Series: Black Butler
Prompt: #29: Vehement
Word Count: 1,286
Characters, Pairings: Sebastian/Ciel
Summary: His butler has forgotten his place… or perhaps, in this case, Ciel is incorrect.
Warnings: tension, tension, and more tension.
Notes: I don’t know. I really don’t. >.>;
Today has been a very tiring day, and he is already beginning to believe that his night will be a restless one. He cannot stay still—he tosses and turns, and he cannot find a comfortable position.
He hears the all-too-familiar knock at his door, and he should turn the butler away, but he doesn’t. His only form of reprimand before he allows Sebastian to enter is this: “I did not summon you.”
Sebastian enters quietly, candelabra in hand, and shuts the door just as quietly. That trademark smile of his (the one that makes Ciel feel somewhere between utterly unsettled and entirely relaxed) is in place. “Perhaps you did, Young Master, and you merely forgot.”
Ciel huffs and flops back against his pillows, closing his eyes. “I don’t have amnesia, idiot. I did not summon you.”
“Shall I take my leave, then?” Sebastian queries. “So soon?”
“… Stay,” Ciel orders. “Just for a little while. Just until I’m sleepy.” He feels the blush creeping onto his cheeks and he ignores it, but he can feel Sebastian’s eyes on him (can see that smug smirk) and he knows that the splash of color does not go unnoticed.
“You thought about me,” Sebastian murmurs, the mattress dipping as his weight is added to it. “All this tossing and turning, and you unconsciously thought of me.”
Ciel cracks his left eye open, and then his right, and he glares, blush deepening. He wishes that he could think of an appropriate retaliation, but he cannot—he is tired and he is tense as a bowstring; his muscles refuse to relax.
His silence obviously amuses his companion. “Oh? Have we nothing to say to that, My Lord? Typically, you are full of clever remarks, and I do enjoy the verbal play that we often engage in.”
Ciel swallows hard and looks away. “I am your master. I need not give answers to unasked questions.”
He can hear the corners of Sebastian’s mouth twitch. “Of course, my Lord.”
Ciel opens his eyes again and finds that Sebastian is entirely too close, and Ciel has nowhere to go. “Seba--”
“My Young Master is incredibly edgy,” Sebastian comments, gloved fingers brushing errant strands of dark hair away from Ciel’s eyes as Ciel lays motionless, waiting (but for what, he doesn’t know).
“It’s been a long day,” Ciel breathes, voice barely above a whisper. “What do you… what do you call yourself doing, Sebastian?”
“Aren’t I comforting you?” Sebastian asks, hand cupping the delicate curve of Ciel’s cheek, and Ciel’s lashes flutter of their own accord.
No, he wants to answer, no, you aren’t, but he can’t, because it feels as if the breath has been knocked out of him now, even though he hasn’t received a single blow. He feels anxious, nervous, trapped.
“You are clenching your jaw, Young Master,” Sebastian unnecessarily informs him. “Whatever shall I do to help you unwind?”
He’s doing this on purpose, Ciel knows. His butler is doing this to provoke a reaction of some kind, but Ciel is still unable to move, to speak, to even breathe.
He is jolted into action only when Sebastian’s fingers brush against his lips in a mockery of what-might-be-affection. It is only now that he is able to shake his head vehemently, and to raise his hand and slap the demon with all the strength that his small body possesses.
The sound of contact (palm on cheek) is very loud in the quiet room, and Ciel releases a breath that he’s been holding for immeasurable moments. “You forget your place,” he hisses, and when he raises his hand a second time, Sebastian catches his wrist and holds it in a loose grip.
“I forget nothing, my Lord,” Sebastian replies, voice dipping an octave and making Ciel squirm (perhaps to get away, perhaps to get closer—he isn’t sure anymore, or maybe he was never sure to begin with). “I watched the rise and the fall of man; I was there when man’s power was resurrected, and I will be here for their second downfall. You humans… you will destroy yourselves, because history tends to repeat itself. There will be nothing left, but I will remain, and I will remember it all.”
Ciel opens his mouth to speak, but Sebastian interrupts him before he can even begin: “I know that my place is by my young master’s side, and that is where I will be until the end—or have you forgotten this, my Lord?” For an instant, something unidentifiable flashes in those deep red eyes of his, and then his features inexplicably soften. “My young master was stricken with a sort of infantile amnesia. You do not remember what it was like to be within your mother’s womb, warm and safe. Nor do you remember struggling to learn to walk, or talk, or eat. You also seem to forget, my Lord, that while I am undoubtedly bound to you, you are bound to me as well. Your place, if I may say so, is also by my side.”
Ciel swallows audibly, and tension thrums between them. “I’ll have you know that there are some things I have committed to memory, Sebastian,” he replies haughtily, his stomach in a thousand uneasy knots.
“Very good, Young Master,” Sebastian praises, at once releasing Ciel’s wrist. “There are some things worth remembering.”
Silence fills the sudden space that exists between their bodies, and Ciel almost wants to reach out to Sebastian (but ‘almost’ isn’t good enough). Instead, he sighs and finds a more comfortable position, pulling the covers up to his chin. “Tell me about Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, again,” he orders, because it’s something and something is (almost) always better than nothing.
Sebastian chuckles, and the mood is once again light and easy (on the surface and for now, at least). “Haven’t you tired of that story yet?”
“I wouldn’t command you to tell it to me if I were tired of hearing it,” Ciel retorts.
Sebastian tells him about Rome and about Egypt and about love and politics (and makes it all so much more interesting than his history books) until his eyelids are drooping, and it is only then that Ciel chooses to dismiss his (demon) butler, because he believes that he can now get some rest, finally.
On his way out, Sebastian pauses. “My Lord,” he murmurs, “please forget our earlier exchange if it so pleases you, but do not forget… oftentimes, a mere thought is all it takes to summon me.”
“The choice is mine to make,” Ciel responds, not bothering to open his eyes.
“That it is,” Sebastian says evenly. “Rest well, Young Master.”
Of course he’ll forget that little incident (that touch, that look), and he’ll remember to pay more attention to his own rampant thoughts from now on.
(Of course he will, of course….)
He wakes, covered in a fine sheen of sweat, images from the disturbing (and forbidden, forbidden) dream still dancing in his mind.
It is not yet daylight, and already, he’s remembered what he should have forgotten and he’s forgotten what he should have remembered.
And this time, there is no knock on his door. There is only Sebastian looming over him, fingers (now without the gloves, and that must bear some significance, but what?) combing through his hair.
“Did my young master summon me?” the demon queries.
His world tips violently, and Ciel is struck with the sudden, sickening sense of déjà-vu. Without conscious thought, he blindly reaches out, pulling, tugging, needing empty space to be filled, and even as he shakes his head, he fervently whispers, “Yes.”
(Help me remember, help me forget.)
And the cycle begins anew.
Yes, my mind goes to odd places. Do forgive me if this wasn’t as yummy as I intended for it to be.