The Banshee's Wail
Ciel Phantomhive awoke from his peaceful sleep and groggily stared up at the ceiling, pondering what had awoken him. Lately he had been sleeping through the entire night without being plagued by nightmares or dark dreams; something he had begun to like. The result was he got more work done during the day and he had more energy. He had no idea what brought about this sudden change but he liked it.
A loud wail cut through the night, the sound echoing eerily before it faded away.
Ciel shot upright in bed, his hands clutching the blankets. His eyes were wide as dinner plates, his heart beating rapidly within his chest cavity. What had that ungodly sound been? He was sure it had not been Pluto as he had heard the sounds the demon hound could make and it hadn't sounded like the servants, either. A glance at the bedroom window and the moon's location told him the hour was early, maybe around two in the morning.
The strange sound came again and Ciel shivered.
Whatever it was, it was inside the manor.
The young earl sat there for another brief moment and then threw the blankets off. His bare feet touched the cold floor as he crawled out of bed. The floor was like ice, the blazing fire in the fireplace doing little to warm it. He considered grabbing his slippers but didn't see them. Where had Sebastian put them? Shouldn't they be right here, by the foot of his bed? Moving shadows danced across his bedroom making the place look somewhat creepy. A normal boy would be frightened of the shadows that resembled skeletal hands reaching for him but Ciel ignored it. He was used to chasing murderers and didn't have time for such nonsense as an imagination.
The loud wail, whatever it was, came again.
Ciel became annoyed. He wanted to sleep and something was making a loud racket! Why wasn't Sebastian taking care of it? What kind of butler was he? He had always been perfect and now he let this go on?
The young Earl picked up his walking stick and lit a candle. Taking both, he left his room for the dark hall. The hallway was much darker than his room had been, the lights blown out for the night. A cold wind blew past, the breeze strong enough to whip his short white nightshirt against his legs. The air felt more like winter than autumn and he felt goosebumps break out on his skin. Turning, he was shocked to see some incompetent fool had left the window at the end of the hall open, the drapes pushed aside and blowing in the wind. Ciel scowled at this, displeased. How could Sebastian allow this to happen? By the looks of it, a large collection of fallen leaves had already blown in!
Ciel turned and started down the hall determined to find the source of the unpleasant wails and shut it up. The fact that Sebastian had read him a scary story before bed, The Hound of the Baskervilles, didn't deter him. He owned a real demon hound and found the racket annoying instead of frightening. His bare toes kicked something on the floor and he stopped. Bending low with his weak candle, he examined the object.
It was a woman's high heeled shoe, black with some sparkly stuff on it. Even in the weak light he could see it twinkling.
Ciel had no idea where it had come from or why it was there. Then he recalled the open window and surmised some woman must have broken in. "Great, just great. There's an intruder in the house and Sebastian is …. Wait, where is Sebastian? Sebastian?"
The young man waited in the hallway as the moments ticked by but the demon didn't appear. Instead he heard more of that loud wailing, the sounds getting louder if anything else.
"How the bloody heck can Sebastian not hear that racket?" Angry, Ciel stomped down the hallway and almost stepped on another discarded shoe. He just missed it by an inch. And what was that over there? Ciel approached the dark shape suspiciously and poked it with a bare toe. When it didn't do anything, he bent down and picked it up. "A stocking, made out of a net? What the heck is this stuff?"
Next he found some ruffled lacy thing. It was some sort of stretchy circular band. Ciel stared at the garter in confusion as he had no idea what it was. "Why is this stuff in my house? I hope Sebastian isn't wearing this stuff! I'll kill him if he is!"
Then a more horrifying thought occurred to him. His face grew pale and the garter trembled in his hand. "There's no way I'm going to wear it!"
Once had been more than enough.
The hated item was dropped onto the floor as the frightening sound came again, this time closer than before. Ciel broke into a run and skidded around the corner on his bare feet. Suddenly he slipped, tripping over something unseen. He landed roughly on his rear, the lit candle just staying in his hand through some miracle. The walking stick went flying, clattering on the floor with much fanfare. A few moments passed and Ciel realized he was laying on something warm. His bare legs and his empty hand that once held the walking stick now rested upon soft fabric. Glancing down, he saw it was black. Something sparkled in the candlelight and Ciel realized it was silver buttons.
The silver buttons were very familiar.
It was Sebastian's tailcoat!
The demon almost never took the tailcoat off and then to find it discarded like this in the empty corridor…
A hot lump of fear formed in Ciel's chest and he swallowed the unpleasant bump in his throat. What if something awful had happened to Sebastian? The demon was very careful about his appearance; he just wouldn't toss his jacket away like this. Ciel was sure of it.
But that didn't explain the woman's shoes and stockings….unless the demon had been wearing them.
"No wonder he enjoys dressing me up like a girl! He has a secret and does it himself!"
All of the stuff he had found had been black and Sebastian loved black. Had Sebastian been the one to leave the window open?
Ciel stood up and continued down the hall. Soon he found the discarded necktie.
The horrible sound came again, this time so close it rattled his teeth.
It was coming from the nearby broom closet.
Ciel stared at the closed door for a long moment, unsure if he wanted to open it. Did he really want to see his butler wearing some dress? But if he didn't open it, the awful sounds would not stop and he would be up all night. And so with a trembling hand he gripped the cold doorknob and turned it, flinging the door wide.
He gasped at what he saw.
His butler was in the broom closet kissing that bloody red reaper! The demon had his mouth to the reaper's neck and was busy slobbering on it for unknown reasons. The reaper had his head thrown back; his green eyes glazed behind his crooked red-framed glasses and seemed somewhat out of it. The black sparkly dress Grell was wearing was half off, the upper bust part hanging low around his slim waist. His body was pressed against the demon, whose shirt was clearly undone and hanging open. Sebastian seemed to bite him lightly and the horrid sound came from Grell's now open mouth, sharp teeth flashing in the weak candlelight.
"Sebastian! What are you doing?" Ciel demanded angrily, still shocked at what he was seeing. He thought Sebastian despised the annoying reaper and then to see this…
The demon paused in his administrations to Grell and lifted his head to stare at Ciel. "My Lord, what are you doing up? You should be asleep in bed…"
"How can I sleep with that loud racket?"
"Racket, My Lord?" Sebastian looked innocently back at him, ignoring the red that rimmed his mouth. "What racket are you referring to?"
"Is that a joke, Sebastian?" Ciel demanded with a hand on his hip as he glared at his butler. "I mean that red-headed banshee! He's making enough wails to wake up the dead!"
"Didn't you dose him?" Grell asked Sebastian as he ran a red-painted fingernail over the demon's ear. "He never woke the previous nights…"
"Perhaps it slipped my mind…" The demon replied with a tired-sounding sigh. "I suppose I'll have to put him back to bed now and that will require more tea with the dose in it…"
"Sebastian! I demand you tell me what you're doing in that closet with him!" Ciel ordered; the contract on his eye flashing.
"We are in the closet because Grell was too impatient to wait until we reached my room…" The demon replied honestly as he slowly untangled himself from the reaper. "We are having a bit of … recreation. We will leave it at that, shall we? I am afraid you're too young for these things."
Then Ciel realized what the red staining the demon's mouth was. At first he thought it had been lipstick but then he spotted the wet and shiny red trail leaking down Grell's shoulder and onto his muscular chest, a chest that proved without doubt that he was male. "You bit him?"
"I am a demon…" Sebastian smiled, revealing his pointed demon teeth that were a lot like fangs. "I must eat something…"
"But why that?" Ciel shivered in clear disgust.
"Hey!" Grell cried, clearly annoyed at the young man's words. "I'm not chopped liver or some piece of trash! I'm a divine being!"
Ciel groaned. His head was starting to hurt, that and he was freezing. His poor feet were blocks of ice and his eyes were scarred by what he saw. Sebastian clearly liked Grell! Feeling tired, he turned to head back to his bedroom. "Just keep him quiet. Stick some socks in his mouth or something…I don't care."
Sebastian hurried to attend his master knowing that soon Ciel would be asleep once again and Grell would be waiting.