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What are the odds


Chevi
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Back in the forests of Britannia, in the middle of Rome's latest conquest, in falling snow and frozen dirt, never in a million years would have Aius imagined living in Rome one day. Sure, she had dreamed of visiting many times, and listened to the stories of soldiers who were born there or had been there, but back then, for the merchant's daughter - turned - interprex those dreams seemed too far fetched to come true any time soon. Occupied with the immediate issue of survival without being discovered, she did not exactly have much time to contemplate her future.

Until she was discovered.

And now, by some strange and mysterious will of the gods, she was not only in Rome, but as a woman - walking the hallways of the beating heart of the greatest empire in the world. Aius, former auxiliary Interprex Britannorum, tutor to the children of an imperial household, walking in a palace. Allowed to walk inside a palace.

Being completely bloody lost.

Flavia Juliana traveled to the city, taking her entourage with her, for some kind of a family visit. At first, Aia did not even thing that she was included in that plan, but then suddenly she found herself traveling along, and before she had the time to gape, they were already at the Palatine. She was housed with the other servants of the family in a small room, and yet, small room aside, she was in a palace. Jupiter's balls, the change of scenery was making her head spin.

Once things settled down for the evening, she decided to take a short walk to clear her head. Many parts of the palace were off limits to people like her, including the gardens, but she figured just pacing a corridor before she went back to bed would not be too suspicious. She felt jittery, both from excitement and from nerves. Wearing a woman's dress, she felt more exposed than she had on scouting missions, even though she was inside one of the most secure buildings in Rome. Maybe it was because of all of that that she turned a corner one too many while pacing. And now, she was turned around.

Aia huffed in frustration as she once again turned a corner to an unfamiliar corridor, and kicked the corner of the wall.

"Dammit to Tartarus..."

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The dark halls of the palace seemed especially long when torchlight was the only source of illumination. The splashes of flicking gold danced across the walls in the greatest patterns, shortly giving life to epic scenes stitched into tapestries and busts that seemed as though they might speak if called upon. It was certainly ominous to any who were not accustomed to the corridors and their winding nature, but lucky Decimus was. He'd been for some days now, and as he closed the door to Claudia's chamber and walked off for the night, he was content. Long, the day had been, and he was ready to collapse on one of those rough beds in the castra. What bliss he was given.

There were days in Britannia when he'd dreamed of sleeping on anything but raw earth and its cold grip. Often times the tent would leak, sprinkling dashes of cold water against his face when he could scarcely see in the middle of the suffocating darkness of those Britannic nights. He'd hated that the most. It was the small discomforts that had eaten away at him for a long time, and now that he was in a position to once again enjoy the fruits of civilized life there was little pull to return. 

Leaning over a small bowl of prepared water, he cleansed his face and his hands. It was meant to be used by those of the purple, but they'd all since gone to bed or were elsewhere. One of their hobbies that he'd learned was the ability to stay awake long into the night having discussions around lit braziers with all types of assorted foods. They loved to do it. The first few instances of Claudia participating had nearly ended him, for he was unaccustomed to staying up late into the wee hours of the morning. One couldn't afford to in the legion. You'd simply be awoken before the sun had risen and the gods would damn you if you had no energy to stand your post when called.

Walking on, he could tell that he was approaching the large ornate doors that would open and let him off into the night. He might as well grab some food on the way home, but he could hardly think of anywhere besides a tavern that might still serve him. Yawning, he rounded a corner and stopped immediately, scraping his caligae across the smooth tiles as he did so. There was a figure in front of him at arms reach, the shape of her dress being one he'd become accustomed to now. 

"Oh, excuse me domin-.."

His words were cut short. Through the splashes of light from the nearest brazier, he laid eyes upon the face of a ghost. It was a face he'd left in Gaul, for safety of them both, and now it stood before him with the eyes of a lost pup. Surely it couldn't be... She was long since gone. She had gone to the forests of Germania or beyond, leaving this realm and all of the banners of Imperial might. His mouth was slightly agape, though not with fear or loss, but of confusion. Could it really be?..

"You're...?"

@Chevi

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Aia's reflexes were not exactly fine tuned for the high living yet. When, turning the corner, she ran into a figure between light and the shadows, her very first reaction was to bring her fists up, ready to defend herself. Things happened with an alarming speed from that point forward.

"Oh, excuse me domin-.."

Get your head straight, Aia, you're a woman now

The fists were quickly lowered, and Aia was just in the process of trying to strike a more lady-like pose, clearing her throat in the middle of the confusion, when finally the tone of voice, and the baffled expression that went with it, managed to reach her conscious mind. It was so out of place, so incredibly unexpected, that it took her a moment of blinking to assess what was happening. Apparently, that made two of them. The sight would have been ridiculous to an outside observer.

"You're...?"

"Decimus?!" Aia gaped at the unlikely face that she had sorely missed since Britannia, without even realizing it, and immediately lost her tenuous grip on her newly acquired feminine graces "What the fuck?!"

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Decimus's mind was blank. His eyes blinked for a few moments in disbelief of the face that was now illuminated in front of him. He stood silent until the face shouted his name, cursing shortly thereafter. The sudden exclamation of her voice shocked him out of his silence, forcing his hand to her mouth to cover it. Hopefully nobody had heard it, hopefully, the doors had been thick enough to block out the sudden curse, and hopefully, he wouldn't incur a bite from the girl he knew was prone to resistance. In hushed pleas, he explained himself.

"Hush yourself!... Silence! You exist in one of the most sacred houses in Roma." 

Briskly, he removed his hand from her mouth.

He looked around the halls, searching for anyone that might be bearing down upon them to see what the commotion had been. He hard nothing. He saw nothing... They were safe for now. With that in mind, he let larger emotions take control of him. He quite simply picked her up, restrained in a bear hug that might well have fallen a lesser girl. He let her down after a few moments, adjusting his toga and looking around once more

"Aius! You live... I left you in Gaul, why are you here in these halls? Are you mad? Do you know what they do to intruders here?"

 

@Chevi

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Before Aia could proceed with the string of baffled curses that popped into her mind, Decimus' hand covered her mouth. In the sudden silence, she herself could hear how loud her words must have sounded. Dammit, she already forgot she was inside a palace and not a camp.

"Hush yourself!... Silence! You exist in one of the most sacred houses in Roma." 

Yup, this man was definitely good old Decimus.

As if she needed any more confirmation, the hand was removed from her mouth (before she could bite it), and she was picked off her feet and wrapped in a bear hug. Aia made a muffled sound, but only struggled for good measure. The young soldier had not really been the hugging type before, but damn, it was good to see him again. Aia had a wide grin plastered on her face by the time he set her down.

"Aius! You live... I left you in Gaul, why are you here in these halls? Are you mad? Do you know what they do to intruders here?"

"I might be mad, but I'm not an intruder"Aia rolled her eyes, folding her arms, still not presenting a very feminine image "I came here with Flavia Juliana. I belong to her household. What are you doing here? Did you marry into fame and riches?"

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"Flavia Juliana?.."

She was in service to a noblewoman, though in what capacity he was still certainly unsure. He smirked and stifled a laugh that would have served as a fair enough answer to her question. 

"I'm afraid I've married none since we left Britannia, let alone these fine folk. Too ugly you see?"

He was definitely glad to see her, and not only because she stood before him. He'd feared for her genuinely when they had parted, though it had been the correct move. Traveling together would only have aroused suspicion, he certainly had nowhere for her to stay once they were in the city. Life would be hard, food would be scarce, and money a necessity. The knowledge that a fine lady of Rome was fattening her up in some villa was a welcome one. She probably slept better than he did! 

"We should go somewhere. The halls are no place for such talk..."

He peeked back around the corner he'd come from, soon grabbing her wrist and pulling her along behind him until he was sure that she had the picture of where they were headed and let her go. They would have to pass through several corridors before they arrived at the place he had in mind, but it would be safe.

 

@Chevi

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"I'm afraid I've married none since we left Britannia, let alone these fine folk. Too ugly you see?"

Honestly Decimus was far from ugly. He was a decent man, and also decent looking, at least when he was not covered in grime and dirt. No one ever really got fat in the legion (other than maybe some high ranking officers), and even ten years older than when they first met, he was not any uglier than the noblemen she had seen so far. The attitude was different, though. Noblemen didn't usually dole out bear hugs. That she knew of. 

Not being married didn't exactly explain what he was doing in the palace, though.

"We should go somewhere. The halls are no place for such talk..."

Before she could comment, he was already pulling her along by her wrist. If she had known where she was before, she would have lost track now, but since she was already lost, it didn't exactly matter.

"So what do these sacred halls think of you dragging a woman around at night to a secret location?" she challenged in a hushed voice as she did her best to keep up, using one hand to hold her dress out of the way "If you are not in the family, then what, you work here? Or..." her eyes widened, and she used her free hand to punch his arm lightly "Hey, are you an intruder?"

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"Oh, you're a woman now, 'eh? That's new."

He continued to lead her off to god knew where, though they remained unseen. Soon, he stopped in front of a door illuminated by a nearby torch which he took from the wall so that they might see once they were within the strange quarters. Of course, he knew what it was, but she might only know when they were inside. 

"I'm not an intruder, far from it. I'm a guardsman, a Praetorian, mind you!" 

He flashed a grin at her to emphasize his mock seriousness. In truth, the title was beginning to lose its oomph, at least to him. Now it was just another title, like any he'd held in the past no matter how honorable. 

Opening the door and beckoning her to follow in his footsteps, he stepped into what could immediately be identified as a type of granary or pantry. Sacks of flower sat all around next to barrels of oats and dried fruits. It was tight, certainly, but they wouldn't be found. With care, he put the torch into one of the holders, giving it a bit of a shake to make sure that it was properly secured.

"Not exactly bliss, but it'll do..."

He sat against a barrel then, using a sack of flower as a cushion. Admittedly, it was not that uncomfortable, though he hardly suspected the cooks would approve. 

 

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"Oh, you're a woman now, 'eh? That's new."

"Bite me" Aia muttered as she followed along. She had always been a woman, really, just one that was pretending to be a man at the time. Which Decimus had known, even back then, and handled admirably well after the initial shock of the news. This many years later, her being dressed as a woman was likely a similar shock to him. Oh, the irony.

"I'm not an intruder, far from it. I'm a guardsman, a Praetorian, mind you!" 

"Prateorian?!" Aia blinked, tilting her head to look him over "What do you know..."

Decimus had always been going places. Rome liked to have men like him. Being in the praetorian guard, though... well, no wonder he was hanging around the palace at night.

The door revealed a pantry on the other side. Aia snorted as she was ushered inside, the small space closing in around them as the torch was put in its place and the door closed. Once feeling secure, Decimus relaxed his attitude somewhat and took a seat.

"Not exactly bliss, but it'll do..."

"I bet you say that to all the girls you fought alongside in Britannia" Aia grinned, taking a seat on a barrel, carefully holding her dress so that it wouldn't tear. Looking around, she spotted a basket of apples, picked one up and inspected it. Apples were apples everywhere. "So, you are guarding the imperial family now? This is where you live?"

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"Hardly. Didn't fight alongside many girls in Britannia."

He would leave it up to her to decide if that was a dig at her androgynous past or a simple truth, for it would be more entertaining. He watched her take the apple and bite into it, nearly telling her not to but deciding to hold his tongue. It didn't matter. The rats had gotten it, that's what they'd think... Hopefully... Hopefully, she'd just take it with her. 

He gave her a once over, now that the light was more steady and pronounced in such a small room. She had grown a little... Perhaps. Honestly, she looked nearly the same as when they'd left each other. He could tell she was letting her hair grow out more, as would be expected of her newly adopted status, and of course, the dress was certainly new. She was still as skinny she'd ever been, but it was hardly a disadvantage. He'd seen how fast she was, and he'd also known her when she sported a dagger. She could be well dangerous to anyone that wanted it, and half of him wondered if the dagger was somewhere on her person. He doubted it, too difficult to conceal. Her face had clearly been made up some before she'd come, and he almost though to point it out, though he was sure she'd just try to smear it off her face and ruin the effect if he did. And then of course there we the other features that were no longer concealed, which served to flesh out the image of a woman a bit better than when he'd last laid eyes on her. 

"Live here? No. That would be the dream. I live in a castra. It's a while away from here and far less comfortable... Was thinking of buying a house, honestly. And yourself? I assume you sleep on sheets of silk and eat oysters every morning?"

 

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"Hardly. Didn't fight alongside many girls in Britannia."

Aia rolled her eyes as she bit into the apple. Her point probably passed Decimus by completely, but for now, she was too excited to see him again to stick to the banter. Locked in a pantry - an imperial pantry, mind you, although most of the food seemed completely normal, if not a little fresher and cleaner - it was almost like they were inside a tent again. She wondered what would happen if someone saw a praetorian and a girl disappear in a pantry. Gods, army camps had been so much simpler...

Decimus was looking at her, and she made a face at him. She knew how ridiculous she looked in the outfit.

"Live here? No. That would be the dream. I live in a castra. It's a while away from here and far less comfortable... Was thinking of buying a house, honestly. And yourself? I assume you sleep on sheets of silk and eat oysters every morning?"

"Yes, and I have a slave just to peel the grapes before I eat them, and a muscular Parthian to feed them to me" Aia smirked, flipping the scarf on her head since she didn't exactly have hair long enough to flip, then shrugged "I am a tutor to the domina's children. Got found out, back in Britannia, and Proconsul thought it best to send me away quietly before I ruined the entire legion's morale."

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"Ah, so you let another man discover the dreaded secret. Must be a more common occurrence than I realized. "

Just like her to allow one of the most powerful men in the province discover her true identity. Though he could hardly piece together the true meaning of the fact that she was discovered based on the few ways that one might discover her true identity. One might well expect that a few men in the army would have taken advantage of such a situation, though he'd certainly reaped not but concern and stress from her circumstance. 

Beneath the light of the torch and surrounded by musty air, the thought was common among them. This was probably as close as he'd been to those times in a long while, at least with her in the room. The immeasurable amounts of hardship they'd faced seemed years behind them, however, because it was. In the years that had passed, he'd come to imagine that she'd fled the Empire or was still hiding... Or worse. Gods knew it was a blessing that she'd lived and come to reside under such care.

"What do you teach the children then? How to cut their hair or how to wrap bandages?"

He wouldn't let her hear the end of it, of course, and he was all too happy to continue if she said nothing. Searching around the room, he did locate a rather stale bit of bread and reached over to tuck into it. It wasn't an apple, but it would do the trick. of easing his stomach off his mind. He tucked into it, finding the fine baking to be of some comfort indeed.

 

@Chevi

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"Ah, so you let another man discover the dreaded secret. Must be a more common occurrence than I realized. "

The apple barely had a bite missing from in when it left Aia's hand and flew at Decimus' face - with more anger than precision, because in the end, it missed by a good few inches, and landed somewhere behind the sacks. It was a waste of a good apple, but she was not exactly thinking about that at the moment. His joke hit a sore spot in her recent past, and came in a way he probably never intended. She could have played it off as part of the banter... but for some reason, she didn't. She huffed, folding her arms again, and watched as he got himself some bread to eat.

Idiot.

"What do you teach the children then? How to cut their hair or how to wrap bandages?"

"I teach them languages" she responded in her native Gallic, then tilted her head as she switched back to Latin "Do you only guard pantries, or do they also let you look after the linen closets?"

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He moved his head instinctively as the apple shot by, chuckling at her lightly when she'd missed but soon shutting up when he realized she wasn't laughing anymore. He'd speak no more of it, of course. The events that had led her to be under this roof may certainly be more brutal than he realized, and he knew when the joke had come to an end. Her next comment drew a bit more joy from him though, as he knew how his response would sound. 

With a mockingly regal tone, he revealed his charge.

"I am a duty sworn Praetorian, charged with guarding a royal princess of the Empire, Ma'am."

Following up with a mock bow, he bit into the bread once more, happy that she'd undoubtedly think of scandal immediately, though for it to be true would mean his certain demise. 

"Sometimes they let me fold her clothes, if I behave, of course."

 

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"I am a duty sworn Praetorian, charged with guarding a royal princess of the Empire, Ma'am."

Had Aia still been chewing on the apple, she would have choked at this point. Maybe it was lucky she had already thrown it away. She had been joking about the duties of a praetorian, knowing full well that anyone in that position would have serious responsibilities at the palace. But... a princess? Truly? She looked at Decimus for a few long moment trying to see if he was joking. He seemed to have a healthy dose of humor, but not making this up on the fly.

"Sometimes they let me fold her clothes, if I behave, of course."

"Praetorian and handmaiden?" Aia chuckled, shaking her head "Seems like you landed on your feet, Decimus." getting off the barrel, she sat down next to him, her dress bunching around her legs. She let it, too frustrated with the whole outfit to care. "So, what's she like?... What are they all like? Are you allowed to talk about it, or do they pay you too well?"

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Decimus watched her approach, half afraid she might attempt to carry out some further form of revenge for his earlier comment, though seeing that she simply wished to sit, he cooled off. 

"It is the life I have to say..."

He leaned back against his barrel, letting his hands rest behind his head and stretching out on the sacks of grain as if they were a sort of chaise though made up of burlap and oats. It was a calming corner of the palace, he had to admit. If he ever had enough of the princess and needed to let her cool off, this would certainly be the place to come, though it might be a bit more active during the day. 

"Oh, be assured young lady, they are benevolent deities the likes of which you've never encountered. They spit gold and drink ambrosia."

He didn't know quite what she expected him to say. She lived with one that lived much as they did of course, though when they left the palace there was simply a bit more pomp. happy with his explanation, he let his eyes shut, content that he may fall asleep on a pile of Egypt's finest. 

"They're just like every other noble family I've met. The armor they hand out is something to see though..."

 

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Whatever Aia imagined the life of a woman serving the imperials would be, the conjured images did not usually involve her sitting in a pantry with a praetorian, swapping banter. Not that she was complaining. It was a feeling of familiarity she had lacked since she left Britannia. Her life was safer now, and definitely more comfortable... but also, in a way, more lonely. Not many people in Rome shared the place where she came from. None, really, except for this good-natured eligible bachelor on top of the flour sacks.

"Oh, be assured young lady, they are benevolent deities the likes of which you've never encountered. They spit gold and drink ambrosia."

"So, they spit a lot?" Aia smirked. She was just getting used to her own household, and while they were definitely imperial-adjacent, the Palatine was something else entirely "You should have gone to Egypt if you wanted living gods."

"They're just like every other noble family I've met. The armor they hand out is something to see though..."

"You always did like a good uniform" she grinned, reaching out to break off a piece of his bread "I guess you don't miss the frontier much, do you?"

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He opened one eye and closed it again as she plucked off a piece of the bread he'd worked so hard to steal off the shelf. Truly this was bliss. Familiar company, semi-decent food, a comfortable sitting arrangement and no eyes of authority to end their fun. It almost made him forgot how much trouble they could be in if they were discovered. Not only because of the scandalous dynamic but also the stealing of the food and all that extra garbage that he'd be reprimanded for should a servant enter. Hopefully, a reprimand would be the only thing that would happen. 

"'Gypo gods? I hear Cleopatra was a sight in her day, though I don't suppose her skeleton would want me having a look."

He tore yet another piece from the dwindling bun, moving the last bit of it around where he expected her mouth to be in case she wanted to finish it off. A content smile would grow across his face as he envisioned the armor he'd been given, ornate in several ways, not few of which were the small inscriptions and etchings of a holy nature that adorned the trim. 

"Well, I guess I like them because I've always looked good in them. Toga's no soldiering garb, I'll tell you that much. Damned thing just gets in the way."

Once she'd commented on the frontier, though, he shrugged and let out a longing sigh.

"Its an age gone past. Any man would be insane to say he loved that place, but the forests were a sight to behold... Not much exploring worth doing around the city. Just bars and brothels. Bars and brothels..."

 

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"'Gypo gods? I hear Cleopatra was a sight in her day, though I don't suppose her skeleton would want me having a look."

Fair enough, Egypt was not all that it used to be a hundred years or so earlier. It was still the source of good food, and the kind of bread they were currently definitely not stealing from the imperial pantry. But the time of grand temples and pharaohs was definitely over. The god that were lucky to survive served Rome now, in their own way. 

"Well, I guess I like them because I've always looked good in them. Toga's no soldiering garb, I'll tell you that much. Damned thing just gets in the way."

"Oh, you poor unfortunate man" Aia said in mock pity as she smoothed out her stola. She was glad that most of the time they did not need her to wear a palla around the house. Three layers of drapery were more than enough to wear. Decimus had to know who he was talking to about uncomfortable outfits... Back at the frontier, they were both used to the same.

"Its an age gone past. Any man would be insane to say he loved that place, but the forests were a sight to behold... Not much exploring worth doing around the city. Just bars and brothels. Bars and brothels..."

"Yeah, the city seems like such a boring place to be" Aia continued with the sarcasm as she took the last piece of the bread offered to her "Do tell me about the brothels."

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"The brothels? Why, are you looking for a career?"

Expecting a barrage of slaps to follow, he couldn't help but raise an arm up in preparation to block any of those blows. 

"Joking!.. I don't know, they're there for men with no self-control. I daresay I can wait for fortune to show me a woman before I'll pay for one."

It's much how he'd felt in Britannia too. While he did allow his men to sate their most carnal desires, naturally, he never indulged. He thought it would only make him look weak, and there were certainly other ways to gain that attention than grabbing the nearest piece of arse and claiming it as yours. He could only imagine how the realm of relations had been for Aius... Er... Aia. Women definitely seemed to be somewhat powerless in most scenarios where love was involved, save of course the laws barring outright rape and plunder upon citizens and what not.

"You know... You gave a few things up when you took off the pants of a man. What is it like wearing a dress and being called by your name again?"

 

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"The brothels? Why, are you looking for a career?"

Aia jabbed at his ribs with her elbow for the snide remark. He didn't mean it, it was just the force of habit. So was the jab. Aia was still scrawny enough to have very pointy elbows.

"Joking!.. I don't know, they're there for men with no self-control. I daresay I can wait for fortune to show me a woman before I'll pay for one."

"D'awww" Aia chuckled. Such an honorable man. One would have thought Rome stopped making those back in the time of Mucius Scaevola. She had never known Decimus to indulge in things even the best-regulated legionaries allowed themselves sometimes, especially after well-earned victories. He was not only behaving like a disciplined Roman soldier - he actually believed the principles. Bona Dea bless him. 

"You know... You gave a few things up when you took off the pants of a man. What is it like wearing a dress and being called by your name again?"

"Weird." Aia admitted promptly "I mean... you can't imagine how weird. I have never really learned all the... woman things. The dresses, the paints, the... secret bits. Women talk about these things. Gods of Dis, Decimus, you wouldn't believe the things they talk about! And the clothes! I feel like I'm wrapped for a funeral. And this!" she huffed, pulling the edge of her tunic up to flash her shins at him "They take the hairs off your leg! Why on earth are we not torturing the enemy with this?"

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Decimus turned on to his side to look at her, propping up his head with his hand. Inquisitively, he rubbed the girl's shin to find that they really had removed all of the hairs! They'd plucked her clean like a chicken! He couldn't help but snicker, falling back onto the sacks. Among the other complaints, he was hardly surprised that she couldn't find any new peace as a woman! He could scarcely imagine letting anyone touch the hairs on his body in that way... The thought made him shiver. 

"Ho... Well... Oh, gods... It sounds like a grueling hell. How on earth do you manage it?"
 

This was followed by a few more stifled laughs. He'd been subject to the talk of women ever since he'd arrived in the city, though he had to admit that they scarcely ever sought him out to speak of dresses, paints and whatever was meant by secret bits.  Perhaps he was lucky in that sense. To be removed from such long conversations about things that held no substance was surely not for him.

"If it's any consolation, a dress suits you. Perhaps you need only grow into the role. Plus those children might well teach you a thing or two about how to properly behave! No excuse now. No Britons to distract everyone while you mope in the shadows. "

 

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"Ho... Well... Oh, gods... It sounds like a grueling hell. How on earth do you manage it?"

Well, the bit about the hair might have been oversharing, but at least Decimus seemed to genuinely feel the pain of the whole idea. He was emphatic like that. Aia made a face and covered her legs again. Wearing a short tunic in the warmer months, he had seen plenty of that back when she was still Aius. He seemed amused at her tirade about the trials and tribulations of living as a woman of Rome. She kicked out at him for the snickering, but couldn't exactly deny the humor in the situation. 

"If it's any consolation, a dress suits you. Perhaps you need only grow into the role. Plus those children might well teach you a thing or two about how to properly behave! No excuse now. No Britons to distract everyone while you mope in the shadows. "

"I can behave when I have to, thank you very much." Aia turned up her nose at him, although it was nice at least to hear she did not look like a hag in the dress. Even if it was definitely far from suiting her in any elegant way. "And how are you faring without the Britons to distract everyone? Have you stopped any political assassinations yet? Shown off your sword skills in front of the princess?"

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Decimus shrugged and thought for a few moments about how he might answer. His bearing, so far, had been one of professionality. He'd spoken when spoken to, dressed how he was told he should dress, and followed close behind his charge everywhere she went. He was, as described, like her shadow. None had attempted to do her harm yet, and in the back of his mind, he loved to imagine that it was because he was there with his soldierly bearing and intimidating physique. The more likely reason was that she was always surrounded by multiple bodyguards who wouldn't be partial to anyone approaching the princess in anger. In truth, he'd simply been added to a small, yet skilled, entourage. 

He shrugged his shoulders in mock disappointment.

"Sadly no one's made an attempt on her life, as of yet, but I'll tell you if that changes.

Laying back into the sacks of flour and oats he simply began to twiddle his thumbs in front of himself, finding the small bit of powder that had accumulated from the contents of the sack to be a bit annoying under his fingernails.

"Princess'd hardly see me handle a sword unless I needed to. I do all my training at the castra. Not much to cut up in her room beside fine bedsheets and curtains, and I don't know if she'd appreciate it much. I take it the children can speak perfect Gaul-ish now?"

 

@Chevi

Edited by Sains
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"Sadly no one's made an attempt on her life, as of yet, but I'll tell you if that changes."

"Sadly?" Aia quirked an eyebrow, and sat back, leaning against the sacks. It was nice to let go of trying to be poised, and regain some of the familiarity that they used to have back in the camp. "Don't let your superiours hear you talk like that."

A bodyguard noting that there had not been enough attempts on the life of his charge might not have been the best recommendation for his job...

"Princess'd hardly see me handle a sword unless I needed to. I do all my training at the castra. Not much to cut up in her room beside fine bedsheets and curtains, and I don't know if she'd appreciate it much. I take it the children can speak perfect Gaul-ish now?"

"Well, maybe one day you can show off how heroic you can be. I'm sure princesses like that." Aia smirked "The children don't speak anything but Latin and nonsense so far. But I'm trying." she chuckled "So, buying a house, huh? They pay you well enough to settle down around here?"

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