fic takes place roughly a decade post-series; thus, spoilers it be a-havin'.

YOU HAFF BEAN WARNED.

context: ciel n' sebastian've been globe-trotting for some years, travelling far and wide in search of exotic places to visit and new people to eat. (yeah, you read that right.)

[there is nothing about this whole disclaimer that doesn't make me so disgusted i want to violently vomit out my own internal organs.]


As it happens, Ciel Phantomhive makes every bit as novel-peculiar a demon as he had a human child; the darkness stamped into him –both by way of traumatic personal history and now, newly, as an inherent attribute of his essential nature- is the indelible theme of every decision, every movement he makes. Unflinching acceptance of this inexorable truth has given the Phantomhive a vital edge with which to meet the divisive, crushing weight of unwitting eternity -a destiny for which he had decidedly not been made, and one which will at length, undoubtedly, exact a punishing existential toll.

But -and this is most remarkable, indeed- the very darkness which now actively guides his instincts does not -cannot- own him. Just as Sebastian had once been simultaneously his subject and master, so too is his iniquity at once bound to and binding him: it dictates the terms of his existence, yet bends to his will as he bids it; as in his human life, his darkness enshrouds and even rules him, but has no power to befoul or contain him.

In thrall to no master but himself, the late Earl of Phantomhive is an irreconcilable anomaly in the Lands Beyond, that layer of reality which itself exists only as an asymmetrical foil to the noumenal world perceived by those infinitely unsatisfactory morsels who comprise the human stain. And Sebastian Michaelis is beholden to such a one in perpetuity, never again to know the hedon-raptures of epicurean pursuit.

How perfectly tedious, and how quaint, that this consummately cunning crow should be trapped in a cage of his own fastidious making.

"London?" Sebastian parrots disaffectedly, holding the young master's waistcoat to the light for inspection and then allowing himself a moment's indulgent satisfaction: on the best of days, blood is an impossible substance to lift out of good fabric, and the late Phantomhive has still yet to master the level of control necessary to avoid saturating himself in the stuff at near every meal, so the accomplishment is always the greater when -as now- he manages to salvage an otherwise perfectly fine suit of clothes. Not a speck left on the whole ensemble -yes, admirable, indeed. "Feeling nostalgic?" He wonders, slyly nonchalant in a way that has proved, time and again, particularly irksome to his ever-peevish charge.

He catches the peripheral warning flash in his master's once-blue eyes, and offers an openly false smile of contrition as he begins carefully folding the coat into a trunk.

Glossing right over his playful provocation, "Yes, London. We leave first thing in the morning." Then, as a wry afterthought, "That is, of course, assuming you can manage to secure suitable accommodations on such short notice." Sebastian bows low at the waist, right hand snapped at an impeccable angle across his breast.

"As you wish."

Regret is by far the most superfluous of human affectations, for which he has no capacity and less tolerance; Ciel's soul had been a once-in-an-eternity prize -resiliently, defiantly pure in the face of a horror so devastating it should by rights have destroyed him, or at the least irredeemably diminished his palatability. But something quite the opposite happened, and Sebastian had discovered himself suddenly in possession of singularly exceptional fare, which he'd then lovingly, diligently brought to maturation -only to have the fruits of his painstaking labor snatched away from him, twice, the second time rather more permanently than he'd have liked.

Still, the risks he'd taken to obtain his prize he'd taken willingly, and though eternity in bondage had certainly not been in any of his visions for the future, he's gradually discovering that even this most egregious ignominy comes with...perks, of the most unexpectedly delicious variety.

"Well?" Impatience sours the young master's tone. "Get to it."

Sebastian's smile widens with eerie promise.

"Yes, my lord."


TA-DUM.

though this functions well enough as a one-shot, i've actually got quite a bit of Additional Story left to tell, and assuming i'm ever able to muster the motivation to flesh out some NINE-TRILLION pages of notes and actually *tell it,* then this fic'll eventually involve sebastian snarking lots and coming to terms with his Forever Servitude, lizzy kicking names and taking ass as an esteemed member of the Queen's Imperial Guard, ciel moving back to london to resume his former post as the Queen's Watchdog (in order to give himself easy access to the tastiest people-eats), and probablyatsomepoint, lots of lizzy/ciel smoochy-kissy-times.

...but this will involve displacement of both my level 87 Laziness Quotient, as well as my other chapter fic, which at the moment takes precedence.

WE SHALL SEE.