Ripples

May. 8th, 2012 12:22 am
esp_dragon: (Kenshin my existence)
[personal profile] esp_dragon
Fandom: Assassin's Creed II
Summary: Desmond is losing his mind; he's pretty okay with that.
Rating: PG-13
Contains: Light Desmond/Ezio/Altaïr? Swearing.
Notes: A couple of the dialogue at the start is from the games.
Aaaahaha, note to self: make sure I've finished the fic before the due date!
*cries over all the italics* Love mind-reading/talking; hate the format that has to happen because of it.
Looots of liberties taken with how many times Desmond went out of the Animus in II again. XD;
Genre: General
Word count: 2,510
Status: Complete



It started off small, like a ripple in a puddle of water. It wasn't a big revelation, but just a realisation. Weeks after Lucy had told Desmond about the bleeding effect, Desmond started to experience a slightly different kind of effect – he wasn't seeing ghosts running through walls, but instead it was a murmuring in his mind, hearing things that weren't there, with or without the ghosts present.

But the hallucinations didn't last for more than thirty seconds –hell, they sometimes barely lasted two, just leaving an impression of whispered words or an emotion in their wake- so it wasn't something to bother the others with.

It was just a bit of the bleeding effect; he was being monitored to make sure it didn't get too bad, so he would be all right – it wasn't hurting him anyway.

* * *

But ripples, once started, eventually grow.

'The best. May it never change.'

Desmond paused as he sat up from Baby, hearing Ezio's voice echoing in his head, more strongly than he ever heard before.

'I have seen what comes of those who raise themselves above others.'

He sighed, his head dipping a little at Altaïr's words. Okaaay, was this better than hallucinating ghosts running at him with swords? Hearing random phrases from his ancestors or trying to not dive out the way of a charging horse – yeah, Desmond would definitely prefer the former.

"You okay?" Rebecca asked at his back.

"Yeah, just fine," Desmond said over his shoulder as he stood. So he was remembering things his ancestors were saying – he was supposed to be doing that.

* * *

'As I walk these streets, I sense a great fear in the people, not love.'

Uneasy, Desmond stopped washing his hands and looked up at the bathroom mirror. Okay, that, he was sure Altaïr had never said that before. At least, not in any of the memories that Desmond had seen. That was a little weirder than usual.

He was supposed to be taking on Ezio's skills (Ezio's – why was he remembering something of Altaïr's now?) but Desmond was pretty sure their memories weren't meant to be part of the deal.

Desmond cautiously mentally poked at the memory, expecting it to unfurl and overwhelm all his senses like it would in the Animus, but it didn't.

'As I walk these streets, I sense a great fear in the people, not love.' Altaïr's voice was stronger the second time, which made Desmond hesitate poking it again. If he made the effect worse every time he…touched it, Desmond would rather leave it alone; who knew what would happen next?

Silence rang in Desmond's head like it was agreeing with him, so he finished getting ready and left the bathroom.

* * *

Breakfast was usually quiet for Desmond, the others normally up before him - or had stayed up the entire night and hadn't moved from their desks. The eggs were nearly done, and the kettle had just finished boiling – he needed a cup of coffee after the jumbled mess of a dream he'd just had. And if he was being fully honest with himself, he'd been having dreams over the last couple of days, each of them completely different from each other.

'I don't understand why he has coffee for breakfast,' Desmond heard Ezio sigh, and that was the first time the echoes had been relevant to what he was doing. Which, yeah, it was getting even weirder, but maybe his head was sorting through Ezio's memories – and Desmond had no idea what his mind was trying to come up with now. His memories weren't merging with Ezio's or Altaïr's (not yet, and hopefully, not ever), and he wasn't confusing what time period he was in or where he was so he wasn't-

'There is a limited amount of food they have stored here,' Altaïr started dryly, but whatever he said next was lost as Desmond dropped his skillet with a yelp.

His ancestral memories were talking with each other.

'Desmond?' Ezio's voice hazarded after a wary pause. 'You can hear us?'

"I – yeah?" Desmond replied, no idea how to take the new abrupt turn in his life apart from reacting automatically.

'Ah…'

That was all Ezio was going to say about this?

"I've gone insane," Desmond said with forced lightness as he bent over to retrieve the skillet, laughter wanting to bubble up and never stop. He had seen the signs after all, but he'd kind of expected to go the same way as subject sixteen: raving about patterns and developing a need to paint his room with symbols in his own blood, not hearing an argument in his head over what was good for breakfast. Or this was how the descent started…

'You haven't lost your mind,' Altaïr growled, and Desmond could easily picture his disapproving frown.

"Says the voice in my head."

There was a soft snort of laughter from Ezio, but Desmond was steadily becoming aware of a thread of worry was that familiar, but not his own. As soon as he thought that, there was a spike of alarm from both Altaïr and Ezio and that was not good because if they were starting to meld into one person-

'Des-'

The world span and whitened out.

The next thing Desmond was aware of was lying supine on a bed, the scratchy sheets under him, the covers up to his chin. When he opened his eyes, the ceiling above him was the one he was starting to recognise as his own.

He had no idea how the fuck he had gotten there.

A scattered flurry of relief swirled in him before drawing away quickly. 'Good, you're conscious.'

"Conscious?" Desmond repeated, not sure if he should attempt to get up. He felt fine, but he'd thought the same about his mental health too.

'We…discovered that we can possess your body,' Altaïr answered, with more apology in his tone than Desmond expected – maybe he'd mellowed out later on, and how old were Ezio and Altaïr right now?

"That's just great," Desmond groaned into an arm. The others knew he was crazy now and had locked him in his room.

'They don't know,' Ezio assured him, somehow conveying placating gestures without actually having arms.

Even though there wasn't anyone to look at, Desmond lowered his arm to stare incredulously at the ceiling.

'We are Assassins,' Altaïr said, and Desmond could feel the pride that came from that title. 'We know how to blend in.'

There was a difference between blending in so other people didn't notice you were being possessed by your ancestors and blending in to assassinate someone!

'And we have been watching you for a few days now - we know how you react and what you would say,' Ezio continued on from Altaïr. There was a sheepish pause. 'Our American accent does need perfected.'

"…They really don't know?" Desmond asked.

'We received a few strange looks, but they think it is a 'bit' of a bleeding effect.'

Which was ironic, because that was Desmond had thought it was too. Now he had to decide if he should tell the others himself.

"Why?" he found himself asking instead. Because he wanted to know. The two could have made off with his body or done something to make sure he couldn't control it again – if Ezio or Altaïr taking over his body meant he remained unconscious, then if they had stayed in control… Which didn't make sense (why weren't they unconscious when he was in control?) – but since when had his life ever made sense? Not on The Farm, not when he escaped, not when he had been kidnapped by Abstergo, and definitely not now.

'Because we're worried about you,' was the simple answer that Desmond was not expecting. 'We don't want you to go mad any more than you do.'

He couldn't make for a good conversationalist then, that was for sure.

Desmond got twin amusement sent at him for that remark.

"So…what'll we do now?" he wondered out loud, though, really, he knew what they were going to say anyway; it wasn't like he'd been in their heads of years or anything.

'We keep going as we are.'

'Make sure the Templars do not succeed.'

Yeah, that sounded like a plan.

* * *

Desmond was dying. There was blood everywhere, splattered across the floor, up the walls, all over his clothes. Arcs of blood that gushed from wounds like a fountain. The reek of it permeated everything, as if it was always going to be there.

He was continually dying, from stab wounds, his head getting crushed by a mace, misjudging a jump and falling for several hundred metres.

Over and over and over again. A never ending cycle of death that just wouldn't stop.

All he could hear were the screams of people as they died. They died because of him.

'Desmond! Desmond, you need to wake up!'

The voices echoed around him, a cacophony of noise.

'He has been drawn in too far. We cannot do anything to help like this. Except...'

'Yes, that will work.'

There was something else there, almost like a shield wrapping itself - themselves around him, blocking the images, lessening the impact of the memories. It felt warm there, safe.

'Now, wake up.'

Desmond stared up at his ceiling in a daze, wondering what the hell just happened. It felt like he'd just exited the Animus -

'That was not the Animus. You were suffering from a nightmare.'

"That didn't feel like a nightmare," Desmond muttered, rubbing his head. "More like memories." They were far too clear-cut to have been random dreams, too many senses used. Desmond was pretty sure he'd lived each one of those snippets one way or another.

Ezio chuckled, though it was a little strained. 'What Altaïr means is that you have never gone on a killing spree, nor have you died that many times in a row.'

"You weren't there the first time I was in the Animus," Desmond said, recalling with a wince the failed attempts before he could adjust properly.

A huff from Altaïr. 'Go to sleep. We will safeguard your dreams.'

"Thanks," he murmured. Desmond could feel his eyes slipping shut already, drowsiness taking over his senses. He curled up, feeling both Altaïr's and Ezio's presence hover close to him.

* * *

The next couple of days were a mix of abruptly ending consciousness and just as abruptly regaining consciousness, as well as more of Ezio's and Altaïr's memories filtering into Desmond, stronger than ever. It was disorientating to have been taking a shower in the morning to then be reaching for a drink at dinner with only a blink in between. The only reason why Desmond hadn't tripped up on conversations or dropped anything was by Ezio's guiding voice, filling him in on what he'd missed, Altaïr somehow able to take enough control at the same time to keep a hold of whatever was in Desmond's hand until Desmond could.

Of course, just when Desmond had gotten used to it everything changed again.

He stared, wide-eyed – or, he would have, if he was currently in control of his body. Which he wasn't. Ezio was 'steering' by the way he felt distracted, and Desmond could feel Altaïr's curiosity in his…direction before it sharpened, surprise at the edges.

"Altaïr?" Ezio asked once he had finished shaving Desmond's face, washing the foam away. And that was weird. Desmond could feel every movement Ezio did but there was a detached feel to it, not as direct as it had been a few seconds ago. It was strangely like watching the TV, but with more senses intertwined to enhance the experience.

'Desmond is still here,' Altaïr informed Ezio, amusement clear in his voice.

Ezio's – Desmond's…Ezio raised his eyebrows, watching his reflection in the mirror. "He is?" And that was his own voice asking and Desmond was fairly sure it was going to take him longer to adjust to this. Ezio frowned then, worry twisting in. "If he's conscious but not in control…"

Would he get his body back? went unspoken, but the air thrummed with the question.

'Maybe-' Desmond stopped, startled that his voice had a slight echo to it now.

'You will grow accustomed to it.'

Desmond felt both Ezio's smile pull at his lips and his fondness curl around him.

'Maybe there's a timer,' Desmond suggested, trying to ignore how different things were without a body. It was like his body had dampened how much Ezio and Altaïr could project at him; where before the impressions had been feather-soft skirting across his senses, this was more…immediate, a full-bodied hug around him.

'We haven't been keeping close enough attention to the time,' Altaïr admitted, contained annoyance emanating from him for the lapse.

"We will wait to see what happens, then."

For some reason, Desmond wasn't that worried overall. If he was trapped within his body, he could at least know what was going on outside, and he could trust Ezio and Altaïr to look after his body. In the very least, he could instruct Ezio and Altaïr on how to talk so they sounded more like him from here.

* * *

The cycle continued, with no pattern of who would be next in control, and they still hadn't worked out if there was some sort of time limit going on (there had been that one unfortunate time where Altaïr and Desmond had switched places while they were in the Animus, and that had been a disorientating mess of information. Even worse, Altaïr had been fighting guards right then, and Desmond hoped Rebecca pinned his sudden change in fighting style to the fact he'd just been stabbed in the arm).

Space inside Desmond's body was arbitrary, but more often than not, Desmond found himself leaning into whoever was there with him, pointing out to whoever was in control anything that had been missed. During the quiet times where the extra eyes weren't needed as much, Desmond was told tales of what he hadn't seen yet, little stories that had been missed by the Animus.

It stayed like that for a few days, Ezio and Altaïr eventually starting to sound more like Desmond, when one night Desmond relinquished control of his body.

And neither Ezio or Altaïr replaced him.

They hovered there uncertainly for a second, surprise and worry building between the three of them.

'Huh.' There was no point saying that had never happened before, but Desmond tried to puzzle it out. It had happened as soon as he'd fallen asleep but normally that meant whoever was in control was asleep too.

'The only thing we can do is wait,' Altaïr said cautiously.

'Agreed.'

They settled down together, the flashes of emotion traded between them reminding each other that they were still there.

Maybe he had completely lost his mind and his body was never going to wake up again; Desmond was pretty okay with that. He wasn't alone here, at least.

______________________________________________

For the [livejournal.com profile] springkink/[community profile] kinkfest prompt, 'Assassin's Creed, Desmond/Ezio/Altair: multiple personalities - Going insane shouldn't feel this good.'

Date: May. 11th, 2012 04:44 am (UTC)
dogmatix: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dogmatix
*_____________* How did I miss this, hooww? It is beautiful and shiny and I love it! (also am OP XD;;;;;;;;;)

The gradual slide into things is beautifully done, and I love the bit where Des and Altair switch in the Animus - I can see where that would be chaotic!

'We received a few strange looks, but they think it is a 'bit' of a bleeding effect.'
Which was ironic, because that was Desmond had thought it was too.

*heaaaaaarrrts* XD

And the three of them working as a team to cover the switches smoothly made me grin like a loon!

*hearts!!* *goes back to reread for at least the Nth time*

Date: May. 11th, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
darkicedragon: Kenshin resting on top of Arctic Fox, a red heart in the top left corner (Default)
From: [personal profile] darkicedragon
XD Because I am a ninja-poster! ...And I haven't posted any of these to the AC comm. Hm. *proving my point*

"The gradual slide into things is beautifully done,"
:D :D

"I love the bit where Des and Altair switch in the Animus - I can see where that would be chaotic!"
Juuuust a little bit. XDDD

:D

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