Rebelcaptain, the mummy AU
I literally gasped out loud at a bar when I saw this and my friend looked at me and dead ass said, “Fanfiction?” and then told the guy that she was talking to that I write fanfiction. I used to be real edgy and testy about it – you know, embarrassed – and it would feel like a subtle way of my (always female) friends making me seem less appealing (and therefore less competition) to the guy they were interested in. But now, as I literally don’t give a shit, I’m like, “Yeah, I’m an excellent writer.” And ALSO THIS AU IDEA IS AMAZING? So no regrets. Sorry, I’m REALLY tired while writing this, but I wanted to get it out there, so it sucks. :/
There were two things Cassian hated the most in the world, sand and being bossed around, and he had spent the past two weeks being bossed around in a desert, so he was in a fairly sour mood. Or he would’ve been, if not for the insanely determined archeologist standing ahead of him next to her camel.
Jyn looked like a mirage in this desert, an image as tempting as an oasis and as dangerous as dehydration as well. Idly stroking her camel’s neck as she leafed through an old notebook belonging to her mother, uncaring of the sand that was blown around her feet and the hot sun bearing down on her. Hat tilted to the side as she reached for the pencil she kept on her ear.
“Are you certain we’re in the right area?” she asked him without looking away from the book.
“Would I lie to a pretty face?” Cassian replied. When she glanced back at him with an unamused look, he gave her his most charming smile. It was the kind of smile that got him in places where he normally wouldn’t have been allowed, the kind of smile that said trust me and people did even though he was definitely not to be trusted. It didn’t affect her in the slightest. Her lack of a verbal response gave her away anyways.
Yes, he would. Men most definitely lied to women with pretty faces. Also, she was not entertained by the idea that he might think her pretty. She didn’t have time for things like that, not when she was hunting down a famed lost city that had been her mother’s sole drive before her passing. It kind of made him sad. A truly pretty face like that, and she left half of her life pass her by in spite of it or perhaps because of it.
“Are we there yet?”
Cassian sighed as he turned to face the third member of their party, Bodhi, Jyn’s brother. He didn’t look like Jyn’s biological brother, but she had introduced him as such and Bodhi acted like a protective, fond sibling. Maybe he was adopted or maybe they had known each other for so long that it was like they were brother and sister. Whatever the case, he had tagged along for the adventure – and had not stopped talking the entire time. Make that three things Cassian hated: people that chatted too much.
“Nearly on top of it,” Cassian answered as he gazed back out into the desert.
It looked the same for miles, but he knew this spot in his heart. He could close his eyes and find his way back here. It beat in him like a drum – the smell of his fellow soldiers’ blood, the grittiness of the sand in his teeth, the unforgiving sun, and that underlining sense that he wasn’t alone. It pulled him back. He both could not wait for the city to appear to them and wanted to run away at the same time. Cassian was not a man that believed in things like destiny or fate or maybe even hope, but then he would connect eyes with Jyn and she would smile for the briefest of moments and for a tiny moment those things felt as real as this.
Slowly, as the sun began to set, the world seemed to shimmer before them. Jyn grasped the reins of her camel tightly as the city came to existence right in front of their eyes. Where once was nothing but sand and sky became a beautiful, ancient – crumbling, yes, but still stunning in its own way. The intensity in her eyes matched the heat of the sun and he felt himself getting overwhelmed by all of it for a second. Returning to this terrible place under these terrible conditions with some terrible company – and a young woman with a dream so large she was determined to will it into existence. She would not wait for it to come to her; she would seek it out herself.
“I’ll race you to it!” Jyn exclaimed as she climbed onto her camel.
Cassian grinned and was quick to follow. He didn’t think about Bodhi as his and Jyn’s camels galloped towards to the city. He didn’t think about Krennic’s paid men behind them that would loot all the glory out of this place and not treasure it like Jyn would. He didn’t think about the fear in his heart and his silent promise to keep Jyn safe from whatever malevolence he’d felt here. He could only see Jyn riding down the sunset towards her dreams and think of how stunning she looked in this moment.
Her eyes glowed with hope and for the first time in a long time he felt it too. He watched as she smoothed her palms over fallen stone pillars and delicately brushed away dirt and wondered what those hands would feel like against his skin. She beamed with knowledge and she was so good, so much better than anyone save for Bodhi ever gave her credit for. She loved and fought with all her strength and power and was helpless against any request.
“Don’t try anything with my sister,” Bodhi warned him that night. Before Cassian could even scoff that he would do no such thing and that Bodhi was pretty useless against him, the other man casually added, “Because she’ll throw you right down that hole.”
But neither one of them did such a thing. Jyn was too wrapped up in her discoveries and Cassian suddenly found himself at a loss. How could he compare to what she was seeing now? He was just a man and this was the lost city of her dreams, what she had gone to sleep hearing about. He was the desert, nothing special, just a wasteland in the end. It aggravated him that he wanted to be more, and he acted out by stealing archeology tools for her from the enemy camp and pulling his gun on anyone that threatened her.
Near the last day of the trip, Cassian was fairly certain that he was going to pull his hair out because of the way she would tug insistently on his sleeve to show him something she found, hovering so close to him, and the smell of her perfume and sweat would overtake his senses. This place was driving him mad. Or was it the woman? He couldn’t tell anymore.
Then, lo and behold, as if a lost city appearing out of thin air wasn’t enough, they had to go and wake an actual mummy. A monster who was as dead set on Jyn as Cassian was, but not afraid to show it in the slightest. And that was when he found out what he hated the most in the world: the dead coming back to life. It was just so damn inconvenient that he would stumble across the woman of his dreams and then a mummy would try to take her away. He should’ve known his luck had run out when Jyn had saved him from being hanged to death while being hanged. How was he supposed to stack up against an immortal being with magical powers and an immunity to guns?
But god, the things Cassian was willing to do for this woman. He’d crossed a desert already; he supposed it was only natural that fighting a monster was next.