"She's okay again?"
The silent voice startled D, and he spun around, pressing a hand to his rapidly beating heart. "Detective!" he gasped. "When have you come in?"
Leon shrugged and set his duffel down. "Just arrived. Wanted to say goodbye. Is Dana okay?"
D forced himself to nod. "She is in Honlon's room," he answered. "I just came to the front to make some tea and then I wanted to return to them…"
His voice trailed off while he silently berated himself for babbling. That surely was nothing the blonde wanted to know. "Dana woke and was quite happy, in fact. I do not think she will have any trauma from yesterday," he added, feeling like he had to calm Leon.
He nodded absentmindedly. "Can I – can I say goodbye?" he asked quietly.
D had to swallow hard. "Of course. Please, go ahead, I will be with you in a minute," he choked out. "I just have to wait until the tea is ready…"
Leon cut him off. "Don't want to stay for long. My flight leaves in three hours and I've still got to get to the airport." He placed his duffel on the floor and strode to the crystal palace. D's hand flew to his throat. He choked.
"Are you not going to do something? Count!" Pon-chan exclaimed incredulously. "You can't just let him leave!"
"Shut up, Pon!" Tetsu hissed and clasped a hand over her mouth, sending a worried glance at his master. The Count looked like fainting any second. T-chan felt bitter regret. If the pets hadn't been so unhappy about Leon, he more than any other, perhaps the Count would not have left America. Especially after that evening. If they'd been more accepting of his love, told him to tell Leon the truth, perhaps things would've been different from the beginning.
But it was too late now to change anything. The totetsu didn't know if there was still a chance for this to work out. He only knew he desperately hoped there was.
Before D could even take as much as a step to Honlon's room, the detective was back, carrying Dana in his arms. He heard Junrei crying somewhere in the back and Shuko trying to soothe her sister. "Here," the blonde said gruffly and placed the kid in D's arms. He was so surprised that he nearly dropped her, but Leon kept a firm hold until he had her safely on his hip.
"Take good care of the little missy, will ya?" Leon didn't look at either of them while he was talking, instead his gaze rambled through the room aimlessly and landed on the totetsu. "You too, you freaking beast."
D's throat worked, but no words came from it. T-chan cast a glance at his master and answered for him. "Of course we will! We aren't that silly, you know!" He acted insulted, but for a moment, a split second, their eyes met, Tetsu's filled with regret and grudging acceptance, Leon's with sadness and respect. "Say hi to Chris."
"I will. From you too, D?" Now his blue eyes grazed the Count's motionless form.
The kami found his voice again. "Yes, please, Detective," he said faintly. The blonde nodded shortly, turned and started to walk out. Dana, not understanding what was going on, but feeling it was something bad, started to cry. D wanted to call out, but his throat was corded up. His arms lost their strength, and he quickly set the girl down before he really could drop her. She ran to Leon and wrapped her arms around his leg, turning a tear-streaked face up to him.
"Leon, play!" she demanded. The blonde sighed, bent down and hugged her tightly.
"No, Dana, not this time. I've gotta go. Watch out for your daddy, will ya? He needs you," he whispered to her and straightened to finally look at D. The kami felt like being engrossed in an unreal dream. Leon stood in the door, looking like he really didn't want to leave. Dana was holding on to his leg, gazing up at him with wide eyes. That strange searing pain went through D's heart again. He knew it wasn't right to let the human go this way. To make him leave his child. He might not love D, but at least he loved his daughter.
In this brief moment D made a decision. His strength returned. He took a step forward and scooped the girl up into his arms again. "Dana, let the detective go," he told her silently. "He has to arrive at the airport in time." She turned blue begging eyes to him, but D spoke the next words in Leon's direction.
"We don't want him to loose his job in America, now, do we? He'll have to feed us over there, at least sometimes. And he's going to have to buy you presents, too. He won't be able to do that if he looses his job."
Of course Dana didn't yet really understand what he was saying. But Leon did. He cleared his throat, but his voice was still raw when he spoke.
"Thanks, D. Thank you."
The kami smiled at him, a shy unsure little smile. "It would be most inconsiderate of me not to let Dana see the father she's come to like so much. Have a good flight home, Detective."
Leon returned the smile, as shy as he. Then he leaned forward and kissed Dana on the forehead. "See ya, missy," he said and looked at D. Reached for him, with one hand, and gently brushed his cheek. "See ya, D. Don't take too long."
"We won't, Detective. Goodbye."
Dana waved at Leon until he was out of sight. Then D stepped down the stairs and returned to the shop with her.
"T-chan, Pon-chan, pack up. We're leaving," he ordered. They smiled as if they'd only waited for him to say it. D sat down in his chair and hugged his daughter. "We're going to make a long journey, Dana," he told her and smiled. "We're going to America to live with your father."
Warmth filled his chest. Yes. They were going home to live with Leon.
- End -
A/N: I'd like to thank some people again, mostly my best friend, who betaed this one, too, at my request in the middle of the night. I know I can be unbearable... thanks for tolerating me even then.
Then thanks to everyone who wrote a review. To know that my hours are spent to entertain you is pleasing, but to be told that you're entertained, and well, means a lot to me.
And of course, thanks to everyone who read this, too. I don't know who you are - but if you liked it, that's enough.
So. -phew- That's it. Anyone's interested in a sequel?