What Comes Around ficbit

He wasn’t the same Ja’far as he’d been in Sindria, for better or worse. Probably for better. His past self, encountering Simon, would have dragged him into the Magnos spell out of sheer paranoid self-preservation.

His present self, once he’d accepted the fact that Simon was real, and not a radioactive hallucination, had started layering every spell of mental and spiritual protection he could find on the man. Including a few he’d flat-out invented. Because no evil, grasping megalomaniac was getting their fingers into that soul ever again.

Never again, David. You’ll have him over my dead body!

…Not that that would slow Aladdin’s bastard of a grandfather down much. Ja’far only hoped the young magi had put that misbegotten son of the black rukh down for good.

But I can’t be sure. Ever.

All he could do was bury the past, and hope no other soul dragged it up again. Because anyone with the power to rouse those lost memories… wouldn’t have gentle intentions.

Sinbad of the Seven Seas. And he thinks he’s just an actor.

Well. Simon Cavins would never think he was just anything.

“So.” The actor-turned-principal eyed the scorch marks. “Fire magic, or Heat magic?”

Simon was one of the few non-magicians who knew there was a difference, if only in the effects; Fire magic generally did use flames, while straight Heat magic might just effectively microwave an unlucky victim. The former actor had taken to magoi manipulation as easily as he had charming teachers, parents, and school boards. Ja’far’s clan didn’t exactly approve, but after Simon’s advice had allowed the clan to arrange certain property matters so they didn’t have to rely on just illusions to keep location scouts and Russian soldiers off clan territory, they’d mostly gotten over it….

And Simon’s raised brow meant he’d noticed Ja’far wasn’t answering. Oh no.

“So it’s definitely magic,” Simon concluded. “If the school grapevine bore honest fruit, Alan was headed this way to slog home after our sainted football team got careless. I keep telling them they need to practice manners if they ever want a second date… and none of them are ever going to get a first date with a MacLea if they cringe when she breaks things.”

Ja’far tried not to cringe himself. If his clan elders’ reading of the rukh was right, and magic was on an upswing after centuries of quiet, dating a Fanalis was about to become a distinctly hazardous life choice. Especially Morgan. Normally the rukh flowed thin and faint around a Fanalis, the way it did around her pair of wild cousins. But from the moment Ja’far had seen her walk into his homeroom the first day of school, she’d glimmered; like a lake casting back the faintest hint of dawn.

Caress that young lady for the first time, you’re likely to get your arm broken. Or worse.

Not that that had stopped some people before. In his past memories, one person in particular.

“Alan didn’t even flinch at the brick-break. Interesting,” Simon reflected. “Morgan must have thought that was, too. The way the ground’s torn up here, someone faced off with our denim-clad lady martial artist, and there’s no way Alan’s up to that kind of sustained fight yet.” He paused. “Yet a Fanalis can’t call up magic without risking her life.”

Yes, Simon had definitely paid attention to his lessons. This was going to be awkward.

Simon cleared his throat.

Very, very awkward. “Well, you do love surprises?” Ja’far tried.

“And you hate surprises,” Simon stated. “But you tossed our little gold-eyes up at me on stage anyway. And if the two we met tangled with two of my students hard enough to leave this,” he waved at the man-sized dent in the shed wall, “then they’re in trouble. What. Do. You. Know?”

Simon might not have seven Djinn backing him, but he still had a swashbuckler’s fierce confidence, and that drive to make a place for those who didn’t have any that had created Sindria out of islands and sheer determination. Ja’far braced himself, and told the truth. “I know enough to know I’m… confused.”

Some of the tension went out of his shoulders. “You do know him.”

“I think I did, a long time ago,” Ja’far admitted. Not that he could be sure. His past had crossed blades with no few fire-users, and back then he hadn’t had a magician’s eyes. “I’ve managed to touch him a few times, and his magoi feels familiar. He’s strong enough to support this much magic.”

“But?” Simon put in.

“But he shouldn’t know how.” Ja’far nodded toward the slightly singed dent. “You see how it’s shaped? That’s direct force absorption. Clean and efficient. Most magicians his age – especially if they’re self-trained, and Mr. Silversmith knows nothing about magic – wouldn’t know more than a standard Borg, if they could even manage that-”

“Right; the basic reflex sphere-shield. Which would leave a big domed dent, if he got hit hard enough to knock it back,” Simon finished. “Not at all like our poor shed. Still, he obviously managed to defend himself. The question is how?”

Ja’far hedged. “I’m not sure….”

Simon crossed his arms, fingers tapping on his sleeve.

Ja’far was blushing, he just knew it. “Unlessthere’sadjinninvolved.”

Simon blinked. Well, fine. He’d said it. Crazy as it sounded-

“Seriously?” Simon grinned.

…And how could he have forgotten that to Simon, crazy was a challenge? “But I don’t know how that could happen!” Ja’far protested. “No one’s seen a dungeon in millennia, much less a magi-”

The ground trembled.

No way, Ja’far thought, frozen. Florida did get natural earthquakes, after all; minor ones that would barely shake a plate off the shelves, but they did happen. And then there were the not-so-natural aftershocks and bangs from the various military bases scattered through the Panhandle. So there were plenty of perfectly reasonable explanations for why there was a shaking in the air and earth that wanted to rattle his very bones-

Simon was peering past him, open-mouthed. “…Wow.”

I don’t want to look. Wincing, Ja’far turned.

A tower was rumbling skyward, sheer walls the color of old ivory. A spiraling staircase seemed to sprout out of the midst of it like a vine, curling down farther and farther as the tower itself pierced upward.

…He couldn’t be absolutely sure from right here, but it looked like the school tennis courts were history.

Not. Possible.

Ja’far wasn’t sure exactly how long he might have stood there staring, if Simon’s hand hadn’t landed on his shoulder. “So that’s a dungeon, hmm?” The principal grinned. “Are we doing anything this weekend?”

Ja’far groaned. And wondered how fast he could get hold of Instructor Tiburon when – not if, when – Simon finally talked him into it. Because he had memories of six dungeons already, each more hair-raisingly dangerous than the last, and if he couldn’t lay hands on any of Sinbad’s other Generals then at least Sharrkan was going to go down with him.

Cheer up. Sinbad’s last Djinn said none of us would ever be allowed in a dungeon again – “seven Djinn is enough”. That might still hold. Maybe.

…Why do I not think I’m going to be that lucky?

A/N: So; a modern high school AU. Kind of. Only this one happens in the far future of the Magi universe; probably at least a few thousand years after Aladdin and co. beat Al-Thamen. (Possibly a lot longer.) But victory cost them a lot….

Also, there may be some details of Magi canon that get ignored. Particularly anything relating to certain rumors of Sinbad’s past life. Seriously, the guy had a bad enough time in canon to turn him all the way evil, much less the whole half-Fallen mess; no need to add more on top of it!


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