Death. It wasn't an unfamiliar concept to anyone, let alone him. Plenty of times he had locked eyes with the reaper of death only to watch him dance away with the promise they would meet again. As strange as it was, death was a comforting thought to the small earl. It was consistent and something that could be counted on. Life, well, that seemed to be the harder of the two. Living in this world was a cruel fate, one that the young man thought he had squelched earlier on in his life. That fateful day when he met the demon with those eyes of red, when he sold his very soul to him for vengeance, he imagined he had given himself a few simple years left to live. He didn't imagine he would continue to breathe three years after.
Whenever the two had talked about his future, Ciel simply scoffed at the demon butler and reminded him of their contract. That it wouldn't take long for the two of them to complete the terms and the boy's body would lie in a rosewood box, sunk into the ground next to where his parents had been years before. There would be no marriage, no one to carry on the Phantomhive name...all that would be left was a legacy.
That was alright with the young master.
The late afternoon found the master of the house in his study, the large windows open behind him to allow the fresh summer air inside. The small breezes were certainly welcome as they took some of the heat with them for a moment, causing the folders and papers on his desk to rustle briefly before settling again. A small hand reached over once the breeze had stopped blowing, pulling a folder closer to his small form while another similar hand picked up a nearby cup of tea. It seemed another case had been assigned to him from Her Majesty, the idiots of the Yard proving themselves again unworthy of solving a case. As the exposed eye of sapphire flickered over the notes and photographs, Ciel sipped at his tea until the cup was empty.
Judging by the notes that had been taken, this case would be much more difficult than the others.
“Splendid,” Ciel groaned quietly to himself, setting the cup down with a quiet clink. “Another rough case is exactly what I don't need right now. Sebastian, I require another pot of tea." It didn't matter where his esteemed butler was nor what he was doing, he knew he would be heard due to their contract.
Sebastian, slowly walking down the hallway to make a pot of tea. Would then enter the room he was called from, and ask, “Would you like it the usual way?” he asked. Even though he knew that's what he wanted he wanted to make sure so that he wouldn't disappoint him. He had already had tea boiling before he walked in the room. When it went off he already had walked away before his question could be answered. As he walked down the hallway he wondered what was troubling him this time. He had seen his master like this before only when he was troubled. Sebastian walked into the kitchen and grabbed the teapot and poured it into the teapot. He wondered if another person had died, or if the “contract” that he talked a lot about was bothering him again. He made the tea and started to walk down the long hallway once more. “I wonder if it's another case,” he thought as he walked down the hallway. “Probably something the Yards couldn't handle and they needed Ciel to solve.” He walks into the room and next to the desk. “Here's your tea, sir,” He said, While poring the tea into his cup.
A soft sigh left his chest after Sebastian had left the room to fetch what his master had requested, Ciel lifting a hand and pulling the eyepatch down to hang around his neck. Both eyes had closed, giving them time to adjust equally, before easing them open again to greet the brightly lit room. It wasn’t often the small Earl did such an act during the day as he had heard lectures from Sebastian about it before, the male stating that any one of the other staff members could barge in and see the oddly colored eye. He didn’t feel that it was a risk at the moment as the others were scattered around the house working on their chores, very rarely did they bother him while he was in his study.
Heterochromic eyes lifted as the svelte male returned with the tea, pouring his master a cup before stepping back as he usually did. The small form leaned back into the comfortable chair after he picked up the newly filled cup, taking a sip and sighing quietly. “After dark, you and I are venturing into London, clear anything on my schedule after sundown,” he ordered. His tone was a bit softer, as it sometimes was when they were alone, but still held an authoritative bite to it. “After dinner I’ll change into street clothes and we can go. No carriage, it takes far too long and makes too much noise.”
“Of course young master. I will have dinner prepared early then.” He looks at the young master for a few seconds before disappearing into the shadows of the hallway. He had Bard cook up a good dinner while Sebastian laid some civilian clothes on his bed. He leaves the room expecting dinner to be done but it’s not even close. He walks into the kitchen grabbing everything needed for soup.”Cook with this.” He walks away to fetch his young master. “Dinner is served and your clothes are ready young master. And your walking stick is right here.” (he hand the walking stick to Ciel.)
“Set it next to the door, I won’t be needing it tonight,” he ordered, slowly rising from his seat. The day was nearly over, he didn’t see much use in using it for the remainder of the afternoon. Young bones cracked as he stood, Ciel sighing quietly as he allowed his form to adjust while pulling the eyepatch back on. His body normally became tired when he spent so much time in the study, because of this Sebastian tried to get him moving a bit more. There was, unfortunately, no extra time for it today.
The young master followed his butler to the dining room, sitting at the table and looking down at his dinner. He could tell that Bard had cooked it, a fact that made his nose wrinkle a bit, but picked up the silver spoon and set it into the bowl anyway. ”I’m surprised you let him cook tonight, normally I hear that you throw him out. Getting lazy in your old age?”
He ate most of it, heading upstairs with Sebastian afterwards so the demon could help him change into street clothes. He didn’t wear these often as they weren’t proper for a noble but they saved his typical wear from becoming stained and tattered while doing dirty work. Once he was dressed, he grabbed the folder from his study and headed outside with the demon once more and gave him instructions on where to go.
They arrived in London quite quickly due to the demon’s speed, Ciel walking silently with Sebastian to the crime scene location. It was still partially roped off from the Yard’s investigation though the body of the deceased had been removed. Sprays of red covered some cobblestones as well as the side of a nearby building, Ciel looking around carefully as he moved away from Sebastian. “Our victim was a baker for the shop on east end,” he told Sebastian, giving him a little bit of the information from his folder. “The Yard was sent to look for him when he failed to appear for work. He was found here with a hole in his chest, too large to be from a bullet. Take a look around and tell me what you find.”
Sebastian looks around, “It looks like there’s some foot marks from running. size 8.” He looks at it for more evidence. He walks up to his young master who is looking at the blood on the walls. He puts his hand on his masters shoulder.
“I will make a list of the suspects right away young master. After all that is what you always wish am i correct?” After Ciel nods Sebastian leaves to go make the list as quickly as possible.
Before he leaves he doesn’t forget to make sure he leaves the walking stick next to Ciel. “Just in case,” he winks before leaving. Then, he disappears. Off to make the list of suspect.
Ciel narrowed his eyes at Sebastian as he left, allowing the cane to lean against the building. He had specifically instructed his butler to leave it at home, yet here it was in the master’s possession. He would certainly pay for that later, how he hadn’t quite worked out yet. Disobeying Sebastian’s instructions for his safety or forcing him to do work he hated usually got him heated pretty quickly, perhaps he’d venture down that route. For now, however, he still had a crime scene to investigate.
The boy continued his way through it, observing every angle of it and making mental notes to add to the case file when he returned home. The sprays of blood were a bit off, seeming to come from two different directions and the second seemed to be.....darker. How could blood be darker? This thought caused a soft frown to touch his face, his hand running over the dried sprays before falling back down to his side. Something didn’t add up. The blood on the cobblestones was the same, some having a darker tint to it than the bright, cherry red that it normally was.
Deciding to venture past the crime scene, Ciel ducked under the rope that blocked it off and moved down to the next street over. A few late night workers were standing around, beers in their hands and chatting softly with each other. To Ciel’s surprise, he could see some of the darker blood on the cobblestones here as well, but these were only drops. Had whoever this was been attacked elsewhere and simply finished off where the one body was found? Only one way to find out. He continued to follow the trail until he found himself in a pretty dark area of the city. People of all kinds seemed to be out at this hour, up to no good, and would have no qualms about beating up a child if they felt he was in their way.
The blood stopped in front of the door of an ironworks factory, Ciel looking up at the large entrance. The padlock on the outside simply meant he had to find another way in. He was about to do so when he felt a hard shove to his back, forcing him into the wall of the building where he quickly turned around. It certainly wasn’t Sebastian, he wouldn’t dare touch his master in such a manner. A large, burly man stood over him, a lit cigarette in his mouth, and glared down at the boy.
“Surely you were out working hard today, boy. Give me all the money you’ve collected and I won’t beat the hell out of you.”
The men across the street watch this and laugh. “you trying to pick on a kid for lunch money?” The other man punched the man laughing. The man processed’s to bully Ciel for money. “Come on kid i know you’ve been out working and judging by your job your a rich fellow, I saw you walk out of a crime scene.” He grabs Ciels hair and pushes him to the ground. “Maybe you’ll give up some money now!” He processed to yell at Ciel for money, maybe this man is drunk. He has nice clothes so there’s no way hes poor. He continues to yell at Ciel but there’s no one trying to help Ciel, the men across the street are just watching and laughing at the scene.
A soft wince fell across his features as he fell to his knees, his hair caught firmly in the male’s grip. The men across the street certainly didn’t help matters any, the whole lot most likely drunk, which made the situation a bit harder to get out of. He had the ability to stop this entire event in two ways: to call Sebastian or to shoot them with his hidden revolver. He decided against both options for the time being, maybe he could get a bit of information out of them himself.
His hand raised to wrap around the male’s wrist, trying to pull his hand away and free his head but it was no use. His attacker was far stronger than he was. Ciel stayed down but glared at the male that towered over him, biding time until Sebastian returned. “So you’re stalking a minor? How gentlemanly of you. Maybe if you got a real job you wouldn’t have to force it out of me,” he huffed, trying unsuccessfully to shove the male back. “Now piss off, all of you.”
A sharp pain erupted from his blind side, Ciel quickly turning his head as much as he was able and saw another man standing over him. Great. Now there were two trying to cave his face in. The male took another swing at him, this one connecting hard with his stomach. “You’re the one who strolled into our area, who’s to say you’re not the one murdering people? I say we just end you now to be sure.”
Before Ciel could react or respond, another hard punch connected with his cheek which dropped him back a little bit. He knew Sebastian enjoyed taking his time and allowing Ciel to acquire a few cuts and bruises but he figured this was as good a time as any for his butler to return. Slowly he sat up, a dark bruise already forming on his face, and pulled the eyepatch down around his neck.
“Sebastian, save me and be quick about it,” he stated softly, much to the confusion of his attackers. “That is an order.”
Sebastian appeared behind the men.”Honestly you could have called sooner young master, I can see you took a beating before i showed.” as Ciel glared at Sebastian, He began to fight. “Why can’t you stay out of a fight?” One of the men pull out a gun and shoot Sebastian. “Pity.” “H-How are you still alive?! Your a monster!” The man yelled. “No, i’m just one hell of a butler. If i couldn’t protect my master, then what butler would i be.” He looks at his master. “Do you wish for me to finish them my young master, or are we being merciful?”
Ciel kept his eyes narrowed at his butler as he finally appeared, slowly standing and folding his arms over his chest. It took him long enough, was he waiting for it to become an actual life or death situation before he finally showed up?
“How nice of you to finally grace us with your presence, were you waiting for me to get shot before you finally arrived?” he retorted. The small master watched as his butler effectively neutralized the situation, keeping his arms folded over his chest. He was in a decent amount of discomfort, his face hurt quite a bit and his side throbbed uncomfortably. ”Let them go, they’re not worth my time. If you’ve finished your chores, we have another task to attend to. There’s a new scene in west London, apparently it happened this morning. Let’s go.”
“As you wish sir.” As he drops the man and he picks up his young master and carried him home. “You know young master you have a hesitation problem, perhaps you need more training.” He puts his master down as they walk in through door. “I know you want to continue your adventures but you need rest.” He walks up to the calendar.”Your birthday is tomorrow sir.” He looks at Ciel who is frowning at him. “I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble you get in tomorrow.” He can tell that no one was amused by that joke but him. He was never ordered to me to never use my humor, he thought to him self. “Maybe we could stay home tomorrow, and stay out of trouble?”
It was obvious by the boy’s narrowed eyes that he wasn’t happy with Sebastian's decision. Normally orders were ignored only if his health was at risk or he could lose his life from it. The injuries he had received weren’t even close to lethal though they did hurt quite a bit. He could already feel mild swelling from the strike to his cheek and his stomach ached unbearably. Ciel wouldn’t forget this pain anytime soon and that he had revenge to give to his butler for taking his sweet time.
“It’s the middle of summer, Sebastian, and my birthday isn’t until winter,” he huffed, moving slowly up to his bedroom. He could hear the male’s footsteps behind him as they traveled up the staircase, Ciel taking it a little bit slower than normal due to his discomfort. ”Perhaps you’ve had too many strikes to the head....or your old age is making you forgetful.”
After what felt like forever, he finally reached his quarters and allowed himself to drop onto the large bed heavily, his eyes closing for a moment.”Draw me a bath, I’d like to get the stench of that place off of my skin,” he ordered softly. ”Make it hot.”
“Yes sir..” He walks over to the bath and starts preparing a nice warm bath. He could tell young master was mad at him for a few things, but he just smiled. He grabbed clothes setting them up for when his masters bath was done. He waited until the water was just right for his master before beginning to speak. After it was nice and warm he softly said, “I waited to see if you would finally use that gun of yours, It will come in handy.” he looks at his master who is looking the other way. He sighs, “I ran into Elizabeth she wants to see you tomorrow. I could cancel if you like..” He realized that he was being selfish for saying that, “forgive me my lord for speaking out of tone. Your bath is ready.” He walks over to help the young master get to the bath.
The eyepatch was pulled down as Ciel finally looked at his butler again, setting the item on his bedside table. While the boy had a revolver that he always carried with him on such outings, he was very selective in when it would be used. Some of those bullets were reserved for certain beings on his revenge list and refused to waste them (even though he could attain more rather easily). Still, why waste his time when he could simply have Sebastian do it for him?
A heavy groan fell from his chest as he began to follow Sebastian to the bathroom, not at all happy with his news about Lizzie. He loved her (in his own strange way) but sometimes she could be far too much for him to deal with. Seeing how this case was going already, he’d rather not add more stress to his life. “Yes, cancel it. I can’t deal with her at the moment, not with such pressing matters such as the case.” Once he had stepped into the secluded and private bathroom and the door was shut, he began to disrobe slowly with Sebastian’s help. Dark bruising littered the porcelain skin along his chest and stomach, indicating just how hard he had been hit. He carefully eased himself into the water after, letting his eyes close and trying to get the small frame to relax.
“Inform LIzzie that I’ll make it up to her once this case is closed but, until then, I’m indisposed.”
Sebastian grabs a towel folding it neatly and setting it down next to the private bathroom. “My apologizes sir, I would have come sooner but i wished to finish the list.” He grab the list and starts to read it out loud. when he was down he helped wash up his young master and get him prepared to retire for the night. “what a pity, you left your walking stick in the alley.” He looks amused.”Oh well, we’ll get you a new one.” He smiles. As he shuts the light off he looks at the window. “It’s incredibly dirty.” He complains. He shuts the light off and walks out of the room and into the office. He began to write a letter to Elizabeth informing her not to come tomorrow.
Ciel let out an irritated sigh at the fact he would have to replace the walking stick. It was the reason he told the damn demon not to bring it in the first place. Now he would have to wait weeks for another custom order to be finished. “Sometimes I wonder why I put up with you,” he mumbled quietly as he sank deeper into the water. Sebastian could certainly be a pain in the neck.
When his bath was finished he slowly rose out of the water, allowing the tall male to dry and dress him in his nightshirt before slowly making his way back to his bedroom. Instead of going immediately to sleep he opted to do a little reading first. It usually made him tired enough to go to sleep. The small frame settled on his window seat, Ciel setting a lit candle on the sill, and curled up with the book in his lap. It was easy for him to get lost in it, an hour easily going by before he began to feel drowsy. He shut the book, letting it lay there, then carried the candle to his bed table and set it down carefully. Once he laid down in the soft bed, he fell asleep immediately and let the candle burn down completely.
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