-:- Subject 13's Butler -:-
.:A Kuroshitsuji Fan Fiction:.
Summary: Ciel takes the leap into Oblivion, only to wake into a strange white-washed world of beeping machines and white-coats doctors. The only thing that seems real is Sebastian, who steals him away from the hellhole laboratory to save him from the sick sake of science.
IT TOOK ME FOREEEVVVAAAAR TO GET INSPIRATION TO THIS CHAPTER.
But I finally got it. Today, while I was at work. Serving customers. I was suddenly like, "aw SHIT I gotta write this down".
I also made friends with a tame magpie who wandered into the shop and demanded attention from everyone. Little shit got lots of pats before I had to turf him out again.
Anyway. Here's this chapter. I hope you like it. Please read and review, as always. Maybe I'll actually update again sooner this time, now I have the ball rolling again.
For this episode, the music I would like you to listen to while reading is "Epilogue" from the Shadow of the Colossus soundtrack. Please go to youtube and listen to it. No, don't keep reading. GO TO YOUTUBE. SEARCH IT UP AND LISTEN TO IT NOW.
Okay, now keep reading.
Chapter Forty-Seven: His Butler, Creating Eden
"What was that?"
Sebastian turned, and cast his eyes around him. Bardroy was tense at his side, and suddenly, an elderly woman shuffling a zimmer frame meandered past, nudging the blonde doctor slightly as she reached up to the grocery store shelf and grabbed a packet of crackers to add to her basket. There was another crackle of conversation over the PA system, and then the music came back on again. Sebastian sighed and forced himself to relax; there was no one after them – no one else was about but other shoppers. Bored or exhausted parents, teenagers on their phones or young kids running around amidst the shopping trolleys. Staff members strode past them or were stocking shelves, the beeps from the checkout counters echoing throughout the cavernous store. Bard growled softly.
"Hell. I can't get those bastards outta my head, y'know? It makes me jumpy to think they managed to find us all the way out here." he muttered, scowling as he grabbed a few packets of biscuits and tossing them into the trolley they were wheeling down the aisles. Sebastian nodded.
"I understand. Everyone was so relaxed, and then this happens," he replied, trying not to think about the stink of burning clothes and flesh that had he still had yet to completely wash out of his hair. There was a large, charred patch of old burnt out logs on the beach, the ash from the flames of several nights before having already been blown away into the high lands by the winds that swept in over the sea. It hadn't been the most inconspicuous of funerals for the men who had attempted to murder Ciel in cold blood, but it was the most efficient. It left the least evidence.
Bardroy sighed and followed him as he continued down the aisle, checking the shopping list they'd scribbled down on a spare piece of note paper. He looked up as they past shelves of sugar and drinking chocolate. "You okay?"
Silence followed for a moment before Sebastian replied, his voice low. "Every time I close my eyes, I see everything that could have happened. Ciel dead. His blood all over the sand. His clothes shredded on scrubs. A bullet hole right through his head." He saw Bard shudder out of the corner of his eye.
"Eesh." the blonde doctor grumbled. "Well, none of us were to know."
"But how did they find us?" Sebastian mused, not really aiming the question at Bardroy. "There was nothing in their vehicle to identify them as anything more than Lander's lackeys. No maps, no phones..."
"Think we might have been tailed?"
"Oh honey, I don't think it, I know it," A sultry voice came from behind them, and they both whirled. Grell Sutcliff gave them a wink as he joined them.
"The hell are you doing here?" Sebastian growled, knowing fully well that Bardroy wasn't going to take kindly to the intrusion, but was thankful when the other doctor remained quiet.
Grell brushed a bit of lint off the sleeve of his jacket, the red leather jacket shrugged down around his elbows, hanging low on his back. He offered up a flirtatious smile. "Why Bassy, I'm here just to see you, of course."
"I thought you had more pressing matters – such as the matter of the London sweep the Dispatch was conducting," Sebastian let a hint of disdain seep into his words as he eyes the red headed agent off warily. Grell seemed to pick on it, and he chuckled lightly.
"It was certainly a long drive to get all the way out here, I'm not looking forward to the tiring trip home, but I managed to pull a few strings and get myself some time off for two weeks," he raised his left arm, tugging back the sleeve of his jacket to show off a left cast on his forearm. Bardroy let out a low whistle. "When we had our little incident at the coffee shop with those Karnstien thugs, Agent Clarke wasn't the only one who got hurt." he continued. "I clipped a bullet just after he did, luckily all it was was only slightly worse than a graze, but the force of it slammed my arm into the car – so now I have a rather un-stylish cast to show for a very un-stylish fractured radius."
He sighed and tutted under his breath, grimacing down at the cumbersome plaster. Sebastian saw Bardroy roll his eyes, and he gave the blonde doctor a nod – Bard nodded and started to keep going with the shopping trolley, heading off to continue adding items to the cart while Sebastian stayed behind with Grell.
"You never mentioned the injury before," starting conversation again was slightly awkward, but Grell breezed along with it without quarm.
"It was hardly necessary, Bassy," the red head purred. "We did, after all, have more pressing matters to discuss in our conversation over the phone. I was only able to pass on so much information to you about the current plans because of my restriction to the hospital wing; Will kept me fully updated the entire time til I was signed out; hence, when there was no one else around, there was no one to hear me pass on the information."
Sebastian rolled his eyes. "I suppose it was an efficient use of your free time." he nodded, and Grell chuckled as they began moving down the aisle. Bard was already in another aisle, giving them time to continue their conversation quietly. They scooted around a mother and her two children as they pulled and nagged at her for things she'd clearly already told them they weren't going to get and were precariously close to tantruming about. Grell sighed dreamily as he watched them pass.
"So how is your little family going, anyway?"
"We had...visitors the other day."
"Ah, yes," Grell nodded severely. "They certainly don't know when to quit."
"If you knew about them why didn't you intervene?" Sebastian growled, and the redhead shrugged.
"Bassy, darling, I'm in hardly any state to be intervening a couple of broad-shouldered thugs like them; and besides, I tailed them as they tailed you."
Sebastian narrowed his eyes, turning his glare onto a rather unfortunate packet of biscuits. It was grabbed and tossed into the cart amongst the other things already occupying the trolley. "So that's how you know we were tailed."
"Duh," the redheaded agent readjusted his glasses as they rounded the corner of the aisle and headed up the next one. Walking between Sebastian and the shelves, he pulled a couple of loaves of bread off the racks when the doctor pointed at them as to not interrupt as he spoke. "I was poking around in London at your place at Battersea after I managed to get time off from work – I didn't even get to the front door; they came barging out with a map in hand; and God, they looked pissed."
"Wait, there was a map?" Sebastian stiffened. He was sure he'd gotten rid of the map they'd used to briefly mark out their routes. He was positive he'd torn it up into impossible-to-read pieces and then binned it.
"Yeah, and it was all taped up and rough on the edges, like some kind of wonky-ass jigsaw." Grell commented off-handedly, before looking back to Sebastian. "Whoa, what? That ring a bell?"
Sebastian was gritting his teeth, his fists clenched. Damn them. Damn those bastards. "They...they taped the fucking map back together..." he growled, and Grell swallowed.
"Well, if it's any help, they burnt it right there on the pavement before leaving. Left it there, in a charred and smoldering heap. I didn't get a good look at it after they'd stormed off, but I did see a line pointing to Newquay, before it burned away. They must have been searching for days before they finally found your hiding place."
Taking a deep breath, Sebastian forced himself to straighten up and continue moving. Bardroy must be aisles ahead of them now. He paused momentarily to fish a couple of jars of jam off the shelf to him. "Well...at least that last bit was relatively good news. They've parmanently destroyed the only piece of evidence that would pin point our location. Unless they told someone else before they came after us."
"Oh, I wouldn't worry too much about that," Grell smiled, pulling out his phone. "One of the techs down in the labs upgraded all Dispatch agent's phones with jamming devices and listening bugs. All we need is to be in close enough proximity of someone else on their phone and we can either scramble the signal or listen in to what they're saying. Nifty, right?"
"Quite," Sebastian nodded. "And?"
"And diddly-squat, Bassy. They never made one out-going call the entire trip. Lucky I was able to disappear into the traffic; it's getting towards the season of transition – people are already flocking to the beaches and coastal areas for the summer months." Grell sighed. "It wasn't that hard to stay inconspicuous – however I did lose the signal several days ago. When I finally found it again, the device recognized it as a cracked and corrupted chip – I assume that was after you got to them."
Sebastian nodded again. "You assume correctly."
"Good. Then I can safely say, no one else knows you're here."
The doctor chuckled mildly. "Well, there's only one other person. And I have faith they will keep their mouths shut."
Grell gave him a curious look, but Sebastian's smile turned to a concerned frown, tinged with a sad inflection, and he kept going, his thoughts now somewhere else completely.
"We're home!" Bardroy called, and Sebastian followed him through into the beach house, both of them with bags of groceries in each hand.
"Hey, welcome back!" Finni hollered, coming thumping down the stairs, taking a few of the bags from Sebastian. The doctor watched the cheerful blonde, thanking him with a smile, before turning back to close the door. As they two of them got busy putting away the groceries, Sebastian headed upstairs. Three doors down the corridor...past Mey-Rin's room...past Finni's and Bard's and Pluto's...he came to a stop in front of Ciel's door. It was closed, and he took a deep breath before knocking.
When no reply came, he twisted the handle and pushed the door open – he knew he shouldn't have been worried; Ciel would be fine. If Finni wasn't worried, Ciel should be fine. He'd left the boy sleeping when he and Bard had headed out. He was probably still-
The bedroom was empty. Sebastian's heart kicked up a notch, thoughts racing through his head. No, of course Ciel could have woken up. He could be in the bathroom, or the...the library downstairs. Or the living room. Maybe he was on the balcony.
"F-Finni? Where's Ciel?" Sebastian tried his hardest to suppress the quaver in his voice as he called out the door. Why was he panicking? There was no need to panic. Why should he be panicking...
"Oh, he and Mey are out in the back garden!" Finnian's voice came drifting back up the stairs to meet Sebastian, and he nearly cursed out loud as he felt his knees go just a little weak. Ciel was fine. He was okay. He wasn't missing. Stop worrying...
Sighing deeply, Sebastian crossed to Ciel's unmade bed. He wondered if the boy would ever learn to straighten his sheets...in honesty, he didn't really think it'd ever happen. He allowed himself a small, relieved smile as he started about making the bed. Well, it'd never happen if he kept doing it for Ciel. He sank down onto the bedspread, his gaze moving to the open window. There was a breeze that gently fluttered the curtains, the view outside nothing short of beautiful. In a rustic, untamed kind of way. But beautiful nonetheless. He had to stop fearing the worst, even though he had more or less come to expect it at any given time. Ciel was fine; Mey-Rin was a fine protector.
A thought, a glimpse of a memory, flickered somewhere in his thoughts. There had been another time almost just like this. Just over three and a half years ago, if he remembered correctly.
He strode down the hallway, Bardroy two steps behind him. Two minutes late, two minutes behind schedule – the surgery had to be now. It should already be underway. He could have already lost the one chance he had to save Ciel Phantomhive's life. The boy's memories had already been suppressed – he had already been sunk into the coma that he may never wake from. He wouldn't feel anything if he were to live or die. But it was crucial that he live.
"Finni!" the intern appeared at his side, almost as if materializing out of thin air. "Is the operating theatre completely prepped?"
"Yessir!" Finnian nodded, his usual happy demeanor now replaced with a serious look that didn't really suit the poor lad. Regardless. He could be happy again if Ciel survived this. But right now -
"Where's Mey-Rin?" Sebastian turned a sharp corner and into the ward. "Why isn't she he-"
Sebastian stopped cold. Ciel Phantomhive's private ward was empty.
"Ah, shit." Bardroy's words were dulled in comparison to the silent waves of fear that crashed through Sebastian's mind. His ears seemed blocked. His vision narrowed to the hospital cot, now void of it's charge.
"Who the hell has moved Ciel Phantomhive?!" He roared, barging past the panicking blonde doctor and intern. The hallway was deserted – there was only a few nurses down at the station down the hall; one of them looked up at his raised voice. "You! Get everyone searching the halls! Someone has moved Ciel Phantomhive. And not on my command. Go! Move!"
The nurse nodded and hurried off, calling to a few others and they split up, each heading down different hallways. Sebastian turned back to Finnian and Bardroy, who were still blabbering and running around like headless chooks.
"And you two – just...urgh just stay here and keep your eyes open!" he growled, before taking off down the hallway away from the ward, his long legs feeling heavy, like they were weighed down by lead on the soles of his shoes. He couldn't move fast enough – he could be too late...
Five hallways and nearly twenty wards later, Sebastian burst out into the children's garden. There was an easy escape route through the main gate and into the parking lot – his eyes scanning every detail and his mind calculating all possible routes of kidnapping or –
He was stopped dead in his tracks as he cast his frantic gaze across to the other side of the garden. He could hear Mey's voice, asking; pleaing – who was she talking to? Sucking in another lungful of air, Sebastian forced his feet forward again. The other side of the garden was walled off by a large hedgerow, shade from an ancient willow tree casting long shadows over the grass of the quieter, more private area of the garden. There was Mey-Rin, sounding as frantic as his pounding heart felt. And in the grass, gazing up at the dappled shadows that the willow leaves cut from the beams of sunlight, was Ciel Phantomhive.
"Oh thank God," Sebastian gasped, catching the attention of both of them. He was bent double, trying to catch his breath back, and when he straighten to see them both staring at him, Mey-Rin looking incredibly relieved, and Ciel looking somewhat out of it, he realized something.
Ciel Phantomhive should not have been awake. He was supposed to be in a coma. But there he was, open-eyed plain as day.
"Where have you been, Sebastian?" the ten year old boy asked, sounding off-kilter, like he was in some sort of daze. "Mey-Rin has been talking nonsense ever since she found me."
Sebastian blinked, looking to Mey-Rin. She was chewing her lip and her shoulders were trembling; she looked exhausted, and confused – and there were another ten hundred emotions welling up behind her exquisite eyes. Clearing his throat, Sebastian stepped over to the shaking nurse.
"Uh – she um, hasn't been feeling quite herself lately," he feigned a smile, clapping Mey on the shoulder, only to earn himself another baffled look from her.
"She should probably take a day or two to rest, don't you think?" Sebastian quickly cut in over her, nudging her with the palm of his hand. He needed to gauge what sort of mental state that Ciel was currently in – keep him talking, and Sebastian might just rectify this whole mess. She took the hint, and remained quiet, awaiting the child's answer. Ciel seemed to consider it for a moment.
"Mmm...yes. Tell all the servants to take the day off," Ciel nodded numbly. "Tell them not to worry."
Sebastian let out a long, slow breath as the boy looked away, his attention caught by a butterfly that fluttered down from above. He leant down to Mey-Rin. "The memory suppression and re-writing has taken effect; right now he believes he's Earl Phantomhive. What the hell is he doing out here?"
"I-I just...I found him stumbling around, I've been trying for the last twenty minutes to get him back to the ward before the operation, sir!" Mey replied in a hiss. "He just kept going on about where you were, what were you doing and why you hadn't arrived yet."
"Just follow my lead." Sebastian nodded, before stepping up to Ciel. The boys eyes flickered dreamily away from the butterfly as it danced and flitted up and away to Sebastian. The doctor took a deep breath, offered the boy his best smile, and bowed. "Sir?"
"I think it's best if you retire for today. You seem awfully tired; why don't we go inside and I'll prepare you some tea." Sebastian said, racking his brain for all the phrases and terminology. He'd spent many sleepless nights researching the proper language of a butler. He'd practiced the perfect English accent for weeks – and now, instead of sounding just like any British man, he could perfectly imitate the lilt of the poshest and most well-spoken gentleman history could offer up. He could play the part of the perfect butler, just for Ciel.
Something seemed to stir in Ciel's eyes, and for a moment Sebastian feared he'd over done it – that all the hard work he'd done was about to come unravelled. But then, the smallest of smiles broke out on the child's face.
"Yes. I think that would be good." Sebastian's heart felt like it was ripping itself in two. The poor boy – he was literally dreaming whilst awake. Sleeptalking and sleepwalking. The child had no clue of any true presence; he probably only really saw shapes and shadows. All he could see was probably based purely on what his mind told him, even though his mind itself was in a haze, believing what it could because that's all it had. Ciel probably didn't even know he was actually smiling. It was just an emotional reaction he had little to no logical control over.
Sebastian had done this to him. This child, who had once been so precise and full of clarity, ready to argue a point or discuss any variety of topics late into the night. Now, he was just a day-dreaming little boy who lived, almost quite literally, in his own imagination.
And Sebastian had made him this way. His smile couldn't last as he gazed down at Ciel, feeling his heart squeeze uncomfortably. It hurt him to see Ciel like this.
But what could he do?
With a sigh, Sebastian stepped closer until he was right beside the boy, and he reached down. "Come, young master. Let's get you inside. You look exhausted."
Ciel didn't object, instead he reached up towards Sebastian's outstretched hands, and Sebastian crouched down to gather the boy up into his arms, hefting the ten year old up before turning back to Mey-Rin.
"Come, Mey-Rin. We have much work to do." he said, and Mey-Rin nodded, hurrying on ahead to make sure everything would be ready for the operation. Now they were well and truly behind schedule. Sebastian could hear a raspy crackle every time the boy in his arms drew breath; the pnuemonia was getting worse. In a few days – hours, maybe, it could kill the boy. It had to be stopped, and the treatment was no longer working. This action had to be taken.
"Yes, my Lord?" Sebastian replied softly as he carried Ciel back into the hospital, trying to keep the tremour from his voice.
"I feel sick...and sleepy."
Sebastian looked down at the child in the crook of his arm – from within his coat pocket, he had taken a simple needle as he'd carried Ciel. Now, he carefully withdrew that same needle from the soft skin at the crease of Ciel's elbow, recapping the needle deftly with only one hand and his teeth, which held the cap, Sebastian stowed the needle back into his pocket. The anaesthesia was already taking effect – good. By the time Ciel was in the operating theatre, he'd be completely knocked out.
"I know, young master. We're...we're on our way. It won't be long now." He looked down, and saw the boy's eyelids had already fallen shut. The rasp in his lungs was more prominent now as the child drew deeper breaths, coughing every so often in his unconsciousness. Sebastian grimaced as he could almost feel the crackle of Ciel's breath in his own chest.
God, he hated himself for what he'd done to this boy. He'd done everything he could to save him, and now he was damning him all over again. For what cause?
"Just rest peacefully, young master," Sebastia murmured as they neared the operating theatre. "May your dreams be...be pleasant ones."
He had to kick open the swinging doors to the large, open operating theatre, and he was greeted by the relieved faces of his medical crew. As they hurried to take Ciel from him and prep the boy for the surgery, he was glad that none of them noticed the single tear the escaped from his eye. Or, if they did notice, they sad nothing.
He was glad of that.
Sebastian blinked as there was a crash from downstairs, followed by raucus laughter and several yells of hysteria. Bard had either made something go bang or Finnian had dropped something. Either way, he figured as he rubbed his eyes, coming out of his trance-like state, it couldn't have been too serious. His vision blurred and the heels of his hands came away hot and wet – tears had started to leak from his eyes without him even realizing. He'd been so wrapped up in the memory.
"Damn," he muttered, wiping his sleeve across his eyes, before standing. His lower left had gone numb, and when he moved he stumbled a little, but righted himself quickly. Even though there was no one to see it happen, he nearly laughed at himself. Spacing out like that...it wasn't really a luxury he could afford.
However, he sighed as he headed downstairs, the feeling slowly returning to his ankle and foot, it happened. Things happened. Sometimes unexplainable, unplanned things. But they happened.
He reached the back door, glancing over his shoulder into the kitchen area. Bardroy had a dust-pan and broom, and Finnian was rescuing what was left of the box of cornflakes. They gave him embarrassed chuckles and shrugs as he passed. Yes, he nodded to himself. Yes, things certainly do happen. Pushing open the back door, he headed out onto the veranda. Beyond the veranda, was the garden. Beyond the garden, rocky cliffs and unkempt scrubland kept the prying eyes of the rest of the world out. But within the garden, there was Ciel Phantomhive, sitting in the grass and making daisy-chains with Mey-Rin. They were talking and smiling; Ciel even reached up to tuck a single flower behind Mey's ear, and then she did the same to him, and the two of them burst into fits of laughter.
Sebastian let out the breath he'd been holding in. He was glad that even if it wasn't forever, even if Ciel hadn't been co-herent back then in the garden back at the Karnstein, that he'd been happy; off in whatever dreamland his mind had concocted based on the rewritten memories he'd been given. He was glad that the boy was happy...or, well, happier, for now. At ease. Peaceful. Like this garden was the happiest place in the world, a place cut off from the rest of the world. An Eden, of sorts.
A shout from across the garden shook him from his small reverie – he looked up to see them waving him over, daisy-chains held up for him to see. Sebastian smiled to himself, and headed over to join them in the long grass amid the daisies.
Yes. He quite liked the peacful feeling this tiny Eden seemed to grant them.
Wow guys Yana Toboso updates the manga more often than I update here *ba-dum-tish!* but HEY. IT'S AN UPDATE, IF NOTHING ELSE.
My favourite anon reviewer meep has been at it again recently; it's like they've got one tab open to read the chapter and another tab open to write the review as they read the chapter. THEY'RE CRAZY, GUYS, CRAZY. IT'S LIKE THEY'RE IN MY HEAD. WATCHING. MY. EVERY. MOVE.
But in all seriousness, meep's awesome, even if I don't know who they really are here on FF.N. they're a kick-ass kinda cool, yo.
SO. can I get some reviews please~? :3 I made cookies! (the Undertaker's famous bone-shaped biscuits!)