Okay, thanks to those who reviewed my mini fic Remember me, it really meant a lot! This is something a bit different and probably a lot longer (not epic or anything of course). If anything, this is a very loose reworking of the Clark Gable film It Happened One Night. I had to watch it as part of my degree and the central characters just screamed Rick and Evy at me…I never claimed I was sane by the way. Since I only saw it once, three years ago, I really mean it when I say loose reworking.
Disclaimer: I'll readily admit that the characters are not mine (Oh how I wish they were). Neither do I own any dialogue or situations I happened to…borrow…from various sources that I can't be bothered to list (mostly because half of them I can't remember where I got them from). I do take credit for anything that turns out to be in the slightest bit original (I have to take what I can).
Stuck With You
Evelyn Carnahan: High society brat, younger sister of Jonathan Carnahan. Engaged to Imhotep.
Jonathan Carnahan: Rich Businessman. Shares mistress with Imhotep – Ank-Su-Namun.
ImhotepRich bachelor and ladies man. Engaged to Evelyn.
Anck-Su-Namun: 'Professional' mistress gold digger.
Rick O'Connell: Thief for hire, has loose ties with 'the syndicate'.
IzzyDriver for 'the syndicate', reluctant friend to Rick.
Ardeth Bey: Carnahan's chief of security.
Beni Gabor: Petty crook, conman, pickpocket and opportunist.
Lock-Nah: Head of 'the syndicate'
And that's everybody, so without further ado:
Chapter 1: An odd state of affairs
Wealthy socialite to marry notorious playboy
Much to the surprise of just about everybody, Evelyn Carnahan yesterday announced her engagement to popular goodtime 'It' boy Imhotep. Carnahan, daughter of the late president of the Ammon-Ra publishing corporation and younger sister of current president Jonathan Carnahan Jr, has enjoyed an on/off relationship with her betrothed for the last six months. Though usually keen to keep out of the public eye (unlike her brother – see page 14 for a photo exclusive of his antics at the Sultans Kasbah with former girlfriend Sheila), the pair has been spotted enjoying lunch and tea in several of Hamunaptra's more upmarket café's and at various social events.
The lady in question released a statement through the family's publicist stating that: "Imhotep and I are very happy together and have decided to make our relationship more permanent." Hardly the most romantic of sentiments. One has to wonder how the self proclaimed 'good girl' managed to tie down the man whose name became widely known just over a year ago when he was connected to the scandal surrounding the affair between then married Jonathan Carnahan and Anck-Su-Namun. His name has since been connected to no less than a dozen other women.
The question is also raised as to how Miss Carnahan's brother will react to the news that his baby sister is to marry his one time love rival…
Jonathan scowled, throwing the paper away in disgust. How was he going to react? He was going to tear the little twit's head off, that's how! How could she do this to him? More to the point, why had he had to find out from a newspaper he owned rather from Evy herself?
Ever since their parents had died he'd given her everything she could ever want; cars, clothes, credit cards, and this is how she repaid him. She wanted it on a whim, he got it for her…or at least one of his assistants did. As the thought crossed his mind Jonathan halted the frantic pacing he had begun without realising. Was that what this was about? Was she just after his attention? Surely she wasn't stupid enough to marry that womanising lout, not to mention a man who had stolen several very attractive ladies from right under his nose, just to make him spend time with her.
No, Evy wasn't that kind of girl. She wasn't petty and selfish. She wouldn't hurt him like this for something so childish. There had to be a reasonable explanation for this…he just couldn't think what it might be.
"But darling," Evy argued sweetly into her cell phone, sugar dripping from each syllable "I thought you'd be pleased."
"Evy," Imhotep began, letting out a put upon sigh as he struggled to keep his temper in check, something he found himself needing to do more and more frequently these days. Never had he met a woman as infuriating as Evelyn Carnahan. "It's not that I'm angry about you telling people…" I'm not angry he thought, livid, furious, homicidal, but definitely not angry. "…I just wanted to do things properly. I wanted to do something special to announce it."
The last part, at least, was true. The bigger deal was made of this whole thing the better. It was the perfect way to get one over on Jonathan, and with all the attention surrounding 'the happy couple'; he wouldn't be able to do anything in retaliation without harming his own interests. Jonathan Carnahan may have been a lot of things, and may have had more than his fair share of vices, but despite all of that he was nothing if not a very shrewd business man. He knew when not to do anything too stupid.
"Oh don't be silly." Evelyn replied with a chuckle, apparently flattered by her fiancé's words. "You know I didn't want to make a fuss. I thought it better to make a short, factual statement of our intentions than to let the whole thing get blown out of all proportion."
"You didn't want to make a fuss?" Fortunately Evelyn couldn't see his smirk.
"Is that why you haven't told Jonathan yet? How do you think he's going to react to finding out like that?" Imhotep could barely keep the amusement out of his voice as he imagined his rival's face as he read the headlines. His mind could have drifted off to a very happy place if not for Evelyn's voice anchoring him in the here and now.
"I knew he'd try and talk me out of it. He probably still will." She said matter-of-factly. "If I'd told him, he would have made sure I wasn't allowed anywhere near you. Now he has no choice in the matter, it's already public knowledge."
Imhotep sighed once more. True, things hadn't quite gone according to plan, but there was nothing to be done about it now, and he could work with what he had. "Okay. Are we still meeting for lunch?"
Evelyn held in the 'humph' of irritation Imhotep knew must be there, knowing that changing the subject and effectively slamming the door on a conversation was one of the quickest ways to annoy her. She hated it when he did that. "Of course."
"Great. See you later." Without waiting for a response Imhotep quickly disconnected the call and dropped the cordless phone onto the coffee table next to his chair, not really caring at that moment if he broke the thing. A little peace and quiet sounded like heaven right about now.
It wasn't that he didn't like Evelyn, he reflected. In fact most of the time he actually liked her quite a lot, cared about her even…most of the time. She was cute, there was no denying that, and she was one of the most intelligent women he had ever met. Most of the 'ladies of leisure' he'd passed any significant amount of time with invariably turned out to be incredibly vapid and shallow. Unfortunately she was also demanding, argumentative, stubborn and hopelessly prim. It was over six months and he'd still had nothing more than a kiss from her.
"Not until we're married." She'd insist whenever he tried anything a little more adventurous. At first he'd found it charming. No one really thought like that anymore and the proper lady act had been sweet, until he realised it wasn't an act.
Of course he wasn't marrying her purely to get into her pants, although that was a significant incentive. If that was really what he was after he could easily find it elsewhere, and had done on several occasions when Evelyn's refusal had been particularly frustrating, and he didn't see that changing even after they were married. What she didn't know wouldn't hurt him after all. The money he would be marrying into was also a sweet deal, along with rubbing the whole thing in Jonathan Carnahan's face.
No, the main reason for his proposal was simple. If he was going to be married, it may as well be to Evelyn. If she'd been able to keep his interest for this long she seemed like a fairly safe bet. Unfortunately, she was always going to be second best. It wasn't her fault, but his heart had been given away long ago to a woman who simply refused to be tied down.
An angry scowl curled his lips as he thought of his beloved Anck-Su-Namun. Where Evy was cute, Anck was exquisite, Evy was smart where Anck was sharp, Evy was innocent while Anck oozed sensuality. The hardest pill to swallow – Evy was perfectly happy to settle into marriage while Anck would never do so until she was sure she had the richest man possible in her clutches. He didn't blame her for that; one of the first things he looked at in a potential partner was the size of her inheritance.
At one time, he'd been the one to lavish her with gold and jewels. That was until Jonathan came barging in with his huge publishing company and 'old money', not to mention his good name. Oh Anck had still been willing to come to his bed and accept any gifts he had to offer, but why settle for one rich playboy when she could have two? Everyday his resentment towards his rival grew just that little bit more and showed no signs of abating until the day that Anck, sick of his jealousy, had simply called things off.
Evy had come along not long after, and he'd done his best to put Anck out of his mind…until recently…
Evy's shoulders slumped as she let the cell phone slip from her fingers, before falling back into the soft pillows of her bed. Every conversation they seemed to have ended that way these days. She tried to tell herself that it was only the pressure of having a romance in the public eye that led him to be so abrupt. She could understand the wish to avoid public displays of affection lest the photographs be printed in the paper the very next day – it happened to Jonathan frequently enough – but sometimes he seemed to forget that the press was not always present.
Was it her? She wondered. She knew that it irritated Imhotep when she wouldn't let him do any more than kiss her, but surely no more than it irritated her when he pushed her for more. Was it so wrong that she wanted to wait until it felt like the right thing? Some might have considered her attitude to be prudish and old fashioned, but she was determined to wait. The time would come eventually when the thought of being intimate wouldn't cause her stomach to twist in painful knots and her palms to become cold and clammy…right?
It was times like this, when she constantly doubted herself and everything she thought she knew about Imhotep and her relationship with him, that she wondered if she was just going insane.
"Are you insane!"
Ah, Jonathan. Ever the voice of reason
Without getting up, Evelyn turned to face her very red-faced brother where he stood in her open doorway and her brow furrowed in confusion. She was sure she'd locked that door.
As if reading her thoughts, Jonathan was quick to continue. "Don't think locking your door is going to save you from explaining yourself missy!" He held up a key to prove his point which she quickly recognised as the skeleton key used by their security personnel. She'd forgotten about that.
With a sigh Evelyn pulled herself off the bed and moved over to her dressing table, pointedly not looking at Jonathan as she did so. Quickly getting bored of the silent treatment Jonathan carried on.
"It was bad enough that you insisted on seeing the wretched blighter even when I'd asked you not to. Now you get engaged to the man and have the nerve to let me find out like this." He punctuated his statement by flinging the newspaper in her direction where it landed just behind her.
Still not turning around, Evelyn pulled various make-up items out of her vanity case and calmly replied "He has a name you know."
"I know he has a bloody name." Jonathan continued to fume "I just don't feel like saying it."
"Suit yourself." Evelyn shrugged.
Seeing that his current approach was getting him nowhere, nor was it likely to in the near future, Jonathan felt most of his ire leave him. Walking further into the room, he dropped heavily onto the edge of the bed and watched her in silence for several long moments as she continued to apply shades of blush, eyeliner and lipstick with an ease that surprised him. Just when had his sweet baby sister turned into a lady?
They'd been close once, inseparable even. They'd told each other everything. She'd covered for him with father whenever he came home drunk, or if a stinking hangover prevented him from joining the family at breakfast. In return he'd taught her all the little tricks he'd learned from the disreputable friends his parents had so disapproved of; picking pockets, faking illness, sneaking into places underage. He'd looked out for her and she'd been his biggest fan. Then when their parents had died in that plane crash everything had changed. He'd been forced to be a grown up for the first time in his life, and it had cost him his sister.
It seemed to have happened so gradually that he'd never noticed until he'd looked up from his desk one day and said to his assistant, barely consciously, 'isn't something missing?' It was then that he realised he hadn't spoken to his once beloved sister in nearly a month. He'd always promised to make time for her, but something always managed to get in the way. Now he seemed to be paying for years of neglect.
"Evy," he began again, so quietly that had her eyes not flicked to his reflection in the mirror he would have thought she missed it, "is this really what you want?"
"What do you mean?" Her tone was cautious, obviously trying to figure out if he was playing another of his tricks.
"Is marrying that pillock" he ignored her pointed scowl "what you really want? I mean is he really 'the one' you always talked about when you were little?" If he really believed that Imhotep could make her happy he would gladly…well not gladly, more like grudgingly, not stand in her way.
Maybe it was the fact that Jonathan had unknowingly echoed her own worries from earlier that day that caused her slight hesitation, or it could just have been that she was concentrating so hard on applying her mascara. Whatever the reason, when after several seconds of silence Evy replied, "Of course it is!" Jonathan still smiled.
There was still hope.
He just had to wait for lover boy to screw up!
Rick O'Connell drummed his fingers against the glass of the phone booth as the ringing on the other end continued for an uncomfortably long time. While he waited, his eyes kept falling back to the briefcase sitting at his feet and he couldn't help the grin that spread across his face. He'd done it. He'd actually done it.
His attention was drawn back to the phone when a sleepy voice greeted him with a grunt, which he assumed meant 'hello'.
"Izzy!" He cried, still high from his own success and the joy of finally hearing a friendly voice.
All he received in return however was "AAGH." Quickly followed by a loud click and the dial tone when his dear friend slammed the phone down. Rick stared at the receiver for several long seconds, a look of combined confusion and irritation on his face as if he couldn't quite believe what had just happened. Finally deciding that he was in far too good of a mood to let it bother him too much, he put several more coins in the phone and hit redial. Before the first ring had finished, the call was picked up.
"Whatever it is, whatever you need, I don't care. Forget it O'Connell. Every time I hook up with you I get shot. Last time I got shot in the arse."
"Izzy," Rick tried to interrupt, but it was of little use.
"I'm in mourning for my arse!"
"Remember that bank job in Marrakesh?"
"IZZY!" Rick shouted, finally breaking into his friends' angry tirade. "Much as I'd like to stand here and reminisce, this is a bit more important."
"What is it?" Izzy sighed, sounding rather put out at being interrupted.
"I got it Izzy." Rick replied, the grin evident in his voice. "I got the money to square things with Lock."
"You're kidding!" Izzy asked, incredulous.
"Nope. Might have enough left over to get me out of this God forsaken country too." Now that's a pleasant thought, Rick decided. He'd had nothing but bad luck ever since he'd set foot in Egypt, going from one disaster to another until he'd eventually found himself in this mess. Yep, he was out of here as soon as possible.
"Do I want to know how you pulled it off?"
Rick glanced down at the blood slowly seeping through his shirt at his shoulder and grimaced as he thought back to Izzy's concern over being shot. "Probably not."
"So what's all this got to do with me?" Izzy inquired, after all, Rick O'Connell never called you just to say hello.
"I need you to arrange a meeting with Lock."
"That's all?" It sounded way too easy.
Rick could hear the suspicion in Izzy's voice and decided not to leave him in suspense. "I need you to meet me in Cairo and give me a ride." Despite not being able to see him, Rick was sure Izzy's eyes were wide with panic.
"No!" Izzy insisted immediately "Not a chance. Call a cab! I'll arrange the meeting but I'm not coming within a hundred feet of you. That leads to nothing but trouble."
"C'mon Izzy," Rick cajoled "It's just a half hour drive. What trouble can you get into in half an hour?"
A lot, thought Izzy, but he remained quiet.
"I'll make it worth you while." Rick promised.
"I'm paying Lock in gold."
Rick would swear he could hear his heart beating as the seconds passed in silence.
"Name the time and the place."
Rick's grin widened.
Evelyn liked to think of herself as a reasonably easygoing person; level headed, slow to anger, that sort of thing. Right now however, the next person who so much as looked at her was likely to have their head bitten off. It was bad enough dealing with Jonathan's anger and disapproval this morning, that had been expected, but within minutes of stepping out of the door she'd had to endure staring and unabashed curiosity from just about everyone who recognized her. Then to top it all off, Imhotep, her beloved fiancé was now over half an hour late!
Letting out a frustrated sigh, she leaned back in her chair and let her gaze drift to the people who filled the small café and lined the street outside. The lunchtime rush was at its peak and almost as soon as she fixed her eyes on one person, another moved into her line of sight. She'd never spot Imhotep in this crowd.
She was searching the far side of the street when she saw the man in the phone booth directly opposite. Though he had his back to her and was too far away to see properly, she could tell he looked nothing like Imhotep. He was taller for one thing, and actually had hair (a nice golden brown if she wasn't mistaken). She had to wonder why her eyes had been drawn to him, and why she continued to watch him as he talked animatedly to someone on the other end of the line. She couldn't explain why she was mentally willing him to turn around so she could see his face, yet her breath caught in her throat as he finally put the phone down, her eyes refusing to blink as he began to turn around with agonising slowness.
Just as she was about to get a good look at this tall stranger, her errant fiancé landed heavily in the seat opposite her, obscuring her view. She did her best to hide her disappointment from him, unsure what she would say if he asked her about it. She didn't know whether to be pleased or disappointed when he didn't notice anything was amiss.
"Sorry I'm late." he began, waving away a waiter to tried to take his order. "As I was leaving I got an important phone call."
Evelyn just raised her eyebrows in response, a silent indicator that he would need to elaborate before she decided if she believed him or not. So far this meeting didn't look like the nice romantic lunch date she had been looking forward to. He hadn't even mentioned the new dress she'd worn specially for the occasion. It was their first official date as an engaged couple after all.
"I have to go to Cairo." Imhotep explained without preamble, causing Evelyn's eyebrows to raise another inch in surprise.
"Why?" she asked, immediately ashamed of the whiney tone of her voice. What had happened to all of her anger?
Imhotep fidgeted in his seat. "I have to meet someone, that's all." He answered, his tone inexplicably (to Evelyn at least) defensive. "I'll only be gone for a week."
"Oh." Evelyn offered him a game smile. "At least we can have lunch together before you go…right?"
Evelyn's shoulders slumped, she knew what was coming. So much for her romantic engagement celebration plans.
"My plane leaves in an hour." Imhotep continued apologetically. "I just thought it was better to tell you in person."
Evelyn let out yet another sigh before pushing back her chair and picking up her bag. "At least let me come with you to the airport so we can say goodbye properly."
Rick was practically skipping as he made his way through the crowds of people waiting to board their planes, heading towards the private hanger where an old acquaintance of his by the name of Winston Havlock was waiting to take him to Cairo.
His luck seemed to be improving of late he thought happily. First he manages to pull off the job of the century reasonably unscathed (being grazed by a bullet didn't count in his opinion since it didn't require a visit to the hospital). Next, he was able to arrange a meeting with one of the least friendly men on the planet with relative ease, then last but not least, his buddy Winston just happened to have a single seat left on his chartered flight to Cairo and was more than willing to offer it to 'a fine chap' such as himself for a very low price.
Life didn't get much better than this.
It was probably this uncharacteristic lucky streak that lulled Rick into a false sense of security, which in turn meant that things were about to go horribly wrong. Later he would berate himself for not looking where he was going. Later still, he would congratulate himself on not doing so, but that wouldn't be for quite some time so he could take no comfort in the fact.
He hadn't meant to bump into the man kissing his girlfriend goodbye, and he certainly hadn't meant to make the man drop his wallet. When he bent down to retrieve it for the man however, the gesture was misinterpreted and before he could offer it back, he heard the cry of 'Thief' and found himself surrounded by four armed security guards who had appeared out of nowhere.
It was just typical. The one time he wasn't actually trying to steal something he manages to get himself arrested. So much for his lucky streak.
A/N: I know that was actually quite rubbish and jumps around a lotbut I swear it gets better. Everything has to start somewhere. Please review and let me know if you think I should continue at all – it helps my muse. Honest!
Thanks for reading.