by Karen Hart
Disclaimer: Xenogears and its related characters, settings, and trademarks are the property of Square Enix. I write these fanfictions for love the game, nothing more, and make no money off of them.
It was, Chu-chu thought as she walked through the streets of Shevat, amazing how many kind people had come into her life over the past few weeks. Even Jesiah Black, who was currently walking beside her, had joined her noble cause to wed Fei (or, if that didn't pan out, at least to tie him to her bed and use him as a mattress; either end was fine for her).
Jessie had, of course, decided to assist her out of the kindness of his heart, and not because she'd threatened to pour honey on him, and lock him in one of the Yggdrasil's supply closets with only an angry swarm of armor wasps to keep him company. That, quite naturally, had nothing to do with it.
And so he'd offered to take her to a certain shop that, he claimed, sold all manner of potions, including those centered on love. "You'll love this place," Jessie had promised. "The potions there can make the most amazing things happen. Hell, they could probably even make you look pretty good to that kid you're so interested in. But, for reasons even I don't know, they won't let you buy them on a Sunday." And so, armor wasps avertedly, they'd quickly set out for the city.
Eventually they stopped before a nondescript door, and entered. Suddenly, Chu-chu was in heaven. Love potions—for surely, that was what they were—lined every shelf and every table. There were clear potions, amber potions, gold potions, all in beautiful clear bottles in all shapes and sizes. Above the shelves, written in gold script, were no doubt sacred and holy words like "VODKA" and "RUM" and "TEQUILA." Now, now she understood the Sunday rule. Surely they would need a day to restock such wondrous wares, she thought as she danced around like a kid in a candy store.
Or, rather, like a 34-year-old man in a liquor store.
In all honesty Jessie had simply been looking for an excuse to visit Shevat's oldest and largest liquor emporium (the word "store" did not do the place justice), and probably would've taken the little creature even if she hadn't threatened him.
Since boarding the Yggdrasil, he'd notice a few gaps in the Gun Room's bar. Of course, he was willing to admit that Maison's booze supply was more extensive than most, but the old codger was in fact lacking a few more exotic liquors, and Jessie was looking forward to the chance to teach him how to mix a few new drinks, some of which had been his own invention (two of which would've gotten him arrested anywhere on the continent of Ignas. Jessie so loved his liquor).
And since Billy had lately realized that his father passing out and sliding under the table after a night of drinking was in fact far less dangerous than strapping into the cockpit of Hyuga's dumbest invention, bar none, Jessie so no reason to hold back.
A man as much on a mission as his pink, fuzzy companion, it look him less than five minutes to fill the cart he'd grabbed on the way in, much to the dismay of the shopkeepers who watched him like a hawk. (They knew a professional lush when they saw one.) Objectively nearly completed, he started looking around for the little Chu-chu.
He spotted her seated on the floor next to a display table, clutching a small, vaguely heart-shaped bottle in her hands and staring intently at the label. "You got what you came for?" he asked, eager, now that he had what he wanted, to go.
"Maybe," Chu-chu replied, looking up. "What does '170 proof' mean?"
Jessie thought fast. "Well…I think it means something like it's guaranteed to work a hundred and seventy percent. Or something like." Well, it sounded good to him.
Chu-chu brightened. "Well, in that case, do you think they have anything that's five hundred proof?"
He couldn't help but laugh. "No, they don't go quite that high. Tell you what, though, I'll get you three of those if you like." And so, happily burdened, the two of them made their way back to the Yggdrasil.
Fei groaned in waking, then groaned in pain; his head hurt like hell. He opened bleary eyes and shut them immediately, it seeming a very bad idea to keep them open. What on earth had happened, last night, he wondered, trying to sit up. Which was also a bad idea. But the rope tying him to the bunk did manage to jog his memory a bit. So did the little Chu-chu napping peacefully on him.
Never, never trust a determined Chu-chu. Especially not one with what amounted to a 510 proof "love potion." Ever.
And don't scream for help. It'll just wake her.