Haytham and Ziio as kids as requested~
Haytham Kenway was 10 years old and he was walking in Boston like the big shot he thought he was. He’d been brought to America after the betrayal in his family. Mr. Birch brought him here for training as well. But today he had the day off, so he walked the streets alone, confident in his ability to protect himself.
There were a few odd looks from other people on the streets, but he paid them no mind. It wasn’t until he spotted a young girl with dark brown skin slinking through the streets. He had seen people with her color before, but they had always been adult males and rather boring. Like the men, she seemed to be dressed in skins instead of the fabrics like the other girls around the city. But this girl had a fire in her eyes and a defiant smirk on her face.
He followed her.
She lead him through main roads and back alleys, weaving in between men and horses until Haytham recognized the edge of the city. The girl kept going out into the tree line. Haytham only paused momentarily before he pushed though the bushes, skin scraped by low hanging branches and brambles. He nearly lost sight of the girl a few times as she flitted through the forest like a ghost. His feet barely touched the ground as he ran after her.
They finally reached a part of the forest that he didn’t recognize. He slowed his pace to try and take in his surroundings. He growled to himself not wanting to lose the girl, but it seemed he had. There was no sound of footsteps or rustling of the underbrush. Haytham paused and looked around.
“What are you doing?”
Haytham yelped at the sudden voice next to him. He leapt away, tripping on a root and shakily drawing his sword at the same time. The girl just stood there unimpressed.
“Who are you?” Haytham asked quickly, trying to hide his surprise and failing miserably. The girl broke out into laughter, holding her sides like he was the funniest thing in the world. Haytham felt a blush rise in his cheeks. “What?” He snapped. “What is so funny?”
“You are.” The girl managed to get out. “What is your name, stranger?” She asked when she finally stopped laughing.
Haytham scrambled to get up and his sheathed his sword again. “Haytham Kenway, miss.” He nodded his head a bit. “I’m pleased to make your acquaintance.” He let his eyes roam over her for the first time. She was slightly built and he could see the wiry muscles in her arms and what was exposed of her legs. She had freckles on her darkened face, which made him smile for reasons he wasn’t entirely sure of. “What’s your name miss?”
“Kaniehtí:io.” She told him with a petulant smile.
Haytham looked at her confused. “Kane … Kanie?” His brow furrowed as he tried to correctly pronounce the girl’s name.
“Just call me Ziio if that’s easier to say.” She said, watching his brain work, looking entirely too amused.
“Ziio,” He said slowly, liking the way the word rolled off his tongue. He allowed himself a private smile when he was hit in the arm. “Hey!”
“You’re it!” Ziio said gleefully, giving him a toothy grin.
“I’m what?” Haytham asked, perplexed. His stance turned guarded.
“It!” Ziio looked at him like he was the stupidest person she’d ever seen. “As in ‘tag you’re it’. It’s a game. I tag and you chase me until you can catch me.”
“I know how to play the game!” Haytham retorted. “I didn’t know you would know it.”
Ziio made a face at him. “Why wouldn’t I know the game? Are you stupid?” She smacked him on the head. “You’re it!” And she was off. Haytham recoiled from the smack before a grin broke out on his face and he ran after her.
They played for what seemed like forever, though Haytham had to call foul play once Ziio took to the trees where he could not follow. She showed him how to get up on the trees, but his shoes were not suitable for climbing so he ended up falling back to the earth a more than a few times, Ziio laughing the entire time.
Eventually the sun got low enough in the sky that they could no longer see amongst the trees. Haytham, of course had no idea where he was. Ziio led him back in to town as easily as she’d brought him out. Once they reached the tree line she stopped.
“I shouldn’t go any farther.” She said quietly. “Mother says the town is dangerous at night.”
Haytham looked at her confused. “I’ve always been told that the woods are not safe at night.”
“That’s because you do not know the woods. I do not know the town like I know the trees.” Ziio stood up straighter and prouder. “I had fun though. I’m glad you followed me.” She took two steps closer to him and kissed his cheek.
Haytham blinked and pressed a hot hand to his cheek, perplexed. “Hey, wait!” He said quickly looking back up toward the trees. But she was gone. There wasn’t even a rustling leaf to indicate that she had ever been there. Haytham’s shoulder drooped in disappointment until he realized he needed to keep his posture. He straightened again, a determined look on his face. One day he would find that girl again and he would make sure she got a kiss proper. He turned on his heel and walked back to the road and onwards toward home.