az: I knew this will happen. Surprising it started with a request to help voicing D for a cosplay competition and ended up with me cosplaying D as well as getting to know the fandom and thoroughly loving the fandom and all those stuffs.

az: This is random writing. I'll get back to the rest of my writing once I can gather the ideas together again. Right now I'll write depending on what comes to mind.

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Disclaimer: Petshop of Horrors and Shin Petshop of Horrors are copyrighted by Akino Matsuri. Another love for the fandom that I returned to.

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Towards that place of Longing

Written by Izzu aka honou-no-izumi (Izumi Ishtar)

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A warm breeze brushed lightly on his cheeks as Count D walked out of the Kabuki-cho area. He sighed as he made his way to the other parts of Shinjuku's shopping area.

It had been a pleasant day and he had decided to take a long walk to one of those department stores to find something good to eat. And considering he will not be expecting any customer today, he decided to take a walk and explore the city that is Tokyo.

The count smiled happily as he entered Isetan shopping complex and entered the food and confectionary department. To his delight, there are several shops selling assortments of Japanese sweets as well as other sweets and condiments from all over the world. He grinned as he stopped by a shop and started ogling at delicacies on display. There are several types of sweets that he had his eyes on, but only bought half of them seeing that he had not bring a lot of money. As he exited the store not paying attention to anyone around but him, a blond man stealthily followed him from behind. Not before taking a little stop and bought the rest of the Japanese sweets that the count couldn't buy earlier...

xxx

Count D turned around as he saw only of the passing Japanese or random foreigners and Chinese or other Asian ethnics walking around, minding their own business. Nothing out of the ordinary had caught his eyes.

Strange, I thought I've felt something's been following me.

He looked around again before giving up. It was strange. This feeling of being followed, felt familiar to him somehow. Just like that time when Leon had—in alarm Count D looked around again in vain. He frowned. No, he was being paranoid—Leon can't have caught up with him this fast. To think yes, there have been some near-misses earlier where Leon nearly caught him in Berlin, and some other continent... but he always managed to run before that. And as expected, Leon had missed him as usual. Sure, the detective is quite perceptive on certain things but he mostly was very clumsy. There's no way—

"So, how have you been all this while... D?"

Count D jumped in surprise as he turned around to face Leon before his legs failed him. Leon caught him before he managed to hurt himself.

Leon frowned. "Hey... you all right?", he asked as he noticed that D had been clutching his chest before looking up to him in anger.

"What are you doing here?", he cried before Leon helped him stand.

Leon grinned. "I didn't realise that just seeing me again would give you that kinda reaction. You really wanted to avoid me so much, didn't you?"

"I thought you'd take the message by now! I don't want to see you anymore—let go of my hands already!", cried the Count D as he pulled his hand in vain. He clamped his mouth as he glared towards the American.

"What do you want anyway?", he asked again as Leon replied.

"To talk. I asked for just that. Can't you afford me just that one favour?"

D frowned. He tugged his arm again as Leon refused to let him go. He sighed. "All right, you win. And I thought I'd be able to enjoy a quiet day today—"

"Well... you'll have more sweets to enjoy. It'll be a pity if you couldn't taste the rest of the sweets on that last store just because you hadn't enough money to buy it all. You should try it... they're good.", chirped Leon before grinning at him. D managed to gave him a confused stare before Leon waved the plastic full of sweets at him. He looked at him in surprise as Leon chuckled in amusement.

"How long have you been here?"

Leon shrugged. "A couple of months already. I had a contact telling me that he had heard of a new pet shop in this Neo Chinatown area. So I came here. But ever since several times before you've always got away just as I managed to find your shop, I've decided to try a different approach. So, here I am... and I finally caught you."

D bit his lips before sighing in defeat. Without any words left said, he led his old friend towards his pet shop.

xxx

Leon fastened the latch on the doors as D ushered his pets towards the back room. He smiled as he watched the man frantically running around and trying to convince the animals to leave the room. Leon grinned as T-chan remained by D's side. The totetsu immediately bit his right leg as Leon pulled him away and tossed him lightly towards the next room. D glared at him as Leon calmly sat on the arm chair and placed the sweets on the coffee table.

Leon took one piece of ichigo daifuku and popped it into his mouth. D looked at him in surprise as Leon ushered him to come over.

"Hey, don't just stand there! Come on, eat. Or did you just bought these just to stare at them?", coaxed the former detective as D sat opposite him in a daze.

"I can't believe what I'm seeing now—", said D as he finished swallowing his youkan. "—I thought you disliked eating sweets?"

Leon snerked. He smiled at D as the count addressed him in confusion.

"Yeah, I used to say that... didn't I? I don't know... perhaps, because every time nowadays if ever I ate any type of sweets or some random Mars bars—I'll be thinking of those good old times when I used to come visit that small shop in the heart of LA's Chinatown and have tea with you and Chris. When that happens, I would think... 'Ah, if it's like that... I wouldn't have minded it at all!'—You'd probably laugh at me for saying this, but perhaps it's easier to say that, I've missed your company."

"Leon—"

Leon chuckled. "It probably sounded outrageous to you now, but that's the truth. The reason I had gone searching for you all this time, is not because I wanted to bust you on any illegal business or wanting to nab you and chuck you into the jail. It's because... there's something I wanted to settle with you or otherwise I felt as if you going away was to avoid seeing me again—"

'Leon, I—that's not!"

It was partially the reasoning but not really—

"—face it, it was me who shot your father that time—"

"Leon please... it's not—"

'Will you please SHUT UP first?-!"

D froze as Leon's fierce glare struck his own. Leon's eyes softened as he cast his eyes lower.

"That time, during our last talk after Chris went back with my aunt's family... I wondered if I had been too harsh on you. That time when you had wanted to say something... but pulled back later. I guessed I wanted to know what really happened that time. Perhaps because I had wanted to know which was the real you or which are not. I had been confused then; what with that enigmatic look you gave whenever bad things happened to those people associated with you or your shop. And also that other side of you that was clumsy and reckless and idiotic. I had been at lost then, at wondering which was the real you and wondering if everything that had happened before was just an act. And then later, Chris had called me just to confirm with me whether or not whatever he had seen in the shop was true and not an illusion. And Josie had told me how you've had smiled all the while as they took Chris away. How that smile had appeared so fake to her as if it was just a mask to hide your true feelings."

"After hearing that, I guess it kinda opened my eyes to some of the things that I had always dismissed about you. That despite how much I had wanted to find out the real you—you had already shown me all that in the past. I only had missed seeing the bigger picture. You might even say... that I am stupid."

"Leon... I didn't realize—"

Leon rose as he pulled out a package from his backpack. He walked over towards D as he gave the package to him. D gasped as he realized that the package was actually the picture of his grandfather and the vampire pair taken in Berlin. D looked up towards him.

"This—?"

"You left this at that old shop, didn't you? It might not be that important, or your grandfather might want to retrieve it back. Anyhow I'm giving it back to you, since it was better than throwing it away as well. And that other picture, I want you to keep that. And don't lose it this time."

D blinked as he noticed another picture frame below the picture of his grandfather. And he gasped again as he realised what it was. It had been resized to fit the frame and coloured, but it was still the same picture. The picture of him, Chris, Leon and his pets that Chris had drew, the only thing he had put inside his briefcase when he was on the run. To think that Leon had done so much...

"Leon, this is unexpected—", he stuttered aloud as Leon lowered himself over him and kissed his forehead.

Leon smiled again.

"I guess I'll take my leave now. I had imposed on you quite long already and I think I had done what I had wanted to do here", said Leon as he placed a hand on D's cheek. "D, you've been such a good friend. I guessed I had wanted to tell this to you for quite some time already. I'm glad to be able to meet you again today."

Count D blinked as he merely watched Leon walking away towards the exit before his senses returned.

"Mr. Detective—Leon, wait!", cried D as he rushed over and grabbed his hand.

Leon turned as he shrugged.

"What? Oh... I forgot to tell you, I had quit the force since that incident. My injury and all... and I didn't feel like risking my life anymore. So you can stop calling me Mr. Detecti—'

D shook his head wildly.

"No, it's not about that. Please stay—"

"Ah, if you mean about the sweets... don't worry about me, just keep it. Some of those had a good shelf life so you can put it on a fridge or something so you can eat it later—"

"No... No! You dense monkey!"

The count pulled him suddenly as he wrapped his arm around him. Leon's eyes widened before looking down towards the Chinese. 'D, what's wrong—?"

"Leon... the truth is, I've missed you too.", he said as he looked up towards him. "—and you are a dear friend to me too. But the thing is, I've kept running away from you because I don't want you nagging at me again over anything that happened in the past. Not because I hated you—"

Well, in a sense... that was true? Leon doesn't need to know the other reason that he had left.

"Why, you cheek—!", cried Leon as D sighed guiltily. But his features softened again as he patted the count's head. "Okay, okay... I get it. Now, would you mind releasing me? For your information, I am still straight—'

D tightened his embrace as he shook his head. "I don't want—", he wailed as Leon just shrugged. "D...!"

"I wonder."

Leon frowned as he noticed D's playful tone turning serious.

"What is this warm feeling? Why did I feel... that I missed this sense of warmth? Suddenly... somehow, I think—if that time, if you had been there with me perhaps I would not have lost my hope and felt that deep despair inside of me. If you had been there with me instead, perhaps father would not have picked you up from nowhere and you might not be hurt."

Leon sighed as he thought about that last incident that marked the day D had left LA for good. D hadn't told him what happened to him while he had been on the run during that short reunion. But looking at how he had appeared, he had supposed that D have had an equally rough time while on the run. Pity they hadn't a chance to talk about it. Considering the circumstances...

"But you know Leon, when saying it like that... it sounded like it could have been better if I had eloped with you that time—", said D as Leon stared at him in surprise.

"... wait, you mean... E-ELOPED? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING IN THAT SILLY BRAIN OF YOURS!", exclaimed Leon as D laughed mischievously, still hugging the American even as Leon repeatedly smacking his head.

Leon calmed down as he returned the embrace finally.

"It had been good times spent, isn't it?"

"Ye—"

"Now get off!", said Leon as he pushed D away. D glanced at him bemused as Leon shrugged.

"I've got some other work to do after all. It's just lucky that I managed to catch you off-guard on what happened to be my off day today. I still had something to do. Fix my apartment, settle the related stuffs, restock on food stuffs... things. Can't believe I've already much settled in here after travelling so much before—"

D blinked. 'You really meant it when you said you've been here for several months, didn't you?"

Leon grinned.

"It may appear to be almost impossible, what with me working freelancing here and there—half the time taking Japanese language classes when I had the free time. My old friend, the one who told me about your shop here had been a lot of help also. All in all... like I've said, I'm settling in fine."

"Where did you stay?"

Leon shrugged. "I stayed in a low-cost apartment in Nagano. It's a pleasant place, also. The tenant had been kind to not charge the rent too high on me, considering how I've worked freelance and studying as part-time. Somehow, this kind of life is not that bad after all. I guessed I had been better off quitting the force, considering how reckless I was all the time. It's a nice change, you know?"

D shrugged. It had been unsettling when he had heard Leon being in deep thought for once; more over hearing him talk about continuing studies and doing other things that was not part of the police job.

Leon smiled to himself.

"It's getting late... I—", he frowned as D grabbed his arm again.

"Will you be coming over here again for a visit?"

"Will you run away again from me?"

The reply he got was a vigorous head shake. He smiled.

"Sure..."

His hands hadn't released his grip on his arm.

"Would you care to stay a little longer for some tea? I'm such a bad host for today. Just a short one, we had such a bad start today. Not the kind of reunion that I had expected."

xxx

Leon laughed as he nodded his head. Glancing towards the other corner of the shop, he spoke. "If that's the case, would you mind telling your bunch of pets to come out of their hiding and join us?"

D chuckled. As he turned around, the animals started falling out of their hiding place; having gathered in the corner to spy on the two men. One particular racoon jumped out towards Leon as she turned into the little girl that he used to be fond of.

"Hey, Pon-chan! I see that you're as charming as ever—"

"Leon!", squealed the child as Leon took his seat and placed her on his lap.

D smiled as he poured tea; the other animals gathered around them as it used to be, several years ago in that small Chinatown in the little corner of Los Angeles. He bit into one of the sweets as he eyed Leon fondly. It was as if they have never been apart before; as if it was just yesterday since the last time they had met.

He chuckled again as he watched his pets harassed Leon further. Even though he knew that Leon did not belong in this petshop, for now; he left that thought behind him. He could not set aside the one thought that hovered in his mind at the moment.

D rose as he stood before Leon. The man looked up as D appeared determined.

"Hmm? What is it, D?"

"Leon, there something... that I thought I should say to you now."

"Huh? What—"

Leon gasped as D suddenly embraced him again.

"Welcome back, Leon!"

Leon laughed. "Aren't you a little bit too late to say that?", he asked. An amused chuckle brushed the side of his neck.

D smiled. Yes, this is where his heart belongs. Even though the time spent between him and Leon might not be long, it would be enough. He would cherish this. Yes, he would. Even then, another thought passed by as he tightened his embrace. No, the time to ponder about the old grudge can be made another day. He just will not direct this grudge on at least Leon and Christ.

Leon laughed.

"D, would you let go of me already?"

D smiled as he distanced himself from Leon a little.

"Of course... not."

o

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az: The end part of this was kinda all over so if there's anything weird on the flow just tell in the reviews.