|Diamonds are Forever
Author: Lyrical Ballads PM
Philippa Graham, Rick's half-sister, is a typical American flapper who wants to have fun and get rich, but she soon learns that the path to riches isn't fun and games. Not your average sister fic!Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Adventure - Jonathan C. & Beni G. - Chapters: 25 - Words: 58,142 - Reviews: 67 - Favs: 20 - Follows: 16 - Updated: 10-20-12 - Published: 12-21-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7658384
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own The Mummy.
Author's Note: I never thought I would ever write a Rick's sister story, but this idea popped into my head and wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote it. I'm a big fan of the 1920's, so I thought it would be fun to introduce a flapper character and write a story that's filled with 20's culture. Not only that, but I also hope to break the fanfic cliches and shake up the storyline, so you definitely won't see a lot of movie dialogue here.
Diamonds are Forever
I. A Glass of Scotch
All the New York summers in the world couldn't prepare Philippa Graham for the heat of Cairo. As she made her way through the dusty streets, beaded handbag hanging from the crook of her arm, she was grateful that her hair had been bobbed ages ago, for the heat would have been downright unbearable if she had a heavy mass of hair weighing her down. She couldn't imagine how those stiff Victorians of her mother's time had survived with those long, voluminous skirts and those manes of hair all wound up around their heads, and thanked her lucky stars that she was living the prime of her life in the good old Jazz Age. If it wasn't for the current style of short skirts and bobbed hair, she would be positively dying as she trekked across Cairo and tried to avoid getting run over by carts, wayward animals, and the occasional stern British soldier.
But how quaint it all was! Like something out of a stage play or a novel, and Philippa looked with eager eyes upon the markets selling bright rugs and pottery. The way people dressed reminded her of costume parties she had attended back home, only her current surroundings were bound to be much more fun than a silly old party, as long as there was some way of avoiding the heat. Perhaps people went swimming in that big river that flowed across Egypt? Pity she hadn't brought anything suitable to swim in, but she was bound to find something at one of those little market stalls she kept passing.
She briefly stopped beneath a canopy to retrieve the address she had written down, and spent the next few moments frowning at it and wondering if she should ask for directions. Cairo was such a strange place, filled with such strange people, and she might never find her destination if she kept wandering about the city, though perhaps that wasn't such a bad thing. There was so much to explore, after all, and who knew what sort of person this Rick O'Connell might be anyway? He may be her half-brother, but she had never seen the fellow in her life and he might turn out to be the worst sort of wet blanket, or worse.
Philippa grinned to herself beneath the canopy. Why shouldn't she have a little fun before resigning herself to family duty?
She might as well start by getting a drink. The best part about being in Egypt was that alcohol was legal, and Philippa was just itching to sit down and order a glass of liquor—real, actual liquor, instead of cheap gin mixed with half a dozen other things—and made her way to the nearest drinking establishment. Philippa may not have known much about Egypt, but she was an expert when it came to hunting out bars and followed a man in a cream colored suit into a lively looking place. Back in America, her favorite speakeasy had been raided by the police a few months ago, and she felt like she could breathe easily as she stepped into the bar and relished in the fact that she could do as she pleased, without worrying about all that Prohibition baloney that restricted her at home.
Of course, there was a thrill in drinking bootlegged liquor, but the legal stuff was bound to taste better.
Philippa adjusted her cloche hat, which somewhat impaired her vision in the bar's dim atmosphere, and walked right into the man in the suit she had followed inside.
"Oh, pardon me, love," said an English accent. The owner of both the voice and the suit turned around to face Philippa, his blue eyes brightening with interest as he took in her appearance.
"No problem, dear," said Philippa. She thought he looked friendly and offered him a smile.
"I say, why don't I buy a handsome old girl like you a drink?" he said.
"Anything I like?"
"Anything in the world."
"Well lead the way, stranger," said Philippa, offering him her free arm. "I've been dying for a good drink."
She was pleased that the bar wasn't a seedy little dive, though some of the clientele looked a bit disreputable—the type who would steal the beads right off her neck without batting an eye—but her friendly stranger steered her away from these shifty individuals and procured two empty bar stools in the furthest corner. Philippa was glad to sit down after trekking across those hot streets and she may not have landed herself in the Ritz, but the bar was nice and cool and the Englishman seemed like a good egg on the surface, which was plenty good enough for her.
"What'll you have, love?" he asked her.
"I could go for a whiskey," said Philippa.
"Is scotch all right?"
"And how!" she agreed. "But how rude of you to buy me a drink without giving me your name first."
He threw his head back and laughed. "Quite right you are. I have been rude, haven't I? Jonathan Carnahan at your service, and who might you be?"
"I'm Philippa," she said sweetly, sensing that this man could be great fun if she hung around him long enough. "Philippa Graham."
"I have a distant cousin named Philippa, but you're a good deal nicer looking than that old bat."
"It's really a horrible name, isn't it? My parents wanted a boy and planned to name him Philip, but when I came along they simply added a few letters and thought it suitable. Some nerve, huh?"
"I'd drink to that," said Jonathan. He raised his hand, realized it was empty, and chuckled at his own absent-mindedness. "But I'd need a drink first. Bartender, why don't you be a good chap and fetch us two glasses of scotch?"
The bartender obliged Jonathan and took no time in sending two glasses of scotch their way, and Philippa savored the liberating taste of legal alcohol, knowing that it had arrived in her glass through honest means instead of the shady work of gangsters. Though deep down, she supposed there was something oddly romantic about the gangsters who ran bootlegging operations throughout much of the United States. How exciting it must be to live a life outside the law, without a care in the world. Ever since she was a little girl Philippa swore that she would have fun with her life, and she may not be part of a bootlegging ring but she was bound to do something exciting in this strange foreign city. All the girls and fellows she ran with back home were expecting long letters full of wild stories, and Philippa had no intention of disappointing them.
"Say, have you ever danced the Charleston?" she asked Jonathan after most of the scotch in her glass had disappeared.
"Oh no, I'm not much of a dancer."
"Well that's no excuse. How about I teach you?"
"How about we get to know each other a bit first, hm? I'm bloody clumsy, even when I'm sober. Runs in the family, I suppose."
Philippa would have liked to dance out her restless energy, but she never could say no when a nice fellow asked a favor of her. "All right, then. What do you wanna know about me?"
"What a lively thing like yourself is doing in Egypt, first of all," Jonathan said with a chuckle.
"Now that's a story that'll take an hour to tell," said Philippa.
"Well I don't know about you, old girl, but I've got all the time in the world. Or at least until the next day, since my baby sister will positively kill me if I miss the boat we're supposed to get on tomorrow."
"It must be swell to have a sister," said Philippa, turning eager eyes upon him. "I wouldn't know since I haven't got any. Is she anything like you?"
"Evy and I are as unlike as can be, I can assure you of that. She saved a filthy bloke's life yesterday and now we're all headed off on an adventure, which means lots of tedious study for my sister and loads of treasure for yours truly here. If you're fond of books and history and dusty old geezers who have been rotting in tombs for thousands of years, you'll get along smashing with Evy, and if not, well then there's always another drink to be had, eh?"
"I could certainly use another drink," Philippa said slyly.
That was reason enough for Jonathan to order another round of scotch, and while the bartender poured their drinks Philippa resumed their thread of conversation, strangely intrigued by this bookish sister of Jonathan's. "Doesn't your sister do anything fun? Dancing? Golf? Automobile driving? There's got to be something, hasn't there?"
"Believe me, Philippa my dear, according to my sister those rotting old blokes are a great load of fun. I keep telling Evy she'd loosen up a bit if she let herself be wooed by men who are actually alive, but she stubbornly prefers dead ones."
"Well there's no fun at all in a dead man. He can't dance with you, or buy you drinks, or hold a conversation. You know, I'm supposed to be meeting my long-lost brother right now, but I'm glad I ran into a fine fellow like you."
"Long-lost brother? Now there's a tale worth telling."
"Half-brother, actually. We had different fathers, you see, so he's Rick O'Connell instead of Graham."
Jonathan nearly choked on the sip of scotch he had taken. "Pardon me, but did you just say Rick O'Connell?"
"Yeah. Something special about that name?"
"Why, that's the name of the bloke my sister saved yesterday! I never would have guessed you're related to the filthy bugger—no offense, though let me take a look here..." Jonathan leaned over on his bar stool to peer into Philippa's face, squinting at her as he did so. "By Jove, I believe you've got his eyes!"
Philippa didn't know what to say. What could she say after finding out that a stranger she met in a bar was acquainted with a brother she had never met, and that her eyes apparently matched those of her mysterious, unseen brother? She laughed off all feelings of nervousness—her usual response to uncomfortable situations—and took a hearty sip of her drink. "Well let's hope I'm the better looking sibling," she said, waving a flippant hand. "I've never met this brother of mine, so it'll be quite an adventure when I come knocking on his door."
"Well you are lucky you ran into a fine fellow like me, my dear," said Jonathan. "This brother of yours is traveling with my sister and I tomorrow, so it's a spot of bloody good luck that you arrived here before our boat set sail."
Philippa didn't feel any personal attachment to Rick, never having met him in her life, but she knew her mother would be mighty upset if her long-lost son sailed away on some strange boat with a couple of English people. Philippa was supposed to bring Rick back to the States, after all, though personally she would rather stick around in Egypt for a while and see what a jolly time she could have. "Where's your boat headed?" she asked.
"Hamunaptra," Jonathan replied, dropping his voice as if the information was sacred. "We're off to find riches beyond your wildest imagining."
Well if Rick was headed to Hamunaptra, whatever that was, then Philippa would just have to come along. "Sounds like the bee's knees," she said, imitating Jonathan's hushed, excited tone. "What are you gonna do once you get rich?"
"What am I going to do?" Jonathan echoed. "My dear, what am I not going to do? I'll settle in a posh house in London—no, no, a posh mansion—and I'll drink only the finest liquor and have only the finest women on my arm. People will positively beg to be invited to my dinner parties and all those beastly little chaps who wronged me in my school days will wish they had been a bit more civil to ol' Jonny Carnahan, that's for certain!"
"Sounds like you'll have a grand time of it. It must be awful swell to be so rich that the world is nothing but a giant party. Say, Jonathan, will you do me a favor?"
"Another glass of scotch, eh? You're quite a force to be reckoned with."
"No, it isn't that. Will you be a dear and show me where to find Rick? I've got his address right here." Philippa fished out the address slip again and pushed it down the counter towards Jonathan, who grinned at her and took up the little paper so he could read it.
"So that's where he lives when he isn't getting himself thrown into prison," Jonathan murmured as he studied the address. "I can take you there, love, but only to the door, understand? Rick O'Connell and I, well... we have a bit of a history."
Philippa considered her first day in Egypt to be a success so far. She had managed to gain two free drinks and a guide to Rick's address, all in the course of less than half an hour, and if she stuck close to Jonathan she might gain even more. Unable to suppress her eagerness for possible adventure, she followed Jonathan out of the bar and pestered him with questions about the mysterious Hamunaptra and why her brother was headed there. He responded jovially enough, telling her all about a strange puzzle box that contained a map to the lost city, which was rumored to contain infinite amounts of gold and treasure.
"Curious little thing, that box is," Jonathan said as he led her down the side streets of Cairo. "I found it on a dig down in Thebes, you know. Broke my back for a solid three hours with nothing but a single canteen of water and my trusty little trowel, and lo and behold! The little bugger showed up, and now my sister and I have got a ticket to endless riches."
"This map is the real McCoy?" Philippa asked. "It's really gonna lead you to some ancient city filled with treasure?"
"Now why would I lie to you? I'll prove it to you if we ever bump into each other again, you mark my words."
"Why don't you just show it to me now?"
"My sister's got the blasted thing in her scholarly, meticulous clutches, otherwise I would. I swear if I dare to breathe on it the wrong way, she'll bury me alive."
Philippa remained silent, unsure of how to respond to this mixture of sibling rivalry and affection. She never had such an experience herself, being an only child her entire life, and now she was about to become somebody's sister and had no idea how to do it. In spite of her love of fun and adventure, she grew insecure if she let herself think for too long, and thinking about Rick only made her realize that she truly had no idea what she was getting herself into. Which was just part of the fun, wasn't it?
She sure hoped so.
At last Jonathan took her to a nondescript little tenement building with small windows and mildewed walls, and gave her a reassuring pat on the shoulder. "Well, there it is. I'll be off now, if you don't mind."
"Thanks, darling," said Philippa, wishing he would stick around just a bit longer.
Jonathan took his leave of her, whistling to himself as he walked away, and Philippa pulled out the address to remind herself which apartment Rick lived in. It wasn't until she stood right in front of Rick's door that she finally noticed one of her bracelets was missing, and it was too late for her to chase after Jonathan and demand that he give it back.
"The nerve of him," Philippa fumed, and she took out her frustration by banging upon Rick's door.