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29 July 2011 @ 03:20 pm
"Initiation" 1/1  
Title: "Initiation"
Fandom: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
Pairing: N/A
Rating: G
Spoilers: minor spoiler for ACB
A/N: I've been meaning to get my AC BigBang submissions posted here and now that I have a free moment, I figured I should do it while LJ is up and running.

This was originally posted here for Round 1 of the AC BigBang. I'm not linking the art since this is technically just a journal for my own works. However, it's posted to the community with proper credit so go check it out!

When La Volpe came to get her, Claudia knew what it meant, even though he was purposefully vague.

“Ezio has called a meeting and requests your attendance,” was all he said but when she gave him a hard look, he smiled enigmatically. A rush of excitement swept through her but he simply turned away, saying over his shoulder, “Wear something you can move more easily in.”

Maria was with her when he came to the Rosa in Fiore and it was clear she was thinking the same as Claudia. She reached out to take her daughter’s hand, squeezing it once, and Claudia felt a lump form in her throat at the look of pride in her mother’s eyes. Pride and a little bit of sorrow, perhaps? Claudia gave a reassuring squeeze back before rushing upstairs to change clothes.

La Volpe waited outside and when she came out of the brothel, head held high and heart fluttering in anticipation, he chuckled.

“Come, then. Let’s not keep him waiting.”

The trip through the tunnels was made in silence but for that, Claudia was grateful. It gave her a chance to prepare, to compose herself, so that by the time they reached the gate in the assassin’s hideout, she felt a little more controlled, a little more professional.

Ezio waited for them in the main room, pacing the length of the carpet with his hands clasped behind his back. He came over to give Claudia a hug as La Volpe moved on to the meeting chamber. Although she managed to keep from beaming, she still felt her heart leap again as Ezio stepped back, holding her at arm’s length and looking her in the eye.

“You’ve probably guessed why I asked La Volpe to bring you here,” he said and she nodded. “And you’re sure?” Again she nodded, wanting to make a smart comment about him coddling her, but uncertain that she could speak without a nervous tremor in her voice. Ezio looked at her a moment more, oddly serious, then pulled her into another hug. “Bene.”

She had witnessed an ascension ceremony before for one of Ezio’s recruits, so she knew what was expected of her. Even so, once she was in front of the room full of white-robed assassins and initiates, she found herself fighting the urge to tug at the edges of her cape nervously. She barely heard Machiavelli’s speech, only coming out of her tangled thoughts when Ezio turned and said her name.

“Claudia, we here dedicate our lives to protecting the freedom of humanity. Mario, our father and our brother once stood around this fire, fighting off the darkness. Now, I offer the choice to you. Join us.”

He held out his hand and she hesitated only a heartbeat before putting her hand in his and allowing him to draw her closer to the fire. There was pride in his eyes now and Claudia felt the lump return to her throat. She watched tensely as Machiavelli lifted the pinchers and ever-so-gently pressed the white-hot edges to the ring finger on her left hand. It hurt more than she had imagined, a flare of agony that nearly blinded her, but she bit her lip and endured it; when Machiavelli stepped back, she sensed Ezio’s approval.

The rest of the ceremony was a blur. Her lips formed the necessary words for the call and response recitation of the Creed but her mind didn’t fully return until they were mounting the stairs to the tower’s highest point. As soon as Ezio opened the door and stepped out, moving to the side to make way, she felt the wind catch at her cloak, tugging at it playfully. She froze, the sight of the city from so high up momentarily terrifying. Ezio seemed to understand for he gently took her arm and pulled her closer as Machiavelli joined them on the roof.

“It is a leap of faith, sister, and one I know you can make,” he murmured. “Do not think of how high we are; do not think of the ground. Push off from the perch, remember the Creed, and you will be fine.”

Claudia nodded, still feeling her heart flutter in her chest as she approached the impossibly small triangle of wood. She stepped to the edge and closed her eyes, thinking of the path that led her here.

She thought of Mario, whose death had been the catalyst that sent her to Roma, and the ruin that her home in Monteriggioni had become. She thought of her mother, who had spent so long trapped in silent catatonia, unable to escape the demons in her mind. She thought of her father and brothers, taken from her before she knew anything of this secret war. She thought of the years of helplessness she’d endured, waiting at the villa for some word from Ezio or even a visit from him, as rare as those had become.

That was all behind her now. She was an assassin and she wouldn’t allow the Templars to take anything from her ever again. Holding onto that thought, she spread her arms and leapt from the edge.

For a moment, she seemed to hang in the air, weightless and free, and then the sound of wind rushing by filled her ears and she felt a smile spread across her face. She was flying, unfettered by fear or uncertainty. As her hands came up and she broke through the surface of the river that waited below, she felt its cool depths envelope her, baptizing her of the helplessness, frustration and sorrow that had plagued her for years. The burn on her finger now felt like a band of ice but the sensation was reassuring as she kicked for the surface.

She was an assassin, like her father and brothers before her, and she was going to make sure the Templars did not forget.
alexb49alexb49 on July 30th, 2011 08:56 am (UTC)
I have to say I loved both this and the fanmix one. You've got a great way of bringing these guys to life.
viva la vida: joyful pamwanderingflame on August 1st, 2011 01:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you!