The Demon of Paris
This is it! This is the last chapter! I promise! You may shoot me if I lie!
Two days had passed since Alliahnna and Sebastian disappeared to Paris. There was still no word from Zanosuke or Jasper in that allotted time, so they were deemed vacated. Not that the letter Zanosuke left wasn't evident enough.
Will, Grell, and Undertaker bid a fond farewell to everyone. They had places to go, people to see, souls to collect. Grell, of course, gave Schneizel a quick goodbye kiss on the cheek. Schneizel – nor Will – would ever let him get close enough to kiss him on the lips. The Reaper was a little disappointed…only a little. But he'll survive. His sights were on a certain demon butler currently occupied by a sapphire eyed mink. Alliahnna Phantomhive may have won the battle, but the war for Sebastian's heart was far from decided. Only in his deluded mind.
The gala went rather well. The people were pleasant, a small moment of silence was given in honor of the late Count, and relationships were born anew amidst the tragedy. Marquess Lydia gave a speech, swearing to work her very best and continue the work her uncle performed. She would not let all of his hard work perish alongside him.
Schneizel, Phoebus, and the others – not wanting to have their trip to Toulouse to be in vein – enjoyed their time in the beautiful city, taking in the sites, and ridding their thoughts of worry for Alliahnna and Sebastian. Yet…despite all of their efforts…everyone - maybe not Lao or Viscount Druitt – found themselves worrying for Alliahnna and Sebastian. Mr. Tanaka especially.
Phoebus found Elizabeth crying in a bistro, her hands hugging a locket draped around her neck. A picture of her, Ciel, and Alliahnna rested inside. Phoebus sat beside her and hugged her close, trying to comfort her. Her tears fell into his lap, drawing Phoebus's own tears to his eyes. Schneizel, Soma, and Agni hid away in Soma's hotel room. They attempted to drown their sorrows in the strongest scotch they could find. To no avail. Mey-Rin, Finnian, and Bardroy kept themselves busy by journeying into every shop they could find. But the sight of a pair of lovers made their thoughts wander. Maes sat in his hotel room, the small earns of Carmichael and Taylor's ashes resting next to him. Paula, Hana, and Esmeralda packed away the sapphire blue dress Alliahnna would have worn for Sebastian. They would keep the dress safe until the day they saw Alliahnna again. Then she will be able to wear it for Sebastian.
Tuesday afternoon rolled around. Schneizel and his friends returned to Paris relaxed and refreshed, ready to continue with their lives. But when they reentered the Parisian streets, their faces went pale with horror. Shops, homes, buildings in random locations were reduced to piles of ash. Structures beside them were either charred to instability or half of the build was gone.
To say confusion and fear clouded their minds would be considered an understatement. Maes, Schneizel, and Phoebus were baffled to the point of their minds evaporating. They were gone for nearly…a week? Five days at best. How could so much damage be caused in that short amount of time? More importantly…was Alliahnna alright? Knowing her the way everyone did, she immersed herself into the chaos and tried to help.
Lisa Robbes, Captain of the local Law Enforcement, found Schneizel just as he and his crew exited from the train station. Phoebus and Maes asked everyone to return to the mansion. They would be along shortly. Lisa informed Schneizel, Phoebus, and Maes of what took place during their absence. Apparently several buildings – and people – were the victims of bombing incidents. Several fires broke out. The police weren't sure how the buildings caught fire. All they knew was that they needed all hospitals to be open and roads to be cleared for several hours since Sunday. Even Schneizel's personal guard leant aid in Paris's time of need.
The public frantically asked questions of what was happening and what the police were doing to help. For their sanity the police spread a rumor that the fires and explosions were the work of an arsonist. The lie seemed to pacify some. Others questioned the authenticity, but steadily came to accept it as A TRUTH. Truth be told, even the police wanted to know how something like this could happen.
Phoebus came forward and asked if she had seen Alliahnna or Sebastian. Lisa shook her head apologetically. She wasn't even aware Alliahnna had returned to Paris.
Schneizel knew there was no time to lose. He wished to have a damage report sent to his residence immediately. Phoebus and Maes were to be briefed on statements – Witness, victim, suspect – and report back. Lisa agreed to the terms, but asked that the three wait. There was something they needed to see. What they saw…only struck their hearts with grief.
The Notre dame Cathedral – the very symbol of Paris, second to the Eifel Tower – was burned completely to the ground. Pillars and statues which still stood amongst the ashes were charred to coal. Only the bell towers remained, standing tall amid the destruction. Phoebus and Maes were unable to resist searching the rubble. The cathedral was nearing completion. To see it completely destroyed…distressing.
Two officers arrived in a carriage. In their hands were special cases found weapons were put into the preserve evidence. Lisa showed Schneizel and the two officers photos of the crime scene when the fire was quelled. Due to the reconstruction, most of the building was unstable. It was no mystery as to how the fire crumbled the entire building.
Then photos of the two bodies found came to the top of the pile. One was an unidentified woman with a dagger in her chest and one in her forehead, the other was a male who was impaled through the chest by a statue sword and stabbed through the head by two swords. The two officers opened the cases, revealing the recovered weapons seen in the pictures. The three men gaped in dismay. Their hearts sank to the pit of their stomachs. They recognized the one sword. It was the sword Alliahnna and Sebastian customized themselves.
Schneizel placed a hand to his forehead, his head going light. Phoebus and Maes leaned on one another, losing their balance. Those bodies couldn't possibly belong to Alliahnna and Sebastian. They just couldn't. As they slipped into their despair, Maes saw something…interesting. Something that didn't belong. A white feather.
Maes bent down to the ash pile. Carefully he sifted through the rubble. His eyes widened in success. He found another white feather. He asked if the white feathers were found on the bodies. Lisa said they were. One of the bodies had a few coming from his back. The woman had them near her waist.
Phoebus and Schneizel saw where Maes was going with his line of questioning. Unbeknownst to others, Alliahnna and Sebastian were battling angels. Only they would have white feathers. The bodies didn't belong to Alliahnna or Sebastian. They weren't there. Alliahnna and Sebastian…THEY WEREN'T DEAD! Could they have been in at the mansion? Their hopes were dashed.
Upon returning to his home, Soma and Elizabeth ran to Schneizel, Phoebus, and Maes. Frantically they told the three that Alliahnna wasn't there. Neither was Sebastian. No one has seen them in days. Schneizel and the other two were puzzled. No bodies at the cathedral, no signs of them in town – Alliahnna and Sebastian were clearly the victors. Where…
Schneizel remembered the letter. The terms of their contract, the one which gave Alliahnna her abilities, demanded Alliahnna give reparations for Sebastian's services once her revenge was attained. The ones at the cathedral were responsible for the murders of Alliahnna's parents and brother. If they were now dead, their contract was complete. She offered up her humanity. Schneizel wasn't sure exactly what that meant. But he knew they weren't going to see Alliahnna for some time…maybe not at all.
Where they could be now was anyone's guess. All Schneizel knew was he would wait for that month to pass. Only then would he make a judgment call.
Three and a half weeks later
Knock-knock. "Enter." Mr. Tanaka opened the door to the Count's office, bowing his head as he entered. Schneizel was sitting at his desk with mountains of paper work. Phoebus and Maes were scrambling about, trying to sort and file his work accordingly. They were now beginning to understand why Alliahnna was so impatient with him.
"Welcome, Mr. Tanaka." Schneizel greeted him. "Is all well?"
"Yes sir." Mr. Tanaka laughed dryly with a bow. "Commander. Lieutenant," Mr. Tanaka beamed, "Good to see you." Phoebus and Maes were promoted two weeks ago. Many of the men were distressed by Alliahnna disappearance. But for her they would proceed as if nothing changed. "I just came to deliver something." He displayed a blank envelope to the Count. "A courier delivered five minutes ago." Only the forwarding address was given. It was addressed to Count Schneizel. There was no indication of the sender.
"What do you have there, Mr. Tanaka?" Phoebus asked. Maes peered from the case file with intrigue.
"I have a letter addressed to Count Schneizel. It does not say who it is from though."
"Oh?" Schneizel held a hand out. Mr. Tanaka handed it to him. Schneizel cut the envelope open with a knife. He removed the letter inside. There was a short message written. "All is well." He read. "Sincerely Saint and Servant." Phoebus and Maes froze. Mr. Tanaka gaped elatedly. Schneizel chuckled under his breath, letting the paper fall to his desk. "I knew they would be fine."
"Are they coming back?" Maes asked excitedly.
"Most likely not." Schneizel answered simply. He interlaced his fingers, placing his chin to them. "Their time with us has reached its conclusion." Phoebus and Maes released somber sighs, dropping their heads. "Elizabeth, Druitt, and Paula returned to England, Lao and Ran-Mao vanished without a trace, Prince Soma and Agni are back in India. Everyone's leaving to lead their own lives."
"In that case…" Mr. Tanaka reached into his coat pocket, "I think it is time Mey-Rin, Bardroy, Finnian, and I did the same." He placed the key to Schneizel's home to his desk. Schneizel and the other two watched the key touch the desk. The copper touched the desk like a judge's gavel, finalizing his…resignation. Mr. Tanaka bowed at the hip, "Thank you for everything, My Lord. You two as well." He smiled to Phoebus and Maes. "I hope we meet in the near future."
"Thank you, Mr. Tanaka." Schneizel rose from his chair. "You four are welcome back any time." The two men shook hands. A warm jolt surged through their hands. "Before you go…" Schneizel reached under his desk, "Take this, won't you." It was the case containing Alliahnna's sword. "I have a feeling she'll come back for it someday."
"I will." Mr. Tanaka graciously took the case, hugging it close to his chest. "It has been an honor."
"The honor is all ours."
It was the dead of night. The moon shined brightly in the night sky. Its peaceful glow reflected from the night basked ocean. The stars twinkled beautifully in the moon's light, alighting the lapping waves.
"Ugh…" Alliahnna's eyes twitched. Her brow knit. The sapphire orbs fluttered open, basking in the light of the moon and stars. She could hear the waves lapping against the wooden gondola, bobbing it side to side rhythmically. A wave of relaxation flushed over her stiff body. A cool mist sprinkled to her skin. A breeze wafted through her hair. Her mind was carried into the depths of the ocean she rested upon. Within those depths she could hear the voices of those whom she regarded with the highest esteem.
Elizabeth's cheerful giggle. Soma and Agni's heartfelt weeps. Schneizel and Phoebus teasing her for her short stature. Mey-Rin, Finnian, and Bardroy cheering her up when she felt down. Mr. Tanaka reminiscing with her about her family. Jasper and Zanosuke approving of hers and Sebastian's union. So many happy memories. How crestfallen she felt she was only able to recall these moments as she lied in the middle of the ocean…drifting to…who knows where.
Alliahnna groaned grumpily in exhaustion, leaning up with one hand and massaging her head with the other. She shook her head. The hazy buzzing came to a halt. There was a ringing in her ears. She was able to ignore it. It was irrelevant at the moment. She was dressed in a new change of clothing. A blue dress coat with black trim. A black vest and white under shirt poking from behind the half buttoned coat. Long black stockings and dress shoes. The scar from her battle with Ash…they were gone. There were no bruises…not cuts or scraps…her muscles no longer hurt. It was over. Ash…he was dead. Her contract with Sebastian was complete. Now there was nothing left…but to wait.
A thick, ominous fog rolled in from the ocean's darkened horizon. The ocean was swallowed up. The fog consumed the sky, blotting out the moon and stars. She looked to the fog, growing nervous as the world around them disappeared beyond the fog.
"I am pleased to see you are awake." Alliahnna turned around. Sebastian, smiling warmly to the drowsy Alliahnna, guided the gondola through the water, taking them into the fog. "Good Evening, My Lady…"He tilted his head, hoping Alliahnna would reciprocate his greeting.
A small smile appeared on Alliahnna's cheeks. "Good Evening." She mumbled. She returned her attention to the fog, She suddenly felt…disconnected…isolated from the rest of the world. As if the fog consumed them, taking them away from the world she knew. "Where is this?" She asked emotionlessly. "Where are we?"
"Do you wish to know?" Sebastian retorted quizzically.
A small glint of fear sparked in her eye. For a moment Alliahnna believed herself dead. The plane she was in was limbo…the River Styx. And Sebastian was guiding her to her eternal rest. But when she thought about it, she realized she couldn't have been dead. She could feel the wind, the mist. She could smell the salty air. The dead are not permitted to such luxuries. Yet, despite rationalizing her current state…
"No." She answered him blankly. "I'd rather not." Sebastian bowed his head, respecting her wish. Alliahnna touched a hand to her chest. The Faustian Seal was ebbing, pounding like a heartbeat. "I feel as if I have been asleep forever." She uttered quietly. "The world around continued to turn its pages. The people within the script carrying on with their lives…whilst I linger in this realm…not aging…not living." Beneath the gondola, there were a series of images. Film records playing rapidly, displaying sequences of Alliahnna and her friends beneath the waves. "What are these?"
"They are your cinematic records." Sebastian answered tenderly. "Apparently they came to meet you."
"I see…" She moaned. "This is…" She glanced to the other side, "My entire life." A scene of her and Ciel running to hug their parents when they returned home caught her eye. "This is the legacy I'm leaving behind."
"You speak as if you are dying, My Lady."
"I might as well be." She touched a hand over one eye. "I lost compete control. My inner demon erupted from within me. I was consumed with rage. Like a rabid dog off of its leash." She tilted her head down, hiding her shame. "I'm…no longer human…am I?" She asked cautiously, fearful of the answer.
"Not yet." Alliahnna whisked around, gaping in disbelief. "You awakened the true power within you. The underlying demon clawing at the bars you trapped it behind. When you gazed upon Ash, seeing his darkest fear, a momentary reset was activated." He pointed to the water. "The proof is in your eyes." Alliahnna leaned over the side. In the reflection of the water, she saw the glistening sapphire reflect back at her. She still was human. But only for a short while.
A derisive chuckled breathe from her throat. "It's ironic." She remarked in disgust. "That it would be I who was Ash's greatest nightmare. That it would be his nightmare…your death…that would grant me a little extra time."
"The universe works in mysterious ways."
"That it does." Her thoughts lingered as she immersed herself in the memories. Hard to believe – at a time like this – that she used to be so happy. "Elizabeth…Schneizel…Phoebus – no matter how difficult I was, they stood by me. Just as you did. They made me laugh. They calmed me when I was mad. They even shed tears that I believed dried up long ago." She touched a hand to her cheek, "I could use their help at this point. I feel as if…I can no longer smile. As if all of my emotions – my tears and worries – have vanished."
"You need not worry. It is completely natural." He assured his master. "Ash and Angela are no more. Your friends and family are safe. And your tears dried upon your cheek when your resolve dictated they would no longer serve a purpose." Alliahnna scoffed scornfully. Was it at herself? Or was it at Sebastian's cruel prank? She did not know. Nor did she care.
Glittering lights floated along through the mist. They bore a similarity to fireflies, dancing through the night. "What are these?" She held a hand out. "These lights?" One of the lights touched her palm. "It's warm."
"They are the thoughts of the many people who have passed through your life. The warmth is the regard they held you with."
"All of these?" She marveled in awe. "So many?"
"You are surprised? In the last five years you have turned many lives around. Saved numerous souls without no regard to your own life. Brought smiles to those who lived in sadness. In my opinion, there should be more."
"No need." Alliahnna hugged her hand to her heart. The warmth of the light touched her, filling her with joy and sorrow. "These will do just fine." Had she retained anymore tears, Alliahnna was sure they would have glided down her cheek. But the time for tears was over. "With these I can be happy. For it is in these memories that I know…" She cast a hand to the sky. The crescent moon pierced through the fog. Her hand reached out to grab the moon, "I am Alliahnna Phantomhive. I am…The Demon of Paris."
Within the thick bank of the fog, a large shadow took a form. As the gondola drew closer, the shadow grew larger; the smooth form became jagged and contorted.
Sebastian sauntered from the helm. He knelt behind Alliahnna. His arms wrapped around her slender body, bringing her to chest in a warm and loving embrace. Her rest his chin upon her head, closing his eyes as he savored her warmth. "I am pleased to hear you say so, My Lady." He whispered. "My only wish is that I could have done more. To have been a truly superb butler." Alliahnna leaned into the embrace, letting him continue. "In keeping secrets from you…defying your order to awaken…I have failed as you as your butler."
"No." She touched a hand to his arms. "You haven't." She snuggled her head under his chin. "If anything…if I could turn back the hands of time…pick who my butler should be," She moved her head up, capturing his gaze within hers, "I would chose you…and relive these last five years all over again."
"Alliahnna…" Sebastian placed a hand to her cheek, leaning in.
"Sebastian…" Alliahnna leaned in. Their lips met in a passionate kiss. A kiss which lasted until the gondola ran aground, halting on the sandy beach of the eerie island.
Sebastian lifted Alliahnna from the little boat, carrying her like she was his newly wed bride. Alliahnna watched and listened as Sebastian carried her across the sand. They wandered into the forest, journeying past the trees, up the hills, and around the rock formations. No sounds other than Sebastian's footsteps were heard in the forest.
Nestled deep in the center of the wood, there were ruins of a structure. What it could have been was Alliahnna's guess. Either way it wouldn't have mattered. At least not right now.
"We're here, Master." Sebastian announced, entering into a garden. Alliahnna studied the small area. It was quaint to say the least. But there was an overwhelming dread emanating from the stone. "Look over there." Sebastian turned.
Alliahnna's attention fell to a small stone bench. A body lied upon it. Her eyes widened. She climbed down from Sebastian and ran over to the body. The hair had grown, taller in stature, the body was slightly mediated, the skin a little paler than usual. But the flower shaped ring…resting on the thumb. There was no doubt. Alliahnna dropped to her knees. There was no doubt in her mind who she looked upon.
"Ciel…" She wheezed his name. She brushed his hair from his face. He had grown so much. Were he able to stand, Alliahnna was sure he might actually be taller than her. "Is he…?"
"He lives." Sebastian answered, standing behind her. "In a state of stasis I put him under, but he lives."
"Sleeping this whole time?" She shook her head with a smile. "To think you were this close all this time." She removed the eye patch over his eye. Opening the eye, his Faustian Seal had faded considerably. Alliahnna unbutton her shirt. Her seal was in full color. She surmised, with Ciel being her this whole time, the seal must have faded. Sebastian was under her service. "I did it Ciel." She told him, hoping he could hear her. "Our parents…you…can now rest in peace." She gave him a light peck on the cheek. His cheeks were so warm.
"My Lady." Sebastian beckoned. "I'm afraid your time has come."
Alliahnna's finger curled in a twitch. They slid from Ciel. Steadily she rose to her feet, staggering away from him. "Will it hurt?"
"I am afraid so. The pain will be excruciating. Worse than anything you've ever felt in your life."
"Good. It will be the punishment I deserve for allowing others to perish in my place." She glanced to Ciel one more time. "At least…I will give him a brief moment of life…to atone for my sins."
Sebastian gaped in disbelief. But smiled all the same. "Noble to the end, My Lady." He removed his glove from his Faustian hand. He curled his fingers slightly. His crimson eyes ignited into pink. "Alliahnna Phantomhive," Sebastian called, "I, Sebastian Michaelis, do hereby invoke the reciprocal terms of our contract." A purple glow sewed through the seal. The power of Alliahnna' seal welled within her, glowing in resonance to Sebastian's. A heavy pressure stole her breath away. Once more, for the last time, she was sent into a trance. "By my word, the order in which you adhere, I do decree our contract completed."
"Yes…My Lord." Alliahnna responded languorously.
"Now, as per our agreement, speak your compensation."
"My humanity. My life is yours."
"As you will." The glow quickly faded from their seals. Alliahnna fell to the ground unconscious, falling beside the bench. Sebastian turned her onto her back. He climbed onto her, placing his knees on either side of her waist. With care and consideration for her modesty, he unbuttoned her shirt, exposing her stomach and chest to the moonlit sky.
From his coat, Sebastian drew yet another demon dagger he borrowed from his father. He hovered his Faustian hand over Alliahnna's seal. Both mark ignited into a pale purple glow. He placed the hand over the seal, pressing as firmly as he could. He held the dagger tip to the center of his seal. The dagger's blade and hilt resonated in the glow. A raven and bat flew overhead. A lone spider crawled onto the raven's headA malicious smirk slithered from one ear to the other on Sebastian's face. His glowing eyes beamed with hunger. "And now…" He raised the dagger, "My Lady…" The dagger came down, piercing the hand and chest.
Alliahnna's eyes flared open. The pupils narrowed into the tiniest slits. The blue was consumed by a sparkling pink glow. "AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!"
Thank you all for your reviews and support!
I'm sorry if the ending wasn't all that, but I have ran scenario after scenario and couldn't come up with anything else!
Yes, I will be making a sequel. It will surround around Black Butler Season 2. But I will not be writing it anytime soon. But I will post a chapter letting you know when it's up.
Someone asked what I will be working on next. My Transformers fic.
Thank you again! I hope you enjoyed The Demon of Paris.