A/N: This is slash, so if you don't like it, don't read it. I was watching the Mummy and got to the scene where the scarab goes into Jonathan's arm. During the scene Rick tells Ardeth to "hold him", and my mind came up with a far different meaning. Enjoy, and remember to review!
Disclaimer: Please, if I owned the Mummy I wouldn't have to beg my mother for gas money all the time.
All He Can Do
Jonathan Carnahan, self-imposed bachelor, freeloader, gambler, womanizer, and everything bad rolled into one person, has been searching for an excuse to go to Egypt. Getting there isn't hard—his sister Evy is always dragging her husband and her son off on another archaeological dig. What is hard is finding an excuse to go with them. Jonathan's tastes, after all, run to card games and skimpily clad women rather than five-hundred year old mummies and artifacts whose worth is measured in history rather than coin. If he said he wanted to go with them Evy would feel his forehead and ask if he was feeling all right and Rick would watch him like a hawk the whole time. But Jonathan wants to go so badly…his dreams are filled with sand and hot, desert winds, and black robes…
Half of the time Jonathan wishes that some fool would unleash an ancient Egyptian curse threatening all existence and that they would have to go off and rescue the world once again. Of course he doesn't really wish that. What he really wants is for the group to get back together, for Rick and Evy to catch seconds alone in dark corners, for him and Alex to roll their eyes and say "Get a room". What he really wants is for Ardeth Bay, their Med-jai friend, to be standing there with that secret smile of his and his dark eyes. He really wants to be held in strong arms beneath a velvety sky with the wind of the desert running through their hair.
He thinks about when it started, during that first time, during that damned escapade in Hamunaptra. Hamunaptra was his fault. If he hadn't picked Rick's pocket, if he hadn't given that damned key to Evy…the whole thing could have been avoided. But Jonathon wouldn't have traded Hamunaptra for the world. Hamunaptra had brought Evy and Rick together and had sequentially brought them both Alex. And more than that…Hamunaptra had given him Ardeth.
Jonathan smiles as he stares up at the ceiling, hands folded behind his head, a bottle of whiskey on the bedside table. Some drink to forget but not him. He drinks to remember. He remembers when Ardeth first appeared, remembers the smoldering desert heat in those dark eyes, remembers the involuntary pull. Like a paperclip pulled to a magnet Jonathan had been unable to resist him. And he remembers when the scarab went into his arm, when his shirt was ripped off him and Rick thrust him into Ardeth's grip, shouting out "hold him!" He ignores the memory of Rick's knife ripping into his skin, ignores the pain and the fear. He focuses on the memory of his skin tingling beneath the warmth of Ardeth's palm, the fingertips grazing delicately across his skin, setting his nerves on fire.
A knock on the door makes him jump, the memory gone. He can still feel it though…another knock makes him climb to his feet and stumble over to the door, yanking it open. Evy stands there. She smiles at him but her eyes are dark and worried. "Are you all right Jonathan?"
He leans against the doorframe to support himself, his head buzzing from the alcohol. "Fine Evy. Peachy keen." She frowns at him.
"Jon…I'm starting to worry about you. You haven't been acting like yourself lately…"
Jonathan forces a smile onto his face. "I'm fine Evy. Really. Just…lonely, I guess."
Evy's eyes light up for a moment and she gives a knowing smile. It is then that he knows she knows. He doesn't know when she figured it out but she knows. She knows, she knows, she knows; his mind screams at him. "All right then." She puts a hand on his shoulder, squeezing momentarily, and then lets go. "Goodnight Jon."
"Night Ev." He replies, forcing the words out. She disappears down the hallway and he closes the door, leaning on it and tilting his head back, his eyes closed. When he opens his eyes he swears that he sees Ardeth standing there. When he blinks the vision, or the mirage, is gone. He shakes his head and flops onto the bed, burying his face in his pillows.
He remembers when he thought Ardeth had died, when his heart seemed to stop before it had even started. He remembers when, later, a hand landed on his shoulder and he nearly had a heart attack, only to find it was Ardeth with amusement in his eyes and that smile on his lips. He remembers the feel of his fingers running through that black hair, remembers how surprisingly soft his lips were. He remembers the swift kisses exchanged at Ahm Shere when they thought no one was looking, when they weren't sure they would still be alive after.
He remembers Rick shouting "hold him!"
He remembers Ardeth's arms.
He remembers and he feels his heart wrench. Only half of his heart is with him. The other half is among the winds and the sands in the palm of a man with black hair and black tattoos and a secret smile that only he understands.
He remembers and with the memory of arms around him and the burn of whiskey in his throat Jonathon sleeps until the sun rises. And when he steps outside and looks at the sun dancing wanly in the London sky he wishes it were the burning rays of an Egyptian sun. He'd do anything for that.
But all he can do is remember.
Reviews are a beautiful thing.