I have no excuse for keeping you guys waiting; I have literally had this chapter complete and rotting on my flash drive for months. The problem was, I totally lost my drive to write, so I didn't touch my flash drive at all. Please forgive me?
Anyway, this is the epilogue. It is meant to be ambiguous; it can mean whatever you think or want it to mean. It can be the end of the story, or it can stand on its own. I'm sad to be putting the final chapter on this fic, since it was so wonderful to write and see your responses. I have a ton of ideas for new fanfictions, and I seem to be getting my motivation back. Fingers crossed :)
Thank you all, and please review!
Epilogue: Ever After
The lazy little stream burbled over Ciel's toes, creating eddies around the stubby digits. Ciel watched it, kicked lightly at shiny-scaled fish that tried to nibble his toe-tips. He knotted his fingers in the long green grass he sat on, soft as a cushion beneath him. The sun shone down, but it was neither too hot nor too bright.
"I'm sorry, am I boring you?" The smooth voice—half-polite, half-playful—came from Ciel's side, just a few feet away.
"Yes," Ciel replied honestly. He turned to face the raven-haired man who'd addressed him, "I don't know why you'd think I'd be interested in stories about princesses and magic, but I'm not."
"How foolish of me," Sebastian closed the antique volume in his lap, regarding Ciel with be-spectacled ruby eyes, "then what what tale would you have me read? Rumpelstiltskin? Snow White and Rose Red? There's quite a few—"
"I've outgrown fairy tales, Sebastian," Ciel cut the older male off.
"Ah," Sebastian put the book down now, laying it on the ground atop his discarded tailcoat, "I see."
"What time is it?" Ciel demanded with a yawn. He was plucking the petals off a violet flower, twining its curly green stem around his forefinger. The little clearing was full of the small purple blooms; Sebastian had made Ciel a crown of them earlier.
"Does it really matter?"
"What time do you think it is, my lord?" Sebastian smiled at the dark-haired boy, dressed simply in tan riding shorts and a white button-down, sleeves rolled up; suspender straps had fallen down past Ciel's shoulders, but the boy made no move to adjust them.
"It looks like it's about an hour before dusk," Ciel ventured thoughtfully, "...or an hour after dawn."
"My lord." Sebastian removed his glasses, stacking them over the book.
"Yes?" Ciel was staring off into the trees on the other side of the stream.
"Would you like to leave?"
There was nothing else to say for a while, and Sebastian sighed. Finally, he asked, "Well is thereanythingyou would like to do?"
Ciel tossed his handful of petals into the stream, watching them scatter apart and float away. "I want to go swimming."
"Oh really," Sebastian remarked, a touch surprised.
Ciel nodded. He tilted his face up to the soft light.
"Do you know how?" Sebastian questioned, crawling like a jungle cat behind the blue-eyed boy to help remove his suspenders and unbutton his shirt.
"Not really," Ciel replied, unconcerned. "You'll teach me, won't you?"
Ciel turned to say something to the red-eyed man, but the words died on his lips when Sebastian kissed him, soft and sweet as the violet petals that floated down the stream, amaranthine.