Title: Weak in the Knees
Author: raison d'etat (raison_detat@yahoo.com)
Rated: PG-13
Summary: After the events in "Dragon" (vol. 2), D reflects on certain acquired tastes.
Disclaimer: PetShop of Horrors is the property of Matsuri Akino. I'm making no money from writing this work of fanfiction.

*****

He could still taste the blood.

Its memory glided over his tongue, his palate, thrummed softly against the back of his teeth, tickled his uvula, bubbled contentedly all the way down his throat. It was hot and tasted of metal. D, who did not consume animal flesh, had tasted Orcot's blood -- but a human was of a slightly lower order than the animal. There was no guilt to be had.

The full moon glowed through his window. D reclined on silk sheets, eyes half-closed as he watched the shadows moving over the wall, imagined them transforming into hands that reached out to him. Q-chan was asleep at the foot of the bed. He could indulge himself with the memory of Orcot's blood --

Leon. Leon Orcot. That's my name, dammit!

-- tasting it in his mouth again and again until his back arched on the bed and he could feel a purr thrilling its way up and down his spine. He rolled the taste around his mouth, as humans did with wine, as if it was still there, a few sips lurking under his tongue and waiting to be enjoyed. Oh. The memory of the senses -- was it not, in its own way, as exquisite as the senses themselves? And D had a long memory. By closing his eyes, he could still feel the rend of Orcot's flesh beneath his talons, could smell the iron as it exhaled into the air from the wounds, could hear Orcot sucking his breath in. He'd been shocked by D's actions.

Foolish, foolish man...

D licked his lips and remembered blood again. This time he moaned. Q-chan stirred faintly, but did not wake.

D licked once more, then pressed his lips together in a thin line. It had been a sweet indulgence -- well, more salty than sweet. Not his usual taste at all. And it had been foolish, as well. The detective's blood had burst in all its flavor over his tongue, had sent a shock of adrenaline all the way through him, had prepared him for battle -- in that instant he had only wanted more, and he could have torn at far more than Leon Orcot's rather delectable chest to get it. But then, after he'd swallowed the tiny bit he'd licked from his nails, the blood had...

The blood of humans did not mix well with the blood of the kami. He'd felt the effects soon enough, trying to run to the pier, the dragon box clutched in his arms, only to feel Orcot's blood boiling alongside his own, fighting him, overwhelming him, working its way into his heart until he thought it would burst from the strain. The pier had been in sight. It would have meant only a few more moments of running -- but his blood had roared with revolt inside his body and he had collapsed, the knowledge of his weakness, his shame, his self-indulgence all strong in him. He was going to fail. He had failed. And now the dragon would --

Detective Orcot, as it happened, was a rather surprising man. D had doubted him until the very instant he had let the box fly into the air, sure that at the last minute the detective would change his mind, play the fool hero, try to use the box as some kind of "evidence" and doom them all -- but Orcot had done what few other men would have, and the dragon, their dragon, had flown free and beautiful.

Orcot's chest had still been bleeding. D had tried not to pay attention.

Upon returning home, he'd swiftly taken the remedy, brought to him by a scolding Q-chan. One weakness was gone: the human's blood had left no trace in D's veins except its intoxicating memory.

The other weakness, the one Q-chan could not see, or (D hoped) suspect, remained.

D purred again, twisting softly on the mattress, the silk an inescapable caress. He licked his lips and sighed. A cloud passed over the moon, and the hundred-fingered shadows multiplied.

There would be no sleep for him tonight. There would be no dreams of forests or dead and dying species. There would be only the memory of the pavement striking his knees as he'd dropped, the memory of rough human hands wresting the box from him, the memory of a brilliant explosion over the bay.

And below it all. The memory of blood.

-owari-