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His shoes scraped against the pavement with each step. He was far too exhausted to care. Late nights and early mornings were as good of a combination as tobacco spit and soy sauce. The sun had yet to peer over the horizon and wouldn’t do so until halfway through his class. He reached up to rub his eyes sleepily and fix his black, thick-rimmed glasses, which had become skewed. The building, where his class was held, was directly in front of him. He pulled the door open and walked down the hall to the classroom. Classes weren’t in lecture halls, like most colleges, but were smaller and held in rooms similar to those in high school. He was early. Nobody else had arrived yet. First choice of desk. He’d have to choose carefully. Sit in the front: the professor notices you and is more likely to call you out. Sit in the back: the other students would likely label you an outcast. He claimed a spot in the middle.

Astronomy definitely wasn’t his favorite class and he struggled to stay awake. There went two hours of his life he wouldn’t get back. No class discussion to keep him awake. Just the professor lecturing. Professor Emerson always tried his best to keep the class from sleeping, but it didn’t tend to work.

Shoes scraped on the pavement once more as he walked back to his apartment. The door swung open to reveal the apartment’s quiet, freezing interior. He hadn’t had a roommate since the first month of college, when his former roommate dropped out. And as was his luck, the heater had gone out a few weeks later. His backpack was flung onto the couch in exchange for his laptop bag. Messy, blond hair was combed through briefly before being almost completely covered by a beanie. After making sure that he had his keys, he left the apartment once more. His shoes made no sound as he made his way to the nearest coffee shop. Dark chocolate and peppermint was a match made in heaven and he wanted in on it.

“Hey, Alyx,” one of the baristas greeted with a smile. “Want your usual?”

“As if I’d order anything else, Lilly,” Alyx answered with light-hearted sarcasm.

He sat down at his favorite table and opened up his laptop. The screen lit up to show a red, Matrix-themed wallpaper. Login screen. Password. His slender fingers typed the familiar phrase. ASassySin. He’d just opened the document that he was working on when a barista called his name. His order was done. The hot cup of cocoa felt wonderful in his almost permanently cold hands. The high pitched chime of a bell signaled another customer. Alyx turned around to return to his table and felt his heart stop like some stupid cliche. Chestnut hair and chocolate eyes that had him melting inside. Tall, lean, and built so much that the white hoodie couldn’t begin to hide it. A thin scar ran across those full, pink lips. Alyx was smitten, but, alas, the other man was most likely as straight as a wooden ruler. As Alyx walked past the beautiful stranger’s table, he failed to notice that one of his shoes had come untied and the inevitable happened. He stepped on the lace and tumbled to the floor with his cocoa in-hand. The scalding hot liquid was dumped out of the cup and onto Alyx’s hoodie and shirt. Alyx sat on the floor, face scrunched up in pain and silently hating himself. Tears welled in the corners of his eyes, but he didn’t let them fall. A strong hand on his shoulder broke him out of his thoughts. He looked up to see the concerned face of the beautiful stranger.

“You okay?” the stranger asked sympathetically.

Alyx offered no verbal response. Choosing instead to simply look away in embarrassment and give a slight nod.

“You should probably change clothes before you get sticky. Wanna borrow my extra hoodie?” the stranger offered.

Alyx shook his head. As tempting as the offer was, he wasn’t about take the hoodie. Especially since there probably wouldn’t be a way to return it.

“My apartment isn’t that far from here. I’ll be fine,” Alyx answered.

“At least let me carry your stuff for you then,” the stranger said. “It’ll get sticky if you try to do it yourself.”

“Okay,” Alyx relented with a sigh.

The stranger packed Alyx’s laptop back into its case and slung the strap over his shoulder. Alyx shoved his hands into his pockets as he walked out of the shop with the stranger. His soaked hoodie provided no protection at all from the bitter wind. Only a few more blocks to the apartment complex, a trudge up the stairs, and Alyx would be inside his apartment. He unlocked the door and led the stranger inside. The stranger shivered at the chill.

“Why is it so fucking cold in here?” he asked.

“Heater went out, and since my roommate left, I have no way to pay to get it fixed,” Alyx responded as he went to find a clean shirt.

“Your roommate left?”

“Yeah. I’ve been trying to find a new one, but no luck.”

“No luck until now, at least.”

“What?”

“I’ve been trying to find a place for a while and haven’t had any luck of my own. Now here you are trying to find a new roommate.”

“Is that your way of offering to be my new roommate?”

“Hell yeah. I’ll pay the rent and help out around here. Help pay to get the furnace fixed, too.”

“Sounds a bit too good to be true. What’s the downside?”

“Nothing really. I’ll be in and out a bit, but that shouldn’t be too bad, right?”

“That’s true. Could be worse.”

“So we have a deal then?”

“Sure. But you better move your shit in before I catch pneumonia. That heater needs fixed ASAP.”

“Gotcha.”

Chapter Text

Desmond, as Alyx had discovered his name was, had his belongings moved in by the end of the week. He kept true to his word as well and payed to have the heater repaired. The apartment was no longer a freezing tundra. Both men generally kept to themselves, except for brief moments in passing. Alyx felt both relieved and disappointed at this. On one hand, he was able to keep his feelings for the other man in check. On the other hand, he longed for him. Longed for Desmond to hold him. To kiss his cheeks until he was as red as a tomato. To whisper in his ear that he loved him. To simply notice him.

Classes came and went and, as the weekend drew near, Alyx was grateful for the short reprieve. His last class of the week was released just as the sun had begun to set. Departing from the building, Alyx shoved his hands into his jacket pockets as he basked in the gentle, amber glow of the sunset. Off in the distance, he vaguely heard his name being called, but he didn’t give it much thought. That is until he felt a familiar, strong hand grabbing his shoulder. It broke him violently out of his trance and he let of a high pitched yelp in response. Desmond. Alyx almost wanted to berate him, but the sound of the tall brunet laughing stopped him. He’d never heard Desmond laugh before. He made a personal vow to make him laugh more often. After attempting to still his laughter, and only partially succeeding, Desmond cleared his throat as he got ready to speak.

“Wanna grab something to eat before we head back to the apartment? I’ll pay,” Desmond offered.

“I’m not one to turn down free food,” Alyx accepted.

“Wendy’s?” Desmond prompted.

“Sounds good to me,” Alyx answered.

The two men walked in tandem to the restaurant. Desmond continued to light-heartedly tease Alyx for his earlier reaction. Alyx, of course, joined in and repeatedly claimed that he wasn’t to blame for Desmond’s ‘ninja skills.’ This had both men laughing their heads off the entire walk. The restaurant was completely empty, except for the employees. After ordering their food, Desmond went to sit at a booth in the back of the room, where Alyx more than happily joined him. They joked with each other until their order was ready. Both men ate in a content silence until they had both finished their respective meals.

“I’ll be right back,” Alyx stated as he moved to stand up, which earned a nod of acknowledgement from Desmond.

 

Mother nature had called and she was being really fucking persistent. Granted, Alyx had drank a large Sprite and he hadn’t gone to the bathroom since before class. It was understandable that he’d need to pee. He quickly did all that he needed to do before thoroughly washing his hands. Walking out of the bathroom, Alyx found Desmond waiting for him by the door and carrying his laptop bag. Upon noticing Alyx, Desmond held the case out to him. The shorter blond went to sling the strap onto his shoulder and the swinging momentum caused him to stumble backwards. For the second time, one of his shoes had come untied and he had stepped on the lace. To his surprise however, Desmond reflexively reached out and caught him by a belt loop. They stood frozen for a few moments imagining what it would look like if someone else saw them.

“Wooo! Get some!” one of the employees called out almost echoing their thoughts.

Desmond blushed profusely at the exclamation. Alyx knew that he wasn’t faring any better. He could feel the blood rushing to his face making his cheeks burn. Neither man had yet to move. Alyx decided to be the first. He moved his feet so that he was no longer on his shoelace and righted himself. Desmond released his hold on the belt loop just before the smaller man bent down to retie his shoe. Double knots were a pain to undo but Alyx refused to trip and fall again before getting back to the apartment. He really should start double knotting his shoes on a daily basis regardless. They walked in silence. The only sounds coming from them were the soft thud of their shoes on the pavement. The walk had only lasted for a few minutes, but it seemed to last much longer. Alyx unlocked the door and they went their separate ways.

In the safety of his room, Alyx pulled a small chest out from under his bed. He glided his slender fingers over gently over the brass combination dial before spinning it to the correct numbers. Most people would choose a birth date or wedding anniversary for a code. Too predictable. It wasn’t a birthday or wedding anniversary, no, but it was still an important date for him. The date he chose his fate. The lock clicked and he lifted the lid. Carefully, he ran his hand over the smooth fabric inside. It brought him a sense of calm almost immediately. He looked over the other contents for a moment before shutting the chest once more and shoving it back under his bed.

Chapter Text

The weekend passed far too quickly than Alyx would’ve liked. He spent his time playing video games, listening to music, and working on a single document on his laptop. Desmond and him hadn’t spoken a word to each other since Wendy’s. Granted, Alyx was practically avoiding him. He felt overwhelmingly embarrassed over the situation. That had been the second time that he’d made a fool out of himself in front of Desmond. He really hoped that he wouldn’t make a habit of doing that.

When Monday morning reared its ugly head and his alarm blared from his phone, Alyx buried his face into his pillow and released a muffled scream. The night had not been kind to him. Sleep alluded him. Thoughts plagued his mind without end. He hadn’t even managed to get a single hour of sleep. And he still had to go to class. He was gonna need at least two cans of Monster to be a semi-functional human being for the day.

Although he despised Astronomy, he had no quarrels with Literature. It was actually his favorite class. Professor Reed preferred writing over tests and quizzes. Class time was used as a time for students to bounce ideas around with each other and her. It really helped with writer's block.

After class, Alyx was in a much better mood. He’d managed to write almost three complete chapters and wasn’t about to stop there. Time to go to the coffee shop. Hot cocoa fueled his writing. Three more chapters and he was stuck. One of the characters in his story was giving flowers and he needed to get the symbolism right there. All flowers had meanings. He looked up ‘Victorian Flower Language’ and began his research. A few minutes in, an idea came to him. If he couldn’t tell Desmond how he felt using words, he’d do it secretly with flowers. Quickly, he jotted down a list.

It was already past noon when he left the coffee shop. He’d had to work quickly and plan carefully. Gloxinia was the first flower he’d use. The florist had many colors to choose between. Pink seemed like the best fit. The small bouquet was carefully tucked away as soon as he paid the florist.

Sunset had come as Alyx walked to the apartment. Doubts filled his mind. Should he really do this? Could he really do this? He refused to back down now. Desmond hadn’t returned yet. Alyx pulled out the small chest with the brass dial and opened it. The red and black hooded robes. The ashen shirt. The steel plated armor. The leather braces, belts, and boots. Each had to be put on in a very specific order. Alyx did so with practiced ease. His hood shadowed his face as he climbed out of his window with the pink bouquet resting carefully inside a pocket.

The climb up the building was fairly easy for Alyx. Although, a fire escape would’ve made it easier. Still, he climbed up as he had done so many times in practice. Ledge. Foothold. Leap. Ledge. Repeat. He reached the rooftop within minutes. Scanning the ground below, he saw the familiar white hoodie. Timing was key here. Alyx began to descend down to Desmond’s bedroom window. It was already unlocked. He carefully lifted it open. Keys in the door. He retrieved the bouquet from his pocket. Desmond walked into the room just as Alyx placed the pink flowers on the bed. Alyx moved first. Out the window. Right wrist pointed at the roof. Grappling hook. Not done yet. Across the roof and down again. Through his own window. Items returned to the chest and back under the bed.

Alyx heard Desmond suddenly scream profanities in the other room. He opened his door and leaned against the frame. Staying silent, he watched the other man’s reaction to the flowers. Desmond’s entire face was covered by his intense blush. He acted more flustered at the flowers than worried about the hooded figure who delivered them.

“You okay, Desmond?” Alyx asked, alerting the other to his presence.

“Huh? Uh….. Y-yeah. I’m fine,” Desmond said, stumbling over his words. “I-it's just that… uh…. somebody gave me flowers today and ran off.”

“Flowers?” Alyx asked feigning innocence. “What kind?”

“How would I know?” Desmond answered.

“Can I see them?” Alyx asked.

“Sure, I guess,” Desmond replied.

The brunet grabbed the bouquet from its place on the bed. He held out the pink flowers for Alyx to look over. Alyx took them into his hands. Already knowing that kind of flower it was, Alyx pretended to examine the petals thoughtfully.

“I think it's Gloxinia,” he stated, earning a confused glance from Desmond. “I used to help my mom with the garden.”

“Oh. That makes sense,” Desmond muttered to himself.

“Although, I can’t remember what the flower meaning it,” Alyx added.

“Flower meaning?” Desmond questioned.

“Yep. Flowers have distinct meanings,” Alyx responded before going to bring his laptop into the living room.

Alyx typed ‘Victorian Flower Language’ into the search bar. He pulled up the page he’d been using for research earlier and scrolled down the alphabetized list to the entry for Gloxinia.

“It says here that Gloxinia means love at first sight,” Alyx informed.

Desmond’s blush, which had lessened since his initial shock, came back with a vengeance. He covered his face with his hands. When he finally tried to speak again, he was still too dumbstruck to find the words. Alyx chuckled softly to himself.

Chapter Text

Over the course of the next several weeks, Alyx sporadically gave Desmond new bouquets. Pink daffodil. Honey flower. Thornless roses. Yellow acacia. Agapanthus. Each time, Desmond would ask for their meaning. And each time, Alyx was more than happy to oblige, even if just to witness his reaction. Now, he no longer had to scale the building to deliver the flowers, just walk into the room and set them down. Desmond didn’t even suspect that it was really him. Although, some small part of Alyx wished that he knew. He wanted Desmond to know of his affection. More than that, he wanted Desmond to return his affection. But he knew that the chances of that were slim at best. He still hung onto that sliver of hope despite those odds.

The sound of rain beating down on his window reminded Alyx, no classes until further notice. Flash floods had closed most of the streets in town and with most of its students, and teachers, unable to attend, the campus had no choice but to suspend all classes. Of course, this also meant that Alyx and Desmond were basically confined to their shared apartment.

Alyx was the first to wake up. He sat up and shivered against the colder air. Admittedly, the fact that he preferred sleeping shirtless probably didn’t help. Pulling on the nearest shirt, Alyx ventured out of his room and into the kitchen. Time for food. A box of pancake mix, the just-add-water kind. He tossed in a handful of chocolate chips. He poured the sweet batter into the pan on the stove to cook. The smell of food seemed to have woken Desmond up as he dragged his feet into the room. Desmond blinked in confusion upon seeing Alyx cooking breakfast, which he was doing for the first time since Desmond had moved in.

“You can cook?” Desmond asked in sleep-addled astonishment.

“Of course,” Alyx answered. “My mom taught me. She wanted to make sure that I didn’t live off junk food for the rest of my life.”

Desmond nodded in understandment before sitting down at the small table near the wall. He picked up one of the numerous magazines littering the table to read. His gaze averted from the page when Alyx set a plate of fresh pancakes in front of him. With an affirming nod from the shorter blond, Desmond took a bite of the warm treat. He hummed in content at the taste. Alyx sat down in the chair opposite to him and began eating his own plate of food. The entire situation seemed very……… domestic. It happened twice more that day. At lunch with grilled cheese and tomato soup. And at dinner with chicken bites and mac’n cheese.

With night looming close, Alyx checked the weather for the next few hours. He groaned internally at the forecast displayed. Thunderstorms until 8 am. That meant that he likely wouldn’t get any sleep. Alyx didn’t merely dislike storms. He was downright terrified of them. Reluctantly, Alyx retreated to his room to prepare to go to bed. If he got lucky, the storm would calm down long enough for him to fall asleep. If not, he’d be comfy in bed at least. His shirt was flung across the room into his dirty clothes hamper with extreme precision. The jeans, which he’d worn for most of the day, were discarded onto the floor and replaced with a black pair of sweatpants. Not bothering with turning off his bedroom light, Alyx climbed into bed and prepared himself for a long, sleepless night.

It was barely past midnight when Alyx heard the first roll of thunder. He flinched slightly at the accursed sound. With each flash of lightning and crack of thunder, Alyx closed his eyes tighter and held the white toy bear, which he kept on his bed, closer. He was in tears by the time he heard Desmond knock on the door. Realization struck him, he’d left his lights on and it was well past 3 am. Alyx jumped out of bed and ran to turn the lights off. He stayed by the door and sat directly underneath the light switch. It was his hope that Desmond would go back to his own room. That Desmond wouldn’t see him cry. Desmond knocked again.

“Alyx?” Desmond called out.

Alyx didn’t trust himself enough to speak. He knew that with a single word, Desmond would know that he was crying. The thunder betrayed him, as if it hadn’t done enough harm already. It shook the building and Alyx yelped, cursing himself as soon as the sound left him. Desmond opened the door and saw Alyx sitting on the floor still in tears. He crouched down in front of the crying blond and gently wiped away his tears with his thumb. After attempting, and failing, to coax Alyx to his feet, Desmond gathered him, and subsequently the toy bear, into his arms. Another crack of thunder had Alyx clutching onto Desmond’s shirt in fear. Desmond laid Alyx gently on the bed, but Alyx’s hands still gripped tightly to his shirt.

“Do you want me to stay?” Desmond asked knowingly. “Cause you’re gonna have to let go first.”

Hesitantly, Alyx loosened his hold on Desmond. The brunet walked around to the other side of the bed and climbed in beside the smaller blond. In an attempt to his tears from the other, Alyx rolled over onto his side with his back facing Desmond. A gentle hand combed through soft, blonde locks and slowly began to lull Alyx to sleep. He felt safe and warm. Thunder quieted and lightning lessened. Desmond didn’t leave. Alyx didn’t want him to leave. Moonlight broke through the clouds and, shining down into the window, bathed the room in its soft glow. Desmond let out a hushed gasp, not only at the beautiful peacefulness of Alyx’s face, but also at the pale scars covering the blond’s back. Various explanations raced through his mind. Child abuse? Past lover? Fight club? None of them sounded right and he was too tired to entertain those ideas anyhow. He pushed the lingering thoughts out of his mind and lightly traced over one of the more noticeable scars with the same hand that he’d hand entangled in Alyx’s soft hair. Just as comfortable and warm, not to mention exhausted, as Alyx had been, Desmond pressed closer to the other man and, with an arm draped over Alyx’s stomach, drifted right to sleep.

Chapter Text

As night was replaced by day, sunlight filtered through Alyx’s window. A single, stray ray of light shone directly onto his closed eyes and began to rouse him from sleep. He fought his impending consciousness however, because he didn’t want to leave the warmth and comfort. Despite his efforts to stay asleep, Alyx opened his eyes and resigned himself to his fate. His eyes widened in shock to what was in front of him. Not only was Desmond in his bed. He was cuddling with him, or rather Alyx was awkwardly spooning his much taller roommate. Now fully awake, Alyx looked down and, much to his chagrin, he himself wasn’t wearing a shirt. If he wasn’t panicked before, he sure was now. No shirt meant that there was nothing hiding his scars from the world, and especially not from Desmond. Careful not to wake the still slumbering brunet, Alyx climbed out of the bed and pulled on the first shirt that he found regardless of its cleanliness.

With his scars now out of sight, and therefore out of mind, Alyx crept into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. Bright yellow cookbook in his hands, he combined the ingredients and popped them into the oven. Breakfast cheesecake was one of his favorite things. It seemed befitting to make it as a thank-you to Desmond for the night prior. He hoped that Desmond would like it. After Alyx took the warm cheesecake out of the oven, he made sure to grab some whipped cream to top it with. Not a moment later, Desmond wandered into the kitchen and gave a sleepily smile when Alyx handed him a plate. Once he took a bite, Desmond hummed at the rich sweetness. Alyx was delighted that he seemed to enjoyed it.

After breakfast, Alyx went back to his room and pulled out his phone. 1 missed call. And it was from Rebecca. He called her back immediately. Not out of worry, but curiosity. She picked up after the second ring.

“What’s up, buttercup?” Rebecca greeted.

“Nothin’ much, Bex. Just saw the missed call,” Alyx returned. “Need somethin’?”

“Well,” she started. “Now that the streets are reopened, you should swing by for a bit.”

“For work or……..” he prompted.

“Work,” she stated.

“Kay. Just gotta grab my stuff and I’ll be right there,” he said. “See ya in a bit.”

“Kay, kay. Don’t die,” Rebecca joked.

“No promises,” Alyx retorted playfully before hanging up.

The chest was pulled out and set on the bed as soon as he’d ended the call. Once opened, Alyx began the process of putting it all into a backpack. Leather. Steel. Cloth. He felt a sense of comfort in the careful actions. That comfort tripled with the weight of the hood in his hands. With everything packed neatly away, Alyx told Desmond that he was going out for a while since the roads were clear.

Alyx walked the streets silently. Being in a good mood made him more aware of his actions. The building was on the other side of town, but Alyx reached it in mere minutes. Rebecca remotely unlocked the door and let him in. Large storage crates were all around the room. Perfect for practice. Everyone was upstairs. His shoes clanked on the metal steps. Once in the room, Alyx saw everything was as expected. Brunet with glasses was researching by the wall. Shaun. Blonde was typing away on her computer. Lucy. Rebecca typed away at her own console, which was hooked up to her creation. Animus 2.0, a.k.a. Baby.

“I have arrived!” Alyx yelled in greeting.

Rebecca and Lucy both jerked up in mild shock at his volume. Shaun, on the other hand, fell out of his chair at the outburst, causing the other three to laugh at his expense. Alyx sat his bag by the wall near Shaun’s work area before walking over to Rebecca, and consequently, the Animus. Already knowing what to do, he laid down on its surface and set his arm in its stirrup-like rest. A cord was inserted into his forearm accompanied by a familiar, burning pain. A clear visor was lowered to cover his eyes.

The moments before unconsciousness always seemed longer than in reality. His thoughts became hazy. A tingle crept up his legs and spread out to his fingertips. Numbness replaced the tingle soon after. His heart would race just briefly. Breathing became slow and even. Vision would blur before he closed his eyes. Hazy thoughts tapered off to silence. Dark. Quiet. Alyx ceased to exist in that moment. He wasn’t real. The world he knew wasn’t real. Time wasn’t real. Nothing was real. Then Alyx was replaced by another and it all came back.

The sun loomed overhead as he walked along the crowded street. It might’ve been faster to have taken the rooftops. No. There was no reason to push his luck with the archers posted up there. He knew it was better to take precautions, lest the guards hunt him again. His hood wasn’t even worn up that day. Instead, it hung down his back and his uncovered hair glittered like gold in the sunlight.

Many years had passed since his last visit to Firenza, but he knew her streets, as well as her secrets, by heart. Of course, he still had needed to ask an informant of a few minor details. It had been that same informant that had given him reason to return. The workshop door was in sight. He thought of what he’d say, but came up short. What can one say to an old friend after such a tragedy? Is there anything to say? He wasn’t sure, but ‘hello’ seemed like a good place to start. He knocked on the door and waited for a reply. Only a moment later, the door swung wide open and he was greeted by eyes so blue they rivaled the sky.

“Leonardo,” he greeted unsure of what else to say.

“Luca, it’s been too long!” Leonardo chirped with a radiant smile.

“Too long in my opinion,” Luca agreed as the other man ushered him inside. “I’ve missed Firenza.”

“So tell me, why the sudden surprise visit, amico mio?” Leonardo asked.

“A, um, friend of mine told me something,” Luca began. “Something I wished I’d heard long ago.”

Leonardo laid a hand on Luca’s shoulder. No words were exchanged. No words needed to be exchanged. Leonardo understood Luca’s sorrow, but he’d had time to grieve and Luca had only just begun. He comforted Luca and wiped his tears with kind, gentle, paint-stained hands and a soft hum.

“They aren’t all gone, Luca,” Leonardo said after a few minutes. “Maria, Claudia, and Ezio still live.”

“Ezio?” Luca asked receiving a reaffirming nod in return.

A knock at the door broke both men out of their thoughts. Leonardo went to answer it. White. The man at the door wore white. And red. White robes. White hood. Red sash adorned with a familiar symbol.

“Ah, Ezio!” Leonardo greeted excitedly. “Come in! Come in!”

“Grazie, amico mio,” Ezio said as he crossed the door’s threshold.

“Mi dispiace. The place is a mess. What can I help you with?” Leonardo asked before being handed an old, parchment scroll. “Ah! Another one! How exciting!”

The blond artist cleared off a space on his work table and laid the scroll out to examine it. It was covered in encrypted writings and sketches. Luca recognized some parts of those sketches. They featured something he was quite familiar with. A hidden blade. Ezio seemed to be familiar with it as well, if the blade on his arm was any indicator. Luca cleared his throat, effectively turning the white clad man’s attention to him.

“Who are you?” Ezio asked with a slight growl in his words.

“Can’t you recognize an old friend?” Luca prompted only to be answered by silence and a glare. “You wound me! Although, I suppose it’s to be expected considering that we haven’t seen each other since we were children.”

“What is your name?” Ezio asked with thinly veiled anger at his previous question having been ignored.

“Luca. Luca Aloisi da Firenze,” Luca answered.

“Ah, I remember now,” Ezio said with a smile showing from under his hood.

Luca knew that Ezio had noticed the robes he wore that were so similar to those of the other man. He knew before he felt Ezio’s eyes look over them. There was no way he hadn’t noticed. Even if Luca wasn’t wearing his hood.

“Ezio, it’s finished,” Leonardo chirped. “Would you mind giving us a moment, Luca?”

“I don’t think that is necessary,” Ezio interjected before Luca had the chance to move.

“What do you mean? This is a private matter, Ezio,” Leonardo inquired.

“Not between you and I,” Ezio reminded. “This involves the Brotherhood.”

“But Ezio, Luca isn’t,” Leonardo started.

“Leonardo,” Luca interrupted before popping out the hidden blade on his wrist. “I am.”

Coming back to himself from the Animus was never pleasant. It was nothing like the gentle fade into unconsciousness. Instead, it felt like he’d been slammed violently back into his body and forced onto one of those of those crazy rides at an amusement park. Dizzy. Disoriented. Nauseous. His limbs were as heavy as lead. His mouth was as dry as the desert. Regardless of his pain, Alyx felt content. He’d felt Luca’s joy over seeing old friends as well as his pride when he announced his allegiance to the assassins.

Chapter Text

As weeks passed, Alyx took every opportunity he could to go into the Animus. He watched as his ancestor rekindled his friendships with both the other assassin and the artist. It was heartwarming. Sometimes, Alyx almost forgot that Luca and Ezio were assassins. During his time as Luca, Alyx managed to learn some of his ancestors native tongue. Italian.

Alyx forced himself out of his bed to get dressed. He had World History in an hour. Fortunately, it wasn't as early in the morning at some of his classes. The blond stood front of a mirror to adjust his clothes. Red hoodie. Black jeans. Black T-shirt. Red high tops. Grey beanie. There was half an hour until class. He left with his bag and hand as he trudged along the sidewalk.

Professor Moore’s class wasn’t most students’ favorite. But Alyx loved it almost as much as Literature. He knew history, mostly because he’d lived it. Although, that also meant that he knew the true history. He'd never correct the professor though. He just ‘learned’ what was taught so that he could pass the test.

As he glanced around the classroom as he walked in, Alyx caught a glimpse of a familiar white hoodie. It's owner was practically asleep at his desk. Alyx thought briefly about waking Desmond up, but decided against it and shoved the brunet out of his mind completely. He needs to pass this class and that wasn't likely going to happen if he were distracted by his rather attractive roommate. At exactly 10:15, Professor Moore began taking attendance by calling out last names.

“Fawkes!” Professor Moore called out.

“La Volpe!” Desmond said too loudly as he woke up.

“Here,” Alyx hesitantly answered the professor despite his confusion at his roommate’s random Italian outburst.

After attendance, class proceeded as normal. Alyx tried to focus on the lesson. Really tried. His thoughts kept going back to Desmond though. He’d said ‘La Volpe.’ Of course, ‘Fawkes’ and ‘fox’ did sound the same. At the same time, he couldn’t help but to be reminded of assassin history. La Volpe had been the alias of a skilled assassin and thief in Italy during the late 1400s.

Class ended two hours later and, in those two hours, Alyx was left with more questions than answers about Desmond’s Italian. Alyx darted out of the classroom before Desmond had the chance to move. He needed time to think before talking to Desmond about it. Besides, he still had three more classes. Sociology. Music composition and piano. Intro to Psychology. He might not be able to focus completely on the lessons, but attendance was still important and he could still take notes.

Alyx’s body moved mechanically as his thoughts wandered. Random, meaningless theories entered his mind only to be shot down by reason. Then he got another theory. Not as random and meaningless as its predecessors. Maybe. Maybe Desmond was an assassin too. It made sense. He’d caught Alyx as he’d tripped in Wendy’s. Sharp reflexes. He chose to be embarrassed about flowers over worried at an assassin in his room. Strange familiarity. Random Italian and potential assassin knowledge. Time in the Animus. His white hoodie. Assassins were known for wearing hoods and the color white. Horror flooded Alyx at another realization. Desmond’s last name was Miles. If he was an assassin, then he was probably the son of the Mentor, which would mean that Alyx had fallen in love with his boss’ son.

Weeks passed and Alyx hadn’t found anything to disprove his theory. Although, he also hadn’t found anything to solidify it either. That is until he walked in on Shaun having a video chat. With Desmond. Alyx was fortunate enough to had worn his robes and hood that day. And he was both disappointed and pleased to see that look of realization cross Desmond’s face. Disappointed to know with an assurity that Desmond actually was an assassin. Pleased to know that Desmond remembered him. Or at least the him that gave him flowers.

To avoid having to deal with Desmond and his newly confirmed theory, Alyx threw himself into his work. Whenever he wasn’t in class, he was out doing fieldwork. It kept him busy. Kept him from thinking about Desmond. There was a new mission everyday. Sometimes two. Alyx never turned one down. The frequency of the missions worried his team however. Even Shaun had expressed his concern. A lot. The Brit was kind of whingey. Alyx didn’t listen to any of them. He wanted the distraction of the missions.

Chapter Text

Day after day. Week after week. The missions didn’t stop. Didn’t slow in their frequency. With each mission, new cuts added to Alyx’s numerous scars. He didn’t think much about it. It was normal to come back with a few cuts and bruises. But then he returned to the warehouse with more than just a handful of scratches. Alyx had stumbled into the main room pressing a hand to a gash on his side. He knew that it wasn’t the only cut either. It hadn’t bled enough for him to be that delirious with blood loss.

Shaun had been the first to act. He’d rushed to Alyx’s side and led the blond to the bed in the main room. Alyx saw Shaun yelling something, probably at the girls, but he couldn’t focus on the actual words. His back and side burned like fire and the rest of him was as cold as ice. His eyes felt heavy. Sleep. Sleep sounded good. He wanted to sleep, but every time he tried a heavy hand shook him awake. Shaun was saying something to him, but his words were as clear as mud. The Brit soothed Alyx’s hair with a shaky hand. Even in his delirium, Alyx could tell that Shaun was worried.

Alyx felt his hands being moved away from his side. He went to look down at it, but Shaun wouldn’t let him. He didn’t fight it. A sharp pain near the gash caused him to let out a pained gasp. He still didn’t look down. Shaun didn’t want him to. He trusted Shaun. The sharp pain grew in its intensity and Alyx’s vision began to go black. He was scared. He weakly grabbed onto Shaun’s arm and met those worried, brown eyes with his own fearful, blue ones as he passed out.

The sun was bright and hurt Alyx’s eyes as he woke up. Its pain paled in comparison to the rest of him though. Especially his side and back. Alyx scanned the room. No sign of either of the girls. Shaun, however, was right beside him asleep in a chair. He must’ve pulled it up while Alyx was unconscious. The brunet was slumped over and was half laying on the bed beside him. One of his hands clutched loosely onto Alyx’s. It was heartwarming. Alyx almost didn’t want to disturb him, but the pain was really unpleasant and he needed something to help with it. He cleared his throat in an attempt to wake the slumbering form of his friend.

“Shaun?” he called out to the half asleep man.

“Wha’?” Shaun mumbled drowsily.

“Do we have any kinda pain meds ‘round here?” Alyx asked.

“Huh? Oh, yeah. Jus’ gimme a sec,” Shaun answered as he stood up from his place in the chair.

Shaun fumbled around in the kitchen in search of the correct container. Alyx heard a few bottles clammer to the floor. A glass of something was poured. He wouldn’t need to swallow the pills dry. The tawny-haired historian walked back into the room with a white pill bottle and a cup of orange juice in hand. He handed them to Alyx carefully as to avoid spilling the juice. Alyx gratefully took them and proceeded to down two of the small capsules with a sip of his drink.

“So, how bad is it?” Alyx asked.

“Hm? Oh, well, um, your right side was cut pretty deeply and your back was cut diagonally from your shoulder blade to mid back. We had Becca stitch you up, but we can only do so much. One of our doctors are on their way to check for any internal damage, though,” Shaun explained albeit long windedly.

Alyx was speechless at the severity of his wounds. He hadn’t thought that it was that bad. Although, he was glad that it hadn’t been worse. If it had, if he’d lost more blood than he had, he might not have been fortunate enough to come back at all. When he regained his ability to speak again, Alyx recalled what he could of the mission to Shaun so that it could be documented. After he finished talking about the mission, Alyx decided to go back to sleep to rest his tired, aching body.

The doctor arrived just prior to Alyx waking back up from his nap. To everyone’s relief, there was no major internal damage. He warned about the risk of infection and the importance of keeping the wounds clean as well as properly bandaged. Before leaving, the doctor gave Alyx a bottle of stronger pain medication.

With his body crying out in pain at even the smallest movement, Alyx was essentially bedridden. The only times he left the bed were when he needed to use the bathroom or have a bath to clean around his stitches. Even then he’d needed Shaun’s help to sit up and move around. Whenever he wasn’t asleep, Alyx found enjoyment in reading Shaun’s sass-filled database entries. It never failed to entertain.

One day when Alyx was neither asleep nor reading an entry, he found himself admiring Shaun. That gelled tawny hair that still maintained the illusion of softness. Those brown eyes that held a kind warmth even when he was annoyed. That grey sweater that hid powerful muscles that were unused in his line of work. That alluring accent that could melt butter. Those pants that hugged that perfect butt. Wait. Those aren’t the kind of thoughts that a person usually has about their friend. It sounded like he was attracted to Shaun. Which he wasn’t. Was he? No, he was only attracted to Desmond. Right? Oh shit. He wasn’t sure how, but, somewhere along the line, Alyx had also fallen for the snarky historian.

The morning after realizing his feelings towards Shaun, Alyx awoke with a massive fever. He felt cold. His throat felt drier than a desert. His body felt sore. And that wasn’t even because his cuts, which were almost healed. Alyx curled in on himself. There was nobody else awake yet and, therefore, nobody to help him. Only a few minutes later, Alyx heard footsteps approach the bed and felt a cool hand touch his burning forehead. He leaned into the touch. Looking up, he saw Shaun’s worried face. The Brit didn’t say a word as he stood up and retrieved a cold washcloth from the bathroom. Although the rag did very little to bring down his fever, Alyx felt relieved by its chill. And by Shaun’s presence.

It wasn’t too long until Lucy and Rebecca were up and out of their rooms. Alyx heard Shaun talking to them, but he was too busy trying to get warm to pay attention. He could make a few guesses as to what the conversation was about though. Shaun was back beside the bed what seemed like only a moment later. Alyx wondered when he’d walked back over. He couldn’t remember. He didn’t really care. Some part of his mind told him that his fever was probably getting worse. The steady hand petting his hair banished that thought. Alyx smiled. He liked having his hair played with. It was nice and calming. He was almost asleep before Shaun spoke to him.

“Ey, Alyx. Let’s get you a bath and a pair of clean pajamas. Hm? That sound nice?” Shaun hummed.

Alyx nodded in response. He allowed Shaun to sit him up and lead him to the bathroom. While Shaun started the water for the bath, Alyx sat patiently on the lid of the toilet. As they waited for the water to fill the tub, Shaun helped Alyx out of his clothes. Socks. Shirt. Sweatpants. Shaun paused. It was a little awkward to take off someone else’s underwear. Alyx was too delirious to do it himself, though, and if Shaun didn’t do it, the blond might bathe in his boxers. Gingerly, he slipped the elastic band of the red, plaid boxers over Alyx’s pale hips. Now that the blond was completely undressed, Shaun coaxed him into the warm water in the bathtub. Alyx relaxed in its heat. The steam soothed his aching throat. He hummed in contentment. Shaun grabbed a fresh washrag and wetted it before lathering it with soap. Leaning Alyx forward, he began cleaning the blond’s pale, scar-littered shoulders. Arms. Middle back. Chest. For a moment, Alyx felt something stir in him at the gentle touch of the cloth. Torso. The stirring grew, but it was comfortable and Alyx let his eyes droop shut. Feet. Ankles. Calves. A persistent heat replaced the stirring. Shaun started cleaning the outside part of his thighs. The heat nearly doubled forcing Alyx to swallow back a groan. Inner thigh. It was too much for him. With a sharp intake of breath, the heat spilled over, but Alyx didn’t know where it came from or went to. Shaun paused for a second before continuing. When he was finished with the washcloth, Shaun tossed it aside and poured a dollop of shampoo into Alyx’s hair. Alyx began to fall asleep once more as Shaun scrubbed his soapy hair. Only the water dumped on his head to rinse out the shampoo woke him back up.

Satisfied with Alyx’s cleanliness, Shaun pulled out the drain plug to empty out the bath water. He guided Alyx out of the tub and wrapped him up in a towel before sitting him on the toilet lid. Using a second towel, the brunet dried Alyx’s hair until it was no longer dripping wet. Alyx must’ve spaced out because the next thing he knew, he wasn’t in the bathroom anymore. He was in a bedroom. The still coherent part of his mind said that it was Shaun’s bedroom. That was proven by Shaun as he pulled out a pair of pajama pants and a t-shirt from a dresser drawer. Shaun pulled the shirt over Alyx’s head. When Shaun went to help him put on the pants, Alyx looked at him quizzically. He didn’t have any underwear.

“Look, I’d let you borrow a pair of mine, but that’d be a little more than weird,” Shaun explained somehow knowing Alyx’s unasked question.

Alyx didn’t argue and let the Brit finish dressing him. Sleep crept back up on him. Shaun folded back the covers on his bed and laid the blond down before covering him with the black duvet. Now that he was laying down, Alyx quickly fell asleep. He didn’t even notice when Shaun climbed into the other side of the bed.

It was morning again when Alyx regained consciousness again. He scanned the room, but found himself unable to recall how he’d gotten there. And there was nobody else in there to explain. Time to get up and attempt to find some answers. Shaun, Rebecca, and Lucy were all up and about in the other room. The trio typed away at their respective desks, but quickly discarded their work once they noticed Alyx. Shaun turned to face him with, as Alyx was quick to notice, a light blush dusting his cheeks.

“Good morning, Alyx. Feeling better?” Shaun greeted.

“Um. Yes?” Alyx answered hesitantly.

“Shaun, I don’t think that he, uh, remembers yesterday. Do you, Alyx?” Lucy asked receiving a mouthed ‘no’ in response.

“No wonder! Xan was pretty outta it,” Rebecca pointed out.

“Can someone fill me in then? I’m feelin’ kinda outta the loop here,” Alyx asked.

“Dude, while you were all feverish, you practically proclaimed your undying love to Shaun,” Becca quipped. “You kept going on about how pretty you thought his hair and eyes were. How nice you thought he was. How nice his butt was.”

Alyx covered his face with hands in a useless attempt to hide his reddened cheeks. There were very few times in his life where he’d felt as embarrassed as he did then. It could’ve been worse though.

“Not to mention the fact that you were clinging to him and following him around like a puppy,” Lucy added.

That was it. That was the nail in his coffin. He was going to die of embarrassment. There was no coming back from that.

“It was pretty cute, I have to admit,” Shaun noted.

Alyx pulled his hands away from his face. Shaun just said that it was cute. That him being clingy and following him around like a puppy was cute. Cute. Shaun walked over and moved the blond’s hands further from his face. Alyx looked up and met eyes with the Brit, who was smiling.

“Now, I’m not too sure how much of all of that feverish babble was truth, but I’m going to hope, for just a tic, that most of it was,” Shaun rambled before pulling Alyx in for a light, chaste kiss.

This was going to complicate things a little.

Chapter Text

Things had definitely gotten…… complicated. Since their kiss, Shaun and Alyx had started a relationship. Or were trying it out anyway. It was going well so far. But Alyx still had his feelings for Desmond to worry about. Not to mention the fact that, while Alyx was well aware of their shared allegiance, Desmond had no clue that Alyx was an assassin. Trying to juggle his relationships, classes, Animus time, and missions left Alyx with very little time to work out his problems. Monday through Thursday he had classes during the day and fleeting interactions with Desmond in the mornings and evenings. Friday through Sunday he had to split his time between Shaun and the Animus. Missions, of course, could pop up at any given moment. Needless to say, it’d been a long couple of weeks.

Alyx trudged back to the apartment visibly exhausted. While it had sounded cool at first, he was really beginning to regret taking that Criminology class. He didn’t even need it for his major. He could deal with it later though. It was Thursday and Criminology had been the last class of the day. All Alyx wanted to do at that point was a long nap before he had any work to do.

Walking up to the apartment, Alyx saw Desmond sitting out in the hall. Of course he’d left his keys inside. Opening the door for both of them, Alyx noticed a few odd things. One: Desmond’s bedroom door was wide open. Two: Desmond’s bedroom window was wide open. Three: there was a brunette girl with a black hoodie sitting on the couch, watching TV, and eating his potato chips. A familiar brunette girl. Alyx pinched the bridge of his nose in exasperation.

“This isn’t your former roommate here to kick me out is it?” Desmond asked half-jokingly.

“No,” Alyx sighed. “Just a friend with a bad habit of getting into places uninvited.”

“How did she get in here?” Desmond asked.

“Skylar’s…. Um…. she’s weird let’s just say,” Alyx offered.

“Weird is a huge understatement, Xan,” Skylar said with a thick, Russian accent before popping another chip into her mouth.

“Yeah,” Alyx muttered. “I know.”

“Xan?” Desmond asked confusedly.

“Its one of my nicknames,” Alyx explained. “Although, only, like two people call me that.”

“You look tired, by the way,” Skylar pointed out randomly.

“Yeah, you do,” Desmond agreed concern lacing his words.

“I was going to take a nap when I got back,” Alyx complained.

“Then do it,” Skylar said.

“I will,” Alyx said. “But first, Desmond, this is Skylar. Skylar, Desmond. Now, please try not to kill each other while I’m asleep.”

“Okay, mom,” Skylar joked, but Alyx still heard the underlying sincerity.

With that situation handled for the time being, Alyx retired to his room and flopped down on his bed. He was too tired to even deal with taking off his shoes or cover up with his comforter. Exhaustion soon overtook him and Alyx fell into a calm, peaceful, dreamless sleep.

When he woke up a few hours later, Alyx finally took the time to change into his pajamas and went back into the living room. Everything was practically the same as he’d left it. Skylar was still on the couch watching TV while eating his potato chips. She’s changed her clothes though, which were clearly taken from his room. Desmond sat on the couch beside Skylar now, too. Alyx stifled a laugh when he saw that the two of them were watching a cartoon. Specifically, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. It was nice to see the two of them getting along, but it was kinda funny that they’d bonded over a cartoon with magical ponies. Without a word, Alyx got himself a bowl of cereal from the kitchen and sat down on the floor in front of the couch. He decided to join Skylar and Desmond in watching the colorful kids show. For once, things seemed to be going okay.

Chapter Text

Things were decidedly not okay. With his schedule running him ragged, Alyx had found himself as the sole target of Desmond’s surprisingly intense worrying. It was becoming increasingly more difficult to come up with excuses without revealing himself as an assassin. Especially whenever he’d had to explain how he’d ended up with a huge bruise on his cheek and a busted lip. Now that had been fun. There were times when Alyx had came close to telling Desmond, but he feared the repercussions.

Alyx shifted in his bed. With everything weighing down on him, Alyx had practically given up. He hadn’t been to class all week. He hadn’t gotten dressed all week. He hadn’t talked to anyone besides Shaun all week. He hadn’t eaten properly all week. Literally just sustaining on Mountain Dew, potato chips, and instant ramen. All week. It was taking a toll on him, too. Not physically, because he had an insane metabolism. But mentally and emotionally he was a wreck. As more junk food went in, his thoughts grew more and more self-deprecating.

When he felt hunger creep up on him, Alyx decided to get up in search of food. When he left his room, he realized that Desmond was still in class. Instead of taking his food back to his room to eat it, which he did to avoid having to interact with his roommate, Alyx stayed at the table and ate his junk food there. As he shoveled the food into his mouth, Alyx realized something. He hadn’t given any flowers to Desmond in a long time. That needed to be remedied. Besides, it would at least get him out of the apartment, and hopefully his thoughts, for a short while. He knew which flower would be perfect, too. Rhododendron. It wasn’t a symbol of love by any stretch of the word. But Alyx didn’t want it to be. He wanted its meaning of danger to tell his secrets wordlessly. To tell Desmond that he was a true assassin. Even though Desmond didn’t know that he had been the one giving him flowers.

Foregoing his previous plan to just set them there, Alyx decided that this called for something extra. His robes. He wanted Desmond to see him again. See him as an assassin again. And to see that the assassin was dangerous. Although, this danger wasn’t necessarily a threat.

The Rhododendron was just as easy to procure as the Gloxinia had been. With the dark purple flowers in his possession, Alyx began to change into his robes. Belts fastened. Boots tightly laced. Armor strapped into place. Hood shadowing his eyes. But never once did he don a weapon other than his hidden blade.

After climbing up to the rooftop, Alyx perched on its edge and waited for a glimpse of the familiar white hoodie. Just as before, doubts flooded his mind. But now, they were compounded by his self-depreciating and only made matters worse. He wasn’t sure if he should continue. If he could continue. Someone cleared their throat behind him effectively tearing him from his destructive train of thought. He’d been so consumed with his doubts that he’d neglected to notice someone approach. He hadn’t done that since his first solo mission. Alyx quickly turned around to face them, ready to fight if needed. Desmond. Alyx lowered his guard at the sight of the familiar face.

“You should probably get down from there,” Desmond advised. “This isn’t the answer.”

What was he going on about? Get down from…… Oh. He thought that Alyx was about to…… Oh. My. God. Alyx hastily stepped down from the ledge. Desmond breathed a slight sigh of relief.

I-I swear I wasn’t going to jump. I was merely just surveying the area. I apologize that it seemed like anything other than that. It didn’t occur to me that it could be seen as anything else considering that I’m an assassin. Although, I suppose that there is no suitable place to do a Leap of Faith from up here,” Alyx rambled.

“What?” Desmond asked. “I-I don’t really speak Italian.”

Italian? He wasn’t speaking Italian. He was speaking English. He barely knew any Italian. There was no way that he was…… Oh no. The Bleeding Effect. Rebecca had warned him about it before his first time in the Animus. It shouldn’t have been surprising that he’d be affected by it. But, nevertheless, he was still horror-struck at the realization. Alyx threw the flowers at Desmond to buy himself enough time to escape the situation. He couldn’t face Desmond like this. Before vaulting over the building’s edge down to his room, Alyx took one last look back at Desmond. Flowers clutched in his hand. Warm brown eyes turned towards him. Feet planted firmly on the rooftop. Desmond hadn’t moved. He was letting Alyx leave. Only a moment later, Alyx was back in the safety of his room. He wasted no time in divesting himself of his robes.

Alyx knew he had to make a decision. He couldn’t keep his secret from Desmond much longer. Not since the Bleeding Effect incident on the roof. There were two options: tell Desmond or run away and never look back. His pride wouldn’t allow him to do the latter, though. But how would he tell Desmond? He couldn’t just walk up to Desmond and announce that he was an assassin. Alyx smiled once an idea came to him. Dinner. He could tell Desmond over dinner. Not home-cooked, though. The cafe would do. Desmond wasn’t inside yet so Alyx didn't have to ask him in person. Alyx sent a short, nonchalant text instead. Desmond replied with a simple ‘yes’ and a smiley face. Quickly, he threw on jeans, a plain, black t-shirt, his favorite oversized red hoodie, and his usual hightops.

Whenever Desmond had returned, the two set out for the cafe. As worried as Alyx was, he felt peace knowing that soon he wouldn’t have to lie and hide from his roommate. Pulling out his phone to check his messages, Alyx accidently fell a few steps behind Desmond. Walking past as alley, Alyx felt a sinister presence. Before he could say something to Desmond, however, Alyx felt an acute pain in his neck. Tranquilizer dart. His phone fell before he did. He was vaguely aware that his keys and wallet had tumbled out of his pocket as well. Cold hands grabbed him roughly and dragged him into the alley. He was powerless to stop them. His only hope was that Desmond would save him. And he’d hold onto that hope with all his might. That hope was his last thought as his world went dark.

Chapter Text

As he regained consciousness, Alyx knew that things were very, very bad. The lights in the white room, where he was being kept, were blinding. Residual effects from the tranquilizer left him with a searing headache, which the lights did absolutely nothing to help with. Chains held his arms above his head so that he was hanging painfully with his knees grazing the floor. He would’ve stood himself up if it wasn’t for the rope that bound his legs together. There was nothing he could do to alleviate the situation. He couldn’t even spit a biting remark to his captors, who were nowhere in sight.

It felt like hours had passed before a woman dressed in a pristine , white lab coat entered the equally pristine, white room. Alyx had no way of knowing how much time he’d truly spent alone in there. He didn’t care to know either. Not when he was faced with one of his kidnappers. Or at least, one of their collaborators.

“Alyxander Solomon Fawkes, son of known assassin, Lauressa Robyn Mathews, you will tell us what you know in regards to your brotherhood,” the woman ordered. “If you refuse to comply willingly, we have ways to make you talk.”

Alyx knew what she meant. They’d torture him. But he now knew for certain that they were Templars. And divulging his information to them meant he’d be breaking the third tenet of the Assassin’s ancient creed. Do not compromise the Brotherhood. He’d rather be tortured and killed by Templar hands than break any of the tenets. Showing his loyalty to the Brotherhood, Alyx spat in the direction of the female Templar.

“Very well. I see that you’ve made your choice. I would attempt to persuade you to reconsider, but I am well aware of how stubborn you Assassins are,” She commented with a sneer before exiting the room.

Alyx sat in isolation for ages before the woman returned. With three more Templars. Wordlessly, they made their way over to him. One, a visibly muscular man, cut through the fabric of Alyx’s shirt and hoodie with a knife to expose his pale chest. Another, a tall, lanky man, attached electrodes to Alyx’s bare flesh. Two on either side of his chest. One on each side of his head. Alyx at least knew how they meant to torture him. Electrocution. The third Templar, a dark-haired man with even darker eyes, pulled up Alyx’s hood and snickered at him. He was no doubt mocking the anonymity of the Assassin’s hood, which was currently useless to him.

“This is your last chance, Fawkes,” the woman warned.

When Alyx stayed silent, she nodded to the lanky man behind her. Electricity surged through Alyx. Every nerve ending was alit with pain. He clenched his jaw and kept his mouth shut. The voltage was increased. More pain. More silence. Repeat. The pattern continued thrice more. The woman motioned for the lanky man to wait.

“Fawkes, I’m growing tired of this little game. All you have to do is talk. Say anything and we’ll stop,” she said. “Or at the very least, we’ll give you a break from this.”

Silence. The signal was given to proceed. This time Alyx couldn’t contain the blood-curdling scream that was torn from his throat by the immense pain. Twice more did they wrench it from him. He was slipping. Black dots scattered across his vision. But he still wouldn’t- couldn’t- break the tenet. Couldn’t betray his fellow assassins.

“Stay your blade from the flesh of the innocent. Hide in plain sight. Do not compromise the Brotherhood,” Alyx recited under his breath so that the Templars couldn’t hear.

“What was that?” the woman asked.

He didn’t answer. They shocked him again. And again. And again. Each time, he spoke louder and louder. Alyx was more than sure that they could hear him by that point. The shocks didn’t stop. They were just being sadistic now. He was screaming the tenets at the top of his lungs. A shadowed figure creeping along the rafter gave Alyx a glimmer of hope. Maybe someone had come to save him. The shadowy figure moved on. Alyx wondered if he’d just imagined it. But the woman decided to put his torture on hold and left the room again with all three Templar men following close behind.

Finally given some reprieve, Alyx began to notice a sharp ache behind his eyes. The dark spots grew larger. He hoped that he was blacking out. The strange, foreign voices that he started to hear crushed that hope. Hazy figures faded into the room soon after. Alyx understood what that meant. Bleeding Effect. The blindingly bright, white room fell away as he unwillingly fell into his ancestor’s memory.

The room was dim. Lit only by a single candle. Luca ran a calloused hand through his once golden hair, which had darkened over the months prior. Ezio and Leonardo sat quietly on the bed behind him. Worry was etched into their faces. It was sad to see such an ugly emotion on such beautiful faces as theirs.

“We can’t keep procrastinating with this,” Luca said.

“What even is this?” Ezio asked gesturing between them.

“That’s what I was referring to, Ezio. We need to figure this out,” Luca responded. “Figure us out.”

“I agree with Luca. We do need to deal with this,” Leonardo said.

“Fine,” Ezio sighed. “So first, there’s this… this curse.”

“Which binds the two of us,” Luca added. “There’s also our shared interest in regards to Leonardo.”

“I just don’t see a place for me in all of this. I am an outsider in this supposed curse of yours’” Leonardo admitted.

“Leonardo, the fact that you are not influenced by our curse only serves to prove the depths of our love for you,” Luca protested.

“L-love?” Leonardo stammered.

“Si, caro mio. Love,” Ezio affirmed.

“For someone so skilled with envisioning that which is unimaginable for lesser men, you must have been rather blind not to have noticed that our attraction was truly amore puro.”

“Although, perhaps we were not clear enough with our alone,” Ezio confessed.

“Please know that I speak from my heart when I say this, dolce artista mia. We, both Ezio and I, love you cosi tanto,” Luca professed.

“Remember that so that, even when the words of our hearts fail to reach our mouths, you will always know that we truly love you,” Ezio added.

“And if we aren’t destined to bring about an end to this curse, mayhaps our story shall aid our descendants should they ever find themselves in a situation similar to ours,” Luca proclaimed.

As he slipped from his ancestor’s memory, Alyx found himself highly disoriented and confused. His ancestor, Luca, mentioned a curse. But what kind of curse binds people together? Where did it begin? Who did it begin with? Did it end with Luca? Did it end at all? Is it still around? Is he affected by it? Even through his confused haze, Alyx was vaguely aware that he was being carried. His mind said that it was most likely a Templar moving him to a different room. His heart said that maybe, just maybe, he was being rescued. He had hope. Hope that soothed him as he passed out again in the stranger’s arms.

Chapter Text

Alyx awoke to find himself lying atop a bed. The stranger must have brought him there. His tattered hoodie and shirt hung loosely off of his frame. The hood remained unmoved as well. It was reassuring to know that nobody had undressed him while he was unconscious. Looking around the room, Alyx realized that he knew exactly where he was. He’d been in there before. Shaun’s room. Alyx pulled himself up to his feet and walked towards the door. He could hear people talking in the other room. Correction: yelling. Lucy was yelling at Shaun for being ‘a useless sack of anxiety and worry.’ Shaun shot back with what would’ve been a typically sarcastic response had it not been for its lack of bite. Rebecca was fruitlessly trying to diffuse the situation. And Desmond was confusedly asking about what was going on. Alyx tensed. He hadn’t been expecting Desmond to be there. It did make sense though. Desmond was an assassin, after all, and the warehouse was an Assassin meetingplace.

Slowly, Alyx opened the door ready to face whatever lie on the other side. Shaun was visibly a mess. His usually well kempt hair stuck up every which way as though he’d been fussing with it. His glasses were laying haphazardly on his desk. His sweater was nowhere to be seen. His shirt was not only wrinkled and buttoned like a two-year-old had tried dressing themself, but the sleeves were messily rolled up to drastically differing heights. He looked every bit as worried as he clearly felt. That worry dissipated as the historian’s brown eyes fell on Alyx. Shaun practically sprinted over to Alyx to envelope the blond is a hug, which Alyx gratefully returned.

“Are you okay?” Shaun asked softly.

“Probably. I mean. They just used electrocution and I’m still alive so…” Alyx answered just loud enough for the Brit to hear.

Shaun took a few steps back and looked at Alyx quizzically. He wasn’t merely looking at Alyx though. He was examining him. Or his appearance at least.

“Correct me if I’m wrong, babe, but I’m fairly certain that being electrocuted wouldn’t tear up your clothes,” Shaun finally said.

“Yeah, but one of those idiots over at Abstergo decided to cut up my favorite hoodie, and subsequently my shirt, with his handy dandy little switchblade so that another idiot could stick the electrodes all up on me,” Alyx explained.

Everyone in the room tensed. Of course, they hadn’t known what’d happened. They didn’t expect that that had been what happened. And Desmond certainly didn’t expect to hear that familiar voice.

“Alyx?” Desmond asked hesitantly.

“What?” Alyx responded.

“You’re an assassin?” Desmond asked.

“Um, yeah?” Alyx answered. “And before you ask, cause I know that you were going to, I joined in high school.”

“And you didn’t tell me?” Desmond asked clearly getting frustrated.

“First of all, I didn’t know that you were an assassin at first. Didn’t start to connect the dots until you yelled ‘La Volpe’ during History. Secondly, I was about to tell you before I got snatched by fucking Templars!” Alyx snapped before storming out to the storage area.

Alyx didn’t realize that he was crying until after he’d hidden behind a crate and sat down. It was then that he felt the hot tears drip onto his hands. He hadn’t known that Desmond would react like that. But then again, he’d never stopped to think about how Desmond would react. Alyx wiped away his tears with a sleeve of his ruined hoodie. He tried his best to calm himself, but the tears kept flowing. Eventually, he’d have to go back into the other room. That wasn’t likely to happen any time soon though.

“Alyx?” Desmond called from somewhere near the door.

Alyx didn’t say a word. He didn’t want Desmond to know where he was. Didn’t want Desmond to see him cry. Not again. Not if he could help it. The room was so quiet that you could hear a mouse fart. To most people, that would be relieving. But they weren’t like most people. They were Assassins. And Alyx could shake the feeling that someone was getting closer. That his impromptu hiding spot had been found. Alyx didn’t have the strength or motivation to move to another hiding spot though. It was only a matter of time before Desmond would find him.

“Alyx?” Desmond called again from much closer than before.

Desmond was behind him standing atop the crate that Alyx was sitting with his back against. Alyx hid his face, and subsequently his tear, in his arms and kept quiet. He didn’t trust himself enough to speak. A single word and Desmond would know that he was crying. Desmond deftly leapt from the crate and landed beside Alyx. When the brunet crouched down in front of him and reached a hand out towards Alyx’s hood, Alyx realized that Desmond already knew that he was crying. But, refusing to let Desmond see his tears again, Alyx turned his back to Desmond, which was admittedly a very childish and stubborn thing to do. Desmond reached out a hand and gently traced a path on Alyx’s back. Right where a nasty scar from an almost failed mission was covered by the red cloth of Alyx’s tattered hoodie. Alyx jumped in surprise at the sudden and unexpected touch. And its location. It had to just be a coincidence. Desmond hadn’t seen his scars that night. Had he?

“At least now I have a pretty good idea how you got this,” Desmond whispered as he traced over the scar again.

Crap. He had. He had seen the scars. But that didn’t really matter anymore. Not now. Although, Desmond’s choice of words brought up an interesting thought. He’d remembered that particular scar. Remembered it for literal months. And it almost sounded like he had been…. Worried.

“I’m sorry for blowing up back there,” Desmond began. “I was angry and hurt and I took that out on you. I had no right to do that.”

“No,” Alyx mumbled. “You had, and still have, every right to be mad at me. It's my fault that you didn’t know sooner. I should’ve told you the day that I realized that you were an assassin. But I didn’t.”

“I’m sure that you had your reasons,” Desmond interrupted.

“That’s true. But they were all selfish and stupid,” Alyx continued. “I made a friend and instead of being honest and telling you, I kept all of this a secret. Because, in my mind, the second you found out, you’d leave. You’d leave and I’d lose a friend. I was afraid of losing you, Des.”

“Alyx,” Desmond started as he turned the blond around to face him. “It's okay if your reasons were ‘selfish and stupid.’ They were your reasons. But I need you to understand something. Honesty usually won’t push me away. You’re not going to lose me.”

Chapter Text

Now freed from the Templars and his own secrets, Alyx gave himself a new task. Find out about the curse that Luca had mentioned. And with the threat of capture by the Templars much more apparent, Desmond and Alyx had been relocated to the warehouse and temporarily pulled out of classes. That made it much easier to make time for the Animus. But making time for it wasn’t a major concern. Alyx didn’t know where to start. Work forwards? Or go back? Did he want to find out if it was in effect more? Or where it began? Well. When it doubt, start from the beginning. The late 1100’s seemed like the best starting point.

Dark chocolate hair peeked out from underneath a pallid robe and hood. Shadowy teal eyes scanned the surroundings with an eagle-like intensity. That fool was late. Like always. It would probably be a good idea to schedule these meetings earlier to account for the tardiness. But it was too late to try that this time. Finally, he spotted a familiar white hood down below. The wait was worth it in the end. It always was.

“Altaïr, you should stop making me wait like this,” he complained.

“My apologies, Nagi, Grandmaster wanted to speak with me and I couldn’t avoid it,” Altaïr replied.

Altaïr, being the taller of the two, stepped forward and pulled Nagi into a slow, apologetic kiss, which Nagi gratefully returned. It were the moments like these that made everything seem worth it. The waiting. The worry. The separation. Everything. He never wanted it to end.

“Altaïr,” Nagi began, pulling away from his lover’s kiss. “We need to have a serious talk for a moment.”

“Is something wrong, Nagi?” Altaïr asked worriedly.

“I have this sinking feeling that we shouldn’t stay together. I love you with all of my heart, but something feels off,” Nagi explained. “Despite the fact that we have already been given Grandmaster’s permission.”

“I am sorrowful to hear this, but I admit that I have that same feeling in my own heart,” Altaïr answered. “Perhaps that is a sign that we should end things here.”

“I would rather avoid such an outcome, but I agree with you. Perhaps it is a sign,” Nagi acknowledged.

“We do not have to end things this instant necessarily,” Altaïr said. “I propose that, for this moment, we enjoy the last of our time together as lovers.”

“How do you suggest we do as such?” Nagi asked.

Without a word, Altaïr drew Nagi into another long, sweet kiss. Hands wound in the chocolate hair of both men leaving only to grasp at the other’s snowy robes. But their hands never strayed any further. Not once did they do anymore than kiss the other’s lips. Both feared that if they did anything more than that, they would be unwilling to part. That moment was still perfect. But, as is the same for all good things in life, it had to end. The two pulled away from the other and faced towards the sun, which had begun to set.

“Altaïr?” Nagi called.

“Are you having second thoughts about all of this?” Altaïr responded.

“No-” Nagi sighed- “I was only thinking. Perhaps, if fate permits, our love shall not end with us.”

“What do you mean, Nagi?” Altaïr questioned in confusion.

“What I’m trying to say is that I hope that if fate is kind to us, our descendants shall share our love so that one day it shall not be severed,” Nagi explained.

“Love through our descendants?” Altaïr mused. “Mayhaps, fate and time will gift us with this blessing.”

“I truly hope for such,” Nagi hummed. “It would bring me great sorrow to see everything come to a close here.”

“Agreed,” Altaïr replied.

The two men stood in silence as they watched the sunset as the day came to a close just as their relationship had. Neither wept. Both had hope that their future would prove fruitful. That their wishes for their offspring would come to pass. For this reason, the men smiled. The future was uncertain, but it had been as such before. Now they had lost that sense of worry and gained a sense that they had done right. However unlikely it was to see in their lifetimes, if fate was kind, their children might fall in love just as they had. Just as Nagi hoped. The sun eventually sunk below the horizon as did the realization that this was truly the end. But both men had to leave. It was time.

“Safety and peace, Nagi,” Altaïr said.

“Safety and peace, Altaïr,” Nagi responded as he began to walk away.

Tears streamed down Alyx’s face as he exited the Animus. He hadn’t expected any of that. He hadn’t expected any of the things he’d felt through Nagi. Not the heartbreak. Not the hope for the future. Not the pure love. And he certainly didn’t expect that it was love that led to the curse. Could he even call it a curse anymore? Nagi wanted to bless his descendants. Wanted them to feel the love the he’d felt for Altaïr. He hadn’t intended to hurt them in the process. Alyx knew that much for sure. It didn’t feel right to call such a thing a curse. It was more of a blessing. Even though it felt like a curse to those affected. But, even with the knowledge he’d gained through that memory, Alyx still had some unanswered questions, including some new ones. Did the curse/ blessing follow all bloodlines? Or just one? Were only the men affected? Or the women as well? Was it every generation? Or did it skip around? Was it still in effect? Was he it’s next victim? Alyx shook his head as he wiped the tears from his eyes. As much as he wanted answers, they could wait. He needed some time to process Nagi’s memory before going into the next. Besides, if he spent too long in the Animus, he’d just make the Bleeding Effect worse for himself. And he’d rather avoid that as much as possible.

Chapter Text

Alyx flopped his bag on the floor as he walked into the warehouse. Ugh. That mission had tired him the fuck out. He trudged his way over to Shaun’s desk before draping his arms around the Brit.

“Do you need something, babe?” Shaun purred.

“Cuddle,” Alyx said softly, inwardly cursing the fact that his boyfriend’s voice was so hot.

“Go lay down while I finish up what I’m working on,” Shaun smiled.

Alyx gave a soft smile back as he moved toward the bedroom. He changed into his comfiest pajamas. A red shirt that said ‘NO’ and one of his many pairs of black boxer briefs. He crawled into Shaun’s bed and pulled Scout close to him. It wasn’t the same as being cuddled but it would have to do until Shaun was done. He closed his eyes as he waited for his boyfriend. It wasn’t long until he found himself being kissed gently on the cheek.

“Finally decided to join me?” Alyx asked playfully.

“Oh hush you. It was only a few minutes,” Shaun said smiling. “And it appear that that gave you plenty of time to get changed anyways.”

Alyx hummed and rolled over to face Shaun. He outstretched his arms and made a childish grabbing motion at the Brit.

“Cuddle me,” Alyx said.

“I will. I will. But Ineed to get changed first,” Shaun said. “Cause I know that if I lay down with you, I’ll likely fall asleep and I’d rather not do that in these clothes.”

“Then hurry up. My cuddle meter is low,” Alyx said sweetly.

Shaun pulled out a t-shirt and began to strip down. Alyx stared in wonder. He hadn’t seen Shaun shirtless before. And holy shit. He was forever grateful for this opportunity. Alyx’s eyes wandered the pale skin of Shaun’s chest that had always been hidden from him underneath the brunet’s sweaters. And as the dress slack came off, Alyx’s eyes wandered further south. Oh. He hadn’t been expecting Shaun to be small by any means. But damn. That was definitely bigger than he would’ve thought. And that’s while it was in the Brit’s grey boxer briefs. Alyx let out a small laugh when he saw Shaun pull on his sleep shirt. A sleep shirt that read ‘FEELING OVERWORKED AND UNDER-INTOXICATED.’

“Is that shirt honest?” Alyx asked.

“Very,” Shaun said as he made his way over to the bed and wrapped his arms around Alyx.

“I might be able to help with the first problem then,” Alyx smiled.

Shaun smiled and kissed Alyx’s neck eliciting a soft squeak from the smaller man. Welp. Hadn’t meant to do that. Alyx moved his hands up to cover his growing blush. Shaun chuckled and moved to kiss Alyx’s forehead.

“You’re so cute, my sweet little kit,” Shaun purred.

Alyx felt his blush deepen. Compliments were one thing. And Shaun’s voice was another. Together they created a dangerous weapon to Alyx’s heart. He rolled over to hide his face further.

“Did I embarrass you?” Shaun asked sweetly.

“...... yes,” Alyx answered softly.

Alyx felt Shaun drape an arm across his waist as the Brit spooned him. That felt nice. Shaun kissed the back of his neck. Alyx managed not to make a sound that time. He realized suddenly that he could distinctly feel Shaun’s dick against him. Holy fuck. That felt nice. Alyx felt his own dick stir. Fuck. He was glad that Shaun couldn’t see his growing erection and that his boyfriend’s hand wasn’t near it either. Alyx got a devious thought. He rubbed his butt against Shaun with seemingly innocent intent. He smirked as he felt Shaun bury his face in his neck. Repeating the action, Alyx felt Shaun start to get hard. The Brit groaned quietly against Alyx’s neck.

“Alyxander, what do you think you’re doing?” Shaun asked in a husky tone that sent a rush straight down to Alyx’s dick.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Alyx said innocently.

Alyx felt Shaun’s hand begin to drift lower. The blond bit his lip. Welp. There goes his chance for subtly. A hand cupped his erection.

“Ah. That explains that,” Shaun smirked against Alyx’s skin.

Alyx’s hand flew up to cover his mouth as Shaun began palming Alyx through his underwear. He was barely able to contain his soft moans. He ground his ass more forcefully against Shaun.

“Fuck…” Shaun cursed under his breath.

“That’s kinda what I’m trying to do here, Shaun,” Alyx chuckled softly.

“You naughty little thing,” Shaun purred into Alyx’s ear making the smaller man shiver.

Shaun kissed at Alyx’s neck before nipping at it gently. Alyx let out a soft moan. Fuck. He felt the Brit smirk against his skin again before sucking on the pale flesh. Fuck. Alyx moaned louder and bucked into Shaun’s hand. He wanted more. Needed more. And he wasn’t going to get what he needed from a hand even if that hand belonged to a very attractive Brit.

“S-Shaun…..” Alyx managed to say. “N-Need more……”

“You’ll have to elaborate on that, love,” Shaun whispered huskily.

“You’re mean…..” Alyx cried.

“I’m not a mindreader, little kit,” Shaun teased.

“G-Goddammit Shaun….. I need your dick in my ass,” Alyx hissed in frustration.

“O-Oh. I wasn’t expecting you to answer so bluntly,” Shaun said softly.

“It's your fault…..” Alyx muttered.

“I’m not the one grinding their ass against my cock,” Shaun pointed out playfully.

“Still your fault for being so damn attractive,” Alyx pouted.

Shaun chuckled before moving to kiss Alyx’s neck again. He sucked gently at the soft skin until a dark spot formed. He hooked a thumb under the elastic band of Alyx’s underwear.

“May I then?” Shaun asked.

“Did I or did I not just tell you that I wanted your dick in my ass?” Alyx asked sarcastically.

“Fair point, love,” Shaun purred as he slipped Alyx’s black boxer briefs down and wrapped a hand around the blond’s shaft.

Alyx let out a soft shaky moan as Shaun stroked him. He was beginning to regret their positions. He wanted to touch Shaun and that was easier said than done. At the same time, Shaun’s touch felt so good. But it still wasn’t enough. He reached down to stop Shaun’s hand.

“As much as I enjoy all the attention, you’re gonna have to stop unless you want the fun to end early,” Alyx managed to say.

“Well we can’t have that now can we?” Shaun chuckled.

Shaun climbed on top of Alyx and turned the smaller blond to kiss him. Alyx moaned into the kiss. He wrapped his legs around Shaun’s waist and ground their hips together drawing a low moan from his boyfriend.. A firm hand pressed his lower half back against the bed. Alyx pouted. Shaun leaned over and reached into his nightstand to pull out a small bottle. Lube.

“I don’t have any condoms. Is that a problem with you?” Shaun asked.

“Not at all,” Alyx said shaking his head.

Shaun laid the bottle down before he went to finish removing Alyx’s clothes. Alyx tugged his shirt down in an attempt to keep it on. He didn’t want to take it off. Didn’t want Shaun to see his scars. Well. See the scars with him still coherent.

“Are you alright, love?” Shaun asked softly, eyes filled with worry.

“I-I just don’t want to take my shirt off,” Alyx answered meekly.

“That’s alright, love. I won’t make you do anything you don’t want to do,” Shaun reassured.

“I still want this though,” Alyx said.
Shaun kissed Alyx’s lips sweetly. He coaxed Alyx’s legs apart before librally coating his fingers with lube. He pressed a single digit to Alyx’s hole. Alyx shivered at the coldness as the finger slowly entered him. It felt slightly uncomfortable. Granted, he hadn’t had sex with a man in months. And he’d been too busy to touch himself in that manner. Alyx was thankful that Shaun had given him time to adjust to the finger before he’d started moving it. He shifted his hips slightly hoping for Shaun to hit his sweet spot. It worked. He tightly closed his eyes and bit into his hand in an attempt to muffle his loud moan. Peeking up at Shaun, he was met with a devilish smirk. Oh god. Shaun didn’t hesitate to hit Alyx’s prostate with each thrust. Alyx wasn’t sure but he thought that the Brit had added another finger. Maybe two. He didn’t know. Didn’t care either. He did care when Shaun slipped his fingers out, however. He whimpered at the loss of having something in him.

“Did you want to cum from just my fingers?” Shaun teased. “I thought you’d said you wanted my cock.”

“P-Please…” Alyx begged. “I need it…”

“Look at you being such a good boy, saying please,” Shaun purred. “I suppose I should reward you for that.”

Alyx grew hotter at Shaun’s words. And felt his dick twitch in response. Jesus. He watched with excitement as Shaun finally stripped off his own clothes. He felt his dick twitch again as he watched Shaun lube up his length. The Brit was so big. He wiggled his hips impatiently. Shaun smirked before lining himself up and gently sliding into his smaller lover. Alyx gripped the sheets tightly. Tears pricked at his eyes. Shaun stilled his hips. He gently wiped away Alyx’s tears with his thumb.

“Are you alright?” Shaun asked softly.

“I’ll be fine,” Alyx answered quietly. “I just need a moment.”

“Take all the time you need, kit,” Shaun whispered before placing a kiss on Alyx’s forehead.

Alyx closed his eyes and focused on relaxing his body. After a few moments, he bucked his hips back against Shaun. Shaun gave Alyx another sweet kiss before sliding his length out to just the tip. He pushed in again slowly, setting a gentle pace. Alyx moaned softly. He reached a hand up to cover his mouth. He didn’t want to be too loud. Shaun pulled the hand away.

“Don’t,” Shaun commanded. “I want to hear each and every sound you make.”

Alyx moaned louder at the Brit’s words. Shaun likely had no idea what his voice did to the small blond. He angled his hips hoping to get the perfect angle. He let out a loud moan. Found it. Shaun smirked and went to hold Alyx’s hips to keep that angle. Then he slammed his hips forward before stilling them teasingly. Alyx cried out.

“Did you like that, kit?” Shaun purred huskily.

“Y-Yes,” Alyx whimpered. “Please do it again. I need more.”

Shaun set a rough pace, slamming into his lover. Loud moans spilled out of Alyx’s mouth with each thrust. He cupped Shaun’s face and brought him down into a passionate kiss. He wasn’t going to last much longer. Not with Shaun abusing his prostate as he was. He pulled back slighting from the kiss.

“I’m gonna cum…” Alyx said softly.

“Then cum for me, love,” Shaun purred.

The Brit wrapped a hand around Alyx’s leaking member and stroked it in time with his thrusts. Oh god. Alyx let out a long, loud moan as he came. Cum spurted out against his shirt and Shaun’s chest. Shaun thrusts a few more time before slamming his hips one last time and coming inside his smaller lover. Alyx whimpered as Shaun slid out his softening dick. He felt empty. And he could also feel the cum dripping from his ass. Shaun gently pecked his lips.

“Want me to get a bath ready, my sweet little kit?” Shaun asked.

“Please,” Alyx answered sweetly.

Chapter Text

He stood on the edge of shore and breathed in the salty sea air. It was calming. If only that pirate would hurry up. He adjusted his red headband so that his shaggy, dark blond hair wasn’t in his eyes. That pirate was certainly taking plenty of time showing up. He fidgeted with the skull-shaped ring on his index finger impatiently.

“Alex, sorry I’m late,” a familiar voice greeted.

“Edward, we agreed to meet here hours ago. What kept you so long?” Alex asked.

“My crew,” Edward sighed. “But it’s mostly just my own fault.”

“Next time, please try to get here on time,” Alex said.

“I will try my best, little Starling,” Edward replied.

“Promise?” Alex asked.

“I promise,” Edward answered as he pulled the shorter blond in for a kiss.

The kiss was slow and sweet, but held a burning desperation behind it. Alex wrapped his arms around the taller man’s neck as he deepened the kiss. In return, Edward gripped tightly onto Alex’s slender hips. They separated before the kiss became too heated. They were only able to spend a short amount of time together. Before too long, both men would board their ships and set sail for their respective assassination assignments. The time they spent apart made their hearts ache for the other.

“Oh, Captain Kenway, you never cease to amaze me,” Alex admitted.

“Well, Captain Swift, you do more that just amaze me,” Edward crooned.

“I love you, Edward,” Alex added.

“I love you, too, Alex,” Edward said. “So much.”

 

He hated going into forest by himself. Every single time, he ended up getting lost. Then again, he was also found every single time, so it wasn’t that bad. But he still didn’t like getting lost. And he was definitely lost. He swept a few strands of his dark blond hair, which had fallen out of his ponytail, so that they weren’t in his face. Going any further in these woods was pointless. He wasn’t going to get anywhere. Not without help. He sat down on the grass at the base of a tall tree and fidgeted with his grandfather’s ring, which he kept on a small chain around his neck.

“Did you get lost again, Xavier?” a familiar, strong voice teased.

“Connor!” Xavier yelped. “Don’t sneak up on me like that!”

“Don’t misplace the blame on me. You should be paying more attention the your surroundings,” Connor pointed out.

“Whatever,” Xavier pouted.

“Xavier, I’m sorry for teasing you,” Connor said. “I can try to make it up to you if you want.”

“Alright,” Xavier mumbled.

“What would you have me do?” Connor asked.

“Get me out of these woods, please,” Xavier answered.

“So you did get lost then?” Connor asked playfully.

“Connor, please,” Xavier said. “I don’t like being lost out here.”

“Alright, Xavier,” Connor said as he pulled the shorter man to his feet. “Let’s get you out of here.”

Connor led Xavier past the trees and bushes to a large clearing. Surrounded by the woods. And Xavier still had no clue where he was. But when Connor pulled him in for a soft kiss, he realized that that was okay. For now at least. Lost in the world. Lost in feeling. Found in the dark haired man holding him closely. And he was okay with all of that.

“Does this make up for my teasing from before?” Connor asked.

“Connor,” Xavier said.

“Yes?” Connor replied.

“I still have no clue where I am,” Xavier started. “I’m still just as lost as I was before.”

“I never said that I was done helping you get out of the woods yet, Xavier,” Connor pointed out. “I only stopped so that I could kiss you.”

“I love you,” Xavier said.

“I love you, too,” Connor replied.

“Oh, Connor, one last thing,” Xavier began.

Before Connor could open his mouth to respond, Xavier pulled the taller man down and captured his lips in a passionate kiss. Connor was surprised, but wrapped his arms around his lover, nonetheless. It was rare that they could hold one another like that. And when it did happen, it was brief. They pulled apart only when they remembered to breath.

“As much as I wish that I could stay here with you, I have duties to attend to and I’m sure that you do as well,” Xavier said.

“I do. Shall we make our way to town then?” Connor asked.

“We should,” Xavier said. “And before I forget, thank you for helping me, Ratonhnhaké:ton,” Xavier added.

“You learned how to say my name?” Connor asked.

“I asked some members of your tribe for help,” Xavier said.

“I love you so much,” Connor crooned.

“I love you, too,” Xavier replied.

Chapter Text

Over and over Alyx saw the pattern repeat itself. Meet. Fall in love. Heartbreak. Repeat. Sometimes, the curse would skip a single generation. Sometimes, it’d skip hundreds of years. But it always popped back up eventually. And with each of his ancestors’ memories, Alyx became increasingly more certain that he was cursed. He had to tell Shaun. He didn’t want to keep this from him. He couldn’t.

Alyx found the Brit at his desk like usual. Probably typing up a database entry. He took a quick glance at the computer screen. Yep. Definitely a database entry. He looked at the name. Altaïr Ibn- La’ Ahad. That sounded familiar, but Alyx couldn’t remember why.

“Who’s that?” Alyx asked Shaun.

“One of Desmond’s ancestors,” Shaun answered plainly. “Why do you ask?”

“I dunno,” Alyx shrugged. “Sounded familiar.”

“Did you need something, love? Or did you just want to distract me?” Shaun asked playfully.

“To distract you, of course,” Alyx joked. “Actually, I wanted to see if you would be wanting to get dinner with me later.”

“Sounds lovely,” Shaun said as he pulled Alyx in for a brief kiss. “I’ll be done in a bit. In the meantime, you should put on some nicer clothes for dinner.”

Alyx went into Shaun’s room, which he’d kinda moved into, and began to get ready. His hoodie was traded in for a dark red button up and a black bowtie. Jeans were replaced by black dress slacks. He had no dress shoes, but his Converse were all black so that didn’t matter. While he was tying up the black shoelaces, Alyx remembered where he’d heard Altaïr’s name before. He’d heard it in Nagi’s memories. Altaïr and Nagi were the reason for the curse. And Altaïr just happened to be Desmond’s ancestor. Shit. But it kinda made sense, in the general scheme of things. Like how Alyx had been smitten by Des from the first time he’d seen him. And, Alyx had to admit, Des did resemble both Ezio and Altaïr by quite a bit. If his hunch was right, Desmond was on the other side of the curse. Hopefully Shaun would take all of that okay. Maybe if Alyx got lucky, which was a rare occurrence, the three could have a relationship like Ezio, Luca, and Leonardo. It seemed unlikely given that Shaun and Desmond didn’t tend to get along very well. But it was still a possibility. And Alyx was more than willing to go for it.

“Ready to go?” Shaun asked peeking his head into the room.

“Yeah. All set,” Alyx answered calmly despite his overwhelming fears.

Alyx led Shaun by the arm out of the warehouse and down the street. The restaurant wasn’t too fancy. But it wasn’t dingy either. A waitress sat them at a table in a back corner. A white candle and a single rose in a vase sat on the table’s rustic, yet classy, wooden surface. Before walking off, the waitress handed them two menus. Alyx didn’t even glance at it once. He’d been there before. Shaun, however, flipped through as he tried to decide.

“I recommend the chicken cordon bleu, if you can’t decide,” Alyx suggested.

“What?” Shaun asked perplexed.

“Chicken cordon bleu,” Alyx repeated. “I tried it when I came here with my mom. It’s pretty good.”

“Really?” Shaun asked in mild disbelief. He didn’t think that Alyx was the type to visit that kind of restaurant. Let alone eat, and enjoy, that kind of meal.

“Yeah. It's one of my favorite things to order here actually,” Alyx answered. “Although, it has been awhile since the last time I visited.”

“May I take your drink orders?” the waitress asked politely.

“Yes. We’d like two cups of Earl Grey with honey,” Alyx said.

“We’re also ready to order,” Shaun added. “We’ll both have the chicken cordon bleu with roasted potatoes.”

“Alright. I’ll send your order to the kitchen and be right back with your drinks,” the waitress responded as she turned to leave.

“Earl Grey? I thought that you preferred hot cocoa,” Shaun questioned.

“Well, they don’t serve hot cocoa here,” Alyx stated. “Besides, I actually happen to love tea. I just don’t have the time to prepare it properly on a daily basis.”

“And hot cocoa is faster?” Shaun asked.

“It is if you use the instant mix,” Alyx answered.

“Two cups of Earl Grey with honey,” the waitress announced as she sat the steaming ceramic cups on the table. “Your meals should be out in moment.”

“Thank you,” Alyx said to her.

Alyx took a slow sip of his tea. It was perfectly sweetened. He let his eyes drift shut in satisfaction. The tea’s warmth was calming. Of course, he was still scared out of his mind about telling Shaun about the curse. It could wait until after dinner of course. Maybe dessert.

When their meals came, Alyx and Shaun did little else besides eating and meaningless small talk. The food was just as good as he’d remembered. And from the look of things, Shaun was enjoying it as well. The chicken was nicely seasoned and still juicy. The ham was warm and sweet. The cheese was perfectly melted and dripped slowly from the meat. The potatoes were tender on the inside and golden and crispy on the outside. There wouldn’t be a need for dessert this time. Alyx paid the check, tipped the waitress, and headed out the door with Shaun in tow.

“Where to next?” Shaun asked.

“The park,” Alyx answered simply. “It’s a nice night for a walk. Doncha think?”

“True. Especially with the full moon,” Shaun agreed.

The walk to the park was uneventful and quiet. Shaun and Alyx enjoyed the calm, comfortable silence between them. Street lights lit up the sidewalk every so many feet. But where their light didn’t reach, the moon’s pale glow made up the difference. After some time, Alyx and Shaun stopped to rest at a bench by the park’s small pond.

“Alyx, why did you decide to take me to dinner tonight?” Shaun asked.

“What do you mean?” Alyx responded.

“Was it just some spur-of-the-moment thing? Or did you have an actual reason?” Shaun inquired.

“Fine,” Alyx sighed. “You got me. I wanted to talk to you about something.”

“And taking me out for dinner was the best way to go about that?” Shaun asked.

“Well, it was kinda a two-birds-with-one-stone sorta thing. I got to take you on a date and I created an opportunity to talk to you alone,” Alyx explained.

“Why alone?” Shaun asked.

“Well, uh,” Alyx paused. “It might affect you. And I thought that you deserved to hear it first. Besides, I’m not even sure if I’m right about this, uh, particular thing.”

“Alyx,” Shaun began, grabbing Alyx’s shoulders. “Just tell me what you wanted to tell me. It’s okay.”

“I’m pretty sure that I’m cursed.”

Chapter Text

It had been a few weeks since Alyx had explained what he knew pertaining to the curse. Shaun had taken it surprisingly well. Alyx was so happy that the Brit believed him. Granted, there was quite a bit of evidence. What had really caught Alyx off guard though was Shaun’s admittance that he found Desmond attractive. Things seemed to be working in Alyx’s favor for once.

Alyx smiled softly as he pulled on his robes. He had a mission. Infiltrate an Abstergo facility and disrupt an induction ceremony. Sounded like fun to Alyx. Then again he loved screwing with the Templars in general. But messing with a ceremony was the biggest metaphorical middle finger to the assholes. Alyx smirked as he tightened his braces. Maybe he’d be able to deal a few blows to them for once. He was still pretty mad about them fucking up his favorite hoodie.

Once he was all suited up, Alyx went into the main room to say goodbye to his team. Shaun gave him a sweet kiss along with one of the Brits rare heart-melting smiles. Des patted him on the back. Becca and Lucy barely looked up from their computers. The sun had just begun to set as Alyx heading out. Rooftops runs made him feel alive. And his grappling hook attachment made them easier. It didn’t take long to reach his entry point at the Abstergo base. He felt really giddy at getting to mess with the Templars. He could hear various voices in the room.

“Stop! I don’t wanna do this!” a young girl’s voice rang out above the rest.

Alyx felt his blood instantly run cold. No. That couldn’t be her. No he wouldn’t. He’d never do that to Ryland. Would he? Alyx caught a glimpse of long blonde hair and familiar sky blue eyes. No. He did. Alyx had new reason to stop the ceremony. And he had a bastard to kill. But he’d have to wait. He couldn’t rush in blindly. The Templars dragged Ryland up onto a podium next to a pot of burning coals. Soon.

“As with our forefathers, mark and remember our ultimate purpose,” one Templar began.

“To guide all wayward souls ‘til they reach a quiet road,” another continued.

“To guide all wayward desire ‘til impassioned hearts are cooled.”

“To guide all wayward minds to safe and sober thought.”

“Together, we shall usher in the dawn of a New World.”

“One defined by peace and order.”

“One in which our hands will ensure that all things find their proper place.”

“We welcome you into our arms, sister.”

“With this mark, you are forever sworn to the three tenets of our Order.”

“You must uphold the principles of our Order and all that for which we stand.”

“You must never share our secrets nor divulge in the true nature of our work.”

“You must do so until death, whatever the cost.”

“May the Father of Understanding guide us,” a familiar blond haired man finished as he pulled a metal rod out of the burning coals.

Two of the Templars on the podium restrained Ryland as she struggled and pulled up the back of her light grey shirt. Alyx had to act fast. He couldn’t let them continue. He flung himself from the rafters down to the podium. The Templars all stood in shock. The familiar blond haired man scowled as Alyx approached him.

“You wouldn’t attack me in front of her, would you?” he growled.

Alyx didn’t answer.

“You wouldn’t kill in front of your own sister, would you?” the man asked.

“Ryland, please. Please look away. I don’t want you to see this,” Alyx practically begged.

He couldn't bear the thought of her having to watch him do this. Watching her older brother kill. Kill their own father at that. He glanced to her. Ryland had screwed her eyes closed out of fear. Alyx extended his blade and plunged it into his father’s throat.

“May you finally feel the peace you so desperately sought,” Alyx said softly as a tear rolled down his cheek. He wished that it hadn’t had to end like this. “Rest in peace, Dad.”

The other Templars had scattered during his attack. Alyx used that to his advantage. He quickly scooped up Ryland, his sweet, little sister. He had to get her somewhere safe. Away from the Templars. Couldn’t take her to the warehouse. Home. She could go home to her mother. Tracy would understand. She knew what Alyx was. She was an ally. Ryland clutched onto Alyx’s robes fearfully. She didn’t know that it was her brother. He held her closely as he escaped from the Abstergo facility. Back alleys were his best bet. Nobody would see them. It took longer to get to Ryland’s house, but she was safe. Alyx shifted her so that he could knock on the door. A moment later, a familiar face opened the door. Wordlessly, she motioned for Ryland to go inside.

“Is he…?” she asked.

“He was going to force her into joining them, Tracy,” Alyx said. “I had no other choice.”

“Did she see it happen?” Tracy asked.

“Fortunately no,” Alyx answered.

“Oh thank god,” Tracy said relieved. “Does she know it was you?”

“I don’t think so. I never took my hood off,” Alyx said. “But I did call her by her name and he did refer to her as my sister.”

“She has more than one brother though,” Tracy pointed out.

“That’s true,” Alyx said. “I should get going. The others should be expecting me back.”

“Be safe, Alyx,” Tracy said. “You might not be related to me anymore, but I still consider you part of my family.”

“Thank you,” Alyx said as he took off back toward the warehouse.

Once he returned, Alyx was bombarded with questions about the mission from Shaun, Lucy, and Becca. Desmond was fast asleep on the bed in the main room. He didn’t answer them. Just shook his head somberly as he took off his gear. They stopped trying to get him to talk. He didn’t want to talk to them. Not yet. He just…. He just killed his father. They hadn’t been close. But Alyx still held fond memories with the man. Once he had removed his gear, Alyx went to lay down on Shaun’s bed. A single tear rolled down his cheek.

Chapter Text

Alyx woke up cold. He felt numb. But at the same time, he felt too much. He wished that he could go back to sleep and never wake up. Being awake hurt. Being awake made him remember. Made him remember what he’d done. Who he’d just killed. His stomach growled and Alyx sighed. He wrapped Shaun’s comforter around him as he headed for the door. Four heads turned to face him as he stepped into the room. He hadn’t told them anything yet. Alyx trudged to the kitchen and pulled out a bowl, a bag of plain Ruffles, and a large package of mini M&Ms. He dumped the two foods into the bowl together before beginning to eat his concoction. Alyx finished the bowl before going to lie back down.

Once back on the bed, Alyx curled in on himself. His stomach lurched at the remembrance of the last night’s occurrences. Or he thought that was why until he felt that acidic spit in his mouth. Alyx quickly untangled himself from Shaun’s blanket as he rushed to the bathroom connected to the Brit’s room. He’d just barely made it to the toilet before his body began to expel everything he’d just put in it and then some. Alyx was caught by surprise when he felt a hand begin to rub his back. Shaun. It was Shaun. He felt blessed to have a boyfriend as good as Shaun. Once his body had finished emptying out his stomach, Alyx found himself being pulled back against Shaun’s chest. The tawny haired historian gently rubbed the smaller man’s stomach.

“You alright, sweetheart?” Shaun asked softly.

“I don’t think my body liked the food I put in it,” Alyx answered weakly.

“Let's get you back to bed, love,” Shaun said. “Maybe some rest will help you.”

Shaun gently lifted Alyx up into his arms and carried him over to the bed. The Brit carefully tucked in his boyfriend. Alyx wanted to be able to ask Shaun to stay with him. To lay down beside him and hold him close. But he knew how important Shaun’s work was to the Brotherhood. Shaun paused beside the bed before reaching under it. Alyx stared in confusion. Shaun popped back up holding out a stuffed fox.

“I was planning on giving it to you later, but since I can’t be in here with you, I figured that this little guy could keep you company for me,” Shaun smiled.

“Holy shit, Shaun. How did I manage to convince a guy as sweet as you to date me?” Alyx asked as he clutched the soft plush.

“If memory serves me correctly, you were just being yourself for a good portion of the time,” Shaun answered.

Alyx felt a blush creep across his cheeks. He buried his face in his new companion’s fur. He wasn’t used to hearing people say things like that. Shaun leaned forward and gave Alyx a chaste kiss on the forehead.

“I’ll be back in a bit to check up on you,” the Brit whispered against Alyx’s skin. “And if you need anything, you know where I’ll be.”

“I love you…” Alyx said quietly.

“I love you too, my sweet little kit,” Shaun smiled as he stood up and walked back to his desk.

Alyx felt himself blush more at Shaun’s affectionate pet name. He didn’t deserve Shaun. Shaun was so good to him. So sweet and caring. Alyx was glad that he was able to see that side of the Brit. But he didn’t feel like he deserved to. He’d done bad things. And hadn’t told his team about what he’d done. He killed his own father. Alyx felt himself start to shake. He wasn’t sure if it was from his thoughts or from him being sick. He needed to talk to someone. Not about that. No. Just in general. And not Shaun. He didn’t want to bother the other man. Nik. It’d be nice to talk to Nik. One of his best friends from high school. He hadn’t spoken to him in so long. Alyx pulled out his phone and typed a short message to the younger man.

“Hey,” Alyx wrote.

"The number you have messaged is no longer in service," came the immediate reply.

Nik had either changed numbers or…… no. Alyx refused to think about the alternatives. But why would Nik change numbers. Alyx felt his stomach lurch again. Oh god. Quickly untangling himself from the sheets again, Alyx made a beeline for the bathroom. The toilet was his new friend. His mouth tasted like acid and blood. And his throat felt like somebody had taken sandpaper to it. A steady hand rubbed soothingly on his back. Probably Shaun. Alyx looked up at the hand’s owner. Nope. Not Shaun. Desmond.

“You okay?” Desmond asked.

“I’m done throwing up if that’s what you mean,” Alyx answered hoarsely.

“Want me to get you something to drink?” Desmond asked softly.

“Do we have any Sprite?” Alyx asked back.

“I’ll go check,” Desmond said. “In the meantime, you should get back in bed.”

Alyx nodded as he make his way back over to Shaun’s bed. His new fox plushie was still laying where he’d left it. He needed to think of a name for the plushie. It was a childish thing to do, sure. But Alyx didn’t care. Desmond came back into the room with a cup of what Alyx hoped was Sprite. He took a sip after being handed the cup. Yep. Sweet sweet Sprite. Nice, cold, and soothing. Desmond sat on the bed beside him. The brunet’s eyes wandered to Alyx’s still unlocked phone.

“Tried to message somebody?” Desmond asked.

“My friend, Nik,” Alyx said sadly. “Didn’t go through though.”

“He probably just changed numbers,” Des said. “I’m sure he’s okay.”

“How did you….?” Alyx trailed off.

“Lucky guess,” Des said.

Alyx chuckled softly before having a coughing fit. Desmond reached out and rubbed the blond’s back. His throat hurt. And not just from throwing up. After he’d finished coughing, Alyx sat the cup down and replaced it with his fox. He laid down.

“I know that you’re dating Shaun now, but do you want me to stay in here with you?” Des asked.

Alyx nodded. If only Des knew that both Alyx AND Shaun thought he was cute and had a crush on him. It’d probably blow the man’s mind. Desmond laid down beside Alyx and rubbed his back soothingly. Alyx felt kinda happy. Still torn up over what he’d done and still sick. But it was nice getting to spend time with Des like this. It wasn’t long until Alyx had fallen to sleep curled up next to Desmond.

Chapter Text

Alyx woke up feeling warm for once. He cracked open his eyes to the sight of Shaun’s arms wrapped snugly around his waist and Desmond fast asleep on the other side of him. Wow. Being sandwiched between two attractive, sleeping men was even better than he’d imagined. Alyx hummed softly as he snuggled back against his boyfriend.

“Hm? Are you awake, love?” Shaun mumbled sleepily.

“Don’t wanna be,” Alyx muttered.

Shaun chuckled and leaned over to kiss Alyx on the cheek. The tawny haired historian frowned slightly and put his hand on Alyx’s head. Alyx stared at him in confusion.

“You have a fever, little kit,” Shaun said softly, answering Alyx’s unasked question.

“He has a fever?” Desmond asked as he slowly awoke.

“Unfortunately so,” Shaun said answering the other brunet. “Seeing as it’s your day off from the Animus, would you mind making sure he’s actually taken care of? He has a bad habit of treating his body like shite. No offense, love.”

“None taken, babe. I admit my faults,” Alyx said. “But Des, you don’t have to sacrifice your time off to take care of me. I’ve managed so far and haven’t killed myself yet.”

“I wouldn’t be sacrificing anything, Alyx. I actually happen to like hanging out with you. Also, sorry for falling asleep in you guys’ bed, Shaun,” Desmond said with a yawn.

Alyx mentally rolled his eyes. He imagined Shaun had done the same thing. It seemed like a thing the Brit would do. He probably did. Probably wasn’t even mentally.

“Desmond, I’m no stranger to having men wake up in my bed. There’s no need to apologize,” Shaun said with lighthearted sarcasm earning a chuckle from Des.

“Alright, alright. You should probably get to work before Lucy and Becca throw a combined hissy fit,” Des joked.

“You joke, but it’s happened before. I still have nightmares,” Shaun said half-jokingly as he got up. “There’ll be coffee in the kitchen soon if you want some, Desmond.”

Desmond nodded in acknowledgement. Shaun kissed Alyx lightly on the forehead before grabbing a clean change of clothes and heading toward his bathroom to shower. Alyx stared up at the ceiling trying not to think about what Shaun looked like naked. He managed to distract himself until Shaun stepped out fully dressed. The Brit’s slightly damp hair looked so soft. He must’ve forgone the gel for once. Shaun gave Alyx one more soft smile before heading out of the room to start the coffee and get to work.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile like that before,” Desmond said after the door closed. “It was kinda surreal.”

“I felt the same way when I saw it the first time, too. But I’ve gotten used to it,” Alyx said with a smile of his own.

“How did you two start dating anyways?” Des asked.

“Actually, I don’t remember much. It happened the last time I got sick,” Alyx said. “But according to Bex, I was following him around like a puppy and saying I liked his butt.”

“And you don’t remember that? Must’ve been embarrassing when you found out,” Des said sympathetically.

“I thought I was going to die from the sheer amount of embarrassment,” Alyx said before yawning.

“Still tired?” Des asked.

“Yeah,” Alyx said. “I’m gonna try to go back to sleep.”

Des nodded before handing Alyx the blond’s discarded fox plushie. Alyx cuddled his plushie friend closely as he got settled back into the sheets comfortably. He wished he could be cuddled up between Shaun and Des again, but he knew better than to ask. Shaun was busy and him and Des were still just friends. Pushing his luck now might not turn out very well. He just hoped that his fever wouldn’t get higher and have him spill his guts to Des like what he did with Shaun. Alyx pushed the thought out of his head as he fell back asleep.

When he woke back, Alyx felt more sick than he had the day before. He groaned internally so he wouldn’t wake up Desmond, who must’ve fallen asleep after Alyx. The toilet would probably become his best friend again. But this time would be worse, because he had nothing to throw up besides acid. Alyx felt his stomach lurch at the thought. He closed his eyes tightly hoping to will away the urge to expel what little he had in his stomach. In the end, he ended up quickly untangling himself from the blankets and rushing to the bathroom to become acquainted with the toilet. After violently emptying his stomach, Alyx sat beside the toilet coughing and spitting out the acidic saliva in his mouth. A moment later, he felt a steady hand rub his back. He must’ve woken Des back up.

“Want me to get you some Sprite?” Des asked.

Alyx nodded weakly. He didn’t have the energy to speak. And even if he did have the energy, his throat felt like he’d swallowed liquid sandpaper. Desmond gave Alyx a soft smile and helped the blond to his feet. Alyx gripped onto Des’ arm so he wouldn’t fall over. Des carefully led Alyx back to the bed and got him settled in comfortably with his stuffed fox. Alyx zoned out while Des went to get the Sprite. His mind felt warm and fuzzy. Like the blanket he was wrapped up in. Nice and warm. Alyx hummed softly. A hand gently shook him closer to awareness. Des had come back with the Sprite. Alyx pushed himself up into a sitting position and happily sipped at the cold drink.

“Feel any better?” Des asked softly.

“Warm and fuzzy,” Alyx said as if that was an actual answer.

“Based on that, I’m gonna say no,” Des said after a pause.

Desmond reached out a hand and felt Alyx’s forehead. His fever had definitely gone up. Alyx leaned against the cool hand. Desmond frowned. They had ibuprofen. Somewhere. But he didn’t know where. Or if it would help. Would it help bring down his fever? It didn’t really matter though, since he didn’t know where it was. Alyx rocked back and forth like a child while Des thought.

“Aster, Balsam, Camellia~” Alyx said in a sing-songy voice. “Carnation, Daisy, Furze, Gardenia~”

Des was too distracted by Alyx’s little ‘song’ to continue thinking about the fever. Or ways to bring it down.

“Lavender, Roses, Tulips, Zephyr Flower~” Alyx continued.

“What are you doing?” Desmond finally asked.

“Hm? I’m thinking about all the flowers I haven’t given you yet,” Alyx said as if it was obvious.

“Yet? But you haven’t given me any flowers,” Des said in confusion.

“Uh huh,” Alyx said bringing up a hand to count them. “Yellow Acacia. Agapanthus. Daffodil. Honey Flower. Rhododendron. Thornless Rose. Gloxinia.”

“What?” Des deadpanned. “You must be confused. You only helped with telling me what they meant.”

“No. I bought them and gave them to you, dummy. And then I told you what they meant,” Alyx said.

“No, the Italian Assassin gave them to me,” Des said.

“No, I did. The Italian wasn’t on purpose,” Alyx said.

“Prove it,” Des said.

“I got it from Luca,” Alyx said as if Des would know.

“Who is Luca?” Desmond asked.

“My ancestor that banged Ezio,” Alyx said. “Well. Leo, too, but that’s not the point.”

“Wait. What?! Your ancestor had sex with mine?!” Des asked shocked.

“Yeah. Or at least I assume they did, they were dating. Like Ezio is a bisexual icon to be honest,” Alyx said.

“They dated? Why did I not know this?” Des asked.

“They weren’t the only ones either. Altaïr and Nagi dated too,” Alyx added.

“Who’s Nagi?” Des asked.

“Another one of my ancestors,” Alyx said. “I’m surprised you didn’t know this.”

“Why would I?” Desmond questioned.

“Because of the curse?” Alyx said confused.

“What? What curse?” Des asked hesitantly.

“I don’t think I should tell you yet,” Alyx said. “You really need to learn about it for yourself first.”

Desmond sighed and got up to finally get himself some of coffee that Shaun had mentioned earlier. Alyx pouted. Des seemed upset with him. And he didn’t like that. What did he do wrong? He sighed internally. What didn’t he do wrong though? He killed his father. He failed to protect his little sister from ever having to deal with Abstergo. He failed to tell his team about the mission. He failed to tell his team about the Bleeding Effect. He was a failure. Alyx laid down and turned away from the door. He held his plushie, Scout he’d decided, close to his chest as he felt a tear roll down his cheek. No. He wasn’t a failure. Not completely. He killed a Templar. He succeeded in protecting Ryland from the Templars. It didn’t reconcile everything that he was feeling bad about. But it was a start. Des came back in and saw Alyx looking sad on the bed. He could guess why.

“Look, Alyx, I’m not upset that you won’t tell me. I’m just upset that I didn’t know,” Des said.

“You’re not mad at me?” Alyx asked softly.

“Of course not,” Des answered feeling Alyx’s forehead again. “Jesus. Your fever still hasn’t gone down.”

“Is that why my head feels warm and fuzzy?” Alyx asked innocently.

“Probably,” Des sighed.

“Cuddle with me?” Alyx asked rolling over and opening his arms to the other.

“I don’t think Shaun would be very happy if I did that,” Des said.

Alyx smiled internally as he watched Shaun slip into the room behind Des.

“Are you sure about that Desmond?” Shaun asked snaking his arms around Des’ waist.

“I thought I was. Now, not so much,” Des said blushing profusely.

“I thought I made it clear this morning that I liked you. I guess I wasn’t clear enough,” Shaun said. “When I said I’m no stranger to having men wake up in my bed, I was referring to sex. Translation: I like you.”

“But you’re dating Alyx?” Des asked in confusion.

“Polyamorous,” Shaun said.

“I’m so lost,” Des said.

“To put it simply, we both think you’re cute. Now cuddle me,” Alyx said.

“Okay…. I’m not gonna argue with that, but I’m kinda trapped in Shaun’s arms, Alyx,” Des said before continuing softly. “Not that I’m complaining.”

Shaun chuckled before lifting Des, who let out a high pitched squeak, and carrying the other brunet to the bed. He laid Des down between him and Alyx. Des turned to fulfill Alyx’s request to be cuddle. In turn, Shaun scooted closer to spoon Des.

“Is this how you two ended up together?” Des asked.

“I mean. Kinda?” Alyx said.

 

“Don’t question it. Just know that you have two boyfriends now,” Shaun said.

“Okay. I won’t question that,” Des said.

Alyx smiled. Something had turned out in his favor for once. And he had gotten what he’d wanted. He was happy. But he still had some things that needed to be done. They could be done later though. Procrastination was his strong suit. And he could wait.