Hi everyone! Thank you for reading Penumbra! I've got such lovely reviews Anywho, as everyone knows, Kuroshitsuji or anyone in it does NOT belong to me. I just make them do the stuff that I want them to do.
Please review, for Sebastian cookies!
I am alone again, I realize. Standing still in a world of pitch black. Shadows slink and slither around me, cradling my form with dark, cold hands, mocking me with unseen grins and unheard cackles.
"Where is he now?" they seem to say as I feel uneasiness seep in.
Sebastian... that damn demon is nowhere to be found!
The shadows suddenly flee from me as if they flee from the brightness of the sun, making sure to caress my skin and send gooseflesh blazing across my arms. I let out a relieved sigh once they are gone, realizing I have been holding my breath. The darkness turns into a blinding white. I squint and look down at my hands. My breathing hitches. Thick crimson drips from my hands, the only color in this blinding albescence, warm and sticky and making my insides churn. Panicking, I tear my eyes away, only to see blood everywhere. Splatters and splotches of that detestable crimson decorate the brilliant white surrounding me, hissing and spitting and boiling as it trails sickeningly down unseen walls. I hear the drip-drops of blood land from my hands and onto a large puddle beneath my shoes. I can feel heated splotches on my cheek, descending down onto my chin. My clothes are soaked. My skin is soaked. And what's worse, my innards are soaked in an emotion that I realize now is pure, unadulterated fear. I open my mouth to scream, but I find that I cannot. Blood bubbles and boils up into my throat, overflowing from my lungs until I choke on it. Can't breathe, can't breathe, can'tcan'tcan't...!
Dying, and the devil isn't by my side like he promised.
"-ster? Young Master?" the voice I recognize as Sebastian's filters through my senses as if through a thick glass. Barely audible and muffled, but it is becoming louder and clearer with each passing second until I feel myself descend into consciousness. My eyes feel like lead, but I force them to open as a deep gasp of air slices through my throat and pierces my lungs. I look around, panicking as my heart thumps wildly in my chest.
"It seems you've had a bad dream, my lord," Sebastian tells me calmly, quietly. Almost soothingly.
My heart rate calms down slightly as I realize that I am sitting up on a large bed, in a large room, with clearly defined walls and corners. There isn't any blood here. No blood at all. I look down at my hands and let out a sigh of relief. No blood here, either.
I feel a brush of cloth on skin, and I realize that a gloved hand is wiping something from directly under my eye. Speaking of which, I don't feel my eye-patch on... the Faustian symbol burns slightly, but I ignore it. My eyes land on the clear droplet of liquid that is beginning to soak into Sebastian's glove.
"Don't touch me!" I yell angrily, slapping his hand away and covering my eye.
"My apologies, my lord."
True to my order, the demon butler pulls his hand back and smiles that sickening, fake smile that doesn't quite reach his eyes. So much artificiality... Much to my surprise, I find that it bothers me. Greatly. Why smile, when it isn't real? It's nothing but a lie. Lie! Lie! Lie!
I find myself alone, white walls crying blood again for a sliver of a second. A loud smack! suddenly resounds throughout the room, my eyes wide and unseeing, before I notice the slight sting in my hand. I blink, my vision focusing on a surprised demon butler, with a small pink patch on his left cheek from where I had slapped him. My hand retreats, slightly shaking, back to my side.
"Wipe that fake smile off of your face, Sebastian," I hiss, glaring at him. My eyes burn crimson for a sliver of a second, then fade back to blue when I look away. "You are never to lie to me. You understand? Never!"
Out of the corner of my eye, I see Sebastian's garnet orbs flicker a demonic vermillion. I suppressed a shiver that threatens to race down my spine as I literally feel the sudden anger emanating off of his body. Just as quickly as it appeared, it is gone.
"Of course, my lord," he tells me, like I've always known he would. "You know that I don't lie like humans do."
Like humans do... That caught my attention. I look back at the demon.
"What do you mean by that, Sebastian?"
He smiles again, but changes the subject. "My lord, may I ask what is the matter? You've seemed out of sorts just now... Is it because of that nightmare?" A whisper of a glove chases away a stray hair from my face.
The way he says it -and his actions- make me feel like a child. The hair on the back of my neck prickle, and I can feel my lips pull back into a silent snarl. I glare at him, my eyes flashing crimson.
"Tell me, does it have anything to do with me?" Sebastian asks silkily, smirking as his eyes narrow and flash with malice. He leans closer. I automatically lean back, away from him, my breathing hitching as I suddenly feel like a black panther's supper. My ears, and something between my legs, twitch slightly in nervousness. I then realize that I still have these blasted cat ears and tail.
When will my life get any easier?
I keep my glare focused on Sebastian as he leans closer, a devilish smile playing on his lips. His eyes flash to vermillion, glowing with some foreign need. The bed dips slightly with his weight as he slowly gets on, every muscle in his butler's tailcoat taught and ready. Just like a cat. And for a second, I feel that same soaked sensation of fear as in my dream.
And then it vanishes.
"Get away from me. Now," I hiss. "How can you call yourself a butler, if you cannot even control yourself?"
Sebastian winces slightly because of my stab at his pride, and a feeling of victory bubbles up inside of me. I push it down, lest I release my guard. Which I cannot afford, with my butler practically hovering over me on the bed. No matter what, I do not want what happened in the alley to repeat itself.
He moves back slightly, not quite getting off the bed. Like he...doesn't want to. Is he defying me?!
I wince slightly as my back and the side of my neck throbs. Pain shoots up my spine, causing my head to pound against my skull. The room around me suddenly spins. My elbows shake underneath me from the weight of my body, and I know that I cannot hold this position much longer. Breaths come out as shallow pants as my glare deepens.
A gloved hand rubs my turned-cat ear, moving in slow, comforting circles, stirring up a delectable sweetness akin to the desserts he used to make when I was still human. I find myself leaning automatically into the touch, wanting... Wanting what?! Me, displaying weakness such as this...in the face of a demon! How...how ludicrous! More ludicrous still is the almost adoring smile on my butler's face. That buffoon!
"It takes a while for your metamorphosis to complete," he tells me, as if that's the most normal thing in the world to say. "So the pain and weakness you feel now will not go away for a few more days, at least. I suggest you try to rest, my lord."
I collapse onto the bed, my body weak and slightly trembling.
"What do you mean...by metamorphosis?" The question barely comes out, but I am pleased to say my voice is strong for my lack of breath and confidence of my sanity. "What does this...have to do with anything?"
"Every demon goes through this change, my lord. A change in the physical appearance. It is also a sort of awakening."
"Yes. The awakening of a demon's true strength."
"Ah." I glance down at Sebastian through half-lidded eyes, pleased with his explanation. This means...I'm certain to become much stronger than what I am now. Than when I've been human.
"Tell me," I continue, bringing my eyes up to stare at the ceiling. "Why am I a cat?"
A chuckle. I glare back down at Sebastian, who only smirks in response.
"Because you hate cats."
I stomp my foot down in impatience. Childish, I admit, but I am beyond caring at this point. The sharp ache in the pit of my stomach that seems to have become nothing more than a black hole takes precedence over what little pride I have left at the moment. The throbbing in my bones and the shakiness of my body is not helping the matter. I rub my forehead in attempt to appease the coming migraine (do normal demons have this problem?) that is beginning to make itself known. No doubt it is caused by Sebastian. All my problems are, after all.
But now, my hunger is demanding attention. And, by God or the Devil, it hurts!
The pain I am in right now makes me wonder how my blasted demon butler could last for three years without a soul when I was human. And with me, his dinner, right in front of him spouting off orders like tea out of a teapot. It must have been torturous.
I shake off my sympathy for the fool and glare at Sebastian, who is standing by the bedroom door, bringing in papers and other materials for what seems to be a lecture. Demonology? Although it would be quite interesting, I am much too hungry at the moment to be bothered in this manner.
"Oh, dear," Sebastian replies in mock sympathy. "I'm afraid that I have run out of reserves for you, my lord. We would need to go to the surface to retrieve some more souls. And I believe you are in no condition to do so."
"Well, what is the problem, then? You go. I am fairly certain you don't need me to help you."
"I cannot leave the Young Master here by himself. We are in Hell, after all." Sebastian suddenly appears behind me, the materials forgotten and left where he was just a moment ago. A gloved hand comes from behind me and suddenly tips my chin up, forcing me to look into garnet eyes. My eye widens and my breath hitches as his breath tickles my face. I can feel infuriating heat begin to pool in my cheeks, and I struggle to kill it.
Sebastian smiles, albeit a bit tightly. "We wouldn't want the Young Master getting hurt, now would we?"
I huff, tearing my chin out of his grasp and crossing my arms stubbornly, but I am no fool. The devil makes sense.
"Don't patronize me."
The demon smirks, a gloved hand to his heart. "As you wish, my lord."
I feel the tug even before I arrive on Earth again. The tug that pulls at the innermost part of my chest where my soul may have resided if it were still there. My revealed eye widens in surprise. Looking over at Sebastian, I nearly jump out of my skin when I find him looking down at me, almost as if he knows what I am feeling. Bloody hell?! I quickly cover up my exposing-surprise blunder with a heated glare.
"What is that?" I ask, knowing full well that he knows what I am referring to.
"A human is summoning you, my lord," he replies with a smirk. "Do you wish to answer?"
I am about to answer, when I pause. My exposed eye takes on a wary sheen. "How do you know, when I am the one being summoned?"
His smirk widens as his eyes alight with a mischievous fire that seems to be housed from within. The hair on the back of my neck prickles. A gloved hand is raised, and slips under my eye-patch, resting on the eye that has the Faustian seal. The mark of the covenant. The mark that the devil has imprinted on me, the one who has entered into his agreement, so that I can never escape his grasp. He will always be by my side. He will always be able to get to me. And I will always be his prey.
"Have you forgotten our connection so soon, my lord?"
I force down a shiver of dread that has begun to form at the nape of my neck as I scoff. How can I ever forget that? Especially when his hand is beginning to make my face feel a little too warm for comfort...
"Shut up. I suppose I shall respond."
The butler, his smirk still in place, kneels down on one knee with his gloved hand to his heart, as I am so accustomed to him doing.
"Yes, my lord."
The crunch of leaves beneath the soles of my boots, the sunlight drifting down through leaves that dance in every ephemeral gust of wind, everything about this place reeks of familiarity. This is the place that I have been called to, led with the scent of a broken, mourning soul and crystalline tears. However, although it feels as though I've been here before, I can't quite remember where, or when. And the knowledge of my ignorance unnerves me.
Small hiccups catch my attention; I turn in the direction of the noise, cat ears and tail twitching. My canines feel sharper than normal, and I feel my eyes bleed to red, pupils constricting to demonic slivers. Despite my attempts to control myself, I feel my mouth water, and my whole body shivers in anticipation of the meal to come. I take in a deep breath, and it smells so...so...
A small girl is sitting underneath a tree, her back to me as she leans against the tree with her hands on the trunk, a small photograph in her fingers. Her doll-like shoulders shake slightly as she sobs; her fingers clench around the bark as she tries desperately to subdue the tears that are undoubtedly running down her face like waterfalls. Her blonde, curly hair contrasts so starkly with the darkness of her black dress.
"O-oh...why Ciel?" I hear her whisper. "Why did you have to die?"
My heart stops as I realize who exactly is the one who has called me.