Date

x

Warnings/notes: D/Leon, ooc.

Disclaimer: I don't own Petshop of Horrors.

written on day number 18 of Junetide, for a request made by: nemkess

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"Why, Detective, what a pleasant surprise." D's smile widened as he spotted the large box in Leon's hands. "A very pleasant surprise. And you're just in time for tea, too."

"Yeah, I can read a clock, thanks." Leon slumped on the couch, more than willingly letting D take the box out of his hands. "Though, really, I could swear you drink tea at least ten times a day."

"I merely try to always be ready for visitors," D murmured. "Besides, tea is very healthy. Much more so than coffee or beer." The expression on D's face left little doubt as to whether or not Leon should consider that comment as aimed at him, personally.

"Healthy? Hah! Not with the heaps of sugar you put into it." Leon snorted. "Besides, I need a good cup of coffee to keep me awake every now and then."

"Perhaps you should try to get more sleep," D suggested, pouring two cups of tea, and adding sugar to only one of them. "That usually helps when people are feeling tired."

"Tell that to my boss!" Leon accepted his cup of tea with barely a nod of thanks. "No, wait, actually, -don't- tell that to my boss. He might listen to you, what with the way you sold him a marmot and everything."

"A hamster, actually. Elizabeth." D put down his own cup and grabbed the box Leon had brought in. "And I don't see why it would be a bad thing if I suggested - "

"Because it's -my- job, damn it! -My- life! Also known as: none of your business." Leon sat up straight. "I can solve my own problems, thankyouverymuch."

"I only wanted to help. There's no need to take offense." D sighed mournfully and opened the box. "Uhm, detective, why is this box nearly empty?"

"Because I treated half the office out of it?" Leon took a sip from his tea and made a face. "You're lucky three of the secretaries were dieting, otherwise I'd just have had one piece left."

"You treated half the office? How unexpectedly generous of you." D sighed, putting one piece on a plate and offering it to Leon.

"It's my birthday, all right? Didn't have much of a choice. And anyway, I got a discount, probably because they thought I was buying them all for you." Leon grimaced. "That guy was all joking about how I sure had to like you a lot, since I was buying you sweets this often."

"Ah?" D asked. "And do you?"

"Like you? Of course not!" Leon snorted.

"I meant: do you buy sweets at that shop very often?" D clarified.

"Oh." Leon flushed slightly. "I guess so. I can't remember the last time I came by here without any, and Chris is pretty crazy about them, too. I try to get him to like normal food, like hot dogs and popcorn, but nooo. It's your fault, I'm sure."

D looked slightly pained, though the expression on his face brightened as he took his first bite of the delicacy he'd selected for his own from the four pieces Leon had left. "So, it's your birthday today."

"Yup. One year closer to retirement. Hurray, hurray." Leon stared at his tea and sighed.

"Shouldn't you be spending this day with Chris, then? Perhaps the two of you could go somewhere together, do something fun. Time stops for no man, detective." D stared at Leon curiously.

"Not that it's anything to you, but Chris is on a school-trip. His teacher didn't think it'd be a very good idea if he'd come back for a day, just because it's my birthday. I mean, I'm an adult, right? It's not like I don't have anyone else to celebrate my birthday with, is it? Besides, school-trips are important for his social education, and surely I didn't want to interfere with that, did I?" Leon grumbled. "We're going to the beach next weekend."

"I'm sure a teacher would know what's best for a growing child," D commented, in a very neutral tone of voice. "And so, out of all the people you could have chosen to spend this special day with, you picked me? I'm touched."

"Yes, well, not like I had all that many people to choose from." Leon shrugged. "Most of my colleagues are still at work. They've got lives of their own, too; they don't have time to go hang out after work, even if they'd want to."

"Why, detective, you sound positively depressed." D put down his empty tea-cup. "Surely it's not so bad as all that? What about presents?"

"Excuse me?" Leon sounded a little confused.

"Didn't you get any good birthday-presents? Which reminds me, I suppose I shall have to give you something as well." D's gaze wandered through the room, seemingly oblivious to Leon's alarm at the idea of D presenting him with a gift. "Perhaps a pet, to make your existence a little less lonely?"

"No. Forget it. I told you before: there's no way I'm going to let one of your freaky pets into my apartment. My life's crazy enough as it is." Leon crossed his arms over his chest. "Besides, aren't presents supposed to be things the person you give them to actually wants?"

"Actually, I don't believe they are." D smirked. "An ideal gift may be something that the person who gives it considers to be suited for the person he gives it to, but even that is far from obligatory."

"I'm warning you, D. I'm the king of gag-gifts. You try dumping something crazy on me, and I'll pay you back double and with interest. I'm sure Chris won't mind telling me your birthday." Leon grinned back at D, his expression confident. "Besides, you were the one saying you wouldn't trust me to take proper care of any kind of pet."

"Not every pet requires being taken care of." D looked pensive. "Some pets actually require an owner who needs to be taken care of. Such pets are rare, of course, but they do exist. You're right though, I can't imagine any kind of creature being able to live in your apartment."

"We can't all be neat-freaks." Leon relaxed. "Besides, I clean every spring."

"So ... you think I should give you something that you want, detective. More tea? No?" D poured himself another cup, delicately selecting another sweet from the box. "That would suggest that such a thing actually exists. I think I can safely assume it's not a pet that you want from me, so what does that leave? This is a pet-shop, after all. We deal in pets, not in anything else."

"Dreams and love, right?" Leon stared at the box. There was one piece left in it. "Love and dreams. That's what you always say. Not just pets."

"I do say that, yes, although I'm surprised you remember it." D studied Leon's expression.

"Hey, I've gotten used to you underestimating me by now." Leon placed his tea-cup back on the table. "Well, thanks for the tea. Guess I'll be going now."

"Are you sure I can't change your mind about that?" D rose. "Perhaps you are underestimating me, too. Aside from that, there is still the matter of the gift. I'm afraid I simply can't allow you to leave without it."

"It's late, and I'm not in the mood for your mind-games, D. Why don't we continue this some other day?" Leon grabbed his coat, studiously ignoring the fact that he'd have to get past D to reach the door.

"Tomorrow, over dinner? It's a date, detective." D smiled as he stepped out of Leon's way. "Do try to be punctual, please. I don't like wasting my time."

OWARI