Seventeen: Celebration

Genie held his breath as Aladdin approached him with Mozenrath, eyes fixed on the arms that linked the two. He had expected anger, but there was nothing but calm on his friend's face. Mozenrath was the only one who looked perturbed, but that could have been the usual way he looked, and not because of anything Genie did. They were back together, right? And by the look of the wizard's right hand, he had his magic back, right? No need to be angry anymore. When Aladdin stopped before him, Genie could swear he felt his heart stop for a beat.

"Genie."

"Um, yeah, Al?"

Aladdin took a deep breath. "Look. I know you don't approve of Moze and my relationship, and that's okay." He smiled gently. "You are free, Genie. You don't have to stay here. And no matter what, I still consider you my friend." The smile fell. "But I have to tell you that nothing will break me and Moze up, not now, not ever. I love him. So if you can't accept that, well," his eyes shifted down slightly, then came back up, "there's the door."

Genie knew this was his ultimate test, the true test of friendship. Could he push away his own prejudice and accept Al for what he was? Could he remain and live surrounded by something he had been against his entire life? Was his bond with Al more than his own thoughts and feelings? It had to be. He had never had a friend he cared about as much as Aladdin, and they had been through too much to let it slip away just because Genie was homophobic. So, with less reluctance than he would have anticipated, Genie put on his best grin and said:

"Al. You are the best friend this Genie ever had. I'd never want my foolishness to come between us. So, if you will still have me, I'd love to stay here with you."

Aladdin's face broke into the widest grin. He pounced upon Genie and hugged tight. "Thanks, Genie."

A tear broke free and slid down Genie's face. "Anytime, Al."

From a small table set at the side of the room, Abu, Xerxes and Carpet exchanged hi-fives. "All right!" said Abu.

Iago grimaced, but then looked at the others who were exchanging smiles and slaps. "Yeah. I always said that true love wins over mind manipulation."

Abu and Xerxes frowned. Carpet smacked Iago on the back of the head.

Once Aladdin pulled back, Genie put on his best tooth-showing smile and flew to the center of the room. "All right! Now let's party!" Music began to play.

"There's a party goin' on right here," sang Genie. "A celebration, to last throughout the year."

Using genie magic, he manifested a table in the center of the room that was already covered in white cloth and confetti, and laden with all sorts of food stuffs. Abu, Xerxes and Iago made short work of the distance between the table they were at and the new table that appeared. Party hats poofed upon the animal familiar's heads and upon Carpet. Abu and Xerxes began to dance.

"So bring your good times, and your laughter too." Balloons fell from the ceiling. "We're gonna celebrate and party with you. Come on now." Genie pointed a finger at Aladdin and Mozenrath and shot them with magic.

"Ce-le-bra-tion." Aladdin and Mozenrath looked at each other as they sang, touched their clavicles simultaneously and smiled.

"Let's all celebrate and have a good time," sang Genie.

"Ce-le-bra-tion," came once again from hero and wizard.

"Let's all celebrate and have a good time." Genie floated behind the animal familiars and Carpet, who were still at the edge of the food table. Putting his arms around them, he squeezed them together and continued to sing. "It's time to come together. It's up to you; what's your pleasure?"

Aladdin and Mozenrath grabbed hands and twirled in circles.

"Everyone around the world, come on!"

The music continued even though nobody sang. Iago blew a noisemaker. Abu and Xerxes twirled like the hero and wizard. Carpet bobbed from side to side. Genie pointed his magic at the humans to change their attire while they were in mid-dance. Aladdin wore a black tuxedo pants and jacket with an open-buttoned white shirt, while Mozenrath wore a sparkling white dress that criss-crossed in front and ran four inches from his hips with long trails of beads extending from the hem. Al wore black dress shoes while Moze wore white high heels. In the wizard's hair was a white lily.

They twirled and danced to the music, unable to take their eyes off one another. Mozenrath quirked an eyebrow once he realized he was no longer wearing his usual clothes.

"Why am I the one wearing the dress?" he asked without missing a step.

"Because you're always the bottom," answered Aladdin with a grin.

"And another thing. Why am I always the bottom? I'm older than you, taller than you, and I have longer hair."

Aladdin shrugged. "A technicality."

"A technicality easily rectified with magical rope bondage."

"Uh, uh," Aladdin smiled. "I know where you keep your anti-magic manacles."

"Don't get kinky with me, young man." Mozenrath smirked. "You may not like where you end up."

Aladdin twirled Mozenrath outward, then twirled him back in so they were face-to-face, chest-to-chest. His right hand shot down and grabbed the wizard's behind. "On top, like I always do," said the hero, smirking back.

"Mm." Mozenrath leaned forward and pressed his lips against Aladdin's. Their tongues shot out, met and dueled. Everything else in the room quieted to a hum. Nothing could break them apart, not even the incessant throat-clearing by Iago.

"Ahem!" he shouted loudly. "We're still here, you know!"

"They don't care," answered Xerxes. "They happy."

Iago grumbled, "We're in for a long, long night."

Abu looked confused at the parrot. "Huh?"

"Look, monkey, if you don't get it, I'm not explaining it to you."

Abu shrugged to Xerxes. Xerxes shrugged back.

Genie flew behind them and caught them unaware in a hug. "Aww. Just look how well everyone is getting along."

"Hands off, Genie!" ordered Iago as he pulled away from the big, blue arm. "I'm just making nice because. . .uh. . .because I have to. I'm still upset that I never got my treasure!" Iago looked forlorn into the distance. "All that gold. All those gems. All that loot. None of it came into my awaiting grasp. Sigh."

Xerxes perked. "Bird want money?"

Iago narrowed his eyes at the eel. "Yes, bird want money."

"Mozenrath has lots of money."

Iago perked. "Really? And where is this lots of money?"

"Xerxes show!" With a happy smile, Xerxes began to fly away, but was caught at the end of his tail by blue thumb and forefinger.

"Hold on a minute, there, slugman," said Genie. "I don't think your master would like it much if you gave away his money so easily."

Xerxes smiled even wider. "Master hates money. Says no use for it. Has too much. Wouldn't mind giving some to Iago."

With reluctance, Genie let go. "Okay. If you say so."

Iago followed Xerxes from the room. Just before they entered a dark corridor, Iago turned back to say, "Ya know? I think I may have just found my 'greatest of treasures'."

Genie smiled warmly. "Seems we all have." He turned his attention back to the two humans who were still making-out upon the floor. Though he was completely against it at first, and even now still harbored those feelings, he could tell that his best bud Al was happy, and for an older-than-time Genie like himself, that was all that mattered.

-owari
11-02-2007

"Celebration" is by Kool and the Gang