This wasn't really part of the original contract, Sebastian mused, walking along the dark lane, his footsteps utterly silent as he came upon the large mansion he had been seeking. The initial agreement had merely been for the two demons to use each other. The young master had needed an enemy, had needed a second chance at revenge after having lost his memories of that foul angel's annihilation at the sharp end of the demon butler's claws. Alois was infatuated with Ciel, and hated Sebastian for reasons unknown to the demon. No doubt it was the result of a make-believe story woven by Claude, as tangled and convoluted as the spider's threads he cherished so much.
Yet, Sebastian mused, red eyes gleaming as the doors swung open silently, even a spider's web had its moments of beauty, when the morning dew glistened across each individual thread in the morning light, making the fragile strands tremble ever so slightly. But those same threads were still strong enough to trap any insect foolish enough to get tangled in its threads.
Sebastian flicked a hand out as he passed into the main hallway, destroying the webs that had hung in the corners of the doorway. No matter how beautiful, one should never allow such unseemly things to remain where they were so clearly visible. "It'll just be back by the time you leave," an amused, arrogant voice greeted him. Golden eyes met his, and Sebastian smiled darkly.
"Such a fruitless effort," he purred. "To spend all that time and energy building something that can be destroyed in a split second." The metaphor wasn't lost on Claude, but his only response was to shove his glasses further up his nose before turning away, confident that Sebastian would follow.
Sebastian was aware of the eyes tracking their progress. Hannah and the triplets were rightfully wary of him, but he had no intention of causing unwanted trouble on this night. He would leave them be for now, unless they tried to interfere. He had no compunctions about destroying them if they were so foolish as to test him.
"Your lord is away?" Sebastian asked, though it wasn't really a question. He felt no human presence in the mansion, just the gaping emptiness that came with demon inhabitance. There was no life in a building filled with such dark creatures. It was a large part of the reason that he kept those bumbling fools in Ciel's employ. They had their uses, but they also kept his young master feeling more comfortable, surrounded by human warmth.
Claude shrugged. "He is not so much away as simply not here," he replied. Sebastian didn't press any further. If Claude had seen fit to send his master elsewhere without any demon guards, that was his problem, and not for Sebastian to question. Besides, if the Trancy brat was eliminated for lack of guards, then their contract would be null and void, and save Sebastian a great deal of trouble. These two were getting to be a serious thorn in his side, and if they hadn't been so convenient, he would have sought his Master's revenge elsewhere.
Still, things being what they were, Sebastian realized that he would feel no regret should these two be lost in the process. He fully intended to kill them all, regardless.
"Ah, we're here," Claude's satisfied remark brought Sebastian out of his bloody contemplations and firmly back into the present. He stared up at the heavy, ornate wooden doors with distaste, but preceded his rival into the room beyond. The chamber was empty; there was no furniture, and the room was covered entirely in stone. Sebastian could feel the spells that had been imbedded deep in the foundations of this one room, stronger than anywhere else, and he felt a tiny trickle of unease. His expression never wavered, though, as he stared coolly around the room.
"Not much for creature comforts, are you?" he asked blandly. Claude just gave him a sharp smile full of fangs; they both knew that comfort was the last thing either of them wanted or expected from this room. The door swung shut behind them, a bare whisper as it sealed them into darkness. Sebastian's eyes glowed eerily in the pitch black, and golden eyes stared back at him, gleaming brightly.
Thin threads brushed against Sebastian's exposed skin, and he fought not the shudder, his mouth turning down in displeasure. Still, he didn't move as the threads wrapped themselves around his body, holding him captive. It was part of the bargain, after all. Maybe not the original plan, but if Sebastian's plans were to succeed, he would have to put up with a little discomfort on his end.
His eyes slipped shut as he was woven into a webbed cocoon, the darkness cool and open, which surprised him. He had expected the enclosure to be suffocatingly warm, but this was…tolerable. His arms were bound to his sides, his body held securely, and then he felt it. The hunting, searching surge of power that meant that Claude had finally started.
When they had made their agreement and dyed the roses in demonic blood, they had returned to find a furious Phantomhive and a cowering Trancy. Sebastian had quickly taken his Master away, but not before Claude had gotten just the tiniest taste of his soul. He had been quite obviously entranced, and Sebastian had snarled at him. He would not allow Claude to take his master from him; he would see him dead first.
Still, there had been other options that could be tried before he was forced to resort to such measures and find a new enemy for his young lord. It had been Claude who had made the proposal; if he was not allowed to sample Ciel, then perhaps he could sample Sebastian instead? The Phantomhive butler was the more powerful of the two of them, and the elder. Surely he had something to offer in exchange for Claude leaving his master alone?
It had been blackmail, and poor blackmail at that, but Sebastian had agreed. His reasons for the concession were for him to know, and for Claude to realize only when it was too late to do anything about it. Sebastian smiled darkly, feeling those threads of power sift through his mind. He adeptly turned the power, forcing it to go only into those memories that he would allow to be witnessed. What was truly between him and his master was only for the two of them. It was far too precious to share with a third-rate demon butler.
His eyes opened as threads wrapped themselves around his neck, squeezing and cutting off his air. "This wasn't our agreement," Claude's cold voice hissed at him. Sebastian just smirked; this entire thing wasn't part of their agreement. It was just a pathetic attempt at gaining something that he didn't deserve, and they both knew it. The threads cut easily into his flesh, and Sebastian hissed, his eyes glowing red. He was done playing nice.
Nails extended into vicious claws, and fangs sprouted from a human-looking mouth. The spider's threads had no chance against such sharp cutting instruments, and they parted like water from Sebastian's body. More threads shot forward, trying to tangle his arms and legs so that he couldn't get the leverage to tear himself free, but the damage was done.
Sebastian landed softly on the ground and strode forward, easily able to sense the other demon. His hand darted out, wrapping around Claude's throat, claws digging carelessly into tender flesh. Claude swung his right leg, catching Sebastian in the ribs, and the other demon grunted, but didn't loosen his hold. He knew that he wouldn't be able to hold the other man for long, since Claude could hold his own in a mostly fair fight.
Invading Claude's personal space, Sebastian growled, "Perhaps not. But you have your own master. You are not allowed to touch mine. He has already been tainted by that small taste you got, and it's utterly repulsive. You are at the bottom of the food chain, spider," he snarled, baring his fangs. Claude's blood slid across his fingers and down his hands, warm and metallic.
Golden eyes glared back at him for a moment, then Claude slammed his shoulders back against the stone wall, using the added leverage to plant both feet into Sebastian's chest, hard. The demon staggered backwards, releasing his hold, and the fight was on. Where Sebastian went, Claude was there, attacking. Sebastian fell to the defensive, but took every chance he could to get in a shot of his own, a handful of them connecting.
A fight between demons was a sight to behold, if one could keep up with them. Claws drew blood and booted feet left bruises. Skin tore, then healed just as quickly, the result of a demon's impressive regenerative capabilities. Even a lost limb could be regained, if one was willing to pay the price.
Sebastian would have won the fight, if it wasn't for the unexpected intervention of Hannah and the triplets. They didn't even enter the room, but instead destroyed the door, which was at Sebastian's back. The repercussions sent Sebastian across the room, where he slammed into the far wall before crumpling to the floor. Claude moved to stand in front of him, just out of arm's reach, straightening his outfit and pushing his glasses up his nose, golden eyes staring coolly down at the grimacing Sebastian.
"Looks like the win is mine this time," he murmured. Sebastian snorted, but didn't contest his gloating; since the other demons worked for him, or at least appeared to, their actions were an extension of his own. He had won the fight by a technicality.
Sebastian pushed himself up until he was seated against the wall. Claude had won; there was no point in continuing the fight unless the other demon tried to do something incredibly stupid. Like go after Ciel. But even Claude knew better than to go after Sebastian's young master while the demon was watching him.
The triplets surrounded Sebastian, one on each arm and the other with a hand fisted in his hair, tilting his head back to stare at Claude. The other man crouched in front of them, his face utterly serious. "Let's try this again, shall we?" he asked. This time, he didn't bother with a cocoon. Removing a single white glove, he reached out and laid his hand on Sebastian's cheek. The touch was gentle, but the resulting probe was anything but.
Sebastian's eyes glowed brightly as he pushed back. If Claude wanted to play with him, he'd play. But it would be on his terms. "You want to feed?" he snarled. "Then feed on this!" And with that, he released one of the powers that he had kept hidden for the past several decades, because none of his masters had required it of him.
Demons often had more than one ability, and with every new contract created, they gained new memories, new personalities, and new skills. When Ciel had acquired his revenge and Sebastian devoured his soul, the creature that was Sebastian would cease to exist. He would become nobody and everybody. If he agreed to contract with a new master, he would be someone else entirely, a being that didn't – that couldn't – exist right now because Sebastian was there.
Once, many centuries ago, a creature by the name of Gabriel had been contracted by a young boy to weave fantastical stories for his fragile, ill little sister. Gabriel hadn't been asked to cure her, only to keep her entertained with stories while her older brother did whatever he had to in order to provide for them both, and to purchase his sister's precious, life-extending medicine. And so, Gabriel had spent hours at a time weaving stories, pushing magic into them to make them come alive in the child's mind. When she had died, she had been in another world entirely, one made of the most beautiful fairy tale creatures that anyone could have imagined. Gabriel had claimed her brother's soul after that, and had disappeared.
Now, Sebastian used the memories and powers of that long-ago demon to send horrific images into his opponent's mind. He made them real, so that Claude jerked and writhed, caught in claws and teeth, slowly torn apart or burned alive, his blood running in rivers all around him. Claude had not been alive long enough to have acquired but the most basic of demonic capabilities, and Sebastian made him aware of that now. He was outclassed in every way, and Claude had no hope of saving himself.
The triplets cringed away from him, and even Hannah made a small sound, her hands tightening in his hair. She was the only one who didn't pull away, and Sebastian smiled darkly. "This will continue until I am released," he promised. "Unless you honestly believe you can kill me and save him." For that was the only way he'd stop his relentless, merciless attack on the other demon, who was now writhing on the floor, his mouth opened in a long scream as he was devoured by the monsters created by Sebastian's imagination.
Slowly, Hannah's hands loosened, then dropped to her sides, and Sebastian was up and across the room. He paused in the doorway for a moment. Not looking back at the trembling, wary demons, he spoke softly. "Leave my young master alone. Or I'll make you wish those nightmares were real," he promised. Silence met his threat, and he walked away. Claude had gotten a large taste of him, satisfying the additional contract, and now he would have no choice but to keep his end of the bargain.
A short while later, Sebastian opened the front door to the Phantomhive mansion, weary but satisfied. Then he frowned, sensing one human too many in the mansion. With a low growl that boded very badly for whoever was trespassing on his territory, Sebastian stalked silently towards his young master's bedroom. Opening the door, he was met by calm blue eyes. He stopped, surprised, then glanced at the person behind Ciel in the bed. Alois Trancy lay there, innocent-looking in his sleep, and so very young. Even this close, Sebastian felt no desire for the boy's unworthy soul, and so he met his own master's eyes.
"Is there a reason my Lord has the enemy in his bed?" Sebastian asked calmly, curious in spite of himself. Ciel's exposed eye glowed with their contract as the boy shrugged, turning to stare at the blond-haired boy.
"I don't know what you were up to tonight, Sebastian," he answered. "But take this little brat home, and don't you dare wake him. That's an order," he growled, his eyes narrowed in warning. He looked exhausted, and Sebastian realized that he didn't want the Trancy heir woken in self-defense. Ciel had never been one much for games, nor was his energy wasted on childlike endeavors. Alois Trancy was still very much a child at heart, no matter what he pretended otherwise.
Sebastian held back his smile and bowed. "Yes, my Lord," he answered. After all, what else was he to do? He was one hell of a Phantomhive butler, after all.