|Come What May
Author: Laliel PM
Rick and Evie have been married for 22 years, and watch as their son Alex drifts away from them. Who can bring them together again before someone is lost? Rick/Evie Alex/OCRated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Alexander O. & OíConnell, R. - Chapters: 8 - Words: 14,166 - Reviews: 28 - Favs: 26 - Follows: 43 - Updated: 04-24-10 - Published: 07-17-08 - id: 4402931
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I am only the nut who writes the fan fiction. Many wiser people own The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. I own nothing (sadly).
Note: Rick and Evie have been married for 22 years in this story. Alex, their son, is 20. I am not basing this off the new movie at all, this is just my own insanity. Enjoy! Also, this is not meant to be too serious, this is meant to be funny =)
Come What May
A Slight Continuation of The Mummy Returns
Alex's statement was not only, quite sadly, true, but Charlie felt that she had never been more bored in her entire life. Bluebloods mingled easily with each other around the buffet tables, discussing such-and-such a person's achievements. Rick introduced Charlie as the daughter of a long-time friend, and everyone instantly felt that she was engaged to Alex. Charlie didn't bother telling them the truth. As the O'Connell's entered the flow of discussion topics, Charlie felt herself being pulled along. Some unknown elderly woman kept patting her arm, saying how lovely she looked and something about the joys of youth. A never-ending monologue of names, places, and events whirled past her, and soon Charlie ceased to even listen.
The room seemed to slow down as couples started a sleepy waltz. Even the elegantly clad orchestra looked as though they were about to nod off as a far too slow rendition of The Blue Danube somehow trickled from their instruments. As soon as Alex released her arm and vanished to find some punch, Charlie sought refuge on a curtained balcony. Away from the snobbery, heavily polished marble floors, and bright three tiered crystal chandelier, Charlie's eyes finally adjusted to the dim lights of the city that ran through her soul. Behind her the rich peacock patterned drapes bedecked with tassels swung lightly in the still-warm breeze of Cairo. The tiniest particles of sand blew by with the wind, catching the fiery strands of her hair that were not pinned down and playing with them. And always, at this beautiful time when the sun had just set, Charlie felt her personal grievances rise to the surface. A deep breath of the heavy air never fully cured it, but stemmed the tide.
The sound of a cigarette being lit behind her nearly startled Charlie into a scream. Normally her emotions were more in check, but thoughts of a stern, blond-haired Nazi with a revolver pointed at her back sent shivers up her spine.
"Is this a private escape, or can I join in?"
The voice was American, not entirely cultured but not aged either. Charlie turned to see the owner leaning comfortably against the marble doorframe, the damask curtains billowing behind him. The man was not terribly old but owned a lined face and graying temples that spoke of harder times. His suit was not shabby but from the wrinkles embedded in the black fabric it was not pressed often either. Charlie figured him for a WWII vet who wasn't married, someone who lived out of suitcases in strange lands.
"The balcony is free to anyone who doesn't want to sleep on their feet or nod off into the salmon mousse."
The man gave her a grin that suddenly melted years away and gave Charlie a glimpse of the youthful enthusiasm he must have once possessed.
"Well, miss, you are my type of person."
Charlie smiled back and extended her gloved hand.
The man had a firm handshake, one that was pleasant but not bone-cracking.
"Prof. Henry, at your service."
He then commenced to offer her a cigarette and as he was extending the lighter, she caught sight of a small motif on the side.
"That's a nice lighter, Professor. Does it bring you luck?"
He shook his head in a bemused way.
"The only type of luck I get is when my college lets me go on vacation. And that has nothing to do with a silver lighter, I can assure you."
Charlie looked down at her lit cigarette, the end glowing slightly as the night's veil slowly rippled across Egypt. The electric light sconces and wired statues suddenly came to life, adding a glow to the balcony.
"The curious thing is that I've seen your lighter before. Alex O'Connell has the exact same one."
Henry emitted a chuckle that was oddly endearing as he stepped up to balcony's elaborately carved lotus-style marble rail.
"No, he has one that looks like mine. I gave it to him after teaching a voluntary class in England. He was certainly one weird bundle of nerves in those days."
Charlie turned to face the night and gazed out at the blinking stars.
"Well, to be honest, he is still one weird bundle of nerves. Never met a guy before who was so determined to make his parents go through merry hell."
Henry gazed at her a moment before taking a puff from his cigarette.
"Are you good friends with them, Ms. Bower? I thought I saw them here tonight."
Charlie wished she could tell him the truth.
"Actually, Alex was escorting me tonight. I ran off to escape the contagious boredom of the other room."
Henry gave her another brilliant smile.
"Great minds really do think alike…"
Meanwhile, back in the grand hall…
By the third go around the room Alex was only slightly fuming. Charlie had completely vanished and he had been sidelined by several elderly ladies with young granddaughters of marriageable age.
Rick and Evelyn were enjoying the slow waltz and as they whirled slowly by their obviously irritated son, Rick couldn't help but chuckle. Evelyn saw it as well, and mumbled into Rick's ear, "I'm so glad I'm past that stage in life. Those old horrid busybodies and gossips nearly drove me crazy."
The delicate chink of a silver spoon lightly tapping crystal glass seemed unnaturally loud. Or perhaps the orchestra was playing rather quietly, but for whatever reason, everyone heard it and turned to face a dark haired man who held himself and his speech notes with style.
"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming to this little party."
Everyone gave the polite chuckle, since nothing about the party, was in fact, little.
"The season here at the museum has been remarkable and I have been quite honored as director…"
Behind the glittering crowd whose eyes were fixed on the Antiquities Director a shadow appeared down a darkened hallway. A hummed tune too soft for anyone else to hear floated around the figure with as dark an intent as their black trench-coat. Before anyone could sense the eyes, though, the figure vanished.
At the balcony…
"Oh drat, it sounds like a speech has started."
Henry sounded so unhappy that Charlie gave him a strong pat on the shoulder.
"You don't think they would miss us, do you?"
Henry emitted a heavy sigh.
"You, no, me, definitely. I'm a guest speaker tonight and…"
He suddenly broke off as the wind picked up and blew one of the curtains to the side, revealing a ways down the hall a trench-coat clad figure pocketing a tool and entering what was supposed to be off limits, a future exhibit room. Charlie finished his sentence for him.
"…now I'd say things are picking up. Care to investigate the case of the mysterious skulker with a lock pick?"
Henry turned and caught the excited gleam in Charlie's eye.
"Well, we should get security."
Charlie rolled her eyes.
"And let the thief have all the time in the world? God only knows where the security is in this building."
"True, and I'd say yes but you've never done this before…"
He drifted off as Charlie hitched a length of emerald fabric to her knee, reached underneath and up and pulled a small revolver from her gown.
As the thief infested room loamed ahead…
Henry produced his own revolver from a coat pocket and together they approached the door. If the hallway was dark, the room beyond was like a black hole. It yawned at them and seemed to become more ominous as they reached the door frame. They stood to either side of the door so their silhouettes wouldn't announce them. Henry started to open his mouth but Charlie held her fingers to her lips. Then, much to his amazement, she used military hand signals to describe a plan. Henry would enter first, crawling to a small glass case that would serve as cover. Charlie would find the lights and dive for another case. Henry would have the best shot at taking down the thief.
The plan worked, up to a point. Charlie managed the lights perfectly, but the blast of machine gun fire that erupted from the other side of the room was wholly unexpected. Large and cumbersome, the thief must have carried it on a strap under their coat. Much to Charlie's amazement though, Henry dove, rolled, and shot in perfect training precision. As the thief was thus preoccupied Charlie dove in the opposite direction, firing her small pistol in hopes of winging him. From the main hall screams could be heard now, most likely in response to the sounds of gunfire. Bullets riddled the walls, ruining the gold scroll work moldings and imported red silk wallpaper.
Charlie suddenly felt a chill. The pattern of fire the thief was using was familiar. But she couldn't put her finger on it. Short bursts were fired, first at Henry then at Charlie, while the thief backed up. Charlie couldn't see his face, it was covered by a ghoulishly grinning Italian carnival mask. Charlie's small gun inevitably ran out of bullets and she had none with which to reload it. Henry took a moment to reload his gun from spares in his pocket and in that time the thief smashed a glass case open, snatched an object from it, and turned his machine gun to one of the pristine windows behind him. A waterfall of glass rained down and the thief yelled something undistinguishable towards the window. An answering honk from a care rang in the room. By now running footsteps were getting closer and angry shouts came from the hall. Just as Henry snapped the chamber shut the grinning thief saluted them and dove out the window.
Henry and Charlie reached the window just in time to see a car roaring through the open gate, gravel and dirt spewing in all directions. Just then a crowd of armed men, some from the party in their tuxedos and some security officers who had been patrolling an upper floor, burst through the door and stared at the shambles around them.
Rick O'Connell stepped forward, Alex right behind him. Both looked relieved to see Prof. Henry and Charlie alive, but underneath that relief Rick's eyes were livid.
"Please tell me this wasn't a shooting match to see who could hit the smallest target."
Charlie gave a defiant smile.
"Not unless one of us was using a machine gun and wearing a carnival mask."
In the director's office…
It took well over four hours to explain everything to the antiquities director, who was so distraught once it was over that he finally had to take some pills for his nerves. The damage done to the room was extensive. Many of Charlie's and Henry's bullets had embedded themselves in the wall with the window, while the machine gun had ruined the other wall with the door completely. Three glass cases and one window had been shattered, and on top of that a rare Egyptian artifact had been stolen. When Charlie pressed him about it, the director refused to even look at her.
"It was priceless. There will never be another like it, ever."
The man then commenced to break down into sobs and had to be escorted from the room by his lovely but concerned looking wife. Charlie and Henry were told they could leave and outside the room the O'Connell family stood in a row like drill sergeants. Both Rick and Evelyn looked unhappy and worried.
Alex immediately gave Henry a strong hug, clapping him on the back firmly.
"Glad to see you, Prof. Sorry that you had to fall in with Charlie's schemes."
Henry patted Charlie's arm.
"Actually, she was the best back-up I've ever had."
Charlie gave Henry a playful nudge and he reciprocated it. Alex heaved an exasperated sigh.
As everyone else had already left three hours and 40 minutes earlier, the cloak room was empty. Rick and Evelyn hurried through and dragged Alex with them. Henry, however, took his time. He gallantly helped Charlie on with her wrap before removing his tuxedo jacket and pulling on another one. It was a worn brown leather one in a bomber style.
"So Charlie, I hope the O'Connell's don't give you what for over this. It was partly my idea, you know."
She winked at him.
"It was fully my idea and you know it, Prof. But thank you for being chivalrous."
His hat was handed to him by the sleepy looking checker behind the counter. Like his jacket, it, too, was worn. Duty done, the clerk promptly vanished and snapped the lights off as he went.
"Not that you need it. I've never seen a woman who could handle a gun that well in years."
He placed the hat on his head, totally altering his appearance.
"When was the last one?"
His eyes suddenly looked sad.
"Long years ago when the war was only starting."
He looked so melancholy that on impulse Charlie gave him a hug, one that he responded to with a gentle rub on her back.
"Don't let that special one get away from you. It'll kick your ass for all time if you do."
Charlie nodded and once more extended her hand.
"Thanks for the wild ride tonight; it was a lot more fun than that ridiculous waltz… So, I guess this is goodbye, Professor."
A sudden cheeky grin lit up his face.
"I never count on final goodbyes, Charlie. Also, most people don't call me professor outside the academic world."
Her eyebrow arched at him and her tone was playful.
"I knew it, you've been lying all along! So, what do you go by?"
He pulled open the heavy doors and gazed out into the Egyptian night. The moon had risen by now and shone brightly down at them. A slight gust of wind caught his open jacket and blew it. He turned, half of his face in shadows, the other lit by Bella Luna's rays.
Okay…I totally know my ass deserves kicking for the wait. Truth is, my college classes caught up with me and I have been busy writing boring papers and thinking about my story. I finally got to write this, and yes, it took staying up till 3 am. Hope everyone likes it (and don't spoil the surprise for others in the reviews, please =D).