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Teutus

Blood is thicker than water

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He didn’t know if he’d sometimes expect too much from Teutus. But the youth was a good slave, he just seemed to forget sometimes that if Tertius asked of his opinion, that’s what he wanted. And Teutus would still try and say what Tertius wanted to hear and he wasn’t always sure that was the right thing. Of course Tertius could lose his temper, but he rarely did that with Teutus.

They moved on towards the natation and on the way Teutus wondered if Tertius would like a snack.

“Not before I swim. Maybe something to drink though? I always get so thirsty after a massage like that.” Tertius said and sat down on a new marble bench, looking at the swimming bath and who was in it. He didn’t know if he’d be talking to anyone here, besides Teutus, today. So quietly he waited for his son to show up with something to drink for him.

@Sharpie

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It didn't take long for Teutus to get some wine - naturally, not the really good stuff he drank at home, but passable. He found his father on a marble bench by the wall of the natatio, watching the swimmers in the pool.

He prided himself on being what his master wanted him to be (or at least, trying to be that, it wasn't easy!). He couldn't help wondering, sometimes, if he'd be as good a son as he was a slave, and had to remind himself that he'd had practise at being a slave. And surely there were things both roles, both positions, had in common.

"It's the best they had, though I don't think it's as good as what we have at home, Domine," he said quietly, offering the cup to his father, and trying to figure out if he would be too forward if he sat down - did Tertius want him to be his son, or his slave, today?

 

@Atrice

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It was rather quiet in the baths today. Maybe there weren't a lot of people who cared to go out in the rain. But Tertius was here and he waited for Teutus to bring him the wine. His slave-son came soon enough with a cup of wine in his hand an offered the cup to Tertius. He excused the quality of it and Tertius only smiled.

"I know it's not what I usually have at home. I didn't expect it to be." Tertius said and tasted it. Definitely more sour than what they had at home. It might be nice to have the kitchen slaves cook up some nice and heated spiced wine later on. That would be really good on a cold and wet day like today.

Teutus just stood there and it felt kind of awkward, again. It wasn't like when he brought Hector here. Teutus just wasn't as good as Hector at guessing what Tertius wanted next and Teutus wasn't Hector at all. Tertius couldn't do with him as he usually did with Hector here. To bad that Hector was not doing well today. Tertius finished the wine in silence and handed Teutus the cup again, "Do you want to take a swim too? Looks like there is plenty of space today." He said and then eyed Teutus, "Can you swim?" It just dawned on him that he didn't know if his son even could. If he didn't come here so often, when should he have learned?

@Sharpie

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Oh, this was awkward. Of course it's awkward, Teutus, you idiot. How often do you come here with your father and get treated like a free man - even if it is only sort of?

He took the empty cup back, and hesitated.

"I... Not very well, Domine," he confessed. He had nobody to teach him, and had tried a little to mimic the motions of the swimmers he'd seen, but ended up doing a stupid-looking doggy paddle and feeling mightily self-conscious about it. He'd mainly kept to the smaller pool in the frigidarium, where nobody really swam bacause it wasn't big enough.

There weren't many occasions when he felt his father was disappointed in him, but this was one of those rare occasions. Maybe he might teach him to swim, but Teutus wasn't sure if he really had the patience for that, not when he could easily go off and have a swim himself and simply have Teutus wait for him.

"I would like to, if I may," he said, perfectly well aware that his father might simply get embarrassed by his lack of skill and order him out anyway. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.

 

@Atrice

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Maybe it was because Teutus was a slave, that Tertius really didn’t know him so well. He had a son and he didn’t even know if he could swim! And of course he couldn’t. Or at least not very well, as Teutus said. Not that you had the chance to swim all that often, but it wasn’t bad to be able to swim and it could be useful, if you ever went to the sea… or just to a bath like this. It was also a way to get some exercise, after all.

Teutus then added he’d like to swim if he was allowed, “You may.” Tertius said, a little bit embarrassed that Teutus couldn’t swim, but it was kind of his fault, wasn’t it? Yet it seemed a little bit weird to teach your grown son how to swim. It wasn’t something he’d like to do in public anyway.

“Just look at what everyone else does. It’s good to be able to swim properly.” Tertius said and stood to approach the natatio. He went down the steps into the large pool and swam a few strokes, before he stopped and turned to see if Teutus was coming. He was curious to see how Teutus would do in the water.

@Sharpie

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'Just look at what everyone else does' was the only way Teutus had been able to even manage the rough doggy-paddle he could perform.


If it embarrassed his master, he'd maybe never be allowed to come here with him again; Tertius didn't take well to being embarrassed - but it would be his own fault because he had asked! Not that that had ever stopped a citizen from blaming a slave for something.

He slipped into the water and took a breath before swimming to where his master had paused to wait for him.

 

@Atrice

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Posted (edited)

Tertius had swum to the middle of the basin, and there he waited to see what his son would do. Teutus, slender and young as he still were, slipped into the water and… if the young man wasn’t his son, he might have laughed a little bit. Teutus could most certainly not swim properly yet. Maybe Tertius would have to try and teach him a bit. Just a bit.

“It seems you’re not very familiar with it at all.” Tertius said when the other was near enough. It was a bit embarrassing that Teutus couldn’t swim and Tertius glanced around them. There weren’t a lot of people here today; not that many had ventured out into the cold rain to go to the thermae on a day like today…

“Maybe I should try and teach you. If you’d like that.” Tertius then suggested. Not that he figured Teutus would turn down the offer - he seemed very eager to please Tertius and any request he made was rarely denied by the youth. Swimming however, was a bit more of a personal matter and this was no order, it was a suggestion... so he decided to add; "It is your choice." 

@Sharpie

Edited by Atrice

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“It seems you’re not very familiar with it at all.” No - really?! Teutus bit his tongue before he said something in reply to that that he would regret. Of course he wasn't familiar with it; even Teutus wasn't given so much peculium that he didn't notice spending the as that was the usual entrance fee to the baths.

Teutus rarely had much choice about anything in his life, whether that was taking Antonia Varia somewhere, or running errands for his father that Tertius wouldn't entrust to anyone else. "I would like that, Domine," he said quietly, that choice a much safer response than the hastily swallowed sarcastic retort he hadn't made a moment ago. See, Father, I can make choices, when I'm allowed to.

 

@Atrice

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Tertius' own son, who might turn out to be his sole male heir, had no skills when it came to swimming. Now Teutus could do many things and he was a perfect secretary to Tertius and a very good caretaker of Antonia and teacher to her too, even. But swimming was not one of his skills and Tertius decided it ought to be. So he gave Teutus the choice, if he wanted to learn how to swim, Tertius would teach him. It would be a bit strange teaching a grown man how, but there was little to do now that the offer was out in the open. 

Teutus decided he would like to learn how and Tertius nodded and swam closer to him once more, "See what I do with my arms..." He reached them out in front of him and showed Teutus how to do one of the most simple swimming strokes, "You push the water away from you, and that's how you move forwards. And you have to lie down in the water, not be upright. Like this. Kick with your legs backwards." Tertius showed Teutus how, swam away from him and after a few strokes, turned around and came back, "Let's see if you can. It is not so hard, once you figure it out." He did what he could, at least, to try and tell it to Teutus in a way that wasn't too hard to understand. He just hoped Teutus wouldn't drown in the attempt to swim.

@Sharpie

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There was a difference between watching people when you didn't want to be obvious about it and let them know you were watching them (because it would be weird and uncomfortable, especially if it got out that Teutus was a slave, after all!) and being told to directly observe someone right in front of you actually demonstrating the movements deliberately, expecting you to watch and copy them. Teutus hadn't been able to figure out quite how the legs and arms moved together but being able to see properly was a big help.

It made a lot more sense than the splashing sort of movements he'd done before, and although he wasn't the most coordinated person there, three strokes the new way definitely took him further than half-a-dozen strokes the way he'd been used to.

"Is that," he began, got a mouthful of water and tried again. "Is that better, Domine?"

He didn't think he would ever be a strong swimmer, but swimming at all put him ahead of most people, he thought.

 

@Atrice

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He should have taught Teutus all about this years ago, shouldn’t he? So he wouldn’t have to teach a grown man how to swim! Honestly he hadn’t even considered it when he brought Teutus with him here. But here they were, father and son, an odd couple and father was teaching his grown son how to act in the water. Teutus watched Tertius and when Tertius stopped, he watched Teutus’ attempt at swimming. It didn’t go too well, but better than before at least. If you didn’t count the water Teutus almost swallowed.

“It is better than before.” Tertius said with a smile, “With a little bit more practice, you’ll soon be swimming fast.” He said. Would they spend the rest of the day here, doing this? At least the place wasn’t full of people.

“Do you want me to show it again?” He wondered then. It would be nice to just go swimming, but he’d help Teutus a little bit more and then he thought he might swim a bit back and forth on his own, while Teutus could practice on his own.

@Sharpie

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