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Attis

Changeful British Skies

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Britannia, 66AD

Attis had finished his errands and returned to his master's tent. He wasn't sure what state of mind he was going to find his master in, so entered cautiously and quietly, wanting only to set the place to rights while disturbing his master as little as possible.

Unfortunately, that was not to be.

The ground just inside the entrance to the tent was uneven, with a rough clump of grass just ready to catch the unwary. By the time he registered it was there, it was too late and he had fallen full-length, sprawling on the cold ground and probably covering himself with mud as well as ignominy. He ended lying on his belly almost at his master's feet, cursing his uncharacteristic clumsiness even as he raised his eyes tentatively to meet his master's gaze.

"I beg your pardon, domine, I just felt the need to demonstrate that I worship the very ground you walk on," he said, the quip rising to his lips almost without thought, even as he sought to get to his knees and thence back to his feet.

He hoped that his master was the only one to witness his clumsiness.

@Sara

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Longinus tried to retain interest in whatever the Prefect was wittering on about. After two years of absence he'd looked at the military and his time in the legions most definitely with rose-tinted glasses and had largely forgotten the drudgery of meetings and discussions with his juniors about all manner of things he considered trivial. He couldn't quite remember what the point of this particular conversation had been, but he had lost interest within minutes. He sighed and took a sip of the water he'd been drinking, unwilling to interrupt the man himself. 

He was pleased, therefore, when Attis did it for him. He glanced up almost immediately at the sound of the young man skidding to his stomach on the floor of the tent and the Prefect, evidently confused and concerned placed his hand on the hilt of his gladius. 

Longinus struggled to keep the smile from his face and ended up biting his cheek, waving a hand for the Prefect to resheathe his sword. "Appius, you'll have to forgive my slave's impertinence," He threw down the scroll he had been supposed to be looking over and stood from behind the small, cramped desk which just about fitted into the tent. "Will you give me some time to discipline him, and we'll pick this up later?" He didn't give the man long to stutter a confused 'yes' before he'd ushered him out of the entrance with a clap on his back. 

With a chuckle, he returned to his desk, speaking over his shoulder to Attis; "You certainly have perfect timing, I was about to stab myself with a fork for some light entertainment." He shuffled the scrolls around, trying to find one he'd discarded earlier, "What happened to you, get lost? The mud all looks the same here." He smirked. 

 

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Merda! His master wasn't alone, which meant that Attis had just made a fool of himself in front of another officer (and a senior one, as well, because his master was high enough in seniority that he didn't deal with junior officers - not that it made a blind bit of difference to Attis what rank a free man had; they all outranked a mere slave).

He scrambled to get out of the man's way as he was ushered from the tent.

"I'm sorry, domine," he said, once the tent flap fell behind the other man, leaving him alone with his master, and gave him a cautious glance, recovering his usual cheer once it seemed that he was not actually in trouble. "Happy to be of service - and I'm glad you didn't stab yourself. Blood is so hard to get out of clothing."

So was mud; Attis looked down at his mud-streaked tunic and tried not to groan. That was not the look a senior officer's personal slave should be sporting; he would have to find a spare tunic and see if this one could be salvaged. Regardless of what he looked like, his service need not suffer; he found a jug of wine carefully stashed away and poured a cup of it, placing the cup carefully on the table his master had once again taken up position at.

"I'm not used to a military camp, domine," he said, returning the jug whence it had come. It might all be straight lines and easy to navigate for people who were used to military camps, but he wasn't,  yet, and all the tents looked the same.

 

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Longinus only huffed an amused 'Mhm' as he began trying to read whatever it was he was supposed to be reading during the meeting. He arched a brow but didn't look up at his newly initiated body slave's comment and grinned, "You'll have to get used to it, we're not going back to Rome anytime soon." 

If he had his way he'd spend his life roaming the farthest corners of the empire but as an only child with an ageing mother, wife and a daughter less than a year old (and with no son) that hope had been extinguished. Still, his post may well stretch on in years and it was better not to think about the drudgery of Rome anytime soon. 

The thought of the city made him frown though and he glanced up at Attis who was busying himself with whatever slaves busied themselves with; "Has my wife written?" He couldn't help the little wince on his face. He'd written to her some time back and hadn't received any sort of response that he could remember. She had been furious as he left but he hoped time and space would have dampened down her moods. Evidently not. He waved a hand at the mess of his desk. He was never a neat man and things were scattered here, there and everywhere - cluttering up the small tent; "It doesn't matter, even if she had I wouldn't be able to find it." 

Flitting blue eyes back to his slave he smirked in amusement, "And not only are you useless at tidying you're also going to make the men think I make you sleep in the mud, dressed like that." He didn't offer any solutions to the problem of his body slave doused in mud, but his smirk stretched to a grin, amused. He was a naturally conversational man, full of energy and excitement and that extended to time spent alone with slaves as much as it did during war.

 

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"I thought that was to be my punishment, domine?" Attis said innocently. "I shall change if you wish, of course. And is it your wish that I tidy your desk, then? I thought you preferred to deal with it yourself." 

He could not help looking round the rest of the tent, which could not possibly be any tidier unless it were empty of such things as the master's camp cot. He bent to smooth a crease from the blanket on the cot, just to prove his point.

 

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"Mhm, maybe I should make you sleep in the rain." He cast an amused glance up, evidently wanting to be distracted from the dullness of the scroll, "Or better yet we're in need of a new envoy to go over to the Sentatii. Maybe I should suggest you'd like to walk into a British settlement alone, unarmed?" He was jesting, and in a good humour took a sip of the wine, a hint of challenge in his eye but didn't anticipate a reply. 

He'd only promoted the lad a few months prior but his sense of humour was a refreshing change from the ageing stoicism of Beautus. Its what had drawn him in the first place. That, and the fact he'd rather do anything else than spend an afternoon and evening at the slave market haggling. 

He abandoned the scroll on the desk, now fully committing to abandoning work in favour of conversation and wine with his new body slave. His mother would no doubt be horrified at the notion, but he was a relaxed man (for the most part) and the tedium of being the senior officer of the legion was waring on his endless energy. Besides, it would be better for both of them if they knew one another a little better - it would dispel some of the awkwardness of being in such close quarters almost twenty-four hours a day. 

"What do you make of Britannia then? And the military?" He asked, intrigued, and took a sip of wine.

 

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"They'd probably think you'd offered them some vile insult and sacrifice me to one of their vile gods, and then you'd have to find someone else to be your body slave. You'll probably end up with the empire's most boring slave, and end up starting a battle just for something to do. Which will lead to absolutely conquering the British and leading their chiefs back to Rome, where Quintus Caesar will be so grateful he'll award you a proper Triumph and make you consul alongside him for the next ten years. It will be a glorious sacrifice. I shall go and prepare myself for this mission instantly, domine."

He tried to keep a lugubrious expression on his face as he spoke, but couldn't quite hide the laughter in his eyes, so kept his head down, and dug out a tunic to change into.

"The military are very... shouty. And go everywhere in straight lines. Britannia is..." He shrugged. "Cold. Wet. Full of barbarians. May I ask why Rome bothered to conquer the island in the first place, domine? The barbarians don't want us here and the place doesn't seem to have anything useful to offer Rome - you can't send mist and rain back to Italia, after all. And may I change?" He held his clean tunic up.

 

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He snorted in amusement at Attis' description, "Off you pop then, hopefully it'll be a clean death." He chuckled to himself. Few men here spoke up to him, or bothered to make him laugh. It had been different during his time as Tribune where he didn't feel quite the level of responsibility on his shoulders, and older, more war-weary men were less reticent around him. Now he mostly spent his evenings making polite conversation with men that were too concerned being proper that it sucked all the fun out of his time here. It hadn't been the same years ago, during his first and second appointments as legatus, but things had moved on, this place had moved on.

He laughed at Attis' description of Britannia. He found it much the same, but nonetheless the cool climate, endless greenery and odd inhabitants had an odd pull on him. "Why do we Romans do anything? Glory," He shrugged, although he was not especially well versed in the particulars of why Darius had decided that Britannia was the priority over Egypt, the explanation he'd received from his father and which he was now dutifully passing down to Attis satisfied him well enough when he was a boy; "And their land is plenty fertile, they trade with Gaul so we might as well," He leaned across the table with a grin, "And they make excellent slaves, which we'll need if our own constantly make fools of themselves." 

He waved a dismissive hand in assent as Attis asked if he could change, although couldn't help a couple of not-so-subtle glances in his general direction as he did. He'd not taken the slave to his bed, nor felt any real inclination to since they'd left Rome, although he wasn't entirely immune to the amusing mans charms. Distracting himself, he tried to turn his attention back to the scroll. It was of little use, however. Groaning loudly in boredom he glanced at Attis, "You know you're lucky you're a slave, you don't have to worry about all the dull things like peace discussions, and supply lines, and anything else handed down to you from on high." The irony of the last part was lost on him. 

Throwing down the scroll again he rolled his shoulders until they gave a satisfying click and jumped nimbly to his feet, "I'm going to go mad in here if I have to stay in much longer," He jerked his head to the entrance, "Get my things we're going out into the shouty straight lines." 

 

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"A clean death? The British? For a Roman slave? You must be joking, domine," Attis said, pulling his tunic off and replacing it with a clean one, a little self-conscious to be doing so in front of his master. Those glances hadn't escaped him. "Excellent slaves, domine? Only if you want to give orders in the simplest of Latin - I bet none of them know the first thing about making a decent jug of wine, the way you like it. They might be good farm slaves, but you can't expect a barbarian to serve at a civilised meal or anything."

He folded the mud-stained tunic and put it away with his other few belongings - spare tunics and the warm cloak he'd been given since they'd arrived here. "No, domine, I just have to worry about pleasing you and not angering any of the other officers, and anything you give me to do," he added. It might be a bit close to the mark, but he didn't think Longinus was the sort to strike even a slave for impudence.

He reached for his master's breastplate; if he did want to go out into the camp, he'd be expected to be dressed as befit an officer of his rank.

 

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“Well despite that tone,” He rolled his eyes, “You have pleased me. Then again, you’re living up to Beautus who was nearing fifty and had a limp so don’t hold yourself in particularly high regard just yet.” He added with an amused glint in his eye. But it was a genuine compliment hidden under a veil of disparagement. Attis was prodigiously attentive, had learned his quirks and habits quickly and was good company. He had been relieved that his choice in the young man had been the right one. Sourcing a new body slave here would have been a nightmare.

He held his arms outreaches for Attis to fit his breast plate and jerked his head to the slave’s cloak he spied in his chest. It hadn’t been cheap, but then Britannia could be mercilessly cold in the winter and he didn’t want poor Attis to freeze: “Bring that, and mine. I want to show you something and it’s a bit of a walk.” It wasn’t really, but teasing poor Attis amused him.

His eyes narrowed on his slaves forehead, however, as he came to the front to finish fitting the breastplate. “I don’t think I’ve ever asked you about that,” He jerked his head again, gesturing at the mans scar, he hadn’t the need to, “Are you sure you’ve not been a military man before? It’s the perfect fit for a sword.” That much was obvious when up close. From a distance he had assumed Attis had just...walked into a tree and scratched himself, or something of the sort.

 

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"One doesn't need to have served in the military to have come into contact with a sword, domine," Attis said, lacing the breastplate up. He was aware of the uncharacteristic bitterness in his voice as he spoke, but for a slave to bear a scar such as his and in a place such as his generally meant that the slave had tried and failed to abscond. "It happened four years ago, some soldiers came to your house - I never knew who they were nor whose side they were on." He shrugged, it was in the past now, and turned to fetch their cloaks, fastening his master's bright scarlet cloak to the bosses on the breastplate (an ingenious solution that meant the wearer would not be strangled by his own garment) before pinning his own with the plain simple bronze pin that was suitable for someone of his station.

He only hoped that it wouldn't be too much of a walk; he did not particularly like the weather this far north. It was too cold, and he was thankful for the quality of the cloak his master had bought him. He couldn't help wondering whether it had cost as much as he was worth, or getting on for it.

He would have to watch his tone, especially with others around - very few Romans appreciated the sort of things his master allowed him to say, and the way in which he said them, but at least his master was pleased with him. Despite how he spoke; no doubt others would accuse him of being impudent when that was not what he meant by it at all.

"Do you require your gladius or pugio, domine?" he asked, wondering how far the master was planning on going. Outside the camp, even - surely not!

 

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"Ah." Was all he said in response to the story. Having sent his mother away, the thought of what would happen to his slaves hadn't much concerned him. He felt a little gnaw of guilt at the act now, given he was staring at the consequences. He jerked his head at the gladius in affirmation and set about adjusting the focale around his neck. 

When he had his sword he didn't waste a minute before he was striding out of the tent, a big grin stretching across his face. He was most happy when he was outside, exercising, stretching his legs...in much the same way as an overgrown puppy might be. It was not the first time the comparison had been made. He glanced over his shoulder to ensure Attis was keeping up and called out; "Come on, before I decide to send you to the Sentatii after all." The sun was low in the sky and it would soon start to get dark (a perennial problem in Britannia from December through to March), and he was glad of his cloak as he felt a chill run up his spine. 

He hung back for a moment to ensure Attis was within earshot and grinned, "It's not that far," He jerked his head up to a hill in the middle distance. It was flanked by men and tents, and in the dim light one could see sentries on its top. He set off again and only paused when they were halfway up. He exhaled sharply through his nose, grateful for his fitness even if the climb was steep. He clapped Attis on the back and looked out at the view, grinning; "You see? Even if it's a bit cold and wet, it is oddly beautiful, don't you agree?" He asked almost as a rhetorical, but was genuinely interested. Attis would have to stay here for years at least, he'd rather he actually enjoyed their host country. 

It wasn't long, however, before he was back up and marching to the top of the hill.

 

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Attis reached for the gladius and buckled the swordbelt around his master's waist with no fuss, following his master out of the tent, shivering a little in the chill even as he pulled his cloak tighter around himself. He was glad to learn that they weren't, after all, going to go far.

It was late afternoon, and it wouldn't be too long at all before it was dark - and his master wanted to go walking now? Well, there wasn't anything Attis could do to stop him, of course, so he merely fell into step behind him

"Oddly enough, yes, domine," he said. "Not like home, though." Italia was warm, at least, and had a golden sort of light that made everything glow. Not like here, though he conceded that Britannia was pretty enough in its own way. Shame about the uncivilised barbarians who lived here, though.

He had barely enough time to give his answer before his master was off again, striding up the nearby hill. Attis swallowed a curse and followed, trying to keep up despite the rough footing and his master's longer stride.

 

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Longinus made a sound of dissatisfaction and sighed. He thought this odd little place's beauty was equal to home, albeit in a very different way. The grey skies and never ending hills, not to mention the barbarous inhabitants made it difficult to enjoy, but there was more to it than that. He'd come to appreciate the vast differences in landscapes and the rare days of sun as something quite special. He had considered, briefly, insisting on Antonia and Cassia joining him out here. He could install them in a villa near Lindum or Eboracum whilst Longinus himself's legion was stationed in the north. The thought was a pipe dream, however, as he knew his family would be miserable as sin if he dragged them away from the finery of Rome. 

When he finally reached the top of the hill, some ten minutes later, he exhaled a few sharp breaths. His chest burned a little at the exertion, as it always did when he came to this place, but with moments his heart rate had settled and his breathing had slowed. For the second time that day he was glad to have Attis rather than the previous, aged incumbent as his body slave. Beautus would never have made it up this hill unscathed. 

The wind was fierce up here and it whipped his face red as he squinted into the distance. He grinned when he saw what he was looking for and beckoned to Attis with a jerk of his head, "Come here," He raised a pointed finger and gestured to a smudge a little way in the distance. It was almost imperceivable in the rolling hills of green, and the rapidly darkening skies, but Longinus had been looking at it for the three days the camp had been here, en route from Lindum to Lancaster, and could find the smudge from memory. "Do you know what that is?" He arched a brow and turned to his body slave with a look that suggested he wouldn't be irritated if he didn't know. If anything, Longinus enjoyed being the teacher. "It's a camp of Britons. They've been following us since we left Lindum, and I can't figure out why." He'd assumed they'd been following for reconnaissance but they'd evidently not done anything with whatever information they'd been gathering. "I've arranged for them to be brought in, later, but depending on what they say," If they said anything at all, "We might finally see some action." 

He couldn't help the grin that stretched ear to ear. This time his posting had been filled largely with administration rather than anything overtly militaristic (the perils of having largely subjugated the island). He relished the thought of a horde of Brigantes coming down on the camp, in a perverse sort of way.

 

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Attis caught the dissatisfied sound, and the sigh and tried not to roll his eyes. Did his master want him to lie or something? He didn't find the place as bewitching as his master evidently did, and would probably get in trouble for lying if he said that he did. His master beckoned him forward to join him before pointing out a smudge of something  in the middle distance.

"Do I... No, domine," he said, though his negative reply was ignored as Longinus informed him it was a British camp. The gleeful note in his voice had to be a product of Attis' imagination, but the shiver that caused him to draw his cloak tighter around himself was neither imagination nor caused by the chill of the day.

"How many of them is that - I mean, how big is the camp, domine? And surely they won't come quietly."

He hadn't expected to come face-to-face with the wild British natives quite as soon as this - and it was obvious that Longinus relished the prospect in a way that Attis definitely did not.

 

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Longinus shrugged and squinted at the camp, "I'm not sure - it's not more than twenty though, and probably less than that." The British had a habit of hiding in woods, and he suspected the rest of their number were dotted about in settlements from here up to Lancaster, lying in wait. 

He didn't fail to notice the edge to Attis' voice and cast a glance down at him, trying to sound reassuring and to temper the excitement in his own voice: "They'll come quietly enough. It's probably just a scouting party, nothing more than that. I imagine they've been passing information back to their people, but they're not as educated as us and even if they were educated to understand how many men are in a legion, they're hardly going to come out and attack in broad daylight with no advantage." As he'd ensured their moving camp kept to the crest of the valleys they walked through. "And if they do then, well," He shrugged languidly, "It will be a piece of cake. There's not that much resistance left in the Brigantes, not anymore now that Eppitacos is long gone to Rome, there can't be many of them left who are willing to fight." Long gone might be an understatement, the man only left two years prior, and the Brigantes were a fickle tribe, consistently trying to start trouble. But it was different, and quieter down here, than up in the far north.

He glanced again at the smudge and kept his eyes off of Attis out of an odd sort of respect for the younger man, "You're worried?" He supposed it was natural, if he hadn't been in this sort of environment before.

 

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Attis was aware that there were several thousand men in a fully-strength Legion, even with his lack of any sort of military training or expertise.

"I don't know about worried, domine, exactly. I don't have the training and everything to know whether I ought to worry or not, for one thing." He supposed that he didn't need to worry, really - he was currently living in the middle of a military camp, surrounded by the best-trained and best-disciplined soldiers in the world, and just needed to keep his head down and stay out of the way. Any fighting would likely be outside the camp anyway, and the camp itself was a fortified marvel with ditches and palisades and everything else.

"I guess... I'll worry when you do, domine," he said, glancing at his master, who didn't appear the least bit worried. Or anxious, even.  He added, cautiously, "I take it you'd rather like it if they attacked or something?"

 

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He smirked and offered a little shrug, still looking at the little smudge in the distance. "Life in the legions can be dull." He said after a few moments of pause, "It wasn't when I was here for my first and second appointments, but they were different times." He didn't know how much his slave actually knew about his history and what he'd achieved, and assumed very little given Attis was firmly back in Rome for all of it. Perhaps one day he'd explain. 

As it was, he simply stayed silent in contemplation for a moment before grinning a little to himself, "I don't want to lose decent men, but," He shrugged, "At least an attack would give them something to do." Their march was sapping the mens energy and despite drills, life in the camp was producing lethargy. Idleness was never a good thing in the army. 

With a satisfied sound at the exercise and the view, he turned and slapped Attis on his back with a loud clap and arched a brow, "Don't worry little Attis, all the big strong soldiers will protect you if anything happens." He teased, but with good humour. Given the mark on the mans forehead and the fact that he remained alive after a raid on his own family home, Longinus didn't doubt the man could equip himself well if needs absolutely must. He began descending the hill in the opposite direction to their tent, preferring to take the scenic route around the perimeter of the camp. He enjoyed the exercise and if he stayed indoors (or...in-tent) much longer he'd go mad. 

"Had you ever travelled out of Rome, besides the villa, before you came here?" He arched a brow curiously to his companion as they trudged down the steep embankment. He hated silence almost as much as idleness, and filled the air with conversation, even with a slave. He supposed he didn't know much about the mans background, although his complexion belied his Italian origin, at least so Longinus thought. Then again, he could well have come from outside Italia, and his interest was piqued. 

 

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Life as a slave could be dull, too, though whether his master appreciated that was entirely different - doing the same thing over and over every day was not exactly the most interesting way to pass the time. Though when the alternative was trying to prevent several armed and annoyed Roman soldiers (free citizens and thus infinitely superior to slaves who were mere property) from ransacking your master's house... Attis thought he'd prefer the uninspiring boredom of repetitive chores to that sort of excitement.

"Pretty sure the big strong soldiers will have better things to do than protecting harmless little me," he said with a shrug, pulling his warm woollen cloak a little tighter around himself.

"No, domine, I haven't left Rome before, not unless it was to go to the villa," he added in answer to his master's question. "Weren't you worried about falling off the edge when you came here the first time?"

He was somewhat aware that travellers knew of Britannia before the Romans had decided to conquer it, but weren't they even a little bit afraid about missing it and sailing right off the edge of the world or something?

 

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He arched a brow, "Born and bred in Rome, eh?" He was intrigued. He could only vaguely remember the boy arriving in his fathers household, but couldn't place the year. He knew the provenance of most of his household (a curious mix of Briton spoils, Greeks from the markets and and Italians for into slavery), but not the one as close to a master as could be.

 "Where did you come from again?" He frowned, "My father bought you, didn't he? When you were a boy?" The other Lucius Cassius Longinus had a habit of collecting strays and adding them to the families collection of slaves. Much so it meant that when he inherited the family, the younger Longinus had dispensed with the majority. There was no point stuffing a household with hundreds of slaves when there was no need, after all.

But the slaves comment made him laugh, peals ringing as they finally dropped down the hill. "I came out here as a Tribune,"  a position which scarcely lasted three years before his hurried promotion, "If I fell off the edge of the world coming here then all I was following my orders." He snorted in amusement and ran a hand through his hair, damp from a light mist of rain that was drizzling. With a jerk of his head he gestured for the younger man to follow him as he started a walk around the edge of the camp. He needed to stretch his legs and feel the wind on his skin before he returned to that god awful tent.

 

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"Yes, and yes, domine," Attis replied, and shrugged. "I was ten when your father bought me - I don't even know why he did, ten-year-olds aren't all that useful, after all." He'd probably spent more time getting underfoot than actually being useful in any capacity; he hadn't even been decorative for a master who liked to have young slaves just to make the house look prettier.

"I can understand coming out as a Tribune, domine," he said. "But why would you want to come back - aren't there warmer parts of the Empire? Places with actual sun?" Truth be told, he wasn't sure whether or not his master had asked to come back to Britannia or if he'd just drawn the short straw to be assigned back here again. Though it was a toss-up whether the master thought he'd drawn the short straw; Attis definitely did.

He dropped back to walk behind his master as they returned to the more populated part of the camp. Slave etiquette dictated that a slave did not place himself on the same level as his master unless he had a particular desire to be whipped. That was up to the master, after all.

 

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Longinus was a man that liked to talk, and indulge his slaves (or certain ones at least) when the right time presented itself. Hence why he didn't reprimand Attis for his questioning, as some might do. Whilst he understood the very clear distinction between the free and those enslaved, he was not cold-hearted enough to ignore the fact they had minds and wills of their own. It's why he had picked the young man for this particular position, and Beautus before him. He couldn't stand those meek little men that stood in shadows and preened and primped themselves, not as his personal attendant at least. 

Honestly, he shrugged and glanced at the younger man; "Anything is better than Rome at the moment." He sighed and rubbed a hand over his jaw - speaking loud enough for Attis behind him, "Being a quaestor wasn't my...forte, and Antonia," He rolled his eyes with a little groan, "Had ideas of her own for my next career move, which I didn't share." His lips twitched into a small, mischievous smile as he strode ahead. 

"Better to come back here, embrace the fresh air and actually do something productive with my time that wallow in Rome or worse, be stuck somewhere like Aegyptus just doing dull administrative tasks." Longinus shrugged. He was a man that liked action, something which ruled out posts in several provinces which were now ostensibly in peacetime. He glanced over his shoulder at Attis with a little grin and an arched brow, "Why the curiosity? Someone in Rome you're pining after?"

 

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"Someone...? Oh, no, domine, nothing like that." He'd just wanted to know how long it was likely to be before he saw Rome again. 

He would have to reconcile himself to the fact that his master was 'home' for him now, a shift in perspective that he had not really considered. And that meant that he would have to get used to military camps, like this one. He looked around.

There was an order to it, with the tents laid out neatly in rows, with all the biggest tents in the middle, with an open space in front of them. His master's tent was one of those, of course, as he was a senior officer.

 

@Sara

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Longinus glanced over his shoulder at Attis with an amused, but somewhat relieved smile. If Attis had had a sweetheart (or more) back in Rome it would have made the transition to working in Britannia more difficult than it needed to be. And the poor lad had already had enough upheaval with the promotion to his body slave, and the sea journey to the other end of the empire. Still, he knew what young men were like and made a point of glancing over his shoulder at him again. 

"I don't mind if you find a woman if we make it home," And it was an if, because Longinus had no intention of returning back to the eternal city anytime soon, "But steer clear of the British women. I don't need some barbarian starting a raid because you've fumbled with his daughter." He chuckled. As far as masters go, Longinus was fairly relaxed but there were lines he didn't wish crossed, "Is that understood?" He asked pointedly. 

 

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Attis swallowed the breezy reply that was his first instinct as he heard the tone of his master's final statement. "Yes, domine, perfectly clear," he said.

If he was barred from trying it on with the local girls, that left him with the camp followers, most of whom were after the free (citizen) legionaries or the free (going to be citizens when they retired) auxiliaries. Attis was neither.

Well,that narrowed his options severely, but didn't eliminate them. There might be female slaves who wouldn't mind bedding a fellow slave. There were certainly other male slaves, a military camp was full of men and there must be others slaves around.

"What about a man? I mean, would you mind if I..? Though I'll keep away from the barbarians, of course I will, domine."

 

@Sara

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