The sun streamed through the open doors onto the man sitting in the chair below, sipping coffee and wearing a red bathrobe. He flipped through the pages of the newspaper; nothing new seemed to be in it. It was just habit to go through them, he thought. It was just his normal morning routine.
A pretty woman sporting a pink harem costume and a blonde ponytail blinked into the room.
A couple of years ago, that wouldn't have been normal for him; but now, it was just another thing, another piece in the schedule.
"Good morning, master," she said, less cheery than days before.
He glanced up at her. "What's wrong, Jeannie?"
"Nothing, nothing," she murmured, fixing the contents on the table.
"Now, Jeannie, when you pop in here without a smile, I know something's wrong." She opened her mouth to protest, but he continued. "I don't want a fight. Just tell me what's wrong."
She sighed as he braced himself for whatever he was about to hear. Did she get him into any more trouble with Dr. Bellows? Was another one of the genies going to visit? Was she going through another power-losing crisis?
"What makes you happy, master?"
The anxiety fled him, making him feel lighter. He grinned. "Is that all that's making you feel bad?"
"What makes you happy, master?" she asked again, a little more forcefully. "And I want an answer."
"Well, lots of things make me happy." He placed his coffee on the table and looked up. "My job, this house…." He glimpsed at her again. "You."
A smile broke onto her face. "I was hoping you would say that, master."
He chuckled and looked down at his newspaper again. "Well, if that's—"
"What about me makes you happy, master?"
His attention once more turned to Jeannie. "Now, Jeannie, if you're fishing for compli—"
"I'm not!" she protested. "I want to know."
"Why?" he inquired.
"Oh…." Her head bobbed as she spoke. "I want to know what parts of me are good and which I need to work on."
"Very well then." He sighed, leaning back in his chair. "Hm… your hair. It's very pretty."
"Not just… outward things," she interrupted.
He glanced over at her before staring back up at the ceiling. "Your smile. Even though it gets me into trouble sometimes, it's still a very lovely smile."
She gave a small grin and rubbed her neck.
"Your devotion. You would do anything for me, and I mean anything. Even if that 'anything' gets me another five pages on my psychiatric files."
"Along with that comes your jealousy. I don't like the jealousy, but it really proves to me how much you really do care. You're so… what's the word? Not necessarily passionate. But you're very concerned about things, and you want to help, you want to make it better. Too bad you're so stubborn. Remember, I am your master. What I say is what I mean."
Her smile faded.
"But then you go and do those nice things, like dinner. And you clean the house, and wash my clothes… you're very helpful."
Her smile came back. "Anything else, master?"
He sat up and stretched. "There's a lot of stuff, Jeannie," he started, rising from his chair. "Too many to name. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get dressed."
"Oh, master, can you think of anymore?" she pleaded after him. "Anything else I need to work on? We were having such a lovely moment—"
"Now Jeannie." He turned to face her as he placed his hand on one of the knobs leading to his room. They stood face to face with each other, desperation on her face and stubbornness on his. She moved closer to him, closer her eyes and puckering her lips. Quickly, he went into his room, shutting the doors behind him. When she heard the door close, her face fell. She slumped against the doors, resting her arms on her knees as she sulked over the failed kissing attempt.
The door opened up again. She scrambled on her feet, just in time for his lips to meet hers. It was soft and sweet, lasting for a few seconds before he broke away. "Thanks Jeannie for being my genie," he mumbled before ducking back into his room.
She stood by his door, staring at them with a smile on her face. "I love you too, master."
She left, humming quietly to herself. It was no longer the normal routine.