by Edmondia Dantes
Disclaimer: Neither Death Note nor Petshop of Horrors are mine.
AN: Requested by Starsplinter. Spoilers for the ending of PSOH, and an extreme case of TWT for Death Note.
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Strange creatures slide through his doors all the time, but the one that's crouched on his couch and slurping contentedly at his tea has eyes like he's never seen before, and if he hadn't known better, Count D would never have believed that he was human. It's been an hour and a half or more than that, most of that time spent frowning at the bare feet on his expensive cushions, and he wonders if perhaps there isn't a hint of something otherworldly in him, or if he's just the strangest example of the species he's ever seen. D has always been charmed by exotics, by that which he doesn't recognize, so he hasn't chased him out, doesn't give him a soft innocent cheeping thing that he thinks will make him laugh and shoo him on his way, as he has perhaps developed a little more patience for sloppiness and scruff, at least as far as some humans are concerned.
It also helps that the young man is also the only person who has ever sipped his tea without gagging on it.
The young man hums a little under his breath and watches him far too closely, china balanced delicately in his fingertips and an odd little smile curving his lips. The similarities are there, as far as D can see, in the odd eyes and the ink-black hair and the balanced grace of his fingertips against the fragile porcelain. A rumpled gangly mortal reflection and refraction, always staring, and D watches him in return, never bothering to blink. T-chan has been hiding under the chair since the young man arrived, silent and bristling, but Ten-chan has been all over him, sniffing at his toes and nuzzling his nose into his side, and when the boy finally reaches out to pet him, his fingers land on the thickness of a sleek soft braid and not the rough scruff of red fox fur.
"I know what you've done," the young man says calmly, breaking the thick breathless silence with careless mortal grace, stroking Ten-chan's hair with a single fingertip. "And I know what you're doing." He cants his head to the left, tiny smile widening, and Count D's own fingertips tighten dangerously on his own cup. He hates not being able to read them, the honest ones and the ones with masks as thick as his own. "I don't like having to believe in creatures like you."
D smiles in return, pretty and painted and polite, one professional liar to another. It will take him less than a heartbeat to vanish from this place, and while he doesn't particularly want to abandon the game he's been playing, these are dangerous times, and the shelter of a deluded child's messy crusade cannot last forever. It's a pity - D rather enjoys it when he doesn't have to meddle to let them bring themselves to justice, and even if his methods are crude, Kira at least has the discretion to try for the most obviously guilty ones. His shop can take care of the rest.
"I'm afraid I haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about."
"Of course not," the young man says, still patting Ten-chan like a familiar thing, and perhaps he is - but he doesn't think any of the kitsune's disguises will work on this one. "Unfortunately, I can't prosecute those who aren't human for genocide."
D's breath freezes, but his smile remains the same. This one dares to -
"So, instead, I'll punish you for your crimes." The teacup is placed back down on the table with exquisite care, and Ten-chan curls himself around his arm, long tails wrapping around his wrist and bright eyes sparkling from behind the crook of his elbow. The young man gives him a pat on the head, then shrugs him off and stands, stooped and lazy and careless, enough so that any other eyes would be fooled into believing he wasn't a predator.
"I'll be requesting Detective Leon Orcot's assistance tonight," the young man says blandly, "I could use the help of one so used to supernatural matters, and he's already tracked you down to the next country over." A single, delicate pause. "He is far too valuable to the human race to waste his life chasing after you."
Count D sits very, very still, many things abruptly falling into place. This place and these people in this time, and he came here for shadow and shelter but others came here to seek and find--and that, at least, explains his eyes. The geniuses of humanity are ever mad - beautiful, wild things, rare and precious to be sure - but each in their own way, and this one is so much more interesting than the other powerful men with whom he has dealt, all softness and sleekness and sharp, sharp brilliance, masks of lies and masks of truths and real and unreal, and he thinks of blunt honesty and goodness, and all the things his Leon would never tolerate.
Except Kira is here as well, and that, that his Leon will never forgive.
The young man smiles at him, polite and cruel and terribly dangerous, for all that he's doing nothing, for all that he will do only that which will make his world a safer place. It's a beautiful weapon, and the young man knows it, gentles his voice for him, offers a gamble to a god.
"It will take time, of course," he says smoothly, "to convince him to shake off his obsession with you. Will you be staying long enough to find out if I can?"
Count D can think of a thousand deaths for this one, a hundred animals to tear out his heart, but he can't think of a single one that could stand up to those eyes. Even a Kirin, he thinks, would follow this one, not lead.
"I suppose I must," he replies mildly, and stands. "I trust you will be honest in your dealings?"
"Of course," the young man says, and their deal is sealed in an exchange of soft, strange smiles and the glitter of dark mischief in clear, strange eyes.
Count D gently ushers the young man to the door, where another boy is waiting with neatly-disguised impatience, pretty and pale and pure poison beneath the mask of gentle politeness and affectionate, friendly irritation. Dangerous, yes, and D watches him as his gaze flickers from his head to his feet, as his shoulders shift and his eyes narrow, and he thinks, oh, he's already found him.
Kira is a jealous young thing, honey eyes and honey hair and a honey smile, all sweet laughter and gentle teasing - "Geez, Ryuuzaki, I was waiting forever, and now you don't even have a pet. Didn't Watari want a cat?" - and all the while watching D out of the corner of his eye with clear suspicion, though if it's to size him up as a potential ally or as a new enemy, he's not sure.
A moment passes in silence as they study one another, teenager and kami, and D thinks of mortal blood and judgment, of imperfect mirrors clad in fragile human flesh. They should both be playing at politeness, now, but the boy is on edge and L doesn't bother to say anything, so D curls his own painted lips in his most charming smile and meets amber eyes squarely, his lashes half-lidded and the memory of ashes lying thick on his tongue.
And then the young man blinks and leans forward and says "Does Light-kun want a pet?" and that shatters the stillness, prompts eye-rolling and laughter and a gentle hand on his arm, as if to tug him away, but D sees it for what it is, and thinks it's rather charming. So bright and so brilliant and so twisted, it's all there in those eyes and that smile, and he wonders for a moment if he should play with this one, this human who fancies himself a god.
"You know my dad's allergic," Kira is saying, ruffled amusement and careful positioning, smoothing down soft crumpled cotton and leaning back with a smile, "we had a kitten once, when Sayu was eight, and half the department thought mom was accidentally poisoning him to death."
"It is statistically improbable for your father to be allergic to the entire contents of a pet shop, Light-kun," the young man replies, just as careless, just as pointed, and it makes Kira laugh and stand a little closer, a little more affectionate, a little more possessive, and D wonders if he's playing up the attention because he thinks D will steal his playmate away or, worse, murder him before he gets the chance.
"Clever little humans!" Ten-chan crows at his side, "Count, I wanna keep him!"
They're all so very selfish, D thinks, this one and his games, and that one with murder in his smile and a shinigami laughing wildly over his shoulder, and Ten-chan is crooning half-purred giggles as he weaves himself between his feet, and in this tangle of mortality and not he thinks of blue eyes and brashness and the fragility of human hearts, so easily broken, so impossible to destroy.
Desire breeds destruction, and his race has always known this, mortal and immortal alike.
D reaches down and scoops Ten-chan up in his arms, stepping back into the shadows as Kira pulls L back into the sunlight, back to normal life, back to him.
It's a near-flawless facade, almost a match for his own, and underneath it all lies madness and mayhem far greater than any of his kind could ever dare to perpetrate, bright and blazing and brilliantly vibrant in a way that no true immortal could ever match.
They'll both die so very very young.
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