"Young master, you have been sleeping for far too long," Sebastian's cool voice drifted through the master bedroom of the Phantomhive manor. He glided over to a lump within the sheets of the bed, then reached out a hand to delicately place where he believed the 12-year-old's shoulder would be.

"I'm not asleep. I haven't been all night," came the stern, cold response. Sebastian's crimson eyes widened in the slightest with surprise, but he quickly regained his composure when Ciel lifted his head to look at him. His mismatched gaze was narrowed slightly, and dark circles hung below the bright orbs. Despite feeling a sudden jolt of concern, Sebastian's face remained calm and expressionless.

"My Lord?"

Ciel's eyes flashed up to the tall butler and he sharply said, "What are you standing there for, Sebastian? Where are my clothes?" His eyebrows furrowed and he tugged at the sleeve of his nightshirt, starting to moodily take it off himself if his butler wasn't going to do it for him.

Sebastian's lips parted slightly, but he dipped his head obligingly and began to help his young master out of his shirt. Unlike usual, Ciel was also taking part, yet it was making things worse rather than actually helping. His hands were quivering as he tried to wrap the tips of his fingers around a few buttons, and when he failed to unbutton any, a look of grand frustration crossed his face. He eventually threw his arms back furiously and grit his teeth.

All the while, Sebastian was keeping a calm demeanor, but the feelings inside were completely different. Utmost worry was coiling through his veins, bringing him to cautiously raise his gaze to Ciel's face. Sebastian didn't know what was causing his young master so much exasperation, but whatever it was, he had not seen Ciel in so much emotional pain before. It was troubling to think that the butler could do nothing about it. He was failing as a Phantomhive butler if his master was this displeased.

"Allow me, my Lord," Sebastian murmured smoothly as he finished unbuttoning the 12-year-old's nightshirt. He gently tugged the sleeves down Ciel's arms and completely removed the piece of clothing before straightening up, again. "Since you won't be having any visitors today, I'm assuming you'd like more casual clo-"

"I don't care. Whatever. Just give me something to put on," Ciel hissed and tucked his knees to his chest.

Sebastian's eyebrows furrowed slightly, and he didn't try to hide it this time. He stooped down into a low bow and proceeded to a large closet within Ciel's room. All the while, Ciel was staring angrily at the tall demon's back after noticing the look the butler had given him.

"I expect you to do as I say and not question it," the young boy growled. "Attitude isn't included with the contract."

"Yes, my Lord."

The demon sighed under his breath and pulled a simple green suit from the depths of the closet, grabbing a white undershirt along with it. He spun back around on his heel before making his way back to the scowling face of his master. Deep within him, Sebastian sincerely wanted to ask what was wrong, but didn't want to displease Ciel even more. He was meant to do whatever Ciel Phantomhive asked of him- nothing more, nothing less. Perhaps it was none of his business.

"I have some fresh scones made for you, young master. While you dress, would you like me to go and fetch them?"

Ciel's eyes flickered toward the outfit Sebastian had placed on the bed, then his attention returned to the emotionless face of the butler. "No," he murmured irritably. "I don't want scones. I'm not hungry."

"Well, then," the demon replied with a polite nod of his head. "I will leave you to get dressed unless you would like assistance."

"I can dress myself perfectly fine."

"Of course you can. Excuse me, then, my Lord."

Sebastian bowed before turning around and walking toward the door. That was when he felt a sudden tug at the arm of his coat that caused him to halt mid-step. His eyes were the first to look over his shoulder, followed by a complete turn of his head. The moody 12-year-old was at the very edge of the bed and was leaning forward with one hand clasped around Sebastian's arm. His face was completely hidden, head bowed and hair falling over his eyes to conceal any expression. When he spoke, his voice was almost too quiet to hear.

"Don't go."

Sebastian stared down at his master for a few silent moments, then he slowly stepped back over to the bedside. He felt Ciel's quivering body all the way through the boy's hand, then began to wonder if perhaps he was only ill. Whatever it was, the 12-year-old remained completely quiet after his previous plea, leaving his butler to do the talking.

"My Lord?" Sebastian inquired. "Did you not just tell me that you are capable of dressing yourself?"

Another silence followed that, but the demon's acute ears picked up a sudden sob that had broken through Ciel's lips. By now, the boy was shaking enough that it was completely visible, and his back jerked with each heavy breath. Now, Sebastian was really concerned. The butler placed his free hand on Ciel's shoulder just as his master finally raised his head in a quick jolt.

"They're dead, Sebastian!" Ciel cried out, now clinging to the demon using both hands. Tears were flowing down his cheeks and an almost crazed look was flickering in his mismatched eyes. "My parents are dead! Madam Red is dead! I have no family! No one! And for all I know, I'm next. For all I know, the world hates the Phantomhive family enough to kill me off, as well. What did we ever do to deserve this? What did I ever do? What did I ever do to deserve being left completely alone in this world? I don't understand!"

In all honesty, Sebastian had expected his master to be upset for a few days after his aunt's death, but not to this extreme. He had never seen Ciel Phantomhive so distressed, or even when he was in pain, he rarely ever showed emotion. Now, the young boy was staring up at his butler desperately, eyes glimmering with fresh tears. His grip on Sebastian's arm was tight enough to hurt a normal human, but Sebastian was not at all fazed by it.

"You aren't alone, young master," the demon replied in a cool, collected voice. "I am your protector and will be here for you when you need me... and even when you don't. No one can cause you any harm as long as I am here. I promise."

"That's the problem!" Ciel spat, finally bringing his gaze away from his butler's to shake his head violently. "You're so perfect, Sebastian! You do anything and everything you can for me. I can't have any more attachments if I don't want to get hurt even more. It's impossible for me not to like you! It's impossible for me not to love you!"

In an instant, Sebastian's deep crimson eyes widened and his lips parted. He stared down at Ciel with disbelief at what had just been said. Ciel loved him? Was that simply a slip of the tongue, or did it actually have meaning? The normally smooth demon was actually rather flustered and speechless about the situation, frozen from the shock.

Ciel's head remained down from that point on, hiding the embarrassment and pain on his face. He continued to tremble, the emotions running through him causing too much bewilderment and agony for him to function. The boy was too scared to look at Sebastian's reaction, and upon hearing nothing but complete silence, he felt a sudden pain latch onto his heart.

It took a minute for Sebastian to completely comprehend what was going on, but when he finally did, his normal demeanor came back. A relaxed expression played over his face and a tiny smirk pulled at his lips. Using the arm that Ciel was not clinging to, he ran his fingers up the boy's jawline and tilted up his chin to look into his multicolored eyes. They shared the same pain as they did a few moments before, but a faint blush could be seen spreading across Ciel's pale cheeks.

"That is what you are so upset about?" the butler asked with a small shake of his head. "My, my, Ciel... I expected a bit more control from you."

The young master took in a quivering breath, then allowed his brows to furrow. As he was about to make an annoyed remark, his voice was cut off when a pair of lips met with his. His eyes widened with surprise at first, but when he came to understand what was going on, they closed with pleasure. Ciel removed his hands from Sebastian's arm and wrapped them around the butler's neck. He pushed himself up into the kiss, bringing Sebastian to place a hand on the back of his head and trail his fingers through his deep blue hair. Both were giving it all they had, for it was something they had been desiring from each other for quite some time, and it was another few moments before they finally pulled away from each other with reluctance.

"S-Sebastian..." Ciel stuttered and stared into his eyes.

"I apologize, my Lord," the butler replied, yet a smile remained on his face. "I did that without your permission."

"N-No," came the response of the obviously flustered boy. "I-I just... you..."

"I'm just one hell of a kisser."

For once in a really long time, a small smile pulled at Ciel's lips and he leaned back onto the bed. It was then that he suddenly became aware of how naked he was compared to the man in front of him, wearing nothing but an undergarment. Color rose in his cheeks again before he hastily shook his head and stared sternly at the demon.

"Well, what are you waiting for? Help me get dressed!"

Sebastian smiled slyly and bowed.

"Yes, my Lord."

Always and forever.