Epilogue

Achmed never made it back to Sarutaan.

His release was completed from Agrabah and he was given a single horse and satchel containing food and water, yet, he never returned to his city. Many speculated theories about his apparent death, the majority of them revolving around conspiracies of marauders taking him hostage or an irate band of his infuriated soldiers slitting his throat in protest for their loss at his hands. Yet, despite the wild conjectures, Aladdin guessed that Achmed had found himself a nice oasis somewhere in the middle of the desert, and promptly hung himself, unwilling and incapable to return disgraced to his city in the wake of his father's demise. However he ultimately met his end, Aladdin didn't care. He had his future with Jasmine, their son, and their city before him and he was not going to allow someone like Achmed to threaten his happiness again.

Sarutaan crumbled within months of their defeat.

Most of the citizens of the city fled, as Aladdin had informed Achmed in the dungeon, however the remaining inhabitants eventually trickled from the city, fearing raiders and pillaging thieves wishing to loot what remained. A mass of the population, Aladdin noted with a smile, ended up moving to Agrabah and settling within the walls of a kingdom, as they declared, 'a kingdom that was equipped with a ruler to defend his people.' As Sarutaan dissolved, ironically by the hands of its rulers trying to strengthen its hold in the Seven Deserts, Agrabah only grew stronger. Upon witnessing the instantaneous victory from their Sultan, the people rejoiced, further fueled by their adoration for him and Jasmine and promptly celebrated the birth of the new heir to the throne. Festivities in honor of Ali rang throughout the nation for weeks, more elaborate than even their wedding celebrations. Aladdin's people were content, cheerful with their lives, joyful of a promising future led by a worthy ruler. He had achieved what he had sought after – an understanding of how to effectively rule while allowing his heart to steer him in the right direction, as it had always done. Standing on the same balcony he had a year before, when he was fresh from the coronation and presented as a new Sultan, Aladdin digested how much of his life had changed since that stressful, anxious afternoon. Looking below at the bustling city he held so dear, Aladdin sensed a calm breeze brush against his face, frivolously felt the warmth of the sun on his skin. His eyes wandered from the marketplace, to the homes outlining the city gates, to the frame of his former hovel. It was all so surreal how much he had changed and grown, and it was only the beginning.

'Someday Abu, things are gonna change. We'll be rich, live in a palace, and never have any problems at all,' he had once remarked confidently, simply to hear the words out loud, to taste how sweet the dream was. While the last bit of his statement may have been a tad off, he was still amazed at how fortunate he was and how far he had come. Destiny was baffling in so many ways.

"Denarii for your thoughts," Jasmine inquired with a smile as she joined him on the balcony, Ali babbling in her arms excitedly as he saw Aladdin, his toddler hands immediately reaching out for him. Almost leaping from Jasmine, Aladdin took the impatient boy in his hands and held him tightly, never feeling satisfied with the amount of time he was able to spend with him or Jasmine. Even if they were together every moment for the rest of their lives, it wouldn't be enough for him.

"Just thinking about how lucky I am," He smiled as Ali clutched his tunic, grasping eagerly for the feather adorning his father's turban. Curiosity was clearly a trait he had inherited from Aladdin, along with his extensive energy and ambition to climb on everything in sight. Bending his neck down, Aladdin allowed Ali to tug on the feather, causing the turban to tumble from his head and onto his son. Jasmine lifted it and placed the oversized hat on Ali, giggling as he peered up inquisitively at it. Aladdin shook his head with a chuckle, "Nope, not quite ready for the fancy stuff, little man."

Jasmine laughed at her son's reaction, "I think he just pouted!"

"I don't know about pouting," he replied as he studied Ali, "… it looked more like relief."

"Ah, yes," she agreed with a nod, returning the turban to Aladdin's head, "I'm sure you'll have him in a fez and vest in no time."

"Hey, gotta keep the kid classy. Besides, the ladies clearly love it," he winked at her and attempted to look suave. As Jasmine huffed with a giggle, he gave a knowing smile to Ali, "Don't worry, I will teach you my ways."

"Well," Jasmine sighed, "Maybe the next one will be a girl so I can pass along my womanly wisdom."

"Next one?" Aladdin questioned as his voice cracked, his eyes lifting from Ali to Jasmine's in surprise.

"Yes," she smiled with an ecstatic nod, "I suppose we still have a few months before Genie can tell us if this one is a boy or girl." Placing her hand across her flat abdomen, she smiled at Aladdin and watched his stunned reaction. Jasmine stepped forward, using her index finger to lift his jaw to close his open mouth, and grinned. As Ali stretched out his arms for her, she scooped him up and blanketed his cheeks with a smattering of kisses. "What do you think, Ali? Would you like a brother or a sister?" At his gibbering, enthusiastic toddler response, she nodded thoughtfully, and looked at Aladdin. "And what do you think, Aladdin? Will this one be a boy or girl?"

With a delighted smile, he shrugged, still digesting her news with bewilderment and elation, incapable of forming words. Taking Jasmine into his arms, he held her tightly and kissed her forehead, his smile stretching from ear to ear. As they stood together on the balcony, Aladdin embraced his family and knew as long as he had them, he needed little else. He had gone from a commoner on the streets, scraping for food and ducking the guards, to Sultan of an entire, prosperous kingdom with a growing family. He couldn't imagine his life any other way and was thankful for every challenge in his past that had brought him to that very moment in time.

He was once a street rat. He was now a Sultan ... But more importantly, he was a husband and a father.

It was, after all, his destiny.


The End