A/N: I don't know about you, but I am incredibly excited about this! This is a sequal/companion to All He Can Do but it can be read alone. I hope that I kept everyone in character, but I'm not sure how well I captured Ardeth. Nevertheless, I am rather proud of this, and I hope that you enjoy it. This also happens to be the closest thing to a lemon/lime that I will ever write, so have fun. Please excuse any grammatical and spelling errors.
Disclaimer: If I owned The Mummy then Ardeth and Jon would so have gotten together.
Warning: Slash and lemon-y.
The sun beats down on the back of his neck, baking his skin to a nice shade of red, and he is sure that every pore is filled with sand. Every move he makes brings about the grating of rough sand against his tender skin; sand lingers on his tongue, between his teeth, even in the back of his throat, and he can't even summon up enough saliva to clear the taste from his mouth.
Shading his eyes with his hand Jonathon Carnahan looks at his sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. "Why am I being dragged along on this little escapade, again?" He asks. Evy gives him a knowing look that makes him squirm inside. He isn't complaining because he is unhappy. He complains because it is expected of him, because Rick would know something was odd if he did not complain. He complains because he owes Evy, and he doesn't like owing people.
Rick throws a suitcase at him. "So that we can use you as a pack mule," is his short reply. Evy shoots her husband a look.
"Because Rick doesn't trust you alone in the house after last time." Jon makes a face. It's partially true, but both he and Evy know that it's not the real reason he's here.
"One little mistake and they're watching you for the rest of your life."
"One little mistake?" Rick says, his voice climbing an octave. "You set my house on fire!"
"It was just a little fire, and it wasn't my fault." Jon protests, even though he knows it isn't true. It was not a little fire and it was completely his fault. Rick growls under his breath and turns away, while Alex stifles a laugh.
Carrying the suitcase, Jon finds himself scanning the crowds around them. He swears that he sees a familiar figure out of the corner of his eye, but when he turns it is gone. Disappointed he drops his head, letting the tension out of his body. He just can't find the energy to hold himself up today, not when he is so highly strung that his every nerve is humming in fear and anticipation. He tries not to hope, because, in his experience, hope brings nothing but sorrow. But he can't help it.
He swears that he feels a soft touch graze across the back of his neck; when he spins there is no one there and the people around him move away, chased by his crazed look. Shaking his head he adjusts his grip on the suitcase and follows his family as they lead the way towards the hotel. If he isn't careful he'll lose them in the crowd, and then where will he be? Lost in the middle of Egypt with a suitcase and mind full of memories that won't let him be. Of course, he does know which hotel they're staying at; he just doesn't know where it is. And, given the way he feels right now, he'd rather wander around, a clueless Englishman, letting the sun bake him to a crisp rather than ask directions.
Evy appears out of the crowd, her eyes searching, and Jon lowers his gaze, hoping that she won't see him, hoping that he'll just be able to float along through the crowd. No such luck, she's next to him in a flash, tugging on his sleeve. He sighs but follows his sister.
"I'd swear, Jon, that you were trying to get lost."
He doesn't meet her gaze, because her accusation might just be true.
Inside the hotel he deposits his suitcase on his bed, noting that Alex's things are already in the room, though the boy is nowhere in sight. Sharing a room with his nephew gives him no privacy, but it also gives him no chance to wallow in the misery of being in a country with so many memories.
Jon flops onto his bed. He checks his watch and glances towards the window, where the sky is already growing dark. Then he buries his face in his pillow. He knows that Alex, Evy, and Rick will be running around until far later in the night, seemingly not affected by travel at all, leaving him alone in the room.
He sighs. He could bury himself under his covers and just give up; he could get up, shuffle down to the bar, and drown his sorrows there; or he could paste a fake smile on his face, find his family, and pretend to be happy.
But he's done enough drinking over the past months, and he can't find the strength in himself to go and play "family". Alex, Evy, and Rick are the big happy family; he's just the tag-along.
"There once was an Englishman who found himself among the sands of Egypt…" A silky, deep voice says; so achingly familiar. Jon is sure that he is dreaming, but it sounds so close and so real; he rolls over and sits up, eyes searching. A figure moves from the shadows and Jon sucks in a breath. "Hello, Jonathon Carnahan."
"Ardeth." Jon breathes. The Medjai steps through the room and stops before the Englishman. Jon thinks that his heart is going to beat out of his chest. He reaches out, feeling almost as if he is dreaming, as if this wonderful dream will just dissolve and leave him with an aching heart and a desperate need to get hung-over.
His fingertips brush warm, solid flesh and he nearly cries. He bites his lip. "I-I-."
Ardeth's lips press over his; sweet and chaste at first and quickly becoming much, much more. Jon reaches up and tugs on the other man's clothes, pulling him down onto the bed. His nerves are singing, his skin on fire; he feels as though he is going to burst.
"Are you really here?" Jon whispers. The Medjai kisses his way downward, lightly biting the hollow of his neck. Jon arches beneath him.
"Yes, Jonathon. I am here." He says, as his fingers dance downwards, undoing button after button and stroking the quivering flesh beneath. Jon is sure that this must be what heaven feels like.
"How did you know we were here?"
Even in the darkness he can see the mysterious smile on the man's tattooed faced. "Do you think I don't keep track of you? I have my ways, Jonathon."
"How did you know what ro-hoooom?" The last word is dragged out as Ardeth's mouth does something incredible on his skin and he hisses in pleasure.
"I tracked you through the marketplace. You overlooked me."
"I was thinking about you." He sucks on Ardeth's neck, intertwining his fingers in the Medjai's hair for a moment before tugging on the man's clothes. He has been stripped of his shirt; it is only fair to return the favor. He runs his fingers across the well-toned flesh that he remembers so well, tracing the contours and the muscles in a loving manner. "What if Alex returns?"
"It is taken care of." Ardeth's hand works at the zipper to Jonathon's pants then slides them down, leaving only his boxers. Through the thin cloth there is a straining erection, pushing at the seams of the fabric. Ardeth smiles another one of his mysterious smiles, the smile that Jon adores, and palms the hardness.
Jonathon nearly explodes right there and then. He arches his back and his hands go into Ardeth's hair, running through the surprisingly soft mane of black hair.
"I missed you." He whispers.
Ardeth sheds the rest of his clothes, and then, achingly slow, pulls away Jon's boxers, leaving them both exposed, naked, warm flesh on warm flesh. Their lips meet, sweet and slow and sensual.
"I know." The Medjai whispers back.
There is no more slow movement; it has been too long for patience. There are fingers everywhere, fingers and tongues, heat and friction, soft and coarse skin, and the building, building, building pleasure, the tensing of muscles, the shouts and moans and screams, and the final, sticky release that has been put off for far too long.
They lay in each others arms, Jonathon, the smaller man, fitting into the crook of Ardeth's arm, held close. He rests his head on the other man's chest, his head tucked under Ardeth's chin. It is dark and warm, almost uncomfortably hot, but Jon has no intention of moving. He wishes that he had the ability to suspend time, to make this one moment stretch for eternity.
"There once was an Englishman who found himself among the sands of Egypt," Ardeth's deep voice fills the room, not breaking the silence but parting it, like Moses parting the Red Sea. "And Egypt gifted him with one of her sons, a man of the sands, who looked upon the Englishman and felt a stirring deep within. He did not understand, nor did the Englishman, but Egypt forced them together and they could not fight their destiny."
"Is that what you call it? Destiny?" Jon says with a smile on his lips. He tilts his head back and peers through the darkness. He can see Ardeth's smile, as clear as daylight.
"What else? Was it chance that led you to pick Rick's pocket and find the map? Was it chance that made you show Evy? Was it chance that brought you here to Egypt and then to Hamunaptra? Was it chance that led us together? That is a terrible amount of chance, my friend."
"You always did have a thing about destiny."
"I believe in destiny. I believe in fate. We each have a purpose in life, Jonathon. We each have a role to play. Especially people like Rick; like Evy."
Jon rolls onto his side, turning to face his lover. "I'm not the kind of person that destiny pays attention to, Ardeth."
"You underestimate yourself. You were the one to pick up the spear of Osiris, were you not? Without that Rick would have never defeated the Scorpion King."
"Sheer dumb luck."
"Without you Evy would still be dead, because Mila would have killed Alex and he would not have been able to resurrect her. For that matter, Evy would have been dead before Alex ever existed. Anck-su-namun would have killed her. Without you, Jonathon, none of us would be here. Do you realize that?"
There is silence and Jon bites his lower lip. "I didn't think of it like that." Ardeth presses a kiss onto Jon's forehead.
"You are more important than you realize, Jonathon."
"So destiny brought us together. What now?"
"Destiny is only the beginning. The rest of the story is ours to write."
Jon kisses Ardeth's cheek, and then nuzzles his neck. "So what's the rest of our story?"
Ardeth's eyes are dark and intense and he has his mysterious half-smile. "It is up to you, Jonathon Carnahan. The Englishman and the Son of Egypt could not fight their destiny. They found themselves together among the hot sands of Egypt. But do they find themselves parted again, to be reunited every time one of them finds their way across the sea, or…," he trails off.
"Or what, Ardeth?" He closes his eyes then opens them again. "Or what?" Ardeth places a finger on Jonathon's lips, silencing him.
"We shall wait, Jonathon. We shall let destiny carry us forth as far as it can take us, and when it falters we shall follow our hearts."
Jonathon smiles shyly. "I never knew you were such a romantic."
Ardeth smiles one of his smiles. "One can grow bored, waiting among the sands for some silly Englishman to stumble along and threaten the entire world." He draws the Englishman closer and pulls the covers up. "Sleep, Jonathon."
"Are you still going to be here in the morning?"
There is a pause. "No." Jon sucks in a shaky breath. "I cannot stay, Jonathon. When Alex returns I will leave. But you will see me again, Jonathon. You will always see me again."
Jonathon falls asleep with the almost burning presence next to him; he wakes to the cold emptiness of his reality. For a moment he wonders if it was all a dream, but there is still the hollow in his bed, the scent of Ardeth on the sheets, and Jon smiles and stretches. He has waited months for Ardeth, and he can wait mere hours for their next encounter.
"Did you sleep well, Uncle Jon?"
Jon makes sure to pull the covers around himself before he turns on his side to face his nephew. He smiles. "Yes, Alex. I did."
When he dresses and emerges into the hot Egyptian day, his expression softer than it has been in months, he can still feel sand everywhere, harsh and grating against his skin. The sun beats down on him, burning and painful and too strong for him to remain in too long.
He lifts his face to the sky and smiles.
"There once was an Englishman who found himself among the sands of Egypt…," he whispers. The wind snatches his words and carries them, tossing them about until they are swallowed by the heated air.
On the rooftop above him Ardeth hears the words and smiles.
"Among the sands of Egypt, Jonathon Carnahan."
And then he disappears, seemingly vanishing into thin air.
He will return.
They will always return.
Destiny is not done with them yet.
ReviewsLove. LoveJon/Ardeth. Therefore, by use of the transitive property, ReviewsJon/Ardeth.