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Fallen

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Fallen

-{[(-)]}-

At first, he'd been somewhat pleased by the frightened, pained, and fairly hopeless cries that would've made a human's skin crawl. Whatever those silly humans had gotten themselves into now, it sure sounded interesting. And he would have been content to leave it at that if that smell hadn't reached his nose. The fragrance was sweet, with some kind of floral hint to it. The more he examined the scent, the more he recognized the almost sugary smell of purity and untainted innocence.

Of course, if his ears were anything to be trusted, that innocence was rapidly being stolen away.

Such a shame. He could almost taste the soul...

Except, there wasn't one.

The being muttered a curse under his breath and darted towards the source of the noise. Those humans...! Not just silly, not stupid! They were utterly foolish!

The double doors slammed against the walls on either side of the doorframe as he made his entrance. His high heeled books clicked on the tiled floors, his aura drifting and billowing around him like a cape. The dim light provided by candles flickered as he walked past.

But those candles obviously weren't the only light source in the room.

A blinding light beamed brilliantly from the farthest corner of the room. Several humans in robes were gathered around the source of the light, chattering excitedly and prodding it with tools. One man was curious enough to try and touch the thing with his bare hands.

He instantly scrambled backwards, howling in pain.

Some others, clearly much smarter than their predecessor, pulled on gloves before attempting to make contact with the glowing object. There were similar results; the gloves barely hindered the holy burns.

The dark being had seen, heard, and smelt enough when another shriek came from the corner. It was a much smaller voice than that of the men, and it seemed to be rapidly loosing strength. The bright eyed monster hurriedly pushed the man aside and knelt before the admittedly small source of light.

"Now, now. There's no need for that. I'll take care of this. Can you close your eyes for me?" He asked in a deep, smooth voice. A panicked cry was his response. Droplets of water and blood fell to the floor. "Shh, shh! I know, I know. They've been so mean to you-"

"Who is this man?!" Someone demanded behind him. Similar shouts arose, but he paid them no mind.

"I will help you, little one. Close your eyes." The light dimmed slightly, and he took that as an affirmative.

With that, he stood and turned to the crowd of people. Some of them were shouting some nonsense about granting them glory, or making them immortal. Tsk, fools. Someone was begging for mercy. Only slightly better. One person was half way out the door.

"Now that just won't do." He was across the room in an instant, and the 'runner' dropped to the ground, dead on impact. "You miserable humans should know better than to go messing around in what's far beyond your control." A small smirk flitted over his lips. He hadn't had fun like this in awhile.

Oh look. That one man just wet himself.

Pathetic, really.

He started forward with deadly speed and accuracy, sometimes tearing off limbs, sometimes lobing off heads, maybe ripping out a tongue or two. The shadow carried on this way. His darkness was so great, it almost drowned out the flickering light in the corner. It continued on this way until all of the humans were eternally silenced.

He licked the last of their cheap souls off his lips and fingertips, utterly disgusted by their taste but satisfied. At last, he turned to the rapidly dimming light.

"You can open your eyes now. Are you alright?" He once again knelt before the smaller being. Finally, the source of light was dark enough that one could see what had been hidden underneath.

A small, trembling child emerged, dressed in a silky white toga. He couldn't have been older than six; his limbs were thin and pale, and he appeared extraordinarily short. Small, bloodied wings sprouted from his back. His hair was a bluish gray color, and his left eye was a sparkling sapphire blue. Sadly, it appeared as though his right eye had been damaged by the humans.

"You didn't tell me to cover my ears. Their screaming was unpleasant," he complained quietly, though his voice quivered and he gave shuddering breaths. He was obviously having trouble breathing.

"Sorry for making such a mistake, little angel," he apologized. He obviously wasn't sincere. "What are you doing here?"

"T-they dragged us d-down here," the child suddenly became much more afraid, his shimmering glow instantly increasing.

"Hey, shh. Shh. You're safe now. Do you know how they dragged you down?" The boy silently shifted to the side. Where he had previously sat, several ancient looking runes were revealed.

"Tsk. Fools," the shadow growled. "Humans shouldn't meddle outside of their capabilities." He turned back to the gasping child. "How old are you?"

"F-five," the blue eyed boy managed. A small hand came up to his chest.

"Oh, you poor thing. You're practically a baby." He wanted to laugh at the miserable thing. Angels aged significantly slower than most other immortal beings, and they weren't even considered a teenager until they reached fifty. "Hey. What's wrong with your wings?" He extended a clawed hand.

"D-demon," the boy muttered warily. The elder being carefully ran his hands over the clipped and burnt feathers.

"You use your protection wards against the humans, but not against me? How strange. Have I gained your trust, little one?" He was genuinely surprised. Angels were usually equipped with the ability to burn any unwanted touches until they reached the age of ten. This little boy could have easily scalded him, or even sent him back to Hell.

"I-I...!" The boy gasped. His eyes rolled back into his head, and he suddenly slumped sideways.

"!" The demon hurriedly reached out and caught the boy. He sat there for a moment and thoughtfully watched the child's pained rasps and shuddering chest. Making up his mind, he gently gripped the boy's shoulders and knees. The two carefully rose from the ground. Not entirely surprisingly, the boy whimpered weakly when his wings were shifted. His hands twitched up to grab the demon's clothes.

"You're quite strange, little angel."

And with that, the demon brought the child out of the dark room.

-{[(•)]}-

Chapter Text

The demon cautiously entered the room when he heard the whimpers and cries coming from the other part of the abandoned house he had sought shelter in. After having left the chamber of the curious and foolish humans, he brought the tiny child away from that place and found refuge in a crumbling manor in the countryside. He had busied himself with studying about children in what was left of a library and cleaning up the rest of the mansion.

"S-stop!" The child begged restlessly in his sleep. He tossed and turned weakly before letting out a sob.

"Shhh, shhh. Little one, you are safe now..." The man soothed and guided the boy back to the land of the conscious.

"M-Muh-Mama! P-Papa!" The little angel cried into his hands. The demon just rubbed gentle circles into his back. "T-they're gone..."

"Your parents?"

"Y-yes." The boy sniffled softly and wrapped his arms around himself. He coughed before continuing. "A-all of us w-were dragged down from H-Heaven... A-and the hum-muh-mans killed t-them..."

"What were they doing to you?" The demon probed. More tears leaked from the five year old's eyes.

"T-they wanted my w-wings."

The duo sat in weary silence for a few moments before the demon brought himself to speak.

"Speaking of your wings, I tried to give them the attention they needed, but I'm sorry to say I wasn't entirely certain on what to do." The boy glanced backwards to find his wings wrapped tightly in bandages.

"I-I think they should h-heal themselves," he murmured, also unsure. The elder of the two suddenly blinked.

"I'm sorry. I've been incredibly rude. What is your name?" He asked.

"I-I'm Ciel," the boy introduced. "And what's your name, d-demon?"

"I am not currently in ownership of a name. You may give me one, but I cannot assure you that I will accept it," the demon suggested. "For with every name comes a face, and I may not like the face you attempt to give to me."

"I-I know how demons work," the boy snapped quietly, trying to sound mature. He sat up straighter, wings bristling.

The two sat in another bought of silence as the tiny boy thought over all of the names in his head. He couldn't pick a 'holy' name like Jonah or Daniel. That would be terribly ironic, not to mention it might hurt the demon. What other human names had he heard?

"May I call you Sebastian?" He questioned extending his hand. The shadow stared at it for a moment, pondering. Gingerly, he grabbed the boy's hand and began to match his appearance to the name he was given.

It was a nice gift, indeed.

Now, the demon bore long ebony locks of hair and glittering eyes like rubies. His fair skin was light, and he was tall and slender. But he was still strong. Even clothing formed on his body- a nice suit and a pair of white gloves.

"Thank you, Ciel."

The child blushed shyly and averted his gaze. "Y-you're welcome, I guess."

There was another long silence, though this one was much more comfortable.

"You have seen that I am a demon. Can you tell anything else about me?" Sebastian questioned. He was curious. This boy seemed very intelligent for his age, though maybe a bit too trusting.

"Y-you're a vampiric demon. I can tell by your fangs," Ciel admitted. "A-and your animal is a crow. That's why you have raven wings."

"Hmmm. Yes, that's right. I suppose, then, that you can understand why I rescued you?" Sebastian wondered slyly.

"My blood," the tiny angel scoffed. "I understand the qualities of angel blood."

"Yes, I assumed you might," the demon smirked. "May I?"

"I can't die of blood loss, and I have no use for it. Go ahead." He tilted his head to the side. He frowned when the demon made no moves to suck his blood and only laughed. "What?"

"I guess you wouldn't understand the intimacy of drinking from the neck. May I drink...from your wrist?" He reiterated. Ciel rolled his big blue eye and held out his arm. "This may pinch a little, and you might feel cold."

"A-alright."

Sebastian brought the delicate wrist to his mouth and carefully placed his fangs to the main artery. Not a single drop of blood was wasted, and soon the vampiric demon pulled away. He gently kissed the wound; it healed in an instant.

"Thank you very much, little one. Your blood was very sweet." He watched curiously as Ciel shivered and swayed. "Oops, I might have overdone it..."

"M-might?"

"Ah, well. I guess it can't be helped. Thank you though. Have a nice life." And with that, the once again nameless demon got up to leave.

"N-no, hold on!" The angel protested. The elder chuckled wickedly.

"Why should I? I've gotten my payment. And you're certainly not strong enough to stop me; you couldn't even defend yourself against a couple of mere mortals. In fact, in this state, I could drink you dry." The red eyed being was instantly upon the boy, pinning him to the bed with a smirk. But the only thing the child trembled from was the cold.

"B-but you won't. I want to make a deal with y-you," Ciel stated. "You c-can have more b-blood later."

"Hmm? And what is this deal you want to make?" The man questioned letting his head lower so his ear was next to the child's mouth. His voice was so weak, it was incredibly difficult to hear.

"Take care of me. U-until I can take care of m-myself. F-for every month you do this, you can drink m-my blood," the boy negotiated.

"Every two weeks," Sebastian bargained. Ciel just shook his head.

"Every m-month. T-two weeks is too soon, a-and you'll never be free of the deal."

It was probably true. Drinking enough blood to satisfy him that often would practically drink the poor child dry, and he would never be able to take care of himself in the state.

"And the conditions of this deal?" The demon questioned.

"P-protect me, and stay by m-my side until the e-end."

Ciel gasped for a second.

"N-never lie to m-me."

His eyes began to flutter shut.

"A-and help me any way you can..."

Sebastian stared down at the once again unconscious child. It seemed he had some work to do...

Chapter Text

It was well past midnight when the little angel plodded tiredly down the stairs. It was a beautiful mansion; every room was neat and clean, and it was nicely decorated. Moonlight shone prettily through the large glass windows on one side of the hallway. That was the only source of light as there were no candles presently lit.

"What are you doing up? Are you hungry?" Sebastian asked, appearing by his side in an instant. The five year old flinched discretely, but he kept a straight face.

"Angels do not hunger as you demons do. We have no use for food, nor do we get much satisfaction from it," Ciel answered.

"Then why are you up and about? Are you not still weakened from the loss of blood?" The demon questioned further.

"I-I'm...bored."

"Oh."

The duo kept walking for a long moment. Eventually, Sebastian spoke what was on his mind. "I've thought about it for a long while, and I've come to the conclusion that the only place I can take care of and teach you is here on earth." Ciel gave him a nervous look. "You cannot go to Hell with me, and I do believe that neither of us will be let into Heaven."

"I would not have wished to return there anyway. Earth is fine with me. Will we stay here? It's a nice mansion," the blue eyed boy commented.

"Yes, I repaired it earlier for our purposes. I even tidied up the garden..."

Ciel gazed longingly out the window, pausing in his walk for a moment.

"M-may we go outside?" He requested quietly.

"I do not think it wise. By offering up your blood, you've practically put a target on your chest for every demon in the area," Sebastian explained smoothly, almost sounding pleased that he was crumbling the angel's happiness. "It will be safest for you to remain inside."

The small boy smirked coyly. "Is that not what you are here for? To protect me? Besides, you wouldn't want to keep someone my age inside for too long; I might get hyper. And I'll eventually need to practice flying again. I think I'll be fine." And with that, the angel bravely strutted to the door.

Sebastian stood for a moment watching him. He growled under his breath before following.

The moon was even brighter in the garden, and both demon and angel found it very peaceful. Ciel quietly walked alongside the white roses, running his fingertips along their petals. Sebastian watched quietly from afar. The bright eyed child brushed some hair out of his face and smiled gently as he played with a group of moths.

He was the picture of innocence.

Knowing the young angel was fine and could call for help if need be, Sebastian decided to busy himself in the kitchen. So angels took no satisfaction from human food, hmm? He could probably change the boy's mind...

Ciel wandered aimlessly through the various flowers and shrubbery until he came across what appeared to be a hedge maze. He gazed at it curiously and decided to come back to it on another day. For now, he would enjoy the small statue garden nearby.

Soon, Sebastian returned and called for the little angel, who quickly hurried to his voice. The boy's eyes were once again beginning to droop, so the demon gently picked him up and brought him to the dining room where several plates of human food were set upon the table. Ciel's eyes widened at the display, and he turned to Sebastian curiously.

"What are these for?" His head tilted innocently to the side.

"I made these for you, Ciel. I thought you might take pleasure in them, and it gave me something to do while you played."

"I wasn't playing!" Indignantly, Ciel grabbed a fork and shoved a dainty bite of food in his mouth. "What... what is this? It's... terrible!" The boy paled significantly and grew shaky.

"It's chicken-"

"You thought it wise to give animal flesh to an angel?!" Ciel quickly darted out of the room.

Sebastian blinked owlishly before frowning. "I guess I hadn't quite considered that... Most human meals require some type of meat... I should make sure he isn't drowning in his own vomit." The demon followed Ciel's smell to the nearest restroom.

The poor angel was a quivering mess beside the garbage can, even his wings shivering in disgust and illness. Sweat beaded on his forehead, and drops of bile dripped from the corner of his mouth.

"Oh, dear. I apologize. I hadn't thought of an angel's tastes when preparing the dishes..." Sebastian knelt beside the boy and used a handkerchief to wipe his face. Tears fell to the floor between them. "Why are you crying?"

"I-I can't help it!" Ciel protested weakly. He shakily wiped his eyes, though he continued to cry. "I can't believe I ate that..." He shoulders trembled with the thought of what he had done. "That poor bird..."

Sebastian rolled his eyes. Angels could be so delicate over the simplest of things. "Yes, well, I think it's bedtime for you." He scooped the boy up once more and instantly deposited him in his bed. "Goodnight then."

He missed the way Ciel frowned sadly at him as he left.

-{[(•)]}-

Chapter Text

The next morning was awkward for Sebastian and Ciel. Not only was one of them an angel and the other a demon, Sebastian had no idea of how to care for children, and they knew little to nothing about each other.

"Wake up," Sebastian ordered firmly and opened the curtains.

"Noooo~!" Ciel whined back. "I'm so tired~!"

"Then maybe a certain little angel should not have been wandering around after midnight," the demon have a polite (but chilling) smile. "Besides, how is the little angel supposed to learn to take care of himself if he never gets out of bed?"

"Maybe the little angel will just never learn because he is too tired."

"Why is the little angel talking in the third person?"

"Why is the mean demon addressing the little angel like a baby?"

The room was silent for a long moment.

"I don't understand this. I'm going to go read about children in the study," Sebastian sighed and left the room with his head hanging.

Ciel shifted uncomfortably, feeling dirty and gross. He quietly moved to the bathroom and gulped when presented with the challenge of washing himself. Nervous, he opened his mouth to call for his new companion, but he stopped short. Asking Sebastian for help would be like admitting he was wrong. About something...

Somehow!

Somehow, asking Sebastian for help would damage his pride!

Taking up these thoughts, Ciel nodded stiffly and set about filling the tub with water. Preparing for his bath, he found a towel and some soaps. Then he carefully removed his toga and set it to the side.

Once the tub was filled, the tiny angel jumped in. He instantly shrieked and jumped backwards.

Tiny droplets of water fell to the floor. He wrapped his arms around himself, his teeth chattering and his wings quivering.

"T-too cold," he murmured and drained the tub. Turning the facet on again, he got ready to take his bath.

Again, he jumped into the water. He whimpered and got out again. His flesh was slightly pink from the heat.

"Ow... T-too hot." He scratched the back of his head and sighed. He slapped himself lightly and felt his wings bristle. "I can do this! It's just water!" He emptied the tub again, and tried for a third time to get a better temperature, but that was without success.

It was around his sixth attempt that Sebastian intervened.

"The poor little angel. He can't even bathe himself." Without further comment, the demon moved forward and let the tub drain again. Ciel stood awkwardly off to the side, blushing and fidgeting. The red eyed man filled the tub again and gently lifted the boy. After setting him inside the tub, he proceeded to wash the boy down with the soap and carefully scrub his hair.

"Done," Sebastian announced and pulled the plug once more. He grabbed the towel, lifted Ciel out, and lightly dried him off. "Have you never bathed yourself? I didn't know the angels were ones to bathe each other."

"I've never bathed myself," the five year old admitted. "Heaven isn't exactly dirty, so there was never a need..."

"I see. Well, I can't say I know what that's like. Where I'm from, we took baths several times a day just to feel even remotely clean..." The demon shrugged. "Do you need help getting dressed as well?"

"N-no!"

The demon raised his eyebrow.

"W-well, maybe!"

"There's no need to be shy. We're both male."

"That is not the reason!"

Sebastian sighed and produced a set of English children's clothing. He carefully dressed Ciel, neatly tying the bow around his neck and buckling his shoes.

"Where did you get these?" The angel asked and shifted to look at the wings poking out of his clothing. They were still wrapped in bandages; he thought they would've healed faster...

"I... made them," the demon coughed lightly with too-wide eyes. As much as he'd love tainting an angel with the sin of thievery, it was probably best to hold off on the temper tantrums for now...

"Thank you!" The blue eyed boy grinned before his smile faded into a faint scowl. "When are you going to start teaching me how to take care of myself?"

"Well, since you're so eager, we can begin now." Sebastian rolled his eyes and picked the boy up. With his increased speed, he brought them to the ballroom, where he had placed all kinds of gathered equipment.

"And where did you get these?" Ciel questioned innocently.

"I... found them."

This is going to be a long day...

Chapter Text

"Your wings have strong bonesbut their only protection is those fluffy feathers," Sebastian began. "You would do well to keep them protected at all times. The best way to do that is lesson number one; always know where everything is. You need to know everything when you go anywhere. Anything could be useful, because who knows when you might need to fight or to flee. You're useless if you can only identify one exit." The demon stepped forward and covered the angel's eyes. "How many doors are there in this room?"

Ciel gasped. "How am I supposed to know?" He demanded indignantly. "You didn't tell me to look for anything when we first came in."

"Exactly. You should do it on your own, without my needing to instruct you. Otherwise, how will you survive when I'm gone? I'll say it again, how many doors are in this room?" The red eyed man questioned. The five year old thought for a long moment.

There was obviously the double doors they first entered through. There were at least one set of double doors on either side of the room, and he had seen another door across from the main entrance.

"Seven," he confidently declared. Sebastian did not remove his hand.

"Good, but not correct. How many windows?"

"What?!"

"I asked you how many windows are in this room. You're a very intelligent boy, Ciel, I'm surprised you can't understand what I'm ask-"

"That is not what I meant, and you know it!" The five year stomped one foot on the patterned ballroom floor. "How can I even... There are three on either side of the far door, so that's six!"

"Excellent. Light fixtures."

"Four on either side of the doors... Four, eight, twelve, fift- no, sixteen, twenty, twenty-four, twenty-eight, thirty... thirty-two! Thirty two light fixtures on the walls... And two chandeliers? Thirty-four!" The angel exclaimed.

"Perfect. Tables?"

"None."

"Chairs?"

"Umm... Twelve?"

"Are you sure?"

"Don't mock me, I said twelve!"

"Well, done," Sebastian offered a smile and removed his hand. Ciel scowled and stomped his foot.

"There are only eight doors, and the eight is just connected to the seventh! My answer could have been right!"

"But it wasn't. Now, I'm going to start teaching you how to apply those observational skills," the demon waved around the room. "How many different ways can you leave the room?"

"Eight doors and six windows makes fourteen. And if I was feeling crude I could break through a wall. I guess that makes fifteen?" Ciel replied. He shook his head. "There have to be more than that, though, right?"

"No, your answer was fine. Close your eyes." The angel huffed and did as he was told. Sebastian darted around the room for a moment. "Now look around. I just set up dummies, and we're going to pretend they are people that are stronger than you and want to hurt you. How many of them are there?"

Ciel eyed the manikins warily. He shuffled his feet, and the feathers on his wings quivered with anticipation. Blue eyes spared the demon a glance. The five year old even cautiously looked over his shoulder.

"T-there are five," he eventually answered.

"And how many ways out of the room are there now?" Sebastian asked, silently noting how nervous Ciel looked when posed with any sort of threat.

"Those two would catch me before I could get to those side exits, the one behind me would stop me before I could run out the main entrance, the one in the far left corner blocks those windows, and the one in front of me is supposed to deter me from running towards the other doors. I'm not strong enough to break through the wall. My best hope is through the windows in the far right corner or the door behind me, so I guess that leaves five exits? If I could fly I suppose I could just fly to either set of double doors behind those two, which makes nine. There are nine ways out of the room now," the child pondered and concluded.

Sebastian clapped; an odd feeling of pride stirred up inside of him. Ciel certainly was bright, if a bit too bratty.

"Great job," the demon congratulated. "We're going to do that again, but I want you to figure out the answer faster. You were too slow, and in that time you would have been captured."

"But that took less than a few minutes!"

"How slow do you think these people would be? I also want you to consider which exit will allow you to get away with the least amount of damage."

"Alright."

-{[(•)]}-

"Oof!" Ciel exclaimed in surprise and fell on his backside. He rubbed his head and looked up at the figurine in front of him. After learning how to find the best escape routes (because it was always better to flee and have damaged pride than to fight and die), Sebastian had the five year old practice the actual act of escape. The demon moved the manikins like real people, and Ciel had to safely make it back to the hallway or the garden without being touched.

It was harder than it looked.

Apparently, this time Sebastian had posted a dummy right outside the main double doors. Ciel hadn't seen it in time and had run right into it.

The angel frowned and gently ran his fingers over the sore spot where he hit his head on the ground. He could hear Sebastian approaching, but he didn't want to seem like a baby for getting upset over bumping his head, so he quickly stood.

The red eyed man had of course seen the boy knock his head on the ground, and he carefully felt the injured spot for himself. It was sure to bruise (the boy really had such delicate skin), but there didn't seem to be much damage. He was going to suggest another scenario but Ciel was swaying on his feet.

"We will take a break for now. We could try human food again?" Sebastian tried not to sound too hopeful. Ever since he had a master who made him learn how to cook, he adored the skill and took every opportunity to utilize it. His specialty was cakes, which he was sure the little angel would enjoy.

"Are you going to try to make me eat animal flesh again?" Ciel countered. He remembered perfectly well what had happened the night before, and he did not wish to repeat the experience.

The demon only laughed. He turned and began to walk towards the kitchen, his little angel following behind him. Something about their relationship felt lighter after the training, like they had come to some sort of understanding. The sensation probably wouldn't last; why not enjoy it while it was there?

Sebastian let Ciel sit on a stool at the center island while he worked. The man twirled around the kitchen in a blur of black, only visible because Ciel had the eyes of an angel. Ingredients were gathered, mixed, and shoved in the oven so fast that even the five year old had no idea what was being made. While they waited for the surprise to finish baking, Sebastian sat across from Ciel and they stared at each other.

"We don't really know much about each other..." Sebastian realized aloud. It was odd for him to just make decisions like this, randomly settling down with no clear path in sight. Something about the tiny angel drew him in, and if he was feeling honest with himself he had felt pity and looked for an excuse to stay. But since he was a demon, he wasn't very honest, and he told himself that he was only here for the sweet blood of the angel in front of him.

Similarly, Ciel wondered why he had so freely offered up his blood. Why did he trust this demon so much? Why did he desire his company so? Was he really so desperate for a companion that he would lower himself to the level of a demon? Much less one he had met only a day or so before?

"I like blue," Ciel offered.

"I prefer black. And sometimes red. White occasionally, I suppose, if I must," Sebastian countered. The angel stared at him with an odd expression on his face.

"I think dogs are fine animals," he stated. The man scoffed.

"Dogs. Tsk, an angel would certainly think so! Cats are much nicer creatures." Red eyes glinted as the demon argued.

"Cats can't be trusted. Dogs are at least loyal!" The boy frowned.

"They are also loud, make a mess, and are irritatingly happy," the demon pointedly responded. The angel laughed.

"Only if you fail to train them properly!"

Sebastian scowled, though he didn't really seem upset. His eyes flashed, and with a smirk he reached across the table and began to tickle the child. Ciel gasped and spluttered with giggles.

"Ahahahahahaha! N-nooooooooo! Haha, stop i-it! Noooooooooo!"

Even the demon had to smile as he listened to the peals of laughter escape the boy. He even chuckled warmly.

"This is what you get for being a little pest! Cats are always better than dogs! Admit it!" The man demanded, holding back more laughter as the five year old turned an adorable shade of red.

"N-never!"

"Your choice," Sebastian shrugged and reached for the ticklish spot at the base of the Ciel's wings. The boy absolutely screamed!

"AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! MONSTER! N-NO FAIR! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Kicking his little feet and flailing his arms, Ciel didn't have much of a chance, but he jumped at the slight pause in Sebastian's assault and scurried out of the kitchen. "Catch me if you can!" He called over his shoulder, remembering the times he used to play with Lizzie among the clouds. He was saddened by the sudden realization that he would probably never see her again, but he quickly tried to push it aside and focus on running.

Sebastian stared wide-eyed at where the boy had leapt away. A pleased smirk appeared on his face, and he gracefully vaulted over the counter. He let his demonic abilities rest and chased the boy at a more human speed. Suddenly, he lost sight of the child.

"Ciel?" He questioned. Where did the boy go?

The man stepped closer to where the child had disappeared. He opened the doors on either side of the hallway and peeked into the rooms, but he did not find Ciel in them. The angel wasn't under the decorative table either.

Suddenly, something shifted above him.

Slowly, almost mechanically, the man looked up and found Ciel pressed between the decorative beams of the ceiling. The blue eyed boy squeaked and dropped, but the man caught him. They shared a long look before they both burst into laughter.

Sebastian carried Ciel back to the kitchen. The surprise was just close enough to finished that the demon decided to remove it from the oven. In a matter of seconds, he had the dark brown bread removed from the pan and covered in a fluffy cream and strawberry slices.

"Chocolate cake. Here, try a slice," Sebastian offered and held out a piece of cake for the child to take. Ciel cautiously accepted. "Go on. Try it."

"What is it?" The boy questioned.

"A sweet kind of bread. No animal flesh involved. Completely made of plants," Sebastian assured. The angel nodded and hesitantly took a small bite.

"It's... sweet, like you said... It's... It's good! I like it!" Ciel grinned happily and quickly finished off the rest of his slice. "Can I have more?"

"I'm sure you could."

...

...

"Oh. May I have more?"

"Certainly." The demon gave him another slice. "We'll work on your grammar some other time."

Chapter Text

For the next week, Sebastian taught Ciel about being aware, finding available escape routes, and great hiding places for when there was no escape. Even when the duo wasn't training, Sebastian could randomly pop up behind Ciel, cover his eyes, and demand to know certain details of the room. At the end of the eighth day, Ciel could flawlessly describe any room he had been in for a period of more than a minute.

While angels and demons aged slower, they were not limited by human restraints and could learn much faster. They could also form bonds more quickly.

The next week, Sebastian planned to teach Ciel basic self defense before they moved on to anything heavier, and he decided to begin teaching Ciel some human subjects like reading and arithmetic. They weren't strictly necessary, but they were still useful skills.

For self defense, they started with a short biology lesson, and Ciel quickly learned the weakest points on a human body. These still usually applied to angels, demons, and reapers, so it was valuable information.

"There are nine main weak points on the body," Sebastian calmly stated to the tiny angel in front of him, in an almost bored tone. He held up a white pointer and gestures to each of the places on the borrowed chart. "There are the eyes, ears, nose, throat, solar plexus, spine, groin, knees, and Achilles' tendon. There are also certain weak points on each of the three spiritual races. One spot, which I'm sure you know of, on an angel is just below the wings. Usually that spot is simply sensitive, making it... ticklish." Sebastian shuddered at using the word. What had he come to? "Striking that area hard enough can even render an angel unconscious."

"What about demons?" Ciel piped up curiously, a bit more free with his words after starting a sort of friendship with Sebastian. They weren't exactly close, but it was definitely more than just tolerating each other at this point.

"Do you know of Faustian contracts?" The demon queried. He waited for Ciel I nod before continuing. "When a demon is in a contract, they form a bond with their current master. This bond is physically expressed in a pentacle signature on the bodies of both parties. Now, mind you, the pentacle was originally something designed for demons. We borrowed that."

"I know. But you're not answering my question," the little angel frowned. His legs swans back and forth under his chair impatiently.

"I was getting to that. Anyway, the bond may not physically hurt the human except when it is placed on them. For the demon, it always burns, signifying how they've tied themselves to something so fragile. If that human is in any sort of danger, the mark will flare. That provides two weak points for a contracted demon. You could strike the human, or you could aim for the demon's contract mark. But, seeing as you're an angel, I doubt you'll hurt a human," Sebastian rattled off. "A demon will also viciously protect what they deem to be theirs, so a demon doesn't really have any physical weak points. In fact, the contract can make a demon stronger than before."

"Why do angels have a weak spot but not demons?" The five year old demanded. It was irritating to find out that his race was physically more vulnerable than their enemies.

"Angels can't be killed unless they've fallen and become evil. Demons can be destroyed. Besides, demons rely on the power of humans and they suffer from the pains of hunger. Angels don't require substance," the red eyed man explained. "Anyway, the main weakness of the grim reapers are their eyes. All grim reapers are extremely near sighted, which is why they wear glasses. If you can get rid of their glasses, it's laughably easy to attack them with their own scythe."

"I honestly haven't had to work with grim reapers before," Ciel mumbled. "Could you tell me about their scythes?"

"You've worked before? When are angels deemed capable of work?" The demon wondered. Demons lived for themselves, but angels were the worker bees of Heaven, who guided humans and helped answer prayers.

"Most angels start working around three. The younger ones usually provide companionship for the older adults that can't have children of their own. Once we reach around seven, we start helping humans our own age. Angels who are fifty or more get the harder jobs," Ciel explained carefully. "I only worked with a reaper once, and that was because my human was going to die soon anyway."

"Do you ever get attached to humans?" Sebastian wondered, knowing he had grown fond of one or two masters himself.

"I did, once. She was eight, so she felt like she could boss me around," Ciel hurmphed. "She really liked my wings, though, and she always apologized if she was mean." The five year old fiddled thoughtfully with the tips of his wings. They had finally healed enough to be removed from the bandages, even if they were a bit sore.

"Why was she special?" The dark haired man questioned, sitting beside the child.

"She liked to play a lot, and she taught me games. She gave me candy, too. She was... was my big sister I never had. I'm an only child, so sometimes I get lonely, but it's okay." The boy's voice had faded to a whisper by the end of his last sentence.

"I see. What was her name?" The man asked.

"She didn't have a name, but all the other kids called her Doll."

"What happened to her?"

"She died."

There was a long moment of solemn silence. Ciel sat back, wistfully thinking of his favorite little girl. He knew she was going to die soon because she lived on the streets and she was always very ill. He told himself not to get too attached, but she was so nice that he could help loving her. Her older brothers and sisters couldn't see him, so everyone just thought he was her imaginary friend. For some reason, Ciel couldn't remember the actual reason he had been summoned for Doll. He did remember that he arrived while she had been praying, and when she looked up and saw his wings, her eyes instantly began to glow.

'You'll be ma' lit'le brotha',' she said. 'All I have 's older brotha's an' a sister. I always want'd a lit'le brotha', so you git to be 'im.' Maybe that's what she'd been asking for- someone she could care for, someone littler than her.

Ciel supposed he should have been insulted, but all he felt was love and sorrowful joy. He could remember toddling after her as the group ran through the streets. He huddled up against her late at night, when the air was cold and crisp. He had tried wrapping his wings around her for warmth, but she refused and put her arms around him instead. He was there with her when she lost her first tooth, and he was there with her when she visited the circus. Every day they played together, and every night he fell asleep to her soft snores. He missed her.

Sebastian stared quietly at the little angel, watching the different emotions briefly flicker across his open face. He looked peaceful, if not a bit sad. The demon thought back on all of his contracts in his long, long life, and he tried to remember his favorite.

"There was a human I was quite happy with," he murmured fondly. Ciel blinked out of his daze and looked up to his friend with a curious expression. "A long time ago, there was a boy. I believe he was thirteen, though he might have been younger. Such a happy little thing. His had these bright eyes that lit up whatever room he walked into. I'll never forget those eyes."

"What did you like about him?" The angel asked in a small voice. Thinking of Doll always made his throat a bit dry. He also never really considered that demons could like the people that formed contracts with. He always assumed demons had no feelings at all.

"His spirit. Not his soul, though. His spirit. Though his soul was tasty, I definitely mean his spirit." Sebastian gave a soft smile. "Even when his world was in shambles, he always tried to be happy. He found beauty in just about everything. I remember, we used to sit under his window and he'd sing to the birds. Even when he was in pain he wanted to join in their song. Eventually, we made it outside, and he frolicked among the flowers with such a gleeful expression."

"Why did he make a contract with you?" Ciel queried and smoothed his clothing. Sebastian sighed.

"The people who housed him were performing dangerous experiments on him. They were quite painful, and he called on me to give him a happy life, even if it was short. There were problems with helping him escape, so we had to wait for a time. I had promised him a year, so I stayed with him until I could break him out. I let him have two years for his trouble." The demon toyed with his pointer.

"What was his name?"

"Finnian. He told everyone to call him Finny."

"And was he happy?" Ciel wondered. His wings spread slightly, giving him a more childish look of curiosity.

"Oh yes, quite. He owned a wonderful little flower shop. I helped him run it, because he couldn't keep a plant alive to save his life," the man laughed, warm red eyes sparkling. "He even married. A beautiful woman named Mey-Rin. She was with child when he passed. He couldn't have been happier."

"Isn't it sad, though? They poor child had no father," the angel mumbled.

"Sad? Hardly," Sebastian scoffed. "What kind of demon would I be if I couldn't even watch over my master's offspring? No, I made sure that child had a father."

"You took over his life?" The five year old squeaked, feeling uneasy.

"Heavens no! I made sure Mey-Rin eventually remarried. Her second husband was a young American named Bardroy. He had fought in the military, but he was forced to retire after injury in battle. Bard found work as a chef, as terrible as he was. The child was never without a father, and I watched over the little thing for the rest of its life."

"Oh."

The duo sat in another long silence, both thinking of times long passed.

Sebastian eventually brought up what he had heard before. "You said you've worked with a grim reaper before? What was that like?"

"He was very nice to me, except for the formalness," Ciel shrugged. "His name was Alan. He was sick though, so he died shortly after the case."

"Hmm, that's a shame, I suppose."

"You still haven't answered my question from earlier. What are scythes like?" The boy sighed. He felt tired, like he had flown around the world without resting. There was a kind of weight on his shoulders, and his chest faintly ached.

"They are the tools used by grim reapers to harvest the souls of those on the 'To Die' list. They can been any kind of gardening tool from any time period, past, present or future. One reaper I've seen quite often in this area carries around a chainsaw."

"A chainsaw?"

"Yes. It's an electric box with a rapidly rotating blade. Anyway, all scythes are made from the reapers' special material. They can cut through anything, and only another death scythe could break them."

"I see."

"I think that's probably enough for today. So, tell me! What are the nine vitals points on the body, and what are the weak points of the three spiritual races?" Sebastian smirked, suddenly deciding to wrap up that portion of the lesson.

"Eyes... Ears... Knees..." Ciel thought for another moment. "The solar plexus or chest... Spine... I think Achilles heel? No, tendon... Which one am I missing? Oh! Um, throat and... groin." The angel's wing shifted restlessly as he thought. "For angels, the lower back, beneath the wings. For demons, their human or their contract mark. And for reapers, their eyes."

"Very good. Let's teach you some physical self defense before we continue learning like this. I'm quite tired of this room. Shall we relocate to the ballroom?"

"Certainly."

Chapter Text

"It's been a month, Ciel." And Ciel was suddenly reminded that Sebastian wasn't there because he cared. The demon just wanted his blood. He and Sebastian might be friends now, but who knew? Maybe when he could take care of himself, Sebastian could decide he didn't like him anymore and leave!

Sullenly, Ciel didn't protest when Sebastian scooped him up and carried him to the bedroom. The demon made sure he was full and gave him some tea before even attempting to get a drop of blood. Once again, his fangs pinched the angel's skin as he took a long pull from the main artery. He kissed the wound closed and gently laid the dark haired boy back against the pillows. Ciel's fair skin looked even paler against the pillows than usual.

The five year old breathed softly through his mouth; slowly he drifted to sleep.

-{[(•)]}-

Around noon, Sebastian was at his side as he awakened. Ciel held a hand to his head and dizzily sat up.

"Hn, I don't feel so good," he complained. The dark haired demon gave a fond smile and kept the boy sitting upright.

"I figured that might be the case. So, I thought we might take a day off from your training and go into the city? I could show you Finnian's flower shop, and I have a contact who would just love you." The red eyed man stared expectantly at the child.

"C-could we?" Ciel queried. "I could show you where D-Doll and I stayed."

"Yes, and we could finally get you a replacement for your robe. You seem to be growing a little bit, and I can't say how much longer that will fit you," Sebastian added.

"W-we could see the boats on the dock!"

Ciel and Sebastian shared an equally pleased grin as they began to plan their trip. Soon, the demon wrapped his jacket around the five year old, and they began the journey to the nearest town, London. Sebastian pulled Ciel close to his chest and took off at a supernatural speed. A half hour later, the duo arrived.

"Let's get you some clothes, and then we'll stop for cake and tea, yes?" Sebastian suggested, eyeing a wealthy looking man. Ciel nodded excitedly. Sebastian's gloved hand shot out as the wealthy man walked by, and the man was none the wiser to his otherworldly pickpocket. The demon carried the oblivious angel to the nearest tailor as the boy chattered excitedly in his ear.

"I've never been on this side of the city! It's very nice! Look, a real carriage! There's even a horse and everything! There, Sebastian! That little human had a fake animal! Look, look! That building is really, very tall! I'm not even sure heaven's that high!"

Sebastian laughed. "Now you're just being ridiculous. You've worked on earth before. You have to know that there's a much greater distance between heaven and the ground than between the ground and that tower."

The dark haired angel gave him a frown. "No, I have no idea. Answering prayers is a very quick business. There's no time to enjoy the view as you fall from the sky. You have to find your human and complete your mission."

"So you really have no clue?" The red eyed man pondered as he pushed the door open to a shop. The boy shook his head.

"Hello! This is Miss. Nina's Tailor Shop! Happy to serve you, sirs! What can I do for you?" A woman darted from around the corner. Ciel's face instantly lit up in a fiery blush, and he quickly hid his face in Sebastian's coat. The woman's smile was positively devious, and her skirt was more than a few inches too short.

"Do you tailor children's clothing?" Sebastian questioned, completely unfazed.

"I do! Who's this little cutie? Oh, I already have so many ideas!" Miss. Nina pulled a sketchbook from... somewhere and began to sketch the little angel. Luckily, the more supernatural aspects of the other three races were naturally hidden from the eyes of any human who hadn't had any kind of relations with one of said supernatural beings.

So Ciel's wings and Sebastian's fangs were invisible to the woman as she squibbed furiously at the pad of paper.

"Ah, it's alright, madam," the red eyed man smiled. "We're just looking for some basic clothing."

"Oh! No one ever let's me do anything fun anymore!" Miss Nina sat on a little stool. "Look, if you'll let me dress him the way I want, I won't charge you extra! It will cost the same as the simple stuff, but he'll look just like a little lord!" Sebastian's grin widened. A little lord. That did describe Ciel in some ways. And it was a very good deal.

"Alright, whatever you want," he smiled. Ciel frowned and flicked his ear. Nina scuttled to her materials and began to pull things from the shelves.

"You, little boy!" She grinned and gestured manically to a short stool. "Stand there so I can measure you!"

"I'm not so little!" He frowned as Sebastian set him on the stool.

"Of course not, Ciel."

The five year old pouted, and Miss Nina began to flutter this way and that, measuring, drawing, cutting, measuring, stitching, and making a face between excitement and insanity. "These will be some of my best works yet!" She pushed Sebastian into a seat. "Sit down, please! I'll be right back!" The woman swept into the back room.

"She's... lively," Sebastian commented. Ciel was still trying to clear his head of the dizziness from spinning as she had measured him. "After this, we'll visit Finny's shop. Then you can show me where you spent your time with Doll."

"Alright," the boy nodded.

Miss Nina stumbled back in, her arms loaded with mountains of fabric. Ciel's eyes widened, and he gasped. The woman dumped her load on the workable behind the counter. She spun back on the duo, settled her hands on her hips, and demanding asked, "What do you want me to make anyway?"

The males blinked.

"Alright, fine. Playthings, casual wear, one formal suit, and a dress. Can I make something for you?" She spun on Sebastian.

"If it's free?" He responded, still a bit confused.

Men, Nina thought and turn to continue the process.

Ciel and Sebastian watched her begin to craft a pink dress. Women.

Two hours later had them stumbling out with bags full of clothing. Ciel was dressed in a comfortable white shirt, blue shorts, black suspenders, knee high stockings, black loafers, and a blue neck ribbon. The simply insane woman waved them out.

"Hurry back soon! He's sure to grow!" She called as the hurriedly walked away.

"Let us never go there again," Sebastian murmured to the little angel.

"Agreed!" Ciel nodded back. The demon made a gesture, and all of the bags disappeared. With their hands now free, the red eyed man scooped the five year old into his arms.

"Let's head to Finny's shop, shall we?"

-{[(•)]}-

"It's changed since I was last here," Sebastian frowned. The duo stared up at the black building in bemusement. "It wasn't so... dark."

"I wonder what's in there now?" Ciel murmured.

"Let's find out," the man declared and marched forward with determination. Ciel watched his retreating back in slight irritation. The angel let out a deep sigh and followed his otherworldly friend.

The inside of the shop was as eerie and dark as the outside. Unlabeled jars with suspicious contents lined the shelves, and several coffins loomed in the corner. A strange bell rang at their entrance.

"Heeelllloooo~?" A cheery, older voice called.

"I say!" Ciel frowned.

"We're meeting all kinds of characters today," Sebastian grinned.

From the curtains to the back room emerged a tall man dressed entirely in long, black robes and a tall, black hat. Sweeping silver hair trailed down his back to the floor, and a bright smile peeked out from under his bangs.

Ciel stared at him bravely for a moment before ducking behind Sebastian's legs.

"Reaper," he muttered like a curse. Sebastian glanced down at him, surprised. How did he know that? Did angels have heightened senses?

"Well, hello!" The man greeted brightly. "Aren't you an odd pair?" He leaned against the counter with a mischievous grin. "I don't get many customers from one of the other races. What are you fellows here for~?"

"This used to be the shop of one of my masters," the demon volunteered.

"Oh ho!" The reaper laughed. "A demon feeling sentimental, eh? Haven't seen that in a long time! For a joke that good, you can have one of my biscuits." The man produced a jar from the folds of his robe. Bone shaped biscuits peeked out from the lid. Ciel hesitated.

"Go on," the red eyed man encouraged. He gently pushed the angel forward. The blue eyed boy took a cautious glance back at him but went to take one of the sweets anyway.

"What do you say?" The grey haired man questioned and withheld the jar slightly. Ciel stared up at him, more irritated than amused.

"Woof," the boy offered. Before the repeat could respond, he grabbed one of the cookies and darted back behind Sebastian's legs. The man in black let out a startled laugh and fell to the floor laughing.

"Uh hu hu hu hu!" He giggled. When he finally composed himself, he managed to stand and lean against the counter once more. "And for that, you can have my name! I'm the Undertaker."

"No, you're the Gardener," Ciel murmured grumpily, nibbling on his treat. Sebastian's ruby eyed flashed with amusement, but he did not even smile.

"Well, thank you anyway, Mr. Undertaker," the man offered. "I really believe we should be moving on though." The demon cast his eyes around the front of the shop once more, remembering Finny's shop and everything about it. "Good-bye."

The angel and the demon exited the shop before turning to each other and silently agreeing to just avoid London altogether once they went back to the manor.

-{[(•)]}-

"This is where Doll and her family stayed most of the time!" Ciel exclaimed excitedly. Sebastian glanced around, looking for the door the boy was indicating. Instead, the boy darted into one of the alleys that faced the docks. "Here's where Joker and Beast slept," he pointed to the front of the alley. "And Doll and I slept in the middle-" He darted to the darkest part of the alley and spread his arms wide. His wings also reached out, brushing the walls.

"You slept on the ground?" Sebastian frowned. He followed the five year old into the shadows and looked at the cool cobblestones. Sure enough, there were still signs that humans had lived here. He looked at the brick walls for graffiti, wondering if any of the children had left drawings or messages.

"-and Peter and Wendy were always here next to Dagger, and Jumbo slept at the very end! But then we rescued Snake, and he slept next to us, Doll and I, I mean. I think his snakes knew I was there," Ciel rambled anxiously, worried by the red eyed man's lack of response.

"Look here," Sebastian murmured. His eyes were fixed on a faded poster on one of the walls. "Why would someone put an advertisement in a dark alley? It's horrible marketing-"

"A circus?" Ciel questioned as he looked as well. "Hey! The people in the ad! That's Joker and Jumbo and Beast!"

"Really?"

"They look really different, but I know it's them!" Ciel grinned. His wings fluffed up in excitement.

"Sadly, it doesn't look like they're still in town," Sebastian sighed.

"Oh," Ciel's happy attitude ebbed. The two males were left in silence for another moment.

"Let's go get some cake and tea. I've heard there's a place around here that is trying some kind of curry cake," the demon gently guided the boy away from the alley.

Yes, they could just leave London alone.

-{[(•)]}-

Finding the cafe Sebastian had mentioned was interesting. Asking for it hadn't produced any results, and it wasn't until they reached the East End that anyone knew where they should go. The cafe was apparently run by a pair of fellows from Indian.

"Hello! Welcome to Kali's Hand Cafe!" A deeply tanned teen greeted when they walked in. He was dressed in fancy fabric of rich colors and a startling amount of gold. His hair had a strange purple tint to it, and Ciel rubbed his eyes the first time he saw him, making sure he was real.

"Hello," Sebastian greeted. "Are you the makers of the curry cake?"

"You mean the curry bun?" The young man asked. "Yes, of course! It was an original idea of Agni's! Agni! More customers are here for the curry bun!" He shouted to the back of the warm shop.

"Yes, Prince Soma!" A white haired man- Agni, apparently- responded obediently.

"Come, come!" The golden eyed cafe owner- Prince Soma, apparently- directed them. "Have a seat! Would you like some tea as well?" The otherworldly guests carefully sat on the brightly colored floor pillows.

"Yes, please," Sebastian smiled as pleasantly as possible. Ciel looked around with wonder, feeling the strongly hospitable and homey aura of the cafe.

Soma darted away into the kitchen and returned a few moments later with a golden tray. The tea was held in odd, little, decorative cups, and it smelled incredibly fragrant.

"I must warn you," the prince laughed. "Many of our guests do not like our tea. It is made with many spices, like our curry, and the taste is very strong." Sebastian and Ciel each took a cup and stared at each other, daring the other with their eyes to drink first. "And, if you do not like it, please do not force yourself to drink it! We will not be offended- we want our friends to enjoy their meals!"

"Friends?" Ciel questioned and looked into Soma's bright eyes.

"Of course! Anyone who walks through those doors is a friend of ours! We greet everyone with kindness and hospitality!" Soma enthused.

"Wonderful," Sebastian muttered, blankly avoiding looking at Soma at all as he took a sip of his tea. Ciel cautiously did so as well.

They froze.

Sebastian slowly put his cup down and thumped his chest lightly. Ciel gave a small cough and set his cup down with a strained smile.

"It's good!" Ciel offered. "It's very... flavorful!"

"Yes!" Sebastian added, nodding. "Very... interesting!"

Soma lit up. "I'm so glad! Here, I will go get you some more!" The teen disappeared.

Sebastian discretely waved his hand over the cups, making the vile liquid disappear.

"Where did you send it? I don't want some poor mortal getting their water contaminated with that!" Ciel whispered harshly, and his wings fluttered in agitation.

"Everything evil goes to Hell," Sebastian whisper-snarled back. The angel instantly relaxed before tensing again.

"I wouldn't wish that on a demon either-"

"Here are your curry buns!" Agni announced beside them. The five year old squawked and awkwardly fell over. Sebastian gave a slight startle before helping the boy up again. The darkly tanned chef placed two steaming rolls in front of them. He left with a pleasant, "Enjoy!"

Hesitantly, Sebastian cut the buns open, and the two males watched a rich smelling stew began to flow out. Each carefully took a bite, and they marveled at the creative explosion of spices. Ciel gave a small moan and began digging into the bun. Sebastian sampled another bite.

"Chocolate? Odd, I don't remember that being an ingredient for curry," he murmured and continued eating. Soma silently returned and placed the new tray of tea on the table.

"Wow! You boys finish fast!" He was awed by the emptied cups.

"Boys?" The demon grumbled even as he kept eating his food. Soma left them with a cheerful wave as he went to greet some more customers.

After a few more minutes, the supernatural beings finished and went to pay Agni directly at the back counter. The white haired man thanked them graciously and walked them out.

Sebastian and Ciel shared a look, agreeing to return next month. London might be worth it if they could come back here and enjoy another peaceful meal.

Chapter Text

"Now that you've learned the basics of hand-to-hand self-defense, it is important that you learn not only how to disarm your opponent, but also to arm yourself or turn his own weapon against him," Sebastian introduced. They were in the makeshift classroom again, with designs of several guns and different kinds of swords drawn out on the board. There were other, odd weapons near the wall, but Sebastian wanted him to focus mostly on the guns.

"When I was your age, swords were all the rage. Everyone wanted a sword and humans were constantly coming up with new, better versions, and different, more efficient ways to use them. Now, humans have come up with the gun. These handheld devices can shoot projectiles at decent speeds with admirable force. The projectiles tear through flesh and bone alike," the demon continued, holding up one of the smaller guns. Ciel didn't know what kind it was, or how to use it. Sebastian also picked up a longer gun.

"As you can see, there are many different kinds and styles of the gun. They shoot different bullets, and to disarm the user, there are several different methods. Come here and hold the gun. I'm going to move slowly and show you how to disarm someone with this kind. Do not pull the trigger."

-{[(•)]}-

After guns, they moved on to swords, which Ciel liked far more. With swords, they practiced dueling. It was like a dangerous dance, the clanging stripes of silver were the music and the opponent was the partner.

Sebastian first taught him the defensive, neutral, and offensive dueling positions. The dark haired man explained that while he, as the more experienced dueler, might take a more offensive position, it would be better for Ciel to always go on the defensive so he would have a better chance to disarm his opponent and get away.

From there, they practiced shuffling back and forth, moving around the room without stabbing themselves, "dueling" across tables and chairs, and basically how to use the environment to their advantage.

Then, Sebastian showed him basic sword fighting moves, and a few tricks the would get his opponent's sword out of his grasp. Next, the moved to more advanced sword fighting. Last, they put the lessons to practical use.

Where the first half of the month had been mentally exhausting, the second half left Ciel physically drained in almost every way. They dueled from the time he woke up to the time they usually stopped for lunch. After lunch, they dueled until Ciel was nearly asleep on his sword.

-{[(•)]}-

During lunch and after they finished dueling for the day, Sebastian and Ciel found themselves bonding in small ways. Reading books together. Practicing cake recipes. Playing hide and seek. Exploring the gardens. Sifting through the attic.

They shared many small adventures, laughing and quipping as they went along. Sebastian found himself growing a soft spot for the tiny angel, almost afraid to think of what would happen when Ciel could take care of himself. The five year old was much the same, not wanting to consider when Sebastian would leave him. Sometimes, they let their fears control their hearts, and they distanced themselves from each other, not wanting the separation to hurt as much as it surely would. Other times, they let their new bond guide them, letting them act like friends, brothers, even father and son on the rarest of occasions.

-{[(•)]}-

It was another morning of dueling. They wove their way around the room, swords and feet constantly moving. Ciel blocked an attack. Sebastian danced around another.

Ciel felt as though he had finally settled into the groove of sword fighting. The weight in his hand finally felt comfortable, and the movement of his feet seemed almost natural.

Sebastian suddenly change tactics, taking the angel off guard. Ciel yelped as he dodged another blow.

"What are you doing?!" He shouted over the clashing swords.

"Not everyone will fight like I do, Ciel! You must learn to watch movements and prepare for the corresponding attacks!" The demon explained loudly.

"I thought I was doing that!" The boy shrieked. His wings trembled as his calm was slowly pulled from him. He barely gasped as he dodged another close blow. "I think we need to do more practical!"

"You'll learn best from putting what you know to use!" The red eyed man argued. He lashed out, giving Ciel no time to move out of the way.

Metal clanged loudly against the tile floor of the ballroom, echoing like the shot of a cannon.

"You... You cut me," Ciel gasped, hand against his cheek. Sebastian stepped back; he was surprised by his own actions.

The man looked at his hands, noticing they were starting to tremble. His sword joined Ciel's on the floor.

"I think... We should take a break," he breathed. "I'll go... go make hot chocolate. Join me- I mean- If you..." He folded his arms behind his back and stepped back again. He bowed slightly and hurried from the room.

"W-Wait..." Ciel whispered, reaching out. It only stung a little bit, and he had been more surprised than hurt. He had no idea Sebastian would just run off like that!

The angel stretched out his wings and toddled after the vampire. He stopped at one of the bathrooms along the way to pick up a first aid kit. He should probably ask Sebastian for a lesson on how to use it. Then he made his way to the kitchen.

The demon stood near the stove, worrying over a pot of hot chocolate and fluttering about. His hands fretted each other anxiously. He picked up a cup just as he noticed Ciel. His trembling hands let go of the mug, and he jumped back, startled, when it shattered.

The supernatural beings stood there for a moment, staring at the broken glass. Finally, Ciel placed the first aid kit on the counter, stepped over the glass, and wrapped his arms around Sebastian's middle. The man hesitated at the hug, hands hovering, before he finally wrapped his arms around Ciel as well.

"It's okay," Ciel mumbled into his coat. "I just wasn't expecting it."

"I've never... never actually hurt you during any of our lessons," Sebastian muttered, still concerned.

Ciel pulled away. "Why did you run?"

"I..." Sebastian turned back to the stove and busied himself with filling two mugs. "I've never quite cared for someone. I find myself oddly... attached to you, and the thought of causing you pain is... somewhat unbearable."

"I care about you too," the five year old fidgeted, now the one playing with his hands. "I've only ever had M-Mum, and Father, and Lizzy, and Doll. But, you don't really seem to have had anyone. I... I just want to stay with you."

"I..." The dark haired raven took a long sip of cocoa. "I suppose this could be the end of our deal? Instead of exchanging services, we just... care for one another. And we don't have to separate."

"Okay," the boy nodded. He paused suddenly. "You'll still teach me, though, right?"

"Of course!" Sebastian smirked. "What kind of... friend would I be if I couldn't even do that?"

"A-and, you can still have my blood, if you need it," Ciel offered. The demon regarded him for a moment before nodding.

"It's settled then."

Chapter Text

"Ciel, I... I need... I would like to..." Sebastian muttered, pacing. Ciel was practicing archery in the ballroom, more of a hobby than an actual lesson. Sebastian was in "his room". Ciel had said he could drink more of his blood if he needed it. It had been almost two months since his last drink, and he obviously hadn't had any souls since then. He was getting a bit hungry; he could always wait until later, but why do that when he could have a fully satisfying meal now?

"Sebastian," Ciel entered the room, his bow slung over his shoulder. They had made the bow together. There were some nice, long branches in the yard, and Sebastian could string it well enough. The best part had been carving it together, with little designs and symbols.

"Yes?" The demon spun around. He tried to not appear too anxious, but he could feel his stomach aching just at the sight of Ciel.

The boy just huffed and held out his wrist. "You first tried to negotiate a meal every two weeks, telling me how quickly your hunger could build. I changed it to a month so I could keep you on edge, needing me just as much as I needed you. It's been a month and a half. Drink."

Sebastian let out a deep sigh of relief and darted forward. He cradled the boy close as he pricked the delicate skin. The angel's blood tasted sweeter than normal, maybe from all the cake, maybe from the new dynamic in their relationship.

He pulled back as soon as he could and rushed the boy to his bedroom to let him sleep.

-{[(•)]}-

Ciel awakened later that evening, feeling cool but not cold, and drained but not weak. He moved out of bed slowly and walked down the hall. The mansion was quiet, but for the natural creaks of the wood and walls. Sebastian was asleep.

The five year old looked out the window at the bright moonlight that lit the gardens. The flowers looked enchanting, magical even. His wings quivered at the exciting prospect of going outside.

He hadn't been outside in at least a week. Wouldn't the cool air feel so nice through his feathers? The moonlight would feel like silk on his skin. He could practically smell the roses and dew.

The boy felt drawn outside, like an unknown force was calling him. It was unnatural enough that he knew he should get Sebastian, but the pull was too strong to resist.

Ciel made his way outside and to the rose garden. His fingers ran gently over the white petals, which glowed in the moonlight. Maybe the force had simply been his own desires...

He noticed the hedge maze out of the corner of his eye, and again he felt intimidated by it. He recognized the danger of going in there. But it seemed like his feet were already moving.

Ciel tried to stop walking or looking at the maze or anything, but the force felt almost tangible this time. Like someone had attached puppet strings to him and was manipulating his body. He let out a frightened noise; he needed to get away.

"S-Sebastian!" He yelled as loudly as he could. He was only ten feet from the entrance to the maze now. "Sebastian!" His jaw was forced shut. He put his hands against the sides of the entrance and tried to hold his body back, but the force just pulled his arms down.

He was dragged into the maze.

-{[(•)]}-

It had been over an hour. Ciel had been wandering through the maze; the force had faded some time ago and he was lost. He was trying to find his way back to the entrance, but it seemed almost like the hedges were changing so he was always moving towards the middle.

A dark figure darted past.

Ciel glanced at it, heart racing, but he knew better than to chase it down or draw attention to himself. Everything Sebastian had taught him had been about surviving to get away. It was not wise to run after shadows.

He kept walking. He jumped slightly when another dark being ran by; it was closer this time. He took a few deep breaths and kept moving.

The figure brushed against his back as it slipped behind him.

He spun around. He was tempted to call for Sebastian, but after trying several times, he knew he still wouldn't be able.

He backed up slowly.

Black filled his vision for less than a second.

He turned and ran.

The creature was still darting around him, laughing gleefully as it toyed with him. His feet were bleeding from the rocks and twigs. Wind slapped his face and made his eyes sting. He couldn't see in front of him any more and he was stumbling.

His body flickered with light, trying to warn the dark being off. If he stopped and let the light wrap around him, the being wouldn't be able to touch him. But stopping felt like a terrible idea right now, and if this demon could control his body, he didn't think it would work anyway.

Something wrapped around his ankle, and he dropped to the ground.

The dark figure loomed over him.

His light flickered out.

"CIEL!"

Just then, Sebastian dropped from the sky, expertly throwing kitchen ware and their swords from training. Most of the weapons embedded themselves in the dark being's back. It let out a great hiss and disappeared into the shadows.

Ciel felt the trap slither away from his ankle, and he had complete control of his body once again.

"S-Sebastian," he sobbed pitifully as he managed to sit up. The demon landed beside him and scooped him up.

"Shhh, Ciel. You did very well. You did just as we trained," the man soothed. The angel shivered, gripping the older male's coat.

"Wha-What did it want?" The five year old asked as soon as he was able to calm down.

"I don't know," Sebastian growled, looking out over the maze.

"I don't know."

Chapter Text

Sebastian kept Ciel in his sight at all times for the next week. He stayed in Ciel's room when he slept, stood outside the bathroom, and followed him everywhere. Ciel wasn't as annoyed as he pretended to be; this was just proof that Sebastian cared for him, and it was at least amusing.

After that first week, Sebastian seemed to realize what he was doing and backed off. Another week brought back their previous playfulness, and by the third week, the incident had been almost completely forgotten.

That was when the dark being came back.

Sebastian sensed it, late one night. He instantly leapt out of bed and darted towards its presence. The creature was standing at Ciel's beside, chanting something and pouring red energy into the five year old's body. When it saw Sebastian, it backed away and disappeared into the shadows.

"Ciel! Ciel, are you alright?" The demon worried and shook the child awake.

"Sebastian?" The boy rubbed at his red eye sleepily. "Wha's goin' on?"

"I..." The man noticed the strange eye color and inhaled sharply. He looked at the angel's anxious face and decided he wouldn't frighten the child. No, he would take care of that foolish monster himself. "I'm sorry. I thought you were being attacked again."

The boy's face softened, and he hugged the adult gently. "I'm okay. You saved me."

"I... I did."

-{[(•)]}-

Not a day later, there came a loud knocking at the door of the mansion. Sebastian sensed that same presence again and rushed to get rid of it before Ciel could open the door.

Unfortunately, the dark figure had transformed into a man. It looked like most other demons that took on human form, with dark hair, pale skin, and an unnatural eye color. This one had put glasses over his yellow eyes, as though that would hide his supernatural status.

"I believe you have something that should be mine," the other demon stated cooly. It was a challenge if Sebastian ever heard one, and he quickly reached into his coat for his knives. A trembling voice interrupted the fight that had yet to start.

"P-Papa?" Ciel whispered, heartbroken and confused. Sebastian looked at him in surprise, immediately noticing the red in the angel's eye had begun to glow.

"I've come to take you home, little one," the demon held its arms open invitingly. Ciel's nose wrinkled in confusion.

"Little one...? I... I thought you were dead!" He cried. "You and Mama died right in front of me!"

"You really think humans could kill a being like me?" The yellow-eyed man chuckled. Ciel shifted; his face showed nothing but befuddlement.

"But... You were fallen..." The boy whispered. "You worked to rid the world of bad humans. You... You killed. They could have..."

"But they didn't," the demon reassured and held its arms open again. Ciel's eye flashed a brighter red and he began to step forward.

"No, Ciel," Sebastian warned. The angel jolted and turned to him in surprise.

"Sebastian?" He mumbled, as though he didn't see him there before.

"It's a trick. He's a demon," the red eyed man continued.

"He's my Papa," the five year old whispered. His eyes were tearing up, and he looked so hurt.

"He's not," the man shook his head. The other demon did not object, sure in his power over the angelic treat. "What is your name?" Sebastian demanded, and that's when the other demon began to have less certainty.

"I don't have to tell anything to you, demon," the yellow-eyed one sneered, clinging to the image of an angel.

"Papa made deals with demons all the time," Ciel remembered. He took another step forward, then looked down at his feet in surprise. He moved back again.

"What is your name?" Sebastian asked again, sharply.

"Leave my son alone!" The demon shouted abruptly and attacked. They began to leap and move around the room. "Ciel! He's just a demon! He only wants you for your blood!"

"I..." Ciel swayed. His entire being felt like it was being tugged in two directions. "Papa...? Sebastian...?" His wings twitched and fluttered anxiously.

"Use your defensive tactics, Ciel!" Sebastian commanded. The boy looked around, but his feet remained rooted to the spot.

"Soon, he won't be able to hear you," the yellow-eyed demon taunted. "He'll be completely convinced I'm his father, and when he comes with me, I'll suck the little morsel dry and display his wings on my web."

"You're monologuing," Sebastian muttered. He dodged a blow and struck out with a knife at the same time. "And I won't let him go with you."

"He'll be so betrayed," the spider smirked. "Oh! Maybe he'll even say he never wants to see you again."

"What is your real name? You never answered, and I can only suspect you haven't had enough contracts to have one," Sebastian insulted coldly. Accusing a demon of having few contracts was the demonic equivalent of telling a man he was... lacking in certain areas.

"I am Claude," the bespectacled demon sneered. Their fight had moved into the ballroom. They danced around practice dummies and targets, across tables and chairs, picking up weapons as they went.

"How did you learn about Ciel?" Sebastian demanded. He threw a sword at Claude, spinning around an attack.

"I saw him the first time he went outside. The countryside is full of easy prey at night, and I thought I might catch a quick snack," the spider demon informed haughtily.

"A quick snack? It's been months! You even waited until he had been completely trained in self-defense!" The red eyed man laughed. He slashed at his opponent and managed to cut deep into the arm tissue.

"Ciel!" Claude called. He was smirking again, and Sebastian began to worry slightly. "The demon is attacking me! Please!"

"I'll..." The angel's hesitant voice came from the entrance. "You want... help?"

"It'll be a bonding experience!" The demon laughed. Red energy drifted between them, visibly strengthening the spider's power over the child.

"Yes, Papa," the five year old's voice was flat as he stepped into the fray. Claude refused to attack Sebastian anymore, letting Ciel do it for him. The boy began to fence with the red eyed demon.

Sebastian didn't know what to do.

Could he break the spell? How could he knock Ciel unconscious without hurting him? Should he keep attacking Claude and just try to ignore Ciel's attacks?

He knew one thing for sure.

Claude would not leave with Ciel.

"Sebastian..." The angel called quietly. "Leave Papa alone."

The demon gritted his teeth and lunged for the spider. His wings snapped out on either side of him, fangs extended, and claws reaching for blood.

Ciel cried out and rammed into him full force, knocking him off course. They crashed to the ground, a mess of blood and feathers. Ciel's body lit up white; tears dripped from his eyes.

Sebastian hissed in pain at the holy burns. He quickly flapped his wings and landed in a corner of the room. The burns were bad. They wouldn't heal for a while.

"Such a good son," Claude cooed and wrapped an arm around Ciel's shoulders with a smirk. He jumped back with a shriek. Smoke trailed up from the bubbling flesh.

The five year old sobbed loudly. He stood in the middle of the room, broadcasting his pain. Everything hurt. He just wanted things to go back the way they were!

Sebastian watched the little boy fall apart. Claude was sneering, taunting the poor angel and trying to force more out of him. The spider shot webs at him; he shouted and cursed and blamed the boy.

The vampiric raven gracefully dropped in front of Ciel. He let his wings wrap around him like a blanket, ignoring the burning pain that raced through every nerve and feather.

"There's no need for that. I'll take care of this. Can you close your eyes for me?" The man prompted gently. Ciel's panicked cry was his response. "Shhh, I know. He's been so mean to you." The blinding light began to heal instead of hurt, and the demon could feel his strength returning.

"Let go of it, you filthy bird! It's mine!" Claude screeched from outside his wings. The bespectacled creature tore at him wings and flesh, trying to get to the prize within. Not only did Ciel's light heal every part of Sebastian that was attacked, it also burned at Claude, slowly pulling him apart.

"I will help you, Ciel. Close your eyes." The light dimmed slightly, and Sebastian grinned. He lifted the boy into his arms and held him close. "You have the power, little one. You can do much more than burn him."

"I don't know how," Ciel's voice whispered through the light.

"Focus on the part of you that's burning right now, that wants to be safe," Sebastian directed. He could feel the subtle change in energy and he smiled. Claude's angry shrieks became more worried. "Now, pretend your energy is like a gun."

"A rifle or a handgun?" The boy questioned. The red eyed man smiled.

"Pick your favorite. Just point it at that foolish spider and pull the trigger."

Sebastian could just make out the edges of Ciel's face when the light brightened suddenly and Claude screamed in dismay. The winged demon quickly unfurled the feathered appendages and watched as the mad demon burned away.

"You can open your eyes now. Are you alright?" The adult questioned in concern, already checking the boy over. The light faded away to reveal a completely fine Ciel.

The angel looked up at him with grateful eyes, moist with tears. He gave a slightly wet giggle and buried his face in the man's chest.

"What's funny?" Sebastian asked. His worry increased at the odd response.

"You did-didn't tell me to-to cover my e-hears," Ciel laughed. "His... His screaming was... un-unpleasant." He giggled and laughed for a full minute before Sebastian understood.

The demon threw back his head and laughed as well.

How far they had come, yet gotten no where at all.

Chapter Text

"Ciel!" Sebastian called through the house. "Come downstairs, please!"

"I'm practicing! Can it wait a few minutes?" The angel cried back loudly.

They were older now; Ciel was around eight. Grell and Will were the neighboring reapers that stopped by every few weeks for dinner. Agni and Prince Soma welcomed them by name every time they visited the restaurant in London. The Undertaker was a recent, unexpected addition to their lives. Sebastian worked with Ciel to find souls instead of drinking his blood. Life was almost complete for them.

"Not really!" Sebastian put his hand to his forehead, exasperated.

Ciel flew down the stairs, landing next to him with a huff. "What could possibly be so import-"

"CIEL!" A familiar voice screeched, and the angels went down in a tangle of limbs and feathers.

"Lizzie?!" He gasped. She helped him up, and he frowned to realize she was still taller than him. "H-How are you here?"

"I had a mission nearby and I heard from the prettiest reaper that there was an angel who lived here! And of course I thought of you and I just had to come see you!" She rambled. She pulled him in for a hug, and he hugged back weakly.

"You... You still wanted to see me?"

"Of course! You were my best friend! We were all so worried when those humans pulled you down! Mama didn't think it was possible! I've been trying to find you and oh! Now I have and I'm so happy!" She kissed each of his cheeks, then the tip of his nose. "This house looks absolutely dreadful! I can't believe you've lived here for three years!" She looked around the foyer.

"I did my best to make it presentable," Sebastian grouched.

Lizzie clapped her hands.

"I know what I can do! I'll help you decorate, and then we can invite all our friends and have a big party! Won't that be wonderful?" She smiled. Ciel still stared at her in awe for a moment.

"N-No!" He quickly let out when he realized what she said. "I know what you like, and there's no way I want anything pink or cute cluttering up the mansion!" His wings flared out behind him, each feather ruffled and bristling.

She laughed, high and light like music.

"It's not clutter! It's beautiful!"

She began to run around the foyer, pointing out what she wanted to change. The smaller angel chased her, shouting about boundaries and respect.

Sebastian watched them for a long moment, pleased. His little angel was happy again, and the world was at peace.