A Sweet End

The night sky is a drawn curtain of dark blue velvet stretching out endlessly. Stars are sprinkled over it like fairy dust, twinkling icily. They seem very cold and distant, too far away to wish on.

But Sebastian Michaelis only ever had one wish, and that was to devour Ciel Phantomhive's soul. Now not even that will come true, and so there is no use on wasting wishes on stars that won't even hear you.

The wind is warm and tastes sugary in Sebastian's mouth, sighing and breathing around him like a living creature as it blows through his hair. Under his feet, the grass is green and springy, dotted here and there with glowing white and blue roses. Their petals drift through the sky, spiralling and dancing through the air like snow and bringing the sweet smell of roses onto the breeze.

But even that sweet scent can't mask out the sweeter one of his master, beckoning to him.

Ciel is standing near the edge of the cliff, his head tilted up as if to count the stars. From his silhouetted profile, it's almost as if nothing has changed. He's still standing straight and tall, proud, and there's that defiant set to his chin. Just the sight of that fragile boy looking so strong and determined is enough to make Sebastian's insides churn with desire, thirst for something thicker than water, a hunger that he can never satisfy. This is the young master who he has been so proud to faithfully serve for all these years. This is the Ciel Phantomhive who never wavered, omnipotent with Sebastian at his side. This is the result as his care as he watched over Ciel's soul, cultivating it to make it even sweeter for the end.

Then Ciel turns as if sensing him, and Sebastian is greeted by the unfamiliar glimmer of stars reflecting in his young master's blood-drop eyes and the reminder that Ciel Phantomhive is now just like him, a demon, his enticing soul now stolen from him before he could so much as taste it.

And this is what happened, Sebastian thinks bitterly. This is what my young master has turned into.

Ciel doesn't smile when he sees Sebastian. His face is carefully wiped of all emotion, but he seems at ease. The muscles in his jaw aren't tensed for the first time and his breathing is slow and relaxed.

"Sebastian."

"Bocchan." Sebastian's voice is flat and emotionless, but his own scarlet eyes are hard. He looks at the demon who used to be his master—who still is his master—and feels a tendril of scalding hatred crawl through him. It's different from how he normally feels, cold and cool and sardonic. This is such an intense, concentrated feeling of hatred that it sparks heat inside of him, melting the ice trickling through his veins and the hollow emptiness in his chest.

All those years of stooping low enough to act as a Phantomhive butler, unbending his pride enough to obey every order given to him by his young master, and this is his reward. He will serve Ciel for eternity, forever obliged to be a demon butler for the very one whose soul was his to consume. It's enough to make a sour taste in his mouth and a nauseous feeling in his gut.

"This place… it seems familiar," Ciel says, bringing Sebastian out from his thoughts. There is puzzlement on his face now. "Have I been here before?"

"No," Sebastian says shortly. He doesn't say anything else. He looks past Ciel to the darkness beyond the cliffs, not wanting to meet the scarlet eyes so much like his own.

Ciel moves towards him and leans against him, sighing. His eyes are closed now, hiding the red glow that marks him as what he is. Sebastian relaxes slightly, allowing Ciel to rest his head on his chest. It's agonizing feeling Ciel here, in his arms, but not be able to have him the way he's always wanted to—needed to.

Memories rise, unbidden, in Sebastian's mind as he looks down at Ciel's little head nestled in his arms, the dark grey strands gleaming like ivory. He recalls how at first he had been scornful and mocking, reluctant of his duties to this child and the hold Ciel had over him, but as weeks turned into months and months to years, he began enjoying his job and taking it more seriously. Dispatching Ciel's enemies could be an amusing task when they cowered before him with fear and awe while Sebastian eliminated them in his own unique ways (butter knives and forks were a favourite). He enjoyed the jealousy and admiration in peoples' eyes as they saw him effortlessly excel in all the arts, for it was only natural for a Phantomhive butler to be able to do everything and anything with flawless precision. He was simply one hell of a butler, as he often said to others who questioned his omnipotent abilities.

And Ciel himself proved to be worthy of Sebastian's protection many times, over and over again. No matter how Sebastian might mock him or others might underestimate him, Ciel remained resolute and kept his goal clear in his mind: his need for revenge on those who had humiliated him. When he had achieved that goal, the precious time had finally come.

Sebastian can still remember the cold anticipation that had filled him from head to foot with the thought that he would finally be able to sate his hunger for a soul so pure and untainted that he hadn't come across one like it in the many millennia he had ever lived.

Then was the shock, the horror and finally, the fury. His young master was empty, his soul stolen away by none other than the other demon Claude Faustus. His fury and desire to have Ciel was so strong that Sebastian didn't hesitate when he stole it back or when Ciel tried to kill Alois Trancy—Claude's master. In fact, Sebastian thought that when his young master finally killed Alois, Sebastian would stand and watch Alois die while laughing cold-heartedly. He was a demon, he was cruel and ruthless, and he would make his enemies pay without mercy for they had done to his master.

Claude Faustus and Alois Trancy had both died, but Sebastian had lost something from it, too. He had lost something more precious than life itself: the chance to eat Ciel's soul, or any soul ever again.

Sebastian's fingers tighten on Ciel's shoulders and the boy looks up at him, his red eyes impassive.

"Is something wrong?" he asks his butler.

"No, Bocchan," Sebastian replies. "Nothing." He gathers Ciel gently in his arms, the stillness of Ciel's chest strangely prominent after years of feeling Ciel's heartbeat against his skin. Ciel is so small and delicate, like as if Sebastian were only to squeeze him tightly, he could break him. The desire to touch Ciel's face, to brush back his hair and caress his skin, suddenly engulfs Sebastian, but he restrains himself and wonders where these feelings suddenly came from.

Ciel sighs, the soft escape of breath tickling Sebastian's cheeks.

Sebastian straightens and slowly walks towards the cliff. Petals drift around him, falling onto his shoulders and getting tangled in his hair. Ciel reaches up and brushes one away, his fingers lingering.

"Where shall we go?" Sebastian asks.

"I don't care." Ciel's arms tighten around his neck. "Somewhere… different. Somewhere where demons and humans can be equal and where nothing ever matters anymore."

The smallest of smiles tugs at Sebastian's lips. Despite having so dramatically changed, Ciel still is a mystery to Sebastian, a enigma that he can never seem to solve. He knows that being Ciel's butler will never be tedious as long as that part of his young master remains.

Sebastian holds Ciel tightly and leaps off the cliff into a blur of white and blue rose petals and blinding light. Everything is sweet in that moment: the smell of tiny Ciel in his arms; the taste of crushed rose petals; the rush of exhilaration as they plummet down. Wind rushes past them, filling their ears and mouths, but Sebastian's voice echoes over it all before the world turns black:

"Yes, my lord…"