|An interesting encounter
Author: Opal Roseblossom PM
Kitty has taken Nathaniel's death badly, and she keeps having odd dreams. When she figures out that Bartimaeus is still alive, she is overjoyed. But her dreams get stranger and stranger. What is Nathaniel trying to tell her? KB, slight KN, NBfriendshipRated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 5 - Words: 7,626 - Reviews: 49 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 16 - Updated: 12-15-07 - Published: 04-18-07 - id: 3497041
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This was not like Kitty. This was not like Kitty at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure that Nathaniel has been more like Kitty than Kitty was being like Kitty right now. (Shut up, that made sense).
Now, I do not have an accurate measure of time in the Other Place, but I am pretty sure that it has been more than a night on Earth. In fact, with my years of experience, I'm extremely sure it has been more than a human month. Yet, for some reason I have yet to be summoned.
Usually I do not object to extra time to rest, but when I have something as pressing as this on my mind I need to get it sorted out.
What was taking so long? I'm a patient entity (in fact, I had waited for hundreds of years inside Imhotep's tomb to fulfill my duty to destroy any grave robbers), but this is too much.
Kitty hadn't moved in what seemed like a month. Well, she had gone places, done her job, ate and slept, but that was it. Any flame was gone. She moved through the motions, but didn't think, or fight with the same passion that had driven her before.
And she was angry, angry at Bartimaeus for leaving her (even though her reasonable side reminded her that she had dismissed him and never re-summoned him), angry at Nathaniel, for truly being dead (even though that little voice in the back of her head told her that it was hardly Nat's fault, and that it was a probability the whole time), and angry at herself most of all, for giving up for the first time in her life and for ignoring her reasonable voice that reminded her not to be angry or depressed. Kitty was rarely irrational, but it appeared that something had managed to puncture her tough layers.
But despite her more intelligent voices, and despite the anger welling up inside of her, trying to burst out and regain her old spirit, she stayed the way she was, never living, just being. Now people were starting to get suspicious, it was hard not to. Kitty didn't have many acquaintances in her new life, but the ones that she had were much too sharp to let the quick flip in Kitty's personality go unnoticed.
That's why Kitty was hardly surprised when her curtains were yanked open by one Rebecca Piper. Miss Piper opened the windows and turned on the lights, she walked around the room straightening things out and dusting things off, finally yanking the covers off of Kitty's curled up body, exposing her to the chilly air. The girl groaned, but reluctantly rolled over.
"What is wrong with you!?" Rebecca shrieked. "Actually, don't answer it. I'm pretty certain I have a general idea." She was glowering, absolutely livid.
Kitty didn't move, her face dry and expressionless. "What?"
"You know what. You haven't been the same for the past month and a half. And I know why."
"How could you know why?" Kitty sat up in horror, if she knew about her and Bartimaeus she'd be shunned from society, it was the ultimate taboo to even befriend a demon, let alone fall in love with one.
"It's easy enough to see, you've fallen in love, and you've failed at it."
Kitty sighed with relief, so she didn't know much, just the general details.
Miss Piper, mistaking the sigh for one of sadness, continued. "I have to say though, I never thought that any man could suck the fire out of you, and I'm very, very disappointed."
Kitty was angry now; she could feel her old personality returning, as if waking up from a dream, "How would you know what it's like?" Self-pity, that was even less like her.
Miss Piper's eyes were over bright with tears, and Kitty felt her stomach drop with guilt. She remembered the admiring look that Rebecca had given Nathaniel, and the way she cried during his play, and Kitty felt that she had breached some sort of unwritten code. It was terrible; at least Bartimaeus was still alive. Miss Piper had experienced what she had to an even greater degree, and Kitty suddenly felt ashamed. It wasn't like her to withdraw so quickly, and Rebecca had made it through even worse.
When Rebecca spoke it was in a whisper, "I know what you feel, and I know how hard it is," her eyes were surprisingly kind, "but never let anybody do this to you."
Kitty wanted to cry, but she didn't, she felt that she needed to redeem herself from the lapse of strength she had experienced in the last little while. "What should I do?"
"Just talk to whoever it is, get it out of your system, and then come back!" Rebecca seemed almost out of breath. "You are being ridiculous."
Kitty hung her head, hurt by the harsh criticism, but she knew it was true. "Fine."
The magician stood up to leave, "Good luck." She walked out the door, and Kitty was left in her recently tidied room, with a lot to think about.
She had to contact Bartimaeus, and just get it over with. The spark had returned to her eyes, but her movements were shaky with fear. Hearing rejection was much more difficult than assuming it.
She steadied herself, it didn't matter, she had been hurt before. Kitty had to stay strong this time.
I felt the familiar tug at my essence and knew in an instant who was summoning me, and I was angry about it! As a powerful, terrible entity, I felt I needed to show my displeasure. I did not feel like gracing Kitty with one of the human shapes that she was so attracted to; instead I constructed something terrible, with dozens of arms, sharp fangs, complete with purple and green ooze. I made flames roar in the background, and entered with a high-pitched keening noise that was certain to cause more than a little discomfort.
Well, what were you expecting? She had shunned me, she had revealed something tremendous to me, and then sent me to another world to sit and wonder whether or not she truly cared. It wasn't right.
Despite my horrific form I saw a great degree of affection in Kitty's eyes, along side her usual fire, and something else. Was that grief? Or perhaps fear? Either way, they were two emotions very uncharacteristic of the girl.
Kitty scoffed, but it was forced, I could tell that she was hurt by my attempt to scare her.
"Is the mighty Bartimaeus fit to speak to a low life mortal like myself, or can I have a civil conversation with such a powerful entity?" Kitty's voice was overflowing with sarcasm, and I couldn't figure out what she could be mad about. It wasn't me who left her for over a month to wonder about her whole existence.
"A civil conversation would be fine, thank you." I tried to keep my voice hard and emotionless; it came out soft and weak. I scolded myself, the most powerful monsters in any world do not make me tremble, (well, there was a Marid in Egypt… but let's not talk about him) I should not crumble at the sight of a small girl-child.
Kitty was frightened by Bartimaeus' original shape, but held her ground. He seemed angry, and she couldn't fathom why.
She spoke a few quick commands, allowing him to roam free and do as he pleased.
"A civil conversation would be fine thank you," came Bartimaeus' retort. His voice was soft and velvet, calming Kitty.
Bartimaeus reverted to a human shape. This one was neither Ptolemy nor Nathaniel, though it featured the former's skin tone. Bartimaeus was a young boy, a couple of years older than Kitty, an Egyptian with a sharp nose and elegant chin. The form was short and skinny and the eyes were dark black, filled with the terrifying knowledge and power that was Bartimaeus. Kitty felt herself go weak in the knees, and reminded herself that on some other plane Bartimaeus was a terrifying monster that's power and cruelty could not be done justice in one of his simplified images.
Nevertheless Kitty stared openly, this djinni appeared beautiful and surreal before her eyes. Bartimaeus noticed this, and a smug grin spread across his face, making him look as arrogant and cocky as any human.
That brought her back to reality. Kitty knew what was necessary, she just had to confront him and get it over with. "I suppose you want to know why I've summoned you."
"Hardly, I expected it much sooner."
Kitty blushed. She had to tell him, and she had to do it now, but it was so difficult. It was like ripping off a Band-Aide, quick and painful. She steadied herself, and said it. "Bartimaeus, I think I've fallen in love with you."
And in an instant Kitty was pressed against a wall, Bartimaeus' lips an inch away from hers. He met her eyes, and in them she saw unbridled heat and passion. "I love you too."
Then he was kissing her, his lips were warm and hard, one of his hands went around her waist, and the other ran through her hair. Kitty could've sworn that, if there was a heaven, she was in it. She felt little shocks travel through her body wherever he was touching her, and she responded back with equal passion.
The logical part of Kitty's mind worked against it, trying to tell her everything that was wrong with this situation. It couldn't fight against what she was feeling right now, no matter how hard it tried.
After some rather invigorating confessions, I found myself in the arms of one Kathleen Jones. As an entity from another world the physical act of kissing does not please me in the way it does a human, however Kitty's immense pleasure tickled my essence in a most delightful way.
For powerful beings, such as myself, we prefer a different way of expressing our love. We join in the Other Place, and become one entity, with the same thoughts, feelings, and pleasures. It is quite an amazing experience. Though I have never truly been in love I have shared great affection with some demons.
Well, back to the kissing. It was fantastic. I felt like my essence was on fire. It's not like I haven't kissed humans before (Masters have no consideration, the don't care if a Demon finds kissing the fat Persian Prince repulsive, however, if someone had ordered me to kiss Kitty I'd jump into the task with enthusiasm) but this was different. It wasn't the actual physical act, but the mental state of being. I felt as if I was her, as if I could read all of her thoughts. It was almost like joining in the Other place, not quite as total but we were linked, our souls overlapped.
She was thinking, though it was muddled and mixed up in her desire, that she shouldn't do this. Kitty was constantly reminded that I wasn't human, and that I never would be. Not that I wanted to. (Okay, that's a lie, for Kitty I'd become a dung beetle, all she'd have to do was ask). But the fact was that this wasn't going to work.
So I pulled back, putting both hands on her waist. She looked at me strangely.
"What?" I asked, a little hazily.
"You look…" she traced my jaw with her finger, "brighter."
I flickered with embarrassment. "I was enjoying myself."
Kitty grinned, "So was I."
I couldn't help smiling in satisfaction. I sobered up when I remembered our problem. "Listen, Kitty, I'm not human."
"Shocker." Oh how I love her sarcasm.
"And you aren't a demon."
This time she didn't answer. She looked at me with such spirit that I knew something was up. I could see what she was planning, I could feel it in my (metaphorical) bones.
I swore loudly. Kitty flinched, it had been in Egyptian, but she got the drift. "No. Not happening. Never. I know what you are thinking, and I won't allow it, I can't."
She pouted, and I groaned. This whole being in love thing wasn't working out for me. Kitty pecked me lightly, and cautiously. "Why not?" She looked up at me with determined eyes, "It's perfect."
"Think of all you'd be given up," I could not let her do this, "your parents, your friends, your job. And our lives aren't easy. You don't understand the pain of being summoned, we'd be apart a lot, for centuries at a time, and we'd be pitted against each other. Kitty, I couldn't do it, I couldn't kill you to help some stupid magician, and then I'd die. And I don't want to die. You'd be better off to forget me and find some nice, human boy."
But Kitty looked stubborn. She had pulled away from my embrace and now had her arms crossed over her chest. "It would be simple," she retorted, "I've done it before, just leave my body and live in the Other Place. And nobody would have my name to lookup, I'd never be summoned."
I sighed, poor, naïve, Kitty. "Somebody would find out, they'd notice what happened to you and guess, or some apprentice would make a mistake and you'd be pulled out instead. Or I could accidentally take you with me."
"Is that possible?" Kitty asked.
"It's never happened before, but as you observed, rules there are less concrete. I won't allow it."
Saying that was my big mistake. Nobody tells Kathleen Jones what to do.
"You won't allow it. Well I'm sorry, Mr. All mighty djinni. I should've known that you wouldn't have wanted to have anything to do with an unworthy mortal." She looked like she was going to punch me, not that it would've hurt physically, but I have some feelings. (Most magicians forget that, we poor djinn get pushed around a lot, we'd like some consideration every now and then).
"You are hardly an ordinary mortal, Kitty, and you are not unworthy by anyone's standards." I bowed low, something I never did unless forced, or on occasion if I was being sarcastic. "I am the unworthy one."
Kitty seemed startled by this little show of modesty and sincerity, and to be frank, so was I.
"We're not ruling out my idea," Kitty said and yawned, "we'll talk about it in the morning." I didn't expect her to give up, but I wanted her to grow up and move on without me. She'd be happier. I was being selfless for once; she should take the opportunity and benefit from my wisdom.
"Alright, but I'm staying here tonight, got it?"
There was a mischievous glint in Kitty's eye that I found myself liking, a little too much. "Oh, I'm sure we'll find something to do." Maybe having her join me in the Other Place wouldn't be that bad…
A/N: I want to thank Mew Sarin Alchemist for being my beta. Thanks a ton! You rock my socks. And I'd like to thank Abbarane and Arrie Under Pressure for offering. You guys are great.
Thanks to Musica Diabolos and gethsemane342 for telling me that Rebecca was Miss Piper's real name. I'm going to change it on the other documents later, I have files scattered around on computers.
And thanks to the rest of my reviewers! Silvertrumpet26, love-of-all-wolfes, Wave Ryder, Bronte R. Deshong, Bogart, sunshinelexi, Rhysenne, Dija… and that's everybody who's ever reviewed my story… you guys rock. If I missed anyone I'm sorry.
More Nathaniel next chapter. And so ends the longest Author's note in history.