Summary: In his greatest accident yet, Watari has created Love Potion #9. Havoc ensues for our pseudo-mad scientist. Watari x . . . well, do I really have to tell you? It's Yami no Matsuei, EVERYTHING'S possible. High out of character factor.


Love Stinks
By RubyD


There was a meeting in a few minutes, but Watari was still in his lab, carefully measuring out the perfect amount of Chemical Blue (yes, Chemical Blue) to add to the strange smoking vat that contained his ongoing quest for a sex-change formula. The sparkling liquid danced at the end of a hair-thin glass pipette, hanging long enough for the scientist to admire it's perfectly round shape. Only one milliliter, nothing more or less. It fell, merging perfectly in the center of the half-full bowl, leaving beautiful O's in its wake.

003 hooted impatiently, flapping overhead. Was that it? How anti-climatic . . .

Watari peered at the clear liquid, hoping for a bigger reaction. He didn't have to wait for long. The chemicals bubbled and exploded, drenching the Shinigami in the sweet-scented formula and throwing him spectacularly back against a table full of notes. Paper flew everywhere as he wiped his glasses dry.

Well, that was certainly unexpected.

Thankfully, the vat was still intact. Tatsumi didn't have to lecture him on overspending on supplies again.

He looked down at himself, curious. Nope, no change with skin contact. Watari cautiously licked some of the potion off of his lip. It tasted surprisingly bitter, and he gagged. Like old grapefruit. Anything now? No. No change with ingestion. Still a man.

"Another dud, 003," he sighed to the tiny owl. Five hours of pointless preparation. She cooed something sympathetic as he went to the sink where he could wipe off and put on his spare clothes. This happened often, so he had laid out an identical set of lab coats and shirts ahead of time.

The experiment wasn't a total failure, per say. It did blow up quite grandly. Watari changed and washed as much of the chemical off as he could. It wasn't as strong as before, but the smell still lingered on his hair and body. He opened the window to let some of it out.

Almost time for the meeting. He'd have to mop up the room later. The door swung close.

Watari reached the room just as Tsuzuki and Hisoka turned the corner. Their heads were bowed together in some heated discussion. The scientist smiled knowingly. They probably weren't even aware of how... friendly they looked once in a while. He might have to do something about that, eventually.

"Tsuzuki! Bon!" he said. "Right on time."

Hisoka sniffed in interest. "What's that smell?"

"It's kind of sweet." Tsuzuki brightened, probably expecting food.

"Just another experiment that ended badly," he grinned. "Trust me to make perfume instead."

The three entered, finding Konoe and Tatsumi already there, or course. Sitting down, Konoe began describing the assignment in detail. City of Fukuoka, rash of odd deaths and disappearances, solve it and make us proud. Same old. Well, he didn't really say that last part.

As this went on, Watari was trying to think of what he could have done wrong in the experiment. Did he add too much enzymes? No, probably not. Though it could have been the liquid pheromones. Or the Chemical Blue? Perhaps he had not inverted it properly . . .

"Watari?" Tatsumi said. "The meeting's over. We can go now."

He blinked back to awareness, suddenly aware that everyone was gone. They had filed out the exit while he leaned casually back in his chair, and 003 was flying around his head. "Oh, um, sorry." He stood quickly, slightly flustered at his absent-mindedness.

Tatsumi patiently waited at the doorway. As Watari passed, the man suddenly leaned into him and inhaled.

"Ta - Tatsumi?" That was getting a bit close for comfort.

"What *is* that smell?" he answered. "I was trying to figure it out all through the meeting."

"Experiment." The one-worded answer. "Sorry if it bothered you, I tried to wash it off."

"No, no, don't worry. I . . . like it." Then he smiled.

Watari smiled awkwardly in return. "Thank-you."

"You look pale. Did you eat at all today?"

"Ah, no . . . I forgot. Busy with the formula."

"Hmm." Tatsumi turned and straightened his glasses. "Why don't you come over for dinner tonight and we can talk about it?"

"Really?" His eyes brightened. There weren't many opportunities to talk to people about his work in the lab. "Sure, I'll be there!"

The man nodded, seemingly glad. Before departing each other's company, Tatsumi brushed by the scientist's shoulder, inhaling again. "I will see you later," he said without looking back.

"Yeah. Bye . . . "

That was strange.

Watari gave himself a suspicious look, and sniffed.

Could it be . . . ?


The leaves rustled.

"Hey, move over!"

"What are *you* doing here?"

"That was going to be my question . . . "

Watari stared at the talking hedges. He had been standing outside Tatsumi's home, about to knock on the front door, when the two familiar voices drifted to him.

"Oh no, does he see us?"

"Shut up, idiot! If it weren't for you stomping all over I'd be fine . . ."

"Wait, why are we here again?"

Watari coughed loudly. "Tsuzuki? Bon? Is that you?"

The noise quieted immediately. Then two pairs of eyes peeked over the top of the hedges, one purple and the other green. The partners stepped out from behind and gave sheepish looks.

"Hi, Watari!" Tsuzuki called cheerily. Then his friend ran up and gave him a giant hug.

"Tsu-Tsuzuki - " He could barely breathe with the strong arms squeezing so tightly. Hisoka saved him by thumping his partner's head and then dragging him off. He gasped. Air. What a wonderful element. "Shouldn't you two be investigating in Fukuoka?"

"W-well, we were just, um, y-you see . . . " Hisoka blushed, face pensive. It wasn't like him to stutter.

"Ahh, didn't you listen?" Tsuzuki grinned. "We don't have to leave until tomorrow. Is Tatsumi making dinner?"

"Yes, he is. Did he invite you, too?"

"Oh, no, don't worry about us! We've already eaten."

"So . . . then why are you here?"

"I . . . I wanted to see you," he confessed.

"Uh . . . huh. Was there a reason?"

Before anyone could answer, the door slammed open and a yellow rose was shoved into Watari's face. Holding it was Tatsumi in a formal black and white suit, hair slicked back and looking sharp and clean.

"I've been expecting you," the man said, gazing intensely at the shorter Shinigami. "How do you like the flower? I just picked it from the garden this afternoon."

"Eh," Watari muttered, a loss for words. What was the matter with everyone today?

Then Tatsumi actually bent down and laid his face into the blonde's hair. "You still smell lovely." The surprised man backed up into Hisoka and Tsuzuki, who each claimed a shoulder to hold. Inexplicably, he felt trapped. What the Hell was going on? All this invasion of personal space . . .

Tatsumi gave the partners one of his trademark looks. "It looks like we have guests. What are you two doing here?"

Hisoka gripped Watari tighter at the tone. "Oh, not much," he responded coolly. "We heard you were making dinner and decided to stop by. Is there any problem with that?"

"Only if Watari does." And then they were all staring at him, Hisoka hopefully, Tsuzuki with puppy eyes, and Tatsumi with lids narrowed. He felt himself shrink under the glowing scrutiny.

"Ah, no," he coughed nervously. "Not at all."

There was a pause. Tatsumi adjusted his glasses and signed with reluctance. "Of course. Forgive me for making you all wait outside. Please, step into my home."

They did, even if Watari was pulled along by Tsuzuki and Hisoka. This was making out to be an interesting evening.



Notes: Don't wory, it will pick up speed in a little bit...