There used to be laughter among them. It would rise, wherever they went, and lighten the air in the darkest of times even when the mourning of others, in the complex bonds of the Brotherhood, weighed down on them and affected their young lives.
More often than not, the big family they were hopelessly bound to vanished from their thoughts. All trainings, classes and hassles had to end sometime then, a secondálater, they were already back to being just children.
When they were together, playing in the dusty sunset of the yard, nothing existed except the three of them.
They would race to the nearest rock and let their legs dangle in the precipice, with little Kadar clinging uneasily to the arms of either. They teased each other and laughed and laughed, they rested. They felt free to forget.
Even then, when they stayed there on their own, without a care in the world átheir slim shoulders carried the hopes of everyone. One could have easily toldáfrom the light in the Assassins' glances, from the grown men who watched them play, from a distance, and dreamed of their future adulthood.
Still, in those moments, the brightest eyes in Masyaf were theirs.
the tears tap on the torn skin, bitter and painful
"Please, don't die."
His eyes had grown to be so cold, and he couldn't tell what it was the frozen hue of his gaze, the cruelty transforming his face.
An adult Assassin, strong and handsome, had drowned so young in his success. To Malik's clear mind, the loss of humility matched death perfectly. His friend had died.
The backtaste of pain was clearly there, among the fits of rage. Malik couldn't choose how to feel about it whether to burn in hatred and slowly let it eat him, or to lose himself in mourning for the other person he had held dearest in the world.
Even worse, he had lost his friend to that mask of arrogance. And he suffered because he couldn't truly forget they were the same person he still loved him, even dead, even forgotten. He loved that man.
And when the wall covered him, leaving them alone against four knights, it was mere horror to guide his hand.
It all happened too fast for him to see. He only knew Kadar had died.
And then he knew for sure, even in his pain the ghost of his brother gave him enough strength to dig the blade in his enemy's chest. Even more than his wounded arm, the hilt burnt fiercely, forever leaving a mark in his hand.
- the silver hilt of the very same knife?
There it is, splitting Alta´r's chest in half, and his death so like his memories
His cry was not human, not anymore it sounded even less human there, in the deadly silence all around.
Too late to save him. Every corner, every tile showed blood, most of which his. The body of a young novice lay on the floor, shockingly pale on the red pool all round. No hope was left.
the wound tears open again, soaking the carpet. Malik watches his finger, his knife, Alta´r's blood, and his eyes are wide with the horror of a dream, only more terrifying because it's true
That day, all through the journey, the memories never stopped widening in his mind. His whole body screamed in protest, loaded with too much horror Jerusalem would never be far enough to feel safe. However, the images chased him without mercy. He just couldn't stop them.
They flew free with his tears and his cries, filling the scenery of the desert with the ghost of a forever lost happiness.
It was just a trick of his mind, but too strong and his screams were muffled by young laughter, by the feeling of a tight embrace, by the warmth of their hands.
How could he let this happen? How?
They had promised. They had sworn never to abandon each other, come what may áthe three of them had bound their destinies together, many years before.
The sun was bright that day, they were young and just happy to be in each other's company; they still didn't know what would be. There was just them, with Alta´r's long fingers tight in his, and a shade of forever in the horizon.
their hands cling to each other in the warmth of blood, uncaring of anything else, and Alta´r smiles as if he'd just received the greatest gift of his life
Who knew they'd once again be happy together. Malik couldn't dream of it for sure. And still
Alta´r's smile was truly sad and humble that day. Something unlike his usual self had showed through his gestures; something so new, yet so familiar. Malik had caught himself thinking the impossible thinking that he, in the end, might really be back soon.
Back to who he was in the old times, with something higher and true carved in his soul.
It was just too much to believe. Malik had frowned and, in silence,had chosen to wait.
He couldn't feel hope anymore.
the love in his last glance and his last words, the grip that slides down Malik's sleeve
"My dear... brother."
His face sets to rest, happy.
It is all over, just like this. Impossible.
Alta´r doesn't breathe, and still he looks serene. Malik, on the other hand, is dead inside; but, unlike him, he breathes. He cannot believe, he cannot give up so easily á he always fights what's wrong, even himself, even his wildest wishes of revenge.á
This one truth, however, is different. And he has to admit it he just doesn't know what to do.
He collapses on Alta´r's chest as the truth fights its way in him. It's not over, not at all not for him. This time, Malik has made a choice, and he is left to face it on his own.
He closes his eyes. He cannot turn back.
From now on, he will always be alone.