Three Wishes

Chapter 4 - Brain Drain

Norm gave a muttered groan, his body feeling as if a heard of elephants had used it as a doormat. His arms and legs ached, his head throbbed, and as his mind grudgingly dragged itself into consciousness, he briefly wondered if he’d been rear-ended by a train. Then, he realized he slept not in his cramped lamp, but a bed, a full, king-sized bed. At that moment, everything came back at once, and he shot up to a sitting position only to groan as his head protested painfully with a jackhammer stab of pain. When he managed to open his eyes again after the jarring in his skull had dulled slightly, he quickly determined that no one shared his current sleeping quarters. So, with a mild grumble, he cast a hasty spell to nullify his aches, and started the process of discerning his location.

He sat in a large bed, not Jorgen's if he remembered the details correctly, dressed in fine turquoise silk: a robe, nearly the exact same hue as his usual tux. Both guest room and robe were most likely courtesy of the fairy general himself. With a sigh, he shook his head, magically fixing his raven hair in a high pony as per character and summoning a small floating mirror to assess his appearance. After several thousand years of this same routine, he didn’t really expect much, but he never failed to check, regardless.

Violet eyes stared back at him, vibrant and alive, unheeded by the usual dark glass of his shades, and if he would admit it to himself, they almost looked more awake than usual, despite the fact that he’d just gotten up, as if overnight, some spark had found its way without his knowing into his expression. His cheeks, too, had an uncalled for flush of color to them, and before he could look too deeply into these changes, he quickly disposed of the mirror with a mild frown.

How very foolish of him. Humans, limited to their supposed ‘three wishes’, never lasted long, only the very cleverest of the bunch managing to use his magic to their advantage without dire consequences. But in the hands of an immortal, who knew what to expect? Jorgen could keep him for eternity if he wished, using him and- He shook his head violently, frown turning to a scowl as he folded his arms tightly across his robed chest. Jorgen would keep him until he tired of him, simple as that. And given the fairy’s limited brainpower, he likely had a short attention span to go with it. The last thing he needed now was to grow attached to a single-minded imbecile. Romance and slavery did not mix. Besides, he’d only known the man one day; how much attachment could he possibly have developed after such a short time? Easiest to simply discard the feelings now and douse them in the future if they showed signs of returning.

Satisfied with that decision, he pressed the silk coverlet back off his body, slipping to the floor from the edge of the mattress and curling bare toes in soft carpet as he tested the strength of his legs. As a genie, he had grown quite accustomed to simply floating, rarely using legs at all, but under previous masters, in times long past, he had, naturally, made use of them before, so it hadn’t taken him long to grow reasonably comfortable with them once more. Though he’d only attained them a day ago, he already moved with moderate ease.

Just as he prepared to leave the room in hope of determining his location more precisely, a sound caught his attention, making him pause. Because of its muffled nature, he assumed it had come from another room in the house, and, unable to contain his curiosity, he kept silent as he stepped from the room, pulling his robes slightly tighter, but not bothering to summon proper clothes as he sought out the source of the sound. It didn’t take him long.

A distinctly female moan surprised as he paused just beside a partially open door, the inhabitants apparently too distracted to bother giving themselves even some mild semblance of privacy (though the sounds that followed left no room for the imagination). Thinking back on it, he supposed it shouldn’t have startled him. Jorgen had a beautiful wife, if not an altogether pleasant one; why wouldn’t he put both her and his newfound toy to good use? Still, for reasons unbeknownst to even Norm himself, the idea of it left a curling pit of bile in his stomach.

Seconds later, Norm appeared on the front steps to Jorgen’s house, seated with his knees to his chest and chin propped on his folded arms, fully dressed in his traditional turquoise tux. And yet, though fairy world gave as lovely a display as ever, rolling clouds of pink, purple, and orange welcoming the dawn like angels’ chariots, he couldn’t bring himself to enjoy it. Something had woken up in him either the morning, or perhaps the night before; he couldn’t tell. But now he only ached as it shattered, conflicting emotions he’d never felt before battering at him like too many people trying to cram in one elevator. For so long, he’d wanted nothing more than freedom, peace, and a fairy dawn like the one opening up before him. Now, he didn’t know what he wanted, and it hurt.

“You’re still here?”

The genie nearly jumped at the voice, coming to an instant standing position before faltering on his feet and frowning slightly as he gained his bearings. By the time he could stand straight, he had little brainpower left for an intelligent response. “Uh…”

“Did you just get here? Jorgey’s not here at the moment, so if you want to talk to him, you’ll have to wait till he comes back.” As if she fully expected him to simply up and disappear at that, the tooth fairy turned away, summoning a mirror before her, much as Norm had that morning, save that this one came out full length, making a perfect duplicate of the female fairy as she examined her image delicately, turning this way and that while the genie watched in silence.

Then, after a moment, he frowned. If Jorgen had left already, who had he heard in the bedroom? Then, suddenly, it didn’t sound all that improbable. Glancing up to the fairy again, he took in her appearance more thoroughly: cheeks flush and aqua robes disheveled, hands and magic quickly dissipating the kinks in tossed blue hair. As unjustly angry as the thought of Jorgen with his wife had made him, the thought of his wife with someone else made him twice that foul, though, of course, considering the general fairy had spent the majority of last night being anything but faithful, his frustrations were at least twice as unfair. Regardless, it did little to quell his temper, but he did manage to keep a straight face when he spoke again. Over time, he had grown quite proficient at masking his emotions no matter what the circumstances.

“Where has he gone?”

At his voice, she turned back with a look of surprise, making Norm wonder for a moment if she really had expected him to simply disappear out of thin air. Then again, considering her race and his, it wasn’t all that improbable. “Who?” She questioned innocently, fluttering her lashes in time with her wings as she eyed him like a curious child might a kitten or new toy.

“Jorgen,” the genie answered without inflection, keeping his tone neutral as he spoke. “You said he wasn’t here, so I assumed…”

“Oh! Jorgey, oh…umm…I’m really not sure.” She lifted a hand to her hair again though she had long ago gotten every strand in place, and glanced to the mirror with a bored air as she spoke, obviously not paying much attention to her reflection anymore. “Probably out ‘scrambling the fairies’ or something ridiculous like that…I really don’t understand that man…” For a moment, Norm caught sight of her eyes watching him through the glass, then she quickly destroyed the creation, rounding on him fully and locking blue eyes to violet. “Sometimes I think he really doesn’t have time for me…though he never tells me what he does all day…” Briefly, a frown crossed her features, something akin to jealously marring her usually upbeat expression before she turned her gaze away. “But he has time for you, doesn’t he?”

“He-…what?” It took no effort on his part to look completely clueless, his mind reeling as he tried to discover what exactly she knew.

“Where did you come from anyway?” She suddenly asked challengingly, blue eyes glinting as she placed hands on her hips. “I’ve never seen you around before…and heavens knows that man has no friends but those two ridiculous fairies ohhhh…what are their names? Cozzy and Wanna? God awful to be around really…that insane green-haired freak always drooling over me…” With the statement, she took a moment to smooth small hands over her robe, as if preening herself to a new state of perfection. “I really don’t think that fairy has a brain…pathetic, really. Have you met him?”

When she paused, Norm looked up quickly, diverting his gaze from the impossibly high hem of her robes (doing almost nothing to cover her thighs, let alone legs in general), and meeting her gaze with a rather unfocussed look from behind his re-created dark glasses. “Excuse me?” He had stopped paying attention about two sentences into her rant, and had close to know idea what question she’d thrown at him. Apparently, she took this into account rather quickly and shrugged it off with a distracted flutter of her wings, turning toward the door nonchalantly before pausing, as if on second thought, and glancing back to him.

“Would you like some breakfast?” She questioned suddenly, her tone pert and curious. For a moment, Norm only stared, disbelief evident in his violet gaze before he plastered on an icy smile, dripping with sarcasm.

“I assure you, mistress, there is nothing in the world I would love to do more than sit in your gorgeous kitchen and watch you chatter as my ears bleed, but, alas, I already have my breakfast ready right here.” As he said it, a doughnut appeared in his left hand, a steaming cappuccino in his right; the plastic smile never dipped once.

“So you aren’t human.” The fairy mused out loud, apparently oblivious of everything but the fact that he’d just conjured a meal out of thin air. At that, Norm did scowl, dropping the pretenses and glaring to the dawn as he lifted the coffee cup to his lips. When he spoke, it came out in a low mutter beneath his breath, likely meant to go unheard.

“Not quite.” ‘Worse.’

“Well, regardless, it sounds like a fine idea!” Norm had to shut his eyes so as not to wince as the high-strung fairy popped up beside him with a sparkle of glitter, a glass of warm milk in one hand and a celery stick in the other. “We can eat out here together and enjoy this lovely sunrise.”

Norm privately wondered if his ears would ever function properly again. Out loud, he merely kept quiet, silently hoping that maybe, if he said nothing, she would follow suit. No such luck. Good thing he liked his coffee so much, or he would have spit it at her. The entire time they sat, much like at the dinner table, she filled the air with shrill, bumblebee chatter, speaking endlessly to the point where Norm halfway expected her lips to fall right off her face. As time went on, however, she somehow managed to move as she talked, edging closer and closer until, by the time the sun had risen fully, she sat nearly flush against him, her grin broad and his glower evident.

“So, if you’re not a human, what are you? You’re obviously not a fairy.” She flicked the top of his head lightly in an offhanded way as if the absence of a small gold crown there proved everything, and Norm resisted the urge to snatch her wrist and break it, the close physical contact very unwelcome.

He realized, seconds later, how very uncharacteristic the desire was in itself. Normally, he simply ignored the petty bantering of stupid women and used their idiocy to his advantage. The duller the dame the easier to impress, use, and eventually kick to the curb. Yet, whether be it from the previous night’s activities, or simply from this particular dame’s infuriatingly irritating personality, he couldn’t bring himself to want anything more than absolute freedom from her presence.

“Come on…” Her voice had risen to what she likely thought of as a becoming plea; to Norm, it sounded something more akin to an unnerving whine, like a failing car engine that screeched as it tried to start. “You can tell me…I promise I can keep a secret if it’s that bad…” She winked as she said it, but when her hand met with his leg, his entire body tensed.

“Woman…” The word came forced from between grit teeth. “If you don’t remove your hand this in-“ A small scroll appeared before him, and Norm stopped mid-sentence, blinking for a moment before snatching the sheet and scanning the wording. ‘I wish you were here. –Jorgen’ After taking a moment to roll his eyes, then smirk in the direction of the tooth fairy, he grinned and rolled up the parchment with a magical snap. Seconds later, he stood hovering over her in mid-air, finger to the bridge of his glasses as he eyed her over the shades. “Adios, mi punta chiquita…things to see, people to do. You know how it is.” With a last chuckle and snap of his fingers, Norm promptly disappeared, leaving the sputtering blue sprite alone in his wake, screeching in indignation.

In another part of Fairy World altogether, Norm appeared just in time to see Binky fried to a pile of black ashes, large eyes blinking helplessly on top of the mound as Jorgen seethed, bazooka wand still smoking as he panted.

“NEVER again doubt the intelligence…of JORGEN VON STRANGLE!!” The general boomed, watching as the quivering fairy reformed himself, then zapping him again with sadistic glee the instant he’d come back together. “Now…WHERE is-“

“A-ahem…” Norm cleared his throat in an exaggerated fashion, gaining Jorgen’s attention nearly instantly, then quirking an eyebrow as he folded his arms. “You called?”

“SPRITE! Where were you?! I called-“

“-a full, ohh…” Norm glanced to a newly formed clock as it appeared before him with a slight ‘poof’. “…thirty seconds ago? Yes, I’m afraid you’ll have to forgive me, Master, if my timing displeases you…I had to detour for my daily morning cappuccino and manicure…” He fluttered his lashes with befitting sarcasm as a nail file came out of no where to work on his outstretched left hand and he lifted his third coffee of the morning to his lips. Jorgen scowled.

“Damn sprite.”

“Damn right.”

“The very FABRIC of the Fairy Universe is COLLAPSING…and all you can do is-“

“Whoa, whoa, time out right there…” Norm shook his head and brought to fingers to the bridge of his nose with a pinched frown as the nail file and coffee disappeared with a pop. “The very what?”

“The-“ Jorgen prepared to start over, then glowered with an animalistic growl of impatience. “FOLLOW!” The genie opened his mouth to ask if he had a choice, but before he got the chance, Jorgen’s characteristic nuclear ‘poof’ rang all about him and he shielded his eyes for one moment before blinking dully as they came together into new surroundings.


“SHH! Look!”

Norm did as told, and though ‘shh’ wasn’t exactly a command, he kept his mouth shut anyway. They stood at the top of a large, fortress-like wall, built military-style with grey brick from the bottom up. Jorgen had pointed over the edge to indicate the dilemma, his large, gold-starred wand parting the clouds below, and the genie followed suit. Far, far below them sat the human world, in its usual, idiotic simplicity. Then, after a moment, Norm frowned. On closer inspection, something did look different, and as Jorgen summoned a conveniently placed, large-screen TV in front of them, the problem became terribly obvious. Earth had gone far beyond its ‘usual’ idiotic simplicity and become simply imbecilic period.

When he opened his mouth to question, Jorgen pointed his wand at the screen, and it went fuzzy in rewind mode before pausing and zooming-in on a very familiar face for trouble: Timmy Turner. On screen, the pink-hatted ten-year-old screamed out his frustrations, fists clenched as he fixed a glare on a rather guilty looking Cosmo.

/I said ‘pretty locket’ not ‘launching rocket’!/ He screeched in his usual high-pitched tone, cheeks flushed with embarrassment and fury. /Now Trixi will NEVER like me!/

/It’s okay, Timmy…/ Cosmo attempted to sooth nervously. /She never liked you before anyway, right?/ This didn’t seem to help.

/UGH! You’re hopeless! If only you had a brain bigger than a pea then-/ Timmy paused, a buck-toothed smirk lighting up his features in a way that made his pink-haired guardian fidget, anticipating a wish gone wrong any second. /I wish…Cosmo was the smartest person on EARTH!/

The screen went dark, and Norm frowned, giving Jorgen a puzzled expression before the large fairy heaved a weary sigh, his German accent thicker than ever as he muttered lowly. “Now…Cosmo is the smartest person on Earth…”

“And that’s…bad…?”

“He didn’t get any smarter.”

Norm paled. “So everyone else became...”

“IDIOTS! The smartest person…on the entire planet…IS A BLUNDERING FOOL! NO CHILD can make proper wishes because they can't THINK! At best they are DESTRUCTIVE and just plain RIDICULOUS! Magic-backup from fairies not granting wishes is causing mass havoc and now…TURNER…is too dumb to unwish it!”

The genie frowned slightly, but in the end didn’t look altogether all that bothered, violet eyes turning down to the grey brick beneath him as he propped his elbows against it and fiddled absently with some loose pebbles. “So…the humans have reverted to flea-like stupidity and a few fairies are temporarily turned to dust…it could be worse, right?”

“If the humans…do not regain their intelligence soon…they will loose their rank as dominant species again…and you REMEMBER what happened LAST TIME?! I will not have our species serving APES aga-“

“Your species.” Norm corrected, and for a moment the general looked confused.


“You said ‘our’ species…I’m not a fairy, remember?” As if to prove it, the genie lifted his wrists, flaunting the gold gauntlets that marked him as a slave to his master, and the general frowned. Just as he prepared to lower them, Jorgen reached out in a snap, and Norm froze, breath stopping in his throat as the fairy’s vice grip caught his wrists, forcing their chests together by sheer might of strength.

“You are right…genie…” The general eventually confessed, his icy blue gaze thoughtful as it ran over the features before him in a way that made the genie shudder openly. “So this means nothing to you…but I care about my species…and I will do everything in my power to protect it.”

“Jorgen-“ Before Norm got past the name, said fairy dragged him forward, using the wrists in his grip to pull the genie flush against him before swooping down like a fighter-jet in battle and capturing soft lips in his own. In an instant, that single kiss set off a chain reaction, and Norm melted against his will into the powerful body surrounding him. Jorgen’s hands left his wrists and traveled to his hips, but the genie paid no mind, letting his arms rest in lazy contentment on the powerful general’s shoulders and fading off into the moment as heat swamped him despite the cool weather.

Neither knew how long they stood there, in each other’s arms despite the audacity of the situation and exploring each other’s mouths in perfect harmony and peace, but when Binky appeared out of no where, likely to inform Jorgen of new news, and fainted on the spot, they reluctantly pulled apart. After taking a moment to examine the fallen fairy, Norm frowned slightly, but before he could question, Jorgen muttered lowly.

“He’ll be fine.” Without another word, the general gripped his oversized wand tightly and swung, pointing it directly at the unconscious figure and zapping the next instant without mercy, as if to punish the unfortunate fairy for his bad timing. Wand smoking and Binky a pile of ashes once more, Jorgen smirked, then caught sight of the genie’s startled expression and turned sour again, repeating his previous statement with grim finality. “He’ll be fine.”  

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