|A Man He Never Knew
Author: sittingroundthesamovar PM
Throughout his life, he was always followed. Two men and a blue box.Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery - 11th Doctor & Haytham K. - Words: 1,466 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Published: 02-07-13 - id: 8987046
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Spoilers for the end of Assassin's Creed III. A kink meme fill.
Haytham's first memory of the box occurred when he was five. It was blue and tall, made of wood. "Police Public Call Box" was emblazoned above the doors, he would later recall, but at the time he was too young to be able to read.
It was, as usual, a rainy day, and he was playing soldiers indoors. He heard a strange noise, like a screaming monster, and ran toward it without a second thought because monsters were brilliant and Daddy would be pleased if he killed one.
He was disappointed to only see the blue box. He patted it, to see if it was real, and, having decided it was just one of Daddy's many interesting things, went back to the room he had been playing soldiers in. He didn't see it again for several years, and he was sent to bed without supper for making up stories about blue boxes in hallway.
At Father's funeral, a dark-skinned man with his head shaved bare stood at the very back of the church, a man in a strange tie beside him. He couldn't clearly see their faces, being at the very front, eyes filled with tears, but his second sight showed them glowing a comforting blue, so it was all right.
The men were gone by the time they took the coffin to the graveyard, and the box was some way off, half-hidden by bushes and trees. It had vanished by the time Father had been buried.
For a long time, he saw it only from a distance, felt invisible eyes watching him when he didn't have time to investigate. He had hesitated once, when infiltrating a French camp, and came far too close to being discovered and killed. After that, he ignored it. It would appear again, he was sure, and perhaps one day in the future he could investigate it properly.
He did not know how he was so sure that he would see the box again. Something in him was convinced it was following him.
After leaving the opera, he realised that he'd seen a dark-skinned man with a bare-shaved head and a man with an odd-shaped tie, had brushed past them and muttered an insincere apology as he was leaving. For some reason, this realisation felt important. He climbed into his carriage, thinking hard.
Why was it so important?
And then, as the carriage went past an alley near Covent Garden, he caught a glimpse of a blue box and remembered a hazy memory of being small and sad and seeing blue.
He wished he had bothered to look at their faces.
For a while, he thought the box had been left in Europe. He did not know how to feel about that- relief at no longer being stalked by mysterious men, sadness at never investigating the box. And then he saw it, after liberating the Mohawk slaves, after the mysterious woman left with her people.
He ran, because he needed to know who they were and why they were here and what they wanted. He vaulted over the fortress walls and sprinted around people, leapt over fences and the little indigo light at the top started flashing and the box started doing something impossible.
It faded right out of existence, deafening Haytham with the screeching sound he didn't know he remembered. He stood in the space it had occupied, breathing heavily, ignoring Charles and the others' worried voices.
It must be an artifact from Those Who Came Before, he decided. Nothing else could be so impossible. It had been right here.
He thought about the box a lot, though most of his attention was taken by the alluring Ziio and the problems Braddock had caused them both. She was different from the simpering, primped and powdered women at home. She was headstrong, brash, and so completely different from Haytham himself.
He heard the screeching sound several times, caught glimpses of a bald Native in crowded places, but even his second sight did not help him find the box or the men. They were always gone before his sight could change, and the box was too well-hidden.
If they had meant him harm, he reasoned, then he would be long dead by now. He could interrogate them whenever they next appeared. There was no point wasting time and effort.
He walked with his head down. He wanted to weep. Ziio had been so angry. He had been unable to make her see reason. And now, the thing they had was gone. He would never be able to hold her again, and the only expression upon her face at the sight of him would be fierce rage-or worse, sadness.
He used his second sight to distance himself from the world. He didn't want to remember Ziio, and everything reminded him of what they had shared. And then he saw it. A flash of red.
He needed to release some of this pent-up rage, so he followed, and slammed the man against the wall of an alleyway. He wore a strange tie.
"Before you kill me, I'd just like to say 'please don't'. There are a lot of reasons you shouldn't kill me, in truth, but for now-"
"Shut up," Haytham snarled. "I'm not going to kill you."
"Oh?" The man fiddled with his necktie nervously. It was an awfully strange tie, terribly familiar. His mouth made the connection before his brain.
"You're wearing a very odd tie."
"Bow ties are cool!" the man protested. Haytham gave a bitter laugh and slammed him against the wall harder.
"What do you want from me? Why have you been following me? Who are you? What is that box? How do you still look the same?"
"That's a lot of questions," the man said, nervously. "Er, Co- Eagle! Mayday! Any minute now!"
Haytham kneed him in the groin before someone choked him into unconsciousness. He woke up some minutes later to the sound of screeching.
During his brief visit back to the United Kingdom, while drifting in and out of hazy consciousness and fever thanks to the horrible wound in his side, he had a dream. Or perhaps it was no dream at all.
The bow-tie-man's voice was talking to another person. The other had a deep, slow voice, accented like Ziio's had been. A cold hand rested on his forehead, and he was too tired to open his eyes. His side hurt terribly.
"Fear not," the stranger's voice said. "This pain will be over soon."
He forced his eyes open, and managed a barely-human croak.
"Are you going to kill me?"
The man- the bald Native who was terribly blurry- laughed.
"No. No, I will not. We are going to help you."
The bow tie man put something that glowed near his injured side, and the burning stabs of pain started to cease. Haytham let out a small sigh of relief, and drifted into sleep without meaning to. Or perhaps he woke up.
He didn't see the box again until after he returned to the Colonies. A glimpse here and there, the two men seen only from a long distance. His second sight confirmed their identities as 'enemies', and he wondered why they had been blue when he was little.
He wondered if perhaps it had to do with his defection.
He was almost disappointed when nothing happened while he was investigating and journeying with Connor. No blue boxes. No bow ties. No bald Natives.
There was something comfortingly familiar about Connor's voice, and he decided it was because he spoke like Ziio. He had been horrified to learn of her death, deciding to be as good a father as a mortal enemy could be to his son, to bond, to be a better person.
Alas, his attempts failed.
He last saw the box on the day of his death. It sat between crates, conspicuous, and yet nobody seemed to notice it. Perhaps it was only his second sight that had allowed him to see that it existed.
It survived the assault pretty well, and he saw it later, as he was striding to meet his son for the final time. Only one of them could be allowed to walk out alive, and Connor was injured severely. A pity. He had always wanted children. Always wanted to leave behind something meaningful, worthwhile, a family. Now it would never happen. He would die a lonely old man.
It was only as Connor cradled him, as the blood seeped from his neck, that he realised. He chuckled, and Connor looked puzzled.
"I understand now," he said. "You haven't done it yet, have you?"
He knew little after that, and soon he knew nothing at all.