Someone wrote in [personal profile] asscreedkinkmeme 2011-12-19 08:15 pm (UTC)

All Is Well [1/?]

They flee to Alamut.

The journey there had not been quiet or withdrawn, but strangely methodical and almost determinedly sedulous. Once Masyaf disappears behind them over the horizon, they start to talk over the rush of wind as they ride away.

They talk of buying supplies and hunting for the food they cannot afford, of refilling their water pouches at the stream some miles ahead, and they decide their next course of action together—like crossing the mountain pass to cover their trail, taking the river where they cannot be followed and so forth. If Darim is careless with his thoughts, he finds himself thinking that this is only another long trip with his father, only without his brother. As if he is leaving Masyaf to Mongolia again, only without his mother.

Then, very quickly, Darim stops thinking to focus on more important matters, watching for any signs of weariness that his father is too stubborn, too angry to admit to. And his father must be furious, Darim knows, if not at Abbas then at himself.

It has been three days since they left Masyaf, and on this third night Darim unpacks their bedrolls from the tired horses and lays them near the small campfire. His father tends to the flames, fanning them with a gentle hand to clear the smoke.

“Father,” Darim begins, kneeling down on the dirt. They need to talk.

“We need to abandon the horses tomorrow and continue on foot,” Altair says instead, handing Darim a strip of dried meat and a small bowl of hot water.

“Yes,” Darim replies. They have been over this before. He takes the jerky but gives back the bowl of water after a sip. His father’s hands are cold; the bowl will warm them up. He breathes in, very slowly. “But about mother. And Sef.”

Altair glances at Darim and repeats, just as he did when they had fought through Masyaf; “I’m sorry.”

Darim knows that his father is sincere, painfully so, but he still does not know what, exactly, had transpired — if his father is directly at fault for his mother’s death, or if he is needlessly blaming himself. Darim wants to understand, so when he asks, Altair tells him in such a way that is clear and brief, but leaves no room for questions or musings. What’s done is done. It worries Darim at first that Altair speaks as if reciting a piece of old history, far removed from it all, but then there is a brief moment when Altair closes his mouth, lips drawn tight at the edges. His shoulders slump and his hand passes over his eyes once before he straightens again.

Darim does not say anything for the longest time. He looks away.

“Go to sleep, baba,” he eventually says, quiet and gentle. “I will take first watch.”

But he does not wake his father until morning.

---


In Alamut, Sef’s wife greets them with open arms. She rests her hand against Darim’s cheek and brushes her lips over Altair’s forehead. They are to stay for however long they wish.

Meanwhile, Sef’s children hide behind their mother’s dress, and though Darim knows it pains his father to kneel before anyone, Altair does so easily in front of his granddaughters.

Darim remains standing, a steady hand on his father’s arm to help him back up.

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