Disclaimer: I own nothing. I think that's kind of a given.

This happened after reading the poem "I Speak Not" by Lord Byron a couple times. I don't know why.


Too brief for our passion, too long for our peace,

Were those hours - can their joy or their bitterness cease?

We repent, we abjure, we will break from our chain, -

We will part, we will fly to - unite it again!

~Byron

Sebastian couldn't help but find some sort of sick pleasure in knowing William had, in his delirium, dragged his battered body to him, seeking out a demon as his possible dying refuge. To Sebastian, this meant he had won. He had made the other need him. He had roped William in and consumed him to such a degree that the man obviously felt if he were to die, it should be in the presence of the devilish butler. Yet the smirk which had been stretching itself across his face faded away as his carmine gaze flickered over his reaper. His reaper?

Perhaps William had won, in actuality. Because here sat Sebastian after all, holding vigil over the prone form, silently willing him to wake up. He could not squelch the torrent of emotions rampaging through him like a tornado, leaving him raw and confused despite his appearance showing no indication of anything but indifference. In his game of deliberately toying with William's head and making the grim reaper an addict to their loathsome, lust filled encounters... Sebastian had never once considered that he might end up equally addicted. That he could end up so possessive and almost downright needy had never crossed his mind and finding himself in that position was both humbling and disturbing.

He refused to name the emotions, but knew one was akin to fear. Of what, though? Losing William? Surely not. Grim reapers were a dime a dozen, it wasn't like he couldn't just get another one. Deep down, he knew that wasn't true, though. William was unique. The man was like fire in his veins, invoking passion, hatred and appetence. William raised his inner predator to the surface, making him feel more like the carnal beast he was, especially when their fornicating took on the frenzied element of burning need and bloodlust. Besides, the reaper in question wasn't dying... just a bit mangled. In William's unconscious state, he had self-healed significantly but had failed to awaken and that was what had Sebastian perched at his bedside, watching him like a hawk. He wasn't worried, but it would be bothersome if his toy were to expire without his permission.

Sebastian had always refused to refer to William as his lover. That term felt like some sort of confession or admittance to a weakness. The word was too tender, too human sounding. Now, as he watched over the other man as he lay asleep and wounded on a soft bed in the butler's quarters, he couldn't help but begin to reconsider that notion. He could not deny a feeling of disconcertion when he had lain eyes on William earlier that evening; the Grim Reaper had been sitting on his knees, his scythe dug into the ground of the walkway as he held himself up in his sitting position with it as though it were his lifeline He had been drenched in his own blood that dripped and pooled around him like a fine wine spilled from it's glass. Sebastian couldn't help the uncharacteristic consternation at the sight and his feet carried him rapidly to the fallen man. William had clutched the demon's coat with a pained groan as Sebastian had hefted him up over his shoulder and hauled him in, his young master luckily not present to witness the nauseating display.

Reapers and demons were natural enemies like hyenas and lions fighting over the same carcass, so the two fought each other chronically. William and Sebastian had waged psychological war against one another; the bed (or any given alley way) was their battle ground. Blood was shed often in their fights of sexual dominance. Bruises and teeth marks left on flawless skin as battle scars that faded all too rapidly. Outside of those meetings exist taunts, mockery, faces rubbed in what was frowned upon and deemed wrong. Usually, William's temper was ignited before Sebastian's, though the reaper did have occasional success.

Ever since William had piqued his interest during their time at that damned circus, Sebastian hadn't slept with anyone but him. It wasn't out of loyalty, just that no one else seemed interesting enough. Demon, reaper, human... animal, vegetable mineral; everyone else was boring. It was similar to his change of eating habits; why taste cheap souls in abundance when he could cultivate one single soul to be a truly delicious meal? In that same vein, why bed various others when they would fail to completely satisfy his appetite? Why, when he could have his fun with someone of higher quality like William: test him, infuriate him, contaminate him and claim him?

Perhaps, if Sebastian was being honest with himself, he did love William in his own way, as much as a demon could feel such a thing. If love meant you wanted only to bruise that one person, had your thoughts invaded by them without your consent and were content with your debauched interactions with them, then he supposed he did love the reaper. As a demon, Sebastian would never admit that out loud and the knowledge of his epiphany troubled him.

Having been resting his chin in his hand as he had drifted in his musings, Sebastian turned his attention to the bed when he heard rustling and a small groan. He stared at William's pale face until finally, those electric green eyes opened and met his gaze, albeit tiredly.

"Where…" William cleared his dry throat after his voice came out in a harsh rasp and accepting the cool glass of water suddenly handed to him, gulped it down ravenously as though he had been stranded in a desert for months.

"No one is going to take it away from you, Mr. Spears." The demon butler chuckled.

William simply continued as he had initially started. "Where am I?"

It was understandable he didn't recognize his surroundings, they had never brought their nocturnal activities to the manor. Sebastian hadn't allowed it, for obvious reasons.

"In bed, of course." He replied blandly, taking William's spectacles from his breast pocket and placing them on his stern face.

"Honestly..." William huffed over the lack of an answer. Silence befell the room again. Sebastian wanted to ask what had happened to the reaper that had left him in such a state, but supposed it didn't matter now. It wouldn't do to act like a mother hen, he'd never give William such a blatant upper hand. Honestly, indeed.

"You have my thanks, demon. For…ah…" William adjusted his glasses awkwardly. "For tending to me. You didn't have to." William pulled himself up to a sitting position and fiddled with the quilt that rested on him in an attempt to busy himself and not have to look into those glowing carmine eyes anymore. He knew the score. Thanking the demon was the same as adding to his tally of points, but his professional nature dictated that appreciation be voiced for not leaving him to bleed in the dirt because the demon very well could have.

"Unfortunately, I did have to." Sebastian stated blandly as he dashed William's attempts at sitting when he retrieved another pillow, hovering over William to place it behind him for extra cushioning, ever the perfect butler.

William twitched an eyebrow. Had to? "Why did you have to?" he blinked, adjusting his glasses irritably. "The boy says jump and you say 'how high', is that it? Such a loyal pet you are. Disgusting." What the Phantomhive boy would gain from ordering Sebastian to assist a reaper he wasn't sure, but he felt strangely aggravated at the notion that Sebastian might have been simply ordered to tend to him.

Sebastian had ceased his adjustment of the pillows at the annoyance in the Grim Reaper's tone. His red gaze flicked downwards to take in William's frown as the man still avoided looking him in the eye. The demon was acting purely on impulse when he cupped the side of the other man's face in his hand and forced it to face him. They regarded each other a moment before Sebastian leaned down to press his lips to William's. It was soft, lacking the fury and frenzy their kisses typically had, replaced with the emotions that had been spooling in Sebastian's gut as he had mused over his association with this death god. Emotions that were foreign, unintentional and aggravating though maybe not as unwelcome as he wished they were.

William stiffened. They didn't share moments like this. Sometimes there would be a fleeting peck in the wake of their nocturnal activities, but they were lazy and brief. He found himself willingly accepting this tender liplock, bringing a hand up to fist Sebastian's shirt, pulling him closer as the kiss deepened. Sebastian broke away briefly to trail his mouth the other's jaw and throat before returning to his swollen lips, his gloveless hands tangling themselves through William's glossy hair. Did they even need to define these feelings that sparked to life like electricity? Actions speak louder than words, after all.

They broke away, their heavy breath mingling like humid summer air as lips hovered, almost touching. A slick, pink tongue left Sebastian's mouth and dipped itself into the panting cavern of his partner's in a swift stroke. The demon's lips retracted entirely before they were pressed to William's forehead in a gesture of affection completely new and bizarre to them both. And when crimson eyes met central-heterochromatic green, the awkwardness was gone. Sebastian didn't want to explain this, and didn't need to understand it.

What word could accurately describe the feeling that you hated someone so much you loved them? That you wanted to make them bleed and then heal them... break them and then soothe them... dominate them today, submit to them tomorrow. He had been alive a long time and even so, didn't know what words would coincide with those feelings.

Sebastian's lips quirked upwards at the corners in a small and slightly devious smile before removing William's glasses and surging forward to press his mouth to the other's once more. The reaper accepted him greedily, pressing himself closer, clinging, devouring and being devoured. Mouths parted and rejoined as if by force of a magnetic pull, still lacking their usual antagonistic fire and replaced with a different kind of heat. Perhaps some day, they would discuss their symbiotic relationship. For now, Sebastian would explore the map of William from a new perspective. He would banish the need for definitions in favor of physical indulgence with a new motivation. He would be content in his discontent until he could decide who was truly victorious in their amorous warfare. William might have won the battle, but he had not won the war.


A/N:

Shoot me. Okay, so this is only my second fanfiction ever in the history of the world. Both of these characters are hard for me to write but I hope it wasn't painfully OOC. I do admit that I think perhaps it ended up a bit too... mushy? Oops. Be gentle with me :'D