Sebastian wasted no time before whipping out his favorite set of table knives and throwing them at Angela. Not one of the three hit, though; she leapt into the air, out of the way. In turn, her wings flared, and Sebastian dodged as deadly-sharp arrow feathers shot toward him.
The next moment, Angela drew her own silvery-gold angelic dagger and dove from above, while Sebastian, armed with more shining silver knives, jumped into the air. Ciel watched from below, tucked into an out-of-the-way corner, as silver struck steel.
For a moment, they seemed to hand, suspended, in the air. Demon pushed against angel. Angel pushed back. Neither made progress. Then, in the next second, Sebastian shoved forcefully against the dagger, pushing it aside, and used his other arm to withdraw yet another set of knives, which he lashed out with.
This time, the hit landed, the blades biting deeply into Angela's side. She gasped in pain, the dagger tumbling from her grasp and falling to the ground below. A snarl marred her features and her wings flexed again, releasing another barrage of feathers, this time managing to graze Sebastian's shoulder. He let out a quiet grunt, more from shock then pain.
Below, Ciel quietly slipped toward the fallen dagger, safe in the knowledge that Angela was too blinded by anger and occupied with Sebastian to take notice. He tucked it into his jacket before he returned to his corner. From there, he looked up impassively as the battle raged above, eyes wide and curious.
He had ordered Sebastian to win, and he would win. He knew that much.
Finally, both beings settled again on the ground, no less wrathful than at the start. Tension crackled in the air in the briefest of moments left to breathe.
Sebastian, along with the graze on his shoulder, was bleeding from his head, and stood slightly awkwardly on one of his legs. He seemed unaffected, though, hardly a trace of pain on his face and still as ready to fight as before. Already, the wounds seemed to be closing, the bleeding slowing down.
Angela, on the other hand, was breathing laboriously. Deep wounds dug into her side and stomach, and her arm was held stiffly. One of her wings appeared half-plucked and bloodstained. She staggered a little as she landed; Ciel smiled.
The moment passed and Sebastian lunged forward suddenly, aiming to pin her to the wall. He was stronger than her; he succeeded. Angela could only struggle, trying to throw Sebastian off. She jerked, again and again, but eventually was forced to admit defeat, and sagged in his grip, glaring at him.
Angela was still. Sebastian's eyes narrowed in suspicion.
In another second, Angela threw all her weight forward with a roar. A surge of blindingly bright light came with her, and their combined force threw Sebastian into the opposite wall. Unnoticed to him, for a just a moment, his body lost its human guise and dissolved into smoke, before reforming.
Angela lunged for her chance while Sebastian was stunned by the blow, but the demon wasn't frozen long enough for her to land another hit. He sprang out of the way just in time, leaving the wall behind to be partially disintegrated. Angela whirled on him, firing another tendril of light.
Sebastian jumped straight up, out of the way of the beam.
Ciel's eyes widened as the light soared toward him.
Angela gasped, reaching as if to take back the light that would undo her hard work.
Sebastian twisted in midair. His eyes widened as he realized that it was already too late to react.
Ciel's mouth opened in a gasp as the light hit him.
He was knocked back to the ground with a cry, and then, for a moment, both beings were frozen. That was not supposed to happen. Neither of them meant for that to happen. It was not a good thing. Ciel was limp, unconscious in the corner. Complete and utter silence, heavy with shock, filled the room.
Then a scream tore it wide open, loud and agonized. Ciel convulsed on the ground, and rings of blinding light ran along his body. Another scream ripped free from his lungs.
Breaking out of his frozen state, Sebastian didn't think twice before flinging still more knives at Angela. Too stunned to react, she was pinned to the solid wooden wall, knives embedded in her clothing, hands, and either side of her neck. She quickly realized that moving was too risky, and settled for a baleful glare.
"Young Master!" called Sebastian, already beside Ciel. He placed his hand on Ciel's arm, but another ring of light had him hissing and pulling away. He glanced at it; rather than a burn, just for an instant, he saw the familiar shadowy, clawed hand, before it reformed into its human disguise.
He tore his gaze away from the strange phenomenon as Ciel stopped thrashing and let out a low groan, falling limp. Sebastian's hands shot forward again, adjusting the eight-year-old so that he lay against the wall.
But he wasn't eight anymore. He was nine. Then ten. Ciel was… growing. Eleven, twelve… Would he remember anything at all of the last few weeks? Would he be the same as before?
Ciel's eyes opened.
For a moment, he looked disoriented, confused. "Sebastian?" He looked around. "What…" He trailed off, eyes widening in surprise as the last few weeks of memories rushed back to him. He caught up quickly and his eyes narrowed again.
"Young Master?" Sebastian questioned.
"Is she dead yet?" Ciel, intently focused on his once-again-thirteen year old hands, did not look up.
Sebastian glanced disdainfully at the still-hateful angel. "Unfortunately, no, my lord. She is still alive… for now."
"Good." Ciel struggled to stand, legs shaky after their sudden regrowth. Instinctively, Sebastian reached out to steady him.
The first tip-off in Sebastian's mind came when he accepted the help without resistance.
It didn't take long to reach Angela. She opened her mouth almost immediately to start spewing her words of venom, but a nod from Ciel had Sebastian clapping his hand over her mouth, stopping that plan in its tracks.
"How do you intend to kill her, my lord?" Sebastian asked, as if his hand was not currently preventing her from making any audible noise. "No ordinary human weapon will do, after all."
"Not with a bang, but with a whimper," Ciel stated, not paying Sebastian's resulting confusion any heed.
This was followed by the second tip-off.
Ciel tilted his head and granted Angela a wide, chilling smile. "Exactly as you deserve."
From within his jacket, he drew the angelic dagger that his younger self had retrieved from the floor, early on in the fight.
His expression turned dark and threatening as he pressed the softly glowing dagger against Angela's throat. A bead of crimson liquid formed on the edge of the blade, and her mouth formed into a snarl.
"You were a fool to cross a Phantomhive," he said softly. Then he slid the knife against her throat, slitting it wide open.
Angela died, gasping for breath, unable to move, bleeding onto her clean, white dress. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
And Ciel watched. Not cold, as he would have before the transformation. But not smiling, like his younger self. Instead, he watched intently, completely focused on the fallen angel, with a strange, detached sort of interest as all emotion in her body slowly, steadily, drained away to nothing.
When Angela's struggles slowed to a stop, Ciel stood back. For the second time since he was restored, he smiled. Bright. Relieved. He looked at Sebastian, and it flickered and died with speed unimaginable in his eight-year-old self.
"Just one more." It wasn't a question. Sebastian answered anyway.
"Yes, my lord."
As, once again, Ciel smiled – soft this time, wistful – Sebastian felt realization dawn on him with this last hint. Oh. Oh.
"One more, and it will all be over for me." He turned his head; the soft, lingering smile was now directed at Sebastian. "I don't really mind. In fact…" He looked back to the front as he spoke again. "I'm rather looking forward to it."
It seemed that some effects of the spell lingered.
Sebastian was right.
Over the next few weeks, it became more and more apparent that Ciel had changed. He was happier. He smiled more. Soma was met with less rudeness and he was less averse to physical contact, and he played games more often.
Of course, he was still their Young Master. He was as easily annoyed and work-oriented as ever, and still just as intolerant. He still snapped and he still yelled.
But he was happier. Friendlier, nicer, and spookier.
What was creepy on his eight-year-old self was just as frightening on his thirteen-year-old features.
And he still relentlessly pursued his target.
They were satisfied.