A/N This is not my story. I am posting this for a friend, SqueakyDolphin6. All reviews and replies will be to and from SqueakyDolphin6.
A/N: Hi. I have read a lot of fanfiction, but this is the first time I have ever posted a story. I hope you like it. Thank you especially to JanusGirl101 for letting me use her account to post this. Love ya! I do not own the 39 Clues.
I was thinking about The Sword Thief and realized that the story stops after they find the map in the Oh Sanctum and picks up again the next morning going up to Puhkansan. It got me thinking about what everyone was doing during that time. There's a lot of hours, and they are in a nice mansion. Its not like they went and sat in their rooms alone. So this story is to fill in what the book left out during that time. There will be four chapters. Enjoy.
A/N: Hi, I rewrote large sections of this chapter to make it fit canon better. Special thanks to JanusGirl101 and Music4Evah for pointing out the inconsistancies in Ian's thoughts about Amy. Thanks Muse, for letting me use some of your Natalie suggestions. I hope you all like this. Thanks for reading. SqueakyDolphin6 4/30/11.
It's Called Enjoying Yourself
Reading in the Oh Sanctum
Amy didn't want to leave the Oh Sanctum. There was so much here that she didn't know about her own history. Now that they'd found the map, the others were eager to leave. Dan couldn't wait to get out of "another library" and back to his gaming, Natalie was dying for a shower to clean off the dust and the smell of mildew from Uncle Alistair's little treasure house, and Alistair himself, having gotten over the excitement of finding their next step, was ready to get back to the nap that had been so rudely interrupted earlier.
But Amy didn't know when she would ever have another chance to learn so much about the Cahills and she wanted to take advantage of every second to pour through the Oh collection. She asked Uncle Alistair if she could stay, longing obvious in her eyes.
"Please, Uncle Alistair? I'll be very careful. I can't lose this opportunity," Amy pleaded.
Uncle Alistair looked somewhat concerned. "Well, I'd hate for anything to happen to you out here on your own. You might get lost in the hedge maze, or accidentally upset Buffy." His eyes slid to Ian, who surreptitiously rubbed his backside and quickly looked away.
Amy looked around at her companions. She looked pleadingly at Dan.
"Nope, sorry Amy. I did my time. We found the map, now I'm outta here."
Natalie was studiously brushing dust off her skirt and purposely avoided Amy's gaze. Ian also appeared not to have heard, as he seemed deeply engrossed in a pamphlet.
"Uncle Alistair? Will you stay?"
"Sorry, dear girl. Old men like me need their afternoon naps."
Amy sighed in defeat. "Oh well, it would have been a great opportunity." She got ready to leave with the others, looking around wistfully at all the wonderful, old books on the shelves.
Ian finally looked up from his pamphlet and said, "I'll stay with her. I'd like to do some more reading here myself, if you don't mind, Alistair."
They all looked at him in surprise.
"Besides, I think I know how to navigate out here now," Ian added with a rueful grin. He had secretly been planning to find a way to stay anyway, and this was the perfect excuse. He hoped to find some Ekaterina information that could tip him off to another clue or two. And then there was his secondary mission, to make Amy Cahill like and trust him so she would continue their alliance until they found this clue and maybe possibly give up any others they had. He could use their time alone in the Oh Sanctum to work on that goal also.
Amy's eyes widened panic, but she said nothing. She didn't want to be alone here with Ian Kabra, but she really did want to stay and keep reading. After some consideration Uncle Alistair agreed that Amy could stay, now that Ian was going to stay with her. Amy realized that putting up with Ian was the only way she would get to stay and read, so she grudgingly agreed. Once it was settled everyone else left quickly, and the two teens were left alone in the Oh sanctum.
Amy eagerly made her way to the shelves to pour over the materials there. Ian silently kept his distance and waited for an opportunity to "woo" her, doing his own research in the mean time. He thought about Amy while he searched, considering ways to manipulate her. There was something about her that fascinated him, but he couldn't put his finger on what. There was nothing at all special about the girl. She was average-looking, poor, and so shy she couldn't speak in public. She was so beneath him. Yet somehow, despite her disadvantages, he didn't really see her that way. Her joyful appreciation of the simplest things was mystifying and her intelligence was a challenge, even to him. Amy, along with her annoying brother, had actually bested him twice on the clue hunt so far. It was only because he and Natalie had access to the best Lucian equipment that they had managed to grab the Lucian serum for themselves. How unlikely! Yet, that was why he was here, doing this, to gain Amy and Dan's help. That and spying on the Ekats, he reminded himself.
Ian tried to keep his mind on searching for Ekaterina secrets, but he couldn't help sneaking glances over at the quiet girl across the room. He had to find an opportunity to work on winning her affections. Amy was obviously deep into her reading and completely ignoring him, but her presence there was, for some reason, distracting him from his own research. He didn't know why, but he just couldn't concentrate. And that made him feel anxious and restless. Worst of all, this was not Kabra behavior. Kabras were in control and confident. The sooner we find the clue and end this alliance the better, he decided.
Then, suddenly, he saw an opening with Amy. She was on tiptoe, trying to reach an oversized volume on the top shelf. Amy couldn't quite reach the book, and it was teetering on the edge, about to fall.
"Here, let me help you with that," Ian said, while moving quickly towards her. He easily lifted the heavy book and brought it down, brushing his fingers against her hand and smiled dazzlingly as he gave it to her.
At the touch of Ian's hand Amy started and jerked her own hands, and the book, away, while shooting him a nasty glance. She blushed and quickly looked down. She had overreacted, she knew. He was probably only trying to be nice. Ian, nice? Not likely! She thought to herself. But she darted a glance at him out of the corner of her eye. He was turned slightly away from her, chin up, apparently looking at some books, but he had a slight frown on his face instead of his usual confident smirk. I couldn't have hurt him, could I? No way. But that was kind of rude of me.
"Th-thank you," Amy quietly murmured, "those books up there are kind of high for me."
"No problem," Ian responded shortly, and then went back to studying the books. Amy sighed, then took her big book and sat down to read.
Ian was confused. What was the problem with this girl? Most girls were all over him the moment they saw him. Most girls would be using the time alone here in this ancient little room to try to get him interested in them, trying to draw him into conversation by teasing and flirting with him, to his complete disgust. But Amy was different. She seemed to want him to go away. Why did she despise him so? Sure, they'd left each other for dead a couple of times, but that was the clue hunt. It was expected. Amy seemed to be taking it personally though. Strange. He began to suspect that getting her to like him was going to be harder than he thought.
Amy was determined to focus and absorb every scrap of information in this room. There was so little time and so much to learn. How could Grace have kept all this history about their family from her? Why hadn't she told them anything? Why hadn't her parents? It seemed that Grace had taught them some things they would need to know, but secretly. She and Dan didn't even know what they actually knew about the clue hunt. It was like they had been programmed to have certain knowledge pop up only when it was needed. Why had they been left at such a disadvantage in this hunt when families like the Kabras were openly teaching their children the family history and secrets when they were toddlers? The Kabras. Ian...(sigh)…Rats. She was doing it again. Thinking about Ian despite being determined not to.
This wasn't going well. Amy was so frustrated she felt like screaming. She was having a very hard time understanding anything she read and it was all Ian's fault. Why did he have to agree to stay here with her? Why couldn't Dan have stayed, or Uncle Alistair? Ian was distracting her. Despite herself she kept sneaking quick glances at him. Once she thought she saw Ian turn away quickly just as she looked at him, but she figured it was just her imagination. Ugh, what is wrong with me? She bent her head back down and with a sigh began the same paragraph for the 10th time.
Suddenly the book in Amy's lap slammed shut. She jumped about a foot and looked up right into determined amber eyes, hovering only inches above hers.
"Come on, let's go," he commanded. "We've been at this for," he paused to quickly check his cell phone, "more than two hours now. It is hot and there is a rather unpleasant odour in here. If we leave now we'll have time to cool off and relax in Alistair's little pool before dinner. What do you say?"
"Uh…y-yeah, I g-guess so," Amy mumbled. Her heart was still racing from the sudden shock of Ian's attack, as well as from how close he had been. She wearily rubbed her eyes, leaving a smudge of dust on one cheek. She looked around regretfully at the Oh Sanctum, then got up and carefully placed the heavy book down on the chair she'd been sitting in. She knew she would never get much reading done with Ian in here with her. Too bad. He was right, she ruefully agreed, it really was getting hot in here, and there was the distinct smell of old, moldy books and rodents. She definitely was not going to swim, though, not with Ian around. Not a chance! She needed to be alone and have a chance to clear her head. She followed Ian as he held the door open for her, only stumbling a little bit on the door jam. They blinked in the bright afternoon light and began the walk back to Uncle Alistair's house.
The two teens trudged through the hedge maze in silence for a few minutes, each lost in their own thoughts. Say something! Amy thought desperately to herself. Say anything. No, not anything. It will come out stupid and he'll think I'm an idiot. Who cares what he thinks about me anyway, he's just a big jerk that ruined my chance to learn about the Cahills' history. He probably did that on purpose so I wouldn't learn anything helpful or important. Jerk. Ugh, this is so awkward! Come on, Amy, say something intelligent!
Meanwhile Ian was reviewing the information he'd gathered so far, which was nothing much, really. Yes, Alistair had some unique documents, but the information they held had, for the most part, already been uncovered by Lucian operatives in the past. Ian felt confident that Alistair and his little cache of "secret" information were of no use and were definitely no threat. He had spent the whole afternoon in that dumpy old room with that nerdy little bookworm and come up with no new or important information, and after putting up with all that, Amy didn't even seem interested in him. It had all been a complete waste of time. Although, when he'd suggested leaving she had agreed to come with him. Maybe she was warming up to him after all. So maybe it hadn't been a complete waste. But he needed to find some inside info to get ahead. Alistair had to have something useful. I just have to find it, he thought, with renewed determination.
Amy finally managed to think of something to say. "S-so your p-parents really taught you and N-Natalie all about the clues and Cahill history from when you were babies?" she asked quietly. Ian turned to look at her, quickly covering his surprise at the sudden interruption to his thoughts with his signature smirk.
"Of course. We've had the Cahill story drilled into us since before we could walk. I don't know what Grace was thinking, or your parents for that matter, leaving you without a "clue" about your own family history." He chuckled lightly at his pun. "Not preparing you left you and Daniel hopelessly behind…well, everyone else. It seems rather neglectful to me."
Amy didn't respond. She was too busy trying to blink away the tears that had started forming in her eyes. Jerk! She thought. How dare he say anything about my parents and Grace. Thoughtless, insensitive jerk! The problem was, he was right. She and Dan really were handicapped by not knowing anything about their heritage or the clue hunt. Why hadn't Grace explained anything? Or at least warned them about what was to come?
They had reached Alistair's mansion by this time. As they entered the front foyer Ian said,
"So, I'll see you down at the pool then?"
"N-No," Amy replied, "I think I'm going to go rest in my room." She just wanted to get away from him and be alone to think.
Ian's face was a mixture of surprise, amusement and a touch of confusion. She didn't want to go swimming with him? Really? He knew girls who would kill for that opportunity. He even had a couple of scars to show for it.
"Okay then," he raised an eyebrow and smirked at her, "have fun in your room." He strode off toward his own room without looking back.
"B-Bye," Amy whispered to his retreating back, then turned to go. But before she went to her room she needed to check on Dan. Where would he be? Oh, right, the gaming rooms. Amy found Dan a few minutes later in one of the gaming rooms, sitting hunched and tense on the couch in front of the huge screen. His eyes were glazed and seemed to be fused wide open. He'd probably been in here for hours.
"Hey Dan," she said. No response. "Dan? DAN!" Amy finally shook him as she yelled, and that broke his concentration.
"Hey, look what you made me do! Oh man, it took forever to get to that level and now I have to start over." He stopped his rant long enough to look around and see who had interrupted him. "Oh, hey Amy. How'd it go in the smelly, old library? What time is it, anyway?"
"It went fine, and you've been in here nearly three hours," responded his sister.
"Three hours? Cool!" Dan said. "Wait, you were with that snake boy for three hours? Are you okay? What did he do to you to make you stay with him? I bet he hypnotized you with his cobra eyes and cast a love spell on you."
"Shut up, Dan," Amy sighed.
"Ooh, defending your boyfriend, huh? He did mess your brain up. I knew it!"
"Dan, Ian's a jerk, but he didn't do anything to me. We just read. I don't know why Uncle Alistair trusted him in there, though. He was so obviously looking for Ekat secrets."
"Well, did you learn anything useful?" Dan asked. Amy sighed again,
"No, I had a hard time concentrating. I guess I'm tired from all the traveling."
"Uh huh. Right. Couldn't concentrate, huh? Did it maybe have anything to do with being in the presence of a Cobra?"
"Dan!" Amy shouted and shoved him. He shoved back. Soon they were shoving and tickling and laughing, and couch cushions were flying everywhere. Finally they paused to catch their breaths.
Dan said, "Seriously though, Amy, you should be careful around Ian. You know we can't trust him."
"I know, Dan. I know. Don't worry, I don't trust him. And thanks," Amy said. "I'm going to go to my room now and change. Dinner's probably soon. You might want to think about freshening up yourself." She gave a loud sniff to make her point, then made a quick exit before she could be hit by another flying cushion.
Ian changed quickly, then sauntered down to the pool. For some reason the idea of a refreshing swim wasn't as enticing to him now as it had been when he'd suggested it to Amy.
Predictably Natalie was already lying on a chair by the pool and looking like she'd been there for a while. She had on a sparkly pink bikini, her diamond-encrusted sunglasses and a large, floppy hat. She was covered in sunscreen and reading the same Korean People magazine that she'd had earlier. A half-filled glass of iced lemonade stood on a low table beside her. She looked completely relaxed and in her element. Ian walked over to her.
Natalie put down her magazine, raised her sunglasses and looked up at him. "Oh, Ian. You're back. I was starting to wonder what had become of you."
"Well, I'm here now. What have you been up to?" Ian responded coolly.
"Oh, you know, I've been trying to enjoy myself here by this little pool, but I cannot believe the incompetence of Alistair's staff. Honestly, I asked for fresh ice in my glass ages ago and no one has come to bring it. And another thing – Korean magazines! How do they expect normal people to read this stuff? How about some English publications? If you can't read the fashion analysis what's the point? They could at least have Vogue or Elle."
"Natalie, could you please take a breath and stop thinking about fashion moment?" Ian broke in.
"Why, is there something more important to think about?"
He just raised his eyebrows at her and waited. Finally it dawned on her,
"Oh, that's right. How did your little mission go? Did you accumulate any useful Ekat secrets for us?
Ian looked around quickly to make sure they were still alone. Then he scoffed, "No, Alistair doesn't seem to have anything of use to us."
"Doesn't seem to? You mean you didn't actually check everything in that little room? You were gone so long. What were you doing then?" Ian shuffled his feet slightly and looked uncomfortable as he gazed out over the pool.
Natalie gasped, "You were with that Cahill girl all this time! Eew! You're supposed to make her like you, not the other way around."
"What?" Ian retorted, "I don't like her. It was hot and unpleasant in there, and that made it hard to concentrate. I could actually hear rodents climbing in the walls. But I put up with all that to do my job," he finished, rather angrily.
"Getting Amy Cahill to like you, right?"
"Right. No. Looking for valuable Ekaterina secrets and you know it. And there weren't any that we don't already know."
"So how's your other little assignment coming then?"
"What other…Oh. Natalie, stop it," Ian warned. "She's a necessary tactic for right now. Temporary. Nothing special. Now I'm going swimming to cool off." With that he dove gracefully into the pool.
"Yes, you do that, brother," Natalie murmured, "You do need to cool off."