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The first thing he was aware of was the blissful warmth of heated blankets smothering his, apparently, semi–nude body like long lost comforters and upon rolling onto his side he felt the wistful gaze of a worrying parent on him, followed by a gentle touch on his forehead to calm him in sleep and to see if he was perhaps any closer to waking.
It had the desired effect, his light amber eyes scrunched tightly shut for a moment before opening slowly to reveal the concerned face of a handsome man. Sebastian recognised him instantly, what with his darker amber eyes; alabaster skin and black feathered hair, his expression was celestial and calm, both open and cautious at the same time. A scar painted the left side of his face, it was long and thin, striking from his forehead and down over his left eye, stopping just beneath on the fleshy skin of his cheek, and yet it didn't mar his attractiveness in anyway. If anything it increased his mysteriousness.
"Father." Sebastian stated quietly.
"Hello my son." Leviathan replied in an equally soft tone.
The younger of the two swallowed, "Send me back right now! I do not need to be babied by you any longer! I can look after myself!" inexplicable anger tainted his words and made them sound bitter.
"I cannot do that while Ash is on the loose. He is the son of God and therefore more dangerous than any other Angel... On top of that his power and position has driven him to insanity, a new level of insanity which has disgusted even his own brethren."
Sebastian faltered and looked down, recalling the maddened look in Ash's eyes when he had last seen him. Was it really as dangerous as his Father was making it out to be?
"I still need to return to the mansion." He said after a few moments of quiet contemplation, "I was contracted to a human and should never have had to leave his side. On top of that I have a friend in the Human World who will be worried that I have simply disappeared."
"I am sorry that you were taken against your will but you must understand that as long as Ash has designs on your persons I must keep you safe, you are my son and heir after all and on top of that I haven't seen your since you were ten years old, it is a long time." The older man told him, reaching across and resting his hand on his son's forearm, "I would have sought you out sooner but because your demonic powers had been sealed away due to yur amnesia I could not locate or sense your presence anywhere. Only when your powers reawakened was I able to locate you."
"When I was contracted to Ciel." He realised.
Leviathan nodded once in the affirmative, "Correct, had you not accepted the contract I would still be none the wiser to where you were."
He laid back against the plump pillows and released a long breath, this was so much to take in again; he was slightly daunted by the feeling of immense comfort he was experiencing at the knowledge that he was home.
"You said you had a friend in the Human World? Perhaps I can get word to them for you?" the Demon King offered, "Are they a demon?"
"Oh..." his cheeks flushed ever so slightly at the thought of his Father talking in any way to his life-mate, "Yes he is a demon..." he confirmed, "Claude Faustus."
"Claude Faustus?! Please tell me you are not friends with that creature!"
Worlds apart, back on the mortal plain Ciel Phantomhive's carriage had just pulled up outside of the Trancy mansion. Thompson hastened down to the carriage and opened the door for the young Earl and proffered his arm to help him down.
Ciel stared at the small butler for a moment before accepting his help and touching down on the pale gravel ground. He brushed himself down and looked around at the mansion curiously for a few moments before he walked with the Trancy servant into the mansion.
They were greeted in the foyer by the sight of Alois bouncing around with a rose between his pert lips and a stern looking Claude, stood stiffly to attention beside the staircase.
"Ciel!" the blonde child ceased his limitless and fraught prancing as soon as he clapped eyes on his fellow Earl, "I didn't know you were visiting!"
"I am not here to be polite with you Alois Trancy!" he barked in response as he shed his cloak and top hat, shaking his hair from his face.
"Pardon my insolence to ask, but where is Sebastian?" Claude asked from his place by the stairs.
"Missing." Ciel retorted and brushed his mindless fringe from his eyes, "Look! My contract mark is gone! I order Sebastian to wake me at dawn each day but this morning I woke at a ridiculous time alone! I searched the mansion high and low but Sebastian was not there and would not answer my calls."
Claude's eyes glinted with sudden concern and he stared at the other Earl for several long moments, Sebastian was missing? He would never abandon Ciel without warning! Something wasn't right here...
"Why don't we go to the lounge where we can talk more comfortably, Ciel." Alois offered with a smile, he held out a hand and wriggled his fingers at him, gesturing him closer.
"Only if you agree up front to help me find out what happened to Sebastian."
"Of course." The blonde replied with an easy going shrug.
Reluctantly, but not wholly, he took the offered hand and allowed himself to be dragged by the overenthusiastic blonde boy. He gritted his teeth as he was yanked around by his arm but forced himself to contain his temper for the sake of relocating his missing in action butler.
They arrived at the lounge and Ciel was half thrown into a seat; he watched as Alois plopped down onto the two seat sofa opposite him and the same moment Claude arrived and flourished a tray of tea and cake.
Alois picked up his cup and added several dollops of sugar lumps to it before sipping and nodding at Claude, "You can go now."
"Alois, I was hoping your butler might stay." Ciel interjected, "You see, I believe Sebastian was taken by another demon and considering that your own butler is a demon he might be able to help me."
"Oh... Well alright then." Alois shrugged, feeling put out that he wouldn't have the other Earl all to himself.
Claude glanced between them for a moment before he perched on the edge of another chair and looked at the Phantomhive Earl, "How can I be of service?"
"Did you sense anything last night? Anything different to normal I mean?"
"Well... There was a fluctuation of demonic energy but that isn't particularly unusual... Demons often come and go at random between this world and our own." He paused and touched his glasses thoughtfully, "Now I consider it the fluctuation was very close to your mansion, I had not considered it important before because of Sebastian's own presence there."
"So there was another demon near my home?" the Earl asked.
The other demon nodded, "I could easily come to that conclusion yes."
The Earl sat back and sipped his tea for a moment as he considered this new information, Sebastian wouldn't have simply left him without a fight; he had sworn his allegiance to him and to him alone so why had he disappeared? Was it to do with the second demon that had been near his home last night? Has Sebastian been kidnapped? If so then why?
"We need to find out who took him and get him back." He said simply after a moment of contemplation.
Claude glanced at his master before looking back at Ciel, "I agree."
Alois pouted behind his cup and rolled his eyes at how concerned they were after this one butler, "Well how are we meant to find him now?"
"I can sense him. Faintly but it is there." Claude piped up, "If we were to go to the Hell Plains it would strengthen enough for me to track him down."
"Then we have to go!" Ciel exclaimed.
"Unfortunately it is not that simple." The butler shook his head, "While a demon is under contract he cannot travel between worlds. In order to get there, we will need to use a portal, erected by a third party."
"Well... Where can we find one of those? Have you got any demon friends who aren't under contract?"
"No," he said with a simple bluntness, "But... I do know of someone who might be able to help. If you would be willing to take a trip into town with me that is?"
It was only a short while after that, Ciel and Alois were both on Claude's broad back and were travelling at supernatural speeds into London city centre; without a break in pace Claude mounted rooftops and descended into the lowest valleys of the streets.
Ciel, more astute and observational than Alois who was clinging to his butler and hiding his face, could feel the tension in the demon's shoulders and he wondered if it was because of Sebastian's disappearance. Sebastian, himself, had accidently let slip several pieces of information concerning his personal relationship with Claude and he knew that his butler cared for the golden eyed demon more than in the way of mere friends. Hmm, he would have to have a long and lengthy discussion with Mister Claude Faustus before he let him anywhere near Sebastian when this was over.
In a sudden gush of wind they came to a dead stop outside of a back alley store, Ciel cast a gaze over the front of the shop and felt his expression deadpan in disbelief. Even Claude knew about this place? Somehow that seemed strange to him.
The large sign above the shop read:
Claude cleared his throat and glanced at the two teenage boys before he walked up to the door, knocked firmly and pushed it open. Ciel glanced around, looking for the mysterious; silver haired man who owned the building.
"Are you here, Undertaker?" he called out, unable to locate the man with his own two eyes.
There was a daunting creek as the lids of one of the coffins clapped onto the concrete flooring to reveal the black clad man who had been snoozing within. With an auspicious giggle which sent shivers down Alois's spine, Undertaker exhumed himself from the wooden casket and his heeled shoes clattered against the floor as he tottered over to the little huddle in his home.
"Earl Trancy, Claude Faustus, how pleasant of you to pay a humble shop owner as me a visit!" he exclaimed, his high pitched tones causing Alois to cringe away from him.
"Undertaker..." Ciel murmured with a darkened expression, "You know these two as well?"
"Ah, little Earl Phantomhive, where is your butler? He is so talented at bestowing the very best of laughs on me... Alas he appears not to be present." The silver haired male ran his long black nails down the side of his slightly scarred face.
The Phantomhive heir merely rolled his eyes, "Sebastian's absence is our reason for being present Undertaker."
"We need a gateway to the Hell Plains, Undertaker," Claude interrupted with a gracious bow in Ciel's direction, "I know you have the power to open the gateway."
The white haired man tipped his head to the side for a moment and considered the proposition, "I can do that! But it will cost you the greatest of laughs and– Argh!"
They watched in surprise as the Undertaker was smartly hit around the back of the head and knocked to the floor by a vibrantly dressed man with long, luxurious locks of scarlet hair.
Claude walked forwards and gawped unattractively at the redhead whom had seated himself on the Undertaker's back. He recognised him from the woods when Ash had taken Sebastian from him; he remembered him to be a Shinigami. So what the hell was he doing in Undertaker's shop?!
"Ah, on second thoughts... This time my help is for free." The man smiled contemplatively.
Grell looked down at the white haired man in disapproval but smiled as he said he would help for free. He stood up and danced off, sitting pertly on one of the coffin lids, crossing one leg over the other, "I will come with you!"
"I think not." Claude rebuked quickly, "You will cause trouble, many demons are not as civilised as me or Sebastian and they would take you without restraint."
"Take me?!" the redhead exclaimed.
"Indeed... The greatest game a demon will play is one of pleasure and sex. Any demon which found you attractive would also find you easy prey, to kidnap and rape as they pleased." The golden eyed demon spoke plain truths, as cold and cutting as they were.
Grell paled for a moment before looking around as the gentle touch of Undertaker's hand on his shoulder calmed him enormously, "I shall be coming as well Grell, you need not be concerned."
The redhead's cheeks flushed at the tenderness of the Undertaker's words and offered the older man a shy smile before clearing his throat, "I would still like to help rescue Sebastian, for I have heard so much about him and seen him only once, I must admit I am curious to meet this half human, half demon properly."
Claude simply rolled his eyes and looked away from them, his large hands hidden inside his pockets, "Can we get going as soon as possible? I am eager to ensure that he is in no way harmed."
Undertaker walked through to the back of his shop, leaving the door open for his guests to join him through. He positioned two large black statues of gargoyles opposite each other and stood back, flourishing a large black scythe from nowhere; he cut through the space between the two statues and a ripple of energy filled the room. A fiery portal opened up in the space between the two gargoyles and beyond could be seen a faint outline of blackened buildings.
Looking around at the others who had finally followed him, he smiled an insane grin at them, "Beyond here is the Hell Plains. If you will follow me I shall lead us to the Demon world."
Ciel glanced at Claude for a moment, "You had better make sure we reach Sebastian in one piece." He growled dangerously.
"I give you my word, we will find Sebastian and we will return without getting injured." The golden eyed demon replied calmly before striding forward with confident steps into the portal.
Dropping his head into his hands, Sebastian groaned silently as he listened to his Father and Duke exchanging words concerning him. His boredom was limitless and he longed to see Claude again, he missed his life mate greatly.
Sitting bolt upright in his chair suddenly, he looked around frantically like a rabbit in headlights, sensing Claude's aura as it suddenly appeared in the Hell Plains. His life mate had come for him!
To be continued...