This is not Brotherhood compliant in any way; I wrote it back in June, and I adore the idea of Shaun and Rebecca as best biffles. This story is based around a single, particularly terrible joke that would not get out of my head; I would say I was sorry for the terrible jokes, but that would be a lie.

The day had started out like any other day, with Desmond in the Animus, traipsing around Renaissance Italy as Ezio- until the Animus started making clanking noises, and Desmond fell out of synchronization (and the Animus chair) with a thud. He caught a whiff of burning plastic before Rebecca chased everyone out of the room with a wrench and demanded some alone time with Baby to make sure nothing exploded. That had been hours ago; Rebecca surfaced occasionally for snacks and caffeine, and Lucy had dragged Desmond away for another gruelling training session in the warehouse. He still didn't understand how someone so tiny and so blonde could kick his ass so thoroughly, even with all the skills he'd been picking up through the bleeding effect.

Lucy finally let Desmond slink away with the remains of his dignity and a whole new set of bruises in uncomfortable places; he fled to the kitchen, where Shaun was presiding over the table with a pot of tea. Shaun had been slightly less of a dick in general ever since they'd arrived at the new safe house. Desmond had even managed to have a real conversation with him on three separate occasions; he wasn't sure if he'd consider them friends yet, but Desmond was starting to like Shaun the more he got to know him. The unrelenting snarkery was funny, when Desmond wasn't on the receiving end of it, and the way Shaun got excited about some new piece of historical data was kind of cute, if you liked the over-enthusiastic, geeky sort of look, which Desmond kind of did. He tried not to take those thoughts to their logical conclusion too often; Shaun and Rebecca were joined at the hip most of the time, and Desmond just wasn't enough of a masochist to add "being attracted to straight coworker" to his already lengthy list of problems.

Shaun looked up from the milky, over-sweetened depths of his tea when Desmond entered. "Have fun with Lucy?"

"Oh, yeah. Being used as her punching bag is totally my idea of fun." Desmond stretched his arms above his head, trying to relieve some of the burning ache in his back and shoulders. "Have you been stuck in here all morning?"

"I was helping Rebecca run diagnostics, but she took the whole system offline to deal with some hardware issues. Figured it was time for a cuppa- she gets a bit tetchy when it comes to other people touching Baby, even when it's me." He shook his head, smiling a little. "Nearly took my eye out with a screwdriver last time I tried to so much as replace a power cable."

Shaun seemed to be in a good mood, despite having been banished from his work station; Desmond decided to try his luck with another attempt at conversation. "So, you and Rebecca have been together for a while, huh?" He found a mostly clean mug in one of the cupboards and began pouring himself a cup of coffee.

"Me and Rebecca?" Shaun blinked at him. "Me and Rebecca...together?" There was another brief, awkward silence, and then Shaun burst into hysterical laughter.

Desmond stared at this spectacle with his jaw on the floor, slowly pouring coffee all over the counter. It was rare enough for Shaun to do more than crack a smile, and now, apparently, he'd gone completely insane. Desmond contemplated making a run for it before anyone else noticed what was going on; if Lucy found out he'd accidentally broken their historian, she'd kill him.

"Whoa, who put happy pills in the tea?" Rebecca stuck her head into the kitchen, foiling any of Desmond's escape plans. There was a streak of dust over the bridge of her nose, and she had a wrench sticking out of the waistband of her jeans. "Oh my god, Desmond, please tell me you're not wasting coffee."

"Shit!" Desmond almost dropped the coffee pot; a sad trickle of coffee dripped off the edge of the counter. While he cleaned up the mess with a stray dishrag, Shaun got himself under control.

"Desmond here," Shaun began, taking a careful sip of his tea and adjusting his glasses, "thinks we've been shagging."

Rebecca giggled so hard she snorted. "Okay, that is pretty funny." She rummaged through one of the cupboards and came up with a box of poptarts. She tore open a package eagerly and bit into one with an expression of bliss on her face. "Mmm, sugar."

"Come on, guys, it's not that ridiculous- I mean, you've been working on the same projects for years, you're both, uh." Desmond tried to come up with something more diplomatic than 'gigantic nerds,' and failed. "You know. You have a lot in common." He focused intently on pouring the rest of his coffee, and felt his face burning.

Rebecca giggled again, slightly muffled around a mouthful of poptart. "And that's even funnier. Shaun, light of my life!" She grabbed Shaun's hand and pressed it to her chest, swooning dramatically. Desmond felt his eyes bugging out.

"Yes, Rebecca, fire of my loins?" Shaun took another sip of his tea.

"Sweetie, do you want to explain to Desmond why the idea of us being romantically involved is hilarious, or shall I?"

"You mean apart from the bit where you live off of processed sugar and refuse to watch the original Doctor Who, while I will never see the appeal of indie zombie films? Certainly." Shaun took his hand away and straightened his glasses again. "It's really quite simple, Desmond. Rebecca just doesn't have a big enough prick for me."

"Ha!" Rebecca brandished her poptart at Desmond, who was pretty sure he'd never felt quite so out of the loop or confused since Abstergo kidnapped him. "He's lying, Desmond- don't listen to his size queen act, my cock is mighty, and he's just too intimidated by it."

"Now you're just bragging about your sex toys," Shaun said, reprovingly.

"And you're just jealous," she countered. "Seriously, though, it would never work out between us because Shaun's a boy, and boys have cooties, and that's gross."

"What are you, twelve? Go play with your toys and leave the grown ups in peace." Shaun rolled his eyes when Rebecca stuck her tongue out at him.

"Uh," Desmond said faintly. He wondered if he should be offended that Rebecca apparently thought he had cooties, too, or if he should be flattered that Shaun apparently considered him one of the grown ups. Then he wondered if this entire conversation wasn't just an Animus-induced hallucination. "So you're both..."

"Flaming queers? Yes, Desmond." Shaun raised an eyebrow. "You mean you hadn't noticed? Goodness, how have we survived all these years without your keen observational skills to aid us?"

"Notice what? I thought you were just being British!" Desmond threw up his hands in frustration, spilling coffee on his sleeve. "God damnit!"

"Rebecca has a mullet, for god's sake." Shaun pointed at her with his teacup. "What straight woman would do that to her hair?"

"Jealousy is such an ugly look on you." Rebecca grinned. "You only wish you had hair this awesome. You shouldn't look so surprised, Des. The Assassins are a pretty diverse bunch of people, and anyway, Congress passed ENDA last year, so we're totally compliant with all federal rules and regulations for tax purposes." She lifted Desmond's coffee out of his hands and took a sip before he could protest. "Right, Shaun?"

"Indeed." Shaun continued as if quoting from memory, "The Order of Assassins is an equal opportunity organization that does not discriminate against members on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation."

"Everything except creed!" She clinked Desmond's cup against Shaun's in a triumphant toast.

Desmond opened his mouth. Then he shut his mouth. Then he opened his mouth again, and Rebecca waggled her eyebrows at him in a come-hither sort of way, and he gave up. This had to be a hallucination. The alternative was that both his sarcasm-meter and his gaydar were now irreparably broken, and he would never be able to function in society again. And that was just too depressing to contemplate. A sudden loud beeping noise from the Animus room saved him from having to come up with a response in the face of Rebecca's eyebrows.

"Whelp, this has been fun and all, but that's my cue to get back to work." Rebecca fished another poptart out of the box. "We should be back online and ready to go in a couple hours. Later!" She waved with the poptart as she strode out the door with Desmond's coffee.

For a moment, the only sound in the kitchen was that of Shaun adding a more sugar to his tea; the clinking of the spoon against the cup sounded unnaturally loud. Desmond found another cup and poured himself some more coffee.

Shaun broke the silence first. "Look, you're not going to be weird about this, are you? I don't give a fuck what you think about me, but if you're a prick to Rebecca, I will kick your arse. And so will Lucy."

There was something horribly ironic- was ironic even the right word? Desmond was never sure. Either way, there was something just plain wrong about Shaun telling someone else to be less of a jerk. Maybe this wasn't a hallucination at all; Abstergo mind control might be to blame, instead. "Seriously? I get that you don't think all that highly of me, but I'm not that much of a hypocrite." Desmond put his cup down and crossed his arms. He didn't take it personally when Shaun was an asshole anymore- but this was downright insulting, evil Templar mind control or not. "Also, you're a dick to Rebecca all the time. Does that mean I get to kick your ass?"

"One, it would be entertaining to see you try. Two, Rebecca's a big girl and, as you so adroitly observed, we've been working together for years. And three- hypocrite?" Shaun's eyebrows lifted above his glasses as he took a long, noisy sip of tea, pinkie lifted primly away from the handle of the cup. Desmond got the feeling he was being laughed at, which was pretty much par for the course in conversation with Shaun.

"Don't you guys have Abstergo's files on me? The last place I worked before they kidnapped me was called the Flirty Flamingo. Amateur drag nights every third Friday of the month." He wasn't normally a vindictive kind of guy, but watching Shaun choke on his tea was really satisfying. "Wasn't a bad place to work, really- good tips, but sometimes the customers got a bit...handsy."

"I've better things to do with my time than read over your files," Shaun snapped, once he recovered from snorting tea up his nose. His face was still red. "It's not like the fact that you used to work in some tawdry gay bar with a tacky name is actually relevant to my work."

"Right." Desmond watched Shaun carry his empty teacup to the sink and followed after. He trapped Shaun against the counter, boxing him in with a hand on either side of him. "You're just pissy because you didn't do your homework, and I actually surprised you for once."

If Shaun was alarmed by Desmond's close proximity, he didn't show it. "You surprise me constantly- the depths of your ignorance and immaturity never cease to astound me." He leaned back, resting his elbows on the edge of the sink, and looked up at Desmond over the rims of his glasses. He seemed to be waiting for something.

"Uh-huh." Shaun was cute when he blushed, Desmond decided. Actually, Shaun was pretty cute most of the time. He leaned forward a little, getting in Shaun's space- not making a threat, but maybe...a suggestion. "Keep telling yourself that, Hastings."

"I think I will, thank you." Shaun adjusted his glasses and began to look slightly annoyed. "Are you just going to stand there like some sort of neander-"

Desmond cut him off mid-insult with a kiss, and okay, wow, that was nice, and it had been a really, really long time- life on the run didn't leave much time for anything beyond the very occasional one night stand. Shaun tasted like tea, and Desmond had always been more of a coffee guy, but when the tea was accompanied by Shaun's tongue doing obscene things to the inside of Desmond's mouth- well, maybe he could see the appeal.

Shaun hooked his thumbs into Desmond's beltloops and pulled him closer, grinding their hips together. Desmond worried Shaun's lower lip between his teeth and reached around to grab a double handful of Shaun's ass, like he'd been wanting to do for weeks. Totally worth the wait, he decided. Shaun clenched his fists in the back of Desmond's hoodie and moaned, and fuck, but that was pretty much the hottest thing Desmond had heard in- well, ever, really.

"So." He couldn't stop marveling at the perfect way Shaun's ass fit into his hands- like it had been sculpted for the express purpose of being grabbed and squeezed and stroked by one Desmond Miles. "Size queen? Really?"

Shaun insinuated his knee between Desmond's thighs and found the juncture of Desmond's neck and shoulder with his teeth. "Sometimes, when I'm in the mood for it. That a problem?"

"Not at all. Let's just say- nnh, god, yeah, right there- let's just say I inherited more from Ezio than just his memories."

Shaun made another noise that was somewhere between a moan and a fuckyespleasethankgod, and then he pulled away from Desmond just far enough to readjust his glasses. "Right. We've got about two hours before the Animus is fixed." His voice was brusque and business-like, even though his face was flushed and his glasses were still slightly askew. He reached between them to palm the growing bulge in Desmond's jeans, and lifted an eyebrow. "And I, for one, can think of better things to do with that time than hang about the kitchen."

"I might have a few ideas, myself." Desmond grinned and leaned forward to capture Shaun's mouth in another brain-meltingly hot kiss, the kind that had them both panting for breath and grinding against each other by the end of it. "Your room or mine?"