The surviving Auditore fought the darkness creeping in on him, eating away at his conscious mind and pulling him towards the sweet darkness. He could not allow the hands of sleep to encircle his neck so soon, he had so much to do.

But the temptation was too great and Federico was fighting a losing battle.

Heavy lids fell over dull chocolate eyes and the wounded bird collapsed. Frederico fell against the wall of the alley he had dragged himself to and slept the sleep of the dead. Vulnerable to the threats of the darkness in Firenze.

When he woke his throat burned and his eyes itched but there would be time to rest when he…What did he plan to do? His revenge was obvious and in time it would be quenched, but the how is what plagued Federico's clouded mind.

Fingers tightened in dirty locks of auburn hair and teeth clenched in painful concentration. He had to be organized, he had to prioritize, and he had to find help. But help is hard to come by when your nearest and dearest family has been wrongfully executed.

That familiar tingling lingered behind his eyes as he thought of the lives lost and ruined by the Spaniard. And that sadness was torn asunder by the waves of rage coursing through Federico. Nothing would stand in his way.

At least until he was able to function properly, at that moment his chances were looking quite dim. But first, he had to stand.

Federico's hands struggled to gain purchase on the bricks and he slowly, so slowly, forced himself up and onto his feet. The ghost of a smile dared to grace his worn face as he stepped forward gingerly. The hard part seemed to be over, all the Auditore had to do now was keep his balance and navigate through the maze of alleys in Firenze's poor district.

Nessun problema, he thought.

Oh, how wrong he was.

One thing had led to another and Federico soon found himself staring, bewildered and quite afraid, at the hauntingly empty palazzo he had called home. He did not truly know why he had returned, he almost felt as if he had to come back. A thick layer of dirt coated the floor and in some places dried blood littered the ground. He could only hope that his baby brother had escaped the guards and his sister and mother were safe.

When his father had first told him about being an assassin, he could not have comprehended the risks. And now, standing in the ruins of his life, they all seemed too real.

The sky split and the cloud's tears rained down on the parched city, sending people into houses and covering Firenze in a deep quiet. Low thunder roared and lightening struck. Tears fell invisible in the rain, the assassin had finally shattered.

Federico dropped to his knees, clutched his chest and screamed as the rains poured down. He screamed away his sadness, misery, his everything.

All that remained was the hollow shell of someone who was once so happy and carefree.

Federico was awakened the next day by the warm sunlight heating his face as he lay in a puddle from the rain that came during the night. He allowed himself some brief seconds to revel in the calm that came after a hard rain. But brief was practically no time at all for a man with a death wish.

He struggled to his feet and stumbled forwards, reaching desperately for support as he limped closer to the door. The door that led to his father's office was splintered and the space within was not much better. That familiar rage filled the assassin at the sight of the destruction.

The guards had torn through his father's study and they had found everything, except the secret door. Federico slowly eased it open and almost fell into the hidden room beyond. The chest holding his father's assassin robes was empty and left open, but as far as he could see, there was nothing else that had been touched.

The room held other doorways that led into tunnels that laced throughout the city, underground and out of sight. Federico would use one of them to escape to the stables, commandeer a horse and ride to Monteriggioni. There he would find his uncle and hopefully the rest of his broken family.

That's what he kept telling himself, if he makes it that far it would be a miracle. Pushing himself off the wall Federico began his long trek to the outer gates of Firenze.

The tunnels were long, dark, and intimidating, but at least it was even ground. Getting on the horse was a different matter entirely. Federico's only benefit was that the horse could care less about some half-dead straggler climbing onto its back. After he had managed to drag his starved body into the saddle he set off at a slow trot, carefully avoiding movements that would send him flying off in his weakened state.

It was a long ride.

Toppling off his horse at the gates of Monteriggioni, his bones sore and his soul empty, Federico could only hope that someone would find him. And as the moon settled above the horizon, its pale rays illuminating hollow cheeks and haunted eyes, the Auditore closed his eyes and again drifted into the darkness.

A/N: Oh, isn't angst soooo much fun?...Not really I guess...meh...Well, how would you feel if you had to dig your way out of a pit after being "executed" and then drag you carcass across a city and then ride a couple (hundered) miles?...I actually have no idea, I just tried to convey that it would suck...a lot.