Disclaimer: I do not own anything in relation to AC3.
Summary: Despite living closely with Connor, the inhabitants of the Davenport Homestead know little about him. A few snippets of their interactions with him.
Spoilers: For the plot end of AC3 in the second part of the story.
AN: I am always fascinated by how people react to the assassins, especially Connor. I wrote these from the perspectives of Myriam and Dr Lyle. If you enjoy it, there can be more to come. Good reading!
~~~~~~~ AC3 ~~~~~~~~~~
It's so cold that she instantly regrets not wearing another layer.
Myriam wants to be silent and light. She wants to surprise the stag and walk away with a pelt that's beautiful and untarnished by a panicked stab. She's running low on funds and she needs it to supply herself with food for the last of winter. It's hard being on her own but she's never been a 'catch.' She can count on one hand the amount of men who have ever been interested in her and most of them had sobered up pretty soon anyway. She's not the kind of girl to live on dreams so she's better off walking through freezing gusts of wind for a pelt that's worth half her house than touring the taverns for a husband.
A slight rustle sounds beside her and she notices a shadow, drifting in and out of the forestry.
She's never seen a person like him before. He's quieter than she could ever hope to be. Only his clothing gives him away in the snow littered ground of their homestead.
Up ahead, the stag pauses in its grazing and lifts its enormous head.
She glances at Connor, who is staring at it intently. His face is drawn and focused on its movements. His body coiled and ready to spring at a moments notice. She's more than grateful that he is helping her and that he treats her plea with such seriousness. She once thought that she might be in love with him. But she feels as if you have to know someone to fall in love with them and well… nobody knows who Connor really is. He just appeared in their lives like a saviour and shared their land in return for a simple thanks. He comes and goes at all times of the day and night and leaps through the trees like its second nature. She has traded with many of his people before for shelter and food and none have been as wild and wise as he is. Nor as handsome.
Myriam blushes at her thoughts and turns away from the man beside her, fixing her gaze back on the stag.
It senses danger, despite their care, and it's huge body ripples as it wades through the snow and into a patch of trees. Its breath mists in front of it and its fur catches the delicate crystals of snow that are falling. She nearly swears as the coverage increases and it is hidden completely. She's strong but the thought of losing the animal makes her eyes nearly well with tears. She can't live on air. She needs this.
Connor is still watching it though. He hasn't moved but his eyes have changed in a way she can't explain. They do not peer through the snow as hers do but look as if unburdened and able to see clearly. It reminds her of an eagle, looking into the distance at a burrow that no human eyes could spot.
The stag is completely hidden by the thick forestry and yet Connor's eyes are still trained on a specific spot, moving slowly across it with an analytical seriousness. It's as if he can see through to the living beast behind it. As if the lifeblood of that stag is beating only for his eyes to see.
The hedge is many metres in length and yet the man has already cocked his bow, arrow at the ready. She thinks it foolishness but there's nothing that she can suggest. His arrow will be lost in the leaves and the stag frightened away. Not to mention that the snow falls thicker and their visibility fails with each moment that passes.
She's already given up.
But Connor hasn't. His arm pulls back the bow, and releases. The head of the stag appears at the edge of the forestry for just a moment and then, with a mournful cry, it collapses on its front legs, blood dripping onto the white snow. The thick arrow is lodged in its head, piercing its brain and the death is swift and merciful.
Connor doesn't smile, doesn't even blink at the action. He's taken down a full grown stag in a blizzard and he acts as if it was simple and easy. She stunned by the skill and the inhuman display of senses and judgement. Her knife is hanging uselessly by her side, a gesture of her defeat.
They wade towards the beast, the snow now waist deep and stare down at its body. Blood drips from its nose in a steady stream and its eyes stare vacantly at them.
"We should skin it now, before its body freezes," he says, beside her.
She nods, still stunned.
"If you need me to, I can do it." He continues, his dagger already drawn.
He's too helpful. She wonders what he wouldn't do if asked. It's not many people who would enter a blizzard, kill a full grown stag and offer to skin it, all because someone had asked.
"I'll do it," she says. "You can go home. But… thanks." She says, with a wearied smile, "I… don't know what I would have done without it. Without your help."
He breaks out a smile, small as it is and she's reminded of how young he is. "Do not wait to seek my help if you need it again. I would be glad to help you."
She feels like she should be blushing but she knows her expression is probably quite aloof. He's charming and kind and she almost opens her mouth to lie about another problem, before realising that such offers do not come lightly. Myriam feels ashamed at her quick thoughts to deceive him.
"Thank you, Connor. Before you go though-" she says as he turns to leave, almost disappearing in the snow entirely, "How did you see it, through the bush? I couldn't see my own left hand in this weather."
"I used the other sight. Do you not possess this as well?"
"The other sight? No. I only see one of everything…"
"Oh," he says, with a frown. "It is nothing, Myriam. A lucky shot."
She stares at him for a moment, "Okay, Connor. Next time your at the inn, I'll buy you a beer."
He grins and the tension is gone, "I'll hold you to that."
Within a moment, he disappears, a shadow now vacant from her sight. She stares down at the deer, wondering about the other sight. A shiver runs up her spine as she remembers his gaze as he backtracked on himself.
He's an odd one, she can't deny that and she's going to keep her eyes on him.
It disconcerts her though, that, as she looks around, she can not spot a single trace of his previous presence. The snow is falling in such strength that his wade marks are covered, as well as his retreating footsteps. The only thing that remains is the feathered shaft that is burrowed deep within the skull of the dead stag.
Within seconds, he's faded out of existence and she's left, once more, alone in the woods.
If there's one thing that he misses it's a good quality wine.
He's used to people pouring him piss and calling it a sav but he could never quite get used to the taste of moonshine from a bathtub. He'll still drink it but it rots his tastebuds from its foulness.
Still, he's comfortable in his life. Comfortable with his glass of cheap liquor, his merry little fire and the non-urgent injuries of a farming town. He loves the surge of adrenaline from surgery or attending to the thousands of dying soldiers on a battlefield but he's older than he looks and tired; so very tired. The only thing calling him is the bed and a nice thick blanket to chase away the cold.
"Dr Lyle?" Comes a voice through the door and he cocks an eyebrow. A caller, at this time?
"Just a minute," he says as he drains the last of his glass, winces and heads for the door.
Connor is standing at the door, slightly bent and, as usual, shadowed. It's late and the moon is behind the house now and it helps little in showing him the state of the man.
"Come in, come in. You do know what time it is, don't you?" He says, slightly irritated as he steps aside and sweeps a hand carelessly in the direction of his chair.
The man steps forwardly, shakily, and for the first time, he notices that the man is clutching at his side.
"Are you alright?" He says as he moves forward to sling the mans hand over his shoulder and support him until they get to his chair. Connor waves him off, stumbling slightly as he slams agains the doorframe, rights himself and then walks hesitantly towards the table and chair.
As he steps inside, he can see that the man isn't just covered in blood but completely drenched in it. It drips from his side wound and its dried in a red current down his leg. And theres more blood, coating his face, his hands and his back. And yet, he can only see the one wound, certainly not enough to explain the splatters.
"What happened, Connor?" He says as he grabs his medical supplies. Some alcohol, some gauze, some bandages and a good bit of opium.
The man doesn't answer, just flings himself in the chair, sighs wearily and then tilts his head back and stares at the ceiling. Lyle snaps his finger in front of the mans face, who blinks a few times before looking around in a confused manner, as if questioning how he came to be in the house. Lyle wonders how long the man had been in that condition and how much blood he had already lost.
"Talk, Connor. I want you to talk. I'm not going to let you fall asleep so you'd better open that mouth," he cuts at the front of the mans clothes as he says this, revealing more blood and an extremely well toned set of abs. He feels slightly jealous but then again, he does like food.
"Are you going to stitch me up?" Says Connor, slowly.
Lyle pours a glass of the moonshine piss, "here, drink this."
"I can handle a bit of pain."
"I don't doubt that but you look like you need it anyways."
Connor takes a sip, looking slightly relieved at its bite. Lyle is glad, for a brief moment, that the liquor is so horrible that it seemed to shock the man into awareness again. The man looks at the glass and then at him, as if asking why he would betray him with such a horrible taste.
"Don't…. give me that medicine," says Connor as he looked at the opium.
"It will relieve the pain."
"I do not want it. I wish to remember this pain."
Lyle doesn't respond. He likes Connor, he truly does, but he doesn't understand his savage beliefs. He would never deny relief to pain. He's heard that the savages in the west wear their scars like medals. Excluding his friend, he's of the opinion that the whole lot need a wake up call of the civilised variety.
"Well, get to it then," he says as he wipes away the blood and threads his needle, "how did you get in this state?"
"Hm," says the man, staring into the fire, "it is a long story."
"-And I've got a lot of stitching to do. Now start."
He makes the first stitch, relieved that the man winces slightly and takes another sip of the liquor. For a moment, he was worried that he would hide behind a face of frowns and vacancy. He prefers a reaction of pain than none at all.
"I laid my mother's spirit to rest…"
"No. It was more than that," he winced as the needle pierced his skin again, "but revenge started it all."
Lyle chuckled, "Isn't that just the way, you start on one path and by the end, you're wondering just how you ended up where you did."
"Yes. My life is often that way."
"Well, I'll not ask specifics. Seems to me that you'd rather not say too much. But I will ask, did it bring you satisfaction?"
He wipes at the wound again, happy at the way his stitching is so neatly progressing. To him, needlework is as much of an art as painting. It is a large wound but the man will survive. He's seen men on the battlefield walk away despite blown up arms or festering arrow wounds. He would always be surprised by the will of a human to survive and the savagery of humans to kill.
Connor had yet to answer, his gaze clearly showing how seriously he took the question.
"Satisfaction would mean I now know the end. True, that my personal revenge has been taken but there is too much of this that I do not know and never will. I am content but not satisfied."
"But you are finished? With whatever business this wound is all about?"
The man is completely disoriented now. Lyle watches as he reaches for the glass of liquor and completely misses it. Connor seems to realise that he is in a dangerous state and one that could mean slipped secrets from a loose tongue. But Lyle has always upheld his code of confidentiality so he simply pours him another glass of piss and pushes it into the mans outstretched hand. Connor gazes at it, entranced, before knocking it all back. What with his loss of blood, weariness and the fact that he probably hasn't eaten for a while, Lyle is sure that he'll be drunk in no time.
"I do not know. I know so little," Connor looks upset now, the first show of emotion other than happiness or anger he has seen on his face, "I know what it is that I have achieved in this world but I do not know about the others," Lyle raises an eyebrow, "After all this… work… and the spirits tell me nothing."
Lyle ducks as the man throws the glass at the wall, his face furious. His expression suddenly pale as the pain from his side wound flares. Lyle slaps away his hand as it goes to nurse the injury, a quick reaction that he knew would happen from such a sharp movement. He's seen this reaction to weariness and pain a million times before so he simply pushes the half drained bottle of moonshine into his hand and continues to sew. One more glass he'd have to buy, he thinks.
"All my life, I have felt something… watching me. It was always at my side. And now I have nothing. It is gone and I am alone. No family, no clan, no spirits or purpose. Only the brotherhood," he drinks again, "perhaps this is why Archilles is as he is now. How long should I wait for their next move? I have what they seek and yet they don't show?"
Connor's hand pulls at something around his neck, a medallion that glows brightly against his brown skin. Lyle has never seen anything like it. It's exotic in a way that nothing else is and he's seen enough Ming vases to last a life time.
"Perhaps…," he offers, still confused about Connor's ramblings, "… you should go back to where it all started?"
The man is silent. "My village... Maybe I should…"
They are silent for a moment as Connor thinks and Lyle sews. The cocks are crowing by the time the wound is nearly finished and the man's body is coated in sweat from his night of pain and exhaustion. The bottle is empty and Lyle feels as if he's aged one hundred years from peering at the wound with his poor eyesight.
The man never does talk again.
Lyle doesn't expect him to, after all, he's probably exhausted and nearly asleep. He doesn't judge him for his outburst or think too deeply over his words. Out of context, most things sound strange and he's not going to pass judgement on a man who has three quarters of a bottle of piss in him and a wound the size of his arm.
Still, he can't help but feel… unnerved by his words.
When he finishes and the man's head is nodding on his chest, Lyle supports him as he takes him outside to the tent and lays him down on a spare cot. Connor is asleep in a moment and the quiet is a good time for him to wipe down the wound once more and clean the blood off the mans face as well. He reminds himself to draw some water when he awakens.
As he's leaving, he catches sight of the strange medallion again and stares at it for a moment.
He steps back as a woman flickers beside him, a ghost or spirit watching over the sleeping half breed. She's tall and slim, with the face of an angel but the expression of a judge. He doesn't make a sound but she turns to him, for a brief moment, nods and then disappears. It's only for a moment that he sees her but her face, her eyes of knowledge and wisdom, are seared into his brain.
He rubs his eyes. Unsure of what he saw and whether he was hallucinating. Connor mumbles in his sleep, oblivious to the world.
Lyle resolves to lay off the drink for a bit.
~~~~~~~~~~ AC3 ~~~~~~~~~~
AN: Well, hope you enjoyed that. As I said above, if you did like it, I will do more. If not, I'm happy to keep it at just a one shot. Let me know and thanks for reading.