Die By the Sword - Part 5
Disclaimer: I don't own Petshop of Horrors or another series that you'll find mentioned that I'm not going to give away yet ^_^
Warnings: A/U, OOC
"What is that tingle?" Leon asked as he sparred with Sofu.
"You feel something?"
"Yeah, this tingle and a sucking...like water down a drain. Someone is here..." Leon looked to Sofu who had lowered his sword.
"That feeling is the presence of another Immortal like you."
"In other words, someone after my head?" Leon frowned.
"Not necessarily. Not all immortals will be after your head. Some are aggressive in their search for power, while others are content to be. It is up to you to choose your allies wisely."
"Just like regular humans."
"Yes, just like regular humans. However as long as you are within these walls, you should be safe. This is holy ground and you may not battle on holy ground. However, there are those that will break those rules."
"Yeah, all rules are made to be broken. Or so some people would like to believe."
"Indeed, you must always be aware of your surroundings and those you surround yourself with."
"Yes, Master." Leon nodded. "Should we go to see about this other immortal?"
"No, if he poses a threat my grandson will take care of him." Sofu assured.
"D?" Leon looked skeptical.
"Yes, of course. Despite his weak heart, he is still a very formidable opponent. Perhaps I will even let you spar against him. When you are ready of course."
Leon nodded. "I look forward to that."
"Good, let us get back to our practice." Sofu raised his sword.
"Hai." Leon raised his sword and they continued their spar.
By the time they were done Leon had lost track of how many times he was bruised or cut because they healed so quickly. He felt useless. They'd been training for months now. Hours and days stretched into long weeks and months. He understood that nothing would happen overnight, but he was hoping to make some sort of improvement. Sofu, observant as ever, saw the disheartened look in his eyes.
"Do not ask yourself how many times you have been hit. Rather remind yourself of how many times you were not. Though you may not see your improvements, I do. Remember, I have done this for far longer than you can imagine and I see the improvements. The day you beat me will not come for many many centuries, if ever." Sofu's mouth turned up in an amused smile at Leon's look of disgust. He chuckled at the brash human.
Leon shook his head as he put up his gear. "I'll take your word for it. But it seems like I loose just as much blood as sweat every time you get near me with a blade."
"It won't be the death of you." Sofu replied, his smile stretching a little further.
Leon grumbled to himself as they finished up in the dojo and he left for his room. He stripped out of his shirt as he moved through the back of the shop. He passed through the halls listening to the sounds of pets moving beyond the doors. He was just passing the cat room when a long leg stretched out of the doorway. Surprised, he stopped. A naked woman slipped out of the doorway and into the hall to block his way. He could tell that she was one of the cats by the slant and tint of her eyes. Her stomach and breasts were paler than the rest of her skin, which was a warm cocoa color. She was definitely a looker.
"Hello," she purred, looking him up and down with a grin as she licked her lips. Two pointed teeth were visible as her tongue darted out over her lips.
"Hey there." He said, stepping back away from the hungry look in her slitted eyes.
"You are Detective Leon-San." She said moving forward, her hips swaying from side to side, tail twitching behind her. "I have been watching you."
"Yeah, you and every other pet around here." Leon muttered not liking the look in her eyes. "Look, what do you want? I want a shower and some food and I don't think I'm interested in anything you're offering."
The cat woman paused, pouting. "Detective Leon-San there is no need to be so mean. I merely wish to have some fun and you look as if you could use a little." She took a step forward, her hand reaching out. Her nails ran lightly over his bare chest, causing him to shiver.
"Sorry lady, but I've had more than enough fun for one day." He pushed her hand away and brushed past her.
She growled and he wondered for a moment if she was going to pounce when a flouncing ball of energy attached itself to his leg. "Leon-San!" Lin-Chan sang out looking up at him with bright black eyes.
"Hey Sweetie. How are you?" He picked up the small girl and set her on his shoulder. He could feel the cat's eyes boring in his back but ignored it.
"I'm happy! D-San gave me some fruit tart today! It was good."
"Well, it's a good thing you're not a rabbit. There was this one time that D sold a rabbit and they fed it a cookie. Boom! Crazy rabbits everywhere eating everything!" He tickled her stomach and she giggled, squiggling on his shoulder. He kept her steady and grinned. "Well, here's my room, time to get off." He set her carefully on the floor. "I'll see you around. And thanks for the save back there."
"No problem Leon-San!" She winked and scampered off.
Leon chuckled and shook his head. Lin-Chan was very mischievous...but then what did one expect from a fox? He headed into his room for a quick shower. He wasn't about to admit it, but he was avoiding the bathtub after that embarrassing fiasco with Tet-Chan. The stupid goat wasn't ever going to let him live it down. Every time he saw that wooly red head he knew that he was going to get an earful. He liked it much better when Tet-Chan played the part of dumb animal and bit him. Now he had to put up with him talking as well.
Leon turned on the hot water and slipped into the shower soaping up. He allowed the overly hot water to drive down into his skin. He stepped out red and raw, but clean and relaxed. He wrapped a towel around his waist and wandered out into the bedroom. He stopped short as he found the cat woman lounging in the middle of his bed.
"You again. Didn't I tell you that I wasn't interested?"
"Perhaps I am not one to be turned down," she replied, her tail twitching lazily across the sheets.
"And maybe I ain't one to give in to unwanted advances," he said angrily.
The woman sat up slowly. "But surely I am not completely unwanted." She ran her hand over her pert breasts with a catty grin.
"I assure you that you are lady. Now you better leave before I throw you out and it won't be your feet you'll be landing on."
She looked offended as she sat up completely. "Why do you refuse me? All men wish for a little tail," She wiggled her tail to emphasize the point.
Leon sighed, shaking his head. "I ain't most men."
"That is for sure. Most men do not drown themselves in the bathtub."
Leon groaned as he looked up to see the smirking face of Tet-Chan. "What do you want goat boy?"
Tet-Chan sauntered into the room. "I'm here to tell you to get ready for dinner and dress presentably, there will be a guest tonight. However it seems that you're a little busy at the moment yes?"
"No, my conversation with her is over, she is leaving." Leon glared at the cat on his bed. With an annoyed sound the cat shifted back into her feline form and stalked out of the room with her head and tail raised high. "As for you, you can wipe that smirk off your face 'cause nothing happened. Darn cat just can't take a hint. Now what do you mean a guest?"
Tet-Chan shrugged and turned to leave. "There will be a guest for dinner, you can figure it out when you make your grand appearance." With that, the tou tetsu was gone.
Leon grumbled about stupid talking pets as he moved to the wardrobe in his room and pulled out something presentable. He pulled on a pair of black pants and a dark blue polo shirt. He went into the bathroom and quickly ran a comb through his hair, pulling it back into an elastic. A splash of light cologne and some deodorant later he was walking barefoot through the halls of the pet shop towards the dining room. Since he didn't go out he'd taken up the habit of not even putting shoes on, they all lay unused in the bottom of the wardrobe. He walked into the kitchen where D was getting dinner ready.
"Hey." He padded up behind D to look over his shoulder at the food on the stove.
"Hello Leon. How was your training?" D leaned back into Leon's body.
"It was okay. I bled, I bruised and your grandfather wiped the floor with me. The usual."
D chuckled. "Well dinner is almost ready. And we have a guest tonight."
"So I've heard. Who is this mystery guest of ours? Do I know them?"
"That would spoil the surprise. Why don't you go into the dining room and find out?" D turned and picked up a small spice bottle.
Leon stepped back and shrugged. "Okay, I'll go say hi to this mystery guest. I just hope it's someone good."
"I think you will enjoy their company," D smiled as he shooed the Detective into the dining room.
Leon looked up and found himself with an armful of bouncing brunette. "Jill!"
"Oh Leon! You've been hiding yourself too long." She stood back at arm's length, looking him over. "But you look good! C'mon! Sit down, let's talk!"
"Yeah," he mumbled as she dragged him to the table.
"So how are you? How are the visits going? Making progress? Is the Count taking good care of you?" She fired questions at him one after the other.
"I'm doing good Jill. The visits...they're good. They say I'm making progress...but our opinions differ on that. And yes, D is taking good care of me, he feeds me regularly and lets me out for exercise and even rubs my belly if I've been a good boy."
"Leon!" Jill laughed, swatting at Leon's arm. "Ooh! Are those bigger?" She began pinching at Leon's muscles, poking here and there. "They are! You've been working out. It's like hitting a steel wall."
"Can't let myself go soft you know. Just because I'm taking time off doesn't mean I'm sitting around with a six pack and a pizza with my feet propped up...though that does sound kind of tempting."
"And miss my cooking?" D glided into the room with a large covered platter.
"Nah, I like your cooking, but a day off sounds nice you know." Leon said a little wistfully.
D nodded as he put down his platter. "Perhaps we can look into a reprieve for you Leon."
"Yeah, and what would I do with it? Go swimming in your fish tanks? Sit around on my butt eating munchies with tea?"
"They are all possibilities, but perhaps we could come up with some entertaining activities." D smiled as he slipped from the room.
Jill pounced on Leon. "Hey! What's up with you two then? You moved in with the guy, spill!"
"Jill! He's a friend! He and his grandfather are helping me out."
Bingo, she was successfully sidetracked. "Yeah, his grandfather. You might meet him at dinner. Looks just like D, they could be twins."
"Really? That's pretty crazy, but then lots of things around here are I suppose."
"Yeah, hold on. I'm going to see if D needs help. Don't wander off."
"Yes sir." She teased as he stood up and walked into the kitchen.
"Do you need any help in here?" Leon looked at D and his grandfather.
"No, no, we will join you in a moment and dinner will start." D waved Leon out of the room.
Leon nodded and left, knowing a dismissal when he saw one. He sat at the table once more fielding Jill's questions until D and his grandfather emerged with the rest of dinner and the meal commenced. Leon noticed the curious glances that she kept giving Sofu, but it was understandable. For D's grandfather, he didn't look any older than D himself. They could be twins and nobody would debate the fact, but grandfather? Of course he knew that D and his grandfather weren't like everybody else, he wasn't a complete dunce. He just had yet to have it explained to him. It seemed they were distracting him with his own problems and origins. Soon enough he'd find out, but for now he was being patient.
"D, this dinner is wonderful," Jill complimented as she waved at the table full of food.
"Why thank you Miss Jill. We cannot have our dear detective starving while in my care."
"You're right, can't leave the likes of him on his own. Without takeout he'd go extinct." Jill joked.
"Well, I can assure you that will not be happening here. Leon is well cared for as well as caring for himself much better." D smiled.
"What? You're teaching him manners! Oh dear, I think that hell must have frozen over. It looks like you're rubbing off on him."
"He needs a good rubbing off." Sofu commented suddenly. The statement was strange and Leon found himself blushing and glaring at Sofu.
"He has no manners to speak of, but we are training him as best we can. You can teach an old dog new tricks with enough patience and discipline." Sofu's eyes glittered as he looked back at Leon.
"Okay, okay! Enough pet references when talking about me. Ha ha, not funny anymore." Leon crossed his arms and to D's amusement began pouting.
"It appears that we have offended the young detective." Sofu said, an evil sort of smile on his face.
"You're enjoying this too much." Leon muttered.
D stifled a laugh and stood up. "Time for dessert!" He announced gleefully.
Leon jumped at the chance to leave the table. He helped collect the used dinner dishes and followed D into the kitchen. They set the dishes aside to be washed and D handed Leon a small stack of dessert plates. He followed Leon back into the dining room with a beautiful cheesecake covered in blueberries and raspberries. Jill was the only one that had a single serving, claiming that she needed to keep her womanly curves. The other three gladly had seconds and thirds. Lin-Chan snuck into the dining room in fox form and Leon slipped her a few bites of cheesecake as she sat twined at his feet. After dinner they moved into the reception room for tea and some light conversation. Lin-Chan followed and made herself comfortable in Leon's lap.
"Who's this?" Jill asked looking at the small fox in Leon's lap.
"This is Lin-Chan. She's one of the pets that's taken a liking to me. We're friends me and her isn't that right Lin-Chan?" The little fox seemed to nod and Jill petted the soft fur.
Leon was content to let the conversation flow around him and soon drifted into a sort of half-sleep. He decided that this was probably how he'd slipped beneath the soothing waters of the bath and it was probably best if he woke up unless something equally embarrassing happen. But he was so tired. He'd worked hard and had a large dinner and he just didn't seem to have it in him to keep his eyes open. Lin-Chan licked his fingers to try and rouse him but he stayed in his happy sleepy place, not wanting to really wake up.
"Well," Jill said, "it's getting late, I should go. And Leon here is asleep already." Leon's eyes snapped open at mention of his name. "Or else we bored him to death. Anyway, thank you very much for dinner D. It was nice to meet you Sofu. Leon, you'd better come visit me soon or else!"
Leon nodded and mumbled a goodbye, his hand waving at her half-heartedly.
Sofu walked Jill to the door while D helped Leon to his feet. "Come Leon, it is past your bedtime."
Leon grumbled at the comment but allowed himself to be led down the halls with Lin-Chan trotting at their feet. Leon leaned heavily on D as they walked into his room and soon he was flopping down on his bed. D chuckled as he maneuvered the blankets to cover Leon. Lin-Chan leaped onto the bed and settled herself primly on one of the pillows. D gave her a look, but she just put her head down and pretended to go to sleep.
"Good night Leon. Lin-Chan." D said moving to the doorway where he turned off the lights.
"G'night D." Leon muttered already half-asleep.
D moved off into the shop intent on asking his grandfather for a day off for Leon.
Unfortunately, at this point, this is the end. I hope to one day complete the story. If you enjoyed it and would like to see more, a note of encouragement is always appreciated. I have a lot of things that need finishing, so I'd like to know if anyone is even interested in seeing this continue. Thanks!