Swimming Lessons

oOo

"Just jump in, it is really nothing to be so worried about, Altair." Ezio said, grinning as he looked beseechingly at his ancestor.

Altair remained silent and impassive from his place leaning against the building behind them. The small river canal lapped benignly at the channel's bricks in a docile manner. Beautiful, really. Still, he wasn't going in.

Ezio sighed dramatically and slumped his shoulders. "What's wrong, eh?" he whined, his accent flowing naturally in the air. Altair twitched with annoyance. "All that is to be done is kick your legs really fast and flap your arms like this," Ezio waved his arms at his side in demonstration. "Like a bird, Altair. You know how to do that, yes?"

Desmond, previously leaning over the edge of the channel to inspect the depth of the water, glanced over at his ancestors and snorted. Ezio reminded him of a flailing duck he had seen once at the park when he was younger. He doubted either of them would appreciate the comment, so he held his tongue.

Altair rolled his eyes from beneath his hood and shrugged off the wall. Ezio, thinking he had finally succeeded in getting the man to agree to swim, grinned winningly and laughed. "I knew I would convince you! My charm has never failed before," He put his hands on his hips. "Now, the first thing you need to do is--"

It was a complete surprise what happened next, not even Desmond, standing slightly off to the side, could have seen it coming. Then again, they were assassins and not every action they did was ever obvious or expected. That would just contradict their entire way of life. So both Ezio and Desmond were shocked when Altair braced his legs and whipped out with his arm, shoving Ezio in the shoulder and successfully knocking him off balance.

"Ahh--!!"

"Watch out!"

Desmond, stuck between laughing his ass off and contemplating reaching out for Ezio, staggered and bent over double as Ezio toppled ungracefully over the side with a look of pure, undiluted shock written all over his face.

"Damn, bet that shut him up." Desmond chuckled, eyeing his Grandpa--as he had taken to calling them both--from the corner of his eye. "Guess that means you're not going to be joining him, huh?"

"Absolutely not." Altair deadpanned. "Swimming is of no importance to me."

"What if a Templar happens to knock you into a lake?"

Altair stared blankly at his descendent for a long moment before shrugging his shoulders. "I'll kick my legs and flap my arms."

Desmond choked, wondering if his stoic Grandpa had just made a joke. Stunned, he started to ask. "Was that a j--"

At that moment, Ezio reappeared over the edge of the canal and grasped the hem of Altair's white scholar robes. "Revenge, dear ancestor!" he cried and yanked.

Desmond had one second of confusion, amusement, and surprise before he felt himself being jerked right along behind Altair after the assassin had snatched him by the front of his jacket, and then freezing cold water slapped him in the face.

He opened his mouth to yell out and water shot down his throat. Desmond gagged and swung his arms out under the water, pulling himself toward the surface.

"Ah-ha!" he heard Ezio shout and turned to look at him, feeling the urge to wrap his fingers around his ancestor's throat and strangle him. "See, it is not hard, is it, Altair?!"

"Agh!"

Desmond looked to the side and found Altair flapping his arms out the side and trying to stay above the water. His hood was off and his tawny eyes were alight with rage and frustration as he snarled at the water pulling at his clothes and trying to drown him. Desmond was momentarily stumped, thinking for a second he was seeing himself drowning so alike was he and Altair. From the short brown hair to the two inch scar on his mouth; it was like looking into a mirror.

Except for the eyes. Altair's eagle eyes were golden topaz with flecks of amber while his own were a soft chocolate brown.

With a very colorful curse aimed at Ezio, Altair went under and bubbles rose from beneath the surface.

"Holy shit!" Desmond shouted and dived after him.

oOo

"Altair, I am very sorry, I really thought you would get the hang of it--oof!"

Altair retracted his fist from slugging Ezio in the stomach and Desmond could have sworn he saw the master assassin's lips quirk the faintest of smirks underneath his hood.

As the trio made their way back down the street, the canal flowing at their side, Desmond ran hand through his soaking hair and growled as he squish-ed with every step thanks to his sopping wet clothes.

"Ezio, do us all a favor, and just shut the fuck up," he snapped, wringing his jacket and grimacing when water splashed on his already wet jeans. "Damn it."

Ezio, nursing his sore stomach, grinned at the two beside him. "So same time tomorrow, yes? We try to teach Altair to swim again!"

Altair halted and snatched Ezio by the front of his robes, mouth pulled back in a threatening snarl. "I refuse to get near any body of water larger than myself with you near." he growled and forcefully pushed Ezio away from him before continuing walking beside Desmond.

Ezio gave a surprised yelp before being cut off as he fell back into the channel with an undignified splash.

"Sono per affogare tu me stesso, Altair!" Ezio squawked as he paddled his way over to the wall and climbed up. "With my own hands, you hear me!?"

Desmond saw Altair grin again under the brim of his hood as he jumped onto a nearby crate and shimmied his way up the wall. Once at the top, he turned and crouched at the edge, staring down at his descendents with glittering eyes.

"An empty threat, Ezio. You can never catch me."

Desmond found himself wishing to end the bloodline out of pure spite as Ezio swung him over his shoulder and followed after Altair, shouting threats in Italian the entire way. It would surely be a whole lot less embarrassing to never exist than to hang over Ezio's shoulder like a bag of potatoes while his ancestors indulged in a deadly game of cat and mouse.


A/N: Okay, you know that it is impossible not to poke fun at Altair's inability to tread 3ft. deep water. I couldn't resist the temptation.

Sono per affogare tu me stesso, Altair! -- I will drown you with my own hands, Altair!

Just to make this clear, I don't speak a lick of Italian. I used an online translator for this, so if it's wrong, forgive me. I'll change it if you have the correct way of speaking it. Please review! Thank you!