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The double edged sword

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By the time Altair and Ezio had arrived Malik had managed to get Desmond to sit up and was coaxing the fledgling to drink some water.

The younger was slow and almost mechanical in his movements. And although he reacted physically to Malik's gentle guidance mentally none of them were sure he was quite there. Like a doll.

It was hard, for Ezio and Altair to bring themselves to truly approach Desmond. They lingered in the doorway of the room as Malik tended to him. The hurried sound of footsteps caught their attention and they both tensed but found that it was only the healers who came into the room.

Malik stepped aside cautiously as the small group checked over Desmond's bandaged. They replaced some, left it others, and checked for possible infections and other such things. Throughout the whole process the fledgling might as well have remained cationic. He barely reacted outside of the various poking and prodding, the only time he responded on his own was when asked a direct questions. He would nod imperceptibly, but wouldn't respond verbally or lift his eyes from his lap.

Eventually the master healer announced they had done all they could. It would be up to Desmond now. "Can you do nothing else?"Ezio asked, looking at the blankly staring man in the bed. The healers only shook their heads.

"There are some wounds that simply can not be healed by us, wounds of the mind or heart are beyond our abilities. It will be up to him weather or not they may heal and scar."

Altair clenched his hands, ready to demand that they at least try, that there must be something they could do, but he was stopped by Malik's hand on his arm. The Dai simply shook his head at the mentor. Altair grit his teeth as the group of healers left.

Ezio paid little head to the two as he cautiously approached the little fledgling. He could never remember feeling so unsure over something but he had no idea what to do in this situation. The way Desmond simply sat and stared blankly, it reminded him far to much of his own mother after his father's murder at the hands of the Borgia. The complete lack of will to do...anything really. The despair and hopeless pain.

It hurt even more to know that HE had been if not the cause than a major contributing factor. After all he has suffered and survived, all he had fought for and overcome, he had finally been stripped off the tattered remains of his will. It left Ezio feeling sick with himself, and cold with the knowledge that he and Altair had been the ones to break him. To shatter the fledgling's wings quite possibly beyond repair. It left a biter vile taste in his mouth. He could only imagine the shame his family must have for his actions. For his blindness.

Ezio sat in the chair that Malik had previously occupied. He reached out a tentative hand and placed it on Desmond's, the reaction was immediate when the fledgling flinched violently. Even as he made no move to pull his hand away from Ezio's. Not that he needed to, as Ezio pulled away as if burned. He might as well have been, a burn would have been less painful.

"Desmond?" Altair asked, coming up next to Ezio, Malik standing behind them watchfully.

"I'm sorry, I can do better. I'm sorry, I can do better, please I'm sorry." Desmond!" All there called out startled and worried as the fledgling curled in on himself. He buried his head in his knees and warped his arms over top, huddling in on himself defensively and muttering.

"I'm fine, it's fine, I'm okay. I'm sorry, I can do better. I'm sorry, it's fine it's okay, ease I can do better, I'm sorry. Please I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, it's fine, I'm fine, I'm okay, I can do better. I....."

The three could only watch helpless and in silent horror as he repeated himself. Over and over and over, curled up and muttering. Ezio held back guilty tears, hands grasping at his long hair helpless frustration. Altair swallowed around the lump in his throat, clenching and unclenching his own hands at his sides. Malik pushed past the two.

"I think it would be best if you two left." He grit out as he carefully pulled Desmond's hands away from clawing at himself again, much like he did when having a night terror. Altair looked ready to argue, but was gently pulled away by Ezio, the Italian shaking his head at his lovers outraged glance.

The Masyaf mentor looked back at the shiver muttering fledgling and sighed. Closing his eyes and looking away from the scene as Malik attempted to soothe the male. Altair allowed himself to be led out of the room by Ezio, the two sparing a glance each back at the still muttering Desmond. Tearing their eyes away they passed through the door and out of Desmond's chambers.