A/N: The bug bit me and I just had to write this. Moar fluff, with a sexy twist. Rated M for adult languages and adult situations. No sex this time, promise.
I'll Tell No One
Malik stormed up the castle steps to the East tower, his long ceremonial robes sweeping the floor. His strides were long and purposeful, his fist clenched at his side and white knuckled. The expression on his face frightened everyone who got in his way, and they dared not ask what was wrong. It could only be assumed that the cause of the Dai's rage would not be too far behind. Malik, for one, did not care enough to turn around to see if he was being followed. He just needed to breathe.
The East Tower had long provided him a sanctuary, a quiet place where he was free to relax his mind and body. He often 'escaped' there as a child and young man to think, sometimes to pray, and often just to look over the beauty of Masyaf. The spiral staircase leading to the top was long and winding, composed of more than a hundred steps, but well worth the climb.
When he finally reached the lookout, Malik closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. The night air was cool against his heated skin, with the wind kissing his cheeks and caressing his hair. He tried to force his ire away, told himself to be calm, but it was difficult after what he had just undergone; namely, watching Altaïr run his mouth without thinking, revealing information which should be kept secret from outsiders. He just refused to think sometimes!
What first? A visitor from Constantinople, wishing to propose a treaty of sorts—pitched against Altaïr, who had desired for some time to establish new Bureau locations, and the result involved a late dinner negotiations, and one very disgruntled Dai. The so-called ambassador, who gave his name as Edmund, asked far too many questions. At first, upon his arrival to Masyaf, he was politely inquisitive, especially about the city's fortifications, resources, and the number of guards. His topic soon changed to the mystery concerning Al Mualim's death and Altaïr's subsequent ascension to Grandmaster.
Malik wondered how this man seemed so informed about a city so secretive it was impossible to find without the help of a guide who had been there before. But, of course, Altaïr did not consider the strangeness of the matter, simply clapped Edmund on the back and eagerly indulged his probing. Malik had listened for as long as he had been able to stand before excusing himself, despite Altaïr's protests. One more moment spent in the presence of a serpent and a fool would force him to lose face.
As a lover, Altaïr was normally thoughtful…but when it came to matters of leadership, he was still such a novice. Malik tried his hardest to assist in all ways possible, alongside a myriad of advisors and elders with some experience. He had become Altaïr's right hand man and most trusted confidante, but even that lofty position couldn't help Malik to shut Altaïr's mouth. What good could he do?
Up at the top of the tower, though, where all was quiet, he could think things through. The view wasn't bad either. From where he stood, Malik could see all the lights burning in the homes of the people. They lit the night like a hundred tiny fireflies, twinkling and flickering. He could count them and know how many families would sleep safely tonight. The stars twinkled in much the same way, hundreds of thousands of tiny fireflies against the black expanse of the sky.
Malik sought out the constellations he and his brother used to pick out as children. The familiar patterns soothed him a little, so much so that he did not notice the sound of boots scrabbling against stone. When a pair of hands latched onto the stones to his right, he jumped back and drew an embarrassing yelp, drawing his dagger as he did so. The hands were quickly followed by a hooded head and a gasping voice.
Malik lowered his dagger and shook his head. Unbelievable.
"And what was wrong with the stairs, you fool? I could have killed you!"
Altaïr heaved himself over the side of the tower and gave Malik a roguish grin.
"Using the stairs would have been obvious," he said. "I wanted to surprise you."
"Trust and believe," Malik ground out as he sheathed his weapon, "I was surprised."
Altaïr straightened and looked around, perhaps wondering what his lover was doing all by himself at the top of a lonely tower well into the evening.
"I remember how you would come here when we were children," he commented softly. "Kadar and I would never follow; too many stairs to climb."
"A pity old habits must die so hard," Malik said, turning his back on Altaïr. He gripped the stone ramparts and clenched his jaw, refusing to give in to his anger. Altaïr was merely inexperienced; a callous rebuke would do more harm than good. Constructive criticism, surely that would do the trick. But just as Malik drew breath, Altaïr spoke up.
"You left so suddenly," he said, "we wondered if we had…perhaps…offended you."
Malik scoffed and kept his back to Altaïr. If he turned around, he'd say something cruel.
"Yes, Altaïr," he said tiredly, "yes, you 'offended' me. Had you paid closer attention, you would have offended yourself as well."
"What do you mean? Habibi, I don't under—"
"None of that," Malik interrupted, turning around. "None of your praise for me. I am upset and refuse to be charmed by your declarations of love."
Altaïr frowned, as if that had secretly been his intention. Pleased with himself for withstanding temptation, Malik leaned back against the rampart and patted the space next to him, but Altaïr did not move.
"Would you like to know why I'm upset?" he asked, and Altaïr nodded, his tongue still, for once. "Answer this, then," Malik continued, "what about Edmund seemed strange to you?"
Altaïr glanced to the ground at his left, the way he normally did when considering something difficult. Malik waited patiently, figuring it would take some time if Altaïr had been completely oblivious.
"He was very talkative and eager to share information," Altaïr eventually responded, "and on top of that he knew how to find Masyaf without the assistance of one of our own."
"Very good, my brother, but what else?"
A lengthy deliberation followed, until something flickered in Altaïr's eyes.
"He asked very many questions," he explained, "all of them very odd, and concerning things no ambassador would think to ask."
"Ah," Malik smiled, "and you prove yourself more intelligent than you look."
"Why did you leave?" Altaïr asked, growing impatient. He never did see the point of long lessons which could easily be explained in half the words.
"Why do you think I left?" Malik snapped back, his eyes hard again. Altaïr shrugged.
"I thought maybe because we were entertaining a traitor," he said, "and that you were angry we did not kill him sooner…though the last joke he told was in bad taste."
Malik blinked stupidly as he processed Altaïr's words. What was he saying? Traitor? Had he known something about Edmund that Malik had only suspected? Was there more to this?
"What are you saying?" Malik asked, furrowing his brow.
"Did you not know?" Altaïr returned, apparently just as surprised. "Edmund is a mark of mine. I knew he'd betray our trust as soon as he was given the chance, and rather than let him alert the Templars about our plans for a new Bureau in Constantinople, I lured him here."
Malik pursed his lips and cursed himself for jumping to conclusions so quickly. Altaïr had…he had planned the whole evening, from the very beginning. He had known all along.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Malik asked, shaking his head again.
"The ruse needed to appear as real as possible," Altaïr explained sheepishly, "but I thought you knew, from the way you acted."
"I thought you were giving away our secrets!" Malik laughed, relieved, for once, that he had been wrong. He may have been deceived, but it was better than wrongly believing Altaïr to be completely incompetent.
"You think I'd betray Masyaf so easily?" Altaïr asked, irritation coloring his tone. Malik came across the tower and slid his hand around the back of Altaïr's neck. He pressed their foreheads together and just sighed. A sigh was all that was needed, and Altaïr wrapped an arm around Malik's neck to hold him close.
"Forgive me for doubting," Malik chuckled.
"Forgiven," Altaïr conceded, "and may you never doubt me again; you know I would never betray our city."
"I know, I know…but why tell Edmund anything? To what point?"
"He will be dead within the hour; his goblet was laced with poison. I saw no harm in indulging the wishes of a dying man."
Malik pressed his lips to Altaïr's in a chaste kiss and released the back of his neck. The fool…he really had thought of everything.
"A good thing I left then," Malik mumbled, "else I would have had to endure you revealing your innermost secrets."
Altaïr smirked and moved around Malik to lean against the ramparts. He overlooked the city with its tiny lights, and the stars high above in the heavens. Malik watched him, a smile on his face at the way his shoulders were hunched. Desiring his lover suddenly, he slid behind him and wrapped his arm around Altaïr's waist, kissing the back of his neck as he did so. Altaïr sighed and leaned back into Malik's one-armed embrace.
"There are some things I'd never reveal to anyone," he said mysteriously.
"Oh?" Malik asked, rubbing his chin against Altaïr's skin. "Such as?"
"You, for instance."
"Mm, what about me?"
Altaïr had spread his legs and Malik took the opportunity to lift his knee, rubbing his thigh back and forth between Altaïr's.
"I would never say anything about the way you touch me," Altaïr said softly, "or the way you whisper my name."
"You'd do well not to," Malik mumbled, craning his neck over Altaïr's shoulder to kiss his jaw. "I'd hate to see you stoned in the market."
"I'd never describe the way you kiss me," Altaïr continued, his voice catching at the last moment as Malik's kisses roamed to his ear, which was bitten and then enveloped in a warm, wet mouth.
Malik sucked on the soft piece of flesh for a moment before dipping his head to move his lips over a bared neck. He slid his hand down Altaïr's chest and across the front of his light linen pants. Altaïr's hand moved to cover Malik's, and he squeezed tightly.
"I'll tell no one of how you hold my hand when we are alone. Or of how you can make me cry your name with no effort."
Altaïr gasped as those fingers closed about his length, massaging gently.
"Flatterer," Malik's gruff voice sounded in his ear, "silver-tongued flatterer."
"I'd never tell anyone about how thick you get, and how hard you take me from behind, the way you push me onto my stomach and make me yours."
Malik felt Altaïr begin to grow hard in his grip and quickly slid his hand beneath his pants to squeeze his hot flesh. Altaïr moaned again and reached behind him to grope for Malik's hard member.
"How's that for flattery?" he asked, panting slightly. Malik stepped back and eyed Altaïr critically, from his flushed cheeks to the bulge of his erection. Wanton. Merciless. Beautiful. Malik wanted him.
"Flatter me some more and get down on your knees," Malik said. Altaïr moved forward to obey, but before he did he pressed his cheek to Malik's and embraced him tightly.
"I shall tell no one of how much I love you," he whispered, "or of how much you truly mean to me."
Malik choked and shoved Altaïr back, though his ears were red with pleasure.
"On your knees," he ordered.
Altaïr complied, his tongue still so eager to please. They would tell no one of their night atop the tower.