A/N: On the night of September 6, 2010 I was supposed to be sleeping, but instead spent three hours with this idea tossing around in my head. (You can see what won.) Though exactly because I thought up this story while being half-asleep, it's missing roughly one tenth of the epic dialogue I came up with. I did my best to write nigh-identical equivalents, but I just know that there are some awesomely snide remarks missing. And some Bible references. Oh, well. There's always the next fic...
Oh, and all this time this fic sat in my LiveJournal because I just couldn't come up with a good enough title for it. Lame, I know.
Disclaimer: Toboso Yana and all associated companies are the rightful owners of the Kuroshitsuji universe. No copyright infringement intended and no money is being made out of this. Please support the mangaka by buying her work.
She wasn't being serious, Sebastian realised, though why exactly that was so, he didn't bother pondering about. The knives flying by his head were just a heads-up. The bullets coming at him - off the aim enough to make dodging ridiculously easy. She didn't want him dead despite Claude's order, Sebastian mused as he fixed his ruined jacket while avoiding the bullets. She was making this all too easy for him, not even giving a half-hearted attempt at attacking.
Sebastian saw no reason to return the courtesy, and as soon as the end of the tread was fastened, the needle tucked away, and his perfect image restored, he attacked her in all earnest, pinning her to the ground with his knives. She could have dodged; could have at least tried to, but didn't. All things considered, he didn't mind it if she made it easy for him. He was, quite honestly, used to winning every single battle ever since first stepping his foot into the human world.
When Claude interfered, he was disappointed, but graciously decided to let her live.
Their next meeting was all bullets, no knives, and she was still holding back. He wondered, albeit briefly, why she wasn't putting more effort into their fight; why she left all those openings for him to use against her?
The way she smiled down at him - triumphant even though his hand was tightly clamped around her neck, ready to snap it at any moment - made him hesitate. With all the power she had, she should have been able to fight him at least on par. Yet all of her attacks fell short. Why?
The third time they met was on the Trancy grounds, soon after Ciel had ordered Sebastian to disappear from his sight. She strolled along a path through the park, all but reeking of Ciel, and Sebastian stepped forward to block her path, ticked off by that very fact.
Hannah glanced at him with an unreadable expression.
"You are trespassing."
Sebastian ignored her words and got to the point.
"What do you plan to do with my bocchan?"
Hannah tilted her head, her expression curious.
"What do we plan to do with him?" she echoed and shrugged. "Nothing. What Claude plans to do with him? Go ask him."
"So he isn't telling you anything?" Sebastian sneered. It had been a while since he'd last been in such a bad mood and every part of his being itched to take it out on someone. Anyone. He took a step closer to Hannah. "Why do you follow him around blindly if he shares nothing with you?"
"Shares nothing? Follow around?" Hannah repeated his words with wonder, and if she had noticed his move, she remained standing where she was. "Why do you question us and what we do?"
"You have stolen my bocchan and I intend to take him back," Sebastian informed her with a dangerous smile that stretched his mouth into a thin line and made his eyes close to shield the murderous intent blazing in them.
"Questioning another demon's actions," Hannah repeated her own words (though in a slightly different arrangement) rather blankly, her gaze downcast, as if she hadn't heard his proclamation just now. As if she was wondering at the meaning of those words.
"Questioning is such a human thing to do."
Sebastian opened his eyes at once and proceeded to stare her down, slightly confused. Evening wind whispered in the leaves overhead and moved their hair a little, while the two demons stood there motionless. What was she getting at now?
"Tell me," and she used his demon name, creating an odd churning sensation in the pit of his gut. Her head lifted and her good eye moved so that she could look him straight in the eye, unfazed by the blazes of hell behind his iris. "Do you wear this mask of a human? Or does your human disguise wear you?"
It took Sebastian a moment to completely grasp the meaning of and scoff at her inane question, and assume his trademark stance to introduce her to his perspective of the issue.
"I am just one hell of a butler." And though he smiled charmingly, the look in his eyes promised death, or at least pain eternal.
Hannah laughed, one hand coming up to cup her cheek, as if she wanted to reign in her overflowing amusement.
"Hell? There you stand, threatening me with all the fury of hell, and yet you have forgotten the very core of being a demon. Look at that," she remarked, gesturing at his demonic aura with her chin. It was spilling out uncontrollably.
"Forgotten?" he queried with a feral grin and shook his head lightly, stepping even closer to her. "You err quite horribly."
"Do I?" Her stance changed languidly, as she brought one arm up just below her chest to use it as support for the other which cupped her face, while she tilted her head to the right and spread her fingers over her cheek. She was every part the temptress, even though she had no interest in seducing the demon in front of her. It should have been impossible, in fact, if Sebastian was still every bit the demon he claimed to be.
"Then tell me why do you not conceal your eyes?"
"Conceal my eyes?" Sebastian paused mid-step; then stopped altogether just a little distance away from her.
"Is it that you choose to show them in their true light to instil fear and awe in humans?" All playfulness faded from her face, she squared her shoulders and her gaze became steel. "Or is it that you are no longer able to change them?"
It should have been an easy enough question, but Sebastian found himself thinking back and trying to recall the reason why he hadn't masked his eyes. Was it Ciel's order? Was it because he hadn't been able to find a colour he would accept as a substitute for his natural one? Or was it to avoid unnecessary interruptions from humans who wished to pick a fight with him? Maybe - and at this point the words Hannah had said moments ago replayed themselves in his mind - he had wanted to look impressive and threatening as the Phantomhive butler. Questioning is such a human thing to do.
Sebastian scoffed at her and her pointless questions and took one more step toward her.
"Why does it matter to you?" he ground out.
She had a knowing smile on her face, as if she'd just read his thoughts and belatedly he realised that this was something demons were able to do. Spending an eternity living among one's own kin made it possible for them to read each other's mind, to a degree.
"I think the reason why you haven't changed it is simple - you cannot."
"Oh?" He quirked an eyebrow at her. Now that was an announcement he hadn't expected.
"You have become too human to fully draw upon your demonic powers," she declared with confidence and allowed her hands to fall down to her sides. She straightened and looked him right in the eye. "Your unchanging eyes is the last thread tying you to your origins."
"I must repeat myself," Sebastian spoke with a bit of annoyance, "and I do not like doing so. You err horribly."
"And I must repeat myself as well - do I?" Her eyebrows rose; though, because of her bandage, only one was visible. She pointed out then, "You can no longer control your aura. It's breaking out all over the place. And that wouldn't be happening if you were still every part a demon."
Sebastian wasn't in the right mood to explain her the obvious reason behind this momentary loss of control, not that he would have done so. He simply no longer felt it necessary to conceal his true nature when he was dealing with demons. Playtime, for him, was over.
But Hannah was far from done.
"You are no longer a demon," and she used his demon name again, watching with amusement his reaction to it each and every time. She shook her head with fake regret. "No. You have truly become Sebastian Michaelis, a butler."
Sebastian was fed up with her and moved in to finish her off once and for all, but found himself with a knife against his neck and another aimed far, far lower. To say that he was surprised would mean to say nothing. He'd been too close to her to give her enough time to dodge his attack, let alone draw a weapon. Yet there she was, holding a dagger's edge at his throat and another – at his crotch. Not that they would be able to truly harm him, but the gesture alone spoke volumes.
"You really have become too human," she breathed against the side of his face and in the next moment he had to dodge her attack.
Her eyes changed colour, reverting to their demonic default and she let her aura loose a little bit.
"You have become the housedog of a little human boy, bending to his every whim with self-imposed sense of honour and duty, weathering his every bout of ill temper with the same."
"And is that any different than what you've been doing for Alois Trancy?"
She didn't even pause at his interjection to reply, "The only difference between us is that I haven't forgotten my origin. I haven't discarded my true being to play pretend with humans. I'm here to devour souls, not dote on them and starve."
"You shouldn't have picked mine," Sebastian snarled and dropped his disguise, wanting to be done with her once and for all. He tried to advance on her again only to be blocked and counterattacked.
She was serious now and just to humour him (and most of all herself) dropped her human disguise and changed into her true form as well. Sebastian watched the grass wilt away in ripples when her aura spilled out. He could see her true features revealed now, showing him what he'd only been able to perceive vaguely through the veil of her human disguise. And just like that he also knew her true name, their minds somewhat connecting now that they were on even grounds.
He called her by it and she responded with a wicked grin.
"So you haven't forgotten this language yet," she laughed at him and changed her stance slightly. "Shall we dance then?"
"Gladly," he growled and his eyes promised murder.