Always Watching

Disclaimer: I don't own the Assassin's Creed games, those rights solely belong to Ubisoft.

A/N: Girl travels through time to an assassin's timeline, either Altair's or Ezio's, it's so cliché but you know what, I'm going to write one. I was inspired by a fic by Mismatched lover and her fic Just Beyond My Reach, My Assassin. Go read it, it's simply amazing and the way it's written out, seriously, the girl should be given props.

Chapter One

The sun was dipping low into the earth, the final moments of the day just before the night began. Already, the prayer leaders are singing out into the dusk, their song resonating in the air. They were singing out to begin the fifth and final time of prayer for the day before night settles in. I hear so many set off on preparations to start their ritual, rolling out rugs as they formed a line to the nearest barrel of clean water, washing their hands, feet and head. The clay wall pressed against my back reminded me that I wasn't to move as the people below me, on the streets, each took to the rugs, crouching to sit on their knees, their heads turning as whispers filled the air before facing forward before bowing, their foreheads touching the earth as they faced their holy city, their sanctuary, whispering their prayers to the earth below them. I have seen this sight many times now, always a witness, never a participant. I wasn't of their religion, of their origins, I wasn't one of them. Still, it was always a breathtaking sight to be seen.

I will never join them, not because I hate them, not because I choose not to, but because to them, I'm an outcast, a heretic, barbaric in my own ways, and yet, I'm not at the same time. They're polite, well, some, but I've learned to keep to myself. Perhaps it's because I've learned the goods and evils of this world and have made it apparent that I don't want to be messed with. They stick to themselves; I stick to myself, an outcast in this world, in this time. This land, this time, this world, it isn't my own, it'll never be mine. I guess I should start from the beginning, at the real start, back before this point in my life. My name is Elizabeth, and I'm not of this world.


Many years ago, in the future but past…


A normal day, psh, what is normal anymore? My life is a routine: get up, go shower, go to work, come home, sleep, unless of course, I have days off, then it's get up, game, go to bed. That won't be for a long time, not with my boss constantly changing my hours around. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the work, I don't mind getting a paycheck, it's the fact that I'm a gamer and haven't been near the computer in a long time. Whatever, a job's a job. I'm young enough to get any job, yet old enough to secure a career, the rest of my life. I frowned at that thought. I don't want to pick out the rest of my life, I want it to be filled with excitement, surprises, anything. Still, this life that I have, it'll never be like that. I sighed as I rose from my double bed, my alarm clock telling me I have less than three hours to get ready for work. UGH! Still, I swung my legs out of my warm bed, my skin telling me it's colder than expected as I shivered, goose bumps rising on my skin.

I grunted. Why did I have morning shift again? Oh yeah, because my hours were changed. Joy. If I didn't have morning shift, I'd game until it was time to get ready. A day or two off, maybe for gaming, or, if location and everything allowed, maybe even swimming. But instead, I had a job, a job that took away from my days. I sighed again before walking to the linen closet, grabbing a towel and heading for the shower. With the hot water, the steam filled the room quickly as I felt my pores opening, my skin breathing as my muscles quickly relaxed. Oh, humidity, how I love you so much. The only thing bad about being in a hot shower like this was that I hadn't eaten yet and so my stomach was rolling around and my skin would jump every time a drop of cold shampoo would fall on it. I growled before ducking under the water.

Bubbles traveled down my body, in the natural rivets, past my small breast and hips, even tickling my legs. My legs. I rolled my eyes as I grabbed a razor, bending down at the waist as the sharp metal danced on my skin, being careful of my ankles, the tendons, the one vein that just sticks out on my right ankle. My arm pits came next, those were so easy though: razor up, razor down, repeat on other side. I smiled though. I love feeling my soft skin after it's shaved. My legs, as scarred up at the knees as they are, they feel so soft and smooth after a shave and if they were tanned like my arms, they'd be pretty. Even with their paleness, I guess they're pretty. The bubbles quit running as I raised my hands to help with the rinsing, my hair feeling rough as the shampoo did its job. I grabbed the conditioner and lathered up my hair as well, felling it turn silky and soft. I let the bubbles flow before grabbing soft soap, rubbing the bar against my body as it made soft gentle bubbles, the smell of cinnamon incasing me in its sharp scent.

When my skin no longer felt rough with dirt, I set my soap away as water beat on my skin, washing away the slick that clung to my person as I rinsed my hair as well, feeling the conditioner work its magic. I sighed as I looked down at my hands. As much as I loved showering, my hands were showing signs of peeling. I sighed as I turned off the water and wrung out my hair. It wasn't long, to my shoulder blades, long enough to put in a ponytail and forget about it if need be. I grabbed a towel, drying my skin before seeing my legs drip with blood. I dabbed at where the blood was formed and frowned. The crimson liquid dewed near my knee. I rolled my eyes; I'd have to remember to put a Band-Aid on it after I finish getting ready.

As I wrapped the towel around myself, I looked to see the mirror covered in steam. The mirror was always a good doodle canvas; ever since I was a child, I had always drawn on the mirror after a bath or a shower. As I began to brush my teeth, I quickly made swirls around the bottom and sides that I could reach, drawing little faces in the corners before looking at the fogged middle. Without realizing what I was doing, my finger drew something. I was quite taken back to what I had just drawn, an A without the connective line in the middle, the ends pointed like an old compass; just before the swells of the compass, and two decorative markings held shape, even as water began to pool where my finger was. Under the A was an upside down crescent, completing the symbol, making me wonder why in the world I drew it. This, the symbol of the assassins of the game Assassin's Creed.

This gave me a sudden idea. I spat out the foam that was once toothpaste and washed my face, setting my toothbrush back in the drawer it came from. Heading back to my room, I left the bathroom door open, knowing that the marking on the mirror would fade. I quickly grabbed a gel pen, knowing the ink would stay longer than a normal ball point pen's ink on skin, plus, with how it flows out, it'll be bigger and more apparent. I grinned as I quickly drew the symbol on the inside of my ankle, small enough so it wasn't distracting, but large enough to be seen and recognized. I suddenly giggled to myself, getting an idea in my head. Since I just drew the symbol twice, maybe I should be in a theme. I knew that I had a dress, a long black dress with a halter top, white embroidery decorating the material, which it gave a bohemian look but to me, it reminded me of the rafiq jackets in the game.

I giggled as I dressed, tying the straps behind my head. Turning giddy, I began to hope that with how I appear and act, that maybe the store will get a good amount of customers and hopefully, this will increase my paycheck. I quickly dried my hair, pulling on high heels, the dress's hem touching the floor as I grabbed the keys to my car, my POS convertible, and my purse holding my things and headed down to the garage. My car, oh I hate this car during certain times, this being one, squealed at me as I made a mental note to tell my father to tighten the belt again. As the squealing quieted, I set the car in reverse and pulled out of my garage, hitting the button the lowered the door. On the road, I was free, happy, able to feel the wind if I had my hand out the window. This suddenly reminded me; I reached my hand into my purse to look at my watch. I never wore it in the car; I was scared that it would fall off if my arm was hanging out the window. I glanced down at the face for a brief second and frowned. My watch stopped. I tossed it back into my purse as my eyes trained themselves on the road. It stopped sometime in the night, I guess.

I pondered this for a good while, but my train of thoughts came to an abrupt stop as a truck swerved out of its lane and headed straight towards me. I gasped when I saw that I had no time to react, the truck already inches from me. The speed I was going at quickly passed through my head and the speed the truck might be going at, then about the impact it would cause. I wouldn't survive this… I closed my eyes tightly as the sound of metal colliding began to fill my ears.


The noise suddenly changed. I no longer heard my car's engine, the squealing of the truck's brakes, or the shattering of glass that I knew was going to happen. No, it was different, like a bunch of voices talking. I suddenly felt hot, like I stepped from a cool house to a desert like environment. Opening my eyes, I saw a drab brown wall in front of me, a crack crawling up, and spider-webbing out as it reached a corner. I quickly looked around, noticing that I was pressed into a corner of some wooden post like thing with barrels tucked in and a wall that had a bug of some kind crawling along the sand. Sand? Beneath me, dusting my dress, was sand and dirt mixed together. It felt weird; I have never sat on sand before so the shifting was certainly something I wasn't used to.

My heels, my poor heels, they were no longer velvety black but now an ugly mixture of brown and black, the fur like material rough and gritty under my finger tips. I groaned as I stood up, my body complaining, possibly because I was sitting down for whoever knows how long. I was in some sort of alley in the middle of…wherever I am, listening to a language clearly not my own and…I think I'm actually a little afraid. Not afraid of people, or the dangers, should there be any, but of where I am. I doubt that I'm home, in my state, in my car driving off to a job that tortures my poor feet and sends me home hungry and tired. I don't even think I'm in my country by the voices and the heat. This language, it's not a familiar language. Already I've got sand in my heels but I'll have to suffer until I figure out where I am. I can tell that this isn't going to turn out very well.

Walking, the voices begin to fade which means that I'm traveling away from town, I suppose, and into the less traveled paths. I am wary before I turn a corner, unsure of what I should expect. As I pressed myself against on corner, peeking my head out and around, I'm surprised by a sight before my eyes, making me drawing back and put a hand over my heart, a woman in a chadar, a veil covering her face. I've seen women in them before in textbooks and TV and once when I woman passed by the store with her husband and child but still, this sight shocks me. I close my eyes as my finger feel my skin the halter bodice is letting show. SKIN? I look down to see that I'm not exactly safe, if I am where I think I am. I change directions all together and begin searching for the one thing I know that'll save me from being stoned or lashed, fabric. Finally locating a sash, after having to hide from several people, ducking and hiding in doorways, I wrapped my shoulders in the scratchy material, making sure to cover my head, tucking any loose strands of hair from my face. I wasn't sure if I should have my face uncovered so I took my chance, holding the makeshift shawl closed with a hand, the only skin now showing was my hand and face.

I trembled. If I am where I think I am, I just need to run into an English speaker, have them point me into the direction of the nearest ARMY base, then have them contact my uncle and great uncle and fly my ass out of here and back to my home. For once, I was grateful for having an ARMY family. Traveling down the alley, I took a deep breath before stepping out into traffic of a crowd, thankfully no one noticed it seemed, as long as I keep my eyes down so no one sees the blue-green to give me away, I should be safe. I still don't get how I'm here when I just had a car accident back at home, some many thousand miles away, half way around the globe, practically! I passed by a man crying out to the crowd. Probably one of those, oh what were they called, heralds? Yeah, a herald, a very early version of an anchorman for the news. Why was there a herald here, didn't they have TV or radio or something for their news? Seemed a bit odd.

Still pressed on, I have no idea where I'm going or what I'm going to do when I get there, possibly just say "American girl here" and hopefully someone will help out. Already, all these rules are passing through my head: don't look a man in the eyes, don't show more skin than you have to, don't shout, a lot of don'ts. Suddenly, overhead, I heard a bell toll as a song being sung began to fill the air. People around me began to quiet down and begin to mass in the streets, throwing rugs out in the middle as they go near barrels filled with water. I stop where I am, realizing what's going to happen and search for the nearest alley. Their prayers were about to start and this wasn't a spectator sport, this was sacred, something they hold dear to themselves. Still, curiosity compels me to watch from the shadows. Someone looks over to where I am and frowns, causing me to look away instantly and walk away. I'm not invited to watch.

Sighing, I look up above the roofs, seeing that the cloudless sky is a pretty blinding blue as I cover my eyes. My brother's Boy Scout skills would come in handy right about now, if he were here with me, that is. I'm all alone. Back at home, I'm more confident, knowing that I have my freedom, my rights, but here, I'm terrified, weak and scared, powerless and alone. Leaning against a wall, I sat down, taking off my heels to empty them off sand. I may have to ignore the hem of my dress and go barefoot, though I'll have to be careful where I step. My temporary tattoo that I drew looks different. I lick my thumb and begin to rub it off, but it won't rub off. I rub my skin hard, feeling it start to burn but still, the mark didn't fade. If anything, it was getting darker and darker. It was with gel ink, this doesn't make sense! I growl and huff, crossing my arms, angry at my mark and at where I am.

I don't know how long I was sitting there, probably the whole day, away from people, trying to ignore the heat as my lips became dry and cracked, many thoughts, songs, anything were bouncing around in my head. I guess I dozed off because the bells rang again, startling me. My back screamed at me, my legs complaining as my knees felt weird. I knew that walking would be a difficult thing. Still, I stood, watching as the sky grew dark in front of me. I guess they, the people of this place, were finishing their daily prayers, then they'd turn in soon. I lowered my eyes, trying not to think of my own bed where my dogs would curl up with me, my mother probably getting her final cup of coffee before turning in, my father telling me little brother goodnight before bidding me the same. My family, they must be missing me, they probably called my work, the cops, family and friends, just to figure out where I am. My mother must be in a panic while my dad in a rage, and of course, my brother would show indifference but I know he'd worry about me as well.

Home, I miss my home; I've never gone a day without having contact with my family. I couldn't think about that now, I have to find a place for the night. A bird cried out over head, a large one as it circled the city before it flapped it's large wings, perching itself on a tower's beam. I couldn't help but think that I've seen a tower like that before… I gave no other thought as people began to turn in, merchants closing down their stands as mother chided their children, men talking loudly, sharing a few laughs before walking away from friends. My eyes looked above me, watching as a guard circled a building's rooftop before disappearing down a ladder.

Ladders lead up and in a desert like environment, the nights will be freezing. If I get higher up, I'll be warm. Great, I'm thinking like a homeless now; I suppose I am in this city. Grabbing a handful of my skirt, the heels brushing against the fabric as I climbed the ladder one handed. On top seemed to be some sort of pin, like a wooden tent of some kind. Now I know I've seen this before, this was a hiding spot from guards in Assassin's Creed. Maybe the ones in the games were modeled after these? Still, I took no time in getting in one, thinking that if I sleep in the street or alley, I most likely will be beaten, kidnapped or raped. I shuddered at the last thought. This will not only keep my body heat in, hopefully, but it'll also block out the sun, should I not wake up until later the next morning.

Laying the blanket out on the wooden bottom, I set my heels in one corner before curling up, pressing my back against one of the walls, and closed my eyes. Maybe if I open them, I'll be back home…