"But I already told you I didn't want a party!"

"No one cares what you think, little brother," Ezio snickered. "A boy only turns 21 once!"

Desmond scowled.

"Exactly mi bebé de aves, so you should try to enjoy it. After all, there's quite a bit of alcohol here that won't drink itself."

Ezio swung an arm around Cesare, his grin widening with a wink. "And many ladies who came just to see you."

"You two are insufferable," Desmond finally relented.

"Ay, which is why we compliment each other so well."

"…Go be gross somewhere other than my party."


"This is absolute rubbish." Shaun tipped back his red plastic cup as if to find solace.

He, Desmond, and Kadar were sitting on the stairs and watching the chaos unfold. It was a really good thing Al Mualim, his father, was out of town for another week. Music blared through the house and almost every available space was crammed full of tipsy people. Ezio, Cesare and their stupid frat boy friends were doing shots in the dining room, while his eldest brother, Altair, was attempting to feel up his secretary –some crabby man he'd introduced at Christmas as 'Malik'.

Kadar playfully blew one of those silly party blowers. "Jeez Shaun, what did you all put in there?"

Shaun looked down into his cup with deep contemplation. "Dunno, lotsa things. Strung things." Shaun's accent was bad enough on an everyday basis. But an upset, drunk Shaun was sometimes impossible to understand.

"Good idea, mate," Desmond muttered and took the cup from him and took a long drink, sputtering. "Damn, you weren't kidding. This is like drinking nail polish remover." But despite that he took another long pull, managing to suppress his coughs this time.

"I need another drink."

"No you don't, but I won't stop you." Kadar got up and followed the Brit to get something strong himself.

Desmond was left alone only for a moment before Lucy and Rebecca were stumbling up to him, stupid smiles on their flushed faces.

"Hey there birthday boy, stop being such a sour puss and come dance with us," Rebecca demanded, Lucy simply giggling. "We'll show you a good t~ime," she began singing along to whatever song was playing. She grabbed and Lucy and they began twirling.

"Alright, alright, but stop spinning. It's making me sick just watching you two."


Desmond went to blow out a votive candle floating in his drink. He'd thought the idea of candles a little young for him, but Ezio and his friends insisted. It went out immediately, but then with a small spark it sputtered back to life. With some confusion he blew it out again, only for it to flare up once more. With a frown he repeated the process until Ezio and Cesare were laughing like deranged hyenas, holding each other up in their hysteria as Desmond's cheeks darkened and he left the trick candle to burn as it liked.


Desmond was trying to enjoy himself, really he was. He had a drink in each hand and his lap full of some girl named Rosa who only spoke Italian. But man, the things she could do with her tongue.

He was trying very hard to enjoy himself, but it was so difficult when Ezio and Cesare were on the other side of the room, sucking the helium out of balloons and using their altered voices to say dirty things to their friend Leonardo –who in his own right looked mortified. Or rather, it mostly Ezio saying dirty things to the embarrassed blond and Cesare looking very displeased and therefore saying dirty things to Ezio himself.

Whatever was going to result Desmond didn't care, he just didn't want to hear it.


They one good thing about this party, Desmond found as he was wading through people, was that they all seemed to have brought a present with them. The office was full of them.

But, in the dark room partially lit by the open door, most of them were either some sort of alcohol or gifts of a naughty nature. Some crazy asshole had even brought a live pelican in a birdcage. What the hell was he supposed to do with that?

Oh well, it was the thought….right?


Wait, what?

He looked between the wooden bat in his hands and the papier-mâché eagle hanging from the living room ceiling.

"You guys didn't seriously—"

"Would it kill you to play along? The faster you comply the sooner they will go on their way." Altair pushed him forward.

Desmond sighed but readied the bat, trying not to sway with the amount of alcohol in his system. Amongst the cheers of all the drunk people around him, Desmond swung as hard as he could. With the force, the bat easily smashed the bottom out and suddenly there was a pile of condom packets falling on him.

"Wow guys, how imaginative," he deadpanned as people giggled and shrieked, bending down around him to collect the 'party favors'.

Ezio chuckled, obviously pleased with himself, as Cesare shrugged. "What did you expect? You're not a child anymore."

"Then why did you throw me this stupid party!"

Tomorrow morning was going to suck…in more ways than he was ready for.