A/N: The night of Julian's creation, the events that took place before and a little bit more background into Faye's history and character. Written while listening to Breath – Breaking Benjamin. Just to help set the 'mood'. Youtube it if you like.
She despised them with a bitter and pure loathing such as she was convinced no person should ever have to experience. Her hatred consumed the wild panic and anger swelling inside of her; it even blocked out the stinging pain of the leather whip coming down on her back repeatedly. She felt the tips of the whip slice into the skin of her arms as she covered her head protectively, curled into a ball on the floor so that her back would absorb most of the beating.
"Let this be a lesson to you for disobeying my orders." The female voice was old and thick with age and mercifully the beating stopped. "Get up."
The girl didn't budge. She grimaced when a foot made swift contact in her side and she toppled over, blinking with dark furious eyes at her owner.
"Get up," the order was barked again, this time with a threatening note to it.
The girl obeyed painfully slowly, glaring as she hauled herself weakly to her feet. She straightened out her tunic, faded with age and worn out because it was the only article of clothing she possessed. It was stained a rusty colour due to her always being between the ashes in the furnace, always cleaning up the gory mess after her owner has sacrificed yet another living, breathing creature, but most of the stains were from her own blood that refused to be washed out of the once white tunic.
"I need Dragon's breath and a handful of quartz." Was her owner's curt response to her glare before the older woman turned and simply glided from the study.
She watched the woman's retreating back and slowly let out her breath. If she hadn't known any better, she would have muttered some pretty decent insults at the woman. But the chances were that her owner would hear and she'd only succeed in winning yet another session of punishment. Her owner was, after all, a witch – and a powerful one at that.
The girl sighed heavily and closed her eyes. She was uneducated and her vocabulary was limited, which was to be expected of a slave. She was only a possession, after all. She wasn't born to think or feel, she was born to solely serve without question. She didn't know anything else but part of her wished there was more to life than this.
Burnt amber eyes snapped open and stared at the four shadowy figures against the wall across from her. One shape was low and blurry but she assumed it was meant to be a dog – it was the size of one at least even if there was no solid outline. Another appeared like the shadow of a man in a top hat, like the rich folk. The third was what she thought was a snake, lying coiled in a heap on the floor and its head was raised as though ready to strike. The fourth was a rounded figure, as though it was wearing a shadow cloak to conceal itself from her. This, she thought, was suitable seeing as their name meant 'hidden from sight'. Djinn, is what her owner called them. Parasites are what she herself called them.
She felt a spark of glee inside of her. Her owner would be scared beyond measure if she was to know her shadow beings were able to get out of the 'magic' box she thought she'd trapped them in.
Then again, it was probably her fault that they were out in the first place after knocking the box over while she was cleaning a couple of days before. It didn't
matter though. Her owner didn't find anything amiss and as long as she was under the impression that she was still in control of these magical creatures, then the girl saw no reason to worry.
She observed the shadows for another brief moment. They were observing her too. She knew because they only appeared when she was alone in the room – and she was often alone in the room, scrubbing at the blood stains on the stone floor.
Sighing to herself, she strolled from the room. Part of her acknowledged one of the shadows attach itself to her as she breezed past. Or rather it attached to her shadow. A sense of foreboding fell over her as she quickly made her way from the house and fell into the flow of foot traffic on the rough stone streets outside. Some primal part of her mind was shrieking at her that she was being followed, trying to make her run away. But she didn't. Where would she run to where the Djinn would not follow? She was just too tired of life to try and run.
Besides, despite her owner believing she had no mind of her own and was unable to comprehend anything but the simple orders given to her, she knew as much about Djinn as the old witch did. Her owner was constantly tutoring her pupils about bargaining with the Djinn for more power and more knowledge. All was forbidden to open the 'magic' box because that would set the creatures free and give them the right to a claim. What claim exactly she didn't know but she knew it would be quite unpleasant.
For a moment she wondered what they would claim from her. She didn't think they'd be understanding that she hadn't purposely let them out of the box - her and her clumsiness. Perhaps she would be lucky and they would claim her life – but that would be too convenient for her and she wasn't all that sure whether she wanted to die or not. Some days she did. They couldn't claim anything else from her, though. She had nothing they could take, she had no possession of her own except her clothes and she doubted they'd find much use with the tunic she had on.
She studied her scarred rough hands distractedly as she weaved through the mass of rushed people to the market. When she finally arrived, she found to her great dismay that the stall where herbs and crystals were sold had once again been closed down by the authorities, the magical items confiscated. With an incredible sense of defeat, she braced herself and turned to go back to the house. Her owner was going to have her hide for this without a doubt.
She cursed the opposing Romans once again. Why did they have to be so adamant that Ceasar was a god and that all else that wasn't somehow connected to him was evil and should be banished? She herself didn't believe he was a god – she'd thrown a sharp pebble at his head the day before as he'd been gloating through the streets in his gold chariot, and she'd seen the trickle of red where the rock had left its mark on his temple. Gods don't bleed.
She paused in mid-stride down the street, compelled to stop and turn to the side. She disengaged herself from the flow of traffic, biting down on her lip as she was bumped into hard from all sides. Then she was free of the moving mass and faced with a rotting wooden door leading into a house.
The strange sensations that she wanted to go inside made her hang back, studying the door objectively. She was being lured by magic, she was certain of it. She knew its properties and force well as she'd been faced with it day and night since she was but a little child. She glanced around her for a moment. The traffic continued moving, people were oblivious to her existence. Pursing her lips, she turned back to the door. She might as well delay her punishment.
She pushed the door open with her hand, vaguely noticing that the rough wood left no splinters against her palm. She stepped inside – and lost her breath.
It was a gift from the heavens. Or from hell. She didn't really care where it was from, only that it was an unexpected solution that just might save her from another beating.
The room was pure magic. Shelves lined the walls; crystals, stones, jewels and powders were arranged in neat organized sections. She glided over to a bucket filled with quartz and using her tunic as a bag, she grabbed a handful of the smooth stones and moved on to find the Dragon's breath. She paused every now and again to inspect other objects she didn't recognize. She heard footsteps behind her somewhere.
"Do you have any Dragon's breath?" She demanded, fingering an odd-looking bone that seemed to be made of ochre and ivory. When there was no reply she turned, frowning, expecting the person to have gone.
Instead she found herself face to face with a boy wearing a black cloak. The dark material seemed to shimmer and shift with twilight hues, the hood shadowing his features. Her heart seemed to rear to a sudden stop inside of her chest.
His lips were thin and curled into an amused smirk, his skin as pale as moonlight and so flawless that she'd have thought he was a figment of her imagination. There was a menacing aura about him that she knew ought to instil fear inside of her but she felt nothing. His eyes were absurdly and inhumanly beautiful, glowing back at her like two pools of heated gold, sharp and piercing, brimming with ancient power and frightening intellect.
"I do." His voice was cold like snowflakes and filled with such a distorted, unnaturally beautiful sound that for a second she was unable to breathe. "You have no use for it, though."
"No, I don't. It's for my mistress. She's a witch." She responded evenly.
The eyes flashed at her dangerously. "She was the mad woman who restrained us. You are the one who set us free."
She widened her eyes slightly as realization settled in. Oh. Of course. The hooded figure. He'd followed her.
Curious how he would approach her so openly – she'd been under the impression that Djinn didn't attempt communication with humans unless they were summoned. She certainly didn't summon him.
"You are here to take your claim." She said flatly and frowned when an expression like surprise crossed his perfect features. Wasn't that what he was here for?
"Yes." He answered, recovering quickly and a disturbing smile spread on his face. "I have come to take you to my world."
Her mouth dropped open and her hands went numb. Quartz scattered across the floor as she stood, staring up at him in complete amazement. This wasn't what she'd expected at all.
"I have a claim over you. I needn't explain how things work to you. All you need to know is that you are now mine." His voice turned ugly. "To do with as I please."
"You will not kill me then?" She asked when she found her voice, unable to mask the disappointment she felt.
"In time, once I tire of your physical self." He didn't seem caught off guard this time. "After that I will consume your eternal soul."
Laughter rolled from her lips in a pure, heart-felt release. It angered him and she thought it was unwise to laugh in the face of what could have passed as the
devil. Her laughter died as abruptly as it began and meeting his gaze evenly, she spoke clearly with full conviction.
"I have no soul."
Running a finger across the jagged iced rock she was seated upon and heated gaze reflecting on the eerily beautiful forest surrounding her, a cold sneer curled across her full lips. She had no idea how long she'd been in this world of trickery and coldness but time had never been of much interest to her. Her memory of her own world had faded, and thankfully so.
The Djinn were out for blood again. She knew by the petrified expressions on the human faces of five children, huddled together before her in a tight group. They hadn't noticed her, the shadows of the trees kept her well hidden. She watched in amusement as shadows detached themselves from the forest floor, shaping into tiny beings glowing with tiny flames and pretty wings. They rose from the forest floor in a wave and attacked the group of children.
She watched distractedly as the children shrieked and began to run in all directions; she heard the crackling sound of ice crushed as one of the djinn roared with laughter behind her somewhere.
One of the children were left behind, arms flailing uselessly as he tried to bat the mythical creatures away, his shrieks high pitched like that of an animal instead of anything human.
She reflected back on her own experiences since her djinn had brought her here that long time ago. He'd made her watch a man strangle a beautiful young woman at first before he sacrificed her, just as her owner had done countless times with other innocent victims. After the ordeal she'd turned to her djinn with a look of complete bewilderment on her face.
"Why did you show me this?" She'd asked, mind a muddled mess of confusion.
"That is your father. That was your mother." His simple reply had been.
He hadn't been all that impressed when she told him she had no father. She loathed the man nearly as much as her owner for it was him who had sold her to the old witch in the first place. No father would sell his own flesh and blood.
When her djinn had informed her that it truly was her father before her, that the scene of him slaughtering the young woman again and again was his worst nightmare that he had to face endlessly, she'd approached the figure. She'd seen the immense regret in his cold brown eyes, the wildness in his gaze when he'd looked back at her in shock before glancing down at the damaged lifeless body of his wife in his arms before looking at her again.
"Forgive me...my child..." He'd whispered, voice quivering in fear and emotion.
She'd returned his gaze blankly momentarily before snickering at his expression. "You think I care for you? I feel nothing for you, you mad sheep. May you be trapped in this damnation forever more." She'd responded in a light tone of voice before skipping back to the side of her djinn, who was watching her with an emotion she rarely spotted in any of the others. A look of pure curiosity.
There had been the other little horrors she was made to experience since. Being trapped in a lake filled with swarming, slimy toads and frogs was the worst she'd had to endure. With every step she would crush another frog, feel its intestines squish beneath her feet and ooze through her toes. It had been disgusting on a higher level. Though, when her djinn had appeared on the embankment, watching her with keen eyes, she'd shouted at him.
"When will this end? Have you nothing better to do than flood me with these pests?" She'd cried from the middle of the lake, grimacing as the little monstrosities leapt onto her chest and clung there, yellow eyes gazing back at her emotionlessly. She'd wiped them off in disgust.
"There is a tale on Earth surrounding frogs. The story goes that if you kiss a frog, it will magically turn into a prince." He'd been mocking her, of course, but she'd grabbed up a slippery large frog and unceremoniously kissed it on the head, wiping the cold slime off her lips with the back of her hand. When nothing happened, she scooped up piles of frogs, kissing left right and centre. Her djinn had been rolling around in laughter and when one of the frogs finally transformed into a prince – or rather a very slimy, repulsive, wart covered creature that took on the shape of a man - it had been her turn to fall about in a fit of laughter.
She'd simply been numb to all else that was thrown at her until, finally, her djinn got tired of failing in his quest to frighten her and force her to submit to what would be classed as human defeat. She would have been dead or worse off if it hadn't been that the other djinn wanted her. Her own djinn was too proud and selfish to share, and so she remained his possession. Of course, that didn't mean she was kept on a leash at his side all the time. Which is why she was here in the forest, observing poor human children face their own fears. She didn't take pleasure in their distress but she found it amusing what fears the human mind conjured up.
She looked up now from the shrieking child when she felt the familiar presence beside her. She cocked her head to the side at her djinn, his lithe body clad in forest green. She reached out and ruffled her hand roughly through the thick black mass of hair on his head, watching in brief admiration as the individual hairs flashed a million shades of the rainbow before settling back in a disarray of black.
"You like to come here." He observed.
"No. I like the creatures." She replied, hugging her knees to her chest as she watched the tiny lights flitting about the child rolling about wildly.
"Many humans fear the fairies." He nodded, as amused as she was. "Why are you different?"
She forced herself to look at him. "Perhaps I'm not as human as you think."
"Perhaps." He was silent for a few moments. "What is your name?"
She found it odd that he would ask her this. No one ever asked her before, and after being in his world for what felt like a very long time, she was startled that he would want to know at all.
"I have no name." She answered, gazing back into his golden eyes.
"Then I shall give you one." He glanced at the small creatures in front of them and smiled at her sadistically. "I shall call you... Faye."
"What shall I call you then?" She asked curiously. She knew he had no name. He was like her in that perspective.
"Master." Was his simple reply.
"No. I think I'll name you Gahiji."
He glanced at her, a flicker of pride in his eyes and a cruel smile on his lips. "Suit yourself. I suppose any name will do. I am a hunter, after all."
A/N:Just so there's not too much confusion... Faye is an old terminology for fairy, Gahiji is an ancient Egyptian word for 'hunter'.