The blood pumped through his veins as he charged through a small group of people and then jumped into the air in order to grab onto a small windowsill, hauling himself up as the guards rounded the corner.

"There he is!" one of the soldiers called, pointing his sword at Altaïr as he climbed up onto the roof and began to dash away from his pursuers.

The sounds of the guards' voices dimmed as he leapt over a small alley and spotted a small hanging garden in front of him. A place to hide. Quickly he swung over the side of the wooden structure and landed in the safety of the hideout, hunkering down as the sounds of the guards nearing reached his ears. They shuffled about until one of them gave a sigh of annoyance and they left back down the way they had come in defeat.

Altaïr breathed a sigh of relief, resting back against the wood while closing his eyes and thinking back on the event that had happened just moments ago.

Al Mualim had ordered him to assassinate a man who had been involved in slavery, though he didn't know much else besides that. It had been his first assassination…and even though he had prepared himself he didn't think he would ever be quite ready for that moment when the life left the man's eyes. He wouldn't be able to erase the image of the now crimson stone ground that he had left him on.

It was all for a greater purpose though, wasn't it?

Silently Altaïr flicked out the blade hidden in his glove, staring at the bloodstained silver surface. His hand still ached where he was now missing a finger but he had learned to ignore that pain as it would only hinder him later. He had to admit it made it somewhat difficult to climb when he wasn't quite used to missing something he hadn't thought much about before.

Slowly he opened his eyes, standing while peering out from between the hanging cloth of the garden. The guards had long ago left, leaving him to return to the Assassin's Bureau as he pleased. He moved out of the hiding spot and scanned the area before running off in the direction of the Bureau. Below him he could see people going about their lives. Shopkeepers yelled loudly about their wares and women walked from stall to stall with jars balanced carefully on their heads. A beggar was harassing a few men, complaining about sick children at home and no food. The conversation drifted off though as he passed.

Before long his feet thudded quietly on the tanned stones near the Bureau and he climbed down into the secret sanctuary of the assassins. He walked past the pillows on the ground where another man was sleeping peacefully and lowered his head slightly when the Bureau Leader called out to him.

"Ah, you're back Altaïr. How did your mission go?" the man asked, tapping his foot as he stared at the young man.

Silently Altaïr placed the bloodied feather on the long wooden counter separating them. He simply wished this to be done and over with so that maybe he could forget it. Was it possible to simply overlook such a thing though?

"Well done," the leader said, chuckling slightly. "If you wouldn't mind Malik needs some help with those scrolls he obtained on his last mission," he continued, pointing to the small table that now had scrolls covering it and the young man only a year older than Altaïr who was sitting there with his head bent over his work. "I would help out but I have other things to do."

Altaïr shifted slightly but after a few seconds he nodded and followed the orders of his superior.

Malik looked up momentarily as the younger man sat down. He pushed a scroll in Altaïr's direction and then went back to scanning the document he currently held. There was a moment of silent before he sighed in annoyance.

"Are you just going to sit there staring all day?" he asked. He couldn't find a reason as to why the other man seemed to be just holding the scroll as if it were something alien.


Altaïr opened the scroll and seemed to run his eyes over it very intensely. Malik noticed that something was wrong. The younger assassin didn't really seem to be reading the words…it was more like he was just skimming over them as if they weren't important. Something clicked in his mind and he felt a little unobservant to have not noticed it earlier. After all, he had spent some time with him before this. They had trained together a little…

Altaïr seemed to notice his staring and he slowly looked up as if asking what the problem was.

Malik watched him carefully, raising a quizzical eyebrow. "You can read, can't you?"

Again there was a moment of quiet between them and the only the tapping of the Bureau leader's foot and the soft snoring of the man sleeping nearby could be heard.

"…No," Altaïr finally responded as he gazed down at the scroll he had been handed.

"Really?" Malik asked with slight disbelief.

"…Yes…" By now Altaïr was looking away as if the small cracks between the stones that made up the walls were very interesting. "Is that so abnormal?"

"I would think that of all things they would teach you how to read," Malik stated while crossing his arms over his chest. "Just knowing how to swing a sword isn't enough."

For the first time that day Altaïr looked up and Malik could see most of his face. He looked so young…was there really only the difference of a year between them?

Altaïr set the scroll down as if he was finally giving up on trying to look like he knew what he was doing.

"Right now how to swing a sword is the only thing I know," he stated. Malik heard a bit of emotion in his voice…but he wasn't sure exactly what it was. Sadness? Anger?

"You won't be of much help to me then," Malik said while rearranging the scrolls on the table. He continued to watch Altaïr out of the corner of his eye.

"Most likely no," the younger man agreed.

Malik sighed and then looked at Altaïr, the corners of his lips twitching up slightly. "You wouldn't mind just keeping me company then, would you? It is boring just sitting here reading these scrolls all day."

Altaïr nodded and then offered him a small smile.

This is my first Assassin's Creed Fanfiction. If any facts are off it is because:
1) I have not finished the game yet
2) This is based entirely on a dream I had. Everything is as it happened in the dream except the time in Altaïr's life that it happened (in the dream it was the during the time when the game was happening but Altaïr seemed to be able to read then so it didn't make much sense. So I made it earlier in his life).
I haven't been able to write anything lately D: So this was totally random and unexpected.
The dream as a lot better than this...And also in the dream Malik was the Bureau Leader and he came over and read the scroll for Altaïr. Once again though the timeframe was all wrong and I'm sure I already messed up the facts enough 8D
Um...interpret the relationship between Altaïr and Malik however you want...I think of them as friends O,o

Reviews are greatly appreciated :D