cybeleadam: Vanilla flowers (Vanille)
[personal profile] cybeleadam

This is a fic I wrote in 2002 and started rewriting last year. It's inspired by the scene that's played both as a prologue and an epilogue in the musical. I thought it would be right to start my fanfiction archive with this, since it was the first fanfiction I wrote after I found out what the word meant.
It hasn't been beta'ed, so you'll surely find grammar mistakes. Sorry about that.


Title: A Love That Never Died
Author: Cybèle Adam (and Nicky who helped imagining the story)
Fandom: Aida (Broadway musical version)
Pairing: Radames/Aida (well, their reincarnations)
Rating: K (G) for now
Status: Unfinished (rewriting in progress), unbeta'ed

Disclaimer: Of course I don't own the characters - they were Verdi's, then Elton John and Tim Rice borrowed them, and I do the same now. Except that I don't make any money with this.



Prologue

Egypt, December 1994


For the first time in centuries, Amneris' spirit is back inside the pyramid where her mommy still lays in a magnificent sarcophagus surrounded by all sorts of objects, including a life-size statue of the queen she was in the years between her father's death and her own.

The mortuary room is still totally dark, as it's been since the moment when the embalmers sealed the door after the funeral, but soon another man will enter it at last and the lamp he's holding in his hand will reveal the secret of the paintings that the female pharaoh ordered for her future tomb in the first times of her reign.

The man who's about to literary put a new light on the origins of a story that the world knows only as a fiction walks in the corridor with his team. His name is Kameron Hawker and, since the start of the excavations, the entire team calls him "Professor Horus" in reference to the old Egyptians' hawk god. To Amneris, he has another identity – Kameni the Nubian prince who helped her putting an end to the war between their respective countries – but that nickname amuses her, as it would probably amuse the two other people she's been watching over since the beginning of their present life.

If she was alive, Amneris would hold her breath. The archeologists' arrival is the first step to the accomplishment of her plan. She's been waiting for so long...

As she was expecting, "Professor Horus" crosses the door first, and all his attention is immediately attracted to the statue.

"A woman..." he whispers, stopping abruptly, like stunned by the beauty of the marble figure.

"And a pharaoh!" his assistant exclaims behind him, having spotted the royal sign on the hat when the professor's gaze was still stuck on the face.

That face... Kameron just can't get his eyes off it. Somehow, it looks familiar, as if it reminded him of a woman he had known in the past. And, even more disturbing, he had, at the exact moment when he saw it, the fleeting but strong impression that the statue was watching him.

He's right, of course - Amneris does watch him. And she guesses what he's thinking, even though she hadn't counted with that kind of intuition that told him she was there.

Look down and you'll remember my name, she says in a ghostly voice that only the man's subconscious can hear. Without really knowing why, the young professor eventually drags himself from the contemplation of the Egyptian queen's face and let his eyes slip down to the statue's pedestal, searching for a cartouche.

"Amneris..." he murmurs, amazed, barely realizing he spoke even before actually spelling out the hieroglyphs.

"Amneris?" his assistant repeats in an amused tone. "Like the pharaoh's daughter in Verdi's opera?"

It's her.

The certainty hits Kameron with the speed of lightning and next second, obeying without his knowledge to another silent suggestion of the ghost, he turns to the wall at his right.

Quickly, he notices that two figures appear in the paintings even more than the one that represents the female pharaoh (who was still a simple princess in the time of the story they illustrate). A dark-skinned girl who's clearly a Nubian slave, and an Egyptian man - a soldier... Hieroglyphs spell their names but, sure enough, Kameron has already guessed.

"Aida and Radames... It can't be a coincidence. Verdi's opera was based on a true story."

~ * ~

New York City (Upper East Side), January 1996

Amneris has left Kameron and his team to the research of Aida and Radames' tomb, that was mentioned as very close on the pyramid walls, and she's now witnessing the delight that illuminates the face of a girl who looks just like a Nubian princess (except for the style of her dress) when she reads about Kameron's incredible discovery in the newest issue of Archaeology Magazine.

Adelaida Henley is a student in second year of archaeology. As far as she can remember, ancient Egypt has always fascinated her, but her eyes have never shined as much as they do now. That article is really coming as a birthday present to her – she turns nineteen today. All her wealthy family and friends surely bought expensive things to give her during the feast her mother organized, but she's already certain that this is the best moment of her day.

I must tell someone, she decides. Right now.

And "someone" has to be her mother's sister, Aunt Agatha. The only person in the family who doesn't take her passion as a strange fad and has even helped understanding it.

"It comes from another life," had once explained the eccentric woman to her ten year-old niece. "You were a Nubian and you loved an Egyptian."

Amneris had heard that too, of course. Even though the "seer" ignores it, Adelaida's guardian angel is the source of the "visions." Now, watching "Aida" dialing her aunt's phone number, she has the mental equivalent of a moved smile.

"Ada?" the woman marvels, worry clearly audible in her tone of voice, at the other side of the line. "I'll see you tonight at the feast... What's so urgent you couldn't wait to tell me?"

"Oh, nothing wrong!" the girl hastens to reassure her aunt. "Remember when we first went to see Aida and I told you there was something weird in the story? Something that didn't sound right to me..."

Barely waiting for an answer, she carries on.

"Well, I know what it was, now. Amneris didn't really hate Aida as she does in the opera. They were friends. I have no idea how I knew it, though," she suddenly realizes, almost scared at the thought of being a bit of a seer as well.

A rather long silence follows, then Agatha's voice rises, very serious, from the receiver.

"You'll find out this year. And you'll meet your Egyptian lover again."

Adelaida stays speechless. Her Egyptian lover? She believed in that when she was younger, but then she started thinking it was nothing but ravings. Now...well, she has to admit she wishes it was true. But is it possible? It seems so wild!

~ * ~

New York City (East Village), February 1996

As often, Amneris finds Adam slumped on his sofa-bed in front of the television set he's not really watching. The poor boy is quite depressed, and it's no wonder considering the place he lives in.

Adam Devirginy is a musician – a guitarist – and a composer. A singer, too, but that only a few people know. In short, he's an artist, but not a star, and so he's practically starving. He stays at home all day, having no money to spend outside apart from the rare times when he finds a temporary job that's not too degrading for his pride of old Virginian (at least that's what is name suggests, since it derives from "de Virginie" – "from Virginia"). He's supposed to compose. Lately, though, he hasn't written anything but crap. How could he write good songs when he lives so retired from the world?

Beside music, he has a passion even more inaccessible – boats. All kinds of boats, and those with veils in particular. His collection of scale models takes a monstrous amount of room in his tiny apartment. He dreams of long sails on the sea or a mighty river, and in his childhood games he was an explorer. But one needs money to buy or rent a boat...

Adam knows that his parents' are close to regard him as a desperate case, who'll never do anything with his life, and he can't find any valid argument to convince them he still can break into the music business someday. He's twenty-four already. Time does fly! He probably should give up and go back living at his parents' house in order to avoid spending the best part of his unemployment benefit on the rent of his near-dump place. But something's always telling him he mustn't stop believing. Otherwise, he might have left New York years ago - maybe to join the navy, so he'd be on a boat. Actually, if he hadn't been so adverse to authority, he surely would have done it instead of studying useless things he didn't care about at the cheap university that was all his father could afford. The thought of having to start by obeying everyone discouraged him.

The television set is now showing images of Egypt, and Amneris uses the power of her inaudible voice to make Adam look up.

A pyramid... An exploration team... A Black man about his age, talking – Pr Kameron Hawker, read the letters at the foot of the screen. Then the statue of a woman dressed as a pharaoh.

Amneris.

Adam thinks he simply heard the name in spite of the very low volume, but it really just popped into his mind like a distant memory. Grabbing the remote control, he turns the sound up. Suddenly, there's nothing more fascinating than that story of a supposed fiction proving true.

- - -

October 2009

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