Disclaimer: The author of the fanfiction (babbler) does not, in any way, profit from the story and that all creative rights to the characters belong to their original creator.


In the Beginning

Chapter 1: The Love Potion of Haruhi Suzumiya

"Damn it's hot."

I stepped outside into the humid morning air. Even this early it was like walking into a steamy bathroom after someone's had a shower. I must be a masochist to pick a school on top of such a huge hill knowing I had to make the trip everyday, five days a week, for three years.

Déjà vu crept in. Did I complain about this in a similar way at some point? Maybe it was because of all the times I complained about this blasted hill over the last two years.

Other students were also trudging up the hill looking miserable, sleepy, or both. Inside the school was slightly better since it was shielded from the sun but it was still muggy and gross.

As I walked into the classroom I noticed the oppressive atmosphere. Everyone looked miserable and hot. The sun was streaming into the windows making the room feel like a sauna.

Everyone was miserable, except Haruhi that is, she was playing with a small pink bottle as she stared out the window. Even from the other side of the classroom that smirk and energetic mood were unmistakable.

"Hmm, what's that heart shaped bottle for?"

"It's a love potion." She turned to look at me with that mischievous smile.

"You seriously believe in that crap?"

"Kyon! Just because your tiny mind can't conceive such a thing as a love potion doesn't mean that there isn't such a thing…"

"Where did you get it? Don't tell me you made it."

"…in the universe that doesn't…" she was still talking from before. "I bought it from some magazine."

Love potions, like the kind you see in manga and anime, have never made sense to me for a number of reasons. Some scientist working in a dark lab toiling for years on something as astounding as a fluid that makes others attracted to you, so they can sell it in magazines to schoolgirls, has something wrong with it.

"Are you an idiot! I know this stuff doesn't work. I bought it just to have a look at it. How many do you think we could sell with Mikuru's picture plastered on the front in that bunny suit?"

Oh, I see. That's her angle. I however have a problem with this and it doesn't just start with Mikuru exploitation. I don't need Koizumi to tell me that if Haruhi's involved with this Love Potion, then it will become a REAL love potion. This does not bode well for me.

"What are you mumbling about? We'll need some sort of cute bottle to put it in and pictures of Koizumi so the girls will buy it. I suppose we could use nail polish bottles, but that might make people sick if they try it."

That's Surprisingly conscientious of you. Especially since you'll be selling them a sham with the likeness of a girl everyone would give their right arm to be with.

"I plan on repeat buyers! If they get sick it'll eat into our profits. I don't think this plan is doable yet."

She uncapped the bottle and held it close to her nose. "This stuff smells terrible. Kyon…"

I turned my head at the same time Haruhi thrust the bottle into my face causing it to bounce of the wall, roll down the length of my body, and fall into my open school bag.

"Idiot. I still want the bottle back even if it's empty."

Now if I could somehow lose that little bottle of hers maybe no one, namely me, will have to suffer because of this and she'll forget all about this plan.

Other than throwing it out the window I couldn't think of a way to lose the bottle so quickly. Plus, Haruhi had already fished it out herself when I hesitated.

A sharp acrid smell hit my nostrils. I was covered in the foul smelling stuff all along one side of my body where it had splashed.

"Kyon, what's that horrible smell?"

Kunikida said as we ate lunch. He was looking all around but couldn't quite pinpoint source of the odour.

"Oh, Haruhi had a bottle full of some crap and I accidentally spilled it on myself. I can't get the smell of it off my hands either."

I was ten minutes late to my first class after trying, in vain, to wash the smell off myself. I had to put my blazer in my locker and partially change into my gym clothes just so the smell wasn't overwhelming. Come to think of it, I hope my bento doesn't taste funny because of that stuff. It has a plastic container so nothing would seep in thankfully.

"Ahh, what a cute bento. Kyon did you make it? It smells so good!" a girl from our class suddenly commented from behind me. I turned to see Ami-san's gentle smile. We had been in the same class the past two years but I doubt I've said more than a sentence to her.

"I don't usually but my folks are out of town. I gave my sister most of the good stuff so this is what's leftover."

"That's so sweet. What a nice big brother." Smiling and slightly blushing she went to talk to her friends whom were watching us as we spoke.

"Just what's expected of an A rank."

Taniguchi chimed in at the exact moment she left. Ami was undoubtedly attractive, but not on the same level as Mikuru or even Haruhi for that matter.

"So do you have a rubric that you grade these girls by or is it more subjective?"

"First and most importantly is the…"

If Taniguchi applied even some of the energy he put into the ever more elaborate grading system for every and any woman he met than he could probably get more than half the questions right on tests.

"Oh you're right. His bento looks so good. Why can't mine turn out like that?"

Ami was back but accompanied by her two friends. I believe their names are Aiko and Ume…but I could be wrong.

"I bet he puts something special in them…"

"That's gross! He made one for his sister too….I don't think I would mind even if it was…"

Aiko hit Ume hard and covered her blushing face. "I meant LOVE! LOVE! Dammit! He put love in them!"

"What I was thinking of could be considered love too. I want someone to cook like that for me!"

"Kyon-kun, would you cook for us?"

"Idiot! You're supposed to offer to cook for him!"

"Are you kidding? We can't cook. We just have to um…compensate him for his cooking skills."

They suddenly scattered like cockroaches bolting for the darkness under the fridge when the lights come on. They kept smiling at me from across the room and watching us curiously. At least Aiko and Ami were, Ume's smile resembled Haruhi and should scarcely be considered a smile at all.

"Um… what was that all about?"

Kunikida stared at his bento and then at the girls now far across the room.

"Dammit Kyon! You better not be adding to you harem. You already have Haruhi, Nagato, and Mikiru. Don't be so greedy!"

There was an icy cold death like presence behind me that I could only imagine is either Haruhi or death itself. I guess those girls are pretty smart for running if it were either option.

Unexpectedly, a huge force appeared and started dragging me by my necktie, from behind no less, to the door leading to the roof. I suppose it must be Haruhi because there's no way death has this kind of physical strength.

"What are you doing?"

"I was eating and then I was choking and now I'm talking."

"Idiot! Those girls were definitely up to something. I have to do a make-out…I mean do a test I kissed…I can't come…to the brigade meeting after class. I…don't…want…to…see…you…talking…to…them…again."

Her façade cracked as her cheeks turned red and her eyes opened. The innocent look reminded me of that night in closed space the fraction of a second before I kisse…. Hmm.

She put a gentle hand on my tie and started to fix my collar but she was trembling ever so slightly.

"I…" And she was off careening down the stairs three at a time at breakneck speed. I didn't even think Haruhi could do innocent.

Okay, if one more weird incident happens I'm going home. There's no way this girl's weird behaviour and a love potion in the same story can be a coincidence.

The bell rang and I started running for class but Nagato appeared out of nowhere. Her eyes narrowed ever so slightly has they met mine and than, without a word, she turned and walked off in the opposite direction. What exactly was that expression she just gave me? I remembered back to all those times I'd enter the clubroom and she give me that blank stare, nod, and return to her reading, but there'd always seemed a warmth behind those eyes. The look she gave me just now seemed almost painful. Had I hurt her in some way? Maybe she saw Haruhi running full speed with her face a cascade of red and thought the worse, but that didn't seem like something that would affect my Nagato.

…However it was my cue to go home before closed space showed up or some other strangeness.

The first thing I did when I got home was wash my school bag as best I could and air out my notebooks. After that I gave myself an intensive scrubbing and blisteringly hot bath.

I couldn't smell the vile stuff on myself anymore but I had been wearing it all day so I could be just use to it. Taking a few days off from school might be a good idea just to be safe.

Wait…shouldn't I want this. What's not good about girls drooling over me and and ponytails? Haruhi's death glare suddenly flashed in my mind and I put a big X through my previous thoughts. There'd definitely be closed space if I tried anything with this. What's more, last time I got out of it with a kiss, how would I pull it off this time with this love potion all over me? If anything she'd want to be alone with me until the potion… wore…off.

NO! That option makes me nervous too.

My plan backfired I guess. I should have known she was planning something with that bottle or she would never have brought it to school. On the other hand, she didn't seem mad when I knocked it over, but I was probably the target from the beginning.

Wait, that doesn't make sense either. Why would Haruhi spill a potion on me that makes me more desirable to the opposite sex? Maybe she thought the potion would make me fall in love with her. In that case she should have used some on herself, but then it would be troublesome for her if every guy started making passes at her. It had to be an accident, but that doesn't make sense either. Why would she subconsciously make the potion real if she only planned on a money making venture in the first place unless she planned on toying with the stuff? Dammit, where is Koizumi when you need him.

"Kyon-kun?"

Mikuru's dainty figure peaked in through my door. The sight of the adorable senpai put my mind at ease has she trembled and blushed worrying about her intrusion.

"I hope I'm not intruding but your door was open. I made this for you since you aren't feeling well."

She placed an armful of food on the kitchen counter. Cooking from the goddess Mikuru!

"Naughty, naughty, Kyon-kun. You aren't sick at all are you?"

Tsuruya's face was suddenly directly in front of mine. Was she some sort of ninja?

"My fever came down since lunch time."

"You feel kind of cold."

Tsuruya gently touched the back of her hand to my forehead with that ever-present smirk. Unlike Haruhi, who's emotions are all over the place, I get the feeling the very building we are standing in could crash down around Tsuruya's ears and she'd come out laughing like the jolly upperclassmen she is.

"Maybe we should have a hot bath to warm you up. Wouldn't that be nice Kyon-kun? Oh dear you're face is getting all red. Mikuru could massage you too. Right Mikuru?"

"Squeak."

Why are easy decisions so difficult? Mikuru was blushing beet red with her mouth opening and closing. Come to think of it that time when Mikuru was kidnapped, Tsuruya sort of offered the same thing one night when future Mikuru was staying with her…

"I don't want you two to catch this cold by hanging out with me. It's bad enough that my sister going to end up with it."

"Are you sure you don't want us to stick around?" Tsuruya's smiled, she knew well enough I wouldn't bite.

"Thank you for the food I really appreciate it, but I think I'll be fine by myself."

"Well then I guess we better leave before Mikuru vibrates through the floor. We're available if you need us tonight Kyon-kun. Right Mikuru?"

"Squeak."

Turn off cell phone, unhook landline, sleep…Full Stop! Eat delicious Mikuru cooking then sleep.

It was perhaps six or seven in the night when I went to bed so I was thankful when the time to get up and make breakfast came around. Making bentos was unexpectedly fun since I could make them however I wanted, but they were like the Troposphere and Thermosphere compared to Mikuru's inhumanely good cooking.

"Kyon? What do I get in my bento today? You smell funny."

How long does this freaking stuff last?