The Butler and the Maid

Damn Loopholes

Anna had holed herself up in her room, still deeply in grief at her loss, and Kylee was with her. In the meantime, Sebastian and Ciel were in the study, contemplating about what to do next.

"Well, these have been some unfortunate circumstances," Ciel sighed. "What had been lost cannot be regained… Sebastian… out of curiosity, do you know what happens to angels that die?"

"Their souls are sent to the forbidden First Level of Heaven where we normal angels aren't allowed to enter," Anna murmured as she quietly entered the study. Her hair was a little messy, her eyes were puffed up and swollen, and she looked like a wreck. "Only the highest archangels are able to enter and leave freely, but otherwise the souls of angels that die go there… and can be given the choice of eternal happiness or become a holy guardian angel."

"Oh Anna," Sebastian sighed, moving to her side. "You don't need to be here right now."

She shook her head, sniffling. "I-I'll feel much better when we catch that lowly demon that did this to Fang…" she swore.

Ciel stared at her for a moment before turning to his faithful butler. "Sebastian, leave us be," he ordered. "I wish to speak to her alone."

Sebastian looked back from Anna to his young master before bowing. "As you wish, Young Master," he responded obligingly. As he turned to leave, his gaze lingered worriedly on the angel before leaving the premises.

"What is it, Ciel?" Anna implored quietly.

"Anna," he began awkwardly, "if it's any consolation, I swear that we'll get Andrew Hawkins and make him pay."

She remained silent, blinking. I-Is he trying to console me? She wondered. The much-feared Queen's Watchdog Earl Ciel Phantomhive is trying to console me… There was just something funny about it.

Ciel flushed in embarrassment and scowled, "Well, say something."

"Ciel," she said softly, "do you really believe that there is no getting back what once was lost?"

He closed his eyes, leaning back in his chair. "Yes, I believe that," he said, and his hand unconsciously brushed over the ring on his thumb.

The angel closed her eyes sadly. In quick strides, she was by his side, her arms warm around him. Ciel flushed in embarrassment and surprise.

"A-Anna…" he breathed in surprise.

Tears fell from her eyes as her body quietly shook, crying for Ciel's lost innocence; crying for Fang; crying for Kylee; crying for herself and what had been taken from her. Unconsciously, her wings rose from her back and wrapped around them both, basking them in warmth as a grieved comfort flowed into them.

"Ciel, I'm so sorry…" she apologized, "You're still yet so young… but you've gone through so much pain…"

He snorted. "The past can't be changed, Annabelle," he told her flatly. "Crying about it now won't do much help. But…" His expression softened. "Thank you… for crying for me." Thank you for crying where I couldn't, he added silently.

"My, my, what do we have here," Sebastian murmured in slight amusement as he re-entered the room after knocking. "Is everything alright here, Young Master? Anna?"

The angel's wings retracted as she sniffed, pulling away from the young earl towards Sebastian. Her wings vanished as Anna wiped away her tears, standing next to the stoic butler.

"Anna," he said softly, "feel free to head back to your room. I'll bring you some warm milk later."

She shook her head. "I-If I can't perform my duty now," she sniffed, "there is no place for me here in the Phantomhive Manor."

Ciel smiled darkly. "Well spoken," he said. "Now, Sebastian, what do you want?"

The butler returned the smile. "I am pleased to inform you that it seems that Ash and Angela have been caught in a certain trap I set," he told them both. "Please come with me."

Their venture led them back to the deserted warehouse where Ciel had been formally held hostage by Andrew Hawkins before he had been rescued by Anna.

In the midst of the wreckage inside the warehouse, a single metal birdcage stood in its centre, nearly as tall as the ceiling. Inside the cage stood two less-than-impressed angels, glaring menacingly at their new guests. Anna's unique angel brand stood out on their necks, the only true scar left on their otherwise-flawless skin.

Sebastian chuckled darkly. "It's good to see you again," he greeted, "feeling like caged birds?"

"Very funny demon," Ash scowled. "If I was out of here, I'd rip you to shreds."

Anna turned to Sebastian in wonder. "Just how did you trap these two in here?" she asked. "Just the entire process in general is difficult to imagine. How in the world were you able to pull this off, Sebastian?"

"Through me," Andrew Hawkins stepped into view from behind the birdcage. "You should be thanking me for this, Annabelle Phantomhive."

Immediately, Anna got into defensive position in front of Ciel, glaring at the Greater Demon. "What the hell are you talking about?" she hissed at him.

"You should thank that boyfriend of yours," he said, gesturing towards Sebastian, "he made a deal with me, one that was nearly impossible to decline."

The angel whirled on him in alarm. "S-Sebastian?" she breathed.

"Sebastian, what is the meaning of this?" Ciel demanded. "What deal did you make with him?"

The butler bowed deeply in apology. "I apologize for not informing you of this deal earlier, Young Master, but I had my own reasons."

Andrew grinned. "Your butler Lesser Demon Sebastian Michaelis came to me asking me to capture these two rogue angels and have them hand-delivered to him," he informed them. "And here they are, Sebastian. It was helpful finding them by spilling the blood of that little cat. Anyway, now that my side of the deal is done, you must keep your side of the bargain."

Anna's eyes widened, the horror in her eyes unmistakable. "S-Sebastian? You knew what would happen to Fang?"

"No, no," the Phantomhive butler protested, "I had no idea that Andrew was going to kill Fang! Anna, you have to believe me."

Andrew cackled at the drama unfolding before him. "Oh, how amusing," he said. "Well, killing that cat was part of a deal I made with another acquaintance of mine."

"How dare you," Anna hissed, an icy blue aura flaming around her, "how dare you kill someone that precious to me! Fang has been with me for hundreds of years, how dare you take him away from me!"

"Anna, calm down," Ciel told her, "Your rage won't help out at all. Keep calm and collected and think this through before you act."

Shivers tingled down her spine as her aura fizzed away, but the fire burning in her eyes did not waver or dim in the slightest.

The Greater Demon smirked, obviously unfazed by this new development. Raising his hands, his eyes began to glow with that demonic purple glint. "Arise, la barrière d'humains," he called, and instantaneously a huge circle was drawn around the entire perimeter, a black and purple barrier rising from the ground up.

"Ciel!" Anna shouted, lunging at the young earl as she barrelled him to the ground as black lightning struck the place where he formally stood. Immediately, the angel raised a barrier around him. "Ciel, whatever happens, don't move from out of this spot. The moment you leave this protective barrier, this barrière d'humains will kill you within seconds."

"'Barrier of humans'? What the hell is this?" the now-irritated earl growled.

"It's a barrier that kills all humans within its perimeter," Sebastian explained, his eyes not leaving the grinning Greater Demon. "I apologize for not saving you, Young Master, however I cannot take my focus off Andrew Hawkins for even one moment else he would make a move that I would probably be too late for. Plus, I knew that Anna would probably save you anyway."

A low growl emitted from Ciel's throat as he glared at his demon butler.

"How utterly amusing," Andrew said, walking over to the bird cage sealing Ash and Angela. He snapped his fingers and the locks were broken, the rogue angels breaking free.

"What is the meaning of this?" Sebastian demanded angrily, "This was not part of our agreement!" He tried to move, but suddenly found that he couldn't, realizing immediately that he had been placed under Andrew's compulsion.

The Greater Demon smiled at him. "My part of the agreement was that I would capture the rogue angels Ash and Angela and have them hand-delivered to you, was it not?" he reminded, and the loophole was suddenly so obvious, but he decided to point it out to the obviously-stupid Lesser Demon. "You never said that anything against my letting them go. Actually, this was also another bargain I made… with these two angels Ash and Angela… in return for letting them go, they would lead me to kill that angel cat Fangorn Angelista."

A grieving rage fluttered throughout Anna's body. The two angels smirked.

"Sebastian," Ciel hissed, "just how deep are you into this?"

Andrew dipped his head towards the fallen angels. "It was a pleasure doing business with you both," he said, and immediately the two rogue angels broke a hole in the roof of the warehouse and flew out with great speed.

"Come back here!" Anna screamed, her wings expanding to go after them, but Andrew was quicker.

The Greater Demon appeared behind the angel and stabbed her in the back with a short dagger before plunging a needle into her neck, instantly draining all of her energy as she dropped to her knees, her wings sagging as she slumped, blood flowing from in between her shoulder blades.

"Anna!" Sebastian called, trying to take a step towards her, but he couldn't.

"Not so fast, Sebastian Michaelis," Andrew said, and under the weight of the Greater Demon's orders, Sebastian felt the compulsion weigh down on him even more. The evil demon circled around the weakened angel analytically. "We did have a deal, after all."

Ciel whirled on his butler. "Sebastian!" he barked, "Just what have you done?"

Anna weakly raised her head, looking at the demon butler she fell in love with. "Sebastian… what is he talking about?" she asked him, her eyes filled with a dull pain from the stab wound.

Andrew seemed even more amused. "Oh? So you haven't told them about the deal we made," he sneered, yanking Anna's head back by her silver hair. "That butler that you so care about offered your soul in exchange for his Young Master's goal to capture those two rogue angels."

The angel looked at her lover, her eyes wide in disbelief. "Sebastian… you really didn't, did you?" she breathed, and the tone of betrayal was unmistakable in her voice.

Sebastian offered his lover's soul… for me? Ciel thought in utter disbelief. I'll admit I'm surprised, but… I suppose that this is where Sebastian's true loyalties lie.

The Lesser Demon looked away shamefully. "Annabelle, please understand that this-"

"I don't want to hear your excuses, Sebastian!" she cut off, tears freely falling down her beautiful azure eyes. "I-I thought you loved me, Sebastian," she whimpered.

"I do love you!" he argued. "You know that I don't lie!"

"If you love me, Sebastian," she retorted bitterly, "then why did you choose to damn my soul to the likes of a Greater Demon?"

"A-Anna, I-" Sebastian fumbled with his words, knowing that he really had betrayed her. This was uncommon for the butler to be so hesitant, but it was impossible to avoid it since now the truth was staring at him straight in the eyes.

Without warning, Andrew drew his demon sword Lucifer and plunged it through Anna's heart, the end of the red-bladed sword protruding from her chest, blood dripping off the end. Blood-stained feathers dropped off of her wings as they faded.

"NO!" Sebastian cried.

As Anna's life faded, pained, betrayed eyes engaged his ruby orbs, and a deeper sense of guilt flooded through him.

"W-Why… d-did y-you… t-this… to me…" she rasped, "S-Sebastian…"

After heavy lids drooped over her sightless azure eyes, Andrew heartlessly tore his blade from Anna's body, allowing the angel's carcass to sink to the ground, blood pooling from her body, staining the beautiful white red. Sebastian felt her death the most, the Contract between the both of them immediately shattered. It was like a part of him was ripped from him with her death… and it hurt like hell… worse, if possible.

"Oh no…" Ciel muttered in panic, looking around at the angel barrier, worried that it was going to fall with Anna's death. Fortunately for him, it stayed.

Anna… I-I'm so sorry… As much as Sebastian wanted to run to Anna's side and hold her, the compulsion Andrew had him under kept him in his place, unable to move from his spot.

"Sebastian! Do something!" Ciel ordered, "That's an order!"

His butler's lips curled up into a hiss. "Believe me, Young Master, I would if I could," he responded.

Andrew withdrew a bottle from his pocket, bending down to stain the clear glass with Anna's blood. He inhaled deeply over Anna's body, as if he were inhaling a delicious meal.

"Get away from her!" Sebastian hissed, though the threat was completely empty, as they all knew he could not move.

The Greater Demon ignored him. "Now I extract the soul," he murmured as he used his demonic powers to extract a white light from Anna's body into the bottle before he corked it. "Now I can keep her soul till I figure out how to devour an angel's soul."

Sebastian's eyes widened in realization. "I-Impossible… b-but how-"

"I've been living in isolation for hundreds of years," he interrupted with an evil laugh, "don't think I don't know about the Secret of the Angels. Well, in any case, I bid you thanks, Sebastian Michaelis. That pain she felt at being betrayed shall make the best seasoning."

Lowering the barrière d'humains, Greater Demon Andrew Hawkins smirked darkly at both Sebastian and Ciel before vanishing in wisps of black smoke, the compulsion on Sebastian being removed as well. The orange barrier around Ciel began to deteriorate as it was no longer needed, fluttering up into the sky. Even in death… Anna had protected him.

"Annabelle," Sebastian murmured guiltily as he sank to his knees next to Anna's cold, bloody form, taking the angel that had been the love of his life into his arms. "I-I'm sorry… I never meant for this to happen."

Ciel hesitantly stepped towards them. "Sebastian?" he said quietly, "Is she-?"

Sebastian pulled Anna's head against his chest, closing his eyes. "Yes, Young Master," he answered quietly, "she's gone. Her soul has been taken by Andrew Hawkins, and I have failed to protect her."

Angry at the loss of his dear ancestor, the Earl of Phantomhive slapped his butler across the face. "What were you thinking, Sebastian?" he scolded him, "You knew that Andrew Hawkins was a cunning, conniving demon, yet you trusted him! Because of this… you may very well killed Anna yourself!"

The truth was that after all of their ordeals, Ciel had found it in his cold heart to care for his dear ancestor. She protected him and cared for him like a loving mother. But now… now it no longer mattered…

Sebastian cupped Anna's cold cheek in his palm, gently kissing her on the forehead before laying her down on her back. He took off his tailcoat, draping it over her body. He bowed his head in sadness and regret. "Annabelle… forgive me…" he murmured sadly. I never meant to lose you… I promise you, I'll get your soul back and save you… somehow…

"Well, what are we to do now?" Ciel implored, not knowing what to say to the obviously-distressed demon butler.

A demonic aura hissed around Sebastian's form as his eyes glowed purple, a wide smile of anger displayed on his face. "We're going to get back her soul, of course," he answered. "This time… it's personal."

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