Fandoms: Assassin's Creed 2/Doctor Who
Spoilers for AC2: endgame, alternate universe after AC2, for DW, bits of season 5,
Warnings: Slash content, for this chapter there are explicit medical descriptions.
Pairings: Shaun/Desmond, Ezio/Leonardo
Rating for this chapter is barely PG 13. other chapters as high as NC17
I own neither AC or DW and make no money from this
Summary: Leonardo receives a visit from an old friend. This goes about as well as one would expect when the Doctor is involved.
Slow updating is slow. Comments and critique help motivate me and I appreciate every comment that's made more than I can say. I'm too impatient for a beta so I'll fling my crap here so people can pick it apart in public. It keeps me going and keeps me honest. I'm trying to finish this before more ACR stuff comes out since Ubisoft seems determined to take a giant dump on the fandom. I've tried to make this universe fit even if it is AU now that we have ACB and ACR and fark Ubisoft right in the ear in regards to what has been said about Ezio's true appearance. Please let me know what you think.
Must be read in order to make any sense whatsoever
Past Chapters: Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11
I got some awesome stuff from demapples for this story.
Commission: Child's Play by *Hoshi-san on deviantART----------------
Bursting at the seams, Shaun was the first to break the silence . “The Sword.”
Scraps of knowledge darted at him from all directions and he battled to piece them together. “ Abstergo is holding it somewhere close .”
“Another Piece of Eden?” asked Leonardo, blue eyes sharp and bright. “Like the Apple.”
“And the Staff,” Ezio added, the line of his back tensing at the word alone.
“And Shroud,” was Shaun’s absent confirmation, still caught up on unraveling the tangled snarl in his head . “All of them created by Those Who Came Before. All of them powerful enough to leave their imprint on human mythos.”
His fingers cataloged them one by one, his tongue tripping impossibly fast to keep up with the words fighting to get out of his head. “Mind control of the Apple, the Staff was also an amplifier, healing by the Shroud, but the Sword...”
He blinked owlishly, looking to Adam as he continued. “ We knew nothing of the Sword’s purpose .”
“It only brings misery.” Staring past them all, Adam quietly spoke into the past . “I thought it destroyed. It seems here too I have failed you, my sons.”
Amy was in full fluster. “Another bible story, is it? ” Her sidelong glance at the Doctor was not met as he stood there with eyes closed, the twitching muscle hugging the angle of his jaw the only sign that he was alive. “The Sword was supposed to be some great big flaming thing put up to stop others from stealing apples from the Tree of Life.”
Adam gave a laugh that was drier than dust. "“Is that what they say? We had the Apple and our freedom but the First wished to re take them both.” His grief was a great lump in his throat and his words worked their way out. “So they set a snare. The Sword was to grant the power they thought would lure us back into the fold- all one would need to hold dominion over our own."
The next breath he took left him completely ragged. "But such things always come with a price.”
The historian couldn’t help himself. “Sigmund, King Arthur, Attila the Hun!” The names burst from Shaun , one after the other. “All of them great leaders , all of them known to have the Sword , all of their stories ending in tragedy. ”
“But its purpose must differ from the Apple ,” Leonardo added, fascination lighting him up from within. "Or
the Sword would have held no t
“One was designed for deception. False visions, false actions. The other…” How ancient Adam looked in a body that was not his own. “The Sword revealed the truth, laying bare past, present and future.”
“To Jeanne d’Arc, it was the voice of God,” Shaun murmured, pieces slotting in to place.
Knotted up in bitterness, Adam continued. “ I knew better than to put my trust in such a thing! But my sons... ” This time he met each unflinching eye that watched him tell his story. “ They were proud. Foolish. Like all young men, they thought they could triumph over that which shackled their elders. ”
IT BEGINS IT ENDS
Three men staggered under the frantic wave of urgency thrust upon them.
A gaunt Adam forced the wobble from his legs. “He calls to us through the Sword.”
Ezio clutched at his head under Leonardo’s steadying hand. “Perhaps he should find a less painful means of communication.”
The Doctor sprung to life, the whole of him savage and raw.
“I know you can hear me!” he shouted at everything and nothing. “You must focus! We will help you but. You. Must. Focus! Can you do that?”
There was nothing. No movement. No sound. They waited- listening, watching, time standing still as they wondered what this madman was expecting-
A section of lights ahead of them dimmed for the briefest of seconds.
All of the Doctor’s pent up fire blazed into a fierce joy. “That’s it! I knew you could do it!”
His face fell not a moment after, alarm taking over just as quickly. “And I do hope I haven’t just congratulated a rather unfortunately timed electrical problem.”
A blast of static from the closest intercom had them all leaping out of their skins.
"What is it with you and disembodied beings?" Amy shot her question at the Doctor, her bravado evaporating with the worry contorting his brow. “ Can’t you have a nice, normal chat with it , maybe about the weather or something?”
< Where is that blasted gurney? Leave the tank, you idiot! We’ll want the defibrillator!>
The voice was tinny and distorted through the speakers but the ego was familiar enough.
“Is… is that Vidic?” Shaun blurted out before being silenced by a quick shush from the Doctor.
Another voice piped in, nearly drowned out by all sorts of beeps and bells. <Sir, pressures are dropping ! The damage is just too extensive. Moving now could be- >
The furious answer made its maker unmistakable. <Just do your job!>
Though the intercom fell silent, there was something to take its place.
This time, there was no blast of pain or numbing desperation. Just a small, exhausted plea.
A hint of motion played at the edges of the Doctor’s mobile mouth though it was nothing like a smile. “We will.”
This was an odd trail of breadcrumbs to follow. A flickering light here and there as they passed through one hallway after another .
One turn had Ezio pulling up short. “This is not the route the Templars followed,” he said, eyes briefly alight with ethereal vision. “How much can we trust that which leads us?”
“Why don’t we find out?” the Doctor murmured, dashing onwards with the lights calling him like a moth to a flame.
Intercoms blazed to life, guiding them deeper into Abstergo with stray shouts and orders. Harsh shadows made stairwells more ominous as they were guided down, down. Walls turned from sterile steel to rough concrete, as if they’d been transported to another world. Finally there was one last staircase, the door at the bottom of it small, sealed and forgotten. T he Doctor reached for his sonic screwdriver with a magician's flourish .
“I’ll only need a second!”
All his flash was for nothing as the door slid open through no trick of his own.
Darkness stretched ahead of them, the door revealing a massive garage filled with columns, looking more like an underground Karnak in the belly of Abstergo. There wasn’t much beyond a few cars but there could have been anything lurking in the shadows.
A close intercom barked out a warning. <We have a breach on E level!>
“E level?” Leonardo questioned, fearlessly in the middle of their new surroundings. He traced a painted letter ‘A’ stenciled on one cold gray wall.
<Deploy men to intercept! We need more time!>
The Doctor breathed out a sigh, smile finally tugging at his lips. “What a clever little thing you are,” he whispered to no one in particular.
Chin jutting out to chew on what he was hearing, Shaun gave a nod of comprehension. "He's got control of their security system. They have no idea we’re here."
“Undoubtedly!” The Doctor had his hands together in an eager clap, his enthusiasm restored. “I like your style!” was his shout to the air
before sprinting purposefully on ahead. The rest of them kept to him closely, every pair of eyes watching for any little thing. Every ounce of focus was intent on finding danger before it found them.
So it didn’t help when the Doctor came to a sudden halt.
Amy sputtered in protest, narrowly avoiding a catastrophic crash. "Oi! Watch it!"
The glee running through the Doctor’s veins was gone. “ Oh, dear." He swallowed thickly, face shuttering closed though his eyes darted back and forth underneath his eyelids as if he'd fallen straight into a dream. "That's not good."
"'Not good? Not good?'" Incredulity took the edge off of Amy's panic. "Could you be a smidge more specific?"
“How? It’s just not possible,” he whispered to himself, straining to listen with every fiber of his being.
The redhead was ready to boil over but Ezio threw out a halting hand, his Eagle Vision shining. "Something approaches!"
Snapping out of his paralysis, the Doctor flapped long arms in agitation. “Don’t be ridiculous! We’re approaching it! Now if you could kindly be quiet so I can figure out - waah! ”
His high pitched yelp was unavoidable with Ezio latching on to a fistful of the other man’s shirt. The assassin tossed the Doctor behind the closest column with little ceremony. “Get down !”
Ezio’s warning had them all scattering to safety, hugging to the widest part of each pylon.
All except one.
There was a note of familiarity to his name that grabbed Shaun by the throat. He whipped around to find Adam looking drawn and pale.
"No,” the man panted, taking one halting step towards Shaun, then another. “Can’t let you-”
Realization burned worse than alcohol on an open wound. “Desmond?”
Just that name and the dark head snapped back, long, lean body taut and struggling for air.
The throttling of an engine had Shaun marching them both behind the bulk of the closest column. He hugged the gasping form to him , only peripherally aware of the beeping of a lorry backing into place . “Desmond,” he whispered with infinite care . “Don’t go. Please.”
The body went stock still and Shaun could feel the change against him but it only made him hug tighter.
"The Sword." The murmur that wasn't Desmond tickled his ear. "It calls to him."
The truck’s rear door flew open, revealing a handful of Templars. Booted feet hit the pavement, wary and ready.
One man thumbed the radio clipped to his shoulder. “Vehicle is in position, sir!”
<It’s about time!> Vidic’s annoyance was plain even through its solitary speaker. <Stand back!>
Tons of concrete and steel trembled as what had been a featureless wall split in two, a giant seam carving its way through the rock. Light poured from this crack as it grew wider and wider, revealing a vault within.
As dark as the garage had been, this vault –this Repository- was its complete opposite. Sterile and white, the room was packed from floor to ceiling. Machines lined its walls, whirring and beeping in their own language with many hands tending to them. For all its cleanliness, there was an odor that had a physical bite, acrid and sharp.
The center of the room contained the bed of one last Animus, bearing no evidence of the blast that destroyed its brothers. It lay empty with all manner of wires and restraints discarded across it , a few technicians working on disassembling it piece by piece .
Most of the action was focused instead on a gurney draped in a simple white sheet. Whatever else it contained was obscured by the frantic weave of people tending to it. Hanging over them was Vidic, looking much the worse for wear as he barked out order after order.
“We should have been gone twenty minutes ago!” he snarled through his bruised jaw. “Load up the truck. Now!”
Waiting in the shadows, Amy was more wide eyed by the second. She tossed a whisper over her shoulder. “Doctor, how do they have an Animus that didn't go all explodey ?”
There was no response.
A quick look around and Ezio could only growl. “Cazzo!”
There was no response because there was no Doctor.
“There’s only one way!”
The Doctor was already shouting while on the move, his fury echoing off the ceilings. His long legged stride carried him through a wave of startled Templars.
With only one heartbeat to the next to choose, Ezio’s sharp gesture kept the others in hiding as he peeled away from the column giving him refuge. “Folle!” He followed the Doctor in his madness, blades at the ready.
Righteous anger rolled off the Doctor's tongue . “There is only one, single way that your primitive little device could survive a temporal inharmonic!”
The crowd fell away, not a one willing to stand against him.
“Doctor!” Vidic wasn’t exactly one for warm welcomes, but the blood staining his teeth made his smile grotesque. “Am I thrilled to see you, even with your attack dog. I hope you brought the rest of your menagerie.”
Prowling the room, the Doctor refused to rise to the bait. “Where is he?”
For the first time, honest emotion crossed Vidic’s face. “Who?”
“You know who!“ The Doctor was all thunder. “The artron bomb I set off should have wiped out every functional Animus on this planet yet here’s one safe and sound!” His glare ready to cut down anything that crossed him. “You must have diverted the energy through somewhere. Or someone. Someone you had strapped into that chair! Who is it?” he demanded. “Another one of your subjects?”
He stepped closer, his cold contempt even more terrible than his white hot rage combined. “I’ll ask you one more time. Where. Is. He?”
“How about we make a deal?” Vidic offered with preternatural calm. “Show me Mister Miles, and I’ll show you all you need to know .”
The Doctor sneered “no deal!” but there was a new voice that spoke over his.
“No more!” The man who spoke stood straight and tall at vault’s edge, white knuckled with a fury all his own. “No more games!”
Vidic greeted the man he knew as Desmond Miles with a sigh of relief. “Well aren’t you a sight for sore eyes?”
In the softest of murmurs, he added, “Bring me Miles. I no longer care what happens to the rest.”
Before the order was even finished, there was motion.
Ezio was immediately on the defensive , knocking the taser from one man just as it was being drawn while swiping the baton from another.
So was… Desmond? Adam? Whoever had control, the body struck and struck again, blows coming faster than anyone could counter.
And so too was the Doctor, shoving past those in his way to get closer to the gurney, close enough to-
The first thing that hit him was the smell of roasting meat where no such smell should have been.
T ime seemed to hang, slowing into infinitely long increments.
The gurney held a body- that was clear enough. It lay in state underneath an expanse of white cloth, tiny arcs of residual artron energy dancing across its marred surface. Male in all probability, but the charred flesh made that by no means certain. Hands had been arranged, cradling something to the blackened chest even in repose.
Lips disappearing into a thin, solemn line, the Doctor said nothing . There was nothing to say.
But just under the sheet's edge, there was a flash of something that caught his eye.
War was waged in slow motion all around him. A vague awareness sank in of the two assassins making their way to him, every punch, every kick turning savage once they’d neared enough to see exactly what the gurney had been hiding.
He was too caught up in another sort of violence to pay theirs any mind.
The Doctor reached out with rare hesitation, lifting up the corner of the sheet by the tiniest fraction. He tunneled on the expanse of normal skin just underneath. It was hard not to flinch as a stray ripple of radiation danced across it, turning it to ash. Though his fingers jumped back of their own volition, the rest of him came closer to watch the scorched border of flesh underneath the sheet turn pink and new.
In a way, it was fortunate that he watched so closely.
Otherwise he would have completely missed the body drawing a shallow breath.
“ Oh … " His hand was at his face, fingers frantically scratching at his cheek as if digging inside for answers. "Oh dear. ”
“Pardon me.” There was Vidic on the opposite side of the gurney, ignoring the living, breathing, burning man to reach for the Sword instead. “This is mine, I think.”
Klaxons went off overhead, tearing open the air.
Squabbling humans clutched at their heads, the shrieking alarms loud enough to puncture ear drums.
The Doctor wasn’t fazed. “You leave here with nothing,” he said softly, not caring a whit if his words went unheard.
He grabbed the sword by its hilt but a burned lump of flesh that was once a hand covered his own and it-
Or more like emptiness, the kind that went on forever. No up, no down. No left, no right.
It was only when he moved that a floor appeared underneath him. Smooth and grey, it was patterned with something akin to circuitry. No matter which direction he traveled, a new section appeared as the old one fell away, leaving the sensation that he made no progress through this featureless landscape.
The Doctor paused. A worn, red cricket ball appeared in one hand. After a moment’s consideration, he hurled the ball into the void with all his might-
And nearly toppled over when the ball hit him squarely between the shoulder blades at full force.
A startled Ezio blinked into existence to his left, pulling back the punch meant for the enemy that was no longer there. One quick glance around and his weary shoulders slumped in resignation. “What now?”
“Chin up!” The Doctor offered a consoling pat to the shoulder. “I find it’s best just to go with the flow.”
Another figure joined them, appearing right before their eyes. Not just one person.
Edges blurred where one man ended and the other began. Even then, both sets of features were laced with pain.
"Dio mio!" Ezio tried to grasp onto one then the other but his hands had no purchase. "We must help them!"
The Doctor knocked into his forehead with a knuckle as if this might knock the solution loose. “Yes, yes! Give me a moment!”
Finally with face pinched shut, he reached out, hand going through them. It was a struggle but with one, two, three great tugs, the Doctor tumbled backwards with something in his hand.
Or someone and once where the room had held three men, there were four.
A young man shivered on hands and knees. "Doctor, you have got to work on your technique. Fuck!"
“Desmond!” The Doctor bounced to his feet, offering a hand and flashing a genuine smile full of teeth. "Good to have you back!"
"Thanks. I think." Desmond winced, accepting the Doctor’s assistance with one hand and idly rubbing at a spot over his sternum with the other. "Nice being single occupancy again.” Face falling, he turned in all apology to the white haired old man that was their fourth. “No offense!”
Even in his older years, the man was still devastatingly handsome as he returned a wry smile, the faintest of scars running across his lips. “None taken.”
The Doctor had his arms out in welcome. “You must be Adam! Nice to finally see you in the flesh…. “ He paused, forehead wrinkling in thought. “So to speak.”
They grasped hands like old friends and Adam had a warm chuckle for him. “You are an odd one, Doctor.”
“I get that a lot!”
“So…” Adam waved a cursory hand at the space around them. "What is this place?"
“I’m not entirely sure. It feels like a temporotelepathic singularity,” the Doctor mused. “Sort of a psychic time-out,” he clarified once met with looks of confusion. “Though perhaps our host might clarify some of that.”
His eyes flashed as he searched the unending shadows. “Why don't you come out and join us? It would be a shame to not meet you properly after all this.”
There was a moment of nothingness and then they were no longer four.
It began as the tiniest of ghosts, silver shapes moved as one like a flock of birds in flight, numbers and letters swirling, sailing in mad patterns. Finally they took settled, coalescing into a silhouette that was shockingly human. The words that emerged were laced with such sorrow. “It’s been so long.”
Desmond found his voice first. “Subject Sixteen?”
This construct of a man let out a fractured laugh that could have just as easily been taken for a sob.
“Knew you would come.”