squirrellysemantics: (drake)
[personal profile] squirrellysemantics
Title: Mudita
part 2
Rating R for swear words,
Warnings for slash and the beginnings of polyamory between three dudes.
Series:  Uncharted, Assassin's Creed 2.  Spoilers for neither
Characters: Nathan Drake, Shaun Hastings, Desmond Miles
Uncharted is owned by Naughty Dog, AC is owned by Ubisoft. I own nothing.

The build up decided to go a little slower than I thought.  Previous chapter found here.

Summary: Sometimes you find what you never knew you needed.

Feedback is greatly appreciated.  Even if you think it sucks, I'd love to know why.  Thanks!

-----------

 

Sleep was warm.  Comforting.  But waking was inevitable no matter how much Nate fought against its pull.

It felt too good to luxuriate in the first bit of actual rest he’d had in a long time.  There was zero memory of the actual act of falling asleep; as soon as his head hit his pillow, he’d fallen straight into dreams. 

The bad kind.  

Unrelenting replays of brutality in a Panamanian jungle.  Drug runners setting up a trap for him that had caught a young boy instead.  The feel of the tiny body going limp in Nate’s arms, the kid’s final breath. No hospital, no help for miles.  Life spilling onto the grass from a boy who hadn’t been given a chance to live.

Somewhere in the middle of the night, something had triggered his mind into making a pleasant detour. His tranquil days at university followed by rowdy nights out with some scrawny kid named Shaun, causing all kinds of trouble.

The good kind.

There was that disjointed feeling of then and now being one and the same as Nate woke.  Where he was or how he’d gotten there didn’t matter because right now he felt great.  A warm bed that didn’t feel like concrete and nobody using him for target practice? This was a rarity.

Nate stretched a huge stretch to curl up with his smile, only to bump into a warm body lying next to him. 

Interesting.

Cracking one eye open, he was greeted by an ass.  Well, isn’t this nice?  He didn’t have to fight off his torpor to know this beat up pair of jeans hid some goodness underneath.

Odd though.  He wasn’t the kind of guy who forgot that sort of thing.  Particularly not when it involved an ass like that.  He liked to think he made sure the owner of said ass wouldn’t forget it either. 

Whatever they’d done.

Nate experimentally nuzzled the expanse of skin peeking just above the waistband and the body arched into it. 

This was a good sign.

Still in too much of a haze, Nate didn’t realize the shower had been running until it ended suddenly with a loud rattle that shook their whole room.   Out came Shaun, all damp and spiky and freshly clean.

Shaun?  Nate’s addled mind balked at this sort of math. Then who was… 

It took a second for it to dawn that the ass he’d been using as a pillow belonged to Desmond and said pillow was still sound asleep.

There was a slip of smooth sheets as Shaun slid behind him, pulling the blanket over all three.   “It’s early still. Go back to sleep, you twat.”

Nate felt an arm wound itself around his waist and the comforting warmth came flooding back, too hard to resist. He drifted back into precious slumber.

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

Midmorning sun blazing across his face was too strong to ignore.  It was an echo of the first time he’d tried it- long, luxuriant stretch- except this time there was a distinct lack of ass.  There was a distinct lack of any sort of body parts on either side and this was vaguely disappointing. 

Had it been a dream?  It wouldn’t have taken much to convince him of that until he felt the seam of two beds hastily shoved together digging into his back.  The shower was running again, rush of water flowing through old Italian pipes. There was a careful rustling of paper and Nate finally had to look.

There were notes everywhere; bits of torn paper with one or two words on them, sometimes a whole phrase.  Shaun had claimed a large chunk of what little floor space they had, creating a mosaic of paper around the da Vinci notebook. Every now and then Shaun would pause from his furious scribbling to rearrange some of pieces around him as if they were a colossal jig saw puzzle only to go back and scribble some more.

“Doing some light reading?” Nate asked with a hint of amusement.

This was acknowledged with a firm ‘hmph’ and nothing more.

Nate flipped himself around, using his vantage point to look over the other man’s shoulder.  “So how did we end up all Three Amigos last night?”

Shaun went very still, refusing to make eye contact.  “Are you upset?”

“No.”  Far from it if he had to be completely honest.

His scratching of pencil on paper resumed.  “Good.”

A loud creak interrupted them as the bathroom door swung open and Desmond emerged, half dressed and soaking wet.

“Do you want to ruin everything?” Shaun was more waspish than usual, shielding the precious notebook like a mother protecting a newborn. “Go drip somewhere else!”

“Yeah, well maybe some selfish asshole shouldn’t have hogged all the towels!” Desmond snapped back, plunking down onto the bed.   “So you think it’s the real deal?”

“Yes,” answered Shaun breezily, again engrossed in his work. “I suspect we’ve hit the jackpot, too.  There’s work to be done on this and it will take a few days to translate the bulk of it.”

Nate eased closer, liking the word ‘jackpot’ a whole hell of a lot. “My Italian is good enough.  Maybe I can help.“ He looked to the small mirror in Shaun’s hand.   It reflected a note in da Vinci’s mirror writing scrawled across the margin. 

“‘Templars found Masayaf?’” he translated aloud without a thought.  Nate grabbed for the mirror just as it was snatched it away.  “What kind of Dan Brown bullshit is this?”

Shaun was scandalized. “I’ll thank you to not mention that ludicrous tripe in my presence!”

“Fine, you baby,” Nate said, not caring in the slightest.  “Are you sure that thing’s genuine?”

The centuries old notebook snapped shut, Shaun hiding its contents from prying eyes. “Stay out of this!  It’s too dangerous!”

“Like that’s ever stopped me?”

This swayed Shaun not at all.

“C’mon!” Nate tried again, turning on the petulance. “I’m gonna get in trouble with or without you so cough it up.”

“Fuck off! I won’t be a party to it!” Shaun clutched the notebook to his chest as Nate lunged, missing to grab onto the other man’s arm instead.  Somehow Nate ended up on the ground and it devolved into a wrestling match that would have done a yard of schoolboys proud.

“Let me see it!”   Nate let out a grunt at the elbow to his chin but he wasn’t about to let that stop him.  He knew things.  Certain weaknesses. 

A good grope of Shaun’s inner thigh had him spasming as if hit with a live wire.

“S..s…stop it!” and Shaun almost lost his grip, twitching violently from Nate’s hand crawling higher and higher up his leg. “Drake, you utter bastard!”

Strong hands took the two squabblers by the scruff and Desmond forced some distance between them. “Will you knock it off with the crappy foreplay?  Let him help, for fuck’s sake.”

After a good glare, Shaun offered up the notebook and Nate was only too happy to take it off his hands. “Sweet!”

“I’m going to grab us some breakfast.”  Desmond pulled his t-shirt over his head and made for the door. “You guys play nice.”

It was an hour and a half before they saw Desmond again, juggling a couple of cappuccinos in one hand and a bag of bomboloni in the other.

Shaun turned on him as soon as he walked in the door. “Where the hell have you been? Do I need to give you a sack of breadcrumbs so you can find your way home?”

The bed creaked as Desmond sat down with a heavy sigh.  “Somebody was following me when I left the café. Had to make sure I lost them.”

Nate froze, hand stuck halfway into the bag of pastries. “So we should probably get out of here.”

“Yeah, we should.”  The younger American looked far too weary for his years. “How’s the translation coming?”

“Slow.” Shaun somehow still looked disgruntled while taking a sip of coffee.  “We’ve run into a snag but we’re getting there.”

“What if I help-“

Shaun was on his feet before Desmond could finish his question. “Have you gone suicidal?” he demanded, turning a spectacular shade of red.  “Or have you simply lost your tiny little mind?”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!”  Nate wasn’t at all sure what he was jumping into but he jumped into it anyways.  Sort of like always. “Take it easy!”

 “There is no fucking way I’m letting you look at that codex!”  Shaun bellowed, slamming his coffee to the table.  Hot liquid sloshing across his forearm only enraged him further. “Don’t!  Just… don’t!” he shouted, heading to the washroom.

Nate watched his retreating back. “What crawled up his ass and died?”

“He’s just worried,” Desmond dismissed with a hint of sadness.  “What’s the snag?”

Nate tapped a tattoo on the notebook’s worn cover with his pencil. “It’s da Vinci’s pictograms.” 

 “Pictograms?”

“Yeah.  You know, words as pictures. This bad boy is full of them.  Between the translation and figuring out what was going on in the head of a five hundred year old genius, it’s a little rough.”  Nate flipped open to one page, immediately absorbed by its puzzle. “Like this one.  There’s a hill which we’re pretty sure is translated as colle and this frying pan kind of thing which is a padella.  Then there’s this little dude with a clock for a face and neither of us have any clue what the hell that’s supposed to mean.”

“Fortuna.” 

“Fortuna!”  There was an odd note to Desmond’s voice but this little new little tidbit was too engrossing. “Colle padela fortuna?”

“Colpa della fortuna,” corrected Desmond,

That voice was even deeper in timbre than before but Nate had his nose buried in the codex. “Colpa della fortuna! ‘Stroke of luck’! That’s it!  Shit, that’s brilliant!  Don’t know why Shaun won’t let you help-“

A hand pushed the notebook aside and suddenly there was a whole lot of Desmond in Nate’s world view.

“Caro.”  The whisper was rich, seductive.  All Nate could think about was that odd little scar that moved with the words created by Desmond’s otherwise perfect mouth.  “Mi sei mancato molto, Leonardo.” 

"Missed you too," Nate answered reflexively, air simply saturated with intimacy that kicked his brain into autopilot.

There was no way to stop the kiss so Nate didn't even try.   Not that he wanted to.  It was gentle, tender, filled with longing.  People dreamt of kisses like this, so there was a pang of sadness at the thought this wasn’t directed at him.

It was nice to pretend, though.  In fact, it felt fucking great. 

Fingers threaded through the back of his scalp, pulling him in to deliver a passion that was both firm and yielding.  That hint of roughness, the give and take.  Whatever was going on, it was good.

Fuck that.   It was spectacular.

Hot tendrils of arousal clouded his mind but it was just as it began to burn brighter that Desmond backed off.  It took a moment to realize the other man was very pale, faint sheen of sweat breaking out on his forehead. 

"Nate?" Desmond's voice was thin and reedy, full of confusion.  "What…I...I'm -"

Eyes rolled to the back of his head as Desmond listed to one side.   Somehow Nate regained enough of his senses to catch the man before he hit the floor, though this sudden bulk was daunting. 

Shaun reappeared, stunned for a moment before he was all over both of them. "What the fuck happened?"

"I don't know! He calls me Leonardo, kisses me, and passes out! I can't tell if I should be insulted or flattered."

The accusation came fast and furious even as Shaun helped him carry Desmond to the bed. “You showed him the notebook!”

“No I didn’t, asshole.  Just mentioning the pictograms set him off.” Nate peeled back Desmond’s eyelid to examine the pupil underneath. “Now are you finally going to tell me what the hell is going on here?”

Shaun’s expression cloistered closed.  “You’re never going to believe me.”

“Try me. I doubt you’ve got anything worse than some of the freaky shit I’ve seen.”

The sigh that came from Shaun was low and long.  “What would you say if I told you a person can revisit the memories of their ancestors?”

Nate broke into a doubtful smile. “I would say that sounds cool as hell.  Totally nutso.  But still cool.”

The glare returned at him full force.  “Desmond can. Not by choice. Not with any control. There was a machine that helped him at first but now it happens with certain triggers.” Any good humor from Nate vanished when Shaun failed to join him in it. “He has an ancestor that knew Leonardo da Vinci.”

Caro. 

I missed you.

Was that all for da Vinci?  He had felt it. No way could someone imagine that kiss.   “Knew Leonardo or knew Leonardo?” Nate asked, still full of incredulity.  The hint of color on Shaun’s cheeks answered the question.

They fussed over Desmond for the better part of an hour with gradual improvement.

“I’m an idiot,” Shaun muttered to himself, body beginning to unwind when he found Desmond’s pulse strong and steady.  “Shouldn’t have let him near the bloody thing.”

“Does this happen a lot?” Nate had been pacing in what little space they had.  “He’s not going to have a flashback every time he sees the Mona Lisa or something?”

Heavy footsteps echoed from the hallway, stopping right outside their door.

A worried glance between the two men and Nate padded over to the peephole in silence.  Two burly, black clad figures clad on the other side, their expensive suits hanging off of them in a line that signaling a whole lot of weapons and a whole lot of trouble. 

They moved as one, Shaun tucking the notebook under his sweater before helping Nate pry at their room’s big bay window.   There was a rusty, wrought iron balcony that looked to be mostly decorative fixed to the brick exterior in less than a secure fashion.   The street was far too many meters below.  Nate looked up and Shaun followed his line of sight with dismay.

The roof then.

They prepared to flee, easing Desmond from the bed.  The limp man’s moan came at the precisely the wrong time.

A solid kick was delivered to the door with stunning force.  The dead bolt somehow did its job though the dried up wood around it showed signs of splintering.

It was enough to put a little spring in anyone’s step.

The balcony held as Nate boosted Shaun to the rooftop ledge above though its ancient metal groaned mightily when Nate tried to lift Desmond.  Shaun reached for them but the distance was simply too great.

 “C’mon, man!” Nate whispered some encouragement into the semi-conscious man’s ear.  “I need your help or we’re kinda screwed.”

The sound of another kick and the only barrier between them and a couple of pissed off goons was ready to shatter into an explosion of splinters.

There was a heavy glaze to Desmond’s face but he was coherent enough to raise an arm above his head.   Once Shaun caught the offered hand there was some coordinated pushing and pulling to reel Desmond to safety.  The Englishman reached again but his advance was rejected.

A third kick and they were no longer alone.

"Just get going!" Nate shouted.  "I'll catch up!"

There was a flustered, doubtful silence from Shaun for the briefest of moments before he disappeared from view.

Nate turned; ready to greet their new visitors.  The two men were big and angry.  Couldn’t the bad guys be friendly and kind of scrawny for once?

“Hey guys!” Nate began brightly.  “Glad you could make it!  Hope you like bomboloni.”  Calculations were rattling through his brain.  Using the handrail from the balcony was the only way he’d make it to the roof by himself but he suspected this would earn him a brand new hole in the back of the head.  The nasty, jagged scar on one man’s cheek hinted that there was at least one person who would have liked to put it there.

“We want the codex,” growled Scarface, his massive hand making the 9mm he leveled look like a child’s toy.

Nate feigned a chuckle, backing out onto the balcony as far as he could.  “Well, you’re gonna to have to come get it!”

A curt nod from Scarface and the other monstrously huge man pulled a Dragon-5 of his own before lumbering closer.

Damn, this was one big bastard.  The balcony’s handrail felt cold under Nate’s hands when it lurched with the addition of the beast’s brutish weight.

“Codex. Now,” grunted his new friend.

“Oh, that old thing?” Nate asked, full of nonchalance as he waited.  "We used it for toilet paper. Sorry.  Big dinner last night.” 

Once the big man had joined him on the balcony, Nate jumped.  Not for the roof, that was still too far out of reach with a gun in his face, but-

The entire balcony shifted, the big thug stumbling with it. 

It was time for Nate to deliver a punch to the man’s thick jaw. It fucking hurt, radiating up his arm, his own fist aching like a son of a bitch.   He followed through with an uppercut and pulled the man closer to prepare for a head butt.

Scarface opened fire.  Nate tried not to gag, the man in his grasp becoming a shield that danced under a hail of bullets. The lifeless body next became a weapon, Nate swinging it at the gunman who looked all too ready to create another corpse.

Nate climbed the fragile balcony's handrail but Scarface was quicker than he looked.  The entire structure let out an ear piercing shriek under this new weight and Nate's heart was in his throat as he felt the balcony begin to slip from its mounts.

Shots went wild as Scarface tilted along with the balcony, a look of real fear on his face when he tried to grab onto something, anything once the balcony began its fall.

Got one chance at this.  Nate lunged for the roof ledge at the balcony fell from under his feet, hoping, praying it was within his reach.  He could feel it, the cold stone of the ledge just under his fingertips but it wasn't enough to hold him. 

There was that heart stopping moment of weightlessness.

Time stood still but his brain did not.

Maybe, maybe he could grab back onto what was left of the balcony but there wasn't much remaining.   No decorative trellis, no edge he could catch between him and the ground far below. Scarface's buddy was a lump that took up half the window’s edge. There wasn't anything to hold on to unless he wanted to use a dead guy as a parachute.

There was nothing.

He was falling.

Oh, crap.

Everything jerked to a halt, Nate’s shoulder screaming bloody murder from this sudden stop.

“Got you!” Shaun was in a world of hurt at catching the weight of a full grown man.  He had spread himself flat across the rooftop to reach far enough over the edge, muscles straining in his desperation to hold on to Nate by the wrist.

There was a sickening sound from the pavement below-a heavy hit full of wetness and the crunch of bone.  Nate refused to look down.

"Can you climb up me?" Shaun's grimace etched lines across his face. "I can't.... I don't have enough leverage to pull you-"

Nodding, Nate very much did not want to think about gravity and the brains of a mob guy splattered across the pavement.  His free hand came up, grabbing onto Shaun’s elbow.

There was a nauseating lurch as this movement dragged Shaun a little farther over the edge.

Nate tried.  Free hand searching for a hold but finding no purchase.  Sneakers sliding, nothing big enough to stick a foothold.

The Englishman was nearly purple, fighting to hold on to both the man he anchored and the rooftop's edge to keep himself from going over. "Fuck!" he screamed, his body dropping a few more precious inches over the edge.

An odd sense of calm swept over Nate.  "Shaun."  His tongue felt thick and dry, like it was moving through sand. "Stop."

The feral growl from Shaun was nearly incoherent. "Climb, you bastard!"

"And take you with me?  Can’t let that happen." Nate tried to breathe but it came out a dry sob. "Please. Let me go."

"No!" Shaun slipped again, stretched out whipcord tight, his fingers on the roof's decorative trim the only thing keeping them both from plummeting to the ground below.

Nate looked the other man in the eye and he gave the tearful glare a sad, sad smile in return. "You’re one stubborn fuck, you know that?”

Out of nowhere there was another hand on him.  Desmond, still pale and haggard, stretched out his long limbs, making all the difference. "He gets that a lot."

There was a surge of movement once they connected and together the two men hauled Nate to safety.

They lay together in a great pile, panting out their relief.

Nate was sprawled out atop the two men, unable to move with adrenaline making the blood in his veins sing.  He could feel them underneath him; safe, sound.

Alive.

A wellspring of laughter started to bubble up in his chest.  Within a few seconds Shaun and Desmond were right there laughing helplessly along with him.  

It was beautiful.  They were beautiful.  Both of them.  Color to their cheeks, drunk with success.

“Nice catch,” Nate whispered. 

The trembling started when the adrenaline left him high and dry.

Many arms engulfed him, ready to catch him again.

 

Date: 2011-02-19 08:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ingu_x.livejournal.com
@.@ Oh the imagery of these three together... in bed, all cozy and snuggled and... aaaaaah *mumbles* I want to join...

Date: 2011-02-19 01:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexb49.livejournal.com
lol! I see you've found my motivation for writing this story.

Date: 2011-02-19 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gracedemon.livejournal.com
The contrast between them arguing and fighting with each other and them working together and comforting is spectacular. And the balance is really nice. I was worried there might be a lot of Shaun/Nate and not a lot of Shaun/Desmond or the other way around or a lot of Desmond/Nate and leaving Shaun out all together. It's not lop-sided and it works really well! :D

Date: 2011-02-19 10:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexb49.livejournal.com
I'm thrilled you like it. I definitely wanted to keep it balanced. I kind of see Nate as a Shaun/Desmond hybrid so they're almost three points on a triangle.

Date: 2011-02-24 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wanderingflame.livejournal.com
I was *so* excited to see this on my friends page and now I finally have time to leave a comment!

Loved this. I am really intrigued by the Bleeding Effect but it only seems to pop up in the game when it's convenient as a plot device. I understand why the developers do that but it still left me hungry for more. I really liked how it came into play in this chapter. And not just because I like the thought of Desmond and Nate making out. XD

I also have to say that despite knowing this is supposed to end as a threesome, the bit with Nate hanging off the building was pretty tense. I was relieved when Desmond finally woke up and helped pull him up.

I can't wait to read more!

Date: 2011-02-24 02:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexb49.livejournal.com
I am thrilled you like it. When stuff gets a lot of page views and few comments you always wonder if people think it sucks.

I love experimenting with the Bleeding Effect but I guess I use it as a plot device too... Just for more pornish reasons.

And thanks! I sometimes get a little too disjointed in action scenes because I can see it clearly in my head and can't get it on paper so I'm glad it made sense enough to have some tension.

Thanks so much! I plan to have more soon.

Date: 2011-04-28 05:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-everbright.livejournal.com
"Many arms engulfed him, ready to catch him again." That is beautiful. God, Nate's such a woobie!

Also, bomboloni! I had no idea Italians had a pączki analogue.

Date: 2011-04-28 10:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexb49.livejournal.com
Nate ends up taking quite the beating throughout. If you're interested I would watch the opening scene for the game Uncharted 2. It really typifies a whole lot about the game and is a hell of a way to start it.

LOL as for pastries, I think every culture has a fried dough with good shit stuffed inside it. I think it's the one anthropological constant.

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