Assassin's Creed II Fluff!Drabble. Yes, I did it for the kink meme. The promt was:

"Leonardo listening to Ezio's heartbeat

Fluff fluff, and Ezio's delicious man-chest!"

I typed this up in about an hour... I know, I know: "SO WHAY ISN'T THE CHAPTER OF TENEMENT SQUARE UP YET!" Because I'm a lazy bastard whose muse went into a black depression after that crap 'Holmes' movie came out in 2009. IT IS COMING I SWEAR! and TF2 has devoured my soul... along with Phantom of the Opera and One Piece... blame them... mostly TF2...

Forgive my lack of gratuitous "delicious man-chest" description... This whole thing is an overly-long drabble.

Your humble servant ~Cryowen


Reasons

"E-Ezio! What-?"

"Shush."

"Amico mio, wh-?"

"Shh."

"Do not 'shush' me, E-"

Leonardo found himself all but crushed between the assassin and the wall of his workshop—just inside the door—a gloved hand pressed tight over his mouth. He struggled, but only for a moment, going still as the sound of heavy boots on cobblestones advanced on his doorway.

Silence. Muffled voices.

Ezio released a sigh as the footsteps died away into the distance beyond the simple wooden portal. His breath—hot and moist—spilled against the back of Leonardo's neck as the artist collapsed into his chest. "Mi dispiace, Leonardo, I could not lose them in time." Brow furrowing in worry, feeling his friend tense and nervous in his arms, the young assassin tried to step back…

Only that Leonardo wasn't letting him. "Leonardo, they've gone." Large hands were fisted in the fabric of his tunic—knuckles would have been digging into his spine were it not for the leather plates beneath—and the blond was shaking. A cold sweat on the back of his neck glimmered in the candlelight, blue eyes screwed shut as he buried his face in Ezio's chest. "Leonardo?"

"Why do you do this?" The quiet despair in his friend's voice threw Ezio completely off-guard. It was unlike Leonardo, even in his worst moods, not to have a laugh or a smile in his voice. "Why, Ezio?'

"Do what?"

"Fight, murder, steal… Everything!"

"It is late Leonardo. Here, I found some new Codex pages. I will leave them with you and—"

"No." Surprised, Ezio felt the artist's arms constrict around him—squeezing him tightly—before he was released. As Leonardo stood, it was impossible to miss the tears clouding his normally bright blue eyes. "I am done, Ezio. Mi dispiace."

Catching Leonardo's sleeve as he tried to walk away, Ezio held the older man firmly by his shoulders. "Leonardo—?"

"Release me."

The assassin shook his head, mind reeling. "What is the matter with you, amico mio? You are not yourself. What has changed?"

Looking back over his shoulder, Leonardo silenced the brunette with a look. Ezio had fully expected a laugh, a joke, a brushing off of the entire situation. Instead… "It is you who have changed, Ezio."

The gravity in that single statement rooted Ezio to the spot.

"It is, however, late—as you said. You should remain here tonight. Give me your new Codex pages, and go rest."

"No, Leonardo, I could not possibly—"

"You are not leaving my home tonight, Ezio. You know where my room is. Get some sleep."


When he came downstairs the next morning, not having bothered with his robes or armor, it was a very haggard-looking Leonardo da Vinci who sat with his back to Ezio at one of the worktables. "Good morning, Leonardo."

"Good morning, Ezio."

Moving a stool so that he could sit beside his friend, Ezio draped an arm over the blonde's shoulders and look down at the papers spread out over the table. They were sketches—mostly of Ezio, most without reference, all of them excellent. "So, does this mean you have finished with the pages? I can go back upstairs and get my blade if there were any—"

"I have not looked at them."

"But—"

"I told you I would not."

Ezio sighed. Leonardo had been like this only once before, and that episode had resulted in Ezio having to hold the artist down to keep him from burning down his workshop. Leonardo had been drunk at the time.

It had also been before Ezio said he loved him, which had seemed to clear a lot of the clutter from Leonardo's over-packed mind.

"Why not, Leonardo?" Why won't you help me? "You have never acted anything but thrilled to decode the Codex before."

There was a pause, then a soft murmur. "You will get yourself killed." A pause, and Leonardo set down his charcoal. "I thought, that by giving you better weapons, I was keeping you safe. If I could not give you armor, or shield you myself, I could at least make you stronger than your opponents."

Ezio laughed. "But you have made me stronger, caro mio! My enemies have not a prayer in the wo—"

"And that is the problem." Placing a hand over the one Ezio had rested on his shoulder, Leonardo kept his eyes fixed on the sketches he had been working on. "By ensuring that no other man could kill you, I have."

Another laugh, though his nerves were beginning to show through. "Now, Leonardo, you are being—"

"Let me finish." The artist sighed, pulling off his hat and running his free hand through his hair. "Seeing your family die, than changed you. I accept that. You wanted retribution, you wanted vengeance—but for the right reasons—and I helped you. You killed a man to save me, and I am thankful for that. But…" Looking into those golden eyes, his beloved's golden eyes, Leonardo felt his lower lip begin to tremble. "That change hasn't stopped. You scan this room every time you step foot in it. You never laugh anymore—not a real laugh—it is always so cold and bitter, and… You obsess. It is always 'Templars', 'Borgia', and 'Codex pages' with you. You never talk about your mother, or your sister. You disappear for weeks on end, and I never know what condition you will be in when you come home—if you come home at all!" Those tears again, but this time Leonardo would not look away. Neither—his confident smile gone—could Ezio. "How can I help you destroy yourself, Ezio? If you die, or become a heartless monster, who could I blame but myself?"

Silently, Ezio pulled Leonardo into a warm embrace. Holding the older man close, one hand on his back and the other in his hair, Ezio felt his muscles slacken. They remained like that for some minutes, with Leonardo's cheek pressed against his bare chest, until Ezio could bring himself to speak. "Do you hear it?"

"Yes…"

"You could never stop my heart from beating, Leonardo, because it beats for you."