Disclaimer:  all standard disclaimers apply.

Chocolate Sweet

Leon walked down the street---no, scratch that.  He *bounced* down the street.  Happily swinging at his side was a grocery bag full of all kinds of cakes and candies, and enough chocolate to satisfy a small tribe of first graders.  He had no real purpose for this.  He had been in the store buying a pack of cigarettes, and the next moment he was in a wildly insane good mood, but bored.  And his greatest wish was to force his mood on someone else.  Of course, it being the middle of Tuesday . . . didn't leave him many options.  He figured he'd harass his favourite shopkeeper.  And so he didn't even pause at the door, or knock.  He shoved it open, threw his arms out and cried, "Helllooooo!!!!" 

     Count D took another sip of his tea, stared down into its rich colour with tedium-laced eyes.  "Good afternoon, Keiji-san."

     Leon tossed the grocery bag at D and nearly knocked the small, dainty cup from his pale hands.  He then fell onto the sofa and kicked his feet up.  The Count stared down into the bag with wide eyes, fought a delighted smile.  He moved to pour the Detective a glass of tea with a newly found cheerfulness.

     "So, what is this case you are working on?"  He asked conversationally, handing Leon the saucer and cup.  Leon took it and set it down on the table, shrugged. 

     "I'm off today, so there's no case," he said simply, tapping his fingers on the table before him.  D noticed his impatience, even if it wasn't the usual impatience that fueled his anger and rudeness.  The American was very energetic, and if he couldn't find some course of action to channel his energy---he would fall back into his o so charming and infuriating self.  D smiled, placed the grocery bag definitely on the table and watched as Leon's eyes swung to it curiously.  The Count presented a haughty look, raising his chin slightly.

     "I thank you for your thoughtfulness, Mr. Detective, but I have decided to give up sweets all-together.  They are . . .bad for my health."

     Leon stared at him in disbelief, mouth falling open in what should have been an entirely unattractive expression, except that it gave him an air of child-like awe.  D fought down a snicker and gazed back with utterly serious eyes.

     "Is there something wrong, Keiji-san?"

     "Who are you?" Leon whispered, "And what have you done with the Count?"

     D shook his head.  "You do not believe me?"

     "Hell no."


     Leon stood up, lightly reached into the bag and lifted out a Hersheys chocolate bar.  "So what you're saying is that this," he delicately peeled back the wrapper and silver foil, "has absolutely no affect on you?"

     D nodded, set his tea on its saucer and stared up at the American with practically zero interest.  Leon tossed the wrapper on the table and held the now fully exposed bar between his fingers with a delicacy that was actually surprising.  He then held it out, grinning like a serpent.

     "No affect?"

     "None."  D stated.  But Leon didn't seem willing to accept that just yet, he waved it back and forth under D's nose teasingly.  The Count's eyes closed, he sighed.

     "No affect?"

     "None."  D hissed, looking through heavy black lashes to see the Detective's grin grow.  It was hard not to smile then as well.  It was hard not to giggle.  But D gave a convincing act, even down to the tightening of his fingers.  This was exactly the distraction that Leon needed.  Not to mention it was turning into a very interesting game . . .

     Leon laid the chocolate bar against the Count's lower lip.  "Just a little nibble," he whispered, "you know you want to." 

     D inwardly smiled, though a slight tinge of pity traced his thoughts.  The American had a talent for digging holes, and half the time D didn't have to do anything.  Only sit back and watch as he sank deeper and deeper.  But the Count turned his head away; a swing of black hair, and then his eyes fell closed. 

     "I have had enough of this game," he sighed, reached for his tea.  But Leon quickly took the cup from his hands, shoved it away with a smirk.  He could see the annoyance breaking in the lift of D's head, and it was motivation.  To see the Count become unsettled in any way always intrigued him.

     "What you mean is that you can't hold out!  And you know it!"

     D stared up a moment, then smiled, he couldn't help it.  "I can 'hold out' for just as long as you can, Keiji-san.  Longer."

     Leon's nose went right into the air, he glared down at the pretty Chinese boy through his arrogance.  "We'll see."

     D continued to smile.  *We will*

     Q-chan let out a shrilly-annoyed screech from the top of one of the many hanging cages, fluttered his black wings and succeeded in gaining the American's attention.  Leon's eyes narrowed.

     "You shut up, you can't have any until your master ha---ah!"  Leon nearly jumped out of his skin as cool, smooth fingers slipped around his wrist, then jerked his hand forward.  D took a bite out of the chocolate bar with all the grace of a deprived animal.  Leon could only stare down with thoughtless awe and disbelief.

     "Do not tease," the Count growled softly, "unless you are prepared to give what you offer."  And then he took another, smaller bite.  Something like control and serenity smoothing over his features, where a moment before he had seemed almost desperate.

     *He really is addicted to his sweets.  God, I didn't know that was possible!*  And some part of him felt guilty, like he had waved a bottle of beer in front of a recovering alcoholic.  There's a difference, he justified.

     And then a second gasp was enticed from his lips as he realized the grip on his wrist had changed, and D's mouth had slipped quietly from the rich sweetness of the chocolate and to his fingers.  A moist pink tongue ran along the edge of his thumb, leaving a warm trail of glistening saliva.  The Count looked up then, eyes expectant and filled with anticipation, as if he were solely waiting for whatever reaction that came.

     Leon had the mind then to pull at his hand, and so he did, but D's hold did not relent or loosen.  It did seem to grow softer, not that he believed that were even possible.  So he pulled harder, the half eaten chocolate bar falling from his grasp.  But each time he pulled---D's fingers only tightened.

     "It seems only fair," the Count whispered against the tip of his index finger, "that I be allowed to tease you back."

     So, this was revenge for the Count?  Leon couldn't explain why he was suddenly disappointed.  Deep down he had always thought that D was immensely attracted to him, it fed his ego though he would never admit it out-loud.  And for this to be as simple as 'revenge' deflated that ego of his somehow.  He sighed, without realizing that the sound was passing his lips, and his hand suddenly went limp in D's.

     The Count paused, eyes turning up in careful question.  His tongue flicked back over one knuckle as if testing the water.

     "Point proven," Leon replied, "I won't tease you---about this again."

     D was completely intrigued by his words, his head tilted to the side slightly.  He would have been content then to let him go, but it was the way he had given in.  Quietly, quickly, without insult when he should have screamed out to the high heaven his imagined injuries.  And that tinge that was gone so swiftly, that said he was mildly disappointed.  Why would he be disappointed? 

     D bit in to the soft edge of his hand.  Not enough to break the skin or draw blood, but enough that there was pain. 

     Pain sobered. 

     He observed the snap to Leon's eyes as if some spell had been broken, but then the 'broken' pieces only settled.  He silently asked why the Count had felt the need to hurt him.  D sighed.

     The game had been amusing a second ago, D had almost been giggling inside at the thought of driving Leon out of his shop with only suggestive behaviour.  Now, Leon's *suggestive* behaviour was holding him still.  He was aware of a confusion inside himself, an undercurrent of it that was so small, it was almost abstract.

     Leon cleared his throat, trying to be inconspicuous.  "May I have my hand back," he plainly asked, though his voice was a touch too 'affected' for his own ears.

     D looked up to him curiously, turned his hand over and laid the palm open.  Continued to stare up at him with askance eyes as he placed a small, deliberate kiss at its centre.  He mouthed the word 'no' against it.  No.

     Leon's blue gaze opened as if from a dream, widened.  D's lips slipped quietly up and over the arc of his wrist, pressed into it then nipped.  Tiny, unthreatening bites, made more sensual by the tongue that then flicked over the sensitive area, almost soothing it.  Leon's breast tightened, as if great, thick coils were wrapping about him.  A break-bone grip. 

     He felt himself moving, easing down on to the sofa as if propelled to do so.  D followed his movements over the glow of his own flesh.  Leon left his hand within his grasp and watched fascinated as the Count continued to stare at him, even as his mouth moved over the pulse in his wrist, the pulse that was rising up and up, seemingly closer to the skin.

     He knew his eyes were unbelievably wide, he knew his body was reacting in such a way that should have frightened him.  And he was, he felt that fear race through his arousal, twine around it and only make his breath come shorter.  Fear was sometimes a pleasure in its own right.  This wasn't unlike having to kill, the perverse excitement that came when he 'got the bad guy' before he got him, or he had come so close to death that he had brushed the edge of her garment.  These feelings flowed from the same place, carried the same kind of latent guilt that always made him wonder how far *had* they really come from the selfish desires of the animal. 

     And the longing to give in, to give up that guilt and revel in the idea that he could *be* just as apathetic and self-serving.  The revulsion spread across Leon's face in a wave.  D saw it.  D shoved away from him and felt the cold numbness of tears that wanted to live, but couldn't.  Leon stared, felt nothing.  But then he swallowed, sat up.

     "Why did you stop?" he whispered hoarsely.  He wanted to reach out, but couldn't get his muscles to move through the sudden tension in him.

     D had scooted to the very edge of the sofa, as far from Leon as possible.  He was turned enough that Leon couldn't make out his face, but he could see the crane to his neck, and his hands clasped and lying still in his lap.

     "Count," it was a question, with the very tone of his voice he inquired about so much.  But D shook his head, his hands loosening then smoothing over his knees.  Leon couldn't understand why, the 'dress' was in place---hell, it looked immaculate.

     "Perhaps you should go, Keiji-san.  I have much to do . . .and the tea is already cold."  With that he swept to the door, shrouded in a veil of perfect grace and ease. 

     Leon regarded him, trying, trying desperately to understand what had happened, and what was happening.  D held the door of the shop open, smiled quietly.  A smile he recognized from his first vision of the Count, all business and detachment.  He stopped and glared down into the pretty man's face, but it was closed, pleasant. 

     They stared at each other for one long moment and nothing passed between them.  Leon wanted to ask what was wrong, but was ultimately afraid to.  As if he expected the Count to break if another word was spoken. 

     He wasn't certain he wanted to discover what would come spilling out if the Count broke.  So he closed his eyes and stepped through the threshold, heard the door close almost immediately.  As he walked his mind began to decipher the events that had just transpired.  But it was difficult; it was o so difficult . . .

* * *

D wove around the sofa and sank down into it, his right arm hanging loosely over the edge as his head fell back.  He had the appearance of a China doll, that same distant nothingness on his face.  That same otherworldly sight, as if he could see planes that no one else could even conceive of.  But he felt farthest from the distance in his expression.  He was all too close to the emotions.  Anger.  Hurt.  He had been burned by his own game. 

     The tears he had swallowed came back to him, they stung like acid and one rolled down the smoothness of his cheek before he could stop it.  With a small moan of distress he wiped the tear out of existence and then followed through with his anger.  Swept the grocery bag and all of its treats off the table and to the floor.  Through a screen of salt he watched them scatter, watched his own teacup hit and shatter.  And then he felt shame well up.  The tears flowed quicker as he went to his knees and started gathering the candies into his lap.  In his blind haste he cut his finger on the edge of a shard, but did not stop.  He slipped the injured finger between his painted lips and continued more carefully with his free hand.  Continued until all was in his lap, candy and what he could find of the broken cup.

     His carelessness then struck him, but it was only like a whisper among a slaughter of screams.  He absently withdrew the bloody finger then picked up one of the chocolate bars and unwrapped it. 

     He bit into it, bowed over it and let the tears fall onto the mess he had created and gathered into his lap.  His slight shoulders shook as a sob clawed its way out of his throat, and then another more strangled sound followed.  But he continued to eat the chocolate, even as its sweetness mingled with the metallic flavour of his own blood.  It was tasteless. 

     "God," he hissed breathlessly, "he will never understand." 

And up above, on the street shuffled the aforementioned 'he'.  And it was true.

.The End.

I had every intention of it being cute when I wrote this, but the story obviously had a mind of its own.  It isn't sweet at all.

Oh well, angst is good, too.  Let me know what you think!

Thanks1 ^_^