"I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times,
in life after life, in age after age forever."
Three thousand years ago, a forbidden love blossomed under the desert sky, and the fate of a kingdom hung in the balance...and no, the lovers weren't everyone's favorite mummies. We all know Evy's lived before, but how could she have gone without Rick?!? My answer is...she couldn't have. That balcony was on the second story, you know! Imhotep, Anck-su-namun, and Seti, as well as other familiar faces, will play pivotal roles as well. So pop "Come Back Evy" in the stereo (damn that's a sad song!) or, my personal favorite and inspiration, "A Thousand Years" by Sting (how perfect does that fit!:), sit back, and enjoy... Oh yeah, contains spoilers for TMR, like you couldn't figure that one out.
Love, tragedy, intrigue, sex, murder, betrayal, destiny...all packaged together in one giant sweeping epic...
Disclaimer: I don't own the creations of Stephen Sommers, obviously...I did make up all of the other Egyptian characters, though, so please don't take them. That'd just be mean:)~
Note: This story plays off the past-life inferences Imhotep made in "Live and Let Die," though it's not necessary to read that one (but of course you should because it's brilliant:)
Okay, I'll shut up already! On with the story! Enjoy, and of course, REVIEW:)
The Cost of a Glance
Two beings came together in an indigo fog. The chorus of "I love you"s was drowned out only by the serene silence of the place. They held each other tightly and waited for their fate to come and collect them.
Ardeth Bey looked out across the desert expanse and sighed. If anyone had been near, they might have thought he was dying, the sigh carried so much angst. The Medjai leader was not one for tears, and so he expressed his grief in other, more subtle ways...or, in a tight spot, a fight to the death.
It had taken them three days to properly bury all the corpses, and the blazing heat had not made the task any prettier. Everyone was grateful, at least, that they didn't have to deal with the bodies of the Anubis warriors, too. Ardeth didn't think he could have left his brothers there if they had been surrounded by that filth.
He could never relax his guard; Imhotep had proved that, but he was still extremely thankful to be heading home. Perhaps he'd take a few days off, rest a while, let others make decisions for once. With a snort, Ardeth dismissed the idea, knowing he could never bring himself to do that. The duty had become so ingrained in him that without it, he was nothing.
His mind wandered to the events of the previous week, again. Sheer terror, intense sadness, complete joy...he had certainly run the gamut of emotions. Ardeth wondered how his friends were holding up. It was a miracle that, as far as he could tell, they'd all made it out so unharmed. He made up his mind to try and catch them before they left Cairo. Over the years he'd become quite attached to them, especially little Alex. He could even admit a certain fondness for Jonathan, if pressed.
Mostly, though, he was worried about Rick and Evy. She seemed to handling the news of her reincarnation quite well, but Rick...stubborn as he was, he was likely to take his newly found sacred duty too lightly. Yes, he'd have to see them as soon as possible.
As Ardeth approached the little apartment the O'Connells kept in Cairo, the shouting he heard seemed to shake the walls. He ran the rest of the distance down the hallway, bursting through the doorway and through the front room, following the racket. As he stumbled to the back, scimitar at the ready, he found Rick and Evelyn standing at opposite sides of the room, yelling their heads off, in the middle of a rather heated dispute. Tears streaked down Evelyn's face, Rick's hands waved wildly in the air. They both stopped short when they saw him. Against all odds, Ardeth blushed.
"I am sorry to intrude, but I thought perhaps there was trouble."
"No trouble at all," Evy said quietly. "What's the matter?"
"Nothing," he said curtly, returning to his usual unflappable self. "I just wanted to check on you, see that everyone was all right."
"Oh, we're just fine. Everything is right as rain in the O'Connell household," Evy spat as she brushed quickly past Ardeth. He could still hear her muttering to herself as she disappeared down the hallway.
"Please forgive me, my friend. I did not realize-"
"Don't worry about it." Rick plopped down in a chair and ran a hand through his sandy brown hair. He looked utterly defeated, as if his world was crumbling down around him. Little did Ardeth know how correct his analogy was. "How are things with the Medjai?" Rick asked, trying to change the subject.
Ardeth did not protest. He was not one to pry. "We have just now returned from Ahm-Shere."
Rick looked like he was about to throw up. "God, can't anyone talk about anything else?" he cried. "All I hear is Bracelet of Anubis this and Nefertiri that-"
"Is Evy struggling with the memories?"
"No, she's..." Rick's face darkened. "Oh, that's right...I suppose no one told you."
"Told me what?"
The look on Rick's face was now one of pain. He grew quiet. Ardeth let him sit. Then, after a few minutes, he said, "She died."
"What?" Evy died? "You mean Nefertiri?"
Rick shook his head. "No, Evy. Anck-su-namun killed her."
"But, she is--I mean--"
"Oh, she's fine now. She says she is, anyway. Alex..." he trailed off, wincing at the memories. "Alex resurrected her, with the Book. She died, Ardeth. She died, and I couldn't do a damn thing about it."
Ardeth was at a loss. The shock was evident on his face, so Rick continued. "She stabbed her. Right in front of my face, and I couldn't...she died in my arms. Do you know what that's like, to see your life draining away before you, and to be totally helpless?"
Ardeth shook his head, slowly. The final piece of the puzzle had fallen into place. "No," he said. "But I think you do."
Now it was Rick's turn to be confused. Hadn't he just said that? What did he have to do, sing it?
"You are a Medjai, Rick, there is no doubt. And if you are who I think you are..." Ardeth let the silence flow into the room, let it envelope the two men, let it slowly fill in the space until there was nothing left.
As Rick's head dropped, he could hear a faint voice, Ardeth's, chanting unfamiliar words that he somehow understood...
Evy jumped at the sound of Ardeth's voice, breaking her sharply out of her daydream. She'd been able to contain the tears, and now what was left was a sort of quiet rage. How dare Rick say those things about her visions? She knew she was right. In the past few days she had read more about Nefertiri than she thought was possible, even for her, and she was certain her suspicions were correct. If Rick were unwilling to believe them, so be it. That was his problem. Maybe she could find a kinder ear in her old Medjai friend.
"You are troubled," he said simply.
"Yes," she replied, and could barely go on. Her throat constricted painfully as she tried to choke out the words. "I've been reading a lot about Nefertiri, lately. About her life, about her...death."
Ardeth nodded, as if he somehow knew exactly what she was talking about.
"You've heard the stories, I'm sure."
He did not nod this time. "I have heard many versions, Evy. Which one do you believe?"
It was easier now, somehow. "She was killed by her lover, shortly before her wedding. Murdered. That seems to be the general consensus, though her story is not exactly well known." The tears threatened again. "I think he killed me, Ardeth. I think Rick killed me. Rick refuses to believe it. You said he was a Medjai, and I think he...I just have this feeling." She was now almost down to a whisper. "I know he was there with me, I could feel his presence in my visions, somehow, I...I knew that he would be there to comfort me, later on, after the battle, after my father died...and then he murdered me."
"I believe you." He hated to say the words, he could see that it hurt her so. "But you have not heard the true account of the story. The one my people have passed on for generations, as one of our most beloved love stories."
"Love stories, ha," she said derisively. "He loved me all right. Loved me so bloody much he killed me."
Evelyn understood Ardeth's words. What she couldn't understand was how it seemingly got so quiet, all at the same time...
Let me know if you want more:)...the next chapter will move into ancient times...