It was raining, but the rain meant nothing to the hooded procession that made people stop and stare as they entered the cemetery. A man clad in robes of the purest white with a compass in red on the back of the hood led the group with measured steps, and they carried a casket covered with a flag bearing the same symbol.
The groundskeeper of the cemetery let them in without a word, his head bowed. A man watching as he left his own service muttered, "Some kind of cult thing, I guess..." His wife watched the group curiously. "Geez...with a procession like that, whoever died must have been someone important."
The Assassins were silent as they carried their fallen brother through the cemetery, and everyone gave the silent group a wide berth.
They approached the grave site, and the groundskeeper bowed to them again as they approached.
"Mentor. It's an honor to have you here, despite the sad occasion."
Desmond nodded beneath his hood.
"Thank you for arranging this for us, brother. It means a lot."
Desmond stepped aside, and Altair, Ezio, John and Michael stepped forward with the casket, setting it carefully on the ropes stretched over the grave site and standing aside.
Desmond sighed, and his voice was soft.
"I didn't know Kyle for very long...but almost from the moment I met him, he was like the older brother I always wished I'd had." Desmond grinned a little at his father, who eyed him beneath his own hood.
"I'm sure if I'd had a brother like Kyle, my Dad would've died of a heart attack a few times over from the results of our pranks." The assemblage laughed quietly.
"He died an Assassin, defending his brethren during a very tense time...and there was never a moment I doubted that he regretted giving his life to protecting us." Desmond looked down for a moment, and when he raised his head again, his golden eyes were wet with tears.
"I'll miss him. As a brother, as a friend." He turned, placing one hand on the casket for a moment and bowing his head before he turned away and the others strode past.
When the procession was finished, the pallbearers stepped forward once more, lowering the casket into its final resting place. Desmond and the others picked up shovels that had been left by the groundskeeper, covering the casket.
When they had finished, Lucy came up to them. She was also dressed in formal robes, and her blue eyes were sad. She smiled a little and said, "Well, at least you only had to move that much dirt one time, eh?"
Desmond blinked at her in shock, grinning despite himself. "Lucy that's a terrible joke..." Lucy smiled at him, some light coming back to her eyes.
"I know. Why else do you think I tell 'em?"
Then they did laugh, and the others joined them.
"Wearing a hole in the floor won't help anything son."
William's voice was reassuring, but Desmond was having none of it. He stopped pacing, absently twisting his wedding band around his left ring finger. He still wasn't used to wearing it, though they'd been married in a small ceremony shortly after Kyle's funeral.
Ezio's hand closed over his.
The two ancestral Assassins were still bound to him, but they were now able to manifest of their own will without Desmond having to call them.
"It will take longer for your to become accustomed to it if you succeed in cutting yourself with it, fratello mio."
Desmond growled, but did his best to still himself.
That all evaporated as he heard Lucy's cry from the adjoining room. The labor had gone normally enough, and then the doctor had muttered something about complications and ordered him out of the room. It had taken all of the combined Assassins' strength to drag the unwilling Desmond into the hallway.
Lucy had insisted on giving birth in their home, and Desmond hadn't argued. A hospital would be too public, and the nurses and doctors wouldn't have understood the strange dress of the two men who now blocked Desmond's access to the door.
There was a sudden silence, and then the air was broken by the sound of an indignant wail.
At that sound, not even Ezio and Altair could prevent Desmond from going through the door, and go through it he did, splintering it with a single kick.
The doctor looked startled as she was showered in wood, staring at him in shock.
Lucy blinked at him from the hospital bed that had been set up in their bedroom. "Desmond! Was that really necessary?"
Desmond couldn't speak as he approached the bed, seeing a tiny form lying on Lucy's chest, his wail silenced by the nourishment he drew from his mother.
Desmond looked down at his son, touching his head with a shaking hand.
At his touch, his son's eyes opened, and Desmond saw that the baby's eyes were golden as his were.
The doctor came up behind him, and her voice was awed as she brushed splinters off her lab coat.
"How very unusual...normally a newborn's final eye color isn't apparent until about age 3 months...but his eyes are definitely yours, Mr. Miles."
Desmond didn't speak, and Lucy smiled wearily at him. "There were a few snags, but we got him here safe and sound..." she said, and Desmond kissed her carefully.
"He's beautiful, Luce, and so are you."
Lucy laughed quietly. "It's nice of you to say, but I'm a wreck."
Desmond's son watched him curiously from his mother's chest, apparently having lost interest in the food and Desmond glanced at Lucy. "Think he'd mind being held?"
"I'm sure he wouldn't, Des. You're his Daddy, after all."
Desmond chuckled as the doctor stepped in, showing Desmond how to swaddle the infant. Desmond held his son close for a moment, and his voice was soft as he looked down into the curious gaze and said, "Good morning, Kyle."
A/N: Okay...after weeks of frantic writing, Man of the World is done. Let me know what you think. I've got several tie-in story ideas for this universe, but I'm not sure how much interest there is out there to see them...if you want to see more stories set in the MotW universe, let me know!