Episode 3 Always and Forever

Warning: Horror, brutality, death, pretty graphical stuff ahoy!

Ezio fell in an endless darkness. Time had no meaning to him, only a void; deep, neither cold nor warm. "Is this death?" he vaguely thought. "Is this what awaits us all? Or only for those who don't believe in God? It cannot be hell, I always thought a thousand minstrels would welcome me to a fairy pit."

From the darkness a pale light grew to the shape of the moon, and distant shadows steadily grew nearer. "No…it is the moon, and that is the Castel Sant' Angelo,"

The castle and city grew as he continued to fall… "Falling…" he thought. "I'm falling, I have no parachute, and no flying machine…I'm going to die…"

The walls grew taller, the air that should have been more forceful, was strangely gentle; like the touch of a lover. The ground grew nearer, and nearer. He turned in the air to stare up at the winking stars and disc like moon as he dyed. But it didn't come. Hesitantly looking over his shoulder, he saw the cobblestone ground inches from his face. Suddenly gravity seemed to work again and dropped him to the ground. Bewildered, Ezio got to his feet and looked around, not certain what to think. Rome was eerily quiet, and empty of any human life.

"Nor did I think this would be hellish." He murmured to the still air.

Suddenly a scream pierced the silent air. Quickly fallowing the direction of the scream, he darted through the main doors, and clambered up the wall. "Ezio!"

Ezio froze momentarily at the sight of the distant figure of Elinana, dressed as she was the night she was nearly strangled.

"Elinana!" he called as he ran to her. As he got nearer, he saw that she was on her knees with a shadow behind her. "Get away from her!" he roared. "Elinana, run!"

The ebony iron gate swung in his path, bulking him out. He slammed his shoulder into the gate, but it held strong. He tried again, but all his endeavors was replied by cold laughter from the hooded shadow that had his black fingers around her throat.

"Ah Adem," Gasparo sighed. "When will you ever learn?"

"Let her go!" Ezio roared.

"And why should I do that? We have not even had any fun yet!" Gasparo's hand snaked down her nearly white throat, to her rapidly rising and falling bust.

"Bastardo mettere le mani sporche di dosso!" he cursed and slammed his fist hard against the cold iron.

One moment Gasparo's hand was on her chest, the next it drove claw like fingers where her heart laid. Elinana gave a cry of pain, but quickly held her pain back as Gasparo's other hand wrapped around her.

"Stop!" Ezio shakenly demanded.

"Shh," Gasparo hushed both of them, digging his claws deeper, searching for her fluttering heart.

"Stop, per favore smettila!" he pleaded shakenly.

Gasparo slowly looked up to him, eyes dark red. "No Adam, not yet. You have nothing that you can give me what I want, because I am getting what I want!" he smiled coldly, but drew out his claws from her, and threw her to the ground. Dark crimson flowed over the white dress as she shook, and tried to crawl away. But Gasparo kicked her side hard. She gasped and wrapped her arms around herself. Again, and again, Gasparo kicked her. Ezio wanted to yell, to roar with anger. But he was frozen; he could not shake the gate, or try going around to stop Gasparo's relentless beating. All he could do was quiver in anger, and pain.

After what seemed like hours Gasparo stopped, and licked Elinana's blood from his claws with a forked tongue. Elinana lied there shaking, harshly gasping, and covered with crimson. Ezio's knees slightly shook under him, still frozen to the spot.

"What was it you wanted me to do?" Gasparo asked casually.

"Let," Ezio shakenly relied in a rough voice. "Her, go!"

The corner of his mouth twitched, then he stepped closer to Elinana and gingerly scooped her into his arms. She groaned in pain, and he shushed her as if to a frightened child. "Shh, it is going to be all right, little Dove." he stepped over to the wall far above the moat.

"What are you doing?" Ezio demanded. "I said let her go!"

"You did indeed, but you failed to specify where!" he replied setting her feet down but still holding her. "Time to fly." He murmured into her ear, then deeply dragged his claws across her throat.

"NO!" Ezio bellowed as she fell from the wall.

Broken free from his frozen spell, Ezio dove after her. Elinana hit the water before him with a clapping splash. Diving into the dark water, Ezio quickly swam to Elinana's white, and red form. Wrapping his arm around her he kicked to the surface, and backstroked with one arm to a nearby boat, while keeping her securely to his chest. Gingery heaving her into the boat he crawled in, then gently held her.

"Elinana," he softly spoke her name, placing his hand to the claw slash. "Elinana dai, stare con me…Colomba?"

He gazed down to her still, beaten body. "La mia piccolo colomba." He softly sobbed, with tears falling to her wet whit skin. "Mi dispiace, mi dispiace per non proteggere voi." Ezio held her lifeless body closer to his chest, silently grieving.

Suddenly something soft touched his face. He opened his eyes and saw white dove feathers rising to the night air. Looking to Elinana he saw that she was slowly crumbling into the feathers. Unaware of what to do, all he did was hold her till nothing was left, but fleeting feathers.

Alone in the eerie silence, anger steadily built into an inferno. "Gasparo!" he howled with firry to the moon. Leaping to the wall he clambered up and over to the shadowy streets.

"Yes Adam?" casually replied Gasparo's voice from the shadows.

"Come and face me like a man!" Ezio roared as shadows grew, and the shapes of brick buildings crumbled and mothered into a moon lit forest. Rain fell heavily from the cloudless sky, flowing over his already wet cloths, hair, and face. Lightning cracked the dark sky, followed by the booming roll of thunder. Deep in the shadows and moonlight, came a faint sound.

"Gasparo!" he called angrily. But only the faint sound answered him.

Deciding to fallow the sound, he jogged into the shadows and moonlight. As he got nearer to the sound, it became more distinctive; it was the wailing of a baby.

"What is a baby doing here?" he wondered. "No child should be out here—wherever here is."

Fallowing the wails, Ezio soon found the baby. Poorly wrapped, and drenched, he gingerly picked up and held the infant.

"Shh," he tried to hush the red baby, gently bouncing. "Come now little one, you are safe now."

The infant disagreed by bellowing, and flaying its arms and legs. Looking the infant over, he saw that it was a girl, her umbilical cord was freshly cut, and was small. Perhaps that last note was just his error; but she was still small, fragile, and cold.

"Shh," he hushed as he looked around trying to find a dry place, but to no success. Looking to the child he saw her lock eyes with him. As he gazed into her eyes his breath caught in his throat. Her eyes where after storm gray, and something in her small plump cheeks, and face, resembled the features of his former apprentice.

"Elinana." he murmured in awe.

Off in the shadows, wolf howls rose to the lightning and thunderous sky. Baby Elinana wailed in fear as he gently held her closer. Overhead a bird called out. Looking up Ezio saw a white glowing bird of prey, perched on the rime of her crib sized nest. She called again, seeming to invite him up. More howls sounded in the shadows, but closer this time.

"All right," he addressed the Sea Hawk. "But you better not harm her!"

The bird gave him an angry cry, but did not attack. He clumsily climbed up the tree with one arm almost losing balance twice, but managed to securely hold baby Elinana all the way up to the nest. Laying her down in the nest, the glowing hawk nestled in next to her, and rose her wing over Elinana to keep most of the rain from finding her.

"It will be alright Elinana," Ezio promised, holding her tiny hand. "I won't ever let anyone, or anything harm you again."

The hawk gazed at him as if to say that she will hold him to his word. Then she turned back to the infant that stopped crying. Her gaze was full of love, and longing, like that of a mother's. Ezio stared at the glowing bird in wonder, feeling as though he should recognize the bird.

Growls emanated from the shadows around the three. Glowing eyes emerged before hideous wolf like men crawled forward on all fours. Fangs shone with saliva in the moonlight, and long sharp claws dug into the mud and sharply taped on rocks. Their black noses sniffed and twitched to the air and ground, making vapor clouds with their hot breaths.

"They looking for her," whispered a voice that was familiar. "They want my babe."

"They will not get her." Ezio replied, leaping to the mud with a sticky splash.

Standing before nightmares, Ezio felt a familiar weight on is arms and waist. Smirking he drew his sword that glinted in the moonlight. "Venire a me voi bastardi." He growled, then leaped forward as a wolf man leap with claws and fangs bared.

Ezio fought them all; dodging, slashing, and running his crimson bathed sword through them all. Once all laid dead, he leaned against the tree that held baby Elinana that had begun to cry when he fought off the wolf men.

"Give me the child." Came Gasparo's voice from the shadows, followed by his cloaked form.

"No," Ezio snarled, bracing for a fight. "I won't let you near her again!"

"How many times have you threaten me?" Gasparo asked mockingly. "You once said, 'I will end your miserable life before you even so much as lay your eyes on her'…well I did and you did nothing. 'I'll part your head from your shoulders, before'… what was it you were going to say?"

"Enough!" Ezio roared, and swung for Gasparo's head, but as the crimson blade nearly made contact, his target vanished into the shadows. "Where are you?!" Ezio roared with Elinana wailing in the nest.

"If you are so upset about earlier," Gasparo replied from the shadows. "The corps that you held was not truly Eve, merely an empty shell created from your mind…But the child on the other hand, she is the real thing. Give her to me…" Gasparo's voice steadily became move beast like; groaning, and snarling. "And I will not only end your suffering, but mine as well."

"You have a twisted definition of suffering." Ezio replied in a growl.

"Ah, ha ha ha!" laughed Gasparo as a black beast emerged from the shadows. "Oh you are so blind to her, aren't you? It is in her nature to harm others; she makes them love her, puts them in dander, and then she leaves them and never returns!" Gasparo howled as Elinana wailed.

"If I give her to you," Ezio inquired. "I will never have met her, she would never have lived past the age of one?"

"Yes, she would never have seen the light of day."

Ezio looked up the glowing bird that gazed at him. Then he turned back to the black beast with its red eyes, and terrible fangs and claws. "Time I guess I kept my word, wouldn't you say?"

Ezio then threw a dagger at the beast who leaped away.

"You'll regret that Adam!" Gasparo growled then leaped at Ezio with claws and fangs bared. Ezio leaped aside then onto the back of the beast. The beast leaped around, and snapped for Ezio, but the assassin held on tightly to the matted oily hair. Swinging his sword, Ezio drove the blade half way through. The beast went rampant, howling, snarling and snapping madly. Ezio swung again severing the head. The body fell, and twitched as he rose and stumbled back.

Sitting at the foot of the tree, Ezio trembled with closed eyes; listening to Elinana cry. Dropping his sword, he uneasily climbed up to the nest. Seeing her unharmed, and using her strong lungs comforted him. "You always had a good strong voice and lungs, Colomba." He smiled.

The glowing Sea hawk looked to baby Elinana, then to him. "She is cold," informed the voice. "I can't warm her."

"I can," he replied, then looked down at his wet, muddy, and bloody self. "More or less…She needs a blanket, dry, and worm, but…" he looked around desperately. "Were?"

"Soon," Replied the voice. "Just do what you can till then."

"What do you mean?" he asked, gingerly picking her up.

"Don't you remember her story?" asked the voice as he carefully climbed down.

"Sì, but that still does not explain—,"

"Explain what? The truth has been staring you, her, and the others in the face the entire time."

"What do—?" he asked then stopped. "Time Bridge," he murmured. "Just like the Desmond fellow she talked about, she is a born time traveler…" he then looked up to the bird of prey. "Who are you?"

"You know the answer…but as for my name, well that is for her to tell you."

"She cannot at the moment." He replied, holding Elinana close, trying to give her his warmth.

"She will, once she learns, and once you both meet again."

"How do you know this?"

The bird of prey did not replay.

"Bene, but then you must know then how, and why she is a time traveler."

"I do,"

"And?"

"It is a gift from her father."

"Her father is a time traveler as well? Can he find her?"

"No to both…she is one in a billion. An Eve, a Daughter of the Creed, and Lady of Time…my babe. There is so much you all do not know. How deep your bund truly go's, and how much she's important to the future, and past."

"You speak in riddles." Ezio pointed.

"Thank you!" she replied, then looked to the west. "Here they come."

"Who?" Ezio asked just as Elinana's crying stopped, and her weight vanished. He looked down to his empty arms and looked franticly around. "Elinana!" he called but no replied, save for the bird.

"Look, Ezio."

The forest vanished and so did the moon. Elinana cried from a large form that lied on a smooth stone surface that stretched out in two directions into the night. Ezio jogged to the form to find that it was a young man wearing strange red clothing, holding Elinana in his arms.

"On one storming night, they found a strangely dressed dead man, holding a baby…" he remembered Elinana telling him her story, and from the top of the colosseum. "But the man, the dead man wore clothing from the 18th century. Every one claimed it was a costume. But everything from the buttons, to every thread, was authentic…"

Ezio shoved his train of thought aside, and knelt down to pick up Elinana but his hands fazed through her.

"You can't pick her up, she is no longer dreaming. But you are still connected to her yet."

"What?" he asked, growing tired if her riddles. As he looked over to her, a light at the corner of his eye made him look around to the two lights that where quickly growing closer.

Closer, and closer the lights grew. He turned back and placed himself over Elinana and the corps. A rumbling sound grew as the lights grew brighter. Then suddenly the lights grew still after a strange screech. A strange sound that Ezio did not recognize was followed by quick foot steps to his side. Ezio leaped to his feet as a man with blond hair knelt down.

"Oh my God…" the man murmured, retching for Elinana.

A sound like before made Ezio leap around to see a beautiful woman with fiery hair, wearing men's clothing but fitted to her elegantly.

"Anne, get back in the car!" the man demanded.

"No Rick!" she snapped back, and gingerly picked up Elinana and held her close. "Oh Rick, she's so cold!"

"Here," Rick took off his coat, and wrapped Elinana in it. "Now get her into the car, I'll check him."

She nodded, not leaving her gaze from the baby in her arms. Ezio fallowed her into the car—more like fazed into the back seat. He watched her strip away the wet wrappings form Elinana, and wrapped her better in the man's coat.

"Hay," Anne cooed. "It's okay." She lightly bounced Elinana in her arms, and softly sang.

"Here comes the sun, du dn du du

Here comes the sun

And I say

It's alright…"

Elinana's cries dwindled, as she gazed up at Anne.

"Little darling

It's been a long cold lonely winter

Little darling

It seems like years since its been here…"

Rick opened the door to the car, slipped in and shout it to keep most of the warmth in.

"Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun

And I say

It's alright…"

"How is the man out there?" Anne softly asked with a voice like silk. Rick shook his head, and softly looked down to the baby in his wife's arms. "How is she?" he asked.

"Still cold, but I think she'll make it once she's warm."

Rick nodded. "Let's take her to the Hospital, just to be safe."

Anne nodded as the already small bubble of existence slowly faded into a warm reddish orange glow.

"Wait for her, and she will come back to you…" Murmured the voice.

"Ezio," softly called the voice of Claudia. "Brother."

Ezio slowly opened his eyes to see his sister by his side, holding his hand. "Claudia." He smiled wearily. She smiled back and kissed his hand.

"You big idiot, you scared me."

"Sorry," he faintly laughed. "This time I did not mean it."

"You do not say!" laughed a voice to his left. Florence stepped forward, and sat on the edge of the bed. "Welcome back to the land of the living! Had one hell of a fight trying to keep you here. If you were not a stubborn man, we would be digging your grave!" she smiled.

"You saved me?" he asked.

"Yes! One of those silly, pompous men that you all call 'medici' would know how to brew a proper antidote! Let alone boil water." she proclaimed with a smirk. "Get plenty of rest, and nourishment; and you'll be up and about within a week." She informed, then rose and grabbed a leather satchel. "But just remember this…" she turned back to them, hand on the door handle. "I owe you nothing, and you owe me nothing…Ferwell!"

With that she left the two siblings alone. "Well," Claudia huffed. "I am a glad that girl is gone!"

"I am sorry to see her leave so soon." He smirked looked to his sister to see her scowl at him. Ezio smiled at his sister. "Come here."

She arched an eyebrow at him, but came closer. Once in range, he pulled her close, and embraced her. "I love you, little sister." He murmured.

"And I you, brother." She replied. "Now let me go."

"No." he replied and chuckled.

Seven days later

Most sunsets are painted with pink, gold, orang, plum, and indigo. And it was just that a bit ago, but now a gold, yellow, orange, and plum indigo domed the sky. Ezio once thought that midnight was his favorite time of day; if he had to choose. But dusk has been growing on him of late.

"I'll have to tell her that," he thought. "Once we meet again…if what her mysterious mother has said is true."

He looked down to the white dove feather in his hand. It was soft, and delicate. He closed his eyes, and summoned Elinana into his mind. Then opened his eyes, and saw her transparent form sitting by his side, smelling at him. Faintly glowing a pale blue and white. Then she faded as quickly as she appeared.

"You will always be my brilliant dove." He murmured to the soft air. "And I'll forever guard you, in any way I can."

He carefully wrapped the feather in the scarf, tucked it in his robes. Then rose to the nearby perch, and took a leap of faith.

Author's Note

Hi! Sorry for that horror up there, I feel terrible! Horror may be fun some times, but, there is no way I can handle a full-fledged novel of it. Which is good in my opinion! But um…Yes, I don't own Assassin's Creed, nor the song "Here Comes the Sun" by George Harrison. Feel free to ask a question! And I'll have another chapter up for Lightning & Time sometime in September. Oh! And Mars will be in view either tonight or the next! So keep an eye on the sky! And there will be more teasers, but later, and I have some Halloween Special ideas! Don't worry it won't be anything like up there^, it'll be fun!—I say now…

Okay, see you all later!