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[personal profile] velvetfiction
Title: Arabian Days
Fandom: Twisted Disney Princesses
Character: Jasmine
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1649
Summary: Fate seems inclined to put her in a position where she has no choice at all.
Notes: Written for [ profile] ryuutchi in Yuletide 2011. Here is the specific Jasmine illustration this is based on. Thanks to laura for the beta.


"Oh I come from a land, from a faraway place/Where the caravan camels roam"

It feels like she has been running forever. Her clothing is torn and she has sand in unmentionable places. She ducks behind a market stand and waits until a large caravan occupies the guards at the gate and then she slips out.

The desert is a broad, inviting expanse in front of her. She knows better than to run out there, but she makes her way across the sands quickly.

The sand lashing at her face stings her eyes and hides the tears that were already falling.

Her father, her poor sweet father, gone. Oh, the official reports said he was a-bed with a serious illness, but she knows better. Jafar has been scheming for years, and something happened recently - what, she doesn't know - that has pushed him over the edge.

"Where they cut off your ear/If they don't like your face/It's barbaric, but hey, it's home"

As soon as it became clear that her father - for whatever reason - could no longer protect her, she fled, with Rajah playing catch-me-if-you-can with the guards. She has no idea what Jafar had in store for her, and she has no wish to find out.

She is fairly certain that the law - that stupid, wonderful law - that says she must marry a prince is all that has kept Jafar from making a bid for her. But she knows, too, that if he has taken the Sultan's throne for himself, that pesky law will not stop him for long.

She shudders. Terrifying thought.

She wanders through the sands, staying within sight of the caravan track. But she knows that one slip of a girl will be hard to spot out here. That's what she's counting on.

She reaches into the mesh bag attached to her sash and pulls out a small fruit. She nicked it from one of the stands that she passed, even knowing that if she was caught, she'd be short a hand.

She shudders again. Barbaric practice. Although hunger is not something she has experienced, she has been starved of enough other things in her life to have a keen appreciation for those who are driven by desperation. If - when? - she has the power to change things, that is going to be one of the first customs to go. She appreciates the need for justice, but surely there are ways that don't involve bloodshed. Not for the crime of hunger.

The heat and sting of the wind and the crisp tang of the fruit refresh her, and she begins to regain some of her equilibrium.

"When the wind's from the east/And the sun's from the west/And the sand in the glass is right"

She keeps her back to Agrabah and watches the sun set over the dunes. She needs to decide what she is going to do, and decide it soon.

The open expanse of the desert calls to her. It would be so easy to just keep going, to join up with a caravan or one of the nomadic tribes and leave all of this behind.

But no. She has been raised with too much of a conscience, and she twitches slightly at the thought of what Jafar would do to her city, her people.

For all that she grew up isolated, she did not grow up ignorant. She learned to read on her father's knee, lessons in literature and history. And illicit knowledge, stolen from the library, on politics, government and medicine. She will be a better ruler than any of the princelings who have panted after her and her father's throne. Certainly better than the megalomaniac Jafar.

And that is what it comes down to, in the end. Her against Jafar. Her knowledge and desire to do right by her people against Jafar's thirst for power.

She knows she has the knowledge. Now she needs to find the strength to best him.

"Come on down/Stop on by/Hop a carpet and fly/To another Arabian night"

No sooner has she firmed up her resolve to return, when the sand near by seems to explode. She hits the ground just in time to see a young man shooting skywards on a flying carpet.


He accelerates upwards with a joyous shout and then starts to circle around. She hauls herself up to one of the higher dunes, so that she'll be more obvious, and watches him intently.

He catches sight of her during one of his loops and brings the carpet down beside her. He's wearing rags and his face is dirty from more than just bursting through the sand.

"What's a pretty lady like you doing in a place like this?" he asks in what he obviously hopes is a suave manner.

She bites her cheek to keep from laughing in his face, and gives him her best sultry smile.

"Oh, just hanging around, waiting for a ride back to Agrabah," she purrs and swishes her hips invitingly.

That's all it takes. She keeps the boy talking and learns all sorts of interesting things - Jafar thinks he needs some magical help, does he? - that make it worth listening to his prattle. Then she notices the lamp on his belt, and it is only a matter of a few moments' work before it is secured to her sash instead.

Doubly perfect.

"Arabian nights/Like Arabian days/More often than not/Are hotter than hot/In a lot of good ways"

She waits until the heat of the day before examining her prize. She snuck back into the palace in the night, into one of the many empty rooms that she explored as a child. With Rajah keeping guard, she allowed herself to sink down into a fitful sleep.

The summer sun is punishing, and most people - even Evil Grand Vizirs - nap in the early afternoon. Which is exactly why she is out in it. Even in the scant shade it is blisteringly hot, and Rajah's tongue lolls out as he pants.

She handles the lamp carefully, holding it with a scarf and examining it from every angle. Genie lamps are tricky to deal with, and the genie inside could be even trickier.

Genies, she knows, were much like humans - they could be good, bad or indifferent. And there is no way to know what you're going to get until you rub the lamp.

She takes a deep breath and places the lamp on the edge of the fountain. Her hand nearly makes contact with it when a low growl stops her.

She glances over to see Rajah glaring at the lamp, with teeth barred. His back and tail are noticeably bristled.

"You don't think I should?" she asks. Some might think it odd to ask this of a tiger, but she has been having conversations with the big cat since he was a cub. She is convinced that he is at least as intelligent as most of the courtiers.

Rajah growls again and shakes his head.

"But I need help," she protests. "I don't think I can do this myself."

Rajah gives her a pointed look and then glances meaningfully between the lamp and the palace.

"You think because this is the lamp that Jafar was after, I shouldn't have anything to do with the genie inside? You might have a point there."

She sighs regretfully and slips the lamp back into the silken pouch at her waist. "I'll just hold onto it, then, in case of an emergency. And to keep it out of Jafar's hands."

Rajah nuzzles her back and she throws her arms around him, enjoying his comforting bulk despite the heat.

"Do you really think I can do this?" she asks him quietly. "I'm only one girl. Jafar has been at court for even longer than I have. He has many supporters. I'll have to take them all out if I'm going to survive."

Rajah's only reply is a rumble deep in his chest that seems to shake the very foundations of the palace.

"Arabian nights/'Neath Arabian moons/A fool off his guard/Could fall and fall hard/Out there on the dunes"

It turns out to be easier than she thought it would be.

She bullies her way into her father's chambers and shows none of the grief that she feels as she gets the family physician to sign off on the death certificate for her father. Poison. It doesn't surprise her in the least.

She summons her courage and, with Rajah by her side, marches into the throne room where Jafar is holding court.

"Grand Vizir Jafar, by my right as my father's heir and Sultana of Agrabah, I hereby charge you with the death of my father. By the decree of the head physician and by the bottle of the matching poison found in your rooms, I hereby find you guilty of that charge and sentenced to death. Have you anything to say for yourself?"

Jafar, not expecting this direct frontal attack, merely stands in shock for a moment.

That moment is all that she needs. She marches up to him and grabs his ever-present staff our of his hand and snaps it over his knee. The effect on the guards and many of the courtiers is immediate. They shake their heads, as if trying to clear them, and look around the room in a daze. She hears exclamations of confusion and surprise from all around.

In that moment of chaos, before any one can react, Rajah leaps forward and knocks Jafar to the floor, tearing out his throat in one swift bite. He stands over his kill, growling deep in his throat.

She reaches down casually and scratches him behind the ears.

"I am Sultana Jasmine of Agrabah. Does anyone else wish to contest my right to this throne?"


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