Here we go. I own nothing; not the song, movie or Gundam wing characters. They all belong to someone richer and far luckier than I to have such cool things to play with.
Rembrant Tycoon: You know you want 'em.
Mair: Yeah so? We are trying to put out a story.
RT: Torture everyone!!!
Mair: NO!
RT: Torture most of them then.
Mair: No.
RT: Yes.
Mair: If you don't quit it I'll sick the pooka on you!
RT: Fine fine...
Mair: Give the warnings.
RT: No.
Mair: Do it before I hurt you, Rembrant.
RT: You and what army? I'll run away.
Mair: You're my muse, all you can do is hide. Give the frickin' warnings before I sick the pooka on you then lock you back in a box and pitch you off a cliff and find a new muse.
RT: Touchy touchy... Ok, warnings... warnings... What warnings?
Mair: Rembrant!
RT: Right! Uh, ok, TWT (timeline what timeline), yaoi sort of eventually, angst, bastardization of movies, 1+2 and RFO/Evil Relena. *snickers* Aaaaaannnnnnnndddddd now presenting in the leading roll...........!
Mair: *hits RT with the biggest stick in hammerspace* Ahem. On to the fic.

Love Potion #9 + Part 1

"Come on, come on!" He yelled, tugging Heero and Quatre down the street.

Quatre laughed, "Duo, only you could get this excited over a Bazaar..." he said, allowing himself to be pulled down the crowded dusty street.

"I've never seen one before! You never told me there was neat stuff like this out here! I betcha you were never going to tell me there were places like this still existing if we hadn't found out in History class."

"I wonder why? The way you are acting is enough of a reason for Quatre not to tell you." Wufei countered from a safe distance back from the exuberant figure. "Wu-chan..."

"Wufei, Maxwell."

"Whatever. It wouldn't be just or fair to keep this a secret! I mean, look at all the stuff!" Duo said stopping in his tracks to turn and face the other pilot.

Heero jerked his arm free from Duo, causing a frown and a stuck out tongue.

"So Quatre, do you think there is a fortune teller around here? We could ask 'em if the war is gonna be over soon! We could ask 'em if Heero is ever going to say more than 10 words on a given day! We could ask if Wu-man will ever develop a sense of humor! We can. OWWW!"

Heero smirked slightly as he grabbed Duo's braid and pulled. Hard. "Ow! Leggo leggo leggo!"

"Shut up."

"Leggo before I deck you!"

"Duo... Heero... people are starting to look..." Quatre interjected, hoping for peace between the two.

Heero gave Duo's braid another hard tug then released him.

"Thanks for nothing you jerk... You can ask nicely you know." He said darkly, massaging the back of his head. "I'll just go make a scene by myself elsewhere." Duo turned on his heel and strode off into the crowd, a scowl overtaking his normally cheerful face.

The other pilots stared after him. Normally Duo was a little more tolerant of Heero. Quatre voiced the question in everyone's mind, "What was that all about?"

Duo walked away from the others, talking out loud the entire time. "Stupid stupid stupid... I told him what this means to me but what does he do? Takes the braid and uses it to get me to try and behave. Bastard. That's the last time I ever tell him anything. No more lapses of judgement." He dodged a woman carrying spice bundles on her head and pressed on through the crowds. "I don't care. Next time he wants to know anything about me I'm not telling no matter how I want to tell him. No matter how much I want to tell anyone. If he's just gonna find a way to use it against me somehow..."

"Buy some of this? Buy?" A scraggly looking kid in rags held up a length of cloth as Duo passed to close to a table. Surprised out of his train of thought he looked down at the kids wares. "Very good prices here. Very good. Best in the market!"

Duo smiled wryly and shook his head. "Maybe some other time."

"You sure? I can get you a discount!"

"I'm sure kid... Thanks though!" He grinned and took off into the crowds. People bumped up against him, jostling him. Duo was glad he hid his money before leaving Quatres stronghold. It wouldn't have lasted 2 minutes out here.

Duo smiled and sniffed the air appreciatively. Something smelled really good. He wove in and out of people following the smell of roasting meat and spices. A minute later he found himself in front of a man roasting meat on skewers. He licked his lips and wiped the sweat off of his forehead. A walk on a hot day like this would give anyone an appetite. Even Heero would want to eat some of this.

Heero. The name brought a frown to his face again. Just his luck. Heero finally starts showing emotion last night, oh happy day for Duo, then today he's back to his jerk self. Why did he have to have to fall for such an arrogant, handsome I-can-do-no-wrong bastard? He sighed, tore his gaze away from the sizzling meat and started searching for some of the money he hid earlier in his braid. He always thought better on a full stomach.

His fingers came in contact with a bill just as his eyes spotted a small wooden door back off of the main drag of the bazaar behind the meat vendor. He shielded his eyes, keeping the money tucked unseen under his fingers. Through the heat shimmers and the people, he couldn't quite make out what was on the door. He glanced at the meat on the grill and decided it wasn't going anywhere that quickly. He was curious.

Carefully folding the bill tighter against his fingers and taking his hand away from its shielding spot on his forehead, he started making his way toward the door. People bumped into him, walked in front of him and blocked his path. It was an effort to get to a door just 20 feet away.

Duo glanced down the alleyway and then behind him for anyone deciding to follow. With no suspicious characters insight, Duo grinned and entered the alley. The door itself was 3 feet in, very old and weather worn. The paint was partially chipped and peeled away making the thing impossible to recognize. "Curiosity killed the cat but I'm death so I don't think anything'll happen if I knock..." he mused aloud and raised his hand to knock.

The door swung open before his knuckles even touched the wood. "You coming in or what?" an gravely voice demanded.

Duo blinked and peered into the darkness. "Uh, I was just wonderin' what this shop was? The paint was peelin' on the door and I really couldn't tell. I'm just curious... I."

"Talk too much. You talk too much. Your friend Heero is right. It is impolite to lurk in doorways, if you are going to come in then come in. Otherwise go. I have no time to waste on the unsure." The voice continued from the dimly lit interior.

Duo gaped into the darkness and took a step forward. "How do you know about Heero? Who are you?"

"In or out!" The voice demanded.

Duo frowned and stepped down into the dim shop. "Shut the door behind you." The querulous voice ordered.

He took another step into the shop and shut the door behind him. Duo blinked at his surroundings. It looked like the fabrics and rugs from the bazaar had been transported inside the shop and shoved, hung and draped everywhere. Oil lamps were lit on the small tables that lined the room. Directly ahead of him was a larger table and several heavy chairs, one of which had a person sitting in it, back toward him. Duo looked around for the person who had opened the door and saw no one.
"Uh, who opened the door?" He asked.

"I did."

"And you are?"

"Zorah. You wanted some answers and now you found the person who can give them to you. Sit." The figure in the chair motioned to the brighter lit table it sat at and the other chair facing the door.

"Zorah... right... how does this Zorah know that Heero thinks I talk too much?" he thought as he slowly walked into the room. Duo watched the table and the arm of the figure sitting next to it. He gave the chair as wide a berth as he could to try and get a look at the figure in the chair.

When he reached the corner he could finally see an old woman, clothed in browns and reds with heavy gold embroidery. It was impossible to tell what her ancestral background was through the wrinkles covering her face. A loose scarf framed her face and covered her head, the one obvious concession to the Islamic society. "Zorah who?"

The old woman huffed at him. "Zorah. If I had a last name I wanted to tell you I would have told you." The woman leaned forward and picked up a package of cigarettes from the table. She flipped open the package and pulled one out. Her dark eyes snapped back to Duo's face as she threw the package back on the table. "I have no allegiance to OZ or the Alliance so sit."

Duo walked to the empty chair at the table and sat down, sinking half way to the floor because of the shot padding and support. "How did you open the door from over here?" he asked. This was way to weird.

"I opened it. I'm not going to give you an answer to a question you really don't want to know." She lit the cigarette by way of one of the small candles on the table top. The scent of cloves began to fill the musty smelling room as the smoke curled out from between the woman's lips.

Slightly miffed, Duo asked another question. "How did you know that Heero tells me I talk to much? How do you know about Heero anyway?"

A rasping laugh came from Zorah. "Duo, I know every person that walks into this place asking about me. Even if they never voice their desire to know about me, I know them. You asked Quatre about a fortune teller and here I am." She watched him grab for words and took a drag off of her clove cigarette. "You, Shinigami, want answers. You want to know if the war will end, it will. You will all live to see the end of the war. That does not mean for you to be successful in all your missions though. Heero will say more than 10 words in a day and has, you just haven't been asking the right questions. Wufei has a sense of humor, he talks with you does he not?" Zorah exhaled a stream of smoke in Duo's general direction that woke him out of his stunned existence.

"Hey! That's not the sense of humor I meant!" He paused, expecting Zorah to continue. When she didn't he grinned charmingly at her, apprehension forgotten. "Anything else?"

"Ask."

Her one gravelly word sent a shiver up his spine. "Will I find love?" Duo asked.

"Any idiot can find love." She said, her dark eyes glittering in the flickering candlelight.

"Love capable of surviving the Maxwell curse?" He near whispered. Deep inside he wondered where in the hell his apprehension for the woman went. Something in him believed every word she spoke.

"You can not ask for an answer to a question that doesn't exist."

Duo blinked in the dim light. "Huh?" The words sunk in. "Everyone I love dies."

"Everyone dies eventually." She said, taking another drag off of her cigarette and smiled.

"That isn't what I asked." Duo muttered sullenly.

Zorah exhaled a stream of smoke, meeting Duo stare for stare. "Your love lives." She eventually replied. "After all, it's in you, only you can know if it dies."

"Who is the one who will love me back!" Duo yelled.

"You know who it is."

"I know a lot of people."

Zorah smiled thinly and took a drag off of her cigarette. "It is forbidden for me to name any names."

"Bullshit."

Her face darkened and the whole room seemed to crowd around Duo. "Do not ever swear in this place again." She said in a low voice. "I can only tell what I see."

Duo nodded, wishing the closed in feeling would go away. "Uh... so... is there anything I can do to figure out who it is?"

"Only you know who is in your heart."

Duo blinked at her words as Heero's face swam into his mind. His spirits sank and he sagged back into the cushions of the chair. "He doesn't love me though."
One of Zorah's eyebrows twitched. "Only you and he know the answer."

Duo sighed as the room seemed to relax again. Unbidden an old song came to mind. "You don't happen to have anything that might help with that do you?"

Her eyebrow twitched again. She stared at him so long that he started to fidget. At last, she spoke, "I do."

"You do?" Duo asked, perking up.

"Love potion number 8... One spray into the mouth will make anyone who hears you lust after you for one hour. Love potion number 9, one spray into the mouth and anyone who hears you will truly love you for one hour. Love potion number 10 is the kiss of fate. A sip of that by both parties and a kiss will either grant everlasting never ending love and trust or it will grant absolute love and devotion on one person's behalf and unadulterated disgust on the others. Love potion 8 and 9 are temporary but 10 is permanent." She said finally.

Duo blinked. "Just like the song." He thought a moment, sitting up a little straighter. "Is there a way to customize it for a person?"

"No."

"Is there a way to customize it for a specific gender?"

"Yes."

"Is there a way I could get my hands on some male oriented love potion number 9? That way... That way I can find out if Heero likes me or not."

"The love potions take away free will... All but love potion number 10. He wouldn't be able to do anything but be in love with you. For one hour anyway. It also would not be limited to just one person. Anyone who heard you after you took a bit of love potion number 9 would love you."

Duo looked away from Zorah's piercing gaze and studied the wall hangings around the table. If it was just him and Heero on a mission somewhere he wouldn't have to worry. Hell, he could use it to make Oz surrender by making them love him so much that an automatic surrender would be possible. A tv broadcast would work great for that.

"Love potion number 9 only works over the phone and you only get one bottle. The one bottle is enough to last a week of constant use." Zorah added continuing to smoke her cigarette.

Duo frowned. That shot that idea. However, the possibility of getting Heero alone long enough to discover if he had any feelings for him with the aide of potion number 9, even after a week, would be worth it. "How much for love potion number 9?"

Zorah grunted. "400 credits."

Duo gaped at her. "400 credits?! Where am I supposed to keep that!? Down my pants?"

"400 credits wired to this account," she gestured to a slip of paper on the edge of the table near Duo's hand, "by Monday. You will have the potion as soon as the transfer is complete." She took a final drag off of her cigarette and rubbed it out in the ash tray on the table.

"Where did this come from?"

"You do not listen when I tell you things do you? Go now. You have no further questions that I can answer. Leave 5 credits on the table next to the door on the way out." Zorah said and pushed herself to her feet.

Duo watched as she lumbered her substantial bulk to one of the wall hangings. She pushed it aside and went through the door on the other side. He blinked and picked up the slip of paper. He blinked as he realized he was still holding the 5 credit note he was going to buy food with. He grimaced and tucked the account number into part of his braid and pulled out some more money. He pushed himself up out of the chair and walked to the door.

As he turned the doorknob he tossed the 5 credit note onto the small table. As the door scraped open the sounds of the marketplace assaulted his ears once more. How in the world did Zorah know he had been at her door? His stomach rumbled as the smell of the meat reached his nose once more. He grinned. Food. He turned, cast a final look about the room and stepped back out into the bazaar.

[part 2] [back to Mair's fic]