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Disclaimer: I don't own anything related with or to the show 'Da Vinci's Demons' like plot, characters. I'm a fan of the actors-writers.

Pairing: Leonardo da Vinci/Girolamo Riario

M note: This is AU-ish since I don't plan on straying too far from canon. The characters are probably ooc and that's all...


"Shh...Leo-" Girolamo stops himself from finishing his pronunciation of Da Vinci's name, it's probably too personal.

Still.

By avoiding it he inadvertently just called him by his nickname.

That's not good.

It is a term of endearment that should only be reserved for family, loved ones and friends.

They are far from friends or any of the other two options, truth be told but they have been through some stuff and he couldn't simply stand idly by while he watched as...

He just..was not about to watch him die.

Leonardo Da Vinci is valuable resource.

Florence.

Rome.

The world will benefit greatly.

That's what Riario keeps repeating in his mind even though he aware of the fact that he's lying to himself on this occasion, when saying that it by itself is the only reason why he did what he has.

But he is unwilling to admit anything else on the subject.

Not to himself.

Much less aloud.

The fact that said Maestro is currently asleep and badly injured on his mattress does absolutely nothing to deter him of this thought.

However their are moments that are becoming increasingly...how shall he say.. frequent.

He is, in all honesty...

In distress by the notion of being incapable of stopping the instances.

Ones where he believes he feels, honest-to-God.

His heart flutter in his chest strangely when he hears the artista say his name or do something so simple as just look at him.

At any rate, this ordeal is causing him to acquire a substantial amount of anxiety.

A dangerous to the point of near loss of decorum, sense of self preservation and sanity when being oblivious to the truth.

One which says 'loud and clear by they way' that he has a knack for blatant disregard for himself or anyone other than his-Florence's most favored artisan.

.

He packs his bags.

Something light for his journey ahead.

His bags are stuffed with valuables, clothes and food.

He's memorized the road ahead and some of its less known, thus rarely traveled shortcuts.

His weapons and money are more or less scattered throughout compartments in his carriage, baggage and various locations just to keep a low profile.

.

.

Sixtus will understand when he says that he needs a couple of days to rally support of the nearby citizens.

The 'holy crusade' should be a hit amongst people once news spreads like wildfire.

The fallen won't be forgotten.

Da Vinci will avenge them, he'll make sure to see to this personally.

For now he concerns himself with burning some papers while eating some tomato soup and sticks around for a couple of seconds every three minutes to linger near the doorway.

As he mentally moniters Da Vinci's breathing.

Prays that the worst is behind them, that his self-prescribed and conjured up drugs are enough to actually work to his artista's advantage.

Even as he's weary of the situation and his lack of time...

He thinks most of this could have been avoided had he just used a little guile to distract Leo from Carlo's path or the Architect's not so sudden but to his knowledge briefly unexpected interest.

.

.

.

"Why did you contact me? Saying it was urgent, telling me to bring food. Water. Provisions for a long journey ahead. Shit. What the fuck happened to Leo?!"

Zo moved past Girolamo and Riario is surprised as hell by the fact that Leo's best friend hasn't punched him in the face, repeatedly.

He has time to come up with a quick story. Just enough to make it somewhat believable.

"We were on Carlo de Medici's trail, he got wind of our advances and set a trap. I was attacked from behind, caught by surprise. The scene Da Vinci and I encountered was less than serene."

This is not as difficult as he thought it would have been but he has to keep reminding himself to measure his words.

"When I awoke the Artista was long gone and I lay, most likely concussed. Once I move I sent word not only to you, also to my guards. My men came upon an old tavern one night having given up on the task at hand for the moment."

Riario thinks that Zo won't notice the the fact that hesitates for a second so he whispers the words and hopes that Leonardo's bestie didn't just catch him slipping.

"He was found unconscious and worse for wear-half dead and decent...tortured. It's nothing short of a miracle that he is alive."

One he is all too greatful, happy for. He doesn't say this, instead he keeps quiet.

Girolamo stands up as Zo clears up space so that he can move Leo safely. "Hey, no no no. Don't just stay standing there. Help me, Leo's fucking heavy."

Riario almost smiles at the thought of his beloved artista mumbling sleepy but astoundingly coherent that he's also ambidextrous and something about quizzes.

"There is something I require from you."

Zoroastro looks at Leonardo's banged up form with a worried expression but it shifts to anger the moment he stares at Riario.

His eyes clearly saying that no matter what excuse the Count may dish out, it won't be good enough and whatever happened to Leo is 110% his fault.

"Since when do you ask nicely?"

"Right now...I'm not about to-" Riario cuts himself off and just hands the vials over. He's done enough.

Help and damage.

"Keep this safe, give it to Da Vinci every three hours for the next two days. Any more... just make sure that you don't."

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