"Ah, yes, my rules," Bickslow said, clapping his hands together. For some reason, he'd always liked this part, and with how stubborn and hesitant Lucy had been to even accept that he wasn't just part of her imagination, Bickslow loved that he was finally getting to share the age-old rules with her. "They're quite simple, really, so even you would be able to remember them."
Lucy felt like he'd just called her stupid, but she wasn't going to comment on it. "I'm guessing the first one is that I have to use my wishes wisely, since I only have three of them?" she said, returning to her lounge room with the nearly full glass of wine. It was only once she'd sat down that she realised she probably should've just brought the bottle in with her.
"Three wishes? Oh, honey, no. Now that is a myth." Bickslow shook his head and clicked his tongue. The failings of the modern education system were always going to surprise him. "Like I said, the contract only ends when you die - or, technically, when I die, but really, we don't die very often so it's far more likely your death will end it, whenever that may be," he explained. At that point, Bickslow was kind of hoping his new master would have a short life. He wasn't fond of headaches. "Anyway, there'd be no point of staying in your service for the rest of your life if I could only grant three wishes, don't you think? Most people tend to use those up in the first day or two anyway…"
Lucy nodded. "I see… Fair point," she mumbled. Why she was still bothering to think that her childhood animations had gotten something right about genie-kind, she wasn't sure. They were cartoons and nothing more. This was real life, and clearly, that was different. Although really, Lucy had never thought she'd see the day where she found herself saying that to herself. "So I get unlimited wishes?"
"So… Was that rule number one? Wait, should I be writing these down? Let me go get a pen and some paper."
Bickslow could only roll his eyes as Lucy quickly got up to run over to her desk and grab something to write with. Not once, in all of his thousands of years, had anyone ever written his rules down. He really didn't even know where to begin with Lucy. When she sat back down, notepad on her lap and pen poised in her hand, and looked back up and waited for him to continue, he just sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. If only I could actually get drunk. That would be great right about then. "No, that's not a rule," he sighed. "That's just a fact."
She scribbled out the first line on the page "Okay. Got it. What are your rules then?"
"Number one." He lifted his hand to begin counting off fingers. "Do not wish for wealth. I will not and I can not grant it."
Lucy nodded and quickly wrote it down. "No… money…" she repeated, looking up as she added a full stop. "Makes sense."
"Number two: do not wish for love. I cannot manipulate humans to do something they truly do not desire."
"Three: do not wish for me to kill someone."
Lucy looked back up. "Eh? Why would I do that?" she asked.
Bickslow shrugged. "You'd be surprised what happens to a person's mind when they find out they have an all-mighty supernatural being at their mercy." He'd done things he was too old to care about. But if anything, Bickslow suspected Lucy would be one person who really did follow his rules.
"I see… Well, I won't," she said. "Because I don't want to and because it's a rule. So, next?"
"Right. Number four…" He tilted his head for a second before continuing, "Actually, I guess this is more like three-B."
"I can't bring someone back from the next world."
"The next world?" Lucy echoed.
"The dead. I cannot bring someone back from the dead," he said. That was just something he couldn't do. That was beyond his power. But even if he was capable of it, he wouldn't do it. It really wasn't pretty.
"Oh. Right…" she murmured, writing it down on her page slowly. There were people she'd loved to see again, her family and even some of her friends, but Lucy wouldn't have even thought of asking for them to be brought back if Bickslow hadn't mentioned it. Still though, it wasn't something she could wish for anyway, and she really wasn't interested in finding out what happens when she breaks a genie's rule. "Um, are there any other rules then?"
"Nope, that's it." He didn't have many rules, because they were just the universal rules. "Unless you wanna add 'don't wish for stupid things' to that little list of yours."
Lucy scowled for a moment before looking down to write it anyway, seemingly against her better judgment. "So no wealth, no love, no killing or reviving, and nothing stupid," she said, reading down her list. "That's it. Seriously?"
Part of her had expected there to be at least another dozen or so, but four little rules? She could easily deal with that, especially since they weren't ones that bothered her at all. While it would be nice to have a little more money, she didn't care to wish for it - she'd rather earn it. She wasn't at all interested in having someone fall in love with her, because that was kind of just gross. And, while she had people who drove her up the goddamn wall, she wasn't going to wish for them to be dead. She wasn't going to wish for people to be brought back from the dead, either. Bickslow's rules weren't going to be a problem for her at all.
Well, maybe the fourth one would be, since she wasn't entirely sure what her genie classified as stupid.
She set her list down on the coffee table and then tucked her feet under her. "So, um… How do I like, you know, wish for things?" Lucy asked nervously.
Bickslow raised an eyebrow at the human. "Are you actually serious right now?"
"Well, yes…" Guess I know what stupid means. "I mean, it's not like I've ever had to do this before!" she defended herself.
Bickslow couldn't help but sigh. Humans, they were so cute sometimes. They were also just fucking dumb. Lucy was no exception. "Summon me, and then just say what it is you wish for," he finally said, shaking his head. "You don't even have to say it, if you don't want to."
He pulled his sleeve up to show the thick black lines that swirled around his forearm, disappearing under his sleeve and continuing on to his shoulder and his chest and his abdomen. He hadn't yet seen just what they looked like, but he knew they were there. He'd felt them being made. "Because this means that I am connected to you until you die," he mumbled. "You're not the only one who gets branded when you enter a contract with one of my kind." Bickslow did always find that particular part of the whole process interesting, though - the marking. They were always slightly different. Sometimes the lines were jagged and sharp, and there were no smooth lines anywhere. Sometimes they were more intricate. Or sometimes he'd end up with just a few vines twisting around his hand and up to his elbow.
The mark on his master was always the same, every single time, but even that was different for every single genie out there. Each one had their own unique branding, and the barely visible flame on Lucy's right middle finger was just his own mark of the jinn.
Lucy almost wanted to reach out to touch them, but she knew she couldn't. Instead, she looked down to her hand on her lap and just ran her thumb over her own mark. "So… So you mean that as long as it's clear in my head, it still counts as a wish?" she asked.
"More or less," Bickslow answered, pulling his sleeve back down.
"Can I… Can I try it then?"
"You can do whatever your human heart desires."
Lucy nodded, and she pursed her lips as she tried to think of something to wish for. She supposed to had to be something simple, since she really just wanted to see how the jinn granted wishes, but as the thought, the only thing Lucy could think of was her favourite banana split from her favourite restaurant back home. Surely Bickslow would be able to that. "I wish… for a Mr. Jerry's Spectacularastic Banana Split Bowl," she finally said.
"A fucking what?" Bickslow spluttered.
"A Mr. Jerry's—"
"No, I heard you," Bickslow quickly said. "I just have no fucking idea what that is." And last time he'd been awake, he could've sworn that spectacularastic wasn't even a word.
"Oh. Um, well… It's… It's a giant banana split that's covered in chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate fudge pieces, wafers, vanilla—"
"Just… Just picture it for me." If he had an image to work with, he could probably do it, but since he wasn't quite his usual all-mighty self just yet, he really couldn't just go off a thought. A picture, though, he could work with.
"Right, okay…" Lucy mumbled. She closed her eyes and tried to picture it in her mind, the decadent and overly indulgent dessert with three different ice-cream flavours, chocolate strawberries, three different sauces, and delicious morsels of fudge brownies and chopped peanuts.
After a moment of searching, Bickslow found it at the forefront of Lucy's consciousness, and he grimaced. "That looks fucking revolting," he muttered. How humans had lived as long as they had when they came up with that kind of shit, he wasn't sure. Shaking his head, he honoured his master's wish and held out both hands, willing the disgusting dessert to form in his palms. "And it looks a whole lot worse in person."
Lucy opened her eyes again and looked up to her genie as he placed the giant bowl in front of her on the coffee table. Complete with the cherries on top, the chocolate wafer sticks, and the rainbow lollipops at the top of it, it was exactly as she remembered it. "Holy shit, that is amazing," she whispered. She didn't stop herself from reaching forward to pull the spoon from the top of it, trying to get a bit of everything on it before she struggled to fit in her mouth. Lucy couldn't help but moan a little as the ice-cream began to melt in her mouth. "And it tastes just as amazing as I remember, too," she mumbled with her mouth full of banana and ice cream.
Bickslow cringed. Humans could be such vile creatures sometimes.
"Here, try some!"
Bickslow shook his head when his master held out the spoon for him. "No, no no no. I would literally rather die."
"Please?" Lucy begged. "Just a little bit. Don't make me wish for it."
He narrowed his eyes at his master. "You wouldn't."
Lucy gave a small shrug. She'd quickly realised that she was the one with the power - well, figuratively at least. And her dessert was so good that she really just wanted to share it. Plus, it'd be a waste if she didn't because she had never, to that day, finished one on her own. "I would, actually," she said, taking another spoonful for herself. "Come on. Please."
Bickslow scowled as he stepped over the table and sat down on the small lounge next to her. "I hate you already," he muttered. Sometimes he wished he couldn't eat human food, but he'd missed his chance to say that.
"That's not very nice."
"I'm a genie. Genie's aren't inherently nice." They were technically slaves, after all. Taking the spoon from his master, Bickslow shuddered. It really did look horrible, and hesitantly putting the spoon in his mouth, he found it tasted even worse. Lucy couldn't help but giggle as she watched his face scrunch up, hid disgust clear as he groaned and shook his head quickly. "Nope, that's it. That's fucking horrible," he said, shuddering again when he swallowed and he could still taste it on his tongue. "You humans all have a death wish, I swear."
"Come on," Lucy giggled. "It wasn't that bad."
"No, it was. It was horrible. And now, if you'll excuse me, I am going back to my lamp where there are no horrible spectacularastic desserts in sight."
Lucy didn't get a chance to complain before the jinn quickly disappeared back into the spout of the bronze lamp, leaving a quickly fading trail of purple and blue smoke.
Lucy woke to the shrill tone of her alarm once again, and she groaned as she blindly reached out for her phone on the bedside table to turn it off. She really didn't want to be getting up right then, and she wanted to stay in bed so much that she seriously debated calling her boss to tell him that she wouldn't be in that day. She'd had half a bottle of wine and enough ice cream to feed five other people for dinner, and she was definitely regretting it.
But, she needed the money, and Tuesdays were usually quiet, so she dragged herself out of bed despite how much her head and her stomach disagreed.
She rubbed her eyes as she padded out into the hall and towards her kitchen, yawning as she switched on the lights on the way. She didn't pay any attention to the genie sitting at her small dining table and flicking through that morning's newspaper, only walking past him to get to her sink and grab a glass of water. It was only when she turned to grab a glass that he even noticed him, and she just froze with one hand still reaching for the glass in the cabinet above her tiny breakfast bar.
"Oh," she said, blinking slowly. "You're… You're here."
"And you're not wearing any pants," he replied, turning his attention back to the paper with just an amused smirk on his lips as Lucy yelped and looked down to herself. "Is it really 2017, though? Gods, I'm getting old."
Lucy could only be glad that she had the counter hiding her bottom half. Still, if she'd known her stupid genie was going to be up and about in the morning, then she would've made a point of putting on some shorts or something. "W-Well… Well it's my house!" she pointed out. "I don't have to wear pants if I don't want to!"
Bickslow shrugged. "Don't you worry, darlin'. I can guarantee you I've seen far worse than your kitten-print panties," Bickslow mumbled. At least Lucy wore underwear, anyway. His last master hadn't exactly liked to wear anything at all to bed or in the mornings.
Lucy really wasn't sure she wanted to know what Bickslow could possibly have seen in his many years on that planet. But still, she was just a little curious to know just how long he'd been on Earth. And even then, was he even from Earth? There were so many things she wanted to ask him. "So, uh… How old are you anyway?" she asked, finally grabbing her glass to fill it with water.
"Me? Oh… Let's see…" Bickslow set the paper down as he let out a heavy sigh. "Almost two-thousand. Ten years off, actually."
"I just… I didn't think you'd been around that long," Lucy whispered. She'd thought he was maybe a couple hundred years old, maybe a thousand at the absolute most. But two thousand? Now she had plenty more questions to ask him, especially since she'd always had a bit of an interest in history.
Bickslow huffed. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, the elders on the jinn council are all well into their nine-thousands now." He felt old, but he knew he wasn't at all. He was technically one of the youngest, with the last jinn being born not long after the fall of the Roman Empire.
"That's just… insane." Lucy really didn't know what else to call it. "But, uh… Is there a reason you're, you know, awake?" she asked. Because she really hadn't expected him to be. She thought it'd be like the kind of thing where he only came out when she summoned him and all that.
"I was stuck in my lamp for six decades. Forgive me if I want a little fresh air for a change."
"Right, well, uh…" She tried pulling on the hem of her shirt just to hide her underwear, but failed dismally when she realised the stretch of the fabric wasn't on her side. "I have to go to work, so…"
Bickslow sat up quickly. "Wait, so you're leaving?" he asked.
"Well, not right now, but soon, yes."
For a moment, Lucy thought that her genie looked a little disappointed. And that didn't make any sense because she knew that he didn't like her.
"In that case, I will, uh… return to my lamp," Bickslow said, standing up and bowing slightly. "I will awake when you return."
And once more, Lucy didn't get a chance to say anything before the purple and blue smoke trail that flew past her into her lounge room faded. She was beginning to think that she was just going to have to get used to that.
The rules I didn't come up with, clearly. But the rest is really just stuff I'm making up on the spot and going with it. I do plan on exploring more of Bickslow's actual past in this AU though, and I'm excited for that.
Also, Bickslow's marking/tattoo/branding is very much inspired by tribal tattoos. There is one specific image that heavily inspired it, and you can find it on tinyurl here: /geniebixmark (add the tinyurl link before it. Hopefully that makes sense).
Anyway, hope you enjoyed, and reviews are always appreciated!