Hello everyone. This is a little piece of weirdness I've been working on. I've not written a fanfic with an OCin it for several years, so I'm a bit unsure about this. It is set during the first game, some where in the middle. I've not been very specific on it. Anyways, I hope you enjoy it or not.(And to my Second Chances readers, I am working on the second chapter . Apologies all around for not working on it...)
Disclaimer: I do not own Altair, Malik or any characters from Assassin's Creed, they belong, sadly, to Ubisoft. I do own Shah and this plotline.
Shah Rajhad was a complex concoction of places and peoples, ideas and ideals from all over the world, power and play all poured into a molten shell and never allowed to harden. He was confusion, chaos, blood lust and love all rolled into a solid package of sullen, sulky teenager who carried to many sharp pointy things for one so volatile. His mother had not wished to keep the product of her mistake and so she turned the sulky baby over to the Templar's who, provided him with a wet nurse and not much else. Love, tenderness, basic human kindness was not something he had never been familiar with. He had went to the school of hard knocks and was well acquainted with blood, death, pain and roughness from the start.
The plan from the beginning was to instill him with their own doctrines, train him to be one of them. Use him against his own father and the Brotherhood; their own secret weapon. However, their methods did not work with one so temperamental. Shah did their training and became expert with the sword, dagger, short sword. He wore their clothes and did as he was told and followed their routine's. But inside he rebelled, he tugged at his chains holding him grounded; grounded to the stone fortress in Acre. He was allowed to go out on patrols with the guards, where they could keep a short leash on him and under control but never allowed to roam alone outside of the fortress. He wasn't sure why, what they were keeping him from, why he was so restrained. He wanted to fly.
Late at night on tiger paws, he would slip out his small window and up the fortress wall, climb to the highest point and crouch, looking longingly up at the moon, out across the city or the sea, snuffing the cool, tangy breeze. Once, while watching the city under full moon, he saw a figure in white scale one of the towers and dive off a point. Shah wanted to do that too. Sometimes, he saw the white figure speed across rooftops, disposing of sleepy archers and guards as he went and he knew the white figure could kill Templar's and Crusader's. He knew they hunted him. But who was really the hunter and the hunted?
On one sultry day, Shah was given the day off, meaning he didn't have to train, follow orders or anything unpleasant. Something was up, since the rare times this had happened, it meant that nobody was available to watch him. With a wary smirk and a rebellious snort, he bounded up the fortress wall to the corner where no guards went and perched. The hot sun beat down on his black hair but he paid it no mind as his blue eyes roved the city from above, hoping to catch a glimpse of the figure in white. As the sun climbed higher in the sky, it warmed his temper to a boiling point and he fought the chains grounding him. He pulled the simple, standard English style dagger from his plain, non-descript tunic and flashed it in the sun, gripping it until his hand grew slick with sweat.
He moved to perch on the very top of the wall and looked down. Far below was a haystack. He snorted and huffed like a nervous horse colt, fidgeting with the blade before tucking it away and standing. Blue eyes closed as he dredged up the memory of the white figure diving and while re-watching it, he positioned himself. A quick glance about told him of the guards whereabouts and he was pleased that none of them were noticing him. White teeth flashed in a wide grin and he threw himself off the wall, closing his eyes and savoring freedom.
He was flying.
He was in pain.
His head throbbed and the world went dark and he felt himself sinking into a black crush that he couldn't get above; it was sucking at his wings and drawing the air out of his lungs and crushing his chest.
He awoke with a bellow and fell out of the haystack onto the cobbles, panting. The world spun and tipped, his stomach rebelled and he retched. He felt like someone was beating him over the head with a rock and he slowly moved under the wagon, then touched the sticky on his forehead. Shah's agile mind, though spinning was quick to figure things out. He had hit his head while falling into the hay filled wagon and now it was the cool of the night. Guards were few, it was a crescent moon...and he was outside the walls, alone.
Once his head stopped pounding, he slid from under the wagon and made his way to one of the cleaner fountains where he washed his face from blood and dust and cooled his neck and arms. From there, he found a ladder and went to the rooftops he had looked down on so often and wandered. He took a running start and launched himself across a narrow street. When he made it across, he threw caution to the winds and ran like he never had before, flying across streets and thudding into buildings when he missed, scrabbling for handholds and tearing his palms and fingers to shreds. Shah bruised knees and shins, forearms, ribs and stomach. But he was happy. Happier than he had ever been.
Awkwardly, he scaled one of the towers and eased his way out onto a point, inhaling the air with an open mouth; tasting the cool tang with his tongue and snuffing like a dragon. He felt alive. This was the highest he had ever been and from there, he could see the city gates and the mountains beyond, bathed in the pale moonlight. To his left, he could see far out to the ocean and the Crusader fortress he had just escaped from and below him in five or six places, archers paced slowly, wishing for their patrol shift to end so they could go to sleep. Shah narrowed his blue eyes and looked down; it was a long way down and his heart temporarily lept into this throat. Maybe jumping wasn't such a good idea from this height...he could miss the hay and hit the edge of a building or the street and that would be the end of him.
'Although..' he thought dryly, 'with my luck I would just cripple myself.'
So with a sigh and a huff, he slowly backed off down the tower and trod softly across the rooftops behind the archers, heading pointedly towards the city gates with every intention of leaving.
A archer dropping dead suddenly, changed his plans. Shah was laying silently on the off slope of a roof, peering over the edge while figuring how would be best to avoid the man. In the stillness of the night, he heard a soft whistle. The archer cried out and dropped, writhing for a moment before groaning softly and laying still. Shah huffed a curl out of his eyes and watched, waiting for something more to happen. His patience was rewarded when a moment later, the white figure knelt over the body and dragged it away from the rooftop. Shah inhaled sharply; his hero was only steps away! In the moonlight, he would see the throwing knives on the shoulder, a beautiful short blade across the back, sword on the hip, well crafted knee high leather boots, the red sash.
Altair practically bounced across the gap in buildings after taking down another archer that stood in his way. He had no aim or goal in mind that night but he had slept most of the day in the Bureau and now found himself with to much energy. What a better way to spend a lovely night than cutting down rooftop guards and archers? As he pounced on the fallen man and relieved him of a few smaller weapons and his own throwing knife, he felt the hair on the back of his neck bristle with that distinct feeling of being watched. He pushed it into the back of his mind for the moment, then caught up the archers ankles and drug him away from the edge, back against a slanted roof and shoved him up under the overlapping eve. His senses prickled again but he ignored it once more and took off at an easy pace.
Shah let out a breath he didn't know he had been holding and slipped up over the peak of the roof, then stood, watching the white figure leave. Like a moth to the flames he felt drawn to the man and before he knew it his feet were following him. He was more focused now, no longer wandering about aimlessly and he noticed it. His feet didn't slip, his hands always caught the ledges, though they were torn and bleeding he didn't notice the pain, only the ecstasy of pursuing his hero on silent feet.
Altair however, had much more stamina from years of training and practice and Shah found himself quickly falling behind, until he found himself alone, the white figure gone from sight. With a sigh, he slipped into a rooftop shed and settled into a corner to relax and get his energy back. He knew it wouldn't take long...Shah had always recovered fast. After a few minutes of deep breathing and relaxing his quivering muscles he slipped back out and on to the rooftop, glancing up at the moon to check the time. He was much closer to the city gates now than he had been, so much closer to his freedom. Shah pondered and climbed his way up to a higher vantage point, glancing back to the fortress and then over at the city gates, weighing his odds. After a long internal debate he choose to go back, back to his chains and shackles. There would be more opportunities to leave and he had heard rumors of a battalion of Templar's being sent to Jerusalem. Maybe he would get to go with them if he was good and then there would be plenty of opportunities to just vanish.
With a sigh and a final glance around to see if the figure in white was anywhere close again, he turned back and lept across the rooftops, trying to do some of the moves he had seen his hero do; running up a wall to catch the top ledge, leaping cat-like across exposed beams and swinging off of metal rods onto the street. By the time he reached the fortress wall, he was thoroughly worn out, his arms ached from catching and pulling himself up, his legs from running and balancing and his palms were rough and bleeding from the roof edges. His heart sank as he looked up the smooth fortress wall and realized that there was no way in save for the main gate, the main gate that was guarded by four guards that wouldn't be letting him in unless he was recognized. If he was recognized, he would be in trouble with every officer that had control over him. Slowly, he canvassed the walls where he could, being mindful of the archers at the top who would turn him into a pincushion for prowling suspiciously.
However, the archers were more concerned with things out from the wall and never noticed him as he scaled up some scaffolding and jumped high enough to grab onto the small ledge below the top of the wall. Shah grunted softly as he pulled himself up and flopped gracelessly onto the walkway, laying for a moment before hopping up and scurrying back to his small room, slipping through the window he was almost to big to fit through.
Across the city, Altair dropped down into the Bureau and settled onto the pillows for the rest of the night, muscles pleasantly tingling from the workout. He could not shake the feeling from his mind though that he had been followed, but he was sure the Bureau had not been compromised as the hair on the back of his neck had flattened after several blocks of running. Who, or whatever it had been, had fallen behind or given up the chase. He wished to speak with the Rafiq about it but it would have to wait until the morning. Earlier that day, he had completed his investigations and had finished early to return and nap before his mission. However he slept longer than planned and the old Rafiq had failed to wake him. The mission would have to wait until the next day and Altair found himself fortunate that his information was not time sensitive. Tomorrow, he could go and take his time with the assassination, return and rest for a bit before heading back to Masayf...
Well I hope you enjoyed this little piece of weirdness. I have a second chapter almost finished, but it will depend on the feedback on this on whether I put it up or not. Thank you for reading!