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Title: Child's Play
Chapter 8
Fandoms: Assassin's Creed 2/Doctor Who
Spoilers for AC2 end of game, Season 5 for DW
Rating this chapter R for violence. Quite a bit of violence actually.
Slash content in other chapters
Pairings: Shaun/Desmond, Leonardo/Ezio
I do not own these characters and make no money from this.

Past Chapters: Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7


This chapter has killed me.  Hopefully the six of you still reading this won't want to kill me all over again.

Feedback greatly appreciated.

For those not as familiar with the AC side, Altair and Malik are from the first AC game and Giovanni is Ezio's father.  Also my apologies to any escrima practitioners for any errors. 
-----------------

Silence hung in the air after Vidic’s pronouncement.

"Did you really think you would fool me?" the Templar demanded, words oozing condescension.  "I wasn't born yesterday.” He shoved the briefcase back towards Shaun with a dismissive wave of his hand.  “Unlike this sketch."

The Englishman took half a heartbeat to squint at the clock, barely listening. The point of their little charade had been to get into Abstergo with some quality alone time with one of their higher ups and bluff it out until the appointed time except here they were with… nine minutes left.

Damn it.  Couldn’t Vidic have been more of a pompous blowhard for once?  Him pontificating about something or another would have surely filled many of those minutes they so desperately needed.

Now came the tough choices.  Take Vidic out too early and their risk of detection went up a hundred fold.  String the surly bastard along somehow and Abstergo would be too busy dealing with three men who collectively would be the largest pain in the ass the Templars would ever have the joy of experiencing.

Vidic rose from the table and Shaun was almost elated.  Go ahead.  Kill some time, Warren.

The Templar circled around to pace in front of the three with the tone of a disappointed headmaster.  “This had so much potential!  Tease some chump change out of Abstergo with a tempting morsel involving da Vinci and the Doctor.  Certainly the company has made no secret of our interest in either of them.  But the devil's in the details isn't it? At least try to make it look like a five hundred year old relic next time."

He paused, rocking on his heels in mirth as if he just remembered a great joke.  "How silly of me. There won't be a next time because after my men are through with you there won't be anything left but a few stains and some rather unpleasant work for our cleaning staff.”

Leonardo was stoic, merely arching an elegant eyebrow. “There is no need for threats, sir. You are a man of logic, but may I suggest your thinking is too rigid. On the surface your judgment is sound but you blind yourself to more… intriguing possibilities. The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.”

“You dare throw quotes at me?” Vidic barked, burst of temper blasting past his oily veneer.  "What's the simpler explanation?   One of the most elusive beings in history decides to hold a garage sale or you're just a pack of charlatans out to make a quick buck?  This is a waste of my time.” He leaned in, ferocious scowl inches from Leonardo's unflinching gaze.  “The truth will be extracted from you soon enough.”

Wonderful.  Shaun tried to not let his leg begin bouncing in nervousness. Seven minutes left and we’ve already run out of discussion topics that don’t involve torture.  Templars must be great fun at parties.  If only Vidic had been not so massive a prick that he might actually recognize the truth when he was quite literally staring it in the face. 

Shaun analyzed the large ventilation duct that jutted out of the far wall, idly wondering whether the duct would be a good means of escape for the others if he managed to fend off the imminent brute squad.

“Hey now, beardy!” Amy called, brogue thickening with her bravado.  “There’s no need for that kind of talk!”

The Templar faced her, rage starting to make his blood boil over.

Amy, Amy, Amy.  The Englishman let out a slow breath, counting down the seconds as they ticked by.  You’re brilliant.  Insane.   But brilliant.

“You're a bit thick, aren't you?” She spoke with disdain, an attitude Vidic was intimately familiar with. “Some anger management issues too.  Your innate charm means you probably don't have much of a personal life soooo I’ll wager it’s your employers being less than pleased with your on-the-job performance to make you such a Grumpy Gus.”

Shaun turned his groan inward. Good god, woman.   Either the redhead’s massive balls were going to run out the clock or they would all die in the next ten seconds when Vidic's head promptly exploded like the bloated carcass of a beached whale.   Not entirely sure which he’d rather see, he took the briefcase containing the sketch in hand as unobtrusively as possible.

Her eyes flashed.  “No wonder you lot discovered so little about the Doctor.  Too little imagination.”

“If this is an attempt to talk me out of having you killed, you're doing a terrible job!” Vidic growled. 

“Such a shame,” she said wistfully, as if he’d said nothing of consequence. “You have all the answers in your greedy little hand but you just aren’t clever enough to work it all out.”

Oh, dear.

Vidic took a menacing step towards her, shoulders hunched and ready for violence. “You smug little bitch-"

“Well, look at the time,” Shaun piped in, setting the briefcase in his lap.   “This has simply been oodles of fun, but we really must be going. Are you sure you don’t want to give the sketch one last look?”

Vidic turned on his heel to face him with murderous intent.

The Englishman shrugged, looking almost apologetic. “Fine, then.  If you insist!” 

The briefcase came flying at Vidic.  Instincts had the man batting it away, leaving him totally unprepared for the solid fist that Shaun delivered to his jaw

The Templar went down -hard- hitting the floor like a felled tree.

“Took you long enough!”  Amy sauntered up to Shaun with her hands settled on her hips in reproach. “Were you waiting for an engraved invitation?  ‘Dear Shaun, now is the time to pop this jerk in the face.  Sincerely, everyone’?”

He flexed his hand, knuckles still stinging as he reached for his glasses. "I’m sorry,” he said, not sounding sorry in the slightest. “Did you mean for me to interrupt sooner? The pair of you were getting on so well I thought we were about to break out some soft music and a nice bottle of wine." 

Leonardo studied the unconscious body on the floor with distaste. “It seems impossible that five centuries leave the Templars unchanged in their ways.”

“Hopefully one thing will stay the same.” Shaun busied himself with rifling through lab coat pockets.  “They can't take a punch to save their li-ah, here we are!” 

It was only after pulling out the sought after access pen and key card that he permitted himself a small smile.

-----------------

Desmond hiked up his sleeves to better heft an unconscious Abstergo employee over his shoulder.   He tossed the woman on top of the other bodies already piled high in a supply closet.  “This is gonna lead to some awkward conversation around the water cooler tomorrow.”  

With nimble fingers, he liberated the woman’s access pen and backed out to let Ezio seal off the room.  

Halfway through keying in the lock’s code, the older assassin froze- eagle vision giving his irises an ethereal glow.  Finishing off the sequence, the glow faded and Desmond felt the full weight of his scrutiny.

“That is my… How did I not notice before?” the Italian murmured.  His hand came up in indecision.  “May I?”

Desmond tried to follow the man’s line of sight.  “May you wh-“  Eyes were tracking his arm as he dropped his hands to his sides.

Oh.   It had been easy to forget the weight strapped to his forearm.  It had felt far too familiar from the moment he had first put it on.

The younger assassin offered his arm for examination and Ezio did the same, both revealing the hidden blade each man had strapped to his wrist.  Almost identical- just some minor cosmetic differences, the leather straps long since replaced- but otherwise unchanged with the passage of time. 

How many generations, how many hands had the device passed through?  How much blood had it spilled?

Ezio was near breathless. “I cannot believe you use it still.”

 “Yeah, well-“  Desmond offered up a crooked smile.  “Sometimes the old ways are best.”

“Good work, gentlemen!”  Breaking through their reverie, the Doctor snatched the access pen from Desmond’s hand and promptly made it disappear into his magic pockets.  “Twenty should be quite enough.”

Any hesitancy in the Italian evaporated.  “We are out of time in any case. How should we begin?”

“How ‘bout setting off a few smoke bombs?” suggested Desmond, pointing to the ceiling.  “Trip the optical smoke detectors.”

“No, no, no!" the Doctor replied, scandalized.  "Far too pedestrian if we’re going to give the others enough time to complete their task.”  He had his sonic screwdriver out in a flash, brow knitting in concentration as he worked over a video intercom mounted on the far wall.  “For our purposes, we need to bring the whole… house… down.” 

A devilish smile took over his face as the screen flickered to life, revealing a mix of faces looking back, astonishment rippling through them like a wave.

"Hello!" he began, tapping the screen as if this would somehow better capture their attention.  "Allow me to introduce myself. I'm the Doctor!  I understand you've been looking for me for quite some time.  Well, here I am!” 

He leaned closer to the screen, an icy menace punching through his cheery demeanor fast enough to force a chill on anyone watching.

“Come and get me.”

----

The conference room was suddenly bathed in flashing red lights.

“Thaaat's my boy!” Amy announced proudly at the warning klaxon booming from the hallway.  She tightened her knot with relish, impressed with her own hog tying of Vidic under the Templar’s slowly awakening glare.  “I suspect your evil henchmen will be a wee bit too busy to bother with us for a while.” 

Topping off her work by using the man’s tie as an improvised gag, she turned back to the two men hovering anxiously over an Abstergo branded laptop. “How’re things over there?”

“Fuck!” was Shaun's reply. 

“Not so good then, I take it.”

The Englishman slammed a hand atop the conference table as the laptop flashed a warning of ‘Invalid Password’ and went dark.  His fingers clattered over the keyboard lightening fast as he tried to get the laptop to wake up again.

Leonardo rolled up his shirt sleeves, jacket long since discarded.  “I’m sorry.”

“No worries, no worries,” Shaun muttered, clearly not heeding his own advice. “We'll keep trying.  No one expected we’d be able to get in on the first go.”

They all leaned in as a fresh batch of numbers and letters stormed across the screen.  No one spoke, no one breathed, trying to ignore the passing of time.

“There’s a pattern here… and here.”  Leonardo absently pulled out a scrap of paper and furiously jotted down a jumble of what looked like nonsense. 

“I’ve seen that before. Somewhere… somewhere…” Shaun said with a frown, grabbing a pen to fill in the rest of one string. “Yes! A Vigenère table.”

“The name is unfamiliar but I believe I understand.”  The artist hastily added a second line of characters, then a third.  “Start here and work your way diagonally.”

“Looks promising.”  Shaun tapped a long line of characters, checking and rechecking the chart they had cobbled together.

There was a beep and a welcome screen appeared to a collective sigh of relief.

"What now?" Amy asked.

Shaun pulled the laptop closer.  "Time for some digging."

----

"’Come and get me’, huh?" Desmond shot angrily over his shoulder, head butting one of many Templars that had flooded the hallway.  He dropped to the floor, using a long-legged sweep to knock the feet out from under three more.  "Could you maybe, I dunno, not piss off the people who want to kill us?"

“Where's your sense of adventure?” the Doctor shouted back, neatly sidestepping the wild swing of a telescoping baton.  The person wielding the weapon took out the guard behind his intended target instead. “This is your sort of thing, isn’t it? You’re supposed to like all of this hitting business!”

Ezio trapped the hand of a guard still foolish enough to be wielding a taser and twisted, the bones of the forearm snapping neatly at the wrist.  “We’re assassins!” he growled.  The injured guard became a weapon, swung bodily around to take out two others before the assassin could finish his testy reply.  “Typically there is some measure of stealth involved!”

Another swing and the Doctor dodged a blow that landed on a different unsuspecting target. “Ugh! Sounds dreadfully boring!

====

Amy noticed Shaun go rigid in his seat.  “You found something?”

“Yes.  I...There were always rumours but...” he said, disbelief weighing down his words. 

He fell silent, slowly rising from his seat to grab the briefcase from where it had fallen. The sketch inside was discarded to remove a false bottom from underneath.  Shaun disposed of the cover with a savage toss.

The man violently dismantling the briefcase held their attention for a few more moments before Leonardo redirected his focus to the screen before him, attempting to make sense of the unfamiliar English text.  Amy leaned in, sharing the words aloud in a hushed whisper.

Lake Nyos, Cameroon.

One of three lakes in the entire world known to be saturated with massive quantities of carbon dioxide.  One sweltering hot August day in 1986, a massive outgassing occurred, creating a giant cloud of pure CO2 that swept the countryside.  Anything and everything within twenty five kilometers that needed oxygen to survive suffocated.  Close to two thousand people dead.  Livestock, wildlife.  All dead.  It was thought the disaster was triggered by a phenomenon that was natural.  A landslide.

It had been anything but natural.

Trying not to wretch, Amy continued to read aloud the dispassionate accounting of the weapons test that had triggered it all.  The reports advising Abstergo geologists how to best craft their official reports to the world's governments to mask the truth.  It was just a bunch of poor third world farmers.  No one would look too closely. A tragedy that was unpredictable, unavoidable.

Leonardo sat back, looking pale. “How do those that claim they wish to better mankind not realize they become less human by committing such acts?” he asked weakly.

The response from Shaun was flat, impenetrably hard. “Doesn't matter.”  He pulled out two objects from their hiding place in the case: two cylindrical lengths of hardwood, patterns charred into them and sanded smooth. “This ends today.”

 ------

The room full of Animi was an impressive sight.

It was no less massive or austere than Desmond remembered.  A window in the shape of a Templar cross dominated the expanse leading to the high ceilings, shining down onto a labyrinthine arrangement of glass walled cubicles each containing its own Animus.  Harsh lighting from fixtures that hung from long lengths of chain like candelabra only added to the room’s cool sterility, a cathedral to modernity.

It didn’t take long for what few personnel there were to be herded into an office, allowing the Doctor to rig the lock to trap them inside. The two assassins split up to defend either entrance on opposite sides of the room, leaving the Doctor to hunt for the Animi’s central controls to cause his bit of temporal vandalism.

“Any sign of them?” Ezio asked, doing his best to remain calm as the minutes ticked by.  The door he watched over slid open and the sight of an unfamiliar face made him lob a smoke bomb directly at it. “Neither my ammunition nor patience are infinite!” Following up with a well aimed throwing knife had the guards rushing to seal the door again.

The Doctor was at the far end of the room, trying to coax the main computer into giving him the access he needed. “I’m sure they’ll be along shortly,” he said breezily, brows knitted in concentration.

“I got something!” Desmond called, ear pressed to the door he was protecting. 

He could just make out Amy’s panicked cry through the sounds of fighting: “This is the place!  How are we going to get through the guards?”

Next came Shaun’s shout. “Don’t worry! Just keep go –ugh!” 

The sound of someone taking a hit made Desmond even more impatient to get the door open.  “In! In! In!” he shouted, ushering Leonardo and Amy back to relative safety before turning to assist.

Two guards were already on the floor moaning in pain but three more had backed Shaun into a corner. The Englishman dropped into a ready stance, ignoring the blood dripping from his freshly split lip.   Doce pares sticks were in hand, one perched on either shoulder in a manner that would have looked casual if Desmond didn’t know firsthand that ‘casual’ was something rarely on Shaun’s agenda.  He closed in with blade at the ready, ready to defend Shaun by whatever means necessary.

His help wasn’t needed.  Hands were in motion, the wooden yantok coming down across bodies hard and fast, shattering the hand of one guard into uselessness.  There was a crack as the second guard had his cheek smashed in and the last sank to the floor to nurse his freshly fractured ankle.

Desmond was slack jawed, mouth slowly curving into an appreciative smile. “Niiice!”

The smirk that tugged at Shaun’s lips looked simply delicious. “They don’t just keep me around for my stunningly good looks.”

Together they cleaned up what weapons were scattered on the floor before a stampede of approaching feet had them falling back.

The sonic screwdriver sang in the Doctor’s hand, disabling the lock as soon as the door slid shut behind them.  “Both doors secured. That should keep them out for a while!”

“A very little while!” Amy pointed halfway up one wall at the farthest end of the room.  One of the room’s industrial sized air collection ducts showed some motion and man sized silhouettes  standing behind its grate.

Face falling for the briefest of seconds, the Doctor was sprinting back to the central controls. “Keep them busy!  If I can get the temporal inharmonic going they won’t be quite so eager to join us!”

As one, Ezio and Desmond contemplated the man-sized grate bounded by twenty feet of featureless wall.   A tight plume of flame from inside the duct began cutting its way through thin metal.  Voices began to filter out, echo making it difficult to count.

The younger assassin let out a low groan.  “This is going to suck, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” Ezio sighed wearily, hand making a pass over the scruff of his chin. “Yes I believe so.”

Moving past them, Leonardo was transfixed, blue eyes wide as he tried to take everything in all at once.  “Perhaps…”

Ezio watched the artist just as intently. “You have something?”

“This lighting,” he said, pointing to the fixtures above their heads. “It's secure, yes?  With enough momentum could they not act as a pendulum?"

Ezio broke into a grin that was wide and wicked.  “Finally a chance to have some fun.”

“Not if I get there first, Grandpa!” Desmond called out and the two assassins were off, each scrambling up the side of cubicles in a race to get more height. 

Shaun stared after the two men as they sprinted along narrow edges of the cubicles with ease, like children at play. “Lunatics," he murmured. "They’re complete and utter lunatics.”

A small cough redirected his attention to Leonardo.  “It adds to their charm, does it not?” the artist asked with a hint of amusement.

The two watched the sprinting men, Desmond holding the lead until Ezio sprang upwards to haul himself atop the closest fixture. The older assassin navigated more swiftly from light to light than Desmond could manage from atop the cubicles, leapfrogging across the top of the suspended fluorescents.

The older assassin passed Desmond overhead and the young man’s groan of disappointment coaxed a snort of laughter from Shaun.  “I suppose it does.”

There was a creak of metal then a loud crash as the grate dropped to the floor from where it had been cut away from the duct.  Ropes spilled to the floor, body after uniformed body abseiling swiftly down the wall.

 “If they manage to reopen the doors from the inside, we’re fucked!” Shaun looked to Leonardo and Amy.  “You two keep out of sight!”  With that he sprinted towards the breach, yantok in either hand.

Still running atop the cubicles, Desmond launched himself off of his higher vantage point directly at the first of the Templars to reach the ground.  The guard made an excellent crash pad, getting flattened by the assassin’s fall.  In an instant, Desmond was on his feet, slashing his hidden blade across another’s hip.  Even as the Templar fell, three more came to face the blade that came down again and again.

A scream followed by the crunch of bone breaking happened as a person was dropped on top of the guards trying to surround Desmond.  Swinging like mad, Ezio had the light fixture rocking back and forth to pluck guards from the duct just as they emerged only to dump them on their allies below. 

There were pools of red on the floor at Desmond’s feet by the time he realized the Templars were merely taking his blows but not fully initiating an attack.  Only seven of them now even though he’d counted eight before.  Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted Mister Eight trying to slip into the Animus maze. 

“Where do you think you’re going?” he demanded, preparing to run after the man but the blood coating his sneakers had him losing all traction, making him wipe out hard on the slick steel floor. 

The remaining guards were on him like a pack of ravenous wolves.

Still using his vantage point, Ezio used the next swing of the light fixture to launch himself through the air, curling inwards to bowl through the Templars standing just inside the air duct. He made use of the confined space, battering and slicing his way through the guards to make them sorely regret their plan of attack. 

Half lost in the maze, Shaun’s swear was spectacularly loud when he caught sight of an escaping Templar speeding away. “Fuck, fuck, fuck!” he chanted with each step as he gave chase, but the man was faster than he looked and was gone. 

The Englishman tried to listen for footsteps but the sounds of a skirmish didn’t make things any easier.  An abortive cry of pain that pieced the cacophony had Shaun rooted to the spot.  Desmond?  

Racing around one corner then another and there was Desmond, clothes spattered with blood, trying to defend himself against impossible numbers.  The American lashed out at those around him-now numbering ten at least- stabbing a guard in the thigh even as a baton strike across his shoulders had him falling to one knee.

Shaun went after the Templars in full larga mano, whipping at unprotected hands and heads, fury at the brutality he’d found at Abstergo’s heart fueling the power of his strikes.  Even those with tasers had no chance, the lack of conductivity through the wooden yantok easily taking out their sting.

The brief respite allowed Desmond to return to his feet.  A quick glance up at the duct showed Ezio slice through one rope and halfway through the other when-

“Cazzo!”  Ezio made an agitated scan of the room, eyes aglow.  “The doors are no longer sealed!  The Templars are here!”  He used the half-cut rope to descend in a hurry then finished the rope off with a mighty tug.  The flashes of red in his eagle vision told him there were many enemies. 

Too many.

“D-doctor!”  Amy’s shout rose above the din, her panic radiating from somewhere within the labyrinth of cubicles.  “Would you mind speeding things up a bit?”

Back at the controls for the Animi, the Doctor was oblivious to the agitation in her voice.  "Useless!" he fumed loudly, flinging access pen after access pen over his shoulder in his own frustration. "Useless!  None of these ridiculous access things have high enough clearance to let me in!"

Shaun nearly whiplashed himself at these words, regaining his focus in time to narrowly avoid a punch to level a solid blow to the armpit.  “Take this!” he yelled to Desmond, tossing one of the yantok in the air.

Desmond easily caught the stick in mid-flight and continued the motion, whirling in a great big arc that caught three guards across the throat in one go.  “What the hell are you doing?” he yelled, bewildered by the sight of the Englishman searching his own pockets even as they continued to battle.

An access pen was thrust into Desmond’s free hand. 

“Get this to the Doctor!  It’s Vidic’s!  That creepy bastard has to have high enough clearance.”  Shaun’s thin lipped determination dropped for a second to reveal the true extent of his worry. “Go!”

Desmond bashed a guard in the gut hard enough to get the man to fold in half and followed through with a blow to the back of the head before relinquishing the yantok back to its owner. He sprang up, climbing the cubicle wall to get above the fray.

His heart sank at the flood of Templars but he continued, no hesitation in his stride.

"There he is!"

"Get him!"

Calls from the guards merely made Desmond run faster, leaping from thin edge to edge, effortlessly jumping gaps as if they were nothing. 

The Doctor was too intent on the controls that were steadfastly ignoring him in return to notice two Templars creeping up on him.

But Desmond saw them.

With one final push, the assassin flew through the air, landing feet first on one of the guards to the sound of ribs cracking under his heels.  Retrieving the down guard's baton, he took the remaining guard out at the knees, delivering a kick to the calf that fractured the bones within.

"Can't chat now, Desmond!" the Doctor snapped crossly, as if this were some trifling annoyance. "I'm rather busy at the moment."

"Really?" Desmond shot back. "I thought this would be a great time to get to know each other better. Maybe kick back a few beers."

He dangled the access pen in front of the other man's nose and all of the Doctor's petulant animosity evaporated in an instant.

"Splendid!" 

The pen disappeared from Desmond's hands in the blink of an eye.

"We're in!" crowed the Doctor, pounding the assassin joyfully on the back.  His hands flew impossibly fast over the touch screen. "There!  Just bring the Animi online once the temporal inharmonic is activated and we're done here."

"My goodness!"  A voice filled with greasy smarm sent a shiver of revulsion up Desmond's spine.  “If I'd known we'd have this many guests, I'd have ordered up some tea and biscuits!"

Warren Vidic emerged just yards from where they stood, sporting a spectacular bruise underneath his beard that took an unintended edge off of his snide comment.

 The Doctor didn't bother looking up from the monitor. "As lovely as that sounds I'm afraid we won't be staying long."

Vidic was more conciliatory this time. "Step away from the computer, Doctor. Or we'll be forced to do something unpleasant to your colleagues."

The crude threat had a boyish face turn ancient as the Doctor finally focused all of his attention on the Templar. 

Two guards appeared by some silent command, dragging along unwilling burdens. 

Leonardo was propped up by one guard, blue eyes having difficulty focusing, hair matted to the blood from the gash on his scalp.

The other guard had the task of trying to contain Amy, fierce redhead doing her best to hide her fear.

"They are your colleagues, I'm assuming," said Vidic with idle curiosity. "I'd hate to have them killed for no reason."

"You are not to harm them!" the Doctor barked, full of authority.

"Or what?" Vidic laughed.  More Templar guards joined them. "You're in no position to make demands.  Step.  Away.  From.  The computer.  I won't repeat myself again."

“Don’t do this,” the Doctor tried once more.  “You don't understand how much danger you’re in!”

“Really?  I think I do!"  Vidic sauntered forward, his ego leading the way. "The Oncoming Storm. Ka Faraq Gatri. Destroyer of Worlds.  No matter what name you go by we know how dangerous you are, Doctor. And I think we have you in a bind."

Desmond felt the Templar’s sneer suddenly turn on him.  "Oh, and thanks for returning our stray, by the way.  He’s got a pesky habit of slipping his leash.”

The Doctor slipped his hands into his pockets, sighing with the sadness of one who had seen events such as this far too many times as the guards closed in. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”  A hint of apology peeked through as he looked to Desmond as if to speak, full lips moving almost imperceptibly to shape a word instead.

Run.

Run?  What did he mean by –

Desmond couldn’t see what the Doctor’s fingers were doing but the wave of nausea that hit him told him the not-can-of-air-freshener had gone live.  “Fuck!”  

The nearest Templar doubled over with a moan at the flood of invisible energy.  Using the man’s back as a springboard, Desmond launched himself upwards to the relative refuge of the cubicle walls, desperate to put some distance between himself and the flood of artron radiation.

Sickened and weak, guard after guard surrounding them fell to the wayside as the Doctor turned back to the central computer. 

“What?!” Vidic was sputtering in incredulity, too distant to feel the radiation’s effects. “What are you doing?” 

A strangled scream came from the guard restraining Leonardo and the man fell to the ground writhing under the wrath of a furious Assassin. 

Shaun followed Ezio’s lead, smashing into the Templar holding Amy and the fight was begun.

“Stop them!” Vidic screamed. “Stop them all!”

Desmond took a breathless pause before he moved to join the fray. One Templar that kept just out of reach of the effects of the temporal inharmoic caught his eye. 

Goddamn taser.  That thing could fire what- fifteen, twenty feet?  Well out of range of the wave of sickness that kept the other guards at bay.

But within striking distance of the Doctor.

He pounced, bringing the man down, but that didn’t stop the Templar opposite them both from firing an electrode at the Doctor.

The probe hit the lanky man in the back and he shrugged off the volts pumping into him as if it were a bee sting, continuing his work to bring the Animi online.

Desmond swung and kicked and stabbed, trying to get the Doctor more time to act, but it was like battling the tide, being dragged by the undertow.

The Doctor let out a small gasp as a second probe hit him in the thigh, both electrodes trying to short circuit his body. “No!” he yelled in no small amount of desperation. How the fuck was he still standing?  “I ha… have to stop this!”  The Doctor took a misstep, looking like some twisted marionette with taser wires trailing from his body.  Hands trembling, real, honest panic in his voice as his words forced their way past his lips.  “You must… let me… stop this!”

A third probe hit him just under the clavicle. 

So naturally pale already, the Doctor was near translucent as blood drained from his face.  The shake spread to the rest of him, angular face twisted in pain.

 The man- the being- the universe knew as its champion looked every bit of his thousand years before he collapsed to the ground in a lifeless heap.

“Doctor!” Amy’s horror pierced through the raucous noise of battle though the Templars took no notice.  She was near tears, struggling to drag Leonardo’s barely conscious self out of harm’s way.

Desmond looked at the limp form of the Doctor, groaning Templars still littering the ground around him.  Was he even breathing? 

Ezio struck and parried again and again, blade handled with near surgical precision to defend the girl and man collapsed at his feet.  Shaun was at his back, doing heavy damage with both yantok on every swing.

The urge to protect, to fight was near overwhelming but Desmond knew what he had to do. 

With a growl, he charged into the field of radiation.  He was grateful to only feel the nausea, nowhere near as debilitated as the writhing Templars around him.  Digging through the Doctor’s endless pockets, he found the not-air-freshener.

Desmond had it in his hands, moving to stand in front of the Animus controls that so patiently waited for a command and good god a sharp pain was in his head, like a fresh scab being ripped open. A rush of heat shooting through him and then-

The sun over Jerusalem only adds to his exhaustion as he stumbles through the bureau's doorway. He knows he will find assistance, unable as he is to staunch the flow from his newest wound.  Malik’s usual scowl doesn’t waver but neither does he hesitate to catch this unannounced guest who can no longer remain standing…

With a growl, Desmond threw a fist into the equipment bank, pain forcing him to keep focused. 

Come on.  The welcome screen blinked at him.  It looked similar enough to the Animus that he should know how to power this up.  If he could just think for one god damned second…

The world is suddenly much bigger.  He lets out a yell as he is lifted off his feet by a single, strong arm.  Squirming and kicking, his younger brother is doing the same but the boy had his small arms wrapped around the neck of their captor.

He can see a greyer, more mature Altaïr watching these antics with bemusement, directing a teasing question not at himself but rather the man that the boys cling to like leeches. “In need of rescuing?”

“They are no problem,” Malik answers dismissively as he hefts his burden to squeals of delight. “Nothing like their nuisance of a father.”

Skin tore open this time as the bite of metal against the back of his hand got Desmond to clear his head.    Initializing…. Come on. 

Around him the Animi began to hum.  Hot spike of pain in his head forced him to stumble, catching himself on equipment he so desperately tries to operate.  A badly timed taser electrode passes him by inches.

Desmond felt his pulse hammering a frantic beat inside his skull, bloody fingerprints he was leaving on the monitor failing to register with him at all. 

He tries not to cry though his arm hurts terribly.  It frightens him to see the bones shifted at an unnatural angle just underneath his skin.  The pain is made worse by the worry that his father will be furious at having snuck out past his bed time only to fail so miserably.

“So brave, my bambino,” his father says, easing his son’s small frame onto the couch as if he were the lightest of feathers. “The dottore will be here shortly. Do not worry- young boys mend quickly. You’ll be terrorizing the neighborhood again soon enough.”

“You are not angry?” he sniffles, trying to not be obvious as he wipes his nose with his sleeve.

 “Oh, Giovanni,” his father sighs with a smile that is half pride, half sadness.  “Of course not. But next time, let me show you how to perform the leap of faith properly first, hmm?” 

The kiss to his forehead brings about a flood of relief. 

Finally, finally the chain of machines began to light up with their familiar blue light.  The device in Desmond's hand hummed in response and he felt it tug, flying from his fingers to float above his head under its own power.

Was that it?  Was it working? 

Generation after generation of memories swamped his mind. 

- pushing, pushing with the contraction, the urge to bear down irresistible even though exhaustion fatigued every muscle, ignoring the pain of childbirth because she would have this child no matter what, a flood of joy at the shockingly loud cry of her new born son-

Desmond tried to move, tried to breath. I'm Desmond Miles, he thought frantically trying to cling to that.

A terrible grinding noise began to build, light from the Animi turning pure white.

-"Fanciful rubbish, Akhom," grouched Nebibi.  "Your plaything will never take the place of a good, simple bow. Too difficult to make.  Too expensive."

"And we can strike at the pharoah from twice the distance," he laughed, continuing to wrap his bow in birch bark.  "New ways are not to be feared old man, but embraced!"-

The acrid smell of burning plastic filled his nostrils.

I'm Desmond.

I'm...

I...

The room was suddenly a cluster of sparks, a series of explosions that had people running for cover and then

everything

went

black.

 

There's more! Whee! Wait... what?

Date: 2010-11-13 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yarnaddict.livejournal.com
GAHHH! That... that is the cliffhanger to beat all cliffhangers!

That said - brava! I love it! It's not easy to write that much action going on at once and make it all fit together so well, but damn, you did it! And I love your characterisations. Spot on, all of them. And the peeks into other ancestors! That was BRILLIANT!

I know you said this one killed you... I'm sorry. =/ I do hope you will continue to write this, though.

Re: There's more! Whee! Wait... what?

Date: 2010-11-13 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexb49.livejournal.com
I'm glad you liked it! Yeah, my plan to finish this before ACB drops won't exactly happen but there will be more

Re: There's more! Whee! Wait... what?

Date: 2010-11-14 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yarnaddict.livejournal.com
I loved it. Did I mention that I loved it? =) Your Desmond is fantastic, and your Shaun is just so perfectly, perfectly Shaun. Actually, I find that all of your characterisations (for the AC folks, at least, as I haven't yet seen any of Matt Smith's Doctor other than his 'birth') are wonderfully spot-on. As a writer, myself, I find that incredibly appealing in fanfic.

Would the writing perhaps kill your brain less if you had a beta reader or someone off whom you could bounce your ideas? I would be happy to help - I've been a copyeditor in the past. And I'll admit that the possibility of getting to see the WIP is oh, so very appealing. If you're not interested, no worries, but the offer is there. =)

ETA: I should've copyedited my own comment, as I see that I've repeated myself re: your charasterisation. I guess it's made an impression on me. =)
Edited Date: 2010-11-14 06:39 am (UTC)

Re: There's more! Whee! Wait... what?

Date: 2010-11-14 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexb49.livejournal.com
Thank you! I work hard on character voice.

Thanks for the offer. My 'process' as it were might not lend itself to beta because the killing part is mostly- "I would like something D to happen. How do I get there? Well, A, B or C or maybe F but B makes no fucking sense' What kills me the most in action scenes is making sure the visual that's in my head is actually understandable to those outside my head.

Re: There's more! Whee! Wait... what?

Date: 2010-11-14 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexb49.livejournal.com
Also sometimes I spend too long looking at the screen yelling 'stop sucking!' which also doesn't work too well

Re: There's more! Whee! Wait... what?

Date: 2010-11-15 06:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yarnaddict.livejournal.com
Ha! I hear you. Well, if you do find yourself wanting to bounce ideas off someone as you're stuck with trying to figure out how to get from A to D to G, let me know. I would love to help.

Now, I'm going to go re-read Desmond and Ezio racing each other across cubicle tops like twin lunatics. =)

Re: There's more! Whee! Wait... what?

Date: 2010-11-15 02:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexb49.livejournal.com
I will surely need that at some point so thanks for offering.

I'm really glad you liked it!

Date: 2010-11-14 07:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yumearashi.livejournal.com
Good chapter! You are so much better than I am at action stuff ^_^ Can't wait to see how this resolves!

Date: 2010-11-14 01:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexb49.livejournal.com
Thanks! With fight stuff I find it helps me that I have some sparring experience under my belt. I've only sat in on escrima demos but I practice other stuff. It's fun.

Date: 2010-11-14 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yumearashi.livejournal.com
Nifty! They do say to write what you know ^o^

Date: 2010-11-14 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whyy-so-serious.livejournal.com
Oh... My... Goodness...

A cliffhanger? You left it at a cliffhanger?!

I must say, I absolutely adore your characterizations...

I can't wait for the next chapter... I really want to know how this turns out for all parties involved!

Date: 2010-11-14 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexb49.livejournal.com
LOL. I think I left the last 4 chapters as cliffhangers I think. I'm really bad with that. I blame it on watching too much episodic TV. Glad you liked it!

Date: 2010-11-14 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valeithel.livejournal.com
I'll start saying that while I was reading this I was listening to DW Season 5 OST, it melted with the story too well.
I'm happy to finally see Shaun in action, punching Vidic must be priceless. And poor Desmond, he just ended a crisis to find himself in another. I hope the next chapter won't kill you because I'm pretty eager to read it.

Date: 2010-11-14 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexb49.livejournal.com
Ooo, I didn't know they had released a soundtrack.

Yes, Shaun gets to do the ass kicking this time. I am back from the dead but then there's a little distraction that will be released in a couple of days....

Date: 2010-11-14 06:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valeithel.livejournal.com
Oh well, I can't blame you for THAT. Eheh

Date: 2010-11-14 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] valeithel.livejournal.com
Ah! And if you want I can send you a PM with the link to the ost.

Date: 2010-11-15 02:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jtptan.livejournal.com
Oh no you didn't!

But you did! But it's okay cause it meant a new chapter, and what a chapter. As always you've got the characters spot on, and the action was breathtaking.

Just as well Brotherhood pops Tuesday as a distraction from the suspense of it all...

Date: 2010-11-15 03:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexb49.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I usually have big problems with action scenes which is why this one took so long.

Problem with ACB dropping is that I'll be distracted too....

Date: 2010-11-15 05:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gwath-hini.livejournal.com
This is so much love. At first I was a little o.? at the crossover, but you pull it off beautifully! Double extra points for infinity for Shaun fighting in a suit.

Date: 2010-11-15 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexb49.livejournal.com
lol. I actually tried to commission an artist to do a scene of Ezio, Desmond and the Doctor fighting the Templar guards and she refused because she had a 'no weird crossovers' policy. I tried to send her a picture of the Doctor climbing a church tower in 1560's Venice from Vampires of Venice but no dice. And the Doctor was old friends with Leonardo in the old series so it was just too perfect. If DW had just set that episode 60 years earlier I would have been paralyzed with joy. And yeah, I have a thing for suits. Glad you liked it!

Somechick

Date: 2010-12-04 12:47 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh hells ya. Suits, Shaun, AC, and doctor who? I may have to kiss you now.
Bloody good writing! Moar plz

Re: Somechick

Date: 2010-12-04 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexb49.livejournal.com
Thanks Anon! Working on the next bit. I'm glad people like it.

Date: 2010-12-07 09:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lyntek.livejournal.com
Can't believe I've missed two updates of this! So very action-packed, unffff. Poor Leo, though ;o; (CUDDLES GASH ON HIS HEAD). I loved the last scene, and I agree with the previous comments, such a cliffhanger! XD

Date: 2010-12-07 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexb49.livejournal.com
Thanks! Working on the next part as we speak

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