Ezio comes to see his best friend one last time. He will be leaving soon. They both will.
Leonardo is painting when Ezio steps through the threshold. Leonardo is hunched slightly, carefully stroking his brush against the canvas. The smell of paint and wood fills Ezio's nostrils, and his lips curl fondly at the strange inventions hung on the walls. His back and shoulders relax, and there is a waft of the bitter smell of canvas as Leonardo whirls around, a wide smile on his face. "Ezio!" He exclaims, his voice softened by age but nonetheless cheerful. He heaves himself to his feet and throws out his arms. Ezio steps into them, cradling the old man, kissing both of his cheeks. They are both old men now. How time has flown by.
"How are you, my friend?" Smiles Leonardo, hands shaking slightly as he rearranges his paints and pulls up a chair for Ezio. Ezio sits beside his friend, and he can see the signs of age in Leonardo's face-the deep smile lines, the crows feet-but there seems to be no taming the man's brilliant mind. He chatters on about his commissions and a golden lion he recently built. Ezio admires the painting he is currently working on, a simple painting of a pigeon.
"Ah!" Leonardo exclaims as his hand spasms. The brush clatters to the floor and his wrist trembles and tenses. He clutches his hands to his chest, biting his lips. Ezio quickly retrieves the brush. He wants to wipe that look off of his friends face. He gently smoothes out Leonardo's calloused hand, and closes his own around it, the brush held tightly in both of their grasps. He leans over Leonardo, and brings brush to canvas. He can smell the tree oil that Leonardo swears makes his hair softer, and he can feel the bird coming to life as they paint. He sees a tear slide into the thick beard, but Leonardo still smiles.
He remembers the young, sad man he once was. He remembers his thirst for revenge, and he remembers his tears. He remembers coming to Leonardo's door after his father and brother's death, and feeling these very arms wrap around him, younger and stronger, but somehow just the same.
He remembers Leonardo's eyes sparkling as Ezio leaps into the air with his flying machine. He remembers how odd he thought him when he pretended to have to cut off Ezio's finger for him to use the hidden blade. He remembers their secret meetings, and he wishes they had been able to spend more time together.
I am here now, thinks Ezio. He wraps his free arm around his old friend. Leonardo's body shudders, and he lays his head upon Ezio's armored shoulder. Had Leonardo really been with him all of this time? A place of love in his word eternally full of chaos?
Leonardo's blue eyes lock with his, and Ezio knows this will be the last time they will be together. The sense of finality has his arms tightening around his closest friend.
Ezio smiles, and Leonardo gives a gentle laugh. The two men sit silent in their memories, holding each other close until the painting is long forgotten, and Leonardo is still in his arms.
(You have no idea how much these two men break my heart.)