A/N: Sebastian is the human, and Ciel is the demon. "It's only natural that I can serve the Michaelis heir without fail; I am his butler, after all." AU. One shot.
This story is sort-of told in reverse; present and then you read about the past. It's an interesting style I'm testing out. Hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: I make no profit from this and I have no rights over the original concept by Yana Toboso.
ᵔᵕᵔᵕᵔ ᵒ ᵔᵕᵔᵕᵔ
The blood was drying on his lips. It tasted like the salt of fallen tears and had the sweetness of laughter. He moved away from the cooling body, his stomach churning with a sustenance he'd refrained from indulging in for so many years.
It tasted gorgeous, all the more so from the restraint, from tending to the human and letting the soul mature and flavour. He licked his lips, wiping them with the back of his gloved hand.
Silence echoed where a wet heartbeat once sounded. The space around him seemed too empty, the path before him seemed too open, without the shadow of his lord to guide him where to go.
The sun seemed too bright. He'd grown far too accustomed to looking up into the smiling face of his master, whose face always blocked out the sun—his hair dark as the blackest storm clouds.
There was loneliness, too, pressing down around him. Loneliness that he was accustomed to from being a demon that walked the earth alone. A loneliness he'd forgotten since he'd become a Michaelis butler.
Isolation he'd earned back with the killing of his master. It was his rightful death, one he'd bought with years of servitude. But it felt off—it felt wrong.
Yet the taste of Sebastian's soul was worth everything.
Or at least, Ciel told himself that.
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"Feed on me," Sebastian croaked with a bloody smile. "You've earned that."
Ciel looked down at Sebastian, not really seeing past that his gloves were red and that his master was hurt. "But, your revenge—"
"Ciel, you've helped me kill the man. That is enough."
The air was thick with smoke and a few meters away lay the cooling corpse of the murderer Sebastian had spent half a decade trying to hunt down. It was over. He should be rejoicing. Ciel should've been feasting.
Except his eyes were riveted on the way his master's breath rattled in pain.
"Ciel?" the Michaelis heir prompted quietly, watching his manservant fumble for a response.
Hesitating, the boy-demon replied, "Yes—"
"Don't call me 'lord' or 'sire'," interrupted the knight irritably. "Say my name once before you kill me."
Ciel paused before smiling thinly. "Very well, then, Sebastian."
It was enough to illicit a smirk from Sebastian's lips. "Phantomhive demon, have your fill."
"Goodnight, my lord."
And before his master could choke out something else, Ciel had sunk his teeth into his neck. It tasted sweeter than any nectar in the universe and the darkness beyond.
Part of him wished the game had lasted a bit longer.
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"Genesis is in there! He's the bastard who took everything from me! Why are you hesitating?"
"I'm not." Ciel was lying, but he was reeling from the anger coming from Sebastian. His master was normally the personification of calm. He controlled his headspace better than some demons Ciel knew. So the shouting and the rage was like a fire Ciel had never seen before.
It was terrifying. It was fascinating.
"Aren't you eager that I fill my revenge?"
Ciel said nothing. His eye was wide and every inch of the insignia was clear for the world to see. The fading rays of the setting sun warmed his skin but the air was so cold he could see his breath forming as little clouds of white in front of him.
"Aren't you waiting to consume my soul?" Sebastian pulled from his inner coat pocket a hidden thin blade, flicking the tip across Ciel's face. "My knife is sharp enough to cut his throat. Let's go and be done with it all. My soul is dying for revenge."
"Sire, we should be leaving now," Ciel said slowly, wiping away the trail of red from his face with a clean handkerchief. "It'll be dusk soon."
Sebastian scoffed and turned away with scorn. He did not walk towards the pre-arranged carriage waiting for them, instead heading back to the Manor of Genesis, an aura of bloodlust encircling him like a vulture.
"You are still a child, demon," he said over his shoulder. The tall man's face contorted with scorn and he turned back sharply, the tail of his waistcoat billowing out. "Face the world like a man."
"Yes, my lord," Ciel said, helpless to do anything but his duty—to be the best butler he could be in honour of the family Michaelis. "Of course."
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"How did you get kidnapped?" As always, Sebastian sounded more amused than surprised as he cut the ropes from his demonic butler.
"You made me form as a human child," Ciel snapped after removing the gag from his mouth. "Since you wanted to infiltrate the Genesis Corporation, being kidnapped was simply more convenient. They like their test subjects young."
"I doubt that it was easier," was all that his master said before standing up and spinning on the heel of his foot, surveying the room with a keen eye.
"It may have been amusing to see my lord fret over my momentary disappearance," the boy-demon admitted with a smile, the symbol of contract dilating around his pupil.
"I'm not stupid," Sebastian said as he looked through some haphazardly filed papers. "I knew you weren't dead. You're one of the better butlers I've had."
"Not the best?"
"Well. Maybe." Sebastian turned his head and smiled. "Though you cannot dance for the life of you."
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"Is that Oolong tea I smell?" Sebastian was walking into his room from the bathroom, towel wrapped around his waist and water trickling down the burn scars on his back. They looked as red and as raw as the day his master got them.
"Your sense of smell is always amazing, sire," Ciel said instead of commenting on the mottled marks marring the otherwise smooth skin. "For today's morning tea, I am brewing some Oolong tea in a traditional Yixing purple clay pot with spring water."
"I do not want it." The Michaelis heir was running fingers through his oil-black hair. The bags under his eyes were darker than ever, especially since he'd got his hands on the Genesis files. His Royal Majesty really shouldn't have tried involving Sebastian in that case—he wanted the men alive, and Sebastian wanted them dead.
Ciel's face didn't from its bland smile, but the air around him seemed to swirl with malevolence and he slowly began packing away the cups onto the small tea trolley.
"What would you prefer then, master?"
"Shouldn't a butler know what his master wants?"
Ciel had noticed the files littering the writing desk when he'd first entered the room. Sebastian didn't want food – he wanted more notes on Genesis. And what the master of the household wanted, the butler would endeavour to procure.
And it was only natural that a butler of Michaelis could do this.
"Yes, my lord."
"Get up from your knees," barked Sebastian around a laugh. "You're short enough without getting down on them."
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"Your sense humour is never-ending, sire."
The laughter died out from Sebastian, but the spark of mirth danced in his eyes. They were as black as the coals burning in the fireplace, but infinitely colder.
"Ciel!" he exclaimed in a tone similar to a reprimand. "By the way you say it you make me feel like you don't enjoy being my butler."
"I doubt the importance of my emotions," he replied in a monotone, tucking some stray blue hairs behind his ear. "I am just here to serve you."
A soft snort of disbelief came from the man lounging on the bed. "Of course you are. You do want my soul, after all."
Ciel covered his blink of surprise by asking, "Is there anything else?"
"Don't wear your eye patch when we're alone."
"May inquire as to why?"
"I should've made to shift into something uglier. Your smile is that of a child's; not a demon. It's tiring to have to search for the differences." Sebastian's eyes turned back to his newspaper and waved the Phantomhive demon away.
A short bow later and then Ciel left his master to enjoy his morning's tea. He was nothing if not a little unsettled at what his master said.
Sebastian said, in not so many words, that Ciel was almost human.
It made Ciel want to reach for something to kill, just to prove him wrong.
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Smoke curled around his ankles like cats purring for more tuna. It tickled the back of his throat but he restrained the urge to cough when he was trying to tend to his battered master. The wet towel in his hand, though doused with ice water, was still warmer than his fingers where only cold ichor circulated.
"Does master ever regret it?" he asked, ignoring the sounds of groaning in the next room. They'd have to leave the decrepit hotel soon—it was going to collapse.
"You'll need to be a little more specific," Sebastian coughed and little splatters of blood stained Ciel's awful attire, right on the ruffles of his collar.
"Do you ever regret being the King's knight? Fighting battles that aren't yours?"
"I don't regret my duty. When someone disgraces His Majesty, or tries to, I must be there to stop them."
"Ah," Ciel exclaimed quietly. "Even though your duty led to the slaughter of—"
"Quiet," snapped Sebastian. "These are not concerns you should be dealing with." He started coughing again and his brow felt too hot, like fire to the touch. The stain of red grew on the white linen of his shirt and Ciel almost worried.
Then his master snapped, "You're just my butler" and everything felt the same as before.
"Of course," Ciel agreed smoothly, untying the string behind his head, taking off his eye patch. "Would you just like me to clean up the mess?"
Ciel rolled up his sleeves and leered at the bloodied men huddling in the corner of the next room. He could hear their faint groans of pain. He could hear their laboured breathing. He could hear them thinking. Thinking that Sebastian was a monster.
Well, now they'd see how Ciel—unassuming, little, innocent Ciel—was the demon. His black nails grew into talons and he smiled at the upcoming bloodshed, feeling his master's eyes on him all the while.
Whilst the Michaelis heir was awake at the start of the clean-up, he was passed out near the end. Ciel licked the blood off of his hands and morphed, thankful his master was unconscious, because it was easier to carry him home in this form.
He didn't morph because he felt stronger. Not because he felt like he could protect Sebastian better. Not because he wanted to keep master safe.
He took Sebastian home in his arms, wings beating steadily around them, because it was efficient and a Michaelis butler was nothing if not efficient.
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"Are you angry?" Sebastian inclined his head at his butler, raising an eyebrow at the lithe figure lurking in the half-shadows. When Ciel shook his head, Sebastian pressed, "You do seem agitated."
"Is that so?" Ciel replied blandly, appearing almost bored from where he stood. "I will do better to control myself in the future." There was an imperceptible tick from a vein in the side of his neck though, and it made the tall master of the household grin wickedly.
"Ah! So there is something wrong."
"It is nothing for the master to pass concern over."
"Is it the heels?" Sebastian pulled off his reading glasses and bit on the ends of one of the arms as he eyed the butler critically. "I asked you to wear them because I fear you're rather short."
"Strange concern, especially since you chose this form for me to wear." Ciel smiled, and it was like plastic the way he face tried to convey a joy that never existed.
A child. A demon like him was asked to play the role of a child. He doubted that he even looked legal. That was like being spat in the face. Ciel was born before the sun had graced the tops of the pyramids and he disliked being treated like a—
Well, like something inferior. Something inferior that had to play dress up and wear a weirdly flamboyant butler suit, completed with bows and ruffles in various shades of dark blue. But with Sebastian as his contracted, it looked like he could have to get used to that.
"Claws and fangs and wings are well enough for some, but for a butler of Michaelis, you need class," Sebastian was saying as he leaned back on his desk, eyeing Ciel with no shortage of amusement.
"You honour me with the attention." The sarcasm with tightly reigned in, but he couldn't cover the dryness of his tone.
"Hardly; it's just you'd be an eyesore otherwise."
"Your tastes in the aesthetics vary as heavily as night from day."
"Just be glad I chose this and not something... distasteful."
"Of course, master. Would you like your midday tea now?"
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"What would you like to name me?" He had been dubbed many names over many lifetimes and he could wear lives like he could wear outfits. He'd been tall, he'd be short, he'd been more beautiful than any human, yet more hideous than anything the imagination could create. It was still intriguing though, after all this time, to see what he'd become next.
"I will call you Ciel." The demon raised an eyebrow and felt that was all a bit anticlimactic. "Ciel Phantomhive. It was my cat's name before—"
The demon grinned, "Before your world burned down."
Sebastian's face froze in a painted smile and Ciel laughed quietly. He felt the name cloak him like a new identity and a weird high swirled in him like acid.
"You know, cats do love to play with their meals," he commented casually, adjusting his eye patch. "They don't really have owners."
"They don't," agreed Sebastian. "But they always come back anyway for food." When the demon said nothing, he added innocently, "Isn't that right Ciel? You should know."
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Blood was running down Sebastian's face. He was paler than he'd ever been and the demon watched him with bright eyes. It was so fascinating.
"Are you sure you understand the contract?"
The man's voice, usually so smooth, so calm; was croaked out like a half-whisper and he muffled a sob. The blood staining his skin wasn't entirely his. A lot of it was from his family. It was his eyes though, haunted but filling with rage, relaxed the demon, knowing the look of wrath when it came on humans' faces.
"Then give me your hand," he ordered quietly, hiding his smile. "You'll be wearing gloves for a while with the way the mark's going to be burned into your skin."
"Where will yours be?" Sebastian asked, curiously as the demon gently took the pale hand in his own, wiping away the blood and readying his black nail to carve the mark of attachment—the insignia of a contract. It would be elaborate and beautiful, and all the more so because the demon knew it would hurt and it'd be fun to see his future master scream a little more.
"On my eye—," he finally answered Sebastian, pointing at his eye already covered by an eye patch, ready to come alight with vibrant blue, "you'll always be able to see it."
"As a reminder that I can control you?"
"Au contraire," he purred and here the demon tightened his grip on Sebastian's hand. "It'll be a reminder that your soul is mine and I'll be keeping an eye on it."
"That's alright, too." Sebastian's eyes looked wild and determined and crazy as he cackled a dry laugh. "I wouldn't mind you devouring my soul, so long as I can kill the bastard."
"Revenge: isn't it sweet, Master Michaelis?"
But he'd started to carve in a five-pointed star and Sebastian was too busy screaming to answer. His blood ran out more black than red and the monster smiled, burying his ebony nail in deeper.
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The as-of-yet nameless demon had been watching this one for a long time. The tall human with the polite-yet-feral grin; the dark, ruddy blue eyes that saw every detail with piercing clarity—and he wanted. Oh how he wanted.
When the demon-boy wanted something, he got it. So he came as a shadow in the middle of the night and whispered in the ear of a man with a grudge to destroy the house of Michaelis. He went to the head of Genesis and murmured half-heard instructions in his ear, telling him to slaughter, leaving only the head of the mansion—the King's head knight—to survive the bloodshed.
And when the time came, the demon would swoop and earn a temporary name and watch his soul flavour with the poison of revenge.
The game was afoot and he wanted checkmate.
ᵔᵕᵔᵕᵔ ᵒ ᵔᵕᵔᵕᵔ
A/N: Another Kuroshitsuji fic from me. Finally.
BTW, I don't think I'll ever write Seb/Ciel slash, m'kay? Implied, maybe, but even then that'd be a stretch. I'm a yaoi fangirl, and I can sort-of see what other fangirls see in Black Butler canon, but I don't ship it. I love their dynamic the way it is—a sea of mindfuckery over who's the boss. XD
Anyway, leave me your thoughts on this in a review!