Categories > Anime/Manga > Pet Shop of Horrors


by Eternatis 0 reviews

The pet shop's haunted. Everyone knows that. [Response to Fanfic100's challenge, "fire."]

Category: Pet Shop of Horrors - Rating: G - Genres: Angst, Drama - Characters: Count D, Leon - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2007-01-14 - Updated: 2007-01-14 - 1214 words - Complete

The pet shop was haunted. Everyone knew that. Even the tourists felt a touch of it, although they buried it under a stream of /Whatever do they sell in that beautiful shop - Who's the owner - Well I never /- while China Town thinned it's lips and played deaf.

Of course, they whispered about it when the tourists weren't there to listen - about the shop and the Count's departure. Some felt relieved that the Count had gone; after all, living in the same city as a god could be likened to living next door to a minefield - you never know when the next explosion will come. Some, such as Madame C, mourned. Some tried to say that they didn't care, and they were the ones who couldn't look at the shop without their hands shaking.

They gossiped about the ghost too, of course, almost as much as they'd gossiped about it when it had still been a handsome young detective guarding the Count. The first time he'd shown up as a ghost, he'd been balancing against a crutch and swathed in bandages. Some of the more flighty girls cooed anxiously, wanting to comfort him, stepped forwards to speak to him - then backed away, confused.

Everyone watched the ghost out of the corners of their eyes. An old habit. The blond haired ghost stared down the steps at the pet shops door, his expression one they'd never seen on his face.

He looked calm.

He looked determined.

He looked at the empty pet shop with unshed tears in his eyes, spat on the doors, and limped away.


The pet shop was haunted, Leon knew that.

He'd thought it'd be safe. He thought two years would be long enough for the pet shop to have been sold, or for everything to have faded away into the dusty not-smell of empty houses. Instead, the place hadn't changed a bit. The pet shop was still a pet shop, and he could still pop the lock just by kicking the door in exactly the right place.

He sat on the dusty armchair - trying to shake the feeling that it was his dusty armchair, it had become his when he plunked his american ass on it the first three dozen times - looking around him as planted the half-full whisky bottle on the table. He expected to feel /something/. He'd expected to feel angry. All he really felt though, was tired.

If it wasn't for the fact that the place was so goddamn dark, or the fact that the incense smell was faint and faded, he could almost believe that D would come bustling out from behind that beaded curtain, tsking and making politely bitchy comments about the pet shop not being a hotel and was the dear Detective actually capable of telling the time?

Leon closed his eyes. If he listened, he could hear the animals shuffling and scratching in their cages


and D rattling around in the back room, making tea

(air moving through the pipes, those exposed pipes in that bare, concrete-walled back room. The one that held a beach and a kitchen and Chris's bedroom and a garden and the rest of the world, even though it was just a bare, stained room with concrete walls and exposed pipes)

and, distantly, Chris' voice chattering away to the animals, and D murmuring a response.


Leon opened his eyes, and for a moment he saw it - Chris and D and the sheep-tiger and the familiar red twilight of the pet shop - and then he blinked, and it disappeared. All of it. All he had left was dust and stale incense and a guttering candle. All he had could be fit into a single backpack. Clothes. A packet of cigarettes. A near-empty wallet. A wax-crayon picture that almost meant more to him than breathing.

All he had were dusty, stale-incense memories and flames.

Leon put a cigarette to his lips, leaning forwards so he could light it from the candle.

And he smiled.


The pet shop was haunted. D knew that.

Left over memories and faint shadows of the past - never his customers, he'd found, never those who should probably be haunting the place if one believed the Detective's constant rages. As it was, the ones usually haunting the place were those still alive.

The shadow of his grandfather, he'd found, could be found lurking in any corner of the pet shop one choose to look. His father's also, but that can be accounted to the fact that the child who used to be his father had developed an almost fanatical attachment to D, clinging to him at every opportunity he got.

He hesitated to refer to the... /other /as a mere shadow. It was more of a presence - which really doesn't surprise him all that much, considering the personality. The Detective haunted D far more effectively than any ghost could.

It had been two years - two years nearly to the day - since he left the Detective, and it /hurt/. It had hurt this day last year, but he didn't understand any more now than he had then.It had been two years, and he thought it would be safe to go back to LA. Just a short visit to see the pet shop. Just to see what had become of things after he... left.

When he arrived in China Town, it seemed that the entire city had turned out to do the exact same thing.

D pulled the hood of his cloak forwards, overshadowing his face as he moved through the chattering crowd. There were too many voice all shouting and chattering at once for him to catch the words, sirens wailing up the scale until they reached the highest note and stayed there, screaming. He was still a few streets away from the pet shop when he realised.

He could smell fire.

And the words on the lips of the people around him amounted to the pet shop.

They were right - the street was blocked by fire engines, but he could still see flames billowing up from the shop steps, feel the heat baking his skin.

He swayed, and landed on his knees. Part of him thought, rather hysterically, that the Detective had always wanted to see him brought low, and the rest of him was drawing a complete blank.

'No.' he wanted to scream. He didn't. He brought a hand to his mouth, and stared at the flames, almost hypnotised.

It took him a long time to notice the man stood over him, and when he did he was too dazzled to recognise it. All he saw was a tall silhouette, gradually resolving into a man. A man in a ripped shirt, one hand in the pocket of a battered pair of jeans and the other holding a cigarette to his lips.

D rose slowly, the hood of his cloak falling back from his face. The man next to him didn't bother to look away from the blaze. Blue eyes were turned nearly black as they reflected the fire.

"If I'd known all I had to do was burn the fucking place down, D, I would've done it two years ago."

The two of them stayed until the fire was down to the embers, watching their ghosts burn.
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