Things to Search For [Petshop of Horrors, Chris/Count D, R] Title: Things to Search For Author:harukami Rating: R Warnings: Spoilers for end of the manga. Word count: 1015 Summary: It's not Leon who finds D, but Chris. A/N: For the prompt Pet Shop of Horrors, Older!Chris/Count D: age differences (a younger seme to an older uke; a refusal to be dimissed). Crossposted to LiveJournal.
In the end, ironically, it's Chris who finds Count D again, not Leon.
Japan had been a spur of the moment idea. He had vacation time saved up, some money in his bank account, and the desire to get far away. He'd been to mainland China a couple of years before and while it'd been fun, a change was good too.
It's coincidence, pretty much, that he ends up in Kabukicho. He's only gone to Shinjuku to go shopping; the red light district's never quite been his thing. He'd left that to his older brother. But he gets there and figures he might as well keep walking until he finds the subway again.
Instead he sees the mall, and he can't even justify it through spur of the moment or coincidence; he wants to go in, has an urge to go in that almost overwhelms him, shrugs it off as weird, but hey, when a cop has a hunch, it's good to act on it.
Seeing the petshop sign freezes him in his tracks, though.
He's replayed this a million times in his head. He'd managed, with some effort, to stay calm when he'd first encountered the younger D. He draws a slow breath, lets it out, and pushes the door open.
"Hey, Count," Chris says. "Long time no see."
He's not Leon. He's not going to go for what he wants and then just leave. He's a different kind of guy, a solid kind of guy who knows for damn sure things are too transient to just walk away from them. So he sits and keeps an eye on D as he moves around the room.
"So, uh," Chris says. "Where's Pon-chan? I'd like to say hi."
D pours tea, his back turned. By the time he faces Chris again he's smiling; maybe he never stopped. "Chris, raccoons live to sixteen years of age at the outside."
There's a sinking feeling in his stomach. "Oh," he says. He gathers himself again. "What about Honlon? Or Tet-chan?"
"They are around," D says evasively. He puts the tea in front of Chris. "You know, I just picked up the most delicious cake--"
"Sounds great," Chris says. "Can I see them?"
D goes to the counter to cut the cake. "No, Chris. You cannot."
"But -- why?" Chris demands. He feels like a child again, six years old again and hurting. "Count, they're my friends--"
The knife flashes and then slides through cake. It comes out covered in white, its reflection dulled. D lays it down and then picks up a piece of cake on a plate and brings it over, slides it in front of Chris, smiling. "There are places in this world that humans cannot return to," D says. "Eden. The womb. The past. Childhood. You are not eating; please, feel free."
He doesn't leave. Hours tick by and he refuses. He feels like once he goes, once he walks out of this place he won't see D ever again, and there'll go his chance for the others, too -- for Honlon, for Tet-chan, for the abandoned kids in the long corridors of rooms he remembers wandering. Of course, there's the fear that he'll only see them as animals, like he did in those final days. It hurts, somehow. People like Pon-chan grew up and died of old age while he was still off becoming himself. He's never going to see her again. He doesn't want to lose the others as well.
So he stays.
"It is getting late," D points out delicately, finally, around midnight. "I must open the shop early in the morning, and need to sleep. It has been... pleasant, Chris."
"I won't go," Chris says.
D's brows raise and a slightly mocking edge comes into his smile. "Why, then, you would rather come to bed with me?"
"Fine," Chris says. His heart is racing. It feels like something is breaking.
Under him, D's head is turned to the side, gazing off somewhere that isn't at Chris, and it hurts somehow but it's getting hard to think. He feels drugged, intoxicated. Before him he sees smoke and vines, twisted into animal shapes. He shakes his head to clear it.
When he comes, it feels like a crack of lightning, pain; he sees a great tree split down the middle and he gasps for breath.
D's long nails trace a light pattern down his back. He tries to look at D's face but it's distant, and his eyes don't look directly at Chris, and Chris is tired; his eyes are trying to close of their own volition. "You know," D murmurs, low-voiced and soothing. "Humans handle rejection poorly."
"Always," D says. "Always. Had I refused you, what then? Why is it always love or murder with your people? I refused your brother and he chases me now, as well."
"If you hear from him at all," D says, "if you can talk to him, tell him that he cannot go back to the past. And I cannot go back to the past. What he is... what I am... is not what he still wishes to believe. Chris... stop," he says, and puts a hand on Chris's cheek, rolls Chris over so he's on his back in the bed. "Rather than me, look for your brother, your own kind. Or for -- there is another," he says, and sits up slowly. "Halfway between our worlds and human enough. I have no part of what he will become. You might."
Chris shakes his head slowly. I don't understand, Count, he thinks desperately in D's direction. I don't--
D's brows draw down, painfully. "Enough of that," he says aloud. "Sleep and look towards the future."
When Chris wakes up the room is empty. He's on a narrow creaky cot and there's no sign of D or the shop or the animals anywhere when he first looks around.
There's a picture pinned to the wall, though. He takes it down, looks at the poorly drawn crayon figures, and he covers his face with one hand.
"You dumb bastard," he says aloud. "Weren't you pretty much human all along? What're you running from?!"
Still, it is too late, and there's little to do but pack up and leave.