Seeing Love Dogs
Weíd decided after two days of rest, and me trying to pick up a few basic Djinni skills, that it was time to move on. Though we still hadnít decided where it was we were going. It was just an urge to be gone from that hotel room, perhaps just to have a change of scene.
I managed to get the last of my shirts inside the bag I was packing and zipped it up, tossing it on the floor next to my backpack. Where the hell had Heero got to? I checked the bathroom, then checked under the bed, inside the closet, and then opened up the door to peer down the hall. No Djinni bastards anywhere. I decided to shrug it off and recheck the bathroom to make sure I hadnít missed anything, and there he was.
"Howíd you get in here? I was here five seconds ago." I gave him a curious look, and leaned back against the sink counter where he sat.
"I was checking something."
I glanced around at the empty bathroom. Except for a few towels and bath products, there had never been anything in there but my stuff. "Your baggage?"
He nodded, pulling out a small black bag from the pants he had on. Holding it up by the little drawstring, he jiggled it and then handed it to me.
It was strangely heavy, despite being so small. It was about the size of a jewelry bag, the cloth it was made from felt strange, almost rubbery, yet velvety. "Can I open it?"
"Yes. But be careful." He watched as I tugged open the drawstring and peered inside. There was nothing in it.
I raised an eyebrow and started to tip it over in my palm to see if anything would fall out.
"Donít!" Heero grabbed my hand and carefully tilted it upright again. "Here," He took the tiny bag and pulled me so that I stood in front of him. "Itís a spelled bag, when you open it you have to say the right words in order to see its contents."
I tilted my head, watching as he closed the bag and then pulled the strings so that it opened again. He said a word softly in that foreign liquid language Iíd heard him use before, and suddenly brightly colored strings appeared around the lip of the bag, hanging into the blackness of it. "What are those? They werenít there before."
I felt him nod behind me. "Theyíre markers, so that you may find what youíve put into the bag."
"Markers? What, is it like a bottomless pit?"
He tugged one of the strings, slowly pulling it out. "It is much like what was inside my bottle. Nothingness." He kept pulling that brightly colored string, and pulling, and pulling. I put a hand on the edge of the bag and tried to look in. I still couldnít see a thing. And then, there was something coming out of the darkness of the bag, a shape, as it got closer I realized it was huge. I backed up, bumping into Heero and scooting behind him to peer around his side. "What is it?"
He chuckled, tugging a bit harder. "My wardrobe."
I started to laugh. "Youíre kidding right? Not a wardrobe like in ĎThe Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobeí?"
"What is that?" He glanced over his shoulder at me.
"A book, but, you really donít mean a wardrobe like a big, heavy, possibly wooden one do you?"
"Yes, like that." He grinned, "You might want to move out of this room, itís a rather large piece of furniture."
I moved, doing a sideways, nervous little walk all the way. "Donít break anything ok?"
He nodded absently, still tugging that string. I stood beside the bathroom door watching, as from the small bag he tugged a giant wood wardrobe out, and carefully laid it on the floor. It was most definitely an antique, though I couldnít tell you what kind or what era. It was nice-looking though, just the kind of thing you would think C.S. Lewis had in mind. Heero opened it and stepped back, and I inched forward to take a look.
There were tons of different types of clothes inside, suits and shirts, ties, shoes, pants, even a few dresses. "You had this with you all along?"
"Yes, I find it useful to keep around." He stood beside me and burrowed his hands in, searching for something.
"Does that bag have other stuff? And how do you know which string leads to what?" I sat down on the floor, watching him search through the clothes.
"The bag contains many items Iíve found helpful. And the string tells you what is attached to it." He lifted out two long grey robes; they had an odd sheen to them. He held one out to me.
"What is it? I mean, I see itís a robe, but why do I get one?" I stood up and tugged the robe over my head, noting that it had a hood. Then shrugged and took it back off, folding it over my arm.
"It is for traveling."
"Iíve been meaning to ask you, how are we traveling? Plane? Boat? And where are we going?"
"Rug, and we are going to visit an old friend."
I blinked a few times, thinking I must have misheard. "Rug? And wouldnít umm, wouldnít all your friends be a bit old now?" He had after all, been living for several millennia, I imagined anyone he had known was long since dead.
"Yes, rug. Thatís what the robe is for. And yes, an old friend." He shut the wardrobe doors, and held up the bag, the long, bright string still dangling out of it.
"How do you get this thing back in?" I asked, tapping the heavy wooden piece of furniture.
"Like this." He held up the bag a little higher, whispering another word in that odd language and the wardrobe shrank down to the size of a pea. I knelt down, picking it up. It was a tiny, perfect replica. Heero extended his hand and I passed the miniscule thing to him. Tying on the string, he tossed it back into the bag and the string flew down inside after it.
I rubbed my head for a moment, and then beamed at him. "Can that thing hold my bags?"
"Good." I went and retrieved my bags, handing them over and watching as he shrank them and tied some string to the little handles. They followed the wardrobe into the black depths of the bag. "So whereís the rug and when do we leave?"
He didnít say anything for a moment. "Heero?"
He sighed, leaning back against the sink ledge and looking anywhere but at me. "We have to go buy one."
"Canít you just create one? Donít you have one in that bag?" I sat beside him again, bringing my legs up and wrapping my arms around them.
"Things created by magic are not good for applying spells to. And no, the bag does not have a rug."
"The last one is old, it has holes, and... " He looked at me and turned somewhat red. "And I canít seem to find it."
"Ah, well then, I guess itís a good thing weíre in Istanbul. I do believe Turkey is well known for its rugs." I smiled, grabbing his hand and jumping off the counter. "Letís go. How big a carpet do we need?"
He shoved the little black bag into his pocket again, and followed me out of the bathroom. "Big enough to hold a group of people comfortably."
I stopped, turning around and raising an eyebrow, my hand still reaching for the door that led out of the hotel room. "A group of people? Planning a party or something?"
His smile was slow and wicked, and made me blush down to my toes. "Donít you want to be able to lie down on it?"
"Oohh." I didnít say anything and tugged open the door, giving the hotel room one last glance, it had been a place for a lot of changes in my life. But I didnít think I would miss it. "Lying down is good." I said as the door shut behind us. "Though I like sitting too."
Heero has mentioned to me before that he speaks all languages. He wasnít kidding, heís fluent in them. I watched in absolute astonishment as he haggled with a stallholder, in Turkish. Apparently, Heero was not thrilled with the price the unfortunate rug seller was asking for.
You wouldnít think that a Djinni would be so conscious of things like cost, but mine was. He was also a nitpicker when it came to what type of rug to buy. He wanted silk, Persian silk to be exact. If you have no idea just how expensive these rugs can be, I suggest trying to buy one some time.
After fifteen minutes of listening to them haggling, I decided to duck out and go get some nice, thick Turkish coffee from a stall down the way. When I came back, Heero was standing outside the carpet stall holding a large rolled up rug tucked under his arm.
"So you finally quit haggling and bought one?" Iíd left him a credit card, amazed to find that I could charge something in a rug-selling stall.
"Heero, why do you look so... pleased with yourself?" He had a smug look on his face, and kept glancing towards the entrance to the booth.
"I didnít like that man." He said, sneering at the stall.
"You didnít, uh, do anything? Did you?" I went to the entrance of the place and peered in. No rug seller in sight. "Oh no, what did you do to him?"
"I gave him a lesson for trying to cheat me." He crossed his arms, leaning on the rug heíd bought.
I waited patiently.
"I turned him into a cockroach."
"You what?!" Several people turned around from their shopping to look at me, I grabbed Heeroís arm and hustled him back into the stall. "What did you do that for? You canít go around turning people into things. He might have had a family or something. Can you change him back? Where is he?"
He gestured vaguely at the rugs and carpets piled high within the interior of the stall. "Heís somewhere in here, or he was a few minutes ago. I really donít see what the problem is." He looked genuinely puzzled, settling down on a pile of bright wool carpets by the register.
"Heero," I sighed and sat beside him. "You just canít go doing things like that to people now a days. Thereís police and governments looking out for these people. They notice when someone is missing, and then they start looking for who did it. You might as well just have murdered him."
"Well," He looked sheepish for a moment. "I can bring him back, but he wonít like it."
"Why not? At least heíll be human. Right?"
"Heíll be human, but he will not have forgotten being a cockroach either."
"Oh." That could be a small problem. I wondered if the police might have ever heard of such a complaint. ĎI swear officer he turned me into a cockroachí. I shook my head at the mental image, smiling in spite of myself. "Then change him back to human and letís get out of here."
I stood up, and went outside to make sure our rug hadnít disappeared. It hadnít, so I unrolled it a little and eyed the design while waiting. A few seconds went by and then I heard a high-pitched shriek followed by a thump. Heero came out looking smug.
You didnít kill him did you?" I asked worriedly, peering behind him.
"No, he fainted."
"Ah." I raised an eyebrow. "Is it really so bad being a cockroach?"
"Do you really want to find out?" He leaned close, smiling and showing a bit too many teeth.
"Um, no. Thanks. Can we go now?"
"Lead and I shall follow." He said, waving his arm magnanimously towards the pathway between booths and stalls.
"Youíre in an awfully good mood all of a sudden." I stepped out of his way as he swung the rug over his shoulder and began walking.
"Itís been too long since I have gotten to do that to someone." He grinned.
"Could you try not to do it too much more?" I asked, struggling not to smile back at him.
"Your wish is my... "
He chuckled, and took my hand as we kept walking.