A/N: Another side story! This one takes place two years after chapter thirteen. It's a big jump and I wanted to keep things in order but this chapter refused to stay quiet and demanded that I post it haha. It didn't turn out the way I expected but I still like it and I hope everyone does as well. Thank you for all the alerts, favorites, and reviews! ^^
Warnings: Mental and physical violence, language. Claude also gets his own warning :3
Disclaimer: I don't own Kuroshitsuji.
Sunlight streamed through the top of the curtains, casting just enough light in the bedroom that made it near impossible to fall back asleep. It wasn't fair, Sebastian concluded as he tried to bury his face into the pillows in a feeble attempt to ignore the sunlight. This was the one day he could sleep in like a normal person, and enjoy a normal sleep pattern. And the damn sun was making it impossible to accomplish such a thing.
It wasn't only the sun that was working against him but also an infernal internal clock that told his body he should be up and that his alarm clock would be going off soon. But Sebastian refused to open his eyes to check the time. Because knowing his luck, he would look at the clock a minute or two before it would go off. It didn't matter if he was already awake and was simply lying in bed with his eyes shut. The bed was comfortable. The cool morning air, not so much.
In the distance, Sebastian could hear the ringing bell on Soot's collar as the cat moved throughout the condominium. No doubt, she was pouncing on the streams of sunlight that filtered into the living room. The sun hit a small prism that Ciel had hung by the window nearly two years ago, sending colored specks dancing across the floor that entertained Soot almost all morning.
Speaking of Ciel. Sebastian rolled onto his side and his eye opened slightly, looking at the empty spot next to him. It had long since grown cold but Ciel's smell still lingered on the sheets and Sebastian rolled over to inhale the crisp scent. Ciel had left for work already, about an hour or so ago while Sebastian was still lost to the dream world.
Sebastian sighed loudly and buried his nose further into the sheets. "Evil Monday," he grumbled and debated about pulling the blankets over his head in an attempt to fall back asleep but the damage was already done. Sebastian was awake and there would be no going back to sleep now. With another sigh, he sat up and tossed the blankets back, shivering in the crisp morning air.
He reached down and picked up his sleep pants and a lightweight shirt, slipping them both on before padding into the bathroom. It seemed odd to be up at this time, when under normal circumstances, Sebastian would be going to sleep around this time. But DIE was taking a four month break and Sebastian had easily fallen back into a normal sleep pattern.
They were already three weeks into their break and Sebastian only had to wait one more week before Ciel had time off as well. They had plans to travel during that time and Sebastian couldn't wait to spend the time with Ciel in a new country. Already, Sebastian pondered the idea of doing an international special for a shooting with DIE and he wondered if he could convince Ciel to make a dry run at certain places.
Sebastian paused in the middle of brushing his teeth. "We haven't made our own sex video yet," he murmured to himself and shook his head, pushing the thoughts from his mind.
He finished brushing and made his way to the living room where Soot greeted him with loud cries. He picked her up and scratched underneath her chin, listening to her purr. A quick glance at the clock showed that it was almost nine and he had a meeting with The Undertaker in an hour. Despite the four month break, they were still working occasionally. Money didn't grow on trees and some profit was better than none.
While they weren't producing DVD's during the break, Sebastian had suggested making calendars and other paper products that were easier to produce and didn't require a mass amount of effort. Pictures were easy to pull from video stills and Sebastian found that writing the short descriptions for the magazine was rather fun.
Their newest issue, which Sebastian wanted to produce weekly, was due Thursday afternoon if it was to hit shelves by Friday night. So far, the magazine was popular and demand was high. It was like Playboy but with a DIE twist.
Sebastian chuckled lowly and set Soot down next to her bowl. She cried at him and weaved around his ankles as he poured some food into her bowl before checking her water. Seeing that it was still full, he turned to get his own breakfast and hummed lightly under his breath. Perhaps if his meeting finished early today, he would stop by and see Ciel at work. Ciel had his own office now, which promised fun times if Ciel was in the mood.
A smirk spread across Sebastian's face as he pulled two eggs from their container and grabbed some ham slices. Hopefully today would be a good day.
.:|When the Lights go Down|:.
Sebastian hummed as he smeared a ring of water around on the table. More droplets slid down the side of his glass as the condensation continued to grow on the glass. A quick glance at his watch showed that The Undertaker was running late, again, and Sebastian stretched his arms over his head before leaning back in the plush chair.
He almost regretted eating breakfast now, knowing that he was too full to eat anything. But a quick look at the prices for a plate of breakfast had Sebastian tucking the menu back into the holder. Sebastian didn't like to spend money in a useless fashion and years of carefully budgeting his money sat firmly ingrained in his brain.
Instead, he sipped at his water again before setting the glass on the table, resisting the urge to look at his watch. At this rate, they would never finish their meeting in time for Sebastian to sneak into Ciel's office. He drummed his fingers along the surface of the table, wondering if it would be better to sneak in under the guard's nose, or wear a disguise. A sense of mischief raced through his body and Sebastian nearly laughed at the feeling.
Ciel would call him a child for thinking such immature thoughts, but those blue eyes would give Ciel away. They would shine with laughter and Ciel would find amusement in the situation. And even though he would scold Sebastian for acting so childish, his eyes would beg Sebastian to make another attempt in the future.
Sebastian chuckled lowly and twisted the wrapper from his straw. He glanced up as someone slid into the booth across from him and the teasing greeting died on the tip of his tongue. Instead, his eyes widened and his heart started to race, the urge to flee briefly rearing its head. He pushed the impulse away and swallowed, choosing to stay seated. "Claude," he finally said, pleased that his voice was strong.
"Sebastian," Claude answered calmly, his eyes flickering over Sebastian's body.
"What are you doing here?" Sebastian asked, his body still tense.
Claude smirked. "I have a meeting at Funtom and I happened to see you sitting by the window when I was walking by." He rested his arms on the table. "So I thought I would stop in and see how you were doing. I haven't seen you since Ciel stood up for you, almost three years ago?"
"Two," Sebastian corrected. "Almost three though."
It would be three years come October, after the summer heat burned away to give way to the chill of fall. But Sebastian had escaped the oppressive grip of his brother several months before that, back in the midst of summer when he slipped away into the night under everyone's nose. To this day, Claude still didn't know where he lived or what he did, a feat Sebastian was rather proud of.
"What's the difference?" Claude asked with a small shrug and waved the server away. "A few months means nothing compared to a few years that we spent apart. We're family after all."
Sebastian growled lowly. "We're family only by blood and that's it. The fact that you can even sit there across from me and claim that we're family, like you even care, is enough to make me sick." His eyes darted towards the entrance of the restaurant, hoping to see The Undertaker walking through the door but it stayed empty.
Across the table, Claude chuckled lightly. "You're twitching like a mouse in front of a cat, Sebastian. I can see it in your eyes, that raw and unguarded emotion that tells me you're still terrified of me after all these years." He smirked and leaned forward, the action making Sebastian press back into the cushions. "You may have escaped my control, but there are several aspects of me that you can't escape."
Heart racing, Sebastian shook his head and tried to deny Claude's words. He subtly wiped his sweaty palms on his jeans and clenched them into fists in order to keep Claude from seeing just how nervous he felt. "You have no control over me anymore," he stated, but his voice quivered slightly and he watched as Claude's eyes glowed with pleasure behind his glasses.
"You're lying, Sebastian," he goaded. "I can see right through you no matter what shields you try to erect. And no matter how much you try to escape me, I will always be there. And I will always be the better."
Sebastian scoffed but didn't say anything, not trusting his voice at the moment. Being around Claude again for the first time in years made his confidence waver until he scrambled to grasp for a strong hold, anything that would keep him from tumbling into despair and to his horror, his fingers were coming up empty.
Golden eyes brightened as Sebastian felt his face twist into panic and his eyes once more darted towards the door. Sweat beaded close to his hairline and the harshest of swallows seemed loud in the silence that settled between them. Claude's eyes glowed with triumph and Sebastian could barely stop the finest of shivers from racing through his body. He knew that look, the look that Claude had whenever he knew that he won or had an ace up his sleeve.
"How is Ciel doing these days?" Claude asked casually, as though they were discussing the weather.
"He's fine," Sebastian answered tensely and silently begged that Claude would drop the subject.
Claude nodded and leaned back into the cushions. "I'm surprised that you two are still together. He must really pity you, seeing as he's been with you this whole time."
Sebastian glared at Claude. "He doesn't stay because he pities me," he snapped. "He stays because he loves me."
Laughter left Claude's mouth and Sebastian flinched at the sound. It wasn't a joyous laugh but instead, a cruel laugh that had Sebastian on guard. "That's rich," Claude finally said and wiped away a mock tear from his eye. "I can't believe you actually believe that he loves you. I mean, this is you we're talking about."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Sebastian asked stiffly.
Claude chuckled again. "Come now Sebastian, we all know that Ciel is far too attractive to be seen with the likes of you. He would be better off with someone who compliments him. Why else do you think he works so long at work?" He clicked his tongue and shook his head. "He needs to spend time with people he's actually fit to be around and to escape your less than ideal looks. You're an embarrassment to him."
Sebastian twitched but didn't say anything as his heart continued to race against his chest, almost painfully now. He was an embarrassment to Ciel? He shook his head, pushing the thoughts away. No, Claude's words were nothing but a lie. Ciel still wouldn't be with him if he didn't want Sebastian anymore. He would've left to live his own life.
"I don't believe you," he spat finally, but the words felt weak on his tongue. "If Ciel was embarrassed of me and wished to have someone else, why hasn't he left by now? You said so yourself that he's attractive and he could have anyone he wants. So why would he stay with me when he could easily leave for someone new?"
Claude shook his head slowly, pity filling his eyes. "Oh Sebastian. How do you know he doesn't already have someone and you're nothing but a side fling that he keeps around for kicks? Sex is sex, and I'm sure on the days he wants some but his other partner isn't willing, he comes to you to satisfy his desires." He smirked and reached forward to cup Sebastian's face. "Face it, Sebastian. You're nothing but a sex toy to that boy. There is no love. There never was and there never will be."
"You're lying," Sebastian gasped. "He wouldn't do that to me."
"Of course not," Claude cooed lowly, almost tenderly as though he was trying to soothe and comfort Sebastian. "But one day you'll wake up and realize that you've been living nothing but a lie. And when that happens, you'll be alone and broken, with no one around to help you. And then you'll have no choice but to come crawling back to me."
Sebastian sat still, stiff as a board as Claude leaned forward across the table. "And I look forward to that day," he whispered against Sebastian's ear. He pressed a light kiss to the pale cheek. "It was nice to see you again, little brother," he said, tone light and happy before he stood up and moved away from the booth.
Clothes rustled as Claude walked towards the door, his jacket pulled tight around his body as Sebastian watched him go with hollow eyes. The front door opened and closed, the noise pulling Sebastian from his thoughts and his hands trembled in his lap. The words Claude spoke raced around his mind, low and convincing. They battered his mind and his emotions, opening old wounds that Sebastian thought had closed long ago.
He didn't believe the words. Ciel using him as a side fling, impossible. Wasn't it?
"Oh God," Sebastian gasped and his hands scrambled to find something to anchor himself to as vertigo suddenly hit him. He panted for breath, feeling as though he was about to pass out from the suddenness of it all and all the while, his mind supplied him with less than comforting thoughts and images.
What if Ciel was secretly seeing someone at work? They had the privacy of his office to keep the secret and Sebastian rarely visited so the chances of someone seeing him or anyone telling him were rare. And no one could inform Sebastian if Ciel was seeing someone. They didn't know where he lived or his cell phone number. They didn't even know where he worked.
The thought struck Sebastian like a freight train and suddenly Claude's words made sense. Everyone at Funtom probably thought Sebastian was nothing but a bum who lived off Ciel like a leach. Or a parasite. They only knew him in the past as 'that unattractive person who managed equipment'. No one knew why he left. For all they knew, he probably left because of a drug problem, which could explain his unkempt looks in the past.
Not only that, he had no job that they knew of and when asked, Sebastian would just shrug off the question. What did that look like to the people who knew Ciel? Did they look at Ciel in pity because they thought Sebastian was a free loader? They must think that Ciel deserved someone better, someone who could stand proudly next to Ciel and hold their own. Not someone who lived in the shadows.
But why did Ciel keep this from him? Was it because he was secretly ashamed of Sebastian as well and had publically denied his relationship with him in order to take someone more suitable? Only to come home at night to secretly see Sebastian because he wanted to keep him from suspecting something?
Had these past two years been nothing but a lie?
Sebastian pitched forward, his head smacking the surface of the table harshly. The pain raced through his body and he vaguely realized he was shaking on the cushioned seats, panicked tears threatening to leave his eyes. He sucked in a harsh breath as the last remaining tingles of pain left his body and with it, brought some sense of calm and rationality.
It wasn't right, none of it was. These thoughts plaguing him were nothing but lies, built from past fears and coaxed to life by a silver-tongued demon who knew about his insecurities. None of those fears or thoughts was the truth though. Only Sebastian knew the truth.
No matter what lies Claude tried to weave and tell, tried to force him to believe, Sebastian knew the truth. Had always known the truth. And the truth of the matter was that Ciel cared about him. Loved him. Had loved him in the past, loved him now, and would continue to love him.
Those past wounds that had once haunted Sebastian for months after Ciel found him had finally closed. Had been closed for years now as the trust between them grew stronger until the wounds were nothing but faint lines in their relationship and Sebastian didn't think about them anymore. He trusted Ciel and had trusted him now for quite some time. Then Claude came along and tried to shake him.
No, not try. He had shaken him.
For a brief moment of weakness, Sebastian allowed himself to believe Claude's words and doubt himself and the relationship he had with Ciel. Yes, there were times he still felt insecure with his features but Sebastian hadn't relapsed into not trusting Ciel for months. How dare Claude make him slip. Were it anyone else, Sebastian could ignore them. However, the moment Claude opened his mouth, it seemed that all Sebastian's confidence in himself slipped away.
How dare he.
How dare him.
Damn them both. Damn both himself and his brother.
Damn himself for falling prey to Claude's words and tactics once more. And damn Claude for making him this way in the first place.
Sebastian growled low in his throat and his fingers clenched into a fist. But was it really Claude's fault in the end? Yes, to an extent, but Sebastian was also responsible for allowing Claude to manipulate him that way. Sebastian was always the one running and he was tired of it. He had been running from Claude since Tanaka's death.
He stood up and darted towards the door, ignoring the server who tried to wave him down. Without looking back, he ran out onto the sidewalk and headed towards Funtom. Claude said he had a meeting at Funtom and Sebastian hoped to catch him before he reached the company. He wasn't sure how much time had passed while he battled his demons, but Sebastian figured it couldn't have been too long. No one stopped by his table to ask if he was all right, meaning his mini panic attack was quick.
People shouted at him as he ran down the sidewalk but Sebastian ignored them, too focused on finding Claude. Buildings passed by too quickly until at last, Sebastian stopped in front of Funtom, doubled over as he caught his breath. He cursed lowly, still trying to control his breathing before straightening up and walking through the front doors.
The man at the front desk recognized him and waved him through without question. Sebastian gave him a small smile before he stepped into the elevator and took a moment to smooth out the wrinkles in his clothes and comb out his hair. It was probably better to wait a day or two and approach Claude with a level head but Sebastian was tired of beating around the bush.
The elevator came to a stop at the correct floor and Sebastian stepped off, striding towards Ciel's office with determined steps. He passed a few people in the hall but no one bothered to stop him and within minutes, Sebastian found himself in front of Ciel's door. A quick look through the frosted glass showed that he had company and the familiar voice inside told Sebastian exactly who was in the office.
Sighing softly, Sebastian took a step to the side and leaned against the wall. He couldn't trouble Ciel with his family problems, it wasn't fair to bring that to work. Besides, this was something private and needed to be settled as such.
Crimson eyes glanced up as one of the many interns in the company walked by, carrying a tray of coffee. "Excuse me," Sebastian called out, stopping the young male. "Will you do me a favor?"
"I'm a little busy," the intern said, glancing down at the cups before looking back up at Sebastian.
"This will only take a moment and I can insure that after this, you won't be the coffee boy anymore," Sebastian stated. "All you need to do is go in there and spill some coffee on Claude Faustus."
The male stared at him. "I'll lose my job."
Sebastian shook his head. "And I'll make sure you don't. You have my word. I know the owner of this company and he'll understand what I'm about to do."
The intern looked uneasy but Sebastian could see his hesitation wavering. "Fine," he finally said. "But only because I'm tired of being the coffee boy. You better hold up your end of the bargain though."
Sebastian smirked. "Once Claude is gone, tell Ciel Phantomhive that Sebastian will explain everything once he's done. That will keep you from getting in trouble." He gestured to the door. "Good luck."
He stepped to the side as the intern walked inside and leaned against the wall, waiting for the fireworks to start. It didn't take long before Claude's yell pierced the walls and Sebastian winced slightly, feeling bad for the young intern. Seconds passed before the door opened violently and Claude stalked outside, looking furious and a little damp.
"How hot was that coffee, Claude?" Sebastian asked calmly, a smirk playing on his lips. He waited for Claude to wheel around, noticing him for the first time before his hand shot out and curled around Claude's wrist. "Let's get you cleaned up, hm?"
"Sebastian, release me this instant," Claude snarled as Sebastian dragged him down the hallway to the bathroom.
The bathroom door opened and Sebastian pushed Claude through before shutting the door. He silently turned the lock and turned to face Claude, pleased to see that he didn't look as smug as before. "What's the matter, Claude? Surprised to see me already?" He cocked his head and tapped his chin. "Did you think you left me broken at the restaurant when you left?"
Claude sneered. "You looked pretty broken to me. And I know how easy it is to break you. I've done it countless times before and I can't wait to keep breaking you in the future."
Sebastian clicked his tongue. "You see, that's the problem with you, Claude. It's the reason why your CD sales are falling and your fan base is slowly dying. You don't change. You keep to things that are familiar and never learn how to adapt to the new and changing world around you." He took a step forward. "You think music stays the same, you think your audience stays the same, and you think I stay the same."
Golden eyes narrowed slightly. "You never change Sebastian. You're still the scared child that likes to hide behind someone. First it was me, then Tanaka, and now Ciel. What happens when Ciel realizes the truth and leaves you?" He smirked. "Because you know he will. Eventually he'll realize that he can have better and he won't want anything to do with you. What will you do then, Sebastian? Who will you hide behind once you discover the truth. The truth that Ciel doesn't love you."
Sebastian's fist shot forward, catching Claude in the jaw and making his head snap to the side. Harsh pants left his mouth as the anger that Sebastian felt back at the restaurant came boiling back at Claude's words. His fingers curled around Claude's shirt and pushed him against the wall. "Do not say another word, Claude Faustus," he hissed. "Don't even think about opening your mouth."
His fingers tightened and he stared into golden eyes, eyes that had haunted his dreams when he was younger. They narrowed and glared back at him but Sebastian didn't back down. This was long overdue and he was tired of running.
"There was a time when we were younger that you controlled me, physically and mentally. You told me what I could wear and how to act. You mentally crippled me until it was near impossible for me to trust," Sebastian spat and watched as golden eyes danced with pleasure at hearing the words. "But then I beat you at your own game and escaped your control."
"A mistake on my part," Claude snarled. "I should've watched you more carefully."
Sebastian pushed Claude harder against the wall, making his head smack into the smooth surface. "I told you not to open your mouth," he said calmly and watched as Claude flinched ever so slightly. "You were stronger than me when we were younger. You had age and leverage on me that kept me from lashing out at you. But now that we're older, you've stayed the same while I've grown stronger and surpassed you."
Claude struggled against Sebastian's grip. "You only think you've grown stronger. I can still bring you down with a single word if I wanted to." He laughed. "You're still so weak, Sebastian. I will always be stronger and better than you in every way."
"Yet here we stand," Sebastian said. "I'm free from your grip and your life is slowly taking a turn for the worse.
"It's only a matter of time," Claude spat. "You're deluding yourself if you think you can continue to live on your own, happily with Ciel at your side. But one day he'll wake up and realize what a mistake he made by dating you all these years. He'll leave, just like everyone else and then you'll be alone. And you'll have no choice but to come crawling back to me, begging me to help you."
Sebastian shook his head. "I pity you, Claude," he stated and he watched as his brother flinched harshly at the words. Pity was something Claude couldn't handle. He needed Sebastian to hate him and despise him. Those feelings pushed him forward and gave him meaning, telling him that he was doing something right and had Sebastian under his control.
But pity was something new. If Sebastian pitied Claude, then he no longer hated him and was no longer under his control. It meant that he had broken free of the constraints placed on him and turned the tables. Hate and affection, while two opposite emotions, were easy to accept and handle. It meant that people loved or hated him, telling Claude that he was doing something right.
Pity though…pity. It roused the sympathy and sorrow due to the misfortune or suffering of another. For Sebastian to feel pity for Claude said that Claude was doing something wrong. People pitied Sebastian years back because his life seemed wrong. And Claude took great pleasure in knowing that his actions were behind that pity. To have the tables suddenly turned though left Claude off balanced and suddenly scrambling to find a foothold in his life.
Because his life wasn't something to be pitied. Nothing was wrong with his life, nothing for people to look at him with those eyes that spoke of sympathy due to something Claude couldn't understand.
"I fail to see how you pity me," Claude finally said, his words laced with a boldness that dared Sebastian to prove him wrong. But his eyes flickered with fear deep in the depths of his gaze. Inside, the thought that Sebastian's words were right, terrified him.
Sebastian smiled slightly, the action making Claude stiffen against the wall. "You think you can tell me how to live my life. That you can come back into it and try to tear down the trust I have with Ciel. But you can't, not anymore. I refuse to be that weakened child you could pick on when we were younger." His hands loosened their grip on Claude's shirt and traveled up, curling around his neck in a mockingly familiar gesture from years back.
Claude tilted his head to the side, keeping a cautious eye on Sebastian but the fear seemed to keep him from lashing out. The fear that Sebastian could do something; would do something because he was indeed stronger now.
"You don't control me anymore, Claude, and I will never let you close enough to try again," Sebastian murmured. "You can try to weave your lies as much as you want, but they'll never work because I'm stronger than that, I'm stronger than you. Nothing you do will ever make me fall into your hands again."
Someone pounded on the door behind them, the noise pulling Claude from his fear induced haze. "Shut up!" Claude shouted and words echoed throughout the bathroom. He started to struggle against Sebastian, pushing and shoving in an attempt to break free, and Sebastian watched as Claude's eyes flickered towards the door.
"Sebastian!" Ciel shouted from the other side of the door. "What are you doing to Claude? Don't you dare kill him! He's not worth the effort and Funtom still needs him. Unlock the door, Sebastian!"
The noise behind them grew louder and Claude shoved Sebastian away. "Don't touch me," he said. "Don't touch me, don't speak to me, don't do anything. Just shut your damn mouth!" He yelled and swung his fist at Sebastian's head.
Sebastian chuckled lowly and blocked the attack. "You can try to make me fall. You can beat me with your words or your fists, but at the end of the day, you'll be the one who is left alone while I still have Ciel. Because I know the truth and that's something you can't take away no matter how hard you try. You can never break me; you will never break me again."
His hands grabbed Claude's shirt again and he spun them around, shoving Claude up against the bathroom door. It rattled at the force behind Sebastian's action and for a moment, Ciel seemed to falter on the other side at the sudden noise. His surprise passed quickly though and he started to beat on the door once more, but the noise fell on deaf ears.
There was no one; they both knew that. No one could come in and interrupt this brotherly talk. This was between them and no one else, despite Ciel's efforts to stop the fight. No doubt, he worried that they would beat each other to a bloody pulp and die in the locked bathroom. But this was something they needed. They needed this time to rewrite the rules between them.
The lines of power were shifting and changing. Claude no longer held all of them in his hand and the few that remained were slipping through his fingers with ease. They fell like strands of silk into Sebastian's waiting hands and he grasped them firmly but cautiously. Power was dangerous and tricky. It could make you the king of the world one moment and send you crashing to your knees the next.
It was wholly possible though that in a power struggle, there could be more than one victor. Sharing power equally was possible, so long as both parties respected each other and were willing to meet each other in the middle. No animosity or past problems could remain. A new slate would form; wiped clear of the past in order to start anew.
That wasn't going to happen today.
Sebastian's hand grasped Claude's cheeks tightly, fingers digging into the soft skin. Claude stilled under the touch and watched him warily. The power had shifted now and they both knew it. Sebastian held it in his hand and with this fight, everything between them changed. Their worlds had tilted, shifting in Sebastian's favor and casting Claude in his shadow. The power struggle between them would continue, rising and falling like a seesaw until somehow, someway, it balanced.
"You do not own me anymore, Claude," Sebastian said, his voice calm and steady. "And you will never own me again." He leaned forward, Claude tensing as he grew closer, until his lips brushed over Claude's cheek. "Goodbye brother," he murmured and backed away.
He reached behind Claude and flicked his wrist, unlocking the bathroom door. He pulled the handle, forcing Claude away from the door and stepped through the doorframe without looking back. There was no need, Claude knew his place now and Sebastian's actions had stunned Claude too much to think about attacking him.
Because in the end, Sebastian had walked away without doing anything. He didn't try to get revenge or force Claude to his knees the same way Claude did when they were younger. It threw him off and Claude didn't know what to think of Sebastian's actions. And that was the power that Sebastian liked. It was subtle and slightly innocent. There was no bloodshed, no violence, and no ruining of Claude's life. He would let Claude do that himself.
Sebastian didn't gain anything by turning into his brother; he refused to let that happen. He wouldn't force the same things on Claude because he was better than that. Yes, he would put Claude in his place, but that was where he stopped and drew the line. And it was a line Sebastian refused to cross. Power was dangerous and tricky. One had to handle it with care and above all, respect.
Turning into Claude meant that, in time, Sebastian would fall just as Claude had. Learn from history, Tanaka had once said, it will always teach you well. And if you learn from it, you will never repeat the same mistakes of the past.
Ciel stood on the other side of the door, looking anxious and curious. "Sebastian," he started and grunted when Sebastian pulled him close, their chests pressing together. Ciel's hands came up and cupped his face, blue eyes silently searching for any hints of trauma. "What happened? Did he do anything to you?" He finally asked.
Sebastian smiled and lowered his head until their foreheads bumped against each other. "No. We just talked and everything is going to be okay now," he answered and captured Ciel's lips in a soft kiss. "Because you love me, and I know that. I know the truth and I know what isn't, that's all that matters."
Ciel looked confused and he glanced over Sebastian's shoulders to look at Claude before turning his attention back to Sebastian. "He looks dazed. What did you do to him?"
"We talked and I won," Sebastian answered. "He can't control me anymore."
Ciel's mouth opened slightly as understanding dawned in his eyes and a soft 'oh' fell from his lips. A smile spread across his face and he pulled Sebastian closer. "I'm glad," he said simply. He didn't need to say anything else, just as Sebastian didn't need to explain in detail what happened between him and Claude.
Sebastian hummed as drew Ciel into another kiss, glad that Ciel didn't press for details. Some fights you had to fight alone and this was one of them. They broke apart and Sebastian smiled softly. "I love you," he said with all the sincerity in his body. Not as though he never meant the words before in the past, but there had always been the smallest doubt, brought on by his insecurities with Claude.
Now though, it seemed as though that doubt never existed and the words felt stronger and surer on his tongue. They told of a future that Sebastian had once only dreamed about but believed he would never have. And now that dream rested in Sebastian's arms, warm and loving.