Hi, hi! I wanted to write a little Halloween fic for Kuroshitsuji, and it came out quite long. I'm not terribly happy with it (I'm not gonna be specific about what I don't like, but I definitely might end up re-writing it sometime.)
It takes place after the second season of the anime, after Ciel becomes a demon. All of the italicized lines come from "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe, which is partially what this fic is based on. I do not own Kuroshitsuji or "The Raven."
Enjoy, review, and have an awesome Halloween!
On All Hallow's Eve, the once-Earl Ciel Phantomhive tipped his face up to the bloated harvest moon hanging, heavy and sanguine, in the darkening sky. Chill wind accosted him as he stepped, little heels clicking, onto the balcony of the half-decayed, long-forgotten castle he now called home. Ciel did not feel the cold anymore, even though the air was fall-frozen, and his black velvet knicker-bockers only reached mid-thigh. The scant light from the moon and stars danced off the sterling silver skull brooch pinned to the silk collar of Ciel's charcoal pussy-bow blouse; it did not need to alight on his alabaster skin, for that particular feature seemed to produce it's own pale glow.
Ciel was very aware of what he looked like these days, because he dressed and groomed himself.
Fed himself, too. He was always hungry, but nourishment wasn't difficult to come by. More often than not, Ciel's food delivered itself to him, so he need not burden himself with anything strenuous. The remnants of tonight's meal—a wayward traveler—lay in the room Ciel had just exited. It was a terrible, mangled mess that Ciel now found unpleasant to look at. In the absence of supervision, he'd become a sloppy eater. There was nobody to frown upon his increasingly undignified eating habits, so now his slender white hands were smeared scarlet, with little ruby crust-crescents under his blackened fingernails. The same substance painted his lips with uneven red and rouged his apple cheeks, but that was fading fast with little darts of Ciel's petal-pink tongue.
It was very uncouth, indeed. There was no reason for such slobbery; the only thing that nourished Ciel was the pure, effervescent life force that could be extracted quite cleanly from any human, provided they weren't struggling too terribly. Ciel was unsatisfied with that, though. It was fine, sure, necessary, like meat and potatoes and greens, but Ciel found no joy in it. The part of every meal that Ciel craved was the schlurrp of blood like warmed cherry syrup, the crrrunch of bone like hard candies, and the slick rubber texture of intestines like strings of gummies.
Skin torn off like candy wrappers...Ciel had always had a sweet tooth.
Now, as midnight approached, stood at the edge of the balcony, staring off into the forest below. Like something out of a Grimm tale, the trees arched their branches into the sky, black and delicate as lace patterns layered on top of each other. Ciel's single sapphiric eye, as bright and powerful as that of an owl, could see a bone-thin coyote stalking an equally emaciated deer over the patchwork blanket of freshly-fallen, mouldering leaves. He could see maggots swarming over a dead rabbit some ways out. The quiet, endless cycle of life-and-death-and-hunt-and-kill-and-eat-and-kill-and-die.
Ciel had brought his Stradivarius and bow out with him. Now, he began to play. The "Devil's Trill" was the first song he'd ever perfected. Ciel could play just about anything with virtuoso ability, but it was that damned song that Ciel hummed to himself when he was idle. The bow seemed to move on its own, whenever he set his mind to that particular composition. Ciel let his eyes close, thick black lashes resting on his pale cheeks. His slender body swayed with the music; it ran through his veins like the blood that glistened on the already-shining black leather of his boots.
Music spilled forth into the night, tumbling through the cold air and up and up into the swirling, shimmering network of stars. Of course Ciel noticed when a murder of crows, raucous in their flaps and sqawks, rushed by him in a noisy dark storm cloud of wings and beaks and talons and hunger. They crashed and tumbled almost drunkenly into the room, leaving dark puddles of feathers wherever they landed. Their beady black eyes were dumb and ravenous.
Ciel smiled beatifically into the curve of his instrument. He need not worry about cleaning up the mess he'd made.
Ciel's playing never ceased, even as he felt a delicious burn kindle itself within his left eye. As the music roiled to its climax, Ciel's lashes fluttered, and he saw that one of the crows was not a crow—it was a raven, so different from the other fowl in its incredible grace, and its eyes that weren't black or dumb...
"And his eyes," Ciel found himself murmuring, almost moaning, over the tune, "his eyes have all the seeming of a demon that is dreaming..."
Yes, those eyes were intelligent (but nonetheless ravenous,) and spectacular crimson in color. They watched Ciel intently, seeming to glimmer with some implacable emotion at Ciel's half-sung words. The burn in Ciel's left eye was a fire now, hot as a funeral pyre beneath his patch. Regardless, he let his eyelids droop once again. There was an upset of wings, and the raven was perched atop Ciel's riding hat, blending in with the arrangement black roses and feathers.
Ciel laughed, and it was all golden. His head tilted back in something like ecstasy. Louder now, Ciel mocked, "Thou art sure no craven, ghastly, grim, and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore."
The bird didn't answer, and Ciel played on. The raven found the knot of Ciel's eyepatch 'round the back of his head and plucked at it with its cruelly-curved beak. The patch fluttered to the ground like a dead butterfly, but Ciel didn't even glance at it. The bird hopped off Ciel's hat, and Ciel's lips parted. The moon had lost its bloody taint and now shown pure white in the blackness. It coated Ciel ethereal silver, turning him into a mystical thing, too delicate and precious to be touched by anybody. Anybody, that is, except for...
"I'm impressed, Young Master. You've improved."
Ciel let his arms cease their work. He tried to fight the small smile that played across his still-bloodied lips but failed. "I've had a lot of time to practice."
Ciel turned, looking up at the ink black hair, vermillion eyes, and wicked smile that was once so familiar. "Sebastian," the younger demon whispered, "you've come back to me."
"You don't sound very surprised," the elder commented with a tilt of his head and an arch of his brows.
Ciel snorted, but he was smiling. "Not a lot can surprise me, Sebastian. But...I never did think I'd see you again."
Sebastian chuckled. It occurred to him that Ciel was probably the only person to have their personality improved by becoming a demon. From the day of Ciel's turning, Sebastian could see it in the then-boy's eyes—the trade up of apathy and cynicism for a sense of quiet happiness and freedom. Now, Ciel seemed lighter, like he might even float away, a serene wraith in the autumn night. "I assure you, Young Master, nobody is having a harder time believing this turn of events than me."
"I'm sure," Ciel said smoothly, "you're clearly a masochist."
"With all due respect, I think you'd have a hard time finding evidence to back that up."
"Yeah? Guess I'll half to make some," Ciel arched up on his tiptoes, yanking Sebastian's tie and and ensnaring him in a kiss. Sebastian was mildly surprised, but not by any means discouraging. Without breaking the kiss, he helped lift Ciel to sit up on the balcony ledge.
Sebastian smiled against Ciel's mouth. The elder demon deepened the kiss, slipping his tongue into Ciel's mouth, then—"Ah!" Sebastian was caught off-guard when Ciel's sharpened clamped down on his tongue. Ciel's own tongue eagerly lapped up the resulting blood. When they disengaged, Ciel was grinning, and his eyes shone ruby.
"Ah. You really did miss me, didn't you?" Sebastian asked, an affectionate undertone to his usual half-mocking lilt.
"Shut up," Ciel responded promptly. His face glowed like the eerie cream bloom of a white rose. Sebastian obeyed, and they were both silent. At last, Ciel laced his hand with that of the older demon and murmured, "Sebastian, what I said about you being free to go, it still holds, but I want to know, will you leave me again?"
More silence. Sebastian knew that Ciel must have changed, truly, to be comfortable showing that little vulnerable streak he once struggled so hard to hide. And that kiss...well, this was certainly a new and fascinating incarnation of Ciel Phantomhive.
"Will you, Sebastian?" Ciel repeated, more firmly this time, demanding an answer.
Sebastian's lips quirked.
Another beat, cold and dark and bleak as the winter nights to come. Somewhere in the distance, a deer keened under the clamp-rip-tear of a coyote's teeth. Then, Sebastian wrapped his arms around Ciel's fragile-looking little body, buried his face in the boy-demon's neck...
And quoth the raven "Nevermore."