You and me baby ain't nothin' but mammals
So let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel...

- The Bloodhound Gang

Altair growled before he jammed the hidden blade between a templar's shoulder blades. The man gargled out a horrified response before he couldn't respond at all, and Altair gently lowered him into the dirt. It wasn't out of respect, but need. He didn't have the time to hide from guards because one of them heard this piece of worms-meat hit the ground.

He was agitated. And who else but Malik Al-Sayr could entice such emotion from our statuesque assassin? Nobody else, that's who. They had been friends so long, that they both knew how to get under each others skin better than a butcher's knife. He peered around one of the many view points of Acre. Well, its base really. He was currently crouched on a rooftop, just finishing up with his latest target. The last time he saw Malik was five or six hours ago, and not even the mindless slaughter of over excited guards could chill him out.

What Malik had said was lost in translation. That means Altair forgot what they were fighting about. He wasn't really well known for his memory. More for his speed, skill and wit. Sadly, he also had an irksome habit of feeling guilty whenever he fought with the rafiq. Malik was in Acre on an assistance mission since Altair couldn't decipher certain maps that would allow him to traverse the city and the Acre rafiq was rather rusty in ancient Latin. While Altair was acquiring another map by killing his target, Malik was interpreting the last map Altair had brought back. This target was a wealthy scholar who was selling information he had learned by observing the Brotherhood. It worked out rather well, Altair smirked. Get a new artefact the master was raving about and root out another traitor with one stone. Well, one blade.

He owed Malik this favour of accompanying him, and fighting the rafiq wasn't good repayment.

He slung himself over a gap between two rooftops and slammed the hidden blade into another guard, this time into his ribs. The guard was left the same way his companion was; face down. Altair leapt onto the bureau's roof and leapt down into the assassin's base. He ignored Malik's hiss from being woken by the entrance. He was formerly asleep on the cushions in the entranceway, a book clasped in his sleep riddled limbs. His obviously satisfying nap leeched his strength, since he could barely argue as Altair flumped down beside him, bringing a bottle of good will with him; namely his targets best liquor as well as a leather tube filled with maps and navigational gear.

Well, the rich git wasn't going to need it where he was, would he?

Malik looked from the bottle to Altair, but let whatever he was going to say die on his tongue. He slightly turned his head away, like an indignant child. "Truce?" Altair smirked and flung his hood back and nodded, "Truce."

"For now at least," Malik grinned, swiping the bottle and gulping some of the liquid down, hissing as it burned its way to his stomach. He simply bathed in the heat emanating from his gut now, and the wonderful tingling in his limbs. He almost didn't feel Altair's arm encroach on his shoulders.

"You know what, for a prissy bastard you do have your good points."

Malik glared at him incredulously. "Is that a compliment? Or are you doing that verbal diarrhoea thing you do when you drink?"

"Aww don't be so mean! Here I am, trying to be nice to you and you think I'm screwing with you! You should be grateful that I'm not verbally assaulting you right now."

Malik looked away as he took another sip, "Considering how uneducated you are Altair, I really needn't worry at all."

Altair glared down at him. "If I'm so horribly stupid, why do I always beat you at everything then?"

Malik snorted and handed him the bottle before folding his arm across his chest, "When did you ever beat me at anything?" Altair smirked, taking the bottle and took another swig. "Was it so horrible that you blocked it out? Would you like a re-inaction?"

Malik laughed, "Fine. Chess sound good to you? Or do your infallible skills not extend further than violence and sex?"

Altair mock gasped in pain, holding a hand to his face in woe. "How cruel! Is that jealousy I hear in your voice Malik? When was the last time you got laid? Or maybe the dust in your unmentionables is just making your words meaner than usual."

"I may be a prude, but at least I won't die from some disease and have it drop off."

"It's mean to joke like that, Mal."

Malik laughed and got up, helping the master assassin to his feet before leading the way out through another door onto the balcony behind the Bureau. Sat in the sun was an old chess board set up on a hardwood table, two sturdy chairs on opposing sides, the set of furniture slightly bleached from the sun.

Malik sat nearest to the balcony's railing, the grape vines that clung to its wooden frame spilling onto the floor like water. Altair sat, and Malik produced ivory and onyx chess pieces from somewhere in the swathe of fabric around his torso. Altair would have asked, but he knew better than to ask Malik where he hid them. Last time he asked the rafiq a question, he got a fist to the face and a knife embedded in the wall between his thighs. Yeah. The little guy had a temper on him.

Altair smirked viciously, Malik taking a precautionary lean backwards.

"Let's make things interesting, eh Al-Sayr?"

Malik simply raised his eyebrows.

"Whenever one loses a chess piece, one must also lose a piece of clothing," Altair smirked even wider, but Malik just laughed and clapped a hand to the table. "Get ready to be sitting on a balcony in Acre stark naked then, Ibn La-Ahad!"

"Is that a promise or a request?"

Malik laughed again, "I'm not one of the novices Altair. Sadly for you, I'm just not that easy." The rafiq smiled and shook his head. He knew the stories of the notorious Altair. He would go to a city and hit every whorehouse in town, and was a commodity among the novices since many a time did he find them a woman to keep his novices warm. Funny part was that some of them got better than a whore. Well, a different kind. Altair tended to get curious. The novice got a good time – from what he heard, one had a seizure in pleasure at the memory – and Altair got his reputation as a pimp.

He loved every second of it.

Altair laughed before he motioned for Malik to lean forwards. Luckily for him, Malik was curious. He didn't like Altair knowing something that he didn't know. The rafiq leaned, and the assassins' velvety murmurs set something in his stomach into a rapid tango, the hair on his neck acting as a horde of backing dancers for it.

The assassin leaned away and smiled at him before setting up his side of the board, Malik's own shaky hands following suit. Altair. What was he playing at? Malik sure as hell couldn't tell. He was either looking for a quick lay, or something else. Malik couldn't say the something else. It was absurd. A murderer's love? Never. But Altair wasn't really a murderer. A killer, yes, but no murderer. That makes it sound like he kills for himself, but in reality, he killed for the people and the future. He would take on twenty guards at once for a citizen; Malik himself had seen so. But what did he want from Malik? He already gained forgiveness, what else is there?

He wrapped his hand around his chin and watched as Altair made the first move before mirroring Malik's pose. Malik smiled, genuinely horrible. This wouldn't last long. Altair wasn't the brightest crayon in the box when it came to logic. It was funny, since he could kill a man who was covered by an entire citadel, which was kind of like chess. Slaughter the pawns and kill the king. Sadly, Altair hadn't made the link and failed miserably at any logic games. Chess was one of them.

Altair's enraged hisses and yowls were heard throughout the city, sitting with his face in his hands, in his underwear and boots on a city balcony. A few informers dropped by to see Acre's rafiq, blinking like idiots at the display. The rafiq himself simply couldn't give a reason for it. Malik almost punched his fist through a few of them as their eyes traced Altair's lower half, but he didn't know why. He didn't know what would be more painful; feinting ignorance or admitting his true thoughts.

Out of sight, out of mind as it were.

Altair made a gleeful sound as he managed to capture a piece, and Malik smiled in congrats. With an easy jerk he yanked his heavy cloak off, all his other clothes still intact. That's when he felt the pressure on his inner thigh. "C-chea-t-Ahhh!"

Malik ground his teeth together as Altair's sudden advance invoked a rather, unexpected response from him. The rafiq glared at the assassin as he looked up defiantly and took out another piece of Altair's frontier. The assassin frowned, but soon smirked and took off a boot. The pressure left as he removed his boot, but came back with a vengeance as Altair's hands went back under the table. "This can only get worse and worse for you Mal. I don't lose."

Malik gulped and after Altair took out another of Malik's pieces – Malik was very distracted after all – the rafiq removed his outer shirt. Altair groaned in disbelief. "How many layers do you have!"

Malik laughed, but it was cut short by a groping squeeze on Altair's part.

The rafiq hissed out a groan.

"Just give in! All you have to say is, 'You win!'" Altair suggested breathily across the table, one hand snaking across its expanse to caress Malik's cheek and mouth. Malik's hand nearly broke a chunk off the table in restraint. He could smell the spices rolling off Altair now, and the sharp odours made his mouth water. He laughed and clenched his teeth into a grin and had his queen claim another victim. Altair lost another boot.

The party under the table only got worse as Altair neared the end of his parade of assassin's clothes. Malik had to dip his head and bite into his knuckles to stop the stream of profanities and encouragement that would surely spill out to the master assassin. Altair smirked evilly, dragging out his turn painfully long. Malik was so close to winning. So close.

But the hands between his thighs felt so good. He almost threw the table into the air and simply jumped the man. So much for his superior composure. It was shattering in the hands of Altair. He could end it now, just one more piece and he would have a naked Altair in front of him. All he would have to do was crawl saucily across the table, show a little collar bone and the assassin would be hot in an instant. It would be so easy.

He smirked again, "Truce?"

Altair laughed gleefully into the night. The stars twinkled humorously back at him, as amused as he was. The master assassin relinquished his hand's embrace with Malik's manhood, slowly licking his middle finger clean. "Truce," he smirked at Malik's flushed face.

The little rafiq smirked. Altair's eyebrows raised in curiosity.

Malik stood, and sauntered around the table. Altair almost leapt up, but Malik's hand on his jaw line stopped him instantly. The lines of the little rafiq were pressing subtly into his side, a hip bone into his chest, a curve of a leg against his stomach. Malik's one and only hand ghosted down him, and he was sure it wasn't the cold night air that made him shiver.

"Maybe you're not just a pretty face," Malik breathed, the fire that Altair had seen earlier burned bright in his eyes. He was so close to everything he ever wanted. He always wanted Malik to notice him in some way. He guessed his infatuation with the man had to stem from his indifference to Altair's status. The master assassin was sick of the novices that screamed into the night, the next day bragging of their antics with a superior. Not him as a person. Just as a figure head.

Malik was different.

For one, they hated each other. But the way the little man was looking at him now, he was torn on that little theory. His words and his actions didn't match up. He noticed that lately, Malik looked at him. Just like he used to when they were young. Before Solomon's temple and before the Crusades.

With an easy movement, he yanked the little man onto him, and then transferred them both to the floor, budging the table out of the way with a shoulder. The sad chess set scattered across the old stone floor and the table shuddered away from Altair and Malik before lying still.

In the morning, a courier brought the rafiq a message. Malik wasn't expecting anything from the Brotherhood, so when the courier left and Altair appeared at his shoulder to nose around the note, he didn't think twice about opening it. And causing Altair to collapse to the floor in a laughing fit.

It was a fine for disturbing the peace.