"After you, Junior," a heavy Scottish accent drawled as Shawn and Gus stared transfixed at their big screen TV. It was movie night at the office and it had been Gus' idea to pick the Indiana Jones movies.
"Yes sir!" young Harrison Ford shouted before they all rode their horses off into the sunset.
As the end credits rolled, Shawn stretched his stiff limbs with a satisfied, 'Ahhh..'. before turning to his friend Gus, "I've got to hand it to you buddy. You picked some good movies tonight."
"Just tonight!? I always pick good movies, Shawn!"
"What about two weeks ago when you picked 'Battlefield Earth?'" Shawn curled his lip. Usually he liked John Travolta, but the movie's odd angles tended to give him a headache.
Frowning, Gus grumbled, "Well, it was better than your pick last week, mister 'It's a classic!'"
Shawn's eyes widened in affront and he readied his popcorn ammo. "Don't diss Howard the Duck, Gus. That's just something you don't do."
After a short staring contest, both friends looked away to cool off and Shawn popped his former ammo into his mouth. Most of the time they agreed on movies, but when they didn't, it was often a bicker match that could go on for hours. As it was, they still had one more movie to watch, even though Gus didn't quite know it yet.
"Well, I'm done. Goodnight. See you tomorrow." Gus gathered up his blanket and tried to make a quick exit, almost as if he knew of Shawn's plans.
"But Guuuus! We aren’t done..." Shawn singsonged and blindly reached under his seat cushion, bringing out the pièces de résistance; a copy of the brand new movie, 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.' "It's a rule Gus. We have to watch them all."
"Shawn, please," Gus scoffed haughtily. "The first three Indiana Jones movies are classics. They have all the old school elements that make an action movie great. Hero, sidekick, important mission... and a girl."
Shawn rolled his eyes at his friend's over annunciation and eye widening. His friend really needed to get a girlfriend. "Just because you hate the fourth one, doesn't mean it doesn't exist in the Indiana Jones universe," he countered. "Besides, you've only seen it once in the theaters. The director's cut could have fixed things."
"Indiana got flung by an ATOMIC BOMB in a fridge Shawn−" Gus paused and pinched the bridge of his nose. "I can't do this with you right now. Let's just watch it and get it over with."
"That's the spirit!" Shawn rushed over and plopped the DVD in the holder and sat back down as the previews started.
The first one was advertizing the other three movies, and Shawn pointedly ignored Gus' smug glances as the trailer advertized the "classic Indiana Jones" angle. However, the next trailer almost caused Gus to drop the entire bowl of popcorn as he reached over Shawn to turn up the volume.
"Hey! What gives Grabby!" Shawn dodged the grasping hand while nimbly saving the buttery kernels from falling to the ground.
"DUDE! It's the new Axe McDougan movie!"
"Axe?" Shawn frowned at the name. "Never heard of it."
"The first movie was a huge hit Shawn. Arnou Coswell is great as the suave, yet dangerous Axe McDougan." To Shawn, Gus almost sounded like he was reciting the trailer voice over dialogue.
Even so, he was intrigued and watched as the tall man with short cropped black hair and green eyes battled everything from ninjas to cowboys. He seemed to be a mixture of FBI agent and vigilante. Shawn snorted and lost all interest when the movie title flashed on the TV "Giv'em the Axe? Seriously?"
Oblivious to Shawn's disinterest, Gus continued, "They're already filming the next in the series. I can't wait to see it. I'm number three on the contact list for any spoilers."
Of course, there was one last scene where Axe McDougan gunned down a man who was about to shoot him. The action hero twisted his gun and put it back in his holster. "You've just gotten the Axe."
Narrowing his eyes, Shawn could have sworn in that instant, the actor reminded him of someone. He just couldn't figure out who. "Gus, does that guy seem familiar to you?" Looking over, he saw that Gus was in his own little heroic world as the trailer ended. Shawn sighed and gave up for now, deciding to focus more on the movie. With his abilities, it was surprising that the feeling of déjà vu didn't happen to him more often.
"Gus, pass the popcorn."
"Just because you ate all yours doesn't mean you get to take mine, Shawn."
Somewhere, on a studio lot in Hollywood....
"Thanks, Arnou! See you tomorrow!" A middle-aged red haired woman waved to a tall, black haired man with bright green eyes.
Arnou waved absentmindedly as he exited towards his car. His mind was already on the large fresh salmon filet in his fridge, just waiting to be pan fried and smothered in hollandaise.
It had been a super long day, and tomorrow would be just as long. They were in the lot for another two weeks, and then it would be off to the Caribbean for some ocean backdrops. As great as it was to catch some rays once in a while, he enjoyed a night at home just as much as a night in Acapulco.
He was just reaching for his keys when he heard some arguing a couple rows down. One of the voices was familiar. It belonged to one of the film's producers, Sal Greason. The other two voices he'd never heard before. Sal was a good guy, and he wondered who would be pissed at him, and why. He walked closer to hear better.
"You should have just given The Mack his money. We know you and that pretty boy are making cash hand over fist on the first two flicks."
Arnou's nose wrinkled. Pretty boy. He hated that term. He could hold his own; just because his knuckles didn't drag on the ground didn't mean he was a sissy. The actor was about to give them a piece of his mind when a large *SMACK* sounded and Sal screamed loudly. Arnou quickly ducked behind the nearest car, his back plastered to the side.
"Please! I'll get him the money! I have it in my bank account!"
The pitiful whine from Sal made Arnou's heart clench in his chest, and he inched away back towards his own vehicle. He was too close to them to try and call 911. It was a miracle that he'd made it this far without being seen.
"Just do him. The boss needs to make an example outta someone and he picked this guy. Don't draw it out; someone might show up."
The terrified actor expected more talk; that was how it was in the movies. People talked their way out of situations, and the bad guys got caught. The cracking rapport of a gunshot and the small thud of a body hitting the ground was all he heard. No more pleading, no more Sal.
"Let's get outta here. This place gives me the creeps."
To Arnou's horror, their footsteps started walking towards him rather than away. If they walked by, they would see him for sure, and he'd be as dead as Sal. Taking the chance, he sprinted away to his car, starting it with his key fob.
"Hey! It's the pretty boy! Get him!" Arnou heard the voice directly behind him and he used his long legs to run faster.
When the bullets started flying, he was already closing his car door and putting his Lamborghini into drive. He squealed the tires and got the hell out of there. His hands were shaking too badly to dial the phone, but his Bluetooth still worked. Through gasping breaths he choked out, "Call 911!"
As he quickly explained his predicament to the dispatch, he realized that the hit men (or whatever they were) had recognized him. They could even have someone on their way to his house right now. Anyone brazen enough to kill a man out in the open like that wasn't someone to be messed with.
He was completely screwed.