A/N: Just a little heads up…
To accommodate the Tyki/Allen scenes I have playing in my head, I will be moving away from the plotline of the Mummy for a bit.
So yeah, expect some unexpected stuff, like 3000-year old flashbacks, etc. which might contain a bit of fluff and some hints of violent sex (only hints because, again, this story is still RATED T). There might even be some sentimental shit involved, only because D. Grayman updated all of a sudden (I mean, I was drinking coffee and nearly spat it out on my laptop), and revealed some nice personality from the 14th other than being a bloodthirsty Noah.
CHAPTER 10: LOVERS AND LOST SOULS
Cross was not at all pleased by sound of urgent footsteps that disrupted his nap, even if they had belonged to a certain group of black-robed people who were a part of the very organization he had pledged his life to.
"What. The. Hell," were his kind words of welcome as he stared at the bespectacled leader of the Medjai, or the Black Order as the redheaded man chose to call them, solely because of their clothing preferences. "Jesus, Komui. Don't you know how to knock?"
"We knocked," came the bemused reply of a man who was too tired to humor his old friend. "Only, you were too passed-out drunk to hear us. So we let ourselves in, as always."
"Tsk. Want one something to drink?" He loosely offered as he attempted to get pull his shit together and stand up without having to lean on the statue of a naked pharaoh for support.
"We do not have time for your usual foolishness, Marian," Komui chided, raising one hand up to stop his sister, who looked like she was ready to kick some sense into the other man's mind. "Tyki Mikk has awakened from his slumber, thanks to your meddlesome nephew."
"Don't look at me as if it were all my fault," Cross blanched, defiantly crossing his arms over his chest when the hangover that was driving a nail through his head began to tone down. "I warned you losers, remember? It's not like I could just tie him up here or kill him! Hell no, I've already got too much of the police after my ass." At this point, the man began to look around for a nearby glass of water to wash the alcohol off of his brain. There was none, and Cross cursed inwardly. Where was that useless boy when you needed him? "Anyway, it was your job to stop him, which you obviously failed to do. Christ, I never thought you guys would be this incompetent."
Lenalee looked like she was really going to murder him in cold blood, but Komui's levelheadedness persevered. "I know. And I am deeply sorry about that," he continued. "That's why I propose that we—"
The members of the Black Order turned to see half a dozen pistols (and one Japanese sword) menacingly pointed at them.
"Oh, idiot nephew. You're finally back," Cross commented, oblivious to the weapons aimed at him. Although he was somewhat, a little, kind of, not really – okay, not at all relieved that his nephew had returned, he was definitely disappointed that the boy had returned visibly unharmed, and this disappointment showed. He wanted Allen to at least have some nearly-fatal wounds on him.
"Cross! What the bloody hell is this about?" Allen demanded, and for a moment wished that he was holding a gun. "What are they doing here?"
"Stop bitching, damn it," the other man groaned as he clutched his head, his hangover still in place. "They're here to help us."
"Help us? Those fuckers tried to kill us!" Road sneered, her forefingers hovering dangerously over the triggers. Unlike Allen, she was more likely capable of shooting at the smallest provocation.
"We saved you, remember?" Lenalee snapped, taking out her own gun in defense and would have fired if Komui had not given her a stern look of disapproval. "Just how ungrateful are you?" She did not like this teenager at all, and would have preferred to leave her buried under some rocks in Hamunaptra, after she had thrown a jar of flesh-eating dung beetles into her grave.
"Lenalee," Komui warned as he placed a hand over hers and gently put her gun down. "We're not here to fight them. We are here to cooperate with them."
"Cooperate?" Lavi asked, suspicious. He did not trust these people, not when they had charged into their camp a couple of nights ago, broken his bottle of stolen wine, and almost killed his best friend. Though they had truly saved their hides from that hideous mummy in the City of the Dead, first impressions have a tendency to last. "You mean, you'd like to help us escape from certain death?"
"Fucking genius," Kanda commented, rolling his eyes. "What else were they suppose to mean, hoser?"
"Dunno," Lavi chirped. "Like, maybe sacrifice us so that the almighty mummy will be appeased and all of mankind will be saved?"
"Unfortunately," Komui interjected. "Things aren't that simple. Regardless of whether he kills you or not, the creature will still remain and wreak havoc."
"Eh, so why's it so bent on killin' us folks then?" David asked, confusedly rubbing the back of his head with the butt of his gun. "I mean, can't it just kill somebody else?"
"Yeah, yeah!" His twin enthusiastically agreed. "There are lotsa people in this place! Plenty of choices, yum yum!"
Allen couldn't help but cringe at the Americans' apparent lack of social responsibility.
"I'm afraid it's not that simple either," the bespectacled man patiently replied, not at all surprised by their response. He had expected it of them anyway. "Since you were the ones who opened the chest, only your deaths will replenish his powers. He knows this, and for this he will hunt you down to the ends of the earth."
Kanda whistled. "Tough break," he remarked, a not-so-concealed smirk pulling at the corners of his mouth.
"Yeah, we're all tears for you fellas," Lavi wiped an invisible tear from his remaining and sniffed, though it suspiciously sounded like a snicker to everyone else in the room.
Allen wanted to smack both of them for being the jerks they are.
"Oh shut up, all of you!" Cross hollered, fed up with all the noise that did not help the migraine that had miraculously appeared in his head. "Jesus Christ, can we like, what's the word—oh right, fucking FOCUS here? Everyone's about to die, and all you kids can think about is how to keep your dicks from falling off, god."
All of them looked like they were about to say something rude in response, but Cross simply raised his hand and gave them the sharpest glare he could muster to shut them up. And surprisingly, they all did.
Especially Allen, who had seen that glare only twice in his lifetime and had never forgotten that in those two times, the receiving end of that glare ended up dead. As unreliable as his uncle might look, the man had the frightening prowess of an assassin when it came to handling weapons, and the people he had killed didn't even see the gun being drawn when they were shot.
"That's better," Cross grinned, satisfied at the comfortable silence. "Now pay attention, because I hate repeating myself. I'm going to explain what the hell if going on once and for all."
"Finally," Lavi muttered under his breath, which earned him a dirty look from the other redhead in the room.
"So yeah," Cross started, settling down comfortably on the bronze throne of Rameses III, that was on display in the middle of the room. This act of complete disregard for the sanctity of the ancient relic earned a strangled cry from a certain British librarian, which the redhead happily ignored. "Let's start at the part where you guys screwed everything up, shall we?"
After about fifteen minutes of talking with bouts of heavy drinking and smoking in between, Allen, Kanda, Lavi, and all the Americans finally understood that they were in very, very deep shit indeed.
"So," Allen carefully clarified, knowing that he was going to regret it later. "What you're saying is, you're part of this Black Order—"
"The Medjai," Komui corrected.
"—dedicated to protecting the secret of Hamunaptra for more than three thousand years now in order to prevent the cursed high priest, Tyki Mikk, from being revived and taking his revenge on the world?"
"And that the passage that I read from the Book of the Dead was actually the exact spell needed to revive him?"
Allen swallowed hard. "And so, this is all, technically, my bloody fault, isn't it?"
A shot glass hit him squarely on the face. "Didn't I just tell you that I absolutely hate repeating myself?" Cross jeered, before grabbing the entire bottle of whiskey and drinking directly from it. "Yeah, it's all your fault, because really, like your father, you like meddling with things not to be messed with." Cross could see the warning in his nephew's face but he ignored it. Some part of him was telling him to not go too far, but the man was too drunk to make sense of anything. "That's why he fucking died and you ended up with that freaky left arm and cursed eye."
"Left arm?" Kanda raised his eyebrow at the gloved hand that he had only noticed now. All the mirth that came from seeing the pompous British man excellently schooled by his creepy douche of an uncle was replaced by unbridled curiosity.
"Cursed eye? Al, baby, what's he talking about?" Lavi asked, following Kanda's actions as he studied his friend's face.
His gloved hand immediately flew towards the left part of his face, shielding it from their curious stares. "Nothing!" Allen hollered, so fiercely that everyone in the room, even Kanda, instinctively took a cautious step back. Shocked (and somewhat scared) eyes gazed upon the white-haired man, mouths either ajar or clamped shut, not a single person daring to utter another word. "Do not talk about that!" He hissed, glowering so vehemently at Cross that everyone in the room momentarily forgot who he was. From being such a polite pacifist librarian, this was too abrupt a change to take in. They definitely felt fortunate that they were not at the receiving end of that glare. In the dimness of the Ramesseum, the few torches around cast an eerie light upon Allen's left eye – for a moment it gave off the illusion that the eye was indeed, glowing red.
A stifling silence fell upon the room.
"Heh, whatever," Cross muttered under his breath, and although he tried hard to pretend, it was pretty obvious that he was quite shaken as well. He looked at the other people in the room, purposely avoiding Allen's hateful gaze. "Any questions?"
"Yeah," Kanda stepped up. He didn't like hearing the drunken man talk and had this huge urge to bash a bottle of whiskey against the guy's head if he had the chance, but he was even more uncomfortable with the silence that the beansprout had created. "Why's he afraid of cats?" He asked, as if it was the most important thing in the world.
"Well," Komui answered, surprised by the question but indulged it nonetheless. "Egyptians believed that cats were the guardians of the gates of the underworld. So naturally, he's afraid of them because he thinks that they could drag him back to hell if they caught him. However," in here he paused with a sordid expression. "This is only temporary. Once he fully regenerates, he will fear nothing."
The Americans cringed. "Right! An' how's he gonna regenerate? By suckin' our organs out like what he did to poor ol' Skin!" David mourned before Road kicked him back to his senses. "The hell am I gonna let that happen to me!" The teenager declared, with an admirable level of determination.
"Why's he even doing this again?" Lavi wondered, absently rubbing his chin with the barrel of his gun. "I mean, what's making our mummy so desperate? You're sayin' he wants to take his revenge on the world, but I've got a feeling that there's more to this than that. Like, why was he even cursed in the first place?"
"Good point," Kanda conceded, looking at Cross and Komui expectantly. "So?"
"He had…an affair," the bespectacled man sighed, shaking his head as if he himself couldn't believe that all of this chaos was caused by such a simple thing. "With the Pharaoh's prized consort, who, according to the scriptures, was called –"
All heads hesitantly snapped towards Allen's direction.
" 'One who lives for the Sun God' "he translated, brows furrowed in concentration, his left eye no longer glowing. Seeing him back to his normal, nerdy self allowed most of the occupants in the room to breathe a sigh of relief. As if by mutual agreement, all of them decided to just ignore the man's strange left arm and eye. "Back in the necropolis, the mummy, this Tyki Mikk, he…he called me by that name. And then in Skin's room, after he…transformed, the first person he looked at was me." Bewildered, the British man looked at Komui for an explanation. "But it wasn't a hostile expression. No, even when he had called out to me it was…for lack of a better term, I'd say it was quite endearing."
"Say what?" Lavi's jaw fell open. "Al, baby, love of my life, and payer of my debts – okay maybe not the last one put the fist down – please tell me that you are not having strange bouts of necrophilia! I swear to Ra, I will kill myself if that's the case." As if to emphasize on his point, the one-eyed man pressed the barrel of his pistol against his temple.
"Tell him 'yes,'" Kanda strongly advised, and Allen threw him a dirty look but couldn't completely repress the amused smile on his lips. He looked as if he was entertaining the idea, which alarmed Lavi greatly.
"No," Allen finally replied, and the redhead heaved a great sigh of relief before removing the gun from his head.
Komui, on the other hand, did not immediately reply, and instead took some time to study Allen, as if this was the first time he was truly seeing the younger man. Feeling very self-conscious all of a sudden, Allen crossed his arms over his chest defensively and gave the man a questioningly glare. "Excuse me?"
"Sorry," Komui blinked and coughed on his fist, averting his eyes. "I just…realized something."
"What is it, brother?" Lenalee asked, appearing just as confused as Allen and the rest. "Why is the creature mistaking Allen Walker for his dead lover?"
"Lover? The hell?" Road scowled, not happy with the idea of an undead mummy for her rival.
"Because he looks like a girl?" Kanda offered, smirking at the scowl he earned from the aforementioned Brit. Then his face resumed its perplexed expression, though this one had a tinge of alarm that only Allen's watchful eyes had noticed. The man gave him the same questioningly gaze he had given Komui but Kanda evaded it smoothly.
"Actually, Anck-su-namun is male," Komui continued. "He was the first male concubine in Egyptian history, and with good reason too, for it was written that he had a beauty so great, both men and women, servant or guard, would always turn to behold him."
"So he's picking Allen because he's hot?" Road mused.
"Eww," Cross sneered, which his nephew pointedly ignored.
"That's the idea, yes," Komui replied. "What I initially thought was that he would be going after you because you read from the Book of the Dead, but from what our clan's history tells us, the curse doesn't work that way. The only people he's supposed to hunt down should be those who opened the chest and no one else." Ignoring the whimpers from the Americans, the man's face darkened ominously. "Therefore, the only explanation would be that he has chosen you to be his human sacrifice – a fresh human body for Anck-su-namun's soul once he brings it back from the afterlife."
The light in the museum wasn't bright to begin with, but it was enough for everyone to see Allen's face lose several shades of color.
"Yes," the man somberly affirmed. "He will be coming for you too. And the fate that awaits you is worse than that of the world."
In his past 3000 years of cursed torment, Tyki Mikk, despite the horrid pain and the nightmares that plagued him, had only dared to dream of one thing. Namely, one person.
That was his given name, the name that Egypt used to exalt him. The one who lives for the Sun God. It made sense to give him such a grand name, for whom else would someone with such dazzling, ethereal beauty offer his life to, if it weren't to the great Sun God himself? Indeed, the name suited him, for his eyes were golden like the brilliant god at the zenith of the day, and his skin a beautiful olive color, dark and rich like the color of good, fertile soil. His face was difficult to describe properly, for there were not enough words in any language that could possible justify the kind of beauty he beheld. If it hadn't been blasphemy to say so, everyone would've agreed that he was more beautiful than the gods themselves.
Other people, the more callous, jealous ones, would sneer and call him the Fourteenth, simply to rub it in that he was the fourteenth consort of Pharaoh Seti I, who after losing his beloved queen, had indulged in a life of hedonism to dull the despair. And Anck-su-namun had been his latest – and by far most favored – prize and toy.
But Tyki knew him by another name.
It was his real name, his secret name – the name the held his memories, his identity, and his very life in its essence. Every living being had it, that secret name, and they, the Egyptians, had called it ren. It was the name of the soul itself, and knowing the ren of another person would give someone complete power of that person. In Egypt, it was forbidden to ask for someone's secret name, and even the Pharoah, with all his power, cannot force his subjects to give up theirs.
But Anck-su-namun had told Tyki, on that fateful night when they shared their first kiss and descended into an abyss of forbidden pleasures. He remembered it as if it had happened only a night ago, and he could still hear the pleasured screams ringing in his ears as well as the feeling of his breath against Tyki's skin, breathing heavily. His slender fingers raked against the high priest's skin, drawing blood as the pleasure they both felt built up inside them, like a sandstorm forcefully contained and was now violently edging to be released.
And just as they both exploded into heavenly pleasures, his beloved had embraced him tight, whispering in wild, passionate abandon into his ear.
The one who walks forward.
It was a beautiful name.
Tyki Mikk stirred from the momentary lapse into his memories – he wasn't asleep because he didn't need to, but he caught himself drifting into the times long past, and wishing, for a moment, that things were still as they were.
Soon, he thought, rising from the shadows, his un-regenerated face startling an unfortunate beggar off the road. Soon everything will be right again.
Memories of a warm smile, of a modest picnic under the stars, of a kiss and soft fingers intertwined with his own briefly flashed across his mind, images that he hesitantly brushed away. This was no time to revel in pointless recollections. If he acted quickly, these images would be figments of his memories no longer – soon, he'll be able to see Neah again, and bask under the light of his beautiful smile.
After living in the darkness for almost three millennia, a smile from his beloved was all that he wanted to see.
He promised to revive him, and he will. This time, he will not fail.
With this resolve, his golden eyes followed a tall, dark-skinned figure frantically pushing his way through the overcrowded marketplace, and a hideous grin stretching upon his rotten lips.
"We have got to stop him from regenerating."
"There's that 'we' again," Kanda drawled in exasperation, getting annoyed at the British man that was pacing up and down the room. "Look, I changed my mind and decided to help. But that doesn't mean I agreed to haul deadweight while I fight the undead."
Allen scowled as he realized who "deadweight" had pertained to. "You arrogant twat! Sure, you might be more skilled in combat and the art-of-blowing-things-up-unnecessarily but I am more knowledgeable about Ancient Egypt!"
"Yeah, so?" Kanda yawned, unconvinced.
"So?" Allen cried in outrage. "Are you really as brainless as I always thought you were? Honestly, I was just teasing, but if you were truly mentally incapacitated then I deeply apologize for my—"
"Oh, shut up, beansprout," Kanda snapped, sighing. "I know that mortal things can't kill this things . but I also know that he's after you more than he's after these American losers over here –"
"Hey!" David protested.
" – and dragging you around while we hunt this guy would the be most stupid thing ever." Kanda continued, rising from his seat as he strapped his sword onto his waist. "So me, the Americans, and your thief friend will be going out to at least try to delay the mummy, while you stay put, read some books, and be the good girl that you are."
Allen wasn't the only one who didn't like the idea.
"Hey! The fuck am I goin' back out there! The mummy's after our brains an' all!" Jasdero refused.
"Yeah, yeah!" David heartily agreed. "We're stayin' here, where it's safe."
"You guys are such losers I just can't believe I'm even related to any of you!" Road exclaimed, giving her uncles two good kicks on the shin. The twins hopped around the room, throwing curses and hissing in pain. The teenager grinned and turned to Kanda, her golden eyes twinkling in excitement. "I'm all in, Mr. Jap. I've gotta guns an' the experience to use it. I ain't gonna be deadweight around 'ere."
"Great," Kanda remarked, not really embracing the idea of a little girl emptying bullets into an immortal's rotting corpse but he made use of what he could get. He then threw a warning look at Lavi who looked like he was just about to decline as well. The redhead immediately shut his mouth. He obviously preferred to die by the mummy's hand than by whatever torture the Japanese man had in store for him. His ribs were still throbbing from the fierce beating he received just that morning.
Allen wasn't intimidated. "What bloody fool put you in charge? I'm the one responsible for this mess, and I intend to clean it u— what on earth are you doing? PUT ME DOWN!"
Apparently, Kanda has had enough. He lifted the man onto his shoulder, stumbling a bit as the British man did not weigh as light as he looked. The ex-colonel thought he was carrying a big block of lard or something as nasty and heavy, but to his credit, he did not falter under Allen's weight. Instead, he strolled into the bedroom with the thrashing man on his shoulder and dropped him on the bed. He had half the mind to drop him on the floor but this was no time to have fun.
Before Allen could recover, Kanda had already strolled out of the room and slammed the doors shut, locking it with the skeleton key he had requested from the front desk. Seconds later, the sound of British curses and fists pounding against the door could be heard.
"Alright," Kanda smirked, quite pleased with himself. He threw the skeleton key at David. "You, make your ass useful and guard this door. If you leave it – and believe me, I will know if you did – I will literally rip your spleen out. Got it?"
David caught the key and frowned as he looked at his brother. "Whatsa 'spleen' Jasdero?"
His twin scratched his blonde head. "Ey, no idea, David. Some kinda cleanin' machine, maybe?"
Road gave his uncles another round of kicks on the shin. "You idiots," she clucked disdainfully. "The spleen's inside your body. Like an organ or something. So what the Jap's sayin', if you let dear Allen out or if anything bad happens to him, he'll use that sword of his to open your tummies and rips your guts out."
Both Americans paled.
"And that's only one of the things we'll do to you if ever something bad happens to my Allen," Road chirped, malevolently playing with her pistols. "So don't screw up on guard duty."
The twins gulped and nodded weakly. They've known Road for years, and most of their nightmares were simply memories of what the things Road and her creepy-ass seriously dangerous father had done.
"Now that's a good boy," the teenager beamed and turned towards Kanda and Lavi. "Let's go kick some stickin' mummy ass, Jap! You too, Red!"
"Tsk, who put you in charge?" Kanda grumbled, rolling his eyes as he dragged a whimpering Lavi out of the room.
A/N: Er…does that count as a cliffhanger? No, no, I don't really think so but I'm not sure because I've been ending most, if not all, of my chapters in all my stories with a cliffhanger. Believe me when I say it's not because I am a bully who loves to push you off a cliff and watch you hold on as you painstakingly wait for the next chapter, which might be in a few days (if you're really lucky) or in a few months (if you're not).
I'm not a bully. I just have no idea how to end a chapter without making it look like a cliffhanger.
I'm practicing, but there's still a lot of room for improvement there.
Anyway, about the name of the Fourteenth:
Okay, I know it's "Nea" not "Neah" but if you Google their meanings, you'll see that "Nea" is some Nordic word for "flower" while "Neah" is a Hebrew word for "to keep moving forward." If it were up to you, which would you choose?