Ciel ran, pushing his body past the point of exhaustion, his lungs screaming for the air that he couldn't gulp down quickly enough. Tree branches whipped at his face and tangled in his hair. His small legs had a hard time leaping the felled trees that had fallen across his path. He had lost the eye patch some time ago, and the sigil engraved in his pupil glowed with the power of his contract with Sebastian.
He stumbled with a cry and went down, scraping hands and knees on the unforgiving ground, scrabbling to get a grip on something, anything, so that he could pull himself up. Stumbling back to his feet, Ciel continued his aimless flight, not knowing where he was running, only that he had to. There wasn't room for any other thoughts in his head.
The pounding of his heartbeat echoed in his ears, drowning out the sounds of pursuit. Ciel grit his teeth; he was being herded, and they both knew it. Ciel knew how it would end – the same way it always did – but that didn't stop him from trying to escape, trying to change the outcome.
The scent of his own blood rode thickly in the air, and still Ciel didn't dare stop. He had been hurt worse than this before, kidnapped, tortured, and used as a sacrifice, and still he hadn't broken. He'd be damned if a few small cuts and scrapes were going to slow him down.
A shadow swept over top of him, blocking out the moon for an instant, and that was all the warning Ciel had. He stopped dead, his feet already trying to backtrack, to take a different way, but it was no use anymore. Strong hands wrapped themselves around his throat, riding him to the ground, where he landed with a sharp cry, rocks digging into his back painfully.
He glared up at the demon that had taken him down, his mouth turned down into a scowl. Sebastian had won their monthly battle, yet again. Now he'd get his reward. The demon just smiled down at him, crimson eyes glowing with triumph and laughter as he removed his hands from around Ciel's throat.
The boy just turned his head away, giving Sebastian access to his throat, which the demon nipped at playfully, before sinking sharp fangs into the curve where his neck met his shoulder. Ciel winced, but didn't cry out, used to this by now. Sebastian liked to see him bleed, liked to see him brought to his knees. Ciel might be his master, but that didn't change the fact that Sebastian was a demon. And so, on this one night, every month – the monthly anniversary of the sealing of their contract – Sebastian was allowed to remove the guise of a butler and be the demon he really was.
Ciel had power – both financially and politically – but he was still a child. And so, Sebastian was his strength, his eyes and ears, his right hand. This was a small price to pay for that.
Sebastian had released his shoulder, and the blood bled sluggishly, coating his check and chest, and dripping to the forest floor. "Caught you, Bocchan," Sebastian murmured, that ever-present smirk even wider than usual. The thrill of the chase flickered in his eyes, his whole body vibrating with excitement.
Ciel replied, "You did, Sebastian. Now what?" He always asked, although the answer was always the same. Sebastian smiled and didn't respond, just lifting him up, bridal style, and leaping into the trees. Ciel closed his eyes against the vertigo, snuggling into Sebastian's strong chest. It was time for Sebastian to claim the rest of his reward.
Sebastian turned them away from the Phantomhive mansion, heading deeper into the forest, Ciel held firmly in his arms. The song of the chase and conquest sang in his veins. Every month, on the night of the full moon, it was the same – Ciel would run, and he would give chase, slowly drawing closer to his prey, using only human speed and longer strides, until he was close enough to take down his prey.
That first taste of his master's blood was always the sweetest, and it was only during these times that Sebastian could truly let his demonic blood show. Most of the time, he was just a butler – an exception butler, yes, but a butler nonetheless. Although, at least by holding a contract with Ciel, he found that he could let loose now and again during their missions for the Queen. After all, Ciel might be a child, but he was a bloodthirsty one for sure.
Ah, and they were where they had been heading. Lightly, Sebastian leapt to the ground in the clearing, settling down on the ground, as comfortable here as he would be on a plush couch. Ciel didn't protest as he was turned so that his back was pressed against Sebastian's chest.
Reaching up, Sebastian laid his hand – the one bearing the symbol of their contract – over Ciel's right eye, the power flowing easily between them. The tickle of lashes as Ciel opened his eyes, and they were ready to begin. Sebastian leaned down, lapping at the blood that still coated the slender column of Ciel's throat.
"Are you ready, Bocchan?" he asked, his hands combing through his master's hair gently. Ciel turned to give him a dark glare – they both knew he didn't have a choice. Sebastian had won.
Sebastian called up the power between them, tightening and strengthening their bond, and then released it in a wash of power and magic. Ciel screamed, his head thrown back and his eye closed tightly, lost in the grip of the nightmares that Sebastian had called forth.
Chuckling, the demon banded his arms around his young master, pinning the boy's arms to his sides and holding him in place, so that he couldn't flail or try to flee. Of course, the demon's grip on him changed Ciel's nightmare, so that he was chained to a table, unable to move, his wrists and ankles raw from the strain of trying to pull free of the cuffs that bound him.
Long, bleeding cuts appeared on his chest, ragged reminders of the knives that carved him up, leaving scars behind. His back burned with a blazing white agony, a souvenir of the day the slave brand had been burned into his back – the same day he had lost his parents and his home to a raging fire.
His body throbbed and ached, his eyes watered, his mind was torn into pieces, even as none of this happened in reality. In reality, he was still seated on Sebastian's lap, straining against the demon's hold on him, while Sebastian fed off of the power and fear that emanated from Ciel.
This monthly ritual was both food for Sebastian, and a sharp reminder for Ciel, so that he never forgot why he was here, why he had agreed to make a contract with a demon, and why he was offering up his immortal soul to the other being. Revenge – revenge on those who had killed his parents, on those who had hurt and humiliated him, on those who had orchestrated the entire thing, on those who continued to try and attack him, despite the demon at his side. There was no other reason, and Ciel allowed the madness to consume him.
His revenge was so close that he could practically taste it, but as always, there was a price involved in the carrying out of such a bloodthirsty goal. This was a part of it. His immortal soul was the rest, though he hardly cared about that.
Eventually, after an interminable amount of time had passed, the nightmares stopped. His body tingled and ached, the muscles tense and bruised. Sebastian was still behind him, his body warm and very real, and Ciel took comfort in the strength that now cradled him, no longer binding.
"Welcome back, Bocchan," Sebastian murmured in his ear, his voice soft and almost affectionate. Ciel just leaned his head against the demon with a tired sigh, closing his eyes. Sebastian stood, still carrying him easily, as they darted back towards the mansion, the moon almost gone behind the horizon. Dawn was quickly approaching, and once it had arrived, this night would be forgotten once more. After all, they were demon and master, servant and ruler, strength and voice. Sebastian would follow Ciel's orders to the letter, and they would work for the Queen's happiness. And in exchange, when Ciel had carried out his revenge, his life and soul would be forfeit to the demon who had served him faithfully.
The arrangement worked, and Ciel watched over Sebastian's shoulders as they left the forest, the trees thick and glowing with the incoming light. Was it worth it to get his revenge, at the price of being bled, knocked to his knees, and thrown over and over into memories that he'd rather forget?
Turning to stare up at Sebastian, who felt his gaze and turned to smile at him gently, Ciel decided that yes, it was most certainly worth it.