|Ezio Auditore (mentore) wrote in the100,|
@ 2016-03-30 20:42:00
|Entry tags:||!log/thread, ezio auditore, jacob frye|
WHO: Ezio Auditore and Jacob Frye
WHEN: March 30th, 2016
WHERE: near medical & then in 505N
WHAT: Post-battle wound care; Ezio is a worrier, Jacob is full of sass. Mostly fluff.
WARNINGS: PG half-nakedness and kissing. And there’s semi-graphic talk about medical torture. Assassins, okay. They talk about weird shit.
Jacob Frye didn’t have much in the way of experience with full-blown battles. Back home, he’d fought alongside the Rooks in sprawling, vicious gang wars to the death in order to solidify ownership of London’s boroughs, but that was different. Even with the blur of green fighting against red, it had felt personal, intimate almost. The goal was clear, the stakes manageable.
Here, though, it felt more like something he’d read about in a history novel. Battles and armies and waves and orders to ‘advance’ or ‘fall back’ were all well outside of his set knowledgebase. Assassins worked alone. Stealth required as much. Evie and Jacob’s teamwork tended toward the unusual, for even as Assassins supported one another, most of their actual missions were accomplished without the help of another. All of this chaotic intermingling, messiness - as much as Jacob loved a good fight, this wasn’t a good fight. People were being hurt, and hurt badly. As a Mapmaker, his duties during this kind of battle were clear: keep to the exterior, look for stragglers, escort them back to Mt Weather. He’d done that up to a point and then he’d joined the fighting, herding as much of the battle as he could away from the doors. Let the soldiers handle the front lines - he was better at picking off the ambitious few who’d slipped through the crowd one at a time, slicing his blade against their throat, and then disappearing once again into the forest growth.
And then, hours limping by, it was over. Apparently Edmund’s lion, Aslan, had been spotted. Either way, the Witch was gone, or dead, or whatever - Jacob figured he’d get the whole story from his roommate, who he’d spotted looking exhausted and elated in the crowd - and now it was time for reunions and helping the wounded and stories and all the things that were rituals after a fight.
Jacob looked a fright, but he wasn’t that badly off - a cut on his ear had bled terribly down his neck, as ear wounds tended to do, and he was covered with dirt and (other people’s) gore in equal measure. His ribs were bruised at least, and one poor landing from a tree had sent his knee into something resembling agony, but he was walking and talking and laughing and helping rush the wounded to Medical anyhow. It wasn’t entirely for selfless reasons, either - Jacob was checking every still, pale face for someone he was close with.
The closest Ezio had ever had to a full scale battle was when he was vastly outnumbered by guards or French soldiers. Or when he pursued Cesare through the battlefield at Viana. The latter was more personal, but Ezio tended to make everything personal. This battle was no different in that respect. His first instinct had been to find the other assassins and fight at their side. To cover Jacob’s back. But different things were expected of them and eventually not even keeping an eye on him was an option. Ezio caught glimpses, and cut off at least one enemy making a beeline for the younger assassin, but shortly after that, he saw no more of him and had to focus on his own fighting.
Now, with things winding down and the adrenaline slipping away, Ezio assessed his wounds with clinical efficiency and careful fingers. There were bruises, of course. An impressive one along his jaw might even be visible already. The cut at the edge of his eyebrow was superficial. Even the trickle of blood down the side of his face was dry at this point. His shoulder ached bone-deep, but that one wasn’t a surprise. The slash across his back - now that Ezio couldn’t see or touch properly, but he could feel it with every step, and there was a good chance it needed stitches.
Eventually, he would get them. Right now, it could wait. There were others with more pressing injuries. Ezio used his eagle vision to target Jacob instead - or at least an assassin’s aura - and gently pushed his way through the crowds between the entrance to Mount Weather and Medical. Finally, he turned a corner and he could see Jacob. He was standing, he was even talking, but the sheer amount of blood involved made anxiety tear through Ezio’s relief. Worry had been there all along, held back by circumstance and the fight, but now there was nothing to temper how he covered the distance between them in seconds and spun Jacob towards him with a hand on Jacob’s neck.
“Merda, what--are you--” Ezio closed his eyes, took a breath, and tried to ignore the tacky feeling of blood on Jacob’s neck. When he opened his eyes again, they were clearer. Sharper. He ducked his head to speak closer and quieter. “Are you all right? How much of this is your blood?”
In the rush, Jacob had scanned the crowd with his own eagle eye vision, saw two moving, standing flashes of gold from Evie and Ezio, mollified that they were okay enough for the time being. Ezio, however, had found him before Jacob had been able to abandon his post. Slightly off-balance, Jacob had been spun around by the other Assassin and immediately examined. “Hey,” he said, cracking a tired, relieved smile that narrowed his eyes, but the smile faded at Ezio’s serious, frightened expression. Unthinkingly, his hand snaked up to grab Ezio’s probing fingers, and he shook his head, stumbling forward. “No, no- I’m fine, I swear; my ear got sliced and it’s a sodding mess, behold. Looks worse than it is.”
Jacob felt a little unmoored by Ezio’s concern; he and Evie had always looked out for one another, but Evie took their father’s approach to injury - if it wasn’t going to kill you, then talking about it in any detail was useless. Flustered, worried, and ready to deflect, Jacob returned the favor by giving one hard glance at Ezio, double-checking the shallow wound on his eye before standing on his toes and peering over the other Assassin’s shoulder, immediately frowning at the bloody cut apparent on Ezio’s back. “That looks like hell; it’ll need stitches.”
That recommendation given, he went back on the balls of his feet with a wince - damn knee - and tried a paler version of the smile he’d delivered earlier in their reunion. “We did it,” he said, and immediately wondered how much that was true. “At least, they think she’s gone.”
It wasn't that Ezio wasn't aware he was an overdramatic worrier. He knew damn well when he let people in, they were bound to be fussed over eventually. What he couldn't account for was the intensity. That was new. The way Jacob’s wince and weak smile made him want to go right back out there and find someone or something to kill? That was definitely new. And mildly concerning.
All right, no. It wasn't entirely new. He'd felt a version of that instinct after the deaths of his family. But this wasn't that. And he wasn't that vengeful kid anymore. Mostly not, anyway.
Ezio’s touch gentled, shifting from Jacob’s neck to briefly touching his face before settling on his shoulder. He mustered up an apologetic smile, and only partly because he’d just left bloody fingerprints on Jacob’s jaw. “It looks like it is finished, yes. I…,” he glanced back over his shoulder guiltily “...I haven't checked in with anyone. I am afraid I have tunnel vision sometimes.”
On that note, he turned back to Jacob and looked him over once more, slower now that the knot of concern in his chest was unraveling. Still, Ezio didn't realize he was also caressing his hands along the same path as his eyes until he had a handful of Jacob’s shirt at his waist. He huffed a self-conscious laugh and let go. “I am going to take your word about you being fine, but you should get that leg checked out all the same.”
“I’ll get my leg checked out if you do the same for your back,” Jacob bargained, his smile having warmed right back up during the entirety of Ezio’s inspection. All right, so having someone fuss over him was strange, as if he’d tripped and fallen headfirst into someone else’s life, but it wasn’t unpleasant. Ever-mindful of the swirling mass of people around them, Jacob allowed his gaze to flick to the bloody cut on Ezio’s eyebrow, then back to his eyes. “Don’t entertain any ideas in trying to outdo me in the scar department, though.” Momentarily emboldened on a potent combination of light-headed relief and adrenaline, he ran his thumb over the scar on Ezio’s lower lip. “Least not there.”
A flash of gold out of the corner of his eye. Evie.
Jacob didn’t hide his reluctance as he pulled away, but at least he was sorting through the beginnings of a plan: “See Medical about the mess on your back, and then I’ll patch the rest up, yeah?” It was ridiculous to expect Medical to see to their every scratch, after all, when he was just as capable of putting antiseptic on a wound and wouldn’t be taking up their time. However, he doubted he’d be able to do half as well with Ezio’s back wound if it needed stitches. “Meet you back in my room for it in a bit? I need to see Evie. I’ll have them look at my knee. All those responsible things.” He was grinning despite the nerves which came when inviting Ezio over - which were deeply stupid nerves, really, considering what he knew now about whatever this was between then… but he’d always been a reckless fan of anything that knocked him off-balance. This was fun now that he knew how many kilometers down the ground was.
Ezio kept his warm stare locked on Jacob’s face as he talked, and the corner of his mouth curled up under Jacob’s thumb. Claudia would have said he looked moon-eyed. But Claudia was a brat. He was about two seconds from pulling Jacob into the nearest dark corner, though, until Jacob drew back. It was probably for the best. They hadn't talked about boundaries in public, even in this world, and it hardly seemed fair to kiss Jacob senseless and then ask how he felt about public displays of affection.
That didn't stop the desire from heating up the bright gold depths of his eyes, obviously. And it definitely shaped his smile, somewhere between charmed and dangerous. Ezio stepped right back into Jacob’s space, or rather, slid past him with a whole lot of unnecessary contact.
“As you wish, caro. On the Medical and meet up parts, anyway. I can hardly promise never to get better scars than you.” Flashing a smug grin, Ezio patted Jacob’s chest and took a few backwards steps towards Medical. He paused once he got another full look at Jacob, and even his taunting tone didn't quite distract from the frown between his eyebrows. “Try not to get lost, please. You really do look awful.” His smirk strengthened as he tipped his head to the side. “And I can smell you from here.”
Evie had been right - Jacob wasn’t that good at trash talk, not when flustered, not when distracted, and Ezio had succeeded in both flustering and distracting him. He made some sort of irritated huffing noise in response and delivered a fine two finger salute in Ezio’s direction as he took a backwards step and nearly trampled an injured person (whoops), his bravado unraveling in a series of heartfelt apologies and enthusiastic gestures. By the time he looked back up, Ezio was lost to the crowd, and Jacob’s cool was well-dissolved.
It was just as well. Medical gave him some instructions to take it easy - he’d managed to bother a tendon around the knee that had them frowning, but all Jacob heard was that it wasn’t likely to kill him and as long as he didn’t run any marathons, he’d be healed up in a few weeks. One talk with Evie later and he was convinced she wasn’t about to die on him, then back to his room that was thankfully abandoned for the moment. It was enough time to clean himself up, toss out his dirty clothes, throw a good fraction of the mess that usually took up floorspace under his bed, and pull out the first aid kit that he’d stolen way back when he’d first arrived. It was as he’d suspected - no terrible injury save the knee and ribs, even if there were a half-dozen cuts that needed cleaning out, a task which he got started with with a wince and a dab of antiseptic, glancing over his ribs wonderingly at how they were already turning a fine shade of violet.
The knock on his door wasn’t unexpected; he pulled it open and tried to appear affronted rather than eager. “Get lost? You look awful.”
Making Jacob lose his cool and trip over himself felt like a win, a win Ezio smiled about right up until the first stitch in his back made his eyes roll back. The rest were easier, but he definitely wasn't looking his best slouched outside Jacob’s room. He could have stopped at his own room to clean up, he should’ve stopped at his own room, but that tunnel vision hadn't gone away, and he only realized his mistake after the door opened. After, more specifically, he found himself facing a snarky, shirtless Jacob Frye.
“Uhh…” Ezio’s gaze snaked downwards then back up again. “I have a witty retort, I promise. Just...give me a moment…” Stepping into the room with a quick glance around to verify they were alone, Ezio crowded Jacob against the nearest piece of furniture and leaned in for the quick, hard kiss he'd wanted to claim in the hall.
He smirked when he pulled away, thumbs grazing the bare skin just above Jacob’s hips. “On second thought, I think that covers it.” His eyes dropped to Jacob’s minor injuries, then shifted to the first aid kit nearby. “May I lend you a hand? I am not much of a nurse, but I can manage my best for your sake.”
Jacob actually hadn’t planned on being alluringly shirtless one way or another; it was a happy accident of fate. And so when Ezio kissed him, it was met with surprised eyes and enthusiastic return, followed by a bit of a sulk when Ezio pulled away. Said sulk immediately turned to a grin at having unwittingly destroyed whatever witty retort had been planned; Jacob bunched the material at Ezio’s waist and tugged him closer. “Nah, I’m mostly done,” he said, having already cleaned himself up, “save a spot on my back. You’re the one looking like you’ve been chasing parked carriages. Relentlessly.”
With a smilingly stubborn jut of his chin Jacob indicated the couch. Having someone looking after him and having the opportunity to look after someone was novel to him. He and Evie had each other’s backs, of course, but usually kept things fast, thorough, and clinical between them if there was an injury. He wasn’t usually one for downtime, but having just spent the majority of the day fighting for his life? Well, a little bit of indulgence sounded right, particularly if it involved friendly chatter and keeping their hands on one another.
Sparing a glance downwards at himself, Ezio snorted a tired laugh. “Fair point. I should have stopped to change and wash up, I just--” Where were they in this thing they had? It had to still be unbearably sappy to say things like ‘I just wanted to be with you’. Was it ever not unbearably sappy? Other than when it was a line and was something even worse, of course. Ezio eventually recognized that his pause had drifted into awkward territory. And he was staring.
“--Didn’t,” he finished with a disarming smile, trying to plant a kiss on Jacob’s jaw and slip out of his coat at the same time. It mostly worked. The bandaged wound on his back made sure he knew exactly how bad an idea putting the coat back on had been in the first place, but the only outward sign of that was a quiet hiss through his teeth as he pulled away. He toed off his boots next, and left his coat on the floor where it could do the least damage. Dropping carefully down on to the sofa pulled a satisfied groan out of him.
“I should feel bad about messing up your sofa, but I am not going to do that either.” Ezio rolled his head against the back of the sofa, smirking over at Jacob and exposing the damaged side of his face to the light. “Do you have anything for this face? Minus more sass, that is.”
Ezio’s verbal hesitation didn’t go unnoticed by Jacob, but he only leaned his head into the kiss. Jacob had never been the sort to analyze anything too closely, and that wasn’t about to change - besides, he could give the man some mental privacy, figuring if it was important it’d come up sooner or later. “Let’s see here…” he mused, sliding half-beside Ezio, half on top, steering his chin this way and that to see the damage. “Aren’t you the belle of the ball? Hold still; try not to cry.”
Shallow cuts, nothing awful, but they needed to be cleaned. Jacob used a damp cloth to get the worst of the grime off of Ezio’s face and neck, his touch gentle but firm. He’d done this a hundred times, most recently to a young Rook recruit who had gotten jumped by a whole pack of Blighters. The recruit had been half ready to quit on the spot, and Jacob couldn’t rightfully blame him, but at least some cheer and some care kept him on the train through to the end. The memory was bittersweet now; he yearned for coal dust on his coat and the sweep of London’s skyline even as he was glad for what he’d gained here. Ezio shifted briefly against him; it was enough to jolt him back to the present with a crooked, fond smile.
Jacob tried to be quick with the antiseptic knowing how it stung, taking care to address every visible wound. “Bet today was nothing for you, was it?” He asked, voice low. “Given all the adventures you’ve had. Not against witches, I’ll grant you, but against all manner of knave, hardheart, and scoundrel. Tell me-” A quick flash of a grin to distract right before a particularly healthy amount of antiseptic landed on the cut on Ezio’s eyebrow, “where’d this mess even rate?”
Considering Jacob was practically in his lap, Ezio thought he was a model patient. He did keep one hand on Jacob’s leg, and squeezed lightly whenever the bite of the antiseptic was noticeable, but mostly he half-dozed. Ezio generally didn’t feel safe, ever, so he had rarely been this comfortable. And seeing as everything ached at least a little, that was noteworthy. Jacob’s voice pulled him back to full awareness eventually. His half-lidded gaze watched Jacob form the words knave, hardheart, and scoundrel, and Ezio smirked just before Jacob’s grin made him made him smile wider.
The sting wasn’t so bad, but Ezio did squint that eye shut and glare at Jacob halfheartedly with the other. “You think to get me talking about my exploits to distract me. Clever. I would say...this rates right around the siege on Monteriggioni.” It wasn’t entirely accurate. What was left of his family had been at the Villa Auditore, and his uncle had been executed by Cesare in the attack, but the comparison still held some weight. Still, he frowned at a distant point on the wall. “I suppose that means I am starting to think of this strange place as my home.” Ezio shifted sideways to take the pressure of his back and lean into Jacob’s attentions with a charming smile.
“Do you know what would be a better distraction, nurse? Telling me about one of your own escapades.” Ezio toyed with the few bloody tears in the fabric at his abdomen. “Hm. And perhaps...helping me get out of this wrecked excuse for a shirt. What a mess.”
‘The Siege of Monteriggioni’ meant little to Jacob - he’d always taken pride in not paying any attention to his history lessons - but Ezio’s comment about this place being home stirred a solid combination of wry agreement and nostalgic understanding. It was, at any rate, enough to prompt Jacob to impulsively scoot forward and kiss him with a care and enthusiasm bordering on sloppily tender, his fingers moving through Ezio’s hair as he did so. If Ezio worried about where they were in the relationship, Jacob relied on instinct, pulling away only slightly after the kiss to look down at the tattered remains of the shirt in question. “May have to call this one a loss, mate. Going to guess it’s as tattered on the other side.”
Stories… Jacob loved hearing and telling them in equal measure. Picking the ointment back up and pulling up the hem of Ezio’s ruined shirt, he surveyed the wounds on his stomach with a clinical eye, decided to kill two birds with one stone, and took one of the knives at his side and matter-of-factly cut all the way up the front of it, exposing Ezio’s chest. Without the slightest concept that what he had just done might have been unorthodox overkill, he began to tend Ezio’s injuries and chattered as he worked.
“Once got to go after a Templar doctor who was knowingly poisoning people with an addictive medicinal syrup that he put on the market. He worked in an insane asylum, and tormented his patients, because making half the populace mindless idiots isn’t enough evil before breakfast. Anyhow, got to interrupt a bit where he was literally drilling holes into his patients brains in front of this whole audience. To make them more docile, of course.” The lightness was still in Jacob’s voice but it didn’t take much to hear his barely-restrained disgust at the notion of rendering people docile. Templar pricks. “So I swapped places with a dead body, was reeled in to the horror show, and ruined both the doctor’s demonstration and day what with all the stabbing.”
Ezio nearly forgot that he’d asked anything at all. He had a long-standing habit of getting lost in somber memories and he’d redirected the conversation specifically to avoid that. But Jacob had gone a step further and left Ezio with a breathless warmth in his chest that left little room for his moody old baggage to get a foothold. With the feeling of Jacob’s bare skin under his fingertips and his lips still tingling, Ezio couldn’t do much more than huff a winded laugh at the assassination of his shirt.
“All right, see, this is hardly fair,” he grumbled, half-serious, half-flashing eyes full of trouble. His hands closed around Jacob’s wrists, halting his attention. “You kiss me like that, cut my shirt off, and then tell me how you delivered poetic justice to some...sadistic stronzo claiming to be a doctor? I said distract me, Jacob. Not bewitch me.” Ezio smiled, lifted one of Jacob’s hands, and kissed the inside of his wrist with a nip of his teeth. Only then did his gaze waver between heated and thoughtful.
“But on the subject of demonstration, there is something I have been meaning to ask. In the hall...would it have upset you if I had kissed you?” Squeezing Jacob’s wrist, Ezio’s smile flickered. “In other words, do you want to keep this…us private? You could come to your senses any moment, after all.”
Jacob’s grin was sly as Ezio objected, allowing his wrists to be temporarily caught and halted even if he knew that he could put up a fight if he wanted. There was something deliciously fun about playing the captured prey when one was already plotting the best way to turn the tables on the captor and trade bites - and particularly fun since Ezio would be easy to pin. The smug expression on his face was somewhat ruined when Ezio’s higher praise reached his ears and Jacob reddened and scrunched up his nose; accepting compliments was a risky venture that hit him in that peculiar region of delight and utter bewilderment and left him searching for a response that wouldn’t betray his fluster.
Luckily, Ezio provided the perfect out himself. A second or two of staring blankly at him later - why would Jacob be upset at a kiss - and then it dawned on him what the other Assassin meant. “I honestly don’t think we’re as private as we might imagine,” he said. “Evie knew I fancied you before I did, and sure, she terrifyingly knows everything, but we’ve also not bothered for subtlety much on the network either. Least I haven’t. So…” A shrug of his shoulders. “...do what you want, and we’ll deal with whatever comes next, if anything. I don’t think anyone’ll look twice.”
Which was just one layer of strange now that Ezio had prompted Jacob to actually think about the situation rather than pummel his way through it. He slowly turned his wrists inward and returned them to either side of Ezio’s face, fiddling idly with his hair. “It’s odd, isn’t it? No one caring about-- you know. Evie and I never cared what our Rooks did long as they were loyal, but it was illegal all the same. Not as bad as how things were in your time. And besides all that,” his smile curled up on one side, “I wasn’t really… relationships weren’t something I sought out. Too risky, too many possibilities. You know how it goes. There were a few girls in Crawley, but by the time we got to London, London was it. Our legacy, our focus. No time to pursue anything else. Least nobody I wanted to pursue for myself.” A smile that was small, but warm; he leaned forward just enough to press his forehead to Ezio’s. “Luckily there’s more of everything here, yeah?”
Watching Jacob’s expressive face was easily one of Ezio’s favorite pastimes, especially whenever there was a blush involved, but he didn’t have as much time to enjoy it as he would’ve liked. Ezio’s off-kilter smile dipped into a frown. “Well, no, we’re probably not very subtle, but that’s not really the point. Do what I want. Merda.” He shook his head, though not enough to dislodge Jacob’s hands or forehead press. Those could stay right where they were. Even if it made digging into the meat of this conversation more difficult, it was a welcome balm for the low level anxiety Ezio had swimming around in his gut.
“Things are different here, and it is a comfort to see that no one is waiting to drag us in front of a judge, or worse, yes. But--” Ezio flashed a smirk and closed his eyes. “I do not have the best history where...relationships are concerned. I have been selfish in the past. Shortsighted. Shallow. There are a few more s-words, and even more colorful ones at that.” He huffed a self-deprecating laugh and pulled back, countering the distance with a graze of his hand down Jacob’s back and an unconsciously tender stare.
“The point is, there is more here. And I am trying not to be the same careless idiot I have often been. Unlike some, I do not have the luxury of blaming youth anymore,” Ezio teased. “So. When I ask how you feel about something, it is because I care how you feel about something. Not about what anyone else thinks.”
Jacob regarded him, taken aback. It was occurring to him, belatedly and embarrassingly, that few people in his life made much of a habit of asking him what he wanted, or actually paid mind to his answer. It wasn’t that he was a doormat, or that he wasn’t a stubborn git when he wanted to be, but that he usually was surrounded by alpha-types with tediously-detailed plans who kept things simple for him and told him who to hit. Jacob was a go-with-the-flow type when he liked you, and a “fuck-you-and-the-horse-you-rode-in-on” type if he didn’t. Easy. Mindless. Clear.
Well. Apparently being romantically entangled with another man wasn’t the only new bit to get used to.
Jacob tilted his head to the side, faking deep thought. “Selfish, shortsighted, shallow… that sounds like an awful lot of faults, mate. Lot to consider, really, now that you mention it. It’s a lucky thing you’re so damned pretty.” He flashed a grin that lived somewhere between mocking and charming, deliberately invaded the space that Ezio had attempted to put between them and added: “And I feel that I’d like you to kiss me in public if the moment calls for it... but it’d better be good. Epic, impressive, pub songs written about it, that sort of thing. Does that work?”
“Right. No pressure,” Ezio laughed. It was easy enough to slip comfortably back into a cocky grin, with his question answered and Jacob’s wry taunts in the air. Definitely easier than pretending he wasn’t worried that this supposed disinterest in ‘deviant’ relationships was one big, awful con. “I think…,” he whispered, tracing his gaze down Jacob’s neck and lower still, “...that it is luckier that I am competitive. And already addicted to seeing you blush. I mean, you do realize you have just thrown down the gauntlet, yes?”
Without any further warning, Ezio yanked Jacob fully into his lap, minor injuries forgotten in favor of burying his face in the crook of Jacob’s neck and growling warmly against his skin. “In fact, I think it is best that I start practicing now. I would hate to disappoint.”