Just a short little piece that takes place about halfway through the previous chapter. :) Sorry for the confusion!

The past few days had not gone well for Desmond. He had traveled to Europe and back in less than seventy two hours, was suffering from jet lag, and had eaten about two full meals in that entire time. He had been forced to dodge airport security twice, fought off the bleeding effect, and come back to discover that he as too late to prevent a piece of Eden bomb from exploding and blowing holes in the time stream. It had stolen people from all over the planet, throwing them through time and space, and occasionally depositing people from the future or past in their place. Desmond had already heard rumors of confused time travelers appearing here and there.

By far the most concentrated area from which people had been taken was the intimidate radius around the apple. When Desmond had returned to Illinois, he headed straight to the first civ sanctum, knowing that it was the place he was most likely to find the other assassins. He'd found himself walking through completely empty neighborhoods on the way there, huge groups of people caught in the blast and forcibly relocated to other points in time. The culdesac the main group of assassins had comandeered was too far from the blast to be effected, which Desmond was grateful for. Still, it was eerie to walk through neighborhoods that had been so full of people a week before.

He had been relieved to find Altair, Connor, and Lucy already underground, clearly upset but also very much still in the same time period he'd left them in. They explained how close they had come to stopping the bomb.

"You were right there?" Asked Desmond, more than a little surprised. "But you're still... here. Now."

"We're already in the wrong time," Lucy pointed out. "Actually, I think being there for the explosion might have been the reason we came here in the first place."

"But that happened months ago," Desmond pointed out.

"Time travel."

"Then why did I come back?" Desmond asked. "I was in Italy when the bomb went off."

Lucy shrugged. "Bad luck?"

From somewhere in the cavernous depths of the hall, something fell to the floor, producing a loud clang!

Desmond was tired, and his body reacted before his brain had time to even question what was going on. He was carrying a set of throwing knives in his bag, and he reached in and hurled one into the darkness at the source of the noise. There was a yelp of pain and then a string of Italian curses.

Desmond blinked. "I think I missed something."

"Oh yea," said Lucy. "I forgot to mention. Ezio showed up right before the apple blew. Jumped through a window, actually."

Ezio emerged from the shadows, holding his arm and, to Desmond's eyes at least, looking strange in a hoodie and jeans.

"What were you doing back there?" Connor asked.

"Just poking around," said Ezio brightly.

"Why."

Ezio just grinned and shrugged. Desmond caught Lucy's eye and she shot him a long suffering look before mouthing 'They've been doing that all day'. Next to her, Altair seemed to be trying not to laugh. Connor and Ezio bickered on, unaware.

"Did you want that bandaged up, or something?" Desmond asked, interrupting the conversation.

Ezio looked down at his arm, having apparently forgotten Desmond had recently hit him with a knife. "Oh," he nodded. "That would be good." He made a face as Desmond reached back into his bag, this time digging around for something to wrap Ezio's arm. "This isn't the way I expected this meeting would go." To Desmond's surprise, he spoke perfectly good English, although the accent was unmistakable. "It's nice to meet you, Desmond."

"You too," said Desmond. He paused, then added- "Anyway, this whole injury thing is kind of typical. Lucy and I found Connor unconscious in a cave."

Connor glowered.

"Altair's been pretty injury free so far though," Lucy put in. She turned to Desmond, suddenly frowning. "That's it, right? You don't have any more ancestors running around somewhere?"

"Not as far as I know," said Desmond. "I mean, I have lots of ancestors, but not... animus ancestors." Except for Haytham, he added mentally, but Connor looked sour enough that Desmond decided it would be better not to mention him.

"So we shouldn't expect any more surprises?" Lucy pressed.

Desmond shrugged. "I mean, I didn't expect Ezio until I hit him with a knife."

"Grazed, really," said Ezio.

Desmond finished his ministrations and sat down against a wall. After a moment, Ezio plopped down beside him, flexing his arm gingerly. Altair caught his eye and signed at him to stop it before he made it worse. Ezio grumbled a little about Altair not being his mother, but stopped. For a while after that it was quiet. Then Altair said, "You know, we really should have expected to fail..."

-/-

Ok that's actually it for this story! This little interlude takes place halfway through the last chapter but it didn't really work thematically so... here you go! Just think of it as a deleted scene like on a dvd or something.