Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Decimus Rutilius Atellus

A Cloaked Meeting (Aia)

Recommended Posts

"Just memorize a few hundred lines of poetry, I'm sure that you'll be able to use them in any conversation... It would make you appear witty. And if that all failed you could simply impress them with your expert fighting techniques." 

"You memorize a few hundred lines of poetry." Aia snapped back with a smirk. "And I doubt the fighting would get me much conquests. Unless it's with the women. Maybe I should get myself a wife?"

They had been drinking, and the banter was a welcome addition to the night. For a moment it made her feel like they were back at camp, except there were less drunk soldiers around them, getting into measuring contests.

"If you're lucky one of the kids might take you on as a retainer. Plenty of worse jobs, to be fair."

"You wouldn't know, Praetorian to the Princess" Aia grinned, raising her glass at him before finishing her drink "C'mon, that line has to be a secret weapon. Bless you, Decimus, you are too decent to have a good time..."

@Sains

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He'd shrug, putting forth the devilish smirk of a street urchin while he played with the now empty cup that sat in front of him. 

"You never know Aia... Drink can make a man into many things!"

A few moments of that menacing glare would leave him torn with laughter ash he let the charade go, finding it simply to silly to act out any further. Indeed the night was dragging on into the hours where one might not want to wander out into the streets alone. He'd certainly not let Aia do it, even if she'd insist for whatever reason. That damned old noblewoman would just have to do without her for a morning session. 

"So will you be fine staying in the company of these fine maidens for the rest of the night? No problems?"

A wide gesture to the staff of the tavern that still tended to a few sloshed patrons would signify who he meant. There weren't many of them, of course, but they seemed to be getting by alright on their own. 

@Chevi

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"You never know Aia... Drink can make a man into many things!"

Decimus had had his share of drinks tonight, and the grin he offered was equal parts amusing and freer than Aia had seen from him in a while. He had a mischievous soul in him somewhere, and even service in the legions could not scrub all of it away. He cracked up after a few moments, failing to keep up his pretense of being some devilish good-for-nothing, and Aia laughed too. It felt good to laugh with a friend like him. The tavern had a few patrons left by now, and none of them paid any attention. 

"So will you be fine staying in the company of these fine maidens for the rest of the night? No problems?"

"What?" Aia blinked, still chuckling, and looked around, realizing that it must be quite late in the evening by now. "Oh." There was no way she could make it back to the villa tonight. She was allowed to go out on her own, but she doubted that her mistress would take kindly to her being out and about in Rome in the middle of the night. And she was not going to take any risks that could come back to haunt the family she served. Decimus was right, she would have to stay here tonight.

"Well, I guess I should stay here, if they have any free rooms left... I'll ask" she sighed, getting up from the table to go talk to the staff. Getting on her feet reminded her just how many drinks she had consumed; they all seemed to rush to her head, and she wobbled for a moment, rolling her eyes as she caught herself on the edge of the table. "Whoa. Shit. I used to hold my drinks better than that."

@Sains

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Decimus snickered to himself for a moment as her hand gripped the smooth oak of the table. She might not be totally destroyed, but she was more than likely to feel the aftermath of this night when the sun finally rose. He had no real reason to imagine she wouldn't be uncomfortable staying here, as it was one of the better taverns he'd been to, though he couldn't help but feel somewhat concerned about how she felt being alone around all of these strange-ish faces for a night and a morning. It was not as if any woman in Rome could have her safety completely assured if she were alone.

"Ah yes, I remember how the lads spoke of Aius Iron Stomach!"

The teasing would continue as he rose to his own feet, holding his breath for a few moments as his vision darkened and then returned to focus in quick order.

"He'd out-drink the best men in the whole century: Gaius, Appius, and even that German guy that followed them about-er... What was his name... Axios! Or Axius..? Something like that."

He could already feel a small bit of pounding coming from the back of his skull, but it was hardly noticeable yet in the dull warmth that still wrapped around him like a woolen blanket. He'd forgotten how much he really enjoyed being drunk once in a while. 

With little more to do than find his own way home, he beckoned her to follow him up the simpler wooden staircase that sat a few meters away.

"Don't worry about the room, by the way, some poor young fool already spent his coin on a bed for you."

 

@Chevi

Edited by Sains

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It wasn't like Decimus was that much more sure on his feet. Aia chuckled as she watched him stand and hesitate for a moment. He was taller and heavier than her, and she'd matched him in drinks, which meant he was on the far side of sober by now as well.

"Ah yes, I remember how the lads spoke of Aius Iron Stomach! He'd out-drink the best men in the whole century: Gaius, Appius, and even that German guy that followed them about-er... What was his name... Axios! Or Axius..? Something like that."

"He was a Gaul" Aia corrected with a grin. She had never been the best drinker and the legion (and the discipline the officers held up did not allow a lot of opportunities for proving either way), but the fastest and easiest way to show that she was a man was to drink like one, so she did, when she had the chance. It was an acquired skill. "And you're lucky you had an image to uphold in front of the men, otherwise I would have outdrunk you too."

It was clear that both of them were buzzed by now, and that she was not going anywhere tonight except to bed. She headed to the front of the tavern to ask about the room, but Decimus cut her off.

"Don't worry about the room, by the way, some poor young fool already spent his coin on a bed for you."

Aia blinked in surprise, turning to give him a look, but he was already heading for the stairs. She hurried after him, making sure to hold on to the wall with one hand and her dress with the other as she took the stairs one by one.

"Decimus, you are too good for this city" she chuckled, stumbling for a moment "Oh, fuck these long tunics..." she muttered as they eventually made it to the floor above the tavern where the rooms were. "You really paid for a room for me?... Wait, did you foresee me getting drunk?"

@Sains

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting up the stairs had been a bit of an exercise, though not nearly as hazardous for him. It seemed the trappings of female culture may claim Aia and send her tumbling to the bottom of the stairs if they'd not made it when they did, and that could certainly have been a grizzly site if she'd landed wrong. He thought a few times that he might be able to carry her to the top, even if he could scarcely carry himself. He'd decide against it, looking back at her once or twice before they had indeed arrived at the top. It was a simple corridor, lined with a few rough sketches on the walls of various scenes and animals that were meant to make the place more attractive. 

"Did I foresee you getting drunk..? Well I didn't expect you to get sober..." 

A hiss would run through his teeth as he laughed away her concept of what a night at the tavern might be. Of course he couldn't blame her; they had never truly been allowed to enjoy themselves like this often when they'd been on the Island or anywhere else for that matter. Military life often didn't leave room for the luxury of being inattentive at the frontier. Not to mention the endless tales of those who'd been drunk on watch that were constantly hammered into their heads by the upper ranks. 

"You're door three... I think this is the one?"

It was certainly door three, the small etchings above it would have told him so if he'd been sensible enough to look. Faffing around with the cloth that hung across the door frame, he'd soon push it aside to reveal the humble room beyond. It wasn't anything special, containing the bare essentials of a tavern-goer and a few knick-knacks to make the place appear more like home.

"Roomy, 'eh?"

 

@Chevi

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Did I foresee you getting drunk..? Well I didn't expect you to get sober..." 

"Wow, Decimus, you are a true seer" Aia grinned, following him once she'd managed to fight her way to the top of the stairs. Honestly, it did not take a very clever person to guess that she was going to drink herself tipsy. But it took a caring person to make sure that she would have somewhere to sleep once she did. Not everyone would have thought that far ahead. Especially men. Honestly, not even Aia herself, which is why she was grateful to him.

"You're door three... I think this is the one?"

The room was small but clean, even if only with the bare minimum one could expect from a place like this. A bed, a chair, some oil lamps, a pitcher of water. At least it did not have the unmistakable paintings or trappings that hinted at people renting the rooms for a whole different purpose than sleeping. 

"Roomy, 'eh?"

"Much better than a tent" Aia grinned. They'd slept in all kinds of conditions, back in Britannia, usually too exhausted to even complain. Tipsy as she was, Aia stood on her tiptoes to press a kiss to Decimus' cheek. "Thank you, Decimus. Are you going to be alright, walking back to the castra? We can share if you're too drunk, I'd hate to see you robbed."

@Sains

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The guardsman took the kiss to the cheek with a tired smile, thinking on the long walk it would be to his own quarters. Perhaps he wasn't as fearful as he should be considering he could be robbed on the way back just like anyone else. He knew the men that would do it, cutthroats that stuck to the shadows and struck when few were looking. 'Course it was rare that they'd attack any type of ready and able soldier, especially a Praetorian, but one could never be to sure. In the interest of not causing her too much bother, he'd wave away her concern and scoff at the thought.

 "Me? Robbed? I'd dare them to try..." 

It was all too obvious that the drinks had brought his ego up a bit, even if he was quite a capable fighter when he was sober, that wouldn't much matter if he could hardly wield a sword properly. Men many times his size had been brought down by their own drinking habits, falling victim to the low urchins of the street. In any case she was right to be fearful for him. 

Yawning, he ran a hand through his short hair and groaned for a few moments before walking towards the bed so that he might sit.

"I might take a moment... To sober up. Don't think anyone would try it though..." 

 

 

@Chevi

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Me? Robbed? I'd dare them to try..." 

"Keep tempting the gods and someone will bash your head in. We got lucky with the grave robbers" Aia smirked. She did care for Decimus, and as confident as he was when he was tipsy, Rome was sometimes more dangerous at the heart of the empire than along the frontier. Besides, what an embarrassing piece of news would it be, the bodyguard to the princess found robbed after a drunken night? That was the kind of thing that killed a man's reputation.

"I might take a moment... To sober up. Don't think anyone would try it though..."

"There is a perfectly good bed right here" Aia noted cheerfully, plopping down beside him. She shrugged her palla onto the nearby chair, and leaned down to untie her sandals, but the sudden shift of posture made her dizzy again. She sat back up, blinking. "Okay, maybe not a perfectly good one, but hey. It's not a camp tent, right?" she noted, looking at him with a smirk.

@Sains

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Mmm... I guess it does beat sleeping on a skin. Smells a bit nicer too, but that's just my opinion."

That old leathery tent smell was familiar to them both, of course, but he couldn't say he exactly missed it. It was tolerable once one's nose became blind to the scent, but those initial minutes always made him fear that he smelled like an old leathery tent whenever he'd gone about the camp. Still, it was better than smelling like one of the gravediggers; they always had the stench of death about them. 

With little thought, he'd grab up her palla gently in his hands, enjoying the feeling of the fabric running through his fingers. It was soft, clearly of some quality that matched those Egyptian fabrics he'd always been hearing so much about... Or at least he thought it did. Having no notion of the goods of that far-off land, he could only imagine that her lady had clothed her in the very best she could find, though this was almost certainly not true. 

"It's nice, this. Not like that rough old garbage the army provides... Took me years to get enough tunics that didn't chafe whenever I moved about in the armor."

@Chevi

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There might have been a lot of banter between the two of them, but there were some things they could definitely agree on. The quality of bedding compared to what the army used to provide was one of these fixed points of opinion.

"Mmm... I guess it does beat sleeping on a skin. Smells a bit nicer too, but that's just my opinion."

"Definitely nicer." Aia snorted, making a second attempt at untying her sandals - this time, by lifting her leg instead of trying to lean down. It looked less graceful, but also made her less dizzy. "Smells a lot less like a bunch of men." And one woman in disguise.

While Aia fiddled with the laces of her sandals, Decimus took her palla under closer inspection. It was nice smooth piece of cloth, warm enough to serve instead of a cloak, and wide enough to cover her if she had to walk through rain, or go somewhere unnoticed. It was not the worst of the feminine attire, but she would still have liked a cloak better.

"It's nice, this. Not like that rough old garbage the army provides... Took me years to get enough tunics that didn't chafe whenever I moved about in the armor."

"It makes a good cover" Aia nodded in agreement, finally kicking off her sandals and pulling her feet up onto the bed "That's the one thing about women's dresses, the good ones are really smooth." she patted his tunic "This one's not bad either, though... ugh, I'm going to regret the ale in the morning, aren't I..."

@Sains

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Letting her pat at his tunic, he was glad to hear that she liked it. Of course there would be no way of knowing that a family member had made it aside from a few rougher stitch marks that weren't typical of the more experienced designers of the various cities about the empire. 

"Aye, and you'll have that walk back to the country to look forward to... Try water, that often helps." 

He certainly didn't feel any kind of pain in his head yet, the warm buzz he'd gotten was still going strong. The next day would be horrid, of course, but that was a thought for tomorrow and not while he was still reveling the numbing bliss of intoxication. Perhaps he might give her some money to pay off a wagon ride home, but he expected she'd not much like to ride among hay to get back to a Villa. Might get her dress dirty as well which wouldn't sit right with the lady that would be waiting for her to teach her children. 

"I don't know what I am going to do tomorrow, I think we're going on a walk to the ludus... Hopefully I'm up for it."

He'd groan at the thought. Walking about the city under that pretext was one thing, but doing it with a hangover, however much he'd do to treat it, was another matter altogether. 

Tossing the palla back onto the chair, he'd let his back fall onto the soft cover of the bed so that he might rest his eyes for a moment.

"Gods..."
 

@Chevi

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Aye, and you'll have that walk back to the country to look forward to... Try water, that often helps." 

"On the inside or over my head?" Aia grinned. There were a hundred and one different practices for hangovers, most of which did not work at all. One just had to power through it, and make due payment to Bacchus for the fun the night before.

"I don't know what I am going to do tomorrow, I think we're going on a walk to the ludus... Hopefully I'm up for it."

Both of them had work in the morning. Well, he certainly did, being on duty as an imperial bodyguard for whatever the princess decided to do. The ludus did not sound so bad, as long as he got to stand in the shade and did not have to fight off any rebelling gladiators.

"You've been through worse and you know it" she smirked as he fell back onto the bed. It was not exactly designed for two people, but it had enough space for Aia's smaller frame to fit, so she lay back to, side by side with Decimus. 

"Gods..."

"Yeah." she agreed with the general sentiment, closing her eyes too. The room was spinning a lot less now that she was in a horizontal position. She huffed and chuckled, vaguely aware that this was yet another in their long line of scandalous encounters. Pantry, graveyard, tavern bedroom...

Decimus' breathing evened out in a few moments. Aia, slowly dozing off herself, turned her head to see her friend sleeping the peaceful sleep of the slightly drunk. With a soft chuckle, she reached back to grab her palla, pulling the smooth fabric over the both of them before she curled up at his side with a contented sigh, an arm resting across his chest. 

She would probably drool on his shoulder by the morning. 

@Sains

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...