Hard Work and Perseverance
An Assassin's Creed II Fanfiction by EdenPictures
Featuring Desmond Miles and Shaun Hastings
With Reference to Ezio Auditore da Firenze and Leonardo Da Vinci
WARNING: Contains; homosexuality, sex, violence and language
"Desmond, that's the fifth time this morning. I'm pulling you out of there."
"For goodness sake Lucy, you can't just stop because he's too stupid to stay alive during the sequences. We don't have time for this."
"Shaun will you just cut it out," said Rebecca, shutting off the Animus and disconnecting Desmond. "Everyone needs a rest, including Baby."
Desmond sat up, blearily rubbing his eyes as he listened to the exchange. He was exhausted, and no wonder; he had been in the Animus all day every day for two weeks, and lately he had been conducting his own research into his ancestor's life after everyone else was in bed. Not to mention that the bleeding effect had been getting worse and worse.
"We've lost four teams in the last week, Rebecca. Every day people rely more and more on us. It's bad enough that this idiot sits on his ass all day wasting our time getting himself killed or exploring memories with more courtesans than is really necessary, but now you're going to stop work because baby needs a rest?"
"I'd like to see you do what I do, you pompous, arrogant son of a bitch," said Desmond, standing and lurching towards Shaun.
Shaun spun around on his computer chair, shocked into taking his eyes off the monitor for once. He opened his mouth to make some kind of acid reply, but before he could speak Lucy was between them.
"Boys, that's enough," she said, "we've all been working extremely hard lately and we can't do any good work if we're falling asleep at our desks."
"Or if Baby overheats and blows herself up," added Rebecca from behind them.
Desmond looked as though he were about to protest, but something in Lucy's eyes made him stop. Huffing like a child, he stormed across the room and flung himself down onto his bed. Shaun watched him for a moment before spinning back around to face his monitors again, muttering incoherently.
He didn't get chance to touch the keyboard before Lucy had grabbed his shoulder and spun him back around.
"I said everyone needs a break, Shaun. That means you too."
Shaun huffed his resignation. He checked a few messages on the screen before shutting down and leaving the room. He didn't even glance at them as he stormed out.
"Jeez, who put a stick up his ass," muttered Rebecca as she gathered her things from the desk and followed him outside.
Lucy said nothing, glancing calculatingly at Desmond's sulking figure before leaving him alone.
After lunch, Lucy and Rebecca had decided to use their free afternoon to go into town and pick up some supplies. Knowing them as he did, Desmond knew he would have a few hours to kill before they returned. Shaun hadn't come out of his room and hadn't responded to the girls when they had tried to talk to him, so the bartender-come-assassin assumed he was safe to do as he pleased.
He hooked himself up to the Animus 2.0, lay back in the chair and closed his eyes. The stark white image of the loading lobby entered his mind before he was transported to Venice and the familiar surroundings of Leonardo's workshop.
Ezio was sat on a table watching the painter at work. A beautiful image of the Palazzo Della Seta was taking form on the canvas, a commission for Emilio Barbarigo himself. The conversation was focused on trying to use the painting as some way to gain access to the building, but both assassin and inventor were drawing blanks.
Suddenly, Leonardo turned away from the painting to face Ezio, worry etched on his face.
"I don't like this, Ezio. Each time you go on a mission the danger increases, and it is obvious that bastardo Antonio does not really care for your safety."
Ezio smirked. "You worry too much, Leonardo. Antonio looks after me just fine, not that I need looking after. I don't know why you hate him so much."
Leonardo stepped closer. "I have disregard for anyone that puts my favourite assassin in danger. Although he seems to do that to himself, a lot of the time," he said, smiling faintly as he traced a fresh scar on the younger man's cheek.
Ezio smiled, bringing his hand up to touch Leonardo's, before tilting his chin and kissing him softly on the lips. His hand left his face to tangle in the inventor's hair, the tenderness of the first kiss making way for the passion and heat of the second.
Leonardo's strong hands wrapped around the assassin, pulling him closer. He broke the kiss for a moment to glance at the clock.
"Do you have time..?" he let the hopeful question trail off.
Ezio smirked. "For you, caro mio, I always hav-
Abruptly, Desmond was pulled out of the memory. There was no white screen this time, one moment he was in Leonardo's workshop and the next he was sat in the Animus. His eyes flew open and he tried to sit up, only to be pushed back down by a wave of dizziness and nausea. When he recovered, he sat up slowly. His head was pounding but other than that his hasty exit from the Animus didn't seem to have had any adverse effects.
It took him a moment to realise that he was sat in semi-darkness. Looking around, Desmond realised that there had been a power cut. He quickly disconnected himself from the Animus, smiling faintly as he remembered the memory he had been pulled from, and went downstairs to find the electricity monitor.
The monitor and fuse boxes were located next to the alarm system in the warehouse on the bottom floor of the base. Desmond opened the case and flipped the master switch. Nothing happened. He realised then that he couldn't hear the low hum of the generator, and so made his way across the room towards it.
A horse walked across his path and Desmond stopped in his tracks. The bleeding effect. He was still semi-aware of his real surroundings and so pressed on towards the generator. The hallucination only lasted a minute or so and then Desmond was able to restart the engine of the generator, cross the room and restart the power.
The power cut had switched off the alarm system, he realised. Sighing, he climbed a ladder towards the first alarm switch and turned it on. The next switch was across the room. He should really have climbed back down, walked across the room, and climbed the ladder to the next switch. What he did instead however, was climb onto the railing and make a leap for a pipe that spanned the room near the ceiling.
Having picked up Ezio's climbing skills, he easily made the jump and hung from the pipe. The next pipe was merely feet away, so Desmond started to swing towards it. It was a jump he could have made in his sleep, had a guard not leapt at him from a nearby rooftop.
The hallucination felt so real. Ghostly fingers grasped his waist and dragged him down. Desmond lost his grip and tumbled towards the ground.
It's fine, he thought, I'll just land in the canal and swim away.
Crates smashed beneath him, splinters and pieces of jagged wood exploding across the room with the force of impact.
Desmond could see only water. He panicked, trying to swim to the surface. His arms flailed wildly and he kicked his legs out. The movement served only to push sharp wood deeper into his abdomen, punching through soft skin.
The hallucination started to fade, and Desmond stopped struggling. His eyes widened as he saw deep crimson pooling on the floor. He tried to get up, but the wood dug deeper still and a new wave of pain hit him. He sank back to the floor, using the last of his energy to call for Shaun before he succumbed to the dark infinity of unconsciousness.