Title: The Prince and the Pauper
Authors: TNSxBunny (thenamelesssoul & xXxLostBunnyxXx)
Disclaimer: Kuroshitsuji/Black Butler does not belong to either of us, and is the brain-child of Yana-sensei! Neither is the original plot of The Prince and the Pauper.
Note: Chapter has not been edited, so all mistakes are our own faults!
Ciel flipped through the magazine on his lap lazily, purposefully ignoring the aggravatingly silent man seated behind him in the dressing room. He tried to concentrate on the article before him, something about a new pop band called the P4, but he could not help but steal occasional glances at his mentor from dressing table mirror.
Today was all about avoidance, and Ciel would be damned to break his silence before Sebastian had properly explained his actions from last night. It had been downright embarrassing for him when he had overheard the conversation between his and Alois's agents last night, and he certainly didn't need any help piecing together the muffled moans and seductive dulcet tones that had passed through the phone either. Mortification had only risen after Sebastian calmly set the phone back on the dresser, made Ciel change and then left the room as if the hounds of hell were after him.
Another loud yawn punctuated the silence in the room. Ciel turned and threw the young actor seated beside him an annoyed look. Alois had been yawning non-stop for the entire morning. The make-up artist had complained about how his 'perfect canvas' was ruined by the presence of dark circles around Alois' eyes. It took an entire tube of concealer and a lot of foundation to finally camouflage the dark smudges. So much trouble caused for just a promotional photoshoot for the movie poster of their film.
Alois deserved it anyway, knowing what kind of activities he indulged in the night before.
"How much longer is this going to take?" Ciel barked, not looking at Sebastian.
"They are still setting up the lights, I'm sure they will be done very soon."
Ciel merely flipped over to the next page of his magazine, never once acknowledging his mentor's reply. A soft knock pulled his attention away from the article he was reading as a crew motioned towards Sebastian, calling him out from the dressing room.
Blue eyes flickered to follow the lean figure out of the room, and Ciel found himself releasing a small sigh of relief once the doors slid shut.
"Trouble in paradise, Phantomhive?" Alois's snarky voice sung as the blond held back yet another yawn as Grell added his finishing touches to Alois' blond locks. It was rare to see their make-up artist this quiet. He must still be fuming inside to be called down just to fix Alois' disaster during his day off from work.
Ciel eyed their redheaded stylist as the man sashayed to the clothes rack, slim fingers meticulously caressing the fabrics as he tried to pick out a suitable outfit for Alois. Ciel leaned over towards Alois, turning only once to make sure Grell was out of earshot.
"Hey, we need to prepare for that scene! William will be shooting it in a few days time, and we haven't prepared anything!" Ciel whispered urgently, only to receive a disinterested snort from the blond actor.
"Oh, we'll be fine. Just follow my lead," Alois advised, his right hand moving in a dismissive gesture.
Ciel narrowed his eyes. "Look, I'm not sure if you've bothered to catch up on all the media buzz about the movie, but this movie could make or break both our careers."
"Yeah...yeah, whatever! Jeez, you weren't this high-strung in school. Why don't you just get that lazy ass of a mentor, Sebastian, to coach you?" Alois retorted, turning around in his seat to face his stubborn co-star.
"Besides, it's just a kiss. It can't be that hard," Alois said, relaxing back into his chair. A quick scan of the room revealed it to be empty except for them both. Grell must have slipped out to prepare the additional costumes for the photoshoot when they were engrossed in their heated discussion. Stealing this chance, Alois quickly turned in his seat.
"Here, I'll show you!"
Alois grabbed Ciel by the smooth lapels of his costume and drew the younger boy in, their lips a hair's breadth from each other. Ciel stared incredulously into the bright blues of the blond, before he finally remembered to relax. Alois's eyes softened in approval and pressed his lips against the younger male's.
The kiss was soft. Hesitant. Noses knocked against each other, and the kiss was brief and fleeting.
Exactly as the script had been written.
"That's it...trust me," Alois murmured as he felt Ciel's hands moving slowly to his waist, mimicking Edward's reserved movements from the script.
Alois rested his forehead against Ciel's, and murmured his next line. The younger boy's breath hitched and he pulled back, his dark eyes overflowing with trust before their lips met again, this kiss a hasty clash of full lips and tongues; a lusty blend of all the awkwardness and first love shared by their characters.
As Alois leaned in once again for another kiss, the door to the dressing room swung open and Sebastian returned with the crew member. Both of them were still busy discussing about the contract papers they were holding and failed to see the two boys pulling away quickly and resume an air of nonchalance and innocence.
"Ah, sorry to keep you two waiting. We are ready to start the photoshoot." The crew said, finally looking up with a smile.
Ciel quickly tossed the magazine on the dressing table and hopped up from his seat, brushing past Sebastian coldly as he made his way out. Alois stretched languidly and took his time to leave the room, greeting Sebastian with a knowing smirk as he passed the man by the doorway. Another wink was thrown in Ciel's way, along with the mouthed words "That was fantastic!" and all the exuberance that Alois could manage.
Had Sebastian noticed the faint blush on Ciel's cheeks? The way his wet lips had parted greedily for another kiss? Ciel only hoped he had imagined the slight furrow between Sebastian's eyebrows as the two main actors left the room together.
Meanwhile, Sebastian turned and followed the two boys down the hallway. This time, he kept a distance away from them. For now.
"That's right! Ciel, turn your head a little more to the right. Yes! Perfect!"
More flashes rained down on the two boys as they maintained their pose for the photoshoot. Sebastian stared hard at the scene before him as the photographer danced around his two subjects and moved them into their poses.
Ciel and Alois stood opposite each other, a gothic window prop dividing them. Ciel stood on one side, a crown upon his head while the blond stood on the opposite side, dressed in simple peasant garb but with a thorny vine encircling his frame. The photographer snapped a few shots and arranged them into their next position as Sebastian watched in interest.
This time, both their palms pressed against the glass, hands and lips almost meeting but still separated. Two pairs of eyes, one light and the other dark, stared intently into space, and in that moment, they were transformed completely into their characters, two sides of the same coin: two boys from very different worlds. Completely bewitched by the scene before him, Sebastian never noticed a small group gathering beside him.
"There's something strange about those two now, no young boys their age should be able to kiss and make it look so real! And especially not kids that fresh in the acting world. It makes you wonder how exactly they know so much!"
The second female's voice dropped into a conspiratorial whisper. "I heard that the Trancy boy, he's sleeping with his agent. Picked up from the streets, that blond boy, he must be the type to spread his legs for just anyone."
"It's frightening! Their mentors are responsible for grooming them, not teaching them how to whore themselves as potential actors to the AV industry!"
Sebastian turned his attention to the little group, never once tearing his eyes away from Ciel.
"Weren't the two of them dating?"
Sebastian ignored the pointed glances that were being tossed in his general direction as the conversation moved to his and Claude's previous relationship.
"Yes, they were! Such a big scandal both of them caused. Those two shouldn't even be mentoring those bright young boys. They are leading them down the wrong path!"
Sebastian narrowed his eyes, finally hearing enough of their nonsense. He cleared his throat politely and turned towards them with a smile. The gossiping trio quickly broke apart, and rushed off to their duties. Dark eyes glittered dangerously as he turned back to the two boys.
He idly registered Ciel now laying on a gothic loveseat with burgundy cushions, wide-eyed innocence plastered over his features. Alois hovered at the other end, holding Ciel's leg up on his shoulder, lips pulled into a teasing yet beckoning smile. Nonetheless his mind was lost in a sea of thoughts.
What if they were right?
Sebastian was so distracted that he wasn't aware that the photoshoot had ended. As the crew shuffled around him, Sebastian almost missed two brightly-dressed boys striding past him. Like before, Ciel ignored him and made his way back to the dressing room with Alois' arm around his shoulders.
Frustrated by the way the two boys flaunted their new-found close companionship, Sebastian found himself stalking after them as they entered the dressing room. The words of the nosy crew members had only served to remind him exactly how Claude and him had ended up in a relationship. At the very least, Sebastian and Claude had been closer to their twenties when curiosity and experimentation brought them closer to each other. Ciel and Alois were too young, much too young to be caught up in this.
"Believe me, it feels good!" A laugh filtered through the open doors of the dressing room as Sebastian narrowed his eyes in suspicion - he knew exactly what the two boys were talking about. Silently, Sebastian headed straight for Ciel and grabbed the smaller boy by his collar, wrenching him away from Alois.
"Hey! What the hell are you doing?" Ciel protested, wincing as the grip only tightened further as his mentor pulled him out of the dressing room. "Let me go, you demon!"
An annoyed hmph escaped Sebastian at Ciel's persistent struggling, before he finally bent and swung Ciel across his shoulders. Ciel let out a small squeak of surprise and Sebastian began stalking out of the room, with a loudly irate boy trying to smack him in the face.
Sebastian led the struggling boy down the hallway and towards the one of the storage rooms further down amidst curious stares from the crew hanging around the set. Kicking open the door and finding it empty, the older male set the boy down and promptly locked the door behind him. Sebastian folded his arms across his chest and leaned against the door, effectively blocking Ciel's only way out.
"Let me out." Ciel growled, blue eyes hardened in anger.
Dark eyes stared back at him, blank and unflinching, and Ciel's protests slowly died away. As the young actor glanced around the room, he began to realise how small the space they were in, standing among all the clutter stored in the room - how close, if Sebastian were to take a few more steps closer, the two of them would be. Stifled by his thoughts and the growing tension in the room, Ciel unconsciously took a step back.
"What do you want?"
"I want you to stop hanging out with Alois."
Ciel snorted at the absurdity of his mentor's request. Alois was his co-star, if avoiding him wasn't so much of a problem, he would have done so a long time ago. Besides, Alois was a senior in his school, and they were sort of friends after all. Like five minutes ago, to be precise.
"Why don't YOU stop hanging out with me." Ciel retorted and tried to shove the bigger man away from the door with his might, only to have his hand grabbed by Sebastian again to stop his actions.
"Stop that! Let go!" Ciel shrieked and wrestled against his mentor, scratching and clawing for his life.
"Ciel please, it's for your own good. Please listen to me!" Sebastian growled angrily as he tried to shake some sense into the boy. He needed to warn Ciel but the stubborn brat refused to listen.
"You're too young for this, Ciel." Sebastian said, slamming a fist against the door in a fit of anger. "You should be going to school, making friends like a normal boy your age. Not learn how to fuck!"
"Weren't you around my age when you began sleeping around?" Ciel bit out angrily, glaring at Sebastian.
"Weren't you too young - " Ciel mimicked Sebastian's words, "- when you and Claude first got together? I bet your parents must be turning in their graves when they know their son was fucking another man!"
Before Ciel could continue, Sebastian raised a hand and delivered a sharp slap to snap the boy out of his feverish rant.
Ciel froze and raised a trembling hand to cup the burning sting upon his cheeks.
Did Sebastian just slap him? The man that had never raised a hand towards him, the man that gave him everything he wanted. The angry sting of tears prickled his eyes as Ciel fell back to rest against the wall. Shock settled in as his legs gave out and he slid down to the ground.
"I knew I should never have trusted you." Ciel started slowly as anger simmered in his blue eyes. "You're just being a damn hypocrite! Why don't you go back to him and be his little fag you were before, and leave me alone!"
The words were out before Ciel could stop himself and he watched as Sebastian's form stiffened with hurt. It was too late before Ciel realised what his words actually meant. Ciel squared his shoulders, head hanging and lips moving soundlessly as he tried to take back his hurtful words.
"I see," The older man said softly, almost pleadingly.
His voice sounded tired. Defeated.
Ciel's head whipped upwards as Sebastian moved to open the door. Face shadowed by his bangs, Sebastian held the door open for Ciel, eyes avoiding his protegé. Ciel stayed on the ground, making no move to stand and leave. His face was still an expression of shock. Wide blue eyes were wet with tears, his mouth partly open as his mind worked furiously to repair his mistake. Red blossom upon his left cheek throbbed lightly, and Ciel welcomed the pain. For it could not match the pain Sebastian could have felt when he said those words.
Sitting still as the hurt and guilt ate away at him, Ciel only registered Sebastian's soft voice telling him that he would wait for Ciel in the car, before his mentor quietly left the room. The room fell dark, and only then did Ciel finally let out a choked sob, the sound dulled as he clapped a shaky hand over his mouth.
What had he done?
The ride home was silent as usual. And Ciel felt that he had been in the same situation a few days ago. If only he learnt how to control his tongue.
The silence and tension was almost palpable in the car; it had only grown worse during the time they had been apart. This time, there were no furtive glances from either party, no short naps during the ride home. It was just uncomfortable silence.
Distracted by his thoughts, Ciel burrowed his face deeper into his blue jacket and tightened arms around the soft, comforting material.
The usual scenery of their route home changed as Sebastian drove past the direction of where their apartment was supposed to be. Surprised by it, Ciel sat up in his seat. Were they heading someplace else?
Finally, the car pulled into a familiar driveway. Red roses blossomed around the perimeter of the modern two-storey house. A sinking feeling settled in the pits of Ciel's stomach. He knew where exactly they were right now.
Sebastian pressed the honk impatiently once, twice. Never did he once look at the boy. A woman came out of the house, dressed in a simple red cotton dress.
For the next few minutes, Ciel had felt oddly detached from the situation. He saw himself unbuckling his seatbelt and climbed out of the passenger seat. Ciel watched as the door slammed shut and Sebastian wound the window down. Their eyes locked for the first time since they had left the studio, and Ciel felt as if he had been dragged back forcibly into his body again.
"Madam Red will be taking custody of you for the time being. Your belongings are already in her house."
"It's been nice working with you, Mr. Phantomhive. But I think it's time for me to move on," Sebastian said with a hesitant smile.
"Take care of yourself."
Sebastian managed a small smile before rolling up the window of his car.
As Ciel watched the black sedan pull out of the driveway, the young boy barely felt the warm arms of his aunt around his trembling shoulders. It wasn't deja vu after all, Ciel decided.
It was really over.
xXxLostBunnyxXx: Hi guys! We're back with a new chapter! It's been awhile no?
TNS: Too long! We apologise but RL is still hectic as ever, since we've finally graduated and heading off to university. Thank you for being patient with us!
xXxLostBunnyxXx: We apologise for the drama at the end again, but we promise this story is going to be much much better the chapter! So please do hit review/subscribe/favourites!
TNS: Leave us your thoughts/reviews/criticisms, we'd love to keep improving our writing and find out what you thought.