Ciel gaped at Sebastian as he recalled the demon's actions only moments before as they now flew in the carriage through the moonlit night. He looked across from him at Aden who had managed to make it to the gathering and was hitching a ride. He sat for the first time with mint green eyes that had lost their playfulness and were now as hard as stone.

"Corbiau…" Aden growled, losing the tender nickname

Sebastian looked back with a childlike expression of innocence "What is it Aden?"

"You know damn well what it is! You just nearly destroyed another demon of power's domain! Are you trying to die here?!" He yelled angrily moving closer to his friend

Sebastian narrowed his eyes "He attacked my promus." He answered back in a hard tone

"With his own Promus! Not himself!" Aden yelled in reply

Sebastian seemed agitated by the response and took the same aggressive stance as Aden, the two staring eye to eye with Ciel leaning gingerly in the corner, looking on to see what would become of the two if left alone.

"Why are you so concerned with how I exorcise my power Aden?! You're supposed to support me!" Sebastian snapped angrily

"I'm not supporting behavior that could get you killed!" Aden snapped back "Ever since you've taken on that fluff ball you've been nothing but reckless and self-centered!


"Yes self-centered!" Aden cuts in

"Well this is none of your business Aden!" Sebastian snarls, stopping his friend short "I don't ever recall asking you to follow me around! You're not my promus!" he snaps

Aden looks taken aback and his expression slowly turns to one of disbelief and then deep hurt "So…now that you have Ciel…I'm a bother now, is that it Corbie?" the blonde haired demon asked quietly

Sebastian looks at his friend and immediately cools his temper "No, Aden…that's not…

"Then I won't bother you anymore!" Aden yells emotionally

"Wait!" Sebastian calls

"Ginger!" The young blonde calls and an amber brown fox with jewel like eyes unfurls from the atmosphere, Aden storms from the carriage, free falling into the air until the amber fox named Ginger grows in size and speeds Aden far ahead of their carriage and into the night clouds. Calling for his friend with no response, Sebastian slams the carriage door shut against the atmospheric winds and plops down on the cushions of the carriage. He shakes his head in exasperation "Now he's going to go home and bawl like a baby…Aden…" he says with a sigh

Forgetting the quarrel for the moment, Sebastian's eyes float to Ciel's closed lids waiting patiently. Ciel opens them slowly and looks at the carpeted carriage floor.

"I think I understand now…what you meant when you said that…" Ciel began

"There was a time when I first lost you that I was s-…sc-….

"Scared?" Sebastian finishes without mockery

Ciel bites his lip but gives a nod that's almost indiscernible.

"So… have I become something precious to you Ciel?" Sebastian asks sincerely

Ciel looks at the demon across from him and imagined what it would be like if he had to travel home tonight alone, defeated by the man named Constable, loosing Sebastian in the crimson maze…

"If becoming something precious means it is no longer profitable for that person to leave your side indefinitely…if that's what you mean…then…yes…you've become…precious to me…Sebastian." Ciel manages to murmur

Sebastian smiles "I wasn't expecting such a precise definition but I'll take it…its good you understand now…because that is the way that I feel about you."

Ciel flushes at the abrupt words "You didn't need to say all of that! I'm dead anyway…haven't you heard the saying dead men can't feel?" he snaps stubbornly

Sebastian laughs "Actually it's 'dead men don't talk'…try being more honest…" he jokes

Ciel huffs indignantly, the flush of his cheeks speaking volumes. Sebastian moves over to Ciel's side sinuously, startling the young promus. "What are you-?

Warm hands encircle a surprised Ciel and he is pulled into a warm embrace, resting his head against the warmth of Sebastian's shirt, his small back rising with the inhales and exhales of Sebastian's chest. Ciel, unsure of what to do or say decides that silence is best in this situation. He wasn't bothered by the gesture in a bad way and Sebastian was certainly warmer than any blanket…or bed. A lilting tune, deep and calming relaxes all the muscles in his body until he is limp in Sebastian's arms as he sings to him. The vibrations of sound travel within and without him and he feels better and better with each change of cadence.

Ciel's eyes snap open from his trance like state and he looks at his shirtless form which is completely healed. He looks in surprise at Sebastian sleeping with his arms still wrapped around him…A gasp escapes from Ciel as he sees his own wounds manifested on the demon's skin. He calls Sebastian in alarm who opens his eyes worriedly but soon relaxes after Ciel's protests are made clear. A single hand silences Ciel and Sebastian closes his eyes again. Not knowing what else to do Ciel wraps his own arms around the demon that holds him warmly and hopes that if he snuggles closely, his wounds now on Sebastian will heal quickly.

Crows and Cakes

Ciel finds himself in his own bed, the white cotton drapes reflecting the morning sun. He sits up abruptly, realizing none of his chores have been done and dashes down the hall in black nightshirt for whatever punishment Sebastian would like to deal out…He sure hoped he wasn't starving…the idea of dealing with a demon's hunger always perturbed Ciel…perhaps a remnant of his human existence. Barging into the black walled bedroom Ciel finds Sebastian fully dressed in an all-black Japanese yukata with crimson dead lilies casting striking designs on the attire. His hair is pulled back in a long ponytail that is braided and hangs loosely over the v line of his chest and he wears simple straw flip flops while sipping from an abnormally large Japanese tea cup.

Ciel gaped "What- what are you doing Sebastian?"

Sebastian smiles "Eating." He replies simply, sipping from the cup the width of a plate.

"I mean…your clothes." Ciel adds

"Oh…these…it's for our visit later." He replies standing and walking over to the closet

Ciel follows him with his eyes "Where are we going?"

At this Sebastian grins "To see my brat of a friend…Aden." He replied, pulling a blue yukata from the closet and some flip flops

Handing the yukata to Ciel he looks at the royal blue color and the black and grey roses bursting out on different sides. "Dressed like this?" Ciel barks

Sebastian nods "Of course…

"I'm not going out like this! Chest exposed and…and showing legs…" Ciel protests (There's apart on the yukata with a slight opening and Sebastian is sitting crossed legged so he thinks it's made to show legs.)

Sebastian pouts "Come on! Don't fight me on this one! It's the Sebastian way…okay?" he replies, pushing the yukata forward

Ciel snatches the outfit "I said it was the Phantomhive way, didn't I?" he retorts with a look

Sebastian grins and Ciel notices a silvery line crossing his neck gently…it's where he was bitten by the-

"Sebastian!" Ciel yells his memories flooding back "You! You did something! Something to…to

He struggles to recall the exchange but all the memories offer him are fluttering emotions and flushed cheeks once again.

Sebastian puts up a hand "Yes… I did something…I healed you." He replied to a gaping Ciel

"But you-!"

"And you healed me." Sebastian finished, silencing the young promus by opening his yukata enough to show his chest now smooth.

"But how?" Ciel protests, now looking more fervently for any hints of the wounds of last night.

"It's called 'alternating resonance'." Sebastian said in an instructorial reply "It's a very dangerous thing to do because both demon and promus are their most vulnerable when they resonate with each other…I didn't think you would get the clue but you did…holding the other partner and tuning into their 'warmth' is how resonance begins…that was no ordinary body heat we were working with last night…you picked it up quickly." Sebastian finished, sipping again from the giant cup

"I forbid you under any circumstance to perform alternating resonance with another demon…even if it was my own brother or sister." Sebastian added seriously

"Why?" Ciel asked

"You are, Ciel, in essence…a portal to me…if you resonate with another being…they resonate with me as well at the deepest level of what I am…and if they have access to the most vulnerable part of a demon then they can enslave or destroy that demon completely." He finished

As Sebastian finished, Ciel felt the ethereal smoke inside of him vibrate in agreement. He thought of the times Sebastian had used that smoke to convey something to him or to heal him or to comfort him…A thought came to him then, one that he was sure he didn't want to voice but Sebastian picked up on it instantly and his gaze became serious…but also tinged with a phantom of something else…fear…


"We'll talk about that later…Ciel." Sebastian interrupted with gentle finality

"Maybe this evening?" Ciel added quickly, his emotions riling with the thought he had and the knowledge that what he thought might be true.

"Not this evening, not tomorrow, not next week, next month or even next year…for now, keep your thoughts on 'that' secret, from even yourself." Sebastian finished

Ciel felt no need to argue with Sebastian. The demon has become very serious and he knew he was treading on unfamiliar ground and things could get ugly and complicated very soon if he proceeded.

Ciel sighed with feigned disinterest "I don't really care, whenever you're ready, I'll be here…it's not like I'm dying anytime soon." Ciel rattled off

The room exhaled, releasing the tension and Sebastian's expression was replaced with an easy smile. Standing, Sebastian shooed Ciel from the room to dress with instructions to meet downstairs in the kitchen.

Ciel looked at his reflection…he didn't look half bad. The blue of the yukata went well with the cream color of his skin and the black roses designing it were interwoven with tiny shimmering black beads. Though he felt self-conscious at not wearing pants or even an undershirt, the fabric was thick and comfy and felt good against the skin. He fluffed his blue bangs…which were once again growing longer and pinned the small pin of Sebastian's seal to the lining of his yukata and went downstairs on straw cushions.

Sebastian was surrounded by common human baking supplies in the kitchen with an apron on…Ciel couldn't help but laugh at the cultural paradox standing before him…English kitchen…Japanese summer butler…

Sebastian smirked

"I could say the same about you…'Ciel-sengumi' (The Shinsengumi were a famous samurai police force in old Japan) Ciel looked at his own form, the black sword hanging from his waist like the samurai of old and he laughed amiably.

"So, Sebastian…what are you up to today?" Ciel asked looking at the eggs and sugar and flour

"I am baking a cake Ciel." Sebastian replied, handing Ciel a matching white apron

"Why would you do that?" Ciel snapped "Need I remind you that we're in danger?" Ciel added, looking at the cake recipe Sebastian had written down

Sebastian brushed away the comment "It's for a good cause…" he says slyly

Ciel gives his ex-butler a weary look, knowing all too well that that sketchy crow was back in action and looking for something to do…Crows were sneaky…even in the human world…but as a demon-

"I have a proposition for you…" Sebastian began

Here it comes, Ciel thought

"The Patriarch sent an invitation out to all demons of power and to their respective families stating that his new wife, the meanest witch in my opinion, has become depressed…

He paused

"And?" Ciel snapped; staring the crow down whose pleasure seemed to heighten at the expense of his young promus.

"She has become depressed because she has tasted every food the Deeps has to offer...but now she desires something the Deeps cannot give her…the common…human…cake…" He finished grinning

Ciel narrowed his eyes "And just what does that have to do with us Sebastian?" Ciel asked with clenched teeth, sure of the scenario that was about to condemn him to hell.

"It is asked if we know anyone with experi-

"NO!" Ciel bellowed, hurling a wooden spoon at the fully grinning crow "I won't do it Sebastian!" he yells, chasing the flighty crow around the center table.

"But Ciel-!" Sebastian protested in between giggles "It'll be a wonderful opportunity to improve your baking skills!" he sputters, laughing fully "For your future as a baker with promus…get it? A baker with…Hey!

Sebastian dodges with only split seconds from the flying eggs and flour and bowls thrown his way in bakery goods tidal wave.

"Like I need to learn baking you damn raven! What about my Traylin training!? Take your job seriously! You sketchy, scheming demon!" Ciel exclaims, slapping him with the cook book

Sebastian laughs himself into a fit but stops immediately when a black blade makes its way to his dangling braid. A quick movement and Ciel's sword is sent clattering across the kitchen floor, a gentle but firmly placed hand around Ciel's waist. "Alright, alright." Sebastian says gently, stroking Ciel's hair as he fumes quietly "To the winner who can bring her a 'good' human cake…she will give them the category of 'Dragon' to give to their masters…there are demons who spend their entire lives trying to earn this title…If you receive it you become one of the Patriarch's advisors in the affairs of the citizens…if I can get this title without the Patriarch's knowledge…

"Then he'll have to call off the investigation! If for no other reason than pleasing his wife and to save face he'll do it…" Ciel finished with agreement

"Which will also put Mammon in a bad position and he'll have to call off his plots to kill me here." Sebastian added

Ciel calmed considerably, now at least only partially enraged at that crow putting him in a weird situation. He understood the gravity of their situation…and if he didn't take this opportunity to clear Sebastian of his charges and threats…he'd have to handle them himself, one by one…His body ached at the thought. Giving away such a high honor for something so stupid was his blessing from the Earth, he thought. Of course there would be competition but he would know who they were and where they were and thus would be able to combat them in a controlled environment.

"So…will you do it?" Sebastian asked, breaking him from his reverie

"I have to…to get us out of this mess…but why are we going dressed like this?" Ciel protests once again

Sebastian smiles "You'll see."