Author's Note: High time I updated some of these stories, especially when I've had the outlines sat in some far corner of my mind for a couple of years, but then what's a girl to do when real life interferes? Hyperborean, it saddens me that I can't find the time or inspiration to get this done as soon as people would prefer, but better late than never! (I hope!) Also, yay for over 10,000 words in one 'story'!


INTERLUDE - DRAGONFLY OVER WATER


The late summer sun reflected off the surface of the pond, into Jonathan's glass of whiskey and danced off the ice cubes. Jonathan blinked as one of the cubes turned and the light flashed into his eyes, twisting the glass and staring into the richly coloured liquid pensively. He enjoyed a glass of something (whichever was his drink of choice at the time) in the late afternoons, stretched out in a deck chair and relaxing from a hard day of doing - well, very little - before the evening soirees that he was inevitably invited to, being the brother of the infamous Evelyn O'Connell and one of the original group that discovered the treasures of Hamunaptra. Evie, newly married, was still the darling of the academic circles, but more importantly to Jonathan was also becoming increasingly popular amongst the social elite due to their riches. Everyone wanted to be friends with money.

Along with the riches had come the manor house, chosen mainly by Evie when she had seen the extensive library, and backed up by Jonathan when he'd discovered the size and contents of the cellar. Apparently the previous owner had little to no family when they had passed away and the contents had been an option when purchasing the house. The grounds were mainly manicured and well-kept, but there was a corner Evie had left to nature, including a pond which was a haven for wildlife and flowers. This was fast becoming Jonathan's favourite spot for an afternoon drink and nap, and he knew he would miss it when the winter came.

As he watched, a dragonfly darted over the surface of the water, the wings a blur as it skimmed to the centre and settled delicately on the water. A tiny ripple radiated from where its legs touched the surface, breaking through the reflection of two figures almost entwined together in a seat not far from Jonathan himself; close enough to be sociable but far enough away that they could talk without disturbing his reverie.

They were the perfect couple, he mused, and meeting Rick had been good for his sister. Growing up, Jonathan had been the outgoing, social sibling; perhaps encouraged by his parents as the eldest and the only son. Evie had hidden behind books and knowledge, a painfully shy child who knew everything about the burial rituals of the ancient Egyptians yet nothing about playing with girls her own age. Jonathan knew she had been bullied but whilst a few thoughtless remarks from her compatriots had hit the mark occasionally and she had gone running to her mother in tears, her nature dictated that most of the said bullying had gone straight over her head and she never really knew just how much of an outcast she had been at school. Once their parents realised Jonathan was far more interested in chasing girls and doing dodgy deals for money they focused their academic aspirations on their daughter who thrived under their tutelage. The loss of their parents had hit both him and Evie hard, their overbearing aunt and her attempted meddling in their futures sending them fleeing to Egypt. There they had struggled until Evie found work with Dr Terrence Bey.

Then they'd met Richard O'Connell, who had taken an interest in Jonathan's baby sister (to be honest, rather surprisingly), but he agreed with the match wholeheartedly. On the surface they were completely different; their backgrounds, their nature...even in looks she was the dark-haired, petite nymph who hid an inner strength, whilst he was the tall golden Adonis whose muscles belied a softer side. One he was currently displaying as he cradled Evie gently to him, one hand absently resting on the slightest curve of her belly where Jonathan knew his niece or nephew was currently growing. Rick's adoration of Evie had increased her confidence in herself and her work, and she now threw herself into everything with a single-minded tenacity that convinced Jonathan she could even walk on water if she put her mind to it. (Although that didn't seem to be too much of an impossibility once one had faced the ten plagues of Egypt and lived to tell the tale.) And Evie in return had tempered Rick's rough character and worn away some of his sharp edges and impatience; something Jonathan noticed had extended to include his presence in their life, for which he was grateful.

In less than a year, he knew their life would change yet again to welcome the new addition to their family, but he found himself looking forward to it more than he'd previously thought. They'd all grown in character and together as a unit, and they were going to grow even more. Evie, especially, had found herself not just as an academic but as a woman and lover, and she had motherhood to grow into as well. Jonathan wasn't jealous of the relationship between Rick and his sister, although there were times he wished he could find the right woman with whom to settle down. He was having far too much fun searching, however, so it would be a good few years yet.

Jonathan cast his gaze back across the water to the couple, Evie having produced a book from somewhere and reading it quietly to Rick who had tilted his head back with half-closed eyes, one arm supporting his wife's slight body curled on his lap and the other down by his side with a glass loosely clasped between his fingers. Jonathan allowed himself a brief moment of envy at the American's muscles - he had tried to improve his fitness with help from Rick but it had been too much like hard work; something he avoided like the plague.

The dragonfly had gone, the pond's surface uninterrupted and mirror-like in the still of the evening. Rick's slight movement in the reflection caught Jonathan's eye and he saw the other man meeting his gaze steadfastly, his drink lifted in a toast and his lips in a wry smile as Evie continued reading, oblivious to the silent camaraderie between the two men in her life.

Jonathan lifted his drink, his silent toast responding to Rick's, and he smiled. Life, he thought, was good.


Author's Note: One more chapter/one-shot and then this little 'story' is concluded. You may have noticed that each section is from the point of view of a different person, so I shall give you a little hint. The next piece is called 'Beat of a Thousand Wings', it's set during the Mummy Returns, and it's not from Alex's POV...