Note: Another installment of the modern stories. This one follows up No Need to Worry. Enjoy. :3

Soul or no soul, asthma was a bitch.

The night was cold, and Ciel sat up in bed suddenly, out of breath. He sucked in deeper breaths to compensate, exhaling each with an uncomfortable wheeze. As soon as the sixth cough left his throat, the bedroom door cracked open, and a familiar black-nailed hand slipped in to flip the light switch.

Ciel squinted at the light from the bedside lamp but didn't protest Sebastian as he stepped inside. He merely swallowed and fought to keep his coughs down in his chest; even so, his wheezing was quite audible in the silent bedroom.

"Asthma, young master?"

"It'll pass," Ciel said weakly, attempting to brush off Sebastian's attention.

The butler wasn't that easily rejected. Clad in a simple black sweater and pants, he walked over on bare feet and sat on the edge of Ciel's king-sized bed. He reached into his pocket and produced a blue L-shaped asthma inhaler, plucking the cap off and putting it to Ciel's lips after a short shake. Reluctantly, Ciel parted them and exhaled completely, letting Sebastian press down until the small contraption sprayed a fine mist of medication directly into Ciel's following inhalation.

He held it in for a few long seconds before exhaling again, coughing loudly with the uncomfortable itch in his throat. After a bit, they repeated the process, and Ciel made a sour face at Sebastian.

"I hate it," he muttered when he could speak again.

"You require it," Sebastian said.

He left the inhaler on the bedside table and stood up, disappearing into the adjoining bathroom for a bit. He emerged with a glass of water. Ciel held his hands out, fingers sweeping across the smooth surface as he attempted to take it from Sebastian. The butler didn't allow it.

"Give it to me," Ciel demanded, looking childish for the first time in a while.

"Let me do my job," Sebastian said firmly. He sat down and held the glass to Ciel's lips, and after a tense moment, the boy finally yielded and drank down the comforting liquid as Sebastian held the glass for him.

"It's not really your job anymore," Ciel said quietly, staring out the window at the bare glow of the streetlamp outside.

"We've discussed this before. Turn around."

Ciel seemed tired of small arguments tonight. He did as Sebastian said, pushing the covers off and turning so that his back faced him. It was cold enough that he couldn't give up his blanket that easily. He grabbed it up in a large armful and held it to his torso, letting his own body heat sink back in. He didn't think it could get so cold in a city renowned for its yearlong summer, but he more than anyone should have been aware of such stupid marketing gimmicks thanks to being owner of a toy company for years.

That was a long time ago, however. It rarely crossed his mind anymore.

Sebastian's hands settled on Ciel's back, thumbs immediately pressing in along the sides of his spine and just under his shoulder blades. Ciel took in deep breaths, clearer now that the medication was floating around within his weak lungs. Indeed, he could feel Sebastian's warm touch growing more firm, almost painful, but it was welcome; each time the massage heightened in intensity, the more the feeling seeped into his aching lungs.

"How is that?" Sebastian asked quietly.

"Nn," was all Ciel responded. From the sounds of it, he was satisfied.

"You know what day it is," Sebastian said after a few long seconds, "don't you?"

"Don't remind me."

Ciel knew it was past midnight. It had to be his birthday. But he no longer kept track of the years. How old was he now? Did it matter? Sebastian knew—what didn't he know?—but Ciel had no desire to ask and confirm his closest guess. Age wasn't relevant anymore, when all Ciel knew was soulless eternity.

"Just keep going," Ciel whispered.

"If that's your wish," Sebastian replied. His voice sounded closer to Ciel's ear, and his breath tickled along the hair tucked behind it.

Just then, Ciel could feel the cold air of the room sweep around his body. His shirt was up halfway, and Sebastian's bare hands were on his skin. Starting first with broad strokes to his sore lower back, he soon moved up beneath the fabric until he was back to where it hurt most. His fingers worked pure, hot comfort into Ciel's back, and before he could stop it, a small groan bubbled up in his throat.

Lately, however, he seemed to lose himself around Sebastian. It was just the two of them now. Him and Sebastian... and eternity, he supposed. There were less and less things to feel self-conscious about.

So Ciel didn't cover it with a cough, like he once might have. With his asthma acting up, he would've had good excuse to cough. But he didn't. He just groaned again, this time even louder.


"Very," Ciel replied, closing his eyes and taking in the pure feeling of that healing touch.

Lips pressed against his neck. He didn't pull away. Sebastian's nose nuzzled against the back of his neck, followed up by those perpetually smirking lips, and then by that tongue of his. That honest tongue that told no lies... Ciel moaned gently and sunk back into Sebastian's waiting arms. He tilted his head back against Sebastian's chest to look up at his impromptu captor, who stared down at him past his hanging fringe of black hair, both of them upside-down from their respective views.

"I feel better now, Sebastian," Ciel said, his eyes fluttering shut once again.

"Good night, then."

Sebastian leaned in and pressed his lips first to Ciel's delicate point of a nose, cold and pink from the winter night, then down onto his lips. It was a gentle kiss, completely unthreatening, a perfect goodnight wrapped up in Sebastian's sensual lips.

"Good night," Ciel whispered.

Sebastian wrapped his arms across Ciel's blanket-clad chest and held him close, just as they were. He stayed, waiting for Ciel to fall back into a comfortable sleep, and even then he didn't leave. He merely watched that chest rise and fall with easy breaths, and smiled to himself as the new day dawned.