8. Poison

Your cruel device,
Your blood, like ice.
One look could kill,
My pain, your thrill.

I wanna love you, but I better not touch
I wanna hold you, but my senses tell me to stop
I wanna kiss you, but I want it too much
I wanna taste you, but your lips are venomous poison.

You're poison running through my veins
You're poison, I don't wanna break these chains.

("Poison" by Alice Cooper)

Waking up in the bushes + the mother of all hangovers + late for school + gym class first period = one of the worst Tuesday mornings Snake had ever had. It wasn't until third period that Snake started to feel remotely functional...and that was when the powers that be sent him through a whole new loop.

The day before, Snake hadn't had any classes save lunch with Ciel, or even Lizzie. He decided that this was a good thing, since it gave Snake less of a chance to embarrass himself in front of them—despite his irrational desire to see more of Ciel. More than anything, though, Snake was surprised when the object of his affections strode into chemistry class that day.

"Oh! C-Ciel Phantomhive," Mr. Kelvin turned from the warm-up formula he'd been writing on the Smartboard to the bored-looking teen standing in the doorway.

"The idiots in the office screwed up my schedule and gave me Honors Bio again," Ciel explained.

"...Oh," Mr. Kelvin stared at him. Ciel stared back, then raised an eyebrow.

"This is where I'm supposed to be, right? AP Chem?"

"Er, yes! Please have a seat wherever you'd like," Mr. Kelvin said, seeming to remember himself.

Ciel gave the befuddled-looking teacher a sugary smile, "Thank you very much."

"Um, you're very welcome, um," Kelvin mumbled. He continued to watch Ciel when the boy's back was turned.

Snake watched as Ciel stopped smiling and rolled his eyes. There was something disturbing about the immediacy of those little movements: grin, turn, stop, eyeroll, like someone had flicked a switch. Somewhere in the back of Snake's brain, there were warning bells, but they were drowned out by a louder alarm when Ciel fixed his oceanic eyes on Snake and made a beeline for his otherwise empty lab table. The alarm only got louder when Ciel dropped his books on the table and sat down, casual-as-can-be, across from Snake.

Cue whispers and under-the-desk texting.

Snake slunk down in his seat. Ciel stared calmly ahead at the board, not seeming to notice the disruption his choice of seating had caused. Thirty-seven long minutes later, the bell rang. Once out of the classroom, Snake waited in the hall for Ciel. He wanted to make sure the same thing didn't happen in chemistry tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Ciel stuck behind in the classroom until the other students had filed out.

"Mr. Kelvin," he approached the teacher, getting much too close for the other's comfort. Kelvin didn't do anything about Ciel's sudden proximity, though, just stood stock still with sweat breaking out on his forehead. "Didn't anybody ever tell you," Ciel said, practically in the man's ear, "that fifteen will get you twenty in the big house?"

"What! I didn't! I mean, I wouldn't! I—"

The teacher stumbled over his words, and Ciel smiled at him again, though this time it wasn't so sugary—it was a "Gotcha" Grin. Then, all at once, Ciel's eyes narrowed and he backed away.

"You stare at me like I'm a piece of meat. I don't like it," he said coldly, "if you don't stop it, we'll have problems. Believe me when I say, I can make it so you'll never work in this town again. Or anywhere else, for that matter."

"I understand," Kelvin looked away.

"Good," Ciel didn't bother to glance back as he exited the room, "have a nice day."

Ciel seemed mildly surprised to see Snake waiting for him in the hall.

"Got something you want to say?" Ciel asked bluntly, though not unpleasantly. The pair started walking through the tapering stream of students on their way to class.

"I don't think you should sit by me in class anymore," Snake said; he rarely prefaced any of his thoughts, so Ciel's brusque way of speaking put him somewhat at ease. At this response, however, Ciel stopped walking and looked at him, then he turned and doubled his pace down the hallway. Snake practically had to jog to keep up.

Eventually, Ciel paused at the boy's bathroom and ushered Snake in with him. Because class was about to start, the lavatory was empty. Ciel sat on the edge of the sinks, crossing his legs. Snake noted that the dark-haired teen's toes just barely touched the ground. Ciel was so confident, so authoritative, that it was easy to forget that he really wasn't very tall.

"Now, explain," Ciel commanded when Snake was standing in front of him.

"Everybody was staring at me," Snake said, finding it difficult to keep eye contact with Ciel, "If you're with me like that, they'll laugh at you too."

Ciel sighed, "I thought it might be something like that." He shook his head, then his eyes snapped back to Snake. "Listen, I don't give a damn what anybody around here thinks of me. They're plastic-people."

Snake frowned, "Plastic?"

"People like them—most people in this world, actually—are barely even real. They mean nothing to me," Ciel explained, and those words activated Snake's distant warning-bells all over again, as did the cold, alien look that had manifested itself in Ciel's eyes. "And you know, you are different from them. I like that. It's not just how you look, either. You're interesting. You're...important, somehow."

Those warning-bells? Forgotten. Now Snake felt a nice warmth in his stomach, rapidly spreading through his body. "You...really think that?"

"You can believe me or not," Ciel shrugged, "but, yes. I'm only going to say all this once, so get it through your head now. I like your eyes. I like the way you talk. I like the strange things you say. I like your scales..."

Previously, Ciel had been ticking items off on his fingers in rapid succession, but now he trailed off. Snake's breath caught when, to emphasize this last statement, Ciel reached out to cup a patch of scales on Snake's cheek. Ciel's hand was warm, and Snake leaned instinctively into the touch. Before he could be embarrassed though, Ciel gave him that mischievous grin.

"I even like these freaky goth clothes you wear," Ciel said and with his other hand, grabbed one of the chain loops hanging off from Snake's jeans. "They have their uses, at least."

At this, Ciel gave a sharp tug, and the next thing Snake knew, he had stumbled forward, and his lips were connected to Ciel's. Snake melted—that was the only way to describe it. His body simply liquified. It was his first kiss, and boy did it show him what he'd been missing out on. Ciel was in control, which was good, because Snake wouldn't have known to do with himself otherwise; Ciel's kiss was firm, commanding, but it was also gentle, slow. When they parted, Snake almost forgot to breathe.

"I also...like...these," Ciel breathed and swept his tongue over the silver studs below Snake's lower lip (snakebites; gotten with a sense of irony and enthusiastic support from Doll and Joker.) The motion sent a delicious shock through Snake's body.

With renewed passion, Ciel brought their lips back together, wrapping his legs around the Snake's skinny waist. This kiss was different. It seared Snake's lips like a brand and chilled him like dry ice. Until now, Snake never would have thought it was possible to feel so weak and so good at the same time. A few seconds of this, and Snake lost track of where Ciel ended and he began. That was why, when Ciel pulled away once again, Snake's face remained tilted up, eyes closed and lips parted. When the situation finally dawned on him, Snake opened his eyes to see Ciel grinning at him.

"I can't be too late for class, you know," Ciel explained. Snake was experiencing a sort of temporary paralysis, so Ciel slid off the side of the sink. "See you at lunch."

"Is this—are we going to—can we—" Snake finally managed to speak when Ciel was pulling open the door, but it was a level or two below comprehensible English.

"Yes," Ciel answered simply before slipping out into the hall.

All of a sudden, Snake had the feeling that an enormous steel trap was snapping closed on him. He couldn't bring himself to care.