Disclaimer: I do not own Aladdin or any characters from the films/series. This is just a harmless Aladdin fic.
Sorry it took so long for the next chapter to be posted; school is up and running and I've joined a lot of clubs that are eating my time away. However, this is proof that I'm still writing this fic. Chapter 3 is a very important chapter (can you guess? ) because the climax is starting to build. I do not intend to make the entire story long since my chapters are around 4-5,000 words each.. but we'll see how it goes. And hey, the chapter comes out right on Halloween! There's nothing too spooky in this chapter.. but.. I'll let you be the judge of that! So, without further ado, I present you Chapter 3! (P.S. Please review after reading! Happy Halloween!)
Chapter 3 - Unplanned Reunion
She didn't need an answer to know that it was Chaos. After separating from her old group, she never thought she would see their faces, or in this case, hear their voices again. However, it seemed that only Chaos was there. It didn't brighten Fate's day the slightest. She kept her guard, her ears high to detect any movement around her and her eyes wide open in case he popped up in the room, being the tricky and problematic cat that he was.
She then noticed a large drinking goblet that was left behind on the table. It was golden and bright from the sun's reflection. Slowly moving in, she could see a clear reflection of her face in the cup. Fate did not know why her mirror image caught her attention, nonetheless she continued to concentrate on it.
Suddenly, the image of her face blurred and swerved in a wave-like motion. Fate bent her head closer to the goblet, wondering what was happening. And then, in place of hers, she saw his face.. the face she hadn't seen in over five centuries..
His grin startled her, causing her to lose balance and fall on her back, with both of her front paws flung on one side. She didn't have time to get up as his full form appeared as if it were created from the reflection on the goblet. There he was, floating in the air in front of her. Fate got up on four legs without taking her eyes off Chaos.
Why is he here? Why now, after so long? What is his purpose? The questions flowed through her mind, although her voice could not pick which one to ask. She did not want to speak to him after what happened. How dare he.. after what he did.. how dare he decide to show himself. She could feel her breaths shortening as the seconds of silence went by. There was no way her mind could endure the painful nostalgia streaming through her. All the while, he kept his grin on her.
"So, how have the centuries served you, Fate? Still being the usual loud mouth?" Chaos said, floating on his back with his arms crossed, looking calm and comfortable. Fate wanted to gasp, but ended up letting out a small, awkward cough. She wondered for a moment whether it was normal for him to sound so casual, even after everything.
"None of your business," she said bluntly with her eyes narrowing and her body crouching down as if ready to attack him. She decided not to do such a forceful action, but her anger continued to grow.
"Hmm, I guess not then," Chaos continued, slightly lowering his eyes, giving Fate what looked like a pitiful look with a touch of boredom. He then looked at the nails on his right paw, as if his appearance was nothing out of the ordinary. "Pity though, you were quite the comical one in the group. I can hardly get a laugh out of Mirage these days.."
"M... Mirage?" Fate muttered. She hadn't heard that name in so long. The image of the cat woman slowly formed in her head. The long dark hair... her sharp eyes... the memories were returning. Another wave of nostalgia crashed through her at once, throwing her off a bit, but she was now ready to address Chaos.
"What the heck are you doing here, Chaos? You come in here as if you know the place, and talk to me as if we've seen each other only a while ago! Do you not remember what you did to me the last time we met?" A sharp pain hit Fate's throat, forcing her to stop speaking in her loud tone.
"Oh come now, you speak as if you know the world better than I do, which is sure absurdity," the cat spoke, his four paws softly landing on the floor. He walked around in no particular pattern with his eyes closed. "I've been in Agrabah before, most likely at a time when you weren't. It was a shame, really, that you weren't there at that time. It would've made things much more interesting.."
His image faded, which challenged Fate's awareness. She straightened her arms and legs from their crouched position. In a fraction of a second, he popped up behind her and continued talking. "But I'm still quite surprised," at this point, Fate released a loud gasp as she turned around to see Chaos, "that you've been able to take such good care of yourself."
Her tongue was twisted inside her mouth and Fate couldn't think of how else to say her words. Her entire past was lying right in front of her, but she never had any intention of looking back on it. "I.. still don't.. understand," her voice flowed with a few slight cracks of uncertainty. Despite the constant gap in her life since leaving them, she did not want to think of her old home.
"Typical.. just typical," Chaos said, flying upside-down over her head and back to the ground in front of her. He let out a piteous sigh as his paws touched the ground once more. "Fate, no one in the entire universe knows you better than I do, and I'm pretty sure I can go as far as including yourself in the group also. It seems like yesterday, really, when you left the place you used to call 'home'-"
"Don't talk as if I chose to!" The words rushed out of Fate's mouth, and her mind was clear once more. Memory after memory was rushing into her head, but neatly enough to keep her on track. "I might've still been there if you and Mirage hadn't-"
"Do not interrupt me, Fate," the blue cat said with a straight face and one eyebrow up as if expecting no less from her. She was disgusted at what he said, but there was little she could do. She knew Chaos all too well to pick a fight with him, but what really kept her back was where they were.. in the Palace. Keeping her composure, she waited for him to speak again, her eyes slowly narrowing at the cat she had long despised.
"I'm intrigued that you decided to watch over Aladdin and his company out of millions of people on this planet," Chaos continued. "To tell you the truth, I was slightly concerned on how you would survive alone." He turned his head towards the side and looked at the balcony of the Palace with the usual grin on his face. "Then, when I saw little miracles happening over parts of the world, I knew you were very much alive." At this point, the cat closed his eyes, turned his head back, and casually walked around Fate. She stayed completely still, not turning her head to watch him or even make the slightest form of eye contact.
Concerned? For me? That liar.. after what he did, he would never think twice about me.. Fate said in her mind.
"I actually considered sending a babysitter, you know? You weren't the one to do many things yourself. I remember the times when you always looked to me for questions. Do you remember? Hmm.. it seems very clear to me. I wonder how you were able to develop such responsibility for yourself. On your own? Heh. I certainly won't believe that. Go on.. say what you want to say.. I won't interrupt.."
He stopped and stood right behind her, and Fate didn't need to look around to see that; she could sense it. Fate did not rotate, or even make the slightest movement. She kept her eyes forward, staring at the balcony.. the sun high above Agrabah now.
"I don't think I want to have a deep conversation about this, especially after all the pain I went through. The best thing you could is just.. to leave, okay?" For a reason unknown to her, Fate found it emotionally difficult to say the last few words. Right when she ended her sentence, she decided to turn her head around and meet with Chaos, so she could be more direct. What made her flinch was his face was now right in front of hers, their noses almost touching.
"That's it! I knew you would unintentionally give me a hint. You were certainly never good at keeping secrets," he said, backing up and letting our a short laugh. Fate stared at him in puzzlement, looking over what she said and wondering what he caught from it. Not being able to find an answer, she began to get irritated.
"If there was one thing that you feared, it was pain. Emotional pain, physical pain.. when you were near it, all you wanted to do was escape. So this is what's been keeping you alive.. running away from the pain. This is really interesting."
"Will you quit acting like that... please?" Fate said, forcing the last word out late and quietly. She hated it when he acted like that.. acting like he could do whatever he wanted.. well, technically he could. That's why she would get annoyed by him so easily. "I don't want to talk more about myself. Just.. tell me why you're here."
"Well, I guess I have no choice but to be blunt," he said, keeping his chin high and eyes closed. The next time he opened them, it was straight into hers, with a sharp spark of yellow shooting from his glare. "I'm here to tell you to leave Agrabah forever."
"W-what?? Leave Agrabah?" Fate yelled, the tone of her voice rising again. She could feel the pain in her throat returning, but she ignored it. "That's insane! I've been on my own for hundreds of years.. and I've finally found a place I can call home again.. and now you're telling me to leave?? Agrabah isn't yours, Chaos!"
"Hehe, everything is mine, of course," Chaos chuckled with no raise in his voice. "You're just too young to understand how this world works, despite your own powers."
"Too young?" Fate continued to yell in blind rage. She stood in one spot though, knowing never to take that dangerous step forward. "I'm only 975 years younger than you! Don't treat me like a child!"
"Wasn't that how you always wanted to be treated, hmm? I clearly remember your juvenile attitude back at the realm. Playing games, telling jokes.. I never thought you would act like this. But.. I suppose I have some learning to do as well.." While saying this, he took his eyes off of Fate and looked again at the distant balcony. He continued talking, "Nonetheless, you know what I can do when someone gives me a reason to be angry. Aladdin and his companions are not here to relieve you from this decision. So, what's it going to be?" Without turning his head, he shifted his eyes to look at Fate.
She paused for a moment, wondering why on Earth he wanted her gone. Was he jealous of her happiness? Most likely not, but there was no way she would mention it if by any chance he was. If there was one thing that she learned when landing on earth, it was finding her inner strengths, which she never knew she had until she was alone. And now, she has found a great deal within. She had found out that it was alright to have no friends. It was her destiny after all. It was just something she had to understand on her own. And, although she was fine with it both ways, she had made her decision; she wanted to stay with them.
Fate did not want to leave without reason. In fact, even with one, she was not willing to forget Agrabah and the people living here. It was a risk.. a tremendous risk.. but she summoned all the strength within herself, drew it up to her mouth, and spoke..
"I'm not leaving," she said, without flaws or interruptions in the throat. She surprised herself after exhaling that last word. Never had she stood up to Chaos.. she always assumed that doing so would result in entrapment in his negative side. Now, all she could do was wait.
There was a long wave of silence. At this time, Chaos slowly turned his whole head and did nothing but stare at her.. with no grin on his face, or for that matter, any hint of expression. Fate did her best to control her own breathing, but the tension in the atmosphere was beginning to grow with every second of stillness passing by.
Finally, the pause was broken by what Fate thought would be an outburst was instead a long sigh coming from Chaos' mouth, ending with his eyes closed and his head drooping down as if disappointed by her response. "Well, this is worse than I thought," he then spoke while shaking his head. "I didn't want to do this.. really, I didn't.."
Run, Fate... run... don't think, just run... a voice ran quickly through her mind. Without thinking even once, she obeyed it. It took a second to get her arms and legs out of their stunned state, but she managed to jump out of it and run as rapidly as she could. She couldn't escape through the balcony, so her only chance was to go through the large door out of the main room. She hurried on, almost tripping on her own paws, but not daring to look back.
To take such a risk in my presence.. she must have really pushed me and Mirage out of her mind.. Chaos thought to himself as he watched Fate frantically escape the room. He did not bother to chase her so hastily because there was nowhere she could hide from him.
"Hehe, I lied. I do want to," he said, grinning once more and disappearing from the scene.
"You take the back, Genie! The rest of us will make a distraction up front!" Aladdin yelled over the loud clashes coming from the rampaging grasshopper with an afro. He took a quick moment to stare at the abnormality of the creature.
It couldn't have gone here on its own.. someone must have sent it to Agrabah.. he thought as Genie whisked to the other side.
"So, the grasshopper's got Disco fever, eh?" Genie shouted as he grew into the same size as the bug. In a flash, he was wearing baggy purple pants, an illuminated silver shirt and a dark blue afro over his head that was about the same size as the grasshopper's. A disco ball floated in the air above them.
The group looked at the changed scenery. Iago hit his wing over his head, Abu was laughing his head off, and Aladdin and Jasmine just looked at each other. "Well," Jasmine began, "maybe Genie can handle this on his own."
"Do the hustle!" Genie shouted, displaying some flamboyant moves on the 'dance floor'. The grasshopper stared at him for a moment, but went on smashing buildings and damaging the roads. "Oh, you see? You're doing it all wrong! How are we supposed to win the best couple dance with those moves? Here, I'll show you!" Genie grabbed one of the bug's lengthy arms and pulled it towards him. In one move, he bumped the bug with his hip, causing him to lose balance. Once he regained his composure, it was already too late as Genie grabbed both of its arms. "This is what I like to call the Genie Bash-a-rama Move!" In an instant, he flung the insect up in the air and slammed him hard onto the ground. Still holding its arms, he flung him into the air again and bashed him to the ground on the other side of him. He went on doing this in a rapid rhythm, which from a distance looked quite hilarious.
"Genie! Be careful!" Aladdin warned him as the ground was beginning to crack.
"Ohoho, right. Woopsies. I guess I got carried away," Genie apologized. He grabbed the entire body of the disco grasshopper over his head. "Sorry, buddy. I think we should find new partners," and with that, he tossed him over a hundred feet into the air and out of sight.
As Genie went back to his normal size and appearance, he fixed up anything that was damaged during the fight. The group met at ground level.
"Well, that was just.. odd.." Iago said, almost not being able to find the right word to describe the 'battle'. While Jasmine went to comfort and reassure the frightened civilians, Aladdin continued to ponder.
"I don't think that bug came on its own free will.. someone must've sent it," he said, looking out towards the desert. It was completely empty, with no further suspicion that something else might appear. "Any ideas?"
"Hmm.. Mozenrath?" Genie suggested.
"Nah, that's not his style at all."
"Hmm.. close, but the afro throws it off."
Both Aladdin and Genie paused and thought hard for a moment, and then looked at each other. "Nooo way!" they said simultaneously with a smile.
"Then who could it be?" Jasmine said, returning to the group. "There are hundreds of enemies who could've sent this creature.."
"Well, let's see what we know so far," Aladdin responded, looking over the clues. "We've got a grasshopper.. as big as the palace.. with an afro on his head."
"The person who sent this must be twisted in the head," Iago quickly remarked while twirling one feather next to his right temple, mimicking a crazy-like gesture.
"Do we know anyone who has a knack for things way out of the ordinary?" Genie asked.
A long pause came as the group looked at each other, almost reading their thoughts. The answer simultaneously hit everyone in the head.
Fate was already out of breath, but that did not stop her paws from racing on the hard floor of the Palace. She went through door after door of rooms and hallways until she ultimately could not run anymore. She slowed down into a large, empty hall. Sitting down, she tried her best to control her breathing so she could hear anything that may enter the passageway.
Then, her mind started to play tricks on her.. deceiving her to believe in one thing only. Maybe he gave up and left.. maybe he'll never come back again and I can continue to live with Aladdin and the others.. It was far from possible, she knew it, but that voice wouldn't leave her.
"Is that as far as you can go?" A louder voice echoed through the room, undoubtedly Chaos'. She looked around, but realized he would most likely be invisible. With the little energy she regained from the pause, she continued to run through the hallway.
"I don't think so.." Chaos said again.
The floor began to rumble under Fate's feet, causing her to stop running. Then, several cracks were taking place around her. She tried to get out of the way, but she was surrounded. Suddenly, large strings of metal shot out of the cracks and met together in the air, a feet or two above Fate's head. Before she knew it, she was trapped inside a metallic cage with nowhere to squeeze through. Despite her position, she kept her head up, not prepared to give up just yet.
"Okay, you caught me. You can come out now," Fate shouted. He formed behind her, with all four paws on the ground. He had his back straight and chin up, as if he was a high lord. Fate, as hard as it was for her, had no choice but to accept that he was.
"You knew I was going to catch you, so why did you run?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. She turned around, but stayed at the far end of the cage away from him.
"I will never just lose to you," she began. "If Aladdin and the others were able to defeat you, then I-"
"Aladdin never defeated me.. I don't know where you got that idea," Chaos simply said, but Fate could tell he was biting away his anger. Was she really going to take another risk at it?
"Besides," he continued, now pacing around the cage as if observing an animal in a pet store, "I don't think you should be one to talk about defeats. Maybe you still remember how you got that scar on your collar?"
Fate could feel something hard inside her throat. She tried to swallow it, but it was painful to do so. The last thing she wanted to be reminded of from her memories was what happened that day..
"It was too easy to do that to you. Maybe you should be careful when you're walking on the road.. you could trip and get another one.."
That was all too much for Fate to bear. She ran to the front of the wired cage and let her head hit the bars as she bared her teeth at Chaos. The blue cat did not flinch. "How dare you treat it like it's nothing! This scratch changed everything in my life! It changed the way I felt about my old home.. about Mirage.. and especially about you! You disgust me.."
Did something make her stop speaking at that moment? It wasn't herself, that was for sure. She could have gone on much longer, but something else made her halt where she was.
Chaos, without showing any expression, brought up his left paw, and began squeezing it into a fist. The cage then began to shrink.. smaller and smaller until the bars above Fate touched her head.
"This isn't the worst I could do. Do you know how easily I can destroy Agrabah as well? Of course, that would make the world a bit more boring, but I can easily do it if you refuse to leave.. you know I can," he said as the metal began pushing Fate's body down. She crouched as far down as she could, but the bars continued to shrink. There was nothing she could do.
"S-stop, Chaos!" she yelled frantically. There was nothing she could do..
To Fate's surprise, he stopped. At this point, she could not move. She couldn't even lift her head to see Chaos. All she could to was listen.
"Why should I stop?" he asked.
"B-because.. there's nothing I can do.."
An uncomfortable pause came, and then the bars slowly returned to the ground. The cracks reassembled themselves and the floor returned to normal. Cautiously, Fate stood up, but kept her head to the ground.
"Well, finally, that's settled. I seriously thought you had changed," Chaos said, putting his paw back down.
How she wish she could change. In fact, that is what she thought had happened during all those lonely nights. She would change to become a stronger individual. And then, one day, she would be able to face them without fear. But, she really hadn't changed; she was still the same person she was when she landed on Earth. Fate did her best to fight away the tears as Chaos continued to eye her.
"So, it's settled then. You'll be leaving.. let's say.. tonight?" Chaos said casually, licking his paw. There was so many things Fate wanted to do to him at that moment... so many things...
She did not want to say it, but what good would it be to fight back once more? It would be a continuous loop.. and then.. there was Aladdin and his friends. They would eventually come back, and the last thing she wanted was for them to see Chaos and have another problem. Just say it, Fate... weren't you used to being lonely by now?
"Alright, Chaos. I'll leave Agrabah.. t-tonight. But, you have to swear.. to leave Agrabah alone once I leave. You understand?" she struggled to say, bringing up her emotionless face and giving the blue cat a forced poisonous glare.
Chaos smiled. Before Fate could even try to release any rage, he had begun to disappear. His grin was the last thing she saw before he completely vanished.
I can't believe this.. Fate thought to herself as she finally let the tears roll down her cheeks. She never thought she would feel so worthless again, but her past would always be there to haunt her. No matter what she could say or do, in the end, nothing could change her destiny. Chaos and Mirage were a constant reminder of that.
"Fate?" a call came from the opening of the hallway. The purple cat turned around to see Aladdin and his friends standing there. Her eyes widened as she looked at them. One last tear fell to the ground.
"Is something wrong, Fate?" Jasmine asked, moving towards her. Fate still did not speak. They have no idea what happened just now.. she said to herself, and there was no way she could tell them. Chaos was still around, she knew that very well. If she told, he would, without effort, destroy Agrabah.
"N-nothing's wrong.. I just.. poked myself in the eye when I was licking my paw," she lied. It was so hard to lie to them.. it was even difficult when she lied to Aladdin about how she got the scar on her neck collar. Jasmine crouched down to her and began scratching her ear. Fate couldn't help but purr and smile while she did so.
"Fate, we need to ask to something," Aladdin said without another minute to lose. "That strange grasshopper we fought outside.. we've got this suspicion that it might've been sent by Chaos.."
Fate inhaled deeply and quickly, which was heard by everyone. Trying to regain normality, she exhaled as calmly as she could and looked at Aladdin as he continued to speak.
"You know him better than any of us, so we'd like your opinion. Do you think it was sent by him?" Aladdin stopped and watched Fate closely. He could not help but wonder if something was wrong with her. Her cheeks were rosy, as if she was crying excessively.
Fate sniffed once to get the emotion of sadness out of her way, and spoke with a normal tone, "No, I'm very sure it was not him. Chaos may be the master of the unpredictable and unusual, but sending monsters is not his style, no matter how out of the ordinary it is. It was not sent by him; I'm certain." As the lies continued to pile up, her heart became extremely heavy.
Aladdin could not understand Fate's sudden tone. His suspicion rose, but he decided not to switch the topic. "Well.. alright.. thanks for your help anyway." He turned to Genie and shrugged. If it really was not Chaos, then Aladdin had no other ideas.
"Well, whoever it was, we can discuss it over a late lunch," Jasmine concluded, standing up. Fate watched as she got up, wondering why they did not ask any other questions. She did her best to hide the pain inside herself, at least until they left the room.
"Sounds good, I'm starving," Iago said. Abu shattered away, agreeing with him. The group began to walk out of the hall.
Fate watched as the group slowly walked away. This was how it was going to be. Well, except she would be the one turning her back on them. And there would be no turning back. Tonight, she had to leave, and she could not give any hints about it.
"Fate? Are you coming?" Aladdin asked, stopping in his tracks and turning around to meet his eyes with hers. She took her time to answer the question as she stared back at him. She truly did not want to leave them. There had to be another way..
"Yes, I'll be there in one minute. Please, go on without me.." she finally said. Aladdin turned back and followed the rest out of the hall. When the area was empty except for her, Fate fell to the ground, feeling lost and defeated.
She laid on her side, wondering where she got the strength to act so casual around the others, because, truly, she was ready to break down. Her eyes were slightly opened as she focused on one side of the wall in the passageway. She felt very tired, and did not want to get up for a long time. In fact, she wished she could just lye there forever without anyone questioning her being there. All of it was a complete waste. Perhaps.. it would have been better if she never came to Agrabah at all. The town would be a lot safer, away from Chaos' claws, and Aladdin would not have to worry about destiny.
"Why can't I run away from this pain?" she whispered to herself as she closed her eyes and let her mind go blank.