The unusually sunny countryside slowly passed by as the carriage rolled down the well-traveled dirt road. It had been a while since the weather had been this nice. This part of the country was normally plagued with thunderstorms and overcast days around this time of year. A beautiful day like this would normally have young Elizabeth in a rather zealous mood, especially since she would soon be sharing this day with her betrothed in the garden for tea. Today that giddy mood was not taking over her entire being as it normally would have. Instead of thinking about the time she was about to have with the person she loved, Elizabeth's mind was in a more distant future.
During her frequent rides to the Phantomhive estate, the girl often thought about what was to become of her life when she was finally married to her fiance. Every little girl dreamed of marrying the man of their dreams. That was no secret. Elizabeth was lucky to have already met him, the young man she would one day marry. To already have herself promised to him and him to her was something that not many people were entitled to. Any other young woman her age would be filled with joy at the mere thought of this soon to be perfect life. She would no longer be Lady Elizabeth Ethel Cordelia Middleford once she married. She would be Lady Elizabeth Ethel Cordelia Phantomhive. Taking the last name of her fiance and becoming part of his highly regarded family and soon starting her own was truly a dream come true for Elizabeth.
As she stared out at the golden fields of wheat, Elizabeth's mind went to the day of her wedding. She could be married to Ciel the day he turned fourteen if they so wished. though she would like that, Elizabeth always pictured herself several years older when walking up the nave to finally be united with her husband-to-be. She would have a wedding dress that would make every other single woman attending the service green with envy. The church would be exquisitely decorated with various flowers that suited what ever the colour scheme of their wedding was (which for Elizabeth consisted mainly of light shades of pink). Everyone in the church pews would have big smiles on their faces as her father walked her down the seemingly endless aisle way, ready to give her away. Even Ciel would be standing there waiting for her with a smile on his face. Not one of those cynical smirks that crossed his visage every now and then, but a true, genuine smile. Elizabeth could not remember the last time she had witnessed Ciel truly smile. Try as she might, the girl could never get him to beam like he used to when they were younger, before he had changed. She missed the boy he used to be and knew that it would take a very long time for him to return to the person he had once been. Nevertheless, he was smiling at their wedding just waiting to say how much he loved her.
A few weeks ago this imaginary scene would have made her grin and blush like a love struck fool. Not today. Now the thought made her heart ache and her eyes fill with a sorrow that should not be found in those bright, emerald pools. These silly fantasies should have made her one of the happiest girls alive. Sadly, she could not bring herself to feel that way on this sunny afternoon. Living her life married to the one person who had stolen her heart should have been one of the most stupendous things in the entire universe. How could one's life not be wonderful when they were with the one they loved? That was an easy question for Elizabeth to answer. It was only miserable if the one she loved did not harbour those same feelings in return.
When they had been younger, Ciel and Elizabeth did everything together. They were each other's best friend, the one person they could tell anything to. Their parents, of course, had them spend so much time together because of the marriage that had been arranged for them when they reached the legal age. Elizabeth could remember the countless hours they spent together innocently enjoying life. They had played hide-and-go-seek throughout the Phantomhive manor or in the Middleford's garden. They would sit with their parents in the drawing room and flip through books they did not understand at the time, just making up stories to 'read' to the other. They had even attended many of their music and riding lessons together. From those early years any fool could see that this would be a relationship right out of a romance novel. They grew up as cousins and best friends. That friendship would slowly morph into something much stronger as they started to reach adulthood. eventually the pair would have an undying love for one another that any person would be jealous of. Elizabeth and Ciel truly had been something special.
Then it happened. The thing that Elizabeth wished she could push out of her mind forever. The horrific murder of Vincent and Rachel Phantomhive. The abduction and return of their first and only child. The destruction of their home and everything that held some special place in the history of the Phantomhive family. It had all been destroyed in the blink of an eye. That one event had changed her Ciel forever. The happy, carefree boy that had once been was no more. All innocence had been stripped from him as he was prematurely plunged into a harsh reality that most adults would not even be able to face. Elizabeth remembered the day she had received the news of his return. She was so happy to hear that he was alive and had not perished in the flames like her uncle and aunt had. He might have been a child still, but there was something about him that made him blend in with the rest of the adult world. The corners of his mouth never threatened to twist up into a glee-filled grin that had always been there before. His eyes no longer held that mischievous spark. Even the way he carried himself had changed. Ciel had once been so full of life that his physical movements embodied an energy that could only be found in children. That was all gone. He had been hardened into a cold, stoic young man. Elizabeth could not even call him a boy anymore. He was too far from childhood to ever receive that description from her. At her delicate age, all she wanted to do was go see her best friend and get things back to normal. That was all any child could ask for after such chaos. Unfortunately for Elizabeth, her view on what should be was never to happen.
For months after the incident, Elizabeth did everything she could to try and get her Ciel back. His drastic change in personality did not make her love him any less. He was still the same exact person she had grown up with. She just needed to find a way to bring happiness back into his miserable life. She had hoped her constant cheer would rub off on him. No such luck. She was always wanting to do things with him and take him places just to get his mind off the past. Elizabeth and her family might have been affected by the Phantomhive family tragedy, but nowhere near the extent it influenced Ciel. She might not be able to fully sympathize with her cousin, but she was able to understand that he needed something, someone, to make him realize that there was more to life than brooding over the past and avenging the death of lost love. Ever since the day of his return, Elizabeth vowed to make him see that the world had something good to offer, that he could find happiness gain. She wanted to show him that she loved him and he too could love. It was not too much to ask for, but the ghosts of his tortured past refused to surrender making Elizabeth's job much harder than she had anticipated.
As a couple years passed on by, Elizabeth tried harder and harder to make her broken fiance's life a little better. She had long since given up on trying to get him to be the boy he once was. When she was younger she thought that she could get her old Ciel back, the Ciel she had grown up with. Elizabeth might only be a few years older now, but she had matured drastically. Now her only goal was to offer him a piece of joy in his life. She would still like to see a smile grace his hardened features, but even she was beginning to think that he did not have the physical ability to contort his face into a happy facade, even for a few hours. His favourite activities and sweets no longer made him smile or stare with an eager glint in his cobalt eyes. Correction; eye. There was also that ugly black patch of fabric covering the eyes she could stare into for days on end. If there was some chance that the tiniest bit of mirth could be found on his face, half of it would have been hidden by his fringe of slate hair and eye cover. The least she could do for him now was let him know that he was loved. Perhaps that would be enough to make him content. She could live with that. She still had her childish daydreams, as any fourteen year old girl would, of being Earl Phantomhive's bride, the only one he would ever love. Her constant happiness was the one light in his life. There might be others around him to cared for him in some way, but not as much as Elizabeth did.
She hoped that Ciel would one day come to realize there would be one individual who made him feel things that no other person could. As much as she wanted to be that special one in his life, she knew she had been replaced. It was something that she dare not discuss with anyone, not even her most trusted friends. This was an unspoken matter that would remain as such inside her own mind for as long as she lived. Just when she thought Ciel incapable of ever smiling, she had witnessed the subtle twitch of his lips one day. It was not because of her or anything she had said, it was because of something Sebastian had practically whispered to the young earl. That was when she first started to notice it. Elizabeth liked the Phantomhive butler. Sebastian Michaelis had shown up with Ciel when he had escaped his captors. When she inquired as to how he hired Sebastian, Ciel told her that his father, before he had died, had hired Sebastian who had not been able to get back to England until after the Phantomhive tragedy. It was a story she, and everyone else, so easily believed. The mysterious butler never left her fiance's side since. In fact, it was strange to see Ciel without him for more than a couple hours. What bothered her was that he seemed to like having Sebastian next to him all the time. There were times when she thought that he paid more attention to his servant than to his fiancee. If anyone could lighten the boy's cold exterior, it was that charming butler of his.
Before Elizabeth could delve any further into the matter, the carriage had come to a stop outside of the Phantomhive manor. The driver opened the door and let Elizabeth out. Normally Paula would have accompanied her, but it was her day off. Once she was out of the landau, the girl made her way up to the front door, lifting a dainty hand to knock on the dark wood. Over the past couple weeks, her visits were less frequent. She had wanted to see if Ciel missed her. Each time she would come over, he never seemed to be overjoyed about her presence here. Perhaps today would be different. The last time she had seen the earl was two weeks ago for only a brief amount of time before he left for London to do the Queen's bidding. He would always up and leave by order of Her Majesty. Sometimes he would be gone for a couple hours or, like recently, a couple weeks. Elizabeth never knew when she was going to be able to see him anymore. She had asked to go with him one time, knowing that he had a townhouse in the city, but Ciel had declined. The only person he ever took anywhere with him was Sebastian. Elizabeth always thought it was cute how close the two were, even if Ciel so readily denied it. She was now beginning to think that they were a little too close for her liking.
The girl flinched as the door opened, pulling herself from her previous thoughts. "Hello Maylene." she said with a grin as the smiling woman opened the door.
"Lady Elizabeth! I was wondering when you were going to show up." the bespectacled maid said, allowing the young girl entrance to the mansion. "The young master's in the garden waiting for you 'e is." she told Elizabeth as they walked into the foyer and down one of the large halls.
Ciel was never there to greet her anymore. Even Sebastian rarely answered the door on the days she would visit when he used to be the one greeting her with that friendly smile of his. Now it was normally Maylene or, once in a great while, Bardroy who would show her into the house. Elizabeth would have loved for her cousin to be there to greet her like he used to, but Elizabeth was fine with Maylene always showing her to him. Besides, Elizabeth liked talking to the only other female member of the Phantomhive household. She would feel bad for Maylene, having to live with all these men day in and day out. The only time she ever got to associate with other females is when they came to visit the young earl. It was safe to say that there were not that many ladies who stepped into the Phantomhive manor.
"Where's Sebastian at?" she casually inquired after a moment of comfortable silence.
"'E's out in the garden with the young master." Maylene answered. "Last I saw 'im, 'e was bringing Master Ciel some kind of cake."
"Oh." was the quiet response that fell from Elizabeth's lips. Of course. Sebastian was with Ciel. She should have guessed that on her own. As much as she tried to push the feeling away, she could not help but to be envious of Sebastian. He was the one who held Ciel's attention. He was the one who Ciel would rely on for anything, not just matters concerning his position as butler of the Phantomhive family. She had seen the looks Ciel gave him. They held almost as much adoration in them as he could muster. She knew that she was the only one who saw it clearly, for it was the same way she looked at Ciel. Elizabeth hated herself for finding her jealousy of Sebastian also made her regard the butler with a bit of contempt. He got the attention from Ciel she had only ever received in her childish fantasies.
When the pair reached the door that led to the garden, Elizabeth put a hand up to stop Maylene from opening the door for her. "I've got it from here." she said as cheerfully as possible to the maid. Maylene dropped her hand and took a step back from the door. All this time and she still had to be escorted around the house she so desperately wanted to call home one day.
"Of course." she said with a clumsy curtsy, dismissing herself from the girl. Elizabeth watched Maylene walk back down the hall before turning into a room she had probably been cleaning, or attempting to, before Elizabeth had shown up.
Once the maid was out of sight, Elizabeth quietly opened the door and slipped outside onto the terrace. Her eyes slowly roamed over the plethora of flowering plants in search of her cousin. As always, he was sitting at the table waiting for her to join him. If this were any other day she would have bounded up to him with a skip in her step, ready to fling her arms around his slight shoulders. The only thing stopping her from doing so was the sight that was presented to her: Ciel was sitting in his chair, obviously enjoying the sweet, cream covered confection Sebastian had brought him. She was not quite sure what had happened, but it looked like Ciel had somehow managed to get most the frosting on him rather than in his mouth. This would not have been something different if it were not for Sebastian. He was (or had been as the case was now) leaning dangerously close to the young earl, their faces almost touching. She could practically see the normally stoic boy blushing like, well, a girl like her. Sebastian said something that she could not make out and Ciel playfully swatted him away with his right hand. That characteristic smirk of Sebastian's danced on his thin lips as he ran a finger across Ciel's mouth, wiping away the remaining frosting. Words were exchanged and Sebastian proceeded to lick the sugary substance off his finger in the most curious fashion. Ciel's hand came up and covered Sebastian's larger one as he said something to the butler. Sebastian responded by leaning forward and whispering something in her cousin's ear, making him smile. It was not one of those sardonic smirks she so often saw on his face, but a genuine smile. Ciel was happy.
Elizabeth wanted to cry. the only thing she had ever wanted was to make him happy, to make him know that he was loved, to make him know that there was one other individual in this world who could help him find that. Elizabeth was clearly not the one to do so. As much as she wanted to hate Sebastian right now for taking her place in Ciel's life, she could not bring herself to do it. She had always known. It was something she had denied, but deep down Elizabeth knew that Ciel would never love her as she loved him no matter how hard she tried. That did not mean that she had given up on him.
Not wanting to alert Sebastian or Ciel to her presence (Though she could have sworn she saw Sebastian make eye contact with her at one point, even if it was for a brief second), Elizabeth quietly went back inside. The tears that threatened to fall quickly ceased to exist as she realized something. All she wanted was for Ciel to be happy. Elizabeth loved him with all her heart and only wanted to see him genuinely happy for once in his short life. If Sebastian was the one who could do that for him, so be it. She would always have tremendous heartache and long to be by his side as his one true love. There was no doubting that. But because Elizabeth loved him, she was at peace with knowing he had found his one piece of happiness in the dark world he lived in.
The girl took a deep breath to compose herself before opening the door with an excited flourish. "Ciel!" she exclaimed, only to see the boy and his butler waiting for her in a much more respectable manner. At least Elizabeth was still able to put on the facade she was so used to. Ciel was never to be hers and hers alone. She could hope. She could wish. She could dream. She could love him, but only on her own.
On My Own Rating: K+ Pairings: one-sided Elizabeth/Ciel, Sebastian/Ciel Summary: She has and will always love him. All she ever wanted for him was to be happy. Her childish dreams of the life they could have together only push her to do more to see to it that he has a small piece of happiness in his otherwise miserable life even if she if she is the not the one who can give that to him.
Derp. Another Kuroshitsuji fanfiction because that's all I really feel like writing. This has not been proofread by anyone other than myself, so I apologize for mistakes. If you find any it would be wonderful if you could let me know. Writing in the wee hours of the morning is never kind to me. Oh, this was inspired by the song On My Own from the musical Les Miserables.
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Sadly this was just a stand alone one-shot. I do have other Sebastian x Ciel one-shots written if you haven't checked them out yet. And there will be more to come in the near future for sure.
Aw! Poor Lizzy! I'm not a fan of her but even I feel bad for the poor girl! Ciel how could you? Great story! Sad but great! Bassie how dare you play with a woman's heart! Leaving me and going off with that Phantomhive brat!
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^Nyx-Valentine arrived in our community and started whipping everyone into a frenzy with her relentless desire to bring the Artistic Nude and Fetish galleries to the fore. 9 years later, and it's safe to say that Nyx is not only a leader as a photographer in these galleries, but she has also established herself as a much saught after model. ^... Read More