by Kaline Reine

Disclaimer: I don't own Kuroshitsuji, or anything associated with it.

Warnings: This story contains Yaoi, Slash, M/M, homosexual relations, etc. There are also adult situations and dark themes. If that isn't your thing, or if you feel disgusted or offended by it, then please look elsewhere for your entertainment. The rest of you, feel free to enjoy.


Ciel growled in frustration when his Butler appeared at the door. No sooner had the teacups clattered musically to the floor, than Sebastian was at his side. Obviously, he'd anticipated what would happen…

But it wasn't like Ciel himself didn't know what would occur when the half-blind maid poured his tea for him. The tea set was broken, but that was just as well. It was one of his least favorites anyway.

He was embarrassed at the enormous wet spot that had formed on his trousers. It had poured over his chest and down his legs, hot and sticky. Now it was rapidly cooling, making him quite uncomfortable. Unable to hide his blush, the boy stood and walked away from his study, into his bedroom. Sebastian followed, leaving Maylene there to clean up the mess, still uttering senseless apologies the whole time.

No words left either of them, as Sebastian's gloved hands moved swiftly, to remove the offending garments. Oddly, he took off Ciel's shorts first, followed by his shoes and then his underwear. His gloves were touching the stains, but the demon didn't seem to care. He was intently focused on his task. He took off the shirt last, which was growing more cold and uncomfortable by the second.

"What are you doing?" Ciel gave him a shocked look when a set of pearly white teeth pulled off the tea-stained gloves with ferocity.

"I have to remove my gloves… I hope you'll forgive me, Young Master, but I seem to have gotten tea all over them. I don't want to soil your clean clothes."

That being said, he turned to the wardrobe to pull out a new outfit. It was similar to the one he'd just removed, with a few minor differences in the details. It was the same deep blue fabric that Ciel had always adored so much.

Ciel paused to consider his words… But it was too late, the demon was already sliding a dress shirt over his lithe frame.

His hands, surprisingly warm for a demon's, swept across his chest as the fabric slid over behind them. Sebastian had a strange expression for only a moment, but he still held his composure perfectly. It seemed the perfect excuse to touch his master at his leisure, and he wasn't going to pass it up.

Ciel felt the smooth knuckles brushing lightly, tracing their way down his stomach. Sebastian's touch was slow, deliberate, and… He had to admit, it was maddening. Never before had anyone dared to touch him in an intimate way. He was of noble blood, and if anyone had even dared to do such a thing, they would risk not only their reputation, but their life as well. And yet, here was his butler, doing this to him. But he couldn't be entirely sure that he wasn't just imagining things…

To the outside world, it probably would have appeared that Sebastian was only dressing his master, and nothing more. The demon ensured that each touch was so accurate, so perfectly precise, that even he could barely tell the difference.

'Maybe it's because he's not wearing gloves…' The Earl tried to convince himself. 'I'm the Phantomhive heir. He's my servant. No way he'd dare to touch me like that. I'm imagining it.'

Quick hands made swift work of putting on his blazer. Ciel didn't know whether he was relieved or disappointed… And that should have worried him a great deal more than it actually did.

A mysterious smirk was on Sebastian's face, as he turned to fetch a pair of shorts, before going back to Ciel. The demon kneeled into position below his master. Slowly, torturously, he felt the demon's hands moving in slow circles over his thighs. Ciel couldn't hold back the heavy blush that had settled over him permanently.

'I need to stop thinking like this…'

Teasingly, the fabric slid over his hips. Sebastian's fingers hooked inside of the waistline, and moved from the sides around to the front, dipping dangerously low… Ciel willed his body not to react to the teasing sensations. But the demon's hands on him were like fire… He was barely able to fight it.

Perhaps there was some deep part of him that liked the way Sebastian was touching him now. His groin certainly wasn't complaining… But it was still wrong! He shouldn't be feeling this way about such a situation. It wasn't like Sebastian would even be touching him at all, if he hadn't been so foolish.

It was ridiculous to think his butler would actually poison him. He brought the young Earl's tea every single day, and he'd had plenty of chances to do it up until now. So why would he?

Sebastian's smirk widened when he noticed his master's expression. Ciel saw it and their eyes met briefly. A silent understanding passed between them. Only neither of them understood just what it was and what it actually meant.

The butler practically slid up Ciel's body, with his master's tie in his hands. The fabric brushed gently against Ciel's cheeks, followed by those soft warm hands… On his face? His blush was so bad he could barely stand himself. He didn't know why he was feeling this weak… So unbearably passive, as if he were just waiting for Sebastian to do something to him.

He took a full step backward, taking care to look precisely into his demon's eyes as he did so. "Just get on with it. We have things to do."

Sebastian licked his lips, slowly and deliberately. His stare was piercing; cold and calculated. Also deliberate. He didn't even answer his master when he spoke. This was no error. He meant to do it.

Images swam through his mind… He imagined what it might be like for Sebastian to do something else with his tie… He could use it to pull him in closer, for a kiss. Those lips… They looked so good. He wanted to taste them, but knew that he never could. Even if he could, he wasn't absolutely certain that he would want to. Ciel had always wanted only what was unattainable for him. If it were easy, he quickly lost interest. However, he could not tear his eyes away from his lips, seductively twisted into a cocky smirk.

'Cocky… Hm.' He thought darkly.

After several moments had passed, each heartbeat like an ocean between them, he moved to place the tie loosely around Ciel's neck. And he tied it quickly; hurriedly… When he was finished, Ciel shivered as those talented hands caressed his neck before sliding away.

He backed away from the Earl, now possessing a truly demonic smile.

His butler was just… Just toying with him! He wouldn't stand for it any longer. Right now the only thing Ciel wanted was to stay as far away from him as possible.

Several days had passed since the incident in his bedroom, and with each passing day, he found that his apprehension over the situation grew. He'd been doing his best to avoid Sebastian at all costs. He was tormented by thoughts of what would have happened if he had gone along with it… If, instead of taking that firm step backward, he'd perhaps taken one forward?

He didn't even know what to do with himself in a situation like that. And he wasn't sure he wanted to find out.

He'd had an unusually large amount of time to himself lately, and it had given him time to think. Being alone with his thoughts could be a dangerous thing for Ciel… He decided he should at least make it look like he was going to pursue his plans for revenge. Give the devil a reason to believe him.

"Sebastian…" It was the first time he'd called for his servant for days. The tall man appeared at his side momentarily, as always. "Is there any word from the Queen?"

"The letter arrived yesterday, my Lord. I thought perhaps you'd never ask. Here is your next assignment."

He was presented with an envelop, as the butler bowed deeply at the waist, extending a gloved hand to him. It reminded Ciel of what happened a few days ago…

'Those hands…' He tried not to get distracted. A bit shaken, he pulled the black envelope from Sebastian's fingers. 'His soft, warm fingers that feel so- I've got to stop thinking like this!'

Breaking the wax seal, just so he had something to keep his hands busy, Ciel read the elegant scrawl carefully. There were suspicions that assassin was after the Queen. Something that should be fairly easy to remedy. He had a feeling he knew just where to turn for a case like this.

"Prepare the carriage. We'll be going out today. I have matters to attend to."

"Matters of… a certain vengeful nature, my Lord?" Sebastian was carefully hinting at something. He'd might as well be screaming in Ciel's face for him to get it over with, already.

'…Or screaming FEED ME, as loud as he can…'

"Yes…" He paused for a moment. "Tell the coachman to take us to… that establishment."

The last word was spoken with such distaste, that Sebastian would surely know right away what he meant. The butler left without another word.

The longer Ciel took for revenge, the longer he would get to keep his soul. It was definitely in his best interest to wait as long as possible. Such a strange way to cheat death… He was well aware that it couldn't work forever. But it might work for a little while, and that was better than nothing.

He knew better than to try to cheat a demon… Yet something within him made him want to try anyway. It was human nature. Even though he should have already lost every last ounce of his humanity, there was always that small blemish that remained.

It wasn't long before the demon came back to fetch him. "Your carriage is ready, my Lord."

Ciel gave his butler an odd look, as he walked past.

Always so graceful and proper, that butler… Ciel wondered what had made him so. It wasn't like he'd always disguised himself as a butler. Or had he…? The brief thought went through his mind, as he climbed through the small door the man held open for him, of what Sebastian's past masters must have been like. Ciel nearly smiled… He would have loved to meet them.

Soon they were in the carriage, and he felt more secure with his butler seated next to him. It was a calming, familiar presence that he felt. One would assume he would be at least somewhat unnerved by the fact that the person closest to him was a demon, hungry for his soul… But that didn't phase the Earl of Phantomhive.

Lost in thought, he gazed dreamily out the window. It was a pleasant, warm day. He didn't want to be here… Ciel would much rather be at home, not bothering with all of this nonsense. The Queen had others who were far better at handling a simple assassination case, such as this.

He noticed Sebastian's eyes following his every movement. "Will you cut that out?"

"What, my Lord?"

"Stop watching me all the time. It's creepy."

Sebastian's smirk fell into a full smile. At least he turned away… For now. An uncomfortable silence had settled over them.

Ciel felt more at ease without the demon's bloodthirsty eyes all over him. He could practically feel them raking across his skin, rasping and rough… Like a cat's tongue as it licks it's prey, playing with it.

Finally, he was able to let out a small sigh of relief when the carriage reached it's destination. A small, but charmingly exotic restaurant. It wasn't through the front door that they went, but through a barely noticeable side entrance that led into a den down below.

Smoke hung heavily in the air, and Ciel knew that he shouldn't inhale it. There was no choice, however. He had to breathe. The stench of freshly burning opium soon filled his lungs, and he just wanted to leave.

Various bodies were sprawled out all across the floor. Some of them were in chairs, on sofas, and in small beds. Others had long since slid further down, sinking away in their drug-induced state. Many people were writhing in ecstasy; crying out for more with muffled, barely understandable words. They were hooked, and it was sad… They would always be back for more. The victory of the owner of this opium den was assured. Once he had the clients hooked, they had no choice but to return… Over and over, their miseries played out in an endless cycle. There was no hope for them now. It was pitiable.

Going into the back, he walked right past everyone, stepping over people on the way into the office. The guards didn't bother to stop him, knowing who he was. Then again, maybe they were just spaced out too. A thin, lanky Chinese man was sitting at a desk, smoking from a pipe. His little nymphet, a petite girl with golden yellow eyes, was perched in his lap.

"Master Lau," Sebastian bowed humbly. "We have come to seek your advice on certain… matters."

"Welcome, Earl…" The man would have bowed, but he was still seated. "No need to be so formal with me. We are old friends, after all. Have a seat. Would you like a smoke?"

"No thank you," His butler was quick to answer for him.

"I can answer for myself," The boy reprimanded his servant, before taking a seat in the chair directly opposite from Lau. "No, thank you. But I do have some business with you. Actually… It's more of a favor to ask of you."

The man gave his full attention to Ciel, surprisingly alert for someone who had been smoking so much. Then again, he couldn't be entirely sure it was opium in that pipe. It could have been anything.

"I'd like to inquire about some of the assassins that have been hired by various individuals lately… I thought you might be able to help with that."

RanMao, silent as ever, took a puff from the long pipe. She was attempting to draw the men's eyes away by licking at it with her tongue and pouting her lips ever so slightly. While she could have been a good distraction for many others, it was interesting to note that neither Ciel nor Sebastian gave her a second glance.

"Ah… So you have some business with the Queen again? An assassin this time?"

"That information is classified," Ciel stopped him before he could gather any more details. He had to be careful. "But we do need your help. Or more specifically, that of your own assassin. I'd be willing to pay you for it."

RanMao merely looked at him. Her silk-covered legs crossed the other way, in contemplation. Lau nodded his head, and she got up and disappeared from the room. In a few minutes, she had returned with several Chinese scrolls in her grasp. She took one and handed it to Ciel.

"That one is a list of all the assassins we are aware of for hire," Lau explained, adjusting his Chinese silk robe before his own personal assassin returned to sit on his lap. The girl laid another scroll on the table. "That second one is a list of assassins that I, myself, have hired… The third is the list of assassins hired by others within the last month."

When the last scroll was on the table, Ciel picked it up and unrolled it. There were only five or six names written.

"How is it that you have this many, and this much information about them?" Sebastian inquired. Even he was not usually this thorough in keeping records. He would have kept them all together to save space, as that would have been more efficient in his opinion.

A puff of smoke flitted from thin lips. "We like to keep an eye on them. Payment won't be necessary." RanMao smiled.

"Thank you. This will be really helpful," Ciel handed the small list to Sebastian. "Research these names and find the most likely candidate."

"Yes, my Lord." Sebastian bowed, excusing himself from the room.

Lau took another smoke, and regarded him with a sense of secrecy hidden behind those slanted eyes… His smile was a mischievous one. He knew full well the Earl had plenty of money… Was that why he looked at him that way?

"I really appreciate you helping us. Are you sure you wouldn't like to be compensated for your time?"

"Help you with what?" The man continued to smile.

A/N: I had to do a lot of crazy research for this chapter… I never thought it would be so hard to find out what kind of underwear Victorian men wore. OMG I'm scarred for life. It turns out that they didn't wear any at all. XD Soooo… Sebastian, along with everyone else, is… -drooling- Eeehee. Sorry. :P

Hope you're all enjoying reading this fic. I will try to update it every Friday. I can't promise that it will be every Friday, but I'll do my best.