Perspective: First Person
Pairing: Leon X D
Summary: Unknown to most L.A. harbors one of the most extensive Underworlds, where demonic worship and monsters flourish, and Leon has just fallen headlong into a demonic war. Now he is transformed and bound to the very demon that seeks to overtake the city. Can Count D save his dear detective before all of his humanity is gone?
Comments: I love African mythology and PSOH so put them together and you get this.
Disclaimer: I do not own Pet Shop of Horrors, nor am I benefiting monetarily from the story
1Leon to Lion
Chapter 3 : A Beast's Humanity
Count D was sitting in the parlor behind the pet shop, enjoying his late night snack with T-Chan curled at his feet, and Pon-Chan sleeping on his lap. He had already finished tending to his nocturnal animals and would have normally gone to bed by now, but tonight he was restless. As he bit into his pastry he offered a piece to Q-Chan, who had just landed on his shoulder, but the winged-rabbit refused his offering and was instead staring at the curtain of beads that separated the front of the store from the back. Noticing what he was staring at, Count D was about to question him, but suddenly the silence was interrupted by loud knocks at the front door.
Count D was stupefied. What kind of uncouth, vulgar person could possibly come to his door this late at night! The rapping on the door became louder and with dread D realized this person wasn't going to go away on their own. First removing Pon-Chan from his lap, he then stood and straightened his garments. It has to be Leon, he thought grumpily, he's the only one in this city with the audacity to come calling so late. T-Chan uncurled from his ball and followed the Count to the front, hoping he could make a meal of the late night visitor. As he pulled back the beaded curtain he paused, contemplating Leon's reasons for coming so late and he smiled at his imaginings. No, no I mustn't get my hopes up, he chided his imagination, it may not even be him.
Reaching the large, wood door Count D pulled it open and to his utter astonishment found a disheveled Jill and a very large, male African lion standing on his stoop. Recovering quickly he was about to question them but before he could the easily five-hundred pound lion pushed past him and into the shop. T-Chan instantly went on the attack and hurled himself at the larger predator. The lion roared in pain when the totetsu sank his sharp teeth into its flank, and the roar reverberated in the small room, causing some small trinkets to shatter.
Count D watched in horror as the lion reached behind him and swatted the totetsu off like he was nothing but a fly. The young totestu was lying stunned on the ground from the blow when the giant cat pinned him with his claws, and readied to bite.
"No Leon!" yelled the policewoman who was still standing outside. The lion stopped his attack and looked up at Jill guiltily. The woman shut the door behind her as she came in and said in a more subdued tone, "Really Leon that thing's bite is more like a love nip now, but your bite could the little guy. How about you try turning the other cheek rather than killing Count D's pet. You know, the man who we're asking to help us?" Thoroughly chastened the lion released T-Chan and sat back on its haunches, its black-rimmed ears turned back and staring guiltily at the ground.
D was leaning against the wall for support; one thought reverberated in his mind. Leon, Jill called that lion Leon. Taking a deep breath the kami switched to his second sight, the sight that allowed him to see an animal's true form, and looked at the lion. The Count sank to ground at the sight; his body making a soft thump that caused the lion to turn its blue cold-fire gaze to him. Rather than seeing the form of a lion D saw the all too familiar shape of Detective Leon Orcot. His shirt was gone, leaving his golden, muscular chest bare. His shoes were also no where in sight, but his heavy denim jeans were still there, though they were ripped in some areas. Without a tie to constrict them, Leon's blonde hair had fallen around his handsome face and it gave him a wild appearance. Curling up from his hair was a set of very endearing lion ears, and D could see a fluff-tipped tail twitch behind the detective.
"D, can you hear me?" Leon asked hesitantly, his dear detective's cute, little ears flicking back and forth inadvertently.
"Yes Leon, I can," the kami said dully. His head was awhirl with this bombshell of a situation that had been so suddenly and unsuspectingly dropped in his lap. Leon stood and walked towards him slowly and more gracefully than D had thought the blundering detective was capable.
"Well, that's a relief," sighed the detective, crouching down to look the prone kami in the eye, "Jill can't hear me at all, though she's pretty good at guessing what I'm trying to say. So, what do you think D? Can you change me back into a human?"
"I–I don't know Leon, It depends on how you came to be this way," D answered uncertainly, deciding that he had made enough of a fool of himself, he rose from his undignified position on the floor. As he straightened his cheongsam Leon stood as well, and watched his face so intensely D couldn't help but look away.
There was a soft cough and D remembered that Jill was there too. Turning away from that piercing stare he addressed the other detective, "Perhaps we should have some tea while you recount your night, because Leon was most assuredly not a lion when he dropped by this morning." Count D didn't wait for an answer and slipped past the beads and into the parlor. As he poured two more cups of tea D noticed that his hands were shaking badly and it took him a moment to stop the trembling. By then Jill and Leon had entered the room, Jill sat at the couch opposite the one D was seated at. With a huff of annoyance Leon settled down on the ground, his weight being too much for D's furniture to handle.
"You can understand Leon, right D?" asked Jill desperately, it was obvious to the Kami how worried she was and D couldn't help the jealousy he felt towards her, even though he knew neither she nor Leon harbored those feelings for each other, but he could only ignore the irrational emotion.
"Yes I can, and if you wish I could help you understand him too," D said hesitantly. Even if Jill was an open-minded person she was still a cop and he wasn't sure if he should reveal the Pet Shop's secret to her. The relief on her face made the decision for him, reaching to a small container beside him D pulled out a stick of special incense and lit it. The intoxicating aroma filled the small room quickly. The Count knew that it had begun to take effect when Jill gasped at the sight of Leon in his new human form.
"Jill?" Leon's voice was hesitant.
"Leon! I can hear you! I can see you!" her head whipped around staring at D, "How did you do that?!"
Sighing D answered as vaguely as he could without eliciting more questions, "You wanted to see Leon this way I merely supplied the catalyst. Now if one of you would please explain to me how this," the kami waved a manicured hand at Leon, "happened."
Even though he could now be understood, Leon remained silent. He sprawled out on the floor and staring at the ceiling as if he could see through it. After a moment of silence Jill recounted to D her part of the story, including Leon's hellish metamorphosis. Count D's heart constricted at thought of his dear detective in so much pain, and even though on the outside he was a vision of calmness inside he seethed with rage. How dare someone harm what is mine! The whole time Leon remained quiet, if D couldn't have seen his blue eyes flashing in the dim lighting he would have thought Leon had fallen asleep. Oh, how much pain he must be in!
"Thank you Jill, but I still don't—"
"He made me drink his blood," Leon interrupted, his voice low and husky. "He held me down and I couldn't move. Then he asked my name and it was like I had to give it to him," to his amazement D saw tears building in the corners of Leon's eyes, he had never seen the hard as nails cop cry before, "When he heard it he laughed and slit his own throat, and forced me to drink it. After that I couldn't hear or see, I could only scream."
Leon rolled over on his side so D and Jill couldn't see his face, and Count D just couldn't bear the sight of Leon hiding his tears. Setting his tea down, he went to Leon and put a hand on the man's shoulder, turning him so their eyes met. The kami could see the pain in his detective's eyes and did something that he wouldn't have been able to do to a human. His touch drained away all the fears and pain the lion was suffering and made it disappear.
Smiling at Leon's relieved face he began to pull back but suddenly he couldn't let go, like the detective was a live wire, the kami could feel something evil clinging to him, refusing to release its catch. D felt his eyes roll back into his skull as he felt the thing's presence inside Leon's mind and he couldn't breathe through the pressure of its power. He could feel the monstrous presence trying to leap from Leon and into him, but abruptly a sharp pain cut through the horrible pressure and he was released from its hold.
Leon had scrambled back into a corner, as far as he could get from D without leaving the room, his naked chest heaving in terror and agony. T-Chan was between them snarling at Leon and Q-Chan had his little fangs sunk in D's finger all the way to the bone.
"Enough T-Chan, Q-Chan," D ordered brushing his rabbit way from his hand, and wincing as the rabbit withdrew its fangs, "I'm fine now and it was my fault not Leon's." Q-Chan chittered angrily at the young count but flew back to his perch, the totestu, however, didn't cease in its aggressions towards Leon until the Count picked him up by the scruff of the neck. The totestu hung limply in D's grip but didn't look a bit remorseful.
"He was hurting you D," whined the totestu, shooting a glare at the Lion, who was still pressed into the corner.
"He was doing nothing of the sort; can't you see that he's in just as much pain as I am? I know you don't like the detective but that doesn't give you the right to be cruel to him," snarled the kami, enraged by T-Chan's spiteful behavior. Such was his anger that if Jill hadn't interfered at that very moment he didn't know what he would have done otherwise.
"D please don't blame him," Jill pleaded, distracted from T-Chan D looked over and saw that the policewoman was now standing, "You weren't breathing and he was just worried about your safety."
D relaxed his grip on the totetsu. What had gotten into him? That dark presence must still be there, trying to excite his anger. After realizing what had caused his uncharacteristic burst of rage it was much easier to calm himself, and after a few soothing breathes the kami released T-Chan.
"Jill," I took a deep breath, not knowing how this modern woman would take his information, "I'm afraid that the thing you saw and the thing that just tried to fill this room with wrath is a demon, what kind I don't know. Though considering what Leon has been turned into, some kind of African demon would be the most appropriate." My multicolored eyes never left Jill's as I told her my theory. Emotions flashed through her so quickly they were hard to identify; shock, disbelief, terror, and then her face became unreadable. Her closed down face was a bit disconcerting but D continued after giving her a moment to soak in the new information, "I can't begin to unravel this curse," and a curse it was if they were dealing with a demon, "until I know exactly what demon it is, and unfortunately African lore is not my strong suit, as humans would say. But I do know someone who is very knowledgeable about African magicks, though getting her help will be costly, in ways you cannot imagine."
The police detective could barely hold back the whimper that wanted out after hearing it in his head.
Where are you Leon?
Leon pushed himself tightly into the corner, his bleeding leg was curled against his chest, but the pain that goat thing had caused him was forgotten when he began to hear that monster's voice in his head.
Leon. Answer me.
The lion shivered, biting his tongue to keep himself from answering and clamping his ears back to try to keep out the voice.
That won't work Leon, I am your master and you must obey me. Now answer me!
It was the first time Leon had heard the thing become angry and it filled him with a vindictive pleasure. He knew from his years as a cop that anger stemmed from fear, but why would that monster be afraid of him? The voice was now screaming at him.
Answer me you rotten cur! Where are you?! Do you think that spirit can help you! Nobody can help you! Your MINE you hear me?! MINE!!
The thing was roaring in his ears and his head was pounding but suddenly he felt better than he had since he'd been changed. This monster in his head was not his master, he didn't have to obey him and he was still Leon Orcot, not some creature's pet. For the first time he responded to the voice in his head.
No I am human, and I belong to no one asshole.
Leon grinned, or what passed for a grin as a lion. Even as it screamed threats and described the horrible tortures it would inflict upon him Leon couldn't help but laugh, albeit hysterically. He was still himself and he would die before he let that white bastard steal away his humanity.