AN: Small oneshot for the wonderful ash365 on Y! Happy belated birthday sweetie! ^^ Hope everyone enjoys
Warnings: Some violence, blood, and brief mention of religion
Age: Ciel is sixteen in this fic
Disclaimer: I own nothing
It all started out as an innocent joke. Just a simple test to see how truly invincible his butler was. For all that Ciel had seen, Sebastian seemed as though he could handle everything. Being shot at (through the head, nonetheless), having his arm and shoulder injured due to a crazed chainsaw, and being stabbed through the chest.
And even then, Ciel had never been sure if Sebastian had been stabbed through the heart (if he had one for that matter) or if it was just the general chest area.
But the point was, that Sebastian had been through a lot. And lived through it all. But now, staring down at his butler who was laying so prone on his bed, Ciel wasn't sure if he would live through such a thing now.
four days ago
Ciel stared at the object that rested on his desk, a single blue eye re-reading the printed words on the label over and over again. Elizabeth had brought it by the other day in another unannounced visit and had presented it to him with a large smile.
It was newest thing to strike London, said to chase away the demons that troubled people. And Elizabeth had taken the words to heart, buying a bottle for Ciel in hopes that it would ease his own troubled past.
"A few drops of this in your bath water or drink will surely help you, Ciel," she had said happily, setting the bottle in his hands. "I want you to be happy again. To smile freely and without worry."
Ciel snorted at the thought and turned away from the bottle to look out the window behind his desk. As though that little bottle could change the past and ease his suffering. It was impossible. His parents couldn't come back from the dead and wouldn't change what happened that December night.
His happiness would only come about when his enemies lay beneath his feet, dead and succumbed to defeat. And even then, Elizabeth wouldn't see a smile from him. Because Sebastian would complete the contract and take his soul.
Ciel turned back around and took a small step towards his desk. The light from the window hit the glass bottle, making the water and glass sparkle and sent rainbows of light dancing across the carpet.
"Chase away demons," Ciel murmured and picked up the bottle. A smirk crossed his lips and Ciel opened the bottle. How humorous would it be if this liquid repelled Sebastian? Sent him fleeing back into his room at the mere scent or touch of the water?
With that thought in mind, Ciel tipped the bottle over and let a few droplets splash on his hands. The water was cool to the touch and he rubbed his hands together, spreading the liquid all over his palms.
The bottle was tucked away and hidden out of sight. Ciel didn't want Sebastian to see the item and realize what it was; that would only spoil the fun. It was close to lunch and Sebastian would be coming in at any minute with his meal. Now more than ever, Ciel was looking forward to lunch, if only to see Sebastian's reaction to his little prank.
Sure enough, there was a knock on the door before Sebastian entered the room. The door was shut silently behind him and the food cart was pushed closer to the desk. The smell of food wafted through the room and Ciel's stomach growled.
The cover was removed from the tray and Ciel's stomach growled once more as the smell of lunch brushed over his senses. Sebastian's cooking always brought out that affect, especially the desserts that the demon made. Sweet and tasty, Ciel could live off those sweets if Sebastian let him. But that wasn't the case and before Ciel could have dessert, he had to settle for a normal meal first.
He listened as Sebastian recited the day's menu as he set the last plate down before moving to stand behind Ciel, ready and waiting to give him something, should the need arise. Ciel glanced at him briefly, wondering how he should go about passing the water onto Sebastian's person. The most logical way would be to touch Sebastian, but almost every inch of the butler was covered in fabric.
The only place that wasn't covered was Sebastian's face and Ciel hummed thoughtfully as he chewed his dinner. In order to get the water on Sebastian, other than out right throwing the liquid on him, would be to slap the demon. His hands were already covered with the water and the effect should still be there. But what could Ciel call Sebastian out on that would warrant such a punishment.
He glanced down at the lunch, noting that there was chicken in it and he supposed that for now, it would have to do. "Sebastian," he called and in a second, the demon was by his side.
"My Lord," he said, bowing slightly. "Is there something wrong with the food?"
Ciel nodded. "Yes. There's chicken in here."
Sebastian's head cocked to the side. "I wasn't aware that the young master suddenly disliked chicken."
Blue eyes brightened, that had been the line he was waiting for. Without pause, his hand rose and connected with Sebastian's cheek, the sound echoing throughout the room. "You fool," he hissed. "Didn't you know I was a vegetarian?"
For a moment, silence settled in the room and Ciel waited for something to happen. For Sebastian to cry out in pain or suddenly drop to the floor, withering in agony. But nothing happened and Sebastian was the first to break the silence. "Forgive me, my Lord. I wasn't aware of your sudden aversion to meat." He reached forward to take the plate away. "I'll go prepare something that will better meet you dietary needs."
Ciel batted the hand away. "It's fine. I was only testing you," he grumbled and picked up the fork, ready to stab at Sebastian's hand should the demon try to take the plate away again.
"Did I pass?" Sebastian asked suddenly, a feline smirk crossing his lips.
"What?" Ciel asked, confused for the moment.
Sebastian chuckled. "Did I pass the test?" He repeated, teasing Ciel.
"Yes. Now go away and leave me to eat lunch in peace," Ciel snapped, feeling annoyed that Sebastian had bested him this round. He watched the man leave and shoved another piece of chicken in his mouth, letting the flavor coat his tongue.
Next time, he would best Sebastian; Ciel was sure of it. Because Ciel was the master of games and he was the one who controlled the pieces, not the other way around. Sebastian was simply a pawn and as such, would never be able to defeat Ciel; not when he controlled the demon.
The next attempt made itself known the next day when Sebastian was outside tending to the garden. Finny was forbidden from touching the white roses that Ciel adored so much, leaving Sebastian to take care of them. It was something Sebastian enjoyed, if only because the black cat that he loved so much lived in the gardens and stayed nearby when he was outside.
Even now, Ciel could see the black cat sitting on a stone bench, watching as Sebastian worked. Its tail flicked back and forth, moving in time with the scissors that Sebastian held in his hands as he trimmed away the dead leaves. There was a pause as Sebastian brought his hand up to glance at the sun before turning back to work once more.
It was a hot day outside and Ciel already had the perfect idea. A bucket of water mixed with the special water was sitting next to the door that led outside. Ciel had given Bard very specific orders to toss the liquid at Sebastian when he came back inside, as the man would be very hot and would enjoy the cooling water. The chef had argued, saying that Mr. Sebastian would kill him, but Ciel had reassured the man that he would soothe the butler's ruffled feathers.
After that little piece of reassurance, Bard had practically snatched the bucket from Ciel's hands and stood at the ready by the door. Ciel couldn't help but smirk at the man's enthusiasm and wondered Bard considered this payback for not being able to cook the majority of the meals.
Regardless, Ciel lingered in the kitchen so he could watch what happened. Perhaps Sebastian would break out in blisters or would simply melt as soon as the water touched his person. At the very least, Sebastian would be soaked, so even if nothing happened, it would be good for a laugh.
"He's coming back," Ciel announced from his spot on the counter. He could see out the window from where he sat and could see Sebastian's head through the glass.
"You're goin' down, Mr. Sebastian," Bard muttered and shifted his weight so he could better toss the water.
Seconds passed before the handle on the door turned and Ciel leaned forward, holding his breath in anticipation. The door opened and Bard slung the bucket forward, the water splashing forward. A cry echoed throughout the kitchen, but not the cry that Ciel had been expecting.
Instead of a male's voice, crying out in agony, it was a very female voice crying out in horror.
A curse left Ciel's mouth as a drenched Mey-rin came into view, holding a basket of now damp laundry. Sebastian stood behind her, holding the door open for her, as a gentleman should, and Ciel resisted the urge to run his hand over his face. Instead, he glanced at Sebastian who simply looked amused and plucked the basket from Mey-rin's hands.
"Go get changed from those wet clothes," Sebastian said and shot a glare at Bard who had darted around the counter to grab a knife in case he needed to defend himself. "Bard and I will go hang these back out to dry. And perhaps have a little talk?"
Bard gulped and looked towards Ciel, hoping for the protection that Ciel had promised.
"No punishment is in order, Sebastian," Ciel stated from his spot. He hopped off the counter and examined the wet floor. "It was just another test on my part. And before you ask, yes, you passed." He finished with a snap, annoyance building up inside at Sebastian's quick nature.
He stormed out of the kitchen, ignoring the low chuckle that left Sebastian's mouth and the way the demon's eyes stared at him until he vanished from the room.
By the third day, Ciel was tired of playing nice. He had debated the night before about emptying the rest of the bottle into his bathwater, but Sebastian would notice such a thing and question his actions. Not to mention, Ciel wasn't fully comfortable with submerging himself in such a liquid. He didn't want his troubles to go away; they were what drove him on and pushed him forward each day. He couldn't afford to chase them away.
Instead, Ciel had resorted to a new tactic. If he couldn't get the liquid on Sebastian's person, then he would have the man drink it. There was nothing suspicious about a glass of water or even lemonade, which was Ciel's current choice of drink for such a mission.
The sweetness would help to cover up any foreign taste or smell that Sebastian might detect and if Ciel was drinking some, the demon wouldn't have any reason to be suspicious. Or at least Ciel hoped. He was taking a small gamble in this, but one that Ciel was sure would work.
He glanced up as Sebastian appeared next to him on the terrace, a small tray of sweets balanced on his hand. They were set down in front of him and Ciel nodded his thanks before turning back to the book in his hands.
"You passed, you know," he said suddenly, before Sebastian could leave.
"My Lord?" Sebastian asked curiously.
Ciel looked up once more and set the book aside. "Those silly tests the past few days. You passed them all," he stated. "I simply wanted to make sure that you were up to a Phantomhive standard. To which I can say, that you are indeed a Phantomhive butler."
"My Lord is too kind," Sebastian answered and inclined his head. He blinked as Ciel shoved a glass of lemonade into his hand.
"A toast," Ciel said, gesturing to his own glass. "That you will continue to serve me to the standard that I hold you to."
Sebastian didn't say another but Ciel didn't expect him to. The whole situation was something out of another universe and would never happen if Ciel wasn't trying to test this product. He held up his glass and clinked it against Sebastian's, taking a long drink afterwards.
He had to drink first so Sebastian didn't find any reason to toss the drink aside. Once down, he glanced at Sebastian and waved to the demon's glass. "You have to drink yours too. Otherwise it's not a proper toast." He scoffed slightly. "You can't be a perfect butler if you don't know how to accept a toast properly."
Sebastian frowned but simply nodded his head and took a drink from the glass as well. It was a healthy gulp, one that had Ciel hiding a smirk behind his cup. The glass was set back down on the table, Ciel watching carefully for any signs that it affected Sebastian.
"If that is all, my Lord," Sebastian said.
Ciel stared before waving Sebastian away in annoyance. He waited until the demon was gone before slamming his fist down on the table. Nothing. Nothing had happened once again and Ciel was growing irritated by now. He figured that he should be happy, knowing that nothing could fall his demon, but at the same time, Ciel had hoped for something.
He glanced at the bottle and pushed it to the side. It was empty now and Ciel didn't want to look at it again. It was a failure and Ciel didn't like failures. Instead, he turned back to his book and tried to focus as the sun started its decent towards the west.
By then, it was dinner and Ciel was finished pouting as he made his way back inside the mansion. The smell of dinner floated through the hallways and Ciel padded down the hall towards the dining room; where he almost ran into Sebastian, who was leaning against the wall, panting slightly.
A faint sheen of sweat covered Sebastian's forehead but other than that, he looked no more different or in pain than before. For a second, Ciel considered that the water had caused such an effect, but then dismissed it. Sebastian had been working in the kitchen and it was a warm day out. The man was probably just over heated from staying in the kitchen for so long.
Ember eyes focused down on him, taking a second to focus before Sebastian pushed away from the wall. "Forgive me," he said and offered a small bow. "Dinner is served."
Ciel nodded and felt Sebastian trail behind him as they moved into the dining room, where dinner was presented in a typical Sebastian style. It was delicious and gave Ciel no reason to believe that Sebastian was in any pain; otherwise, the quality would've been off.
But seeing as it wasn't, Ciel continued to eat and ignored Sebastian, as the demon stood loyally behind him.
Yesterday morning though, Sebastian was late to wake Ciel up, if only by a couple minutes, but it was still enough to make Ciel take notice. His uniform, which was usually so clean and pristine looked rumpled and there was a small red stain on the collar that had Ciel frowning. The frown only deepened when he noticed that a similar smudge was present in the corner of Sebastian's lips.
"Have you been feeding?" Ciel snapped, the brief concern vanishing as annoyance settled in. Sebastian's rumpled appearance was due to the demon's lust for blood and Ciel wouldn't stand for such a thing.
"No, my Lord," Sebastian answered as he laced up Ciel's shoes.
Ciel scowled. "Don't lie." He reached forward and tugged at Sebastian's collar. "You have blood here and on the corner of your lips."
Sebastian's tongue came out to lick the smudge away and he moved onto the next button. "I do not lie, my Lord. I was not out feeding, nor was I out killing. Blood does not sustain me like a vampire."
Ciel paused. "Then whose blood is it?"
The older male straightened up and smiled slightly. "It's nothing my Lord, nothing that you need to concern yourself with. Just a small accident."
A hum left Ciel's throat as he stood up and moved towards the door. He didn't believe Sebastian, even if the demon wasn't lying. He also couldn't ignore the labored breathing that left Sebastian's mouth from time to time as he had moved around the room.
They walked down the hall towards breakfast, Ciel listening carefully for any more signs from Sebastian that there was indeed something wrong with the butler. But Sebastian was quiet and gave no hints of being in pain.
By the time, they reached the office where Ciel wished to take his breakfast; sweat was visible on Sebastian's face on more. It stained the collar around his neck and it was obvious that Sebastian was trying his best to fight whatever was troubling him.
The sight gave Ciel a moment's pause and he felt slightly guilty. He wasn't sure if it was his fault for Sebastian's slight suffering or if it was something else. Something that demons went through every now and then, and Ciel found that he liked the sound of that.
It was easier to feign innocence as Sebastian served him, and pretend that he hadn't caused any of this mess. And with that thought in mind, Ciel was able to get through the day, pretending that he didn't notice how Sebastian was acting as the day progressed.
Pretend that he didn't notice how Sebastian was stopping to catch his breath during his chores or how the dark hair clung to his face and his clothes to his body because of the sweat. It was only the heat that was causing Sebastian to act that way. Never mind that the past summer hadn't caused such a reaction from Sebastian.
By dinner, Ciel could feel the heat coming off Sebastian's body; enough heat that any normal person would be dead already. It was unbearable to stand next to him, the man putting off enough warmth to heat a small room. And the damn smudge was back again.
It had grown since the last time and Ciel didn't even want to think about the smudge being Sebastian's own blood. That would mean that the butler was coughing up blood somewhere, even though Ciel hadn't heard such a sound from Sebastian.
Dinner was served without any problems, despite the heat rolling off Sebastian in waves that had Ciel sweating slightly. He dismissed the butler after that, choosing instead to have Bard take care of the rest of dinner. Sebastian looked almost grateful and vanished out of the room in the blink of an eye.
"Is Mr. Sebastian sick?" Bard asked as he poured Ciel some more water.
Ciel shook his head. "Have you ever seen him sick before?"
Bard winced. "No. But there's a first time for everything." He took a small step back. "He looks pretty bad."
The comment was brushed aside, but not forgotten as Ciel ate his meal. By now, there was no more ignoring the fact that something was indeed wrong with Sebastian, and it was probably, Ciel's fault. It made Ciel scowl slightly and he finished his dinner with some difficultly before retiring to his office for a while.
Once there, he rang for Sebastian, noting that it took longer for Sebastian to arrive than usual. It was then that Ciel allowed himself to really look at his butler, taking in the ragged appearance and how tired Sebastian looked.
"I'm giving you the rest of the night off," Ciel commented, picking up a piece of paper in order to distract his thoughts. "You're dismissed."
"I'm fine, my Lord," Sebastian rasped.
Ciel looked up, their eyes meeting. "Don't make me order you, Sebastian," he snapped.
The demon straightened and gave a small bow. "Of course, my Lord," he said lowly and vanished once more from the room, leaving Ciel to fan himself with the papers. The heat in the room felt like a fire had engulfed the place.
Once the room had finally cooled down, Ciel plopped into his chair. Everything would be fine come morning, whatever was bothering Sebastian would work its way through the demon during the night and he'd be fine by the time the sun rose.
Or so Ciel told himself.
That morning, Tanaka woke Ciel up and it was then that Ciel knew something was wrong. Tanaka had only once woken him up since the time Sebastian started serving as his butler, and for the older man to be acting as butler again meant that Sebastian wasn't better.
"I'm afraid that Mr. Sebastian won't be able to assist you today," Tanaka said lowly when Ciel asked. "He's rather ill."
Ciel didn't say anything after that, choosing instead to let Tanaka dress him and then dismissed the man so he could eat breakfast in peace. As soon as breakfast was done, Ciel found his way down to Sebastian's quarters with the intent of seeing just how sick Sebastian really was. He had no doubt that the butler was sick if Tanaka had to take over his duties, but Ciel had to see it for himself.
He needed to see what damage he had caused.
The smell of copper was the first thing that hit Ciel and he gagged slightly at the overpowering scent of it. Further down the hallway, Ciel spotted the blood that had caused the smell. They started out as a small spots here and there but as he approached Sebastian's door, they grew in number and size.
Ciel came to a stop outside of Sebastian's bedroom, apprehension filling him until he was able to swallow down the nerves and push the door open slightly. Sebastian's heavy breathing filled the room, giving Ciel a little more courage to see the man, wanting to know what all was wrong with Sebastian. He took a step in the room and let the door shut behind him.
As soon as it closed, Ciel wished he hadn't made the decision to come see Sebastian. He felt as though he had just stepped into a lion's den as glowing, slitted eyes swung up to focus on him. They flashed with anger and in them; Ciel could see the pits of hell from where Sebastian came from. Fire danced in his eyes and a power that only humans could dream about lurked just behind those eyes.
Ciel swallowed the bile down that threatened to come up as he took in Sebastian's appearance. Blood covered Sebastian's body and Ciel couldn't tell where it started and where it ended. All he knew was that Sebastian was soaked in it.
"What happened?" Ciel croaked.
Sebastian shifted and heated eyes narrowed slightly. "It burns," he hissed and a clawed hand rose to tear at his chest. More blood escaped his body and Ciel suddenly realized where the wound was. "And I can't get it out."
Ciel took a cautious step forward, his boots stepping in a puddle of blood but he ignored it as he came closer to Sebastian. Up close, he could see that Sebastian was clawing not just at his chest, but at his throat as well; the path that the drink had taken. And suddenly the blood smear on Sebastian's mouth the other morning made sense.
Sebastian had been trying to expel the drink, to the point that he was tearing apart his throat in the process. But by the time morning came, he hadn't been able to get rid of it and was forced to perform his normal duties as best he could. Working through fatigue, fever, and pain.
"You need to get in bed," Ciel said finally. "You're supposed to be in bed, resting, until you feel better. Not on the floor."
A low, gurgling chuckle left Sebastian's throat. "Rest won't help this sickness, young master." His hands clawed at the floor, leaving deep furrows in the wood. "The poison you gave me won't go away with your simple human medicines."
Ciel swallowed at the accusation and he found that he couldn't deny them. "Just get into bed. I'll find someone who can help." He pointed to the bed. "Don't make me order you."
Sebastian snorted but stood up regardless. Black feathers floated to the floor, a sign that Sebastian had been in his demon form before Ciel had come downstairs; probably in an attempt to help expel the poison. "Your doctors can't fix this either," he hissed as he sat down. "Nothing of this world can heal me."
"I'll find something," Ciel shot back, determined to find a way to cure Sebastian's illness. He hadn't expected such a horrible result to come of his small prank. At most, he had just expected Sebastian to run away in terror or be slightly injured. Not this though; this was something he would wish on his enemies, not his pawns.
The bed creaked as Sebastian sat down, the simple action making him pant even harder. "What did you give me?" Sebastian rasped, his hand coming up again to claw at his body.
Ciel slapped the hand away quickly, hissing when Sebastian's skin burned his own flesh. "Stop doing that," he stated. "You're only hurting yourself more." It was a weak attempt to avoid the question and Ciel hoped that Sebastian wouldn't ask again. Not when Ciel didn't even know the answer to the question.
"I have to get it out," Sebastian growled. "Before it goes any further into my body and harms me anymore."
The words were harsh and Ciel faltered slightly. That wasn't what he had been expecting to hear coming from Sebastian. His demon was invincible to everything, or so he had thought. But whatever had been in that bottle seemed to be Sebastian's undoing.
"I'll find something to help," Ciel stated and reached forward to push Sebastian further onto the bed. "Just don't…don't hurt yourself anymore." Because it was easier to say that then 'don't die'.
Sebastian slapped the hand away with a low growl and Ciel flinched slightly; the demon didn't trust him anymore. Not that there had been a large, steady flow of trust before then, just the mutual understanding that Sebastian wouldn't let Ciel die and from that, a small trickle of trust lay underneath the surface. A surface of teasing and games that they both played to help ease the time until the final day that Sebastian claimed Ciel's soul.
Never before had Ciel done anything to warrant Sebastian's disgust; until now. Ciel's trust in the demon had always been shaky, never truly knowing how Sebastian would act and whether the demon would turn on him in a moment's notice. They had played off each other that way, tormenting and teasing until they were both satisfied. And it seemed, that through all of that, there was nothing there for Sebastian to be truly disgusted over.
But with this single act, Ciel had broken Sebastian's trust in him and Ciel couldn't stop the hurt that bled through his body. It hurt to know that his most loyal servant was close to deaths doors, all because of him and that even if Sebastian were to survive this; their relationship would be forever changed.
Ciel shook his head, pushing the thoughts away. They were something he didn't want to think about right now and he quickly left the room, ignoring the fact that Sebastian had turned his back to him. He needed to see The Undertaker. The man was the only person who would be able to help him.
Snake was called and within moments, the horses were hooked up to the carriage and they were headed to see The Undertaker, Ciel clutching the glass bottle that once held the tainted liquid. The ride seemed to drag on forever and Ciel was only reminded of its length as he sat alone. There was no Sebastian inside the carriage to keep silent company and only served to once more prompt Ciel that this was his fault.
By the time they reached The Undertakers, Ciel was practically squirming with impatience and he bolted from his seat as soon as the door was opened. He refused to let Sebastian die. The demon couldn't and Ciel would make sure of that. Every last part of Sebastian, from his hair down to the clothes he wore, belonged to Ciel. And Ciel hadn't said that Sebastian could die.
The scent of the morgue washed over Ciel as soon as he entered the building. If The Undertaker was surprised to see his random visit, he didn't show it and instead greeted Ciel with a wave before patting a nearby coffin.
"Come for your sizing?" he asked, a large grin on his face.
Ciel shook his head. "I need information." The jar was held up. "On this object. It was given to me and I need to know what it was."
The Undertaker hummed and plucked the bottle from Ciel's hand, examining it before glancing at Ciel. "Where did you get this again?"
"Someone gave it to me and at the time, I simply assumed it was some special water. Holy water or something similar," Ciel answered, not liking the way The Undertaker was looking at the bottle. "Why?"
"You've brought me interesting things before, Earl," the man spoke carefully. "But this is by far one of the most interesting. This bottle held angel's tears."
Ciel sputtered. "There's no such thing." He gestured towards the bottle. "And how can you tell? The glass is empty."
The Undertaker shook his head. "The smell is still there. Humans think that the smell is simply perfumed water, but it's the tears they're smelling." He passed the bottle back to Ciel. "It's difficult to get a hold of such things. Angels aren't said to cry easily."
"I didn't think angels cried," Ciel commented and sniffed the bottle. It was faintly perfumed and smelled of something sweet, reminding Ciel of the desserts that Sebastian made.
"All beings cry," The Undertaker answered moved back behind the counter and started digging for something. "Angels, humans, animals, and even demons. But true angel and demon tears are the most dangerous and powerful. Neither of those creatures cry easy for a reason. Angel tears can kill a demon just as easy as they can arouse one, and the same goes for demon tears."
Ciel paled slightly. "How can they do both?" he asked.
The Undertaker shrugged. "Demons are drawn to angels in pain. They live off tormented and tainted souls, but an angel in pain is supposed to have tears that taste more delicious than the perfect soul. The scent draws in the demons, making them crave that forbidden taste. A tortured angel will cry arousing tears, but a heartbroken angel will cry deadly tears."
Ciel's head swam as he took in all the information. It seemed impossible that such a thing would exist but who was he to question the worlds of angels and demons. Sebastian rarely spoke of the heavenly figures and Ciel had believed that they never existed.
But it made him wonder why Sebastian couldn't smell the tears in the first place. If they were as potent as The Undertaker was making them sound, then his butler should've been able to detect the scent as soon as it was brought into the mansion.
"What happens if a demon drinks an angels tears?" he asked, storing the other question away for later.
A low hum left The Undertaker's mouth. "Both will cause death, I'd assume. The tears aren't meant for drinking. They're only used as oils used to arouse demons and poison, depending on the type." He cocked his head. "But there is an antidote, or so I've heard."
Ciel stiffened and it took every ounce of his will power not to demand the answer right then and there. "What's the antidote?" he asked carefully, making sure he sounded calm and poised.
The Undertaker waved a finger at him. "That answer is going to cost you, Earl," he stated and a finger pointed to his mouth. "And you know what I require as payment."
A scowl formed on Ciel's face and he slapped the hand aside. "I don't have time for that. Can't you take an IOU?" he asked. Time was slipping away and Ciel didn't know how long Sebastian would be able to cling to life.
"Anxious are we?" the older male asked and leaned back. "I wonder why that is?"
Ciel stomped his foot, fear and worry overtaking his normally calm personality. "Because I had Sebastian drink that damn bottle of angel tears and now he's dying. And he will die if you don't tell me the answer."
The Undertaker blinked and then slowly shook his head. "What you're looking for isn't of this earth. The only thing that can cure those deadly tears is a fruit found in Heaven's garden."
Ciel shook his head. "There has to be another cure. Something, anything." He couldn't believe that he had just handed Sebastian his death a few days before and that his demon was going to die. It seemed almost impossible and Ciel found himself shaking slightly.
The older male was oddly solemn and didn't say anything, knowing that words were pointless at a time like this. Nothing he said would make the situation better and they both knew that. Instead, he gave Ciel a gentle push towards the door, a silent suggestion to go spend time Sebastian before his death.
The ride home was quiet and unnerving as Ciel was left alone to his thoughts. It hardly seemed fair that Sebastian would die and leave him. Their contract wasn't finished yet and Ciel didn't know what would happen after the demon died. His power and strength would leave him, and without Sebastian, all that Ciel would have left was his brains. Which could only get him so far.
Loyalty was what Sebastian provided and such a thing couldn't be bought. Even if Ciel were to hire a new butler, capable of defending him and helping with investigations, he would never know if the new butler was betraying him behind his back. At least Sebastian never lied.
Ciel shook his head. It was too soon to be thinking about such things and it didn't matter either way, because Sebastian wasn't going to die. Sebastian had once said that even in death, he would still protect Ciel and it was the only strand of hope that Ciel clung to right now.
He was pulled from his thoughts as the carriage came to a stop and it took a second to realize that they were in front of the mansion. The ride had gone much quicker than Ciel had thought and he slowly climbed out, opposite to how he acted only hours ago upon arriving at The Undertakers.
With slow and heavy steps, Ciel climbed the steps leading to the mansion, dreading the walk back to Sebastian's room. He could only hope that his demon hadn't grown worse, but there was no way to tell how fast the angel tears were going to affect his body. The thought made Ciel pause outside of Sebastian's room and Ciel wondered what he would find on the other side.
Would Sebastian already be dead or would the room be covered with even more blood? The unknown had Ciel's heart racing as he gripped the door handle and slowly pushed it open. He let out a small sigh as the room looked exactly the same; no new blood stained the floors and even from the doorway, Ciel could see Sebastian's chest panting for air.
The demon's eyes locked onto him as soon as the door shut behind him and Ciel shivered at the look in those fevered eyes. Sebastian didn't ask any questions, even though Ciel could see that he wanted to.
"I found out what's causing your pain," Ciel spoke softly as he approached Sebastian's bed. The covers were soaked in blood and the heat in the room was sweltering once more. "It was angel tears."
Sebastian snarled, his fangs showing as his eyes flashed in anger. No words left his mouth though and Sebastian didn't need to ask if Ciel understood the gravity of the situation. If the younger male knew what he had ingested, then he knew what was waiting for Sebastian.
Ciel grabbed the chair that rested by the desk and drew it closer to the bed before taking a seat in it. His coat was removed and tossed to the side, the heat making it too hot to wear. He wasn't going to leave Sebastian like this, especially since it was his fault in the first place.
"Why didn't you smell the tears the first time Lizzy brought them into the mansion?" Ciel asked softly.
Sebastian eyed him briefly but chose not to answer, choosing instead to close his eyes and try to ease the pain in his body. Everything ached and his senses were sensitive to the smallest of sounds and smells. Every small scratch was too loud and the scent of mansion's inhabitants made his stomach churn all the more.
Ciel fell silent as Sebastian ignored him, and frowned once he found that he such an action didn't upset him as it normally would. But if Sebastian somehow pulled through this, then his butler would be in trouble for ignoring him. The thought made Ciel smile and he found himself wishing that it would come true. Not so much for the thought of being able to punish Sebastian, but because the demon would still be alive. Their adventure wouldn't be over just yet.
He leaned forward and crossed his arms over the bed, resting on a clean spot of the covers near Sebastian's head. This close, he could smell the coopery scent of blood but under that was the underlying scent of Sebastian. It was familiar and he inhaled deeply, trying to memorize it.
"You're not allowed to die, Sebastian," he murmured, his eyes closing as the heat in the room made him drowsy. "You haven't finished our contract yet."
Sebastian didn't answer but he shifted slightly, the only sign that he heard Ciel. It was enough for Ciel and he allowed his body to relax next to Sebastian's as sleep pulled at his body. No matter how hard he wanted to stay awake, the heat was making it impossible and within moments, Ciel was asleep.
As a soft snore left Ciel's mouth, Sebastian could only shake his head. He rolled onto his side, hissing as the pain in his chest flared up once more before going back into the dull, throbbing ache as he moved closer to Ciel's head. Despite what the younger male had done, Sebastian couldn't keep himself away.
He leaned down to inhale Ciel's scent, the sweet flavor of his soul brushing away the pain for a few moments before it came back once more. A low chuckle left his lips at the irony of everything and he tilted Ciel's head back just enough to press a soft kiss on the boy's forehead before pulling back.
It seemed as though Ciel had bested the devil and would leave his contract with his soul still intact. The thought made Sebastian's lips twitch as his eyes closed and he found that he wasn't sure what to think as he allowed his body to drift into unconsciousness.
The scent of strawberries assaulted Ciel's nose; making it scrunch as it slowly drew him from his slumber. His eyes blinked a couple times, trying to focus on the object that rested in front of his face. It was a bowl, was the first thing his mind supplied but it didn't explain the scent.
He sat up slowly, feeling sweat trickle down his back as his clothes clung uncomfortably to his body. The unpleasant feeling was pushed to the side as Ciel glanced at the bowl, noting that small berries rested inside. They were a soft pink color with tiny black specks dotting the skin and Ciel cocked his head slightly, wondering where they came from. They weren't any berries that he had seen before.
"They're feather berries," a soft voice said behind him, making Ciel wheel around. He blinked and rubbed his eyes, knowing that he was seeing things, for surely it wasn't the bird sitting on Sebastian's bed that spoke.
"Stupid heat," he murmured.
The bird shook his head and flew closer. "It's not the heat that's making you see things. I just prefer not to show my true form to someone whose soul belongs to a demon."
Ciel gapped and lunged for the bird, but the animal darted out of the way. "What the hell are you?" He asked tensely.
"An angel," the bird answered, cocking its head to the side. "But as I said before, I'd rather not show you my true form."
Ciel scowled and his fingers twitched, wanting nothing more than to strangle the angel. "Why are you here?"
The bird was silent for a moment before finally answering, guilt lacing his voice. "To fix a mistake that I made. It was no accident that your fiancé came into possession of the angel tears; it was I who made sure she found them." The bird looked towards Sebastian. "I knew that she would bring them to you and that eventually Sebastian would come into contact with it."
"It was you?" Ciel breathed and without another thought, lunged across the bed. He hissed as his knees rubbed on the blanket, making the skin red and raw. His fingers brushed over feathers before the bird was once more out of reach, perched on the windowsill above Sebastian's bed.
"It was me who caused such suffering on your house." The small head lowered and the beady eyes closed. "And I will be the one to fix such a thing. Those berries are the only thing that can save him. I never wished for his death, merely his suffering."
Ciel scowled. "Why would you wish for such a thing? He's a bastard yes, but what did he do to deserve your anger?" It seemed surreal and Ciel couldn't believe that he was having such a conversation. "Aren't angels supposed to be free of such emotions anyway?"
The bird hoped down from the window, landing on the basket. "Not all angels are perfect. We fall from time to time, as Sebastian would know all too well." The animal shifted again, jumping onto Sebastian's still body. "There was a time when he knew God's love."
A hand shot forward quickly, curling around the bird before Ciel could blink. Furious red eyes glared down at the animal and Sebastian's hand tightened around the bird. "You would do best to hold your tongue, Angelus before I tear your pretty white wings from your back."
The animal squawked and squirmed in Sebastian's grip, growing more frantic as Sebastian's hand squeezed harder. Finally, it stopped moving and gave Sebastian a blank look. "We both know that this alone won't kill me. It's just a form that allows the mortal to see me."
"I know," Sebastian purred. "But it doesn't mean that I don't enjoy squeezing the life out of this form, pretending that it's your heart that I'm holding in my hand."
There was a bright flash and the bird vanished in a streak of white light as feathers floated down to rest on the bed. Ciel could only stare at the spot where the bird had once been, his mind still reeling from everything. It was hard to believe what he had just witnessed and he watched as the feathers that rested on the bed burned away, leaving no trace that they had been there.
Sebastian's heavy breathing brought him back to reality and Ciel turned towards the demon, watching as he collapsed back on the bed, sweat dripping down his face. For now, questions could wait. The most pressing concern was making Sebastian eat the berries that the angel had brought.
Ciel grabbed the basket and scooped out a small handful. "You need to eat these, Sebastian. Don't ask me what they are or where they came from; just know that they'll help you."
A wet chuckle escaped Sebastian's throat, blood coating his esophagus. "I know what they are and what they'll do," he stated and turned his head away from Ciel's hand. "And I refuse to eat them, knowing who brought them here."
Ciel growled low. "You'll eat them Sebastian. I will not have you dying because of your damn pride." His hand pressed closer. "Even if I have to shove them all down your throat."
"I can't ingest them all at once. They have to be given in small doses, five at a time, every two hours," Sebastian rasped. "They're just as dangerous as an angel's tears, but in small amounts, they're not as deadly."
A heavy sigh left Ciel's mouth. Why did everything have to be so complicated? "Anything else I should know about these before I make you eat them?"
Sebastian's eyes fluttered shut as he slumped against the pillow. "They can't be eaten dry. They're ingested better if they're wet and coming from another mouth. The moisture helps to soften the berry, making it easier to break down."
Ciel shifted, feeling his cheeks heat up. He knew what Sebastian was suggesting but would he really go so far for his butler? His eyes drifted over Sebastian's torn body, bloody and destroyed all because of something that was Ciel's fault and the answer was obvious.
A berry was popped into Ciel's mouth and he rolled it around on his tongue, wetting it thoroughly. It didn't have a taste but Ciel didn't give that any thought as he leaned down and pressed his lips to Sebastian's. He felt Sebastian's lips part against his and without pause, Ciel pushed the first berry into Sebastian's mouth.
His butler made a surprised sound but accepted the berry without much fight. Ciel could feel the berry burst in Sebastian's mouth, flooding it with liquid before Sebastian swallowed, his mouth pressing back against Ciel's.
Ciel pulled away, the action causing a small whine to leave Sebastian's throat. It was ignored as the last four berries were placed in Ciel's mouth and he sucked on them until they were soft against his tongue. Once more, their lips brushed over each other and Ciel pushed the berries into Sebastian's mouth, gasping slightly as Sebastian's tongue brushed over his.
Sebastian repeated the action one more time before Ciel pulled away again. The berries were gone and Ciel didn't have a reason to stay in such an intimate position with his butler anymore. He wiped at his lips and leaned back to set the berries aside.
"Sleep for now," he stated. "I'll be back in two hours to give you more."
Sebastian didn't answer, his torn body already pulling him into sleep. Even though demons didn't need sleep, it helped to heal their bodies when they were under such stress and even now, Ciel could see Sebastian's chest breathing easier. The sight made Ciel heave a sigh of relief and he slumped against the bed, a small smile on his face knowing that Sebastian was going to get better.
"So, care to explain everything now?" Ciel asked, sipping at his tea. The cup was set on Sebastian's nightstand table and blue eyes focused on Sebastian once more. The last five berries were gone and Sebastian was looking far better than before.
His demon was sitting up in the bed, his chest and neck healed from the self-inflicted wounds and the heat in the room had lessened considerably. Now all Sebastian needed was rest before he was back to his bastardly self and it was something that Ciel was looking forward to.
Sebastian looked at him, his eyes light and teasing once more. "What do you mean?" he stated.
"I mean everything that happened," Ciel snapped slightly. "I was told that you should've been able to smell the angel tears, but you never did. And how did that angel know you?"
Sebastian fell silent for a while before answering. "It's something that's in my past," he finally said. "I was one of those fallen angels that history likes to talk about so much. Therefore, I'm immune to the smell of angel tears as I was once one. But with a demon body, their tears are still poison to me."
Ciel blinked and then smirked slightly. "So demon tears would arouse you?" he asked.
A low chuckle left Sebastian's throat. "Yes. It amuses other demons greatly and makes for a great round of sex."
Blue eyes blinked before Ciel scowled. "I didn't wish to know that," he stated.
"Then you won't like the answer as to how I know the angel," Sebastian said, his eyes falling shut once more. He could feel Ciel's eyes on him and he sighed softly before answering. "We were lovers once, when I was still in that place. But it was before I was cast down and it seems as though angels can feel an emotion such as anger from time to time."
Ciel scowled and leaned forward, fingers lacing through Sebastian's hair. The action made Sebastian's eyes open and he stared at Ciel before the younger male spoke. "That is all in the past. You are my servant and as such, you cannot go back to your old flames while under contract with me."
Sebastian cocked his head. "Is that jealousy that I detect?" he teased. Ciel's scowl only deepened, making Sebastian chuckle once more. "As you said before my Lord, you own everything on me. From the tips of my hair down to the clothes that I wear. I will never leave your side, even in death."
"Good," Ciel answered and leaned down to press a light kiss to Sebastian's lips. "I'd have to fire you if you had said otherwise." He stated once they parted. He could feel the tips of his ears burning slightly but ignored them as the demon focused on him.
"Such dangerous actions coming from a human," Sebastian answered finally and his eyes narrowed slightly. "Why should I allow it to continue when you tried to kill me?"
Ciel snorted. "It was an accident." He had the decency to look slightly ashamed. "And you know that you enjoy the thrill and danger that comes with working with me."
Sebastian smirked. "My Lord does have a point."
Ciel's lips curled into a smirk of their own and he allowed himself to be pulled down once more, lips pressing against Sebastian's in kiss that had his body shivering in delight. While Sebastian's trust in him was a little shaky still, the relationship between them had grown slightly and Ciel found that he enjoyed the new development.
Almost losing Sebastian was something that scared him more than he wished to admit and he refused to let that happen. Whether it was to poison or a past lover, Sebastian belonged to him, and Ciel intended to keep it that way, in more ways than one.