Sorry for the late update when I have such a long to-do list from all your great requests. I'm afraid I got a little demotivated for writing more, but I had this laying around for a month. I hope to get the spirit to write new drabbles soon.
WARNING: We had plenty rape in Gender, but this is going to be the aftermath and it might be triggering!
It was all a bad dream.
It was all a bad dream.
It was all a bad dream.
The day was bright. His bed was so soft and comfortable he couldn't even feel his limbs. He could smell fresh rain on the breeze from his window, pleasantly cool compared to what he would usually wake up to. But rain had passed and the sun was shining, sparkling, birds chirping enthusiastically on the ledge beneath his windowsill.
The only flaw in the day was the time he was waking up - if it was so bright out, he shouldn't be still in bed - and this heavy feeling of fatigue weighing him down after a nightmare.
Because if anything, that had been a very bad dream.
And he was more than happy waking up from it.
And as for the day having progressed to deeply into the morning, he could easily make up for that by working a bit harder, and a bit later. He never shied away from hard work before, after all.
It was not unusual for him to wake up from nightmares in which Sinbad was murdered and Ja'far was helpless to do anything about it. He would dream these dreams disturbingly often. So often, in fact, that he had increased the security of Sinbad's bedroom, and had Yamraiha deploy magicians just to keep an eye on Sinbad at all times. He had been called paranoid by everyone around him, but he had never regretted his decisions. There was no such thing as too protected. Not if it was about Sin.
He was startled by the sudden cry next to his ear, and he would've jolted if not-
If not - why?
"Thank goodness you're awake, I was so worried!"
His eyes snapped to the side, spotting his king sitting next to his bed excitedly. He might've noticed Sinbad's heavy breath if he hadn't been so used to hearing it. If he'd get a coin for every time Sinbad snuck into his bed at night he'd be rich enough to own Sindria by now.
Funnily though, he wasn't quite capable of turning his head towards Sinbad. It was like he had sunk into the softness of his bed too deeply, and now the sheets and pillows were holding him down with gentle but insistent hands.
It was like he couldn't even feel his body anymore, so soft was his bed. He couldn't even feel the silky sheets on his skin.
He couldn't even twitch a finger.
It was all a bad dream it was all a bad dream it was all a bad dream-
He remembered hyperventilating, and that was all it took to get him started again. Panic clawed through his body with icy tentacles, curling around his limbs in thorns so cold, so cold- His eyes flickered to his king standing by his bed, a deep gash on the man's tanned face, one of his strong hands wrapped up by a slightly bled through bandage.
Such a horrible bad dream.
"Ja'far, calm down!" Sinbad quickly kneeled next to the bed, only the top of his head remaining within Ja'far's field of vision. Only purple hair, only a decorated turban, no face. And nothing happened. Sinbad moved, but he didn't touch Ja'far.
Why wasn't he touching Ja'far? Why wasn't he trying to soothe him like he did when he was still a child? Why didn't those large hands caress him and ease away the panic? Why wasn't he being held close to a warm chest?
Why was nothing happening?
Why wasn't he feeling anything?
Only the tears were still coming, and only the hot tracks they created down his face could be felt.
The taller man froze in place as he spotted Ja'far. Ja'far had wrapped himself up in his robes as well as he could and somehow made it to the baths unseen, but his luck wasn't to last. Whether it was an extremely badly timed coincidence or Sinbad's natural habit of always exactly knowing where he had to be, for some inexplicable reason Sinbad had chosen this day and this moment to stand in front of the door to the baths of the Purple Leo Tower.
And whether he'd recognise Ja'far like this or not, it wasn't like the king to ever ignore a woman whose whole appearance just shouted 'raped' - or at least 'assaulted'.
"Are you alright miss?"
It might've taken him a few seconds - possibly because he had to wrap his head around the fact that Ja'far looked like... well, Ja'far, but he was a woman so he couldn't be - but when Sinbad came back into action, he did it well. He shot forward and grabbed Ja'far by the arms, quickly pulling him through the doors into the baths. Ja'far flinched, but allowed his king to pull him along - he was Sin, after all. Sin wouldn't hurt him.
"Come here, sit down." He was nudged down onto a stool, and Sinbad crouched before him, quickly cupping his face. "What happened to you? Who did this?"
Sinbad blinked, looking confused and a little frustrated. "What? Who... who are you?"
Ja'far brought up a hand to press Sinbad's closer to his face, tilting his head in the other's grip. He hadn't wanted to cry. He was much stronger than this. But somehow, he just felt really weak right now. Weak, and dirty.
"Sin... It's me. Judal did this. He was angry at you turning him down, so he did this to me."
He hadn't intended to tell Sinbad all this either. He had meant to sneak into the baths, fix himself up, and then- His planning didn't go beyond that. Either he would've gone to Sinbad and revealed he was a woman now, but keep his silence about Judal. Or he'd have left the palace altogether, leaving a note to say he couldn't stay due to circumstances. Whatever he'd have done, he would've made sure he was clean and more composed by the time he would've faced Sin.
But now he wasn't clean, nor composed. There was no denying he'd been assaulted. And he was too upset - too scared - to lie to his king.
"Judal...? You are- Are you Ja'far after all?"
Sinbad's face was now slowly morphing from worried and frustrated into confused and angry. An angry that might've worried Ja'far in different circumstances. But now, now it scared him.
He nodded timidly, releasing Sinbad's hand to pull away. He knew Sinbad wasn't angry with him, but an angry Sinbad was a dangerous Sinbad. Sinbad was powerful, what if he decided to lash out at Ja'far too? What if he'd do the same thing Judal did?
But Sinbad would never do such a thing. This was the man he'd followed his entire life, he knew him inside out, he knew Sinbad wouldn't even dream of doing such a thing.
So why was he scared of Sinbad now? Why was he scared of his touch now?
"Ja'far... What happened?" Sinbad tried to capture his face again, but Ja'far quickly caught his wrists to keep him away.
"I- I was caught by Judal... He was angry... To spite you, he turned me into a woman and- and... He..."
"Good god, Ja'far? Please tell me he didn't rape you?"
He flinched again, but this time it prompted Sinbad to pull his wrists free from Ja'far's grasp and move forward, quickly embracing Ja'far in a warm hug. A warm, confining, threatening hug. Holding him down. Keeping him from getting away.
Sinbad immediately pulled away, looking at him in shock. As shocked as Ja'far, because in his life, he couldn't remember ever calling out his king's name with so much fear in his voice.
He couldn't remember ever fearing Sinbad this genuinely. And the man he should be fearing wasn't even Sinbad.