akiru_chan (akiru_chan) wrote,

[fic] The Devil's Canvas [chapter Fifty-Three] (part two)

Title: The Devil's Canvas
Chapter: 53 (part two)/56
Authors: Akiru chan & Disgruntled Minion
Pairing/Characters:  Sebastian/Ciel
Rating: M
Summary: Ciel's skin was marred with ink and
blood, telling tales twisted in darkness.
What an evil path the devil walks, tainted hands
staining the innocent canvas. For the most
beautiful art is painted in blood.
WarningsViolence, adult content, yaoi, and language.

Part Two

Harsh trembling woke Sebastian up hours later and it didn't take his mind long to realize where it was coming from. Ciel shook in his arms, tossing his head back and forth, while quiet tears slid down his face, staining the pale cheeks. Sebastian's arm tightened around Ciel's waist and pulled him closer to his body before he lowered his head. "Ciel," he murmured and pressed a soft kiss to the younger male's shoulder. He pulled back slightly and gave Ciel a small shake. "Wake up, Ciel. It's a dream and I'm right here. Nothing's going to hurt you."

A choked gasp filled the room as Ciel woke with a start. His heart hammered painfully in his chest and he clung tightly to Sebastian. Mismatched eyes were wide in terror; Ciel's mind still caught within the horror of yet another nightmare. He saw without seeing, and mumbled incoherent words as tears bubbled within his eyes.

"Se-Sebastian," Ceil called after a moment, voice cracked with the attempt to hold his tears back.

"I'm here," Sebastian cooed and pulled Ciel closer to him. His hands cupped Ciel's face, fingers brushing away the tears that escaped blue eyes. "Cry, Ciel. It's the only way to let out the fears and I'm not going to think any less of you. I need you to let go." Sebastian needed the strong facade to give way, allowing Ciel to act as he should have weeks ago.

Ciel shook his head as his mind cleared and he continued to fight the tears away. "I won't... I won't," he protested and wiped furiously at the tears. They continued to fall as he remembered every terror that had plagued him in his sleep, no matter how unreal they really were. Even with Joker long dead, the man was still very much alive in his dreams. It was a haunting image and Ciel would not cry and give that man any satisfaction no matter if he was dead or alive.

Sebastian gripped Ciel tighter and rolled them over so the younger male was lying on top of him. He grunted slightly at the added weight but ignored it as he ran his hands up and down Ciel's sides. "Please, Ciel. Let it go. For me, do it for me," he pleaded and his hand came up to rest at the base of Ciel's neck, stroking it softly as he tried to calm the younger male down.

"I can't." Ciel hated feeling so weak. He hated every moment that he spent crying, and he would not do it. If he could keep the tears at bay, then Ciel would fight them with all his strength, and with the help of whatever he could. The sudden urge to indulge himself in the sinful bliss of intoxicated ignorance was high. Ciel suddenly wished that he had not handed over ever bottle of liquor that had been secretly stashed away.

"It's okay," Sebastian muttered. "You don't have to now, but soon, you'll have to cry and you'll feel much better when you do." He tilted his head down and pressed a soft kiss to Ciel's forehead, feeling the younger male tremble against him even more.

Ciel continued to shake his head, but it was becoming all the harder to keep them back. Images of Sebastian's mangled body came to mind and he coughed and sputtered as tears began to gain leeway. Fear gripped him as Ciel's nightmare replayed itself, and he remembered the unadulterated terror of running from an unknown pursuer and having to leave Sebastian dead and cold behind, not knowing if he would meet the same fate.

"There we go," Sebastian said lowly and rubbed at Ciel's lower back. Hot tears splattered against his chest and he held Ciel tightly as the younger male continued to cry. They dripped down his body and slid onto the sheets below, but Sebastian paid them no mind. Soft hiccups left Ciel's mouth as he sucked in air quickly and Sebastian shifted forward so he could lick the salty tracks away.

This wouldn't do at all. Ciel wanted the tears gone. He wanted the pain to fade away. Having Sebastian hold him was enough to ease some of the edge off Ciel, but it wasn't nearly enough. He needed more, and what Ciel thought he wanted couldn't be acquired through Sebastian. The tears continued to fall and his mouth salivated with the need to fill it was the burning liquid that he so desired.

Ciel struggled within Sebastian's grip, trying to push away. He wasn't sure how he would ever find what he needed, knowing Sebastian had hidden anything with alcohol content away in some unknown location. At the moment Ciel wasn't even thinking as to how he would get out of the room, his mind too clouded with fear and his inescapable need.

"Relax," Sebastian murmured, rolling them back to their sides. His leg draped over Ciel's and his arms tightened, not letting Ciel go. He knew what the younger male wanted and he refused to let Ciel have any. Even a sip would be taking a step back and Sebastian didn't want that. To do so would let Ciel start down on a slippery path once more, making it all the more harder to come back.

The struggling continued but Ciel's strength was weakening. "Please," he whined. "I need... I need..." But he dared not voice what it was he needed, because that would mean he was verbalizing just how easy it was for him to break down and revert back into the person he no longer wanted to be. "Sebastian, please!"

Sebastian shook his head. "No, Ciel, you don't need it," he answered lowly. "You're stronger than that. You don't need it." He felt Ciel shake his head, dark locks brushing against his chest and Sebastian hummed lowly. "How about I give you something else?" He asked, his head lowering until his lips brushed over the shell of Ciel's ear.

Ciel's movements stilled, but the tears continued to fall. His attention had been caught, hopeful for a solution to force away every painful thought. Shaking hands gripped at Sebastian's nightshirt, and Ciel pushed himself closer. His head leaned to the side to rest against Sebastian, the older man's mouth puffing hot breaths of air against Ciel's ear.

Slowly, Sebastian's hand trailed down Ciel's side until he reached the hem of his shirt, and his fingers slipped underneath the fabric. They brushed lightly over the pale skin, playing with Ciel's happy trail before continuing to move up. He leaned down and pressed his lips to Ciel's, wanting more contact with the younger male; the soft touch of their lips added to the intimacy that they hadn't had in weeks.

The touch had Ciel pushing away, startled. Such intimate advances had not been expected, leaving Ciel confused. "What are you-" He was cut off as another kiss was pressed to his lips and his body began to relax of its own accord. Shaking hands clenched onto Sebastian's chest and Ciel drew himself closer. This had not been what he had wanted, but as he was kissed so tenderly Ciel found himself being blissfully intoxicated by another means.

Their lips moved against each other, and Sebastian's eyes closed as he heard a low moan leave Ciel's mouth. It was what he had been looking for and he pushed back all the more harder, wanting to drown Ciel in the pleasurable feelings. Have him drunk on lust compared to alcohol. They broke apart, and Sebastian's mouth trailed down slowly, pressing soft kisses to every patch of skin he could find.

Every kiss, every touch would not allow Ciel to think past the feelings that were stirring within him. Ciel was drowning in this new feeling as the fear melted away and lust and arousal filled him. His hands tangled in Sebastian's hair, bringing his mouth all the closer as Ciel's collarbone was sucked and nipped at until a bruise tinted the pale skin.

"Sebastian," Ciel called as hands worked to rid him of his clothes. Sebastian felt so warm, and it only helped to reinstate the reality that Sebastian was alive and well with Ciel. They were both safe and together, and that was the truth, nothing less.

The shirt was pushed away from Sebastian's body and warm hands trailed down his back, making Sebastian shiver at the soft touch. It had been weeks since they had touched each other in such a way, and feeling it again after so long was like touching Ciel again for the first time.

His fingers pushed up Ciel's nightshirt, ridding it from the younger male before Sebastian's mouth attached to a dusky nipple. His tongue swirled around it, drawing soft moans from Ciel's mouth and Sebastian hummed lowly at the sounds as they drove him on even more.

It felt good and Ciel was pushing Sebastian's face closer. That hot mouth warmed his body, the heat racing throughout every inch. Already he could feel the stirring in his cock as Ciel became erect and pressed up against Sebastian's hip. He tried to keep himself from grinding up like a dog humping its owner's leg, but Ciel was almost desperate for the pleasure. It was intoxicating and it was everything he needed. Lust clouded his mind like the liquor, but with such a greater satisfaction filling Ciel.

Sebastian switched to the other nipple, giving it the same attention as its partner and making Ciel moan all the louder. It was an arousing noise and Sebastian's hand skimmed down Ciel's body to cup the growing erection, making the younger male buck against his touch. He palmed the erection, teasing it through the fabric of Ciel's pants until Ciel was trembling against him again.

Suddenly Ciel felt far too hot in the clothes he was wearing. Heated gasps of breath left past his lips and he squirmed and wiggled as each touch of Sebastian's hand seemed to warm his body all the more. "Off... T-take them off," he pleaded. Ciel reached down and tried to push at his night pants, hoping to be rid of them.

Sebastian's hand caught Ciel's and brought it up to his mouth, pressing a soft kiss to Ciel's palm. "Not yet," he murmured and let his fingers trace over the waistband of the pants, teasing the skin there with gentle touches. He brushed over a sensitive spot on Ciel's side, enjoying the way the younger male arched against him and gasped at each pass of his fingers.

"Tease," Ciel groaned as a particularly sensitive patch of skin was tended to. He needed some sort of relief from this building fire within him and it seemed very likely that Sebastian would make him suffer for as long as he was able. For a moment Ciel tried to fight once more, wrenching his hand away and trying to reach down to shed his pants and free his aching cock. It was all in vain and Sebastian easily overpowered him and warded off every advance of Ciel's hands.

A low chuckle left Sebastian's mouth and he rolled them to the side, pinning Ciel to the bed. Slowly, his hand started to pull off the sleep pants until they were bunched up around Ciel's ankles and Sebastian lowered himself down to rest between Ciel's legs. "Now, what to do with this problem," he mused and gently ran his hand over the covered erection. It twitched under his touch, making Sebastian smirk and continue to stroke the hard bulge.

Ciel's head fell back onto the plush pillows, his mouth open as pants and moans slipped past. Slim hips rolled up into Sebastian's touch, asking for more. It felt so good to have this sort of release, easing away tension that had been building for weeks, but Ciel needed more and more.

"Ah... Sebastian, please," Ciel cried out, hands latching onto slick strands of jet-black hair. They urged Sebastian forward, bringing his lips down to where Ciel needed him the most.

Sebastian smirked and pressed a kiss to the covered length before nipping at it lightly. His mouth opened and he started to suck on the fabric, lips covering the hard cock through the material of Ciel's boxers. It was teasing and Sebastian could feel Ciel thrashing around on the bed, his body pleading for more.

"Almost," Sebastian murmured and leaned up to lick at the patch of skin just above the waistband of Ciel's boxers.

"Get on with it." It was a comforting sight to see Ciel's demanding nature once more. He was quickly adopting his normal demeanor and spark. Every ugly shard of the past seemed to be fully lost in that moment. "Either put your mouth on my cock, or leave me to take care of this problem you've started."

Sebastian chuckled and pulled the boxers down, making the trapped cock spring free of its confinement. "Only because you asked so nicely," Sebastian teased and finished pulling off the pants and boxers, leaving Ciel naked on the bed. The clothes were tossed across the room and Sebastian leaned down to lap at the red head that was already leaking pre-cum.

Yes, this was what Ciel wanted. A choked 'ah' was given in reply to every suck and lick as Ciel's head pressed back into the pillows. Warm heat surrounded him as Sebastian took the whole of Ciel's length into his mouth and gave a hard suck. "Oh, fuck." Ciel's hips rolled up, trying to thrust desperately, wanting more of this delicious suction.

A calm hand held Ciel's hips down as Sebastian continued to bob his head. He wouldn't let the younger male have such control just yet. His tongue traced the thick vein on the underside of Ciel's cock, dragging up to swirl around the tip before engulfing the hard length once more.

"Sebastian!" Ciel squirmed, trying to gain some leeway and force himself further into Sebastian's mouth. A blue eye looked heatedly past thick lashes, watching as Ciel's cock was engulfed and tended to with such urgent care. The sight was erotic and Ciel found himself growing all the harder because of it. Pre-cum gathered at the tip of his cock and Ciel shivered as a tongue lapped it quickly away.

Sebastian's hand slipped away from Ciel's hip, letting the younger male thrust into his mouth. Nails dug into pale skin, reminding Ciel to be nice as Sebastian relaxed his jaw, allowing Ciel's hips to jerk up. His tongue pressed against the underside as Ciel fucked his mouth, providing more pleasure until Ciel's cries pitched once more.

It was coming; Ciel could feel his orgasm building. Little pleading sounds emitted from him that would have had Ciel blushing if his mind had not been lost to the pleasure. Each snap of his hips brought Ciel closer and his body shook with what was soon to come. His orgasm was within reach, and then everything fell apart as Sebastian's mouth retreated with a wet pop. Ciel cried out desperately, pleading for Sebastian to return to his workings. It was almost painful to be left in such a highly aroused state.

"Not yet," Sebastian murmured and brushed his finger over Ciel's entrance. "You don't want to cum before we reach the good stuff." He shifted off Ciel and pulled his pants off before leaning over to grab the lube from the nightstand.

Ciel managed a mock glare. "I just want to come," he said. "Good stuff be damned, it's only good because you benefit from it as well. Can't say I agree with that thought." A teasing smirk crossed Ciel's face and he seemed almost taunting.

"Spoiled brat," Sebastian grunted and rubbed his slicked fingers against Ciel's entrance. "I know you want more than just me sucking you off. You want to feel me pressing deep inside you; hitting all those places that make you scream and pleasure race through your body."

A soft blush dusted Ciel's cheeks. "You assume too much," he grumbled but pressed down against Sebastian's fingers regardless. It was a feeling he had missed, and it took a moment for Ciel to allow his body to get used to the feel of being penetrated in such a way once more. His muscles relaxed, but Ciel's breathing increased to match the racing of his heart as hips found a fast-paced rhythm, fucking himself on Sebastian's fingers.

Sebastian didn't answer as he added another finger, stretching and scissoring the ring of muscles. He leaned up to press his lips against Ciel's and groaned as their tongues brushed against each other. It had been far too long and Sebastian pressed another finger in, wanting to hurry up the process.

It seemed that Ciel was growing impatient as well. He pushed down hard on the fingers, groaning as they teased against his prostate. It all felt wonderful, but it wasn't what Ciel wanted, not what he needed. He had his sights set on a bigger prize.

"Hu-hurry it up... Sebastian," Ciel said, hands digging into the sheets. "I want to come before morning."

"Impatient," Sebastian hissed as he pulled out his fingers. He reached for the lube and quickly coated his length, shivering slightly as his cock was tended to for the first time that night. It felt good and he had to stop himself from stroking himself to completion; not when there were other means to reach that feeling.

Ciel arms looped around Sebastian's neck, bringing the older man down to engage in a searing kiss. Their mouths opened to accommodate each other's tongue, and Ciel moaned out his contentment. His legs spread wide as Sebastian pushed forward, the head of his cock pushing into Ciel with a slick ease. It was a feeling Ciel had missed, and the slight sting did little to batter down the arousal that flowed like fire within him.

A low moan left both their mouths as Sebastian pushed in further until he was fully sheathed. Arousal raced through Sebastian's veins and he wanted nothing more than to start thrusting, but he held back, legs trembling until Ciel said he was ready. Heat surrounded his cock, making Sebastian pant as he nibbled at Ciel's neck, trying to keep himself distracted.

Humming his content, Ciel encircled his legs around Sebastian's hips. He drew the man in closer, the hard cock sliding in all the more. "God... I love this," Ciel gasped, hips moving ever so slightly to create some friction with the hope of prompting Sebastian to begin his taking of Ciel's body.

Sebastian growled lowly and his teeth sunk into Ciel's shoulder. "I hope there's other things you love, too," he grunted as he started to move, his hips pulling back and thrusting forward again. The tight heat surrounding his cock only made the pleasure grow and he started to thrust harder, wanting to make Ciel cry out more under him.

"R-right now... I'm.. ah... I'm j-just loving your... cock." It was a challenge to get all of that out, and Ciel, had he been coherent enough at that point, would have been proud of himself. His hips snapped up as best he could to meet each harsh downward thrust of Sebastian. Every inch of Ciel's body was pressed against the man he loved above all else in the world. Ciel's erection wept pearls of pre-cum as it was pressed and rubbed against Sebastian chest, as both Ciel and Sebastian moved together frantic for release.

A loud cry left Ciel's mouth as his prostate was struck and Sebastian angled his hips to continue hitting the spot, making Ciel's cries grow in volume. It was an arousing sound and drove Sebastian on even more, making him thrust harder. His hands gripped at Ciel's hips tightly, nails digging into pale skin and creating crescent shaped marks that bubbled slightly with blood.

Ciel came before even realizing he was reaching his peak. A brutal assault had been taken upon his prostate, and it left Ciel at Sebastian's mercy. He clung to Sebastian desperately as cum spurted and smeared between their bodies as Ciel bounced atop Sebastian's cock. A string of mumbled 'oh, God's, 'yes's, and 'Sebastian's' joined Ciel's bliss as his orgasm came to its peak, leaving him to shudder as everything seemed to come falling down around him.

Sebastian groaned loudly as Ciel clamped down around him, making the tight passage even tighter. "Oh, fuck, Ciel," he moaned and gave a few more hard thrusts before following Ciel in orgasm, the younger male milking his cock as he came. The peak had come so much sooner than either had expected and Sebastian rolled his hips forward lazily as he rode out his orgasm, feeling Ciel shudder each time he brushed over his sensitive prostate.

Every inch of Ciel's body felt like jello, grunting only when Sebastian lowered his body onto Ciel's. It was a good sort of boneless feeling, and he clung to Sebastian, a small smile on his face. "That was nice," he said, kissing a trail down the column of Sebastian's throat.

Sebastian hummed. "It was nice," he answered and tilted his head back so Ciel could kiss the underside of his chin. He hadn't felt this sated and content since the night they had their radio sex, right before Ciel was taken. It seemed like ages ago and Sebastian pushed the thoughts out of his mind, not wanting to think about them when there was something better to focus on now.

It was nice, and for a moment Ciel had forgotten what had ever prompted such a wild romp among the sheets. The negligence did not last for long, but even when the memory of the dream came back to him, Ciel easily pushed it aside in favor of this moment and new memory he had just created. That alone gave Ciel hope and it filled him, pressing against his chest.

"Thank you." Ciel snuggled closer into Sebastian, feeling more calm than he had in many weeks. For the first time, there really did seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

"Welcome," Sebastian murmured and pressed a soft kiss to Ciel's forehead before pulling him closer. The younger male was relaxed in his arms and it made Sebastian smile, pleased to see that the fears were no longer present on Ciel's face. They would conquer this beast and wrestle it into submission, no matter what.

A mischievous smile twisted Ciel's lips and he looked up at Sebastian with shining eyes. "I should have let you fuck long before now. Perhaps I'll finally get some sleep." The prospect was nice, but Ciel wasn't going to hold his breath just yet. It was very probable that the nightmares would return, but all the more comforting to know that Sebastian would be there when they did.

Sebastian chuckled. "And if you don't get some sleep, I'm always ready and willing for some more fun with you," he teased and gave Ciel's nipple a light pinch. Having sex with the younger male would be a healthier form of release than turning to the bottle and it was satisfying to them both. In all, it was a win-win situation.

"You're insatiable." Ciel moved deeper under the blankets, his body tired and sore. Morning would be there all too soon, and Ciel wanted a few hours of sleep before they would be forced to get up and go about their day.

"But you love me," Sebastian teased and pulled Ciel closer to his body before shifting the blanket up higher. He pressed his nose into Ciel's hair and inhaled deeply. "And I love you. Very much; never think otherwise." He let out a soft exhale as his eyes closed and he felt his body drifting off to sleep.

It was only a matter of moments before Ciel too was falling asleep, cuddled snugly within Sebastian's embrace, feeling satiated and safe. It wasn't until morning that he would wake, having his first dreamless sober sleep in many, many nights. Everything, little by little, was looking brighter, and Ciel felt as if perhaps he could smile just a bit more.

"Dammit!" Ciel felt ready to throw his gun down. His lone blue eye looked down the long length of the indoor shooting range and to his target. The dummy was decorated with a bull's eye right where the heart should be. To the far bottom right was a scattered pack of bullet holes, all missed shots.

Next to Ciel, Sebastian clicked his tongue and stepped closer. "You're trying too hard and falling back into bad habits because you're frustrated." It was hard learning how to shoot again with a different eye, but Sebastian was confident that Ciel could master such a task. "You're shifting your arm when you shoot to compensate for the shift in sight. You need to change the angle of your head instead."

"I've been doing that!" Ciel protested, feeling about ready to throw the blasted Glock to the target. He would surely hit his mark then, even if Sebastian would frown upon such childish acts. Ciel would have loved to have seen Sebastian in his position. That seemed to birth an idea and Ciel looked seriously up at the older man. "You try doing this then. It's harder than you're making it out to be."

Sebastian's eyebrow rose slightly and he grabbed his own gun. He lined it up with the target, setting his sight on the bulls eye with his dominant eye before blinking shut his left eye and switching to his right one. The bulls eye stayed the same but the sight on the gun had moved further to the right, making it look as though the bulls eye had moved.

His head cocked slightly to the left side as he lined himself up with the sight once more and he squeezed the trigger before his left eye started to twitch due to being closed in such a way. When the dominant eye was forced to stay shut while the other eye took the shot, it tended to spasm slightly as the muscles weren't strong enough to hold it down for the same amount of time as the other eye that was usually closed while shooting, making things trickier.

"There," Sebastian said and stepped away from the shooting box. "A little off center but it can be done." He guided Ciel back into place and dragged his arms up into the correct position, mimicking the very first time he had taught Ciel to shoot.

With a low hum, he curled his hand around Ciel's wrist and let his other hand trail up Ciel's right arm until it came to rest over the violet colored eye. It pressed against it until Sebastian could feel eyelashes brushing against his palm and he nodded slightly.

"Don't bother squinting your eye just yet. Keep it open and use your left eye to solely focus on the target," he murmured. "If you try to move your arms to adjust your grip, my other hand will stop you. Now, shoot."

Ciel mumbled something about 'show off' but followed through with Sebastian's orders without much more complaint. The bang, muffled by the protective gear around their ears, sounded through the room as the trigger was pulled. For a moment Ciel was almost afraid to look as to where the shot had hit the target. To his surprise, and annoyance, the bullet had hit a little off center, but it was undeniably an improvement.

"Don't say anything," Ciel warned, knowing that a sarcastic remark was on the tip of Sebastian's tongue. He could already see the smug look on the older man's face at being proven right.

"I wasn't going to," Sebastian commented and tilted his head to the side to press a kiss to Ciel's check. His lips lingered longer than necessary before he finally pulled back and rested his head near Ciel's ear once more. "Again," he said, feeling a sense of deju vu. Everything was mimicking their first lesson and it made Sebastian smile as Ciel shot again.

The shot was closer this time and Sebastian nodded before letting his hand fall away. They would do this gradually and in steps until Ciel was able to shoot straight without his help. But until then, Sebastian was willing to offer any assistance that he could until Ciel could stand on his own once more.

Ciel practically fell through the door the moment they returned to the mansion. His hands hurt, his hip ached, and his back throbbed from the torturous lessons Sebastian had drilled him through. It had only been a weekend of boot camp Sebastian style, but it had been enough to drain Ciel. His body was just beginning to strengthen itself back to its past prime, and it would still take some time before Ciel was back in shape.

"I want to die," he grumbled, but frowned at the distasteful saying. Such phrases didn't seem too funny when Ciel had already faced death. It was no laughing matter. "I just need a bath and a good nap," he amended and eyed Sebastian as he placed their bags by the door.

Sebastian chuckled slightly. "Go shower and take a nap. I'm going to get us something to eat. You'll be starving by the time you get out of the shower and some food in your stomach will be good before your nap." He tossed his jacket onto the bags and paused to give Ciel a kiss before slipping out of the room.

He moved slowly down the hallway, his body slightly sore as well but it was a good sore that Sebastian found himself enjoying. It was proof that his body was gaining its strength back and the thought made Sebastian smile as he entered the kitchen. He paused slightly as his eyes settled on Claude and Sebastian nodded at the man.

Claude was situated at the small kitchen dinette, a plate in front of him with a half-eaten sandwich and a pile of carrot sticks. He didn't say anything to Sebastian, mouth full, but he frowned just a bit at being interrupted during his lunch. Tanaka was still riding his ass and making sure that he only ever worked, aside from the few hours that he was allowed to eat and sleep. His days had turned to hell, no thanks to Sebastian, albeit he'd take this punishment to the alternative of Sebastian being six feet under.

Swallowing, Claude finally opened his mouth to snap his greeting. "l hope you're not planning on staying here long," he said, but without any real bite.

"Why would I want to stay here any longer than I have to if I have to spend my time sharing a room with you?" Sebastian answered back, a frown on his face. He felt the urge to stick his tongue out at Claude, to be childish for just a moment but quelled the urge as he turned towards the refrigerator. He scanned the contents inside before pulling out some eggs and leftover rice.

A smirk settled on Claude's lips and he looked up at Sebastian. "Why indeed." Despite his words, a small space was cleared on the table a clear invitation for Sebastian to sit if the other man saw fit. The harsh and teasing words were just a standard greeting between the two and the most comfortable way to deal with each other.

Sebastian glanced at the spot, debating if he should take Claude up on the offer as he heated the rice up again. There was no doubt that Ciel was already asleep back in the room and Sebastian had been meaning to talk with Claude so they could clear some things up. And it seemed as though now was the perfect time. He moved over to the table and sat down, glancing at the older male before sighing. "We need to talk," he said softly.

"Do we?" Claude raised a brow, seeming relatively uninterested upon the surface but there was a spark in his eye that told a different story. A few more bites were taken to finish his sandwich; his plate then pushed away with only a few baby carrots left uneaten.

The younger male nodded slightly. "We do," he answered and glanced at the table before looking up to speak once more. "You helped Ciel after I gave myself to Joker. Not just by planning and building the bombs, but helping him escape and buying him time. What would make you do such a thing?" He asked.

Claude stiffened, his gaze averting from Sebastian to stare down at his carrots. He took one and bit into it, stalling for some time as he tried to think of the answer to Sebastian's question. For a moment he could only shrug his shoulders. "Seemed like something to pass the time," he said mildly.

"That's it?" Sebastian asked, pushing gently for more. He knew there was something else there and while he was hesitant himself to get the answer, it was something he wanted to know. It was interesting how such a close encounter with death could make one change the way they looked at life.

"Do you want more?" Claude asked in turn. He wasn't sure what Sebastian was searching for and it made Claude feel uneasy.

Sebastian closed his eyes briefly before opening them to look back down at the table. He should've known that this wasn't going to be easy. "I don't know," he answered, feeling anxious and on edge. "I just wondered."

"Why? Sorry to disappoint but I didn't do it for your precious Ciel." It wasn't completely true. Some part of what Claude had done had been for Ciel, but he would never agree to it. Much like he would never admit to actually liking Ciel no matter how much the boy had grown on him.

The question was on the tip of his tongue, but Sebastian swallowed it, deciding instead to go with a different approach. "A few hours before Ciel came to the hideout to rescue me, I had been ready to die," he said softly. "I had come to terms with it long before then, but it was only in those last few hours that I truly accepted it and almost wished for it because of the pain."

Claude didn't say anything at first, didn't so much as look up as Sebastian spoke. Instead he picked off another carrot and slowly munched on it. "No one was going to let you die. That brat cares too much about you to let that happen," Claude said.

"At one point in our lives, we thought we felt the same way," Sebastian spoke quietly. It seemed odd to think of such a thing, but the words had to be said and he stood up. He circled around the table and came to stand next to Claude. "And despite how we act towards each other and everything that happened in the past between us, I found that I didn't regret the time we were together."

He could see Claude tensing slightly and the anxiousness that had once filled Sebastian was back again, making his heart race. In his memory, Sebastian could still see the day Alois and Claude had started going out and could still remember the way it felt to see the older male happy with the blond brat. It had hurt, he would admit to that. But now, now it didn't seem to matter anymore.

Sebastian reached forward and tilted Claude's head up, pressing their foreheads together; golden eyes staring up at him. "Thank you, Claude," he breathed. "For everything." He pulled back slightly, putting more space between them. "Keep him close and let him know how much you care for him." He finished, making it sound more like a final goodbye than it truly was.

In all honesty though, it wasn't anything close to a goodbye. Instead, it was the final closing of a chapter that should've been closed years ago but was something that Sebastian couldn't bring himself to do just yet. And with the finishing of that part of his life, another one had opened; one that would allow Sebastian to move forward and keep his friendship with Claude.

"You talk too much." Claude pushed Sebastian further away, feeling distinctly uncomfortable. The current topic seemed to be something that they had been dancing around since Ciel was taken. A weight had lifted from his shoulder with Sebastian's words and Claude tried to force himself to relax. This was nothing to get out of sorts about. "Don't tell me things I already know."

Sebastian smirked and lightly smacked Claude's check. "But I have to, otherwise it wouldn't sink into that thick skull of yours and find your puny brain. Repetition is the only way you'll learn, Claude," he said in a singsong voice.

"Fuck off, Sebastian. You're annoying me now," Claude snapped as he crunched down on a carrot, pretending it was Sebastian's finger at the moment. How he'd like to bite it off.

"You always annoy me, so I guess we're even," Sebastian commented, pleased to see that they were back to their usual selves. Their banter wasn't so much because they hated each other, but simply that they cared too much for each other and didn't have any other way to express it but through snide remarks.

With a shrug of his shoulders, Claude seemed disinterested with the whole matter. "Are you just going to stand there staring at me or are you going to sit down and eat," Claude said after a moment, looking irritated.

Sebastian shook his head. "I would, but I think I've lost my appetite after being around you for so long." He moved away from the table and grabbed the meal that had been staying warm in the microwave before heading towards the door. "Enjoy your meal."

Claude waved him off with little hard feelings. This was what their relationship had become within the years since their breakup and only now could Claude honestly say that he enjoyed it. The banter was welcomed and it was always with Sebastian that he could throw around harsh words and let off some steam without the younger man becoming hurt or insulted. Sebastian understood what they had. It was a brotherly bond that was coated in both love and hate.

"Go enjoy your brat," Claude yelled just as the door closed behind Sebastian, a smile sticking to Claude's face.

Sebastian smiled as he moved down the hall, feeling lighter and content as he walked away from the kitchen. Life was strange and liked to throw wild curve balls every now and then, but often times, they made for the best of experiences when handled the right way. And Sebastian wouldn't change anything in his past with Claude. They were treasured moments and ones that he kept close, while he continued to make new ones with Ciel.

It seemed as though life knew what it was doing after all.

Ciel cracked an eye open as he heard the latch click in the door and the knob turned. Under the blankets Alex moved, worming her way up the bed to poke her head out just as Sebastian came into the room. She bounded over to greet him, and Ciel could only smile at her enthusiasm towards Sebastian. It never died and the more she was pushed away the more poor little Lexi tried.

"Just pat her," Ciel said, as it seemed that Sebastian was intent on ignoring her.

Sebastian shook his head. "You may not know it, but I let her sleep with me when you were gone," he stated. "And that was the only time I allowed myself to do such a thing. Never again and that's that." He nodded his head as though the action would seal the deal before placing the tray of food on the bed and taking a seat next to Ciel.

"I don't believe it," Ciel said, already reaching out to pick at the food. "So she's only good when I'm not here? Maybe I should leave more often so Lexi can have her Sebastian time, too." The dog pawed at Sebastian's legs, whining in a hope that she would receive some acknowledgement. It made Ciel laugh; the two were hardheaded if nothing else.

A scowl formed on Sebastian's face before reaching down to pat the dog on her head before pulling his legs up onto the bed so they were out of reach. "There. Now she can leave me alone," he grumbled and leaned back so he could stretch out on the bed. He rolled over to his side and wiggled into the blankets, not wanting to see Ciel's expression.

Smirking, Ciel leaned over and kissed Sebastian on the cheek. "Don't pout," he said. "It doesn't become you." The plate of food was brought to Ciel's lap and he began to eat at bits and pieces of it, being sure not to eat too much in case Sebastian had planned on sharing the plate as well.

"You're so mean to me," Sebastian moaned and rolled onto his side, propping himself up on his elbow so he could steal a spoonful of dinner. He chewed slowly, letting the flavor fill his mouth before swallowing and grabbing another bite, not realizing how hungry he had been.

Ciel huffed dramatically, pushing the plate of rice to Sebastian. He was still tired, and his body sore. Food really wasn't something he wanted at the moment and he could wait till morning. "I'm hardly mean to you. I only speak the truth." Ciel snuggled into Sebastian's side, chuckling when he knocked the plate, sending grains to fall on Sebastian's chest.

Sebastian gave him a pointed look as he finished up the rest of the rice. "You're going to have to clean that up," he stated, gesturing to the rice that had settled on his chest and set the plate aside. "We can't sleep if there's rice in the bed."

A delicate eyebrow rose as Ciel looked questioningly up at Sebastian. "How do you expect me to do that?" His eyes shown with mischief as he thought of what Sebastian could be suggesting, but tonight Ciel was tired and he wouldn't give in to such things. If anything he would merely give Sebastian a rain check.

"For now, you can lick them off," Sebastian answered. "I have a feeling that your sore little body wouldn't be able to take further punishment tonight," he teased, a smirk spreading across his face. It had been too long since they had been able to joke about in such a way and to do so again was nice.

"You want them licked off?" Ciel asked and waited for an affirming nod. When it was received, Ciel smiled seductively and commanded, "Close your eyes." Sebastian hesitated for a moment, but his eyes closed soon enough. A broad smirk fell over his lips as Ciel quickly leaned over his side of the bed and scooped up Alex who still sat there waiting to be invited back into bed. She was luckily small enough that Ciel was able to hold her up so that she did not weigh down on Sebastian's chest, but that she could still get her nose and tongue close enough to lick up the rice from Sebastian's chest.

The moment a cold nose touched Sebastian's skin, his eyes shot open and instantly focused on the dog hovering over him. She lapped up the rest of the rice before wiggling in Ciel's grip, wanting to get closer but Sebastian would have none of it and he rolled out of the bed. "Excuse me while I go scrub my body clean," he muttered lowly and stalked to the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind him to block out the sounds of Ciel's laughter.

Ciel was a hopeless mess of giggles on the bed. The sight of Sebastian's face alone was enough to resort him to such a state. Of course Ciel knew that revenge would come, and Alex would probably be shunned even more, but it had been worth it. It felt good to laugh so freely once more, even if it was at Sebastian's expense. He still couldn't see why the older man had such a revulsion to dogs. In fact a dog's mouth was cleaner than a cat's; Sebastian insisted in washing off whenever Alex licked him, when he still allowed Soot to brush her rough tongue over his face.

The bathroom door finally opened and Sebastian stepped out, rubbing a towel over his hair to catch the remaining droplets of water as he walked to the bed. He settled back down on the bed, tossing the damp towel at Ciel before wiggling under the covers so he could go to sleep. "Your tattoo lessons start tomorrow," he murmured softly, his eyes closing as he rested his head on the pillow.

"Oh don't pout." Ciel wormed his way next to Sebastian. His arm slung over a hip and blindly felt for Sebastian's hand. Their fingers entwined and Ciel gave a gentle squeeze. "It was only a harmless prank."

Sebastian grunted slightly. "Not pouting," he answered, bringing Ciel's hand to his lips and pressing a soft kiss to the back of it. The younger male pressed against his back more and Sebastian sighed in pleasure at the feeling as warmth passed between them. It was nice, sinking back into the way things used to be, even though things were far from it. But they were getting there, if not slowly. But it was still a step forward in the right direction.

To Be Continued . . .

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