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Title: furnace room lullaby
Fandom:  Kuroshitsuji | Black Butler
Pairing:  Sebastian/Ciel
Categories: Vignette, hurt/comfort, horror
Length:  Short (1,658 words)
Warnings: None

Author on AO3:  dustofwarfare

Summary: Sometimes Ciel dreams he died on the sacrificial altar, and wakes up gasping his demon's name. And sometimes, his demon hears.

Review: The Kuroshitsuji fandom has several excellent stories under 2,000 words, but in the end, I decided to rec this newer piece by dustofwarfare. In "furnace room lullaby," Ciel wakes from a nightmare to find Sebastian in his room, summoned by Ciel calling out for him in his sleep. What follows is a wonderfully in-character exchange between demon and master. Like Kuroshitsuji itself, this story is hard to categorize. Sebastian's very presence almost classifies it as horror, but there is also hurt/comfort, as much Sebastian would offer and Ciel would allow. I suppose you could call it a slice-of-life vignette, for all that it emphasizes how delightfully strange and dark Ciel's life is.

All of dustofwarfare's stories portray a Sebastian as mysterious (and occasionally sinister) as he is in canon, a refreshing change from a lot of Kuroshitsuji fic. Sebastian's mask as a devoted servant sometimes hides the demon inside. This story is a reminder of the danger he poses to Ciel, and it leaves me feeling somewhat unsettled, like waking from a nightmare. But the inner fortitude provided by Ciel's point of view keeps "furnace room lullaby" from devolving into pure angst. This is a Ciel who was damaged by his past, but not broken by it, and who doesn't flinch away from who and what Sebastian really is. I love that, while highlighting the threat of their bond, this story also hints at the real affection between Ciel and Sebastian. For those of you who don't read underage, this story is only about as slashy as the anime itself, and could easily be read as pre-slash or gen, depending on how you interpret Sebastian's motivations. This vignette is like a photograph that illustrate everything I love about the relationship between them, however you decide to interpret it.

furnace room lullaby

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Length Guidelines

Short: under 2,000 words
Medium: 2,000-15,000 words
Long: 15,000-40,000 words
Epic: 40,000-100,000 words
Super Epic: 100,000+ words

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