He was here again.

Automatically, he does not bother to voice his discovery when the door lightly thuds shut, accompanied by soft footsteps that padded over to the foot of his bed, the obvious form of his relentless pupil hovering over him like an eagle about to mark its landing. He cocks an eyebrow when Altair merely stands there, clad in nothing but a white sirwal, knees touching the edges, noticing a faint flash of gold fleet over his eyes before he settles on the furniture. This, this, every night, the other sneaking into his quarters while the brotherhood sleeps, oblivious to the raising of the blanket that signaled a silent invitation—taken without thought as he quietly slides in next to the older man. It is strange for him to do—to expect—such an occurrence, an arm draped over his back in a careless fashion, breaths evening out—also his?—to welcome slumber as much as the sound of cicadas and Lady Moonlight.

There was no better way to open a dream.


Surveying the messy training ring with a sigh, Al Mualim exasperatedly watched his pupil sheathe his blade in a confident fashion before striding over to the heap of dazed trainees. "Such brazenness will get you nowhere with your brothers."

Not a word, and then: "That does not matter", questioning after Altair walks up to him and runs a faintly calloused palm over his cheek. "But I know it gets me somewhere with you."

And he molds his lips over his teacher's own, reaching to bring him closer to the sound of muted groans and the stench of sweat, dirt, blood, and grime, never mind the entirety pressing into the clandestine cuts of the Grand Master's robes. He knows, he knows it all, how that small vein that pulsed in the back of his fingers signaled pride at his creation, pride in skill, pride in judgment, when he would pull back and regard him through stern eyes; invariably, he does, detecting that small smirk that signaled his attempt at smothering the hubris of raising such a prized student, the style in which the scar on that mouth crinkles slightly in acknowledgement. Once more, once less, once standing in empty silence that bled into the two of them grappling for power on the bed, grinding and twisting to an obstinate rhythm only eagles knew.

Victory for one was victory for the other.


He gives no mercy.

Not even to his little pet.

Altair groans, scrabbles for purchase on his shoulders, his back, the skewered heap of his clothes, anything to survive the brutal tempo Al Mualim forces on him, relentless in maintaining nonexistent composure that did nothing to help the buzzing in his ears. There is no stopping: No, not like this, ramming into him over and over again, his fingernails digging into the angles of the shameless fool's hips, drive there, here, deny him the release that he swore would come after the "old man's" own; one snap, three vicious bites on his collarbone, and he belligerently continues to fuck him over his desk, the need for control bleeding into his mouth while a demanding arm reaches up and pulls him into teeth and tongues and hard desire. He dares for the younger assassin to cross him again, to walk away and expect to count his attack as victory, to damningly propose another hideous flaw, running back towards elevating audacity over rationalism—this was the only way he would learn.

And by God, he would teach.