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Not Many But One

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It was not his mind that took him this path. No, his mind was too busy trying to keep himself upright, trying to ignore how much he truly wanted to fall over.

The two guards he had known was up there. Their four friends, however, had been a surprise. They had been playing an unusually quiet game of dice, though that had ended quick enough. Ezio had dealt with two simply because he had to in order to get away, then ran.

He wasn't tracking a target, and had only been out investigating a few things. Plus, he had been bored sitting around and trying to piece together the next step of the trail of betrayal he was following ever upwards. So fleeing was the best option.

It might have worked better if one of the guards had not been such a good shot with a crossbow. If Ezio had seen that weapon, he'd have grabbed it before making a run for it.

The flight had only lasted a bit before he lost them, though he could still hear them shouting to each other in the distance, calling in other guards to help them look. Coming down off the rooftops, a painful shift draping his cape over where the bolt was still protruding, and Ezio started making his way towards help.

It was a long walk, and it hurt to do anything, with the bolt in just the right spot that even walking tugged the muscles around it, making flares of pain an almost constant throb in his back. So he looked a bit like a drunkard, swaying as he did, trying to mute the pain, but it was numbing in more than one way.

His feet knew where to go, though, and they took him there without much control from his mind, and he soon found himself staring at a familiar door. A very familiar door, and a familiar voice call out they would be there in just a moment when he had knocked on said door.

Leonardo blinked, then smiled broadly at Ezio. "Hello, my friend!"

Seeing his friend's pleased, then startled face made Ezio smile, and he was swept into the room and settled down. The action made him grit his teeth, but then he was seated, carefully, on a chair that was turned around so he was facing the back of it, keeping the bolt from being jarred even more.

Sometimes, Ezio forgot just how -strong- Leonardo was, even though he knew the man dealt with a variety of bulky and surprisingly heavy projects. He still remembered helping carrying that box of art from Leonardo's shop to Ezio's family home. That box had been heavy, and once they had arrived, Leo had taking it with one arm and followed Maria with no issues.

So it was no surprise that he was able to move Ezio so easily. The younger just tried to relax in the chair, hissing some as even that jarred the bolt. He was also starting to get a faint grey ring around his vision. So there was blood, but not as much as he feared. The bolt was deep, something Ezio could feel far too well, and he let his eyes drift shut as he listened to Leonardo move around the shop, gathering up supplies and muttering to himself.

Leonardo, who was one of the few people Ezio knew from -before-, even if it was just the smallest of meetings, who was not family and who was still willing to talk with him. He was the only one who had not put great expectations on Ezio as well. He did not expect Ezio to step into his father's footsteps and was happy to be Ezio's friend for the sake of being Ezio's friend. There were none of the ghosts hanging over Leonardo that the others had, and really the most Leonardo seemed to ask for was the chance to break the code of the Codex.

"Here, my friend, drink this." It was a strong tea, and Ezio was grateful to have something to drink. "I can get the bolt out, but it will not be pleasant, and you will have to rest afterwards." There was a soft laugh, and Ezio eyed the other man. "Even if it means I have to bind your limbs and leave you on the bed."

The words were in a joking tone, but there was a serious look in Leo's eyes that Ezio decided he did not want to challenge. Of course, he could take his friend in a fight, but only if he was willing to hurt him, and that was something that Ezio did -not- want to do.

Leonardo was a touchstone for him. One person, in all of the people that Ezio knew, who did not expect him to be anything other than what he was, who did not expect him to do anything.

And if the cost of that was being fussed over, well, Ezio was willing to pay that cost.