It would be difficult for many people to not find Sebastian intriguing in some way. The fact that the other had been only half dressed—and less so after his performance—didn’t make it easier to ignore him.
But Ciel wasn’t about to tell him that.
"Are you sure? I could help if you wanted…." He felt bad that not only had Sebastian cooked for him, but was also doing everything else by himself. Offering to help was the least he could do. "I don’t mind helping."
Attractive, yes; but intriguing? Sebastian wasn’t certain when he had last heard that. It was a shame that the young male wouldn’t share his thoughts – though, perhaps he didn’t really need to speak for the ravenette to know that he liked what he was seeing.
“You’re still my guest, Ciel,“ the man responded, slightly teasingly because the other seemed to forget about that every now and then. “So I insist on serving you. I don’t mind you making yourself comfortable.“
Maybe it wasn’t the whole truth. Maybe he would still do exactly that even if the young male wasn’t a guest anymore, but was there so often one could believe he was living there. And really, he rather liked cooking, so it wasn’t an issue at all.
“Though, if it makes you feel better, you could take two glasses with you into the living room. Could you do that?“
Ciel sighed, curling up into a tighter ball as he pressed his tail against his eyes, blocking out the light. He didn’t notice as the lights in the room were turned off, but he did notice the candle being lit that was near him. He jumped slightly, but stayed silent, nodding as a silent thank you for it.
He quickly fell asleep, his figure relaxing as he let out a sigh, dreaming of nothing because of how tired he had made himself. He ended up sleeping most of the night away, only waking briefly from small nightmares that would make him wake up in trembles. But, for the most part, he was silent when he woke up and was dreaming, part of his mind always awake, a habit, in case he was grabbed or the like.
While he was sleeping, his stomach growled, a long, empty sound, showing he had nothing in his system. He honestly hadn’t eaten in days, other than one scrap of food when he was caught. He needed some energy to be willing. In response, he curled up tighter, his eyes flickering, his dreams shifting to food. An actual meal had become foreign to him, something he could only dream about. It had been months since the last amount of food he had been given could be called a meal.
The dark-haired male watched the other. He was resting like a cat still, curled up, using his tail to shield himself from the light and it didn’t take long until the small demon’s breath had evened out, telling him that he had drifted off into a more restful sleep.
Maybe he woke up from his slumber, somewhat, every now and then during the night but he didn’t suffer such a nightmare once more. Though, as morning came, a noise was filling the room.
Dark brows were furrowing ever so slightly.
What did the other eat now? Would he still need human food, seeing that he had been a human before, or would he devour souls for a meal? The ravenette himself could wait for a meal, for quite a long time, before growing utterly impatient. He knew what it felt like to starve; though his stomach had never growled like that. Apparently, the small thing still possessed human traits, like needing to sleep and eat frequently. Ciel still had to wake up and perhaps he should allow him more rest, but the demon didn’t really feel like it. “What do you eat?“ he asked, not bothering to try and greet the little one to prepare him for a conversation. He simply expected him to answer.
It was more out of curiosity than him intending to offer a meal but the man wanted to know.
The dark-haired butler flashed a polite smile, carrying a brown bag filled with groceries in his arms as he was just on his way back to the carriage. “Good day to you, as well. Why of course, you are in the centre of London, quite near the Thames” the man responded, hoping that this would help the anxious looking other.
⊰☽⊱ —— : He lifted two hands in front of him, the palms facing the dark-haired one. "—I-Iie… It’s totally fine. I wasn’t aware myself." Since he had no other information after he arrived here, he was planing to search for an hotel that weren’t too expensive so he could buy other things after finishing his job. Also, many persons before Sebastian, didn’t know where the Phantomhive mansion was, so it was a problem for him. He already lost the count of times he had asked without receive a good answer, many ignoring him because he was from Japan.
'How is that so?’ That was now the question he had to answer. Thinking for a small time, Ukyo searched for the best words to reply. "Well… I find difficult to ubicate myself… Even when I’m in Japan." Leaving a nervous chuckle, he continue. "—And I think that London seems to be like a big maze." Rubbing the back of his neck, he nodded a few times for himself. He had to be more polite, right? How to do so? This has always been the way he talked, not ever offending someone. He would have to learn, he guessed. "It’s completely fine, Mr. Michaelis. I don’t mind." Smiling at the principal butler of the mansion, the photographer answered to the next inquire. “—I tend to go, but I’m so busy that I don’t have much time left. I guess if I have more time, I would visit more places.”
Still, being in a foreign country meant the difference between culture and points of view. Trying to understand why he didn’t seem to take his opinion as something important made the doubts to wander his mind for a big moment. "I… see… The butlers do also have very busy days, don’t they?"
People weren’t always the friendliest. It certainly hadn’t made things any easier that the Phantomhive Estate wasn’t in the center of London, but more in the countryside. Perhaps it would have been a better choice to let the photographer come to the townhouse which would have been closer, but the Earl didn’t truly enjoy visits in the busy and crowded city center, and they wouldn’t have thought that the other male would come there with so little information. It had been a convenient coincidence indeed, that Sebastian was there to run and errand, and that Ukyo had decided to approach him.
“Ah, but I am afraid that you will not have enough time here to explore every corner of the city. Not living here for quite a while surely meant seeing this city as a maze, I can imagine.“ But it wouldn’t be too much of an issue as long as one knew where the places were one had to find. And wealthy people rarely ever walked, anyway. To arrive somewhere, they would simply use a carriage. The photographer would have to do so, too, to reach the Phantomhive manor.
“My day is dedicated to my master and the estate,“ the ravenette answered honestly, “Though it surely is not too busy. If I could not run a household and keep my master content, what kind of butler would I be.“
The whole situation was a mess, and as much of a mess that Ciel knew it was, he wasn’t even aware of all of it. That didn’t make things any better.
Yes, he could see he was home and no one there meant to harm him, but those memories were still fresh in his mind. It would be difficult to completely calm down even though he was exhausted. This took a toll on him, leaving him tired and emotionally drained; however, sleep would be hard to come by, that much he knew.
"Y-yeah…" he said while giving a small nod and squeezing Sebastian’s hand in return. That didn’t mean he felt any better about all of this, but at least it was a start.
Taking a deep, shuddering breath, Ciel then let it out in an attempt to calm his nerves. Maybe taking his medication would help. At the very least he would be able to sleep. “I’ll…be right back.” Letting go of Sebastian’s hand and getting out of bed—with a bit of difficulty with the glass still in hand—Ciel wandered to his bathroom and dug around until he found the pills he was looking for. He didn’t care if Sebastian would question him if he heard the pills rattling in their case. He just wanted to be able to rest at some point that night, even if it was medically induced.
Once he swallowed the pills with help of the water the other brought him earlier, Ciel left the glass behind. No need to find a place for it next to his bed. Shifting awkwardly in place by the bathroom door, he paused before heading back to his bed and trying to get settled back in. Maybe if he ignored that it happened, it would go away?
Not that it ever worked before.
"You should sleep," he stated quietly. "You probably have a busy day tomorrow." Sebastian had to talk to his sister after all. "Go ahead and…turn off the light. We should sleep."
Things were going downhill much too quickly for the ravenette to really comprehend. His family issues, his sister and her questions, and now this. It had been easy to believe that Ciel was alright. Of course, his life wasn’t the most normal nor the best but he had seemed to be content enough. They spent nice days together and rarely had he truly seen the teenager honestly unhappy. Now he had to realize that he had only ever scratched at the surface so far, despite all those months they knew each other already.
He had caused more of a mess than ever intended. Before Sebastian had learned of the young male’s existence, he hadn’t regretted a single thing. He had started feeling sorry when seeing the other for the first time.
The man didn’t stop Ciel when he stood, leaving the room but he himself didn’t leave his spot, waiting for the teen to return. There were noises and while he could guess what the other was fetching, he wouldn’t pry. Ciel knew best what to do to calm down and feel better – arguing with him now what was healthy and what wasn’t wouldn’t work at all. For a brief moment silence filled the house, then Sebastian could hear the younger coming back, glancing up at him as he took a seat on the bed again.
“It’s alright. Try to sleep. I will, too, after you dozed off.“ And maybe it would be better to leave the lights on. The man probably wouldn’t be able to fall asleep so quickly anyway. There were too many things on his mind for him to find rest.
He didn’t think Sebastian was angry—his expression and actions were enough proof of that—but it didn’t mean that Ciel felt his reaction was okay. Sebastian wasn’t hurting him, so why did he have to react so negatively? Well, he knew why, but why couldn’t those memories just disappear?
When his hand was touched, he jumped slightly, but didn’t pull away. This was Sebastian. He was safe. Hearing the request, Ciel hesitated for a moment before glancing up.
Why did Sebastian look so worried? Had he scared him? But—
Notice quicker? It was dark. It would have been difficult for him to notice, and Ciel was hoping it wasn’t his fear that initially caused his reaction. “It’s not…it’s not your fault,” he managed to say. “I thought I was—” He didn’t want to admit it. He didn’t want to let Sebastian know what he went through. But leaving the other completely in the dark wasn’t fair, and neither would get sleep tonight if he didn’t say something. “I couldn’t see…and I thought…I thought I was back a-at that foster house.” Adverting his eyes, he couldn’t look at Sebastian. He felt ashamed even when he didn’t directly say what happened.
He probably didn’t have to.
It wasn’t and couldn’t be as easy as that. While the man hadn’t hurt him physically, his actions had brought back bad memories and in the end, that hadn’t been any better. The teenager expected too much of himself. Hopefully he was aware that now that Sebastian had seen what the wrong move could cause, he would be much more careful. He wouldn’t bring them into a situation like this again; he would make sure of that.
The ravenette flinched himself when Ciel startled, though a small sigh left him when the other didn’t start panicking again.
Ciel’s reaction had scared him, yes. Was scaring him still. And when the teen’s explanation came, it felt as though he had been pushed into a pool of icy water. The foster house. Sebastian hadn’t wanted to think that something in the younger’s past had caused such a reaction, that he had lived through such a thing before and that he would believe that the very same thing would happen to him again. It made sense. It did but that just couldn’t be true. But the words told him enough.
What had he done? The other had no idea. It was his fault, everything about this was his fault.
The ravenette realized that he hadn’t reacted at all, his hand squeezing Ciel’s but he hadn’t said a thing and clearing his throat, the man found it was best to swallow everything that was racing through his mind now so he could at least try to help the teenager.
“You’re at home, Ciel. You’re in your own bed, at your house.“ He needed the young male to calm down; he wouldn’t ask him to tell more. It wasn’t necessary. “I’m here, too. No one else. Okay?“
He felt lost.
What was he supposed to do now? He wasn’t used to being left alone when he didn’t want someone on him. This was new, and while it shouldn’t be, it was, and Ciel found it strange.
Slowly nodding to the statement, Ciel wasn’t sure if Sebastian even was in the room to see when he gave the small reaction. He couldn’t bring himself to look up and see if Sebastian was disappointed. However, he couldn’t—and didn’t want to—avoid the other forever, and when he returned with the water, Ciel reached a shaky hand out to take the glass. Silently cursing himself for his inability to keep his hand steady, he sipped at the water, fighting the painful lump in his throat as he swallowed.
At least he didn’t have an asthma attack on top of everything.
"I’m sorry," he repeated, his voice barely a whisper. It didn’t matter that Sebastian disagreed with him saying sorry before; he felt he needed to say it again. "I didn’t mean to…I didn’t…." His voice caught in his throat as he fought a sob.
Sebastian didn’t know what to do; he felt just as lost as the other, barely understanding the situation. The teenager was a mess, and he had done that. It was difficult to look at the way the other’s hands shook because it made it all the more obvious that this was so much more serious than the ravenette would have thought. Ciel couldn’t even calm down again.
And then he apologized again. He could tell him once more that it wasn’t necessary, but the other just didn’t seem to really understand.
Did the young male honestly believe that he was angry? That he had failed him because he had wanted to stop? He didn’t like seeing the teen like that at all; though, he had to stay calm, at least. It wouldn’t help them if he would lose his head.
Hesitantly, the man touched Ciel’s hand, prepared for him pulling away. “Ciel, look at me.“ A deep frown had formed on his forehead, worry clearly written on his face. “It’s fine, okay? It’s fine. I’m not—-upset.“ He was, but not with the teenager. “I have to apologize, I should’ve noticed quicker.“
Why was Sebastian apologizing? He wasn’t the one who panicked and brought things to an abrupt end. Not that he would have blamed Sebastian if it had been the other way around. Maybe that was something Ciel should realize.
At the questions asked, Ciel knew he didn’t want Sebastian to leave. It would be bad enough for the rest of the night with Sebastian there as a reassurance that he was safe and no longer in that abusive environment, but being alone he would be left with only his own thoughts and memories. Ciel couldn’t bare to be left alone like that.
"Stay…but…water would b-be welcome," he murmured while sitting up, his arms shaking from the fear that overtook him earlier. Maybe the water would help to get the lump out of his throat, but if not, at least it would be helpful to take his medication. Without it he wouldn’t get any sleep for quite a while.
Keeping his hands busy, as not to watch them shake, Ciel fussed with the edge of a blanket, his eyes locked on the bed. He felt ashamed for reacting the way he did.
Bringing things to an end wasn’t something one should apologize for to begin with. If Ciel had told him that he wanted to sleep, that he should pet his hair until he dozed off, he would have done that. He wouldn’t have to give any reason; a no would have been enough. But the teenager hadn’t said anything, and guilt for not noticing sooner that the other was uncomfortable was growing within the older.
Sebastian almost had expected the young male to latch on to his offer, telling him to sleep in the guest room instead. It was slightly confusing that he didn’t. If he had been too pushy and had scared Ciel, then wouldn’t it make sense to not want him there for the rest of the night?
“Alright. I’ll be right back.“
He left the door open as he went, hurrying but being careful not to make too much noise although he wouldn’t wake anyone with it. A glass was filled and the ravenette returned, closing the door shut behind himself and squatting in front of the bed, reaching out his hand to give the glass to the other.
The man wanted to ask more questions, to be sure what had happened so he could avoid it in the future, but he wasn’t certain at all if Ciel would want to talk about it.