"Apples?"

Incredulity mixed with disappointment. It was true, he'd pried open the suspicious-looking case for a handful of moldy fruit.

"Are you finished interrogating my apples, Detective?"

If he could smack that stupid smirk off his face…he would've. If Chris wasn't here…Dourly, he handed the case back to D. He stared at him closely. He knew he was hiding more than just apples. He had to be.

"So, what's with the apples, anyway?" Leon asked, unable to erase the image of the Count feeding some mutant horse.

"For baking, of course! Apple pie, apple crumb cake, apple strudel, apple Danishes…" He trailed off and frowned into the box. "I've waited too long to use them, it seems."

Do you need me to get you some more, Count? Chris asked.

Before D could answer Leon suggested something he knew he'd regret: "Hey, why don't we all go and get some more fresh? Chris, you've never been apple-picking right? Let's go while it's still fall!

Chris beamed at the suggestion, but for some reason the Count looked even more excited. Before Leon could take back his words, he was already in the backseat of a van packed between his little brother and…that goat…thing. Whatever it was, the damn thing kept trying to eat him the whole way there. Chris managed to stop him from biting him. Most of the time.

"Don't worry; T-chan is just a little jealous!" Every smile on that asshole's face seemed to be a smirk at his expense. He wished he still had one of those moldy apples to throw in his face, but now they were walking along an old country road towards the orchard. At best he could throw a dirt clod. Tempting.

Wait, jealous of what?

Chris ran ahead with a whole herd of animals, getting a few weird looks. Now Leon was alone with D. Good. Now he'd have a chance to catch him if he had to meet some "clients" here. Maybe that was why he was so excited! He must be planning something at the orchard! Of course! And Leon would be here at his side ready to 'cuff him the minute he had proof.

"Is there any reason you keep grinning as you stare into my eyes, Detective?"

Damn. Flushing, Leon quickly averted his gaze. Oh. That's right. He couldn't space out and dream of catching Count D…he had to focus. He had a job to do.

…Oh. Responses.

"Let's go catch up with Chris."

D raised an eyebrow, but didn't say anything more. "Chris will be fine with T-chan. Why don't we go pick our own apples?"

Leon nodded. Great. Now I'll be in the perfect position to arrest him without scaring Chris. It's worth putting up with his shit for this.

They finally walked into the orchard, Leon with a plastic shopping bag and the Count with a wicker basket. D immediately headed to the only line of trees that were deserted. Sketchy as usual, D. Leon thought as he began picking apples. At least the apple-picking was kinda fun.

Crunch. D had already started eating the apples. Leon glanced at him. His lips were the same shade of red as the apple. Wonder if they taste like apples- the fuck are you thinking Orcot!

His cheeks reddening profusely, Leon turned away from the Count and began picking at a different tree farther down the row.

D followed him.

"Are you feeling all right, Detective?" Before Leon could think of an answer, a maddeningly annoying ringtone played. Leon stared curiously as D grabbed his phone from a fold in his kimono. Smuggling? Black market? Drugs?

"Oh, yes Mr. Giroku, Miss Snuggles is doing just fine! I'd like to keep the kittens for my shop. I'm sure you don't mind? Yes, I'll have her back to you by Monday. I will see you then."

It was just a damn cat. Unless…Miss Snuggles was a code word? Could be. You never know. Kittens could actually code for crack- Leon's thoughts were cut off by a hand on his shoulder and the overwhelming scent of cherry blossoms and a hint of apple. Stiffening, he spun around to find his face two inches from a beautiful Asian one. D looked worried, but he STILL looked like he was leering at his expense.

"You must be catching a cold, Detective. I think you have a fever." He whispered, still close enough that Leon could feel every breath as he spoke. If he leaned in just a little more…

"I think I should go sit back in the car for a bit."

The words were out of his mouth before Leon realized what he was saying. Then he found himself in the front seat of the car, next to Count D alone. Leon didn't try to stop him from biting him.