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The Aftermath of Traitor in their Midst

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Giovanni sighed wearily as Ezio stormed away from him, slamming doors behind him.

Everything had gone wrong.

Less than three hours ago, the Council had watched as Jacob made the decision to leave the Creed, or rather stay out of it (as they had expelled him from the Creed earlier). Ezio had been furious with his Father, refusing to speak to him the entire journey home.

Until Giovanni tried to say sorry of course.

Then Ezio utilised every swear-word he ever knew, in every language he’d ever learnt, before storming into his bedroom.

“Giovanni?”

He slowly turned around to glance at his wife, who was staring up at where Ezio had stormed off. “What’s going on?” she asked.

Giovanni sighed, gently pushing past his wife to enter the sitting room. “The Council…. Have made a mistake.”

Seating by her husband, Maria frowned, remaining silent as Giovanni continued. “I told you we had done something drastic a couple of days ago, correct?”

“Yes…. But you didn’t tell me what.” She glanced up to where Ezio’s room was, “… I’m assuming it is why Ezio has barely spoken to you all week?”

“… We expelled Jacob from the Creed.”

Maria gasped sharply, “Frye? Jacob Frye? Why did you- “

“-because all the evidence pointed to him!” Giovanni interrupted, “We had a dead witness who died with Jacob present! He was arrested in a warehouse that contained the chemicals found at the bombing sight! He escaped from prison, running made him seem guiltier!”

“But you’ve known Jacob since he was a small child….”

“You don’t think I thought about that!” yelled Giovanni, “You don’t think I didn’t think about all of Ezio’s birthday parties and sleepovers that Jacob came to?!”

“Then how could you think he killed that witness, or was the mastermind behind the Temple bombings?!”

Giovanni sighed wearily, practically collapsing onto the bed, “All the evidence pointed to him… and the military police didn’t believe we would give him a fair and unbiased trial. The public was already turning against us, so expelling him from the Creed and proving them wrong seemed to be the best decision.”

“Madre di Dio…” muttered Maria, “…. And all of you agreed to this?”

“…. Haytham didn’t.”

“So… the only one of you who had any sense was the Ex-Templar?”

Giovanni winced at the incredulous tone in his wife’s voice, “It seemed like the right idea at the time.”

“And now?”

Wincing again, Giovanni sighed. “… Jacob’s left the Creed. He decided not to come back.”

Maria shook her head in dismay, choosing not to reply, instead muttering in Italian under her breath. This continued on for a few minutes, before Maria began to pace the room. “No wonder Ezio isn’t speaking to you!” She growled, “You kicked one of his best friends out of the Creed, who then decided to stay away! You realise that Ezio may never see Jacob again right?”

“I realise that but- “

“- but nothing idiota!” Standing by the window, Maria shook her head, “…Jacob was a good boy. Reckless, yes. Rude, yes…. But a good boy.”

There was silence for a few moments, before Maria chuckled. “Do you remember Ezio’s eighth birthday party?”

“…. Vaguely. Why?”

Maria rolled her eyes slightly, “That was when you first really met Jacob, remember?”

Casting his mind back, Giovanni frowned. It was true that he hadn’t really interacted with the Frye twins when they first arrived at the village, or the two years afterwards…. But he was busy, far too busy to even consider interacting with the assassins-in-training.

But Ezio’s eight birthday was different.

*Flashback*

“Papà! Papà!” cheered Ezio as he raced towards his Father, “You made it!”

Giovanni knelt and lifted his son into his arms, beaming as the child giggling in joy. “Ciao la mia scimmietta (Hello my little monkey)…” he greeted, “… did you get anything nice?”

Ezio nodded eagerly and tugged his Father into the main dining room, where they were both greeted with loud music and the excited squeals of several children. As Ezio eagerly held up the presents that he had received from family and friends (ranging from clothes to video games), Giovanni kept a careful eye on a certain child who was hanging around the radio with a glass of coke in his hand…. The expensive radio.

He vaguely recognised the child as being one of Ethan’s twins, but that didn’t explain why the child wasn’t joining in with the frantic chaos. When Ezio’s Uncle Mario arrived, Giovanni quickly took the chance to escape his son’s excitement and stride over to the child.

“Jacob, right?”

In shock, the child span around to stare up at the older man, barely avoiding spilling his coke everywhere. Shyly, he nodded, shuffling from side to side as he turned his attention to the ground.

Sensing that Jacob was not going to say anything, Giovanni knelt and tried to give the seven-year-old a reassuring smile. “Any reason why you’re not over there with the other children?”

Jacob shrugged, glancing over to where his friends were dancing, “Evie said I get in the way.”

Giovanni sighed. He might not know them very well, but he knew that Evie and Jacob would often argue, bickering like twins were said to do. “Did she say how you get in the way?”

“She said my dancing is… weird.”

Smiling slightly at this, Giovanni shook his head. “That doesn’t mean you have to stay over here on your own.”

“But they’re dancing…”

“True….” Giovanni glanced around and leant in to whisper in Jacob’s ear, “… but can I let you on in a little secret?”

When Jacob nodded, Giovanni grinned. “I can’t dance either…. In fact, you could say that I dance un po 'stranamente!”

“Huh?”

“… A little weirdly.”

“Oh….” Jacob thought to himself for a few moments, “… so because you dance weirdly as well, then I should go and join them anyway? Because even some gentlemen can’t dance?”

“Di preciso… exactly.”

It took a few minutes, but eventually, Jacob placed his glass near the radio (far too close for Giovanni’s liking) and raced towards the rest of his friends, quickly joining in despite his sister’s protests.

**End Flashback****

“You helped him that day…” Maria sighed, “… why couldn’t you help him this week?”

Giovanni simply remained silent.

“You may have the room tonight…” Maria moved to the door, “…I’ll sleep in the spare room I do believe. After I speak to Ezio of course.”

“Ovviamente (Of course).”