Track: Lisa Gerrard – Now we are free
AN; I realise that Malik still has his ring finger for reasons unknown to me since he is also just as much an assassin, maybe it's the same unknown that lets him enter and exit the Beuro with only one arm. In this little story, he does however not have a ring finger, because I think it's stupid that he does. This is post game, teen Altaïr. First time writing in this fandom, which I gotta say I love this silly drabble challenge for, because I don't have to work on an actual plot xD - This is not really a drabble though, more like a ficlet that I had to end early, I am however planning on a part 2 within this drabble challenge.
"Just what are you doing?" Came an amused voice from behind him.
Altaïr quickly attached a wooden pin to the clothesline, and turned to look at the owner of the voice. He stared straight into Malik's amused grin, and with a little self concious huff he spat out the pin he had between his lips, into his own hand. "I thought you were studying." He said.
"And I thought that women did the women's work." Malik said with a sly smirk.
Altaïr squirmed, so that was Malik's game? He knew exactly why he was here, hanging up wet clothes. Clothes which he had slaved over for hours amongst some very baffled women. They had been kind to him, laughed at first, but then showed him how to wash it properly. "You know exactly why I am here." Altaïr pouted, most unlike him.
"Indeed." Malik snickered, clasping his hands on his back, walking around Altaïr to study him from another side. "I just want to hear you say it."
"I.." Altaïr sighed, he would never, ever live this down, would he? "I lost a dare," He turned around and glared at Malik, "To you, dear brother."
"Is-that-a-fact now.." Malik drummed on his lips with a long finger. He smiled amused, "So did you get all the grime and dirt out, brother?"
Altaïr ground his teeth. "You are free to inspect."
"Don't mind if I do." Malik laughed softly, walking around Altaïr, to grab the wet clothes hung up to dry in the warm midday sun. "Looks like you are a natural."
Altaïr blushed with anger, but he stayed his tongue, mostly because he could tell that Malik was in his mischievous mood, and he was after all his senior, soon, very soon, Altaïr too would leave his life as a novice and enter the ranks of the assassin, just as Malik. But for now he was just the kid, which annoyed him to no end. What set them apart was not abilities, but age. But faced with Malik's teasing laugh, he forgot about reason and ranks. "I got to stay the entire morning surrounded by female company, that is more than you can say for yourself. None of them would give you the time of day...brother."
Malik frowned for a moment, at Altaïr's humorous taunting of his missing love life, which was not for the lack of trying, on his behalf. "Maybe they find you less threatening. Less man." He shot back.
Altaïr cross his arms over his chest, in childish defence. "Your clothes are clean, I bid you a good day, Malik." He growled, and turned to leave.
"Altaïr." Malik laughed, grabbing the young man's shoulder. "Wait. Don't be mad."
Altaïr could easily have shrugged off Malik's hand and continued, but stopped and took a deep breath. "I'm not mad." He said, clenching his jaw.
"You are not fooling me." Malik said, sounding slightly worried now, but still he carried a merry tone. He gently turned Altaïr around to face him, they were almost the same height now, and for some insane reason he was slightly amused by this. He looked straight at Altaïr, "Did you expect me to do any less? Had it been me who had lost that bet, you would have been here, teasing me as well."
"True." Altaïr admitted with a little limited nod. And he seemed to relax a little, letting his arms fall down his sides, hooking his thumb in the waistline of his pants. His gaze sought out Malik left hand, staring at the stump of a finger. Altaïr wet his lips, he wanted to ask what the ritual would be like, and if it hurt as much as he thought to have your finger separated from you. But he was not going to ask, he would just sound like the novice he was.
"Come," Malik said, hooking his arm under Altaïr's leading him away from the clotheslines, and towards the hills. "You worked hard all morning, you deserve a rest." Malik looked briefly up at the blue skies, "No one should be forced to work in this midday heat."
Altaïr rose a surprised brow, but let Malik make off with him none the less. Truth was that he longed for the cool shadows that the hills provided.
"You didn't fail, Altaïr." Malik said casually as they made their way up to a shadowy spot. He turned his head and looked at the young man beside him. "Everyone chokes the first time they are faced with a leap of faith, and those who does not are fools."
"Still." Altaïr sighed, "You dared me, and I.." The word coward was on his lips, but he didn't word it.
"I have faith you will learn it in time." Malik said softly, brotherly. Letting go of Altaïr he sat down against the trunk of a tree, blissfully sighing at the coolness of the shadow, and looked out over the market of Masyaf.
Altaïr slumped bonelessly down next to Malik, sighing loudly at the coolness on his sunburned torso. "I will not have any fear the next time." He said closing his eyes, smiling, resting against the older man side, his head on Malik's shoulder.
"You have a full year to learn it." Malik finally said after a long moment of silence. He rested his head against Altaïr's on his shoulder, in a gentle gesture. "You will learn to harness your fears."
Altaïr laughed softly. "I will not harness it, I will crush it."
"Careful with that brother, a man with no fear is bound to be more reckless, and recklessness can lead to death." Malik said with a sombre tone, closing his eyes as well, just enjoying the moment.
"Death will come to those who hesitates." Altaïr mumbled half asleep against Malik.
"True." Malik admitted sleepily, "A man should be alert, not afraid or reckless." He suddenly flipped a startled Altaïr to his back, pinning the smaller, younger, lithe man under him.
Altaïr winched much against his own will, as his sunburn ground against the dirt, gravel and small rocks under him.
Malik had not really noticed the sunburn was as bad as it was, but Altaïr had of course spent the entire morning in the stark sun at the lake, without any shirt, while washing their clothes. "Forgive me." He said softly, smiling down at Altaïr.
"Get off me." Altaïr hissed, ignoring Malik's apology.
Malik let go of Altaïr's arms, instead resting his hands on the ground next to the younger man's shoulders.
For a moment Altaïr looked up at Malik cross eyed, seeing the crown of the tree and the blue sky behind that friendly face. Altaïr knew nothing of love, but he knew that this vision made his pulse beat faster than when he had stood on the ledge, looking down at the ground far, far beneath him. "I said, get off me!" Altaïr growled, pushing Malik off him with all his might.
Malik sat both baffled and surprised, he knew that Altaïr had a temper, they had been playing grabble matches since they were but children, but never had he seen him this furious.. No not furious, it was something else, the way that Altaïr sported a weak blush, refusing to meet his eyes. Was it humiliation maybe? "Have I offended you in some way?" Malik asked innocently.
"No." Altaïr said clipped as he stood to his feet in a swift move. "We should both get back to our tasks." He said, looking down at the market once more, before he just started walking down the hill, ignoring the pain on his scorched skin, leaving Malik at top of the hill, confused.