The full moon was like a nod, a tip of the hat, to the end of a perfect evening. He'd snagged the princess's heart. He wasn't able to quite keep his secret in the end though. Boy, what fun that would have been, playing prince the rest of his life. He thought he did a pretty good job too.
As he was going back to his designated guest quarters in the palace, he noticed a small ensemble of the castle guard near his room; three burly men with scimitars at their side.
"Hi, can I help you gentlemen?" The street rat in disguise says.
"The grand and high vizier Jafar would like a word with you."
"At this hour? Can't he wait a bit till' breakfast? A prince needs his sleep."
He had said it in a light-hearted manner. The stone faces of the guards show his humor did not amuse. They sternly stared at him.
"... Well, alright, if this is that important!" Aladdin gives an exasperated sigh of mock-fatigue, "In Ababwa, this would be easily a punishable offense, disturbing my sleep!"
The guards look to each other and shrug before going to usher him back down the hall. There was one behind, and two on the sides, to make sure he would not be able to escape. Aladdin was nervous, but he couldn't show it. Even if Jafar might have recognized him.
The moon still shone full and bright, blissfully ignorant to the dread weighing down in Aladdin's stomach as the guards walked him towards Jafar's corner of the palace. But they did not take him inside. Rather, they walked him to the back around the perimeter, where the walls face the open air before the wide sea. The feeling of an ill-omen intensifies.
In the moonlight, by the edge, he sees Jafar with some other attendants. The man, even in the dark, was visibly displeased as he looked at the fake prince approach. His staff's ruby eyes glinted.
"... Well hello there," Aladdin begins uneasily, "You wanted to see me?"
He raises a hand to wave, and a vice-like grip clamps onto it, wresting it down behind him. There is a kick at the back of his legs, toppling him onto his knees.
Before he can give a cry of surprise, a wad of cloth is jammed into his mouth and swiftly secured from behind his head, muffling his voice.
His shouts for help are in vain. Wrestle as he may, his wiry street-smart body is not able to resist the muscular strength of the guards. They clap manacles of iron on his wrist and secure his legs in the same fashion. But affixed to his feet is a large metal ball, no doubt an anchor.
Aladdin flops on the ground like a fish before two guards hoist him up by the armpits. A third one rolls the ball with his feet until they are by the edge. The waves can be heard below. It is a rather tame sound, not like crashing water. But it was still horrifying. Aladdin dare not move, as he can not feel the ground under his feet, but rather he is dangling above the sea.
"I will ask you this simply, street rat," Jafar walks up to the bound prince, looking a little bored, "Nod for yes, and shake your head for no. Is the lamp on you right now?"
"Mmmh-mmmph!" Aladdin doesn't do either head motion, instead trying to talk through his gag like a fool. As it expected, it miffs Jafar more than a little.
"Insolent-!" He thrusts the head of his staff into Aladdin's stomach, eliciting a hard grunt. It knocked the air out of him. That thing is solid metal.
"I suppose it matters not," Jafar muses. His expression suddenly was turning very nasty and sadistic as he watched Aladdin wheeze a little, "I will get my answer one way... or another."
He gives a slight nod to the guards. The two holding Aladdin drop him on the ground. The last one kicks the metal weight off the ledge.
Aladdin's eyes widen as he feels the heavy weight now begin to pull him down with it. Struggle as he may, being trussed like a worm doesn't make it easy.
He somehow manages to get onto his knees to try and pathetically crawl against the pull. Jafar swiftly ends that with a conk of his staff on the poor Aladdin's head. The strike was so jarring that he fell down almost instantly.
Then in little more than a second, he was pulled off the ledge.
Jafar waited for that splash before he peered cautiously over the edge. In the moonlight, he could see the ripple rings of white water spread from where the rat had broken the surface. Pursing his lips, he signals the men to leave now before going himself.
If he sees that prince again, there is no longer any doubt the lamp is in his possession.
Aladdin was barely conscious as he fell through the air. The night wind in his face gave away to a cold smack when he hit the waves. That woke him up.
GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB
Immeasurable bubbles fog his vision, but he could feel himself sinking rapidly, pulled by the force of that weighted ball.
He hadn't quite prepared himself pre-impact. His lungs already were beginning to burn.
Eventually, the ball lands on the seafloor, kicking up a cloud of sand, which settles slowly. Aladdin strains against the metal bonds, but it's no different underwater than above it. A bit frantic now, he looks around for something, anything to maybe pick the manacles at his feet. But it is all mostly sand, some twigs and shells.
His time is running quick. It's like a battle raging in his body now. His lungs are fighting for air, to breathe. But he's keeping his airways shut. The flaming sensation in his chest grows.
A few bubbles escape from his nose. He looks up to see them swim up. Then a shadow appears over the water. A glimmer of hope appears when there is a splash, and he sees the sheen of the lamp's metal against the moonlight. But goodness, it can't sink fast enough.
His vision is blurring as his brain is becoming deprived. The trinket is finally now near the seafloor, and it lands a few feet from him. Despite the lack of air, he wills himself to struggle the distance. His body is heavy, and his muscles burn from aerobic respiration. Blindly, he fumbles a bit with his hands behind his back to try and grab the lamp...
Sand, sand... cold sand...
His body wasn't responding anymore. He had to breathe. BREATHE.
Through his nose, he drew in breath... but it was water. Bubbles escaped in exchange. He was totally going limp. His desperate body kept inhaling water, only for the bubbles of air to escape. He could feel the cold seawater filling him, weighing him down as he lost control of his body. It felt at first like something was constricting his brain and making him dizzy... but now, he just felt relaxed all of a sudden...
His eyes didn't even have the strength to close. Amid the calm, it felt like he was going to sleep, and his vision began to get spotty. But he hadn't even blinked.
He was leaving his body... a final twitch, and he was gone.
In the moon's light, his lifeless body was like a figure caught in glass. His black hair just barely moving in the still undertow of the waves overhead. His face is actually quite serene, and his half-lidded eyes make him seem near asleep.
Then with the moon's beckon, there is movement. It pushes the lamp and the body. His hand just barely grazes the handle and the magic begins its work.
With a burst of blue ether, Genie twirls out from his abode to face the open sea.
"Hey ya, Al! Hm? Al?" The all-powerful djinn looks around for a few moments, "Wait, what the heck..."
His voice is garbled by the water. But he didn't need to breathe, so it didn't bother him. Then he turns around and sees Aladdin lifeless on the seafloor, bound and gagged.
"Oh my- AL!" Fear seizes the djinn. He had been in the Cave for too long maybe, that he forgot how humans worked for a moment. Or maybe it was the fear. Regardless, he hastily takes the gag off the fake prince first, like that would make a difference.
Nothing. Just that serene expression. Genie grips the man's smaller body by the hem of his open-chested shirt and gives him some rough shakes, screaming with desperation at his face.
"Al, AL! Oh c'mon you need to wake up! I can't help you if ya don't wake up! Wake up and make a wish, please, WAKE UP!"
No response. There is a slight convulsion as the last of the withheld air escapes its corporeal prison. Just some measly bubbles. But Aladdin's face remains unchanged. Without life.
"Oh man, oh man... think, think...!" Genie lets go of the body, and Aladdin sinks to lay again on the sandy floor.
"Wish, wish... I need a wish!" The frustrated djinn paces in circles, turning this way and that. His fearful eyes lie more than once on that sleep-like face of Aladdin's. But it was too still.
Well, I mean, what is a wish even right? Is it really just an order? N-no, think... It's a … it's a contract to fulfill, right? Contract... contract!
A lightbulb goes off in his ancient brain and he quickly pulls out a waterproof contract out of nowhere.
"Ok, we're going to bend the rules a little bit..."
He picks up Aladdin from behind and draws his finger a bit along the x-marked line for signatures at the bottom of the contract.
"I, Aladdin... being of sound body and mind... do wish to be rescued from certain … doom!"
Like magic, a signature appears at the bottom in glowing ink.
"Alright, that oughta do the trick... I hope you don't regret this!" Genie says a bit jokingly as he snaps the restraints off.
"Oop, can't forget this," He grabs the lamp as well and tucks it in Aladdin's shirt, "And off we go!"
There was no overtly loud and obnoxious sound of a submarine or a sudden swirl of water bursting out of the sea. There was only a flash, and they were no longer there. All that was left was the iron manacles and the ball on a chain.
Apu, the smart monkey, saw the flash, even with the moon's reflection on the water. He tugs a tassel on the carpet in the direction of the nearby forest, where a second flash erupts somewhat inconspicuously. The tapestry obeys.
Within the forest on castle grounds, Genie lays Aladdin down on the ground. The latter's body was completely limp, and his face seemed ashen. His chest was not moving. He wasn't breathing.
"Aw no, don't do this to me... AL!" Genie pushes back the black wet hair plastered to his face.
The monkey and carpet arrive shortly through some thicket of bonateas. Genie barely registers them, focused only on the motionless form before him.
"C'mon Al... c'mon!"
Well, "rescue" would mean his life isn't in danger anymore... and he's still in danger of drowning right?
Taking another liberty of interpretation, Genie begins trying to push the water out of Aladdin's system. Dribbles of water leak from his nose and mouth as Genie takes care not to crush him with supernatural strength.
The monkey looks on worriedly as the rescue efforts seem to take an eternity.
"Wake up, Al, c'mon..."
There is a spit of water which erupts from Aladdin's lips, spraying the blue djinn.
"Augh- well not like that...!"
Aladdin coughs weakly, spitting out water and taking great gulps of air. Genie turns him on his side so he doesn't choke on residual water. The fake prince vomits about three times before his coughing fit finally seems to settle down, and he wheezes, tasting that delicious oxygen.
"You... saved me..." Aladdin croaks out.
"Well, it cost you wish," Genie smiles a bit with a so-so hand movement, "But yeah, yeah we all saved you."
Aladdin looks to his best friends (and a carpet).