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Where’s The Time Gone


Sydney
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After Theo and Justinia’s last encounter, she wondered if he would ever come back. Days and months had gone by and she hadn’t seen him. Part of her was worried that something happened to him—the other part of her was nervous that he wasn’t coming back because she was too much trouble. Men came and went (literally), and without any sign of Theo, she wondered if he skipped town. She wouldn’t blame him; the situation they got into was scary. It wasn’t like him to not be in contact with her over a long period of time. Maybe he moved on, and she would’ve understood. 

Justinia wasn’t the new prostitute at the Venus anymore, and she had time to observe. It wasn’t a terrible place, but her once-cheerful optimism was long gone. She wasn’t as naive. Men did many things to her, some of which were unspeakable, and it made her grow up even more. Things were easier when she finally came to terms with her situation that she wasn’t going to get out of it anytime soon. 

But as Saturnalia started, she was able to leave the Venus. She just wanted answers. Justinia wanted to see if Theo was still at the Ludus. Maybe he hadn’t left, maybe he was working on the things he said he would. But high hopes were a thing of the past for the woman. Still, she wanted to know.

Justinia finally got to the Ludus and she entered. It seemed as if it was pretty Barron, with a lot of people celebrating Saturnalia with their families, friends, or at a popina. Exploring a little more lead here to see someone still working despite nobody being there. She knew who the Greek man was. 

“Hello Theo,” she said, confirming that he hadn’t skipped town or died. A genuine smile popped up on her face. 

@Chevi

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Saturnalia was one of the strange Roman customs Theo was still getting used to. The city was letting loose in ways that would have seemed quite dangerous to any normal person; Astrius had claimed the slaves' right to do whatever they wanted in these days, and promptly disappeared, probably to get shamefully drunk and set things on fire. Theo looked for him in a few popinas but soon had to give up the search. One couldn't even tell slaves from free men in the crowds. Besides, whatever Astrius did, at least in these few days it wasn't on him. 

As for Theo, he was not a man of excess. He enjoyed good food and games, but even that became straining after a while, so he returned to the ludus, taking advantage of the relative peace and quiet (and the absence of Astrius). He reorganized his supplies, cleaned his tools, re-shelved his books, and gave himself some time to just muse and sit around.

That is, until a visitor arrived. Theo noted the woman's shape from the corner of his eyes as she appeared in the doorway.

"Domina, I'm afraid most of the gladiators are aw..."

“Hello Theo,”

The medicus turned, his eyes growing wide as he recognized the voice. For a moment, he was at a loss about how she could be here, the his brain caught up. Sautrnalia.

"Justinia!" his face lit up in a bright smile as he walked over to her "Happy Saturnalia! I didn't... expect to see you here? Is everything alright?"

@Sydney

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Justinia lived in the brothel, but the place felt lonely most of the time. Not in the literal sense, as there were always people in it bustling around and about, but in the sense that she really didn't have anyone to rely on. Nobody was as kind or understanding as Theo. With his job, you'd think someone like him would be crueler, being in the ludus all the time couldn't have made anyone weak. She never did think of him as weak, as she knew that he could take drastic measures if it ever came to that. During Saturnalia, she felt like she'd want to spend her time with him. Justinia didn't care to drink or to dance, she wanted to spend her time doing things she normally couldn't. 

He froze for a second, and she even wondered if he knew who it was. He then said her name and walked over to her. "Yeah, everything's fine. I just wanted to come and see you," she said. "I haven't seen you for a while so I thought that I might stop by." She tucked her hair behind her ear and looked behind him. 

Of course, he was doing work. She felt bad, knowing that she might have interrupted him. Her eyes went wide. "Oh, I didn't mean to walk in on your work. I can always come back later! I'm so sorry." She didn't even think about the possibility of him working, being Saturnalia and all. She should've known better. 

@Chevi

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For a moment, Theo thought something was wrong. It was unexpected for Justinia to show up on his doorstep at the Ludus; the owners of Venus would not let one of their prized girls to wander off, especially not to a lace full of gladiators. For a second he thought she was in trouble, or had run away.

"Yeah, everything's fine. I just wanted to come and see you. I haven't seen you for a while so I thought that I might stop by." 

"Oh." Theo smiled, relieved, and moved aside. "Come on in, then."

"Oh, I didn't mean to walk in on your work. I can always come back later! I'm so sorry."

"Nonsense" Theo shook his head; he almost reached out to catch her hand to keep her from leaving "It's not work if I don't have a patient. And it's Saturnalia. What better way to spend it than with a friend?... A friend I don't get to see often." he added a little sheepishly "Maybe this strange Roman holiday is good for something after all. Are you out celebrating?"

@Sydney

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Justinia was told that she could only stay within a certain area of the Ludus, just in case they needed her. She wanted to see Theo, so she didn't listen.  Justinia left that part out of the conversation. She didn't want him to get into any more trouble like before. If she were to be punished, then so be it. To her, visiting him was worth it. Just seeing his face, even if it was for a few minutes, was worth it to her. 

She was lucky to have a friend like Theo. Justinia hesitated to stay. Even though he said it was alright, she felt as if she were intruding. She listened to him speak, saying it was good to spend Saturnalia with a friend. He went on to ask if she was celebrating, and she shook her head. "I'm not really the celebrating type. I  wouldn't even know where to start!" Even though she lived in Rome most of her life, Saturnalia was just as strange to her as a lot of foreigners. 

"What do you think about all of this celebration? I don't think I could get used to all the freedom that everyone has," she said with a chuckle. There were people acting crazy on the streets, more so than usual. 

@Chevi

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Theo busied himself with clearing up some space on the table, and rustling up two chairs that were not covered in scrolls or bandages. Thanks to Astrius, and for medical purposes, there were always several pitchers of wine around, but Theo was having trouble locating two clean cups for drinking at the moment. He was trying his best, happy to spend time with Justinia.

"I'm not really the celebrating type. I  wouldn't even know where to start!... What do you think about all of this celebration? I don't think I could get used to all the freedom that everyone has," 

"It's... kind of like a Bacchanalia." Theo noted with a smirk "I think... slaves are supposed to take over their households for the day. So, as Astrius tells me... for tonight, I'd be the servant, and you'd be the domina."

@Sydney

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