from Tanaka's room before coming upstairs.

Ciel stood in the hallway for a few moments… enjoying the brief moment of still silence, before Rachel could be heard pounding on the bedroom door; pleading and screaming for their lives.

When the flames began to lick beneath the bottom crack of the door, Ciel stormed off down the hall - his mind thick and hazy with a sense of strength and purpose.

This was on his head now.

He had lived with the blood of his baby sister on his hands for years… and now, he would live with the blood of his parents, too. His family had become his undoing, and Ciel wasn't sure whether he felt relieved, or terrified at what he'd done.

Emerging into his father's study (another setting for harsh, childhood memories and beatings) – Ciel lit another flame.

Then another in the library…

One in the conservatory…

One in his own bedroom…

And finally, one on the grand stair… where he watched the large, family portrait which hung proudly over the landing, slowly melt and peel away with the fire that began to consume it.

Unfortunately, Ciel became so transfixed with watching the painting melt away into nothing but oil and ash, he hadn't noticed the mansion becoming more and more engulfed in the fire he'd started. When the smoke began to flare up the child's asthma, Ciel coughed, and continued down the stairs toward the front door…

But his grasp at freedom was short lived, as some of the foundation from the burning floor above fell through; crashing down in front of his exit in a cloud of debris. The impact of the destruction was enough to send the child skidding backward onto the ground in the entrance hall. He covered his mouth and continued to cough and wheeze as panic began to overtake him. As is often the case with children, Ciel hadn't quite thought through the repercussions of his actions. He'd been so blinded by resentment, and pushed to the brink by unhappiness – that he'd taken this matter into his own hands. He had started the fire, burned his parents, their belongings… and had foolishly lingered too long in the collapsing home.

The child's asthma began to consume him, and his vision was becoming blurred and disoriented from lack of proper oxygen. Stumbling through the thick, acrid smoke that was now billowing down the stairs from the consumed floors above – Ciel sank to his knees and trembled as his body began to systematically shut down.

But a crash was heard… followed by the clinking sound of glass shards spraying out across the floor on impact.

A pair of strong hands grabbed him.

Ciel felt himself hoisted up and held within familiar, long arms. He felt bumped and tossed around a bit as he and his savior moved. The burning mansion and smoke seemed to pass in a blur… past the kitchen and pantry…

And before Ciel knew it, he was slowly inhaling the sweet, fresh air of freedom.

Drawing his puffy, bloodshot eye upward, Ciel saw the stern face of Sebastian; moving and dodging his surroundings with the grace and fluidity that only a demon could have.

"S… Seb… astian…" Ciel wheezed out weakly.

The demon didn't answer. His face seemed cold, and contorted in fury. His normally warm-toned, claret eyes were blazing a passionate red - in a way Ciel had never seen before.

When they finally slowed, Ciel was still conscious enough to realize they were now in front of the blazing estate, which was now almost completely engorged by fire and smoke. Tanaka stood there, staring sadly at the scene, but with quiet reserve.

As soon as Sebastian set Ciel on the ground, the child coughed and looked up at his demon again. "S-Sebastian…" He coughed, "I… had t—"

A sickening crack was heard, and Ciel's head snapped to the side with the impact of the backhanded slap to his cheek. The boy tumbled back onto the ground, still dizzy from the smoke and his asthma, now coupled with a throbbing pain on his cheek and jaw from being hit.

Sebastian glared with such a ferocious anger toward the child - his breathing irregular, and his body tense… which was very unusual for the usually calm, collected demon.

Raising his hand again, while still absorbed in his rage – Sebastian jerked when he felt a second hand clamp firmly around his wrist. Spinning his head around, the handsome male came face to face with Tanaka. The elder was holding Sebastian's gaze with as much authority as he could muster… a silent warning lingering in his wise, aged orbs. As if sedating the demon's initial panicked anger, Sebastian released a deep breath, and shrugged off Tanaka's hold on his wrist. Unclenching and clenching his fist to further release his tension, Sebastian walked back over toward Ciel, and hoisted the boy into his arms.

"Y-You… hit me!" The injured, weak boy protested with angry tears in his eyes. He awkwardly tried to struggle himself out of Sebastian's hold, but his whole body was trembling so badly, that his attempts were futile.

Sebastian ignored the boy's comment, and simply held him close as he walked toward the carriage he and Tanaka had arrived back in.

"We're leaving." Sebastian muttered, tossing a warning glare to Tanaka.

The old butler stared back at the other silently for a few minutes, before heaving a heavy sigh, and following. As they walked back toward the carriage, where the horses were neighing and stomping in discomfort at being hitched so close to the burning estate.

"W-What should we do?" The carriage steward asked worriedly, looking back and forth as Sebastian slipped into the carriage with Ciel.

Tanaka's weary expression turned to the steward, "There is nothing we can do, I'm afraid. Take us to the Phantomhive summer estate in London. We will send word to the police from there." He instructed.

The carriage steward nodded, and waited until Tanaka had also stepped inside, before taking off.

Tanaka settled in his seat across from Sebastian, who now had an unconscious Ciel draped on his lap, within the secure cage of his arms.

"Is he..." Tanaka began worriedly.

"He fainted." Sebastian interrupted, staring back at the older butler.

The two were silent for a few minutes, but kept their eyes focused on one another.

"Perhaps you should rest." Tanaka suggested in a calm tone. "You retrieved Master Ciel from a fiery end. I can hold him while you take a moment…" He offered, lifting a hand out toward the boy.

But Sebastian's grip only tightened on the child, further pressing him against his chest while his eyes blazed slightly. Tanaka's outstretched hand drifted back down to the seat gently.

Another moment of silence passed between the two.

"May I ask… what your relationship is to the young master?" Tanaka inquired curiously.

A small smirk grew on Sebastian's lips, "Come now. You're not a fool, Tanaka. Stop playing the part of one."


"I would have thought that a creature, such as yourself, would have reservations about luring such a young child into your midst." Tanaka commented unhappily; his tone was placid, and still deep with age and wisdom. It was clear he didn't approve, but was in no place to do anything about the discovery.

Sebastian quirked a bemused brow - "Is my identity a revelation for you?" He asked.

"I had my suspicions." The old man replied quietly as he eyed the demon. "Your possessive and attentive nature toward the boy was proof enough."

The demon's eyes gradually soothed and transitioned back to their normal, dark maroon. Pulling his gaze from the disapproving, gentle old man across from him, Sebastian focused back on the unconscious child in his arms. He had no real qualms with Tanaka, and knew that the old butler would be no threat to him, or his plans. Sebastian might even go so far as to say he respected Tanaka for the human he was. Not that it changed anything.

The rest of the carriage ride to the summer estate of the Phantomhive family… was a silent one…