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Title: The Devil's Canvas
Chapter: 52 (part two)/?
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

Ciel’s eyes snapped open, body tensed and rigid. Sweat dripped at his brows and his heart thumped wildly within his chest. Tears were already trailing down Ciel’s eyes as he tried to keep his body from shaking lest he wake Sebastian. There was no need to worry a second party, and Ciel didn’t want to give Sebastian more reason to worry over him.

Swallowing hard, Ciel squeezed his eyes shut tight. His injured eye throbbed; phantom pain or real, Ciel didn’t know nor care to know. The turning in his stomach was a more pressing matter, and Ciel didn’t want to be forced to run to the bathroom to vomit. Such a sudden event would not go unnoticed by Sebastian. He breathed in deeply and tried to settle himself, but to little avail.

The images of his dream were still too fresh, still too real. It had been the most disjointed and violent of all his nightmares. Little of it made sense, but that did not dull the dark horror of it all. Ciel remembered seeing himself, face split into a manaical grin and splattered with what could only be blood. His hand moved of its own accord as it swung down to slash at flesh and bone. Staring back at him was Joker, smiling a sickening smile as if Ciel’s attempts to chop him to pieces were amusing. Ciel only swung harder and harder still.

Blood splattered in his face until Ciel could not see and he was forced to wipe it away with his free hand, his other refusing to stop its plight. When the haze of blood clear, Ciel took in a new face with shocking terror. Sebastian stared back, face twisted in pain and fear. His mouth pleaded for Ciel to stop, but Ciel’s hand continued to hack away. It ignored every plea Ciel made until Sebastian no longer cried out and the man was turned into something unrecognizable as a human being.

That had been the point at which Ciel had woken, and which had overshadowed finer details of the nightmare. It was so vivid, and Ciel half expected to turn around to find Sebastian a bloody mess next to him. But Ciel did not dare move and instead he focused on steadying his breathing.

Ciel slipped from the bed, standing on unsteady feet. He wobbled for a moment and tried to see past his tears into the dark room. The bedside clock by the table flashed 4:38. It was still far too early in the morning for Ciel to slip from the room to find solace within the kitchens.

Silently Ciel dropped to his knees and as quietly as he could manage, he rooted through his nightstand until the bottle of rum was fished out. There was more than half gone, Ciel having drunk from it many times before. He stood once more and tried to stealthily make it to the bathroom. A rustling behind him had Ciel pausing and casting a cautious glance over his shoulder. The darkness was dense and Ciel could not make out the finer details of Sebastian, not knowing if the man was awake or not, but thankfully the night would hide Ciel’s cargo as he smuggled it away.

The covers shifted again as Sebastian pulled one of the many pillows Ciel slept with towards him and buried his nose into the soft material before falling back asleep again with a soft sigh. He shifted once more, pulling the covers higher as a fine shiver worked its way through his body without Ciel next to him but nothing more came from the action as sleep overtook the man once more.

A soft sigh was expelled and Ciel relaxed. He continued to move towards the bathroom, the door opening silently. The light was ignored and Ciel locked himself in. Every inch of him was trembling as he collapsed to the floor in a heap against the sink cabinets. A hard knob pressed against Ciel’s back but he ignored it in favor of unscrewing the cap of the liquor bottle.

Ciel threw his head back and downed the bottle, chugging it with plentiful gulps. The liquid burned going down, but it was welcomed. The discomfort was pleasant compared to the swirling thoughts that assaulted Ciel’s mind. Tears once more gathered in his eyes, but he forced them away. He wouldn’t continue to cry; this would not break him. Ciel would not allow it.

The bottle was recapped even though it had been drained empty. Ciel would have to hide it before disposing of it. He wouldn’t dare try to bring it back into the room in case he would awake Sebastian. Clumsily he turned and shoved it into one of the bottom cabinets. The alcohol was already dulling his mind and senses. It was a calming feeling and Ciel smiled as he welcomed in. On unsteady feet he stood, swaying ever so slightly as he went to flush the toilet for show. It would give Sebastian less reason to question Ciel further if the man had woken in Ciel’s absence.

Opening the door, Ciel moved back out into the darkness of the bedroom and tried to find his way back to the bed. He bumped into it and let loose a string of whispered curses. That had hurt, but not as much as if it had been done during a point in which he was sober. Instead he quickly passed it aside to be forgotten and climb into bed.

Sebastian shifted slightly as the bed dipped but otherwise didn’t stir as Ciel settled next to him, back pressed against Sebastian’s chest. The minutes ticked by until Ciel’s breathing finally evened out and his body relaxed against Sebastian’s. More minutes passed until Sebastian’s head rose slowly and upset eyes gazed down at the younger male resting before him. “Ciel,” Sebastian breathed softly, his arm coming up to wrap around Ciel’s waist and pull him closer. He pressed his face into the back of Ciel’s neck and squeezed his eyes shut tightly. “Why won’t you come to me instead of resorting to this?”

It hurt that Ciel felt as though he couldn’t talk to Sebastian about his problems and Sebastian had hoped that with time, Ciel would realize he didn’t have to worry what Sebastian would think. But Ciel was turning to the bottle too much and Sebastian didn’t want to wait any longer. He feared that if he did, Ciel would start down a road that was too hard to turn from and then Ciel would truly be lost to him.

“I’m sorry, Ciel,” he murmured softly and pressed a kiss to the base of Ciel’s neck. Because it could only be his fault that he was unreachable to the younger male and Sebastian’s grip tightened. He had failed Ciel again and now Ciel was suffering. “I’m so sorry.”

-----------

The morning came sooner than Ciel had wanted and with it a groggy clearness that was unwanted. Ciel groaned and curled into himself becoming aware of how cold he was, the blanket doing little to heat him completely. The only real warmth came from Lexi’s body that rested at Ciel’s feet.

“Sebastian,” he mumbled out and reached for the man, grabbing at nothing but pillows and blankets. Mismatched eyes snapped open and Ciel sat up in bed quickly. His panicked mind raced as he took in their room and tried to calm itself as Ciel supplied himself with logical reasons as to where Sebastian was.

Even with the residue of alcohol from the night, it did little to block out the horrific images of slaughter. “Se-Sebastian,” he called out again with the hope of receiving an answer. A small mew replied and Ciel looked down at Soot who stood beside the bed looking up at him. He managed a small smile but it was brief and fake.

Ciel fell back into the bed, curling up and pushing Alex away when she emerged from the blankets and demanded attention. “Leave me alone,” he yelled and the pup squawked and leaped from the bed to amuse herself with the cat. They were ignored and Ciel tried to even his breathing and remind himself that it was all a dream.

It had been a horrible nightmare, and it clung to Ciel like a virus as it consumed him. He hated this feeling of vulnerability. There had been a point when Ciel had thought he had escaped such long term affects from his capture. How easy it had been for him to fall into the safety of a lie. Ciel easily made himself believe that everything was as it should be when he had been sure that both Sebastian and himself were alive and well. They were engulfed into a safe little cocoon in their own little world.

Ciel had been happy living that lie. Nothing had changed; it had been so easy to believe. It was unfortunate that it was just as easy to destroy. For a second time Joker had been able to crumble the peaceful life Ciel had built for himself and Sebastian. Ironically, wasn’t that a lie in itself. Perhaps he had also been blinded by how unstable his world really had been. There had never been any peace, just a shadow of it that Ciel upheld to unrealistic expectations. Ciel had never truly lived in the dirty reality of his world, for he had deluded himself to live in the fantasy he had so expertly painted for himself; the Van Gogh of his world.

Despair and hate both filled Ciel, making him clench his fists as nails bit into his palms. He didn’t want to feel this. No more fear, no more pain. Ciel wanted it all to end, to go back to the way things had been before even if it meant falling back into a lie. With a grunt of determination, Ciel pushed himself from the bed. His feet hit the floor and he swayed. A light alcoholic stupor still surrounded him but not to any level in which his minded needed it.

It was slightly annoying. Ciel’s body had quickly become accustomed to the liquor that he fed it more regularly than he would ever admit to. Each time he drank, it would clear his mind for shorter intervals, causing him to drink in surplus. He drank more and more each time it was needed, and by now he was sure someone was noticing how quickly the liquor cabinet was emptying itself. But it always refilled and Ciel never thought to question or complain, he merely drank.

Without a single glance back, Ciel moved from the room with the intent to remove himself from this reality. He would wipe every image from his brain. Even if it meant drinking until he lost all sense of himself and fell into the grasp of unconsciousness.

----------

Blood dripped onto the ground, each drop creating a soft plop as it landed in the pool that rested at Joker’s feet. The pool was big but not big enough for Sebastian to worry about the man dying due to blood loss. He didn’t have the privilege of killing Joker even though he wished to after all he had done to Ciel and himself.

Sebastian couldn’t shake the anger he felt at Joker for making Ciel turn to the bottle so much and it was easier to blame the man than himself. Even though Sebastian knew that he was just as responsible for Ciel’s fall and it only added to the list of problems he was facing already.

His own dreams still haunted him at times but he couldn’t burden Ciel with them, choosing instead to gasp for air silently at night when he woke from a nightmare or tremble on the edge of the bed so he didn’t wake Ciel. But he refused to tell Ciel or bother the younger male with his own problems. It was easier to take Ciel’s problems on himself and try to fix them while ignoring his own.

A weak groan pulled Sebastian from his thoughts and he turned to look back at Joker. The man was a mess and the sight only made a spark of pride flare up in Sebastian. While it wasn’t sniping someone, torturing Joker like this still brought a sense of adrenaline to Sebastian that he hadn’t felt in a while.

“Please stop,” the man rasped. His lone eye was downcast, his eyelid too heavy to hold up. “I just want to die.”

Sebastian clicked his tongue. “But I don’t want you to die just yet. We’re still having fun.” He was pleased to see that the man was broken before him; all the fight had vanished from his body and Sebastian was careful not to push too hard that his body simply gave out from the pain. “Shall we continue?” He asked, moving back to the cart with a small smirk on his face, ready to gain joy from this while pushing his own problems away for the time being.

--------

An empty bottle of schnapps rolled across the floor, Ciel long having lost the flavor of it upon his tongue. His mind had supplied that it had been perhaps apple of some kind or perhaps some other overly fruity flavor. It had already been half gone and Ciel didn’t care to remember for any longer than it had invaded his mouth.

Whiskey was chosen next, and Ciel broke open a new bottle. He sipped at it with a need that seemed almost panicked. The burn was now almost nonexistent, his throat now numbed to it. It was like drinking water to some extent. Ciel took two more gulps and then placed the bottle down beside him and wiped his wet lips.

It didn’t seem to matter how much he drank, the memories were still there. They were muddled, but Ciel could still hear Sebastian’s pleas to stop and the sight of his own hand plunging a knife into Sebastian’s chest. He wanted it all to stop and to end once and for all. A heated fury boiled within him as the frustration mounted and peaked.

Ciel grabbed for another drink of the liquor and coughed as it went down the wrong way. His eyes stung with tears, but he didn’t question what had caused them. Instead he tried to force everything from his hazy mind. Why wasn’t anything working? Why was this happening? No answer came, and Ciel continued to drink as if that were the answer to every little problem plaguing his mind.

That thought was laughable. The key to all his problems lay just below his feet in the underbelly of this grand house. His mind supplied him with an image of Joker, and Ciel clung to it, breathing a sigh of relief to be free of Sebastian’s pained expressions.

Joker had been the cause of all of this. He had been the one to bring forth such nightmares, invading even Ciel’s sleep. It seemed the man was attacking Ciel in every way that he was able, even when Joker wasn’t aware of it. Damn him, Ciel thought. Killing him would be so easy, and it would solve everything. At that moment Ciel couldn’t even remember why he hadn’t done it in the first place. What could have ever stopped him from marching down to the cells and putting a bullet between the man’s eyes?

No, that would be too easy, and far too quick. Pain was what Joker deserved. The image of Joker within Ciel’s mind morphed and shadowed the beginning of last night’s dream, and suddenly it was Joker that Ciel was slicing and stabbing at. Sebastian was forgotten in favor of this new and much wanted prey.

Another sip of whiskey and Ciel was smiling, cruel and manic. The bottle was topped and put away, while the empty schnapps was left forgotten on the floor. Ciel stood and fell forward into the table. A boisterous laugh left him, and he found it hard to reign it back in. Suddenly he felt giddy with the prospect of what he could do, what he would do. The fury was ripe and his hands itched for his gun.

Ciel smiled, and left the kitchen without a backwards glance. He had some things to collect, and a gift to put to good use. The smile broadened and Ciel disappeared up the stairs.

----------

Sebastian stared at Joker with disgust. For such a prideful man, he was surprisingly weak when it came to handling torture. It seemed as though Joker didn’t have the stomach for pain and Sebastian felt his lips curling into a scowl.

“Weak,” he hissed. “You can dish it out but you can’t stand it. I thought you would’ve had more fight left for your life but if this is all that you have left then you’re not worth my time.” It was hard to believe that they had lost to this pathetic man and Sebastian found his disgust growing, only this time it was aimed more towards himself.

They shouldn’t have been caught off guard by such a man. They were better than he, but in the end, they had acted foolishly. A snarl left Sebastian’s mouth and he backhanded Joker across the face, feeling his frustration mount. Because no matter how pathetic the man was, he had still trumped over them and Ciel was suffering because of it. It was frustrating and Sebastian turned away from Joker before the urge to kill him overtook him.

He jumped as the door to the room burst open and slammed against the wall. Sebastian’s head whipped towards the entrance and his eyes widened slightly at the sight of Ciel in the room. “Ciel?” He asked, eyes falling down to the gun in the younger male’s hand.

Sebastian went ignored, Ciel’s gaze locked on the unidentifiable form of Joker. The only telling sign of the man was the fiery red hair that was caked with blood. Anger and disgust twisted within Ciel and his intoxicated brain only seemed to amplify it. His gun raised, and Ciel tripped forward but caught himself quickly. The gun was brought up once more with an unsteady hand.

Every inch of Ciel seemed to be shaking and unstable. His eyes were wild, tainted with the glaze of alcohol and rage. Seeing Joker once more, alive and breathing, seemed to snap something in Ciel. Red clouded his vision and not even Sebastian’s call could be heard past the persistent need to have the man before him dead and limp on the ground.

Joker’s head rose slightly and for the first time since Sebastian had started torturing him, a smile flickered across his lips at the sight of a gun in Ciel’s hand. “Do it,” he whispered, throat raw from screaming and pleading. But seeing that gun brought a small flare of hope back into his tired body. “Shoot me, you little fucker!” He screamed, goading Ciel on. His head snapped to the side as Sebastian slapped him harshly but it didn’t stop him from laughing, knowing that his death would come soon and would be fast.

Sebastian ignored the man and grabbed at Ciel. Glazed blue eyes glared at him and Sebastian gagged slightly at the stench of alcohol on Ciel’s breath. There was no doubt that Ciel was only here because of the foul liquid and Sebastian didn’t want Ciel to finish Joker when his mind was muddled. It wouldn’t make things better, despite what Ciel was thinking.

“Not now, Ciel,” he pleaded and grasped the arm that held the gun. “Don’t do it now. It won’t help.”

“Let go of me!” Ciel roared as he ripped his arm free, sending the butt of the gun towards Sebastian. It collided with Sebastian’s jaw hard enough to bruise, sending a sickening slap though the room. Had Ciel been sober, there was little doubt that Sebastian’s jaw would have indeed been broken. For once it seemed a blessing that Ciel was so intoxicated.

Now free, Ciel moved forward as quickly as he could managed. A grin was plastered on his face, knowing just what fate Joker had in store. Surely nothing of which the man was currently hoping for. This only seemed to elate Ciel all the more. He moved closer, the gun shaking but making it’s mark as it was pressed into Joker’s side, and Ciel leaned in to whisper into a bloodied hole of an ear.

With a click of the gun, Ciel spoke. “I’m going to make you suffer through everything you’ve put me through, and so much more.” The bang was such a satisfying sound but not compared to the scream that tore through Joker’s throat. It was then that Ciel stepped back to survey his work.

Joker howled as another bullet tore through his shoulder and blood streamed down his body to join the already large pool of blood at his feet. He screamed in anger at not just the pain but the fact that the bullets hadn’t killed him like he wanted them to. It seemed as though Ciel was just as sadistic as Sebastian. But the only good thing that had come about this was seeing Sebastian and Ciel’s relationship crumble. There had to be something wrong between them for Ciel to strike and fight Sebastian in such a way and Joker could only guess that it was something he had helped to cause.

“Stop, Ciel!” Sebastian called and once more grabbed at Ciel. The pain in his jaw was nothing to the knowledge that Ciel had actually struck him in such a way. Ciel probably didn’t even realize that he had done such a thing and the thought tore at Sebastian. He grasped Ciel tightly from behind, pinning Ciel’s arms to the side as he focused his energy on the younger male. Joker didn’t matter anymore. All that Sebastian cared about now was Ciel.

Ciel didn’t try to resist. Instead he leaned back against Sebastian as a support. Blue and violet eyes stared intently at joker, waiting for what would soon come. It would come so soon and the excitement within Ciel was building quickly. Once more he was shaking, but it had little do with fear or nerves. “He’ll die,” Ciel whispered to himself. “He’ll die painfully and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it.” If Ciel could hear himself, he might have become concerned. They way in which he spoke sounded far from anything sane, and it begged to question how stable Ciel was at the moment.

Sebastian stared at Ciel, wondering what the younger male was talking about. The wounds wouldn’t kill if they stopped the bleeding now and blood loss wouldn’t be a painful way to die. It was slow, yes, but there was rarely any pain that came from it. He pushed gently at the younger male, wanting to get Ciel out of the room so they could talk and he could deal with the issue of the alcohol. This wasn’t the place to do so.

He was stopped, though, as Joker trembled in the chair and the scent of urine filled the room. The liquid trickled down Joker’s leg and mixed together with the pool of blood under the chair, making it grow larger. “Fire,” Joker slurred and thrashed harder in the chair. “It burns!” He screamed, his eye growing wide as he started to jerk in the chair.

A sharp intake of breath and Ciel was releasing it in a giggle. “This is more than I had expected,” he whispered, still not giving Sebastian much acknowledgement. It was amazing what belladonna could do when stripped down to the truly poisonous chemical within the plant and concentrating it into a potent serum. The effects would be sudden and violent, and the process towards death accelerated to an alarming rate.

Ciel looked quite pleased and he pushed away from Sebastian. He would have to remember to thank the man for the present. The woman who made the wondrous bullets would be needed to be thanked as well, but that could wait. Everything could wait for the moment. Ciel had no need for anything until Joker was dead.

“Does it hurt?” Ciel asked, and laughed once more in his liquor induced craze.

A wide eye stared up at Ciel. “Who are you?!” He yelled and pushed back further into the chair. “Get away from me!”

Sebastian watched silently from behind Ciel as the effects of the belladonna took over Joker. Confusion and hallucinations seemed to be hitting the man the worst but that was the least of the man’s worries. Soon Joker’s nervous system would be affected, and his breathing and heart rate would suffer as his body tried to keep everything working at once. His heart would beat slower even while he tried to take in more air until he would suffocate.

Another scream left Joker’s throat before he started coughing. Sweat trickled down his face as he panted for breath. The poison worked faster since it was already in the bloodstream compared to if the plant had been ingested, and Sebastian could see blue tinting Joker’s lips as his lungs failed to bring in enough oxygen.

For the first time, Ciel turned and addressed Sebastian. “How long do you think he has?” Ciel asked, and looked back to Joker with curiosity.

“Not long,” Sebastian answered and watched as Joker struggled to breath. “A few minutes at most.”

Ciel hummed and cocked his gun, bringing it up and pointing it back at Joker’s trembling body. “Give or take three minutes?” He asked but didn’t wait for an answer as he moved unsteadily towards his victim.

The was only one last thing Ciel felt inclined to repay Joker with. Ciel’s lips twisted into a cruel smirk and before Sebastian could stop him, the gun was jerked up and shoved violently into the hollow socket of Jokers right eye. It was a shame that Sebastian had already done the honors of removing the eye, but Ciel would do one better. Ciel waited only half a minute as Joker’s breaths began to rattle his frame as they came less frequent and more pained.

“Goodbye,” Ciel bid and the trigger was pulled. The sound of the shot was echoed by the splatter of blood on both the floor and wall. Red was such a pretty color, and this red seemed the prettiest of them all. “Pretty, pretty red.” He turned to Sebastian and smiled, vision blurring and turning. A flash of sanity seemed to cross Ciel’s eyes for an instant before he was toppling over on the floor and emptying out the alcoholic contents of his stomach, allowing them to mix with blood, urine, and probably day old vomit in a most distasteful soup.

Sebastian cursed and moved to Ciel’s side, pulling the younger male away from the disgusting floor. He tugged his shirt off and wiped at Ciel’s face before pulling him to his feet. He wanted to get Ciel back to their room so he could clean the younger male up and then find out exactly how much Ciel drank before coming downstairs.

“Let’s go, Ciel,” he murmured softly, lifting the younger male into his arms. “There’s nothing more you can do to him now.”

No protest came from Ciel, and he allowed himself to close his eyes. The relief that should have been there was oddly absent and Ciel felt empty and sick. His stomach turned again and he hoped not to vomit once more. Instead he closed his eyes and gave himself up eagerly to the darkness. Ciel no longer knew what he was doing and wanted to think little over what he had just done in the insanity of hate and liquor. In unconsciousness, at least, he could hide from it all, even if just for a moment longer.

To Be Continued . . .
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Akiru chan

January 2012

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