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Unbelievable Sights

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Nile has a notebook. It's new, pocket-sized, hard covered, and it's for Things To Get Around to. As she thinks of things, she jots them down - books, tv shows, movies, places to visit, things to learn - all those little things that she meant to do, or catch up on, but never had time.

She has time, now. It's good to be organised about these things.

This week it's movies that came out when she was deployed. She settles plugs her laptop into the tv, snuggles down on the sofa with a blanket and popcorn, and happily presses play.The rest of the rented house is mostly silent, the others hanging out in their respective rooms, enjoying the downtime.

Nile is twelve minutes into the new live-action Aladdin when she pauses it, rewinds a moment, watches again, and pauses, sitting in something like shock. "Guys?" she squeaks, then clears her throat and tries again, managing a proper yell. "Guys?"

The others all respond promptly - Andy with axe in hand; Nicky and Joe gratifyingly dressed (it's hit and miss when they've been in their room with the door closed).

"What is it? Is someone attacking?" asks Andy, urgently. Nile just waves a hand at the screen.

The other three look at the screen. Nicky and Andy look at Joe, then back at the screen, then back at Joe.

"I'm not imagining it, right?" says Nile, supressed hysteria in her voice.

"It's remarkable," breathes Andy. "Of course, after a while you get used to seeing people who look like others you know, but the resemblence is uncanny."

"What is this film?" asks Joe, looking wild-eyed.


"No, this is not Aladdin. I remember that. It was cartoons, fun songs and the funny genie."

"They remade it last year - a live version. With actors," Nile explains, then narrows her eyes. "Joe, do you have an alibi?"

"Of course he does, he was with me," says Nicky distractedly. It doesn't matter what or when, anyone who asks about an alibi for Joe will get one.

The other three move to sit down, Andy in an arm chair, Nicky and Joe joining Nile on the sofa.

"I've never seen this one," says Andy mildly.

"I only just started here, let me go back to the beginning," Nile offers.

She will come to consider the following two hours the most entertaining movie experience of her life. Not because the movie is exceptional - it's fine, she supposes, but she liked the original better - but because watching Joe and Nicky's reactions whenever Jafar is on screen is amazing.

Joe is alternatively amused and horrified, and entirely drawn into the story. He talks back to the screen, throws popcorn, and asks if he should cut his hair that short ("No!") or buy robes like that, they're very imposing, no? Oh, and look at the man's fingernails! It's been so long since he had a proper manicure.

Nicky, on the other hand, is silent and transfixed. He's holding onto Joe's forearm with both hands, getting tenser and tenser throughout the movie, eyes wide and pupils blown, a faint flush on his cheeks.

As the credits roll, Nicky turns to Joe. "Can you do the voice?" he asks in a strangled tone.

"The voice?" Joe asks. Then it clicks. "Ohhh. The voice." He leans forward and to murmer in Nicky's ear. Nile can't hear what he says, precisely, but she can tell the tone is breathier and higher-pitched than his usual voice, arrogant and demanding. Nicky squeaks, and without bothering to say anything to Nile and Andy he stands abruptly, pulling Joe off the sofa and towards their room.

"Yeah, calling it now, Joe's going to end up with a set of those robes whether he likes it or not," Andy says, scooping up another handful of popcorn. (Nile got her her own bowl, because Andy eats it with icing sugar dusted over, instead of salt and butter the way god intended.) "Hey, isn't there that website? Where you can see what else people are in?"

Nile grins, already leaning forward to unplug her laptop and open a new tab. "IMDB. Already on it. You think Nicky would like some DVDs?"

Andy grins. "I'm positive he would. What's next on your to-watch list? Think we could fit in another movie this evening?"

"Oh, sure." Nile pulls out her notebook, puts a neat tick next to Aladdin, and checks to see what's next. "Here we go - it's a spy movie. Atomic Blonde. Ever seen it?"

"Nope," Andy settles back into her chair. "Let's give it a go."

Nicky and Joe are, thankfully, too caught up to be interuppted by the scream of laughter that peals out a little while later.