TITLE: In Dreams

AUTHOR: Lady Sirius

PAIRING: Count D/Leon

RATING: Soft R at best

FEEDBACK: I do not own either Count D or Leon, alas, but they be very sexy beasts!

DEDICATION: To my good friend, Alex, with great affection, for introducing me to the splendours of this ship. I will gladly play Leon to her D any time...

In Dreams

The eyes of the detective were the eyes of a hunter. Fierce and primeval, sharp and inquisitive, they glittered brightly in this nocturnal urban jungle, seeking signs of the elusive prey. Seeking the spoor left behind in his wake, the broken branches of his passing, the scent of evil which he exuded. Not literally, of course, but rather in a figurative sense. Alert to possibilities, aware at all times of inherent danger, and cognizant of the risks that went with the position, he presented a forbidding figure indeed.

The eyes of the detective were intensely blue - eyes which never missed a trick, which observed everything and took it all in - whether or not interpreting it accurately was a matter for conjecture, however, for at times the detective could take two and two and somehow arrive at five without batting an eye. And was often loath to admit that he had done so.

The detective often considered himself omniscient, but his knowledge was born of instinct rather than acquired through books, received on the streets and taken to heart, taught by the stern taskmaster that was Life itself, which seemed to have its favourites, its fortunates, its privileged - and Leon Orcut was not among that number. What he knew, he had won with a ferocity of intent and a singleminded purpose that bespoke of something deep inside of him, something that he clung to passionately - that being his sense of honor and justice, which drove him relentlessly throughout his life. There was no middle ground with him - there was only right and wrong, or his perception thereof.

When it came to hunting down criminals, Leon Orcut was inexorable. He liked to think of himself as being determined, although Count D merely snorted - in his genteel manner, of course - and said that he was stubborn. Two sides of the same coin, after all, dependent upon interpretation. But when it came to understanding himself and the people in his life, Leon definitely received a failing grade, for in that regard he was rather clueless, bordering upon naive.

Nighttime held sway over the city of angels. Leon was moving through a dark, unlit backalley now, brick tenement structures looming largely on either side, eerily silent as if the inhabitants held their collective breaths at his passage, defying him to find them. The alley stunk of refuse and disinterest, a fetid odor which made the detective's blue eyes water. But he never removed his hand from the grip he maintained on the stock of his pistol, merely squinting harder to clear his vision, which was poor at best, as he depended upon his hearing to guide him.

Wait, there it was again. That sound. That impossibly soft sound which seemed to almost swish, strange as that seemed. Moving fluidly now, with greater certainty, the detective approached the juncture of the alley with the darkened street ahead. And then he saw it again. A flash of colour. A swirl, a taste, a tease... Vividly red, the only tint visible in this otherwise black world. Leon moved toward it instinctively, followed it, lost it, and as he passed through what should have been its wake, he detected the odour of sandalwood which lingered in the air, inhaled the scent of it, which filled his nostrils thickly.

What the fuck?

Leon sat bolt upright in his solitary bed, eyes open wide in the dimness that was his bedroom. That dream again. This was the third night in a row he'd had it. And every time it went a little further than the time before. The first time he had seen nothing, the second time he'd heard the sound. And now a visual sighting, fleeting though it had been. Leon was sure that if he could stay asleep long enough, he could get to the heart of this mystery. And with him, that was what counted - solving the mystery, finding the answer. It's what drove him, what kept him going. It was his life. But fucked if he knew just what this one meant, and why he felt this deepseated need to reach the end of it. Not like it was some goddamn rainbow with a pot of gold, you know? He didn't believe in that shit. That was more D's neck of the woods. Never mind that the petshop owner was Chinese, not Irish. Same difference.

"My dear detective, you are very inattentive today..."

D's reproving voice seemed to draw him back to the present. Leon sat in his usual spot on D's sofa, within the sanctity of his petshop, cup of tea in hand, untouched, his mind clearly elsewhere than on the conversation they'd been having - had they been having a conversation? He couldn't even be sure. If so, he'd long ago lost the topic at hand and for the life of him he didn't know what had been said to him before this very moment.

"D, do you believe that dreams can contain messages?" he blurted out, his mind following its own paths instead, as he set the delicate cup upon the table before him.

The Count fixed him with a strange look, as if unsure just what planet the detective hailed from. "My dear detective, what a strange question. Are you sure you're feeling well?" Which was no answer to the question asked, in any way.

Leon scowled at the inference. "Can't a guy ask a question without getting the third degree? Sheesh..."

"Does this line of inquiry pertain to your current case?" D raised his own cup to his soft crimsonblushed lips, regarding Leon over the rim with his bicoloured orbs.

"NO!" Leon snapped. And without further ado, he took his leave, upset for no reason that he could put a finger on, leaving an annoyed Count shaking his head after him.

When Leon found himself within the alleyway once more he wasted no time, he ran to where he knew the strange vision would appear, waiting for it, just out of sight now, and at the first sign of its appearance, he was alert and ready. He didn't have long to wait - there it was, and even though he was prepared for it, by the time he darted from his hiding place to apprehend it, it was almost lost to view ahead of him, last vestiges of its scarlet hue barely visible, trailing lingeringly. But that was enough. Leon was on it, with a vengeance.

From what he could see of it, it appeared to be a figure draped in red, trailing crimson streamers behind it as it moved. And he was most keenly aware of the swishing of its passage, even though it was so far ahead of him. He inhaled the traces of its scent, held it within his nostrils, savouring it as of something old and familiar, but nothing he could put a name to... He increased the urgency of his steps, lest he lose sight of this seemingly incorporeal being, and suddenly what was a crimeridden area of north Los Angeles became a steep hill in some seemingly remote countryside unknown to him. When had he moved from the asphalt to the grass? Difficult to say as he made his way up the inclined slope, fighting to keep pace with the redhued entity before him which floated easily over the sharp grade.

At the crest of the hill, it disappeared from view. Leon forced his muscular legs to work harder, sure that he would find the retreating figure on the other side once he crossed over the brow of this hill. But he found to his surprise that such was not the case. For as he reached the top, he realized too late that the other side contained a sheer cliff face, and he was tumbling down, down, down, into oblivion...

A sweat-drenched detective hit his bedroom floor with a solid thump.

"My dear detective..." The voice of Count D drew Leon from his self-imposed reverie, back to the present. Deciding that Chris needed more fresh air than was available within the confines of the small petshop in Chinatown, he had dragged both his little brother and D on this unusual excursion into the wide world, to an open air field outside of the confines of the city proper. A commendable sentiment. Admirable even. Even if that miserable tetsu hadn't come along as well, the little asshole. Leon had bought the most magnificent kite for the occasion - a glittering dragon, scarlet and gold, with fierce green eyes, and a very long elegant tail. Almost as elegant as Count D in its own way. It dipped and swirled in the brisk CA breezes, as if it wished to attack the very clouds themselves in its mock ferocity. Chris was quite delighted to be the pilot of this beautiful vessel, steering it as Leon had instructed him, while Count D had to admit to himself that this wasn't the worst idea that the detective had ever had.

Why then was Leon now showing no pleasure in this game that he had chosen himself? It was a far cry from the time that he had watched the brothers playing baseball together so enthusiastically. D found himself getting more than a little irritated at the detective's distant behaviour - and at himself for even caring. And when he followed the other man's gaze, his own frown grew even more pronounced - for on the opposite end of his tunnel vision was a buxom blonde of indeterminate intelligence, who seemed to be jiggling and gyrating for Leon's benefit. Why that should bother him, he didn't know, but he was certain it was because of Chris' presence - this was nearly as unwholesome as the trashy posters which littered - correction, had littered - Leon's apartment (before morality in the form of Count D had handily disposed of them). Of course it was that. What other explanation could there be?

Leon, who was simply staring into space, completely unaware of the blonde and her two faithful companions - which told a lot about his state of mind - felt a tug at his hand, and glanced down to find the goat nibbling at him for some reason. "Holy fuck, D," he groused, "please do something about that beast!"

"Which beast?" D replied irritably, even as he pulled T-chan away from the detective, unplacated in any way.

Chris glanced back and forth between his brother and the pet shop owner, sighing. He hoped they weren't going to fight and ruin this. Why did they always seem to have to fight? Grownups! He'd never understand them.

But surprisingly, Leon did not take the bait. He seemed not to notice D's comment, and abruptly walked off, although not in the direction of the busty blonde, leaving D and Chris to look at one another in confusion.

This time he intended to be prepared, and not simply tumble off that cliff like some sort of lemming into the sea. But ah the best laid plans of mice... and detectives... Somehow he found himself caught up in a freefall, despite his good intentions, the likes of which he'd never felt before, as he frantically threw out his arms, hands scrabbling for something, anything, some sort of purchase, something to brake himself with...

... his fall ended, surprisingly enough, not in complete annihilation as he had anticipated, but with himself seated flatbutted, on the ground, with an oomphf of surprise. And what to his wondering eyes should appear - no, not Santa and eight tiny reindeer. Not even close. Before him loomed a colossal castle, of the medieval fairy tale variety. Turrets and towers and pennants, oh my! And if that weren't enough there was something else for good measure. Wrapped about itself in a snoring slumber, and situated betwixt between himself and the castle, there was ... a dragon? Holy fuck, this was getting weird.

As Leon tried to take stock of his surroundings and make some sort of sense of all of this, he couldn't help but notice that there were a few corpses laying about the grounds of this castle. All of them male. All of them... shall we say, slightly charred? Roasty toasty? And even as his brain digested this bit of information, a pale piece of parchment fluttered from the sky, landing within his grasp. It contained but two words - Sleeping Beauty. What the shit?

Ah ha! Leon's brain began to make the connection now. Castle, dragon, beauty - somewhere within this mighty stone edifice, a woman needed his attention. Leon Orcut to the rescue. But first, how to get past the sleeping beast in order to attain the sleeping beauty?

He stared at the dragon, frowning, one fist against his face in careful thought. It seemed to him that if he did anything to awaken the creature, he would be done for. As evidently, all of these guys had. And he certainly had no wish to end up as flambe Leon for any reason. So his best course of action would seem to be to sneak around him, very very quietly. Rising to his feet, and keeping one eye upon the scaly beast, he began to tiptoe about him (no easy feast as the dragon was fucking ginormous!), hardly daring to breathe lest the sound of his own exhale give him away. Everything seemed overly loud in his ears, and sweat began to glisten on his forehead - would this monster never end?

At one point, he thought he heard him stir, and then the detective's heart began to bongo, but no, he simply shifted slightly, never opening his eye in any way, and he continued on around him, until at last he gained the door, which happily was open, and made his ingress into the castle.

Once inside, he didn't have to stop and ponder which way to go, for a long narrow staircase appeared before him, stone-stepped, lined with rose petals - sweet and fragrant rose petals, whose cloying odour choked the air about him. It reminded him of an air freshener gone bad. Stepping gingerly, as if somehow he didn't wish to crush the aromatic blossoms, perhaps draw out even more scent, he began the long ascent to what he was sure would prove to be the princess' bedchamber. He knew the story, didn't everyone? Boy meets girl, boy kisses girl, boy marries girl and lives happily ever after as a prince in her kingdom, having wakened her from her terrible spell? Worse things could happen, he decided, far worse things.

He picked his way carefully to the top of the staircase, and there indeed, lay the lady in question's bedchamber. He rubbed his hands together with great glee. Leon my boy, you've made it. Now for your reward.

He strode forward eagerly, anxious to see his future spouse, and hoping that she had huge melons for gazombas. He passed through the doorway. Ahead of him he could see a round bed, surrounded by sheer curtainry. He moved to the head of the bed, and pulled the gauzy material aside, gazing upon the beautiful face of...

...Count D?

Leon sat up in his bed, thoroughly shaken now, not just by what he had seen, but by his reaction to it. For even after realizing that the figure upon the bed was no princess, was in fact the Chinese petshop owner, Count D himself, Leon's first thought was that he was incredibly beautiful and let the kissing commence.

Where the fuck had that come from?

"My dear detective..." If D had thought the detective surly and uncommunicative before, well, he had been a regular Chatty Cathy compared to what he was now... He had to wonder to himself why the man even bothered to come to the shop at all if all he was going to do was to sit there, clutching his cup of tea so tightly that D was sure he was going to burst the fragile china, although his concern was more for the man than the crockery - which idea surprised him as well. Something was troubling Leon, that much was obvious. But he would not speak. In fact, all that he had elicited from him today were some noncommittal grunts, which may or may not have been a form of neanderthal english. D shook his head in exasperation. What was he going to do with the man?

And why did he feel the need to do anything?

Leon was afraid to go to sleep, and yet as much as he was afraid, that much and more did he want to go to sleep, the conflicting feelings waging a battle royale within his psyche - and it was surprising to him how much the wish to slumber was growing overwhelmingly stronger than the wish not to. As if he couldn't get wait to get back to the dream, back to the slumbering princess cum D...

And then what? Did he intend to actually kiss the other man? And why?

Which is why he was afraid to go to sleep, afraid of what he might discover...

Having easily avoided the snoring dragon and mounted the stairs, Leon found himself inside the peaceful chamber once more, staring at the form of the inert D, magnificently attired in scarlet silk robes that enhanced his ethereal beauty, pondering his next move. If this were a fairy tale, then he had no choice but to kiss him, to release him from the grip of whatever spell he was caught in. So it was written.

That wasn't the part that bothered him, that drove him nearly to distraction. He could handle that. It was the fact that he actually really and truly wanted to kiss the man that took him aback. After all, a kiss was just a kiss, wasn't it? He'd done it many times before, many women...

And there lay the crux of the matter. D, although lovely and slender and almost effeminate in his mannerisms and dress - for all of that, D was no woman, and Leon knew it damn well. He was not confused about what sex D was - he was confused as to his own reactions to him. For to his amazement, Leon discovered that he wanted D, wanted to kiss him very very badly - and that he desired him as well. What the fuck? What was wrong with him? He liked girls, and only girls, girls with big mammaries and short skirts - how he loved them, how he wanted them. Not D. He didn't love D. He didn't want D.

So why was he standing beside a sleeping D, going hot and cold at the same time, feeling as if he were running the worst fever of his life ? Listening to the rhythm of his own heart, heavy in his ears, feelings as if it were about to burst?

Wait, did he move? Did he speak? Leon leaned closer, his eyes fastened upon those parted red lips. A soft sigh escaped them, and then nothing... as if he had ceased to breathe. The panicstricken detective's eyes grew wide, and without thinking twice about the matter, he pressed his lips against D's, as if afraid that if he did not do so, D may cease to live, and at that moment he was completely and utterly lost...

"My dear detective," D began automatically, then stopped himself. There was no dear detective today. No Leon. He hadn't come by the shop, not even once. Why did that knowledge upset D so? Wasn't the shop more peaceful for the other man's absence? He patted Chris' head softly when the worried boy speculated on his brother's whereabouts. "I am sure he is simply busy with work," he reassured the child. But inwardly, he wasn't so sure... and he continued to question why he cared so very much...

Two days, three days passed without no much as a quick hello, a brief appearance - a snarl, an accusation, an inference. No uninvited guest, extra mouth to feed, pain in the butt, smart aleck detective. No fighting, arguing, defending, remonstrating, admonishing. No criticisms, witticisms or barbs.

No Leon.

Peace reigned supreme in the pet shop. But it was an uneasy peace at best. The animals sensed that something was amiss, although most of them could not be said to miss the presence of the often loud detective. But they saw a change in D, and they didn't care for it. They felt his pain and could do nothing about it. Until on the third day, T-chan very rudely and crudely gave D his best advice.

"If you're so worried about the fucking moron, go and see him..."

D huffed indignantly that he was not worried about the detective, thank you kindly, but he had some errands he needed to run, so he would return shortly. He left the shop to the sound of the totetsu's braying laughter.

Leon hadn't left the station in three days. Three very long... miserable... days... Not just for him, but for those around him. The ones he snapped at, tripped over, criticized, glared at and generally left with an overwhelming desire to strangle him. Jill alone showed any true compassion for the detective, watching him with concerned eyes as he seemed to be drowning in the depths of some dark desperation.

He sat tensely at his desk, cigarette burning unattended in the ashtray, coffee long gone cold from neglect. Perhaps as much as three days' neglect. He hadn't even been home at all during this time, postulating that if he slept somewhere else, he wouldn't have the dream. How every wrong he was. How very foolish. Even in the unused office he had appropriated for the purpose it came - relentlessly, predictably - the kiss... .and its aftermath...

D's eyes opened at the first touch of the detective's lips, flooding with recognition. They pulled apart briefly, as if to take stock of the situation, as well as one another. "You have saved me," D said softly, "do you understand what that entails, detective?"

Leon swallowed hard, even as he nodded, a question forming upon his lips. "How was I able to get past the dragon so easily?"

"It was meant to be," D replied, "only the destined one could do such a thing."

Leon seemed to understand, as D continued.

"You wish to be my prince, and live with me in this kingdom forever?"

No hesitation, another nod, as he attempted to reclaim D's lips. But the Count was not done speaking.

"This is real, Leon, this is us now, please be aware of what you are saying..."

"I know, D," Leon whispered in turn, "I understand..." He stroked the dark hair of this oh so beautiful man, wondering just how and when he'd fallen in love with him. Knowing that he had no wish to be parted from him ever - til death do they part.

And D pulled the willing detective into the bed...

Leon became aware of the growing commotion in the station by stages - first as a distant rumble, on the edge of his awareness. And then a sort of electricity which filled the air, causing his hackles to rise, as the sound grew ever closer. And then as a sort of presentiment. It was Jill's voice that brought him back to awareness with a jolt.

"Back off, you guys, this isn't a peepshow and it isn't any of your business!" Her usually friendly tone was hard, and it was clear that she meant business.

What the fuck?

He glanced up to find his partner facing down most of the precinct, who gave her abashed looks and mumbled words before slinking off to their duties, deserting the squad room like rats leaving a sinking ship. "All yours," he heard Jill say, and then she too was gone.

Leon glanced up in surprise, only then realizing who else had entered, who was the center of this sudden storm, the very eye of it in fact, and his mouth dropped open, his head snapped back, and for a moment he could only gape at Count D like a fish out of water.

Had he always owned that particular red dress, Leon wondered?

For a moment neither man spoke, perhaps reluctant to break the sudden silence between them, as if being in the same room together was enough... for the moment.

"My dear detective, your brother misses you," D said abruptly, "your absence is painful to him. He fears that you are not coming back, that you have deserted him..." Although these were actually D's sentiments, but he wasn't about to express that to Leon.

"I miss him too," Leon replied, "I wanted to see him, but...I couldn't... I would never desert him... never..." His blue eyes bored directly into D's dark orbs. I would never leave you...

"Then what is the problem, detective?" D snapped, uncharacteristically. "Why have you chosen this course of action? And why do you look like an unmade bed...?"

Leon rose to his feet, standing a few inches over the other man. "D," he tried to explain, "I ... that is... I couldn't... I just couldn't... you don't understand, how could you understand... the dreams, it was the dreams..."

D's eyes grew round with wonder. Dreams he understood, dreams he respected. And he remembered the question that Leon had asked him, concerning dreams. But what sort of dreams had produced this effect upon his dear detective? "Then you should talk about them," he said, softening his tone.

There was a cough. Leon became aware that although the rats had dispersed, they were still within earshot. He grabbed D's hand, yanking him almost off his feet, as he damn near pushed him into the closest interrogation room. He surely didn't need an audience. Just in case. Whatever that meant.

D halfheartedly attempted to regain his hand, but he never even made use of his long hard nails which surely if he wished to break away from Leon would have been the surest way... if he wished to break away from him, that is... "My dear detective, please tell me what has you so upset, surely between us we can find a way..."

"That's the problem, it's between us," Leon fairly moaned. When had the distance between the men dropped to almost nothing? How had their thighs become pressed together so earnestly, so very companionably?

"Between us?" D echoed. "Are you... angry... with me in some way?" Why did that thought upset him so?

"No, no," Leon hastily replied, "it's not that... D, I can't tell you... it's... it's... fuck if I know what it is..." He was becoming lost in the darkness of those eyes, swaying toward him involuntarily. And why would he have to focus on his lips just now? Those very soft, pliable, beautiful lips?

As surely as Leon swayed toward D, D was swaying himself, as if magnetized to the detective. His eyes two beautiful reflecting pools, in which he saw himself... and so much more... and at last he understood, his lips parting almost involuntarily.

It was impossible to say which one moved first, the detective or the count... but suddenly their lips were locked, and their arms found their way about one another, and everything seemed to stand still... and Leon noted to himself that the real kiss surpassed the dream kiss a thousandfold...

They parted at last, breathing heavily, speechless... and yet their eyes seemed to say it all.

"Detective..."

"D..."

D smoothed down the fabric of his gown, bringing order back into his life once more. "You will come back to the shop with me?" he asked... hoped even...

Leon nodded.

"But first you will provide yourself with fresh clothes, please...and perhaps a shower?"

Leon smiled at his words. "Mmhmmm. I can do that," he agreed.

"Good." D was content, folding his hands together before him once more. "I shall see you there." And he turned to go...

... but Leon reached out unexpectedly, drew him back for a last lingering kiss, their lips commingling in glorious contentment. "You shall," he promised.

Reluctantly he released the Count, who left the interrogation room, basking in the glow of his own newfound serenity, making his way with buddha-like dignity through those that had crowded about the window into the interrogation room - how had Leon forgotten that anyone could see in?

And when Leon himself emerged, to catcalls and cheers, and the knowing grin of his partner, he didn't even mind. He was going home, cleaning up, and going to the shop - to D. That was all that mattered.

Life was good again, in fact it was even better than before. Leon whistled softly to himself as he left the station, Ravel's Bolero catching in his brain, the image of D burned upon his inner eye, the feel of his lips, and the promise of more to come.

Sometimes dreams did come true...