Title: Are you my Mummy?
Fandom: Batman/The Mummy
Notes: I promised to write a b-day thing for jedibuttercup and I did (this has been on file for months) but for some reason or another I wasn't completely pleased with it. But, I figured that nothing's changed in months and it doesn't seem that any revisions are imminent and it's really mean to not keep your word so…enjoy?
"Alfred?" he questions as his curiosity compels him towards the large, battered package covered with various foreign stamps.
"It came in the post, Master Bruce," Alfred says from behind his shoulder, his tone conveys worry and a small, almost indiscernible, measure of guilt.
"I can see that," he mutters as he traces the recipient's name.
Martha Wayne née Carnahan
"But why is it addressed to my mother?"
"Perhaps you should open it," Alfred suggests sounding as if he'd rather he do anything but.
He still can't look at a picture of her or handle her things without grief but the oddity of this, a package addressed to his dead mother from far-flung places in Egypt and England, and the unusual way in which Alfred is acting, urges him to act.
Carefully, he takes the letter opener to the cardboard, tape, and twine to reveal a somewhat smaller locked, wooden box marked with various sigils.
"Oh, dear god," he hears Alfred breathe with heartfelt anguish.
He decides that enough is enough. Mysterious and puzzles have enough of a hold on his life and the desperately niggling feeling that Alfred--who has raised him and loved him as best as he could--knows what this is, what this means, has become too much.
"What is this, Alfred? What do you know about this?"
Alfred is pale and sick looking, unable to take his gaze away from what has been revealed.
"Alfred," he demands quietly.
Slowly, Alfred reaches up, unbuttons his shirt, pulls at a corded length which he has never seen before, until a worn and battered key dangles from his grip.
"It is yours," he murmurs lowly, imparting a hushed secret. "Your mother--I was to hold it for you in case the need ever arose."
Bruce takes the offering, unable to bite back the questions that clamor to be voiced. "What need? Who sends a locked box to be opened by my mother?"
Alfred halts further inquiries with a rebuking glance, one of the only few who can manage such a feat. "Open it," he insists.
Unable to countermand him, Bruce inserts the ancient key and twists, opening the innocuous box. Without prompting, he raises the lid, taking hold and extracting the only thing it contains.
"They sent you the key," Alfred says.
Bruce frowns and catalogues the so called key in his grasp. It is metal, heavy, and polygonal; he fingers it and hisses in surprise as teeth--triangular, metal protrusions--erupt from its base. He looks up at Alfred, solemn and dark. "Who sent me this key and what does it open? I've been patient, Alfred. Tell me."
Alfred looks at him, measuring the man he has become, and nods. "It is indeed time, Master Bruce. Sit," he requests with a gesture.
Bruce does so and waits, watching the closest thing he has left to a parent gather his thoughts.
"Your mother's family had a legacy, Master Bruce. They were charged with the protection of certain artifacts. When a keeper died their responsibility was passed onto another of the family--"
"Another of the family? I thought I had no family left, Alfred! I've never even met--" Bruce was interrupted by Alfred's cough.
"Not all of the Carnahan family was," Alfred hesitated, flushing slightly. "Some were not reputable and others were in dangerous situations."
"I believe, the closest relative you have, proximity-wise, is a young man in Colorado, but he, like you, lost his parents at a young age, it is unlikely that he knows about his heritage. There are a few distant cousins in England, but they no longer uphold the legacy so it was probably they who sent you the package after it defaulted to them. The key probably originated from one of the O'Connell's or a Bey in Egypt, in an effort to keep the cache of relics from becoming too centralized." Alfred paused to take a breath.
Bruce, while listening, had become more and more unsettled. "Alfred, this is--please, start from the beginning. This is making little sense and truthfully, this family conspiracy is beginning to sound ominous."
Alfred sighed. "I did wander into a tangent," he agreed. "Very well, Master Bruce. It began in 1923 when a woman, Evelyn Carnahan and her brother Jonathan hired an American, Richard O'Connell to lead them into the deserts of Egypt in search of the mythical city of Hamunaptra…"
[Raise your hands, how many people were expecting mummies and Bat hijinks? *nods* I thought so. PSYCHE!]
And a Drabble in the same vein...
"Mother's Tales. G."
Before Grey Phantoms and sly, masked foxes, he had another love.
In childhood--true childhood, when the love and affections of his parents was abundant and their deaths had not stripped away the innocence of youth allowing him to see the violence and grief of reality--he lived for his mother's stories.
Once upon a time, there was a Librarian, a Soldier, a Warrior and a Rogue and they fought against a great and terrible evil…
But he's grown up now. He knows that heroes are rare, tainted versions of those he'd known in childhood and happy endings aren't happy, simply nonexistent.