"I wish I could stay in India," I complained, though I felt a little guilty for doing so. The last two days had been fun. My arms and eye had healed quickly. Aladdin was okay, though still a little banged up, and Jafar had his hand bandaged. At night I could hardly sleep, thinking about what would happen to Gene. I felt guilty, since I was the one who had caused him to sever from the lamp. Whenever Gene caught me feeling guilty (somehow he had this strange way of being able to read my emotions) he yelled at me to stop it. "Its not your fault, its mine, and I'm glad it happened," he would say.

"I like it here, a lot," I continued, not wanting to think about what was to come for Gene. "And I never really got to experience the Pink City, you know? I don't want to leave after the ceremony. I want to stay here, until…" I did not have to finish my sentence, Gene knew what I was referring to. He would fade away in a week or so. It was almost as bad as not existing, to me. Either way Gene was no longer in my life. But I knew he wanted it this way, and I knew he faced a much brighter fate now than he had with his expiration date.

"Don't worry about it," he said about my leaving, with his usual half smile. "Do what your mom tells you from now on. You've already got six months of prison, you don't want anymore than that."

"Oh, I think we can ease it up to three months," said my mother, coming up to us. "I realize its not fair for me to blame you for the actions of your sisters. I had proof that they definitely think for themselves while we were trying to rescue you. I've created monsters for children. But I still love them dearly." She laughed and moved on, leaving Gene and I alone again.

I smiled, remembering the last couple of days. "I think I can handle three months easily," I said. "As much as I loved our little adventure, I could use some rest."

"Little is an understatement," Gene said. "You almost died, more than once. You know, I don't think I ever thanked you for all that you did."

"Don't thank me," I said. "You've already paid me back for it in full."

We sat in silence for a while, until Gene said, "Good luck to you, in your life. Although I don't really believe in luck, just wishes."

I smiled. "Thank you, Gene." My face turned serious as I said, "I will never forget you."

"We'll meet again someday, I think," Gene said. "Just like you will see your father again as well."

I continued smiling but tears formed in my eyes. "You would have liked him a lot, I think." I sighed. "This doesn't feel like a proper goodbye. I wish I could hug you or something."

Gene flashed another half-smile. "I wish I could kiss you." Suddenly his face turned red, and his eyes widened. "I didn't just say that out loud, did I?" He looked frightened of the answer.

I laughed and nodded. "You definitely did. Wow, I didn't know genies could blush."

"Sorry," he said.

"Don't be," I replied.

"I'm not really," he said. "I really do like you, Ebony. Through all that we've been through, all the conversations we had…I've grown quite a crush on you. I hope you don't mind." He smiled.

I looked away. I didn't mind, but I would not say the same to him. I could not admit to myself that I liked him quite a lot as well. It was too painful.

"Come on, guys," Rachel said as Meg and she passed by. "You're going to be late for the ceremony."

"Yeah, and I think you definitely need to be there, Gene," Meg added.

Gene and I walked out to the courtyard, following my sisters. I walked slowly so that Gene could keep up. It made me sad to see him so weak. I took my seat next to the rest of my family as Gene continued up to the alter, standing next to the lamp.

"Its like a wedding," Meg said.

Rachel gave Meg a look and said, "Yes, Aladdin and Gene are getting married. Very logical, Meg."

"I was just saying-."

"Now is not the time to bicker, guys," I said, quieting them. I did not know how they could stand being around each other all the time, considering how much they argued. I guess they had a strange bond that I would never truly understand, but I was okay with that.

"I didn't miss anything did I?" a voice behind me said.

I turned to see Kavin sitting behind me, the rest of her family next to her.

"Hey!" I greeted. "No, you didn't missing anything. It hasn't started yet."

A few more people filed into the courtyard until the audience had reached about fifty people. The Faheem family was there, as well as the extended family of Ali. Kavin and her family were there, as well as my family. There were the odd neighbors who knew of Gene's existence as well.

Music began playing, announcing the arrival of Ali Baba. He proceeded down the aisle, dressed in the robe of the patriarch of the family. He made his way up to Gene, and turned to face the aisle and audience.

Now it was Aladdin's turn to walk down the aisle. The music changed and he began his walk. He reached his father and kneeled down before him. First Ali said gave an inspiring speech for his son. Then Aladdin got up and said a few words, then went back on his knees. Next came the oath.

"Do you solemnly swear to never use the lamp to achieve any ill will?"

"I swear," was Aladdin's reply.

"Do you solemnly swear to respect the lamp and the genie it holds and never force the genie to do something he does not want to do?"

"I swear."

"Do you solemnly swear, when the time comes, to pass the lamp on to your future first born child, whether it be a boy or a girl?"

"I swear."

The last part of the oath, I had been told, had been added on in light of the events that had happened.

"Do you solemnly swear, that if one in dire need were to ask of your help with the lamp, to help them?" I saw Ali give a look to Arth at that point, and Arth nodded back in appreciation.

"I swear," Aladdin said.

Now Ali turned to Gene. "And do you, genie, accept Aladdin as your new master?"

"I do," Gene said simply.

"Does any one here object to Aladdin being in possession of the lamp?"

The audience was silence. I could see Meghann's point about it being like a wedding.

Ali nodded, and continued with the ceremony. The music started playing again.

"I know pronounce thee, Ali Baba," Ali announced to Aladdin, or Ali Junior I should say. He took the robe off of himself and put it around Ali Junior, who I dubbed from that point on, AJ. Then Ali handed AJ the lamp.

"Thank you, Father." AJ embraced Ali and everyone clapped.

AJ stepped up to where his father was standing. "Excuse me, everyone," he stated. We stopped clapping and gave him our attention. "Normally, it is a part of this ceremony for me to make my first wish. My father has informed me that that can not be done, however."

I looked sadly at Gene. He was too weak to make people's dreams come true anymore.

"But," AJ continued. "I would like to try to make one wish."

"Son, it can not work, you'll just tire him," Ali argued.

"Don't worry about me," Gene said. "I am happy to try whatever my new master wishes."

"I did some researching," AJ said. "And I found a wish that supposedly never fails. I have to give it a try. With everyone's blessing, of course."

Everyone could see he was determined, so we all nodded in acceptance.

"Okay, then." Suddenly AJ had a big smile on his face.

A part of me wondered what he was up to, but another part of me didn't care. No matter what he wished it could not make Gene live, and that was the only thing that would make me happy.

"I wish that Gene, the genie standing before me now, was no longer a genie, but a real human being again."

There was a flash of light and a poof of smoke. I stood out of my seat, coughing and rubbing smoke out of my eyes. Finally, everything cleared and I could see that everyone around me was standing, waving smoke out of their eyes and trying to see what had happened.

I looked up where AJ, Ali, and Gene were. I could see them now, with the smoke clearing. AJ was still smiling big. Gene was looking down at himself, amazed. Something was different about him. The transparent look was gone and he didn't look so sick. Could it really be…

I ran up to the stage, up the steps and to Gene. He looked up at me, eyes bright and mouth in a half smile. I loved that half smile.

I hugged him in excitement, and I didn't fall through him. I was actually touching him! I could feel everyone's eyes on us, amazed that AJ's wish had actually worked.

I turned to give AJ a hug, when I remember that he was the one who had accomplished this.

"You are brilliant!" I exclaimed.

Gene pulled me away from AJ after a few moments. "You're making me jealous," he said simply. Then his lips were on mine and I was experiencing the most wonderful kiss of my life. My arms wrapped around his neck and his wrapped around my waist and back and I kissed him like I had never kissed anyone else before.

We broke apart at the sound of applause. We looked at the audience and saw everyone cheering for us.

"Ow, ow!" Rachel and Meg howled.

I laughed, feeling all giddy inside. I hadn't been as happy as I was at that moment in a long, long time. The day had turned into one of the best days of my life.

"It's Malachi," Gene said suddenly.

"What?" I asked, confused.

"My name…my real name…its Malachi."

"I like it," I said truthfully. "Malachi."

"Only one thing left to do now," Malachi said to me.

I smiled up at him. "What?" I asked.

"Why, we have to visit the Hawa Mahal of course. We never did get around to it."

I laughed, and Malachi stopped me with another kiss. "You know," he said when we were done, "I always wanted to see what the states were like. I've never really been there."

"Oh, really?" I said.

"Yeah, really."

"I think I know a family who would be willing to take you in."

My mother, grandpa, and sisters had come up to us.

"Oh, can he stay with us, Mom?" Nida begged.

"Yeah, mom, can he? Please?" Rachel and Meghann echoed Nida. They had grown to like Gene as much as I had over our stay in India, although not in the same way of course.

Mom looked at Grandpa. "Well, Dad, its your house."

We all looked at Grandpa anxiously. "No," he said to us. Our looks of hope turned to glares. "Just kidding," Grandpa said quickly. "Of course he can stay. I suppose we can change the study into a room for him. You're going to have to start going to school, though, to get a good education and acquire lots of wealth, so you'll be able to take care of me in my old age."

Gene laughed. "Sure thing. School actually sounds fun. I've never been."

"Its not the funnest part of being a kid, that's for sure," I said.

"Will I be going to school with you?"


"Then I'm sure we can find some ways to make it fun."

"Behave yourselves," Mom warned.

"Oh, Mom," I said innocently. "When have I not behaved myself?"

We all just laughed.