After several requests for a second chapter, I bring you the (very short and unnecessary) sequel of 'The Lion'. Remember, I don't own Pet shop of Horrors.
My name is Leon Orcot, and I am a human. At least, I used to be human. These days, I live at a pet shop with the most annoying china man that I've ever met. Actually, he's not even Chinese, but a Kami, this animal-god-spirit-thing. And the pet shop, get this, is actually a magic boat that harbors and protects animals, real or mythic, that have been threatened by human existence. Yeah, ha-ha, put away the straight jacket, I'm being serious here.
I guess you're wondering how a human came to live with a Kami that swore to kill all humans, huh? Really, I can't tell you why, I don't really know myself. I'll tell you how though; I gave up my humanity. Most days, I'm that blonde house cat that sits on the arm of the Count's chair, yeah, the one that looks like a shrink-rayed lion. These days, D introduces me as Leo, his 'personal pet.' Yeah, right. I may spend most of my time watching the Count swindle customers out of their lives and/or sanity, but really, most of the time I'm just his damned errand boy.
"Damn Count, you just had to have this cake from that store all across freaking Tokyo." I grumbled, stalking down the sidewalk with the bag from one of the most expensive patisseries in Tokyo clutched in one hand. In human form, my snarling still frightened away the black-haired, black-suited businessmen that crowded the sidewalk this time of day, leaving my path clear. "I mean, s delivery such a hard concept to—hey, what's that?" My Cop's Instinct perked up as I passed an alleyway, even though it's been months, if not years, since I last wore my badge. Hearing the thump of head meeting rock and a small cry of pain spurs me into action. Next thing I knew, I had shed my human skin like an old glove and had my incisors three inches into the guy's neck. I didn't get a good look until after he stopped twitching, but he looked like a typical punk that thought they owned the street. He wasn't Yakuza since he didn't look like he could stand any pain to get a tattoo, and especially since he was alone, they always worked in groups.
"Neko-chan…" Standing back, I looked at who I rescued for the first time, hoping it would have been a twenty-something chick with curves busting out of the seams of her expensive-looking clothes, but looking, my stomach dropped into my toes. The woman I hoped to save was a girl that had to be ten at the oldest, but I couldn't really tell through the blood that painted her school uniform and the ground red. Its times like this that I'm grateful to the fact that I can no longer cry as humans do. Padding to the girl, I gently nuzzled her shoulder, she has just enough energy to twine her fingers into my mane and give a small smile before passing out. "Kawaii…"
"Sir, please move." A medic pushed past me, seeing only my human form as he laid the girl down, preparing her for the stretcher at the end of the alley. Sometime before, someone must have called an ambulance.
It must have been something in her eyes, but the next thing I remembered was following the two medics as they loaded her into the ambulance. "Let me come with you." Startled, the medic studied me for a few moments before scooting over to give me some room on the bench.
It was almost a week before I came home, and during that time I was the only one to look over her body. I would have liked to believe that someone out there was looking for her, that she had a family, but her eyes told me her entire story. A victim of the system, she had somehow slipped through the cracks, leaving her alone, scared and if she had any family, they didn't know or care about her. I can only guess why she was in that alleyway. She didn't wake for that week, but I didn't leave her side. During visiting hours, I was a blond foreigner that refused to let go of her hand, but they never disturbed the house cat that slept next to her on the cot at night.
"Now, if you could sign here…" Count D handed over the contract to an older lady in a fur coat holding her new pet ferret on her shoulder. The bell overhead rung, signaling a new customer. "If you will please excuse me… De-Leon!" The blond house cat walked in, startling D. The count stood up, intending on talking to the stray human, but Leon ignored him, head and tail low, walking straight to the back rooms and, D assumed, straight to his private room. Catching Tetsu's and Pon-chan's confused expressions, the two pets nodded and followed while D finished with the customer.
"Leo-kun? Leon, what's the matter?" Pon-chan asked, following behind the former human. Ignoring the duo of senior pets, Leon slammed the door to his private room and flopped down on the oversized papasan chair that doubled as his bed.
Outside, Tetsu absently rubbed his sore nose, grumbling about getting the door slammed on his poor muzzle. "Oi, we're comin' in whether you like it or not!" Pushing into the room, Tetsu let Pon-chan go first. The little raccoon bounced in, lying down next to the former Detective.
"Leon, what's the matter?" All she got as a response was for Leon to shift over to make from for her and to twine his fingers into her curls.
Stepping closer, Tetsu wrinkled his nose in the lion's direction, "you smell like a human hospital. You get run over or something?"
"Go away; I don't want to talk about it." Curling away from the Tou Tetsu, Len didn't see D enter quietly. Putting a manicured claw on Tet-chan's shoulder, he signaled the Tou Tetsu to mind the front of the shop. The red-headed horned creature nodded and slipped out just as quietly.
"Leon," D kneeled next to Leon and threaded his hand through the lion's mane gently, "do you wish to tell me why a contract in your name appeared in my records last week?" Leon stiffened, refusing to acknowledge the Chinese Kami. "I thought you said that you weren't going to, as you say, 'become one of your damned pets just to kill people who should be brought to justice or get help'?"
"Leo-kun, you had a contract?" Pon-chan gasped; paw flying to cover her mouth. His response was to curl in further, nearly covering Pon-chan with his plate-sized paw.
"I said," Leon murmured, his eyes closed, "that I don't want to talk about it."
"Yes Count, I'll go help Tetsu." Crawling out from practically under the lion, she left the two alone to talk shutting the carved door gently behind her, plunging the duo into near-darkness with only a few red lamps to highlight the rarely-used room.
"My dear Lion, despite what you may think, torturing yourself will not bring your ward back." Sitting daintily on the edge of the rattan chair, D gently embraced his lion.
"I killed a man, D, and she still died from what the bastard did to her." Leon mumbled, subconsciously tilting his head ever-so-slightly into D's scratching fingers.
"Hmm…" D hummed, concentrating on creating a soothing aura around his human. "When the contract was formed, I was made aware of the conditions that were listed, despite not knowing the circumstances that were present. One of those conditions was a life clause, stating that you would protect her until her death."
"Yep," Leon laughed humorlessly, "and she died alright."
"Leon," the Count couldn't help but sigh, "This shop is meant to sell Hope and Dreams, what do you think your purpose was for the past week? Sometimes the customer cannot come to us, so we must go to them."
"So… you sent me out to become a pet then?" Leon looked at his 'master' with one blue eye.
"NO… and yes. It's not me that chooses the pet for the customer, but the shop or customer themselves. I just guide the two to meet. I could have sent nearly any other cat, but the shop picked you, otherwise the contract might well have ended before it began."
"Yeah, but did you have to send me on that freakin' pastry run in the process?"
"Ah, no!" D gasped, hands cradling his face in shock, "The tart!" You left the famous Le Sora Chocolate- Strawberry Tart out there on the filthy street?" Tears rand down D's porcelain face at the horrible thought.
"That thing was damn expensive, you knew that. Freaking rip-off." Sitting up, Leon gave D a dry look. Sighing, Leon shook his head and rolled his eyes. "Look, D, if you stop looking like someone kicked your puppy, I might try to make one for you. Maybe." Padding out, Leon looked back at D once and snorted, shifting and stuffing his hands into his pockets, intent on going to the store.
The door shut quietly, hiding D's sly smile in the dark. Sometimes all his Lion needed was a distraction, and all the better that a sweet or two dozen came out of it! Especially since the former human had become somewhat of a sweets expert, despite his insistence on abhorring all things sweet, ever since the first day and that simple box of chocolates.
Blah, the ending I will never be happy with, even after trying to figure it out for months. That happens. I can begin writing things, but when I get near the end, I just freeze. Think that's what's happened with Birth Marks too… Hehe… don'tshootmePLEASE!!!
Dark Inu Fan