Early Risers

Rebecca had just finished making a fresh [pot of coffee when she heard bare feet against the kitchen tile. Without turning around she knew who it was. Both Altair and Malik had a habit of walking around barefoot but Altair didn't function well before at least nine.

"Coffee?" She asked brightly. Lucy always told her that it wasn't natural to be so perky at ungodly hours of the morning.

Malik dropped onto a barstool at the breakfast bar that divided the kitchen from the dining room. "Please. I'll never know how I survived without it before."

"Long night?" Rebecca asked. She filled an extra mug, not adding anything before sliding it across the counter to the assassin. Malik liked his coffee the way he liked his men; dark and strong.

After the first sip Malik seemed to wake up a bit more. "Altair slept on the roof. He's already made a nest."

Rebecca smiled behind her mug. Altair's nesting habit was cute if not a little annoying. There had been blanket piles and pillows all over the floor at the cabin. "Well, you're wearing his shirt so I guess you worked it out." Making Malik blush was too much fun. Watching color tinge his darker skin was just adorable, and he was so easy. Altair didn't blush nearly as easy.

"We are fine," Malik answered formally, but Rebecca caught the fondness in his tone. He wasn't nearly as prickly as he wanted everyone to believe. "Altair is simply not comfortable with closed spaces. He would sleep in a tree if I allowed him."

That image made Rebecca smile and she took another sip of her coffee, turning slightly to check the digital clock on the microwave. 7:49. Just as the numbers switched over there was a thump on the floor above them. You could set your watch by that man.

Moments later Leonardo came down the stairs with his scrub pants barely held up by the drawstring, skin showing in the space between them and the hem of his shirt. He smiled warmly at them, pulling his hair back before taking the stool to Malik's right. Only Altair was allowed to sit on his unguarded left. It was an unspoken but strictly followed rule.

"Good morning."

Malik inclined his head in greeting before draining his mug and leaning against the counter top and nodding when Rebecca made to get more coffee.

"Morning," Rebecca replied, moving towards the coffee pot. "Coffee?"

Leonardo nodded and Rebecca poured another mug before filling Malik's, sliding the creamer and sugar towards the inventor. He had a sweet tooth and it showed in the fact that his coffee was more creamer than actual coffee by the time he was done.

Malik shuddered when Leonardo took a careful sip. "I don't understand how you drink that."

Leonardo smiled and brushed his bangs behind an ear. "An acquired taste I suspect. What time are we planning on waking our assassin's?"

A blush rose on Rebecca's cheeks at the thought of Lucy being hers but she couldn't really deny the claim. "Give them another hour or so. I don't think assassin's are morning people."

"What about Malik and yourself? Leonardo asked.

"Well, I'm not "technically" an assassin," she made air quotes around the word as she continued "And Malik's an exception to the rule."

Malik bowed his head to acknowledge the compliment and Rebecca grinned at him before asking, "Did you guys get moved in alright?"

The light color of Leonardo's skin showed a blush nicely and Rebecca had a feeling she knew why it was there. "Yes, we-we moved in quite nicely."

Malik nudged the artist with his shoulder, "You don't need to be embarrassed anymore, my friend. The household is well aware of your relationship with Ezio. It's nothing we haven't done before."

Leonardo look scandalized and Rebecca reached over to smack Malik on the arm. "Be nice, our inventor is shy."

Malik grinned and rested his chin in the palm of his hand. "He is not shy with his amore."

Rebecca snorted and Leonardo choked on his coffee.