Hello loves! I am back with another fic! I have been on a sort of painful-love-that-ends-up-fulfilled spree lately, ne? So I think to myself, why not continue that? This fic is dedicated to Blackbutlergirl201 for her absolutely stunning and heart-warming reviews that always manage to make me happy dance. The prompt I used was (obviously, as you'll see) 'burning bridges'. But what use is a bridge that never gets rebuilt? This fic was written to the AMAZING song "Bridge of Light" by Pink.
Disclaimer: Don't own Kuroshitsuji. Soft slash ahead.
It is the end.
London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down.
Ciel sits atop the cold marble of a ruined bench, eyes closed and drifting in and out of idle thoughts. It must have been a lovely structure at one point, this courtyard of stone. It is luminescent in the light of a moon that is eternal here. If he listens carefully, he can hear the faint lapping of the Tardis at the edges of the rocks that surround the island that will be his final resting place. He wonders what Sebastian will do with his body after he takes the soul. Perhaps he will leave it to decay in the rain that seems to be imminent in the clustering gray clouds. Will he throw the body into the river that still flickers with his Cinematic Record? Or do demons eat everything of a body? It doesn't matter. He is going to leave himself in a moment, devoured by the demon standing silently before him, watching the play of emotions on his face.
There is not much to see, because Ciel has long thought about this day. He has come to terms with each aspect of this night. Pain is just a small portion of what he is expecting. There are a thousand other feelings associated with these final moments. Fear, anger, intrigue, hesitation, boldness, relief, a bit of quiet joy, and love.
He opens his eyes slowly. Ah, perhaps there is one thing he has not quite come to terms with yet. He looks at the demon before him, as immaculate and pale and unearthly beautiful as the moon that watches them, almost like a witness in a court. We find the defendant guilty. The punishment is death. He nearly smiles. Sebastian is truly magnificent, he thinks. He is starving beyond what I can comprehend, and yet he lets me take my time. I mustn't waste this gift.
And so he tries to grasp the idea that has been haunting him since a picture taken by the oddest of cameras revealed something to him that should have been quite obvious. He is going to be separated from Sebastian tonight. He reaches up to lay a hand over his heart, clutching slightly, because it hurts. If there is anything in this world or the next that has the ability to reduce him to a feeling, aching, weeping mess, it is the knowledge that he is never going to see the one who means most to him ever again. But his expression will remain serene. He has his pride; he will not watch, and he will not beg. Those are his only requirements of tonight.
He breathes in deeply, releasing it slowly and smiling at Sebastian, watching with just the barest of humor at the surprise in the raven's crimson eyes. "Bocchan?" he hears the softest of questions the demon could have asked.
"I'm ready when you are, Sebastian," he says, almost lightly teasing. He leans back, eyes closing once more, and thinking that this is the most comfortable of stone benches he has ever had the privilege to sit on. Perhaps this was the throne I wanted after all…"Will it hurt?" it is more of an afterthought than an actual question. Sebastian does not seem to understand its intent.
"I will be as gentle as possible, Bocchan."
He wonders if Sebastian is surprised, or if his face is just the stoic mask of patience from moments before. He's not sure he cares to know the answer. "Make it as painful as possible, Sebastian. I want to know that I died for something. I want the pain of living etched into me." He does not make it an order. He knows he doesn't have to. Sebastian will take great delight in his pain, he is sure, and so this small reward for the demon's efforts on his behalf is of little consequence to Ciel. If it makes Sebastian happy, then he is more than willing to twist the knife just a bit deeper for him. Love makes you do strange things… he muses. He doesn't understand it, but if he's going to die anyways, he might as well do it whole-heartedly for as long as his heart was still whole. Bridges must burn eventually.
He feels, rather than hears, Sebastian approach. It is an odd aura he can feel emanating from his butler. He can almost taste the desire to be fed, that all-consuming need. But there is something off about it. It's almost as if there is…hesitance? Or perhaps need feels different coming from demons than from humans. He sighs softly as he feels smooth fingertips brush across his face. These hands are so tender; they have held him in his weakest moments. Mocking and teasing words always pissed him off, but these gentle hands could always ease both grief and ire. It was just the way Sebastian was.
When a hand runs through his bangs, sliding beneath his eye-patch and brushing it off and to the side to descend to the floor, he almost breaks his own promise. His eyes open ever so slightly, wishing so badly for one more glimpse of his savior, his greatest wish, his rebirth, life, and soon to be demise. He was everything, and Ciel wanted to see him once more. He let his eyes open to half-mast, before letting them sink closed again. The end did not mean weakness. He would not watch. He didn't think his soul could take it.
"Why will you not look at me?" a low, velvet voice asked. Only it was not a question. It was beseeching: a plea. His brows furrowed lightly, wondering what Sebastian was wanting that would give him such a tone.
"I do not relish in the view, I suppose," he answers honestly. He can feel a sudden rage nearly fill the courtyard. He shivers, but not because of the anger. It's more because of the unexplained hurt he can feel underneath it.
"You find me so despicable?" Sebastian's voice is tightly controlled, though Ciel has no idea why he should feel any need restrain himself. He did give his permission for pain, didn't he? But the question makes him snort in undignified amusement.
"Foolish demon, would I have made the contract, done any of this, in fact, if I found you despicable?" he asks, though it is clear he is not looking for an answer. He sighs. "Do not concern yourself with trying to understand human emotions, Sebastian. They're terribly confusing. Just enjoy your well-deserved dinner. It was made especially for you." He means the last bits to be a joke, trying to ease his own heart with a bit of humor. He is getting a bit antsy, not wanting this to be drawn out.
"Was it?" God Almighty, what is wrong with Sebastian today? He frowns deeply, a bit of anger of his own starting to rise, despite his care to remain apathetic.
"Was it what? What are you rambling about, Sebastian?" he asks tiredly. Games were once his favorite thing to partake in, but this game has no rules that he can see, and games like that are the most fruitless kind.
"Was it meant for me?" Sebastian still isn't making much sense, but there is a quiver, barely detectable that Ciel can't help but think about. His brow raises, wondering what could be going on in Sebastian's mind.
"If you mean my soul, then it's obvious. Fate isn't something I'd ever put stock in, but we've been tied so well that it makes me wonder. So the answer is yes, my soul has always and will always be yours to have," he muses.
The anger dissipates within seconds, being replaced with something completely different. It tastes akin to…hope. Ciel doesn't get to ponder this before he is asked another question. "And does this displease you, Bocchan? That you have been tied without a choice?"
A full on laugh escapes Ciel, his first laugh since God knows when. "I told you Sebastian, to not try and understand humans. It's a testament to how strange we are that my answer is 'no'. I am not angry, or displeased, or sad, or any other negative emotion. In fact, it's rather the opposite." He heard a slight intake of breath and he smiled gently. "I feel honored that it was my soul that you wanted. I feel a joy I did not think myself capable of any longer, because you gave me your devotion and time, and put up with my temper tantrums, and stayed by me like you promised. You are the only one who has never lied, and kept all your promises. If that was not enough to make me love you, then the times when you held me, or smiled in a way that was possibly genuine, would have." He shook his head. It sounded silly out loud.
There was a long silence, Ciel's breathing and Sebastian's lack of breathing the only sounds in the clearing. Finally, Ciel huffed. "Sebastian, would you stop overthinking and just take what you want? I grow tired of games."
A shaky laugh was such a shock to hear that Ciel almost opened his eyes once again. "What I want…" the demon whispered, and suddenly Ciel could feel his sweet breath on his neck. His butler leaned his head on his shoulder and chuckled, "I am going to be teased mercilessly for this. Lord knows no one is ever going to let me live this down."
"Live wha—" Ciel was suddenly silenced by lips that drew the breath from his lungs, yet left his soul in its place. They were warm, and soft, and tasted of the headiest sweets Ciel had ever consumed. His eyes widened, flying open despite any promise to himself, and he saw Sebastian's beautiful face connected to his. The demon's eyes were closed, much as his had been, and his lips moved in the gentlest way, his hands coming up to cup Ciel's face in his hands. Ciel couldn't breathe. His lungs didn't want to draw in air; they wanted to drown in this…this right sort of wrong.. Sebastian released him for a moment to look at him, suddenly leaning back down to place tiny kisses against the corner of his slightly open mouth. Small presses, one, a second, a third, before he kissed his nose, then moved to his forehead and cheeks and eyelids, which slid shut once more. It is so easy to believe a lie. Why was he letting this happen? This was going to end tonight, moments after it began. This was going to rip him into unrecognizable pieces, even smaller than Sebastian was going to tear his body. His anger began to rise.
Sebastian froze himself almost instantly. "Why?" Ciel pushed him back, though the raven could have easily resisted, eyes blazing with the determination to not give in.
"You can destroy my soul and devour it, if you so please, but I'll be damned if you obliterate my heart as well. If I cannot have this forever, then I do not want it at all. Stop toying with me and get on with it, demon!" he hissed venomously, clutching once more at his heart. It hurt, it hurt so much.
"Stop calling me that, goddamn it! If you want to play master and butler once more, then here is my final order: stop playing around and take my soul!" he screamed, just as the lightning flashed overhead and the first clap of thunder cracked. The rain did not start steadily. It began to pour in heavy torrent; how fitting that Heaven would weep in this moment. They were soaked within seconds.
Sebastian staggered back before making a half-lurch forward, as if compelled to fulfill the order instantaneously. His eyes were wide, their depths swirling in Hellfire with pupils of mere slits, motionless but for the trembling of his hands. Ciel couldn't understand the hesitation. Why was Sebastian doing this?
"Did you hear me, demon? I said—"
Ciel's eyes went wide with shock, watching as Sebastian's contract mark began to glow in sickly purple and red light. The wind suddenly bore an unearthly scream that could have torn the souls of thousands. Ciel clutched his head, his contract eye burning so fiercely that he thought he would cry rivulets of blood. The fire—the bridges—they burned! He managed to look up as his butler, his demon, fell to his knees in the utmost of agony, clawed hands digging into the marble of the courtyard, the screams still wrenched from his throat.
Before he could think, he launched himself at his fallen butler, not knowing what was happening, only knowing that this was more terrifying than he could bear to watch. He clutched at Sebastian's shoulders, holding him as close as possible even as his mind felt ready to explode with the pressure behind his eye. Hands gripped him so tight he thought he would break apart, but he had never experienced a more perfectly intimate embrace.
Suddenly, the screams stopped, and the rain became just a drizzle in the midst of an ever-so-slightly lighter sky. The fire began to recede, it by bit, until Sebastian slumped forward, both of them panting from the pain. The rain stopped completely, the only sound in the clearing the drip-drip-drip of water on marble. The sun peeked through the clouds, the soft glow of its rays highlighting little splatters of rain puddles. "S-Sebastian?" Ciel whispered, too afraid to let go of the raven.
He broke down into heavy sobs that shook both of their frames. "Sebas—tian…" he gasped through the tears. "What did you do?"
"I broke the contract; I refused to take your soul. I accept your heart instead." The words were breathed into his neck, where Sebastian turned to place a soft kiss. "My side may be broken, but yours has not. I am bound to you eternally."
Ciel grasped his butler and drew back to shake him. "What? The hell is wrong with you, Sebastian? Why would you do that?" It was almost like begging. Three vows, three contracts, broken in one night.
"I love you, Bocchan."
In a moment of utter cliché that he would reprimand himself for later, Ciel couldn't help but feel his heart stop. I never lie. It was the only thing he could remember at this moment. Only that promise, the one that had never been broken, the bridge that had never burned.
His head bowed to rest against Sebastian's shoulder. He concentrated on steady breathing for a moment, before he chuckled, abandoning that for failure. "You…don't lie."
He could feel Sebastian smile against his hair, the demon breathing in the scent of a soul that he had left intact. The raven couldn't help but feel it was completely worth it. "I don't. And I have another thing I never do."
Ciel looked up at him and drew his face down for a soft kiss. They parted for a moment for Ciel to ask, "What would that be?" Sebastian leaned in to whisper one more vow, before talking would be thoroughly dispensed with for the time being.
"I never burn…or build…a bridge halfheartedly."
London Bridge will stand again, stand again, stand again…
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