Disclaimer:I own nothing.

Author's Note:It was very difficult not to use the word "derpy" in this fic. XD;

Warnings: SebaCiel, WillxGrell(e). Part of the "Bicentennial" universe ("Bicentennial," "Inevitable," "Five Thousand" ); takes place between "Bicentennial" and "Five Thousand." FLUFF. SO MUCH FLUFF. Arguably OOC, but honestly, I think this is just another interpretation of what could happen to these characters (and to their relationship) over time. Fail editing, because I didn't have time to re-read this monstrosity more than twice. (And because ff(dot)net does that, sometimes.) XD; Thank you, as always, to Hannah and Nene for your inspiration!

Dedication: To Maddie, for keeping me smiling. :'D (And because the fic I first started writing for you is currently collecting dust on my laptop, eh heh.)




6:23 AM

Sebastian never felt more human than when he woke up to an alarm clock.

Or so he assumed, anyway. Never having personally been human, that might not have been the fairest of assumptions to make, but he'd observed a sufficient number of rousing-related death-glares over the millennia to have garnered a basic idea as to the average human's typical mood upon waking. To start with, it was generally bad. Sometimes a trifle melancholy as their lids sprung back and their bleary eyes took in the bland whiteness of their ceiling. Oh, and annoyance at the stupid tinny melodies that served as their alarms, of course.

Sebastian never felt any of that. He wasn't drowsy or irritable, and his general outlook wasn't any more or less dreary than it had been the day before. But waking wasa bit disconcerting—at least when what stirred him wasn't the pull of Contract— and it always took him a millisecond or two to remember why, exactly, he was being made to get up at all. Peeling his gaze away from the pale expanse above him, he'd flop onto his side and scrounge for his cell phone, steeling himself for his daily game of timetable roulette. If the date listed beside the time correlated to any day between Monday and Saturday, he'd give a sigh and succumb to the bane of all creatures' existence: work. If the display read "Sunday," he'd smile, rake a hand through his hair, and roll out of bed with far more energy than he would have otherwise. Bullet or blank, labor or play, which would it be…?

Thursday, said the unfeeling phone.


Blowing out his cheeks and trying to ignore the usual tinge of disappointment, Sebastian instead took comfort in the glow of his blackberry's wallpaper— a slumbering Ciel with a furry black lump nestled between his shoulder blades. The photo never failed to make the demon grin; the once-boy might have lost his allergies with his humanity, but he still wasn't much of a cat person… so it went without saying that Sebastian's cat adored him.

Speaking of…

"Yes, yes. I hear you, Georgina," Sebastian chuckled, shooting a glance at the closed door. Against the wooden barrier, teeny paws were pounding, serenading a plaintive succession of famished mewls. Clearly, someone wanted him to get off his lazy ass and serve breakfast. With a simultaneous roll of his eyes and his body, the sweatpants-clad devil managed to disentangle himself from the sheets, stretching as he stood to face the day. Through the plastic slats of the window blinds, cheery rays of spring sunshine slipped and spilt, casting golden streaks of light across the white of the walls and carpet. In the back of his mind, he could hear his master's habitual taunt that the splash of color made his bedroom look even more antiseptic than it already did, but as always, he ignored the goad. Mainly because Ciel wasn't there right then, and there was no reason to fight with a memory. Besides, he liked the color white. It reminded him of sin.

Humming cheerfully to himself (as there was no one around to hear him do so), Sebastian pulled the appropriate slacks and shirt from his wardrobe before stepping into the bathroom, laughing quietly when Georgina stuck an ebony paw beneath the door and wriggled it back and forth, beckoning him onward. "Rrrrr~owwww!" she yowled feebly, the very picture of starvation. Such a little actress.

The demon snorted, even as an amused leer touched his lips. "You have no idea what hunger is, you pretty thing," he murmured, twisting the knobs in the shower stall. "You'll survive without breakfast for another twenty minutes."

He closed the bathroom door to the sound of an exasperated hiss.

6:50 AM

"Good morning, Mr. Sebastian!"

The sing-song salutation was almost as melodious as the kitchen radio, which was spouting out its usual morning melody of popular pop music and cheesy DJ chatter. Georgina, crouched possessively around a blue glass bowl of kibbles and bits, added a happy baseline of crunching to the whole affair; Sebastian spared her a smile and a stroke before turning his attention to the speaker, sliding into one of the elevated seats behind the island.

"Good morning, Finny," he greeted in return, his voice the usual blend of passive politeness and something-that-one-might-possibly-describe-as legitimate affection. The latter was a recent change in Sebastian character— well, recent to the blonde, anyway, who'd only re-made the once-butler's acquaintance a short time ago— and was something he still wasn't quite used to… But he liked this kinder side of his old colleague, and had no desire to question it. Where it had come from was a mystery much akin to what Sebastian (and the young master, too, for that matter) actually was, but neither were riddles that he was in a rush to solve. There were more important things in his life, now, than wondering what manner of creature he and others were.

Like breakfast, for instance.

"Are you hungry?" Finny chirped from beside the stove, pots and pans and eggs in hand. "I'm going to make omelets today!"

"No, thank you," Sebastian returned genially, though he did drop a chin into his palm and settle down to watch the process. "I don't particularly feel like eating. But you can box up and save my portion for Ronald. He'll be coming by later today to pick up a movie I told him about."

"Why don't you save it for our next Movie Night?" the blonde asked, conversational, as he set about to carefully cutting red peppers to mix in with his eggs. Despite the swiftness of his movements, there was a surety to them; he didn't break as single thing, in his hands or otherwise. The passing of nearly two and a half centuries had seen the boy learn how to control his inhuman strength, and with that hindrance out of the way, he had become surprisingly good at a number of unexpected things. Not gardening, ironically, but at other domestic tasks. Like making omelets, for example. And cleaning and organizing and generally making things look cheerful. It was for that reason (and, alright, perhaps a bit out of nostalgia, pity, and a warmish sort of feeling that he didn't care to name, thank you) that Sebastian had taken the young man off of the streets and offered him a place to stay in exchange for his help around the house. Not that Sebastian couldn't have done it all on his own, if he'd wanted… But he couldn't simply let the boy live there for free. Really, what sort of message would thatbe sending? "Maybe the rest of us would like to watch it, too."

In response, Sebastian scrunched his thin nose, shooting his companion an accusatory glare. "Much to my chagrin, it seems that certain people fail to appreciate the brilliance that is Gorge Clooney," he sniffed in rebuke, and ignored the fact that it earned him a teasing scoff. In a show of petulance, he plucked a fresh grape from the decorative bowl by his elbow and popped it into his frowning mouth. "Ronald hasn't yet seen Ocean's 10. There may still be hope of saving him from his ignorance, unlike the rest of you lot."

"Whatever you say, Mr. Sebastian…"

"Don't you patronize me."

"Wouldn't dream of it," Finny beamed, flipping his breakfast with an adroit flick of his wrist. "Either way, it has been a while since the last Bond marathon. Maybe we should have a Movie Night soon, regardless. Didn't you say that the Spears' were coming to spend the night sometime next week?"

"Yes, they are," Sebastian confirmed, "but for work." He chewed, swallowed, and— simply because he was a demon—gave in to the temptation to eat another grape. It popped pleasantly between his teeth, like a ripe and juicy organ. "So Will is certainly going to insist that we all go to bed at some reasonable hour. Like half-past five."

The blonde laughed, his expression as bright as the polka-dot print of his pajamas. "But speaking of the hour and half-past," he segued, "doesn't work start for you at 8:30? Shouldn't you be leaving, soon?"

On impulse, Sebastian checked the face of the chrome watch bound around his wrist, but the numbers he read didn't particularly faze him. He had ways of getting wherever he wanted to go whenever he wanted to be there; it didn't matter when he left. But for the sake of his still-somewhat-mortal image, he figured it wouldn't hurt to get going, anyway. There was no harm in letting his leisurely morning stroll be a bit more leisurely. "Right then. I'll be back early this afternoon. My shift at Wal-Mart got canceled."

"Oh, that reminds me." Setting his frying pan on a side burner, Finny glanced towards the kitty-encrusted memo pad that hung on the refrigerator door, sandwiched between a few photos of Georgina (being cute), Ciel (being equally so), and memoirs of group get-togethers (or what other people might call "blackmail"). "Penny from Rainbow called. She wanted to know if you could switch cashier shifts—her Tuesday for your Sunday."

A scowl. Sebastian immediately shook his head, straightening his shirt and brushing invisible motes of dust from his rear as he stood. "I don't work Sundays. You know that."

The blonde nodded sagely, unsurprised. "Yeah, I know," he sang as he jotted Sebastian's answer down on the memo pad. It went without saying that he'd later return Penny's call. "Never hurts to ask, though."

"You'd be surprised," the devil murmured cryptically, though quietly, as he gathered his things and headed for the apartment door. Finny, blithe and beaming and utterly distracted by his now-finished breakfast, gave him a cheery wave that made it perfectly apparent that he hadn't caught Sebastian's enigmatic reply. Which was just fine by him. This, though, he wanted the blonde to hear, so he raised his voice a level before slipping out into the hall: "Don't destroy anything while I'm gone."

8:17 AM

"Good morning, welcome to Wendell's Waffle House! How can I he— oh, it's you guys. To hell with it, then. What do you want?"

Within the somewhat-sticky confines of the lime-colored vinyl booth, a bespeckled man in a tight black suit readjusted his glasses and sniffed loudly, snide and critical. "Typical of vile demon scum," he droned as he did so, leveling the apron-clad Sebastian an accusatory glance. "Manners are foreign to you, aren't they? I should really take your rudeness up with your manager."

"Ah, how heartening to see that the scythe is lodged as firmly up your ass as always," the demon returned merrily, answering the glare with his patented apathetic smile. "But I'd best be careful. It isn't very wise to incur the wrath of the one who handles your food, my dear William."

William snorted, giving his head the subtlest of turns so as to regard the dusty casement. "The day you spit in my food will be your last, Michaelis," he threatened dully, but for the most part his attention had already wandered off, falling instead upon the healthy heap of jams, spreads, and butters that decorated the window ledge, waiting to be slathered atop whatever order he made. "So you just watch yourself."

"Or if that's too much trouble, Iwouldn't mind watching you."

Sebastian rolled his eyes at the husky (but relatively innocuous) innuendo, turning to regard the second shinigami. Prior to her flirtations, she had been half-lolled over the plastic tabletop, undulating in an evocative sort of way; by the time she'd actually garnered the devil's notice, she was wincing in pain, pouting as she shot a teary-eyed glance in Will's direction. "Darling!" she whimpered, reaching low to rub at her bruising shin, "Please! You know I loveit when you're rough with me, but I can't take you on top of the table. Think of the mess we'd make!"

William, for some reason startled by this reaction, flushed as red as the strawberry jam—an expression that he swiftly hid behind an elevated menu. The lovely young lady returned to smirking at Sebastian, toying at her burgundy pixie cut with manicured fingers.

"Now then. How about a proper greeting— just between us old flames, eh, Sebby-darling?" A pucker of cherry lips, a flutter of mascara-laden lashes.

Sebastian's grin, as per usual, was a permanent fixture, detached and clinical as everybody else's in a customer service job. But behind his lightly closed eyes there hid the teeniest flame of fondness for the reapers he'd known so long; they left a warmth in his torso-region rather akin to what he felt around Finny. Not that he'd ever admit to that… "If you'd be so kind as to recall," he reminded courteously, giving a customary little bow that even two hundred years hadn't seen beaten out of him, "I gave you a proper greeting when I first stopped by your table, Mrs. Spears."

"Mrs…? Oh, how many times must I insist that you call me Grelle, like during the good-old-days?" the red-head cooed, painted mouth curling back into an almost predatory leer. She placed a hand against two of her most prized possessions—her ample bosom—and played with the necklaces there, winking wantonly. "Though reminding me that I'm a married woman merely adds to the temptation doesn't it? The allure of the forbidden, succulent as an overripe apple! Ooo, it gives me chills~!"

"I believe that would be the result of your husband's death-glare," Sebastian commented dryly, flicking his gaze back towards Will. Indeed, the other's arctic eyes were glowering with all of their ethereal might, cautionary and possessive. Arguably threatening. Or just the punch line to one big joke, depending on who you asked; Grelle merely laughed, slipping a scarlet-tipped hand under the table to… actually, no, the devil didn't particularly want to know what she was planning to do with that hand. "Now, while nothing would give me more pleasure than standing around and chit-chatting all day—except, perhaps, pouring that pitcher of syrup over Will's head— I do have other customers to attend to. Have you decided on an order?"

A thoughtful hum; Grelle skimmed the back of the menu, standing like a wall before Will's face. "All that talk of apples gave me a craving for some," she then giggled, her shoulder moving as if she were gently kneading something that Sebastian couldn't see. In that moment, he was very thankful for the tabletop. "An apple cinnamon muffin for me! And my sweetheart will have his usual, I'm sure."

"One apple cinnamon muffin and one Funfetti Ice Cream Bonanza waffle set," Sebastian repeated (loudly) with a bitty smirk, and he was pleased that the suited reaper found the will-power to shoot him a flush-faced scowl. The demon decided to interpret the blush as one of embarrassment, rather than anything hand-related. "I pity your dentist."

"You have every reason to," Grelle purred with a flash of serrated teeth, but before Sebastian could turn away, she whipped out her free hand and grabbed the back of his apron. "Wait!" she tacked on as she did so, tightening her fist around clumps of coarse jade fabric. (Based on the whimper Will gave, Sebastian was willing to bet that Grelle was notone of those ambidextrous few who could pat her head and rub her belly at the same time. Ouch.) "Waitwaitwait. Before I forget to ask… any developments, hmm? Any progress since our last phone-chat? Have you asked him yet?"

She wiggled a knowing eyebrow, and this time her actions colored Sebastian'spallid complexion: a faint dusting of pink across his cheekbones and nose, warm and flustered. It was Will's turn to look superior now, but his sneers and taunts were cut off by a disjointed squeak of a moan—a verbal reaction to something the demon still couldn't see, thank Satan. With a pointed clearing of his throat, Sebastian lightly extricated Grelle's hand from the bow above his rear and shook his head. "Not yet. I've got a plan, but… it's not the right time. And I haven't made all the preparations."

The shinigami frowned, seemingly torn between fierce disappointed and uncontainable surprised. "That's not like you," she commented, sounding blatantly accusatory beneath the facade of her five-year-old whine. "What's taking you so long? It might be yearsbefore I have a daughter, and I have too many wedding ideas to keep them all bottled up for much longer! Not to mention that my boobs are at their perkiest right now; I want to show 'em off in a bride's maid outfit before I get all floppy!"

Sebastian wasn't sure if he should be amused by Grelle's antics or quietly disgusted by them; he settled for chuckling uncomfortably as Will muttered something about an alternate way his wife could show off her cleavage, if she so desired. The demon did his best not to catch what his suggestion was.

"As much as I'd love to accommodate your breasts," the devil said smoothly, silently contemplating how he'd never thought such a phrase would ever leave his lips, "asking him right now wouldn't do me any good. He's somewhat… fettered at the moment, as you may or may not remember."

"…oh. Right." The redhead's childish mope smoothed into something serious and dark, vibrant eyes narrowing behind the stylish maroon rims of her glasses. "I forgot about that bastard." She sighed grandly, scrubbing at the side of her head as she flopped more comfortably backwards. "As a reaper, I know I shouldn't say this… But as far as I'm concerned, that guy deserves to have his soul eaten." She sighed again, and when she sensed that her husband was about to spew out some sort of calculated rebuke, she twisted her hand in a meaningful sort of way; behind the menu, William shuddered as the tips of his ears glowed crimson.

Grelle's solemn expression melted into a buttery beam. "Do you have any extra napkins?" she asked sweetly, grinning all the more widely when Sebastian turned green.

1:07 PM

Sebastian left work as he always did— serenaded by the lustful goodbyes of his co-workers, who would tell him in dreamy afterthought where the kids that the restaurant had served that day had stuck him with pieces of pancake and peanut butter. There was a time when picking bits of human food out of his hair had filled the devil with unspeakable rage— he still had his pride, after all, and he was once a Big Deal down in the Circles. But that had been a different time, a different place, a different name, and as the decades had worn on, he'd found a strange sort of comfort in the day-to-day interactions between mortals. He'd Fallen, after all, because he and his brethren were more attune to humans than the other angels; the more he lived among them, the more that feeling of kinship grew. True, in the back of his mind, he could never quite quash the thought of how unfair it was that those he serviced should get to eat so plentifully while he served and starved… but those were issued worked out long ago, back when horse-drawn carriages would have still been moseying down these potholed American streets.

Without wholly realizing it, Sebastian found himself loitering beside a window display, staring at a transparent reflection that wore a silly little smile. Unsurprising, he figured, considering where his thoughts had drifted… And the toys and confections beyond the glass did nothing to quash his juvenile expression, either. Though it operated under a different name these days, the Funtom company continued to produce the highest quality children's items on the market, and it was a fact that Ciel (and, to an extent, Sebastian) took a modicum of pride. Not that they really had much to do with the company anymore, seeing what they were… But they still got a trickling of royalties, and it was easy enough to hide behind an email address when Ciel decided he didn't like where something was going. Though he didn't often have time to use it, he held influence and sway via the company's legacy laws (something Ciel himself had written into the legalities back in the day), and in a pinch, it wasn't difficult to pretend to be his own distant relative. But for the most part, the company seemed to be doing well enough on its own, and Ciel didn't particularly care for reminders of his human past. Though he'd never admit it, it tended to depress him.

Of course, that was neither here nor there. It wasn't the toys—intriguing though they were—that had truly garnered Sebastian's attention. Rather, it was the small collection of jewelry beside the mechanized dolls, glittering in the sunlight and leaving rainbow kisses on the ruffles and lace of the china beauties. Tilting his head a bit to the left, he considered one ring in particular: a modest silver band decorated with a sapphire of the deepest blue. It was dainty and tasteful and although it'd been centuries since Ciel had last worn a ring, sometimes his fingers moved as if he wanted to play with one... Sebastian bit his lower lip, cursing the heat that he could (again) feel pooling atop his cheeks as he pondered over whether or not it was even appropriate to buy his young master an engagement ring. To start, he was a servant. It was also a somewhat feminine thing to do, wasn't it, to wear such a band. And lastly—not to mention the most crippling thought of all— what if he offered, and Ciel said "no?" Ciel might think that the whole idea of marriage was a waste of time, since really, they were already dedicated to one another for eternity. It was difficult to top an unholy covenant.

But that Contract was one of obligation, Sebastian reminded himself firmly, stuffing his hands more deeply into the pockets of his leather jacket. This one would show him that I actually want… well. Anyway.

Anyway, he didn't have the money right now; anyway, Ciel was still working for their next meal; anyway, he had other things to do besides stand around and daydream. Sighing deeply, the devil turned away from the display and continued walking towards home. Well, what he considered home.

Not the apartment.

1:49 PM

"Oh my, would you look at that? In my carelessness, it seems I left the window open and a little crow has snuck in."

Atop the ivy-draped windowsill, said crow shuffled from foot to scaly foot, head cocked and beady eyes bright. In their black-pearl reflection, a devil of silver and moonstone chortled in silence, azure gaze gleaming scarlet in recognition and delight. Leaning against an old-fashioned wicker broom, the boy-creature grinned beneath a shroud of pure darkness—coils of magic and essence that cloaked him from hoary head to booted foot. That was what the bird saw, at least. The mirror across the room, however, bore the image of a prepubescent girl-child, mussed blonde curls held up by ribbons and blithe emerald eyes all scrunched in glee. Around her slight, fragile form was wrapped a single frilly apron; it just barely covered what it needed to in front, and hid absolutely nothing in the back. Sebastian couldn't help but wonder if his poor tamer was cold.

"I'm sorry, little crow," said tamer cooed, in the honey-sweet voice of a cousin long dead. "But I'm afraid my master hates all of the birds and animals that his precious Savior made. Were he to find you, he'd pluck your feathers for a pillow. He may be sleeping right now, but who knows when he'll wake? And I simply haven't the time to play with you."

The crow seemed to consider this, ruffling its ebony feathers. Then—

Is it part of your Contract to speak like a Disney princess, then?

Ciel snorted loudly, crudely— an uncouth sort of sound that was in great juxtaposition to the alabaster beauty of both faces that he wore. But when he spoke, it was in the same sugar-spun tones as before. "In this house, it is my duty to be my master's every dream and nightmare. Some days, he tires of me as I am, and I must come to him as someone else."

A moment of deliberation. …dare I ask if my face is part of your repertoire?

"My master has no interest in old men," Ciel purred in return, and his eyes glittered with wicked laughter when the bird flapped an angry wing, as if trying to bat the familiar insult away.

I'm not an old man! Sebastian groused with an avian squawk, but the complaint was clearly half-hearted; his lord's muffled giggling was the best salve he could ask for, and his pride hadn't really been all that wounded in the first place. Especially when compared to others in this place.

Another chuckle, butterfly lashes lowering in vague amusement. "Indeed," the small demon agreed, crouching beside the sill and resting his head against its watery April warmth. "And if I might take the liberty to tack o—"

But whatever it was that he'd wanted to add would remain a mystery, it seemed, for at that moment the peace was shattered by a great, clattering thud from the room directly below. There was a sonorous cry of bellowed alarm; Ciel looked torn between smugness and trepidation as a long string of crashes and bangs and insults echoed from the bowels of the house. Sebastian figured he didn't want to know what sort of prank his master had pulled, or what kind of punishment he'd be receiving as a result, but at the same time—

"Shit. I mean, crap. I mean, darn it, that happened sooner than expected," the girl-creature cursed, standing with a crackle of chiffon and a swish of her broom. Already the floor beneath them was shaking— the rhythmic tremble of somebody charging up a set of steps. From what Sebastian had observed, the ranch-styled house didn't have many stairs to speak of, so the damned priest's charging had apparently been hampered by something. Even still, Ciel appeared fairly anxious to get his butler out the window, waving his arms in a frantically dismissive gesture so that he could at least close the drapes. When Sebastian remained stubbornly seated, Ciel blew out his cheeks and swept down to place a swift kiss upon the tip of that bolshie beak.

"I'll be fine. We demons heal quickly, you know," his tamer reminded, voice firm and insistent. "It would hurt me more if the coot found you here in this form. There are only so many loopholes to orders. Go."

With an emphatic shove, the little devil heaved the crow from its comfortable perch, slamming the window shut just in time to muffle the smash of a door and a barrage of furious screams. Sebastian half-tried to pick out what was being said, but it was rather tricky; he hadn't been expecting Ciel to push him, and had consequently found himself tangled in the rosebushes outside, rather than airborne. But if nothing else, it served as good cover, and he was certain that the prick of flower thorns didn't hurt nearly as much as whatever it was his young master was enduring…

Inside, the sound of shouts and scuffles; outside, the bushes shrieked and shivered as the devil tried to escape the budded branches' snare. It likely sounded very herculean and dramatic from a distance, Sebastian mused, but there remained something fairly pathetic about the cat who eventually emerged from the shrubbery, covered in prickers and smelling faintly of maple syrup.

With a histrionic and whole-hearted hiss, Sebastian flashed the house his teeth and claws before scampering away, wincing every-other step.

2:05 PM

"Do I even want to know how this happened?"

"Probably not," Sebastian droned, flinching as Finny tugged a particularly well-wedged thorn from the center of his back. At usual, the doting blonde tried to insist upon balm and bandages, but gave up when the devil's wounds disappeared almost before he'd tended to them. "And even if you did, I am not sure I would oblige."

"Betcha I can guess what happened." There was a snort from the other side of the open fridge door, muffled by Tupperware and cans of cheap beer. "Romeo got kicked off the balcony by Juliet. Am I right?" He guffawed at his own joke, and popped the tab from a beer can with a crackand an effervescent fizzle.

"Oh, you went to see the young master?" Finny smiled, knowing. Sebastian, in turn, leveled the unseen speaker in the adjacent room a bitter glare.

"And what exactly are you still doing here, Ronald?" he called from the armchair, his tone so perfectly neutral that it could only be masking a sulk. "You've got your vide—ow—o. Go home and watch it."

"Can't. Forgot to pay the bill. They turned off my power!" the reaper sang as he leapt out of hiding, his spirits oddly high for someone without electricity in his place. The demon half-wondered if absentmindedness was the real reason, or if he'd spent the entirety of his paycheck on posh clothes again; the high-fashion brand names adoring his polo shirt, slacks, and vest would suggest so. Or maybe This Week's Girlfriend had caught him fooling around and kicked him out. All seemed likely scenarios. Which one was true, however, was anyone's guess; the only thing Sebastian knew for sure was that the shinigami was helping himself to grapes and liquor and was throwing some leftover eggs in the microwave, settling himself atop the island as if he owned the place.

"How many times must I ask you to use a chair?" Sebastian sighed, cringing again as Finny yanked a thorn from—what felt like—the center of his spine. "And couldn't you just flirt your way out of paying, like you always do?"

"No. They sent a guy this time," Ronald lamented, in a pity-me tone that earned him no points with the-demon-who-had-a-boyfriend. Finny didn't look particularly moved, either, but still offered the death god a sympathetic pat on the arm when Ronald meandered past to find a spot upon the leather couch. When he did so, the blonde also took the liberty of stealing away the plate of eggs, because he knew how Sebastian felt about people eating in his living room. For a moment, Ronald's pout deepened with a whine, his pining gaze following Finny (and the food) out of the room. Then (by the look of him) he seemed to forget about everything bad that had ever happened since the dawn of time, instead devoting his energy to flashing the devil a meaningful leer. "So how isthe Capulet princess?"

"Funny you should call him that," Sebastian murmured under his breath, remembering the day's guise. (Not that he bothered explaining the joke, choosing instead to ignore the confusion that lightly etched itself upon Ronald's face. Annoying, yes—but he wasa devil.) "Anyway, he's as fine as he can be. I suppose." Looking rather put-out, the demon yanked the last few thorns from his body on his own—a small bunch that had been throbbing at the base of his throat.

For a moment or two, the mooching reaper regarded his friend in silence, lounging back against the sofa's armrest. Then he shook his head despondently, gaze doleful behind his glasses. "Man, I know you hellspawn are all big on aesthetics and stuff, but seriously. This whole setup isn't good for either of you. How d'you two keep this up? Having to be apart and stuff for… well, in deference to my own profession, let's call it 'work.'" He surrounded the euphemism with air-quotes, and Sebastian couldn't help but crack a reluctant grin. "Can't you guys find some other way?"

The demon chuckled softly, dumping a fistful of thorns atop the coffee table. "For some of us, eating isn't as easy as raiding someone else's refrigerator," he drawled, though not without a trace of good humor. "The reason that I am no longer a threat to your kind is because I am bound to Ciel, and can form no other Contracts while I am. But the inability to form Contracts means that I am, essentially, incapable of feeding myself. Thus, if he doesn't wish for me to starve, my master must take on that burden." Sebastian sighed wearily, flicking at the unused gauze that Finny had left out. "Sometimes, depending on the Contract, I have been able to serve as an assistant. Ciel has had a number of decent masters over the years; some have let us make our own nest, some have allowed me to stay with them. Some have even given me permission to serve Ciel in their presence. Some… preferred that, to put it politely. In different ways. But not this man."

Ronald hummed in understanding, mouth half-hidden behind his laced hands. "Grelle told me that this bastard's a monster in his own right," he commented, tenor colored with a mixture of contempt and sympathy. "But then, that's what you expect from someone willing to summon a devil, right? Not that I don't feel sorry for the princess, but he's been through worse. And in the end, he'll get to have his cake and eat it, too, as they say."

As the words fell from his mouth, Ronald perked slightly. "Speaking of, cake sounds really good," he decided, giving his lashes a hopeful bat. "Have you made any, lately? Just for me, perhaps?"

"Why on earth would I have done that?"

Ronald chose to ignore the almost-palpable smattering of disgust in the retort, instead deciding to bank optimistically on Sebastian's high regard for their friendship and (far more realistically) the chance that Ciel had dropped by earlier that week, and there might be some sweet scraps as a result. Undeterred, he flashed the devil his most-convincing puppy-dog-stare, dimpled chin wavering like his teary gaze.

The demon puffed a sigh, expression falling flat. "…there's part of a chocolate torte in the freezer if you want some that badly," he intoned, yelping in pain and surprise when the shinigami's response to this declaration was a brief—but exuberant—hug around the still-tender neck. "Dammit that h— And would you stopsitting on the counters?"

4:56 PM

"Get out."

"Oh, c'mon, don't get mad," Ronald soothed, even as he tried to swallow back his snickers. He wasn't entirely successful, but a mouthful of popcorn helped to muffle his chortles, at least. "I just don't understand how you can take George Clooney seriously after Batman and Robin. He can try to be as epic as he wants in these sorts of movies—" he gestured wildly at the rolling credits— "but all I'll ever think of is the Bat Credit Card."

Sebastian scowled, but didn't do much more than that; Georgina had made herself comfortable atop his lap, and he had no desire to disturb her. Besides, he fancied the idea that stroking her fur while simultaneously glaring made him look like something of a Bond villain—a far more pleasing alternative than just looking like he was pouting. But one way or another, it was a visual that had Finny giggling (albeit surreptitiously behind his hand); Ronald didn't look too bothered by it, either. Regardless, when the reaper next checked his watch, he stood with a stretch and did as he was told.

"It isgettin' kinda late, and I have work," he announced in way of explanation, sounding a bit putout at the prospect. Some things never change, and Ronald Knox would never celebrate having to work. "I'd suggest staying away from that club on Eighth Avenue for the rest of the night. You know. If you were so inclined."

"Dunno about Mr. Sebastian, but I didn't plan on leaving the house," Finny chirped, evidently oblivious to the true meaning behind the warning. In fact, it was almost inevitable that, after watching the nightly news, Finny would excitedly inform Sebastian of whatever disaster had occurred there, ever-so-impressed that Ronald had somehow known that something was to happen. (Once in a while, Sebastian wondered just how much his roommate had truly figured out, but didn't particularly care one way or another. It was often easier to feign ignorance; even he knew that.) "Would you like me to fetch you your lawnmower, Mr. Ronald?"

"Nah, I can grab it on my way out. Thanks, blondie." With a rumple of said blonde hair, Ronald leapt over the back of the settee (Sebastian growled) and saluted both men before snatching his scythe from the coat closet and dancing out the door. "Later! Thanks for the food and the lame movie."

"It wasn't lame!" Sebastian retorted loudly, but without much enthusiasm; he scratched Georgina beneath the narrow chin and forlornly shook his head. "Lord, what fools these mortals be…"

"I dunno if Shakespeare would appreciate you quoting his works like that," Finny teased as he gathered up bits and pieces of leftover popcorn. "I mean, Ronald had a point about the Bat Credit Card."

"Don't you start with me, Finnian."

5:32 PM

"I'm telling you, Sebby-darling, the ring is an absolute must. D'you think I would have married my Willy if he hadn't slid a huge ol' hunk o' diamond onto my pretty lil' finger?"

"Yes. And for the love of all things unholy, don't call him Willy in my presence."

"Why not? That's what he is, you know. My big Willy~"


"I can't help it! I love my Willy!"

"Now you're being crude on purpose."


Sebastian—for what felt like the umpteenth time that day—rolled his eyes heavenward, wondering blandly why he hadn't yet blocked this number from his cell phone. (He chose to conveniently forget the fact that he'd been the one to call Grelle.) "In any case," he continued, glossing over whatever other inappropriate insinuations the redhead had cued up and ready for use, "as easy as it is for you to say, you're a woman. Stereotypically, persons of your gender desire tokens of that sort. Ciel is male, and while he has enjoyed wearing rings in the past, he hasn't actively sought one out since England."

"Well, yeah. But those rings were different. They tied him down to the past, didn't they? I'm not surprised he'd want to let them go. You know. The better to focus on his future with you, right?"

"I don't think that's what it symbolized, at the time."

"Symbols and tokens! What is it with you and symbols and tokens? Buy the boy a damn ring!"


"Look," Grelle interrupted, and Sebastian could almost see her lounging atop her four-poster bed, painting her nails a more vibrant shade of claret as William watched the news. (He could dimly overhear the anchor's grim report on the chaos at the nightclub on Eighth Avenue; apparently there'd been some kind of shootout.) "This is, like, meant to be a new Contract for the two of you, right? Or a re-establishing of one, or something. Yeah?"

"In a sense…"

"Well, for your first Contract, you gave him an eternal case of pink-eye. Why shouldn't you give him something shiny to celebrate this new one? You can get yourself another tattoo, while you're at it, if that's what it takes. Just buy him a rock!"

The demon chuckled, low and inaudible, at the death god's insistence that he buy his boyfriend something nice. His amusement was further fed by the reminder of his initial summoning; he couldn't help but wonder what his old-self would have said, were he to be told that someday he'd be having a friendly chat about jewelry with a shinigami. He was half-considering sharing this pondering with Grelle when there was an insistent rap on the front door; faintly startled, he placed Georgina gently on the ground and pushed himself out of his lounger, readjusting his hold on his cell phone. "You know, I am starting to think that you are simply trying to live vicariously through my master. If you want a new toy so badly, talk to your husband."

"Will says magpie-like tendencies for glittery things makes me look like a sordid crow-demon."

"This coming from the man who eats raw peanut butter from the complementary packets at restaurants," Sebastian drawled, grinning mindlessly as he unfastened the locks on the door. The knocking continued as he did so, increasingly persistent. "Don't think I haven't seen it. Yes, he certainly has a right to judge bad h—"

Whatever h-related word Will did or did not have the right to judge was anyone's guess, however, as in that moment Sebastian opened the door and suddenly had a very different set of concerns. Like breathing, for instance. In the half-second between his pathway being unblocked and seeing Sebastian standing there, the demon in the entryway had launched himself into his servant's arms, wrapping his lissome legs around the other's waist and ferociously locking their mouths. Needless to say, the phone wound up on the floor; it was only his engraved instincts for pleasure and protecting Ciel that kept Sebastian from sloppily doing the same. But at the last second, he was able to readjust his footing and topple instead towards the wall, pressing into the needy little body that rubbed and grinded and squirmed against his own.

"Sebby-darling? Sebastian? Hello? Are you there?"

With a throaty moan— the husky hum punctured by the smack of lip on lip— Sebastian pulled away enough to formulate a question, mind still fuzzy from such an unexpected (and deliciously immodest) greeting. "Ciel…?" he choked, eyes fluttering open to regard the boy-creature pinned against him. "Young master, wha— what happened?"

"…I don't think he's there, Will."

Horrified, the butler moved to touch his tamer's damaged cheeks— to run exploratory fingers down the line of bubbled pustules that marred his porcelain face, blotchy and blistered. To examine the bruises on his shoulders, the scratch-marks down his throat. But Ciel batted the hand away, shaking his head.

"How rude! To call a lady and then hang up without telling her!"

"Just kiss me," the boy-creature hissed, breathless, rolling his hips in an evocative sort of way, wanton and frantic. But when Sebastian's only response was a pointed glare, the once-child groaned in frustration and tried again—this time encouraging with words. "Look, he threw holy water at me. It's all superficial, I promise. It's just taking longer than usual to heal because it was blessed. That's all. Nowwill you kiss me?"

"Hm? What'd you say, Willy?"

The elder demon still didn't look entirely convinced; this time with permission, he gently tilted Ciel's chin this way and that, assessing the damage. Indeed, though the reconstruction of new skin cells was slow, he didseem to be healing… and he was no fool— he understood the symbiotic nature of their Contract just as well as his companion did; both were stronger when allowed to feed off of the energy of the other. (And of course, there was the pleasure aspect. No reason to ignore a good Sin.)

"Now that you mention it, it did sound like someone was at their door…"

"Well… alright. But only because you asked so nicely," Sebastian murmured, leaning in for a second—and notably less feral— greeting. But the longer Ciel groaned and purred and urged, arms and legs coiling ever-more-tightly around his butler's body, the faster Sebastian felt himself losing his grip on his self-control… The only thing he could bring himself to hold onto was the demon's petite body, losing himself in the beauties of its contours as he nipped and suckled and reclaimed marked territory, shivering as Ciel nuzzled licentiously against his chest. At some point, he remembered to close and lock the door again, but it took a while.

"Oh, I get it! Brat, are you there? Hello, B—!"

"'Spro'lly bad to kick your phone like that…" Ciel whispered, words hitching and catching (like nails against cotton) on the tail-end of an impious keen, skillful fingers loosening the top few buttons of an unnecessary shirt. "Might break it…"

"Fuck it," Sebastian muttered in return, readjusting his hold on his master so that they could kiss and walk simultaneously, figuring it might be best not to succumb to temptation against the foyer wall. But when Ciel squawked in indignation at the mere idea, retorting with an almost-drunken, no, me first…!the devil lost whatever willpower he had for movements that weren't against and-or inside of Ciel, and tumbled with his tamer over the arm of the living room couch, laughing all the while.

It was at that moment, of course, that Finny decided to peak out of his bedroom. "Hey, Mr. Sebastian! Did you hear about what happened at the club on E… uh… oh. Hello, young master." The blonde blinked slowly at the sight before him, of a distinctly disheveled Sebastian arched over an equally-tousled Ciel, neither of whom had ever officially stopped making out with the other. Though it took a moment, the former earl didremember enough of his manners to offer his once-gardener a small wave of acknowledgment.

Finny looked a bit unsure whether or not he should return it.

Not that it really mattered, anyway. "Rather busy right now, Finny," a notably winded Sebastian pointed out. Between nibbles of Ciel's ear, he spared the briefest of instants to shoot the blonde a warning glance; beneath him, an entirely shameless Ciel was already working on the buckle of his belt, sliding his thigh up and down the expanse of his servant's. What a brazen whore the master could be… "Can this wait?"

"Um… yeah, yeah, of course. Sorry." Like some sort of tropical turtle, Finny pulled his bright-red head back into the room. "Er… please continue?" he tacked on awkwardly before shutting the door once more.

Not that they needed his prompting to do so, but the intertwined demons did just that.

7:58 PM

"Don't think that I am saying this because I want you to leave, but… won't you incur your master's wrath by being here?"

Sebastian, rumpled head pillowed against Ciel's pale thigh, blinked wide, concerned eyes up at his companion, half-tangled in the sheets. At some point (neither was quite sure when) the passionate pair had migrated from the couch to the bed, making only a few pit-stops (walls and tables, mostly) along the way. Rather than leather fabric, it was now the pallor of his room's snow-white ceiling that framed the younger demon's flushed flesh and mercury locks; he almost looked angelic, so pale and pretty against such complimentary pastels. With an enigmatic smile, Ciel continued running slender fingers though Sebastian's flyaway bangs, the tips of his ebony nails tickling his butler's scalp.

"Not to worry," he assured, flippant and entirely unconcerned. And Sebastian had to admit, it was easier to believe such levity now that Ciel's face and body had healed. "When his earlier retribution didn't go as planned, I was told to 'get out of his sight.' And as he has a retreat tomorrow, I won't have to suffer his company until Saturday, at the earliest."

"Oh?" The elder demon lifted his brow, wrapping a willowy arm around the back of his charge's head. Ciel dipped compliantly foreword, nose brushing nose as his grin widened with a flash of ivory incisors. "Is that your way of asking permission to spend the night, young master?"

"No," Ciel returned with ease, a serpentine smirk crinkling the corners of his flashing eyes. "I am not asking anything. I am telling you that I will be spending the night, in this house and in this bed. And if you're lucky, I might even allow youto stay in this bed."

"Is that so?" Trying to mask his perceptible playfulness, Sebastian permitted himself no smile—only the arching of a single thin eyebrow. "Goodness me. Well, if you are going to treat my house as a hotel, then I shall act as the staff. What will you give me in exchange for the room?"

"The pleasure of boarding me isn't enough for you?"

"Surely you can think of more rewarding pleasures."

"Hm… I'm afraid that nothing leaps immediately to mind," Ciel confessed blithely, even as his elegant hands traced delicate, spiraled patterns down Sebastian's temple, cheek, chin, throat… "Perhaps you might give me an example of one such pleasure?"

Only a breath away to start with, Sebastian closed the space between them with a murmured, "yes, my lord," and spent the new few moments trying to decide which was better—seeing Ciel's smile, feeling it, or tasting it. It was not an easy choice to make, and in the end he abandoned making a decision all together, focusing instead on the thrill of tongue and teeth and soft, innocent moans, rich and velvet to the ears.

They had no need for oxygen, but still, the little one ultimately pulled back to fill his lungs; despite the shadow that he cast, Sebastian still felt bathed in light— a warmth that radiated from Ciel's half-lidded eyes, glossy with an affection that he didn't need to name. Sebastian's own gaze softened at the sight, but his head cocked to the right in question, for he could see the thoughts playing out across his master's forever-youthful face. "Is something wrong?" he asked, low voice rough with whispers, stilling Ciel's trailing hand by wrapping it in one of his own. The once-child shook his head in negation, however, despite the wistful nostalgia in his stare.

"I was merely thinking," he explained, sounding just as dreamy as the memories that seemed to flit across his vision. Sebastian said nothing, and in so doing made it clear that he wanted to hear more. Ciel obliged with a chuckle. "Do you remember when I was a newborn fledgling?" he inquired, no doubt rhetorically, as there was nothing that Sebastian did not remember. Even still, the elder devil hummed in tranquil assent. "Back then, you would have to feed me like this…" Ciel brushed his mouth across his butler's in explanation, but did not give in to the temptation to deepen the embrace. Instead, he licked dry lips and grinned. "For nearly 30 years, that was the only way you could make me eat."

"You would complain that souls were too slippery on their own," Sebastian reminisced with a smirk, expression glowing with the same rosy fondness of a parent who was recollecting on their child's early years. "Or that they were too big and difficult to swallow if I didn't first grind them up for you. You'd throw tantrums and sulk when I'd reprimand you about acting like a spoiled baby bird."

"Well, of course I did," Ciel agreed, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. (After all, as the earl of Phantomhive…) "I hated the idea that you would one day stop feeding me."

"You had grown rather accustomed to being pampered, you lazy thing," the other commented nonchalantly, though he knew that wasn't the reason why. And Ciel knew that he knew, but all the same, he shook his head and gave Sebastian a sharp little smack of chastisement.

"Idiot," the younger demon muttered, voice cold but lacking its customary bite; his eyes glistened with silent laughter, unable to be hidden beneath his usual facade of apathy. "I never wanted to stop feeding," he explained, speaking over his servant's half-hearted protest at such unjustifiably rough treatment, "because I never wanted to stop kissing you… and I didn't yet know how else to ask."

Even as the words left his mouth, Ciel clearly regretted them; his cheeks, having just lost the fires of gratification, flamed up again in a rush of embarrassment. Mouth warping into a misshapen line that one might describe as a pout, he tried to twist his face from Sebastian's—but the devil caught him by the chin, forcing him to acknowledge his crescent-moon smile.

"And however did you learn to ask?" the devil pressed lightly, in a tone comprised entirely of airy amusement and dark humor. "I don't quite recall."

Ciel's expression morphed in an instant. With a glint of razor-hone canines, he chuckled and leered; possessive hands tightened around his butler's face and shoulders as he leaned downward once more, and this time, didn't come back up.

"I ask for nothing. I just take what I want."

9:02 PM

"Now, doesn't this take you back?"

"Feels just like old times," Ciel agreed, the words frothing with giggles as Sebastian kneeled before him, carefully buttoning the dress shirt he'd lent his master. On the once-child's diminutive frame, the crisp top hung like some kind of gown; Ciel kicked his feet and wiggled his toes as the butler finished his self-appointed task, antsy on the edge of the bed. "Though nowadays I could do it myself, if need be. I can brush my teeth and wash on my own, too."

"My, what a big boy the young master is becoming," Sebastian complimented with a sardonic little sneer, bowing briefly. "And it only took two hundred and thirty eight years." Ciel's immediate response was a glower, but the wryness of Sebastian's stare and statement were negated by the obvious joke of it all. Without wasting his time or energy on a scathing retort, the silvery devil flopped back against the already-mussed bedspread, settling himself against a goose feather pillow. He did, however, add in afterthought: "Shut up or I'll make you entertain me some more."

"Oh?" Standing now, but still beside the bed, Sebastian was casually preparing himself for slumber as well: pulling off his loosened shirt and already-unlatched belt. Just as casually, Ciel watched the unconventional pre-sleep show, hands laced lightly atop his stomach. "In what way will you force me to entertain you?"

"Hmmm… I'll make you read me a bedtime story. Or something equally droll," the young demon eventually decreed, squealing a bit when Sebastian (clad once more in his sweatpants) leapt suddenly atop the mattress, sending his tiny tamer an inch or two into the air. "And you'll have to do different voices. And sound effects."

"Horrors. Well, then, I best toe the line and quiet myself," Sebastian chortled, slipping beneath the coverlet and grinning when Ciel ever-so-subtly snuggled closer.

"Damn right, you'd better."

With that verbal guillotine placed precariously over his servant's head, the victorious master settled down, curled up, closed his eyes, and fell asleep. In light of how instantaneously unconsciousness seized him, Sebastian wondered just how long it had been since Ciel had last been given opportunity to rest. For no, while devils didn't really needsleep, sometimes it felt like they did.

But while this may have been one of those times for Ciel, it wasn't for Sebastian; he turned off the lights and murmured "good night," but remained awake for many subsequent hours, perfectly content to watch Ciel's bitty chest rise and fall… rise and fall… rise and fall…

2:39 AM


Less than a whisper, slightly more than a dream; one arm and two legs wound around his tamer's, the butler cracked a lethargic eye open.


Wide awake and motionless, Ciel was staring blankly at the ceiling, looking strangely frail in the artificial glow of the streetlamps that leaked through the slats in the blinds. When he next spoke, the words were reedy and paper-thin, like even hedidn't want to be speaking them. "You don't think that he'll actually succeed, do you?" he breathed—and yes, that was a tremble that shot down his back, ice-cold with goosepimples. "That he'll find a way to kill a devil before his Time runs out?"

Demons rarely hated. To hate something, one must first go through the bother of giving a damn, one way or another; demons rarely hated, because they rarely cared. But Sebastian wasn't the same demon he'd been when he'd first Fallen— he wasn't the conspirator, the unconcerned calculator. Not anymore. It was difficult to be cold and calculating when one was so inescapably tied to a place, to a person… So yes, Sebastian hated. He hated his little lord's twisted master with a passion that was almost foreign to him; he hated the terms of the covenant that Ciel was forced to endure and acknowledge; he hated having no choice but to watch his tamer play the guinea pig, tolerating all manner of inhumanity at the hands of some sanctimonious cleric. A forty year game of life or death, all for one scrappy meal.

At times, Sebastian hated his life.

But at the same time…

With the arm he'd already wrapped around his contractor, the devil pulled the once-boy closer; he buried his face in tousled waves of gray and soothed jittery nerves with a calm hand. Rationally, they both realized that Ciel's fears were misplaced. Sans a violent encounter with a reaper's death scythe, they were immortal and virtually invincible. Regardless, rationality had never held much sway in the face of post-midnight ponderings, and even for a demon, the spell of darkness was difficult to break.

Sebastian tucked his tiny lover closer to his chest, sucking in his scent and relishing the feel of cool skin beneath rumpled cotton fabric. Twitching toes brushed over his shins, and hot breath exploded against his collar bone, its warmth caressing the crook of his neck. It was almost as tangible as the flutter of moonstone lashes against his breast, the scrabble of filed nails, the rhythmic beating of a heart that should have stopped decades ago…

"He won't," Sebastian promised, quiet voice rough with certainty. The words were muffled by silken hair, but it didn't matter. They still calmed racing nerves, soothed shallow gasps. "He won't," he promised again, tightening his hold. "I will not allow it."

Ciel's smile was feeble, but genuine.

"I know."

And because he knew, both were able to sleep.

6:23 AM

Sebastian never felt more human than when he woke up to an alarm clock.

The initial confusion, disorientating and irritating, settled in like (ironically) clockwork, as bright eyes snapped open, ready to gawk at the ceiling. But no… Instead, they fell upon the pillow, and the sheets, and the coiled form of Ciel, curled up in blankets and limbs like the coziest of cats. At first, the demon felt uncharacteristically baffled, half-convinced that he remained stuck in a dream… but soon after, the events of the night prior returned to him, and his perplexed expression melted into a contented smile. With the arm that his master hadn'tclaimed as a head-rest, he touched Ciel's slumbering face— ghosted the backs of his fingers up and down those gently rounded cheeks, brushing tufts of hoary hair behind pierced ears.

Ciel stirred a bit at the tender touch, but did not bother waking; the alarm itself seemed to have caused him a bit of stress, but Sebastian managed to quickly and effectively silence the contraption. (Whether or not it would be able to ring tomorrow, however, was anyone's guess.) It was during this awkward, one-handed battle with the side-table that the demon noticed his cell phone had magically appeared in its proper place, looking somewhat worse-for-wear but still functional. He supposed Finny had snuck in when he'd felt it safe to do so and returned it, seeing as how leaving it on the floor for Georgina to play with probably wasn't a good idea.

Speaking of…

"…do I even want to know how you got in here?"

At the sound of her master's voice, Georgina unfurled a fraction—just enough to lift her regal black head—and gave a mighty yawn, undeterred by the disapproval in Sebastian's tone. Her point made, she returned to cuddling in the small of Ciel's back, vibrating faintly in the wake of a rumbling purr. Sebastian arched an eyebrow at the cocky (albeit expected) reaction, but left it at that. It was her own funeral, if Ciel woke to find her. She knew that, at this point.

Shaking his head, Sebastian returned his attention to his blackberry, lighting the screen with a brush of his thumb. Friday, the clock read. 6:30 AM. It was getting late; he had to get ready for work.

With a muted exhale, Ciel shifted and nestled, mumbling vaguely about Ferris wheels.

…on the other hand…

A few deft pokes and prods later, Sebastian had summoned a number to the cell phone's touch screen. With unusual gusto, he pressed the "call" button and cleared his throat, already carefully selecting the right words in his mind. He was more than ready when he finally heard the click of acknowledgement on the other end of the line.

"Hello, Viola? This is Sebastian. …Yes, yes, I know I sound awful. Picked up something last night. I went to bed early, but… mmm. It's bogging me down, really. I can't even seem to get out of bed. …oh, would you mind terribly? Thank you. Yes. I promise, I won't leave my bed for the rest of the morning. Mhm... I will see you tomorrow."

He slid the phone shut just as mismatched eyes slid open; Ciel offered a faintly-reproving glare as Sebastian's smirk strained for his ears.

"I thought you didn't lie," the little one said reproachfully, even as his own mouth curved upward in parody of Sebastian's. Though awake now, he didn't bother moving; rather, he remained a languid fixture atop Sebastian's arm, perfectly content with the state of things. "That seemed a bit deceitful, wouldn't you say?"

"Young master, you offend me. I did not spout a single untruth," Sebastian retorted in mock-offence, tossing his phone to the edge of the mattress. "Everything I said was fact. I simply did not bother to correct the assumptions of my manager."

"'Everything?'" Ciel echoed in bland surprise, rolling over (and accidentally-on purpose kicking a yowling Georgina as he did so) to bat at Sebastian's dangling forelocks. "Well then, we're looking at a rather boring morning, aren't we? Since I believe you made a promise to stay in bed."

The elder devil chuckled, lush and low, as he wrapped gentle fingers around his master's playful palms, stopping the once-boy mid-flourish. "Hmm, I am not so certain of that," he then murmured, a sensual huskiness fraying the ends of his wicked wheedles. "I can think of a way to entertain you whilst confined to this space."

The once-child flashed another leer, devious and amused. "Does it involve reading aloud and making sound effects?"

"More the latter than the former."

"Hm," Ciel murmured, decidedly indifferent. "There's no helping it, I guess. I'll permit it for now," he announced regally, rolling over until he was straddled across his butler's lap. "Until I get bored."

Sebastian's grin was full of laughter, and his eyes were full of affection. "Yes, my lord," he mouthed into a kiss, and as bodies shifted and blankets bunched, as entwined limbs untangled only to be re-woven, as an irate Georgina scurried to hide beneath the bed, the demon couldn't help but feel like this was the way it was supposed to be. Like every day was Sunday, regardless of what his cell phone or the calendar said. In the tiniest corner of his mind—the only part of him that wasn't fully wrapped up and engaged in the mewls and moans and movements of Ciel— Sebastian wondered if, someday, things really could be like this. Maybe, after this master. Maybe, after he asked. Maybe…

"Hey, young master… Would you like a ring?"

Visibly taken aback, but too stepped up on hormones and adrenaline to react quite as violently as he would have otherwise, Ciel pulled a scant inch away and regarded his panting butler in confusion: from his silly smile to his sparkling gaze. Atop the devil's splayed hips, still pinning his servant and grinding absently against him, the once-boy seemed to half-consider the question… But failing to see the importance of it, merely shrugged and returned to kissing Sebastian—a far more practical use for his mouth, as far as he was concerned. Still, for the sake of politeness, he did manage to murmur: "Maybe… If there was a good reason for it."

A reasonable response, Sebastian supposed. Reasonable, but cryptic. Though it seemed that deciding what was or wasn't a "good reason" was a task that he would have to deal with later, as Ciel chose that exact moment to slip a wily hand beneath the elastic of Sebastian's sweatpants. And when he did things like that, well, thoughts of rings and reasons and dates and plans flew right out of the metaphorical window.

But Sebastian did remember the "maybe." And for now, that was good enough.

For now, everything was good enough.