A/N: a bit of a…sequel I guess to "So Says the Caged Bird". Mentionings of Altair/Malik, Ezio/Leonardo, and Desmond/Shaun.

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--Forced Realization

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Desmond scowled and paced angrily. He had no idea where the others had gone, but he was left at the warehouse by himself. "I don't even know where we are. What the hell am I supposed to do if Warren shows up like they're so convinced he will?" he snarled out loud as he stared out a bared window into the streets below him.

Calm yourself. They would not have left you here unless they were sure we would not be found.

"Shut up." Desmond snorted quietly. He scowled once more down at the streets of the unfamiliar city. "It's like I've traded one cage for another."

Altair snorted. If you did not want to be here, you should have escaped on your own like I told you to. We could have remained hidden between my experience and your knowledge of the modern cities.

Desmond slowly walked to Shaun's desk, hoping for a map. "I just want to know where we are. I don't feel safe."

An Italian voice ripped across his conscious. If you felt safe in these circumstances, I'd be worried.

"Shut up." Desmond snarled. "Altair, I thought you were keeping him quiet."

A contemptuous snort filled with all the snobbery of ancient Italian finery echoed through his mind. He certainly tries.

Altair's irritated gravely growl flitted through his mind. If you would kindly shut up long enough for us to get some peace, it would be appreciated. I tire of hearing your Italian garbage that passes for a language.

Desmond frowned. "Italian garbage? You can understand Italian, Altair?"

Yes he can. Just as I can understand his Arabic, barbaric language by the way, and I can understand your English, which is even more barbaric than his Arabic. Ezio's voice started muffled, like someone was trying to prevent him from speaking, and then became clearer.

Shut up you idiot.

Desmond sighed and massaged his temples roughly. The irritation from Altair and the smug satisfaction from Ezio were giving him an awful headache. "So technically, I'm hearing Italian and Arabic, and translating it to English?"

Yes.

"Lovely."

You could probably speak both if you tried hard enough.

"I don't feel like it at the moment." Desmond scowled and returned his attention back to Shaun's desk. "I just want to know where we are, damn it."

You just want an excuse to touch that man's things because you won't touch him. Ezio's voice was teasing. Even if you don't pay attention to your unvoiced thoughts, we do. Or at least, I do.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

He is a fine character; intelligent, strong…and rather loud. He reminds me of Malik. Altair mused quietly.

"You have no room to even talk about that. What about that girl you were with? I saw her. For God's sake, I lived that moment. Most uncomfortable point in my life." Desmond shuddered slightly as he stilled at Shaun's desk, a map long forgotten.

Two men cannot produce a child to continue a line. It was an agreement and Malik and myself both had one. I eventually married her, and Malik married another, so that our family would continue. But, it was known that Malik and I would always be for each other.

Hey, it makes enough sense. I never did marry. I did have a bastard child with one of the many women I was with at some time. Probably more than one child.

"Yes, that's what I figured. You certainly slept with enough women." Desmond barked.

Don't be so modest Ezio. This Shaun, while not as kind as your Leonardo, he certainly looks like the man, doesn't he? Altair's voice had turned sly and teasing.

Shut up! The sharp Italian cut through the mocking words of Altair. I did not wish him to know that!

"I would have found out eventually. Nothing is really secret around here." Desmond chuckled. "So…when did you eventually go to him? I recall him being very disappointed that no one hugged him while in Venice…"

You may kindly shut your mouth. I corrected the situation not too long after that took place. It must have been one of the memories you skipped. Very few of the memories you viewed had anything to do with Leonardo unless he was decoding something, so you missed a lot.

And he allowed all the women?

I stopped with the women after me and Leonardo were together. Do not think so low of me. Ezio's voice was low and angry.

"Stop it you two." Desmond groaned as he pushed at his eyes. Ezio's anger was causing a headache. He thought fleetingly of Lucy's bag that she kept Tylenol in.

Ah yes. What of the little blonde one? I thought you liked her? Altair certainly seemed under the impression you did.

Desmond scowled. "Not anymore. She's hot, but she kinda irritates me. I think I only liked her for a while because she got me out of Warren's hands."

Ah, sweet hero worship.

"Shut up."

Now that we've forced a realization on you, when are you going to speak to him?

"I never said anything about liking him or saying anything to anyone!"

You're in denial.

You're just prolonging your own misery by not speaking to him.

"Shut up!" Desmond snarled as a blush raced up his neck.

What no had noticed, was the sound of foot steps up the stairs. "Desmond, who are you yelling at?"

Desmond's head whipped around to stare at the three that had appeared. "No one," he muttered as he rubbed at his red neck.

"Why are you sitting at my desk?" Shaun's perpetually angry voice barked at him.

"Nothing," Desmond barked back with just as much venom as he got up.

Shaun frowned and was about to say something else when he was elbowed by the two women.

Desmond arched an eye brow and stared at the other man, challenging him to ignore the others. Instantly his mind was filled with thoughts of what Altair and Ezio had been pestering him about. He turned red and turned around shortly, hearing the laughter of his ancestors echoing through his mind and the confused chatter of Lucy and Rebecca as he left to his room.