Ezio grimaced.

"Do not, caro mio: I have seemed to grow a forest over my face."

Bemusedly, the artist frowned as the younger man gripped onto his forearms and established distance, his disappointment apparent simply by the crease in his brow. "B-But you have been gone for so long—would it truly be a nuisance to greet me so?"

Alacrity. "No, no: That was not what I meant—forgive me if you have been offended." He shook his head while one hand swiped over his facial hair in exasperation. "Just … just look at this; I cannot believe Rosa did not take a blade and hack it off."

"Perhaps, she knew that the possibility of you losing your chin was too high."

A laugh. "There is the wit I have missed so much," replied the amused assassin, offering his arms for a sought out hug. "Come here: I do not think I can stand here without touching you."

"Oh, Ezio."

His zeal was hard to contain as he eagerly stepped forward and engulfed the taller male in a breathtaking embrace, pressing his cheek onto a broad chest to the sound of warm chuckles and an equally fervent pressure. Said being ran comforting circles on his back, one hand lost in Leo's hair, and the two of them stood in relaxed silence, uncaring of the people outside who managed to catch a glimpse of their current connection. Ignoring Ezio's earlier protests, Leonardo gently reached for the bottom part of his hood and tugged him downwards—the kiss he gave to the corner of lips that twitched in surprise made him flush and diminutively smile, the latter growing more prominent as the Grand Master pulled back the cover of white in a way that brought back a glimpse of his youth. And as the assassin gazed at him through eyes that never changed, the artist brushed his hands over his shoulders in a languid fashion, chortles merry when he in return was crushed desperately against the former's body as hard as can be.

"I missed you, mi amore." A kiss once more. "I did—truly."

Winces. "Aye, aye, do not do as such, Leo, lest you wish for your face to be suffering scratch marks."

"I cannot wait any longer—six months: That is too long to bear."

Three presses of an expectant mouth on his nape. "Your wounds will later be too much to bear."

Leonardo voiced his confusion. "I do not comprehend: I have a beard, and you have never complained."

"But you trim it—this is the beard of San Nicola—"


A sigh. "Si?"

"Silenzio, per favore."

And Leonardo did shut him up, all right.

Not that Ezio really complained.