In 1990 Ciel comes back to London. Spoilers for the end of season II, obviously.

The sands of time

Just off the newly built motorway there is an old graveyard. It has been closed for almost fifty years now; the grass growing in once neat pathways without inhibition; moss and lichen covering the stones; vines snaking their way through the cracks in the stone walls. Visitors are a rare sight here; the only living creatures intruding regularly are a band of crows and a half-blind caretaker who occasionally ventures in to tidy up the place. His efforts are invariably rendered useless by the forces of nature within a few days.

But today, if anyone was there to observe, they would see a lonely figure making its way between the abandoned graves, freshly fallen autumn leaves rustling under his feet. The boy - he cannot be much older than fourteen - dressed in somber colours, stops in front of one of the older-looking headstones. He does not lay flowers on the grave for he has brought none; he simply stands there staring at its inscription for a long time. He then looks up into the clouded sky, eyes tracing the intricate path of a descending maple leaf.

When his gaze returns to the ground he discovers a familiar figure leaning casually on the headstone.

"Came to try out your coffin after all, Earl? I could dig it out for you, if you like," the man greets happily.

"Undertaker." The formless robe has been replaced with shredded jeans and a black leather coat with enough zippers and patches to make any biker turn green with envy, but it's him, without a doubt.

"Not any more, not any more, just as you are not an Earl now, really." Undertaker dangles a metal badge in front of the boy's nose. "But you can call me that, for old time's sake."

The boy reads aloud the lettering on the badge incredulously.

"Forensic pathologist, Specialist Crime Directorate, Metropolitan Police?"

"Well, you know how it is with modern funerals. No personal touch at all." Undertaker, Forensic Pathologist, feigns a sad expression which is replaced by a Cheshire cat's grin in a matter of seconds.

"Your hobbies are as disgusting as always."

"Some things never change; you should know that, Earl. Better than most, in fact."

The boy snorts. "So, what brings you here, deviant?"

"Why, I wanted to see the Earl, of course! It's been almost a hundred years if I remember correctly and you have always been most, ah, amusing company." He giggles with delight. "And where did you manage to lose your faithful shadow?"

"Who knows?" The former Earl grins mischievously. "Maybe he ran into Grell."

Undertaker sniggers at the idea. "So what it is that you have come here to ask, Earl?" He asks leaning more heavily on the gravestone.

"And what makes you think that that is why I am here?" retorts the other.

"Just a hunch." A black-nailed finger traces the crevices of the grave's inscription, half-obscured by the moss. "I expect the usual payment." He is clearly elated at the prospect.

"You know, I do not have to play by your rules anymore." The boy's posture becomes subtly menacing and his eyes flash crimson. "I could just beat the information out of you instead."

Undertaker laughs and laughs and laughs. The crows take up in confusion and scatter in all directions at the unusual sound of merrymaking.

"That is why I like you, Earl," says the former mortician, wiping away tears of mirth. "Now, what do you want to know?"

The demon boy seems hesitant for a moment. Then.


The syllable explodes with more force than he intended. "Why is it here? She had a family, I know that much!" His eyes narrow. "If this is one of your sick jokes…"

Undertaker raises his hands in mock horror. "Why, I would never!"


"It was her wish. Written in the will. And if her family thought it was inappropriate they never dared to protest. The lady could be very commanding if she wished, after all."

The silence following his words is deafening. The former Earl stares at the Undertaker, whose eyes are covered by his unkempt mane of hair, as if trying to discover some hidden meaning behind what he just heard.

The tension is broken by a sound of a loud beep. Undertaker fishes a small device out of one of the numerous pockets of his coat, reads the message, smiles contentedly. "Been lovely talking to you, Earl. Have to run; corpses do not dissect themselves, I am afraid." And with a faint pop he is gone, leaving Ciel alone to his musings.

The leaves keep falling.

Some indeterminate amount of time later, a velvet-soft voice murmurs at his back.

"I must say I am surprised, master. Feeling sentimental?"

He ignores his servant for a bit, then slowly turns around. "I take it that your "date" did not go well?" he inquires, seemingly uninterested.

"That was very sneaky of you, my Lord," Sebastian acknowledges mildly, "but you must be putting a lot of faith in that shinigami if you think he can keep me occupied for any longer than this."

"You must pretty full of yourself too, if you think you can avoid answering the question," is not said but implied strongly enough for Ciel to feel just a tiny flush of anger.

"You don't have any graves to return to, do you, Sebastian?" he asks suddenly, his smile too knowing, too cruel for his young features.

For a second he thinks he has managed to catch the older demon off-guard, but no, there it is, the insolent smirk; a rare treat these days, but horribly annoying nonetheless.

"Why, master, I did not know you cared. But I am afraid that I ha…" Ciel grabs the black tie, cutting him off - some things never change indeed - and brings Sebastian's face to the level of his own with a force at odds with his frail appearance.

"Or maybe you do," he says, his voice quiet, "but they were swallowed by sands, or covered by a sea centuries ago?" He pauses, leans closer and whispers almost into the perfect shell shape of Sebastian's ear. "Or maybe, just maybe, you have simply forgotten how to find those graves?"

He lets go of the tie. Sebastian blinks slowly and the smirk gradually returns, though to Ciel it looks a touch less obnoxious than before. "Does it please you, my Lord, to think that?" Ciel keeps silent and turns back to look at the gravestone. His servant continues "And even if it is true, what does it matter now?"

Minutes pass, only the whispering of leaves heard in the quietness of the graveyard. Finally, the younger demon relents.

"Of course. It hardly matters anymore." He makes a move to leave.

The demon butler's smile becomes seductive, pallid lips curving sensually. He says nothing, he does not need to because Ciel hears it anyway, just as always, the entrancing murmur, the coaxing whisper: Come, come play with me, my Lord - the soft squelch of the heart in his hands, droplets of blood flying around like crimson rose petals - my, my, aren't you a messy eater, master, I wonder who did you learn your manners from - the quite rustle of black feathers, the click-click of sharp heels on the stone; come, come, my Lord, you know you want it, and the hunger, always there, never abating, never sated for longer than a passing second, the black emptiness forever demanding - more, more, more.

The graveyard is empty once again, save for the two crows perched on the partially destroyed roof of a crypt. The leaves continue their ceaseless fall, slowly burying the earth, the benches and the two gravestones next to each other beneath multicoloured layers.

In memory of Ciel Phanomhive, who died 26th of August 1889, aged 13 years.
May his soul rest in peace.

A/N: Um, I've got nothing, really