I've been meaning to post this for a while, I wrote it because every time I read a fanfic where Altair was "learning how to swim" he always ended up having sex or something instead. Either that, or it'd be some kind of joke about Altair getting pushed in water, then he gets yelled at for not knowing how to swim, and scolded about how he should learn and then he gets pissed and ends up chasing them or something. And that's great and all, except sometimes I actually wanted to see him learn how to swim! So out of my mild frustration that no one was actually teaching him how to swim, I wrote this.
So anyway, I hope you enjoy this, I tried my best
Disclaimer: I do not own Assassin's Creed
It was a really nice day. Ezio hadn't been lying to him when he ran into his room this morning and said the weather was fabulous. Not that it mattered to him really. No matter what the weather was like, he had every intention of going outdoors...that is, unless it was raining...
Altair had a strong dislike for the rain, after all, where he came from it rained very little. He found the rain to be irritating, not to mention he hated being in wet clothing. It also made the walls and roof tops slippery and hard to climb. It was just a nuisance all together.
But because of all of the water in Venice it seemed to rain much more frequently than it did back home, needless to say, it bothered Altair. Surprisingly though, Ezio never seemed to mind.
But none of that mattered since today, was a nice day. Ezio had insisted that Altair go for a walk with him. They finally had no work to attend to and the idea of taking a stroll through the strange city without the intent of killing someone seemed like a fascinating idea to Altair. So here they were, walking along through the city as Altair gazed around, taking it all in.
"Venezia is beautiful, no?" Ezio asked, he had been silently watching Altair from the corner of his eye for a few minutes.
"...It seems much nicer when I'm not trying to hunt down a templar's head" Altair responded.
Ezio laughed a little, "well when you aren't being forced to focus on someone's death, I think any place is probably nicer." Ezio seemed to take this somewhat friendly conversation as a sign of Altair being in a good mood. Since he knew how irritable the other man could be, Ezio was quick to try to take advantage of it while he could. He nonchalantly swung his arm over Altair's shoulder with a lovely content smile. However, Altair didn't waste any time shoving him off.
Damn, he was sure it would work... Ezio stopped walking and pouted a little, "What, I'm not allowed to be affectionate to my boyfriend?"
Altair simply stared at him with his usual neutral look as if the question didn't deserve an answer.
Ezio smiled anyway, offering his hand out in hopes that Altair would hold hands with him.
Altair looked down at the hand and eyed Ezio from under his hood, "...is this not frowned upon in Italy? Surely two males in a relationship is not something one would broadcast"
Ezio laughed, "well yes, you're right! It's not! But we're both strong men, I'm sure if someone has a problem with it we could take 'em" He pushed his hand out a little closer to Altair and continue to smile with pleading eyes.
Altair flicked his eyes back to the hand, considering the words before finally reaching out and taking the offered hand. "Fine. But if we become wanted men for this, I'm going to blame you" Ezio stepped closer and relaxed his arm so their hands could hang down between them.
"Ah, it will be fine trust me, we've gotten away with much... much worse"
Altair did not bother to agree. They walked slowly in silence, hand in hand and strolled into an empty path next to the water. Altair looked out at the gondolas and peered down at the water.
Ah water... his enemy
"There is alot of water in Venice... It seems like a rather large inconvenience" he said.
Ezio looked over at Altair and replied happily, "haha, well I suppose it does make traveling somewhat harder... But it is not all bad-"
"Well, there are some advantages to having water around, for example... it's a hot day! You know what you can do with water on a hot day!" Ezio let go of Altair's hand and backed up as Altair continued to stare down at the water as it glistened in the sun.
"...Well... I suppose you could splash it on yourself to cool off... plus you could stay easily hydrated... And good hygiene is important, so I guess having so much water nearby does make it easier to-" Altair didn't finish his sentence- he was cut off by Ezio running past him and jumping into the water.
It didn't hit Altair full blast what was happening, he stood there, still, in slight surprise, his mouth partly open and his brain having difficulty processing it. It wasn't until he saw Ezio disappear under the surface of the water that he finally registered what happened- his eyes shot open, "EZIO!" he screamed in horror as he stared in shock at the water. He whipped around and his eyes quickly scanned the area for anything long he could possibly use to save him, but after seeing nothing he turned back to the water's edge and fell to his knees, "EZIO!" he screamed out into the water, desperately trying to see the other man. "No no no, you idiot!" He whispered worriedly. Just then he saw colour under the water rising towards the surface, he gasped softly in slight relief as he reached out to the coloured spot, "Ezio!"
A hand shot out of the water and grabbed onto Altair's. Altair smiled widely in relief, his heart stopping for a moment as he felt the hand firmly grasp around his own! But he only had a split moment of happiness, for after the hand grabbed his, the coloured spot in the water jerked away from the edge of the path and pulled harshly on him. Not expecting the man to be working against him, Altair was easily pulled off balance and fell forward into the horrific water as well.
Altair's instinct to save Ezio left him, he let go of the hand he had been grasping and pushed at the water around him in a sorry attempt to get away from it. His next instinct was air, so the next thing Altair did was try to push himself towards the surface of the water. He managed to get his head out of the water and gasped the air in loudly as he flapped his arms around trying to stay above water. It failed quickly as he was forced under once again.
It was no use.
He was going to die.
Ezio was going to die.
And there was nothing he could do about it.
"Cazzo! Altair! Stop struggling! You're okay!"
Altair finally opened his eyes and realized Ezio had his arms around him, Altair moved his legs around in some kind of desperation to feel land underneath him but felt nothing.
"Ground!" Altair coughed the word out has his gasped for air, 'there's no ground!" he clutched desperately to Ezio's robes, his panic filled eyes gazed at Ezio in shock at how he could possibly be keeping afloat and he screamed at him, "blasphemy! What sorcery is this?"
"What?" Ezio blinked in confusion, he watched Altair twist around looking for whatever Ezio was surely holding onto to be staying up like this before finally glaring at Ezio with eyes that demanded an answer, Ezio continued, "er... No Sorcery... I'm treading."
"I want no part of your black magic! Release me!"
"Well... if you say so" Ezio let go of Altair enough to let him slip down into the water a bit more
"NO!" Altair yelled in horror as he grasped onto Ezio for dear life
Ezio blinked in amusement, he wasn't quite sure how to react, it was oddly adorable to see Altair, the Master Assassin he had seen slay men in a matter of minutes clinging onto him like this, it was almost hilarious. But at the same time he felt shocked, too shocked that what had happened... had actually happened. He wasn't sure what to say.
Ezio reached the wall and pushed Altair over to the stone path, Altair clung all too desperately to it. Pulling himself up all and turning around as he gasped for air. He glared furiously at Ezio.
"What... was the MEANING... of THAT"
"...I..." Ezio paused in confusion unsure of how to respond when his brain realized the accusing tone Altair was using on him and switched into defense, "I didn't know you would sink if I pulled you in!"
"What in God's name did you THINK was going to happened?"
"I thought you could swim!"
"What is SWIM?"
"SWIMMING! It's-it's when you jump in the water and move around!"
"You call that SWIM? I call that DEATH!" Altair stood up and stared down angrily at Ezio, his balling his hands into fists. Ezio was pretty sure if he hadn't been in the water Altair would have punched him.
"No, THAT'S called DROWNING, Swimming is when you move in water WITHOUT dying"
Altair grit his teeth and ignored him, yelling, "enough of this sorcery! Come out at once!"
"It's... It's NOT sorcery Altair! It's swimming! Anyone can do it!" Ezio pushed off the wall and did a short back stroke before treading again. "You see? It's just a matter of knowing how to move your body so you stay above water and don't drown!"
Altair eyed Ezio silently, unsure of what to make of this. Ezio blinked at the man and swam back to water's edge, gripping onto the path, "Does... no one know how to swim where you come from...?" Ezio asked
"I was raised in a desert- we are taught that water is dangerous and that if we wish to survive, we are to ensure we never fall in it." Altair retorted
"So..." Ezio started, his voice held the strong sound of disbelief and concern as he pulled out of the water, the liquid pouring off of him and drenching the ground beneath him, he stood up in front of Altair, "so... no one can swim?... You... can't swim?"
Ezio's look of astonishment made Altair twitch. "How dare you act as though this is something any fool should know, what does it matter if I do not know your trivial exercise- it does not make me any less of a man and it does not make my people any less of a civilization, do not give me your look of pity."
Ezio gasped softly, he hadn't meant to offend the man, despite knowing about Altair's dislike for public physical contact (especially when he's pissed). Ezio put a hand on Altair's shoulder, "hey hey! Wait now, I didn't mean it like that I was just... surprised! Here it's regular protocol that all assassins learn to swim, I just assumed that you... Of course I understand that where you were raised it was hardly an issue but... there is a lot of water in Venezia, doesn't it seem like a pretty big thing to be trying to avoid?"
Altair knocked Ezio's hand off him and retorted in a voice lined with venom, "say what you mean and be out with it."
"I... I just think perhaps you should consider learning how to swim...?" Ezio pleaded
Altair turned to look at the water, he cringed a little remembering the feeling of almost drowning and yanked his arm away from Ezio, "no."
"It's really very easy!"
"I know it's scary! It's okay to be afraid!"
"I am not afraid!"
"Then let me teach you! And you can take it back to your people and teach them as well!"
"I do not wish to teach them, nor do I wish to learn"
"So you are afraid?"
"Do not test me Ezio!"
Ezio paused, breathing softly, this wasn't working, if he was going to convince the man to listen to him he would need to take a different approach that didn't make him feel like he was trying to offend him.
He walked slowly behind Altair who was now facing the water, Altair spun around, his eyes screaming at Ezio not to dare push him in the water. He opened his mouth to voice that threat but Ezio wrapped his arms around him quickly and pulled him to his chest in a tight hug.
"...Please Altair... I'm just worried, if something happens while no one is there to help you... I'm afraid I might lose you" Altair didn't respond, he went silent under Ezio's soft concerned voice, hearing no direct objection, Ezio saw it as a sign to continue, "...Do you enjoy the feeling of drowning?"
"...Of course not..."
"If you learn how to swim you'll never have to feel it again. You can move walk around water, worry free"
"...Please... for me...?"
Altair sighed softly and finally returned the hug wrapping his arms around Ezio, "...fine..."
"BELLISSIMO!" Ezio exclaimed happily suddenly, surprising the other assassin as he put his hands on Altair's shoulders, "then we'll start right away!"
"Now?" Altair said in confusion
"Yes! Today is wonderful! We have nothing to do! I can't think of a better time! Quickly come, I must find a secluded spot where no one will find us!" He let go of Altair and looked around
"Isn't this secluded?"
"No, it's far too open, besides the water here is deep, if I'm going to teach you how to swim I need shallow water... AH!" Ezio grabbed Altair's hand enthusiastically, "I know the perfect place! Come!"
Ezio pulled Altair, running through the streets quickly, practically knocking people over in the process. Altair had to say he was feeling very uncomfortable. Not from the speed they were running at and not because of the half injured men that shook their hands at them threateningly for having been shoved out of their way, no never. He ran just as fast if not faster than this all the time. It was just the unfamiliar weight of his clothing from the water and the horrid squishy feeling of his boots under his feet. Gods he just hated that feeling.
Eventually after being pulled halfway around Venice they reached a quiet secluded area near the water, it looked a little like a small beach, not very wide and just outside the city, the whole thing seemed surrounded by trees.
Ezio ran over to the water and turned around "Alright! The first thing we need to do is strip!"
Altair stared at him, "...strip? Why must I strip"
"Aha- well..." Ezio looked off to the side, 'because I like to see you naked' Ezio thought as he smirked a little to himself, "usually I'd say it's because we need to keep our clothes dry, but-ah- it's a little too late for that... But it does make you heavier and truthfully the water is bad for the armor, not to mention it really weighs you down, so since we are just learning how to swim I'd say you should take your clothing off. I'll take mine off as well so you're not the only one in your underwear" Ezio flopped down on the floor as he said this and began taking off his boots
"I can wear my underwear?" Altair asked
Ezio mentally punched himself in the head suddenly wishing he hadn't said that.
This close if he hadn't said that he would have been this close to swimming naked with Altair
"Ah... yes... you can" Ezio smiled and went back to the task of removing his boots. From the corner of his eye he could see Altair begin to pull his belt off.
Ezio swallowed lightly and concentrated on what he was doing, removing his own belts and buckles. After he had all his things neatly hanging on a tree he turned around to look at Altair. There was Altair, standing before him, completely naked except for a cloth that wrapped around his mid region, covering his groin. Ezio suddenly wondered how easily that cloth could be pulled off. He shook the thought from his mind and smiled at Altair who was looking off to the side now waiting for him.
"Okay! Very good! So come! We'll go in the water now!"
Ezio started to walk over to the water but Altair stood still and hung his head a little
"...Come on!" Ezio made a hand motion for Altair to walk closer, but when he still didn't move, he rolled his eyes and walked over to him, grabbing his hand and pulling him over, "cooome Altair..." He pulled Altair over to the shoreline but just as they entered the water Altair pulled back
"The water is cold."
"...And it is hot out" Ezio reached to grab his hand again but Altair backed up a little more
"It will be dark soon..."
"No it won't" He reached again and Altair backed up a bit more
"Your sister must be wondering where we are"
Ezio glared at Altair, slightly annoyed, "Altair, you're just-" he cut himself off before he could accuse him of being scared. He had to choose his words carefully, if he said the wrong ones the other assassin would be offended and become defensive. And then he would NEVER get him in the water. "...making... up excuses" his voice came out softer now, "come... it'll be fine trust me"
"...You are sure anyone can do this?"
"It is not sorcery?"
"it's just a trivial exercise"
Altair sighed softly and walked past him into the water until it was about waist high. Ezio flashed him his huge charming smile as he joined him, "alright! So lesson one is learning how to float!"
"People do not float" Altair corrected him
"Ah! But that is where you're wrong!" Ezio leaned back in the water, and relaxed, spreading himself out and allowing himself to float on top of it, "see! I'm going to teach you how to do this!" Ezio stood up again, his smile still intact, "ready?" He asked
"Come, Altair! It's easy!" He walked over to Altair, "all you have to do is lean back and relax just as though you were going to lay down for bed. And I will put my hands under you and hold you up"
"...You are going to hold me?"
Ezio nodded, "yes I promise"
"Then what is the point of this I thought you were supposed to be teaching me how to swim"
Ezio twitched slightly, "I am! Look this is an important step in learning how to swim so will you please lean back and lay down on my hands"
Altair stared at Ezio funny, finding the whole thing strange but did as he was told, turning around and carefully and hesitantly leaning back, he almost had it, but as soon as his feet had to come off the ground he stood back up again
"I cannot do this!"
"Yes you can"
"I am going to sink, you are trying to drown me"
"I'm not trying to drown you, you're not going to sink because I'm going to catch you"
Altair contemplated it again turned around once more and went to lean back "You are going to catch me?"
"I'm right here just lean back, as if you were going to take a leap of faith"
Altair shut his eyes 'Leap of Faith' he thought in his mind as he started to lean back. Sure enough he hadn't sunk just as Ezio said he wouldn't. However as soon as his body registered he was in water he became a little stiff, holding onto Ezio's arm
"Just relax, Altair, you're fine"
Altair sighed and did as he was instructed, letting go of Ezio's arm and trying to relax himself. It was difficult considering he was current engulfed in the same substance he had been taught could kill him in seconds, but he tried anyway.
"Yes... very good" Ezio started to smile, "you're doing great!"
"Only because you are holding me..." Altair half mumbled and in response Ezio pulled his hands up to show him he wasn't holding him anymore, "gah!" Altair suddenly flayed his arms and legs in surprise and sunk, panicking for a moment before Ezio grabbed him and pulled him up
"It's shallow! Altair! Stand up!"
Altair stood feeling ashamed as his face burned with embarrassment, he pointed at Ezio, "you lied to me!"
"I was supposed to"
"You said you would hold me!"
"To make you relax"
"But then you let go!"
"I taught you how to float!"
"You taught me nothing!"
"But you were just doing it!"
Altair looked down at the water; he knew everything Ezio said was true but...
"...Well... Now that you know what is going to happen... will you try again?"
Altair didn't want to. He really didn't want to. But he looked up at those eyes and that pout and... "Fine..."
Ezio smiled, "alright! That's the spirit! So turn around and lay back and I'll hold you again, then when you're ready I'll let go!"
Altair sighed, taking a deep breath and exhaling as he leaned back again, resting on Ezio hands and remembering to relax before he felt them slip away. Ezio smiled brightly, "see!... You are doing it! Perfecto!" he pulled his hands out of the water, "see! And all by yourself"
Altair smiled weakly, he wasn't comfortable, but it wasn't so bad.
"Okay so stand up! That is the most important move, Altair! You see, now if you ever fall in water, you can do a back float and you won't drown! We'll practice it a few more times and then I'll show you how to move while in that position!"
They repeated the same action a few more times and just when Altair was starting to feel slightly annoyed that he was being treated like a fool, Ezio sprung something new on him "okay now do it on your own"
Altair cringed slightly "on my own...?"
"...you're not going to hold me anymore?"
Ezio smiled a little trying not to make his amusement too obvious, the one line alone made him want to cuddle the assassin and tell him if he wanted, he'd never let go. But for the sake of moving on the lesson he simply nodded, "you'll be fine, Altair"
Altair looked down at the water, his regular stone faced features completely exposed without his usual hood on; he gently sank into the water and turned around relaxing and floating up on the water.
"Good!" Ezio cheered, as soon as Altair stood up, Ezio ran (the best he could while running in water) towards the edge of the water. It was a different edge then the shore line. The ground was higher here, he pulled himself up to sit on it with his legs hanging in the water. He grinned as he watched Altair walk over to him, deciding to take this moment to rake his eyes down the drenched naked upper body of the extremely fit man. Oh how he so wished he was doing something other then showing him how to swim. Altair stopped a bit away and looked up at Ezio, "now what...?"
Ezio grinned wider and kicked his legs successfully splashing Altair like crazy, it didn't take long before a strong grasp on both his ankles stopped him from kicking and Altair was glaring up at him angrily. "How old are you FIVE?"
Ezio leaned forward and smiled smugly, "nooooo... This is the next step!"
"Drenching me with your feet is going to teach me how to swim?"
"Well... no that was partially for my own amusement, now get up here" he pat the ground beside him and Altair sighed and followed instruction, sitting next to Ezio with his legs also submerged into the water.
"Okay, now for this next part, we're just going to kick our feet in the water, like so" Ezio kicked his feet just as he had done when Altair was in front of him, "okay, now you try" Ezio turned to look back at Altair waiting for him to make a move. Altair stared back at Ezio for a moment with a look that said 'seriously?'. He then looked back at the water wordlessly and started kicking his legs like Ezio had. "Good Good... Si, Altair, that's very good... but if I may..." Ezio leaned over close to Altair, placing his weight on his right hand as he grabbed Altair's calf with his left. He then moved Altair's leg up and down in the water in a kicking motion, "more like thiiis..."
Altair's face scrunched a bit in mild annoyance, "I do not understand, that is what I was doing." Altair turned his head to look at Ezio, only to see his face 1 inch away from his.
Ezio ran his hand up Altair's leg suggestively as his grinned, "I know... I just want to touch your leg..."
and Ezio hit the water
The water made a large splash as he fell it and Altair stared at the water with his regular look of annoyance
Ezio burst out of the water a moment later
"Dio Mio! Altair! Why did you push me? Is it so bad for me to want to feel up your beautiful- BAH!"
Ezio was cut off by Altair suddenly kicking water in his face, first Ezio looked like he wanted to fight it, wanted to block the water out of his face but eventually he gave up and let his arms drop and he stood there with his eyes closed.
And Altair stopped kicking
Ezio opened his eyes with a look of dis-amusement, "are you just about- " Altair cut off him off, kicking water in his face for a minute before he finally stopped and gave Ezio a chance to continued his sentence, "...finished... yet..."
Altair kicked again for few more seconds and stopped once more, smirking a little bit, "yes, I believe I am, are we just about finished?"
Ezio twitched, "no! Altair you have to learn how to swim and I'm not done teaching you yet!"
Altair frowned, "then why are you hitting on me during the 'lesson', I'm beginning to question your teaching methods"
"You're my boyfriend! Amore mio! I just wanted to give you a little affection!"
"It felt like you were fishing for more than just a little affection"
"A little affection, a little sex- what's the difference, ah? Besides, it's good to take breaks during lessons to do things you enjoy" Ezio replied as he grinned and winked.
Altair sighed, "Ezio, I grow tired of this water, can we move this along?"
"Ah..." Ezio frowned a little at the not too subtle rejection, " erm...Sure... come back into the water, then..."
Altair pushed himself back into the water and walked over to him
"Okay!" Ezio smiled, "now you're going to lean back into the water and do the back float again- but this time-" Ezio floated and began to kick his feet, "you're going to KICK just like we just did!" He stood up again, "now you try it"
Altair frowned dreading the thought of having to float again, but he leaned back and did the back float anyway
"Okay, okay, good, now kick your legs"
Altair did as he was told and started moving forward
Altair stood up and Ezio grinned widely, "see! Wasn't that easy? I told you this was just a trivial exercise"
"Hm? What's the matter?"
"I can't see where I'm going... am I to just kick and hope I'm heading for land and not towards more open water?"
"Oh! Dio Mio! No!" Ezio grinned, "this isn't the best way to swim, it's just easiest one to teach! Ideally you want to do the front stroke, like this" Ezio swam a little bit around Altair before standing up again, "or you can swim underwater like this" He swam underneath the water for a little and returned the surface and swam again. "Which is more ideal if you're trying to be discreet"
"...A..ah... I see..."
"But without knowing how to do anything else you basically would have to swim and wait until you hit your head into something you can grab on to..."
"... But ah- alright! Si! Why don't we try the front stroke then, I'd rather you didn't bruise your head!" Ezio's eyes half closed as his smile widened suggestively, he reached out and gently touched Altair under the chin, moving his face closer, "we wouldn't want you to injure yourself and forget how to make loove to me..."
Altair pushed him back again and looked away, a light blush going over his cheeks, "please, the last place I want to do anything, is in... arrrgg... water..."
Ezio stood upright and looked slightly put off, "hm... I suppose this is understandable, but you owe me tonight" Ezio winked. "Alright!" Ezio turned around and got lower in the water, "now the first part of the front stroke is to learn how to do the front float, you see it's just like the back float except on your front" Ezio lay forward in the water and floated for a moment. He stood up again, "See? Didn't that look easy? what do you think?"
"I think you looked like you were dead"
Ezio twitched, "eh... it's... it's a good thing to learn, the draw back is that you have to hold your breath, but I'm sure you're good at that, so come, you try"
Altair stared unsurely at Ezio, "I... don't ... think this is a... good idea"
"What? Why?" Ezio blinked blankly, "you just did the back float, it's the same thing"
"Yes but..." Altair trailed off and Ezio fought the urge to roll his eyes
"I will hold you again for the first few times, does that make you feel better?"
Altair slightly glared and it almost seemed like he wanted to yell at Ezio for talking to him as though he were speaking to a child but he decided against it and walked over to the other man. "..Fine." he retorted reluctantly.
"Buono, now hold your breath and lay down face first in the water" Ezio put his hands up just below the surface.
Altair stared down at his hands, contemplating something. After a few seconds he finally started lowering himself into the water and slowly relaxed himself enough to do the front float.
Ezio smiled. "Perfecto! See Amore? I knew you could-" Ezio was cut off by Altair suddenly flailing his arms, he suddenly burst upward out of the water so fast he knocked Ezio over and dashed a meter away from him.
Ezio stood back up out of the water and glared at him, rubbing the part of his chest that got whacked, " 'Eeey! What was that about? You were doing fine!"
Altair stood a meter away, body tense and an expression that looked like he was just waiting for the water to attack him.
Ezio twitched, feeling slightly aggravated that he was hit over something so silly, I mean... that hurt, he was almost certain it was going to bruise. But as much as he wanted to yell, he decided anger wasn't going to help him, "look, you were fine, why did you panic like that, I had you"'
For a magical split second, Altair looked scared, "I was... in the water..." he screwed his eyes shut and looked to the side, "I don't want to do this anymore."
"What? Don't be silly! You try again!" Ezio moved closer to Altair and Altair stepped back
"I... no, I want to stop now, enough" Altair tried to look firm on his decision but Ezio moved forward quickly and grabbed his hand.
"But why? Please Bello, you were doing so well! You had it, there's no reason to stop!" Ezio stared pleadingly into Altair's eyes, "...Please?"
Altair grit teeth a bit, damn it... Ezio and his stupid puppy dog look, "eerg... fine."
"Buono" Ezio smiled more softly, "now just lean forward, I have you there's no reason to panic..."
Altair stared at Ezio's hands and took a deep breath, he slowly lowered himself into the water and leaned forward, he just brushed against Ezio's hand when-
Altair shot back up. He glanced over at Ezio and then made a move to lean down again but just before his face could submerge- Again he was up.
Now Ezio had a look of slight annoyance as Altair tried for a third time and again didn't allow himself to completely go in. "What are you doing?" Ezio Suddenly exclaimed
"Go in, it's fine, the water isn't even deep, you can stand up!"
"..." Altair grit his teeth again and tried one more time to lean forward before instinctively trying to stand up again- this time however, he wasn't able to stand up the whole way. Ezio grabbed his shoulder and tried to push him down.
"No- stop it!"
Ezio pushed him in deeper and Altair's face almost touched the water, "Just go into the water! It's fine!"
"I don't- I can't!- let go!"
"Just relax in the stupid water already!"
"I do not want to proceed!"
Ezio pushed harder, "It's easy, and fun and you will like it- now get in the freaking water!"
"Ezio, RELEASE ME!"
Ezio angrily let go and splashed his hands harshly in the water, splashing Altair in the process.
Altair frowned and splashed him back
Ezio returned the favour
Pretty soon they were just standing there shoving water at each other
"ARG!" Ezio cried out, "enough! Altair! This is ree-di-culaas!"
"You're right, this is ree-di-culaaaas, I'm leaving" Altair turned to walk towards the shore when Ezio suddenly yelled angrily
"Stupido idiota! What is wrong with you? It is such a simple thing! Why are you so afraid of getting your head wet!"
Altair whipped around and glared at Ezio, "You want me to float like a dead man! Why would I ever WANT to do that? You can't wait for me to actually DROWN, to see me floating like that?"
"I'm trying to show you so that you will NOT. DROWN!"
"By how? Practically SHOVING me into the water? Great teacher you are!"
"Well maybe if you were a better student and actually listened, I wouldn't HAVE to shove you into the water"
"That is not fair- you KNOW why I don't want to go in the water!"
"I... you... ALREADY!..." Altair looked flustered and frustrated, " I... Water means death!"
"Then you fear death?"
"I fear NOTHING"
"Then what is it about water?"
Altair went silent and stared at the water with a look of agony
Ezio took it as a sign to continue, "...You jump off towers, you dive off cliffs, you run head first into battle. You could die easily from all those things, so if it is not dying you're scared of... Then what is it?"
Altair still stayed silent and unresponsive
"...All of those would have instantaneous death... So then... is it the pain before dying you don't want? The feeling of water filling your lungs?"
Altair twitched in a way that made Ezio sure he had hit the right spot, "I- I do not want to talk about this any longer!" Altair looked up at Ezio, anxiety clear in his body and face and his eyes pleading Ezio for an end. Despite it all, he still tried to be intimidating, "This conversation ends here! ...Now t-tell me. Are we finished?"
Ezio paused, staring blankly at Altair as though he were contemplating what to do next. "Well...If you want to be... but why don't we take a break instead?"
Feeling no mood to argue with any suggestion of getting out of the water, Altair gave a quick nod, and let himself be pulled towards the water's edge again. He followed suit when Ezio pulled himself out of the water and sat on the edge, but Altair pulled his legs out and crossed them instead of letting them hang in the water.
A long silence passed between them before Ezio finally looked over and smiled a little, "do you feel better out here?"
Altair just nodded
Ezio sighed looking out at the water, "that's good..."
There was silence again
"...I'm sorry I tried to hold you down in the water..." Ezio said softly, trying to ease the tension
"...and I... apologize for..." Altair looked over at Ezio and let his eyes glance quickly at the new forming bruise on his chest, "...hurting you..."
"It's alright, it goes well with my scar" Ezio smiled and indicated to the light line across his side.
Altair smiled a little and let out a small laugh, "I apologize for that as well, I don't think I ever said sorry"
"Well you deserved it, you really shouldn't sneak up on me"
"I'm surprised I managed to sneak up on you, I thought for sure you knew I was there until you tried to stab me! If anything it's a trophy mark for actually managing to shock you!" Ezio smiled and Altair laughed again
There was another short silence when Ezio finally broke it, "You know, when I was a kid there was this one day when my brother was teaching me how to scale a building. Everything was going fine, but when we got to the top we got into this argument. He was so mad at me pushed me and I ended up falling off the roof." Altair looked over at Ezio with a blank expression and Ezio went on, "I cracked a rib, and broke my arm... but I healed and life moved on. Even to this day every time I do a leap of faith I feel a little uneasy, but I don't let it stop me." Altair looked away and Ezio bit his lip, unsure how thin the ice was, "have you ever messed up a leap of faith?"
"Of course" Altair responded quickly, "luckily I only twisted my ankle"
"But you still do leaps of faith right?"
"Because I know what I did wrong to have injured myself, I knew how to fix that to ensure it wouldn't happen again, in that situation, I was still in control. If I were to fall off the top of a building I would know what to search for, what to grab on to in order to stop, I'm still in control. Have you ever felt what it's like to drown?"
The question almost sounded rhetorical but Ezio shook his head in response anyway
"Then you wouldn't understand. The feeling of not being able to do anything, you're completely helpless to an outside force that wants nothing more than to yank you down and fill you with its essence. I have fallen into water many times growing up, on one occasion I was even purposely pushed in because my own kin wanted me dead. It's not about the dying that bothers me, it's knowing there's nothing you can do to stop it, it's the feeling of vulnerability, knowing it's inevitable because you made one wrong step. I do not fear water... I just... hate how water makes me feel..."
Ezio tried to gather his thoughts, mulling over what Altair said and pulling at the grass lightly, he looked over again, "I don't know what that's like... but that's because I know what to do when I'm in water. I'm telling you, if you do this, if you learn how to swim, you won't have to feel that way anymore. You can be in control, even in deep water." Ezio smiled, "When you know what to do with it, water is fun! It doesn't have to represent such horrible things! It can great too!"
Altair didn't respond, he stared out at the water again
Ezio went on, "I realize you were raised to think this way, so me rambling probably means little- but when you learn how to swim.. Merda... it's just fun, you jump in and you just... do whatever you want, you don't have to worry about anything. Not to mention the advantages of knowing how to swim. And a guy like you- man you'd be unstoppable if you mastered swimming, you'd have no weakness at all."
Altair stared at the water, his eyes darting around in thought
"...But it's just a suggestion, I don't want to force you to do anything you do not want to." Ezio smiled a little and Altair didn't respond
He gave it a moment, sitting there pulling at the grass and letting the time sink in, he looked over at Altair, his eyes were darting around in a way that told him, whatever he was thinking about, he was thinking about it hard. Ezio shrugged after a few more minutes and decided they had waited long enough, he crawled a bit to Altair.
"I'm sorry if I made you more uncomfortable" he pecked Altair on the cheek and then moved to his front a bit, grabbing Altair's jaw and making him look at him, "we don't have to stay here anymore if you don't want to, so you can stop with the blank zombie look, alright?" he pressed his lips firmly against Altair's and Altair's expression softened a bit as he kissed him back. Ezio pulled back and smiled, "alright, wonderful Bella, you did great. Now come, lets go get our clothing and head home" he stood up and turned to leave, taking a few step when-
"Hm? What is it Bella?"
"I... I want to try again?"
"I want to try swimming."
"You'll give it another shot?"
"Wonderful!" In a second Ezio was next to Altair again smiling like a fool
"But... isn't there something else we could try?" Altair said softly, a sense of worry about him, "something where.. I don't have to put my face in the water?"
"Hm..." Ezio frowned thinking a moment, "well you know all the ones where you can see where your going involve your face in the water... uuhhh... OH, treading! I can teach you treading! Then you can do a back float and kick and then tread the water to see if you're going in the right direction and then float again and kick- si!" Ezio grinned at Altair as if waiting for some kind of sound of approval towards the idea.
Altair, having no idea what that was at all, had no choice but to unsurely nod and mutter an "Alright..."
"Good!" Ezio climbed into the water again and looked back at Altair, reaching his arms out to him, "come Bella! I'll catch you!" Water suddenly splashed on Ezio from Altair jumping in beside him and Ezio dropped his hands down into the water, "or not..."
Altair raised an eyebrow, silently questioning Ezio if he had actually seriously thought he was going to let him 'catch' him, but Ezio ignored the look entirely, grabbing his hand and hurrying to the deeper part of the water
"...Where are we going" Altair noticing that the water level was rising, "weren't we fine where we were?"
"No. For treading we need deeper water- you see, maybe to about your chin, because that way we can practice without you actually drow-"
The next step was suddenly deep and they both fell deeper into the water, the ground disappearing beneath them. Altair struggled immediately in panic and Ezio grabbed him and pulled him up, "relax, relax! You're fine! I'm sorry, I didn't know that was going to happen!" Ezio smiled as he watched Altair cling to him, he didn't say anything, in fear he would be punched so hard he'd bruise again, but Altair was very cute like this. Ezio kept his thoughts about how adorable he thought the other assassin was to himself and swam a little bit until he could feel the ground under his feet again.
The water wasn't nearly high enough to practice properly in, it was higher then the previous area, going about halfway up their chests, but that wasn't high enough for treading... but he figured he could show him how to do it here and see how it goes.
"Alright" he started, looking up at Altair who looked a little frazzled, "now there's two ways you can tread, there's the bicycle(1) and there's the egg beater, now I do the egg beater, but I'm going to show you the bicycle because it's easier and then once you've gotten used to the idea of treading I'll show you the egg beater, alright?"
Altair, still bothered that the water had suddenly sunk like that, nodded.
"Now to begin lets-... are you alright Altair?"
Altair seemed to snap out of whatever daze he was in, "y-..yes I was just, surprised, that's all"
Ezio smiled and put a hand on his shoulder, "don't worry. You won't drown as long as I am with you." he gave him a reassuring smile and then backed away a little bit, "alright! So first, to tread, we must move our arms like this he put his hands above the water and moved them from the center to his sides and back again, "almost like you were trying to give someone a gentle push but then flipping your hand around and pushing back the opposite way. You see it's like they were in your way and you had to push them aside," Ezio pushed his hand from front to the side, "and now your target is to your side and you need them to go back that way", he pushed his arms back to the center, "push them aside, and then push them back, now you try!"
Altair wordlessly mimicked the movement perfectly, despite the whole fear of water thing, Ezio nodded in approval, he was quite happy that Altair was able to pick things up so quickly, when he wasn't spazzing about the fact that he was in water that is.
"Si! Wonderful! Now we're going to move our legs like... oh you can't see them" he stared down at his own legs and then bent down in the water, disappearing beneath the surface and doing a head stand so his legs popped up out of the water, he began peddling them like a bicycle. After a little bit, his legs dropped under the water and his head popped up above the water again, he smiled, "did you catch that? Cause i don't really want to have to do it again"
Altair nodded, "yes, I think I did..."
"Alright, so just jump up and bend a little so you can peddle your legs and move your arms like this" Ezio tried to show him and Altair attempted to mimic him, however it was hard because the water wasn't quite deep enough, he could see that Altair's legs were hitting the ground, and his were too. "Enough."
Altair stopped and stood up and Ezio frowned in miner frustration at the water, trying to think of how to do this. His eyes glanced over at the part of the water he knew was deeper and he grabbed hold of Altair, taking a step towards it.
"W-Wait! What are you doing? It's too deep there" Altair jerked back on Ezio's arm.
Ezio turned a bit to look at him and smiled, "we need to, the water isn't deep enough here. Don't worry, I'll hold onto you, ooor rather I'll be right there, I'm just going to help you to practice" he tried to take another step forward but another tight jerk on his arm made him turn again
"Are you sure about this? Perhaps treading isn't what I should learn right now..."
"Treading is exactly what you need to learn right now, you can mix it with your back float and then you won't hit your head or aimlessly swim around." and with that Ezio jerked forward and pulled Altair into the deeper water, quickly wrapping his arms around Altair's waist and holding his body against his. "Alright... now just remember the bicycle and the gentle push, when you're ready let go and try it out. Ezio let go of Altair and Altair suddenly clung hard to Ezio
"What are you doing?"
"I'm giving you a chance to let go of me and try treading"
"You-you said you wouldn't let me drown!"
"And I won't, I'll stay right here and if it looks like you're not doing so well I'll save you, there's nothing to worry about"
Altair just clung to Ezio and hid his face in his neck
Ezio smirked a little, "...Wheeeenever you're ready"
After a moment he finally felt Altair's grip start to loosen, Ezio grabbed Altair's sides and tried to push him a bit farther away from him so he could kick the water without kicking him in the process.
Altair started trying to peddle his legs like Ezio showed him
Ezio grabbed him in no time smiling a little when he felt Altair willingly press his body again his
"Where was your gentle push? There was no arm action, I only saw bicycles going on there"
"I was too busy trying to kick to push"
"You have to do both or it won't work, they go together"
"But you're not pushing anyone"
"I'm doing the eggbeater, it's a completely different thing"
"Why can't I do that one, then I wouldn't have to push anything"
"You can't do this one yet! You can't even do the bicycle!"
"But wouldn't your one be easier?"
"No. You have to do the bicycle because... er... no! The Bicycle is easier! ... and... just do it again and push the water like you're trying to push someone out of the way" he practically shoved Altair off him and Altair in slight shock tried to kick his legs again
he tried to kick so much he forgot about his hands again and started to sink
Ezio grabbed him.
"You didn't do it!"
"I can't push I'm trying to make sure I kick!"
"I told you you can't only kick, it won't work then!"
"You know this is difficult when you aren't doing it either, I don't understand what you're asking from me"
"I showed you!"
"You did a headstand underwater and moved your legs around in front of me. When you stood up, you weren't even sure if I got it right."
Ezio frowned, "fine" he swam forward until he could feel the ground again and placed Altair there, pushing off the floor and going back to the deeper part, he then started to do the bicycle. "See? you have to push the water like this with your hands AND keep peddling your legs to stay up," he moved forward and grabbed Altair again pulling him into the deeper water attempting to shock him into trying again, he tried to push his arms and kick at the same time. "Good! You've got- er! Not quite!" Altair started to sink a moment after he had finally done it and Ezio grabbed him again. "You almost had it, you were doing it right for the first... second..."
Altair frowned, "I can't do this"
"Sure you can"
"No, it's stupid."
"You won't say that after you can do it"
"I don't understand why I can't-"
Ezio shoved him away again and Altair gasped and tried to tread. This time he had it for a bit longer before he started to fail and sink again, Ezio grabbed him.
"See? That was better!"
"Could you at least warn me before you shove me away like that?"
"I could, but then you'd be all no no and I'd be all yes yes, and then we'd be all, no yes no yes no yes and then finally you'd agree and let go, I'm just trying to save us time."
Altair looked highly un-amused and Ezio smiled brightly at him
Then Ezio shoved Altair away again and forced him to try to tread
It went on like this for a while, until Altair was finally able to do some form of treading long enough to be able to see where he was going before doing the back float and kicking his feet again.
...Of course Ezio hadn't shown him how to tread and then do a back float yet, but he figured he touch on that a bit later, perhaps after they practised treading more.
Ezio held Altair against his body as the tired, annoyed, aggravated and somewhat pleased assassin lay his chin on his shoulder, "That's enough..." Altair muttered, "can we go to the shore now?"
Ezio nodded, "of course of course", but he didn't go to the shore, in fact, Altair noticed, the shore was getting farther away, they were drifting farther out
"What are you doing? Land is that way!"
"I know" Ezio kissed Altair on the head, "I can see it"
"Then why are you going this way?"
"Because I can" Ezio kissed him again, "why, are you going to try to swim away from me?" Ezio smiled teasingly and kissed him again on the face
"S-stop that! This isn't funny"
Ezio kissed him lightly on the lips this time, "it's not supposed to be"
"It's not sexy either"
"Really? I beg to differ, the sun setting, us both soaking wet, floating in the water, in our underwear, you tired and spent from all the emotional and physical strength you had to put in, me tired but a little horny from watching you run around in your undies all day getting all nice and wet, and don't act like you didn't look at me either, I saw."
"I was checking your bruise."
"Sure you were." Ezio pressed his forehead against Altair's, smiling evilly, finally deciding to say what he knew was going to get him punched, "not to mention you're just adorable when you're scared."
Anger flashed in Altair's eyes, "I'm not-"
Altair was cut off by Ezio pressing his lips against his, his tongue quickly entering Altair's already opened mouth as he kissed him long are hard, "scared..." Altair mumbled as the kiss ended
Ezio pulled back a little but kept quite close as continuing to smile at Altair, "Oh but you are! And you're so cuuute, when you're scaaared. and friiiightened, and afraaaiiid"
Altair blushed, frustration covering his face, "I told you I'm not-"
Ezio cut him off kissing him again for a little and pulling off, smiling at the deepened blush, he squeezed Altair harder against his chest, "it just makes me want to looove you, and kiiiiss you, and huuuug you, and make it aall better!"
"Ezio- Enoug-" Altair was cut off by another kiss, "-erg- stop that!-" Ezio kissed him again, and pulled back with a smirk
"Plus it kinda turns me on a little" Ezio winked and Altair frowned
"No, not now, not in water, never in water, the last place i'm ever going to be turned on with you is water."
Ezio paused, smirking again and silently accepting the challenge of turning Altair on in water for later. "Alright, alright, I'll take you back, "but you really are being sooo adoorable right now-"
Ezio laughed a little and pulled Altair until they got to the part where they could feel the ground again, Altair pushed off Ezio and walked ahead, pushing through the water to get to the shoreline. Ezio wordlessly followed suit
Just as they got to the shore, the water still just past their ankles, Altair suddenly turned around, catching Ezio off guard and shoving him over hard.
Ezio hit the ground and looked up, frowning and standing up again " 'eeey- what was-"
"That was for saying I was scared, and THIS-" Altair shoved him over roughly again before Ezio could stand up the whole way, he hit the ground harder than the first time, "is for taking advantage of me"
"and THIS" Altair suddenly stomped on his chest, hard enough to hurt but not hard enough to break him, Ezio let out a light cry of agony, "is for shoving me around in the water" Altair stormed off again towards his things and Ezio sat up rubbing his chest
"Merda... being your boyfriend is painful, Diiio Miiio..." Ezio pulled himself up and walked over behind him, rubbing his chest again, "so... does me taking pain mean we're even?"
Altair didn't say anything he just soundlessly pulled his underwear off and pulled on his pants. Ezio smiled, enjoying the view while it lasted, and then turning to his own things.
Altair finished first, he sat on a big rock fully clothed, his face protected and shaded by his hood again as he waited for Ezio to finish. Ezio pulled on the last of his weapons and walked over to Altair, smiling when Altair stood up just before Ezio reached him.
"It was a good lesson.. however painful it was at some parts... but I suppose you could say the same thing" Ezio gave a smirk and Altair looked away
"I supposed, can we leave now?"
Ezio nodded with a smile and held his hand out again for Altair to hold.
Altair paused, looking over at Ezio, his eyes staring at the hand and then flicking up to Ezio's expression, he took a brief moment to look around and then turned to walk away, Ezio's expression saddening a bit.
Just as Ezio was about to put his hand down Altair stopped, sighed, turned around again and took Ezio's hand. Ezio smiled widely in response and Altair smiled a little bit.
They walked hand in hand together, down the streets of Venice.
Maybe tomorrow they could try to swim again.
YAY! So it's finally done, I thought I wasn't ever gonna finish this story!
I have a few notes I want to add, that I know you will not read, but I'm gonna write them anyway!
(1) Bicycle and Eggbeater- Okay these are the names of the 2 types of treading that I'm aware of, I don't know if they're called something else, else where, but here they're called Bicycle and Eggbeater. Now I put a little note on it because- TECHNICALLY... Ezio and Altair shouldn't know what a Bicycle is because there are no bicycles in the renaissance! I thought about calling it something else to make it more relevant to their time, but I couldn't think of anything and I thought I'd end up confusing the readers (and myself), so I just left it as it was.
Although if we're gonna be REALLY technical, I'm not even sure that Ezio would know the front stroke and back stroke and what not because the first basis for the breast stroke wasn't written down until after Ezio died! Not saying he wouldn't know how to swim, I just mean I don't think he'd know such a formal step by step method to it.
But anyway, who knows maybe the assassin's are advanced, or maybe they got the knowledge from the piece of eden, or I dunno there's lots of ways to swing that.
So anyway, I know alot of you should already know all the italian words I used, but for those of you who don't, I'm going to write down what they mean cause I'm SuCh a NiCe person, you see.
Dio Mio- My God
Bella- Sweetheart, Lovely
Bello- Handsome, Good-looking
Bellissimo- Beautiful, Gorgeous, Terrific
Amore Mio- My Love
Okay! So I'm finished, I hope you enjoyed it!
Please Review if you liked it! ...or... if you didn't like it! Byebyee!