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I’m crazy.

Dark eyes that are far too much like his own stare down at him.

“You’re not crazy,” He rumbles, and it’s heavily accented, but it’s English and maybe that shouldn’t surprise Callum as much as it does, since the Brotherhood stretches across multiple countries and, at some point, Aguilar probably had to have a conversation with someone who was not Spanish.

“You’ve been dead for five-hundred years, and yet I see you sitting on my fucking bed. I am crazy.”

“I have been dead for four-hundred ninety years. And would it make you feel better if I got off of your fucking bed?” He says it without any bite, any venom or irritability, and Callum is maybe starting to get the feeling that the Lynch Family Attitude is something hundreds of years in the making.

His eyes roll shut. He really should wipe away the blood that’s pouring from his nose; change his shirt because some of it’s already hopelessly stained the collar. Callum’s head is pounding with the steady, rhythmic beat of a drum, like someone’s taking a hammer and rapping his skull with it every few seconds. That’s rapping, not beating, not smashing- if they did that he’d pass out, and that would be a greater relief than lying awake with a headache that’s probably going to turn into a migraine (again) and your dead ancestor is sitting on the edge of your bed.

Callum’s eyes shoot open again in alarm when he feels a hand on his head.

Aguilar is studying him in a way that Callum might have called scientific if he A) wasn’t involved in a temporary, hellishly-deep hatred relationship with science right now, and B) if Aguilar didn’t hail from the age of ‘the world is flat and I’ll burn your ass at the stake if you disagree’.

“How the fuck are you touching me?”

“It’s simple,” Aguilar says, eyes scanning Callum’s face and, more likely than not, parsing out all the physical similarities and differences. “I locate you with my eyes, and I use the muscles in my arm to move my hand-”

“Jesus fuck,” Callum snarls, and bats his arm away.

Now Aguilar frowns. “Don’t be so vulgar.”

Nothing is true, everything is permitted,” Callum quips with all the maturity of a ten year-old throwing a teacher’s logic back in their face. “Is that not the Creed you claim to live by? Or is blasphemy the exception?”

“I don’t use the Creed as an excuse to be a complete and utter heathen.” There is an edge of dry humor to his voice as he says it.

“Just a partial heathen.”

“Essentially.”

For a guy born in the age of ‘of course God is real, what’s there to debate’ Aguilar seems to have an awfully casual attitude towards the subject of disrespecting his higher power of choice. Callum can think of a lot of nuns from the various children’s homes he’d been shuffled through that would have smacked him if the words ‘Jesus Fuck’ or any variation thereof had left his lips.

Of course, there’s still a very strong possibility that this is all just a hallucination and Callum’s 21st century atheism is being projected onto his fucked-up brain’s depiction of Aguilar. He certainly hopes so, anyways; the only thing worse than being haunted by your dead assassin ancestor is having to suffer through a theological debate with him.

“What do you want, anyway? Can’t you see I’m trying to be a miserable mess of pain and suffering right now?”

“You’re my grandson.” That does literally nothing to answer Callum’s question, but from the look on Aguilar’s face you’d swear he’d just answered every question you could possibly ask of him.

“We’re a bit further removed than that.”

“Shall I recite all of the ‘greats’ in the name of accuracy?”

“Point taken. Your English is really good.”

"Or maybe you've just become very good at understanding Spanish."

Callum speaks broken Spanish- the dialect and accent you learn from living in Mexico, not Spain, and even though he did (and does) understand the words spoken in Aguilar’s memories, it comes through a freaky sort of split-screen: He hears the Spanish words and, when meditating on them specifically, individually, has little idea what they mean, but at the same time, his brain automatically translates for him because Callum doesn’t understand the Spanish spoken by Aguilar and his contemporaries, but Aguilar does, and that understanding translates in a way that makes the cognitive dissonance almost painfully obvious in Callum’s brain.

Another pulse of blood slides from his nose, and Callum is suddenly very light-headed, dizzy. He carefully lowers himself onto the pillow and blinks slowly, trying to force his brain to stop jerking and twitching like a dying squirrel and actually function the way it’s supposed to, with no pain or bleeding.

“You’re sick.”

“I… Yeah, yeah, whatever, I guess that works,” Callum slurs, unable to dedicate the concentration to speaking properly when he’s suddenly feeling that he might pass out right in his bed. He can barely talk, and trying to get Aguilar to comprehend that ‘in 2016 we have machines that can look in your brain and see your dead ancestors’ memories’ is going to require the sort of patience and concentration he just doesn’t have right now.

Aguilar frowned again, deeper this time. There was no dry humor in it now. “The Templars did this.”

Huh. Maybe he understood more than Callum realized.

“Yeah, they did.”

Silence. Callum’s eyes slip shut again. When he feels the hand on his head again, he opens them once more, but doesn’t bother knocking Aguilar away. The Assassin’s hand is unusually cool against Callum’s forehead, and he doesn’t know whether that’s because Callum’s head’s really warm (his brain certainly feels like it’s overheating) or if this is how it feels to be touched by a ghost-hallucination. Callum’s not entirely sure he’s comfortable with it: No one’s touched him with this sort of tenderness since his mother, when he was a little boy.

Or Sophia.

And he doesn’t really want to think about her right now.

“They’ll pay,” Aguilar assures him as he strokes a hand through Callum’s hair in a way that is agonizingly paternal, and if Callum’s throat wasn’t currently thick with some emotion he’s not sure he wants to identify he might have told him to stop. “If five-hundred years wasn’t enough to destroy the Brotherhood, the Templars’ chances of success are terribly slim.”

“You are a very scary assassin,” Callum says. He’s going for sarcasm, but it comes out more as ‘yura verry skerry sassin’ because his nose is bleeding again and his brain feels like mush.

“I am,” Aguilar says, like he’s humoring the observations of a small child. “And you’re not well. Get some rest.”

The Assassin’s face blurs above Callum’s as he thinks, Crazy, crazy, I’m going completely crazy…

His internal voice eventually morphs into Patsy Cline’s, and he’s lulled to sleep by a wearily familiar refrain:

Crazy

I'm crazy for feeling so lonely

I'm crazy

Crazy for feeling so blue…

-End