This is a challenge fic I wrote for Mrs Alichay Sohma. She challenged me to write this, and I have complied. BEAT THAT MRS!!! I don't own this, so get used to it.

Questions and Possibilities

An employed djinni--nothing more. A slave to me--nothing more. How could he possibly be anything more when he's hardly a he? But that was the question. What if it was really a she? Then things would favor in my direction. What if? Rings through my mind as I think about it. The djinni I cared about lest but loved the most. What if he decided to be a she? What if...

The posibilities of such things ring through my mind like a fired shot. I think of the djinni, and something inside me flutters, like a butterfly. It can't be love--Magicians don't fall in love with djinn. Unless you're and actor in Swans of Araby, it's ludacris to even think such things. But I'm a very high-ranking magician, and I promise myself I won't fall for demons such as him. I will not give in to the temtations of my body. I will not sink to that level.

But what if? Am I really gay, or am I feeling things that are just after-effects of Kitty's death? Am I feeling this way toward this djinni because I miss Kitty, or is it because I really love it?

But how can one possibly love something that is just a something? Does that make any sense anyway? And whatever happened to Farrar? She's a beautiful young woman, so why am I falling for the djinni I barely know?

He's a slave to me--ripped from his homeland and bound to do my will. I cannot love him--er, it--even if I really wanted to. But I don't want to, right? There has to be something wrong with me--I must be delusional. I don't love the djinni, no. There's something else out there that I really love. Perhaps I don't want to love it, so I look to the bulky shape of the djinni for comfot. I don't love it. How could I?

By loving this creature, am I perhaps breaking some sort of rule in magic? Are there any to that effect? What would other magicians and djinn think if (more like when) they found out? How could the two of us live together with everyone ridiculing us at every corner? There'd be no end to the torture.

But how could I love such a foul creature like Ascobol? I hardly know the fool, and he has no intelligence to speak of. You would think Bartimaeus would be the first I'd think about, but no. I have feelings for the higher djinni, Ascobol. How could I betray my fellow magicians this way? How could I betray myself this way? There has to be something mentally wrong with me--That's the only possible explination.

But what if the feelings I have are normal? What if I really am in love with the djinni? Every moral fiber in my being is telling me to ignore the feelings, but how can I? When it was another human being--Farrar or Kitty--I was able to hide the feelings away and mask my face to them. But for some reason I can't do the same with the djinni. There has to be something wrong with me.

What would Bartimaeus say? What would Ascobol say? What would any of them say? I know. Bartimaeus would tell them my birth name and lead them to my destruction. There'd be nothing left of me when they're done--not even a scorch mark. They wouldn't bother eating me--who would eat such scum?--but they'd do something terrible. Maybe they'd poison me, and watch me writhe and squirm as the poison slowly took its toll on my body. There are thousands of terrible things djinn could do to magicians--especially if they knew your birth name. Think of all the power Bartimaeus has over me...To think he never used it to his advantage yet. That's loyalty I don't deserve.

Sighing, I collect myself and begin the incantations.



The djinni came without resistance--best to go and get it over with then hold back and be in more pain. He appeared in the penticle in the shape of a person he had once loved--a great and wonderful magician that had risked his life for London. He had even saved the djinni--one by the name of Bartimaeus--within him before he broke Willam Gladestone's staff. He had allowed a Glass Palace to fall on him--fully aware of the consequences, and was unafraid. His name was John Mandrake, and he would forever live in the heart of Ascobol. Although taking the form of humans wasn't Ascobol's style, he wanted to remember both Bartimaeus and John by taking on John's manifestation.

But the joke was on Ascobol when he found that the magician summoning him was none other then John Mandrake. Blushing, Ascobol changed form to a very large rat, the size of a human, standing on its hind legs. The rat's fierce mouth gave way to its even fiercer teeth. They were as sharp as daggers, with a little bit of blood dripping off for extra effect. John might not have seen Ascobol in his form after all.

The magician himself was weary and greying. He looked as though years of toil had finally taken their toll on him, and these were his last few years. But his aura...That was a different story completely. The man's aura was waxed and bright as though the sun was setting behind him. That was interesting...

But before Ascobol had the chance to think everything out, the magician John Mandrake spoke up.

"Ascobol," he said the djinn's name softly, as though it caused him great discomfort even to think it. "I know you wore my guise for a moment there. Why? I charge you to answer."

And so he did. "You, Mr. John Mandrake, are the only human I've ever taken the form of. I do not normally like taking the form of humans--they do not appeal to me--but you are different. I took your form because of that selfless act you did when you saved Bartimaeus and almost killed yourself for the sake of London, and all the rest of the world. Also, Bartimaeus is one of the djinn I look up to, albet he's a lower class then I. Even though I am stronger by class, Bartimaeus is wiser. I look up to the djinni, Mandrake. And because he sometimes takes the maneifestation of humans he used to love, I decided to honor and remember the both of you by taking your guise."

This seemed to be exactly what the magician wanted to hear. With a small smile on his face, he moved his foot and broke the penticle, without taking his eyes off Ascobol. For a moment he wondered what the magician was thinking, then he knew. He had known it all along, but he hadn't wanted to admit it. He was ready to admit it now.

"Ascobol," John began again, "I charge you to answer truthfully. Do you know the meaning of love?"

"Of course I do, master. Love is the desire between two beings. It is common in the Other Place, as I am sure it is here."

"That's right." Mandrake told him. "Now, again answer me. Do you love me?"

Ascobol didn't answer. Instead, he took the guise of a young girl he had once seen in Rome when he was on buisness. He walked closer to his master, his master did the same. In an instant the two of them were interlocked in a deep, pasionate kiss Ascobol had never known before. Djinn never really knew the meaning of true love, but Ascobol knew it now. He knew the meaning of love, and he was ready to finish he life with the magician, no matter what the risk.

Mandrake broke off from the djinni for a moment to whisper a breif, "I love you," before the two of them were on each other again, slowly slumping to the floor.

The last thing that could be heard was a zipper being pulled down.



And that's an OWNED!! to Mrs Alichay Sohma. She challenged me to write this pairing, and I promised her I would, and I have. So who won between the two of us? It's up to you to decide!!!!