It had been a long time since he had gone by the name Sebastian and yet, as he walked through the buildings, the showers, and the ovens he felt that name begin to creep over him like a shadow. The old form of Sebastian butler seeped through him until it was the young English butler who stared with a strange emptiness at the now vacated premises of the Auschwitz death camp.
"It seems you've been outmatched." He turned his head and saw another being out of time and place, Ciel Phantomhive; the small adult trapped in a childlike body his single blue eye staring up at Sebastian with a distant amusement.
"I thought you were dead, young master." The butler commented still wandering through the empty rooms and staring at the barbed wire fences. The boy walked beside him in his funeral attire the eye patch firmly reaffixed across the seal though the butler clearly remembered the moment when he had removed it.
Ciel Phantomhive did not answer for a few moments but rather stared, as Sebastian did, at the surroundings so familiar to that final blaze of London at the hands of the avenging angel.
"Devouring the soul is not simply a means of getting a meal it is also, in a sense, preservation. I remain unchanged from that moment, stagnated. By devouring my soul you did not lose me but kept me as I was, unhindered and unchanged by the other worlds. Or, if you prefer, you got one hell of a meal out of it and this is simply the consequence." The boy's single eye did not meet him and he said this with a rather detached expression as if simply relating facts already known and indisputable.
The demon said nothing but merely continued to walk through the empty rooms noting the blood that had made its way into the earth and the soot that etched the ceilings. It was the boy who interrupted his thoughts in that voice that seemed older than his body ever would be.
"You may be one hell of a butler but you're not one hell of a demon." The boy commented almost drily bringing a hand to the dirt caked floor and wiping the dust until it coated a single finger. He observed it silently looking almost as he had at the end before he had let go on the bridge.
"Oh, how so?"
"You've been beaten at your own game, by humans no less." The late earl of Phantomhive commented (and although his tone was disdainful the demon felt more than heard the emptiness running beneath it).
"Well, the black death is nothing to sneeze at." The demon commented with a slight shrug all the while smelling the charred remains of bodies.
"This is different," Ciel Phantomhive responded turning his eye to look at Sebastian, "This is humanity gone mad; systematic elimination of an entire people through the institution of death camps and global warfare. This is out of your league, demon."
"Yes, this never would have occurred to me." He said softly.
"Perhaps the angel was right." The boy said in a softer tone, "Perhaps, Europe did deserve to burn for this. But how could we know; how could I have known? How could we have possibly known that a stain would come to spread over Europe just as it predicted? Two great wars within half a century and the future had seemed so bright."
(And for both of them they saw the war Ciel had tried to prevent in those last few weeks of his life and held the thought of a Europe embroiled in war in a desperate conquest for power. They had killed an angel and a queen to stop that war but in the end they had only delayed it for a little while.)
"Do you regret your revenge?" The demon asked with narrowed eyes.
"No, the revenge was for myself. It was not for my family, my honor, but for me. I was my revenge and my utter hatred, to regret that is to regret my own existence." The boy stopped then for a moment his eye still filled with the London fire, "Still perhaps I should have allowed the angel its fun. It would have amounted to the same thing in the end."
"The unclean, the unnecessary, the unwanted." The butler chanted in remembrance.
"Yes," Ciel remarked, "I suppose we didn't need the angel of massacre after all, we were all too willing to do it ourselves."
So they sat in the dust that smelled of charred bodies and the suffering of those recently dead. Sebastian looked into the abyss thinking of the reapers during the war and how very frustrated and overworked they must have been. Eventually he came to a conclusion and shared his thoughts with his long dead master, "It is not that I lack as a demon, my people have simply been surpassed by a more creative kind."
He turned to look at the boy but he was gone, back to wherever his soul had come to rest. In his place there stood only a memory of a boy who had walked through the burning streets of London and mistaken it for Hell.
And so the demon waited for another war and another master.
Author's Note: This one-shot is set under the premise that at the end of season one Sebastian did devour Ciel's soul as planned. Thank you for reading reviews would be excellent.
Disclaimer: I don't own Black Butler.