A Girl And Her Teapot (OhGodOfWriting & Pascal)
The girl was the type to wander into antique stores often. In fact, though the girl took joy in almost everything, they were one of her favourite places to frequent. Usually every Saturday she took a stroll downtown and popped into thrift stores and antique stores, always looking for a treasure at a bargain. Many people could go their whole lives in this routine and not become friends with the store employees, but not Portchia. When she walked into "Fine Ends," an antique store that would have suggested double entendre to anyone save the very innocent young woman, she fell easily into conversation with Burt, the large, sweaty man who worked the dim counter. Their voices floated through the store crowded with leaning shelves and a plethora of goods. Burt, who usually swore and flicked through dirty magazines, was now laughing and joking. Their conversation was short, though, and he let the girl wander, as she preferred to sift alone. She was pretty, but a little too cuckoo to fantasize about. The majority of her clothing was pink, but the overall impression she left was of a dizzying kaleidoscope of colors. Her blonde hair was long, longer than what was typically accepted as normal in society, and put into a ponytail that was loose and pulled over her shoulder. Oversized purple winged glasses rested over her sweet face. Her arms were tucked into the pockets of her ugly floral print muumuu style dress. She wore an orange hoodie over this, and belted brown boots that somewhat clashed, and yet somehow didn't, with her ethereal air. A touchable gray scarf encircled her neck.
As a regular in the store, she had seen most of the wares. Antique goods don't move fast. She picked up a couple of old cameras, but knew she shouldn't buy something that didn't work. As she put them back and turned away, her eyes alighted on the teapot section. She loved that stall, being a big fan of tea, but more so, the beautiful ritual of hospitality and lovely dishware that came with it. She eyeballed some of her old favourites, smiling as a fuchsia-painted fingernail traced a flying pig on a white potbellied ceramic piece. But that's when she saw it. It was high up, barely within her reach, and the window behind the shelves let in light which gleamed off antique bronze surfaces and intricate lapis inlays. It looked far eastern, and she wouldn't have immediately discerned that it was a teapot. When she got it down, fingers gripping it by the extreme bottom stand of the beautiful artifact, she noticed the lid in the top. This was no vase. This was a teapot. And it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen in a store. Her breath held for a moment, boots no longer creaking on the wooden floors which always seemed about to cave in. She was as enamoured by this object as a little girl with a beautiful doll in a shop window. She had to have it.
The girl ended up paying more for it than she typically spent, but the shop keeper had given her a deal on the dusty old thing. He wrapped it up, carefully rolling it in tissue paper, and put it in a bag. Portchia headed straight for her bike, knowing she'd spent far too much that day already, and checking repeatedly on the wrapped package as she walked. She held the bag in her lap with one hand and it bounced safely there over potholes and bumps while she steered the blue vintage bicycle with the other hand. Once home, she locked her bike around the tree in her small front yard and went into her run-down place of dwelling.
Portchia felt guilty about her purchase as she took it out of the bag and unwrapped it, setting it on the small table in her kitchen beside a vase of wildflowers. Seeing it helped to alleviate some of her discomfort, but she didn’t feel happy until she decided she’d invite her neighbor over for tea with the new pot. Well, better wash the thing first. She lifted it and went toward her kitchen sink, before the window, and again, when the light struck it, she couldn’t help but be transfixed by its mysterious beauty. She turned it slowly, watching illumination and darkness bend around it like an earth. Her nose was close to it, breath fogging it up. While one hand held it, her other delicately pinched the ball on the lid and lifted. As she did so, she peered inside, waiting for the stale air to hit her nose and wanting to look into the neglected depths of the curiously shaped vessel. Had there been someone inside, which of course was not a thought that entered the girl’s brain, they would have seen two light green eyes with long, thin lashes magnified by expanses of glass, in a pale rose-tinted and freckled face.
((OOC: My posts will probably get longer or at least stay this size. This was just what I already had typed up. ^^))
grumble grumble shrug
”Khalil!” The voice rang out through the building, and within moments the young man appeared in the well-lit work room. It was filled with lamps and had many windows to let in natural light. The voice that had called the Djinn was not harsh; however he was not patient either. The voice belonged to Abu Abdallah Muhammad Ibn Musa al-Khwarimi, a middle-aged man who looked like he might have been Khalil’s father. Such was not the case, of course, as Khalil was a great deal older than even the Persian mathematician could fathom. Standing at a few inches shy of six feet, Khalil had dark olive Arab skin and dark features to match. His hair, when loose, was curly and thick, hanging just below his shoulders. Though his hair grew, the process was slow and cutting it off in haste was always something the Djinn regretted.
Muhammad held out his most recently made notes, which had been made on the rather newly adopted invention of paper, which had come from China earlier that century. The Djinn took them and scanned through them quickly. He had been no expert on mathematic, astronomy, or geography, and while he had learned about them before, this man required a great deal more focus than Khalil had been accustomed to. He had to learn enough to help him in his work; he simply had no other choice. If he could have answered the man’s thirst for knowledge with a simple snap of his fingers, he would have. Of course, Muhammad was not so easily pleased. He had his hands dipped in a project to measure the circumference of the Earth. He was revising works of Plato, which Khalil had helped him to translate from Greek to Arabic.
Taking a seat on the floor, Khalil made a few suggestions, mostly about notation, but there were a few points where the operation that he suggested simply wasn’t balanced appropriately. When Khalil pointed out the flaws, Muhammad looked for a moment like he was going to hit the Djinn, but then he stopped. Yanking the papers from Khalil’s hand, the man snapped his fingers. Khalil handed him his ink, and then a new sheet of paper. Muhammad didn’t need to say what he needed, Khalil could sense it. The link was part of his curse; he could simply tell when his ‘master’—though he loathed the word—needed something, and just what that something was, provided the man himself knew what it was that he desired. Khalil helped until the man dismissed him, and then he turned to leave the room. It was dark, and the Djinn hoped to take a short stroll. “No.” Muhammad charged, and snapped his fingers towards the table.
With a sigh of resignation, Khalil turned back towards Muhammad. He didn’t need to look back to know what the man wanted, but he did. Not bothering to hide his dejection, Khalil went over to the ornamental teapot sitting on the side of the table. Muhammad glared, as if challenging the Djinn to try to defy him. Khalil blinked, took a deep breath, and dematerialized, going back into the cramped pot, to wait until the next time the human summoned him. At least when he was out, he could read and learn not only philosophy and science, but skills as well. Muhammad wanted Khalil to learn, but only the things that he deemed necessary. He didn’t need to be reading poetic literature, for example.
Light green eyes with large framed glasses was not, in fact, the first thing that the Djinn saw. The first thing he saw was light. The contact with the teapot did not, in fact, bond Khalil with the young woman. No, Khalil became possessed by physical contact with a human. Materializing outside of the teapot quickly, the man stumbled and held up one arm in front of him, blocking out some of the light for a few moments. Taking a few steps away from the human in front of him, Khalil bumped into a chair and turned around quickly, acting like a panicked dog let out of a kennel. He didn’t see anyone else in the room though, and when his eyes adjusted to the light, he turned back to the female human. She held his teapot. His gaze narrowed. Perhaps he could get her to put it on the table, and just let him take it and leave.
Far from oblivious to the foreignness of his surroundings, Khalil was only somewhat aware of the amount of time that he had been ‘gone’. He could tell it had been a great deal of time, or perhaps he was just in a very different place. He was oblivious, however, to the fact that for the time and place he was in, the lightweight pants that hugged his waist (held solely by a thick rope woven through it) was simply not considered adequate coverage for a male who looked to be in his early to mid twenties. Blinking a few times, Khalil finally lowered his arm a bit, taking a deep breath and addressing the Anglo woman, who was…strangely dressed at best. With the light hair, and similarly light eyes, she must have been a Viking. Perhaps he was up North now. ”I am called Khalil Ibn ad-Hasan Haytham Ibn Abdallah Muhammad. And you have my teapot.” He said quickly in Arabic, having no reason to switch tongues from the last he had heard.
Portchia was not sure what she saw when she looked into the teapot, but it was not empty. Perhaps it was some type of rodent, but how had it gotten in there in the first place? Or a tiny man... What a funny thought that was! These ideas barely had time to barrage her as she peered into it, when something changed. A vapor passed her face, and the teapot was empty. She looked up and around, partially because she was following the direction of the thing which had gone by her, and partially drawn by the sounds of a young man moving clumsily about her little kitchen.
What she saw, shocked her, and her pink mouth opened into an 'O' shape, mimicking her magnified eyes. How had a strange man gotten into her house? He certainly did not look as if he was from around here. There was the matter of his clothes, for one thing, and his hair, and his skin... Despite her shock, she felt heat rising into her cheeks. "Really, Portchia. Some homeless guy wanders into your kitchen, and all you can do is think about how cute he is?" She mentally chided herself with the part of her mind which was not too paralyzed to form thought.
Then he spoke: "إنني دعوا خليل بن الحسن الإعلان هيثم بن عبد الله محمد. وكان لديك إبريق الشاي الخاص "
"What what what?" She thought.
The teapot rolled from her fingers and clanked noisily across the linoluem floor, making an odd, empty tinny noise, but it did not break. "Oh," she said, breathlessly, her gaze skittering down to the dropped artifact. The green eyes then shot up again to the man's face. "How did you get in here?" she tried, timidly, though she doubted he could give her a sensible answer. He was clearly deranged, insane, and dangerous. A deranged, insane man who nevertheless managed to remain fit and relatively groomed... She mentally slapped herself.
Her eyes were wide and frightened, though her mouth smiled in a frozen way, as if afraid that if she did not act as though this were normal, he would hurt her. She reached up with her other arm to pull her long ponytail over her shoulder, stroking it quickly and forcefully, as if to calm herself. A nervous gesture? Her hair was the bright, solid yellow-golden color of pollen, and even appeared to have a slightly chalky texture, though it left no residue on the girl's palm.
While she did this, she sidled over towards the phone on the wall, intending to call the police. A bad plan, no matter what the real situation was, but she had no other ideas. What was the protocol when a crazy Arabian man showed up in one's house? The boots which came up to shin-height, and the hem of the baggy, floral dress which fell to just below her knees, revealed snatches of bare, smoothly defined calves which hinted that perhaps the young woman had a nice body beneath her ridiculous garb.
Her face was devoid of its usual attempt at being polite, save for the grimacing, false smile, and the bright sunlight pouring in strongly through one of the kitchen windows showed muted greens, blues, and pinks on the surface of her hair, like a soap bubble. It highlighted the white, baby-fine hairs on her forearms and face, her pale skin and the small freckles that speckled it everywhere. When she slid out of the light, this effect went away, making her look less mythical, but probably no more normal to the man so unaccustomed with modern American culture, hair dye, exposed ankles, and English.
It did not occur to even her creative mind that he was the thing that had come out of the teapot. She could have imagined that phenomenon, and even if not, that was forgotten in the wake of this. She was a nineteen year old girl in a bad neighborhood, used to living by herself and having to be cautious. This was the first time anyone had ever gotten into her house, which she kept fastidiously locked. Besides which, she had made friends with her neighbors, and they all looked out for her. It was broad daylight, and the intruder was dressed so oddly! Someone would have seen him. Perhaps the police were already on her way, she hoped, and although she could now reach the phone, she hesitated. Only a moment, and then she gently set her palm against it, her delicate, short fingers curling around the old white, corded monolith. She did not lift it, her scared eyes remaining on the djinn to see if he would pounce.
grumble grumble shrug
His teapot fell crashing to the floor, and the Djinn cringed. Khalil would have lunged for it, had it not been so dangerously close to the human woman. He made some mental calculations, wondering if it was possible to reach it and get out. He had to try, but if he failed…he could not imagine what she was planning for him. The Djinn had no idea just how little the woman knew about her most recent acquisition. He could tell, however, that she seemed unconcerned about his precious possession. The thought that she did that on purpose just to hurt him occurred briefly, but he dismissed it when he saw how frightened she looked. Perhaps she knew even less than him at the moment, though that was difficult for him to believe.
"How did you get in here?” The words rang about his head for a few moments, unraveling in the different tongues until they made sense. His eyes were still transfixed upon the teapot, but he eventually looked up at her face, studying her features as he placed the words.
“Frankia?” Khalil asked, finally placing it as a dialect of the somewhat new Frankish language that was sweeping through the North. So she was some sort of Viking. Perhaps he was in the European territories; though of all the reading he had done of the place, it certainly never looked like his surroundings. In the art he had seen, most of the women wore gowns, but they were certainly nothing like what he saw on her. She wore boots that suggested she was accustomed to battle. It wasn’t entirely common, but it wasn’t impossible, especially for some of the tribes of the North. However, her dress was covered in what looked to be flowers. It was a strange pattern. Khalil thought that some would wear on their clothing depictions of their victims, but last he had seen, flowers were far from dangerous enemies, and wearing them was hardly threatening.
He watched her begin to play with her hair. It was very long; a trait that didn’t match up with the idea that she was a warrior. Of course, she carried no weapon that he could discern, but that didn’t mean that she actually had none. Perhaps it was a custom of her people not to cut their hair until they had been dishonored. He knew it was a custom across the land some way to the west, near the water. He had never been to Japan, but he had read about how they fought. It sounded elegant, and yet fearsome. Khalil found himself wondering momentarily if she could be one of these fighters, but she seemed to lack the grace that he associated with their kind.
Moving away from the attire, as it had only sent mixed messages to him at deciphering anything about her, Khalil turned his gaze to her face. She was like a pale goddess, her skin whiter than anything he had seen before. Though he knew of art that depicted such fragile features, he couldn’t have imagined that they were real. She had small dark dots all over her skin, like the sun tried to show on her skin, but failed. He might have seen freckles before, but he couldn’t recall for sure if the Greeks had that trait. He knew of a few skin diseases, but she certainly looked to be carrying no plague. After a few moments, he realized that her features gave away little. They looked delicate, and he saw no scars. Perhaps they had some sort of healing in this world. The more ludicrous answer was that she simply hadn’t gotten hurt. That was… highly unlikely.
It was then that Khalil noticed her moving towards something on the wall. He tensed. It was most certainly a weapon. It had to be. Still, she was hesitating. Khalil blinked, and realized that he never answered her question. “I…I am sorry. I…you have my pot.” The word for ‘teapot’ eluded him, but he gestured with one hand to the teapot near her feet on the strange floor. The words felt strange on his tongue, and he knew that his accent was probably difficult to understand. But the words were definitely English. “I am called Khalil.” He still didn’t know what her intention was for him, but she hadn’t touched him, which meant that he was still free. “This place…here...Francia?”
Another nonsensical word she did not understand. Figures. Maybe the poor boy needed a doctor - but no. "Focus, Portchia!" She told herself, firmly. Now was not the time to get distracted by one of her helpful crusades. He was not a lost puppy dog. He was a full-grown man. Okay, that was not a helpful thought, either. The way he was looking at her was beginning to make her feel uncomfortable. As his eyes slid lower, her hand tightened on the phone, too afraid to pick it up. She thought she might pass out, if he came towards her, and that would not be very helpful. "Stay calm," she coached herself, to little avail.
She was just tensing to jerk the handset off of the wall, when he spoke, in English! It was heavily accented, but perfectly sane sounding. Not that he was sane, nobody that spoke that way could be sane... Unless it was just some other language she had never heard before. It had sounded like a legitimate language. His pot? She certainly didn't have any pot here. If that was what this was about... Oh, he was gesturing to the teapot. Wildly, she almost giggled. Then she stopped herself, because this wasn't funny, at all. Some crazy half-clothed man had followed her from the antique shop? She would have to tell Burt to clear the alleyway by the shop of druggies.
"H-hi, Khalil," she tried to say in a soothing voice, though it shook. "My name is...is Portchia. I don't understand...what are you saying? Francia? Oh, France? No...um, this is America. Are you French?" She doubted it, but it was worth asking. "Look, uh, this is my house. Can I call someone to come pick you up or something? I don't mean to be rude, but, uh, well..." she fidgeted some more, and the phone clacked slightly in the hanger, and the long cord swayed along the wall like a snake.
At that exact moment, the telephone rang, jangling loudly in the small space. The girl jumped, lifting the phone in the motion without meaning to. She glanced at it a moment, and then held it to her ear, because she did not know what else to do. "H-hello?" she queried, her eyes wide and terrified. She was silent for a second, and then she blurted to whoever it was, "There's a man in my kitchen. No, not - not like that. I don't know him. He says that I have his teapot. I'm not joking! I bought this - this thing, this vase-like thing from the Burt's, and I got home, and suddenly he was there - no, not Burt, the random guy! Well, I opened the teapot, and then I turned around, and he was there. My doors were locked when I came home." There was loud babbling on the other end of the line, and Portchia glanced at Khalil speculatively. "He looks, um...like he's not from around her. The teapot? Oh, well it..." now she looked at that. "It looks really old, and pretty. Why? A genie? I don't think so. Now you sound like me. Look, I'm being serious, here! I don't know what to do, can you come over? I am being totally, one hundred percent deadly serious, M--"
She stopped in surprise, pulled the phone away, and stared at it. Whoever she had been speaking to had hung up. "Well, she thinks I'm lying. She also thinks that you're a genie," Portchia muttered, more to herself, tilting her head as she put the phone back into its cradle with a click. She looked at Khalil, frowning thoughtfully. Maybe she should just run for it? If her friend did not believe her, perhaps the police would not, either. This was an irrational thought, as her friend had reason not to believe her, and the police did not. Portchia was a very creative person, who liked to come up with stories and tell them to her friends as if they were real. In fact, if she were to call her friend and tell her that a man had materialized out of a teapot and into her kitchen, it would not have been an out-of-the-ordinary telephone call. The trouble was, her friend was not as creative, and did not see the difference between that and what had happened.
They way Portchia had behaved on the phone had been cute, and entirely sincere, and polite. She was very grave now, but most of the nervousness had leaked out of her, from the normalcy of the phone conversation. Her friend's lack of worry unconsciously made her lose some of her own worry, as well. The seed of the idea that Khalil was a genie had been planted, but even wacky Portchia did not give the theory any credence. Her friend would never seriously suggest something like that, and while in the abstract, Portchia was quick to believe the possibility of the mythological and fantastical, in practicality, all she could think of was the safety tips that had always been drummed into her head. Those two thoughts did not actually go very well together. How did one protect against strange djinn men? Some amulet or something? Portchia probably did have some weird jewelry that might suffice, but she was, for once, thinking along more practical lines, about actual weapons, like her can of pepper spray, which was buried in the bottom of her purse, in her bedroom. The one time Portchia did not have her head in the clouds, that was actually where it needed to be. Isn't that just like life.
grumble grumble shrug
Long before Khalil was called that name, before the years were adjusted to count down to a birth, the Djinn was awakened, and he was furious. In this time, years counted forward with progress, and had any man, or scholar, been alive to hear that the dates were subsequently changed to mark one day as the new “beginning,” they would have likely protested the change, as it implied that everything they had worked towards was not a future at all. The Djinn who would once go by Khalil was called Karim. It was a joke of a name, meaning generous. The one who had named him that liked to say that it was the djinn’s generosity that led him to help the man. This was the same master who forced Karim to actually call him master, and…without Karim’s knowledge, destroyed the one possession he had in the previous thousand years.
“A TEAPOT?!?!” Karim yelled, and grabbed the teapot, throwing it across the dimly lit room. He was furious, and yelling in the old Persian tongue, Pars, also known as Farsi. In that moment, he didn’t care about his duty. Yes, he had to fulfill this new…filthy man’s desires to the best of his abilities, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t be angry about his precious coin’s ruination. Karim glared at the teapot, wishing that he had the ability to will it back to its former beauty. When Karim heard this new human clear his throat, he turned his glare to the man. “Why did you do this?” He yelled, acting as if he had the right to make demands.
“It…it was sold to me in this form.” The man didn’t strike him, or send others to attack him, though there were certainly others accompanying the man, and they were armed with blades. He answered in Farsi. Had Karim not been furious about the blasted teapot, he might have treated the man with some respect. The man, who wasn’t really filthy at all really, was clearly feeling quite embarrassed at the fact that the “slave” was yelling at him. He nodded to the others, and they pulled out their blades. The men knew their orders. They could not touch the Djinn, or their boss would have them killed. They could threaten however, and that was clearly what the man wanted.
Karim’s scowl faded a bit, and he looked at the men with contempt before turning back to the one who held his…teapot. “They call me Karim. You are the owner of...my teapot?” He asked. He was still seething about his teapot, but now he had at least put the pieces together. His previous master had melted down the coin, and he proceeded to make it into a teapot. It was the man’s last joke. There was nothing Karim could do now about that. His coin was gone, and now he was bound to a teapot, and soon, bound to this man as well. The blades pressed against his skin, and the man approached, saying something about Karim’s will being one with his own. “Kneel.” The man demanded, and Karim hesitated for a few moments, looking the man in the eye one last time, before kneeling to the ground and allowing the man to force him to submission.
The female, who called herself Portchia, began to ramble a bit too quickly for Khalil to follow. She named some places, he suspected, but he hadn’t heard of them. He opened his mouth to speak when the device that he was sure was a weapon began to make a dreadful noise. It sounded a bit like the clang of some sort of strange metal, but he couldn’t make much sense of it. He backed against the far corner of the room, gripping the wall to keep himself standing. She picked up the device, holding it near her ear and mouth. It wasn’t aimed at him, as best as he could tell. She began speaking as if she was talking to him, but she didn’t give him enough time to answer. It was like she was carrying on a conversation with someone else, but he neither heard nor saw anyone else there.
Though she was speaking far too quickly for him to follow, he did pick up on one word, genie. So she did know what he was. Then why hadn’t she taken him yet? He was beyond puzzled, but he stood quickly until the strange weapon was put back. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t lie. Again, she repeated the word genie. “Genie…” Khalil repeated. He wanted to maintain some sort of communication without admitting that he actually was indeed a Djinn. It was a bastardized version of his name, but he could feel in his gut what it was. Khalil looked from the strange thing on the wall to Portchia, and pushed himself off of the wall. It was when he was completely vertical again that he realized he was absolutely famished. He had no idea how long he had been out, but he was always dehydrated and hungry when he was summoned. Getting immediately dizzy, Khalil reached forward, but only reached the air. He fell forward to the ground ending up on all fours.
“Water…” Khalil repeated it a few times, looking for the right language. “Do you have… any water?” He repeated, the slightly demanding tone in his voice gone, replaced with his much more humble nature. His eyes were closed, but he didn’t hear her moving closer. Even if she did, he was too sick feeling to move out of the way quickly. She could complete the bond before he even had time for get out of her reach, his body succumbing to the dehydration now that the adrenaline had stopped running through his body with such fervor.
The man called Khalil seemed fearful as well, although this did not put Portchia at ease. Scared people were sometimes the most dangerous. They did unpredictable things to protect themselves, because they thought that if they didn't, they would be hurt. Portchia had seen it so often, and their fears were not unfounded. The trouble was, they did not know when someone was genuinely trying to help them. She wondered, as she looked across the room at the frightened man, if anyone had ever tried to help him. She could not imagine how accurate her thoughts were.
Why did he repeat the word genie? Oh poor chap, he really was delusional. Maybe he actually thought he was one... Before she could work up a really good terror about the fact that he was moving towards her, he was beginning to look as though he might collapse, and her concern for herself turned to concern for him. She could not help it, she was soft. People scolded her for it all the time, but she did not care. She would rather stay like that, and help people, than end up like the people who turned away, and let suffering happen without lifting a finger to stop it.
Khalil crashed into the ground, and Portchia gasped, her fingers going to her mouth. He was begging for water, and after a second of hesitating, she moved into action. She cursed herself for not offering him something earlier, but she had been too worried about herself, and she felt shame for this, and worry that he needed to go the hospital. She clattered around in her cupboards, searching for a glass. She knocked a couple over before she secured one, and sloppily filled it from the sink. She knocked the faucet off again, spilling more water, and then came running back over the few short steps to Khalil.
Landing hard on her knees before him, she reached out to touch his bare shoulder, to steady him, while she held the glass under his face. When she did so, she felt a shock, like a bolt of lightning, though nothing had truly happened. It was like the feeling of touching an electric fence. It whacked her across the back of her head like a baseball bat, and at first she wondered if this had been a set-up, and there had been someone behind her the whole time, waiting to sneak up and hit her over the head. She realized that this wasn't the case, however, because just after that feeling, there was a rolling sensation, as though a force field were pressing down on her, and somehow, she had gotten inside of it.
Whipping her head to look behind her in confusion, she saw no one, so she looked back at the man. That was when the feeling of powerful THIRST crashed over her, and suddenly her tongue felt dry and it stuck to the roof of her mouth. She felt desiccated and exhausted, and woozy, and the only thing that kept her from falling to the ground was the feeling of liquid in the hand that held the glass. Her eyes zeroed in on it, and she licked her lips painfully, watching the water that had never looked more delicious to her.
Without thinking, she drew it towards herself and began to guzzle it, ignoring the water that dripped down her front. She drained the glass, but felt nothing, still just as thirsty, still just as dry. From behind her glasses, she looked at Khalil again, and then stood up to go refill the glass. She knew that he was thirsty, too, he had said so, so with shaking, weak hands, she filled another glass, and brought this over to him. She set it on the floor before him, and then drank her second glass as she crouched there in front of him.
The water hit her stomach, but it did nothing for the dryness in her mouth, nor her sense of exhaustion. The room was swimming in front of her, and she wondered why she felt so connected to the man, so aware of him, when the rest of the room was scarcely in focus? His every breath seemed to pull in and out of her, she could feel his fear, his desperation, his anger and his horror at what had happened. Why did he care that she had touched him? She could feel the water sloshing inside of her as she shifted, but it made no difference. What was going on? She put a palm against the wet, slippery floor, and closed her eyes to keep from being sick. "He drugged me," she thought, and she wondered wildly if this was what it was like before you ended up getting cut into pieces and stuffed into some guy's floorboards. It would be her floorboards, though, she realized. Her last thought on the matter was that her poor friend would feel so guilty, and she wished she had time to leave her a note, to let her know that it wasn't her fault...
grumble grumble shrug
When the human female touched him, Khalil felt a rush of human emotions. There was an overwhelming sense of fear, and invasion. He had invaded her home in her mind. It struck him oddly that she had known what he was, and yet she didn’t expect for him to appear in her home. He couldn’t dwell on it much though, because he could also sense her fear. She must have been terrified of him, why, he couldn’t imagine. He couldn’t harm a human very easily, especially now that she had bonded with him. The only desire he could sense was the desire to help the pitiful male in front of her. He would be happy to help her help himself, take his teapot and leave. But he knew that would be pretty much impossible at that point.
Somehow, by a means to which Khalil had not been privy, she acquired water. Before she could give it to him, though, she guzzled the entire glass. A feeling of rage swept over him at the sight. It reminded him of a master many years before, the one who had destroyed his coin and belittled him constantly. She brought a second glass though, and set that one in front of him. Falling on his legs, Khalil reached out with both hands to the glass. The water was so clear that he wasn’t sure it was actually water at first. He sniffed it for a few moments, but smelled nothing. It confused him, but not enough to make him stop. Khalil drank the entire glass, most of the liquid making it into his mouth. His thirst was slow to be quenched, but the water helped immensely. It was only when he had finished the glass that he managed to breathe regularly again.
Looking up at the girl, Khalil realized that his thoughts and fears were flowing through to his new master as well. Would he be beaten for forgetting his place? Did she even follow those customs? He was angry that he was bonded again, but at the same time, he was already changing to suit his new master. She was afraid that he had drugged her. Khalil had no idea how, but he didn’t like the idea of her thinking such poor things about him. That never lent well for the beginning of a relationship.
“Thank you…” Khalil said, sitting up and looking at her. He knew that she had the glasses of water because she felt his thirst, and now that his was quenched, no doubt she was feeling better. Khalil quickly pulled in his own thoughts and fears, including his anger about being bound again. He had been free for moments, and he knew it was his own weakness that led to this. He could have tried to get the teapot and made a run for it. Of course, he still had no idea where he was, or how long had passed. Khalil opened his mouth to speak again, but he wasn’t sure what question he wanted to ask.
He could certainly ask her what she needed, as was his duty. On the other hand, he could inquire more about where he was, or when he was. “You...did not know about my pot?” He asked. She had not corrected his word for the teapot, so he continued to use it. For now, he decided to pursue his own confusion over the fact that she didn’t know what he was. “I am Djinn. I am… your genie.” He said, hoping his English was fluid enough to make sense. He was eager to learn, and wondered if she would help him improve his English. It was one of the reasons he had really enjoyed Muhammad as a master. The man had a thirst for knowledge like himself, and though Muhammad tried to control what Khalil could learn by forcing him into the teapot, it was difficult to stop Khalil from seeking knowledge.
“Here… Not Frankia, not France… Where is here?” Last he remembered there was no such thing as America. Maps didn’t have the continent he was standing, or rather, kneeling upon. He opened his mouth again, trying to figure out the word he was looking for in English. He wished he had more time to learn it, and wondered absently if she spoke any other languages. “Where… is today?” He asked, not knowing the word for when and doing his best to explain the idea of time passage. “Time…today…?” He asked, mumbling the word in a few other languages, most of which were long dead.
Even though her thirst abated, the feeling of sickness did not. She could no longer feel his emotions, nor his physical condition, so everything that she experienced was now entirely her own. The strange sensation, fleeting as it had been, of sharing another person's every thought, was overwhelming to say the least. Far from exhilerating or enlightening, it left her weakened and confused. It had been horrible. Besides which, it had been so long since she had been so hungry or pathetic, and she had never been as thirsty as he had. A human could not go so long without water and live. She had come close to dying of thirst once, but it had felt nowhere near as horrible as the djinn's thirst.
Still recovering, she pulled herself over and turned to lean against one of the legs of the table, sitting with her butt on the ground. Her booted feet were ahead of her, knees bent and spread. It was not a ladylike position in a dress, but Portchia was not thinking about that. Her cheeks were flaming with the uncomfortable, risidual heat left in her body from bonding with the magical creature. She did not even begin to fully understand what had happened, but the little she did understand only made her feel more overwhelmed. She hung her head and rested it onto one hand, the elbow of which was propped onto her bare knee. The wet hand was fisted into the fabric of her dress.
She opened her eyes and forced herself to look at him as he spoke to her, but she was wincing, as though the sunlight hurt her head. Her breathing was shaky, and the bedraggled creature looked so different from the girl who had looked perky and healthy moments before. "My genie..." she repeated incredulously. She believed him, not in the way she had always believed in unicorns. With a childish, naive heart which loved to dream. She believed him from experience, as one knows hunger from experience. Had it only been a theoretical knowledge, she would have been far more composed.
"America," she said again. "The U.S.A. In 2013. A.C." Each word dragged from her lips seemed to require effort, but she tried anyway. Her hand slid up her face, displacing her glasses for a second. She ran her fingers into her hairline. "Are you still thirsty? Hungry? Do you need...a doctor? Or anything?" With difficulty, she pulled herself upright, picked up his glass, and returned to the sink. She filled it again, and then brought it to him, stopping on the way to pick up his teapot. She set both articles in front of him, and then pointed to the pot.
"You came out of this? I...bought you?" She shook her head. No way Burt had any idea what was sitting on his shelf. No way at all. She still somewhat wondered if she were on drugs, but the little she had tried and heard of before, did not affect people in as physically real a way as touching the djinn had. Besides, she had not eaten or drunk anything before it happened. Why would anyone want to drug her, anyway? She was little enough to overpower. She didn't like thinking this way, but it was a byproduct of taking care of oneself from a young age.
Portchia had not meant it in the way that one buys a slave. It had been inadvertent, and she did not consider herself to be Khalil's owner in any way. She took his meaning, 'your genie,' to be akin to 'your tourguide,' or 'your hostess.' Though she knew, on a more cellular level, in the core of her being, that the bond went deeper than that. He was as close to her as a best friend, or a lover, even though he was a complete stranger. Yet she just had three wishes, right, and he would be gone? Three wishes? Oh god, how had this happened to her? She was in no position to make three wishes. Far from wanting to jump around at her incredible good fortune, all she wanted to do was hug a toilet bowl and pretend this was a bad dream.
grumble grumble shrug
It had been stupid for Khalil to let his guard down, to let himself show his exhaustion. His new human looked drained, and of course he wanted to fix that, on top of the feelings of hunger and physical weakness that he still possessed. He was far from weak, though, and his body was still in prime condition from the running and manual labor that had been required in his world. If he needed to run a few miles, Khalil was confident that he could; he would simply pay the price for his haste later.
He nodded when she repeated that he was her genie. “Yes.” He said simply, glad that they were establishing that fact. He didn’t think to explain what that meant for her, assuming that her familiarity with the word would mean that she knew the customs as well. He would likely learn soon that they still had a long way to go in understanding each other’s circumstances, something Khalil would have to begin soon if he hoped to control his own future in this world.
“AD… Anno Domini?” Khalil asked, using the Latin term that had been popularized hundreds, no wait… thousands of years before. Though Khalil knew of this measure of keeping time, he had hoped it would be a phase, and certainly had no idea that it wouldn’t be until the 17th century that BC would become the popularized way of discussing the span ante vero incanarationis dominicae tempus, or “the time before the Lord’s true incarnation. As Venerable Bede noted in the early 8th century. Khalil had helped to translate some texts, including the one by Bede, from Latin to Arabic, as required by Muhammad, of course in an effort to further his own work.
The actual year took a bit longer to register with the Djinn. Two and Thirteen were important enough for him to remember from working to develop al-jabr, though the Djinn had no idea how important Algebra had become in his absence. The word thousand, on the other hand, was wholly unfamiliar to him. “Thousand…” He repeated a few times, rolling it off the tongue in different manners, to emphasize different parts. He knew enough of this European language to know that it took from many others, and was hoping to find this word in Latin. As Latin for thousand was mille, he had no such luck. However, he had heard of thusundi. “Thousand….Thutsand….Thu…Thusundi. Thusundi” Khalil didn’t mean to raise his voice, but the reaction was purely out of shock.
“Two…Thousand...thirteen??” He asked, his eyes wide and hoping that he was dreadfully wrong. That was too much time, far too much time. In the back of his mind, however, Khalil knew it was true, and blamed that stupid teapot.
“I don’t…know the word America. It is a land North? I traveled a lot, but in West… The West Empire of Roman.” It wasn’t always called the Roman Empire, but people from unfamiliar lands always seemed to know the territories that the Roman’s had occupied. “The Umayyad Caliphate.” He added for clarification. He suspected that America was to the North, in the regions that he had learned were vast and cold. He certainly had no idea that America was on no land mass that he had even recognized. “Maybe you can show me this place on a map.” He suggested, still trying to wrap his head around how much must have changed. He would need years to catch up, decades even, and that was presuming that he was permitted.
Maybe she could also tell him what he had missed. It had been over a thousand years of progress and change, and though he could see that things like clothes had not lost their appeal, he was concerned about the number of threats that he simply wouldn’t recognize as threats. It was like traveling to the Greek markets for the first time. There were so many things around that Khalil simply did not understand; it was overwhelming. He managed a nod when she offered more water, still a bit distracted by his thoughts.
“I am hungry.” He added after a few moments, only because she had actually asked. “Not sick.” He didn’t think he needed anything, not really, and smiled a little at the thought of her asking what he wished for, when it was meant to be the other way around. The human night have realized this as well, as she brought over his teapot and set it in front of him. Khalil drank the second class slowly, and then picked up the teapot. Running now would have no effect. He needed to help his human with her desires, and three wishes had nothing to do with it.
“You bought me?” He repeated. It was a common enough situation, for his teapot to be sold, however he was puzzled why he had not been summoned in so long, if someone possessed it before him. “Yes, I am link with the pot.” He said, turning his hands into fists and hitting his knuckles lightly against each other for emphasis. He then turned over the pot in his hands, noticing that it had lost some of its shine. “You were cleaning…” The realization came to him quickly. No doubt she had bought it because it was an actual teapot, and she was just trying to clean it in order to use it. Khalil couldn’t help but laugh at that. He had certainly been summoned accidentally before, but it had been a refreshingly long time since his summoning had not been surrounded by greedy men betraying each other for power and control.
His laugh was light, alluding to a youthful nature that had not surfaced as of yet. Khalil relaxed a little though, knowing that even though she could certainly be a difficult master, the ones who had gained accidental fortunes took much longer to come to terms with their darker desires. They had not premeditated on what they wanted, like some of his other masters had done. His realization also told him that she might not know very much at all about his kind. They were certainly far from common, after all. “What do you know of me?” He asked, trying to get a starting point for explaining her situation. Lying and trying to weasel his way out would have likely been the human reaction, but Khalil was not human. He had been in this situation repeatedly since he was first bonded to the coin, and he knew that he would be in it for the rest of eternity, or at least as long as the humans were alive.