Title: The Curse of King Neptune

Author: Sorceress Fantasia

Pairings: 1+2, R+various, 13x6

Warnings: Humour, OOC-ness, Duo in drag, random silliness, nice Relena

Archive: Lev's Lair

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Disclaimer: I tried sending a letter to Santa and ask him for Duo, but that letter bounced. Apparently, Santa is hooked on email nowadays, and has cut off his postal service. So no, I do not own GW. And the fanfic is a parody of a short story called 'The Curse of Hai Leng Ong' by Goh Sin Tub, which I do not lay claim to either. Lastly, the song 'Lucky' belongs to Britney Spears. Not mine. Lyrics have been slightly altered to fit the fanfic.

Note: This fic was called 'The Legend of Hai Long Wang' before the major revision. And I do mean major.

Thanx to Duo-chan for beta-ing! ^^

For as long as humanly possible, people claimed that there was a supreme being who lived in and dominated the seven seas. He was the Dragon king of the seas, King Neptune if you like, Hai Long Wang in Chinese, Old Nick of the deep or even Poseidon. People believed that he wielded great powers that enabled him to soothe raging waters into quiet waves or toss the tranquil oceans into angry tides. The ocean was his playground, and no one ever, ever doubted that. And from what was passed on from sailor to sailor, generation to generation, it seemed that King Neptune had many treasures.

He certainly had riches. In fact, he probably had infinite amounts of those gold coins and rare jewels humans would kill to have. Literally. And humans had left behind an untold amount of wealth on all those ships that were sunk by human greed. Food was most likely not a big problem too, if at all. After all, numerous marine animals filled the ocean waters. If he wanted, he could have sashimi or sharks' fins soup anytime. And surely, there was a whole myriad of stories to keep him entertained, most of which would probably have originated from all those phantom ghost ships that cruised along. But perhaps his greatest hobby was to detonate bombs and dynamites to create all those scary tsunamis.

And if all those weren't enough to keep him sufficiently entertained, he could always choose to sing. Some sailors have even claimed to having heard him sing on some occasions. Most of them agreed that he had a nice voice, but he always sounded upset singing a certain song.

"He's so lucky, he's a king
But he cry, cry, cries in his
lonely heart, thinking
If there's nothing missing in my life
Then why do these tears come at night?"

So what was the formidable King Neptune short of in his life? Few said it was the lack of oxygen down there, but most agreed that it was the lack of company, especially after they caught the lyrics. And that's where our story starts… a long time ago…

*****

Back then, most of the world population still lived in small villages, and a good amount of them were situated near rivers so as to take advantage of the water so easily available. As a result, many villagers earned their living from the oceans, working day in and day out as fishermen.

However, in that day and age, traveling on the ocean was a difficult and often, dangerous task. Many had met their end in the icy waters, and that eventually led to the construction of shrines to pray for the fishermen's safety. It soon became tradition to offer one's prayers at the shrine of King Neptune, and those who did not follow the tradition would find themselves in deep peril while fishing.

This was a clever move, for it kept King Neptune happy, and the fishermen enjoyed good catches.

However, one day, a fisherman called Noventa forgot about the tradition, courtesy of his old age. And that led to the wrath of King Neptune, who saw Noventa leaving straight for the sea instead of his shrine from his crystal ball. Angrily, he stalked off to teach the human a little lesson he would never forget as long as he lived.

*****

The next thing Noventa was aware of was that he was clinging to his wooden boat for his dear life amidst the roaring waves. He had lost his oars a long time ago, and his boat had been tossed out into the deeper parts of the oceans, far away from the usual fishing grounds. Belatedly, he recalled the fact that he had forgotten to visit the shrine before he went on his fishing trip. Scared out of his wits, he screamed for help.

"King Neptune! Help! Please save me!" He pleaded and begged, afraid for his life. He got so scared that he started spouting nonsensical stuff, claiming that he had an eighty years old mother waiting for his measly income. King Neptune wasn't going to buy that; old Noventa was probably seventy himself, judging from his white hair. No way was he going to believe that he had a mother only ten years older than himself. But Noventa would not give up. He continued, shouting about how his entire family, that consisted of a younger brother, an older sister, and a dozen young sons and daughters that depended on him.

Now normally, King Neptune wouldn't really care for all that. But somehow, he was interested in the 'daughters' part, and he quickly rose to the surface.

"Daughters?"

Noventa, seeing the stalwart king, was shocked out of his system. He started to stutter, "Ki… King… King Neptune?!"

King Neptune leaned in a little, and asked, "Did you say daughters?"

The old fisherman only nodded, still pretty dumbfounded.

"How many daughters do you have?"

"Two…" Noventa caught on, and added, more boldly, "Oh powerful King! Please let me return home safely! I'll give you one of my daughters in return of this great favour!"

King Neptune briefly considered the agreement. He had almost nothing to lose, except... "But what if I don't fancy any of your daughters?" he asked, more to himself than to Noventa.

The fisherman immediately thought of a solution to the problem. "Well, you could pick from any of my descendents! It doesn't have to be my daughters! I'll tell them about this as soon as I get home so they'll be mentally prepared!"

Soon, both parties agreed to the deal and Noventa was sent home by a gigantic wave made by King Neptune. On his boat, obviously. King Neptune didn't want him to drown… yet…

And old Noventa survived the ordeal, much to the relief of his maker. But he had left his progeny with the devil to pay.

*****

True to his words, Noventa immediately gathered his family in his living room and told them about the story. Starting from the part where he had forgotten to visit the shrine, to the conversation between King Neptune and himself. Not a detail was left out. After he finished the story, his family clapped for a story well told and suggested him to participate in the story-telling contest that was scheduled to take place a few days later in the village. He did, and won the first prize. After the contest, he told his family the story again. When he insisted that it was true, his family promptly carted him to the mental hospital.

Even so, they still feared the truth of the tale. What if it was true? Who would be chosen to be King Neptune's bride? Noventa's wife used to scare his daughters with the tale, and as young kids of age not more than five, they were always frightened to no end. But their fears decreased as they grew older, probably because they came to realize that they were without exception, the two ugliest girls in the world. But deep down in their hearts, they both secretly hoped that King Neptune would come along and claim her, something better than nothing at all. Who knows; he might actually be a hot husband, for all the ugly talks circulated about him. And after that, for a long time, the Noventa family gave birth only to boys, making the fear a straight zero.

*****

About a hundred years after the deal, a girl was finally born into the family. And unlike her great, great, great aunts, she was a beauty with wheat-blonde hair that shimmered under the sunlight. Beautiful baby-blue eyes that shone with inner intelligence adorned her face, and she had an unyielding spirit to match. Her name was Relena, and the darling of the family.

When she was ten, her mother, Lady Une, passed away from severe food poisoning. Or so her father had told her. However, judging from the fact that her mother's face had changed several shades of green before finally dying, Relena doubted it very much. It would seem that it was more like an intentional poisoning. Trieze's remarriage a few months later didn't help curb her suspicions. But since Lady Une wasn't a very good mother, in fact, she was more like a total bitch, Relena said nothing about what she thought. Besides, Relena liked her new mother- erm… scratch that, make that a new father- whose name was Zechs. He was a kind soul who doted very much on her, and they got along very well. And Zechs had brought along his own son from a previous marriage with a woman named Noin, who had also died mysteriously from 'food poisoning'.

The young boy was called Duo, and he was a happy-go-lucky type of guy who charmed everyone who knew him to boot with his long chestnut braid and exotic violet orbs. To call him a half-brother was definitely correct. Duo seemed like a half-brother, half-sister. Somehow, one of his hobbies was to dress in drag, and Relena's wardrobe soon became one of his favourite hangouts (although this was kept a secret from their parents). Despite it all, the two half-siblings became very close. Few secrets, if any, existed between them. Trieze and Zechs just watched them grow up from a distance, very satisfied with their relationship.

Soon, the two grew up to be fine young teenagers, still as close as ever. They both excelled in whatever they did, and were admired by everyone in school. While most of the girls threw themselves all over Duo and flirted outrageously with him, he never showed much interest in them, claiming that they just weren't his cup of tea. However, that didn't stop Duo from flirting with them. Relena, on the other hand, did manage to get herself a couple of boyfriends from her numerous suitors.

However, Trieze, had long told her of the deal made by her great, great, great, great granddad, and he had warned her to be careful. Relena, having grown up in an era where science had overshadowed superstitions, refused outright to believe it. At first. As the years went by, her fear became more apparent. What if it was true? What if King Neptune did indeed choose her to be his bride?

Soon, Relena made it a point to curse Noventa every night before she slept. If she could, she would have sewn a voodoo doll for the old man. But the fact that he was already dead made that seem ridiculous, even to Relena. Her only consolation was that she heard Noventa had drowned soon after he arrived in the mental hospital. And the wretched deal caused her to choose her friends, specifically boyfriends, wisely.

Her first boyfriend, Trowa, who was also her classmate, was a handsome guy many girls swooned over. He was considerate, and always respectful towards Relena. It seemed that there was nothing to fault him on, and Relena got along with him fairly well. Even Duo thought he was handsome, but with respect to his sister, he generously stepped aside. However, Trowa's interest in water sports and the sea and beaches soon made her worry. She was afraid that he was King Neptune in disguise, and he had come to fetch her. Duo saw her apprehensiveness and decided to help her, approaching Trowa with her help. However, his tactlessness caused him to break the news to Trowa rather bluntly, to say the least. And Relena finally found out that Trowa had no sense of humour at all. Trowa was terribly insulted by what he thought was an insinuation that he was a monster, and he immediately dumped Relena. And Relena quickly found it interesting to sing the teapot song and do the hula at the same time for the next hundred days or so while drunk on whatever alcoholic that came her way. The task of waking her up fell to, of course, poor Duo.

The Quatre episode was even shorter.

Quatre was an artist, who had stolen Relena's heart with her portrait, his first gift to her. In his pictures he captured everything: forests, water, light, and the very essence of life. Relena liked this one a lot, she decided. But of all things, Quatre particularly enjoyed to draw something she was afraid of. The oceans. In fact, many of his paintings of the ocean were the ones that had won him his numerous art awards. Worried again, she broke up with him soon and spent the next few weeks throwing darts at pictures of the ocean.

There were many others who suffered shorter courtships (or could it even be considered as one?) on account of the ever-present deal with King Neptune.

For example, the nice young man whom she had met at a wedding dinner. He seemed to be scoring with Relena until he revealed the name of his new company: Sea King Pte Ltd. Perhaps just the wrong chemistry.

Then there was this rich man who had moved in on Relena during a party. He had pretty much swept her off her feet totally, thanks to the amount of champagne they had, until he disclosed the name of his newly acquired ship: "Neptune". He practically skewered himself on the barbecue pit.

The quickest in-and-out case was with a man in the Food and Beverage industry. Things were working out, but then he just had to admit to something. "I enjoy nothing but seafood. Good seafood would make me feel like a king." Wrong chemistry too, perhaps from eating too much fish.

Every time she broke up with her boyfriends, or when she dumped her prospective suitors, she would cry all night. Just what was her great, great, great, great grandfather thinking of when he made that silly deal to save his own life? Even though he was already dead, he was still wrecking havoc in her life. And Duo would just sit next to her, passing the endless boxes of tissues and consoling her.

"It's not fair! Why does this have to happen to me?" She wailed.

"Because you're a girl?" Duo suggested carefully. "And because your great, great, great, great grandpa made that deal?"

"He's such a jerk! He made that deal! Not me! Why do I have to suffer the consequences?" She cried, hammering the stake deeper into a doll that had a piece of ribbon tied to its head with the word 'Noventa'.

Duo flinched. And everyone thought that his sister was demure and gentle. Gods, if only they knew. "Well, just relax, 'Lena. Maybe King Neptune won't choose you after all."

"Who then? I'm the only girl in the family!"

"I'm sure there'll be other girls in the family soon. Your great, great, great, great grandpa did say that King Neptune could choose any girl from his descendents…"

"I hope so too. I don't want to live in the oceans…"

'I doubt he'd want you to either.' Duo thought, cringing again when Relena doubled her efforts in torturing the doll with various needles and pins.

*****

At long last, she seemed to finally have met Mr. Right. This time, her boyfriend was a Chinese boy called Wufei. And she was totally head over heels in love with this one. To her relief, Wufei hated the oceans. He was an architect and everything he did had nothing to do with the seas. He also scored points in other areas. For instance, he despised seafood and he couldn't even float in water, let alone swim or do water sports. However, she was *still* worried. What if King Neptune had decided to use another tactic to get close to her? Besides, Wufei had an affinity with dragons, naming his own pet dog Shenlong, which meant godly dragon. As a Chinese, he always claimed that he was a descendent of the dragon too. And what was King Neptune? The dragon king of the sea.

So one day, Relena decided to ask him personally. They were having dinner together, and a lovely candlelight one at that. Just as Relena was about to ask, Duo arrived and interrupted the moment. To her sheer bewilderment, Duo was wearing a simple black dress, and a crystal cross around his neck, with his chestnut locks carefully brushed out. He also wore Relena's favourite black boots. He skipped merrily over to them and took the seat beside Relena's, after Wufei invited him to join them. But Wufei was quick to ask when had Relena gained a sister, since he remembered that she had only a half-brother whom he had never met. Duo was even quicker to answer that he was Relena's cousin, and smiled widely.

The dinner was an awkward moment for Relena. She didn't know what to say, so she just ate quietly while Wufei and Duo got engaged in a light conversation. After dinner, Wufei, the ever gentleman, offered to walk the two girls home. However, Relena politely declined, claiming that she was going to go shopping with her 'cousin'. As soon as Wufei was out of sight, she grabbed Duo aside.

"Duo? What's going on? Dad and Daddy are going to have your hide for dressing in drag in public!" Relena hissed, finally noticing just how red her brother's face was. "And have you been drinking? You know Daddy hates anything to do with alcohol because he got so drunk one time that he danced on a bar counter, naked!"

He shrugged, hiccupping slightly. "Yeah, I remember… Dad kept a picture of that all framed up until Daddy threatened to thrash up the house…" He laughed. "And about my clothes… I know they won't like it, but it's ok! I'll be leaving soon, so they won't get the chance to do anything!"

"Leaving? To where?" She asked, surprised that he had never told her. "Were you going to tell me at all, or were you just going to disappear? How could you do this to me?" Relena nearly cried, upset that her only brother had withheld such an important piece of information from her.

"Well, I was going to tell you. But I only decided on it just yesterday!" Duo chirped in explanation.

"But where are you going? And why? It's so sudden!"

"Well…" Duo was about to answer when a young man appeared, and he snaked an arm around Duo's waist possessively. The man was a young man who looked as cool and collected as an ice block. Still, Relena could not deny that he was very attractive, and the messy mob of brown hair only added on to his sex appeal. And although he looked like a scrawny short guy, his arms rippled with muscles that could probably bend steel pipes. He was probably a sailor, for he had an anchor tattooed on one arm, and a little dragon on the other.

Duo looked at him and smiled. "Heero!"

The man only gave a 'hn' in reply, but he tightened his hold on the lovely creature. And Relena could see the tiny curl in his lips, the only sign that he was happy.

"DUO!?" She exclaimed, feeling her jaws dropping uncontrollably. "Who is he? And what is he doing here? What are you two doing? And…"

"Relax, 'Lena!" Duo quickly put up a hand to stop her barrage of questions. When she finally calmed down a little, he continued, "This is Heero, and he's my… boyfriend."

Heero smiled widely at the answer, and he pulled Duo closer to give him a peck on his cheek.

"You're leaving with him?"

"Right!"

Relena turned to Heero, still in disbelief. "And you're taking my brother to where?"

"My hometown." He promptly answered, and noticed Relena scrutinizing his arm. "You like my tattoo? I'll show you a really good one." And he peeled off his shirt.

On his back was a large tattoo that depicted a man surrounded by fishes. It had a caption, and it read: King Neptune.

"You're King Neptune!" Relena shrieked.

"Well, that's my nickname. My friends call me that. But I'd prefer you call me Heero Yuy, and this beauty here," he pointed to Duo, "is my honey baby. The one I picked up from the whole lot of you around here. This one's my choice."

"I thought you'd come for a girl…" Relena blurted.

"My Duo is almost a girl. It doesn't really matter to me anyway. Besides, I can always let Duo go for a sex change operation when we get back to my hometown in Japan. And then we can get married… and we'll live happily ever after. And if the authorities refuse to let us get married, I'll barge in there with a .44 magnum… no, a bazooka and blow up the place," Heero mumbled in reply.

Duo 'awwed', and gave Heero another peck on the cheeks.

And hand in hand, the couple moved away and disappeared from Relena's sight.

At that moment, Relena let out a whoop of joy, knowing that she was finally free from the curse…

*****

Somewhere under the sea, a raven-haired Chinese boy peered at his crystal ball.

"Hn. Onna." He muttered, and picked up his glass of champagne for a tiny sip.

*****

…Or maybe not.

-owari-

Sorceress Fantasia @ 29th November 2000

Last revised 18th September 2003

Last beta-ed 26th September 2003