The man darted across the rooftops of Roma, his breathing labored and hastening with each tap his foot made to the lightly shaded tiles. White robes fluttering behind him even the red sash was twisting about, like a flow of blood from a wound. He swallowed thickly while his eyes darted about, colors blurring and only reds along with a few whites sticking out of the 'darkness.'

Reaching his hand down, he grasped the hilt of his sword, gritting his teeth as exhaustion ebbed at his senses, telling him to stop and relax though his mind told him to hurry.

He needed to get there as soon as possible. After he'd caught wind of his comrade being overwhelmed by their enemies, being pushed and shoved into a wall by frantic swings of blades and maces. The man could even hear the clangs of steel, hisses of pains and cries before death.

No, he couldn't let that happen.

The blur vanished as his veins pulsed, adrenaline kicking in, spurring him on by the thoughts of his friend being torn to shreds by the swords then tortured in inhumane ways. He wouldn't put it past the Borgia guards, not at all.

Those men had tormented the citizens of this once beautiful city, Roma becoming ruins by the hands of corrupt and cruel men.

Which is why they existed, the Order of Assassins. The Brotherhood. Their Creed.

He felt a droplet hit his cheek, causing him to jerk his head back to peer up at the skies. Another drip slapped his skin, little flecks separating at the contact and flying before the remaining water slid down the expanse of his cheek.

Clouds began to grey over in color, a shrill of an eagle's cry assaulting his eardrums like thunder. The calling in a mournful manner caused his heart to wretch. Dropping his head to see Borgia guards rushing to a particular area. Swallowing, he dropped to a crouch and followed silently, leaping and grabbing onto a pole to then hoist himself up, trying to keep from groaning at the effort.

Once he was perched atop it, his elbows resting on his knees, crouched and staring forth. Exactly where the guards were rushing.

Towards a church.

People were screaming, in a frantic panic. Shouting things about a bleeding man, how there was a fight, and so much bloodshed.

A bleeding man garbed in white…

That was his comrade, his brother in arms.

Turning toward the building, he began to scale it with skilled accuracy, even as he turned his gaze back to the church while climbing. Clangs of blades reached his earshot, catching sight of the blood that was spattered upon the ground, shouts and screams. It was then that they ceased to cruel laughter, taunts and sick prodding words.

Apparently the man had retreated into the sacred place, a blood trail showing the new opponents where he'd gone.

"Cazzo." he hissed, biting his cheek once he hauled himself atop the roof, chest heaving while glancing around to see if there were a chance he could surprise the men below and save his friend. There appeared to be no way to do so unless he did a head-on attack.

Meanwhile in the church the figure was dragging himself to the alter, panting heavily while tired eyes rose to look upon the statue depicting their God. It seemed much better back when people didn't gather together for their religion, it seemed like it would become a cult or an insane round-up eventually. Coughing up blood, he grunted, slapping his right hand over his side, blood slipping through his fingers and onto the floor.

Closing his eyes, he cursed the last guard he'd dealt with, having gotten a good shot at his side thanks to his being occupied with another. Such dirty fighting, though he couldn't blame them. He'd done the same when he noted how the word called 'honor' no longer existed while fighting.

Parting his lips, he gasped and wheezed, pressing his left hand to the ground to push himself up as best he could.

He felt like he was drowning, choking on sand. That he was dying, bleeding profusely from the deep gash on his side.

His throat felt dry, even if the hot crimson coated the insides. Opening his eyes halfway, dazed and tired while turning his head to peer over to the cracked open double doors. The choking sensation returned, his hand moving to curl the fingers around his neck, blood soon coating the digits while raspy breaths were released.

He remembered home, back in the dry, barren place. When searching and finding clean water was a trial, when traveling was long and tedious to a point. How his steed would be calmed by his touch and how the sun bore down on him, warming him to the point he would at times take down his hood.

The hand on his side loosened, swallowing thickly to taste the coppery, tangy, substance that was still attempting to escape through his mouth.

Lurching forth, he coughed violently, shifting his hand to cover his mouth to muffle the sounds in case there were more guards on patrol. It hurt, his lungs began to burn and mind becoming encased within a mist that beckoned him to slip from consciousness. But he knew that if he did so, he would not awaken.

A thought crossed his mind, on how he was left to live this life. When he was supposed to die so long ago and yet here he was, feeling true death.

Did he honestly deserve to survive this long? What with his being so brash and thinking he could handle a simple two handfuls of guards while the Recluta were ordered to retreat. How the guards found them while he was training them was a mystery that may never be solved.

Leaning his head back against the wall, his hood then sliding off to reveal his face as he continued to pant, pain wracking throughout his system. His insides twisted and tensed, proving his question on whether he was truly dying or not.

He was.

It was obvious and yet there was the slimmest of chances that he'd survive to see another sunrise while drinking with the Master Assassin, the man had irritated the hell out of him before but now it was nice to stop and converse about the ranks and who should be promoted.

Now that was all going to end.

The doors slammed open, causing him to jerk his head into the direction of it, instinct causing him to reach for his minor supply of throwing knives. Halting once he saw the guard's horrified, death-filled expression before watching the man fall to the ground in a puddle of blood that had spread about more with his contribution to it.

Lifting his gaze up to who had dealt with the nuisance, only to see that his sight was blurring. Black crowded in at the edges of his vision, the bright light that was cast upon the figure to shadow his front and basking atop he, himself, was dulling.

Slowly his eyes fell shut, shoulders slumped before falling to his side, only to hear rushing feet and then felt hands grab onto said shoulders, an arm wrapped around his upper-half. Although his senses were falling and giving way to the cold embrace that felt like death the man could still feel the warmth that radiated off the other male.

The man shook him, tightening his hold.

"Hey…" he spoke while pulling the other closer, shifting a hand to check for a pulse. It was light, fading slowly. "…hey! Tenete gli occhi aperti!"

Forcing his eyes open, the wounded man glanced up to the other's face, catching sight of a scar marring the elder's lips. He rose his gaze up higher to connect with deep chocolate spheres.

He felt so tired, so weary and weak. Lowering his head again, the white attired male took his hand from his side, letting the blood flow freely while said limb fell to rest on his leg, closing his eyes once more with a shiver as he felt the air brush over his uncovered neck.

Now he knew who was holding him in his last moments.

And he wished at this time that someone else had found him instead, perhaps that guard that lie still on the floor several feet away. Just so he could die proudly, knowing he'd distracted those bastards long enough for the recruits to get to safety and be dead before another of their kind found him.

"Apri gli occhi, dannazione!"

Yet, he couldn't. His senses went fuzzy, everything sounding muffled and so far off.

"Altaïr!"

It was then that things went completely dark.


Assassination's Note: this is a multichapter story, so don't start the 'You killed him?', please. I don't want to see/hear that. Also, this came to mind as I was waking up and let it wander to then get the 'He felt like he was drowning, blahblah' and here it is... I was also trying to give suspense in this chapter - which I'm sure annoyed lots of people, and I will not do it again in future chapters.
Please review.

(I have fixed up a few things in the first three chapters.)