True there were better things Larry could devote his time to but this was important, like super important. They were just about to come up on his fifth year of working at the museum as the sole night guard, who created and sold inventions in his spare time, and everyone had decided to have a mini-Christmas party. Well more like a 'give each other gifts and celebrate how wonderful life was now that Larry was around' party.
He knew for a fact Teddy was going to propose to Sacagawea and had enlisted Larry's help in finding the perfect, non-obtrusive item to do so. It'd taken a while but he'd managed to get his hands on some genuine deer hide and Teddy had done god knows what with it. Jed and Octavius were making each other gifts, Attila was carving something for the primordial men and various other exhibits were working hard on something for their friends.
"Hello? I'm calling to ask about a 1920's expedition that unearthed the tomb of Ahkmenrah. Yes, I am the same man from before, your person on call suggested I call back today," Larry explained, phone on speaker while he copied notes from the museum's own library. He'd been tracking down artefacts from Ahk's original tomb, trying to find a particular statue that the Pharaoh had spoken about just once.
"Any journals or books with reference to the expedition would be fantastic. I'm actually part of the Museum of Natural History's publicity staff, we're trying to revamp some of our exhibits and I'm on the Egyptian display," he continued, not exactly lying. McPhee had stopped asking awkward questions long ago, whenever Larry asked for some ridiculous as fuck thing, like leaving the mummy's sarcophagus unlocked, long dead corpse on full display, he usually got it. So him pretending to be a publicity person, as if he wasn't, wouldn't be the worst thing he'd ever done.
"Oh really? Thanks so much, I can be there around three to pick them up. Yeah, Larry Daley, okay, yup, goodbye," he ended off the call and made a quick note of the time and place he would meet the librarian. He had a whole month left until their party and he planned on getting the best damn gift ever.
"No, no, no, you use your wrist, not your forearm. If you did that, then I could easily break your arm," Ahk murmured, correcting the man's grip on the khopesh. Ever since their near robbery by three sad old men, Larry had been trying to learn self-defence. At first, their night guard had gone to official trainers and modern classes but after he gained more time with his son due to his night job, he couldn't find the time to attend them.
Of course, the man had neglected to realise he worked with some of the best fighters in human history. Octavius, while a miniature, had trained his men to become lethal warriors, Attila had a brutal style that focused on many opponents at once, even Teddy and Sacagawea who were against fighting could be deadly if forced. Take into account all the knights and warriors from ages past and it was almost foolish of Larry to not consider them, but then, the man was always going out of his way to not impose upon them.
"If you did that, Nicky would pout for the rest of the year because I couldn't take him to parties," the man pointed out, never afraid to pull the Nicky card. It was no secret that all of the exhibits adored the boy who was quickly growing into a fine young man and went out of their way to keep him happy. Ahk snorted and disarmed his night guard, as if he would harm the man that cared so much for them. As if he would harm the man he had come to love with all his heart; his kind, compassionate Larry whom he would trade for nothing.
"As would you and as much as I adore your disgruntled looks, I would never intentionally harm you," Ahk laughed, laying aside both curved blades in favour of pulling his lover closer. They so rarely got time to themselves, what with the various disasters that happened nightly, and Ahk would rather spend these few minutes doing more pleasurable things than practicing sword forms.
"So you try to embarrass me to death instead, that's cold Ahk," Larry mumbled though there wasn't any kinda of maliciousness to carry through, this was just teasing. Ahk loved his relationship with their guardian, the teasing, the playfulness and pure devotion they had to each other. In his loyalty Larry bore such a resemblance to another 'night guard' that he sometimes lost his breath at the memory.
He tried so very hard to forget about the past. He had been a good ruler to his people, they had prospered under him but he could never help the feeling that he had let them down. He had deceived them all, had them worship a God-King who had brought stability after the perilous rule of the one before him, Tutankhamen. Truly it had been for the collective good, to many Tutankhamen had died after a poor stint as Pharaoh living only so long as to name his successor, a lesser known cousin Ahkmenrah.
It had been a stretch but Imhotep's magic had managed to convince the doubtful and Sphinx had taken care of those who could not be swayed by subtle magicks. Ahkmenrah had lived to his nineteenth year, never concerned with finding a wife or declaring an heir, he'd had all the time in the world. Ahkmenrah had never thought his 'brother' Kahmunrah would return from his 'exile' to subdue his guardian then murder him in the middle of the night.
"You are far too easy to embarrass Larry," he whispered, pressed a quick kiss to the man's lips before pulling away with a smile. Yes they rarely got time to themselves but the loading bay was not the ideal place for the fun he had in mind, rather, there was no bed to speak of.
"And you have no shame," Larry replied, looping an arm around his neck and pulling him in for a far more satisfactory kiss. They kissed as though they had no time left and an eternity to savour each other, slow but fierce, passionate and loving, they were a study in perfectly meshed contrasts. His own dark skin to Larry's creamy white, his eyes the colour of the Nile as it was thousands of years ago and Larry's resembling nothing less than storm clouds formed of the Gods' ire. They looked wonderful together and he never lost any time making sure everyone knew that.
"So, tomorrow is our anniversary party, what do you have in mind?" he murmured, letting his fingers curl into Larry's short hair. He was far more used to longer locks, ones he could wrap around his fingers so he could keep his lover close but this was nice too, nicer to run his hands through. There was also the bonus of shorter hair looking delightfully rumpled in ways that left nothing to the imagination.
"Lots of food, Nicky's bringing some new DJ equipment over and Rebecca's back in town," all of which Ahk had heard before and was not exactly interested in anymore. He had heard through the Museum grapevine that Larry was planning something extra special for him, a present that would put all others to shame. Although the last part might've been an exaggeration since Jedidiah had been the one to tell him this. The miniature in question was going to gift Octavius a cowboy hat of his own, made from a spare piece of felt and true diligence as the tiny cowboy'd had to use a regular sized needle.
"Anything else? Nothing on the presents?" he prompted, pulling what Nicky had long dubbed his 'Pharaoh puppy eyes' because they had all the traits of regular puppy eyes but also something that made you want to give Ahk whatever he wanted. Larry had yet to stand up to them yet.
"Teddy's proposing and one of the Huns is going to ask one of the Dutch ladies to go steady with him," Larry blurted, the words tumbling from his lips as water from a faucet. Both pieces of information were juicy bits of gossip that Ahk would covet and lord over were this a normal situation but he knew Larry's diversionary tactics by now. The man would spout whatever random thought came to his mind before beating a hasty retreat.
"How wonderful for them, but I was referring to presents you had planned on giving. Perhaps to a certain lover?" Ahk specified, letting his eyelids drop and change his 'Pharaoh puppy eyes' into 'Pharaoh in the bedroom eyes' only Larry had ever seen the latter and found them harder to resist than the former. Most likely because he'd been conditioned to know giving into the bedroom eyes always meant fantastic sexual rewards.
"I can't tell you that Ahk, that's part of what makes it a surprise," Brooklyn's guardian, so what if he lived in Manhattan now, whined, actually whined because Ahk was just so irresistible. He huffed, whatever it was Larry had planned was very important to him apparently and he wanted to keep it a complete secret. He could understand, it was a nice sentiment and he himself had employed the tablet to steal away a relic of home to present to his beloved.
Father thought he had lost it somewhere, perhaps stolen by a dismissed servant or some such, but truly it had been taken by his son, several millennia into the future. Ahk vaguely wondered if his father would have believed it possible or simply shrugged, after all, magic was not uncommon to them. Ah well, at least this way Larry Daley, Guardian of magic would have a worthy weapon to call his own because torchlights were not cutting it.
He would not have his own so grossly unprepared for whatever threat attacked their home. He would not.
"You are worth more to me than everything I have," he whispered in his native tongue, smiling brightly at his beloved before stealing one more kiss. He had at least half the night left till day break and Larry well knew that, besides, it wasn't as though they would have the time to sneak away during tomorrow's party.
"Who's playing dirty now?" Larry muttered, easily slipping his hands under the ornate chest piece and undoing their clasps. Ahkmenrah smiled wickedly at the man he called lover and busied himself undoing the buttons of his night guard uniform, there was nothing that provoked his love more than hearing his praises sung in ancient Arabic. A fact Ahk had taken advantage of on far too many occasions and would undoubtedly continue to do.
A sun staff with the ability to freeze his enemies for a short period of time or just disintegrate them on contact, what the fuck. Apparently when Ahkmenrah, the fourth king of a fourth king, gave gifts, he went hard and now Larry was going to feel bad giving him the gag gift. Nicky had insisted on it, said that it would make the real gift look even better and Ahk would forgive him on the spot.
"It was my father's, he had it commissioned for my royal guardian to be. However, as my father, then I died before one could be appointed, I thought it highly appropriate that it be given to you," Ahk explained, a smile just about splitting his face. Yeah, Larry was going to feel like the world's biggest douchebag, it was going to be like kicking off a puppy who just wanted love.
"Oh wow, Ahk I don't even know what to say. Uh, thank you, obviously. And, um, I got you a little something too," he replied with a grim smile, handing over the small brown bag. He could already see the confusion cross their Pharaoh's face, wondering what magnificent gift Larry could've gotten him that fit in such a small package. Nicky'd packed in a whole sheet of tissue paper so that went first before Ahkmenrah could pull out the gag gift.
"This is…wonderful Larry, what is it?" Ahk asked, clearly disappointed with the squishy thing in his hands but never wanting to show it. Good Lord Larry was the worst person in existence.
"It's a neck pillow, a panda neck pillow. See you wear it like this and it helps take strain off your neck," he explained, fitting it around Ahk's neck without disturbing his crown. The faintest of pouts was growing on the man's face, a slight frown, a scrunching of his nose that usually foretold a full day's silence. For a guy that never pitched fits or made his anger known, Ahk had the worst way of letting you know he was upset. He just shut up and stayed quiet for as long as he wanted until he felt better.
"Thank you Larry, I won't exactly be able to use it in my sarcophagus but the thought was a lovely one all the same,"Ahk mumbled, crossing his arms over his chest and turning away to pout. Larry almost gave up then and there, almost threw the surprise out the window and told Ahk, but he got a grip and decided it was best if he went through with it.
"Yeah so I have to go check on a new display, it's gonna be added to your exhibit actually. I need to make sure it doesn't wreck stuff when it gets up," he added at the heartbroken look he got. Clearly as much as Ahk was disappointed with his cheesy gift, he still wanted Larry to spend the rest of the party with him. Lawrence Milton Daley, class A prick, they should write that on his gravestone.
He practically ran from the staff room, avoiding all the exhibits that were laughing and thanking each other for the gifts they'd been given. He passed Teddy on his way to the basement, nodded meaningfully at the US President and continued on his way. McPhee had promised the stone Sphinx, guardian of Ahkmenrah's tomb would be delivered that afternoon, all ready for whatever the hell Larry had in store.
Hopefully all the run around and stress was worth the happiness and pure excitement he'd get in return, unless the Sphinx came to life as some vengeful, riddle spewing douchebag. Then Larry would've fucked up royally and not be worth the sun staff or Ahk's love, especially with the stupid panda pillow. He shouldn't have listened to Nicky, his teenage son was plotting his downfall, and he'd probably laugh as his father died.
"Holy, what the hell happened?!" Larry shouted/groaned/whined, okay maybe not the whine because he was a grown man and grown men did not whine, ever. Not even when the present they'd gotten for their partner had spontaneously changed shape in the half hour it'd had to itself. Instead of a ten foot high stone sphinx there was some strange man pacing up and down, teeth barred, eyes narrowed, tail (tail!) flicking angrily as Larry considered his options.
McPhee'd had the Sphinx delivered to the loading bay, opened and left free for anything, thus, the not-stone sphinx was free. There was no way Larry would be able to block this…cat thing from running into the Museum and causing all sorts of chaos but he couldn't exactly call anyone down to help him deal with it. Who knew what this cat thing was going to do, it could be hostile…maybe it'd been buried inside Ahk's stone guardian?
Which would make sense, sort of, Ahk had said he'd never had a devoted guardian in life, maybe they'd sealed a dead one in the Sphinx for him? Larry sincerely hoped if that was the case, that the person had already been dead when they'd been sealed into the Sphinx but knowing how vicious Ancient Egypt was, maybe not. Dear Lord, why did this weird, mystic nonsense happen to him?
"Hi there, uh, Sphinx? You mind staying right there? I'm gonna go get Ahkmenrah and we'll sort this out, okay?" he explained, holding both hands out, palms towards the cat thing. The cat man froze, eyes wide as he stared at Larry, then, of course, he pounced.
The cat man, Sphinx, whatever, was heavy, all appearances aside, and strong. Larry hit the floor, hard, and he was sure there was going to be an ugly bruise along his back tomorrow. The Sphinx glared at him, hands pinning Larry's to the floor, one knee digging into his ribs as he searched for something in Larry's face. Larry never held more still than he had in that second, the Sphinx didn't blink as he searched for whatever but those teeth looked sharp and who knew how hard the cat man could bite.
"Sphinx!" Fuck, there went his surprise.
"Surprise," he called weakly, well he'd tried and that was the important thing. Huh, maybe they'd have to write that on his gravestone, what with the nasty growls building in the Sphinx man's chest and the tightening of the grip on his wrists. This was the last time he listened to Nicky about anything, gag present his ass.