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11 December 2010 @ 04:53 pm
"The Lure Would Prove Too Much" 7/10  
Title: "The Lure Would Prove Too Much"
Fandom: Assassin's Creed 2
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Ezio/Leonardo
Spoilers: None
A/N: AC kink meme fill, originally posted here. This is an AU so some things will be different but I kept the timeline mostly the same. In this story, no one knows of the Codex so there was no scroll in Giovanni's office and no Codex wall at Monteriggioni.

Prompt: Another request for Ezio/Leonardo (in that order) action. We've seen Evil!Templar Leonardo (and it was absolutely awesome), but I just can't picture the pacifist behaving that way, even if historically, he may have been a Templar. How about Oblivious! Templar Leonardo instead?

Maybe an AU where Ezio is sent to assassinate Leonardo because he's inventing for the Templar, only to realize that the "dangerous" artist is really just throwing sketches their way absent-mindedly?

Bonus points if Ezio has to "kidnap" Leo to keep him safe from both sides.



7

Over the next few days, Ezio was able to find several scrolls hidden within the walls of Monterggioni and even some in the surrounding countryside. It had been worth enduring Mario’s gleeful, “See? What did I tell you, nipote?” to see the excitement in Leonardo’s eyes when he handed them over. It became a part of their daily routine, where Ezio began the morning in search of the next scroll while Leonardo worked with Emilio on the city. By mid-afternoon, Ezio would find the artist in his workshop and Leonardo would happily abandon whatever project he was on to decode the latest page of what they took to calling “The Codex”. Ezio would sit and watch him work, every day of observation making it harder to think of the artist in purely platonic terms. He at least tried to be less obvious than Claudia had been and thankfully, Leonardo never seemed to notice.

It was in this way that they began to piece together a little more about the history of the Assassins and their war against the Templars. Along with Altaïr’s personal writings, there had also been a diagram for an adjustment to the hidden blade. Leonardo’s eagerness to work again on the assassin’s tool encouraged Ezio to bring up the subject of a second bracer, which da Vinci happily agreed to make. But while Ezio was thrilled at what they were learning from the Codex—and secretly pleased for the excuse it gave him to spend more time with Leonardo, despite the confused circles his thoughts ran in as a result—he knew the time he was enjoying was limited. Eventually, he needed to return to Firenze and speak to Lorenzo, as well as resume his search for the Templar conspirators.

A week after their arrival at the villa, he was no closer to setting a date to return to the city and he still hadn’t heard from Lorenzo. He was taking a break from scroll hunting to help out with the town repairs, mainly because he believed he’d exhausted all possible hiding spots within and around Monteriggioni. Also, Mario had been insisting he help with some of the renovations since, as he’d put it, “You’re the one who keeps knocking tiles off in the first place!” So he was up on the roof of the armorer, setting new tiles, when he heard his sister’s cry.

“Ezio!”

The alarm in her voice made him whirl to spot her running down the steps past the training ring. The condottieri there looked bewildered and even Mario stopped in mid-lesson to watch before jogging after her. Ezio scrambled down the building, dropping to the ground just in time to catch Claudia as she stumbled to a halt.

“What is it? Has something happened?”

“It’s mother,” she gasped, trying to catch her breath. Mario arrived then, trailing several of his men, his expression changing from puzzled to startled when he overheard this. Ezio heart stopped, a sickening well of fear opening within him until Claudia finally continued. “She’s-she’s talking.”

They must have made an odd scene—Ezio, Mario and Claudia with confused condottieri in tow—rushing back up the stairs and out to the gardens behind the villa, only to come to a sudden halt. Someone had brought out a table and two chairs and that’s where Maria and Leonardo were, a tea set laid out between them. Leonardo was sketching, the charcoal moving in quick strokes over parchment, and Maria was sitting so still and serene, that Ezio felt the hope inside him shudder and nearly break. Then she smiled and murmured something that made Leonardo laugh and Ezio was walking towards them as if in a dream.

Her eyes shifted to him when he drew closer and for a moment, stark grief was all he saw. Then it vanished, replaced by the calm poise he had always known her for. Her gaze traveled up and down him as if seeing him for the first time and he hesitated before dropping to one knee beside her chair.

Madre…”

“You look like your father dressed like that,” she said, her hands pushing back his hood and fussing with the lapel and many straps. It seemed almost absent-minded and Ezio wondered if she’d done the same for Giovanni countless times. Her voice was a little dry from disuse but to hear it again made his heart feel like it would burst. “Leonardo tells me you’ve saved his life and from Templars, no less. You’ve done all of Italia a favor by rescuing such a genio.”

Madonna is too kind,” Leonardo murmured. The scratch of charcoal across paper had stopped but Ezio couldn’t tear his eyes away from his mother to see why.

“Mario.” Maria only raised her voice slightly but Ezio heard his uncle jump as if a whip had cracked over his head and then he had moved to stand beside the table.

“Maria, it is good to see you looking well,” he said with a bow. A small smile graced her lips.

“You’ve turned my boy into quite the man. I thank you.”

“It was nothing,” Mario said simply. “I only added to his already excellent upbringing.” Maria’s lips twitched, inclining her head to accept the compliment before shifting her gaze to the gathered group.

“I’m sure you all have better things to do than stare at a woman getting her picture drawn,” she chided lightly and the men scattered, leaving just the family. She turned to Ezio. “You too, my son. Leonardo needs to finish his drawing without an audience.”

She must have seen the fear that flashed through him—that she would return to a shell of the person she had been if he left her now—because she reached out to take his hand, squeezing it.

“I will see you at dinner,” she said. “And thank you, Ezio, for not forgetting me.”

He nodded, throat tight, and rose to kiss her cheek before allowing Mario to lead him away. Claudia followed them, glancing back occasionally, but as they came around to the front of the house, she launched herself at Ezio’s back with a stifled sob. He turned to put his arms around her in a comforting hug and wasn’t surprised when her shoulders began to shake as the tears of relief broke free. Mario quietly left them, returning to the training ring to shout at the men who were standing by it gossiping instead of practicing their footwork.

“It’s all right now, piccina,” Ezio said when it seemed her tears had run out. She made an indignant noise as she stepped back, wiping at her eyes.

“You haven’t called me that for a while,” she retorted but her voice lacked any bite. She quickly grew serious. “What do you think caused it? Three years of nothing and now she acts completely normal!”

“I don’t know,” Ezio replied although he had a strong suspicion about who had caused it, “but I don’t think it’s temporary. I think she’s really back.” He saw some of the tension ease in her expression. “Madre may need a few days to…adjust but perhaps then she will want to begin helping with the villa upkeep.” The sudden flare of hope in Claudia’s expression made him chuckle before he shooed her back to the house and he returned to his own task.

It would hit Ezio again at random moments throughout the day. He would remember her smile or the strength in her fingers when she squeezed his hand and suddenly he’d be nearly dizzy with relief. Eventually he would calm down and return to whatever he’d been doing only to think of it again later. It was clear to him, though, as he watched his mother instruct the servants to set-up dinner in the back courtyard, that all was not exactly as it had been. There was a brittle quality to her that hadn’t been there before. It was as if her strength had been almost completely sapped and now it took everything that was left just to hold herself together. Time would tell if she regained her former iron will but for now, just the sight of her up and moving around on her own filled him with a giddy joy.

The sound of footsteps made him glance back to see Leonardo approaching, coming to stand beside him in the archway leading outside. The artist offered a tentative smile before turning to watch Maria.

“She is a remarkable woman,” he said after a moment. “I would not want to be on her bad side.”

“Trust me, it is not pleasant,” Ezio replied, thinking of the many times he’d gotten into trouble growing up and had to face her ire. He turned, suddenly feeling reckless. “I don’t know what you did but I owe you a debt for it.” And before he could change his mind, he hugged Leonardo. The other man twitched in surprise but then his arms came up to return the embrace and for a minute, Ezio just enjoyed the comfort of it. Then he forced himself to step back.

“It was nothing, really,” Leonardo said, blushing faintly as if embarrassed by the gratitude. “You did save my life, after all. I, ah, thought it might be a bit bold to try speaking to her but I’m glad I could help.” As he smiled at Ezio, almost shyly, the assassin was seized with the desire to kiss him. The hug had been too brief, the thoughts he’d been keeping at bay for days suddenly clamoring to be realized. As if of their own volition, he felt his hands reaching to grab the other man again but his mother’s voice stopped him.

“Ezio, are you going to skulk in the shadows all night or will you allow our guest to take his seat?” she called, just out of sight. Leonardo glanced towards her voice, unaware of what had nearly happened, and Ezio had to stifle a sigh as reason reasserted itself in his mind. By the time the artist turned back to him, he felt calm enough to put a hand on his shoulder in a carefully friendly way.

“Let's not risk her temper,” he said and followed a chuckling Leonardo out into the courtyard.


Piccina = little one