Wow, I can't believe I'm coming out of my semi fanfic retirement at last. My muse was on vacation, to tell you the truth. (Plus, I've been without the internet for large chunks of the summer.) But I love writing, and I love fanfiction, so I decided to return to what I love, visiting the world of the Mummy. This is a one-shot to get the juices flowing, and maybe more on Rick and Evy will come of it. I'm considering doing a series of POV's off the first movie, so stayed tuned.

Reviews are welcome, and might keep my muse working for me. I'm curious to know what you think, even if you have complaints. This story begins right after the 1st movie, and is pretty tame compared to my last story. All the same, I got a kick out of writing it, so enjoy!

Betting On You

"Now, listen here, you disgusting creature, you and I are going to have a little heart to heart." Jonathan had leaned over, almost eye to eye with the disgusting creature in question, his finger in the camel's face, his own face a picture of irritation. The camel didn't appear to give a damn, idly spitting in the sand.

Rick rolled his eyes at the picture, too tired to find anything real funny. His body was one huge ache, thanks to being bounced around like a ball. He didn't reckon anything was broken, it was too familiar a feeling to overlook, but he'd have one hell of a bruise collection to show off. Still, alive and dragging yourself around beat the alternative any day of the week. He glanced down at a sleeping Evy, hugging her tighter to her body, though he was careful to keep her firm little rear on his leg.

"And that's another thing! This blasted spitting has got to stop, I'm fed up, do you hear?" Well, Rick heard him loud and clear, Jonathan sure had a set of pipes on him.

"Keep your voice down, will ya?" Rick told him, struggling to keep the pain out of his tone. After they left the aptly named city of the dead, the rush of being alive had him flying high. His victory kiss with Evy had just kept the good feeling coming, but after 11 hours of his ass being planted on a camel's hump, his body was giving him all kinds of grief. And there were plenty of miles to go.

"I tell you, Rick, this camel's more trouble than it's worth," Jonathan grumbled.

"So, you want to get home on foot?" Rick gestured wearily towards the desert. "I've done it Jonathan, I don't recommend it." Not that Rick really wanted Evy having her own camel. The snoozing librarian snuggled in his arms felt more than all right there, like she belonged right there. She was on her way to her turning him into sap, and he could live with that.

"All the same, this flea bag's impossible. I tell you, if I never have to see the desert again, I'll be a happy man." Jonathan glanced at his sister, eyes suspiciously misty. "It was a close one, wasn't it?"

"Had worse," Rick retorted automatically, but he wasn't too sure about that. He'd never had to fight the supernatural before, and wasn't too keen on having a round two. "But too close for comfort," he qualified.

"Well, I just want to forget about the whole thing. Except for that beautiful treasure, of course." Jonathan glanced behind him, looking like a guy in love. "Just look at it, Rick, all ours."

"Oh, why don't you just hug it already?" Rick retorted, his fingers lightly stroking the ends of Evy's hair. He figured Benny must have lugged it out, poor bastard. No doubt, Benny probably had it coming, but it was a rotten way to die. Rick wondered if he was still alive, or if those bugs made a meal out of him yet. Either way, it wouldn't be pretty.

"When I get my share, I just might! Evy lives for knowledge and all that rot, I live to get rich. Yes, comes to daddy my darling," he cooed at the gold.

"Jesus," Rick muttered. Rick wasn't exactly one for Bible thumping, but he could remember a nun screeching the deadly sins in his ear, greed being one of them. Next to that passage, Rick figured they should have Jonathan's picture. It wasn't that Jonathan was a moron, but when money was involved, his brains went missing, like some men chasing after tail.

Jonathan studied his sister, shaking his head. "She was awful disappointed about me losing my grip on the book of life, wasn't she? Knowing Evy, she'll be going on about that stupid book tomorrow. Just as well that it's lost, I say."

"You know, that's probably the smartest thing that's come out of your mouth," Rick agreed.

"Oh, thank you very much." Rick wasn't sure he was squinting at him, or trying to glare. "You won't let her talk you into going out on another jaunt to that bloody death trap, will you?"

"She's not going anywhere near there again." The statement, harsh and cold hung in the cold night air, Rick's eyes blazing, his jaw tightening. Then he shrugged, expression easing up. "I don't think there'd be much point anyway. Somehow, that lever got pushed, and the place is buried, right? Our little friend and that voodoo book are gone."

"Yes, yes, you're probably right. Evy might be stubborn, but bright enough to know when something's futile." Jonathan yawned, shifting pointlessly to get comfortable. "Oh, for a stiff drink and a soft bed."

"No kidding," Rick agreed. Evy's chin bumped his shoulder, murmuring his name in her sleep, and something tightened up inside.

Jonathan didn't hear his sister, but did catch the look on Rick's face. "Oh, you two are going to be sickening, aren't you? Fluttering around like two turtle doves, kissing and cooing. It's almost more than a chap can bear." Behind the whining was something else, fear, something was recognized and understood. Rick had always been on his own, so he wasn't an expert on family bonds, but he knew how to read people, and Jonathan wasn't good at bluffing.

"You worried I'm going to hurt her." It wasn't a question, just a mild statement.

Jonathan, probably expecting something along the lines of 'shut up' or 'quit your whining' was pulled up short for a minute. He finally pulled himself together. "It's nothing against you, old boy. I'll have you know that I like you; you're a handy man to have around. But you don't strike me as the type to settle down."

"I didn't strike me as the type either. I always figured one broad's as good as another."

Now Jonathan just sounded almost hysterical, his eyes about ready to bug out of his head. "Well this is terribly comforting and all-"

Rick cut him off. "Look, not that I planned on announcing this, but I love her, okay?"

Jonathan blinked like he'd launched into poetry. "Um, beg pardon? I'm afraid you've lost me."

"You and me both," Rick scoffed, but felt pretty damn good, all things considered. "I don't know when it happened, but she got to me. Now, I don't need your permission, and I'm not asking for it. Still, you're her family, so I guess you've got the right to know."

"Permission for what pray tell?" An aching body or not, the look on Jonathan's face was priceless. He looked as confused as a nun in a nightclub.

"To stick around, I guess." Rick didn't want to commit to specifics, not when he hadn't talked to Evy. They'd kissed, and more than a little peck, but that didn't add up to much. He knew Evy felt something; she was kind of transparent like that. Still, he didn't want to mess this up, and wanted to see how she felt about him playing a part in her life, potentially a really big part.

"Well, as long as you know what you're in for," Jonathan mumbled, ready to quit while he wasn't ahead. "She's got a hard head, and she practically lives in that library. Born with her nose in a book, or so father used to say."

"Sounds about right." He knew she'd drive him crazy, and he'd probably return the favor, but she was the one for him, and he wasn't backing down. Jonathan lost interest in the conversation, and they drifted into silence. Jonathan kept eyeballing the loot, but whatever got him through the night. As far as Rick could tell, he himself dozed off once or twice, but was too uncomfortable to really sink into sleep. Jonathan started snoring at some point, so obviously he'd had better luck.

At some point, as the camels lumbered into the darkest part of the night, Evy stiffened against him, murmuring frantically in her sleep, though nothing he could make out. He shook her lightly, rubbing her hair with his free hand. "Hey, it's okay, Evy, it's okay."

If he hadn't been holding on to her, she might have fallen off the camel, she jolted so hard. Her eyes snapped open before she was completely awake, wild and unfocused. He just kept rubbing at her head, waiting for her mind to start working. It took her a while, but she finally slumped against him.

"I thought this whole business might have been a dream," she told him sleepily.

Rick could see how she'd make that mistake. "No such luck, Evelyn. Well, on the bright side, the treasure's real enough."

"No doubt Jonathan will squander every pound of his share," Evy predicted grimly, and Rick figured she was dead on.

"He's a big boy, you can't hold his hand," Rick pointed out.

She frowned, a little sore. "I have no intention of trying to 'hold his hand' but he is my brother."

"Yeah, I know, and you've been taking care of him for a while I'm guessin'. Hey, I've got nothing against family sentiment; just saying Jonathan seems like the type to do exactly what he wants, unless someone scares him good."

"Yes, you're right," Evy admitted, the long-suffering sister. "He's quite impossible, but one can't help but love him."

"Yeah, I can see that." Rick tweaked on her hair. "If it's makes you feel any better, I think he's not a half bad brother. Sure, he's kind of a weasel, but he's got his good points. We had a good talk earlier."

She perked up with curiosity. "Oh? And what did you discuss, pray tell?"

"Well, you definitely came up." Rick figured it was as good of an opening as anything. "We got on the subject of my intentions."

"He has no right to stick his blasted nose where it doesn't belong!" Evy whispered furiously, and if looks could kill, the look she aimed at Jonathan would have done him in. "I'm a sensible woman, a professional who has faced an animated corpse and come out of it all right-"

"I told him I was in love with you," he interrupted her. Well, it wasn't as hard as he'd counted on it being. His throat felt a little tight, his hands a little sweaty, but all in all, not too bad.

She looked like a gold fish, with big eyes that kept on blinking. "Pardon?" she choked out.

Maybe he'd said it wrong, or the timing was off, he thought to himself. She didn't look too happy, more shell-shocked, not exactly the most promising reaction. "I told your brother I was in love with you, it being the truth and all. Should I have kept it to myself?"

"You love me," she repeated, still shocked as hell.

"Right."

"You love me." He wondered how many times they were going to circle the dog track, here.

"Yeah, I'm crazy about you." Maybe he should have given it some time, but Rick wasn't exactly the patient type.

"You love me," she said for the 3rd time.

"So I've heard," he teased lightly, wondering how to salvage this if it all blew up.

Then he saw the tears in her eyes, and felt something twist inside. She was so beautiful, inside and out, and he'd never gotten anywhere close to something he wanted so much. "Then you'll stay with me?" she asked him, like he could go anywhere without her. Yeah, it must be love.

He cupped her face, resting his forehead against hers. "I've never loved anybody before, Evelyn. I don't just mean the way a guy loves a woman, I mean period. I didn't think I had it in me. Then you come along, on a crazy quest to go into hell, and it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me."

"I love you so much," she told him softly in the night air, and even Jonathan's snoring couldn't ruin the moment. "It frightens me, it truly does. I've never been one to give into sentiment, I'm a creature of logic."

He kissed her, forcing himself to keep it light and soft. She kissed him back, still a little shy, but by the way her lips clung to his, she was enjoying herself anyway. It still felt amazing, even though he wanted to kiss her hard, feel her tongue against his. But now wasn't the time, and there was always later. He ended the kiss before he could get himself into trouble, but stayed close enough to feel her hot breath on against his mouth.

After a while, he picked up the conversation, knowing they needed all their cards on the table. "I know it's fast, and I know I need to do this right. I'm going to take you out to dinner, buy you flowers, the whole nine yards. I'm not saying I'll be good at it, but you deserve it, so that's how it's going to be."

"Sounds lovely," she beamed. She curled up against him, reassured. "I don't need it to be grand; I just want to be with you."

"That's good, 'cause I save the grand stuff for when I get into scrapes." They shared a laugh and it felt good, even his ribs weren't too happy over the effect.

"Was Jonathan terribly surprised when…when you told him?"

"It's not like he fell off his camel or anything, but I surprised him pretty good, yeah." Jonathan's snoring hit a high note, almost like he'd heard them. "Surprised myself, actually."

"It surprises me, I must say," she confessed shyly. "I always thought a woman was mad to love a man, to tell you the truth."

"My little romantic," he teased. "You always that cynical, or did you just see Jonathan in action enough times?"

"Well, as a creature of logic, it seemed like such an illogical gamble. I've seen women tolerate all manners of rubbish in the name of love, even sacrificing their reputation and happiness at times. I've seen marriages that begin so happy, and then it erodes until they're bickering like children, always cross with each other."

It kind of reminded him of the couple than ran the orphanage he grew up at, but he couldn't say he felt all that nostalgic. "Life's a gamble, honey. That's why I don't bet money on the cards, you get enough chances."

"Oh, I'm willing to bet on you," she said, sounding younger and more girlish than he'd ever heard her sound.

"Feeling's mutual."