It has been a long while, no doubt. The beauty and yet disagreeable thing of life caught up with me. BUT, I'm still here, and there is only a little more till the end. I'm getting sentimental. I do realise that my language might not have been up to standard for some but English is not exactly my native tongue, and I always strive to improve. Enjoy.
She lowers her volume and moves closer to the pure demon.
"That boy you love so dearly had already declared in front of those demons that you would always be his since before you came here. You do know what that means right?"
She moves back.
"You already know the answer."
With that, she leaves to start her game with Ciel.
Sebastian smirks at his own foolishness. How could it have taken him this long?
Sighing, the boy made his way into the bathroom. The boy was taking quite a while. Sebastian waited for a few minutes before peering into the tiled room. Ciel was trying to unbutton his shirt with his only one mobile arm. Politely, the demon directs gentle taps to the door's wooden surface before he enters. Ciel grunts a little, "I can do this myself."
'Trying to be independent, are we?'
"Ciel, perhaps just this once, let me assist you again."
The boy hesitates for a moment before letting his hand drop. Within minutes, the boy was in the tub. Following the once usual routine, the raven kneels by the tub with a scrub and a small towel in hand. Ciel was ready to protest but decided against it as it seemed useless. After wrapping the cloth around the cast to keep it dry, the butler went to work.
As the cleaning went in silence, both parties could not help but feel a sense of nostalgia. Before they had left the human world - before they had encountered Claude and Alois - the servant would aid his master in the bathtub. Now, Ciel had taken it upon himself to become more independent - this meant he became more insistent on doing things himself. For the boy to allow his butler to aid him again, it would be under special conditions, taking his current predicament as an example. Never would they have thought that they would still be together, carrying on the fragments of their once 'peaceful' routine.
In comparison from then to now, they find themselves in preference to the life they lead now. The life where they are not bound by titles and petty human conflicts. A life free of pride and corruption. Even as Sebastian still remained a butler to Ciel, it merely became a scar of their previous mistakes that could never be removed. They preferred to ignore its existence in favor of their relationship.
The boy closes his eyes, relishing in the gentle and soothing fingers that weaved lavender-scented soap through his hair. Sebastian rubs on the boy's scalp as well, providing a concurrent massage. Ciel lets out a low hum of pleasure. How he missed these moments when he was greatly pampered like a noble. But that was all in the past now, and he was fine with leaving it behind. Besides, having the butler indulge him as a rarity would definitely make it more desirable in the long run.
For the other party, Sebastian could not seem to understand the satisfaction he received from pampering the young adolescent. Perhaps it was his ability to prove Ciel wrong? It didn't seem right. The demon hears a moan of appreciation from the boy. He could feel his insides light up. Could it be that he was happy to be able to bring his young charge pleasure? What about this afternoon? He could only hope that he knew his master as well as he thought.
After reflecting on past events, they find themselves here. Together forever. Bound by a mistake they had made whilst in partnership. Sebastian knew that there was only one thing left to do. By the time Sebastian's mind was made up, he had finished washing his young master off.
After drying him up, he dresses him in the usual button-on shirt and sits the boy on the bed. He excuses himself to freshen up. Within minutes, he reappeared, ready to join Ciel. From the bathroom door, he sees his young charge looking at the streets below again, pressing his gentle fingertips against the glass. Never had he truly taken the time to look at the boy. Now that he realized it, he notices that the boy seemed to be very Lilliputian in comparison to his own larger blouse. In fact, the sleeves were so long that it hides the boy's hands. Strangely - or not, he finds it very alluring.
The raven seats himself at the edge of the bed. Ciel looks at him as an acknowledgement of his presence before directing his gaze to his hands. After a while, the demon confirms that Ciel was being inexplicably quiet.
"A penny for your thoughts Ciel?"
"What were you about to say this afternoon?"
Taken aback, Sebastian immediately regrets his question.
"Well?" Ciel asked with the authority that he used to assert generously. It was rare, ever since he had entered this town but he was feeling rather impatient now. It was unnerving and Ciel finds Sebastian's behavior rather uncharacteristic of him.
Seeing the question as an opportunity, Sebastian lightly cleared his throat and prepared himself.
"Ciel. Do you remember that time when you declared I would remain your butler until I consume your soul?"
The boy tenses. He still remembered that? It was the spur of the moment and he still regrets the momentary recklessness in his words. Blushing a little, he nods. To cover it up, he answers more forcefully.
"So-" he pauses to inch closer to the boy, "It brought me great pleasure to hear that and at first, I could not quite understand it."
Listening intently, he finds his heart beating faster; holding a sense of hope with it for what is to come next.
"Until I realize that through all this time that I have spent served you that I have come to grow fond of you."
Sebastian pauses to take the boy's uninjured hand in his own two larger ones. He gazes into his eyes with such emotion that Ciel finds foreign in the demon but melts upon as such. Ciel eyes brighten with absolute anticipation, he feels the heat rise to his cheeks and his heart beat faster than he could ever imagine.
"Therefore...it would do me a great honor if you could-"
"Just spit it out Sebastian." The hard tone in the boy's voice caught the demon a little off guard. "We both know that I find hesitation intolerable."
Ciel hated the way Sebastian was speaking now. It was so unlike him. It made him afraid. To calm himself, he reverted back to his commanding tone.
"Either you say it now, or you can forget about sleeping in this bed ever again."
Ciel was greatly afraid of the consequences of the words that he was spouting, but he could not stop himself. The anticipation was making him anxious and he needed to goad his butler on.
What Ciel saw next greatly confounded him and dare he say it? It made him…scared?
The raven traps the small boy between his arms as he towers over the fledgling. Sebastian gazes into Ciel's with such ferocity equalling to the time when the boy had first genuinely angered the great demon.
"Is that so? Do not forget who has been protecting you all this while. Without me, you are nothing. So I shall make it clear. I desire you. And you will feel the same or else, I assure you that what ever happens next will not be in your favour."
The boy allows himself to calm down and brands cerulean eyes that speaks of indifference. Then, out of nowhere, he swiftly kisses the demon square on the lips. It was as passionate as their first, if not more. They soon separate; the young master playfully gazes into his butler's eyes.
A low chuckle breaks the silence. "You drive me crazy, Ciel. You know that, don't you?"
Ciel could only smirk in response. "I don't care about being master and butler anymore. I desire you too and if anyone tries to separate us, I will not allow you to leave my side, ever. Do you hear me? That is an-"
"That is something that I will most definitely do Ciel. I will never leave your side, I will never lie to you and I will never your side. I am hopelessly in love with you." With that, the butler kisses the boy's hand and rests the bridge of his nose on it. His dark red eyes look up to see his young master's reaction.
Ciel had begun to resemble a tomato. But then, a smile crept onto his lips until it became the smile of a person that was hopelessly in love.
"I love you too, Sebastian Michaelis."
The demon felt relief wash over him as well as a sense of great delight welling up in his heart. It was a feeling that he has never felt before.
"I am glad." A content smile appears on the butler's face as he continues to look downwards.
"What are you waiting for? Kiss me." The boy commands rather playfully and yet assertively.
Upon command, Sebastian eagerly connects his lips with his lover.
'Yes My Lord.'
Ciel's heart was aflutter and his stomach churned in an odd way. It was a strange feeling, but it was greatly welcomed. They had kissed many times before due to occasions where they were unable to control their feelings. However, this kiss seemed sweeter in comparison - it was full of love. Overwhelmed by his butler's affection for him, he feels like crying but his pride prevents him from doing so.
He lifts his movable arm to Sebastian's neck, passively pulling him closer. In return, the demon caresses the boy's cast, allowing his other arm to gently grasp him by the waist.
The midday greets the boy with the faint sound of wooden carts pulled by whinnying horses. He squints a little to adjust to the sudden bright light of the afternoon, lifting his right hand to cover his eyes.
Recalling the previous night, he feels his cheeks heat up and his lips curl up into a goofy smile - like a lovesick person. It is a feeling that he has never experienced before. It felt strangely gratifying and it felt like he was finally free from all the problems in the world that he could ever experience.
But a feeling as happy and unknown as this made him feel vulnerable. A feeling that he had never welcomed in his life and he would rather keep it that way. Quickly, he gathers himself and allows himself to return to Earth.
Subconsciously rubs his fingers on his injured arm to get the circulation going. Then, he realizes that the cast was removed. Experimentally, the boy twists his arm a little, exercising and massaging its muscles. It had finally healed. He looks around to see his butler missing.
Sitting himself on the edge of the bed, he wriggles his leg around as well, doing the same as he did his arm. He found it strange to finally see his toes again. He wriggles them. As he thinks back to last night, he could not help the rather goofy smile that spread across his face. His face heats a little at the thought of the heated kisses they had shared.
"I see you are feeling better now."
The sound of Sebastian's teasing voice brought Ciel out of his reverie.
"S-Sebastian! Don't you know how to knock?"
"My apologies." He chuckles a little; clearly aware of what was going through the boy's head. The blush became more evident.
"I have brought your garments for the day. Are you sure you do not require my help anymore?"
"I am very sure of that." The once-earl states firmly, never failing to recall the past events of how he could not even button his own shirt, let alone comb his own hair properly.
Sebastian felt a little odd standing across his master, doing nothing but watching him do his job.
"Dr. Vincent had come in while you were sleeping and has removed the casts for you. Your arm and leg has fully healed but it is advisable that you do not carry any heavy loads or conduct any strenuous physical activities."
"Right." The boy answered, successfully putting on his clothes. Only his hair was left. He was about to turn for the bathroom to look for his comb but was stopped by Sebastian. The butler pulls out a black comb out of his breast pocket, Ciel's black comb. Sebastian had become accustomed to wearing only his white blouse with his usual sable pants. Since they were no longer of a higher status, they would allow their dressing to be compromised a little.
"Fine." Ciel exhales with a careless whisper.
Once it was neat enough by the raven's standards, he kept the comb and quickly tilted the boy's chin to face him - stealing a quick kiss. Ciel was rendered speechless, but it was evident he enjoyed it. Sebastian smirks to himself before beckoning the young master to go ahead of him. Quickly recovering, Ciel lightly stomped out of the room ahead of his lover.
Descending down the stairs, Ciel hears the sound of water gushing out from the sink as well as the clink of tableware coming from the kitchen. Olivia calls out an afternoon greeting from the kitchen before drying her wet hands with her apron. Swiftly, she hangs the bright sunshine-yellow cloth and opens the front door.
"I see your injuries have healed. Do excuse me; I will be out for a while. The town doesn't rebuild by itself you know. Bye Ciel, bye Sebastian!"
With that, the door was shut. There was a momentary silence before Sebastian turns to Ciel.
"What do you plan to do today?" The boy's mentor asked. The question was purely based on curiosity.
"I guess I should see how the town is doing - and perhaps help out if I am needed. After all, it is polite for neighbours to help one another. Right?"
Their incredulous smiles matched for only a moment before they head out.
The damage dealt to the town was greater than even the people themselves had imagined.
"I suppose my transition will have to wait until we finish getting the town back together?"
"That is correct."
"Alright then. Sebastian, speed up the progress won't you?"
"Yes, my Lord." With that, the demon was gone.
Ciel sighs before deciding to walk towards the bookshop. As an employee, he should probably check to see if his workplace was still in one piece. Hopefully, Richard should be fine as well. Walking en route to Central Area, he sees Reed silently carrying out ceramic potted plants. It seems that he had managed to save most of his plants, albeit there were some placed at the edge of the gate that broke.
The brunette looks over and smiles a little. Ciel sees bandages wound round Reed's neck and hand. Ciel doesn't know it, but Reed can clearly see the worry on the boy's face. He quickly directs his attention away from his injuries.
"Good afternoon Sterling Silver, we missed you…how are you faring?"
"I am faring well. Thank you." He glances at the shards of ceramic on the ground. It looked as if Reed was just released out of medical care and could only tend to his plants now. "Do you need any help?"
The florist only shakes his head - his trembling hand betrays him.
"I could help you carry that." Ciel mindlessly offers, reaching out his hands to take it. Reed pulls away from him disapprovingly and places it on the ground. Quickly, he places a broom in the boy's hands.
"…You have just recovered…don't exert yourself…sweep instead…"
The blunette suddenly realizes Reed's intentions. Reed was injured as well; he shouldn't exert himself either. Then again, how did Reed know about his injury?
Silently keeping the question to himself, the boy starts to sweep the debris together whilst the florist continued moving the pots to air the flowers. Soon enough, Ciel managed to finish the job quickly. He notices Reed stare at the grill of his shop's entrance. The metal was clearly dented - as if a large force had been pushed against it.
"You should get around to replacing that metal gate. Its joints are clearly unsalvageable." Ciel states, making Reed jump a little.
The brunette only shakes his head in forgiveness before heading inside the store. He reappears with the usual sterling silver rose in his hand.
"Thank you…I can finish on my own…" He tucks the flower into the boy's hair, sending him off.
As the boy closes in on the street leading to the bookstore, he sees a giant hole punched into the front entrance of his workplace. Quickly, he rushes to further inspect the place. Careful of the debris and broken pillars of wood on the cobblestone ground, he steps over a couple of planks before stopping at the start of the wreckage. He steps into the hole, climbing over the stone foundations to get in.
The right side of the interior was still intact, but the bookshelves were smashed into pieces. Old and recent books were strewn all over the ground while some remained hanging at the edge of dilapidated shelves.
The sounds of papers being shifted about were heard as his feet pressed onto the hardcovers in their wake. Ciel briskly trudges through the scattered books to the shelves. He picks up a brown book with a yellow binder from the ground. Its pages were clearly crumpled up from when it slid against the ground. Smoothening out the pages, he closes the book to flatten it. Hopefully, it will return to its original state. Wiping the hardcover, the dust from the rubble and debris were swept onto the floor. Surely, if most of the books were in this state, they could bring the bookshop back to its original state. Or at least, close to its original state.
Speaking of which, where was the beloved bookkeeper, Richard? The shuffling of black school boots could be heard behind Ciel.
"Richard?" The blunette turns around to see a boy his age. The boy had neatly trimmed black hair and wore a rather emotionless expression on his face. His green eyes matched with his own bright green blazer.
'A human?' Ciel wonders to himself.
"Richard is unable to see you today as he has been hospitalized." Ciel's eyes widen at the unfortunate piece of news.
"Therefore, he has sent me to tell you so. There is no need for you to clean up today but I am sure he would appreciate it if you could do so."
Ciel's eyebrow internally rose at the unspecific message.
"He will return when he is well. Which will be expected of him in two weeks."
Two weeks was quite a long time by human standards. Just how much injury had he suffered?
"In the meantime, he urges you to run the store for him in his absence, for the customers would want to return to the shop soon. That is all." The boy with green eyes finishes as he directs his attention to the dilapidated shop-house.
"Now that my errands are complete, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Gerome; I was acquainted with Lady Olivia during the siege. I am interested in meeting your acquaintance. Ciel, I presume?" Gerome extends his hand for a handshake.
"Yes." The once-earl is very unnerved by the amount of arrogance that he possesses. Regardless, he returns the handshake. It almost equalled to Ciel's own. If one didn't know better, they would say that they were half-brothers - or close friends in the least. "What does it mean to you?"
"Nothing much. It's just that I hear you have the way with the chessboard and I was hoping for a friendly spar with you, one day, when all this has settled down."
"I would be happy to have you over some day."
"Excellent. What are you planning to do now?"
"I plan get started on cleaning up the shop. Richard would appreciate it if I did." The blunette smirks.
"I have nothing to do now. Would you allow me to help you? Take it as a token of my friendship?"
"Sure, why not?"
Black and brown hard cover books were stacked into tall towers, creating some space for them to sit in and slowly flatten out the crumpled pages of books.
"So how did you meet Olivia?"
"We were fighting alongside each other."
"Fighting? Aren't you a human? Wasn't it tough?"
"It wasn't at all. I may have the appearance of a human, but I have all the abilities of a demon." He closes another book and places it on top of a stack.
"So you are a half-demon?"
Silence dominates the conversation for a while.
"So I assume you are studying at the townhouse?"
"Not exactly, I graduated a long time ago. Now I just wander the library, filling my head up with its contents."
"A long time ago? So how old exactly are you?"
"I've been here for a while now, but my physical aspect develops at a slower pace. I suspect yours will too."
"How would you know?" He flattens out a page.
"I heard from Olivia. We have known each other for a long time. We are close friends."
"So you did not just meet during the siege?"
Ciel was beginning to doubt the background of Gerome. It seemed as if he had something to hide.
"Do not worry Ciel. You may trust me. Although there are things in this town that might seem suspicious, do keep in mind that every place has its secrets. It only matters if it involves you."
With that, all chatter was brought to a close for the day. Ciel welcomed the silence anyway.
And so another chapter is finished. I do intend to finish this story. Hopefully I will be able to write some more when I finally get around to the holiday period. I really do enjoy the fact that you guys are being very receptive about the Original Characters so far. :)
It is late and it is time for me to head to bed.
How was it so far? Anything wrong with the story? Let me know through your reviews.