Greetings! Welcome to yet another one of my fanfictions.
Keeping this introduction quite short, I've recently gotten into Kuroshitsuji, and decided to write a story about it. This is a Sebastian/OC tale, but I can assure you that it's not some hormone fuelled fall-in-love-at-first-sight deal. This tragic tale is going to be quite dark and suspenseful. All main characters will be involved and play a major part toward the finale.
Just a quick credit to AurelieViatcza for helping me with the title of this story. I do hope that both the title and summary provides you all with just enough curiosity to have a read.
Enjoy what I have to offer, and I do hope this meets your expectations!
It plastered the skies as far as the eye could see. Just a single, dull slab of colour; bereft of any warmth or compassion. However, it was not uncommon in London's unruly weather for the skies to be drained of life. Rain fell from the heavens and pounded the estate without mercy. It ran down the glassed iron windows in thick rivulets and blurred one's vision to the outside world; but it didn't matter. Why would one want to gaze upon such a dreary world, anyway?
Alone in his dark chamber stood the sole heir to said estate. Calloused hands were intertwined neatly behind his back as he faced the large window that overlooked the extravagant gardens. Regal features stood prominent and proud, despite the difficult hardships and near falls from grace. He stood perfectly still, pondering how the years had passed on so quickly.
A flash of bright yellow suddenly pierced the grey skies, and her face flashed before him.
"I love you, Ciel."
Her voice echoed inside his head, and her tinkling laugh seemed to bounce of the walls, getting louder, getting closer. And those eyes, those gentle, green orbs; forgiving as they were beautiful, were forever imprinted into his memory. Somewhere deep inside, a chord struck painfully in his chest.
"Do you love me, Ciel?"
Bowing his head slightly, he bit down on his bottom lip. Yet another flash of yellow graced the skies, and he concluded that he could no longer bear to watch. Those wounds, still so brutally fresh as they were two years prior, stung hotly in the still red corners of his heart. The thrumming of the rain against the old mansion had grown louder; so much that he almost failed to realize that someone was knocking at the door.
Turning his head slightly, the mahogany door was pushed open to reveal a tall man clad in an extravagant black tailored suit, coupled with a pocket watch linked on a chain through his inner vest. Behind black forelocks, red eyes locked with his blue ones as the man rose from his usual curt bow; a silver tray, of what the younger man presumed to be tea, was perched on the upturned tips of his slender, gloved fingers.
"Your tea, my Lord." The tray was placed soundlessly on the oddly cluttered desk to the butler's left. Those red orbs scanned the desk before landing back on his master, who was still standing to attention at the iron-glassed window. Upon inspection, he then realized that his Master still wore the same attire from the day before, which was now slightly wrinkled.
"Up late again, my Lord?" he questioned politely.
No answer was given as the younger man crossed the room and silently picked up the porcelain cup filled with the warm, brown liquid. He sipped it for quite some time before he placed the cup back down on the silver tray. The rain suddenly grew heavier before it quieted down slightly. The pattering then became almost deathly quiet as the younger man brushed past his butler before seating himself in the plush, leather chair situated behind the desk.
"What are today's events?" his young master questioned in that same, monotonous tone that matched today's weather dangerously well.
Placing his gloved palm across his chest, and giving a slight bow, his butler spoke. "There are no events on this day in question, my Lord."
"Very well, then, Sebastian. You are dismissed."
Giving yet another low bow, the butler left the room soundlessly, conducting in his mind what chores and orders that were needed to be given out to the servants. Upon thinking about it, there was not much in the way of labor intensive tasks; just simple meal preparations, polishing of the silverware, and the washing of clothes and linen were all that he could think of to be given. All must be kept impeccably tidy; even though there was no special event planned for this day in particular, but in exactly seven days from now, things were about to change.
As Sebastian finished giving his orders, he cast one long glance back up the stairs to his Master's closed door. Indeed, things were about to change; quite drastically, in fact. But, the butler mused quietly to himself, weren't it for the better? The black butler sighed. That was something they all waited on with baited breath.
While making his daily inspection of the Phantomhive manor, Sebastian—with the most careful and sharp eyes known to man—could not help but spy the three servants whispering hurriedly amongst themselves, sheltered in a corner near the kitchen quarters. Casting a rather dark glance their way, the three immediately separated and scattered to their respective areas of the mansion.
However, Sebastian did not deny the fact that he could not, in good conscience, blame the servants for their uncharacteristic actions. Ever since the conversation he had with his Master just one month ago, of course a flurry of worry and nervousness could not be helped; after all, curiosity was something that mankind seemed to be horribly susceptible to. Sebastian had felt it proper to alert the rest of the Phantomhive staff of said conversation; one conversation that had surprised even Sebastian himself.
Sebastian had just placed down the last of the intricately molded and rather expensive silverware on the dining room table before Lord Ciel had summoned him. Straightening his sleeves and slipping his black tailored coat back on, he made quick haste to his Master's quarters. The door was again closed as he approached it; a common habit the young man had acquired since that dreadful night some eighteen months ago.
Knocking swiftly on the closed door twice, Ciel quietly called for him to enter.
"Is there something you require, my Lord?" Sebastian inquired as he bowed with his gloved hand placed over his heart. As he stood, he saw Master Ciel was standing at his vanity, his eyes lost to the reflection of himself; Sebastian noted this other habit with a hint of disdain, but as usual, kept his thoughts to himself.
The room fell silent for a moment. Sebastian waited politely for whatever order Ciel had in mind, but became confused when the young man instead turned around and whispered his butler's name; barely a croak that crept past his thin lips. The dark haired demon eyed his young master with careful eyes; having living for centuries, it was second nature to him to be able read body language at a superbly incredible rate and pick up common traits of people when in distress.
Take his young master, for instance.
Scrutinizing his form, Sebastian had to conclude that the young man had aged quite well; and silently believed that his late parents would be rather proud, if they could indeed see him today. Ciel was now much taller; so much that he would soon give his butler a run for his money. That round face was now sculptured and lean; cleanly prominent and a clear indication of his family name and its worth, despite its heavily tarnished image. Ciel looked so much like his father, the late Lord Vincent Phantomhive; so alike, that if the two were placed next to one another, it would be concluded that they could very well be twins.
"Has it ever occurred to you… how short life is?" Ciel spoke softly as he ran his hand alongside the edge of the wooden vanity. Sebastian did not answer, and inwardly questioned his master's suddenly rhetorical nature; it was not like the Earl of Phantomhive to so blatantly beat around the bush. A pause followed this, as if the young man expected his butler to answer.
Ciel scoffed. "No, of course it hasn't," he spat vehemently, remembering that the very being standing in front of him proved his accusation to be undeniably true.
Again, Sebastian could not argue; or rather, would not argue. He simply stood there, forever at the ready; intently listening to his Master's every word. Anger and hurt flashed through Lord Ciel's eyes, causing his blue orbs to ignite. Steeling himself, Ciel took a deep breath, and continued.
"I was born into a disgraced family, Sebastian. I have a duty."
Again with the hazy responses, the butler noted with irritation. Sebastian refrained from letting the oncoming frown pass over his porcelain features, and instead, let his lips press into a grim line.
"Is that so, my Lord?"
The young Phantomhive strode over to his cluttered desk. Despite the desk's awful state, it seemed that Ciel had indeed prepared for this particular confrontation; in one swift motion, he retrieved a small handful of papers and presented them to his butler. Eyeing the sheets, Sebastian dutifully took them out of his Master's hand and gave them a once over. Scarlet orbs widened ever so slightly at the documents contents.
"My Lord," Sebastian began. "Are you certain that—?"
"Life is indeed short, Sebastian," Ciel interrupted tersely as he turned to gaze out of the window. "I will not stand around idly and let it pass me by. Am I understood?"
A moment of silence. "Yes, my Lord."
"Good. See to it that the proper arrangements are made," Ciel ordered firmly, taking a seat behind the cluttered desk as he gave a dismissive wave.
"Indeed, my Lord," Sebastian said, taking kneel moments before leaving the young Phantomhive bury himself in yet more useless paperwork.
The scenery grew more lustrous and green as the carriage rumbled farther away from the industrial area that was the heart of London; away from the tall, bricked houses and the endless cobbled streets that housed peasants and day laborers. The countryside was indeed a pretty sight, the young woman concluded inwardly. It seemed peaceful and bountiful; perfect for someone with vast wealth to reside.
The carriage hit a small bump in the dirt road, which caused a strand of the young woman's rich mahogany colored hair to fall over her eyes. Before she could raise a hand to tuck it behind her ear, another beat hers to it. Glancing away from the small carriage window, she came face to face with her escort; a butler from her previous home that had chosen to accompany her on this particular journey.
"You really must do something about that hair of yours, my Lady," he commented lightly, tucking the strand back behind her ear. A small smile graced his older features as he removed his gloved hand to place it cordially back into his lap. She knew he was only teasing her, and she did not mind one bit. This particular man had been in her life for as long as she could remember. He was a worthy butler, and a deeply trusted friend.
"All in good time, Harold, I can assure you," she quipped warmly, chuckling under her breath. The man in front of her simply chuckled alongside his mistress. Their relationship was something some would find quite odd; somewhat inappropriate, if you will. Harold had been serving alongside the Copperhampton family for quite some time, and had developed quite a strong bond with his young mistress, Lady Adeline Ophelia Copperhampton. It was not commonplace for someone of such high wealth to converse with their servants as if they were on the same level. But as for Adeline, she never once let it bother her. Being an only child was rather lonely at times.
Returning her green eyes to the countryside that slowly drawled past the carriage window, Lady Adeline could not help but feel slight dread as her destination was inevitably drawing closer and closer. A small part of her wanted to have the carriage stop and turn itself right around, never to go down this particular road ever again. However, she of all people knew that would be severely inappropriate to even consider. In the distance, Adeline saw that the now clear blue sky would soon give way to dense, grey thunderclouds. She sighed. It seemed as if the weather was meticulously in tune to her suddenly dreadful mood.
"My Lady, our destination is nearing," Harold spoke softly, almost cautiously. "Be sure to prepare yourself accordingly, understood?" Adeline merely nodded in response as she kept her eyes trained on the landscape, not bothering to vocally make her acknowledgement clear.
Minutes later, the carriage took a rather sharp turn. Steadying herself on the windowpane, Adeline took in the looming estate with curious eyes. The mansion itself was rather large; slightly larger than her own, but both were still just as rich in design, as they were in their value. The gardens were indeed extravagant and beautiful, and meticulously groomed to utter perfection. As the carriage ventured through the enormous cast iron gates, she saw a trio, of what she presumed to be the servants, awaiting her arrival. The carriage soon came to a complete stop parallel to the large porch of the mansion, and its servants. Harold pushed open the small door and held out his hand, which was soon cupped by his mistress'.
Adeline gracefully stepped out of the carriage onto the dirt, straightening her cream peacoat as she laid her eyes upon the awaiting servants. A maid with rather large rounded glasses and red hair gave a gracious bow, followed by a timid wave by a feminine looking young boy with sunkissed hair and big, round eyes. Beside the boy stood what Adeline assumed was the head chef, judging by his attire. He, too, gave a small wave as he puffed out a string of smoke past his lips.
A smile could not help but grace her lips. Such friendly servants reminded her strongly of the home she had now left behind; full of smiles and warm welcomes. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all.
It had become a rather habitual tendency for Ciel Phantomhive to mindlessly gaze out of a window these days; in fact, the young man had, too, become corrosively habitual among other odd tendencies over the past two years. Some would consider it rather unhealthy to continue to subject themselves to such a habit, but as for the Earl of Phantomhive, it seemed to be the only thing he could do in order to quell his dark and tumultuous thoughts.
Through the cast iron window, Ciel caught gaze of the approaching carriage. Beyond that, the sky was clear and untainted, while the sky above his manor seemed to harbor the same, dense wisp of clouds; forever dark and angry. A soft sigh heaved itself from Ciel's chest. It seemed that the dark clouds would never dissipate, and were forever doomed to forebodingly loom over the Phantomhive Manor.
Steeling himself from his inner turmoil, the young Earl averted his eyes from the sky and settled them upon the front porch. The carriage was coming to a halt, while his servants awaited the young woman's arrival expectantly. Despite looking down from so high up, Ciel could easily detect the tension each of them withheld in their shoulders. He could not blame them, however. Their reaction was one to be expected.
The young Earl watched closely as the carriage door swung open to reveal an old butler, akin to the appearance of his loyal steward Tanaka, step out while offering a hand to the guest inside. Seconds later, said guest had graciously stepped out of the carriage. Ciel studied her from his window with a scrutinizing gaze. The young woman was nothing less than what he had expected; gracious, petite and well within her place. As he continued to watch, the young woman bade greetings to his faithful servants with a courteous bow accompanied with a warm smile.
Such a familiar action made his heart constrict painfully when a pale face with blonde hair skittered past his mind's eye. Blinking profusely, the young man decided he could no longer watch from his window, and so, shuffled over to his cluttered desk and sat himself down, pinching the bridge of his nose as his elbow came to rest on the wooden surface.
Despite having some time to prepare for this day, he knew deep inside that he would never be ready for such a thing; his heart belonged to another, and so it would remain that way for the rest of time.
"My Lord, how much longer are you going to keep yourself locked up in this dreadful room?"
Turning, Ciel came face to face with Sebastian, whom was standing in the open doorway with arms relaxed at his sides. The peculiar butler had his customary, knowing smile plastered on; a common characteristic he often exhibited, believed to help calm his Master's troubled mind. But as for today, it did not seem to help.
Another habit that Ciel Phantomhive had developed lately was to blatantly ignore any question he deemed unworthy to dignify with an answer. To some, it would be considered rather rude and impudent, but as for Sebastian, it was something he had come to willingly deal with for his Master's sake. His young master had already experienced enough pain and suffering to last two lifetimes, and so Sebastian had stopped reprimanding his young master a long time ago. Although, since today marked the era of change, he thought it fit to change also.
"My Lord, it is considered impolite to not attend to a guests' arrival," Sebastian reprimanded softly, placing a gloved hand across his chest. "Shall we go, then?"
A moment of silence passed. While Ciel looked calm on the outside, his heart painfully ached at what was awaiting him downstairs. A heavy aura seemed to settle upon him and weigh down on him, thus obliterating any chance at a polite introduction; let alone any kind of introduction. It was not that the young Earl detested this young woman's arrival; it was just that he was simply not ready for it. He wanted nothing more than to cast her away and tend to his main priorities, but as he remembered back to the conversation he had with Sebastian a month prior, he could not, in good conscience, turn back now.
"Very well, then," Ciel muttered softly. "I'll be down shortly. Be sure that the woman's belongings are brought up to her room. Dinner is to then be prepared and served in the dining hall. Understood?"
Giving his customary bow, Sebastian acknowledged his Master's orders and quietly left the room, leaving Ciel little time to prepare for the inevitable. Once the door was closed, the young man lifted himself from his chair and strode over to the window. Folding his hands behind his back, he gazed upon the unforgiving sky as it began to unleash rain anew. Yet another sigh escaped his lips. It seemed that not even today that the sky was willing to be forgiving upon his tortured soul.
"Wherefore treatest me so cruelly, oh cruel sky?"
And there you have it; the first of many chapters. I do hope this was to your liking, and so to prove to me that you did indeed enjoy this, please leave a review containing your thoughts and any critiques you may have.
As per the summary, I did not want to use any phrase that relates directly to the death of Lady Elizabeth, as it would prove tasteless if I mention it when it is already made blatantly obvious in the summary; the initial struggle for Ciel is to deal with himself after her death, and not so much as to focus on it in great detail.
Until next time; adieu!