Blue Bottled Belly Dancers and other fine myths
I found the back of someoneís hand smacking into my head as my vision cleared. I winced and looking down, noticed I was laying face first on a tile floor. I looked up once more and was struck for it again. This was definitely an odd situation, so I chose not to try to look up again. But the brief glimpse Iíd gotten of the room had told me where I was.
I was in one of the many chambers of the Topkapi Palace. What had me worried was that no one lived there anymore, so who the hell had just hit me?
As I was lying prostrate on the cool tiles, I noticed something else. My clothes had changed. This time it wasnít dťjŗ vu and I knew it, it was real. I was wearing a pale green silk caftan; my feet bare, and pressed against the floor. And around my neck, warmed from my skin, was what I knew to be a golden choker with an intricate clasp at the front of it.
I heard voices approaching and peeked out of the corner of my eyes at the feet of the oncoming group. Lying spread out along the tiles like so many sheered corn stalks, lay the concubines. There were hundreds of them, and they were all lying face first on the floor just like I was. I dared to glance up at the faces of the group of people approaching, and saw Heero.
Only he looked different. He was big again, like he had been when heíd first come out of the bottle, a giant among mortals. His clothes were different as well. He was wearing a long dark robe of the blackest midnight hue, his amazing cobalt eyes glaring out from beneath his hair. Beside him walked a man dressed in a gold and orange caftan, and I recognized him too, from the paintings of the various sultans of the palace.
I realized I was staring and quickly dropped my eyes back to the floor, trying to control my breathing. What the hell had happened? What was I doing in the palace in the fifteenth century? And most importantly, why was I laying face first amongst a bunch of concubines?
As the group got steadily closer to me, I finally noticed they were not speaking in English, and why would they be? This wasnít the movies, and I didnít speak a word of whichever language this happened to be. My Istanbul knowledge extended to remembering what a few of the sultans looked like perhaps, but did not extend to remembering what languages were spoken during which centuries. So, what they were speaking was complete gibberish.
It was really a shame, because whatever they were talking about involved me, somehow. I didnít know it until a hand grabbed me by the back of my caftan and yanked me to my feet. I looked up into the eyes of Heero, and someone, a guard most likely, smacked me. That was really starting to get tiresome.
Then, I made the mistake of opening my mouth. "Who the hell do you think you are!? And you Heero!" I jerked away from the sudden grabbing of hands that tried to hold me back. "Just who the hell do you think you are!?" I jabbed him in the stomach. "I donít know what kind of joke this is Heero, but you better damn well send me back right now!"
By this time, everyone was looking at me; I trailed off and glanced around at the startled faces. Then a guard grabbed me by the hair and threw me back down to the floor. My head hit the tiles and everything started to get hazy. I heard a rapid conversation go on between Heero and the sultan, and then, everything went black.
When I woke up it was to find myself in that room, the green and gold tiled room I had stood in earlier with Heero. During the tour... it came to me in a flash that this wasnít a tour, and I was really in the palace, and as a concubine apparently. I sat up, and pain shot into my head in an instant. Those tiles had been hard and very unforgiving.
It was time for thinking, and all I could think about was the throbbing in my skull. I lay back down on the large circular bed and stared up at the ceiling. All right, first off, I knew for a fact that men were not allowed in the harem, unless certain things were missing. I was pretty sure I still had all of my... equipment, so what was I doing in the harem? Second off, what was Heero doing here and why was he with the sultan? And why had I been in a line of concubines? And what was with all the hitting?
My mind remained in turmoil, and I rolled over to lie on my stomach. It brought back memories of what had been happening right before all this had started. The massage, Heeroís odd questions. Heíd known, heíd known all along that I had been here before. And heíd known because he was here, in this time and in this place.
It took a few moments to sink in, that heíd known me all along and had never let it slip. I would have bet my life, that from the time he had come out of that bottle, heíd recognized me.
"How do you know my name?"
I sat up in an instant, and turned around to find Heero standing in the doorway and staring at me. Without thinking, I jumped off the bed and did an immediate nose-dive back onto the bed. My head had been hurt a little worse then Iíd first thought.
I groaned into the silk covers and closed my eyes, trying not to throw up. This was a bad sign, this was practically medieval times, and I had what might be a very serious concussion.
I felt myself being rolled over and stared up into the electric eyes of my Djinni. No, not mine, not here. Here he was someone elseís. "Heero," My voice sounded pitifully weak, "My head hurts."
His hand brushed back my bangs and over the numb knot of flesh on my forehead. Then just like that, my head felt fine. The headache and pain were completely gone. I gingerly reached up and patted my head, nothing there but smooth skin. "Oh god, thatís so much better. Thanks Heero. Why the hell did that guard have to hit me so hard?"
"How do you know my name, human?"
I blinked up at him; his eyes were dark and stormy in the dim room. "Duo, and you told it to me. But I think the important question is... what the hell am I doing here?" I tried to sit up and he pushed me back down to the bed, keeping a hand in the middle of my chest.
"You were almost put to death by the sultan for being with the women of the harem. I talked him out of it." He said rather smugly.
I gaped at him, "Put to death? Isnít that a little extreme?"
"No. The sultan is possessive of his concubines, and was upset to find a male amongst them. You are very lucky to be alive. What do you mean I told you my name? I have never told a living soul that name before."
"Well you told me. And I told you my name was Duo, not human." I tried to sit up again and he shoved me right back down.
"Stay, I would understand your purpose."
"My purpose?" I looked up at him and growled out, "I donít have a flipping purpose. All I did was wish to know why this place looked familiar, and the next thing I know Iím here. And you tricked me into wishing for it! And being a concubine had nothing to do with my wish!"
"You wished?" He frowned down at me, and lifted his hand from my chest, finally allowing me to sit up.
"Yes, I wished, and you granted that wish with a very smug smile. You knew I was coming here." I shook my head and stared down at the sheets, "Bastard."
"One cannot be a bastard if one was never born." He said.
"How about an asshole?"
He blinked at me. "Asshole? How can one be an... asshole?"
"Very easily, all you have to do is lie a lot, and trick people, and... and... " He was staring at me. I met his eyes, and frowned. "What?"
He reached out and fingered the golden collar around my neck. "All property of the sultan must wear this collar. That is what the sultan did not understand about you. How a male could have gotten into the harem and also have gotten a collar. I do not know if he will like that somehow this was my doing."
"Well at least youíre not the one wearing it. I really donít like this Heero, send me back."
"I cannot. I was not the one to do this to you."
"But you... " No, he hadnít been the one, and yet he had. It had been the Heero of the future that had put me here. "Iím trapped here forever?" And for the first time since arriving in this place, I grew afraid.
"No, I know myself. I would not have sent you to the past without allowing you to come back. Unless of course you die here." He shrugged.
"Donít you dare threaten me Heero, or Iíll... " I stopped, I would what? Wish him somewhere? He wasnít my Djinni here, wishing would do me no more good than prayer. This wasnít good. Not good at all. "Tell me something please?"
"Here... youíre not my Djinni here, are you? Youíre the sultanís."
He nodded, and I slithered down to lay my head on the slick coverlets. "At least now, you wonít call me master."
Heero explained to me while I lay there in a semi-stupor. I think I was in shock, but then who wouldnít be when they suddenly find themselves in the past? He explained that heíd begged for my life, which I found hard to believe but never the less had to.
He told me, that as he and the sultan had walked among the concubines, the sultan had spotted me because I kept lifting my head. So that by the time theyíd gotten to me, the sultan wanted to see my face. Then theyíd found out I was male, and the sultan had wanted me dead.
Apparently, Heero argued long and hard, and eventually got the right to keep me for himself, seeing as how the sultan didnít like men for concubines and treasured his Djinni. At this point in Heeroís explanation, I held up a hand.
"Did you just say," I swallowed, trying to clear my unexpectedly dry throat. "Did you just say you own me now?" I did my best at an incredulous look.
He smiled at me, and leaned close, too close. "Yes."
I couldnít believe the nervous giggle that escaped my mouth. I inched back on the bed, trying to put some distance between us. I smiled, I couldnít think of anything else to do. "Then Iím... your concubine?"
His concubine, and he wasnít my Djinni, how unfair could you get? "But... I donít have any formal training." I tried lamely.
"I am sure you will be a very fast learner."
I scooted back some more, and nearly slipped off the bed. "Thatís good of you to say, but really, I uh, I donít think I will. Iíve never been good at... mmph" He kissed me. Damn him. I found it extremely hard to concentrate on anything when he did that.
All protestations died on my lips as his hands circled around behind my neck and brought my head closer. His tongue slid out and licked at my mouth, slipping inside for a brief invasion. I barely noticed I was being eased back onto the bed, until he slid a leg between my own and ground upwards with it. I broke away from him, pulling my head back and gasping for air. My heart was going a mile a minute and my clothes suddenly felt too tight for comfort. "Hh-hold on there for a second." I put a hand over his mouth and sat up a little.
He started to nibble on my fingers and I jerked my hand away, inching back and falling off the bed. I jumped up off the floor and ran for the doorway. I donít know what I was thinking, except for the fact that he was definitely too large for me. The Heero of the future I could deal with, at least he was willing to be my size. But this one, I just had a feeling he wouldnít.
I was out the door and halfway down the hallway before he caught me. It was bound to happen; after all, he had certain advantages. I punched at him as he grabbed me around the waist and hefted me over his shoulder to bounce like a sack of flour. "I canít do this!" I yelled at him, kicking at him. Then he threw me back down on that damned circular bed again.
He didnít say anything, merely lifting an eyebrow and smirking down at me. The word bode came to mind, as in, this did not bode well. I was right, because the next thing I knew I was completely naked and listening to the sound of silk slithering across the bed towards me. Magic, is a very unfair advantage to have.
It was just like the dream had been; only this time I knew it was all too real. The silk slid over my fingers and toes, and it was cold and slick. It wrapped around me and slithered to my shoulders and thighs, then stopped and tightened. This time I wasnít blinded by darkness, and could see exactly what was going on.
"You should not have run, now I do not think I can trust you." He smiled at me and sat on the bed, leaning over to look into my eyes. "Do you know what I am going to do to you?"
"No." I could have made a few guesses, but I had a feeling anything I could imagine wouldnít even compare to what he could do. He ran a fingertip along my jaw, leaning over to nuzzle my neck.
"Good, it will be so much more enjoyable if you do not know what is going to happen."
He opened his mouth against my neck and I shivered as his warm breath drifted over my skin, his teeth lightly grazing. His hands slid up my waist and then down again, it felt like he was caressing every muscle in my body just with that touch.
"Tell me something," He whispered near my ear, his tongue flicking out to trail briefly over the rim of it. "Have you made love with me yet?"
I knew immediately what he meant. His hand drifted down my stomach, resting lightly on my abdomen. "Nn-no, no. I havenít."
"Wonderful, it is pleasant to know that I will have you first." His fingers danced lower, feathering lightly over my growing erection before sliding back up my stomach. I closed my eyes, unable to help the small moan that escaped.
Thatís when someone started knocking on the door, shouting in whatever language it was Iíd heard earlier. Heero growled and sat up, glancing at me before snarling something at whoever it was. There was a pause, and what sounded like a mumbled apology from the other side of the door, and then Heero turned back to me.
"I am going to leave you here, there is something I must attend to."
My mouth dropped open. "Youíre going to leave me?" I looked at my bindings, "in these?"
"Yes, then I will not have to worry that you will try to escape again." He grinned at me and stood up, running his eyes over my body before turning and heading for the door.
"Wait! What if I have to scratch my nose? What if I get cold? What if you die and Iím stuck like this forever!" The door slammed on my last words, and I slumped back, closing my eyes. I just had to buy that bottle didnít I?