The Secret Name: Into the park
by smilingcrescent | smallsmilesPrevious
"Sebastian," Ciel purses his lips and sets the pastry down. He licks his little finger free of cream and fixes me with the most intriguing of expressions. Calculating as ever, but tempered with a desperate sort of curiosity.
Perhaps he's begun to count the days. October already.
"What do you think people think of us?" He lets out his breath in an annoyed stream. "Not like that
. I mean, I've always called you my assistant, but maybe that was a little too
" he pauses and casts his eyes down, displaying his eyelashes.
Sad. Shy. Two words I would rarely ascribe to ruthless Ciel Phantomhive. I consider him again. Ah, but perhaps more cunning than shy. This is part of his little scheme.
"Next time, sit down with me and at least pretend to have tea." He brushes at a few minuscule crumbs. " We're done here for today, Sebastian. I'm going out. Try and act natural."
"Of course, certain people know what kinds of groups I work with, and they
know that you obey me." He raises an eyebrow, inviting me to disagree. When I don't, he continues. "But in public, at least, maybe you should try and act more casual around me." He leans forward, putting an elbow on the table and tilting his head. He flashes a crooked smile. "I hardly look like the class of person who has personal assistants or a body guard anymore
I smile indulgingly. "That is the image you cultivate. You could have chosen to build a wealthy enterprise, or build your own underworld
" Old habits make me speak slowly, and with just the right amount of inflection to suggest a good natured offer
rather than temptation from a demon's mouth.
Ciel waves his hand dismissively. "I have enough to buy connections and relevant bribes. Anything else would unnecessarily complicate things." He eats the pastry in a succession of dainty bites and sips of tea.
He's at it again.
The dear soft smiles, that near self-satisfied tap of his fingers
planning something, and it involves me.
"Come walk with me
the leaves are turning colors, and I hear that Hyde Park is looking exceptional."
A walk. How
quaint. I look at him more closely. A soft, glistening sheen on his palms, and I notice he has taken on a pallor most concerning of late. It seems to suggest serious preoccupancy
but with what?
As I arrange for our transportation, I think about the past few months. He has sent me all over England and the rest of the kingdoms, searching out even the barest connection to that day.
But with the end of summer, he tires of this fruitless procedure, and now he looks at me with one wide, beguiling eye.
stares, transfixed, at my essence. Though I doubt he realizes it. To the human mind, his eye--that delicate and intricately bewitched vessel-- may seem a sensitive, sometimes painful mess. Such small and fickle things that do not realize true natures.
" he announces quietly. He takes us into the foliage, and says after a time, "Stay at hand
I mean. Stay with me."
"Of course." Belatedly, I remember his request to appear more familiar. "Ciel."
As we walk, the wind tickles my nose and ruffles my hair. Finally, the trees of the lane make themselves known to me, and that greenish, potted smell comes over my senses.
Ciel, as I might have expected, sneezes. Not just once, in a dignified, self-important kind of way, but three times. At odd succession. His allergies, one might presume, may yet get the better of him.
He stops, and for the briefest of minutes, leans against me
but only for a moment. He gets up and walks down the path, walking purposefully toward another quiet corner of the park.
The setting sun has stained the horizon a bloody wine of a color, and purple wafts at the edge of the visage. In minutes, we will be left in that murky half-darkness.
"Pleasant evening." He murmurs, his words gone awkward. His natural arrogance and confidence seems to have abandoned him. Even so, he sticks his chin out a little. "Do you like the plants?" He gazes into the carefully trimmed and kept foliage. He seems to be looking through it rather than at it. "You used to complain about technology
especially computers and the net
He smiles at me so convincingly. Like he were sharing memories with an old friend, rather than his executioner. I return the smile. I do like to see where this little noose will bring him.
Emboldened, he continues. "Do you like it here?" he waves his hand, the picture of a lord indicating his birthright. His property. "London. Earth. The present." He continues distractedly, as though he has lost that confidence again.
To keep him from talking too much, I tilt my head. Then I lower my eyelids and shrug. "It is.
" My eyes flick to the sky, where only the brightest stars are visible. "I am."
Ciel doesn't scowl or scoff like I expected, but rather looks at me with that sweet
smile. He continues his questioning. "What do you like about cats?"
I stare, wondering what this is about. What it has to do with his plans.
"Does the young master mean to purchase a cat?" I keep my tone light, my expression friendly. "I know of a few delightful"
"None of that 'young master,' remember? And I was asking about you.
"Cats are delightful
beautiful. Wise, and secretive about their ways
fierce. Cunning, and lovely." I pause. "
and masterless hunters
" I move to stand next to the teen, lean in to whisper in his ear. "You know this, don't you?" I wait long enough to hear him swallow. "Ciel." I straighten, brushing my fingers across his neck.
Ciel shivers and swallows. He turns away, so I suppose he must have realized his mistake. Instead of correcting it, he plows on. "And food." He licks his lips with the very tip of his tongue, parting them just enough to show me it. "What kinds of foods do you like to make?"
I frown. What is he after? I look at him, still so vibrant and hopeful
in these last months. So sure
that he can find something about me that will give him true power over the contract. Over me.
Realization leaves me almost breathless.
"Do you like pastries? Or maybe"
I laugh unkindly. "I enjoy cultivating souls." I step forward again, bringing our bodies close. I peel off a glove and touch the outline of his eyepatch, tugging his hair with the other hand. "Sweet, bruised souls. Broken. Powerless
." I push into his soft skin. "
and I mold them into shrewd, desperate souls with no hope." I take a slow breath, as though tasting the air about him.
Ciel is still in my arms, and then flushed, angry. He pulls himself freeI let him. And he scowls at me. "Tell me your name.
I laugh again. "Sebastian Michaelis."
It is what he made me.
Ciel shakes his head and rips at this eye patch, showing the fragile orb beneath. "Your secret name. The one with power"
Ciel sighs, exasperated. "You are to tell no lies." He reminds me. "You are to obey all orders." He looks at me, very much the wounded bird.
I lick my lips. "I have bound myself to do these things," I agree. "But just look." I turn my face upward. "The sky is dark
and the darkness is deep."
He does not understand.
And yet he is stubborn. Later, he will ask me again. And I shall refuse
an outright answer is beyond the contract he formed.
"Then tell me about your past masters. Or your beginning." This desperate hunt for knowledge makes him reckless. He's tipped his hand, and there are weeks left to us.
Oh, the damage he could do
"They're all dead." I drop my gaze to meet his. "And none knew any such name." I chuckle low in my throat, and ask him gently, "could a human even pronounce it?"
"You mock me." Ciel looks to me, his pale face brighter than the reflected moon in the water. He doesn't cringe, doesn't beg. Just stares at me balefully.
Excitement tingles through me, rushing through my limbs. One last effort of a thrashing soul
Ah, how bitter truth must taste in his mouth.
I wonder, have I crushed it all out of him? That hope.
"I'm leaving." He snaps. "Get me home. Now."
"Ah, but I thought I was to be more familiar out in public," I taunt. I touch his face, smooth his hair.
Ciel flushes, and his hands shake. He grasps at the weapon hidden in his clothes, but doesn't draw it. "You will take me."
Ah, this child. This youth who would be a man in a few years time
does he know of what he speaks?
Perhaps it's too early to tell if he's abandoned that last path. But he has at least plenty of anger left.
"Yes, my lord." I bring him up into my arms, and he allows it. I bound up. The path and city skyline blur beneath us, and at last, he says nothing more.
Darkness swallows both of our forms.
Thoughts?On to 9