The days flew by and I slowly grew stronger. I spent most of my time flying down the road on my bike, enjoying the wind on my face and the adrenaline rush from the speed. I felt free at last.
Finally, the day came where I couldn't refill the tank of my bike. Not for lack of gas but because it would go to waste if I did bother to fill it. The bike would probably be wheeled into a trailer and put into a garage somewhere or sold to a collector or something. No one else from my little group of friends would ride it, not that they wanted to ride it after all the memories it held of me.
The idea that the bike would sit somewhere and gather dust made me melancholy. My few brief weeks of freedom after living a life where all choices were made for me were centered around this bike.
I wished in a way that I could bring it with me. That I didn't have to leave it behind. That I could keep it as a little piece of my past in the future. Alas, it couldn't be so. And in a way, I was glad. I didn't want this past. I never wanted it as my present and future to begin with. And now, here was my chance to leave it all behind.
To move on.
Rebecca cried as she hugged me one last time, mumbling incoherently into the joint when shoulder met neck. I smiled softly and pressed my nose to her hair, feeling the strands gently move against my face as she sobbed into my chest. I held her for what felt like an eternity but was in reality, only a few seconds, before lightly pushing her away with a small smile.
Shaun moved forward and took her place. He was quiet and we held each other briefly before he stepped back, adjusting his glasses. I gave him the same smile I'd given Rebecca as we nodded to each other one last time.
And with that, I turned my back to my friends and to one of the only lives I'd ever known and moved forward to join Altaïr. He moved and rested an arm around my shoulders, guiding me forward.
With a look, that warned me of our imminent departure, Altair took the last few steps forward alone and waited on the brink of time for me.
I half turned, looking back at my friends for what would be the last time in my life, and smiled. A hopeful smile tinged with sadness and relief.
Rebecca turned and began crying into Shaun. Shaun stood there and watched me go, a few tears sliding down his cheeks.
I held the smile for a few more seconds before turning back to Altaïr and moving forward to join him once more.
Grasping his hand, I was blinded by light as we were pulled back home.
It had been harder than I'd expected it to be: adjusting to Masyaf and the new timeframe I found myself living in.
There were familiar things: Malik, Ra'uf, the city, the food, etc. I'd lived it all before of course, so why wouldn't they be familiar?
It was hard because now it was me and not me living through Altaïr that had to adjust to all of this. The heat was unbearable and I spent my first few days lying in Altaïr's room, trying not to get sick or pass out from exhaustion.
Altaïr of course worried, but knew I'd adjust eventually. He had healers checking up on me every hour and he and Malik came to visit during lunch and dinner when I found it too hot to move.
Eventually, I got used to the heat and then had to get used to Malik. I'd expected him to treat me as he did Altaïr, but apparently he thought of me as an equal; someone who wanted to learn and have control of my life and choices.
And then there was Sef and Darim to deal with. Apparently Maria had left them and Altaïr as soon as they were weaned and gone back to the Templars. At least that is what Malik told me he assumed since she had disappeared one night without a word.
Both boys grew to like me quite quickly, though it probably helped how I looked so similar to their father. I wasn't quite sure if they knew I wasn't their father, but they knew my name which was good enough for now.
Altaïr let me do as I wished and so I spent most of my time in the library with the scholars, learning to make maps and write in code among other things. I'd also spend time with the horses in the valley, riding them from end to end just to feel the wind again.
And of course, I was with Altaïr. I never saw him much during the day, preferring to leave him be with Malik to do administrative things and whatnot. Later on, after a few weeks, Altaïr had me start helping them with some of the work. Apparently my time in the future gave mevaluable input concerning some of their discussions.
I was happy though. At night, we would eat together and bath in the river, removing the sweat and grime of the day. At night we would share Altaïr's bed in the castle. He would hold me and tell me about his day while I would ask questions about things I'd learned and wanted to know more about.
And for once, life was good. And I was free to do whatever I chose for the rest of my days.
Of course, I knew what was to come. I knew that my future with Altaïr wasn't going to be quite as cheery as I'd like, I'd experienced what was going to come to pass, but I was with him and I was making my own choices and that was fine with me.
A/N: Soo... Sorry I lied... Again? heh... I'm good at lying. I've been really busy though! Moved into my apartment off campus from WPI, won the orientation olympics with my team of Commuters and Transfers during NSO (we beat 40 other teams, and normally commuters/transfers don't win since we aren't very unified). Started classes, have a decent amount of homework plus this upperclassmen I met before classes started keeps writing me and inviting me out and I'm pretty sure he's coming onto me... *not happy about that*
I really wanted to make this a nice long chapter for your guys as a farewell to this story and as a wrap up, but I couldn't. Writing anymore than this was forcing it and I want you guys to be able to imagine your own ending as well. That's why I personally read fanfics, they give me something to think about. Thank you though for being so kind and for putting up with my late updates and whatnot! Feel free to PM me about anything! I do have a surprising amount of free time. xD