Disclaimer: I don't own Kuroshitsuji, or the characters in this story. I simply wrote out the scenario in pure boredom. XD... like all of my other stories lol
Note I: This is an AU Kuroshitsuji story, where Ciel's parents are still alive, but very unkind individuals. Their unkindness turns on their son after an unfortunate mistake is made on Ciel's part. The story develops from there. Don't like? Don't read.
Soundtrack Inspiration: Pan's Labyrinth OST - by Javier Navarrete (overall great soundtrack, and I listen to it whenever I write this story)
"I think you're right, Vincent." Rachel stewed, sitting by her husband's bedside.
He didn't seem to be getting any better; physically, his flu was still infecting his body, and mentally, he was teetering back and forth between being stable, and being mad. At times, he seemed to accept the fact he was sick... while other times, Vincent would curse a violent storm; spouting theories that Sebastian was personally plotting against him, and keeping him locked away.
Rachel, on the other hand, had become quite bitter with her new butler and her son. She had managed to sleep with Sebastian, but he had abandoned her the moment Ciel caught them. Now, the beautifully handsome servant was pointedly ignoring her, and acting coolly; he did not fall for her charms, and almost seemed to look at her in a distasteful way.
The woman didn't like it at all.
"Ciel and Sebastian spend far too much time together." Her voice wafted through the air in bitterness. "Apparently... we're not giving Sebastian enough to do." She purred bitterly, as her mind began rolling over different scenarios to separate the two.
Her jealousy was definitely getting the better of her, and instead of thinking about what would be best for her son... Rachel was plotting on how to push him out of Sebastian's favor. She wanted Sebastian to dote on her; she wanted to be the most stunning creature residing within the Phantomhive Household. Sebastian so closely resembled her husband, and while they were both attractive, Vincent's looks were decaying before her eyes... whereas it almost seemed like Sebastian was becoming more and more handsome each time she saw him.
"L-Let me out of this room," Vincent muttered weakly.
Rachel tilted her head and looked down at her husband in the bed. "Don't start this again, dear," She whispered. "You're not well. Let me take care of this... while you just concentrate on getting better." Standing up, she smoothed out her floor length gown and headed for the doors. "I'll be back to check on you when the doctor arrives for his weekly appointment." She reassured him with a nod, before disappearing out the door.
Producing a small key in hand, Rachel locked the bedroom door and left her husband once more. She had convinced herself that it was for his own good - and Sebastian had been right to suggest a 'quarantine' for Vincent, while he fought off this strange sickness. It wasn't just affecting his body, but his mind as well... or so Rachel had been led to believe. After all, how credible could someone be if they ranted and raved about 'moving' paintings, dark shadows, demonic images, conversations that never happened, conspiracy theories, and more.
As the young woman walked passed the estate's library, she paused upon spotting a familiar tall, dark-haired form. Sebastian. The devilishly handsome butler was leaning over her little son as he sat at a table; book in front of him, pen in hand, and feet childishly kicking at air as they dangled from the large chair he was sat upon. Rachel narrowed her eyes at the scene. Sebastian was so close to Ciel; physically, mentally, and emotionally, it seemed. Even now, she couldn't hear what lesson they were discussion, because Sebastian instructed Ciel in a soft whisper, intimately beside his ear.
"Ciel." Rachel called.
The pair looked up, and Ciel's legs stopped swinging beneath the table. Sebastian straightened up to look at Rachel with a hint of annoyance and pity.
Oh, how she despised it so.
"We're going on a little visit this evening... to an old friend of mine." She announced coldly. "Make sure you're bathed and ready to depart in an hour. He'll be expecting us." Rachel finished firmly.
Her eyes flickered up to meet the intriguing claret colored ones, which were currently staring her down. "Your services, however, will not be required this evening, Sebastian," She added with a hint of amusement in her tone. "I will take Ciel there myself."
"My lady," Sebastian purred, placing a hand over his heart as a small, challenging smirk graced his lips. "I don't believe it is becoming of a woman of your status to travel to a gentlemen's house alone, with only your son."
Rachel tensed and pursed her lips together. "How do you know the friend of mine is a gentlemen?"
"It was merely a guess." Sebastian mused. "A correct one, judging by your reaction and the absence of a correction." The butler deducted. "It would be more befitting, my lady, if I were to accompany you and the young master."
The lady of the house chuckled, "Perhaps. But seeing how the gentlemen we are visiting is an old friend of mine... formalities are not required, nor are they necessary." Rachel nodded curtly. "You will remain here, and continue your duties alongside Tanaka. Make sure Ciel is ready and appropriately dressed. We will leave shortly to arrive in time for dinner."
With that, she disappeared down the hall, leaving the contracted pair alone.
Sebastian's eyes blazed for a brief moment, before shifting to the young boy before him. Ciel's head was lowered a bit; he could almost feel the uncomfortable dread and uncertainty radiating from his heart and soul.
"Fear not, bocchan," The demon lulled, stroking the top of the nine-year-old's head. "We are connected. If you desire my presence or protection while you are away, you need only speak my name... and I will come to you." He purred, leaning down and dipping his nose into the soft hair behind Ciel's ear. "Let us end the lessons for today, and retreat to your bedroom."
Ciel nodded silently, and slid off the chair. Sebastian tidied the books and put them away before they left the mansion's library. They made their way through the silent, looming halls of the Phantomhive estate in silence, until finally reaching the boy's room. Sebastian quickly readied a bath for his little master, before undressing him and settling him into it.
He sat behind the beautiful child on a stool, while Ciel was perched in the tub, surrounded by perfectly tempered water and lavish bubble bath. With his coat off and his sleeves rolled up, the demon began to gently caress and wash the child's shoulders, neck, limbs and hair.
"Bocchan," Sebastian spoke eventually. "You are rather quiet. Are you worried about your mother taking you out this evening?"
Ciel shrugged his lithe shoulders. "I..." He paused, and Sebastian could see him almost visibly tense up. "No." He answered.
The demonic butler couldn't help but smirk. His young master was learning to 'conceal' his weaknesses. It was a good start, but Ciel had yet to learn that while he could hide his true feelings from others, Sebastian would always be able to see right through him.
"There is no need to lie to me, bocchan," He reassured the boy, leaning in so his lips were against Ciel's ear. His long arms had also come to wrap around the upper part of the boy's small, exposed torso - ignoring the fact his rolled-sleeves were going to get damp in the process. "Is there a reason you seem so distracted?" He inquired gently. "Do you know who this 'family friend' is that you are going to meet?"
Ciel kept his large, exposed blue eye on the water rippling in front of him. "No... it's..." He stopped himself again, and released a slow breath. "It's just a feeling. Nothing more." The stoic boy explained.
"If you insist." Sebastian smiled, carefully lifting his young master out of the bathtub. After drying him and redressing him, the pair headed into Ciel's bedroom once more - where Sebastian finished getting him ready. Smoothing the boy's hair out with his skilled, long fingers, Sebastian stared into the large, doe-like blue eye that was exposed to him as he knelt before his little master. Ciel was perched on the side of the bed, simply waiting for the 'fussing' to be over with.
"If I may, bocchan," The demon began smoothly. "I would like you to promise me something."
Ciel lifted his eye up to look at his demon curiously. "You're already getting my soul," The little boy intelligently reminded him. "What more could I possibly promise you?"
"My dear boy," Sebastian smirked, exhaling a small breathy laugh. "I want you to promise me that you will not allow anyone else to touch you." He clarified in a deep voice. Leaning forward a bit, Ciel stiffened when Sebastian's face stopped inches from his own. "I am quite... possessive... over my things, you see," The demon muttered huskily - his breath trailing across Ciel's lips in the barest of butterfly strokes. "And as our contract draws to an end... I wish to keep you as perfect as you were when we first met."
Ciel's face flushed, and he scooted back on the bed a little. "E-Enough." He stammered, "There is still almost two years for the contract to be completed."
"Hmm," Sebastian paused, shifting his eyes to the ceiling in 'mock' consideration, before looking back to Ciel with a smile. "I prefer to think of it as one... considering you told me I could have your soul when you were eleven. You never specified whether it would be early in that year, or later. So I chose to use my own discretion." Sebastian purred, crawling over the boy. "Soon, your parents will not stand between us anymore. You will be free from their neglect, and the pain they've forced on you."
The young child looked up at the demon hovering over his small torso intimately - before tearing his eyes away, "And sent into another stage of neglect and pain as your... possession?" He cleverly argued.
Sebastian chuckled, craning his head down and nuzzling the crook of Ciel's neck with his nose.
"Ah, you are becoming smarter with every passing minute, bocchan." He breathed hotly. "It's incredibly attractive to me."
Ciel blushed and weakly pushed his hands against Sebastian's chest and sat up. While the strength wasn't there, Sebastian obeyed and eased up from the boy before standing at the side of his bed again. "My mother is waiting." He reminded the demon.
"Indeed she is." Sebastian sighed, his lip curling into a small, detestable sneer - before he replaced it with a smile. "Come then, bocchan." He led the boy out of the room and back into the hall; their destination was the front entrance, where Sebastian was sure Rachel would already be waiting to whisk her son away.
Correction... whisk HIS possession away.
But that woman was a fool, and Sebastian saw through her little rouse; her childish attempt to pull her son away from him. Little did she know, that she was challenging a devil... not a butler...
Ciel was uncomfortable.
Perhaps it had to do with the fact he was alone with his mother for the first time in years, perhaps it had to do with the fact he was at a strangers' house... or perhaps it was the awkward dinner he found himself taking part in.
The mansion of the Viscount Druitt was a grand one; it was bright, lavishly decorated, and apparently, a magnet for socialites and masquerade balls of the most exquisite kind. But for some reason, Ciel didn't feel at home there. The table they were sitting at was extremely large; especially considering it was a private dinner for the three of them.
Rachel spoke and laughed with Druitt over the meal, while Ciel stayed quiet and simply picked at his food. Why was there such an uncomfortable feeling settled in his stomach? Why did he feel so vulnerable sitting there? Nothing had happened yet, aside from basic introductions and the meal.
"...But alas, my dear Lady, I must confess," The over-dramatic voice of Druitt caught Ciel's ear again. "I had heard how stunning and beautiful your little Ciel was... but rumors and myth cannot compare to the stunning creature seated here." He gushed. "You've done an excellent job raising him."
Rachel sipped from her wine and smirked, "Thank you, Viscount."
"Perhaps the young master would like a keepsake before you go?" He purred. "I have so many trinkets around this large, lonely mansion that I don't know what to do with them all."
Rachel shifted her eyes over to her son calmly. "Would you like that, Ciel?"
The young child sheepishly shook his head, kept his eyes down, and didn't say a word. He didn't like this whole situation; something just felt so off about it.
"Ciel," Rachel continued in a firmer, colder tone. "Go with the Viscount. He's offering you something from his home. It is only polite to accept." She scolded lightly. Running her delicate finger along the top of the wine glass, Rachel smiled, "I will wait for you here." She encouraged.
The one-eyed child tentatively looked up to his mother, before sliding down off the seat.
"Excellent." The Viscount muttered huskily, shooting Rachel an appreciative look. She nodded to him, as he moved around the table toward Ciel. "Come, little robin. This won't take long." He mused. "You will back home, safe in bed before you know it..."
Ciel swallowed as he was ushered out of the grand dining hall by the Viscount, and led further into the mansion. They made their way down multiple halls, all of which were void of staff or other living beings; just steeped in art, statues, throw rugs and the occasional piece of furniture.
When they reached one particular room, the Viscount led Ciel inside. The child gazed around curiously, but skeptically - eying the strange toys and figures that were displayed through out. Though it wasn't merely some kind of 'display' room... since there was a bed and some other furniture as well.
"Is this your room?" Ciel asked quietly.
The Viscount's eyes brightened mischievously, "What a clever boy you are." He grinned. "As promised, you may take a keepsake from here home." Shifting his eyes upward, his smile faded a bit, "The toy soldiers on the middle shelf are particularly valuable." He hinted.
Ciel shifted nervously on his feet, before he walked across the dark room to the shelf that housed a number of small, toy soldiers. His large, blue eye ran across the figures carefully, before he picked one up to examine it. Of course, panic immediately tightened his chest when he felt the warm body of the Viscount press against his small back.
"S-Sebastian..." Ciel whispered quickly.
The Viscount chuckled lightly, "Sebastian? You've named the toy already. How precious." He lulled, snaking one arm around Ciel's small waist, while the other hand dipped into the boy's soft, velvety hair and began to stroke it. "You really are a magnificent creature, my little robin," He whispered hotly into Ciel's ear, causing the boy to cringe. "Such treasured creatures like yourself deserved to be worshiped, loved, and preserved in your youthful beauty."
"My mother is waiting," Ciel said quickly, trying to tug his small body out of the Viscount's grip.
Druitt laughed merrily, "Oh dear boy, your mother has already left." He soothed the child, who looked even more startled with this piece of information. "Oh, did she not tell you? I will be taking care you this evening." He smiled slyly. "Your mother wished to have some time alone with your poor, ailing father... so I offered to watch you tonight."
"I-I don't need you to watch me," Ciel stammered defiantly, trying to keep himself from panicking at being held so intimately by a man he didn't know. "Release me."
The Viscount only laughed again, and picked Ciel up in his arms, "Oh my little robin! There is no need to behave so defiantly. Did I not tell you that I treasure beautiful things? You have no reason to fear." He breathed against Ciel's cheek as he carried him toward the large bed. "Let's put you to bed, shall we?"
"Sebastian!" The child yelled angrily, squeezing his eyes shut as he felt himself set on the large mattress.
The blond young man hovered above him. "You may address me as Viscount, my dear robin... it sounds so perfect when it rolls off the tongue of someone so pure like you." He gushed, leaning his head down to bury his nose in Ciel's soft hair. The Viscount inhaled deeply, before shuddering. "You smell so fresh; like an early, winter snowfall..." He moaned.
Ciel kept his eyes shut tight, and grit his teeth in refusal when he felt the male running his hands over the fabric of his clothing...
Then suddenly... there was nothing. No weight above him, no hands.
The child jumped and instinctively curled into a ball when he heard a petrified yell, followed by a few thumping noises, and finally, a collapse.
"Bocchan..." A familiar, comforting deep voice reached his ears.
Ciel snapped his good eye open to see his trusted demon butler approaching the bed. A quick scan of the room showed a few of the Viscount's 'toys' knocked over, an overturned table, and the Viscount himself - lying unconscious on the floor. Trembling with anger, fear and shock, Ciel only had to lift his arms up - before Sebastian stepped forward and picked the child up - cradling him close in his arms. Ciel clung to the demon as he continued to shudder.
"I'm here, bocchan." Sebastian reassured him smoothly. Ciel could feel Sebastian walking with his usual confidence and ease as he carried him, but the boy couldn't bring himself to open his eyes yet. He was safe again; the tight, unsure feeling in his stomach and chest were gone with the knowledge that Sebastian was by his side once more. "You're safe now."
Ciel's tiny arms wrapped around Sebastian's neck a bit tighter, while his legs latched around his waist. 'Safe' was a word that Ciel knew wouldn't apply to him anymore.
He wasn't safe from anyone, or anything... even Sebastian was just a demon, protecting his investment in the hopes of obtaining his soul... right?
When Ciel opened his eye next, he was jostled by the even rhythm of Sebastian walking. Raising his head from the demon's shoulder, Ciel blearily looked around with his good eye to see they were on a single road... bordered by lavish gardens and the occasional tree. He recognized this road, because it was the one that led up to the Phantomhive estate. They were almost home.
It was dark out, but it wasn't hard to see, since some light was spilling out from the distant mansion ahead.
"Your mother is a ruthless woman." Sebastian commented gently, though there was a bit of tension in his voice, which was clearly not directed at Ciel.
The boy rested his head back against Sebastian's shoulder as he watched the scenery pass with each step. "She's not my mother." Ciel muttered quietly.
"Indeed." Sebastian mused. "A real mother would never willingly abandon her child in such an environment."
Ciel's eye sapphire eye shifted in thought. He had wanted his parents' approval so badly, and yet still, they treated him like this. He had wondered if his father's absence from Rachel's life would draw his mother to him once again, and they could reconnect. But unfortunately, she'd only grown to resent Ciel more since Vincent took ill. Not only that, but the way she eyed Sebastian was unsettling for the child - and his mind couldn't help but replay the evening he saw Sebastian and Rachel fornicating.
With his emotions, fears and troubles weighing upon him, Ciel unintentionally fell asleep on Sebastian's shoulder again.
Sebastian's claret eyes flickered slightly as they glanced down at the child in his arms... but he said nothing. He wanted nothing more than to rip the devious woman's head clean off her shoulders for exposing her son to a pedophile like the Viscount Druitt. No one was going to touch his Ciel, and with the recent actions of Rachel, Sebastian was fiercely determined to limit the interaction they had.
He would keep Ciel away from his parents (and vice versa) and he would continue to take great pleasure in dismantling their sanity.
They didn't deserve his mercy. They didn't deserve Ciel's attention. Ciel would be ten soon enough, and when that time came, Sebastian intended to really put his parents through hell. He would torture and tease them for the entire year, until they broke away from sanity.
When he reached the front of the mansion, Tanaka was there to open the door. The two exchanged a nod, though Sebastian could easily notice the sense of relief and concern that the old servant had for the boy in his arms. Since Sebastian had come under the Phantomhives employ, he had come to respect Tanaka and his morals. He could not call the older gentlemen a friend (because really, a demon of his stature didn't require 'friends' in a sense)... but he could say that Tanaka was about the only other human in this household that he trusted.
Save, of course, his little master.
Sebastian continued to carry a sleeping Ciel down the hall, until he came face to face with Rachel. The two simply stood in the quiet, dim hallway - lit only by candelabra - staring each other down. Rachel looked like she was trying to hide how furious she felt inside.
"What are you doing, Sebastian?" She hissed tensely.
The butler lifted his chin a bit, and continued to walk - heading right toward Rachel, but seamlessly passing her without sparing another glance. "Protecting my little master." He responded simply.
"He was supposed to stay with the Viscount, and you were supposed to be attending to your duties here." Rachel pointed out anxiously. "How did you find him?" When Sebastian didn't answer, but instead, continued to walk further into the dark hall, Rachel became more agitated. "Sebastian, answer me!" She snapped - eager to hear an answer. How did the butler know where Ciel was? How did he get the boy out of the house?
When her eyes narrowed down the hall again, she saw Sebastian was gone.
"Tell me, bocchan." Sebastian purred into the darkness. "Explain."
He had taken his young master back to his room, bathed him again, dressed him for bed - and slipped beneath the covers with the boy; it was becoming a frequent ritual. This particular evening was a bit different, however, after Ciel had to endure yet ANOTHER trauma in his young life.
Sebastian asked Ciel to explain the events of the night... and what he thought they meant. He wanted to hear the boy think critically; he wanted to know if he was learning to look objectively, and knew what was happening.
Ciel's small cheek rested against the pillow as he lay on his side; his demonic butler was spooned up against his back, half-shrouding him beneath the covers, almost acting as an extra blanket.
"My mother took me to the Viscount's estate." The nine-year old began slowly; his two exposed blue eyes dazed over as he thought about it. "We had dinner... which was uncomfortable and... insufferable." He listed. Sebastian couldn't help but smirk approvingly at the child's use of the word: insufferable. Most children didn't speak that well. It was definitely a good sign his Ciel was maturing faster than normal. "The Viscount offered to give me a 'farewell token'... as a thank you for attending. My mother said she would wait for me." Ciel continued. "He led me down a couple hallways, then to his room. He told me to look at the toy soldier figurines, and pick one. When I was about to, he..." The boy paused, swallowing with a hint of embarrassing tension spreading through his body.
Sebastian's lip curled up into a silent sneer, but he forced himself to remain silent. His arms, however, did tighten a bit more around the small boy as he lay in front of him. "He came up behind me... he embraced me back to him... and when I told him that I had to go back to my mother, he told me that she had left. I was to stay with him." Ciel recited. "He put me on the bed, and... he... just t-touched..." The boy continued to stop and start, never really getting the words out. "It was humiliating." He concluded. "But then... you came..."
"I will always come for you, my bocchan..." He purred warmly into the child's ear. "No matter where you are." His lips began to trace the shell of Ciel's small ear, accentuating his movements with slight flicks of his tongue - reveling in the feeling of the child shuddering in his arms. His mouth ventured lower; hot breath and teeth grazing Ciel's bare neck as his breathing became shallower.
The child almost felt like Sebastian's grip was tightening more and more each second. Wanting to avoid feeling 'groped' any more this evening, Ciel turned in Sebastian's arms, and buried himself into the butler's chest; resting his small head beneath the demon's chin.
Sebastian allowed the movement, and cradled Ciel close. He couldn't help but smirk at the child's counter-move, which prevented him (yet again) from tasting of the child.
Patience. He thought to himself.
"And what have you learned from this experience, bocchan?" Sebastian quizzed expectantly.
A calm, eerie silence fell in the bedroom, allowing Sebastian's final question to linger in the air.
"My mother does not love me." Ciel answered quietly; his voice slightly muffled, but not unheard, in Sebastian's chest. "N-No loving parent would leave a child with someone... like that." He uttered. Biting his lower lip, Ciel's cerulean blue eyes shifted in thought. "She is trying to separate us."
Sebastian released a quick, breathy scoff. "And I assure you... she will fail at that task, just as she has failed as your caretaker." Sebastian's large hand slid up, and threaded itself into Ciel's velvety soft locks. "Your orders, my lord?" He whispered.
Ciel fell silent for a few moments again, before answering.
"Keep them away from me." The child ordered softly; though there was still a confidence to his voice that Sebastian hadn't heard before. Indeed, it seemed Ciel was finally comfortable giving his demon orders.
With this recent betrayal, he seemed to realize that Sebastian was all he had... and if he wanted to break free from his parents, he would need to utilize him, and exact his revenge for years of heartache and loneliness.
"I want them on the brink of sanity for the next year. You will not allow them to speak to me, nor see me for extended periods of time. I want to live my tenth year in this house, pretending as if they don't exist."
A sinful smile slowly spread across the demon's lips; he nearly groaned with the seriousness of the order, pouring from the young child's mouth. It was fascinating he had the strength to speak with such fluent ease, using words and phrases beyond that of a typical nine-year-old.
Yes, Ciel Phantomhive was indeed a project well worth his time.
Such a unique little nine-year-old...
"Yes, my lord." Sebastian responded.
The two exchanged no more words after that, and soon Sebastian could feel Ciel's tiny body rising and falling with each steady breath that resembled a deep sleep.
Vincent tossed and turned in his bed. Sebastian hadn't come in this morning with his tea and medicine... for once. The longer he waited, the more restless and fevered he became. Pulling himself up from the sheets, the delusional head of the Phantomhive family got out of bed, and stumbled toward the door.
His eyes briefly darted toward the windows, where the bars that Sebastian had mounted still proudly stood. He sneered a bit as sweat dripped down his forehead. He wanted out of here. He'd been locked in his room, his mansion, for months with no contact besides his wife, Sebastian, and occasionally Tanaka.
Hesitantly lifting his hand onto the handle of the door, Vincent paused. Normally, his wife and butler locked his room to ensure he couldn't get out. But he had a burning desire to at least TRY...
And his compulsion paid off.
Turning the handle, Vincent was surprised to hear it click... and open. Perhaps Rachel had forgotten to lock it again after she left. Inhaling a sharp breath, the fevered gentlemen watched the door swing open slowly to reveal the quiet, outside hall. It seemed a bit darker than usual, despite the fact it was morning. Peering out tentatively, Vincent dragged himself out of his room, and began to stagger down the hall - using the wall as guidance and support.
He couldn't stop sweating; his eyes were glossy and seemed a bit confused. Had the hallway always looked like this? Why did everything seem so different? Was it because it had been so long since he'd seen it?
Turning one corner of the eerily quiet and empty hall, Vincent stopped when something came into his view.
Vincent released a low breath, "Ciel..." He called out breathlessly.
His little boy turned his head slowly, and focused his single, good blue eye on his father. Ciel looked unimpressed, almost... insubordinate. It only angered the fevered Vincent more. "Come here." He ordered. He needed someone to help him downstairs, or at least to his study; anything was better than his bedroom 'cell' at this point.
But Ciel didn't move. He just continued to stare at his father.
"Ciel... I told you to come here." He yelled in as strong a voice as he could muster. "You... are going to... escort me." He demanded, wincing at the fever and pain still (unexplainably) plaguing him.
Still, his son just stared at him. Impatient and furious at his household's refusal to obey him anymore, Vincent began to stagger down the hall as fast as his ailing body would allow him.
Ciel turned and quickly dashed down another hall. Vincent gave chase while he could - and only grew angrier each time Ciel evaded him in the dim halls; just when he thought he was gaining ground on the child, Ciel would duck own another hall, or disappear into the shadows.
When he turned one particular corner, Vincent stopped dead in his tracks and gasped; already slightly out of breath from the chase.
There was Ciel, comfortably being held in the arms of their new butler.
For the first time since they had met... Vincent had a strange epiphany. He realized how much he and Sebastian (somewhat) looked alike. If he hadn't known any better, he might have thought he was looking at an old painting of him and his son. But the devilish smirk on Sebastian's lips brought Vincent out of his initial haze.
Why was their butler holding Ciel like his own? Why was his son blatantly disobeying him? He used to be so attentive; even after Vincent and Rachel's gentle parenting stopped, Ciel would still try to please them. He always obeyed, and he took his punishments without question.
Now... this boy looked so different; so bitter and damaged, yet stronger... and older, somehow. Vincent knew he and his wife were to blame; there were no two ways about it. After the loss of their darling, baby girl... the couple had blamed Ciel as a way to release their grief.
"Sebastian." Vincent snapped, somewhat breathlessly. "Bring Ciel here." He ordered.
The butler and boy made no move. Sebastian simply raised his arms, and cradled the willing Ciel to him even closer. Vincent wheezed with difficulty, "Sebastian!" He persisted.
"Close your eyes, bocchan..." Sebastian muttered into the dim hallway. Ciel obediently closed his eyes, and rested his head against the butler's shoulder.
Vincent watched with confusion, before shaking it off - trying to find his inner pride and strength again. "Y-You will listen to me..." He coughed. "I... am still the MASTER of this household!"
Sebastian simply smiled at him... as his eyes began to brighten. The blood-red color seemed to pierce Vincent's very soul... and as he watched, he noticed the hallway was getting darker. A thick, misty, black-green haze began to protrude from behind Sebastian... and seemed to engulf the entire corridor.
Vincent trembled, and he shook his head. Was his fever just playing tricks on him again?
Looking back up, he saw the form had only grown - and Sebastian was now walking toward him in some kind of... twisted form. His hair was a bit shaggier; his uniform coat tails had lengthened significantly... and seemed to waft out behind him without even a breeze. His eyes had shifted from red, to pure black; that ever-present smirk still on his lips as he approached, still cradling Ciel's small body to him. Sebastian seemed taller somehow, and only seemed to grow as he drew closer to Vincent.
It was hard for the normally proud Phantomhive not to tremble, and crouch in uncertainty. But with each step Sebastian took, the hallway seemed to distort and twist into darkness. The paintings and statues that decorated the passage shifted, and seemed to come alive; laughing at him, mocking him as their faces twisted and their eyes bulged.
"S...Stop!" Vincent yelled, sweat protruding down either side of his face. "Stop this instant!"
Sebastian's demonic, hallowing laugh echoed through the twisting hall as he got closer and closer. He looked so different now... almost like he was decaying and morphing right before Vincent's eyes. Yet still, Ciel lay comfortably in his arms - head on the butler's shoulder, not even stirring. Other shadowy figures began to protrude through the walls, pushing and tugging at Vincent's limbs as the man tried to struggle...
Rachel had been arranging some flowers in the library that morning as she stood near the window. Well... not so much arranging the flowers, as she was idly stroking them while she gazed outside - lost in her venomous daydreams about her attractive butler... and her troublesome son.
The fact that Sebastian had brought Ciel home last night was troubling her greatly. How had he known where to look? Where to go? When had he slipped off, and how had he gotten inside the Viscount's manor?
But her thoughts were broken when a chilling, male scream echoed through the mansion.
"Vincent?" Rachel gasped, knowing the sound of her husband anywhere.
Tearing away from the library, Rachel held her gown up near the front as she ran - so she wouldn't trip as she moved. She continued to follow the screams in a panic, until finally, finding her husband in the hall.
But he wasn't alone. Sebastian and Ciel were standing somewhat off to the side, looking at Vincent with strange, confused expressions.
"Vincent?" She called; her face stunned as she watched her husband writhing on the floor, yelling, swatting at seemingly invisible enemies. "Vinc-"
"I do not think it's wise for you to get too close, my lady." Sebastian warned, placing his arm up to prevent Rachel from getting to close. "Clearly, your husband is delusional... and believes he is having some kind of attack."
Rachel's worry-filled eyes ran over her distressed husband. "Please, do something!" She snapped.
Sebastian glanced back to see Tanaka arriving at the scene, after also hearing the petrified screams. Nodding to the older gentleman, the two of them moved toward Vincent, and eventually restrained him. It wasn't hard to do, since the man was already ailing... but his constant moving and screaming didn't help the situation. Once in their grip, the two males carried the head of the household back down toward his chamber.
Rachel and Ciel stood there silently for a few moments, listening as Vincent's voice became more and more distant... until finally, there was nothing. The young lady of the house turned her suspicious eyes toward her small son. "What happened?" She asked darkly.
To her surprise and astonishment, Ciel simply turned his single, exposed blue eye up toward his mother...
"I have no idea." He responded airily, before turning and walking back down the hall... away from her.